Early Division in Islam (Dr. Mansoor Alam, Ohio, USA)

What does the history of the early period of Islam have to say about the early divisions in Islam? Who was Abdullah bin Saba? Very few Islamic scholars nowadays write or talk about him. Yet history tells us that he was the main figure in sowing the seeds of early division in Islam. He was the first person who promulgated the idea of Imamate and propagated it with so much passion that it ultimately became the foundation of Shiite Islam.

From a historical perspective then, it is important to talk about him. No matter how sensitive this topic, we cannot ignore the fact that it was his role in the early history of Islam that was mostly responsible for laying the foundation of Islam’s permanent division into Sunni and Shiite sects. But before we address that, it is important to provide some backdrop about the Iran of those times as it came into the fold of Islam. (This has nothing to do with the present Iran and Iranian people. The present Iranian people are not responsible for what happened then.)

The Prophet (PBUH) of Islam first started preaching the Divine message of the Quran among the Meccans and those around them. He then enlarged his sphere to include the people ofMedina and its surroundings. His companions understood this divine message and true Iman entered their hearts. Consequently, the depth of their conviction and the presence of the Prophet (PBUH) among them transformed their character (48:29). Later, when all of Arabia came under the fold of Islam, fresh converts (especially Bedouin) merely ‘surrendered’ to it without internalizing its Divine message so much so that they had to be reminded (according to the Quran) that true Iman had not entered their hearts (49:14).

The earlier Muslims were fortunate compared to the later ones as these later Muslims missed the Prophet’s personal attention and training. They were scattered far and wide, their number was very large, and the Prophet’s early demise had cut short the opportunity for them to benefit from his personal attention. Moreover, during the time of Caliph Abu Bakr (R) and Caliph Umar (R), the Islamic State expanded far and wide and covered an area of almost two and a half million square miles, embracing practically the whole of the Persian Empire and the greater part of the Roman Empire.

People inhabiting these vast areas could have maintained their old religion (if they so wished) by having treaties with the Islamic State, but most of them preferred to become Muslims. As converts to a new religion they were in an even less fortunate position than the later “Bedouin” converts. The Arab converts had the advantage of having true Muslims around them and being exposed through them to Islamic concepts and principles on a daily basis. The new converts had none of this facility. Their number was large, the area that they inhabited was immense, and the means of communication were extremely limited. All these factors made it almost impossible for their education and training to be on the same level as those of the earliest Muslims.

This problem greatly worried Caliph Umar (R) and he gave serious thought to it as dictated by the Quran: When comes the Help of Allah, and Victory, and thou dost see the people enter Allah’s Religion in crowds,let not complacency overcome you (that your purpose has been achieved and your program is over); instead you should redouble your efforts with greater vigor and “Celebrate the praises of thy Lord, and pray for His Forgiveness: For He is Oft-Returning (in Grace and Mercy).” (110/1-3).

According to Ibn-e-Hazm, Caliph Umar (R) distributed a hundred thousand copies of the Holy Quran throughout the new State. He had further plans to educate and train the new converts to Islam, but he was assassinated unexpectedly before he could realize his dream. A mass conversion of the type that had occurred (especially as in Iran) could be no more than political surrender to the new State without an attending change in people’s old beliefs and customs. Proper education and training alone could have brought about that change.

The masses are usually quick to accept a new system of life if it guarantees their freedom and dignity and meets their basic needs. And that is what Islam offered them at the time. So people quickly accepted Islam en masse.  (This may now sound strange especially because of the prevailing misconceptions about Islam – thanks to our corrupt Muslim rulers – but the period of Caliph Umar (R) is legendary for both men’s and women’s rights and freedoms.)

However, those who had lost their power and authority could not as easily accept their loss. They were sore at having been defeated by the Arabs, whom they considered uncivilized and even barbarous, and now they found that these same lowly Arabs had dismantled their empire and destroyed their ancient culture and civilization. No doubt the defeat made them surrender to the Islamic State, but they continued to harbor feelings of revenge against the conquering Arabs.

