The Life of Imam Al-hasan Al-mujtaba

Chapter X : in Basra

All the Islamic countries paid homage to Imam Ali except al-Sham. The Muslims believed in the genuine objectives that the new government sought. They were sure that the Imam would return to them the mercy and justice of Islam, and that his government was an extension to that of the Prophet (a.s) and his behavior. From the first day of his rule, the Imam applied the great, Islamic justice and achieved the inclusive equality among the Muslims whether in giving or other procedures in all fields. He destroyed the differences and distinctions that Uthman had found in the arena of the Islamic life. He confiscated the plundered properties that Uthman had granted to his family and relatives.

With that he put an end to the social injustice and oppression. He protected the Muslims from selfishness and dictatorship, kept them from deterioration and incline. These principles and objectives moved the displeasure of the opportunists and the devious. Some days later, they showed the signs of aggression and discord, announced mutiny and rebellion. Then they declared their military aggression to overthrow the then government and to return the policy of plundering and starving. As for the heroes of this plot, they were A’isha, Talha, and al-Zubayr. They declared a violent war for their cheap ambitions. There happened the Battle of Basra that divided the unity of the Muslims, spread sadness and mourning in their regions. We have to consider the stages of that great tragedy, which spread troubles and disasters throughout the Islamic world that we may come to understand the motives and reasons for them.

Talha and al-Zubayr’s mutiny against the Imam

Many Muslims were liable to the means of discords and the reasons for vainglory. Some events befell and made them far from their religion. The reason for that was that they were tried with authority and wide wealth. Among them there were Talha and al-Zubayr, who went to Imam Ali (a.s) and said to him: “Did you know why we pledged allegiance to you?”

The Imam looked at them and said to them: -Yes. (You had pledged allegiance to me) to hear and obey, and according to that for which you had paid homage to Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. -No. We paid homage to you that we might be your partners in authority. -No. But you are my partners in saying, righteousness, and help during feebleness and crookedness.

They thought that they had paid homage to the Imam according to some material objectives. They sought authority and bargained with the Imam for power. But the Imam thought that they were his partners in righteousness and in establishing justice among the Muslims. When they came to know that he would not entrust them with anything, they complained to the people of him and announced their rebellion against him. Al-Zubayr said before some Qurayshi people: “This is our reward from Ali. We supported him in respect of the matter of Uthman, to the extent that we proved that he was guilty and brought about his murder, while he was sitting in his house, and the matter was over. However when he (Imam Ali) obtained through us what he had wanted, he appointed other than us (as governors).”

As for Talha, he said: “The blame (is for nothing) except that we were three persons of the Consultative Committee; one of us hated him. We paid homage to him. We gave him that which was in our hands, while he has deprived us of that which in his hand. Therefore, we have made mistake in respect of that which we had hoped.[^1] ”

When the Imam heard their sayings, he summoned Abdullah bin Abbas and asked him:

-Have you heard the sayings of the two men (Talha and al-Zubayr)? -Yes, I think they have liked authority; therefore appoint al-Zubayr (as governor) over Basra, and appoint Talha over Kufa. However, the Imam refuted Ibn Abbas’s viewpoint and explained to him that appointing them as governors would bring about some dangers, saying: “Woe unto you! There are men and properties in the two cities. When they rule the people, they will attract the foolish through greediness, strike the weak with an affliction, and be powerful over the strong through authority. If I appointed someone as governor out of his harm and profit, then I would appoint Mu’awiya as governor over al-Sham. Were it not for that I came to know that they showed craving after authority, then I would have another opinion of them.”[^2]

This initiative indicates that Talha and al-Zubayr were very desirous for power and authority, that they moved the displeasure of the people with Uthman out of ambition for the caliphate and government, and that they were [^1] He meant Sa‘d bin Abi Waqqas, who refrained from paying homage to the Imam, and was among the members of the Consultative Committee. The reason was that he had harbored malice against the Imam and hated him, as Talha said. [^2] Al-Imam was al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 52.

not moved by the general interests, and love for advising the Muslims. Accordingly, they lost the bargain and their efforts were in vain. That was when Imam Ali (a.s) became a caliph. The pivot on which his policy turned was following the religion, and acting according to the Islamic principles, which did not accept, under all circumstances, to grant offices due to selfishness and favoritism, for that is regarded as a treason toward the community. The Imam has explained the reasons that urged him not to appoint them as governors over the two cities as follows:

  1. They would attract the fool through advantages and ambitions.
  2. They would shower the weak with torture and affliction.
  3. They would selfishly use their influence and authority and have power through them over the strong.

