Beginning of the war
Muavia initiated the war in the month of Jamada-al-Awwal in Hijri 37, which continued till the end of the latter part of Jamada-al-Thani. During this period, there were few and far between attacks and no big blood-shed took place. The fight was stopped during Rajab and, it was declared that till the end of the Muharram, the war should be postponed.
Efforts for compromise again from Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam
Again, during the concluding stage of the war, Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam attempted for the compromise and sent a delegation under the leadership of famous Sahaabi, Hazrat Adi Ibn-e-Hatimaye who tried to convince Muavia that, “All the people have arrived at unanimity over the Caliphate of Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam. Only you and your people are away from it. This is separatism. It is very necessary to be saved from this kind of social setup.”
Muavia did not give any concrete reply, on the contrary, he repeated his wish, “Let Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam hand us over the culprit, we will kill him, and then we will accept his proposal and join the group.” Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam insisted that he had not killed Hazrat Uthman . He said, “Then, let him hand over the killer to us, we will kill him and take the revenge of Hazrat Uthman’s death. After that, he should resign from the post of Caliph, so that, the Muslims may get the consent of the executive committee and may appoint anyone as Caliph.”
How silly and senseless talks are these! (i) The desire for revenge of Hazrat Uthman’s death is absolutely against the constitution and code. No one had a power to impose any of such limitation on the Caliph, nor could he be bound by any condition. (ii) To ask for resignation from the post of Caliph and (iii) to appoint the Caliph again, by the executive committee, both the points were against the unity of Islam. According to the traditional procedure, the Caliph was being selected unanimously by the emigrants and the Ansars. Whoever had been selected as a result of this procedure was accepted by all as a Caliph. If this was accepted, the importance of emigrants’ and Ansars’ resolution-decision, would have no weight. At a stroke of the pen, this would establish a tradition that everyone had a right to do away with the religion, which has the foundation of strong decision and firm belief.
This sort of movements, in fact, were the results of the disobedience of Huzur ﷺ instructions and clear opposition. Hence, for such movements and activities of the opposition, there are very strict commandments in the Holy Quran and the Hadiths. Under these circumstances, the below given speeches and writings are naturally recollected spontaneously:
I. (Al Hujurat Juz. 1): Translation: If one group of Musalmans is rebellious towards another one, the faithful group should fight with the mutineers till they surrender to the commandments of Allah, the Almighty.
II. (Madarik): Translation: According to Allah’s order, the faithful should fight against the rebels, till they fight. But when they withdraw, the fight should be stopped.
II. (Kanzul Ummal): Translation: “O Ali, the group of rebels will fight with you, and you will be on the right path.
IV. (Kanzul Ummal): Translation: “There will be disturbances after me. When the facts come to surface, be with Ali Ibn-e-Abi Talib and support him very strongly, because, he is the one who rightly discriminates between right and wrong, truth and untruth and knows to keep a balance between them.”
V. (Words of Hazrat Huzaifa Sahib-us-Surr, Jama ul Fawaid Vol.3): Translation: Hazrat Huzaifa Radiallahu anhoo “One who knows the important secrets of Huzuri, should keep in view only that group which supports and remains with Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam. Be very sincere to that group, because, only that group is on the right path.” (Imam-ul-Harmain, & Digar Aimma-e-Din, Nasburraya Vol. 4);
Translation: Imam-ul-Harmain & other Aimma-e-Din (Islamic Scholars) state that Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam was a real Caliph, and he was on the right path and the people who fought against him were the rebels.
VII. (Nasb ul Raya): Translation: There is unanimity over the belief that in relation to the battle against Hazrat Talha, Hazrat Zubair and Hazrat Ayesha i. e, in the Ahl-e-Jamal, Hazrat Ali was on the right path. And he was also on the right path in fighting with Tulaqa Muavia and his army, i.e. the battle of Siffin. It was agreed that there would not be any war from the month of Rajab till that of Muharram.
