The Prophet Muhammad (saw)
 

Politics is Moving From Medina to Kufah

Medina is tired. Medina is sad. Its good fortune began with hosting the master of mankind. Consequently, having presented comprehensive and universal messages to humanity, this lofty city does not want to go down in history as a city that "dressed its caliph in a gown of martyrdom." Medina is right. For it wants to be remembered with beautiful memories appropriate to the Prophet's spirit. Its only desire is to breathe forever the spirituality of the Prophet which has permeated every street. For in the fate of the "Illuminated City" there should be eternal enlightenment, rather than surrender to a darkness that will extinguish the light.

Medina is taking refuge in the station of sorrow between regret brought by the possibility of harm to the spiritual existence of the Prophet, who has retired to eternal sleep in the earth, and timidity which has been consolidated by painful experience.

Medina's sorrow becomes apparent to Ali ibn Abu Talib. He was the first among children to claim faith in the Prophet; he spent his childhood in Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) house under his protection, and Ali had the honor of making the first prayer with him. Lying in the bed of the Prophet who had begun the migration to Medina, he was a brave warrior who became a physical buffer to the pagans who were determined to kill the Prophet. Ali hears Medina's sincere plead and he moves the headquarters of the Islamic State to another place: Kufah. Consequently, Medina follows politics a distance.

Although Medina partially avoids this quicksand, other important regions in Islamic territory that have been deeply affected by the regretful incidents lived in the heart of the Islamic State are pulled into the quicksand one by one. For it does not appear at all easy for things to be put back in order for the young Islamic State which has given its caliph as martyr. While the people are waiting for the new caliph to punish the murderers of the former caliph, he is saying at every opportunity that it is not easy to quiet the rebellious masses who number in the thousands and who say, "We all killed Uthman," and he asks them to wait for things to calm down. Ali repeatedly emphasizes that it is only possible to get the rebels who have taken over Medina under control by means of military force and that he needs time for this. He points out that so far only Medina has actively pledged allegiance to himself.

Although the way events developed and followed one another have caused comments to the effect that Ali closed his eyes to the rebels, he wants to work as caliph after getting pledges of allegiance the other regions. While the envoys to the provinces are bringing pledges of allegiance one by one the other regions, no news is received the envoy sent to Muawiyah, the governor of Damascus and the nephew of the murdered caliph. It does not take long for the caliph to understand that this is not an auspicious sign.

In fact, the envoy who says, "I am coming people who will only accept retaliation," returns with news that makes clear all the reasons why he was late: Damascus governor Muawiyah refuses to give allegiance to Ali on the grounds that he remained indifferent to the murder of Uthman and that he allowed in the army those rebels who he claimed were partners to the crime, and the governor is making preparations to seek retaliation for Uthman's blood. The bad news spreads rapidly among neighboring regions.  

These words falling Ali's lips are not enough to clear the murky waters: "They want the price of Uthman's blood me? It was my friend who was killed just as well as theirs. Hasn't my right been violated as well? Oh, my God! I take refuge in You spilling Uthman's blood. Uthman's killers escaped except for those Allah wanted."

Having met the army led by Aisha in the outskirts of Basra, Ali now faces an opposition set up under the leadership of Muawiyah. While the heavy price the Battle of the Camel cost the Islamic society is apparent, the caliph does not want a second Battle of the Camel. For this reason, he again invites Muawiyah to pledge allegiance. However, Muawiyah gives a clear message that he is determined to struggle against the caliph. He emphasizes that he will only be able to submit to a new caliph chosen by the council. The governor who did not help his relative, the murdered caliph, when he was alive is now preparing to fight after his death by means of his powerful army comprised of Syrian units. It is wondered why he did not join forces with those at the Battle of the Camel who were also organized on account of the murdered caliph's blood. It is as if he is especially waiting for the results of that battle. Wearing down the caliph's strength, this war is gaining him time and in a short time Muawiyah gathers a large army the Syrian people. At this point it is inevitable that the caliph will have to fight with a second Muslim force after the Battle of the Camel. A heavy war that lasts 3 months intermittently and is costly to both parties is being fought on the Siffin plain.

Despite everything, Ali's army shows superiority over time and is about to make the last strike. At a time when Muawiyah is making plans to escape, a proposal made by his right hand, Egyptian conqueror Amr. Ibn As, is sufficient to change the whole course of the war. Amr suggests that the dispute between the two sides be settled by resorting to arbitration  on Allah's book, and pages of the Quran are attached to the ends of the spears of Muawiyah's army. Particularly influential on the qurra (readers of the Quran) in Ali's army, this tactic is very effective in slowing down the fight. Because many abandon the battlefield saying it is not permissible to fight against the Quranic verses, the caliph has to accept the arbitration. His efforts regarding this being a trick are not enough to change the result.

Arbitrators chosen both sides make an agreement to give judgment according to Allah's book and, when necessary, the Prophet's sunnah. However, there are serious debates in Ali's army even at this initial stage. A crowded group protesting the situation being left to arbitrators leaves Ali's army. Thus, the first nucleus of the sect later known as the Khawarij is d.

Everyone knows that a situation unable to be resolved by armed forces will not be resolved by a quickly set up arbitration mechanism, in which there is trickery. However, this process being accepted by the party which had seen victory on the horizon is sufficient to show how weak the foundations of Ali's rule are.

As a result, spending his resources and military might mainly on the Khawarij who have opened a front against him after Siffin, a weakened Ali is unable to move against Muawiyah who does not accept Ali's caliphate and who organizes campaigns in various regions of the Islamic State.

While the resulting vacuum divides Islamic lands which have rapidly expanded in a short period of thirty years, the end stop to this period of Islamic history dominated by conflict is not made by superiority of one side over the other, but by the dagger of a perverted assassin.


 

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