We already learned about the very first Islamic
cannibalism as mentioned in the Qur’an. Ever since then, the practice of
killing Muslims by Muslims is truly endemic. During the time of
Khulafa Rashedin (the rightly guided caliphs) this cannibalism took a
serious turn, sparing not even the two last caliphs, ‘Uthman and Ali. Both of
them were cruelly murdered by savage Islamic cannibals. Among these two cases of
Islamic cannibalism, perhaps the murder of ‘Uthman stands out to be the most
Here is how it was carried out, as described by Tabari
the rebels laid siege on Uthman’s residence for 49 days (or 40 days, according
to another narration), they grew impatient. They had already set ablaze the
portico of his residence and had halted the supply of water. But ‘Uthman
survived this peril—thanks to his secret guards. They sneaked in water for
‘Uthman’s consumption. The dissidents became desperate to finish ‘Uthman.
They hand-picked three experienced killers; dispatched them one after another to
assassinate ‘Uthman. Every time one of these professional assassins entered
‘Uthman’s chamber, ‘Uthman adjured them for Allah’s sake not to murder
him—lest they too received Allah’s unbound wrath. Being really fearful of
this punishment of Allah, they could not strike their sword on an aged emaciated
‘Uthman. One by one, they returned, having failed to accomplish their mission.
Frustrated, the rebels selected Muhammad b. Abu Bakr (caliph Abu Bakr’s son),
another cannibal, to murder ‘Uthman. Muhammad, too found it extremely
difficult to kill ‘Uthman, as’Uthman pleaded for his life for Allah’s
sake. So, Muhammad returned empty handed—without the blood of ‘Uthman on his
read on what Tabari writes:
note that Na’ilah bt. Alfarafisah was the 8th, the youngest and the
most beautiful of all his wives. She was with ‘Uthman when the assassins
entered his chamber. ‘Uthman was eighty-two years when he was killed. Also
please know that Muhammad b. Abi Bakr, one of the main killers of ‘Uthman was
a half-brother of Aisha, the dearest and the youngest wife of Muhammad, the
Muhammad b. Abi Bakr came out and they learned that he had failed, Qutayrah al-Sakuni,
Sudan b. Humran al-Sakuni, and al-Ghafiqi rose up and attacked [‘Uthman]. Al-Ghafiqi
struck him with an iron tool he was carrying and kicked the Qur’an with his
foot. The sacred text flew over, dropping into [‘Uthman’s] hands, and as
blood flowed upon it, Sudan b. Humran came up to strike him, and Nailah bt.
Alfarafisah bent over him and warded off the sword with her hand. He aimed at
her and struck off her fingers. As she turned to flee, he fondled her hips and
said, “How large her buttocks are!” Then he struck ‘Uthman and killed him.
Some of ‘Uthman’s slaves entered alongside the rebels [‘qawm] to defend
him. ‘Uthman had manumitted certain of them, and when they saw that Sudan had
struck him, one of them fell on him and cut off his head. Qutayrah jumped on the
slave and killed him. [The rebels] pillaged the house and drove out those who
lived there. Then they locked the three dead men inside.
they went out into the courtyard of the house, another of ‘Uthman’s slaves
jumped on Qutayrah and killed him. The rebels coursed through the house taking
everything they found, even what was on women. One man, named Kulthum b. Tujib,
snatched Na’ilah’s head wrap. Na’ilah turned away and he said, “Woe to
your mother! How full your buttocks are!” A slave of ‘Uthman saw him and
killed him then was killed himself. The rebels shouted to one another: “Every
man should keep an eye on his comrades.”
Within the house they cried out, “Seize the Public Treasury! No one
must get there ahead of you.” The guards of the Public Treasury—in which
there were but two sacks—heard their voices and said, ”Run! These people are
only after worldly goods.” They fled while [the rebels] came to the Treasury
and pillaged it.
version of ‘Uthman’s murder is narrated in this manner:
ordered Abu Karib—a man of [the tribe of] Hamdan—and one of the Helpers to
stand guard at the door to the Public Treasury, which contained just two sacks
of silver coin. When the fire was eventually extinguished, ibn al-Zubayr and
Marwan skirmished with (the assailants). The two men were threatened by Muhammad
b. Abi Bakr, and when he entered ‘Uthman’s presence they both fled. Muhammad
b. Abi Bakr seized [Utman’s] beard, and he said “Let go of my beard! Your
father would not have grabbed it.” So he let go. Then the [rebels] came in and
attacked [‘Uthman]; one was striking him with iron tip of his scabbard and
another was beating him with his fists. A man with broad iron-tipped arrows came
and stabbed him in the threat, and the blood flowed down on the Qur’an. Even
as they did this they were afraid to kill him, but he was old and lost
consciousness. Still others came in, and when they saw that he was unconscious
they dragged him away by the leg. Na’ilah and her daughters screamed. Al-Tujibi
drew his sword to plunge it into [‘Uthman’s] belly. Na’ilah shielded him,
but [al-Tujibi] cut her hand, then he leaned on [‘Uthman’s] chest with his
sword. ‘Uthman—may God be pleased with him—was murdered before sunset.
Someone cried out, “How is it that his blood is lawful and his property
forbidden?” So they pillaged everything, and then broke into Public Treasury.
The two guards threw down the keys and fled for lives, shouting, “Flee! Flee!
