History of the Caliphs

By: Rasūl Ja’farīan

Translation by: Ali Ebrahimi

p. 243-270
Upon his arrival in Kūfa, Imām did not go to ruler’s palace. The palace, in many years, had been converted to an aristocratic one.

When Imām was asked to go there, he said, “I’ll never go to palace of the owls.”

He then went to altar of Kūfa mosque and temporarily resided there. Afterwards, he went to Dju‘da’s house, son of his sister, Umm Hānī.[1]

Kūfiyāns as the victorious people in Basra warmly red-carpetted Imām.[2] At this time Damascus was the most important problem for Imām to think of.

From the years before Imām assumed caliphate, Damascus belonged to the Umayyads. Perhaps ‘Umar who had placed Damascus at the discretion of Yazīd and next Mu‘āwiya, children of Abū Sufyān, thought that the Umayyads deserve having Damascus if not rightful of seizing caliphate but because they were leaders of Quraysh. Henceforth, as earlier said, he did not make any changes to Damascus and even never remained critical of Mu‘āwiya. With the arrivel of ‘Uthmān, Mu‘āwiya was completely stabilized in situation. At this time, he regarded Damascus to be his own kinghood and mainly the imagination that he someday is deposed never occurred to him. Mu‘āwiya was very vigilant to have Damascus people be mentally fed by him and not by any other people. For the same reason he never let Abūdhar stay there. Subsequently, whoever came to Damascus intending to effect the minds of the people as Mu‘āwiya thought, he would be expelled out of there.[3] Anti-‘Uthmān rebellion on the part of the companions and other people made him treat the case cautiously. On one hand, he never decided to stand against the companions. In this case, it was hoped that if someone came to power, he would have no pretext to demote Mu‘āwiya because of supporting the deviated caliph. On the other hand, with the confidence Mu‘āwiya took in Damascus people, he could count on this point that he would have an excuse for rebellion given the fact that he is being set aside. It happened to be so.

Having come to power, Imām (a) was up to send ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Abbās to rule over Damascus. He primarily wrote a letter to Mu‘āwiya in which he asked Mu‘āwiya to accompany the aristocrats of Damascus to Medina, informing him that people murdered ‘Uthmān without his consultation but now they have selected him as caliph with consultation and consensus.

Mu‘āwiya failed to reply Imām’s letter and he only sent him a white letter writing, “From Mu‘āwiya to ‘Alī Ibn Abī Tālib.”

Someone who had carried the letter to Imām (a) said, “I am coming from the people who believe that you have murdered ‘Uthmān and they are pleased with nothing else but killing you.”[4]

This story was linked to the beginning affair of Djamal rebels that engaged Imām’s mind for some time. In this time, the story of Djamal provided Mu‘āwiya with another propagandistic chance. By referring to turbulence of Talha, Zubayr and ‘Āyisha, as the Prophet’s wife, he could fix Imām’s having a hand in murder of ‘Uthmān in the minds of Damascus people better than before.

After Djamal story came to an end, Imām (a) settled in Kūfa because it was obvious that he would soon fight with Damascus troops. In this case, it was only Iraq that could do such a thing. In the very moment Imām arrived in Kūfa, Shann Ibn ‘Abd Qays composed, “Now we are relieved from war with the infidels, but there is a horrendous snake in Damascus that if stinks anyone, he’ll be filled with a dead fatal venom in his body; therefore, in order to remedy, before it stinks, smash its head and throw it aside.[5]

It is to be noted that challenge between Damascus and Iraq, in principle, predated the Sassanids period. Arabs of these two regions, each was engaged in fighting in support of one of the two great powers of that time, that is Romans and the Sassanids. Of course, presently new immigrants entered this region and had different incentives compared to the past, but the old grounds could also affect it. Damascus surrender meant that its people had yielded to Iraqis. This could be true in the other way round. Ka‘b Ibn Dju‘ayl composed,

و أهل العراق لها كارهونا

أرى الشام تكره ملك العراق

يرى كلّ ما كان من ذاك دينا[6]

و كل لـصاحبـه مبغـض

“Damascus people dislike Iraq’s rulership and so do Iraqis, they call each other enemies and dismiss each other’s doings as bad.”

This was not an easy confrontation and it was clear from scratch that Iraqis and Damascus people will have hard days ahead.

‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās, some time in the midst of Siffīn war, wrote to Ibn ‘Abbās, “The situation has become very critical and know that,
[إن الشام لا تملك الا بهلاك العراق، وأن العراق لا تملك إلا بهلاك الشام.[7 “Damascus is only captured by destroying the Iraqis and so is Iraq by killing Damascus people.”

Shurahbīl Ibn Simt objected to Imām’s envoy saying that, “You have come to annex Damascus to Iraq?”[8]

In this time, other towns except Damascus and its suburbs swore allegiance to Imām [9] and Imām in Kūfa designated rulers for different regions of Iraq and Iran.[10] Mālik Ashatar was dispatched to Djazīra (including Mūsil, Nasībayn, Dārā, Sindjār, Āmid, Hit and ‘Ānāt). This region was specifically a key region because it was situated near Damascus and Dahhāk Ibn Qays was in power there on behalf of Mu‘āwiya. Djazīra people held ‘Uthmānī religion[11] and those of “the ‘Uthmānids” having fled from Kūfa and Basra, had taken shelter in some parts of Djazīra cominated by Mu‘āwiya.[12] Dahhāk-controled regions included cities of Raqqa, Ruhā and Qirqīsiyā’. When Mālik Ashtar went to Djazīra, he prepared troops and attacked Harān. He had an intense fighting with Dahhāk troops in this invasion. He could bring this region under his control.[13]

It goes to say that Imām (a) on his arrival in Kūfa tried to brighten public minds about different matters and prepare them for supporting him in the subsequent developments. He talked to the great people and noblemen and asked their support for himself against Mu‘āwiya. Iraq was then dominated by the same noblemen. Headmen of tribes were more powerful than the ruler of the city and Imām (a) could not reorganize things without attracting their attention. At the same time, Imām’s procedure was not to make progress in the affairs without consultation of people. This for people with no political perception created more desire of cooperation. In response to Imām who said that he intended to write a letter to Mu‘āwiya calling to his obedience, people said, “Whatever you do, we obey you. We obey you just as we obeyed the Prophet.” [14] Imām also decided to reveal the fact to those rulers of the cities who were appointed by ‘Uthmān and had no certain problems. Included among them were Djarīr Ibn ‘Abd Allāh Badjalī, ruler of Hamadān and Ash‘ath Ibn Qays, ruler of Ādharbāydjān.

According to Dīnwarī, one of the reasons of anti-‘Uthmān rebellion was to give rulership of Ādharbāydjān to Ash‘ath. This happened after ‘Uthmān married Ash‘ath’s daughter to his son.[15] Ash‘ath decided to flee to Damascus and only the shame he had from the side of his friends and their opposition to this action he took caused him to stay there.[16] Noblemen of Kūfa and other parts were given an audience by Imām and made excuses for justifying their no support of Imām in Djamal while strengthening their allegiance to him. Speaking about preparing to join Mu‘āwiya was something they were engaged in. for example, cooperation of Ahnaf Ibn Qays on behalf of Imām led to coming of Banū Sa‘d and Banū Tamīm tribes to Kūfa from Basra and this largely affected consolidation of Kūfa[17].

By sending a letter to Mu‘āwiya from Kūfa, Imām attempted to convince him to obey Imām of Muslims. Imām in a letter told him that his caliphate was based on then criteria and he had to admit it. Imām wrote, “verily the allegiance people in Medina swore to me is mandatory for you in Damascus too. The same people who had sworn allegiance to Abū Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmān have done so to me similarly, so everybody present here has no way but to decide upon allegiance and everyone absent has no alternative except abandoning it. Shuwrā is the right of Muhādjirūn and Ansār and when it is formed and the members agreed on leadership of a man called Imām, then this is the very consent of God[18]…if you are rebellious, I’ll fight you asking help of God. You’ve talked a lot about murderers of ‘Uthmān. First, go on the way Muslims cover and come with them to me for trial, so I oblige you and them to follow Book of God…and know that you’re released on parole and the liberated prisoners do not deserve caliphate and participating in Shuwrā”.[19]

When Djarīr Ibn ‘Abd Allāh handed Imām’s letter to Mu‘āwiya in which he asked him to stop his seditious actions and join the community of Muslims, Mu‘āwiya asked people to assemble in the mosque.

