31st Oct 2020
Despite initially giving allegiance, Talha and Zubair defected and ended up joining Lady Aisha to muster an army rallying in the name of avenging Uthman’s blood. After outlining the events leading up to the battle of Jamal, Qari went on to describe the specifics of the battle which included the retreat of Talha & Zubayr out of remorse, and their subsequent killings.
Professor Takim briefly recapped the historical narrative, outlined by Qari Zahiruddin, confirming that these details were largely agreed upon by both Shia and Sunni. He then went on to mention certain points raised by Shia scholars such Lady Aisha’s attack on Basra, which resulted in many lives being lost, despite the killers of Uthman being in Medina and not in Basra.
Furthermore, he mentioned the incident of the dogs barking at a place called Hawab, at which point Lady Aisha wanted to turn back as she remembered the Prophet warning his wives of the barking dogs of Hawab. However, members from her army came together and bore witness that the place they were at was not Hawab, to which some Shia scholars point out that this was a mass false testimony if not the first one in the Muslim history. The battle of Jamal was a dark time for the Muslim community and it is at this point in history according to Prof. Takim that a concrete notion of identity formed in the community where the label of either a follower of Ali or a follower of Uthman came into existence.
It was concluded that the event did cause tensions in the community, however the actions of Ali ibn Abi Talib in dealing with Lady Aisha showed that he did so with utmost respect despite the far-reaching consequences of her actions. This is a learning point from us in emulating his character and learning from history.