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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Raids of Muawiyah

Expedition to Hijaz

In the beginning of 660 C. E. near the time of the annual pilgrimage Muawiyah sent an expedition of 3,000 horses under the command of Basr b Artat to ravage Hijaz Basr was a hard hearted savage brute, cruel by nature. His mission was to win over the people of Hijaz to the side of Muawiyah. Basr began his campaign with Madina. Ali had shifted the capital from Madina to Kufa, in order to keep the war away from Madina, and thereby respect the sanctity of the city of the Holy Prophet. Ali had accordingly made no arrangements for the defense of Madina. When the force of Muawiyah appeared before Madina, the Alid Governor fled the city, and Basr occupied it without any resistance. Basr asked the people of Madina to assemble in the Prophet's mosque. Basr ascended the pulpit, and accused the people of Madina in not coming to the kelp of their Caliph Othman, and let him be murdered in cold blood before their very eyes He made a passionate plea for vengeance for the blood of Othman. He said that he would show no mercy to the murderers of Othman. The people assembled in the mosque shed tears of repentance and mourned the assassination of Othman. Thereafter all the people of Madina took the oath of allegiance to Muawiyah. Basr deposed the Alid Governor of Madina, and appointed a new Governor on behalf of Muawiyah. Madina was thus lost to Ali.

From Madina, the Syrians proceeded to Makka. Qatam b Abbas the Alid Governor of Makkah fled the city, and the people of Makkah did not offer any resistance. Like the people of Madina, the people of Makkah offered their allegiance to Muawiyah. Those who did not take the oath of allegiance escaped from the city. Among them was Abu Musa Ash'ari, one of the umpires at Dumatul Jandal. Abu Musa Ash'ari had given his decision against Ali, but he had not favored Muawiyah either. He was pursued, and brought to Makkah where he was produced before Basr. Basr asked him why he had escaped from Makkah. He said that he had fled for his life. Basr said that if he valued his life, he should take the oath of allegiance to Muawiyah. Like the other people of Makkah, Abu Musa Ashari took the oath of allegiance to Muawiyah. Thus Hijaz web lost to Ali, and that was obviously a great blow to his cause.

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