Upon returning to Kufa, Imam Ali (AS) immediately prepared for the anticipated
clash with Mu'awiya. The defying Mu'awiya continued to violate the Islamic
principles by personally using the public treasury for espionage and buying
The people of Syria fully believed him and the in false picture he presented.
Ultimately this resulted in a confrontation called Battle of Siffin when the
troops of the two sides met at Siffin.
The battle saw ferocious fighting for nine days when Mu'awiya's forces were near
collapse. His troops were fleeing and in disarray, and their retreat was in
massive disorder, running helter skelter. Mu'awiya, alarmed, tense, and
frightened, preparing to run away, when he learned of a clever trick.
The trick was indecent and unbecoming, it was to make the Holy Quran as an
instrument and exploit it, to use it as a tool to his advantage. Mu'awiya seized
on this immediately and commanded his fighters to raise 500 Holy Qurans on tips
of spears, in order to stun the troops of Imam Ali. As jolting as it was, this
maneuver did break the onslaught and the momentum of Ali's fighters, for they
were very pious men.
But Imam Ali was quick to recognize this deceit, he knew how deceptive Mu'awiya
was, and now that being near collapse, Mu'awiya wanted to save his neck at the
expense of the Quran itself.
With that in mind, Ali (AS) urged his generals not to halt, but to keep fighting
since victory was almost at hand. Alas, Ali's generals and fighters were in
shock, for the sight of the Holy Quran high on spear heads was startling to say
the least. They could not take it.
Not willing to fight, they wanted to accept Mu'awiya's offer to halt the
fighting and negotiate instead. The termination of the battle in this manner and
the consequences thereof proved to be disastrous to say the least, especially
for Ahlul Bayt and Islam.
It is said that there was a conspiracy between Amr Ibnil Aas of Mu'awiya's side,
and Ash'ath Ibn Qais, a General in Imam Ali's camp, who was working as a spy
against Ali, secretly working as an agent for Mu'awiya. In this battle 45,000
men lost their lives in Mu'awiya's camp, and about 25,000 in Ali's (AS) camp.
Many men of high caliber from both sides died, especially Ammar Ibn Yasir, the
great Companion of the Prophet (pbuh&hh), who was 90 years old and fought on
Imam Ali's side against Mu'awiya.