Many historians and writers criticized the policy of the Imam and considered it extremely idealistic and unrealistic. At the same time these critics appeared to be so impressed with the intelligence of Muawiya and his wiliness that they considered him a statesman of the highest rank.
Critics of this kind usually look at consequences instead of looking at the circumstances which brought about those consequences.
The best way to reach an objective judgement in comparing the two men is to suppose that they had exchanged their circumstances places and times as well as their posts and their qualities except wisdom intelligence and bravery. Let us suppose:
1. ‘Ali was a non -Hashimite Qureshite and he was not responsible for the death of many Qureshites at the Islamic defensive battles during the prophethood era.
2. That he was the governor of Syria since the early portion of ‘Umar's caliphate.
3. That he remained in his post for about eighteen years. Thus the roots of his authority and policy were spread and deepened in Syria.
4. That the people of Syria were the same people at that time in their obedience and unity.
5. That he was an opportunist unconcerned with ideal principles and that he was concerned only with his selfish materialistic benefits allowing himself to acquire those benefits through any means including purchasing people's conscience with public funds assassination betrayals lies and killing righteous and innocent people.
6. That the Qureshites who represented the influential aristocracy in the Muslim World loved and supported him.
On the other hand let us also suppose:
1. That Muawiya was a Hashimite responsible for many Qureshite deaths.
2. That he became caliph after the death of Uthman when the unity of the Muslims was broken.
3. That Quraish hated him because he was responsible for the death of many Qureshites.
4. That Ayeshah Talhah and Al-Zubayr accused him of the assassination of Uthman and turned a great number of Iraqi people against him and waged against him a costly war in which thousands died.
5. That he stayed in Kufa only a short period after that bloody war.
6. That the people of Iraq were the same people at that time in arguments disputes extremism and disobedience.
7. That Muawiya was a man of principle concerned with the Hereafter as much as with the present life or more so he would not compromise his principles for his selfish interests. Nor would he allow himself to use any means which are not in accord with the Islamic Law.
Then let us suppose that the two men met at a battle such as the battle of Siffin and each one had what he had of intelligence wisdom and bravery; ‘Ali with his unusual bravery and Muawiya with his weakness and cowardice.
What would be the outcome? The answer is not difficult. ‘Ali is the triumphant and Muawiya is the loser politically and militarily.
Even if we delete the 7th condition for Muawiya and suppose that the two men were equally opportunistic unbound by any principles Muawiya would be the loser politically and militarily. This is because the roots of his authority would not have been spread and deepened in the land of Iraq due to the shortage of his time in Iraq and to the fact that the Iraqi people were not united and inclined by their nature towards arguments dispute and disobedience.
This would be clear when we remember that Muawiya was about to meet a crushing defeat at the Battle of Siffin while he Was leading the obedient people of Syria. What would have been the situation if he had had to lead the argumentative and disobedient people of Iraq against the obedient people of Syria?
In fact we find that Muawiya after the Imam was assassinated and after he became the ruler of Iraq was not able to control Iraq except through the Syrian army. Had he not possessed that populous base along with its obedient army he would not have been able to continue ruling Iraq in spite of his lack of principles and abundance of opportunities. What would be his fate if he were a man of principle scrupulous in his religion and deprived of a firm populous base and an obedient army?
The historical events during the Umayyad period have proven that the ruler of Iraq during that period regardless of his opportunism and lack of all principles would not be able to continue ruling Iraq except through a non-Iraqi task force to which he resorts when a crisis erupts. Al- Hajjaj Ibn Yousef Al-Thaqafi with all his harshness tyranny and extravagance in blood shedding was not able to retain his authority except through the Syrian army.
Had he not had the Syrian military recruits he would have fallen under the blows of the Seceder Shabeeb and his army.
From this we come to the following conclusion: For a ruler to be able to retain his authority he has to possess two important elements:
1. A firm and well-established populous base.
2. An obedient military force capable of supporting him; otherwise his authority would be unstable.
If we know this we would be able to put our hands on the factors which contributed to the turbulence which persisted in the Imam's era and hastened its end. The two above mentioned elements: The firm populous base and the obedient military force were unavailable to the Imam.
The sequel of events which took place during the period between the death of the Messenger and the Imam's election made the two elements beyond his reach.
‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib was logically expected to be the closest person after the Messenger to the hearts of the followers of the Messenger. He is his cousin his son-in- law and the one whom he "brothered." He was after the Prophet the most faithful and the most knowledgeable among the Prophet's companions and the most adherent to the Prophet's teaching.
Thus the Muslims who were the followers of the Messenger were and are expected to be genuinely loyal to ‘Ali responsive to his call and obedient to his order more than they were obedient to others. It would have been only natural for ‘Ali to have the two necessary elements for retaining and expanding his authority.
The events of history however did not take their logical sequel. They were rather directed through emotional motives partisan and tribal bigotry and went on through a road opposite of the logical expectation.
The Qureshites refused while Muhammad was in Mecca to respond to his invitation or to acknowledge his prophethood. They knew Muhammad very well. They knew his trustworthiness and truthfulness. The main factor which made Qureshites take such a negative attitude was their jealousy of Hashim the clan of the Messenger.
They thought that recognition of his prophethood meant recognition of the superiority of the Hashimites above the rest of the Qureshite clans the rest of the Arab tribes and the rest of the nations.
The Qureshites refused to acknowledge the prophethood of Muhammad besieged him and his clan and used against him their means of pressure and threat then plotted to assassinate him. They forced him to leave his hometown to Medina. When their scheme of assassination failed they resorted to military confrontation.
The Messenger the members of his House and his companions stood up defending their freedom and sacred principles against the numerous pagan forces and Qureshite tribes were his main pagan enemy. Motivated by their jealousy they continued their attempts to annihilate the Messenger and his followers.
‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib was the right hand of the Prophet in all those battles. He was the leader of the defenders and the most efficient in facing the enemy. His strong defense in the battles of destiny cost the Qureshites many lives.
Thus the Qureshite clans held him responsible for the blood of their sons’ brothers and relatives. By this the Qureshites added a new rancor to their glowing jealousy against the Hashimites in general and inflamed grudges against ‘Ali in particular.
Mecca was conquered during the eighth year after the Hijra. Thus the Qureshites declared their Islam after they lost all hopes of obtaining victory against the Prophet. By this the bloody struggle of Quraish against the Messenger and his message came to an end; yet the grudge of the Qureshites against ‘Ali did not come to an end, nor did the influence of Quraish in the Arab society diminish.
