Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan

Muawiyah I (Arabic: معاوية ابن أبي سفيانMuʿāwiyah ibn ʾAbī Sufyān; 602 – April 29 or May 1, 680) established the Umayyad Dynasty of the caliphate,[1][2] and was the second caliph from the Umayyad clan.[3] Muawiyah became a secretary for Muhammad, and during the first and second caliphates of Abu Bakr and Umar (Umar ibn al-Khattab), fought with the Muslims against the Byzantines in Syria. Muawiyah was politically adept in dealing with the Eastern Roman Empire and was therefore made into a secretary by Muhammad.[4][5]

To stop the Byzantine harassment from the sea, Muawiyah developed a navy in the Levant and used it to confront the Byzantine Empire in the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara. The Caliphate conquered several territories including Cyzicus which were subsequently used as naval bases.[6]

Early life and family

Muawiyah bin Abi-Sufyan was born in Mecca[7] to Abu Sufyan ibn Harb and Hind bint Utbah (601 CE) into the Banu Umayya sub-clan of the Banu Abd-Shams clan of the Quraysh tribe. The Quraysh controlled the city of Mecca (in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia) and the Banu Abd-Shams were among the most influential of its citizens.[8]

Muawiyah, Muhammad and Ali shared the same great-great grandfather Abdu Manaf bin Qusay, who had four sons: Hashim, Muttalib, Nawfal, and Abdu Shams. Hashim was the great grandfather of Ali and Muhammad. Umayyah bin Abdu Shams was the great grandfather of Muawiyah.[9]

Muawiyah's sister Ramla bint Abi Sufyan was one of the first converts to Islam.[10] In order to avoid hostilities from Quraish, she and her husband Ubayd-Allah ibn Jahsh emigrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia. Her husband, later, converted to Christianity.[10] He tried to persuade her to do the same, but she held on to Islam. His conversion led to their divorce. She continued to live in Abyssinia with her daughter until Ubayd-Allah's death sometime later.[10] She was later married to Muhammad. Khalid ibn Said was chosen by her as her legal guardian at the ceremony. The Negus the king of Abbysian read out the Khutba himself, and Khalid ibn Said made a speech in reply. On behalf of Muhammad, the Negus offered a dowry of four hundred Dinars. A huge wedding feast was given on behalf of Muhammad after the ceremony. The Negus also sent musk and ambergris to the bride through Abraha.[10] Muhammad did not give a dowry larger than this to any of his other wives.

Muawiyah and remaining members of his family were opponents of the Muslims before the ascendancy of Muhammad. Along with his two older brothers Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan and Utbah, Muawiyah was one of the members of the hunting party of his maternal uncle Waleed bin Utbah that pursued Muhammad during the hijra (migration), when Muhammad and Abu Bakr were hiding in Ghar al-Thawr (Cave of the Bull).[11]

In 630, Muhammad and his followers conquered Mecca, and most of the Meccans, including the Abd-Shams clan, formally submitted to Muhammad and accepted Islam. Muawiyah, along with his father Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, became Muslims at the conquest of Mecca.[12][13]

According to Encyclopedia of Islam, Muawiyah was a crypto Muslim after the treaty of Treaty of Hudaybiyyah but his not declare it [14]

After the conquest of Mecca by the Muslims, Muawiyah's family converted to Islam.

Muawiyah and the Islamic prophet Muhammad were brothers-in-law after Muhammad married Muawiyah's sister, Ramla bint Abi Sufyan.

`Abd Manaf ibn Qusai
Abd Shams
Hashim ibn 'Abd Manaf
Abdul Mutallib
`Abd Allah
Abu Talib
`Abbas (Abbasids)
Abu Sufyan
`Abd Allah ibn `Abbas
Zubayr ibn al-Awam
Uthman ibn Affan
Marwan I
Yazid ibn Abi SufyanMuawiyah I
Hasan ibn Ali
Hussein ibn Ali
Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr
also Abu Bakr's grandson
Yazid I (Yazid ibn Muawiyah)



Ibn Katheer wrote in his book the Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah: "In terms of his appearance, he was fair and tall, bald with a white head and he had a beard that he used to colour with henna. He was mild-tempered, dignified, dominant and noble amongst the people, generous, just and astute". [16]

After his conversion to Islam

During the time of Muhammad

Muawiyah worked as a scribe for Muhammad. According to al-Baladhuri, Urwa ibn az-Zubayr, relating from his father, Aisha said "I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who was in a room with Umm Habiba (Muawiyah's sister and Muhammads wife) on her day. Muawiya knocked on the door and he gave him permission to enter, which he did. He had a pen behind his ear which he had not used. The Prophet said, 'What is this on your ear?' He said, 'A pen which I have made ready for Allah and His Messenger.' The Prophet said. 'May Allah repay you well on behalf of your Prophet! By Allah, I will only ask you to write down revelation from heaven" [17][18][19] According to Ibn Katheer in his book the Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, Ibn Abbas said that Abu Sufyan asked Muhammad if he could make his son Muawiyah a scribe which Muhammad granted. Therefore Muawiyah became his scribe [20]

During the time of Muhammad, Abu Bakr and Umar, Muawiyah was restricted.

Background of the Roman-Persian Wars before Islam

Roman–Persian Wars Timeline
Roman–Parthian Wars
69 BC First Roman-Parthian contacts, when Lucullus invaded Southern Armenia.
66–65 BC Dispute between Pompey and Phraates III over Euphrates boundary
53 BC Roman defeat at the Battle of Carrhae
42–37 BC A great Parthian invasion of Syria, and other Roman territories was decisively defeated by Mark Antony and Ventidius
36–33 BC Unsuccessful campaign of Mark Antony against Parthia. Subsequent campaign in Armenia successful, but followed by withdrawal — the whole region passed under Parthian control.
20 BC Settlement with the Parthians by Augustus and Tiberius — Return of the standards captured at Carrhae.
36 AD Defeated by the Romans, Artabanus II renounced his claims to Armenia.
58–63 AD Roman invasion of Armenia — arrangement with the Parthians over the kingship of Armenia.
114–117 AD Major campaign of Trajan against Parthia — Trajan's conquests later abandoned by Hadrian.
161–165 AD War over Armenia (161–163) ended by a Roman victory after initial Parthian successes
Avidius Cassius sacked Ctesiphon in 165 AD.
195–197 AD An offensive under the emperor Septimius Severus led to the Roman acquisition of northern Mesopotamia.
216–217 AD Caracalla launched a new war against the Parthians — His successor Macrinus was defeated by the Parthians near Nisibis.
Roman–Sassanid Wars
230–232 AD Ardashir I raided Mesopotamia and Syria, but was finally repulsed by Alexander Severus.
238–244 AD Ardashir's invasion of Mesopotamia, and Persian defeat at the Battle of Resaena.
Gordian III advanced down the Euphrates but was repelled near Ctesiphon at the Battle of Misiche in 244.
253 AD Roman defeat at the Battle of Barbalissos.
c. 258–260 AD Shapur I defeated and captured Valerian at Edessa.
283 AD Carus sacked Ctesiphon.
296–298 AD Roman defeat at Carrhae in 296 or 297.
In 298 Galerius defeated the Persians.
363 AD After an initial victory at the Ctesiphon, Julian was killed at the Battle of Samarra.
384 AD Shapur III and Theodosius I divided Armenia between the two states.
421–422 AD Roman reaction to Bahram's persecution of Christian Persians.
440 AD Yazdegerd II raided Roman Armenia.
502–506 AD Anastasian War: It broke out when Anastasius I refused to financially support the Persians, and ended with a 7-year peace-treaty.
526–532 AD Iberian War: Roman victories at Dara and Satala, and defeat at Callinicum — end of the war with the "Treaty of Eternal Peace".
540–561 AD Lazic War: It broke out when the Persians broke the "Treaty of Eternal Peace" invading Syria — end of the war in 561 with the signing of a 50-year peace and the Roman acquisition of Lazica.
572–591 AD War for the Caucasus: It broke out when the Armenians revolted against Sassanid rule.
In 589 the Persian general Bahram Chobin raised a rebellion against Hormizd IV.
Restoration of Khosrau II, Hormizd's son, to power by Roman and Persian forces — Restoration of Roman rule in northern Mesopotamia (Dara, Martyropolis) and expansion into Iberia and Armenia.
602 AD After Maurice's assassination, Khosrau II conquered Mesopotamia.
611–623 AD The Persians conquered Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Rhodes, and entered Anatolia.
626 AD Unsuccessful Avar-Persian siege of Constantinople
627 AD Persian defeat at Nineveh.
629 AD Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem, after the Persians agreed to withdraw from all occupied territories.

The Roman-Persian Wars and the Byzantine–Sasanian wars had occurred every few years for hundreds of years between 69 BC and 629 AD. High taxes were imposed on the populations in both the Byzantine Roman and Sassanid Persian empires to finance these wars. There was also continuous bloodshed of the people during these wars. The Arab tribes in Iraq were paid by the Persian Sassanids to act as mercenaries, and the Arab tribes in Syria were paid by the Byzantine Empire to act as their mercenaries. The Persians maintained an Arab satellite state of Lakhm and the Byzantine Empire maintained the Arab satellite state of Ghassan which they used to fight each other.[21]

Before Islam, the Syrians and the Iraqis had been fighting each other for centuries. Therefore later, each wanted the capital of the newly established Islamic State to be in their area.[22] Later others like the Lakhm Arabs, many of whom became the Qurra, also wanted to rule Persia.

There were also many Christian sects along the fringes of the desert. The Nestorian Christians were persecuted and driven out of the Roman Empire and were welcomed by the Persians as victims of the Byzantines, whom the Persians regarded as their enemies. There were also the Monophysite Christians who were condemned as heretical by the Orthodox Church and bitterly opposed by the Nestorians. Muawiyah knew about these differences.[23]

Just 23 years prior to the Muslim conquest of Syria and Jerusalem, in 613, the Jewish revolt against the Byzantine Heraclius culminated with the conquest of Jerusalem in 614 by Persian and Jewish forces and establishment of Jewish autonomy. Under Shahrbaraz during the last of the Byzantine–Sassanian wars, the Persian Empire took Jerusalem. The Persians looted the city, and they are said to have massacred its 90,000 Christian inhabitants.[24]

The revolt ended with the departure of the Persians and an eventual massacre of the Jews in 629 by the Byzantine Greeks, ending 15 years of Jewish autonomy.

Under Abu Bakr

During the time of Under Abu Bakr, Muawiyah used to serve under his brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan (Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan is not to be confused with Yazid ibn Muawiya who was the caliph during the period in which Hussain was martyred). Muawiyah was one of the first to be sent into Syria.[25][26][27][28] According to Al-Imam al-Waqidi the first Muslim historian on the events, Muawiyah's brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan was the first commander with 1,000 horsemen sent to Syria and Palestine by Abu Bakr.[29] Rabi ah bin Amir of Banu Amir tribe was also sent with them him with another 1,000 horsemen and was under Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan command. The account of Al-Imam al-Waqidi from Madina, is the earliest Muslim account of the events and it closely matches the account of the Roman authors of the time.

Abu Bakr's instructions to Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan and his men including Muawiyah were:

"When you leave a place do not cause them difficulty in marching. Do not punish your men harshly. Consult them on every matter. Do not abandon justice and stay far from in justice and tyranny because no tyrant nation has every obtained success. Do not slay any small child, old people, women or pre-adolescent. Do not approach the harvests of the trees. Crops should not be burnt nor fruit trees cut. Do not slaughter any animals which is impermissible. Do not break any agreement which you make with the enemy and after peace do not tear up your treaties. Remember that you will also meet such people who have undertaken monasticism in their monasteries, thinking this to be for the sake of Allah. Do not interfere with them and do not destroy their monasteries and do not kill them". [30]

They could confront the Roman armies but not the civilians.[31] Taxes could be charged for policing, but the people in Syria could have their own representatives and their own laws. The speech was based on the Constitution of Medina. In the best selling book, In the shadow of the sword, The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World, Tom Holland writes [32] "The Constitution of Medina is accepted by even the most suspicious of scholars as deriving from the time of Muhammad. Here in these precious documents, it is possible to glimpse the authentic beginnings of a movement that would succeed, in barely two decades, in prostrating both the Roman and the Persian Empires. That the Prophet consciously aimed at state-building; that it was his ambition to forge his own people and the rest of the tribes into a single Umma (community); that this confederation was to fight in the path of God; these brief details, the veritable building blocks are rock solid".[33] Muawiyah would later have to abide by the same conditions when he became the governor of Syria.

As Abu Bakr was assembling the various tribes in Madina the Christian Arabs living in Madina gave intelligence to the Roman Emperor Heraclius.[34] The Roman military and Heraclius then assembled a force of 8000 cavalry men and appointing Batlic, his brother Serius; Chief of police Luke son of Samuel and the governor of Ghazzah and Ascalon, Salya.[35]

As soon as Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan reached the desert on the out skirts of Madina, their Arab race horses picked up speed. Rabi ah bin Amir asked why are you doing this, Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan replied more bands will be sent after me. Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan then crossed into the Negev near Gaza.[36] Sergius was sent by the Romans to show them the brute facts of Roman might.[29][37]

The Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan devised a cunning plan. Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan ordered Rabi ah bin Amir to hide in ambush with 1000 horse men while he him self led 1000 horsemen to face the Romans and draw then into rows. When the Romans arrived, on seeing Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan small force they thought this to be the entire Arab force and attacked. Rabi'ah them emerged with his men riding their fast Arab horses and ambushed Sergius' troops on the afternoon of 4 February, some twelve miles east of Gaza.[38][39] Tom Holland says that "the specific time and date is derived from a notice in a Syrian chronicle written sometime around the year 640 and which in turn seems to draw on a near-contemporary record". Al-Imam al-Waqidi's account also extremely detailed and exactly matches the Roman account of the events.[29][40][39] The result was an utter debacle for the Romans at the Battle of Tabuk.[29][41] The Romans were used to paying off the Arab tribes that lived in Syria.[42] So Sergius asked Rabi'ah come and work for us. We will pay you to attack the Persians.[29] But things had changed in Arabia and these people were different. Rabi'ah refused.

Heraclius was furious and then organized an army of 100,000 men. According to Al-Imam al-Waqidi the first Muslim historian on the events Abu Bakr then appointed Muawiyah's friend 'Amr ibn al-'As to lead the next band of 9,000 men and they left for Palestine.[43] Tom Holland in his book The shadow of the sword, The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World writes "With intense cunning the Arabs then launched a pincer movement against the Roman army. The second band then crossed the eastern frontier even as first one was in Gaza".[44] When they arrived in Palestine Amr's say his friend Amir bin Adi returning from Palestine after visiting his family. Amir bin Adi told him there was a Roman Army 100,000 strong behind him that had been sent to confront him.[45] 'Amr ibn al-'As then sent Abdullah ibn Umar with 1000 horsemen to gather intelligence on the Roman Army.[46] They saw a Roman Reconnaissance of according to Abdullah ibn Umar of 10,000 horsemen and took them on.[47] Then returned to 'Amr ibn al-'As. They 'Amr ibn al-'As with Abdullah ibn Umar took on another group.

