Seeing some present conditions that a detailed biography of Yazid should be compiled so that true facts of his life and background may become known to all, we plan to discuss the following points in this treatise:
(1) Name and genealogy
(2) Banu Umayyah in the light of the Holy Qur’an and traditions
(3) The initial lowliness of the Banu Umayyah and the causes of their later prominence
(4) Character of Muawiyah
(5) Character of Yazid’s mother
(6) Upbringing of Yazid and his nature
(7) Events preceding the appointment as heir apparent
(8) Intrigues for heir apparency
(9) Coronation and
(10) Arrangement of the slaying of Imam Husayn (a.s) and its events in brief
(11) The episode of Harrah (sack of Medina) – its causes and consequences
(12) Siege of Mecca – its causes and consequences
(13) Death of Yazid
(14) Habits and traits of Yazid
Since a lot of time and leisure is required to write on all the above topics, I have decided to write on each topic whenever there is opportunity. And when all the topics are covered we can compile them into a book. If Allah the High, wills.
First of all we intend to present and discuss the verses of Holy Qur’an regarding Banu Umayyah. The exegesis and commentaries on these verses is from the books of Ahl al-Sunnah themselves.
…and We did not make the vision which We showed you but a trial for men and the cursed tree in the Qur’an as well; and We cause them to fear, but it only adds to their great inordinacy.1
Under this blessed verse, following traditions are quoted in Tafsir Durre Manthur of Allamah Jalaluddin Abdur Rahman Suyuti:2
(1) Ibn Jarir has related from Sahl bin Saad that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) saw in his dream, so and so clan jumping on his pulpit like monkeys. Thus he became so aggrieved by it that he never laughed as long as he lived and the Almighty Allah revealed the following verse:
In this tradition the narrator has resorted to dissimulation and refrained from mentioning the name of the tribe or clan but later traditions clearly state the name of Banu Umayyah to be the ‘accursed tree’.
(2) Ibn Abi Hatim has narrated from Ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: I have seen the progeny of Hakam bin al-Aas jumping on the pulpits and the Almighty Allah revealed the verse in this connection:
…and We did not make the vision which We showed you but a trial for men and the cursed tree in the Qur’an as well; and We cause them to fear, but it only adds to their great inordinacy.3
And the ‘accursed tree’ denotes Hakam and his progeny, which was a prominent clan of Banu Umayyah.
(3) Ibn Abi Hatim has narrated from Ya’la bin Marrah that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: ‘I was shown in my dream Banu Umayyah on the pulpits of the world. And very soon they would become your rulers. Then you would find them bad rulers; and the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) was very much aggrieved due to this dream. Thus Almighty Allah revealed this verse.
(4) Ibn Marduyah has narrated from Imam Husayn (a.s) that one morning the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) was very much aggrieved. When the reason for this was asked he said: I was shown in my dream that the Banu Umayyah are barking from my pulpit. So he was told: O Allah’s Messenger, do not be aggrieved by this dream because it is only the worldly things that they shall be able to achieve. At that time the Almighty Allah revealed this verse.
(5) Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Marduyah and in Dalail Baihaqi and Ibn Asakir have narrated from Sa’eed bin Musayyab that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) saw (in dream) Banu Umayyah on the pulpits. Therefore he was aggrieved due to it. At that time the Almighty Allah revealed that they shall only get the world and they shall remain alien to the Hereafter. So the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) became content. And that revelation is the following statement of Allah:
…and We did not make the vision which We showed you but a trial for men and the cursed tree in the Qur’an as well; and We cause them to fear, but it only adds to their great inordinacy.4
(6) Ibn Marduyah has narrated from Ayesha that she told Marwan bin Hakam that: I have heard the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) say to your father and grandfather that: You people are the same (family) tree that is cursed in the Holy Qur’an.
This verse and traditions recorded about this verse clearly show that Banu Umayyah was a really evil and inauspicious family which the Almighty Allah has cursed in the Holy Qur’an and whose kingdom is made a test for the people that who would go to the side of Banu Umayyah for obtaining worldly benefits and who remains aloof from them and keeps his or her faith safe. As if both Banu Umayyah and Satan are same by way of being tests for the people. That is why when the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) saw these Satans in human forms jumping on the pulpits he was so shocked that he did not even laugh until the time he remained in the world thereafter.
