Khurasan was the major troubled spot for the Umayyads since it was not only far from the capital but also it had its own problems such as tribal wars between the Arab immigrants, cruelties of the Umayyads prevalent there and relative political and economic independence which had made there an important center among the eastern provinces.
The formation of the crucial revolutions out there during the final years of the Umayyads ruling was not something which could be easily overlooked by them. And finally from the very same spot appeared a massive army that overthrew the Umayyads. Now the riot of Harith Ibn Surayj, one of the important riots, from 166 to 127 (A.H.) is to be discussed.
One of the riots against the Umayyads in Khurasan was Harith's that paved the ground for the 'Abbasids to do so and gain victory. Harith was an Arab from Tamim tribe who opposied the Umayyads rulers from 116 to 128 (A.H).
Khurasan not only was far from the capital, as a crucial center, but it was suffering from tribal discords as well. In addition the wrong treatment of the Arab caliphate of the Umayyads towards Mawali (freed slaves) was another problem. The cruelties of the Umayyads rulers, which were increasing day by day except the brief period in which 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz ruled, had resulted in some extended riots.
Zayd's riot which happened after the riot of Yazid Ibn Muhallab was a more significant one.1 His main intention was supporting religion and bringing justice to the society. Being at odds with the Umayyads rulers, Harith had repeatedly proposed the idea of counseling for appointing the ruler.2
The events regarding Harith's riot were described in Tabari and in other sources they were disregarded either completely or partially.
When Junayd 'Abd al-Rahman died in 116, Harith appreciated this opportunity and gave start to his uprising. Within a short period of time he managed to seize some cities such as Balkh, Juzjan, Fariyab, Taliqan, Marw al-Rudh.3
Since the people of various cities hated the Umayyads rulers, they surrendered to Ibn Surayj, as later on 'Asim Ibn 'Abd Allah who was Khurasan governor said, easily at their own will.4 Accordingly, 'Asim wanted to ask for help from Damascus army. This was a threat for most of the Iraqi rulers as well as the rulers of other areas.
After some clashes between 'Asim Ibn 'Abd Allah and Harith, Harith was defeated and escaped towards Iraq. Those farmers who helped him upon hearing about his defeat went back to their own lands.5 Harith once again equipped his army. When 'Asim became aware that he had been deposed, he compromised with Harith.
He also suggested that they ask Hisham to follow Qur'an and Prophet's Sunna and if he did not accept them, they would revolt against him. At the end, those supporting 'Asim could not compromise after a clash with 'Asim, Harith retreated.
Knowing about Harith's riots, Hisham asked Khalid Ibn 'Abd Allah Qasri, the governor of Iraq, to send his brother Asad Ibn 'Abd Allah, the former governor of Khurasan, to suppress his riot. He along with the armies of Damascus and Iraq headed for Khurasan. After some clashes between Harith and him and a war between the residents of Tirmidh and again Harith, Harith was defeated and escaped eastwards to take refuge by the Turkish kings who were called Khaqan.6
One of the well-known Turkish kings helping him later on came to be known as Abu Muzahim for he was a trouble-maker for Arabs.7 Asad Ibn 'Abd Allah by no means could disregard the behavior of the Turkish kings in spite of the fact that in his clashes with them most of the time he could defeat them.
There were still clashes with the Turks when Nasr Ibn Sayyar was chosen as Khurasan's governor in 121. He had led some of these clashes in Balkh. In those clashes Harith Ibn Surayj, along with the Turks, fought with Nasr Ibn Sayyar8. After his defeat in Balkh, Harith and his supporters all settled in Takharistan. Yusuf Ibn 'Umar, the governor of Iraq, asked then Nasr Ibn Sayyar to attack the city of Shash, that had harbored Harith, and beat it to the ground.9
Provoking people to help him, Nasr reached Shash after a minor clash. Then he ordered the king of that city who had compromised with him to expel Harith from there. He accordingly sent him to Fariyab.
Harith and his supporters stayed there up to the time that Yazid Ibn Walid by killing Walid Ibn Yazid in 126 came to rule the Umayyads. He wanted to reform the Umayyads affairs. Harith was one of the opponents of the Umayyads whose motto just the same as Yazid was resorting to Qur'an and Prophet's Sunna. Nasr who was fighting with Juday' Ibn 'Ali Kirmani thought that Harith was a greater threat to him, so he intended to compromise with him.
Accordingly, on behalf of Yazid Ibn Walid, he sent him a guarantee of clemency so he could return to Khurasan. Yazid by stating that he had revolted for Allah's sake and since Allah's orders were overlooked and people were under constant oppression, then he could return to Khurasan again. He also ordered the governor of Iraq to release his children and return his properties confiscated10 up to that. time he had been residing in the Turkish lands for 12 years.
In 127, Yazid Ibn Walid was killed. After him Ibrahim Ibn Walid also could not stay in power for a long time. Marwan Ibn Muhammad was the last Umayyads caliph who came to power after him. Knowing that Marwan would not continue the same policy as Yazid, Harith clashed with Nasr along with Kirmani. After a while, he had a clash with Juday' Ibn 'Ali Kirmani and Harith and the Mudrids fought against the residents of Yemen who joined the residents of Kirman. Harith was killed in that clash in 128. Some points regarding Harith's riot should be taken into account.
There have been, at least, two major reasons for Harith's riot, even if he himself was not aware of them, they could attract public attention in addition to some other minor ones which led to his revolt against the Umayyads one of which was obeying both Qur'an and Prophet's Sunna and the other one was putting an end to the Umayyads's oppression.
A brief look at Harith's utterances and behaviors will show clearly that in his riot from the start two things were important namely obeying Qur'an and Sunna and paying allegiance to someone who does so.11 He did so to divulge that the Umayyads rulers were by no means religious. Since the Umayyads for most of the Muslims were widely known irreligious, at that time referring to Qur'an and Sunna in most of the riots was useful.
Once Harith in 126 went to Nasr Ibn Sayyar, Nasr gave him some gifts but he said, ” I am neither after the pleasures of this worldly life nor do I intend to marry an Arab rather”. انما أسأل كتاب الله والعمل بالسنّه واستعمال أهل الخير والفضل I want to obey Qur'an and Sunna and the pious and learned people.” 12
He also said that he had left Khurasan for thirteen years just for putting an end to cruelties.414 Many people joined him since he had written the main objectives of his riot and ordered his agents to read them for the public on the way to Marw and in mosques too.13
When he joined Kirmani, some of his supporters who observed how they were killed and their properties were plundered under the leadership of Bishr Ibn Jurmuz, once one of the closest companions of Harith, separated from him saying. نحن الفئة العادلة ولا نقاتل الا من يقاتلنا “ We are just people and we do fight with no one expect him who wages war against us.”14
What has been said shows that Harith's mottos in his riot were adhering to Qur'an and Prophet's Sunna and putting an end to the Umayyads's cruelties by which he could attract some people to himself.
Other than the Arabs, some of the farmers who were under the pressure of the Umayyads rulers also joined him to get rid of their cruelties.15 Actually he, as an Arab, accepted to defend non-Arabs who were in difficult condition, against the Umayyads.
What he had done was of great significance both to non-Arabs and Mawali especially when the Sughdiyan were pressurized to leave their homeland and take refuge by Turks in spite of the fact that they had embraced Islam. For a long period, Harith was among Turks.
The majority of them, as it seems, were the Muslims who had not accepted the ruling of Arabs and wanted to get rid of the Umayyads who were taking tribute even from the Muslims. On the other hand, some others did not give up their previous beliefs.
They also fought against the Arabs. Gerlof Van Vloten by referring to a Muslim judge among the supporters of Harith in the Turkish land, as it had been stated by Tabari, concluded that there were some Muslims among them.16 This is a significant point for removing the doubt of some individuals as Nasr Ibn Sayyar who had accused Harith of fighting along with the unbelievers against the Muslims.17
The second point worthy of stating in Harith's riot is his relationship with Jahm Ibn Safwan and his attitude towards the Murji'ites. He was accused of being linked to both of them. Jahm who was from Mawali18 after studying in Kufa for a while returned to Balkh. For some time, he joined Muqatil Ibn Sulayman, an expert commentator. Disagreeing him, he was exiled to Tirmidh. There he joined Harith and took part in his riot.
Jahm's participation in Harith's riot is a significant point not because of his beliefs regarding Allah's attributes but because of the fact that by his participation both of them were accused of being Murji'ites. Politically, there are two opposite attitudes regarding the Murji'ites one of which is that they were accused of being linked to the cruel rulers since in their views, faith was an inner state and different from good deed, accordingly he who commits a sin is still faithful. This was a belief that the caliphs and other Mammonists after the wordly pleasure took advantage of.
Another point which is opposite to what was said is that the Murji'ites participated in many uprisings such as that of Yazid Ibn Muhallab's. Abu Ru'ba, one of the leaders of the Murji'ites had taken part in Yazid Ibn Muhallab's uprising against the Umayyads at the very beginning of the second century.19
The participation of some of the Murji'ites in Zayd's uprising and accusation of Harith of being linked to them both reveal that the Murji'ites were at odds with the Umayyads. So how can these two opposite points be judged?
Despite the Kharijites who regarded the cardinal sinners as unbelievers and also the Mu'tazilites who regarded them as the unbelievers, the Murji'ites were of the opinion that they would be still assumed believers if they believe in two principles of Islam namely unity of Allah and Prophethood when they commit sins. This is a jurisprudic principle which is accepted by all of the Islamic sects.
They had no distinct political stance regarding those who were unbelievers in the Kharijites' view. According to them, they should be left to Allah and be hopeful for His Mercy. This also was a controversial point among Muslims regarding 'Uthman in Jamal and Siffin wars.
During Hajjaj's tenure in Iraq (also in Africa) in which most of the local residents of Iran embraced Islam, the Umayyads's agents could no longer take tributes from them and increase their revenues. As a result, Hajjaj in consultation with the Umayyads's caliphs declared that only saying diploma is not enough for someone to be a believer.
Instead, someone is Muslim who is able to read Qur'an. In addition, there might have been some other conditions, for example it must be clear whether he had been circumcised or not. Based on what was said, Hajjaj went on to collect tributes from those who had newly embraced Islam. There once again the same belief of the Murji'ites was beneficial.
The Murji'ites in contrast with them were of the opinion that saying diploma was enough for being a Muslim and they declared the conditions that Hajjaj had set was unvalued in this regard. Accordingly, the Murji'ites started to support the Iranians who had recently embraced Islam and the revolutionists took advantage of them.
Penetration of scholastic and jurisprudic theology of Abu Hanifa in the East and the existence of the Murji'ites beliefs in Khurasan and even a village which was called Murji Abad in suburb of Balkh, all are the evidence regarding this matter. Being one of the leaders of the Murji'ites, Abu Hanifa not only participated in Zayd's uprising but during the 'Abbasids's term helped the 'Alawites who had joined him as well.20
Wellhausen by referring to the above-mentioned point regarding the Murji'ites added, “They attempted to create a common ground among all tribes and that was opposing tyranny and defining the gospel truth”.21
Van Vloten in his research about the Murji'ites by referring to their role in solving this difficult problem among various tribes of Muslims and also their emphasis on observing the rights of all Muslims both Arabs and non-Arabs, said that he refrained from judging the caliphs. He also had spoken about the Murji'ites taking part in Zayd's uprising who had helped him.22 Anyway, Harith was among the Murji'ites according to Tabari.