Since they could not take on the Arabs in the battlefield, they used political intrigues and religious corruption to avenge their defeat. It was not hard for them to realize that the secret of the over-whelming power of the Arabs lay in their belief in Islamic principles. When the defeated Persian governor and military commander Harmuzan was brought before Umar(R) in Medina, Umar(R) asked him how it was that the Arabs, who until recently had dared not come near the Persian borders, had now inflicted heavy defeat on them on all fronts? Harmuzan answered: “Before, it was force against force, of which we had more. Then God was neither with you nor with us. Now in our new encounters there is God with you and no God with us”. Harmuzan had confirmed the words of the Quran: That is because Allah is the Protector of those who believe, but those who reject Allah have no protector”(47/11).

Since the aristocrats and the intellectuals among the Iranians – Iran was a superpower having the most advanced civilization in the world at the time – had recognized that it was the adoption of the eternal principles of the Quran that had brought about such a tremendous change among the Arabs, they based their scheme of revenge on a plan designed to wean the Arabs away from those principles.

The plan consisted in gradually introducing into the body politic of Islam such un-Islamic beliefs and concepts which would, in the end, cause the eternal divine principles to be lost to man­made laws and concepts. But first they had to get rid of the biggest obstacle in their way – the person who was responsible for their defeat – Caliph Umar (R). Therefore, it is no accident that the person (Abu Lulu Firoze) who assassinated Caliph Umar (R) while he was leading the morning prayer in the Prophet’s mosque was a Persian.

As a result of the scheming and machinations that ensued, what we have now as Islam is composed mostly of the stuff introduced by this Ajami (Persian) scheme of revenge. The Egyptian historian Muhammad Husain Haikal has described the situation aptly in his book The Great Umar. He first quotes from the Historians’ History of the World by Henry SmithWilliams, followed by his own comments.

“The reaction went still further, and the principles of political theology which had ruled ancient Persia returned to affirm their empire almost the day after the national ruin. According to Persian theory, the power belonged to the King, the son of God, invested with divine glory by his super-terrestrian origin. Owing to political revolutions, Persia united on the head of Muhammad’s legitimate successor, the Arabian Ali, who had been excluded from the caliphate, all the splendor and sanctity of the old national royalty. The one she had once called in her protocols “the divine King son of heaven”, and in her sacred books the “lord and guide” — lord in a worldly sense, guide in an intellectual — she now called by the Arabic word imam, “the Chief’. This was the simplest title imaginable and at the same time the most august, for in it was included all the sovereignty of the world and of the mind. In regard to the Caliphs, who were raised to power by the blind clamour of the masses, by crime and intrigues, she upheld the hereditary rights of the imam Ali, the infallible and sacred of God.

“At his death she gathered about his two sons, Hassan and Husein, and afterwards about their descendants. Husein had married a daughter of the last Sassanid king, so that the imamate was fixed in his blood by a doubly divine right; and the union of ancient Persia and Islam was sealed in the blood of Husein on the plains of Kerbela.

“The revolution which overturned the Omayyad usurpers in favour of the Abbasides, the nephews of the Prophet, was the work of Persia. If she did not bring into power the favourite family for which she thought she was fighting, she at least caused her principle to triumph.” (Historians’ History of the World by Henry Smith Williams, pp. 489-90, Vol. 24, 1907 edition)

Haikal comments on the above quotation as follows:

“The events recorded by the Historians’ History of the World, which are corroborated by all other historians, occurred after Umar. We have referred to them with a view to draw the attention of the reader to the fact that the Iranians never reconciled themselves to Arab domination and in fact resisted it from the very beginning. At first they revolted openly: but failure in the attempt turned their efforts to arrest power by other means. They succeeded here and obtained considerable power in the various spheres of life’s activities. They were so sore against Muslim domination that they decided to kill Umar. It has been said that the assassination of Umar coming soon after the conquest of Khorasan was the result of Iranian conspiracy” (The Great Umar, 420).

Iranians believed that their emperors were not normal human beings but superhuman and bearers of Divine virtues and rights; that they were not elected or selected by people but were commissioned by God. They were the only ones entitled to rule in the land, that nobody could seize this right, that their right to rule was automatically transferred to their progeny, that they were shadows of God and His representatives on earth, and that they were not prone to any mistakes. Therefore submission to their command was incumbent on everyone. During the reign of the Sassanid emperors, these beliefs had reached their apex, and, at this time, too, the Quran was revealed. The Quran declared false all such beliefs.

