After the defeat the Muslims dealt the people of North Africa, resulting in much loss of life and capture of prisoners of war, Constantine III led an army the likes of which had never been seen since Islam first appeared. He commandeered a fleet of 500 vessels to meet the Muslims. At that time, the Muslims set out to do battle with the Byzantines over the seas, without knowing of the march of their enemy, and ‘Abdullah ibn S’ad ibn Abee al-Sarh, emir of Egypt, headed the fleet. The two fleets met near the coast of Lycia where the Muslims met the massive fleet of the Byzantines, the likes of which they had never seen before.
‘Adbullah ibn Abee al-Sarh convened for a meeting asking for advice and consultation. The advice was to wait until the next morning; thus, the Byzantines then spent the night ringing bells while the Muslims spent the night in worship and prayer. When the morning came, the Muslims said to the Byzantines: “If you wish, we shall fight on land so that we may speed up our meeting with death! And if you wish, we shall fight on the sea!” They then retorted in one voice and said: “Over the waters!” Then the rest of them woke up and convinced Constantine III to a sea battle. Then both sides brought their boats close to each other and tied them together and began fighting intensely.
Men rushed each other, swords in hand, fighting on board of the ships. They aimed for the jugular and spilled blood-filled waves lapped at the shores, and bodies of men washed up on the shores until they were heaped up in great piles. Immense losses were suffered on both sides, until Allah gave victory to the Muslims, and Constantine III was defeated. Many lives were lost from amongst the Muslims, not a single life was spared except for one who was able to flee. ‘Abdullah sojourned for several days in the location after its people had been defeated, and then headed back home.
This battle was known as the Battle of the Masts because the masts and sails of the boats were tied together during battle, those of the Muslims and those of the Byzantines. While others have said that it was given that name because of the large number of boats that had taken part in the battle.
After Mu’aawiyyah ibn Abee Sufyaan ruled the region of al-Shaam, he would go out and launch attacks against Byzantium every year during the summer; it became called al-Saa’ifah (Summer Battles). Allah then gave him victory over those lands as well and acquired much booty. He continued until he reached Amorium, which is in Ankara today; ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit, Aboo Ayyoob al-Ansaari, Aboo Dharr al-Ghifaaree, and Shaddad ibn Aws were with him as well as many others. They conquered so many lands, and then Mu’aawiyyah invaded the lands of Byzantines until he reached the Bosporus (straits of Constantinople), and with him as well, was his wife ‘Aatikah, some have said it was Faatimah bint Qaradhah ibn Abdi ‘Amr ibn Nawfal ibn Abdi Manaaf.
Aws ibn Tha’labah conquered Afghanistan, while al-Ahnaf ibn Qays conquered it on its on northern front through Balkh. Then ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Muhammad invaded Kabul which completed the conquest of the territory. The inhabitants of Kabul and Kandahar entered Islam (willingly) thereafter.
His is ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood ibn Ghaafil ibn Habeeb; one of the men with the most narrations from the Prophet ﷺ. He is amongst the first people to have accepted Islam; he was the first to have openly recited the Quran in Makkah after the Prophet ﷺ. He served the Prophet ﷺ until he became known amongst his peers of the Companions as the Bearer of Water, Dates, and the Siwaak. He made the two emigrations, first to Ethiopia, then to al-Madeenah; he also prayed to the two Qiblahs (Jerusalem and then Makkah).
He was considered to be the greatest of Quran reciters from amongst the Companions. The Prophet ﷺ said regarding him: “Whosoever desires to the read the Quran freshly just as it has been revealed, then let them recite it according to the recitation of Ibn Umm ‘Abd (i.e., Abdullah ibn Mas’ood),” or something to that effect. He died in al-Madeenah and was buried in the cemetery of al-Baqee’. ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan participated in his funeral and prayed over him, while some reports have said that it was ‘Ammaar ibn Yaasir who led the funeral prayer over him, and others have said that it was al-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwaam. And Allah knows best.