Abu Bakr then sent Abu Ubaydah towards Syria, slowly encircling the Roman armies.[48] As news of the huge army Heraclius was assembling reached Abu Bakr, Abu Bakr then sent a letter to Khalid ibn al-Walid who was close to defeating the Persian Empire at Qadisiyah. Emperor Heraclius had sent all his available garrisoned troops into Syria, towards Ajnadayn, to hold the Muslim troops at the Syria-Arabia border region. The possible route of any Muslim reinforcement was expected to be the conventional Syria-Arabia road in the south, but Khalid, who was then in Iraq, took the most unexpected route: marching through the waterless Syrian desert, to the surprise of the Byzantines, he appeared in northern Syria. Catching the Byzantines off guard, he quickly captured several towns, virtually cutting off the communications of the Byzantine army at Ajnadayn with its high command at Emesa, where emperor Heraclius himself resided.

Battle of Yarmouk

In May 636, Emperor Heraclius launched a major expedition against the Muslims, but his army was defeated decisively at the Battle of Yarmouk in August 636.[49] Heraclius had put together a force of 200,000 men against the 24,000 Muslims.[50][51][52]

The Christians and Jews preferred Moslem rule.[49] Heraclius had put together a force of 200,000 men against the 24,000 Muslims.[50][53][54] Abu-Hafs ad-Dimashki from Sa'id ibn-'Abd-al-'Aziz: "When Heraclius massed his troops against the Moslems and the Moslems heard that they were coming to meet them at al-Yarmuk, the Moslems refunded to the inhabitants the taxes they had taken from them saying, "We are too busy to support and protect you. Take care of yourselves". But the people of Hims replied, "We like your rule and justice far better than the state of oppression and tyranny in which we were. The army of Heraclius we shall indeed, with your 'amil's' help, repulse from the city". The Jews rose and said, "We swear by the Torah, no governor of Heraclius shall enter the city of Hims unless we are first vanquished and exhausted!" Saving this, they closed the gates of the city and guarded them. The inhabitants of the other cities - Christian and Jew - that had capitulated to the Moslems, did the same, saying, "If Heraclius and his followers win over the Moslems we would return to our previous condition, otherwise we shall retain our present state so long as numbers are with the Moslems". When by Allah's help Heraclius was defeated and the Moslems won, they opened the gates of their cities, went out with the singers and music players who began to play, and paid the taxes".[55][56]

The Battle of Yarmouk is regarded as one of the most decisive battles in military history where the Muslims were hugely out numbered by the Romans but with the help of the women and the young boys amongst them, finished off the Roman Empire.[57][58] The battle is also considered to be one of Khalid ibn al-Walid's greatest military victories. It cemented his reputation as one of the greatest tacticians and cavalry commanders in history.[59]

In the Battle of Yarmouk Muawiyah's brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan served under Khalid bin al-Waleed and Abu Ubaydah and was in command of one of the wings and Muawiyah was his second in command. Muawiyahs mother Hind also took part in the battle [49] Al-Waqidi books, along with other early history books like al-Baladhuri illustrate the hugely important role early Muslim women played in society. They show how women like Hind bint Utbah [60][61][62][63][64][65] the mother of Muawiyah and Asmā' bint Abu Bakr,[66] Abu Bakr's daughter were instrumental in the Battle of Yarmouk. Hugely out numbered, every time the men ran away the women fought fearing that if they lost, the Romans will enslave them.

Under desperate circumstances and heavily outnumbered ever time the men would flee, the women would sing: [67]

O you who flee from his loyal lady

She is beautiful and stands firmly

Your abandoning them to the Romans

to let them the forelocks and girls seize

They will take what they want from us to the full


And start fighting them selves.

Hind sang the same song she sang when she found against the Muslims in the battle of Uhud: [69]

Night star's daughters are we

Who walk on carpets soft they be

Our walk does friendliness tell

Our hands are perfumed musk smell

Pearls are strung around these necks of us

So come and embrace us

Whoever refuses will be separated forever

To defend his women is there no noble lover? [70]

After seeing the women fight the men would return and said to each other "If we do not fight then we are more entitled to sit in the women's quarter than the women".[71]

Muawiyah's father Abu Sufyan also took part and Abu Sufyan lost his sight.[72]

At one point when arrows started raining down on Abu Sufyan and he tried to turn his horse away and Hend struck his horse in the face with a tent-peg and said "Where do you think your going, O Sakhr? Go back to battle and put effort into it until you compensate for having incited people in the past against Muhammad. An arrow later hit Muawiyah's father Abu Sufyan in the eye and he went blind [73]

The defeat of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius at the Battle of Yarmouk opened the way for the Muslim expansion into Jerusalem.

The Muslim troops besieged the city of Jerusalem some time in November 636. Instead of relentless assaults on the city, they decided to press on with the siege until the Byzantines ran short of supplies and a bloodless surrender could be negotiated.[74]

Although details of the siege were not recorded, it appeared to be bloodless.[75] After a siege of four months, Sophronius offered to surrender the city.[76]

Following the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, Jews were once again allowed to live and practice their religion with more freedom in Jerusalem, 8 years after their massacre by the Byzantines.

Following the Roman–Persian Wars which occurred every few years for hundreds of years between 69 BC and 629 AD and the high taxes imposed to finance these wars and the continuous bloodshed the people of Jerusalem and Syrian accepted the Muslims.

Muawiyah was also present when the treaty was signed for the Muslims to enter Jerusalem [77][78]

Muawiyah Under Umar

Governor of Syria and organizational and diplomatic skills with the Romans

In 639, Muawiyah was appointed as the governor of Syria by the second caliph Umar after his brother the previous governor Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan and the governor before him Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah died in a plague along with 25,000 other people.[79][80] 'Amr ibn al-'As was sent to take on the Roman Army in Egypt.

With limited resources his marriage to Maysum was politically motivated, as she was the daughter of the chief of the Kalb tribe, that was a large Jacobite Christian Arab tribe in Syria. The Kalb tribe had remained largely neutral when the Muslims first went into Syria.[81] After the plague that killed much of the Muslim Army in Syria, by marrying Maysum, Muawiyah started to use the Jacobite Christians, against the Romans. Muawiya's wife Maysum (Yazid's mother) was also a Jacobite Christian.[82] With limited resources and the Byzantine just over the border, Muawiyah worked in cooperation with the local Christian population.

The second caliph Umar was very firm on the governors and his spies kept an eye on the governors. If he felt that a governor or a commander was becoming attracted to wealth or did not meet the required administrative standards, he had him removed from his position.[83]

Early Muslim armies stayed in encampments away from cities because Umar feared that they may get attracted to wealth and luxury. In the process, they may get away from the worship of God and become attracted to wealth and start accumulating wealth and establishing dynasties.[84][85][86][87] "Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one's] hope." Qur'an 18:46 [88] "O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah . And whoever does that - then those are the losers." Qur'an 63:9 [89] Staying in these encampments away from the cities also ensured that there was no stress on the population and also that the populations remained autonomous and kept their own judges and representatives. Some of these encampments later grew into cities themselves, like Basra and Kufa in Iraq and Fustat in Egypt.[90] STemplate:Cn span

According to some books [91] the town of Caesarea was taken by Muawiyah in 640, when the last Byzantine Roman garrison in Syria and Palestine surrendered. But according to Al-Imam Al-Waqidi, the author of the oldest history books on Islam it was Muawiyah friend 'Amr ibn al-'As who expelled the Roman army from Caesarea. 'Amr ibn al-'As who along with Muawiyah's brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan who later became the governor of Syria, expelled the Roman armies from many Syrian cities and later 'Amr ibn al-'As also moved into Egypt.[92] Al-Waqidi's books, along with other early history books like al-Baladhuri also illustrate the hugely important role early Muslim women played in society.[93]

Under Muawiyahs governance the Syrian army became a major military force. He picked out the best leaders from various tribes where as else where in the state the military units were still based along tribal lines. He personally saw to the comfort and the equipment of the troops, increased their pay and paid them on a regular basis when they were on duty. He kept the troops in training by an annual expedition against the Byzantines and therefore kept the Byzantines in a constant state of unease and therefore kept his northern border safe. He took Qaysariyya in 19 AH.[94] He encouraged innovations in military technology. Muawiyah armies used “Minjenique” machines to propel large stones onto enemy ramparts. He modernized the army, introducing specialized units for desert combat and snowy terrains. New forts were also built.

Under Uthman

Muawiya left the Byzantine and Persian administrative structures intact, being sure not to give his largely non-Muslims subjects any incentive to revolt [95]

Postal system, which was created by Omar ibn al Khattab for military use, was now opened to the public by Muawiya.[96] Uthman dismissed 'Amr ibn al-'As from governorship of Egypt so Muawiyah asked him to join him in Syria.

The Battle of the Masts and expansion onto the Mediterranean

Muawiya was one of the first to realize the full importance of having a navy; as long as the Byzantine fleet could sail the Mediterranean unopposed, the coast line of Syria, Palestine and Egypt would never be safe. Muawiyah along with Adbullah ibn Sa'd the new governor of Egypt successfully persuaded Uthman to give them permission to construct a large fleet in the dockyards of Egypt and Syria [97]

Therefore to stop the Byzantine harassment from the sea during the Arab-Byzantine Wars, in 649 Muawiyah set up a navy; manned by Monophysitise Christians, Copts and Jacobite Syrian Christians sailors and Muslim troops. This resulted in the defeat of the Byzantine navy at the Battle of the Masts in 655, opening up the Mediterranean.[98][99][100][101][102][103]

In the Battle of the Masts the Muawiyah's new Arab navy of 200 ships, defeated the well established Roman Navy of 700 to 1000 ships and sank 500 of their ships[81]

Muawiyah was motivated by Muhammad's statement:

"The army from my people who will first perform jihad through water has made Paradise obligatory for itself."[104][105][non-primary source needed][third-party source needed]

Before the battle, chronicler Theophanes the Confessor says, the Emperor dreamed of being at Thessalonika; this dream predicted his defeat against the Arabs because the word Thessalonika is similar to the sentence "thes allo niken", which means "gave victory to another (the enemy)".[106]

During his naval expeditions in 28 AH he took Rhodes and later in 29 AH he took Cyprus.[107] He was accompanied by his wife, Katwa, who died in the course of the expedition. Muawiyah had asked Umar once and Uthman twice for permissions to undertake such naval expeditions. The second time Uthman said "If you cross with your wife, we will allow you to do this". Therefore he embarked with several ships and his wife. Umm Haram, the wife of Ubada ibn as-Samit also went on this expedition. The Cypriots capitulated with terms.[108]

Under the instructions of the caliph Uthman ibn al-Affan, Muawiyah then prepared for the siege of Constantinople.

As Uthman ibn al-Affan became very old, Marwan I a relative of Muawiyah slipped into the vacuum and became his secretary and slowly assumed more control and relaxed some of the restrictions on the governors.[109]

Sabaites, Qurra and the Kharijities

The Qur'an and Muhammad talked about racial equality and justice as in the The Farewell Sermon.[110][111][112][113][114][115][116] Tribal and nationalistic differences were discouraged. But after Muhammad's passing the old tribal differences between the Arabs started to resurface. Following the Roman-Persian Wars and the Byzantine–Sasanian wars deep rooted differences between Iraq, formally under the Persian Sassanid Empire and Syria formally under the Byzantine Empire also existed. Each wanted the capital of the newly established Islamic State to be in their area.[117]

Sects started to form, among them the Sabaites named after Abdala Ben Saba [118]

At-Tabri (5:66) reported that when a man called "Abdullah ibn Saba" came to Syria, he met Adu Dharr. He Said "Adu Dharr, aren't you amazed at Muawiya saying, "The property is the property of Allah. Doesn't everything belong to Allah?' It seems he means to cut it off from the Muslims and erase the name of the Muslims!" Adu Dharr therefore went to him and said "What leads you to call the property of the Muslims the property of Allah?" Muawiya said "May Allah have mercy on you, Adu Dharr! Are we not the slaves of Allah and all property is His property and all creation is His creation and all the affair is His affair?" Abu Dharr said "Do not say that." Muawiya said "I do not say that it does not belong to Allah, but I say, 'The property of the Muslims'" Adbullah ibn Saba came back to Abu Dharr who them said to him "Who are you? By Allah, I think that you are a Jew." Then Ibn Saba went to Abdullah ibn as-Samit and attempted to make his discontented. 'Adbullah took him to Muawiya and said "By Allah this is one who sent Abu Dharr to you".

Much of the Jewish literature on Adbullah ibn Saba regards him as an apostate from Judaism too.[119][120][121][122]

There was also the movement towards more autonomous tribal groupings which was particularly strong in Kufa, in Iraq, they wanted to rule their own states. Amongst them developed a group called the Qurra who later became known as the Kharijities.[123][124]

The Qurra are referenced in many Hadith from the period of Muhammad, Abu Bakr and Umar in Sahih Al Bukhari (Volume 6, Book 60, Number 201 and Volume 6, Book 61, Number 509 and Volume 8, Book 75, Number 403):

The Qurra had taken part in the Battle of Yamama. But the Qurra never listened to orders and would start battles even when they were ordered not to and were heavily out numbered. At Yamamah, Khalid ibn al-Walid wrote to them and Ikrimah to just observe the forces of Musaylimah at Yamamah, but not start fighting until he had arrived. Shurahbil bin Hasanah was also being sent to help them. But even though they were heavily out numbered, they disobeyed their orders and started a battle and as a result suffered heavy casualties. They later disobeyed orders and started the Battle of the Camel and the Battle of Saffin and did the same against Ali in the Battle of Nahrawan even through they were heavily out numbered.[125]

Volume 6, Book 60, Number 201 : Narrated by Zaid bin Thabit Al-Ansari

"...Abu Bakr sent for me after the (heavy) casualties among the warriors (of the battle) of Yamama (where a great number of qurra' were killed). 'Umar was present with Abu Bakr who said, 'Umar has come to me and said, The people have suffered heavy casualties on the day of (the battle of) Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be more casualties among the qurra' at other battle-fields ...

Volume 9, Book 92, Number 386 : Narrated by Hammam

Hudhaifa said, "O the Group of Al-qurra! Follow the straight path, for then you have taken a great lead (and will be the leaders), but if you divert right or left, then you will go astray far away."

