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Encyclopedia > Battle of Siffin
Battle of Siffin
Image:ReenactorKharjites.jpg
Date July 26 to July 28, 657 CE
Location Syria
Result 2nd Major Muslim Civil War-Undecided
Combatants
Ummayyad Dynasty;
Muawiyah I
Rashidun Dynasty;
Ali ibn Abi Talib
Commanders
Amr ibn al-Aas Ali ibn Abi Talib
Malik ibn Ashter
Strength
120,000 (approx) 90,000 (approx)
Casualties
45,000 (approx) 25,000 (approx)
Civil Wars of the Early Caliphates
Ridda warsFirst Fitna – Ibn al-Zubair's revolt – Kharijite RevoltSecond FitnaBerber RevoltZaidi RevoltAbassid Revolt
First Fitna
BassorahSiffinKarbala

The Battle of Siffin (May-July 657 CE) occurred during the First Fitna, or First Muslim civil war, with the main engagement taking place from July 26 to July 28. It was fought between Ali ibn Abi Talib and Muawiyah I, on the banks of the Euphrates river, in what is now Syria. Ali and Muawiyah were fighting for the Caliphate, and the right to lead the growing Muslim empire. However, the battle was indecisive. To the Shia, Ali ibn Abi Talib was the first Imam. To Sunni, Ali ibn Abi Talib was the fourth Rashidun Caliph, and Muawiyah the first Caliph of the Ummayyad dynasty. The events surrounding the battle are highly controversial between Sunni and Shia. Image File history File links ReenactorKharjites. ... July 26 is the 207th day (208th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 158 days remaining. ... July 28 is the 209th day (210th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 156 days remaining. ... Events June 2 - Pope Eugene I dies and is subsequently canonized. ... The Umayyad Dynasty (Arabic الأمويون / بنو أمية umawiyy; in Turkish, Emevi) was the first dynasty of caliphs of the Prophet Muhammad who were not closely related to Muhammad himself, though they were of the same Meccan tribe, the... Muˤāwiyya I, or Muˤāwiyya ibn AbÄ«-Sufyān (Arabic: ). (602 - May 6, 680) was the fifth Muslim Caliph and founder of the Umayyad Dynasty of Islamic caliphs. ... The Four Righteously or Rightly Guided Caliphs or Khulifa Rashidoon in Arabic refers to the first four caliphs in the Sunni tradition of Islam who are seen as being model leaders. ... Ali ibn Abu Talib (Arabic: علي بن أبي طالب translit: ‘AlÄ« ibn Abu Ṭālib Persian: علی پسر ابو طالب) ‎ (599 – 661) is an early Islamic leader. ... Amr ibn al-Ä€s (Arabic: عمرو بن العاص) (d. ... Ali ibn Abu Talib (Arabic: علي بن أبي طالب translit: ‘AlÄ« ibn Abu Ṭālib Persian: علی پسر ابو طالب) ‎ (599 – 661) is an early Islamic leader. ... Categories: Possible copyright violations ... The Ridda wars were a set of military campaigns against apostasy in Arabia during 632 and 633 AD, following the death of Muhammad. ... The First Fitna, 656–661 CE, followed the assassination of the caliph Uthman ibn Affan, continued during the brief caliphate of Ali ibn Abu Talib, and was ended, on the whole, by Muawiyas assumption of the caliphate. ... Ibn al-Zubairs revolt was directed against Yazid I following the Battle of Karbala. ... Kharijites were members of an Islamic sect in late 7th and early 8th century AD, concentrated in todays southern Iraq. ... The Second Fitna, or Second Islamic civil war, was a period of general political and military disorder that afflicted the Islamic world during the early Umayyad dynasty, following the death of the caliph Muawiya I. There seems to be a lack of solid consensus on the exact range of years... The Great Berber Revolt of 122—25/740—43 took place during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and marked the first successful secession from the caliphate. ... Zayd ibn Ali (d. ... Combatants Abbasids Umayyad Caliphate Commanders Abu al-Abbas al-Saffah Marwan II The Battle of the Zab took place on the banks of the Great Zab river in what is now Iraq on January 25, 750. ... The First Fitna, 656–661 CE, followed the assassination of the caliph Uthman ibn Affan, continued during the brief caliphate of Ali ibn Abu Talib, and was ended, on the whole, by Muawiyas assumption of the caliphate. ... Combatants Rashidun Caliphate Rebel Arabs Commanders Ali Aisha bint Abu Bakr Strength About 10,000 About 20,000 Casualties About 5,000 About 5,000 The Battle of Bassorah, Battle of the Camel, or Battle of Jamal was a battle that took place at Basra, Iraq in 656 between forces... Combatants Umayyads Banu Hashim Commanders Umar ibn Saad Husayn ibn Ali Strength 4,000 - 4,500 72 Casualties unknown 72 The Battle of Karbala was a military engagement that took place on 10 Muharram, 61 AH (October 10, 680) in Karbala, in present day Iraq, between the Islamic prophet... The First Fitna, 656–661 CE, followed the assassination of the caliph Uthman ibn Affan, continued during the brief caliphate of Ali ibn Abu Talib, and was ended, on the whole, by Muawiyas assumption of the caliphate. ... Ali ibn Abu Talib (Arabic: علي بن أبي طالب translit: ‘AlÄ« ibn Abu Ṭālib Persian: علی پسر ابو طالب) ‎ (599 – 661) is an early Islamic leader. ... Muˤāwiyya I, or Muˤāwiyya ibn AbÄ«-Sufyān (Arabic: ). (602 - May 6, 680) was the fifth Muslim Caliph and founder of the Umayyad Dynasty of Islamic caliphs. ... The Euphrates (the traditional Greek name, Arabic: الفرات; Al-Furat, Hebrew: פְּרָת Perath, Kurdish: Firat, Turkish: Fırat, Old Persian: Ufrat, Syriac: ܦܪܘܬ or ܦܪܬ; Frot or Prâth, Akkadian: Pu-rat-tu) is the westernmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia (the other being the Tigris). ... An Anglicized/Latinized version of the Arabic word خليفة or Khalīfah, Caliph (  listen?) is the term or title for the Islamic leader of the Ummah, or community of Islam. ... Shiʻa Islam (Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite) makes up the second largest sect of believers in Islam, constituting about 30%–35% of all Muslim. ... Imam (Arabic: إمام ,Persian: امام ) is an Arabic word meaning Leader. The ruler of a country might be called the Imam, for example. ... Sunni Islam (Arabic سنّة) is the largest denomination of Islam. ... The Four Righteously or Rightly Guided Caliphs or Khulifa Rashidoon in Arabic refers to the first four caliphs in the Sunni tradition of Islam who are seen as being model leaders. ... The Umayyad Dynasty (Arabic الأمويون / بنو أمية umawiyy; in Turkish, Emevi) was the first dynasty of caliphs of the Prophet Muhammad who were not closely related to Muhammad himself, though they were of the same Meccan tribe, the...

