The rebels of Egypt went to Hazrat ‘Ali(ra), who was commanding a section of the army outside Madinah at the time, which stood ready to crush the rebels. They approached him and said that Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) was no longer suitable for Khilafat due to his administrative incompetence and that they had come to dismiss him and hoped that Hazrat ‘Ali(ra) would accept this office after him. Upon hearing their proposal, he demonstrated such a degree of religious indignation as befitted a man of his stature. Thus, he rebuked them and acted very harshly towards them saying:
“All pious people know that the Holy Prophet(sa) has foretold of the armies that would setup camp in Dhul-Marwah and Dhu Khashab (where the rebels had setup camp) and then invoked curse upon them.1 Hence, may God ruin you! Be Gone!”
They replied, “Very well, we shall return.” After this, they returned.
The rebels of Kufah approached Hazrat Zubair(ra) and submitted, “Accept the office of Khilafat after it has been vacated.” He also treated them in the same manner as Hazrat ‘Ali(ra). He treated them very harshly and rebuked them saying:
“All the believers know that the Holy Prophet(sa) has said that the armies to setup camp at Dhul-Marwah, Dhu Khashab and A‘was would be accursed.”
Similarly, the rebels of Basrah approached Hazrat Talhah, may Allah be pleased with him and he also cast them off. He then informed them of the prophecy of the Holy Prophet(sa) and of his invoking curse upon them.2
When the rebels witnessed this state of affairs and were completely disappointed in this regard, they employed the strategy of expressing remorse for their action and only requested that a few governors be changed. When Hazrat ‘Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, learnt of this he accepted their request with extreme affection and kindness. According to the request of these people, Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) changed ‘Abdullah bin Abi Sarah, the governor of Egypt and appointed Muhammad bin Abi Bakr in his stead. Upon this, they returned seemingly content and the people of Madinah were joyful that God had saved Islam from a grave conflict. Whatever they had perceived, however, was not correct because these rebels harboured other intentions and none of their activities were free from sedition and disorder.
1 Al-Bidayatu Wan-Nihayah, By Hafiz Ibni Kathir Dimashqi, vol. 7, p. 169, Sanatu 35 Hijri, Dhikru Maji’il-Ahzabi Ila ‘Uthmanu Lil-Marratith-Thaniyati Mim-Misra (Wa Ghairiha Fi Shawwali Min Hadhihis-Sanah), Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001 edition,
2 Tarikhut-Tabari, vol. 5, pp. 152-153, Dhikru Masiri Mann Sara Ila Dhi Khashabin Min Ahli Misra….., Published by Darul-Fikr, Beirut, 2002 edition