The Messenger attempted to secure for the nation a future in which the nation enjoys security against deviation. That security was a combination of two elements: The Holy Qur'an and a righteous wise and thoroughly knowledgeable leadership that walks through the Prophet's path. The Messenger saw that ‘Ali and the rest of the members of his House were the ones who possessed the needed qualifications.
Therefore he declared to the Muslims that ‘Ali to him is like Aaron to Moses1 and that he is the Mawla (guardian) of every believer.2 He informed them also that he is leaving in them that which if they uphold they will never go astray the Book of God and the members of his House. He told them that God informed him that the Holy Qur'an and the members of his House will not part with each other until the Day of Judgment.
Beware he said to the nation how you treat them after me.3 By this declaration the Prophet wanted to establish ‘Ali's leadership and to purify the Qureshites' hearts from the pre-Islamic grudges and replace these grudges with the Islamic brotherhood.
Feeling that he was about to depart from this world and that grudges and jealousy may prevent ‘Ali from reaching the leadership of the nation after him the Prophet wanted to take a precautionary measure against what he feared. He decided to send an army headed by Osamah Ibn Zayd Ibn Harithah to Palestine. There was no immediate danger that motivated the Holy Prophet to send that army.
Yet he urged outstanding companions such as Abu Bakr ‘Umar Abu Obeidah and Saad Ibn Abu Waqaas to be in the expedition. He evidently intended to send the ambitious companions away from Medina so that ‘Ali would take over without difficulty.
The outstanding migrant companions disliked leaving Medina when they knew that the Prophet had fallen ill and had a high fever. The Holy Prophet attempted several times to send them away saying time after time "implement the expedition of Osama." But the companions refused to leave and waited.4
The Prophet witnessed the reluctance of his companions to leave Medina. Therefore he wanted to decide in the matter and leave no excuse for them. Thus he wanted to dictate while he was in his ailment a document through which his nation will be secured against straying after him.
Those who were present in his room from his companions felt that he wanted to record in writing what he declared concerning ‘Ali verbally. Therefore the influentials among them resisted the will of the Holy Prophet and cast a doubt on his consciousness. They refused to provide him with an inkwell and a sheet for writing saying: The Book is sufficient for us.5
It seems to us that the migrant Meccan companions were influenced by the psychological attitudes of the Qureshites. They felt that the continuation of the rule in the House of the Prophet after his death will prevent the rest of the Qureshites from reaching the caliphate. These companions felt that ‘Ali's succession to the Prophet would make the Arab society accustomed to the rule of the members of the House of the Prophet. Their relationship to the Prophet had already cast on those members a halo of holiness.
Furthermore their merit was affirmed by what they had of high quality. Thus it would become impossible for any companions to take the place of these distinguished relatives of the Prophet in the hearts of the Muslims.
‘Ali in addition to his close relationship to the Prophet and his special position had the most brilliant record in the defense of Islam along with a profound knowledge and a righteousness of the highest degree. His two sons Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein were declared by the Messenger of God to be the two leaders of the youth of Paradise6 and they would not be so unless they resembled their grandfather and their father.
Should the leadership after the Messenger be transferred to ‘Ali no one from the Qureshites or other people could compete with him for the hearts of the Muslims by offering a relationship to the Prophet equal to his or a record equal to his record. Nor would anybody be able to compete with his two sons by offering a grandfather a father or a mother equal to theirs.
Even without considering the prospects of his sons ‘Ali's succession to the Messenger would be sufficient to prevent the ambitious companions from reaching the leadership because of his youth and their old age. Had ‘Ali succeeded the Prophet and lived after the Messenger only thirty years none of the caliphs could have reached the caliphate. They would have died before the end of his rule.
The succession of a non-Hashimite Qureshite to the Prophet therefore was conceived by ambitious companions to be the only means that makes the caliphate accessible to them. By this the non-Hashimite Qureshite clans would be able to alternate the caliphate because they are equal to each other. Thus the honor of the caliphate would compensate those clans for what they missed of the honor of prophethood.
During the days of his caliphate ‘Umar said to Ibn Abbass: "Quraish disliked to see you having both honors of the prophethood and caliphate then you would be unfair to your people (The Qureshites). Qureshites have chosen for themselves and they were right and successful."7
If there had been nothing of all this the grudges of Quraish against ‘Ali and the continuation of its influence in the Arab society would have been sufficient to keep ‘Ali away from the caliphate after the Messenger.
The Holy Prophet saw through the light of God what will happen after him. This saddened him and so he on an occasion embraced ‘Ali and wept. When ‘Ali asked him: Messenger of God why do you weep? The Holy Prophet said: "Because of the grudges in the hearts of men which they will show you only after me." 8
When the Messenger departed from this world the Meccan Migrants and the Medinite companions competed for the caliphate but the Migrants had the edge. They won the race. Their argument against the Medinites was that the Messenger of God is from them and that the caliphate is in them. The majority of the companions elected Abu Bakr without mentioning ‘Ali and without consulting him.
When ‘Ali refused to join the electors they attempted to force him to do so but the daughter of the Messenger stood in their way. ‘Ali did not join the electors of Abu Bakr until the daughter of the Holy Prophet (Fatima) met her Lord.
It was only natural for Abu Bakr to find in his heart towards ‘Ali what every human finds towards his only competitor and to find in himself towards ‘Umar what any human can feel towards his dear friend and strong supporter. It was only natural that Abu Bakr rewards ‘Umar by returning the favor and appointing him his successor.
The leadership of the first Two Caliphs was expected only to make the non-Hashimite Qureshite influence increase and grow stronger and stronger and this was expected to put ‘Ali in more isolation.
The period of the Two Caliphs was full of important events and many conquests. This kept people occupied.
The position of the Two Caliphs went high enough to reach the degree of holiness. The names of the military leaders of the conquests and especially the Qureshites among them became well known. People forgot ‘Ali his brilliant record in defending the faith of Islam and his great participation in establishing the foundation of the Muslim State along with what the Messenger of God said about him. People of many nafionalities entered into the domain of the faith of Islam. These people knew the names of the Two Caliphs and the military leaders who subdued those nationalities and the rulers who administered their countries. They did not know anything about ‘Ali and his past.
‘Ali remained in Medina for the duration of the rule of the three caliphs and he was living in an actual state of isolation from the events and the authority. The Two Caliphs did not appoint him to any post; nor did they appoint any member of his house to any military leadership or civil administration in any part of the Muslim World.
