Abdullah B Saba عبدالله بن سبا
Also known as Ibn Sawda`, he is a much controversial figure because of his secret activities. A former Yemeni JJew who embraced Islam and travelled through Hejaz, Basra and Kufa. He worked among the ignorant masses and spread the message of `Ali’s divinity and the belief that the Prophet was about to return. After having won some following in Iraq, he headed for the main Syrian city, Dimashq, in the days of `Uthman ibn Affan. The people of Dimashq threw him out for his blasphemies. He travelled to Egypt. There he invoked dissatisfaction against the rule of `Uthman and influenced some people so powerfully that they headed to Madinah, joined up there by other dissidents and `Ali-lovers from Kufa, Basra and other places, demanding `Uthman’s dismissal. His followers believed in transmigration of the soul, its return, and that `Ali was in the clouds. When the clouds thundered they said `Ali was angry. It was, ironically, `Ali who put Ibn Saba` to death. One report says he burnt him in the 38th year after Hijrah. (But another report says he was exiled by `Ali to Sabat).