Chain of events leading up to the battle

The Battle of Siffin (37 A.H)
June 3, 2015
Outbreak of fighting
June 3, 2015

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Chain of events leading up to the battle


1. Umm Habibah bint Abi Sufyan sends No’man ibn Bashir with ‘Uthman’s chemise to Mu’awiyah and the people of Syria

After ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was killed, the Mother of the Believers Umm Habibah bint Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anha sent word to ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu family, saying: “Send me the garment in which ‘Uthman was killed.” They sent her his blood-stained chemise, along with pieces of hair that had been plucked from his beard. Umm Habibah called No’man ibn Bashir and sent him to Muawiyah, so he left carrying that and her letter.[1]

According to one report, No’man ibn Bashir took with him the blood-stained chemise of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the fingers of Na’ilah that had been cut off when she tried to defend him with her hand.[2] Na’ilah bint al Farafisah al Kalbiyyah was the wife of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, from the tribe of Kalb in Syria.[3]

No’man came to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Syria; Muawiyah placed him on the mimbar so that the people could see him, and he hung the fingers on the sleeve of the chemise, raising it sometimes and lowering it sometimes. The people around him were weeping, urging one another to seek vengeance.[4] Shurahbil ibn al Samat al Kindi came and said to Muawiyah:

‘Uthman was our khalifah. If you are able to bring his murderers to justice, then do so; otherwise, resign.[5]

The men of Syria swore that they would not be intimate with their wives or sleep on their beds until they killed the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and those who tried to prevent them from doing so, or they died trying.[6]

The picture that No’man ibn Bashir presented to the people of Syria was an ugly one: the murder of the khalifah, swords unsheathed by the thugs and wielded over the people’s necks, the public treasury plundered and the fingers of Na’ilah cut off. The people were deeply moved; their hearts were shaken and their eyes filled with tears. After this, it is little wonder that the people’s feelings ran high and that Muawiyah, and the people who were with him in Syria, insisted on bringing the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to justice. They wanted the murderers to be handed over for retaliatory punishment before they would agree to swear allegiance. Can we imagine the khalifah and leader of the Muslims being murdered by haters and conspirators who had come from outside Madinah and taken over the city, and the Muslim world not becoming outraged and sending demands from the farthest corners of the Islamic regions for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be brought to justice?[7]


2. Mu’awiyah’s motives for not swearing allegiance

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had been the governor of Syria during the khilafah of ‘Umar and ‘Uthman. When ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was appointed as khalifah, he wanted to dismiss Muawiyah and appoint ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his place, but Ibn ‘Umar apologised and declined the post. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent Sahl ibn Hunayf instead, but he had hardly reached the border of Syria (Wadi al Qura) when he was met by Muawiyah’s cavalry under the leadership of Habib ibn Maslamah al Fihri, who said to him:

If you have been sent by ‘Uthman, then you are welcome, but if you have been sent by anyone else, then go back.[8]

He turned around and went back.

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the people of Syria refused to swear allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They thought that ‘Ali should bring the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to justice first, and then they would swear allegiance to him.[9] They said:

We will not swear allegiance to one who gives refuge to the murderers.[10]

They feared for their lives because of the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu who were in ‘Ali’s army; his killers were in ‘Ali’s camp, and they were powerful. They thought that swearing allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not obligatory for them and that if they fought him, they would be the ones who were being wronged because ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu had been killed wrongfully, according to the consensus of the Muslims. They said:

If we swear allegiance, they will wrong us and transgress against us and the blood of ‘Uthman will go un-avenged.

