The Caliphate of 'Ali -I

The Caliphate of
  • Publish date:08/10/2015
  • Section:Highlights
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Bay'ah (oath of allegiance) of caliphate:

A week after the martyrdom of 'Uthmaan Ibn Affaan, may Allah be pleased with him, Bay'ah (oath of allegiance) was taken on Thul-Hijjah 25, 35 AH, at the hands of 'Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, in Al-Madeenah. Following the martyrdom of 'Uthmaan Ibn Affaan, his murderers were going strong in Al-Madeenah.

At first, they forced the people of Al-Madeenah to elect a caliph under threat. The majority of the rioters leaned towards 'Ali and the same situation prevailed throughout Al-Madeenah. When the people went to 'Ali to take Bay'ah, he, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "You pledge your allegiance to me but this is not enough unless the Companions of Badr (those who participated in the battle of Badr along with the Prophet) accept me as caliph." Hearing this, they went to the Companions of Badr and brought them in a group to 'Ali, may Allah be pleased with him. Maalik Al-Ashtar, was the first to take Bay'ah, and then the others followed him.

'Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, then asked them to find out the intentions of Talhah and Az-Zubayr, may Allah be pleased with them. Maalik Al-Ashtar went to Talhah and Hukaym Ibn Jabalah contacted Az-Zubayr and both of them were forcibly brought to 'Ali, who told them that he was ready to take Bay'ah at the hands of anyone who had a desire to become the Caliph. They flatly rejected the offer. They were then asked to take Bay'ah at the hands of 'Ali. At this, they began to ponder. Thereupon Maalik Al-Ashtar said to Talhah, may Allah be pleased with him, drawing his sword, "The matter is to be decided right now."

In response to the demand of the situation, Talhah, may Allah be pleased with him, said to 'Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, "I will take Bay'ah provided you issue orders to take actions according to the limits set by the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) (may Allah exalt his mention), and take Qisaas (retaliation) from the murderers of 'Uthmaan Ibn Affan, may Allah be pleased with him."

'Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, promised to do the needful. Talhah, may Allah be pleased with him, took Bay'ah extending his hand which had become lame following the injuries he received during the battle of Uhud. Some people took it as an ill omen. Az-Zubayr, may Allah be pleased with him, also agreed to take Bay'ah with the same conditions put forward by Talhah, may Allah be pleased with him.

Second day of the caliphate:

Next day Talhah and Az-Zubayr called on 'Ali and said that they had pledged their support to him on the condition that retaliation measures would be taken against the murderers of 'Uthmaan. If he failed then their Bay'ah would stand as null and void. 'Ali said, "I shall take the necessary Qisaas from the murderers of 'Uthmaan, and do full justice to one and all. But until now the rioters are too strong and the state of caliphate has not yet been consolidated, I can only pay attention to this after the return to normalcy. Nothing can be done at present."

Mu'aawiyah's position:

'Ali sent a letter to Mu'aawiyah through Jareer Ibn 'Abdullaah and Sabrah Al-Juhani, may Allah be pleased with them, in Damascus. For three months no reply came and Mu'aawiyah kept the Caliph's emissary waiting. After that he handed over a sealed letter to his emissary Qabisah Al-'Absi and sent him accompanied by Jareer Ibn 'Abdullaah. The letter was clearly addressed to all. They reached in the month of Rabee' Al-Awwal 36 AH. The emissary gave Mu'aawiyah's letter to 'Ali, may Allah be pleased with him. When the envelope was opened, it contained no letter. 'Ali looked towards the emissary angrily. The emissary shuddered from within and said, "I am an emissary and safety of life is my right." 'Ali said: "Yes, you are safe." The emissary then said, "Nobody will pledge support to you. I have seen sixty thousand souls weeping over the bloodstained shirt of 'Uthmaan Ibn Affaan. They have also put the shirt on the grand mosque of Damascus to provoke the people." 'Ali said, "They want to take the revenge of 'Uthmaan on me even though I stood absolved from 'Uthmaan's blood. May Allah deal with the murderers of 'Uthmaan." Saying this, he returned the emissary to Mu'aawiyah.

Preparations for the invasion on Syria:

When the people of Al-Madeenah came to know of the strained relations between 'Ali and Mu'aawiyah, they feared further bloodshed. They sent Ziyaad Ibn Hanthalah to 'Ali as a feeler. 'Ali asked him to get ready. "What for?" Ziyaad asked. "For invading Syria " 'Ali firmly replied. "You should deal with them rather gently," he suggested. "No, the insurgents must be punished," 'Ali said. Knowing the intentions of 'Ali, both Talhah and Az-Zubayr called on 'Ali and sought permission to go to Makkah to perform 'Umrah.

'Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, allowed them to leave Al-Madeenah. He then announced throughout Al-Madeenah to get ready for the invasion on Syria. Furthermore, he wrote letters to 'Uthmaan Ibn Hunayf in Basrah, Abu Moosaa in Koofah and Qays Ibn Sa'd in Egypt to make military preparations from their respective resources and send them to Al-Madeenah on demand.

When most of the people of Al-Madeenah got ready for this purpose, 'Ali placed Al-Madeenah in the charge of Qatham Ibn 'Abbaas and made his son Muhammad Ibn Al-Hanafyyah the standard-bearer of the army. 'Abdullaah Ibn 'Abbaas the commanding officer of the right wing and 'Amr Ibn Abu Salaamah that of the left while he put Abu Laylaa Ibn Al-Jarraah, the brother of Abu 'Ubaydah Ibn Al-Jarraah on the vanguard.

However, he was cautious enough not to engage anyone from among the rioters for any military service. 'Ali had not finished the job of allotting military positions when news was given to him that the Makkans were making preparations against him. Following this news he postponed his march against Syria.

'Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, seeks retaliation from the murderers:

'Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, returned to Makkah on hearing the news of 'Uthmaan's martyrdom. On reaching near to Makkah she was also told that the people of Al-Madeenah had taken the oath of allegiance at the hands of 'Ali. She returned to Makkah in such a state that people grouped around her mount. She said to them, "By Allah, 'Uthmaan has been killed without any fault and I shall take revenge on his behalf."

Hearing this, all the men from Banu Umayyah who had reached Makkah after the martyrdom of 'Uthmaan rose in support of action against the murderers.

When Talhah and Az-Zubayr, may Allah be pleased with them, reached Makkah from Al-Madeenah 'Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, sent for both and inquired of them the reason behind their arrival in Makkah. They gave the reason that the rioters being in control, the noble and saner people found it totally unsafe to live in Al-Madeenah. 'Aa'ishah then said, "You should then rise against them along with us." Both of them expressed their favor and support to this plan. The entire population of Makkah was obedient to the Mother of the believers, may Allah be pleased with her. Four persons, 'Abdullaah Ibn 'Aamir and Ya'laa Ibn Munyah, the former governors of Basrah and Yemen Talhah and Az-Zubayr, were among the commanders of 'Aa'ishah's army and considered to be men of sense and determination.

When 'Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, came up to Mirbad at the head of her army, 'Uthmaan Ibn Hunayf, the governer of Basrah, came out with his own and a battle line was drawn.

Talhah was on the right wing and Az-Zubayr on the left. Hukaym Ibn Jabalah began the fight by attacking the army of 'Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her. But the battle stopped in the evening. The next day Hukaym Ibn Jabalah drew the battle line again and the two forces attacked one another. Hukaym was killed on the battlefield and 'Uthmaan Ibn Hunayf had to taste defeat. Basrah was captured by Talhah and Az-Zubayr. 

To Be Continued


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