As Imam Ali came to know these objectives, he did not appoint them as governors over the Muslims and make them behave freely in the Muslims’ properties and blood. Shafeeq Jabri has criticized the Imam for that and regarded their being deprived of authority as a mistake made by him, according to his cheap statement.[^1]

Most surely Shafeeq Jabri has believed in the western policy, which regards all means lawful for reaching the rule even if they are unlawful. As for Islam, it does not accept such a policy at all. It has built its creative policy on believing in human’s rights, avoiding cunning and deception even if victory and success depend on them. Ali bin Abi Talib, the pioneer of the great social justice in the earth, followed this just policy. There is no relationship between the policy that kings and those who love kingdom and authority have followed and the Imam. It does not agree with his high objectives. The Imam (a.s) has explained the reasons for that, saying: “Were it not for fear of Allah and piety, I would be the most cunning of the Arabs.”

Fear of Allah and piety stood before him and prevented him from following any way the Islamic law does not accept. Besides, the interest required that he had not to appoint Talha and al-Zubayr as governors over Basra and Kufa. They had therein two parties and followers. The Imam was sure that their influence would include all the Islamic state.

Anyway, when Talha and al-Zubayr came to know that they lost their hope and that they would win no place in the then government, they went to Imam [^1] Al-‘Anasir al-Nafsiya. Many authors have discussed Shafeeq’s wrong viewpoints.

Ali asking him for a permission to go to Mecca, saying: - Do you permit us, O Commander of the faithful? -Where? -We want (to go to Mecca to perform) al-‘Umra (minor hajj). The Imam looked at them for a while. He understood the hidden things in their souls and said to them: “By Allah, you do not want (to go to Mecca to perform) al-‘Umra! Rather you want to betray me and break the allegiance!” They took a strong oath that they would not break the pledge of allegiance, and that they would perform the minor hajj in the Mecca. They knew that they took a false oath but they found no way to reach their objective except in making a false oath. The Imam turned to them, while his soul was full of doubt, and said to them:

“Pay the homage to me again!”

They did that without any hesitation and escaped to Mecca. It was as if that he released them from a prison or a punishment. They joined A’isha and moved her to revolt against the Imam. They knew her malice and enmity against the Imam.

A’isha rebels against the Imam

A’isha was in the vanguard of those who kindled the fire of the revolt against Uthman, and she said the bitterest and severest words in respect of him. She gave him the name of Na‘thal. Some sources have ascribed the reason for that to that he decreased what Umar had given to her and regarded her as equal to the other wives of the Prophet (a.s).[^1] She went too far in defaming him and provoking people to kill him. When the revolutionists surrounded him, she went to Mecca. When she had performed the ceremonies of the hajj, she quickly returned to Medina, that she might know Uthman’s news. She arrived in Saraf.[^2] On her way to there, an uncle of her called Ubaydillah bin Abi Salama was coming from Medina. He met her, and she hurried to ask him:

-What has happened there?

[^1] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 132. [^2] Saraf was a place six miles from Mecca, and it was said that it was more than that. At it the Prophet (a.s.) married Maymoona, daughter of al-Harith, who died there. The narrators of al-Bukhari have said: “The name of the Place was Sharaf.” This has been mentioned in Mu‘jam al-Buldan, vol. 5, p. 71.

-They have killed Uthman! -What have they done, then?

-They have unanimously agreed on paying homage to Ali. All affairs have gone well with them. Accordingly, she became very sad and upset. She was angry. She looked towards the heavens and the earth and said: “By Allah, I wish that this (heaven) would fall on this (earth) if the affair went well with (Ali) bin Abi Talib. Uthman has been unjustly killed. By Allah, I will avenge his blood!”

