The First Discussion: The inception of Nasb.

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The First Discussion

The Inception of Nasb

‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu enjoyed a very lofty stature which was befitting for him in the Muslim society he lived in. He attained such feats and was privileged with such merits as were not enjoyed by many. He was a leader in knowledge, in faith, in disinclination from this world, in intelligence, and in bravery. He was from the forerunners from amongst the Muhajirin, from the ascetic scholars, and from the few warriors who were unmatched. This is besides the fact that he was from the prestigious household of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, being his cousin, and the husband of his daughter, Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha.

His virtues are innumerable and his merits cannot be fully covered.[1] To the extent that Imam Ahmed would say:

 

ما جاء لأحد من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من الفضائل ما جاء لعلي بن أبي طالب

There has not come to us regarding any of the Sahabah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as many merits as has come to us regarding ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[2]

 

All of this played a pivotal role in the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhu conceding his merits and acknowledging his rights.

Yes, during the era of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam amongst the members of the Quraysh there were people who were churlish toward the Banu Hashim in general and would not fulfil their rights. This was either owing to the remnants of some of the deep-seated traits of the Jahiliyyah (the era of ignorance, before the advent of Islam), like vying for status,[3] or due to the loss their tribes suffered at the hands of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam due to him waging war against them,[4] amongst other reasons. Hence ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib radiya Llahu ‘anhu had complained to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding the unfriendly behaviour of some of the Quraysh toward him, to which he replied:

 

والله لا يدخل قلب امرئ إيمان حتى يحبوكم لله ولقرابتي

By Allah, iman will not enter the heart of a person till he does not love you for the sake of Allah and for the sake of my relationship.[5]

 

Likewise there were some who hated ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu specifically.[6] But this was not a widespread phenomenon in society, rather it was the behaviour of select individuals thereof, as is the case in every society and era. Hence Buraydah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is reported to have said the following:

بغضت عليا بغضا لم يبغضه أحد قط، قال: وأحببت رجلا من قريش لم أحبه إلا على بغضه عليا

I hated ‘Ali so much that no one hated him that much. He also says, “Whoever of the Quraysh I loved, I only loved due to his hatred for ‘Ali.”

 

Moving on, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam conveyed all the laws of Shari’ah he was instructed to convey. Not only that, but he also foretold us of many of the tribulations and events which were to occur after him and provided for us solutions for them. For example, He foretold that ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma will be assassinated, he said:

 

أثبت أحد فإنما عليك نبي وصديق وشهيدان

Settle O Uhud, for there is not upon you but a Prophet, a Siddiq, and two martyrs.[7]

 

He also prophesised that ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu will encounter hardship[8] and that he will be on the truth[9] and ordered him to exercise patience.

Amongst his prophecies and advices was that he exhorted the Ummah to treat his Ahlul Bayt with goodness, and more specifically ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the most virtuous amongst them. He ordered that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu be loved and warned against hating him, he deemed him the bosom friend of any person who considered Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to be his bosom friend,[10] he informed that his killer will be the most wretched of people,[11] and he told Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

تقاتله وأنت له ظالم

You will fight him and you will be wronging him.[12]

 

He also addressed the Mothers of the Believers saying:

كيف بإحداكن إذا نبحتها كلاب الحوأب

What would be the condition of one of you when the dogs of Hawʾab will bark at her?[13]

 

Probably the reason why these exhortations of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam have come forth in these forms, regarding the Ahlul Bayt in general and regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in specific, is that he knew of the virulence and contempt that many of them were to suffer after him. But because the share of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in all of that was going to be much more than anyone else of the Ahlul Bayt, the hadiths stressing upon his rights and stature were more. This is because he was tested with a people who loved him to such an extent that in endeavouring to extoll him they denigrated him, and a people who hated him to an extent that they tried to harm him in every way possible. This is clear from the following statement of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

ليحبني قوم حتى يدخلوا النار في حبي، وليبغضني قوم حتى يدخلوا النار في بغضي

A people will love me to an extent that they will enter Hell-fire due to loving me, and a people will hate me to an extent that they will enter Hell-fire due to hating me.[14]

 

There is no doubt as to the fact that no one amongst the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum encountered what ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu encountered; he was accused when he was innocent and he was fought and opposed without any legitimate reason, starting with those who fought him based on Ijtihad (their analyses of the situation and how best to resolve the issue) and ending with those who killed him deeming him a disbeliever. Not only that, but even after his demise for years on end he remained a victim of contempt, so much so that he was openly cursed from the pulpits and his followers and partisans were forced to curse him. Rather the matter reached such sensitivity that some scholars would be afraid to even mention his name in the presence of the rulers and would suffice on referring to him through hints.[15] His progeny likewise was victim of much contempt after him, that also for no valid reason.[16]

But when we return to the era of the Rightly Guided Khalifas radiya Llahu ‘anhum who preceded ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, we will find that he was treated as a prominent person and enjoyed a very privileged position.[17] Hence Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu would honour him and consult with him, so would ‘Umar who did not hesitate at multiple occasions to go with the opinion of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu[18] and also appointed him as a member of the Shura (council) of six people who were to elect a ruler from amongst themselves.

And when ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu assumed the Caliphate, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu remained, as was his wont, adherent, obedient, and a well-wisher, as he said:

لوسيرني عثمان إلى صرار لسمعت وأطعت

If ‘Uthman were to send me to Sirar I would listen and obey.[19]

 

Thereafter in the latter part of his reign the Fitnah started gaining momentum, for complaints, sometimes legitimate and sometimes not, began to increase regarding the governors of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The Khalifah did not leave them unattended, rather he ordered that every complaintive should meet him in the season Hajj and he also ordered that all his governors be present in order to confirm the complaints and demand the rights from those whose oppression or contravention is confirmed.[20]

Ostensibly, the approach of softness which ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu adopted with his detractors and his kind nature both indirectly engendered an increase in the mischief of the riff-raff. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu himself realised this, as he is reported to have said:

 

لنت لكم، وأوطأت لكم كتفي، وكففت يدي ولساني عنكم فاجترأتم علي

I was kind to you, I made my shoulder a support for you, and I withheld my hand and my tongue, consequently you became bold against me.[21]

 

Subsequent to that, the criticsm of these people increased even more and expanded,[22] but now it started taking a new route and was aimed directly at ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu himself, whereas previously it was directed toward his governors only.[23]

 

The Issues Raised against ‘Uthman[24]

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Nepotism: Appointing his Relatives

He appointed some of his relatives, like al Walid ibn ‘Uqbah,[25] Sa’id ibn al ‘As,[26] ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh.[27]

Ibn Hajar mentions in Fath al Bari:

إن قتل عثمان كان أشد أسبابه الطعن على امرائه ثم عليه بتوليته لهم

The assassination of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was mostly because of criticisms against his governors and thereafter criticisms against him for appointing them.[28]

 

Without a doubt, it is not valid to criticise the ruler, whoever he maybe, merely because of him appointing his relatives when he deems them fit. Yes he becomes deserving of criticsm when relationship is the sole factor which he considers when appointing someone, without considering anything else.

Likewise, it is also well-known to everyone that being completely upright is not a condition for assuming administrative positions, for every Allah-conscious and pious person is not necessarily the most capable and the most suited in the worldly matters.[29] Hence ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is reported to have said:

نستعين بقوة المنافق وإثمه عليه

We will draw help from the strength of a hypocrite and his sin will be upon himself.[30]

 

Although ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was famous for his love for the Banu Umayyah and honouring them,[31] but that does not necessitate that his love for them was the only reason which propelled him to appoint them to different positions.

The reality of the matter is that he practiced Ijtihad (exerted himself to reach the best possible conclusion) and he was apt for doing so because he was a Mujtahid (a scholar who has the authority to form opinions and rulings by exerting all his knowledge and mental faculties). Hence he discerned that some of his relatives were compatible for leadership and thus appointed them, especially when considering that:

 

أن بني أمية كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يستعملهم في حياته، واستعملهم بعده من لا يتهم بقرابة فيهم. بل كانوا أكثر من ولي عملا من القبائل.

Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed the Banu Umayyah to various positions during his lifetime. After him others who cannot be suspected of having any relationship with them also appointed them.[32] In fact most of the people appointed by Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were from this tribe.[33]

 

What proves this crucial detail that he did not appoint them merely out of love for them is that when any of his relatives proved to be incompetent he would dismiss them. In fact, he even executed a capital punishment on the one who perpetrated a crime which would warrant that.[34] Had the reason for their appointment only been his attachment to them and his zealousness to side with them whatever the situation, as is the claim of his haters, he would have overlooked their flaws; but that is not what happened.

Furthermore criticising him can be attributed to one of two reasons:

1) He can be criticised for merely appointing some of his relatives. In that case then ‘Ali ibn Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu also appointed some of his relatives, but he was not criticised. He appointed ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Abbas[35] over Yemen, Qutham ibn ‘Abbas[36] over Makkah and Taʾif, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas over Basrah, amongst others.[37] Why should ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu alone be criticised then for appointing his relatives.