Now when it has been proved that this whole clan is accursed, if someone yet is doubtful about the justification of cursing Yazid and his father, it only proves his or her lack of understanding of the Holy Qur’an.
Shia commentator, Mulla Mohsin Faid has also in his Tafsir Safi quoted the same traditions in the explanation of this verse and after that he says:
The subject matter of these traditions is same among the Sunni as well as the Shia.
In the end, the respected commentator has pointed out a very interesting point in this verse that in it while the Almighty Allah described the evil handiworks of this family, He has also mentioned in it by name the greatest villain of this clan:
Famaa yaziiduhum illaa t’ughyaanan kabiiraa: …but it only adds to their great inordinacy.5
This statement contains the name of Yazid.
The worldly pomp and grandeur of Banu Umayyah that is mentioned above was not by the wish and will of the Almighty as in the case of Prophet Yusuf and Prophet Sulaiman (a.s). But as clearly stated before, it was by way of test of the people. The matter is further elaborated in the following verse in which the Almighty Allah tells His Messenger to say to them:
And I do not know if this may be a trial for you and a provision until a time.6
Please see the following two narrational reports in this connection:
(1) Ibn Saad and Ibn Abi Shayba and in Dalail, Baihaqi have related from Imam Shobi that when Imam Hasan (a.s) made a treaty with Muawiyah, Muawiyah asked him to arise and say a few words regarding the truce. Thus after praise to the Almighty, Imam Hasan (a.s) said: I have given up the kingdom only for the sake of the welfare of the Muslims and to prevent their bloodshed. And I don’t know whether it could be a test for you and a respite for a few days.” Then he sought the forgiveness of Allah and descended from the pulpit.7
It is wrong to think that Imam Hasan (a.s) merely recited this verse here by way of quoting. The fact is that this verse was only revealed about the kingdom of Banu Umayyah. Now please see this narration:
(2) Ibn Abi Shayba and Ibn Asakir have narrated from Rabi bin Anas that when the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) went up to the heavens on the night of Ascension (he saw there some things due to which) the Almighty Allah revealed this verse that:
…and We did not make the vision which We showed you but a trial for men and the cursed tree in the Qur’an as well; and We cause them to fear, but it only adds to their great inordinacy.8
And these things denote this very kingdom and rulership.”
All the intrigues and plots of Banu Umayyah to acquire this kingdom were apparently conducted in the name of religion, while the fact was they had done all this after ignoring and abandoning the commands of God. Thus the third verse explains this matter in the same way.
And among men there is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge and without guidance and without an illuminating book, Turning away haughtily that he may lead (others) astray from the way of Allah; for him is disgrace in this world, and on the day of resurrection We will make him taste the punishment of burning: This is due to what your two hands have sent before, and because Allah is not in the least unjust to the servants.9
Commenting on the verse, the late Maulana Farman ‘Ali Sahab says on the margins:
“Hafiz bin Muhammad bin Musa Shirazi in Tafsir Ithna Ashar has related from Anas Ibn Malik that: We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) and talking about the good points of a person. That how steadfast he was in praying, fasting and charity. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said that he did not recognize him. Just then, the person in question arrived there and we said that it was the same person. As soon as the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) heard this, he told Abu Bakr to take the sword and behead that man saying: “He is the first person of the party of Satan.” Thus Abu Bakr took the sword and came to the Masjid but found that the man was bowing down in prayers. Thinking that since the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) has prohibited against killing of worshippers he returned and reported that he had seen him praying and ‘you have prohibited killing a worshipper’. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: “Sit down, you are not worthy of this.” Then he commanded Umar to go to the mosque and get the severed head of that man. When Umar came with the sword he found the man in prostration. Hence he also returned and described the situation. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said, “You are also not worthy of this. Sit down.” Then he (s.a.w) said: “‘Ali, get up. And I know that if you find the man you would surely kill him. And if you kill him right now there would never be disunity among the people of this community of mine.” Thus ‘Ali (a.s) went in pursuit but did not find the man there. He returned and reported the situation. At that time the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: “O ‘Ali the community of Musa (a.s) was divided into 71 sects, one was delivered and the rest damned. And the nation of Isa (a.s) became divided into 72 sects; one of whom was delivered and all the rest were doomed. And my people shall be divided into 73 sects. One shall go to Paradise and all others to Hell.” ‘Ali (a.s) asked which the delivered sect was? The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) replied: “One who follows your way and the path of your companions.” At that moment the captioned verse was revealed about that man.
