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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Abdullah b Saba in Kufa

From Basra, Abdullah b Saba came to Kufa. Here he pretended to lead a virtuous life and the people were attracted to him. In Kufa, most of the people favored Ali. Abdullah b Saba exploited this position in a subtle way. Addressing the persons who were pro-Ali, Abdullah b Saba said, "Every prophet has Wasi. Moses had his brother Aaron as his Wasi Similarly the Prophet of Islam had Ali as his Wasi. In the presence of the Wasi no one else had the right to the caliphate". By his subtle talks he exhorted the people of Kufa to rise to a man to overthrow Uthman and install Ali as the Caliph. In his talks he dwelt on the sins of omission and commission of Uthman. He observed that Uthman had imposed his near of kin as Governors in various provinces. He distorted facts, and even the good things done by Uthman were presented in bad light. Posing as a great Muslim -he would say, "Look here, Uthman calls himself as a Caliph of the Prophet, and yet he has burnt copies of the Holy Quran. There could be no sacrilege greater than that." He would further say: "O people, do you know what innovations in your religion your present Caliph has introduced. On the occasion of the Hajj, the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr and Umar offered only two rakaats of prayers, but he raised the number of rakaats to four. He has deviated from the precedent set up by the Holy Prophet, and has forfeited the right to be the Caliph. "He would multiply the list of such imaginary innovations, and sigh at subversion of Islam by the Caliph. Arguing in a crooked way he would say, "O Muslims, under the circumstances it is not for you to undertake Jihad across the borders of the Muslim dominions; the real Jihad lies against the Caliph who has played fast and loose with Islam". Those who listened to him fell under the impression that Abdullah was a true Muslim who was prepared to take up cudgels on behalf of Islam. When the activities of Abdullah b Saba were reported to the Governor of Kufa he asked Abdullah to leave the province.


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