no mood for political or military adventurism in the region.” Britain was concerned that the. Axis forces would gain a foothold in the region or that the Levant. Hichem Djait is professor emeritus of history at University of Tunis. His work La Grande Discorde: Religion et politique dans l’Islam des origines Djaït,Hichem. It is easy to discover that the best book there is on the subject is by the brilliant Tunisian scholar, Hichem Djait: La Grande Discorde, which.

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The First Fitna Arabic: It began when the caliph Uthman ibn Affan was assassinated by Egyptian rebels in and continued through the four-year reign of Uthman’s successor Ali ibn Abi Talib. It ended in when Ali’s heir Hasan ibn Ali concluded djaait treaty acknowledging the rule of Muawiyahthe djaif Umayyad caliph. The Islamic caliphate expanded very quickly under Muhammad and the first three caliphs. The rapid Muslim conquest of Syria and Egypt and the consequent Byzantine losses in manpower and territory meant that the Eastern Didcorde Empire found itself struggling for survival.

The Sassanid Dynasty in Persia had already collapsed. The Islamic empire expanded at an unprecedented rate, but there was a cost associated with it. Many desert nomads and some bandits living between current-day Iraq and Saudi Grrande also joined in, not out of commitment to Islam but to share the spoils and benefit from the change in the social order, after the defeat of the Persian Empire. High taxes were imposed vrande the populations in both the Byzantine Roman and Sassanid Persian empires to finance these wars.

There was also continuous djai of the people during these djajt. The Arab tribes in Mesopotamia were paid by the Persian Sassanids to act as mercenaries, while the Arab tribes in Syria were paid by the Byzantines to act as their mercenaries.

The Persians maintained an Arab satellite state of Lakhm and the Byzantine Empire maintained the Arab satellite state of Ghassan, which they used to fight each other.

Therefore, each wanted the capital of the newly established Islamic state to be in their area. As Uthman ibn Affan became very old, Marwan Ia relative of Muawiyah Islipped into the vacuum and became his secretary, slowly assuming more control and relaxing some of these restrictions.

Marwan I had previously been excluded from positions of responsibility. Sects started to form, among them the Sabaites named after Abdullah Ibn Saba. Much of the Jewish literature on him from that time regards him as an apostate from Judaism and asks Jews to keep away from him.

There was also the movement towards more autonomous tribal groupings, which was particularly strong in Kufa, in Mesopotamia; they wanted to rule their own states.

Among them developed a group called the Qurra, which later became known as the Kharijites. Brunnow trace the origins of the Qurra and the Kharijites back to Bedouin stock and desert tribesmen, who had become soldiers not out of commitment to Islam but to share the spoils. Brunnow held that the Kharijites were Bedouin Arabs or full blooded Arabs.

The Qurra received the highest stipend of the Muslim army, the sharaf al ataand they had the use of the best lands which they came to regard as their private domain. The Qurra received stipends varying between 2, and 3, dirhams, while the majority of the rest of the troops received only to dirhams. The other Ridda tribesmen in Kufa, in Mesopotamia, resented the special position given to the Qurra.

The tension between the Ridda tribesmen and the Qurra threatened the Qurra’s newly acquired prestige. The Qurra therefore felt obliged to defend their position in the new but rapidly changing society. The Qurra were mainly based in Kufa. But later when Uthman declined to give them more lands in Persia [14] [19] they felt that their status was being reduced and therefore started to cause trouble.


Some of the people with their tribal names as Qurra had been expelled from Kufa, for fomenting trouble and were sent to Muawiyah in Syria. In Madina they took an oath that they would not cause trouble and following the example of Muhammad, Uthman accepted their word and let them go.

The Qurra then felt that Abu Musa al-Ashari could look after their interests better. They had fought under the service of his father in the Ridda wars. They also asked Uthman’s adopted son, Muhammad bin Abi Hudhaifawho Uthman had refused to appoint as a governor of any province, why he was not a governor.

La Grande Discorde (French, Paperback)

Finding the gate of Uthman’s house strongly guarded by his supporters, the Qurra climbed the back wall and sneaked inside, leaving the guards on the gate unaware of what was going on inside. Hassan and Hussein were also guarding Uthman at the time. Uthman had been besieged in his palace for 49 days before he was killed. Ali had done a hrande deal ciscorde attempt to save Uthman; however, Marwan prevented Ali from being able to help Uthman.

Uthman only listened to the advice of Marwan and Saeed bin Aas, and Marwan did his best to act as a barrier between Ali and Uthman. Uthman’s death had a polarizing effect in the Muslim world at the time. Questions were raised not only regarding his character and policies but also about the relationship between Muslims and the state, religious beliefs regarding rebellion and governance, and the qualifications of rulership in Islam. The people of Medina asked Ali, who had been chief judge in Medina, to become the Caliph and he accepted.