Al-Masudi calls them the "ahl al-qar wa l-ashraf" The earliest reference to these people are as Ajl al-Qura, the people of the village, those who fought with Abu Bakr against the desert tribes of Yamama during the Ridda when some of the tribes refused to pay taxes.[126][127][128] The Qurra had political and economic interests that were different from those of Ali or Muawiyah. They had served in the Ridda wars and had been granted trusteeship over some of the lands in Sawad in Iraq and were now called Ahl al Ayyam, those who had taken part in the eastern conquests.[129][130] They then became known as the Qurra and received the highest stipend of the Muslim army, the sharaf al ata and they had the use of the best lands which they came to regard as their private domain. The Qurra received stipends varying between 2,000 and 3,000 dirhams, while the majority of the rest of the troops received only 250 to 300 dirhams. The other Ridda tribesmen in Kufa, in Iraq, resented the special position given to the Qurra. The tension between the Ridda tribesmen and the Qurra threatened the Qurra's newly acquired prestige. The Qurra therefore felt obliged to defend their position in the new but rapidly changing society. Uthman's policies of reducing their status threatened their interests.[131][132][133][134]

The Qurra were mainly based in Kufa, in Iraq.[135][136] They had not been involved in Syria. But later when Uthman declined to give them more lands in Persia [135][137] they felt that their status was being reduced and therefore started to cause trouble.[135][138] He also removed the distinction between the Ridda and pre-Ridda tribesmen which was not to their liking and lessened their prestige.[139][140][141]

The Qurra had previously been desert nomads and some were also bandits and had joined to Muslims so that they could gain lands and status and become the new aristocrats in Iraq[142] But later when Uthman imposed restrictions on them and prevented them from becoming landlords in Iran they rebelled.[143][144][135][145]

Some of the people with their tribal names as Qurra had been expelled from Kufa, in Iraq, for fomenting trouble and were sent to Muawiyah in Syria. Muawiyah then said to them:

"You are people from the Arabs. You have importance and are heard. You have obtained nobility by Islam. You have conquered the nations and you have won their positions and their inheritance. I have heard that you resent the Quraysh. If it had not been for the Quraysh, you would have been considered abased as you were before, However, they are still your Imams today and your shelter, so do not impede your shelter. Your Imamns are patient with you in the face of your injustice and endure the trouble that you cause. By Allah, either you will cease or Allah will try you with someone who will be hard on you. Then you will share with them in what you brough about on the populace while you were alive and after your death. "[146]

The Qurra Arabs had previously been desert nomads and bandits. One of them then spoke with great arrogance and said to Muawiyah

"How much you go on about authority and the Quraysh! The Arabs (meaning they the Qurra) were eating from the hilts of their swords while the Quraysh were nothing but merchants!" He then said "As for the shelter you mentioned, when the shelter is pierced, then come to us" meaning that they will remove the Quraysh and will rule them selves.[147]

Muawiyah then said to him "I remind you by Islam and yet you mention the Jahiliyya (meaning their days before Islam)"[148]

Muawiyah then wrote to Uthman saying: "Some people have come to me who have neither intellect nor deen (faith). Islam is burdensome to them and justice vexes them. They do not aim for Allah in anything nor do they speak by any proof. They are busy with sedition and appropriating the property of the non Muslims. Allah is the One who will test and try them. Then He will be the One to disgrace them and humiliate them. They are those who injure people."[149]

Then they were sent to Abdur r Rahman ibn Khalid ibn Walid. He said to them:

"Tools of Shaytan! You have no welcome! Shaytan has returned in sorrow and yet you are still active! May Allah disappoint Abdur Rahman if he does not discipline you until he makes you feel regret! O company of a people whom I do not know to be Arab or non Arab, you will not say to me what I heard you said to Muawiyah! I am the son of Khalid ibn al-Walid. I am the son of the one who was tested by the teeth. I am the son of the one who knocked out the Ridda!" [150] He mentioned the Ridda and not the defeat of the Byzantine or the Persian because he recognized that these people were an internal threat.[151] The Qurra had previously fought in the Ridda wars alongside Khalid ibn al-Walid but now had political and economic interests that were different from the rest of the Muslims.

Abdur r Rahman ibn Khalid ibn Walid then sent them to Uthman in Madina. In Madina they took an oath that they will not cause trouble and following the example of Muhammad, Uthman accepted their word and let them go.[152] They then split up and went to various different Muslim centers and started fomenting rebellion, particularly in Egypt.[153]

In the best selling book, Shadow of the sword, The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World, Tom Holland writes [154] "Uthman was not content to divide up the loot of the old empires in the time-honoured manner of a bandit chieftain sharing out plunder after a successful raid. The Arabs, so it seemed to the new Amir had moved on from that. The conquerors, if they were to make best use of the defeated superpowers bureaucracies, would themselves have to accept certain disciplines: a central administration, not least, and a clear-cut chain of command. Precisely the marks of slavery, in short, that the desert Arabs had always derided."

The Qurra then felt that Abu Musa al_Ashari could look after their interests better. Sa'id ibn al-As, the governor in Kufa, in Iraq, then wrote to Uthman "I have no power at all over Kufa with Al-Ashtar and his friends who are called al-qurra, and they are idiots" [155] In 655/634 the Qurra stopped Uthans governor Sa'id ibn al-As at Jara'a, preventing him from entering Kufa and declared Abu Musa al-Ashari to be their governor. (Later the Qurra proposed Abu Musa al_Ashari as the arbitrator against the wished of Ali after the Battle of Saffin because they felt that he could also better represent their interests there and split away from Ali and became officially known as the Khawarij.)[156]

In 656, The Qurra approached Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr the son of Abu Bakr and the adopted son of Ali ibn Abi Talib and the great grandfather of Ja'far al-Sadiq and asked him why he was not a governor. They had fought under the service of his father in the Ridda wars.

When Ali first heard about the siege of Uthman, he sent his sons Hassan and Hussayn to protect Uthman.[157] Zubayr ibn Awwam sent his son Abdullah ibn Zubair and Talha ibn Ubaydullah sent his son also sent his son to protect Uthman.[158][159] But the Qurra went around them, climbed a wall and ended up killing Uthman ibn al-Affan.[160]

According to Encyclopedia of Islam, Muawiyah sent a relief force led by Habib ibn Maslama al-Fihri to protect Uthman, but events moved so fast that Uthman got killed before they arrived, so they turned back from the wadi I kura [14][161][162][163] According to al-Baladhuri one of the earliest books of these events Ali was furious and slapped Hassan and Hussein saying "How did he get killed when you were at the door?"[164]

There were references to these people in earlier texts too. Abū Dharr narrated that Muhammad said: Aḥmad, Muslim, and Ibn Mājah

“There will definitely be a people after me from my nation who recite the Quran yet it will not even reach beyond their throats. They will pass through the religion as an arrow passes through a target, then they will not return back to it. They are the worst of people, the worst of all creatures.” [165]

al-Bukhārī, Muslim, Abū Dāwūd, and al-Nasā`ī all recorded a Ḥadīth from Abū Sa’īd al- Khudrī ( رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ ) that he said: ‘Alī ( رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ ) sent some gold to the prophet ( صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم ) so divided and distributed it among four groups: al-Aqra’ Ibn Ḥābis al-Ḥanẓalī, al-Mujāshi’ī, ‘Uyaynah Ibn Badr al-Fazārī, and Zayd al-Ṭā`ī; a man from the Nabhān tribe and ‘Alqamah Ibn ‘Ulāthah al-‘Āmirī; then a man from the Kilāb tribe. (The Muslims of) Quraysh and the residents of Medina became upset and said, “He gives to the noble one from Najd and leaves us?” The prophet ( صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم ) said: إِنَّمَا أَتَأَلَّفُهُمْ “I am only trying to unite their hearts.” Then a man with sunken eyes, thick cheeks, a high forehead, a thick beard, and a shaven head came up and said, “Fear Allah, Muhammad!” He replied: مَنْ يُطِعْ اللَّهَ إِذَا عَصَيْتُ؟ أَيَأْمَنُنِي اللَّهُ عَلَى أَهْلِ الأَرْضِ فَلا تَأْمَنُونِي؟ “Who would obey Allah if I were disobedient (to Him)? Allah trusts me with regards to the people of the earth but you don’t trust me?” [166] After the man left, he said: إِنَّ مِنْ ضِئْضِئِ هَذَا أَوْ فِي عَقِبِ هَذَا قَوْمًا يَقْرَءُونَ الْقُرْآنَ لا يُجَاوِزُ حَنَاجِرَهُمْ يَمْرُقُونَ مِنْ الدِّينِ مُرُوقَ السَّهْمِ مِنْ الرَّمِيَّةِ يَقْتُلُونَ أَهْلَ الإِسْلامِ وَيَدَعُونَ أَهْلَ الأَوْثَانِ لَئِنْ أَنَا أَدْرَكْتُهُمْ لأَقْتُلَنَّهُمْ قَتْلَ عَادٍ “From the progeny of this man,” or he said, “From the offspring of this man, there will come a people who will recite the Quran but it will not go beyond their throats. They will go through the religion like a arrow going through a target. They will murder the people of Islam while ignoring the people of idol-worship. If I were to reach them (their time), I would destroy them like the people of ‘Ād were destroyed.” [167]

Some modern scholars like R. E. Brunnow trace the origins of the Qurra and the Kharitites back to Bedouin stock and desert tribesmen, who had become soldiers not out of commitment to Islam but to share the spoils. Brunnow held that the Kharijites were Bedouin Arabs (Beduinenaraber) or full blooded Arabs.[168]

Under Ali's Caliphate

Ali was then asked by the people in Madina to become the Caliph. But Ali said:

"Leave me and seek some one else. We are facing a matter which has (several) faces and colours, which neither hearts can stand nor intelligence can accept. Clouds are hovering over the sky, and faces are not discernible. You should know that if I respond to you I would lead you as I know and would not care about whatever one may say or abuse. If you leave me then I am the same as you are. It is possible I would listen to and obey whomever you make in charge of your affairs. I am better for you as a counsellor than as chief." [169][non-primary source needed][third-party source needed]

Ali later wrote in a letter "I did not approach the people to get their oath of allegiance but they came to me with their desire to make me their Amir (ruler). I did not extend my hands towards them so that they might swear the oath of allegiance to me but they themselves extended their hands towards me".[170][non-primary source needed][third-party source needed]

Ali later assumed the position of caliph. Following the Roman-Persian Wars and the Byzantine–Sasanian wars there were deep rooted differences between Iraq, formally under the Persian Sassanid Empire and Syria formally under the Byzantine Empire. The Iraqis wanted the capital of the newly established Islamic State to be in Kufa so as to bring revenues into their area and oppose Syria.[171] They convinced Ali to come to Kufa and establish the capital in Kufa, in Iraq.[171] Ali later moved the capital to Kufa.[171] Muawiyah the governor of Syria, a relative of Uthman ibn al-Affan and Marwan I wanted the culprits arrested. Marwan I and the Qurra manipulated every one and created conflict. This later resulted in the first civil war (the "First Fitna").

Muawiyah, the governor of Syria, a relative of Uthman ibn al-Affan and Marwan I wanted the culprils arrested. Aisha, Talhah and Zubayr ibn al-Awam also asked Ali to arrest the culprits.[172]

When Ali decided to take on Muawiyah, Aisha, Talhah and Zubayr ibn al-Awam then went to Kufa to talk to Ali. Muawiyah did not go to Basra with Aisha, Talhah and Al-Zubayr. He was in Damascus at the time.[173]

The talks lasted for months. Zubair who was Ali's and Muhammad's cousin did not want fellow Muslims to fight. He said to Ali "What a tragedy that the Muslims who had acquired the strength of a rock are going to be smashed by colliding with one another".[174]

Some chieftains of the Kufa tribes contacted their tribes living in Basra.[174] A Chieftain contacted Ali to settle the matter.[174] Ali did not want to fight and he agreed.[174] He then contacted Aisha and spoke to her,[174] "Is it not wise to shed the blood of five thousand for the punishment of five hundred"[174] She agreed to settle the matter.[174] Ali then met Talha and Zubair and told them about the prophecy of Muhammad. Both of them did not want to fight and left the field. Everyone was happy, but not the people who had killed Uthman and the supporters of Ibn Saba.[174] They thought that if a settlement was reached, they would not be safe.[174] The Sabaites launches a night attack and started burning the tents.[174] Ali was restraining his men but nobody was listening, as every one thought that the other party had committed break of trust. Confusion prevailed throughout the night.[174] The Qurra and the Sabaites attacked the Umayyads and the fighting started. Qazi K'ab of Basra advised Aysha to mount her camel tell people to stop fighting.[174][174] Ali's cousin Zubair, was by then making his way to Medina and he was killed in an adjoining valley by a Sabait[174] called Amr ibn Jarmouz. Amr ibn Jarmouz had followed Zubair and murdered him while he was in his prays.[174] Talhah also left. On seeing this, Marwan who was manipulating everyone shot Talhah with a poisoned arrow[175] saying that he had disgraced his tribe, by leaving the field.[174] With the two generals Zubair and Talhah gone confusion prevailing and the Qurra, the Sabaites and the Umayyads fought.[175][176] Aisha's brother Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, who was Ali's commander, then approached Aisha. Ali pardoned Aisha and her brother Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr escorted her back to Medina.[175] Ali also released Marwan.

Ali's inability to punish the murderers of Uthman and Muawiyahs refusal to pledge allegiance eventually led to Ali moved his army north to confront Muawiyah. Ali sent three men, Bashir bin Amr bin Mahz Ansari, Saeed bin Qais Hamdani, and Shis bin Rabiee Tamini to Muawiya to induce him to settle for union, accord and coming together. Muawiyah replied: "Go away from here, only the sword will decide between us."[177] The two armies encamped themselves at Siffin for more than one hundred days, most of the time being spent in negotiations. Neither side wanted to fight. Then on 11th Safar 37 AH, the Iraqis under Ashtar's command, the Qurra, in Ali's army, who had their own camp started the fighting in earnest which lasted three days. The loss of life was terrible. Suddenly one of the Syrians, Ibn Lahiya, out of dread of the fitna and unable to bear the spectacle rode forward with a copy of the Quran on the ears of his horse to call for judgement by the book of Allah, and the other Syrians followed suit. Everyone on both sides took up the cry, eager to avoid killing their follow Muslims - except for the conspirators. The majority of Ali's followers supported arbitration. Nasr b Muzahim, in one of the earliest source states that al-Ash ath ibn Qays, one of Ali's key supporters and a Kufan, then stood up and said:"O company of Muslims! You have seen what happened in the day which has passed. In it some of the Arabs have been annihilated. By Allah, I have reached the age which Allah willed that I reach. but I have never ever seen a day like this. Let the present convey to the absent! If we fight tomorrow, it will be the annihilation of the Arabs and the loss of what is sacred. I do not make this statement out of fear of death, but I am an aged man who fears for the women and children tomorrow if we are annihilated. O Allah, I have looked to my people and the people of my deen and not empowered anyone. There is no success except by Allah. On Him I rely and to Him I return. Opinion can be both right and wrong. When Allah decides a matter, He carries it out whether His servants like it or not. I say this and I ask Allah's forgiveness for me and you." Then, Nasr b Muzahim says people looked at Muawiya who said "He is right, by the Lord. If we meet tomorrow the Byzantines will attack our women and children and the people of Persia will attack the women and children of Iraq. Those with forebearance and intelligence see this. Tie the copies of the Quran to the ends of the spears". So the fighting stopped.[178]

The estimated casualties were that Ali's forces lost 25,000, while Muawiyah's forces lost 45,000.[179]

Every time Ali tried to negotiate the Qurra and the Sabait started wars and launched night attacks, fearing that if there was peace, then they will be arrested.[180]

Appointment of Arbitrators

It was decided that the Syrians and the residents of Kufa, in Iraq, should nominate an arbitrator, each to decide between Ali and Muawiya. The Syrians choice fell on Amr bin al-A'as who was the rational soul and spokesman of Muawiya. 'Amr ibn al-'As was one of the generals involved in expelling the Romans from Syria and also expelled the Romans from Egypt.[181] A few years earlier 'Amr ibn al-'As with 9,000 men in Palestine had found him self confronting Heraclius' 100,000 army until Khalid crossed the Syrian desert from Iraq to assist him.[182] He was a highly skilled negotiator and had previously been used in negotiations with the Heraclius the Roman Emperor.[183] Ali wanted Malik Ashtar or Abdullah bin Abbas to be appointed as an arbitrator for the people of Kufa, Iraq, but the Qurra strongly demurred, alleging that men like these two were, indeed, responsible for the war and, therefore, ineligible for that office of trust. They nominated Abu Musa al-Ashari as their arbitrator. (During the time of Uthman, they had appointed Abu Musa al-Ashari as the Governor of Kufa and removed Uthams governor before they started fighting Uthman) Ali found it expedient to agree to this choice in order to ward off bloody dissensions in his army. According to "Asadul Ghaba", Ali had, therefore, taken care to personally explain to the arbitrators, "You are arbiters on condition that you decide according to the Book of God, and if you are not so inclined you should not deem yourselves to be arbiters."[184]

The Iraqis under Ali and the Syrians under Muawiyah were not split over their faith [185][non-primary source needed][third-party source needed] but over when to bring the people who killed Uthman to justice. Ali also wanted to bring them to justice but the dispute was over the timing.