This is exactly what one of the rebels observed when he came to know that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed his cousin, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, over Basrah. He said with resentment:

ففيم قتلنا الشيخ أمس بالمدينة

So why did will kill the old man yesterday in Madinah,[38] i.e. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

2) He can be criticised due to the blunders and transgressions of some of his governors. In that case they were the ones worthy of criticism not him, unless he approved of their wrongs and that did not happen.[39]

Consider the case of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He appointed some people and later discovered that they were not as he assumed them to be in their competence. He thus said:

وليت فلانا فأخذ المال، ووليت فلانا فخانني

I appointed so and so and he took wealth, and I appointed so and so and he breached my trust.[40]

 

But no one is reported to have criticised ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu for the flaws and blunders of his governors. Likewise should be the approach regarding ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

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His Absence in the Battle of Badr

He had stayed behind because Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had ordered him to do so in order to nurse his daughter Ruqayyah radiya Llahu ‘anha. That is why Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam allotted a share of the booty for him and promised him reward.[41]

Furthermore, it is a strange paradox indeed that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passes away whilst being pleased with ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the entire Ummah unanimously elects him as their Khalifah, and then comes a handful of people who have not made any contributions to Islam nor enjoy any virtue and criticise him specifically for not participating in the Battle of Badr.[42]

 

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His Fleeing on the Day of Uhud from the Battle field

This is not something that he can be criticised for because Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala forgave all those who fled on that day in the Qurʾan:

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَلَّوْا مِنكُمْ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ إِنَّمَا اسْتَزَلَّهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ بِبَعْضِ مَا كَسَبُوا ۖ وَلَقَدْ عَفَا اللهُ عَنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ

Indeed, those of you who turned back on the day the two armies met [at Uhud] – it was Satan who caused them to slip because of some [blame] they had earned. But Allah has already forgiven them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.[43]

 

If people below ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in stature attained this glad-tiding, then why wouldn’t he, especially when considering his virtues, his contributions, and his immense good.[44]

 

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His Absence in the Pledge of Ridwan

Deeming his absence in the pledge a demerit is astonishing  when considering that the pledge took place because of him. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent him to negotiate with the polytheists of Makkah and upon his delay rumours abounded that he was killed. At that time Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took the allegiance of the people to fight the people of Makkah and himself pledged allegiance on behalf of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, out of precaution that he might be alive. So on what legitimate basis can he be criticised?[45]

 

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Demarcating a Sanctuary

He did not demarcate the sanctuary for his personal interests and gains, owing to which criticising him would be legitimate. Rather he demarcated it for the camels of charity specifically. In addition, this was not his initiative, rather it was previously done by ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The only difference is that he increased the area of the sanctuary over that which ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu had increased due to the camels of charity increasing owing to the immense booty Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala had granted the Muslims during his era.

If criticising ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu is allowed on this basis then criticising ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu should also be allowed, but because ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not criticised it would be invalid to criticise ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[46]

 

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Compiling the Qurʾan

This compilation materialised after Huzayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu came to him seeking help saying:

 

أدرك هذه الأمة قبل أن يختلفوا في الكتاب اختلاف اليهود والنصارى في الكتب

Save the Ummah before they start disputing regarding the Qur’an like how the Jews and the Christians differed regarding their scriptures.

 

Thereafter he consulted with the prominent Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, like ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and others, who all approbated the compilation.[47]

He only advanced in compiling the copies of the Qurʾan in order to repel the dispute and bickering of the Muslims which was clearly beginning to gain momentum. This is exactly what an objective outlook to this situation would demand. For the reason for revealing the Qurʾan in seven Ahruf (dialects [close translation]) was to make the recitation of the Qurʾan easy for the Arabs who comprised of various tribes and spoke various lingos and dialects. Hence once this objective was achieved and because these dialects were not intended in themselves and the preservation of the Qurʾan was not dependent on them, what importance then would their existence hold if they became a means of dispute and bickering amongst the Muslims due to their ignorance. That is why ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is reported to have said:

 

لا تقولوا لعثمان في إحراق المصاحف إلا خيرا

Do not say about ‘Uthman in the matter of burning the (individual) copies of the Qurʾan but good.[48]

 

He also said:

لو لم يصنعه عثمان لصنعته

If ‘Uthman had not done it, I would have.[49]

 

Hence this initiative of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu is actually a virtue in his favour which will not be forgotten and omitted by the passage of time.[50]

These are all the issues that the mischief makers had raised against him. They reveal how ignorant, narrow minded, and prejudiced these people really were that they contrived the weakest of reasons to criticise ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, even though he was not blameworthy at all, without any evidence. It is strange indeed that some of the issues raised against him were actually some of his great feats and achievements. Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu indeed spoke the truth when he said:

لقد عبتم على عثمان أشياء لو أن عمر فعلها ما عبتموها

You have criticised ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu for such issues that if ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu were to do the same you would never have criticised him.[51]

 

‘Ali ibn al Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu,[52] one of the leading members of the Ahlul Bayt, is reported to have said:

 

والله ما قتل عثمان على وجه الحق

By Allah! ‘Uthman was not killed for a legitimate reason.[53]

 

When rebutting all these claims and criticisms it is sufficient to note that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam foretold that the Caliphate after him will last for thirty years,[54] and his Caliphate was within those thirty years. He also informed that he will be on the truth and ordered him not to remove the garb Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala clothes him with, and he described those who will want to depose him as hypocrites.[55]

Nonetheless, in this environment which was replete with criticisms and objections a group of the mischief makers was constantly going to some of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum with their complaints regarding some of the governors of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. As a result those Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum spoke to the Khalifah regarding them and consequently he dismissed some of them. But despite that the criticisms of the mischief makers did not stop.[56]

In actual fact some of these governors had opened the door of criticism, unwittingly, against ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in which every conspirator found room for criticism, because of his evil doings, either with those under him or in his personal conduct.

Ibn Khaldun[57] mentions:

 

ثم انتقل الخلاف بين عثمان ومن معه من الصحابة ونقموا عليه امتناعه عن العزل فأبى إلا أن يكون على جرحة، ثم نقلوا النكير إلى غير ذلك من أفعاله، وهو متمسك بالاجتهاد وهم أيضا كذلك.  ثم تجمع قوم من الغوغاء وجاؤوا إلى المدينة يظهرون طلب النصفة من عثمان، وهم يضمرون خلاف ذلك من قتله، فيهم من البصرة والكوفة ومصر، وقام معهم في ذلك علي وعائشة والزبير وطلحة وغيرهم يحاولون تسكين الأمور ورجوع عثمان إلى رأيهم.

Thereafter the dispute shifted to ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who were with him in Madinah. Hence they resented his refusal to dismiss and he on the other hand refused unless there was compelling impugning evidence. They thereafter censured his other doings in which he held a particular viewpoint based on his Ijtihad and they held a particular viewpoint based on their Ijtihad.

Subsequent to that, a group of commoners marched to Madinah and outwardly expressed intentions of bringing ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to book, but inwardly had the intention of assassinating him. They comprised of people from Basrah, Kufah, and Egypt. Together with them stood ‘Ali, ‘Aʾishah, Zubair, and Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, amongst others, who were trying to calm the situation and convince ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to accept their viewpoint.[58]

 

Whatever the case may be, this Fitnah drew untold problems to the Ummah to an extent that it engendered dispute and resentment between the noble Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.[59]

Ibn Taymiyyah mentions:

أما في خلافة عثمان فقوي النزاع في بعض الأمور حتى صار يحصل كلام غليظ من بعضهم لبعض.

وقد نقموا منه أشياء بعضها هم فيها معذورون فيه، وكثير منها كان عثمان هو المعذور فيه.

As for the Caliphate of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, disputes intensified in some issues. So much so that they started exchanging harsh speech with one another.[60]

They decried his doings, in some of which they were excused and in most of which ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was excused.[61]

 

One such issue was when some people came to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu complaining about the Zakat collectors of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Subsequently he sent his son, Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah, with the letter of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which contained the details of Sadaqah. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu rejected it saying:

أغنها عنا

Remove it away from us.[62]

 

This is a phrase which denotes discarding and ignoring.[63] The sternness in the rejection of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu is quite evident.

Nonetheless, it is established from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he said:

 

إني لأرجو أن أكون أنا وعثمان ممن قال الله تعالى فيهم وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَىٰ سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ.

I have hope that I and ‘Uthman will be from those regarding whom Allah said, “We removed what was in their hearts of rancour, and they will be brothers reclining on cushions facing one another”[64][65]

 

And ‘Aʾishah radiya Llahu ‘anha said:

غضبت لكم من السوط ولا أغضب لعثمان من السيف

I was angered when you suffered under the whip; shall I not be angered when ‘Uthman is put to the sword?[66]

She also said:

كان القوم يختلفون إلي في عيب عثمان ولا أرى إلا انها معاتبة، وأما دمه فأعوذ بالله من دمه! والله وددت أني عشت في الدنيا برصاء صالخا وأني لم أذكر عثمان بكلمة قط.

