He went on to state:
“I shall not become your Imam until you affirm complete obedience to Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) and declare that you will accept his orders.”
Upon this, the people promised that they would show complete obedience to him in the future and accept his orders. It was only then that Abu Musa Al-Ash‘ari(ra) led them in prayer. Similarly, Hazrat Abu Musa(ra) told them:
“Hearken! I have heard the Holy Prophet(sa) say, ‘At a time when people are under an Imam, anyone who rises up to create disaccord among them and to scatter their community, should be executed, whoever he may be.1 The Holy Prophet(sa) has not stipulated the condition of the Imam being equitable. In other words, you cannot say that Hazrat ‘Uthman is not just; for even if this is accepted as being true, your action is still unwarranted because the Holy Prophet(sa) has not stipulated the condition of justice. Instead, the Holy Prophet(sa) has merely stated that there should be a ruler over the people.”
These were the views of those people who had spent their entire lives in the service of Islam and who had heard the teachings of Islam directly from the lips of the Holy Prophet(sa). Moreover, they had received an attestation of approval by acting upon these teachings in his presence. What to talk of praying behind these rebels, they did not even desire to become their Imam in prayer and considered them liable for capital punishment. Can it be said about such people that they were a part of the conflict in the era of Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) or that Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) and his governors were usurping the rights of the citizens? Similarly, in light of these events can it be accepted that these rebels were creating disorder on their behalf. Of course not! In fact, this rebel party was bent upon creating disorder out of its jealousy towards the community of companions and these people hid their heartfelt views. Their real objective was the destruction of the Islamic government and this objective could not be achieved without moving Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) aside. Not catching on to their deception, certain ignorant or faithless Muslims, joined them as well either out of their selfishness or simplicity.
1 Sahih Muslim, Kitabul-Imarah, Babu Hukmi Man Farraqa Amral- Muslimina Wa Huwa Mujtami‘un, Hadith No. 4796
Tarikhut-Tabari, vol. 5, p. 144, Dhikrul-Khabari ‘An Ijtima‘ihim Li-Dhalika Wa Khabarul-Jur‘ati, Published by Darul-Fikr, Beirut, 2002 edition [Publishers]