Table of Contents

22. The Election of the Imam ‘Ali

Had Quraish (Meccan Community) remained in control of the political affairs during the first few days after the death of Uthman it would have prevented the Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib from coming to power. Had Tallah Al-Zubayr and their supporters expected ‘Ali to come to power they would not have opposed Uthman or called for his assassination.

Each of the two companions was hopeful that he rather than ‘Ali would be the fourth caliph and Quraish was determined to use all its power to keep ‘Ali away from the caliphate. You may remember that the Imam said to the Hashimites when the Second Caliph issued his instructions concerning the Electoral Convention: "Should your people (the Qureshites) be obeyed in matters pertaining to you you will never be given the leadership."1

Fortunately Quraish lost the political initiative for a few days after Uthman’s assassination. The Qureshites were astonished and numbed and they did not know what to do. It is true that the non-Umayyad Qureshite leaders instigated the uprising against Uthman and called for his assassination. Yet the people who made the revolution were from outside Mecca and Medina.

They were Egyptians Bassrites and Kufites. These revolutionary elements were in control of the political affairs having what the Qureshites did not have of influence during that short period.

The reign of the Third Caliph exhibited to the Muslims that Quraish had committed a classical error when it diverted the caliphate from ‘Ali to Uthman. The natives of Medina found in the few days following his death a breathing time and an opportunity to liberate themselves from the Qureshite influence and its despotic role in directing the caliphate and giving it to whomever it chose.

Thus Quraish for the first time was not obeyed in a matter pertaining to the House of the Prophet. Therefore the House of the Prophet was given the leadership and ‘Ali who was the head of the House was elected.

It was ironic concerning the caliphate that ‘Ali desired to be the elected caliph when Abu Bakr was elected when ‘Umar was appointed and when Uthman was selected.

And at each time Quraish used to stand in his way and divert the caliphate from him to others. Yet his desire and the Qureshite desire did not clash when he was offered the caliphate after the death of Uthman.

The Qureshite leaders were wishing out of jealousy that ‘Ali would not be given the leadership. ‘Ali on the other hand wished that the caliphate would be diverted from him because he expected to face tremendous difficulties which could not be surmounted by a man of principle such as ‘Ali.

A Drafted Caliph

Al-Tabari reported that the Meccan and the Medinite companions including Talhah and Al-Zubayr met with the Imam ‘Ali and told him: "We have to have an Imam." He said: "I have no desire for your leadership. I would be satisfied with whomever you choose." They said: "We shall choose none but you."

They came to him time after time saying: "We know of no one who has more right or precedence in Islam or closer relation to the Prophet than you." He said: "Do not do it. I would like to be an assistant rather than a leader." They said: "By God we shall not desist until we elect you."2

Al-Tabari reported also that the people remained five days after the death of Uthman without an lmam. The revolutionary people gathered the people of Medina and told them: You are the people of the counsel.

You are the makers of the caliphate and your decision would be honored by the nation. Look for anyone whom you choose and we will follow you. The majority said: We choose ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib. We will be satisfied with him. The revolutionaries gave the people of Medina two days to choose a leader. People came to ‘Ali saying to him: "We want to elect you; you are witnessing what happened to Islam and what we are exclusively (from among the rest of the people) facing of difficulties."

A Gloomy Expectation

‘Ali said: "Leave me out and seek other than I. Certainly we are facing a crisis with many faces and colors. The hearts will not stand for it and the minds will not rest on it." They said: We ask you in the name of God. Can't you see what we are facing? Can't you see what happened to Islam? Can't you see the crisis? Do you not fear God?

He said: "I accept and you should know that if I accept I will follow only my knowledge in administering your affairs. If you leave me out I would be only one of you yet I would be of the most obedient to whomever you elect."3

They left him after they made an appointment with him for the following day..

The following day (Friday) people came to the Mosque and ‘Ali mounted the pulpit and said: "O people upon mutual counsel and permission this affair is yours.

No one has the right to lead you except the one you choose. We parted yesterday on an agreement. If you choose I will sit for you; otherwise I will not have any ill feelings against anyone (if you change your opinion)." They said: "We are still on the same principle as yesterday."4

People elected him. It is said that Talhah was the first one who gave him his allegiance.5 The people of Kufa said that Malik Al-Ashtar was the first one who gave ‘Ali his allegiance.

