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Imamah The Shia of Imam Ali
Ali
ibn Abi Talib:

Tribesmen of Kufa Banu Hashim, Banu Abdul Qays
Banu Abdul Qays
and Banu Bakr
Banu Bakr
of Basra[1] Tayy[2]

Aisha's forces and Banu Umayya

Quraysh
Quraysh
of Mecca[3] Sections of the Banu Tamim and Azd of Basra[4] Banu 'Amir[5]

Commanders and leaders

Imam Ali
Ali
ibn Abi Talib Hasan ibn Ali Hussain ibn Ali Malik al-Ashtar Ammar ibn Yasir Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Abu Bakr Abdul-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr Muslim ibn Aqeel Harith ibn Rab'i Jabir ibn Abd-Allah Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn al-Hanafiyyah Abu Ayyub al-Ansari Abu Qatada bin Rabyee Qays ibn Sa'd Qathm bin Abbas Abd Allah ibn Abbas Khuzaima ibn Thabit Jondab-e-Asadi Aisha Talhah † Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Talha † Zubayr ibn al-Awam † Kaab ibn Sur † Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr Marwan I (POW) Waleed ibn Uqba (POW)

Strength

~20,000[6] ~30,000[6]

Casualties and losses

>400-500[7] ~5,000[8][9]

>2,500[7] ~13,000[8][9]

v t e

First Fitna

The Camel Siffin Nahrawan

v t e

Civil wars of the early Caliphates

Ridda wars First Fitna Second Fitna Revolt of Ibn al-Ash'ath Revolt of Yazid b. al-Muhallab Revolt of Harith b. Surayj Zaydi Revolt Berber Revolt Third Fitna Abbasid Revolution Alid revolt of 762–763 Alid revolt of 786 Qaysi–Yamani war Fourth Fitna Anarchy at Samarra

Fifth Fitna

Kharijite
Kharijite
Rebellions

The Battle of the Camel, sometimes called the Battle of Jamal or the Battle of Bassorah, took place at Basra, Iraq
Iraq
on 7 November 656. The battle was fought between on the one hand, Ali
Ali
ibn Abi Talib, who was the cousin and son-in-law of the deceased Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, considered the fourth Rashidun Caliph
Rashidun Caliph
of the Sunnis
Sunnis
and the first Imam of the Shias, and on the other A'isha, the wife of Muhammad, Talhah and Zubayr who led the war against Ali
Ali
claiming that they want to take revenge on the killers of the third caliph Uthman
Uthman
who was recently killed as a result of rebellion. Marking the second chapter of the First Fitna, the fateful battle ended with victory of Ali.

Contents

1 Before the conflict 2 Preparation for battle 3 Battle 4 Sunni
Sunni
View of the Battle 5 Aftermath 6 Legacy

6.1 Sunni
Sunni
and Shia's
Shia's
split

7 Participants

7.1 Soldiers of Caliph
Caliph
Ali's Army 7.2 Soldiers of Aisha's Army 7.3 Others involved 7.4 Unclassified

8 References 9 External links

Before the conflict[edit]

The Rashidun Caliph
Rashidun Caliph
Ali ibn Abi Talib
Ali ibn Abi Talib
forgave his opponents after the Battle of the Camel.

