Mirror of History Biography of Imam Ali

Index

    Our father, Akhtar Raza Zaidi was a born genius with a passion of learning. During his college days in Luckhnow University he had been editor of college magazine and his poems were quite popular among his fellow students.He did his B. A. ( Honors ) in literature from Lucknow University, but could not continue his education there,as India got divided and he had to migrate to a newly founded country Pakistan. He had to face hardships to start life from scratch and started working with education department. His passion of learning was so intense that it did not stop him to continue his education and he obtained two masters degrees from University of Sind, one in world history and another in Muslim history.

    With his vast knowledge in history and reading H.G.Wells and Will Durant, his interest in writing history grew . His first book was,  'History of Civilization' in English. Then he got interested in Muslim history to convey some untold truths about those subjects he chose to to write about. His another book ,' Khilafat ka Urooj o Zawal' ( the rise and fall of Muslim Caliphate) was included in Karachi university's syllabus.

    His last book was the biography of Ali Ibne Abutalib in two volumes. The second volume was not published during his life because of his untimely death. Being a writer of  broad vision and admirer of truth he illustrated the true facts, but few religious groups protested against it. As a lover of truth myself I admire my father's courage to do his job truthfully. We are very proud of our father.

    I am bound to thank Dr. Tahir Bilgrami for this translation of 'Islam and Ali' which has been done gracefully. We are grateful.

    In the last, it is important to thank our youngest brother, Adeel Zaidi who is constantly and diligently working and promoting our father's writings. We are very proud of him.

     

    Meher Raza

    Daughter

     

     

    More than thirty years of teaching General and Islamic History at the college level, who authored several books of history, including History of Civilization, Rise and Fall of Muslim Caliphates and biography of Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib and a true believer of truthfulness, my cousin brother Syed Akhtar Raza Zaidi deserves a very significant recognition for his academic work  for the benefits of institutions of great learning and for the public at large. I had seen him buying many authentic book s of history, including Ibne Khuldoon, Gibbon, H.G. Wells and Will Durant to name a few.

    He collected and read many valuable books for references.

    Professor Syed Akhtar Raza Zaidi had an ardent desire for writing history books and transferring information for all the generations to come. He was an Adeeb and a poet.  His poetry was reminiscing and full of ideology of a peaceful and truthful world.  After he migrated from Indian to Pakistan in 1948, he carried with him lots of memories which he depicted in his poems.  I remember a couplet from his Poetry: Akhtar jab humpe babe aman band hogia, Ik gosha dhoond hi lia Hindustan se door. It was a Beautiful poem.  When he was in Lucknow University receiving his education, he wrote a book of Nohas which became so popular in India that it is still being recited each year in the month of Moharram after 72 years.

    My cousin brother had a great sense of humor; he used to make every one laugh by telling them tales of older people of his village Memon Sadaat and various events that happened in his life time. He had so much love for his birth place that he went back to Memon to die. 

    He graduated from Lucknow University with an Honors. After he migrated to Pakistan he earned

    Two masters degrees; one in World History and the other in Muslim History and made education as his career. He was a very successful professor of History at several Government colleges in Sind, Pakistan from 1948 until 1970 and retired from his position of a Principal of Government college. He left many valuable books as his legacy. My brother had seven children, four sons and three daughters who are all Living in the United States.  Adeel Akhtar is the youngest son who inherited many traits of his father and made tremendous amount of efforts in getting those books reprinted and translated into English to keep the legacy alive. Good job Adeel. May God bless you, your family and all your brothers and sisters.

     

    Khursheed Raza

    Son in Law

     

     

    It is an extraordinarily rare experience to read and get to comment on a book written by your Dad, especially a biography in which the author  like some master craftsman of the Middle Ages, makes himself, as it were, anonymous, in a work that nonetheless bespeaks his impeccable scholarship and and his quite captivating narrative skills.  If this sounds like a paradox,or an almost impossible literary feat, it has been achieved by Professor Akhtar Raza Zaidi.

    This biography of Ali- Ibne- Abu-Talib, unlike any other, is based on the primary sources of eighth and ninth century Islamic history . It owes its freshness and directness of approach to the words of the men and women who  heard Ali speak and witnessed the events of his life. Nothing remotely comparable exists in Urdu, or any other Indo-European language for that matter.With an unusual gift for story telling, Professor Zaidi has adopted  a  style that reflects both simplicity and the grandeur of the story he tells.

    The author completed a B.A. Hon's in English from the University of Lucknow and two Masters degrees from the University of Sindh, One in General History and the other in Islamic History. He taught history at various institutions for more than twenty-five years.In addition to this work ,his published works include : The Rise , Decline and the Fall of the Caliphate, A Short History of Civilization, Geometry Made easy, and a poetical Tribute to the Martyrs of Kerballa.  I am sure  this biography will be appreciated and enjoyed by those already familiar with Ali's life and achievements as well as those approaching the subject for the first time.

     

    Urooj Akhtar Zaidi

    Son

     

     

    Our Babuji

    Our Babuji, a well-known historian, was a born poet and a writer. His gift of writing blended the pursuit of truth with a flavor of satire, making him unique in our part of the world.  He stands out for his sheer inborn talent of penmanship and the hard-earned treasure of knowledge. 

    I still remember his study where he lived most of his life. After a hard day's work of teaching history, he'd return and imprison himself in his world, holding his pipe in one hand and a pen in the other, moving back and forth in his rocking chair, surrounded by antique reference books and deeply-engaged in his creation.  Often, it seemed he'd forget about the real world and its surroundings, and even us.  It seemed like he was in his ghar e hira receiving aayats of truth, and on a mission to write and leave for the masses, the revelation of history, best known to him.  He once said in his only audio interview, that he wanted to accomplish his works before he said goodbye to this dar e faani.  He'd recite from Josh, his all-time favorite poet, well known for his bluntness and prolific and great poetry:

    JUMNAY NAHIN PAATI HAY KISI SHEH PE NIGHAH

    AY  QAFLA  E  HIYAT  AAHISTA GUZER

    He was only 64 when he left us, much unexpected.  Unfortunately, none of us could even attend his funeral as he was laid to rest in the historic hundreds-of-years-old ancestral cemetery in his hometown in India.  I still lament his departing in the way he did; but he did teach a lesson as a great teacher that he was:  "Don't be so proud of this world’s possessions, life's so fragile."

    His left heritage includes the love of history, poetry, family, friends, and most importantly his writings.  As a humble man, he never boasted or made his gift of writing a source of income, though he did pen many history books and left a collection of poems which are still recited, sung and live on in the hearts of his true admirers.  I never seemed to forget one he wrote about his birthplace: Sadat e Memon:

    HAI MEMON KE VO NAFIECE FIZA

    BARHI MOONIS BARHI ANEES FIZA

    MERAY BUCHPUN K SAAZ KE MEHRUM

    HER JAVANI K RAAZ KE KEHRUM

    Almost everyone, I mean everyone, with the taste of poetry and history in the family remember his poems by heart and sing it with a particular tune full of pathos and passion, and cry and laugh at the same time.  Even today, his poem is a written document of historic facts in an unforgettable heartfelt style.

    He was known for his poetry and a passion for history. He's gone, but writings will live forever. Long live Babuji, long live his heritage of knowledge.

    Thanks Adeel for completing his work and Bilgrami Saheb for translating. Babuji will always live with us along with his works.

     

    Javed Zaidi

    Son

     

     

    From a loving son to a compassionate historian father!

    Dictionaries define history as:

    “A continuous, systematic narrative of past eventsas relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account; chronicle”

     “A chronological record of significant events (as affecting a nation or institution) often including an explanation of their causes”

    In my opinion, history is not just what-really-happened-in-the-past, but a complex intersection of truths, bias and hopes. A glance at two very different historians from a period shows the range and difficulty inherent in the study of the past. History encompasses at least three different ways of accessing the past: it can be remembered or recovered or even invented. All are imperfect in some way. For instance, no historian or historical source reveals the full and unvarnished truth, so memory is a fallible guide. Also, no evidence brought to light through archaeology or historical investigation is complete without context, and sometimes the significance of recovered data is hard to determine. Furthermore, many purported "histories" can be shown to have been invented; at the same time, however, these fabrications still tell us much about a society's beliefs and dreams. All in all, the best histories are the best stories.

    In my youth I used to wish I had a time machine, some device I could ride back into history so I could see for myself what-really-happened and clear up all the idiotic controversies about who did what to whom and when and why. These questions seemed like such a pointless waste of time to me back then, when one simple snapshot of what-really-happened could end so many debates once and for all.

    Now, after many years of studying history I realize that, even if I could go back in time and see these things for myself, then return to my own age, I still could not necessarily convince the people to whom I brought back my report that what I was telling them was the final word, that my portrait of the past was the answer to "what-really-happened," or that I was even doing them much of a favor. As I've grown older, I've come to see that even providing a video recording of some historical event and showing it to people today probably would not resolve many of our debates about the past, either. The tape would just become another point of acrimonious discussion in our on-going quarrels over the nature and meaning of history.

    "There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false." (Harold Pinter, playwright)

    For historians, this is both good news and bad news. It's bad—all too bad, really! —that we will probably never fully understand what-really-happened-in-the-past, certainly not in such a way that sensible people will agree about historical reality.

    For instance, different religious elements wish others to see Jesus' crucifixion in a particular way, because they wish others would worship or respect him in some particular fashion. What they're actually attempting to do is to persuade people to behave in a certain way and make particular choices in their world. It is not in the end a fight about the past but the present, because to change people's vision of the present and the future, one must begin by altering their perceptions of the past. This basic and well-tested equation lies at the root of every political election, change of government and social revolution that's ever happened.

    My father has brought this very fact / business of “ persuading people to behave in a certain way” to the day light in a very eloquent manner and has told Imam Ali’s story in a very convincing and captivating way while providing context and credible / available evidence.

    I hope that readers would read this book with open minds and open hearts!

    Professor Zaidi was a loving and compassionate father and an objective and honest historian.

    I am so very proud to be Professor Syed Akhtar Raza Zaid’s son!

     

    Adeel Zaidi

    Son

     

     

    A few words on Babooji with regard to his book:

    I had the privilege of living a great deal of my youth in the presence of my grandmother, Dadi. I learned a lot from her including the concepts of unconditional love, humility, and respect for everyone. Unfortunately I was not able to have the benefit of my grandfather's teachings. I did get to meet him, but he passed when I was in my infancy. I often wonder what life would have been like for my family if he had not been taken so early.

    He did leave behind quite a legacy in his children. His love of poetry, history, and education are seen in all his children. It is amazing that he provided higher level education to his three daughters at a time and place where that was far from the norm. People who knew him to this day speak so highly of him. My greatest influence, my own father, was clearly groomed by Babooji and his persona lives in him today. So I often wonder what the family would have been like if he was around to guide his children when I was growing up.

    If I am to honor his memory, however, then speculating on what may have been is probably not the best way to do that. After all, he was a man who yearned to know the truth.  There is no finer example of that then this book. He seeks not to explore mythology, but instead focuses on what historical truths reveal about a great man in time. In the same way, I instead focus on how his legacy, through his children, has manifested in my own history. The truth shall set us free.

    What is and what was is sometimes more amazing than what could have been.

     

    Shariq A. Zaidi

    Grandson

     

     

    THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE

    Whatever the quality of the book, it is here for the perusal of the readers!!

    I sincerely request the readers to bear in mind a few facts!!

    This is the work of a fallible human being, on a human being, and for the human beings!!

    The biographer is a student of history and he has discarded the raiment of Aqida (Devotion) that could have come in the way of his research. At the time of writing the author isn’t the propagator of any big or small sect of Islam! He is neither a Sunni, nor a Shia or the follower of any other creed!  He is a human being, just a human being!! He is exercising his right of freedom of expression to communicate the voice of his research to other human beings who do not measure any historical figure in the balance of Faith and belief and only give weight to human values! If, God forbid, the

    feelings of some readers get hurt, it will not be the fault of the biographer but of the authentic books of historical reference which provided the subject matter! But the biographer begs to be pardoned that he himself is a fallible human being and a human being can derive different conclusions and ideas than others. This is a natural phenomenon and human being is helpless while contending with nature!!

    My subject of discussion is Ali ibn e Abi Talib (a.s)’s life. I consider him as one of the individuals of the human race. In my view, as a human being, his character (personae) shouldn’t have had anything beyond the sphere of thoughts and actions of humans, as, otherwise Ali (a.s) wouldn’t have been a human being!! Then he would be a super-human-being and not of the human race and from some super-human world! Then attempting to pen his biography would be a futile effort!

    In the end I request the readers that in the search of super-human events in the life of Ali (a.s) they will face disappointment! I have tried to visualize Ali (a.s) in his human life and actions. I think Ali (a.s) is Ali (a.s) till he is a human being and not super-human when all the superiorities get nullified that give him superior status in the annals of human history. He lived like a  human being, he is living and will keep living!!

    One thing is certain:

    “This book is an overview of history!” Other than the prophets (a.s) who were receiving revelations from Allah all other characters of this book are just humans and because of their being human beings, every human being has a right to discuss about their traits and habits---

     

    The Author

    THE ENVIRONMENT

    In the narrow by-lanes of Mecca a young, lean, noble person was slowly walking with his head bent. He looked immersed in his thoughts at that time with no worldly concern. As he proceeded, people taunted and laughed at him. Some said he was mad, some said he was a magician and poet! But the young person neither responded to their taunts nor his face showed any displeasure! He walked with ascetic unconcern. Innumerable children walked all around him clapping their hands. They were not only following him but gave indication of their intent of causing him hurt. Some pulled the lapel of his cloak and others threw slush at him. One boy got the opportunity of throwing a brickbat on him while another aimed and hit a stone on his forehead that caused injury and blood mired his face….Oh! Will these children annihilate him?! No, no! This cannot happen!! From one side emerged a healthy and well-built child pushing the crowd aside! He charged like a tiger against a boy and gave him such a powerful box on the nose that it started bleeding profusely! Then he clutched another boy strongly. He twisted his hand with such strength that the bones cracked and threw him on the ground with a thud. Now the furious tiger turned, clutched a third boy with his left hand and threw him on the stony ground with such force that the boy’s mouth bled profusely!

    There was panic all around and in a few moments the street was clear of the crowd of the urchins! The boy entered a house along with the noble youth. Not much time elapsed thereafter that some chiefs of the city reached the threshold of the house and started shouting slogans---“Qasamna Ali, Qasamna Ali –Ali has harmed our children and injured them!” The young, noble person we talked of was Mohammed Arabi (s.a) and you must have already guessed that the child was none other than the lion-hearted Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s) who is the subject of this book of ours!

    Remember! Every child is a product of the environment in which he is born and grows up! The effects of the environment and the stories of the past events of the environment play a major part in the development of powers of comprehension in the child as the mother’s milk helps in the development of the physical strength! As the milk turns into blood and runs in the veins of the child so does the environment impresses his mind. The effects of inheritance remain with the person from the cradle to the grave! The material inheritance that one gets from the forbears is sometimes usurped by others or is squandered because of inclement circumstances. It also happens that sometimes the material assets are stolen away! A French researcher, Gustav Lebonne, writes in his book on the Civilization of Arabia:

    “However much a person believes in physical strength cannot deny that if two nations are put before him for study he will derive more help from their spiritual traits than their physical characteristics. When the rise and decline of a nation is studied one gets surprised that its traits of morality and comprehension remain engrained for long, long years in the progenies of its people. A nation’s practices and characteristics; its history and achievements in the world are result of these characteristics and practices!”

    Keeping this fact in mind it is necessary for us to browse through thousands of pages of the tomes of history to look at the achievements of the bygone forbears to understand Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s) and his contemporaries!!! Come! We shall first have a look at the environment of the nation at that time.

    THE NORTHERN HIJAZ

    In this region is situated the entire peninsula of Mt. Sina and the stretch of land from Palestine to the shores of Red Sea. The Northern Hijaz is entirely a hilly area and in the middle of the peninsula of Sina is the Mt. Sina. The land in the surrounds is rocky and the area near the sea is sandy. Although this area is totally arid, it is very well known in the annals of history. This is the same area which is referred to as Adonia in the Torah. This also is the area where inhabited tribes of Amaliqa, Madbania and Nabtia and about them reference has been made in the Hebrew literature. Bani Israel lived like itinerant nomads in this area for long years prior to reaching Egypt. The holy mountain is located in this area from where Hazrat Moosa (a.s) brought the Commandments and here lies the rock from which sprang the spring of water when Moosa (a.s) hit it with his staff. In this area is also located the cave of Jabl Horait where the Prophet Ailia (a.s) took refuge to save his life from the tyranny of Aizaeel. In this area are located the Holy City of Patra which was a sprawling trading center in the past. On the coast of the Red Sea are located the historical cities of Mecca and Medina. It is Mecca that became highly renowned because of the valley---Wadi Umm al Qura—in the middle of which is Kaaba the foundation for which was laid by Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) and his son Ismail (a.s). Mecca is an example of cities situated in the wilderness of deserts and such settlements are found only in the Arabian Peninsula. The land is so infertile that it cannot sustain any cultivation. Hijaz receives very scanty rainfall. The hills are few and far between and if they are there, they have no moisture or greenery. From these hills emerge springs of water. Because of these springs there have emerged oases and some habitations have developed around them. The water emanating from the springs gets absorbed in the desert sands. The men dig small lakes or wells to obtain scarce water. Such sources of water are called “Rouzas”. Generally these lakes run dry over a period of time and there is endemic scarcity of water. This is the reason that Arabs are itinerant tribes who keep moving in the desert searching sources of water! This makes them hardy, clever and cunning!!

    THE INHABITANTS OF ARABIA

    The scholars of human civilization have named the different peoples native to Arabia and West Asia according to the languages spoken by them as Arab, Jewish, Assyrian, Babylonian, Phoenicians as Semitic races. One historian has described the characteristics of Semitic Arab family in these words:

    Arabs are of medium height. But their stature is strong and supple. Their skins are rather elastic and their complexion is wheat because of exposure to Sunlight. Their heads are elliptical and foreheads wide. Their eye-brows are thick and black and there is no gap between them. Their eyes are black and are rather sunken. The noses are straight and moderate in size. Their faces are attractive and proportionate. Their teeth are straight and white. The ears are rather bent. The body features of Arab women are somewhat different from those of men. Their bodies are attractively rounded. Their hands and feet are proportional. Their gait is pleasing to the onlooker. The Arabs are valiant, short-tempered and freedom loving. Although they are discreet by nature they are also very bold and fearless. Their most prominent trait is that they are communicative and intelligent. They are very fond of horse riding and jousting with lances is their daily pastime. They are quick at learning new things.”

    Hardar’s opinion is the last word about the Arab society. He writes:

    Arabs honour the practices of their ancestors more than their own lives. Several qualities have taken root in the Arab psyche. They are ferocious and tend to be very obedient at the same time. They are superstitious and supercilious as well. They are keenly interested in absurd beliefs and are fond of stories and fables. They tend to be ever youthful. When a new thought takes root in their psyche they develop the capability of performing big tasks. On the one hand they are generous and considerate and on the other they are short-tempered and fearless! The need for making their ends meet has made them active and cunning. The pressure of bearing all sorts of hardships has rendered them patient. They are very fond of freedom because this is the only blessing that has come their way! Since they abhor all sorts of orders, arguments and fights have become part of their natures. Bearing hardships on self has made them cruel towards others. They seem to be full of the fire of revenge in their hearts! Unity of thoughts and the nation has established high standards of morality in them. Their fame and name depend on their swordsmanship, practice of hospitality and eloquence in speech! The sword is their guarantee of obtaining their rights. Hospitality is the essence of humanity and eloquence of speech is the vehicle of sorting out differences amongst themselves! Unfortunately they have not been endowed with high yielding fertile lands and they meet their requirements through loot and plunder! The valuables they acquire through plunder they consider as Ghanima or Booty of War! Depriving a traveller of his goods they consider as a valiant act like annexation of a town! We would never have approved of this evil trait of the Arabs if they had not manifested several other noble traits! The same swordsman who had committed cruel acts becomes an extremely generous host when he sits with guests in his tent! When someone in distress seeks his protection he becomes more important than his own next of kin! It is binding on the Arab host that he must protect the guest even at the cost of his own life! For entertaining a guest he wouldn’t mind usurping the camel of a neighbour or acquiring it through sweet talk. The Arab gives precedence to charity and generosity over other good traits!     

    Since the past times the Arabs were congregated into small tribes and from the different families a person was selected as Shaikh al Qabila or the Chief. The function of the chief used to be limited to leading the tribe, distributing the booty and presiding over important events. The Arabs were aware of the need for peace and tranquility and they not only abhorred conflicts but they deemed battles as “high burning flames”! They compared fighting to an animal that gives birth to conjoined twins!! But penury and economic straits used to force them to plunder the neighbouring tribes. They used to mourn those who lost their lives in conflicts and they wouldn’t sit quiet without wreaking vengeance for such losses. The result was that a minor conflict used to turn into a major conflagration that would continue for years and generation after generation of warring tribes! The Arabs were very fond of their children but some tribes were so firmly committed to their self-respect that, they feared, their beloved daughters became slaves of some other persons or got married in any other tribe. To protect their honour they used the practice of female infanticide. When the tribal superiority complex descends towards individuals it will assume dangerous proportions. This was the trait that made the Arabs mutually antagonistic, jealous and the conflagration of hypocrisy and conflicts raised their heads. Things reached such a stage that a person from one tribe didn’t like the steed of a person from another tribe going ahead of his steed or arriving at a spring and quenching his thirst prior to him! For trivial matters they started unsheathing their swords. Every person boasted about the superiority of his tribe. If one person of a tribe was insulted, it was taken as an affront of the entire clan!

    As far as language is concerned, much before the appearance of the Prophet (s.a) on the scene the Hamiri tongue, a hybrid of Saami and Mulki languages, came into existence and thus cleared the way for pure classical Arabic language. This pure Arabic tongue came into vogue among the people of the tribe of “Bani Madar” who had intellectual edge over other tribes. All other Arabs spoke similar dialects with slight variation of tone. Despite the similarity of customs, natures, thoughts and the language the differences in the attitudes of the tribes were at a peak!

    THE RELIGION

    During the days of ignorance there were marked differences in the religious practices of various Arab tribes. But the worship of the Sun and the stars was common to all of them. When Arabs established trading links with other nations, in addition to purchase of products from them they started fetching newer idols. In this manner their number of idols became as many as those of the Greek and Roman temples! From the inscriptions of Assiriya, dating 7-800 B.C, that were excavated at Sanaa, Yemen, it is proved that the Arabs were worshipping various idols.

    Although they worshipped several gods, and had also installed 360 idols in the Kaaba, earmarking one for each day of the calendar year, the Arabs were not unaware of other religions beside idol worship. The reason for this was that the Kaaba was the center for cultural exchange and assimilation. Jews, Christians and Magians used to visit the Kaaba in thousands to propagate their creeds. In the Faith of Ibrahim (a.s), from the time of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) to the annunciation of the Prophet (s.a) the concept of One God and uniform norms of morality and Divine Shariah was propagated through different books revealed to the prophets (a.s). This is the reason that the concept of Unity of God was not new for the Arabs. The forbears of the Prophet (s.a) were the followers of the Creed--- Sunnat e Ibrahimi! In different epochs the Arabs not only heard the message of Unity of Allah but they also carried the message during their travels to other lands. During the time of the Prophet (s.a) there was a sizeable population in Hijaz which practiced Christian and Jewish creeds. They used to call themselves as Hanif and in the Holy Koran the Prophet (s.a) has been referred to as Hanif. Those people were believers in Unity of Allah and followers of His Commandments. The Holy Koran has declared that prior to the appearance of the Prophet (s.a) on the scene Muslims were already there! But it is a fact that those creeds were on the decline. Their lives of pomp and pleasure broke the bonds of Shariah and went out of control. Their society was divided into classes---high and low! There was dearth of tolerance in them and they got engrossed in feuds. They had lost their dignity and individuality. Their tyranny and intolerance turned the world against them. They neither had political value nor religious organization. The ways of banditry, plunder and cannibalism were accepted as human traits. The standard of superiority those days was that the swords were kept perpetually sharpened and inhuman treatment of detainees was permissible! It was the duty of the people to implicitly obey those in authority.

    One advantage of most of the deities accumulating in the Kaaba presented a semblance of religious unity! Time had arrived for the Arab lands that the religious beliefs congregated into one unit. This was what the Prophet (s.a) had understood and the understanding was the cause of his success. That was the time of Divine Help, vision and revelation that Allah had already gauged. Therefore, in the early stages of his mission the Prophet (s.a) limited his efforts to impress on the people that the concept of One God he was propagating was the Lord of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) who built the Kaaba! The Arabs, no doubt, were believers in the concept of one God! One French historian says:

    “At the time of the annunciation of Mohammed (s.a) one felt need was for territorial and religious consolidation. As the Romans were getting tired of the idols the Arabs too had the same attitude. The rule of old beliefs and the respect for the idols was vanishing. The beliefs were becoming outdated and the idols had no attraction for the Arabs.

    In such days of declining values when the time was ripe for a revolution, Islam appeared as a ray of hope! In this revolution was the invitation for thousands of freedoms---freedom from the clutches of the priests who had made the religions a lucrative source of their livelihood, freedom from the clutches of the rich who dominated the people for centuries; freedom from the despotic rule of the kings who had put aside all the divine commandments for their own selfish ends! Freedom from the enemies of freedom and equity who deprived men of their rights; freedom from tyrannical incarceration when the down-trodden progeny of Adam (a.s) was enslaved in the clutches of caste, creed, colour etc. and the collective life was destroyed in front of their eyes; freedom from the amoral society in which gods of carnal desires trampled the delicate feminine bouquets and it wanted approbation for this heinous act! Allama Iqbal draws a very apt picture of this depravity in these couplets:

    “Bood insane-e dar jahan insaan parast,

    Nakas o naabood maand o zer dast,

    Kahan o sultan o Papa o ahir,

    Bahr ek nakhcheer sad nakhcheer gir

    Sitwat e Kasra wa Qaisar rahzanish

    Bund haa dar dast o paa o gardanish

    Witnessing the sinking of the most superior of creatures into the abyss of depravity one voice rose from the Wadi al Qura---the Valley of Qura!

    “When the taste for belief is created, the chains will break!”

    This was the voice of Mohammed of Arabia (s.a). Islam came and came with such dignity that:

    Naa shakeb e imtiazat amada,

    Dar nihaad e oo masawaat amada,

    Taaza jaan andar tan e Adam dameed

    Banda raa baaz az khuda dandan kharid

    The environment was just ready for the arrival of the movement of Islam and therefore it entered the lives of the Arabs speedily! Now the time was at hand that this Message, through the Arabs, became a welcome message for the entire mankind!!

    This was the environment in which Ali ibn e abi Talib was born and spent his early childhood and youth. Naturally, the environment had a salutary effect on the development of his character. Come! We shall try to look at a picture of the childhood of Ali in that environment. His picture will come out clear in that mirror.

    1. Ali ibn e Abi Talib’s features were naturally the same as those of a child of the Semitic Arab race. In his case the family tradition had added some special superiority. Now, imagine about a child of average height, wide eyes, black iris, elliptical and somewhat rounded face, purple cheeks, proportional body and wide shoulders, strong palms, long neck, dark eye-brows joined with each other, straight and average nose, visage pleasant, straight and white teeth, slightly bent ears, soft and golden hairs on the head, wide forehead, the body on the side of being slightly plump and active; the gait attractive! Did you gauge who this boy could be? Yes, this is Ali ibn e Abi Talib in his childhood!
    2. Ali ibn e Abi Talib was the representative of the characteristics of the Arab that the Creator had endowed to them. From his very childhood he was very valiant, fearless, patient, independent, sagacious and hardy. It is a different matter that in the later days Islam had rather mellowed these characteristics in him. But in his childhood, whenever he stirred out of his house it seemed a tiger had emerged from its cage. Other children of his age used to run away from him. Whichever lane he entered, the other children tried to run away! This was the reason that the people of Mecca called him Qaseem –One who breaks the limbs of his opponent! It is our misfortune that the events of Ali’s childhood haven’t been recorded by history. When the cover of belief is placed on the truths, they take fictional colour! This is the biggest tragedy of our art of historiography! But otherwise it is an open fact that a child, who by very nature was valiant, fearless and had combative qualities came out at the call of the Prophet (s.a) and, otherwise he remained in-doors in seclusion for ten years and more. Ali must have surely trained to satisfy his urges. He must have practised in the best wrestling arenas to excel in the art. He must have trained with the best swordsmen in the country. He must have learned the nuances of horsemanship! He must have challenged the valiant youth at contests in the arenas of Okaz! All these skills are the endowments of Allah!! Generally all the children of a family are the products of the same natural environment. But when the time arrives for acquiring learning the arts, a child’s natural proclivities put him on the top and the lesser endowed remains backward.
    3. It is not only that the Semitic Arabs are bold, fearless, fiery and combative but they are also very intelligent and eloquent in speech. Hospitality and charity are the main features of their character. The habit of bearing hardships makes them patient. Even big calamities don’t deter them from their objective.

    While writing Ali’s biography one has to ensure how much Ali manifested these traits. To what level his natural capabilities honed his eloquence of speech? To manifest his traits of hospitality and generosity what he did and what was his place in firmness and fortitude. When Ali’s picture of his childhood comes before us, we find that progressively all these traits were getting manifested. Mohammed Arabi (s.a) delegated the arrangements of the Feast of Dual Ashira to a twelve year old child. In that gathering the luminaries of Qureish participated. Care was to be taken that the slightest error wasn’t made that might hurt the guests’ feelings. Generally such important tasks are entrusted to experienced, elderly persons. But Mohammed Arabi (a.s) had total confidence on the capability of young Ali that he wouldn’t falter a bit in the discharge of this duty. The elite of Qureish were pleasantly surprised to see his successful effort. When Mohammed Arabi (s.a) asked the question in full gathering, “Who is willing to share with me the task of bearing hardships in the way of the Truth?”, the gathering remained nonplussed and only a child rose and said, “Although my limbs are frail and I am weak, I shall be by your side in all times and at all the stages!” The question was repeated thrice and every time only the same child responded. It was the same little host of Dawat e Dual Ashira, Ali ibn e Abi Talib who, perhaps, was playing with other children in the by-lanes some hours ago! I don’t want to discuss about the importance of the event and its effects. My eyes, and yours, are witnessing that a mere child of twelve years successfully completed the task of hospitality and achieved the high stages of determination and perseverance. After only four years of this event the same child was confined at Shab e Abi Talib with Mohammed Arabi (s.a). The Qureish of Mecca had declared a social boycott of the Hashemites and denied them access to food and water. This boycott lasted for three long years. During these harsh three years the child of sixteen years bore with equanimity the pangs of hunger and the inhuman treatment meted out by the Qureish. This proved that Ali Ibn e abi Talib had in him all the qualities of the Semitic sons of Arabia!

    1. Now we shall see the picture of Ali ibn e Abi Talib in the mirror of religion. If we ask a psychologist about the development of the nature of a person in his childhood, he will say that from the age of 7 years the child’s mind will start registering impressions of things. The impressions that are recorded on the mind of a seven year old are neither obliterated nor do they die. They remain with the person till he dies. If we consider the development of Ali’s mind in the light of this theory we find that from birth till the age of ten years his mental capacities developed in an environment where people worshipped the sun, worshipped idols and worshipped their forbears; they also believed in superstitions. The voice of believers in absurd and baseless creeds was subdued and a light tremor in the environment was clearly felt which was there for thousands of years in the horizon after Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s)’s proclamation of the Unity of Allah! Hazrat Moosa (a.s) Eesa (a.s) reiterated the call to believe in the Unity of Allah. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s)’s message became more audible when Mohammed (s.a) gave his call loud and clear and the united voice of these messengers suppressed all other voices! In such an environment a child, directly descending from the progeny of Ibrahim (a.s) was in the stage of getting his upbringing. Hearing the call of the Unity of Allah the imprints that remained latent in the sub-conscious minds generation after generation awoke in the young child’s mind! As he aged, the imprints became stronger! He was perpetually hearing the voice of Unity of Allah with his ears and with his eyes he was witnessing the fate of the creeds that the people started abhorring because of their turpitude! Psychologically the child neither needed to be proselytized nor to declare public declaration of embracement of Islam because his observation touched the depths of his subconscious mind and had left indelible marks on it. His creedal environment advanced from the bounds of creation and entered the domain of completion! The child’s belief was the first and final for him! Prior to this he wasn’t the follower of any other creed! Therefore, saying that among the children Ali was the first ever to convert to, or embrace Islam, isn’t right! One embraces a new creed who was earlier following some other creed! According to Shariah, as well, a child isn’t Mukallaf, or qualified, to be entrusted with duties and responsibilities. Every child is born on the Creed of Nature and Islam is the Creed of Nature! When the Prophet (s.a) took up the responsibility of propagating Islam, Ali was a child of ten years. This is the peak of childhood when indelible impressions are made on the psyche. The Prophet (s.a) was himself the mentor of Ali and psychologically Ali and Islam had the same affinity for each other as there is among two small children reared by one mentor! During the annals of the history of the world it has never happened that a father fixed a date and time for his son to adopt his creed or a father telling his son, ‘Follow my creed!’ and the son responding, ‘Yes! I do!’ As per the law of inheritance a child will follow in the foot-steps of his father! It is another matter that after attaining majority the child might adopt any other creed! Ali’s was in the state of formation as the movement for the propagation of Islam progressed! He neither needed to adopt a creed or change over from any other faith because his faith underwent all stages of assimilation and acceptance when the proselytizing of Islam was at its rudimentary stage and Mohammed Arabi (s.a) was giving talks to people to adopt it! But if a list of early converts to Islam is made the names of Hazrat Abu Bakr, among men, and Hazrat Khadija, among ladies, will be on the top! What has Ali to do with the list! He was already a Muslim!!

    THE FELICITY OF DESCENT

    Heretofore we were discussing about material environment. But more important than that is the spiritual and moral environment which develops because of felicity of descent and the traditions of a family. The felicity of descent and morality is inherited from generation to generation. These will be there in subconscious psyche of a child and keep transferring from progeny to progeny. These promote the development of the powers of comprehension and capability in the child. Now, let us consider what traits Ali got as inheritance? To ascertain this we shall have to study about his ancestors and their traditions.

    The chronological descent of Ali (a.s) commences with Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) who lived about four thousand years ago. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) was a personality of International status because the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims accept him as an ordained prophet of God. Keeping in mind the religious status of this felicitous ancestor of the Muslims the Prophet (s.a) too termed his own people as Millat e Ibrahimi!

    The two sons of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) got much renown for the growth of his Millat or following ---one was Ishaq (a.s) and the other Ismail (a.s). Ishaq (a.s) was the progenitor of the religious line of the Bani Israel and Ismail (a.s) was the ancestor of our Prophet (s.a). For a special reason, which is out of the context of this book, Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) transferred Ismail (a.s), while he was a babe in arms, along with his mother, Hajera, to Makkah Mukarrama. It was there that both the father and the son constructed the place of worship which is named as Kaabah—a cubicle structure! With the passage of time the Kaabah became the centre of pilgrimage for people of the Arabian Peninsula and the progeny of Ibrahim (a.s) got the privilege of being the keepers of the holy place. This was the harbinger of the great importance of the family in the consideration of the Arab tribes. They bent their heads in veneration of the keeper of the Kaabah as the Catholics did for the Pontiff of Rome!

    Of the twelve sons of Ibrahim (a.s) the progeny of Qidar settled and flourished in Hijaz. Among the sons of Qidar, Adnan is well known. The Prophet (s.a)’s chronological descent meets with Adnan at the 21st place. The names of his forbears are:

    1. Adnan. 8.Kinanah. 15. Murrah. 
    2. Ma’aad 9. Nadr    16. Kalab.
    3. Nizar. 10. Malik 17. Qasi.
    4. Mudar. 11. Fihr 18. Abd Manaf
    5. Ilyas. 12. Ghalib. 19. Hashim
    6. Mudrak. 13. Lu’ay              20. Abd al Mutallib.
    7. Khuzaymah. 14. Ka’b 21. Abd Allah.

    Abd Allah was the father of Mohammed Mustafa (s.a). The other son of Abd al Mutallib was Abi Talib who was the father of Hazrat Ali (a.s). One privilege Hazrat Mohammed (s.a) and Hazrat Ali (a.s) have is that all their ancestors were born in the same country. The Egyptian and the Greek people used to consider this as a great privilege and went to the length of worshipping such ancestors!

    QASI BIN KALAB

    Who of the 21 worthies mentioned above had the privilege of acquiring the title of Quriesh? There is difference of opinion about this. Some say that Fahr was the first to be called thus. Some others say that it was Nazar bin Kananah. But most historians are of opinion that Qasi bin Kalab was the first to be addressed as Qureish. “Taqreesh” in Arabic means “to assemble” and it was the achievement of Qasi bin Kalab that he was able to bring together the scattered tribes of the progeny of Adnan and settle them around Kaabah. Because of this act of assembling the tribes successfully Qasi got the title of Qureish for his clan. The reason for the scattering of the progeny of Ibrahim (a.s) was that the Babylonians attacked them and also that the control of the Kaabah passed to the hands of the Jarhami clan. Then in 3 B.C Bani Khaza-aa came out of Yemen and occupied the South of Hijaz and in this manner they were the keepers of the Kaabah for most of two centuries. Ultimately a leader of the calibre of Qasi came up from the progeny of Adnan. He succeeded in bringing back the scattered tribes of the family and settling them in the vicinity of the Kaabah. They thus acquired ascendancy over Bani Khaza-aa, pushed them out of Mecca and established their own suzerainty. Those days Mecca was a small village. Qasi declared Kaaba as the capital and constructed a palace for himself. In this place was established Dar al Nadwa, the administrative hub where laws for receiving tributes, welfare of the people and arrangements for the greeting and care of the pilgrims were devised. For different activities there were different departments. Six departments were of prime importance:

    1. Saqaya: The department for providing drinking water to the Hajis.
    2. Refada: The committee for arranging feeding of the Hajis.
    3. Hajaba: The committee for protecting the Kaabah.
    4. Nadwa: The department for sorting out differences and disputes. This department had power to select the president and the committees.
    5. Lava: The committee vested with authority to select the commanders for military campaigns.
    6. Qiyada: The military command during campaigns.

    Qasi expired in 480 A.D. after consolidating the administration and his title of Qureish continued to be with his progeny. Qasi, in his life time, named his son Abd al Dar as his successor. But his second son, Abd Manaf acquired popularity among the people for his generosity and magnanimity. In consideration of this popularity Abd al Dar associated Abd Manaf with himself for performing some of the functions of the state. After the death of Abd al Dar differences arose between his grand-children and the sons of Abd Manaf about the succession. But soon a truce was struck that Abd al Dar’s grand sons would have the keys of the Kaabah, Dar al Nadwa and the Standard of the forces; Abd Manaf’s son Abd Shams would attend to Saqaya and the collection of the tributes. Abd Shams transferred these functions to his brother Hashim.

    HASHIM

    Hashim’s given name was Umro. Hashim and Abd Shams were natural brothers and were born as conjoined twins. At the time of birth the sole of Hashim’s foot was attached to the forehead of Abd Shams. When this foot was separated both the babies bled profusely. In those days of superstition the Kahins (Soothsayers) predicted that the off-springs of the two brothers will be bitter enemies of each other! Hashim was by nature very generous. This made him very popular. The important tasks of Saqaya and Rifada that were entrusted to him, he performed perfectly and received approbation all around. He corresponded with the Caesar of Rome and acquired some concessions for the Arab traders. Once there was acute famine in Hijaz and the Qureish suffered hunger because of it. Hashim was affluent and, rising to the occasion, he started distributing broken pieces of bread soaked in gravy to the people. The process of breaking the bread to pieces is called “Hashm” and the one who does it is termed “hashim”. This is the reason that people started calling him with the title of “Hashim”! This was done in adulation that he rose to the occasion to save the Qureish from starvation! Hashim expired in the year 510 A.D. He left behind one son, Shaiba, born to Salama, a lady of noble birth from Yathrib (Medina). On the death of Hashim his brother Mutallib succeeded him. But in the year 520 A.D. he too expired and Abd al Mutallib succeeded him.

    ABD AL MUTALLIB

    Abd al Mutallib and Shaiba are the names of the same person. He was the son of Hashim who, after the expiry of his uncle Mutallib became the ruler of Mecca. When this son was born to Hashim, a few of the hair on his head were grey. This is the reason that he was given the name of Shaiba al Hamd. Greying in Arabic is termed as Shaib and Al Hamd was added to the name because the elders of the family hoped that the baby would attain ripe old age before his death. Shaiba wasn’t even weaned from his mother’s milk when his father, Hashim, died. Shaiba went with his mother, Salama, to Medina. After some years his uncle Mutallib brought the child back to Mecca. When Mutallib entered the precincts of Mecca, Shaiba was sitting with him on his she-camel. When the Qureish saw the child they started shouting, “Haada abd al Mutallib---that is Mutallib’s slave!” Mutallib tried to convince them that the child wasn’t a slave and was his nephew, the son of Hashim. But the name Abd al Mutallib stuck to the child and till his death he was called Abd al Mutallib!

    Abd al Mutallib possessed a grand personality. He was the first person who was given the prestigious title of Sheik al Batha or of Mecca Mukarrama. This title continued with his off-springs. The memorable event of Abd al Mutallib’s time was the attack on Kaaba by Abraha. Abraha was the governor of San-aa, Yemen, appointed by Najashi, the ruler of Ethiopia. Abraha had constructed a church in San-aa with a view to reduce the importance of Mecca that was the place of pilgrimage for Arabs since thousands of years. He invited all Arab tribes to go to San-aa for the Haj. But most of the Arab tribes had veneration for Allah’s House, the Kaaba. They didn’t agree to go to San-aa for the annual event of pilgrimage. Abraha then made a vow

    that he would demolish the Kaaba! He took with him a large contingent of fighting force and went to Mecca. But they were caught in a severe sand storm and Abraha perished along with his men. The Holy Quran has related this event in Surat al Fil. During this attack the equanimity manifested by Abd al Mutallib was the proof of his self-confidence, patience and trust on Allah! His family always was proud of this trait of his!! He proved himself as the keeper and trustee of the Haram of Kaaba! The other important event of the time of Abd al Mutallib is that he re-discovered the Spring of Zamzam. This is the holy spring from which the builder of the Kaaba, Hazrat Ismail (a.s), and his mother Hajera quenched their thirst. The spring was closed by Umro bin Harith, a chief of the tribe of Bani Jarham and the passage of time obliterated all signs of its existence. Abd al Mutallib, with the help of his son Harith, revived the spring with much effort. This event enhanced Abd al Mutallib’s reverence in the consideration of the people. He was already the keeper of the Kaaba but after the rediscovery he was also the keeper of the Spring of Zamzam! Abraha’s attack is a milestone in the annals of Arab history. The Arabs didn’t have any calendar to record events. Therefore they were making some memorable events as a bench-mark to relate historical happenings. They also calculated the ages of persons in this manner. Therefore, the Arabs called the attack of Abraha as Aamat al Fil—or the Year of the Elephant that Abraha came riding on an elephant with a contingent of men riding on elephants as well! This provided the facility to calculate the time with relation to the time elapsed after the event. When Amina gave birth to Mohammed (s.a) in the house of Abd al Mutallib it was the Aam al Fil—the year when Abraha came with the elephants to attack Mecca! From the ten or twelve sons of Abd al Mutallib four have left indelible mark on history: Abd Allah, Abu Talib, Hamza and Abbas. Abd Allah was the father of Prophet Mohammed (s.a), Abu Talib was the father of Ali (a.s). Hamza was the renowned general of the Battle of Badr and was martyred in the Battle of Ohod. Abbas was the forebear of Bani Abbas who ruled for centuries. Harun Rashid and Mamoon Rashid from this family had a realm stretching from the shores of Rome to the Hindukush range of mountains!

    Many erroneous statements have been made in some books of history about the life of Abd al Mutallib. Some say that he lived for 140 years and some others say that it was 90 years. But the fact is that he was born in 508 A.D and expired in 579 A.D. This means that he lived for about 71 years. The proof is that at the time of the demise of Hashim in 510 A.D., Abd al Mutallib was a babe in arms and wasn’t yet weaned from the mother’s milk. Abd al Mutallib died when the Prophet (s.a) was of 8 years. The Prophet (s.a) was born in 571 A.D. and was of 8 years in 579 A.D. when Abd al Mutallib died!

    Now we talk of the two of the four renowned sons of Abd al Mutallib:

    ABD ALLAH

    The father of the Prophet (s.a) was Abd Allah ibn e Abd al Mutallib. He was the youngest among the four brothers. He was of reserved demeanour and a gentle person. The story of his sacrifice somewhat resembles that of Hazrat Ismail (a.s). The only difference was that the latter was on the mandate of Allah and Abd Allah’s sacrifice was for the vow of his father. The result in both the sacrifices was similar. While a goat was the substitute for the sacrifice of Ismail (a.s), it is narrated that Abd al Mutallib sacrificed a hundred camels to

    save his son, Abd Allah! After this event Abd Allah was called “Zabeeh”—the Sacrificed! At the instance of Abd al Mutallib, Abd Allah was married to Amina, the daughter of Wahb bin Abd Manaf. Prior to the marriage Amina’s father, Wahb, died and her uncle, Wahib, arranged the wedding. The consequence of this marriage was that Amina gave birth to Mohammed (s.a) who gave a new direction to the history! But a few days prior to Mohammed (s.a)’s birth, Abd Allah, his father breathed his last in the year 571 A.D. This tragic event happened when Abd Allah was on a business trip to Syria. He returned from Syria to Medina for a few days stay when he fell ill and expired. He was interred at the Inn of Dar e Nabiga. When Mohammed (s.a) was of six years his mother too expired in the year 576 A.D.  Now his upbringing was in the hands of his grand father, Abd al Mutallib. But nature had other plans that Abd al Mutallib died in the year 579 A.D. According to the will of Abd al Mutallib the guardianship of Mohammed (s.a) was entrusted to his uncle Hazrat Abu Talib.

    ABU TALIB

    Hazrat Abu Talib was born at Mecca Mauzama in the year 535 A.D. His mother was Fatima bint e Umro bin Ayez. The same lady gave birth to Abd Allah, the father of Mohammed (s.a). When Mohammed (s.a) was child of only 8 years, Hazrat Abu Talib was entrusted with his guardianship. The books of history record three names for Abu Talib---Abd e Manaf, Imran and Shaiba. His Kuinyat (Patronym) is Abu Talib which got ascendancy over his given names. After the death of Abd al Mutallib his titles of “Syed al Batha” and “Sheik al Batha” were conferred on Abu Talib.

    Although Abu Talib wasn’t financially secure, to keep up his family traditions, he deemed it necessary to continue feeding of the pilgrims at the Kaaba. The indigent and the travellers always thought of the house of Abu Talib and he used to welcome the guests graciously and take pleasure in arranging their board and lodging. This generosity of his made him the Raees e Makkah. He gave full proof of the saying that affluence is of the heart and not of wealth! In the entire Arabian Peninsula there used to be the talk of the huge cauldrons and bowls in which food was prepared and served to the pilgrims by Abu Talib. He was very proud of the generosity and hospitality of his family. The following couplets penned by Abu Talib reflect his thoughts:

    How elite is the progeny that started with Hashim,

    Who was peerless in his times!

     He broke the bread and served soaked into big bowls of gravy,

    When famine snatched away contentment of the people of Makkah!

    We are the ones’ who quench the thirst of Hajis at Kaabah

    With water mixed with Zabeeb!

    Makkah and Muna are ours

    as well as Arafat and the Mosque!

    O Mohammed (s.a)! None can harm you that we are alive—valiant and bold!

    Your brother is so valiant that he is the tiger of valiance!

    You always said the truth; at that time too when you were a kid!

    Are these couplets not reflective of the nature of the Semitic Arabs who were replete with the qualities of generosity, hospitality, pride, truthfulness, determination, eloquence and justice. These are the spiritual and moral traits that are inherited from generation to generation! When these traits are there in Abu Talib they are bound to be there in his son, Ali (a.s), because the son is the mirror image of the character of his father! The above couplets prove that supporting Mohammed (s.a) is supporting the truth and for this support he was ready along with his sons who he called as tigers! He announced that as long as him, and his sons, were alive none could touch Mohammed Mustafa (s.a)! He not only considered Mohammed (s.a) his nephew but he also accepted him as Sadiq (the Truthful) and Amin (the Trustworthy)! His heart and his tongue were replete with the Truth and sincerity!

    Hazrat Abu Talib was married to his paternal cousin, Fatima bint e Asad. At the time of the wedding he delivered a sermon. It shows that he was proud of his family traditions. These are a few sentences from the sermon:

    “All the excellences are for Allah who is the Rab (God) of the Firmament and the Hateem (of Kaabah)---that Allah who chose us as Syed and the Chief! He fixed for us the Mashaer and gave us superiority over the tribes! We are the summary of the Ibrahimi Clan and the essence of the Khalili Traits! I have married Fatima bint e Asad and have paid to her the Mahr (the Alimony) and solemnized the marriage! All present be witness for this marriage!!”

    For this occasion Abu Talib arranged Walima (Feast) for seven consecutive days at his house and innumerable camels were slaughtered to feed the guests. People from far and near came to partake of his hospitality and uttered words in his praise. The poet Omiya bin Salat wrote poetic eulogy about this Walima. Three lines from the eulogy are mentioned here:

    “He entertained all the guests whether they came on steeds or on their feet!

    The guests availed of his hospitality,

    For seven full days!!”

    From this historical evidence one learns that Abu Talib was most hospitable in the Clan of the Qureish!

    Hazrat Abu Talib mostly depended on trading activity for his sustenance. Once a year he certainly travelled to Syria to trade his wares there. Once, when he was preparing to go on his trading expedition Mohammed Mustafa (s.a), a child of 12 years, insisted on accompanying on the trip. When he found the child determined to go, he agreed! When Abu Talib reached Basra he halted at the hermitage of Bahira, the Christian hermit. There Mohammed (s.a) listened to Bahira utter some words from the Holy Bible. He felt as if the same message was conveyed to the people of his ancestor, Ibrahim (a.s). These thoughts were etched on Mohammed Mustafa (s.a)’s mind, as an inheritance, prior to the event! That day he came across a person who uttered words that were etched on his heart as if Bahira had snatched words from his mouth! He was very pleased with the happening. Bahira noticed the radiance of prophet-hood in the smile of Mohammed (s.a)! He made certain predictions about the child. In that period of ignorance when people considered the Kahins (the soothsayers) as experts in knowledge of the unknown, Hazrat Abu Talib was convinced from Bahira’s predictions that he was doing the upbringing of a child who was destined to be a great personality!

    Times kept advancing and a period came when an affluent lady of Hijaz, Hazrat Khadija, was much impressed with the truthfulness and honesty of Mohammed (s.a) and sent a proposal for matrimony with him. At that time Mohammed (s.a) was of age 25 and Hazrat Khadija was 40. For this wedding too Hazrat Abu Talib delivered a sermon. He said:

    “All praise to Allah who gave us birth in the progeny of Ibrahim (a.s), Ismail (a.s) and the progeny of Ma’ad and from the loins of Madar! Allah made us the keepers of His House and anointed us the guardians of the Kaaba and made it the place of pilgrimage (Haj) for us and the place of peace! This is my nephew Mohammed bin Abd Allah (s.a).  To whichever person he is compared, he will be dominant in nobility, gentility, intelligence and superiority although he doesn’t possess much wealth! But wealth is like the descending shadow and it goes away! By Allah! His future is replete with greatness and he will be the harbinger of a great message!!”

    ---Sirat Halabia, Vol 1, Pg 139

    Fifteen years went by and the time came when Mohammed (s.a) made his declaration of the Message of Islam and declared his Jehad against idolatory. Here, by Jehad I mean the Jehad through the word of mouth! Some eminent persons of Qureish complained about this to Hazrat Abu Talib. He spoke discreetly and gently to send away the delegation. The matter advanced, and the Prophet (s.a) didn’t relax his efforts a bit! A delegation of the Qureish called on Hazrat Abu Talib once again! This time the members of the delegation expressed their angst. They clearly expressed that the attitude of Mohammed Arabi (s.a) was intolerable for them and that he must make a strong decision either in support of or against his nephew! Hazrat abu Talib told his nephew, “Son! Don’t put such pressure on me that I am unable to bear it! The Qureish cannot practice any more patience and I don’t have strength to bear the onslaught of the entire Clan!” The Prophet (s.a)’s eyes watered and he said, “By Allah! Even if these people put the Sun on one of my hands and the Moon on the other, I will not budge an iota from my duty!” The sense of self-respect aroused in Hazrat abu Talib and he said, “Go! None can even ruffle the hair on your head!” When the Qureish saw that the circle of Islam was widening, they were forced to act. They made an agreement amongst themselves and decided to boycott Bani Hashim. The agreement was very stringent. Closeness to Bani Hashim, trading and social contacts with them were forbidden. Not only these, but providing to them the essential provisions of livelihood too was forbidden. In these dire circumstances the Bani Hashim were literally incarcerated in Shab e Abi Talib. It was a ravine of a mountain in the neighbourhood of Mecca that was the ancestral property of Bani Hashim. For three long years they were forced to live there. When children cried loudly with pangs of hunger the persons outside would feel sad. Eating leaves of wild plants from the environs was considered a blessing! Abu Talib’s staunch support of Mohammed (s.a) in those dire circumstances was exemplary in annals of human history. With the fear that the enemy might make a sniping attack in the nights, Abu Talib was moving Mohammed (s.a)’s bed every night and making one of his own sons or cousins to sleep in the place where he slept the previous night! Sometimes he would wake up Mohammed (s.a) in the dead of the night and change his place of rest. Hazrat abu Talib considered him as the most highly valued trust! The following couplet of Hazrat abu Talib reflects his determination and care for the truth:

    “Till I am incarcerated in the soil,

    they (your enemies) will be kept away from reaching you!”

    SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    The pen strikes working here by itself and the mind shifts to another thought! Dear readers! Give it your thought!! For most of 1400 years it is a matter of debate whether Hazrat Abu Talib died a Momin or an infidel?! The truth is that the decision has to be made by the Muftis and the Jurists of Islam (sic)!! Getting entangled in their debates is beyond me! I only know that Iman (Faith) and belief is directly related to the intent of a person and it is related more to the heart than the expression with the word of mouth! That virtuous person who remained the bulwark of support for the Prophet (s.a) throughout his life and protected him at every step and thus ensured that the Seed of Islam became a tree that bore flowers and fruits aplenty! On his heart and his tongue were eulogies of the truthfulness and trustworthiness of Mohammed (s.a) and he considered him more valuable than his own progeny! If the Kalima eTayyaba wasn’t uttered by the person he is blatantly termed an infidel and then, why there is no edict about the person who only uttered La ilaha il Allah with the tongue and the entire life he indulged in transgressions! He kept lynching the spirit of Islam all the time!! He inflicted such hardships on the people that no true believer in the Unity of Allah would ever imagine!!! Putting the false label of Islam he blatantly followed the path of infidelity!! Now it is the prerogative of the Ulema of Islam to decide which of the two persons was a Muslim and which one was an infidel?!!

    After a brief reference to this debate, we turn back to our subject!

    After ten years of the Annunciation of the Prophet (s.a) his beloved uncle, Abu Talib, demised in the year 619 A.D. and thus he was left alone exposed to the enemies like a lamp without its lampshade is left to face the strong opposite winds! At the time of his demise Hazrat Abu Talib was 84 years of age. Sometime before his death he made the following will and testament to the chiefs of Qureish:

    “O the group of Qureish! Among all the creatures of Allah you are the chosen ones and are the hearts of the Arabs! Be aware that no virtue in the Arabs is there that you have not acquired! In this respect you are superior over others! People will rise to fight in your favour and willingly mobilize to battle the enemies along with you! Listen! I advise you to keep venerating the Kaaba that it pleases your God (Allah) and provides the means of sustenance for you! You must do Sila e Rahem (kindness towards relations) that it enhances ones longevity! Keep away from rebellion and disobedience that the earlier nations perished because of these evil traits in them! Go for the protection of the weak and down-trodden and provide succour to those who seek it! In these two traits is the respect in ones life and in death too!! Always tell the truth and keep discharging the trusts of others because these two traits promote affection in the elites and the respect in the commoners! I also advise you about Mohammed (s.a) that you always be good to him! You know full well he is the Amin (Trustworthy) among the Qureish and Siddiq (the Truthful) for the Arabs!! The traits about which I advised you are present in him in ample measure! If I had lived longer and death gave me longer respite, I would have dispelled the antagonisms of people against him!”

    These were the last words that Hazrat Abu Talib uttered. Who will not be able to judge that even in his last moments he had concern about the safety and welfare of Mohammed (s.a). The favours Hazrat Abu Talib rendered to the Creed of Islam had been very aptly said by Allama Ibn e Abil Hadeed in the following couplets:

    “If Abu Talib and his sons were not there;

    the Creed wouldn’t have a face nor would it have stood!!

    Abu Talib gave protection to the Prophet (s.a) in Mecca,

    And Ali (a.s), his son, faced death for him in Medina!”

    The shock that the Prophet (s.a) felt on the demise of Hazrat Abu Talib can well be gauged from the fact that he named the year as Aam al Huzn—The Year of Grief and Sadness!!

    HAZRAT ABU TALIB’S PLACE IN LITERATURE

    Some of Hazrat Abu Talib’s couplets, sermons and his will have been quoted in the foregone pages. They prove his status in Arabic prose and poetry has been very high. He was a poet of calibre and an essayist of class! If his works are gathered, they will prove of great value!!

    FROM BIRTH   TO   MIGRATION

    600 A.D.   622 A.D.

    EDUCATION & UPBRINGING

    This was the environment in which Ali (a.s) was born. Mohammed Mustafa (s.a)’s age was thirty years on 13th of Rajab of Aam al Fil, a Friday, when Fatima bint e Asad, the spouse of Abu Talib, the keeper of the Holy Kaaba, proceeded towards it with the thought that its felicity would render her  delivery easy! She hadn’t even done the circumambulation of the structure when the delivery pain intensified and she rushed into its precincts! Ali (a.s) was thus born inside the Kaaba! Perhaps prior to this, and certainly anytime thereafter, none else had the felicity of taking birth in the Kaaba! Imagine, under the shadow of 360 idols was born the breaker of idols! The astrologers say that the period was the period of the influence of Mars and the children born in that period will live long and have many off-springs! They will also prevail over their adversaries. The year 600 A.D will always be proud of this newborn!

    THE NAMES

    When Ali (a.s) was born, Abu Talib wasn’t in Mecca. Therefore Fatima bint e Asad named this son “Asad” and “Hyder” that it would render her tribe’s name radiant! The proof of this is that on the day of the Battle of Khaibar Ali (a.s) said while reciting his Rijz (Martial verse),

    “I am the one whose mother gave him the name of Hyder!”

    When Abu Talib returned home he named the newborn as “Zaid”. Mohammed Mustafa (s.a) gave the child the name of “Ali” that it proved so felicitous that it will live till the Day of Reckoning!

    The books of traditions and history don’t mention in which Madrasa of Mecca Ali (a.s) received his formal elementary education and to which mentor he paid respects! The narrations only mention about his education and upbringing that Mohammed (s.a) used to provide the material and spiritual nutrition through his saliva to Ali (a.s)! This is that peak of belief that cannot be reached by the futile human intelligence! Therefore, remaining in the limits of human comprehension and perception, one has to search for the causes that were instrumental in the early education of Ali (a.s). Every child will be the product of his environment. Come! We shall search the impressions of Ali (a.s)’s education and upbringing from the environment in which he spent his early years. The persons with vision will discover the following after deep study:

    1. The word “Arab” means eloquent in speech. The Arabs are so proud of their eloquence that they used to term the people of other nations as “Ajam” or dumb people! Then in the Arab land the people of Hijaz had an upper-hand over others and, in Hijaz, the people of the

    tribe of Qureish had established their intellectual superiority over all others. In gentility, nobility, status and position none else rated equal to them! Being the keepers of the Kaabah at least once a year the entire Arabia prostrated before them in obeisance! Abu Talib being the most respected elder of the tribe of Qureish was also a poet of high calibre, a forceful speaker and a superior writer of prose. His poetry is valued, even to this day, as example of most superior literary work. Ibne Kathir says about his eulogy, “Lamiya”, which consists of about one hundred couplets:

    “The eulogy is highly eloquent and none else has the capability to compose eulogy of this grade. This eulogy is better than the Muallaqa Saba (The Seven Muallaqat-Hangings) and in conveying the (intrinsic) meaning it is most superior!”

     This proves that Abu Talib’s poetry had reached the peak of the quality of Arabic literature. Ali (a.s) was the son of the same accomplished scholar and had inherited all the qualities of head and heart that a son gets from his father. His intrinsic capabilities honed his erudition and the hardships of life inculcated such pathos and colour in his capabilities that they manifested in the form of “Nahj al Balagha” which even today is an invaluable asset of world literature and will last till the Day of Reckoning as a shining masterpiece of Arabic literature!

    1. When Ali (a.s) was a child of three years Mohammed (s.a) married and became a householder. Two more years passed by, when Ali (a.s) was 5 years, nature had created an unusual way for his education. The Qureish were passing through an acute famine. Abu Talib had many children and was much affected with the famine. Mohammed (s.a) went to Abbas, another of his uncles, and said, “The costs of livelihood are soaring because of the famine and uncle Abu Talib’s financial condition is pitiable! Let us all agree to share a part of his burden!” They both then went to Abu Talib. Abbas took the responsibility of maintaining Jafar, and Mohammed (s.a) brought Ali (a.s) to his home. The environment of the new abode Ali (a.s) started living in was different from that of other houses. The house belonged to the most affluent lady of Arabia, Khadija the spouse of Mohammed (s.a). The lady had much influence on the people in the neighbourhood where the house was located. In the family she haled from was her paternal cousin, Warka bin Naufal who virtually was the leader of the people living in the locality. Every male member of the society was under his influence and every morning and evening they gathered to consult him. Warka bin Naufal was a dedicated He had spent his life propagating the Creed. His house was a school for propagation of his Faith. He used to recite the Bible to the people every day and encouraged them to shun idol worship. He encouraged them to believe in One God and talked about Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s). Hazrat Eesa (a.s) and narrated the tales from Zaboor (David’s Psalms), Torah and the Bible. He narrated those tales in a very interesting manner. Warka bin Naufal knew that the childhood is the best period to motivate learning. In that age the mind of every child will be receptive and capable of accepting anything good or otherwise! Therefore, to make a success of his mission, he started a Madrasa where all children of the locality gathered to learn reading and writing. It was the practice that the children used to learn verses from the Bible by rote before they returned home every day. Only God knows the reality but intelligence cannot rule out the possibility that Ali (a.s) would have been one of the best students of Warka bin Naufal and might have learned with him calligraphy, mathematics and astronomy besides Psalms of David, Torah and the Evangel! Perhaps this is the reason that when Mohammed (s.a) was ordained as prophet, Ali (a.s) had the capability of comprehending Allah’s message and comparing Islam with the bygone creeds. He was also competent to write down the Revelations. Then, for a period of seven years prior to annunciation of the Prophet (s.a), Warka bin Naufal resided in the same neighbourhood or, almost, in the same house! It isn’t possible that Warka bin Naufal might not have tried to impress Mohammed (s.a) with his missionary skills of debate. Therefore, in addition to attending his school, Ali (a.s) would have been a witness to all these debates and discussions. The subject of these discussions would have been the lives and times of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) to Hazrat Eesa (a.s)! The creation of the world certainly was a very interesting topic. It is baseless and absurd to think that a personality like Ali (a.s) did not take instruction from any one and if he did it with anyone other than Allah it would be a remark on his felicity! Such are the beliefs that have queered our history! Ali (a.s) is the first Muslim of Islam who said that even if one has to travel to China to acquire knowledge, he must go! It was the effect of Ali (a.s)’s perfect education that after migration to Medina he told to a questioner that he would be able to reply to his query from Zaboor, Torah and the Evangel or from the Quran! Ali (a.s) was also a calligraphist of high skill. If an angel descended from the Firmament to teach him this art, only the Ulema would know about it (sic)! I only know that calligraphy is an art acquired through expert instruction and hard practice!
    2. The company of the Prophet (s.a) provided a special aura to Ali (a.s)’s This closeness with the Prophet (s.a) is illustrated in Ali (a.s)’s own words:

    “I was a new born when the Prophet (s.a) took me in his arms! He used to hug me, make me lie on the bare ground beside him. He would first taste something and then give it to me. He didn’t notice any falsehood in my character or any aberration in my behaviour. In all matters I followed the Prophet (s.a) in the same manner as a camel’s calf follows its mother! Every day the Prophet (s.a) raised his standard of politeness and grace for me and exhorted me to follow them. Every year it was his practice to camp at the Cave of Hira. In that state it was only me who saw him and none else! It was the period when members of none other family had embraced Islam; besides the Prophet (s.a) and Hazrat Khadija I was the only male person who had entered the fold of Islam! It was me alone who witnessed the radiance of prophet-hood and got its sweet smell!

         ---Sermon Qasa-aa, Nahj al Balagh. 

    The education and upbringing remain incomplete without good-manners, the etiquette of conducting meetings, the observation of rules of becoming popular, the ways of tolerance, distinction between truth and falsehood, the knowledge of right and wrong, understanding the society and its past events etc. These are the norms that polish the personality of the individual. The nearness to the Prophet (s.a) and the emulation of his ways helped soundly incorporating these qualities in the psyche of Ali (a.s)! Thus the education and upbringing of Ali (a.s) was accomplished!! Ali (a.s) himself has said:

    “There is no verse of the Quran that was revealed to the Prophet (s.a) that he had not related to me. Whatever Allah communicated to His Messenger (s.a), he informed to me---about the revelation, interpretation; amanuensis (Taweel) and the abrogated, the legitimate and the taboo, the Commands and the prohibitions; about obedience and disobedience. I received information about all these and I preserved all of them not omitting a single syllable!”

    The truth cannot be denied that Ali (a.s) had witnessed Islam progressing in stages that none else had the good fortune to do. With the nearness to Mohammed (s.a), Ali (a.s) reached a stage that it wouldn’t be inappropriate to say that Revelation and Ali (a.s) were indissolubly linked together!

    THE ART OF COMBAT

    Boldness and bravery are traits endowed by Allah. But the art of combating, equestrian skills, archery, jousting with spears etc depend on hard training and practice! In this aspect of Ali (a.s)’s life the historians are silent. Their belief has put shackles on their pens. How is it possible for them to accept someone else as mentor of Ali (a.s) in these skills. This, they believe, would be tantamount to lessening Ali (a.s)’s status. Humans are, no doubt, humans and even the angels cannot be his mentors! We certainly find narrations that Ali (a.s) was the mentor of Jibraeel (a.s) but none has taken courage in his hands to say that so-and-so taught the intricacies of combat to Ali (a.s)! Then a question arises as to how he acquired all these skills without a trainer?! The answer certainly will be—“No!” Without the process of teaching and learning one cannot excel in these skills! Come! We shall again revert to the “environment” in which Ali (a.s) grew up! Perhaps the environment would provide some clues!!

    1. The environment and the country in which Ali (a.s) was born, was the ideal environment for the Semitic These children were bold, fearless, combative, hardy, determined, patient and proud. While it is natural for children to indulge in games and play, the play of the Semitic children was to fight, box each other! They played with bows and arrows, with lances and in a moment several lads getting gored and injured was quite common happening! When they indulged in horsemanship the entire town of Mecca would be engulfed in virtual sand storm! When the sand settled down the horses found running rider-less and several lads rolling on the ground in dust and gore! The ones who won were carried by others on shoulders as a mark of celebration. The elder residents of Mecca stood in street corners encouraging the contestants. In Mecca there were more wrestling arenas as there are tea-houses in modern towns. In those arenas experienced wrestlers would instruct the intricacies of the sport to the children. Every clan had its own wrestling arena and every week two or three contests took place between wrestlers of different arenas. At the time of such contests the prejudice of the clans would be at the peak and the trainees put their very lives in the game to uphold the prestige of their mentors. The defeated wrestlers would forget the pain of the injuries sustained and think of defeating the adversaries in the next match! The successful wrestlers would gather at the annual fair of Okaz and those who got trophies for their success would be eulogized by the poets from their clans! These poets would recite their eulogies and get accolades from the gathering!
    2. Ali (a.s), through his father, Abu Talib, and mother, Fatima bint e Asad, was a scion of the clan of Bani Hashim! He was a Qureish and was Hashemite as well!!
    3. Virtuosity, pedigree, boldness and magnanimity were the traits of the family and all these traits were running in the blood of Ali (a.s). His gait was Semitic with a firm face which had a reddish tinge and the eyes shone like two glowing torches. When he stirred out of his house in childhood it appeared as if a tiger had come out of his den! Because of his capabilities endowed by Allah, Ali (a.s) was ahead of the youths of his age in the fields of equestrian and martial skills! Whenever Ali (a.s) went out of his house the youths of his age ran away shouting, “Qasam has come! The one who maims and mutilates has come!!”
    4. Hamza the uncle of Mohammed (s.a) was an experienced and accomplished warrior. His physique, family background, the inherited bravery endowed to him the reputation of being the most acclaimed warrior. The arena that Bani Hashim had started for training in martial arts had the privilege of having him as the most renowned trainer. There are indications that Ali (a.s) received from him instructions in the field of martial arts.

    HIJRAT OR THE MIGRATION

    By the time Ali (a.s) entered the twentieth year of his life, his prowess in knowledge and martial skills were well known in Mecca. But around that time he lost his beloved father. This tragedy not only affected Ali (a.s) but the Prophet (s.a) too was deprived of the support of his uncle and mentor. This was just the tenth year after the annunciation of the Prophet (s.a) although his voice had already reached Medina. In the eleventh year after the Annunciation the Prophet (s.a) gave a talk at Muna during Umra. Through six men from the tribe of Khazraj another seven persons from Medina embraced Islam. In the thirteenth year after the Annunciation 73 Medinites owed their allegiance to the Prophet (s.a) and requested him to migrate to Medina. In view of the extreme antagonism in Mecca Mohammed (s.a) permitted his followers to migrate to Medina. The companions thus moved there in batches. The people of Mecca neither wanted Mohammed (s.a) to leave Mecca nor did they want to allow him to continue living there in peace. They were virtually after his life to obliterate his fledgling mission. Therefore a meeting took place in Dar al Nadwa when it was decided that men from all the clans got together to assassinate him. In this way all the clans would be involved in the deed and Bani Hashim alone wouldn’t be able to contend with the united strength of all other clans seeking Khasas (Reparation). This was the proposal of Abu Jahl and it was approved with the consent of the majority.

    The house of the Prophet (s.a) was besieged by the men around sunset with the intention that when he emerged at sunrise they would ambush and kill him. On that night only the Prophet (s.a) and Ali (a.s) were in the men’s quarter of the house. He conversed with Ali (a.s) in subdued voice thus: “Ali! You see that we have been besieged by the enemies!”

    Ali (a.s) replied, “Yes!”

    “I have decided that I migrate to Medina today!”

    Bismillah! But how would you be able to depart?!”

    “Leave this matter to me! You cover yourself with my Hadhrami shawl and sleep in my bed!”

    “Will this act of mine save your life?!”

    “Yes!”

    Ali happily said, “I shall abide by your instruction!”

    “Take care of the trusts of the enemies that are with me. Give them back to the rightful owners and wait to receive my communication! Fi Aman Allah!! This is extremely trying time but you must remain courageous! Allah is with us!”

    The night was advanced and the enemies were drowsy with sleep. The Prophet (s.a) left quietly through the window. None noticed his departure. The enemies peeped through the high wall and saw someone asleep covered with a green shawl. The whole night they thought that it was Mohammed (s.a) asleep in his bed. The first rays of dawn appeared on the horizon when they entered the house with drawn swords. Khalid bin Walid was the first to enter. Ali (a.s) removed the shawl from his face when the intruders noticed that it was the tiger of Mecca under the shawl. They advanced towards Ali (a.s) with anger. Ali (a.s) jumped from the cot and with the first move deprived Khalid bin Walid of his sword. Now, who among the intruders would have courage to confront him! They panicked and in their effort to escape the following conversation took place:

    “Where is Mohammed (s.a)?” They asked tersely!

    “What do I know where he is? Did you leave him in my care?” Ali (a.s) replied.

    They said, “We have nothing to do with you! Don’t brandish your sword!!” The enemies said in one voice.

    Ali (a.s)’s eyes were bloodshot but he restrained his sword. Now Ali (a.s) had to wait for Mohammed (s.a)’s letter.

    Davenport has paid tribute to Ali (a.s) in the following words:

    “In place of their quarry the enemies found the young Ali (a.s) there composed and resigned to be killed in place of his leader who was the target. This expression of loyalty created compassion in their hearts and they didn’t raise any objection.”

    THE MIGRATION OF ALI

     Allama Majlisi has described the migration of Hazrat Ali (a.s) in a very dramatic style. Whether it is factual or not, it is very interesting! It is said that the Prophet (s.a) spent three nights and days in the cave of Sur along with Abu Bakr. Then they travelled towards Medina. Reaching Quba, in the outskirts of Medina, they stayed as guests with Bani Umro bin Auf. The Prophet (s.a) dispatched a letter to Ali (a.s) with Abu Waqadichi asking him to come posthaste. Ali (a.s) started his journey with a small entourage. In this group were four ladies whose first name is Fatima: Fatima bint e Asad, Fatima binte Mohammed (s.a), Fatima bint e Abd al Mutallib and Fatima binte Hamza. Besides these four ladies there were three men in the group. The first was Ali (a.s) himself, the second Abu Waqadichi and the third was the Prophet (s.a)’s slave Aiman bin Umme Aiman. The journey was long and difficult. The caravan made very quiet progress. The reins of the leading camel were in the hands of Abu Waqadichi who made them trod faster. “Go slowly! Abu Waqid!” said Ali (a.s), “the ladies will get tired with the jolts!” “The enemies might ambush us in pursuit from the back!” Waqid said. “Allah is the master!” Ali said and took the reins of the leading camel from him and slowed the journey. When they were near the stage of Zajnan they heard the sound of horses’ hoofs. “Beware Waqid! The enemy approaches us!” Then!?” Waqid asked in worry. “Make the camels sit down and tie their limbs!” “Aiman!” Ali (a.s) addressed Aiman, “Gently dismount the ladies and ask them not to panic!!” When the sand settled they noticed six men riding horses speedily. Janah, the slave of Harb bin Omayya came forward. The tiger of Mecca stood in front with a drawn sword. “What is your intention?!” Ali (a.s) asked in a commanding tone. “Immediately turn back!” Janah said. “You were proud that you got away alone with the ladies! Now, return back immediately!” “What will you do if I don’t do this?!” Ali (a.s) asked ferociously. “We shall force you to return! If you resist, your cadaver will go with us!” 

         Then the enemies moved towards the camels to scare them. Ali (a.s) stood in front of them as a wall of steel. It was an incredible scene, one bold tiger kept eight horsemen at bay. Janah bent from the horse and tried to hit Ali (a.s) with his sword. Ali (a.s) changed his stance, evaded the flailing sword. While Janah was preparing to strike again, Ali (a.s) hit his shoulder with great strength. The sword cut through to the back of the steed and Janah fell to the ground. Now Ali (a.s) raised a battle cry and attacked the other horsemen. The men escaped with some injuries. Now there was total silence in the environment!

    The ladies were then made to mount their litters and the limbs of the camels were untied. The danger was over and the entourage continued its journey. They halted for 24 hours at the stage of Sanjanan.

      

    In this manner walking in front of the lead camel, bearing the hardships of the journey Ali (a.s) entered the village of Quba along with his entourage. This village is situated about two miles from Medina. The Prophet (s.a) was staying as a guest in the village at the house of Kulthum bin Hadam. Ali (a.s) went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) who affectionately hugged him.

    On Friday, 16 Rabi al Awwal (July 02, 622 A.D) the Prophet (s.a)

              along with his companions and dependents, entered Medina and thus      

              started a new phase in his life!

              Tarikh e Tabari and Ibn e Khaldun etc don’t relate the episode but

         Hazrat Ali (a.s) himself has recorded about his migration in Nahj al

              Balagha thus:

    “I started in the search of the Prophet (s.a), enquiring about him at every stage of the journey till I met him at the stage of Araj!

    AFTER MIGRATION - COMMENCEMENT OF NEW PHASE OF LIFE 622 A.D TO 632 A.D

    As soon as he entered Medina it became evident to Mohammed (s.a) that the people there had not invited him just to propagate and reform their faith but they had seen such a leader in him who would give them help in upgrading their lives. The entire city of Yathrib was in the sway and control of the Jews. Agriculture, trading, education and culture were all in their hands. They lived like chiefs in secured forts and the penurious people of Yathrib acknowledged for a long time their superiority and control. This poor class provided to them the men and women slaves. The economic clutches of the Jews were so strong that the heavily indebted people were a miserable lot. The people were divided into two clans---Aws and Khazraj. The Jews took full advantage of their instinctive nature and always kept them at loggerheads with each other. Then, from time to time, they sat in judgement over their disputes and pronounced judgements and punishments at their will! When the people of these clans fell into the depth of depravity their self respect was awakened. Now they needed a powerful hand that could dispel their differences and convert their weak society into a strong and united society! They wanted a leader who would give a new life to their dying culture and make their future secure. They found all these qualities in Islam and the person of Mohammed Mustafa (s.a)! Therefore when he entered Medina, the women and children shouted slogans in joy:

    “In the valley of Medina is rising the moon and its light is directly falling on us!!”

    There was no reason for the hopes of the people of Medina not getting fulfilled. The first step that Mohammed Mustafa (s.a) took on arrival there was a landmark in the annals of world history! This event is known in history as “Aqd Muwakhat—the Covenant of Brotherhood”! This created the concept of brotherhood and camaraderie among the people in the world. This is the need of the people today and it will remain so till the doomsday! 

    AQD MUAKHAT NOVEMBER 622 A.D

    After five months of arriving at Medina the Prophet (s.a) caught hold of the hand of one migrant refugee and put it in the hand of an Ansar (Medinite Helper). Seerat ibn e Hisham describes the event in these words:

    “The Prophet (s.a) established brotherhood between his companions-the Muhajireen (the Migrant Refugees) and the Ansar (the Medinite Helpers) and said, ‘You must become brothers of one other in the way of Allah!’ Then he took hold of the hand of Ali Ibn e Abi Talib and said he was his brother! Hence the Prophet (s.a), who was the chief of the prophets, the Imam of the pious, Allah’s Messenger and peerless got attached to Hazrat Ali in brotherhood!”

    Almost all the narrators and historians have mentioned this event, viz: Habib al Siyar, Tarikh Abul Far, Sirat al Halabiya, Istiaab, Fath al Bari, Shara Sahih Bukhari, Ibne Kathir, Siyuti, Mustadrak, Masnad Imam Ahmed etc have authenticated this event. Ibn e Khaldun only omitted to mention about the profession of the Prophet (s.a)’s brotherhood with Ali (a.s) but he hasn’t refuted it!!

    When the Prophet (s.a) declared Ali as his brother, there was much amplitude in his words:

    “You, Ali, are my brother not only in this world but you are my brother in the Hereafter as well!!”

    THE WEDDING OF ALI AND FATIMA 623 A.D

    As researched by Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Hazrat Fatima was born in 606 A.D at Mecca and at her age of fifteen years she was married to Hazrat Ali. The historians differ about the date of the wedding. Ibn e Athir writes that the event took place 22 months after migration from Mecca. Ibn e Saad says it took place after five months of migration and the bride was sent to the groom’s place after the Battle of Badr. The battle took place 19 months after the migration. Anyway, there is only a difference of three months between the two versions. Therefore the conclusion emerges that this happy event took place in the Year of Grace 623 A.D. At that time Ali (a.s) was 23 years and Fatima was about 17 years of age. Being exceptional in good looks and manners, Fatima was the Prophet (s.a)’s most beloved daughter! The elite of Qureish and men of means of the time wished to establish matrimonial relations with Mohammed Mustafa (s.a) and get felicity in this world and also in the Hereafter! Therefore, one after other, they all made the proposal. Mohammed Mustafa (s.a) gave them a befitting reply. He told them that it was the prerogative of Allah. They had all to bow their heads. They understood the wish of Mohammed (s.a). Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Saad bin Mu-aad went to the orchard where Ali (a.s) was watering the plants as a wage-earner. After the preliminaries they said that all the Qureish men had asked for the hand of Fatima but the Prophet (s.a) had left the matter to Allah as His prerogative. They asked him too to make a proposal and what was preventing him from doing it? Hazrat Abu Bakr said, “O Ali! It is felt that the Prophet (s.a) has decided about Fatima’s marriage in your favour!” “I am impecunious! O Abu Bakr! I am feeling shy of broaching the subject with him!!” Ali replied. Perhaps Ali’s eyes watered when he said this.

    Hazrat Abu Bakr himself had a very soft heart. The noble farm worker’s word entered his heart like an arrow. He held his hand and said, “By Allah! We must go just now! We shall all support you!!” Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Saad supported him.

    When there was more insistence, Ali took his camel home, put on his footwear and proceeded towards the Prophet (s.a)’s residence. The Prophet (s.a), at that time, was in the quarters of Umme Salama. Ali sought permission to enter. The Prophet (s.a) recognized the voice and gave permission to enter. Umme Salama went behind the curtain, Ali entered and squatted in front of the Prophet (s.a) He was performing a difficult task. The valiant youth used to combating adversaries with a smile was now shy and his face turned pale! Mohammed Mustafa (s.a) was an adept at face reading. He understood that Ali had come to him for something that he was shy to express. Setting him at ease, he said, “Without any fear ask me what you want?!” Ali mentioned about the prophet (s.a)’s affections and kindnesses from his childhood to his youth and then said in a very weak voice, “I am hoping that you will endow to me a spouse and a home! I have brought my

    request for betrothal with Fatima! I know I am too small a person to make this proposal.”  The Prophet (s.a) smiled and said, “Have you some assets that I give Fatima in marriage to you!” “You are aware of my position! Besides a sword, chain-mail and a camel I don’t have anything else!”  The Prophet (s.a) said, “The sword is very essential for a warrior! The camel is necessary for your task of travelling and earning your livelihood! Yes, you may sell away your chain-mail!!”

    Hazrat Ali happily proceeded towards the bazaar to sell his chain-mail. Hazrat Othman was aware of this. Tabari and Ibn e Khaldun record that Hazrat Othman immediately bought the chain-mail for 480 Dirhams and then gifted it back to Ali. Hafiz Jamal al Deen Muhaddis writes in his Rauzat al Ahbab that:

    “Ali went out of the presence of the Prophet (s.a) to sell his chain-mail at the bazaar. Othman bin Affan bought it for 480 Dirhams. Ali went back to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) and put the amount before him!”

    The Prophet (s.a) didn’t even ask him how much the amount was. He picked up a handful, gave to Bilal and said, “Go to the bazaar and buy perfumery for Fatima!” Then he gave two handfuls of Dirhams to Hazrat Abu Bakr and said, “Buy clothing and other materials from this amount!”

    Ammar bin Yassir and a group of companions went with Hazrat Abu Bakr. The paraphernalia they bought was:

    A dress of raw cotton for 7 Dirhams, A Maqna or veil for 4 Dirhams, a black coverlet (Chador) made of a fabric called Kurs—it was a double sheet and its borders were stitched with the bark of date palm. Two mattresses of Egyptian material--- one filled with date leaves and the other was filled with hairs of rams. Four pillows of leather filled with Giyah e Azkhar—an aromatic grass, one woollen blanket, a mat for squatting, one grinder, one bowl made of copper, a leather pitcher for drinking water, a wooden bowl for milk, a leather water-skin, one spouted jug, one earthen water pot painted green and some miscellaneous earthen vessels.

    Muhaddis Rauzat al Ahbab has added two silver armlets to the list.

    Hazrat Fatima’s consent was already obtained and the covenant of Nikah was solemnised. Thus the event was accomplished with much simplicity and the Prophet (s.a) sent away his beloved daughter to her new home!

    At the instance of Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Umme Salama took the Prophet (s.a)’s spouses to him. At that time he was in the quarters of Hazrat Ayesha. The ladies said, “We have now come to your presence that if Khadija was alive she would have been very happy on the occasion of Fatima’s wedding.” Tears came in the eyes of the Prophet (s.a)’s eyes. He sighed and said, “Where is Khadija now!” The spouses put him at ease and requested him that his uncle’s son was asking his permission to take his bride home and was feeling shy to approach him for his consent! Ali was then summoned and asked, “Do you wish that Fatima is entrusted to you now!” He bowed his head shyly, and said, “Yes!” and went out of the room. The Prophet (s.a) told to Umme Salama, “You arrange for the Walima Reception. I shall order for meat and bread and you bring oil and dates!!” When the food was cooked the companions were summoned from the Mosque. After the feast, each spouse of the Prophet (s.a) was sent a service dish full of the food. Then a sufficient quantity of serving was sent for Ali and Fatima to their home.

    The bride was wished fare-wells at around sunset. She was seated in the litter of the camel along with the daughters of Abd al Mutallib. The reins of the Prophet (s.a)’s favourite camel, Ashab, were in the hands of Salman Farsi. The Prophet (s.a) himself went behind the camel along with his companions. On his right were Hamza, Aqeel, Jafar and other companions who were holding unsheathed swords in their hands and chanting: “Allaho Akbar!”   

    When the procession disbursed and only Ali, Fatima and the Prophet (s.a)’s spouses remained, he personally entered the house. He asked for a bowl of water to be brought and he sprinkled it on the head and chest of Fatima. Then he asked for another bowl of water and sprinkled on the head and flanks of Ali. When he wished adieus to Fatima she cried. He gave her lots of advice and said, “O Fatima! Your husband is best in knowledge and gentleness! Never go against him in any matter!” He hugged Ali and said, “O Ali! Fatima is a part of my heart! You must treat her well! Remember, whosoever displeases her, the person displeases me and Allah!” Then the Prophet (s.a) returned home.

    THE MANDATE FOR JIHAD

    So far the message of Mohammed (s.a) wasn’t any different from the message of Ibrahim, Moosa and Eesa (a.s). But because of changing circumstances and the needs of the society a change was brought about in the Creed and in Safar-2H the Prophet (s.a), as mandated by Allah, promulgated the order for Jihad. This was a new way for the followers of Ibrahim (a.s) which was very suitable for Arab psyche and a very interesting experiment for them. The new creed was surprising but every child considered Jihad his duty. In their parlance Jihad and battle only had the difference of nomenclature---whether Jehad is defence or aggression was for the Prophet (s.a) and his most close companions to think about! Why should the common Arab rack his mind about it?! Where was the time to do this thinking?!

