The Issues of Muawiyah vs Ibn Umar during the arbitration of Sifeen


The Main Hadeeth around which these attacks against Sahaaba revolve

1) Accusations
2) Our Answers

5) Did Mu`awiyah (r.a) consider himself more worthy of the caliphate than `Umar (r.a) ?
5.1) Who did Ameer Mu`awiyah (r.a) imply towards when he spoke this statement?
5.2) How/What did Mu`awiyah (r.a) intend by mentioning the father of the person he was addressing
5.3) What issue or period did Mu`awiyah (r.a) utter this statement on/about?
6) Conclusion

The rawafidh and many Pro Iranian (miskeen) Sunnis who rancor hatred against Ameer Mu`awiyah radhiallahu `Anhu raise many allegations against Mu`awiyah and Ibn `Umar too at times. All of this revolves around one main hadeeth that is backed by some other indirect and weak narrations to assert their accusations against Mu`awiyah r.a and Ibn `Umar r.a . The following is an approximate translation from Shaykh Kifayatullah Sanabali (may allah grant him shifa and preserve him)’s article on mohaddis forum along with certain additions (such as in footnotes, referencing, or adding certain narrations to help explain the point all the more as an when required) . Please Note this is an approximate translation wherein i will skip certain redundant details so as to keep the article short and will approximate the closest meaning of the `Arabic/Urdu expressions in English

The scholars have strictly forbidden discussing about the wars and disputes between the sahaaba during that time and this is the Manhaj of Ahlus sunnah, however sometimes we are forced to come out to defend the sahaaba against the attacks of Shi`i and deviant self interpreted groups such as Liberal Sunnis or Engr. Ali Mirza of Pakistan and his bandwagon of cheer-leaders and as some other groups such as Mawlana Mawdudi (may allah forgive and have mercy on him) fans

A compilation of the *unreachable* Virtue of Sahaaba from Qur`an, Hadeeth and the fataawa of salafus saliheen :

The ruling and Punishment dictated by the salafus saliheen on those who revile or mock or abuse the sahaaba :

The Main Hadeeth around which these attacks against Sahaaba revolve 

Note: the statements that have been used to build a case against the sahaaba have been highlighted in red whereas other important statement are made bold 

حَدَّثَنِي إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ مُوسَى، أَخْبَرَنَا هِشَامٌ، عَنْ مَعْمَرٍ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ سَالِمٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ وَأَخْبَرَنِي ابْنُ طَاوُسٍ، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ بْنِ خَالِدٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ دَخَلْتُ عَلَى حَفْصَةَ وَنَسْوَاتُهَا تَنْطُفُ، قُلْتُ قَدْ كَانَ مِنْ أَمْرِ النَّاسِ مَا تَرَيْنَ، فَلَمْ يُجْعَلْ لِي مِنَ الأَمْرِ شَىْءٌ‏.‏ فَقَالَتِ الْحَقْ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَنْتَظِرُونَكَ، وَأَخْشَى أَنْ يَكُونَ فِي احْتِبَاسِكَ عَنْهُمْ فُرْقَةٌ‏.‏ فَلَمْ تَدَعْهُ حَتَّى ذَهَبَ، فَلَمَّا تَفَرَّقَ النَّاسُ خَطَبَ مُعَاوِيَةُ قَالَ مَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَتَكَلَّمَ فِي هَذَا الأَمْرِ فَلْيُطْلِعْ لَنَا قَرْنَهُ، فَلَنَحْنُ أَحَقُّ بِهِ مِنْهُ وَمِنْ أَبِيهِ‏.‏ قَالَ حَبِيبُ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ فَهَلاَّ أَجَبْتَهُ قَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ فَحَلَلْتُ حُبْوَتِي وَهَمَمْتُ أَنْ أَقُولَ أَحَقُّ بِهَذَا الأَمْرِ مِنْكَ مَنْ قَاتَلَكَ وَأَبَاكَ عَلَى الإِسْلاَمِ‏.‏ فَخَشِيتُ أَنْ أَقُولَ كَلِمَةً تُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ الْجَمْعِ، وَتَسْفِكُ الدَّمَ، وَيُحْمَلُ عَنِّي غَيْرُ ذَلِكَ، فَذَكَرْتُ مَا أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ فِي الْجِنَانِ‏.‏ قَالَ حَبِيبٌ حُفِظْتَ وَعُصِمْتَ‏.‏ قَالَ مَحْمُودٌ عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّزَّاقِ وَنَوْسَاتُهَا‏.‏