Contents

Background

There had long been tension within the Muslim empire between the aristocracy of Koreish and the wider Arab tribes, particularly the Bedouin. This tension came to a head in the reign of Uthman, the third Caliph (ruled 644 to 656), who was besieged in his palace by the tribesmen, and then overthrown and murdered. These Bedouin were angry at Uthman's style of government, which they saw as similar to that of a traditional Sheikh; instead they wanted a more religious and less secular type of government, with power distributed more widely. While the tribesmen based this demand on religious arguments, it should be noted that this would have greatly increased their power.-1... Quraish is also the name of a Surah in the Quran. ... Bedouin resting at Mount Sinai Bedouin, derived from the Arabic , a generic name for a desert-dweller, is a term generally applied to Arab nomadic pastoralist groups, who are found throughout most of the desert belt extending from the Atlantic coast of the Sahara via the Western Desert, Sinai, and... For other uses of the name, see Uthman (disambiguation). ... Events Births Deaths Paulinus of York, bishop of Northumbria November: Omar, Second caliph of Islam by assassination. ... Events Ali succeeds Uthman as Caliph Battle of Basrah (also known as Battle of the Camel) Oswiu of Northumbria annexes Mercia Births Deaths Uthman ibn Affan, Caliph (murdered) Peada, king of Mercia (murdered) Categories: 656 ... Shaikh, also rendered as Sheik, Shaykh or Sheikh (Arabic: شيخ), is a word in the Arabic language meaning elder of a tribe, lord, revered old man, or Islamic scholar. ... This article concerns secularity, that is, being secular, in various senses. ...