While praising Damascus as “sacred territory”, he said, “I am your caliph on behalf of ‘Umar Ibn Khattāb and ‘Uthmān. I am guardian for blood of ‘Uthmān who has been oppressedly killed. What do you say about blood of ‘Uthmān?”

All people declared their support of his revenge for ‘Uthmān. This was Mu‘āwiya’s response to Imām (a). What was more interesting in Mu‘āwiya’s speech was that he said he had been appointed to rule Damascus on behalf of ‘Umar.[20]

‘Uthmān also said, “How should I depose Mu‘āwiya from Damascus while ‘Umar has appointed him?”

This was while he had demoted many of ‘Umar’s agents from different cities.[21] By deceiving Shurahbīl Simt Kindī, one of Damascus noblemen and headman of Yemenis[22], Mu‘āwiya could draw support of many of Damascus people.[23] Mu‘āwiya regularly sent people to him to give testimony that ‘Alī has murdered ‘Uthmān. Account of this deception shows stupidity of Shurahbīl and those who followed him and Mu‘āwiya.[24]

Mu‘āwiya told Djarīr Ibn ‘Abd Allāh, representative of Imām, “Write to ‘Alī to set Damascus and Egypt for me and when he passed away, he should not leave allegiance of anybody to me. In this case, I entrust everything to him and know him a caliph.” Djarīr wrote this to Imām and Imām replied, “Mughīra in Medina suggested this to me and I rejected. I do not do such a thing because, لم يكن الله ليراني أتّخذ المضلين عضدا “God never sees me in a position of taking advantage of the deviators as my arms.”[25]

In fact, Mu‘āwiya tended to capture Damascus unequivocally and even if Imām ‘Alī is caliph, the region should be in his control in the form of an independent emirate. When Mu‘āwiya made speech in Damascus, he said, “Why is ‘Alī in caliphate superior to me. If Hidjāz people have sworn allegiance to him, Damascus people have done so to me. These two regions are equal in this regard.”

He also in a letter wrote to Imām, “As long as people of Hidjāz observe the truth, they were more preferred than Damascus people. But now since they have abandoned the truth, the truth belongs to the Damascus people.”[26]

Replying him, Imām wrote, “As for what you said about “now people of Damascus are superior to people of Hidjāz”, show me a man from Quraysh who can be approved in Shuwrā or his caliphate can be legal. If you claim so, Muhādjirūn and Ansār deny you … allegiance to me is generally sworn and nobody can oppose it and there will be no revision.” [27]

At this time, Mu‘āwiya was called emir rather than “Amīr al-Mu’minīn” in Damascus; nevertheless, there were people who applied this term to Mu‘āwiya. The first man to call Mu‘āwiya Amīr al-Mu’minīn was Hadjdjadj Ibn Khuzayma who in his first meeting with Mu‘āwiya said, “Your uncles descendants from Banū ‘Abd al-Mutallib killed your Shiykh.” [28]

However, Djarīr Ibn ‘Abd Allāh Badjalī returned from Damascus to Kūfa after four months.[29] Mālik punished him hard and blamed him for selling his religion to Mu‘āwiya in Damascus. A short while later, Djarīr left Kūfa for Qirqīsa while a large number of people from Badjala-excluding nineteen people–joined him. After Djarīr along with Thuwayr Ibn ‘Āmir left for the place, Imām set ablaze their houses.[30]

This time, ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās lived in Palestine. He stood aside and went to Palestine after his opposition to ‘Uthmān that essentially emanated from ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Sa‘d Ibn Abī Sarh who was put in his place in Egypt. From there, he provoked people and even serfs against ‘Uthmān.[31] He is said after murder of ‘Uthmān to have asked his children what he must do.

His son said, “Go to ‘Alī.”

‘Amr said, “If I go to ‘Alī now, he’ll say, “You are like one of the Muslims enjoying equal rights as they do”, “but Mu‘āwiya considers me as his partner.”[32]

Mu‘āwiya felt that he could be of an important help to him. At the same time, Mu‘āwiya as in all cases, by touching ‘Amr’s weak point that is government of Egypt, asked his accompaniment. Mu‘āwiya, it is said, asked ‘Amr to rush to him after he received Imām’s letter through Djarīr Ibn ‘Abd Allāh.[33] It is also said that his son, ‘Abd Allāh, bewared him of his action [34], but Muhammad, his another son, induced him to do that. ‘Amr himself expressed his initial hesitation in a piece of poetry.[35]

However, ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās was more corrupt than to overlook government of Egypt. He was primarily one member of Abū Bakr and ‘Umar’s band. He commanded the conquests and ‘Uthmān had set him aside because he used the help of his relatives in this regard. In essence, ‘Amr was one of the organs of Quraysh party who was at odds with the Hāshimites. He quickly made his decision and joined hands with Mu‘āwiya after being assured that he could gain the world, that according to him was government of Egypt, by selling his religion. Talking to Mu‘āwiya, he composed,

بذلك دنيا فانظر كيف تصنع

معاوي لا اعطيك ديني و لم أنل

أخذت بها شيخاً يضرّ وينفع [36]

فإن تعطني مصراً فأربح بصفقة

“O Mu‘āwiya! I sell not my religion for you and I sought not a benefit from your world, now this is you and all this, so if you give rulership of Egypt to me, I am fully benefitted.”

It was a great success for Mu‘āwiya to see ‘Amr joining him. The first thing Mu‘āwiya consulted was about Roman troops. ‘Amr proposed a compromise and said that Romans would quickly accept it.[37] Mu‘āwiya put this into effect and Imām (a) mentioned it in one of his speeches.[38] ‘Ubayd Allāh Ibn ‘Umar joining Mu‘āwiya in Damascus-that was because he feared Imām retaliating him for murder of Hurmuzān and two other people in Medina[39]-complemented Mu‘āwiya’s excuse in having son of caliph II in his hands and this was publicly and highly important to Mu‘āwiya who counted on this.[40]

Mu‘āwiya began his propaganda for betraying people of Medina and Mecca as well as the renowned authorities in different cities. He wrote to Medinans that we have risen up in revenge for ‘Uthmān. If we become victorious, we will settle everything as Shuwrā manipulated by ‘Umar and we are not after caliphate. Medinans were irritated by what Mu‘āwiya and ‘Amr said about caliphate and mentioned this important principle to them that “Tulaqā” (those released on parole) have no right to speak about caliphate.[41] Mu‘āwiya made an effort to deceive people like Sa‘d Ibn Abī Waqqās, ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Umar, Muhammad Ibn Maslama and Usāma Ibn Zayd whom he heard had not sworn allegiance to Imām (a) or had been unwilling to obey him in his wars. He in these letters regularly talked about Shuwrā. None of the people mentioned responded him favorably.

Sa‘d Waqqās also wrote, “‘Umar let no body in Shuwrā unless those who were rightful of the caliphate. Presently, there is some disagreement with ‘Alī on the fact that it would be good if Talha and Zubayr stayed home.” [42]

We know that the bottom line of all Sa‘d’s speech was that he deserved caliphate because ‘Alī (a) has a problem and others are all dead. The only person remaining is Sa‘d Waqqās!

‘Alī’s idea about “Qā‘idīn” was that, خذلوا الحق ولم ينصروا الباطل “These people downgraded the gospel truth and assisted not the credal error.”[43]

Mu‘āwiya wrote to ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Umar, “He does not want caliphate for himself but he wants it for you. ‘Abd Allāh rejected his suggestion.” [44]

This time, Imām (a) and Mu‘āwiya exchanged two detaile letters which contained important points.

Mu‘āwiya in his letter wrote to Imām that, “After the Prophet there were caliphs who came to power and you were envious of them and rebelled against them and we realized that rebellion in your wrathful look, your outcry, your sigh and in your delayed allegiance to caliphs, seeing that you were pulled like a male nose-ringed two-humped camel by force to reluctantly pay allegiance to them.”

