Mu‘āwiya tried to break apart Iraqi army in ways except war. Writing different letters to Abū Ayyūb Ansārī, ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Abbās and others under the pretext of stopping bloodshed and even of promising caliphate to Ibn ‘Abbās, he attempted to force them to oppose Imām (a). Besides, he changed the condition by frequently granting money to his troops, لم يبق من أهل العراق أحد فى قلبه مرض إلاّ طمع فى معاوية “There remained no one but the problematic Iraqis who joined Mu‘āwiya in his caprice and this was such that Imām was bothered.”
Mu‘āwiya also wrote to Imām asking him to leave Damascus to him without wanting to obey him. This was the same thing he had demanded before and as mentioned, he intended to establish an independent emirate in Damascus. Imām turned him down. This time, Damascus people strongly spoke about severe bloodshed and publicized their aim of ending the war. Such a measure was taken just to hinder Damascus conquest, and probably to bring about a gap and discard in Iraq’s army. This was what Mu‘āwiya failed to do repeatedly; yet as we shall wee later, he finally made it. In one of these days, one of the Damascus people came between the two armies and proposed that Iraq any return to Iraq and Damascus army to Damascus, so to avert a bloodshed.
Confirming his truthfulness, Imām said, “I know that you made this proposal out of benevolence and pity; however, I have considered well, contemplated carefully and assessed the dimensions of this deed haunting me, and I have found no way but submitting to was, or refuting what Allāh has inspired the Prophet(s). Indeed, Allāh, the blessed and exalted, doesn’t like His friends to remain reticent and submit while tyranny and mutiny are prevailing on the earth, and not to enjoin the good and forbid from the evil. That’s why I realized that to me, the war (with all its hardship) is easier than enduring the hell with its chains.”
In one of the last war days, the battle became so intense that it started by the morning prayer and continued up to the mid-night. During all this period, Ashtar was busy provoking the army. This night was called “Laylā al-Harīr”, the night of clamor. Again the war started from the middle of that night and continued up to the noon of the next day.
“The enemy fought to its last grasp”, said Imām, in a sermon.
Mu‘āwiya and ‘Amr thinking that everything was finished and feeling that they cannot be so hopeful of Damascus army, embarked on a trick. The
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.307
 Waq‘at Siffīn, p.435; al-Futūh, vol.III, pp.221-222
 Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.470-471
 Ibid, p. 474; al-Futūh, vol.III, pp.264-65
next day after the night of clamor, when the war lasted to the moon of that day, 500 Qur’āns were raised above the spears of the Damascus people.
There were loud voices crying, “O group of Arabs! Think of your women and girls. If you’ll be killed, who will stand up to Romans, Turks and Persians tomorrow?” 
As a result of this measure, little by little, this proclamation was heard within the Iraqi army that the enemy has admitted the arbitration of Qur’ān, and we don’t have the right to fight them. Imām defined this remarks strongly and announced that this deed is nothing but a trick. Sa‘sa‘a said that Mu‘āwiya took this measure after he heard Ash‘ath Ibn Qays reminding of the women and girls at the night of clamor, and that Arabs are collapsing. Besides, Ash‘ath was the first person opposing Imām on the continuation of the war. We’ve previously pointed out that the account of his correspondence with Mu‘āwiya, since his dismissal from Adharbāydjān has been mentioned in historical records. Here, Ya‘qūbī as well clarified that Mu‘āwiya conciliating Ash‘ath wrote to him and invited him there. Ash‘ath’s measure was supported by the Yemenī.
The minimum problem concerning Ash‘ath was that he was apt to deviation from the outset, and was drawn to this path. In the thick of the clashes, we have in hand some of his remarks against Mu‘āwiya and with respect to instigating Iraq army. It ought to be known that tribal obstinacy played a crucial role and in all likelihood, Imām’s true heed to Mālik caused Ash‘ath to take umbrage.
The escalation of the discrepancy amongst the army of Imām, has induced much more hardships for him. Imām felt that he is no more the commander, and the people have tied his hands, and turned out to be his emir.
Even so, Imām stood up and said, “I deserve to admit the arbitration of Allāh’s book more than the others; however, Mu‘āwiya and his companions are not the companions of religion and Qur’ān. I know them better than you. I was with them since my childhood.”
At this moment, about 20000 of the Iraq army came to Imām, and without calling him “Amīr al-Mu’minīn”, asked him to accept the arbitration of Qur’ān. Among these people were a group of Qur’ān-reciters being
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.323
 Waq‘at Siffīn, p.478
 Ibid, p.481
 Tarīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, pp.188-89
 Ibid, vol.II, p.189
 al-Futūh, vol.II, p.74
contented with Qur’ān recitation, and a number of whom joining the Khāridjites’s range. At this time, Ashtar at the front line approached Mu‘āwiya division camp while fighting. War dissenters asked Imām to order Ashtar back. Imām sent Yazīd Ibn Hānī for him.
Ashtar sent a message that, “Now it is not the time for a return.”
“You’ve prompted him to fight, if Ashtar doesn’t return, we’ll kill you.” Said the dissenters.
As a result of this statement, Ashtar
returned and he was stopped. In a letter to Mu‘āwiya, Imām
noting that we know you’re not the follower of Qur’ān,
pointed out the acceptance of Qur’ān arbitration.
Ash‘ath went to Mu‘āwiya asking him regarding
the way of executing Qur’ān precept. He said that it’s
better that one of our people and one of yours sit together
and express their opinion concerning Qur’ān precept in this
regard. He forwarded this opinion to Imām. Afterwards, a
group of Damascus and Iraq Qur’ān-reciters came between the
two armies and recited Qur’ān for some time and agreed to
revive what the Qur’ān has revived. Thereafter, Damascus
people appointed ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās. Ash‘ath and a
number of those joining the Khāridjites later,
proposed Abū Mūsā Ash‘arī. Imām refused him on
account of his opposition to him in Djamal battle,
but they insisted in this regard. Imām’s proposal was either
Ibn ‘Abbās or Ashtar, but they said that Ashtar
believes in war, Ibn ‘Abbās shouldn’t be either, for ‘Amr
Ibn ‘Ās is from Mudhar tribe, so the other side should be
Imām saw that insistence is out of place and said, “Do whatever you want.”
Later on Ibn ‘Abbās said, “Had at that time some companions been patient, the victory would have been imminent.”
So it was agreed that a convention will be written. In this convention pointing to the appointment of these two persons by Damascus and Iraq people, it was mentioned that these two persons are due to comment on the matter of their disagreement, “Provided that these two abide by the divine covenant and pledge in the firmest and greatest manner which Allāh has extracted promise from each of his creatures. And that during the duty on which they were dispatched, they put Qur’ān before themselves, and do not
 Waq‘at Siffīn
 Ibid, pp.490-494
 Regrettably Mudrī and Yemenī competition induced problem at Siffīn battle.
 Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.499-500
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.331
exceed, I their judgment, what has been written in the Qur’ān, and if they don’t find, they will act on the basis of the comprehensive Sunna of the Prophet (s), and they should in no way, act in conformity with their desires, neither should they be entangled in suspicion.” Besides, it was agreed that in case of the death of one of these two, before judgment, the commander of the aforesaid side would be able to appoint somebody else. During this span of time, if one of the two commanders passed away, the people of that area will appoint another just person instead of him. Further, it was stated that, “it is compulsory for the judges to adhere to the divine treaty and pledge and not to offer an interpretative judgment of their own in opposition to the Qur’ānic text, and not to oppress deliberately and not to be entangled in suspicion and not to overlook the order of Qur’ān and Sunna of the Prophet(s) in their judgment. And if they don’t do so, the people won’t submit to their judgment, neither will they admit the treaty and the liability approved by those two.” In the convention, the date of the arbitration was sset on the end of the next Ramadān (to wit eight months from Safar to Ramadān) and it was agreed that the issue will be resolves anyhow up to the pilgrimage season. “If they don’t judge on the basis of the Qur’ān and Prophet’s (s) Sunna till the end of the season, the Muslims will remain at war as they were from the onset, and there is no condition between the two groups in this regard.” The aforesaid treaty was concluded on Wednesday (according th Abū Mikhnaf, on Friday), on Safar 17, 37 A.H.
In this convention, equal rights were been determined for Imām and Mu‘āwiya. In the first stage, Imām’s name was accompanied by the title “Amīr al-Mu’minīn”, the Commander of the Faithful, but it was not acceptable for Mu‘āwiya.
Ash‘ath insisted on the elimination of this title, Imām said, “Glory be to Allāh, A Sunna like The Prophet’s (s) one, where Suhayl Ibn ‘Amr, the representative of polytheists, insisted on the ommition of “Rasūl Allāh”, the Messenger of Allāh, in Hudaybiyyah peace pact.”
Anyhow, the convention was written, but among a group of Imām’s companion, a riot broke out which paved the way for Khāridjites incidents later. Some disagreed with the convention there except for those being truly among the Shi‘ite Muslims of Imām, and bearing the arbitration course for Imām’s sake.
Mālik was among them, when Imām (a) was told that Mālik is not satisfied with this convention, Imām (a) said, “When I will be satisfied,
 Ibid, vol.II, p.337; see, p.338
 Akhbār al-tiwāl, pp.194-196, Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.504-570, see, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.334-335
 Waq‘at Siffīn, p.508; Tārīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, p.189
Mālik will be so as well, and I’m satisfied. You said he has kept himself aloof from me, but I don’t reckon that he’ll do so. There are not two persons or even one person amongst you like him, who think so about their foe.”
Imām returned to Kūfa along with the army on Rabi‘ al-Awwal 37 A.H. In Kūfa, loud voices of cries and weeps were heard from each house, and Imām confirming the martyrdom of their martyrs, offered his condolence to them. Finally, Imām sent Abū Mūsā to the arbitration site.