The most valuable advice of Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam
It was agreed that there would not be any war from the month of Rajab till that of Muharram. After that, from the month of Safar, a series of terrible wars began. But before the beginning of the war, Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam got the following points declared in his army.
i. Beware! Initiation of war should not be from our side.
ü. Do not kill any one of the rivals, running away alive from the battle-field after their defeat.
iii. Do not kill any injured.
iv Do not make anyone naked.
v Do not mutilate anybody dead body .
vi. Do not enter in anybody’s house
vii Do not plunder anybody’s property.
viii Do not unveil any woman. Even if she abuses, forgive her and be patient with her.
Everybody realized that Muavia’s people were Mutineers
Hazrat Ammar-bin Ya’sir Radiallahu anhoo was a Sahaabi of great reputation. While talking about him, Huzur ﷺ said that he was full of strong belief and faithfulness from top to bottom. In addition to this, Huzur ﷺ said, “The rebellious group will kill Ammar.” This Hadith had been referred to by more than ten Sahaabas. Its description has been given at length in, Musnad-e-Ahmad, Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, Sun-ne-Tirmizi and Nasai and Baihaqi, Musnad-e-Abu Daud Tiyalisi, Musnad-eAbdullah Ibn-e-Harith, Mauzam-e-Tabrani etc. Imam Abu Bakr Khassas Razi has written in Ahkamul Quran (Vol. 3), “This Hadith has constantly been referred to, and everyone has accepted it.” So much so that, when Hazrat Abdullah Ibn-e-Amr-bin A’as described this before Muavia, he also could not reject it. Imam Abdul Birri has written in Istia’ab (Vol. 2), “This is very frequently repeated Hadith and is one of the absolutely true Hadiths.”
Its verbatim form is in Sahih Bukhari as under:
Translation: “Alas! Ammar will be assassinated by the revolutionary party. Ammar will invite them for the deeds fit for heaven and the mutineers will invite him for those who are prone to hell.”
Hazrat Ammar Radiallahu anhoo was trying to invite them to obey Amir-ul-Mominin Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam. Hadith has clarified that this was an invitation towards heaven. But, the rebels were inviting people towards the disobedience of Amir-ul-Mominin. Hadith has clarified that that was the invitation towards the hell.
In the Hadith of Musnad-e-Abdullah Ibn-e-Harris, there is an explanation of this also (Jamaul Fawaid) that, Ammar’s killer and the one who robbed his belongings would go to hell.
Hazrat Ammar ibn-e-Ya’sirain was a prominent person in Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam army. While he was fighting with great vigour, zest and faithfulness from top to bottom in the war of Siffin with the rivals, one suspect martyred him. His martyrdom indicated and proved that Muavia’s group was that of rebels. The warriors, the Sahaabas who were fighting before and behind, could now very clearly understand that Muavia and his supporters were rebels and, Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam and his community were on the right path. After this, they became strong supporters of Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam
was Hafiz Ibn-e-Kathir, one of the important disciples of Allama Ibn-e-Taimia, while describing the martyrdom of Hazrat Ammaar, writes in Annidaya v Nnihaya (Vol. 7), “This incident proved one thing that Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam on the right path and Muavia was a rebel.‘
The implication that the group that killed Ammar was really those of rebellious people has been given the utmost importance right from the Sahaabas’ time till today. Their rebellious effects, which were like the bright light of midday sun, have been witnessed by thousands of people. Amr Ibn-e-A’as also was enthralled by this. Hence, when two persons expressed their determination for the assassination of Hazrat Ammar Radiallahu anhoo
front of Muavia, Amr Ibn-e-Aas said, “By Allah, these two persons are quarrelling for the entry in the hell.”
Muavia said, “Amr, your position is very awkward. You say the people who are sacrificing their lives for us will go to hell.” Amr Ibn-eA’as said, “On the oath of Allah, this is the real fact. Alas! Had I died twenty years before this day.” Amr Ibn-e-A’as was very much worried about what to do then. Yet, he did not leave the leadership of rebels. He did not separate him from those people.
Beginning of the war