In the wake of Uthman's murder, Ali ibn Abi Talib succeeded to the Caliphate, and was immediately faced by demands to bring the murderers of Uthman to justice. However, Ali did not think this was a practical solution. He is supposed to have said that "It were easier to bale out the floods of the Euphrates" than to punish all the vast number of people involved in Uthman's overthrow. Moreover, the Bedouin remained extremely powerful - at the time they were in effective control of the holy city Mecca and the capital Medina - and Ali feared that trying to punish them immediately would result in unending civil war, and would potentially lead to the end of the Muslim empire. Rather, he said he was helpless for the time being; "Wait - and the Lord will guide us." The Euphrates (the traditional Greek name, Arabic: الفرات; Al-Furat, Hebrew: פְּרָת Perath, Kurdish: Firat, Turkish: Fırat, Old Persian: Ufrat, Syriac: ܦܪܘܬ or ܦܪܬ; Frot or Prâth, Akkadian: Pu-rat-tu) is the westernmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia (the other being the Tigris). ... Mecca IPA: or Makkah (in full: Makkah al-Mukarramah; Arabic: ‎, Turkish: Mekke) is the capital city of Saudi Arabias Makkah province, in the historic Hijaz region. ... Medina (Arabic: ‎ or المدينة ; also transliterated into English as Madinah) is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. ...


As a result, Ali was seen as siding with the tribesmen against the aristocracy. Indeed, this may well have been his aim. However, this also meant that many saw him as condoning the overthrow and murder of Uthman. Such an accusation was extremely destabilising to the legitimacy of Ali's rule. So Ali was quickly challenged by a rebellion from Aisha, a widow of the prophet Mohammed, and her allies Talha and Zubayr ibn al-Awwam. Ali successfully defeated this rebellion at the Battle of the Camel, but a far more serious threat had now appeared. Aisha bint Abu Bakr (also spelled Ayşe, Ayesha, Aisha, or Aisha, Arabic: ‎ `āisha, she who lives) was the final wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. ... For other people named Muhammad, see Muhammad (disambiguation). ... The murder of Uthman ibn Affan had become Talhahs tryst with destiny. ... Abu Abdullah Zubayr ibn al-Awwam was a Sahabi, or companion, of the prophet Muhammad. ... In 655 a Muslim force led by Caliph Ali defeated a superior force of rebel Arabs in the Battle of Bassorah (Bassorah = Basra). ...


The province of Syria was large and wealthy, including modern-day Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. The governor was Muawiyah, a skilled administrator and politician, who had inspired great personal loyalty in the region. As a kinsman of the murdered Uthman, he bore the duty of revenge, and was angered by Ali's reluctance to bring the murderers of Uthman to justice. As a result, Muawiyah stated that Ali ibn Abi Talib was implicated in the murder of Uthman, denounced him as Caliph, and placed his province in open revolt. The bloodied shirt of Uthman and the chopped-off fingers of his wife Naila were displayed in the mosque in Damascus, and Muawiyah succeeded in creating great ill feeling against Ali in Syria. Palestine (from Latin: ; Hebrew: Pleshet, פלשתינה Palestina; Arabic: ‎ Filastīn, Falastīn) is one of several names for the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the banks of the Jordan River with various adjoining lands. ... Look up Administration in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A politician is an individual who is a formally recognized and active member of a government, or a person who influences the way a society is governed through an understanding of political power and group dynamics. ... Revenge or vengeance consists primarily of retaliation against a person or group in response to perceived wrongdoing. ... Naila was the wife of Uthman, the third Caliph of the Islamic Empire. ...


Most Shia believe that Muawiyah's true motivation all along was to gain the Caliphate, and that the murder of his kinsman was merely an excuse to rebel. Muawiyah is hence seen by many Shia as hypocritical, power-hungry and treacherous. However, not only did Ali not punish Uthman's murderers, but he recruited a large number of Uthman's beseigers into his army prior to the Battle of the Camel, and appointed Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, a regicide, to govern Egypt. Hence the Sunni reply is that if Muawiyah was merely looking for an excuse to rebel, Ali certainly gave him no shortage of excuses. Ali also had a reputation for constant temporising and equivocation. Hence, they say, Ali ibn Abi Talib was far from blameless in this matter. Regardless, the true motivation of the participants will never be known for sure. Hypocrisy is the act of pretending to have beliefs, virtues and feelings that one does not truly possess. ... Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr (631–658) was the son of Islams first caliph, Abu Bakr, and Asma bint Umais. ... Equivocation is a logical fallacy. ...