Imām dispatched 400 persons along with Abū Mūsā Ash‘arī, accompanied by Shurayh Ibn Hānī as their commander, and ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Abbās as their congregational prayer leader. Additionally, Imām notified Abū Mūsā of the defiled nature of Mu‘āwiya and advised him tremendously. At this time, ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Umar, Mughīra Ibn Shu‘ba, ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Zubayr had to come to Mu‘āwiya and were present at the meeting incident of ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās and Abū Mūsā. ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās, when meeting Abū Mūsā, spoke of the virtues! of Mu‘āwiya and noted that Mu‘āwiya is the blood-wit of ‘Uthmān, and Allāh has put a “Sultan” for blood-wit. Abū Mūsā relied on the revival of ‘Umar tradition concerning the issue of council. Once he spoke of ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Umar, but ‘Amr said that a weak person like him could not take the responsibility of such a deed. It was not only unclear under which principles this council being regarded as a pretext by the dissenters, ought to be shaped, but not obvious who should be the member of such a council. Once ‘Umar relying on his own power has placed caliphate among six persons so that they will choose one out of them. What was the connection of this matter to leaving the work to the “Council among Muslims”, so to select one for themselves? Abū Mūsā insisted on this matter and an account of that he was of the belief that firstly we ought to leave this belief aside that one of the two persons either Imām or Mu‘āwiya should be the caliph, so that thereupon we shall select some one. Hence, for Abū Mūsā’s part, the declaration of these two commands’ deposition of Imām’s commentary on the pulpit, ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās announced that he has just the right to depose ‘Alī (a); however, I have the caliphate to Mu‘āwiya! Abū Mūsā cried out in protest and insulted ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās. Abū Mūsā called ‘Amr a dog, and ‘Amr called Abū Mūsā a donkey and the session turned out in chaos. So hereby, without speaking of the Qur’ān and the Sunna of the
 Waq‘at Siffīn, p.521; see, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.236
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.237
 Nathr al-durr, vol.I, p.421
 Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.540-541
Prophet (s), and merely under the pretext of ‘Umar tradition, the arbitration course itself gave rise to another disagreement between Damascus and Iraq.
From that time on, the people of Damascus called Mu‘āwiya “Amīr al-Mu’minīn”, and this was the most significant outcome of the arbitration for the Damascus people. Abū Mikhnaf stated that when Iraqi people were going to Siffīn, they were all amiable and kind towards each other. When they returned, however, they all had hostility and hatred towards each other.
The Khāridjites said, “You were flaccid in implementing Allāh’s order”, and another group told them, “You disobeyed Imām and our group.” Imām became sorrowful on account of their remarks.
Exactly when Ash‘ath Ibn Qays read the arbitration convention for various groups of the army, a group of the army cried out in front of him, لا حكم الا لله “The only judgment is that of Allāh’s.”
According to Nasr Ibn Muzāhim, some people from Banū Murād, Banū Rāsib, and Banū Tamīm chanting aloud, and expressing their disgust concerning the arbitration of men said, “Just Allāh merits arbitration.”
Among the dissenters, ‘Amr Ibn Udayya (and in another narration ‘Urwa Ibn Djudayr) attacked Ash‘ath. His sword was quietly dropped on Ash‘ath’s horse. Shortly after the coming of Ash‘ath to Imām and his declaring that all but few of the people were satisfied, the shouts of “the only judgment is that of Allāh” grew louder. Their question was, “What about our murdered persons?” Allāh has settled Mu‘āwiya’s work, and Allāh’s order is nothing but suppressing Damascus army. It is obvious that in front of some people like Ash‘ath, many people of Iraqi army were not ready to submit themselves to Damascus people whatever reason there might be when one group won’t do so? They asked Imām to forsake the issue of arbitration, and in principle, to report of his former opinion which has led to polytheism. Imām by referring to the verse, اوفوا بالعقود “Fulfill the obligations,” said that now the agreement has been reached and we have no remedy but patience up to the end of the duration of this convention.
 Waq‘at Siffīn. pp.545-546; Akhbār al-tiwāl, pp.199-201; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.350-51
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.342
 Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.196
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.339
 Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.413-414; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.351
Imām said to them, “As you see, most of this crowd are not in line with war, and if you wage war these people will be together than Damascus people towards you.”
In their way back to Siffīn, the people were divided into two groups, a group protesting against the arbitration, and another group accusing them of being separated from the company. Near to Kūfa, a group was little by little separated from the army and went to Harūrā’ area half a league away from Kūfa. That’s why later on these people were referred to as Harūriyya.
The most outstanding persons of Khāridjites were as follows, Hurqūs Ibn Zuhayr Tamīmī, Shurayh Ibn Awfī al-’Absī, Farwa Ibn Nawfal Ashdja‘ī, ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Wahb Rāsibī. These people came to Imām, after his entering Kūfa, and asked him not to dispatch Abū Mūsā for the arbitration.
Imām said, “We have admitted something that we cannot violate.” As it seems from the names of these persons, no one amongst them was from the renowned people of Iraq. In contrast, they belonged typically to a nomadic tribes such as Bakr Ibn Wā’il and Banū Tamīm. The Khāridjites, for the most part, were from nomads who, in principal, had no idea concerning Imamate and politics as being matters beyond tribal issue. They demonstrated this tendency of theirs within a framework out of a deviated interpretation from the slogan “the only judgment is that of Allāh”. Amongst the Khāridjites was ‘Itrīs Ibn ‘Arqūb Shaybānī who was from the companions of ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Mas‘ūd.
Khāridjites put forward some crucial issues. Their first question was that how Imām consented to the arbitration of “men” in the act of “religion”. Their second question was that why Imām was contented to have his title of caliphate, to wit Amīr al-Mu’minīn, omitted. Their problem, as Ya‘qūbī puts it, was that Imām spoilt his executorship through this measure.
Their another question was that why Imām didn’t give the permission of distributing booties after their triumph over the infidels. How is it that their killing was permissible, but taking their possessions was not lawful?
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.331-338
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.342
 Tārīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, p.191
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.359
 Ibid, vol.II, p.350
 Ibid, vol.II, p.363
 Tārīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, p.192
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.360
With respect to the omission of the title “Amīr al-Mu‘minīn”, Imām invoked the omission of the title “Rasūl Allāh”, Allāh’s Messenger, in the Hudaybiyya peace pact.
Besides, he said regarding arbitration, “I disagreed with this arbitration from the outset, later, as well, when I yielded to it on account of the people’s compulsion, I stipulated that I will abide by their judgment provided that they judge on the basis of Allāh’s book, inasmuch as we have originally admitted the arbitration of Qur’ān rather than that of men.” Moreover, Imām announced his decision concerning the continuation of war against Damascus, after the collection of tribute. Thus hereby, many of those joining the Khāridjites, joined Imām’s adherents’ group. Yet, there were a lot still sticking to their own beliefs. They disagreed with the arbitration by referring to the only judgment is that of Allāh. Sticking to appearances, and drawing hardline deductions through ضرب القرآن بعضه ببعض “He put Qur’ān aside,” were considered among Khāridjites’ peculiarities. Imām said in front of those chanting this slogan and protesting against him in the mosque, كلمة حق يراد بها الباطل “This is a truthful statement aimed at drawing an untruthful interpretation from it.”
Imām encountering his foreign dissenters said that if they remained reticent, we would leave them on their own. If they propagated and spoke in return, we would speak with them and if they revolted against us, we would wage war against them. At this moment, one of the Khāridjites stood up and said, “O Allāh! We seek refuge with you from submitting to abjectness in your religion, this is a frailty and shall lead to Allāh’s wrath.”
According to another narration, it’s been pointed out that the continuation of Khāridjites protest lasting for six months after Imām’s return from Siffīn resulted in Imām’s dispatch of ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Abbās and Sa‘sa‘a Ibn Sūhān to them for the purpose of discussion. They didn’t submit to these two persons’ request concerning their return to the group. Imām asked them to select 12 persons and he himself separated this number and held talks with them.
Initially, Imām spoke with them about the Qur’ān evidence with regard to arbitration and said, “I, ‘Alī, despite disagreeing with their request, was fearful that they might invoke those verses concerning the admissibility of arbitration.”
 Ibid, vol.II, p.349
 Ibid, vol.II, p.352
 The verses, Āl Imrān / 23; al-Mā’ida / 95; al-nisā’ / 35
Khāridjites’ orator stood up and said, “We fought side with you so far as you were confident of your action at Djamal and Siffīn battle; however, at present you are dubious. You must repent and attest to the fact that you’ve been misled. In that case, we will be with you.”
Imām said, “From the moment when I embraced Islam, I was not a bit doubtful about it. Allāh has basically guided you and rescued you from infidelity, through us. I had said that two judges ought to judge on the basis of Allāh’s book. If they didn’t do so, to me, their judgment will be of no value.” Their leader, Ibn al-Kawwā’ detached himself from them along with 500 persons. Some have noted that he was with the Khāridjites in Nahrawān, and therein was involved in a wrangle with Imām. Khāridjites’ problem was that they regarded the acceptance of arbitration as infidelity, and therefore they asked Imām to witness his infidelity and repent of it, not that he has merely committed a sin. Hence, Imām said in a poem,
آمنت بالله ولي احمد
يا شاهد الله عليّ فاشهد
من شك في الله فاني مهتد
“O thou, Allāh’s witness!
Anyhow, the repeated remarks of Imām and his companions failed to bring a number of Khāridjites back from the path they’ve chosen. On Shawwāl, 31 A.H. the Khāridjites gathered at Zayd Ibn Husayn’s house and selecting ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Wahb Rāsibī as their leader, they resettled their political and military situation. This decision was made after Ramadān month in which Abū Mūsā was dispatched for arbitration. Following the arbitration, they didn’t allow staying in Kūfa and decided to go to Madā’in. There from, they wrote to their Basrī co-thinkers inviting them to come round to them. Some of them didn’t deem it advisable to go to Madā’in on account of the presence of Imām ‘Alī’s (a) Shi‘ite Muslims and chose Nahrawān. After the announcement of arbitration result, Imām ‘Alī (a)
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.354
 Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.209
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.361
 Ibid, vol.II, pp.356-369
 Ibid, vol. II, p. 364.
declaring his opposition to the arbitration result, asked the people to congregate to the division camp for fighting the infidels.
