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  • 5/12/2011

The Battle of Islam at Siffin

part 2


This incredible argument was accepted by his men and war continued until the 13th night. On that day the commander-in-chief of Imam Ali's (A.S.) army, Malike Ashtar, attacked the enemy ferociously.

 His shout of Allahu Akbar, every time he killed a man, was heard no less than 400 times. The hero of the battle began to bring on victory when Amr al-Aas on Muawiya's side said, "Call the enemy to the Word of God." Muawiya eagerly accepted these words and his men raised 500 copies of the Holy Qur'an on their spears, saying that the Holy Book would decide their differences. This trick had a strange effect on some people in the army of Imam Ali (A.S.), who dropped their weapons and agreed that the Holy Qur'an should decide the matter.

Imam Ali (A.S.) stepped into the battlefield urging his men to continue fighting and ignore the tricks of Muawiya, but they disobeyed. The war thus came to an unsatisfactory end, and it was decided that one representative from each side should meet to reach a final decision. Imam Ali (A.S.) wanted Abdullah bin Abbas or Malike Ashtar to represent him, but his men insisted that Abu Musa Ash'ari be chosen instead. Muawiya appointed Amr al-Aas to represent him. Abu Musa had neither wit nor tact and was no match for the cunning Amr al-Aas. In the meeting that took place some months later, Abu Musa was badly tricked by Amr into giving up the rights of Imam Ali (A.S.), and it is as follows.

Decision of the umpires

The time for arbitration having come, the umpires proceeded to Dumat-al-Jondel or Azroh, each with a retinue of four hundred horsemen according to the agreement.

 Many a leading Chief from Mecca, Medina, Iraq and Syria went there to watch the proceedings, which were to decide the future of Islam. Abdallah bin Abbas, who accompanied Abu-Musa to preside at the daily prayers, while having a discourse with Abu-Musa upon the topic of arbitration, urged him to beware of the crafty ways of his astute colleague and to keep particularly in his mind the fact that Ali had no blemish to render him incapable of government, nor Muawiya any virtue to qualify him for it.

When Abu-Musa reached Duma, Amr bin Aas received him with great respect. A private conference was held between the two alone in a pavilion erected for the purpose. Amr was already well aware of the weaknesses in Abu-Musa's character. He treated Abu-Musa with utmost respect and civility till he brought him completely under his influence. Having won his confidence, he made him admit that Osman was foully murdered. Then he asked him why the avenger of his blood, a near relation of his and an able administrator viz.

Muawiya should not be taken as his successor. To this Abu-Musa replied that the succession should not be determined on such a basis which would give preference to Osman's Sons as legitimate claimants; but that they must above all things take care lest a mutiny should be kindled or civil wars break again. Upon this Amr bin Aas asked Abu-Musa to reject both Ali and Muawiya, and let the Faithful elect a third. This is the simplest and safest solution of the problem.

'I agree,' said Abu-Musa, let us go forth to pronounce. A tribunal was erected from which each of the umpires was to declare publicly his decision.

 Abu-Musa wished Amr to go up first, but Amr, alleging reasons to give preference to Ali's man, overcame all his scruples and insisted upon Abu-Musa going up first. Abu-Musa ascended and addressed the people thus: 'Brethren! I and Amr bin Aas, both of us, have given full consideration to the matter and have come to the conclusion that no other course to restore peace and to remove discord from the people can possibly be better than to depose both Ali and Muawiya in order that people may have their choice of a better man in their stead.

I therefore depose both Ali and Muawiya from the Caliphate to which they pretend, in the manner as I draw this ring from my finger.' Having made this declaration Abu-Musa came down. Amr bin Aas now took his turn and went up to announce what he had to declare. 'You have heard,' he said, 'how Abu-Musa on his part has deposed his chief Ali; I, on my part, do depose him too and I invest my chief Muawiya with the Caliphate and I confirm him to it, as I put this ring upon my finger. I do this with justice because Muawiya is the avenger of Osman and his rightful successor.' So saying, he came down. This arbitration took place in the month of Ramadan, 37 A.H. or February 658 A.D.

Muawiya thus managed to escape certain defeat at Siffin. The damage done at the battle was great. Muawiya lost 45,000 men and 25,000 men were killed on the side of Imam Ali (A.S.).

Source: alhassanain.com

Other Links:

Imam Hussains Revolution: Analytical Review-Part 4

Imam Husains Revolution: Analytical Review-Part 5

Imam Husains Revolution: Analytical Review: Last Part

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