This verse from Nasr Ibn Sayyar, Khurasan's governor, is an evidence indicating that he was from the Murji'ites,
وارجاءكم لزّكم والشرك في قرن فأنتم أهل اشراك ومرجونا
“You are Murji'ites and are the same as atheists.” 23
Tabari's narrations regarding Harith and his relationship with the Murji'ites are mostly about the events taking place during this period. It was said that Harith had asked Jahm to read a book in which Harith way of conduct was described.24
It was also said that once he came back from Takharistan he had a clash with Nasr. Two people have been appointed as judge. One of them was Jahm himself and the other one was Muqatil Ibn Hayyan. They said finally that Nasr should not interfere so that they might themselves be able to consult with each other.25 There also is another narration regarding Jahm's participation in that uprising. Based on that he was captured and killed then by Salm Ibn Ahwaz.26
A positive point in Harith's movement was regarding its mental aspect and this shows that although these movements shaped mostly in Transoxonia, somewhere far from the scientific centers, they were not merely political ones but they had their own mental principles.
At last, it should be said that the term Jahmi, based on the reaction of its opponents, and in a lesser degree, accusation of being Murji'ites are two curses that the traditionists had in their minds against their opponents. Some of the Jahm's beliefs were against incarnation and the subject narrations on simile, so the traditionists opposed him. Gradually, this term as a scientific curse was used while referring to most of the people with quite different beliefs. Khalid al-’Ali's book which was previously referred to can make this point clearer.
Without doubt, one of the main reasons of the overthrowing of Umayyads, being considered mostly by the rioters, was that their rulers were irreligious. In other words, since they were indifferent towards both religious beliefs of the people and those of themselves, those religious people were made rise up against them. Walid Ibn Yazid was among those rulers. Being the worst of all, he was one of the last caliphs of the Umayyads who came to power after Hisham in Rabi' al-Thani, 125 and was killed one year and two months later.
There are some poems descriptive stories and almost all historical sources indicating that he was a corrupted man.
Tabari, for example said, “There are many narration's regarding Walid's insult to religion”.
He had not mentioned most of them to avoid circumlocution.27 Mas'udi, on the other hand, had quoted some of them. He was very interested in drinking wine and passing nights among different singers and debauchees was his every day action.28 One of the worst actions, as it was told, was after reciting this verse,
وَاسْتَفْتَحُوا وَخَابَ كُلُّ جَبَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ.
“And (Allah's Prophets) asked for solutions and at last each obstinate tyrant became disappointed.”
He said that he disliked it. Then he put Qur'an somewhere and shot toward it saying,
اتوعد كلّ جبــار عنيد فها انا ذاك جبـار عنيد
اذا ما جئت ربك يوم حشر فقل يارب حرقني الوليد
Are you threatening Jabbar, the fighter. I am Jabbar the challenger. On the Day of Judgement, say to Allah to set fire on me29
Somewhere else, Walid himself by denying Prophethood had openly said that he was an infidel.
تلعب بالخلافة هاشمي بلا وحي أتاه ولا كتاب
“A man of the Hashimites played with succession without being revealed a Book.” 30
Mustuwfi regarding his wrongdoing, had said, “It was said that on one Friday he had drunk wine with one of his bondmaids then he had sexual intercourse with her. Then she had forced the defiled drunken bondmaid to put turban on her head to cover her ringlet once she heard Iqama, then she preached sermon31.
Being a remiss, one who could not supervise the affairs of various cities, Walid, according to Ya'qubi, did many wrong things. For instance, he had in his mind to build a room upon the roof of Ka'ba for his debauchery so he ordered someone to do so.32
It seems that his relatives prevented him from doing so for they were afraid of its consequences. Another time, he asked Nasr Ibn Sayyar to send him musical instruments.33 His brother, and accomplice in the murder of Yazid Ibn Walid, also endorsed that he was after sin and iniquity.34 It is worth saying that this sentence, يا وليد احذر الموت “ O Walid, be afraid of death” Had been engraved on his ring. 35
The Umayyads degraded day by day simply because of what Walid did. وظهر للناس منه تهاون بالدين واستحفاف به 36 “He was the cause of public negligence in religion.”
Abul-Faraj regarding him had said, “There has been written many poems about his wrongdoing.”37 In spite of the fact that nearly all of the Umayyads rulers were sinful and people were aware of this matter more or less, no one among them was comparable to Walid in this regard.
His remissness in state affairs raised discord among the Umayyads and paved the ground for the opportunists among them to exert themselves more to prevent that dynasty from being fallen. Because of his actions, Walid was disgusted by others and they were ready to kill him.
Abul-Faraj Isfahani, at the beginning of the seventh volume of Aghani had described him in detail. All of his life was past while he occupied himself with wine, women and music. He was also accused of being heretic. In Aghani there are some verses indicating that he had believed that “Mani” was the first and the last prophet.38
According to Mada'ini, he was disliked by people because of his aspirations, drinking and annoying the children of Hisham Ibn 'Abd al-Malik.39 Once his palace was surrounded by troops loyal toYazid Ibn Walid, he asked people while he was there, “Why do you attack me while I was open-handed among you?”
They answered, انتهاك ما حرّم الله وشرب الخمور ونكاح أمهات اولاد أبيك واستخفافك بامرالله “ Because you have disregarded what Allah has regarded as being unlawful, you also married your father's bondwomen who had children from him.”
He said, “You are wrong.” Then he added, وان فيما احل الله لسعة عما ذكرت 40 “What Allah has declared as being lawful are more than what you are speaking about.”
When he was killed by a group of rioters, Yazid Ibn Walid who was also called Yazid III came to power.
Ayyub Sukhtiyani, who knew Qur'an by heart said, “I wish our caliph were alive”.
The narrator said, “He said this because he was afraid of being killed”.41
Later on, Rashid and his son Mahdi 'Abbasi, recalled Walid a good man and cursed his murderer, Yazid.42
It was said that Yazid Ibn Walid, Yazid III, was similar to 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz in behavior. He, along with some of the Umayyads and renowned figures of Damascus managed to resist Walid and finally killed him in Jumadi al-Thani, 126 (A.H.). He was the first Umayyads caliph who was killed in such a way that all people knew about it.
What distinguished him from other Umayyads caliphs was that he was among the Qadarites.43 This term, according to the traditionists, is referred to the Mu'tazilites. They were of the opinion that human beings have free will.
The Mu'tazilites were at odds with the traditionists since they were rationalists while the traditionists were superficial. Because of their influence on the Umayyads, the traditionists provoked them to suppress the Mu'tazilites, the Murji'ites and the Jahmites.
The formation of the Qadarites in Damascus goes back to the time of Hisham Ibn 'Abd al-Malik. Ghaylan Dimashqi, the founder of this sect in Damascus,44 was killed in 119 by Hisham 'Abd al-Malik.45 Ghaylan was linked to the Murji'ites too.46
There were others among the Murji'ites in Damascus too. Tabari had quoted 'Amr Ibn Sharahil, who was himself among them, as saying, “In 126 some individuals interceded them with Walid but he praised Hisham's actions in killing or exiling the Qadarites.47 In contrast with Hisham and Walid, Yazid Ibn Walid was more inclined towards the Qadarites.
According to Shafi'i, he had gathered some of them around himself. The companions of Ghaylan Dimashqi were also among them.48 Abu Bakr Khawrazmi in one of his letters had written that he backed the companions of Ghaylan.49 Mas'udi also said that he was a Mu'tazilites and like them believed in the five principles of them.50
At that time, however, some of the Mu'tazilites believed in those five principles completely. They, according to Mas'udi, resided in other areas of Damascus namely “Dariyya and al-Mizza”. He also said that they helped Yazid once they saw that Walid was a sinner.51 Since Yazid Ibn Walid was inclined toward the Mu'tazilites, his status in comparison with that of 'Umar Ibn Abd al-’Aziz was very high in their esteem.52
It should be noted that the traditionists during the second and third centuries were not rationalists at all. They only took into account the surface meaning of both Qur'an verses and traditions which were mostly fabricated ones. They believed in anthropomorphism. To oppose them, the Mu'tazilites emphasized the role of intellect.
The first trend prevailed among the traditionists such as Zuhri, Abul-Zanad, Raja' Ibn Haywa who were linked to the Umayyads. The other one as a result opposed the Umayyads. Accordingly, they were attentive to the role of intellect in contrast with those who were attentive to the traditions that were written long ago and were mostly forged ones.
These groups were also experts in political affairs so they were opposing the Umayyads both because of their religious and political approaches. As it was touched upon before, Ghaylan Dimashqi, who was killed in 119 A.H by Hisham, and Ja'd Ibn Dirham, who was sent to Khalid Ibn 'Abd Allah Qasri by Hisham, were also among them. The latter was killed by Khalid in the feast of sacrifice.53
Since Ja'd Ibn Dirham was one of the scholars of Marwan Ibn Muhammad, the last caliph of the Umayyads, he was also called Marwan Ja'di.54
He was later on killed because he was at odds with the traditionists. He opposed anthropomorphism, which was prevailed among the Muslims by Jews. According to Shahristani, this was a belief of a Jewish sect called the Readers. In Torah, also there were some words about anthropomorphism.55
The same statement was also said by Ibn Khaldun.56 Ja'd Ibn Dirham could stand individuals such as Wahb Ibn Munabba and others who were Jewish. Wahb said to him, “Allah Himself said that He has hands and eyes, so we believe what he had said”.57 Ibn Kuthayyir said, “His beliefs were identical to those of Lubayd Ibn al-A'tham.58 This statement according to some researchers was not true. He was said to have such beliefs since he opposed the Jews.59
Jahm Ibn Safwan who was said to have, the same beliefs as Ja'd Ibn Dirham had also taken the same stance as him. He stood up to Muqatil Ibn Sulayman, who believed in anthropomorphism.60 These people were killed not merely because of religious reseasons but because they opposed the Umayyads.
To bring an example, we can refer to the companions of Ghaylan Dimashqi who cooperated with Yazid Ibn Walid. As it was said Jahm Ibn Safwan had joined Harith Ibn Surayj and was killed in his uprising. According to Qasimi, Jahm was killed not because of his religious beliefs, as it was said by some,61 but because of political reasons.62 It is quite obvious that the traditionists were dominant during the Umayyads's time. Based on legal decision, the name of those being killed by the Umayyads should not be divulged.
Yazid Ibn Walid in his revolt against Walid Ibn Yazid wanted to carry out some reforms. In his first sermon he said, “We did not rise up for this worldly life to assert dominance over others rather for Allah's sake. We ask all to obey both Qur'an and Prophet's Sunna since the religious edicts have become outmoded, piety has been disregarded and the unlawful turned to be lawful. He also said, “The Sunna has changed and there are obvious innovations”.