After the murder of Uthman, people in Medina
Medina
paid allegiance to Ali
Ali
as the new Muslim caliph. But after allegiance Talhah
Talhah
and Zubair asked Ali
Ali
for permission to make pilgrimage to Mecca. He granted it and they departed. The Medina
Medina
people wanted to know Ali’s point of view about war against Muslims, by asking his view about Muawiyah I and his refusal to give Ali
Ali
his allegiance. So they sent Ziyad Bin Hanzalah of Tamim who was set on getting the caliphate of Ali
Ali
because Uthman
Uthman
had died and they wanted to "get to killers of Uthman". However, they went to Basra, and not Medina
Medina
where the crime happened. He went back and told the people in Medina
Medina
that Ali
Ali
wanted to confront Muawiyah. In Medina, Marwan manipulated people. In Iraq
Iraq
many people hated the Syrians following the Byzantine-Sassanid Wars. Aisha
Aisha
( Aisha
Aisha
bint Abu Bakr) (Muhammad's widow), Talhah
Talhah
( Talha
Talha
ibn Ubayd-Allah) and Zubayr ibn al-Awam
Zubayr ibn al-Awam
(Abu ‘Abd Allah Zubayr ibn al-Awwam) set off from Makah on their way to Iraq
Iraq
to ask Ali
Ali
to arrest Uthman
Uthman
ibn Affan's killers, not to fight Muawiyah.[10][11] Preparation for battle[edit] While passing Medina, on their way to Iraq, Aisha, Talha
Talha
and Zubair passed a group of Umayyads leaving Medina, led by Marwan, who said that the people who had killed Uthman, had also been causing them trouble.[12] Everyone then went to Basra, which was the beginning of the first civil war in Islam. Some historians put the number at around 3000 people.[13] Zubair and Talha
Talha
then went out to meet Ali. Not all Basra
Basra
was with them. Bani Bakr, the tribe once led by the second Caliph, joined the army of Ali. Bani Temim decided to remain neutral.[14] Before the battle started, Ali
Ali
reminded Talha
Talha
of the sermon of Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
at the event of Ghadir Khumm. Ali
Ali
said to Talha, "I adjure you by Allah! Didn’t you hear the Messenger of Allah (S) when he said: 'Whoever I am his MAWLA, this Ali
Ali
is his MAWLA. O God, love whoever loves him, and be hostile to whoever is hostile to him'?" Talha
Talha
responded "Yes" to Ali, after which Ali
Ali
asked him, "Then why do you want to fight me?" This conversation is recorded by both Shia and Sunni
Sunni
sources.[15][16][17][18][19] Battle[edit] Some chieftains of the Kufa
Kufa
tribes contacted their tribes living in Basra.[12] A chieftain contacted Ali
Ali
to settle the matter.[12] Ali
Ali
did not want to fight and agreed to negotiate.[12] He then contacted Aisha and spoke to her,[12] "It is not wise to shed the blood of five thousand for the punishment of five hundred."[12] She agreed to settle the matter.[12] Ali
Ali
then met Talha
Talha
and Zubair and told them about the prophecy of Muhammad. Ali's cousin Zubair said to him, "What a tragedy that the Muslims who had acquired the strength of a rock are going to be smashed by colliding with one another."[12] Talha
Talha
and Zubair did not want to fight and left the field. Everyone was happy except the people who had killed Uthman
Uthman
and the supporters of the Qurra, who later became the Khawarij.[12] They thought that if a settlement was reached, they would not be safe.[12] The Qurra launched a night attack and started burning the tents.[12] Ali
Ali
tried to restrain his men but no one was listening. Everyone thought that the other party had committed breach of trust. Confusion prevailed throughout the night.[12] The Qurra attacked the Umayyads and the fighting started. Talhah
Talhah
had left. On seeing this, Marwan (who was manipulating everyone) shot Talhah
Talhah
with a poisoned arrow[12] saying that he had disgraced his tribe by leaving the field.[12] According to some Shia accounts Marwan ibn al-Hakam
Marwan ibn al-Hakam
shot Talha,[20] who became disabled in the leg by the shot and was carried into Basra, where he died later of his wound.[21][22][23] According to Shia sources Marwan said,

By God, now I will not have to search for the man who murdered Uthman.[24]