The people would frequently come to me with faults of ‘Uthman. And I do not consider (my address to him) but a reprimand. As for his blood, I seek the refuge of Allah from his blood. By Allah I wish I lived in this world as a deaf leper and that I did not say a word regarding ‘Uthman.[67]

 

Likewise Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu would say the following on the Day of Jamal:[68]

 

إنا داهنا في أمر عثمان، فلا نجد اليوم شيئا أمثل من أن نبذل فيه دماءنا، اللهم خذ لعثمان مني اليوم حتى ترضى

We compromised in the matter of ‘Uthman. Hence we do not find anything better today than shedding our blood for him. O Allah, You take for ‘Uthman from me till you are pleased.[69]

 

These mischief makers exploited the disillusionment of some of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum with ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu[70] and utilised it as a means of igniting the fire of Fitnah.

That is why Huzayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu would say:

 

اللهم العن قتلة عثمان وغزاة عثمان وشنأة عثمان! اللهم إنا كنا نعاتبه ويعاتبنا، متى ما كان من قبله يعاتبنا ونعاتبه فاتخذوا ذلك سلما إلى الفتنة، اللهم لا تمتهم إلا بالسيوف.

O Allah, curse the killers of ‘Uthman and the fighters of ‘Uthman! O Allah we would reprimand him and he would reprimand us. Whenever anything from him would emerge he would reprimand us and we would reprimand him. They thus made that a path to Fitnah. O Allah, You do not let them die but with swords.[71]

 

Furthermore, when they gathered and came from Egypt, Kufah, and Basrah, it had not passed the imagination of any of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum that events will escalate so rapidly and eventually culminate in the assassination of the Khalifah as a wronged martyr.[72] As soon as he was killed Madinah became gloomy upon its people and the seniors amongst the Sahabah were overtaken by shock and momentarily lost their perception.[73] ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would say:

لقد طاش عقلي يوم قتل عثمان وأنكرت نفسي

I lost my mind the day ‘Uthman was killed, and I resented myself.[74]

 

Subsequently, ‘Aʾishah, Talhah and Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhum united upon seeking retribution for the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, especially because each one felt some sort of compunction due to them falling short in standing by his side and helping him as they ought to. Similarly they had never thought that he would be killed, whatever the situation, and that anyone would be so bold to attack the Khalifah of the Muslims in the capital of his Caliphate. Had they known that, they would have taken measures to put an end to the roots of the Fitnah and bar whatever might contribute to it.[75]

However, there is no accuracy in the claim that when the Fitnah occurred the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhu became either forsakers or fighters.[76]

Al Subki mentions:

لا نحفظ عن أحد منهم الرضا بقتله، إنما المحفوظ الثابت عن كل منهم إنكار ذلك

We do not know regarding any of them that they were happy with his assassination. What is preserved and established from each one of them is that they abhorred it.[77]

 

And Ibn Kathir[78] mentions:

 

أما ما يذكره بعض الناس من أن بعض الصحابة اسلمه ورضي بقتله فهذا لا يصح عن أحد من الصحابة أنه رضي بقتل عثمان رضي الله عنه، بل كلهم كرهه ومقته وسب من فعله، ولكن بعضهم كان يود لو خلع نفسه من الأمر

As for the claim of some people that some of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum surrendered him and were happy with his murder, it is not authentically proven from any of the Sahabah that he was happy with the killing of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Rather each one of them despised it and abhorred it, and chastised those who did it. However, some of them desired that he depose himself.[79]

 

What further enforces this is the following narration of ‘Alqamah ibn Waqqas al Laythi:[80]

 

لما خرج طلحة والزبير وعائشة للطلب بدم عثمان عرجوا عند منصرفهم بذات عرق، قال: ورأيت طلحة- وأحب المجالس إليه أخلاها، وهو ضارب بلحيته على زوره. فقلت: يا أبا محمد: إني أراك وأحب المجالس إليك أخلاها، إن كنت تكره هذا الأمر فدعه. فقال: يا علقمة لا تلمني، كنا أمس يدا واحدة على من سوانا فأصبحنا اليوم جبلين من حديد يزحف أحدنا إلى صاحبه، ولكنه كان مني شيء في أمر عثمان مما لا أرى كفارته إلا أن يسفك دمي في طلب دمه.

When Talhah, al Zubair and ‘Aʾishah radiya Llahu ‘anhum marched out to seek retribution for the blood of ‘Uthman, they stopped on their way at Dhat ‘Irq.[81] He says, “I saw Talhah and noticed that seclusion was most beloved to him and that he was hitting his beard to his chest. So I said, “O Abu Muhammad, I see that the gatherings in which there is most seclusion are most beloved to you. If you dislike this matter then leave it.” He replied, “Do not blame me O ‘Alqamah. Yesterday we were one unit against those besides us and today we have transitioned into two mountains of iron drawing closer to one another. But there was something from me in the matter of ‘Uthman and I do not see the expiation thereof but in my blood being shed in seeking retribution for his.[82]

 

This feeling had settled deep down in his heart. Hence when he was shot with an arrow he said the following:

 

هذا والله سهم أرسله الله، اللهم خذ لعثمان مني حتى ترضى

This, by Allah, is an arrow sent by Allah. O Allah, take for ‘Uthman from me till you are pleased.[83]

 

He also said:

اللهم هل يجزئ دمي كله بقطرة من دم عثمان

O Allah, will all my blood ever suffice for one droplet of the blood of ‘Uthman.[84]

 

And this is what made Marwan ibn al Hakam say the following after shooting him with an arrow:

 

والله لا أطلب قاتل عثمان بعدك أبدا

By Allah! I will not search for the killer of ‘Uthman ever after you.[85]

 

This was because according to Marwan, Talhah was the severest against ‘Uthman.[86]

He is also reported to have said:

لا أطلب بثأري بعد اليوم

I will not seek my revenge after this day.[87]

 

He likewise said to one of the sons of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

قد كفيناك بعض قتلة أبيك

We have sufficed on your behalf in doing away with some of your father’s killers.[88]

 

Commenting upon this, al Hafiz al Dhahabi[89] mentions:

 

الذي كان منه في حق عثمان تمغفل وتأليب فعله باجتهاد، ثم تغير عندما شاهد مصرع عثمان فندم على ترك نصرته

What had come forth from his side regarding ‘Uthman was obliviousness and instigated against those actions of his base on Ijtihad. However, when he saw the death of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu he changed and regretted upon not helping him and standing by his side.[90]

 

Nonetheless, his murder was indeed a terrible Fitnah as a result of which the Ummah encountered tumultuous situations, as was prophesied by Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

من نجا من ثلاث فقد نجا-ثلاث مرات- موتي، والدجال، وقتل خليفة مصطبر بالحق معطيه

Whoever is saved from three things is indeed safe, he said that three times: my death, Dajjal, and the murder of a Khalifah who will be steadfast upon the truth and will dispense it.[91]

 

And ‘Abdullah ibn Salam radiya Llahu ‘anhu said the following:

 

لقد فتح الناس على أنفسهم بقتل عثمان باب فتنة لا تغلق عنهم إلى قيام الساعة

By killing ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu the people have opened a door of Fitnah upon themselves which will not close till the advent of the final hour.[92]

 

Hence after the martyrdom of Amir al Muʾminin ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu the fitnah broke out on such a large scale that not a household from the household of the Arabs was spared.[93] Hence the people were flabbergasted regarding the events still to unfold and how to interpret what had just happened. This is where rumours regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu having a share in what had happened took root. And this was largely being circulated by the Banu Umayyah.[94]

Therefore, in eulogising the demise of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and depicting the chitchat of the people Hassan ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu said the following poem:

فليأت مأسدة في دار عثمانا

من سره الموت صرفا لا مزاج له

فوق المخاطم بيض زان أبدانا

مستحقبي حلق الماذي قد سفعت
يقطع الليل تسبيحا وقرآنا

ضحوا بأشمط عنوان السجود به

قد ينفع الصبر في المكروه أحيانا

صبرا فدي لكم أمي وما ولدت
وبالأمير وبالإخوان إخوانا

فقد رضينا بأرض الشام نافرة

ما دمت حيا وما سميت حسانا

إني لمنهم وإن غابوا وإن شهدوا
الله أكبر، يا ثارات عثمانا

لتسمعن وشيكا في ديارهم

ما كان شأن على وابن عفانا

يا ليت شعري وليت الطير تخبرني

Whoever is happy with a death which is pure and untainted, he should come to a den in the house of ‘Uthman.

Carrying weapons on their backs whilst helmets which they wore darkened their noses but beautified their bodies.

They sacrificed a grey person upon who the sign of prostration was clear, and who would spend the night in glorification and the recitation of the Qurʾan.

Be patient, may my mother and whoever she bore be sacrificed for thee. For at times patience in trying times is of benefit.

We are pleased with the land of Sham having an aversion, and with the Amir and with the brothers as our brothers.

I am from them, whether they are absent or present, as long as I live and as long as I am called Hassan.

