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    Kufan Political Alignments and Their Background in the Mid-Seventh Century A.D.Author(s): Martin HindsSource: International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 2, No. 4 (Oct., 1971), pp. 346-367Published by: Cambridge University PressStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/162722.

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  • 8/10/2019 Kufan Political Alignments

    2/23

    Int.

    J.

    Middle East Stud. 2

    (I97I),

    346-367

    Printed

    in

    Great

    Britainnt.

    J.

    Middle East Stud. 2

    (I97I),

    346-367

    Printed

    in

    Great

    Britainnt.

    J.

    Middle East Stud. 2

    (I97I),

    346-367

    Printed

    in

    Great

    Britainnt.

    J.

    Middle East Stud. 2

    (I97I),

    346-367

    Printed

    in

    Great

    Britainnt.

    J.

    Middle East Stud. 2

    (I97I),

    346-367

    Printed

    in

    Great

    Britain

    Martin Hinds

    KUFAN POLITICAL ALIGNMENTS

    AND

    THEIR

    BACKGROUND

    IN

    THE

    MID-SEVENTH

    CENTURY

    A.D.

    The period of the so-called Patriarchal Caliphs continues to be rich with

    questions

    which

    can be

    investigated

    only

    with material which often

    seems

    less

    than

    adequate.

    Among

    the

    more

    intriguing questions

    are

    those

    connected

    with

    the

    role of Kufa

    and

    the

    emergence

    there

    of

    the

    political

    alignments

    with

    which

    representatives

    both

    of the

    early

    Umayyad

    caliphs

    and of the

    anti-caliph

    Ibn

    al-Zubary

    had later to

    deal,

    viz.

    the

    Khawarij,

    the Shi'a and the

    tribal

    ashrdf.

    The remarks

    in this article

    are intended to

    present

    a broad

    picture

    of

    conclusions

    reached

    in

    a

    more

    detailed

    study

    of the

    formation

    of

    these

    political

    alignmentsI

    -

    conclusions which are based on evidence contained

    in

    the

    earliest

    Islamic historical sources available to us, notably those of al-Baladhuri, al-

    Tabari,

    Ibn

    Sa'd,

    Ibn A'tham

    al-Kufi,

    Khalifa

    b.

    Khayyat

    and

    Nasr b.

    Muzahim

    al-Minqari.2

    I.

    The

    years

    from

    34/654-5

    to

    40/660-I

    were a time of crisis

    in

    Arabia,

    Egypt

    and

    the

    Fertile

    Crescent-a crisis which

    began

    with

    the

    dissension that

    arose

    under 'Uthman

    and led to his

    murder,

    continued

    with

    civil war

    between

    'Ali

    and

    Mu'awiya,

    and ended

    with the

    murder of

    'Ali.

    From

    the time of

    'Ali's death

    we can discern at

    Kufa

    three broad

    political

    alignments,

    whose

    preceding

    circumstances

    it is

    the

    purpose

    of this article

    to examine:

    the

    Kha-

    warij, who had been so named since the time of the confrontation at Siffin and

    appeared

    in

    opposition

    both

    in

    the time

    of

    'All

    and

    immediately

    after;

    the

    Shi'a,

    who

    had

    originally

    been

    'Ali's

    supporters

    and

    were an

    opposition

    move-

    ment

    thereafter;

    and tribal

    leaders,

    usually

    termed

    ashrdf al-qabd'il,

    who

    were

    the intermediaries

    in

    the

    official

    power

    structure

    of

    'Iraq

    in the

    early

    Umayyad

    I

    The

    early

    history of

    Islamic

    schism

    n

    Iraq

    (Ph.D.

    thesis,

    University

    of

    London

    1969).

    2

    The

    following

    abbreviations are used: A'th.

    =

    Ibn

    A'tham,

    Kitab

    al-futuh,

    2

    vols,

    MS

    Topkapi

    Sarayl

    (Ahmet III),

    no.

    2956;

    BA/MS.

    =

    al-Baladhuri,

    Ansdb

    al-ashrdf

    2

    vols,

    MS

    Siileymaniye

    Kiutuphanesi (Reisiilkiittap

    Mustafa

    Efendi),

    nos.