Unachievable Goals

The Imam reluctantly accepted the election although he wished that the caliphate had been diverted from him to another person. The caliphate in his view was not an end.

He viewed it only as a means of spreading justice among people realizing brotherhood among the followers of the Islamic message and leading the nation to a life ruled by principles of the Holy Qur'an and the instructions of the Holy Prophet. All evidence was pointing to the fact that the achievements of these goals had become impossible.

The unity of the nation had come to an end during the reign of the Third Caliph. His saddening death was expected only to increase the division of the nation and magnify the flame of dissention.

‘Ali's program called for implementation of equality in distribution of public funds executing justice removal of corruption and elimination of discrimination. This was expected only to meet the strongest opposition from elements of strong influence who were not willing to relinquish their acquired privileges.

Quraish's Hostility

Quraish the community that blocked ‘Ali's way to the caliphate for twenty-five years (thinking that if he comes to power the caliphate will remain in his house) will do all it can to destroy his caliphate.

The Privileged Companions

The class of companions who were preferred in salary by the Second and Third Caliphs and acquired wealth through investment of the surplus fund which they received will oppose ‘Ali because he believes in distributing the public funds equally among the Muslims.

Those who enriched themselves by accepting huge sums of money and vast pieces of land from the Third Caliph and his appointed governors will also oppose the Imam because he intends to recover what they received illegally and put it back in the Islamic treasury.

Talhah and Al-Zubayr members of the Electoral Convention were representing a new class of companions and endeavored to bring the reign of Uthman to an end (hoping that one of them will replace him). They were expected to try to fight ‘Ali with all their power.

The two companions were extremely powerful. The fortune of each had amounted to tens of millions of dirhams.6 They had the support of the Qureshite clans and a great number of the people of Basra and Kufa. And above all they were supported by Ayeshah Mother of the Believers who enjoyed a great influence and a high prestige.

In fact this important lady was one of the tremendous obstacles which the Imam had to face because she was extremely hostile to the Imam. She was effective and influential because of her high position. She was the one who fermented a revolution against Uthman in order to replace him by her cousin Talhah or her brother-in-law Al- Zubayr.

The Umayyads

More dangerous than all these elements were the Umayyads members of the clan of the assassinated Caliph whose influence was escalated during his reign and one of them Muawiya became the strongest man in the Muslim World.

Tribalism

What made the Umayyads extremely dangerous was their exploitation of the tribal spirit in the Arab society which compelled the members of any tribe regardless of their number to obey their chief under any condition. Such a spirit produces evil when the chief of the tribe is greedy putting his worldly interest ahead of his religion.

It is very easy for a ruler who controls a national or state treasury to purchase the loyalty of a tribe by purchasing the loyalty of its chief. There is nothing that corrupts man's conscience like money. The Umayyads were masters in the art of purchasing people's loyalty and corrupting their conscience. They were the rulers of the important Islamic provinces and this enabled them to have a great number of proteges and purchase the loyalty of many tribes by pleasing their chiefs.

The Absence of the Military Draft System

The aforementioned difficulties would be accentuated when compulsory military service is absent. The Faith of Islam makes it mandatory to the Muslims to defend the nation and the sacred principles of Islam. Yet the performance of this duty was left during the time of the Prophet and the first three Caliphs to the conscience of the Muslims. The Islamic Army was composed of volunteers.The aforementioned difficulties would be accentuated when compulsory military service is absent. The Faith of Islam makes it mandatory to the Muslims to defend the nation and the sacred principles of Islam. Yet the performance of this duty was left during the time of the Prophet and the first three Caliphs to the conscience of the Muslims. The Islamic Army was composed of volunteers.

When the nation is united and people are conscious of their religious duties it would be easy for the government to gather task forces in order to meet any threatening danger. But when the nation is divided and people are confused by the slogans of various parties it would be most difficult to meet arising dangers and subduing subversive elements.

