In light of the Shari`ah, what is the position of Muawiyah (r) when he challenged Ali (r) for the Caliphate?
Was Muawiyah (r) not in contradiction with the hadiths:
If a Bay’a has been taken for two Khulafa, kill the latter of them.
Whoever comes to you, when your affairs are united under one man, and he wishes to break your power or divide your community, then kill him.
A reply to this question would be highly appreciated.
The situation that materialized after the death of Uthman (ra) was the result of a difference of interpretation of the events following Uthman’s (ra) death. `Ali (ra) and his group were of the opinion that because of the approval of the Muslims of Medinah, `Ali (ra), like his predecessors, should be considered the established Khalifah1 of the Muslims. While, on the other hand, Mu`aawiyah (ra) and his group considered the events following the death of Uthman (ra) to point toward a compromise between `Ali and the mutineers against Uthman (ra). This, effectively, meant that Mu`aawiyah’s (ra) group felt that `Ali was backed by the mutineers and, therefore, he did not deserve their allegiance. In other words, Mu`aawiyah (ra) and his group did not accept the establishment of `Ali’s (ra) Khilaafah. Thus, irrespective of which of the two opinions was correct, the fact is that because Mu`aawiyah (ra) and his group did not accept the establishment of `Ali’s (ra) Khilaafah, therefore, they did not consider their aggression against `Ali (ra) and his group to be against the tenets of the Shari`ah.
October 21, 2000
- i.e. the head of the state. [↩]