    597, 598;

    BA.

    v

    =

    al-Baladhuri,

    Ansab

    al-ashrdf

    vol. V

    [pp.

    9I8-II27

    of

    BA/MS.I],

    ed. S.

    D. F.

    Goitein

    (Jerusalem, I936);

    BF

    =

    al-Baladhuri,

    Futuih

    al-bulddn,

    ed. M.

    J.

    de

    Goeje

    (Leiden,

    i866);

    IS.

    =

    Ibn

    Sa'd,

    Kitab

    al-tabaqat

    al-kabzr,

    ed. E. Sachau et al.

    (8

    vols

    Leiden,

    1905-17);

    Khal.

    =

    Khalifa

    b.

    Khayyat,

    Tdirikh

    vol.

    I,

    ed. A.

    D. al-'Umari

    (al-

    Najaf,

    1386/1967);

    Tab.

    =

    al-Tabari,

    Tdrzkhal-rusul

    wa'l-muluk,

    ed.

    M.

    J.

    de

    Goeje

    et

    al.,

    3

    series

    (Leiden,

    I879-I901);

    WS.

    =

    al-Minqari, Waq'at

    Siffin,

    ed.

    A. M.

    Harun

    (2nd.

    ed.

    Cairo,

    1382/1962-3).

    Martin Hinds

    KUFAN POLITICAL ALIGNMENTS

    AND

    THEIR

    BACKGROUND

    IN

    THE

    MID-SEVENTH

    CENTURY

    A.D.

    The period of the so-called Patriarchal Caliphs continues to be rich with

    questions

    which

    can be

    investigated

    only

    with material which often

    seems

    less

    than

    adequate.

    Among

    the

    more

    intriguing questions

    are

    those

    connected

    with

    the

    role of Kufa

    and

    the

    emergence

    there

    of

    the

    political

    alignments

    with

    which

    representatives

    both

    of the

    early

    Umayyad

    caliphs

    and of the

    anti-caliph

    Ibn

    al-Zubary

    had later to

    deal,

    viz.

    the

    Khawarij,

    the Shi'a and the

    tribal

    ashrdf.

    The remarks

    in this article

    are intended to

    present

    a broad

    picture

    of

    conclusions

    reached

    in

    a

    more

    detailed

    study

    of the

    formation

    of

    these

    political

    alignmentsI

    -

    conclusions which are based on evidence contained

    in

    the

    earliest

    Islamic historical sources available to us, notably those of al-Baladhuri, al-

    Tabari,

    Ibn

    Sa'd,

    Ibn A'tham

    al-Kufi,

    Khalifa

    b.

    Khayyat

    and

    Nasr b.

    Muzahim

    al-Minqari.2

    I.

    The

    years

    from

    34/654-5

    to

    40/660-I

    were a time of crisis

    in

    Arabia,

    Egypt

    and

    the

    Fertile

    Crescent-a crisis which

    began

    with

    the

    dissension that

    arose

    under 'Uthman

    and led to his

    murder,

    continued

    with

    civil war

    between

    'Ali

    and

    Mu'awiya,

    and ended

    with the

    murder of

    'Ali.

    From

    the time of

    'Ali's death

    we can discern at

    Kufa

    three broad

    political

    alignments,

    whose

    preceding

    circumstances

    it is

    the

    purpose

    of this article

    to examine:

    the

    Kha-

    warij, who had been so named since the time of the confrontation at Siffin and

    appeared

    in

    opposition

    both

    in

    the time

    of

    'All

    and

    immediately

    after;

    the

    Shi'a,

    who

    had

    originally

    been

    'Ali's

    supporters

    and

    were an

    opposition

    move-

    ment

    thereafter;

    and tribal

    leaders,

    usually

    termed

    ashrdf al-qabd'il,

    who

    were

    the intermediaries

    in

    the

    official

    power

    structure

    of

    'Iraq

    in the

    early

    Umayyad

    I

    The

    early

    history of

    Islamic

    schism

    n

    Iraq