In the 40th year of Hijri, in the small hours of the morning of 19th Ramadan, Hazrat Maula Ali (may allah be pleased with him ) was struck with a poisoned sword by the Kharijite Ibn Maljam while offering his prayers in the Masjid of Kufa, he died on the 21st day of Ramadan 40 A.H. The Khawarij were power hungry people who wore the mask of Islam to hide thier true selves. They killed many innocent people and also looted thier wealth and appeared as a group during the outbreak of the civil war when there muslims were divided into two seperate groups. They emerged as third group from among the other two groupss. Hazrat Ali R.A defated them in the battle of Nahrwan. The Khawarij had a habit of labelling Muslims with Shirk and Kufr and killing them and taking thier wealth. Thier inner intenstions were all about wealth, power and Greed which they hid and outwardy pretended to be good muslims and pretended to Believe in Allah and his messenger and the last day. They caused huge loss of innocent muslim lives. The Khawarij also declared that Madina the Holy City was a place of Shirk and Biddat. The Jihad of Hazrat Ali with the Khawarij and the Shahadat of Hazrat Ali Radiaalahu taala anhu was prophesized by Prophet Muhammed (blessings and peace be upon him) himself "In truth there will be, among you, one who shall fight over the interpretation of the Qurían just as I fought over its revelation." Abu Bakr(may allah be pleased with him ) and `Umar (may allah be pleased with him ) asked: "Am I he?"The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said: "No, it is the one who is mending the shoes." He had given his shoes to `Ali (may allah be pleased with him ) to mend. The Prophet also predicted `Aliís (may allah be pleased with him ) martyrdom with the words: "This shall be dyed red from this" and he pointed to `Aliís(may allah be pleased with him ) beard and head respectively. The Plot After the battle of Nahrwan, the Khawarij had gone underground. As a matter of fact, they were as much against Hazrat Ali (R.A.) as they were against Hazrat Mu'awiyah (R.A.). They were still working against the Khilafat and were greatly disgusted with the civil war that seemed endless. To end this state of affairs, they worked out a dangerous plot. According to them, Muslims were divided because of differences between Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Amir Mu'awiyah. They also disliked Hazrat Amr ibn As and considered him as chief planner for Hazrat Amir Mu'awiyah. They decided, therefore, to assassinate all three of them. It was planned that the three personalities would be struck at the same time on the same day. The three persons, appointed to assassinate Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Mu'awiyah, and Hazrat Amr ibn As (Rid. A.) were Abdur Rehman Muljam, Bark ibn 'Abdullah, and Amr ibn Bark respectively. The early hours of the 17th of Ramadan, 40 A.H., was fixed for the assassination. After the Fajr Salat of the 17th Ramadan in the year 40 A.H. (661 A.D.), the three appointed Khariji assassins struck the three men. Hazrat Amir Mu'awiyah escaped with a scratch, Hazrat Amr ibn As did not turn out for the Imamat because he was sick that day thus he was unhurt, but Hazrat Ali (R.A.) was mortally wounded with the poisoned sword of Ibn Muljam. He passed away in the evening of Ramadan 20, 40 A.H. Ibn Muljam was caught by the people after he had struck Hazrat Ali. Hazrat Ali asked the Muslims to slay him if he died. While he was passing away, Hazrat Ali called his sons and advised them to serve Islam and to be good with the Muslims. When somebody asked him if the Muslims should take pledge of loyalty at the hands of his elder son, Hazrat Hassan R.A , he replied, "I leave this decision to the Muslims." He also advised people not to kill any person other than the assassin to avenge him. He was 63 years old at the time of his death, which is the same age at which Rasulallah himself passed away. Hazrat Ali ruled for four years and nine months as the Khalifah The Holy Prophet Muhammed S.A.S prophesized them as a group of people who would follow Islaam, they would read quraan as well as fast and perform prayers but they would have disrespect for the Holy Prophet Muhammed Salalaahu Alaihi wassallam, they would treat him as