The battle of Nehravan
The conditions of rebels (Kharji) have been stated at the beginning of this chapter. They considered all the people (Kafir), except those who shared their views to be unbelievers and rebels. They were very much criticized in this respect. When their armies (6000 in number) came to the battlefield, Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam gathered his army and came to Nehravan for a fight. According to the description given in Sahih Muslim, their army-head was Abdullah ibn-e-Vahab Rasbi. The historians report that those people had taken spiritual oath (Bait) on his hand. In the beginning, Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam decided to withdraw the army in order to punish the mutineers of Syria. But considering the commandment of killing the boycotted, he postponed the idea. He thought the matter might take a dangerous twist; hence, it was inevitable to cut their heads. If the Hyderi army invaded Syria, he thought, these people would attack Iraq, will kill the Muslims’ children cruelly and loot their property. This had been very clearly stated by Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam also. In this connection, he has presented a Hadith, wherein the reports about the excommunicated people have been given as under:
(i) These people will recite the Holy Quran (Tilawat-e-Quran) regularly. (ii) They will respect and practice prayers (Namaz) and fasting (Roza) much more than you do. (iii) But they will be away from Islam-the religion. (iv) Any army, if comes to know about the Allah promise that has been conveyed through Huzur ﷺ words about the great reward that can be given to the people who kill these masses, the army would be so much after such killing that the normal sacred deeds and His worship would be totally neglected by them. (v) One of their marks is that in them, there will be a man who will have only one hand and on his chest, there would be a bump as the females have.
After narrating this Hadith, he said, “If you leave these people and go to Muavia towards Syria, they will, beyond any control, kill your children and will loot your wealth and property. I am sure these are the same people who are indicated in the Hadith. They have killed many innocent people and looted their property. With the name of Allah, let us go to encounter them.”
Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam Advice
All the atheists (people with Kharji (boycotted) faith) from Kufa, Basra, Ambar and Madain gathered together at Nehravan with a view to attacking Haidari Army from there. Sher-e-Khuda’s pois army reached there to confront them. Before the war, Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam sent Hazrat Abu Ayyub Ansari Radiallahu anhoo and Hazrat Kais ibn-e-Sa’ad Ansari Radiallahu anhoo for settlement. But the rebels were obstinate in their decision. Now, Amir-ul-Mominin himself went to them and addressed them for the compromise and said “O, people! I had alerted you in the very beginning that treaty is just treachery, but you all insisted upon its acceptance. When I had to accept it reluctantly, I put the condition that both the arbitrators should accept the one whom the Holy Quran has accepted and the one that is rejected by the Holy Quran should be thrown outright by the arbitrators also. The arbitrators should not give any decision that is against the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. But both the mediators were drawn away by their selfish intentions and went against the Book and the Sunnah. Hence, their decision was cancelled, and I threw it away at once. Have we ever accepted the decisions of the arbitrators which is already cancelled? Now, why do you people, oppose us along with the arbitrators?”
“See, I am alerting the people that they should leave the wrong path of killing and ruining their own houses, and accept the truth. If you do not do this, you will all be assassinated in such a way that before Allah, the Almighty, you will have to be ashamed.”
In reply to this, the atheists said, “When we accepted the treaty, we had become atheists. Now we are repenting for that. If you accept to do as we did, we are with you. Or else, be ready to fight.”
Hazrat Ali Murtuza AlahisSalam said, “Send a serious man to us for negotiations. If he could not argue, and if defeated in the arguments, then, you should have a fear of Allah.”
The atheists sent Abdullah bin Alkvah. Now, how dared he argues against the strong and truthful arguments of Sher-i-Khuda AlahisSalam But he said that they could not retreat from their stand.
Now, no more discussions were needed. What only was needed was to order the army to reciprocate against their killing and destruction. But Hazrat Murtuza AlahisSalam was a shining sun of holy advice. He constantly tried and expected that at least some people might come on the right path. That also would be a great service of religion. Hence, before opening the war, he gave Hazrat Abu Ayyub Ansari Radiallahu anhoo the flag of peace on the lance and declared, “Anyone who comes under this flag or leaves the battlefield or leaves the company of the atheists will be forgiven.” On hearing this, one Kharji captain, Firoh-bin-Navaffal Ashjai, went away with his five hundred soldiers saying, “We have no ground to fight against Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam.” One group went back to Kufa. One thousand Kharji left the community and came under the flag of Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam. Now, boycotted’s number of soldiers was minimised. But still, they were ready to fight and sacrifice their lives.
The secret of the battle
Hazrat Murtuza AlahisSalam ordered his army not to initiate the fight. The order was perfectly obeyed. The atheists began a war with great force and power. The counter-attack from Hazrat Ali’s army was so much strong that all the Kharji were sent to hell. Sahih Muslim narrates that in this attack, two people from Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam side were martyr.
The man on whose chest there was a bump like that of a woman
At the end of the battle, Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam said, “Bring that man who has only one hand.” People tried but could not find out such a man. Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam himself came to the battle-field where dead bodies were lying one upon the other. He told to remove the dead bodies. At the bottom of all of them, they found a man whose hand from elbow was cut and there was a bump like that of a woman on his chest. It is given in Sahih Muslim Vol-1 that when he saw the man, he said, “Allah’s message is right, and Huzur ﷺ has told us the whole matter and further instructed to spread this point among the people.”
Hazrat Abu Sa’eed Khudri Radiallahu anhoo narrates the Hadith regarding this, “I give witness that I have heard this Hadith from Huzur itI also stand witness that Hazrat Ali Ibn-i-Abu Ta’alib AlahisSalam has killed them. I also was with him. Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam asked people to look for that man (about whom it is given in the Hadith that on his chest, there was a bump of meat like that of a woman). I have seen the mark, that had been described by Huzuri, by my own eyes.” (Sahih Muslim Vol-1) ). The Extermination of the rest of the Rebels (Boycotted)
The battle of Nehravan finished the rebels to a particular extent. But their small groups still survived in the region, who were robbing the people. They were misleading the atheists and new-Muslims and were instigating them for the protest. The mountains of Rāmhormoz were their centre. Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam sent Hazrat Ma’qil bin Kais Radiallahu anhoo to these mountains to control them. He killed each one of them one by one. The area was free of attacks and riots. Atheists were killed, new-Muslims begged for forgiveness. The rebels put an end to their opposition and took oath for the acceptance. They remembered the good behaviour, manners and affection showed by Hazrat Ma’qil bin Kais Radiallahu anhoo towards them, which was according to the advice and orders of Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam. They were burst into tears out of gratefulness. They came under the reign of Hazrat Ali AlaihisSalam along with their women and children.
The battle of Nehravan