The sacred Shari’a requires people to rise in order to close the door of abomination and safeguard everyone against corruption, obliging the nation to do what all nations do: repel the oppression of oppressors who rebel against an Imam chosen to lead the nation after his having invited them to renounce their resistance to what is right, and to refer to the Greatest Legislator, Praise and Exaltation to Him, Who says the following:
“If two groups among the believers fight, reconcile them, but if one of them transgresses over the other, then kill the one that oppresses till it returns to [accepting] Allah's Commandment”. (Qur’an, Sura al-Hujurat, 49:9)
The Commander of the Faithful (‘a) rose during his caliphate to defend the sanctity of the Shari’a and to attract the nation's attention to wake up from its slumber of ignorance. It was mandatory on people to obey him because he was the rightful Imam obedience to whom was mandatory. The majority of the Muslims recognized and swore the oath of allegiance to the Commander of the Faithful, Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (‘a).
They decided that fighting those who rebelled against him was the right thing to do as testified by their statements which are recorded in their books, statements which serve as testimonials to their call, a call supported by reason and documented facts.
[Imam] Abu Hanifa, for example, says, “Whenever [Imam] ‘Ali fought anyone, right was on his side. Had ‘Ali (‘a) not fought them, nobody among the Muslims would have learned how to deal with them!
There is no doubt, moreover, that ‘Ali (‘a) fought Talhah [Ibn ‘Abdullah] and al-Zubayr [Ibn al-’Awwam] after the latter had sworn the oath of allegiance then reneged therefrom. And during the Battle of the Camel, ‘Ali (‘a) dealt with them with equity, the most learned man among the Muslims that he was, so it became a Sunnah to fight the people who promote oppression.”1
His student, Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani (who died in 187 A.H/803 A.D.), followed in his footsteps. Said he, “Had not ‘Ali (‘a) fought Mu’awiyah because of his oppression, we would not have been guided to fighting those who oppress.”2
Sufyan al-Thawri has said, “Whenever ‘Ali (‘a) fought anyone, he was on the right track versus the other.”3
Imam al-Shafi’i has said, “Silence with regard to those who were killed during the Battle of Siffin is commendable, although ‘Ali (‘a) was more right than anyone whom he fought.”4
Abu Bakr, Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali al-Razi al-Jassas (who died in 370 A.H/981 A.D.), has said, “‘Ali was right in fighting the oppressive gang. Nobody maintains a contrary view. He was accompanied by many senior Sahabis, those who participated in the Battle of Badr, as well as by those who appreciated their status.”5
Abu Bakr Ibn al-’Arabi, the judge, who died in 546 A.H/1152 A.D., has said, “‘Ali was the Imam because they all regarded him as such, and he could not have abandoned people because he was the most worthy among them of receiving the oath of allegiance. He accepted such an oath out of his concern lest some in the nation should be killed due to chaos and disorder and even the distortion of the creed and the demise of Islam as a religion.”
The people of Syria asked him to seek revenge on those responsible for ‘Uthman's murder, so he (‘a) said to them, “First of all, you should swear the oath of allegiance as others have, then you can ask for justice; it is only then that you will achieve justice.” ‘Ali (‘a) was the most wise among them in his view and speech. Had he pursued those killers, their tribes would have rallied behind them, thus igniting a third tribal war.
So he waited till law and order were established and the general public had sworn the oath of allegiance to him. It is then that he directed his attention towards the court of justice to effect equity without discriminating between anyone in the nation and the other. There is no disagreement among the nation that a leader is justified in postponing effecting retribution if doing the opposite may cause dissension and disunity.
In the latter scenario, anyone who disobeyed ‘Ali (‘a) would be regarded as an oppressor killing whom is mandatory, so that justice will be served and reconciliation is achieved. His waging a war against the Syrians who refused to swear the oath of allegiance to him, as well as his having fought those who reneged from such an oath in the Battles of the Camel and al-Nahrawan, was justified.
It was the obligation of everyone to rally behind him and carry out his orders then make any demands. But since they all did not do so, they became oppressors like the ones referred to in the verse saying,
“...then kill the one that oppresses till it returns to [accepting] Allah's Commandment” (Qur’an, Sura al-Hujurat, 49:9).