This is much harder when subversive elements already exist and military forces acquired through purchasing the loyalty of chiefs of tribes through public funds. This was the situation when the Imam was elected. There was no national military establishment.

People were divided and confused and Muawiya the governor of Syria had established in that province during the eighteen years of his governorship a viable military power by gathering the tribes of Syria around him and putting all their forces under his command.

The caliphate was diverted from the "Brother of the Messenger" when the nation was healthy and united and religion was its main concern. Then the caliphate was forced upon him when the nation was divided and the caliphate became bloody.

‘Ali was not the man who runs away from his responsibilities even in a desperate situation where the elements of evil and anarchy which shall stand in his way are much stronger than the good elements which support him.

The Imam was fully aware that the Umayyads were to acquire the authority of the Muslim World and transform the caliphate into a despotic Kingdom. The Imam was aware of this because he was aware of the prevalent corruption in the nation and because of the information which he received from the Prophet about the future of the nation.

His awareness of this future would not justify in his eyes a passive attitude. As a matter of fact his expectation of the future success of the Umayyads made him more determined to fulfill his duty after he found some good elements determined to assist him and desirous to combat injustice in the Islamic society and purify it of corruption.

The Imam expected the Umayyads to control the Muslim World but this expected control was not inevitable or predestined from Heaven where man has no choice. On the contrary what was expected to happen was to be a result of failure of the Muslims to combat injustice and stand for the truth.

Had the Imam refused to lead the nation after the righteous companions and their good followers offered him assistance he would have assisted the Umayyads in reaching their evil goals.

It was his duty to stand up and to do all he could to prevent them from coming to power. If the nation supports him justice will prevail and he would avoid the Muslims a great danger that threatened their religion and future as a nation of a great mission. If the nation let him down he would have fulfilled his duty and pleased his Lord and his conscience. He would be following the examples of the prophets who entered into struggles which they did not hope to win.

Blood and Tears

As the Muslims put the Imam face to face with his responsibility and forced the caliphate upon him he tried also to make them face their responsibility. He warned his electors that they will face very insane crises which will demand heavy sacrifices and that they should not expect but blood and tears. He told them that they are about to face a crisis of manifold faces and colors with which neither hearts stand nor minds rest with certainty.

He told the people of the acquired privileges who enjoyed self enrichment at the expense of others that he will re-direct the nation and will not listen to criticism by people who are opposed to justice. "If I respond to your call I will follow only my own knowledge."

The good companions of the Prophet and their followers gave the Imam their allegiance (while they had a clear idea about what they will face) with an unequaled zeal. His election was truly an election by the people whose hearts were filled with faith without being corrupted by politics and quest of prestige. These people believed that they were electing the Brother of the Prophet the most knowledgeable of his message and the Prophet's choice from his nation.

As to the people of political ambition and material greed from the members of the preferred classes they were unable to resist the tide of enthusiasm of the masses of the people. They had lost political control during that short period. The death of Uthman stunned them and they could not gather themselves to resist the Imam. They gave him their allegiance as other people did.

Marwan Ibn Al-Hakam one of the most hostile persons to the Imam was among those who elected him. Talhah and Al-Zubayr elected the Imam though each of them was hopeful to become the caliph after Uthman.

An Early Opposition

A Qureshite woman of great influence and high voice was not stunned by the sequel of the events. Ayeshah wife of the Prophet and a Mother of the Believers was completely present-minded capable of thinking planning and working for her political goal. She declared her opposition to the Imam the moment she received the news of his election.

Ayeshah was the most outspoken person against Uthman. Her propaganda against him was one of the main factors in bringing the rebels to Medina and besieging the Caliph. When he was besieged she was calling for his assassination.

Al-Balatheri in his history recorded that when the situation became serious for Uthman he ordered Marwan Ibn Al-Hakam and Abdul Rahman Ibn Attab Ibn Oseid to meet with Ayeshah. They came to her and she was preparing herself for pilgrimage. They requested her to stay in Medina that God may protect the man (Uthman) through her.