You will soon hear in their abodes Allah is the greatest! O how great is revenge for ‘Uthman.

If only I had some way to know, and if only the birds informed me of what really was the issue between ‘Ali and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[95]

 

And al Walid ibn ‘Uqbah who was the uterine brother of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu[96] reveals to us what many of the Umayyads were assuming regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Banu Hashim, i.e. that they played a clandestine role in the murder of the Khalifah. He says:

كصدع الصفا ما يرمض الدهر شائبه

بني هاشم إنا وما كان بيننا
وسيف بن أروى عندكم وحرائبه

بني هاشم كيف المودة بيننا

بني هاشم إلا تردوا فإننا

بني هاشم إلا تردوا فإننا
بني هاشم ردوا سلاح ابن أختكم

بني هاشم ردوا سلاح ابن أختكم

غدرتم به كيما تكونوا مكانه

غدرتم به كيما تكونوا مكانه
فوالله لا أنسى انسى ابن أمي عيشتي

فوالله لا أنسى انسى ابن أمي عيشتي

O Banu Hashim the relationship between us is like a crack in mount Safa, which time causes to age.

O Banu Hashim how can there be affinity between us when Saif ibn Arwa (i.e. ‘Uthman) is by you[97] and so is his usurped belongings.

O Banu Hashim if you do not give back, then his two killers and looter are equal to us.

Banu Hashim return the weapon of the son of your sister and do not loot it for his property is inviolable.

You breached his trust in order to replace him in his position, just as the courtiers of Kisra did one day with him.

By Allah I will not forget the son of my mother as long as I live. And can a person who drinks the water ever forget it.[98]

 

Several factors contributed to the emergence of this false assumption. Hereunder we enlist them:

Firstly, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not arise to help the oppressed Khalifah during the days he was besieged, when he required his help, his support, and his defence the most; especially when considering that the siege lasted for over a month.[99]

Secondly, some people, like Ashtar,[100] who were part of the siege and the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu were considered to be from the men of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, in fact, even from his close associates. Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr,[101] an accomplice, was likewise praised by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and accorded preference, even though in actual fact he praised him and gave him preference due to his worship and exertion in devotion.[102]

Thirdly, immediately after the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu when people were still confused and appalled these wretched people pledged their allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[103] Thereafter they coerced many people to pledge their allegiance to him, especially those whose opposition and attraction of followership they feared. Hence Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was brought and it is said that he was brought by force and was coerced to pledge his allegiance.[104]

Al Dhahabi mentions:

كان طلحة أول من بايع عليا أرهقه قتلة عثمان وأحضروه حتى بايع

Talhah was the first person to pledge his allegiance to ‘Ali. The murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu forced him and brought him till he pledged.[105]

 

And Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

إنما بايعت عليا واللج في عنقي

I pledged allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the sword was on my neck.[106]

 

These actions were interpreted as ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being in agreement with the rebels in their siege on ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his murder, or at least being pleased with what had happened so that the Caliphate may be enjoyed by him.

Nonetheless, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu assumed the reigns of the Caliphate thereafter and the Fitnah was still at its peak. According to many he was somewhat responsible in the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, but Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows that he was innocent and free from that which the liars calumniate him of.[107]

Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu was rather inspired in the following statement of his:

 

الآن إن قمت بهذا الأمر ألزمك الناس دم عثمان إلى يوم القيامة

Now if you assume this position, people will incriminate you for the murder of ‘Uthman till the Day of Judgment.[108]

 

And Ibn Sirin[109] said:

ما علمت أن عليا اتهم في قتل عثمان حتى بويع، فلما بويع اتهمه الناس

I do not know of ‘Ali being accused of the murder of ‘Uthman till he was given the pledge. When he was given the pledge the people accused him.[110]

 

Fourthly, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would at times be compelled to use phrases indicative of his participation in the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. For example:

إنكم قد أكثرتم علي في قتل عثمان، إلا إن الله تعالى قتله وأنا معه

You have spoken much to me about the murder of ‘Uthman. Behold Allah killed him and I with him.

 

Likewise the following statement, as is reported from him:

والله ما ساءني ذلك ولاسرني

By Allah, that did not disappoint me nor did it please me.

And the statement:

إن دم عثمان في جمجمتي

The blood of ‘Uthman is in my skull.[111]

 

Consequently some people misconstrued these statements to refer to his happiness with the murder of the Khalifah.[112]

 

Abu Bakr al Baqillani[113] mentions:

 

كان إذا سئل عنه (يعني مقتل عثمان) أورد الكلام محتملا، وتغلغل إلى لطيف التأويل والرفق بالفريقين، وكانوا إذا سمعوا منه الكلام المحتمل ورأوا قتلته مختلطين بعسكره ظنوا أنه مؤثر لما جرى، وأنه متمكن من إقامة الحد وأخذ القصاص لأولياءه وأنه متحيف لهم وإن كان بريئا من ذلك، فيصير ظاهر اختلاط القوم بعسكره وما يسمع من محتملات أقاويله طريقا لاجتهاد المحارب المطالب له بدم عثمان والقاعد عنه لموضع ظنهم بما هو بعيد عنه

When he would be asked regarding it (the murder of ‘Uthman) his answers could be construed in many ways, and he would resort to intricate meanings and would try to be soft and amiable to both parties. Hence when they would hear him speaking in suggestive ways and would see the killers in his army they would assume that he preferred what happened; they would think that he is able to execute the capital punishment and seek retribution for the family of ‘Uthman but that he was wronging them, even though he was free from that. Hence the apparent mixing of the people with his army and his suggestive language both gave room to the opponents, seekers of retribution for the blood of ‘Uthman, and those who sat away from supporting him to all respectively adopt their stances due to their respective Ijtihad (analyses of the situation).[114]

 

Fifthly, he is likewise reported to have made statements in which he threatened the governors of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying that if he assumes the Caliphate he will dismiss them and take their wealth, etc. Consider the following:

 

لئن وليت بني أمية لأنفضنهم نفض القصاب والوذام التربة

If I have to rule over the Banu Umayyah I will dust them like how a butcher dusts the dusty intestines.[115]

 

This lead to some people assuming that ‘Ali was certain that he will one day assume the Caliphate.[116]

Sixthly, those who murdered ͑’Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu were part of the army of ͑Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They were actually the majority and had much of influence.[117] This fact is undisputed amongst the historians, and it was on the basis of this that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu refused to pledge his allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu unless he handed them over to him.[118]

Seventhly, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not seek retribution from them for ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu who was murdered wrongfully, which, at best, according to his detractors was a sign of his compromise on the issue, due to remaining silent regarding them.[119]

Eighthly, some of the partisans of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu claimed that he ordered the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, or was at least pleased with it, thereby wanting to impugn ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. On the other hand, some of the partisans of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu were likewise claiming the same, thereby wanting to impugn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It is in fact narrated that a group of people testified before the people of Sham that he was involved in the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[120]

All these assumptions would not gain much traction, had it not been for the hyped up aura which had engulfed the Muslim society in those trying times which resulted in the murder of the Khalifah. But it shadowed the reality and engendered the circulation of rumours.

Nonetheless, Amir al Muʾminin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would take oaths in the name of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and assertively state that he was innocent and free from the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, in order to eradicate all the rumours and false assumptions which were in circulation. Hence when he heard some noise raising from Mirbad, a famous place in Basrah, he sent someone to see what it was.

He was told, “It is ‘Aʾishah radiya Llahu ‘anha cursing the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the people are saying Amin,” to which he replied, “I also curse the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu whether they be on flat lands or in the mountains.”[121]

Likewise he would say, “By Allah I have not killed ‘Uthman nor have I ordered his killing,” Repeating it thrice.

It also reported from him that he cursed the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[122]

Similarly, when ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was asked:

 

هل شرك علي في دم عثمان

Did ‘Ali take part in the murder of ‘Uthman?

 

He replied:

لا والله ما علمت ذلك في سر ولافي علن، ولكن كان رأسا يفزع إليه فألحق به ما لم يكن

No, by Allah. I do not know of that happening, not in secrecy and not it openness. But he was a leader to who others resorted at the time of need, and thus he was blamed for that which did not really happen.[123]

 

Marwan ibn al Hakam[124] said to ‘Ali ibn al Hussain:

 

ما كان في القوم أدفع عن صاحبنا من صاحبكم! يعني عليا وعثمان

“There was not in the people anyone who defended our man more than your man!” referring to ‘Ali and ‘Uthman.[125]

 

‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan has likewise said:

ما أرى له ذنبا

I don’t see him guilty of any sin.[126]

Ibn Taymiyyah has hence said:

 

كان في جهال الفريقين من يظن بعلي وعثمان ظنونا كاذبا، برأ الله منها عليا وعثمان، كأن يظن أنه أمر بقتل عثمان، وكان علي يحلف-وهو البار الصادق بلا مين- أنه لم يقتله ولا رضي بقتله ولم يمالئ على قتله. وهذا معلوم بلا ريب من علي رضي الله عنه، فكان إناس من محبي علي ومن مبغضيه يشيعون ذلك عنه، فمحبوه يقصدون بذلك الطعن على عثمان بأنه كان يستحق القتل، وإن عليا أمر بقتله، ومبغضوه يقصدون بذلك الطعن على علي، وأنه أعان على قتل الخليفة المظلوم الشيهد الذي صبر نفسه، ولم يدفع عنها، ولم يسفك دم مسلم في الدفع عنه، فكيف في طلب طاعته، وأمثال هذه الأمور التي يتسبب بها الزائغون على المتشيعين العثمانية والعلوية

The ignorant among both camps would assume false assumptions regarding ‘Ali and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, may Allah exonerate ‘Ali and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. For example it would be speculated that he ordered the killing of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whereas ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would take an oath, keeping in mind that he was the virtuous and the truthful without doubt, that he did not kill him, was not happy with his murder, and did not in way help in his murder.