Ubayd answered her with condemnation and sneering: “And why? By Allah, you were the first to change his name! You had said: ‘Kill Na‘thal, for he has become an unbeliever!” Why did A’isha show sadness and impatience, while Islam became fresh through the government of the Imam, and the Muslims obtained what they had wished?

A’isha answered her uncle, saying: “They had asked him (Uthman) to return to Allah in repentance, and then they killed him. I said, and they said. My last saying is better than my first one!” Was A’isha present when they asked him to turn to Allah in repentance? Did she know how he repented to Allah? However, she made that up to justify her attitude. Ubayd answered her, saying:

The beginning is from you, and the change is from you. The wind is from you, and the rain is from you. And you had commanded (people) to kill the Imam (Uthman) and said to us that he had become an unbeliever. And we obeyed you in respect of killing him; and his killer is with us among the bitterest things. The ceiling above did not fall, nor did our sun and moon eclipse. The people paid homage to the one with determination, who set right the detested things and crookedness. He wears war garments; and the loyal is not like the disloyal. She turned away from him and returned to Mecca.[^1] Sadness and depression dominated her. Sorrow and astonishment surrounded her.

[^1] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 454. Others have mentioned that.

The Reasons for her Mutiny

There is nothing weaker than the saying that A’isha had revolted against Imam Ali (a.s) to avenge Uthman’s blood, for it was she who invoked the Muslims to kill him (Uthman) and overthrow his rule. Ahmed Shawqi, a poet, has said: Did avenging Uthman make her sad or a pang whose sorrow was not removed? It was a rip that did not come to mind; women’s plotting undermines mountains. Yes, A’isha used Uthman’s blood as a pretext and means to declare rebellion and mutiny. She used that to provoke the simple-minded and send them to fight against Imam Ali (a.s)

The killing of Uthman was not the real reason, in any case, that made her revolt against the then legal rule. Rather the reasons are the following as researchers say:

  1. Her soul was full of rage and hatred toward Imam Ali, his wife Fatima, and their children. She knew that the Prophet took great care of them, and showed love and affection toward them, to the extent that none took part in that.[^1] As for A’isha, she did not enjoy such a treatment and love at all. Rather, the Prophet treated her very normally. He often criticized her. He, once, sat on his pulpit and indicated with his hand to her house, saying: “From here, there will be the sedition! From here, there will be the sedition! From here, there will be the sedition, where Satan will appear!”[^2] More than one time he threatened her with divorce because he suffered from her.

One time she became angry, and she said to him: “O you, who claim that you are a prophet!”[^3] When he performed the prayer, she stretched out her leg in front of him. She did not move her leg until he looked at her angrily. When he looked at her, she moved her leg. When he rose to continue praying, she stretched it out again.[^4] A’isha knew that the Prophet took great care of Fatima and her husband, and that he turned away from her. This thing moved the hidden spites in her soul. She confronted Allah’s Apostle (a.s) through that. When Abu Bakr (A’isha’s father) asked permission to enter the house of Allah’s Apostle, he heard [^1] At the begging of the book we have in detail talked about the traditions narrated from the Prophet in respect of his love for his household. [^2] Al-Bukhari, vol. 2, p. 125, Chapter on Obligatory One Fifth (Khums). Muslim, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 503. It has been mentioned in it that he (a.s.) has said: “The head of unbelief (will issue) from here where Satan’s horn appears.”

[^3] Ihya’ al-‘Uloom, vol. 2, p. 35, Chapter on Morals of Marriage. [^4] Al-Bukhari, Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 143.

