The fleeing of Malikul-Ashtar from Jazirah under the pretence of coming from Madinah, levelling a false allegation upon Sa‘id bin Al-‘As(ra), and attributing disgraceful and self-concocted things towards him, were not matters which could allow the true motives and secret intentions of the rebels to remain hidden. In fact, this evidently demonstrates that these people were completely oblivious to Islam. Islam does not permit falsehood, does not advocate deception and slandering is a grave crime in Islam. However, these people, who apparently professed love and indignation for Islam, told lies and slandered others; and all the while they felt no shame in doing so. Hence, their hue and cry against Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) was sufficient proof of the fact that this commotion was not on account of any real shortcoming; rather, it was the result of being distanced from Islam and irreligiousness.
The second conclusion which is derived from this incident is that these people did not possess even a single legitimate complaint against Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) and his governors. For if a complaint truly existed, what need was there for them to fabricate lies? The invention of false complaints alone is sufficient evidence of the fact that these people had no real complaint. As such, we see that before the arrival of Ashtar when Yazid held a gathering, only a few soldiers participated at the time. When Qa‘qa‘ prohibited them, they became afraid and put off their gathering. However, we see that within the very same month after being influenced by the lies of Ashtar a large segment of the public had joined these people and set out from Kufah in order to stop Sa‘id and request the appointment of another governor. This is testimony to the fact that initially, people would not be easily deceived by the rebels because they had no means to incite them. When Ashtar managed to invent a means, which was enough to spark the people’s indignation, a section of the public fell into this trap and joined them.
The emergence of this disorder also clearly establishes that the actual opposition of these people was against Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) and not his governors. For in the beginning, it was he against whom the rebels desired to incite the people. However, when they noticed that no one would join them in this; rather, they would begin to oppose them, these people began to incite the public against the governors. The fact that the rebels were heading for Madinah with a large party also proves that they did not harbour good intentions for Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra). Furthermore, their needlessly killing the freed slave of Sa‘id bin Al-‘As(ra), demonstrates that in order to fulfil their ends these people felt no hindrance in committing any crime whatsoever.
It appears that by now these people had begun to perceive that if there was even a slight delay, the Muslim people would come to learn of the gravity of their mischief. For this reason, they were deeply concerned in attaining their objective in whatever way and as quickly as possible. However, with his wisdom, Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) dismissed their excuses once again. He appointed Abu Musa Al-Ash‘ari(ra) as the governor and immediately informed the people. Their hopes had already been frustrated when Sa‘id bin Al-‘As(ra) returned and informed the people of Madinah of their motives. Their plans under deliberation of suddenly occupying Madinah, were frustrated and they were forced to turn back. Now, with the appointment of Abu Musa Al-Ash‘ari(ra) as the governor, their objections had been completely done away with because these people desired his appointment as governor for some time.
When Abu Musa Al-Ash‘ari(ra) came to know of his appointment as the governor of Kufah, he gathered everyone and said:
“O people! Never set out for such works again, and adopt unity and obedience. Act patiently and refrain from haste because now an Amir is amongst you i.e. I have been appointed as the Amir.”
Upon this, these people requested him to lead them in prayer but he refused saying, “No, this will never happen.”1
1 Tarikhut-Tabari, vol. 5, p. 142, Dhikrul-Khabari ‘An Ijtima‘ihim Li- Dhalika Wa Khabarul-Jur‘ati, Published by Darul-Fikr, Beirut, 2002 edition [Publishers]