This is very well-known regarding ‘Ali. For some of his partisans and others from his detractors would falsely circulate this rumour; his partisans would do so intending to denigrate ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu by claiming that he deserved to be murdered and that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu ordered that he be murdered, and his detractors would do so intending to discredit ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu by claiming that he helped in the murder of the patient Khalifah who did not defend himself and did not shed the blood of a Muslim in doing so (so why would he do so in seeking adherence to himself). These types of issues were raised and provoked by both the ‘Uthmaniyyah and the ‘Alawiyyah.[127]

 

He has alluded to the following:

 

إن عليا رضي الله نسبه إلى قتل عثمان كثير من شيعته ومن شيعة عثمان، هؤلاء لبغضهم لعثمان وهؤلاء لبغضهم لعلي، وأما جماهير المسلمين فيعلمون كذب الطائفتين على علي.

Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was accused of murdering ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu by many of his partisans and the partisans of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu; the former due to their hatred for ‘Uthman and the latter due to their hatred for ‘Ali. As for the majority of the Muslims, they knew that both groups had being lying about ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[128]

 

He has also said:

كان في عسكر معاوية من يتهم عليا بأشياء من الظلم وهو بريء عنها

In the army of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu likewise there were people who accused ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu of various sorts of oppression, whereas he was free from them.[129]

 

This disturbing situation is what prompted ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who was falsely accused by many ignorant people, to say:

 

نجا والله قتلة عثمان إلا أن يشاء الله

The killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu have indeed escaped only those who Allah wanted otherwise for.[130]

 

Furthermore, after the Battle of Jamal reviling and impugning began to surface from both sides as a natural result of what had just transpired. Hence:

 

أن رجلا نال من عائشة عند عمار بن ياسر فقال: اعزب مقبوحا منبوحا، أتؤذي حبيبة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

A person criticised ‘Aʾishah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the presence of ‘Ammar ibn Yasir. He thus said, “Go away condemned and accursed. Do you harass the beloved of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?”[131]

 

Likewise there emerged a people who would revile everyone without differentiating between ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and those besides him. These people were certainly not from the partisans of ‘Ali or ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Probably what had ensued in Jamal between both parties is what prompted them to criticise and ridicule.

Hence, once Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu saw a group of people surrounding a man. When he peered into the congregation he found that the man was reviling ‘Ali, Talhah, and Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhum. He thus prevented him from doing so, and when he did not heed his reprimand he said that I will curse you. The man arrogantly responded saying, “You are threatening me as if you are a prophet.” Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu thus turned away, entered the house of the family of so and so, performed ablution, and offered two Raka’at of prayer; he then raised his hands and prayed thus:

 

اللهم إن كنت تعلم أن هذا الرجل قد سب أقواما قد سبق لهم منك سابقة الحسنى، وأنه قد أسخطك سبه إياهم، فاجعله اليوم آية وعبرة، فخرجت بختية نادة من دار آل فلان لا يردها شيء حتى دخلت بين أضعاف الناس فافترق الناس، فأخذته بين قوائمها، فلم يزل تتخبطه حتى مات

“O Allah if you know that this man has reviled people who you have already promised Husna (Jannat) and that his revilement has displeased you, then make him a sign and a lesson today.” Hence a female Bukhti camel[132] emerged from the house of the family of so and so, penetrated the crowd leaving them scattered, took him under its feet and continuously trampled upon him till he died.[133]

 

On the other hand, after the return of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his army from Siffin, the signs of criticism against him began to emerge in some circles out of annoyance at some of the things that had happened. Thereafter they began to openly revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, impugn him and even accorded openly hating him religious status. As a result he was compelled to narrate the following hadith of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to them:

والذي فلق الحبة وبرأ النسمة إنه لعهد النبي الأمي صلى الله عليه وسلم  إلي أن لا يحبني إلا مؤمن ولا يبغضني إلا منافق

By the one who has split the seed and created the soul, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had forewarned me that only a believer will love me and only a hypocrite will hate me.[134]

 

What is strange though is that these people were initially from his partisans, but thereafter rebelled against him. Hence he debated with them at first, and thereafter sent Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to debate with them which resulted in some of them retracting.[135] But some of them still remained upon their ideas and eventually the Battle of Nahrawan[136] ensued wherein ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu emerged victorious.

Despite him attaining victory, he was unable to completely extirpate them, for there were many amongst them who did not take part in the war at all.[137] That is besides the four hundred who were wounded but not killed.[138] These people thus still remained upon their false beliefs of him being a disbeliever and their defeat had merely embittered them and infuriated them even more against him.

Thus one of them once came and stood at the head of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and said, “By Allah I hate ‘Ali.” Ibn ‘Umar raised his head to him and said, “May Allah hate you, do you hate a person whose one feat is better than this world and whatever it contains.”[139]

Likewise another person came to him and asked him regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He thus mentioned his good deeds and then said:

 

هو ذاك بيته أوسط بيوت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم

He is that person whose household is the highest of all the households of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

He then asked him, “Probably this offends you?” to which the man replied, “Yes” whereupon he said:

 

فأرغم الله بأنفك! انطلق فاجهد علي جهدك

May Allah soil your nose with dust, go and try whatever you can against me.[140]

 

However, it should be noticed that the opposition of the Khawarij of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu remained as was without progressing in any way. This was due to the following reasons:

  1. They had already reached the furthest possible extent, i.e. they had excommunicated him and deemed his blood permissible to shed.
  2. They would not consider lying admissible, even if it be against their opponents, hence Khawarij with their various sects were all free from lying.[141] Ibn Taymiyah has stated that they would not lie and were not people who would intentionally lie,[142] but were rather known for their truthfulness. To the extent that their narrations are the most authentic of narrations.[143]
  3. They were preoccupied in fighting against the Umayyad and the Abbasid dynasties which lasted for a very long period, especially with the Umayyads.[144] Hence rebelling against their governors and killing them one after the other was their main occupation. They would only go undercover when they needed to replenish their sources and increase their numbers.[145]

Hence it would justified to conclude that the open hatred for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu initially came to the fore in Sham because the people thereof refused to pledge allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and took up arms against him in Siffin. Subsequent to that it took root in Iraq, but it gained a lot of traction in Sham as a result only very few people were safe from it.[146]

As opposed to Iraq where criticism for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did exist but to a very limited extent, when compared to the criticism of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu which prevailed there, especially in Kufah which was the epicentre of Shi’ism. And so the Ummah disputed regarding ‘Ali and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma in to four groups as stated by al Sha’bi:[147]

 

أصبحت الأمة على أربع فرق: محب لعلي مبغض لعثمان، ومحب لعثمان مبغض لعلي، ومحب لهما ومبغض لهما.

The Ummah parted into four groups: a group that loved ‘Ali and hated ‘Uthman, a group that loved ‘Uthman and hated ‘Ali, a group that loved both of them, and a group that hated both of them.[148]

 

And many people adopted either side of the balanced stance regarding ‘Uthman and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu[149] in such a way that it settled in their minds that partisanship for one implies aversion for the other. Hence the partisan of ‘Uthman would criticise ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the partisan of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would criticise ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Ibn Taymiyyah mentions:

 

قد كانت الفتنة لما وقعت بقتل عثمان وافتراق الأمة بعده صار قوم ممن يحب عثمان ويغلو فيه ينحرف عن علي  مثل كثير من أهل الشام ممن كان إذ ذاك يسب عليا ويبغضه، وقوم ممن يحب عليا ويغلو فيه ينحرف عن عثمان مثل كثير من أهل العراق ممن كان يبغض عثمان ويسبه.