Start of hostilities

After the Battle of the Camel was over, Ali returned from Basra to Kufa in Rajab of 36 (January 657). He decided to transfer the capital of his government to Kufa from Medina because it was more centrally placed in the Muslim Empire, and he could halt Muawiyah’s progress into Iraq. It was vitally important for Ali that he subdue the province of Syria, and thereby legitimise his position as ruler of the Muslim empire. Location of Basra Basra (also spelled BaÅŸrah or Basara; historically sometimes written Busra, Busrah, and the early form Bassorah; Arabic: , Al-Basrah) is the second largest city of Iraq with an estimated population of c. ... Kufa (الكوفة al-Kufa in Arabic) is a city in Iraq, about 170 km south of Baghdad, and 10 km northeast of Najaf. ... Rajab (Arabic: رجب ) is the seventh month of the Islamic calendar. ... Events June 2 - Pope Eugene I dies and is subsequently canonized. ... Medina (Arabic: ‎ or المدينة ; also transliterated into English as Madinah) is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. ... Muawiyah I (602 - May 6, 680), early Muslim leader and founder of the great Umayyad Dynasty of caliphs. ...


At first, Ali ibn Abi Talib tried to settle matters peacefully by sending an envoy to Syria. He chose Jarir, who was the chief of Banu Bajila and governor of Hamdan. Jarir was known to be a friend of Muawiyah, and so Ali hoped that he would be acceptable as a mediator between the two sides. However, Jarir did not return for three months, and when he did he brought only the message that Muawiyah would submit to Ali just as soon as the murderers of Uthman were brought to justice. This was of course not acceptable to Ali. Ali's general, Malik ibn Ashter, accused Jarir of having wasted time in effeminate pleasures with Muawiyah, and said that Muawiyah had purposely kept Jarir in Syria long enough to mature his plans of hostilities. Under attack from Ashter, Jarir was forced to leave Kufa, so he joined Muawiyah in Syria. Categories: Possible copyright violations ... Effeminacy is character trait of a male showing femininity, unmanliness, womanliness, weakness, softness and/or a delicacy, which contradicts traditional masculine, male gender roles. ...


Uthman's blood-stained shirt was still hanging in the Damascus mosque, and Muawiyah's army had pleged an oath that they would not wash or sleep a night at home, until the murderers of Uthman were brought to justice. Moreover, they also swore to bring to justice all those who sheltered the murderers - by which they meant Ali ibn Abi Talib and his followers. So, seeing that war was inevitable, Ali gathered his forces, and, after at first planning to invade Syria from the North, he attacked directly, marching through the Mesopotamian desert. Arriving at Riqqa, on the banks of the Euphrates, the Syrian vanguard was sighted, but it withdrew without engagement. The people of Riqqa were hostile to Ali, and his army had great difficulty crossing the river. Eventually, Malik ibn Ashter threatened the townspeople with death, which forced their co-operation. So, finally, the army managed to cross the river, by means of a bridge of boats. Ali's army then marched along the right bank of the Euphrates, until they came across the Syrian outpost of Sur al-Rum, where there was a brief skirmish, but Ali's advance was not slowed. So in Dhu al-Hijjah 36 (May 657), the army of Ali ibn Abi Talib came into sight of Muawiyah’s main forces, which were encamped on the river plain at Siffin. Vanguard can mean: A vanguard is the forward division in an army. ... Dhu al-Hijjah ( ذو الحجة ) is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic Calendar. ...


The fight for the river

Muawiyah had stationed his general, Amr ibn al-Aas, with 10,000 men on the river to stop Ali ibn Abi Talib's army having access to the water. Ali ibn Abi Talib sent Sasaa ibn Sauhan al-Abdi to persuade Muawiyah that he should allow Ali's army access, as they, like Muawiyah's army, were Muslims. Ali further claimed that if the situation had been reversed, the river would have been open to both armies. However, Muawiyah sent back a message that the murderers of Uthman had not allowed him any water when they had laid siege to his palace, and Muawiyah was avenging that action. Whether or not the participants were truthful in their claims, this situation meant that Muawiyah had the strategic upper hand, as Ali's army could not long stay in the area without access to water. Ali had no choice but to attack. Amr ibn al-Ās (Arabic: عمرو بن العاص) (d. ...