Ibn Abbas says: “By Allah, His Eminence, ‘Ali (a.s) slew that man in the battle of Siffeen.” Allamah Ibn Hajar in Fathul Bari, Hafiz Abu Naeem in Hilyah and other Ahl al-Sunnah scholars have also quoted this report.10
When such was the condition of the followers of Banu Umayyah and for them this verse was revealed in denouncement, the conditions of the Banu Umayyah themselves could be estimated easily. In any case, Allah so much liked to fight the supporters of Banu Umayyah that He issued a clear command that just as the infidels were fought for the spread of Islam in the same way the Banu Umayyah should be fought severely for the defense of Islam as the fourth verse is clearly saying.
And fight (in the way of) Allah, (such) a fighting as is due to Him…11
Umar has given the explanation of this verse as follows:
(1) Ibn Marduyah has narrated from Abdur Rahman bin Auf that he said that Umar said: In whatever we used to read in the Qur’an, did it not have the verse: “And perform Jihad in the last age for the sake of Allah as it deserves to be fought like you used to perform Jihad in the beginning period?” I said: “Indeed we used to read it. So, Chief of believers, for what time this command is?” Umar replied, “When the Banu Umayyah are the rulers and the Bani Mughaira are their ministers.”12
(It is very astonishing, that in spite of knowing this Umar gave the opportunity to Banu Umayyah to consolidate their position in Syria. And he made such an arrangement for a person in the Shura committee that he should be selected the caliph in any way. And in his caliphate Umar gave an equal share to Abdur Rahman bin Auf.)
(2) Baihaqi has narrated from Musawwir bin Muhzama in Dalail that Umar asked Abdur Rahman bin Auf…and after that is mentioned the whole narrative of the above-mentioned report.
And according to the late Maulana Farman ‘Ali Sahab:
“It is clear that during the time of Yazid, the progeny of Mughaira were in the ministries because the first one to take up the issue of Yazid’s allegiance with Muawiyah and make the people give allegiance was Mughaira, the governor of Kufa. He had sent forty men with his son to Muawiyah to give the allegiance of Yazid. And after those people paid the allegiance, Muawiyah asked his (Mughaira’s) son in private, “How much did your father pay to purchase the faith and religion of these people?” “Four hundred Dinars, “ he replied. “It is still cheap,” remarked Muawiyah. How beautiful! Muawiyah was certain of his dishonesty and falsehood. In any case, the time that the Almighty Allah indicates is that of the time of the Jihad of Imam Husayn (a.s) and it is about this magnificent Jihad that the Almighty Allah speaks about giving His support.”13
Now we have reached the period of Yazid and the battle of Karbala’ and it has become clear that the Jihad Imam Husayn (a.s) performed against Yazid, it was in compliance of this same verse. Such was the significance of this Jihad in the view of the Almighty that He considered these ten days of Muharram to be worthy of honor and He has sworn by it as clearly mentioned in the fifth verse of our discussion:
I swear by the daybreak, and the ten nights…14
The following traditional report is mentioned in its exegesis in Tafsir Durre Manthur:15
(1) Muhammad bin Nasr in Kitabus Salaat has narrated from Uthman that people venerate three ‘Ashuras’ (ten-day periods). The first ten days of Muharram, the first ten days of Zilhajj and the last ten days of the month of Ramadan.
It is obvious that there is no apparent reason for the significance of the first ten days of Muharram except that a magnificent confrontation between truth and falsehood was to take place during these ten days in which apparently falsehood shall be victorious but in fact it would be badly vanquished. And it was in remembrance of this event that very much before its actual occurrence these days were made sanctified and venerable. It was when the actual event hadn’t even occurred. Thus among the Jews also the 10th of Muharram was considered a holy day. In the ancient age, the Jewish year began from the month of Rajab and Muharram was the seventh month of their calendar. It is mentioned in the Old Testament (Leviticus 23:26-32)
“And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the people of Israel, in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work; and you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.”