Referring to social justice, he said that he wanted to carry out some financial reform to, حتى تستقيم المعيشة بين المسلمين وتكونوا فيه سواء “ When Muslims live in parity enable all to take advantage of equal rights.” He also added, “You can pay allegiance to me based on what I told you.
If I break my promise, you can do whatever you want to and if you could find someone more effective than I am, I myself will be the first one to pay allegiance to him.63 When he nominated Mansur Ibn Jumhur as the governor of Iraq, he ordered him not to be as Walid since he was killed because of his cruelties towards people.64
Yazid's intention, as he himself said, was not just ruling. He had this sentence written and hung from a post, انا ندعوكم الى كتاب الله وسنّه نبيه صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم وأن يصير الأمر شورى “ I ask you to obey Qur'an and Prophet's Sunna. I also want to solve the problem of ruling by counseling 65
He also asked the residents of Hims who wanted to rise up against him in revenge for Walid's death. ولكنّه يدعوهم الى شورى 66 I want you to take advantage of counseling.
It should also be mentioned that even before Walid's death, the residents of Damascus had paid allegiance to him.67
Yazid III was called “Imperfect” since he had cut the share of those who had greater share in public treasury during Walid's time.68 For the reason, he ruled just for six months. It seems that he could not put his plan into practice.
However, he was somehow successful based on what he was saying and doing in this regard. From among his financial reforms, the issue of taking tribute from those who had recently embraced Islam during 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz's time can be taken into account.
He also had taken into account problems of those who were to send to exile merely because they were asked to pay tribute beyond their means. In this regard, he said, ولا أحمل على جزيتكم ما اجليهم به عن بلادهم واقطع به نسلهم “ I will not ask people to pay tribute beyond their means so that I prevent them from leaving their home and become extinct.”69
He also ordered Harith Ibn Surayj to return from the Turkish land to his home. He had risen up against the Umayyads for the same reasons that Yazid had so he accepted to return home. However, when Yazid was killed, everything returned to its former state. He was killed too.70
After six months of his ruling, Yazid died in 126. According to Tabari, before his death, the Qadarites were repeatedly asking him to select a successor for himself. He asked others to pay allegiance to his brother, Ibrahim, and 'Abd al-’Aziz Ibn Hajjaj Ibn 'Abd al-Malik.71
From 41(A.H.) up to the time when Yazid Ibn Walid came to power, the Umayyads have been weakened twice. The first time was in 64 after the death of Mu'awiya II when it was intended to transfer power from the Sufyanids branch of the Umayyads to Marwanids having some clashes in Iraq and Damascus, the Umayyads managed to stay in power.
Thereafter, the caliphs came to power one by one without any problem. It means that the caliphs who ruled never dismissed their heir apparents who were most of the time their brothers. Even if the caliphs sometimes bothered them. It was believed that they would never dismiss them since they had paid allegiance to them.
When, for example, Yazid Ibn 'Abd al-Malik who had chosen his brother Hisham as his successor, became regretful from doing so, then other people such as Khalid Ibn 'Abd Allah disapproved of what he wanted to do. He said to Yazid, “What you want to do will sow the seed of discord between you. So people will criticize you.” Yazid accepted what he said72.
Some of the caliphs such as 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz, however, did not choose either their brothers or their sons as their successors. One of the main reasons for the Umayyads to stay in power was that they respected those principles regarding paying allegiance. As long as they themselves were loyal to those principles, there was no problem and people obeyidg them too.
That was why the Umayyads could suppress even the most serious riots. When Walid Ibn Yazid was killed and Yazid III came to power, most of the Umayyads wanted to take his position without considering the issue of allegiance. Upon hearing that Yazid Ibn Walid wanted to breach allegiance before Walid's death, Marwan Ibn Muhammad wrote a letter to Sa'id Ibn 'Abd al-Malik, who was probably a renowned figure of the Umayyads dynasty, saying, “Do not let them breach allegiance”.
He also added, “I have heard that some stupid men among the Umayyads want to breach allegiance. By their actions, there will be opened a gate which would not be closed even by Allah unless much blood be shed.73
Marwan knew if he breached allegiance, he would sow the seed of discord. Previously, Yazid Ibn Walid had consulted with 'Abbas Ibn Walid who, according to Isfahani, was honest just the same as 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz. He then prevented him from doing so too.74 After securing allegiance, he said, هلك والله بنو مروان 75 “By God, the Marwanids came to be murdered.”
Once Yazid came to power, according to Ya'qubi, the country was in a state of turbulence. 'Abbas Ibn Walid in Hims, Bishr Ibn Walid in Qinnasrin, 'Umar Ibn Walid in Jordan and Yazid Ibn Sulayman in Palestine revolted against him.
Ya'qubi went on to say, “During a five-month-caliphate of him nearly all countries of the world were in a state of turbulence. The Egyptians killed their ruler, Hafs Ibn Walid. The residents of Humas killed 'Abd Allah Ibn Shajara and the people of Medina removed their governor, 'Abd al-’Aziz Ibn 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz, from office.76
That was why the issue of succession, allegiance and absolute obedience all lost their significance among Arabs. They revolted against one another, as a result, respecting caliphate, something which was very important before was no longer important. This matter was so significant for them that Walid Ibn Yazid in his letter, had reminded people to select the successors of his sons Hakam 'Uthman.77
In Armenia, Marwan Ibn Muhammad rose up against Yazid III to avenge for Walid's murder. He headed for Iraq to remove Yazid from office, but on his way to Harran he compromised with him on condition that he surrender Armenia, Musil, Jazira and Adharbayjan to him.78
Ibrahim Ibn Walid came to power after Yazid. The Umayyads caliphate was so weakened that he was called “Amir”(commander) not caliph.79 This term was used for the independent governors who were ruling only during the time of transfering power. They wee neither caliphs nor were chosen by a caliph.
Marwan Ibn Muhammad who understood that it was the right moment to improve the situation, headed for Damascus. He could defeat their army in Safar, 127. He asked others to pay allegiance to Hakam and 'Uthman, Walid's successors. Knowing that both of them were killed in prison, then people paid allegiance to Marwan Ibn Muhammad.
To justify their action then, people said that both Hakam and 'Uthman had selected him as their successor and this was alluded in their poems that was composed in prison. So the last caliph of the Umayyads came to power.
Marwan Ibn Muhammad was the last caliph of the Umayyads. He left Armenia and went to Damascus to prevent the Umayyads from overthrowing. He came to power by deposing Ibrahim. He had many problems one of which was a riot in Hims. Dhahhak Ibn Qays, one of the leaders of the Kharijites, was a troublemaker for him.
Sulayman Ibn 'Abd al-Malik Ibn Hisham in Iraq and Thabit Ibn Na'im Judhami in Jordan revolted aginst him. Marwan could suppress those riots then he nominated 'Amr Ibn Hubayra Fazari as Iraq's governor. He killed Dhahhak Ibn Qays so he had everything under his control. The Kharijites who were from Yemen were so powerful that they could participate in Hajj pilgrimage openly.
Abu Hamza Mukhtar Ibn 'Awf was one of them who managed to have Medina in his control in Safar, 130 (A.H.) He was among the Abaďiyya. 'Abd Allah Ibn Yahya Kindi who had called himself Talib al-Haqq (the seeker of the truth). He said that he was the Commander of the Faithful.
He was among the Abaďiyya. In Medina Abu Hamza preached a sermon in a literary style that is very famous. The residents of Medina, as Ya'qubi said, said their prayer under the leadership of him. They were so proud of themselves that they decided to attack Damascus. But the Umayyads army defeated them. When they returned to Medina their residents rose up against them. So they escaped to Yemen.
The city of Khurasan was in a state of chaos too. Kirmani advanced but, according to Ya'qubi, Abu Muslim was more successful than him.
He quoted Abu Muslim as saying, “O, Allah, I help both Nasr and I Kirmani, not to defeat each other”.80 Abu Muslim defeated Nasr and died when he wanted to escape to Sawi. Abu Muslim then entered Niyshabur in Ramaďan, 130. He selected some governors for various districts of Khurasan.
The army of Khurasan under the leadership of Quhtaba and his son turned toward west and could defeat those armies that were behind the Umayyads. In Muharram, 132, this army defeated Ibn Hubayra in Iraq. The he escaped to West. Quhtaba once again defeated him and he was drowned in the Euphrates. So the Umayyads were doomed to decline. When Marwan Ibn Muhammad heard the army of Khurasan had defeated the army of Iraq without having commander, he said, “I swear by Allah that everything is over. Who has ever heard that a dead body be able to defeat someone who is alive?”
Abu Salama Khallal in Iraq, asked people to pay allegiance to the 'Abbasids, once the Umayyads were dethroned, he sent Abul-'Abbas to Kufa and after a while, asked people to pay allegiance to him. Later on, he was told to bring the 'Alawites to power so he was killed at Abu Muslim's behest.
Saffah sent his uncle, 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Ali to Damascus to fight against the Umayyads and kill Marwan. In Dhi al-Hajja, 132 Marwan was killed in a battlefront. It caused the downfall the Umayyads all over the east except Andalusia. According to Mas'udi, they ruled for nearly ninety years and eleven months and thirteen days that is nearly about a thousand months.81
Different aspects of the Umayyads's decline were taken into account previously.82 To elaborate them in detail philosophical discussions about history are needed. Historians do not discuss about them. In philosophical and ideological discussion, individuals can not overlook their personal attitudes so they might manipulate the historical accounts. It should be mentioned that prior to the overthrowing of the Umayyads, no one had spoken about their decline since it was not obvious whether they could solve their problems or not. But after it, the issue of their decline came to be discussed.
Some points regarding the Umayyads should be taken into account one of which is their party demorality over which the Umayyads laid the foundation of their political power. This was closely related to the superiority of a specific tribe of Quraysh, which was called the Umayyads. They were supported by the residents of Damascus in the northern part of the Hijaz.
The skirmish between the tribes of northern and southern was almost always troublesome. During the very last years of their ruling, their hostility peaked such that it was not possible for them to improve the condition of some cities especially Khurasan.
There were also some other clashes throughout Arabic land mainly in Iraq and Iran, the residing places of most of the immigrant Arabs. In Iraq, the northern tribe and southern one were at odds with each other. During Khalid Ibn 'Abd Allah Qasri's time, Arabs residing in the north that were called the Muďrites were not satisfied with him since he was living in the south.
When Yusuf Ibn 'Umar came to power, the opposite thing happened. He killed Khalid and the condition was worse. Yusuf Ibn 'Umar then was sent to prison and killed by Yazid Ibn Khalid Ibn 'Abd Allah.83
Tribal clashes, according to Mas'udi, were the main reason of the Umayyads's overthrowing, he also said that Marwan Ibn Muhammad protected the Nazarites against the residents of Yemen. His action then made the residents of Yemen support his opponents from the Hashimites.84
There were more problems in Khurasan. This city was an escape route years before the Umayyads's overthrowing for Iraqi rebels. Harith Ibn Surayj doubled the problem of that city. Constant clashes between Arabs and the residents of Transoxania had weakened Arabs there.