Ali ibn Abi Talib gave command of his army to the general Malik ibn Ashter, who led the attack. After heavy fighting, Amr's forces were dislodged from the river banks. Now having control of the water supply, Ali ibn Abi Talib kept to his word and allowed unlimited access to Muawiyah’s side. Moreover, Ali did not immediately press forwards with his attack. Instead, he sent out Bashir ibn Amr, Sa'id ibn Qais and Shabus ibn Rabi as ambassadors to negotiate peace. However, Muawiyah was unwilling to meet with this delegation, and so a new delegation was sent, under Adi ibn Hatim, Yazid bin Qais, Ziyad ibn Hufza and Shabis ibn Rad. However, negotiations once again proved fruitless. Muawiyah repeated his demands that the murderers of Uthman be brought to justice, but Ali's ambassadors alleged that Muawiyah had no interest in justice and was simply intent on taking the Caliphate for himself. This enraged Muawiyah. "Begone, ye lying scoundrels!" he is supposed to have cried; "the sword shall decide between us." Despite this, Ali continued to send deputations to negotiate peace, and the two armies remained encamped facing each other for 110 days.


However, even as the peace negotiations were taking place, there were at least 90 skirmishes between tribal columns in the two armies. There was no general battle between the two armies, however, but rather hostilities did not go beyond this sporadic fighting. Nevertheless, many lives were lost on both sides, and the peace negotiations remained deadlocked. Ali's army was mostly made up of Bedouin tribesmen, most of whom were sympathetic to the deposition of Uthman. It seems that under their influence, Ali's position began to harden. When Muawiyah's ambassadors asked Ali whether he approved of Uthman's murder, Ali is said to have replied "I will not say that he was wrongly attacked, nor will I say that the attack was justified." This equivocation simply served to enrage Muawiyah's army. Bedouin resting at Mount Sinai Bedouin, derived from the Arabic , a generic name for a desert-dweller, is a term generally applied to Arab nomadic pastoralist groups, who are found throughout most of the desert belt extending from the Atlantic coast of the Sahara via the Western Desert, Sinai, and...


The main engagement

Ali made one final demand for Muawiyah's army to submit to him as Caliph, but they refused. As a result, on 8th Safar 36 (26 July 657) Ali gave the order for a full attack, and the major part of the Battle of Siffin began. The battle lasted all day, and into the night. The fighting lulled a little in the darkness, but started again even more fiercely the following day. Despite his age (he was now 58) Ali attacked personally with his Medinan troops in the centre, with his troops from Basra and Kufa on the flanks. Muawiyah watched the battle from a pavilion on the field, surrounded by his Personal Guard. Amr ibn al-Aas led Muawiyah's cavalry against the Kufa flank with great success, and almost broke through to kill Ali. However, Ali's personal bravery inspired his troops, and the attack was stalled. At the head of the Basra troops was Ashter and 300 qari (reciters), who led the assault on Muawiyah's forced. The attack was successfuly, and almost forced Muawiyah to flee the battlefield, but the bravery of his bodyguards and Amr saved the situation. Safar (صفر) is the second month in the Islamic calendar. ... July 26 is the 207th day (208th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 158 days remaining. ... Events June 2 - Pope Eugene I dies and is subsequently canonized. ... Location of Basra Basra (also spelled Başrah or Basara; historically sometimes written Busra, Busrah, and the early form Bassorah; Arabic: , Al-Basrah) is the second largest city of Iraq with an estimated population of c. ... a Qari in the Islamic tradition is a reciter of the Quran, the holy text of Islam. ...


