Ali was the Fourth Caliphate where disturbance (fitnah) and civil war began among the Muslims themselves. They couldn’t agree on who should be the caliph. So, they fought each other.
What was interesting in the period is that Aisha, Mohammad’s child bride, wanted Ali killed because when she was accused of adultery. Ali told Muhammad to stone her.
It was this intense anger in 656 that led her to form an army and fight against Ali. She lost but was kept alive in hopes of uniting Muslims. It did not work.
Ali was assassinated in 661 and the new Caliph was Muawiya, but the Muslims in Iraq rejected him and supported Ali’s son, Hasan ibn Ali as caliph.
However, Muawiya offered Hasan five million dirhams to back off. Thus, Hasan was bought off – so much for true religion.
Muawiya was the first caliph that was not a companion of Mohammad, which angered many Muslims to the point of anarchy.
In 670, Muawiya attacked Constantinople.
This was significant because Mohammad said the first follower to invade Caesar’s city will be forgiven his sins.
So, here, Muslims believed Mohammad had the power to forgive sins, simulating Christ. They lost that battle because of their opponents had a “Greek Fire”- a flame thrower device. The jihadis were defeated. As a result, Muawiya turned his anger towards his internal enemies and poisoned them in 670, establishing a precedent used many, many times.
Jihad was continued beyond Persia into Afghanistan by Muawiya and he made the caliphate into a family dynasty thereby, solidifying his progeny to leadership positions within Islam. This went over like a lead balloon and caused the second fitnah (disturbance) where Muslims fought and killed Muslims, just like today. This division was the beginning of the Shia vs the Sunni conflict. The Shias followed Imams and the Sunnis followed caliphs and resulted in much persecution of the Sunnis to this day.
The Islamic wars continued, but met a great defeat in North Africa in 698.
The Byzantines allied with the Christian king Kusaila. They ambushed the Muslims and drove them out of Algeria and modern day Tunisia. The jihad warriors loses we so great that they withdrew from Crete and Rhodes as well.
However, in 700, the Muslims returned to North Africa and won it back. All churches could no longer bear crosses and had to post signs on their doors reading: “Muhammad is the great apostle of God, and Jesus is the apostle of God” (but he was not the son of God).
All this went on while infighting within the Muslims continued.
This rings true to the biblical prophecy that Ishmael (father of the Muslims) would be like “a wild donkey of a man and his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him ” (Genesis 16:12). God’s covenant was with Isaac, not Ishmael, who was Isaac’s half brother by an Egyptian handmaid. Even Ishmael’s son killed Isaac’s descendants Jeremiah 41:3, their half brother. Ishmael’s son used deceit to slay Jews and take their treasures -Jeremiah 41. So it is even today- killing and deceit for the purpose of booty and power.
At this time jihad continued into Spain, India and another war against Constantinople.
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