A’isha speaking loudly and saying to him: “By Allah I have come to know that Ali is the most lovable to you of me and my father. She said that twice or three times!”[^1] Nothing moves woman’s feelings and leaves psychological complexes in her except that she sees someone is more loveable to her husband than her. Moreover, A’isha could not bear a child from the Prophet (a.s) just as the other wives could not. Accordingly, the Prophet adopted the children of his only daughter. He had toward them the deepest kind of love and loyalty. These things moved the hidden envy in her soul toward Imam Ali and his wife. She used all her abilities to face Imam Ali (a.s) and to turn the caliphate away from him. She nominated her father for leading the Muslims in prayer during the Prophet’s illness lest that the Imam should lead them. After the death of the Prophet, she played a major role in nominating her father for the caliphate and depriving Imam Ali of it. She was spiteful to the extent that when the Prophet’s daughter died, the Prophet’s wives went to the Hashimites to condole them except her (A’isha). It has been narrated that she said some words indicating her delight and rejoicing.[^2]

When the Imam became a caliph, she became angry and rushed to resist him and declare the war against his government. The Imam (a.s) has described her detest and spite against him saying: “As for so-and-so (A’isha), she was overcome by women’s weak opinion, and a spite boiled in her chest like a blacksmith’s boiler. If she had been summoned to harm someone other than me, she would not have done.”

Among the strongest factors that moved her to resist the Imam was the spites and hatred she had harbored against him. She could not hide them. She became very pleased and delightful when she heard of his martyrdom. She forgot that he was the brother of the Prophet, his guardian, and that he was to him as Aaron was to Moses. She turned away from what the Prophet (a.s) had said in respect of him: “O Allah, befriend whoever befriends him, be hostile to whoever opposes him, support whoever supports him, and desert whoever deserts him.” Certainly she heard and understood that. She knew all the traditions that the Prophet had said concerning the Imam and his children.

  1. Among the reasons of her war was that she expected that the caliphate would return to Taym (the tribe of her father), and that her cousin would undertake the rule, as al-Aqqad sees.[^3] She propagated for and lauded him. She was in Mecca. When she heard about Uthman’s murder, she said: “The

[^1] Imam Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 4, p. 275. [^2] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha. [^3] ‘Abqariyat al-Imam Ali, p. 87.

worthiest of people in this matter (the caliphate) is the man of the finger (Talha).” Then she quickly came back to Medina. She had no doubt that he would be the caliph. She used to say: “Away with Na‘thal (Uthman)! O man of the finger! O Abu Shibl! O my cousin! … They have found Talha as equal to it (the caliphate). It is as if I see his finger…”[^1]

She behaved in such a manner out of partisanship and tribalism. She did not think of the community’s interests. She intended to return the glory to her family again, to spread her influence, and possess alone the properties. And that would not be achieved except when the caliphate would return to the tribe of Taym.

  1. Professor al-Ala’ili thinks that the reason for her mutiny was the partisanship prevailing that time, saying: “History has not told us why she rebelled against (Imam) Ali while she saw nothing of his policy. As for the claim that she revolted (against him) to avenge Uthman, it is an imagination, for she was not ignorant of the Islamic Law that required her to leave the matter to be decided by the general ruler. If there was no general ruler, then it is decided by the heirs. As for her, she was not among his (Uthman) heirs.”[^2]

Therefore, A’isha revolted against the Imam not to avenge Uthman, but for another thing which history has not mentioned frankly. The right thing in my opinion concerning this affair is that partisanship was so strong that it included the Prophet’s wives. For example, Umm Salama was among the party of the conservatives (Ali’s party). As for A’isha, she was among the party of Talha and al-Zubayr, as I have mentioned in the introduction to the first series. They were so during the time of the Prophet. Umm Salama was the head of a group of the Prophet’s wives, and A’isha was the head of another group. Without doubt, this partisanship created in their own souls a historical spite related to their general behavior.”[^3]

These are some of the reasons that moved A’isha to mutiny against the Imam’s government, and she, through that, opened a door to mutiny and rebellion. She paved the way for the forces deviated from the truth to unite in a bloc and come together to fight against Ali bin Abi Talib. Accordingly, she drowned the nation into a sea of disasters and misfortunes.

[^1] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 76. [^2] The Islamic Law requires that the blood heir is at first the guardian. If there was no blood heir, then the religious judge is the guardian, for he is the guardian of those who have no guardian. [^3] The Life of al-Husayn, part two, p. 267.

