It was fraught with pandemonium and unpredictability. Such was the state of matters among the Muslims that of the four earliest and most important caliphs, three were murdered at hands of brutal fights. Many…
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They were easily turned against each other with the help of false rumors spread by troublemakers which indicates that they lacked that brotherhood and harmony for which Islam was popular in the life of Prophet Muhammad.
The Battle of Jamal or Battle of the Camel is a very important example of tension between the Muslims during the first century of Islam. This is probably the most notable and unfortunate war of the 7th century and took place in 656 at Basra, Iraq. The Muslims fought among themselves in this war due to false allegations promoted by Kharijites (Lapidus 66). Kharijites were former Muslims who gained prominence in Iraq in the late 7th century. They first supported the leadership of Imam Ali and went on to reject it later. They were not happy with the authority of Imam Ali and secretly resented him. When Imam Usman, the third Caliph, was assassinated at the hands of the rebels sent from Egypt to Medina, rumors spread that the murder happened on instruction of Imam Ali. Some historical sources also suggest that Imam Usman’s burial was not attended by Imam Ali which is a factor that might have worked to reinforce the rumors (Lapidus 65). His untimely death remained unavenged under leadership of Imam Ali who became the fourth Caliph of Islam. This factor coupled with rumors spread by Kharijites about Imam Ali worked to hugely anger Prophet Muhammad’s wife Aisha (Lapidus 66). So, she gathered a large number of Muslims to overthrow Imam Ali’s caliphate and his supporters. The Muslims stood against each other in this war which led to death of a large percentage of Muslims. This war was started by Aisha because the killers of Imam Usman were not arrested. She was also against the appointment of Ali as the fourth Caliph. Imam Ali’s supporters were also extremists and did not try to negotiate affairs. There was a lot of bloodshed as Aisha and her supporters were defeated and Muslims fought Muslims for the first time in this war.
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