Further, Mu‘āwiya spoke about Imām’s enmity to ‘Uthmān and the fact that he was killed in his house and he remained quiet.

Mu‘āwiya also said that, “If ‘Alī wanted to stop ‘Uthmān’s murder, he could do it, but he did not. Now if ‘Alī tells he truth, he can leave ‘Uthmān’s murderers to me for allegiance.”

In his response, ‘Alī (a) by referring to the victory God bestowed on the Prophet (s) and that He suppressed his enemies, mentioned that, “The people who mostly insisted on provocation against him were his family.” Imām further said that they, Ahl al-Bayt, was the first people who believed the Prophet (s) while his tribesmen were up to kill their Prophets, wanted to uproot them and leave them in their hearts with sorrow and did the intemperate things to them. He also added that, “We were banned from having good food and drinking fresh clean water and granted us dismay. We were placed spies and guards, were forced to climb up unevenly impassable mount and were waged war. They put down a treaty not to eat, drink, marry and trade with us and never join hands with us, leaving us unsafe unless we hand them the Prophet (s) to be killed.” By mentioning what pains he had taken in the wars in time of the Prophet (s), Imām further said, “You spoke of my envy of caliphs of my belated allegiance to them and of my rebellion against them. As for rebellion, I invoke by God if that could be true. Concerning my delayed approval of them as well as being displeased with what they did, I never apologize anybody for this.”

Imām (a) continued to say his reason for his rightfulness of caliphate. He also talked about his no implication in murdering of ‘Uthmān, citing Abū Sufyān’s idea about Saqīfa event and that he asked Imām not to let Abū Bakr capture caliphate but to make him pay allegiance to him. “I refused, Imām added, to do so because people were almost close to days of infidelity and I strongly feared disunity among Muslims.” [45]

This letter is a major proof of Imām’s attitude towards caliphs and his idea about his rightful caliphate. After this, he wrote letters to Mu‘āwiya and ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās, trying to keep them away from the wrong way they were after.[46]

Imām (a) became determined to Djihād with Mu‘āwiya. He repetitively recited this to himself, [امرت بقتال الناكثين والقاسطين والمارقين[47 “Now, it is turn of the deviators, the apostates and the infidels to be launched a Djihād by Imām.”

Imām called his outstanding companions of Muhādjirūn and Ansār, asking them to express their idea about going to Damascus. Hāshim Ibn ‘Utba, nephew of Sa‘d Ibn Abī Waqqās said that those people allegedly claim about revenge for ‘Uthmān. They seek after this world and they must be suppressed as soon as possible.

‘Ammār said that if they rushed one day earlier, it would be better. He composed,

سيروا فخير الناس أتباع علي[48]

سيروا إلى الأحزاب أعداء النبي

“Move towards the parties and enemies of the Prophet because the best people are ‘Alī’s followers.”

Qays Ibn Sa‘d said, “Making Djihād with them is more obligatory than the one with the Turks and Romans.

Sahl Ibn Hunayf also declared Ansār’s readiness for joining and obeying Imām (a). Among the people there, one person objected and said, “You want to dispatch us to kill our Damascus brethren as you took us, yesterday, to kill our Basran brothers!” People began to crack him down. The man ran away and the people after him leading to his murder in public turbulence in Bāzār.[49]

Mālik Ashtar said, “You shouldn’t be fretted with what this wretched traitor said. All people are your Shi‘ite Muslims.” [50]

Kūfa environment was, at this time, so good that no one dared disagree or even express dissent. Among the people, one who raised such and idea was Han¨ala Ibn Rabi‘a. His tribesmen put him under so much pressure that he nightly fled and joined Mu‘āwiya though he seemed not to have taken part in the war.[51]

However, even people who were fairly decent more or less remained in doubt. Abū Zubayb Ibn ‘Awf asked Imām to officially testify that the way followed to cut off Wilāyat’s link to Damascus troops and replaced with enmity to them is a true one. Imām attested that. After Imām (a), ‘Ammār

attested that and he became assured of his way, relying on the two testimonies.[52]

Some people from companions of ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Mas‘ūd – once in charge of Kūfa’s Bayt al-Māl – came to Imām and said, “We come with you but our division base will be independent. This is because we want to see who is after the credal error and embarks on rebellion.”

Imām approved of their idea. One group of four hundred people led by Rabi‘a Ibn Khuthaym, expressing doubt about the war, asked Imām to send them to one of the borderlines. Imām sent them to Riy borderline and Bāhila people who were displeased with Imām (a) and nor was Imām pleased with them were sent to Diylam frontier after he granted them their bounties.[53]

‘Abd Allāh Ibn Badīl while in his speech confirming Imām’s position said to Imām, “Their opposition to you is because of your previous strikes against them.” He then said to people, “How should Mu‘āwiya pay allegiance to ‘Alī while his brother, Han¨ala, his uncle, Walīd and his grandfather, ‘Utba are all killed in one war?” [54]

Hudjr Ibn ‘Adī and ‘Amr Ibn Hamiq marched and began to curse Damascus people. Imām summoned them and said that he did not like them to be known after curses. Instead, they could ask God to stop bloodshed and make peace.

‘Amr Ibn Hamiq stressed over hid friendship with Imām and Imām prayed for him.[55] ‘Amr stood on his pledge until he was martyred by Ibn Umm al-Hakam, Mu‘āwiya’s ruler in Djazīra.

Imām in a public sermon called all people to Djihād after he was assured of the fact that Mu‘āwiya receives nothing but force and on the other hand, lords of Kūfa defend him in war with Damascus.

After him, Imām Hasan (a) began to speak, “God prepared for battling against your enemy, Mu‘āwiya and his troops because he is already in state of alert. Leave not your spirit of campaign that, if abandoned, casts off bonds of hearts and that careering of sword and spear assures assistance and prevention of defeat.”

After him, Imām Husayn (a) induced people, in a speech, to fight with Damascus people.[56]

Imām wrote to Ibn ‘Abbās to ask for Basrans’ help. Many Basrans, after being called by Imām, joined Ibn ‘Abbās to Kūfa. Ibn ‘Abbās put Abu l-Aswad Du’alī in his place in Basra. He wrote to Mikhnaf Ibn Sālim to put somebody in his place in Isfahān and join Imām and he did so.

At this time, Muhammad Ibn Abī Bakr was ruler of Egypt on behalf of Imām. Writing a detailed letter to Mu‘āwiya, he blamed Mu‘āwiya for countering with Imām.

Muhammad wrote as to Imām ‘Alī’s background,

“Now I see that you talk about being his counterpart while you’re you and he’s he who beats all with his unique record of all alms and virtues. He is from the people of the first man who has embraced Islam, more reliable in faith, more purified in family, having an honorable wife who stands higher than all people and he is of the best people to his cousin. Whilst you are damned of the cursed son. You and your father flamed seditions against religion of God and attempted to put out glow of Islam. You organized factions and parties, collected properties and for so doing, you held familiar company with anti-Islam tribes. Your father died after this way and you substituted him and the evidence is that the remaining groups, opposition parties, hypocrite leaders who have taken refuge in you are against the Prophet (s) and you have supported them. And the evidence for ‘Alī, in addition to his public superiority and his Islamic initiative, is his companions of Muhādjirūn and Ansār whose virtues are cited in Qur’ān and left in memories and God praised them …. Woe unto you! How do you parallel yourself to ‘Alī whereas he is legatee of the Prophet (s) and his descendants and is the first man who obeyed him and stood up to his promise until his last days of life. The Messenger (s) kept him his confidant and his partner.”