According to early Shia sources Ali later wrote:[185][non-primary source needed][third-party source needed]

"The thing began in this way: We and the Syrians were facing each other while we had common faith in one Allah, in the same Prophet (s) and on the same principles and canons of religion. So far as faith in Allah and the Holy Prophet (s) was concerned we never wanted them (the Syrians) to believe in anything over and above or other than what they were believing in and they did not want us to change our faith. Both of us were united on these principles. The point of contention between us was the question of the murder of Uthman. It had created the split. They wanted to lay the murder at my door while I am actually innocent of it.

I advised them that this problem cannot be solved by excitement. Let the excitement subside, let us cool down; let us do away with sedition and revolt; let the country settle down into a peaceful atmosphere and when once a stable regime is formed and the right authority is accepted, then let this question be dealt with on the principles of equity and justice because only then the authority will have power enough to find the criminals and to bring them to justice. They refused to accept my advice and said that they wanted to decide the issue on the point of the sword.

When they thus rejected my proposal of peace and kept on sabre rattling threats, then naturally the battle, which was furious and bloody, started. When they saw defeat facing them across the battlefield, when many of them were killed, and many more wounded, then they went down on their knees and proposed the same thing, which I had proposed before the bloodshed had begun.

I accepted their proposal so that their desire might be fulfilled, my intentions of accepting the principles of truth and justice and acting according to these principles might become clear and they might have no cause to complain against me.

Now whoever adheres firmly to the promises made will be the one whose salvation will be saved by Allah and one who will try to go back upon the promises made, will fall deeper and deeper into heresy, error and loss. His eyes will be closed to realities and truth in this world and he will be punished in the next world."[185][non-primary source needed][third-party source needed]

Encyclopedia of Islam says "According to the non Muslim view the Syrians were winning" [186] Either way, neither the Syrians nor the Iraqis wanted to fight and the battle was stopped.

When the arbitrators assembled at Daumet-ul-Jandal, which lay midway between Kufa and Syria and had for that reason been selected as the place for the announcement of the decision, a series of daily meetings were arranged for them to discuss the matters in hand. When the time arrived for taking a decision about the caliphate, Amr bin al-A'as convinced Abu Musa al-Ashari into entertaining the opinion that they should deprive both Ali and Muawiya of the caliphate, and give to the Muslims the right to elect the caliph. Abu Musa al-Ashari also decided to act accordingly. As the time for announcing the verdict approached, the people belonging to both parties assembled. Amr bin al-A'as requested Abu Musa to take the lead in announcing the decision he favoured. Abu Musa al-Ashari agreed to open the proceedings, and said, "We have devised a solution after a good deal of thought and it may put an end to all contention and separatist tendencies. It is this. Both of us remove Ali as well as Muawiya from the caliphate. The Muslims are given the right to elect a caliph as they think best."[187]

Ali refused to accept the verdict of him stepping down and for an election to be held and found him self technically in breach of his pledge to abide by the arbitration.[188][189][190] This put Ali in a weak position even amongst his own supporters.[191] The most vociferous opponents of Ali in his camp were the very same people who had forced Ali to appoint their arbitrator, the Qurra who then became known as the Kharijites.[192] Feeling that Ali could no longer look after their interests [135] Also fearing that if there was peace, they could be arrested for the murder of Uthman they broke away from Ali's force, rallying under the slogan, "arbitration belongs to God alone."[193] The Qurra then became known as the Kharijites ("those who leave"). The Kharijites then started killing other people.

When Ali moved his forces north against Muawiyah during the outbreak of the Muslim Civil War in 656, it bought a precious breathing pause for Byzantium, which Emperor Constans II (r. 641–668) used to shore up his defences and initiate a major army reform with lasting effect: the establishment of the themata, the large territorial commands into which Anatolia, the major contiguous territory remaining to the Empire, was divided. The themata would form the backbone of the Byzantine defensive system for centuries to come.[194]

After the battle of Saffin the Qurra realised that Ali could not safeguard their interests and therefore split off and formed their own Party called the Kharijites and later developed into an anarchist movement [195] and plagued successive governments even Harun the Abbasid ruler died fighting the Kharijites [196]

They also started killing Ali's supporters. They considered anyone who was not part of their group as an unbeliever.[197]

In the best selling book, Shadow of the sword, The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World, Tom Holland writes [198] "The Kharijites argued a true believer would have trusted his fate not to diplomacy but to ongoing warfare and God will decide." Even though they them selves had put forward their representative and become a party of them selves, so that the negotiations could go in their favor and satisfy their own political and economic interests. Tom Holland says that "they then condemned Ali as an unbeliever, as the man who had strayed from the Strait Path. The fact that he was Muhammad's nephew only confirmed them in their militancy of their egalitarianism; that the true aristocracy was one of piety and not blood. Even a Companion of the Prophet, if he did not pray until he developed marks on his forehead. If he did not look pale and haggard from regular fasting, if he did not live like a lion by day and a monk by night, ranked in the opinion of the Kharijites as no better than an apostate." They then developed even more twisted views. Tom Holland writes "Other Kharijites, so it was reported, might go out and with their swords into the markets while people would stand around not realizing what was happening; they would shout "no judgment except God!" and plunge their blades into whom ever they could reach and go on killing until they them selves were killed.[199]

In 659 Ali's forces finally moved against the Kharijites and they finally met in the Battle of Nahrawan. Although Ali won the battle, the constant conflict had begun to affect his standing.[200] Tom Holland writes "Ali won a victory over them as crushing as it was to prove pyrrhic: for all he had done, in effect was to fertilise the soil of Iraq with the blood of their martyrs. Three years later, and there came the inevitable blowback: a Kharijite assassin.".[201]

The Kharijites caused so much trouble that in both the Sunni and the Shia books Ali said:"With regard to me, two categories of people will be ruined, namely he who loves me too much and the love takes him away from rightfulness, and he who hates me too much and the hatred takes him away from rightfulness. The best man with regard to me is he who is on the middle course. So be with him and be with the great majority of Muslims because Allah’s hand of protection is on keeping unity. You should beware of division because the one isolated from the group is a prey to Satan just as the one isolated from the flock of sheep is a prey to the wolf. Beware! Whoever calls to this course [of sectarianism], kill him, even though he may be under this headband of mine."(Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 126)[non-primary source needed][third-party source needed]

While dealing with the Iraqis, Ali found it hard to build a disciplined army and effective state institutions to exert control over his areas and as a result later spent a lot of time fighting the Kharijites. As a result, on the Eastern front, Ali found it hard to expand the state.[202]

At about the same time, unrest was brewing in Egypt. The governor of Egypt, Qais, was recalled, and Ali had him replaced with Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr (the brother of Aisha and the son of Islam's first caliph Abu Bakr). Muawiyah aloud 'Amr ibn al-'As to invade Egypt and 'Amr did so successfully.[203] Amr had first taken Egypt eighteen years earlier from the Romans but had been dismissed by Uthman.[204] Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr had no popular support in Egypt and managed to get together 2000 men but they dispersed without a fight.[205] Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr was killed. Many Umayyads held Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr responsible for starting all this off after the Qurra misled him by tempted him by saying why aren't you a governor. According to Shia sources Ali had asked the people of Kufa to go to Egypt but they refused to leave Kufa. After which according to early Shia sources Ali wrote to Abdullah Ibn Abbas referring to the people of Kufa "I feel disgusted and pray to Allah to relieve me of the society of such faithless and worthless people.".[206][non-primary source needed][third-party source needed] Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr death deeply affected both Ali and Aisha. Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr was raised by Ali and then his son Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr was raised by Aisha. Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr also the grandson of Abu Bakr and the grandfather of Ja'far al-Sadiq. Aishas also taught her nephew Urwah ibn Zubayr. He then taught his son Hisham ibn Urwah, who was the main teacher of Malik ibn Anas whose views many Sunni follow. Malik ibn Anas then taught Imam Al-Shafi‘i and he then taught Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

Muawiya then used Egypt to expand the state further West to take North Africa.

Ali was assassinated by Kharijites in 661. On the 19th of Ramadan, while Praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa, Ali was attacked by the Khawarij Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam. He was wounded by ibn Muljam's poison-coated sword while prostrating in the Fajr prayer.[207]

When Alī was assassinated in 661, Muawiyah, had the largest and the most organized and disciplined force in the Muslim Empire.

Scholars like Wellhausen have argued that the Kharijites when revolting against Ali used the same formula as they had previously applied against Uthman, when they revolted against Uthman.[208]

Wellhausen argues that for the Kharijite Ali's pact with Muawiyah compromised the Devine Right the same act which caused the insurgencies against Uthman and Muawiya as well.[209]

Scholars like Wellhausen argue that the Kharijites sprang from the Qurra and they did not start off as a marginal and clandestine sect, but were in full public eye. Wellhausen argues that:[210]

"Their origins were essentially very different from those of the Abbasid and Fatimid parties. They did not have to resort to conspiracy and widespread propaganda and were not held together by a secret complex organization. They had only principles but these were always well known to the people and attracted supporters without them seeking them".[211]

M. A. Shaban in his Islamic History A.D. 600-750 (A.H. 132): A new Interpretation (1971) Proclaims that the Qurra were the tribesmen who had the trusteeship of the conquered lands. This means that they shared the wealth and the prestige of the new system. Their special position and prestige in the Sawad in Iraq however was threatened by Uthmans policies. This explains their participation in removing Uthman. Although the policy of Ali was lucrative to the Qurra they realized that the new Caliph's inheritance of a divided community and turmoil would make his unable to protect their newly established economic status. Thus at this stage and during the Battle of Siffin (Ali's weakest moments) the Qurra decided to secede from Ali's coalition and become a party of their own.[212] In the article entitled "The Emergence of the Kharijites: Religion and the Social Order in Early Islam" (1989) Jeffrey T Kenny has argued that the Kharijites were just one of many factions that emerged from an intricate web of chaning socioeconomic policies in the newly established provinces of the Islamic Empire.[213]

M. A. Shaban in his book Islamic History A.D. 600-750 (A.H. 132): A new Interpretation (1971) writes the Qurra insisted on choosing Abu Musa al Ashari to be the Iraqi representative after the battle of Siffin despite Ali's vehement objection. Shaban writes that the same Qurra originally insisted on Abu Musa becoming the governor of Kufa and replaced Uthmans governor because Abu Musa had opposed Uthman's policy and therefore had been the choice of the qurra as governor of Kufa, when they expelled Uthmans governor Sa'id b Al-As. Shaban adds that the Qurra tried to turn the negotiations between the Syrians and the Iraqis to their own advantage and that they wished to become a third party in the dispute. Thus it is at this point that the coalition of Ali ended and that the ex-qurra emerged as the Kharijites.[214]

While Watt argues that the Kharijites were not simply dissatisfied with a particular man or family or economics, rather their dissatisfaction was with the whole social structure which was represented by both Uthman and Ali. In the old way they had freedom in the affairs of the tribe. Now they were in the "super-tribe" of Islam and could not behave as they had behaved previously. They wanted to go back to their old tribal structure where they could glory and boast about their tribe. He writes "Those who had been accustomed to tribal societies missied the security ... provided by the old system; nothing in the new system quite replaced it[215]

The peace treaty with Hassan

The Khawarij then grew stronger in Iraq and started speaking ill of Ali.[216] After the battle of the Camel, Aisha and Ali had no bitterness towards each other and got on well. On the other hand after the battle of the Camel Marwan and Aisha did not get on. During the time of Ali, Aishas brother Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr was a commander in Ali's army had also been killed by the Syrian army in Egypt. Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr was the son of Abu Bakr and the adopted son of Ali ibn Abi Talib and was also raised by Uthman and he was the great grandfather of Ja'far al-Sadiq [217]

Aisha's other brother Abdul Rahman was also opposed to Marwan and his conduct"[218] Aisha had deeply regretted going to Basra.[219]

Ammar bin Yasin and Ushtur went to meet Aisha and she spoke to Ammar. "O Ammar! don't you know that the Prophet had said that it was unlawful to shed the blood of a believer unless he has become apostate and foughts you or is guilty of murder or adultery" She explained that during the battle of the Camel she was talking to Ali when the Qurra had started the battle. The talks had lasted for months. When she heard of the assassination of Ali in Kufa she Said "O God! have mercy of Ali. When anything pleased him he used to say "God and His Apostle are true" The people of Iraq made insinuations against him and exaggerated everything."[220]

Six months later in 661, in the interest of peace, Hasan ibn Ali, highly regarded for his wisdom and as a peacemaker, the fifth Rightly Guided Caliphs for the Sunnis and the Second Imam for the Shias and the grandson of Muhammad, made a peace treaty with Muawiyah. By now Hassan only ruled the area around Kufa. In the Hasan-Muawiya treaty, Hasan ibn Ali handed over power to Muawiya on the condition that he be just to the people and keep them safe and secure and after his death he does not establish a dynasty.[221][222][non-primary source needed][third-party source needed] This brought to an end the era of the Rightly Guided Caliphs for the Sunnis and Hasan ibn Ali was also the last Imam for the Shias to be a Caliph.

Narrated by Al-Hasan Al-Basri

By Allah, Al-Hasan bin Ali led large battalions like mountains against Muawiya. Amr bin Al-As said (to Muawiya), "I surely see battalions which will not turn back before killing their opponents." Muawiya who was really the best of the two men said to him, "O 'Amr! If these killed those and those killed these, who would be left with me for the jobs of the public, who would be left with me for their women, who would be left with me for their children?" Then Muawiya sent two Quraishi men from the tribe of 'Abd-i-Shams called 'Abdur Rahman bin Sumura and Abdullah bin 'Amir bin Kuraiz to Al-Hasan saying to them, "Go to this man (i.e. Al-Hasan) and negotiate peace with him and talk and appeal to him." So, they went to Al-Hasan and talked and appealed to him to accept peace. Al-Hasan said, "We, the offspring of 'Abdul Muttalib, have got wealth and people have indulged in killing and corruption (and money only will appease them)." They said to Al-Hasan, "Muawiya offers you so and so, and appeals to you and entreats you to accept peace." Al-Hasan said to them, "But who will be responsible for what you have said?" They said, "We will be responsible for it." So, what-ever Al-Hasan asked they said, "We will be responsible for it for you." So, Al-Hasan concluded a peace treaty with Muawiya. Al-Hasan (Al-Basri) said: I heard Abu Bakr saying, "I saw Allah's Apostle on the pulpit and Al-Hasan bin 'Ali was by his side. The Prophet was looking once at the people and once at Al-Hasan bin 'Ali saying, 'This son of mine is a Saiyid (i.e. a noble) and may Allah make peace between two big groups of Muslims through him."[223][non-primary source needed][third-party source needed]

Hassan had lost many of his close friends, including Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, who he was raised with, he was also the guard, guarding Uthman the day he was killed. Hassan also had the Kharijites in Iraq to deal with. There are different groups with different economic and political interests and then on top of that the populations in the different areas were very tribal and nationalistic. Hassan skillfully managed to get Muawiyah to deal with the Kharijites. As part of the peace settlement Muawiyah agreed to pay the revenues of the Baitul-Mal public treasury in Kufa to Hassan.[224] However the people of the district refused to allow their taxes to go towards Hussain, to recompense for their refusal Muawiyah paid Hassan six million Dirhams every year.[225] Not once did al-Hassan fail to receive the payments from Muawiyah.[226]

People wanted to avoid another battle like the battle of Siffin where their strong opinions and inflexibly to compromise caused so much trouble.

Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 9, Book 92, Number 411: Narrated by Al-A'mash

I asked Abu Wail, "Did you witness the battle of Siffin between 'Ali and Muawiya?" He said, "Yes," and added, "Then I heard Sahl bin Hunaif saying, 'O people! Blame your personal opinions in your religion. No doubt, I remember myself on the day of Abi Jandal; if I had the power to refuse the order of Allah's Apostle, I would have refused it. We have never put our swords on our shoulders to get involved in a situation that might have been horrible for us, but those swords brought us to victory and peace, except this present situation.' " Abu Wail said, "I witnessed the battle of Siffin, and how nasty Siffin was!"

After the peace treaty with Muawiyah, Ibn Shawdhab is reported to have said that "Hassan hated to fight. his supporters would say to him "O Dishonour of the Believers!" So Hassan would reply to them "Dishonour is better than Hel-fire.".[227]

After the peace treaty with Hassan the siege of Constantinople

In the year 661, Muawiyah was crowned as caliph at a ceremony in Jerusalem.[228]

He came to Madina and spoke to the people, saying, "I desired the way followed by Abu Bakr and 'Umar, but I was unable to follow it, and so I have followed a course with you which contains fortune and benefits for you despite some bias, so be pleased with what comes to you from me even if it is little. When good is continuous, even if it is little, it enriches. Discontent makes life grim."[229]

He also said in as address which he delivered to the people, "O people! By Allah, it is easier to move the firm mountains than to follow Abu Bakr and 'Umar in their behaviour. But I have followed their way of conduct falling short of those before me, but none after me will equal me in it."[229]

Ali's Caliphate lasted for 4 years. After the treaty with Hassan, Muawiyah ruled for nearly 20 years most of which were spent expanding the state.[230] Hassan's army from Iraq then joined Muawiyah army from Syria and they shifted their focus back towards Constantinople. Their forces had been much depleted after the battle of Saffin and the Romans were now better prepared. After the peace treaty with Hassan, Yazeed bin Muawiyah was then joined by Umar Ibn Abbas, Abdullah Ibn Zubair and Abu Ayyoob al-Ansari for the expedition to Constantinople.[231]

Hussein was also in the army that laid siege to al-Qustanteeniyyah (Constantinople) under the command of Muawiyah's son Yazeed in 51 AH.[232] After the peace treaty with Muawiya Hussein would frequently visit Muawiya with his brother and he would show great hospitality in return.[233] Following Hassans death, Hussein would travel to see Muawiya every year and in return Muawiya would show great hospitality.[234]

A massive Muslim fleet reappeared in the Marmara and re-established a base at Cyzicus, from there they raided the Byzantine coasts almost at will.

Saeed bin Abdul Azeez narrated that when Uthman was murdered, the people had no military incursions to carry out until it reached the "Aam ul-Jama ah" (The year of the community when the peace treaty was signed). This was the year in which Muawiyah initiated sixteen expeditions against the land of ar-Room (the Romans) after having dispatched a military detachment in summer that subsequently spent the winter there. As they blockaded one place, they would move on to another, until Yazeed and a number of the Companions successfully undertook a series of invasions.[235] Finally in 676, Muawiyah sent an army to Constantinople from land as well, beginning the First Arab Siege of the city. Constantine IV (r. 661–685) however used a devastating new weapon that came to be known as "Greek fire", invented by a Christian refugee from Syria named Kallinikos of Heliopolis, to decisively defeat the attacking Umayyad navy in the Sea of Marmara, resulting in the lifting of the siege in 678. The returning Muslim fleet suffered further losses due to storms, while the army lost many men to the thematic armies who attacked them on their route back.[236] Eyup was killed in the siege was, the standard bearer of Muhammed and the last of his companions; His tomb is in Istanbul.[237][238]

Muawiyah built up a professional and disciplined army where people were promoted on their abilities not along tribal lines. Additionally the army units were not based along tribal lines, but along the disciplines and the type of warfare they specialized in. While on expeditions, Muawiyah provided for their families. In the early days, before the battle of Saffin, Muawiyah and the Syrians also served under Ali. According to Ali "Sometimes they would even set out without provisions, without asking for pay. At the call of Muawiya, they put themselves on campaigns for two, even three times a year, not caring where he wanted to take them (Tabri 1,3410).[239] Even in early Shia sources, Ali felt that the Syrians were more disciplined and obeyed Muawiyah telling the people of Kufa "By Allah, I wish Muawiyya exchanges with me like Dinars with Dirhams, so that he takes from me ten of you and gives me one from them. “O people of Kufa, I have experienced in you three things and two others: you are deaf in spite of having ears, dumb in spite of speaking, and blind in spite of having eyes. You are neither true supporters in combat nor dependable brothers in distress.".[240] The Romans also found them selves under attack by Muawiyah's forces every single year.

Had Ali listened to Aisha (Aisha bint Abu Bakr) (Muhammad's widow), Talhah (Talha ibn Ubayd-Allah) and Zubayr ibn al-Awam (Abu ‘Abd Allah Zubayr ibn al-Awwam) and not confronted Muawiyah and depleted his forces, and made a peace treaty with him before the Battle of Siffin like Hasan rather that after the battle and joined him in the Siege of Constantinople, it would have been a very dangerous situation for the Byzantine Empire. The battle of Battle of Siffin gave Emperor Constans II time to shore up his defences and depleted Muawiyah forces.[241][242]

Expansion into North Africa

Throughout history Sicily had been viewed as a key to naval supremacy in the Mediterranean Sea as a base for any invasion of North Africa or Italy. In the middle of the first millennium BC Greeks and Phoenicians established trading colonies there. The Romans intense struggle in the third Century BC to overcome them in Sicily paved the way for imperial control of the Mediterranean. Likewise, Byzantium's conquest of Sicily in AD 535 was central to Justinian's plan to reunify the Roman empire. The Arabs were keenly aware of the island's strategic importance, and Muawiya was the first caliph to begin raiding the island in 670.[243]

Under the rule of Muawiyah in 670 the Umayyads established a garrison town at Qayrawan in Ifriqiya (modern Tunisia). It was used both as a base for military operations and as an administrative centre for North Africa, replacing Carthage.[244][245]

This then laid the foundations for the expansion into Spain in 710 when the Umayyad governor Musa ibn Nusayr sent a largely Berber force led by Tariq ibn Ziyad into Spain.[246]

Christian Spain ruled by the Visigoths was in a weak state where a small class of landowners had owned almost everything, with the vast majority of the population being serfs, slaves and bandits, the latter of which controlled the countryside. There had also been an intense campaign of persecution against the Jewish population. Therefore the Muslims rule quickly expanded is Spain. By 718 the Muslims had crossed the Pyrenees mountains into France.[247]

Welfare State

During the time of Muhammad the poor were fed in Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina. The revenues of the land in Fadak near Madina were also used for the poor as ṣadaqa, travelers in need, and for his family. Later Umar formalized the welfare state Bayt al-mal.[248][249][250] The Bayt al-mal or the welfare state was for the Muslim and non-Muslim poor, needy, elderly, orphans, widows, and the disabled. The Bayt al-mal ran for hundreds of years under the Rashidun Caliphate in the 7th century and continued through the Umayyad period and well into the Abbasid era. Umar also introduced Child Benefit and Pensions for the children and the elderly.[251][252][253][254]

Both Ali and Muawiyah continued the Welfare State. Ali was extremely caring towards to poor and when he became Caliph the revenue from the land of Fadak continued to go towards the poor.

Because of Muawiyahs families previous opposition to the Muslims, before they converted to Islam, there was still some level of resentment towards him. Some of his relatives had been killed in battles fighting against the Muslims. But Muawiyah felt that after his conversion to Islam, for over 20 years, he was the governor of Syria and expanded the state, confronted the Romans, built up a good administration, a good economy and therefore people should not resent his past.

On one occasion, Mu'awiya ascended the minbar and praised Allah. When he wanted to speak, a lad of the Ansar interrupted him and said, "Mu'awiya! What makes you and the people of your house more entitled to this wealth than us! We have no wrong action against you that we know of other than our slaying of your uncle Walid, your grandfather 'Uqba, and your brother Hanzala." Mu'awiya said, "By Allah, nephew, you did not kill them. Rather Allah killed them with angels upon angels at the hands of the sons of their father. That was not a fault nor a loss." The Ansari said, "So where is the fault and loss then?" He said, "You spoke the truth. Do you need something?" He said, "Yes. I look after an old woman and sisters and things have been hard on us." Mu'awiya said, "Take what you can from the treasury." The boy took it and then Mu'awiya resumed his khutba.[255]

In Sahih Al Bukhari there are also other references to Muawiyah's and what 'Abdullah bin 'Umar felt about him. Volume 5, Book 59, Number 434 : Narrated by Ikrima bin Khalid

Ibn 'Umar said, "I went to Hafsa while water was dribbling from her twined braids. I said, 'The condition of the people is as you see, and no authority has been given to me.' Hafsa said, (to me), 'Go to them, and as they (i.e. the people) are waiting for you, and I am afraid your absence from them will produce division amongst them.' " So Hafsa did not leave Ibn 'Umar till we went to them. When the people differed. Muawiya addressed the people saying, "'If anybody wants to say anything in this matter of the Caliphate, he should show up and not conceal himself, for we are more rightful to be a Caliph than he and his father." On that, Habib bin Masalama said (to Ibn 'Umar), "Why don't you reply to him (i.e. Muawiya)?" 'Abdullah bin 'Umar said, "I untied my garment that was going round my back and legs while I was sitting and was about to say, 'He who fought against you and against your father for the sake of Islam, is more rightful to be a Caliph,' but I was afraid that my statement might produce differences amongst the people and cause bloodshed, and my statement might be interpreted not as I intended. (So I kept quiet) remembering what Allah has prepared in the Gardens of Paradise (for those who are patient and prefer the Hereafter to this worldly life)." Habib said, "You did what kept you safe and secure (i.e. you were wise in doing so)."

Expeditions after the peace treaty with Hassan

After the peace treaty with Hassan, Muawiyah turned is attention back to the Romans. In the best selling book, Shadow of the sword, The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World, Tom Holland writes [256] The gaze of Muawiyah was fixed, not upon the desert Arabs, but upon the altogether more worthier opponents the Romans.[257]

In the best selling book, In the shadow of the sword, The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World, Tom Holland writes [258] "Muawiya looked to keep the Muslims busy, duly renewed the onslaught against the Roman Empire with a vengeance. In 674, he even sponsored a siege of Constantinople it self. In the event, after a blockade of four years, the effort to capture the New Rome had to be abandoned; yet what was striking, perhaps, was not its failure but how close it had come to success. Certainly, there could be no denying that Muawiya - in the scope of his achievements, in the awesome scale of his authority, and in the radiant splendor of his name - was patently a favourite of God" [259]

Year External Expedition Internal Issues
40 AH Kharijites at Shahrazur
42 AH Defeat of Romans (Byzantines)
Raid on Caucasus
Kharijites agitation
43 AH Campaign against the Romans by Busr ibn Abi Artah
Campaign against Tukharistanis
Kharijites -(al-Mustawrid)
Kurdish issues (Fars)
44 AH Sea raid by Busr ibn Abi Artah on Romans.
Winter campaign against the Romans
Abdu'r-Rahman b. Walid
45 AH Winter campaign against the Romans
Abdu'r-Rahman b. Walid.
Campaign in Tukharistan
46 AH Malik ibn Ubaydullah winter
campaign against the Romans
47 AH Malik ibn Ubaydullah winter
campaign against the Romans
Abdu'r-Rahman - Antioch, raid on Khorasan; raid on al-Ghur & Farawanda
48 AH Abdu'r-Rahman - Antioch raid - Summer; Abdullah ibn Qays sea raid of Malik ibn Hubayra;
joint sea raid by Uqba with Madinans and Egyptians
49 AH Malik ibn Hubayra winter campaign against the Romans; Fadala captured Jabbara
Summer- Abdullah ibn Kurz;
raid of Yazid ibn Shajara; sea raid of Uqba; raid of Yazid on Constantinople
50 AH Campaign against the Romans by Busr ibn Abi Artah and Sufyan.
Sea raid of Fadala; North Africa taken and Qayrawan founded.
Raid of al-Hakam ibn Amr (Khorasan) against Turks
Amr bin al-Hamiq was killed in Mosul in Iraq
by governor Ziyad. Ziyad was formally Ali's commander.
Amr bin al-Hamiq had opposed Uthman. Muawiyah has been
criticized by both Sunni and Shia scholars for this.[260]
51 AH Winter campaign against the Romans raid of Fadala
Summer campaign of Busr ibn Abi Artah; Balkh and Quhistan taken by ar-Rabi
52 AH Raid of Sufyan ibn Awf; Winter and summer campaign against the Romans
53 AH Winter campaign against the Romans, Rhodes conquered
54 AH Winter campaign against the Romans, Muhammad ibn Malik;
Summer campaign against the Romans by Ma'n ibn Yazid;
conquest of island of Arwad;
Ubaydullah conquers Ramithan & Baykland in Bukhara;
campaign against Bukharans
55 AH Winter campaign against the Romans Hujr bin Adiyy killed. He had opposed Uthman.
Muawiyah has been criticized by both Sunni and Shia scholars for this.
When asked Muawiyah said they were causing trouble and he did not want another civil war[261]
56 AH Winter campaign against the Romans sea and land campaign.
campaigns in Sugh at Samarqand & Tirmidh
57 AH Winter campaign against the Romans
58 AH Campaign against the Romans sea raid Kharijites trouble
59 AH Winter campaign against the Romans sea raid Walid in Central Asia
60 AH Raid against Sawriyya and Rudas Peikund Balkh, Indus


While the nephew of 'Amr ibn al-'As the general Uqba ibn Nafi went all the way to Morocco. While in Tunisia, Uqba ibn Nafi built the Mosque of Uqba. A few years later the Umayyads also crossed over into Spain and Southern France under the command of Tariq ibn Ziyad and Musa bin Nusayr.