He is ‘‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf ibn Abdu ‘Awf ibn 'Abd al-Haarith ibn Zuhrah ibn Kilaab ibn Murrah ibn K’ab ibn Lu’ayy, and was nicknamed Aboo Muhammad, al-Qurashee al-Zuhri. He is one the ten Companions who were given glad tidings of Paradise. He accepted Islam just before the Prophet ﷺ entered Daar al-Arqam. He is also one of the eight who accepted Islam early on, when it had just been revealed, and one of the five who accepted Islam at the hands of Aboo Bakr; one of the forerunners at Badr; one of the six council members to decide who would be the next Caliph. He migrated to Ethiopia and then to al-Madeenah. The Prophet ﷺ made him and S’ad ibn al-Rabee’ brothers (when they arrived in al-Madeenah). He witnessed all the battles (of the Muslims) with the Prophet, ﷺ. He spent much of his wealth for the sake of Allah, the Mighty and Exalted, whilst the Prophet ﷺ was still alive and after him. He died in al-Madeenah and left a large amount of wealth.
He is al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib ibn Haashim ibn Abdu Manaaf; he was nicknamed Aboo al-Fadl, the paternal uncle of the Prophet ﷺ. He was amongst the greatest of men amongst Quraysh in The Time of Ignorance (al-Jahiliyyah) and in Islam and is considered the grandfather of the Abbasid Caliphs.
Al-‘Abbaas was good to his people and known for his sound judgment. His opinions were correct and scrupulous, his intellect expansive, was ardent about freeing slaves and servants, and hated slavery as a whole. He once purchased 70 slaves and released them all at the same time. He was also responsible for giving pilgrims water to drink, as well as maintaining the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah), which included making sure that no one insulted another whilst inside the mosque nor anyone to utter any obscenities. Al-‘Abbaas had accepted Islam before the Migration (to al-Madeenah) and had kept his Islam a secret. He would remain in Makkah and write to the Prophet ﷺ informing him about the plots and plans of the Polytheists. Then he migrated to al-Madeenah. He was present at the Battle of Hunayn and was amongst those who had remained firm when everyone else was ready to flee. He also witnessed the Conquest of Makkah.
Al-‘Abbaas became blind later in his life. During ‘Umar’s reign, if he would walk past him, ‘Umar would dismount from his steed out of reverence for him; and ‘Uthmaan would do likewise. He died in al-Madeenah leaving behind 10 sons other than his daughters. He has approximately 35 narrations in the books of hadeeth. He is also the great-grandfather of the Abbasid caliphate, may Allah be well pleased with him, which ruled the Muslims for 5 centuries.
His name was Jundub ibn Junaadah Aboo Dharr al-Ghifaare, who was a tall ruddy-colored man. He was given to worship before the Messenger of Allah ﷺ began his mission. He was amongst the first Muslims of Makkah. He said: “I was the fourth person to accept Islam.” He then returned to the lands of his people and stayed there, until after the battles of Badr, Uhud, and of al-Khandaq (the Battle of the Trench). Then he made his way to al-Madeenah.
Aboo Dharr was a courageous man who preferred to spend time alone; he was a highway bandit and would attack people as if he were a wild animal attacking its prey. Then Allah inspired him to accept Islam, and he heard about the Prophet ﷺ in Makkah and went off to meet him.
Aboo Dharr passed away in al-Rabadah, may Allah be well pleased with him. He had advised his wife and servant: “If I die, then wash and shroud me, then take me and place me in the middle of the road. Tell the first rider you see come by: “This is Aboo Dharr.” When he died, they did just as he had requested. When a rider came by and they did not know who it was until they thought that he would run over the cot that they were carrying. It was Ibn Mas’ood in a group of people on their way from Koofah, and he said: “What is this?” They responded: “this is the funeral of Aboo Dharr”. Ibn Mas’ood then began to cry; then he washed and shrouded, and then proceeded to pray over him and bury him. When they were about to leave, his daughter said to them: “Aboo Dharr sends you his greeting and said that he swore that you would not leave until you have had something to eat; they obliged and obeyed the girl. Then they brought him with them to Makkah. When they arrived, they announced his death to ‘Uthmaan who then placed (Aboo Dharr’s) daughter to his own children.
After Cyprus had been conquered, its people reneged on the agreements they had concluded from the previous treaty. This forced the Muslims to attack them once more with a naval fleet. This time it was led by Junaadah ibn Abee Umayyah al-Azadee. He was the one who disciplined them and brought them back under the ruling of Muslims.
When the conquests had proliferated and the multitudes of non-Arabs began entering Islam and learning the book of Allah, there appeared differences amongst the people in the way they read the Quran. This concerned some of the Companions about what would the future would bring if these differences would persist. Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan felt that there was nothing else for him to do but to go directly to ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan, requesting that he should take an action concerning this issue. For if left unaddressed, they would become the reason for unrest and fighting. In response, ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan ordered that the Quran be written out according to one method of reading according to the language of Quraysh and its dialect. He made a number of the Companions responsible for this task: Zayd ibn Thaabit, Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr, Sa’eed ibn al-‘Aas, and ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn al-Haarith.
