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Islamic Personalities(Introduction)( The Khulfa_e_Raashideen)...

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  • Muhammad Ahmed
    FOUR RIGHTLY-GUIDED CALIPHS OF ISLAMTHE KHULAFAA -E- RASHIDEEN Introduction Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, Sayyiduna Umar Al Farouq, Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani and Sayyiduna
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2004
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      Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, Sayyiduna Umar Al Farouq, Sayyiduna 'Uthman Ghani and Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in) were the consecutive successors of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

      These four Khulafaa (pl. for Caliph) are called the "Khulafaa-e-Rashidun" or the "Rightly Guided Caliphs." Together, these four Khulafaa ruled the Islamic State for about 29 years. They are called "Rightly Guided"because they ruled the people of that time exactly according to the Holy Quran and the commands of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

      Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar (radi Allahu anhu) has said:

      "Those who are desirous of following anyone, should follow the Sahaba who were the best of community, whose hearts were pure, whose wisdom was profound and who did not believe in the exhibition of outer life. They were a people whom Allah had selected His Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and who extended His religion to the world. Therefore, try to imitate their ways and manners, for by Allah, they were rightly guided people."

      A Hadith on the Status of the Four Khulafa
      In the book, "Shawaa'idul-Haqq", Sayyiduna Shaikh Abu Abdullah (radi Allahu anhu) narrates the following incident.

      Once I visited the Holy City of Mecca and met a man who claimed that he never felt thirsty. When I asked him the reason for this strange event, he replied, "There was a time when I did not have any respect for the Sahaba of Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). One night, I dreamt that it was the Day of Qiyamah and there were many people in various queues looking very thirsty and ragged. I decided to follow a queue. We arrived at the Fountain of Kauther and saw that it had four corners. At each corner were the four Caliphs, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, Sayyiduna Umar, Sayyiduna Uthman and Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhum). I thought that there was no need for me to approach the first three Caliphs as I only believed in Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu). Yet, when I approached him, he turned his head away in displeasure. Feeling extremely alarmed, I approached the other three Caliphs and they also behaved in the same manner. By now I was very despondent.

      "I noticed that Nabi Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was also approaching the Fountain. I ran towards him and explained to him the behaviour of the four Caliphs. He replied, 'Why should beloved Ali offer you a cool drink, when you bear hatred and scorn for the Sahaba?' When I heard this, I asked Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) whether I would be forgiven or not if I asked pardon for my incorrect beliefs. He replied that I would be forgiven. I then recited the Kalimah again and asked for forgiveness. I was then ordered to return to the Fountain of Kauther and drink from it. After this, I awoke from my sleep. From that night onwards, I have never felt thirsty. I then warned my family that I would only accept those as my true family if they accepted my true beliefs. Some of them did accept".

      The presence of the four Caliphs at the four Pillars of Kauther is also substantiated by a Hadith. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said, "The Fountain of Kauther possesses four Pillars: one commanded by Abu Bakr, the second by Umar, the third by Uthman and the fourth by Ali (radi Allahu anhum)".

      Again, explaining the lofty status of these four Caliphs, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said, "He who speaks good about Abu Bakr, his religion is well established; he who speaks good about Umar, his religious path has been well grounded' he who speaks good about Uthman is enlightened with the Noor of Almighty Allah' and he who speaks good about Ali holds on to a bond that never breaks. They who speak well of my Sahaba (Companions) are truly Mu'mins". (Shawaa'idul Haqq)

      HAZRAT ABU BAKR SIDDIQUE (Raddi Allah Unho)
      The First Caliph of Islam

      Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu's) real name was Abdullah, and he was given the title of "As Siddique" or"Testifier to the Truth." His father, 'Uthman, was known as Abu Quhafah and his mother, Salma, was known as Ummul Khair. He was two and a half years younger than Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

      He was the first among the Sahaba to accept Islam. He accompanied Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) during the Hijrah to Madinatul Munawwarah. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) was a merchant. He freed many slaves, including Sayyiduna Bilal (radi Allahu anhu) and Sayyiduna Umayyah bin Qahaf (radi Allahu anhu). He participated in all the battles in which Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) had to fight the Kuffar.

      Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) loved his faith more than anything else. At the Battle of Badr, his son, Sayyiduna Abdur Rahman (radi Allahu anhu), was fighting on the side of the Kuffar. After accepting Islam, Sayyiduna Abdur Rahman (radi Allahu anhu) said to his father, "O Father, at Badr, you were twice under my sword, but my love for you held my hand back." To this, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) replied, "Son, if I had you only once under my sword, you would have been no more." He was so uncompromising in his faith.

      At the time of the Battle of Tabuk, he donated all his wealth to the war effort, and when Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) asked him, "What have you left for your family,?" he replied, "Allah and His Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)."

      After his election as the Caliph, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) addressed the Muslims with these words:

      "O People! I have been chosen by you as your leader, although I am no better than any of you. If I do any wrong, set me right. Listen, truth is honesty and untruth is dishonesty. The weak among you are the powerful in my eyes, as long as I do not give them their dues. The powerful among you are weak in my eyes, as long as I do not take away from them what is due to others.

      "Listen carefully, if people give up striving for the Cause of Almighty Allah, He will send down disgrace upon them. If people become evil-doers, Almighty Allah will send down calamities upon them.

      "Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Rasul (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). If I disobey Allah and His Rasul (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), you are free to disobey me."

      Such was the first Caliph of Islam. Indeed, the world would be a better place to live in, if we had leaders like Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu).

      Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) now sent Sayyiduna Usamah (radi Allahu anhu) on the expedition to Syria to fight the Romans, even though he had to attend to all the internal problems of the Islamic State.

      The news that Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) had passed away, made some new Muslims think that the Islamic State would crumble and they refused to pay the Zakaah. These new Muslims could not yet get used to their faith and its requirements until then. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) declared, "By Allah! Even if a single thread is due from a man, he must give it. If he refuses, I will declare war against him."

      Some others became imposters and renegades. Tulaiha, Musailimah, Maalik bin Nuwairah, Aswad Ansi and a woman named Sajah claimed that they were prophets and caused a great deal of confusion. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) was quick to take action against these imposters.

      Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) was sent to deal with Tulaiha who fled to Syria and later became a Muslim. Maalik bin Nuwarah was killed. Sayyiduna Ikramah (radi Allahu anhu) and Sayyiduna Surahbil (radi Allahu anhu) were sent to take action against Musailimah, but they were defeated. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) sent Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) to tackle the notorious Musailamah who married Sajah. In the fight that followed, Sayyiduna Wahshi (radi Allahu anhu) killed Musailamah. Musailamah and Aswad Ansi also claimed to be prophets while Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was alive. Aswad was killed by the Muslims of Yemen.

      Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu's) swift and bold steps saved the Islamic State from the serious danger of chaos and confusion. He could now attend to other urgent problems.

      During his Khilaafat, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) had to take action against the Iranian Empire. The Emperor of Iran, Khusrou Parvez, was killed by his son, Shirooya, and the whole empire fell into chaos and disorder. Hurmuz, the Persian governor of Iraq, was very hostile to the Arabs and he was also cruel to the Muslims living in that area.

      Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) sent Sayyiduna Muthamia (radi Allahu anhu) to take action against the Iranians in Iraq. His forces were not enough and Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) was then sent with reinforcements. The Muslim army captured vast areas of the Iranian Empire in several battles.

      Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) then turned his attention to the Romans who were causing trouble in the North-West frontier. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) sent 4 separate armies under Sayyiduna Ubaidah bin Jarrah, Sayyiduna Amr Ibnul As, Sayyiduna Yazid bin Abu Sufyaan and Sayyiduna Surahbil bin Hasnal (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in) to deal with the Roman power.