During the time of Caliph Othman (R), a strange and astonishing person appeared on the stage of history, named Ahdullah bin Saba, who became commonly known as Ibn-al-Sauda. Some historians, like Dr. Taha Hussain of Egypt, hold him as a pseudo personality, but those who accept him as a real person say he was a Yemeni Jew, who came to Medina and converted to Islam. During his stay in Medina, he learnt the intricacies of statecraft and then shifted to Kufa and made this city a center of his scheming.   Some   historical narrations say that he stayed in Madain (Iran) for sometime and then went to Egypt and, from there, further extended his sphere of influence.

His plan was aimed at forcing Caliph Othman (R) to relinquish Caliphate in favor of Ali(R). Consequently in the year 35 A.H., an army composed of soldiers from Egypt, Basrah and Kufa reached Medina, laid siege, eventually murdered Caliph Othman (R) in broad day-light, and pronounced Ali(R) as Caliph. After the martyrdom of Othman (R), when factions under the separate commands of Ali (R) and Ayesha (R) clashed against each other (named as Battle of Jamal), Abdullah-bin-Saba was present amongst the forces under Ali’s command. It was Abdullah-bin-Saba and his troops, who on observing the signs of truce, attacked Ayesha’s contingents and inflamed the battle further. Later, it was the same Abdullah-bin-Saba and his group that joined Ali’s forces during his confrontation with Muawiyya in the battle of Safeen.

But all this pertained to Abdullah-bin-Saba’s political role. His conspiracy that caused irreversible damage to Islam is even greater. He questioned the simplicity of Muslims’ belief about the Prophet (PBUH) saying the Muslims believed in the return of Christ but not in the return of Muhammad (PBUH)!

This idea of the return of Muhammad (PBUH) could not gain much ground among the majority of Muslims, but it flourished among some in relation to his idea about Imams. History tells us that Abdullah-bin-Saba then started propagating the idea that each Prophet carried a Caliph and a Wasee. The Wasee of the Prophet (PBUH) was Ali (R) who should have been appointed the Caliph after the Prophet (PBUH). Those who opposed his appointment usurped Ali’s right. Muslims, therefore, should either dismiss Othman (R) or kill him, and appoint Ali (R) as the Caliph and thus make an atonement of their past mistakes.

Propagation of such a belief was in accordance with the Iranians’ belief about their emperors (as mentioned before) and therefore it soon started having effect among some Muslims, especially of Iranian descent. According to this belief, Caliphate (the term now adopted for it was Imamate which is more comprehensive than Caliphate) is not one of those common issues that can be left to be decided by humans but that it is a basic pillar and foundation of Islam. This must be decided by the Prophet (PBUH) (through Allah’s command) before his departure from this world. And Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did leave his decision in favor of Ali’s imamate. Therefore, Ali (R) was the Wasee of the Prophet (PBUH).

Likewise, according to this belief, every Imam leaves a bequest for a future Imam and this bequest is made under Allah’s command. The Imam is free from any faults since he is appointed by Allah. And, appointment of anybody other than the nominated Imam as successor of the Prophet (PBUH) is usurpation of Imamate. Thus the Imamate was the right of Ali and must remain in his progeny.

Thus it was that the idea of Wasee, propagated by Abdullah bin Saba, became the foundation of Shiite Islam and took practical shape in the form of Imamate.

Should today’s Muslims accept this permanent classification into Sunnis or Shiites based on the past? What about those who do not want to be classified in either category? Should the fear of stirring age-old controversy prevent us from talking about this issue? Or, should we just forget about this issue, noting that nothing can be gained by talking about it now except bad feelings among fellow Muslims?  Or, should we face the reality anyway, and examine this issue in the light of history – and the Quran? The choice is ours but so are the consequences. There are consequences for doing nothing. Just like cancer cells, human divisions also have the tendency to multiply further if left alone.

The enemies of Islam have taken full advantage of this division throughout history and do so now.  When all else fails, the Sunni-Shiite card is played. But it is Muslims who allow it to happen.  Muslims are their own worst enemies.

Who was Abu Muslim Khorasani? We will talk about him in the next article.


We discussed above that Iran’s ruling elite and intellectuals of the time were shocked at the loss of their empire. They were seething with a deep feeling of anger and revenge against the Arabs who had dismantled their empire. Caliph Umar’s killing was part of that revenge. However, that was only the beginning.