    The nation raised its sword and stood up! Now they didn’t have to present their other cheek when slapped on the first! The religious sanction put heart into the institution of Jehad! The craving for Ghanima (booty) created desires in their hearts and the hope for getting Hur wa Ghilman (angels of the Heaven) converted the wounds received during action to flowers! If they remained alive after the battle, they were Ghazi (Victorious) and if they died, they were Shaheed (Martyrs). The truth is that even prior to Islam the sword and the horse were part of the Arab’s religion! But now things have been revolutionized!!

    THE CAMPAIGN OF ABWA

    Tabari says, and all other biographers agree, that in Rabi al Awwal, 2H, the Prophet (s.a) went out with a contingent of 200 men to intercept the trading caravan of the Qureish. When they reached Abwa and Wadan they didn’t find the Qureish there. However they found Makshi bin Umro, the chief of the tribe of Banu Hamza. He agreed for a treaty on behalf of his tribe on the terms proposed by the Prophet (s.a). Then the contingent went back to Medina. During this campaign the standard was in the hands of Hamza bin Abd al Mutallib and the colour of the flag was white. While departing for the campaign the Prophet (s.a) had nominated Saad bin Ibada as his deputy in Medina. In this campaign Ali participated as a Mujahid.

    THE CAMPAIGN OF BAWAAT

    The Prophet (s.a) received information that a group of about 2,500 Qureish were moving towards Mecca along with Omayya bin Khalf and hundred other elite of Qureish. During the month of Rabi al Thani, 2H, the Prophet (s.a) left Medina and, as recorded by Ibn e Khaldun, appointed Saeb bin Othman bin Mazoon as the administrator in his absence. When the contingent reached Bawaat, the Prophet (s.a) heard that the caravan of the Qureish had already left. Saad bin Waqas was the standard bearer of the campaign.

    KURZ BIN JABIR AL FAHRI

    In the same month the Prophet (s.a) went in pursuit of Kurz bin Jabir who had hijacked flocks of sheep from the pastures of Medina. Hazrat Ali was the standard bearer of the campaign and Medina was left in the care of Zaid bin Haritha. The contingent reached the precincts of Badr but Al Fahri couldn’t be apprehended. Ibne Khaldun didn’t record this campaign but Tabari and other historians have mentioned it.

    CAMPAIGN OF ZAAT AL ASHIRA

    In the same year when trading caravans of the Qureish moved towards Syria the Prophet (s.a) took his contingent of the Refugees from Medina and reached Yanbu. This campaign is termed as Zaat al Ashira. This time he left Medina in charge of Abu Salama bin abd al Asad and Hamza bin abd al Mutallib was the standard bearer for the contingent.

    During this campaign Ali bin Abi Talib was given the title of Abu Turab! Ammar Yassir says “We saw some men of the tribe of Muzhij performing agricultural operations in their oasis. I asked Ali to come and observe the farm work. We went there and observed the work for some time. A cool breeze was blowing at that time and we felt sleepy. We slept on the soft soil under the shade of a small date palm. The Prophet (s.a) himself came there and woke us up. Our bodies were covered with the soft soil. He shook Ali’s leg and said, “O Abu Turab—the Father of the Soil—get up!” He himself affectionately brushed away the soil from Ali’s body and waked him up saying, “Abu Turab! Abu Turab!” ---Tabari & Ibn e Khaldun.

    Ali liked this title more than his other names!”

    Another tradition says that this event happened in the mosque at Medina when Ali slept and his body was covered with the dust and the sheet of cloth moved away from his body.

    THE BATTLE OF BADR MAY 07,623 A.D

    Mohammed Mustafa (s.a) deputed a party of seven men to reconnoitre the movement of the caravan of the Qureish from Mecca. Abd Allah bin Hajash was the chief of the party. They came across a small group of Qureish travellers. Contrary to the orders of the Prophet (s.a), and because of the ineptitude of ibn e Hajash, they attacked the group. Waqad bin Abd Allah shot one arrow at Umro bin Hadrami which killed him. Two men of the Qureish party were apprehended. One was Othman bin Abd Allah and the other Hakam bin Kaisan. Umro bin Hadrami was the first casualty at the hands of the Muslims.

    When the news of the killing of Umro reached Mecca it created a commotion there. His brother cried, “O Umro! O Umro!” Thus the Qureish resolved to avenge the death of their man.---Tabari & Ibn e Khaldun.

    On the other hand the larger trading caravan of the Qureish, which was on its way from Syria to Mecca, felt the dangers of attack by the Muslims. The chief of the caravan, Abu Sufian, immediately sent a fast courier to Mecca asking them to send reinforcements. This courier, whose name was Zamzam bin Umro Ghaffari went near the Kaaba and raised slogans of, “Help! Help!” and attracted the attention of the entire population of Mecca. He had cut the ears of his camel and turned the litter upside down and had torn the front of his cloak! ---Tabari & Ibn e Khaldun

    Now, the Prophet (s.a) anticipating attack on Medina asked Muslims to prepare for pre-emptive attack on the trading caravan of the Qureish. After 8th of Ramadan the Prophet (s.a) started from Medina. He left Umro bin Makhtoom to lead the prayers at the mosque. Abu Labada was made the administrator of Medina. There were three standards in the contingent: one in the hand of Mus-ab ibne Umair, the second with Ali ibne Abi Talib and the third on the shoulder of Saad bin Muaad.---Ibne Khaldun

    Ali bin abi Talib was the standard bearer at the heart of the contingent. The other two standard bearers were for the right and the left flanks of the contingent. There were only 70 camels in the contingent of 310 or 312 fighters. They were using the camels in turns. There was one camel for the use of the Prophet (s.a), Ali and Marsad bin Marsad Ghanvi. Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Abd ar Rehman bin Auf shared one camel. Thus for every three or four persons there was one camel.---Ibn e Khaldun.

    When the contingent reached Badr the Prophet (s.a) sent Ali ibn e Abi Talib, Zubair, Saeed and some other men to reconnoitre the movement of the enemy. They were able to apprehend two young water-carriers of the Qureish. Despite rough treatment the youths didn’t reveal the real facts about Abu Sufian. After the mandatory prayer the Prophet (s.a) asked them as to how many camels the Qureish contingent was slaughtering every day? They said one day they butchered ten camels and nine on the other day! The Prophet (s.a) estimated from this information that the Qureish contingent was about 900 to 1000 men! Abu Sufian safely escaped through the coastal area along with his caravan. On the way he met the contingent from Mecca which was moving fast to provide succour to the caravan. The caravan was safe and, therefore, they planned to return to Mecca.

    Abu Jahl said, “By God! We shall not return till we reach Badr and spend three days of pleasure and enjoyment there! Aqnas bin Shariq said, “You have come to rescue your caravan! Now we must return! I wouldn’t tarry here for a moment! “Abu Jahl replied to him tersely, therefore Aqnas went away with his men from the tribe of Bani Zahra. The tribes who had treaties with them too departed. Bani Adi hadn’t joined the contingent of Qureish when they started from Mecca---Tabari and Ibn e Khaldun

    Now the Muslim contingent arrived in the precincts of Badr and occupied a small well. When the Qureish reached near Badr, they learned that the Mujahids (the Muslim Valiants) were already there. When the chiefs of Qureish, Otba bin Rubayya and Hakim bin Hazam, decided to flee without fighting, Abu Jahl raised the slogan of avenging the killing of Umro bin Hadhrami and addressed Otba sarcastically, “The wind has been blown out of you because your son, abu Hudaifa, too is with Mohammed (s.a)!” Otba replied, “O coward! You will soon realise the truth!”

    Abu Jahl moved forward and struck his sword on the back of Otba’s steed. This was the beginning of the battle!

    From the side of the Qureish of Mecca Otba bin Rubayya, Shaiba bin Rubayya and Walid bin Rubayya entered the arena racing their steeds and challenged for battle! From the side of the Muslims Auf, Maooz and Abd Allah entered the arena. The infidels of Mecca asked, “Who you are?!” They said, “We are from the group of the Ansar!” The Qureish of Mecca shouted, “We don’t need to fight with you!” One of the infidels announced aloud, “O Mohammed! Send men of our own clan to fight with us!” At that moment the Prophet (s.a) ordered, “Rise O Ali! O Hamza! Obaida! You too get up for battle!” Therefore all of them entered the arena chanting their war cries!

    When the Qureish of Mecca heard these war-cries, they said, “This would be fine!”

    Now the swords clashed. Hamza was opposite Shaiba. Ali ibn e Abi Talib battled with Walid and Obaida bin al Harith contended with Otba. Hazrat Hamza didn’t give Shaiba any chance to attack. Ali struck a blow of his sword to the shoulder of Walid which cut through the enemy and pierced the back of the horse. However Otba made such a skirmish on Obaida that his legs were severed. Hamza and Ali came to his rescue and killed Otba!

    Abu Jahl was mortally struck by the brothers, Ma-aaz and Ma-ooz, but Abd Allah bin Masud severed his head!

    In this battle the Muslims lost 14 men while 70 men of the Qureish of Mecca were killed. Many of their men were taken prisoners of war and among them was Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet (s.a) and Aqeel, the brother of Ali bin Abi Talib and Naufil, the grandson of Abd al Mutallib.

    The history of Islam will always take pride in the exemplary valour of Ali in the Battle of Badr. Apparently the victory of Islam in the battle was because of the swordsmanship of Ali and Hamza. Ali’s sword slaughtered those infidels of Qureish who, if they survived for a few more years, would have proved highly harmful to the Creed. In this battle 70 infidels were killed and Ali accounted for 36 of them and every house in Mecca was turned to a house of mourning. Ali killed the men who formed the elite brigade of Mecca. The historians have compiled a roster of men killed by Ali in this battle:

    1. Walid bin Otba. 2. Aas bin Saeed. 3. Ta-ima bin Adi. 4. Naufal bin Khawilad- (who had tied up Abu Bakr and Talha in a rope and tortured them for 24 hours) 5. Amer bin Abd Allah. 6. Nadar bin Harith. 7. Abd Allah bin Nadar. 8. Hajib bin Ibn e Saaeb. 9. Aas ibne Munabba. 10. Abul Aas bin Qais Sahmi. 11. Aus bin Mughira Hanji. 12. Muawiya bin Amer. 13. Harmala bin Omer. 14. Harmala bin Asad. 15. Masud Ibn e Mughira. 16. Abul Qais bin al Fakeha. 17. Uqba bin abi Mueeth. 18. Omer Ibne Othman. 19. Omer Ibn e Qais. 20. Qais ibnal Walid. 21. Ibnal Mughira. 22. Hanzala bin Abu Sufian.( Muawiya’s natural brother) 23. Otba bin Abi Rubayya. 24. Zan’aa bin Aswad. 25. Aqeel bin Aswad. 26. Alqama bin Kalda. 27. Abul Aas bin Qais bin Adi. 28. Muawiya bin al Mugghira Abil Aas. 29. Lauzan bin Rubia 30. Aun bin al Mughira bin Lauzan. 31. Zain bin al Mais. 32. Anam bin al Auf. 33. Said bin Wahab-Halif bani al Aamir 34. Abd Allah bin Jamil bin Zohair. 35. Abul Hakam bin al Akhnan. 36. Hisham bin Omayya bin al Mughira.

    THE SALIENT CONSEQUENCES OF THE BATTLE OF BADR

    It cannot be denied that the exploits of the conqueror of Badr resulted in the enhancement of the eminence of the Standard of Islam from Hijaz to Syria and the power and veracity of the Muslims was recognized. But one cannot also deny the fact that the killing of the infidels in Badr by Ali had weakened his future political career. After the conquest of Mecca when the entire Arabia bowed at the feet of the Prophet (s.a) the relatives and friends of those who were killed by Ali at Badr thought it discreet to enter the fold of Islam and establish their place in the administration, the Bayt al Maal (the Treasury), and the future campaigns and conquests! They instantaneously put the label of Islam on themselves and settled down in the Islamic Capital where they got a share of the Maal e Ghanimat (Booty of War), Zakat and Jiziya. For political expediency and worldly benefits they did embrace the Creed but this was just a pretense and their natural prejudice and revengeful psyche couldn’t be suppressed which was engrained in their natures for centuries. They couldn’t forget their fathers, sons and relations who died at the hands of Ali in the arena of the Battle of Badr! The result, therefore, was that groups of neo-Muslims rose in Mecca and Medina who were eager to take revenge. Here it will suffice to say this much and we shall go into greater details as we progress.

    THE CAMPAIGN OF KUDAR

    Ibn e Ishaq says that after Badr the Prophet (s.a) went to Medina end of Ramadan or the beginning of the month of Shawwal. After spending 7 nights there he proceeded towards Bani Salim. He nominated Ibne am Makhtoom as administrator in Medina. In this campaign too Ali bin Abi Talib was the standard bearer of the contingent. When they reached Aab Kundar, the Prophet (s.a) halted there for three nights and without any fighting returned back to Medina on 10th of Shawwal. On 11th he deputed Ghalib bin Abd Allah al Laisi with an expeditionary force to fight with Bani Salim and Bani Ghazzan. This contingent killed many men of the opposition and brought back many camels of theirs as spoils. Only three men of the Muslim contingent were martyred.

    THE BATTLE OF OHOD 26 APRIL 624 A.D.

    The battle of Ohod was a direct consequence of the Battle of Badr. The flames of vengeance and revenge were raging in the hearts of the Qureish. Therefore, Abd Allah bin Rubayya, Akrama bin Abi Jahl and Safwan bin Omayya entrusted the command to Abu Sufian and it was decided that the joint fund of the profits of trading would be utilized for spending on wreaking vengeance for those who were killed at Badr. The Qureish readied for the campaign and took the tribe of Tihama and Kanana along. The poet Omro Hanji was taken captive at Badr, and was released on compassionate grounds by the Prophet (s.a) without taking any ransom, penned requiems of those who were killed at Badr and went round the tribes reciting them and upbraiding them to fight for revenge! Hence 3,000 men were thus mobilised, fifteen Qureish women went beating cymbals in front of the contingent. These women were the daughters of the chiefs, wives and relatives of those who died at Badr. The wife of Abu Sufian, Hind bint e Otba, was the leader of these women. Behind her was Akrama’s wife Umm Hakim, Khalid’s sister Fatima bint e Walid, Buraira bint e Masood, Buraita bint e Minha, Salefa bint e Saad, khanas bint e Malik and Omra bint e Alqama etc. These high spirited women were beating cymbals and singing the following dirge:

    “If you take lead in the battle, we shall hug you!

    We shall arrange warm beds for you,

    And if you desert the battle,

    We shall be saddened and forsake you!”

    A tough by the name of Wahshi was a Nubian slave of Jubair bin Mutim who was an adept at using Harba, a small lance, and it was known that he never missed his target! Jubair took him along for the battle and promised that he would be freed from bondage if he killed Hamza.

    This contingent halted on Wednesday in the valley of Mount Ohod near a lake. Abd Allah bin Obai, who was the chief of the hypocrites, advised the Prophet (s.a) to confront the enemy from inside Medina. He too approved of the suggestion but other companions insisted that they go out of Medina to fight the enemy and stop their men entering the town. The Prophet (s.a) went home, arraigned himself with armour and came out.

    On 14 Shawwal, 3H, (29, March 624 A.D) the Prophet (s.a) marched out with his contingent of 1,000 men after the Friday prayer. On the way, Abd Allah bin Obai took his 300 men out of the contingent and returned to Medina. Now there were only 700 fighting men with the Prophet (s.a). Even from this number the children of age 14 years too were sent back. From amongst the children only Samra and Rafeh bin Khair remained back. Rafeh rose on his toes to look taller and Samra proved that he was competent to defeat Rafeh in wrestling. Therefore, both were permitted to remain in the contingent.—Tabari & Ibn e Khaldun.

    The Prophet (s.a) kept the Mt.Safa in the background and arranged his contingent for battle and appointed Mas-ab bin Amir as the standard bearer. There was a fear of skirmish by Qureish army under the command of Khalid bin Walid from the pass in the rear of the mountain. Therefore the Prophet (s.a) posted 50 archers there under Abd Allah bin Khubair with strict orders not to abandon their post whether the battle was won or lost because if they left the post there was likelihood of attack by the cavalry of the enemy.

    The Qureish too organized their men in formation for the battle. The standard bearer of the opposing army was Talha ibn e Talha. On the right flank of horsemen was Khalid bin Walid and on the left Akrama bin Abu Jahl. The chief of their archers was Abdalla bin Rubayya.

    ---Tabari & Ibn e Khaldun

    The standard bearer of the Qureish, Talha ibn e Talha, drew his sword, came into the arena and challenged for a fight in loud voice. He said,

    “O men of Mohammed (s.a)! You claim that your Allah will consign us to the Hell when we die at your hands and those of your men who die in battle with us, He will send them to the Heaven! Who is the valiant amongst you ready to go to the Heaven through the stroke of my sword?!”

    Ali bin abi Talib entered the arena like a lightning and said, “By Allah in whose hands is my life! I will not leave you till the time I consign you to hell with my sword, or I go to the Heaven with the stroke of your sword!”

    In one skirmish Ali severed the leg of Talha who fell on the ground in such a manner that his private part was exposed. He said, “O brother! I plead with you in the name of Allah and my relationship with you to spare me!” Ali turned his face and returned from the arena.

    The Prophet (s.a) raised the slogan of Allah’s greatness and the companions asked, “O Ali! Why didn’t you kill Talha?!Ali replied, “My cousin’s private part was exposed and he pleaded with me in the name of Allah and my relationship with him!” ---Tabari

    Then Zubair bin al Awam and Miqdad bin al Aswad attacked the Qureish and pushed their ranks back. During the fight the Prophet (s.a) raised a sword and said,

    “Who will take hold of this sword and justify its purport?!”

    “What is the purport of the sword?!” Abu Dajana asked.

     “Strike it on the enemies till it twists and becomes unserviceable!”

    “I shall take the sword to justify its purport!” said Abu Dajana.  The Prophet (s.a) gave the sword to him; Abu Dajana held it, tied a red scarf on his head and started walking proudly between both the formations.

    The Prophet (s.a) said, “Allah does not like the proud stance of walking, but in this instance, He will not dislike the proud way of walking!”

    Abu Dajana justified the purport of the sword! The fighting was ferocious and he went decimating the Qureish men with the sword and reached near the Qureish women. The sword was about to strike the head of Hinda, the spouse of Abu Sufian, when Abu Dajana withheld his hand that he didn’t want to hurt a woman with the Prophet (s.a)’s sword!”

    ---Tabari & Ibn e Khaldun

    Hamza was having a sword in each of his hand. Wherever he went he littered the ground with cadavers of the enemies. With the swords of Ali and Hamza the standard bearers of the enemy were falling dead one after another. It went to the extent that the standard fell to the ground and it looked as if there was none left in the enemy ranks to hold it aloft! In that state a lady of the Qureish, Umra bint e Alqama, came and picked up the standard. Seeing the standard, the Qureish gathered around her! But they couldn’t face the onslaught of the swords of Hamza and Ali for long and started deserting the battlefield! The women climbed up the hillocks!!

    Seeing this state of the battle, the men started collecting booty. This made even the archers leave their posts and they too went to collect booty. Abd Allah bin Jubair tried his best to prevent them from leaving their post but they lent no ear to him. Khalid bin Walid was watching for the archers to abandon their positions. No sooner than they went down to the valley, he attacked from the rear with such ferocity that in a moment the victory of the Muslims turned to virtual defeat. Panic spread and the Muslims even attacked each other in the confusion!

    In this melee Ibn e Qamia, a chief of the Quraish martyred the flag-bearer of the Muslim contingent, Mus-ab bin Omair. The Prophet (s.a) immediately gave the standard in the hands of Ali bin Abi Talib. But Ibn e Qamia raised a false alarm shouting, “Mohammed has been killed!” With this the Muslim ranks lost whatever courage was left in them. At this critical juncture Hamza was surrounded by the enemies. He raised his sword and told to Abu Niyar Saba, “O son of one who circumcised women, how will you escape the strike of my sword?!” No sooner his sword hit the head of Saba, Wahshi, the slave of Jubair, who was waiting for long to strike, came near and threw his spear with such speed that it pierced the navel of Hazrat Hamza and cut through to his back. Hamza’s martyrdom was a big tragedy. Abu Dajana was also severely injured. Only the Dual Fiqar e Hyderi was there which was shining all over the arena to protect Islam and Mohammed (s.a). In the panic situation almost the entire contingent of Islam had deserted the arena and Ali (a.s), along with a few dedicated men remained steadfast. This is an incredible exploit of the History of Islam and there is no parallel anywhere else in the history of the world! With the Prophet (s.a), at that juncture, there were only eight persons who were defending him. These eight persons were:

    1. Ali bin Abi Talib.
    2. Abu Dujana.
    3. Talha bin Abd Allah.
    4. Zubair bin al Awam.
    5. Harit bin Sama.
    6. Habab bin Mandar.
    7. Asim bin Tabit.
    8. Sohail bin Hanif.

    It is surprising that the shining sun and the moon of Islam, Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer, had deserted the arena. Nadar, the paternal uncle of Anas, saw that Hazrat Omer abandoned his arms and dejectedly squatted. He asked, “O Omer! What are you doing?! In the arena there is virtual rain of blood!” Hazrat Omer replied, “What use fighting now? The Prophet (s.a) has been martyred!” Ibn e Nadar rejoined, “What if the Prophet (s.a) has been martyred; for what you and I shall live?!” Saying this Nadar dashed into the group of the Qureish fighters and was martyred! Tarikh al Khulafa, Baladari and Ibn e Hisham quote this event as narrated by Hazrat Omer himself.

    Hazrat Abu Bakr regretted his timidity of the occasion the rest of his life. He used to say, “On the day of Ohod everyone deserted the Prophet (s.a) but I was the first to rejoin him!”

    Hazrat Othman reached Aridh and didn’t return (Rauzat as Safa). Therefore Ibn e Ishaq, Ibn e Hisham, Ibn e Khaldun and other historians didn’t record the name of Hazrat Othman in the list of the returning companions nor have they mentioned any incident that might point towards his return. In fact, Ibn e Asir, Ibn e Hisham, and through their reference, Ibn e Khaldun, went to the extent of writing that Hazrat Othman had given shelter to Muawiya bin al Mughira bin abil Aas in his house. The same Muawiya had trampled and desecrated the mortal remains of Hazrat Hamza and had severed his nose. A translation of Ibn e Khaldun’s narration is given hereunder:

    He (the Prophet-s.a) said,‘ Muawiya is in Medina at the house of Othman; apprehend him and bring him to my presence!’ Hazrat Othman went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) and said, ‘By Him who ordained you the prophet! I have come to seek mercy for Muawiya! Give him away to me!’ The Prophet (s.a) gave three days of protection for him and if, thereafter, he was sighted anywhere near Medina he will be executed. Hazrat Othman gave Muawiya food and provisions and sent him away! On the fourth day, at the orders of the Prophet (s.a) Ammar Yassir arrested him at Samad and executed him!”

    The abovementioned narration doesn’t indicate that there was any aberration in the Eemaan (Faith) of the companions! A conclusion is certainly formed they were fallible humans and not super-human! They did commit errors. Allah forgave their errors but the incidents remained on record! The historians have been repeating them in their works and they will keep repeating! The history of any nation is nothing but a record of incidents and not a flight of imagination or fiction!

    RESULTS OF THE BATTLE OF OHOD

    The result of this battle was very disappointing and painful. Only a few selfless and dedicated persons remained around the Prophet (s.a) and the rest had fled in desertion. Seeing the small number the courage of the infidels revived and they moved towards the Prophet (s.a). Abu Dajana stood facing the Prophet (s.a) and presented his own back as a shield! His back was pierced with a barrage of arrows. From this end Saad bin Waqas and Talha shot arrows at the enemies. One lady, Umm e Amera stood in front of the Prophet (s.a) with a drawn sword in her hand and started fighting with the attackers. At that moment someone threw a stone which injured the Prophet (s.a)’s lip and one of his teeth was lost. Then Ibn e Qamis attacked with the sword and two circlets of the helmet pierced into the Prophet (s.a)’s face and it started bleeding profusely. Ziyad bin Salam Ansari came with five of his companions and gave their lives protecting the Prophet (s.a) fighting with the enemies. Talha was stopping the strikes of the enemy swords with his hands that one of his hands was severed and fell on the ground. One person, Abu Amer, had dug a trench near the shade that was erected for the Prophet (s.a). The Prophet (s.a) fell in that trench. Hazrat Ali (a.s), with the assistance of Talha, pulled him out.

    When Kaab bin Malik Ansari noticed the Prophet (s.a) he shouted, “O Muslims! The Prophet (s.a) is alive!” Hearing this, the companions gathered there and took the Prophet (s.a) up the hill. The enemies tried to advance to that side but Hazrat Omer and others threw stones to scare them away!

    When the false alarm that the Prophet (s.a) was martyred reached Medina many ladies rushed to the valley of Ohod. When Hazrat Fatima saw her injured father she was saddened. Hazrat Ali brought water in his shield and Hazrat Fatima cleaned blood from the Prophet (s.a)’s face. Then a mat was burned and the ash applied to the wound as an astringent.

    Abu Salim shouted a slogan from the hillock in front of the Qureish contingent, “O Habal! Be exalted!” With the Prophet (s.a)’s orders the companions raised the slogan, “Allah is Great and High!”

    Abu Sufian shouted to Hazrat Omer and asked if Mohammed (s.a) was killed or not? He replied, “He is present on the hill and hearing your voice!” Abu Sufian replied, “You are more truthful than Ibn e Qimia for me!” Then he added, “This was the revenge for the battle of Badr! We shall fight again next year!!”

    The Prophet (s.a) asked Ali to go and find out the intention of abu Sufian and his men. Then he added, “If they fasten their litters on the camel backs and leave the horses free, then it would mean they are preparing to return to Mecca. If they do opposite of this, then they may be planning to attack Medina!

    Hazrat Ali went to reconnoitre, returned and reported, “They have mounted the camels and the horses are trotting alongside!”

    In this battle 70 Muslims were martyred of whom four were refugees from Mecca and the rest were the Ansars (the Supporters) from Medina. Only 22 men of the Qureish of Mecca were killed. The infidels wreaked revenge on the Muslims by desecrating the bodies of the Muslims. They did the Musla of the cadaver of Hazrat Hamza (This was the custom of the Arabs of the days of ignorance that as a sign of revenge they used to sever the ears and nose of a dead enemy). Abu Sufian’s wife, Hinda, cut asunder the chest of Hazrat Hamza, removed his liver and tried to bite it. She couldn’t bite it and threw it out. Even today the history refers to her as “Hinda the eater of (human) liver!”

    The Battle of Ohod was over and Ali (a.s), as the standard bearer of Islam ensured that the Flag of Islam remained afloat despite the defeat and the flag of the victorious side remained on the ground for long! The people of Arabia talked highly of Ali’s valour, boldness and determination! Even the angels said:

    Laa fataa illa Ali;

    Laa saif illa Zulfiqaar!

    There is no valiant like Ali,

    And no sword like the Zulfiqaar!”

    Even if this statement originated from a human mind, it is a com- prehensive eulogy of Ali (a.s)!!

    Hazrat Ali was, himself, rightly proud of his exploits! When he gave his sword to be washed by Hazrat Fatima, he uttered the following couplets:

    “O Fatima! Take this sword -- I have no grouse against it; I am no coward, nor a good-for-nothing!

    By my life! In love of Mohammed (s.a) and in obedience to Allah Who is merciful to His creatures,

    I was flailing the sword like shining star in my hand and cutting the shoulders and ribs (of the adversaries)!

    THE BIRTH OF HASSAN

    In the middle of Ramadan, 3H, Hassan bin Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) was born and fifty days after his birth his mother conceived Hussain bin Ali (a.s)---Tabari & Ibn e Khaldun.

    THE SEIGE OF BANU NAZEER JUNE 625 A.D.

    Banu Nazeer was a clan of affluent Jews who were resident of Medina since long. They lived in strong forts. The Prophet (s.a) immediately on arrival in Medina made an agreement with them. Apparently they appeared following the terms of the agreement but secretly they were using their clout to cause the destruction of Islam. Incidentally, Omro bin Omayya Zamri killed two persons from the tribe of Bani Salim while returning from Bir Ma-una thinking erroneously that they belonged to the tribe of Bani Aamir. According to the treaty it became mandatory for the Prophet (s.a) to pay Khasas (Blood money) for their death. The Prophet (s.a) sought monetary help from Banu Nazeer to meet the liability. Therefore he went with Hazrat Ali (a.s), Hazrat Omer, Hazrat Abu Bakr and some other companions to Banu Nazeer. They squatted

    under the shadow of a wall to discuss the matter. Banu Nazeer had sent a Jew to the terrace to throw a big stone, at an opportune moment, to kill Mohammed (s.a)! The Prophet (s.a) had timely warning and the stratagem of Banu Nazeer failed! Now the Prophet (s.a) ordered Banu Nazeer to leave Medina. They couldn’t easily abide by the punishment of exile. Therefore, they locked themselves in their forts.

    On 2 RAbi Al Awwal, 4 H, the Prophet (s.a) came out with a small contingent of men. The standard bearer of the contingent was Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) and Ibn e Am Maktoom was appointed the administrator of Medina. For fifteen days the siege of Banu Nazeer continued. During the siege the Prophet (s.a) ordered to burn down the date gardens and the oases of Banu Nazeer. The Jews shouted from the fort to say:

    “O Mohammed! You yourself were forbidding such destructive acts and criticized those who did such things; then why do you want to destroy our oases?!”

    ---Tabari & Ibn e Khaldun

    When the siege intensified, Abd Allah bin Obai brought a message to the Prophet (s.a) from Banu Nazeer that they were agreeing to the exile from Medina. They wanted safety for their lives, the money and the quantity of materials that they could carry on their camels. The Prophet (s.a) agreed to the request but strictly forbade their carrying any arms with them.

    Abd Allah bin Obai has described the exile of Banu Nazeer in the following words:

    “Banu Nazeer carried away their wives, children and the paraphernalia along with them were drums, musical instruments and singing girls were singing as the group went! In the group of singing girls also was Umm Omro who was the concubine of Urwa Ghanbi. This was a woman from Bani Ghafar who was, in her day, superb in good looks and coyness! The Jews handed over all other possessions to the Prophet (s.a). He distributed all these to the refugees. Sahal bin Hanif, Abu Dajana and Samak bin Kharsha requested the Prophet (s.a) that they were impecunious and that they must be given some share! At that time the Prophet (s.a) appointed Ibn e Umm Makhtoom his deputy in Medina and Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) was the flag bearer of the Campaign.”

    ---Tabari

    THE BIRTH OF HUSSAIN BIN ALI (A.S)

    In the fourth year of Hijra the second son of Ali bin Abi Talib was born whose capability and powers of comprehension turned Islam into a new direction and gave it a renewed vigour. Tabari records that Hussain (a.s) was born in the first week of Shawwal, 4 H. But if he was conceived 50 days after the birth of his elder brother, Hassan (a.s) then the right date of birth is 3rd Shaban 4 H !

    DEATH OF FATIMA BINT E ASAD

    In the same year the mother of Hazrat Ali (a.s), Fatima bint e Asad, died. The Prophet (s.a) was much affected with this death and he himself entered the grave and interred her with great care, respect and affection. For quite some time he remained sad after the funeral.

    THE BATTLE OF AHZAB 2ND FEBRUARY 627 A.D.

    This is called the Battle of Ahzab because in this battle three groups allied against the Muslims: ----the Qureish of Mecca, Bani Ghatfan and Bani Qariza. Besides these three entities many other tribes too joined the fray with a resolve to destroy Islam. This battle is also called the Battle of the Trench because the Muslims had dug a deep trench between them and the formations of the enemy. This trench was designed by Salman Farsi. The practice wasn’t there amongst the Arabs prior to this. Therefore the enemies were surprised and confounded till the end that it was some stratagem of the Muslims!

    The cause of the battle was that when Banu Nazeer were banished and went towards Khaibar, some of their chiefs viz: Abil Haqiq, Kinana bin al Rubayya, Salem bin Mashkam and Hai bin Akhtab went to Mecca and upbraided the Qureish against the Prophet (s.a) and to help in destroying Islam! They then contacted the chiefs of Banu Ghatfan and convinced them to join the fray! The Jewish clan of Medina ---Banu Qarita---had violated the agreement with the Muslims and joined the other groups as the third force. At Dar al Nadwa in Mecca the standard of the contingent was prepared. Talha was killed by Ali (a.s) in the Battle of Ohod. His son Othman bin Talha was appointed as the standard bearer and the contingent of 10,000 men, under the command of Abu Sufian bin Harit, marched towards Medina. It halted outside Medina near Ohod.

    The Prophet (s.a) left Ibn e Um Maktoom as his deputy in Medina and went out with the contingent of 3,000 men and halted at the grounds of Salah. This time too the flag of Islam was on the shoulder of Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s). The trench was the obstruction between the Muslims and the troops of the enemy. For nearly one month the siege lasted. Tired of this long lull the Prophet (s.a) wanted to break the force of the adversaries and make a truce with Bani Ghatfan giving to them the fruits of a third of the gardens in Medina. The deal was about to be made when Saad bin Muaad and Saad bin Ibada opposed it, and said, `As long as we were involved in polytheism and infidelity, we didn`t give them even a date fruit, and now, after having embraced Islam why should we give our produce to them. By Allah! Other than the strike of our swords, they wouldn`t get anything else from us!!`` The Prophet (s.a) became quiet and stopped mentioning anything about the truce.

    Then a few cavaliers from the Qureish ---Umro Ibn e Wud, Akrami bin Abi Jahl, Zarat bin al Khatab, Habir bin Abi Wahb and Naufil bin Abd Allah--- came out of their formation and advanced towards the station of the Muslims. But, seeing the trench, they looked at each other

    in surprise. Anyway, from the narrowest point of the trench they jumped their steeds and crossed the trench to the other side. No sooner they entered the arena they started throwing challenges for fights. The Muslims felt worried that Omro Ibn e Wud, according to Hazrat Omer, had fought a thousand brigands using a camel’s calf as a shield and vanquished all of them! ---Mudarij al Nabuwa

    Omro Ibn e Wud had participated in the Battle of Badr and was injured there and had stayed away from the Battle of Ohod. He had now come to fight in the Battle of the Trench! He had tied a coloured band on his head. Shibli Nomani writes in his Sirat al Nabi:

    “The most famous warrior was Omer Ibn e Wud. He was considered equal to a thousand cavaliers! He was the first to enter the arena and, according to the custom of the Arabs, challenged who would dare to come and fight with him! Hazrat Ali (a.s) stood up and said, ‘Me!’ The Prophet (s.a) restrained him saying it was Omer Ibn e Wud. Hazrat Ali (a.s) sat down. Ibn e Wud challenged again and the same voice responded. A third time when he challenged and the Prophet (s.a) reminded that the challenger was Ibn e Wud, Hazrat Ali (a.s) responded, saying, ‘I know! It is Ibn e Wud!!’ Then the Prophet (s.a) gave him permission, handed him his sword and tied the Amama (Headgear) on his head!”

    It was the practice of Hazrat Ali (a.s) to enter running into the arena and, after winning the fight, he would walk back swinging! In this instance too he entered the arena swiftly and his dialogue with Ibn e Wud is interesting:

    “Who are you?” Umro asked.

    Ali!Ali (a.s) replied in monosyllable.                     

    “Whose son are you?” Umro asked

    “I am the grandson of Abd Munaf and son of Abu Talib!” Ali (a.s) said.

    “O nephew! Umro said, “Send one of your uncles stronger than you, to fight with me! You go back! Your father was my friend! I don’t like to shed your blood!”

    Ali rejoined, “I would certainly like to shed your blood!”

    “Then attack!” Umro said angrily.

    Ali replied with composure, “O Umro! I have heard that you accede to one of three requests of your opponent when you fight!”

    “Yes! You are right!” Umro responded proudly. “Ask your questions!”

    “My wish is that,” Ali said, “You embrace Islam!”

    “I can’t do this!” Umro said.                          

    “Then leave the arena!” Ali said.

    “I cannot bear the taunts of the women of Qureish if I leave the arena without a fight!” Umro replied.

    “Then dismount from your steed and fight with me as I too am on my feet!” Ali asked.

    Umro jumped down from his horse and hit its legs so hard with his sword that its trotters were severed. In great anger he made a skirmish on Ali (a.s) who took the blow on his shield that caused an injury on his forehead. Ali (a.s) instantaneously changed his stance and attacked. Umro ducked to save his head but the sword had cut through his arm! Ali (a.s) raised the slogan of victory---Allaho Akbar---Allah is Great!” The companions too raised the same slogan! When Hazrat Ali (a.s) severed the head of his opponent and went with it to the presence of the Prophet (s.a), Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer stood up and kissed his head.

    ----Mudarij al Nabuwat, 4th Part, Rauzat al Safa, vol 2.

    Seeing the state in which Umro was lying dead on the ground, his companions fled from the arena! Only Naufil fell into the trench. When Muslims started pelting stones at him, he shamed them saying that they were stoning a helpless person! He challenged them to jump into the trench and fight with him. Hazrat Ali (a.s) dived into the trench and killed him as well!!

    Ali (a.s), in accord with his practice, didn’t take the armour of the dead enemy nor took possession of anything else as booty. When Umro bin Abd Wud’s sister came near the cadaver, instead of singing a requiem for her brother, she recited a eulogy for Ali (a.s):

    “If Umro’s killer was anyone other than the one who killed him,

    I would’ve cried for my brother rest of my life!

    But Umro’s killer is the highly respected person free of any failing,

    Who is called the ‘Chief of Arabs’!”

    THE STRATEGY OF NAEEM BIN MASUD

    The cause of victory in the Battle of Ahzab (The Battle of the Trench) besides Allah’s Grace, was Ali (a.s)’s valour and Naeem bin Masood’s stratagem. The Prophet (s.a) told him, “You are an experienced person! You devise some strategy to defeat these infidels!” Hearing this he went to Bani Qariza and convinced them that the Qureish and Bani Ghatfan had tricked them. “If they succeed, they will get equal share in the booty along with you. But, if they lose, they will not stop till they reach their homes and you will be left to contend with Mohammed (s.a) and his men! That will be very difficult for you!! Therefore, as a guarantee for you, ask for the custody of the youths of the Qureish.” Banu Qariza were convinced with this suggestion and they insisted on the Qureish about it. Then Naeem went to Abu Sufian and told him that Banu Qariza had secretly allied with the Muslims and had agreed to insist on custody of the Qureish children as a guarantee for their own safety and hand them over to the Muslims! When Qureish asked bani Qariza to take initiative for the battle and they replied that they don’t work on Saturdays, which is the Sabbath, and also they sought the Qureish boys in custody as guarantee for their own safety, the Qureish believed in what Naeem had said. Misunderstanding was thus created between the Qureish and Banu Qariza.

    Naeem also tricked Banu Ghatfan by saying that there was misunderstanding between the Qureish and Banu Qariza and thus they would have to face Mohammed (s.a) and his men by themselves!

    Thus the three associates were at loggerheads! In addition strong sand storm started and the tents of the Qureish were uprooted, the cooking cauldrons turned upside down and all materials went pell mell! The result was that the Qureish lifted the siege and departed for Mecca and in the morning the Prophet (s.a) returned with his companions to Medina.

    ---Tabari & Ibn e Khaldun

      

    SIEGE OF BANU QARIZA 24 MARCH 627 A.D.

    By now the Prophet (s.a) had formed the idea of making Medina a Islamic State. This wasn’t possible till the second big Jewish power in the region was removed. Banu Qariza had given the proof of their treachery by allying with Qureish in the Battle of Ahzab and allowing them any more respite would be harmful to the Muslims. Therefore, on return from the Battle of Trench, after the noon-prayer the same day, the Prophet (s.a) made a declaration of Jehad with Banu Qariza. There was so much urgency in his order that none was allowed to offer the next prayer of the day (ASR) at any other place than the environs of Banu Qariza.

    Therefore he marched with his companions for the siege of Banu Qariza. The Islamic flag was in the hands of Ali (a.s) and Medina was                               left in the charge of Ibne Am Maktoom. This siege lasted for 25 days. Banu Qariza were feeling the ennui of the long siege and they put down their arms. All the Jews from their forts were taken prisoner. The fate of these prisoners was left to Saad bin Ma-aaz who, despite being injured during the Battle of Trench was still alive. He decided to execute all the men of Banu Qariza, the women and children taken as slaves and their funds and materials distributed to the Muslims. The Prophet (s.a) liked this decision very much. Perhaps the Prophet (s.a) would have banished Banu Qariza too as he did with the Banu Nazir. But Banu Nazir, after banishment from Medina formed a strong opposition against the Muslims at Khaibar. If Banu Qariza too reached Khaibar, they would have become an invincible power. If this happened the result of still-to-take-place Battle of Khaibar might have been something different.

    Immediate action was taken on the plan of Saad bin Ma-aad. Banu Qariza were brought to the bazaar of Medina where the previously dug drains for soaking their blood were ready. The Jews were taken there in small batches and Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Zubair made them sit on the edge of the drain and killed them. The number of persons killed was six to seven hundred. There was one woman among them whose name was Nabana. Till the last moment she sat with Hazrat Ayesha laughing all the time and when her name was called, she went running and got killed. That woman had dropped a stone grinder from the top of the fort on Khalid bin Sawaid and martyred him---Tabari & Ibn e Khaldun

    THE CAMPAIGN OF BANI MUSTALAQ DECEMBER 627 A.D.

    The Campaign took place in Shaban 5 H. The chief of Bani Mustalaq, Harit bin Zarar, talked the men of his tribe into a battle against the Prophet (s.a). Other tribes too joined them. The Prophet (s.a) came out with a small contingent. Ali bin Abi Talib had the standard of the Muhajireen in his hand and Saad bin Ibada held the flag of the Ansar. The battle took place near the lake of Marisa, which lies between Qadid and the coast. In this battle Ali bin abi Talib killed two well known Jewish warriors. One was Malik and the other his son. The standard bearer of the enemies too was killed by Ali. Jaweria, the daughter of the chief of Bani Mustalaq was taken prisoner and brought to Medina. The Prophet (s.a) freed and married her.

    ---Ibne Hisham

    THE EVENT OF OFAK

    On return from the campaign of Bani Mustalaq the event took place which created a small cataclysm in the life of the Prophet (s.a). Aspersions on Hazrat Ayesha caused turmoil in Medina. It could have resulted in the swords of Aus and Khazraj coming against each other. The matter reached the Firmament from the earth and Allah clarified the position of Hazrat Ayesha. The Umm al Momineen’s position was absolved through a revelation but Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s political life remained affected the rest of his life because of this event. It will not be wrong to say that this event was a milestone in the annals of Islamic History. Let us hear about it in Hazrat Ayesha’s words:

    “It was the practice of the Prophet (s.a) that at the start of every journey he would draw lots between his spouses and take the spouse along with him whose name was drawn in the lot! My name came out when he was travelling for the Campaign of Bani Mustalaq. I had to accompany him. Those days women used to eat less for fear of putting on excessive weight! My habit was that when the camel was prepared for the journey, I used to sit in the litter prior to it being mounted on the camel. The people would lift it, at the scheduled time, mount it on the back of the camel, tie it with rope and take the camel forward holding the reins.

    “When the Prophet (s.a) returned from the Campaign, he halted at a place near Medina for the night. Then the announcement was made for departure early in the morning. I had gone some distance for attending the call of nature. In my neck there was a necklace made of beads of Zaffa, an aromatic substance. After I finished the call, the necklace fell down and I

    didn’t notice when it fell. When I went near the place of the encampment I noticed that the necklace was missing. I immediately went back to the place where I had my nature’s call to search the necklace. I got it and returned back to the camp site. Now I knew that the entire group had left for Medina. In my absence the camel driver brought the camel, put the litter on it, and departed thinking that I was in the litter! I covered myself with my chador with a thought that when the people miss me they would return to fetch me back.

    In the meantime Safwan bin al Mautal came who had remained back for some purpose. He had also not halted at that stage with the contingent. He knew my identity because he had seen me prior to the enforcement of the practice of Hijab. Seeing me he said “inna Lilla!” and was surprised how the Prophet (s.a)’s spouse remained behind! I didn’t utter a single word. He brought his camel near me and asked me to mount it and he himself stood away. Then he caught hold of the reins of the camel and moved swiftly that we could catch up with the caravan. But we couldn’t find it till the sunrise. Those who wanted to pass aspersions about this event did it, and every one knows about it!

    I fell ill on reaching Medina. I didn’t have any inkling of the gossip the event created although the Prophet (s.a) and my parents were aware of it. I certainly felt that the way the Prophet (s.a) used to treat me whenever I was sick in the past; he wasn’t doing like that in this instance. This feeling made me uneasy. I went to my mother’s house and till then I was unaware of the rampant rumour. One night I went out for nature’s call. With me was Umm e Muatta. She related to me the entire story of people making aspersions against me. I wasn’t able to bear the shock. Even I couldn’t attend to the nature’s call for which I had gone out then. I immediately returned home and cried disconsolately. My mother said, “O daughter! Don’t attach much importance to the event because, by Allah, if a pretty woman is the wife of a person who loves her, and he has several other wives, they and other persons would certainly carry tales to the husband!”  In fact, the persons who spread the tale were few viz: Abd Allah bin Ubai, some Khazraji persons, Musattah and Hamna bin Hajash whose sister Zainab bint e Hajash was one of the Prophet (s.a)’s wives. Humna gave vent to the story only for the sake of her sister to make me unpopular that it would bring me down in the consideration of the Prophet (s.a)!

    “The Prophet (s.a) descended from the pulpit (one day) and came to me. He called Ali bin abi Talib (a.s) and Osama bin Zaid and consulted them about the incident. Osama did praise me and said that the aspersion was wrong and false imputation. Ali (a.s) said, “There are many women! You might select a new spouse in the place of Ayesha! You may also ask your slave girl. She will tell you everything frankly!” The Prophet (s.a) called Buraira and started interrogating her. Before the person told anything Ali (a.s) beat her very much and asked her to tell the truth. She said, “I only know good about her and I didn’t find anything wrong in Ayesha except that when, after kneading the dough I would go asking her to take care of it, she sleeps and the sheep eat away the dough!”

    One day the Prophet (s.a) came to me at a time when my parents too were with me and an Ansari woman was sitting with me. I was crying. The Prophet (s.a) squatted, offered praise to Allah, and said, “Ayesha! You know well what people talk about you. If, in truth, you have committed anything wrong, you should express repentance to Allah! Allah accepts His creatures’ repentance!!” I waited for a while that my parents might intercede. But they didn’t utter a word. I asked them, “Why don’t you reply to the Prophet (s.a)?” They said, “We don’t know what you say?!” Then I started crying loudly and said, ‘I shall not express repentance to Allah for what you have said! If I accept the aspersions of the people, will you believe in my word?’ At that moment I was thinking of Yakub, but his name didn’t come to my mind. But I said, ‘My reply is the same as that of Yusuf (a.s)’s father who said, ‘The best thing is patience and seeking Allah’s help for what you are saying!’

    A short while went after the Prophet (s.a) squatted with us that his face reflected that he was getting a revelation.He covered himself with his shawl and the leather pillow was put under his head. When the Prophet (s.a) rose, despite the cool wintry weather, perspiration was there on his face like pearls and he said, ‘Ayesha! You must know the good tiding that through the revelation Allah has absolved you of the aspersion!’ I said, ‘I thank Allah!’ Then he went out and talked to the people. Afterwards he got Musatta bin Asasa, Hasan bin Tabit and Humna bint e Hajash flogged for being most forward in passing aspersions against me!”

    ----Tabari

    There is no scope for any remark or criticism of the above statement. But we cannot help saying, and proceeding further, that what Hazrat Ali (a.s) said about this event was contrary to the discretion required in those circumstances. Why shouldn’t we include Hazrat Ayesha in the group of Ummahat al Momineen (the Mothers of the Believers) with Hazrat Mariam.  But who can deny the fact that after all she was a woman and possessed a woman’s heart! When a pretty girl entered in matrimony with the Prophet (s.a), Hazrat Ayesha entertained doubts. When he married zainab bint e Hajash, Hazrat Ayesha herself said:

    “Distant and close thoughts started coming in my heart because the word about the beauty of Zainab had reached our ears. The other important thing in this matter was that Allah Himself solemnized the Prophet (s.a)’s marriage with her that she would be proud about it.”

    ---Tabari

    When Jaweria bint e Harith was brought as a captive and the Prophet (s.a) married her, what Hazrat Ayesha thought about the event is recorded in her own words:

    “Jaweria was a very presentable and charming lady. Whoever saw her, would admire her. She came to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) to take his help for money to arrange her release from captivity. I saw her at the threshold of my room and said it wasn’t good that she had come because I understood the Prophet (s.a)’s heart would get the same effect seeing her that happened to me!”---Tabari

    There are several other incidents of this nature and writing about them would be the cause of unnecessary prolongation. These incidents point to the fact a woman’s natural instinct cannot be snatched away from her by a material or spiritual strength. It isn’t possible at all that Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s word might have effected the sensitive nature of Hazrat Ayesha that she wouldn’t carry some rancour against him in her heart. The incidents indicate that till her last breaths she hadn’t forgotten his words. Hazrat Ali (a.s) was also aware of the Prophet (s.a)’s deep love for Hazrat Ayesha. In such circumstances a far sighted person like Hazrat Ali (a.s) should have abstained from the advice and suggestion that he gave to the Prophet (s.a). Anyway, Hazrat Ali (a.s) too was a human being. He wasn’t aware of the fact that was only in the knowledge of Allah. Even the Prophet (s.a) didn’t know prior to the revelation concerning Hazrat Ayesha! This is altogether a different matter that the revelation came as a voice of the Prophet (s.a)’s heart!

    THE TRUCE OF HUDAIBIYA 628 A.D. 12 RABI AL AWWAL 6 H

    Two months after the campaign of Bani Mustalaq, in Zilqidda 6 H, the Prophet (s.a) travelled to visit Mecca for Umra, the Minor Pilgrimage. There was a group of Muhajireen and Ansaar with him who numbered about 1,300 to 1,500. He assumed the Ihram, the traditional garment for pilgrimage to Mecca prior to leaving Medina. This was a proof of the fact that there was no war-like intention for the trip! But no sooner the Qureish got news of the movement of the group they intercepted them. A contingent of cavaliers, in command of Khalid bin Walid, went towards Kra al Nayeem. When the Prophet (s.a) got intelligence about it, he took a diversion from Asfan and moved on the route of Taniat al Marar and in this manner the group reached Hudaibiya. Badail bin Waraqa came to meet the Prophet (s.a) as the envoy of the Qureish. Then came Halis bin Alqama Kanani and after him Urwa bin Masood, the chief of Bani Saqif came to stop the Prophet (s.a) proceeding towards Mecca. Therefore, the Prophet (s.a) sent Hazrat Othman as his envoy to the Qureish. The Qureish held Hazrat Othman with them. This created doubts in the minds of the Muslims that he was assassinated by the Qureish. The Prophet (s.a) addressed the companions under a tree and sought their allegiance for claiming the Qasas (Blood Money) for the life of Othman. This event is called as Bayt e Ridwan. But the rumour of Hazrat Othman’s assassination was proved wrong. Then the Qureish sent Sohail bin Umro for negotiations. After the parleys the following terms of the treaty for the truce were agreed:

    1. The Muslims should return this time without performing Haj or Umra. They may come next year but on condition that they will be unarmed and every individual could carry only his traditional sword but it may not be unsheathed! They will have permission to remain in the Haram, the precincts of Kaaba, for three days. During those days the Qureish would stay away.
    2. The Muslims may seek truce with any of the Arab tribes and Qureish too will have the right to seek trucial relations with any tribes. In this matter both parties will have freedom of action.
    3. If a person from the Qureish went to the Muslims without getting permission, he must be returned back. But if a Muslim defected to the Qureish he will be retained in
    4. There will not be hostilities between the Qureish and the Muslims for the next ten years and efforts will be made to maintain mutual peace.

    This agreement was written by Hazrat Ali bin abi Talib (a.s). In accordance with the Islamic practice he started writing the document with “Bismilla hir Rehman ir Raheem”. Sohail said,

    “You must start writing the document with the appellate- ‘Basmillahi’ traditionally used by the Arabs.The Prophet (s.a) asked Hazrat Ali (a.s) to make the alteration. Then Hazrat Ali (a.s) wrote that the agreement was between “Mohammed (s.a), the Prophet of Allah and the Qureish.” Sohail objected to this expression as well saying, “If we accept Mohammed (s.a) as the Prophet there wouldn’t be any dispute at all!” The Prophet (s.a) asked Ali (a.s) to delete the word ‘Prophet’. But the Islamic spirit of Hazrat Ali (a.s) didn’t allow him to make the deletion. The Prophet (s.a) himself took the pen from him and struck off the words from the document!

    Apparently the Qureish seemed to have the upper hand in terms of the agreement. At that moment, Abu Jundal, the son of Suhail, who had embraced Islam, escaped from Mecca  and arrived at Hudaibiya when the agreement of truce was about to be executed. In terms of the agreement the Prophet (s.a) handed over the Muslim son to the infidel father! At this point Hazrat Omer lost control over his patience. After all, he was a fallible human being. He was subject to doubts and apprehensions at that time. He started a dialogue with the Prophet (s.a):

    “O Prophet of Allah! Are you really the true Messenger of Allah?!  Hazrat Omer asked.

    “No doubt I am!” the Prophet (s.a) replied.

    “Aren’t we Muslims?!” Hazrat Omer asked.

    “Why not!” The Prophet (s.a) interjected.

    “Are those people, the Qureish, the polytheists?!” Hazrat Omer asked.

    “Certainly they are!” the Prophet (s.a) said.

          “Then why should we bear with ignominy in the matter of Faith?”

          Hazrat Omer questioned.

          “I am doing what Allah wants me to do!” the Prophet replied.

    ---Tarikh al Ummat

    Now Hazrat Omer was quietened. What could be done where there was the wish of Allah to be fulfilled! Now if one said how even a glimmer of doubt entered the mind of the great companion the person should understand that only the company of the Prophet (s.a) doesn’t render a person super-human! A man, after all, is a man!! The Prophet (s.a) himself was a human being and had come for the reform of human beings. He remained his entire life with the humans and left behind the human beings, when he departed from the world, a complex of human errors and aberrations!! Whether you term it Khata e Ijtehadi (the error of authoritative interpretation), or anything else, it would just be playing with words! In any event it will be deemed human weakness. It is another matter that every individual has a different temperament and different capabilities and, according to the company he keeps, his intellectual and moral weaknesses get enhanced and reduced from time to time. The spouses and the companions of the Prophet (s.a) too were human beings and if they aren’t accepted as mere human beings the history of the nation wouldn’t have advanced even an inch!It’s events would turn into fables and stories and barring a few firm believers none else would comprehend them!

    Anyway, we keep this debate for some other occasion and we shall now consider the consequences of the Truce of Hudaibiya:

    THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE TRUCE

    1. Till this time Qureish were at loggerheads with the Muslims, peace was established with this truce and people had the opportunities of meeting Muslims and understanding their way of life. It is natural that when they saw Islam at close quarters, they couldn’t remain unimpressed with it! This encouraged many of them to join the fold.
    2. The way for propagation of Islam was cleared and the preachers freely moved into various tribes who started embracing the Faith.
    3. In this period of peace the Prophet (s.a) gave attention to various rulers and correspondence was initiated with them. The result was exchange of envoys between Medina and other capitals and, thus, the number of Muslims increased day by day.
    4. After some days, Abu Baseer, a Muslim from Mecca, escaped from there and came to Medina. Two persons from Mecca came to the Prophet (s.a) and claimed Abu Baseer to be handed over to them in terms of the truce, which was agreed to. On the way Abu Baseer killed one of the two persons and the other escaped. Then Abu Baseer neither went to Medina nor to Mecca. He settled down on the coast half way between the two cities. In some time many Muslims settled down there. They started brigandry and waylaying the trading caravans of the This settlement was a regular threat to the Qureish travellers. They were thus forced to allow Muslims from Mecca moving to Medina without any let or hindrance. Thus, by and by, the truce of Hudaibiya became the cause celebre of the conquest of Mecca.

    THE BATTLE OF KHAIBAR 01 MAY, 629 A.D.

    Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) is the celebrated hero of the History of Islam that during the lifetime of the Prophet (s.a) all the battles and the campaigns were won because of his valour. If the progress of Islam owes anything to the battles of Badr, Ohod, Ahzab and Khaibar, it has to be accepted that it was Ali (a.s) who made maximum contribution to the success. During hostilities and during peace, Ali (a.s) was a bulwark to the history of Islam those days. In the Battle of Khaibar Ali (a.s) established the record of bravery and valour that has not been equalled by any other brave!

    The intrigues of the Jews forced the Prophet (s.a) to initiate the Battle of Khaibar. On getting exiled from Medina, Bani Nazeer settled in Khaibar. There they put fire in the hearts of the local Jews against Muslims. Near Khaibar was the area of the Tribe of Ghatfan who had a treaty with the Jews of Khaibar. Salam bin al Haqeeq who succeeded Hai bin Akhtab as the chief of Khaibar was a very influential person and, at his instigation, the tribes in the neighbourhood were willing to join hostilities. Preparations were on for attacking Medina. At that time, an Ansari, Abd Allah bin Ateek, went to Khaibar with the permission of the Prophet (s.a) and killed Salam bin al Aqeeq. Now Aseer bin Zaram became the chief. He raised a big contingent and planned to attack Medina. The Prophet (s.a) wanted to make a settlement for peace. He sent Abd Allah bin Ravaha to Khaibar and sent word to Asir bin Zaram to visit Medina for talks. Asir started for Medina along with Abd Allah and some others. On the way Asir tried to snatch a sword from a Muslim. Abd Allah bin Rawaha became suspicious and killed Asir. His other companions too were killed. Only one person escaped. The incident enhanced the fires of hostility! A tribe having treaty with the Jews captured a few she-camels from the flock of the Prophet (s.a) at the pasture of Zi-Qarad. But Salama bin Akwa retrieved back the she-camels.

    Mohammed Arabi (s.a) moved towards Khaibar in Moharram 7 H (629 A.D.) with a contingent of 1,600 combatants. First they captured the fort of Nayam. Then they took several small fortresses. The most difficult was the capture of the fort Qamoos which was the haunt of Marhab. A detailed narration of the capture of this fort is there in Tarikh e Tabari and, referring to it, Maulana Shibli Nomani writes:

    All the fortresses were captured easily, but Watih and Salalam, on which the well known warrior, Marhab had control were not taken that easily. The Prophet (s.a) sent a platoon in the command of Hazrat Abu Bakr for this task, but he returned unsuccessful. Then Hazrat Omer was sent. He tried two consecutive days but to no avail. The Prophet (s.a) said that the next day he would give the flag to one who will make a successful skirmish. The next morning all the important companions were ready arraigned in their armour expecting and hoping to get the standard from the Prophet (s.a) for the campaign. In this group was Hazrat Omer too and he said, “I never desired so much to be the flag-bearer and commander as then but fate had kept this honour for Ali (a.s)!” Therefore, the Prophet (s.a) didn’t give any attention to anyone, called Ali (a.s) and entrusted the standard to him! Marhab was killed in this campaign and the skirmish concluded with his death.”

    --Al Farooq

    The narrative is the same as written by Maulana Shibli but keeping the subject of his book in mind he made some access to abridgement. Tabari has related the event in greater detail. Since the subject of our book is Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) we cannot overlook even the minor details. Therefore we are presenting Tabari’s narration verbatim in detail:

    Very often the Prophet (s.a) got headaches and didn’t stir out because of this for a day or sometimes even a couple of days. Therefore, on reaching Khaibar, he suffered from headache and didn’t leave his camp. Hazrat Abu Bakr took the standard from him, went to attack and after a stiff fight returned to the camp. Then Hazrat Omer took hold of the flag, faced the enemy and after a stirner fight returned unsuccessful after a battle of attrition! The Prophet (s.a) was given a report about this. He said, “Tomorrow I shall give the standard to a person

    who is a friend of Allah and His Prophet (s.a) and they too are his friends!

    He will conquer the fort with the strength of his scimitar! Ali (a.s) wasn’t present there. Therefore every individual from the Qureish was hoping, perhaps, the flag would be given to him. The next morning Ali (a.s) arrived at the camp of the Prophet (s.a) and made his camel squat near the tent. His eyes were sore. He had bandaged his eyes with Qutri fabric. The Prophet (s.a) asked him to come closer and then put his saliva in Ali (a.s)’s eyes that eased the pain. Many companions accompanied Ali (a.s) for the campaign. Ali (a.s) was wearing a purplish-red robe and he had turned its lining out. Ali (a.s) reached Khaibar. Marhab, the chief, was wearing a red coloured helmet on which was fixed a diamond the size of an egg as the plume. He came to the arena reciting the following dirge:

    Khaibar knows I am Marhab, I am armed, I am bold and experienced in warfare!!”

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) replied:

    “I am the one who has been named Haider by his mother! I will cut you to smithereens with my scimitar, like the tree of Aak is cut! I am very fierce as the lion of the wilderness!!”

    Both of them attacked each other, but Ali (a.s) made an attack that his scimitar cut the plume of diamond, the head and reached the jaw of Marhab. This resulted in the capture of the fort.”

    Tabari has related this incident on the basis of the narration of Buraida al Aslami. One person says that Buraida was a liar because he was a Shia!!

    Now think for a while that the Shia narrators are not acceptable to the Sunnis and the Shias think that the Sunni narrators aren’t reliable and in view of others the narrators of both these ilks aren’t dependable, then there will not be any other alternative than consigning the entire historical record to the sea and announce that this nation has no history at all!! We feel like crying to our heart’s content over the intelligence and understanding of the so-called biographers. Anyway, we turn back to our subject now!!

    Ibne Ishaq, Ibn e Hisham, Tabari, Ibn e Ateer, Ibn e Khaldun, Sahih Muslim, Fath al Bari, Rauzat al Ahbab, Habib al Siyar, selection of Kanz al Amaal, Sirat Halabiya, Azalat al Khafa and all the historians and traditionists have mentioned the event with some alterations. In the end we shall look at the research of Shah Waliullah who writes:

    “On some days of the Battle of Khaibar Hazrat Omer was the commander of the contingent and conducted the battle but victory was achieved only by Hazrat Ali Murtada (a.s) and thus his felicity enhanced!”

    With these statements the excellence of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer doesn’t diminish in any manner nor affect their invaluable service in the promotion and propagation of Islam. The only difference is that every individual is endowed with different capabilities! It isn’t necessary that when a person excels as a caliph he may or may not excel in the battlefield!

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Abu Bakr possessed different capabilities and similar was the case of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Omer. Any comparison would be a futile exercise.

    In the Battle of Khaibar Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s valour reached the peak when he uprooted a strong door of the fort and used it in place of a shield. This incident is reported by Tabari in the following words:

    “Abu Rafeh narrates from the Prophet (s.a) that when he gave the standard to Ali bin Abi Talib and sent him for battle he (Abu Rafeh) too was with him. When they reached near the fort, the men from there came out for combat. Ali started fighting with them. One Jew hit with his sword Ali’s shield fell down. Nearby there was a door of the fort. Ali uprooted it and used it as a shield! He continued fighting with the door in his hand till the victory was achieved. After the battle eight persons, of whom Abu Rafeh was one tried their best to turn the door but they couldn’t do it!”

    Ibn e Ishaq, Ibn e Athir, Ibn e Asaker, Sirat e Halabiya and other historians too with minor variations have written about this event. Apparently the achievement of Hazrat Ali (a.s) seems beyond the ken of human beings. But in the same period earlier than the Battle of Khaibar, the Battle of Ahzab took place when Hazrat Ali (a.s) combated with Omer Ibn e Wudd about whom Hazrat Omer had said that he used a calf of the camel as a shield to fight with a thousand brigands and vanquished them. This indicates that such a powerful person existed then. In the present time, when physically the human beings are weak, some perform such incredible feats that we get surprised. The author himself had witnessed physical feats that a person stopped a fast revving automobile with one hand and it didn’t move an inch from its place! A person held his breath lying on the floor and a jeep car ran over his body. The car was so heavy that even twenty strong persons couldn’t lift it! When ordinary mortals perform such feats, what to talk of the Sher e Nayestan who, besides physical strength was embodiment of spiritual strength! Even today champion wrestlers start their bouts with the slogan of “Ya Ali!” Are they mad? Why don’t they take the names of Arjun or Rustam?! Or why they don’t call some conqueror of Persia or Rome?!

    When the cries of Al-Aman (Seeking Protection) were raised from fort Qamoos the sword of Ali (a.s) stopped and every one of the Jews in the fort was permitted to take one camel load of food-grains and leave the fort. Besides the forts of the Jews, their hamlets of Shaq, Nazara and Katiha came under the sway of the Muslims. Women were brought as prisoners. The Prophet (s.a) married Safia bint e Hai bin Akhtab. When the people of Fadak saw this predicament of the people of Khaibar they surrendered without raising arms and accepted the conditions offered by the Muslims. In this manner khaibar was deemed the property of all the Muslims and Fadak the exclusive fief of the Prophet (s.a) because it was annexed without raising arms!

    THE CONQUEST OF MECCA MARCH 630 A.D.

    The Islamic State that was formed under the leadership of Prophet (s.a) wouldn’t be complete without annexing Mecca and the place of worship in that place, the Kaaba, where for centuries the people were bowing down in prayer! The time for this conquest was nigh because the truce of Hudaibiya was in its last throes and the Islamic army was looking eagerly for the voidance of that treaty.

    As a result of the truce of Hudaibiya, Qaza-aa tribe became the allies of the Islamic State and Bani Bakr joined hands with the Qureish. Some old blood feuds were going on between these two tribes. Therefore, Bani Bakr, with the support of the Qureish planned to wreak vengeance against Qaza-aa. Qureish gave support of arms to bani Bakr. Qaza-aa were vanquished and took shelter in the Haram of Kaaba. The chief of Bani Bakr, Naufil, killed them within the precincts of the Haram where bloodshed is taboo! Omer bin Salam Qaza-ee approached the Prophet (s.a) and pleaded for help. After him Badeel bin Waraqa Qazaee too went to the Prophet (s.a) and appealed for support.

    Now the Qureish realized that the Muslims will help Bani Qaza-aa and the hostilities might end in the conquest of Mecca. Therefore Qureish immediately deputed Abu Sufian to mediate renewal of the treaty of Hudaibiya. Abu Sufian met the leading lights of Islam in Medina and wanted to use their good offices to win the approval of the Prophet (s.a) for the renewal of the treaty. He had already met the Prophet (s.a) whose quietude was disturbing for him. He then met Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer. They too were not helpful. Thereafter he went to Hazrat Ali (a.s). Ibn e Khaldun writes about this meeting:

    “At that time Hazrat Ali (a.s) had with him his spouse, Hazrat Fatima and son Hasan (a.s). Abu Sufian made the same plea with Hazrat Ali (a.s) who said, ‘I cannot discuss this matter with the Prophet (s.a) that he has already made up his mind!’ Hearing this Abu Sufian turned towards Hazrat Fatima and said, ‘O daughter of Mohammed (s.a)! Can’t you ask your son, Hasan (a.s), that he goes to Mohammed (s.a) and makes his recommendation for me?!’ Hazrat Fatima replied, ‘None can say anything to the Prophet (s.a) nor make a recommendation to him!’ Abu Sufian sat quiet for a while. Then Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, ‘O Abu Sufian! I suggest to you a very good strategy!’ Abu Sufian remained quiet and looked askance. Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, ‘You are the chief of Banu Kanana. You need no introduction whatsoever. Get up and go to the mosque and announce loudly that you have come to extend and strengthen the Truce! Then go back to your city!’ Abu Sufian asked, ‘Do you think this strategy will be to my benefit?!’ Ali (a.s) said, ‘This is what I expect, but the difficulty is that I don’t see any alternative to this! You must yourself assess how beneficial or harmful this

    strategy will be for you!’ As soon as the talk ended, Abu Sufian went to the mosque and announced loudly, ‘I extend the term of the truce and renew it to make it stronger!’ Saying this he departed for Mecca.

    When Abu Sufian gave a report of his visit to Medina the Qureish laughed and said, ‘Ali (a.s) has played a trick with you!’

    After Abu Sufian left, the Prophet (s.a) asked his men to mobilize for departure to Mecca. In every household they were putting together their armour and related materials. In that time one person Hatib, wrote a letter to the Meccans warning them about the imminent invasion and sent the missive with a woman. The name of the woman was Mazina Kanood. The Prophet (s.a) wanted secrecy to be maintained about the campaign. When the Prophet (s.a) learned about the letter he sent Ali (a.s), Zubair and Miqdad in hot pursuit of the woman. They apprehended her at Rauza e Khak. Despite rummaging all her baggage they couldn’t find the letter. Hazrat Ali (a.s) angrily unsheathed his sword and warned the woman that if she didn’t give the letter she would be beheaded! She immediately took it out of the bun of her hairs! Hazrat Ali (a.s) and others took the woman to the presence of the Prophet (s.a). He called Hatib and asked why he wrote the letter. He said, ‘O Prophet (s.a)! I am a Muslim. I didn’t mean to be traitrous against Islam but I wished safety for my kith and kin at Mecca at the mercy of the Qureish! Some Qureish of Mecca are my own relations! I thought that if I warn them about the imminent invasion, they would be indebted to me and ensure the safety of my children!’ Hazrat Omer’s sword was thirsty for the blood of some infidel polytheist for long. He thought this was a good opportunity and he immediately told to the Prophet (s.a), ‘O Prophet of Allah (s.a)! Permit me that I sever the head of this polytheist!’ The Prophet (s.a) said, ‘Omer! You don’t know what Allah says in the praise of the people of Badr: ‘Do what you choose to do! I have forgiven your sins!’”

    The Prophet (s.a), with a contingent of 10,000 men commenced the journey towards Mecca on 10th Ramadan 8 H (630 A.D). Ibn e Khaldun has described this contingent in some detail. There were 1,000 men from Bani Salim, 1,000 from the Tribe of Mazina, 400 from the tribe of Aslam and the rest were the Mohajir and Ansaar. Before departure the Prophet (s.a) appointed Kulthum bin Haseen as the deputy in Medina. When the contingent reached Hajfa they were met by Abbas bin Abd al Mutallib who was migrating from Mecca to Medina. He sent his baggage to Medina and joined with the contingent. After travelling some distance he noticed the preparedness of the Muslims for war and thought that it wasn’t a good augury for the Qureish of Mecca and that they might be destroyed for ever! This spirit of love for his home-town and his tribe forced him to fore-warn the Meccans of the imminent danger for them! He went riding on the white mule of the Prophet (s.a) and rode towards Arak that he might find some shepherds who could carry his message to Mecca. Incidentally Abu Sufian bin Harb, Hakim bin Hazam, and Badeel bin Waraqa were in the valley of Arak to reconnoitre the movement of the contingent of the Prophet (s.a). The Prophet (s.a) had divided the contingent to platoons of 1,000 each and, as instructed by him, every platoon made a campfire in the night. When Abu Sufian saw the flames of the fire in the night he asked Badeel bin Waraqa which tribe had lit the fire?! Badeel replied, “They are the camp-fires of Bani Qaza-aa that they have lighted for the battle!” Abu Sufian said, “The Qaza-aa tribals are extremely parsimonious and mean! How could they light so many camp-fires!” Abbas recognized the voice of Abu Sufian and shouted, “Is this the voice of Abu Hanzala!” “Yes Abul Fazl, It is me! It is nice we have met! I sacrifice my parents on you! What is the news?!” Abbas replied, “This is the camp-fire of the Prophet (s.a)’s camp! He has a contingent of 10,000 men with him and this is no good augury for you.You mount behind me on the mule and I shall obtain a pardon for you from the Prophet (s.a). Abu Sufian jumped and mounted the mule and Abbas rode it fast towards the camp of the Prophet (s.a). When they reached near the camp-fire of Hazrat Omer, he recognized Abu Sufian. He immediately took out his sword and started chasing him. Abbas reached the mule to the place where the Prophet (s.a)’s tent was pitched and Omer came with the naked sword in hot pursuit! He told to the Prophet (s.a), “O Prophet of Allah (s.a)! This enemy of Allah is in our hands now! Permit me to kill him!” It is evident that in the given circumstances the task was easy for Hazrat Omer but Abbas told to the Prophet (s.a) “I have given protection to Abu Sufian!” Even then Hazrat Omer was insistent on killing Abu Sufian and repeatedly he was waving his sword in the direction of his victim. But the Prophet (s.a) waved him to desist and said, “I give Abu Sufian a night’s respite. Abbas must fetch him to me in the morning!” In the morning Abbas brought Abu Sufian to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) who addressed him, “Abu Sufian! Hasn’t the time arrived that you profess faith in Allah?!” Abu Sufian said, “I sacrifice my parents on you! I am convinced that if there was any god besides Allah, he would have helped and protected me!” The Prophet (s.a) asked another question, “Hasn’t the time come that you accept me as Allah’s Messenger?!” Abu Sufian uttered spontaneously, “I have some doubts in this matter!” Abbas became very angry and shouted, “O Abu Sufian! Shame on you! Accept Islam before you are beheaded! See Omer comes with his sword! Say, ‘Mohammed (s.a) is the Prophet of Allah!’ or else he will sever your head!” Abu Sufian was helpless now. He muttered, “Mohammed is Allah’s prophet!”

    ---Ibne Khaldun

    Isn’t it evident that Abu Sufian, and other persons of his ilk, didn’t bow down to Allah but they submitted to the sword and worldly power! Such persons might have been useful to politics and state-craft but certainly not for the Creed of Islam. Anyway, more about this later!

    The purpose for which Abu Sufian embraced Islam, Ibne Ishaq, Tabari and Ibne Khaldun have highlighted in their works that when, under duress, the words of “Mohammed Rasool Allah” were made to be uttered by Abu Sufian, Abbas told to the Prophet (s.a), “Abu Sufian is one of the chiefs of Mecca and he is very proud of his status and always seeks enhancement of his status! You must give him such distinction that he appears superior to others in Mecca.” The Prophet (s.a) said,

    “Whoever enters his house will be protected!”

    Ibn e Khaldun

    As instructed by the Prophet (s.a), Abbas took Abu Sufian to the periphery of the valley so that he could witness the size and strength of the Islamic Contingent! Therefore Abbas led Abu Sufian to the top of a hillock. Now the platoon of every tribe marched in-front of them. Abu Sufian watched every platoon with surprise and inquired about them. Then the group of the Prophet (s.a) and his companions, arraigned in armour, marched through. Abu Sufian asked in utter surprise, “Who are these people?” Abbas said, “This is the Prophet (s.a) with the Mohajirs and the Ansaar!” Abu Sufian said with more surprise, “The realm of your brother’s son has become vast and his contingent is huge!” Abbas replied, “O Abu Sufian! This isn’t monarchy and it is Prophethood!”

    --Ibne Khaldun & Tabari

    Abu Sufian immediately returned to Mecca, reported to the chiefs in detail and said that those who take refuge in his house or the mosque or stay peacefully in their own houses will have protection!

    In the huge army of the Prophet (s.a) there were three flag bearers. In the right flank Zubair had the flag in his hand, in the left flank Khalid bin Walid was the flag bearer and in the heart of the contingent the flag bearer of the group of mohajireen and Ansaar was Saad bin Ibada. Saad was reciting the dirge with great fervour:

    Today is the day of battle,

    Today it is lawful to battle in the precincts of Kaaba!”

    When the Prophet (s.a) heard this dirge, he took the flag from Saad bin Ibada gave to Ali bin abi Talib (a.s) and till the conquest of Mecca he held the Standard!

    When the contingent entered Mecca there was only a minor skirmish with the platoon of Khalid bin Walid and, as a result, 13 Meccans died. After this fight peace was declared and Mecca was annexed to the Islamic realm without any further fight. It was the same Mecca from which the Prophet (s.a) had to migrate. At that time he said:

    “O Mecca! You are very dear to me but your sons don’t let me live here!”

    Eight years hadn’t gone by since the migration that now the entire Arabian Peninsula was at the feet of the hapless orphan!! This revolution was the greatest revolution in the annals of world history! On 20th Ramadan, 8 H, the conquest of Mecca was completed and the leadership of the Prophet (s.a) turned from a dream to a reality!

    During the Campaign of Mecca the Prophet (s.a) legitimized killing of certain persons. One of them was Abd al Uzza bin Hanzal. This person recanted from the Faith after embracing it. When Mecca was captured he caught the cover of Kaaba but even there he didn’t get refuge! Saad bin Harith Makhzoomi and abu Barza killed him. The second person was Abd Allah bin Abi Sara who was the writer of the Prophet (s.a) and he fled to Mecca after recanting from the Faith. The Prophet (s.a) ordered his execution. He was Hazrat Othman’s foster brother. Hazrat Othman pleaded with the Prophet (s.a) for releasing him. The Prophet (s.a) thought for a while and then acceded to his plea. When the person went out, the Prophet (s.a) told to his companions, “When I was quiet, why didn’t you execute him?!” A youth from the Ansaar said. “How we wish you had given a hint to us!” The Prophet (s.a) said, “The prophets don’t like throwing hints!” This was the same person whom Hazrat Othman raised to the position of governor in various provinces. The person’s rancour for the Prophet (s.a) is a clear proof that he wasn’t a well wisher of Islam! This incident also proves that one being the writer of the revelations doesn’t guarantee the person having a clean heart and spirit.

    The third person for whom the order of execution was issued was Yuaras bin Nafeel. Hazrat Ali (a.s) executed him. Besides these, some other persons too were executed and among them was a slave-girl who used to go round singing satirical poems against the Prophet (s.a).

    Ibn e Ishaq writes that after the conquest of Mecca the Prophet (s.a) stayed there for fifteen days. With his hands he demolished the idols in the Kaaba and got the paintings of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s), Ismail (a.s), Eesa (a.s) and Maryam buried. The idols that were located in the neighbourhood of Mecca the Prophet (s.a) sent his companions to destroy them. On 25 Ramandan, 8 H, thirty cavaliers were sent under the command of Khalid bin Walid for the destruction of the Statue of Uzza. They battled with abu Jazima and confiscated their belongings. When Khalid came back with these materials, the Prophet (s.a) took them from him and sent back to abu Jazima with Hazrat Ali (a.s). The Prophet (s.a) also paid blood-money for those who lost their lives in the incident.---Ibn e Khaldun.

    Umro bin al Aas was sent to destroy Suaaq (the Idol of Huzeel) and Saeed bin Zaid al Ashali was sent to destroy the idol of Manaat. This idol belonged to Aus, Khazraj and Ghasan. In Kaaba the idol of Habal was installed at such height that the Prophet (s.a)’s hand wasn’t reaching there. He made Hazrat Ali (a.s) climb on his shoulders and ordered him to break the idol. Hazrat Ali (a.s) abided by the order. This incident heightened the felicity of Hazrat Ali (a.s) very much. None else among the Mohajirs and Ansaar had this privilege.

    The poet Faizi says:

    “Zahe nakhshe paa-ee ki bar doshe Ahmed (s.a)

    Za mohre Nabu-at Muqaddam nasheenad.”

    An Arab poet of repute has written the following eulogy praising Ali (a.s):

    “Ali (a.s) put his feet on the shoulders of the Prophet (s.a) during the conquest of Mecca,

    Where Allah had put his hand.*

    *Allah had put the Mohr e Nabu-at (the seal of Prophethood) on the shoulder of the Prophet (s.a)

    This incident has been recorded in Tarikh e Khamis, Tarikh Habib al Siyar and Rauzat al Ahbab etc. Ibne Ishaq, Ibn e Hisham, Tabari and Ibne Khaldun haven’t reported the incident. Anyway, we don’t wish to debate the affirmation or not of the incident by any historians because the contribution of Ali (a.s) in the conquest of Mecca was sufficient to prove his greatness and felicity! In accepting the height of a mountain the absence of a rock doesn’t make any difference!

    The conquest of Mecca set a seal on the completion of the formation of the Islamic State. The chiefs of Qureish who, even after exiling the Prophet (s.a) from Mecca were blood-thirsty for him, had now to bow down their heads to him. The people of Mecca who used to ridicule every word uttered by the Prophet (s.a) listened to his talks now with rapt attention! This talk too was a verdict on the fate of those people! The gate of entire Hejaz was in the hands of the Prophet (s.a). The life and death of the Qureish depended on a word from the Prophet (s.a). The conqueror of Mecca, in his historical talk on the occasion, spelled such a proclamation that it left its mark on the tablet of the world to emulate while dealing with the vanquished enemies. The salient points of this talk are:

    1. Today all the pride, vengeance and blood-money is under my feet. Only the keeping of the Haram (Sanctum Sanctorum of Kaaba) and care of the Hajis are exempt.
    2. Allah has obliterated the pride of the days of ignorance. All human beings are the progeny of Adam (a.s) and Adam (a.s) was a creature of dust!
    3. Allah says that He created humans from males and females and made tribes, clans and families that you recognize each other. In the view of Allah a virtuous person is one who is pious.

    Then the Prophet (s.a) looked at the Qureish and said, “O people! Do you know what treatment I would give you?” The Qureish knew his nature and they instantaneously said, “You are a noble brother and son of a noble father!”

    There was storm in the ocean of blessing and the Prophet (s.a) made his decisive announcement:

    “Go! Now you are all Talaqa (Freed men)!”

    On the basis of the verdict all those who embraced Islam after the conquest of Mecca, on the day of this proclamation, are termed as the Talaqa!

    THE BATTLE OF HUNAIN APRIL 630 A.D

    Because of continued success of the Prophet (s.a) in the battles and campaigns, prior to the conquest of Mecca, the flames of vengeance were raging in the hearts of the Arabs. The conquest of Mecca was like putting oil on the flames of fire. The quarrelsome tribes, in their desire to quell the rising power of Islam, forgot their own internecine rivalries and Bani Saqif stood up under the leadership of the chief of Bani Nazir, Malik Ibn e Auf and created hurdles on the way between Mecca and Medina to intercept the Islamic contingents on their way! With them were the tribes of Banu Jasham, Banu Saval, Banu Saad and Banu Hilal. Banu Jasham brought with them chief Darid bin al Samat who was much experienced in warfare. But because of old age he was hardly able to move physically. But his advice in the battle was very valuable.

    With the Prophet (s.a) were 10,000 combatants who had come from Medina. Another 2,000 men were those who had embraced Islam recently. Thus his contingent numbered 12,000 men. In Mecca the Prophet (s.a) appointed Atab bin Osaid as his deputy who was a recent convert to Islam and was from the Bani Omayya. Tabari and Ibn e Khaldun say that on the way they came across a tree which was called Zaat al Farat by the Arabs in the days of ignorance and they used to circumambulate around it with respect! The new Muslims of the Islamic army told to the Prophet (s.a), “O Prophet of Allah! Arrange for us a Zaat al Farat as well!” The Prophet (s.a) was very angry and said, “You have asked me the same way as the people of Moosa (a.s) asked him to make a god for them like the other people’s gods! By Allah! In whose hand is my life, I fear that you people too would follow the path of those people!” The proof of this prediction was seen in the future history of the Muslims! Polytheism did enter the Muslim society and, in certain places, complete polytheism came in the garb of Islam!

         On 1st Shawwal 8 H the Prophet (s.a) arrived at Hunain. The troops of Hawazan had already setted and hidden themselves in the valley of Hunain. As soon as the Islamic contingent reached there they started raining arrows at them. There was utter confusion in the rank and foil and it came to a stage that one camel was running into another camel. Ibn e Khaldun writes:

    “The Prophet (s.a) tried much to call them back, but to no avail! With him were Hazrat Abu Bak, Hazrat Omer, Hazrat Ali (a.s), Abbas, Abu Sufian bin al Harith and Jafar, Fazl and Fasam, sons of Abbas besides a group of companions.”

    In Sahih Bukhari (Kitab al Maghazi) it is narrated through Abu Qatada:

    “In the Battle of Hunain when the companions deserted the battlefield, I too was among the deserters! While deserting the arena I noticed that Hazrat Omer bin al Khattab was among the deserters! I asked him how he was? Hazrat Omer said, “What could be done! This was God’s wish!! Then all the deserters returned to the presence of the Prophet (s.a)!”

         Thus, these events indicate that in the Battle of Hunain the confusion amongst the Muslims was the same as it was during the Battle of Ohod. The Prophet (s.a) was astride his white mule, Duldul. Hazrat Abbas used to speak in a loud voice. On the instruction of the Prophet (s.a) he called the companions. When they returned, they were caught in the crowds of the Hawazan and an intense battle commenced. The Banu Hawazan, fighting, reached near the Prophet (s.a) and the Muslims suffered defeat in the first skirmish. Ibn e Ishaq writes:

    “When the Muslims suffered defeat with this unexpected skirmish, Abu Sufian bin Harath said, ‘This defeat will not end on the other side of the river!’ Kalda shouted happily, ‘Today the spell of the magic has ended! How far will the falsehood go!’ Shaiba bin Othman bin abi Talha said excitedly, ‘Today I shall have my revenge for Ohod against Mohammed (s.a)!’”

    This was the state of the Muslims who had embraced Islam after the conquest of Mecca. Isn’t the state of their feelings reflected in their statements!! Who could say that they even had an iota of the spirit of Islam in any corner of their hearts! But it is the catastrophy of the situation that these people enjoyed the fruits of high yielding tree of Islam! When the Islamic state flourished, these people became the focus of rewards and gifts! This is the tragedy of the History of Islam.

    When the loud slogan, ‘Allaho Akbar’, was raised by the Prophet (s.a), it created a sense of shame among the men, according to Ibne Khaldun and Tabari, about 100 companions gathered around him and raising the same slogan they attacked the enemy. Ali ibn e Abi Talib (a.s) manifested his martial valour in this battle as well. Ali (a.s) protected the Prophet (s.a) throughout the battle as if there was a solid lead impregnated wall around him! Tabari reports the following from Jabir bin Abd Allah:

    The chief of the Hawazan was advancing against the Muslims. Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) and a person from the Ansar intercepted him. Ali (a.s) went from the back and hit his sword against the knee of the camel of the chief and it collapsed on the ground. At that moment the Ansari attacked the chief and severed half of his leg and thus he fell from the back of the camel.”

    Sirat Ibn e Hisham records that in this battle seventy infidels were killed and about forty were disposed by the sword of Hazrat Ali (a.s). Four Muslims were martyred.

