The Battle of the Camel Was a Result of Islamic Teachings? A Rebuttal to David Wood
David Wood during his opening statement in his debate with Sami Zaatari on "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?" tried to argue that the Battle of the Camel was a result of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) when he said:
The third caliph Uthman was murdered. The fourth caliph Ali didn't do much to punish the murderers. Aisha one of Muhammad's main wives decided to do something about it. So she raised an army of Muslims and fought a bloody battle against Ali and his Muslim supporters. Ali won, but the battlefield was covered with 10,000 dead Muslims. Their blood was shed by other Muslims. So Aisha, "The Mother of the Faithful" led a battle against Ali, "The Commander of the Faithful". Muslim versus Muslim. Now my question is this: why did Aisha turn to violence as the solution for her disagreement with Ali? Why was bloodshed the only solution? Where did these good Muslims, some of them the best Muslims learn that disagreement should be settled through bloodshed? They learned this from Muhammad. (Time slice: 27:28-28:26)
First of all, assuming that the story is true (i.e. that Aisha and Ali wanted to fight each other), how can David say that they took this from Muhammad's (peace be upon him) teachings when he is authentically reported to have said:
Volume 1, Book 2, Number 30:
Narrated Al-Ahnaf bin Qais:
While I was going to help this man ('Ali Ibn Abi Talib), Abu Bakra met me and asked, "Where are you going?" I replied, "I am going to help that person." He said, "Go back for I have heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'When two Muslims fight (meet) each other with their swords, both the murderer as well as the murdered will go to the Hell-fire.' I said, 'O Allah's Apostle! It is all right for the murderer but what about the murdered one?' Allah's Apostle replied, "He surely had the intention to kill his companion."
Secondly, this is due to his ignorance of what actually happened. Aisha and Ali (may Allah be pleased with them both) did not want to fight one another. This whole battle sparked because of a few mischievous people.
I am not going to reinvent the wheel, since proper research has already been done on the topic. I present to the readers the following article written by brother Ibn al-Hashimi:
One of the most common lies in regards to Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) is that she left her house to fight Ali (رضّى الله عنه) in the Battle of the Camel. This lie has been propagated so many times by the Shia scholars that people have started to think of this as fact. In the words of Ibn Khaldum: "The more a supposed 'incident' becomes popular, the more a network of unfounded tales and stories is woven around it."
The truth is that both Umm Al Mumineen (Mother of the Believers) Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) and Amir Al Mumineen (Commander of the Believers) Ali (رضّى الله عنه) were innocent of the Fitnah during the Battle of the Camel (al-Jamal). The real culprits who instigated the Battle of the Camel were the Shia, who have historically been the cause of much Fitnah.
Let us see what Al-Tijani, the popular Shia scholar and writer, has to say on the issue. Al-Tijani says:
"We may ask a few questions about the war of al-Jamal, which was instigated by Umm al-Mumineen Aishah, who played an important role in it.how could Aishah allow herself to declare war on the caliph of the Muslims, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who was the master of all Muslims? As usual, our scholars, with some simplicity, answer us that she did not like Imam Ali because he advised the Messenger of Allah to divorce her in the incident of al-Ifk." (Then I was Guided, p. 117)
This is a blatant lie; the Shia scholars would have us believe that the entire Battle of the Camel was over "hurt feelings" and was more of a soap opera gone awry then anything else, in which a vengeful woman was hurt and she got hundreds of people to fight over this. This is nothing but a fairy-tale fit for Lifetime TV, and it does not withstand objective historical analysis.
- Uthman's Assassination (رضّى الله عنه)
During the reign of Uthman (رضّى الله عنه), the third Caliph, the Islamic state had expanded far and wide, but the empire was experiencing grave financial troubles. Many poor Beduins felt that Uthman's policies (رضّى الله عنه) were tilted in favor of the Ummayad elite. This fact is trumpeted by the Shia scholars today, who love to slander Uthman (رضّى الله عنه); they accuse him of nepotism and mismanagement.
In any case, the Beduins found a spokesman in Ali (رضّى الله عنه). Ali (رضّى الله عنه) prevented these Beduins from resorting to violent rebellion and to instead use peaceful negotiation. As the Vizier and top advisor of Caliph Uthman (رضّى الله عنه), Ali (رضّى الله عنه) had the ability to bring the case of the Beduins to the Caliph. Ali's supporters (رضّى الله عنه) were a myriad of disenchanted people, all of whom had grievances with Caliph Uthman. A portion of these Shia't Ali were the Saba'ites, the ancestors of the modern day Ithna Ashari Shia. Abdullah ibn Saba, leader of the Saba'ites, began the villification of Uthman (رضّى الله عنه); many of the disenchanted Beduins in the Shia't Ali were receptive to this Fitnah. This sub-section of the Shia't Ali would eventually over the centuries form the Shia we see today [i.e. Ithna Ashari Shia].