When the Fitnah ensued after the murder of ‘Uthman, many a people who loved ‘Uthman and exaggerated regarding him detracted from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, like the people of Sham who would revile and despise ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Similarly those who loved ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and exaggerated regarding him detracted from ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, like the people of Iraq who would hate ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and revile him.[150]

 

That is why Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu would say:

 

إن ناسا تزعم أن حب علي  وعثمان لا يجتمعان في قلب مؤمن، ألا وإنهما قد اجتمعا في قلبي

Some people claim that love for ‘Uthman and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma cannot gather in the heart of a believer. Behold they have gathered in my heart.[151]

 

And Sufyan al Thawri would say:

لا يجتمع حب علي وعثمان إلا في قلوب نبلاء الرجال

Love for ‘Ali and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma cannot gather but in the hearts of noble men.[152]

 

Although previously we have alluded that the ignorant people would revile Talhah and Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, but all of that came to an end after the great reconciliation which reached fruition between Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. For there was nothing left which would engender criticism for them due to them marching for the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and leadership now settling for those who were seeking retribution for it as well. This of course did not happen in the case of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, rather the very opposite happened.

Hence hardly anyone remained who would criticise them, with the exception of the partisans of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu who would at times do so but not openly. Because the only reason for which they would be criticised is their march against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which naturally entailed their criticsm of those whose authority was established.

 

NEXT⇒ The Second Discussion – The Causes of its Inception


[1] Tarikh Baghdad 1/133.

[2] Al Mustadrak ‘ala al Sahihayn 3/116; Tarikh Dimashq 42/418.

[3] Ibn ‘Uthaymin: Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah p. 610.

[4] Al Tabarani: al Mujam al Kabir: hadith no. 12228; Ahmed ibn Hanbal: Fadaʾil al Sahabah: hadith no. 1791.

[5] Musnad Ahmed: hadith no. 1777; also see: ‘Alawi al Saqqaf: his annotations on Sharh al Wasitiyyah of Harras p. 245.

[6] Minhaj al Sunnah 6/285.

[7] The narration of Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu which appear in Sahih al Bukhari: chapter of merits: sub—chapter regarding the merits of ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu: hadith no. 3483.

[8] Sahih al Bukhari 6/2499.

[9] Musnad al Tayalisi: hadith no. 176; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah 6/360; Musnad Ahmed ibn Hanbal 4/235.

[10] Sunan al Tirmidhi 5/633; Sunan al Nasaʾi al Kubra 5/45; Sunan Ibn Majah 1/45.

[11] Musnad Ahmed: hadith no. 4/263; Musnad al Bazzar 4/254; Musnad Abi Ya’la 1/377.

[12] The narration of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which features in Mustadrak Hakim: chapter regarding knowing the Sahabah: sub-chapter regarding the martyrdom of Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu: hadith no. 5574 (he deemed the hadith authentic); al Bayhaqi: Dalaʾil al Nubuwwah 6/377.

[13] The narration of ‘Aʾishah radiya Llahu ‘anha which appears in Musannaf ibn Shaibah: chapter of Jamal: sub-chapter regarding the march of ‘Aʾishah, ‘Ali, Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhum: hadith no. 37771; Musnad Ahmed: hadith no. 24299; Mustadrak Hakim: chapter regarding knowing the Sahabah: sub-chapter regarding the Islam of Amir al Muʾminin ‘Ali  radiya Llahu ‘anhu: hadith no. 3613; Sahih Ibn Hibban: chapter of history: sub-chapter of his prophecies regarding the tribulations which will befall the Ummah: hadith no. 6732. Ibn Hajar has stated that its chain of transmission meets the requirement of the Sahih, and the hadith has been graded Sahih by al Albani in his al Silsilah al Sahihah: hadith no. 474. Ibn al ‘Arabi and Muhibb al Din al Khatib who followed him, have both erred in discrediting this hadith (see: al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim p. 162. And also see the animadversion thereof by al Qurtubi in al Tadhkirah 2/255).

It should be noted that just as Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam hinted to ‘Aʾishah radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding what was to happen in the future with one of his wives, i.e. that her life will be spared in a Fitnah in which many people will be killed around her, similarly Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ordered ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be good to her when this very fitnah arises. The following hadith of Abu Rafi’ radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which appears in Musnad Ahmed 6/393 and al Mujam al Kabir 1/333, is an attestation to this:

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم  قال لعلي بن أبي طالب: إنه سيكون بينك وبين عائشة أمر. قال: فأنا أشقاهم يا رسول الله؟ قال: لا، ولكن إذا كان ذلك فارددها إلى مأمنها

Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to ‘Ali, “There will be a matter between you and ‘Aʾishah.” He said, “I will be the most wretched of them then O Rasul of Allah?” “No, but when that happens, then return ‘Aʾishah to her safety.”

Ibn Hajar has deemed the transmission to be Hassan (a grade below Sahih) in Fath al Bari 13/55.

Hawʾab refers to an oasis between Makkah and Basrah. See: Mujam al Buldan 2/314; Lisan al ‘Arab 1/289.

[14] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah: chapter of merits: sub-chapter regarding the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu: hadith no. 32133.

[15] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/238.

[16] Jawahir al ‘Iqdayn p. 251.

[17] Minhaj al Sunnah 6/176.

[18] Al Taraʾiq al Hukmiyyah p. 69.

[19] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah: chapter of Fitan: sub-chapter regarding what is mentioned regarding ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu: hadith no. 37699; Ibn Shaibah: Akhbar al Madinah: hadith no. 2091; Nuaim ibn Hammad: al Fitan: hadith no. 208.

Sirar, according to the famous view, is a well three miles away from Madinah on the way to Iraq. See: Mujam ma Istaʾjam 3/830; al Zamakhshari: al Faʾiq 1/37; Mujam al Buldan 3/398.

[20] Tarikh al Tabari 2/648; Maqtal al Shahid ‘Uthman p. 100; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/219.

[21] Tarikh al Tabari 2/645; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/169.

[22] Maqtal al Shahid ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan p. 103.

[23] Muqaddamah Ibn Khaldun p. 215, 216.

[24] Al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim p. 76; Maqtal al Shahid ‘Uthman p. 188.

[25] Al Walid ibn ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt (whose name was Aban) ibn Dhakwan al Umawi, Abu Wahb. A Sahabi who accepted Islam on the Conquest of Makkah. He was acknowledged for his humorous nature, his forbearance, bravery and etiquette and dignity, despite his few weaknesses. He was the uterine brother of ‘Uthman. He stayed away from the Fitnah and stayed at the end of his life in Raqqah where he passed away. See: al Isti’ab 4/1552; Usd al Ghabah 5/467; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 3/412; al Isabah fi Tamyiz al Sahabah 6/614.

[26] Sa’id ibn al ‘As ibn Sa’id ibn al ‘As al Umawi, Abu ‘Uthman. One of the nobles of Quraysh. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away when he was nine years old. He resembled Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the most in his speech and narrated from him Mursal (with a link missing him between him and Nabi [saw) narrations. He was one of those appointed by ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to write the copies of the Qurʾan and was appointed as a governor by ‘Uthman and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. He passed away in 58 A.H. His narrations are documented in al Adab al Mufrad and Sahih Muslim, Marasil Abi Dawood, and Sunan al Nasaʾi. See: Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 21/107; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 4/43; al Isabah fi Tamyiz al Sahabah 3/107.

[27] ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh ibn al Harith al Qurashi al ‘Amiri, Abu Yahya. A Sahabi who accepted Islam on the day of the Conquest of Makkah. He witnessed the conquest of Egypt and was the leader of the right faction of the army. He was the conqueror of Africa in the era of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his strategies were praised. He was the foster brother of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu whom the latter had appointed over Egypt. When the Fitnah transpired he stayed in ‘Asqalan and did not pledge his allegiance to anyone. He passed away in 36 A.H. See: Usd al Ghabah 3/263; Tarikh al Islam 3/529; al Wafi bi al Wafayat 17/100; al Isabah fi Tamyiz al Sahabah 4/109.

[28] Fath al Bari 13/13.

[29] Banu Umayyah Bayn al Suqut wa al Intihar p. 18.

[30] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah: chapter regarding governors: sub-chapter regarding governors and visiting them: hadith no. 30654.

[31] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 6/356.

[32] Ibid. 6/192.

[33] Ibid. 4/144, 460; 6/192; al Niza’ wa al Takhasum p. 73.

[34] See the report of lashing al Walid ibn ‘Uqbah in Sahih al Bukhari 3/1405; Sahih Muslim 3/1331.

[35] ‘Ubaidullah ibn al ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib ibn Hashim al Hashimi, Abu Muhammad al Madani. He saw Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and narrated from him. He was one year younger than his brother ‘Abdullah. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed him as the governor of Yemen. He was very generous. He passed away in Madinah during the reign of Yazid ibn Muawiyah. His narrations are documented in Sunan al Nasaʾi. See: al Isti’ab 3/1009; Tahdhib al Kamal 19/60; Tarikh al Islam 4/267; al Isabah fi Tamyiz al Sahabah 4/396.

[36] Qutham ibn ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib al Hashimi. The cousin of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who saw him and narrated from him and resembled him. He was the youngest of his siblings and was also the foster brother of Hussain ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He passed away in Samarqand in 57 A.H. and his narrations are documented in Sunan al Nasaʾi. See: al Isti’ab 3/1304; Usd al Ghabah 4/414; Tahdhib al Kamal 23/538; al Isabah fi Tamyiz al Sahabah 5/420.