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was related to ‘Uthman, and he thought that it was ‘Ali’s duty to stand up for ‘Uthman and bring to justice those who had killed him. Allah says:

وَلا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِیْ حَرَّمَ اللّٰهُ اِلاّ بِالْحَقِّؕ وَ مَنْ قُتِلَ مَظْلُوْمًا فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِیِّهٖ سُلْطٰنًا فَلا یُسْرِفْ فِّی الْقَتْلِؕ اِنَّهکَانَ مَنْصُوْرًا

And whoever is killed wrongfully [Mazluman intentionally with hostility and oppression and not by mistake]; We have given his heir the authority [to demand Qisas – Law of Equality in punishment – or to forgive, or to take diyah (blood money)]. But let him not exceed limits in the matter of taking life [i.e. he should not kill except the killer]. Verily, he is helped [by the Islamic law).[11]


Hence Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu brought the people together and addressed them concerning ‘Uthman’s case, stating that he had been killed unlawfully at the hands of foolish hypocrites who did not respect sacred blood (referring to blood that was protected by shari’ah); they had shed his blood during the sacred month in the sacred land. The people were agitated, and their voices grew loud in denouncing the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Among them were a number of the Sahabah of the Rasul of Allah ‘salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. One of them, whose name was Murrah ibn Ka’b, stood up and said:


Were it not for a hadith I heard from the Rasul of Allah ‘salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, I would not have spoken. Rasul ‘salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioned the turmoil and gave some details concerning it. Then a man passed by whose face was covered with a cloth, and Rasul ‘salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “This man will be following true guidance at that time.” I went up to him and found that he was ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan. I turned to Rasul ‘salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and asked: “This man?” He said: “Yes.”[12]


There is another hadith that had an effect on the pursuit of justice for the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu; it motivated Muawiyah and his followers and strengthened their resolve to achieve this goal. It was narrated from No’man ibn Bashir that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha said:

The Rasul of Allah ‘salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent for ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan. He came, and the Rasul of Allah ‘salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam turned to him. The last words he said, when tapping his shoulder, were: “O ‘Uthman, Allah may clothe you with a chemise which, if the hypocrites want you to take it off, do not take it off until you meet me.” He said it three times.

No’man said to her:

O Mother of the Believers, why did you not tell us this before?

She said:

I forgot it, and by Allah I did not remember it.

He said:

I told Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan about it, and he did not like what I told him. He wrote to the Mother of the Believers, asking her to write to him about it, and she wrote a letter to him about it.[13]

This great keenness to implement the ruling of Allah on the murderers was the main reason for the refusal of the people of Syria, led by Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, to swear allegiance to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They thought that implementing the ruling of retaliation took precedence over swearing allegiance.

It was not a matter of Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu having ambitions in Syria or his demanding something that was not rightfully his; he fully understood that the issue of khilafah was limited to whoever was left of the six members of the consultative committee, and that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was superior to him and more entitled to it than he was.[14]

However, allegiance had been sworn to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the basis of the consensus of the Sahabah in Madinah, so Muawiyah’s view was contrary to what was correct.


3. Mu’awiyah responds to Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent letters to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, but he did not respond. This happened several times in the first few months after the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and then Muawiyah sent a man to take a letter to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the month of Safar. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to him: “Tell me what you have for me.” He said:

I have come to you from people who do not want anything but the punishment for the murderers, and each of them is seeking vengeance. I have left behind sixty thousand men who are weeping in front of ‘Uthman’s chemise, which is on the mimbar of Damascus.

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

O Allah, I declare my innocence before you of the blood of ‘Uthman.

As the envoy of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu left ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, some of those rebels who had killed ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu tried to kill him, and he only escaped with difficulty.[15]


4. Amir al Mu‘minin ‘Ali’s preparations for the march to Syria, and Hassan’s objection to that

After Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu response reached Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali, the khalifah decided to fight the people of Syria. He wrote to Qais ibn Sa’d in Egypt, instructing him to mobilise people to fight them, and he sent similar instructions to Abu Musa in Kufah and to ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf. He addressed the people, urging them to join the fight and he started to make preparations. He was determined to fight with those who obeyed him against those who disobeyed him and did not swear allegiance to him.

His son Hassan ibn ‘Ali came to him and said:

O my father, do not do this, because it involves shedding the blood of the Muslims and creating division among them.