Mu’awiyah scolded Sa’d Ibn Abu Waqqas6 for not participating in fighting ‘Ali (‘a). Sa’d responded to him by saying that he, in fact, had only regretted his reluctance to fight al-fi'a al-baghiya (the oppressive gang), meaning Mu’awiyah and his followers.7
Abu Bakr, Muhammad al-Baqillani, who died in 403 A.H/1013 A.D., said the following after enumerating some of ‘Ali 's merits: “‘Ali (‘a) is qualified for the caliphate by only some of these merits and by less than these virtues, and he deserves to be the Imam.
He is right in his views and in whatever he took charge of. Obedience to him, therefore, is mandatory due to his having received the oath of allegiance from the most respected dignitaries among the Muhajirun and the Ansar on the third day following ‘Uthman's assassination.
These insisted that only he was the most knowledgeable among the Sahaba, the most qualified, and the one most worthy of it. They pleaded to him in the Name of Allah Almighty to safeguard the rest of the nation and to protect Dar al-Hijra. They, therefore, swore the oath of allegiance to him before al-Zubayr and Talhah had arrived. Having seen everyone else swearing to him, and having found themselves obligated, al-Zubayr and Talhah, too, swore the oath of allegiance to him.
Had they preferred not to do so, they would have fallen in sin. Their saying to him, “We swore the oath of allegiance to you against our wish,”8 however, does not harm the Imamate of ‘Ali (‘a), simply because the inauguration had already been completed.
Their asking him to kill ‘Uthman's murderers prior to swearing the oath of allegiance to him was a mistake because electing a man simply so that he would kill a group of men for killing one man is not right even if his ijtihad determined that that should be the case: he may later, according to the same ijtihad, decide to do the opposite.
Even if it is proven that ‘Ali (‘a) permitted the killing of a number of men for having killed only one single person, the execution of all those who participated in killing ‘Uthman is not valid except after proving them guilty, and after the offspring of the murdered person present themselves at his court to demand retribution for their father's murder, and if the killing does not lead to as much chaos and disorder as that which followed ‘Uthman's murder, or even more so.
Postponing effecting retribution to its right time is better for the nation, and it avoids any worsening of the situation.9
Abu ‘Abdullah, Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdullah, better known as Al-Hakim al-Naishapuri (d. 405 A.H/1015 A.D.), has said, “The narratives relevant to the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) receiving the oath of allegiance are all authentic according to the general consensus, and it is in reference to them that Khuzaymah Ibn Thabit delivered these poetic lines as he stood before the pulpit:
Al-Thahabi collected such narratives in his book Talkhis al-Mustadrak without rebutting them.”10 Then Al-Hakim goes on to cite ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar [Ibn al-Khattab] saying, “Nothing distresses me, in as far as the verse saying, ‘...then kill the one that oppresses till it returns to [accepting] Allah's Commandment’ (Qur’an, Sura al-Hujurat, 49:9), except that I did not fight the oppressive gang as Allah Almighty had ordered me.”11
Al-Hakim al-Naishapuri quotes Abu Bakr, Muhammad Ibn Ishaq Ibn Khuzaymah, saying that he is used to hear his mentors say, “We testify that all those who disputed with the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (‘a) with regard to his caliphate were oppressors,” and so does Ibn Idris.12
Abu Mansur ‘Abdul-Qahir al-Baghdadi (d. 429 A.H/1038 A.D.) has said, “All the people of righteousness were unanimous in recognizing ‘Ali 's Imamate when he was singled out for it following ‘Uthman's murder, and that he was right and accurate in judgment when he fought the Battle of the Camel and Mu’awiyh's followers in the Battle of Siffin.”13
Abu Ishaq Ibrahim Ibn ‘Ali al-Shirazi al-Fayroozabadi (d. 476 A.H/1084 A.D.) has said, “If a group of Muslims dissents from the leading Imam, advocating his deposition according to its own way of thinking, or likewise stopped a due payment, thus becoming rebellious, the Imam ought to fight it in accordance with the verse saying, ‘...but if one of them transgresses over the other, then kill the one that oppresses till it returns to [accepting] Allah's Commandment’ (Qur’an, Sura al-Hujurat, 49:9).