Thus people did not know him. The opportunity was not given to any member of his house to be put in a position that would enable him to inform the Muslims about the members of the House of the Holy Prophet and their leader.
The Muslims during the days of the Two Caliphs knew Saad Ibn Abu Waqaas the conqueror of Iraq Amr Ibn Al-Aws conqueror of Egypt and its governor and Muawiya Ibn Abu Sufyan governor of Damascus. They knew Mughirah Ibn Shu-abah governor of Basra Abu Musa Al-Ashari its subsequent governor Ammar Ibn Yasir governor of Kufa for a short time and Abdullah Ibn Masud the treasurer of Kufa.
These individuals became better known to the conquered nationalities than ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib. I do not believe that any of these leaders and rulers except Ammar Ibn Yasir and (maybe) Abdullah Ibn Masud was anxious to inform people about ‘Ali and his position in Islam.
I do not say that the Two Caliphs were denying the position of ‘Ali and that they did not recognize any of his distinctions. They were too righteous to do that. It is recorded that ‘Umar said: "No one should give a verdict at the Mosque of the Prophet while ‘Ali is present."9 He also said more than once: "Had ‘Ali not been present ‘Umar would have perished (spiritually)."10 And ‘Umar said about ‘Ali: "By God no pillar of Islam could have been erected without the sword of ‘Ali."11
Yes ‘Umar used to say that and more than that but these words used to be said occasionally and never took the form of a general introduction; nor did they pass the walls of Medina. It was easy for the Second Caliph who had an unlimited influence in the Muslim World to introduce to the Muslims the Imam ‘Ali.
He could have informed them about what he knew of ‘Ali's distinctions and brilliant record in order to prepare the Muslims in general and the Qureshites in particular to accept ‘Ali's leadership of the nation after him. But ‘Umar did not do that.
This by itself was not to prevent the Imam from reaching a peaceful reign. The growth of the Qureshites in the Islamic society was not in favor of the Hashimites in general and ‘Ali in particular. Yet it did not represent an insurmountable difficulty to ‘Ali. Had the Umayyads remained outside the Islamic Regime ‘Ali could have surmounted that difficulty.
Unfortunately the Umayyad clan which was the most hostile to the Prophet with the worst grudge against ‘Ali had infiltrated ‘Umar's regime and its influence developed rapidly and it became the strongest Qureshite clan among Muslims.
The Umayyad influence in the Islamic State was born when ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab appointed Yazid Ibn Abu Sufyan as the governor of Damascus shortly after it was conquered. Yazid did not live long. The Second Caliph called upon Muawiya to succeed him. Shortly afterwards he added Jordan to Muawiya's authority.12 Muawiya continued in his post for the duration of ‘Umar's caliphate.
‘Umar did not dismiss him though he used to dismiss his official appointees and replace them. He dismissed Saad Ibn Abu Waqaas from the governorship of Kufa in spite of his brilliant past and endeavor.13
He dismissed Ammar Ibn Yasir though he wrote to the people of Kufa when he appointed him their governor informing them that Ammar is from the distinguished men among the companions of Muhammad. But ‘Umar retained Muawiya in his post.14 It seems that the Caliph was impressed by Muawiya's intelligence his administrative ability and he was confident of his obedience to him.
Muawiya remained in his post until the Second Caliph departed from this world. He retained him in that post though he witnessed his extravagance and his high standard of living. Muawiya by his continuation in the governorship of that important province was able to purchase the loyalty of many chiefs of Arab tribes in Syria.
He became powerful enough to make the Second Caliph shortly before he died warn the members of the Electoral Convention not to dispute with each other; otherwise Muawiya may prevail against them and snatch the caliphate from their hands.
Needless to say the continuity of the rule of Muawiya in Damascus and Jordan for that long period was expected to prevent ‘Ali from having any populous base in that province. Muawiya was expected to close all channels through which some information may reach the masses of the people of his region about the past of the Imam and his present.
However the infiltration of the regime by the Umayyads was not a difficulty insurmountable to ‘Ali if ‘Umar had appointed him his successor.
Had ‘Umar appointed him his successor ‘Ali would have been able to uproot the Umayyad plantation from the soil of Damascus without much difficulty because that plantation did not reach its ultimate strength during ‘Umar's time.
The Second Caliph with good intentions pushed the caliphate in a direction whose immediate consequences were two developments that made the arrival of the Imam to a peaceful rule impossible.
The first of the two developments was the sudden escalation of the Umayyad's power.
When the Second Caliph was stabbed he refused to appoint ‘Ali as his successor15 though he repeatedly declared that ‘Ali was the only one qualified among the companions to make the Muslims walk on the clear and straight road.16
He refused to appoint him because he did not want to shoulder the responsibility of the caliphate after his death. Thus he invented the idea of the Electoral Convention. He put the caliphate in the hands of six Qureshite companions; ‘Ali was one of them; the others were: Uthman Abdul-Rahman Ibn Ouf Al-Zubayr Ibn Awam Talhah Ibn Ubaydullah and Saad Ibn Abu Waqass. The selected caliph shall be from these alone and these alone shall select him.
Since the passing Caliph knew that ‘Ali was the most qualified among the six members to lead the nation to the right road he was expected to tip the scale in his favor by commanding the Muslims to follow ‘Ali's party if there were two parties among the members of the Electoral Convention. The passing Caliph did what was not expected. He commanded the Muslims to follow the party of Abdul-Rahman Ibn Ouf.
Yet this man was expected to choose Uthman who was his brother-in-law and this is what he did. Thus the passing Caliph with good intention brought the Umayyads to a reality that was beyond their dreams before ‘Umar's era. He indirectly chose for the caliphate Uthman the righteous member of his Umayyad clan.
Yet his righteousness and excessive love of the members of his clan made him a potential bridge through which the caliphate would cross from the early migrant companions to the rest of the Umayyads the traditional enemy of the Messenger.
Uthman’s reign insured for Muawiya the continuity of his rule with a broader authority and fame. The new Caliph added to the area of Muawiya's authority Palestine and the rest of the Syrian sub-provinces.17
As Muawiya became the ruler of that vast and rich area his rule became free of higher supervisions. As a result he became the strongest man in the Muslim World. It became possible for him before the Third Caliph met his Lord to put at battlefield a respectable army of a hundred thousand fighters. These were salaried by the Islamic treasury in Syria.18
Muawiya was not the only Umayyad who ruled an important province and purchased the loyalty of Arab chiefs with what was under his authority of public funds. The Third Caliph appointed another Umayyad Walid Ibn Aqaba governor of Kufa who ruled that city for years.19
When he was dismissed he was succeeded by another Umayyad Sa-eed Ibn Al-Aws.20 He appointed Abdullah Ibn Amir Governor of Basra21 and he also was an Umayyad. He also appointed his foster brother Abdullah Ibn Saad Ibn Abu Sarh governor of Egypt.22 Marwan cousin of the Caliph and a son of Hakam Ibn Abu Al- Aws who was exiled by the Holy Prophet became the strong minister of the Caliph.23 In fact he became the actual caliph.