The Declaration of the Rebellion

A’isha declared the rebellion and revolt against the then government. That was in the speech she made in Mecca. She said: “O people, the mobs from the people of the districts…, and the slaves of Medina met together. The mobs criticized the one who was killed yesterday (Uthman) for deception, trick…. So he followed them and repented of his deeds for the sake of them, that he might set them right. When they found neither a proof nor an excuse, they became disordered and hurried to show aggression against him. Their deeds disagreed with their words. Accordingly, they shed the forbidden blood, violated the Sacred City (Medina), and the Sacred Month (Ramadan). By Allah, Uthman’s finger is better than as much as the earth like them.”[^1]

Her speech is full of fallacies and error. She has mentioned that it was the mobs who criticized and slandered Uthman. However this opinion is contrary to the reality. It was the leading companions of the Prophet who criticized and censured him for his errors. Besides, it was A’isha who was the first to revolt against him. She has said her famous statement in respect of him: “Kill Na‘thal (Uthman), for he has disbelieved!” It was she and others from among the great figures and the heads who killed him. The others had no relationship with shedding his blood.

In her speech she has mentioned that Uthman refrained from his previous deeds and followed the revolutionists to set them right, and that when they found no proof against him, they shed his blood. This also disagrees with the reality. Uthman announced the repentance and showed regret for the deeds he had performed but he at last announced before the people that he said that due to the pressure of the revolutionists against him, and that he would continue the policy he himself had planned. After the plot he had planned against them, the revolutionists came back and asked him to resign from his office. However he refused to respond to them. They found no escape from killing him, as we have mentioned in detail. This does not agree with what A’isha has mentioned in her speech that they did not find a proof to kill him.

Any way A’isha’s speech was the first declaration for the rebellion, the mutiny, and the disagreements. Professor Abdul Fattah Maqsud has said: “After this speech of her, people separated in parties. It was better for them to unite in that difficult affliction that befell Islam. With what did the mother of the faithful (A’isha) summon them today? For which purpose did she intend to lead them? For the battle against the mobs? To advance towards Medina

[^1] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 468.

where there was the lawful ruler of the nation?[^1] Through her revolt, A’isha brought about division and disagreements among the Muslims, planted the seeds of enmity and troubles allover the country.

**With Umm Salama ** A’isha sought the help of the Prophet’s wives and summoned them to revolt against Imam Ali. She held a meeting with Umm Salam and tried to deceive her, saying: “O daughter of Abu Umayya, you were the first wife of the Prophet’s to emigrate (to Medina). You are the eldest of the mothers of the faithful. Allah’s Apostle apportioned to us from your house. Gabriel often was in your house.” Umm Salama had a doubt about her speech, and she asked her: “Have you said this speech for a certain purpose?” A’isha answered her with what she wanted, saying: “Most surely the people asked Uthman to repent. When he repented, they killed him while he was fasting during the Sacred Month (Ramadan). As a result, I have decided to go to Basra along with al-Zubayr and Talha; therefore, come with us, that Allah might set right this affair through our hand.” Umm Salama refuted her statement, guided, and advised her, saying: -Yesterday you provoked people to kill Uthman and said the wickedest words about him. He had no name with you except Na‘thal. You know Ali’s position with Allah’s Apostle. Shall I remind you?


-Do you remember the day when he (the Prophet) came, and we were with him? When he came down the northern way, he was alone with Ali. He talked with him for a long time. You wanted to attack them, but I prevented you. However you disobeyed me and attacked them. Shortly after that you came back weeping. I asked you: “What is the matter with you?” You said: “I went to them and found them talking with each other. I said to Ali: ‘I have one out of nine days with Allah’s Apostle! Therefore, do you not let me enjoy my day, O Son of Abi Talib? Allah’s Apostle walked towards me while his face was red with anger and said to me: ‘Go back! By Allah, no one hates him (Ali) unless he is out of faith!’ So you came back with regret and disapointment!’”

-Yes, I remember that. [^1] Imam Ali, vol. 2, p. 267.

  • shall I remind you? -Yes.

-You and I were with Allah’s Apostle, and he asked us: “Which one of you will be the rider of the hairy camel, at whom the dogs of al-Haw’ab will bark, and be devious from the straight path?” We said: “We seek refuge in Allah and His Apostle from that.” He patted on your back and said: “Beware of being that one, O Humayra’!”

-Yes, I remember that.