Conduct towards the non Muslim part of the population

Muawiyah governed the geographically and politically disparate Caliphate, which now spread from North Africa in the west to Afghanistan in the east, by strengthening the power of his allies in the newly conquered territories. Prominent positions in the emerging governmental structures were held by Christians, some of whom belonged to families that had served in Byzantine governments. The employment of Christians was part of a broader policy of religious tolerance that was necessitated by the presence of large Christian populations in the conquered provinces, especially in Syria itself. This policy also boosted his popularity and solidified Syria as his power base.[264][265]

Non Muslim population had autonomy and had their own laws based on their own religions and had their own political and religious heads. Their judicial matters were dealt with in accordance with their own laws and by their own religious heads or their own appointees.[266] They paid a poll tax for policing, to the central state.[267] Muhammad had stated explicitly during his lifetime that each religious minority should be allowed to practice its own religion and govern it self and the policy had on the whole continued.[268] Syria like many other parts of the empire had remained largely Christian.[269]

Muawiya's wife Maysum (Yazid's mother) was also a Jacobite Christian from the Kalb tribe.[270] His marriage to Maysum was also politically motivated, as she was the daughter of the chief of the Kalb tribe, that was a large Jacobite Christian Arab tribe in Syria. The Kalb tribe had remained largely neutral when the Muslims first went into Syria.[81] After the plague that killed much of the Muslim Army in Syria, by marrying Maysum, Muawiyah also used the Jacobite Christians, against the Romans.

The relations between the Muslims and the Christians in the state were good. The Umayyad's were involved in frequent battles with the Christian Byzantines without being concerned with protecting their rear in Syria,[271] which had a largely Christian population.[272][273]

Muawiyah is reported to have said: "I observed the Messenger of Allah perform Wudhoo (ablution) and when he finished, he looked at me and said; 'O Muawiyah! If you get to rule then fear Allah and be just to the people.' Due to that statement of the Prophet I was convinced that I would one day be held accountable for undertaking the task"[274]

In the best selling book, the Shadow of the sword, The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World, Tom Holland writes [275] Christians, Jews, Samaritans and Manichaeans were all treated well by Muawiyah. Muawiyah even restored Edessa's cathedral after it had been toppled by an earthquake.[276] Savagely though Muawiyah prosecuted his wars against the Romans, yet his subjects, no longer trampled by rival armies, no longer divided by hostile watchtowers, knew only peace at last. Justice flourished in his time, and there was great peace in the regions under his control. He allowed everyone to live as they wanted."[277][278]

The oldest history books of Al-Waqidi's and Al-Baladhuri state that the Jewish and the Christians population in Syria and Palestine accepted the Muslims. The Jews and the Christians wanted to stop the Roman–Persian Wars. The Persians looted Jerusalem, and are said to have massacred its 90,000 Christian inhabitants a few years earlier in 614. Then the Romans returned in 629 and killed the Jews. The Jews were delighted when the Roman Army was removed from Jerusalem, as they had killed a lot of Jews a few years earlier in 629 and banned them from Jerusalem.

Ibn Katheer wrote that when the Umayyad mosque was extended in Damascus, they ran out of lead to line the roof. The ruler Al-Waleed bin Abdul Malik sent people to look for lead through out Syria. Finally they found an a lady with a warehouse full of lead. On enquiring the price, she said: "I am not prepared to sell it unless its weight is valued at the price of silver". They said it was too much but wrote to Al-Waleed bin Abdul Malik who said "Purchase it from her even at the value of silver". When they returned to the lady and told her that they are will give its weight in silver, she replied "Since you were willing to pay all that, then accept this as charity, for the sake of Allah to go onto the roof of the place of worship" Upon this, they accepted her donation and marked its sheets with the words "lillah" (For the sake of Allah). Then they realized that the lady was Jewish, so then in respect for her generosity they courteously wrote on the sheets of lead "These were contributed by the Israelite lady".[279]

Tom Holland says "Also listed as Believers and graced with starring role in the founding document of the state (the constitution of Madina) was the whole quantities of Jews. Later Muslim historians, clearly discombobulated by this would attempt to explain them away as members of the three Jewish clans supposedly native to Medina. It is not simply that the three Jewish clans mentioned by the historians do not feature anywhere in the Constitution of Medina. There is also another and familiar problem that our only sources for the conflict with the Jews are suspiciously late. Not only that, but they date from the heyday of Muslim greatness: a period when the authors would have had every interest in fabricating the sanction of the Prophet for the brusque slapping down of uppity infidels. This, at a time when Jews, just like Christians, had never been more alert to the propaganda value of martyrs, is most peculiar. So peculiar, in fact, as to appear downright implausible. Far likelier, it would seem, is that the compact recorded in the Constitution of Medina between the Muslims and the Jewish warriors had held firm and that it had culminated in the conquest of Palestine.[280]

The early Muslims felt that they were following the religion of Abraham as described in the Quran "Say: Allah speaks the truth; so follow the religion of Abraham, the upright one. And he was not one of the polytheists" (Qur'an 3:95).

Political Finesse

In a manner similar to Byzantine administrative practices, Muawiyah instituted several bureaucracies, called divans, to aid him in the governance and the centralization of the Caliphate and the empire. Early Arabic sources credit two diwans in particular to Muawiyah: the Diwan al-Khatam (Chancellery) and the Barid (Postal Service), both of which greatly improved communications within the empire.[281][282][283]

Mu'awiya could be seen speaking to the people on the minbar of Damascus wearing a patched garment. Yunus ibn Maysar al-Himyari said, "I saw Mu'awiya riding in the Damascus market wearing a shirt with a patched pocket, going along in the Damascus markets."[284]

Muawiyah was very skilled at dealing with the Romans. Abdullah ibn Zubayr was opposed to Yazid and later said of Muawiyah: "Truly the son of Hind deployed a dexterity and mental resourcefulness as one will never see after him. When we tried to impose something on him, an irritated lion with claws unsheathed would not show more audacity than him. He knew when to give into us, to even allow himself to be tricked when we tried to do that to him. He was the most artful of men, more crafty than a thief. I wished that we would never lose him, just as a rock remaining on this summit" pointing to the mountain of Abu Qubays outside Mekka.[285]

When his friends expressed surprise at the vastness of his gifts to his opponents, he told them "a war costs infinitely more".[286]

Muawiya was welcome to his subjects at every hour of the day, including mealtimes.[287] Therefore he knew what people were thinking and saying.

Muawiya and his governors maintained an open table for people to come in and eat. Once an Arab seated at the end of the room did not hesitate to pull to himself a plate which had been placed in front of Muawiya. So Muawiyah said "You plunder very far!" The Arab replied, "After a year of drought, it is necessary to be well placed in order to find pasture!"[288]

The deliberations between Muawiyah and the people took place in the community mosque, where the people were free and unconstrained towards the khalif.[289]

Muawiya did not rely on the old aristocracy but looked for merit and loyalty. Most of his prominent governors were not even Qurayshi let alone Umayyad. He also had the faculty of winning over and retaining people he distrusted like Amr ibn al As.[290] His most important early governor in Kufa was Mughira ibn Shuba. At Tabri described his as "Al-Mughira liked things to run smoothly; he behaved well with the people and did not ask sectarians about their sect. All he would say was "Allah has decreed that you will continue to disagree and Allah will judge between His creatures concerning that about which they disagree." So people felt safe with him. Until the Kharijites resorted to violence then the Kufas agreed to expel them.[291]

He also paid a lot of attention to the economy and agriculture [292] this allowed him to finance his expeditions.

According to al-Qasim bin Mukhaimirah, Abu Maryam al-Azdi said that he entered upon Muawiyah who said: "What blesses us with your presence, O Abu Fulan (Father of so and so a common Arab expression)? " I said: "A hadeeth I heard that I want to tell you. I heard the Messnger of Allah saying: 'Whoever Allah entrusts with authority over the affairs of the Muslims and he neglects the needs and wants of the poor amongst them, Allah will neglect him and his needs and wants." He added that Muawiyah appointed a man in charge of addressing the people's needs upon hearing the Hadith.[293]

His appointment of his son as the next Caliph

One of Muawiyah's most controversial and enduring legacies was his decision to designate his son Yazid as his successor. Yazid was experienced militarily, after taking part in various expeditions and the siege of Constantinople but politically inexperienced. Marwan also wanted Yazid to be the Caliph so that he could run things behind the scenes, as he would become the senior member of the Umayyad clan after Muawiyah's death. Mohammad, Abu Bakr and Umar also mistrusted Marwan and he had lived in Taif during their rule, where he became friends with Hajjaj.

Tom Holland writes "Tempers in Medina were not helped by the fact that the governor in the oasis was none other than the fabulously venal and slippery Marwan. Rumours abounded that it was he, back in the last calamitous days of Uthman's rule who had double crossed the war band that had come to Uthman. The locals mistrust of their governor ran particularly deep. Nothing he had done had helped to improve his reputation for double dealing.[294]

The appointment of Yazid was unpopular in Madina. Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 352, Narrated by Yusuf bin Mahak:

Marwan had been appointed as the governor of Hijaz by Muawiya. He delivered a sermon and mentioned Yazid bin Muawiya so that the people might take the oath of allegiance to him as the successor of his father (Muawiya). Then 'Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr told him something whereupon marwan ordered that he be arrested. But 'Abdur-Rahman entered 'Aisha's house and they could not arrest him. marwan said, "It is he ('AbdurRahman) about whom Allah revealed this Verse: 'And the one who says to his parents: 'Fie on you! Do you hold out the promise to me..?'" On that, 'Aisha said from behind a screen, "Allah did not reveal anything from the Qur'an about us except what was connected with the declaration of my innocence (of the slander)."[non-primary source needed][third-party source needed]

Ibn Katheer wrote in his book the Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah [295] that "in the year 56 AH Muawiyah called on the people including those within the outlying territories to pledge allegiance to his son, Yazeed, to be his heir to the Caliphate after him. Almost all the subjects offered their allegiance, with the exception of Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr (the son of Abu Bakr), Abdullah ibn Umar (the son of Umar), al-Husain bin Ali (the son of Ali), Abdullah bin Az-Zubair (The grandson of Abu Bakr) and Abdullah ibn Abbas (Ali's cousin). Because of this Muawiyah passed through al-Madinah on his way back from Makkah upon completion of his Umrah Pilgrimage where he summoned each one of the five aforementioned individuals and threatened them. The speaker who addressed Muawiyah sharply with the greatest firmness amongst them was Abdurrahman bin Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, while Abdullah bin Umar bin al-Khattab was the most soft spoken amongst them.

Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr and Abdullah ibn Umar were mid level Muslim commanders at the Battle of Yarmouk that took Syria. Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr sister Asmā' bint Abu Bakr also fought in the Battle of Yarmouk and was opposed to Yazid.[296] Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr had been one of the first to dual in that battle, after taking a sword to hand over to a Qays bin Hubayrah who had lost his sword, while in a dual with the Roman Army's best horseman. Two more Roman horsemen then came forward saying "We see no justice when two of you come against one of us." Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr replied "I only came to give my companion a sword and then return. Were 100 of you to come out against one of us we would not be worried. You are now three men. I am enough to take on all three of you". After which he took down the Roman horsemen on his own.[297] After seeing this, Bannes the Roman general said "Caesar really knew these people best. I now know that a difficult situation is to come on you. If you do not attack them with great numbers, you will have no chance". Abdullah ibn Umar had also been a mid level commander in the Battle of Yarmouk. Some Roman soldiers went to the house of Abu al-Jaid a local Christian in az-Zura ah and after eating all the food, raped his wife and killed his son.[298] His wife complained to the roman general and he ignored her. Abu al-Jaid then went to the Muslims and told them that he knows the local area and if the Muslims exempt him and his descendents from taxes for ever he will help them defeat the Roman army.[299] He then took horse men led by Abdullah ibn Umar to the Roman camp at night and attacked them and then ran away. The Romans chased them and in the dark tens of thousands of them fell down a cliff at the an-Naqusah Creek into a river.[300] Abdullah bin Az-Zubair had also been a commander in various battles including in North Africa and was also involved in the siege of Constantinople.

Muawiyah then delivered a sermon, having stood these five men below the pulpit in full view of the people after which the people pledged allegiance to Yazeed as they stood in silence without displaying their disagreement or opposition for fear of being humiliated. Saeed bin Uthman bin Affan, the son of Uthman also criticized Muawiyah for putting forward Yazeed.".[301] They tolerated Muawiyah but did not like Yazeed.

The following year Muawiyah removed Marwan bin al Hakam from the position of Governor in Madina and appointed al-Waleed bin Utbah bin Abi Sufyan.[302]


According to Ibn Katheer in his book Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah[303]

Muawiyah felt sorry for all that happened and what the love of this world makes people do. When death approached he said "May you perish in confinement! you have ruled for forty years; as a commander for twenty of them and a caliph for the other twenty; and this is the condition of your fate? May the earth perish and all who love it!"

Muhammad bin Uqbah said that when death approached Muawiyah he said: "I wish I were an ordinary man from the Quraish living in Dhu Tuwa and that I had never been invested with authority as caliph"[304]

Muhammad bin Seereen said: "When Muawiyah was on the brink of death, he began to mark out the floor. Then he turned his face and marked out another spot on the floor, after which he started to cry and say: "O Allah! Indeed, You said in Your Book "Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives everything else to whom He wills" [an-Nisa 4:48] Therefore, O Allah, make me amongst those You will forgive".[305]

Al-Utbi narrated from his father that when Muawiya was dying he quoted the following verses to those present (in at-Taweel poetry) "Death is inevitable because of what we are;[306]

Consciousness of what lies after death is much more awful and lurid"[307]

Then he said: "O Allah! Reduce my lapses, pardon the shortcomings and overlook my ignorance, for You are All Forgiving. My mistakes are all my own and not attributable to You; only You can forgive me and grant me refuge"[308]

It is reported that he passed out and once he regained consciousness, he said to his family: "Fear Allah, for verily He safeguards whoever shows regard for something for His sake and He does not safeguard whoever shows a disregard for something for His sake" and upon uttering this he died.[309]

Muawiyah died either on April 29 or May 1, 680.

According to some sources Muawiyah warned his son Yazid against mistreating Hussein. His final warning to Yazid was: "As for Husayn what can I tell you concerning him? Be careful not to confront him except in a good way. Extend to him a free hand (literally, a long rope) and let him roam the earth as he pleases. Do not harm him, can show verbal anger but never confront him with the weapons of war but rather bestow on him generous gifts. Give him a place of honor near you and treat him with due reverence. Be careful O my son, that you do not meet God with his blood, lest you be amongst those that will perish"[310][311]

Yazeed and Hussein knew each other well and had both been involved in the Siege of Constantinople.[312] Many years later, after the events in Karbala when the governor of Kufa, Ibn Ziyad sent the head of Hussein to Yazeed. The Servant of Muawiya bin Abu Sufyan is reported to have said: "When Yazeed came with al-Husain's head and placed it in his hands, I saw Yazeed crying and he said: 'If there had been any relationship between Ibn Ziyad and al-Husain then he would not have done this (referring to Ibn Ziyad).'"[313]

After Hussein was killed Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair expelled Yazids forces from Hijaz and the Kharijites got stronger in Iraq. Yazid died a few months later in young age and his son did not want to take part in a civil war against Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair and abdicated and later died.

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. The very thing Hassan signed a treaty with Muawiyah to avoid.