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not accept that from him, though; he insisted on fighting. He organised the army, giving the banner to Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah and putting Ibn ‘Abbas in charge of the right flank and ‘Umar ibn Abi Salamah in charge of the left. It was also said that he put ‘Amr ibn Sufyan ibn ‘Abdul Asad in charge of the left flank and Abu Layla ibn ‘Umar ibn al Jarrah, his nephew, in charge of the vanguard.

He appointed Qutham ibn ‘Abbas to be in charge of Madinah in his absence, and there was nothing left to do except to leave Madinah and head for Syria, when something happened to distract him from that.[16]

We have discussed in detail how Aisha, Talhah and Zubair went out to Basrah and the Battle of the Camel.


5. After the Battle of the Camel, Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali sent Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah to Mu’awiyah

It is said that the period between the appointment of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to the khilafah and the second Saba’i fitnah, which is called Basrah or the Battle of the Camel, was five months and twenty-one days. Between that and his entering Kufah was one month, and between his entering Kufah and his going out to Siffin was six months,[17] or it was said that it was two or three months.[18]

Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu entered Kufah on Monday, 12 Rajab 36 A.H. It was suggested to him that he should stay in the white palace, but he said:

No, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu would not like to stay there, so I dislike it too.

He stayed in al Rahbah and prayed two raka’at in the great masjid, and then he addressed the people, urging them to do good and forbidding them from doing evil. He praised the people of Kufah in his speech, and then he sent word to Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah, who had been the governor of Hamadhan from the time of ‘Uthman, and Ash’ath ibn Qais, who had been governor of Azerbaijan from the time of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, telling them to accept the oath of allegiance to him from the people there, then to come to him, and they did that.

When ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu wanted to send word to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu calling on him to swear allegiance to him, Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah al Bajali said:

I will go to him, O Amir al Mu’minin, for there was friendship between me and him, and I will accept his oath of allegiance to you.

Ashtar said:

Do not send him, O Amir al Mu’minin, for I fear that he is inclined towards him.

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said: “Let him be!” and he sent him with a letter to Muawiyah. The letter told him that there was consensus among the Muhajirin and Ansar on swearing allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, informed him of what had happened at the Battle of the Camel, and called on him to join the people in swearing allegiance.

When Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah reached Muawiyah and gave him the letter, Muawiyah summoned ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and the leaders of the people of Syria and consulted them.

They refused to swear allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu until the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu were executed or handed over to them. They said that if ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not do that, they would not swear allegiance to him, and they would fight to the last man.

Jarir went back to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and told him what they had said. Ashtar said:

Did I not tell you, O Amir al Mu’minin, not to send Jarir? If you had sent me, Muawiyah would not have opened any door but I would have closed it.

Jarir said to him:

If you had gone there, they would have killed you in retaliation for ‘Uthman.

Ashtar said:

By Allah, if you had sent me, I would have found an answer to Muawiyah’s questions, and I would have given him an answer before he even asked. If Amir al Mu’minin had listened to me, he would have detained you and others like you until the affairs of this ummah were straightened out.

Jarir got up angrily and went to stay in Qarqaisa’. He wrote to Muawiyah, telling him what he had said and what had been said to him; Muawiyah wrote back, telling him to come to him.[19] Thus Ashtar was a factor in the alienation of the Sahabi Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah, who was ‘Ali’s governor in Qarqaisa’ and elsewhere, and the leader of his tribe Bajalah. This Sahabi, Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah al Bajali said:

The Rasul of Allah ‘salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam never saw me without smiling at me.