[37] Al Fisal fi al Milal wa al Ahwaʾ wa al Nihal 4/111; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/242; Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 6/18, 184, 360; Tarikh al Islam 4/288; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 8/323.

[38] Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 3/353.

[39] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 6/248.

[40] Al Imamah wa al Radd ‘ala al Rafidah p. 312; Maqtal al Shahid ‘Uthman p. 189; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 10/361; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/326.

[41] Sahih al Bukhari 3/1139.

[42] Fitnah Maqtal ‘Uthman 1/61.

[43] Surah Al ‘Imran: 155.

[44] Sahih al Bukhari 3/1352.

[45] Fitnah Maqtal ‘Uthman 1/61.

[46] Maqtal al Shahid ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan p. 194; Fitnah Maqtal ‘Uthman 1/70.

[47] Ibn Abi Dawood: al Masahif: chapter regarding ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu compiling the Masahif (copies of the Qurʾan): hadith no. 77. The annotator has deemed its chain of transmission as authentic.

[48] Kitab al Sunnah of al Khallal: hadith no. 351.

[49] Al Masahif: chapter regarding the agreeing of the people with ‘Uthman regarding the compilation of the Masahif: hadith no. 39, 40.

[50] Al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim p. 80; al Turuq al Hukmiyyah p. 18, 27, 400; Fitnah Maqtal ‘Uthman 1/73.

[51] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah: chapter of merit: sub-chapter regarding the virtues of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu: hadith no. 32047.

[52] ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib al Hashimi, Abu al Hussain al Madani. From the scholars of the successors and their ascetics. He was born in 33 A.H. He was with Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Karbalaʾ but was spared due to his sickness. He was reliable and enjoyed prominence and leadership. Al Zuhri has said regarding him, “I have not seen a Qurayshi more virtuous than ‘Ali ibn al Hussain.” He passed away in 94 A.H. and was buried in al Baqi’. His narration are found in the six canonical collections. See: Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 41/360; Tahdhib al Kamal 20/382; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 4/386; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 5/216.

[53] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 5/216.

[54] Sunan Abi Dawood 4/211; Sunan al Tirmidhi 4/503.

[55] Musnad Ahmed 6/75; Sunan al Tirmidhi 5/628; Sunan al Tirmidhi 5/628; Sunan Ibn Majah 1/41. Al Albani deemed the narration Sahih in his Sahih Ibn Majah 1/25.

[56] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 6/155, 248; Muqaddamah Ibn Khaldun p. 216.

[57] ‘Abdul Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn Khaldun al Hadrami al Tunisi. A jurist, a scholar and a sociologist. He was born in Tunis in the year 732 A.H. but his family was originally from Ishbiliyyah (Spain). He shifted from position to position till he settled as the supreme judge of the Malikis in Egypt. Thereafter he resigned and freed himself for teaching and authoring books. He passed away in 808 A.H. Some of his books are: Muqaddamah, Sharh al Burdah, and Risalah fi al Mantiq. See: al Dawʾ al Lami’ 4/145; Shadharat al Dhahab 7/76; al A’lam 3/330; Mujam al Muʾallifin 5/188.

[58] Muqaddamah Ibn Khaldun p. 216.

[59] Tarikh al Khulafaʾ p. 158.

[60] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 5/498.

[61] Ibid. 6/252.

[62] The narration of Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah which appears in Sahih al Bukhari: chapter of Jihad: sub-chapter regarding the mention of the shield, the staff, the sword, the bowl, and the ring of Nabi… hadith no. 2944. For more details see: Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 8/279.

[63] ‘Umdah al Qari 15/34.

[64] Surah al Hijr: 47.

[65] Tarikh Dimashq 39/452; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/193.

[66] Tarikh Dimashq 39/487; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/195.

[67] Ibn Shubbah: Akhbar al Madinah: hadith no. 2156; al Khallal: Kitab al Sunnah: hadith no. 545; al Tabarani: Musnad al Shamiyyin: hadith no. 944. The chain of transmission is deemed authentic by the annotator of Kitab al Sunnah.

[68] The Battle of Jamal is battle which occurred near Basrah in 36 A.H. between ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the one side and Talhah, al Zubair and ‘Aʾishah radiya Llahu ‘anhum on the other side. It was named the Battle of Jamal (camel) due to the camel of ‘Aʾishah radiya Llahu ‘anha which the people very ferociously defended after it was targeted. The battle ended with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being victorious. See: al Badʾ wa al Tarikh 5/212; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/113; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/23.

[69] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 3/222; Tarikh Dimashq 25/109; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 1/35; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah: hadith no. 37781.

[70] Amongst them was ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu who was upset with ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu because he dismissed him from the governance of Egypt. See: al Thiqat 2/244; al Isti’ab 3/1369; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 55/26; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/253.

[71] Tarikh al Tabari 2/692.

[72] Maqtal al Shahid ‘Uthman p. 194.

[73] Tarikh al Khulafaʾ p. 160.

[74] Mustadrak Hakim: chapter regarding knowing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum: sub-chapter regarding the virtues of Amir al Muʾminin ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan: hadith no. 4527. He has graded the hadith authentic.

[75] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 4/323.

[76] Firaq al Shia p. 4.

[77] Al Taqrir wa al Tahbir 2/347.

[78] Ismail ibn ‘Umar ibn Kathir al Qurashi al Busrawi (attributed to Busrah a village in the outskirts of Damascus), Abu al Fidaʾ al Dimashqi. He taught and issued Fatwas, and mastered the sciences of Fiqh, Tafsir, Hadith and history. He passed away in 774 A.H. Some of his works are: Tafsir al Qurʾan al ‘Azim, al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, and Tabaqat al Fuqahaʾ. See: al Durar al Kaminah 1/445; Dhayl Tabaqat al Huffaz p. 57; Shadharat al Dhahab 6/231; al Dawoodi: Tabaqat al Mufassirin p. 260.

[79] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/198.

[80] ‘Alqamah ibn Waqqas ibn Muhsan al Laythi al ‘Utwari. One of the scholars of Madinah who met a group of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and narrated from them. There is a possibility that he was a Sahabi. He is deemed authentic by Ibn Sa’d and al Nasaʾi. He wouldn’t narrate much hadiths. He passed away in Madinah after 80 A.H. His narrations feature in all six collections. See: Tadhkirah al Huffaz 1/53; Tahdhib al Kamal 20/313; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 4/61; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 7/247.

[81] The Miqat of Hajj for the people of Iraq, it is the boundary between Najd and Tihamah. And ‘Irq is a small mountain in it. See: Mujam al Buldan 4/107; Lisan al ‘Arab 10/249.

[82] Mustadrak Hakim: chapter regarding knowing the Sahabah: sub-chapter regarding the merits of Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu: hadith no. 5595.

[83] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 3/223; Tarikh Khalifah ibn Khayyat p. 185; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 25/109.

[84] Akhbar al Madinah 2/221.

[85] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 3/223; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 25/113; Tahdhib al Kamal 13/422.

[86] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 57/259.

[87] Tarikh Khalifah ibn Khayyat p. 181; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 25/112; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 1/36; al Isabah fi Tamyiz al Sahabah 3/532. The report is deemed Sahih by Ibn Hajar.

[88] Tarikh Khalifah ibn Khayyat p. 185; Akhbar al Madinah 2/221; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 25/133; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 1/36.

[89] Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn ‘Uthman ibn Qayimaz al Turkumani, Abu ‘Abdullah al Dhahabi. One of the great scholars of hadith and historians. He was born in 673 A.H. He dedicated himself to hadith and benefitted many and was exceptionally brilliant. He authored many books. He passed away in 747 A.H. He had become blind a short while before his death. The following are some of his books: Mizan al I’tidal, Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ, and Tarikh al Islam. See: Tabaqat al Shafi’iyyah al Kubra 9/100; al Wafi bi al Wafayat 2/114; al Durar al Kaminah 5/66; Shadharat al Dhahab 6/153.

[90] Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 1/35; see also: Akhbar al Madinah 2/290.

[91] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah: chapter of Fitan: sub-chapter regarding the mention of the Fitnah of al Dajjal: hadith no. 37475; Musnad Ahmed: hadith no. 17014; Mustadrak Hakim: chapter regarding knowing the Sahabah: sub-chapter regarding the murder of Amir al Muʾminin ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu: hadith no. 4548. Al Haythami has said the following regarding the report in Majma’ al Zawaʾid 7/334, “Ahmed and al Tabarani have narrated it. And the transmitters of Ahmed are the transmitters of the Sahih, with the exception of Rabi’ah ibn Laqit who is still reliable.” Al Albani has graded the hadith as Sahih in Zilal al Jannat (hadith no. 1177) and Shu’ayb al Arnaʾut has graded it as Hassan in his revision of the Musnad.

[92] Tahdhib al Kamal 19/460.

[93] Al Jawab al Sahih 6/86.

[94] Tarikh Dimashq 39/450; Tarikh al Khulafaʾ p. 163.