This city also tackled a problem for decades that was Hajjaj's cruelties to the newly embraced Muslims and taking tribute from them. In that condition, the skirmish between the northern and southern Arabs threatened the Umayyads. Nasr Ibn Sayyar backed the Nazarites and Juday' Ibn 'Ali Kirmani supported northern Arabs and the residents of Yemen.
Their skirmish was advantageous to the opponents of the Umayyads. Abu Muslim Khurasani could take advantage of the positive attitude of the residents of Khurasan towards Shi'ism while he had asked the 'Abbasids for their support. He was also a good commander.
The above-mentioned points altogether had paved the ground for a radical change in Khurasan. Khurasan was far from the capital so the Umayyads could not easily reach there. It also should be mentioned that the army of Damascus could not help Nasr Ibn Sayyar since it was, fighting against the Kharijites in Iraq. The Kharijites took advantage of the clashes happening from 126 to 127.
Dhahhak Ibn Qays was among them who was at odds with Marwan Ibn Muhammad for a long time. He was killed in 127. The Kharijites who were in Iraq and south of Iran were great threat to the Umayyads too. The victory of the 'Abbasids in Khurasan was the main reason of the Umayyads's decline. It was not obvious why the 'Abbasids not others could take the place of the Umayyads.
This has its own reasons related to their approaches not to the decline of the Umayyads, since the Hashimites were far better than the Umayyads in ruling, they could easily depose them. If they have not had this power, no one could ever imagine that they would be able to remove Quraysh from the scene. This tribe was so powerful that could survive even after the overthrowing of the 'Abbasids by Mongols.
The Umayyads's fall was somehow because of their internal clashes too. The internal clashes, as it said earlier, had paved the ground for both the caliphs and their heirs apparent who were almost more than two persons from the time of 'Abd al-Malik onward and they were plotting against each other. The riot of Yazid III also a threat to their influence. Killing those who were supposed to come to power from 126 to 127 reminds us of the Sassanids's kings during the very last years of their rules.
The Umayyads was not held in high esteem by people because of their lack of attention to religion in spite of the efforts being made by 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz and Hisham. Walid Ibn Yazid, on the other hand, made the condition worse with his corruption and cruelties in ruling. In historical sources, there is more information in this regard.
Some of these historical accounts, however, have been manipulated, for the writers of them were either inclined toward the 'Abbasids or other sects.
Another reason for the residents of Iraq and Khurasan to revolt against the Umayyads was that they were under their domination both politically and economically. The Umayyads were accused of being prejudiced toward the Mawalis. Non-Arabs, as it was said, had some influence on the Umayyads but it was not such that to let them progress.
It is certain that some issues such as people's right to decide on a way a caliph should be chosen, to reject or accept him as well as some other matters were the bases of political system of the Sunnis. In addition, the political stance of both Sahaba (The Companions of the Prophet) and Tabi'in (The followers of Sahaba) during the first century should be taken into account in this regard.
However, other events taking place thereafter during other centuries were also important in the formation of their policy. But those principles which were written by Mawardi (450 AD) and Abu Ya'la (458 AD) under the title of al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyya during the fifth century were mostly emanating from the political developments of the 1st century.
To emphasize some of the ordinances, some of political developments of the second century were also mentioned there. For instance, whatsoever both Sahaba and Tabi'in did or what the others were doing in their presence without their objection were regarded as a “Divine Decree” which should be obeyed by others too.
Mawardi said, “If what Sulayman had done is not proof endorsing both the scholars from Tabi'in contemporary with him and those who do not fear for Allah's sake will be proof”.85
This attitude had emanated from the above-mentioned principle of the Sunnis regarding “Divine Decree.”
The formation of the political system of the Sunnis and some other sects was discussed in detail formerly. Now what had happened in this regard during the period of the Marwanids is to be discussed.
There has been a significant change in the concept of caliphate particularly during the Marwanids. The more the caliphs were separated from the religion, the more the concept of caliphate was held in high regard with the intention of deceiving people.
At first, the meaning of caliphate in its political sense was equal to the succession of the Holy Prophet. Abu Bakr was not pleased to call such a person “Allah's Viceroy”.86 But later on, gradually this term came to be used both in poems and sermons.
Accordingly, caliphs were honored more and some sort of fatalism prevailed regarding caliphate. The ground has been paved much more during the Marwanids than in time of 'Uthman and Mu'awiya.
The poets of that time used some terms in reference to the Marwanids's caliphs such as,
خليفة الله من الارض، الامين المأمون، امام المسلمين، امين الله، امام الاسلام، جنه الدين، الخليفه المبارك، راعي الله في الارض، الامام المصطفي، وليّ الحق، الامام العادل، ولي عهدالله ،امام الهدي، الامام المبارك ، امام العدل، الامام المنصور، خيارالله للناس، الحكم المصفي، امام الوري، ربّ الجنود، خليفه الحق، الخليفه الافضل، الملك المبارك
Allah's Viceroy, trustee and trusted, Muslims' leader, religion's shield, auspicious caliph, public leader on behalf of God, selected Imam, guardian of the Truth, just Imam, Allah's heir apparent, Imam of guidance, auspicious Imam, leader led by God, selected ruler,supreme chief of council, forerunner of troops, truthful caliph, superior caliph and auspicious ruler, …87
The poets played a significant role in making these terms known to the public. Taking into account the fact that their poets were important to Arabs, one can understand the impact of using such terms by them.88 One of the Umayyads peoms, Akhtal by referring to 'Abd al-Malik said:
وقـد جعـل الله الخلافـة فيكـم بابيـض لا عاري الخوان ولا جدب
ولكـن رآه الله مـوضع حقـهّا علـى رغم اعداء وصدّادة كـذب
Thou art Allah's successor, someone who is merciful and has a shining face. Despite what your enemies desired Allah saw thee as the mere truth89
By referring to Bishr Ibn Marwan, he said,
اعطاكم الله ما انتم أحق به اذا الملوك على امثاله اقترعوا
Allah has bestowed thee something that Thou deserve while all other kings have something (which they do not deserve) 90
By referring to 'Abd al-Malik, Jarir said,
الله طوّقك الخلافة والهدي والله ليس لما قضي تبديـل
وليّ الخلافة والكرامة أهلها فالملك أفيح والعطاء جزيل
Thou have been appointed as Allah's vicegerent. What He had decided upon could not be changed. Allah has given caliphate and greatness to someone who deserves it. That is why thy kingdom is so vast and Thou art so generous91
Somewhere else to stress the caliphate of 'Abd al-Rahman as a “Divine Decree” he said,
انت الامين امين الله لاسرف فيمـا وليـت ولا هيّابـه ورع
انت المبارك يهدي الله شيعته اذا تفرقـّت الاهـواء والشيّـع
يا آل مروان ان الله فضلكم فضلاً عظيماً على من دينه البدع
Thou art Allah's trustee, someone who does not waste what has been given, someone who is fearless. Thou art the source of blessings. Whenever different parties go astray, Allah will guide His followers. O the Marwanids! Allah has regarded Thee. 92
He also composed,
والله قدّر ان تكون خليفة خير البرّية وارتضاك المرتضى
Allah had chosen thee as His viceroy. Thou are the right man for this93
Farazdaq said about 'Abd al-Malik,
فالارض لله ولاها خليفته وصاحب الله فيها غير مغلـوب
The owner of this land is Allah and thou art as His vicegerent. The owner of Allah's land would not be defeated there94
By referring to Walid Farazdaq said,
امّا وليد فانّ الله اورثه بعلمه فيه ملكاً ثابت الدّْعم
As for Walid, with the knowledge of God, he was granted a firm monarchy95
By referring to Sulayman Ibn 'Abd al-Malik, he said,
به أمّن الله البلاد، فساكن بكلّ طريد ليلها ونهارها
Allah selected thee as a peacemaker so a traveller can go whenever he wants to no matter whether it is day or night
'Adi Ibn Riqa' regarding Walid said,
انّ الوليد اميرالمومنين له ملك عليه اعان الله فارتفعا
Walid, the Commander of the Faithful, is a king. Allah assists him in his ruling, so he has been dignified by Allah96
Ahwas composed this verse about Walid,
تخّيره ربّ العباد لخلقه وليّاً وكان الله بالنّاس اعلمـا
The Lord of the world had nominated him as His guardian. Taking into account that Allah is wiser than people97
He said about Sulayman Ibn 'Abd al-Malik,
سليمان اذ ولاك ربّك حكمنا وسلطاناً فاحكم اذا قلت واعدل
O Sulayman! Since thou have been chosen by Allah as our king, tell the truth and be just whenever thou want to judge98
Farazdaq composed this verse about Sulayman,
فقال الله انّك انـت اعلـي من المتلمسين لك الخبالا
فأعطاك الخلافه غيرغصب ولم تركب لتغصبها قبالا
Then Allah said, “Thou art far better than those who want to enervate thee-so thou deserve to be appointed as His viceroy. Thou did not roll thy sleeves to usurp it” 99
Jarir composed these verses about Yazid Ibn 'Abd al-Malik:
اما يزيـد فـانّ الله فهّمه حكماً واعطاه ملكاً واضح النور
يكفي الخليفه انّ الله فضّله عزم وثيق وعند غير تقريـر
Allah has given Yazid wisdom. Thou art as the source of light. Allah has given thee priority over others in will and it suffices thee100
Jarir Ibn Ayyub, Sulayman 'Abd al-Malik's son said,
الله اعطاكم من علمه بكم حكماً وما بعد حكم الله تعقيب
Since Allah knew thee, He had appointed thee as the ruler, no one is permitted to disobey Allah's decree101
He also said to 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz,
انّ الذي بعث النّبي محمدا جعل الخلافه في الامام العادل
The One Who sent Muhammad as the Prophet,
Appointed the just Imam to the Khilafat.102
Farazdaq said to Yazid Ibn 'Abd al-Malik,
اعطي بن عاتكة الذي ما فوقه غيرالنبوه والجلال الاجلل
سلطانه وعصا النبي وخاتمـا القي اله بجرانه والكلكل
Allah bestowed something to son of 'Atika. Nothing is greater than it except the Prophethood and monotheism. Allah had given him both the stick and the ring. 103
These verses quoted by 'Atwan were composed by Farazdaq and Jarir and others. There are many verses in this regard in Diwan104 Farazdaq.
The residents of Damascus also honored caliphate from the time of Mu'awiya onward.105 During Ayyam al-Muwadi'a the years that the resid ents of Damascus were going to Mecca for pilgrimage while they were under the domination of Ibn Zubayr, 'Ubayd Ibn 'Umayr, the story-teller, backbited their caliph. They said to him,”O the pious man! Retract what you said and do not backbite Allah's Viceroy since he should be honored even more than Ka'ba.106
Hajjaj himself followed the same policy in Iraq. He told Hasan Muthanna, “O Hasan! You have to remind him as a good man. He is Allah's vicegerent on earth.107 In his first speech in Kufa he said, ان اميرالمؤمنين عبدالملك بن مروان استخلفه الله عزوجل في بلاده وارتضاه اماماً علي عباده “ Almighty God placed Amir al-Mu'minin, 'Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan, His Viceroy as well as His servants' leader.” 108
Hajjaj in his letter to 'Abd al-Malik by referring to him said, “You are the Commander of the Faithful and Allah's Viceroy. You are infallible both in speech and in practice. You have been nominated as his guardian.109 Fatima, the daughter of 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz said, after coming to power my father has not washed his body when sever he was defiled.110
The residents of Damascus were of the opinion that obeying him was equal to obeying Allah. They did not believe that he should obey Allah.