Now there were three camps, the Scholars in Madina, the Kharijites in Iraq and Umayyads in Syria.

In Sahih Al Bukhari the people still referred to the Kharijites by their old name Qurra and most Muslims resented these civil wars and felt that the Arabs had left the teachings of Muhammad and gone back to their old ways of fighting over wealth.

Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 228:[314] 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 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: and those who are among you, by Allah, are not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain; and that one who is in Mecca (i.e., Ibn Az-zubair) by Allah, is not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain."

Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair then sent his brother to Iraq to take on the Kharijites who were by then getting stronger. This depleted Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair forces and he was later defeated by the Syrians.

Ibn Zubayr was finally defeated by Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, who sent Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf. Hajjaj defeated and killed Ibn Zubayr on the battlefield in 692.

On his last hour he asked his mother Asmā' bint Abu Bakr what he should do. Asmā' bint Abu Bakr replied to her son, she said:[315] "You know better in your own self that if you are upon the truth and you are calling towards the truth go forth for people more honourable than you were killed and have been killed and if you are not upon the truth, then what an evil son you are, you have destroyed yourself and those who are with you. If you say what you say, that if you are upon the truth and you will be killed at the hands of others then you will not truly be free, for this is not the statement of someone who is free".

Then Asmā' bint Abu Bakr said to her son, this is the statement of the mother to her son, "how long will you live in this world, death is more beloved to me than this state you are on/ this state of weakness".

Then this conversation between Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr and his mother continued.

Then Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr said to his mother after she had told him to go forth and fight.

He said, "I am afraid I will be mutilated by the people of Sham, I am afraid that they will cut up my body after they have killed me".

So she said to her son, "after someone has died it won't make any difference what they do to you if you have been killed". Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr then said to his mother, "I did not come to you except to increase myself in knowledge".

He said to her, "I did not come to you except to increase me in knowledge, look and pay attention to this day for verily I am a dead man, your son never drank wine, nor was he fornicator, nor did he wrong any Muslim or Non Muslim, nor was he unjust, I am not saying this to you to show off or show how pure I am but rather as an honour to you".

So then Abdullah Ibn Zubair left by himself on his horse and he was killed by the Army of Hajjaj and when he was killed by the Army of Hajjaj all the Army said “Allah hu Akhbar” and Abdullah Ibn Omer heard this and he said,” how strange is it that this man when he was born all of the Muslims said “Allah hu Akhbar” and now that he is killed everyone is also saying “Allah hu Akhbar”.

Asma refused to go and ask permission to put down her sons body and it was said to her, "if you don't go his body will remain like that. So she said let it be then".

Until eventually, Hajjaj came to her and said, "what do you say about this matter" and Asma was in her old age and blind by then. Asma said, "Verily you have destroyed him you have ruined his life and with that you have ruined your hereafter". Asma died a few days later.

Reforming the Umayyad rule peacefully from the inside

Ibn Katheer says that Abdullah Ibn Umar resented Hajjaj. Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived near that time, said in his book the first biography on Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz that Abdullah Ibn Omar's niece was married to one of Marwans son called Abdul Aziz who lived in Madina.[316] Abdul Aziz lived in Madina and had not become an Umayyad ruler, but he had a young son called Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz. Abdullah ibn Umar kept Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz with him for his education when Abdul Aziz and his wife moved to Egypt. Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was educated in Madina. The scholars in Madina including Abdullah Ibn Umar and Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr who was jafar Sadiqs grandfather and Abu Bakr's grandson felt that they could use Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz to peacefully reform the Umayyad rule.

Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 214 AH) wrote that many years earlier:"During the time of Umar Ibn al Khattab the (second Caliph) he prohibit the sale of milk mixed with water. One night, he came out for some need at the outskirts of Madinah. Suddenly, he heard the voice of a woman. She was telling her daughter, "Daughter, you have not yet mixed water in the milk. It is nearly dawn. "The daughter said, "How can I mix water in the milk? Amir ul Muminin has prohibited it". The mother said, "Other people also mix it. You also mix it. How does Amir ul Muminin know?" The daughter replied. "If Umar does not know, then the creator of Umar knows. Once he has prohibited it, then I cannot do it."

Umar was greatly pleased with this conversation. When morning came, he called his son Asim and narrated the incident that took place at night. He then said, "Go and find out who that girl is". Asim went. He made enquiries and found out that the girl was from the tribe of Banu Hilal. He returned and informed Umar. He said to Asim "Son, go and get married to her. Definitely, she is worthy of bearing a horseman who will lead the entire Arabia."

Consequently Asim married her and a daughter Umm e Asim bint Asim Ibn Umar Ibn al Khattab was born from her. Umm e Asim got married to Adbul Aziz bint Marwan bin al Hakam. Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was born from her.[317]

After his education, Raja bin Haiwah who was also a scholar and an advisor to some of the Umayyad rulers took Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz to Syria. Raja bin Haiwah also worked closely with the scholars in Madina. Ibn Katheer wrote in his book the Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah that during the time of Abdul Malik, Raja bin Haiwah also managed the finances for the construction of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, that stands to this day.[318]

Ibn Katheer wrote that even the Umayyad ruler Al-Waleed bin Abdul Malik would write to Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz in Madina for advice on legal matter. Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz would then convene a meeting with the jurists in Madina and they would all decide on the reply.[319]

Later the future Umayyad ruler Sulaiman would also consult Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz. Hajjaj opposed Sulaiman from becoming Caliph, even through his father had wrote in his will that after his brother Al-Waleed bin Abdul Malik, Sulaiman would be Caliph. So Sulaiman became even closer to Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz who also opposed Hajjaj.[320]

When Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz was made the governor of Madina, he asked the Khalifah that he wished to be excused from Hajjaj coming to Madinah. After which, Hajjaj was prevented from going to Madina.[321]

According to Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam from Madina (died 214 AH 829 C.E) Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz then said to the ruler Walid Ibn Abdul Malik "After ascribing partners to Allah, there is no greater sin than spilling blood. Your governors are unjustifiably killing people and they only write the crime of the killed person (murder) to inform you. You will be answerable for this and you will be held accountable (by God). Therefore, write to your governors telling them that no one should be punished by death, but they should write of the crime to you. There should be witnesses to it, then you should decide on that punishment to be meted out after great thought and deliberation" Walid said "O Abu Hafs (He called Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, Abu Hafs), May Allah grant you blessings in your life and delay your demise. Bring the pen and paper." Walid then wrote this command to all the governors. Besides Hajjaj, no one found it difficult. It weighed heavily on him and he became very agitated. He thought that no one else besides him got this command. He investigated and found that he was wrong. He said "Where did this calamity come from? Who told this to Walid?" he was told that 'Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz was responsible for this. When he heard this he said, "Oh, if the one who gave this consultation is Umar, then it is not permissible to reject it".[322] Hajjaj then devised a plan and sent an extreme Khariji from Iraq to Walid when Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was present. The Khariji swore at Walid and his father. So Ibn Rayyan, Walid's guard executed him. Walid then called Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz and asked "Abu Hafs, what do you think? Did I do the right thing or was I wrong?" Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz said "You did not do the right thing in killing him. The better step to take would have been to send him to jail. Then, he could have repented before Allah or death would have come to him." Walid said "He swore at me and Adbul Malik (my father) and he was a Khariki, but still according to you, I was not correct in killing him." Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz replied. "No, by Allah, I do not think it was permissible. You could have jailed him and if you foregave him, then what to say? (i.e. it would have been better)"

Walid became livid and went away. Ibn Rayyan said to Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz "Abu Hafs, May Allah have mercy on you. You answered Walid with such a reply that I feared that he would have ordered me to chop your head" Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz asked "If he ordered you, would you have carried it out?" He said, "Definitely". Later when Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz became Caliph, Ibn Rayyan was the first one to be sacked.

Sulayman Ibn Abdul Malik said to Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz "Look how many people gather during the Hajj season." He replied "Amir ul Mu minin, all of them are your plaintiffs" (They will complain about you in the court of Allah on the Day of judgment)[323]

According to Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived near that time and later Ibn Katheer said that Ibn Jareer said that, Raja bin Haiwah (who was also a scholar) the minister of marriage, for the Umayyad ruler Sulaiman said that when Sulaiman was on his death bed, I told him "Indeed amongst the things that preserves the caliph in his grave is his appointment of a righteous man over the muslims." So he wrote a letter appointing the scholar from Madina, Umar bin Abdul Azeez. To allow the Umayyads to accept this, Raja then advised him to make his brother Yazeed bin Adbul Malik the successor after Umar bin Abdul Azeez.[324][325] Umar bin Abdul Azeez was a grand son of Omar, the second Caliph from his mothers side. After his appointment he set up a committee of the jurist in Madina headed by Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr and it included Urwah ibn Zubayr, Ubaidullah bin Abdullah bin Utbah, Abu Bakr bin Abdur-Rahman bin al-Harith bin Hisham, Abu Bakr bin Sulaiman bin Abu Hathmah, Sulaiman bin Yasar, Salim bin Abdullah, Abdullah bin Amir bin Rabee'ah and Kharijah bin Zaid bin Thabit, in Madina to advise on legal matters.[326] The work of Malik ibn Anas and successive jurists is also based on the work of this early committee in Madina. Malik ibn Anas also refers to there Fuqaha' of Madina.[327] Madina at the time had the largest number of Muhammad's companions therefore no one could lie about what Muhammad had said, while in Madina during that period. After becoming the Khalif, Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz worked very closely with the scholars in Madina to make the laws in line with the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad's. He also reduced the allowances of the Umayyad family members. Which they deeply resented.

When Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz reduced the allowances of the Umayyad family members. They sent some one to him to ask for more. When Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz refused, the man said to them "O Banu Umayyah, you should rebuke yourself. You got up and married a person of your family to the grand daughter of Umar. He wrapped Umar in a cloth and presented him to you. You should therefore rebuke yourself".[328]

Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz also started peace talks with the Kharijites. He then reduced the taxes for the Muslims. He sacked oppressive governors and replaced them.[329] His policies made him very popular with the population but not so popular with the Umayyads. The reduction in the taxes also reduced further expeditions and the expansion of the state. But lower taxes and better justice allowed the economy to expand. The tax collector Yahya Ibn Sa'id complained that after collecting the taxes, he could not find people willing to take the charity from the welfare state[330]

Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 214 AH) writes that Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz then stopped the allowance of the Banu Umayyah, stopped giving them land and made them the same as every one else. And they complained bitterly. So Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz said to them "By Allah, I want that no impermissible decision should remain on the earth that I will not finish off." [331]

Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was soon killed, but when the future rulers tried to reverse his policies, the population started to rebel.

With the death of Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz the scholars in Madina got very upset. But in the short time Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was in power the changes he made, had a long lasting effect in the minds of the people. An associate of Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, Zayd ibn Ali the grandson of Husayns was also very upset. Zayd ibn Ali then started receiving letters from Kufa asking him to come to Kufa. In 740, Abu Hanifah supported his friend Zayd ibn Ali against an Umayyad ruler but asked his friend not to go to Kufa. Abu Hanifah, Malik ibn Anas and Zayd ibn Ali's family advised Zayd ibn Ali not to go to Kufa feared that Zayd ibn Ali would get betrayed in Kufa.[332][333][334][335] But Zayd ibn Ali felt that he needed to oppose the Umayyads by force. Zaydis believe that on his arrival in Kufa, on the last hour of Zayd ibn Ali, the people in Kufa asked him: "May God have mercy on you! What do you have to say on the matter of Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab?" Zayd ibn Ali said, "I have not heard anyone in my family renouncing them both nor saying anything but good about them...when they were entrusted with government they behaved justly with the people and acted according to the Qur'an and the Sunnah.".[336][337] After which they withdrew their support and Zayd ibn Ali fought bravely against the Umayyad army but was killed. The Scholars kept up the pressure on the Umayyads and as the Umayyads tried to re-impose the taxes abolished by Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, the population also got more rebellious.

Later after the Abbasids came to power they tried to change the laws, in 767 Abu Hanifah died in prison when he refused to support the Abbasid ruler Al-Mansur and Malik ibn Anas was flogged.[338][339] But then they backed off and allowed the laws of Madina to be implemented again and the book Muwatta Imam Malik of Malik ibn Anas based on the laws based on the Quran and the example of Muhammad and based on the work of the committee of the main jurist in Madina headed by Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, who was jafar Sadiq's grandfather and Abu Bakr's grandson were again implemented.

Later the Abbasids tried to impose the mutazilite philosophy so that they could change the laws. Imam Ahmed Hanbal confronted a ruler and was tortured and sent to an unlit Baghdad prison cell for nearly thirty months.[340]


By his creation of a fleet, Muawiyah was the driving force of the Muslim effort against Byzantium. His Navy challenged the Byzantine navy and raided the Byzantine islands and coasts at will. The shocking defeat of the imperial fleet by the young Muslim navy at the Battle of the Masts in 655 was of critical turning point. It opened up the Mediterranean, considered a "Roman lake", and began a centuries-long series of naval conflicts over the control of the Mediterranean. This also allowed the expansion of the state into North Africa and Spain.[341][342] Trade between the Muslim eastern and southern shores and the Christian northern shores almost ceased during this period, isolating Western Europe from developments in the Muslim world: "In antiquity, and again in the high Middle Ages, the voyage from Italy to Alexandria was a commonplace; in early Islamic times the two countries were so remote that even the most basic information was unknown" (Kennedy).[343] Muawiyah also initiated the first large-scale raids into Anatolia from 641 on.[344][345]

Muawiyah greatly beautified Damascus, and developed a court to rival that of Constantinople. He expanded the frontiers of the empire, reaching the very gates of Constantinople at one point, though the Byzantines drove him back and he was unable to hold any territory in Anatolia.

Muawiyah had a personal library collection (bayt al-hikmah)[346] that was enlarged by his successors "throughout the Umayyad period.… This first major library outside of a mosque was known to include works on astrology, medicine, chemistry, military science, and various practical arts and applied sciences in addition to religion."[346]

In 679 a Frankish bishop named Arculf arrived in Jerusalem from France. In the best selling book, the Shadow of the sword, The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World, Tom Holland writes [347] The travel documents issued to him were in Greek. The coins in his purse were weighted according to the standards set by the mints of Constantinople." Arculf noted, 'the Saracens now have a quadrangular prayer house (Dome of the rock in Jerusalem).[348]' He was almost certainly describing the building begun by Umar, and still unfinished in the early years of Muawiyahs reign". The building was later rebuilt as a much bigger building by Abd al-Malik.

