Historically it is very clear that during the
last months of the life of the Prophet, Four groups emerged.
The first group consisted of Sahaba like Salman
al-Farsi, Miqdad Bin Aswad, Ammar Bin Yassar, Abu Zar al-Ghaffari, Jabar bin
Abdullah Ansari, Bilal, Hudaifa etc etc clustered around Ali.
The other group comprised of Sahaba such as Abu
Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Khalid Bin Waleed, Saad Bin Abi Waqass, Obaida Bin
Jarrah and most of the Meccans who had accepted Islam upon the conquest of
The third group was comprised of Sahaba who were
indifferent to the differences that were emerging between the first and
second groups of Sahaba. They were people who mostly lived away from Medinah
and had no interest in the politics of Medinah, they kept out of the power
struggle, and were prepared to accept who ever came into power.
The fourth group was comprised of certain
personalities who opposed Islam and the Prophet till the last possible
moment. Their leader was Abu Sufyan Bin Harb Bin Ummaya. These people had
accepted Islam with a grudge. Their own adverse credentials prevented them
from securing high office but they were influential enough to influence the
course of events. These people simply waited for the outcome of the struggle
between the first and second groups and to join the victorious group. Thus,
when Abu Bakr became Caliph, Abu Sufyan thought that Ali would raise his
sword to secure his own Caliphate. Abu Sufyan came to Ali and said, "Bani
Hashim and Bani Ummaya are the two most respected tribes of Quraish and
should not allow persons from the lowly and humble tribes of Quraish rule.
Ali allow me to fill the streets of Medinah with infantry and horsemen and
we shall secure your Caliphate". Of course Ali knew that Abu Sufyan was
merely trying to incite him to start a civil war and he rejected Abu
Abu Sufyan disappointed by Ali's reply, joined
the ranks of Abu Bakr and Umar. History tells that Abu Sufyan managed to
secure a high rank for his son Yazid from Abu Bakr in Syria. Later, when
Yazid died from plague, that rank was given to Abu Sufyan's other son
Muawiya. Umar elevated Muawiya to the rank of governor of Syria. He remained
in this position throughout the rules of Umar and Uthman and became so
powerful that when he was deposed by Ali,
he rebelled, and eventually after
the abdication of Hasan Bin Ali, Muawiya became the sole ruler of the Muslim
world. Thus, Abu Sufyan had very clearly sown the seeds of the Ummayad rule.
It is well documented that during the rule of Uthman, Abu Sufyan who was
very old and blind would ask to taken to the grave of Hamza, the uncle of
the Prophet. He would repeatedly kick Hamza's grave and say, "get up Abu
Omara and see for yourself that the Caliphate for which you gave your life,
is now a toy in the hands of our children". Not to mention that what Abu
Sufyan's wife Hind did to the corpse of Hamza when he fell in the Battle of
The Prophet was fully aware of the situation
that was developing and therefore tried His best to make the situation
favourable for the succession of Ali. So far, he had repeatedly told His
Sahaba that Ali was to succeed Him. Now He decided to remove Ali's opponents
from Medinah to ensure Ali's succession. The Prophet assembled an army in
which all of Ali's opponents were enlisted and placed this army under the
command of Osama Bin Zaid. The Prophet ordered this army to march towards
the borders of Syria and engage the Roman army and avenge the defeat of the
Battle of Mohtah.
The opponents of Ali realized that the Prophet's
demise was near and that He was trying to remove their presence from Medinah.
They reacted by objecting to the command of Osama on the grounds of his
youth. The Prophet replied that, "Earlier people had objected to the command
of Osama's father Zaid. By Allah, Osama is capable of being commander just
like his father was". The Prophet ordered the army to begin its march
immediately. However, differences in the army broke out by the time it had
only reached the outskirts of Medinah. The Prophet was informed about the
differences and that the army had encamped just outside Medinah. Despite His
illness, the Prophet came into Masjid-e-Nabwi and gave a sermon. He ordered
the departure of the army and cursed those who refused to obey His orders.
Despite this the army never departed, and as the news of the Prophet's
severe illness reached the army camp, the army dissolved and the people
returned to Medinah. Thus, the Prophet's last attempt to remove the
opponents of Ali was foiled.
I AM HIS MASTER, ALI IS HIS MASTER. O
God! Love those who love him. Be hostile
to those who are hostile to him. Hate
those who hate him. Help those who help
him. And keep the truth with him
wherever he turns." (repeating this
paragraph three times).