By G. R. Hawting
This quantity 17 of al-Tabari's nice 40-volume background of the Arabs treats the 1st Civil battle, 656-661.
Many of the occasions handled during this quantity became a part of the ancient attention of Muslims. the 1st civil struggle of Islam, the Fitnah, is largely noticeable as of decisive significance in dividing the Muslims into 3 significant traditions, Sunnis, Shi'is, and Kharijis, that have persevered until eventually this present day. even though this department should be an over-simplification of a way more advanced technique of group formation, the occasions narrated listed here are definitely of significant value within the early background of Islam.
The quantity is targeted at the fight among the caliph 'Ali and his rival and eventual successor as caliph, Mu'awiyah, the 1st caliph of the Umayyad dynasty. approximately 1/2 the cloth is worried with the disagreement among the 2 on the conflict of Siffin in 657, the combating, the finishing of the conflict while the Syrian supporters of Mu'awiyah are defined as having hooked up Qu'ranic texts to their lances, and the following negotiations among the 2 competitors which ended in the dispute's being positioned to arbitration. a lot element is additionally supplied approximately 'Ali's fight opposed to the Kharijis, his former supporters who had grew to become opposed to him due to his contract with Mu'awiyah to just accept arbitration; the rebellion opposed to 'Ali in areas of Iraq and Persia round the northern edges of the Persian Gulf, which concerned Christians, in addition to Muslims, Arabs, and such non-Arab teams as Kurds; the occasions in Egypt that resulted in the burning of 'Ali's consultant there within the pores and skin of a donkey; and the homicide of 'Ali via Ibn Muljam, the account of which occasionally reads as though it have been a favored tale.
Al-Tabari's textual content makes on hand a wealth of aspect in narratives amassed from the now misplaced compilations of students of prior generations. the majority of the fabric is brought up from the recognized Abu Mikhnaf, who died in A.D. 774, yet there also are many experiences from different traditionists and narrators whose fabrics will be principally unknown to us if it weren't for the paintings of al-Tabari. the amount includes a variety of speeches and letters attributed to the Prophet's son-in-law and cousin 'Ali, together with his deathbed speech to his sons, and there's additionally a model of the record drawn up through 'Ali and Mu'awiyah within which they agreed to nominate arbitrators.
The Arabic textual content of the Leiden variation of al-Tabari has been in comparison with the newer Cairo version and with the massive parallel passages in such different works because the Waq'at Siffin of al-Mingari and the Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah of Ibn Abi' l-Hadid, in addition to different assets, in an try to offer a safe textual content for translation. members and locations are pointed out within the footnotes, extra references to assets and secondary literature are supplied, and textual difficulties and historic concerns are mentioned. the amount incorporates a bibliography and index.