Following this terrible event, the companions and people of Madinah understood that the hearts of the rebels were filled with even greater animosity than what was being displayed. Even though there was not much they could do, some companions, who preferred death over such a state, became intent upon fighting the rebels, come what may. Perhaps, four or five men fighting in opposition to an army of 2,000 or 3,000 men may appear to be madness in the eyes of a worldly person, but as for those who had sacrificed all their possessions for the sake of Islam, it was not burdensome for them whatsoever to fight in its defence. The following companions were also among those who were prepared to fight: Sa‘d bin Malik(ra), Hazrat Abu Hurairah(ra), Zaid bin Samit(ra) and Hazrat Imam Hasan(ra). When this news reached Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra), he immediately sent them an order instructing them not to fight the rebels under any circumstance and to return to their homes.1
The love which Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) possessed for the companions of the Holy Prophet(sa) and the ahl-e-bait,2 undoubtedly, prevented a war which was to break out between a few devoted companions and a rebel army of 2,000 to 3,000 men. However, from this event we are able to effectively ascertain the level of passion that was building up among the companions due to the mischief of these rebels. It is only possible for a few men to become willing to stand up against a fierce army if they believe that subservience to it is worse than death. The involvement of Abu Hurairah(ra) and Imam Hasan(ra) in this group is especially worthy of attention. Hazrat Abu Hurairah(ra) was neither a soldier, nor he had performed any military service prior to this in particular. Similarly, even though Hazrat Imam Hasan(ra) was the son of a valiant father and was also brave and courageous himself, he preferred peace and concord, and according to a prophecy of the Holy Prophet(sa), he was a prince of peace.3 The fact that these two men stood up sword in hand demonstrates that the companions and the other people of Madinah were immensely displeased by the sedition of these rebels.
1 Tarikhut-Tabari, vol. 5, p. 155, Dhikru Masiri Mann Sara Ila Dhi Khashabin Min Ahli Misra….., Published by Darul-Fikr, Beirut, 2002 edition [Publishers]
2 Ahl-e-Bait literally means ‘people of the house’ and refers to the household members of the Holy Prophet(sa).
3 Mustadrak lil-Hakam, vol. 3, Kitabu Ma‘rifatis-Sahabah, Babu Wa Min Fada’ilil-Hasanibni ‘Aliyyibni Abi Talibin, Hadith No. 4809, Published by Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990 edition