Abdullah ibn Saba convinced some of the extremist Beduins in Egypt to rebel against Uthman (رضّى الله عنه). This was not sanctioned by Ali (رضّى الله عنه), who favored arbitration. In any case, Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) heard of these Shia't Ali who were planning on rebelling against him [i.e. open treason]. So Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) ordered the Eygptian governor to punish the malcontents. When the Egyptian Beduins found out that the governor was going to punish the malcontents on the orders of Uthman (رضّى الله عنه), they decided to launch a pre-emptive strike and seige the Caliph's home in Medinah.
This decision by the extremist members of the Shia't Ali was not supported by Ali (رضّى الله عنه). When Ali (رضّى الله عنه) heard that extremist members of his own party were plotting the murder of the Caliph, he immediately dispatched his own son to defend Uthman (رضّى الله عنه). Ali (رضّى الله عنه) sent a letter to Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) saying, "I have 500 men, so give me the permission to defend you from these people, otherwise things would happen that they would kill you." Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) answered, "May Allah reward you for your good intentions, but I do not want blood to be shed for my cause." [Tareekh Damascus, p.403]
Hasan (رضّى الله عنه), Hussain (رضّى الله عنه), Ibn Umar (رضّى الله عنه), Ibn Al-Zubair (رضّى الله عنه), and Marwan (رضّى الله عنه) rushed to the house of Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) raising their swords. Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) told them, "I order you to go back home, put your swords in their sheaths, and stay at home." [Tareekh Khaleefah Al-Khayyat, p.174]
Kunanah, the slave of Safiyah, said:
"I witnessed the murder of Uthman. Four young men from Quraysh were taken out from Uthman's house. These young men were covered by blood, and they were defending Uthman may Allah be pleased at him; Al-Hasan bin Ali, Abdullah bin Al-Zubair, Muhamed bin Hatib, and Marwan bin Hakam." [A'asr Al-Khilafah Al-Rashidah by Akram Diya'a Al-Umari, p.390. Al-Umari said that the Hadith was narrated in Al-Estia'ab with a good authentication.]
When Hasan (رضّى الله عنه) entered upon Uthman (رضّى الله عنه), he said, "O Commander of the Faithful! I am under your command, so order me as you wish." Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) answered, "My dear brother's son! Go back, and stay in your home until Allah carries out His order. I do not need the shedding of blood." [Musnad Ahmed, Virtues of the Companions, #753]
And so it was that the Amir Al Mumineen Uthman bin Affan (رضّى الله عنه) was slain by certain extremist members of the Shia't Ali, namely the Saba'ites [the pioneers of modern day Shi'ism].
- Ali's Caliphate (رضّى الله عنه)
After Uthman's death (رضّى الله عنه), the Shia't Ali asked Ali (رضّى الله عنه) to declare himself Caliph. Ali (رضّى الله عنه) refused, namely out of anger at his own Shia who murdered Uthman (رضّى الله عنه). Ali (رضّى الله عنه) did not want to be associated with these trouble-makers. This is recorded in Nahjul Balagha, which the Shia consider very authentic. [It should be noted that the Ahlus Sunnah believe the Nahjul Balagha to contain many forgeries.] The Nahjul Balagha contains the sermons and letters of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and in it we find sermon after sermon in which Ali (رضّى الله عنه) condems his Shia-particularly the Saba'ites-for their extremist actions.
Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 191
Ali says to his Shia:
"You should know that you have again reverted to the position of the [pagan] Bedouin Arabs after immigration to Islam, and have become different Shias after having been once united. You do not possess anything of Islam except its name, and know nothing of belief save its show. You would throw down Islam on its face in order to defame its honor and break its pledge for brotherhood which Allah gave you as a sacred trust on His earth and a source of peace among the people.You have broken the shackles of Islam, have transgressed its limits, and have destroyed its commands!"
Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 91
When people decided to swear allegiance at Amir al-mu'minin's hand after the murder of Uthman, Ali said:
"Leave me and seek someone else. We are facing a matter which has (several) faces and colors, which neither hearts can stand nor intelligence can accept. Clouds are hovering over the sky, and faces are not discernible. You should know that if I respond to you, I would lead you as I know and would not care about whatever [anyone else] may say. If you leave me, then I am the same as you are. It is possible I would listen to and obey whosoever you make in charge of your affairs. I am better for you as a counsellor than as chief."
At first, Ali (رضّى الله عنه) refused to be Caliph. However, he eventually accepted the position and became Amir Al Mumineen. Upon his announcement as Caliph, there was a large grumbling from people who accused Ali (رضّى الله عنه) of being an accomplice in the murder of Uthman (رضّى الله عنه), since it was well known that it was an element of the Shia't Ali who were responsible for the seige of Uthman's house (رضّى الله عنه). This accusation made against Ali (رضّى الله عنه) is recorded in Sermon 22 of Nahjul Balagha which is titled "About those who accused Ali of Uthman's killing."
There was a public outcry for Ali (رضّى الله عنه) to enact Qisas [i.e. find and prosecute Uthman's killers], and no doubt Uthman's family and tribe were anxious to see the murderers brought to justice. However, Ali (رضّى الله عنه) decided to delay enacting Qisas for the reason that he was too preoccupied facing a civil war from people who were accusing him of murder, and this was not the time to be searching his own ranks for murderers. It was a time when people were ready to rebel against Ali (رضّى الله عنه), so the last thing Ali (رضّى الله عنه) could afford to do was lose more supporters by interrogating his own Shia't Ali. Because of this, Ali (رضّى الله عنه) decided to delay enacting Qisas, but it should be noted that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) had the sincere intention of eventually finding and prosecuting Uthman's killers even though they were from his own camp. Such was the noble nature of Ali (رضّى الله عنه).
As a consequence of Ali's decision (رضّى الله عنه) to delay justice [i.e. delay enacting Qisas], hundreds of people were taking to the streets in protest. Many of these were from the same tribe of Uthman (رضّى الله عنه); for example, the governor of Syria-Muawiyyah (رضّى الله عنه)-was Uthman's cousin (رضّى الله عنه) and he was one of the people demanding Qisas. The Prophet's widow, Aisha (رضّى الله عنها), realized that the situation was getting out of hand and that things might get ugly soon between those demanding Qisas and those delaying Qisas. She decided to act as an arbiter on behalf of Uthman's family and friends; she herself was related by marriage to Uthman (رضّى الله عنه), who married two of Aisha's half-daughters. Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) feared that if she did not intercede on behalf of the malcontents by convincing Ali (رضّى الله عنه) to quickly prosecute the murderers, they would rebel against Caliph Ali (رضّى الله عنه). This point cannot be emphacized enough: Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) left her house with the intention of reconciling Muslims, not to make them fight.
In Tareekh Al-Tabari, the events precipitating the Battle of the Camel are recorded. Al-Tabari narrates that a man asked Aisha (رضّى الله عنها): "O mother, what moved you and pushed you to this country?" She answered: "O son, to reconcile between people." So it was that Aisha (رضّى الله عنها), Talha (رضّى الله عنه), and Zubair (رضّى الله عنه) met Caliph Ali (رضّى الله عنه) to urge him to find the murderers of Uthman (رضّى الله عنه). It should be noted that during Uthman's Caliphate, Ali (رضّى الله عنه) also went to Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) to urge him to do many things at the behest of the Beduins who opposed Uthman (رضّى الله عنه). Hence, it can be seen that there is nothing wrong in negotiating with the Caliph and urging him to do something, as long as this is done in a peaceful and productive manner; in fact, this prevents bloodshed and violence.
The murderers of Uthman [the extremist portion of the Shia't Ali, i.e. Saba'ites] obviously did not want Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) to be successful in convincing Ali (رضّى الله عنه) to prosecute them. "And the people who provoked the murder of Uthman [the Saba'ites] had the worst sleep ever because they came close to be doomed. They were discussing their plight the whole night until they agreed to ignite a war [between Aisha and Ali] in secret. They took that as a secret so that no one would know what evil they were planning. They woke up at dusk and while their neighbors did not feel them; they (the agitators) sneaked to do the dirty job in the darkness . they laid swords in the believers." [Al-Tabari, vol.3, p.39, year 36H]
"The Saba'ites.who were fearing of peace.started throwing Aisha with lances while she was on her camel. Aisha said: 'Remember Allah and Judgment Day.' But the Saba'ites refused anything but to fight. So the first thing Aisha said when the Saba'ites refused to stop was: 'O people, curse the killers of Uthman and their friends.'" [Musnaf Ibn Abi Sheibah, vol.8, the Book of the "Camel" in the departure of Aisha, p.718] Aisha's contingent (رضّى الله عنها) then returned fire in order to defend the Prophet's wife, and soon the matter escalated into an all out conflict.
