Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Battle of Jamal (Camel)


The battle of Jamal (Camel):

Ummul Momeneen Ayesha the daughter of the first Caliph Abu Bakr, and the widow of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), was in Makka for the pilgrimage when third Caliph Uthman was killed. She had always expected either Talha or Zubayr to succeed him and when she heard of Imam Ali's (A.S.) appointment as Caliph, she was very upset. And said, 'By God! Uthman was innocent, I will avenge his blood.'

Both Talha & Zubayr were brothers-in-law of Ummul Momeneen Ayesha. Her youngest sister was the wife of Talha, who was also a cousin of her father. Her eldest sister was a wife of Zubayr, whose son Abdullah was adopted by Ummul Momeneen Ayesha.

Ummul Momeneen Ayesha was a jealous woman. Now she declared herself as the avenger of the murder of Uthman and prepared to wage war against Imam Ali (A.S.), whom she had always hated.

She managed to recruit the support of the powerful clan of Bani Umayyah, to whom Uthman had belonged. The ex-governors of Uthman, who had been replaced by Imam Ali (A.S.), also joined her.

Yala the ex-governor of Yemen carried off to Makka all the treasure from Yemen when he was deposed. Amounting to sixty thousand Dinars, which he made over to Ummul Momeneen Ayesha along with six hundred camels, one of which was a rarity, a big-sized, well bred animal, valued at 200 gold pieces. It was named Al-Askar and was specially presented for the use of Ummul Momeneen Ayesha.

Talha and Zubayr also joined her, in spite of their oath of allegiance to Imam Ali (A.S.). A large number of Arabs were also paid to enlist in the army, whose fathers and brothers had been killed by Imam Ali (A.S.) in defending the Prophet's (S.A.W.) cause on the occasion of various wars in his time. Many a discontented Arab flocked under the Standard.

The preparations of war having been completed, Ummul Momeneen Ayesha's army proceeded to Basra. Before leaving, she had asked Umme Salma, a faithful widow of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), to accompany her. Umme Salma had indignantly refused, reminding Ummul Momeneen Ayesha that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) had said that Imam Ali (A.S.) was his successor and whoever disobeyed him, disobeyed the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) himself. She also reminded her of the time when he had addressed all his wives saying that the dogs of Hawab would bark at one of his wives, who would be part of a rebellious mob. She then warned Ummul Momeneen Ayesha not to be fooled by the words of Talha and Zubayr who would only entangle her in wrong deeds. This advice had a sobering effect on Ummul Momeneen Ayesha, who almost gave up her plan. However, her adopted son, Abdallah bin Zubayr, convinced her to go ahead.

Ummul Momeneen Ayesha mounted on a litter on the camel al-Askar, and marched from Makka at the head of 1,000 men. On her right was Talha and on her left, Zubayr. On their way many more joined them, swelling their numbers to 3,000.

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