    THE SEIGE OF TAEF MAY 630 A.D

    The author of Zaad al Meaad writes that as the consequence of the Battle of Hunain the Muslims got huge booty in which there were 6,000 prisoners of war, twentyfour thousand camels, more than fortythousand sheep and goats and four thousand Auqia* of silver ( *an Auqia is half a pound of weight in the ancient Arabian Weights and Measures). The Prophet (s.a) gave the booty in the control of Masood bin Omer Ghaffari to be taken to Jaarana. Then the contingent besieged Taef for 20 days. Stones were catapulted on Taef. Then the Prophet (s.a) ordered cutting down of trees in the orchards of Taef but to no effect. As soon as they reached Jaarana there was a meeting with a deputation from Banu Hawazan. They embraced Islam and pleaded for the release of the prisoners of war. The Prophet (s.a) released only their women and children.

    The Prophet (s.a) then distributed the materials and livestock of the booty to the Muslims. He awarded maximum booty to the newly converted Muslims from the Qureish inclusive of Abu Sufian and his son Muawiya. They got a hundred shares each. Ibne Khaldun writes:

    “When Abu Sufian was given 40 Auqia of silver and a hundred camels, he demanded the share of his son Yazid. The Prophet (s.a) ordered giving 40 Auqia silver and hundred camels to him as well. Then Abu Sufian asked for the largesse for Muawiya and he too was given an equal share.”

    According to the statement of Waqadi the ordinary Muslims were given only four camels and 40 sheep per person. It wasn’t surprising that the Ansar were upset over giving huge largesses to the Qureish of Mecca. They were so upset that gossip started amongst them about the inequitable distribution of the booty. They said, “We fought so much for the cause of Islam that even now blood is dripping from our swords but when the time came for the distribution of the booty the Prophet (s.a) favoured the people of his own tribe! He didn’t even consult us about the distribution. Now, perhaps the Prophet (s.a) might not leave his home-town, Mecca, and not go to Medina! The shrewdness of the Prophet (s.a) gave him the inkling of the feelings of the Ansar. He gathered them in the leadership of Saad bin Ibada and said, “I have given bigger share to those people because they are recent converts and it is necessary to win over their hearts (Taleef e Qalb).”

    A revelation from Allah confirmed the thought of the Prophet (s.a) in this regard and the feelings of the Ansar were assuaged.

    In fact the assessment that the Prophet (s.a) made of Abu Sufian and his followers was absolutely right. If they hadn’t received the largesse given to them they might even have recanted from Islam which they had accepted as a ruse. The Prophet (s.a) was aware of their purpose in accepting Islam. After the Prophet (s.a), the caliphs too followed the same principle. In every period their Taaleeq e Qalb (Winning over their hearts) was done and they continued to carry the label of Islam on their foreheads! There is no dearth of events in the history of Islam which prove that these people were not even true followers of the faith of their ancestors. In all times they preferred worldly gains over the Creed. They treated Islam as a tool to achieve their foul ends!

    After completing the distribution of the booty the Prophet (s.a) went to Mecca and stayed there for about two months and a half. Then he appointed Atab bin Osaid, a young person, as the governor of Mecca and left for Medina where he reached on 24 Zilqidda, 8H. Atab bin Osaid too was from Bani Omayya. Perhaps the purpose of giving him the position was also Taaleeq e Qalb!

    DEMOLITION OF THE IDOLS

    Every tribe in Arabia had its own idol. After the conquest of Mecca these tribes bowed their heads to the power of Islam and said, “There is no god but Allah!” But they carried the thought of the greatness of their idols in their hearts which was an inheritance from their forbears and it couldn’t be obliterated instantly. The fear of the idols was deeply ingrained in their hearts and they had no courage to destroy their places of worship with their own hands. Maulana Shibli writes in his “Seerat al Nabi”:

    “The ignorant people were sure that even if a splinter of the stone idols was moved from its place the entire sky would shatter and the earth would turn topsy turvy. There would be an avalanche of hardships and trouble for them to face. The people of Taef, while expressing allegiance, put a condition that their idol shouldn’t be removed (destroyed) for one year! When the Prophet (s.a) didn’t agree to this, they put forth another request that they wouldn’t destroy the idol with their own hands! Some other newly converted tribes were hesitant in fulfilling the condition of destroying their idols.”

    Therefore, when the Prophet (s.a) sent Abu Sufian bin Harb and Mughira bin Showba for the destruction of the idol of Laat, in words of Ibn e Khaldun, “Abu Sufian straggled behind for some reason!” And according to Tabari, “Abu Sufian remained in Zat al Haram where he had his properties and told to Mughira, “This is your tribe and you must go there!” Anyway, Mughira bin Showba destroyed the temple of Laat. The temple of Sawa was destroyed by Omro bin al Aas. The Manaat was destroyed by Saad bin Zaid Ashali. The temple of Uzza was destroyed by Khalid bin Waleed. The temple of Zil Khalsa was finished by Jarir. Tufail bin Omro rendered the temple of Zil Ghaleem to smithereens and the responsibility of destroying the temple of the tribe of Tai was entrusted to Ali bin abi Talib (a.s) who was sent with 50 Ansar for this task. Slightly before daybreak or, according to some historians, he attacked the Bani Tai in the night only. After accomplishing the task of breaking the idol he departed from there with booty and the prisoners. Among the prisoners was Hatim’s daughter and sister of Adi bin Hatim whose name was Safana. In the booty were two famous swords of Shimr Ghasani who had given them to the temple as his offering. One of the swords was called “Maqdoom” and the other was Rasoob”. When Hazrat Ali (a.s) returned from the campaign he had told to Safana that she should appeal to the Prophet (s.a) for her release. She appealed, and the Prophet (s.a) sent her home.

    THE BATTLE OF TABOOK JANUARY 631 A.D

    The initiator of this battle was Heraclius the king of Constantinople. The many, and scattered, Arab tribes had bowed their heads to the Prophet (s.a). The conquest of Mecca destroyed the power and pelf of the Qureish. The strong forts of the Jews had become dumps of sand, temples of the idols that stood for centuries turned into ruins. The 360 idols of Kaaba fell flat in front of one and only God Allah! In the precincts of Taef the slogans of Allaho Akbar were raised. Now, the Muslims had to contend with only two powerful entities---one was the emperor of Rome and the other was the emperor of Persia. Therefore on the basis of the information about the warlike preparations of the Romans the Prophet (s.a) ordered preparations for the Jehad in the month of Rajab 9H. Prior to departure for the campaign the Prophet (s.a) ordered Hazrat Ali (a.s) to remain in Medina to care for the family. According to Tabari he nominated Sabah bin Arfata as his deputy in Medina. Ibn e Hisham narrates that Mohamed bin Maslama was appointed for this duty and Sirat e Halabia says that Ibn e Maktoom was nominated the deputy. But Allama Abdul Bar writes in Isteaab that it is correct that Ali (a.s) himself was the deputy of the Prophet (s.a) in Medina. What episode Tabari described later on is very important and interesting.It runs:

    When Ali (a.s) stayed back at Medina the hypocrites spread many rumours… Ali (a.s) heard about them. He arrainged himself with armour and left Medina and met the Prophet (s.a) at the stage of Jurf. Ali (a.s) told him, “O Prophet of Allah (s.a)! The hypocrites say that I am a burden on you and, therefore, you ordered me to remain in Medina to get rid of the burden!” The Prophet (s.a) said, “They are lying! O Ali! Don’t you know that you have the same status with me that Haroon (a.s) had with Moosa (a.s), although, after me, there will not be any prophet! You go now and take care of my family and your family!”

    The sentence emanating from the tongue of the Prophet (s.a) : “Although after me there will not be any prophet” throws light on the History of Islam for a very long period! Prophethood concluded with Mohammed (s.a) but whether he didn’t announce with this utterance that for holding any  position other than prophethood only Ali (a.s) was the most deserving? It doesn’t mean that whatever happened wasn’t right. But it means that the Prophet (s.a)’s wish was perhaps to nominate the caliph after him. He was certainly hinting about his heart’s desire time and again, but as a matter of discretion, he didn’t announce his intention publicly. And certainly on the discretion of the Prophet (s.a) depended the welfare of the Ummat! 

    Thus when the Prophet (s.a) reached Tabook, hearing the news of his arrival, Yahnia bin Ravia, the chief of Aila, the chief of Jorba and Azrak went to his presence and declared truce paying the Jaziya. The Prophet (s.a) stayed for 20 days in Tabuk. Neither any Arabs nor Romans challenged him. On the 21st day the Prophet (s.a) left for Medina with his contingent. When Medina ws about an hour’s journey, he sent Malik and Maun to demolish Masjid e Zarar which was built by 20 hypocrites and sitting there they used to hatch plots against him and made plans to create differences amongst the Muslims.

    SURAT AL BARA’AT AND HAZRAT ALI (A.S) JUNE 631 A.D

    On return from the campaign of Tabuk the Prophet (s.a) remained in Medina for the remaining month of Ramadan and also Shawwal and Zilqidda.

    Then Hazrat Abu Bakr was sent as the leader of the group of Muslims for Haj. Ibn e Saad says that Hazrat Abu Bakr left with 300 pilgrims and twenty sacrificial animals which were from the flock of the Prophet (s.a). Hazrat Abu Bakr added five more sacrificial animals on his own behalf. With Hazrat Abu Bakr were the verses of Surat al Bara’at that were already revealed. After departure of Hazrat abu Bakr, the Prophet (s.a) urgently deputed Ali bin abi Talib (a.s) to Mecca for reciting the verses to the gathering there. Tabari and Ibn e Khaldun have narrated the incident in similar manner. Therefore, we are just mentioning what Ibn e Khaldun says:

    When Hazrat Abu Bakr reached zul Halifa, Hazrat Ali (a.s) met him and took the verses from him. Hazrat Abu Bakr thought perhaps some verse might have been revealed about him. He returned back to Medina and asked the Prophet (s.a) about it. The Prophet (s.a) said that no verse was revealed about him but no person other than himself (the Prophet-s.a) or someone from his kin should take the verses to the polytheists. Thus Hazrat Abu Bakr was detailed to lead the Haj group and Hazrat Ali (a.s) to recite the verses of Surat al Bara’at to the people in Mecca. Therefore Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq conducted the Haj and Hazrat Ali (a.s) stood near the Uqba Yaum al Nehr and recited the verses of Surat al Bara’at to the people.”

    From this incident it becomes clear that in his absence the Prophet (s.a) preferred deputing persons from his own family for performance of important tasks and it also proves that his wish was to nominate someone from his kin for the Khilafat! When Hazrat abu Bakr asked him why the verses were withdrawn from him and given to Ali (a.s), the Prophet (s.a) replied, “None can propagate the norms on my behalf besides me or the person who is from me!”  

    THE DELEGATION FROM NAJRAN 631 A.D

    After the event of Surat al Bara’at another very important event in the annals of Islamic history had happened that indicates the felicity and superiority of Ali (a.s) and is a very subtle indicator. About this event Ibn e Khaldun says:

    “In 10 H a delegation of Christians from Najran came which had 70 members under the leadership of Aqib abd al Masih (from Kinda) and his Bishop Abu Haritha (Bakr bin Wael) and Saideeham. They entered the Prophet (s.a)’s Mosque and started debating about the matters of Faith. Around that time the initial verses of Surat al e Imran and ayat e Mubahila (the Imprication) were revealed. The Christians of Najran avoided doing the imprication and as requested by them, the Prophet (s.a) agreed to make peace with them.”

    The Christians abstained from going ahead with the Imprecation (a spoken curse) and Ibn e Khaldun too abstained from narrating the details of the event. Now, we present to you what Shah Abd al Haq Dehlvi says about the Mubahila:

    “The Christians asked the Prophet (s.a) ‘What do you say about Jesus Christ?’ The Prophet (s.a) said, ‘I don’t give you my reply to this question today. You stay on in the same city and you will come to know my reply!’ The Prophet (s.a) was expecting a revelation about this. The next day a verse was revealed which said:

    “Indeed the case of Jesus with Allah is like the case of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him, ‘Be!’ and he was!’

    --Al e Imran, 3:59

    Should anyone argue with you concerning him after the knowledge that has come to you, say, ‘Come let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, our souls and your souls , then let us pray earnestly and call down Allah’s curse upon the liars.’”

    ---Surat Ale Imran, 3:61

    The Prophet (s.a) called those people and recited to them these verses but they didn’t agree to them. The Prophet (s.a) said, ‘Then! We shall do imprecation (Curse each other)!’ The Christians pleaded for time to think about it. They came the next day and the Prophet (s.a) was ready for the Mubahila (Imprication). He was having Hussain (a.s) in his lap, Hassan (a.s) held his finger, Fatima was behind him and Ali (a.s) followed her. The Prophet again asked the Christians to do the Mubahila. The Christians were nonplussed and afraid! Abul Harith, who was the wisest among them said, ‘In the name of God! Don’t impricate with them that you will get destroyed’”

    In this Mubahila Fatima represented the women, Hassan and Hussain (a.s) represented as the Prophet (s.a)’s sons and Ali (a.s) as the Prophet (s.a)’s ‘Nafs-Self’. There was no restriction on the Prophet (s.a) to have only one Nafs for the Muhabila because the Verse (3:61) said “Anfusana

     which is the plural of the word ‘Nafs’. The Prophet (s.a) could have taken many persons but preferred only Ali (a.s) to accompany for the Imprecation as his “Nafs”.

    How we wish, after the departure of the Prophet (s.a), Mohammed Arabi (s.a) would be around in the World in the form of his “Nafs”!!

    THE TRIBE OF HAMADAN AND ALI 631 A.D

    10th Year of Hijri, in the life of the Prophet (s.a), is known as ‘Sanat al Wafood—the Year of the Delegations.’ In this year delegations were sent out to farstrung places of Arabia to invite the people to Islam. Therefore, during the Ramadan of the same year the Prophet (s.a) sent Ali bin abi Talib (a.s) with a group of delegates to Yemen. Tabari relates from Baraa bin Aazib, a companion of the Prophet (s.a) that the Prophet (s.a) sent Khalid bin Walid to Yemen for propagation of Islam. The narrator himself was with Khalid for six months but no success was achieved. Then the Prophet (s.a) sent Ali bin abi Talib (a.s) to Yemen and ordered Khalid bin Walid to return back. Baraa bin Aazib says:

    “We had just entered the borders of Yemen when the people learnt of our arrival. Ali (a.s) led the Fajr (Morning) prayer. After the prayer he made us stand in a row and offering praises to Allah he read out the letter from the Prophet (s.a). Only in one day the entire tribe of Hamadan embraced Islam. Ali (a.s) forwarded the news to the Prophet (s.a). On reading Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s letter he made a thanksgiving prostration to Allah, and said, “Peace be with Hamadan! Peace be with Hamadan!!”

    After this event the entire population of Yemen, one after another, entered the fold of Islam. The incident is reported by Tabari and Ibn e Khaldun, but Jameh Tirmidi records the incident slightly differently from the same narrator.

    “The Prophet (s.a) sent two contingents. The chief of one contingent was Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Khalid bin Walid led the other contingent and said that if hostilities started Ali (a.s) must lead both the contingents. Therefore Ali (a.s) captured one fort and from the booty appropriated a slave girl for himself. Khalid wrote a letter to the Prophet (s.a) complaining about this. I took the letter and went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a). When the Prophet (s.a) read the letter the colour of his countenance changed. Then he said, “What opinion you hold about the person whom Allah and His Prophet (s.a) befriend?!” I replied, “I seek protection from the anger of Allah and His Prophet (s.a)!” Hearing me he kept quiet!”

    ---Mishkat Masnad Ahmed and in Kanz al Haqaeq the sentence uttered by the Prophet (s.a) is:

    “Certainly Ali (a.s) is from me and, after me he is the ruler and trustee of every Momin!”

    From the above incidents it is proved that the Prophet (s.a), at the very important juncture of his life was proclaiming the succession of Ali (a.s), but every proclamation used to be a subtle indication!

    HAJJAT AL WIDA 25 ZIL QIDDA 23 FEB 632 A.D

    Ten years had passed since the migration of the Prophet (s.a). The rays of the sun of prophethood had reached the remote and dark corners of Arabia and the Arab tribes, from far and wide were attracted towards Islam! This was the time when the Prophet (s.a) decided to go for Haj, and this happened to be his last Haj—Hajjat al Wida! Only five days remained in the month of Zil-Qidda that the Prophet (s.a) journeyed towards Mecca. There was a time when he, all alone, used to meet the Hajis during the period of Haj and propagate his Creed! And now, when he reached near Mecca, almost eighty thousand persons were behind him raising slogans of “Labba-ek”! They were coming like the high-tide in the ocean! In the entire history of the world, there is no example of any conqueror or general other than the Prophet (s.a) that such a wide world of material and spirit was subdued in the short period of ten years and a universal commandment was promulgated in which there isn’t any need for amendment to this day! The Prophet (s.a) entered the valley of Mecca on 4 Zil-Hijja. Hazrat Ali (a.s) too proceeded for Mecca from Yemen with his contingent. He left the contingent incharge of someone and went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a). While Ali (a.s) was away the men of the contingent took adavantage of his absence and wore the silk raiments that the Christians of Najran had given as tribute. When Ali (a.s) saw them wearing those dresses he took the supervisor of the contingent to task and took back the raiments from the men! The men didn’t like this harsh treatment. When they went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) they complained about Ali (a.s). In this regard Masnad Ahmed narrates from Abu Saeed Khudri, a companion of the Prophet (s.a):

    The people complained to the Prophet (s.a) about Ali (a.s). The Prophet (s.a) stood up to give a sermon. I heard him say, ‘Don’t complain about Ali (a.s)! He is very steadfast about Allah and in the way of Allah!’”

    THE LAST SERMON 8 ZIL-HIJJA OR 7 MARCH 632 A.D

    Then the Prophet (s.a) performed the rites of the Haj. It is mentioned in Sirat ibn e Hisham that the Prophet (s.a) sacrificed camels on his own behalf and on behalf of Ali (a.s). For performing the rites of the Haj; the Prophet (s.a) mounted his camel, Qaswa, and gave his historical sermon in Arafat which is the scent of Islamic instruction. Besides this sermon at Arafat the Prophet (s.a) spoke to the crowds at other places as well, the details of which have been recorded by Ibn e Ishaq and Ibn e Saad.

    GHADEER E KHUM

    The Prophet (s.a) was on his return journey after the Haj and had reached Khum which is situated between Mecca and Medina at a distance of about 3 miles from Jaufa. This place has a lake which, in Arabic, is called Ghadeer. On 18th Zil-Hijja the Prophet (s.a) reached and halted there. The Prophet (s.a) stopping there was rather like the pulse of the universe halting! 80,000 persons dismounted from their carriages. Those who had gone ahead had to retrace their steps and come back. The stragglers were required to join those who arrived at Ghadeer e Khum earlier. Prior to this the Prophet (s.a) had received the following revelation:

    “O Apostle! Communicate that which has been sent down to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you will not have communicated His message, and Allah shall protect you from the people. Indeed Allah does not guide the faithless lot.”

    ---Surat al Maidah, 5:67

    After this stern warning the Prophet (s.a) wouldn’t go a step forward before communicating Allah’s message to the people. None knew what the message was? On this matter there isn’t unanimity among the Muslims, till now, as to what was the message? But they do know that on that day the Prophet (s.a) gave a small sermon for which lot of arrangements were made! First of all the Prophet (s.a) led the mandatory prayer. Then using the litters of the camels a high pulpit was erected so that the crowd could view the Prophet (s.a) and the Prophet (s.a) had the crowd in his view while he gave the sermon. Then he ascended the pulpit and said:

    “O people! I am a human being! It will not be surprising if Allah’s messenger (the Angel of Death) comes to me any time! I am leaving behind two weighty things with you---Allah’s book

    which has light and guidance in it! Thus hold Allah’s Book fast, and remain attached to it! The second weighty thing is my Ahl al Bayt about whom I remind you of Allah, I remind you of Allah, I remind you of Allah!”

    Then he held Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s hand and continued, “Of whomsoever I am the master, Ali is his master! O Allah! Befriend him who befriends Ali and consider him enemy who is inimical towards Ali!”

    The abovementioned tradition has been narrated by over twenty Companions of the Prophet (s.a) in different manner. Nisai, Masnad Imam Ahmed, Tirmidi, Tabrani, Tibari, Mustadrak, Hakim etc. have reported this tradition in great detail.

    When the Prophet (s.a) completed the sermon, he descended from the Pulpit and the Companions greeted and congratulated Ali (a.s). Hazrat Omer uttered these words of praise:

    “Congratulations! Congratulations! O Ali! From this day you are my Maula (master) and Maula of every Momin male and Momin female!”

    Mustadrak, Tarikh al Siyar, Madarij al Nabuwat, Kanz al Ammal, Riyaz Nazara, Masnad abu Dawood and Tayalsi etc refer to this historical greeting of Hazrat Omer and, therefore, its being a figment of imagination is impossible. However, there is difference of opinion about the purport of the word “Maula”! Some people take the word “Maula” literally as Maula or Master; some others translate it as “mahbub” or “beloved” i.e: “To whomsoever I am beloved Ali too is beloved for him!”

    Maulana Shibli too emulated the traditionalists and translated “Maula” as “the beloved” and writes:

    “In the tradition it isn’t particularly stressed that why these words were used. Bukhari says that Ali was deputed to Yemen during those days and he joined the Haj pilgrimage on his return. In Yemen he had performed an action that wasn’t commended by his companions. One of them went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) and complained. The Prophet (s.a) snubbed the person saying, ‘Ali has more rights than what he has done!’ It isn’t surprising that the Prophet (s.a) used such drastic words to remove doubts.”

    I am agreeable with Maulana Shibli. If the meaning of “Maula” is restricted to “Maula” or “Master” then the matter becomes clear. But if it is accepted that “Maula” means “Beloved” then the matter wouldn’t be cleared till the Doomsday and one will have to take shelter in such conjectures as saying: ‘Perhaps it is like this, and perhaps it is like that!’ Today’s historians consider such conjectures as the biggest defect in the field of historiography! Going to the depth of any event and deducing correct results is the bonden duty of every historian because now research is considered as the essence of history!

    If the event of Ghadir e Khum is considered without any bias only as a study of history and the eye is kept at the conditions of the environment then every student of history will get certain questions in his mind. These will be the questions:

    1. What is the correct purport of the word “Maula”---Master or Beloved?
    2. Will the event of ‘Ghadir e Khum’ have anything to do with what happened in Yemen?
    3. What was the Divine Message, which, if not communicated to the people by the Prophet (s.a), it would be tantamount to not performing the task of Prophethood?

    It isn’t possible that the human wisdom which is reaching the Moon and Mars cannot find answers to these simple questions! If the events are considered with unbiased mind, there is an answer for every question! Maulana Shibli adopted the purport of the word “Maula” as “the beloved” and created another question for himself that why did the Prophet (s.a) use the word? Then the Maulana thought that answering the second question would be more difficult than tackling the first! Engrossed in doubts he abstained from further research!!

    Consider for a while the meticulous arrangements the Prophet (s.a) made at Ghadir e Khum. There are versions that the crowd was 80,000 strong and even 120,000 standing in the grounds under scorching heat of the Sun. The heralds were calling the stragglers and those who had gone ahead to converge at Khum for the important announcement! When all the people assembled a tall pulpit was erected using litters of the camels. When the Prophet (s.a) ascended the pulpit he only said:

    “To whomsoever I am BELOVED Ali too should be BELOVED to him!”

    Was all the meticulous arrangement made just to inform this trivial thing?! This the Prophet (s.a) said umpteen times during his days at Mecca and Medina, while travelling, while on the pulpits of mosques, in person and in congregation!! In fact he had thrown light on his and Ali (a.s)’s spiritual and divine unity. The Prophet (s.a) had already described Ali (a.s) as his Nafs (Self)! He had already called Ali (a.s) as the gate of learning and himself the city of knowledge, he had already deemed Ali (a.s) as his vizier and the descendant!! Ali (a.s) was the Prophet (s.a)’s brother which is certainly more than being the ‘beloved’! Ali (a.s)’s relationship with the Prophet (s.a) was the same as that of Moosa (a.s) with Haroon (a.s)! The Prophet (s.a) had made Ali (a.s) his son-in-law by giving his beloved daughter, Fatima Zehra, in marriage to him! Ali (a.s) was already introduced in the Arab world for his valour in the battles and campaigns that were conducted in the cause of Islam. After so much, was it necessary for the Prophet (s.a) to publicly express that to whomsoever he was beloved, Ali (a.s) too should be ‘beloved’ to him!It is just the flowery expression of our ulema that, considering the need of the day, they changed the purport of the word ‘Maula’ from ‘Master’ to ‘Beloved’! Otherwise it is a truth that when the Prophet (s.a) gave this sermon, all the important Companions were present. All of them understood the purport of the word “Maula” as “Master”. If this wasn’t the case, then an eminent person like Hazrat Omer wouldn’t have congratulated Ali (a.s.) If the meaning of “Maula” is taken as “a friend”, the meaning of what Hazrat Omer said would be, “O Ali (a.s)! congratulations! From today you are my ‘friend’ and a ‘friend’ of every Momin male and every Momin female!” The philosophy of congratulating someone becoming a ‘friend’ or ‘beloved’ is beyond my comprehension! This indicates that, perhaps, prior to this ‘friendship’ there was, God forbid, strained relation between Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Ali (a.s)! Or perhaps, not only Hazrat Omer but every other Momin was inimical to Hazrat Ali (a.s) prior to this event and without any clarification whether his heart was free of rancour for Ali (a.s) he went to congratulate him! How did such a wise person like Hazrat Omer condescend to congratulate Hazrat Ali (a.s) that he had become his “friend” and “beloved”? Just imagine, by mere changing of the purport of the word “Maula” such an important event became the subject of humour!!

    To strike home the meaning of the word “Maula” a poet has written a very appropriate couplet:

    It is needless to search the meaning of “Man kunto Maula” everywhere!

    Ali is the “Maula” in the same meaning as the Prophet (s.a)

    Is the “Maula”!

    And now about the other question whether the event of Yemen has anything to do with the event of Ghadir. If the purport of “Maula” is accepted as “Master” then the connection between the two events goes void. It was just to prove that “Maula” means “beloved” the mention of the event of Yemen was brought forward by Maulana Shibli. The uncertainty was there in his mind that he said, “Perhaps it was so!” What relation the event of Yemen had with the event of Ghadir?!! The matter of Yemen was a thing of the past. The Prophet (s.a), in front of a large gathering, reprimanded the person who had made the complaint that Ali (a.s) had appropriated a slave girl from the booty collected at Yemen. The Prophet (s.a) had already given his verdict that Ali (a.s) had much more right than that. The complainant had apologized for his act. Then the Prophet (s.a) performed the rites of the Haj and sacrificed animals on his own behalf and Ali (a.s)’s behalf. He gave a long sermon in Arafat and gave sermons at other places as well. After performance of Haj the Prophet (s.a) commenced his journey towards Medina, reached the stage of Jaufa and then halted at “Khum” after 14 days of starting the journey from Mecca. The Prophet (s.a) didn’t make the slightest reference to the event of Yemen in his sermon. Those who were fortunate to hear the Prophet (s.a)’s sermon understood the meaning of the talk and raised slogans of congratulations and shook hands with Ali (a.s). The ulema who came into existence centuries after the event got the inspiration of “perhaps the event of Ghadir has relationship to the event of Yemen!” The inspiration was such that it ended in ambiguity not in certainty!! What a strange thing that there is a feeling of having gone astray and insistence at the same time. It would be like what the poet says:

    “Prostrate to the idol, but do it towards the Kaaba!”

    The pleasure of sinning is there if you’ve performed ablution!!”

    The third question is more important than the other two questions. What was the message of Allah on the communication of which the prophethood depended?! The environment reverberated with slogans of “laa ilaha il Allah”, the radiance of the Nur (the Light) of Prophethood was illuminating every nook and corner of Arabia. The various and scattered tribes of Arabs were standing under the united standard of Islam. The big forces in the country had adsorbed with the Ibrahimi Force! The curtain of infidelity went to tatters. Allah’s house was freed of the impurity of the idols! Laat, Manat, Habal and Uzza had fallen on the ground in ignominy! Madina was changed to Islamic State and centre for administration and political activity. Mahmud and Ayaz were standing in the same row for prayer, the Law of Shariah was promulgated and implemented, prayers were mandated and were in practice, Zakat was made compulsory, mandatory fasts were being observed, every year the rites of Haj were being performed. The norms of livelihood were determined and Jihad established the sway of Islamic greatness. Now, what was left for which Allah gave such a strong Command saying:

    “O Prophet! Communicate that which has been sent down to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you will not have communicated His Message!” 

    And after this revelation when the Prophet (s.a) communicated the message, it was only about expression of Love for Ali (a.s) and the Ahl al Bayt (a.s)--- the message that the Prophet (s.a) had communicated thousands of times. Now, the only message that was left to be communicated was the succession and nothing else! The Prophet (s.a) did give this message, and the message was of such import that stern Command for its communication was received from Allah! But the communication gets its importance only when the only purport of the word “Maula” is taken as “Maula-or Master”! If the purport is accepted as ‘Mah bub’ or ‘Friend’ or’Beloved’ then a question arises what message the Prophet (s.a) gave that was so important in itself that the Prophethood depended on its communication?! It is evident that the Prophet (s.a) didn’t communicate any other message to the people till his last day after this! The Creed was complete and Allah’s blessing had peaked!! Allama Aini, the commentator of Sahih Bukhari writes:

    The meaning of the verse “Balligh” is that the Prophet (s.a) must communicate the Mandate that Allah had revealed. When this verse was revealed the Prophet (s.a) caught hold of the hand of Ali (a.s) and said, ‘Of whomsoever I am Maula, Ali (a.s) too is his Maula!’”

    ---Umdat al Qadri fi Shara Bukhari

    Abu Ishaq Salbi writes in his “Tafsir e Kabir” and Allama Hamwaini in his book “Faraed al Simtain” about this verse the same as the aforementioned tradition. Now, let us see what the historian of the 20th Century, Syed Amir Ali, writes in his book “The Spirit of Islam”. He was the member of the Privy Council and an eminemt judge. He writes:

    It is generally thought that the Prophet (s.a) didn’t nominate his successor but this is the misinterpretation of the events because there is substantial evidence that on several occasions he did indicate towards Ali (a.s) and particularly while returning from Hajjat al Wida at the place called Khum where he halted and addressed the big crowd and the words he used don’t leave any space for doubts about his wish for the succession!”

    See! A verdict has even come from the Privy Council! Anyone might consider the event on the touchstone of logic. Logically or on the basis of narrations, from historical records or by way of context or the conditions in the neighbourhood, from traditions and the exegists of the verses of the Quran--- one will reach the conclusion that at Ghadir e Khum the comprehensive and short Sermon of the Prophet (s.a) was the pronouncement of the succession of Ali (a.s)!

    We cannot terminate this debate till we give thought to another point which emerges from this debate. This point becomes an important question and the question is:

    “What was the intent of the Ulema who changed the purport of the word ‘Maula’ to ‘Beloved’ from ‘Master’? And why they strived hard for this? Were they incapable of gauging the right meaning?”

    No! They were fully aware of the right purport! Were they inimical towards Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s)? No! By God they weren’t! Then: Why  they did what they did?! The truth is that the traditionists and the Ulema were facing a big calamity. If they accepted the announcement made by the Prophet (s.a) at Ghadir e Khum it would be binding on them to agree that Hazrat abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Othman deprived Hazrat Ali (a.s) of the Caliphate, they disobeyed the Prophet (s.a) and the Companions who were listening to the Sermon perpetrated the crime that the foundation of the Khilafat e Rashida was wrong!

    Therefore to support this great edifice of Islam collapsing, good intentions and pure thoughts forced them to make absurd excuses. It wasn’t their misinterpretation but a deliberate attempt to protect the Millat e Ibrahimi from confusion and groupism and it was a well designed stratagem! Hazrat Ali (a.s) himself, to save the Islam from groupism, didn’t create any front against the first three caliphs! He patiently cooperated with all three of them during their terms!!!

    We have now reached a conclusion that the excuses made by traditionalists and the thinkers are absurd. The Companions comprehended every word of the Sermon of the Prophet (s.a). They didn’t disobey the Prophet (s.a) a bit. When the Prophet (s.a) announced about the succession of Ali (a.s) they vied with each other to congratulate him! But they thought that wilaya (Divine Succession) and Khilafat (the Temporal-Worldly Vicegerence) were two different departments! Wilayat, in their view was the position that is exclusive for propagation of the Faith and for the Guidance of the people in the matters of Shariah, and Khilafat was a department that encompassed administration, politics, law and order in the realm! Therefore, in obedience to the announcement made by the Prophet (s.a) the Companions deemed Ali (a.s) the sole successor of the Prophet (s.a) in matters of Religion and after him his Progeny continues to hold this position! Yes! The Prophet (s.a) didn’t make any announcement of succession for Caliphate till his death, therefore every tribe was striving to acquire this position!! If Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Othman too joined the race, what was wrong in that?! History is witness that while the Prophet (s.a) was in the throes of death, the Ansar started conclave to acquire the caliphate! It is another matter that they didn’t succeed and the fast movers reached the winning post!!!

    THE POLITICAL CLIMATE - BEFORE THE EXPIRY OF THE PROPHET (S.A)

    When the Prophet (s.a) first arrived at Medina as an immigrant he was a refugee and a preacher. But when he expired he wasn’t only the ruler of Medina but held sway over the entire Arabian Peninsula. He owned everything from the Earth to the very Firmament! He was, at a time, the Prophet, conqueror and the king! North, South, East or West the name of Mohammed (s.a) was, rather, echoing in every nook and corner! After the conquest of the entire Arabia these words were reverberating:

    “Allah in the Firmament, Mohammed (s.a) on the Earth! There isn’t any other power in the interim!”

    The magnet of power and pelf proved stronger than the truth of the Faith, which attracted the superstitious tribes from thousands of miles and brought the likes of proud men of the ilk of Abu Sufian and Safwan bin Omayya to the fold of Islam! Now the lamp of Prophethood was flickering and was about to get extinguished! The Muslims were realizing that the Prophethood was about to depart and they also knew that the Islamic Realm had been established for ever! Now the stage was set for saying adieus to the departing and welcoming that which was about to arrive! If, unfortunately both the events happen simultaneously, the anxiety of the people will be great. In the condolence meetings there will be scarce attendance and there will be huge crowds in felicitation gatherings! This is a natural phenomenon in the world that happens again and again!

    The people of Medina too were the inhabitants of the same transient world, they weren’t from Laahoot, the other world! It is impossible that though they were seeing the radiance of the Prophet (s.a) they weren’t oblivious of the process of formation of the Administration that was established in their own midst. These were the people of Medina who had witnessed the laying of every brick of the edifice of the fort of the Realm! This Dar al Amara –the Centre of Administration—was established in their city and progressed. Didn’t they have the right to think that after the demise of the Prophet (s.a) who will succeed as the ruler of the vast realm! This is such a basic right that every human being, everywhere, will have! Therefore, before writing home about the sad demise of the Prophet (s.a) we shall have an overview of the political groups of Medina who were devising plans for bringing about the succession! We shall also determine what their views were about Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s)!

    BANI HASHIM

    On top of the roster of political parties were the Bani Hashim themselves. They had a singular privilege that even during the days of ignorance they were the keepers of the Kaaba and they held its Keys! Thus the key to the Faith was in their hands! They used to feed the Hajis and quench their thirst with the water of the Zamzam! All the Arab tribes made obeisance to them. They held the title of Syed al Batha--- the Chief of the City of Batha, which is also Mecca! This supremacy of theirs was established. From Yemen to Hijaz, all the Arabs recognized them as their spiritual leaders. Their importance enhanced that Allah chose the Prophet (s.a) too from the clan and the entire Arabian Peninsula was illumined with this presence. The Sun of Islam rose from this tribe and the entire world became radiant with its light! It is a fact that prophet-hood came to the family and made exit from it! But the Bani Hashim were not unaware that the governance existed with Prophet-hood and they didn’t want to be deprived of it. They thought that governance of the realm was rightfully their privilege. They felt that their representative should be the Khalifat al Ard---the Ruler of the Land! Tribal elitism and prejudice was a part of the Arab psyche and they wouldn’t tolerate the crown of superiority that was on their heads getting transferred to some other heads! The Prophet (s.a) himself was from the clan of Bani Hashim. He did crush the clannish bigotry but he gave such hints and announcements that Bani Hashim felt his successor would be one of them! All these announcements were in favour of Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) who was his cousin and son-in law! We have talked about these announcements in the foregone pages of this book and repeating them here isn’t necessary. The first announcement was made at Mecca during the Dawat e Zul Ashira when Ali (a.s) was 12 or 13 years of age and at that time there were few persons who had embraced the new Creed. The Prophet (s.a) expressed thrice, “One who assists in performance of the Kaar e Risalat (the Duties of Prophet-hood) will be my Caliph and Vicegerent!” It was only Ali (a.s) who stood up on all the three occasions and expressed his acceptance to assume the responsibility! Then the Prophet (s.a) said, “Ali is my Wasi (Legatee) and my Caliph (Vicegerent)!” As soon as the Prophet (s.a) arrived in Medina he held the hand of a Mohajir (Immigrant) and put it in the hand of an Ansar (Helper), a local resident of Medina, and said, “From this day you are brothers!” Thus he established brotherhood between the migrants from Mecca and the local Ansars. When only he and Ali (a.s) remained, he said, “O Ali! You are my brother and vicegerent in this world and in the Hereafter!” When Ali (a.s) was nominated as the Deputy in Medina while the Prophet (s.a) was departing for the Battle of Tabook he said,”O Ali! You have the same relationship with me which Haroon (a.s) had with Moosa (a.s) although there will not be any prophet after me!!” This was such an announcement that the only conclusion that can be drawn from it is that the Prophet (s.a) selected Ali (a.s) for any position short of Prophet-hood! The declaration at Ghadir e Khum was an assertion that the Prophet (s.a) held the hand of Ali (a.s) in the presence of the huge crowd and said, “Of whomsoever I am the Maula (Master) this Ali (a.s) too is his Maula (Master)!” This last declaration of the Prophet (s.a) came as a seal of the confirmation of the succession of Ali (a.s) and the Bani Hashim were satisfied that the leadership of the Ibrahimi Millat (the Nation) will remain in the same household as it was from the beginning! They knew now that after the Prophet (s.a) Ali bin Abi talib (a.s) was the rightful leader of the Muslims. In these circumstances there wasn’t any need for them to make access to political horse-trading and they abided quietly for the coming time! Two conclusions emerged from these announcements of the Prophet (s.a).

    The circumstances confirmed the superiority of the Bani Hashim and they remained unaware of the existing political situation. On the other hand these announcements shook up other political groups that they lost their nocturnal sleep. Keeping quiet after these announcements was tantamount to political hara-kiri for them and therefore, they had to act to protect their interests. We shall now look at the other political groups of the time.

    BANI OMAYYA

    Bani Omayya were the adversaries of Bani Hashim from the Days of Ignorance. There was virtually a sword hanging between the two clans. One never accepted the superiority of the other clan. When Mohammed (s.a) announced his Prophet-hood the Bani Omayya were very assertive in ridiculing him. They were very prominent in hatching conspiracy to assassinate the Prophet (s.a). When the social boycott of Bani Hashim was declared, Bani Omayya lighted lamps using butter shortening in their homes as a celebration! They left no stone unturned to harm the Prophet (s.a). Why were they doing all this? Did they do this because of personal animosity against him; or because the Prophet (s.a) lampooned their idols or perhaps because of his efforts to rid them of their superstitions and wayward practices? No! Never!! The reason of this animosity was that Mohammed (s.a)’s declaration of Prophet-hood was negating the superiority and status of Bani Omayya!! They could not bear the fact that Allah had selected Bani Hashim for conferring the august status of Prophet to a person from Bani Hashim! This was the reason that when the Prophet (s.a) decided to migrate from his beloved home-land, even then the fire of Bani Omayya’s animosity against him wasn’t quenched. After the migration of the Prophet (s.a) there wasn’t any opposition for Bani Omayya in Mecca. All the departments of Dar al Nadwa and the keys of the Haram of Kaaba came in their hands. Independent rule of their gods and idols was established. The name of Bani Hashim was obliterated from the roster of rulers in Mecca. But even then they didn’t stop vindictively chasing the Prophet (s.a) who migrated to a place 200 miles away from Mecca in the protection of the tribes of Aus and Khazraj. What is it that the Prophet (s.a) had taken away from Mecca that the Bani Omayya wanted to take back from the orphan son of Bani Hashim was nothing other than leadership and supremacy. Bani Omayya were not willing to accept the leadership of Bani Hashim at any cost; be it in any part of Arabia! The battles of Badr, Ohod, Khandaq etc were fought with this in mind and in all these battles the command of the Qureish was in the hands of Bani Omayya. It is the misfortune of our history that the time of the Prophet (s.a) and till after the fall of Baghdad, that is, a period of seven hundred years Bani Omayya and Bani Hashim remained engaged in fighting. This tug-of-war for power resulted in abject defeat of Bani Omayya and in a short span of ten years the Standard of Islam was afloat in every city of Arabia and it reached Mecca. Bani Omayya with the help of their intelligence reached a conclusion that they couldn’t help entering the fold of Islam to win back their lost power. Therefore, reluctantly, they embraced Islam. But while they accepted it, their minds were replete with imperial pride. When Abbas presented Abu Sufian before the Prophet (s.a) for embracing Islam he felt that he was a helpless prisoner and all around were the troops of Islam! Abbas was holding his hand firmly and Omer was flaying his sword over his head and in front was seated the authoritative Prophet (s.a) who virtually had Abu Sufian’s life in his hand! Even then Abu Sufian maintained his egotistical stance. The Prophet (s.a) asked, “O Abu Sufian! Hasn’t the time come for you to profess faith in Allah?” Abu Sufian replied, “Yes! I am convinced that if there was any god besides Allah, he would have protected me from seeking your help!” The Prophet (s.a) asked another question, “Hasn’t the time come that you accept me as the Messenger of Allah?” Abu Sufian said instinctively, “In this regard I still have doubt!” When Abbas threatened him with death he uttered, “Mohammed Rasool Allah!” This acceptance under duress was his Islam!! It proves that he wasn’t willing to embrace Islam and the aim was to capture power through this ruse!

    Adding insult to injury the Prophet (s.a) declared “Taaleeq e Qalb, or giving concessions to win over their hearts. Abu Sufian deserved beheading but at the time of Conquest of Mecca the Prophet (s.a) declared abu Sufian’s house as a place of refuge. From the booty of Battle of Hunain the Prophet (s.a) gave four camels to each individual but he gave 300 camels to Abu Sufian---100 to him, 100 to his elder son Yazid and 100 camels also to the younger son Muawiya. Large quantity of silver too was awarded to them. Because of this huge largesse to Bani Omayya the Ansar felt discriminated and started doubting the Prophet (s.a)’s sense of equity. But a revelation from Allah clarified the Prophet (s.a)’s position. The Bani Omayya got a huge share of the booty and also the pleasure of Allah and the Prophet (s.a) at the same time! The matter didn’t end with the distribution of the booty. When the Prophet (s.a) started nominating governors and representatives in the conquered territories, Bani Omayya got maximum nominations. Ziyad bin Walid, Khalid bin Sayeed, Mohajir bin Abi Omayya, Khalid bin Walid and Omro bin al Aas were appointed governors while the Mohajirs and Ansar, many of them had served the cause of Islam valiantly for long, were not given any position. Muawiya bin Abu Sufian was entrusted with the task of writing the revelations. Abu Sufian was assigned along with Mughira bin Shauba for the demolition of the Idol of Lat. Abu Sufian made some excuse and stayed back and when the idol was demolished, joined with Mughira for claiming half of the booty! The conquest of Mecca, on which depended the completion of the formation of the Islamic State, was extremely important for economic and religious reasons. When Mecca was conquered the Prophet (s.a) gave the position of the governor of the city to the 20 year old youth Otba bin Usaid who too was from Bani Omayya! Because of this windfall from Allah and the Prophet (s.a) the ambitions of Bani Omayya were soaring high! The Prophet (s.a) was trying to win their hearts (Taleef e Quloob) but they thought that they had captured the heart and the mind of the Prophet (s.a). They already had a hand in the administration of the State. They also had to acquire the Caliphate and its grand palace was looming large in their imaginations! They had to take only a few more steps to realize their dream! The bride of the realm, Mecca, which was snatched away from them, was raring to come back in their lap. A little struggle and political strategy was needed. This was the reason that at Saqifa Bani Saeda the vote was managed in favour of Hazrat Abu Bakr. Then Abu Sufian went to Hazrat Ali (a.s) and said:

    “I see a very strange turmoil in Medina which can only be quelled with the flow of blood! O progeny of Abd Manaf! How Abu Bakr could qualify for selection when you are there?! Where are those two old and contemptible persons (Hazrat Ali and Abbas)? It is strange that the administration and the rule go to a very small and insignificant clan of Qureish!” Saying this he looked at Ali (a.s) and added, “Put your hand forward! I shall owe allegiance to you! By God! If you say I shall render the ground scarce for Abu Bakr and at the winking of an eye-lid fill Medina with cavaliers and foot-men!”

    ---Ibne Khaldun

    Tabari quotes from Abu Mohammed al Qarshi that Abu Sufian also recited three couplets of the Arab poet Matlamas and one of it is:

    “Besides the donkey of the neighbourhood and the nail (tent-peg) none else will bear hardship with ease!”

    It is evident from this speech of Abu Sufian what respect he had for Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Ali (a.s). He remembered them with what sort of words? Respect and affection are very high attributes. Even there is no inkling of formal morality in his talk. Neither did he care for Hazrat Abu Bakr nor for Hazrat Ali (a.s). What he did for was the position of Caliphate! If he was able to talk Hazrat Ali (a.s) into agreeing to his suggestion only God knows what would be the effect it would have on the democratic decision that was taken at Saqifa Bani Saaeda!

    The heavy possibility was that the Caliphate would neither be with Hazrat Abu Bakr nor with Hazrat Ali (a.s) and the old adversary of Bani Hashim would have succeeded in his design that was postponed for thirty to thirty-five years because of Hazrat Ali (a.s) turning down the suggestion of Abu Sufian! Hazrat Ali (a.s) knew it well that if the words of Abu Sufian had rancour for Hazrat abu Bakr they didn’t have any care and affection for Hazrat Ali (a.s)! He chided Abu Sufian and said, “O Abu Sufian! Your intention is only to create strife and unrest. You always tried to harm the cause of Islam and we don’t need any of your advice!” There is no doubt that this step of Hazrat Ali (a.s) gave support to the wall of the fort of Islam that was about to collapse while the grave of the Prophet (s.a) was still fresh! The intrigue that happened in Saqifa was nothing when compared to this strategy of Abu Sufian!

    Till the conquest of Mecca the centre of Bani Omayya’s intrigue was only the person of the Prophet (s.a). But when the phenomenon of Taaliq e Quloob (Winning over of the Hearts) started and there was a virtual rain of privileges and benefits on Bani Omayya the focus of intrigue too shifted. Bani Omayya were not so impudent that they would sever the hands which were showering gold and silver on them! They knew that the door of Prophet-hood was closed and there wouldn’t be any succession for this noble privilege. It was prudent for them to draw maximum advantage from the Caliphate which came immediately after the end of the period of Prophet-hood! Bani Omayya, who were the adept politicians of Hijaz, were fully aware that it was very likely that Ali ibn e Abi Talib (a.s) would be the candidate for succession and that the reins of power would remain with Bani Hashim. How was it possible that Bani Omayya would willingly allow Bani Hashim to assume power! Circumstances had changed and now there was the label of Islam on the fore-heads of Bani Omayya. It was impossible for them to draw swords against Muslims for acquiring power. Therefore, Bani Omayya were seriously assessing the situation and waiting for the opportune time when their hold on the politics and reins of power would be strong. The sudden announcement of accession of Hazrat Abu Bakr gave a golden opportunity to Abu Sufian to upbraid Hazrat Ali (a.s) against Hazrat Abu Bakr and create rift between Bani Hashim, Bani Adi and Bani Tamim and thus create the way for Bani Omayya getting the reins of power in their hands!

    Keeping these events in mind one must understand that the Prophet (s.a) wasn’t now the centre of intrigue for Bani Omayya but it was Hazrat Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s) because it was only Ali (a.s) through whom the reins of power could devolve on Bani Hashim. Bani Omayya would never tolerate that the power remained with Bani Hashim. The first cause of their animosity against Ali (a.s) was that being from Bani Hashim he considered himself qualified to succeed as the Caliph and another reason was that from the time of the arrival of Islam on the scene till the demise of the Prophet (s.a) it was the scimitar of Ali (a.s) that caused maximum damage to Bani Omayya that making amends was impossible. This was the period of bigotry and prejudice for the Arabs. Swordsmanship and revengefulness was a part of their psyche. For avenging an assassination they would fight for a hundred years! There was nothing more insulting for them that a person of their clan got killed by someone and they were unable to wreak vengeance! Will the men of a conceited tribe like Bani Omayya forget their kinsmen killed in the Battles of Badr, Ohod, Khandaq, Mecca and several other skirmishes and not avenge their blood! Ali (a.s)’s sword had caused intense mourning in the families of Bani Omayya killing their men in the battles. They were therefore thirsting for revenge! The only wall that stood between Ali (a.s) and Bani Omayya was the Prophet (s.a). But the fire was raging on the other side of the wall. Every flame of the fire was announcing that within fifty years of the demise of the Prophet (s.a) it will engulf the entire Islamic Realm. There is no doubt that the sword of Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) had accounted for the best warriors and cavaliers of Bani Omayya and prepared the way for the progress of Islam. But it is also a bitter truth that the act of Ali (a.s) made Bani Omayya his sworn enemies. Now they had nothing against the Prophet (s.a). Their only aim was to take revenge on Ali (a.s) killing their kinsmen.

    MOHAJIRS & THE QUREISH

    Besides Bani Hashim and Bani Omayya all other Mohajirs and Qureish in Medina were divided into groups according to their relationship, friendly contacts and common ideas. Of these groups the most prominent was that of the Mohajireen Mutaqaddimeen (the Early Migrants) who had sacrificed their lives of comfort and ease in Mecca and had entered the fold of Islam and for the love of the Prophet (s.a) left their homes and hearths in Mecca and migrated to Medina. Although every member of this group was a strong pillar of support to Islam the three most prominent persons among them were Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Othman. Hazrat Abu Bakr was respected for being early convert to Islam and for being close to the Prophet (s.a), Hazrat Omer was the life and spirit of the group. Hazrat Othman too was prominent for his sacrifices for the cause of Islam and because of his relationship with the Prophet (s.a). There are two ways of assessing the political characters of these prominent persons. The first is by considering them super-natural and putting them in the ranks of the angels. The second is considering them downright human and judging them just as human beings! The first way doesn’t permit any biographers making any comment on them! If the second method is adopted to assess them the Ulema get angered because they kept them under wraps for 1,400 years in thick covers that any biographer has to work very hard to look at them! Anyway, every historian would assess them on human standards!! We too consider them humans and are forced to accept that these persons had natural traits which every individual is born with according to the genetic principles. Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Abu Bakr were born with such mental capabilities that the Prophet (s.a), during all stages of development and formation, always consulted them. In most instances their suggestions and advice were accepted. Our Adaan (Public Call for Prayer) started on the suggestion of Hazrat Omer. This suggestion became a fundamental pillar of Islam and will be there till the Day of Reckoning! The intelligence and wisdom of these persons helped a lot in the propagation of Islam. Their spirit of sacrifice was exemplary. Besides these traits they did have certain human failings, e.g.: Involvements in doubts and fears is the weakness in every human being. These persons were not free of this human trait. In the light of the Truce of Hudaibiya Hazrat Omer thought that it brought down the status and position of the Muslims and doubted the instrument of truce already signed and approved by the Prophet (s.a). He asked several questions of the Prophet (s.a)!

    “O Prophet (s.a)! Are you really the Prophet (s.a)?”

    “Aren’t we Muslims?”

    In the matter of the Creed why should we bear indignity?!”

    These questions are a reflection of the human nature. No wonder that Hazrat Omer raised these questions. If he hadn’t done it, it certainly would be surprising! Whichever Faith a person professes, he cannot abandon his nature. The company of the Prophet (s.a) would certainly reform the character of a person and raise it to the height of perfection but it cannot change his nature. If the company of the Prophet (s.a) could bring about transformation in the nature of a person, then first of all the natures of his spouses would have experienced the transformation! We see that there wasn’t an iota of change in the nature of Ummahaat al Momineen! Their talk always would be the ‘gossip’ about the ‘other wives’! The same taunts of the women, the same fights, doubts and jealousy and stratagems to anger the husband against the other spouses!! As far as nature is concerned the wives of the Prophet (s.a) do not seem any place above the common wives! This means that as the spirit is perpetually with the body, the same way one cannot get rid of his endowed instinct and natural disposition.

    This eminent group of the Prophet (s.a)’s companions were observing the the environment with a keen eye and their reactions were exactly according to their natures. To illustrate this point a few instances are given here:

    1. Hazrat Abu Bakr, because of his nearness to, and relationship with, the Prophet (s.a), expressed his desire sincerely asking for the hand of his beloved daughter, Fatima Zehra, in matrimony. Prior to this he had given his dear daughter Ayesha in marriage to the Prophet (s.a). But his request wasn’t approved by the Prophet (s.a). The same happened with Hazrat Omer as well. But the Prophet (s.a) very willingly accepted Hazrat Ali (a.s) as his son-in-law and performed all the customs of the wedding very happily. The Prophet (s.a) also announced that the match was approved by Allah. This would mean that the marriage of Hazrat Fatima with Hazrat Abu Bakr or Hazrat Omer was not acceptable to Allah! The marriage of Fatima and Ali (a.s) was with the consent of Allah and, therefore, Abu Bakr and Omer were happy about it. But this marriage put the crown of felicity on the head of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and envying it was a part of human nature. If Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer were human beings it was but natural that they envy Hazrat Ali (a.s) because he was endowed with this felicity. Everyone knows that envy and competition is nothing wrong. But jealousy is a very mean trait. Saying that those two worthies were not jealous is tantamount to denying that they were human beings!
    2. When the Fort Khamoos wasn’t captured during the Battle of khaibar after several attempts by Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer, the Prophet (s.a) said, “Tomorrow I give this standard to a person who befriends the Prophet (s.a) and Allah and the Prophet (s.a) befriend him!” some narrations also mention that the Prophet (s.a) added, “He is Karrar*(*One who attacks incessantly time and again) and never deserts the area of operation!” The companions had a sleepless night after this announcement. Everyone desired that he should get the standard next morning. Hazrat Omer is on record saying, “I never had such a strong desire of bearing the standard as on that occasion!”— But Allah and the Prophet (s.a) decided in favour of Ali (a.s) which proved that he befriended Allah and the Prophet (s.a) and they befriended him! Then Hazrat Ali (a.s) captured the fort which Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer weren’t able to subdue despite many efforts! Now look at this event in the mirror of the human nature! The companions desired to get the standard but disappointment too is a natural feeling. Everyone knows that the companions were experiencing the phenomena of “desire” and “disappointment” and who can deny that a third feeling comes in the minds of such persons who experience these phenomena, the feeling of “envy”! This envy was intense because they had a feeling of defeat after several unsuccessful attempts.
    3. Another occasion for envy came when after returning from the Campaign of Tabook the Prophet (s.a) appointed Hazrat Abu Bakr the chief of Haj Group and sent him towards During this journey Hazrat Abu Bakr carried the revealed verses of Surat Al Bara’at. After the departure of Hazrat Abu Bakr the Prophet (s.a) sent Hazrat Ali (a.s) to go to Mecca, take the verses from Hazrat Abu Bakr and recite them to the people in the Haram. Hazrat Ali (a.s) met Hazrat Abu Bakr and took the verses from him. Hazrat Abu Bakr felt belittled which is a natural phenomenon! In stead of continuing the journey, Hazrat Abu Bakr returned to the Prophet (s.a) and sought a clarification as to why he was deprived of performing the service. The Prophet (s.a) said, “None other than me, or someone who is from me, can do the propagation of the Divine Mandates!” The result was that for communicating Allah’s Mandate the Prophet (s.a) decided that Ali (a.s) was the right person and Hazrat Abu Bakr wasn’t! On that occasion Hazrat Abu Bakr accepted the decision of Allah and the Prophet (s.a) without any objection! If the Prophet (s.a) had decided to perform the task himself, it wouldn’t have mattered but because he preferred Hazrat Ali (a.s) over Hazrat Abu Bakr the phenomenon of envy naturally got a chance to become operative!
    4. The situation aggravated to the point that when returning after the Hajjat al Wida, at Ghadir e Khum, the Prophet (s.a) addressed a huge gathering and said: “‘Of whomsoever I am the Maula (Master), Ali (a.s) too is his Maula (Master)’! O Allah! Endear him who endears Ali (a.s) and consider him an enemy who is inimical towards Ali (a.s)!” When the Prophet (s.a) uttered these words, Ali (a.s)’s hand was in his hand! We have already discussed at length the purport of the word Here we have only to see that when the Prophet (s.a) conferred such superiority to Ali (a.s), Hazrat Omer and other companions spontaneously congratulated him! Certainly this was a proof of the large-heartedness of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer although the feeling of envy arising in their hearts was a natural phenomenon as well! Hazrat Omer had no occasion to congratulate Hazrat Ali (a.s) in the past. Whatever might have been the meaning of the announcement, while congratulating Hazrat Ali (a.s), the companions must have felt that it was an open indication of the succession of Hazrat Ali (a.s)!

    Now the patience of the companions was at the breaking point. Literally there was a downpour of superiorities on Hazrat Ali (a.s) from Allah and the Prophet (s.a). For Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Othman only the feeling of envy was there but their hard-line followers were raring to go beyond the limits of envy! They carried a misunderstanding that the Prophet (s.a) was making an effort to keep the reins of power in his own family. They wouldn’t tolerate that someone gets away with the crop of many years of hard toil! They didn’t have anything against Hazrat Ali (a.s) nor did they have any love for the caliphate. But they didn’t like it that the peoples movement changed its direction and they kept looking at it intently! What to talk of others; even Hazrat Omer himself said in a conversation with Abd Allah Ibn e Abbas as recorded in Tarikh e Kamil, Vol 3:

    “Hazrat Omer once told to Abd Allah Ibn e Abbas, ‘O Ibn e Abbas! Do you know what deprived you of the caliphate after the Prophet (s.a)?’ Ibn e Abbas says that he didn’t think it right to give any reply. He said, ‘Sir! I don’t know, certainly you must know about it!’ Hazrat Omer said, ‘The people wouldn’t like the Prophet-hood and the Caliphate remaining with you (your clan) and you merrily trample them! Therefore the Qureish chose the caliphate for themselves, they were right doing it and also they were in a position to do it!’”

    This was the stand of that group the leaders of which were Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer. After all this saying that Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer etc were not interested in the Caliphate isn’t right! As Hazrat Ali (a.s), from the party of the Bani Hashim, thought that he was deserving of the Caliphate, similarly from the other party Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer too were preparing a plan to prevent the Caliphate remaining concentrated in one Clan! There is no doubt that like the Prophet-hood, Caliphate too is a most important position and all the spiritual and material matters that were the prerogative of the Prophet (s.a) would certainly devolve with the caliph after him. Who was there who wouldn’t crave for this august position. When the companions lost their night’s sleep craving for the Standard of Islam, and Hazrat Omer said, “I never before craved so much for becoming the Standard Bearer of Islam!” Then how will it be that the companions had no concern whatsoever for becoming the Caliph. No intelligent person would accept such stories. It is an irrefutable fact that the craving for the caliphate was in the heart of every Companion. One who was close to the Prophet (s.a) because of friendship, relationship and association was having more craving for Caliphate because such persons had high expectations of acquiring the position. The Companions considered Caliphate such a sacred and great position that when the rebels asked Hazrat Othman to abdicate from the Caliphate, he said, “The honour that Allah has endowed to me, I wouldn’t abandon it till I live!” He willingly got martyred but didn’t agree to abdicate! Was Hazrat Othman covetous for power and pelf?! No! He wasn’t! Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer too didn’t have such greed. During their terms when huge wealth from Rome and Persia came as booty of war they lived Spartan lives of indigent Arabs. They are even today sited as examples for every rich and poor individual to emulate. They were not greedy for wealth but their greed was for the Faith and they competed with each other to excel in this direction. Since the Caliphate is the highest position, the Companions vied with each other to acquire it. If needed they would sacrifice their lives for the purpose!

    The people of this group were keenly observing the developments. The trend of events showed them that the environment was becoming favourable for Hazrat Ali (a.s) and he was their biggest competitor in this direction. But they were satisfied that the Prophet (s.a) had not promulgated any order defining rules for the succession which would become binding on them. Therefore they had to bide for the appropriate time to act! There was no other alternative!!

    THE ANSAAR OF MEDINA

    Now we talk of a group which responded to the call of the Prophet (s.a) when the people of Mecca sealed all the doors of life and he lived a helpless life. Only on the call of Ansaar the Prophet (s.a) left his home and hearth. Ansaar not only accepted him as a refugee but they treated him as their master and authority. They not only accepted him as the Prophet (s.a) but in all departments of life accepted him as the guide and superior! They were aware that Islam was the cure for the lacunae in their society. They were not only sure that Islam would destroy the inanimate idols and also the living idols hovering over their heads as vultures---the idol of Mammon worship, the idol of pride of descent, the idol of class distinction and umpteen other idols that were the bane of their society!

    Their expectations were fulfilled! They saw with their own eyes that the lowly Nubian, Bilal, was made the Muezzin (Caller for Prayers) toiling with poor Muslims digging trenches. They saw the ruler of Medina and Allah’s beloved creature eating dry bread with Ashab e Saffa, they saw him giving his paternal cousin in marriage to the indigent Zaid. They witnessed the Prophet (s.a) tying the hands of his uncle, Abbas, in his back as was customarily done with the infidel prisoners of war! Despite being the ruler of the entire Arabia they saw him sleeping on a hard bed that caused rashes on his body! The spouses and the daughter of the Prophet (s.a) generally ground the food grains on the grinding wheel with their own hands and in their homes, on certain days, even the ovens wouldn’t be lighted! The ruler of Arabia used to sit on a commonplace mat and have parleys with envoys from Persia and Rome!

    Islam had narrowed the differences between the big and small in the society and with the 360 idols of Kaaba the idols of discrimination in society too were destroyed! The Prophet (s.a) gave the Standard of Islam in the hands of the slave, Zaid bin Harita, and kept Mohajirs and Ansaar under his command! There were complaints about this, but the high and mighty had to accept this slave as their chief! Again, in the Battle of Mauta, the Prophet (s.a) entrusted the standard to Zaid and shattered the family pride and eminent companions like Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer had to accept the command of Ossama bin Zaid who was a slave and the son of a slave!! When the great contingent of Islam started on the journey for the conquest of Mecca the standard was in the hands of Saad bin Ibada although most eminent persons, Ali (a.s), Abbas bin Abd al Mutallib and others were in the contingent!

    From all these events the Ansaar got the proof that Islam had obliterated the distinction between big and small! One tribe or clan didn’t have any superiority over other groups! There wasn’t any preference for a master over a slave and the distinction of family background was obliterated. These were the Islamic customs and beliefs that got entrenched in the minds of people during the lifetime of the Prophet (s.a). The Ansaar never for a moment thought the caliphate would get entrenched with the Qureish or the clan of Bani Hashim. They thought that if the Prophet-hood was endowed to the Qureish, the Caliphate was certainly the right of the people of the city of Medina who had made it the Dar al Amara of the Islamic State with their efforts and help! If they were having parleys at Saqifa Bani Saaeda to decide about it, they weren’t committing any crime or not a big intrigue. The diehard historians say that if Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer had not made a timely entry then Islam would be in jeopardy!! The Ansaar were having a very peaceful meeting deliberating about the Caliphate when the two worthies entered and created chaos there. They proved with their heated talks that the Caliphate was the birthright of the Qureish and none else! Their talks were appropriate at the moment but were contrary to the Islamic Spirit!

    Anyway, this is not the time for a comment on the deliberations at Saqifa Bani Saaeda!!

    THE PARTY OF WOMEN

    This is also an unintelligent thought that women of Medina were not concerned with politics. The incidents and events prove the fact that in all walks of life the women were moving shoulder to shoulder with men. In the fields of battle they played a significant role for the success of men. The fire of revenge against the adversaries was generally stoked by women. The wounds of the valiants got cured with the attention and nursing that the women provided them. There is hardly any campaign of the Prophet (s.a) for which the ladies didn’t accompany him! During the Haj journeys, as well, the litters of the ladies added elegance to the caravan. In the Prophet (s.a)’s Mosque the women used to join the congregation for prayers five times a day. The ladies used to discuss the matters of Fiqh with the Prophet (s.a) in a very learned manner. The consorts of the Prophet (s.a) in Medina had the same status as a queen would have in her capital. Perhaps their status was more than that of the queens because no queen was ever Umm al Momineen! Every spouse of the Prophet (s.a) was the mother of the Momins and therefore they had the authority on every child, man and woman in the realm as a mother would have on her children! Disobedience of a queen may not be a cognizable offence but disobedience of the Umm al Momineen was legally a punishable offence! The authority of Umm al Momineen was much more than a queen would have. Today no Umm al Momineen is living. But when we hear the name of any Umm al Momineen our heads bow in respect. Imagine about the society where there were thirteen Ummahat al Momineen. Could a person even move a step while they were in front of him! In status all the 13 Ummahat al Momineen were equal but as far as good looks, habits, traits, age the ancestral tribal superiority were concerned they were divided into different groups and their mutual differences assumed such proportions that it was humanly impossible to resolve them and the matters reached Allah who gave judgements!

    Three years prior to the migration from Mecca Hazrat Khadija expired. After her death the Prophet (s.a) married Hazrat Ayesha bint e Abu Bakr. At that time her age was six or seven years. After reaching Medina she moved to her spouse’s house when her age was nine years. After the expiry of Hazrat Khadija the Prophet (s.a) married Sauda bint e Zam-aa in Mecca. Her age was about 20 years. Then many ladies were married to him. Their names are:

    (.)Hazrat Hafsa bint e Omer. (.) Hazrat Umme Salama bint e Abi Omayya. (.) Hazrat Jaweria who was Jewish and came to Medina as a prisoner of war. (.) Hazrat umme Habiba bint e Abu Sufian. (.) Hazrat Zainab bint e Hajash. (.) Hazrat Safia bint e Hai who was the daughter of a Jewish chief and came as a prisoner of war. (.) Hazrat Maimoona bint al Harith. (.)Hazrat Nishat bint e Rafa-aa.Some narrators write that her name was Samaa bint al Salat and also that she died before Prophet (s.a) went to her. (.) Shamba bint e Omer al Ghaffari: When the Prophet (s.a) went to her she was having her periods. During those days the Prophet (s.a)’s baby son, Ibrahim, died. She said if Mohammed (s.a) was truly the Prophet his beloved son wouldn’t have died. Hearing her say this the Prophet (s.a) sent her out of the house. (.) The Prophet (s.a) heard that Ghazia bint e Jabir was pretty and smart. A proposal was made and when she came to the Prophet (s.a) she said, “I haven’t consulted my heart and seek Allah’s protection from you!” He sent her home. (.) When he went to Asma bint al Noman he noticed that she was having leucoderma. He gave her the Mehr and sent her home. (.) Zainab bint e Hazima. (.) Sharaf bint al Khalifa. (.)Aliya bint e Zubian. The Prophet (s.a) did Tamatta with her and separated (.) Qatila bint e Qais bin Maadi Karb. Before he went to her he expired. Then she recanted from Islam along with her brother Ash-ab bin Qais. (.) Fatima bint e Sharih, who also had a son, Shareek, from her previous husband, and therefore she had the Kunyat Umm e Shareek. Tabari says that the Prophet (s.a) went to her and found her much aged. Therefore he divorced her. (.) Khula bint al Hazeel. (.) Umra bint al Yazid. (.) Besides these consorts Allah had granted to the Prophet (s.a) Rehana bint e Zaid of the Tribe of Bani Qariza. (.) Then Maqiqas the king of Alexandria sent Maria Qabtia to the Prophet (s.a) as a gift. His son, Ibrahim, was born of her!

    You must have noted that the Prophet (s.a) had for some reasons, divorced some of these ladies. They were not to remain quiet at their being divorced. They might have formed a group against the Prophet (s.a) and his family. There are some other women to whom the Prophet (s.a) sent proposals of marriage but for some reasons they couldn’t be solemnized. The names of these women are: Umm e Hani bint e abi Talib(.) Zaba-aa bint e Aamir. (.) Safia bint e Bashama. (.) Umm e Habib bint e Abbas and (.) Jamra bint al Harith. These women too must have joined the group mentioned here because Arab women felt much insulted if their engagements are annulled. Now about the spouses of the Prophet (s.a) who remained in his marriage till his demise. These ladies too were in different groups and each group opposed the other groups. Maulana Shibli writes in Sirat al Nabi:

    “ Hazrat Ayesha and Hazrat Hafsa were respectively the daughters of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer and because of their close proximity with the Prophet (s.a) they were closer to each other than with the other spouses of the Prophet (s.a). But occasionally they expressed envy and rivalry with each other! Once Hazrat Ayesha and Hazrat Hafsa were on a journey with the Prophet (s.a). The Prophet (s.a) liked to be in the litter of Hazrat Ayesha in the nights to converse with her. One day Hazrat Hafsa asked Hazrat Ayesha to swap the camel with her in the night to be able to see different sights! Hazrat Ayesha agreed to the suggestion. The Prophet (s.a) went to Hazrat Ayesha’s camel on which Hazrat Hafsa was seated. When they reached the stage, Hazrat Ayesha not finding the Prophet (s.a) put her feet in Azkhar (a wild grass which is generally infested with snakes and scorpions) and said, “O Allah! Send a snake or a scorpion that it bites me!”

    Several incidents in the lives of the spouses are recorded which are proof of the fact that the consorts of the Prophet (s.a) too had the same femininity as is there in any common housewife. This character was the character of a common Arab female which has the feminine traits and values in ample measure. Read of another incident in the words of Maulana Shibli:

    Once after her (Hazrat Khadija’s) death her sister Hala went to meet the Prophet (s.a). Her voice was much similar to that of her deceased sister. When the sound went to the ears of the Prophet (s.a) he remembered Hazrat Khadija and said, “It must be Hala!” Hazrat Ayesha too was present there. She felt jealous and said, “You are remembering an old hag who is dead and Allah has given you better wives than her!”

         ----Taken from Sahih Bukhari      

    Read about another incident:

    “In Sahih Bukhari it is narrated through Hazrat Omer about the incident of Aila, ‘One day I was brooding over some matter. Incidentally my wife gave me a suggestion. I said,‘What have you to do with these matters?!’ She said, ‘You don’t like what I say but your daughter, Hafsa, always retorts when the Prophet (s.a) says anything!’ I got up and went to Hafsa and said, ‘My daughter! Do you retort while you converse with the Prophet (s.a)?’ She said, ‘Yes! I do it!’ I said, ‘Beware! I warn you of Allah’s curse!! You shouldn’t be conceited like the one whose good looks have fascinated the Prophet (s.a)!’ –meaning Hazrat Ayesha!’”

    The groupism of the spouses of the Prophet (s.a) and their mutual conflicts can make a fairly large volume of such anecdotes! Once Hazrat Ayesha and Hazrat Hafsa were arguing with Hazrat Safia and taunted her saying, “In the consideration of the Prophet (s.a) we have more respectability!We are his wives and also paternal cousins!” Hazrat Safia didn’t like this comment. She complained to the Prophet (s.a). The Prophet (s.a) said, “Why didn’t you say that your husband is Mohammed (s.a), your father Haroon (a.s) and your uncle Moosa (a.s)!”

    Hazrat Safia was an expert at the culinary art. One day she made some special food and sent to the Prophet (s.a). At that time he was with Hazrat Ayesha. She took the dish from the servant and threw it with the contents on the ground. The Prophet (s.a) gathered the pieces of the dish, joined them but ordered another dish from the bazaar and sent it to Hazrat Safia.

    Shibli Nomani the author of the book “Sirat al Nabi” writes about another incident:

    “Once the Prophet (s.a) was on a journey.The spouses too were with him. The camel of Hazrat Safia became ill on the way. Hazrat Zainab had several camels with her. He asked her to give one camel to Hazrat Safia. Hazrat Zainab said, ‘Should I give my camel to that Jewish woman?!’ At this reply the Prophet (s.a) was so upset that for two months he didn’t go to her!”

    These few incidents are an indicator of the nature, disposition and attitude of the spouses of the Prophet (s.a). In the light of these we shall consider the following points:

    1. The Prophet (s.a)’s most beloved daughter was Fatima Zehra whose mother was Hazrat Khadija. The relationship between step-mothers and the step-daughter is generally very delicate. But, if the step-mother uses such words against the natural mother of the daughter the delicate relationship becomes more so! Would Fatima have been pleased to hear the step-mother saying her mother was an old hag and less pretty than Hazrat Ayesha herself! I am talking about the women of this world and talking of the psychology of the women of the higher world is beyond our imagination! The delicacy of the relationship becomes more so when the beloved daughter of the Prophet (s.a) was married to Hazrat Ali (a.s) when the proposals of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer for matrimony with her were turned down by the Prophet (s.a). Is it possible that Hazrat Ayesha and Hazrat Hafsa wouldn’t have felt the humiliation of their fathers! Both these ladies were very touchy of nature!
    2. The matters became more delicate when Fatima’s spouse, Ali (a.s), gave his opinion about the incident of Ofak when aspersions were being passed concerning it against Hazrat Ayesha. Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s remark, if not against her, it wasn’t in her favour as well. Would Hazrat Ayesha, given her temperament, have taken a remark lightly, particularly when the revelation from Allah had clarified her position? At that time Hazrat Ayesha’s gripe against Hazrat Ali (a.s) was a natural phenomenon which cannot be hidden by the thickest cover of belief!
    3. A woman can bear anything in the world but cannot bear with sharing her husband’s affections with other women. Her heart’s wish would be that her husband shouldn’t express affection and love for anyone other than her! From eternity whatever differences were there between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law cannot be obliterated by even the modern culture and education! The foundation of this too is in the division of the affections! The relations of the step-mother and step-daughter too are affected by the same feelings. When Hazrat Zainab entered into matrimony with the Prophet (s.a), Hazrat Ayesha started getting all sorts of thoughts because the lady was extraordinarily pretty! When Hazrat Jaweria and Hazrat Safia entered the harem of the Prophet (s.a) the other spouses had similar thoughts. The flames of this rivalry couldn’t be doused even by the preachings of the Prophet (s.a). Now we have to see that on one side was the Prophet (s.a)’s favourite wife and on the other his beloved daughter Fatima Zehra. If Hazrat Ayesha had the title of Umm al Momineen, because of being the Prophet (s.a)’s wife, Hazrat Fatima was termed by the Prophet (s.a) as Syedadat al Nisa al Aalaameen (the Chief of the Women of the Worlds)! The title was so superior that comparing the title of Umm al Momineen with it will be like comparing the Firmament with the Earth! Hazrat Ayesha, whose charm and beauty had eclipsed the good looks of the other spouses of the Prophet (s.a), it cannot be ruled out if she envied Hazrat Fatima’s universal superiority and the affection of the Prophet (s.a) for her! This envy is certainly recognized as a feminine trait!! In Medina and all the towns of the realm it was only Hazrat Fatima who was ahead of all the ladies, particularly so when compared with Hazrat Ayesha! We cannot stop praising Hazrat Ayesha that she bore this thought with equanimity although it was against her volatile nature! But since the matter concerned the Prophet (s.a)’s daughter and not any of his spouses, there wasn’t any other way for Hazrat Ayesha than bearing with it patiently!
    4. Hazrat Ayesha had an intense feeling that nature had denied off-springs to her. Since there were no children, the sons of Fatima got all the love and affection of the Prophet (s.a). No person in Medina ever called them the sons of Murtada and they always referred to them as the Prophet (s.a)’s sons! The Prophet (s.a) had announced that Hassan and Hussain (a.s) were from him and he was from them! He also said, ‘These two sons of mine are the Chiefs of the Youths of the Paradise!’ If Hazrat Ayesha had issues, then this felicity too, might have come to her quarters! Search the heart of a woman and look into her psyche and you will find that every woman will have the same wishes and desires. Hazrat Ayesha too was a woman and had a woman’s heart! In such circumstances envy is a natural phenomenon which no power in the world can snatch away from a woman. Hazrat Ayesha’s state of envy was of such intensity that she envied not only her contemporaries but even those who had already passed away. Although Hazrat Ayesha was on such a pedestal that she enjoyed the same position as the late person she felt intense pangs of envy against the dead lady! In Sahih Muslim it is the saying of Hazrat Ayesha herself: “Although I haven’t seen Khadija, the envy I have against her is such that I don’t experience such envy against anyone else! The reason for this envy is that the Prophet (s.a) always talked of her. Once I saddened him in this regard but he said, ‘Allah has endowed me with her (Khadija’s) love!’”      

    When Hazrat Ayesha felt, and expressed, envy over what she did have, then how envious she would be about what she wasn’t able to get?! It is another matter that the delicacy of the relationship and care for good manners forced her to remain quiet! It is evident that no wife in the world can restrict her husband from having affection for his daughter and grand children! Here it was altogether a different matter. The Prophet (s.a) had deemed the love for his daughter and her children as a religious duty! Who could talk against the daughter who who was the Chief of the Nisa al Aalameen, and her sons, the Chiefs of the Youths of the Paradise! Keeping quiet was the only alternative!!

    All the above incidents indicate that the most powerful party among the ladies of Medina was that of Hazrat Ayesha in which Hazrat Hafsa too was there. The other spouses of the Prophet (s.a) who affiliated with this party for some reason or other used to change their stand according to the need. The Prophet (s.a) besides his spiritual duties was also temporal head of the realm. Therefore, this party had access to both spiritual and temporal power! Umm al Momineen Hazrat Ayesha was the favourite wife of the Prophet (s.a) and therefore the other groupings of the spouses formed on the strength of enviousness were all weaker than Hazrat Ayesha’s party. As far as affection and nearness to the Prophet (s.a) was concerned only Hazrat Fatima Zehra could challenge this strong party! Therefore, the other groups of the Prophet (s.a)’s spouses used to take support of Hazrat Fatima in times of need! In Sahih Bukhari and other books of history an incident is reported which we copy from Sirat al Nabi of Shibli Nomani:

    “Once some spouses of the Prophet (s.a) sent Hazrat Fatima Zehra as their emissary to the Prophet (s.a) to present their case. She went to his presence. According to the custom she first sought his permission to enter. When permitted, she entered the room and said that the Prophet (s.a)’s spouses had nominated her to represent them before him. She asked,‘Your other spouses would like to know why you preferred Abu Bakr’s daughter over them?!’ The Prophet (s.a) asked, ‘My daughter! Won’t you like the one whom I like?!’ This much reply was sufficient for her. Going back to the spouses of the Prophet (s.a) she said, “I shall not interfere in this matter any more!’ They now selected Hazrat Zainab for the mission because she had claims of equality with Hazrat Ayesha. She very boldly made the representation and tried to prove that Hazrat Ayesha wasn’t deserving of the position that she enjoyed. Hazrat Ayesha quietly listened and kept looking at the Prophet (s.a). When Hazrat Zainab completed her presentation, Hazrat Ayesha got up and gave such a forceful talk that it rendered Hazrat Zainab dumb struck! The Prophet (s.a) said, ‘No doubt Ayesha is the daughter of Abu Bakr!’

    This influential and powerful party not only dealt with the domestic matters but was very active in the current politics of the time and kept an eye on matters of Fiqh as well. There wasn’t any matter of the Faith and the worldly affairs that this party wasn’t well informed of. Read the following passage from Shibli Nomani:

    “The knowledgeability of Hazrat Ayesha has a prominent position. During the realms of Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Othman she used to issue edicts. She made very subtle objections on the prominent companions and these observations have been collected by Allama Siyuti in a bulletin. Some persons believe that a fourth of the norms of Shariah have been spelled by her! It is mentioned in Tirmidi that when the companions faced any difficult problem the solution was provided by Hazrat Ayesha!”

    An intelligent person wouldn’t accept that the lady who had such capability that she advised the companions on all religious and worldly matters was totally unaware of what would happen to the administration of the state after the demise of the Prophet (s.a) which established well during the ten years of his rule and was to be very vast in the future! If someone says that she was “unaware” of the trend of things to come it would be preposterous. She had made an in-depth study of Medina. After the death of the Prophet (s.a) she had to formulate a plan of action and the role that she would play to make a success of her plans! Everyone who studies the events of the immediate past would understand what would be the position of Hazrat Ayesha and her party in the matter of the Khilafat that needed immediate attention.

    THE PARTY OF THE HYPOCRITES OF MEDINA

    Now we talk of a party that consisted of persons who posed as Muslims but intrinsically they had no attachment with Islam and were making plans to annihilate it. They are known in history as the Party of the Munafiqeen or Hypocrites. In Medina their numbers ran into hundreds. The leader of the party was Abd Allah bin Ubai who was always critical of the Prophet (s.a) and every member of the party indulged in ridiculing Islam. There was no religious or social control on them and therefore they went to the extent of uncontrolled babbling. The biggest reason of Abd Allah bin Ubai’s enmity of the Prophet (s.a) was that prior to the immigrants arriving in Medina he was dreaming of becoming the chief of all the tribes there. If the Prophet (s.a) wasn’t there the people of Aus and Khazraj would have put the crown of leadership on his head. But the arrival of the Prophet (s.a) in Medina was like throwing cold water on the plans of Abd Allah bin Ubai. He started thinking of wreaking vengeance on the Prophet (s.a) for negating his well thought plans of action! He and his cohorts had to make a pretense of embracing Islam but they always searched for personal advantage at the cost of the Faith! The holy Quran mentions about their machinations. When the Prophet (s.a) laid the siege of Bani Qinqah, Abd Allah Bin Ubai and his men were secretly siding with the Jews. The siege lasted for 15 days and as a result the Jews had to lay down their arms and surrender to the Prophet (s.a). They were all manacled. Tabari writes about the event as narrated by Asim bin Umro Fatada:

    “When they capitulated Abd Allah bin Ubai told to the Prophet (s.a), ‘O Mohammed! Be kind on these slaves! They were in liege with the tribe of Khazraj. When the Prophet (s.a) didn’t respond to him for long, he said, ‘O Mohammed! Kindly favour these people!’ The Prophet (s.a) turned his face from him in disgust. He caught hold of the Prophet (s.a)’s collar. The Prophet (s.a) asked him to leave and he was so upset that he once again asked him to leave the collar! But Abd Allah bin Ubai said, ‘By God! I shall not leave your collar till you free my slaves and spare their lives! There are 400 unarmed and 300 are armed among them. They have always protected me from the Nubians and the Persians! You have plans to annihilate them instantly! I fear you yourself might face hardships if you do this!’ The Prophet (s.a) said, ‘I have freed them because of you!’

    When the Prophet (s.a) was returning towards Medina after the campaign of Bani Mustalaq, Abd Allah bin Ubai was with him. Because of a small argument he used these audacious words against the Prophet (s.a):

    On reaching Medina the most respected person there (pointing at himself) will be exiled from there by the one who is the most contemptible person!’ Then he told to the men of his clan, ‘You have done this to yourself! You invited him to your country and made him a partner in your estates. If you hadn’t done this, he would have gone elsewhere!’”---Tabari

    When the Prophet (s.a) was informed of this impertinence of Abd Allah bin Ubai, Omer bin Khattab was with him. He asked him to order Ibad bin Bashar bin Waqash to slay Abd Allah bin Ubai. The Prophet (s.a) said, “O Omer! When people learn that Mohammed (s.a) gets his own men killed, what effect it would have on them?! I, therefore, don’t agree with your suggestion!”

    The insulting attitude of Abd Allah bin Ubai and his confederates had crossed the limits of decency. But at every step the Prophet (s.a) refrained from executing him and, to the contrary, he included him among his close advisers and consultants! The Prophet (s.a) continued giving him favours after favours. But Ibn e Ubai’s heart remained as hard as stone! At the time of the Battle of Ohod Ibne Ubai deserted the front with his 300 men and went back to Medina. At the time of the contingent of Islam starting for the campaign of Tabook when the Prophet (s.a) halted at Taniyat al Wida, Ibne Ubai halted in the opposite direction at the Hill of Zabada. At that time his contingent wasn’t weaker than the contingent of the Prophet (s.a). When the Prophet (s.a) started from that stage, Abd Allah bin Ubai purposely held back his contingent from proceeding any further. Tabari narrates:

    “With him were Abd Allah bin Ubai of Bani Auf bin al Khazraj, Abd Allah Nabtil of Bani Umro bin Auf and Rafa-aa bin Zaid Al-Taloot of Bani Qinqah who were the leaders of the hypocrites who always used to hatch plans against Islam!”

    On return from the campaign of Tabook another incident took place that the Prophet (s.a)’s camel was lost. Ibn e Khaldun writes that “At that time the hypocrites had the field day! They gossiped that Mohammed (s.a) claimed that he gets messages from the Firmanent and they were surprised that he didn’t know anything about the whereabouts of his own camel!”

    These were the venomous thoughts of the hypocrites about the Prophet (s.a). Abd Allah bin Ubai died but his cohorts existed at the time of the sad demise of the Prophet (s.a) and their school of thought, if not thriving, was still alive which created thousands of Abd Allah bin Ubais! It is evident that they were close to the Muslims who had embraced Islam for ulterior motives and for personal gains! They used to attract these so-called-Muslims to their group! But they were deadly enemies of the dedicated Muslims and missed no opportunity of ridiculing them. They had no affiliation with any political group of Medina and for their selfish motives they would make alliances with anyone. Their favourite activity was to tempt one group to go against the other. The Prophet (s.a) was the recognized leader of Medina and the unchallenged administrator. Abd Allah bin Ubai and his cohorts didn’t like this. They had tried all the subterfuges of cunning but to no avail! The last resort for them was to put the label of Islam on their foreheads, gain confidence of Muslims, and work for the destruction of Islam. But the fate was against them in this effort of theirs. They were facing defeat after defeat in their stratagems. Abd Allah bin Ubai had realised that the leadership had come firmly in the hands of the Prophet (s.a) but he didn’t give up and kept trying to snatch away the game from the clutches of the tiger. Alas! Disappointed and dejected Abd Allah bin Ubai died but hypocricy remained. Now all the efforts of the hypocrites were concentrated on ensuring that the leadership and succession didn’t get concentrated in the family of the Prophet (s.a) and the people of Medina get reduced to the position of slaves of the migrant refugees! This was the reason that the hypocrites, despite converting to Islam, remained attached to the Jews and when the Jews were expelled from there they played their underhand tricks with the people of Aus and Khazraj. Their only aim was to get back the administration of Medina in the hands of the locals!