And so the Battle of the Camel was initiated, not by Ali (رضّى الله عنه) nor by Aisha (رضّى الله عنها); rather it was Uthman's killers who attacked Aisha's envoy (رضّى الله عنها) for fear that her negotiation mission would succeed and result in the subsequent capture of those responsible for the death of Uthman (رضّى الله عنه). Ali (رضّى الله عنه), Aisha (رضّى الله عنها), Talha (رضّى الله عنه), and Zubair (رضّى الله عنه) found their contingents fighting each other, not even knowing who fired the first shot; little did they know that it was Uthman's killers who had initiated this entire operation, hoping that it would cause Aisha's mission (رضّى الله عنها) of negotiation to fail. The Saba'ites would blame the entire matter on Aisha (رضّى الله عنها), and we see clearly today that their descendants-the Ithna Ashari Shia-have continued this tradition of blaming Aisha (رضّى الله عنها). This is yet another solid link between Abdullah ibn Saba and the modern day Shia, both of which slander the Prophet's wives and his companions.
- Aisha's Intention (رضّى الله عنها)
Aisha's intention (رضّى الله عنها) for leaving her house was sincere and pure. She left to make peace between two factions of Muslims, namely the Umayyads and the Shia't Ali. This is 100% in line with Allah's commands in the Quran:
"If two parties amongst the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the Command of Allah; but if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just). The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers." (Quran, 49:9-10)
Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) said in no uncertain terms: "I only wanted reformation." (Shatharat Al-Thahab, vol.1, p.42) Ibn Al-Arabi explains that "her presence in the Battle of the Camel was not for war, but people.complained to her about the affliction. They hoped for her blessing in the reformation [between Muslims], and they wanted that the fighting factions would be ashamed when she is present with them and stop fighting. She also thought that. So she left her house to represent what Allah says 'If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them.'"
It should be noted that most people alive during the Battle of the Camel respected the Prophet's widow, namely because she was the First Lady of Islam, the Mother of the Believers, and the Prophet's lover. As such, she carried a great respect, and people listened to her. So it was not at all strange that she would think to use her influence to end the conflict between the Muslims; unlike the Shia who revile Aisha (رضّى الله عنها), most Muslims at that time had a great deal of respect for her, including Ali (رضّى الله عنه). It is likely that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) would have accepted her plea to find Uthman's killers, and no doubt this is the reason that Uthman's killers had to start the war.
Aisha's intentions (رضّى الله عنها) were to prevent warfare; she even advised people to stay at home instead of adding to the Fitnah. Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) said: "I came out to reform between people. Therefore, tell your people to stay at their house, and to be content until they get what they love, i.e. the reformation of the Muslims' matter." (Book of the Trustworthy, by Ibn Habban, vol.2, p.282)
- "And stay in your homes."
Al-Tijani further alleges:
"How could Umm al-Mu'mineen Aishah leave her house in which Allah had ordered her to stay, when the most High said: 'And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yours.' (Quran, Verse 33:33)" (When I was Guided, p. 117)
Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) did not leave her house displaying her finery! We fear Allah from such blasphemy; would the Shia like to share the same fate as the Munafiqeen (hypocrites) who accused Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) of adultery in the incident of Al-Ifk and who were subsequently condemned in the Quran? We seek Allah's Mercy from slandering the chastity of the Prophet's own wife. Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) left her house in complete Hijab and fully covered; thus, she did not in any way violate this verse of the Quran.
Allah's command to stay in the house was a general condition set upon not only the Prophet's wives, but all women in general. This does not mean that women can never leave the house; it is rather a general rule of thumb so that they remain chaste and in Purdah. However, it is permissible to leave the house for ordered duties, such as Hajj, Umrah, or travelling with one's husband. Verses 33:32-34 were revealed to the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم), and he himself travelled with his wives after this. For example, he travelled with Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) to Hijjat Al-Wida'a, and this occurred three months after the verse was revealed. Surely we are not so crass as to accuse the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) of violating the meaning of this verse!