Marwan was able through his strong influence to hide from the eyes and ears of this righteous Caliph all evil doings of these appointed officals and convince him of their righteousness and the necessity of their continuation in their offices. Thus the Muslim World became an Umayyad kingdom ruled by individuals of little religion along with opportunism and hatred to the members of the House of the Messenger.
These individuals became the orators of the Islamic pulpits and the teachers of the Muslims. One may imagine the iron curtain which these rulers erected to deprive the various nationalities which they ruled of all means of acquaintance with ‘Ali and the rest of the members of the House of the Holy Prophet and their position in Islam.
Thus the communities of Syria were not acquainted in the least with the members of the House of the Holy Prophet.
This is what Muawiya stated during the days of the caliphate of Uthman when he said to Ammar: "There are a hundred thousand soldiers and a similar number of their sons and their servants who do not know ‘Ali and his relationship."24
The inhabitants of Basra were next to the Syrians in lack of knowledge about the members of the House of the Holy Prophet. These people did not have any ruler during the days of ‘Umar and Uthman that was sympathetic to the members of the House of the Prophet. People of Kufa seemed to know little about ‘Ali and his House.
Evidently the presence of Ammar Ibn Yasir for a short time and Abdullah Ibn Masud for a longer time had contributed to the acquaintance of the Kufites with the members of the House of the Holy Prophet. But that knowledge remained very limited.
To know the effect of the iron curtain which the Umayyads erected to insulate the provinces which they ruled against any knowledge about ‘Ali's history and that of the members of his house one needs only to remember the following:
The Muslims who were hostile to the Imam after he was elected were afraid of the presence of Ammar in the camp of the Imam. This was because they heard directly or indirectly that the Messenger said to Ammar "The aggressor party will kill you."25
But they were not afraid to fight the Imam though the Messenger said more about him than he said about Ammar and all the companions combined. They did not even remember what the Holy Prophet said about ‘Ali in front of the thousands of Muslims on the day of Ghadir Khum when he declared that ‘Ali is their Mawla then he said: "God love whoever loves him and be hostile to whoever is hostile to him."26
This statement meant that whoever was hostile to ‘Ali was hostile to God let alone those who fought ‘Ali.
When the Imam wanted to inform people of Kufa about what the Holy Prophet said about him on the day of Ghadir Khum he noticed the signs of doubt on the faces of his audience. Therefore he was forced to ask whoever was present of the companions of the Holy Prophet to testify to that. Twelve Badrians from among them stood up and attested to his statement.27
Most of the Bassrites during the days of Uthman were for Talhah and Al-Zubayr was popular among the Kufites. This means that the Imam did not have a majority even in Kufa.
People of Egypt seemed to have some knowledge about the Imam before the death of Uthman. Evidently this was a result of the presence of Muhammad Ibn Abu Bakr and Muhammad Ibn Abu Hutheifah in Egypt about the end of the period of Uthman when they were tyring to prepare the public opinion for a revolution against the Caliph. From this we can see clearly that the Umayyads during the period of Uthman had accomplished three of their goals.
1. They were able to block all the informational avenues about ‘Ali in most of the Muslim provinces.
2. They acquired a populous base in Syria and a great influence in the rest of the Muslim provinces through what they bought of loyalty of tribes and influential individuals in every province they ruled.
This was the method which they followed wherever they found people ready to sell their religion for material gain and these were numerous in every province. The public funds were under the authority of these Umayyads and they were handling those funds according to their whims.
3. What was more important than all that was that the Umayyads were no longer in need of reaching the authority and the caliphate. The caliphate and its authority were now in their hands. Anyone seeking the caliphate would have to use a tremendous military force in order to break their grip on the caliphate.
These Umayyads had possessed the manpower and the money which made them able to retain that authority. They were the opportunists of the Arabs who would not hesitate to use any means regardless of its ugliness if it served their purpose.
I should not fail to mention the chronical tribal system of the Arab society which rendered to the Umayyads great assistance in developing their power politically and militarily. At a time when mass media was missing it would have been difficult for any politician to win popularity of the masses of people.
Such popularity could be gained only when the masses of people are tied up with some leaders through blood relationship which makes them follow those leaders blindly. An individual without this kind of leadership becomes independent. He would do what he could to serve his own particular interest or he follows his logical thinking.
When there are tribal leaderships the loyalty of the thousands becomes easily acquirable by opportunists such as the Umayyads especially when the tribal leaders are materialistic-minded. The period during which the Third Caliph ruled increased the number of this kind of leadership because the worldly interests of most of the leaders during that period were put ahead of their religion.
The second development which was brought on by the Electoral Convention was the emergence of new rivals who suddenly became powerful enough to compete with ‘Ali for the caliphate. Neither Abdul-Rahman Talhah or Al-Zubayr seriously hoped to become caliph.
By granting these companions membership to the Electoral Convention the Second Caliph promoted them and placed them above the rest of the companions. This inflamed their ambitions and made them feel that they are ‘Ali's equals and that each of them is qualified to lead the nation.
This superiority complex was stronger in the minds of Talhah and Al-Zubayr than it was in the minds of the two other companions Abdul-Rahman and Saad. What Talhah and Al-Zubayr acquired of enormous fortunes28 inflamed in them a spirit of competition for the Islamic leadership. Wealth was and is still a power which renders a tremendous assistance for reaching goals.
Their membership in the Electoral Convention opened the eyes of Mother of Believers Ayeshah to the possibility of making one of the two companions the next caliph. The caliphate for either of the two companions was highly desirable to Mother of the Believers because Talhah was a member of her clan Tyme and Al-Zubayr was her brother-in-law.
He was the husband of her sister Asma.29
Thus the two companions and Ayeshah had shared one line of thinking. This made them start a vicious smear campaign against Uthman which did not end until his death. When the Imam was elected after the death of Uthman the disappointment and the inflamation of ambition motivated the two companions and Ayeshah to oppose the Imam in a violent way which had no precedent in the history of Islam.