In the Sunni
Sunni
sources it says that he said that Talha
Talha
had disgraced his tribe by leaving the field.[12] With the two generals Zubair and Talhah
Talhah
gone, confusion prevailed as the Qurra and the Umayyads fought.[12][25] Qadi
Qadi
Kaab ibn Sur of Basra
Basra
held the Quran
Quran
on his head and then advised Aysha to mount her camel to tell people to stop fighting, until he was killed by arrows shot by the forces of Ali.[12] As the battle raged Ali's forces targeted their arrows to pierce the howdah of Aisha. The rebels led by Aisha
Aisha
then gathered around her and about a dozen of her warriors were beheaded while holding the reins of her camel. However the warriors of Ali
Ali
faced much casualties during their attempts to reach Aisha
Aisha
as dying corpses lay piled in heaps. The battle only came to an end when Ali's troops as commanded attacked the camel from the rear and cut off the legs of the beast. Aisha
Aisha
fled from the arrow-pierced howdah and was captured by the forces of Ali.[26] Ali's cousin Zubair was by then making his way to Medina; he was killed in an adjoining valley. Aisha's brother Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Abu Bakr, who was Ali's commander, approached Aisha, who was age 45. There was reconciliation between them and Ali
Ali
pardoned her. He then sent Aisha
Aisha
to Medina
Medina
under military escort headed by her brother Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Abu Bakr, one of Ali's commanders. She subsequently retired to Medina
Medina
with no more interference with the affairs of state.[12][27] Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Abi Bakr was the son of Abu Bakr, the adopted son of ‘ Ali
Ali
ibn Abi Talib, and the great-grandfather of Ja‘far al-Sadiq. Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Abi Bakr was raised by Ali
Ali
alongside Hasan and Husein. Hassan also accompanied Aisha
Aisha
part of the way back to Medina. Aisha
Aisha
started teaching in Medina and deeply resented Marwan.[28][29] Sunni
Sunni
View of the Battle[edit] According to Sunnis, the rebels who had been involved in the killing of Uthman, the third Caliph, were responsible for igniting the fight. These rebels had gained much power after the killing of Uthman. It was difficult for Ali, the fourth Caliph, to instantly punish them for their role in the killing of Uthman, and this was the main reason which led to the difference of opinion between the two groups of Muslims. Some Muslims were of the opinion that they should be punished immediately, while Ali
Ali
required time to punish them. He himself says in Nahjul Balagha:

"O my brothers! I am not ignorant of what you know, but how do I have the power for it while those who assaulted him are in the height of their power. They have superiority over us, not we over them." [30]

This led to difference of opinion, and a group started campaigning to pressurize Ali
Ali
to punish the rebels. But when both groups confronted each other at the place of Basrah, they started negotiating. When the rebels saw that the negotiations may lead to their punishment, they attacked both the armies and disrupted the peace process. According to Sunnis, Ali
Ali
was the rightly guided Caliph, and hence his decision must have been obeyed. Moreover, the hadith of Hawaab also proves that Ali's opponents were wrong in their stance. But since they also were sincere in their intentions to bring the killers of Uthman
Uthman
to justice, hence they must not be condemned for the violence. Both Ali
Ali
and Aisha resented the outcome of the battle. Ali
Ali
said after the battle, "I wish I had died two decades before this incident." [31] [32] Aftermath[edit] Ali's forces overcame the rebels, and the defeated army was treated according to Islamic law. He sent her back to Medina
Medina
under military escort headed by her brother Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Abi Bakr, one of Ali's commanders. She subsequently retired to Medina
Medina
with no more interference with the affairs of state. Talha, who became disabled in the leg by the shot and fled the battlefield was carried into Basra, where he died later of his wound. When the head of Zubayr ibn al-Awwam
Zubayr ibn al-Awwam
was presented to Ali
Ali
by Ahnaf ibn Qais, the Caliph
Caliph
Ali
Ali
couldn't help but to sob and condemn the murder of his cousin. This reaction caused Ahnaf ibn Qais resentment and, drawing his sword, stabbed it into his own breast.[33] Marwan I
Marwan I
and the Qurra (who later became the Khawarij) manipulated every one and created conflict. Marwan was arrested but he later asked Hassan and Hussein for assistance and was released. Ali
Ali
was later killed by a Kharijite
Kharijite
named Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam while he was praying in the mosque of Kufa.[34] Two decades later, after years of planning and scheming and making every one else fight, Marwan came to power in Syria and the Qurra (the Kharijites) established a state in southern Iraq.[35] Legacy[edit] The name of the battle refers to the camel ridden by Āʿisha — once the camel had fallen, the battle was over. Some Muslim scholars believe the name was recorded as such in history to avoid linking the name of a woman with a battle.[36] Ali
Ali
blamed Ayesha due to such warfare. Subsequently, Ali
Ali
said to her brother ( Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Abi Bakr) to take her to Basrah. She stayed there for some days till afterwards goes to Medina
Medina
but Ali
Ali
sent Abdullah bin Abbas to her and warned Ayisha because the deadline was finished for her, and actually she delayed in going. Afterwards, she was taken to Medina
Medina
with a number of troops.[37] Later on, whenever Ayisha was remembering the day of Jamal, she wished to be dead before that happening, and actually she had this desire that I wish I wouldn’t be presented in that event. [38] Sunni
Sunni
and Shia's
Shia's
split[edit] Āʿisha's depiction in regards to the first civil war in the Muslim community reflected the molding of Islamic definition of gender and politics. Sunni
Sunni
Muslims recognized the tension between Āʿisha's exemplary status as the acknowledged favorite wife of Muhammad
Muhammad
and her political actions as a widow. The Sunni
Sunni
task was to assess her problematic political participation without complete disapproval. Shia's
Shia's
Muslims faced no such dilemma in their representation of the past. Aʿisha had opposed and fought Ali
Ali
ibn Abi Talib; who was the elected chosen Rightly Guided Caliph
Caliph
after Uthman, and therefore it was widely known that his decisions were to be entrusted and obeyed so as to prevent political stonewalling. Her involvement in the First Fitna provoked much scorn especially from the Shia community, while Sunni
Sunni
authors had the more difficult task of defending her.[39] Participants[edit] Soldiers of Caliph
Caliph
Ali's Army[edit]

