MURDER AND ASSASSINATION OF FOUR CALIPHS

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MURDER OF CALIPH ABU BAKR (632-634)

On 8th of August 634 C.E, Abu Bakr fell sick, he developed high fever and was confined to bed, and out of this sickness he never recovered. There are two accounts about the sickness of Abu Bakr. One account is that the 8th of August 634 was a cold day, when Abu Bakr took a bath and caught a chill. Another account is that about a year ago, along with some other companions Harith bin Kaladah, and Attab bin Usaid he had eaten some food which was poisoned, and which was to have its effect after a year. Harith b. Kaladah and Attab b Usaid died on the same day as Abu Bakr, and that lends support to the theory that the death of Abu Bakr was because of the effect of poison.

ASSASSINATION OF CALIPH UMAR (634-644)

In 644, Umar was assassinated by Persians in response to the Muslim conquest of Persia.

It was Piruz who was assigned the mission of assassinating Umar. According to the plan, before the Fajr prayers (the morning prayers before the dawn) Piruz would enter Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, the main mosque of Medina where Umar led the prayers and would attack Umar during the prayers, and then flee or mix with the congregation at the mosque.

On 31 October 644, Piruz attacked Umar while he was leading the morning prayers, stabbing him six times in the belly and last on the navel, that proved fatal. Umar was left profusely bleeding while Piruz tried to flee, but people from all sides rushed to capture him; in his efforts to escape he is reported to have wounded twelve other people, six or nine of whom later died before slashing himself with his own blade to commit suicide.
Umar died of the wounds three days later on Wednesday, 3 November 644 (26th Dhū al-Ḥijja 23).

ASSASSINATION OF CALIPH UTHMAN (644-656)

The rebels increased their pressure and reaching the door of the house of Uthman set it on fire. Some rebels climbed the houses of the neighbors and then jumped into the house of Uthman. It was July 17, 656 C.E. He was assassinated while reciting the Quran, The ayat of Surah Baqarah “137. So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower”. The blood-stained Quran he was reciting from is still preserved in a museum in Tashkent today.

In 656, the third caliph, Uthman ibn al-Affan, was killed. Concluding from the historical resources, Allame Qazvini (a Shi’itte scholar) indicates that Talhah, Al-Zubayr and Aisha played important roles in murdering Uthman ibn al-affan. They also provoked the people against him. Furthermore, historical records suggest that Muawiya was also willing to have Uthman murdered.

ASSASSINATION OF CALIPH ALI (656-661)

On 19 Ramadan 40 AH, which would correspond to 27 January AD 661, while praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa, Ali was attacked by the Kharijite Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam. He was wounded by ibn Muljam’s poison-coated sword while prostrating in the Fajr prayer. Ali ordered his sons not to attack the Kharijites, instead stipulating that if he survived, ibn Muljam would be pardoned whereas if he died, ibn Muljam should be given only one equal hit (regardless of whether or not he died from the hit).

Ali died two days later on 29 January AD 661 (21 Ramadan 40 A.H). Hasan fulfilled Qisas and gave equal punishment to ibn Muljam upon Ali’s death.

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