Ibn Saba's movement began as a religious movement. It aimed at the subversion of Islam by creating doubts among the Muslims with regard to certain matters of their belief. Ibn Saba's movement was patronized by the Jews, and had its links with foreign countries. With the triumph of the Muslim arms, under the incitement of the Byzantines, Ibn Saba's movement became a political movement as well. The agents of Ibn Saba in various towns launched a campaign of vilification against Uthman and his government. The movement tried to sow discord among the Muslims on one pretext or the other. The non-Arabs were incited to object to the supremacy of the Arabs. Among the Arabs the differences between the northerners and the southerners were exploited. Differences were also exploited between the Quraish and the other Arabs. Differences between' the Bedouins and the city dwellers were exploited. Among the Quraish the differences between the Hashimite and the Umayyads were exploited. The people were fed on fictitious stories about the tyrannies of the Government of Uthman. Even whatever good had been done by Uthman was presented in false color. As a result of such subtle propaganda the peace of the country came to be disturbed. No specific charges against Uthman or his government were forthcoming. Only vague and hearsay allegations floated from ear to ear. Because of the virulence of the propaganda the Muslim society became a victim of discontentment. In Madina, the companions and other leaders of public opinion were flooded with anonymous letters containing vague allegations against Uthman and his government.
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