Abu Bakr fought those who refused to pay the zakat, while ‘Ali (‘a) fought the people of Basra during the Battle of the Camel and fought Mu’awiyah at Siffin and the Kharijites at al-Nahrawan.”14
The gist is that ‘Ali (‘a) was right in fighting those parties because he was the leader (the Imam) the oath of allegiance to whom was a must. Their rebellion against him, no matter for what reason, did not justify their actions.
Imam al-Haramain al-Juwaini (d. 478 A.H/1086 A.D.) says, “‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (a) was the rightful Imam when he took charge, whereas those who fought him were oppressors.”15
Ala’ ad-Din al-Kasani al-Hanafi (d. 587 A.H/1191 A.D.) has said,
“Our master, ‘Ali, fought the people of Harura at Nahrawan in the presence of the Sahabah in fulfillment of the prediction of the Messenger of Allah (S) to him wherein he said, “O ‘Ali ! You will be fought for implementing the Qur’an just as we fight in defense of its revelation.” His fight for the interpretation of the Holy Qur’an was his fighting the Kharijites.
This hadith proves that ‘Ali is our Imam and master because the Prophet (S) compared the fighting undertaken by ‘Ali in defense of implementing the Qur’an with that of his own fighting in defense of its revelation. The Messenger of Allah (S) was right in defending its revelation; therefore, our master ‘Ali was also right in fighting for its implementation. Had he not been a rightful Imam, he would not have been right in killing those folks because the call had included them due to their being in “dar al-salam” and to being Muslims.
Anyone whom he called to fight them was obligated to respond positively and not to lag behind so long as he was able to do so because obedience to the Imam, which results in no disobedience to Allah, is an obligation, let alone obedience.
What is narrated about Abu Hanifa with regard to the subject of when dissension happens among the Muslims, he is of the view that a man should take to staying at home. Such a view is relevant to a particular time that is: When his religious leader does not call upon him to bear arms. But if he does, then obedience to him is obligatory as we have stated earlier.”16
Yahya Ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi (d. 677 A.H/1279 A.D.), a Shafi’i, has said, “‘Ali was on the right track in those wars. Most of the Sahaba and tabi’in, supported by all Muslim scholars, were of the view that during the time of dissension, support and assistance must be rendered to the right party against the oppressors according to the verse saying, ‘... so fight the one that oppresses,' which is the right thing to do.”17
Ibn Humam, the Hanafi (d. 681 A.H/1283 A.D.), has said, “‘Ali (‘a) was on the right track when he fought the Battle of the Camel and when he fought Mu’awiyah at Siffin. The Prophet (S) had said to ‘Ammar, ‘The oppressive party shall kill you,' and he was, indeed, killed by Mu’awiyah's followers, something which proves that they, in fact, were the oppressive party.
‘A’isha expressed her regret [at having fought ‘Ali during the Battle of the Camel] according to Abu ‘Amr as he so records in his book Al-Isti’ab. She said once to ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar, ‘O father of ‘Abdul-Rahman! What stopped you for prohibiting me from marching?' He said, ‘I saw a man who did so even before you,” meaning Ibn al-Zubayr. She then said, “Had you admonished me not to march, I would not have gone out.”18
Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 A.H/1328 A.D.) has said, “When ‘Uthman was killed and people swore the oath of allegiance to the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (‘a), who was then the most worthy of being the caliph and the best of the remaining Sahabah, the views were, nevertheless, diverse and the fire of dissension was lit.
There was no complete unity, nor could the caliph, nor those who were the best among the nation, realize all their plans for the goodness of the nation till the Haruri renegades [the people of Harura] rose to fight the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali (‘a) and those who supported him. In obedience to the Command of Allah Almighty and that of the Messenger of Allah (S), he killed them.
The Prophet (S) had said, ‘The renegade group must be killed [even] by the closest of both parties to righteousness.' ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (‘a) and those with him were the ones who fought them. Based on the statement of the Prophet (S), ‘Ali and his followers are closer to the truth than Mu’awiyah and his party.”19
He has also said, “Any Shi’a group admits that Mu’awiyah could never be compared with ‘Ali (‘a) in as far as the caliphate is concerned, and he could not be a caliph while ‘Ali (‘a), too, was the caliph. ‘Ali's feats, his being the foremost to accept Islam, his knowledge, piety, courage, and all his virtues were quite obvious and well known to everyone.