Even after the Prophet's death, the Prophet's widows performed Hajj; it is narrated that Umar (رضّى الله عنه) gave Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) or Abdul-Rahman bin Owf (رضّى الله عنه) the leadership of the caravan carrying the Prophet's widows. "Accordingly, if it is allowed for the Prophet's wives to travel for a benefit, then Aisha thought that by her departure a reformation of the Muslims could happen [and Muslim lives would be saved]. She interpreted it in that matter." (Minhaj Al-Sunnah, vol.4, p.317-318)
An appropriate analogy is that Allah prohibits us from breaking our Salat midway. However, if we are in Salat and the enemies of Islam attack our camp, then it is permissible to break one's Salat in order to defend the Muslim camp and save Muslim lives. Likewise, the Prophet's wives and women in general were instructed to stay at home; however, in this case, Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) thought that she could prevent bloodshed and open rebellion by using her status and prestige to act as an arbiter. In fact, if Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) thought that leaving her house was the only way to save Muslim lives, then it would not only be Halal for her to leave her house but no doubt it would be Wajib (obligatory).
It is narrated in both Sahih Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) told Saudah (رضّى الله عنها), one of his wives, that "Allah has permitted you to go out of the house for genuine needs." Imam Maududi says: "This shows that the divine injunction 'remain in your houses' does not mean that women should not at all step out of the four walls of the house." (Purdah, p. 201-202)
If the Shia knew of an incident in which Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) did not leave her house and this resulted in some harm to the Ahle Bayt Ali, then suddenly the Shia would reverse their position and use this story against Aisha (رضّى الله عنها). For example, if Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) could have hypothetically prevented the assassination of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) by leaving her house and warning him of it, would the Shia still hold to their statement that the Prophet's wives could not leave their homes? Based on this hypothetical scenario, we see that the Shia accusations are completely biased.
- "If two parties amongst the Believers."
Even if we accept the Shia propaganda that Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) went out to fight Ali (رضّى الله عنه), then we cite the following verse in the Quran:
"If two parties amongst the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them.make peace between them with justice, and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just). The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers." (Quran, 49:9-10)
This shows that two believers, even two of the most righteous Mu'mins on earth, can get in disagreements that become violent. This does not mean that one party must necessarily be right and the other party must be the devil. This is simpleton thought: both Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) and Ali (رضّى الله عنه) had legitimate viewpoints. Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) cannot be blamed for wanting Qisas for Uthman's murderers, a right granted by Shariah. And Ali (رضّى الله عنه) cannot be blamed for delaying Qisas because he was trying to prevent more Fitnah.
- Shia Double Standards and Inconsistencies
It should also be noted that had it been Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) or Umar Bin Khattab (رضّى الله عنه) who had delayed enacting Qisas for Ali's murderers, then the Shia would slander them for this; again, to the Shia, it is not the actions which matter but rather who takes those actions. If Ali (رضّى الله عنه) does anything, then it is right. If Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه), Umar (رضّى الله عنه), Uthman (رضّى الله عنه), Aisha (رضّى الله عنها), or Muawiyyah (رضّى الله عنه) do anything, it is automatically wrong.
Having said that, the truth is that it was not Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) who was responsible for the Fitnah but rather it was the ancestors of the Shia-the murderers of Uthman (رضّى الله عنه)-who caused the Battle of the Camel. They had killed Uthman (رضّى الله عنه), and they did not want Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) to convince Ali (رضّى الله عنه) to swiftly prosecute them.
The Shia fairy-tale regarding the Battle of the Camel is far-fetched and full of inconsistencies. The Shia say that Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) was complicit in the murder of Uthman (رضّى الله عنه), and that she used his murder as an excuse to fight Ali (رضّى الله عنه). In Nahjul Balagha, one of the "sayings" of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) is the following: "They [i.e. Aisha] are demanding of me a right [i.e. Qisas] which they have abandoned, and a blood that they have themselves shed." (Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 22) The Ahlus Sunnah believes this to be an obvious forgery and a grave enormity to accuse the Prophet's wife of murder!