      The four armies joined into one unit to face the Romans more effectively. The Romans had amassed 150 000 soldiers, but the total Muslim army was only 24 000. Reinforcements were requested. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) asked Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) to take charge of the Iraqi front and Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu) to rush to the Syrian front to help fight the huge Roman army. The armies met in Yarmuk after Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) passed away. In this battle, the Romans were totally defeated.

      Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) fell ill at this time and passed away on the 21st of Jamadi-ul-Aakhir 13 A.H. (22 August 634). His rule lasted 2 years and 3 months. He was 63 years old.

      One of the many contributions of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) was the collection and compilation of the Holy Quran.

      He lived a very simple, pious and upright life. He was a true servant of Almighty Allah and a meticulous follower of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

      He wore ordinary clothes and his meals were very simple. He attended to house-hold work and would go out at night and seek the poor and destitute. Humility and modesty were the keynotes of his character. He felt embarrassed when people showered praises on him or showed him immense respect. He often fasted during the day and spent the whole night in Salaah and meditation. He was a great orator and a master of genealogy (one who can trace a person's family line). In personal life, he was a Saint. He used all his powers to promote the interest of Islam and the good of people.

      HAZRAT UMAR FAROOQ (Raddi Allah Unho)
      The Second Caliph of Islam

      Before he passed away, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) consulted the senior Sahaba and elected Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) as the second Caliph of the Muslims.

      He was the son of Khattab and is famous in Islamic history as "Al Farooq" or "One who Distinguishes between Right and Wrong." His acceptance of Islam is also very famous.

      Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) was a very brave and straight-forward person. He was tough and uncompromising in Islamic principles. He was a great and talented ruler. During his Khilaafat, vast areas of the Roman and Persian empires and the whole of Egypt were brought under Islamic rule. He was also a gifted orator. He was very concerned for the welfare of the Muslims. He left a honourable legacy for Muslims after him. The Holy Quran was given to him by Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) for safe-keeping.

      Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anu) was a strong disciplinarian. He noticed the tremendous popularity of Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu). He felt that people will lose trust in Almighty Allah and put all their trust in Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu). He feared that the people may think too highly of him, thereby possibly increasing the self-esteem of Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) which would also breed arrogance, so he removed Sayyiduna Khalid (radi Allahu anhu) and appointed Sayyiduna Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (radi Allahu anhu) as the Commander in Chief of the Muslim army.

      Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) happily accepted the orders of Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) and then served as an ordinary soldier. This is an example of the Islamic teachings of obedience to leadership!

      Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) had left Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu) in command of the Muslim forces on the Iraqi front when he rushed to Yarmuk. Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu) was finding it difficult to counter the enemy and went personally to Madinatul Munawwarah to ask Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) for re-inforcements. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) had by that time passed away.

      Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu's) absence from the Iraqi front made things worse there. The Iranians regrouped under the command of Rustam and recaptured the lands taken by the Muslims. Rustam sent 2 columns of his army, one to Hirah and the other to Kaskar.

      Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) sent Sayyiduna Abu Ubaidah (radi Allahu anhu), as Commander, to deal with the situation. Both the Persian columns were defeated. Rustam sent an even larger army and defeated the Muslims.

      Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) raised another army and defeated the Persians. But the Persian court sent yet another larger army, and forced Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu) to withdraw. The report of the new situation was sent to Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) and reinforcements under the command of Sayyiduna Saad bin Abi Waqqas (radi Allahu anhu) were sent.

      The Persian and Muslim army met at Qadisiyah. After a long battle on several fronts, the outnumbered Muslim army defeated the 120 000 Persian soldiers and recaptured Hirah and their areas in the year 14 A.H. (636 C.E).