They began their task of writing out the Mushaf, using the copy which Aboo Bakr had gathered and written out during his reign. It was being kept by Hafsah, may Allah be well pleased with her, which ‘Uthmaan took from her. Then ‘Uthmaan ordered several copies be made, all of them on the same reading, and then had them sent out to each emir and governor of all the lands which the Muslims rule. He then ordered that every other Mushaf be burned and to make sure that not a single one be left except for the one he had copied and sent out.
To this very day, there is no orthography (or script) that is known of the Quran, except the ‘Uthmaani one i.e., the one which ‘Uthmaan had commissioned to have written and dispatched. Any orthography other than ‘Uthmaan’s is considered odd (shaadh); it is not read nor is it considered to be Qur’an; may Allah reward ‘Uthmaan with much good.
The origins of this strife began with the appearance of Abdullah ibn Saba’, a Jew from San’aa. He claimed to have accepted Islam and then travelled to al-Koofah, al-Basrah, and Al-Shaam trying to influence people to his ideology. However, no one accepted what he said, until he went to Egypt, where he managed to cast doubts in what people believed (about Allah and His Messenger ﷺ). He purported that the Prophet ﷺ was going to return, and that he was more deserving of returning than Jesus, peace be upon him. Then he began calling people to follow Alee ibn Abee Taalib, purporting that the Prophet ﷺ had wished for him to be his Caliph after his passing. Next, he began to speak out against ‘Uthmaan and his position as Caliph. People who were already speaking ill of Sa’eed ibn al-‘Aas, the emir of Koofah, joined the travelling caravan and made their way to the Arabian Peninsula.
Abdullah ibn Saba’ would message anyone and everyone whom he could influence in the various cities. ‘Uthmaan would often seek council with his emirs about what to do with these people who had strayed from the correct path. ‘Uthmaan decided that he should leave them alone and not pay them any mind. A party of these men had come to him from Egypt. Wanting to perform ‘Umrah and on their way there, they had wanted to argue with ‘Uthmaan, eager to create chaos and disorder in the minds of the people of al-Madeenah. These were the first clear instances of the strife which eventually led to the murder of ‘Uthmaan.
When the party from Egypt had come, those who appeared as if they had wanted to complete ‘Umrah, they went to al-Madeenah and argued with ‘Uthmaan regarding certain things. They brought to light some of the complaints and discontentment that was being raised against him, until ‘Uthmaan was forced to respond and convinced them of his position; they then left him in order to return to Egypt. Afterwards, another group came from Egypt who agreed with other groups from al-Koofah and al-Basrah to meet at al-Madeenah. However, a number of the Companions, led by Alee ibn Abee Taalib, faced them and frightened them off before they entered al-Madeenah. They then made a show of going back to where they had come from. However, the people of al-Madeenah did not stay [in that state] for very long after Alee and those with him returned. They found those people in al-Madeenah once more, reciting the takbeer (i.e., saying Allahu Akbar!). They began to surround ‘Uthmaan’s home, claiming that ‘Uthmaan had sent a letter ordering that the delegates from Egypt be attacked, while the rest of them returned to help in solidarity.
At first, their presence did not stop or impede ‘Uthmaan from carrying on his life as usual: he would leave his home to go to pray and the other Companions would go and visit him. But then they grew bolder in their attempts to impede ‘Uthmaan’s movements, until some of the Companions had decided that they would fight these deviants. However, ‘Uthmaan forbade them from doing so, as he did not wish to be the cause for bloodshed or strife. Their blockade turned into a siege, until ‘Uthmaan could not leave his home even to drink water. News had come that reinforcements had come to rescue the Caliph causing those deviants to speed up their desired plan. They tried to enter Uthmaan’s home, but al-Hasan ibn Alee and Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr and others stopped them. ‘Uthmaan’s would be killers then surrounded his house completely, forced their way in and killed ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan, may Allah be well pleased with him, when they found him in his home. They also managed to kill two servants of his, and his wife Naa’ilah also suffered injuries. The house was plundered by the murderers, and so was the Treasury of the Muslims (Bayt al-Maal).