  • shall I remind you? -Yes.

-You and I were with Allah’s Apostle during a travel of his. As for Ali, he took care of Allah’s Apostle. He mended his sandals and washed his clothes. His (the Prophet) sandal was bored, so Ali took it to repair it. He sat in the shade of a tree. Your father and Umar came. They asked a permission to come in to him (the Prophet). We went into the tent. They came in and talked with him about what they wanted. Then they said: “O Allah’s Apostle, we do not know how long you will be with us. If you let us know whom you will appoint as a caliph over us, that he might be a resort for us after you.” He said to them: “As for me, I can see his place. If I did, you would separate yourselves from him just as the children of Israel separated themselves from Aaron the son Imran.” They kept silent, and then they went out. When they went out, we went to Allah’s Apostle. You were the boldest of us to ask Allah’s Apostle: “Whom will you appoint as a caliph over them?” The Prophet (a.s) said, “The one who is repairing the sandals.” We came down and saw Ali. So you said: “O Allah’s Apostle, I can see none except Ali.” He said: “He is that (the caliph).” -Yes, I remember that.

-Therefore, after this, which revolt you are going to declare?

-I am going to revolt to set right the people and hope for a reward because of it. -I shall leave you with your own opinion.

Then, Umm Salama went away and wrote a letter to Imam Ali (a.s) about that.[^1] She completely advised A’isha and reminded her of what she had [^1] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 79. In his al-Fa’iq, vol. 1, p. 290, al-Zamakhshari has mentioned a speech similar to that.

forgotten from among the merits of the Commander of the Faithful and his achievements. However, A’isha followed her own spites and sentiments.

The Advance towards Basra

All the men of the previous government responded to A’isha’s summons. They were from among Uthman’s governors, relatives, the ambitious who thought that Imam Ali’s government would disperse their dreams in the political influence, the deceived, and the simple people whom the propaganda changed however it willed. All these people were affected by A’isha’s summons and propaganda. They yielded to her commands. The leaders of the sedition discussed the that which country they had to invade. They previewed Medina but they refrained because there was in it the lawful Caliph who had military forces, and they had no ability to face them.

Then they thought of al-Sham and concluded that there were in it men, wealth, and Uthman’s cousin, who was the governor over it. They knew that it was the first country to respond to them. However the Umayyads did not respond to them, for they had placed al-Sham under their control and had fear for it from division. Accordingly, they unanimously agreed on invading Basra because they had there helpers and supporters. The caller called in Mecca: “O people, the mother of the faithful (A’isha), Talha, and al-Zubayr are going to Basra. Whoever wants to reinforce Islam, fight against those who justified the murder of Uthman, and to avenge Uthman, but has neither an amount nor equipment, then this is his equipment and expense.”

They supplied the troops with weapons. Ya‘la bin Umayya[^1] helped them with four hundred thousands (dinar) and supplied seventy men. As for A’isha, she mounted her camel called Askar. She was surrounded by the Umayyads. She led the large crowd. She led them to divide the Islamic unity and to fight against the legal government. When she arrived at Dhi Qaar, Sa’eed bin al-

[^1] Ya‘la bin Umayya bin Abi ‘Ubayda al-Tamimi was the governor over a district in Yemen. He was appointed there by Umar. And he was appointed as a governor over Sana’a’ by Uthman. Al-Mada’ini has said: “Ya‘la was an Emir over the troops in Yemen. When he heard of the murder of Uthman, he came to support him. But he fell off his camel and broke his leg. Then he went to Mecca. When the (ceremonies of) the hajj were over, he met with the people and provoked them to demand Uthman’s blood. So he helped al-Zubayr with four hundred thousands (dinars), carried seventy men from Quraysh, and carried Aa’isha on the camel called Askar, on which she witnessed the battle. When the Battle of al-Jamal (Camel) failed, he joined Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, and was among his companions. He was killed at (the Battle of) Siffin.” This has been mentioned in (the book) Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 5, p. 138.

Aas[^1] met and asked her:

-Where are you going, O mother of the faithful? -To Basra. -What are you going to do there? -To avenge Uthman.