Imām sent for the Khāridjites and told them, “These two judges acted in opposition to the Qur’ān, and I’m leaving for Damascus. You accompany me as well.”
They said, “we are not allowed to appoint you as Imām.” After the congregation of people in Nukhayla, Iraq moved to Anbār city and left there for Shāhī village, and therefore they went to Dabāhā and to Dimimmā.The Khāridjites gathering at Nahrawān by now, encountered ‘Abd Allāh the son of Khabbāb Ibn Arat on their way. They asked ‘Abd Allāh’s opinion concerning Imām ‘Alī (a).
He said, “Amīr al-Mu’minīn and Imām of the Muslims.” They killed ‘Abd Allāh along with his pregnant wife. It’s been said that the Khāridjites, on their way, asked everybody encountered by them, about his opinion regarding arbitration. They killed him in case of not being in line with them. This movement led Imām to decide to confront them. The reason behind this matter was that Imām was not able to leave Kūfa alone with such criminals, while therein there were just the women and children. Imām went over to Madā’in and there from headed for Nahrawān. Imām, in a letter to Khāridjites invited them to return to the group. ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Wahb, in the answer of Imām’s letter, pointing to what has so far taken place, notified of the same former remarks concerning Imām’s doubt in religion and the necessity of his repentance. Qays Ibn Sa‘d and Abū Ayyūb Ansārī were against them and asked them to join them for fighting Mu‘āwiya. Khāridjites said that they don’t admit the Imamate of the Imām. They will be ready to accompany them, only if their leadership will be in the hands of some like ‘Umar. As soon as Imām realized that these people are not submissive, he put his troops being 14000 in number, into array against Khāridjites. At this moment, Farwa Ibn Nawfal along with 500 persons of Khāridjites were separated from the Khāridjites and resided in Bandanīdjayn and Daskara. Another number of them left gradually, to the extent that just 1800 cavalry
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.366, and in its footnote from, al-Imāma wa l-siyāsa, vol.I, p.143
 Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.206
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.367
 Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.206
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.362-368
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.370; Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.207
 Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.210
men and 1500 infantry men remained alongside ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Wahb. At this time, Imām also asked his companions not to initiate the war. Khāridjites started the war. They were overthrown, and their leader was very swiftly killed. Apart from the fugitives, four hundreds of those having been fallen in the battlefield were delivered to their families. This clash took place on Safar 9, 38 A.H.
When the war was terminated, Imām asked the people to head for Damascus to fight the infidels. The people, however, showed signs of fatigue, and the remarks of Ash‘ath Ibn Qays led Imām to return to Nukhayla, the people went to Kūfa, and just 300 persons remained with the Imām. Consequently, Imām returned to Kūfa. From that time on, Imām invited the people for Djihād, holy was, against the Damascus people once in a while, but no one gave a favorable answer. It was here where Imām in his long sermons, reproached Kūfa people and spoke repeatedly of their disloyalty up to the end.
Here another movement ought to be taken into account as well, a movement somewhat resembling that of Khāridjites. Khirrīt Ibn Rashīd, taking part in Siffīn battle, in his way back to Kūfa, objected to Imām and said that he won’t pray along with him anymore. His objection was similar to Khāridjites’ remarks. He considered arbitration a mistake. At night, he left Kūfa together with his companions for Kaskar. Qaradha Ibn Ka‘b, the governor of Sawād areas, wrote a letter to Imām reporting that an army from Kūfa has arrived this area and when encountering a person from the peasants of Euphrates areas namely Zādhān Farrukh, have asked him about his religion. He said that he is a Muslim. They asked his opinion concerning Amīr al-Mu’minīn (a). He replied he is the commander of the faithful and the successor of Allāh’s Messenger(s). Hence, they cut him into pieces by their swords. This measure of theirs was exactly the same as Khāridjites’ when encountering ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Khabbāb. Imām wrote to Ziyād Ibn Khasafa commissioning him to suppress Banū Nādjiya under the leadership
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.371
 Akhbār al-tiwāl, p.210
 One of them is Yazīd Ibn Nuwayra Ansāri whose being a heavenly man was witnessed twice by The Prophet(s) (al-Isāba, vol.II, p.348) The list of the martyrs of this war has been noted by Ibn A‘tham (vol.IV, p.121) and Ibn Abi l-Hadīd (vol.II, p.29). See their narrations with martyrs’ names at Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.314, (footnote)
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.374-375. It’s been noted in Futūh (vol.III, p.277) that when Imām ended his war with Khāridjites and went to Kūfa, 17 days were remained from Ramadān.
 Ibid, vol.I, p.319
 al-Ghārāt, vol.I, p.346
of Khirrīt Ibn Rashīd. Subsequent to the sever clash during which five companions of Khirrīt were killed and two persons of Imām’s army were martyred, the rebels headed towards Ahwāz. Therein some natives as well as some Kurds joined them. Imām was compelled to dispatch a separate force to suppress them. Ma‘qil Ibn Qays Riyāhī was selected for this commission, and he headed towards them along with some armies. When the rebels were moving towards Rāmhurmuz, Ma‘qil, on his way reaches them and fought them. During this conflict, 70 persons from Banū Nādjiya and 300 of Kurds and the other natives accompanying him were killed. Khirrīt headed hurriedly towards the coast, and therein he was able to deceive a number of people from Banū ‘Abd al-Qays.
Imām wrote a letter to the residents of that area calling them for “obedience”. They scattered from around Khirrīt too. Once again, Ma‘qil clashed with him, and this time Khirrīt and most of those along with him were killed.
According to Balādhurī, Khirrīt acted in such a way that the Khāridjites assumed that he is of their opinion.
The Khāridjites’ emergence in religious sects arenas, is one of the significant political and mental alterations in the history of Islam. In fact, the advent of this group is the symbol of hard-line tendencies of the Islamic world in the political and mental areas. A sect which strived for having a place in the realm of politics along two or three countries through applying their extreme view points, but exactly due to this very extremity, were not able to gain a privilege. The important question is that how these incidents appeared. Generally, it ought to be said that when some discrepancies appeared in the Islamic society, various stands were adopted to confront the disputable issues. Some stands had some principal aspects and some others were within the two extremes. If we separate the deviation of apostates and infidels from the Islamic current, the tarring of some people like ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Umar and Sa‘d Waqqas and some others in front of that stand deems a sort of extreme act. In opposition to that, Imām’s act was a realistic and principled one. In a stage where this movement failed to pursue its natural course on account of some people’s opposition, the hard-line tendency displayed itself. This tendency ought to resist all the currents. Apart from the infidels and fronting the principled movement of Imām, every moment such a stand had a tendency to more extremity and was obliged to separate all the
 al-Ghārāt, vol.I, p.346
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.413-418
dissenters from its front by the hallmark of infidelity, and to justify its holy war against them.
The tendency towards extremity amongst the Khāridjites was not merely due to the political and intellectual currents, but it had its own specific social and mental aspects as well. Some points should be taken into consideration for understanding the conditions leading, in principle, to such a branching in the society,
(1) During the years when the nomad immigrants had come to Iraq, every time, through participating in the conquest, they gained some noticeable victories, and took the possessions of some countless booties. The front being against them was that of fidelity, the war against which was lawful easily justifiable. They were the mere truth, and the opposite front was the mere error. Djamal battle was the first action during which the Muslims clashed with their coreligionists. In this war despite the victory, there was not any booty and this issue brought about a problem for the aforesaid. Their question was that how it was possible that shedding somebody’s blood was allowed, whereas taking his money was not so. This problem demonstrated itself at Djamal battle and naturally caused the primary interpretation of the Muslim nomads to be altered from the holy war and the forces opposing them. The aforesaid problem was attributed to Imām ‘Alī (a) by Khāridjites through their objections. Later on, this issue caused the Khāridjites not to leave a medium between infidelity and faith (say unbeliever and infidel libertine, or even a Muslim libertine), rather to bring the problem to an end and to call some (including just themselves) believers and the opposite group unbeliever whose blood was allowed to be shed and whose money to be taken as well.
(2) The other problem arose from the reasons behind revolting against ‘Uthmān and finally his murdering. This caliph was accused of religious heresies and his stands caused two diverse deductions from Islam to be drawn among his dissenters and assenters. Such issue has not been recorded before then. In principle, this measure caused the monotonous religious attitude among Muslims to be changed and some suspicions regarding which one is the right of Islam to be induced. It is obvious that this issue itself called for positions against it, which inevitably showed itself within the two extremes. ‘Uthmān’s murdering caused the religious leadership to be out of the hands of the government and to be in the hands of some personally claiming to be theologians. One of these clans was Kūfa and Damascus “Qur’ān reciters” that through relying on this Qur’ān recitation, restrained
 See, Waq‘at Siffīn, following al-Qurrā’ at the list of tribes and clans
themselves from taking part in the battle, and stood between the two armies to see which one is the rightful! The contribution of the Qur’ān-reciters to the conversions leading to the Khāridjites’s appearance and even the presence of a number of them amongst the Khāridjites is indicative of this very point. Besides, the independent positions of ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Mas‘ūd refusing to follow the Imamate of the society have been pointed out. They observe that ‘Abd Allāh himself has taken a stand against ‘Uthmān and has called ‘Uthmān’s legitimacy into a serious question, through not allowing ‘Uthmān to say his prayers. Through repudiating Imamate, the Khāridjites indicated that they have been impressed with this point. That is to say, they believed that they themselves ought to make decisions on the religion and even their other political affairs, and that, in principle, there is no need to have an Imām. The superficial justification of this matter was that Qur’ān makes them dispense with the need for having an Imām. This arose from the hard-line attitude of the Qur’ān reciters who considered themselves to surpass others and determine their way more properly.