Narrated `Ikrima bin Khalid:
Ibn `Umar said, “I went to Hafsa while water was dribbling from her twined braids. I said, ‘The condition of the people is as you see, and no authority has been given to me.’ [1] Hafsa said, (to me), ‘Go to them, and as they (i.e. the people) are waiting for you, and I am afraid your absence from them will produce division amongst them.'[2]  “ So Hafsa did not leave Ibn `Umar [3] till we went to them. When the people differed. [4] Muawiya addressed the people saying, “‘If anybody wants to say anything in this matter of the Caliphate, he should show up and not conceal himself, for we are more rightful to be a Caliph than he and his father.” [5] On that, Habib bin Masalama said (to Ibn `Umar), “Why don’t you reply to him (i.e. Muawiya)?”`Abdullah bin `Umar said, “I untied my garment that was going round my back and legs while I was sitting and was about to say, ‘He who fought against you and against your father for the sake of Islam, is more rightful to be a Caliph[6] ,’ but I was afraid that my statement might produce differences amongst the people and cause bloodshed, [7]and my statement might be interpreted not as I intended[8]. (So I kept quiet) remembering what Allah has prepared in the Gardens of Paradise (for those who are patient and prefer the Hereafter to this worldly life).” Habib said, “You did what kept you safe and secure (i.e. you were wise in doing so).
[Ref: Saheeh al-Bukhaari]
1) Accusations
a) Mu`awiyah r.a wanted Khilafah
b). Ibn `Umar r.a wanted khilafah
c). Mu`awiyah r.a abused/mocked/pointed at Ibn `Umar and `Umar r.a.a
2) Our Answers 
Explaining the Bracket Marks quickly
[1] –  This statement (as marked in the hadeeth above in red brackets) is used to show as if Ibn `Umar wanted/desired khaleefah 
[2] this statement refutes their accusation as Hafsa r.a clearly says that he needs to go so as to cause the already divided Ummah to unite and his absence would probably fuel more differences and she didn’t say for him to go and vote for himself to be the khaleefah
[3] This part shows that Hafsa r.a did not stop forcing Ibn `Umar r.a until he left and thus the statement ” Hafsa did not leave Ibn `Umar (forcing him to go) until he left to go to them”
 [4] This statement will be explained later on that what exactly is meant by this time and period . I.e what is the meaning of ” when the people differed” and which incident/time is this exactly during their lives
[5] This statement is used by them to show as if Mu`awiyah r.a is threatening or challenging Ibn `Umar
[6] They use this statement of Ibn `Umar to all the more assert the above opinion (point 5) 
[7] This shows that Ibn `Umar cared for the Ummah more than to merely use the chance and speak out in open. Also , even if for the sake of argument we did believe that Ibn `Umar desired the position of a caliph, yet why is he being attacked or maligned now by the rawafidha when what he said was merely his thought and he did not even utter it in that majlis loudly? Since when did Allah s.w.t start punishing for our thoughts? More so, ibn `Umar will be rewarded highly for restraining his anger even when he could openly stand up and speak
[8] This is exactly what we tell the rawafidha that Ibn `Umar’s statement has been misunderstood by you all
3.1) The wording
فَلَمْ يُجْعَلْ لِي مِنَ الأَمْرِ شَيْءٌ
Hasn’t been translated in a way that describes it’s intended meaning. It should rather be translated as
And i haven’t been appointed with anything (of responsibilities towards the Muslims)  in this matter 
The actual statement in itself does not mention the terms such as Khilafah or Command per say , so to link these terms or their meanings to an ambiguous statement is unfair
It is affirmed that Ibn `Umar r.a was offered not one but more than one opportunity to take over the charges of affair . Some of those narrations say :
عرضت الخلافة على ابن عمر رضي الله عنه عدة مرات فلم يقبلها ، فهاهو
الحسن رضي الله عنه يقول :
( لما قتل عثمان بن عفان ، قالوا لعبد الله بن عمر :
إنك سيد الناس وابن سيد الناس ، فاخرج نبايع لك الناس )
قال رضي الله عنه :
( إني والله لئن استطعت ، لا يُهـراق بسببي مِحجَمَـة من دم )
قالوا : لَتخرجن أو لنقتلك على فراشك
[Roughly Paraphrasing the translation] Hasan al Basree (rahimahillah) said that After the death of Uthman r.a , people came out to Ibn `Umar and praised him saying he is the chief of people and the son of the chief of people so he should come out and they would pledge allegiance to him, to which Ibn `Umar (radhiallahu `anhu) refused obviously as he didn’t want nor agree to something over which so much blood has been shed and then they threatened him saying either you come out accepting the pledge or we will kill you here on your very floor
[Ref: Tabaqat al-Kubra 4/151; Sanad Saheeh by Shaykh Kifayatullah ]
Also via a saheeh sanad as classed by Shaykh Kifayatullah , we see in Tabaqat al-Kubra 4/164 it shows that the people tried to bribe Ibn `Umar or lure him with power/wealth yet Ibn `Umar (r.a) denied the post of a khalifah
There are many such quotes here :
`Umar (r.a) himself didn’t want or find IBn `Umar (r.a) suitable for Khilafah this is one of the reasons he didn’t appoint him among the council that was appointed to be elected for caliphate
Hafsa (r.a) had to force him after explaining the importance of his presence which would prevent any more differences among the people and only then he (r.a) left. More so, there are other narrations wherein Ibn `Umar clearly did not participate in the battle and he excused himself from handling a major post when `Ali (r.a) appointed him to do so. He didn’t want part in any of these leadership roles and this is also a proof of it
بَعَثَ إلِي عَلِيُّ ابْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ ، فَأَتَيْتُهُ ، فَقَالَ : يَا أَبَا عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ ، إِنَّكَ رَجُلٌ مُطَاعٌ فِي أَهْلِ الشَّامِ ، فَسِرْ ، فَقَدْ أَمَّرْتُكَ عَلَيْهِمْ ، فَقُلْتُ : أُذَكِّرُكَ اللَّه وَقَرَابَتِي مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّه صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَصُحْبَتِي إِيَّاهُ إِلا مَا أَعْفَيْتَنِي . فَأَبَى عَلِيٌّ ، فَاسْتَعَنْتُ عَلَيْهِ بِحَفْصَةَ ، فَأَبَى فَخَرَجْتُ لَيْلا إِلَى مَكَّةَ ، فَأُتِيَ ، فَقِيلَ لَهُ : إِنَّهُ قَدْ خَرَجَ إِلَى الشَّامِ ، فَبَعَثَ فِي أَثَرِي فَجَعَلَ الرَّجُلُ يَأْتِي الْمِرْبَدَ ، فَيَخْطِمُ بَعِيرَهُ بِعِمَامَتِهِ لِيُدْرِكَنِي ، فَأَرْسَلَتْ حَفْصَةُ : إِنَّهُ لَمْ يَخْرُجْ إِلَى الشَّامِ ، إِنَّمَا خَرَجَ إِلَى مَكَّةَ .
Rough Translation
ibn `Umar aid: `Ali ibn abi Talib called (sent in literal translation) for me so I came to him and he told me: “O Abu `Abdur-Rahman, you are a man who is obeyed by the people of al-Sham, so march to them as I have appointed you as their Ameer.” so I said: “By Allah, I remind you of my closeness to the Messenger (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) and my companionship to him, that you should excuse me (from this matter).” `Ali didn’t accept it and I asked my sister Umm al-Mu’mineen Hafsa to help (convince him) but he still insisted, so I went to Makkah during the night and they told him: “He went to al-Sham.” so he sent after me and the rider took-off in haste to catch up to me, then Hafsa sent to him that: “He didn’t leave to al-Sham, he only left to Makkah.” 
[Ref: Tareekh ad-Dimishq li Ibn `Asaakir,]
There are not one, but many various reports from different turuk on this incident.
The following response will be taken and i will be paraphrasing them so as to keep them easy to understand and brief – from Shaykh Kifayatullah’s answer on mohaddis forum and is translated not word to word but retaining the intended meaning. 

