Rafed English

Scheme of the Umayyads to stir up the people against Ali's government

In the meantime the Umayyads, sparing nothing which could possibly serve to disturb Ali and his government, carried, at the instance of 1 Umme Habiba, a widow of the Prophet and sister of Moawiya, the blood-stained shirt which Osman was wearing at the time of his murder, together with the mangled fingers of Naela, his wife, to Moawiya in Syria, where he used them as instruments to stir up the spirit of vengeance among his people. Amr b. Aas, the true counsellor of Moawiya, said to him: 'Show the dam her foal, it will stir her bowels'; and he accordingly suspended the shirt with the mangled fingers attached thereto on the pulpit of the mosque at Damascus. These emblems were also carried about for the army to witness. These objects, daily exposed to view, touched the Syrians, who wept till their beards were wet with tears, and swore vengeance upon the murderers of Osman.

1 Mas'udi; Habib-al-Siyar.

Adapted from: "Ali, the Magnificent" by: "Yousuf N. Lalljee"

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