Then they got angry and said,”You are disobeying the Commander of the Faithful. He could get rid of him very hard.111 Hajjaj wanted to treat the residents of Iraq in the same way.
He was told to say, “Do you believe that Allah does not reveal to me. O people of Iraq! I do swear by him that he still does so”.112
He was also told to say, “Which one is superior a Messenger or a vicegerent?” Probably he wanted to say that he as Allah's viceroy was superior to Allah's Prophet.113 It should be mentioned that it is not certain whether these narrations are true or not. Mas'udi attributed the very same statement to Khalid Ibn 'Abd Allah Qasri, the governor of Mecca in 89 AH.
According to him, he compared Walid with Ibrahim (a). He said, “When Ibrahim asked Allah for water, he sent him salty water while upon Walid's request, he sent fresh water to him.114 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz was of the opinion that not only Sulayman was nominated by Allah but he himself was as Allah's Viceroy too.115
'Amr Ibn Hubayra Fazari, Yazid Ibn 'Abd al-Malik's agent in Iran and Khurasan, regarding Yazid told Hasan Basri and others,”Yazid Ibn 'Abd al-Malik is Allah's Viceroy among people.”116
Accordingly, they tried to say that Allah had helped them to defeat all of their enemies such as the Zaydids and the Shi'ite Muslims, the Kharijites as well as individuals such as 'Abd al-Rahman Ibn Ash'ath and Yazid Ibn Muhallab. For these reasons, he wanted to prove that the Umayyads were not only legitimate but also invincible.117
The holiness of the Umayyads strengthened by attributing Mahdawism to their caliphs. This term was first likely to be used by Allah's prophet in his speeches. It was also said that Mukhtar Ibn Abi 'Ubayd had used this word in his letter to Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyya. He had written, للمهدي محمد بن علي من المختار بن ابي عبيد؛ سلام عليك يا ایها المهدي “ From Mukhtar Ibn Abi 'Ubayd to Muhammad Ibn 'Ali Ibn Mukhtar. Peace be upon you. O Mahdi!” 118
Probably, they wanted to emphasize on their role in leading by using this word, but overemphasizing it would decrease its probability. Mujahid was quoted as saying, (probably these narration's were attributed to them), “You would call Mu'awiya Mahdi if you could see him.119 Farazdaq by referring to Walid Ibn 'Abd al-Malik used this term for some of the Umayyads's caliphs.
ومن عبد شمس انت سادس ستة خلائف كانوا منهـم العمُّ والاب
هـداة ومهديين عثمـان منهـم ومروان وابن الابطحين المطيب
Thou art the sixth caliph among the children of 'Abd ash-Shams. Some of thy forefathers such as 'Uthman, Marwan and Mu'awiya were guided by Allah and they guided others too120
Farazdaq composed this verse about Sulayman Ibn 'Abd al-Malik,
فان امامك المهديُّ يهدي به الرحمن من خشي الضَّلالا
Mahdi is standing before thee. He is someone who at Allah's behest can guide whosoever does not want to be led astray121
He also said,
فاجاب دعوتنا وانقَذًنا بخلافة المهديِّ من ضُرِّ
Allah accepted our prayers and protected us by His viceroy, Mahdi when we were in trouble122
Jarir composed this verse about Sulayman,
سليمانُ المبارك قد علِمْتُم هُوَ المهديُّ قد وضح السبيل
انت المبارك والمهديُّ سيرته تعصي الهوى وتقوم الليل بالسور
Thou are ominous and thy conduct is just the same as that of Mahdi. Thou art not after carnal desire. Thou spend nights by saying prayer125
He also composed this verse about Hisham Ibn 'Abd al-Malik,
فقلت لها الخليفه غير شك هو المهديُّ والحكَمُ الرشيد
Then I said thou art Mahdi without doubt. Thou art a ruler who had been guided126
Farazdaq said about him,
هو المالك المهديُّ والسابق الذي له اول المجد التليد وآخره
He is Mahdi and superior to others. Praise does solely belong to thee127
Referring to these verses, one can say for sure that in addition to these verses there have been some other forged traditions in this regard which all indicate that this word was deeply rooted in Mahdawism and it did not come to common usage simply.
One of the main features of the Umayyads ruling that was mostly based on the holiness of their caliphs was that their rulers were dictators. During the times of the first caliphs, counseling was apparently important in their ruling. But later on people interfered in their ruling and by exerting influence on them they enervated rulers.
Once they managed to come to power by force, they became dictators so they could suppress their opponents under the pretext of religion and policy.
Ibn Tiqtaqa described 'Abd al-Malik Marwan by saying, “He was someone who for the first time did not let peasants speak in front of caliphs while previously they could do this.”128
Suyuti said,”He was the first ever one forebode enjoining the good and prohibiting the evil.”129
In his first sermon 'Abd al-Malik said, “You are asking others to be pious while you forget yourself. I swear by Allah that I will behead him who tells me to be pious”.130
By referring to those who wanted him to be the same as Muhajirun, he said, “Do not ask me to be the same as them since you are not following them yourself”131.
'Abd al-Malik supported Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf Thaqafi who was a dictator in Iraq. What he was doing could uncover his despotic policy in ruling.Entering Kufa, Hajjaj told people, “The caliph had given me both a lash and a sword to come to you but on my way here I missed the lash so what remained was a sword.”132
'Abd al-Malik said,”He will not do either what the weak caliph ('Uthman) or what the flattering caliph (Mu'awiya) did. He will just use his sword when handling people.133Before his death, 'Abd al-Malik told his son, Walid, to kill those who had not paid allegiance to him.134
Later on, Mansur who himself was also a dictator described 'Abd al-Malik as being a dictator.135
When Mu'awiya Ibn Farra and Hajjaj went to see 'Abd al-Malik, he asked Mu'awiya,”What is Hajjaj doing”?
He replied,”If I tell you the truth, you will kill me. If not, God will punish me”.
Then 'Abd al-Malik told Hajjaj, “Do not torture him instead exile him to Sind.”136
The Marwanids were well-known for being tyrannical but some of them were somehow better in this regard.
People of the Book including the Jewsh and the Christians have strong cultural influence on the credulous Muslims. This should be discussed in detail somewhere else. What is relevant to our discussion is their roles in the political developments and particularly regarding the issue of caliphate.
The credulous Muslims believed that in their Books there are many predictions about them, about their caliphs, even about their names, some events of their lives as well as the sequence of them. What is to be mentioned here is just a brief account of what was happening at that time.
The Umayyads caliphs tried, by making use of either what the people of the Book told to the Muslims or words they themselves put into their mouths or any other means, to pretend that their names had been written in the divine Books.
This matter was of great importance concerning the legitimacy of their ruling. In addition, they could claim that such and such caliph had been chosen at Allah's behest. It is said that Mu'awiya had coveted caliphate once 'Uthman consulted with him and others about how to cope with his opponents. During Hajj rite someone read this verse,
انّ الامير بعده عليُّ و في الزبير خلف رضيُّ
Verily 'Ali is Amir after him and Zubayr, too, is a good successor
Ka'b al-Ahbar told him,”You are telling lie. Mu'awiya will succeed 'Uthman”. Then Mu'awiya was informed about what he had said.
He said to Mu'awiya,”You will come to power after 'Uthman”.
He was very pleased with what he said to him.137 Someone whose name was Yusuf and had embraced Judism prophesied that 'Abd al-Malik would be caliph.138 Wahb Ibn Munabba on the other hand, called 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz the guilder of the nation.139 He, just the same as Ka'b al-Ahbar, quoted some statements from the Books of the Jews and Christians for the Muslims.
Suyuti quoted 'Abd Allah, the son of 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz who had encountered a monk in Jazira, as saying, “The monk sat down just next to me while he had never sitten next to anyone else.”
He told me, “Do you know why I came to meet you?”
He said, “No”.
The monk said, “Because of your father since (based on what was written in our books) he is one of the just Imams.”
He is like Rajab among other Haram months are Dhi l-Qa'da, Dhil-Hajja and Muharram they stand for Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman. Rajab is the other one that is not after Muharram. It denotes 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz.140
Accordingly, the name of those four caliphs-not the name of 'Ali-had been mentioned in the Jewish books. It was also said that 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz had told a Christian,”Who would be the next caliph, based on your books, after Sulayman”?
Khalid Ibn Rib'i said,”We have founded in Torah that both the earth and the heaven will weep on 'Umar Ibn Abd al-’Aziz's death for forty days.”143 Muhammad Ibn Ka'b Quraďi also by bringing an example from the Israelis wanted to warn all of the consequences of disobeying caliphs.144
It was said that 'Abd al-Malik coined dhms and Dinars since Khalid had told him,”O caliph! the Jewish and Christian scholars told me that according to their books whosoever among caliphs carves the name of Allah on coins, he shall be long-lived.” Thereafter, he, for the first time, minted Islamic coins.145
Observing these cases, the common people among the Muslims who were mostly affected by the predictions of the people of the Book justified the legitimacy of the Umayyads rulers. Referring to Ayyub, the son of Sulayman Ibn 'Abd al-Malik, Jarir who was an eminent poet of the Umayyads composed these verses,
انت الخليفه للرّحمن يعرفه اهلُ الزًّبور وفي التوراة مكتوب
الله فضَّلـه والله وفَّقــَهُ توفيق يوسف اذا وصاه يعقوب
Thou art Allah's Viceroy. The Zoroastrians know thee and thy name had been written in Torah. Allah had favored thee.Thou art just the same as Yusuf who became triumphant after his father's will, would be triumphant too146
It was also said that the Umayyads caliphs were of the opinion that their names had been written in Torah. Those who were familiar with the divine Books of both the Jewish and Christians had the same opinion.
At the end, it seems appropriate to go over the treaty signed by Walid Ibn Yazid for the heir apparentship of his sons Hakam and 'Uthman. This treaty is a minute text which can reflect some of the formal beliefs of the government. At the outset, he elucidated prophets' mission up to the time when Allah appointed Muhammad (S) as a prophet.
It was after him, when his caliphs pursued his course of action. Allah's caliphs came one after the other on the basis of what Allah bestowed from the prophets' heritage and offered that caliphate.
Allah destroyed everyone who took a stand against their right, and exterminated everyone who was separated from their company, and made the caliphs dominate everyone who disparage their sainthood and considered Allah's Judgment concerning them of a different kind, and made them a lesson for others. Allah treated those being out of the obedience ordered by him like this. Up to this point, the conquest of all anti-Umayyads rebellions is deemed to be a reason for the Umayyads' rightfulness.