Shaykh Kifayatullah Sanabali says the `Ulema are divided into three statements with regards to describing what was this meeting held for 
Statement 1 :  
Some `Ulema have said that this Ijtima (meeting) was during the Mu`awiyah-Hasan arbitration [Ref: See Imam Haythami’s view on the same in Majma` az-zawaid 4/242]
However this perspective is not backed by concrete evidences due to which Hafidh Ibn Hajar explained this to be a wrong assertion  [Ref: Fath ul-Bari 7/403]
Statement 2
Some say that this meeting was held during the pledge of Yazeed , as said by Ibn Jawzi rahimahullah [Ref: كشف المشكل من حديث الصحيحين 2/ 576]]
However this is an assertion that is impossible to be right [Ref: Fath ul-Bari 7/403]
Statement 3 (the right statement)
Some Ahl ul-`Ilm say that this meeting was held during the arbitration between `Ali r.a and Mu`awiyah r.a and this is what seems to be the truth and Ibn Hajar rahimahullah also preferred this view.
Also, we have the same chain of narration in Musannaf `Abdur razzaq with the addition that this meeting was held during the arbitration process [Ref: Musannaf `Abdur razzaq  5/483; 9779]
Recommended book on these topics defending Mu`awiyah r.a is Shaykh `Ali as-sallabi’s book :