an ordinary person disconnected from Allah who can make mistakes and errors. Prophecy of The Khawarij: Sahih Bukhari Volume 005, Book 059, Hadith Number 638. Sahih Bukhari Book 59. Military Expeditions Led by the Prophet (PBUH) (Al-Maghaazi) Narrated By Abu Said Al-Khudri : 'Ali bin Abi Talib sent a piece of gold not yet taken out of its ore, in a tanned leather container to Allah's Apostle. Allah's Apostle distributed that amongst four Persons: 'Uyaina bin Badr, Aqra bin Habis, Zaid Al-Khail and the fourth was either Alqama or Amir bin At Tufail. On that, one of his companions said, "We are more deserving of this (gold) than these (persons)." When that news reached the Prophet , he said, "Don't you trust me though I am the truth worthy man of the One in the Heavens, and I receive the news of Heaven (i.e. Divine Inspiration) both in the morning and in the evening?" There got up a man with sunken eyes, raised cheek bones, raised forehead, a thick beard, a shaven head and a waist sheet that was tucked up and he said, "O Allah's Apostle! Be afraid of Allah." The Prophet said, "Woe to you! Am I not of all the people of the earth the most entitled to fear Allah?" Then that man went away. Khalid bin Al-Wahd said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shall I chop his neck off?" The Prophet said, "No, for he may offer prayers." Khalid said, "Numerous are those who offer prayers and say by their tongues (i.e. mouths) what is not in their hearts." Allah's Apostle said, "I have not been ordered (by Allah) to search the hearts of the people or cut open their bellies." Then the Prophet looked at him (i.e. that man) while the latter was going away and said, "From the offspring of this (man there will come out (people) who will recite the Qur'an continuously and elegantly but it will not exceed their throats. (They will neither understand it nor act upon it). They would go out of the religion (i.e. Islam) as an arrow goes through a game's body." I think he also said, "If I should be present at their time I would kill them as the nations a Thamud were killed.(because of the havoc they will cause and the innocent lives they will take)" Notice the behaviour of this person, even when the Holy Prophet Muhammed salalaahu alaihi wassallam said. "Don't you trust me though I am the truth worthy man of the One in the Heavens, and I receive the news of Heaven (i.e. Divine Inspiration) both in the morning and in the evening?" This person then got up an said O Allah's Apostle! Be afraid of Allah This statement shows that he belived the Holy Prophet Muhammed salalaahu alaihi wasallam to be Allah's Apostle but totally disregarded his exalted status and diregarded the fact that the Holy Prophet Muhammed Salalaahu Alaihi wasallam received Divine inspiration morning and evening. The following is another hadees of the same incident but has some other information. Sahih Bukhari Volume 009, Book 084, Hadith Number 067. Sahih Bukhari Book 84. Dealing with Apostates Narrated By Abu Sa'id : While the Prophet was distributing (something, 'Abdullah bin Dhil Khawaisira At-Tamimi came and said, "Be just, O Allah's Apostle!" The Prophet said, "Woe to you ! Who would be just if I were not?" 'Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "Allow me to cut off his neck ! " The Prophet said, " Leave him, for he has companions, and if you compare your prayers with their prayers and your fasting with theirs, you will look down upon your prayers and fasting, in comparison to theirs. Yet they will go out of the religion as an arrow darts through the game's body in which case, if the Qudhadh of the arrow is examined, nothing will be found on it, and when its Nasl is examined,nothing will be found on it; and then its Nadiyi is examined, nothing will be found on it. The arrow has been too fast to be smeared by dung and blood. The sign by which these people will be recognized will be a man whose one hand (or breast) will be like the breast of a woman (or like a moving piece of flesh). These people will appear when there will be differences among the people (Muslims)." Abu Sa'id added: I testify that I heard this from the Prophet and also testify that 'Ali killed those people while I was with him. The man with the description given by the Prophet was brought to 