Thereupon, for the purpose of setting forth the place of caliphate he noted the verse of human being succession and angels' objection and correlated it with caliphate by stating, “Thus, through caliphate Allah preserves whatever is on the earth and via obedience makes humans prosperous. And Allah knows that nothing is stable and strong unless
Allah keeps His truth through an obedient servant, resettles His work, and hinders (the people) from disobedience, keep from unlawful matters and defends His limits. And everyone who profits by this obedience, is Allah's friend, and the obedient of His orders, and the one guided by Allah.”
Afterwards, with further elaboration he points out the significance of obedience stating, “It is through obedience that the prosperous attain their position, and via disobedience, Allah destroy the misled, rebellious and blind ones.”
He intermingled Allah's obedience together with that of caliphs. Afterwards he spoke of “treaty” by which he meant that very heir apparent ship. A treaty whose consolidation was inspired to caliphs by Allah, so that there would remain a hope and means of unity and intimacy amongst the people and the Satan would give up the hope of demolishing religion.
This treaty is indicative of Islam integrity and is amongst Allah's great grace the bondman has made indispensable for the servants. A matter through which Allah hampered the people from disunity, destroyed hypocrisy and kept them from any disparity. Further, there has been more explanations on the significance of “treaty”.
Then he said, Amir al-Mu'minin, Commander of the Faithful, (Walid) regarded nothing of much more importance than his treaty since Allah has granted caliphate, inasmuch as he knew its position in Muslims' work and at present asks Allah to make him succeed in this work. Amir al-Mu'minin is of the belief that he ought to have two treaty in succession. Afterwards, he made reference to his two sons Hakam and 'Uthman and appointed them to heir apparentship one after the other.147
The most salient point of this treaty is that attending to heir apparentship has been deemed a momentous matter and a God-given gift maintaining the security and reverence of the believers' community. This importance is to the extent that he regarded it as a taken of Islam integrity.148
Belief in predestination and sanctifying caliphate has been repeatedly mentioned in the treaty. As it's been pointed out, Allah's obedience has been considered the same as caliph's obedience, on the grounds that it was Allah who appointed caliphs as His Viceroys on the earth and who inspired them with the idea of heir apparentship.
At Umayyads's era, science was confined to al-Hadith, tradition, knowledge incorporating juristic, ethical, historical and interpretative narrations. After the death of the Prophet's companions, just a few people showed some interest in science. In as much as the time was not prone for such a matter; besides, Umayyads didn't show an interest in that.
After a long time, it comes to the mind of some people that they collect religious narrations and accounts so that it may be safeguarded against deviation and defilement. The order to this action was issued by 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz at the beginning of the second century A.H.149
And this very fact indicates the strong neglect of the leaders to the religious science. In Mu'awiya times and after him, various types of heresy and deviation in religion didn't trigger any opposition. The reason behind this was that the people were not that acquainted with the religious science to resist this matter.
Mu'awiya and Hajjaj150 went on with their efforts to revive the wrong religious traditions founded by 'Uthman and the others. In the meantime, on account of lack of attention to science in this era, even the people took no notice of the religious rules of which they were in the utmost need.151
A number of traditions were in scholars' hands; however, afterwards this number reached to one million.152 This very fact showed how the forgotten tradition of the Prophet (S) was compensated by hadith making in the next one or two centuries.
Umayyads were to be blamed for this, under the auspices of whose government no attention was paid to science, and they tried to lead the people to whatever path they wish through the policy of keeping them ignorant.153
In the meantime, most if those having acquaintance with the Islamic science get to serve al-Marwan. Although a large number of those having Shi'ites tendencies and being, for the most part, among Iraqi scholars, fought against Umayyads.
Amongst the assenters, Muhammad Ibn Muslim Ibn Shahab Zuhri (124 A.C.) who was taken thoroughly in the service of Umayyads ought to be mentioned.
At the time when he went along with one of Umayyads rulers to Abu Hazim, one of the last companions of the Prophet, Abu Hazim told him sarcastically, “At times Banu Isra'il went along the right path and the rulers were in need of the scholars … however, as the rascals acquiring knowledge went to the rulers, the rulers got needless of them.”
Zuhri standing aside Sulayman, the son of 'Abd al-Malik said, “It seems that you mean me in my action.” “That's what you've heard!” Replied Abu Hazim.154
For the most part, he dealt with Hisham Ibn 'Abd al-Malik. Hisham paid his heavy loans,155 and sent his sons to him for education in return for this service of Zuhri. Furthermore, before him, his brothers as well as 'Abd al-Malik have given him financial assistance.
The sister of this very Zuhri told the people not to believe in Zuhri speech. For, he has exchanged his religion for this worldly life and is working for the Umayyads.156 Afterwards in the future, those admitting the Umayyads's Islam, lauded Zuhri tremendously. Ibn Taymiyya said that Zuhri safeguarded Islam for 70 years.157
And it was undoubtedly obvious that this Islam was the one liked y the Umayyads. Before him a lot of people were in the service if the Umayyads, making hadith for them, such as Samura Ibn Jundab and Abu Hurayra.158 At any rate, Zuhri was among those interested in Hisham and other Umayyads,159 and was trying to propagate deviating beliefs. It has been said that Zuhri and 'Awana Ibn Hakam who was follow of 'Uthman as well, relied upon predestination religion specifically.160
It's interesting that Ibn Hibban said, “I knew no tradition narrated by Zuhri concerning the virtues of Imam 'Ali by heart.”161
Among other narrators being in the service of the family of Marwan, one can refer to Ibrahim Nakha'i.
It's been narrated from Ibn 'Awn that, كان ابراهيم ياتي الأمراء ويسألهم الجوائز “ Ibrahim always came to the rulers calling them for awards.”
According to what another one has written about him, Ibrahim himself offered some gifts to the rulers!162 Abul-Zanad, Medina jurist, was among the narrators and Qur'an reciters who had some relationships with Hisham Ibn 'Abd al-Malik.163 Mughira Ibn Muqsam is among other Qur'an-reciters who was the follower of 'Uthman and treated Imam 'Ali (a) aggressively as well.164
Amongst the renowned Qur'an reciters and narrators in the service of the Umayyads, Sha'bi ought to be pointed. He took part in 'Abd al-Rahman revolt; however, later on was pardoned through surrendering himself to Hajjaj and spent the rest of his life alongside him and 'Abd al-Malik,165 making up untrue stories with regard to marring the face of some of Shi'ite Muslims, such as Mukhtar, which Tabari has collected in his book.
Also 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Umar who lived up to Hajjaj times was more or less confirmed, particularly as 'Abd al-Malik wrote to Hajjaj that he might obey him.166 Raja' Ibn Haywa, another narrator has been referred to as “Sheikh Ahl ash-Sham”, Sheikh of Damascus people, and “Kabir al-Dawla al-Umawiyya”167, the great of the Umayyads government.
He was one of 'Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan's relatives and it's been said that he was in charge of the financial affairs when the rocks of Bayt al-Muqaddas, Jerusalem, were being built.168 Wellhausen brought forth a description of his impression on 'Abd al-Malik government and his sons Walid and Sulayman and has pointed out how he instigated Sulayman to appoint 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz as his successor.169
The only service these people were in a position to give was the forgery of those hadiths, traditions, which could be of benefit for the adherents of this family regarding dispraising the Umayyads's foes and narrating their own dignity.
Hadith-narration with regard to obeying the caliphs under any circumstances,170 and being much efficient practically were among the rights of which they won't be put on trial by Allah,171 on account of their being caliphs. When Yazid Ibn 'Abd al-Malik wanted to act in accordance with 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz's conduct after him, forty old men confirmed that, ما على الخلفاء حساب ولا كتاب “Caliphs won't be questioned of their deeds.”172
The son of Abu Musa Ash'ari, i.e. Abu Burda was among the other scholars dependent upon the Umayyads; who became a judge after the death of Kufa judge, Shurayh.173 Among the dominant duties of such hadith-reciters, were to consolidate the position of Quraysh among the Arabs, and to make some hadith aimed at justifying the unjust discrimination considered lawful by the Umayyads, regarding the superiority of Arabs over non-Arabs.
A hadith such as,قدموا قريشاً ولا تقدموها “ Precede the Quraysh and never let it precede you”174 was the continuation of a policy exerted by Sulayman Ibn 'Abd al-Malik who ordered those addressing Quraysh abusively to be whipped.175
Refuting the traditions narrated by Iraqi scholars and calling them hadith forgers was on the agenda of the Umayyads court.176 The reason behind this perhaps is that Imam 'Ali (a)'s hadiths were usually circulated in Iraq and this was not satisfying for the Umayyads.
In contrast with those scholars serving the Umayyads in Hijaz or Damascus and sometimes even Iraq, a mass of Kufiyan scholars, both those being pure Shi'ite Muslims or Mutashayyi', a newly converted Shi'ite Muslims, on no account did they deal with the Umayyads, and instead they put their efforts into preserving the correct traditions.
Amongst these traditions typically is, those with respect to the Prophet's Household's virtues which have been preserved, for the most part, by Iraqi traditionalists. It is noteworthy that the Iraqi were not generically the followers of 'Uthmani religion, and were interested in Imam 'Ali (a) and the household of the Prophet; even so they cannot be deemed Shi'ite Muslims, although they were called so traditionally.
Anyhow, amongst these scholars so many were not compatible with the Umayyads and took part in the riots at every opportunity. The participation of a large number of Iraq scholars in Ibn Ash'ath as well as Zayd Ibn 'Ali revolution demonstrates the power of such a position among Iraqi scholars.
Among the momentous difficulties of the Islamic culture during the first century A.H., is the penetration of Israelites which have left deep marks at extensive dimensions in both cultural and political areas, to the extent that during 14 centuries its impacts have constantly remained in the thoughts and various interpretive, historical, theological and juristic writings.
The first person being tremendously active in this path was 'Abd Allah Ibn Sallam, one of the Jewish scribes who embraces Islam at the Prophet's (S) time. Sources as well as compilers of traditions have got so many of his narrations concerning the circulation of Jew culture among Muslims.
Ka'b al-Ahbar was more prominent than him, and given the influence he had on the second caliph177, impressed so many companions of the Prophet (S) who narrated traditions, and was able to induce more pernicious damages to the Islamic culture and defile the world of tradition by his baseless narrations from the Jewish books. He was even highly praised by Mu'awiya.178
'Akrama, one of the Mawalis of 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Abbas, a prominent traditionist has called him “Rabbani Hadhi al-Umma”, “The Devine of this nation”.179 Among the companions of the Prophet (S), Abu Hurayra and 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Amr respected him more than the others, to the extent that in some cases Abu Hurayra ascribed his narrations to the Prophet (S) aiming to make them common. In our discussion of the caliphate of the second caliph, we will speak of Ka'b al-Ahbar in detail.
