Sffin War

War fought between Caliph Ali and forces of Syrian governor Muawiya (657).

Muaviye, who wanted to become the caliph after the killing of Caliph Osman (656), wanted to take advantage of the confusion.

He claimed that by hiding his true purpose, he took action to punish the killers of Caliph Uthman.

He displayed Osman’s bloody shirt sent by his wife Naile to the public for a long time in mosques to provoke the Syrians.

He accused Caliph Ali of protecting Uthman’s murderers.

He made an agreement with Amr Ibnul As and made an expedition to Egypt.

Ali’s governor, Muhammad bin Abi Huzayfa, was captured.

Upon this, Ali started preparations against Muawiya and secured Iraq first.

After completing his preparations, he took action from the Nuhayle headquarters near Küfe, where the people of Basra also participated (657).

Euphrates was crossed next to Raqqa.

The vanguard forces of Muawiya, who set up headquarters in Siffin plain, were found next to the Roman fortifications.

They retreated without a fight.

When Ali wanted to establish a headquarters, he saw that a unit under the command of Ebül Avar was taking the road to Fırat.

Ali told them he was coming for a deal and asked them to get out of his way; but Muawiyah’s forces resisted.

Ali’s forces repelled them in a short time and dominated the river path.

The two armies stayed opposite each other in their headquarters for two months.

During this time, Ali had many deal attempts.

He let Muawiyah’s men draw water from the river that was on the side of his army to ease the tense atmosphere.

But Muawiyah insisted on the surrender of the killers of Caliph Uthman.

Ali’s failure to fulfill this request increased the tension, as the murderers were not certain.

Despite the struggles of pacifists on both sides in 657, the clash started.

The war continued until the next morning, the Kufe Yemenis, who were on the right wing of Ali’s army against the Muawiya forces, retreated.

But in the evening, one of Ali’s commanders, Malik Ester, stopped Muaviye’s forces and forced them to retreat to their headquarters.

The war continued at night.

With his army broken, Muawiyah was thinking of fleeing.

The soldiers of Muawiyah, who wore Mushaf pages on the ends of their spears, began to shout, “We invite judgment with Kitabullah.”

The Results of the Siffin War

Upon this, confusion broke out in Ali’s army.

Majority of Ali’s supporters claimed that such a call to God’s judgment should not be rejected; they forced him to withdraw commander Malik Eşter and meet with Muawiyah.

On the proposal of Muawiyah, Amr Ibnul As was chosen by Muawiya as the representative, and Abu Musa Asari by Ali in order to decide who the caliphate belongs to according to the provisions of the Quran.

The decision would be made in Dumetül Cendel in Ramadan.

Thus the war ended.

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