According to the Shia, Aisha rejoiced when Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) was killed. But then she heard the news that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) was the new Caliph, and she was supposedly mortified. To quote Al-Tijani, the famous Shia scholar and writer:
"We may ask a few questions about the war of al-Jamal, which was instigated by Umm al-Mumineen Aishah, who played an important role in it.how could Aishah allow herself to declare war on the caliph of the Muslims, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who was the master of all Muslims? As usual, our scholars, with some simplicity, answer us that she did not like Imam Ali because he advised the Messenger of Allah to divorce her in the incident of al-Ifk." (When I was Guided, p. 117)
How could it be that the Battle of the Camel was started over Aisha's hurt feelings (رضّى الله عنها)? Let us logically analyze this spurious claim. The fact of the matter is that there were hundreds of people protesting on the streets, all of them demanding Qisas for Uthman's murder. Most of these were from the same tribe of Uthman (رضّى الله عنه). For example, the Syrian governor, Muawiyyah (رضّى الله عنه), was one such individual. There was also Talha (رضّى الله عنه) and Zubair (رضّى الله عنه). The question begs: if Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) had publically advocated Uthman's murder and she was complicit in his murder, then why would she later be "allied" with Muawiyyah (رضّى الله عنه), who also fought with Ali (رضّى الله عنه)? This is truly a contradiction! Wouldn't Muawiyyah (رضّى الله عنه) have fought Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) to punish her for murdering his cousin? Why would Muawiyyah (رضّى الله عنه) murder his own cousin, especially the cousin who bestowed upon him favor upon favor, evidenced by the fact that the Shia scholars love to show Uthman's nepotism (رضّى الله عنه) in relation to Muawiyyah (رضّى الله عنه).
Furthermore, if we switch Ali's name with Abu Bakr and Aisha's name with Fatima, then suddenly the Shia would use the fact that Fatima (رضّى الله عنها) fought Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه), and they would use this not as evidence against Fatima (رضّى الله عنها), but rather as evidence against Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه)! We see this glaring double-standard when we examine the Shia stance on the issue of Fadak. When it comes to Fadak, then Fatima (رضّى الله عنها) is in the right despite the fact that, according to the Shia, she is cursing the Amir Al Mumineen and Caliph. Here, the Shia will say that Abu Bakr's position (رضّى الله عنه) as Amir Al Mumineen and Caliph cannot possibly compete with Fatima's position as Chief of the Women of Paradise. When it comes to the Battle of the Camel, then Aisha's position (رضّى الله عنها) as Mother of the Believers is disregarded and suddenly the Shia scholars will trumpet the line that Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) went against her own Caliph and the Amir Al Mumineen!
And is it really believable that hundreds of people would fight against the Shia't Ali, simply because Aisha's feelings (رضّى الله عنها) were hurt over an incident that took place years before? The Shia scholars taint Aisha's image (رضّى الله عنها) by saying that she did all this simply because Ali (رضّى الله عنه) told the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) to divorce her. [It should be noted that this is another Shia fairy-tale that we shall expose in another article; Ali (رضّى الله عنه) never told the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) to divorce Aisha (رضّى الله عنها).] This reason for the Battle of the Camel does not explain why hundreds of people took to the streets against Ali (رضّى الله عنه). Were they all angry at this comment made by Ali (رضّى الله عنه)? Or was there something else they wanted?
The reality is that Aisha (رضّى الله عنها), Talha (رضّى الله عنه), Zubair (رضّى الله عنه), Muawiyyah (رضّى الله عنه), and hundreds of other people wanted Ali (رضّى الله عنه) to apprehend Uthman's killers who were in his camp. Ali (رضّى الله عنه) always planned on doing this, and it is likely that he would have agreed to Aisha's request (رضّى الله عنها) to speed up the process. Uthman's killers did not want this, and they attacked Aisha's envoy (رضّى الله عنها) on its way to Medinah, thereby initiating the Battle of the Camel and saving their own skin. It should be noted that both Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) reconciled after the Battle of the Camel, and Ali (رضّى الله عنه) even escorted Aisha (رضّى الله عنها) back home. This fact alone should be enough for anyone; if Ali (رضّى الله عنه) did not hold a grudge against Aisha (رضّى الله عنها), then surely the Muslims today should not hold a grudge against her.
It is the characteristic of the Munafiqoon (hypocrites) to accuse the believers of having alterior motives; in fact, the Quraish leaders accused the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) of trying to gain materialistic wealth and they said this was the reason he claimed prophethood. The Munafiqeen accused Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) of using the Caliphate to empower his family. The Munafiqeen accused Ali (رضّى الله عنه) of taking the Caliphate after supposedly killing Uthman. Likewise have the Shia taken the actions of the Prophet's wives (and Sahabah) and accused them of having alterior motives. The righteous believers are those who make 70 excuses for their brothers and sisters in Islam; the upright Muslims are those who give the benefit of the doubt to their fellow believers, especially to the Prophet's wife and lover.