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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Ayesha's Occupation of Basra

War in Basra

On return to Basra, Kaab submitted his report that Talha and Zubair had taken the oath of allegiance to Ali under compulsion. According to the truce agreement, Othman b Hanif had to surrender the complete control of the city of Basra to the confederates. By this time Othman b Hanif had received instructions from Ali that he was coming to Basra with a large force and that he should hold the city till his arrival. Othman b Hanif accordingly refused to vacate the city on the ground that the report of Kaab was not correct. On the following Friday when the people of Basra had assembled in the main mosque, Talha and Zubair addressed them apprising them of the terms of the truce, the report of Kaab b Sur, and the breach of faith on the part of Othman b Hanif. The people assembled in the mosque came to be divided into two groups. One group supported Othman b Hanif while the other group supported Talha and Zubair. Hot words were exchanged between the two groups, and that led to an armed conflict. Swords were freely used by both sides. The conflict lasted for several hours as a result of which many persons were killed and the mosque was dyed with the blood of the Muslims. To the conflict, the party of Othman b Hanif suffered heavy loss of life.

At night fall, the pro-Ayesha group attacked the house of Othman b Hanif. It was a dark and stormy night. The guards on duty were overpowered. The mob then broke into the house and Othman b Hanif was taken captive. The mob wanted to frill him, but under the orders of Ayesha he was imprisoned and lodged in jail. His beard was plucked and he was tortured by the mob.

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