Ka'b al-Ahbar's actual inheritor was Wahb Ibn Munabba in the late first century and the beginning if the second century. According to what Zuhri has written about him, he has got tremendous knowledge of the people of the book, and extremely favored in this regard.180
Wahb traditions have been compiled in Sahih Muslim and Bukhari through Wahb's brother, Hammam, who himself was the narrator of traditions of Abu Hurayra being himself under the influence of Ka'b al-Ahbar.181
Taking into account the multi-dimensional relationship of Abu Hurayra, Ka'b al-Ahbar, Wahb Ibn Munabba, and Hammam Ibn Munabba demonstrates their contribution to the circulation of He was the Ka'b al-Ahbar of his time, and Ka'b al-Ahbar is the most knowledgeable of the people of his time. And now, what sort of a person is Wahb himself, having access to both sciences?!”, said Dhahabi about Wahb.182 كان كثيرا ينقل من كتب الاسرائيات “ He frequently narrated from Israelites books.”183
Wrote Dhahabi elsewhere about him. It's been narrated, by Wahb himself, that he first believed in predestination; however, having read seventy or so heavenly books, he recanted these beliefs.414
Elsewhere it's been noted that he has studied 92 heavenly books.184 Ibn 'Imad Hanbali has written about him, كان شديد الاعتناء بكتب الاولين واخبار الملاحم وقصصهم بحيث كان يشبه بكعب الاحبار في زمانه “ He took great heed of the books of the primacy people and accounts of the bloody fights as well as their stories, to the extent that he resembled Ka'b al-Ahbar in his time.”185
After some years, Wahb gained such a high position in Sunnites culture that they narrated from the Prophet (S), يكون في أمتي رجل يقال له وهب يهب الله له الحكمة 186 “There will be a man among my nation called Wahb, to whom Allah will grant sagacity.”
He was definitely not heedless of the Umayyads, and he regarded 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz as Mahdi al-Maw'ud.187
The Umayyads policy not only didn't hinder the publication of Israelian articles and writings, but it did confine it as well. The Umayyads rulers derived many benefits from their knowledge for the popularization and application of their political thoughts in the society.
Mu'awiya himself had a Christian counselor namely Sirjawn Ibn Mansur. He was that very person whom Yazid once made his doorkeeper and showed him a treaty - whether true or lie - from Mu'awiya, so that if the people in Kufa revolt, he would commission 'Ubayd Ibn Ziyad to go to Kufa. Afterwards, Sirjawn Ibn Mansur became the counselor of Marwan Ibn Hakam as well.188
It seems likely that, his son was responsible for the crucial duty of writing about the army and the tribute.189 According to some other records, Mu'awiya has reconstructed a ruined church.190 If need be, the caliphs referred to the narrations amongst whose narrators was Zuhri, with regard to the virtue of Bayt al-Muqaddas, Jerusalem.
When Mecca was in 'Ubayd Ibn Ziyad's hand, Damascus people were faced with difficulty during their pilgrimage to Mecca. According to Ya'qubi, 'Abd al-Malik prevented them from going on pilgrimage to Mecca, in as much as Ibn Zubayr compelled them to pledge allegiance to him as the Muslims' caliph. When opposed to, 'Abd al-Malik told the people that Ibn Shahab Zuhri quoted from your Prophet to you, لا تشد الرحال الا الي ثلاثه مساجد, المسجد الحرام ومسجدي ومسجد بيت المقدس وهو يقوم لكم مقام الكعبه “ Pack not off but towards the mosque: al-Haram mosque, al-Nabi mosque and al-Aqsa mosque.”
It is the roach thereon the Holy Prophet allegedly stood during his ascension. Take it in lieu of Ka'ba. Having built a dome for and hung curtains around it, 'Abd al-Malik compelled the people to go around it as they do around Ka'ba. Such a rite had been performed during the Umayyads time.191
According to Ibn Khallakan people had congregated there on the day of 'Arafa (the 9th day of Dhil-Hajja when the pilgrims perform specified actions in 'Arafat).192
It might not have been explicitly mentioned in Arabic sources that performing Hajj in Bayt al-Muqaddas (Jerusalem) had been 'Abd al-Malik's initiation but the only pieces of information reported had been circumambulating around the rock as well as its holiness.
Nevertheless, in non-Arabic sources, Europeans, it is precisely stressed that it had been 'Abd al-Malik's order. Utikhyus, one of the first historians in Europe had written it in his book called Annales.193 This action manifests how the Israelites had been made use of with the Umayyads's policies side by side.
To hold Bayt al-Muqaddas in esteem, both 'Abd al-Malik and Hajjaj had committed themselves to building two portals for it. The one built by 'Abd al-Malik was burnt to a crisp by a thunderbolt later. Hajjaj wrote to him that the following Qur'anic verse was about them
واتْلُ عَلَيْهِم بنا بني آذم بالحقّ اِذْ قَرّبا قُرْباناً فَتَقًّبَل مِنْ أحَدِهما وَلًمْ يتَقَّبلْ من الآخر
“And relate to them the story of the two sons of Adam with truth when they both offered an offering, but it was accepted from one of them and was not accepted from the other.” 194
Any other cases concerning the impacts on 'Abd al-Malik through people of the Book are reported.195 During his long (twenty-year) rule over the oriental Islamic lands, Hajjaj was not secure from the scientific dignity of people of the Book therefore, he reinforced their influence on the community through being impressed with them.
One of them dates back to the year 84 when he founded the town of Wasit motivated by a Christian monk's prophecy as stated by Tabari. While he had stopped there, accompanied by his troops, he noticed a monk crossing the Tigris and urinating towards his mule at the same time. Dismounting from his mule, the monk removed the polluted soil and threw it in out the river. Hajjaj called him and asked about the reason.
He responded that he had read in their books that in this very place a mosque would be built and Allah would be worshipped as long as there were monotheists on that earth. Accordingly, Hajjaj laid the foundations for the town of Wasit there and founded the principal mosque of the town in….196
The phrase “we have read in our books that …” was common while narrating the Israelites statements. Some day when Hajjaj was on his way to Damascus to meet 'Abd al-Malik, he asked a monk whether he had read anything regarding the present status in their books.
He answered, “Yes”.
He asked again, “By name or description?”
“Sometimes by name without description and sometimes vice versa,” replied the monk. After a series of questions, Hajjaj asked about his successor. The answer was that a man called Yazid would succeed him.
“While I am dead or alive”? he asked.
“I do not know”, he answered.
Hajjaj asked, “Give a description of him!”
“He would be treacherous to you,” said the monk, “I know nothing more”.
Remembering Yazid Ibn Muhallab, Khurasan governor, who was also ousted later.197 There is a strong probability that some merely with the aim of deposing Yazid had conspired to incite the monk to utter such absurd talks.
The Christian's penetration into the Umayyads's administration under the name of amanuenses and so on and so forth cleared the way for the Israelites expansion. Mothers of some rulers were Christian bondwomen, in their turns, influential in disseminating Christian culture in Muslim community.
Since Khalid Ibn 'Abd Allah Qasri's mother was a Christian, Khalid was accused of his religion while being an Umayyads governor in Mecca and Iraq for years. He had built a synagogue for his mother to worship. Concerning him, Farazdaq had composed,
وكيف يؤم الناس من كانت أمّه تدين بـان الله ليس بواحــد
بني بيعة فيها الصليب لامّــه ويهدم من بغض منارالمساجد
How can he ever be a leader for a nation while his mother is unbeliever in monotheism? The man who had built a synagogue having a cross for her and has ruined the minarets of the mosques spitefully198
According to Isfahani, Khalid had been accused on his father's side as well, one of whose forefathers had been a Jew joining the tribe of Bujayla.199 Even Hisham had accused him of heeding more to Christians and Zoroastrians and apportioning properties among them.200
Khalid Rib'i, well-acquainted with the Israelites, had said,”We found in Torah that sky and the earth had shed tears for forty days after 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz”.201
Walid Ibn 'Abd al-Malik also paid much attention to the Qur'an recites of Bayt al-Muqaddas. As stated by Ibn Abi 'Ulba, Walid had given many pieces of jewelry to him to distribute among them.202 A study of Islamic history can reveal hundreds of impacts that Christian and Jewish culture have had on Sunnites culture.
It has been also said why 'Abd al-Malik had for the first time coined was that he had been told that based on their books, the followers of the divine Books had been of this opinion that the caliphs who sanctified Allah on the coins would outlive.203
Imams took a position against such beliefs. Imam 'Ali (a) had stated,
“Anyone who has got a book from the early nations should dispose it as soon as he can.”204 It was while these kinds of books had been spread among Muslims. Imam as-Sadiq also in his turn reproached those scholars after the Israelites.205
Earlier, we noticed how Iman as-Sajjad prohibited Hasan Basri from recounting stories. It was exactly the continuation of the Prophet's policy that had emphasized,
لا تسألوا أهل كتاب عن شيء
Never ever ask the followers of the divine Books any question206
These people made efforts to recount the stories respecting the former prophets which had been distorted in Jewish books and usually contained many insults at them as well as false narrations in terms of scholastic theology and jurisprudence. It was already addressed that story-telling became prevalent from caliph II onward.
Later, during 'Uthman's time, telling the Prophet's stories based on Jewish books while interpreting the Qur'anic verses prevailed more than before. Once Mu'awiya urged a story-teller to stand up after the prayer and curse Imam 'Ali.207
The policy of cursing 'Ali (a) was carried on during the Umayyads's tenure by the story-tellers too. When the caliphs realized that the story-tellers needed to be under control, they fabricated some hadiths according to which story-tellers should have worked under the caliph's supervision and personally appointed them in order to pursue their own political and cultural aims.
It was the story-tellers who spread false hadiths among people and had even more influence on people than hadith-narrators. Surprisingly, regardless of their influence on Sunnites's religious culture, hadith-narrators rejected them saying that it they are told one hadith they will multiply it.208
The caliphs were mainly proponents of the story-tellers and as mentioned above they themselves appointed and dismissed them. Almost all stories dealt with the narrations made by the followers of the divine Books and were all discussed in detail elsewhere.209
Although conquests had been somewhat resumed during the time of Yazid Ibn Mu'awiya, in this 60s and until even 73 when Ibn Zubayr was overthrown, they were halted. However, the ground was repaved for them subsequent to establishment of 'Abd al-Malik's broad-based government and Ibn Zubayr's fall.
The conquests were limited to several areas, One was in theast including both transoxania and Sistan and the other in the western lands of Islam including Northern Africa and Northern Iraq and Syria called Armenia. Bearing this fact in mind that no consensus is reached on the date of conquests and the quality of their report which have been mingled with irrelevant epics, we present a concise report respecting these conquests.
When 'Umar was caliph, the conquests in oriental lands of Islam peaked following the overthrow of the Sassanids Empire. Arabs who considered the conquests as a mission for expanding Islam and wiping off non-Muslims did not content themselves with the Sassind's overthrow and advanced towards the vast Khurasan, half of which is now in Iran and the rest in Afghanistan and Middle Asian republics, so fast that they reached Transoxania.
After years of clashes with the local dynasties in such lands, Arabs could after all spread the religion deeply as near as China. It is worth saying that aside from the motivation of both caliphs and rulers of the aforesaid areas as well as the people to battle against non-Muslims, a desire for gaining spoils was of central importance in Muslim's resistance too.