    The hypocrites generally hated the Muslims but their enmity of Hazrat Ali (a.s) had several reasons. The first reason was that Hazrat Ali (a.s), besides being the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet (s.a), was the bulwark of the Prophet (s.a) during war and during peace and if anyone looked at him with malicious eyes he wouldn’t tolerate it and was always ready to shed his blood for him! The second reason was that Hazrat Ali (a.s) was most eligible for succession because of his services and for being the closest to the Prophet (s.a). Several announcements of the Prophet (s.a) too were the indicators of the intent and the hypocrites felt that the caliphate might get entrenched with the Bani Hashim. The hypocrites of Medina had no tolerance of people from outside having influence there and what to speak of becoming rulers there! The third reason was that the hypocrites were secretly in league with the Jews. We have earlier narrated the event when the Qeenqah surrendered, they were manacled and Abd Allah bin Ubai held the collar of the Prophet (s.a)’s cloak and didn’t leave it till the Prophet (s.a) said, “I free them because of you!” The other clan of the Jews, Bani Qariza, had to surrender arms before the Prophet (s.a) and the hands of all the persons were tied on their necks. The hypocrites wished them to be released as well but the verdict was left to Saad bin Ma-aad who gave the  verdict in light of the Torah that their belongings confiscated, their women and children enslaved and their fighting men executed. According to Tabaqaat and Waqadi about six or seven hundred men were executed. The duty of beheading them was entrusted by the Prophet (s.a) to Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Zubair. Tabari writes:

    “He, the Prophet (s.a), got deep trenches excavated and sat near them. Ali (a.s) and Zubair executed them in his presence.”

    It is natural that Hazrat Ali (a.s) executed the Jews in obedience to the Prophet (s.a)’s orders. But every strike of Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s sword on the necks of the Jews left a deep mark of hate in the hearts of the hypocrites. In their view it was Ali (a.s) and Zubair who massacred the Jews. In addition to this it was Ali (a.s) who killed valiant combatants like Marhab and Antar in the Battle of Khaibar and captured the fort Qamoos and struck the last nail in the coffin of the influence of the Jews!

    Keeping these incidents in mind it becomes clear that the antagonism of the infidels against the Prophet (s.a) was transferred towards Hazrat Ali (a.s) in the lifetime of the Prophet (s.a) itself and they wouldn’t tolerate that after Mohammed (s.a) a person of Ali (a.s)’s character and calibre succeeded him! First of all they were not ready to accept any person from among the migrants to succeed as the ruler and they were particularly against Ali (a.s) getting this honour because during the past ten years they didn’t get an iota of soft treatment from him. The enmity of the hypocrites for Ali (a.s) has been described by Tirmizi in the words of Abu Saeed Khudri as saying:

    “We recognized the hypocrites from their enmity of Ali!”

    THE LAST MOMENTS OF THE PROPHET (S.A)

    In the foregone pages we have thrown light on the political climate of Medina and the attitude of the people. This was the political environment in which the Prophet (s.a) lived the last days of his life and this was the period when the history of Islam was turned towards the new thoughts and directions! It would be sin even to think that Mohammed Arabi (s.a) was unaware of the existing conditions. He is that great personality of the world who, in the short span of 23 years, erected an invincible fort for the Creed and politics with the instinct of Adam (a.s) and the bricks and mortar of the human psychology which couldn’t be shaken by the turmoils and the revolutions during the past fourteen hundred years and will remain firm till the Doomsday! He was fully aware of the nature of the people of Medina. The accomplishment of their minds and thoughts took place during the ten years of the stay of the Prophet (s.a) in Medina. He saw their political thought grow in his presence. He had assayed each person on his religious and moral touchstone. For him every glittering object wasn’t gold. He was observing the jewels and the crystals in their original condition. He was well aware of the people’s minds and particularities. He had established an Islamic Society extracting the essence of the hearts and minds of the people of Medina. There isn’t any doubt about a fact that every political group was wearing a thick curtain over its face but Mohammed (s.a), who could observe the Firmament sitting on the Earth, was able to see through the curtains that these groups had over their faces! A potter who moulds toys from the soil knows well the type of soil they are made from. He knows their composition and can say which toy would crack in the oven at what temperature! The people of Medina were the products of Mohammed Arabi (s.a) and the Creed of Islam. The thickest of curtains couldn’t hide them from him. Mohammed Arabi (s.a) was wise to their secrets and had also announced to them that there wouldn’t be any prophet after him! The Creed was completed at his hands!!

    It has been mentioned that the Prophet (s.a) had made up his mind about the succession of Ali (a.s) as his vicegerent and on several occasions he had hinted this in his very subtle and eloquent manner! But he was very keenly observing the reactions of the people when these hints were made and the effect they had on the political groups. He had already gauged the minds of the people of Medina that the political climate there wasn’t right for the succession of Ali (a.s). Every group wished to acquire this felicity. In such circumstances issuing written edict for succession of Ali (a.s) wouldn’t be desirable as it would have given rise to strife and the Islamic unity would be disturbed and also the respect of the Prophet (s.a) with the people would be at risk who were so far extremely dedicated to him and would at any time, at his call, come out saying “Labbaek! Labbaek!” The Prophet (s.a), at whose call they were ready to lay down their lives and they considered every word uttered by him as Divine Revelation! The keys of the Heaven and the Hell were in his control and his will and wish was ever the same as Allah’s will!! He didn’t want to experience the moment when the Muslims might act against his mandates, fight against each other and render the Islamic Unity to pieces! This was the reason that the Prophet (s.a) didn’t issue a written edict of succession in favour of Ali (a.s), Hazrat Abu Bakr or Hazrat Omer. The Divine Message had already indicated to the Prophet (s.a) that the environment was not conducive for final announcement of the succession in writing because the parties were raring to create dispute in the matter!

    One cannot deny the fact that the Prophet (s.a), being the last of the line of prophets, was totally aware of his responsibility to issue a mandate, in writing, naming his successor. It was no doubt important that with his demise series of Divine Revelations would terminate and the Ummat couldn’t be left to fend for itself like an unbridled camel that, “after me the Muslims wouldn’t select anyone other than Abu Bakr!”---Shibli

    The Prophet (s.a) had total authority and right! If he wished to name Abu Bakr as the successor, he could have done it before the people without any dissent from any source! But the last of the Prophets (s.a) was surrounded by the thick black clouds of politics. Therefore, prior to giving a legal edict about succession he desired to rid the environment of these clouds. That could be possible only if the leaders of the political groups left Medina for some days!

    THE CONTINGENT OF OSSAMA BIN ZAID

     If for a while, a person keeps aside his beliefs, and considers the happenings he will not take much time to comprehend that the Prophet (s.a) deputed the contingent of Ossama bin Zaid to immediately march for Mauta to implement his aforementioned plan! In 8th year of Hegira he had sent about 3,000 men in the command of Zaid bin Haritha towards Syria to punish the Arabs who had martyred Harith bin Omair on the orders of Sharjeel. It so happened that the Muslims were vanquished in that battle and Zaid bin Haritha, Hazrat Jafar e Tayyar and many other prominent companions were martyred in the campaign. Ossama was now sent to extract Qasas for the lives of those persons. The time selected by the Prophet (s.a) for this campaign didn’t seem appropriate considering the conditions prevalent in Medina! One must give a thought to the following:

    The Prophet (s.a) sent this contingent, on Thursday, five days prior to his demise. The biographers and historians are unanimous in their opinion that prominent companions like Hazrat Omer, Hazrat abu Bakr, Abu Obaida, Saad bin Waqas and many other persons from Mohajirs and Ansar were detailed to join the Campaign. Narrations indicate that the Prophet (s.a) was so much concerned about sending the contingent that every moment he was saying, “Ossama’s contingent must depart immediately!” When he learned that the people were hesitant to go he came out, organized the standard of the contingent, gave it to Ossama and said, “March in the name of Allah and do Jihad in His name!” Later on he heard that some persons had objection about appointment of Ossama as the commander! The Prophet (s.a) was so angry getting this intelligence that despite running high temperature he came out with a bandage on his head, covering himself with a shawl and said, “You have objection over my appointing Ossama as the commander isn’t any surprise!When I appointed Ossama’s father Zaid as commander also people objected! By Allah! Ossama is suitable for the position and so too was his father!” After this the Prophet (s.a) mandated the Muslims detailed for the campaign to march without any further dilly dallying! This event happened two days prior to his demise. Just imagine that every person who is in throes of death wishes his close persons to remain near him. The situation was so delicate that the Prophet (s.a) should have asked his close associates to be near him or, at least, not to travel away from Medina. What was it that forced the Prophet (s.a) to give the surprising order at that crucial time that when the impending demise happened Medina would be without the eminent Ansar and Companions! In addition to this he expressed his displeasure on the Companions prevaricating on joining the Campaign. He only retained Hazrat Ali (a.s) to be near his sickbed! See what Ibn e Khaldun has to say:

    “He ordered all the eminent and lesser Companions to join the contingent. The eminent Companions Hazrat Abu Bakr, Abbas, Othman, Omer and Ali (a.s) were asked to be sent along with Ossama but because of his illness, with the consent of Ossama, he retained Ali (a.s) and Abbas to attend to the treatment of his illness.”

    The second matter requiring consideration is that the Prophet (s.a) was aware that the Islamic Shariah and the society would face intense confusion after his demise. He had himself said, “Mischieves are appearing like the arrival of dark night!” Messages were coming from all the corners that those who had embraced Islam as a subterfuge were fast recanting from the Faith! At the time when Islam was struggling between its existence and annihilation it was important for the last of the Prophets (s.a) to name his successor before his demise so that there was no hiatus in the matters of the Faith and the political situation for even a moment after his departure. It doesn’t sound necessary at this juncture to send an expedition against the Romans hundreds of miles away!

    The Prophet (s.a) who had the faculty to hear and comprehend the pulse beats of the Universe was certainly fully aware of his responsibility. He gave firm orders for the Campaign against the Romans to curb unrest of Medina to establish a peaceful environment there which would be conducive for him to nominate his successor. No other reason was there for urgency in the formation and dispatch of the Contingent of Ossama. At the time when he himself was seriously ill there wasn’t any need to plan for annexation of any territory nor was there any intelligence that the Romans were planning any attack on Medina that it would make it imperative to inflict a preemptive attack on them! This was only a campaign of reprisal and it could be postponed for any opportune time in the future as it was already pending for the past three years. The contingent was being sent in some haste to create a condusive environment in Medina for arriving at a decision about the succession! In this manner the Prophet (s.a) had planned to accomplish two important objectives at the same time.

    OSSAMA’S CONTINGENT RETURNS

    Ossama bin Zaid left Medina with his contingent of 700 men from Mohajireen and Ansar. When they reached Jurf, about a Farsaq (a League) or about 3 miles from Medina they camped there. They heard about the very serious condition of the health of the Prophet (s.a). They, therefore, decided to return to Medina, and on arrival, posted the standard of the contingent in front of the Prophet (s.a)’s house. This day was Sunday and the Prophet (s.a) passed away the next day. Ibn e Ishaq writes:

    “Ossama says that he reached the presence of the Prophet (s.a), he alas was in no position to speak!”

    Tabari has recorded the return of the Contingent of Ossama bin Zaid in following words:

    “Ossama left Medina and reached Jurf. There the people started gossiping. Even Talha raised his head. Because of this, the men started worrying. With the fast deteriorating health of the Prophet (s.a) the campaign couldn’t be accomplished. In this state of confusion the Prophet (s.a) passed away.”

    The historians are unanimous that despite the Prophet (s.a)’s repeated orders, Ossama and his contingent didn’t move any further from Jurf. According to Tabari, ‘In the camp men gossiped and looked at each other and, in this confusion, they weren’t able to move one step from their first stage, Jurf. Even in the camp the men remained restless and kept running between Medina and Jurf! Ibne Khaldun writes:

    “Ossama started from Medina and camped at Jurf, about a Farsaq or three miles from Medina. Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer took permission from Ossama and visited the Prophet (s.a) to inquire about his health. Ossama hadn’t moved further from Jurf when the Prophet (s.a) demised.”

    The men congregated in the camp for offering prayer. But it was surprising that Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer were performing several tasks contrary to the established norms of the army! They were in the camp, at the same time they were attending at the sick-bed of the Prophet (s.a), leading the prayer at the Prophet (s.a)’s Mosque, three miles away from the contingent’s camp, in Medina and Hazrat Abu Bakr also went to Suq to spend some time with his new bride! It is interesting that the Prophet (s.a) permitted him to attend near his sick-bed, ordered him to lead the prayer at the Mosque, allowed him to spend time with his spouse at Suq while he was detailed to join the Contingent of Ossama! It seems that the Prophet (s.a) had forgotten that he ordered these worthies to march for the expedition with the Contingent of Ossama which he hadn’t called off till the last moment! The strangeness enhances when we read in biographies that these gentlemen attended the meeting when the Prophet (s.a) called for a pen and paper to dictate his final will and testament!

    The most important point is that if Ossama’s contingent strictly observed the rules and remained in the camp the picture would have been different. During the illness of the Prophet (s.a) Hazrat Ali (a.s) was leading the prayers at the Mosque. If this was the qualification for succession, he was the first candidate to get it! The biggest calamity of the history of Islam is the episode of the “Pen and Paper” which had sown the first seed of dissent in the Ummat and if the Prophet (s.a) wasn’t prevented from getting the document dictated the people would have been saved from going Wayward! If this declaration was to be the mandate for succession, it would’ve been irrefutable declaration from the Prophet (s.a) and no student of history would have perused stories of gory wars and sectarian strife thereafter. This was the intention of the Prophet (s.a) and therefore he insisted on urgently sending the Contingent of Ossama bin Zaid. It is a pity that this strategy of the Prophet (s.a) didn’t succeed!

    THE LEADING OF THE PRAYER

    The illness of the Prophet (s.a) aggravated and for almost three days Hazrat Abu Bakr led the prayers at the mosque. About leading the prayers Bukhari, Tarikh e Khamis, Masnad, Tabari and Ibn e Khaldun narrate innumerable traditions on the subject. These narrations differ from one another. They are unanimous only on one aspect that Hazrat Abu Bakr led the prayers, but no book of Hadit, biography and history mentions that the Prophet (s.a) directly and personally ordered Hazrat Abu Bakr to do this although the Prophet lived in the chamber of his daughter, Hazrat Ayesha, and the worthy had free access to the place. If the Prophet (s.a) issued any such orders the event wouldn’t have escaped the attention of the chroniclers and historians! It is true that Hazrat Abu Bakr was performing this task while the Prophet (s.a) was bedridden but any student of history would like to confirm whether he had the Prophet (s.a)’s consent to do it! And when one sees this narration of Tabari, the researcher’s thoughts start travelling:

    “The Prophet (s.a) said, ‘Send someone to fetch Ali (a.s) to me!’ Hazrat Ayesha interjected, ‘How I wish you called Abu Bakr?!’ Then Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer entered the presence of the Prophet (s.a) and he said, ‘All of you go away from here! If I need you I shall send word!’ Then all of them walked away. After they went the Prophet (s.a) asked, ‘Has the time for prayer arrived?’ When he got a reply in affirmative, he said, ‘Tell Abu Bakr to lead the prayer!’”

    ---Tabari

    This narrative indicates how active was the most powerful group of women in the Prophet (s.a)’s household at that time. The orders, suggestions and messages travelled out only through the leader of that group of women! The narration also is indicative of the fact that how meticulously the leader of that group endeavoured to safeguard its interests and its school of thought! The narration also indicates that there was a subtle tussle between the leader of that group and the Prophet (s.a)!

    The narrator of the abovementioned event was Abd Allah bin Abbas. Hazrat Ayesha had to say this about leading of the prayer at the congregation in the Mosque:

    “When the Prophet (s.a) fell seriously ill, permission was sought for leading the prayers. He said, ‘Ask Abu Bakr to do it!’ I said, ‘He has a very soft heart! When he will stand in your place to lead the prayer he wouldn’t be able to perform the duty!’ He repeated again, ‘Ask Abu Bakr to lead the prayer!’ I again reiterated my fear. Then he said angrily, ‘You are the woman of Yusuf’s clan!’ Then he repeated his mandate for Abu Bakr to lead the prayer. After this he feebly went to the Mosque and reached near Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr tried to withdraw back. But the Prophet (s.a) waved to him to stay put in his place! The Prophet (s.a) then sat next to him and offered the prayer!!”

    ---Tabari

    In this narration there is dialogue between the Prophet (s.a) and Hazrat Ayesha. Either there was none else present there, or if someone was there, the person or persons waited for his orders! Anyway, both the narrations prove that Hazrat Abu Bakr did lead the prayer! But the difference in the composition of the narrations shows the acute difference in the bent of mind of the narrators!

    There is also much difference about the manner in which the prayer was conducted by Hazrat Abu Bakr. Most of the narrators say that the Prophet (s.a) himself conducted the prayer and Hazrat Abu Bakr was doing Iqteda—or praying under his leadership and other persons were doing Hazrat abu Bakr’s Iqteda!! Hafiz Ibn e Hajar Isqalani says that Hazrat Abu Bakr was only uttering the Takbir of Allaho Akbar to facilitate the congregation offering the prayer because the Prophet (s.a) was praying in a sitting posture and his voice was weak and low and it wasn’t reaching the ears of the congergated people. The purport of this elucidation is that the Prophet (s.a) was the Imam (Leader) and Hazrat Abu Bakr the Mamoon or the Follower! But there is no dearth of traditions in which effort has been made to prove that the Prophet (s.a) was offering his prayer behind, and in the leadership of Hazrat abu Bakr.

    Anas says:

    “The last prayer that the Prophet (s.a) offered in congregation with the Muslims he was clad in one piece of cloth that he had wrapped around his body, and this prayer he offered behind Abu Bakr!”

    A narration of the same nature was made by Nasai in his book and Imam Tabrani too included in his Maujim.

    Jabir says:

    “The Prophet (s.a) offered prayer behind Abu Bakr.”

    ---Riyaz al Nazara.

    Sohail bin Sayeed and Hazrat Ayesha too have made a similar narration and Riyaz al Nazara confirmed it. Thus during the period of the acute sickness of the Prophet (s.a) umpteen, and incredible, narrations have been made about the leading of the prayers that creates an image of the type mentioned hereunder:

    “Imamat of the prayer was the final test of the succession! There were severe restrictions for having more than two candidates for the position. The list of the candidates was already prepared. The first candidate was Hazrat Abu Bakr and the second Hazrat Omer. The second candidate withdrew his candidature in favour of the first. The announcement of the selection was not to be made by the Prophet (s.a) but by Hazrat Ayesha. About withdrawal of candidature Tabari narrates:

    “The Prophet (s.a) asked, ‘Has the time for prayer come?’ He got the reply in the affirmative. He said, ‘Ask abu Bakr to lead the prayer!’ Ayesha said, ‘Abu Bakr has a very soft heart and he (s.a) must depute Hazrat Omer for this task! But Omer interjected, ‘In the presence of Abu Bakr I cannot take any such initiative!’ Therefore, Abu Bakr went forward to lead the prayer.’

    --Tabari

    In Tarikhe Khamis a narration is there that indicates Hazrat Omer was unsuccessful in the competition with Hazrat abu Bakr. The narration says:

    “The Prophet (s.a) told to Abd Allah bin Zaama to go and tell Abu Bakr to lead the prayer. He went and found Hazrat Omer and many other companions at the threshold but Hazrat Abu Bakr wasn’t there! He told to Hazrat Omer, ‘O Omer! You lead the congregational prayer of the people!’ Hazrat Omer started the prayer and since his voice was loud, the Prophet (s.a) heard it and said, ‘Allaho Akbar! The Muslims refuse to be led by Omer in the prayer and only Abu Bakr should take the lead!’ The Prophet (s.a) repeated these words thrice. Then Hazrat Omer told Abd Allah bin Zaama, ‘You have done a wrong thing! I thought that the Prophet (s.a) wanted to ask me to lead the prayer!’. He said, ‘I thought the Prophet (s.a) had asked you to ask anyone to lead the prayer!’ Abd Allah said, ‘By God! The Prophet (s.a) didn’t ask me to tell anyone to lead the prayer!’”

    With this excess of narrations riffling through the pages of history will be like travelling in the wilderness and instead of searching the fact it seems easier to cut through the mountain to create a stream of milk flowing down! It is evident that in the excess of narrations about the event only one will be authentic! But the question is how to sieve out the right version from the umpteen narrations? About this matter our Ulema have been quibbling for the past fourteen hundred years and the result is nothing but dissensions!!

    Innumerable narratives are there about the event but the books of Hadit, the biographies and history have no mention that the Prophet (s.a) ordered Hazrat abu Bakr to lead the prayer like he asked him not to join the Contingent of Ossama bin Zaid as he (s.a) had asked Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Abbas not to go with Ossama for the expedition for the purpose of attendance near his sick-bed! It was infact the good luck of the congregation that Hazrat Abu Bakr himself refrained from joining the contingent!!

    THE EVENT OF QARTAS

    It was Thursday evening when the Prophet (s.a) came back to Hazrat Ayesha’s room after offering the Isha (Night Prayer) with Hazrat Abu Bakr. He was so weak with the ailment that two persons had to give support when he went to the Mosque. On his return he was more tired and weak. On returning home he swooned and after a while he went unconscious and remained in that condition for long. It was the time when the Prophet (s.a) had only four days of life in this transitory world. Getting to know his condition all the companions assembled and the spouses of the Prophet (s.a) and his Ahl al Bayt started lamenting. The other visitors too cried. When he regained consciousness after a time he asked for paper and inkpot saying that he wanted a testament be recorded that the people remained safe from going wayward! This was the last wish of the Prophet (s.a) to leave behind his will and testament! Every person, in every society, has the right to make a will and preventing someone from doing it is deemed a taboo act! Even a criminal is asked to declare his last wish before going to the gallows. As soon as the Prophet (s.a) uttered his wish, Hazrat Omer interjected saying:

    “The Prophet (s.a) is very ill and we have the Holy Quran with us and that is sufficient!”

    In debating and researching about this event the Sunni and Shia historians have spent centuries. One group says that Hazrat Omer was justified in what he did. The other group refutes this stand. Humanity stands helplessly listening to this futile debate! These people aren’t willing to give ear to the humanity because they are not willing to compromise the stand of their forbears! Wisdom and blind belief have always been at loggerheads! Who is there who can show them the light of reason?!

    I don’t wish to discuss this event at great length. I will just write about the event and throw some light on the stand of Maulana Shibli, the author of “Sirat al Nabi”. The people with wisdom and belief will keep deducing different conclusions! The event is like this, as recorded by Sahih Bukhari:

    “Ibne Abbas narrates that the Prophet (s.a)’s ailment became intense, he asked for pen and paper that he would leave behind a writing that (you) the people don’t go wayward. Hazrat Omer said, ‘The Prophet (s.a) is overwhelmed with the ailment and we have the Book (the Quran) that is sufficient!’

    ---Sahih Bukhari, Chapter 15, Page 106

    At another place in Sahih Bukhari the event is recorded in this manner:

    “Ibn e Abbas said, ‘It was Wednesday! What a sad Wednesday it was! Then he started crying that his tears wetted the pebbles. Then he continued, ‘The Prophet (s.a) became more restless on Wednesday and said, ‘Bring a paper to me that I write and you don’t go wayward after that!’ At this the persons present started heated arguments and fights although fighting in the presence of the Prophet (s.a) isn’t proper. Some said that the Prophet (s.a) was senselessly raving.”

    --Sahih Bukhari, Bab Jawaez al Wafood.

    Now see the comment of Maulana Shibli on this narrative:

    “The incident has become a topic of debate between Shias and Sunnies. The Shias say that the Prophet (s.a) wanted to write down declaration of the Caliphate for Ali (a.s). The Sunnies say that the Prophet (s.a) was certainly very ill and he was aware that all the aspects of Shariah were complete. The Quran itself had declared through revelation of the verse, ‘Al Yauma akmaltalakum deenakum’ that all the norms of the Faith are complete! Therefore Hazrat Omer thought it not necessary to inconvenience the Prophet (s.a). If really the Prophet (s.a) wanted to communicate something crucial none could have stopped him from doing it! The Prophet (s.a) lived four more days after the incident. If not then, he could have dictated his message afterwards and how it is known that he wished to dictate something? In Bukhari it is mentioned that he wished to call Abd Allah bin Abi Bakr and wanted to dictate an edict naming Abu Bakr as the caliph. Then he (s.a) thought it wasn’t necessary and said that even Allah preferred Abu Bakr and the Muslims liked none else than him to be the caliph! Then the Prophet (s.a) made three testaments to the people which he wanted to be recorded on paper. Perhaps these were the same that he wished to dictate on the earlier occasion, or perhaps, there were more which he could have communicated orally. Therefore when he gave a sermon before a large gathering, he could have talked about it.”

    ---Sirat al Nabi

    If the Maulana’s comment wasn’t ridiculous I would have stopped discussing the event at this point. But if I refrain from throwing light on it the intelligent people would ever curse my thinking. Therefore, I am perforce saying something further:

    1. First of all one must have a hearty laugh on the Maulana saying, “The Sunnies say that the Prophet (s.a) was certainly very seriously ill?”Can the Shias say that he wasn’t ill?! No human being would say that at that time, while the Prophet (s.a) was bed-ridden, he wasn’t unwell!! But when a seriously ill person expresses his wish to dictate his last will and testament, and that person is the Prophet (s.a) whose utterance of every word is deemed a revelation, effort is made to relieve his pain by saying, “He is raving (Uttering Hizyan) and for us is sufficient the Book of Allah!” This was tantamount to saying that he wasn’t ready to listen to anything from the very sick Prophet (s.a)! Was what Omer said a “shot” to relieve the pain?! Do the Sunnies relieve the pain of seriously ill persons in this manner?! Do the Sunnies and Shias have different standards of relieving pain and treating the ill persons?! Wouldn’t the act of Hazrat Omer have enhanced the pain of the Prophet (s.a)?! In that group that day was Hazrat Omer the only Sunni who was aware of the Prophet (s.a)’s pain and all other Companions and the spouses were Shia and totally unaware of his pain?! ---Now what to talk of the Maulana (Shibli) who was in advanced age and had a high status!!!
    2. Now we take the Maulana Shibli’s saying, “It was known that no more point about the Shariah was yet to be clarified and the verse of the Quran—Al Yauma Akmaltalakum Deenakum—was already revealed.” The innocence of this statement of the Maulana has to be praised! One has to ask the Maulana, did only Hazrat Omer know about it?! Didn’t the Prophet (s.a) know about it that he was the fountainhead of the Book!! Didn’t the Prophet (s.a) remain the prophet after the revelation of this verse?! Wasn’t there more expectation of guidance from the Prophet (s.a)? Was Hazrat Omer unaware that the Quran didn’t mandate any specific law of succession after the Prophet (s.a)? In such a situation is the Prophet (s.a)’s wish to promulgate a law of succession would not be in order?! Perhaps the Prophet (s.a) wished to make a will about something else that would be beneficial for the people. In such a situation wouldn’t it be imprudent stopping him with the uttereance that he was raving and that the Book is sufficient for us?! If some companions wished to ask some clarification Hazrat Omer might have been right asking them not to disturb the Prophet (s.a) but when the Prophet (s.a) himself wanted to talk about important matters of the welfare of the people, what sort of attention to his illness it was to interrupt him with undue force?!!
    3. Another ridiculous statement of Maulana Shibli is, “If the Prophet (s.a) really had to communicate any important matter would anyone be able to stop him from doing it!” –We submit for the attention of the Maulana that he (The Prophet-s.a) was actually stopped from saying his say! What difficulty was there in stopping him! Only one person from the group in attendance was able to do it!! The Prophet (s.a) was lying there in the bed like a dead person and both the groups were having loud wordy duel. Some were demanding for pen and paper to be produced and the others were against it! The Prophet (s.a) had fully gauged the bent of minds of his companions, and was aware that if he uttered what he wanted to say the swords would come out. This would cause such dissensions among the people that none would be able even to perform his last rites! Therefore, when a suggestion came up if he really wanted pen and paper be brought then the Prophet (s.a) said: “Leave me alone! My condition is better than the condition you people wish to reduce me to!” Even a stupid person would understand that the Prophet (s.a) had gauged the needs of the circumstances and had reached the conclusion that the utterance of what he wanted to say was contrary to their political thought would be risky for the respect of prophethood and amity among the The Prophet (s.a) survived for three or four days after this incident. He didn’t want to disturb the status quo which might give rise to conflicts which exisited during the Days of Ignorance!
    4. Now look at a concoted narration of Maulana Shibli. He says, “Bukhari reports that the Prophet (s.a) wished to dictate his edict for appointment of Abd Allah bin Abu Bakr. Then he thought it not necessary and said that Allah Himself wouldn’t prefer anyone other than Abu Bakr for the position!”

    God knows in the book-shelf of Maulana Shibli which edition of Sahih Bukhari was there that contained the above narrative. Perhaps the Maulana wrote the concocted narrative in his book with the thought that just a reference to a reputed publication would uphold the falsehood. I didn’t expect that the Maulana wouldn’t hesitate from attributing the falsehood to Imam Bukhari! Now, for a while consider that the narrative is there in Sahih Bukhari then who was it who got the inspiration that the Prophet (s.a) wished to write an edict nominating Abu Bakr the caliph. Whatever he wanted to be written remained in his heart till the end and how it was discovered what he intended to be written down?! Did he tell it to someone before he expired? Now, when the question of imagining something is concerned, we for a while consider the narration of the Maulana, as a truth, then a question arises what was the need of referring to Hizyan (Ranting) at that critical time? This reference to Hizyan was the talk of a person in full senses! Why didn’t Hazrat Omer allow the Prophet (s.a) to reduce his thought of appointing Abu Bakr the caliph to writing?! This was what Hazrat Omer wished from the depth of his heart! The decision that was to come from Saqifa four days thereafter could have been concluded while the Prophet (s.a) was alive! It would have been a mandate from the Prophet (s.a) against which no Arab could have raised his head! It is beyond comprehension why Omer used the derogatory word “Hizyan” against the Prophet (s.a)? He should atleast have heard what the Prophet (s.a) wanted to say before going down to the level of using the word!

    In his other book “al Farooq” the Maulana writes something unique:

    “No narrator of Bukhari or Muslim can be doubted that he hadn’t justified the complete context and it is more easy to blame Hazrat Omer for adducing the word “hizyan” to the Prophet (s.a)”

    In plain terms the Maulana’s intention to address the admirers of Hazrat Omer saying that if they find even a shriver of evidence against Hazrat Omer in Bukhari and Muslim, they will have the right to consider the narration of Bukhari and Muslim as erroneous! This is what is called blind belief! If the Maulana’s logic was accepted by the world, it would be tantamount to consigning the discipline of history to the grave! For referring to the work of history only Maulana Shibli’s book would be available which is replete with references of Bukhari and Muslim and the Maulana deems them unreliable and unauthentic.

    Maulana not only doubted the authenticity of Bukhari and Muslim but even doubted the narrator, Abd Allah bin Abbas. He writes:

    “Since Abd Allah bin Abbas was only of age thirteen or fourteen years, what will be the status of his narration?!”

    It is surprising that almost simultaneously the Maulana is making two contradictory statements. He has forgotten that in his book”Al Farooq” he quotes from “Iste-aab” of Allama Ibne abd al Barr the following narration:

    “Hazrat Omer held Ibn e Abbas near and dear! Usually it happened that at the gatherings of Hazrat Omer, when any question cropped up, Abd Allah bin Abbas would have the desire to respond but because of his young age he hesitated. Hazrat Omer used to encourage him by saying that possessing knowledge doesn’t depend on the age of a person!”

    See! The plaintiff is tardy and the witness is active!! In the estimation of Hazrat Omer the young Abd Allah ibn e Abbas was dependable and in Maulana Shibli’s view he wasn’t! And then nature didn’t make Abd Allah bin Abbas taste death at his young age of 13 or 14 years. He lived in the times of Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer, Hazrat Othman, Hazrat Ali (a.s), Muawiya and was alive even when Yazid ruled. Hazrat Omer himself, and none else, had told him to correct the erroneous narration that had originated from him. Or else he would be punished for spreading a falsehood! Imam Bukhari and all the historians after him have termed this narrative as authentic and true! Did the caliphs, historians and traditionists leave this specific task for the discretion of Maulana Shibli?!

    The Maulana, in his fervour of belief, has even written that the tradition wasn’t recorded by any companion other than Abd Allah bin Abbas. I say that even if Abd Allah bin Abbas was the solitary narrator of this tradition, it would be sufficient because he was witness to the heated argument that took place during the event and none of the Companions, who were present there, refute his statement! Wasn’t Maulana Shibli aware that there could be other narrators of the event besides Abd Allah ibn e Abbas?! What more is required that Hazrat Omer himself has described the event in his own words. First see the narration of Jabir bin Abd Allah Ansari which has been reported by Imam Ahmed in his Masnad and also Allama Ibn e Saad in Tabaqaat. The narrative is:

    “The Prophet (s.a) asked for paper prior to his expiry that he would make such a will and testament that the Muslims wouldn’t go wayward thereafter. Omer bin Khattab opposed the move, took away the paper from the Prophet (s.a)’s hand and threw it down!”

    ---Masnad Imam Ahmed, Vol 3, P 324—

    Published from Egypt.

    Tabaqaat Ibn e Saad records the event in these words:

    “Jabir says that the Prophet (s.a) asked for paper prior to his demise to write his will so that the people wouldn’t go astray. The persons present created pandemonium and obstructed the Prophet (s.a) from making his will!”

    Now read the narration of Hazrat Omer himself as reported in Kanz al Amal and also recorded by Imam Tabrani in his Ausat:

    “Hazrat Omer says, ‘When the Prophet (s.a) was afflicted with the terminal sickness he said, ‘Bring to me pen and paper that I leave for you such a document, after which, till the Day of Reckoning, you will not go astray!’ The women, from behind the curtains said, ‘You people aren’t listening to what the Prophet (s.a) is saying!’ I told to them, ‘You are the supporters of Yusuf (a.s)! When the Prophet (s.a) falls ill you shed tears and when he recovers you ride on his neck!’ The Prophet (s.a) then said, ‘Leave the women alone! They are certainly better than you!’”

    ---Kanz al Amal, Vol 3, P 138

    In this narration those words aren’t there that Hazrat Omer uttered when the Prophet (s.a) asked for pen and paper! But this narrative does indicate that Hazrat Omer’s attitude was so terse that the Prophet (s.a) was upset and he said, “Leave the women alone! They are certainly better than you!” In addition to this the women protesting from behind the curtains and Hazrat Omer getting angry was a sign of his impoliteness. If permitted, I would like to say something!

    The truth is that if one enters into the sea of beliefs and makes excuses, the matter would remain complicated as it has been for the past fourteen hundred years! The background of this incident is such that unless one looks at it with impartial eyes he wouldn’t perceive it! There isn’t any need for a proof to know that Hazrat Omer was one of the top intellectuals of his time and was acknowledged as a top politician and thinker! His penetrative eyes used to reach the depth of any problem and find solutions very fast. He was against all such movements which wanted to snatch the Flag of Islam from the hands of the commoners and give it to the elite because Islam has come to awaken the toilers and to shake the very foundations of the palaces of the affluent! In Islam the standard of greatness is neither wealth nor the descent but it is only Taqwa (Piety). He was aware of this august spirit of Islam that even if a flat-nosed Nubian slave is the chief of the Muslims, provided he is a man of piety, it is binding on the Muslims to obey him! Islam came for crushing the tribal chauvinism and not to enhance it! Hazrat Omer studied all the pillars of Islam intensely. In the ten years of the development of the Islamic Culture in Medina the name of Hazrat Omer is prominently there! A person of Hazrat Omer’s perception wouldn’t be obliviouis of the fact that the Prophet (s.a), at every turning of the early Islamic History, was making subtle indications of the succession of Hazrat Ali (a.s)! He also knew that the Prophet (s.a) was not making Hazrat Ali (a.s) his successor just because he was a scion of the tribe of Hashim and was his cousin and son-in-law but he was selected because of his exceptional capabilities, service and piety. But where Hazrat Omer was aware of these things he also knew the mind of the Arabs that were replete with tribal bigotry and pride. They would deem the succession of Hazrat Ali (a.s) the sole privilege of Bani Hashim and thus might commence a dynastic rule! This would defeat the very purpose of Islam and the Arabs, who were still unaware of the Islamic way of life, might return back to the ways of the Days of Ignorance. Now was the time that the Prophet (s.a) was counting his days on the deathbed. The Muslims were intently listening and watching every thing. They wanted to absorb every word uttered by him as the last drops of the rain of blessing that they heard the weak voice of the Prophet (s.a), “Bring paper and pen that I write for you such a document that you people don’t go astray till the Day of Reckoning!” Hazrat Omer, being a person of quick wit, immediately understood the delicacy of the affairs. He understood that the Prophet (s.a) wanted to prescribe about the caliphate in his last will and testament because this was the only matter about which the Quran was silent! Hazrat Omer had only two alternatives: bow down his head to what the Prophet (s.a) ordered for or stand like a wall of steel between the Prophet (s.a) and the will that he wished to make! Reluctantly, perhaps, he chose the second alternative. Because following the first alternative there was the risk of establishing dynastic rule and, perhaps the Arabs after a few generations of such rule might have reverted to their old ways of the days of ignorance!!

    However! It is impossible to deny the fact that while obstructing the will of the Prophet (s.a), Hazrat Omer had the interests of his political group in his mind as well!! Because if he wished to hand over the rule to the commoners instead of any particular tribe, he wouldn’t have opposed, tooth and nail, the claim of the Ansar at Saqifa Bani Saaeda and accepted the caliph selected by them and invited others to owe allegiance to him. One conclusion that emerges from this is that to deny the caliphate to the Bani Hashim, Hazrat Omer was using all the faculties at his command. A proof of this is in what he himself has said. Please read:

    “Hazrat Omer once told Abd Allah bin Abbas, ‘O Ibn e Abbas! Do you know what deprived you of the caliphate after the Prophet (s.a)?’ Abd Allah thought it discreet not to reply him. Therefore he said, ‘Sir! If I don’t know, you certainly must know the reason!’ Hazrat Omer said, ‘People don’t like it that the prophethood and the caliphate get concentrated with one clan and you trample the people merrily! Therefore the Qureish chose the Caliphate for them and they were right in their decision!’”

    --Tarikh e Kamil, Vol 3.

    Anyway, what is wrong if Hazrat Omer protected the interests of his party in acquiring the caliphate for it! He wasn’t desirous of worldly power and pelf. He was more concerned about the Faith and the caliphate was such a high felicity that everyone desired to acquire. The world knew that after becoming the caliph he dedicated his entire life to service of the Faith of Islam and its greatness!!

    THE SETTING OF THE SUN OF PROPHETHOOD

    After the event of “The Pen and Paper” on the night prior to Friday, the condition of the Prophet (s.a)’s health deteriorated further and the struggle between life and death was going on! Ibn e Ishaq writes that on Sunday when Ossama bin Zaid left the Contingent of Islam in Jarf and came to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) to bid him adieus the Prophet (s.a) wasn’t able to utter anything. To bless Ossama he just raised his hands towards the sky! In Sahih Bukhari this narrative of Hazrat Anas is there:

    “On Monday Hazrat Abu Bakr was leading the morning prayer when the Prophet (s.a) lifted the curtain of Ayesha’s room and smiled to see the people busy in their prayer!”

    After witnessing this he wanted to drop the curtain but the weakness was so much that he couldn’t put the curtain properly.

    As the day progressed the Prophet (s.a) was between the states of semi-consciousness and un-consciousness. The historians agree on this point that while conscious he made three wills. Hazrat Ibn e Abbas narrates these wills were made after the event of Qirtas. Anyhow, determining the timing isn’t important than the wills that were made. Now, listen to the details of these wills recorded by Saeed bin Jubair and Ibn e Abbas:

    “Then he (the Prophet s.a) made will about three matters. One was to push out the polytheists from the Arabian Peninsula, second behave the same way with the delegations as they behave with you,---Saeed bin Jubair says that Ibne Abbas mentioned only these two things and fell silent. He said he had forgotten the third will!!”

    Maulana Shibli commenting on the event of the “Paper” writes:

    He, the Prophet (s.a), orally made three wills to the people, perhaps these were the crucial matters about which he wished to make his will on paper, or if they were other than these he could have mentioned them along with others that he said orally to the people. He could have also mentioned them when he later on addressed the gathering.”

    How wonderful! The Maulana prevented a proof that supported what he was arguing against. If we agree that the Prophet (s.a) wanted to record the same three wishes on paper, then we shall have to search for the third wish as to what it was?! Here, there is a seal on the mouths of all the traditionists and historians. No one says what was the third wish? Perhaps this third wish was that which was thought to be avoided getting reduced to paper and even an oral declaration too was contrary to their prudence and a narrator of the calibre of Ibn e Abbas, whose memory was exemplary, became a subject of forgetfulness and was silent on the matter! This unknown will was neither written on paper nor was conveyed orally, but it is of such critical importance that a person no less than Maulana Shibli tried to build a castle in the air committing all his energies to the matter!!

    Coming back to the main subject, we are discussing about the Monday when the Prophet (s.a) experienced the conditions of consciousness and unconsciousness alternately. A bowl of cool water was kept near him. When he felt slightly better he wet his hand in the water and touched it to his face. Hazrat Fatima was wailing, “Oh! My father is in pain!” In these moments he regained consciousness and noticed a Miswak (tooth-brush) in the hand of Abd ar Rehman bin Abu Bakr. Hazrat Ayesha was aware of the Prophet (s.a)’s nature. She took the brush from her brother, softened it between her teeth and gave to him. The Prophet (s.a) brushed his teeth. According to Ibn e Ishaq it was noon-time and Bukhari and Muslim narrate that it was afternoon. The breathing of the Prophet (s.a) had gone abrupt and irregular. Hazrat Ali (a.s) says that the lips of the Prophet (s.a) moved and he uttered two words: “prayer” and “slave”----pain and agony was severe when the Prophet (s.a) raised his finger skywards and said three times: “Now I want none but the Greatest Friend!” With utterance of these words his hand fell down and the spirit left his body for the Other World!!

    Hazrat Ayesha says:

    “He (s.a) breathed his last in my house and on my lap! For this I didn’t usurp anyones right but because of my ignorance and my young age he preferred to be in my room! He died in my room. When his spirit left, I put his head on the pillow, got up and started crying with other women.”

    ---Tabari

    The following passage from Tabaqaat of Ibn e Saad too is noteworthy:

    “Kaab al Ahbar was standing in the chamber of Hazrat Omer when we were seated with him. Kaab asked, ‘O Amir! What was the last word uttered by the Prophet (s.a)?’ Hazrat Omer asked him to ask Ali (a.s). Kaab asked where was Ali (a.s)? He went to Hazrat Ali (a.s) and made his query. He said, ‘In the last moments of the Prophet (s.a) I provided him the support of my chest. He put his head on my shoulder and said, ‘Prayer! Prayer!’ Kaab said, ‘The prophets certainly spend their last moments in this manner!’ Then Kaab asked Hazrat Omer who gave the Prophet (s.a) the last bath? Hazrat Omer again asked him to go and ask Hazrat Ali (a.s). Kaab asked. Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, ‘It was me who gave the last bath to the Prophet (s.a)!’

    ---Tabaqaat Ibn e Saad, Vol 2, P51

    Imam Hakim in his Mustadrak reports the following from Umm e Salama, the consort of the Prophet (s.a):

    “Ali (a.s) remained with the Prophet (s.a) till the last. Early morning of the day the Prophet (s.a) demised we went to inquire about his health. He was asking, ‘Has Ali (a.s) come?!’ Hazrat Fatima said, ‘Perhaps you have sent him for some task?!’ After some time Ali (a.s) came. I thought that the Prophet (s.a) wished to talk something with Ali (a.s) and, therefore, we went out of the room. The Prophet (s.a) bent and leaned on Ali (a.s) and talked to him in low tone. In that position he breathed his last! Therefore, only Ali (a.s) was with the Prophet (s.a) in his last moments!’”

    ---Mustadrak, Vol 3, P139

    In Riyad Nazra, published from Egypt there is a narrative of Hazrat Ayesha which is contrary to her earlier narrative. It reads:

    Hazrat Ayesha says tha when the Prophet (s.a) was in his last moments he said,‘Call my Habib (Friend)!’ someone went and called Hazrat Abu Bakr. He lifted his head from the pillow, put it down. Again a person went and called Hazrat Omer! The Prophet (s.a) saw him and put back his head on the pillow again. The third time someone called Hazrat Ali (a.s). When he (s.a) saw Ali (a.s), he took him under his blanket and remained in that position till he breathed his last when his hand was over Ali (a.s)!’”

    ---Riyad Nazara, P 80

    After studying these narrations one understands that to acquire religious felicity and status in society the political parties were antagonistic to each other. This too had become an issue whether, at the time of his demise, the Prophet (s.a)’s head was on the lap of Hazrat Ayesha or on the chest of Hazrat Ali (a.s). One can well imagine that for this felicity two contenders of high status were there that till now the people are unable to decide who, of the two, had that privilege. Then for acquiring the high position of Caliphate how intensely the political opponents would have striven and covered the truth with heavy curtains! It is the sad result of these political entanglements that the great Prophet (s.a) demised on Monday, 12 Rabi Awwal (8 June 632 A.D) in the afternoon and the interment couldn’t be done till the midnight of Wednesday, Hazrat Ayesha herself is on record having said:

    “On the midnight of Wednesday the sounds of the working of the shovels indicated to us that the Prophet (s.a) was being laid to rest!”

    ---Tabari

    THE CONDITION OF HAZRAT OMER

    Hazrat Ayesha has to say this about the condition of Hazrat Omer on the demise of the Prophet (s.a):

    “When the Prophet (s.a) died Abu Bakr was in Sukh. Hazrat Omer stood up and said, ‘By Allah! The Prophet (s.a) isn’t dead and certainly Allah will resurrect him and he (the Prophet-s.a) will sever the limbs of the people who say he is dead!’ Then Hazrat abu Bakr came, saw the mortal remains of the Prophet (s.a), kissed him and said, ‘I sacrifice my parents on you! You lived a pure life and died a pure death! By Allah! He will not make you taste the death twice!’”

    ---Sahih Bukhari

    Shah Abd al Haq Dehlvi writes:

    Hazrat Omer became so inebriated that he started pleading and swearing that the Prophet (s.a) hadn’t demised and he had become unconscious the same way Hazrat Moosa (a.s) went unconscious! Hazrat Omer drew his sword, stood at the entrance of the Mosque and said, ‘If anyone says the Prophet (s.a) is dead, I shall sever the person into two with this sword!’”

    ---Madarij al Nabu-aa

    Maulana Shibli pays tribute about the event in these words:

    “The believers aren’t convinced that the Prophet (s.a) said adieus to this world! Therefore Hazrat Omer drew his sword saying that if people say that the Prophet (s.a) had demised, he would sever their heads!”

    ---Sirat Al Nabi

    The world has existed for millions of years. The great prophets died and their people witnessed the fact. The Rishis and Munis died and the preasts remained dumb-struck! The emperors like Darius and Alexander died and expert physicians of Persia and Rome were helpless! In mundane life a son dies while the father lives, a brother dies leaving behind his beloved sister, a wife breathes her last infront of her husband! But we have never seen or read about anyone getting inebriated the way Hazrat Omer behaved at the demise of the Prophet (s.a). Was a wise person like Hazrat Omer sure that death wouldn’t come to the Prophet?! Was his love and dedication of such intensity that another example of anyone ever behaving like him at the death of a loved one may not be there! The Prophet (s.a)’s beloved spouse , Hazrat Ayesha, his adored daughter, Fatima, his brother Ali (a.s) and his dedicated companions were all there. But their love for him didn’t reach the stage to utter: ‘Maa maat Rasool Allah---the Prophet (s.a) isn’t dead!’ and flail their swords as did Hazrat Omer! What had happened to this sentiment of Hazrat Omer in the Battle of Ohod?! There he instantaneously believed that the Prophet (s.a) was killed in the battle! There was the right opportunity for him to flail his sword boldly. There he ought to have shouted that he would sever the head of anyone who said that the Prophet (s.a) was martyred!! But there his condition was that in utter disappointment he threw down his arms and sat dejectedly!! The uncle of Anas, Ibn e Nadar, passed that way. He asked, ‘O Omer! What are you doing here? It is raining blood in the field of battle!’ Hazrat Omer replied, ‘what use fighting now! The Prophet (s.a) has been martyred!’ The conclusion one can draw from these events that Hazrat Omer’s spirit of dedication to the Prophet (s.a) was so flexible that it would change in accordance with the circumstance!!

    We have to present the history of Islam to other nations and, therefore, we shall have to be circumspect in our approach. With the time values too have changed and we cannot site fables to hoodwink the historians! In reality, the true side of the event is something else!! Hazrat Omer was far ahead of the people of his time in prudence and statesmanship. In every country and nation the death of the head of state is kept secret till the establishment gets full control of the law and order or till the successor is chosen. This act of Hazrat Omer was sheer politics!

    The leader of the party, Hazrat Abu Bakr, wasn‘t present in Medina at that time and the announcement of the demise of the Prophet (s.a) prior to his arrival was not expedient for their political interests. It was possible that the Bani Hashim might seek the Bai-at (Allegiance) of the people for their candidate, Hazrat Ali (a.s). The temperament of the Arabs was such that once they committed their allegiance they wouldn’t go back on it! Hazrat Omer had gauged the gravity of the situation and with his intelligence he created such a dramatic situation that till Hazrat abu Bakr arrived the peoples’ attention was riveted on him! His unusual antics absorbed the attention of the people. It might have created some debate. Some might have said that Hazrat Omer’s statement must be right. Others might have said it was wrong! Some others might have been in doubt whether the Prophet (s.a) was dead or not! Any way Hazrat Omer occupied the attention of the people during the time Hazrat Abu Bakr wasn’t there. Hazrat abu Bakr finally arrived and he commenced giving a talk to the gathering. Hazrat Omer quietened, bowed down his head and so did the other men who were arguing with him. In a short while Hazrat Omer left with Hazrat Abu Bakr for the important parleys for the decision about the Caliphate.

    I personally feel that the act of Hazrat Omer was an act of political prudence whatever the historians write about it!!

    THE LAST BATH AND THE SHROUD

    Tarikh e Tabari quotes from Ibn e Abbas that Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s), Abbas bin Abd al Mutallib, Fadl bin Abbas, Fatam bin Abbas, Ossama bin Zaid and Shaqran Maula gave the last bath to the Prophet (s.a). In the end Hazrat Ali (a.s) also called in Aus bin Khauli of Bani Khazraj. The Prophet (s.a) was given the bath with the clothes he was wearing. Ali bin Al Hussain narrates that the Prophet (s.a) was shrouded in three clothes that were rolled many times around his body.

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) very dedicatedly performed the last rites like a brother and son-in-law. This kept him oblivious of the happenings at Saqifa Bani Saaeda. While he was attending to the last rites of the Prophet (s.a) in the chambers of Hazrat Ayesha there was a crowd of people waiting outside. None was allowed to enter inside!

    It seems all this was being done on strict instructions of Hazrat Ayesha. Her own statement is recorded in Tarikh e Tabari:

    “Hazrat Ayesha used to say that if I wished at that time, what I didn’t wish, then only the Prophet (s.a)’s spouses would have given him the bath.”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    This means that if Hazrat Ayesha desired, Hazrat Ali (a.s) wouldn’t have participated in giving the bath and shroud to the Prophet (s.a). His presence in the chambers was exactly in accordance with the wish of Hazrat Ayesha. If she had asked Hazrat Omer and Abu Bakr to perform this task and kept Hazrat Ali (a.s) away, then perhaps the history of Islam would have been something else. The circumstances at that time indicate that Hazrat Ayesha played a crucial part in the History of Islam. There isn’t another lady in the history of Islam with such political acumen!

    Thus, the members of the party of Bani Hashim were in the chambers of Hazrat Ayesha performing the last rites of the Prophet (s.a) and on the other hand the proceedings at Saqifa were completed by the other party!!

    SAQIFA BANI SAAEDA

    The Ansar of Medina formed two tribes—Aws and Khazraj. Khazraj were more in numbers. Their chief was Saad bin Ibada. His residence was near the bazaar of Medina. Adjacent to the house was constructed a canopy which served as a meeting place. This was called Saqifa Bani Saaeda. The tired shoppers and travellers generally halted here for some rest to get some relief from the harsh Sunlight. Such places become haunts of disseminating any good or bad tiding. It is still a favourite pastime of persons with leisure to sit at such places and gossip. Saqifa Bani Saaeda was one such place and was frequented by men from Khazraj.

    When the announcement of the sad demise of the Prophet (s.a) was made they gathered there and debate commenced as to who should get the caliphate. After some discussion they decided that this was the right of the Ansar. Saad bin Ibada, the chief of the Khazraj, was slightly indisposed and he sat covering himself with a shawl. When his opinion was sought, he responded speaking in a weak voice and his son relayed to the gathering what he said in louder voice. Everyone liked the talk of Saad and they responded in one voice that they wanted him to lead them because, they said, he was their chief and also he was popular with noble Muslims! Some persons questioned if the Mohajirs (the Immigrants) didn’t agree to this proposal and raised the question of nearness to the Prophet (s.a), then what would be their reply? One group said that in such an eventuality they should suggest that one chief should be from Ansar and one from the Mohajireen. They insisted that they wouldn’t accept anything less than this. At this Saad opined that this proposal would be the first sign of their weakness!

    This debate wasn’t taking place in camera as a closed door session. The wayfarers were listening to the talk as they tarried for a while and went their ways. Someone informed Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Abu Bakr about these parleys! The information was conveyed to them in the sickbay of the Prophet (s.a) where Hazrat Ali (a.s), Hazrat Abbas with his sons, Fadal and Fatam, too were present and were busy preparing for the burial of the Prophet (s.a). The informant conveyed the message to Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer exercising caution that others in the room didn’t hear him. They too maintained silence and quietly and hurriedly went to Saqifa Bani Saaeda. On the way Abu Ubaida met and accompanied them. As they went, they were met by Asim bin Adi and Arim bin Saaeda. They talked in a discouraging manner and advised them to return back that they wouldn’t succeed in their plans! It seems these two persons were aware of the intention of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer. The Informant, who kept Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Bani Hashim in the dark about the parleys at the Saqifa remained trustworthy for Hazrat Omer and Abu Bakr till the end. Abu Obaida too joined in their efforts. Therefore, the secrecy about the event was maintained till it was accomplished to their satisfaction. Hazrat abu Bakr and Omer immediately joined the debate at Saqifa Bani Saaeda. A gist of the discussions wouldn’t be devoid of interest! Here it is:

    Abu Bakr: (described the excellence of the Mohajireen, praised their achievements and ended his talk with these words: “The Imams will be from the Qureish! We shall be the ‘Amirs’ and you the ‘Viziers’. No matter will be settled without consulting you!”

    Habab bin Mandar: O group of Ansar! Take the Caliphate in your hand! All these persons support you! None have the guts to oppose you! You are affluent and powerful. Your numbers and strength is more! All eyes are focussed on you. Shun mutual dissent, or else, you will weaken yourselves and fail in your efforts! If the Mohajirs disagree--- One ‘Amir’ should be from our side and another from theirs!

    Omer: This is impossible! Two swords cannot fit into one scabbard! By God! The Arabs wouldn’t approve this arrangement that you rule over them when their ‘Nabi’ was from another tribe! But the Arabs would accept the rule of the tribe that was privileged with the ‘Nabuat’! Who can differ with us about the rule of Mohammed (s.a)! That was acknowledged by everyone! After him, his Wali (Successors) and his relatives deserve to be rulers! Those who disagree with this will go astray! Only such persons will oppose the suggestion and none else!

    Habab bin Mandar: O people of Ansar! Don’t give ears to this person’s words or of his companions! They desire to usurp your share as well. If they don’t agree to our proposal banish them from our area and take all the matters in your hand. I take the responsibility of all the matters in my hands! I shall immediately arrive at a decision!

    Omer: If you do anything like this Allah will punish you!

    Habab bin Mandar: To the contrary, you will be punished!!

    Abu Obaida: O group of Ansar! You were the first to support the Creed! Beware! You may be the first to harm it!

    Bashir: Doing Jihad and serving the Creed was to seek the pleasure of Allah and obedience of the Prophet (s.a)! O group of Ansar! Listen, Mohammed (s.a) was from Qureish and, therefore, his tribe is most deserving for getting the Caliphate! I will never differ with them in this matter. You too must fear Allah! Don’t oppose them!!

    Abu Bakr: (After praising the virtues of unity he said, “Omer and Abu Obaida are here! Make one of them the Amir!”

    Omer and Abu Obaida: (Said in one voice): “In your presence we wouldn’t accept this responsibility because you are the seniormost among the Mohajirs. Give your hand that we owe our allegiance (Bai-at) to you!” Saying this Hazrat Omer put his hand on Abu Bakr’s hand as a sign of allegiance. After him Abu Obaida did the same and Bashir bin Saad was the first person from the Ansar to owe his allegiance.

    Habab bin Mandar: O Bashir! Who forced you to do what you did?! By God! You have betrayed your uncle’s son, Saad bin Ibada!!

    Obaid bin Huzair: O people of Aus! Make hurry to owe allegiance to abu Bakr! If Saad bin Ibada becomes the Amir, then the Khazraj will always have superiority over the people of Aus and you will not get any benefit! Stand up and owe allegiance to Abu Bakr!!

    Habab bin Mandar: (Drew his sword and when the persons there caught it, threw his shawl on them and said, “O group of Ansar! I see that your off-springs are standing in front of the doors of the Mohajirs begging and they even don’t give a little water to them!”

    Abd Allah bin Abd ar Rehman narrates, “People came from all places and owed their allegiance to Abu Bakr. In the melle they were about to trample Saad bin Ibada. Someone shouted to protect Saad from getting trampled. Omer said, ‘May Allah destroy him! Kill him!!’ Then he went near the head of Saad and said, ‘I want to trample and kill you!’ Saad caught hold of Omer’s beard. Omer said, ‘Leave my beard! Even if one hair of my beard is disturbed there will not remain even a single tooth in your mouth!’ Abu Bakr said, ‘O Omer! Keep quiet! Mildness is more discreet at this time!’ Then Omer left Saad alone. Saad said, ‘If I had a little strength to get up I would have filled the lanes of Medina with my supporters!      

    ---Tarikhe Tabari

    The gathering at Saqifa Bani Saaeda was incidental and when its venue is considered, it was a place of casual meetings at the marketplace! Not a single person in the meeting was summoned for the selection of the Caliph! It wasn’t a regular or officially called conclave. The gathering cannot be called representative of the tribes of Aus and Khazraj nor were the Mohajirs represented in the meeting properly. Only three of them---Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer, Hazrat Abu Obaida---incidentally reached there!!! Not a single person from Bani Hashim was present in the conclave or any from Bani Omayya. Hazrat Bilal, Hazrat Salman, Ammar, Abu Dhar Ghiffari, Abu Huraira, Mughira bin shauba, Abu Moosa Ashari, Abd ar Rehman bin Auf, Ossama bin Zaid, Hazrat Othman and thousands of companions who participated in the battles had any inkling about this important meeting! Hazrat Talha and Hazrat zubair who used to be like a shadow with the Prophet (s.a) in all his campaigns were conspicuous by their absence from this meeting at Saqifa!! Abu Sufian, the chief of Bani Omayya, was away from Medina. The circumstances indicate that it was an insignificant gathering of a few Ansar. What was the significance of this one-sided proceeding?! Who would recognize the Caliph chosen from the Ansar at such an insignificant meet?! Who would owe allegiance to him?! If, suppose, the people of Medina did bestow allegiance to him, what harm would it have caused? Had the Shariah of Mohammed (s.a) declared the Caliph taboo if he was from the Ansar?! The truth is that the presence of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer gave this unimportant, one sided meeting the stamp of importance! Because of them, in the meeting of the Ansar the Mohajireen too had a minor presence! Now the question is that how important and justifiable was the presence of these senior, worldlywise citizens of the Qureish in this meeting that they left behind the Prophet (s.a) without a thought of attending to his last rites and proceeding to Saqifa without even consulting the Mohajireen and the elites of Medina! How could they assume the position of arbiters that the Shariah and morality donot permit it.Their supporters say that they went there to quell any possible public strife that might have raised its head. We don’t understand what strife they thought of? Does strife mean that Saad bin Ibada got elected as Caliph there and not Abu Bakr?! More than this there was no chance of any “strife” there! Now, imagine if the Ansar had chosen Saad bin Ibada what was the element of “strife” in that? Islam is such a universal movement that even a flat-nosed Nubian has full right to become the Caliph and the Muslims are mandated to obey him! And, suppose, if any “strife” did occur the responsibility for that wouldn’t have fallen on the shoulders of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer. The Islamic Society could have itself handled any such “strife”! Let us accept for a while that those three gentlemen were capable of quelling the “strife” in Medina, it was their moral responsibility to disburse the gathering with their peacefully forceful debate by saying to the Ansar, “O Brothers! What injustice that the mortal remains of the Prophet (s.a) are there for the last rites and you are making plans for acquiring the Caliphate?! Open your eyes in the name of the Almighty! With your amoral act you are not only making a joke of Islam but are also dragging the Prophet (s.a) and Allah in this attempt! Beware! Lest the Earth goes asunder and the sky falls on you!” Certainly any such talk could have easily disbursed the Ansar who gathered there. Even if they didn’t agree, Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer could have adopted another strategy by saying that “The important matter could be decided in the Masjid e Nabawi where all the matters concerning Islam were handled all the time! The people could be congregated by calling the Adhaan and with the opinion of all the Muslims the Prophet (s.a)’s successor could be selected. The important matter could be settled in the Prophet (s.a)’s mosque where his mortal remains too are there!” Perhaps none would have opposed this reasonable suggestion!! The meeting at Saqifa could easily have been called off and the matter could be resolved after the interment of the Prophet (s.a)! If Hazrat Abu Bakr was selected in this peaceful and democratic manner, the mouths of the objectors would have shut for all time and the Alavi Movement wouldn’t have raised its head that had disrupted the unity of the Muslims! At the same time there wouldn’t have appeared the blot on the character of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer that every historian talks of!!

    A biographer of the ilk of Maulana Shibli writes:

    “It is true that Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer left the side of the Prophet (s.a) not attending to his last rites and went to Saqifa Bani Saaeda. It is true that they had a heated debate with the Ansar on the subject of the Caliphate and were so deeply engrossed in this matter as if no tragic event had happened! It is also true that they tried forcefully to get their claim for the Caliphate accepted by the Ansar but also by Bani Hashim and Hazrat Ali (a.s) although Bani Hashim didn’t agree to this without strong dissent.”

    ---Al Farooq

    Shibli Nomani, ofcourse, is a Muslim biographer. The European researchers comment impartially on Saqifa Bani Saaeda and look at the absence of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer from the obsequies of the Prophet (s.a) with surprise and express their doubts about the sudden rise of Hazrat Abu Bakr as the Caliph. They gave their frank opinions without giving any weight to the feelings of the Shias or the Sunnies!!

    The tone of Hon’ble Mr. Tyler is very harsh. He says:

    “Mohammed (s.a) had made his son-in-law, Ali, his successor and Caliph. But his father-in-law, Abu Bakr usurped the Caliphate!”

    -Statements of General History, Page 229

    A French Researcher M. Sedillott writes:

    “Had the principle of hereditary succession (in favour of Ali) been recognized at the outset, it would have prevented use of those disastrous pretentions which engulfed Islam in the blood of Moslems!”

    ---From Amir Ali’s Spirit of Islam

    Encyclopaedia Brittanica says:

    “After the Prophet (s.a) the claim of Ali (a.s) for leadership would have been most reasonable!”

    Mr. Irving writes:

    “The most deserving of Mohammed (s.a)’s Calphate was Ali (a.s) whose claim was the strongest and his right to it was natural because he was Mohammed (s.a)’s cousin, son-in-law and Fatima’s progeny was the only progeny of the Prophet (s.a)”

    ---Successors of Mohammed (s.a), Page 165

    Davenport considers the election at Saqifa an open conspiracy. He says:

    “Because of the open and clear statements which emanated from God (Allah) and the Prophet (s.a) for a considerable time all doubts about the Caliphate disappeared but in the end everyone was disappointed because Bibi Ayesha, daughter of Abu Bakr and second wife of the Prophet (s.a) conspired to get her father selected as the first caliph. The stay of the Prophet (s.a) in Ayesha’s chambers, whether according to his free will or on Hazrat Ayesha’s orders, proved advantageous to her interests!”

    ---Caliphate

    Justice Amir Ali’s comments on the event are:

    “On several occasions the Prophet (s.a) hinted at making Hazrat Ali (a.s) the Caliph but he didn’t lay down any rules for the succession. This gave rise to personal covetousness and dissent dominated Islam and in later periods it resulted in disputes that caused schisms in the Faith. If Ali (a.s) was made the Caliph at that time the destructive bloodshed wouldn’t have engulfed the Muslims!”

    After reading these comments of the historians our heads bend down in shame but what can be done that these books are our sources of information. Whether one is a historian, biographer or narrator; whether Sunni or Shia; whether Muslim or non-Muslim, whether Asian or Europian; whenever one looks at the event of Saqifa, he doesn’t carry a good opinion about Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer because of the drama they enacted to usurp the Caliphate despite the fact that the mortal remains of their beloved Prophet (s.a) were lying there to be interred! Even a staunch supporter of these worthies, Maulana Shibli, seems tucking down his head shamefully when he writes:

    “This event isn’t devoid of surprise that when the Prophet (s.a) demised, immediately thereafter the dispute about the Caliphate was started and people didn’t wait even till the performance of the last rites! Who can imagine that the Prophet (s.a) expired and the persons who had tall claims of love for him left him without even the shroud and went to organize occupation of the throne! It is a surprise that this act was done by those who are considered the Sun and the Moon of Islam!! The intolerable act becomes more glaring that those who had natural relationship with the Prophet (s.a) and Bani Hashim had no time to think of anything other than attending to the obsequies.”

    After perusing all this, the Maulana’s last sentence in this narrative needs a serious note that he writes:

    “We do accept it that the books of Hadit and History leave such impression on our minds!”

    After this sentence the Maulana adds this piece to prove his belief. He says:

    “But, infact it isn’t like this!”

    These two statements of the Maulana are poles apart! In one statement he confessed the truth and denies it in the next!

    When according to the Maulana, the books of Hadit and Biographies uphold the truth then into which ocean he would dive to get the pearl? More discussion on his last statement would be infructuous. Maulana has left many such talismans in his book for his followers! Faizi, the chief poet of Akbar’s court has made this comment on the Saqifa in his couplet:

    They sought Caliphate (merrily) and didn’t lament

    On the day of the demise of the Prophet!

    Do you think that the scholar of Faizi’s calibre would form such an opinion without studying the History of Islam! Doesn’t the couplet have the same content as the prose of Maulana Shibli?!

    Now a big question arises that whether Hazrat abu Bakr and Omer didn’t feel that their act wasn’t right and was committed at an importune time?! Hazrat abu Bakr, and specially Hazrat Omer who was aware of the pulse of the politics didn’t feel that they committed the wrong act at the wrong time?! They knew that abandoning the mourning on the demise of the Prophet (s.a) and involving themselves in the dispute about succession at Saqifa was tantamount to showing disrespect to the memory of the Prophet (s.a). They knew it very well that taking part in the last rites was felicitous but catching each other’s beard and arguing wildly at Saqifa would solve their problem of acquiring the Caliphate!! But another question arises why did they commit this act despite knowing all the facts? Why didn’t they disburse the gathering with terse speeches?! Or why didn’t they take all those men to Masjid e Nabawi to properly organize the selection of the Caliph when all the people assembled there?! Or why didn’t they not boycott and move away from the deliberations at the Saqifa Bani Saaeda and left the matter of the Caliphate take its own course?! There can be only one meaningful answer for this question that Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer didn’t have confidence on themselves and had fear that if the matter was put before the larger gathering of people in Medina then, perhaps, none of the two of them would be selected for the position! This was the reason that they adopted the back door tactic of Saqifa where except a few Ansar none else was there and the Ansar present there were airing their mutual differences in the conclave!!

    This is the reply to Maulana Shibli’s question:

    “Did those persons go to Saqifa Bani Saaeda of their own free will?!”

    I only ask the Maulana if they didn’t go there willingly, did anyone lift them bodily and hauled them to Saqifa?! Every person goes anywhere if he has the intent and a valid motivation to go! Was anyone there in Medina with gumption to take Abu Bakr and Omer anywhere against their sweet will and commit the serious error?! There is no evidence of any coercion in the matter from anywhere! Maulana has raised a few more questions. But after writing all this, those questions don’t deserve any attention! After the abovementioned discussion there is no further room for any more analysis!!

    BRIEF REVIEW OF THE DELIBERATIONS AT SAQIFA

    It is surprising that the proof Hazrat Abu Bakr presented at Saqifa justifying the qualification of the Qureish to get the Caliphate is absolutely undemocratic. Common sense doesn’t accept his statement, saying that the Prophet (s.a) said, “The Imam will be from the Qureish!” The Prophet (s.a) wouldn’t say anything contrary to the teachings of Islam. In Islam no tribe has superiority over any other tribe. The felicity of Islam is that besides shattering the idols of stone it has also destroyed the idols of the discrimination of descent, family and tribe. If the Prophet (s.a) had supported only the superiority of Qureish, the Qureish would have been the first to join ranks with him. But he had risen with a universal movement where there is no distinction between big and small, rich and poor, colour and creed! If the Prophet (s.a) had allowed the social, political and economic norms of the Arabs to remain unaltered the Qureish of Mecca would have joined him without any hesitation. Hazrat Abu Bakr’s proof wasn’t limited to the words uttered by him. By acquiring the Caliphate in this manner he had installed the idol which the Prophet (s.a) had dislodged with great effort. Abu Bakr established the foundation of the caliphate of Qureish in Saqifa that none else could come to rule thereafter. From 633 A.D to 1258 A.D spreads the hegemony of the Qureish in the Arab lands. The precursor of all the battles, the bloodshed and absence of equity are the words that Abu Bakr uttered at Saqifa Bani Saaeda to acquire the Caliphate. Dr. Taha Hussain makes a very cogent comment on this. He writes:

    “Qureish very conveniently turned it towards their own clan’s plan to draw maximum benefit although equity among the Muslims is the main plank of Islam. Then the Qureish took another step after this which affected the Muslims further more. They deemed Arabs superior to those Muslims who weren’t Arabs. Everyone knows what amount of conflicts the Muslims faced when the Caliphate was, rather, earmarked for the Qureish! The false feeling of superiority that Bani Omayya nursed became the cause of their downfall and Bani Abbas came to power!”

    In Saqifa Bani Saaeda hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer were united. By relating the tradition mentioned above Hazrat Abu Bakr took advantage of the ignorance of the Ansar and, perhaps, keeping the circumstances in mind, Hazrat Omer kept quiet but, in fact, he didn’t consider it authentic. If his opinion was this, he wouldn’t have said the following when he himself was the Caliph:

    “If Abu Obaida was living I would have made him the Caliph! If Salim Abu Maula was living I would have transferred this trust to him!”

    It is evident that Abu Maula Abi Hudaifa wasn’t from the Qureish. In his childhood he was brought from Astakhar as a slave and an Ansar lady had freed him!

    These events indicate that the tradition, “Al Aimma min al Qureish” was used at Saqifa just to acquire the Caliphate! Otherwise, any tradition that is contrary to the spirit of Islam cannot be deemed authentic!

    Further, if Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer set the condition of the caliph being from Qureish, and close to the Prophet (s.a), it is surprising why he didn’t propose the name of Hazrat Ali (a.s) who fitted the most in this yardstick. The Alavi movement couldn’t have got a better weapon that at Saqifa the proof that Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer presented was in itself a solid proof for the candidacy of Ali (a.s) for the Caliphate. It is true that the twain came out successful from the meeting because Hazrat Abu Bakr proposed and Hazrat Omer accepted in such a great hurry that the participants in the meeting got entangled in other matters and they didn’t have time to think who was the closest to the Prophet (s.a) in the tribe of Qureish! But it is also a fact that when Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer were stirring out of Saqifa Bani Saaeda Islam was already sundered into two and the seed of the conflict was sown by these two gentlemen. History cannot pardon Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer for the rising up and progress of the Alavite Movement. The thrill of success made these gentlemen oblivious of the truth that just subduing the weak voice of the Ansar they hadn’t made any great achievement. To the contrary they laid the foundation of such a big disturbance in Islam that blood flew in the Islamic Realm for full six hundred years and thus weakened the Islamic State!

    After a long commentary Dr. Taha Hussain had accepted that “Al Aimma min al Qureish” is such a tradition that it is contrary to the norms of Islam! In the same breath he has tried to prove that Hazrat Abu Bakr didn’t mean that “Aimma” should be only from Qureish and he only wanted them to be from the Mohajireen (the Migrants) who had always been in the forefront serving the Creed. He writes:

    “If Hazrat Abu Bakr, Omer and Abu Obaida had thought of Qureish as a tribe which is close to the Prophet (s.a) genetically and because of proximity, then they should have thought of a person from the Qureish who was closest to the Prophet (s.a). The person could be either the Prophet (s.a)’s uncle, Abbas, or Ali (a.s), the cousin and son-in-law who was brought up and trained by him, whom they could have chosen as candidates to be the Caliph. Thus the Purpose of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer was that when they talked of Qureish they meant the prominent Mohajireen.”

    ---Hazrat Othman & Hazrat Ali (a.s)

    If this assertion of Dr. Taha Hussain is accepted by Qureish, Hazrat Abu Bakr meant the “Mohajireen”, then why didn’t he say: “Al Aimma min al Mohajireen---the caliph should be from the Mohajireen!” Another question will be whether the person should be from the prominent Mohajirs (Migrants)? At Saqifa only three Mohajirs were there—Abu Bakr, Omer and Obaida! Hazrat Abu Bakr very coolly said, “This Omer and Obaida are here! Owe allegiance to any one of them!” Then Hazrat Omer joined in saying, “You are senior! We shall owe allegiance to you!!!” Weren’t Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Abbas in the roster of prominent Mohajirs prepared by Hazrat Abu Bakr?! Perhaps these two were neither Qureish nor Mohajirs! It would be more appropriate to say that if the Imam (the Caliph) was to be from the Qureish, one of those two was the most deserving and if the choice was to select some one from the Mohajirs, then too they were the most deserving. Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Abbas were momentarily devoided by the three persons of being closest to the Prophet (s.a) because Hazrat Omer had told to the Ansar at Saqifa:

    “Who could contest the rule or authority of Mohammed (s.a)! Everyone accepted it!! After him we as his sucesssors and his kin qualify for it!”

    When we see that at Saqifa only these three persons were the representatives of the Qureish, they said that they were the prominent “Mohajirs” and only these three worthies claimed closeness to the Prophet (s.a), then Dr. Taha Hussain’s argument doesn’t hold any water. He termed the Hadit—Al Aimma min al Qureish—invalid because it was contrary to Islamic Norms as Islam doesn’t concentrate rule and leadership in one particular clan or tribe! Then Dr Taha Hussain says that by the term “Qureish” Hazrat Abu Bakr didn’t mean only the tribe of Qureish but he had his eye on a particular group of the Mohajirs. Dr Taha Hussain didn’t comprehend the simple fact that when Islam can not concentrate rule in the tribe of Qureish, then how it will keep it with a particular group?! Isn’t that contrary to the Islamic Spirit?!

    Thus, from whichever angle the matter is viewed the result will be that the argument of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer for acquiring the Caliphate at the conclave at Saqifa was the death knell for the democratic and Islamic norms!! From the tumult at Saqifa, besides the Caliphate no other purpose could be achieved by them! How far faith and belief will keep us away from owning the truth?! Why don’t we say that Khilafat, after Prophethood was the highest felicity and the efforts Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer made to acquire it is a proof of their strategy and their intellectual acumen! These persons stood up with an aim and for achieving every step they took deserved commendation! Defeating the political opponents on the chessboard of politics is neither taboo today nor will be termed taboo tomorrow! They didn’t adopt any new avenue to acquire their end. They did what has always been done in this mundane world!! The problem comes up only when these gentlemen are encapsulated in religious and spiritual capsules and claims are made that their committing any fault or error was out of question!!

    THE INTERMENT OF THE PROPHET (S.A)

    Almost for fortyeight hours the mortal remains of the Prophet (s.a) remained un-interred. This was a very unusual delay and there must have been several reasons for the delay!!

    Abd Allah bin Abbas narrates that at that time in Medina there were two grave diggers available---abu Ubaida bin al Jirrah and Abu Talha Zaid bin Sahl. Abu Ubaida used to dig graves according to the custom prevalent in Mecca and Abu Talha followed the Medinan practice. Abbas sent men to fetch both. Abu Obaida wasn’t at home (Perhaps he was attending the deliberations at al Saqifa!) Abu Talha immediately came on receiving the message. He dug the grave and the body was lowered into it. The only difference was as to where to intern the mortal remains of the Prophet (s.a). Some said that the burial should be done inside the Prophet’s Mosque and others were of opinion that, alongside the earlier interred companions, the Prophet (s.a) should be interred at Jannat al Baqi. Some other persons said that his grave should be in the compound of the Mosque. But Hazrat Abu Bakr, before leaving for Saqifa, had recounted the tradition that every prophet was interred at the same spot where he breathed his last! Therefore, the bed of theProphet (s.a) was moved from its place and the grave was dug there. All the persons there offered the Namaz e Janaza (the Funeral Prayer). After the men, the women too offered the prayer and then the children. There was sufficient delay in accomplishing all these steps because the room was small and had insufficient space. The prayer wasn’t led by any person. After the prayer the body was laid to rest. Ibn e Ishaq says that Ali bin abi Talib (a.s), Fadl bin Abbas, Fatam bin Abbas and the Prophet (s.a)’s Maula Shaqran entered the grave.Aus bin Khauli too was given permission by Ali (a.s) to enter the grave. When the grave was being filled with soil Shaqran was in the grave and held the shawl of velvet that the Prophet (s.a) sometimes used to spread on his bed and sometimes he used to cover his body with it. Shaqran threw the shawl into the grave and said, “After you, none else should use this shawl!”

    In this manner the Sun of prophethood set and the period of the Caliphate commenced!!                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                          

    THE PERIOD OF HAZRAT ABU BAKR’S CALIPHATE

    After taking stock of the political situation in Medina prior to the demise of the Prophet (s.a) it had become clear that if the people of Medina settled the matter of Caliphate in a peaceful and organized election after the Prophet (s.a)’s funeral, perhaps, Hazrat Abu Bakr himself would have been selected because the political climate wasn’t favourable for Hazrat Ali (a.s). If the selection of the caliph was achieved peacefully a second political movement wouldn’t have arisen. Even if such a movement started it would have been deemed unacceptable in the Islamic Realm. But Hazrat Abu Bakr acted in great haste and for fear of defeat in the election, the likelihood of which was very little, he obtained allegiance for himself in an irregular and non-serious enclave while a large number of the elite and responsible persons wouldn’t give attention to any matter other than the last rites of the beloved Prophet (s.a); that untimely and irregular selection had deleterious effect on Islam as a religion and the Muslims suffered much loss as a group. The people of the peace loving Prophet (s.a) adopted such aggressive attitude that rendered the Islamic History as the story of bloodshed. Some of the consequences of the event are:

    1. The Alavi Movement came into existence which later on shattered the Islamic Unity.
    2. The Qureish assumed the mantle of the keepers, leaders and the spiritual chiefs of Islam and the Islamic Brotherhood and the equity that was its hallmark vanished!
    3. The tribes other than the Qureish who were terming all the Muslims as partners in Islamic power and pelf were disappointed that now such wasn’t the case. They were disillusioned and turned rebellious. As a result they started refusing to pay the mandatory
    4. Even two influential clans of the Qureish, Bani Hashim and Bani Omayya, started sharpening their swords and started thinking that when the Qureish have to rule till the Doomsday then it is impossible that a third clan other than Bani Hashim and Bani Omayya could get the reins of power in its hands! They tolerated the first and the second Caliph very unwillingly!!
    5. The strategy that the ruling clique adopted to curb rebellion did serve them for the time being but certainly Islam suffered because of the dissensions.

    THE UNUSUAL WAY OF ACQUIRING THE CALIPHATE

    The selection of Hazrat Abu Bakr as the caliph in an irregular conclave resulted in Hazrat Ali (a.s) and his supporters, particularly the Bani Hashim, making access to legal protests and agitation because Hazrat Ali (a.s), who was busy attending to the last rites of the Prophet (s.a) was kept uninformed of the parleys at Saqifa Bani Saaeda! The belief of the group was that the Prophet (s.a), prior to his demise, had on several occasions, given indications of the succession of Hazrat Ali (a.s). If Hazrat Ali (a.s), and his supporters, were given an opportunity to represent their case at the parleys then, most likely, they themselves might have acceded to the selection of Hazrat Abu Bakr as the Caliph. But since the matter was kept in close wraps and suddenly as a bolt from the blues, the selection of Hazrat Abu Bakr as Caliph was announced that upset not only Bani Hashim and Bani Omayya but even all other clans of the Qureish stood up in protest! In such a situation the ruling clique had to forcibly seek the allegiance of the people! Where gentle force didn’t work, they made access to coercion, intimidation, warnings and violent methods! In certain cases even the consciences of the chiefs of clans were bought but such low stratagems affected the image of Islam and no difference was left between political trickery of our times and the Islamic stratagem of that time!!

    THE OPPOSITION OF SAAD BIN IBADA

    Hazrat Abu Bakr sent word to Saad bin Ibada to come and owe allegiance to him. We copy Saad’s reply from Tarikh e Tabari:

    “By God! Never! Till I exhaust all the arrows from my quiver and I immersed my lances, spears and other weapons in your blood the sword will remain in my hand till I slay you and do Jihad along with my kinsmen and, by God, even if all the Jinns and men take your side I shall not do Bai-ath with you as a token of my allegiance to you!!”

    Therefore, he never joined any congregational prayer, the Jum-ah Prayer or Haj Pilgramage with Hazrat Abu Bakr. When Abu Bakr died, Saad migrated to Syria and remained there till his death.He didn’t owe allegiance to both Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer!

    When the message of Saad bin Ibada was communicated to Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer was furious and vowed that Saad shouldn’t be left in peace till he owed allegiance. Then Bashir told to Hazrat Abu Bakr, “Now Saad has categorically refused to owe allegiance to you! He would prefer to get killed than surrender! He cannot be killed till all his children, kinsmen are killed; and cannot do it till the last man of the tribe of Khazraj survived! It is better you forget about seeking his allegiance and leave him alone. As an individual he canot harm you in any way!” On Bashir’s advice Saad was left to his own scruples!!

    Saad bin Ibada was an eminent Companion of the Prophet (s.a) who took part in the major battles along with him. When the Islamic army left Medina for the Conquest of Mecca the standard of the Mohajireen and Ansar was in the hand of Saad bin Ibada! What is it that made this valiant soldier of Islam and beloved Companion of the Prophet (s.a) give such a reply to Abu Bakr every word of which was rather emitting fire! He not only used fiery peroration in his reply but even boycotted Hazrat Abu Bakr and his cohorts for the rest of his life! The reason for this was not that Abu Bakr became the Caliph and not Saad, but the real reason was that Hazrat Abu Bakr referred to the tradition—al Aimma min al Qureish—and declared the Qureish as having sole monopoly for the caliphate and, rather closed the doors of benefit for other Arab Muslims! Saad, who had spent a major part of his life with the Prophet (s.a) understood that Hazrat Abu Bakr sought the allegiance of the people for the caliphate but had put the movement of Islamic Brotherhood on a way that was contrary to that which was determined by the Prophet (s.a)! But Saad didn’t abandon Islam and annoyed the new dispensation and, therefore, he preferred to lead a quiet, reclusive life!

    SEEKING HAZRAT ALI (A.S)’S ALLEGIANCE

    We have already mentioned that because of the sudden drama of Saqifa protests of Bani Hashim were a natural consequence as there were from other tribes as well. Therefore, Bani Hashim and persons from other clans assembled at the house of Hazrat Ali (a.s).

    Tarikh e Tabari narrates from Ibn e Hamid:

    “Omer ibn e Khattab came to the house of Ali (a.s) where Talha, Zubair and a few Mohajirs were sitting. Omer said, ‘By God! I shall put this house to fire if you people don’t come out and owe your allegiance!’ Hearing this Zubair came out flailing his sword but he slipped, fell down and his sword too fell on the ground. The men ran and overpowered Zubair!” 

    This episode is mentioned at length in Tarikh Abul Fida but Allama Ibn e Qatida has mentioned details of the event:

    “Abu Bakr inquired about the persons who abstained from owing allegiance and sought shelter at the place of Ali (a.s) and sent Omer there. Omer came to the threshold and shouted for them. They refused to come out of the house. Then Omer asked fire-wood to be brought and said, ‘By the One in whose hands is my life! Come out or else I shall torch this house along with all those who are inside!!’ Someone said, ‘Fatima too is in this house!’ Omer said, ‘So what if she is there!’ Except Ali (a.s) other men came out and accepted to pledge their allegiance. Omer thought that Ali (a.s) had vowed that till he had completed the compilation of the Quran he wouldn’t put on the Rida (the head-gear) on his head. Fatima Zehra came near the door and said, ‘I haven’t come across people worse than you! You left the mortal remains of the Prophet (s.a) with us and indulged in your plans. You didn’t consult us and also denied us our rights!’ Hearing this Omer went to Abu Bakr and said, ‘Will you not seek allegiance from the person (Meaning Ali-a.s) who is averse to you?!’ Abu Bakr sent his slave, Qanfaz, to call Ali (a.s). He went to Ali (a.s) who asked him what was the purpose of his visit? Qanfaz said, ‘The Caliph of the Prophet (s.a) is calling you!’ Ali (a.s) said, ‘In what great hurry you people have adduced a falsehood to the Prophet (s.a)!’ Qanfaz went back and reported what Ali (a.s) told him. At this Abu Bakr cried for a long while! Then Omer said, ‘Don’t be lenient in demanding allegiance from this dissenter!’ Then abu Bakr again asked Qanfaz to go to Ali (a.s) and tell him that Amir al Momineen was calling him to pledge his allegiance! Qanfaz went to Ali (a.s) and communicated the Caliph’s message. Ali (a.s) said in a loud voice, ‘By Allah! What a wonderful claim for which he hasn’t any right whatsoever!’ Qanfaz went back and reported. Hearing it Abu Bakr cried again. Now Omer got up, along with him, a group of persons went towards Ali (a.s)’s house. When Fatima heard the sound of their footsteps she started crying and lamenting. She said, ‘O father! O Prophet of Allah! What hardship we are facing from Ibn al Khattab and Ibn e Abi Qahafa after you!’ When the persons heard the lament of Fatima many of them returned back. But Omer, with some of the men, remained and they forced Ali (a.s) to go with them to Abu Bakr and asked him to owe his allegiance. Ali (a.s) said, ‘What will happen if I don’t do the Bai-ath?’ Omer replied, ‘By the One and only God! In that event we shall slay you!’ Ali (a.s) said, ‘Will you shed the blood of Allah’s creature and the brother of the Prophet (s.a)’ Omer said, ‘You are Allah’s creature, but not the brother of the Prophet (s.a)!’ Abu Bakr listened quietly but didn’t utter anything! Then Omer said tersely, ‘Why don’t you issue orders for him?!’ Abu Bakr said, ‘As long as Fatima is with him I cannot do any coercion against him!’ Then Ali (a.s) went to the grave of the Prophet (s.a) and started lamenting!”