Replying him, Mu‘āwiya wrote,

“To one who reproaches his father. Your letter is received … You charged your father intemperately … We and your father were together in the lifetime of the Prophet. We know that we have to respect the right of son of Abū Tālib and his supremacy over us is apparent, … After the Prophet in that time, your father and his discriminator were the first people who disentitled ‘Alī of his right and opposed him and they both unanimously allied with each other in this regard … They never let him in their works and never revealed their secrets to him as long as they passed away… Therefore, if what we are up to is true, your father initiated it and if it is cruelty, your father again founded it. We are his partners and we followed his guidelines. In case your father had not covered this way before us, we would have never opposed son of Abū Tālib and would have surrendered ourselves. But we observed what your father did and we too followed his foot-prints and modeled his manner.” [57]

Kūfa poised for battle with Damascus. Imām ordered the warriors in Nukhayla, a military camp in Kūfa, to come together. Decorating pulpit of Kūfa with the bloody garment of ‘Uthmān, while seventy thousand Shiykhs weeping around it, Mu‘āwiya was made to prepare Damascus people for battling Iraqi troops.[58] Imām’s uprising from Nukhayla happened on 5th of Shawwāl, 36 H.[59] The first dispute raised in Imām’s troops was conflict over headmanship of Yemenī tribes. Imām (a) deposed Ash‘ath and posed Hassān Ibn Makhdūdj. This spurred conflict between Kinda and Rabi‘a. Upon hearing about this conflict, Mu‘āwiya compelled one of Kinda poets to stimulate Ash‘ath against Imām but he obtained no luck in that time and this was finished by placing him over the left wing of Iraqi troops.[60] Unfortunately, the enfeebled, spoiled and opportunist spirit of Ash‘ath caused him to stand against Imām. It has been said that he had been writing letters to Mu‘āwiya ever since Imām called him to Ādharbāydjān and ordered to have his properties appraised.[61] Ya‘qūbī has mentioned his relationship with Mu‘āwiya when Qur’āns were raised up.[62]

Imām (a) en route arrived in Ctesiphon and asked the citizens to join his troops. Behind Imām, eight hundred people along with Qays Ibn Sa‘d and a short while later about four hundred people along with his son, Yazīd, joined Imām’s troops. Imām on the way turned down all gifts of Iranian headmen and bewared them of welcoming emirs in such a way.[63] Upon request of his companions, Imām wrote another letter to Mu‘āwiya and called him to Book of God, tradition of the Prophet (s) and prevention of bloodshed but Mu‘āwiya poetically responded him that there rules sword between them.[64] On the way, Imām (a) demanded Raqqa ‘Uthmānī – religion people[65] who were supporters of Mu‘āwiya to install a bridge over the river for the troops to pass. Citizens refused to do so and they finally did it under the threat of Mālik. Imām kept three thousand people with Mālik until all the forces pass through. In the end, Mālik was the last one who crossed the bridge.[66] On passing through Iraq, when Imām reached Karbalā, he reported about the horrendous event that would happen to Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (s) in this land.[67]

In northern Iraq and Syria, front troops at Roman border, by passing through Hīt, Qirqīsiyā’ and Raqqa faced front forces of Damascus led by Abu l-A‘war Sulamī.

Imām sent Mālik forward to counter with them reaffirming to him that he, at any rate, should not initiate the war. Upon his arrival, Damascus troops launched fighting and the two sides were engaged in combat for some time. Afterwards, Damascus troops pulled back.

Concerning the time of Siffīn war, there appear contradictory historical reports.

It seems that there exist two quotations. Balādhurī has cited Imām’s arrival in Siffīn to be on Dhi l-Hadjdja (36).[68] He reports the war from Dhi l-Hadjdja (in the year of 36), referring to fightings in this month and after in Safar when major war took place.[69] Ya‘qūbī says water dilemma goes to Dhi l-Hadjdja, 36 H. and that war in the year of 37 H. lasted forty days. However, he says arbitration goes to Ramadān, 38 H.[70] he means that the arbitration happened in Safar, 37 H. about one and a half year after Siffīn war! Based on this report, a treaty was put down in Safar and as prescribed it will be brought to an end by Ramadān.

Ibn Athīr began events of Siffīn from Dhi l-Hadjdja, 36 H. and ended in Safar, 37 H., referring to arbitration within events of the same year.[71]

According to Khālīfa Ibn Khayyāt, Siffīn war intensely lasted from 7th to 10th of Safar, 37 H.[72] It seems war exceeded those days.

According to another report by Nasr Ibn Muzāhim, the first date specified is that when Imām (a) reached Siffīn, he had correspondences with Damascus troops in the region of Siffīn during months of Rabi‘a al-Ākhir to Djamādī al-Thānī.[73] Following this, Ibn Muzāhim mentions events of Radjab. This condition continued up to Dhi l-Hadjdja during which forces from the two sides fought with each other. After that in Muharram, hostilities came to a cessation and the main war was waged in Safar.[74] Naturally, months of Rabi‘ al-Awwal and the two months of Djamādī can not be said to relate to the year of 36H. because Imām had arrived in Kūfa in Radjab of that year. As Nasr said, Siffīn war was launched from the second month of the year 37, lasting up to Safar of next year. In this way, Ibn Muzāhim’s mention of dates exceed one year beyond those of Balādhurī’s and some other historians. Dīnwarī’s dates are exactly what Nasr mentioned.[75] This is while Dīnwarī has set date of arbitration in Safar of the year 37[76] despite his reference to Rabi‘a al-Awwal and the two Djamādīs and it can not be true according to his previous settings. As his book’s proofreader said, Muharram of the year 37 H. is the month when war stopped.[77] It is to be said that Ibn A‘tham regards arrival of Imām’s troops to be in Muharram of the year 38 H.[78] that seems untrue.

If this statement that Khāridjites selected ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Wahb their leader in Zayd Ibn Husayn’s house in the late Shawwāl, 37 H. and that Imām ‘Alī’s war with them happened in Safar of the year 38 H. is true[79], it is inevitably to be accepted that what Nasr Ibn Muzāhim said is not true. Overally, it is to be said that the majority agree on major fighting happening in Safar of the year 37 H.

The region of fighting was in Siffīn after which the war was known. Siffīn is a cramped village of Roman villages that stands at a rifle – shut of the Euphrates. Alongside the Euphrates, there rest trees around which water surround and in the wilderness of two Farsangs (leagues) and there was no passing way except the Euphrates that is restricted and paved. [80]

When Iraqi troops approached Damascus troops, they noticed that they had stationed in the region having the paved route, passing through swamp, under their control. They had positioned bowmen and horsemen to prevent Iraqis from frequenting to the coast of the Euphrates.

Number of Damascus troops is said to be amounting to one hundred twenty thousand people.[81] Imām’s troops moving out of Kūfa also numbered eighty thousand people who were added by many of Ctesiphon people on the way.[82] Imām (a) sent Sa‘sa‘a to Mu‘āwiya to tell him that his troops launched the war whereas Imām was up to talk to him again make an ultimatum.

“Now, Sa‘sa‘a said, you have barred us from water and Iraqi troops can not remain silent, with all this, Imām doesn’t want to launch the war.”

Mu‘āwiya rejected what Sa‘sa‘a said. ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās opposed Mu‘āwiya’s decision. He spoke about ‘Alī’s valor and also said that, “You – that is Mu‘āwiya – and I have heard ‘Alī when Fātima’s house was inspected saying if he had forty men … [83].”

But Mu‘āwiya could not admit that and fighting began. The story of banning the water, on one hand linked to that of the water not reaching ‘Uthmān[84] and on the other hand it was associated with the event of Karbalā.

Iraqi troops dominated the water through fighting with the courage of Mālik[85] and Imām ordered the troops not to ban Damascus forces from using water. By breaking out a news (through a spear on which there was a letter sent to Imām’s troops but the sender was anonymous, perhaps it was from a friend!) that Imām controlled region will be enundated, Mu‘āwiya displaced Iraqi troops. Imām who opposed the displacement of troops yielded to Iraqi’s decision and Iraqi troops could only control the water after re-fighting. What Ibn A‘tham said about these events slightly differ from Nasr’s report.[86] In all these events, Mālik played a pirotal role and strongly treated the Damascus troops.[87] Large numbers of forces had been killed in the fighting about which Nasr has given an account in the form of boastful speeches and wars. A number of Qur’ān reciters from Iraq and Damascus mediated between the two armies, trying to resolve the dispute through talks. These mediatory attempts continued for a long time.