5) Did Mu`awiyah (r.a) consider himself more worthy of the caliphate than `Umar (r.a) ?

With regards to the statement of Mu`awiyah (r.a) in the hadeeth that stated

فَلَنَحْنُ أَحَقُّ بِهِ مِنْهُ وَمِنْ أَبِيهِ

Verily, we are more rightful to it (leadership) than himself and his father 
The following points are needed to be understood to understand this statement and it’s surrounding scenario
5.1) Who did Ameer Mu`awiyah (r.a) imply towards when he spoke this statement?
5.2) How/What did Mu`awiyah (r.a) intend by mentioning the father of the person he was addressing
5.3) What issue or period did Mu`awiyah (r.a) utter this statement on/about?
5.1) Who did Ameer Mu`awiyah (r.a) imply towards when he spoke this statement? 
– Some `Ulema say that the intend of Mu`awiyah (r.a) was towards Hasan and his father `Ali (r.a.a) whereas some `Ulema say that the intend of Mu`awiyah (r.a) was towards Ibn `Umar and `Umar ibn al-Khattab (r.a.a). However in the light of authenticity both of these interpretations are more of interpretations than evidences and thus do not form a qati` (absolute) stance
Moreover, Mu`awiyah (r.a) did not have any dispute with Hasan or Ibn `Umar (r.a.a) in any way whatsoever, due to which it is all the more unlikely that he would address either of them.
[TN : Some say that during the arbitration, some of the sahaaba were in favour of appointing Ibn `Umar as the leader which made Mu`awiyah r.a imply Ibn `Umar, but these claims need to be investigated thoroughly  and cannot be used until their authenticity is established ] 

– As for the narration in Musannaf `Abdur-razzaq (5/465] that ‘supposedly’ clarifies the intent of Mu`awiyah (r.a) to be addressing Ibn `Umar then this clarification is not from a sahaabi but from a narrator down in the chain, thereby this again cannot be used as an absolute evidence to establish this interpretation