‘Uthmaan’s reign lasted for almost 12 years. May Allah reward him and the Muslims with much good. He was one the ten Companions who were given glad tidings of Paradise. He was also given the nickname Dhoo al-Nurayn (Possessor of Two Lights) because he had married two of the Prophet’s daughters ﷺ Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthoom (may Allah be pleased with all of them).
When ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan had been murdered in his house, al-Madeenah remained without a Caliph for some time. The leader of the uprising and his cohorts, al-Ghaafiqee al-Misree was the one controlling the city. The people of al-Madeenah tried to convince S’ad or Ibn ‘Umar to take the position as the new Caliph, but they both refused. The Companions then proposed the matter to Alee ibn Abee Taalib but he refused it on the first day. However, Talhah ibn al-Zubayr came and pledged his allegiance to Alee on the second day, and then the rest of the people came to pledge their allegiance as well, except for a few of the Companions. And with that, was the affair of leadership consolidated with Alee ibn Abee Taalib, may Allah be well pleased with him.
It has been related that Alee ibn ABee Taalib said: “O Allah! I am the freest of people regarding the blood of ‘Uthmaan! Verily my mind has been confused ever since the killing of ‘Uthmaan, and I have chastised myself. The people came to me pledging their allegiance and so I said to them: “By Allah! I am ashamed in front of Allah to accept the allegiance of a people who have murdered a man about whom the Messenger of Allah has said: “Verily I feel shy in front of a man of whom the angels are shy.” And I am ashamed to receive the allegiance of people, and ‘Uthmaan is still unburied. So leave!” When ‘Uthmaan was finally buried, the people returned asking about their allegiance and so I said: “O Allah! Verily I fear what I am about to embark upon.” Then, he became resolute, and accepted the people’s allegiance.
When the people of the camel came to Basrah (As-haab al-Jamal), they tried to reach a consensus about enforcing capital punishment upon the murders of ‘Uthmaan, and discussed how to gather all the different groups of Muslims together, and end the division so that they would not dispute and fight amongst each other. The conspirators against ‘Uthmaan however, were inciting the people to revolt. They said to them: “Revolt! Show your strength! So that they can see what has come to them.” So ‘Uthman ibn Haneed- ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib’s governor in Basrah-dispatched Hakeem ibn Jabalah al-‘Abdee, who was one of ‘Uthmaan’s killers, in order to prevent the people of the camel (Ashaab al-Jamal), from entering Basrah.
They met in al-Zaabooqah, a place near Basrah (and where the Battle of the Camel first took place). First Talhah, then al-Zubayr stood and delivered a sermon addressing the supporters of both sides. The people of the camel supported them in their suggestion. But the supporters of ‘Uthmaan ibn Haneef rejected the idea. Then the Mother of the Believers, ‘Aa’ishah, began to speak to both sides, and the people of the camel supported her in what she said as well. Then a party of those who were with ‘Uthmaan ibn Haneef went to ‘Aa’isha’s side, while another party stayed with Ibn Jabalah. The two parties differed greatly (in what should be done) and they began shouting at each other, then they started to throw stones at each other. Hakeem ibn Jabalah stood up and began provoking the strife and calling people to fight. He even began to insult the Mother of the Believers, ‘Aa’ishah, and he vowed to fight any man or woman who repudiated or criticized him. While the people of the camel were calling people to stop all of the hostilities. However, when Hakeem ibn Jabalah and his cohorts refused to stop fighting, the people of the camel resumed fighting with them. As a result, Hakeem ibn Jabalah was killed. Then the people of the camel agreed, along with ‘Uthmaan ibn Haneef, that the governmental building, the central mosque, and the Treasury, shall all be under Ibn Haneef’s control. While the people of the camels shall live in any place within Basrah they choose. It has been said however, that Hakeem ibn Jabalah was killed after this agreement had taken place after he expressed his opposition.