As referred, with Dhi l-Hadjdja coming to an end, Muharram came and war was supposed to come to a cessation.[88] Negotiations of Imām’s envoys with Mu‘āwiya came to a deadlock. Murdering of people such as ‘Ammār, ‘Adī Ibn Hātim, Mālik and those who, according to him, had a hand in murder of ‘Uthmān, was set by him as his condition. This was something unacceptable both by Imām and by Iraqi tribes. Imām (a) once in front of Abū Muslim Khawlānī asked murderers of ‘Uthmān to be prepared. In that time, mosque became filled with crowds saying that they are murderers of ‘Uthmān.[89] In Siffīn, the same thing happened and about twenty thousand people of Iraqi troops stood away and said that they were ‘Uthmān’s killers.[90] Mu‘āwiya’s insistence on this condition was because he knew they would never accept that. He attempted to deceive those who had come as representatives and had been apt to be deceived. He said to Ziyād Ibn Hafsa, “I want you to join us with your family and I make a pledge, after victory, to dispose you with each one of the two cities you want.”

Ziyād said, “I have an axiom from my God for what He betowed me and I want not to be patron of wrongdoers.” [91]

With the elapse of Muharram, month of illegals came to an end and Siffīn war was launched between Mālik and Habīb Ibn Muslim in the first day of Safar, that as said, had been Wednesday! [92] In the night of war being launched, Imām advised all his forces, [لا تقاتلوا القوم حتـى يبدءوكم [93“Avoid fighting these people until they launch the fighting.”

Imām (a) here intended to leave a chance for return of Damascus troops to truth. Imām advised his troops this way, “If they did not initiate war, you don’t fight them because you have full proof as to praise of God and as you leave them to launch the war, this is another proof for you and against them. If you fought and defeated the enemy, do not kill any fugitive and wounded, keep the pudenda veiled and do not mutilate any killed. In case you rushed into enemy camp, disgrace not anybody and enter not any house unless under my order. Take not away any of their property save what exists in the division camp. No woman has to be harmed although your honor is abused and your commanders and good relatives are charged with abuse because those women are weak in respect of soul and wisdom. We had the duty (in time of the Prophet Īs») not to harm them when they were pagan.”[94] [95], and the two sides intensely fought with each other. It seemed that each day one of Imām’s commanders led the frontline. Mālik on first day, Hāshim Ibn ‘Utba on second day, ‘Ammār Yāsir on third day, Muhammad Hanafiyya on fourth day and ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Abbās on fifth day commanded the frontline.[96] War escalated in the next Thursday and the left wing of Iraqi army split apart but it was compensated with bravery of Imām himself.[97] Imām himself was present among the troops and regularly called them to resistance by praying and preaching.[98] Nasr Ibn Muzāhim carefully formulated most of his invocations and speeches and portrayed two-peopled war scenes as far as possible.

Qays Ibn Sa‘d, each day, spoke for Ansār and incited them against Damascus people[99], emphasizing that companions of the Messenger (s) are with them. Seventy people, he said, of those in Badr stay with us and our commander is cousin of the Prophet (s), “a trustworthy person of Badr.”[100]

Ya‘qūbī has put that seventy people of Badrīs, seven hundred people of Ridwān allegiance – prayers as well as four hundred people of Muhādjir and Ansār stayed with Imām ‘Alī (a). From Ansār, there stayed nobody with Mu‘āwiya except Nu‘mān Ibn Bashīr and Maslama Ibn Mukhallad.[101] Just as Imām once brought Ansār together, moving towards Damascus troops, so Mu‘āwiya readied those two people and moved ahead.[102]

‘Ammār Yāsir was among the people who directly talked against Mu‘āwiya.

In response to some one who asked him how he would fight these Muslims while the Prophet (s) said, “I have a duty to fight as long as they declare monotheism, then their life and property is secure.” ‘Ammār said, “This is true, but these people have not embraced Islam. They inwardly rendered blasphemy until they found helpers today.”[103] In another speech in Siffīn, he rightly stressed over the point that these people deceitfully posed blood of ‘Uthmān, yet their aim is, [ليكونوا بذ لك جبابرة وملوكاً [104 “He may become a tyrant by doing this.”

In Siffīn, ‘Ammār seemed to many a sign of distinguishing gospel truth from credal error. The Prophet (s) said about him, [تقتلك الفئة الباغية [105 “You will be killed by an aggressive group.”

This successive narration led some people to see in what front ‘Ammār stands and is martyred.

‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās himself had narrated this hadith. Mu‘āwiya objected why he had narrated that. ‘Amr composed a piece of poetry saying, “I didn’t know this would happen in Siffīn.”[106]

This made a problem for Damascus troops as ‘Amr was supposed to arrange a face-to-face debate with ‘Ammār at the presence of a number of people from the two sides. ‘Ammār said to ‘Amr who, in the very beginning, made a profession of faith (Tashahhud), “You had abandoned this from time of the Prophet (s) and on.”

‘Amr who in deceit was saying, “What are we fighting for?”

Was told by ‘Ammār, “You are the most obeyed among the troops. Do something to stop bloodshed.”

He said, “Now I tell why I am fighting you.The Prophet (s) ordered me to fight with the infidels as well as with the deviators who are the very you, as for the apostates “Khāridjites” …. I wonder if I have to consider them or not.O You who are devoid of good qualities! Do you know not that the Messenger (s) said for ‘Alī (a), من كنت مولاه فهذا عليّ مولاه ، اللّهم وال من والاه وعاد من عاداه “I love God, his Messenger (s) and after him ‘Alī.” ‘Ammār continued to talk about ‘Uthmān, “He opened to you gates of evils.” ‘Amr asked, “Did ‘Alī kill him?” ‘Ammār said, “No, but God of ‘Alī killed him.” He said, “Were you among the murderers?” ‘Ammār replied, “I helped those who killed him and this day I fight with enemy helping them.”[107] ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās said to accompanying Damascus troops, “He confesses to murder of ‘Uthmān.” ‘Ammār was martyred in one of the days of intense fighting. Several people of Damascus troops claimed responsibility for his murder.[108] It is also said that some Damascus people said prayers over his stiff ![109]

To Mu‘āwiya, murder of ‘Ammār Yāsir was “conquering the conquests.”[110]

‘Ammār composed about war with Damascus troops in a poetic line, religious justification of which is said to be interesting,

فاليوم نضربكم على تأويله[111]

نحن ضربناكم على تنـزيله

“Earlier, We beat thee for his descension and now we beat thee for his interpretation.”

It meant although Damascus people have embraced Qur’ān and Islam, they really never confessed to it. Muslims also made use of sense of “rebellion”.

Mughīra Ibn Hārith Ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib said in a poem,

والمشركون قتلناهم بما جحدوا [112]

أهل الصلاة قتلناهم ببغيهم

“Prayer-holders are killed for their rebellion and the atheists are murdered for their denial.”

In the midst of fighting, Imām handed a Qur’ān to one of his troops to go to Damascus troops and call them to Qur’ānic arbitration, but they killed him.[113] Imām’s troops superiority was utterly apparent. Once, ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Badīl neared Mu‘āwiya’s settlement and made him retreat. Another time, ‘Utba Ibn Abī Sufyān suffered so much a defeat that he took aback as far as twenty leagues.[114]

Of course, in some cases, left or right wing of Iraqi army temporarily disintegrated. Reports say that Imām himself fought and killed different people, one of whom was Hurayth, Mu‘āwiya’s Mawālī and a very strong man. He himself defied Imām and in the very beginning was sworded killed by Imām.[115] ‘Urwa Dimashqī asked Imām for a challenge and was split in halves by Imām.[116] Another report says that Imām had trace of three strikes on his head and two on his face.

Nasr Ibn Muzāhim reporting this says that Imām (a) was never wounded.[117] Imām asked Mu‘āwiya for a combat. Whoever wins the battle, he shall assume power. Mu‘āwiya turned down his request.[118] Imām once faced ‘Amr but he could run away the battle by unveiling his genitals because Imām was very ashamed of what he did.[119] The same thing happened to Busr Ibn Artāt.[120]

Fighting was so intense that these days only in one battle over five hundred people (Ibn A‘tham, One thousand) confronted with the same number of Damascus troops and none survived the battle![121]

Siffīn war was tribally formed. Many tribes half of whom in Iraq and another half in Damascus stood against each other. Rabi‘a[122] and Hamdān tribes, headman of the latter of which was Sa‘īd Ibn Qays sacrificed in the most part in as much as Imām said in a piece of poetry,

لقلت لهمدان ادخلوا بسلام [123]

فلوكنت بوّاباً على باب جنة

“If I were gate keeper of Heaven, I would tell Banū Hamdān people to enter there in goodness.”

