The Battle of Jamal
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 29th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 36 AH, according to some historians such as al-Masoudi, the Battle of Jamal took place near Basra in southern Iraq in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf, with a decisive victory for the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), the First Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
Other historians have given the 10th of Jamadi al-Awwal as the date of this decisive battle against a large army of rebels led by a wife of the Prophet named Ayesha, who along with her brother-in-law Zubayr ibn Awam and his close friend Talha ibn Obaidollah, broke the pledge of allegiance to the caliphate of Imam Ali (AS).
To be brief, the seditionists refused to heed the voice of reason for reconciliation, on the pretext of avenging the blood of the 3rd caliph, Osman ibn Affan, although it was Ayesha herself who used to openly call for the murder of Osman by declaring him to be an apostate. The Imam had no choice but to confront the seditionists, especially after Ayesha ordered 600 Muslims beheaded, including 40 in the grand mosque of Basra, in addition to looting the treasury.
Before the battle, Imam Ali (AS) made a fervent appeal to avoid the shedding of Muslim blood, and although Zubayr heeded the advice and disengaged from the combat, after recalling a famous hadith on the righteousness of Imam Ali (AS), he was killed under suspicious circumstances, since his son Abdullah who instigated his aunt Ayesha to enter the battlefield – seated on a camel (Jamal) – was a sworn enemy of the Prophet's Blessed Household.
After victory over the seditionists, the Imam magnanimously treated his vanquished enemies by sending the rebellious Ayesha back to Medina under the escort of her brother, Mohammad ibn Abu Bakr, who was a loyal follower of Imam Ali (AS).