This is not the first time wherein Mu`awiyah (r.a)’s statement have been misunderstood to mean something other than what he himself intended. Such as during his Reign, there occurred a statement that Mu`awiyah (r.a) made with respect to Ibn `Umar due to which certain people interpreted it as if Mu`awiyah (r.a) was going to kill Ibn `Umar (r.a) for denying the pledge of allegiance to Yazeed. However when Mu`awiyah (r.a) was confronted with this issue, he dismissed it as a mere hear-say and expressed his astonishment at such an interpretation thereby clarifying and swearing by Allah that he could never ever mean or do such a thing (to Ibn `Umar)

For details on this see Shaykh Kifayatullah’s book titled ” Yazeed ibn Mu`awiah par Ilzamaat ka `Ilmi Jaaizah page 318 T :323

As for the objection that why did then Habeeb ibn Maslamah ask Ibn `Umar to speak out then this could also be because Habib rahimahullah might have been aware that Ibn `Umar (r.a) disagreed with Mu`awiyah (r.a)’s stances and not otherwise as accused.

So these mere interpretations cannot be absolute proofs and thus since the wording of the hadeeth are general, we should keep it general and not accuse a sahaabi like Mu`awiyah (r.a) of something based on interpretations (which may be right or wrong) .

Thus the statement , in the light of evidences only shows that Mu`awiyah (r.a) meant it in a general way and not specifically towards anyone .  (TN : Just like how we in the Indo Pak region use similar statements to emphasis our right or superiority over something in general and not particular)

5.2) How/What did Mu`awiyah (r.a) intend by mentioning the father of the person he was addressing 
Mu`awiyah (r.a) said what he said in a general way as was the habit of `Arabs back then to use such statements or expressions to induce a certain emphasis in their statement. Such as
فلاں افضل منک ومن ابیک
Fulaan is better than you and your father.
Here this statement is said to emphasis on something and does not intend an attack on one’s father.
For example during a debate between Ibn Zubayr (r.a) and Ibn `Abbas (r.a), Ibn Zubayr radhiallahu `anhu said to Ibn `Abbas harshly that he wasn’t a faqeeh  (as Ibn Zubayr was refuting Ibn `Abbas’s wrong fatwa) to which Ibn `Abbas (r.a) replied :
“، فقال ابن عباس: والله لأنا أفقه منك ومن أبيك”
By Allah i am a bigger faqeeh than you and your father (Zubayr ibn al-`Awwam r.a) 
[Ref: Ansaab al-Ashraaf  of Baladhuri 1/463 Islamport ; Shaykh Kifayatullah gave the reference from Dar al-Fikr 4/54 with a saheeh sanad]
It cannot be even imagined that Ibn `Abbas (r.a) here would belittle such a towering sahaabi, among the ashra Mubassharat i.e Zubayr ibn al-Awwam , therefore the usage of ” even your father” was merely a way of Mubalagha or communication gesture that was as per the culture
For a similar incident of this kind using the same words see Mu`jam al-Kabeer lit-tabraani 20/403; Saheeh
5.3) What issue or period did Mu`awiyah (r.a) utter this statement on/about? 
It is true that the word “Amr” used in the hadeeth is also used to denote Khilafah , however here in this scenario it seems that Mu`awiyah (r.a) is using it for the issue of claiming the qisas against the killers of `Uthman (r.a) and thus he said that i am more worthy of this claim than he and his father.
Imam al-`Ayni (rahimahullah) said :
فإنه ولي عثمان بن عفان والمطالب بدمه وهو أحق الناس
Verily he (mu`awiyah) was the guardian (relative) of `Uthman ibn `Affan and was seeking the blood (of the killers of Uthman) and he had the most right among the people (for this claim )
[Ref: `Umdatul Qaari sharh saheeh Bukhaari 17/185]
The proof that Mu`awiyah (r.a) was not behind the caliphate but behind qisas is the following narration wherein Yahya ibn Sulayman al-Ju`fi (D 238 A.H) narrated from
حدثنا يعلى بن عبيد، عن أبيه، قال: جاء أبو مسلم الخولاني وأناس إلى معاوية، وقالوا: أنت تنازع عليا، أم أنت مثله؟ فقال: لا والله، إني لأعلم أنه أفضل مني، وأحق بالأمر مني، ولكن ألستم تعلمون أن عثمان قتل مظلوما، وأنا ابن عمه، والطالب بدمه، فائتوه، فقولوا له، فليدفع إلي قتلة عثمان، وأسلم له. فأتوا عليا، فكلموه، فلم يدفعهم إليه .
Ya`la Ibn  Ubaid, from his father: Abu Muslim Al-Khawlani and a group of people  entered upon Mu`awiyah, and they asked, “Do you dispute `Ali? Are you his  equal?” He replied, “No, I am not, and I know that he is better than  me, and deserves this (khilafa) more than me, but  don’t you know that `Uthman was killed unjustly, and that I am his  cousin, and that I ask for his blood? So go to him (`Ali), and tell him  to bring forth the killers of `Uthman, and I will submit to him.” So,  they went to Ali, and spoke to him, but he didn’t hand them (the  killers because of the chaos and deceptive unity of the khawarij that made it almost impossible for `Ali to make out who exactly is guilty among the lot ) 
[Ref: Kitaab as-sifeen of Ju`fi via the source of Siyar al-`Alam 3/140; Sanad Saheeh by shaykh Kifayatullah]