[95] Diwan Hassan ibn Thabit p. 215. Also see: Tarikh al Tabari 2/695; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/77; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/196; Maqtal al Shahid ‘Uthman p. 208. Also see the comments of Abu ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul Barr in al Isti’ab p. 550 and the comments of Muhammad ibn Yahya al Andalusi in Maqtal al Shahid ‘Uthman p. 182.

[96] Ibn Khayyat: Tabaqat p. 11; Usd al Ghabah p. 1108.

[97] This is attributing ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to his mother who was Arwa Bint Kurayz ibn Rabi’ah ibn Habib ibn ‘Abdul Shams. See: Akhbar al Madinah 2/132; Tarikh Khalifah ibn Khayyat p. 156; Tarikh al Tabari 2/692; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 39/8.

[98] Al Badʾ wa al Tarikh 5/207; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 39/541; Simt al Nujum al ‘Awali 2/532; Maqtal al Shahid ‘Uthman p. 210. I have previously indicated that Walid ibn ‘Uqbah stayed away from the Fitnah. This poem although is insightful, but ostensibly he said it at the very beginning before matters intensified.

[99] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/177.

[100] Malik ibn al Harith al Nakha’i: the head of all the Yamani tribes and famous warrior. He was known as ‘al Ashtar’. His eye was gouged on the day of Yarmuk. He was one of those who incited the people against ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and fought him. He participated with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in all his battles. And when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was returning from Siffin he pointed him as the governor of Egypt but he passed away in 37 A.H. en-route due to being poisoned, as is speculated. His narration appears in Sunan al Nasaʾi. See: al Tabaqat al Kubra 6/213; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 4/34; Tahdhib al Kamal 27/126; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 10/10.

[101] See: Tamhid al Awaʾil wa Talkhis al Dalaʾil p. 554; Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 2/66. Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq. He was born in the farewell Hajj. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed him over Egypt but he later joined the ranks of the rebels and marched to besiege ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu till he was killed. Thereafter he joined the ranks of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and became one of his commanders. He appointed him as the governor of Egypt in 37 A.H, but subsequently suffered defeat at the hands of the army of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He thus hid away and when he was found he was killed and stuffed into the stomach of a dead donkey and was burnt. He was less than thirty years old. See: al Isti’ab 3/1366; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 3/481; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/319.

[102] Al Isti’ab 3.1367; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 9/70.

[103] Al Muntaqa min Minhaj al I’tidal 1/59.

[104] Ibid. 1/59.

[105] Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 1/35.

[106] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/227.

[107] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 7/452.

[108] Akhbar al Madinah 2/280; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 42/438; also see: al Fitnah wa Waq’ah Jamal p. 99.

[109] Muhammad ibn Sirin al Ansari, Abu Bakr al -Basari. From the leading figures of the successors. His father was taken as a captive in Jirjiraya and he thus became the slave of Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu who enacted the contract of Kitabah (the payment of a specific amount to earn freedom) with him. Muhammad was born two years before the end of the Caliphate of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and heard hadiths from a group of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. He was a jurist, an ascetic and a reliable narrator. His narrations are found in the six collections. See: Tarikh Baghdad 5/331; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 4/606; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/267; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 9/190.

[110] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah: Chapter of leaders: sub-chapter regarding the leaders and entering upon them: hadith no. 30710.

[111] Akhbar al Madinah 2/274, 276; Tamhid al Awaʾil wa Talkhis al Dalaʾil p. 555.

[112] Akhbar al Madinah 2/274.

[113] Muhammad ibn al Tayyib ibn Muhammad ibn Jafar al Baghdadi, Abu Bakr al Baqillani. A leading Ash’ari theologian who was very brilliant and witty. One of the most prolific authors in theology, for he wrote against the Rafidah, the Mu’tazilah, the Khawarij, and the Jahmiyyah. He passed away in 403 A.H. Some of his works are: al Tamhid, al Tabsirah, Daqaʾiq al Haqaʾiq. See: Tarikh Baghdad 5/379; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 17/190; al Wafi bi al Wafayat 3/147; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 11/350.

[114] Tamhid al Awaʾil wa Talkhis al Dalaʾil p. 555.

[115] Al ‘Ayn 8/116; Ibn Sallam: Gharib al Hadith 3/438; Tahdhib al Lughah 14/195; al Muhkam wa al Muhit al A’zam 10/120.

[116] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah 7/469; al Anwar al Kashifah p. 270.

[117] Majmu’ Fatawa Shaikh al Islam 25/72.

[118] Tarikh al Tabari 3/79; al Badʾ wa al Tarikh 5/210, Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 59/132; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/258, 8/21.

[119] Muqaddamah Ibn Khaldun p. 214.

[120] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 4/406; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 59/134.

[121] Tarikh Dimashq 29/456.

[122] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 3/82; Tarikh Dimashq 39/451; Simt al Nujum al ‘Awali 2/533.

[123] Ansab al Ashraf 1/593.

[124] Marwan ibn al Hakam ibn Abi al ‘As al Umawi. One of the leaders of the Quraysh and its prominent figures. He is considered to be from the high ranking successors. He was born in the era of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He was a close associate of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and because of the letter attributed to him ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was killed. He went out of his way in seeking revenge for his blood. He assumed the position of governorship over Madinah several times for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ruled over Sham for nine months. He passed away in 65 A.H. His narration appears in Sahih al Bukhari and the four Sunan. See: al Tabaqat al Kubra 5/35; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 3/476; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/257; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 10/82.

[125] Al Dhahabi mentions the following regarding this report in his book Tarikh al Islam 3/461, “Ibn Abi Khaythamah has reported it with a strong chain of transmission from ‘Umar.” ‘Umar here refers to ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain, the narrator.

[126] Musnad ibn al Ja’d 1/329.

[127] Majmu’ Fatawa Shaikh al Islam 35/73.

[128] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 4/344.

[129] Ibid. 4/384.

[130] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 49/267.

[131] Sunan al Tirmidhi: chapter of the virtues of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: sub-chapter regarding the virtues of ‘Aʾishah radiya Llahu ‘anha: hadith no. 3888 (the hadith is Hassan according to al Tirmidhi); al Mustadrak ‘ala al Sahihayn: chapter regarding the knowing the Sahabah: sub-chapter regarding the virtues of ‘Ammar ibn Yasir: hadith no. 5784, he has deemed the narration authentic.

[132] A female Khurasani camel, known for its hugeness and having two humps. This word was Arabicised. See: Mashariq al Anwar 1/79; Lisan al ‘Arab 2/9.

[133] Tarikh Dimashq 20/346; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/77. Ibn Abi Shaibah has likewise documented this narration from Mus’ab ibn Sa’d from his father in his Musannaf: chapter of merits: sub-chapter regarding what is narrated regarding Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu: hadith no. 32149; and so has al Tabarani narrated it in his al Mujam al Kabir from ‘Amir ibn Sa’d from his father with a similar wording: 1/140.

[134] Sahih Muslim: chapter of Iman: subchapter regarding love for the Ansar and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhum being from Iman and its signs, and hatred for them being a sign of hypocrisy: hadith no. 78.

[135] Al Badʾ wa al Tarikh 5/222; al Muntazam 5/124; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 6/216, 7/280.

[136] Al Nahrawan a town between Baghdad and Wasit, to the east; its upper boundary is adjacent to Baghdad. The famous battle took place there in 38 A.H. See: Tarikh Khalifah ibn Khayyat p. 197; Mujam ma Ustu’jim 4/1336; Mujam al Buldan 5/325.

[137] Al Khawarij Tarikhuhum wa ʾAraʾuhum al I’tiqadiyyah p. 126.

[138] Al Muntazam 5/193; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/289.

[139] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah: chapter of merits: sub-chapter regarding the virtues of ‘Ali ibn Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu: hadith no. 32127.

[140] Sahih al Bukhari: chapter regarding the merits of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum: sub-chapter regarding the merits of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu: hadith no. 3501.

[141] Al Kamil fi al Adab 2/106.

[142] Ibid. 1/68.

[143] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 5/154, 6/344, 7/192, 260.

[144] Ibid. 2/90.

[145] Al Khawarij, Tarikhuhum wa ʾAraʾuhum al I’tiqadiyyah p. 129.

[146] Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 3/128.

[147] ‘Amir ibn Sharahil ibn ‘Abdul Sha’bi al Hamdani, Abu ‘Amr al Kufi. One of the leading scholars of the successors and a prominent figure for his knowledge, his jurisprudence and piety. He was born in the Caliphate of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and was fortunate to meet five hundred Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. He was famous for his retentive memory and was a reliable narrator. His narrations appear in the six canonical works. He passed away in 104 A.H. See: Tarikh Baghdad 12/227; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 25/335; Tahdhib al Kamal 34/133; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 5/57.

[148] Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 4/308.

[149] Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 4/308.

[150] Majmu’ Fatawa Shaikh al Islam 3/408.

[151] Tarikh Dimashq 39/501; Tahdhib al Kamal 19/460.

[152] Tarikh Dimashq 39/501; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ 7/273.

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