Imām said about Rabi‘a as well, وكان علي (ع) لا يعدل بربيعة أحداً من شدة محبته لهم “‘Alī never equaled Banū Rabi‘a to anyone for his love extended to them.”[124]

Mu‘āwiya advised Damascus troops to aim at no people but Hamdānīs since they stand as ‘Uthmān’s adversary.[125] The truth is that Mu‘āwiya feared them and he was at weakening them. ‘Ubayd Allāh Ibn ‘Umar, one of Damascus troops commanders, was murdered by one of Hamdānīs in one of these battles. Dhi l-Kilā‘, one of the greatest commanders of Damascus troops, was killed in Siffīn. He is said to have heard through ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās, in time of ‘Umar, (seemingly through a person named Abū Nūh who quoted this to him from ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās in Siffīn)[126] the Prophet (s) saying that ‘Ammār is killed by an aggressive tribe, so he used to fight while being in doubt. Mu‘āwiya liked very much to kill him fearing that he might be a trouble for Damascus troops. In contrast, a good many of marked troops of Imām (a) were also martyred. One of Siffīn martyrs, Uwiys Qaranī[127], is the noted Gnostic who was and, still is, highly ranked among Muslims. Ibn A‘tham while reporting his martyrdom in Siffīn made an account of him.[128] Hāshim Ibn ‘Utba, known as Hāshim al-Mirqāl, who had lost one eye in conquests, was the most devoted companions of Imām being martyred in Siffīn. He was Sa‘d Waqqās’s nephew and unlike his position of being among Qā‘idīn stayed with Imām with complete assurance until he was martyred.[129]

Khuzayma, another companion of Imām, was also martyred in Siffīn and Imām approved his one testimony as two, for which he was known after “Dhū al-Shahādatayn” meaning two witnesses.

After their martyrdom, there were still seen famous people in troops, like Ashtar (who was nicknamed by Mu‘āwiya as lion of army)[130], ‘Adī Ibn Hātim and Qays Ibn Sa‘d.

It is to be noted that a number of Kūfiyān women also attended Siffīn war, exhorting Iraqi forces against those of Damascus by making poems in which Imām was praised and his virtues were retold. Among them, there were Sūda, daughter of ‘Umāra Hamdānī, Umm Sanān[131], Zarqā’, daughter of ‘Adī Hamdānī[132] and others whose biographies are mentioned in various sources.

Umm Sanān addressed ‘Alī in Siffīn and said,

أوصى اليك بنا وكنت وفيّا [133]

قد كنت بعد محمد خلفاً لنا

“After Muhammad(s), he was his successor among us and he kept his promise well in front of us.”

One of these women named Umm al-Khayr said in Siffīn,إنها إحن بدريّة

وضغائن جاهلية وأحقاد احديّة، وثب معاوية عند الغفلة ليدرك بها الفرصة من ثارات عبد شمس [134]

“Mu‘āwiya’s waging war comes from his vengeance in Badr, Uhud and from his ignorant bigotry and it is because he wants to take revenge for ‘Abd-e Shams.”

Another woman was Djurwa, daughter of Murra Ibn Ghālib Tamīmī who was later brought by Mu‘āwiya to Damascus. When she was asked by Mu‘āwiya about Imām ‘Alī (a), she said, حاز والله الشرف حتى لا يوصف ، وغاية حتى لا تعرف[135], “By God, he attained an indescribable nobility and reached a station beyond imagination.”

Mu‘āwiya tried to break apart Iraqi army in ways except war. Writing different letters to Abū Ayyūb Ansārī, ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Abbās and others under the pretext of stopping bloodshed and even of promising caliphate to Ibn ‘Abbās[136], he attempted to force them to oppose Imām (a). Besides, he changed the condition by frequently granting money to his troops, لم يبق من أهل العراق أحد فى قلبه مرض إلاّ طمع فى معاوية “There remained no one but the problematic Iraqis who joined Mu‘āwiya in his caprice and this was such that Imām was bothered.”[137]

Mu‘āwiya also wrote to Imām asking him to leave Damascus to him without wanting to obey him. This was the same thing he had demanded before and as mentioned, he intended to establish an independent emirate in Damascus. Imām turned him down.[138] This time, Damascus people strongly spoke about severe bloodshed and publicized their aim of ending the war. Such a measure was taken just to hinder Damascus conquest, and probably to bring about a gap and discard in Iraq’s army. This was what Mu‘āwiya failed to do repeatedly; yet as we shall wee later, he finally made it. In one of these days, one of the Damascus people came between the two armies and proposed that Iraq any return to Iraq and Damascus army to Damascus, so to avert a bloodshed.

Confirming his truthfulness, Imām said, “I know that you made this proposal out of benevolence and pity; however, I have considered well, contemplated carefully and assessed the dimensions of this deed haunting me, and I have found no way but submitting to was, or refuting what Allāh has inspired the Prophet(s). Indeed, Allāh, the blessed and exalted, doesn’t like His friends to remain reticent and submit while tyranny and mutiny are prevailing on the earth, and not to enjoin the good and forbid from the evil. That’s why I realized that to me, the war (with all its hardship) is easier than enduring the hell with its chains.”[139]

In one of the last war days, the battle became so intense that it started by the morning prayer and continued up to the mid-night. During all this period, Ashtar was busy provoking the army. This night was called “Laylā al-Harīr”, the night of clamor. Again the war started from the middle of that night and continued up to the noon of the next day.

“The enemy fought to its last grasp”, said Imām, in a sermon.

Mu‘āwiya and ‘Amr thinking that everything was finished and feeling that they cannot be so hopeful of Damascus army, embarked on a trick. The next day after the night of clamor, when the war lasted to the moon of that day,[140] 500 Qur’āns were raised above the spears of the Damascus people.

There were loud voices crying, “O group of Arabs! Think of your women and girls. If you’ll be killed, who will stand up to Romans, Turks and Persians tomorrow?” [141]

As a result of this measure, little by little, this proclamation was heard within the Iraqi army that the enemy has admitted the arbitration of Qur’ān, and we don’t have the right to fight them. Imām defined this remarks strongly and announced that this deed is nothing but a trick. Sa‘sa‘a said that Mu‘āwiya took this measure after he heard Ash‘ath Ibn Qays reminding of the women and girls at the night of clamor, and that Arabs are collapsing.[142] Besides, Ash‘ath was the first person opposing Imām on the continuation of the war. We’ve previously pointed out that the account of his correspondence with Mu‘āwiya, since his dismissal from Adharbāydjān has been mentioned in historical records. Here, Ya‘qūbī as well clarified that Mu‘āwiya conciliating Ash‘ath wrote to him and invited him there.[143] Ash‘ath’s measure was supported by the Yemenī.[144]

The minimum problem concerning Ash‘ath was that he was apt to deviation from the outset, and was drawn to this path. In the thick of the clashes, we have in hand some of his remarks against Mu‘āwiya and with respect to instigating Iraq army.[145] It ought to be known that tribal obstinacy played a crucial role and in all likelihood, Imām’s true heed to Mālik caused Ash‘ath to take umbrage.

The escalation of the discrepancy amongst the army of Imām, has induced much more hardships for him. Imām felt that he is no more the commander, and the people have tied his hands, and turned out to be his emir.

Even so, Imām stood up and said, “I deserve to admit the arbitration of Allāh’s book more than the others; however, Mu‘āwiya and his companions are not the companions of religion and Qur’ān. I know them better than you. I was with them since my childhood.”