(3) The problem of tribes’ domination over the central sovereignty is not an issue to be overlooked easily. This matter was crystallized firstly through the fact that the tribes were not content with Quraysh’s domination. Even their admitting of Imām to this extent, was due t the fact that Imām himself was against rather than alongside Quraysh. This is well obvious from the Imām’s remarks. Imām regarded Quraysh as his foe. However, ultimately Iraq tribes refused to accept even the Imām, inasmuch as their animosity was far more sever than that permitting them to accept a person having a blood retaliation with Quraysh anyhow. It should be kept in mind that the Khāridjites were a sect not accepting being from Quraysh as a condition for caliphate. As it’s been noted, one of the motives behind revolting against ‘Uthmān was Egyptian and Iraqi tribes’ concern over the indisputable domination of Quraysh, and the Umayya, in particular, over the Muslims’ regulations, and specially their financial affairs. The tribal structure in the new Islamic community, had preserved its power. During the first years, the prevalence of central power via religion had somewhat outshined the tribal criteria. However, presently by the victories subsiding, the Iraq tribes have taken notice of themselves, and after revolting against ‘Uthmān, their power has been enhanced. When one could dethrone a caliph on account of the crimes he has committed, one could stand up to the next caliph and threaten him with death. Imām (a) was exposed to this issue. He went to Iraq, so to suppress the infidels’ riot. Thus he was naturally in need of Kūfiyān tribes’ forces. They assisted him to extinguish the sedition. Afterwards, the heads of the tribes having a worthy influence in their own tribe, benefited from this
 See, al-Irshād, vol.I, p.254
power as a lever in confronting Imām. Having undermined the central power, finally this issue led to the defeat of this power against Damascus enemy. At Siffīn battle, each tribe resisted, in an orderly way, its enemy through preserving its own tribal structure. From the onset of the establishment, the composition of Kūfiyān population was also on this basis. The influence of tribes’ needs was very sweeping and was regarded as a government in a government. Tribes’ mutiny against the first two caliphs was unprecedented. ‘Uthmān as well withstood these tribes as before. However, his killing demonstrated that he has been defeated against the tribes. It ought to be known that this situation was repeated in Imām ‘Alī’s (a) caliphate. When the Qur’āns were raised above the spears, the head of Kinda tribes, Ash‘ath Ibn Qays said, “You have to send for Ashtar to stop fighting; otherwise, we will kill you as we killed ‘Uthmān.” Both he and those later being ranked amongst the Khāridjites, compelled Imām to accept Abū Mūsā Ash‘arī as his representative. Another group known as Qur’ān-reciters, and having a party under this title in ‘Uthmān killing incident, withstood ‘Alī (a) and asked him to accept Damascus army request concerning invitation to Qur’ān. Those later on joining the Khāridjites, threatened him that if he won’t accept their request, they will kill him just like ‘Uthmān. So hereby, the arbitration was imposed on Imām and Imām pointed out repeatedly his unwillingness in this regard, and he regarded this that, لا امر لمن لايطاع “The one not obeyed, can give no order,” as his problem.
When a man went out of the houses of his tribe and went to those of another tribe, and while shouting, sought help from his tribe, his target is to induce disturbance and sedition. The people of the tribe he was among whom, attacked him and beat him. He returned to his tribe and kicked a great disorder, a chaos in which the swords were drawn from the sheaths and a war was waged. Amīr al-Mu’minīn himself introduced the “aged”, and the elders as the main foundation of obstinacy, and the chief pillars of sedition. Thereafter, Imām was entangled with these tribes. Some groups from the Iraqi Arabs stood up to him, they were the Khāridjites who not only resisted him, but also wounded his son Imām Hasan (a) after him. Supposing
 Tārīkh al-tabarī, vol.V, p.50
 Ibid, vol.V, p.51
 Ibid, vol.V, p.49, Waq‘at Siffīn, pp.489-490, Mukhtasar Tārīkh Dimashq, vol.X, pp.56,60,239; Tatawwur al-Fikr al-Siyāsī ‘Ind ahl al-Sunna, pp.43-44
 Ibid, vol.V, pp.84-85
 Nahdj al-balāgha, Sermon 27
 Sharh nahdj al-balāgha, vol.XIII, pp.167-168
 Nahdj al-balāgha, Sermon 192
that, he has taken no notice of their request concerning the war against Mu‘āwiya.
(4) All these incidents happened in an area where, before Islam, there were diverse Christian, Zoroastrian, Mazdaki and various Christian and Jewish tendencies that had crucial influence on the present mental disturbances in these areas. It is not strange to see that major sectarian trends appeared in Iraq. Even amongst the Sunnis, various theological and juristic trends are the fruits of scientific efforts of Iraqi cities. In this regard, Damascus can in no way be compared with Iraq. In contrast, Damascus under Umayya’s control chose an easy way in accordance with what the Umayya propagated. As a result of this matter, Damascus dominated Iraq without any trouble and it owed this victory to its unity. Besides, this point should be taken into account that, that number of companions coming to Iraq didn’t go to Damascus. This issue was influential in bringing about diverse and apposing courses in Iraq.
(5) The significant concept which can notify of these mental and political disturbances is that of sedition from which every group benefited for their own benefit. Imām ‘Alī (a) dissenters, in Imām’s was against apostates, believed that this war was nothing but sedition. They believed that in sedition, one ought to be “‘Abd Allāh, the murdered”, rather than “‘Abd Allāh, the murderer”. For Imām ‘Alī’s (a) part, “sedition” title referred to a disturbance in the political circumstances, as well as disobedience to the former caliph of the Muslims. According to the application of sedition in Nahdj al-Balāgha, Imām called those acts leading to Djamal, Siffīn and Nahrawān battles seditious, and asked those being alongside it to be like an adolescent camel that has neither a back strong enough for ridding, nor udders for milking. This means that lack of obedience on the part of a rebelling group is called sedition. “Doubt” is the concept resembling sedition, in which the truth and error are intermingled together and remained unknown. Thus, in this way, Djamal and Siffīn battles ought to be regarded as one of the most basic incidents influencing Muslims’ political thoughts and making evaluation more difficult for the masses of people due to those doubts raised later on. The emergence of doubt and sedition had an important impact on the formation of hard-line sects trying to bring the work
 Masā’il al-imāma, p.16
 See, Nahdj al-balāgha, sermons 93,101,121,192; letters 1,65; Qisār al-Hikam, No.1
 Nahdj al-balāgha, see, Kalamāt Qisār, No.1
 For sedition, see, Bernard Lewis, article "Mafāhīm Inqilāb dar Islām", Tahqīqāt Islāmī Magezine, No.2/7, pp.93-97
 Nahdj al-balāgha, sermons 38,122, Qisār al-Hikam, No.113
to an end and wipe sedition off the society by drawing clear lines. The application of equivocal concept made the work much more difficult. The extreme use of “infidelity” concept arose from this need.
(6) The main problem if this group’s formation is based on two interrelated implications. The first point is that “judgment” is merely confined to Allāh and it is not correct to leave arbitration to “men”. The second point is that this incorrectness is not a simple one, rather it is at the extent of “infidelity” and those learning arbitration to “men” became “infidel”. At the outset, this infidelity was put forward with regard to Imām. Supposing that, as it was natural, ‘Uthmān should have been considered an infidel too. Talha and Zubayr as well, were not immune to that. Hence, in this way, the concept of “infidelity” took a crucial role in their thought.
As for the issue of the only judgment is that of Allāh, the problem lied in defining the term “judgment” According to the evidences, it seems that they have defined “judgment” as “judge”. As a result of this issue, not only the arbitration of Abū Mūsā Ash‘arī was rejected, but also the “Islamic ruler” existence was doubted. Such a matter sounded unnatural, but it was declared and was repudiated by Amīr al-Mu’minīn (a).
Imām said, “They stated that there is no need for governance, whereas, there is no escape for men from “Imām” pure or impure.”
This sentence, (the only judgment is that of Allāh) is a truthful statement, but what (they think) it means, is wrong. Is it possible that the Khāridjites thought concerning not being in need of Imām, arose from their spirit of tribalism and pan-Arabism? It should be known that they had some Qur’ānic reasons, however, their hasty interpretation, originally arising from their harsh morale, resulted in extremely unified meanings. The Khāridjites, during the Imamate of Imām ‘Alī (a), didn’t have opportunity to put forward their other viewpoints. However, later on, they put forth novel viewpoints in the arenas of political affairs and specifically Imamate. It’s noteworthy that their belief concerning “infidelity” had had such a profound impact on the theological discussions that it forced the Islamic sects to react to the subtle definition of faith and infidelity. The Khāridjites extremity with regard to generalizing the concept of infidelity caused all the groups to express their
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp.361-377; Nahdj al-balāgha
 For instance they regarded all those accepting arbitration, and subsequent to that, everyone not considering ‘Alī (a) infidel, as infidel, by referring to the verse وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمْ الْكَافِرُونَ. “and whoever did not judge by what Allāh revealed, those are they that are the unbelievers” and ordered their dissenters’ women and children to be murdered by referring to this verse رَبِّ لَا تَذَرْ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ مِنْ الْكَافِرِينَ دَيَّارًا. “My Lord! Leave not upon the land any dweller from among the unbelievers” which was Noah’s prayer. See, Masā’il al-imāma, p.19
opinion in this regard. One of these groups was Murdjiyān who said that it is not possible for them to clarify precisely the truth and error, and all ought to be deemed Muslims, and the Shi‘ite Muslims and ‘Uthmānī disputes as well as judging cardinal sinners should all be left to Allāh.