      Muslims laid siege to Damascus during Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu's) rule as Caliph. It continued, after he passed away, and lasted 70 days during the rule of Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu). After the long siege, Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) took the Romans by surprise and entered the city. The Governor surrendered and a peace treaty was signed.

      Meanwhile, Sayyiduna Amr ibn As (radi Allahu anhu) was laying siege to Jerusalem. Sayyiduna Khalid, Sayyiduna Abu Ubaidah and other Sahaba (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in) also joined him. The Christians had little hope and decided to give in. They also suggested that the keys of Jerusalem be given to Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) himself personally. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) went to Jerusalem. An agreement was signed that guaranteed the safety of the city and the safety of the Christians.

      A Persian non-Muslim, named Firoz and nicknamed "Abu Lulu," complained to Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) about his master, Sayyiduna Mughirah bin Shuba (radi Allahu anhu), who imposed tax on him. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) told Firoz that the tax was reasonable. This made Firoz angry.

      The next day, during the Fajr Salaah, he stabbed Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) 6 times in the back, severely wounding the Caliph. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) passed away 3 days later in 23 A.H. He was 63 years old. He ruled the Islamic State for 10 years, 6 months and 4 days.

      In a short space of 10 years, Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) had been well-known for his outstanding achievements and reforms in Islam. Some of these reforms were:-

      1. He established the "Baitul Maal" (People's treasury for the state and public).

      2. Judicial courts of Justice were set in the country. Judges and Magistrates handled all cases.

      3. Establishment of an army headquarters for the defence of the country.

      4. Construction of roads and canals.

      5. Schools were established. Salaries for Imams, Mu'azzins and Ustaads were organized.

      6. Masjids were improved and built in Makkatul Mukarramah and Madinatul Munawwarah. This included facilities for the Haajis.

      7. Police Stations and prisons were built.

      8. Establishment of the first Islamic Lunar calendar beginning from the Hijrah.

      9. Proper weights and measures introduced.

      10. Population census established.

      11. Built orphanages and welfare homes.

      12. Established proper punishment system and banned slavery.

      Simplicity and devotion were the main characters of Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu). He used to wear clothes that had many patches and yet received Governors, convoys and diplomats. He took just enough allowance from the State to have a simple meal and wear simple clothes. At times he was very poor. He used to visit the old people and sick and even do their house work. He used to visit the houses of the soldiers and inquire about their families. He stayed awake at night in Salaah and often kept Fast. He always supported and upheld the cause of Islam, with his wisdom, energy, dynamism, bravery and little wealth.

      HAZRAT UTHMAN GHANI (Raddi Allah Unho)
      The Third Caliph of Islam
      Before he passed away, Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) appointed a six-man Committee to elect his successor from among themselves. After long discussions and consultation, they elected Sayyiduna 'Uthman bin Affan (radi Allahu anhu) as the third Caliph of Islam.

      Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhu) belonged to the Ummayah tribe of the Quraish. He was a very rich cloth merchant. He was known as "Al Ghani" or "The Generous." His father's name was Affan and his mother was Urwa.

      He accepted Islam at the invitation of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) and migrated to Abyssinia with his wife, Sayyadah Ruqayyah (radi Allahu anha), who was also the daughter of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

      After she passed away, he married Sayyadah Umme Kulthum (radi Allahu anha), another daughter of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Because of this, he earned the title "Zun Noorain" or "Possessor of Two Lights." He took part in all the battles with Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) except the Battle of Badr.

      During the Khilaafat of Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhu), the rebellion in Azerbhaijaan and Armenia was silenced.

      Sayyiduna Mu'awiyah (radi Allahu anhu), with the help of Sayyiduna Abi Sarah (radi Allahu anhu), captured Cyprus by naval attack and brought it under Islamic rule. Vast areas of North Africa including Tripoli, Tunisia and Morocco were also brought under the Islamic rule.

