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History

Talha's fate

1 During the heat of the battle when victory began to incline towards Ali, Marwan b. al-Hakam (Secy. of the late Caliph Osman) one of the officers in Ayesha's army, noticed Talha urging his troops to fight valiantly. 'Behold the traitor,' said he to his slave attendant, 'but recently he was one of the murderers of the aged Caliph, now he stands as the pretended avenger of his blood. What a mockery ! All to gain worldly grandeur.' So saying he in a fit of hatred and fury, shot Talha with an arrow which pierced his leg right through and struck his horse, who reared and threw the rider to the ground. In the anguish of the moment, Talha cried, "O God, take vengeance upon me for Osman according to Thy will !" And then called for help. Seeing his footwear full of blood, he asked one of his men to pick him up and put him on his horse and carry him to Busra.

Finding his death approaching, he called one of Ali's men, who happened to be present, 'Give me thine hand,' said the dying penitent, "that I may put mine in it and by this act renew my oath of fealty to Ali." With these words Talha breathed his last. It touched the generous heart of Ali when he heard it, and he said, "Allah would not call him to heaven until He had blotted out his first breach of his word by this last vow of fidelity." Talha's son Mohammed was also killed in this battle.

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1 Rawdzat-al-Ahbab.

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