Unlike many of the other companions of Muhammad, Ali had not been involved in the camel caravan trade and had less business and administrative experience.

Ali was convinced to make Kufa the capital. In Mesopotamia, many people hated the Syrians. Some of Ali’s supporters were also very extreme in their views and considered everyone to be their enemy. They also felt that if there were peace, they would be arrested for the killing of Uthman. However, the Qurra and the Sabaites were unhappy with the settlement dajit launched a night attack.

Confusion grands throughout the night. Ali pardoned Aisha and her brother escorted her back to Medina. Marwan was arrested but he later asked Hassan and Hussein for assistance and was released. Ali’s inability to punish the murderers of Uthman and Muawiyah’s refusal to pledge allegiance eventually led Ali to move his army north to confront Muawiyah. The two armies encamped themselves at Siffin for more than one hundred days, most of the time being spent in negotiations.

Neither side wanted to fight. Then on 29 July 11th Safarthe Mesopotamians under Ashtar’s command, the Qurra in Ali’s army, who had their own camp, started the fighting in earnest.

Grande discorde — Wikipédia

The battle lasted three days. The loss of life was terrible. Suddenly one of the Syrians, Ibn Lahiya, out of fear of further civil war and unable to bear the spectacle rode forward with a copy of the Quran on the ears of his horse to call for judgement by the book of Allah, and the other Syrians followed suit.

Everyone on both sides took up the cry, eager to avoid killing their fellow Muslims – except for the conspirators. The majority of Ali’s followers supported arbitration.

Grande discorde

Nasr b Muzahim, in one of the earliest sources states that al-Ashath ibn Qays, one of Ali’s key supporters and a Kufan, then stood up and said:. O company of Muslims! You have seen what happened in the day which has passed. In it some of the Arabs have been annihilated. By Allah, I have reached the age which Allah willed that I reach. Let the present convey to the absent! If we fight tomorrow, it will be the annihilation of the Arabs and the loss of what is sacred.


I do not make this statement out of fear of death, but I am an aged man who fears for the women and children tomorrow if we are annihilated.

O Allah, I have looked to my people and the people of my deen and not empowered anyone. There is no success except by Allah. On Him I rely and to Him I return. Opinion can be both right and wrong.

When Allah decides a matter, He carries it out whether His servants like it or not. I say this and I ask Allah’s forgiveness for me and you. He is right, by the Lord.

If we meet tomorrow the Byzantines will attack our women and children and the people of Persia will attack the women and children of Mesopotamia.

Those with forebearance and intelligence see this. Tie the copies of the Quran to the ends of the spears. So the fighting stopped. Every time Ali tried to negotiate the Qurra and the Sabait started wars and launched night attacks, fearing that if there was peace, then they will be arrested.

It was decided that the Syrians and the residents of Kufa should nominate an arbitrator, each to decide between ‘Ali and Mu’awiya.

The Syrians choice fell on ‘Amr bin al-A’as who was the rational soul and spokesman of Muawiya. They nominated Abu Musa al-Ash’ari as their arbitrator.

First Fitna – Wikipedia

During the time of ‘Uthman, they had discordr Abu Musa al-Ash’ari as the Governor of Kufa and removed ‘Uthman’s governor before they started fighting Uthman Ali found it expedient to agree to this choice in order to ward off bloody dissensions in his army.

When the arbitrators assembled at Dumat al-Jandal, which lay midway between Kufa and Syria and had for that reason been selected as the place for the announcement of the decision, a series of daily djaiit were arranged for them to discuss the matters in hand. When the time arrived for taking a decision about the caliphate, Amr bin al-A’as convinced Abu Musa al-Ashari that they should deprive both Ali and Mu’awiya of the caliphate, and give to the Muslims the right to elect the caliph.

Abu Musa al-Ash’ari decided to act accordingly. As the time for announcing the verdict approached, the people belonging to both parties assembled. Abu Musa al-Ash’ari agreed to open the proceedings, and said, “We have devised a solution after a good deal of thought and it may put an end to all contention and separatist tendencies.

Both of us remove ‘Ali as well as Mu’awiya from the caliphate. The Muslims are given the right to elect a caliph as they think best. Ali refused to accept the verdict as he felt he had been cheated and the verdict was one sided.

The Kharijites then started killing other people. In Ali’s forces finally moved against the Kharijites and they finally met in the Battle of Nahrawan. Although Ali won the battle, the constant conflict had begun to affect his standing.

Three years later, and there came the inevitable blowback: While dealing with the Iraqis, Ali found it hard to build a disciplined army and effective discorse institutions to exert control over his areas and as a result later spent a lot of time fighting the Kharijites. As a result, on the Eastern front, Ali found it hard to expand the state. Ali was assassinated by Kharijites in He was wounded by ibn Muljam’s poison-coated sword while prostrating in the Fajr prayer.