Next came Abdullah bin Saba’s purported promulgation of the concept of Wasi and Imamate and that they both must exist only in Ali (R) or in his progeny. Being alien to the Quran, this idealogy could not gain much ground among Muslims – not until Abbasids appeared on the scene turning this ideology into a mass movement for their own political end against the Umayyads.

Although this movement originally started in Kufa and where it could not gain much strength initially, but thanks to Abbasids, it soon spread to Khorasan and started gaining wide-spread support among people of mainly Persian descent who, although had accepted Islam but, nevertheless, carried an affection in their hearts for their pre-Islamic belief of divine right of kings and, who, now readily transferred it to the divine right of Imam and Wasi; thus creating the first permanent wedge in the then one Muslim Ummah. The foundation laid by Abdullah bin Saba was thus realized in the form of a permanent Shiite faith.

To understand how it happened we need to start from the period just after Caliph Ali (R) when the Umayyads gained the upper hand in the power struggle for the Islamic Caliphate and made Damascus the Capital of their empire. Seeing that Umayyads had overpowered the rebellious Kufis, their leader Imam Hasan, the eldest son of Caliph Ali (R), made a peace offer. According to Ibn Khaldun:

Imam Hasan wrote to Ameer Mu’awiya that he (Imam Hasan) would step down from the Caliphate of Kufa if all the wealth in its treasury (Bayt-ul-maal) was given to him and if the tax of Darul Jabaru (part of the then Persia) was continued to be paid to him. [Ibn Khaldun, Vol.2, page 456]

After this agreement Umayyads had good relation with Imam Hasan:

The relationship between Ameer Mu’awiya and Imam Hasan was pleasant. Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain used to visit Ameer Mu’awiya and he used to give them gifts and cash (as much as up to two hundred thousand Dirhams). [Al-Bidaya Wan-Nihaya, Vol. 8]

This cordial relationship continued with Imam Hussain after the death of Imam Hasan:

Ameer Mu’awiya granted one million Dirhams, and his son Yazid doubled this grant. These grants were conferred every year on both sons of Ali (R) Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain. [Commentary on Nahj-al-Balagha by Ibn Abi-al-Hadeed]

Umayyads and Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain also had family relationships. The niece of Imam Hussain, i.e., the daughter of Abdullah-bin-Jafar Tayyar, Sayyida-Umm Muhammad was married to Yazid and the wife of Imam Hussain, the revered mother of Ali Akbar, was the niece (sister’s daughter) of Ameer Mu’awiya.

But when the Caliphate of the entire Islamic empire (including Egypt, Iraq, and Hijaz) came under the Umayyads’ control during the period of Abdul Malik bin Marwaan, a serious power struggle started between them and the Abbasids.

Abbasids were descendents from the same lineage as Umayyads. Therefore, they could not accept Umayyads’ exclusive grip on power. This family rivalry between the Umayyads and the Abbasids gave the Iranians the perfect opportunity they were looking for – for taking far greater revenge against the Arabs who had dismantled their empire. So, they supported the Abbasids in their power struggle against the Umayyads. (After all Abbas (R), the uncle of the Prophet (PBUH) was a great supporter of Ali (R) and his confidant.) It was the Iranian support of the Abbasids that eventually led to the dismantling of the Umayyad Caliphate, and in which Abu Muslim Khorasani played a central role.

Who was Abu Muslim Khorasani and how did he turn out to be such a powerful central figure in Abbasids’ battle against the Umayyads? This is somewhat a long and intricate story.

Umayyads had granted the ownership of taxes of Hamima, a town situated on the road between Medina and Damascus, to Ali bin Abdullah bin Abbas (i.e., the grandson of Abbas (R). His name Ali was chosen because he was born on the same day that Caliph Ali (R) died). He had settled in Hamima and died there in 117 A.H. Among his sons, Muhammad bin Ali became the most influential and laid the foundation of the Abbasid dynasty. He was the father of the first Abbasid Caliph Abul Abbas Saffah and the second more popular one Abu Jaafar Mansour.

Since Kufa was the hotbed of rebellion against the Umayyads, they kept a strict eye on it. Most Kufis, however, stuck to their belief in Imams and continued to support one Imam or the other from among the progeny of Caliph Ali (R) – Muhammad bin Al-hanfiyyah (the eldest son) and his son Abu Hashim; Ali bin Hussain bin Ali (aka Zainul Abedeen) and his sons Muhammad Baqar and Zaid; Jaafar Sadiq bin Muhammad Baqar, and Yahya bin Zaid. (All of the different Shiite sects derive from these Imams.) Umayyads could not tolerate anyone of them. Muhammad bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Abbas had seen that Umayyad Caliphs killed anyone who openly challenged their rule. So, he embarked on a secret scheme.