Rasul ‘salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said concerning him:

There will enter upon you from this door a man who is the best of those who are blessed; on his face there is an angelic look.[20]


6. ‘Ali’s march to Syria

Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu prepared to go on the campaign to Syria, and he sent word to mobilise the people.[21] He prepared a huge army; the reports differ concerning the size, but they are all weak reports[22] apart from one with a reliable chain of narration, which states that he set out with fifty thousand men.[23]

The place where the troops of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu gathered was al Nukhaylah,[24] which was two miles from Kufah. The tribes came to it from all regions of Iraq.[25]

Amir al Mu’minin appointed Abu Mas’ud al Ansari and sent Ziyad ibn al Nadhir al Harithi from al Nukhaylah ahead of the army with eight thousand fighters, and Shurayh ibn Hani’ with four thousand. Then ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu set out with his army towards Baghdad, where he was joined by more men; he appointed Sa’d ibn Mas’ud al Thaqafi in charge of them. From there he sent a detachment of three thousand to Mosul.[26] ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu travelled on the main road to al Jazirah along the eastern bank of the Euphrates, until he drew close to Qarqasiya’.[27]

News reached him that Muawiyah had set out to meet him and was camping in Siffin, so ‘Ali went to al Raqqa,[28] from which he crossed the Euphrates, heading west, and came to Siffin.[29]


7. Mu’awiyah’s going out to Siffin

Muawiyah was serious about bringing the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to justice. He managed to ambush and kill a group of Egyptians who had invaded Madinah, including Abu ‘Amr ibn Budayl al Khuza’i, as they were returning to Egypt.[30]

Moreover, he had supporters in Egypt and among the people of Kharbata who were also seeking vengeance for the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This group managed to defeat Muhammad ibn Abi Hudhayfah in a number of confrontations in 36 A.H. Muawiyah also managed to capture the Egyptian leaders and planners of the invasion of Madinah, such as ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Udaysi, Kinanah ibn Bishr and Muhammad ibn Hudhayfah, whom he detained in Palestine during the period that preceded his going out to Siffin. He executed them in Dhu al Hijjah 36 A.H.[31]

When Muawiyah learned of the movements of the Iraqi army, he gathered his consultants among the prominent people of Syria and addressed them, saying:

‘Ali is coming towards you with the people of Iraq.

Dhu al Kila’ al Himyari said:

Tell us what to do, and we will do it.[32]

The people of Syria gave their pledge to Muawiyah that they would fight to seek vengeance for the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[33]

‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu prepared the army and appointed commanders, and he stood up to address and encourage the army, saying:


The people of Iraq are divided and weak. The people of Basrah are opposed to ‘Ali because he killed some of them, and the strongest of the people of Kufah were killed in the Battle of the Camel. ‘Ali is marching with a small group, among whom are those who killed your khalifah, so do not fail in your duty to bring them to justice.[34]


Muawiyah set out with a huge army. Reports differ on the number, but they all have interrupted chains of narration; they are the same reports that estimated the size of ‘Ali’s army. The number was put at one hundred and twenty thousand,[35] or seventy thousand, or much more than that.[36]

The closest to the truth is a report that they numbered sixty thousand. Although the chain of narration of this report is interrupted, its narrator is Safwan ibn ‘Amr al Saksi, a Homsi from Syria who was born in 72 A.H and is proven to be trustworthy. He met a number of those who had been present at Siffin, as is clear from studying his biography.[37] The chain of narration to him is sound.[38]

The commanders of Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu army were as follows: ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu in charge of the entire cavalry of Syria; Dhahhak ibn Qais in charge of the entire infantry; Dhu al Kila’ al Himyari in charge of the right flank of the army; Habib ibn Maslamah in charge of the left flank, and Abu al A’war al Sulami in charge of the vanguard.