Thābit Qutna, a Murdji’ī poet said,
ونصدق القول فيمن جار أو عند
نرجي الامور اذ كانت مشبهة
“We leave (to Allāh) all the dubious affairs, and we judge correctly the oppressor or obstinate.”
This curse tried to regard all the opposing groups as Muslim, and hereby to decrease the differences.
Fighting the Khāridjites was not a simple measure. The Khāridjites, for the most part, were among the Qur’ān reciters and those being apparently people of Qur’ān and prayer, and their leader, ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Wahb was renowned as Dhū al-Thafanāt (the one whose forehead has been marked by prostration.) In spite of that, he was the most pious of all of them. Hence, he could easily persuade the people of Kūfa and his Shi‘ite followers into fighting them. Imām’s opinion concerning the Khāridjites has been noted in various sermons. Amongst these remarks, there is an interesting narration. Imām was asked whether the Khāridjites are infidel.
Imām replied, “They have escaped infidelity.”
Again he was asked, “Are they hypocrite?”
Imām said, “The hypocrite remember Allāh just a bit, whereas these people call Allāh day and night.”
He was asked, “So what kind of people are they?”
Imām said, “They are a group who have been entangled in sedition and thereupon have become blind and deaf.”
Imām ‘Alī narrated that once the Prophet of Allāh (s) said, “O ‘Alī, people will fall into sedition through their wealth, will show obligation on account of their religion, will desire his mercy, and will feel safe from his clout, and regard his unlawful matters as lawful by raising false doubts and by their misguiding desires. They will then hold lawful (the use of) wine by calling it barley water, a bribe by calling it a gift, and taking if usurious interest by calling it sale.”
Imām added, “I asked the Prophet of Allāh(s), how should I deal with them at that time, whether to hold them have gone back in heresy or just in sedition?”
He said, “Sedition.”
 al-Aghānī, vol.XIV, p.269; see, Murdji’a, Tārīkh wa Andīshih, pp.32-39
 Lisān al-‘arab, vol.IV, p.461 (following religion)
 Nahdj al-balāgha, sermon 157
Perhaps this very remark of the Prophet of Allāh (s), caused Imām’s attitude with respect to sedition to be so strong that he indeed regarded the incidents facing him as sedition. The Khāridjites themselves were unable to comprehend this meaning. They expected all to be either faithful or infidel. Anyhow, perhaps on account of the asceticism and the warship that the Khāridjites displayed out of themselves, fighting them was more difficult. However, Mu‘āwiya’s sedition was far stronger and more dreadful than them.
Hence, Imām said elsewhere, “I have put out the eye of sedition. No one except me advanced towards it when its gloom was swelling and its madness was intense … when seditions come they refuse (gospel truth against credal error) and when they clear away they leave a warning. They cannot be known at the time of approach but are recognized at the time of return. They blew like the blowing of winds, striking some cities and missing others. Beware that the worst sedition for you in my view, is that of the Umayya, since it is blind dim.”
That’s why Imām asked his Shi‘ite Muslims not to waste their energy fighting the Khāridjites, لا تقتلوا الخوارج من بعدي فليس من طلب الحق فاخطأه كمن طلب الباطل فأدركه “Do not kill the Khāridjites after me, since the one seeking the gospel truth, but going the wrong path is not like the one seeking the credal error and finding it.”
By the second group, Imām exactly meant Mu‘āwiya and Damascus people. Imām’s remark concerning the Khāridjites was that you thought the Khāridjites have been eliminated, but they still exist in the loins of men and wombs of women. Whenever a chief would appear from among them, he would be cut down till the last of them would turn thieves and robbers.
The Khāridjites remained, they went to remote cities, plundering everywhere under the pretext of infidelity. Finally, they went to Sidjistān, and were ranked among those calling themselves ‘Ayyār, wanderer.
A point proved to be true regarding Khāridjites and other hardliners is that, their aims may sound more eminent from some aspects; however, their way if action is in such a manner that masses of people cannot be compatible with them. This issue that they regard every cardinal sinner as infidel, is, in itself, a matter that the society cannot admit. Even the Mu‘tazilites who considered cardinal sinner neither a faithful nor infidel, rather a libertine person, couldn’t influence masses of people. Superficialism
 Ibid, sermon 93
 Ibid, sermon 61
 Ibid, sermon 60
is another Khāridjites characteristic. They were amongst the Qur’ān-reciters and even some of Kūfiyān worshipers. Such members of the society are always threatened with being entangled in the risk of extremity.
It was already discussed how Imām’s endeavor was focused on re-mobilization of the Iraqis for a battle against Damascus; however, those declaring readiness were few. Though Imām, in his sermons, asked people for an aid, rarely ever did they follow.
In a sermon he has stated, “I come in grips with the crowd laying disobedient when ordered and remaining silent when called. O wrong crowd! Why on earth thou keep waiting? Why thou stand still in helping divine religion? Where is thy religion that prepares thee? Where is thy fervor that outrages thee? Cry I make and help I seek. Neither to my word thou lend an ear nor my order, thou obey until the end comes and the evility turns up. Neither a reprisal thou can join nor can thou lend a hand for an aim to stop thee leaving. Moan thou nipped and move thou never made.” In another sermon, “O people in diversity with distressed hearts in reversity! In bodies thou are nude, in intellect thou are dude. In knowing the Truth I cherish thee like a foster-mother. From the Truth you trotter away as goats from a roaring lion. Alas! with thee off justice the darkness I clear, uncrooked path of Truth I gear.” “O people laying disobedient if ordered and remaining silent if called! The provided chance never thou take, the challenge never thou dare, thou reproach when likely the crowd prepared behind an Imām, thou withdraw when unwillingly involved in a hard task. O cowards! Why on earth thou keep waiting? Why thou stand still in aiding and taking back thy rights? May thou be dead or despised! By Allāh, far away from me thou shall remain if my hour comes, for thy company I hate. With thee when I am, without help really I am. Who on earth in truth art thou? Thou hast no religion to prepare thee? Thou hast no fervor to propel thee? Not a surprise rogues follow Mu‘āwiya when called enjoying no benefit a bit. Thee I call the survivors of Islam and piety to benefit thee a lot. On me thou turn back and with me thou art at odds… What I adore more is death to come forth”.
Addressing the people these speeches were delivered by Imām in 39 and 40. They manifest his firm will before the Qāsitīn (the oppressors). Mu‘āwiya, conscious of the prevailing state in Iraq as well as the resident’s
 Futūh al-buldān, sermon 39
 Ibid. sermon 131
 Futūh al-buldān, sermon 180
weakness, was set to undermine Imām’s might and set the scene for entering Iraq through attacking on areas ruled by Imām in Hidjāz and even in Iraq. He expressed his intention as follows, “The Iraqis will be overawed with such murders and plunder, the dissidents and the secessionists will become valorous and those saved of disputes will be absorbed”. The attacks known as “Ghārāt” were repeated every now and then and martyred many a real Shi‘ite Muslim anywhere. Abū Ishāq Thaqafī Shī‘ī (born in 283) has presented a list of the Ghārāt in his book authored in the third century under the same title. The reports of such attacks can be found in other historical sources too.
Egypt was the first attacked land. When elected as the caliph, Imām appointed Qays Ibn Sa‘d Ibn ‘Ubāda to Egypt governorship. Nevertheless, when he left for Iraq to suppress the Nākithīn, (allegiance breachers) he urged him to return from Egypt. Qays set out to Medina and then to Iraq to participate in Siffīn. Subsequent to Siffīn once Egypt was in unrest and an uprising against Muhammad Ibn Abī Bakr was likely, Imām determined to dispatch Mālik to Egypt.
Appointed for the second time as the governor of Hidjāz after Siffīn, Mālik received a letter to go to Egypt. As soon as Mu‘āwiya was informed, he wrote to the treasurer in Qulzum to remove Mālik in any way possible and in exchange not to deliver the remainder of treasure. Accordingly, he martyred Mālik with poisonous honey. Where he was martyred was called ‘Ayn Shams.
Upon learning Mālik’s muder, Mu‘āwiya said, “‘Alī had got two arms one of which was ‘Ammār cut off in Siffīn and the other was Mālik cut off now.” On the other hand, when Imām heard the news, sorrow was visible on his face for a number of days stating, “What good features Allāh had granted Mālik! Who Mālik really was! If a mountain, a great mountain he was. If a rock, a solid rock he was. O Mālik! By Almighty Allāh, over your
 al-Ghārāt, p.176 (Persion version)
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp. 390-392
 As reported by Balādhurī in Ashrāf, vol.II, pp. 300-301 when Qays arrived in Medina, Imām had written to Sahl Ibn Hunayf to go to Kūfa. Meanwhile, Marwān and Aswad Ibn Abi l-Bakhtarī were active in acting against Imām in Medina. They threatened Qays with murder. Without a moment’s hesitation he left there for Iraq. It proves that except Ansār accompanying Imām to Iraq how much Medina was against Imām.
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, pp. 398-399
 al-Ghārāt, vol.I, p. 264; in Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p. 399 the name of Qays Ibn Sa‘d is referred to mistakenly.
demise many are grieved while many are thrilled. For such a person tears should be shed. Shall any one be ever re-born like Mālik?”
