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In the Name of God بسم الله
Follower of Ahlulbayt

Number of People At Siffeen and Jamal

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Many times you hear the speakers on the minbars say 'thousands died during the battles of jamal and siffeen'. However, I have heard the opponents say that there was less than a hundred people who participated. So what historical evidences are there to know the number of people that died during these battles?

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According to Massoudi, among the companions of Jamal (the oath breakers), twenty-three thousand people were killed, four thousand and, according to a saying, less than two thousand and one hundred from Zaja tribe, and the rest of the other people and close to a thousand companions of Ali  (As) were killed. [29]
In the battle of Jamal around the Aisha camel, ten thousand people were killed, half of Ali's friends and half of Ayesha's companions. [30]
According to another saying, ten thousand people from Basra were killed and five thousand people were killed from Kufa. Also on that day, seventy old men were killed from Bani Adi, all of whom were Quranic reciters. These statistics are except-youths and non-reciters. [31]

In some other historical sources, the number of dead companions was between 6,000 and 25,000, and the number of martyrs of the Imam Ali (PBUH) army ranged from 400 to 5,000. [32]



number of Imam Ali (as) army:90,000   martyr:25,000

Muawiah (la):85,000  dead:45,000







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Got some numbers from kitab sulaym:

 "I went towards them (people of jamal) with 12,000 people and they were more than 12000. Allah gave us victory over them and got them killed through our hands and cured the hearts of the faithfuls. O ibn Qays, how did you find the incident of our Siffin and through our hands Allah got their 50000 men killed at the same place who went to Hell?


"Aban ibn Abi Ayyash said that he heard Sulaym ibn Qays saying: “I was present with Ali (AS) on the Day of Jamal. We were all 12,000 and the people of Jamal were more than 120,000."

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There might be exaggeration on both sides, but its unthinkable that "less than 100 people" participated

since there was no formal military units and it was based collection of tribal units and their clients we may never know the exact figure

I have read with my own eyes a report in Istiab by Ibn Abd Birr that Abdul rehman b abza ( who was a companion) said that 800 companions of prophet alone participated in siffin on the side of Ali and atleast 140 are known by name.On the side of muawiyah some 30 companions of the prophet participated and are known by name.This is just sahaba and if you count tabeen and their retainers and slaves the number is atleast in the tens of thousands.

Although when we talk about numbers > 100000  it seems impossible from a logistical standpoint that such a huge number of manpower was mobilized and deployed for weeks to months without benefit of railways.The amount of provisions needed to sustain such a force with its animals and other associatted supplies would have overwhelmed the nascent transport network of that period.

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Per Ibn Kathir's al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, he has estimated that around 10,000 people died (on both sides). 

Ibn Kathir is most likely using al-Tabari's Tarikh, vol.4, pg. 529 in which he quotes "10,000 people were killed; half of them from Imam `Ali (i.e. 5,000), and the other half from `A'ishah (i.e. 5,000)" (كَانَ قتلى الجمل حول الجمل عشرة آلاف، نصفهم من أَصْحَاب علي، ونصفهم من أَصْحَاب عَائِشَة)


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Among the people who were present in the battle of Jamal on the side of Amir al-muminin there were one hundred and thirty Badries (those who participated in the battle of Badr with the Holy Prophet) and seven hundred of those who were present in the 'pledge of ar-Ridwan' (Bay`atu'r-Ridwan) which took place under a tree. (adh-Dhahabi, Tarikh al-lslam, vol. 2, p. 171; Khalifah ibn Khayyat, at-Tarikh vol. 1, p. 164). Those who were killed in the battle of Jamal from the side of Amir al-muminin numbered some five hundred (some said that the number of martyrs were more than that). But on the side of the people of Jamal twenty thousand were killed. (al-`lqd al-farid, vol. 4, p. 326).
Among those who were present in the battle of Siffin on the side of Amir al-mu'minin, there were eighty Badries and eight hundred of those who gave the Holy Prophet the 'pledge of ar-Ridwan.' (al-Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 104 al-Isti`a'b, vol. 3, p. 1138; al-Isabah, vol. 2, p. 389; at-Tarikh, al-Ya`qubi, vol. 2, p. 188).
On the side of Mu`awiyah forty-five thousand were killed, and on the side of Amir al-muminin twenty-five thousand. Among these martyrs (of Amir al-mu'minin) there were twenty-five or twenty-six Badries and sixty-three or three hundred and three of the people of the 'pledge of ar-Ridwan'. (Siffin, p. 558; al-Isti`ab, vol. 2, p. 389, Ansab al-ashraf, p. 322; Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, vol. 10, p. 104; Abu'l-Fida' vol. 1, p. 175, Ibn al-Wardi, at-Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 240; Ibn Kathir, vol. 7, p. 275; Tarikh al-khamis, vol. 2, p. 277)



but I take all those figures with a pinch of salt 

Edited by Panzerwaffe

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