At this moment, about 20000 of the Iraq army came to Imām, and without calling him “Amīr al-Mu’minīn”, asked him to accept the arbitration of Qur’ān. Among these people were a group of Qur’ān-reciters being contented with Qur’ān recitation, and a number of whom joining the Khāridjites’s range.[146] At this time, Ashtar at the front line approached Mu‘āwiya division camp while fighting. War dissenters asked Imām to order Ashtar back. Imām sent Yazīd Ibn Hānī for him.

Ashtar sent a message that, “Now it is not the time for a return.”

“You’ve prompted him to fight, if Ashtar doesn’t return, we’ll kill you.” Said the dissenters.

As a result of this statement, Ashtar returned and he was stopped. In a letter to Mu‘āwiya, Imām noting that we know you’re not the follower of Qur’ān, pointed out the acceptance of Qur’ān arbitration.[147] Ash‘ath went to Mu‘āwiya asking him regarding the way of executing Qur’ān precept. He said that it’s better that one of our people and one of yours sit together and express their opinion concerning Qur’ān precept in this regard. He forwarded this opinion to Imām. Afterwards, a group of Damascus and Iraq Qur’ān-reciters came between the two armies and recited Qur’ān for some time and agreed to revive what the Qur’ān has revived. Thereafter, Damascus people appointed ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās. Ash‘ath and a number of those joining the Khāridjites later, proposed Abū Mūsā Ash‘arī. Imām refused him on account of his opposition to him in Djamal battle, but they insisted in this regard. Imām’s proposal was either Ibn ‘Abbās or Ashtar, but they said that Ashtar believes in war, Ibn ‘Abbās shouldn’t be either, for ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās is from Mudhar tribe, so the other side should be Yemenī.
[لا والله لايحكم فيها مضريان حتى تقوم الساعة[148 “By Allāh, two persons from Mudrids won’t judge in that until the Day of Resurrection.”

Imām saw that insistence is out of place and said, “Do whatever you want.”[149]

Later on Ibn ‘Abbās said, “Had at that time some companions been patient, the victory would have been imminent.”[150]

So it was agreed that a convention will be written. In this convention pointing to the appointment of these two persons by Damascus and Iraq people, it was mentioned that these two persons are due to comment on the matter of their disagreement, “Provided that these two abide by the divine covenant and pledge in the firmest and greatest manner which Allāh has extracted promise from each of his creatures. And that during the duty on which they were dispatched, they put Qur’ān before themselves, and do not exceed, I their judgment, what has been written in the Qur’ān, and if they don’t find, they will act on the basis of the comprehensive Sunna of the Prophet (s), and they should in no way, act in conformity with their desires, neither should they be entangled in suspicion.” Besides, it was agreed that in case of the death of one of these two, before judgment, the commander of the aforesaid side would be able to appoint somebody else. During this span of time, if one of the two commanders passed away, the people of that area will appoint another just person instead of him. Further, it was stated that, “it is compulsory for the judges to adhere to the divine treaty and pledge and not to offer an interpretative judgment of their own in opposition to the Qur’ānic text, and not to oppress deliberately and not to be entangled in suspicion and not to overlook the order of Qur’ān and Sunna of the Prophet(s) in their judgment. And if they don’t do so, the people won’t submit to their judgment, neither will they admit the treaty and the liability approved by those two.” In the convention, the date of the arbitration was sset on the end of the next Ramadān (to wit eight months from Safar to Ramadān) and it was agreed that the issue will be resolves anyhow up to the pilgrimage season. “If they don’t judge on the basis of the Qur’ān and Prophet’s (s) Sunna till the end of the season, the Muslims will remain at war as they were from the onset, and there is no condition between the two groups in this regard.” The aforesaid treaty was concluded on Wednesday (according th Abū Mikhnaf, on Friday)[151], on Safar 17, 37 A.H.[152]

In this convention, equal rights were been determined for Imām and Mu‘āwiya. In the first stage, Imām’s name was accompanied by the title “Amīr al-Mu’minīn”, the Commander of the Faithful, but it was not acceptable for Mu‘āwiya.

Ash‘ath insisted on the elimination of this title, Imām said, “Glory be to Allāh, A Sunna like The Prophet’s (s) one, where Suhayl Ibn ‘Amr, the representative of polytheists, insisted on the ommition of “Rasūl Allāh”, the Messenger of Allāh, in Hudaybiyyah peace pact.”[153]

Anyhow, the convention was written, but among a group of Imām’s companion, a riot broke out which paved the way for Khāridjites incidents later. Some disagreed with the convention there except for those being truly among the Shi‘ite Muslims of Imām, and bearing the arbitration course for Imām’s sake.

Mālik was among them, when Imām (a) was told that Mālik is not satisfied with this convention, Imām (a) said, “When I will be satisfied, Mālik will be so as well, and I’m satisfied. You said he has kept himself aloof from me, but I don’t reckon that he’ll do so. There are not two persons or even one person amongst you like him, who think so about their foe.”[154]

Imām returned to Kūfa along with the army on Rabi‘ al-Awwal 37 A.H.[155] In Kūfa, loud voices of cries and weeps were heard from each house, and Imām confirming the martyrdom of their martyrs, offered his condolence to them. Finally, Imām sent Abū Mūsā to the arbitration site.

Imām dispatched 400 persons along with Abū Mūsā Ash‘arī, accompanied by Shurayh Ibn Hānī as their commander, and ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Abbās as their congregational prayer leader. Additionally, Imām notified Abū Mūsā of the defiled nature of Mu‘āwiya and advised him tremendously.[156] At this time, ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Umar, Mughīra Ibn Shu‘ba, ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Zubayr had to come to Mu‘āwiya and were present at the meeting incident of ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās and Abū Mūsā.[157] ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās, when meeting Abū Mūsā, spoke of the virtues! of Mu‘āwiya and noted that Mu‘āwiya is the blood-wit of ‘Uthmān, and Allāh has put a “Sultan” for blood-wit. Abū Mūsā relied on the revival of ‘Umar tradition concerning the issue of council. Once he spoke of ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Umar, but ‘Amr said that a weak person like him could not take the responsibility of such a deed. It was not only unclear under which principles this council being regarded as a pretext by the dissenters, ought to be shaped, but not obvious who should be the member of such a council. Once ‘Umar relying on his own power has placed caliphate among six persons so that they will choose one out of them. What was the connection of this matter to leaving the work to the “Council among Muslims”, so to select one for themselves? Abū Mūsā insisted on this matter and an account of that he was of the belief that firstly we ought to leave this belief aside that one of the two persons either Imām or Mu‘āwiya should be the caliph, so that thereupon we shall select some one. Hence, for Abū Mūsā’s part, the declaration of these two commands’ deposition of Imām’s commentary on the pulpit, ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās announced that he has just the right to depose ‘Alī (a); however, I have the caliphate to Mu‘āwiya! Abū Mūsā cried out in protest and insulted ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās. Abū Mūsā called ‘Amr a dog, and ‘Amr called Abū Mūsā a donkey and the session turned out in chaos. So hereby, without speaking of the Qur’ān and the Sunna of the Prophet (s), and merely under the pretext of ‘Umar tradition, the arbitration course itself gave rise to another disagreement between Damascus and Iraq.[158]

From that time on, the people of Damascus called Mu‘āwiya “Amīr al-Mu’minīn”, and this was the most significant outcome of the arbitration for the Damascus people. Abū Mikhnaf stated that when Iraqi people were going to Siffīn, they were all amiable and kind towards each other. When they returned, however, they all had hostility and hatred towards each other.