Ali[40] Malik al-Ashtar Hasan ibn Ali Hussain ibn Ali Ammar ibn Yasir Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Abi Bakr Muslim ibn Aqeel Harith ibn Rab'i[40] Jabir ibn Abd-Allah Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn al-Hanafiyyah Abu Ayub Ansari[41] Abu Qatada bin Rab'i[41] Qays ibn Sa'd[41] Qathm bin Abbas[41] Jondab-e-Asadi

Soldiers of Aisha's Army[edit]

Aisha[42] Talha
Talha
ibn Ubayd-Allah[42] Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Talha[43] Zubayr ibn al-Awwam[42] Marwan ibn al-Hakam[42] Abd al-Rahman[44] Abdullah ibn al-Walid (KIA)[44] Abdullah ibn Hakim (KIA)[44] Abdullah ibn Saffron[44] Yahya ibn Hakim ibn Safwan[44] Amir ibn Mascud ibn Umayya ibn Khalaf[44] Ayyiib b. Habib b. Alqama b. Rabia[44] Utba[44] Abdullah ibn Abi Uthman
Uthman
ibn al-Akhnas ibn Sharlq (KIA)[44]

Others involved[edit]

Abd-Allah ibn Umar[40] Hafsa bint Umar[40] Umm Salama Hind bint Abi Umayya[40]

Unclassified[edit]

Abdullah bin Aamir Hadhrami of Makkah[40] Ya'la bin Umayya[40] Abdullah bin Aamir bin Kurayz of Basra[40] Saeed bin Aas[40] Mughira bin Shaaba[40]

References[edit]

