Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Cover Stories

657 AD., years after the Prophet Muhammad's death, when his close companion, cousin and son in law Ali ibn A. Talib took up the successorship as commander of the faithful, Muawiyah the son of the prophet's main enemy during his lifetime rose up with an army to challenge Ali and claim power for himself. 

With an army from Syria, Muawiyah engaged in a bloody battle against Ali and the faithful - called the Battle of Siffin. At some point Ali, a fearless, highly capable warrior fought through the ranks straight to Muawiyah's tent and challenged him to a duel so other people wouldn't have to die over their dispute. Muawiyah, knowing he'd be slaughtered in a one-on-one, declined and hid in his tent. So Ali went back, gathered up his men and began to crush Muawiyah's army. Muawiyah's advisor Amr ibn Aas came up with a plan knowing defeat was imminent. Muahwiyah ordered his soldiers to raise copies of the Qur'an on their spears and say "Let the Qur'an decide!!" Let the Qur'an decide!" The idea was to raise an issue that would cause a discrepancy among Ali's soldiers whether they accepted it or not. 

Ali's men began to halt their attack. Ali urged them on, shouting, "don't listen to them. It's a trick!! It's a trick!!" Some listened, some refused to attack men displaying the Qur'an. Some tried to fight on, but it was too late, arguments arose and confusion began to swell among the ranks to the point that Ali's army was in complete disarray. 
Even though Ali was the rightful successor (Caliph) and had a more powerful army, he had to negotiate. During arbitration and a few more deceptive maneuvers Muawiyah was able to secure a powerful rule in Syria. 

Years later Ali was murdered by the Khajirites, a rebellious sect that had developed from among Ali's followers who, inspired by the events at the Battle of Siffin, believed there should be no Caliph at all. They believed only the Qur'an should rule.
Muawiyah became the Caliph. His family eventually deposed and slaughtered the rest of the prophet Muhammad's family and close relatives and became the Umayyad Dynasty. 

*You can't always take what is broadcast at face value.  If  someone is warning "it's a trick" you don't have to listen, but you probably should at least consider it. 'Good causes' have been used as cover for power grabs for centuries.