Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Siffin (657)

Today is (give or take) the anniversary of the start of the Battle of Siffin, the key battle of the First Fitna (civil war) in Islamic history, about which you can read more here. The Caliph, Ali, led an army of 80,000 men (allegedly) against the governor of Syria, MuÊ¿awiyah, and his 120,000 man army … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Siffin (657)

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Islamic History, Part 13: Ali’s Caliphate (656-661) and the First Fitna

Islamic History Series Before you read this one, please read part 12 of the series, on Ali and his accession to the Caliphate. Ali's record as Caliph is incomplete, to say the least. He reigned for a mere 5 years, and most of that time was occupied by answering the many direct challenges that were … Continue reading Islamic History, Part 13: Ali’s Caliphate (656-661) and the First Fitna