By now Imam Abu Hashim of the Kesaniyah sect of Shiites had settled in Hamima. (Remember, Hamima was under financial jurisdiction of Ali bin Abdullah bin Abbas granted to him by the Umayyads.) Imam Abu Hashim did not have any son. So, when he died in Hamima, Abbasids proclaimed that Imam Abu Hashim had appointed Ali bin Abdullah bin Abbas as his Wasi and Imam. Muhammad bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Abbas wanted to take full advantage of this situation in his battle against the Umayyads. But he also knew that Umayyads would eliminate his family if they came to know about the Imamate of his father. So he asked Imam Abu Hashim’s followers – who, by now, had turned into his father’s followers and supporters – to keep it secret.

Muhammad bin Ali chose Kufa and Khorasan as centers of his secret activities. Kufa, because it was the seat of Shiite faith; and Khorasan, because it had overwhelming Persian population. Muhammad bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Abbas gained further support and loyalty of the followers of Imam Abu Hashim by emphasizing that his own connection with the Prophet’s family (Ahl-ul-Bayt) was somewhat closer than Caliph Ali’s as his (Muhammad bin Ali’s) family was descendent from the uncle of the Prophet (PBUH) whom he loved very much.

Having thus gained the loyalty of Imam Abu Hashim’s Shiite followers, Muhammad bin Ali then embarked on building a powerful underground movement against the Umayyads. He planned a two-phase long-term strategy to overthrow the Umayyads: 1) Preaching secretly the concept of Ahl-ul-Bayt among the mainly Persian population of Khorasan, and 2) Challenging the Umayyads when this movement had gathered considerable political strength and popular support.

To achieve the first goal Muhammad bin Ali bin Abdullah dispatched his most loyal supporters to Khorasan with strict instructions. They were to pretend to be businessmen and under no circumstances they were supposed to reveal their true connection to Muhammad bin Ali. For this purpose, he created a powerful and intricate organization. He chose two men (Muhammad bin Khunis and Abu Akramah Siraj) to head this secret organization. Under their control, he appointed twelve men to direct the effort in different regions of Khorasan. Then he appointed seventy men to carry out this secret activity under the direction of each of these twelve regional leaders. To oversee the operation in Kufa, he appointed his family’s trusted slave Maisarah.

This period of secret preaching lasted for almost 29 long years (from 100 A.H. to 128 A.H). There were episodes in which several of its members were killed including the top two leaders Muhammad bin Khunis and Abu Akramah Siraj on the orders of the Umayyad governor of Khorasan (Asad bin Abdullah Qusri) when he became suspicious of their activities. Yet this underground movement continued to grow.

This mission got a tremendous boost when Bakir bin Mahaan, a great supporter of the Abbasids who also happened to be very wealthy, joined this movement in 105 A.H. In the mean time Maisarah, the leader of this movement in Kufa died, and Imam Muhammad (the title “Imam” now shifting to him from his father) then appointed Bakir bin Mahaan as his point man in Kufa.

Throughout this phase of the movement Imam Muhammad bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Abbas was in constant touch with his followers thus keeping a close tab on the progress of his mission in Khorasan. He used to meet with his followers during each Hajj season and give them advice and guidance to carry out their activities in Khorasan. (He did not want to give any inkling of his secret mission to Umayyads by traveling to Khorasan.)

As for those who were killed in his movement Imam Muhammad thanked God for having accepted their sacrifice for the sake of truth. When the Umayyad governor of Khorasan Asad died Imam Muhammad’s movement in Khorasan caught further speed and momentum.

But before he could realize his dream Imam Muhammad died in Hamima in 126 A.H. and his son Imam Ibrahim (the title “Imam” shifting once again from his father to him) took over his mission. Shortly thereafter, Bakir bin Mahaan also died in Kufa and Imam Ibrahim appointed Mahaan’s son-in-law Abu Salmah Khalal Hafs in his place.