She said: "I shall not do what you are requesting." The two men stood up and Marwan recited a verse of poetry indicating that Ayeshah started the fire and when the fire grew she was leaving! At this point she told him: "Marwan I wish that Uthman were in one of my sacks and I could carry him so I may throw him in the sea."7

Abdullah Ibn Abbas while on his way to Mecca (after Uthman appointed him "Ameer" (leader) of the pilgrimage) met Ayeshah on the road and she said to him: "Ibn Abass God has given you wisdom intelligence and eloquence. Beware do not try to dissuade the rebels to save that tyrant."8

Sudden Reversal

Her hostile attitude towards Uthman was immediately changed when she received the news of ‘Ali's election after Uthman’s death. While at "Saraf" coming back from her pilgrimage Ayeshah met Obeid Ibn Abu Selema (who was related to her through her mother). The following dialogue took place:

Ayeshah: What do you know?

Obeid: Uthman was killed and the people remained eight days without a caliph.

Ayeshah: Then what did they do? Obeid: They elected ‘Ali.

Ayeshah: May Heaven fall on earth if your man succeeds. Return me to Mecca.

She turned her face towards Mecca saying "By God Uthman was killed unjustly. By God I shall avenge for his blood.”

Obeid: By God you are the first one who discredited him. You used to say about him: Kill Naathal (likening Uthman to a heavily bearded Arab Jew named Naathal) because he deserted the faith.

Ayeshah: They made him repent then they killed him. They said and I said and my last saying is better than my first saying.9

Thus the Mother of the Believers turned in one hour from an enemy of Uthman urging people to kill him to an avenger of his blood and she did not lack the argument for her opinion in both situations for both attitudes.

Campaigning for War at the Sacred Mosque

She went to Mecca and when she arrived at the Sacred Mosque of Mecca she delivered a fiery speech urging people to avenge the blood of Uthman.10 She forgot and through her influence as a wife of the Prophet and daughter of the First Caliph she made her audience forget that she was the holder of the biggest share of the responsibility of his death.

She forgot and made people forget that Islam had forbidden and abolished the pre-Islamic traditions which allowed people to wage bloody wars for revenge and that the punishment of a killer is not in jurisdiction of any one but a true Islamic government.

She forgot and made people forget that God had commanded her and all the wives of the Messenger to stay at their houses and that she should not display herself as women used to do during the pre-Islamic days.11

Her audience in Mecca were the Qureshites who shared with her the hatred of ‘Ali since the days of the Prophethood. These people made continuous efforts to keep ‘Ali away from leadership for twenty-five years. He was elected caliph only when the Qureshites lost the political control after the death of Uthman. Now Mother of Believers was trying to gather the Qureshite anew in order to destroy his leadership after the believers elected him.

Mecca is the Sacred City whose sanctity ‘Ali would not violate. Therefore it was a safe place for the conspirators. They gathered there from various places after Ayeshah preceded them raising the banner of rebellion towards "Ameer Al-Mumineen" (the Leader of the Believers)

A Preparation for War Under Way

The first one to respond to her call was Abdullah Ibn Amir Al-Hadrami who was Uthman’s appointed governor of Mecca.12 He said: "I am the first one to seek revenge for the blood of Uthman." When the Umayyads knew about the attitude of Ayeshah they left Medina secretly to Mecca.13

Talhah and Al-Zubayr stayed in Medina for a while then decided to go to Mecca to join the Mother of Believers.14 They left Medina pretending that they were going for Omrah (a brief visit to the ancient House of God in Mecca)

The Two Companions Joined

Talhah and Al-Zubayr were most expected to join the camp of Ayeshah because her goal was to cancel the caliphate of ‘Ali in order to replace him with one of the two companions.

She instigated people against Uthman and ordered them to kill him for the same purpose.15 She wanted to replace him with her cousin Talhah as her prime choice or with her brother-in-law Al-Zubayr as a second choice.16

The Umayyads Were Still to Be Reckoned with

The meeting of the conspirators and their dialogue in Mecca indicate that the Umayyads after Uthman were still something to take into account. People of Mecca were with them; the former governor Abdullah Al-Hadrami was in the front line and they did not encounter any opposition from the Meccans.