    Maulana Shibli deeming the above narration correct, made the following comment:

    “According to Darayat (Higher Understanding) there is no reason to deny the authenticity of this incident keeping in mind the fiery nature of Hazrat Omer. The truth is that the speed with which Hazrat Omer did certain things, although appearing intemperate, but one must remember that these acts had curbed the rising revolts.”

    A COMMENT

    With whatever tolerance we consider these events, every independent historian, in all times, would deem this as a very inhuman act. Islam is a creed of tolerance that deems such acts as inhuman. Islam teaches curbing anger. The very purose of the rise of Islam was to curb autocracy and Pharaonic prejudice. The Prophet (s.a) not only propagated good manners but with his own actions he opened the eyes of the people! Read about the events of the life of the Prophet (s.a) from his early days in Mecca to Medina and you will find that he always recated very softly to the harshest treatment given to him! Avenging wrongs was the rule those days but Islam has the privilege that its Shariah pronounced such blatant acts of revenge as taboo. The day of the conquest of Mecca was inviting the Muslims to wreak vengeance against their enemies. The persons who wanted to shed the Prophet (s.a)’s blood were standing defeated, with folded arms, in front of him! But the words that Rehmat al Aalameen (The Blessing for the Worlds) uttered were: “There is no reprehension against you! Go! You are all freed!!” Wahshi, who had killed the Prophet (s.a)’s umcle brutally and Hinda who chewed his liver embraced Islam and entered its fold happily. Abu Sufian who was directly opposing the Prophet (s.a) all along and had planned to annihilate Islam was given amnesty when he embraced Islam and the Prophet (s.a) went to the extent of declaring his house as a place of refuge for others as well! This was the treatment that the Prophet (s.a) had meted out to the infidels—this is true Islam ---the Religion of Peace!! Hazrat Omer wasn’t dealing with any infidels. He was doing, what he did to Hazrat Fatima and Ali (a.s). Fatima was the daughter of the Prophet (s.a) in whose name he begged for the Caliphate! Ali (a.s) was the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet (s.a) that they acquired the caliphate claiming proximity to him! Were they not the same Fatima and Ali (a.s) who had shrouded the Prophet (s.a)’s mortal remains and interred him when Omer was making arrangements for the caliphate at Saqifa Bani Saaeda and pulling the beard of Saad bin Ibada! In no time the persons who were creating pandemonium at the Saqifa became highly pious Muslims and the persons who attended to the last rites of the Prophet (s.a) were termed as rebels! The Prophet (s.a)’s coffin still was unsoiled that the admirers of the Prophet (s.a) planned to attack his daughter’s house and went with anger to kill his son-in-law! What to talk of the Creed of Islam that these people became an ugly mark on humanity itself! One cannot think that Hazrat Omer wasn’t aware of the status of Mohammed Arabi (s.a), Fatima Bint e Mohammed and Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s). The thing was that happiness of sudden acquisition of the Caliphate (for Abu Bakr) made him lose his senses! When unexpected success comes, a person starts commiting incredible acts!

    Today we consider Yazid as evil and we exercise care in even calling anyone Yazid! It is only because Yazid’s men besieged Hussain (a.s) in the wilderness of Karbala and martyred him along with his companions in a most cruel manner. We criticize Amir Muawiya for obtaining allegiance from the people of Mecca and Medina for his son Yazid with oppression and duress. When a Rashid Khalifa extracts allegiance with duress from a person of the calibre of Ali (a.s) what right we have to blame lesser persons!! Even today “Islamic” and other regimes act harshly to curb revolts. This harsh action is termed as oppression! Amir Muawiya wrote a letter in reply to one from Mohammed bin abu Bakr. This letter reflects the feelings and the psychology of Muawiya. We give here a gist of the letter:

    “To Mohammed who alleged faults in his father (Abu Bakr) this letter from Muawiya:

    I received your letter …..In it you have written many things which reflect your weakness and your censure of your father!....The thing is that we, among whom your father was included, knew the felicities of Ali Ibn e Abi Talib (a.s) very well!! We also knew that his rights were binding on us and are essential!! But when Allah Ordained the Prophet (s.a), the felicity that was mandated for him, and illumined his Dawa (the invitation to the Creed) and Hujjat (the Proof) and called him back then your father and Farooq were the first who usurped Ali (a.s)’s rights and stood up against his caliphate. They mutually decided to do what they did! Then both of them called Ali (a.s) to do the Bai-ath (Owe allegiance) but Ali (a.s) decided to be away from them and delay (Tawaqquf) and hesitation (Taammul) in this! Because of this both of them troubled him in many ways and attempeted to put him to great hardship. When both of them did the Khilafat they didn’t include Ali (a.s) in any affairs of the State nor conveyed to him their confidences till both of them expired. Then the third elder, Othman, stood up! He too followed in their footsteps. He followed their Seerat (Ways) and methods …..Now, the matter on which we are debating, if it is correct, it was only your father who singly planned every thing and we were just participants in execution of his plans because if your father had not treated Ali (a.s), as he did, then we too wouldn’t have opposed Ali (a.s) but would have entrusted it (the Caliphate) to him! But we saw that your father himself, prior to us, did like this and we just followed his example! Now, whatever defect you wish to adduce, do it for your father; or obtain from it Salam (Benediction) on him who turns towards the truth!”

    ---Tarikh Murrawaj al Dhahab as a note on Tarikh e Kamil, Vol 6, Page 79, Published from Egypt.

    HAZRAT ABU BAKR’S SENSIBILITY

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) was standing all alone in the court of the Caliph without any friend or supporter. He answered every question of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer without fear because ridiculing death was engrained in his psyche. Hazrat Omer asked Abu Bakr, “Why don’t you give a verdict for this person?!” Hazrat Omer was expecting that the Caliph would give verdict for capital punishment to ensure that Hazrat Ali (a.s) was martyred in that state of helplessness----But Hazrat Abu Bakr said, “As long as Fatima is on his side, I cannot take any oppressive action against him!” Very few historians have given thought to this action of Hazrat Abu Bakr. This was a very sensible and statesmanlike act of the Caliph. If Hazrat Abu Bakr had acted on Omer’s suggestion Medina would have momentarily turned into a battleground. In the flying dust only shining blades of the swords would be visible! Bani Hashim would be seen making blood flow in the lanes and bylanes of Medina and the swords of Bani Omayya too would have been with him because Hazrat Omer and Abu Bakr were from such tribes whose rule wasn’t tolerable for Bani Omayya! They couldn’t imagine any other tribe or clan as their equals or opponents other than Bani Hashim. The swords of Bani Hashim and Bani Omayya would have been drawn and also Bani Khazraj of Medina, whose chief, Saad bin Ibada, had vowed to wreak vengeance against Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer , too would have joined the fray with their youths, elders and the children! This would have created the cataclysmic situation for the Caliph! In that pell-mell it was certain that the history of Islam might have taken a different course!! Only Allah knows who would then be the first Caliph of Islam!!! The heavy possibility was that the caliphate of Bani Omayya that came about forty years later might have come up forty years too early!! It was Hazrat Abu Bakr’s good sense that his decision saved Islam from unnecessary conflict! The same scenario would have been there if Hazrat Ali (a.s) agreed to the suggestion of Abu Sufian! For the benefit of our readers we relate that incident here.

    ABU SUFIAN & HAZRAT ALI

    When the Prophet (s.a) demised, Abu Sufian wasn’t in Medina. While returning he met a wayfarer. Abu Sufian asked him in his usual impertinent manner, “What brother! Has Mohammed (s.a) died?!” The man said, “Yes!” Abu Sufian asked, “Who is the caliph now?!” He said, “Abu Bakr!” Abu Sufian instantaneously asked, “What those two persons (Ali and Abbas) are doing?” The man replied, “They are quiet!” Abu Sufian shouted, “I see the storm of revolt and unrest which cannot be curbed by anything other than blood!”

    Abu Sufian was burning with the fire of anger. Whichever lane he passed through he recited martial verses. At the first opportunity he consulted Abbas and meeting Hazrat Ali (a.s) he said, “O Ali! Stand up! If you say, I shall fill up the ground with fighting men and cavaliers!”---This is a fact that Hazrat Ali (a.s) strongly felt that he had the right over the caliphate which was usurped from him. But he immediately felt that any precipitate action would cause great harm to Islam. A hundred caliphates can be sacrificed on the unity of the Muslims! He, therefore very tersely replied to Abu Sufian, “You always looked for opportunities to harm Islam! I don’t need your advice and sympathy!” This reply of Ali (a.s) to Abu Sufian is a milestone in the annals of Islamic History and can be embossed on the header of the Khilafat e Rashida in letters of gold! If Ali (a.s) had not disappointed Abu Sufian with this retort, our history would have been written in some other manner!

    Hazrat Abu Bakr knew that the Prophet (s.a) used to shut the mouth of Abu Sufian with Taleef e Qalb (Winning over the heart)! Therefore, Hazrat Abu Bakr consulted Hazrat Omer and appointed Abu Sufian as controller of the distribution of the charities. Then they appointed Abu Sufian’s son, Yazid, as governor of Syria. Abu Sufian’s nature had now changed as he had already exacted the price of his conscience!

    THE CASE OF FADAK & CONFISCATION OF THE INHERITANCE

    Hazrat Fatima claimed from Abu Bakr her inheritance that her father had left for her. When Abu Bakr blatantly refused to give it to her, she claimed the Garden of Fadak on the basis of the Hiba (Gift) that the Prophet (s.a) had made in her favour. But she suffered disappointment with this attempt as well. For most of the fourteen hundred years the Ulema have been writing about this episode. Therefore, we are briefly commenting on it:

    1. About confiscation of the inheritance Bukhari and Muslim have narrated the incident through Hazrat Ayesha: “Fatima sent word to Abu Bakr through someone to give to her the Prophet (s.a)’s inheritance. Abu Bakr said that the Prophet (s.a) had said that he didn’t have any heir and whatever the prophets leave behind goes as charity.” Ayesha says that Abu Bakr didn’t give even a Hiba (penny) from the Prophet (s.a)’s inheritance to Fatima. This made Fatima very upset with Abu Bakr and refused even to talk with him. Till her demise she didn’t talk to him. She lived for six months after the expiry of the Prophet (s.a). When she died Ali (a.s) interred her quietly in the night because it was her wish not to inform Abu Bakr about her death.

    ---Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Sahih Muslim, Vol 2.

    Hazrat Fatima received a blunt refusal from the Caliph and the basis of the refusal was a tradition the narrator of which was only Hazrat Abu Bakr and none else whatsoever! Hazrat Fatima covered herself with a shawl and went to the Caliph and as she walked the shawl was leaving behind a mark on the ground. There she gave a long talk the four salient points of which are:

    1. Allah’s Book says that Hazrat Sulaiman (a.s) was the heir of his father Dawood (a.s) and in the story of Yahya (a.s) the supplication of Hazrat Zakria is mentioned that he said, “O Allah! Give me such an heir who should get my inheritance and also the inheritance of the progeny of Yaqub (a.s).”
    2. Allah says that your Lord mandates that you distribute two parts of your inheritance to the male heir and one part to the female heir.
    3. Hazrat Fatima asked (Abu Bakr): “whether Allah has deemed him with such an Ummat regarding inheritance from which my father (s.a) was excluded, or me and my father don’t belong to the same nation?” Hazrat Fatima based her argument on the mandates of the Quran and, therefore Hazrat Abu Bakr had no way of escape than deeming his companions responsible of confiscating the inheritance. His reply was:

    Allah is true, His Prophet (s.a)’s daughter too is true! But between you and me are the Muslims and whatever I have confiscated I have done in consultation with them!”

    Hazrat Abu Bakr did give his reply but we fail to understand that when the Quran has a definitive mandate on a matter, then what was the need of consulting Muslims about it?! And if the verdict of the Muslims is against the Book of Allah then how far it is legitimate for the Caliph to accept the verdict of the Muslims?! And, further, what will be the weight of a tradition, in a matter, against a mandate of the Quran?! And, then, the narrator of which is only one person and none else!! Therefore, when Hazrat Fatima started reciting the relevant verses of the Quran, Hazrat Abu Bakr abandoned insisting on the tradition!

    The Ulema who came up later thought of that which Hazrat Abu Bakr didn’t think of! They said that in the Quran the inheritance doesn’t mean the cash and properties but wisdom, knowledge and felicity of prophethood (sic)! This would mean that Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Fatima were unaware of the purport of  the verses of the Quran and Hazrat Abu Bakr too didn’t comprehend them If he did that, he too would have presented the same argument as did the later Ulema! Hazrat Omer too didn’t have an inkling of this because throughout he sat quiet listening to the arguments. The correct exegesis came only in the minds of the Ulema who came centuries after the incident (sic)!

    Hazrat Fatima made a claim for Fadak, besides other inheritance, in the court of the Caliph and said that the Prophet (s.a) gifted the Garden of Fadak, during his lifetime, as a fief to her. Allama Hamavi writes in Maujim al Baladan:

    “Fadak is a hamlet in Hijaz, about two or three days’ journey from Medina. Allah endowed it to the Prophet (s.a) in the year 7 H as a consequence of a truce. This was the hamlet or village for which the Muslims didn’t have to undertake any campaign and they got it only through a peaceful truce. Therefore, it was the Prophet (s.a)’s personal fief. In this village there is a perennial lake and plenty of date palms. This was the same hamlet about which Hazrat Fatima told to Hazrat Abu Bakr that the Prophet (s.a) had gifted it to her!”

    ---Maujim al Baladan.

    Hazrat Abu Bakr asked Hazrat Fatima to bring witnesses in the matter. She produced Hazrat Ali (a.s) as witness but perhaps his witness wasn’t deemed sufficient in terms of the prescribed conditions. Then Hazrat Fatima made Hazrat umme Aiman her witness. At this Hazrat Abu Bakr said the witness by one male and one female isn’t sufficient in the Shariah. There must be two men or a man and two women as witnesses. Anyway, this claim of Hazrat Fatima was rejected!

    It is true that Hazrat Abu Bakr followed the Shariah implicitly in this matter but one cannot deny the fact that law isn’t in words but the spirit with which it is applied! There is prescription of witnesses in the Shariah for the purpose of assigning veracity of the claim as far as possible to assist the judge to reach the correct verdict. The witnesses will be there to arrive at the veracity of the claim. When one witness gives a false statement, even two can do the same and even if there are ten witnesses they too can give a false witness! When the Prophet (s.a) communicated Allah’s messages to people he didn’t produce any witness that Jibraeel (a.s) gave such and such message in the presence of so-and-so persons! He (s.a) used to say that he was conveying Allah’s mandate and the people believed it! This happened because the people knew that the Prophet (s.a) was the most truthful person. Every law has certain exceptions and no law in the world is there which isn’t flexible at all! The Prophet (s.a), for the sake of Taaleef e Qalb (Winning over of the heart) of Abu Sufian set aside the conditions of the Islamic Law of distribution of the booty of war and gave him a gift of 100 camels while other companions received only four each! In front of Abu Bakr there was none other than the beloved daughter of the Prophet (s.a) giving a statement that the Prophet (s.a), in his lifetime, had pronounced Hiba (Gift) of the Garden of Fadak in her favour. But Hazrat Abu Bakr insisted on getting the witnesses!! Was the veracity of Fatima Zehra suspect in his view? Seeking witnesses about the claim of the most truthful Prophet (s.a)’s truthful daughter might perhaps have strengthened the Shariah, otherwise humanity certainly gets hurt that Fatima Zehra didn’t even deserve the treatment of Taaleef e Qalb that was meted out to Abu Sufian!! Taaleef e Qalb is a mandate of the Quran. This doesn’t need any witness. It wouldn’t have affected the Caliph’s sense of justice in any way! Agreeing to her claim the Caliph would have honoured the Ahl al Bayt (a.s) and the humanity!! In the case of Hazrat Fatima the Caliph applied the Shariah very aggressively but we mention the other side of the attitude of Hazrat Abu Bakr:

    “Jabir says that the Prophet (s.a) told to him that if the funds from Bahrain arrived he would give him a certain amount repeating the statement thrice! But the funds didn’t come from Bahrain till the demise of the Prophet (s.a). The funds did arrive in the period of Hazrat Abu Bakr and he got a public announcement made that if the Prophet (s.a) owed amounts to anyone and if he made promise for any amount the person must meet the Caliph for settlement. After this announcement I went to him and mentioned to him about the Prophet (s.a)’s promise. Hazrat Abu bakr gave the amount to me!!”

    ---Sahih Bukhari

    Wasn’t Hazrat Abu Bakr required, in the terms of the Shariah, to ask Jabir to bring two witnesses in support of his claim? But he trusted the statement of Jabir and admitted his claim without asking for witnesses!

    In fact Hazrat Abu Bakr’s turning down Hazrat Fatima’s claim was because of Shariah or because of some other psychological reasons! The basis of this denial was only political. If this was done in accordance to the mandate of Allah and the Prophet (s.a), then during the period of Khilafate Rashida there wouldn’t be any Caliph who didn’t follow this thumb-rule! But we see that immediately after the period of Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer himself returned the Garden of Fadak to Hazrat Fatima. If Hazrat Omer had the slightest doubt that giving the garden to her was a contravention of the Prophet (s.a)’s mandate he wouldn’t have gone against the verdict of Hazrat Abu Bakr!!!

    We quote this passage from Mojim al Baladan:

    “When Hazrat Omer ibne al Khattab became the caliph and lots of territories were annexed and the affluence of the Muslims enhanced, with his Ijtehad (Interpretation of Islamic Law) he decided to return the Fadak to the progeny of the Prophet (s.a). At that time Abbas bin Abd al Mutallib contested with Hazrat Ali (a.s). Hazrat Ali (a.s) said that the Prophet (s.a) had gifted Fadak to Hazrat Fatima and Abbas denied it saying that the Garden was the Prophet (s.a)’s property and he, Abbas, was his successor! Hazrat Omer refused to arbitrate their claim and said that they understood their own affairs better than him! He added, ‘I have entrusted the matter to you!’”

    ---Mojim al Baladan

    The clear purport of Hazrat Omer’s action and the statements of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Abbas that the tradition of the Prophet (s.a) quoted by Hazrat Abu Bakr that the Prophets have no successors wasn’t acceptable to Hazrat Omer, Hazrat Abbas and Hazrat Ali (a.s)!

    Then came a period when the people turned against Ali (a.s), Fatima and their progeny. From the pulpits of the mosques, during Friday Congregations, it was made compulsory to berate and condemn Hazrat Ali (a.s) during the Sermons. In that period the Ahl al Bayt (a.s) were deprived of the ownership of the Garden of Fadak and attempt was made to find justification of the act from what Hazrat Abu Bakr did in the matter! But how long then could the truth be hidden that Omer bin Abd al Aziz became the Caliph and he wrote to the administrator that Fadak must be given back to the progeny of Fatima! Alas, it came in the possession of the rightful owners!!!

    During the reign of Bani Abbas the Garden of Fadak became the thermometer to measure the people’s love for the Ahl al Bayt (a.s)! Any caliph who was inimical towards the Ahl al Bayt (a.s) used to confiscate the garden and the one who had affection for them returned it back to them! Therefore this property was confiscated several times and was restored to them!! The Caliph Mamoon sent an edict to his governor which is reported by Baladhari in the following words:

    “The Caliph of the Prophet (Mamoon) thought it most appropriate that following the Prophet (s.a)’ action, the thing that he (s.a) gave to anyone, should be restored and it is a fact that the Prophet (s.a) had given Fadak to his daughter Fatima and gifted as her permanent property. This fact was known to every one and there was no dispute about it.”

    ---Fatooh al Baladan, Mojim al Baladan

    Hazrat Abu Bakr himself wasn’t happy with the verdict he gave. He was a very soft hearted person and it wouldn’t be bearable for him that the Prophet (s.a)’s daughter came asking for a favour that he refused to grant. Therefore Allama Sibt Ibn e Jauzi writes:

    “Hazrat Abu Bakr ultimately wrote the agreement. Then Hazrat Omer reached there and asked, ‘What is this document?’ Hazrat Abu Bakr replied, ‘This is the document I have prepared about the inheritance that Fatima gets from her father!’ Hazrat Omer said, ‘Then from where you will spend for the Muslims despite seeing that Arabs are ready to battle with you!’ Saying this he took hold of the document and tore it to pieces!”

    After analysing all these events an intelligent person would draw a conclusion that Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer were aware that the law of Shariah was in favour of Hazrat Fatima but there was political impediment in granting Fadak to her but making a public announcement too wouldn’t be discreet in the existing circumstances. A person of Hazrat Omer’s perspicacity knew that for the position of Caliph there was none else as capable as Hazrat Ali (a.s). Hazrat Ali (a.s) not pronouncing allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakr till that moment could have turned into a preface of political unrest. In these circumstances if the Garden of Fadak was given to Hazrat Fatima there was a strong likelihood that Hazrat Ali (a.s) would leave Medina and settle in Fadak which was a healthy place with greenery and had a perennial lake. Then, the place was neither too far from Medina nor too close. If Hazrat Ali (a.s) settled down in Fadak to remain away from the unsavoury politics of Medina then the hamlet of Fadak would very soon have become the stronghold of Bani Hashim and the opposition would get an excellent center for their activities! Every strong government takes care to see that the people of the opposition don’t congregate solidly at any place because such a unity could turn the tables against the ruling clique! This was the reason that when the rule was established on firm footing, and after the demise of Hazrat Fatima, Hazrat Ali (a.s) unwillingly accepted Hazrat Abu Bakr as the caliph and during the period of Hazrat Omer his relations with the Caliph became better to the extent that Hazrat Omer started taking decisions on important matters of State on the advice of Hazrat Ali (a.s)! Therefore, all the doubts that the supporters of the state had about Hazrat Ali (a.s) were expelled. Hazrat Omer handed over the Garden of Fadak to Bani Fatima accepting them as the rightful heirs. If the Shariah of Mohammed (s.a) was contrary to this decision, Hazrat Omer, despite being the caliph, wouldn’t have had the authority to make the decision! After the Khilafat e Rashida the things reached such a pass that the Shariat e Mohammedi kept wailing like a hapless sick entity in the iron clutches of the rulers. In the view of the rulers the respect for the Shariah was essential only when it fulfilled the requirements of the political expediency!!

    POLITICAL BOYCOTT OF HAZRAT ALI (A.S)

    The books of Hadit and history indicate that during the lifetime of Hazrat Fatima, Hazrat Ali (a.s) didn’t pledge his allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakr. It is the duty of the rulers to keep eye on such persons that they don’t move out of their view. This was the reason that Hazrat Abu Bakr very cleverly started political boycott of Hazrat Ali (a.s). Since they had to control the actions of Hazrat Ali (a.s) they didn’t let him go away from the centre for a while. This was achieved with such deft cunning that Hazrat Ali (a.s) didn’t feel for a moment that literally he was a political detainee and that there was strict vigil on his movements. Wasn`t it the same Hazrat Ali (a.s) whom the Prophet (s.a) himself made the commander and standard-bearer in most of the battles? Wasn’t it the same Hazrat Ali (a.s) whose scimitar had the honour of winning the battles of Badr, Khandaq and Khaibar and he turned the near defeat at Ohod to total victory? Wasn’t it the same Ali (a.s) whose praise of bravery echoed in the entire Arab Land with words of ---Laa fata illa Ali, Laa saif illa Zulfiqar—there is no valiant youth other than Ali, and there is no sword other than Zulfiqar!?The events bear witness to the fact that the best sword that the Prophet (s.a) had was the person of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and if the Prophet (s.a) had the best shield that too was the person of Ali (a.s)! This sword and the shield were very much there in the period of Hazrat Abu Bakr but he never made use of them on any occasion! No sooner Hazrat Abu Bakr assumed the reins of power that the dark clouds of dissension shadowed the environs and the darkness of infidelity started occupying the space. Not only for Hazrat Abu Bakr, but for the well being of Islam it was a very delicate and dangerous situation. Therefore, Hazrat Abu Bakr sent eleven contingents in different directions. There were eleven commanders for these contingents. One contingent was entrusted to Khalid bin Walid, the second to Akrama bin Abi Jahl, the third to Mohajir bin Omayya, fourth to Said bin al Aas, fifth to Omer bin al Aas, sixth to Huzaifa, seventh to Arfaja bin Harshama, eighth to Sharjil bin Hasna, ninth to Tarifa bin Hajiz, tenth to Sawaid bin Maqram, and eleventh to Ala bin Hadhrami. Most of these standard bearers embraced Islam only after the capture of Mecca and they had no other alternative than doing it! Prior to embracing Islam they were deadly enemies of the Prophet (s.a) and were martyring Muslims in every battle. But no sooner the caliphate of Abu Bakr started they were deemed very reliable and the person whose valour and bravery was recognized by the Prophet (s.a) himself wasn’t considered to be appointed as standard bearer for any contingent! The question arises as to why Hazrat Abu Bakr preferred these converts over the veterans who, during the life-time of the Prophet (s.a) strived hard for the propagation of Islam and sacrificed much in such efforts. There are two reasons for this:

    1. The first reason is that he involved Bani Omayya in the matters of the State to quell their opposition, rebellion and intrigue which might have resulted in collapse of the regime if Bani Omayya cooperated and colluded with Bani Hashim. If the chiefs of Bani Omayya were kept involved in marauding activity and collection of booty outside Medina the political strength of Bani Hashim there would remain subdued and the machinery of the state would get a powerful tool (Bani Omayya) which could be used against Bani Hashim anytime in the future!
    2. The second reason is that the combination of Ali (a.s), the sword and the standard might prove dangerous for the establishment. Their fear was that if Ali (a.s) defeated Rome and Iran as the commander he might turn his forces towards the centre and occupy the throne of the Caliphate of which he deemed himself the legitimate candidate! Therefore it was against the political expedience for the establishment to hand over the sword to their adversary!!

    In this manner the rights of Ali (a.s) were curbed in the hierarchy of the army. Now, the department of administration remained to be considered. The roster of governors of the captured territories during the regime of Hazrat Abu Bakr was as follows:

    Mecca: Atab bin Osaid, Taef: Othman bin Abil Aas, Sanaa: Mohajir bin Omayya, Hadarmaut: Ziad bin Labid Ansari, Khulan: Yaali bin Mumba, Zabid & Zamha: Abu Moosa, Habaz: Mu-aaz bin Jabl, Bahrain: Ala bin al Hadhrami, Najran: Jarir bin Abd Allah, Jarash: Abd Allah bin Tur, Domat al Jundal: Ayaz bin Anam, Syria: Yazid bin Abu Sufian, Omar bin al Aas and Sharjil bin Hasna.

    It is clear from the abovementioned that not only Hazrat Ali (a.s) was avoided but no person from Bani Hashim was given any position of importance. Contrary to this, Bani Omayya was rewarded quite liberally in giving them key positions in the government. In this roster of appointments too the policy of the establishment is reflected. The clique wanted to register the cooperation of Bani Omayya to neutralize the power of Bani Hashim. The importance and felicity of Bani Hashim which was registered on the minds of the people with the prophethood of Mohammed (s.a) would reduce in due course of time and the establishment would keep doing what it wished to do! No doubt this was the most potent prescription for the success of the establishment!! After studying this basic policy of Hazrat abu Bakr it would be unfair to blame only Hazrat Othman about the power, affluence, impudence and hegemony of Bani Omayya! Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Othman continued to follow the same policies that were established by Hazrat Abu Bakr! Hazrat Othman had perforce to follow the same policies because every caliph considered Bani Hashim his biggest opponent.

    Some people think that Hazrat Abu Bakr deemed presence of Hazrat Ali (a.s) absolutely essential in the capital, Medina, because running the administration without his advice wasn’t possible! But this thought is absolutely baseless!! If such was the case Hazrat Ali (a.s) would have been holding a position of strength in the administration. But we see that in the formation of the central administration Hazrat Ali (a.s) wasn’t given any importance! The central administration stood on four pillars:

    Hazrat Omer was minister for Dar al Qaza-aa: The Judiciary. He was also performing the task of primeministership.

    Abu Obaida was Finance Minister holding the Bait al Maal.

    Abu Sufian was incharge of the Department of Charities.

    The Fourth Pillar was the Caliph himself. However writing of the caliph’s edicts was done by Zaid bin Tabit, Othman bin Affan and Hazrat Ali (a.s). But according to Ibn e Khaldun this was such an activity that whosoever came to his presence, he used the person to get the task performed by him.

    THE ESTABLISHMENT & THE ANSAR

    Starting the discussion about the caliphate at Saqifa Bani Saaeda the Ansar proved that they were the competitors of the ruling clique. Saad bin Ibada didn’t owe his allegiance to Abu Bakr at all nor did he participate in performing the Haj with him. This thing has put a seal of confirmation on the opposition of the Ansar! Therefore the rulers had a similar attitude towards the Ansar as they had adopted for Bani Hashim. Hazrat Abu Bakr’s government wasn’t ready to tolerate any political opponent. They insisted repeatedly with Saad bin Ibada to declare his allegiance but when Abu Bakr was convinced that it wouldn’t be possible even if the last child of his clan was annihilated. But he was also convinced that Saad’s stubborn attitude wouldn’t harm them in any way. They boycotted the clan of Saad bin Ibada the same way as they did with Bani Hashim. They were deprived of any position in the government. This act of Hazrat Abu Bakr was appropriate according to both the old and modern norms of governance because a ruling clique doesn’t prosper if the opposition prospers! But as far as the Islamic norms are concerned, Hazrat Abu Bakr’s action was an open contravention of the understanding with Ansar which Islam doesn’t approve at any cost! When Hazrat Abu Bakr was speaking at Saqifa Bani Saaeda he had said that the Caliphate was the right of the Qureish and the ministership that of the Ansar!! And he also said to the Ansar, “O Ansar! We shall be the Amirs and you the Viziers!!” This means that if Abu Bakr was to become the Caliph then a person from the Ansar to be picked up as the Vizier or the ‘Number-2’ in the hierarchy! But we see that as soon as Hazrat Abu Bakr occupied the chair of the Caliphate he went back on his commitment!! What to talk of primeministership, Saad, the chief of Ansar, couldn’t even get a small position in the establishment. It is evident that the political demands of the time forced Hazrat Abu Bakr to go back on his promise which wasn’t expected from the august personality who is remembered as the Siddiq or the Truthful!!!

    THE DEMISE OF HAZRAT FATIMA

    Hazrat Fatima was a very sensitive lady. She was the beloved daughter of Allah’s beloved last of the Prophets (a.s) who was the ruler of the entire Arabian Peninsula and with a winking of his eye every part of the world of Islam would react! She was the spouse of the valiant whose bravery and knowledge subdued the violent Arab warriors and men of learning and they bowed down their heads to him! Then she was the mother of Hassan and Hussain (a.s) who used to climb on the back of the Prophet (s.a) during his prayer and prolong his prostration till they climbed down of their own sweet will!! The lady who was called the Khatoon e Jannat—The Lady of the Paradise--- in front of whom every lady bowed her head! She wasn’t able to bear with the sudden change in the circumstances and the environment! Three blows descended on her like heavy landslide---her father’s demise, confiscation of her inheritance and the denial of her husband’s rights! These three shocks were sudden and unexpected! The world became dark in her eyes! She felt the storms of opposition in the environment! She stopped smiling and her eyes became wet perpetually! She became very weak and emaciated. She got such nagging headache that she had to put a headband perpetually. Sometimes she experienced vertigo when she felt fedup of life and the world! She wished for death, and death didn’t delay long in acceding to her wish! Abu Jafar narrates that after three months of the demise of the Prophet (s.a), on 14th Jamadi al Awwal, Hazrat Fatima breathed her last. Waqadi says that she expired after six months.

    Ali (a.s) and Fatima bint e Umais gave the last bath to Hazrat Fatima. Umra bint e Abd ar Rahman narrates that Abbas bin Abd al Mutallib led the funeral prayer and according to Abu Mahshar, Abbas, Ali (a.s), and Fadl bin Abbas lowered her in the grave. She was interred at midnight and therefore very few persons attended her funeral viz: Ammar, Miqdad, Aqil, Zubair, Abu Dhar, Salman and Buraida were there along with the elites of Bani Hashim. Allama Masoodi has also quoted some couplets of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and one of these, full of pathos, is:

    “The Prophet (s.a)’s departure followed by Fatima’s demise,

    is the proof of saying: no friend remains forever!”

    HAZRAT ALI (A.S)’S ROUTINE DURING CALIPHATE OF HAZRAT ABU BAKR

    Hazrat Abu Bakr and his cohorts were busy organizing the administration of the realm and his commanders busy annexing many Arab territories. Hazrat Ali (a.s), at this juncture, was sitting in seclusion compiling the contents of the Holy Quran. He had resolved that he wouldn’t put the traditional shawl, Aba, on his shoulders till he completed the project. Hazrat Ali (a.s) accomplished the task of compiling the Book in order of the revelation of the verses. Fath al Bari, a commentary on Sahih Bukhari, records:

    “The Quran compiled by Hazrat Ali (a.s) that was according to the order of revelation had ‘Iqra’ the first Sura (Chapter) followed by ‘Mudassar’, ‘Wal Qalam’, ‘Muzammil’, ‘Tabbat’, ‘Sajj’ and in that order all the chapters revealed in Mecca; then followed by the chapters revealed in Medina.”

    Allama Siyuti writes referring to Ibn e Hajr:

    “After the demise of the Prophet (s.a), Hazrat Ali (a.s) compiled the chapters of the Quran in order of their revelation.”

    Shah Waliullah writes compiling the profile of Hazrat Ali (a.s):

    “Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s contribution in enlivening the knowledge of the Faith is also that he collected and compiled the Quran during the lifetime of the Prophet (s.a) but for its publication the fate didn’t help!”

    ---Azalat al Khafa

    It is a established fact that after the demise of the Prophet (s.a), Hazrat Ali (a.s) had kept lighted the candle of propagation of Islam which the Prophet (s.a) had lighted in the dark environs of Arabia. He dedicated his life to the propagation and service of Islam. During the lifetime of the Prophet (s.a) he did Jihad bil Saif (Jihad with the sword) and after the demise of the Prophet (s.a) he started Jihad bin Nafs (a fight with his own psyche). In Jihad bil Saif he had no peer in entire Arabia and for Jihad bin Nafs he had no parallel:

    “Though the wind was fierce and sharp;

    He kept his candle lighted!

    That mendicant whom the Creator endowed the regal ways!

    HAZRAT ABU BAKR’S WILL

    Hazrat abu Bakr had selected Hazrat Omer as his successor in his lifetime! In his view there was none as capable as Omer to bear the pressures of the Caliphate. Now the question is whether the people should be allowed to choose their ruler or name a person through the will of the incumbent! From the enclave of Bani Saqifa it became evident to Hazrat abu Bakr that if the matter of selection was put before the people the political parties would start bickering and it might result in conflicts! It was certainly impossible for the entire population unanimously opting for Hazrat Omer’s succession! Therefore Hazrat abu Bakr kept aside the philosophy of Ijma (Concesus) and entirely changed the process of selection of the Caliph and nominated Hazrat Omer as his successor through a will!! Before writing down the will he consulted some hoipolloi of Medina. But even this selective talk indicated that if the selection was left to the people it would generate intense opposition and dissension! The discussion that took place between Hazrat Abu Bakr and Abd ar Rahman bin Auf throws ample light on the politics of that time. Tarikh e Tabari records it in this manner:

    “Abd ar Rehman bin Auf narrates that he went to Abu Bakr when he was terminally ill and found him somewhat sad. Abd ar Rehman said, ‘Allah is kind that you have awoken in good health!’ Abu Bakr asked, ‘did you notice this?’ Abd ar Rehman said, ‘Yes!’Abu Bakr said, ‘I am giving the reins of the regime to a person who is the most capable in my view but all of you here have swollen noses against him! Everyone thinks that he himself should get the reins in his hand! You have all seen the world coming! When the world arrives you will use curtains of silk and the mattresses of brocade (Deebaj) and lying on Azri wool will hurt you so much as if you are reclining on thorns! Instead of becoming worldly it is better to behead you without pronouncing hadd e Sariah—the verdict of execution! You will be the first to make the people wayward and remove them from the Right Path!’ Abd ar Rehman said, ‘O Amir al Momineen! Don’t get so excited! You become weaker in such a condition! Both types of persons are with you—those who are of the same view as you have are with you and those who have contrary views too will reconcile to your view!’”

    ---Tabari

    Ibn e Athir writes that Hazrat Abu Bakr first called Abd ar Rehman bin Auf and inquired his opinion about Hazrat Omer. He said that Omer’s opinion is better than his but his nature is turse! Hazrat Abu Bakr said, ‘Whenever he finds me handling any matter softly, he becomes terse! If the Caliphate is given to him he will abandon being tough because whenever I get angry he becomes soft! Then he called Othman and asked his opinion about Omer. Hazrat Othman said, ‘Hazrat Omer’s psyche is better than his exterior! None of us is like him!’ Hearing this Abu Bakr told to the two of them, ‘Keep this matter to yourself and don’t discuss it with anyone!’ At that moment Talha bin Obaid Allah arrived there. Hazrat abu Bakr told to him, ‘I have nominated Omer theCaliph!’ Talha said, ‘You are going to meet Allah very soon! Allah will ask you what deal you have made with the people?! What reply you will give?!’ Hazrat abu Bakr was lying down on his bed, he became angry and said, ‘Help me sit up!’ People helped him to come to sitting posture. He told to Talha, ‘You ask me to fear Allah! Remember when I go to Allah and He questions me, I shall tell Him that on His creatures I have put the best among them as their Caliph!’”

    ---Tabari & Ibn e Khaldun

    No book of history mentions whether Hazrat Ali (a.s) made any suggestion to the Caliph of the time, or made comments or opposed his decisions. Like a silent witness he was observing the happenings around him! The reason of his quiet can be gauged from his sermons in Nahj al Balagha. He was certain that Hazrat abu Bakr wouldn’t nominate any one other than Hazrat Omer as the Caliph! He knew that any opposition in the matter was futile.

    Hazrat abu Bakr asked Hazrat Othman to write down his will. Because of his sinking condition Hazrat Abu Bakr talked haltingly. As he dictated he swooned and became unconscious. Therefore Hazrat Othman inscribed the name of Hazrat Omer in the “Document of the Will” and completed it!! When Hazrat Abu Bakr regained consciousness he asked Hazrat Othman to read the will. He said, “Allaho! Akbar! Perhaps you had the fear that if my spirit departed differences might arise in the people” Hazrat Othman agreed and the document was finalised!! The contents of the will are:

    “This is the last declaration of Abu Bakr ibn e Qahafa when he is getting ready to depart from this world and is about to enter the first stage of the Hereafter! This is such a moment in which an infidel, a Momin and a liar too becomes a believer and truthful! I have selected Omer for you! Therefore give ear to his word and obey him! In this is Allah’s mandate and obedience of the Prophet and also for myself; and your welfare I have kept in view! If he does justice, it will be what I expect from him! If he does contrary to this, then every person is answerable for his own actions! My wish is for seeking welfare and I don’t have any knowledge about the unseen!”

    Tabari has narrated from Abul Hasfar that after completing the document of the will Hazrat abu Bakr peeped from a corner of his house where there was a crowd of men. Asma bint e Omais, whose hands were red with henna, was supporting him. He addressed the crowd and said, “O people! I have selected Omer bin Al Khattab as your Caliph! Listen to his orders and obey him!” Qais says that when Hazrat Abu Bakr was addressing the people Omer was sitting there and he had a cane in his hand. He was telling the people to listen to the order of their caliph and to obey him! At that time Hazrat Abu Bakr’s slave, Shadid was sitting near Hazrat Omer and he held the document of the Caliph’s will in his hand which was the declaration of the selection of Hazrat Omer as Caliph!!

    HAZRAT ABU BAKR DIES

    Hazrat Abu Bakr was afflicted with fever on 7th of Jamadi al Thani and he suffered from it for two weeks and, with the same affliction, he departed for the other world on 21 Jamadi al Thani (22 August 633 A.D) at the time between two evening prayers—Maghrib & Isha.At the time of his death he was of age 63 years and he held the reins of Caliphate for 2 years and 3 months and 10 days. Sometime prior to his death he was conversing with Abd ar Rehman bin Auf. During this conversation he frankly confessed about his achievements and failings during his tenure of caliphate. He said:

    “There are three things that I did and I wish that I hadn’t done them! There are also three things I didn’t do and I wish I had done them. There are also three things about the Prophet (s.a) that I feel I should have enquired of him! The three things that I wish I didn’t do are that I hadn’t opened the house of Fatima even if they closed the door for battle; I wish I hadn’t burnt Al fujara Salama and tied and killed the person or I rather left the person free. I wish on the day of Bani Saqifa I had put the emirate in the neck of one of the two persons. (Hazrat abu Bakr’s indication was towards Omer and Abu Ubaida that one of them would be Amir and he the Vizier!) And the things I missed doing are that I wish when Ashas was brought before me, I should have executed him. I wish when I sent Khalid to deal with Murtideen (the Apostates) I should have gone to Al Qassa and camped there.I wish when I sent Khalid bin Walid towards Syria, I should have sent Omer bin al Khattab to Iraq and thus I would have spread both my hands in the way of Allah!”

    Saying this he spread both his arms! “The three things that I wish I had asked the Prophet (s.a) about are: I should’ve asked him who should be Amir after him that there wouldn’t be any dispute after him; I wish I should’ve asked the Prophet (s.a) whether the Ansar should have some part in the matters of the state and also I wish I had asked him about the inheritance of the niece and the aunt because there is some unease in my heart about this matter.”

    --Tarikh e Tabari

    HAZRAT OMER’S CALIPHATE

    The Caliphate of Hazrat Omer commenced on Tuesday, 22 Jamadi al Awwal 13 H (23 August 634 A.D). There is no doubt that the reins of the regime were in the hands of such a person that it spread from the Mediterranean Sea to Hindukush Mountains, and it stood on firm grounds! Hazrat Omer’s period was the golden period of Islamic rule. This period is recognized for its reforms, conquests, law and order and Islamic way of governance! Even today it is referred to as a period of excellent governance. This period is a tower of light which has been a source of guidance for the fourteen hundred years not only for the Islamic rulers but also it invited the attention of other rulers all over the world.

    But as far as the personal and political life of Hazrat Ali (a.s) is concerned that didn’t change in this period. The developments didn’t have any effect on his life. He still lived the Spartan life of a virtual detainee in Medina and, for political compulsions, the establishment kept him away from the affairs of the army and the administration of the state and this meant that he didn’t have the confidence of the rulers of the time!

    Hazrat Omer’s wide regime spanned over several provinces viz: Mecca, Medina, Taef, Yemen, Jazira, Hamas, Median, Syria, Egypt, Koofa, Basra, Khorasan, Azarbaijan, Faras and Palestine. Islamic rule was spread over a vast area of 225,000 square miles. But in such a vast regime the establishment didn’t think of selecting Hazrat Ali (a.s) to head any of the several provinces. Seeing the names of the governors of these provinces one would easily understand that as far as honesty, forthrightness, piety, valour and firmness in belief is concerned Hazrat Ali (a.s) wasn’t less than any of them!

    The governorate of Syria was entrusted to Abu Sufian’s sons Yazid and Muawiya, Egypt was governed by Omar bin al Ass, Koofa was with Saad bin Abi Waqas, in Basra the governor was Otba bin Ghazwan who was succeeded by Abu Moosa Ashari. The administrator of Mecca Mauzama was Abu Jahl’s nephew Khalid bin al Aas. Taef was in the control of Othman bin al Aas, the governor of Yemen was Yaali bin Omayya, Madain was ruled by Noman and Huzaifa bin al Yaman, In Jazira Ayaz bin Ghanam was the governor, in Hamas Omro bin Saad, In Ispahan Khalid bin Harath, in Maisan Noman bin Adi, in Ailia Alqama bin Hakim, in Rahla Alqama bin Majraz and in Bahrain the governor was Qadamat bin Mazoon.

    At this point we can say that Hazrat Ali (a.s) remaining at Medina was essential because Hazrat Omer couldn’t have sent him out of there for a moment. Hazrat Omer had acknowledged the importance of Hazrat Ali (a.s) on several occasions when he said, “If Ali (a.s) wasn’t around, Omer would have perished!” This was the reason, perhaps, that Hazrat Ali (a.s) wasn’t sent to any province as the governor. But to our surprise we find that remaining in Medina, he wasn’t given any position of importance. The minister for the Central Bait al Maal was Zaid bin Arqam, the Justice of the Court was Zaid bin Thabit who also was the transcripter of the revelations during the time of the Prophet (s.a). Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s name is found in the roster of those Muftis (Judges) other than whom none had the authority to issue edicts. But in this roster, besides Hazrat Ali (a.s), Hazrat Othman, Abd ar Rehman bin Auf, Manaz bin Jabl, Abu Huraira, Abu Darda etc are included. During the regime of Hazrat Omer, the Qazi Shariah’s position was very important. Hazrat Omer, while travelling to Syria, gave the following statement when he halted at Jalabia:

    “One who wishes to learn about the Quran should approach Obai bin Kaab, one who wishes to know about duties he must go to Zaid and for acquiring knowledge of Fiqh a person must see Ma-aaz!”

    --Al Farooq

    One doesn’t understand what importance was there in that environment for Hazrat Ali (a.s)?! He was neither holding any position in the provinces nor at the centre, nor in the disciplines of Quran and Fiqh! And then if Hazrat Omer time and again said: “If Ali wasn’t around, Omer would have perished!’ it could only be deemed just an opportunistic statement! It was said perhaps to please Hazrat Ali (a.s), or, rather, to impress on the world that restricting Ali (a.s) to Medina wasn’t because of political reasons and was to uphold the status of Islam!!

    HAZRAT ALI (A.S)’S COOPERATION WITH THE RULERS

    Despite the cruel behaviour of the rulers, Hazrat Ali (a.s) carried himself with utmost modesty and forbearance. During Hazrat Omer’s rule he extended his cooperartion at every step. In the meetings of the Consultative Committee he gave his sincere suggestions. He advised the Caliph in difficult matters of State. He never criticized the Caliph’s policies and, to the contrary, he praised his skills of administration in common fora. Thus Hazrat Ali (a.s) proved with his action that there wasn’t any political misunderstanding between him and Hazrat Omer and that both were parts of the same society! Keeping the events of the past and present in mind Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s sincere cooperartion with Hazrat Omer surprises one! But if the events are considered seriously one can understand two reasons for this attitude:

    1. The religious reason was that Hazrat Ali (a.s) never wished to give priority to personal wishes over the demands of the Creed which the Prophet (s.a) nursed for thirty years to engrain into the minds of the ignorant The best opportunity for Hazrat Ali (a.s) was at the moment when Abu Sufian tempted him by saying that he would fill the lanes of Medina with men and horses to oppose the accession of Abu Bakr to the Caliphate. But Hazrat Ali (a.s) strongly repudiated Abu Sufian because he knew that the person’s wish was to create dissension. Hazrat Ali (a.s) made sacrifices of personal interest at every turn to uphold the unity of the people. He never wished to face awful retribution of the destruction of Islam securing small reward of worldly caliphate! This was the reason that when the rule of Hazrat Abu Bakr commenced, Hazrat Ali (a.s) remained away from political and administrative affairs in seclusion for six months. But he felt that his quiet and disinterest were creating doubts in the minds of people and the fire of dissent that could have flared up was burning in the form of Alavi Movement which could flare up any moment and engulf the entire world of Islam. Therefore he started sincerely cooperating with the rulers of the time and crushed the head of the rising mischief and saved Islam from annihilation!
    2. One political reason for Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s cooperation cannot be ignored. The political reason was the environment around him and there were only two ways to deal with it: Confrontation or remaining quiet! Certainly the second way was beneficial for Hazrat Ali (a.s) both for worldly reasons and also as required by With the demise of the Prophet (s.a) the influence of Bani Hashim too had departed. The tribes of Qureish were not willing for a moment to accept the lead and rule of Bani Hashim. However, till Hazrat Fatima was alive the lamp of eminence was glowing in the house of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and those who had the privilege of the companionship of the Prophet (s.a) passed through that way their heads used to bow down respectfully and involuntarily. Mohammed Arabi (s.a) wasn’t there but his only progeny was there. But when she too demised the lamp of Hashemite eminence was blown away and in the eyes of the common Arab, Hazrat Ali (a.s) didn’t have the same regard that they had for him earlier when Fatima was beside him! What to talk of the common folks, Hazrat abu Bakr uttered the following words in the caliph’s court:

    “As long as Fatima is by his side I cannot be aggressive with him (Ali-a.s) in any matter!”

    These words convey the meaning that in the view of the closest companions of the Prophet (s.a) the respect of Hazrat Ali (a.s) lasted till Hazrat Fatima lived. Once Hazrat Fatima departed the influence of Hazrat Ali (a.s) too departed from the hearts of the Arabs. Now Hazrat Ali (a.s) was lonely and helpless. He started feeling strangeness in the environs of Medina. Very few persons were his well-wishers. Even they couldn’t openly express their support for him. Taking advantage of the inclement circumstances the ruling clique had tightened the conditions. On important key posts progeny of Omayya were appointed who were ever the enemies of Bani Hashim. The people of Medina were sent on campaigns of battle to Iran and Rome where they saw the excess of wealth and glamour of the pretty girls there made them forget everything else! The other companions of the Prophet (s.a) were granted big pensions and gratuities and they quietly sat at their homes. A person who participated only in the Battle of Badr was granted Dh 5,000. There were many households from where persons had participated in all the battles and campaigns of the Prophet (s.a). If the pensions they received were added what a person received would add upto more than the remuneration of a country’s president! The Prophet (s.a)’s spouses too were drawing sufficient pensions that relieved them from the worry for day to day expenses. Among the companions of the Prophet (s.a) were the persons on whose expiry bricks of gold and silver were sawed to distribute to their offsprings! On the people of Medina virtually Hun (A Deccani Gold Coin) was raining!! In these circumstances who will have the courage and will to raise his voice against the establishment. Then how is that Hazrat Ali (a.s) wouldn’t cooperate with the Caliph of the time?! In the circumstances Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s cooperation with the rulers was the wisest thing! His actions, character and behaviour were such that the rulers didn’t get any chance to blame him of being rebellious and that he wasn’t capable of being the Caliph! No doubt it was the result of Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s good behaviour that Hazrat Omer, in his last moments, put Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s name too in the committee from which one person was to be chosen the succeeding Caliph! If Hazrat Ali (a.s) didn’t have the desired qualities his name wouldn’t have come in the roster of candidates for caliphate and the historians would have written that he wasn’t able to prove himself capable of holding that position. From the above it can be said that Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s attitude was the best example of Itmam e Hujjat (The Assertion of One’s Rights)!

    This was the way Hazrat Ali (a.s) cooperated with Hazrat Omer. Gibbons’s view is very strong that he says:

    “In Omer’s Caliphate Ayesha was instrumental in decision making and Ali (a.s) had accepted it because opposition was unnecessary!”

    OMER MARRIES UMM KULTHUM BINT E ALI

    In 17 H the event happened suddenly that Hazrat Omer expressed his desire to marry Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s youngest daughter. Hazrat Ali (a.s) refused to accept this alliance making excuse of very young age of his daughter. But Hazrat Omer insisted on the alliance. In this matter there is terrific difference of opinion between Shias and Sunnis. The Ithna Ashari Ulema absolutely deny that this marriage ever took place and for proof the writings of Ibn e Maaja and Imam Dawood are presented by them. The opinion of both the scholars is as follows in their Sunans:

    “We should know that there were two girls of the name Umm Kulthum. One was Umm Kulthum binte Rahab and the other was Umm Kulthum binte Ali Ibne Abi Talib. Umm Kulthum binte Ali was married to Mohammed Ibne Jafar e Tayyar and Umm Kulthum binte Rahab married Omer Ibne Khattab!”

    This opinion gains strength also from the fact that other than Umm Kulthum binte Rahab there was another Umm Kulthum binte Jarool Khazaee who was married to Omer and mothered his sons Zaid, Asghar and Abd Allah. After the Treaty of Hudaibiya he divorced her. There was a third Umm Kulthum binte Uqba Ibne Abi Moeet too who was the wife of Omer and, after divorcing her, he married a fourth Umm Kulthum binte Asim. In the light of these events there is a heavy possibility that Omer having several spouses of the same name created confusion in the minds of the narrators and they thought the Umm Kulthum bint e Ali was one of those.This narration travelled from mouth to mouth and after hundreds of years it entered the books of history and one historian kept emulating the other! Because the felicity of a Rashid Caliph was mentioned in this event and it was, sort of, a proof of good relations between Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Omer the books of Sirat and history have gone full hog reporting it and thus the fictitious event was presented as a true happening. Allama Bihaqi, Dar Qatni and Ibne Hajar Makki too have deemed falsity of the event and they write:

    “Hazrat Ali (a.s) had already allied his daughters to his nephews. Hazrat Omer met Hazrat Ali (a.s) and said, ‘O Abul Hasan! Marry your daughter Umm Kulthum binte Fatima to me!’ Ali replied, ‘I have earmarked my daughters for my nephews!’”

    The translator of Ibne Khaldun reflects the opinion of Ahl e Sunnat and he insists very much deeming that this marriage did take place. He writes:

    “The event of the marriage of Umm Kulthum binte Ali bin Abi Talib has been reported by very reliable authors (Tabari, Ibn e Haban, Ibn e Qatida and Ibne Athir) in their books clearly that Farooq e Azam married Umm Kulthum binte Fatima binte Mohammed (s.a) and she was his wedded wife…..Bukhari incidentally in Babal Jihad mentions about it. What more proof is needed for the event?”

    The translator of Ibn e Khaldun has also recorded extracts from different books of history:

    1. In the book ‘Al Saqaat’ Ibne Haban mentions about the events of 17H that Omer married Umm Kulthum binte Ali and in the month of Zil Qidda the bethrotal took place.
    2. Ibne Athir writes in his Tarikh e Kamil that Omer married Umm Kulthum binte Ali bin Abi Talib. Umm Kulthum’s mother was Fatima binte Mohammed (s.a). He paid 40,000 Dirhams as the Mehr (The Bride Money).
    3. Ibne Qatida writes in “Mu-aarif” about the progeny of Omer that Fatima and Zaid were born to Umm Kulthum binte Ali bin Abi Talib who was the daughter of Fatima binte Mohammed (s.a).

    Thus the thoughts of both the schools are poles apart and both have quoted reputed books of history! But as we have mentioned earlier it is not impossible that when the history of a people is compiled after hundreds of years of an event the description is recorded on the pages of history erroneously! Thus not only the events get misquoted and also they are represented in this manner to suit the needs of the rulers!!

    Now we have to consider another side of the matter other than the Shia or Sunni belief in the matter which will be the psychological and meaningful analysis of that event:

    1. Umm Kulthum was born to the same Fatima binte Mohammed (s.a) whose hand was refused to be given in marriage to Omer bin al Khattab. When the Prophet (s.a) refused to give his daughter in marriage to Omer, how would Ali (a.s) give her daughter in marriage to the same person?!
    2. Umm Kulthum was the daughter of Hazrat Fatima who, according to Hazrat Ayesha, was angry with Hazrat Omer and willed at the time of her death that he even shouldn’t attend her funeral. Was Hazrat Ali (a.s) unaware of all this that he agreed to give her daughter in marriage to Hazrat Omer?!
    3. Umm Kulthum was born in 9 H, and therefore her age in 17 H wasn’t more than 8 or 9 years and Hazrat Omer was of 57 Was Hazrat Ali (a.s) unable to find a suitable groom for Umm Kulthum that he agreed to give her in marriage to the elderly person?!

    In light of the above reasons intelligence doesn’t agree that Hazrat Ali (a.s) could have given Fatima’s young daughter Umm Kulthum in marriage to an aged person willingly and took the heavy amount of Dh 40,000 as the Mehr for her marriage! Then read the accounts of Hazrat Omer’s life that according to Ibn e Khaldun:

    “He always used to wear coarse clothes and there used to be patches on his garments. Hassan says that one day Farooq e Azam was delivering his sermon and his loin-cloth had twelve patches and one of the patches was of leather. Abu Othman says that he saw Farooq e Azam doing “Rami” in “Jamarat” and noticed a patch of a sock on his loin-cloth. At the time of the conquest of Baytal Muqaddis his cloak was having seventy patches and one patch was of leather….Once during the period of his Caliphate he was going to the Idgah (Congregational Grounds) to lead the prayer and was not wearing any footwear. Once he took a long time to emerge out of his house. It was later known that he didn’t have a change of clothes and he had washed his only clothes and had to wait for them to dry before he came out!”

    ---Tarikh e Ibn e Khaldun

    Now one must give a thought that in the Islamic economic norms and the social customs what permits a caliph, who neither has good food nor clothing, spends Dh 40,000 to marry a small girl. When a Muslim acquires such an amount his first duty will be to improve the condition of his family and home, to acquire good loin-clothes, one or two pairs of cloaks for himself and for other members of his household! This is the teaching of Islam because it doesn’t tolerate asceticism. Islam never says that when an old man is in tatters he should spend Dh 40,000 to marry a young girl and himself go about with 70 patches on his cloak and with no foot-wear! This means that the Caliph had no desire to have good clothes and eat good food but to marry a young girl he was willing to invest a huge amount! This event too is there in Tarikh e Ibn e Khaldun that the companions communicated to Hazrat Omer through Hazrat Hafsa that he should get his emoluments enhanced and he replied:

    “By Allah! I wouldn’t tolerate waste or preferring worldly things over the Hereafter! My example and the example of two of my earlier friends is the same as of three persons travelling. The first one took his travelling-expenses (Zaad e Rah) and went his way and reached the destination, the second followed in his footsteps and reached his desired stage! After the two persons it was the turn of the third. If he adopted the way of the first two persons, and followed the same path, he too will arrive safe at the destination! But if he adopts any other way he will not meet them nor reach the desired destination!”

    ---Tarikh Ibn e Khaldun

    This conveys that Hazrat Omer strictly wished to follow the way of the Prophet (s.a) and Hazrat Abu Bakr and that was the only way, for him, to reach the destination. But we see that neither the Prophet (s.a) paid huge Mehr of Dh 40,000 to marry a young girl nor did Hazrat abu Bakr! The truth is that the Prophet (s.a) married away his beloved daughter, Fatima, for a small Mehr of Dh 480. Hazrat Abu Bakr’s daughter and the Prophet (s.a)’s spouse was paid a Mehr lesser than this that most of the books of history don’t deem necessary to mention the amount. The Prophet (s.a) gave two of his daughters to Othman and Mehr for these marriages too was very small.

    We find in the lives of the Prophet (s.a) and Hazrat abu Bakr that they used to mend their footwear with their own hands but it has never been mentioned that they used to move about in Medina with seventy patches on the tattered cloak and wearing no footwear! A garment that has been patched seventy times it, perhaps, loses its existence! We fail to understand which two persons he was trying to emulate?! In the lifes of the Prophet (s.a) and Hazrat Abu Bakr we don’t find they ever used to patch their garment as many as seventy times and were willing to pay Dh 40,000 to wed a young girl!

    These stories indicate the two contrary sides of the life of Hazrat Omer and accepting that the narrations are erroneous, the question remains why Hazrat Ali (a.s) agreed for such an unequal alliance? Only two replies are possible for this question:

    1. Perhaps Hazrat Ali (a.s) was helpless before the power and pelf of the ruling clique. Perhaps he had bowed his head to the caliph’s wish after refusing a couple of times siting vast different in the age of his daughter and the person seeking the alliance! But, perhaps, the Caliph was much insistent and, therefore, Ali (a.s) had no other way than acquiescing to his persistent demand!
    2. Perhaps the mutual relationship and trust between Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Omer had reached such a stage that in 16 H when Hazrat Omer was travelling to Bayt al Muqaddis he appointed Hazrat Ali (a.s) to govern Medina in his absence. This state of their relationship was a clear indication towards the possibility of Hazrat Ali (a.s) becoming the caliph after Hazrat Omer. Next year, in 17 H, when Hazrat Omer expressed his wish to marry umm Kulthum, the prospective caliph might have had to accede to his wish and request! This may also be accepted as the height of Itmam e Hujjat (Assertion of Claim) by Hazrat Ali (a.s)!

    But the difficulty arises that the two abovementioned answers donot juxtapose with Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s nature. In his entire life there wasn’t the slightest element of fear or greed. Niether he was going to be impressed with the power and pelf of the state or would he ever do such a thing in expectation of the caliphate which could go against his conscience! Therefore, intelligence accepts that the story of the marriage of umm Kulthum is sheer fable and concoted story which some historians have included in their works without doing proper research and investigation!!

    MUTUAL COOPERATION OF HAZRAT ALI (A.S) AND HAZRAT OMER

    At all times in the world there have been very few selfless persons who sacrificed personal interest for common good of the people. If a list of such persons is prepared Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s name would be on the top. He put aside his differences with Hazrat Omer and cooperated wholeheartedly for the common good of the people. This selfless cooperation impressed the Caliph so much that he placed full trust in Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s advice. We shall only mention those suggestions of Hazrat Ali (a.s) that proved important turning points for the History of Islam.

    COMMENCEMENT OF HIJRI CALENDAR

    During the regime of Hazrat Omer, till 17 H, Muslims didn’t have any idea about their own calendar. People used to calculate happenings of any event with reference to---Aam al Fil—the Year of the Elephant! That was the year when Abraha invaded the Kaaba with an army of elephants. It is believed that the Prophet (s.a) too was born in the same year. The Battle of Fujar too was kept as a landmark in the history of the Arabs because this event too helped them calculate about the period when some important events happened. There were also some persons who were able to indicate the time that passed by after building of the Kaaba. When the Islamic Realm expanded during the regime of Hazrat Omer and in addition to the correspondence from far-flung provinces, the other states too started sending embassies and edicts when the Muslims felt the lacuna that they didn’t have their own official calendar. It was difficult to decide which order was promulgated earlier and which came later because the documents contained only the name of the month in which the document was released. Hazrat Omer called a meeting of the Consultative Committee to sort out this lacuna. Several suggestions were made during the meeting. Some said that the Persian Calendar may be adopted. Some others opined that the Jewish Calendar would be suitable. There were also people who preferred the Aam al Fil. Hazrat Ali (a.s) suggested that the Hijrat (Migration) of the Prophet (s.a) should be taken as the day of commencement of the new Islamic Calendar because with the arrival of the Prophet (s.a) in Medina started a new epoch! When they calculated at that Consultative Committee Meeting he deduced that at that point of time 17 years had passed since the migration of the Prophet (s.a) from Mecca. Therefore they termed

    the current year then as 17 After Hijrat or 17 H! However to deem Moharram as the first month of the Calendar and Zilhijja as the last month they had to respect the customs of yore. This suggestion of Hazrat Ali (a.s) is rather the very foundation of Islam and the Calendar will keep reminding the people of Hazrat Ali (a.s) till the Doomsday!!

    HAZRAT ALI (A.S)’S ADVICE ABOUT THE ATTACK ON FARAS

    In 21 H after annexing Iraq, Khuzistan too went out of the control of the Persians, then, Yazdjard, the emperor of Iran reorganized his armies and ordered general recruitment. The huge Iranian contingent, commanded by time tested generals was advancing towards Khuzistan with renewed courage. This news created commotion in the Caliphs court and he himself wanted to take the command of the army in his hands. A discussion commenced in the Advisory Council when the companions suggested withdrawing contingents from Syria etc and also recruiting men from Medina and its environs and sending them to the front. But Hazrat Ali (a.s) said:

    “If we reduce our strength in Syria the Romans would commence skirmishes, if the men from Medina are sent out to the front, the Bedouin Arabs would get bold and start plundering. Therefore, it would be useful to send one third of the contingent at Basra and Koofa to the front, one third should be in readiness for defence and the balance to be used for various military tasks.”

    Besides this Hazrat Ali (a.s) also said:

    “You should remain like the axis for them and rotate the mill (of the government) with the help of the Arabs, and be their root. Avoid battle because if you leave this place the Arabs will attack you from all sides and directions till the unguarded places left behind by you would become more important than those before you! If the Persians see you tomorrow they would say, ‘He is the root (Chief) of Arabia! If we do away with him we would be in peace!’ In this way it would heighten their eagerness against you and keenness to aim at you! If you are defeated by them, the Muslims wouldn’t have any place of refuge!!”

    ---Nahj al Balagha

    Hazrat Omer liked the advice of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and sent the army in the command of Noman bin Maqran who was a very intelligent and experienced general.

    HAZRAT ALI (A.S)’S ADVICE IN THE ADMINISTRATION & DEVELOPMENT OF ANNEXED TERRITORY

    In the administration of the coastal areas of the Persian Gulf Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s advice was very valuable and highly successful. Syed Amir Ali writes in his ‘History of the Saracens’:

    “On the suggestion of Hazrat Ali (a.s) the land was surveyed thoroughly. A new method of levying land revenue was devised. The problems of the farmers were resolved and their land was restored to them. The heavy taxation imposed by the Iranian King on the big landlords was rationalized. At several places irrigation canals were constructed and the tillers of land were provided timely loans for efficient farming. The real tillers were protected by strict control of selling and buying of land. The properties of the Persian kings, their forests, the properties of the absconding princes and the paraphernalia of their Fire-Temples were declared as property of the State and their maintenance was done by the agents sent from Medina. The army wanted to treat the lands, called ‘Sawaad’ as booty of war but on the advice of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Abbas this suggestion was turned down.”

    ---Tarikh e Islam

    HAZRAT ALI (A.S)’S ADVICE FOR PROCEEDING TO BAYT AL MUQADDIS

    When the Christians craved for a truce after a long and protracted siege by the Muslims, the condition was that the Caliph must himself come and put his seal on the document. When Hazrat Omer was informed of the condition he called a meeting of the Consultative Council. Hazrat Othman suggested that the condition set by the Christians be rejected because they had no capability of fighting any further and anyhow they will have to make the truce! He thought it better to reject their condition as a sign of ridiculing them. Hazrat Ali (a.s) differed and said that the Caliph must go to Bayt al Muqaddis to execute the agreement that it would appease the Christians and the act would create regard in their hearts for the Muslims. Hazrat Omer liked this suggestion very much and when he commenced his journey for Bayt al Muqaddis he left Medina in the charge of Hazrat Ali (a.s) as a proof of the faith and trust he had in him. This event happened in 15 H when Hazrat Omer had already consolidated his regime. He had full faith in his own strength and the integrity of Ali (a.s) and he knew that in his absence there wouldn’t be any problem in the proper administration of the affairs of Medina.

    THE DISTRIBUTION OF  ‘FARSH E BAHAR’ OR ‘THE CARPET OF SPRING’

    The annexation of Iran’s capital, Madian, ended with the plunder of Khusro’s palace. The Muslims plundered the hundreds of years of civilization as booty of war. The invaluable arte-facts of the palace were dumped at one place where materials from the Kayani Kings’ time to the period of Nausherwan were there. The most incredible thing in the collection was a carpet that was called—Farsh e Bahar—The Carpet of Spring. At the end of the spring season this carpet would serve as an alternative for good season and it, virtually, brought back all the conditions of the spring! In the middle of this carpet was created a garden. It had greenery made of emeralds, beds of topazes, the plants made of gold and silver and flowers and fruits made of precious stones. The colour of every flower and branch was exactly like the original!

     The emperor of Iran and his courtiers used to sit on the carpet and enjoy their carousels! When this carpet was brought to the court of the Caliph along with other booty of war, Hazrat Omer

    wished to deposit it at the Bait al Maal. But Hazrat Ali (a.s) advised that, like other booty of war, the carpet should also be cut into pieces and distributed to the men of the army! Most of the people of Medina agreed with the suggestion. Maulana Shibli has narrated this incident in rather a terse manner:

    “On Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s insistence fall descended on that spring and the wealth of Nausherwan was rendered to shreds!”

    We would say that whether the Farsh e Bahar was rendered to shreds, or it was preserved whole, it would never have seen spring (Bahar) in the times of Khilafat e Rashida! Coming from the palace of Khusro to the dark corner of Bait al Maal, fall had already become its fate! Yes, if it had escaped from being shredded, the period of monarchy wasn’t far away and it would have experienced carousals as it wouldn’t have had at the palace of the Iranian Emperor!

    THE JUDGEMENTS OF HAZRAT ALI (A.S) IN THE PERIOD OF HAZRAT OMER

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) was neither the caliph nor the Chief Qazi but he sat in a corner lighting the lamp of the Shariah of Mohammed (s.a)! Despite the virtual storms he didn’t let the lamp get blown off with the strong winds! During the periods of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer if the people were not satisfied with the verdicts they would knock at the door of knowledge (Bab al Ilm)! If the verdict was wrong Hazrat Ali (a.s), with his ascetic forthrightness, would frankly point out to the Caliph and mostly the verdict would be modified as advised by him. To mention about the verdicts pronounced by Hazrat Ali (a.s), a separate volume would be required! Anyway, during his lifetime he didn’t let the people feel that there was the slightest lacuna in rendering the Islamic Justice! Such were the moments when Hazrat Omer used to say: “If Ali wasn’t around, Omer would have perished!”

    SUGGESTION FOR PRESERVING THE LIBRARY AT ALEXANDRIA

    Allama Ahmed bin Mustafa, known as Taash Kubra Zaada, expired 962 H, writes in his “Muftah al Saada wa Misbah al Siyada”, discussing about Alexandria, about a very incredible incident:

    When Umro Aas captured Alexandria he found a library there. He consulted Hazrat Omer about the books in the library. He was advised that if the books were in accord with the Quran, then the Quran is sufficient for us and we don’t need the books. But if the books are contrary to the Quran, we shall certainly have to destroy them! In compliance of this order Umro Aas distributed the books to the traditional baths in the city and they were burnt in a matter of six months for heating the water for the bathing people who visited the baths!”

    ---Maftah al Saadah and Misbah al Saaeda, Vol 1, Published from Hyderabad.

    This incident was confirmed by ibn al Qafti, Ibn al Bazaz al Karori, Ibn e Abri, Sheik Abd al Lateef Baghdadi and the writings of Allama Maghrizi. Qazi Saa-aa Maghrizi, Qazi Saa-aa Andalusi also writes in his book “Kitab Tabaqat al Umam” that Hazrat Ali (a.s) suggested to Hazrat Omer that the books at the library at Alexandria must be preserved. Hazrat Ali (a.s) said;

    “These books are a collection of knowledge on many disciplines and aren’t contrary to the Quran but, to the contrary, they uphold what the Quran says and they will be useful in interpreting the mysteries and the difficult contents of the Quran!”

    But the Caliph of the time didn’t agree with the suggestion of Hazrat Ali (a.s), and with his orders the library was put to fire! The order of Hazrat Omer was in consonance with his nature and psychology! He was a strict believer of what he said---Hasbana Kitab Allah---the Book of Allah is sufficient for us! But the truth of the matter is different! This library of Alexandria was burnt down much before Hazrat Omer’s edict! Perhaps on Hazrat Omer’s orders the records of the Royal Administration were destroyed because till that time the practice of preserving the old archives wasn’t there. If really the library of Alexandria was burnt down by the Muslims the Christian historians would have raised a hue and cry. Their very silence is indicative of the fact that no such burning took place! Compston Encyclopedia. Vol 8, has this note about the library:

    “The world’s oldest and most famous library of books was established by the King of Greece, Botlemus, in 400 B.C at Alexandria. The succeeding kings increased the number of books to 700,000. Researchers from all over the world used to visit the library for referring to the books there and copyists used to prepare transcripts on continuous basis. When the army of Julius Caesar, the King of Rome, attacked Alexandria in 47 B.C a part of the museum of the library was burnt. But in 391 A.D., Theodosis the Great of Rome ordered the complete burning down of the library.”

    Encyclopedia Britannica writes:

    “There is no proof of the incident that the libraries of Alexandria remained intact. But it is said that during 640 A.D (the period of Hazrat Omer) they were destroyed!”

    Sirat Ibn e Hisham, Tarikh Tabari, Tarikh Ibn e Atir and Tarikh e Ibn e Khaldun etc too are silent on the burning down of the library at Alexandria. God only knows which group of Muslim historians was honest about recording the true version and which wasn’t! Anyway, if the event was really true the Western historians would certainly have talked of it from the roof-tops and every book of history by them would have highlighted the incident!

    HAZRAT OMER’S DEMISE & MAJLIS E SHURA OR PRIVY COUNCIL ACTS

    Hazrat Omer demised when Mughira ibn e Shauba’s slave, Abu lulu Firoz attacked him. Abu Lulu had once complained to Hazrat Omer that Mughira was collecting more tax revenue from him and pleaded for reducing it. He was asked how much was the tax? He said it was 2 Dirhams every day. He was also asked what trade he practiced? He said that he did carpentary, calligraphy and black-smithy. Hazrat Omer said that the tax of 2 Dirhams a day wasn’t excessive for those trades. The slave was unhappy with Hazrat Omer’s decision. The next day he went to the mosque at the time of morning prayers. When Hazrat Omer started leading the congregation the man attacked him several times with a poniard. One wound he inflicted to Hazrat Omer below his umbilical region that proved fatal. When people tried to apprehend Abu Lulu he committed suicide! On the third day of the incident, 23rd Zil Hijja, 22 H, (3rd November 64 A.D.), Wednesday, Hazrat Omer breathed his last.

    The Almighty didn’t will that Hazrat Ali (a.s) became caliph after Hazrat Omer. The circumstances were such that Bani Omayya were  occupying all the key positions in the government and they would never have tolerated Bani Hashim’s suzeraignity. The people of Medina and its environs were enjoying a virtual rain of gold and silver and after relief from the clutches of Hazrat Omer they didn’t want a strict person like Hazrat Ali (a.s) to rule over them! The standards had undergone a sea change. With conquests came affluence and affluence promoted life of ease for the people in place of the proverbial Arab culture! In this waywardness of the society who would care for Hazrat Ali (a.s)! Pride was ruling the roost and what had the preacher to do in a public house! Who will welcome the reformer in the population of wayward crowds! The people were already tired of the harsh treatment Hazrat Omer gave them. How would they commit another error by opting for Hazrat Ali (a.s). The mood of the wayward society was looking for a caliph who would support their whims and fancies! Hazrat Omer knew the pulse of the people. He also knew that none other than Hazrat Ali (a.s) was ideal to be the caliph. His words bear witness to this fact:

    “O Ali! Nothing hindered your becoming the caliph but only that it is your desire to get it! Otherwise, you are the one who treads the path of the truth! If you get the reins of the government you would make it run on Haqq e Mubeen (the Manifest Truth) and Sirat e Mustaqeem (the Straight Path).”

    ---Al Imamat wal Siyasat by Ibne Qatida

    But because of the increasing power and clout of the Bani Omayya he wanted to keep Bani Hashim away from the Caliphate. He knew that if Ali (a.s) was named the successor, Medina would turn into a hot bed of internecine fighting and things would take such a turn that people wouldn’t have time even to bury their deceased caliph! As an act of discretion he had himself appointed Bani Omayya on key positions!(Sic). But during his last days he was unhappy with them and he had now reached the conclusion that both the powerful clans of Qureish—Bani Hashim and Bani Omayya were better kept away from the Caliphate! This thought made him utter the following words from his death-bed:

    “If Abu Obaida lived I would have nominated him the Caliph and when Allah asked me I would reply that I made the person Caliph about whom the Prophet (s.a) had said that every Ummat had one Amin (Guardian) and the guardian of this Ummat is Abu Obaida bin Jirrah. If Ma-aaz bin Jabl was alive I would have made him the Caliph and if Allah asked me I would reply that the Prophet (s.a) had said that Ma-aaz bin Jabl would be in the group of Ulema on the Day of Judgement! If Khalid bin Walid was alive I would have named him Caliph and if Allah asked Iwould say that the Prophet (s.a) had said about him that Khalid bin Walid was one of Allah’s Swords!”

    ---al Imamat wal Siasat by ibne Qatida

    The narrators report that Hazrat Omer also said:

    “If abu Hudaifa’s slave Salim lived I would have made him the Caliph!”

    Hazrat Omer repeatedly uttered the names of these persons as his prospective successors for the Caliphate that they were neither competitors for Caliphate with Bani Hashim nor were they competing with Bani Omayya who held power at that time. Hazrat Omer knew that the Caliphate would turn into such a sword for Bani Omayya and Bani Hashim that it would prove a killer for the Ummat. But it is a pity that the arrow was already shot out of the quiver! The power was literally in the hands of Bani Omayya and Hazrat Omer was under the throes of death now! Those who were competent of being caliph, according to him, had already left the world! The situation was such that whichever name cropped up for succession he was either a supporter of Bani Hashim or of Bani Omayya. Felicity and justice were in favour of Hazrat Ali (a.s); but giving him the caliphate would mean open declaration of hostilities with Bani Omayya and the result would be conflict because the hearts of the chiefs of Bani Omayya were devoid of spirit of sacrifice and that might have forced them to obey Hazrat Ali (a.s) as they did with Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer. They knew very well how to put Islam in the background for the sake of their own selfish interests. Therefore, to protect the Ummat from bloodshed and the trust that Hazrat Ali (a.s) would cooperate because of his love for Islam, Hazrat Omer decided to yield the Caliphate to Bani Omayya!! Now among the Bani Omayya was Hazrat Othman who was close to the Prophet (s.a), was one of the early converts to Islam, had participated in all the battles and had the privilege of being forthright, truthful and religious!!

    But the matter was still unresolved. The biggest question was how to keep Hazrat Ali (a.s) away from selection that in the view of Hazrat Omer was the most deserving and qualified for the Caliphate. In fact it was the wisdom of Hazrat Omer that despite his struggle between life and death he resolved the matter in a very intelligent manner! He constituted a committee of prospective candidates and put Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s name in the Committee. The Committee was formed in such a manner that the chances of the selection were as bright for Hazrat Othman as they were bleak for Hazrat Ali (a.s). Anyway, when Hazrat Omer departed from this transitory world his lapel was free of the blame that he didn’t make onesided will favouring Othman and denying the rights of Ali (a.s). He left the reward or retribution for the decision on the necks of the members of the Shura that he had put together!

    Now, read about the formation of the Committee of Shura and praise the unique capability of Hazrat Omer.

    THE CONSTITUTION OF MAJLIS E SHURA & IT’S AREA OF OPERATION

    Hazrat Omer limited the Majlis e Shura to the following six persons:

    1. Hazrat Ali (a.s). 2. Hazrat Othman 3. Hazrat Abd ar Rehman bin Auf 4. Hazrat Saad bin Waqas 5. Hazrat Zubair 6. Hazrat Talha.

    The functions of the Committee too were decided by Hazrat Omer himself. We mention the functions of the Committee as related in Tarikh e Ibn e Khaldun:

    “Hazrat Omer asked these six persons to be assembled at one place and asked them to select one of the six as the prospective Caliph and present him as such before the people. If there is no unanimity in the selection the six must cast their votes and agree with the decision of the majority. If the votes are cast equally between the contestants Hazrat Omer’s son, Abd Allah, would be the referee. But Abd Allah will be on the side on which will be Abd ar Rehman bin Auf. The six persons would be confined in a place for three days to arrive at a decision. During the period Sohaib would lead the prayers. Abd Allah bin Omer could be called in for consultation but he could not be a contestant for the Caliphate and if Talha arrived there during those three days he could also join the process of selection.”

    ---Tarikh Ibn e Khaldun

    The Committee was given another very crucial authority which Ibn e Qatida writes of in his book “Al Imamat wal Siasat”:

    “Hazrat Omer addressed the members of the Shura, ‘If five of you agree on the the sixth person and the sixth refuses to accept, he must immediately be executed! If four of you agree on one person and two cast their votes against him, the two opposing persons should be executed. If three persons vote for one person and three are against him, my son Abd Allah shall have the casting vote. Whoever he selects from the three shall be deemed the Caliph. If the other three differ, they must be executed!!”

    ---Al Imamat wal Siasat

    At the moment we don’t wish to write a critique on the Majlis e Shura: But we discuss about its formation. The idea that comes to mind is that the organization of the Shura by Hazrat Omer is such a phenomenon that can neither be termed as democratic nor dictatorial! In all the Majlis e Shura had six members. These six members would meet under the chairmanship of Abd Allah bin Omer. Despite being the chairman he is under a member, Abd ar Rehman bin Auf. If the six members get divided into three on each side, then the victory will go to the side in whose favour Abd ar Rehman bin Auf gives his casting vote! The Chairman, even if he wished, cannot give his vote to the other group. It appears as if a dictator is sitting on the head of the Shura and the Chairman is thus an inactive component!

    This complicated contraption is the creation of Hazrat Omer’s mind! Reading the entire history of the world one wouldn’t find a parallel to it anywhere else! Anyway, before we criticize this institution it is necessary for us to get introduced with the individual members of the Shura:

    INTRODUCTION OF THE MEMBERS

    Masudi’s “Murawwij al Dahab” is the first authentic book of history that throws light on the Arabs and particularly on the culture and economics of the period of Khilafat e Rashida. The latter historians have all derived description of the events from this source. In addition to this book, we have drawn reference from “Istiaab” of Ibn e Abd al Barr and “politics in Islam” by Khuda Baksh.

    1. Talha bin Abd Allah: Talha was counted among the very affluent persons of He had a palatial house which was built with mortar, furnaced bricks and high quality timber. The other imposing palace that he built in Koofa was seen by Masudi himself! From the lands of Iraq and Sarat he earned about 2,000 Dinars every day. When he departed from this transient world he had a hoard of 200,000 Dirhams and his estate was valued at 2,200,000. Hazrat Talha’s mother Shuba was the daughter of Abu Sufian, Muawiya’s sister and the aunt of Yazid and the daughter of Hazrat Abu Bakr’s uncle! Talha was also in the roster of Ashra e Mubashshira---the Ten Whose Consignment to the Heaven was Predicted!!
    2. Zubair bin al Awam: Zubair was the son-in-law of Hazrat Abu Bakr, but when the allegiance for Abu Bakr was sought he was a supporter of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and had a strong link with the Hashemite Later on, during the period of Hazrat Omer he turned against Hazrat Ali (a.s). The money he got from the land and the booty he invested in trading and earned higher returns. In time he became so rich that he was counted among the affluent persons of Medina. He built palatial mansions in Koofa, Basra, Egypt and Alexandria and at the time of his demise he had 50,000 Dinars, 1000 horses and hundreds of slave boys and girls. 1,000 peasant farmers used to give him tribute. He too was one of the Ashra e Mubasshira!!
    3. Abd ar Rehman bin Auf: Hazrat abd ar Rehman too was among the rich persons of In Wadi e Ateeq he built an imposing palace. He had 100 horses, 1000 camels and 10,000 sheep. He used to sometimes free three slaves in a day! At the time of his death his liquid assets were such that his four spouses got 100,000 Dirhams each. He was also on the roster of Ashra e Mubasshshira!! He was closely related to Hazrat Othman. His wife Umm Kulthum bint e Uqaba bin Abi Moeeth was Hazrat Othman’s maternal cousin!
    4. Saad bin abi Waqas: In terms of affluence he too was among the elite. He too built a mansion in Wadi e Ateeq and he expired in the same house. He was closely related to Abd ar Rehman bin Auf. Saad bin Waqas’ mother was Qamtas binte Sufian bin Omayya and, therefore, he was closely related to Othman and Muawiya!!
    1. Hazrat Othman bin Affan: Hazrat Othman was generally known as “Ghani”---affluent or well provided!! For the service of Islam he contributed large sums. For the Battle of Tabook he defrayed the entire expenditure for the Islamic Contingent! He bought a well in Medina and gifted it away to the Muslims! Whenever Islam faced any financial crunch during the days of the Prophet (s.a), Hazrat Othman liberally offered his wealth for the cause. Despite all these expenses he possessed huge wealth! When he deceased he had 150,000 Dinars and 1,000,000 Dirhams and besides these liquid assets his estates in Wadi al Qura and Hunain were valued at 100,000 Dinars. Hazrat Othman was from the tribe of Bani Omayya and was closely related to Abu Sufian.
    2. Hazrat Ali (a.s): The 6th Member of the Committee: there seems to be no culturtal, genetic, intellectual commonality between Hazrat Ali (a.s) and the other members of the Committee other than these aspects: He was a Muslim and they too were! They were Qureish like him and from Ashara e Mubasshshira!

