Hazrat Ali (ra)
With the death of Hadrat Uthman ra,Astate of complete disorder and anarchy ruled in the city of Medina. After five days of political wrangling, Ibn Saba, leader of the Egyptian rebel group supported the cause of Hadrat Ali ra on the grounds that he was the rightful Khalifah in whose favor the Holy Prophet saw has madeAWill’. On June 23, 656AD, six days after the death of Hadrat Uthman ra , Hadrat Ali ra was chosen as the fourth successor of the Holy Prophet saw and the public swore allegiance at his hand one by one.
Hadrat Ali ra was the son of the Holy Prophet’s saw uncle, Abu Talib. He was born in Mecca about twenty years after the birth of the Holy Prophet saw. When Hadrat Ali ra was born, the Holy Prophet saw himself became his guardian, as his father’s financial position was very weak.
Hadrat Ali ra stayed in the bed of the Holy Prophet saw the night when he Holy Prophet saw left Mecca for Medina. The Mecan leaders had planned to arrest and kill the Holy Prophet saw. The next morning, they were enraged when they found Hadrat Ali ra in the bed, instead of the Holy Prophetsaw.
Hadrat Ali ra wasAbrave and skilled warrior. He participated in almost all the battles along with the Holy Prophet saw. Hadrat Ali ra was married to Hadrat Fatimah ra who was the daughter of the Holy Prophet saw.
Soon after his election, Hadrat Ali ra moved the capital of the Muslim State from Medina to Kufa in Iraq, which was a more central place. After his election, he faced the popular demand of Muslims, including influential companions of the Holy Prophet saw, like Hadrat Talha ra, and Hadrat Zubair ra to immediately punish the murderers of Hadrat Uthman ra.
Hadrat Ali ra announced that his top priority was to restore law and order in the state, and only then he would be able to bring the assassins of Hadrat Uthman ra to justice. But Hadrat Talha ra and Hadrat Zubair ra did not agree with Hadrat Ali ra and started raising an army. Hadrat Aishah ra who was not aware of the real situation, also joined Hadrat Talha ra and Hadrat Zubair ra , in an effort to punish the assassins. The three led a small army towards Basra.
Hadrat Ali ra tried his best to avoid fighting and bloodshed, but all his efforts failed. Unfortunately, a battle took place between his forces and the forces of Hadrat Aishah ra. However, Hadrat Talha ra and Hadrat Zubair ra left their forces even before the battle, and were killed by some other opponents. Hadrat Aishah’s ra forces were defeated, but Hadrat Ali ra gave her due respect and took care of her safety. He sent her back to Medina in the escort of her brother, Muhammad bin Abu Bakr ra. The battle was called the Battle of Jamal (Camel) because Hadrat Aishah ra rode a camel during the battle. Later, Hadrat Aishah ra was regretful throughout her life to have fought against Hadrat Ali ra.
After the Battle of Jamal, Hadrat Ali ra urged Amir Muawiah ra, who had not yet taken the Bai’at of Hadrat Ali ra to submit to him in the best interest of Islam. But Amir Muawiah ra refused to submit on the pretext that the blood of Hadrat Uthman ra, who also belonged to family of Umayyah, must be avenged first.
Amir Muawiah ra, with the help of Amr Bin As ra, started raising an army. Hadrat Ali ra had no alternative but to advance towards Syria to fight Amir Muawiah ra. In July, 657AD, the two armies met in a battle at Saffain. There were heavy casualties on both sides, but the battle ended in an accord that the matter be decided by an arbitration committee. This consisted of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari ra, representing Hadrat Ali ra, and Amr Bin As ra representing Amir Muawia ra. Unfortunately, this arbitration ended in failure because Amr Bin As ra deviated from the decision agreed upon with abumusa al-Ash’ari ra.
A large group of people, who were basically against the proposal of arbitration, separated from Hadrat Ali ra and chose an independent Amir for themselves. This group was called Khawariji, meaning `The Outsiders’. At first, Hadrat Ali ra tried to persuade them to submit to him, but failed. This led to a fierce battle in which most of the Khawariji were killed.
After this crushing defeat, the Khawariji planned to assassinate Hadrat Ali ra, Hadrat Amir Muawiah ra and Amr bin As ra. The latter two escaped from the attempts on their lives. Hadrat Ali ra was fatally wounded by his attacker, while going to the mosque for Fajr prayer. Two days latter, this courageous and pious Khalifah passed away on 20th Ramadan, 40 AH. Undoubtedly, Hadrat Ali ra sacrificed his life for the integrity of Khilafat. He was one of the ten blessed ones to whom the Holy Prophet saw had given the glad tidings that they had been rewarded the paradise.