      The Romans, although defeated several times by the Muslims in the past, made another attempt, during the Khilaafat of Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhu), to recapture the lands they had already lost. Constantine, the Emperor of Rome, made great preparations and attacked Alexandria with a naval fleet five to six thousand strong. But, the Romans were defeated by the Muslim naval forces under the command of Sayyiduna Abi Sarah and Sayyiduna Mu'awiyah (radi Allahu anhuma).

      The Governors of the provinces, appointed by Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu), were removed and replaced by members of the new Caliph's clan. The majority of the new governors were inspired by worldly means rather than by piety and interests of their subjects. People started to demand the removal of these Governors, but the Caliph did not respond to their appeals. Delegates mainly from Iraq and Egypt, submitted their demands to the Caliph. The situation, however got out of control.

      In the turmoil, Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhu) himself was made Shaheed by rebels while he was reading the Holy Quran inside his house. This happened on Friday, the 17th of Zil Hajj in 35 A.H.. He was 84 years old.

      Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allah anhu) was a very simple and very kind person. His simplicity and kindness did not alow him to take strong action against the trouble makers and rioters. Above all, because of his simple-mindedness, his administration was not as disciplined as it had been during the Khilaafat of Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu).

      Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhu) was a generous man. He used to spend a lot of money for Islam and to free the slaves. He was a great and pious man who feared and loved Almighty Allah and Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) above everything else. Although he was very rich, his living was very simple. He did not indulge in luxury. He was ever mindful of death. Major parts of the night were spent in Salaah. He also fasted every second or third day.

      A major achievement of Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhu) was the duplication of the Holy Quran from the records kept by Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu), who handed it to Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu), who then handed it to his daughter, Sayyadah Hafsa (radi Allahu anha), the wife of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

      Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhu) made copies of the Holy Quran from the original and sent it to capitals such as Kufa, Damascus, Makkatul Mukarramah and Basrah, each accompanied by a Sahabi for the guidance of the readers.


      HAZRAT ALI MURTADHA (Raddi Allah Unho)
      The Fourth Caliph of Islam
      After Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhu) passed away, Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was elected as the fourth Caliph by the Muslims. During the period of the first three Caliphs, Madinatul Munawwarah continued to be the capital of the Muslim world, but Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) transferred the Islamic capital to Kufah in Iraq.

      Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was the son of Abu Taalib, an uncle of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was married to Sayyadah Bibi Fathima (radi Allahu anha), the daughter of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). They had 3 sons, Sayyiduna Hassan, Sayyiduna Hussain and Sayyiduna Mohsin (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in).

      Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) took part in the battle of Badr, Khandaq and Khaibar. At Khaibar, it was Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) who subdued the Jews with his furious assault. He also held many important positions during the time of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and the first 3 Caliphs before him.

      He had a love for learning and was a great and learned person himself. He had been given the title of "Baabul I'lm"or "Gate of Learning" by Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He was also called "Asaadullah" or "Lion of Allah."

      The situation in Madinatul Munawwarah after the murder (Shahaadah) of Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhu) was serious. Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu's) first task was to rid Madinatul Munawwarah of the rebels and to return the situation to normal.

      Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was able to force the rebels to withdraw from Madinatul Munawwarah and to establish peace and order in the city. The powerful governor of Syria, Sayyiduna Mu'awiyah (radi Allahu anhu), challenged Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) and refused to pay homage to him. Sayyiduna Mu'awiyah (radi Allahu anhu) insisted that Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) arrest the murderers of Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhu) and hand them over to him.

      Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was a man with a deep sense of justice and did not want to accuse the wrong people. He needed a peaceful period to trace the culprits. But, Sayyiduna Mu'awiyah (radi Allahu anhu) began accusing him of protecting the murderers, and in this way the old enmity between the two families were revived.

      Unlike most of Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhu's) governors, Sayyiduna Muaawiyah (radi Allahu anhu) displayed great administrative ability and was very popular. He was a God-fearing man and especially known for his mercy. Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was very strict in piety and straight forward. Sayyiduna Muaawiyah (radi Allahu anhu) declared his disobedience to him, because he felt that he was better qualified to lead the Muslim world.