None among the ahl al-shura [those named by Abu Bakr as members of the advisory committee] remained except he and Sa’d. The latter had already abandoned such a subject, and ‘Uthman had already died; so, none remained except ‘Ali.”20
Al-Zayla’i (d. 762 A.H/1361 A.D.) has said, “Right was in the hand of ‘Ali (‘a) when his turn came [to lead the Muslims]. The proof is in the statement of the Prophet (S) to ‘Ammar: ‘The transgressing party shall kill you.' There is no contention that he [‘Ammar] was on ‘Ali's side when Mu’awiyah's followers killed him.
Then they were unanimous in regarding ‘Ali as being on the right track when he fought the fellows of the Camel, namely Talhah, al-Zubayr, ‘Ayisha, and those who supported them, as well as the fellows of Siffin, namely Mu’awiyah and his army.” He goes on to say, “When ‘Ali (‘a) became the caliph, while Mu’awiyah was in Syria, the latter said, ‘I shall not offer him anything, nor shall I swear the oath of allegiance to him nor visit him.'”21
Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d. 751 A.H/1351 A.D.) has said, “During his time, ‘Ali was the foremost of the nation and the very best, and there was none when he took charge better than him.”22
Abu ‘Abdullah Ibn Muhammad Ibn Muflih, the Hanbali scholar (d. 763 A.H/1362 A.D.), has said, “‘Ali (‘a) was the closest to righteousness than Mu’awiyah and the most fair in fighting those who transgressed. There were those who sided with ‘Ali and those who refrained.”
Ibn Hubayrah depends on Ubayy's hadith to advocate that people should renounce taking to arms during dissension, meaning when ‘Uthman was killed. As regarding what happened thereafter, none among the Muslims supported the notion that anybody was excused for lagging behind without supporting ‘Ali (‘a). And when Sa’d, Ibn ‘Umar, Usamah, Muhammad Ibn Maslamah, Masruq, and al-Ahnaf did so, they all regretted it.
On his death bed, ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar, for example, said, “I am leaving this world and there is no bigger sigh in my heart than having been reluctant to support ‘Ali (‘a).” The same has been reported about Masruq and others because of such reluctance.23 Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani (d. 852 A.H/1449 A.D.) has said, “Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib was on the right track when he fought those who waged against him the wars of the Camel, Siffin, and others.”24
Mahmud Ibn Hajar al-Haythami (d. 974 A.H/1567 A.D.) has said, “The people of the Camel and of Siffin charged ‘Ali (‘a) of collaborating with those who murdered ‘Uthman while he was innocent of it, and far he was from doing something like that.”25
He goes on to say, “A religious authority is bound to fight those who transgress because the Sahabah have all conceded that this should be the case, and that he should not fight them before sending them a discreet, equitable, and trustworthy person to advise them and to inquire about their reasons for disobeying him in accordance with the incident when ‘Ali (‘a) sent Ibn ‘Abbas to the Kharijites at al-Nahrawan, thus causing some of them to return to his obedience.”26
The discussion between Ibn ‘Abbas and the Kharijites is detailed on p. 48 of Khasa’is Amir al-Mu’minin by al-Nasa'i.
Al-Shihab al-Khafaji (d. 1100 A.H/1689 A.D.) has said, “The Prophet's statement to ‘Ammar: ‘The transgressing party shall kill you,' and the fact that the supporters of Mu’awiyah killed him at Siffin because he was supporting ‘Ali (‘a), is a clear indication that the righteous caliph was ‘Ali (‘a), and that Mu’awiyah was wrong in following his own personal views.