    As against this the other members of the Committee were similar with each other in all respects! Perhaps this was the reason that Hazrat Ali (a.s) seemed unhappy with the formation of this Shura. One can refer to the discussion between him and Hazrat Abbas as a proof of this that took place when the Majlis e Shura was constituted by Hazrat Omer! Tarikh e Tabari has recorded this conversation as follows:

    “When Abbas met him, Ali (a.s) said, ‘Caliphate has been removed from us!’ Abbas asked, ‘How?!’ Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, ‘Othman has been put along with me and the condition is that one who has the majority of members of the committee with him will be the Caliph. Thus, if two are on one side and two on the other; the side in which Abd ar Rehman bin Auf is there will be deemed selected. It is natural that Saad would not oppose his uncle’s son Abd ar Rehman and Abd ar Rehmna is releated to Othman through matrimony! Thus, either Othman will name Abd ar Rehman as Caliph or, vice versa, Abd ar Rehman will opt for Othman! Even if the other two members support me, it wouldn’t be of any use! I feel that only one member is going to support me!’”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    “Hazrat Abbas too, considering the make-up of the Committee suggested to Hazrat Ali (a.s), ‘Don’t join the Committee!’”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    But Hazrat Ali (a.s) responded to the suggestion the same way as was his wont: “I don’t wish to give rise to differences!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    THE MEETING OF MAJLIS E SHURA

    After the interment of Hazrat Omer, Miqdad took the members of the Committee to the house of Mesoor bin Makhrama. He made them sit inside and locked the door. Then he said, “In accordance with the will of the deceased Caliph you must select the Caliph from your Committee within three days!” For sometime everyone remained quiet. Hazrat Abd ar Rehman said, “Who is the one from us who wishes to withdraw from the candidature? He will have to choose the one he thinks is superior will be deemed the Caliph!” Hearing this, everyone remained quiet. Hazrat Abd ar Rehman said, “I withdraw my candidature!” Hazrat Othman said, “I express my willingness that whoever you wish to select, make him the Amir!” Thus others too expressed their approval. But Hazrat Ali (a.s) maintained his silence. Abd ar Rehman asked him, “Abul Hassan! What do you say?!” He said, “First of all you must make a resolve that without access to relationship and kinship you must make the selection in the best interests of the people!”  Abd ar Rehman said, “You must make a firm commitment that whosoever I select as Amir, you will accept him as such and whoever opposes him you will help me to oppose the person! I promise to you that without any consideration of relationship or friendship I shall make the choice in the best interests of the people!” After exchange of these oaths all the members disbursed to their homes.

    Abd ar Rehman kept confabulating with the Companions for three days and nights. Tarikh e Ibn e Khaldun has recorded the events at length:

    “Abd ar Rehman told Ali (a.s), ‘You are the most deserving of the Caliphate because of your close relationship with the Prophet (s.a), your precedence in accepting Islam over all others and your efforts in promoting the Creed! But tell me who among the other members is more deserving of selection as the Caliph after you?’ Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, ‘Othman!’ Then Abd ar Rehman took Othman aside and asked the same question and he said, ‘Ali!’ In the night Abd ar Rehman met the Prophet (s.a)’s Companions, the generals of the army and the elites of Medina. Till the fourth morning he continued these consultations. Then he went to the house of Masoor bin Makhrama and calling Saad and Zubair separately he asked them to select either Othman or Ali (a.s) as the Caliph. Both of them opted for Ali (a.s). Then Abd ar Rehman talked separately with Ali (a.s) and Othman to get their opinion. The entire morning was spent in this manner. Then Abd ar Rehman gathered the Mohajirs and the Ansar who had precedence in embracing Islam and also the officers of the army in the Mosque till it was chock-full with people. He asked the gathering to declare who they wanted to be the Caliph. Ammar pointed towards Ali (a.s) as his choice. Ibn e Abi Sarha said that if you don’t want the Qureish to have dissensions you better opt for Othman. Abd Allah bin Rubaiah agreed with this opinion. The talk got heated up between Ammar and Abi Sarha. At this Saad shouted, ‘O Abd ar Rehman! Bring this matter to a conclusion before any mischief takes place!’ Abd ar Rehman said, ‘I have already firmed up the decision about the selection of the Caliph in my mind! O people! Remain quiet for a while!’ He then turned towards Ali (a.s) and said, ‘Swear by Allah that if the Caliphate is given to you will you follow the Book of Allah, the Prophet (s.a)’s ways (Sunnat) and the ways of the two past Caliphs!’ Ali (a.s) replied, ‘I hope that I

    shall act in accordance with my knowledge and capability!’ Hearing this Abd ar Rehman turned towards Othman and asked him the same question as he asked Ali (a.s). Othman immediately agreed. Hearing this abd ar Rehman lifted his head towards the roof of the Mosque, with his hand on Othman’s hand and said, ‘the weight of the Caliphate that was on my neck I have put on the neck of Othman!’”

    ---Tarikh e Ibn e Khaldun, Published in Egypt

    CONTRAVENTION OF HAZRAT OMER’S WILL

    1. In our view the action of Majlis e Shura was a clear contravention of Hazrat Omer’s will. Hazrat Omer had never said that Abd ar Rehman bin Auf should abstain from being a candidate for the Caliphate and force the members of the Shura to give him total authority to select the Caliph! Hazrat Omer had given him the authority to the extent that if the vote was divided equally in favour of two candidates, then the choice will be for the party which was supported by Abd ar Rehman ibne Auf. It wasn’t the intention of Hazrat Omer that Abd ar Rehman should render the other members of the Shura ineffective and himself virtually become the king maker, and even make the chairman of the Shura, Abd Allah bin Omer, ineffective! Actually what happened is that not only Ibn e Omer but all the members of the Majlis e Shura were made ineffective.The certificate of the Caliphate was only in the hand of Abd ar Rehman and he could give it to anyone he wished to give! The democratic procedure of the Majlis e Shura was that if Abd ar Rehman abstained from being a candidate for the Caliphate he should have told to the other members that if they too wanted to withdraw their candidature they could do so in favour of the candidate of their choice. All the books of history are unanimous that the Majlis e Shura reached a stage when Saad bin Waqas and Zubair bin al Awam withdrew in the favour of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Othmam had no member supporting him because Abd ar Rehman hadn’t given his vote to anyone and Talha was absent from the meeting from the beginning of the deliberations as he was away from Medina! In this situation even if Abd ar Rehman had cast his vote in favour of Hazrat Othman, even then the majority was with Hazrat Ali (a.s)! But this is a fact that Abd Allah bin Omer could have voted and divided the tally into two denying the Caliphate to Ali (a.s) and then, according to the will, the Caliph would have come from the group of Abd ar Rehman. But it could have also happened that Abd ar Rehman bin Auf might have bowed down his head in favour of the majority! It is generally seen that when the procedure is altered, a person’s mind and heart too changes! Anyway, it is certain that all the authority vested in the hand of a person rendered the very purpose of the Majlis e Shura null and void! The responsibility of this lacuna is not on Hazrat Omer but it hinges on the members of Majlis e Shura who acted against the norms of the Shura and also gave full freedom to others to contravene it!
    2. Hazrat Omer had mandated that the members of the Majlis e Shura remained confined in a house for three days. He didn’t say that the six members go round the lanes during those three days obtaining opinion of all and sundry. Hazrat Omer had also indicated the names of the persons who could be consulted in the matter. But it is a pity that, perhaps, the members didn’t leave any person of Medina who wasn’t consulted. Then what was the sense in having a Committee, the Majlis, with limited membership?! It would have been better that a public referendum was conducted and votes were counted to arrive at a decision! Did Hazrat Omer want this?! Not at all!! What was done was absolutely contrary to his wish. The result was that the minds of the members of the Shura were poisoned. The historians too have written that Abd ar Rehman bin Auf was tutored by Umro bin Aas to put before Hazrat Ali (a.s) the condition that he should swear to follow Allah’s Book, the Prophet (s.a)’s ways and the ways of the two past Caliphs knowing that Ali (a.s) would, on no account, agree to follow the last part of this condition. He also asked Abd ar Rehman to put the same conditions before Hazrat Othman who would agree with them without any objection! This prescription proved very effective. Hazrat Ali (a.s) left the Caliphate but didn’t agree to abandon the truth! Who could say that Hazrat Omer himself had prescribed these conditions?! Not at all!! This thought didn’t come even in the mind of Abd ar Rehman Ibn e Auf. Aren’t these the conditions that turned the chess-board of the politics of that time?!
    3. Hazrat Omer had strictly ordered that the members must remain confined for the three days and decide about the Caliphate in that period. But the members contravened this order and went about consulting people. On the fourth day the important persons shifted to the Mosque that was full to capacity with people and the secret consultations became public and reached a stage when persons shouted at each other. In terms of the laws, after efforts of the three days, the Majlis e Shura rendered itself unsuccessful and on the fourth day, contrary to Hazrat Omer’s will, there was no justification in advertising the matter in a public gathering.

    Anyway, Abd ar Rehman bin Auf’s contravention of the terms of the Shura by taking the selection of the Caliph in his hands caused the defeat of Hazrat Ali (a.s) on the chess-board of politics and Hazrat Othman emerged as the Caliph.

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) said:

    “This is not the first time when you dominated us in the matter of the Caliphate! Patience and forbearance is right for us and Allah will help us! By Allah! You have given the reins of the regime to Othman that he would return it to you! This means that you only are the rulers and he would work under you! Allah is Almighty! What He has inscribed on the Book shall happen!!”

    -Tarikh e Tabari

    We have thrown light on the methods adopted by the Majlis e Shura. But this topic is incomplete till we comment on the make-up of the Shura. The truth is that there have been lacunae in the very formation of the committee which had affected its functioning. Even if a cursory look is made every student of history would easily gauge the lacunae!!

    THE LACUNAE OF THE MAJLIS E SHURA

    1. From the past to the modern times the democratic procedure has been that the candidates are different and so are the voters. But the candidates too shall have the right to vote. Therefore, although the candidates are different from the voters, they too have the right to vote. It has never happened that the candidate and the voter are the same person. In such an event the candidate would vote for himself and sit quiet! In this situation the election wouldn’t materialize!! The condition of the subject Majlis e Shura was just the same!! There were six candidates for the Caliphate in the Majlis and all six were voters as well! This was the reason that when the Majlis met on the first day all the members were quiet. If Abd ar Rehman hadn’t withdrawn from the contest for the Caliphate the meeting would have ended with the minutes saying “Met and adjourned!” The need for any deliberations wouldn’t have arisen because every candidate would cast his vote in his heart and would sit quiet and wouldn’t even say that he had cast his vote! This was the reason that when Abd ar Rehman withdrew his candidature for Khilafat and demanded that the complete authority for the election of the Caliph must be vested in him, willingly or unwillingly, every one accepted it. The result was that the Democratic Majlis e Shura had to accept a dictator over it! I full y endorse the view of Taha Hussain that:

    “It would have been better that Hazrat Omer’s opinion wasn’t about a Majlis or Committee of the Candidates that whoever was selected by it would be the Caliph but it ought to be a Committee of advisers to whom the six names should be presented and it would select one of them as the Caliph!”

    ---Hazrat Othman and Hazrat Ali.

    1. The second lacuna is more important that in the meeting of Saqifa Bani Saaeda Hazrat Abu Bakr had said that the Imams would continue to be selected only from the There is one glaring defect in this suggestion about which we have mentioned earlier. Anyway, the spirit of democracy was maintained to the extent that the Mohajireen and Ansar had a long debate and they selected a Caliph from the tribe of Qureish! But Hazrat Omer snatched away from the Ansar even the right of suggesting a name for their Caliph ---the candidates were Qureish and the selectors too were Qureish! In fact all Muslims must get the right for selecting their Caliph because he would be the Caliph of all the Muslims but Hazrat Omer avoided even the tribes of Medina and the rule was established that only the Qureish would be the Imams and only the Qureish would select the Imams!! Even all the Qureish didn’t have the right to make the selection and only six persons were authorized to select and only those six persons could be the candidates! Neither the Ansar nor persons from other tribes were included in the Majlis e Shura; what to talk of the generals and other functionaries of the state! The result was that intrigues started against the Caliph selected by the Committee from all corners and all departments.
    2. It was also wrong that the Committee was dissolved after the selection of the It was necessary to maintain it to have a check over the actions of the Caliph and the functionaries and it should have had the right to question the Caliph if the expectations from him weren’t fulfilled. We see that Abd ar Rehman bin Auf made Hazrat Othman the Caliph but not much after this he was displeased with him. Not only Abd ar Rehman but most of the members of the Shura started viewing the Caliphate of Hazrat Othman with displeasure. But then, they didn’t have anything in their control.They could select the Caliph, but couldn’t depose him. The Muslims, although, had the right that if they weren’t satisfied with the policies of the Caliph they could question him and if things didn’t improve they could depose him!
    3. Perhaps at the time of the formation of Majlis e Shura Hazrat Omer had the idea of “One Party Government”. Therefore he had ordered that out of the six candidates even if one, or two, or three differed they were to be executed! In other words he ordered that in the democratic Committee, in the name of democracy, the democratic principles were to be slaughtered because ever since the idea of democracy was mooted it never happened that the opposition candidates and voters were massacred after the elections! The result of this order of Hazrat Omer that after assumption of power by Bani Omayya, Bani Hashim and their supporters were killed. But it was fortunate that against Hazrat Ali (a.s) and his companions the opposition didn’t go beyond verbal invectives and his cooperation with the rulers brought down even the verbal criticism that he faced!

    These are the points that the liberal historians have not viewed about the constitution of the Shura with appreciation. Justice Amir Ali writes:

    “Leaving the Caliphate with the Shura the second Caliph committed the error which cleared the way for the machinations of Bani Omayya. They became very powerful in Medina. They were known for their antagonism against the Prophet (s.a) and they hated Bani Hashim. These were the people who pursued the Prophet (s.a) vigorously and after the fall of Mecca, only for personal benefits, they embraced Islam. With their machinations and stratagems they succeeded in keeping Hazrat Ali (a.s) away from the Caliphate. After a few days of debate and confabulations a member of the clan of Bani Omayya, Hazrat Othman, was selected the Caliph. His selection became the cause of the downfall of Islam.”

    ---History of the Saracens

    PERIOD OF HAZRAT OTHMAN’S CALIPHATE

    Hazrat Othman ascended the throne of the Caliphate on 1st Moharram 24 H (7th November 644 A.D). But very soon after getting the reins of the regime in his hands he realized that the Caliphate is not all roses but it is like sitting on a throne of thorns! In fact Hazrat Omer’s harsh attitude with people had rendered it so! The Bedouins of the desert, in their enthusiasm for Jihad, took umbrage of the spirit of the Faith, and destroyed the kingdoms of Iran and Rome! These people who were unable to count beyond a thousand were crushing the riches of Caesar and Khusro under their feet! The conquests of the period of Hazrat Omer over vast areas of territory caused radical changes in the natures and attitudes of the Arabs. The economic picture of Medina was altered almost overnight. When the governor of Bahrain, Abu Huraira, brought the huge sum of 500,000 to Hazrat Omer, the Caliph felt for the first time the need for creating a State Treasury and appointing a treasurer. Then came up the caravans from all directions loaded with gold, silver and other riches and a time came when the value of gold coins wasn’t more than that of pebbles! When excess of wealth came and the prices of commodities came down it was natural that the people adopted the life of ease and pleasure. This was the stage when Hazrat Omer faced a test. Luxury and Islam are two things that are poles apart. Islam arrived on the scene as a sword against capitalism. It was the duty of Hazrat Omer, as a Rashid Caliph, to preserve the Spirit of Islam from getting injured! When the Islamic contingents were battling in Rome and Persia Hazrat Omer was conducting a Jihad against Mammon Worship and capitalism! The governor of Egypt, Omro bin al Aas, built a pulpit in the Jama Masjid of Egypt and Hazrat Omer reprimanded him for this through his letter reading: “Do you wish that other Muslims sit down on the floor and you sit on the pulpit?!” The governor’s son, Abd Allah, had beaten a person blue and black for no reason whatsoever. Hazrat Omer got him flogged in the very presence of his father, the governor! Abd ar Rehman bin Auf’s son came to the presence of Hazrat Omer wearing a cloak of silk. He caught hold of his collar and tore the cloak asunder. Reports were received that Ayaz bin Ghanam was wearing flimsy silken garments and he was also keeping a janitor at the threshold of his mansion. Hazrat Omer summoned him, made him wear a cloak of raw wool and ordered him to take a flock of sheep to the wilderness for grazing. Ayaz was the administrator of a province! He said, “It is better to die than face such indignity!” Hazrat Omer replied, “Why are you ashamed of grazing THE SHEEP?! Your father’s name itself was Ghanam (or the sheep) because he used to graze the sheep as an avocation!” Saad bin Waqas, the conqueror of Iran, got a palace constructed for himself in Koofa. This palace also had a Dewdi (or a private wing). Hazrat Omer deputed Mohammed bin Muslama to go and put the Dewdi to fire! The order was executed and Saad quietly looked at it without a whimper of protest! Hazrat Omer exerted all his energies to obliterate all the bindings of wealth, the mark of pedigree and tried to create an egalitarian society of Islamic Equity!

    But wealth was in search of the colourful doors to make an entry! The people of Medina, particularly the Qureish, were feeling the pinch of getting crushed under the pressure of Hazrat Omer’s attitude. Once Omro bin al Aas blurted out involuntarily saying, “In the days of ignorance my father used to wear the cloak of brocade when Omer’s father, Khattab, used to carry loads of firewood on his head! Today the same Khattab’s son is ruling over me!” How strict could Hazrat Omer be?! In his last days he felt that his grip over the society was weakening. In the regime of a hard task-master like Hazrat Omer there were governors like Muawiya who had put Hazrat Omer’s norms of equity in cold storage and the Caliph overlooked these aberrations as an act of discretion?! In Damascus the pomp and show of Muawiya made Hazrat Omer say, “Why this pomp like the ways of Nussherwan!” Muawiya said, “We have to deal with the Romans and therefore all the paraphernalia is essential to awe them!” The reply wasn’t appropriate but Hazrat Omer had to remain quiet! The case of Muawiya was different. Traditionally the family had a certificate of “Muallifat al Quloob—Those whose hearts were appeased. But it is a fact that the entire life of Hazrat Omer was spent struggling against the establishment. Hassan Basari’s statement runs:

    “Hazrat Omer had put restrictions on important Quresihi Companions that they should not go out of Medina without informing proper itinerary and not without proper approval! When these people complained about this restriction Hazrat Omer said, ‘Listen! I have fixed stages for Islam as is done for the camels. In the beginning the camel is in its youth when its front teeth fall, thereafter the teeth on the sides; then it reaches the stage of Sudlais (Maturity), then it becomes Bazal ( or aged)! One cannot expect any progress from the aged! Listen! This is the period of degradation or decline for Islam! Qureish desire to keep Allah’s bounty for other purposes than for the deserving people! But remember! As long as Omer lives, such a thing cannot happen! In the ravine of the Mount Hira in Mecca I shall stand holding the neck of the Qureish to prevent them from jumping into the fire!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    Certainly Hazrat Omer did this. His entire life he held the necks of the Qureish firmly. But it is a pity that the Arab society was submerged in the morass of wealth and pelf. The tree of capitalism had strengthened its roots in Medina and the same culture of class difference that Islam came to crush was peeping from secret thresholds! In his last moments Hazrat Omer was feeling acutely that the water had crossed the danger level. In this difficult phase he had to breathe his last and departed as a successful ruler from this transient world! Now a 76 years old Caliph, Othman, had to contend with the deluge! It is an open fact that the people Hazrat Othman got as an inheritance from Hazrat Omer made this wayward society! His people can be classified into four categories:

    1. The Qureish: We have briefly described the capitalistic mind of the Because of their trading activity they were a sort of link which connected near East to the far West. Through these Qureish traders from Rome were shaking hands with the traders in India. This trading activity not only gave them wealth but it also provided experience, expertise, cunning hardiness, profiteering skills and knowledge about International relations, culture and civilization! Dr. Taha Hussain is right in his opinion and his remark is very appropriate:

    “There wasn’t any end to the desires of the Qureish. Their capacity to bear hardship eased their hardships! They laughed at the problems and resolved them. They went beyond this and put their feet in a more difficult activity. They trampled the time tested norms of the society, laughed at the customs and beliefs and for their immediate and farther benefit they deemed everything legitimate. They used the trust of the Creed to suit their stratagems although they had no relation with the Creed. The reason was that the Creed was just a medium for implementing their plans. In their view the idols were a source of livelihood and nothing else! When a selfish, cunning and assertive chief of Qureish got entangled in difficulties he would know it full well how to come safely out of the whirlpool! Hazrat Omer had full knowledge about this aspect of the Qureish and therefore, he kept at an arms length from them!”

    The Qureish who embraced Islam after the fall of Mecca, considered Islam as a ccommodity for trading and started looking for opportunities of profiteering from it! When they were forced to embrace the Creed they started assessing it for their own gains and reached a conclusion that it was a highly profitable venture for them. They thought that they had the best of both the worlds! The Qureish chiefs, with their eagle eyes, saw the bright future of Islam and how would they ignore the golden opportunity?!!

    But it will be absolutely wrong to think that the aim of the cunning and intelligent people was only wealth and commerce. In fact the secret of their strength is reflected in the statement of Hazrat Abu Bakr that he made at Saqifa Bani Saaeda:

    “al Aimma minal Qureish!”

    “The Imams shall be from the Qureish!”

    This statement of Hazrat Abu Bakr gave to the Qureish such a licence that they presumed it would be valid till the Doomsday! This put such a crown on their heads that after 1200 years it came off their heads when Baghdad was destroyed! The Islamic equity had become a laughing matter for them. Their heads had turned with superiority complex! Islam had condemned one Pharaoh and now they were thousands of them! How would they recognize the other tribes in Medina? They were dreaming of continued monarchy till the Doomsday! Therefore, they were fully occupied in stratagems for the continuity of their caliphate. The consequence, therefore, was that when some new converts from the Qureish were appointed as governors in the provinces they started thinking themselves as totalitarian monarchs!

    1. THE ANSAR:

    The other group of people were the Ansar who were old inhabitants of Medina and consisted of the tribes of Aus and Khazraj. Who could deny that these were the same Ansar who invited the Prophet (s.a) to Medina with their own support and guarantee! When the Prophet (s.a) established Uqquwat (Brotherhood) between Mohajireen (the Immigrants) and the Ansar (the Helpers) then every Ansar considered the Mohajir more than their own natural brother! This spirit of sacrifice had reached a stage that besides parting with material possessions, those of Ansar who had more than one spouse were willing to part with wives for their Mohajir brothers! They were the swords that vanquished Qureish in the Battle of Badr and the Standard of Islam was held high. The Ansar remained with the Prophet (s.a) till his last breath like his shadow! But it is a pity that once he departed there was darkness in the lives of the Ansar. Hazrat abu Bakr’s voice reverberated at Saqifa Bani Saaeda that the imam can only be from the Qureish! Certainly it wasn’t the voice of Mohammed (s.a) who appointed Bilal, the Abbysinian, as the Muezzin and Salman Farsi his adviser, Mu-aaz bin Jabl as governor and Ossama bin Zaid, a slave’s son, the Commander of the Islamic Contingent! He also gave away his aunt’s daughter in marriage to a slave! Islam had come to obliterate the class differences. It hadn’t tolerated any difference or discrimination. Hazrat Abu Bakr’s move was the first brick of the structure of the society of class differences which developed into monarchy in the time of Muawiya. The result was that the Ansar got disgruntled. The chief of Khazraj, Saad bin Ibada, didn’t owe his allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakr till his death! Hazrat Abu Bakr had said at the conclave of Saqifa:

    “O Ansar! We shall be the Amir and you Vizier!”

    But it invites the attention of every historian how far Hazrat Abu Bakr kept his word?! We have mentioned in the previous pages that Hazrat Abu Bakr didn’t give any position of importance to Ansar! What to speak of elevating to the position of Vizier!! This was the picture in the central administration and also in all the provinces as well--- the Amir was Qureish and the Vizier as well!! Hazrat Omer too followed this policy implicitly. In his scheme of things too the Ansar had no place! He went to the extent of even denying them the right to vote for the selection of the Caliph! In the Majlis e Shura the Qureish were the candidates of caliphate and they only were the voters!! In such circumstances we have to appreciate that the Ansar didn’t recant from the Creed and they kept sacrificing their personal interests for the cause of Islam!! But it is true that the children of the Ansar had grown up by the time Hazrat Othman took the reins of the regime in his hands and had, all along, witnessed the failure of their elders. These youths had no opportunity of being in the egalitarian company of the Prophet (s.a). They hadn’t experienced the initial days of the progress of Islam. The scions of the people of the desert were now eager to get their due through the use of the sword. Hazrat Omer had departed and their expectations now centred on Hazrat Othman. But when they saw that the society and the establishment had reached a place of no return where the hands of reform cannot reach, they thought of the necessity of revolution and in the period of intrigue and unrest they avoided coming to the rescue of the establishment. Their protest now crossed the state of silent disapproval!

    1. THE COMMON ARAB MUSLIMS:

    The feelings of the common Arab tribes were the same as those of the Ansar. In fact their feelings were more acute because they were Bedouins and by nature they were very excitable. They were unaware of class differences. It was a trait of the people of the desert that a person from one tribe wouldn’t bend his head in front of a person from another tribe. For the slightest feeling of superiority complex the swords would be drawn and a small dispute would extend to tribal feuds for hundreds of years. From the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr till the period of Hazrat Othman they didn’t have any representation in the government. The caliph was being picked up from Medina. Only the people of Medina did the selection. The key positions were reserved for the Medinites. Bait al Maal was controlled by them. Grants generally were rained only on them. The Bedouins got only the booty of war and even from that 4/5th was reserved for the people of Medina. Zakat was claimed from them strictly. It was binding on them to take part in the battles but they had no representation in the important positions of the State. Thus they had duties but they enjoyed hardly any privileges. To add pain to injury the leading companions would relate traditions to them to remove the tribal taboos from their lives and establish a pure Islamic Culture. But the style of the sermonizing was different. Within the precincts of Medina they were creating class differences. They said that all Muslims are equal but in practice only the Qureish were the voters--- the governors would be the Qureish, the army chief too was from the Qureish!

    1. DHIMMIS OR PEOPLE OF ANNEXED TERRITORIES:

    The people of Iran and Rome had surrendered their cultural heritage built over hundreds of years, their thrones and the crowns to the Muslims. They required atleast a century to get absorbed in the Islamic culture and economy. The people of civilized countries used to look at the Bedouins with ridicule. The swords had occupied their territories but not their hearts! They were familiar only with their own ways. The conquerors definitely had the power but were no match for their capabilities of governorance and political awareness! Arabs had plenty of problems in governing these territories. They were neither familiar with their natures nor their societies or the way of governance. Even they were unaware of the geographical limits of their territory! In such conditions, immediately after a conquest, coming to grips with the administration of the new territories was very difficult for them. This was the reason that with extreme far-sightedness Hazrat Omer had entrusted the administration of the conquered areas of Isfahan, Khorasan and Faras to the locals and extracted only tribute from them! Not only this, but he gave them total religious freedom and allowed them to maintain their places of worship. Despite all these concessions, it wasn’t possible to win their hearts overnight. The rule was changed, but the hearts of the people hadn’t! They wanted to remove the yoke of the strange rule of the conquerors and were busy perpetrating intrigues against them. The best way of destroying the power of the conquerors was to create dissensions among them that they got involved in internal conflicts became oblivious of what was happening in the new territories. The people of Iran and Rome had dethroned hundreds of despotic rulers. For them disintegrating the nation of simple Mujahids wasn’t a big task. Therefore, they embraced Islam and living amongst the Muslims they started machinations to destroy them. They couldn’t make progress during Hazrat Omer’s reign because the caliph didn’t provide any opportunity for criticism of his self and his administration! But no sooner the new Caliph ascended the reins of power they got full opportunity to put their plans to operation.

    HAZRAT OTHMAN

    We have already written about the type of people Hazrat Othman inherited from Hazrat Omer. These people needed a caliph like Hazrat Omer who could keep them in check and dedicate long years for the task. But the nature of the society had deteriorated. Hazrat Othman was unaware of the prevailing conditions and his lack of political vision made things more difficult. Hazrat Othman was a benefactor of Islam in its initial formative stages. His spirit of sacrifice and piety cannot be discounted. It cannot also be denied that he was an ardent admirer of the Prophet (s.a) and had the honour of becoming his son-in-law twice over! But it is also a truth that the reform of the disturbed society required high political acumen and lack of it was the weaker aspect of Hazrat Othman. In this regard Maulana Maududi’s opinion is absolutely right:

    “A wrong action is certainly wrong; whosoever has done it!! Trying to justify it with verbal acrobatics is neither the demand of wisdom and justice nor is the requirement of Faith that the error of a Companion (of the Prophet-s.a) is not accepted as an error!”

    --Khilafat wa Mulukiyat

    Who could know Hazrat Othman better than Hazrat Omer. Hazrat Omer himself had throw light on his political shortcomings and his failings in front of large gatherings when he was talking about suitability of the candidates to succeed him as the Caliph and he told to Hazrat Othman:

    “O Othman! The fact that holds me from naming you the caliph is that you are partial towards your clan and your love for them!”

    ---Al Imamat wal Siyasat

    In this manner Hazrat Omer aired the shortcomings of the members of the Majlis e Shura. Wasn’t he aware that they were all on the roster of Ashara e Mubashhira that the Prophet (s.a) had predicted that they would go to the heaven?! He knew that to go to Heaven one need not be infallible. They were fallible human beings and they did have some failing or other! Allama Ibn e Abd Allah writes in his Iste-aab about the conversation that Hazrat Omer had with Abd Allah Ibn e Abbas. Assessing the prospective successors he told to Ibn e Abbas about Hazrat Othman:

    “If I name him my successor he will instal Bani abi Moit (Bani Omayya) on the necks of the people and they will commit acts of disobedience of Allah! By Allah! If I do this, Othman will do what I fear and they (Bani Omayya) will commit the foul acts and the people would become rebellious and kill Othman!!”

    This saying of Hazrat Omer is not because of any intuition but it is a reflection of his farsight, experience and understanding of human nature. Now, when Hazrat Omer himself mentioned Hazrat Othman’s shortcomings in the presence of the members of Majlis e Shura and other Companins, what right we have to contradict Hazrat Omer and make our narration a laughing stock for other people!

    Prior to accepting the Caliphate Hazrat Othman had agreed that he would follow the Book of Allah, the way of the Prophet (s.a) and the way of the two predecessors in discharging his functions as the Caliph. On this condition only Abd ar Rehman bin Auf gave his approval to Hazrat Othman. In fact the Sirat e Shaikhain or the way of the first two Caliphs isn’t the name of any separate Shariah. Sirat e Shaikhain is the same as what Allah’s Book demands and what the Prophet (s.a) did and followed! The two Caliphs had treated the Book and the Prophet (s.a) as the constitution of governance. But whenever complicated problems cropped up because of fast changing circumstances about which they didn’t get clues from the Book and the Prophet (s.a)’s sayings they made access to Ijtehad (or earnest effort to interpret) which Islam permits. Therefore with Ijtehad Hazrat Omer established many rules that have no reference in the Book of Allah and the traditions of the Prophet (s.a). Allama Shibli has enlisted 45 innovations of Hazrat Omer in his book Al Farooq. He writes:

    “The new trends that Hazrat Omer had started in every department have been described by historians as uniquely innonative.”

    --Al Farooq

    Hazrat Omer was able to be inventive and innovative under the purview of Ijtehad. The Prophet (s.a) had even given the provincial governors the permission to make access to ijtehad when they didn’t get any guidance from Allah’s Book and the Prophet (s.a)’s sayings about any political issue. After the Prophet (s.a) every Caliph had the sanction for Ijtehad and they used it whenever needed. Abd ar Rehman bin Auf termed this Ijtehad as Sirat e Shaikhain. Hazrat Ali (a.s) was insisting that he would make access to Ijtehad and Hazrat Othman agreed that he would follow the Sirat e Shaikhain! But it is a pity that as soon as he got the reins of the Caliphate in his hands Hazrat Othman put the Sirat e Shaikhain aside and followed such procedures in every department which the Shaikhain didn’t follow! It is a travesty of history that Hazrat Othman promised to follow the actions of the Shaikhain and forgot about them while Hazrat Ali (a.s) had refused to accept this condition and, during his regime, he did follow the example of the first two Caliphs! Dr. Taha Hussain writes:

    “Hazrat Othman accepted without any objection that it would be binding on him to follow the Book, the Prophet (s.a)’s ways and the ways of the Shaikhain but the events that happened later show that he couldn’t emulate the Shaikhain and Hazrat Ali (a.s), in his short regime, did what the Shaikhain did during their regimes! Hazrat Ali (a.s) followed the Farooqi Seerat dealing with people who were more severe, or difficult, than those who were there in Hazrat Omer’s time. Hazrat Ali (a.s) followed Hazrat Omer’s ways in the period which was fraught with intrigue and rebellion and faced continual situations of conflict!”

    ---Ht.Otman and Ht.Ali (a.s)

    Now we take a look at the main events in the time of Hazrat Othman when he deviated from the Sirat e Shaikhain.

    APPOINTMENT OF THE GOVERNORS

    Hazrat Abu Bakr, during his regime, neither appointed any person from his tribe as governor nor gave any key position to any of them. Hazrat Omer too kept his people away from positions in the State. During his Caliphate he appointed only one person from his tribe on an insignificant position. The name of this person was Noman bin Adi and he worked at a place near Basra. There he wrote a few couplets pining for his spouse and in these couplets he mentioned wine. For this act Hazrat Omer fired him from his job and issued orders barring him from employment anytime in the future. At the time of his demise Hazrat Omer particularly instructed the Majlis e Shura that whoever got selected as Caliph should abstain from employing persons from his tribe on any positions in the State or giving them any privilege or importance. But the 3rd Caliph, Hazrat Othman, contravened this instruction of his predecessor, and put aside the Sirat e Shaikhain! He gave important positions to his relatives and proved right Hazrat Omer’s prediction about his nepotism and favouritism:

    1. He discharged Saad bin Waqas from Koofa and appointed his brother Walid bin Uqba bin Al Moeet. Later on he gave the position to another relative of his, Saeed bin Aas.
    2. He removed Abu Moosa Ashari from the post of governor of Basra and appointed his maternal cousin Abd Allah bin Amir.
    3. He removed Umro bin Aas from Egypt and appointed his foster brother abd Allah bin Saad Abi Sarha.
    4. Muawiya was only the administrator of Damascus in the time of Hazrat Omer. Hazrat Othman made him the governor of Damascus, Hamas, Palestine, Jordan and complete
    5. Hazrat Othman entrusted the Central Secretariat to Marwan bin Al Hakm who was his paternal cousin.

    These were the five main centres of Islamic power. The boundaries of Damascus touched the Roman territory on one side and the wide ocean on the other. Egypt was virtually the crown of the African Continent and was the gateway for the conquests of Europe. Its boundaries too touched the sea coast. These two provinces provided every thing to the conquerors that the Arabs required---booty of wars, slaves, slave girls etc. The other two provinces, Basra and Koofa too were on the border of the vanquished Iran. These were the four provinces where the wealth of Rome and Iran got accumulated. Thes provinces were virtually the cantonments of Islamic armies and throughn them the cultures of Iran and Rome were infiltrating into the deserts of Arabia! In these provinces hoards of gold and silver were piling up! They controlled the trading and agrarian activities of Arabia. Besides these four provinces, no other province had any importance. Mecca, Taef and Yemen too were provinces but they didn’t have any military or economic importance. Hazrat Othman had gifted the four very important provinces to his close relatives. His magnanimity didn’t stop here. He appointed Marwan bin Al Hakm the keeper of Dar al Amara and the private secretary of the Caliph and thus handed over to him and other close relatives important positions in the establishment.

    We cannot deny the fact that the governors appointed by Hazrat Othman possessed high skills in warfare and administration. They spread the radius of conquests wider and wider. With their punitive policies they acquired strong control over the rebellious tribes. But Maulana Abul Ala Maududi says:

    “Only capability wasn’t sufficient proof that from Khorasan to North Africa, the entire area was put under governors from one clan and the central secretariat too was with one of them. This is highly objectionable arrangement in itself that when the chief executive is from one family all the important positions too are given to men from the same family as well!”

    ---Khilafat wa Mulukiyat

    However much Hazrat Othman’s magnanimous nature is reflected in this policy the people were not happy with it. They consider this a tribal prejudice and nepotism for his family and the following are the proofs of their feelings:

    1.The persons appointed by Hazrat Othman on key positions were from a family of Mecca who were referred to as “Talaqa” by the Muslims. Till the fall of Mecca they were deadly enemies of the Prophet (s.a) and were severly against the invitation to join the Creed. When Mecca was annexed they were very sure that they would be executed. But the Prophet (s.a) said, “Go! You are all free!” The early converts who made great sacrifices for the Creed wouldn’t have tolerated that when the Islamic rule was established they were pushed to the background and the persons who were sworn adversaries of Islam earlier were rewarded with positions of import! They had certainly embraced Islam but they did it when it was opportunist, rather unavoidable, for them to join the ranks of Muslims. Maulana Maududi writes:

    “They didn’t have the good fortune of the company of the Prophet (s.a) tobe able to draw benefit by way of reform of their natures and habits. They could have been extraordinary administrators and conquerors, and they did prove it, but Islam is not only for annexing territories and occupation and, first of all, it is an invitation for amity and welfare and to be in lead for this purpose, more than martial capability, one had to have training in moral life. In this aspect they were far behind the early Companions of the Prophet (s.a) and the early converts.”

    ---Khilafat wa Mulukiyat

    1. The second aspect is that Islam is not the name of tyranny and suppression but it gives a message of peace and amity. The fun- ctionaries of Hazrat Othman, with their waywardness, completely altered the mental conception of the people about Islam and its administration! When Walid bin Uqba reached Saad bin Waqas with his letter of appointment as governor of Koofa, Saad said, “I don’t know if you have become more intelligent than us or we have turned stupid like you!” Walid replied, “Abu Ishaq! What is there to be angry about?! This is monarchy. This is enjoyed by one person in the morning and another person gets a chance in the evening!” Saad bin Waqas retorted, “I understand! You people will certainly change things in monarchy!—Iste aab. Saad’s comment was absolutely right. Those people had changed Hazrat Omer’s humility in every department to coercion of Caesar and The secret of their success wasn’t in “blessing” but it was in “terror”! From small hamlets to districts and provinces and the Capital a dictator was imposed on every department. The limit is that on a soft hearted person like Hazrat Othman a dictator was ruling!! It is evident that such regime wasn’t to the liking of the common people! In these straitened circumstances too the society continued to follow the Islamic norms becaue of this the attitude of the functionaries wasn’t acceptable to the people at all!! This was the reason that the germs of revolt were growing in the minds of the people and then the flames of rebellion rose so high that even the blood of the Caliph couldn’t quench them!
    2. The third thing that turned the minds of the people away from the establishment and filled the venom of hate in them was the un-Islamic actions of the Othmani-functionaries. They certainly had put a label of “Islam” on their foreheads but their hearts hadn’t accepted it as a divine mandate. Their aim was nothing but to pacify personal antagonism and nothing else!

    After reaching this stage it is necessary to give a brief introduction of the Othmani functionaries for the readers to understand their characters:

    1. Marwan bin al Hakm: was Hazrat Othman’s son-in-law, that is, the husband of his daughter, Umme Aban. Marwan’s father was Hazrat Othman’s uncle Hakm and he was reprimanded by the Prophet (s.a) in his time. Allama Baladari writes:

    “Hakm bin Aas was a neighbour of the Prophet (s.a) during the Days of Ignorance and when Islam was proclaimed he turned a deadly enemy of the Prophet (s.a) and had a prominent place among the perverts who tried to cause harm to him! When Mecca was captured in 8 H, Hakm shifted to Medina. His profession of Islam was suspicious! His attitude was that he used to walk behind the Prophet (s.a) and make ridiculing gestures from behind! He used to remove the Prophet (s.a)’s footwear, make faces and while the Prophet (s.a) prayed he would stand behind and make gestures with his fingers….therefore the Prophet (s.a) banished him with his family towards Taef. With the demise of the Prophet (s.a) Hazrat Othman recommended his case to Hazrat Abu Bakr but he flatly refused to cancel the orders of his banishment! When Hazrat Omer became the Caliph, Hazrat Othman again went with his recommendation which was turned down! Hazrat Omer said, ‘One who has been banished bt the Prophet (s.a) cannot be pardoned by me!’ But when Hazrat Othman assumed the reins of the Caliphate he called Hakm to Medina lock-stock-and-barrel with his family and told to the Muslims, The Prophet (s.a) had asked me to give him permission!’

    ---Kitab al Ansab  

    Trusting the straightforwardness of Hazrat Othman one can accept that the Prophet (s.a) might have agreed to the calling back of Hakm from exile but hadbn’t given a formal permission. But there is no justification that although Hazrat Othman was aware of the depravity and wickedness of Hakm he gave to him the crucial task of collecting Zakat and charities and preferred his son, Marwan, over the eminent Companions for the position of his private secretary. Hazrat Othman didn’t stop at this but he gave Hakm and his family very fertile farm land. Then he also awarded 1/5th of the booty from Africa to Marwan. Allama Baladari narrates from Abd Allah bin Zubair:

    “In 27 H Hazrat Othman sent us to Africa for a campaign. Abd Allah bin Saad bin abi Sarah, who was the Commander of the Islamic contingent, collected huge amount of booty. Four parts of it were distributed to the men of the army and the fifth (the amount of Khums was put before Hazrat Othman. He gave all of it to Marwan.”

    Allama ibn e Atir writes in “Tarikh e Kamil”:

    “The Khums from Africa was brought to Medina. Marwan bought it for Dh 500,000. Hazrat Othman had written off this loan of Marwan. This act is besides his other actions that became accountable later on.”

    The magnanimity of the Caliph of the time didn’t stop with awarding fiefs and material gifts but a stage came when he gave away the Seal of the Caliph to Marwan and this act of his was the immediate cause of his assassination.

    Till the martyrdom of Hazrat Othman, Marwan took full advantage of his magnanimity and also his trait of nepotism. He had so much control over the nature of the Caliph that no decision or action was initiated without Marwan’s approval. Whenever the actions went awry the Caliph had to apologize for the error of Marwan. The narrations in Tabaqat Ibn e Saad and Al Badaya wal Nihaya throw light on the fact that the cause of strained relations between the eminent Companions and Hazrat Othman was Marwan because he always tried to see that Hazrat Othman depended on him for his decisions. Marwan’s temerity went to the extent that in the presence of many Companions he delivered harsh and insulting talks which were intolerable for them. The prophet (s.a)’s Companion Ossama bin Zaid has said, “Marwan was in the habit of using abusive language.” Hazrat Othman’s spouse, Naila, was of opinion that the person who created a mountain of hardships for Hazrat Othman was only Marwan. Tabari and al Badaya wal Nihaya report the incident that Hazrat Othman was told by his wife Naila in clear terms that:

    “If you keep acting on Marwan’s advice, he will pave the way for your killing because this person neither has any care for Allah nor love!”

    Baladari writes in “Kitab al Ansaab” that people used to call Marwan as “Khait e Batil—the thread of vice—because he was very thin and tall, and, no doubt, vicious! There are umpteen couplets in the books of history which poets have written to ridicule him with the appellation of “Khaital Batil” The book “Asad al Ghaba” confirms this statement.

    But despite all this, Hazrat Othman’s unshakeable love for his clan he took the risk of losing his life but he refused to depose Marwan!

    1. WALID BIN UQBA IBN E ABI MOEET:

    We find in “Tabaqat” of Ibn e Saad the following tradition of the Prophet (s.a):

    “I was between two worst neighbours in Mecca—Abu Lahab and Uqba bin Abi Moeet. They used to bring the droppings of animals and put on the door of my house.”

    It is mentioned in Sirat ibn e Hisham that, “The persons who troubled the Prophet (s.a) even in his own home were Abu Lahab, Hakm bin al Aas and Otba Ibn e Abi Moeet.” Ibne Hisham has also written that when Uqba’s friend Obai Ibn e Khalaf was upset about Uqba’s attending the meetings at the Prophet (s.a)’s place in his absence, to please him, as wished by him, Uqba smeared the face of the Prophet (s.a) with his saliva. It was the height of the Prophet (s.a)’s patience and forbearance that he only said, “If you meet me beyond the hills of Mecca I shall behead you! ---the Prophet (s.a)’s involuntary statement became the will of Allah! During the Battle of Badr when Uqba was brought as a captive before the Prophet (s.a), he asked, “Will I be killed along with other prisoners?” The Prophet (s.a) said, “Yes! As a punishment for the impertinent manner you behaved with me!” Therefore he asked Hazrat Ali (a.s) to behead Uqba. Walid was the son of the same Uqba Ibn e Abi Moeet and was far ahead of his father in sinfulness and impiety!

    Walid had accepted Islam after the conquest of Mecca. The Prophet (s.a) deputed him to collect Zakat from the tribe of Al-Mustalaq. Walid returned without meeting the people of the tribe and told to the Prophet (s.a) that they had refused to pay the Zakat and were ready to fight. On this report the Prophet (s.a) sent a campaign against them. When the chiefs of the tribe heard about this they went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) and said that they were waiting to pay the Zakat but Walid never met them. The prophet (s.a) got a revelation at that time that if a known transgressor gives any news, make an investigation about it that you don’t act against people in ignorance and repent afterwards. The commentators of the Quran are unanimous about this verse that the word “Fasiq” or “Transgressor” was used for “Walid”. What more proof of his being a transgressor is required?! But ignoring the vices in his character Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer appointed him the chief of the area of Jazira where Bani Thaglab lived.It wasn’t a very important assignment and during the days of the Shaikhain not even big functionaries had the courage to act against the Islamic norms. Therefore, Walid kept his transgressive acts in control. If Hazrat Othman had kept him on the same assignment it wouldn’t have mattered, but in 25 H he removed Saad bin Waqas from Koofa and appointed Walid as governor there. Saad wasn’t an ordinary person. He was a prominent Companion of the Prophet (s.a) and was one of the ten on Ashra e Mubashshira, the commander of the Islamic forces and the conqueror of Iran. He was also one of the six persons whom Hazrat Omer had put on the roster for selection as caliph after him! Deposing such a person and appointing Walid in his place who had no virtues to his credit created discontent in the people. Then Walid perpetrated such acts in Koofa that discontent of the people turned to rebelliousness. Within a few days the people of Koofa knew that their governor was in the habit of carousels and he was an alchoholic. The things went to a level that one day, in intoxication, Walid offered four genuflections instead of two for the morning’s mandatory prayers, in congregation, turned back and said, “If you wish I can make more genuflections!” The people said, “No! Our prayer has already gone void!” Baladari says that after a while Abu Zainab and Jundab bin Zubair Arzi went near Walid, who was insensible in intoxication, and removed the ring from his finger. Walid was totally oblivious of this. Ibn e Abd al Barr writes in “Isteaab”:

    “Walid, leading the prayer in intoxication and saying ‘azidakum’ is respectable in the view of traditionalists and the historians!”

    Abu Ishaq says that four persons went with the complaint against Walid to the court of the Caliph. Hazrat Othman treated the witnesses harshly when those four respectable persons complained about him to Hazrat Ayesha. It is recorded in “Kitab al Ansab” that Hazrat Ayesha replied, “Othman has ordered the Hudood (Islamic punitive laws) void and also has threatened the witnesses!”

    Hafiz Ibn e Hajr writes in “Fath al Bari”:

    “People were complaining very much against Walid because Hazrat Othman wasn’t applying the Hadd (the punitive Law of Shariah) against him!”

    Anyhow, Hazrat Ali (a.s), Hazrat Ayesha, Hazrat Abd ar Rehman bin Auf, Maysar bin Makhrama, Abd ar Rerhman bin Aswad etc clamoured much and, therefore, Hazrat Othman initiated a case against Walid in a large gathering. People bore witness that Walid was an alcoholic and they had seen him drinking heavily and throwing out in front of them. The crime was proved and Hazrat Othman asked Hazrat Ali (a.s) to pass a judgement as per Shariah. Hazrat Ali (a.s) entrusted the task to Abd Allah bin Jafar who flogged Walid forty times!”

    SAEED BIN AAS

    Even after deposing Walid bin Uqba, Hazrat Othman didn’t give up his policy of nepotism. He appointed another relative of his, Saeed bin al Aas, the governor of Koofa. Saeed’s father, Aas, was among the Prophet (s.a)’s neighbours who were very forward in troubling him. This person was killed by Hazrat Ali (a.s) in the Battle of Badr. Aas’s son, Saeed, was appointed governor of Koofa when he wasn’t even 24 or 25 years of age! As soon as he took charge of Koofa he adopted the policy of intrigue. He used to say, “The land of Iraq is a garden for the youths of Qureish!” Ibn e Saad writes in his “Tabaqaat”:

    “Once Saeed asked the people in Koofa as to who was it who had sighted the Cresent of the Idd? They said none of them saw it! Hashim said, ‘I have seen it!’ Saeed said, ‘With one eye you could see the moon and none from the crowd could see it!” Hashim said, ‘You blame me of having one eye although I have lost the other eye fighting in the way of Allah!” He had lost his eye in the Battle of Yarmuk. The next day Hashim didn’t fast. Other persons too had food with him.Saeed learned about it. He sent men to rough him up and got his house burnt.”

    The people of Koofa complained to Hazrat Othman against Saeed and he said, “Whenever you face any strict and harsh treatment from a functionary you wish him to be deposed!”—Kitab al Ansaab. In 34 H another delegation met Hazrat Othman. The following persons were the members of the delegation: Malik e Ashtar, Tabit bin Qais, Kumail bin Ziyad, Zaid bin Sauhan, Saasa bin Sauhan, Harit Aivar, Jundad bin Zubair, Abu Zainab Asadi, Asghar bin Qais and Yazid bin Nakghafeet. They asked for deposing of Saeed. Hazrat Othman rejected their submission and sent Saeed back to Koofa. The people of Koofa stood at the gateway of Koofa under the leadership of Malik e Ashtar as a wall of steel and Saeed was forced to return to Hazrat Othman. There wasn’t any chance of his entering the city!

    While Saeed was governor of Koofa, in 33 H, many pious and noble reciters of the Holy Quran were banished from Koofa towards Syria. Among them there were some very venerable persons whose insult the people of Koofa couldn’t tolerate.

    It is surprising that Hazrat Othman rewarded Saeed for such ill-treatment of the people of Koofa by giving him a lumpsum grant of Dh 100,000. Waqadi writes that the people considered this magnanimity of Hazrat Othman unfair! Hazrat Ali (a.s), Talha, Zubair, Saad bin Waqas and Abd ar Rehman bin Auf questioned Hazrat Othman when he said, `Saeed is my relative! I have done Sila e Rahmi, kindness towards relations, with him!`They asked, `Didn`t Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer have any relatives!`` He replied, “The Shaikhain have earned the goodwill of Allah by depriving their relatives and I am expecting Allah ‘s  blessing by doing Sila e Rahmi with my relatives!” The questioners said, “We very much like the action of Abu Bakr and Omer in this regard!” Hazrat Othman said, “Laa haula wa laa Quwatta illa Billa—There is no fear of anyone nor might but of Allah!”

    __Kitab al Ansaab

    This matter is purely a matter of Fiqh (Islamic Juris prudence) that whether one could get Allah’s blessing by favouring ones own relations from the funds of the Bait al Maal or not?! We cannot debate on this matter. We can only say that encouraging such irresponsible youths, whether from the Caliph’s personal funds, or from the Bait al Maal would be permissible only if there was dearth of the Prophet (s.a)’s companions in Medina and other cities in Arabia to be appointed as governors of provinces!

    ABDALLAH BIN ABI SARAH

    Hazrat Othman and Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah had the same foster mother and this fact had made him close with the Caliph. It is the same Ibn e Sarah who embraced Islam at the time of the conquest of Mecca when the following verse was revealed  to the Prophet (s.a):

    “Khalaqnal insaan min salalat min teen”

    “Certainly We created man from an extract of clay.”

    ---Surat al Muminum, 23:12

    The Prophet (s.a) asked Abi Sarah to do the transcript of the verse. While writing when he reached:

    “…..Summa Inshana khalaqan aakhara”

    “…..Then We produced him as (yet) another creature.”

    ---Surat Al Muminun, 23:14

    involuntarily abi Sarah said,

    “Fatabarak Alla Ahsan al Khaliqeen”

    “So blessed is Allah, the best of creators.”

    ---Surat Al Muminum, 23:14

    The Prophet (s.a) said, “Write this sentence as well because the revelation has come with this as well!” As soon as he heard this Abd Allah Ibn e Abi Sarah got the misapprehension that the revelation too is human invention!! He immediately quit the group of believers and became a hypocrite! Kitab al Ansaab, Tafsir e Baidawi, Tafsir e Qartabi, Tafsir Kashfaf and Tafsir Fakhr uddin Razi etc are unanimous that after this statement of Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah a verse of the Quran was revealed which termed him as an infidel. A Translation of the verse is:

    “Who is a greater wrongdoer than him who fabricates a lie against Allah, or says, ‘It has been revealed to me,’ ”

    while nothing was revealed to him,…”

    ---Surat Al Anam, 6:93

    After Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah recanted he became a sworn enemy of the Prophet (s.a) that he used to tell the Qureish of Mecca, “I shall slay Mohammed wherever I find him!” After the fall of Mecca the Prophet (s.a) had given general amnesty but for Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah the order was that even if he was found hanging on the curtain of the Kaaba he must be executed. Abd Allah took refuge with Hazrat Othman. After peace was established in Mecca, Hazrat Othman took Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) and appealed for pardoning him. The Prophet (s.a) remained quiet for a long while and then said, “It is fine!” When Othman went away the Prophet (s.a) told to the Companions present there, “I remained quiet for a long time because I expected one of you to get up and execute him!” Someone from the Ansar said, “Why didn’t the Prophet (s.a) give us an indication?” He said, “It isn’t proper for the prophet’s to communicate in signs!” ---Sunan Ibn e Dawood, Kitab al Ansaab, Mustadrak Hakim, Isteaab, Asad al Ghaba etc.

    This was the Abd Allah Ibne abi Sarah whom Hazrat Othman appointed the governor of Egypt after deposing Omro bin al Aas! It was the authority of every governor to annex other territories through campaigns with clearance from the Caliph. The requirement was that Umro bin al Aas was appointed as the governor of Egypt with the purpose of conquest of Africa. But this didn’t happen. Hazrat Othman stopped him from taking up further campaigns and for the conquest of North Africa he sent a contingent in the command of Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah which passed through the province of Egypt to enter the boundaries of Africa. Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah did capture Northern Africa but it is natural that with this action of Hazrat Othman, Omro bi al Aas was displeased because he felt that it was an insult as the governor of Egypt that in his presence some other general, who had direct contact with Medina, was sent for the campaign. This wound of the psyche of Omro bin al Aas hadn’t healed as yet when he received another shock. Hazrat Othman appointed Abd Allah Ibn e abi Sarah to extract tribute from the province of Egypt. How could two swords remain in one scabbard!! The result of this action was that differences started between Omro bin al Aas and Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah. Abd Allah wrote to Hazrat Othman that Omro Bin al Aas was creating hurdles in the collection of the tribute. The claim of good politics would have been to call back both the contending persons and appoint some other Qureish as the governor of Egypt. But Hazrat Othman deposed Omro bin al Aas and gave all revenue and administrative tasks to Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah and made him virtually the sole authority in Egypt. With this step Omro bin al Aas became permanent antagonist of the Caliph. Omro bin al Aas is counted amongst those strategists of Arabia who turned the direction of the history of Islam several times! Hazrat Othman didn’t correctly assess his capability to cause harm! He thought that Omro bin al Aas’s enmity was something trivial and negligible. This was the result that despite straitened relations he continued to put salt in the wound of Omro! Once Hazrat Othman made a very subtle remark about the embezzlement perpetrated by Omro bin al Aas. Omro went to the presence of Hazrat Othman wearing a quilted cloak of cotton. Hazrat Othman asked him what was there in the cloak. He replied, “Omro bin al Aas!” Hazrat Othman said, “Yes! I know it that you are inside the cloak. I wanted to ask you whether the cloak has cotton inside it or something else!? Another incident of the sense of repartee is also there in the books of history. Abd Allah Ibne abi Sarah sent a huge sum of tribute collection to Hazrat Othman. When Omro was there such big amounts were never collected. When this tribute reached Medina, Omro was with Hazrat Othman. Hazrat Othman sarcastically said, “Omro bin al Aas! Perhaps you didn’t know that this she-camel has started yielding more milk after you came away!” Omro retorted, “Yes! It is right! But perhaps you don’t know that the calfs of the she-camel (the people) are dying of starvation!”

    Omro bin al Aas’s reply wasn’t totally devoid of the truth. Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah sucked the blood of the people of Egypt to such an extent that their patience to bear the hardship was at its end. They protested to Hazrat Othman against the governor. Hazrat Othman reprimanded Ibn e Abi Sarah strongly but it had no effect on him and he punished severely those persons who made the complaints. Baladari writes in ‘Kitab al Ansaab’ that Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah had beaten one complainant so much that he died. This wasn’t only an event in Egypt but it was an event for the entire Islamic domain that its norms of justice and fairplay were at stake. As a result of this the Companions were upset. In that period a delegation of seven hundred persons came to Medina from Egypt and assembling at the Masjid e Nabawi they started complaining to the Companions about the cruelties of Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah. Talha became emotional and he talked of Hazrat Othman’s attitude! Hazrat Ayesha sent word that the complaints of the people of Egypt must be redressed! Hazrat Ali (a.s) too advocated the cause of the people of Egypt. He said, “The people of Egypt only need that Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah is deposed from the governorate!They had earlier sent a demand for the Qisas that a person was killed by Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah and it still remained unsettled!”

    When Hazrat Othman felt that all the doors of support were closed, he said, “Whoever these people prefer, I shall make him the governor.” Someone shouted, “Mohammed bin Abu Bakr”. Hazrat Othman Immediately wrote an order appointing Mohammed bin Abu Bakr as governor of Egypt and sent along with him a party of Mohajirs and Ansar so that they investigate and give a report to the Caliph about Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah.

    ---Baladari

    Hazrat Othman did appoint Mohammed bin Abu Bakr as the governor but it wasn’t of any benefit for Hazrat Othman because it was done after much protest by the people. Mohammed bin Abu Bakr had gone so far ahead in opposing Hazrat Othman that it was impossible to buy him at any cost! The opposition of the people of Egypt had assumed a theoretical status which wasn’t restricted to one or two provinces but affected the policy of the central administration. The time for checking or controlling the phenomenon had already elapsed. This is the reason that despite changing the governor, the first group of rebels came from Egypt which joined hands with rebels from Koofa and Basra.

    MUAWIYA BIN ABU SUFIAN

    During Hazrat Othman’s regime the most erudite, intelligent and powerful governor was Muawiya who was serving in the province of Syria. He was there from the early period of Hazrat Omer’s regime till the assassination of Hazrat Othman. In the previous pages we have given an introduction of Abu Sufian. And now, in the coming pages we shall frequently come across Amir Muawiya! Therefore, it is sufficient to mention here that if the history of Islam is a tragedy its cause is Amir Muawiya and his son Yazid. These are the two persons who pushed Islamic State from the Khilafat e Rashida to that turning point of history from where begins the period of monarchy!

    There is no doubt that Hazrat Othman virtually opened the door of the royal palace for Muawiya and, after entering it, he turned the Caliphate into an inheritance of Abu Sufian and constructed an invincible fort: the bani Omayya. Muawiya served as the governor of Syria for four years in the regime of Hazrat Omer. Hazrat Othman gave such a vastness to his province that it extended from Aila to the borders of Rome and from Al Jazira to the coast of the Black Sea. It was such a vast territory that in these modern days of fast communications, there are four independent countries in the area viz: Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel! While there were four governors in these four areas, severally, in the period of Hazrat Omer, Hazrat Othman put all four provinces under Amir Muawiya! The result was that he got control of four important cities but the most powerful contingent and the biggest treasury of the Islamic realm was in his control! Then, if it was necessary for Hazrat Othman to give control of such vast territory to Muawiya, was it also necessary to anoint him the life-time governor!!

    Muawiya ruled there for four years during Hazrat Omer’s term and for twelve years with Hazrat Othman! He had such power and clout that he could have any day declared himself as independent monarch and cut away the eastern provinces from the western wing of the Islamic Realm. It is surprising that during the period of Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Abu Bakr governors of the provinces were changed from time to time but Muawiya stayed on in one province and one after another provinces too got amalgamated in his territory! The result of remaining governor of one area for such a long time has been highlighted by Maulana Maududi in these words:

    “He fixed his roots there firmly and the control of the centre softened and, in fact, the centre was at his mercy!”

    ---Khilafat wa Mulukiat

    Dr. Taha Hussain writes:

    “If Hazrat Othman treaded the footprints of Hazrat Omer, it was possible for him to restrict Muawiya in Damascus and Jordan and control Hamas and Palestine directly from Medina. If he had done this, he would have emulated Hazrat Omer on one hand and on the other he would have provided such an employment to eminent Companions and the Arab youths which would remove their unemployment and, thus, their unrest and angst would be dispelled. If Hazrat Othman did this, Muawiya wouldn’t have behaved as he wished to send his men to Egypt to turn the people against the centre and thus conditions in his favour against Hazrat Ali (a.s) and when Hazrat Ali (a.s) got realization of this he would know that Muawiya’s influence was already established in the prominent cities and districts!”

    ---“Hazrat Othman & Hazrat Ali”

    HAZRAT OTHMAN’S ECONOMIC ADMINISTRATION

    Hazrat Othman’s economic system was the foundation of his political failure which proved more lethal for him than nepotism towards his family and tribe. Hazrat Othman, by nature, was magnanimous and generous. As soon as he ascended the seat of the Caliphate he gave vent to his generosity to acquire popularity. It was his wish that his Caliphate started with his people becoming contented. But it is a pity that to achieve this he totally neglected the Sirat e Shaikhain. Now, have a look at some of his economic policies:

    1. ENHANCEMENT OF THE PENSIONS: The first step that Hazrat Othman took on assumption of the office was that he enhanced the pensions of the common people by about 100 to 125. This wasn’t limited only to Medina but he called delegations from other parts and prepared revised lists in consultation with them. During natural calamities like famine etc it is the duty of the administration to give special allowances to the people that they are able to meet the increasing costs of commodities. But after the death of Hazrat Omer there wasn’t any decline in the economic condition of the realm. But his successor immediatrely sent edicts to the governors for the enhancement of the pensions. This act did satisfy his generous nature but two results emerged from it which cannot be denied! It was an open criticism of Hazrat Omer’s economic policy and had a negative reflection on the predecessor’s administration! Secondly, it gave an impression that the Caliph did this to attract the favours of the people. Dr. Taha Hussain writes:

    “Who can stop a critic saying that the magnanimity was, in fact, a publicity-stunt that the Caliph performed by way of generosity!”

    PURCHASE & SALE OF FIEFS: The act of enhancing the salaries and pensions from the funds of the Bait al Maal is such an act which cannot be citicised in Islam. This decision in the early peiod of his regime created a strong class of persons in the community and the pillar of equity that the Prophet (s.a) had erected by burying capitalism and class differences went down under the economic revolution of Hazrat Othman!

    After annexing vast territories of Iran and Rome, Hazrat Omer permitted the Qureish in Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Khorasan to buy estates and thus created land-owning-gentry. In the view of Hazrat Omer was the saying of the Prophet (s.a), “I am not so scared of the indigent that I fear the affluent!” Hazrat Omer also didn’t like that the Qureish and the Bedouin Arabs acquire the Iranian and Roman culture and their ways of luxury which might injure the Islamic Spirit. Hazrat Othman first permitted the people of Hijaz and then the residents of cities to acquire properties anywhere in the realm. This order of Hazrat Othman opened the gate which not only affected the economy of Arabia but it affected every aspect of the lives of people. While the politics changed, the way of thinking of the people too changed! There was a virtual revolution in Iraq, Syria and Khorasan etc. It gave rise to big landlords and fief owners. Activity of buying and selling progressed. This was the unfortunate time when a group of people emerged in Islam whose yardstick of felicity wasn’t piety but it was what one owned and how many slaves he maintained! Even in Medina and Taif a group of affluent capitalists cropped up who made slaves do physical labour and spent their time on activities of pleasure oblivious of the world around them! Plenty of free time and money made them indulge in carousels of music and dance. There was a surfeit of poets who sketched the prettiness of the surrounds to give rise to carnal feelings. Pretty slave girls and good looking slaves were used by the masters to satisfy their evil desires! On the contrary, the slaves and the indigent Arabs who toiled in the land were also there who lived in abject poverty. In between these two groups was a middle class who used to join the armed forces and were ready to go for campaigns of Jihad! During peace time they used to be stationed on the borders for countering external aggression. The History of Islam is based on the conflicts between these three groups and the tribal prejudice has been the source of strength of these people.

    This action of Hazrat Othman created in the Muslims the desire for luxury that commenced with conquest of Iran and Rome. From this point only the decline of Islamic society also commenced. Tabari narrates from Mohammed and Talha:

    “When Hazrat Othman became the caliph he didn’t keep his eye on the prominent companions as was done by Hazrat Omer. Therefore, these persons moved to different cities and found a new world there. Thus, those who didn’t play any part in the sacrifice and effort for the propagation of the Creed and had not contributed anything for the development of Islam, assembled around them prominent companions! They gave them all sorts of hopes and encouragements so that when they acquired high positions, these people will be their cohorts! This was the first obstacle for the progress of Islam and it was the first mischief that the people suffered from.”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    SOME CAPITALISTS OF HAZRAT OTHMAN’S PERIOD

    The capitalists who came about with the evolution of the society of classes need a long volume to write home about them. However we mention here a few of them:

    ZUBAIR BIN AL AWAM: It is mentiond in Sahih Bukhari that at his demise Zubair left behind eleven houses, in Medina, two in Basra and one each in Koofa and Egypt. His four widows got 1/8th part each of his assets and each one received Dh 1,200,000. Therefore, his total wealth was Dh 5, 9800,000 (Five Crores nintyeight lakhs).

    TALHA BIN ABD ALLAH: Ibrahim bin Mohammed bin Talha says that his total assets were Dh 3 Crores (30 Millions) out of which Dinars 200,000 and Dh 220,000 were in cash.

    ABD AR REHMAN BIN AUF: Allama Masoodi writes that Abd ar Rehman bin Auf built a magnificent palace which had a stable for hundred horses, one thousand camels and ten thousands sheep. Allama Ibn e Saad writes that he left behind so much gold at the time of his death that it had to be cut with hatchets to distribute to his widows.

    ZAID BIN THABIT: He left behind huge quantity of gold that they had to use axes to cut it and distribute to his successors. Besides this, his fixed assets were worth Dinars 100,000 – Murawwij al Dhahab

    SAAD BIN WAQAS: According to Tarikh e Masoodi he built an imposing palace in Ateeq and as the elevation he got turrets made. At death he left behind Dh 250,000.

    YAALI BIN OMAYYA: Tarikhe Masoodi mentions that when he died he left behind Dinars 500,000 and lot of fixed assets which have been valued at Dinars 100,000.

    The Caliph Othman too had to change his lifestyle. For his residence in Medina he constructed a palace with lime and stones which had doors of teakwood and Arar. Abd Allah bin Otba says that when Hazrat Othman was martyred he had Dinars 150,000 and Dh. one million. He had innumerable horses, camels and other draft animals. He had about 1,000 slaves.—Murawwaj al Dhahab. Isteaab and Tabaqat ibn e Saad also mention that the coverlet that Hazrat Othman used was worth not less than a hundred gold coins!

    GIFTS & REWARDS

    In the fast progressing capitalistic society the gifts and rewards of Hazrat Othman have played the role of a catalyst. Those who didn’t have land and properties became rich by getting big gifts and rewards. Generally it happened that gifts rained on those persons who were already in the first rows of affluent persons. The indigent companions of the Prophet (s.a) couldn’t get quenched from the flowing river of rewards! In the homes of abu Dhar, Ammar Yassir and Abd Allah bin Masud the same dark clouds of penury hovered that were there during the earlier days! Gold and silver rained only on the houses that already had plenty! For getting a cursory idea of Hazrat Othman’s generosity the following figures are given: 

    S.No.    NAME OF BENEFICIARY &VALUE OF GIFT/REWARD

                                                                        

    1. Marwan bin al Hakm                           

    500,000 Dinars    100,000 Dirhams

                                                                        

    1. Abd Allah bin Abi Sarah

    100,000 Dinars   300,000 Dirhams     600,000 Dirhams

                                                                        

    1. Talha bin Obaid Allah

    200,000 Dinars    2,200,000 Dirhams 30,000,000 Dirhams 

                                 

    1. Abd ar Rehman bin Auf

    2,560,000 Dinars       

                                                                     

    1. Saad bin Abi Waqas

    250,000 Dinars    30,050,000 Dirhams

                                                                     

    1. Zubair bin al Awam

    60,000,000 Dirhams     

    1. 7. Abu Sufian

    200,000 Dirhams    

                                        

    1. Yaali bin Omayya

    500,000 Dinars

          

    1. Zaid bin Thabit

     100,000 Dinars

                                                                            

    1. Hakm bin al Aas

     300,000 Dirhams

                                                                             

    1. Al e Hakm

     2,000,000 Dirhams     

                                                                  

    1. Saed bin Aas

    100,000 Dirhams            

                                                                               

    1. Walid

    100,000 Dirhams                                                                          

     

    1. Harith bin Hakm

    3,000,000 Dirhams

                                                                 

    1. Hazrat Othman

    150,000 Dinars & 200,000 Dinars

                                                                             

    TOTAL GIFTS  FROM BAIT AT MAL:

                                                                            4,3010,000    Dinars

                                                                             (4.301 Million)                      

                                                                           126,770,000 Dirhams

                                                                            (126.77 Million)

    In the flood of capitalism the clash of interest of the classes was ringing the alarm for a destructive revolution. It did happen and thus was changed the direction of history. However, the blood of Hazrat Othman became the red colour of this long tale of the revolution because his reign is the period when capitalism hugged monarchy! Actually the economic aberrations of Hazrat Othman’s regime and the bad circumstances of the common people is the cause of the rising up of monarchy and the Islamic society wasn’t able to come out of its clutches.

    THE ECONMIC THOUGHT OF HAZRAT OTHMAN

    Hazrat Othman’s economic policy was such that he considered the Caliph as the absolute authority over the Bait al Mal. He thought that the Caliph had the absolute discretion to spend the public money as he wished because the life of the Caliph is dedicated for the economic and political affairs of the people. Therefore, the Caliph has the right to earmark any amounts for himself and for his kinsmen from the Bait al Mal! In his own words, Hazrat Othman’s economic thought is:

    “Abu Bakr and Omer inflicted hardships on themselves and their dependents to acquire nearness with Allah, and I did Sila e Rahmi (kindness towards next of kin) with my relatives to acquire closeness with Allah!”

    Ibn e Khaldun has also recorded Hazrat Othman’s saying:

    “My relatives were impecunious and I have opened my hand for them!”

    Baladari writes in his book “Kitab al Ansaab”:

    “There was a box in the Bait al Mal at Medina. It had one piece of jewellery and a precious stone. Hazrat Othman gave the piece of jewellery to one of his spouses. People protested about this act of the Caliph and talked ill of him! Hazrat Othman was angered and he said, ‘This is Allah’s asset! I can give it to anyone I wish to! If people are upset about it, they may do so!’”

    Some narrations mention that Hazrat Othman said once:

    “‘We shall take as much as we wish from the Mal e Ghanimat (the Booty), however bad the people feel about our action!’ Hazrat Ali (a.s) reacted by saying, ‘You will be prevented from doing it and a wall will be erected between you and the Bait al Mal!’”

    This economic policy that Hazrat Othman followed wasn’t in the wildest thoughts of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer. This was the reason that Abd Allah bin Arqam, who was the keeper of the Bait al Mal, was much upset over Hazrat Othman raining gold and silver on his relatives! Ibn e Arqam was justified in his feelings. He hadn’t witnessed the phenomenon in the two earlier caliphates. The action of Abd Allah bin Arqam following his displeasure is a very serious remark on Hazrat Othman’s policy! Kitab al Ansaab, Isteaab and Asaba are our sources of reference for the following gist:

    “Abd Allah bin Khalid bin Osaid arrived from Mecca and he had some other persons too along with him. Hazrat Othman gave Dh. 300,000 to Abd Allah and each of his companions got Dh. 100,000. Hazrat Othman wrote an order to Ibn e Arqam to pay the amounts from the Bait al Mal. Ibne Arqam returned back the note to the Caliph expressing that the Bait al Mal wasn’t in a position to defray the amount! Hazrat Othman said, ‘You are our treasurer! What right do you have to turn down our orders?!’ Abd Allah bin Arqam said, ‘So far I was thinking that I am the treasurer for the Muslims because your own treasurer should be your slave! If you think that I am your personal treasurer then, By Allah! I shall not perform the duty of keeping the Bait al Mal on your behalf!’ with these words he handed over the keys of the Bait al Mal to Hazrat Othman and Hazrat Othman gave them to his slave Natal and thereafter Zaid bin Thabit Ansari was appointed the treasurer of the Bait al Mal! To dispel the displeasure of Abd Allah bin Arqam, Hazrat Othman sent Dh. 300,000 to him which he refused to accept!”

    This was the economic policy of Hazrat Othman which gave vent to the criticism from abu Dar Ghiffari and Ammar Yassir. Their voices publicised the wrong policies of the Caliph in the realm! But now Hazrat Othman was an octogenarian! At his age one becomes irritable and angry! He didn’t make any effort to correct himself and subsequent to the criticism he took certain actions that caused further damage. Imam Ahmed writes in his Masnad that once:

    “Hazrat Othman called the companions of the Prophet (s.a). Among them was Ammar Yassir. The Caliph said, ‘I ask you! My wish is that you bore witness for me! In the name of Allah I ask you whether you don’t know that the Prophet (s.a) preferred Bani Hashim over all the Qureish?!’ The companions remained quiet at this query. Hazrat Othman continued, ‘If I had the key to the Heaven I would have given it to the Bani Omayya till the last of their persons entered the Paradise!’”

    If the narration of Imam Ahmed is correct, then talk of Hazrat Othman is a clear criticism of the character of the Prophet (s.a) who had even refused to give a slave girl to his beloved daughter as a help for her daily chores. During the time of the Prophet (s.a) there isn’t even one example of his giving grants and gifts to Bani Hashim and making them rich! Yes! For the Taaleef e Qalb (appeasing of the hearts) of Bani Omayya the Prophet (s.a) had awarded them 50 times more than he gave to Bani Hashim, other Qureish and Ansar! In the distribution of funds the policy of the Prophet (s.a) was the same as was emulated later by Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer. If Hazrat Othman’s fiscal policy is compared with that of the Prophet (s.a), at no point the saying of Hazrat Othman is affirmed, and in fact, it is totally negated! The abovementioned narration is totally false and the policy of Hazrat Othman is a proof of the fact that if really the keys of Paradise were handed over to him, he would certainly have done what he had said!! What was the position in the establishment that wasn’t assigned to the Bani Omayya during Hazrat Othman’s regime! The matter doesn’t end with positions and the grants but in Iraq, Syria, Hijaz, Khorasan and Faras huge estates were given to Bani Omayya. Some supporters of Hazrat Othman make an excuse that he gave the lands to Bani Omayya because they were barren lands which they would reclaim and make them productive. But this excuse doesn’t appeal to common intelligence! Were the men from Bani Omayya the only experts in the techniques of land improvement?! Were the other Arabs totally unaware of this? Hazrat Othman didn’t mention any such reason! In fact Hazrat Othman didn’t leave any space for such things in his fiscal policy! He had himself said several times that he had opened his hands for his relatives and clansmen! This policy of his was a well thought out policy!! He gave away his life but not his policy!!! Those who criticized the policy suffered at his hands---they were Abu Darr Ghiffari, Ammar Yassir and Abd Allah bin Masood. Although those persons were also unhappy with Hazrat Othman’s economic policies who had played their role in selecting him as the Caliph! The clouds of opposition against him encompassed the entire realm! But the abovementioned three persons became the victims of Hazrat Othman’s wrath because of their intense criticism of the Caliph! Hazrat Ali (a.s) himself remained quiet but deeming the objections of these three persons legitimate he was playing the main role to arrange a rapprochement with Hazrat Othman. But it was rather too late that Hazrat Othman was surrounded by a group of sycophants and flatterers.

    1. ABUDARR GHIFFARI: Abudarr was from the well known tribe of Prior to embracing Islam he had a propensity for mendicancy. He was among the close companions of the Prophet (s.a). He remained in Medina during the periods of Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Abu Bakr and the early period of Hazrat Othman. But then he moved to Syria and stayed in a Madrasa. During the period of Hajj he used to visit Medina and with the permission of Hazrat Othman, he used to halt for a few days at the mausoleum of the Prophet (s.a). During his stays in Medina he noticed that Hazrat Othman was giving largesses of hundreds of thousands of Dirhams to Marwan bin al Hakm. He was averse to this and he said, “Those who hoard wealth must be given the message that the Hell awaits for them!” He also recited to them a similar verse from the Quran. On a complaint by Marwan, Hazrat Othman sent him word through a slave to abstain from such talk. Abudarr was angry and said, “Does Othman want to stop me from reciting the Quran and objecting to the acts of people who contravene Allah’s mandates? I would rather please Allah even if it displeases Othman!” Hazrat Othman overlooked this incident. One day Abudarr was in the presence of Hazrat Othman where Kaab bin Ahbar too was present. Hazrat Othman asked, “Is it permissible for the Caliph to take a loan from the Bayt al Mal and pay it back later on?” Kaab said, “There shouldn’t be any objection about it!” Abudarr was angered. He said, “O progeny of a Jew! Are you teaching religion to us?” Some narrators say that Abudarr was saying that paying the Zakat wasn’t sufficient but feeding the hungry, caring for the neighbour and meeting the need of the beggar (or seeker) too are necessary.” Then Kaab said, “One who has paid the Zakat has fulfilled all these conditions!” Abuarr hit at the chest of Kaab and shouted at him. Hazrat Othman ordered Abudarr to go to Syria immediately and spend his time in the Madrasa. Abu Darr went away to Syria but there he made Muawiya the target of his criticisms. He castigated Muawiya for constructing the palace—Qasr e Khizra! He said, “If it is constructed with people’s money it is embezzlement and if it is from your own funds it is sheer extravagance!” Abudarr’s missionary activity in Syria was gaining support. The poor and the middle classes started gathering around him. On the request of Muawiya, Hazrat Othman ordered Abudarr to be sent to Medina through a difficult route and on a rough carriage! The order was followed and Abudarr reached Medina in an emaciated condition facing extreme hardships on the journey. But hardship wouldn’t change Abudarr’s nature. He was bent on Jihad bil Lisan (Jihad through his talks) and Jihad bil Nafs (Jihad with his Psyche)! As soon as he reached Medina he started strongly criticizing Hazrat Othman’s economic policies. One day, on the demise of Abd ar Rehman bin Auf, his assets were brought to the presence of the Caliph for distribution to the successors. The hampers of gold and silver were heaped in front of him. Hazrat Othman said, “I do hope for good (in the Hereafter) for Abd ar Rerhman! After much charity and hospitality he has left behind this inheritance!” Kaab bin Ahbar said, “Amir al Momineen! You are right!!” Abudarr picked up his staff and hit on the head of Kaab. Hazrat Othman got angered and said, “Abudarr! You get away from Medina!” Abudarr asked, “Where should I go? Should I go to Mecca?Hazrat Othman said, “By Allah! Never!” He added, “Should I go back to Syria?” Hazrat Othman said, “By Allah! You cannot go there!” “Then permit me to go to Basra! “No! Select any place other than these cities!” Abudarr retorted, “I cannot select any other place than these!” Hazrat Othman said, “You go to Rabza and live there!” Abudarr proceeded to Rabza in compliance. The caliph had ordered that none should accompany him on the journey. But when Marwan brought Abudarr out of the environs of Medina he found Hazrat Ali, his sons Hassan, Hussain and his brother Aqeel and nephew Abd Allah bin Jafar and Ammar Yassir coming along. Marwan went near them and said, “Beware! Don’t come this side! The Caliph’s prohibition is there!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) picked up his lash and hitting it between the ears of Marwan’s camel said, “Go away! May Allah consign you to the Hell!!” Marwan poisoned the ears of Hazrat Othman against Hazrat Ali (a.s), and while returning, Hazrat Ali (a.s) went to him and the following conversation took place. Hazrat Othman asked, “Why did you ill-treat Marwan and what is your explanation about disobeying the order of the Caliph of the time?!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) replied, “I haven’t ill-treated Marwan! He tried to stop me, I didn’t!” Hazrat Othman asked, “Why did you act against my order?” Hazrat Ali (a.s) reiterated, “Is it necessary to follow every legitimate order, or otherwise, from you? By Allah! It isn’t!” Hazrat Othman said, “Pay a fine to Marwan!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) asked, “For what?!” He said, “You have lashed his camel!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “My camel is here! He may as well lash it! But he cannot talk ill of me!” Hazrat Othman said, “Why can’t Marwan talk ill of you? By God! In my view he is more superior than you!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) retorted, “You think Marwan more superior than me! By Allah! Even you are not superior over me!” Hazrat Othman’s face turned red with anger and the meeting terminated at this point. The next day Hazrat Othman complained to people that Ali (a.s) was finding fault with him and helps those who find fault with him! Some companions immediately arranged a rapprochement between the two of them. Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “Only for the pleasure of Allah I took the side of Abudarr!”

    The above narration has been quoted with some minor differences by Baladari, Yaqubi, Waqadi, Masoodi and ibn e Saad.

    Abudarr passed away at Rabza in utter helplessness. This was such a tragedy that ignited the flames of rebellion against Hazrat Othman.

    It can be gauged from the incident that Abudarr was very rigid in his belief! He did have the right to criticize the shortcomings of the Caliph. He also had the right to struggle for the Islamic norm of equity against capitalism but he didn’t have the right to box someone on the chest in the presence of the Caliph! But because of this weakness of Abudarr, Hazrat Othman cannot be absolved of his act of pronouncing the sentence against Abudarr in a hurry. The Caliph holds such an august and responsible position that an appeal against his verdict can be made only to Allah but if the Caliph takes a just decision in a hurry, he is making a mistake in discharging his very important function. Hazrat Othman, in his ire, acted in a hurry banishing Abudarr. We don’t find in any book of history that whether Hazrat Othman called any consultative committee to arrive at a decision about the punishment to be pronounced regarding the act of Abudarr and he wasn’t given any opportunity to present his case. This is the basic right even an ordinary offender is given. The truth is that in the view of Abudarr even Hazrat Othman himself was an offender! All his objections and complaints were against the Caliph. Therefore, the case of Abudarr was beyond the ken of Hazrat Othman. In the history of Islam there are several instances of the Caliph presenting himself before the Qazi. Who doesn’t know that Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Ali (a.s) themselves, as caliphs, went personally to the court of the Qazi to reply to the plaint. It was the moral and legal responsibility of Hazrat Othman to present the case of Abudarr to the Majlis e Shura and leave the decision to the discretion of the members. But Hazrat Othman, in a huff, pronounced the verdict of banishment unilaterally and, therefore, it wasn’t the decision of the Caliph but that of Hazrat Othman as an individual!

    Anyway, it wasn’t his weakness but it was the error because of his octogenerarian age when it becomes impossible to keep one’s thinking properly balanced. When there is pressure from all sides the aged person makes errors in his decisions!

    1. AMMAR YASSIR:

    Ammar Bin Yassir was from the indigent population of Mecca. His father was from Yemen and his mother from the slave girls of the tribe of Bani Makhzoom. When more than thirty persons came in the fold, Ammar and Sohaib too embraced Islam. As soon as this was known to the Qureish they started wreaking hardships on them. Sometimes they made Ammar lie on burning mid-day sands and at other times they would burn his body with embers of fire. The Prophet (s.a) was so impressed with the sincerity of Ammar that one day he raised both his hands and said, “O Allah! Give deliverance to Al e Yassir, and O Allah! You have delivered them!” In Mecca it was only the house of Ammar that served as the first mosque for the Muslims. After migration to Medina, Ammar toiled hard for the construction of the Prophet (s.a)’s Mosque. Similarly for digging the trenches at the time of the Battle of Ahzab too Ammar worked tirelessly. The Prophet (s.a), personally, brushed away dust from the body of Ammar on the occasion. Ammar participated in all the battles of the Prophet (s.a). During the Battle of Yamama Ammar climbed on a rock and shouted to the Muslims, “Are you deserting the battle ground?!” Ammar also served Islam sincerely during the periods of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer. Hazrat Omer had appointed him governor of Koofa. When he deposed him, Hazrat Omer asked, “Are you unhappy?!” Ammar said, “I was happy when you appointed me and I am happy today as well!” When the regime of Hazrat Othman commenced, Ammar too expressed his allegiance as did other Muslims. But witnessing the activities of the establishment he turned against Hazrat Othman. During this period two events were of such ferocity that they converted Hazrat Othman’s regime into flames of revolution. About the first incident Baladari writes:  

    “In the Baital Mal there was a box in which was a piece of jewellery and a pearl. Hazrat Othman gave the jewellery to one of his wives. The people complained and protested about it and made harsh remarks. Hazrat Othman was so much angered that he stood on the pulpit and said, ‘We shall take as much as we wish from this fund of tribute, however much anyone disagrees!’ Hazrat Ali (a.s) replied, ‘You will be stopped in such an event and a wall would be erected between you and the Bait al Mal!’ Ammar Yassir said, ‘I declare with Allah’s witness that I am the first person who has felt bad about this misappropriation!’ Hazrat Othman said, ‘O son of the woman with a large tummy how dare you talk in this manner?!’ He asked his men to apprehend him. Ammar was arrested. Hazrat Othman went inside his house, called Ammar in and thrashed him so hard that he fell unconscious. People lifted Ammar and took him to the house of Umm e Salama, the Prophet (s.a)’s spouse. The unconsciousness of Ammar was so long that he remained so till after the prayer of Zuhr, Asr and Maghrib. When he regained consciousness, he did ablution (Wadu), offered prayer and thanked Allah that it was the first day when, in the way of Allah, he became subject to torture! Ammar owed allegiance to Bani Makhtoom. Therefore, Hisham bin Walid bin Mughira Makhzoomi was angry. He told to Hazrat Othman, ‘You were scared of Ali (a.s) and had courage to raise your hand against us! You have beaten our brother so much that he was almost dead! If Ammar dies I shall also kill some important person from Bani Omayya!’ Hazrat Othman abused Hisham bin Walid and sent him out. He went to Hazrat Umm e Salama. She was herself very angry on Hazrat Othman. When Hazrat Ayesha heard about the incident, she too was angry. She brought out a tuft of the Prophet (s.a)’s hair, a piece of his clothing and one slipper and said, ‘How soon the Prophet (s.a)’s ways have been forgotten! Even these hairs of his, his clothing and his footwear are not worn old!’”