Now Damascus had access to Egypt, agitated. It not only was adjacent to Damascus but also had many from among the ‘Uthmānids who could back the Damascus army. In addition, it was the time to fulfill the promise Mu‘āwiya had given to cunning ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās, the governorship of Egypt. Muhammad Ibn Abī Bakr was the governor in Egypt then. ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās who had led the Arabs’ army when conquering Egypt before advanced with a massive army. In a letter, he warned Muhammad to surrender if willing to remain secure. Another threatening letter was sent by Mu‘āwiya reading, he knew no other enemy for ‘Uthmān but Muhammad, so the time was ripe for a reprisal. Writing to Imām, he enclosed the two letters with his. Imām recommended him to resist and ordered him to send Kināna Ibn Bishr (allegedly the one who hit ‘Uthmān on the head with a mace) to Damascus accompanied by an army but stay with another army in the city. Kināna left with two thousand soldiers and Muhammad stayed there on alert with the same number. In bravely clashes with Damascus army, Kināna along with his troops were martyred. Muhammad who was left all alone in Egypt took refuge in a ruined place. The commander of the vanguards in the army was Mu‘āwiya Ibn Khudaydj who traced Muhammad, beheaded him, set him inside a carcass and then burned it. It was the policy that Mu‘āwiya and his followers pursued in martyring the divine figures under the pretext of ‘Uthmān’s murder.
As soon as Imām was told, he turned so gloomy that he made very pungent remarks addressing Kūfa people.
In his sermon, he pointed out, “It exceeded fifty days that I seek help. After such a long period the army recruited is the least mighty one.”
It was in this very sermon when Imām
When asked for what his grief was Imām responded, “He was as dear as my sons”. Suffering the loss of Muhammad Ibn Abī Bakr, one of his closest
 al-Ghārāt, vol.I, p. 265 (The Persion translation is adapted from Āyatī’s book)
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p. 401
 al-Ghārāt, vol.I, pp. 276-289
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p. 404
 al-Ghārāt, vol.I, p. 291
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p. 404. Muhammad’s mother, Asmā’ Bint ‘Umays, was first Dja‘far’s wife after whose martyrdom got married Abū Bakr. After Abū Bakr’s demise she married Imām ‘Alī (a), thus Muhammad was cherished in Imām’s family.
companions, as well as Egypt, Imām wrote to all Muslims in various spots recounting the agonies he had suffered since the Prophet’s departure. He, in the letter, referred to the unjust attitude that there had been concerning the Prophet’s household following his departure, nation’s allegiance, how Nākithīn breached their allegiance, how the war of Siffīn was waged and how the Khāridjites stood against him. Then touching upon the excuses people made he added, “What thou nagged was Blunt art our swords and blank art our quiver. No bayonets do our spears hast and sticks at what we call spears. Let us return to get prepared with the best of horses and weapons…’ I did order thee to dismount in Nukhayla, set up a camp and stay there on standby … A crowd of thee stayed with me making unjustifiable excuses and another group left me disobeying. Neither firm were those who stayed nor returned those who left. Once noticing the camp, less than fifty soldiers I found. I headed for Kūfa disappointedly but as yet, out hast thou never stepped. Why on earth thou keep waiting? A blind eye hast thou turned to that thy lands get shrunk, thy towns get occupied and my Shi‘ite Muslims get slayed? Not a border guard is seen on the borders but enemy’s.” Furthermore, Imām urged them to prepare against the rival.
Muhammad Ibn Abī Bakr’s murder was considered as a triumph for the ‘Uthmānids around the globe in Mu‘āwiya’s view. Egypt which was now out of Imām’s hand was ruled by ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās as late as his death in 43 for three or four years who preferred the worldly life in exchange for the abiding one in the Hereafter.
About Basra also Mu‘āwiya was hopeful as Basra ‘Uthmānids had written to him seeking for help. He was well aware of the grudge Basra people bore Imām ‘Alī (a) for they had lost many in Djamal war. According to Thaqafī, in order to consult ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās Mu‘āwiya wrote, “Nowhere can a belligerent and invincible crowd be found as many as Basra people.” Mu‘āwiya called upon ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Āmir Hadramī to travel to Basra to mobilize Mu‘āwiya’s followers under the slogan of revenge for ‘Uthmān’s murder and occupy the town. Meeting the Tamīmītes in Basra, ‘Abd Allāh talked to the ‘Uthmānids having gathered. On propounding his aim Dahhāk Ibn ‘Abd Allāh Hilālī objected to him as saying, “Do you order us to unsheathe our swords once again (after Nākithīn) and battle with one another in order to let Mu‘āwiya still be on the throne and you be his minister and to breach the allegiance we have sworn to ‘Alī (a)? By Allāh, one single day of ‘Alī’s lifetime spent when the Prophet alive was far much better than whatsoever Mu‘āwiya and his lineage have ever carried out.” Some were in ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Āmir’s side and some in Dahhāk’s. As a rule,
 al-Ghārāt, vol.I, pp.302-322
 Ibid. vol.II, p. 377
the majority backed Ibn Amīr other than a few like Ahnaf Ibn Qays. Between the Mudarī and Yemenī Arabs there was a strife; however, Mu‘āwiya had previously advised ‘Abd Allāh to trust the Mudarī ones. It upset the Azdītes. At the same time Ziyād Ibn ‘Ubayd who was the vicegerent of Basra governor resorted to Sabra Ibn Shaymān Azdī and wrote to ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Abbās, Basra governor, in Kūfa; as a result, the news of Basra spread. On the one hand Ziyād supported by the Azdītes led Friday prayer and urged then to back Amīr al-Mu’minīn with whom Ansār and Muhādjirūn were and stand against the Tamīmītes. On the other hand Ibn ‘Āmir organized an army in Basra and took the possession of some properties. The news of the Azdītes’ support for Ziyād and the Tamīmītes’ for Ibn ‘Āmir created chaos in Kūfa. Imām was demanded by Shabath Ibn Rib‘ī not to let the Azdītes overcome the Tamīmītes. Nonetheless, Mikhnaf Ibn Sulaym advocated the Azdītes. Urging them to back the principles of the religion, Imām advised, “Thou should restrain from battling and insulting one another for the sake of Islam and its reputation and unite”. Imām sent Ziyād Ibn Dubay‘a from the tribe of Tamīm to Basra for hindering the Tamīmītes to support Ibn ‘Āmir. His attempt was a little fruitful. Bu while asleep at night, a number of the Khāridjites attacked him and killed him running away.
Sent by Imām together with fifty of the Tamīmītes to Basra, Djāria Ibn Qudāma met with the Shi‘ite Muslims and read out Imām’s letter to them. Regarding the allegiance people had sworn Imām had written, “If keep thy allegiance, if follow my advice and if obey my order, in line with the Divine Book and the Prophet’s tradition I shall treat thee and the path of Truth I shall raise among thee. By Allāh, no other ruler do I know to be well aware of his tradition but myself since Muhammad passed away. The gospel truth is what I tell. I intend neither to reproach the deceased nor to find fault with their deeds.” Then Imām had added that if they breached their allegiance, he would suppress them with his army. To make up the incident of Djamal, the Azdītes declared their readiness for a battle against Ibn ‘Āmir. After a time of being under siege, the ‘Uthmānids’s houses were razed to the ground at Djāria’s behest. In a letter Ziyād notified Imām that a number were burned, a number who fled fell prey to swords and a number who surrendered were pardoned.
The movement led by Dahhāk Ibn Qays, a well-known commander of Damascus army, is among Damascus invasions. As reported by Thaqafī when the Khāridjites revolted against Imām, ‘Umāra Ibn ‘Uqba Ibn Abī Mu‘ayt wrote to Mu‘āwiya, “A group of the Qur’ān reciters and the devout from among ‘Alī’s followers have stood against him. Combating them, ‘Alī
 al-Ghārāt, vol.II, pp.373-412
has killed them. And now since his army and the inhabitants of his town have taken up arms against him, the seeds of discord are sowed among them.” Mu‘āwiya, extremely delighted, sent Dahhāk Ibn Qays along with a three - or four – thousand soldier army to Iraq and ordered him to loot anywhere he went, kill any Shi‘ite Muslim he noticed and then leave there promptly for another place. Dahhāk who went to Kūfa not only plundered people’s properties but also rushed a caravan of pilgrims and killed a number. Imām ‘Alī (a) in Kūfa called upon people to defend themselves.
When Imām found them that indifferent, he told them, “By Almighty Allāh, I wish I had one of thee in lieu of a hundred men of thee.” Once more Imām desired to be dead! Then Imām sent Hudjr Ibn ‘Adī with four thousand troops to stop Dahhāk. Hudjr encountered him in Tadmur and in their clash, nineteen soldiers from the rival army were killed and two people on Hudjr’s side were martyred. With Dahhāk’s overnight escape another invasion of Damascus was ended.
In the meanwhile ‘Aqīl Ibn Abī Tālib wrote to Imām to be kept abreast of the latest developments. Describing Dahhāk’s invasion abortive, Imām referred to the injustice Quraysh had done to him and wrote, “O Allāh! A calamity thou descend for Quraysh to sever their kinship with me, for those allying and usurping my right of ruling left behind by my brother, Muhammad. To the one they gave it whose neither kinship with the Prophet (s) nor record in Islam was like those of mine”. The letter indicates how Imām constantly mentioned his usurped right any chance he got. The other invasion made by Damascus army to Iraq was the one headed by Nu‘mān Ibn Bashīr with two thousand soldiers. He was supposed to attack on ‘Ayn al-Tamr, on the outskirts of the Euphrates. He was the one and the only one from Ansār who had joined the ‘Uthmānids. Although there were a number of Ansār who had balked at supporting Imām ‘Alī (a), never did they join Mu‘āwiya. When Mālik Ibn Ka‘b deployed with a hundred heard about Bashīr’s probable attack, he asked Sulaym for help who was the treasurer in that side of the Euphrates. Imām learning the news of Nu‘mān’s attack on the one hand and observing the Kūfiyāns hesitant to rise on the other hand objected to them as uttering,”O Kūfiyāns! When the vanguards of Damascus army thou notice, the doors thou shut and into homes thou creep like a lizard in to its hole and a hyena in to its den. By Allāh, how abject is the one whose helpers art thou!”