These were the senior commanders; with each of these commanders, there were other officers, organised along tribal lines. They marched to Siffin in this order, but during the battle, some of the commanders were changed and other commanders appointed, as dictated by circumstances. This may be the reason for the differences concerning the names of the commanders in some sources.[39]

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent Abu al A’war al Sulami in the vanguard of the army, and their route led northeast from Damascus. When he reached Siffin, by the lower part of the Euphrates, he camped in a vast plain beside a branch of the Euphrates; in that place there was no other branch on the river. So he made it his own.[40]


8. The fight for the water

The army of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu reached Siffin, where Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was already camping. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu could not find sufficient level ground for the army, so they camped in a place that was somewhat rugged, on land that was mostly covered with jagged rocks.[41] His army was caught by surprise when Muawiyah prevented them from reaching the water, and some of them rushed to complain to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu about that. He sent Ash’ath ibn Qais out with two thousand men, and the first battle took place between the two sides. Ash’ath was victorious and gained control of the water.[42]

However, there is a report denying that any fighting took place at all. This report says that Ash’ath ibn Qais went to Muawiyah and said:

I urge you by Allah, O Muawiyah, to think of the ummah of Muhammad ‘salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Suppose you kill the people of Iraq. Who will guard the border and the women and children? Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says:

وَ اِنْ طَآئِفَتٰنِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِیْنَ اقْتَتَلُوْا فَاَصْلِحُوْا بَیْنَهُمَا

And if two parties [or groups] among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both[43]

Muawiyah asked: “What do you want?” They replied: “Let us reach the water.” He said to Abu al A’war:

Let our brothers reach the water.[44]


The alleged fight for the water took place on the first day they met at the beginning of Dhu al Hijjah, and this was a hard start for both parties of Muslims, because fighting continued between them for the entire month. The fighting took the form of encounters between small groups. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would send out a small group led by a commander, and it would engage in fighting once a day, either in the morning or the afternoon; on a few occasions they fought twice in a day. On most occasions, the commanders in ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu army who would go out with small groups to fight were Ashtar, Hujr ibn ‘Adi, Shabath ibn Rab’i, Khalid ibn al Mu’tamir and Ma’qil ibn Yasar al Riyahi.

In Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu army, those who went out most often were Habib ibn Maslamah, ‘Abdul Rahman ibn Khalid ibn al Walid, ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, Abu al A’war al Sulami and Shurahbil ibn al Samat. They avoided fighting with the entire army for fear of complete destruction and ruin of the ummah, and in the hope of reaching a peace deal between the two sides where by loss of lives and bloodshed could be avoided.[45]


9. Cooling off and attempts at reconciliation

No sooner had the month of Muharram begun than the two sides hastened to suspend the fighting and call for a truce, in the hope of reconciliation that would protect Muslim lives. They took advantage of this month to correspond with one another, but the information about the correspondence during this period – the month of Muharram – was narrated via weak but well-known chains of narration.[46]

The fact that they are weak does not mean that it did not take place, though. The one who started the correspondence was Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He sent Bashir ibn ‘Amr al Ansari, Sa’id ibn Qais al Hamadani and Shabath ibn Rab’i al Tamimi to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, calling on him as he had before to join the main body of Muslims and swear allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu responded in the same manner as he had previously, demanding that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu hand over ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu killers or bring them to justice before he would give him his oath of allegiance. We have already discussed ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu attitude concerning this matter.[47]

The pious worshippers on both sides, of whom there was a large number, had camped in an area separate from Siffin. They tried to mediate between the two sides, but their efforts did not succeed because each group insisted on its own opinion.[48]

Two of the Sahabah, Abu al Darda’ and Abu Umamah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, also tried to reconcile the two parties but were not able to, and for the same reasons; they abandoned both parties and did not get involved in this issue of fighting.[49]

Masruq ibn al Ajda’, one of the senior Tabi’in, also came and exhorted them and told them to fear Allah E, but did not participate in the fighting.[50]

Ibn Kathir criticised the lengthy details that were narrated in reports of Abu Mikhnaf and Nasr ibn Muzahim with regard to the correspondence between the two sides. He said:

…Then the biographers mentioned a lengthy discussion that took place between them and ‘Ali. The soundness of this material is subject to further examination. In the reports, there are some words which are attributed to ‘Ali in which there is criticism of Muawiyah and his father; it says that they entered Islam but still had some doubts about it, and other things that undermine Muawiyah. It also says that ‘Ali said concerning that: ‘I do not say that ‘Uthman was killed unlawfully or lawfully.’ In my view, this cannot be soundly attributed to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[51]

The attitude of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu concerning the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu is quite clear. I have discussed it in my book about ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and in the present volume.


