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Malik in the battle of Camel

Adopted from the Book : "Malik al-Ashtar" by : "Kamal al-Seyyed"

Some people were ambitious for the Caliphate. Talha and Zubair were two of them. They went to Makkah and urged A'isha, Abu Bakr's daughter, to revolt against Imam Ali [a].

Marwan took advantage of that situation. He began spending the Muslims' money, which he had stolen, to form a big army. He announced that he would revenge himself on Uthman's killers.

The army headed for Basrah. There they uprooted the ruler's beard and dismissed him. They robbed the Public Treasury.

Amirul Mu'mineen, Ali bin Abu Talib, was facing that mutiny strongly. He advanced towards Basrah to invite its people to strive against the rebels.

The ruler of Kufa was Abu Musa al-Ashary. He discouraged people from striving against the rebels. In the meantime, he ordered people to disobey Amirul Mu'mineen, Ali bin Abu Talib.

Days passed. But al-Hasan and Ammar bin Yasir did not come back. So, the Imam sent Malik al-Ashtar after them.

Malik al-Ashtar was a brave, determined man. He realized that the people of Kufa were always supporting the Imam against his enemies. And he understood that only Abu Musa al-Ashary obstructed them.

Malik al-Ashtar arrived in Kufa and began inviting its people to follow him. A numerous army obeyed him. So, he could attack the ruler's palace and to dismiss the guards from it.

At that time, Abu Musa al-Ashary was in the mosque asking the people to stay in their houses and to disobey Amirul Mu'mineen orders. The guards came and told him that Malik al-Ashtar occupied the palace.

Abu Musa al-Ashary asked Malik al-Ashtar for a day's time to leave Kufa. So, Malik accepted that. On the same day, Malik al-Ashtar hurried to the mosque to encourage the people to support Imam Ali [a].

Hence, Malik could form a big army. The army was more than eighteen thousand fighters. Al-Hasan headed nine thousand fighters. They marched by land. The others crossed by river. The purpose of all was to join Imam Ali's army at Dhiqaar in the southern part of Iraq.

Imam Ali [a] headed the army and advanced towards Basrah, where he met A'isha's army. The leaders of the A'isha's army were Talha, Zubair and Marwan bin al-Hakam.

Malik al-Ashtar was the leader of the right wing. Ammar leader of the left wing. Imam Ali [a] stood in the middle of the army. And Muhammad bin al-Hanafiyah, Imam Ali's son, carried the banner.

A'isha's Army began attacking Imam Ali's army. They showered the Imam's Army with arrows. So, some fighters were killed and others were wounded.

The Imam's Army wanted to return like for like. But the Imam stopped them and said:

Who can take this Qur'an and go to them to appeal to it? Surely they will kill him.

A young man said:

Amirul Mu'mineen, I'll take it.

A Muslim headed for the Army of the Camel raising the Qur'an. A'isha shouted:

Throw arrows at him.

So, the bow men threw arrows at him. He fell over the ground and became a martyr.

During those moments, Amirul Mu'mineen raised his hands towards the sky. He prayed for Allah, the Almighty, to grant them a victory. Then he said:

Allah, the eyes are gazing at you! And the hands are extended! Our lord, judge between our nation and us with justice! And you're the best judge!

Then the Imam ordered his fighters to launch a general attack. Malik al-Ashtar advanced. He was fighting bravely. Violent clashes took place around the camel.

The Imam realized that killing the camel would end bloodshed and that it would end the fighting between the two parties.

Malik al-Ashtar launched a violent attack towards the camel. He was fighting bravely and honestly. He did not kill the wounded. He did not chase the runaway.

Malik al-Ashtar copied Imam Ali's good behaviour. He loved the Regent of Allah's Apostle [s]. The Imam loved Malik too, for he was God-fearing. And Allah loves those who fear him.

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