Sulaym sent fifty of his troops led by his son, ‘Abd Allāh, for Mālik’s aid. Damascus army afraid of the aid army upcoming fled after a short clash. Mu‘āwiya said his intention of sending the army had been “To jeopardize the Iraqis”. Anyhow, this attack was fruitless as well.
 al-Ghārāt, vol.II, pp.416-442
Following Imām’s remarks it was ‘Adī Ibn Hātim who accompanied a thousand people from the tribe of Tayy to Nukhayla. Another a thousand also joined him and they advanced towards the banks of Euphrates and made several attacks on southern part of Damascus.
Mu‘āwiya sent an army to Dūmat al-Djandal to have them, obedient to neither Damascus nor Iraq, pay tax alms (statutory Islamic levy on specified items to be used for Muslims’ welfare). Another army led by Mālik Ibn Ka‘b was sent by Imām too. A fight was started between them which lasted a whole day long. Next day Damascus army returned while Mālik stayed there for ten days inviting people to help. Not being helped, he returned disappointedly as well.
One of the other invasions made against Iraq was led by Sufyān Ibn ‘Awf Ghāmidī along with six thousand toward Hīt and then toward Anbār. Imām’s adherents were few there none of whom were willing helpers except a very small number with Ashras Ibn Hassān Bakrī who resisted unit being martyred. After plundering Anbār, the invaders went back. On being informed, Imām on the pulpit of the mosque, summoned people to gather in Nukhayla and move to stop them. In the answer, nothing came up but silence. Imām left the mosque and sent Sa‘īd Ibn Qays Hamdānī together with an eight-thousand army to stop them but they had already arrived in Damascus.
When Sa‘īd returned, he found Imām so seriously sick that he could in no way stand on the pulpit. Imām therefore wrote a letter complaining about Kūfiyān people, sat on the platform by the mosque gate and asked Sa‘d, one of his Mawālīs (freed slaves) to read it out loud. “If any other option there were, never a word would I breath to blame thee … O people, Djihād (holy Islamic war) is a portal of the Heaven portals opened to Allāh’s special friends, attire of piety, chain mail of solidity and a shield of inflexibility… Be informed, daily and nightly, overtly and covertly for a battle with thy foes I invited thee, to attack them before being attacked …? Enable thou remained and disobedient thou laid until the enemy occupied thy homeland. It was Ghāmidī who assaulted Anbār, slayed Ashras Ibn Hassān, plundered the weapons and massacred the righteous men. Even I heard no one stopped the man, from among thy foes, who invaded the house of a Muslim woman, under our protection, took her anklets off her ankles and her earrings off her ears. Yet, safe and sound they returned with not a single injury. If this life a Muslim man departed ashamed and saddened of such an act, never should he be blamed for my part. Wonder! What grief I suffer and what pain I bear when in accord I find them in credal error and in discord I find thee gospel
 al-Ghārāt. vol.II, pp.445-459
 al-Ghārāt, vol.II, pp.459-461
in Truth …! O wrong crowd under the guise of right men! O gang of the foolish like the kids and the brides in bridal chambers! Allāh solely knows how dejectedly I keep living amongst thee! I beg Him from thee to take me and toward Himself to ascend me…”.
These remarks could merely persuade three hundred to gather in Nukhayla. Imām’s next sermons bore no fruit as well.
Prior to Hadjdj season in 39 AH. Mu‘āwiya dispatched an army to Mecca with Yazīd Ibn Shadjara Rahāwī as the head to absorb people to Mu‘āwiya during Hadjdj period. On the other hand, Imām being told of his intention, sent a group commanded by Ma‘qal Ibn Qays Riyāhī to Mecca. Qutham Ibn ‘Abbās who was the governor imagined that no one would defend him, so decided to leave Mecca first but they trusted its holiness and stayed. It was Dhi l-Hadjdja 7th when Damascus army arrived in Mecca. To avoid clashes, the commander for whom observing the holiness of the city was allegedly significant sent a message to Qutham that both give up leading the congregational prayers and let people pick one out. As soon as Hadjdj ritual terminated, Damascus army returned. Following the Damascus army, Ma‘qal Ibn Qays went to Mecca and moved as far as Wādī al-Qurā. They could only capture a few numbers of the fatigued ones who were exchanged later for Iraqi captives. After the event, Imām told people,”Defeated thou hast become be this nation … for the more active they get, the more passive thou go; the harder they try, the lazier thou become. I do behold disunity among thee as unity among them…”
One of their most notorious attacks was Busr Ibn Artāt’s on Hidjāz and Yemen. He, a ruthless criminal, was ordered by Mu‘āwiya to massacre ‘Alī’s Shi‘ite Muslims anywhere he traced. Why Busr was dispatched was the ‘Uthmānids living in Yemen had revolted against ‘Ubayd Allāh Ibn ‘Abbās, the governor, after realizing weakness within Iraqi troops. They had written to Mu‘āwiya seeking for help. First Busr entered Medina of which governor, Abū Ayyūb Ansārī, had been appointed by Imām. Having no troop he had to flee. Busr set fire to his and others’ houses, secured allegiance from people by force, designated Abū Hurayra as the governor and sent him to Mecca. Qutham Ibn ‘Abbās also left there and fled. Busr then set out to Tā’if where he sent a man from Quraysh to Tabāla therein many a Shi‘ite Muslim resided. At his behest, all were slayed and their possessions were plundered. Mecca residents, panic-stricken, had to flee among whom were ‘Ubayd Allāh Ibn ‘Abbās’s wife along with his two sons, Sulaymān and Dāwūd captured and both beheaded. It is said that they were
 al-Ghārāt, pp.179-181 (Persian version); Akhbār al-tiwāl, pp.211-212
 al-Ghārāt, pp.464-503
 Ibid. vol.II, pp. 504-516
murdered in Yemen concealed in an Iranian-born man’s house. Keeping on his trip, he went to Nadjrān where he killed ‘Ubayd Allāh Ibn ‘Abbās’s father in law, ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Abd al-Muddān. This very event is very considerable in Mu‘āwiya’s shameful political life. When Busr arrived in Yemen, ‘Ubayd Allāh had already left. Although a number of Shi‘ite Muslims defied for a while many were martyred. Busr committed countless crimes. He beheaded one hundred Iranian-born Shi‘ite Muslims. Then he moved toward Hadramawt where allegedly numerous Shi‘ite Muslims resided. He had said he would kill one out of four. Upon being informed, Imām sent Djāria Ibn Qudāma with an army to follow him. When Djāria heard that Busr had gone to Mecca, he went there but he had already left. When arriving in Kūfa, Djāria found Imām ‘Alī (a) martyred, so he swore allegiance to Imām Hasan (a).
Imām who was extremely annoyed with the Kūfiyāns, pronounced a malediction, for not only had they left Imām helpless but also they never protected their wives and daughters and allowed Damascus wicked men to access them. As an instance we narrate a malediction of Imām ‘Alī’s here,”I saw ‘Alī (a) speaking to people”, Abū Sālih Hanafī, “While having the Holy Qur’ān on his head, the papers of which rustling”. ‘Alī was uttering, “O Allāh! From whatever written in this Book they prevented me. Upon me thou bestow any what of this Book”.
O Allāh! In disfavor I hold them as so they hold me and of them I hast become tried as of me they haste become so. Unlike my nature is what they force me to act, an action unknown to me as yet. O Allāh! Better than them grant me helpers but worse than me to them. O Allāh! Dissolve their heart like salt in water.
In was Ramadān, 19th 40 A.H. at dawn when Imām was preparing to head for Siffīn to battle once again with Mu‘āwiya but he was wounded by the most black-hearted man in the world named ‘Abd al-Rahmān Ibn Muldjam Murādī and martyred three days later on Ramadān 21st.
As reported by Ibn Sa‘d, three Khāridjites called ‘Abd al-Rahmān Ibn Muldjam, Burak Ibn ‘Abd Allāh Tamīmī and ‘Amr Ibn Bukayr Tamīmī allied in Mecca to kill Imām ‘Alī (a), Mu‘āwiya and ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ās. To visit his Khāridjites’ friends, ‘Abd al-Rahmān went to Kūfa. Once he went to meet a group from the tribe of “Taym al-Rabbāb”, he saw a girl called Qutām Bnt Shadjanna Ibn ‘Adī whose father and brothers had been killed in Nahrawān. When Ibn Muldjam proposed to her, she declared that her
 al-Ghārāt. p. 174 (translated by Āyatī)
marriage portion should be 3000 (Dīnār!) in addition to Imām ‘Alī’s murder. He told that by accident with this very aim he had traveled to Kūfa. He smeared his sword with poison and attacked Imām on the head. The deepness of the wound as well as the poison of the sword martyred Imām. Reportedly, Ibn Muldjam had been in Ash‘ath Ibn Qays’s house that night.
Various narrations indicate that Imām was attacked by Ibn Muldjam inside the mosque. In accordance to other ones, he attacked Imām while he was waking people up for prayer. Many historical sources have referred to the former although many reports recorded say Imām was attacked while doing prayer. Maytham Tammār had reported that Imām had started his Dawn Prayer and no sooner had he recited eleven verses of the Sūra of “the Prophets” than Ibn Muldjam wounded Imām on the head. As narrated by one of Dju‘da Ibn Hubayra’s descendants, Imām was wounded while doing his prayer. The man above-mentioned, Dju‘da, had been Umm Hānī’s son who every so often had led the prayers as a substitute leader and narratedly he had been the one who completed the prayer when Imām was attacked. Shiykh Tūsī has also confirmed the aforesaid narration. Yet, Muttaqī Hindī’s report had been that Ibn Muldjam had hit Imām when Imām was prostrating back. Ibn Hanbal together with Ibn ‘Asākir has confirmed the report. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr stated that there had been no consensus on whether Imām was attacked while doing the prayer or before it and whether any one substituted him or he himself led the prayer to the end. Many are of the opinion that Imām had Dju‘da Ibn Hubayra lead the incomplete prayer.
