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Ibn Muljam al-Muradi

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Ibn Muljam al-Muradi
Murderer of Imam Ali (a)
Full Name 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Amr b. Muljam al-Muradi
Religious Affiliation Kharijite
Lineage Murad
Place of Residence Kufa
Death 40/661
Cause of Death He was killed by Imam al-Hasan (a)
Burial Place Kufa
Era Early Islam
Known for Murderer of Imam Ali (a)
Activities Being among Kharijite, Participating in the battle of Nahrawan

ʿAbd al-Rahmān b. ʿAmr b. Muljam al-Murādī (Arabic:عبدالرحمن بن عمرو بن ملجم المرادي),known as Ibn Muljam al-Murādī (Arabic:إبن ملجم المرادي) was the Kharijite assassin of Ali b. Abi Talib (a), the first Imam of Shi'a. He took the oath of allegiance to Imam Ali (a) when he became the caliph of Muslims. Also he fought alongside Imam Ali (a) in the battle of Jamal, however after the arbitration after the Battle of Siffin, Ibn Muljam joined Kharijites. Ibn Muljam fought against Imam Ali (a) in the Battle of Nahrawan, and he was among the few surviving Kharijites. He assassinated Ali b. Abi Talib (a) on the 19th of Ramadan; afterwards he was executed by the sole hit of sword of Imam al-Hasan (a). He is known as "the most miserable of the first and the last generations" and "the worst evil of all" in hadiths of Ahl al-Bayt (a).

Birth and Lineage

His birth time is unknown, but it is said he has lived in Jahiliyya era. According to Ibn Sa'd: He was a member of Murad tribe that were allies with Kinda tribe. In a number of sources, he was regarded as a member of Tajub tribe, a tribe from Humayr family, who were allies with Murad tribe. As al-Baladhuri said: Tajub was grandfather of Ibn Muljam.

Motives of Assassination

Numerous reasons were mentioned for his motive on assassination of Ali b. Abi Talib (a):

According to Ibn Sa'd, he has assassinated Imam Ali (a) in order to seek revenge: After Kharijites were defeated in the Battle of Nahrawan, three surviving members, 'Abd al-Rahman b. Muljam, Ibn 'Abd Allah al-Tamimi, and 'Amr b. Bukayr al-Tamimi gathered around in Mecca and planned to simultaneously assassin Imam Ali (a), Mu'awiya and 'Amr b. al-'As. 'Abd al-Rahman was set for assassination of Imam Ali (a) then he traveled to Kufa, where he met his Kharijite allies. He fell in love with Qatam, the attractive daughter of Shajna b. 'Adyy, and proposed to her. Qatam's father and brother were slayed in the Battle of Nahrrawan; therefore, she accepted his proposal under some conditions; one of them was assassination of Imam Ali (a).

According to Ahmad b. A'tham al-Kufi, Ibn Muljam has assassinated Imam Ali (a) only because of Qatam's condition for their marriage: After the Battle of Nahrawan, just before Imam Ali (a) returns the city, Ibn Muljam informed Kharijites about their defeat to Imam Ali's army. After a while, he fell in love with Qatam, daughter of Adba' al-Tamimi, and proposed to her. On the 23rd of Ramadan, 'Abd al-Rahman was drunk in Qatam's house. She woke him up for the Fajr praying time and sent him to the Mosque of Kufa. Then Ibn Muljam assassinated Imam AliAli (a) with a poison-coated sword, while Imam was in Sajda in the Fajr prayer.

Assassination of Imam Ali (a)

According to Shi'ite sources, Ibn Muljam al-Muradi has assassinated Imam Ali (a) in the dawn of 19th of Ramadan, 40/January 29, 661 with a poison-coated sword; he hit Imam's head while he was in Sajda of Fajr prayer.

Curse of Angels

According to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), When Ibn Muljam hit Imam Ali (a), there appeared an impact on the figure of Imam Ali (a) among angles, and afterwards every morning and evening, when angels visit the figure, they curse Ibn Muljam until the Judgment Day.

His Fate

O sons of 'Abd al-Muttalib, certainly I do not wish to see you plunging harshly into the blood of Muslims shouting "Amir al-Mu'minin has been killed." Beware, do not kill on account of me except my killer. Wait till I die by his (Ibn Muljam's) existing stroke. Then strike him one stroke for his stroke and do not dismember the limbs of the man, for I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, "Avoid cutting limbs even though it may be a rabid dog."

Nahj al-balagha, letter 47: Will To al-Hasan (a) and al-Husayn (a) after he was wounded by 'Abd al-Rahman b. Muljam

Different fates have been mentioned for ibn Muljam al-Muradi in historical books. However it is well-known that Imam Ali (a) ordered his sons to behave with him fairly and equally. After Imam Ali (a) was martyred, Imam al-Hasan (a) gave equal punishment to Ibn Muljam; he was slayed with only one equal hit of sword on 21st of Ramadan/January 31. It is also well-known that Umm al-Haytha, daughter of Aswad al-Nakha'i took Ibn Muljam's body and set it on fire.

Burial Place

According to Ibn Batuta: When I traveled Kufa, on the west side of the cemetery of Kufa, I saw a black spot on a vast white land. I asked for its reason, people believed it was the burial site where assassin of Ali b. Abi Talib (a), Ibn Muljam, has been buried. Every year people of Kufa, gather woods on his grave and set them on fire for seven consecutive days.

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