The Khāridjites said, “You were flaccid in implementing Allāh’s order”, and another group told them, “You disobeyed Imām and our group.” Imām became sorrowful on account of their remarks.[159]

[1] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.3,5; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.349. It is to be said that the most comprehensive work on the event of Siffīn is the valuable book “Waq‘at Siffīn”, written by Nasr Ibn Muzāhim, dead in 212. Ibn A‘tham has mainly used this book in reporting about Siffīn and he has condensed the book. Sources such as Tārīkh al-tabarī and Balādhurī have quoted mainly from Abū Mikhnaf except a few sporadic reports.
[2] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.347
[3] Ibid. vol.II, pp.360-361
[4] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.211-212
[5] Waq‘at Siffīn, p 8.
[6] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.56; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.432; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.160
[7] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.411
[8] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.403
[9] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.212
[10] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.12-13
[11] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.350
[12] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.297
[13] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.350; Waq‘at Siffīn, p.113; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.167
[14] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.352
[15] Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.156
[16] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.21; al-Futūh, vol.II, pp.370-371
[17] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.27
[18] ‘Abd al-Rahmān Ibn Ghanm Azdī who was known as “Afqah ahl Shām”(Horizon of Damascus people) said to Shurahbīl in Damascus, “Even if ‘Alī has murdered ‘Uthmān, he would be caliph of Muslims since Muhādjirūn and Ansār have sworn allegiance to him and they are “superior to people”. Waq‘at Siffīn, p.45
[19] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.29; al-Futūh, vol.II, pp.374-375; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.157
[20] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.380
[21] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.32
[22] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.411, he was proud not because of being from Damascus but because he was a Yemeni.
[23] al-Futūh, vol.II, pp.406-407; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.160
[24] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.44-52; al-Futūh, vol.II, pp.397-401; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.275-276 (footnote); Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.159
[25] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.52; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.392
[26] al-Futūh, vol.II, pp.429-430
[27] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.58; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.432
[28] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.77
[29] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.404
[30] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.61
[31] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.283
[32] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.284; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.157
[33] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.382
[34] In Sunnites sources ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās, one of Sahāba hadith-writers, is defended while ‘Abd Allāh was present in Siffīn arm in arm with his father. ‘Abd Allāh commanded the left wing of Damascus troops. Waq‘at Siffīn, p.206. It goes to say that when his father asked him to hold the banner, he first rejected and said, “I’ll never fight anyone who has not been even one moment an atheist.” His father obligated him to hold the banner, he took it and said, “If the Prophet had not said, “Obey your father”, “I would have never done this!!” al-Futūh, vol.II, p.35
[35] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.35; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.285; Tārīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, p.185
[36] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.39; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.288; Tārīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, p.186. ‘Amr lived only until 43 H. and was ruler of Egypt.
[37] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.37,44; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.386
[38] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.441
[39] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.294; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.161
[40] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.82-83; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.413
[41] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.63; al-Futūh, vol.II, pp.416-417
[42] Waq‘at Siffīn, vol.75; Tārīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, p.187; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.421
[43] Nahdj al-balāgha, catchwords, No.18
[44] al-Futūh, vol.II, pp.418-419
[45] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.86-91; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.277-282; Sharh nahdj al-balāgha, Ibn Abi l-Hadīd, vol.15, p.73; al-Futūh, vol.II, pp.474-475; Nahdj al-sa‘āda, vol.4, p.185
[46] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.110-111; al-Futūh, vol.II, pp.477-480
[47] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.460
[48] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.101; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.460
[49] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.293; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.362; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.164. Imām paid his blood money out of public property.
[50] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.92-96
[51] Ibid. pp.98-99; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.444
[52] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.101
[53] Ibid. p.115; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.165, he seems to be the same Khādjih Rabi‘ whose tombstone, in Mashhad is visited very much.
[54] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.102; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.447
[55] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.103; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.448, Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.165
[56] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.114-115
[57] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.118-121; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.393-397 and in the footnote of Sharh nahdj al-balāgha, Ibn Abi l-Hadīd, vol.III, p.188; Murūdj al-dhahab, vol.III, p.10; Samt al-Nudjūm al-’Awālī, vol.II, p.465
[58] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.127
[59] Ibid. p.131
[60] al-Futūh, vol.III, pp.105-107
[61] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.296-297
[62] Tārīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, pp.188-189
[63] Waq‘at Siffīn, vol.II, p.144; al-Futūh, vol.II, p.468
[64] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.150-151; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.297
[65] Tārīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, p.187
[66] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.298; al-Futūh, vol.II, pp.487-488
[67] al-Futūh, vol.II, pp.462-466; Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.140-142
[68] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.299
[69] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.303
[70] Tarīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, pp.188,190
[71] al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh, vol.III, pp.293,321
[72] Tārīkh khalīfat Ibn khayyāt, p.191
[73] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.190
[74] Ibid. p.196
[75] Akhbār al-tiwāl, pp.169-172
[76] Ibid. p.196
[77] Ibid. p.171
[78] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.495
[79] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.362
[80] Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.168
[81] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.439
[82] Akhbār al-tiwāl, pp.166-167
[83] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.163
[84] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.298; al-Futūh, vol.III, p.2
[85] al-Futūh, vol.III, p.13
[86] Ibid. vol.III, p.15
[87] Nasr Ibn Muzāhim says, وكان اكثر القوم حروباً الاشتر
Waq‘at Siffīn, p.195
[88] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.196
[89] Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.163
[90] Ibid. p.170
[91] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.199
[92] Ibid. p.214; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.303
[93] al-Futūh, vol.III, pp.44-45
[94] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.203-204
[95] Despite mention of the date in several sources, 12th of Safar is regarded by Balādhurī (Ansāb, vol.II, p.323) to be on Friday that is inconsistent with this date. But regarding the report by Nasr about the citation of arbitration agreement of Wednesday 17th of Safar, Balādhurī’s reference to Friday 12th of Safar is approved.
[96] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.303-305
[97] Ibid. vol.II, pp.305-306
[98] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.230-232
[99] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.447
[100] Ibid. p.236; Ashtar in his speech said that roughly one hundred people from Badr stay with us. Waq‘at Siffīn, p.238
[101] Tārīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, p.188
[102] al-Futūh, vol.III, pp.180-181
[103] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.215
[104] Ibid. p.319
[105] Concerning the sources, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.312-313 (footnote) in the following pages ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās is quoted to have said the afore-mentioned hadith.
[106] al-Futūh, vol.III, p.131
[107] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.239; al-Futūh, vol.III, pp.124-125
[108] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.311-313
[109] Mukhtasar Tārīkh Dimashq, vol.5, p.236
[110] al-Muhabbar, p.296
[111] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.340; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.310
[112] al-Futūh, vol.III, p.271
[113] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.244
[114] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.360
[115] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.41; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.176
[116] al-Futūh, vol.III, p.187
[117] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.363
[118] Ibid. p.274; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.176
[119] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.407; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.330; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.177
[120] al-Futūh, vol.III, pp.173-174
[121] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.293; al-Futūh, vol.III, p.55
[122] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.325; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.186
[123] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.437; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.322; al-Futūh, vol.III, pp. 43 – 44
[124] al-Futūh, vol.III, p.163
[125] al-Futūh, vol.III, p.163
[126] al-Futūh, vol.III, pp.119-120
[127] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.324; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.320. Balādhurī hesitates to report about martyrdom of Uwiys. The proof reader mentions on pages 320-322 various sources in which this undeniable report is referred.
[128] al-Futūh, vol.II, pp.451-460
[129] He is reported in detail in Waq‘at Siffīn including, pp.346-356
[130] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.67
[131] Ibid. vol.II, p.101
[132] Ibid. vol.III, p.142
[133] al-Futūh, vol.III, p.103
[134] al-Wāfidāt min l-nisā’ ‘alā Mu‘āwīya, p.29
[135] Ibid. p.36
[136] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.307
[137] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.435; al-Futūh, vol.III, pp.221-222
[138] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.470-471
[139] Ibid, p. 474; al-Futūh, vol.III, pp.264-65
[140] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.323
[141] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.478
[142] Ibid, p.481
[143] Tarīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, pp.188-89
[144] Ibid, vol.II, p.189
[145] al-Futūh, vol.II, p.74
[146] Waq‘at Siffīn
[147] Ibid, pp.490-494
[148] Regrettably Mudrī and Yemenī competition induced problem at Siffīn battle.
[149] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.499-500
[150] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.331
[151] Ibid, vol.II, p.337; see, p.338
[152] Akhbār al-tiwāl, pp.194-196, Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.504-570, see, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.334-335
[153] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.508; Tārīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, p.189
[154] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.521; see, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.236
[155] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.237
[156] Nathr al-durr, vol.I, p.421
[157] Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.540-541
[158] Waq‘at Siffīn. pp.545-546; Akhbār al-tiwāl, pp.199-201; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.350-51
[159] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.342
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