Imam Ali (A.S.) and the Caliphate (3)

Imam Ali (A.S.) and the Caliphate (3)

Developments of Judgment

The confusion and disorder caused in the ranks of Imam Ali's (A.S.) army as a result of the raising the copies of the Holy Qur'an by the Ummayyad soldiers had an effective impact on his camp, and the appearance of the forces hidden under righteousness in his army and their pressure to impose the acceptance of the accomplished fact. Consequently, the Imam (A.S.) was forced to respond to the order of judgment between the two sides.

Thus, the people of Syria (Sham) chose Amru bin Aas who was famous for his cunning, tricks, and love of the present world, while the other side chose Abu Musa Ash'ari to represent the camp of the Imam (A.S.), under the influence of the stupid ones and the owners of interests who existed inside the army of Imam Ali (A.S.). This man (Abu Musa Ash'ari) was weak minded, in addition to his being among those who isolated himself from the Imam (A.S.) in his war against his enemies.

Some narrations refer that laceration caused in Imam Ali's (A.S.) troops reached its climax that even some chiefs of his soldiers threatened the Imam (A.S.) to act with him like they acted with Uthman or deliver him to Mu'awiya. When the two arbitrators met each other, Amru bin Aas took advantage of Abu Musa Ash'ari when the latter presented him the idea of deposing both Imam Ali (A.S.) and Mu'awiya. When Abu Musa was pleased with that idea, Amru bin Aas began deposing his companion, whereas he himself did not recommend preceding the Messenger of Allah's (S.A.W.) companion in that.Therefore, Abu Musa advanced and deposed Imam Ali (A.S.) from the leadership of Muslim affairs and deposed Mu'awiya too, whereas Amru bin Aas announced his consent of deposing Imam Ali (A.S.) and appointing his own companion, Mu'awiya.

Thus, Amru bin Aas betrayed Abu Musa Ash'ari and took advantage of his weaknesses inspite of Abdulla bin Abbas's warnings against Amru's betrayal. After the two delegations returned, Amru bin Aas submitted the caliphate to Mu'awiya in 37 A.H. and never submitted him the like before. But, the Commander of Faithful (A.S.) considered that the betrayal of Amru bin Aas and the negligence of Abu Musa Ash'ari, caused the arbitration to end through incorrect and unsafe ways. This betrayal and unseriousness were clearly seen in Amru's speeches and behavior. Therefore, Imam Ali (A.S.) called to resume war and declared his statement to the umma, which says: "O people, I had given you my orders about this arbitration, but you rejected it (my orders) and disobeyed me.

By my life, disobedience brings about regret. Consequently, mine and your positions became as the poet of Hawazin says: 'I gave you my orders at Mun'arijil-lliwa but you did not see the good of my counsel till the noon of the next day (when it was too late).' But these two arbitrators neglected the Book of Allah, they caused the death of what the Qur'an revived and revived what caused death. Each of them followed their own low desires without Allah's guidance. They judged without any proof nor with any previous tradition, and bout of them were not guided...therefore, get ready for jihad, prepare (yourselves) for the (right) path and be awakened in your positions."

Mu'awiya's Plans

After the battle of Siffin and the order of judgment, Mu'awiya began to behave as if he was the absolute ruler. He began to collect the properties gained by poor-rates (zakat) and taxes and sent armies to different regions in order to terrify people and dominate these areas. Therefore, he chose some criminals as leaders of his armies. These people had no previous convictions to Islam, but were among those who bore hatred and enmity for Islam. He provided them with some terrorist instructions that were completely opposite to what the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) used to recommend to his army.

In the year 40 A.H., Mu'awiya sent an army, led by Bosr bin Abi Arta'a, which consisted of three thousand fighters, and ordered him to take the route of Hijjaz, Medina and Makkah until he reached Yemen. He (Mu'awiya) told him the following: "Do not camp at an area where the people are obeying Ali, but that you control them with your tongues by threats, until they see that they have no rescue and you are surrounding them. Then, have full control over them, and call them to give their pledge of allegiance. Whoever refuses, then, kill him and kill the followers of Ali where they are."

Consequently, Bosr carried out the orders of his master, Mu'awiya. He began to pursue the close companions of Ali and whoever delayed giving the pledge of allegiance (to Mu'awiya), he burnt their houses, destroyed them, and robbed them of their properties. He killed about thirty thousand on his way going and coming back and burnt a community to such an extent that a poet, regarding him, said: "Wherever Bosir goes with his army, he kills whatever he can and burns it". When he (Bosir) moved to the city of Hadhramaut, he said: "I want to kill one fourth of Hadhramaut."

Mu'awiya ordered Sufyan bin Awf Ghamidi to enter Iraq and advised him to attack, rob, burn, and kill, saying: "Destroy whatever you pass of villages, kill whoever you meet who does not agree with your opinion, and take the properties because they are similar to killing and it is the most painful one for the hearts." Sufyan not only executed Mu'awiya's orders, but, also, did more. He attacked free non-Muslims enjoying Muslims' protection (the people of the Book), killing and robbing them. These are the people in regard to whom the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) advised concerning them and said that he is an enemy of those who harm them.

These are some examples regarding Mu'awiya and his followers. Mu'awiya underlined his aims and the goals of his battles, in his address to the people of Kufa, after the peace-treaty with Imam Hasan (A.S.). He  said: "By Allah, I did not fight you in order to make you pray, nor to fast, nor to make pilgrimage, nor to pay poor-rates (zakat). Indeed, you do that (already). I fought you in order to dominate you."This was the way of Mu'awiya, and which, Imam Ali (A.S.) in contrast was advising his commanders whom he (A.S.) sent to prevent the attacks of Mu'awiya, saying: "Fear Allah towards Whom you will return. Do not despise a Muslim, nor a covenanter. Do not seize unlawfully, wealth, nor children nor offspring. Even if you are barefooted and dismounted, keep up your prayers at their due times."

Thus, he recommends for the sanctity of people; whether Muslims or non-Muslims. Therefore, the conflict of Imam Ali (A.S.) with Mu'awiya represented the conflict between two opposite ways: The way of truth, principles, values and character and, on the other side, the way of falsehood, misguidance, oppression and betrayal. These two ways never meet each other.

Continue in the next article: ( Imam Ali (A.S.) and the Caliphate (4) )