Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam

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Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam al-Muradi (Arabic: عبدالرحمن بن ملجم المرادي) was the Kharijite assassin of Ali ibn Abi Talib,[1] the first cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad.

A number of the Kharijites met in Mecca and remembered the Battle of Nahrawan that was fought in 659 by the Caliphate under Ali and the Kharijites in Baghdad which resulted in Khariji defeat. One of the Kharijis said "If we just bought ourselves revenge for the honour of our deceased brothers". They agreed to assassinate three of the leaders of Islam: ibn Muljam was to kill Ali, Alhujjaj Al Tamimi was to kill Muawiya, and Amr ibn Bakr Al Tamimi was to kill 'Amr ibn al-'Aas. The assassination attempts were to occur simultaneously as the three leaders came to lead the morning prayer (Faj'r) in their respective cities of Damascus, Fustat and Kufa. The method was to come out of the prayer ranks and strike the targets with a sword dipped in poison.[2]

Assassination of Ali[edit]

On 19 Ramadan 40 AH, which would correspond to January 26, 661 CE, while praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa, Ali was attacked by the Kharijite Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam. He was wounded by ibn Muljam's poison-coated sword while prostrating in the Fajr prayer.[3] Ali ordered his sons not to attack the Kharijites, instead stipulating that if he survived, ibn Muljam would be pardoned whereas if he died, ibn Muljam should be given only one equal hit (regardless of whether or not he died from the hit).[4]

Ali died two days later on January 28, 661 CE (21 Ramadan 40 A.H).[3] Hasan fulfilled Qisas and gave equal punishment to ibn Muljam upon Ali's death.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Cook, David (January 15, 2007). Martyrdom in Islam. Cambridge University Press. pp. 54–55. ISBN 0521615518. 
  3. ^ a b Tabatabaei 1979, p. 192
  4. ^ Kelsay 1993, p. 92
  5. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 309