NEXT⇒ Outbreak of fighting


[1]Tarikh al Islam, ‘Ahd al Khulafa’ al Rashidin, p. 359

[2]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/539

[3]  Muhammad Jamil: Tarikh al Da’wa l-Islamiyyah, p. 398

[4]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/539. Its chain of narration is weak.

[5]al Ansab, 4/418; Tarikh al Da’wah al Islamiyyah, p. 398

[6]Tarikh al Tabari, 5/600

[7]  Al Ghadban: Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, p. 178-183

[8]Tarikh al Tabari, 5/466

[9] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/129

[10]al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim, p. 162

[11]  Surah Bani Isra’il: 33

[12]Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah, 11240

[13]Musnad Ahmed, no. 24045; a sound hadith

[14]  ‘Abdul Hamid: Khilafah ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, p. 112

[15]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/240

[16]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/240, 241

[17]Muruj adh-Dhahab, 21360

[18]Bukhari: at-Tarikh as-Saghir, 11102

[19]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/265

[20]Muslim, no. 2475 [However, this ḥadīth is not found in Muslim, but has been reported in Musnad Ahmed, Mustadrak al Hakim, Sahih ibn Khuzaimah, al Mujam al Kabir,and Majma’ al Zawa’id]

[21] Al Isabah, 1/123, 124, quoted from al Hakim with a reliable chain of narration

[22]  Some said one hundred and fifty thousand or more, al Bidayah wan Nihayah, 7/260; one hundred and twenty thousand, al Ma’rifah wa Tarikh, 3/13, with an interrupted chain of narration; or ninety thousand, Tarikh Khalifah ibn Khayyat, p. 193

[23]Tarikh Khalifah, p. 193, with a reliable chain of narration

[24]  A place near Kufah in the direction of Syria. Mu ‘jam al Buldan; 5/278

[25]  Abdul-Hamid: Khilafah ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, p. 188

[26]Tarikh al Tabari, 5/603

[27]  Qarqaisiya’ is a city on the al Khabur river, where it joins the Euphrates. Mujam al Buldan, 4/328

[28]  Al Raqqah: a well-known city, now in Syria, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. Mujam al Buldan, 3/153

[29]Tarikh al Tabari, 5/605

[30]  Abu al ‘Arab al Tamimi: al Milhan, p. 124; ‘Abdul Hamid: Khilafah ‘Ali, p. 191

[31]  ‘Abdul Hamid: Khilafah ‘Ali, p. 191

[32]Al Isabah, 11480; ‘Abdul Hamid: Khilafah ‘Ali, p. 192

[33]Ansab al Ashraf, 2/52, Khilafah ‘Ali, p. 192

[34]Tarikh al Tabari, 5/601

[35]Khilafah ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, p. 194; al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh, 3/313

[36]  Khilafah ‘Ali, p. 194; Tarikh Khalifah; p. 193

[37]Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 61380

[38]Khilafah ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, p. 194

[39]  Salih al ‘Ali: Imtidad al ‘Arab fi Sadr al Islam, p. 73; Khilafah ‘Ali, p. 194

[40]  Nasr ibn Muzahim: Siffin, p. 160, 161

[41]  ‘Abdul-Hamid: Khilafah ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, p. 196; an-Nasr al Mubin

[42]Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 15/24

[43]  Surah al Hujarat: 9

[44]Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 2/41; Marwiyat Abi Mikhnaf, p. 296

[45]  ‘Abdul Hamid: Khilafah ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, p. 197, 198; Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/266; Tarikh al Tabari, 5/614

[46]Tarikh al Tabari, 5/612, 613; Khilafah ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, p. 199

[47]Tarikh al Tabari, 5/613; Khilafah ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, p. 19

[48]  op. cit., 5/614

[49]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/270

[50]Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 4/67

[51]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/269