Imam Ali's (AS) generals, who stopped the battle to negotiate with Mu'awiya, did
not pick the right person for the negotiation. They unyieldingly refused to
accept Imam Ali's choice, instead they picked Kufa's Governor, Abu-Musa Ash'ari,
an incompetent Governor who had been previously dismissed from office by Imam
Ali. Mu'awiya appointed Amr Ibnil Aas, a shrewd and cunning man, to be his
representative in the negotiation. Negotiation between the two sides did not
take place for about one year.
When the two negotiators came face to face, it was clear that Ash'ari's
capability was no match for his opponent Ibnil Aas. In the negotiations, Ash'ari
proposed that, both Mu'awiya and Imam Ali (AS) were to abdicate and to let the
people hold election for the Khilaafah. Amr Ibnil Aas, a deceptive man at best,
quickly agreed to Ash'ari's proposal and asked Ash'ari to first announce the
Ash'ari stood up and announced, "O people, we have agreed not to consider Ali or
Mu'awiya for Khilaafah. You may choose or elect whomever you think is fit." The
cunning Amr Ibnil Aas stood up next to say, "O people! I won't consider Ali for
the Khilaafah. But Mu'awiya, in my opinion, is the person for that office!" Upon
hearing this (and feeling deceived), the people screamed disapprovingly, an
uproar was the result.
Imam Ali's (AS) camp was in shock, they were double-crossed, deceived and lied
to, they felt deeply cut. Amr's double crossing and deception was simply beyond
their imagination. They left the place bewildered and utterly disappointed.
Because of this a large group of Imam Ali's supporters defected to form a
separate group called Kharijies, meaning the Outsiders.
The Khariji became fanatically opposed to Imam Ali and Mu'awiya. Some of their
members met secretly in Mecca and drew a plan to assassinate Ali (AS) in Kufa,
Mu'awiya in Syria, and Amr Ibnil Aas in Egypt.
Three fanatics took the responsibility, they were to attack their victims in the
morning, the same day, as the would-be victims were going to the mosque to lead
the morning salat. Ibn Muljim attacked and fatally wounded Imam Ali (AS),
whereas Mu'awiya escaped with a light wound of his buttock. Amr Ibnil Aas was
ill that day and his replacement was killed by the Khariji.
Imam Ali (AS), in wounded condition, conferred the Imamah and the reign of the
Islamic nation to his 37 years old son Al-Hasan.