Historical Evaluation

Muawiyah has a few rare virtues. Muawiyah was politically adept in dealing with the Eastern Roman Empire and was therefore made into a secretary by Muhammad.[4][5] Once peace was established, Muawiya reconciled many of the people who had been fighting each other by his generosity and fairness. Even the most stubborn of opponents would often melt under his generosity and diplomacy. He also managed through fine diplomacy to balance out the tribal rivalries.[349]

During Mu'awiya's rule he put into practice the advice that Muhammad had given him, "When you rule, do it well."[350] He was scrupulous about justice and was generous and fair to people of all classes. He honoured people who possessed ability and talent and helped them to advance their talents, regardless of their tribe. He displayed great forbearance towards the rashness of ignorant men and great generosity towards the grasping. He made the judgements of the Shari'a binding on everyone with resolution, compassion and diligence. He led them in their prayers and directed them in their gatherings. He led them in their wars. In short, he proved to be a balanced and model ruler. 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas stated that he did not see a man more suited to rule than Mu'awiya.[351]


According to Ibn Katheer in his book Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, Imam Ahmed was asked about what had happened between Muawiyah and Ali, he recited the Verse "That was a nation who has passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned and you of what you earned. And you will not be asked of what they used to do" Al-Baqarah 2:134.[352]

Muawiya used to bring water to Muhammad and it was in the course of this service that he received the shirt in which he was buried.[353][354] He said, "I used to bring wudu water to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He said "Shall I not clothe you in a shirt? I said, "Yes indeed, by my father and mother! So he removed the shirt he had on and clothed me in it."[355] He kept that shirt for his burial.[356][357]

Early Non Muslim Literature

The Greek historian Theophanus does not call Muawiyah a king or an emperor, but rather a 'primus inter pares', or in Greek, a 'protosymboulos', "a first among equals", in the midst of his 'symboulioi'. Theophanus also referred to Umar ibn al-Khattab as "Primus inter pares" [358]

Modern Non Muslim Literature

Muslim Literature

The traditional medieval Sunni perception of Caliph Muawiyah I has a wide spectrum. It is based on when it was written and who wrote it and where.

Early Madina Literature

In the best selling book, In the shadow of the sword, The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World, Tom Holland writes [359] "The Constitution of Medina is accepted by even the most suspicious of scholars as deriving from the time of Muhammad. Here in these precious documents, it is possible to glimpse the authentic beginnings of a movement that would succeed, in barely two decades, in prostrating both the Roman and the Persian Empires. That the Prophet consciously aimed at state-building; that it was his ambition to forge his own people and the local Arab tribes into a single Umma (community); that this confederation was to fight in the path of God; these brief details, the veritable building blocks are rock solid"[360]

The Constitution of Medina document and the Quran are the only documents that modern scholars could reliably date to have existed at the time of Muhammad. Some coins also exist from the Umayyad era with the inscription "There is one God and Muhammad is the messenger of God" but Constitution of Medina provides modern scholars with a lot more detail.

The only book that existed during the Umayyad period and remains today is the Quran and that existed from the time of Muhammad. Both Malik ibn Anas (c. 711 – 795) and Abu Hanifa (699 — 767) lived during the Umayyad and the Abbasid period. The Abbasids took over in 750, when Abu Hanifa was 50 years old and Malik ibn Anas was 39 years old, therefore both of them were familiar with the Umayyads. Malik ibn Anas lived in Madina. Abu Hanifa lived in both Iraq and then in Madina. Many Umayyad princes had also studied in Madina. Abu Yusuf, the student of Abu Hanifa's was around 21 years old when the Abbasids took over. Al-Imam Al-Waqidi the famous historian was also born in Madina during the time of the Umayyads.

The book Al Muwatta by Imam Malik's was written in the early Abbasid period in Madina. It does not contain any anti Umayyad content because it was more concerned with what the Quran and what Muhammad said and was not a history book on the Umayyads.

There was a lot of debate during the Umayyad period and more community involvement. If it worked for the community, was just and did not conflict with the Quran and the example of Muhammad it was acceptable. This made it easier for the different communities with Roman, Persian, Central Asia and North African backgrounds to integrate into the Islamic State and that assisted in the quick expansion of the Islamic State. The scholars in Madina were consulted on the more complex judicial issues. The Sharia and the official more centralized schools of fiqh developed later during the time of the Abbasids.[361] The non Muslims used their own laws and had autonomy.

As Hassan had been with Muawiyah, if the there was justice and the poor were looked after, the scholars in Madina did not complain. But when the ruler became unjust and oppressive and did not look after the poor they rebelled. When Yazeed took over the People of Makkah and Madina and Abdullah Ibn Zubair rebelled

In the early literature like Musnad Ahmed 4/216 there are hadith like this one:

A narration tells that Muhammad prayed to God in favor of Muawiyah: "Allahumma (O Allah) guide him and guide people by him."[362] This narration is in many hadith (narration) books.[363][364][365][366][367] Al-Dhahabi says that this narration has a strong predication (reference)[368] Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani (a modern narrations critic) also said: all the men of the predication (reference) are trustworthy and then he explained how the predication is strong.[366][369][370][371][372]

Even the earliest pro-Shia accounts of al-Masudi are more balanced. al-Masudi in Ibn Hisham is the earliest Shia account of Muawiyah and he recount that Muawiyah spent a great deal of time in prayer, in spite of the burden of managing a large empire.[373]

Az-Zuhri stated that Muawiya led the Hajj Pilgrimage with the people twice during his era as caliph.[374]

Early Abbasid period literature from Iraq

Books written in the early Abbasid period like al-baladhuri "The Origins of the Islamic State" provide a more accurate and balanced history.[375][376] Ibn Hisham also wrote about these events.

Later Abbasid period literature from Iran

After killing off most off the Umayyads and destroying the graves of the Umayyad rulers apart from Muawiyah and Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, the history books written during the later Abbasid period are more anti Umayyad [377]

The books written later in the Abbasid period in Iran are even more anti Umayyad. Iran was Sunni at the time. There was much anti Arab feeling in Iran after the fall of the Persian empire.[378] This anti Arab feeling also influenced the books on Islamic history. Al-Tabri was also written in Iran during that period. They contain text like this:

To the following narration (reported by two different Sahabah):

Abdullah ibne Umar narrates that he heard Rasulallah (Muhammad) say:

“Mu’awiyah shall not die on the path of Islam.” [379]

Narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah who testified that he heard Rasulallah (Muhammad) say:

“At the time of his death, Mu’awiyah shall not be counted as member of my Muslim Ummah.”[380]

Some of the classical literature by eminent (Sunni) Islamic figures in the Abbasid period records:

I asked my father about Ali and Muawiyah. He (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal)
answered: "Know that Ali had a lot of enemies who tried hard to find a
fault in him, but they found it not. As such, they joined a man
who verily fought him, battled
him, and they praised him extravagantly setting a snare for
themselves for him. -Abdullah bin Ahmad Ibn Hanbal[381][382]

Muawiyah's opposition to Ali manifested itself in the following practice instituted during his caliphate, which was the verbal abuse and insult of Ali Ibn Abi Talib during the sermons in the mosques. This was even done on the pulpit of the Mosque of Muhammad in Medinah. (This practice lasted for 65 years and was ended by Umayyad caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz.)[383][384][385][386]

For example, Tabari recorded:

When Muawiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan put Mughairah Ibn Shubah in charge of
Kufah in Jumada 41 AH (Sep. 2 - Oct. 30, 661 CE), he summoned him.
After praising and glorifying God, he said-[387]
"I would continue to advise you about a quality of yours-do not refrain from
abusing Ali and criticizing him, (but) not from asking God's mercy upon
Uthman and His forgiveness for him. Continue to shame the companions
of Ali, keep at a distance, and don't listen to them. Praise the
faction of Uthman, bring them near, and listen to them."[387]

Saad Ibn Abi Al-Waqqas narrated-

Muawiyah, the son of Abu Sufyan, gave order to Saad, and told him:
"What prevents you that you are refraining from cursing Abu Turab
(nickname of Ali Ibn Abi Talib)?" Saad replied: "Don't you remember that the Prophet
said three things about (the virtues of) Ali? So I will never curse Ali."[388][non-primary source needed][third-party source needed]

Nisa'i and Muslim narrate a Sahih hadith, wherein Muhammad summoned Muawiyah who snubbed him and continued eating his meal - Muhammad then cursed Muawiyah with the words: "May Allah never fill his belly!"[389][390] Nisa'i was not the only Sunni scholar who accepted this hadith - there were many others, the foremost being Bukhari and Muslim who compiled the Sahih Muslim.[390][391] It has been argued that in the Arabic culture and language the expression is a colloquialism which means a wish that the person's belly be so full of blessings of God (in the form of food) that his belly cannot take anymore, or that he wishes the persons blessings to be without an end. However, the two pre-eminent masters of Sunni hadith, Bukhari and Muslim, have rejected absolutely the latter apology for Muawiyah.[390] Further, Nisa'i was murdered when he recited this hadith in the presence of pro-Muawiya Arab-speaking Syrians as it was perceived as a curse of Muawiyah, which debases the unreferenced suggestion that the term was a form of praise and not condemnation.[392]

Later Abbasid period literature from Syria

Ibn Taymiyyah (1263 to 1328) said: "Muawiyah did not call himself to be a khaleefah and was not given the oath of allegiance to it when he fought Ali. He fought not because he considered himself to be the khaleef or deserving of the khilaafah. This they all agreed upon and he himself would affirm this to whomever asked him. He and his companions did not consider it permissible that they initiate the fight against Ali and his companions. But Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and his companions believed that Muawiyah and his companions must pledge allegiance and show obedience to Ali, due to his authority such that there be only one khaleefah for the Muslims. Considering them defecting from this obligation he decided that Muawiyah and his companions should be fought until they fulfilled it. All this so that obedience and unity occur. Muawiyah and his companions did not see that it was obligatory upon them and if they were fought against they would consider themselves oppressed because Uthman was killed oppressively as was agreed by all the Muslims at the time and his killers were in Ali's camp, he having authority over them"[393]

Ibn Kathir (1301-1373) said: "Uthmaan was killed oppressively, may Allah be pleased with him. Muawiyah was demanding that Ali hand over Uthman's killers so that he may take vengeance from them, as he was also an Umayyid. Ali was asking Muawiyah for respite until he had established himself and then he would hand them over. At the same time he was requesting Muawiyah to surrender Shaam to him. However Muaawiyah refused that until Ali surrendered those who killed Uthman."[394]

Modern Sunni Literature

Despite his endeavours in the expansion of the Caliphate and the establishment of the Umayyad Dynasty, the persona of Caliph Muawiyah I evokes a controversial figure in standard Islamic history whose legacy has never quite been able to shed the taint of his opposition to the Rashidun Caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib.

The late (Sunni) theologian Mawdudi (founder of Jamaat-E-Islami) wrote that the establishment of the caliphate as (essentially) a monarchy began with the caliphate of Muawiyah I. It wasn't the kind where Muawiyah was appointed by the Muslims. Mawdudi elaborated that Muawiyah wanted to be caliph and fought in order to attain the caliphate, not really depending upon the acceptance of the Muslim community. The people did not appoint Muawiyah as a caliph, he became one by force, and consequently the people had no choice but to give him their pledge of allegiance (baiah). Had the people not given Muawiyah their allegiance at that time, it wouldn't have meant so much as losing their rank or position, as much as it would have meant bloodshed and conflict. This certainly couldn't have been given preference over peace and order. Following Hasan ibn Ali's abdication of the caliphate, all the Muslims (including the Sahabah and Tabi'een) gave their pledge of allegiance to Muawiyah I, bringing an end to civil war. That year was called the Aam Al Jamaat (Year of Congregation). As Mawdudi pointed out, Muawiyah's own speech during the initial days of his caliphate expressed his own awareness of this:[395]

By Allah, while taking charge of your government I was not unaware of the fact that you are unhappy over my taking over of government and you people don’t like it. I am well aware of whatever is there in your hearts regarding this matter but still I have taken it from you on the basis of my sword… Now if you see that I am not fulfilling your rights, then you should be happy with me with whatever is there.[396]

Common Sunni and Shia views

Both the Sunni's and Shia's prefer Ali, Hassan and Hussein over Muawiyah. Many of the sources used by modern Shia's to criticize Muawiyah are Sunni Sources. The difference is that Shia's believe that only certain descendants of Ali, certain Syed's should rule, depending on the branch of the Shia they follow. Where as the Sunnis do not follow this assertion because they say that the Quran says "O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted." Quran 49:13.[397]

Shia View

Muawiyah I is a reviled figure in Shia Islam for several reasons. Firstly, because of his involvement in the Battle of Siffin, whom the Shia Muslims believe was Muhammad's true successor; secondly, for the breaking of the treaty he made with Hasan ibn Ali, after the death of Hasan ibn Ali, one of broken terms being appointing his son Yazid as his successor; thirdly, because they believe that he is responsibility for the killing of Hasan ibn Ali by bribing his wife Ja'dah binte Ash'as to poison him where as the Sunni texts do not say that his wife killed him; and fourthly because some Shia think that he distorted their interpretation of Islam to match his rule; where as the Sunnis do not say that he distorted Islam, as he was a political leader at a certain time in history to whom Hassan and Hussein also gave their allegiance, where as they say that Islam is based on the Quran and the teaching of Muhammad and its main center of learning was in Madina not in Syria and they say that Islam was completed at the time of Muhammad and use the verses "This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion" Quran 5:5.[398] "Indeed, it is I who sent down the Qur'an and indeed, I will be its guardian." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 15, Verse 9.[399] Fifthly, for the deaths of various Companions of Muhammad who fought alongside Ali in the Battle of Siffin.[400][401][402][403][404][405][406][407]

According to Shia view, Muawiyah opposed Ali, out of sheer greed for power and wealth. His reign opened the door to the persecution of Ali's supporters, slaughtering of his followers,[408] and unlawful imprisonment of his supporters,[409] which only worsened when Yazid came into power and the Battle of Karbala ensued. Muawiyah is alleged to have killed many of Muhammad's companions (Sahabah), either in battle or by poison, due to his lust for power. Muawiyah killed several historical figures, including the Sahabah, Amr bin al-Hamiq, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr,[410] Malik al-Ashtar,[411] Hujr ibn Adi[412] (to which the families of Abu Bakr and Umar condemned Muawiyah for,[413] and the Sahaba deemed his killer to be cursed)[414] and Abd al-Rahman bin Hasaan (buried alive for his support of Ali).[415] According to the Shia Muawiyah was also responsible for instigating the Battle of Siffin, the bloodiest battle in Islam's history, where as many early history books state that Ali went North to Syria, to make the Syrians give him allegiance. In the Battle of Saffin over 70,000 people (among them many of the last surviving companions of Muhammad) were killed. Notable among the Companions who were killed by Muawiyah's forces in the battle of Saffin was Ammar ibn Yasir, a frail old man of 95 at the time of his death. Shii Muslims see his being killed at the hands of Muawiyah's army as significant because of a well-known hadith, present in both the Shia and Sunni books of hadith, narrated by Abu Hurairah and others, in which Muhammad is recorded to have said: "A group of rebels would kill you",[416] Sahih Muslim[417] and Sahih al-Bukhari.

The killing of the two children of Ubaydullah ibn Abbas the ancestor of the Abbasids can also be found in Sunni books from the Abbasid period and Shia texts.[418]

[...] Then he [i.e. Muawiyah] was informed that Ubaidullah had two infant sons. So he set out to reach them, and when he found them - they had two (tender) forelocks like pearls - [and] he ordered to kill them.[419]

See also



  • Kaegi, Walter Emil, Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests, pub Cambridge University Press, 1995, ISBN 978-0-521-48455-8.
  • - Total pages: 271
  • Rahman I Doi, Abdur , Non-Muslims Under Shari'ah: (Islamic Law), pub Kazi Pubns Inc, 1999, ISBN 978-1-56744-170-3.
  • Treadgold, Warren, A History of the Byzantine State and Society, pub Stanford University Press, 1997, ISBN 978-0-8047-2630-6.
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