This battle was an exceptional one. A hand full of companions who were able to gather at the time fought desperately against this grand army. On that day, even Hazrat Imam Hasan(ra), who was extremely peace loving, in fact, he was a prince of peace, attacked the enemy and would recite rajaz.1 The couplets recited by Hazrat Imam Hasan and Muhammad bin Talhah on that day are especially worthy of mention because they provide a deep understanding of their heartfelt feelings at the time.
Hazrat Imam Hasan(ra) would recite the following couplet and attack the rebels:
“Their faith is not my faith nor do I have any relation with them; I shall fight them until I reach the summit of mount Shamam.”2
Shamam is a mountain in Arabia which serves as a similitude for conquering heights and the achievement of one’s goal. Hazrat Imam Hasan(ra) meant to say that he would continue to fight the rebels until he attained his objective and would not make peace with them, because the disagreement between both parties was not a trivial one, whereby [the believers] could develop a relationship with them, without having conquered them. These were the thoughts that were billowing in the heart of this prince of peace. Let us now take the rajaz of the son of Talhah(ra), who says:
“I am the son of he who protected the Holy Prophet(sa) on the day of Uhad and defeated the Arabs despite their full efforts.”
In other words, this day was also similar to the day of Uhad; just as his father had offered his hand to be pierced with arrows but did not let any harm come to the Holy Prophet(sa), he would do the same.
Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Zubair(ra) also participated in this battle and was badly injured. Marwan also sustained serious injuries and barely escaped the clutches of death. Mughirah bin Al-Akhnas was killed. When the person who had attacked Mughirah saw that not only had he been wounded but that he had been killed, he exclaimed:
[meaning, surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return].3
The chief of the army reprimanded him saying, “You express regret on an occasion of happiness!” He replied:
“Last night I saw in a dream that a person said, ‘Give news of hell to the killer of Mughirah.’ So upon learning that I am his killer I was bound to be shocked by this.”4
Besides the above mentioned people others were also injured and killed; the party protecting Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) became even smaller. If on the one hand, the rebels persisted in their obstinacy despite a heavenly warning and continued to fight against the beloved party of God the Exalted, then on the other hand, the devotees also did not slacken in setting an excellent example of faith. Despite the fact that most guards had been killed or injured, a small party continued to guard the door without fail.
Since the rebels had apparently gained victory already, they sent someone to Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) again, as a final strategy, to have him resign from Khilafat. They felt that if he resigned himself then the Muslims would have no authority or opportunity to punish the rebels. When the messenger reached Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra), he said:
“I have refrained from vices even in the days of jahiliyyah and have not violated the injunctions [of God] after accepting Islam. Why and for what crime should I leave the office which God the Exalted has conferred upon me? I shall never remove the garment which God the Exalted has clothed me with.”
The messenger returned after hearing this reply and addressed his people in the following words:
“By God! We have fallen into grave trial. By God! We cannot escape the clutches of the Muslims without killing ‘Uthman(ra) (because in this case the government would topple and its administration would crumble and there would be no one to question them) but killing him is in no way permissible.”5
Not only do the words of this person highlight the anxiety of the rebels, but they also establish that Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) had still not allowed anything to arise which the rebels could have used as an excuse. In their hearts, the rebels knew that killing Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) was not lawful under any circumstances.