He sneeringly laughed and said with astonishment: -These are the people who killed Uthman. She turned her face away from him, for she had no proof to defend herself with. Then he left her and went to Marwan. He said to him: -Do you want to go to Basra, too?

-Yes. -What do you want? -To avenge Uthman. -The people who killed Uthman are with you. He indicated with his hand to Talha and al-Zubayr. He said: “Most surely, it was these two men who killed Uthman. They want the authority for themselves. When they were overcome, they said: ‘We will wash the blood with blood and the sin with repentance.’”[^2] This debate was useless, and they set off insisting on error and aggression.


A’isha’s caravan set off and covered the desert. It passed by a place called al-Haw’ab.[^3] The dogs of the district received the caravan with growl and howl.

[^1] Sa’eed bin al-Aas al-Umawi was born in the Year of Emigration. His father was killed by (Imam) Ali at the Battle of Badr. He was among the eloquent of Quraysh. Uthman appointed him as a governor over Kufa, and then he deposed him. Then he appointed al-Waleed as a governor over it. So the Kufans wrote him a letter, saying: “We are in no need of Sa‘eed and al-Waleed.” He was arrogant, strict, and rude. When Uthman was killed, Sa‘eed confined himself to his house and isolated himself during the battles of al-Jamal and Siffin. He witnessed none of those battles. When the affairs went well with Mu‘awiya, he appointed him as a governor over Medina. Then he appointed Marwan bin al-Hakam over it. Then he alternated them in the authority over it. He died during the caliphate of Mu‘awiya in the year 59. Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 2, p. 8.

[^2] Al-Imam wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 63. [^3] Al-Haw’ab is the place of wide valleys and big hills. It was a place on the road to

A’isha was afraid of that barking which the dogs made at the caravan. She asked Muhammad bin Talha[^1] : -Which well is this? -Al-Haw‘ab well. She was afraid, and her heart melted with sorrow and regret because of what she had done. She said: -I can do nothing but to go back. -Why, O mother of the faithful? -I heard Allah’s Apostle saying to his wives: “It is as if that I see al-Haw’ab dogs will bark at one of you. Beware of being you, O Humayra (A’isha)!”[^2]

-Go ahead! May Allah have mercy on you. Leave this statement!

As for A’isha, she was not satisfied and she insisted on withdrawing. When Talha and al-Zubayr knew of that, they quickly came to her. If she had isolated herself from the Army, their hopes would have been in vain. They talked to her on the affair, but she insisted on withdrawing. They brought her some men who bore witness that it was not al-Haw’ab well, and this was the first false witness in Islam.[^3] Through this forged witness they could change her mind. However, it was incumbent on her to return home and not to lead Basrah. Abu Mansur has said: “Al-Haw’ab is the place of a well where the dogs barked at ‘Aa’isha when she went to Basrah. He composed, saying: “It is nothing but a drink in al-Haw’ab; therefore, ascend after it or aim!” Mu‘jam al-Buldan, vol. 3, p. 355. [^1] Muhammad bin Talha al-Qarashi, al-Tamimi was born during the lifetime of the Prophet (a.s.). It was he (the Prophet) who named him Muhammad and gave him the kunya of Abu al-Qasim. He was killed at the Battle of al-Jamal. He inclined to (Imam) Ali. The Imam passed by him after his death and said: “This is he who was killed by his obedience to his parents. His parents commanded him to go to the battle. He went, took off his breastplate and threw it between his legs. He stood on it. Whenever a man passed by him, he said to him: ‘I adjure you with Ha Meem. A man attacked and killed him.’”

It was said that he was killed by Ka‘ab bin Mudlij, it was said he was killed by Mu‘awiya bin Shaddad, and it was said other than them. Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 3, p. 349.

[^2] Abdullah bin Abbas narrated on the authority of Allah’s Apostle that he some day said to his wives: “Which one of you will be the rider (on the hairy) camel. Al-Haw’ab dogs will bark at her. Many people will be killed at her right and left (hand), and they will be all in the fire. And she will be safe after what she will plot.” Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 497. This tradition is among the things predicted by the Prophet.

[^3] Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 342. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh.

the troops to fight against the brother of Allah’s Apostle.