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Ṣiffīn, Battle of

(899 words)

Author(s): Dakake, Maria Massi
Battle which took place during the first civil war between the fourth caliph (q.v.), ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (q.v.), and Muʿāwiya b. Abī Sufyān, governor of Syria, in Ṣafar 37/July 657. Muʿāwiya, facing removal from his post by ʿAlī, decided to revive the cause of a recently defeated coalition of Medinan religious elite who had demanded that ʿAlī punish the assassins of his caliphal predecessor, ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān (see ʿuthmān ). ʿAlī refused to do so, given his ambivalence about ʿUthmān's assassination (Ṭabarī, Taʾrīkh, i, 3275-8; Balādhurī, Ansāb, ii, 194-7; Minqarī, Waqʿa, 31-3, 58, 82; see po…