A transgressor is one who unfairly declares his mutiny against his leading Imam. Another hadith by him (‘a) and his progeny, says, ‘If people dispute, the son of Sumayya will always be right,' and the son of Sumayya is ‘Ammar who sided with ‘Ali (‘a). This is what we owe Allah to say: ‘Ali, Allah glorified his countenance, was right and justified in not arresting those who participated in killing ‘Uthman.”27
Al-Shawkani (d. 1255 A.H/1840 A.D.) quotes a tradition of the Prophet, peace of Allah be upon him and his progeny, narrated by Abu Sa’id [al-Khudri] wherein he says, “My nation shall split into two parties between whom renegades will come out who should be killed by the closest party to righteousness.” He says, “This proves that ‘Ali (‘a) and his supporters were right, whereas Mu’awiyah and his followers were wrong.”28
Abul-Thana’ al-‘Alusi, the scholar of exegesis, has cited a number of Hanbali scholars advocating the necessity for killing those who transgress because ‘Ali (‘a) was too distracted, during his caliphate, with fighting the transgressors to be involved with jihad. This means that fighting transgressors is better than participating in jihad. Then he documents how ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar [Ibn al-Khattab] regretted his reluctance to side with ‘Ali in fighting the transgressing party. Al-‘Alusi did not rebut it.29
Muhammad Kurd ‘Ali has said,
“‘Ali did not violate the Sunnah when he dissociated himself from those who killed ‘Uthman. Those who participated in killing him belonged to most of the tribes, and they were very large in number. ‘Ali could not have faced them all by himself.
It was impossible for him to arrest them, or even to arrest some of them, since they supported him, even if he had known who they were. The incident took place against his wish, and it was not in his interest to enrage numerous tribes that supported him then.
‘Ali (‘a) used to swear by Allah that had the Umayyads required him to produce fifty truthful men from Banu Hashim to swear by Allah that he did not murder ‘Uthman, nor condoned his murder, he would have obliged.”30
The above are texts excerpted from Sunni scholars' books testifying to the fact that ‘Ali (‘a) was more worthy of being the caliph than anyone else, and that whoever rebelled against him deserved to be fought till he returned to the right course. Such was the choice made by the best from among the Sahaba and the tabi’in. Among the latter was Uways al-Qarni who was a foot soldier during the Battle of Siffin.31
‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar Ibn al-’As used to say, “I regretted nothing more than not fighting the transgressing party as Allah Almighty had commanded me to.” He used to narrate what the Prophet (S) used to say, that is, “Sumayya's son will be killed by the oppressive party,” and that the oppressive party was that of Mu’awiyah and his gang.
When he was asked about why he did not participate in the Battle of Siffin on ‘Ali's side, he produced an excuse which will not avail him on the Day of Judgment. Said he, “I never used a sword or a lance, but the Messenger of Allah (S) required me to obey my father, and I did.”32
This is nothing but falsehood and deception. How could he find it palatable to oppose the truth by thus misinterpreting a statement made by the Prophet (S)? Does the Shari’a permit interpreting the hadith as enjoining obedience to one's father if such obedience requires forsaking the obligations or committing what is prohibited? Of course not.
Obedience to the Imam who has received the oath of allegiance was mandatory on all Muslims, and the umma then had no choice except to obey him and carry out his orders, and no obedience to one's father can take precedence over obedience to the Imam (‘a). The verse saying,
“And if they intimidate you so that you may associate with me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them” (Qur’an, Sura al’Ankabut, 29:8)
may be inclusive. The prohibited association referred to in this verse, therefore, may connote prohibiting forsaking obedience to Allah, Glory to Him. It implies prohibiting forsaking obedience to the Prophet (S) and to the Imam who has received the oath of allegiance from the Muslims. ‘Ayisha, thereupon, used to perform her prayers in full when she marched to Bara to fight ‘Ali (‘a) because to shorten the prayers, in her view, was done when one travels in obedience to Allah's Commandments.33
The sacred Shari’a has required the Imam of the nation to win his argument against anyone who rebelled against him and abandoned obedience to him by reminding him of Allah's incessant favours on His servants despite their rebellion and oppression.
Then he informs them that this vanishing life does not bring anyone who is immersed in his love for it except loss. He may do so by admonition and by citing Qur’anic verses in order to enlighten those whose desires blinded them, so that they may see the path of guidance and realize the shining truth.
The Commander of the Faithful (‘a) followed this plan of action which Islam canonized during the first three days after his calling upon his companions not to transgress the commandments of the Shari’a and not to rush to fight so that the other party might be the transgressing one that fought the believers, hence the argument against it would be established as the one that started the aggression.34
He, peace of Allah be upon him and his infallible offspring, admonished the fellows of the Camel, Siffin, and al-Nahrawan a great deal so that nobody would have any excuse when the books of deeds are spread wide open and every argument of those called upon by him and who insist on disputing with him and in being stubborn is refuted. Those who were guided by Allah to conviction were enlightened by the light of his guidance, whereas those who strayed from the path of righteousness were not.
