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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Vengeance for the Blood of Othman

Alterior motive

The cry for vengeance was a mere subterfuge and the real purpose was to dethrone Ali. The rivalry between Banu Hashim and Banu Umayya existed since long. The Banu Umayya had led the Quraish of Makkah in the various battles against the Muslims. In the battles of early Islam, Ali had killed the maternal grandfather, maternal uncle and brother of Muawiyiah. Ali had killed several other men of the Banu Umayya. Ali had killed the father of Umru. The Banu Umayya thus bore a personal grudge against Ali. After the conquest of Makkah by the Muslims, the Banu Umayyah accepted Islam, and acknowledged the supremacy of Banu Hashim. When Othman became the Caliph, the tables were turned and Banu Umayyah took steps to establish their supremacy over the Banu Hashim. There is a passage in Nahj-ul-Balagha which shows that during the caliphate of Othman, the Banu Umayya withheld from Ali what was due to him just as the milkman withholds the milk of the she camel from its young one. Ali is reported to have said on the occasion that if he came into power he would deal with the Banu Umayya as the butcher removes the skin from a dead animal. As such it was the endeavor of Muawiyiah to create difficulties for Ali with a view to dethroning him from power. Othman was a capitalist and during his caliphate most of the Muslims took to the luxurious way of life in preference to the austere way of Islam. Othman had awarded capital to many persons. When Ali was elected as the Caliph, a generation-term has elapsed since the death of the Holy Prophet and a well to do class had sprung up among the Muslims. Ali was known for his revolutionary views. The well to do class among the Muslims which included Talha, Zubair, Muawiyiah and other men of Banu Umayya were afraid that under Ali their interests were likely to be adversely affected. They accordingly joined in the call for vengeance for the blood of Othman with a view to safeguarding their personal interests by creating troubles for Ali. The real aim of those who raised the cry for vengeance for the blood of Othman was to capture power for themselves by means fair or foul.

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