This is what the rebels (al-qawm) are after.”
here is yet another version of this repulsive Islamic murder (read Islamic
b. Abi Bakr, accompanied by Kinanah b. Bishr b. ‘Attab, Sudan b. Humran and
‘Amr b. al-Hamiq, reached ‘Uthman by climbing over the wall from the house
of ‘Amr b. Hazm. They found ‘Uthman, with his wife Na’ilah, reading the
Surah of the Cow from the Qur’an. Muhammad b. Abi Bakr came up to them and
seized ‘Uthman’s beard. “May God disgrace you, you hyena,” he said.
‘Uthman replied, “I am no hyena. I am God’s servant and the Commander of
the Faithful.”Muhammad said, “Neither Mua’wiyah nor anyone else has been
of any use to you.” ‘Uthman said, “Son of my brother, let go my beard.
Your father would not have gripped like this.” Muhammad replied, “Had my
father seen you doing these things, he would have denounced you for them, and I
mean to do worse to you than grab your beard.” ‘Uthman said, “I seek
God’s help and support against you.” Then Muhammad pierced his forehead with
a broad iron-tipped arrow that he was holding. Kinanah b. Bishr raised some
arrows of the same kind that he was holding, and plunged them into the base of
’Uthman’s ear down to his throat. Then he fell on him with his sword until
he killed him
to ‘Abd al-Rahman—Abu ‘Awn: Kinanah b. Bishr struck his forehead with an
iron bar. He pitched forward, face down, and Sudan b. Humran al-Muradi bet him
after he had fallen ad killed him.
to ‘Amr b.al-Hamiq, he jumped on ‘Uthman and sat on his chest—he was still
barely alive—and stabbed him nine times. ‘Amr said, “I stabbed him three
times for God’s sake and six times because of the anger in my breast against
are troubled reading those passages, please remember that all of those who
‘cannibalized’ ‘Uthman were impeccable Muslims—the most ardent jihadists,
belonging to the stock of Muhammad (pbuh), the Hashim clan of the Quraysh. This
example is the epitome of true Islamic cannibalism.
above Islamic cannibalism did not end there. The cycle continued until Aisha
(Prophet Muhammad’s dearest wife), along with two of her brothers-in-laws,
Talha and Zubayr set out to avenge ‘Uthman’s murder. When she reached al-Basrah,
a rebel stronghold, she killed (by beheading) six hundred of the suspected
rebels who ‘cannibalized’ Uthman. Ali, being sucked into the vortex of this
cannibalistic cycle, set out to punish Aisha’s gang. The result: ten thousand
Muslims, including Talhah and Zubayr lay perished in al-Basrah, equal in
proportion from both sides. Aisha’s life was spared by the cannibals but her
camel was hamstrung. In Islamic history this is known as the Battle of the
Camel. This is perhaps one of the most moving examples of how ‘Islamic
cannibalism’ really perpetuates a never-ending cycle of violence and mayhem.
This is the reason why we shall, perhaps, never observe a let up to the
succession of Islamic cannibalism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt or Sudan.
narration of this very important chain of cannibalism will remain incomplete
till we learn the fate of all the participants sucked into this whirlpool of
cannibalism and counter cannibalism.
following passages, adopted from Tabari’s Tarikh
al-Tabari (vol. xvii)
illustrate, very briefly how this cycle of Islamic cannibalism continued, and
perhaps, continues even today.
b. Abi Sufyan, the governor of Syria and a close relative of caliph ‘Uthman
demanded from Ali the handing over of the killers of ‘Uthman. When Ali refused
to comply with this request, Muawayiah b. Abi Sufyan, and his right-hand man,
‘Amr b. al-‘As (the deposed governor of Egypt), became open enemies of Ali.
They gathered forces and set off to attack Ali. Ali met this force at Siffin.
Fearful of defeat at the hands of Ali’s fierce and well-trained army, Muwayiah
and ‘Amr devised quite an innovative trick. Their soldiers attached copies of
the Qur’an at the tip of their lances and raised them high in air. Ali’s
soldiers went in stupor and were hesitant to charge their enemy, lest they
trample the Holy Qur’an. Both sides remained standstill—the battle became a
stalemate. In the end, both parties agreed to stop fighting and decided on a
speedy negotiated settlement by appointing an arbiter from each side. Having
mutually reached this agreement, both sides separated and returned.
everyone on Ali’s side was happy with Ali’s prompt decision. A faction of
Islamist extremists thought judgment belonged to Allah and Ali’s decision to
appoint arbiters for a peaceful settlement is contrary to Islamic principle.
This dissident group of Ali was known as the Kharijites. They insisted that Ali resume fighting. But Ali could
not renege on his treaty of a peaceful settlement. The Kharijites declared Ali to be a sinner and asked him to repent.
Initial attempt by Ali for a reconciliation with the Kharijites met with feeble success. So, ultimately, Ali had to
cannibalize the cannibals. He had to fight a major battle at the canal of
Nahrawan, east of river Tigris in Iraq. This battle ended with a merciless mass
slaughter of the Kharijites. But this
cannibalization did not completely eradicate the Kharijite problem. Many Kharijites
survived this genocide, went into hiding, and some of them returned to Kufa
(Ali’s headquarter in Iraq) stealthily. A few of them went to Egypt.
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