- First Fitna
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict = First Fitna
partof = the Islamic Civil Wars
caption=legend|#5200FA|Region under the control of
Amr ibn al-As
result = Rebellion successful, peace treaty signed;
Muawiya Ibegins the Umayyad dynasty
Rashidun Caliphate( Kharijites) [a]
combatant2 = Rebel Arabs:
Aisha's forces Muawiya's forces Other rebellions ( Kharijites) [a]
Ali ibn Abi Talib Malik al-Ashtar
Aisha bint Abu Bakr Talha ibn Ubayd-AllahZubayr ibn al-Awwam Muawiya I 'Amr ibn al-'As[b]
- The Kharijites were a portion of Ali's supporters that defected and later opposed both parties.
- 'Amr ibn al-'As was originally a supporter of Ali, but subsequently sided with Muawiya.
The First Islamic Civil War (656–661), also called the First Fitna ( _ar. a=فتنة مقتل عثمان|t=Fitnah Maqtal Uthmān), was the first major
civil warwithin the Islamic Empireand arose as a disagreement over who had the legitimate right to occupy the post of Caliph[See:
* Lapidus (2002), p.47
* Holt (1977a), p.70-72
* Tabatabaei (1979), p.50-57] , which resulted in large divisions within the Muslim community, and is regretted as the end of the early unity of the
Essentially, it was a series of revolts fought against
Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth Rashidun caliph, caused by the controversial assassination of his predecessor, Uthman Ibn Affan. It lasted for the entirety of Ali's reign, and its end is marked by Muawiyah's assumption of the caliphate and the subsequent peace treaty between him and Hassan ibn Ali.
Battle of Bassorah
Ali was first opposed by a faction led by Talhah, Al-Zubayr and the Muhammad's wife,
Aishabint Abu Bakr. This group was known as "disobedients" (Nakithin) by their enemies. First they gathered in Mecca then moved to Basrawith the expectation of finding the necessary forces and resources to mobilize people in what is now Iraq. The rebels occupied Basra, killing many people. When Ali asked them for obedience and a pledge of allegiance, they refused. The two parties met at the Battle of Bassorah(Battle of the Camel) in 656, where Ali emerged victorious. [See:
* Lapidus (2002), p.47
* Holt (1977a), p.70 - 72
* Tabatabaei (1979), p.50 - 53
Nahj Al-Balagha[http://www.nahjulbalagha.org/sermons.php Sermons 8, 31, 171, 173, ] ]
Battle of Siffin
Later Ali was challenged by
Muawiyah I, the governor of Levantand the cousin of Uthman, who refused Ali's demands for allegiance and called for revenge for Uthman. Ali opened negotiations with him with the hope of regaining his allegiance but Muawiyah insisted on Levant autonomy under his rule. Muawiyah replied by mobilizing his Levantn supporters and refusing to pay homage to Ali on the pretext that his contingent had not participated in his election. The two armies encamped themselves at Siffinfor more than one hundred days, most of the time being spent in negotiations. Although Ali exchanged several letters with Muawiyah, he was unable to dismiss the latter, nor persuade him to pledge allegiance. Skirmishes between the parties led to the Battle of Siffinin 657. After a week of combat was followed by a violent battle known as laylat al-harir (the night of clamor) the Muawiyah's army were on the point of being routed when Amr ibn al-Aasadvised Muawiyah to have his soldiers hoist mushaf(either parchments inscribed with verses of the Qur'an, or complete copies of it) on their spearheads in order to cause disagreement and confusion in Ali's army.
The two armies finally agreed to settle the matter of who should be Caliph by arbitration. The refusal of the largest bloc in Ali's army to fight was the decisive factor in his acceptance of the arbitration. The question as to whether the arbiter would represent Ali or the Kufans caused a further split in Ali's army.
Ash'ath ibn Qaysand some others rejected Ali's nominees, `Abd Allah ibn `Abbasand Malik al-Ashtar, and insisted on Abu Musa Ash'ari, who was opposed by Ali, since he had earlier prevented people from supporting him. Finally Ali was urged to accept Abu Musa.
Battle of Nahrawan
Some of Ali's supporters, later were known as
Kharijites( schismatics), opposed this decision and rebelled and Ali had to fight with them in the Battle of Nahrawan. The arbitration resulted in the dissolution of Ali's coalition.
Loss of All Provinces Except Kufa
Muawiyah's army invaded and occupied cities, which Ali's governors couldn't prevent and people didn't support him to fight with them. Muawiyah overpowered Egypt, Yemen and other areas. [See:
Nahj Al-Balagha Nahj Al-Balagha[http://www.nahjulbalagha.org/sermons.php Sermons 25, 27, 29, 39]
* Al-gharat (Plunders) which has written by
Abi Mikhnaf, a Shi'a, is a detailed report about these raids. ]
Last days of Ali
On the nineteenth of Ramadan, while Ali was praying in the mosque of Kufa, the
Kharijite Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljamassassinated him with a strike of his poison-coated sword. Ali, wounded by the poisonous sword, lived for two days and died on the 21st of Ramadan in the city of Kufa in 661 CE. [ [http://www.balagh.net/english/shia/shia/10.htm#00011 Tabatabae (1979), page 192] ]
Upon the death of Ali ibn Abi Talib, Kufi Muslims pledged allegiance to his eldest son Hasan without dispute. [
* Lapidus (2002), p.47
* Holt (1977a), p.72
* Tabatabaei (1979), p.195
* Madelung (1997), p.334] [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/politics/firstfourcaliphs.html#ali Sunni view of Ali] ]
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