^ Madelung 1997, pg. 168 ^ Madelung 1997, pg. 166 ^ Madelung 1997, pg. 176-177 ^ Madelung 1997, pg. 167-8 ^ Crone 1980, pg. 108 ^ a b https://books.google.com/books?id=axL0Akjxr-YC&pg=PT472 ^ a b Madelung 1997, pg. 177 ^ a b Jibouri, Yasin T. Kerbalā and Beyond. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse, 2011. Print. ISBN 1467026131 Pgs. 30 ^ a b Muraj al-Thahab Vol. 5, Pg. 177 ^ Nahj al Balagha Sermon 72 Archived 7 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Medieval Islamic civilization By Josef W. Meri Page 131 ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Nadvi, Sulaimān. Hadhrat Ayesha Siddiqa: Her Life and Works. Safat, Kuwait: Islamic Book, 1986. Print. Pg. 44 ^ Dr. Mohammad Ishaque in Journal of Pakistan Historical Society, Vol 3, Part 1 ^ Sir John Glubb, The Great Arab Conquests, 1967, p. 320 ^ "A Shi'ite Encyclopedia". Al-Islam.org. Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project.  ^ al-Hakim. al-Mustadrak, Volume 3. p. 169.  ^ al-Hakim. al-Mustadrak, Volume 3. p. 371.  ^ al-Mas’udi. Muruj al-Dhahab, Volume 4. p. 321.  ^ al-Haythami. Majma’ al-Zawa’id, Volume 9. p. 107.  ^ anwary-islam.com ^ http://anwary-islam.com/companion/ten-talhah-ibn-ubaydullah.htm ^ http://www.al-islam.org/restatement/61.htm ^ http://www.islam4theworld.com/Sahabah/talhah_bn_ubaydullah_R.htm ^ Ibn Saad, Tabaqat, vol. III, p. 223 ^ The Early Caliphate, Maulana Muhammad
Muhammad
Ali, Al-Jadda Printers, pg. 169-206, 1983 ^ http://www.alim.org/library/biography/khalifa/content/KAL/53/3 ^ William Muir, The Caliphate: Its Rise, Decline and Fall from Original Sources. Chapter XXXV: "Battle of the Camel". London: 1891. p. 261. ^ Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 352 ^ The shadow of the sword, The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World, Tom Holland, ISBN 9780349122359 Abacus Page 409 ^ Nahj al Balagha, Sermon 168 ^ Al Sunnah, Vol. 3, p. 255 ^ Al Mustadrak Ala Sahihayn, Vol. 3, p. 420 ^ http://www.alim.org/library/biography/khalifa/content/KAL/53/4 ^ Tabatabae (1979), page 192 Archived 29 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 228:[1] Narrated by Abu Al-Minhal. When Ibn Ziyad and Marwan were in Sham and Ibn Az-zubair took over the authority in Mecca and Qurra' (the Kharijites) revolted in Basra, I went out with my father to Abu Barza Al-Aslami till we entered upon him in his house while he was sitting in the shade of a room built of cane. So we sat with him and my father started talking to him saying, "O Abu Barza! Don't you see in what dilemma the people has fallen?" The first thing heard him saying "I seek reward from Allah for myself because of being angry and scornful at the Quraish tribe. O you Arabs! You know very well that you were in misery and were few in number and misguided, and that Allah has brought you out of all that with Islam and with Muhammad
Muhammad
till He brought you to this state (of prosperity and happiness) which you see now; and it is this worldly wealth and pleasures which has caused mischief to appear among you. The one who is in Sham (i.e., Marwan), by Allah, is not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain. ^ Mernissi, Fatima (1987). The Veil and the Male Elite. New York: Basic Books. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-201-63221-7.  ^ Masudi, Vol.3, Pg.113 114 ^ Ibn A'tham Kofi, Vol.2, p. 487. ^ Spellberg, D.A. (1994). Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past. Columbia University Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-231-07999-0.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j Razwy, Ali
Ali
Asgher. A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims: 579 to 661 CE. Stanmore: World Federation of KSI Muslim Communities, 1997. Print. Ch. 62 ^ a b c d Islamic period ^ a b c d Restatement of History of Islam The Battle of Basra
Basra
on Al-Islam.org ^ www.islam4theworld.com ^ a b c d e f g h i Madelung, Wilferd. The Succession to Muḥammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997. Print. ISBN 0521646960 Pg. 18

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Battle of the Camel.

Ali ibn Abi Talib
Ali ibn Abi Talib
(1984). Nahj al-Balagha
Nahj al-Balagha
(Peak of Eloquence), compiled by ash-Sharif ar-Radi. Alhoda UK. SBN 0940368439.  Al-Tabari, Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Jarir (1990). History of the Prophets and Kings, translation and commentary issued by R. Stephen Humphreys. SUNY Press. ISBN 0-7914-0154-5.  (volume XV.) Holt, P. M.; Bernard Lewis
Bernard Lewis
(1977). Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-29136-4.  Wilferd Madelung
Wilferd Madelung
(1997). The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-64696-0.  William Muir. The Caliphate: Its Rise, Decline, and Fall. 

Preceded by Muslim conquest of the Levant Muslim battles Year: 656 CE Succeeded by Battle of Siffin

Coordinates: 30°30′00″N 47°49′00″E / 30.5000°N 47.8167°E

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