The two companions would not have started such a violent campaign if the Second Caliph had not granted them the membership to the Electoral Convention which made each of them feel that he is equal to the Imam.
The Imam after the death of the Holy Prophet had constantly showed his serious interest in acquiring the leadership while the Muslims were still merciful to each other and united against the enemies of Islam. The Imam made serious efforts during the days of the Electoral Convention to persuade its members to grant him the leadership.
He had foreseen through the light of God that the three days of the Electoral Convention were the last opportunity which could enable him to lead the nation to its great goals and destiny while retaining its unity and internal peace. He was fully aware that if the caliphate was diverted away from him the unity of the nation will come to an end. One may remember that the Imam said to the rest of the members of the Convention during that period the following:
"Listen to my words and understand my logic. You may see the leadership after this Convention contested so violently that swords will be drawn and covenants will be breached until you are no longer one community. Thus some of you will be leaders of the camp of deviation and followers of people of ignorance..."30
The members heard his words but they did not understand his logic. They were the elders of Quraish whose hearts were filled with grudges against ‘Ali. They were doing their best to keep the caliphate away from him.
Uthman was elected and the interest of the Imam in the caliphate came to an end. The sequel of the events during the time of the Third Caliph and the revolution which concluded his period had ended the life of the Caliph as it ended the period of unity.
After the death of Uthman the Qureshites lost for a few days the political initiative and control of the political affairs of the nation. Thus they could not divert the caliphate from ‘Ali this time. The rebels and the majority of the companions of Medina gathered around the Imam requesting him repeatedly to accept the leadership.
He refused it because he was able to foresee that the nation was going to face some insane crisis in which it would be difficult for the masses of the people to see the light and know the right road. Therefore he said to them:
"Leave me out and seek other than me. We are facing a multicolor situation with numerous faces on which the hearts cannot stand and the minds cannot rest."31 But they asked him in the name of God to accept the leadership. They promised him help and obedience.
They put him on the spot as they put him face to face with his responsibility. Thus he could not resist them. He accepted their election knowing that they placed on his strong shoulders a burden which a mountain could not carry. He is ‘Ali who never fled from duties regardless of their magnitude.
The Imam was elected and the Qureshite woke up with all their grudges and rancors and with the exception of a few all their leaders rose in arms against the Imam.
The non-ambitious from the righteous Qureshite leaders took a neutral attitude towards the Imam. They refused to help him and many of them refused to elect him though they knew his high distinctions and qualifications.
Saad Ibn Abu Waqass one of the members of the Electoral Convention refused to assist the Imam or to elect him though he reported that the Messenger of God said to ‘Ali: "Are you not satisfied to be to me like Aaron to Moses but there shall be no Prophet after me?"32
Thus assistance of ‘Ali and his obedience according to this hadith would be assistance and obedience to the Messenger of God as the obedience of Aaron and his assistance were obedience and assistance to Moses.
Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar well known and righteous refused to assist ‘Ali or to elect him though he reported that the Messenger said: "... Whoever dies while he does not owe any allegiance to a caliph he would die a pre-Islamic death."33 He afterwards pledged allegiance to Muawiya because Abdullah feared that he may die a pre-Islamic death if he did not owe Muawiya an allegiance. For the same reasons he pledged also his allegiance to Yazid Ibn Muawiya later. Yet he refused for five years to pledge his allegiance to the Imam and he was not afraid to die a pre-Islamic death.
Righteous and wicked leaders from Quraish competed with each other in combating the Imam. They offered sacrifices in combating him more than they offered of sacrifices in combating the pagans.
The Umayyads headed by Muawiya found in the death of Uthman a golden opportunity. The death of Uthman was not less beneficial to the Umayyads than his life. It is true that his caliphate gave Muawiya enough power to make him the strongest man in the Muslim State but his assassination gave Muawiya the means to use that power to achieve the goal for which he was preparing himself since his arrival in Damascus.
While Uthman was besieged he asked Muawiya to relieve him but he did not relieve him.34 He did not respond to his call because he wanted him to be assassinated. He sent an army to Hijaz pretending that he was trying to defend him. But he commanded the leader of the army to camp outside Medina and warned him not to enter Medina regardless of the developments of the crisis until he received his order from Damascus.
To deprive the commander of that army from all freedom of action he told him: "Do not say to yourself that the present sees what the absent cannot see. You are the absent and I am the present." Muawiya had acquired all the benefits that he could acquire from the life of Uthman. The death of Uthman now had become more beneficial than his life.
Defending the Caliph may prolong his life until he dies a natural death. The righteousness of the Caliph may motivate him if he passes the crisis safely to appoint an outstanding companion as his successor. Thus Muawiya would be deprived of the opportunity as he would be deprived of any justification to impose his leadership on the nation.
But a violent death of the Caliph would give him the opportunity and the justification.
From this we know that the Third Caliph did not possess as much political and military power as Muawiya. He was unable to defend himself while Muawiya possessed the power to attack his enemies and to protect the life of the Caliph. This means that Uthman was the caliph in name only and Muawiya had the real authority.
When the Third Caliph was assassinated the Umayyads lost the caliphate in name only and for a short period.
Muawiya did not need to acquire the name but to use what he had of power in the way of avenging the death of the assassinated Caliph. He did that and waged against the Imam a war which the Muslims had never witnessed before.
As the violent death of the Caliph gave Muawiya a tribal justification to avenge his blood it added to his power a new power. Talhah Al-Zubayr and Mother of the Believers (Ayeshah) who were the arch enemies of the assassinated Caliph joined Muawiya and became his allies in seeking revenge for the blood which they called on the Muslims to shed. Now they added all their strength to the strength of Muawiya and preceded him in combating the Imam.
The Battle of Basra proved that the three leaders had a tremendous capability. They were able to mobilize against the Imam at that battle an army exceeding thirty thousands while the Imam came from Medina with a few hundred soldiers.
He was forced while on his way to Basra to stay at Thee Qar for a period of time during which he made monumental efforts and gathered a task-force which did not exceed twelve thousand volunteers from Kufa. Finally but not until he entered Basra the Imam's army numbered twenty thousand.
The three leaders with all their righteousness and brilliant past allowed themselves to divide the Muslims and to draw swords against the Imam and put the followers of the Messenger for the first time in the Islamic history in two camps.
The three leaders along with their army were defeated but they opened by their actions a door on the nation which the Imam could not close in spite of his decisive victory against them. The Islamic division grew after their defeat. The distance between the Imam and the Qureshites increased and so did their grudge against him after seventy of their leaders were destroyed at the Battle of Basra.