This shows that Ameer Mu`awiyah (r.a) didn’t even contest `Ali (r.a) in caliphate , who is a smaller khalifah or the 4th khalifah then how can it be even thought of that Mu`aiywah (r.a) would contest the second and the most powerful of Khulafah the Muslim Ummah had i.e `Umar Farooq (r.a)?!!!

As for why did Habeeb ibn Masalamah question Ibn `Umar’s silence then as it has preceeded, it could be that Ibn `Umar’s stance made it apparent that he disagreed with Mu`awiyah (r.a) thus Habeeb questioned Ibn `Umar.

Also it is possible that Ibn `Umar (r.a) was of the view that those early in Islam are more deserving than those who came later on.

And this is exactly why (TN : As i mentioned under Subtitle 2 , point 8 ] Ibn `umar (r.a) himself said in the same hadeeth that he kept quiet and did not speak lest

وَيُحْمَلُ عَنِّي غَيْرُ ذَلِكَ،

People derive an unintended meaning from his speech
It is so sad to see that on one hand where Ibn `Umar observed silence merely fearing people misinterpreting his statement , today the people have actually fallen victims to the same and proven Ibn `Umar’s fear to come true
More so, it is inconcievable that Mu`awiyah (r.a) would ever intend `Umar ibn al-Khattab by that statement, more so when Mu`awiyah (r.a) was never at odds with `Umar (r.a) during his Khilafah
Ibn Hajar rahimahullah reiterating this says :
وقيل أراد عمر وعرض بابنه عبد الله وفيه بعد لأن معاوية كان يبالغ في تعظيم عمر
[RT] And it is said that Mu`awiyah (r.a) implied towards Ibn `Umar and his father `Umar ibn al-Khattab but this is far (from the truth) because it is well known that Mu`awiyah (r.a) used to respect and honour `Umar (r.a) a lot.
[Ref: Fath ul-Bari 7/404]
Hafidh Ibn Hajar did not deny the possibility of Mu`awiyah (r.a) implying towards `Ali and Hasan (r.a.a) however this is also incorrect as shown above that Mu`awiyah (r.a) respected `Ali (r.a) also immensely

End of Shaykh Kifayatullah’s article  []

Ibn Asakir narrated

عن ثابت مولى سفيان قال سمعت معاوية وهو يقول إني
لست بخيركم وإن فيكم من هو خير مني عبد الله بن عمر وعبد الله بن عمرو وغيرهما من الأفاضل ولكني عسيت أن أكون أنكاكم في عدوكم وأنعمكم

I am not better then you, and among you there are people who are better than me like Abdullah bin Omar and Abdullah bin Amr and others who are virtuous, It is maybe I am better for you in killing your enemies (i.e better in commander ship against kuffar).. 

