By R. Stephen Humphreys
Prior to the caliphate of the 'Uthman b. 'Affan, the Muslim group had grown from energy to energy despite a sequence of significant crises--the Hirah, the dying of the Prophet, the Riddah wars, the assassination of 'Umar by means of a Persian slave. yet 'Uthman's reign led to disaster. His lack of ability to control the social and political conflicts that have been now rising between quite a few factions in the neighborhood ended in his demise by the hands of Muslim rebels. the implications of this tragic occasion have been sour: not just a century of civil warfare, but in addition political and non secular schisms of such intensity that they have got now not been fullyyt healed even now. so much medieval Muslim historians advised this tale in an openly partisan demeanour, yet al-Tabari calls for extra of his readers. to start with, they need to make a decision for themselves, at the foundation of hugely ambigous facts, even if 'Uthman's demise was once tyrannicide or homicide. yet, greater than that, they need to ask how any such factor may have occurred in any respect; what had the Muslims performed to lead to the near-destruction in their neighborhood?
Al-Tabari provides this problem inside of a vast framework. For, even whereas the inner hindrance that issued in 'Uthman's loss of life used to be coming to a head, the wars opposed to Byzantium and Persia persevered. the 1st expeditions into North Africa, the conquest of Cyprus, the temporary destruction of the Byzantine fleet on the conflict of the Masts, the bloody campaigns in Armenia, the Caucasus, and Khurasan are all right here, in narratives that shift continuously among tough reporting and pious legend. Muslim forces preserve the offensive, yet there are not any less difficult victories; henceforth, soreness and patience could be the hallmarks of the hero. so much evocative within the mild of 'Uthman's destiny is the relocating account of the homicide of the final Sasanian king, Yazdagird III--a guy betrayed by means of his nobles and topics, yet so much of all by way of his personal personality.