Yaala Ibn Omayah (he is Ibn Munyah) Uthman’s former appointed governor of Yemen pillaged what was under his control of the Islamic treasury in Yemen before the arrival of Obeidullah Ibn Al- Abbas the Imam's appointed governor of Yemen. Ibn Omayah brought for the conspirators six hundred thousand dirhams and six hundred camels.17 This enabled them to implement a portion of their unholy project.

Abdullah Ibn Amir who was Uthman’s appointed governor in Basra brought a great amount of funds.18 He informed them that they had many proteges in Basra. In fact everyone of Uthman’s appointed governors had many proteges. The purchase of the Arab tribes' loyalty was the Umayyad art. They excelled in that art and bought many chiefs and tribes in order to erect the pillars of the Umayyad Kingdom.

Rassrah the Chosen Target

When the conspirators tried to decide to which city they should go in order to begin the revenge for the blood of Uthman they realized that all of Syria was under the control of an Umayyad governor Muawiya who was more hostile to the new Caliph than they were.

Finally they decided to go to Basra in spite of the presence of the Imam's appointed governor. They chose Basra because it had many Umayyad proteges.19 They hoped that the words of Mother of the Believers will influence the majority of the people of its population to repudiate the Imam.

United Only Against the Imam

The Umayyads and their previous enemies: Ayeshah Talhah and Al-Zubayr had agreed to stand against the Imam who was their common enemy. The destruction of his leadership was their first goal. They were divided on their ultimate goal namely: Who is to rule after the destruction of the Imam's caliphate?

The Umayyads were working for returning the caliphate to them while Ayeshah and Talhah and Al-Zubayr were opposed to that. The Umayyads were wiser than Talhah Al-Zubayr and Ayeshah. The Umayyads were hopeful to eliminate them after using them.

To them the three leaders were partners in shedding the blood of Uthman and dangerous to the Umayyads. The following story shows the extent of their difference in goals.

Sa-eed Ibn A-Aws Uthman’s former appointed governor of Kufa came to Marwan Ibn Al-Hakam and his group while the caravan was at the beginning of its journey to Basra. He asked them: "Where are you going and leaving alive the people from whom you should seek revenge? (He meant Ayeshah Talhah and Al-Zubayr)

Kill them and go back to your homes. They retorted: We hope that we will be able to kill all the killers of Uthman.

Sa-eed met Talhah and Al-Zubayr privately and asked them the following question: If you prevail against ‘Ali whom are you going to make a caliph? Tell me the truth! They told him that the caliphate will be for one of them.

Either of them that would be chosen by the people shall be the caliph. Sa-eed suggested to them that they should give the caliphate to one of the children of Uthman because they were going to avenge his blood.

They said: We are not going to pass over the elders of the Meccan companions and give the leadership to the orphans. Sa-eed said: "I would not endeavor to take the leadership away from the children of Abd-Munaf" (whose descendants are the Hashimites and the Umayyads). He went back and so did Abdullah Ibn Khalid Ibn Useid.20

Sa-eed was hasty. Marwan and his group were trickier than Sa-eed. They were trying to weaken or destroy the caliphate of the Imam and then eliminate the three leaders.

The Umayyads were much more intelligent than the three leaders Ayeshah Talhah and Al-Zubayr. They wanted to use these leaders in order to reach their goal and then sacrifice them. But the three leaders were not aware of what was planned for them.

History informs us that Marwan killed Talhah in the Battle of Basra.21 Had Al- Zubayr remained alive he would not have escaped the avenge of the Umayyads.

Talhah and Al-Zubayr did not have any legitimate excuse in their rebellion against the Imam. Talhah was the first one who gave allegiance to the Imam and Al-Zubayr was one of the electors. Yet when they started their unsuccessful venture both claimed that they were forced to give their allegiance to the Imam.

Were Talhah and al-Zubayr forced to elect the imam?

The Imam was most aware of the human and Islamic rights and he was too righteous to deprive people of their rights. Every Muslim is entitled to exercise his political freedom and authorize or refuse to authorize another person to govern in his name. Every human has the right to refuse to pledge his allegiance to any candidate even if he is elected by the majority.

However such an abstainer should not try to prevent such an elected person from exercising his right to administer the affairs of the people as long as he governs according to the Islamic laws. A ruler who is elected by the majority is not permitted to force a person to change his vote from "no" to "yes.".