After the battle at Zaabooqah, which occurred between al-Zubayr, Talhah, and their supporters, and with whom was sent by ‘Uthmaan ibn Haneef from Basrah, under the leadership of Hakeem ibn Jabalah, Alee ibn Abee Taalib, his son al-Hasan, and ‘Ammaar ibn Yaasir, travelled to Koofah mobilizing the people. An army of 6,000 soldiers was raised in Koofah and went towards Alee at Dhoo-Qaar (and met him there), and together they formed an army of 10,000 soldiers. He then made his way to Basrah where he met the forces of Talhah and al-Zubayr. Both sides stood, facing each other, none of them wanting to fight but preferred discussing things and to unite their words. Alee sent al-Miqdaad ibn al-Aswad and al-Qa’qaa’ ibn ‘Umar to talk with Talhah and al-Zubayr, and they had agreed to not fight. However, ‘Aa’ishah, Talhah, and al-Zubayr believed that it was impermissible to let the killers of ‘Uthmaan-(who were hidden amongst ‘Alee’s soldiers) go without being punished. While ‘Alee was of the opinion that there were more important things to take care of than weeding out the killers of ‘Uthmaan, may Allah be pleased with all of them. Rather, it was more expedient that things calmed down. Both sides were unanimous that the killers of ‘Uthmaan must be brought to justice (and executed), but where they disagreed was when that should take place.
The two armies then went to sleep and had a peaceful night’s rest. Whereas ‘Uthmaan’s murderers had a disturbed night and plotted on how to foment the fighting between the two sides. (When morning came), ‘Uthmaan’s killers then charged at Talhah and al-Zubayr’s encampment, leading them to believe that it was ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib who had ordered the attack. In response, they defended themselves, and in turn, ‘Alee believed that they were attacking him and his army, forcing him to defend himself as well. Things were now out of their hands, and the strife that was sparked between them was done without their choosing.
Both sides attempted to stop the hostilities, but without success. Talhah then said: “O people! Listen to me!” But they would not listen. Talhah said (to those under his command): "Fie to you ignorant imbeciles!” [because they would not listen]. ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib tried stopping his soldiers, however, they would not comply. While ‘Aa’ishah rode her camel, not fighting nor ordering anyone to fight, but instead she sent K’ab ibn Soor with the Quran Book that was open, entreating people not to shed any blood. But an arrow, shot from the western end of the battlefield dealt him a fatal blow. Then the heat of battle intensified, each side attacked the other, and the riff-raff on both sides began to pelt the other side with their arrows. All this took place in front of the camel that ‘Aa’ishah was riding, may Allah be well pleased with her, until it was killed. Talhah and al-Zubayr were both killed in the hostilities, while ‘Aa’ishah was carried off in her sedan to the house of Abdullah ibn Khalaf. Then ‘Alee sent her off to Makkah in a company of women. After the battle, Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas became governor over Basrah after a few days.
It has been reported, that 10,000 people perished in that battle, while others say 20,000; most of them were from the people of the camel. The original cause of the hostilities was demanding the revenge for the blood of ‘Uthmaan, immediately, and the imposition of the capital punishment upon them. However, fighting had not been the intention of anyone on either side, yet Allah decrees and does what pleases Him! It is well known that the Prophet ﷺ testified that Talhah, al-Zubayr, and Alee ibn Abee Taalib were all destined for paradise (no matter what happened) – may Allah be pleased with all of them.
He is Aboo Muhammad Talhah ibn ‘Ubaydullah ibn ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Amr ibn K’ab ibn S’ad ibn Taym ibn Murrah ibn K’ab ibn Lu’ayy. His mother’s name was al-Sa’bah bint al-Hadramee, the sister of al-‘Alaa’; she was amongst the first Muslims and so was Talhah.
He is one of the Ten Companions Promised Paradise, amongst the very first people to accept Islam (when the Prophet ﷺ began preaching). Aboo Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allah be pleased with him) was the one who called him to Islam. The Prophet ﷺ had joined Talhah and Aboo Ayoob al-Ansaaree as brothers. On the day of Uhud, he dealt a terrible blow to the disbelievers by fighting courageously. He used his hand as a shield to protect the face of the Prophet ﷺ from a hit in the battle so his pinky finger was hit and became paralyzed, so the Prophet ﷺ then said “Talhah has made it binding.” He also said ﷺ: “This is someone who has fulfilled his covenant.” He also said, ﷺ: “Whosoever it pleases to see a man who has fulfilled his covenant, then let them take a look at Talhah.”
He was present at the battle of the Camel, fighting against Alee, and it has been reported that Alee reminded Talhah just as he had reminded al-Zubayr, and that he had wished to remove himself from the path that the people of (‘Aa’isha’s party) were upon. However, he was struck in the neck by an arrow (on the day of the battle). When Alee, may Allah be pleased with him, found him amongst those slain during battle, he sat him up, wiped the dust from his face and said: “O Aboo Muhammad! It is so difficult for me to watch you lying dead beneath the stars.” Then he wept and said: “Would I have wished to have perished 20 years ago [than seeing this].”