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NMC101H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter article: Fustat, Muawiyah I, Khawarij

Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
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Reading Response 2 NMC471H1 Hania Hameed
The readings this week were mainly focused on the Fitna wars, which literally
translates to trials from Arabic to English. With the death of Prophet Muhammad the age of
the prophets came to an end, as mentioned in the Muslim traditions. From that point
onwards began the age of the caliphs – Imam al Huda. After the death of Umar in 644 who
was the second caliph, the people of Medina, out of envy and greed of power, chose the
weakest companion of the prophet as the next Caliph, Uthman b. Affan. Even though he was
an early convert to Islam and also the son in law of the Prophet, he failed to fulfill his duties
as Umar had before him. Uthman managed to conquer cities such as Fustat and Basra,
however it seemed that the people, or rather the officials of the newly conquered
territories were unhappy with Uthman’s rule. With this began the first Fitnah period.
The people of Medina wanted to overthrow Uthman and take Ali as their Caliph. The
main events of the First Fitnah were the murders of Uthman and Ali. With this emerged a
group or sect called the Kharijites who were responsible for the murder of Ali and Uthman.
There were measures taken to wipe out the Kharijites, however their movement spread
very fast. Hence we can see that the first civil war was mainly about power and that is quite
cliché through out the history of mankind. The first Fitnah allowed the Muslims to realize
that they needed to value unity.
The second fitnah started after Muawiya began the Umayyad caliphate. He was
successful in restoring the unity among arabs and the state was no longer based on Islam,
entirely. The issues began after he appointed his son Yazid as his successor. His ruling
years were barely stable as he was Busy with the second rebellion with the son of Ali,
Husayn. He left Husayn and his followers isolated in Karabala due to which a large number
of Alids died. This was the point in his when Alid loyalism emerged, which later on came to
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