The people of Basra were not to forget the thousands of their sons and brothers who fell in the battlefield. The people of Kufa were also expected to feel the magnitude of the loss of their sons and brothers in battle.
The death of many of his enlightened supporters in this battle deprived the Imam of a great deal of assistance which they had provided. No doubt the Battle of Basra with its decisive victory against the three leaders did not increase the Imam's power. It rather decreased it by decreasing the number of his supporters.
Those who were in sympathy with his enemies yet hesitant to combat him found in the attitude of the two companions and "Mother of the Believers" what encouraged them to join his enemy in combating him. If these three righteous leaders found it legal to fight ‘Ali why should people with less righteousness hesitate to fight him? From this we know that the three leaders offered to Muawiya and his party great services which added a new power to his growing power.
The three leaders no doubt were able to realize the opposite of these results and preserve the unity of the nation if they had been consistent with themselves and their past. They were calling for reform and criticizing the Third Caliph for his illegal conducts. They urged people to bring his reign to an end through any means because of the corruption of the relatives of the Third Caliph.
As the Imam ‘Ali came to power trying to realize what they were calling for the three leaders were duty-bound to follow the Imam and assist him in realizing his goals. Muawiya and his party had malicious intentions towards the nation and they were trying to usurp the authority from the one who was the most qualified to lead the nation.
It was the duty of the three leaders to go to Iraq Egypt and the rest of the sources of the Islamic power and wage an educational campaign informing the nation of the malicious intention of Muawiya and his party towards the nation.
They could have urged the Muslims to assist the Imam in combating the evil elements. Had they done that Muawiya would have realized that what he was aiming for was beyond his reach and he would have surrendered humbly to the Imam. Had this happened the nation would have preserved its unity and remained as God wanted it led by the best leader after the Messenger.
The three leaders should have at least convicted themselves for causing the death of the Third Caliph rather than fighting the Imam pretending to avenge a blood which they had shed.
The insulin which the membership of the Electoral Convention injected in the veins of the two companions and the chronical hatred of Mother of the Believers towards the Imam coupled with her hope to bring one of her two relatives to the leadership were bound to blind the three leaders. Thus they waged their vicious campaign which led to the assassination of the Third Caliph and tried to kill the Fourth Caliph in order to reach the caliphate unconcerned with the future of Islam.
As we summarize the circumstances and important events which preceded the election of the Imam or accompanied his reign we come to the following conclusions:
These events and circumstances which deprived the Imam ‘Ali of an established populous base and a sufficient and obedient military force were not of his own making and he was unable to eliminate them or control them.
It was not within the power of the Imam to purify the hearts of the Qureshites of jealousy towards the Hashimites because of the Prophethood. It was not in the hands of the Imam to avoid the grudges of the Qureshites against him because of what they lost of relatives through his defense of Islam unless he had avoided the defense of the Messenger and his religion.
It was not within his power to change the determination of the Qureshites to alternate the caliphate among them nor was he able to remove their fear of resting the caliphate in the House of the Prophet if ‘Ali comes to power.
It was not within his power to make the first Two Caliphs look at him as a non-rival; nor was it possible for him to stop the growth of the Qureshite influence during the reign of the two Caliphs.
It was not within the power of the Imam to prevent the Second Caliph from admitting the Umayyads into his regime; nor was it within the power of the Imam to prevent the Second Caliph from keeping Muawiya in the post which made his power grow.
It was not within the power of ‘Ali to make ‘Umar appoint him as his successor; nor was it possible for the Imam to prevent the Second Caliph from forming the Electoral Convention; nor was the Imam able to prevent ‘Umar from planning the Electoral Convention the way he did and by which Uthman won the caliphate and ‘Ali lost it.
It was not possible for the Imam to prevent the Second Caliph from admitting Talhah and Al-Zubayr into the Electoral Convention; nor was it possible for the Imam to gain the love of Ayeshah arid her loyalty and to prevent her from working to put her two relatives and companions of the Prophet in the leadership.
It was not within the power of the Imam to separate Uthman from his opportunist relatives or to prevent him from making them governors of the important provinces of the Muslim State and giving Muawiya enough power to make him a state within the State.
It was not possible for the Imam to prevent these Umayyad officials from blocking all channels of information about him and preventing the nationalities which they ruled from knowing about ‘Ali's distinctions and high qualifications.
It was not within the power of the Imam to prevent the revolution which destroyed the caliphate of Uthman and ended his life. It was not possible for the Imam to prevent Talhah Al-Zubayr and Mother of the Believers from pretending to seek avenge for the blood of Uthman in order to usurp the authority from him. It was not possible for him to prevent them from inflaming the war of Basra.
It was not possible for the Imam to change the tribal ways of the Arab society or to prevent corruption of the conscience of many chiefs of the tribes and their readiness to sell their religion for their worldly materials.
It was not possible for the Imam to prevent Muawiya from exploiting the death of the Third Caliph nor was it possible for him to prevent the Syrian people from obeying Muawiya.
The Imam was not to be blamed for any of these things; and he was not to be blamed because he did not make the people of Iraq as obedient as the people of Syria.
It was not possible for the Imam to change the structure of the Iraqi people who were composed of some righteous individuals and a class of ignorant and extremist readers of the Holy Qur'an and ignorant fanatics along with tribes who were ready to obey their chiefs right or wrong.
Muawiya should not be given credit because of the lack of the Readers class in his society and the rarity of righteous people and the numerous ignorants among the people of Syria during that period.Muawiya should not be given credit because of the lack of the Readers class in his society and the rarity of righteous people and the numerous ignorants among the people of Syria during that period.
As we look at the circumstances of the Imam and the difficulties accumulated in his way before his election and afterwards we find that he realized the impossible. In order to appreciate that we need not do more than to remember that he came out of Medina with only a few hundred volunteers to face the three leaders who mobilized more than thirty thousand to combat him at Basra.
This took place at a time when Muawiya had an army that was three times larger than the army of the three leaders with which he was able to threaten any of the provinces which were under the Imam's authority.
In the meantime Abu Musa Al-Ashari governor of Kufa was urging the Kufites to let the Imam down leading them to what we call now a civil disobedience. The Imam after all his efforts was not able to mobilize from the Kufites and others except a limited number of volunteers through whom his army numbered twenty thousand.
