The insurgents’ shameful act of assassinating Hazrat Usman could have never been imagined by Hazrat Ali or any other eminent Companion in Madinah. It came as a total shock to Hazrat Ali (, may Allah be pleased with him.) whose two sons, Hazrat Hassan and Hussain (, may Allah be pleased with him.) were guarding the gate of Hazrat Usman’s residence. The insurgents, after climbing the back wall of the residence, had assassinated the Khalifah.
The assassination of Hazrat Usman was in fact an idea used to create division amongst the Muslim Community, which was the goal of the cursed Abdullah Bin Saba and his followers (the insurgents), and they achieved it.

After the assassination of Hazrat Usman, the insurgents virtually controlled the Capital of Madinah for several days. The Muslims were in pain and shock, and sat behind closed doors. After the assassination of Hazrat Usman (, may Allah be pleased with him.), an unprecedented calamity had befallen the Muslims and for three days, Madinah was without any government.

Afterwards, the insurgents approached Hazrat Ali (, may Allah be pleased with him.) to be the Khalifah. Egyptians led by Ibn Saba and Ghafqi were the main group of insurgents behind the proposal for the Khilafat of Hazrat Ali (, may Allah be pleased with him.). Hazrat Ali first declined to bear the responsibility of this great office. But the insurgents pressed him to accept it. As a matter of fact, Hazrat Ali wanted to approach Hazrat Talha and Hazrat Zubair (, may Allah be pleased with him.) who were included in the panel of the six persons appointed by Hazrat Umar (, may Allah be pleased with him.) to select a Khalifah. He wanted to take pledge of loyalty at the hands of any of these two gentlemen.
But in the end, pressed by the threats of the regicides, he decided to put the matter before the Muslim public in the Mosque of Rasulallah , peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Most of the Companions in Madinah considered him to be the fittest person for Khilafat after Hazrat Usman (, may Allah be pleased with him.). He then agreed to take the responsibility and gave his consent.

On 21st Dhul-Hijjah 35 A.H., pledge of loyalty took place at the hands of Hazrat Ali (, may Allah be pleased with him). First of all, the leading insurgents took the pledge of loyalty at his hands, followed by the general public of Madinah. Hazrat Talha and Zubair (, may Allah be pleased with him.) did not want to take a pledge until the case of Hazrat Usman’s assassination was decided. Before that, Hazrat Ali had offered the office of Khilafat to both of them but they had declined.
However, under the threats of insurgents, they took the pledge of loyalty at Hazrat Ali’s hands, on one condition, “You (i.e. Hazrat Ali) have to decide matters according to the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, and punish the guilty according to Islamic Law.” Hazrat Ali (, may Allah be pleased with him.) agreed to their conditions. Hazrat Sa’d bin Waqqas said that he would take pledge when all the Muslims had done so. The following Companions did not take pledge at the hands of Hazrat Ali (, may Allah be pleased with him.): Hazrat Muhammad bin Muslimah, Usamah bin Zaid, Hassan bin Thabit, Ka’b bin Malik, Abu Sa’id Khudri, Nu’man bin Bashir, Zaid bin Thabit, Mughirah bin Shu’bah and Abdullah bin Salam. Most of the members of Banu Umayyah (Hazrat Usman’s family) also did not take pledge of loyalty at Hazrat Ali’s hands. Some of those who did not take the pledge of loyalty went to Syria.

However, the majority of the Muslims in Madinah took pledge at the hands of Hazrat Ali. According to Ahle Sunnah wal Jamaat, Hazrat Ali was the most suitable and the fittest person for Khilafat after Hazrat Usman (, may Allah be pleased with him.). If some of the Companions did not take pledge at his hands, it was because of the political situation of that time, and it did not mean that his Khilafat was not accepted by the Muslim majority.
Besides Hazrat Ali (, may Allah be pleased with him.), nobody including Hazrat Mu’awiyah (, may Allah be pleased with him.) claimed to be the Khalifah at that time. The difference between them was the question of how to punish the assassins, which took the shape of various battles. As it would be seen afterwards, Hazrat Amir Mu’awiyah (, may Allah be pleased with him.) declared his Khilafat only after the death of Hazrat Ali (, may Allah be pleased with him.). Hazrat Ali was declared to be the Khalifah, not only by the insurgents, but by the Muslim public as well including the leading Ansar and Muhajirin.

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