      Another serious development took place. Sayyadah Aishah (radi Allahu anha) and two leading Sahaba, Sayyiduna Talha and Sayyiduna Zubair (radi Allahu anhuma) declared their opposition to the Khilaafat of Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu). They left Madinatul Munawwarah for Makkatul Mukarramah and from there travelled to Basrah where they rallied men and new supporters.

      Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) had to crush all opposition. A bloody battle took place near Basrah on the 9th of December 656 A.C. This battle was sparked off by a third force who were the real troublemakers. Just before the battle, both parties had already reached an agreement to settle the dispute. But this third force, the real assassinators of Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhu), launched an overnight attack on both camps simultaneously. Each side were under the impression that the other had attacked. The battle began. Several thousand men were lost including the two Sahaba. Sayyadah Aishah (radi Allahu anha) was safe. She was riding a camel during the battle-hence the name "Battle of the Camel." Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) treated her in a most noble and dignified manner and respectfully sent her back to Madinatul Munawwarah. She praised him and deeply regretted opposing Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu). Kufa was now made the capital of the Islamic world.

      Sayyiduna Muaawiyah (radi Allahu anhu) rallied an army to face Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu). A battle took place at Siffin on the Syrian border in the July of 567 A.C. Sayyiduna Muaawiyah (radi Allahu anhu) was no match for Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) and began to retreat. By the clever proposal of Sayyiduna Amr bin Al As (radi Allahu anhu), the retreating army raised pieces of the Holy Quran on their spears demanding judgement between the two parties. Many pious Muslims on the side of Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) refused to fight seeing the Holy Quran displayed in the air.

      Two men, one from each side, were appointed to settle the dispute. Sayyiduna Abu Musa (radi Allahu anhu), a pious Sahaba from Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu's) side, and the skilled Sayyiduna Amr (radi Allahu anhu) from Sayyiduna Muaawiyah (radi Allahu anhu's) side. Sayyiduna Musa (radi Allahu anhu) declared in front of the Muslims that it was decided to recommend the removal of both Sayyiduna Ali and Sayyiduna Muaawiyah (radi Allahu anhuma) and that the Muslims should select another man for the Khilaafat. Sayyiduna Amr (radi Allahu anhu) replied that: "He has declared the removal of his leader, while I would conform Muaawiyah as the Caliph." Chaos followed.

      Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) prepared to meet Sayyiduna Muaawiyah (radi Allahu anhu) again in battle, but he was moved from his task by a serious conflict that occurred among his men. Some narrow-minded people accused Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) of accepting a man-made judgement. Their slogan was: "There is no judgment but with Allah." They declared that Sayyiduna Ali, Sayyiduna Muaawiyah and Sayyiduna 'Uthman (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in) were unbelievers and that Jihad should be declared against them. Ever since this event, they have been known as the "Khaarijees", which means, "those who left the fold." They maintained that the Khilaafat should be given to the most eligible Muslim, regardless of his origin. The Kharijees are not regarded as Muslims.

      On the 17th of July 659 A.C., Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) overcame the Khaarijees in a battle near Nahrawan, in which, it is said, that 40 000 lives were lost.

      In the early morning of the 24th of January 661 A.C., Abdul Rahman bin Muljim, a Khaariji fanatic lay in ambush in the Masjid of Kufah and stabbed Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) when he entered the musjid. He passed away from the wound. He was 63 years old.

      Sayyiduna Ali (radi allahu anhu) lived a simple life. He refused any luxury food and wore simple clothes thinking of the poor. He should sleep on the ground and even sit on the floor. He repaired his own clothes and shoes and even did manual labour. He spent nights in Salaah and should fast for three days in a row. Honesty, piety, justice and love of truth were the main marks of his character.


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