The Imam Did Not Force Any Companion to Elect Him

The Imam himself faced difficulties and was subjected to injustice when companions tried to force him to elect Abu Bakr.22 Other companions warned him after they selected Uthman that he should not incur harm to himself by refusing to vote for Uthman.23 The Imam believed that such attempts are violations of his natural rights. The Imam is not expected to do what he used to criticize.

He believed that the Messenger of God had chosen him to lead the nation and that the duty of the nation is to follow the choice of the Messenger. Yet he refused to use violence as a means of acquiring leadership when Abu Sufyan offered him to fill Medina with horses and men against Abu Bakr.24

Saad Ibn Abu Waqass who was a member of the Electoral Convention refused to elect the Imam and said to him: By God you will see no harm from me. The Imam did not force him to pledge his allegiance to him.25

He did not force Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar to elect him and he was not less important than Talhah and Al-Zubayr. The Imam asked from him to bring a surety and when he refused to do that the Imam said to the people: Leave him I am his surety. Then he said to him; "You are as far as I have known you a man of ill manner in your youth and adulthood.26

When he asked him to bring a surety he wanted only to be sure that the one who refuses to elect him will not try to revolt against him. Osamah Ibn Zayd Ibn Harithah refused to elect the Imam and the Imam did not try to force him.

Individuals from the natives of Medina also refused to elect the Imam. Among these were Zayd Ibn Thabit Hassan Ibn Thabit Muslimah Ibn Mukhlid Muhammad Ibn Muslima Naaman Ibn Basheer (who became a supporter of Muawiya later) Kaab Ibn Ujrah and Kaab Ibn Malik (who was sent by Uthman to collect the Zakat of Muzainah then he granted him what he collected).27

All these were loyal to Uthman and opposed to the Imam. Yet the Imam did not force any of them to elect him. The Imam would not have given an exceptional treatment to Talhah and Al-Zubayr if they had refused to elect him. The most he could do to them was to ask them to offer a guarantee that they would refrain from any subversive activity.

I do not rule out that the rebels or their leaders had exercised some pressure against the two companions and made them elect the Imam. But such pressure would not have prevented the two companions from saying to the Imam:

We are forced to elect you. Had they said that to him he would not have accepted their election. He was the most knowledgeable of the fact that their election cannot be sound when it is done by force.

The Imam Could Not Force His First Elector

Furthermore to expect an Imam to force people to elect him he had to have certain elements: A strong desire to come to power and a military power through which he could force people to elect him or tremendous wealth with which he may try to purchase the loyalty of the people.

Our Imam was not desirous to come to power and he did not make himself a candidate. He seriously tried to divert the leadership from himself. He did not accept the caliphate except when it was forced upon him. He did not have a military power or a material wealth through which he could exercise any pressure against individuals or masses of people.

In addition to this it may be possible for a caliph who has already been elected by the majority to try to force an opponent to vote for him. But it is not conceivable that a candidate tries before he is elected by a majority or a minority to force the first voter to elect him.

The story which tells us that Talhah and Al-Zubayr were forced to elect the Imam mentions that Talhah was the first one to pledge his allegiance to the Imam. It tells also that a man called Habib Ibn Thu-aib who was present at that time interpreted the incident to be ominous saying that the Imam will not succeed because the first hand to give him allegiance was paralyzed (Talhah had a paralyzed finger since the Battle of Uhud).28

The Imam Refuted the Allegation

The Imam refuted the allegations of the two companions in a message he sent to both of them after they left Mecca to Basra. In that message he left no excuse for the two companions. "Certainly you have known.”

He said "Though you have concealed the fact that I did not seek the people until they sought me; nor did I solicit their election but they elected me. You were from the people who sought me and elected me.

The masses of the people did not elect me for a prevailing authority nor for any material wealth. If you had elected me voluntarily you ought to reverse your attitude and repent to God quickly. If you had elected me unwillingly you have given me the right to demand your obedience when you exhibited your free election and concealed your intention."29

If the two companions had elected the Imam under pressure from the rebels or other people they should have at least informed the Imam at the time of election or at least before they left Medina that they had elected him unwillingly.