A great number of hadiths have been narrated by the Holy Prophet’s Household and the Sunnis concerning how Imām felt during the night before being wounded. Ibn Abi l-Dunyā quoted Imām Bāqir(a) as saying that Imām
 Tabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 3, pp. 35-38
 Maqtal al-imām Amīr al-Mu‘minīn, p. 36, No.13
 Ibid. p.29, No.4; p. 35, No.12
 Ibid. pp.28,33, No.11
 Ibid. p. 30, No.5
 Ibid. p.30, No.6
 al-Amālī, al-Djuz‘ al-thālith, No.18
 Kanz al-’Ummāl, vol.XV, p.170 (2nd edition); al-Amālī fī Āthār sahāba, pp. 103-104
 al-Fadā’il, p.38, No.63 (published in Qum)
 Tardjamat al-imām ‘Alī Ibn Abī Tālib (a), vol.III, p. 361 (2nd edition)
 al-Istī‘āb (in the margin of al-Isāba), vol.III, p. 59
had been fully aware of his martyrdom. As soon as being injured, Imām shouted out, فزت ورب الكعبة “By Allāh of Ka‘ba, to salvation I reached.”
Ibn Abi l-Dunyā has narrated Imām’s will in different ways which included both financial and religious issues. The salient issues recommended by Imām were as follows,
Observation of kinship, heed to the orphans and the neighbors, following the guidelines of the Holy Qur’ān, performing prayers as the pillar of the religion, Hadjdj, fasting, Djihād, Zakāt (tax alms) following the Holy Prophet’s infallible Household, serving Allāh’s servants, enjoining to good and forbidding from evil. Reportedly, on Ramadān 21st, while Imām was whispering, لااله الا الله “There is no God but Allāh” and the verse of, فمن يعمل مثقال ذرة خيراً يره ومن يعمل مثقال ذرة شراً يره “So he who has done an atom’s weight of good shall see it. And he who had done an atom’s weight of evil shall see it” Breathed his last. According to another narration, after Imām’s martyrdom, Imām Hasan (a) and Imām Husayn (a), Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyya, ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Dja‘far as well as few numbers from the household took Imām (a) out of Kūfa nightly and hiddenly from sight buried him. It was because the Khāridjites and the Umayyads might exhume Imām.
Upon hearing the news of Imām ‘Alī’s martyrdom, a group of the Exaggerators in Ctesiphon did never believe their ears. This group is the initiator of the exaggerating thoughts among the Shi‘ite Muslims whom we will address later. Ibn Abi l-Dunyā’s report in this respect referred to a person named Ibn al-Sawdā’ from the tribe of Hamdān know as ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Saba’. Elsewhere, the name of ‘Abd Allāh Ibn Wahb al-Sabā’ī, was mentioned and that such a claim had been made in Ctesiphon. Both narrations reveal that the person had even been anonymous. See also ‘Uthmān’s Opponents.
Imām ‘Alī’s Life
The analysis of Imām’s lifestyle as a paragon seems beyond the possibility here; yet, we refer to some aspects for luck in brief.
 al-Istī‘āb. pp. 33-34, No.12; Abū Nu‘aym along with many others have narrated that the Prophet had already foretold his martyrdom. Ma‘rifat al-sahāba, vol.I, pp. 295-296.
 Ibid. p.39, No.20; footnote, al-Imāma wa l-siyāsa, p.160, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p. 499
 Maqtal al-imām Amīr al-Mu‘minīn, pp. 45-46
 Ibid. p.79, No.68
 Ibid. p.92, No.85; p.96, No.91
Imām’s political and social life is so exemplary that it can be deemed utopian. At times, so uniquely firm was he regarding divine decrees that not a single one could ever emulate him as he himself had pointed to it in a letter. For those yearning to be faithful to it, his lifestyle is a perfect pattern. Every time we can learn from it but the way is still too long to go. In other wards, Imām’s lifestyle has been the best during man’s life. It belongs to a perfect man who can indeed be called human and Allāh’s successor on the earth. Such an engrossing life did he have that it had his friends reach the zenith of amity and his enemies reach the zenith of enmity in front of him.
In this regard, the Prophet (s) has stated, يهلك فيك الرجلان محب مفرط ومبغض مفرط His withstanding for the sake of the path of Truth does incense the enemy that it makes him go to extremes whereas it does fan the blames of his friend’s love that he may go to extremes.
The one feeling affection for him can ascend as highly as the rank to be called a devoted Shi‘ite Muslim but if he neglected slightly he would be affected by the exaggerating tendency. Rarely ever has it be seen that divinity be attributed to a person. ‘Alī (a), however, in a community where Allāh had underscored the humanity of the prophet Muhammad(s) was targeted by such attribution although Imām opposed it severely.
Imām’s asceticism is what overshadowed
all his life. He was an ascetic man who turned back on
anything though he was entitled to possess everything. A
group asked about the most ascetic man in the presence of
‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz. Some named Abūdhar and ‘Umar
but ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz said,أزهد
Imām not only associated with the poor but also behaved kindly towards them. He was sometimes seen doing prayer or delivering a sermon wearing his one and the only shirt wet. Repeatedly, Imām has referred to his simple life in Nahdj al-Balāgha. Noticing that Imām ate very frugal food, one of his disciples told him, أبالعراق تصنع هذا؟ العراق أكثر خيراً وأكثر طعاماً … “Do you eat such food in Iraq where the best food can he found?”
 Nahdj al-balāgha, letter 45
 This Hadith is the one repeated many times. Imām also stated, يهلك فيك الرجلان، محب مفرط ومبغض مفرط Two people are murdered for me, extremist friend and hardline foe Nahdj al-balāgha, sermon 127
 al-Mi‘yār wa l-muwāzina, p.240
 Ibid. p.240
 Ibid. p.240
 Ibid. p.244
Imām was the first one who practiced what he peached objecting to ‘Uthmān Ibn Hunayf in Nahdj al-Balāgha or in his public sermons concerning this worldly life.
Aswad Ibn Qays recounted that Imām ‘Alī (a) fed the Kūfiyāns on the fertile land of the mosque but he himself ate the food in his house.
One of his disciples said, “I said to myself that ‘Alī eats more delicious food at home than what he gives people. So I left my food half eaten and followed him. He called Fidda and asked her to prepare the food. She brought a loaf of bread and yogurt diluted with water. He dipped the pieces of bread in the liquid while it was with bran. I asked him why he had not asked for bread baked with flour without bran. Shedding tears, he answered, “By Allāh, neverever bread without bran was found in the Prophet’s house.”
‘Uqba Ibn ‘Alqama narrated,”When I met Imām ‘Alī (a), there was sour yogurt diluted with water in front of him that was so sour and watery that it upset me. I asked him whether he would eat it.O Aba l-Khabūb, worse than this was the prophet’s food and rougher than mine was his clothes.
Imām answered, “I fear if I did not do what he had done, I would never join him”. When a special food was brought for Imām, Imām stated, “Never do I eat what the Prophet (s) had never eaten”.
It does not imply that eating such food is unlawful but sheer act of following Allāh’s Messenger is of supreme importance for an Imām.
Presenting another example appears appropriate. As recounted by Abu l-Shiykh Ansārī, born in 369, Imām appointed ‘Amr Ibn Salama as the governor of Isfahān. When setting out for Kūfa, ‘Amr was intercepted by the Khāridjites. With the tributes and the gifts, he had to settle in Hulwān. As soon as the Khāridjites went away, he left the tributes in Hulwān and took the gifts with him to Kūfa. Imām ordered him to lay them on the fertile land by Kūfa Mosque and then distribute among Muslims. Umm Kulthūm, Imām’s daughter, sent for ‘Amr to send her some honey brought. He sent her two cans then. When Imām came to the mosque for prayer, he realized that the honeys were two less. He called ‘Amr and asked where the two others were. He answered, “Do not ask what happened”, then he went and brought two cans of honey and added to them.
Imām repeated,”I only wanted to know what happened to those two”.
“Umm Kulthūm demanded to send honey to her”, answered ‘Amr.
“Not have I told you to distribute the gifts among people?” Imām asked.
 Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II p.187; al-Ghārāt, vol.I, pp.85,87,88
 al-Ghārāt, vol.I, p.85
 Ibid. pp.88-89; the footnotes of the same pages
He sent for her to send the honey back. When brought back a little was consumed. He sent for the traders to estimate the price of the subtracted amount. It was three or so dhms. Imām sent for Umm Kulthūm to pay for it. Then, the honey was distributed among Muslims.
Numerous examples can be found in al-Ghārāt and other books.
It is Imām’s own statement, [أنا الذي أهنت الدنيا [2 “I am the one who despised this world.”
That manifests his stance against this worldly life. Imām’s behavior towards the agents is another dimension of his life addressed in historical sources. From any point of view, Imām supervised his agents and during his short term, many letters were written by him reprimanding them. After ‘Alī’s martyrdom, Sūda, ‘Umāra Hamdānī’s daughter, came up to Mu‘āwiya. She had participated in Siffīn. For a short while, Mu‘āwiya talked her about Siffīn. She requested him to depose Busr Ibn Artāt oppressing them. He declined, however. Sūda consequently prostrated and an hour later rose up. Mu‘āwiya asked her what it was for.
She responded,”When I went to ‘Alī to complain about the man responsible for our alms, he was busy with praying. After his prayer, he asked me what I wanted. On hearing with no delay he took a piece of skin out of his pocket and urging him to observe justice he wrote, “As soon as receiving the letter, do what ordered until I send one to replace you. He gave the letter to me to hand in him. He was deposed accordingly.”
 Tabaqāt al-muhaddithīn bi-Isbahān, vol.I, Akhbār Isbahān, vol.I, p.72
 Hayāt al-sahāba, vol.II, p.310
 al-Futūh, vol.III, pp.90-92