With all the difficulties which beset him the Imam was able to hand the three leaders along with their huge army a resounding defeat. He turned to his bigger enemy and he was able to strangulate him and hand him a military defeat which Muawiya could not avoid except through the conspiracy of lifting the copies of the Holy Qur'an and the readiness of the volatile Iraqi people to be deceived.
Due to his unusual efficiency the reign of the Imam continued for 5 years in spite of all the difficulties and limitations imposed on him by his unwavering principles.
Muawiya did not excel in using his military power. Had he been at the efficient level which his admirers think he was he would have used his military superiority at the beginning of the caliphate of the Imam. The three leaders occupied the city of Basra and mobilized their forces while the Imam did not have but a few hundred soldiers.
Had Muawiya been that intelligent and brave as a leader he would have exploited the opportunity of military weaknesses of the Imam by sending an army to occupy Kufa when his allies occupied Basra.
By this he could have deprived the Imam from the Kufan assistance and he would have brought the reign of the Imam during that period to an end. As a matter of fact Muawiya was able to send a division of his army to Medina and occupy it while the Imam was on his way to Basra.
Had the Imam had a situation like that of Muawiya and Muawiya was in the position of the Imam (as we tried to hypothesize at the beginning of this chapter) the Imam would have done that and brought the reign of Muawiya to its end within weeks.
Yet we find Muawiya with all his military potential lacking the courage and intelligence and staying in Damascus waiting until Talhah and Al-Zubayr and their army fell under the blows of the Imam. Thus the Imam after wards was able to mobilize a striking force which he led in combating Muawiya in his own province where he pushed him nearly to the end.
In spite of all the difficulties which accumulated in front of him since the death of the Holy Prophet and multiplied after his election the Imam appeared as a mountain that was unshakable by all storms that were surrounding him. Had the people of Kufa alone gone with him to the end of the road he could have eliminated the evil forces from the Muslim World and led the nation to a future full of good and illuminated from every side.
Had the Imam been obeyed by the Kufites to eliminate the menace of Muawiya he could have purified the Muslim society and driven it to the right road. Thus the faith of Islam could have been spread enough to convert Europe and subsequently America whose people had mostly come from Europe.
Unfortunately people of Kufa experienced what other Muslim communities experienced. They lost their determination and their power was neutralized. They let the Imam down at the decisive hour and the whole nation lost its final opportunity.Unfortunately people of Kufa experienced what other Muslim communities experienced. They lost their determination and their power was neutralized. They let the Imam down at the decisive hour and the whole nation lost its final opportunity.
The Iraqis were not the only people who were to blame for what happened. The responsibility was that of the whole nation which refused to assist the truth and took towards the Imam and his right either a hostile or neutral attitude; and those who were hostile were more numerous than those who were neutral.
The students of history of that Islamic period ought to be amazed by what happened to the Muslims when they lost their mental capabilities and deviated from the right road. The Almighty was disobeyed while righteous people were idly looking on and some of them went on assisting the devious camp while they were separated from the Messenger by only twenty-five years.
The two groups went on competing in combating the Brother of the Messenger with a fervor which they did not demonstrate even in their combating the pagan forces. The two allied groups pushed the masses of the people to batties in which the nation swam in blood.
The nation and its subsequent generations paid and are still paying the price of the insanity of that generation.
The price they paid was the best that Islam had given: justice freedom and dignity. The nation brought the reign of the Imam to an end and by that it ended the Righteous Caliphate forever.
What happened should make us ask: Was the purpose of the faith of Islam to make the Righteous Caliphate last only thirty years? Or was the purpose to provide the nation and its future generations with unity brotherhood and justice? Was the purpose to make the faith of Islam a way of life for the Muslims for only three decades? If the purpose was to continue life according to the Heavenly Message for a long time why did the Righteous Caliphate live so shortly? And why did it have such a fast and sudden death?
The end of life for the true caliphate within such a short time should make us ask the following questions: Was this sudden death a natural result of the adherence of the Muslims to a program that was planned by the Messenger (because according to a prominent School of Thought he left it to his companions to elect a successor after him)?
Was the sudden death of the caliphate a natural result of the Muslims' negligence of a program planned by the Messenger who according to another prominent Islamic School of Thought chose a successor to lead the nation after him but his companions did not accept the leadership of the Prophet's choice?
Since we have to discuss this it would be appropriate to raise the two following questions:
I. Should the first succession have been by inheritance election or by appointment from the Prophet?
2. If it were supposed to be by appointment from the Prophet did the Prophet appoint anyone? We shall attempt in the following pages to answer these two important questions.
As we conclude our brief presentation of the events of the days of Uthman and his sad end we ought to remember the following:
The caliphate of Uthman and its events have proven that leadership of the Muslim world after the Prophet should have been by selection from the Messenger rather than by election of the companions. He was the only one who was supported by revelation and Divine inspiration. He knew the best qualified for leadership among the members of his house and companions.
The leadership should not have been left to the chances of elections by the Muslims in general or by the companions of the Messenger or by an aristocracy such as that of the Quraish community in particular. Nor should it have been left to the chance of selection by a direcly or indirectly elected caliph. Nor should it have been left to the election by members of the Electoral Convention.
An election or selection such as this might bring the best or the second best or the worst to power. This is dangerous for the future of a nation which carries a message to itself and to the world especially when the nation is still at the beginning of its progress and growth.
Such an election is bound to bring some time to power a weak leadership which is unable to carry the message. It may bring at another time a strong leadership that deliberately or inadvertently detours the nation and the message from their right road which was prescribed by the man of the message.
The incidental success of the first election by companions and first selection by an elected Caliph which brought Abu Bakr and ‘Umar to power made the Muslims the historians and the scholars overlook the destructive failure which was caused by the election of the Third Caliph.
The accomplishments of the first two Caliphs have dazzled the eyes of the Muslims. They could not see that the events of Uthman’s caliphate had given clear evidence that the election is not a safe road for a nation of a reformatory message.
The Muslims have forgotten the obvious fact that the purpose of the Islamic message was not to establish a righteous government for only twelve or thirty years. The purpose of the Heavenly message was rather much higher and longer.
When the Prophet at Ghadir Khum declared the leadership of ‘Ali and the rest of the purified members of his House he was following only a natural course. This is what is supposed to be done by any head of state when he is about to leave his office.
This would be obviously true when the head of the state is a carrier of an extremely important message upon which the state is founded and his government is supposed to carry that message to the nations of the world as well as to its own people.
Any deviation that happens to the message by ignorance weakness or impiety of the leadership may put the whole message in jeopardy. The Holy Prophet was looking at the future through the light of God when he proposed while on his deathbed to have for the nation a written directive after which the nation would not go astray.