[Ref: Tareekh Damishq Ibn Asakir 59/163]

6) Conclusion  
“When the news of ‘Ali’s death reached Mu`awiyah, while he was sitting with his wife bint Qurthah on a summer day, he said: “To Allah we belong and to him we shall return. They have lost a great amount of wisdom and knowledge and virtue.”
His wife said: “yesterday you were criticizing him and now you praise him?”
He said: “Woe to you! you have no idea what they’ve lost from his knowledge and virtue and early accomplishments (In Islam).”
[Ref: Tareekh Dimashq al-Kabeer 42/583. ]
ﻋﻠﻰ ﺭﺿﻲ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ ﺇﻟﻰ ﺳﺎﺣﺔ ﺍﻟﻘﺘﺎﻝ ﻓﻨﻈﺮ ﺇﻟﻰ ﺃﻫﻞ ﺍﻟﺸﺎﻡ، ﻓﺪﻋﺎ ﺭﺑﻪ ﻗﺎﺋﻼً : ﺍﻟﻠﻬﻢ ﺍﻏﻔﺮ ﻟﻲ ﻭﻟﻬﻢ
`Ali (r.a) said that during the night of the battle of Siffen , he raised his head to see towards the people of Shaam (who had assembled) and said ” Oh allah forgive me and them” 
[Ref: Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 15/297; Translated from the post of Aijaz Shaikh]
After Ali died , Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan said to Dirar bin Damrah
“Describe ‘Ali to me.”
“Will you not excuse me from answering you,” said Dirar.
“No, describe him,” insisted Mu`awiyah.
“Please excuse me from doing so,” said Dirar.
“I will not,” said Mu`awiyah.
” I will do so, then” said Dirar with a sigh.
“By Allah, he was (far-sighted) and very strong. He spoke with a truthful finality, so that, through him , truth became distinguished from falsehood. He ruled justly, and knowledge gushed forth from him, as did wisdom. He felt an aversion to the world and its (pleasure). He was comfortable with the night and its darkness ( meaning he prayed a lot). By Allah he would cry profusely ( from fear of Allah); long durations would he spend in contemplation, during which time he would converse with his soul. He showed a liking to coarse garments and lower-quality food. By Allah, it was as if – in his humbleness- he was one of us: when we asked him a question, he would answer us; when we would go to him, he would initiate (the salam); and when we would invite him (to our homes), he would come to us . Yet, in spite of his closeness to us, we would not speak (freely) with him, because of the dignity and honor that he exuded if he smiled, he revealed the likes of straight and regular pearls(his teeth). He honored religious people and loved the poor. The strong person could not hope to gain favors from him through falsehood. And the weak person never lost hope of his justness. I swear, by Allah, that on certain occasions, I saw him in his place of prayer when the night was dark and few stars could be seen; he would be holding his beard and crying the way a very sad person cries; and I would hear him saying,
“O world, O world, are you offering yourself to me? Do you desire me? Never! Never! Deceive someone other than me, I have divorced you for the third time, so that you cannot return to me (metaphorically, of course; he is alluding to the fact that, in islam, the third divorce is final) your life is short, the existence you offer is base, and your danger is great. Alas for the scarcity of sustenance (good deeds), the great distance of the journey, and the loneliness of the road!”
Upon hearing this description, Mu`awiyah’s eyes swelled with tears, and not being able to hold them from gushing forth, he was forced to wipe them with his cuffs; and the same can be said for those who were present. Mu`awiyah then said, “May Allah have mercy on the father of Al-Hasan, for he was, by Allah, just as you described him to be. “
He then said, “O Dirar, describe your sadness at having lost him.”
“My sadness” began Dirar “is like the sadness of a woman who cannot control her tears or allay her grief after her child , while in her lap, has just been slaughtered.”
Dirar then stood up and left.
[Ref: Sifatus-Safwah 1/66]
May Allah be pleased with them both.
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