The treaty of peace between Hazrat Ali (AS) and Moavia threw cold water on the burning plan of undermining the solidarity of Islam. The miscreants were extremely opposed to this unity because a stable Government would take them to task for their mischief. They held a secret meeting at Mecca and hatched a plan to do away with Hazrat Ali (AS), Moavia and Amr bn al’As, who were the chief characters in the drama. Three extremists were deputed to put this evil design into practice on the same day and at the appointed time. Abdur Rahman bin Muljam was to slay Hazrat Ali (AS), Barak bin Abdullah was to murder Moavia and Amir bin Barak was to kill Amr bin al’As respectively. They solemnly resolved either to accomplish the task or perish on the spot. On the seventeenth of Ramadan 40 A.H., three dissenters made a murderous attack on their victims according to their prepared plan. Barak failed in this mission regarding the murder of Moavia. He made an attack on him and inflicted a slight would. The assailant was arrested and executed. Fortunately, Amr did not come to the mosque to conduct the prayers owing to illness and remained safe and sould Unfortunately, the venture of Abdur Rahman ibn Muljam proved successful. Early on a Friday morning when the dark of night was slowly dissipating, Hazrat Ali (AS) proceeded to the Mosque where Ibn Muljam had concealed himself. While Hazrat Ali (AS) was raising his head from prostration, he attacked him with his sharp sword which inflicted a fatal would on his fore-head. A lot of blood gushed forth from the injury and the beard of Hazrat Ali (AS) was thoroughly drenched. The murderer was caught red-handed and produced before the Caliph. The Caliph did not utter even a single word of condemnation and simply gave a parting advice: “Beware! Execute none but my murderer. Remember that if I die of his blow, kill him with only one blow. Do not cut off his limbs because it is against the teachings of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). In case I survive, I will deal with him as I think proper. As long as I am alive, he must not be tortured. He should be comfortably accommodated and well-fed. O People! Death is inevitably. Every one has to taste it. I advise you not to make any person an accomplice of Allah. Always follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). Keep these two lamps bright. You shall be safe from sins if you illuminate your hearts and minds with them. Tomorrow you will find this body deprived of the soul. This moving body shall stop moving. This tongue shall not speak. My spoken words shall guide you in every walk of life. Now you will find my place vacant and then you shall know my worth. You shall miss me when another shall succeed to the Caliphate after me. Good-bye to all of you”.
Gradually, his condition grew serious and the hope of his survival became dimmer. The dying Caliph constantly repeated these verses of the Holy Quran: “And whoso does good even equal to an atom’s weight, shall be judged accordingly; and whoso does evil even equal to an atom’s weight, shall be judged accordingly”.
The same evening his spirit departed in the contemplation of Allah. He was sixty-three at the time of death. Thus the lamp of learning was extinguished and the fountain of justice dried up. After his death, Ibn Muljam was committed to the flames. The conscience of the Muslims was extremely stirred to hear the news of his martyrdom. They were deprived of his instructions and guidance.
After the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (AS), the curse of discord crept into the universal brotherhood of Islam and the Muslim solidarity was rent asunder by angry passions and the love of power. Many evils arose from the revolutionary instincts and lawlessness.