'Ali. The following Verses were revealed in connection with that very person (i.e., 'Abdullah bin Dhil-Khawaisira At-Tarnimi): 'And among them are men who accuse you (O Muhammad) in the matter of (the distribution of) the alms.' (9.58) Lets examine this great Bukhari hadees carefully, it directly says when these people will start to emerge "These people will appear when there will be differences among the people (Muslims)" After the Assasination of the Third Khalifa of Islaam , Hazrat Usmaan radiallahu taala anhu, Hazrat Ali radiallahu taala anhu was elected Khalifa, though he was not interested in Political rule he still agreed after seeing the dire situation. Then there emerged a huge division among the muslims and muslims were divided into two groups, one favoring Hazrat Amir Muawiya(radiallahu taala anhu) and one favoring Hazrat Ali radiallahu taala anhu. These people called the Khawarij emerged at this time. The Kharajites announced their policy which was as follows: "The Bai'at (pledge of loyalty) is only for Allah, and He alone is to be obeyed. To spread good and forbid evil according to the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah is our foremost duty. There exists neither a Khalifah nor an Amir. Both Hazrat Ali(May Allah be pleased with him) and Hazrat Mu'awiyah(May Allah be pleased with him) are in error. Hazrat Mu'awiyah(May Allah be pleased with him) is in error because he did not accept Hazrat Ali(May Allah be pleased with him), while Hazrat Ali(May Allah be pleased with him) is in error because he agreed on arbitration. After gaining power, we will set up a social order based on Allah's Book (the Holy Qur'an)." They also laid allegations of Kufr on Syedina Hazrat Ali Radiallahu taala anhu for accepting the arbitration of Hazrat Amir Muawiyah radiallahu taala anhu. There words inspired Tawheed and but thier intension was Evil and Baatil. They hid thier true selfes and intentions behind thier word. They had hatred against Hazrat Ali radiallahu taala anhu and they also declared people as Mushriks and started to loot them. The Khawarij were defeated in the Battle of Nahrawan after they caused a lot of Havoc, they were defeated by Syedina Hazrat Maula Ali radiallahu taala anhu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Nahrawan This Battle was already prophesized by the Holy Prophet Muhammed S.A.S himself. Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported from the Messenger of Allah (S.A.S) that a group (Khawarij) would emerge from the different parties (the party of Hadrat 'Ali and the party of Amir Mu'awiya), the group nearer the truth between the two would kill them. Sahih Muslim 1065 e In-book reference : Book 12, Hadith 198 USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 5, Hadith 2327 The above hadees also shows that party of Hazrat Ali R.A was on Haq and Truth and Hazrat Amir Muqwiya's party was further away from the Truth. The Army of Hazrat Ali R.A defated he Khawarij in the Battle of Nahrwan after they caused a huge havaoc and killing of innocent people. The few remaining ones had plotted the assasination of Hazrat Ali radiaallahu taala anhu Ibn Muljam was caught by the people after he had struck Hazrat Ali (may allah be pleased with him ). Hazrat Ali(may allah be pleased with him) asked the Muslims to slay him if he died. While he was passing away, Hazrat Ali called his sons and advised them to serve Islam and to be good with the Muslims. When somebody asked him if the Muslims should take pledge of loyalty at the hands of his elder son, Hazrat Hassan (may allah be pleased with him ), he replied, "I leave this decision to the Muslims." He also advised people not to kill any person other than the assassin to avenge him. Hazrat Ali Radiallahu taala anhu ruled for four years and nine months as the Khalifah Notice how Hazrat Ali radiallahu taala anhu did not enforce the Khilafat of his eldest son on the Ummah, Khilafat has always been about democracy,it was left to the muslims to elect thier Khalifa. Even the Holy Prophet Muhammed did not enforce and name the Khalifas during his time and left the muslims to decide, But he prophesized in an indirect way that Hazrat Abu Bakr(radiallahu taala anhu) and Hazrat Umar (radiallahu taala anhu) will be elected as the first Khalifas.