They stayed in Medina months after the election and never claimed any coercion. Their silence for the duration of that period is evidence that they elected him voluntarily. They did not refrain from mentioning that because of fear of punishment.

It is one of the known facts in history that Saad Ibn Abu Waqass who was their colleague in the membership of the Electoral Convention and Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar did refuse to elect the Imam and neither of them was punished or threatened by the Imam. Talhah and Al-Zubayr were wealthier and more powerful than Saad and Abdullah.

Therefore the Imam said in his message to the two companions: "Certainly you were not the most entitled from among the 'Migrants' (the Meccan companions) to keep silent out of fear. Your refusal to enter into my election could have been easier for you than to exit out of it after acknowledging it..."30

The Guilty Accused the Innocent

However the two companions did not only claim that they were forced to elect the Imam but also accused the Imam of the murder of Uthman. Yet they and Ayeshah Mother of the Believers were the ones who urged people to besiege and kill Uthman and the Imam was the defender of Uthman among the Migrant companions. Since people of Medina were aware of this the Imam concluded his message by the following words: "And you have alleged that I had killed Uthman.

Those who stayed in Medina and did not join you or me ought to be questioned about this matter. Then everyone of us will be burdened with his own action. You the two old men ought to reverse your attitude. The most you may suffer now is shame; but if you continue your way you will add to the shame the Divine punishment."31

The story of the coercion of Talhah and Al-Zubayr to elect the Imam was obviously untrue. ‘Ali was not the man who would try to force any voter to elect him while he was not yet an elected caliph. The two companions invented the story of coercion to justify their rebellion against the Imam.

The two companions who allowed themselves to fight ‘Ali and to kill thousands of Muslims for their own interests would not be expected to refrain from telling untruth deliberately.

  • 1. Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p. 33 Al-Tabari his History part 4 p. 239.
  • 2. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p. 427 Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p. 98.
  • 3. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p. 434 Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p. 99.
  • 4. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p. 435 Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p. 99.
  • 5. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p. 435 Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p. 99.
  • 6. Ibn Sa’d mentioned in his al-Tabaqat part 3. p110 that al Zubayrs wealth announced to forty million dirhams and in p. 222 that Talhah’s wealth amounted to thirty million dirhams
  • 7. Al-Balatheri Ansabul-Ashraf part 4 p. 45.
  • 8. Ibn Abu-Al-Hadid his Commentary on Nahjul-Balaghah part 2 p. 506.
  • 9. Abn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p. 106.
  • 10. Abd Al-Fattah Abdul-Maqsud Al-Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib part 2 p. 297.
  • 11. The Holy Qur'an chapter 33 verse 33.
  • 12. Al-Tabari his History part 4 pp. 449-450.
  • 13. Al-Tabari his History part 4 pp. 448-450.
  • 14. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p. 452.
  • 15. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p. 459.
  • 16. Ibn Abu Al-Hadid his Commentary on Nahjul-Balaghah part 2 p. 506.
  • 17. Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p. 106.
  • 18. Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p. 106.
  • 19. Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p. 106.
  • 20. Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p. 107.
  • 21. Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p. 124.
  • 22. Abdul-Fattah Abdul-Maqsud Al-Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib part 1 p. 190.
  • 23. Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p. 37.
  • 24. Abdul Fattah Abdul-Maqsud Al-Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib part 1 p. 185 Al-Tabari in his History part 4 p. 428.
  • 25. Dr. Taha Hussein Al-Fitnat Al-Kubra part 2 p. 22 Al-Tabari his History part 4 p. 428.
  • 26. Dr. Taha Hussein Al-Fitnat Al-Kubra part 2 p. 22 Al-Tabari his History part 4 p. 428.
  • 27. Al-Tabari his History part 4 pp. 429-430.
  • 28. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p. 428.
  • 29. Al-Imam ‘Ali Nahjul-Balaghah part 3 p. 111-112.
  • 30. Al-Imam ‘Ali Nahjul-Balaghah part 3 p. 111-112.
  • 31. Al-Imam ‘Ali Nahjul-Balaghah part 3 111-112.