These men are discussed by Abu Mansur, ‘Abdul-Qahir al-Baghdadi, on p. 290 of his book Usul ad-Din. They are also discussed on p. 233 of al-Baqillani's book Al-Tamhid, by Ibn Taymiyyah on p. 226, Vol. 4, of his book Al-Fatawa al-Misriyya, by Abu Ja’far al-Tabari on p. 153, Vol. 3, of his renowned history book Tarikh Akhbar al-Muluk wal Umam (Tarikh, for short).
The reluctance of Sa’d Ibn Abu Waqqas to swear it is discussed on pp. 79-83, Vol. 1, of al-Thahabi's book A’lam al-Nubala', commenting that his excuse was not acceptable neither by Allah nor by His Messenger; that excuse was, “I will not follow anyone unless he gives me a sword with a tongue that speaks and eyes that see in order to distinguish a believer from an apostate.” In his biography in Al-Isti’ab, it is stated that Mu’awiyah wrote him a poem seeking to appease him and soliciting his support. In his answer, he responded with these verses:
Do you really covet what ‘Ali is granted?!
Bid farewell to such hopes!
One day of his life is better than you living
Or dead, may you be sacrificed for the man.
As for ‘Uthman, leave his discussion,
For such a view is worn out by affliction.
On p. 274, Vol. 2, of Al-’Iqd al-Farid, in a chapter dealing with ‘Ali being innocent of ‘Uthman's murder, the author states the following: “‘Ali (‘a) used to say the following when he was in Kufa: ‘If Banu Umayyah wish, I am ready to challenge them to swear at the Ka’ba fifty times that I did not start anything against ‘Uthman.'” On p. 224, Vol. 4, of Ibn Taymiyyah's book Majmu’ al-Fatawa al-Misriyya, the author says, “‘Ali (‘a) swore, the righteous and the truthful person who never had to swear that he was, that he never killed ‘Uthman nor wanted anyone to kill him.”
On p. 141, Vol. 8, of Taj al-’Arus: Sharh al-Qamus, in the discussion of the subject of insinuating, and that people should avoid it, ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (‘a) is quoted as saying, “Had Banu Umayyah agreed that we require fifty persons from Banu Hashim to swear that we never killed ‘Uthman, nor do we know who killed him, we would have done so,” meaning producing fifty witnesses to his innocence. On p. 170 of Ibn al-Sikkit's book Islah al-Mantiq, in a chapter dealing with insinuation and how people ought to forsake it, ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib (‘a) is quoted as saying, “By Allah! I never killed ‘Uthman nor insinuated that anyone should kill him.”
On p. 60 of Nasras's book Siffin, Egyptian edition, it is stated that, “Al-Mughirah Ibn al-Akhnas was killed the same day with ‘Uthman when ‘Uthman's mansion was attacked. His son composed poetic verses in which he commended ‘Ali (‘a) for not participating in what those folks [the assailants] had done. Among what he said was this:
As for ‘Ali, he sought refuge at home,
So he neither issued an order in its regard,
Nor did he prohibit anyone.
On p. 112, Vol. 1, of his book Sharh Nahjul-Balagha (Egyptian edition), Ibn Abul-Hadid records a statement that testifies to his deep understanding of the events. He said, “Mu’awiyah very much deviated from ‘Ali 's line because he [‘Ali ] had killed his [Mu’awiyah’s] brother Hanzalah during the Battle of Badr, in addition to his uncle al-Walid, and he took part in killing his grandfather, ‘Utbah, or his uncle, Shaybah. From among the dignitaries belonging to ‘Abd Shams whom he killed, and their likes, he killed a large number.
This is the reason why he [Mu’awiyah] attributed ‘Uthman's murder to ‘Ali (‘a) and publicized it among the people. Murderers rallied behind him.” On p. 240, Vol. 2, ‘Urwah Ibn al-Zubayr is quoted as saying, “‘Ali (‘a) was too fearful of angering Allah to assist anyone in killing ‘Uthman.”