Among the provinces of the Muslim Commonwealth, Egypt was the most important province. In the revolt against Othman the Egyptian rebels had played the lea ding role. Ali was popular among the Egyptians, and the proposal to elect Ali as the Caliph was in the first instance sponsored by the Egyptians. When Muawiyah who led the opposition against Ali was strongly entrenched in Syria, it was vital for Ali that he should have a strong hold on Egypt. In this context the question of the appointment of a Governor for Egypt was a matter of utmost importance.