Imam Ibrahim gave his father’s movement (against the Umayyads) even greater impetus than his father. The stage was now set for this movement to enter its next phase as it had gathered enough strength and power to challenge the Umayyads, who, by now had been weakened by constant bickering and rivalry within their own ranks. (For example, when Walid (the second) became the Umayyad Caliph his cousin Yazid (not to be confused with Yazid bin Mu’awiyaa) got him killed and declared himself the Caliph.)

While all these internal family strives were going on within the ranks of the Umayyads dynasty Imam Ibrahim plotted his next move. There was a slave in the service of Imam Ibrahim whose name was Abu Muslim Khorasani. He was given to his father Imam Muhammad in 125 A.H. by Bakir bin Mahaan who had bought him from Isa bin Mu’aqqil and who had educated and trained him in Shiite faith. Abu Muslim Khorasani was extremely brave and courageous person. Seeing that Umayyads have become weak Imam Ibrahim selected Abu Muslim Khorasani to lead the next phase of his father’s movement in Khorasan against the Umayyads. Imam Ibrahim wrote his followers in Khorasan to obey the orders of Abu Muslim Khorasani. And Imam Ibrahim gave following instructions to Abu Muslim Khorasani while dispatching him to Khorasan:

Remember that you have a special place in our family! Try to get the loyalty of the Yemenites because of their opposition to the Umayyads due to tribal rivalry. You would not be successful in your mission without their support. Never trust anyone from the tribe of Rabiyah (the Kharajites). Eliminate – even kill – as many Arabs as you may think fit to achieve your goal. If you doubt anyone then kill him.

Abu Muslim reached Khorasan in 128 A.H. and took advantage of the differences and enmities among the Arab tribes there. He did this for a year to consolidate his position in Khorasan. Then he wrote a threatening letter to Nasr bin Sayyar, the Umayyad governor of Khorasan at the time. Thinking that it is an isolated incident Nasr sent his men to arrest Abu Muslim Khorasani. But Abu Muslim Khorasani’s men were ready for the encounter and they quickly overpowered and defeated the Nasr’s men. Since Abu Muslim Khorasani was instructed by Imam Ibrahim to always fight in the name of Ahlul Bayt (the foundation of Shiite faith) people of Khorasan started flocking to Abu Muslim’s side in droves.

Thus the Abbasids who had patiently built their underground network of supporters for 29 years, were now fully prepared and waiting to take on the once mighty Umayyads who, by now, had become weak due to internal fighting but, nevertheless, were still drunk with arrogance of imperial power. The secret scheme having been hatched against them by Imam Muhammad was now being given final touches by Imam Ibrahim. Slowly but surely the noose had been tightening secretly around their neck for all these years, and the Umayyads were not even aware of it. Further, to the delight of Imam Ibrahim, Abu Muslim Khorasani turned out to be a savvy military commander and a shrewd political strategist. Imam Ibrahim could not have asked for a better person than Abu Muslim Khorasani to lead the military phase of his father’s campaign against the Umayyads.

Now, Nasr bin Sayyar, the Umayyad governor of Khorasan thinking that Abu Muslim Khorasani was a lone ranger (and was not part of a larger network controlled by Imam Ibrahim of the Abbasids), and finding that Abu Muslim’s greatest support came from people of Persian descent, tried to unite different Arab tribes who had settled in Khorasan but were beset by their own tribal rivalries and infighting. Nasr (who was from Bani Kananah tribe) wrote to Sheiban, the leader of the Rabiyah tribe that we should forget our differences and unite our efforts to deal with our common enemy: Abu Muslim Khorasani and his people, the non-Arabs. Nasr also invited the Yemenite leader Jadi’y bin Shabib (aka Kermani) to join hands in this common Arab cause.

But, Kermani did not agree to join hands with Nasr. So, Nasr got him killed. Now, Kermani’s son Ali rose up in anger and started organizing his Yemenite tribe to take revenge against Nasr for his (Ali’s) father’s killing.

Here was a perfect opportunity for Abu Muslim Khorasani to exploit for his Master’s (i.e., Imam Ibrahim’s) political end. And he did. He wrote to Ali that if you want to take revenge for your father’s murder then have a meeting with Sheiban and try to persuade him not to join hands with Nasr. What happened next? And how was Abu Muslim Khrasani able to defeat the Umayyads and finally extinguish the flame of their Caliphate? We will discuss these in the next issue.

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