Khurasan was under the Sassanids's power then. Nevertheless, the more it was advanced towards the east, the less their influence grew and the stronger the local rulers became. The residents of that land were like Turks in Iranians' view. As soon as the conquests crossed the border of Khurasan, Iranians became motivated to cooperate. By the same token, the Iranian's all-out presence beside Arabs in the conquests was eye-catching in the last quarter of the first century.
Although the impediments facing Arabs in such lands were by no means few, their strength in defeating the Sassanids as a superpower together with Islamic attraction and Muslims's treatment could undermine the residents. Professor Gip commented, “Since Arabs' dominance often followed neither murder nor plunder and they contented themselves with the paid Jizya after the capture, the town was evacuated immediately with no serious resistance.”210
The existing disputes among the local rulers were another reason for the fragility of these lands and consequently facilitative for Muslim Arabs. Muslims's attack to Transoxania had in essence begun during Mu'awiya's time by Ziyad, Iraqi governor, in the early 50s.
In 51 A.H. he was set to send 50000 Arab families residing in Basra and Kufa out to Khurasan211 in order to materialize his aim which was stabilization of conquests. The urgency of these Arabs' presence for developing and stabilizing the conquered area was crystal clear. Furthermore, such a movement could precede a number of lateral problems for Muslims one of which was the protracted dispute among the Arab tribes in Khurasan, the origin of most clashes.
The strife between the Mudrids and Rabi'a in Khurasan had ended in many deep-rooted conflicts. While Ibn Zubayr in power, 'Abd Allah Ibn Khazim, from among the Qaysids, was the governor. Succeeding Ibn Zubayr's suppression by 'Abd al-Malik, 'Abd Allah was asked to stay there at 'Abd al-Malik's demand.
He declined however. 'Abd al-Malik as a consequence invoked Bukayr Ibn Wishah, an agent of 'Abd Allah's in Marw who accepted the request. In a battle between him and 'Abd Allah Ibn Khazim, Ibn Khazim was killed and 'Abd al-Malik could succeed in dominating that land as well.212
No sooner had 'Abd Allah Ibn Khazim been appointed by Ibn Zubayr as Khurasan governor than the clashes among Arabs in Khurasan had Turks dare advance as near as Niyshabur.213 The clashes among the Arab residents of Khurasan were so prolonged even after Ibn Khazim's death that both Sistan and Khurasan were also entrusted to Hajjaj. Proficient enough during the war with the Kharijites, Muhallab Ibn Abi Sufra was appointed by him in 78 to govern Khurasan.
The governorship of Muhallab's family father and two sons, Yazid and Mufaďďal) in that land lasted about nine years. Nevertheless, following the grudge Hajjaj bore this family, he ousted them and substituted Qutayba Ibn Muslim for them. In 80, concurrent with the attack Muhallab had launched on Kashsh, he stayed there for two years and combated non-Muslims. According to Tabari, since there had been no probability of conquest for him, his one and the only desire was to return the army safe and sound to Marw.214
Muhallab who passed away in 82 on his way back from Kashsh was replaced by his son, Yazid. In 84, an influential Turk in a fort in Badaghays to whom Yazid had laid siege had to hand over the entire treasure of the fort in a compromise to him and leave with his family.215
Hajjaj affected by an eminent follower of the divine Books suspected Yazid Ibn Muhallab in 85 and designated his brother, Mufaďďal, in place.216 As Yazid himself had perceived, such a measure was merely for impairing this family's influence and eventually wiping them off the political face of Khurasan and even oriental lands.
During his nine-month ruler, Mufaďďal invaded Badaghays and besides conquering it, he brought spoils. Such conquests of Muhallab's family appeared petty compared with those of Qutayba Ibn Muslim who stepped in Khurasan in 86. At the same time 'Abd al-Malik died and his son, Walid, succeeded him.
He was the one throughout whose age the greatest conquests were made reminiscent of the primary stages of conquests. Qutayba carried on conquering for nearly ten years during which he endeavored to capture the lands in Transoxania whether south or north of Amudarya (Jiyhun). Both Tabari and Baladhuri have addressed these conquests in their books but the analysis of them is beyond the scope of this chapter.217
The reports respecting such issues are evaluated by professor Gibbwithin four units, Restitution of Takharistan (86), Conquest of Bukhara (87), Growth of influence (91) and Military Expedition to the provinces218 with Qutayba's death, conquests were halted for a long time although Arabs were still dominant.
Embracing Islam had gradually become so prevalent that the conversion of a number of monarchs to Islam by 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-’Aziz's219 invitation set the scene for the caliphs' absolute dominance.
Qutayba's conquests in the Orient reached China the most noticeable areas of which were Shash and Farghana; however, Arab dominance in that land was exposed to change. They all occurred during the last years of his life, 94 and 95. As soon as he learned Hajjaj's death, he relinquished conquering, upset, and returned to Marw220.
As reported by Narshakhi the principal mosque of Balkh was founded in 94221 indicative of Islam's widespread in the cities of Islamic land. Southern transoxania from Kabul to the south and from Kirman province in Iran to the east was called Sijistan.
Two abortive attacks of Arabs one by 'Abd Allah Ibn Umayya and the other by 'Ubayd Allah Ibn Abi Bakra have been reported by Baladhuri. As far as the mountainous position of the area was concerned, the monarch named Ratbil or Zanbil could each time force Muslim Arabs to withdraw.222
When Hajjaj dispatched an army headed by 'Abd al-Rahman Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ash'ath to Sijistan in 80, Zanbil asked for a compromise but 'Abd al-Rahman declined. Arabs could conquer a large part of Sijistan and gain spoils subsequent to Zanbil's withdrawal.223
Contenting himself with these numbers, 'Abd al-Rahman informed Hajjaj of his decision. Hajjaj urged him, nevertheless, to keep on conquering. 'Abd al-Rahman as well as the Iraqis who had a potential dissatisfaction with Hajjaj revolted discussed elsewhere in detail.
After being defeated, 'Abd al-Rahman sought refuge by Zanbil but in an agreement and under Hajjaj's threat 'Abd al-Rahman's head was sent to him under the conditions of a seven-year or nine-year truce and indemnity. As this period passed by Ashhab Ibn Bishr traveled there on Hajjaj's behalf but his harsh behavior toward Zanbil made him send him back.
Dominant in Khurasan and Sijistan, Qutayba Ibn Muslim sent his brother, 'Amr, to Sijistan. Muslims' former defeats in that land which had cast a spell over it according to 'Amr resulted in a compromise. When Zanbil felt that Muslims had no longer the ability to attack there, he discontinued paying to the rulers succeeding Hajjaj.224
In 94, Muslims could advance toward India by the Sea of 'Umman and conquer a part of it in addition to Sijistan, under Zanbil's rule.225 Among the Indian key cities conquered first by Muslims in 95 was Multan. Until then modern western Pakistan had entirely been governed by Muslims.226
The conquering of Egypt was the start of Muslim conquests in Africa and their penetration into Spain. Egypt was conquered late during 'Umar's caliphate in 20 and 21 A.H. Two years later Tripoli was conquered but not staying there, Muslims came back to Barqa. After a while, the civil wars waged among Muslims had them miss the chance of more conquests in Africa.
Muslim disputes in that land were mostly with the rulers designated by East Roman Emperor for Egypt, Ifriqiya (modern Tunasia) and littoral areas of the Mediterranean. Although the local tribes called Barbars were among the greatest obstacles to conquests, they gradually embraced Islam as conquests multiplied.
As already discussed, while Mu'awiya in power, 'Uqba Ibn Nafi', resumed conquering and established the town of Qirawan in 50 as a base for Muslims' next conquests. Nonetheless, in an ambush among the Barbarians, he was killed in 64. With successive attacks, he could penetrate into modern Morocco as near as Fas but he was killed en route back.
Once 'Abd al-Malik had suppressed various riots and dominated the whole Islamic lands, conquests in Africa were resumed in 76. At the same time, Hasan Ibn Nu'man launched his conquests by conquering Qartajanna and advanced towards Morocco. Meanwhile, Romans occupied Qartajanna but Hasan who could take it back in 79 razed it to the ground not to allow them to infiltrate into it again. This time, the Barbarians united behind a woman, named Kahina, later, against Muslim Arabs and could succeed to get them to retreat as far as the primary conquests. The only place where Kahina and the Barbarians were overpowered was Tabarja in 83.
To pursue Hasan Ibn Nu'man's conquests, Musa Ibn Nusayr resumed them in Africa in 86 and consequently conquered modern Morocco wholly. At the same time, as the Barbarians have been gradually embracing Islam the ground was getting fully prepared for Arabs' through dominance in northern littoral lands of Africa.227
'Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan was the caliph until then who was succeeded by his son Walid whose endeavors in conquests were the most considerable among the former caliphs according to Suyuti.
One of the commanders of Musa Ibn Nusayr's army was Tariq Ibn Ziyad who has been allegedly a Barbarian although what his father's name indicated was that he might have converted to Islam long time ago. Due to his excellent competence as a commander, Tariq overstepped the bounds of North Africa and took Muslims to Spain for the first time in 93.
A year later Musa Ibn Nusayr set out to Spain as well and maintained the act of conquering there. Among the conquered lands were Tulaytala, Marida, etc. Most areas with no war surrendered to Muslims and as a result Spain became entirely Muslim Arabs'.
Walid's death in 97 and his succession by Sulayman made Musa Ibn Nusayr return to Damascus and be blacklisted by the Umayyads. He wished he had pursued conquests in Italy and France through Spain and then in Greece and constantinople. Walid's death as well as his deposal, however, caused Arabs to remain in Spain and even entrust the land to the Europeans after a couple of centuries.
Armenia was among the lands the conquests of which had been begun from 'Umar's time and had been under heavy clashes in the late first century. A vast land was called Armenia by Muslims. Baladhuri has divided it into four parts including such cities as Shimshat, Qaliqala, Busfurjan, Dubayl, Jurzan and Sijistan.228
When 'Uthman in power, Habib Ibn Maslama Fihri attacked Qaliqala and not only he conquered it but also based on a treaty the residents were duty-bound to pay Jizya(tributes).229 Tiflis, Eastern Armenia, was also surrounded by Habib.
While 'Abd al-Malik and Ibn Zubayr were in clashes, the residents of such areas appreciated the opportunity and revolted, but they were suppressed after some time and ruled by the Umayyads.230 During Walid's and Sulayman's age many attacks were made on the Roman central territory. Although in their attacks they even reached as near as the gates of Constantinople, Muslims could never succeed in conquering it.
In a nutshell, it can be said that Muslims lost their primary magnificence from the late first century but in return Romans resumed their attacks and were still superior in the second century. Nevertheless, they could by no means conquer Eastern Rome entirely. It was done by 'Uthmanids later in the 10th century after Hijra.
ابي الله الا نصركم بجنوده وليس بمغلوب من الله صاحبه فما قام بعد الدار قواد فتنه ليشعلها الا ومروان ضاربه ابی الله الا ان ملککم الذی به نيت الدين الشديد نصابه
Somewhere else he composed (Diwan, vol. I, p. 215) غلبتم الناس بالحق اذا ضربوا عليهم وبضرب غير تعذير