    ---Kitab al Ansaab

    The second incident has been narrated by Allama Ibn e Qatiba in the following words:

    “The traditionists say that many companions of the Prophet (s.a) gathered together, wrote a memorandum enlisting all the actions of Hazrat Othman that he did contrary to the ways of the Prophet (s.a) and the Shaikhain. After drafting the document they wanted to take it to Hazrat Othman under the authority of each tribe. But one after another they slinked away and only Ammar went to the threshold of Hazrat Othman’s house. He sought permission to enter. At the threshold Marwan and several other men of Bani Omayya were seated. Ammar gave that memorandum to Hazrat Othman. After reading it, he asked, ‘Have you written this document?’ Ammar said, ‘Yes!’ Hazrat Othman asked, ‘Who else was with you?’ Ammar said, ‘There were many persons but they disbursed as they feared you!’ ‘Who were those men?’ Hazrat Othman asked. Ammar said, ‘I shall inform you their names!’ Hazrat Othman asked angrily, ‘How did you dare to speak so impertinently in the presence of so many persons?!’ Marwn said, ‘O Amir al Momineen! This black slave himself has instigated the other men against you! If you get him executed others will get a lesson!’ Hazrat Othman ordered his men, ‘Beat him!’ he also took part in the beating! They beat Ammar so much that he suffered from rupture and fell unconscious!’”

    ---Kitab al Imamat wal Siasat

    Yaqoobi and Baladari have narrated another incident that when the news of Abudarr’s demise reached the Caliph’s court, Hazrat Othman said, “May Allah be kind on him!” Ammar Yassir was present there. He retorted, ‘Yes! May Allah be kind on him on behalf of all of us!’ Hazrat Othman said, ‘Do you think that I am repentant of banishing Abudarr?!’ Ammar said,‘No! Not-at-all!!’ Hazrat Othman said, ‘Take this man away from my presence!’Turning towards Ammar he said, ‘You too go away to Rabza!’

    When Ammar prepared for his journey to Rabza people appealed to Hazrat Ali (a.s) recommending his case to Hazrat Othman. Hazrat Ali (a.s) met him and started the conversation. Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, ‘The people are unhappy about the banishment of Abudarr and now I hear that you have issued similar order for Ammar! This isn’t fair!!’ Hazrat Othman replied angrily, ‘First of all you should be banished from the city!’ Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, ‘If you have courage, do this and see!’ The conversation reached this stage when some person intervened for rapprochement. Hazrat Othman said, ‘O son of Abu Talib! You have the habit of criticising my actions!’ Hazrat Ali (a.s) replied, ‘But you know that I try to be discreet as far as possible!’ Mughira bin Shauba took a commiserating attitude and told to Hazrat Ali (a.s), ‘Whether you like it or not, you will have to remain like a subject!’

    In this dispute the Muhajireen and Ansar couldn’t remain silent spectators. They expressed ire at Hazrat Othman. They said, ‘You have the habit of banishing anyone on whom you are angry! This wouldn’t be good in your interest!’ The result of this argument was that Hazrat Othman withdrew his order of banishing Ammar Yassir.

    This event attracts attention towards the following facts:

    1. The first two Khalifs never talked harshly with anyone in the manner Hazrat Othman did! In his talk there was dictatorial and despotic attitude! His talk was devoid of the reformative and moral touch that was there in the attitudes of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer. The people were used to their softspokenness and they had no experience of his harsh style! The limit was that he sometimes went beyond the limits of polite conversation!!
    2. When Hazrat Othman kept his cool at the harsh rejoinder from Hazrat Ali (a.s) and said, ‘O son of a mother with a big tummy’ to Ammar, has he not discriminated between them and that Islam requires treating the slave and the master equitably! And here it was the matter of a slave of the Prophet (s.a) who was very dear to him and during his lifetime he was assured by him of entry into the Heaven! It is not just a matter of insulting talk but the Caliph of the day hit Ammar under his umbilicus that he suffered from rupture or hernia.
    3. Had the freedom of speech departed within twenty to twentyfive years of the departure of the Prophet (s.a) under whose rule an old woman could criticize the Caliph in the presence of lot of persons. Then Hazrat Ayesha said, ‘The Prophet (s.a)’s garments and footwear haven’t yet worn, since his demise, but his ways have been abandoned!’ Her indication was towards the attitude of Hazrat Othman which was quite contrary to the ways of the prophet (s.a)!!
    4. Where had the Islamic laws of justice gone? In the court of a Rashid Caliph the verdict of a case against a companion of the Prophet (s.a) was pronounced without making any cross-examination! Only what the Caliph uttered was the law in itself! Whosoever he wanted beaten, he was beaten! He even kicked persons in the court and exiled persons at will! We are constrained to say that this wasn’t the act of Hazrat Othman but the effect of his senility and the effect of the upbraiding by his sycophants!

    ABDALLAH BIN MASOOD

    Among the eminent companions of the Prophet (s.a) was Abd Allah bin Masood. Who was Abd Allah bin Masood? He was the Companion who participated in the Prophet (s.a)’s campaigns of Badr, Ohod and all other battles. Not only in battles, but always in the peacetime he used to be with the Prophet (s.a). When the Prophet (s.a) emerged from his house, Abd Allah bin Masood would help him put on the footwear and go in front holding his staff. On reaching the destination he used to hand over the staff to the Prophet (s.a) and put the footwear under his own sleeves! While travelling Abd Allah would make the Prophet (s.a)’s bed, help him to perform ablution and arrange for the Miswak (tooth-brush). The Prophet (s.a) had much affection for Abd Allah and he encouraged others to be affectionate towards him. Among the companions Abd Allah bin Masood was one who learnt a lot of the Quran by rote! He owed allegiance to all the three caliphs and urged the people of Koofa to owe their allegiance to Hazrat Othman.

    During the reign of Hazrat Othman, when Saad bin Waqas was the governor of Koofa, Abd Allah bin Masood was the treasurer of the Bait al Mal. When Walid bin Uqba became the governor of Koofa he borrowed some funds from Bait al Mal. After the agreed term of the loan was over, Abd Allah bin Masood demanded repayment. Walid delayed paying the amount. When Abd Allah made repeated demands, Walid wrote a letter to Hazrat Othman complaining about his insistent demands. Hazrat Othman wrote to Abd Allah bin Masood, “You are our treasurer! Don’t insist on Walid to pay back the loan he has taken from the Bait al Mal!” Ibn e Masood was angry, gave away the keys of the Bait al Mal to the governor and lived at home in seclusion thereafter! This was the first cause of his anger. The second reason was that Hazrat Othman made the Muslims accept the Othmani Mushaf (Collection of the Holy Quran) and ordered burning of all other collections! The Othmani Mushaf was compiled by Zaid bin Thabit under orders from Hazrat Othman. When other compilations were burnt, Abd Allah bin Masood’s anger became more acute. Now he started criticizing during his sermons all the actions of Hazrat Othman that he didn’t approve of! Walid informed Hazrat Othman that Abd Allah bin Masood was doing propaganda against the regime of the day! Hazrat Othman called Abd Allah to Medina. When he entered the Mosque in Medina, Hazrat Othman was delivering his sermon. As soon as his eyes fell on Abd Allah bin Masood he said, “See! The insect of vice has arrived who walks on the food and womits on it and also passes excrement on it!” Ibn e Masood said, “I am not like that! I participated in the Battle of Badr and I was present with the Prophet (s.a) at the time of Bayt e Ridwan!” Hazrat Ayesha too felt bad about Hazrat Othman’s talk. From behind the curtain she said, “Today you talk like this about the Prophet (s.a)’s Companion!” Hazrat Othman was more angry at her intervention. He ordered Abd Allah bin Masood to be sent out of the Mosque. Waqadi writes

    “Hazrat Othman ordered Abd Allah bin Zaama to push Abd Allah bin Masood out. Abd Allah bin Zaama picked him up on his hands and threw him at the threshold of the Mosque and the fall resulted in the fracture of his rib. Ibn e Masood said, ‘The infidel Ibn e Zaama has killed me on the orders of Othman!’”

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) told to Hazrat Othman, ‘On the accusation of Walid bin Uqba you have ill treated the Companion of the Prophet (s.a)!’ Hazrat Othman replied, ‘I haven’t done this on the accusation of Walid. I had deputed Zabeed bin Salat Kindi to Koofa whom Ibn e Masood told that shedding the blood of Othman is legitimate!’ Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, ‘Zabeed bin Salat Kindi isn’t a very reliable person!’

    After this conversation Hazrat Ali (a.s) helped Abd Allah bin Masood reach his house. Hazrat Othman thought the punishment wasn’t sufficient but he stopped the pension of Abd Allah bin Masood and made a condition that he shouldn’t leave the environs of Medina! There is sufficient proof available that all this was done at the instance of Marwan. Hazrat Othman could neither turn down his word nor that of Marwan!

    Two years prior to the assassination of Hazrat Othman Abd Allah bin Masood expired in Medina. Tarikh e Yaqubi records:

    “Till his death Ibn e Masood was very angry with Hazrat Othman.”

    Hazrat Othman visited Abd Allah bin Masood during his illness. The conversation between them was recorded by Ibn e Katir in his history:

    “What ailment you have?”

    “I suffer from my sins!”

    “What do you need?!”

    “I crave for Allah’s blessing!”

    “Shall I call a physician for you?!”

    The physician only has killed me!”

    “Shall I order to restart your pension?”

    “Now I don’t have any need for it!”

    “It will be useful for your daughters.”

    You are concerned about the penury of my daughters!

    I have advised them to rectie the Surat al Waqiya in the

    Nights. I had heard the Prophet (s.a) saying that

    Whosoever recites this verse will never starve!’”

    ----Tarikh Ibn e Katir

    Baladari writes in Kitab al Ansaab:

    “Ibne Masood had made a will that Othman shouldn’t lead his funeral prayer. He was interred at Jannat al Baqi. Othman was not given information about the demise. When he learned about it he was furious with anger and said, ‘You people have taken ascendance over me!’ Ammar Yassir said, ‘He had willed that you shouldn’t lead his funeral prayer!’”

    ---Kitab al Ansaab

    ABD ALLAH BIN SABAH

    In the previous pages we have mentioned about the circumstances which had created the fire of revolution and the spirit of revenge in the people. Opposition and intrigue assumed mountainous proportions and even the assassination of Hazrat Othman didn’t calm it. At this delicate juncture of history some earlier and later historians have honestly tried to clean the character of Hazrat Othman of this contaminant. Their efforts have given birth to a fictitious character whose name was Abd Allah bin Sabah. They say he was a resident of San-aa, a Jew, who was born to a Nubian mother. He embraced Islam during the tenure of Hazrat Othman with the purpose of making access to the internal circles and to start destructive activities with the aim of shattering the unity of the people! Therefore, he started travelling around the cities in the realm. In every city he would try to poison the minds of the people against the Caliph. Abd Allah bin Amer drove him away from Basra and he shifted to Syria. Muawiya banished him from there and he went to Egypt. In Egypt he gave an organized look to his activities and several persons came under his influence. Thus all the intrigues and riots that took place in the realm Abd Allah bin Sabah was at their center. In every city he had secret associations. The entire responsibility of the intrigue against Hazrat Othman is placed squarely on Abd Allah bin Sabah and his organization!

    The first thing is that our ancient historical sources don’t have any mention about Abd Allah bin Sabah. In Baladari’s book, Kitab al Ansaab, the period of Hazrat Othman is dealt at length but the name of Abd Allah bin Sabah didn’t get any mention! “Tabaqaat” of Ibne Saad recorded all the events of the time of Hazrat Othman, but it didn’t refer to Abd Allah bin Sabah. The first historian to mention about Abd Allah bin Sabah is Tabari who mentions it about an event concerning Saif bin Omer’s narration. The later historians picked the reference from Tabari. There are very few historians in the world who don’t accept the effect of the environment in which they write their historical works. Then every historian will have his own nature and his beliefs that put constraints on his pen moving freely! Tabari himself has acknowledged the weakness in his works. Tabari wrote this sentence:

    “Waqadi has written several reasons for the Egyptians going to Othman. Some matters have been recorded and I avoided mentioning several others. They were such that it wasn’t discreet for me to mention them!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari, Vol 5

    At another place he writes:

    “I have recorded several of the many reasons given by the assasins of Othman for their act and several others I refrained from mentioning as a mark of discretion.’

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    At another place he writes:

    “When Mohammed bin abu Bakr became the governor of Egypt he wrote letters to Muawiya. There was an exchange of correspondence between them. I thought it better not to reveal their contents because I felt it would disturb the feelings of common Muslims!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    Ibn e Athir writes in Tarikh e Kamil:

    “I have omitted writing about the event of the assassination of Hazrat Othman as a mark of prudence.”

    ---Tarikh e Kamil, Vol 3

    You have seen that the past historians were so much concerned about the environment, events and belief that as a step of expedience they abstained to write about those events. We respect their feelings and luckily we are in a period when there is total freedom of speech and writing and the historians of other nations too are doing research on our history. There is no other way for the historians of this time to have a second look at the history of our nation and remove the inanities which entered our history as the achievement of our forbears giving them the colour of fiction and thus the face of our history has been mutilated!

    It doesn’t appeal to reason when people say that Abd Allah bin Sabah was such a magnetic instrument that in the period of Hazrat Othman all the societal and economic matters were moving around the same point. The Islamic realm was dancing to his tune and from rebellion to martyrdom and revolution was enacted at the instance of this newly converted Jew. The surprising thing is that he perpetrated all his Satanic tricks during the regime of Hazrat Othman. During the periods of Hazrat abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer when the monarchies of Iran and Rome were overthrown, when not only the Jews but all other Arab and Ajam regimes had suffered at the hands of Muslims, there is no mention of any Abd Allah bin Sabah raising his ugly head! Did ibn e Sabah tutor Hazrat Othman to put his close relatives in the top positions in the provinces? Did Abd Allah bin Sabah encourage Hazrat Othman to gift huge amounts to his near relatives from the Bait al Mal in terms of millions of Dirhams and Dinars! Did Abd Allah bin Sabah tell to Hazrat Othman that in Hijaz, Iraq, Syria, Khorasan and Faras even a piece of land shouldn’t be given to anyone other than the Qureish? Had Abd Allah bin Sabah misled Hazrat Othman to exile Abudarr without any trial, to beat Ammar so much that he became very sick and had broken the ribs of Abd Allah bin Masood and stopped his pension! If such was the case, then the Khalif of the time was the first to be misled by Abd Allah bin Sabah! Then what is the importance of other Companions and the commoners?! Who doesn’t know that the actions (of the Caliph) became the root cause of the revolution in the realm! In all these acts, and many others, there isn’t reference of any other person than the Caliph and his personal secretary, Marwan! Hazrat Abd ar Rehman bin Auf, who put Hazrat Othman on the throne of Caliphate, was so upset with him that he didn’t talk to him till his death! Hazrat Abd ar Rehman was the first person who refused to obey the order of Hazrat Othman. When camels were brought as a part of charities collection, Hazrat Othman gave them to the next of kin of Hakm. When Abd ar Rehman heard of this he sent some companions to bring the camels back and distributed to deserving persons! Hazrat Othman sat quietly at home. Hazrat Talha and Hazrat Zubair were the foremost in opposition. Hazrat Ali (a.s) himself was busy trying to reform Hazrat Othman. This is a proof of the fact that he viewed certain acts of Hazrat Othman with disapproval. Hazrat Umm e Salama and Hazrat Ayesha among the spouses of the Prophet (s.a) were very unhappy with the political policy of Hazrat Othman. Hazrat Ayesha said, “It is not such a long time since the departure of the Prophet (s.a) that even his garments and footwear haven’t gone old, and you are deviating from his ways!” The height of displeasure was such that when Hazrat Othman was besieged by troublemakers, Hazrat Ayesha left Medina for Hajj. When she turned down the request of Marwan to stay back, he recited a couplet:

    “Qais has burned the towns for my sake;

    When the flames rose high, he himself ran away!”

    Hazrat Ayesha said, “Listen! By Allah my heart feels that a grinding stone is tied to your feet and your master’s (Othman’s) feet and both of you are thrown in the sea!” Saying this she left for Mecca.

    --Tabaqaat Ibne Saad

    Did Abd Allah bin Sabah cast a spell of magic over these great personages?! Then it is strange that the tyrannical governors of Hazrat Othman, who had no value for human blood, kept watching Abd Allah bin Sabah moving from province to province but none of these valiant governors had the courage to apprehend and kill him! In fact, the organization of Abd Allah bin Sabah was very active in Egypt and the governor, abd Allah bin Abi Sarah kept watching quietly (sic)! He couldn’t even arrest abd Allah bin Sabah and send him to Medina!! No book of history mentions that Abd Allah bin Sabah went underground anytime and the Islamic forces were trying unsuccessfully to apprehend him! A caliph of the calibre of Hazrat Othman remained besieged for 40 days and got martyred and Abd Allah bin Sabah remained safe and sound! None touched him prior to assassination of Hazrat Othman or around that time. Did the powerful governors of Hazrat Othman leave the problem of seeking Qasas for the blood of Hazrat Othman for Hazrat Ali (a.s) to handle? Hazrat Othman himself caused the death of the companion of the Prophet (s.a), Abudarr Ghiffari, by calling him from Syria and exiling him to a desolate place in the wilderness, Rabza, mounting him on the naked back of a camel to succumb to loneliness, but the Caliph never ever got the idea of apprehending Abd Allah bin Sabah and executing him!

    It also needs attention that for mobilization of forces Hazrat Othman writes letters to the governors but prior to any help reaching, he was assassinated! The siege of Hazrat Othman’s house wasn’t for a day or two but it lasted for full forty days and there is no reason why the forces didn’t arrive from Koofa, Basra or Syria. The governor of Mecca was close at hand. Hazrat Othman had instructed that every year, at the time of the Hajj, the governors should be in Medina, but what happened this year when no governor came while the besieged Caliph had to depute Ibn e Abbas for the purpose. The Caliph also addressed a letter to the hundreds of thousands of the Muslims who were attending the Hajj and appealed to them to come for the rescue of the Caliph. The letter was read to the crowds of the Hajis but to no effect! Neither the Hajis responded to the letter nor the governors came to give him succor! Were all of them at Abd Allah bin Sabah’s beck and call, particularly those governors who were the protégés of Hazrat Othman! What sort of influence Abd Allah bin Sabah had on them?! Let us accept, for a while, that bin Sabah’s men were besieging the hapless Caliph, but if the forces of the governors had arrived they could certainly have handled six hundred or thousand rebels who surrounded the Caliph’s palace! But the question arises as to who prevented the governors coming there?! There is only one answer---that politics and the compulsions of the time---the governors of Hazrat Othman were all time-servers! They were observing that this sun was about to set and it was discreet for them to keep away from it! This was the reason that they avoided coming for the Hajj nor did they send their forces! They had left the Caliph at the mercy of the people of Medina while a majority of the population there was either with the rebels or was unhappy with the Caliph. Hazrat Othman himself had the feeling that in those circumstances even the functionaries of the state had turned away from him. This utterance of Hazrat Othman had much weight: “Peope are fed-up even of my life!”    

             

              After studying the causes of the revolution, Abd Allah bin Sabah appears a fictional character which has no significance. We are not denying the existence of ibn e Sabah. He might have existed and his association might have been there! But in the causes of the revolution neither he had any part nor did his organization participate! The revolution was a creation of Hazrat Othman himself and the policies of Marwan. Abd Allah bin Sabah and his cohorts doing publicity of the matter wasn’t of any significance! It was like an announcer talking of an event after it had happened. Making an announcement is no crime. But certainly making a false announcement is!

    FROM REBELLION TO MARTYRDOM HAZRAT ALI’S EFFORTS TO REFORM GOVERNANCE

    In 34H the affairs of the realm reached such a state that even in the capital, Medina, the companions started writing to other companions urging them to make efforts for bringing about reforms. They wrote, “You have left your homes for Jihad but the Jihad is behind you! If you wish the Creed well you must return to Medina!” The Companions approached Hazrat Ali as delegations. This made Hazrat Ali discuss the gravity of the situation with Hazrat Othman. He met the Caliph and their parleys are recorded by the historians:

    Hazrat Ali: I have come to you as the representative of the people of Medina. By Allah! I am unable to comprehend what I should tell you! I don’t know anything that you are unaware of! We haven’t learnt anything that we might communicate to you! Nothing has been communicated to us in private that we could inform you of! You have seen the Prophet (s.a)! You talked with him and had the privilege of his company. You had the honour of being his son-in law!! Ibn e abi Qahafa wasn’t ahead of you in any felicity! Ibn e Khattab wasn’t in anyway better than you! Just keep Allah in your mind about your affairs! By Allah! You don’t have to show or prove anything! The way is bright and clear! The effects of the Creed are firmly there! Othman! Remember! In guidance and ethics the most superior and just caliph, in view of Allah, is one who maintained the known ways and obliterated the innovations (Bid’at)! By Allah! All matters are clear! The marks of the ways of the prophets (Sunnats) and the innovations are clear! In the assessment of Allah the worst person is the unjust Imam who is himself wayward and is the cause of others going wayward; he obliterates the sunnat (the ways of the Prophet-s.a) and enlivens the obsolete innovations. I have heard the Prophet (s.a) say, ‘On the Day of reckoning the unjust Imam will be brought sans any help and support and will be thrown to the depths of the Hell!’ I am warning you of Allah’s power and His retribution! His retribution is intense and painful! Beware! Lest you become the slain Imam of your people! This is the reason it is said that one Imam of this Ummat would be slain who will open the door of killings and strife that will last till the doomsday! He will confuse the affairs and thus divide people into schisms! Because of the excess of falsehoods people wouldn’t be able to see the truths and remain confused and confounded!”

    Hazrat Othman: “Whatever you have said, my adversaries too would have said the same! Ali! If you were in my place, I wouldn’t have criticized you much nor would I have handed you over to your adversaries but finding faults in you and your views wouldn’t be taboo. I did Sila e Rahmi (Caring for kinsmen) with my relatives and removed the indigence of my poor relatives. I appointed such men as governors who were similar to the governors appointed by Omer! Ali! Declare under an oath whether you don’t know that Mughira didn’t possess any special skills!”

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) : “Yes!”

    Hazrat Othman: “And you also know that Hazrat Omer had appointed him as governor!

    Hazrat Ali (a.s): “Yes! I do know this!”

    Hazrat Othman: “Then why do you blame me If I named Ibn e Amir a governor because he was closely related to me?!”

    Hazrat Ali (a.s): Shall I tell you?! Whoever Omer bin al Khattab appointed as governor, he kept a close watch over him! If he ever heard a word against the person he would immediately call him and go to the depth of the matter! You don’t take any such steps! You are soft on your relatives and, rather, they dominate over you!

    Hazrat Othman: “Then! Aren’t they your relatives?!”

    Hazrat Ali (a.s): “By my life! My relationship with them is very close but your attention and favour is on others!

    Hazrat Othman: “You know that Omer, during his entire caliphate, kept Muawiya as the governor. I too continued doing the same! What is wrong in this?!

    Hazrat Ali (a.s): “Tell me on an oath! Isn’t it a fact that Muawiya used to fear Omer as much as his slave Yarqa feared him?!

    Hazrat Othman: “Yes! It is right!”

    Hazrat Ali (a.s): “And your state is such that Muawiya decides matters unilaterally without consulting you and tells to the people that the action was taken on the Caliph’s orders! Despite knowing all this, you cannot take any action against Muawiya!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    The meeting between Hazrat Othman and the leader of the opposition, Hazrat Ali (a.s), didn’t bring about any results. The essence of the conversation was in what Hazrat Othman (a.s) said: “If you were in my place then, By Allah, I wouldn’t have severely criticized you nor would I have handed you over to the adversaries!” Therefore he decided that the best course for him would be to chide and scold the adversaries to set the matters right. Therefore he went to the Prophet (s.a)’s mosque and addressed the gathering there:

    “For every thing and every action there is a catastrophe and trouble! The catastrophe and trouble of this Ummat (the people) are the taunts and censure of the critics! They hide their rancor in their hearts and outwardly behave in a way to make you happy! They are like the ostriches that move in the direction of the first sound that they hear; they prefer the farthest expanse of water, land in turbid waters and drink it with disinterest! They don’t have any leader and are frustrated with their affairs! It is difficult for them to earn their livelihood! O People! What you liked in Ibn e Khattab, are, in your view, aberrations in me! He kicked you, hit you with his hands, he used invectives against you with his tongue and you had borne with all this happily! I have been soft with you, made you climb my shoulder! I restrained my hand and tongue while dealing with you and, in turn, you have courage to behave the way you behave! By Allah! My total strength is much! My supporters are near me and are in large numbers! If I give a call, they will run towards me! I have prepared competition for you! I gave them more and have sharpened their teeth against you!! You blame me for failings that aren’t in me! Hold your tongues, stop criticizing and stop blaming the functionaries! Tell me, what rights I have denied to you?!! Do you think that after distribution of the booty I don’t have any authority to handle what is left over in the Bait al Mal the way I wish to?! Then I am the Caliph for what?” At this juncture Marwan wanted to say something but Hazrat Othman stopped and told him, “The matter is between me and my comrades! Why should you meddle! I had warned you before hand not to intervene!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

          

          

    Note the trend of this speech! He says that after the distribution of the booty if he cannot handle the remnants of the funds in the Bait al Mal as he wished, then for what purpose is he the Caliph?! He also said what rights he denied to the people? He compared his companions to ostriches who land into turbid waters. He warns them against being critical and sarcastic. He calls Ammar Yassir’s mother as “the woman with a big tummy” and kicks him. In his speech he proudly claims he restrained using his hands and the tongue while dealing with him. Hazrat Othman expressed his anger even over legitimate complaints of the Companions! He gives the example of Hazrat Omer in his talk that even a poor old woman could interrupt while he gave an address! When and on what day did Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer say that their “collective strength was much” and that they had created competitors ready to compete with him!” Ultimately we have to say that these contrary statements aren’t as much the fault of Hazrat Othman as that of Hazrat Omer.

    In the opinion of Dr.Taha Hussain there wasn’t any positive effect of this speech:

    “The objectors opposed and strengthened their opposition and placed their views before the Caliph. The Caliph replied to the objections raised by them. He gave a public sermon, threatened them and strictly warned them. In the end he calmed down but remained firm on his stand. The opponents too were stubborn in their views. The chiefs of the opponents from the provinces were more severe in their stand than those from Medina.”

    ---“Hazrat Othman and Hazrat Ali

    THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNORS

    Now Hazrat Othman called for a high-powered meeting in which all the four governors of important provinces participated—Muawiya, Abd Allah bin Saad bin Abi Sarah, Abd Allah bin Amir and Saeed bin Aas. This conference was held at Mecca at the time of the Hajj and it was decided to send the people on Jihad with the purpose of keeping them occupied and busy! On reaching Medina Hazrat Othman called a meeting of the Majlis e Shura. In this meeting Muawiya, Hazrat Ali (a.s), Talha, Zubair, Saad and several other prominent Companions participated. Muawiya started the deliberations of the meetinmg saying:

    “You are the Companions of the Prophet (s.a) and people with authority! You appointed your friend without let or hindrance! He has now grown old and he faces several objections and allegations. If you have arrived at a decision, do spell it out?! I am here to give a reply. As far as the fact that someone has the greed to be the caliph and amir, I know that you would, by Allah, only see him turn back to run away not seeing anything!”

    Tarikh e Ibn e Khaldun

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) didn’t like what Muawiya said at the end of his speech which was nothing but an open threat. He strongly repudiated Muawiya. There was bitterness in the exchange of words they had. Then objections were raised against Hazrat Othman that he had given huge sums to Marwan and Saeed as gifts. Hazrat Othman promised to take back the funds from them and thus the meeting came to an end. The opposition gained an upper hand in this meeting and they felt that the environment was improving for them that in the provinces the dark clouds of dissent were rising and there was no way of quelling this storm!

    DIPLOMACY OF MUAWIYA

    Before bidding adieus to Hazrat Othman, Muawiya placed two proposals to the Caliph.

    1. You accompany me to Syria where peace and safety prevails for you! If you don’t accept this suggestion,
    2. I shall place a unit of the Syrian forces with you to protect you from your enemies.

    If Hazrat Othman had accepted any of the two suggestions, the result would have been the same that the Caliph would be a prisoner under the governor of one of his provinces. His fate would have become the same as that of the caliphs of Bani Abbas under the Turkish Emirs or that of the Kings of Oudh under the English army. The Caliph would have remained covered with well appointed palatial incarceration! Muawiya would then rule over the entire Islamic Realm as an autocratic monarch!! Then, who knows how the history of Islam would be recorded?! Perhaps monarchy would then have started in the lifetime of Hazrat Othman and after Muawiya the dynasty of Ale abu Sufian would have continued!! It is good that the Caliph very quietly refused both the suggestions of Muawiya. Muawiya didn’t like the attitude of Hazrat Othman and he said:

    “Then there will be battle and you will lose your life!”

    Hazrat Othman said:

    “Hasban Allaho wa naym al Vakil”

    “Allah is sufficient for us and He is an excellent trustee.”

    ---Surat Al e Imran, 3:173

    THE REBELS’ FIRST ATTEMPT TO ATTACK THE CALIPH

    Baladari and other historians have written that about a year before the martyrdom of Hazrat Othman the leading lights of Koofa, Basra and Egypt got together at Masjid e Haram. The people of Koofa were represented by Kaab bin Abdu, from Basra was Muthanna bin Mukhraba and Karma bin Bashar from Egypt. It was decided that the next year, during the Hajj, the delegations from all the provinces would present before the Caliph their unanimous demands. Therefore, at the appointed time, from Koofa, Malik e Ashtar, Zaid bin Sauhan, Ziyad bin Nazar Harthi, Abd Allah bin Asam Ameri started with four parties consisting of about a thousand persons. Umro was the chief of all the four groups. From Basra one hundred persons started under the leadership of Hakim bin Jabla Abdi. Their number then increased to 150. From Egypt about 700 persons came to Medina in four groups. Kanana bin Bashar Abd ar Rehman bin Adis, Azwa bin Sheem and Umro bin Badeel were the leaders of these four groups and Ghafaqi bin Harb Macci was the chief of all the groups from Egypy.

    Masoodi writes three more tribes joined with the opponents of Hazrat Othman. One was Banu Zehra because Abd Allah bin Masood was a supporter of this tribe. The second was Ammar bin Yassir’s Banu Makhzoom and the third tribe was Banu Ghaffar of Abudarr. Some persons of Hazrat abu Bakr’s tribe joined because of Mohammed bin Abu Bakr.

    They besieged Dar al Ammara. Baladari writes that when they didn’t pay any heed to Mughira ibn e Saeed and Omro bin al Aas and chased them away, Hazrat Ali (a.s) was persuaded to intervene. He said:

    “I am ready provided you people should resolve that the conditions on which I make them agree, and the conditions on which I stand to guarantee for you, you must agree to abide by those conditions!”

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) again addressed the opponents of Hazrat Othman and said:

    “Your matters shall be settled in accord with the Book of Allah and your legitimate complaints will be addressed!”

    The opponents asked:

    “Do you stand guarantee for this?!”

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) said: Yes!”

    They said:

    “We accept! Please give your guarantee in writing!”

    Then the following document was prepared:

    “This document from the creature of Allah and Amir al Momineen Othman for those Momins and Muslims who are unhappy (with Hazrat Othman), that he will rule over you in accordance with the Book of Allah and Sunnat (Ways) of the Prophet (s.a). The pensions of the persons that have been stopped will be re-sanctioned. Those who are scared, for some reason, would be reassured; those who have been banished will be called back. The fighting-men wouldn’t be detained on the battle-fronts. The rate of the tribute to be paid by the people would be reduced. Ali would stand guarantee on behalf of Othman that these conditoins would be fulfilled by him!”

    This document was signed by Zubair, Talha, Saad bin abi Waqas, Abd Allah bin Omer, Zaid bin Thabit, Sahl bin Hanif and Abu Ayoob Khalid bin Zaid as witnesses. Hazrat Ali (a.s) convinced Hazrat Othman to address the opponents. Hazrat Othman made a very emotional speech. This is a gist of the speech:

    O People! The matter about which you blame me, I am not unaware! I have heard the Prophet (s.a) say that if someone commits an error, he must make amends; one who does something wrong he must express repentance…I am the first person who heard the precept and accepted it….. Whatever I have done, I seek Asthagfar (Allah’s Pardon). Only a person like me should be repentant and penitent. When I return home your leaders should come to me and give me advice! By Allah! Even if a slave turns me towards the truth, I am ready to follow that slave! Who can run away from Allah! Your good men shouldn’t refrain from coming to me. If my right hand had hesitated, my left hand will certainly act!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    In this speech of Hazrat Othman there is a reflection of the talks of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer. The Islamic Spirit is there in this talk that was a hallmark in their perceptive talks! The audience was happy and their leaders ran to the residence of Hazrat Othman. But the circumstances were changed. Marwan had accomplished his task. Hazrat Othman’s meek talk hit his dictatorial psyche like a spear. He said:

    “If such was the case you could have only expressed repentance but shouldn’t have owned your error! I value doing Astaghfar in the heart more than expressing penitence in which there are several problems. The state is now that there are huge crowds at your threshold!”

    Hazrat Othman was again defeated by the cunning of Marwan. He told to Marwan:

    “You go and talk to them! I am feeling ashamed!!”

    Marwan emerged out and said:

    “Why are you crowding here?! It seems you have come to plunder the house! May your faces be blackened! You have come here determined to snatch away the rule from us! By Allah! If you misbehave with us, we shall do with you something that you will never forget! Go away to your homes. We cannot tolerate any attack on our authority!”

    ---Tarikhe Tabari

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) got news of this unsavoury incident and he reached Hazrat Othman angrily and said

    “Will you be happy with Marwan only when he will pervert your faith and render you devoid of intelligence! I see that he will push you into destruction and may not look back on you! After today I may not come to listen to you!!”

    ---Baladari

    Naila, Hazrat Othman’s spouse, said:

    “You heard of Ali’s opinion about Marwan! He has sounded you that he will not come to you again!! You have agreed with Marwan about everything although he has no status nor he has control over the hearts of the people!”

    ---Baladari

    Now Hazrat Othman sent a person to Hazrat Ali (a.s) requesting him to make another visit. But he refused. With minor variations this event was reported by Baladari, Tabari, Ibn e Khaldun, Ibn e Atir and Ibn e Katir in their books. Ibn e Khaldun made some additions in his narrative. He writes that when Hazrat Ali (a.s) didn’t respond to the call:

    Hazrat Othman personally went in the night to the house of Hazrat Ali (a.s). Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, ‘It is a pity that yesterday you ascended the pulpit of the Prophet (s,a) and said something, but Marwan stood at your threshold and chided the people and hurt their feelings!’ Hazrat Othman expressed shame and said that thereafter he would act on Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s advice. He admitted that he was belittled because of what happened and the people were disturbed! Ali ibn e Abi Talib (a.s) said, ‘By Allah! I shall see that the people disburse from here! But whenever I convince you, you agree with me! However, Marwan comes and diverts your mind and you act on his advice and you forget my suggestions!’”

    ---Ibn e Khaldun

    However, willingly or unwillingly the rebels disbursed on the exhortation of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and others. Taking advantage of this respite Hazrat Othman, on the advice of Marwan, made provisional arrangements for safety. The slaves were armed and the battlements of the Dar al Amara were strengthened. But the respite provided by the rebels wasn’t long. They knew that additional forces had been summoned from the provinces. Therefore, they speeded up their efforts to achieve their ends.

    THE REBELS MAKE THEIR SECOND ATTEMPT

    Baladari writes that when the Egyptians went a few stages on their return journey, they met a rider who was proceeding fast towards Egypt. When asked who he was, he said, “I am the Caliph’s slave and I am taking a message to the governor of Egypt!” The Egyptians started gossiping—“What sort of message the man is carrying?! Why the messenger is in such a great hurry?” One person suggested, “why not we make a search of the messenger?! Perhaps he is carrying a letter! ” They did search but they found nothing. Kanana bin Bashar said, “We haven’t looked at his water container. We better look at it!” Therefore they opened the container. Inside it was a sealed bottle. The bottle contained a letter which read:

    “When Umro bin Badeel comes to you, behead him immediately! Cut away the limbs of Ibn e Adees, Kanana and Urva and leave them to roll in their blood till they are dead!! Then tie them to the trunks of date palms!!”

    Now the entire group from Egypt returned back to Medina in great ire and angst. They went and besieged the house of Hazrat Othman. Hazrat Othman asked them the reason of the siege. They asked:

    “Is this your letter?!”

    “No! By Allah! It isn’t my letter!”

    “But whose seal is there on this letter!”

    “Yes! The seal is mine.”

    “Your seal; a leter from you and you are totally unaware of it!

    Such a person doesn’t deserve to be the Caliph of Muslims!”

    “Then what shall I do?!”

    “Abdicate from the Caliphate!”

    “No! Never!! The raiment that Allah has given me I shall never 

    take it off with my own hands!”

    After this event the siege intensified. During this time Hazrat Othman issued an edict which ibn e Zubair read to the people. Hazrat Othman wrote:

    “By Allah! I didn’t write the letter nor did I order it to be written! I was totally unaware of it. We promise that your complaints will be addressed. Whoever you wish will be appointed the governor of Egypt! These are the keys of the Bait al Mal. Entrust them to whosoever you want!”

    --- Baladari

    After listening to the reading of the edict the people from Egypt said, “We don’t consider you capable of being the Caliph! Denounce and abdicate!”

    ---Baladari

    According to Tabari the rebels also told to Hazrat Othman that if Marwan had written the letter he must be handed over to them. But Hazrat Othman didn’t agree to this!

    The siege became more severe. Waqadi writes that this siege lasted for 49 days. Zubair says that the siege was for 2 months and 20 days. Ibne Katir writes that it was far more than a month. Shaubi says it lasted for 22 days and Ibn e Khaldun put it at 40 days! Generally the historians agree that the siege continued for 40 days. The besiegers stopped supply of water to Hazrat Othman. When the companions of Hazrat Othman suffered from pangs of extreme thirst they went up to the terrace and asked the crowd, “Is Ali (a.s) with you?!” They replied, “No!” They asked, “Is Saad there?” There was no reply. For some time Hazrat Othman remained quiet and then said, “Will anyone take my message to Ali that he supplies water to us!”

    Ibn e Khaldun writes:

    “Hazrat Othman sent word to Ali, Talha, Zubair and Ummahat al Momineen that supply of water was stopped. He requested them to send water to him. Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) went to the rebels early in the morning and told them, ‘Your act is neither like that of the Muslims nor of the infidels! Don‘t deny food and water to the person! No doubt even the Romans and the Iranians provide food and water to their prisoners!’ The rebels shouted, ‘By Allah! It will never happen!!’

    Saeed bin Musayyib narrates that Hazrat Ali (a.s) had sent water-skins for Hazrat Othman. But they reached him only when many men of Bani Hashim and Bani Omayya were injured while trying to take them to Hazrat Othman.

    Hazrat Othman had written a letter to the people of Syria in which he appealed for help. Ibn e Qatiba has recorded the text of the letter as follows:

    “I am amongst a people to whom my very existence is a burden. They are very eager for my early Qada wa Qadr (the Divine decree)! They have put certain matter before me. Either they would put me on the back of an emaciated camel and send me into the wilderness or I should remove the Headgear that Allah has endowed to me, that is, I abdicate from the Caliphate or those people who lost their lives at my hands must get Qasas from me! The person who rules--- does good things and commits errors as well. Al madad! Al madad! Save my life!!”

    ---Al Imamat wal Siasat

    Baladari writes that Muawiya sent 4,000 men under Yazid bin Asad; but while this contingent was on its way to Medina they got the news that Hazrat Othman was assassinated. They returned back to Syria from there. Yazid said that if he had reached Medina while Othman lived he would have put all the major men there to sword because the killer and those who witness the killing are the same!!

    Hazrat Othman sent similar letters to all the provinces and he wrote a letter to the Hajis at Mecca. But he didn‘t get timely support from anywhere.

    MARTYRDOM OF HAZRAT OTHMAN

    The siege was there for quite some days and the rebels had started worrying that anytime the reinforcements would arrive from Syria, Basra and elsewhere. They now had only two ways open to them: Either lift the siege and fly or assassinate Hazrat Othman and defeat the purpose of the forces reaching Medina. In the first alternative there wasn’t any security for them that when they reached their homes the provincial governor would apprehend them and get them executed! They, therefore, thought that the second alternative better suited them. Ibn e Khaldun writes:

    “All of them detemined to martyr Hazrat Othman thinking that it was the best course for them, they decided to force open the door. Hasan bin Ali, Abd Allah bin Zubair, Mohammed bin Talha, Marwan, Saeed bin al Aas and other sons of Companions who were with them prevented the rebels from breaking open the door. They fought and pushed the rebels away from the door. When Hazrat Othman heard about this, he asked them not to fight and asked them to enter the house. The rebels torched the door.”

    ---Tarikh e Ibn e Khaldun

    At that time some persons entered the house of Omro bin Hazm which was adjacent to the house of Hazrat Othman. Climbing the roof of the house they jumped into the house of Hazrat Othman. Then the battle started. Tabari writes:

    “Marwan bin Hakm came out with a group of men. Saeed bin al Aas too came out with his group. Mughira bin Akhnas too came with his men. A   fierce battle started. The feet of Hazrat Othman’s supporters gave way and they left the door unprotected and ran in the lanes of Medina. Hazrat Othman remained back with a few relatives and companions.”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari & Tarikh e Kamil

    Ibn e Atir writes that Mohammed bin Abu Bakr entered the house of Hazrat Othman. Hazrat Othman said, “It is a pity that you express anger on Allah! Have I deprived you of any rights that you find fault with me?” Mohammed bin Abu Bakr didn’t reply but went forward and pulled the beard of Hazrat Othman and said, “Oh Nathal! May Allah disgrace you!” Hazrat Othman said, “I am no Nathal. I am Othman and the Amir al Momineen!” Mohammed bin abu Bakr said, “Why! Why didn’t Muawiya and so-and-so-men come to your rescue?! In this old age you have the greed for the Caliphate!” Hazrat Othman said, “If your father was alive he would have valued my old age and wouldn’t have pulled this beard of mine!” Mohammed bin Abu Bakr said, “Certainly! If my father had seen you doing what you did, he wouldn’t have liked it and he would be more severe in pulling your beard!” Hazrat Othman said, “I seek Allah’s help against you and expect succour only from Him!” Mohammed bin Abu Bakr felt ashamed, left the beard of Hazrat Othman and went away.

    After Mohammed bin Abu Bakr left, Saudan bin Omran, Qateera and Ghafaqi went to Hazrat Othman. Ghafaqi hit a steel rod over the head of Hazrat Othman. Then Saudan hit him with his sword. Hazrat Othman’s spouse, Naila, tried to protect him with her hand. Her fingers were severed. Then all the men started plundering the valuables. After all the destruction Omro bin al Hamaq hit his spear nine times on the chest of Hazrat Othman and said, “Three times I hit the spear in the way of Allah and six times more because there was a cloud on my heart!” Then someone tried to sever Hazrat Othman’s head but his spouse, Naila, and the other spouse, Dukhtar e Shaiba fell on the body and cried. Ibn e Adis said, “Let it be! Don’t sever the head!!Both the women are severely crushed!!”

    Hazrat Othman was martyred on 18 Zilhijja, 35 H which was a Friday. His body remained without a shroud for three days. Hakim and Jabir bin Mut-im went to Hazrat Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) and he gave instructions for the funeral. In the night, between the Maghrib and Isha prayers, the cortege was taken out. With the cortege were Zubair, Hasan bin Ali, Abu Jahim bin Huzaifa and Marwan etc. He was interred outside Jannat al Baqi at Hash Kaokab. Jubair bin Mut-im led the funeral prayer but some say that Marwan did this and others take the name of Hakim. It is narrated that some of the rebels were against taking out the cortege and giving him a decent burial. But Ali Ibn e Abi Talib (a.s) severely reprimanded them. Bukhari, Ibn e Atir and Ibn e Abil Hadid have written that Hazrat Othman was interred without the shroud in the clothes that he was in at the time of his martyrdom.

    ---Ibn e Khaldun

    WHY MEDINA REMAINED QUIET?!

    Sufficient light has been thrown on the causes of the rebellion against Hazrat Othman. The revolution had assumed the pan-realm proportions in which the leading Companions and the spouse of the Prophet (s.a) had participated. In this matter the Mohajireen and the Ansar were united. Because of Abd Allah bin Masood the tribe of Bani Zehra, because of Ammar bin Yassir the tribe of Banu Makhzoom, because of abu Darr Ghiffari the tribe of Ghiffar and because of Mohammed bin Abu Bakr the tribe of Bani Teem turned against Hazrat Othman. The majority of Ansar and Qureish were already against him because they were against the establishment that trampled their rights! The limit was that the members of the Majlis e Shura who selected Hazrat Othman as the Caliph thought that he wasn’t suitable for the august position! The result was that his Caliphate remained on the strength of the solitary support of Bani Omayya. But, despite all this a question arises in our mind that when the rebels from Egypt, Basra and Koofa who numbered not more tha 1,500 kept him besieged for 40 days and caused severe hardships including denial of water, how did the people of Medina remain dumb witnesses?! If the entire population of Medina had stood up to one man, and the governor of Mecca had brought the Hajis or even a couple of thousand men from the hamlets around them, they could have succeeded in lifting the siege! During these forty days of siege the lanes of Medina remained quiet! The Hajis were performing the ritual in the leadership of Ibn e Abbas. When the courier read out the letter seeking help, no one said, “Labbaek! Yaa Amir al Momineen!” When the letter was read, Ibn e Abbas stopped his sermon. When the reading was over he resumed the sermon from that point. Ibn e Abbas should have said that the semon was over and it was the time for going to the rescue of the Caliph which was more important than perform ing the Hajj! If Ibn e Abbas kept quiet because of being a Hashemite the persons in attendance should have raised their voices. How did the governor of Mecca keep quiet? Was it binding on Hazrat Ayesha and Hazrat Umm e Salima to leave the besieged Caliph and go for the Haj? Where were the strategician of Arabia, Omro bin al Aas and the conqueror of Iran and Rome, Saad bin Waqas at that crucial time? Had they forfeited their political brains and their influence on the people which they recovered back immediately after the assassination of Hazrat Othman?! All these things confirm the fact that the movement against Hazrat Othman was very strong in which most of the companions and Ansar and important persons in the provinces were taking part. To understand the state of affairs in Medina the following facts must be borne in mind:

    THE THINKING OF THE PEOPLE OF MEDINA

    1. When the flames of rebellion rose against Hazrat Othman the Mohajirs and the Ansar were divided into three schools of thought. One school rose up for reform, but the reform of the opponents seemed an impossibility that Hazrat Othman was adamant on his stand and the opponents were bent on deposing the This school sat back helplessly! This group was neither capable of countering the rebels nor convincing Hazrat Othman to abdicate. Because, in this event they would have to match strength with the ruling party and that would have caused much conflict. Hazrat Othman himself was of such disposition that he wasn’t ready to abdicate and abandon the ‘robe’ endowed to him by Allah! He wasn’t also willing to hand over his favourite secretary to his adversaries!
    2. The second group consisted of a small number of Mohajireen and Ansar which wasn’t able to comprehend its own complicated affairs. Therefore they thought it better to keep away from both the ruling and opposing groups watching what was happening and spending their time in happy seclusion! Therefore some confined themselves to their homes and some of them migrated from
    3. The group consisted of Ansar and Mohajireen who didn’t like to remain aloof and they stood between Hazrat Othman and his opponents till as long as it suited them! Some of them tried for a rapprochement between the Caliph and the opponents till the last moment. There were also some of them who openly sided with the opponents and expressed acute difference with Hazrat Othman. They even egged on the rebels against him. There were also some who neither thought that the opponents were wrong nor they dissuaded them from the conflict. Just they remained aloof!
    4. The majlis e Shura of Hazrat Omer which had selected Hazrat Othman as the Caliph comprised of six members. They were the leading lights of The politics of the Islamic Realm worked at their instance! The people of Egypt, Syria, Basra, Koofa, Faras and Khorasan looked at these six persons for guidance and one should rather say that the thoughts and feelings of these six persons represented the actions of the people of the Realm! Now we shall have to see when Hazrat Othman was flooded with objections, what was the reaction of the other five members of the Majlis e Shura? The first among them was Abd ar Rehman Ibn e Auf who turned against Hazrat Othman within a few years of his becoming the Caliph and he demised with the same feelings. Now about the other four members of the Shura---Saad bin Waqas, Zubair bin al Awam, Talha and Ali (a.s). From these four Saad bin Waqas retired from politics because he saw that a rapprochement between Hazrat Othman and his opponents couldn’t be arranged! Anyway, if he had thought that Hazrat Othman was above all complaints and objections, he was such a valiant person that he would have drawn his sword and come out in support of the Caliph! During the Battle of Camel his utterance saying “Someone bring to me a sword which speaks and shows which side is on the truth and which is on falsehood; then I would be willing to fight for the truth!”---This completely reflects his character. During the realm of Hazrat Othman his reclusive existence indicates the feelings of uncertainty that he had! If he was against Hazrat Othman, he didn’t favour him as well! If he was in favour, he wouldn’t have remained quiet at the criucial juncture!

    ALI (A.S), TALHA & ZUBAIR

    We now discuss about the other three members of the Majlis e Shura who were Hazrat Ali (a.s), Hazrat Talha and Hazrat Zubair. Unfortunately these three persons too didn’t have unity of thought. About the rebellion against Hazrat Othman all the three of them had their own independent opinions. But in this diversity of opinion they desired reform in the affairs of Hazrat Othman or they wanted him to abdicate from the Caliphate! Hazrat Ali (a.s) tried his best to arrange rapprochement between the contending parties. He stood between Hazrat Othman and his opponents at every crucial juncture and patched up the matter. Sending away the first batch of the rebels from Medina was his achievement. The second time he stood between Hazrat Othman and the rebels like a wall of steel and didn’t move away till he removed the differences between Hazrat Othman and the rebels. But Marwan literally threw cold water on all the efforts. During the period of siege when the enemies put an embargo on the supply of water to Hazrat Othman, he sent his sons, Hassan and Hussain, and they guarded his door and kept fighting the rebels till they torched the very door! These events show that there was propensity of the right in his opposition. He wished the Caliph to reform himself and didn’t want him to abdicate!

    Hazrat Zubair never made any efforts to reform the Caliph nor he angered or upbraided him against the opponents. He knew that the people of Basra wanted to remove Hazrat Othman and make him the Caliph. Therefore, naturally his sympathies were with the rebels and he was restlessly watching which way the camel would recline!

    Hazrat Talha was employing all his energies and time to instigate the rebels to intensify their activity. At the complaint of Hazrat Othman, Hazrat Ali (a.s) went to Hazrat Talha’s house and found that the rebels were crowding the place! Hazrat Ali (a.s) tried to make him give up the negative attitude, but he didn’t agree! Therefore Hazrat Ali (a.s) went to the Bayt al Mal and distributed whatever was there to the people. Seeing this, supporters of Hazrat Talha left him and made their way to the Bayt al Mal. Hazrat Talha then went to Hazrat Othman and apologized to him. Hazrat Othman said, “This isn’t an apology, but it is the acceptance of defeat! Talha! Allah will seek account from you!!” The people of Koofa wanted to make Hazrat Talha the Caliph after the abdication of Hazrat Othman. Therefore, Hazrat Talha had great expectations from the rebels. Saeed bin Aas had told to Marwan during the Battle of the Camel:

    “Those people who are with you are the assassins of Hazrat Othman. These two (Talha and Zubair) have killed Othman and are seeking the seat of government for themselves! When he didn’t get the Caliphate they started saying, ‘We want to wash the blood with blood and the sins with repentance and penitence!’”

    This was the story of the leaders of Medina who were the axis not only of the politics of Medina but of the entire Realm of Islam! At a mere instance from these leaders the character of the people would literally dance! The feelings and thoughts of the people would be moulded on the thoughts of these leaders! If Hazrat Othman was martyred helplessly in such an environment and Medina kept silent isn’t surprising at all!!

    Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s comment on the martyrdom of Hazrat Othman is very significant. It seems as if he had enclosed an ocean in a small jar when he said:

     “Othman was wrongly stubborn in his opinion and you people exhibited anxiety and restlessness!”

                                                                     

                                                                          

    PRIOR TO BAI-AT & THEREAFTER THE LANES OF MEDINA

    After twentyfour years of the demise of the Prophet (s.a), a dawn appeared on the horizon of Medina which, in today’s parlance is termed as the ‘Red Dawn’! This is the dawn that appears after a bloody revolution. In every particle of Medina the redness of blood was visible! The lanes and by-lanes were deserted and the devils of fear were gambolling in the environment! In the blowing of the wind there was sound like that of a swaying sword! The rebel troops were ruling in the Madinat al Nabavi and the commander of the rebel troops, Ghafaqi, was leading the prayers in the Prophet (s.a)’s Mosque. The peace loving inhabitants of the city locked themselves inside their houses. The slain Caliph’s mortal remains were lying unshrouded for three full days and his nearest relatives and friends didn’t have the courage to give him a burial!

    When the clouds of fear disbursed and the senses of the people revived, they thought it was important to select the new chief of the Realm. All eyes were focussed only on one personality who was Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s). In no time the Prophet (s.a)’s Mosque was full with people. It was for the first time that the common people got the right to select their Caliph! The selection now wasn’t in the hands of the selected few elders from Mohajirs and Qureish! The selection of the Caliph now wasn’t restricted to the residents of Medina, nor did it depend on the fancy of a committee of six! Now the picture was that the fate of the people was in the hands of the people! The residents of Medina and the elites and the commoners from the provinces of Egypt, Koofa and Basra were there in such large numbers that the Prophet (s.a)’s Mosque was over-flowing with people! Suddenly a voice arose that turned the din of the people’s chatter to quietness.   

    “O Mohajireen and Ansar! Ali (a.s) with his greatness and majesty is the most deserving of the Caliphate!”

    This was the call from Ammar Yassir!

    The precincts of the Mosque reverberated with the unanimous shouts of the people:

    “Razina be hi- We agree to his Caliphate!”

    But where was Ali (a.s)?! He wasn’t there in the Mosque. When the realization dawned on the people they rushed to the house of Ali (a.s). Today, after twentyfour years there was a crowd at his threshold! On that day they came seeking his Bai-at (Allegaince) but today they were there to owe their Bai-at to him! Earlier the people went there to burn down his door and today they were there to bow down their heads in allegiance! Earlier the Caliphate called him to owe allegiance but now the Caliphate itself came to owe allegiance to him!

    The men were shouting slogans at the threshold:

    “Anta lana Razi—Only you we have selected!”

    People were thinking that Ali (a.s) desired for the Caliphate and any moment he would emerge with a smiling face. But their surprise was extreme that a sound came from the house:

    “I have no desire to rule! I am with you! You may select whoever you wish to select and I shall accept your choice! Leave me alone and look for someone else! We have an affair before us that has several directions and colours that neither our hearts would tolerate them nor our minds would accept them!”

    The manifestation of high spirit won the hearts of the agitators. The numbers kept mounting till the sun was about to set! The insistence of the crowd mounted and it reached the level of threats! The crowd then heard a voice:

    “Think over the matter for one more night! If you don’t wish to leave me without accepting the Caliphate, then my Bai-at will not be secret and in-camera! Tomorrow morning it will be in a large gathering at the Masjid e Nabavi!”

    THE COMMON ALLEGIANCE

    The second day was more tumultuous! Six stormy days had goneby, this was the seventh day! There was still a lot of time for the dawn that huge crowds gathered at the threshold of Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s house. He emerged from the house and the crowd raised slogans of “Allaho Akbar”! Hazrat Ali (a.s) entered the Prophet (s.a)’s Mosque to take the reins of the Caliphate as described by Gibbon:

    “On his shoulder he had a commonplace cloak; on his head was an inexpensive turban. He carried his ‘Naalain’ in one hand and the staff in the other! It seemed that Abu Talib’s son abhorred the worldly pomp and show. The chiefs of the tribes and the Companions welcomed him and extended their hands of allegiance to him!”

    The deliberations of seven days had removed the feeling that it was a sudden Bai-at! This was a well considered act and the entire community’s unanimous decision was there as Hazrat Ali (a.s) stressed in the following words prior to the Bai-at:

    O people! This is the matter of your governance and Caliphate! You may select anyone other than me as your Caliph! I shall have no objection! There is still time to make a decision!”

    But the people spoke out in unison, “On the Book of Allah we swear our allegiance to you!” He looked towards the sky and said:

    “Allahumma Ash-had!--- O Allah! Be witness over them!”

    The people came in hordes for alleging their support. It is an age old custom of Arabs to be the first in owing allegiance when any such occasion arises. Everyone tries to extend his hand to be the first to touch the hand of the Caliph as a sign of allegiance to him! To get this precedence, the people fell one over the other and many of them sustained injuries! Hazrat Ali (a.s) himself described the event of the Bai-at in the following words:

    “They rushed towards me like the camels rushing towards water when their keeper unties them! I experienced some worry that in the melee either I would get trampled or some persons from the crowd might get crushed to death!”

    THE FIRST SERMON

    The Caliph of the time addressed the people. The inaugural address of the new Caliph is of great significance. The speech gives the people an idea about the bent of mind of the leader and also his political policy. Hazrat Ali (a.s) started his sermon by saying:

    “Allah has revealed a book to guide the people. It talks about virtues and vices. Therefore, accept virtues and shun the vices! The responsibilities are most important! Fulfill them for the sake of Allah so that He consigns you to the Heaven! Allah has very vividly described all the taboo things and He has given preference to the honour and dignity of the Muslims. He has given them strength with sincerity and belief in Unity of the Creator! Thus a Muslim is one from whose hands and the tongue the other Muslims are safe! Shedding of the blood of Muslims isn’t permissible unless there is an edict of Shariah! You must take precedence in performing acts of common welfare! Death is binding for every living being. The people are in your front and the Day of Reckoning after you! They pre-empted you; therefore you should fulfill your obligation that you could join because those who have departed earlier await those who follow!

    O Allah’s creatures! Be aware of the rights of Allah’s Cities and His creatures because there will be reckoning about them, about residential places and the flocks of four-legged animals. Obey Allah’s mandates and don’t be disobedient! When you see the opportunity of performing virtuous acts, do them; when you feel an act is vicious, you must shun it! Remember those days when you were few in numbers and weak!!

    ---Rouzat al Ahbab & Ibn e Atir

    The society that flourished under Hazrat Othman was divided into classes. The policy statement of the Caliph went to the depths of the hearts of the people and they were forced to think that the Caliph wanted to turn back the governance of the Realm where it stood fifteen years ago. That was a terrible stage and the caravan had gone very much ahead! Retracing the steps, they thought, might prove very painful. Every individual of the caravan, they thought, might perish trying to do this. This sermon of Hazrat Ali (a.s) was very venomous and dangerous for tribal bigotry, difference of colour and creed; capitalistic sections, nepotism and the customs of the days of ignorance! The people weren’t ready to retrace their steps back towards the Farooqi period! But the new caliph’s speech was an open announcement that the hold of the coming regime would be more severe than that of Hazrat Omer!

    EVASION OF ALLEGIANCE—THE FIRST DIFFICULTY

    Tarikh e Tabari, Al Bidaya wal Nihaya and Isteaab etc are unanimous that in the Battle of Siffin there were eight hundred such Companions with Hazrat Ali (a.s) who were present during the event of Bai-at e Ridwan with the Prophet (s.a). At the gathering in the Masjid e Nabavi all the Muhajireen and Ansar shook the hands of allegiance with Hazrat Ali (a.s). However, seventeen, or twenty companions were such that they didn’t do the Bai-at. But there was no significance of the evasion by this small and insignificant number! In the words of Maulana Maududi:

    “If Saad bin Ibada’s evasion of Bai-at for Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omer doesn’t negate their Caliphate, then how could Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s Caliphate be deemed invalid if 17 or 20 companions evaded it?! Even otherwise this evasion by the small number of 

    Companions was just a negative act which doesn’t affect the legal position of the selection of the Caliph! Was there any other candidate for the Caliphate, in this instance, on whose hand the evaders had cast their allegiance?! Or did they declare that the regime should remain a rudderless ship without a caliph?! Or did they say that the regime should remain without a caliph for sometime!

    If none of these conditions was there, then just because this small number evaded owing their allegiance, it doesn’t render the Caliphate null and void because majority of the population had extended its allegiance to the new incumbent!”

    HAZRAT TALHA & HAZRAT ZUBAIR

    There were two members of the Shura, Abd Allah bin Omer and Saad bin Waqas, appointed by Hazrat Omer, who knew that when the Shura met, Abd ar Rehman bin Auf ascertained the opinion of the people and informed the Shura that ‘after Hazrat Othman only Hazrat Ali (a.s) had the maximum support from the Umma!’ These two worthies neither voted for Hazrat Ali (a.s) at that time nor did they owe allegiance to him after Hazrat Othman. They didn’t have any other person for the Caliphate in their view. What was in their hearts, only they knew or Allah knows it! However, Abd Allah bin Omer was in the camp of Hazrat Othman till his assassination and hence he had a deep impress of the thoughts of Marwan on his head and heart! Perhaps this was what encouraged him to owe allegiance to Yazid without a whimper of complaint but didn’t owe his allegiance to Hazrat Ali (a.s)!!

    About the other two members of the Shura, Talha and Zubair, there is some variance in the narrations. Some say that they did owe allegiance to Hazrat Ali (a.s) and others deny it. There isn’t any use getting entangled in this debate. The matter of their Bai-at isn’t free of two things:

    1. The first is that they willingly offered their allegiance to Hazrat Ali (a.s).
    2. The second is that under the shadow of the sword of Malik e Ashtar they expressed their allegiance under duress!

    Keeping these factors in mind two questions arise: the first is that why did Talha and Zubair recant from the Bai-at after affirming it and the second question is that why Hazrat Ali (a.s) didn’t seek Bait-at forcibly from Abd Allah Ibn e Omer and Saad bin Waqas as well?! Why the coercion only on Talha and Zubair?!

    There is only one reply to both the questions that there was thought of personal interest in the hearts of the two persons! When Hazrat Othman was besieged, the people of Koofa and Basra wished to make Talha and Zubair the Caliph! But when the issue of nominating the Caliph came up the people of Koofa and Basra, in great majority, opted for Hazrat Ali (a.s). Even a small minority of the people from the two provinces didn’t propose the names of Talha and Zubair for selection! Now Talha and Zubair adopted political policy that was essential for them! In whichever manner they had committed allegiance to Hazrat Ali (a.s), it was essential for them to stay put on it for some time and see who got selected as governors for Koofa and Basra. In both the provinces Talha and Zubair respectively had ample clout. On this basis they hoped that Hazrat Ali (a.s) would select them as governors. In this manner they wanted division of the Islamic Realm into four big and independent states. They wanted Hazrat Ali (a.s) to rule Hijaz, North Africa and Egypt, Talha to rule Basra and Zubair rule Koofa and its environs. Muawiya was already strongly entrenched in Syria. If this dream was realised, the unity of the Islamic Realm would have broken only in the period of Hazrat Ali (a.s)!  Perhaps, Talha and Zubair might have joined hands with Muawiya and deprived Hazrat Ali (a.s) of the control over one part of this quadrilateral arrangement! Then the triangular group would have started internecine conflicts when Muawiya would have absorbed the other two entities and then announce himself as the Caliph! Only God would know how many hundreds of thousands of Muslims would have lost their lives in the conflict!

    When they couldn’t get the assent of Hazrat Ali (a.s) they took permission to go to Mecca and there taking umbrage for the demand for Hazrat Othman’s Qasas they took Hazrat Ayesha on their side and declared rebellion against the Caliph!

    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE POLITICS OF HAZRAT ALI & HAZRAT OMER

    Hazrat Omer, as a matter of political expedience, wanted to restrict his political opponents in Medina not giving them permission to travel out of there. He also took care to see that the opponents didn’t feel that the restriction was imposed on them! Sometimes he would say that they had participated in all the campaigns of the Prophet (s.a) and, thus, it was time to stay comfortably in Medina and not going out on tedious journeys and campaigns could be undertaken by younger persons. Sometimes he would say, “If you aren’t there Omer would perish!” Then he said that if important Companions travel out the administration might paralyse in their absence! Thus Hazrat Omer restricted all the persons who, he thought were likely competitors, to stay put in Medina under his subtle vigilance!

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) too followed the policy of Hazrat Omer and told Talha and Zubair, “I wish to keep both of you with me as I feel uneasy in your absence!” But Talha and Zubair understood his strategy. After some days they sought Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s permission to go for Umra to Mecca. They became so insistent that Hazrat Ali (a.s) gave them the permission. Perhaps Hazrat Ali (a.s) deemed it not right to prevent someone from going to Mecca for pilgrimage. There wasn’t also any apparent reason to think that Talha and Zubair were making an excuse to go away from Medina. Anyhow, Hazrat Talha and Zubair made use of the lenience of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and reached Mecca. They met Hazrat Ayesha and formed an opposition against the regime. If Hazrat Ali (a.s) had adopted inflexible, harsh measures like Hazrat Omer, and held the two persons in Medina, the trend of events would have been different and the following events mightn’t have taken place.

    DIFFICULT CONSEQUENCES

    1. Hazrat Ayesha already had other persons from Bani Omayya with her who insisted on her to seek Qasas (Blood Money) for the assassination of Hazrat Othman but she might not, so far, have got highly influential persons of the caliber of Talha and Zubair in her team. When they supported her, the claimants of the Caliphate too came to her side who she could present along with the people of Koofa and Basra against the Caliph of the time. If Talha and Zubair hadn’t reached Mecca, Hazrat Ayesha’s opposition for Hazrat Ali (a.s) would have remained only in her heart and it might not have resulted in the Battle of the Camel! The responsibility of dragging Hazrat Ayesha to the battle-field rests squarely on the shoulders of these two worthies!
    2. In Medina the two persons, Talha and Zubair, wouldn’t have dared to recant from the allegiance that they had sworn to Hazrat Ali (a.s). Medina was still in the sway of the rebels who wouldn’t have tolerated any such act against the Caliph they had chosen! The result would be that with the passage of time Talha and Zubair would have bowed down their heads before the regime of the time. In such an event, the emotions of Hazrat Ayesha flaring up might not have happened. Perhaps she might not have committed the error that sullied her repute!
    3. In the absence of Talha and Zubair from Medina, the only top leader of the opposition was Marwan who could only be handled by Hazrat Ayesha. But he had no capability to involve her in a bloody battle. He couldn’t have persuaded her to carry out a campaign against Koofa and Basra nor did he have the courage to do it himself, because the people of Basra and Koofa hated him from the bottoms of their hearts. It was on account of their fear that he had escaped to
    4. If the Battle of the Camel had not taken place, Hazrat Ali (a.s) and his men would have remained safe from the harmful effects of the battle of attrition. Muawiya too wouldn’t have got the long spell of time to be in full battle trim in his area. Because of Hazrat Ayesha’s confrontation with Hazrat Ali (a.s), Muawiya got a lethal propaganda weapon that he used very skilfully. It wasn’t required now to explain to the people about the dispute. They were themselves seeing that the person of the caliber of Hazrat Ayesha, supported by men of the stature of Talha and Zubair, were arraigned against Hazrat Ali (a.s). It was beyond the wisdom of the commoners of the time to even think that Hazrat Ayesha, Talha and Zubair might commit the error inadvertently. The result was that Muawiya got the chance to reinforce his position. The Battle of the Camel was a certificate for Muawiya to wage a battle against Hazrat Ali (a.s). He advertised this certificate all over the province of Syria that harmed the strength and supremacy of the Caliph of the time!

    Thus if Talha and Zubair were restricted in Medina, the eventuality of Hazrat Ali (a.s) battling with Muawiya in Siffin might not have taken place!!

    NEW REGIME, NEW DIFFICULTIES THE SECOND DIFFICULT PHASE

    As soon as he assumed the reins of the Caliphate, Hazrat Ali (a.s) thought of bringing about changes in the administration of the Centre and also the provinces. In this connection the question of deposing the functionaries from the regime of Hazrat Othman arose. Mughira bin Shaiba was one of the topmost intellectuals of Arabia. Mughira first of all tried to assess the capabilities of Hazrat Ali (a.s). He went to the presence of the Caliph and said in a very perceptive tone, “Don’t be in a hurry to depose the functionaries! It is advisable to continue Muawiya bin Abu Sufian, the governor of Syria, and Abd Allah bin Amer, the governor of Basra on their posts. When they accept your caliphate and when you get the news of the allegiance of the armies, you will have the choice either to retain or depose them! Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “Fine! I shall think over the matter!” But Mughira gauged the thought of Hazrat Ali (a.s). Therefore, he went to the presence of the Caliph the very next day and said, “The advice I gave you yesterday wasn’t right! You should depose the functionaries as soon as possible!” The conversation wasn’t concluded between Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Mughira when Abd Allah bin Abbas, who had just arrived from Mecca, visited Hazrat Ali (a.s) and waited at the door because the meeting was in progress. When Mughira left Ibn e Abbas entered the room and asked what news was brought by Mughira? Hazrat Ali (a.s) related both the suggestions given by Mughira. Abd Allah bin Abbas instinctively said, “Mughira had given an honest suggestion yesterday but today he was deceptive!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) asked, “What is the proof of this?” Abd Allah bin Abbas said, “You know it pretty well that Muawiya and his cohorts are worldly-wise persons! If they are allowed to remain in their positions, they wouldn’t bother who sits on the chair of Caliphate! But if they are deposed, they will look for excuses and blame you for the assassination of Othman. Thus they will turn the people of the provinces of Syria and Iraq against you! I have also the fear that Talha and Zubair might as well rise against you!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “We shall not give anything other than the sword to Muawiya”. Ibne Abbas said, “You are certainly valiant but not circumspect! Haven’t you heard the Prophet (s.a) saying, ‘Al harb khad a tun---Battle is the name of deceit’?” Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “Yes! It is right!” Ibne Abbas said, “By Allah! If you agree to my advice I shall make you take such a course that they would keep guessing about the result and unable to gauge what is happening! In this attitude you will not have any risk and it will not be an illegitimate step!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) interjected, “I neither have your traits or those of Muawiya!” Ibn e Abbas advised, “Then you should move to Yanbu with bag and baggage and shut yourself indoors! The Arabs will be much disturbed with your action but they will not find anyone else capable enough to be the Emir! But if you rise with them only tomorrow the blame of the assassination of Othman will be made against you!” Ali (a.s) said, “Oh! No! Do what I order you!” Abd Allah bin Abbas said, “No doubt, this is right and is certainly good for me!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “I have appointed you governor of Syria. Get ready to depart for Damascus!” Abd Allah bin Abbas said, “This isn’t a good move! Muawiya is a cousin of Othman and I am your relative! As soon as I reach there he will kill me as a revenge for the blood of Othman or he might incarcerate me! It is better you correspond with Muawiya and try to win his allegiance.—Tarikh e Ibne khaldun

    APPOINTMENT OF NEW GOVERNORS

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) remained firm on his decision. Abd Allah bin Abbas quitened. But Mughira gauged the mind of the Caliph and made his way for Mecca where Talha and Zubair were already there. Besides them, the men from Bani Omayya, in the leadership of Hazrat Ayesha, were forming a front against Hazrat Ali (a.s). The deposed governors of the regime of Hazrat Othman too reached Mecca. The front grew to the proportion of a fiery volcano which seemed ready to erupt anytime!

    The Caliph of the time nominated the following governors for the provinces:

    1. BASRA: Othman bin Hanif, an eminent Ansari Companion, was nominated governor of
    2. KOOFA: Ammar bin Shaiba was selected the governor of While he was on the way to Koofa, a person from Koofa advised him that the people wouldn’t accept anyone other than Abu Moosa Ashari as their governor! Abu Moosa sent the letter of his allegiance and the allegiance of the people of Koofa for Hazrat Ali (a.s).
    3. YEMEN: Abd Allah bin Abbas was appointed the governor of When he reached Yemen, Yaala bin Omayya, the incumbent governor, departed to Mecca with the treasury of the province along with him!!
    4. MECCA: In the very beginning Hazrat Ali (a.s) nominated Khalid bin Aas bin Hisham bin Mughira as the governor of But the people refused to owe allegiance to him and a youth there chewed the letter of Hazrat Ali (a.s) about this appointment and threw it! The letter fell into the pond of Zamzam. Later on Hazrat Ali (a.s) appointed Fatam bin Abbas as the governor of Mecca.
    5. EGYPT: Hazrat Ali (a.s) sent Qais bin Saad bin Ibada as the Governor of
    6. SYRIA: Sohail bin Hanif was appointed as governor of Syria but he couldn’t take charge of the position. When Sohail entered the territory of Syria, at Tabook, the men of Muawiya stopped him. Sohail said that he was the new governor. The men said that if Othman had appointed him, he was welcome. But if someone else had appointed him, he was asked to go back to the person! Sohail returned back to
    7. BAHRAIN: Saad bin Abbas was named the governor of
    8. TAMAMA: Sama-aa bin Abbas was entrusted with the territory of
    9. YAMAMA: Aun bin Abbas was appointed the governor of

    CRITICISM OF HAZRAT ALI (A.S)  & IT’S ANALYSIS

    The historians have unnecessarily given much importance to the talk of Hazrat Ali (a.s) with Ibn e Abbas and Mughira about deposing and appointment of governors. The conversation was interesting and meaningful and reading it a historian, without giving any thought reaches a conclusion that Abd Allah bin Abbas and Mughira bin Shaiba advised Hazrat Ali (a.s) correctly, and if he had taken the advice, perhaps, the matter might not have taken a difficult turn! The author of “The Civilization of Islam”, Georgy Zaidan, and other thinkers of his ilk, too have the same feeling that Hazrat Ali (a.s) shouldn’t have given orders of deposition of Muawiya so hurriedly. He should have postponed the matter till a time that his regime acquired a degree of stability. The first, and rather harmful, effect on the minds of people will be that Hazrat Ali (a.s) wasn’t aware of elements of politics as otherwise he wouldn’t have committed the error! But the pity is that the truth is far away from this thought! The wit and intelligence of Hazrat Ali (a.s) was of the highest order and it cannot be that he didn’t understand the prevailing conditions. Hazrat Ali (a.s) ofcourse was an example of the highest capability of gauging the Arab minds. But even a rustic shepherd of Medina knew that Muawiya was ruling the very vast province of Syria for twenty years almost independently. He certainly would have preferred to get killed than hand over his crown to his old competitor from Bani Hashim. Then what were the conditions that prevented Hazrat Ali (a.s) from not making a temporary truce with the villain turning down the advice of Abd Allah bin Abbas and Mughira bin Shaiba and instantaneously deciding to depose Muawiya! When we study the points mentioned in the forthcoming paragraph, it becomes clear that the advice of the two persons was fickle and useless!

    WHY DID ALI (A.S) DEPOSE MUAWIYA?

    1. The first reason was that the revolt against Hazrat Othman was because of certain demands of the people of Egypt, Koofa and Basra and when Hazrat Othman didn’t concede them, they assassinated the The first demand of the people was to depose all the governors who were the relatives of the Caliph from Bani Omayya. The people of Egypt, Koofa and Basra wanted to abolish the hegemony of the clan of Bani Omayya which Hazrat Othman had adopted from the very beginning of his regime! From the Central Secretariat to the governorates all the important positions were entrusted by him to the men from Bani Omayya! The helpless Caliph was virtually a puppet in the hands of those strong men. How could Hazrat Othman accede to the demand of the rebels to depose those strong men?! He didn’t have courage to dismiss Marwan from the position of his secretary and deposing, or even transferring, Muawiya from Syria although he was there for an inordinately long period. Certainly there was no demand from anywhere in the province to remove Muawiya from there. Every child in Syria was in the clutches of Muawiya! Therefore the Caliph didn’t seem to be having any valid reason for disturbing him other than his being a governor among many others from the clan of Omayya and that a governor remaining so long in one province is contrary to the norms of good governance!! The Caliph couldn’t possibly have shifted Muawiya without his consent! In the prevailing inclement circumstances Hazrat Othman got martyred. Now, the

    rebels were ruling the roost in Medina! The claims of the rebels were still there. They were the heralds of the revolution and they wanted to overturn the chessboard of politics and arrange it differently! In the new political situation there was no place for the Othmani Governors and it was binding on the new Caliph to depose them and obliterate the clannish rule! This wasn’t only the demand of the rebels but it was the voice of the common people as well! If Hazrat Ali (a.s) had dilly-dallied a little in the matter, the rebels could have gone against him as well! He couldn’t possibly have retained any person from Bani Omayya as governor of any province!

    1. The second fact is that Muawiya never expected that Hazrat Ali (a.s) would depose him and, in any such eventuality, he would rebel! Whether Hazrat Ali (a.s) kept him on, or deposed him, in both situations Muawiya would have battled with him because politically he wasn’t ready to accept Hazrat Ali (a.s) as the The messenger from the Caliph, carrying the order deposing the governor was still on the way to Syria when Muawiya called Noman bin Bashir to come to Damascus with the bloodied cloak of Hazrat Othman and the severed fingers of his spouse, Naila, and displayed them to the populace with a view to disturb the feelings of the people. The result was that sixty thousand men of Syria mobilized to avenge the death of Hazrat Othman. While Hazrat Ali (a.s) hadn’t even decided to keep on or depose Muawiya; the events were a clear indication that the governor was bent on rebellion! In this regard Maulana Abul Ala Maududi says:

    The historians have reported the event of Hazrat Ali (a.s) deposing Muawiya in such a manner that the reader would think that he (Hazrat Ali) was devoid of statesmanship. Mughira bin Shauba, according to them, had made an intelligent suggestion not to disturb Muawiya but he didn’t take the advice and unnecessarily disturbed the hornets nest. Although what we gauge from the writings of the same historians is that anyone with political foresight cannot but feel that if Hazrat Ali (a.s) had delayed issuing order for deposing Muawiya it would have been a major error! With this action, from the very beginning the matter became clear where Hazrat Muawiya stood?! If he had remained under the curtains any longer, they would be the curtains of deceit and would have been more calamitous!!”

    ---Khilafat wa Mulukiyat

      

    HAZRAT ALI & AMIR MUAWIYA

    When Sohail bin Hanif, governor designate for Syria, returned from the boundaries of Syria, there was no other alternative than the Caliph sending a campaign against Muawiya. But Hazrat Ali (a.s) adopted the policy of negotiation and conciliation and didn’t leave any space for complaint that the steps he had taken were taken in any great hurry! He sent Musawwar bin Mukhrama with a letter to Muawiya. The letter didn’t have any harsh or provocative content. Every sentence in the letter appealed for peace and tranquility:

    “From Allah’s creature Ali, Amir al Momineen

    to

    Muawiya bin Abi Sufian:

    You are aware of my excuses before you people and my shunning from you till that happened which was inevitable and which could not be prevented. The story is long and much is to be said. What was to pass has passed and what was to come has come! Therefore secure (my) allegiance from those who are with you and come in a deputation to me with a delegation of your people.”

    --Source Nahj al Balagha, Lr. No.75

    Muawiya withheld the messenger and didn’t give any reply to the letter. This was his ruse to gain time. Whenever the messenger reminded for a reply to the letter, insulting couplets were recited to him that were tantamount to saying:

    “Remain firm like a strong fortress or challenge me to a fierce battle! Your neighbours and the youths will fight such a fierce battle that the hairs on the sideburns and the heads would turn gray! Both the masters and the slaves would be rendered helpless and there wouldn’t be any ruler other than us!”

    When three months elapsed after the martyrdom of hazrat Othman, Muawiya called a person from the tribe of Bani Abus and gave him a sealed cover on which it was written:

    “From Muawiya bin Abi Sufian to Ali Bin Abi Talib”.

    Muawiya Instructed the courier to hold the cover aloft on reaching Medina that the people in the streets read what was transcribed on it! Then he was to give the cover to the addressee. The messenger did likewise. In Medina, whoever read the inscription on the envelope, followed the messenger to the threshold of the house of Hazrat Ali (a.s). A huge crowd of curious persons gathered outside the house. They were eager to know what reply Muawiya had given. When the seal of the cover was broken, a blank piece of paper was found in it. Hazrat Ali (a.s) asked the messenger of the reason for sending the blank paper. The messenger said, “If you give safety for my life, I shall say something!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “We offer you protection! Now say what you wish to say!” The messenger said, “I left the people of Syria in a state of frenzy that they are determined to exact Qasas for the blood of Othman! The bloodied cloak of Hazrat Othman and Naila’s severed fingers have been put on display and the big sheikhs are lamenting disconsolately! The people of Syria blame you for the assassination of Othman!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) asked, “With whom they wish to wreak revenge for the blood of Othman?!” The man said, “With the vein of your neck!”

    The messenger left after this conversation with Hazrat Ali (a.s). The anger of the crowd gathered there was such that if Hazrat Ali (a.s) hadn’t offered amnesty to the man, they would there and then have lynched him to death!

    The messenger went and Hazrat Ali (a.s) called a meeting of important persons of Medina. Talha and Zubair too participated in the meeting. Hazrat Ali (a.s) acquainted them about the situation and sought their suggestions and advice. Hazrat Ali (a.s) himself was of the view that the matter must be immediately nipped in the bud as delay might render the matters out of control. Prior to any attack on Medina, it was thought better to make a pre-emptive attack on Syria! The persons who attended didn’t give any satisfactory suggestion and didn’t show the spirit requisite for the battle! After dull and drab speeches it was decided that the campaign against Muawiya was a necessity!

    After this meeting Talha and Zubair sought permission for travelling to Mecca for Umra pilgrimage and they departed with or without the permission of Hazrat Ali (a.s)!

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) was busy with mobilisation and preparations for the battle with Muawiya and the twain of Talha and Zubair reached Mecca. The grapevine brought disturbing news from there! The flames of rebellion were rising fast there and Hazrat Ali (a.s) had to alter his program. Now his attention was riveted towards these two worthies who were permitted to travel to Mecca! These were the two persons who were the strong pillars of early Islam and were from the first rows of the group of Companions. Just imagine they selected Mecca for initiating their rebellious act!!

    MUAWIYA & HIS PROMOTERS

    One cannot deny the fact that there are very few historians who support the stand of Muawiya in subdued terms about his claim for Qasas for the blood of Hazrat Othman and pose the rebellion of Muawiya against Hazrat Ali (a.s) as a great achievement! Such historians are mentally ill and possess slavish mentality! Their ailment and their master too are their belief and their prejudice! The thought of research doesn’t reach anywhere near them. Barring these, all the historians of the Islamic World, and others, are unanimous that the worst legal, moral and political sin of Muawiya was that he unsheathed his sword against the person who was accepted by the Islamic World as its Caliph! He made the excuse of Qasas for Othman as his shield! This shield was so flimsy that it couldn’t prevent him from the criticism of historians of all times! Whoever rebelled against Khalifa e Rashid will be deemed no more than an ordinary criminal! In this regard the comment of Maulana Maududi is comprehensive and supported with firm proofs. Commenting on the illegal steps of Talha and Zubair he writes on the stand of Muawiya as follows:

    “The more illegal and unconstitutional stand was that of Muawiya who, not as Muawiya the son of Abu Sufian but in the capacity of the governor of Syria stood up claiming Qasas and vengeance for the blood of Othman; rebelled against the Central Government and tried to utilize the powers of the governorate not to prosecute the killers of Othman but to challenge the Caliph of the Day claiming the Qasas! He even didn’t ask for the killers to be handed over to him for wreaking vengeance against them! All this was contrary to the norms established by the Islamic realm but it was a reflection of the cruel ways of the Days of Ignorance! First of all, the right to claim Qasas for the blood of Othman rested with the legal heirs of the deceased. If, Muawiya was entitled to claim the Qasas, for whatever relationship he had with the deceased, he had no right to do it as the governor of Syria! Whatever was his relationship with Hazrat Othman, Muawiya could have gone to the Caliph preferring the claim for Qasas in his personal capacity requesting for arraigning the culprits. But the governor of a province had no authority to make any such claim! Legally all the governorates had sworn their allegiance to the elected Caliph except Muawiya!”

    ---Khilafat wa Mulukiyat

    What Justice Amir Ali writes in his book also indicates that all the actions of Muawiya against the Caliph of the time were high treason and rebellion. Claiming Qasas for the blood of Othman was just a ruse. Amir Ali writes:

    “In the later days some governors demitted their office without questioning but there were some who turned rebellious. Among the rebellious governors was Muawiya bin Abi Sufian who was the governor of Syria and with the huge wealth of the Province he mobilized a big army. The men in the army supported him only for the greed of money! On the support of those greedy men Muawiya unfurled his flag of rebellion!”

    ---History of the Saracens

    THE POSITION OF MUAWIYA

    After judging Muawiya on the yardstick of principles and capabilities, no person with vision will think that he was justified in his actions. Muawiya’s position would become clear only when one puts his attention on his character! The efforts to put him on the same pedestal with Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omer and Hazrat Ali (a.s) never succeeded, nor will ever succeed! He was patently a worldly-wise ruler who was hard at work to place himself alongside Julius Caesar, Augustus and Tiberius! Perhaps he would look taller than all of them!! A worldly and dictatorial ruler rates himself above all doubts! To achieve his ends he would turn illegitimate to legitimate and vice versa! He used the public funds for personal matters. He would trample every right which came in his way! He took pride in going back on his promises and solemn commitments to others! People deem his wastefulness and his magnanimity, stealth and untruth as diplomacy! It is certain that history would put on his head the crown of a cunning, but successful, ruler! Muawiya was one among such rulers and these tendencies of his cannot be singled out for criticism!

    Dr. Taha Hussain and the historians of his ilk have made efforts to gauge the character of Muawiya on the yardsticks mentioned above. He writes:

    Whatever people wish to say about Hazrat Muawiya they might say that after embracing Islam he came closer to the Prophet (s.a). He was included in the roster of transcripters of the Revelations and he was a Muslim and a true Muslim (sic)! He was the well-wisher of the Prophet (s.a) and three of his Caliphs! But despite all this Muawiya, however, was the son of Abu Sufian, the commander of the army of the infidels of Mecca in the battles of Ohod and Khandaq. He was the son of Hinda who was so inimical with Hazrat Hamza that when he was martyred, she searched his cadaver, cut his belly and tried to chew his liver! This heinous act of the woman caused great hurt to the Prophet (s.a)!

    Hazrat Muawiya got strength, cunning and flexibility of nature from his father. Then his mother too wasn’t falling behind in her enmity against Islam and Muslims!

    The least that one can say about the character of Hazrat Muawiya is that he was experienced, cunning and generous like the Arab potentates who do what suits them, are generous with the chiefs and officers to keep them under their thumb. Hazrat Muawiya had everything for the persons with greed and covetousness.