The fighting continued fiercely onto a third day, and casualties mounted, including Hashim ibn Utba and Ammar ibn Yasir, both Companions of the Prophet. Both sides had by now ran out of ammunition for their quivers and so the battle was fought hand-to-hand. Although Muawiyah's forces were numerically superior, Ali's forces were greatly inspired by Ashter, and gave no ground. In the surviving accounts of the battle, each writer praises his own tribe and condemns the others; but all agree on the bravery of Ashter. Both Ali and Muawiyah were unhappy at the heavy losses both sides were taking, but Muawiyah was particularly dejected, believing that the battle would eventually be lost. So Amr al-Aas suggested that single combat between the two leaders could resolve the battle without further bloodshed, but Muawiyah was unwilling to do this. Both men were old but Ali was still vigorous and almost certain to win such a duel against Muawiyah, who was rather fat and hairy. But Muawiyah did take Amr's second suggestion - he told his bodyguards to put pages from the Qu'ran on their lances, and shout "The law of the Lord! That shall decide between us!" By this it was meant that the two sides should cease fighting and settle matters by peaceful arbitration under Islamic law. Muawiyah and Amr did not necessarily think that all of Ali's army would accept an arbitration, but they were sure that some of them would favour this, and so at the least it would cause dissension in Ali's army. According to Sunnis sources he did not give alligance to Abu Bakr, until Ali suposedly did so. ... In Islam, the SÌ£aḥābah () were the companions of Muhammad. ... Arbitration is a final and binding dispute resolution process. ... Sharia (Arabic شريعة also Sharia, Shariah or Syariah) is traditional Islamic law. ...


However, the plan worked better than Muawiyah and Amr had hoped, because Ali's entire army quickly began chanting along with Muawiyah's men. Ali urged his army to fight on, saying that Muawiyah was simply using a trick and was on the point of defeat, but the soldiers did not listen. In fact, many of Ali's best soldiers were the keenest to make an arbitration. Ali and Ashter spent a long time arguing against their men, but they could not change their minds. In fact the soldiers became impatient and attacked Ashter with whips, calling him a warmonger. They even threatened to send Ali to Muawiyah as a prisoner if he did not accept the arbitration. With his army in mutiny against him, Ali had no choice but to accept the arbitration. So not only had Muawiyah managed to gain an arbitration, he had greatly weakened Ali's position with his own supporters. A warmonger is, pejoratively, someone who is anxious to encourage a people or nation to go to war. ...


Conclusion

Ali ibn Abi Talib wanted his kinsman Abdullah ibn Abbas or Malik ibn Ashter to represent him in the arbitration, but the army rejected these candidates. Ashter was a regicide, and so was implacably opposed to Muawiyah, who would have had him executed. And Abdullah was Ali's close relation and so tied very closely to his cause. As a result, the soldiers feared that these men would advance Ali's claims too strongly and be unwilling to compromise - and so the war would continue. So Ali's men insisted that Abu Musa Ash'ari be chosen as the representative. Like most of the soldiers, Abu Musa was a Bedouin, and thought to be truly committed to peace. However, he was of questionable loyalty to Ali and had deserted him previously. Meanwhile, Muawiyah appointed his general Amr al-Aas to represent him. As a result, Muawiyah's position in arbitration was much stronger from the beginning. This was a great personal humiliation for Ali, not only in that his men denied him the choice of his own representative, but because the peace treaty that Ali signed did not recognise him as Caliph, but merely placed Ali and Muawiyah as equal combatants in a war. Ali retired to Kufa, Muawiyah to Damascus. Abdullah ibn Abbas (Arabic: عبد الله ابن عباس ) was a cousin of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. ... Abu-Musa Abd-Allah ibn Qays al-Ash`ari, better known as Abu Musa al-Ashari (Arabic: ابوموسی) (d. ...


Although Ali got the better of the actual fighting, and the end result of the battle was inconclusive, it was in fact Muawiyah who emerged from the battle in much the stronger position. Ali had failed to subdue Syria, and his supporters were now divided. Many of Ali's closest followers were disgusted by the peace treaty, including the loyal Ashter, who is supposed to have stated "I shall never acknowledge that this is my right hand, if it should touch such a document as this [peace treaty]." Meanwhile the army had been able to mutiny and dictate policy. Ali ibn Abi Talib had conducted himself with great dignity, but he had not shown the necessary strength to keep his own followers united, let alone unite all Muslims under his leadership - which had been his goal in invading Syria.