He foresaw that the Muslims would face after him many faith-testing crises. Therefore it was highly imperative to select for the nation a truly qualified leader in order to keep that nation on the right road.
It was most unfortunate that ‘Umar supported by other companions objected to the Prophet's proposal accusing him of hallucinations and saying the Book of God sufficed.
The events of the Electoral Convention which brought Uthman to power and the events which took place during his caliphate and their consequences have revealed the gravity of ‘Umar's error. The Book of God did not prevent him from forming his prejudiced Electoral Convention which deprived ‘Ali of leadership and brought Uthman to power.
The Book of God did not prevent Uthman from committing his classical mistakes nor did it prevent the Muslims from their violent reaction toward his mismanagement and waging several bloody civil wars after his violent death.
For the Book of God to function and prevent people from taking erroneous direction it has to be coupled with an efficient and firm leadership equipped with a profound knowledge of the interpretation of the Book as well as the teaching of the Holy Prophet. Such a leadership makes the Book of God operative and drives people to the Qur'anic path.
This leadership is what the Messenger of God wanted to secure for the nation through his proposed written directive.
This is what the Prophet meant in his declaration on the day of Ghadir Khum when he told the Muslims that he was leaving to them the two elements which would secure them against deviation from the right road the Book of God and the members of his House and that the two will never part with each other.
The objection to the Prophet's proposed written directive cost the nation its political and spiritual unity and inflicted on the nation irreparable damage.
When the companions ignored the Prophet's declaration at Ghadir Khum and rejected his proposed document they were motivated by their self-interest.
They were unwilling to give ‘Ali the leadership after the death of the Prophet because they did not want to concede the caliphate to the Hashimites. To allow ‘Ali to succeed the Prophet was to admit at least implicitly that his leadership was decreed by God and His Messenger who testified that the members of the House of the Prophet will never part with the Holy Qur'an. This would keep the leadership in this most honored group. The Meccan companions of various clans were unwilling to give up their ambitions.
They wanted to keep the caliphate competitive by giving it to a non-Hashimite Meccan. This should secure its competitiveness and allow companions from various clans to enter the race for leadership because they are not better than each other.
This theory worked for them for a while. Three companions (Abu Bakr ‘Umar and Uthman) from three Meccan clans alternated on the leadership within thirteen years. The ambitious companions however lately woke up during the reign of Uthman discovering to their dismay that their hopes of reaching the High Office was fading out.
They faced what they were trying to avoid.The Umayyads were about to render the caliphate non-competitive because they had already dominated the Muslim world during the first six years of Uthman’s reign.
They were about to establish a royal dynasty based not on Holiness and brilliant Islamic record as that of the members of the House of the Prophet but rather based on power obtained by corruption usurpation and domination. Its first expected outcome was to bar any ambitious companions from reaching the High Office. The first casualties of this development would be the dreams of Talhah Al- Zubayr Abdul-Rahman and Ayeshah.
Motivated by the fear of Umayyads' domination these ambitious people started their campaign against the Third Caliph. They tried to thwart the dream of establishing a royal dynasty and re-open to the members of the Electoral Convention the Avenue of Leadership.
These ambitious companions were not afraid of ‘Ali for they believed they could block his way to the caliphate if Uthman died. Quraish was against him and the Qureshites were the king-makers. No one knew this more than ‘Ali who told the Hashimites at the time of the Electoral Convention: "As long as your people (the Qureshites) are obeyed (in what is to be done to you) you will never be given the leadership.".
However the ambitious companions' expectation did not come true. They did not take in their calculation the fact that Quraish would lose the political control for a short time after the death of Uthman when people other than the Qureshites would be the king-makers.However the ambitious companions' expectation did not come true. They did not take in their calculation the fact that Quraish would lose the political control for a short time after the death of Uthman when people other than the Qureshites would be the king-makers.
- 1. Al-Bukhari his Sahih part 5 p.24. And Muslim in his Sahih part 15 p.176.
- 2. Al-Hakim Al-Mustadrak part 3 p.109.
- 3. Al-Hakim Al-Mustadrak part 3 p.169.
- 4. Ibn Sa’d Al- Tabaqat part 2 p.249.
- 5. Al-Bukhari his Sahih part 1 p.39.
- 6. Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p.287 Al-Tabari his History part 5 p.425.
- 7. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p.223 and Ibn Al-Athir in his Kamil part 3 p.34.
- 8. Al-Muttaqui Al-Hindi Kanzul-Ummal Part 6; Kitab Al-Fadha-il (Book of the Virtues) p.408.
- 9. Abdul-Fattah Abdul-Maqsud Al-Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib part 1 p.226.
- 10. Abdul-Fattah Abdul-Maqsud Al-Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib part 1 p.226.
- 11. Ibn Abu Al-Hadid his Commentary on Nahjul-Balaghah vol.3 p.179.
- 12. Taha Hussein Al-Fitnat Al-Kubra part 1 p.118.
- 13. Ibn Sa’d Al-Tabaqat part3 p. 229.
- 14. Ibn Sa’d Al- Tabaqat part 3 pp.255-256.
- 15. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p.228.
- 16. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p.228.
- 17. Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p.57.
- 18. Abdul-Fattah Abdul-Maqsud Al-lmam ‘Ali part 2 p. 1120.
- 19. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p. 252.
- 20. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p.279.
- 21. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p.265.
- 22. Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p.45.
- 23. lbn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 pp.82-83.
- 24. Abdul-Fattah Abdul-Maqsud Al-Imam ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib part2 p. 120.
- 25. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p.511.
- 26. Imam Ahmad his Musnad part 4 p.281.
- 27. Imam Ahmad his Musnad part 4 p.281.
- 28. Ibn Sa’d mentioned in his Al- Tabaqat part 3 p. 110 that Al-Zubeir's fortune amounted to 40 million dirhams and on p.222 that Talhah's fortune amounted to 30 million dirhams.
- 29. See the first vol. of this book pp.262-264.
- 30. Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p.37.
- 31. AI-Tabari his History part 4 p.434 and Ibn Al-Athir Al-Kamil part 3 p.99.
- 32. Al-Bukhari his Sahih part 5 p. 24 and Muslim also recorded in his Sahih part 15 p.176 that Sa’d Ibn Abu Waqass reported in this Hadith.
- 33. Muslim his Sahih part 12 p. 240.
- 34. Al-Tabari his History part 4 p.368.