    When Hazrat Othman was besieged Muawiya neither rushed to his rescue nor sent any troops to help him. The bigger surprise is that when he got a letter from Hazrat Othman seeking help, he too prevaricated as did the other governors of the provinces that the rebels assassinated Hazrat Othman. But after the event he rose with the claim for Qasas. If he was really interested in saving the Caliph, he should have acted earlier! At that crucial time he sat quietly in Syria!! But when the time was ripe he made full use of the opportunity for his selfish ends! If Hazrat Muawiya wanted to be just and fair, it was his duty to owe allegiance to Hazrat Ali (a.s). Then he could have taken the successors of Hazrat Othman to the Caliph to claim Qasas from the assassins of Hazrat Othman! More than anything Muawiya wished to divert the Caliphate away from Hazrat Ali (a.s). Therefore, after the demise of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and agreement of demission of the Caliphate by Hazrat Hassan (a.s), when the ground was clear for Muawiya, he forgot everything about claiming Qasas for the blood of Hazrat Othman and he didn’t ever try to bring the killers to justice!!”

    ---Hazrat Othman & Hazrat Ali

    JANG E JAMAL OR THE BATTLE OF THE CAMEL - THE CAUSES

    The Battle of the Camel is one of the battles ever fought in the world which is highly ludicrous and laughter creating because it hadn’t attendant on it the causes that generally are the cause of battles! There wasn’t any economic cause or any societal reason! If there was any reason it was enmity against Hazrat Ali (a.s). Why the enmity? There wasn’t any call for change in the Caliphate or an outcry for improving the economy of the realm or a call to reform the society! The reason was only jealousy, hate and inferiority complex! Every enemy had his, or her, own point of view! Some wanted an uprising in Mecca and others wanted to attack Medina. Some suggested heading for Koofa and others wanted a campaign against Basra! It seems a carnival of mad-hatters and they were all creating peels of laughter!! It was a drum-house where every parrot was singing its own tune!!

    The deposed governors of Hazrat Othman’s regime and other enemies of Hazrat Ali (a.s) assembled at Mecca and made the city the head-quarters of the opposition. The governor of Yemen Yeli bin Omayya took all the valuables and the funds from the treasury and reached Mecca. He gave Dirhams 600,000 and 600 camels to Hazrat Ayesha as his war effort. The camel---Askar--- on which Hazrat Ayesha rode and commanded the army was also gifted to her by Yeli bin Omayya! The deposed governor of Basra, Abd Allah bin Amer, too reached Mecca. He too brought with him every dime of the funds in the treasury in his charge! Talha and Zubair took permission to travel to Mecca for Umra and reached there with the intention of creating rebellion! Marwan and other chiefs of Bani Omayya were present in Medina when Hazrat Othman was assassinated. One after the other, they too reached Mecca. In fact Hazrat Ayesha had completed her Haj pilgrimage and was headed for Medina when she got news that Ali (a.s) was chosen as the Caliph, she returned to Mecca from the stage of Sarf! All the abovementioned persons were the enemies of Hazrat Ali (a.s) but the reasons for their enmity were different. Therefore, to assemble under one flag these adversaries required two parameters ---one common slogan and one leader! Both were arranged without any difficulty! The slogan was:”Qasas for the blood of Othman” and Hazrat Ayesha agreed to lead the contingents! It was a group that was led by a lady! What courage did the Bedouin Arabs have to ask why a woman was commanding the contingent contrary to the norms of the Bedouin Culture?! Whatever was happening was right! It was the order of the Umm al Momineen!!

    Becaues of the abovementioned conditions the apparent causes of jang e Jamal are not there in any book of history! But there is talk of some of the leaders of the opposition in those books. This information helps the researchers to put two and two together! But difficulty arises that the slogan of `Qasas for the Blood of Othman`` which people thought was the real cause of the ``battle of Camel` becomes meaningless and a positive and meaningful reason of the conflict cannot be fixed!

    THE FEELINGS & PÔSITION OF THE PEOPLE OF JAMAL

    1. UMM AL MOMINEEN HAZRAT AYESHA: Tarikhe Tabari says that travelling from Mecca to Medina, when Hazrat Ayesha reached the stage of Sarf she was met by Abd Ibn Am Kalab who was her relative from her mother`s side. Hazrat Ayesha asked, ``Is everything fine in Medina`` Abd said, “Hazrat Othman was assassinated.” Hazrat Ayesha asked, “Then what did those people do?” Abd said, “All the people of Medina arrived at the best decision! They were all unanimous on selection of Hazrat Ali (a.s)” Hazrat Ayesha said, “If what you say is the truth then I wish the sky falls down on the earth! Take me back! Take me back!” Abd said, “What is this? By Allah! You were the first person to condemn him (Hazrat Othman)! You used to say, ‘Kill the Nathal—the infidel!” Hazrat Ayesha said, “People forced him to express repentance and then killed him! Yes! I did say what you are repeating but what I am saying later on is better than what I said earlier!” Abd said, “O  revered mother! This is a very shallow excuse!” Then he recited some couplets which meant :

    “It is you who ordered killing of Othman! It is also you who said that Othman is an infidel. We obeyed and they killed him! In our view the assassin of Othman is the person who has ordered his execution! Niether the sky fell on us nor was there the eclipse of the moon! Now the people have owed their allegiance to the great person who will dispel every evil and will straighten all crookedness! The truth is that the faithful will not be like the faithless and traitrous persons!”

    --- Tarikh e Tabri  

    Hazrat Ayesha retraced her steps back to Mecca. She didn’t utter anything on the way, but when she reached near the gate of the Kaaba people surrounded her. There she addressed the crowd: 

    O people! Perverts from many places, with the help of slaves in Medina, have martyred the helpless Othman! In the beginning they made some baseless accusations against him that they couldn’t prove in any manner! Then they became rebellious!! They shed the blood that Allah has deemed taboo! They harmed the sanctity of the holy city (Medina) in the holy month (Zillhijja)! They plundered the taboo wealth! By Allah! One finger of Othman is more auspicious than the entire world of those rebels!! This rebellion doesn’t seem to be dying out!! Therefore you should not let the blood of the hapless Caliph go in waste and seek Qasas from the killers to save the honour of Islam.

    ---Khulfa e Mohammed Omer Abul Nasr

    When preparations were complete, Hazrat Ayesha requested the second spouse of the Prophet (s.a), Umme Salama, to join in the campaign. Hazrat Umme Salama said, “O daughter of Abu Bakr! You want to seek Qasas for the blood of Othman, although, By Allah, you are the first woman who never remembered Othman with any other word than Nathal and repeatedly said, “Allah’s curse on the Nathal! May Allah destroy him!” O Ayesha! Don’t get misguided by Talha and Zubair! For their personal gains they are doing everything! But their gain cannot save you from retribution!”

    ---Rauzat al Ahbab

    Umm al Momineen Hafsa thought of joining the fray but Abd Allah bin Omer stopped her. On the advice of Talha and Zubair pressure was applied on Abd Allah bin Omer, as well, but he said:

    “People are getting carried away with the avarice of Dinar and Dirhams, but I have shunned it! I request you people to excuse me!”

    ---Rauzat al Ahbab

    The abovementioned facts indicate that the spouses of the Prophet (s.a) and his companions, who valued truth more than personal benefits, were shying away from taking part in the Campaign. What was the thing that forced Hazrat Ayesha to lead the Campaign?! In the light of the events is it credible that Qasas for the blood of Othman was the voice of her heart?! No, Never! If the Qasas for Othman was to be claimed, the claim should have come from his sons, his spouses and his next of kin! Hazrat Ayesha had not even any distant relationship with Hazrat Othman! She was the daughter of Bani Teem and the daughter-in-law of Bani Hashim and Hazrat Othman was from Bani Omayya! Which law authorized Hazrat Ayesha to seek Othman’s Qasas?! Not only seeking Qasas, but also leading the campaign of battle for this purpose while the history is proclaiming that prior to Hazrat Othman’s martyrdom she was his sworn enemy! She had left him besieged by the rebels in Medina and moved to Mecca and didn’t think of staying put in Medina to rescue him! She was against all his actions and, from behind the curtain, she used to curse him! But after his assassination she developed such sympathy for him that she ignored his natural sons and daughters and his widow who had lost her fingers in trying to protect Othman! What is the reason for this? Was Hazrat Ayesha having a desire to get the Caliphate?! No! There is no indication of any such desire nor in those times there was the practice of women becoming rulers in Arabia! It hadn’t also happened that the Islamic realm had totally collapsed and there wasn’t any alternative left than being governed by a female! There was only one probable reason of the lady’s angst---“Enmity of Ali (a.s)!” Hazrat Ayesha herself had once said the enmity was the same as generally prevails between daughters-in-law and their husbands’ families since the past ages! But some events aggravated the enmity so much that Hazrat Ayesha kept aside the mandate for “Hijab” and “seclusion” that prohibit women from leading the campaigns of battle! Such extreme events are not more than three or four in the annals of history!

    HAZRAT ALI & HAZRAT AYESHA

    1. In the event of Ofak when the hypocrites made aspersions against Hazrat Ayesha and the Prophet (s.a) sought Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s opinion in the matter, Hazrat Ali (a.s) hinted at divorce and said, “You have no scarcity of women whom you can marry!” This was such an arrow that it pierced the heart of Hazrat Ayesha! She couldn’t forget this till her death! Dr Taha Hussain says:

    One of the most dominating personalities in the history of Islam was that of Hazrat Ayesha! She wasn’t soft hearted like her father but she had the trait of vehemence as Farooq e Azam had and she also had it as inheritance from the Arabs of the days of ignorance! She used to remember poetic couplets and recite them on appropriate occasions.”

    How could such a woman of excitable psyche bear Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s remark against her!

    1. The second reason is such that Hazrat Ali (a.s) had no control, whatsoever, on it! It was just coincidental and was the personal act of the Prophet (s.a). Hazrat Ali (a.s) was married to Hazrat Fatima, and politically it proved harmful for Hazrat Ali (a.s)! Not only for Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s life but for the History of Islam it proved a very crucial turn. First of all Hazrat Fatima was the daughter (perhaps the only daughter) of the Prophet (s.a)’s first spouse, Hazrat Khadija. The same Khadija about whom Ayesha once told to the Prophet (s.a):

    “Why do you remember an old hag who is dead and Allah has endowed to you better wives than her!”

    ---Sahih Bukhari

    Hazrat Ayesha was also noticing that none else enjoyed such affection from the Prophet (s.a) as did Hazrat Fatima! Later on Hazrat Ayesha had to see the days when in the persons of Hassan and Hussain (a.s), Zainab and Umm Kulthum, Hazrat Khadija’s memory was revived and her progeny progressed! It gave Hazrat Ayesha more sadness that she herself was issueless! This feeling was further aggravated when the Prophet (s.a) himself, and also his followers had started mentioning the progeny of Hazrat Fatima as sons and daughters of the Prophet (s.a). It is not only Hazrat Ayesha, but any woman whatsoever, wouldn’t be able to control her emotions in such circumstances. Hazrat Ayesha was first a woman and afterwards Umm al Momineen! If she felt envious, it isn’t surprising! The matter doesn’t end here but even Hazrat Ayesha’s father himself wanted to marry Hazrat Fatima. Whether Hazrat Abu Bakr felt it or not, Hazrat Ayesha was aware that her husband had rejected to give his daughter in marriage to her father and had accepted the proposal of Ali (a.s) instantaneously! Then the battles and campaigns took place under the observant eyes of Hazrat Ayesha when Ali (a.s) performed such feats of valour that the Prophet (s.a) used high words of praise for him that he never used for anyone else! In the battle of Khyber the Prophet (s.a) gave the standard to Hazrat Ali (a.s) which Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omer wished very much to get! The Prophet (s.a) had thus put the crown of valour on Ali (a.s)’s head and what remained was his declaration about knowledge! This felicity too was reserved for Ali (a.s). The Prophet (s.a) said, “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate!” Every felicity of Ali (a.s) was the felicity of Fatima and Fatima was the daughter of Khadija---the daughter who gave birth to the Prophet (s.a)’s sons! This was the travesty of fate as, otherwise, Ayesha should have had this privilege of mothering the Prophet (s.a)’s progeny! In all these events the only fault of Hazrat Ali (a.s) is that he was Fatima’s spouse! But, in addition, certain other events happened that turned Hazrat Ayesha against Hazrat Ali (a.s).

    1. Hazrat Ali (a.s) objected to the talk of Hazrat Abu Bakr at Saqifa Bani Saaeda and the basic cause of his selection as Caliph during that conclave! Then, as long as Fatima lived, he didn’t accept Abu Bakr as the caliph. Hazrat Fatima made an appeal about the inheritance in the court of the Caliph which was rejected by Hazrat Abu Bakr after much debate. Hazrat Ayesha herself has said that Fatima didn’t speak with Abu Bakr after that event till her demise and made a will that Abu Bakr and Omer shouldn’t be allowed to attend her last rites! Wouldn’t these events have affected the psyche of Ayesha?! Was she watching all the drama silently? No! Such forbearance may be there in angels but not in fallible humans! First of all she was Hazrat Abu Bakr’s daughter and thus she was Ayesha! If she still had any consideration for Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Hazrat Fatima, then she wasn’t a human being but a super human being!
    2. Hazrat Ayesha’s heart suffered another shock when Hazrat Ali (a.s) married Abu Bakr’s widow Asma Khatmiyya after the demise of Hazrat Fatima. At the time of the marriage Asma had a son, Mohammed bin Abu Bakr. Hazrat Ali (a.s) undertook the upbringing and education of this child and as he grew up, Mohammed bin Abu Bakr turned into a reflection of Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s thoughts and feelings! Perhaps Hazrat Ali (a.s) had strengthened his political party to some extent through this marriage. But certainly, for Hazrat Ayesha the scene of her step-mother and brother dancing to the tunes of Hazrat Ali (a.s) wouldn’t have been a very pleasant experience. The limit was that the same brother was arraigned against her in the Battle of Camel! At the end of the battle when Mohammed bin Abu Bakr went to meet Hazrat Ayesha on the orders of Hazrat Ali (a.s) they conversed as follows:

    Hazrat Ayesha: Who are you?

    Mohammed: Your good brother!

    Hazrat Ayesha: No! The disobedient brother!!

                 ---Tarikh e Tabari

    In this world of humans such events do touch the hearts of persons! Men and women will be unable to forsake their natural instinct. This will be the negation of the laws of nature which is next to impossible! Hazrat Ayesha too was subject to her female instinct. At times she would be so empowered with emotions that it would be difficult even to utter the name of Hazrat Ali (a.s). When she was asked who brought the Prophet (s.a) for offering his last prayer to the Mosque, she said, “On one side was Fadl bin Abbas and on the other side someone else!” This other person was Hazrat Ali (a.s), whose name, according to Abd Allah bin Abbas, Hazrat Ayesha didn’t mention!

    1. TALHA & ZUBAIR

    We have written in detail about Talha and Zubair while dealing with the event of the assassination of Hazrat Othman. Even if the thought that Qasas for the blood of Othman was a voice of their hearts will merely be a thought! For them it was just a slogan! Otherwise they had nothing to do with it. These two worthies were very active in the matter of the assassination. The only difference was that Talha was ahead and Zubair was discreetly lagging behind! The following event is recorded in the books of history. We are giving a gist of Tarikh e Tabari and Ibn e Qatida:

    “When Hazrat Ayesha departed for Basra from Mecca, Saeed bin Aas and Mughira too joined her contingent. On the way Saeed started conversing with Talha and Zubair:

    Saeed: If you succeed in your campaign, who will be the Caliph?!

    Talah and Zubair: We are two persons! The people can select whoever they like!

    Saeed:  It is really surprising! You people should select one of Hazrat Othman’s sons as the Caliph because you have stood up seeking reparation for Hazrat Othman’s blood!

    Talha and Zubair: How could we give the Caliphate to those youths ignoring the senior Muhajireen?!

    Saeed: Then I shall have to make efforts to see that the Caliphate doesn’t slip away from the progeny of Abd Munaf!

    Then Saeed and Mughira went to the presence of Hazrat Ayesha and sought her opinion. The conversation was in the following manner:

    Saeed: O Umm al Momineen! What is your destination?

    Hazrat Ayesha: We are going to Basra!

    Saeed: What will you do in Basra?!

    Hazrat Ayesha: We shall seek Qasas from the killers of Othman!

    Saeed: But the pity is that the killers are travelling with you!!

    After this Saeed and Mughira met Marwan and his companions among whom were Abban and Walid, the sons of Othman as well. Saeed asked Marwan, “Where are you going?!”

    Marwan: To Basra!

    Saeed: Why?!

    Marwan: To take revenge for the killing of Othman!

    Saeed: The killers of Othman are in your caravan! These persons, Talha and Zubair, have got him killed! They craved for the Caliphate. When they didn’t get it, they are now shouting hoarse that they would wash the blood with blood and obliterate the sin with repentance!

    Mughira: O People! If you have come out only in the company of Umm al Momineen, it is better to take her back! These are the persons who got Othman assassinated. If you are unhappy with Ali (a.s) on any matter, elucidate it! I appeal to you in the name of Allah! Why two unrests within a year?!

    Now we derive some benefit from Dr. Taha Hussain’s research:

    “Talha was against Hazrat Othman from day one! This was the reason he kept away when allegiance for him was sought. But Hazrat Othman appeased him and their relations improved! Then Hazrat Othman gave grants and further iomproved the relations. When the opposition of Hazrat Othman increased, as narrated, Talha too joined the chorus. When the opposition peaked he too joined the ranks of the crowds. When Hazrat Othman was besieged Talha was seen in the circle of the besiegers and when the Caliph was martyred he was among the persons who were surprised at Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s sorrow at the killing of Hazrat Othman. When Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s

    Bai-at was obtained, Talha and Zubair were among those who swore allegiance to him. Thereafter, they started claiming reparation for the blood of Othman and recanted from their allegiance to Hazrat Ali (a.s). Then on the Day of Jamal Talha was killed! The narrators say that he was killed when struck with an arrow shot by Marwan bin al Hakam. Marwan said that after this he never again sought reparation for the blood of Othman. Marwan had a firm opinion that Talha was most active in planning the assassination of Hazrat Othman. When Talha was struck with the arrow, he bled and he said, “This is the arrow which has come from Allah! O Allah! Avenge Othman’s blood with me to absolve me of the sin!”

    ---Hazrat Othman & Hazrat Ali (a.s)

    Keeping these events, and the characters, in view no one will say that there was any degree of sincerity in Talha and Zubair claiming Qasas for the blood of Hazrat Othman. It was just their opportunistic slogan. The matter ends at “enmity of Ali!” The slogan for “Qasas for Othman” wasn’t raised in any love for him but in “enmity of Ali”. The cause of enmity and opposition is clearly visible! When allegiance was being obtained from the people in Medina for Hazrat Ali, there was no sword hanging on the heads of Talha and Zubair that they were coerced to owe there allegiance! Every child in Medina was echoing the name of Ali. There wasn’t any one who could propose Talha or Zubair’s name for the Caliphate! Even if there was anyone, the voice was submerged in the unanimous voice of the huge numbers in favour of Hazrat Ali! There were curtains on the eyes and the intellects of Talha and Zubair! They knew that Umm al Momineen too was disappointed with the misrule of Hazrat Othman and had moved to Mecca! Therefore the right path for them was to think that the word of the people was the wish of the Almighty! I believe that they did owe their allegiance to Hazrat Ali because of some personal compulsion and when they wished to recant, they said that the allegiance was exacted from them under duress! At the time of the Bayt the people didn’t show any inclination of preferring them over Hazrat Ali (a.s). After the demise of Hazrat Omer:

    “On the occasion of Shura, Hazrat Abd ar Rehman bin Auf ascertained the opinion of the people and conveyed his decision that after Hazrat Othman the person most deserving of the Caliphate, who had the support of the people was Hazrat Ali (a.s). Therefore, it was the natural reason that people would turn towards him for the Caliphate! Not only in Medina, but in the entire Islamic Realm there wasn’t any other person who would attract the attention of the majority of the people! Even if the election was conducted according to the modern procedure of adult-franchise, the great majority of people would have voted for him! There is no doubt in the fact that Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s Caliphate was exactly according to the norms that were the norms of the Khilafat e Rashida! He didn’t occupy the position with any duress or force! He didn’t make the slightest effort to become the Caliph! The people unanimously chose him! A great majority of the Companions pledged their allegiance to him and, later on, barring Syria all the provinces of the Realm accepted him as the Caliph”

    ---Maulana Maududi-“Khilafat wa Mulukiat”

    In these circumstances Talha and Zubair had only two alternatives. Either they had to owe their allegiance quietly or like the other 17 Companions going into seclusion at their homes! These two preferred to pledge their allegiance because they had high hopes from Hazrat Ali (a.s). They knew that in Koofa and Basra none else had such influence over the people as they had and that Hazrat Ali (a.s) would entrust the governorate of Koofa and Basra to them without any hesitation. But when they realised that this wasn’t to happen, they planned to go to Mecca. Reaching there, their hopes rejuvenated. Hazrat Ayesha had arranged a special chess-board of politics there which had vacancies for persons like Talha and Zubair! Now they felt that their chances had brightened! They had come defeated in their search for governorates but here they saw the chance of getting the Caliphate because the strong hand of the Umm al Momineen was on their backs! Therefore they openly announced that they had owed allegiance to Hazrat Ali (a.s) under duress and that the iron-collar of allegiance was no more on their necks! In other words they felt free to rebel against the Caliph of the Realm! Now the dispute was about who of the two should be the Caliph and who the Vizier?! In this regard the following incident is of interest:

    “While departing from Mecca, Marwan stood in front of Talha and Zubair and asked them who, of the two, would be the Emir? Who of the two had been authorized to lead the prayers? Hazrat Abd Allah bin Zubair said that Abu Abd Allah, menaning Zubair, should lead the prayers! Mohammed bin Talha said, ‘No! The prayers must be led by Abu Mohammed that is Talha!’ When Hazrat Ayesha heard about this conversation she castigated Marwan whether he was trying to create a rift?! She said that her nephew would lead the prayers! Therefore, till they reached Basra, Abd Allah bin Zubair was leading the prayers. Ma-aaz bin Obaid Allah said, ‘By Allah! Even if we succeed in our designs, we will be enmeshed in trials unless Zubair leaves the Caliphate for Talha or Talha abandons it for Zubair!’”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    No event of history indicates that Talha and Zubair left Medina for the purpose of seeking Qasas for the blood of Othman! When they left Medina their plan was to perform the Umra! When they reached Mecca they saw the blooming garden of Caliphate where every bird seemed chirping the song of Qasas for the blood of Othman! They too joined the chorus and the crowds liked their voices! People started coming from far off places. Very few knew that the call was just for the purpose of achieving the ulterior motive and not to achieve the claim for Qasas!

    Before we wind up this chapter, we present to the readers the crux of the research of two of the eminent researchers of our times. First, we quote Maulana Maududi:

    “Two parties stood up claiming for reparations for the blood of Hazrat Othman. On one side was Hazrat Ayesha with Talha and Zubair and on the other was Muawiya bin Abu Sufian! Keeping in mind the status of the two parties one has no alternative than saying that the position taken by both of them wasn’t appropriate constitutionally. It wasn’t the period of the days of ignorance that taking up the claim for the blood of any person and wreaking vengeance on anyone, anywhere was in practice! These were the days of organized governance and the laws were in force! The claim for Qasas, according to the law was vested in the successors of the deceased who were living. If the establishment was wilfully delaying apprehension of the culprits, other people could raise the voices of protest! But what is this way of claiming justice from an administration when the claimants don’t deem it legitimate at all!! If Hazrat Ali (a.s) was the legitimate Caliph, what is the meaning of the claim that he should apprehend the culprits and punish them? Was he a tribal chief who could catch anyone without any legal authority and punish the person? The more unconstitutional action was that the first party, instead of preferring its claim at the Capital, in Medina, where the Caliph, the culprits and the successors of the deceased were all present the legal process could have been started conveniently, they went to Basra raising a big contingent and thus ensued a battle that caused huge loss of life and the administration of the Realm was disturbed! What to talk of the Shariah of Allah, even any worldly constitution and statute wouldn’t have tolerated such action!”

    ---Khilafat wa Mulukiat

    Dr Taha Hussain, after a prolonged discussion, has concluded his opinion in these words:

    “The argument or proof of Hazrat Ali (a.s) against Hazrat Talha and Zubair and Ayesha wasn’t in anyway lesser than his argument against Muawiya. Hazrat Talha and Zubair had sworn their allegiance for Hazrat Ali. It was now their duty to implicitly follow the terms of the allegiance to maintain the veracity of their Bai-at! If they didn’t wish to obey Hazrat Ali (a.s) and they didn’t want to help him in certain matters, they should have stayed away like Saad bin Abi Waqas, Abd Allah bin Omer, Ossama bin Zaid and Mohammed bin Muslama etc. instead of giving rise to conflict and indulging the people in battle! This way they wouldn’t have given rise to differences among the Muslims that you will notice later on. Now, about Hazrat Ayesha! Allah had mandated her to remain in-doors! It was binding on her to implicitly follow Allah’s Mandate during Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s Caliphate as she did during the regimes of the earlier Caliphs! She should have remained at home, issuing moral precepts, warning people against vicious acts. She ought to have busied herself in Prayer and Zakat as did the other Ummahat al Momineen! She should have reminded the people of the words of wisdom in the verses of Allah’s Book! Then, despite not owing allegiance to Hazrat Ali (a.s), she wouldn’t have faced any problems or hardships from him! ….. Anyway it was certain that Hazrat Ayesha would get an assessment from Hazrat Ali (a.s) of one of the persons who abstained and remained away from him! The way Hazrat Ali (a.s) kept the dignity of Hazrat Ayesha after the Battle of the Camel is a clear indication of the views of Hazrat Ali (a.s)!!”

    HAZRAT ALI & THE PEOPLE OF JAMAL IN BASRA

    Talha and Zubair reached Mecca four months after the assassination of Hazrat Othman. In Mecca, Abd Allah bin Amer had amassed huge wealth. From Yemen Yeli too brought huge amount of funds that he had to use 400 camels to carry the burden. They all assembled at the place of Hazrat Ayesha and discussion commenced there as to how and when the contingent should depart for the campaign. Hazrat Ayesha expressed her wish to travel towards Medina; but Talha and Zubair strongly opposed this move. They said how they could go to Medina which had slipped from their grip and that Ali (a.s) was controlling the place. They said that Ali (a.s) had coerced them to owe their allegiance to him! All the blame, they said, he adduced to them and had neglected them altogether!

    ---Tabari

    Some persons suggested travelling towards Syria. But Yeli and Walid bin Oqba opposed the suggestion. Abd Allah bin Amer said that help could come to them only from Syria. But since Muawiya was governor there, it wouldn’t be advisable to go there without his consent! He said the new grouping needed Muawiya, but Muawiya didn’t need their assistance. Muawiya added it would be better for the contingent to move towards Basra. He added that he had good influence in Basra and the people there had liking for Talha and they listen to him! Then Abd Allah bin Amer concluded saying:

    “If you overwhelm Ali (a.s) in Basra, then Syria too will come under your sway! But if Ali (a.s) wins, Muawiya could act like a strong shield for you. Another issue is that our contingent will not be able to stand the onslaught of the people of Medina. We can easily occupy Basra and make the people there agree to demand Qasas for the blood of Othman as we have done with the people of Mecca!”

    ---Al Imam Ali bin Abi Talib, Published in Egypt & Tarikh Ibn e Khaldun

    Everyone agreed to this suggestion. Hazrat Ayesha called Abd Allah bin Omer and invited him to join the Campaign to avenge the killing of Othman. But Ibn e Omer refused to join saying that he was with the people of Medina. Whatever they do, we shall do that! The spouses of the Prophet (s.a), who were to travel to Medina with Hazrat Ayesha stayed back when they heard that the plans were changed and she was going to Basra. Hazrat Hafsa thought of travelling with her but Abd Allah bin Omer made her change her mind!

    THE CONTINGENT OF HAZRAT AYESHA

    Ibn e Amer and Yeli got a public announcement made that Hazrat Ayesha, Talha and Zubair were departing for Basra and whosoever was sympathetic towards Islam and wished to seek Qasas for the blood of Othman could join the contingent! Among those who didn’t have their own means of travelling will be suitably provided! Ibn e Khaldun writes:

    Six hundred men astride on six hundred camels along with a thousand persons from Mecca and Medina on foot started the journey towards Basra. From the hamlets on the way more persons joined and the number increased to three thousand men! Umme Fadl bint al Harat, the mother of Abd Allah bin Abbas engaged a person, Zafar, from the tribe of Juhina and sent with him a letter to Amir al Momineen (a.s) in Medina. The caravan left Mecca when the time for prayer came. Marwan sounded the ‘Adaan’, went to Talha and Zubair and asked who of the two would lead the prayers? The son of Zubair said, ‘My father!’ The son of Talha said, ‘My father!’ The sound reached the ears of Umm al Momineen. She sent word to Marwan, ‘Are you trying to disturb our affair! The Imamat will be done by my sister’s son Abd Allah bin Zubair!’”

    ---Tarikh Ibn e Khaldun

    The other Ummahat al Momineen went with Hazrat Ayesha till “Zaat al Iraq” and then said tearful adieus to her! This was the reason that the day is remembered as “Yaum al Naheeb”. This was the place from where Saeed bin al Aas. Abd Allah bin Khalid bin Osaid, Mughira bin Shauba and other men from the tribe of Bani Saqeef separated from Hazrat Ayesha. Talha and Zubair, along with the remaining persons in the caravan continued their journey. Yeli gave one camel, Askar, for the use of Hazrat Ayesha which he had bought for 80 or 100 Dinars! Others say that the camel belonged to a person from the tribe of Azina which Yeli got from him through trade-in for another camel and Dh 400 and that person was engaged for taking care of the animal.

    THE SPRING OF HAWAB

    In stages, when the caravan reached the Spring of Hawab, the dogs there started barking. Hazrat Ayesha inquired the name of the place where they had reached? She was informed that it was the Spring of Hawab. Hearing this Umm al Momineen cried,“Take me back! Take me back! The Prophet (s.a) had told all his spouses one day, ‘How I wish to know that seeing which one of you the dogs of Hawab would start barking!’” Saying this, Hazrat Ayesha patted the neck of the camel and made it sit down. She alighted from the camel and halted there with the camel for one night. Abd Allah bin Zubair approached Hazrat Ayesha and shouted, “Help! Help! By Allah Ali (a.s)’s contingent is fast approaching us!”

    Now the caravan proceeded towards Basra in fast trot! A person who doesn’t believe that the Prophet (s.a) had the knowledge of the unseen, the abovementioned narration would seem ridiculous! But the truth cannot be denied that Hazrat Ayesha was strongly conscious of the wrong initiative. But it was too late that the arrow was already shot! She was now in the clutches of others and was helpless!

    Thus, Hazrat Ayesha, along with her contingent, deviated from the normal route and kept moving on till they reached the environs of Basra! There they came across Abd Allah al Tamimi. On oath he asked Hazrat Ayesha not to go any further and suggested to send Ibn e Amer because he had land and properties in Basra. He would be able to convey her message to the people there. Hazrat Ayesha accepted the suggestion. Her tent was pitched in “Hafeer” and she sent Ibn e Amer to Basra.

    HAZRAT AYESHA AND THE PEOPLE OF BASRA

    In Basra Othman bin Hanif was appointed the governor by Hazrat Ali (a.s). On receiving news of the arrival of Hazrat Ayesha, he deputed Imran bin Haseen and Abul Aswad as his envoys to Hazrat Ayesha. They reached “Hafeer” and went to the presence of Hazrat Ayesha. After offering their greetings they told her that the governor wished to know the purpose of her visit!

    Hazrat Ayesha: A woman like me doesn’t travel with a secret purpose and also the mother needn’t hide anything from her children! The matter is that rebels from many regions and the trouble-makers from the tribes committed murders in the Haram of the Prophet (s.a) and for no fault of his the Imam of the Muslims was assassinated! In this manner they shed the taboo blood considering it as a legitimate act! They plundered the things that are taboo and had no consideration for the Balad al Haram (The city where bloodshed is forbidden) in the month in which such acts are strictly forbidden! We have come here to ask the people to be virtuous and to ensure it and stop them from committing vices and abolish vicious acts from the world!”

    ---Tabari

    After talking with Hazrat Ayesha, Imran bin Haseen went to Talha and asked him the reason of his visit to Basra.

    Talha: We have come here to seek reparation for the blood of Hazrat Othman.

    Imran: Have you not owed your allegiance to Hazrat Ali (a.s)?

    Talha: Yes! In a condition that the sword was put on my neck! But I don’t have any differences with Ali (a.s) nor do I wish to recant from my allegiance to him! But we have only one demand that he shouldn’t come between us and our adversaries!

    ---Tabari

    After these meetings both the envoys returned to Othman bin Hanif, governor of Basra. On arrival Abul Aswad recited a couplet that was a clear hint that the parleys had failed. A translation of the couplet is:

    “O son of Hanif! While you are here, you should come out in the field (of battle) and take the people on the sharp edges of your spears! Battle with them, remain steadfast, pulling up your sleeves, and teach them a lesson!!”

    Hearing this Othman Hanif said:

    “Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi wa raajeoon

    We belong to Allah and shall have to return to Him,”

    and added:

    “By the Lord of the Kaaba! Now the grinding mill of Islam has started working! We shall see which part of the mill falls apart!”

    The arrangement for the battle commenced. Hazrat Ayesha and her men went forward and reached Marbad. Othman too got ready with his men. In this manner both the groups confronted each other at Marbad and voiced martial poetry loudly! Talha was standing on the right side of Marbad with Zubair besides him. Othman bin Hanif was on the left side of Marbad. Talha went forward to speak and said:

    “Because of you we feared the stick and the leash of Othman, then how would we not be infuriated for the sake of Othman! Remember! Your Caliph was killed in the state of absolute helplessness! We didn’t like certain of his actions! We frankly talked with him on those matters! Then he abstained from such actions and expressed repentance to Allah! If a Muslim commits errors, what more could be there than his expression of repentance and assurance to the complainants that such acts wouldn’t recur! But the enemies attacked him notwithstanding all this and killed him! This way they perpetrated three taboos, all at once---they shed his innocent blood, they did it in the month when bloodshed is taboo and they killed him in the city where bloodshed is deemed taboo as well!!”

    The people listened with rapt quietness but immediately after the speech was over they started shouting --- some against and others in favour! Then it turned into a free for all between the two groups!!

    ---“Hazrat Othman & Hazrat Ali” by Dr. Taha Hussain

    When the fight became too intense and persons started trading abuses, Hazrat Jarita bin Qadamat as Suri went to Hazrat Ayesha and said:

    “O Umm al Momineen! By Allah! Killing of Othman bin Affan was easy on us but your coming out arraigned for battle on the accursed camel is worse than that! Allah has mandated you to be behind the curtains and to maintain respect but you have come out of the curtain and compromised the respect! Remember! One who thinks it fair to battle with you will certainly think it fair as well to kill you! If you have come here willingly, it would be better you return back immediately! If someone forced you to join the Campaign, then take help of people to take you out of here in respect!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    Similarly a youth from Bani Saad went very angrily to Talha and Zubair and told them:

    “O Zubair! You are a companion of the Prophet (s.a) and Talha even rescued the Prophet (s.a) on an occasion sacrificing his own hand! I see that the mother of both of you is with you! I wonder if you have also brought your spouses as well for this battle?!”

    The youth also recited couplets which are given here:

    “You saved your wives and brought your mother to the battle-field! It is very unkind on your part!! You ordered your wives to remain at your homes and made your mother the instrument for your unfair plans to ensure that her sons fight with swords and spears to protect her!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    INCIDENTAL FIGHT & TRUCE

    The argument stretched into flaying of the swords by the opposing groups and fights commenced. When many combatants were injured, a truce was arranged to hold up till the arrival of Hazrat Ali (a.s). An agreement too was drafted that Othman bin Hanif would continue as the governor of Basra. The control of the governor over the arms and the treasury too was to continue. Hazrat Ayesha was permitted in terms of the agreement to stay anywhere in Basra as she wished.

    After the truce Othman bin Hanif got busy with the administration work. He was also authorized to lead the prayers. But the armymen had taken refuge in terms of the agreement but they feared that they might be troubled after the arrival of Hazrat Ali (a.s)! They thought that he will come with a big contingent and annihilate them. Therefore they decided to make a sniping attack on Othman bin Hanif. Tabari has described the attack in these words

    “Talha and Zubair gathered all their men one night. That night was extremely cold and also there was intense sand-storm which had rendered the atmosphere darker! The visibility was very poor. These two persons reached the Mosque with their men around the time of Isha prayer. They were in the habit of delaying this prayer. Othman bin Hanif went forward but Zubair and Talha forced Abd ar Rehman bin Atab ahead! At this moment scuffle started between the two groups and fight started with the contingent of Ayehsa. For quite some time the fight continued in the Mosque. Hazrat Ayesha’s men apprehended many men of the opposition and killed about forty of them. Talha and Zubair sent men to fetch Othman bin Hanif. When Othman went there, the men trampled him under their feet and pulled out the hairs of his beard. Talha and Zubair were very unhappy with the attitude of the men and they sent Othman to Hazrat Ayesha to get her opinion and order about him. Hazrat Ayesha said, ‘Release him and allow him to go anywhere he wished to go!”

    Talha and Zubair had already recanted from the allegiance they had sworn to Hazrat Ali (a.s) and this was the second occasion when they recanted from the written agreement with Othman bin Hanif. They incarcerated the governor, occupied the Bayt al Maal (the Treasury) and massacred its guards. The result was that Hazrat Ali (a.s) and his companions were furious and the people of Basra got divided into three groups. One group was expecting the arrival of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and was eager to support him. The second group joined Talha and Zubair and the third group remained neutral. In the words of Dr. Taha Hussain:

    “The leaders themselves weren’t happy with each other, Talha and Zubair differed as to who would lead the prayers. With difficulty they agreed that one day Talha would lead the prayers and Zubair the next day! This was open sign of rift and the state of affairs was the same till Hazrat Ali (a.s) arrived with a big contingent.”

    HAZRAT ALI (A.S) PROCEEDS TOWARDS BASRA

    Hazrat Ali (a.s) got intelligence of Hazrat Ayesha, Talha and Zubair moving towards Basra while he was still in Medina. The contingent that he had mobilized for Syria, he ordered to move towards Basra. In fact, his intention was to stop Hazrat Ayesha’s contingent on the way to Basra. In the last days of the month of Rabi Thani 36H, Hazrat Ali (a.s) left Medina. He named Sohail bin Hanif as his deputy at Medina and Fatam bin Abbas for Mecca. When he commenced his journey he had seven hundred men, or, according to another narrator, nine hundred men from Koofa and Egypt. At the outskirt of Medina Abd Allah bin Salam stood in front of Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s steed and said, “Amir al Momineen! You shouldn’t leave Medina! By Allah! If you depart from Medina you will not be able to return back nor will Medina ever be the capital of the Islamic Realm!” The companions of Hazrat Ali (a.s) overpowered Abd Allah bin Salam. Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “Don’t tell anything to the person because he is a much better person among the companions of the Prophet (s.a)!”

    The contingent left Medina and reached the stage of Rabza. There the information was received that the contingent of Hazrat Ayesha, Talha and Zubair was well on its way to Basra.

    HAZRAT ALI (A.S) CONVERSES WITH IMAM HASSAN (A.S)

    At the stage of Rabza one day, after completion of the morning’s prayer, a slightly heated conversation took place between the father and the son. Imam Hassan (a.s) stood up and conversed with his father thus:

    Hassan: I had made a suggestion to you but you didn’t follow my advice! The result, now, will be that you too would be helplessly martyred!!

    Hazrat Ali: You always keep lamenting like the girls! What was the suggestion that you gave me and I overlooked it?

    Hassan: When Othman was besieged I had advised you to leave Medina and go to some other place. Othman getting killed while you were around wasn’t good for you! When he was assassinated I gave you another advice not to accept the Caliphate till delegations arrived from other cities to support your candidature and selected you unanimously. Then, when Talha and

     Zubair opposed you, I suggested to you to remain quiet at home and leave the people to their own scruples to decide what they wished to do! I had told you to see that you don’t become the cause of conflict. But you opposed me in all these matters.

    Hazrat Ali: O my son! When Othman was besieged you advised me to leave Medina before the assassination of Othman! By Allah! If we had left Medina, we too might have been besieged like it happened to Othman! You had advised me not to accept the Caliphate till people from all the cities gave their assent. In fact the Bai-at is the allegiance of the people of Medina and the assent of the people of other cities is a subsidiary to the consent of the people of Medina and also I didn’t want that the Caliphate went out of our hands! Your suggestion to allow Talha and Zubair to compromise with others would also have proved a weakness for the people of Islam. From the beginning I faced opposition and when I got the Caliphate it was already faulty. You wanted me to sit quiet at home. How could I have done that when people were with me! How could I sit at home like an iguana which has been surrounded and the catchers are forced to think that there is no iguana around. When the hunters give up the chase it would come out of the hiding. Now that I have got the Caliphate, who else could think about it than me! O my son! Abstain from giving suggestions!

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    A LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF KOOFA

    After a few days of waiting at Rabza, Hazrat Ali (a.s) got the intelligence that Hazrat Ayesha and her contingent was heading for Basra. Hazrat Ali (a.s) was well pleased with the news because he had a feeling that they might move towards Koofa! He immediately wrote a letter to the people of Koofa:

    “I rate you people the best and I would prefer to live amongst you because I know your friendship pretty well! I also know that you love Allah and His Prophet (s.a) very much! One who comes to me, and helps me, he has accepted the Truth and has discharged the duty that has been ordained to him!”

    Mohammed bin Abu Bakr and Mohammed bin Jafar took the letter to Koofa and Hazrat Ali (a.s) stayed at Rabza to busy himself in the preparation for the battle.

    DEPARTURE FROM RABZA

    When the time for departure from Rabza was around Hazrat Ali (a.s) asked for his steed and the armour from Medina. His companions said, “Now we know what your intention is!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “I shall try to reform the people of Basra. If they listen to me, I shall give them my thought but if they attack, I shall restrain them!”

    As he left Rabza, a group from Banu Tay met Hazrat Ali (a.s). They said, “We are from Bani Tay and we desire to take part in the battle on your side because we owe allegiance to you as the Caliph! Hazrat Ali (a.s) said:

    “May Allah reward you because Allah gives higher status to Mohajireen---the combatants in the way of Allah---over those who stay-put at their homes! I am asking you one question, ‘Of what thing you wish to bear witness?’”

    Banu Tay: We wish to bear witness for everything!

    Hazrat Ali: May Allah reward you! You have arrived in submission! You had also combated with the dissenters (Murtideen) and recovered what the Muslims had lost!”

    Saeed bin Obaid: Amir al Momineen! I can very well achieve my intention (Mafi al Zameer)! I shall be overtly and covertly your supporter and shall combat with your adversaries at every place and shall deem over me your right that I wouldn’t deem for anyone else! All this is because of your excellence and nearness to the Prophet (s.a)!

    Hazrat Ali: May Allah bless you! You have expressed your thoughts very well! (This was the same Saeed who was martyred while fighting on behalf of Hazrat Ali (a.s) in the Battle of Siffin).

    After organizing the paraphernalia of battle Hazrat Ali (a.s) addressed his contingent at the grounds of Rabza:

    “Allah has given us felicity through Islam! He has advanced our status and made us brothers of each other although our numbers were small! As long as Allah wished the people followed the path that Islam was their Creed, the Truth was recognized and they deemed Allah’s Book as their Imam! But a time came when Satan incited and misguided a group of people. One person was assassinated and Satan created dissensions among the people! Beware! As dissensions arose in the past peoples (Ummats) it will happen to our people as well! We seek Allah’s protection from such dissension!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    After this sermon Hazrat Ali (a.s) asked his contingent to march. The contingent was about to commence its journey when a young son of Rafa-aa bin Raafeh stood up and asked:

    “O Amir al Momineen! When do you plan to go and why are you taking us there?!”

    Hazrat Ali: We are going there to reform the people, provided they listen to us!

    Ibne Rafa-aa: If they don’t heed our advice?!

    Hazrat Ali: We shall not then accept their excuse and present the truth to them!

    Ibn e Rafa-aa: Even then if they don’t agree?!

    Hazrat Ali: Then we shall defend ourselves!

    Ibn e Rafa-aa: There is no problem then!

    HAZRAT ALI (A.S)’S CONTINGENT DEPARTS

    Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s contingent departed in a very organized manner that in the front of the formation was Abu Laila bin Omer al Jirrah. The standard of the contingent was in the hands of Mohammed bin Hanifa. On the right flank was Abd Allah bin Abbas and on the left was Omer bin Abi Salama or Omer bin Safyan bin Al Asad. Hazrat Ali (a.s) himself was astride a red she-camel and behind it was tied a reddish-brown horse.

    The person moving infront of Hazrat Ali (a.s) was reciting a martial verse:

    “Make the swallow move faster,

    When bent on moving, move faster!

    So that they and you as well, attain felicity!

    We are proceeding to battle with Talha and Zubair!!”

    When the contingent reached the stage of “Feyd” a slave of Banu Saad bin Thalaba was standing there whose name was Marra. He asked the people of the contingent as to who they were and where they were going?! They said that it was the caravan of Hazrat Ali bin Abi Talib.

    Marra: This appears like a destructive spread on which would flow the blood of plenty of persons!  Hearing this, Hazrat Ali (a.s) called him nearer and asked, “What is your name?!”

    Marra: My name is Marra!

    Hazrat Ali: May Allah make your life bitter! Are you the sooth-sayer of the entire nation?!

    Marra: I am not a sooth-sayer but I do predict the future events!

    When Hazrat Ali (a.s) halted at “Feyd” men from Banu Asad and Banu Tay came and offered their services. Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “You remain steadfast in your place with the Mohajireen and that would be sufficient! Then another person came, whose name was Amer bin Matar, and met Hazrat Ali (a.s).

    Hazrat Ali : Are you from the clan of Banu Layt?

    Amer: No! I am from Banu Shaiban!

    Hazrat Ali: Tell me about the condition in Koofa.

    (The person gave a run-down on the latest conditions there.)

    Hazrat Ali: What are the thoughts of Abu Moosa?!

    Amer: If you are looking for a truce, Abu Moosa too is of the same opinion. But if you want confrontation, he doesn’t approve of it.

    Hazrat Ali: By Allah! My wish is for a truce and I desire that these people come back to me!

    OTHMAN BIN HANIF, GOVERNOR OF BASRA, ARRIVES

    We have already related that the men of Hazrat Ayesha, Talha and Zubair had overpowered the governor of Basra and had pulled out the hairs from his head, beard and the eyelids! Othman bin Hanif got released and in the same state he went to the presence of Hazrat Ali (a.s). When he met Hazrat Ali (a.s) he said, “When you sent me to Basra I was a greying old person! Now I am transformed to youth and have come to your presence!” Then Othman bin

     Hanif described the entire episode when Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “You have earned reward and felicity! The thing is that prior to me two persons (meaning Abu Bakr and Omer) became the guardians of the people and they acted according to the mandate of Allah’s Book. But when the third person (Othman) became the guardian then what he had done with the people is well known! The people owed their allegiance to me, even Talha and Zubair did the same, but they later recanted and have brought the people against me! I am surprised that these two persons remained submissive and obedient to Abu Bakr and Omer but they have turned against me! By Allah! Both of them know that I am no lesser than Abu Bakr and Omer! O Allah! Resolve the difficulty that they have created for me and don’t demean them in the decision they have made for themselves and give them realization of their evil actions!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    HAZRAT ALI AT THE STAGE OF ZI-QAR

    Passing through the stages of Thalabia and Asaad when Hazrat Ali (a.s) reached Zi-Qar he received intelligence that Rubayya and Banu Abd al Qais had separated from Talha and Zubair and were awaiting Hazrat Ali (a.s) on the way. Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “In the tribe of Rubayya Abd al Qais are the best and generally all persons from the tribe of Rubayya are good!” While Hazrat Ali (a.s) was at Zi-Qar the people from the tribe of Bani Bakr bin Wael came and requested, “We are ready to offer you our services!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) gave them the same reply as he gave to Bani Tay and Bani Asad.

    THE STATEMENT OF ABU MOOSA ASHARI

    At the stage of Zi-qar Hazrat Ali (a.s) was met by Mohammed bin Abu Bakr and Mohammed bin Jafar who were sent to register the support of the people of Koofa. They came away disappointed because the attitude of Abu Moosa Ashari, the governor, was such that no person from Koofa was agreeable to take sides with Hazrat Ali (a.s). Hazrat Ali heard them and said to Ashtar, “You are my representative in lieu of Abu Moosa. Take Ibn e Abbas along with you and try to improve the situation in Koofa!” Therefore, Ashtar and Ibn e Abbas went to Abu Moosa. However much they sought reinforcements of men from him, he continued to respond that he preferred to remain quiet in the matter till all the revolt was over! Ashtar and Ibn e Abbas returned disappointed. Abu Moosa assembled the people of Koofa in the presence of Ashtar and Ibn e Abbas and his speech is indicative of his policy:

    “Don’t involve yourselves in  trouble taking part in the battle because it is a silent conflict in which those who are asleep are better than those awake, one who is afoot is better than one astride! You become like the insects of Arabia, put your swords in the scabbards, break your spears as well as the bows! Help the down-trodden and keep sitting quiet till there is unanimity about the matter of the Caliphate and the conflict about it is over!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    When Abd Allah bin Abbas and Ashtar returned unsuccessful, Hazrat Ali sent his son, Hassan, for the purpose along with Ammar Yassir. Abu Moosa again talked the same way as he did on the earlier occasion. Zaid bin Tauhan got angry. He read aloud the letter Hazrat Ayesha had sent him asking him to sit quiet at home. After reading the letter he addressed the people:

    “O People! Hazrat Ayesha too was given a mandate and we too have received an order; for her is the (Divine) mandate to sit at home and for us the order is to battle till any conflict or mischief remains! Even now Hazrat Ayesha is ordering us for something about which she herself is under strict orders but she is doing what we are supposed to do!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    Obaid Khair too talked in a similar vein and turning towards Abu Moosa he said:

    “You do know that Talha and Zubair had owed their allegiance to Amir al Momineen Ali (a.s)!” He replied, “Yes!” Abd Khair asked, “Did Ali (a.s) do anything that one could break his solemn Bai-at with him?!” Abu Moosa said, “I don’t know anything about this!” Abd Khair retorted, “If you don’t know, then we separate ourselves from you till you learn about it!” Then he turned towards the people and said, “Amir al Momineen (a.s) has called you! Amir al Momineen Ali (a.s) is a Faqih (Islamic Jurist) and savant (Hakeem) for the people! Whosoever goes to him, I shall accompany that person!”

    ---Tarikh e Ibn e Khaldun

    Hassan bin Ali then delivered a forceful talk and explained to the people that his father’s mandate was based on principles! He, Hazrat Ali (a.s), says:

    “If we are aggrieved, help us; if we are unjust, don’t support us and fight against us! By Allah, Talha and Zubair were the first to owe their allegiance to me and are the first to recant from it!”

    ---Ibn e Khaldun

    This talk had a strong effect on the hearts of the people and all of them gave their consent to join the contingent. Abdi bin Hatim and Hajr bin Adi persuaded their tribesmen to take part in the battle. The result was that Hassan bin Ali was to take nine thousand men from Koofa along with him. Six thousand men went overland along with him and the rest on boats.

    THE FATE OF ABU MOOSA ASHARI

    After the departure of Hassan and Ammar, Hazrat Ali (a.s) again sent Ashtar to Koofa. He entered Koofa when strong debate was in progress in the Masjid e Koofa. Abu Moosa Ashari was standing on the pulpit and advising the people to stay put at their homes and Hassan repeatedly said, “You are the functionary appointed by us! Come off the pulpit!” At that instant Ashtar entered the Dar al Amara and ordered dispelling of Abu Moosa’s slaves. Hearing the sounds of the rumpus Abu Moosa went there. Ashtar shouted at him, “May your mother expire! May Allah dispel you from here!!” Saying this he asked Abu Moosa to leave the place by the evening. The people thought it a good opportunity and started plundering Abu Moosa’s possessions! But Ashtar stopped them from doing this!

    THE PEOPLE OF KOOFA MEET HAZRAT ALI (A.S)

    Hassan bin Ali organized the men from Koofa as a formation. Over the men from Kanana, Asad, Tamimi, Rabab and Maznia he appointed Mauqal bin Bisyar as the commander; over the tribe of Qais he put Saad bin Masood Saqafi, Over Bator, Taghlab, Alat he put Maghzoog Zaili; over Muzhij and Ashareen he put Hajr bin Adi, over Bajila, Anmar, Khasham and Azd Makhnaf bin Salim was named the chief. Over the people from Koofa proper Qaqah bin Omro, Saeed bin Malik, Hind bin Malik, Hind bin Omro and Hasheem bin Shehab were appointed as the officers. The persons selected to encourage the people to take part in the campaign were Zaid bin Sauhan, Ashtar, Adi bin Hatim and Yazid bin Qais etc.

    The contingent from Koofa went to the presence of Hazrat Ali (a.s) at the stage of Zi Qar. He welcomed them smilingly and said:

    “O people of Koofa! We have asked you to come and confront your brothers! If they reconcile with our thought, it is well and good! But if they stick to their stand, we shall treat them with equanimity so that oppression isn’t initiated from our side and we shall not let any unrest remain without reform! Insha Allah Taa-ala!”

    ---Tarikh e Ibn e Khaldun

    In this manner seven thousand two hundred combatants assembled at Zi Qar and the Banu Abd al Qais who were camping mid-way between Basra and Ziqar, awaiting Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s arrival, too were many thousands. Through the riverine route too two thousand and four hundred combatants were on their way!

    A COURIER SENT TO BASRA

    When this contingent was ready, the first step was seeking a truce, Hazrat Ali (a.s) sent Qaqah bin Omro as his emissary to the people of Basra. Qaqah was one of the companions of the Prophet (s.a). Instructing him, Hazrat Ali (a.s) said:

    “You visit Basra and meet Talha and Zubair and invite them to mutual amity of the community and put fear in their hearts against feelings and acts of dissent!” Then Hazrat Ali (a.s) asked this question:

    “If Talha and Zubair raised any matter about you on which I have not given you guidance, what attitude you will adopt?”

    Qaqah: Then I shall use my discretion to reply them. To the extent possible the right and complete reply will be given to them and appropriate action will follow!”

    Hazrat Ali: Certainly! You are competent to perform this task!!”

    QAQAH CONVERSES WITH HAZRAT AYESHA

    On reaching Basra, Qaqah first of all went to meet Hazrat Ayesha. After greeting her he said:

    “O reverend mother! What is the reason of your taking all the trouble to travel the long distance to come here as a guest?!”

    Hazrat Ayesha: I have come here to reform the people!

    Qaqah: Then summon Talha and Zubair as well that they listen to what I wish to communicate and I am able to gauge their thoughts!”

    QAQAH CONVERSES WITH TALHA & ZUBAIR

    When Talha and Zubair came, Qaqah told them:

    “I have inquired from Umm al Momineen the reason of her travel to this place! She has said that she came for the purpose of reforming the people. Do both of you agree with her or not?”

    Talha and Zubair: We agree!

    Qaqah: Then what is the way of reforming the people?! By Allah! If we see virtue in your plan, we shall certainly accept it! If we deem it not good, we shall abstain!

    Talha and Zubair: Conditions wouldn’t reform till the killers of Othman are apprehended and executed. If Qasas for his blood is overlooked it would be contravention of the mandate of the Quran!

    Qaqah: You have killed many persons in Basrah who were with the killers of Othman although matters could have been set right prior to this act! You have slaughtered six hundred persons. Only one person escaped with his life. The result of this action is that six thousand persons got infuriated and they forsook your company! If you battle with them, and others who abandoned you, all those tribes will attack you! Because of this massacre people of Nasr and Rubaiah have left you and are bent on fighting with you and putting you to shame! And all this because of the three persons who were killed! If you perpetrate such acts against the people of other cities, such calamitous destruction would result that existence of any population too cannot be expected!

    Hazrat Ayesha: Then what is your suggestion?

    Qaqah: For this calm and composure are necessary! When the atmosphere is congenial, and provocation and unrest is removed, calm would prevail and fears and apprehensions would depart from the hearts of the people! In such a congenial situation the matter of reparation for the blood of Othman can be handled! If you renew your allegiance it would be the cause of betterment and blessing and we would be able to demand Qasas for the blood of Hazrat Othman as well and there will be peace and tranquility among the people! If you don’t agree for anything less than battle, the Ummat would face calamitous situation and then claiming Qasas would become impossible! Allah will send calamities on the Ummat! You must become seekers of welfare and look forward to good as you did in the past and don’t involve us in hardships by creating impediments for Ali (a.s) because doing this you too will face destruction and destroy us as well! By Allah! I am come hither to sound on this!!

    Talha and Zubair: What you have said is absolutely right! You may go now! If your, and Ali (a.s)’s thoughts are these, we are ready for rapprochement!”

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    HAZRAT ALI (A.S) ENTERS BASRAH

    On returning Qaqah apprised Hazrat Ali (a.s) of the situation. They felt there was a likelihood of truce and Hazrat Ali (a.s) decided to go to Basrah and speed up the establishment of peace and tranquility. With this good intention, early next morning Hazrat Ali (a.s) asked his contingent to move forward. Very soon the contingent reached the camping grounds of the tribe of Abd Qais and its men too joined the contingent. Then they halted at Zawia and finally entered Basrah. It seemed the tribe of Bakr bin Wael eagerly awaited arrival of Hazrat Ali (a.s). All the men of the tribe joined the ranks. Akhnaf bin Qais too thought of joining along with six thousand men but Hazrat Ali (a.s) learned that he had executed an agreement to remain neutral. Therefore he told them that it would be better if they stuck to their agreement and kept 6,000 swords away from the battle!

    At the other end Hazrat Ayesha, Talha and Zubair marched with their contingent from Farza. On 15th Jamadi Thani 36H, at the palace of Obaid Allah bin Ziyad both the contingents took their positions opposite each other! According to Ibn e Khaldun the contingent of Hazrat Ayesha consisted of 30,000 combatants and Hazrat Ali (a.s) had 20,000 men. In the grounds of Basrah men from every tribe were arraigned against men of the same tribes---Madar opposing Madar, Rubaiah opposing Rubaiah and similarly men of all the tribes were divided in this manner. Negotiations for truce were on. Hakim and Malik who had gone to Talha and Zubair came back with the news that they were firm on what they told to Qaqah. In the evening ibn e Abbas went to Talha and Zubair and Mohammed bin Talha visited Hazrat Ali (a.s) to negotiate the truce. A sort of atmosphere of peace prevailed. For three days these circumstances remained and on the fourth day Hazrat Ali (a.s) himself thought of talking to Talha and Zubair to improve the exisiting atmosphere of peace! When he came out of the formation of his contingent he found Zubair was fully arraigned in his armour and was arranging the formation of his men! Talha too was with him. Seeing Hazrat Ali (a.s) they advanced towards him. It is said that Hazrat Ali (a.s) had gone totally unarmed! He didn’t even have his sword in his hand! He had thought that when truce was in the minds what was the need for the arms! Hazrat Ali (a.s) reached fearlessly near Talha and Zubair till the necks of the three horses they were riding, met each other! Hazrat Ali (a.s) first talked with Zubair.

    THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN HAZRAT ALI (A.S) TALHA & ZUBAIR

    Hazrat Ali: O Zubair! You have amassed plenty of paraphernalia for war and a large contingent of combatants! But tell me what you have acquired to present before Allah on the Day of Reckoning?! O Zubair! Fear Allah! Don’t become like the woman who weaves strong thread but cuts it into shreds! What are you doing and why?!

    Zubair: You have forced us to do this!

    Hazrat Ali: Me?! Am I not your brother in Faith?! Isn’t shedding my blood taboo for you and your blood taboo for me?! Can you mention any reason, whatsoever, that it makes shedding my blood permissible for you? We considered you are a progeny of Abd al Mutallib till your son, Abd Allah bin Zubair, grew up and created rift between us!

    Zubair: We want to seek reparation for the blood of Othman.

    Hazrat Ali (Angrily): Are you seeking reparation from me!? Open your ears and listen. You and Talha have been the cause of the killing of Othman! Your repentance will be in exacting Qasas from your psyche and submitting yourself to the successors of Othman! O! Zubair! Do you remember that day when we passed through the area of Bani Ghanam along with the Prophet (s.a) when he smiled and I smiled back at him?! At that you uttered, “Ali wouldn’t abandon his pride!” In response to your utterance the Prophet (s.a) said, “Ali isn’t proud! But you will fight with him and at that time you will be unjust!” Do you recall the event?!

    Zubair: (Bowing his head) Yes! It is correct! Certainly the Prophet (s.a) said what you have mentioned now!

    Hazrat Ali: Then! What is your opinion now?!

    Zubair: (In crestfallen state) No doubt! The event took place but the passage of time obliterated the memory of the event from my mind---By Allah! I shall not fight with you!!

    After the discussion with Zubair, Hazrat Ali (a.s) turned towards Talha. Now his tone was rather hard and harsh. The conversation went in this manner:

    Hazrat Ali: O Abu Mohammed! Tell me why you have come here?!

    Talha: To avenge the blood of Othman!

    Hazrat Ali: May Allah kill him who assassinated Othman!

    Talha: (Nonplussed): You gathered people against Othman and thus caused his killing!

    Hazrat Ali: O Talha! The day when Allah will make complete reckoning, He will judge! On that Day it will become known what is the truth! Allah’s curse on the killers of Othman!

    Talha: You stay away from the Caliphate!

    Hazrat Ali: You want me to demit the Caliphate?!

    Zubair: We shall leave the selection of the Caliph to the discretion of the Shura. If the Muslims support you, I too shall join them! Otherwise …..

    Hazrat Ali: Didn’t you owe your allegiance to me without any element of coercion?!

    Talha: I expressed allegiance when the sword was hanging over my head!

    Hazrat Ali: I didn’t force any one to owe allegiance to me. If I did that I would likewise have forced Saad bin abi Waqas, Abd Allah bin Omer and Mohammed bin Maslama to owe their allegiance to me! I just left them to their own scruples! O Abu Mohammed! Till you hadn’t owed allegiance to me you had the right to do what you wished! Now, there is no way out! What you have accepted you have perforce to stay at that! Yes! If I had committed anything that renders the Bai-at void then you will have the right to recant from the allegiance! Tell me, what have I done contrary to the norms of the Faith?

    Talha: (Remained quiet for a long while!)

    Hazrat Ali: O Talha! Haven’t you committed a major default that you brought your Mother (Hazrat Ayesha) out of the four walls of her house? ----Will this act please the Prophet (s.a) that he (s.a) wanted her to remain behind curtains and you pulled away that curtain and brought her out!

    Talha: Ayesha has come out of the curtain to bring about reform!

    Hazrat Ali: O Abu Mohammed! By Allah! She herself needs reform of her matters by someone else!

    After this conversation Hazrat Ali (a.s) returned to his camp and told to his men:

    “Zubair is convinced! I have asked Talha to confirm the truth but he uttered falsehood! Neither my truthfulness benefitted him nor did his falsehood harm me!”

    ---Sirat Alawiya Al Imam Ali bin abi Talib

    ZUBAIR ABSTAINS FROM THE BATTLE

    Zubair, fulfilling his resolve, moved away from the battle ground and went to Hazrat Ayesha. He said, “O Umm al Momineen! After due deliberation I decided not to agree to the decision you have made!”

    Hazrat Ayesha: What is your intention now?

    Zubair: I intend leaving the people to their scruples and go somewhere else!

    Abd Allah bin Zubair: First you have dug these two trenches and when people were falling, you want to abandon them and get away! In fact seeing the Standard of Ali bin Abi Talib you have felt that your death is under that flag! The brilliantly shining swords of the valiants have upset your senses!

    Zubair: My son! I have resolved that I will not fight with Ali (a.s) and I also recalled what he reminded me of!

    Abd Allah bin Zubair: Then pay the atonement money for the oath you have taken and take part in the battle!

    After this conversation Abd Allah bin Zubair called the slave, Makhol, and freed him. On this incident the poet Abd ar Rehman bin Suleiman composed some couplets, one of which is translated here:

    “I am surprised at one who tries to atone for his oath that he is releasing a slave to atone for the disobedience of Allah! In the eyes of his son breaking solemn oaths is a good deed!”

    ---Tarikhe Tabari

    THE TRUCE TURNS TO BATTLE

    A question naturally arises in the mind at this stage that despite all the sincere efforts why concord couldn’t be reached and all of a sudden the battle started! Perhaps the following points would resolve the enigma:

    1. The truce which was created by Qaqah was a pleasant mirage which gave momentary peace to some hearts. Otherwise there was no possibility at all for peace because there were very few persons who sincerely wanted peace and among them Hazrat Ali (a.s), Hazrat Ayesha, Talha, Zubair and the companions of the Prophet (s.a) can be counted! The rest of the contingents were raring to go for the kill! The common intelligence doesn’t accept the saying of Ibn e Khaldun that in the morning the agreement for the truce was about to be written, and preparations were on for it! The conversation that took place between Hazrat Ali (a.s), Talha and Zubair doesn’t indicate any intent for the truce! If such was the case the two persons wouldn’t have talked for so long with Hazrat Ali (a.s). They could have met Hazrat Ali (a.s) pleasantly and thanked him for his arrival and requested him to agree for the truce! But we see that the trend of discussion was like those of two antagonists! In the talk there wasn’t any mention of the terms of the truce. If these three persons didn’t have any idea about the truce, then who else were arranging the truce?! Besides this, when Zubair expressed his decision to stay away from the battle to Hazrat Ayesha why didn’t she ask him, ‘Which battle you like to abstain from? Who is fighting a battle against whom?’ Then Abd Allah bin Zubair frees a slave as atonement for his father’s vow to release him free from the wow that he wouldn’t take part in the battle? Didn’t Abd Allah bin Zubair too know of the preparations for the truce?! Why didn’t Hazrat Ali (a.s) mention about the agreement for truce during his discussions? Where was the highly confidential document being prepared? The thing is that there was just a talk for truce and emissaries were moving between the two groups but the result was nil! Only Hazrat Ali (a.s), Hazrat Ayesha and some of the companions felt that the battle will be disastrous for the community and the rest were raring to go for the fight! How would then the atmosphere clear without bloodshed?!
    2. The second matter is that peace wasn’t possible if only Hazrat Ali (a.s), Hazrat Ayesha, Talha and Zubair wished for it!The total strength of both the contingents put together was about 50,000 Among those fifty thousand men few would agree for a truce at this stage! The majority was eager for the fight! What to talk of others, even Abd Allah bin Zubair opposed his father when he made a decision to stay away from the battle and spoke with him in a very impertinent manner which isn’t desirable to be used by any son against his father! This father and son were the spirit of the ‘Battle of the Camel’ and had a harsh exchange when the father wished to stay away, what would be the thinking of the ordinary combatants! Their swords might have been eager to come out of the scabbards! In the contingent were Marwan bin Hakam and Abd Allah bin Amer who were ready to shed the last drop of their blood in the battle! In the same contingent there was abul Harba, Sabra bin Shaiman and Kaab bin Tur who were eager to start the battle instantaneously and were repeatedly telling to Talha and Zubair, “You are waiting for what?! Sever that head to end the story (meaning killing of Hazrat Ali –a.s). The contingent of Hazrat Ali (a.s) too was in a similar state. Even if he had ordered for truce the condition was the same as it was later on during the Battle of Siffin, dissension would have started among the men and it would just have spread! In his contingent also were those persons from Basrah on whom the men of the contingent of Hazrat Ayesha, Talha and Zubair had perpetrated cruelties and general massacre in Basrah and therefore their blood was now boiling for revenge. They couldn’t forget that Talha and Zubair had made sniping attack on Othman bin Hanif and killed 600 men as a revenge for the blood of Hazrat Othman and had destroyed the tribe of Abd Qais. Some of these people were also in the contingent of Hazrat Ayesha and they could have proved the fifth column for their own contingent. In the army of Hazrat Ali (a.s) the Egyptians too had to settle their own accounts. They had besieged Hazrat Othman and they had never thought they were on the wrong! How could they tolerate the opponents of this army that they had made formations for the purpose of claiming Qasas for the blood of Hazrat Othman! Their purpose, they thought, wasn’t the progress of the community but just seeking redressal for Othman’s blood! They thought that instead of taking the route of law to seek Qasas, they were taking the law in their own hands! When they heard the slogan of ‘Qasas for the Blood of Othman’ their own blood would start boiling and they got the craving to battle with those people!
    3. The third cause concerns the psychology of the The entire history of Arabia may not have any example of a horde of 50,000 arriving at one place with a firm resolve for battle and then going without any battle and not collecting the booty of war! Warring was their nature! They always abhorred peace. They took pride in dying astride a horse in battle rather than dying in a sick bed! They had arraigned themselves for battle. The poets had composed their martial dirges and the opponents were shouting invectiveas at each other! Who could have now stopped them from battling!! The poet says:

    “The human nature of confrontation would certainly manifest!

    There will be battle with friends, if foes weren’t there!”

    THE HYPERBOLIC (GHLUV-PASAND) ADMIRERS CREATE FABLES

    For a truth loving independent narrator the fact is what has been mentioned above. But the hyperbolic persons certainly create fables. They have tried to turn history into fairy tales! Their aim is to protect the Companions from criticism. They don’t care whatever happens to history! For this purpose they have divised a formula which is known as “Abd Allah bin Saba the Jew”! Whenever they felt that the slightest remark was coming against Hazrat Othman, Talha and Zubair they would bring forward “Abd Allah bin Saba the Jew” and throw all the blame on him! These people have to perforce do this! Their belief is that all the Sahaba (companions) are Adil (Fair and Upright) and aspersions against them are sin! Whatever fault they might have committed, to uphold the belief, they invent false stories and deem it a legitimate act!

    These narrators say that the one person responsible for the commencement of the “Battle of Camel” was Abd Allah bin Saba, and his cohorts, despite Hazrat Ayesha, Talha and Zubair being ready to sign on the dotted lines of the treaty of truce!

    Any more discussion on this would be sheer waste of time! Therefore we suffice ourselves with what the great reseaercher Dr Taha Hussain writes:

    “In this regard the hyperbolic opponents of the Shias talk such things which cannot be veracious because they are against habit and nature and only the simple persons get carried away hearing them, or those who wish to see the history narrated the way they want it narrated! These hyperboles say that the creators of the trouble about Hazrat Othman, when they saw that the truce was about to be made, worried and feared that after the truce they might be hauled up and therefore in the darkness of the night they confabulated, as did the chiefs of Qureish about the Prophet (s.a) at Dar al Nadwa and in the guise of Sh. Najadi, Iblees too was present there and took active part in the meeting! The Iblees of this confabulation was Abd Allah bin Saba who pretended to have embraced Islam and went from city to city corrupting the belief of the people. He is also remembered as Ibn e Sauda. The group kept confabulating and whatever resolution was proposed, Ibn e Saba opposed till a proposal came and Ibn e Saba strongly approved it as Sh. Najadi did when Abu Jahl made the proposal at Dar al Nadwa! The proposal in this instance was to make all the preparations (for the truce). But when both the parties stood opposite each other, started the battle without the consent of Ali! In this manner they created the flames of conflict although both the parties were willing for the agreement of truce!``

    ``The story is so artificial that there is no need to go to the nitty gritty about it. Ali Bin abi Talib and his companions were not so simple that some intrigue was going on in the camp and they remained uninformed! The real matter is what moderate historians have said that both the parties –Hazrat Ali and Talha and Zubair came across each other near Basrah, waited for several days and continued debating in that period but no tangible result emerged and what was to happen had happened-----``

    Talking of Sabaians and Ibn e Saba with regard to the Battle of Siffin, atleast one thing becomes clear that Ibn e Saba was a fictional character which was created when conflicts were going on between Shias and other sects. The purpose of the adversaries of the Shias was to enter some norms of the Jewish Faith in the norms of the Creed of the Shias. These were a part of some big intrigue. Otherwise if Ibn e Saba was truly there then certainly authentic history would have mentioned about it while discussing the Battle of Siffin and more so when dealing with the matter of `Tahkeem`` when differences cropped up between the companions of Ali and even at that time naturally this sect should have arisen but we don`t find any mention of Ibn e Saba when the Khawarij (the Dissenters) are considered. All the books of history are without any reference to this character while discussing the matter.

    What reference can be drawn from this silence? About the Battle of Siffin and the rise of the Khawarij why Ibn e Saba is conspicuous by his absence?! What is the reason for this?

    Tabari and the narrators quoted by Tabari and the historians who referred to Tabari about this episode, all of them mention about Ibn e Saba in connection with the intrigue during the period of Hazrat Othman and for the period prior to the caliphate of Hazrat Ali and are silent thereafter. No one remembers Ibn e Saba and his cohorts!”

    ---Al Fitnat al Kubra, Dr. Taha Hussain

    KHALIFAT AL MUSLIMEEN & UMM AL MOMINEEN IN THE BATTLE FIELD

    Dr Taha Hussain writes:

    “When Hazrat Ali was disappointed with the attitude of Talha and Zubair that they were insisting on battling he restrained his companions from initiating hostilities first and they didn’t take any action without his clearance. But the state of the stupid youths of Basrah was that they were perpetrating acts of hostility and throwing arrows at Hazrat Ali’s men. Innumerable men were injured because of this and were brought to the presence of Hazrat Ali (a.s). At this juncture he was requested to give approval for initiation of battle. But Hazrat Ali wasn’t in a hurry and didn’t approve of starting the fight!”

    --Fitnat al Kubra

    When the stealthy skirmishes of the opposition became too much, the men of Hazrat Ali’s camp became restless. They went to his presence carrying the dead body of a comrade and said, “O Amir al Momineen! See this comrade of our’s has been killed!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “Be patient!” Mohammed bin Abu Bakr became angry. He said, “How long can we be patient! By Allah! Either give permission to go for the battle, or else, we shall go away from this place!”

    THE LAST DITCH EFFORT FOR A TRUCE

    Mohammed bin Abu Bakr’s words pierced the heart of Hazrat Ali (a.s)! He got up from his place, put on his chain-mail, helmet, took out his sword from the sheath and tested its sharpness! But he once again thought better to negotiate rapprochement with the opponents. He asked for a copy of the Holy Quran and putting his hand on it he addressed his men:

    Who is the person who will approach the opponents with the Revealed Book and invite them to truce for its sake?!”

    One youth from Koofa got up and said, “O Amir al Momineen! I shall perform this task!” The name of the youth was Muslim!  Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “There is risk for the life of the person who performs this task!” Muslim said, “Even if I lose my life for the pleasure of Allah, I wouldn’t mind it!”

    Muslim went near the contingent of the opponents and announced aloud, “I am the courier of Hazrat Amir al Momineen (a.s) and I invite for a decision according to the Mandate of Allah’s Book!” The opponents responded to his announcement with swords and in a little time the youth was seen rolling on the ground in blood!

    Witnessing the scene Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “Battling with them is legitimate now!”

    THE BATTLE

    Now the battle was inevitable! Hazrat Ali (a.s) organized the formations of his army again and gave the standard to his valiant son Mohammed bin Hanafiah. Then he announced aloud:

    “My son! May the mountains move from their bases but you must be steadfast on your base! Clench your upper and lower teeth firmly! Dedicate your head in the service of Allah! Keep your feet firmly on the ground! Your sight should be on the far reaches of the enemy lines! Be sure that victory is from Allah!”

     The men of Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s army carefully heard every word of his talk. Perhaps no other general in the history of the world would have made such an exhortation! Mohammed bin Hanafiah bent his head in obedience and the word ignited the fire in the hearts of his valiant combatants!

    The armies were still brooding over who will first initiate the battle when Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s steed went like lighteneing into the formations of the enemy and was hidden out of sight as if it was hidden in dense clouds. Young persons of age 25 had heard stories of the battles of this Tiger of Allah but now they got an opportunity to see it happen in front of their own eyes! The cavaliers rose in their stirrups to get a glimpse! Even after a lapse of 25 years it was the same hand, the same scimitar and the same attack! When he returned after the first skirmish there was a literal flow of blood from his gory sword! He rubbed sweat with the cuff of his shirt from his forehead and straightened the bent sword by keeping it on his knee. He was very thirsty. Some person near him offered a cool beverage. After one gulp he said, “It seems the honey is from Al-Taif!” Malik e Ashtar said, “Even in this trying time you are able to distinguish between the honey from Medina and Taif!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) replied, “Nephew! Fear never made a niche in the heart of your uncle and he never has been awed by anything!” Saying this he placed the sword on his knee and again started straightening it. A few more moments must have goneby when he raced his horse again in the columns of the enemy and his sword was seen shining there!

    Hyder e Karrar awakened the spirit of swordsmanship among his men with these two skirmishes and sat back to rest! Now the right flank of the enemy forces attacked the left flank of Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s contingent. After some time it turned into a general battle!

    With the commencement of the battle Umm al Momineen Hazrat Ayesha entered the arena of the war. She was astride on the camel, Askar, in a litter around which there was a reinforcement of chain-mail and leather. Askar was brought to a vantage point from where the entire theatre of war could be observed! When Hazrat Ayesha’s litter was exposed to danger, she ordered for pebbles on which she recited something and threw at the combatants of the opposition. She also kept uttering, “May your faces blacken!”

    From Hazrat Ali (a.s)’s contingent someone shouted, “These pebbles aren’t thrown by you but Satan has done it!” Umm al Momineen started biting her lips in anger and began upbraiding her men to attack. Talha was already injured but even in that state he was encouraging the men to fight. Suddenly an arrow came from somewhere and pierced his leg in such a manner that the leg got strongly attached to the body of the horse. His blood filled the sock and Talha felt the pangs of weakness. He asked his slave, “Take me some where far from the arena of battle!” The slave took him to a dilapidated old house. After a few moments of reaching there Talha breathed his last. Most of the historians agree that the person who shot that arrow was Talha’s own friend Marwan! Hiding behind his slave, Marwan shot that arrow at Talha!! Marwan used to say, “By God! After that event I never sought Qasas, reparation, for Othman’s blood!” Marwan also said to the sons of Hazrat Othman, “I have taken revenge of your father’s killing against Talha!”

    ---Al Fitnat al Kubra

    Zubair had already departed from the arena of battle. As he went, he passed through the valley of al-Saba where Ahnaf bin Qais, keeping away from the battle, was waiting for its conclusion. When he saw the eminent general of Hazrat Ayesha’s contingent going away alone in that manner, he sent Omro bin Jarmooz after him. When he reached near Zubair his slave felt the danger. He whispered in his ear, “sir! The person is armed!”

    Zubair: So what! (Then addressing Jarmooz) What is your intention?

    Ibne Jarmooz: I would like to ask you some questions.

    Zubair: Ask!

    Ibne Jarmooz: Why didn’t you help Hazrat Othman?!

    Zubair: Allah wished Othman to be martyred and that we express repentance!

    Ibne Jarmooz: Didn’t you owe allegiance to Hazrat Ali (a.s) or not?!

    Zubair: The Mohajireen and Ansar had already owed their allegiance to him; I too followed suit!

    Ibne jarmooz: Then why did you bring Umm al Momineen to the arena of battle?!

    Zubair: Our intention was something in bringing her out and Allah willed something else!

    Ibne Jarmooz: And why did you offer prayer in the leadership of your son?!

    Zubair: On the orders of Hazrat Ayesha!

    Ibne Jarmooz: Then why are you escaping from the arena of battle while Hazrat Ayesha is still there!

    Zubair: Whatever you think! But I am not a coward!!

    Omer Ibne Jarmooz kept advancing but Zubair didn’t care.They stopped at a place for prayer. While Zubair was in the midst of the prayer Ibne Jarmooz attacked him with his spear. Zubair demised instantaneously. Ibne Jarmooz happily went to Hazrat Ali (a.s) and told to the janitor, “Tell Amir al Momineen that the killer of Zubair seeks permission to meet him!” Hazrat Ali (a.s) said, “With the permission give him the foreboding of consignment to Hell!”

    ---ibn e Khaldun

    The command of the contingent was in the hands of Talha and Zubair. After their killing, in the afternoon the battle was over and the vanquished men were fleeingtowards Basrah!

    RETURN OF THE CONTINGENT

    Some fleeing men of the tribes of the contingent took shelter near the litter of Hazrat Ayesha. When Hazrat Ayesha saw them surrounding the camel she reprimanded and ashamed those who were running away! The feeling of shame put clutters in the feet of those who were trying to escape. Most of them returned and now the camel of Hazrat Ayesha became the focal point of the battle. After the Zuhr prayer the fighting intensified. The command was in the hands of Hazrat Ayesha. The valiants of Hazrat Umm al Momineen virtually turned her litter into a candle around which they were like the perishing glow-worms! The youths of the tribe of Mudar staked their very lives for the protection of the litter! The dedication of the tribe of Azd was such that they were picking up the droppings of the camel, smelling them and shouting, ‘These are the droppings of the camel of our mother and their fragrance is more than that of the musk!’ The left and right flanks of the contingent didn’t any more have any sense of maintaining their positions. The battle was intense and the arms of the men holding the nose-string of the camel were getting severed and fell! There was no more space for using the arrows and the spears! Only swords were flayed! There were slogans of ‘Yaa lasharaat Othman!’ Hazrat Ali’s men raised the slogan of ‘Yaa mansoor e Ummat’! Hazrat Ayesha was loudly encouraging her combatants to fight and sometimes threw pebbles on the men of Hazrat Ali’s army and shouted, ‘Sha-hat al wajooh’ that meant ‘May your faces blacken!’ It seems that nature had given to Hazrat Ayesha the capability of a general besides other traits! Perhaps, prior to her no woman in the history of the world had commanded a big contingent in a battle! She recited couplets extempore and the contents of the couplets were such that the combatants would feel the fire of revenge in their hearts! If a general like Ali (a.s) wasn’t on the opposing side, no wonder she might have won the battle!

    Hazrat Ayesha announced in a loud voice, ‘O people of Basra! Curse the killers of Othman and his comrades!’ There was a loud roar of curses from the contingent!! Hazrat Ali (a.s) inquired about the loud sloganeering? The people said that Ayesha and her men were cursing the killers of Othman and his friends. Hazrat Ali (a.s) raised a slogan, ‘Allah’s curse on killers of Othman and his comrades!’ Then he went forward, raced his steed and went into the formation of the enemy troops like the very lightening! He ordered Abd ar Rehman bin Atab and Abd ar Rehman bin Harith:

    “Beware! Don’t abandon your station! Mohammed bin Hanafia says that ‘On the day of Jamal my father gave me the standard of the contingent and said, ‘Keep moving forward’ but when spears obstructed my progress, I stopped! Someone from behind said, ‘May your mother perish! Why don’t you move ahead!’ I replied, ‘I don’t have any way ahead! There are spears all around!’ The person took the standard from my hand. When I looked at him, he was my father! He recited the following couplet and moved forward:

    ‘O Ayesha! You have deceived yourself and made the people fight against each other!

    Instead of getting the ‘sons’ killed it would have been better if you yourself had agreed to yield!!’’

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    When Hazrat Ali (a.s) stopped the recitation it seemed as if the tiger had emerged from its lair! Protecting the standard in one hand he dispatched ten men of the opposition.

    Abd Allah bin Zubair says:

    ‘I was injured during the Battle of Jamal and had 37 injuries on my body. I never witnessed a battle like that! Neither we were getting vanquished nor the opponents got defeated! All of us were firm like the black-rock and whoever caught the nose-string of the camel got killed!’

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    When Hazrat Ali (a.s) thought about the situation, he got worried! He thought that as far as the camel, Askar, had its head up, the river of blood would keep flowing and even if the battle was concluded, no one will remain alive in Basra! Keeping this thought in mind, Hazrat Ali (a.s) raised his voice, ‘Sever the trotters of the camel! The men will themselves run away!!’ Hearing this command from Hazrat Ali (a.s), Ibn e Dalja and his men, who were fighting near the camel swiftly went and cut the feet of the camel. The camel fell down in severe pain! Abd Allah bin Zubair said:

    “When the camel was injured it raised a sound the like of it I had never experienced!’

    ---Tarikh e Tabari

    AFTER THE BATTLE

    Immediately after the conclusion of the battle Hazrat Ali (a.s) got the following announcement made:

    ‘Don’t chase those who are fleeing! Don’t kill any injured person! Those taken prisoner shouldn’t be executed! The men who lay down arms will get amnesty and those who seek refuge with our contingent must be provided safety!’

    On the other side Hazrat Ali (a.s) ordered Mohammed bin Abi Bakr and Ammar to take the litter of Hazrat Ayesha away from the arena of the battle and find out if she had suffered any injuries! This order was followed and also a tent was pitched over the litter of Hazrat Ayesha. Then Mohammed bin Abi Bakr inquired the welfare of his half-sister:

    Hazrat Ayesha: Who is this?

    Mohammed: Your good brother!

    Hazrat Ayesha: Qatamiya’s son?!

    Mohammed: Yes! Your obedient brother!

    Hazrat Ayesha: No! You are disobedient brother!

    Mohammed: Did you get injured during the battle?!

    Hazrat Ayesha: What have you to do with it?!

    Ammar: O mother! How did you find your sons battling with each other?!

    Hazrat Ayesha: Who are you?!

    Ammar: Your virtuous son, Ammar!

    Hazrat Ayesha: I am not your mother!

    Ammar: Why not, but much as you feel unlike it!

    Hazrat Ayesha: Since you have met with success you are getting conceited! Although you have caused harm to others, you too have suffered!

    At last Hazrat Ali (a.s) visited Hazrat Ayesha and said:

    Hazrat Ali: O Umm al Momineen! How are you?!

    Hazrat Ayesha: Alhamd u Lillah! I am fine!

    Hazrat Ali: May Allah give you Maghfirat (bless your soul)!

    Hazrat Ayesha: May Allah give you Maghfirat as well!

    ---Tarikhe Tabari

    Even after the defeat Hazrat Ayesha had the same temperament as she had out through her life--- the same anger, the same irritability and curtness! Along with all these she was also ready to retort! Even after the big battle during which renowned warriors were subdued, Hazrat Ayesha neither manifested any unease nor did she shiver with fear! She sat in the litter as if she was at home in her own room!!

    THE SLAIN MEN & THE BOOTY OF THE BATTLE

    During the battle of Jamal, 10,000 men had lost their lives fighting around the camel Hazrat Ayesha rode. At the end of the hostilities Hazrat Ali (a.s) ordered his men to gather all the material strewn all over the field of battle. Then he got an announcement made in the Mosque of Basra that people could pick up the material that belonged to them! The things that no one identified, he gave to his army men! The arms were deposited in the armoury!