Aftermath

On the march back to Kufa, Ali's army became sharply divided.Now that the battle was over, many of the soldiers - particularly the Bedouin - regretted agreeing to the arbitration, because they did not see it as proper under Islam. They said that the leadership of the Muslim world was not Ali's personal property to bargain over with Muawiyah, as rival (secular) kings might - rather, their aim in overthrowing Uthman had been to establish a truly religious government. A group of 12,000 soldiers broke away from the main army, and instead went to the nearby village of Harura. After great efforts, Ali managed to pacify these soldiers and persuade them to rejoin his army, but it proved only temporary.


For the next six months, Muawiyah ruled over Syria, Ali over the rest of the Muslim Empire. In Ramadan 37 (February 658), the umpires arrived at Dumat-al-Jondel, along with a huge number of interested spectators. The two umpires met alone in a specially elected pavilion. The preserved account is brief and uncertain, but it seems that Amr began by pressing Abu Musa to admit that Uthman was foully murdered, and that hence Muawiyah should succeed as his kinsman. Abu Musa rejected this, saying that succession to the Caliphate is not a matter of lineage but the vote of the Companions of the Prophet. Amr then went through all the possible candidates (apart from Ali and Muawiyah), and Abu Musa rejected each in turn. So Amr then asked Abu Musa what his solution was. Abu Musa replied that they should depose both Ali and Muawiyah, and allow the people to choose freely whoever they wanted as Caliph. Amr quickly agreed. Ramadan (in Arabic: رمضان, Ramadhan) – or Ramzan in several countries – is the ninth month of the Islamic (Hijri) calendar, established in the year 638. ... Events The union of Slavic tribes falls apart after Samos death Births Deaths King Samo of the Slavs Categories: 658 ...


However, when it came time to announce this decision, Amr betrayed Abu Musa. First, Abu Musa stated his idea of deposing both men; then Amr is supposed to have said "You have heard the declaration of Abu Musa. He has deposed his leader [Ali]; and I too depose him. But as for my leader, Muawiyah, I confirm him. He is the heir to Uthman, the avenger of his blood, and the best entitled to succeed as Caliph." This astonished the crowd, and Abu Musa, ashamed at being tricked in this way, retired to Mecca and spent the rest of his days in obscurity.


However, Ali remained recognised as Caliph and Muawiyah did not claim the title - but now Ali's position was weakened even more. It further estranged him from his supporters, and the 12,000 soldiers who had broken away became the nucleus of a new religious sect, the Kharijites (dissenters) who rejected all Caliphs, and constantly rebelled against Ali, enabling Muawiyah to take Egypt. Muawiyah and Ali continued to be hostile to one another, making their followers curse each other during prayers, but never again did they fight a major battle. For the rest of Ali's life, the Muslim Empire was divided between the two men, with Muawiyah ruling Syria and Egypt, and Ali increasingly struggling to rule the rest rest. In 661, the Kharijites assassinated Ali, and the Muslim empire was reunited, with Muawiyah elected as Caliph. However, the Shia believe that the Caliphate should have passed to one of Ali's sons, Hassan ibn Ali and Hussain ibn Ali. The Shia do not recognise Muawiyah as a legitimate Caliph, but regard him as a despicable figure. Sunni opinion on Muawiyah is more complicated, as he is recognised as a legitimate Caliph, but he is the first Caliph not described by the Sunnis as Rashidun ("Rightly Guided"). Kharijites (Arabic خوارج, literally Those who Go Out [1]) is a general term embracing a variety of Islamic sects which, while initially accepting the caliphate of Ali, later rejected him. ... Events Caliph Ali Ben Abu Talib is assassinated. ... Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (c. ... Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (c. ... The Four Righteously or Rightly Guided Caliphs or Khulifa Rashidoon in Arabic refers to the first four caliphs in the Sunni tradition of Islam who are seen as being model leaders. ...


See also

Muhammad (Arabic محمد, also transliterated Mohammad, Mohammed, and formerly Mahomet, following the Latin) is revered by Muslims as the final prophet of God. ... Ali ibn Abi Talib (علي بن أبي طالب) (c. ... Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (c. ... Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (c. ... Categories: Possible copyright violations ... The Four Righteously or Rightly Guided Caliphs or Khulifa Rashidoon in Arabic refers to the first four caliphs in the Sunni tradition of Islam who are seen as being model leaders. ...

External links

  • playandlearn.org
  • academyofislam.org
  • al-islam.org [1]
  • ismaili.net
  • i-cias.com
  • IslamiCity.com

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Battle of Siffin (311 words)
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