“And the Lord said to Moses, “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement; it shall be for you a holy convocation and you shall afflict yourselves and present an offering by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work on this same day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. For whoever is not afflicted on this same day shall be cut off from his people. And whoever does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no work: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves; on the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.”16
In any case, the kingdom of Banu Umayyah and in it, the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s) and the news of other calamities and the knowledge of the destruction of this religion of Islam the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) had nurtured with his blood, made the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) so much aggrieved that none could estimate his shock. Thus when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) saw in dream, which was mentioned in the discussion of the first verse, in which the Almighty Allah told that the kingdom of this accursed tree shall be a test for the people, for further comfort of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w), Allah also considered it necessary to inform about the duration of the rule of Banu Umayyah and when it shall be finished. So that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) may be comforted after learning about its brief duration. Therefore the Surah Qadr was revealed.
Surely We revealed it on the grand night. And what will make you comprehend what the grand night is? The grand night is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair, Peace! It is until the break of the morning.17
Let us see the following narrations recorded in the commentaries of the above chapter:
(1) Khatib has narrated in his History of Baghdad from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) saw Banu Umayyah in dream on his pulpit and he was aggrieved by it. Thus Allah revealed on him that it would be only apparent rulership that those people shall achieve. And these verses were revealed that:
Surely We revealed it on the grand night. And what will make you comprehend what the grand night is? The grand night is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair, Peace! It is until the break of the morning.18
(2) Khatib has narrated from Ibn Musayyab that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: “I was shown in my dream that the Banu Umayyah are climbing on my pulpit. Thus this matter was very shocking to me. So the Almighty Allah revealed these verses.”
Imam Hasan (a.s) has indicated towards this same verse when a person criticized him for signing truce with Muawiyah. The Imam said:
“May Allah have mercy on you, do not criticize me because the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) had seen in dream that the Banu Umayyah are reciting sermon from his pulpit. Thus, he was very aggrieved due to this. At that time this verse was revealed: ‘O Muhammad! We have bestowed Kauthar to you.’ It denoted a stream of Paradise and the following verses were revealed:
Surely We revealed it on the grand night. And what will make you comprehend what the grand night is?19
In which the Banu Umayyah shall be rulers after you.”
Qasim says that when we calculated the duration of the rule of Banu Umayyah we concluded that indeed it lasted for a thousand months. Neither a day more nor less.
The aim of the Holy Imam (a.s) was that by becoming aloof from rulership, his kingdom has not separated from him. Rather their domination remains like before on all the world and on all the things. And in exchange of the difficulties of the brief reign of a thousand months of Banu Umayyah the Almighty Allah has given them the Day of Judgment. And in the Hereafter, He has bestowed them with the Pool of Kauthar. That the kingdom of the Night of Power shall remain with Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) until Day of Judgment means that the Imamate from the side of Allah shall remain only in their family, though oppressors may usurp the apparent rulership from them and may apparently defeat and vanquish them and deprive them from apparent rulership. However, the magnificence of Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) shall endure forever.
The angels and the Spirit descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair, Peace! It is until the break of the morning.20
Then, praise be to Allah for this.
In the end let me explain how the reign of Banu Umayyah lasted for a thousand months. The reign of Banu Umayyah commenced in Rajab 41 A.H. after the truce of Imam Hasan (a.s) and it ended on 1st Shawwal 127 A.H., because it was on this date that the movement of Bani Abbas reached its zenith. And the Bani Abbas demolished the kingdom of Marwan al-Himar, the last Umayyad ruler in no time, though Marwan continued to confront them in sporadic fighting upto 12th Rabi al-Awwal 132 A.H. But it was the struggle of a defeated person that made no impact. In comparison to Bani Abbas he was just a helpless foe.
(1) In this way the total period came to be 86 years and 3 months.
(2) But after Muawiyah the son of Yazid, there was no one on the throne of Damascus for six months. Hence this period shall be deducted from the above duration.
(3) The reign of Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz was a shade of security for Bani Fatima and followers of Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s). Contrary to the behavior of his predecessors he was kind to the progeny of Fatima. Therefore his reign could not be said to be the period of the opponents of Ahl al-Bayt (a.s). And he should be separated from the reign of Banu Umayyah. The reign of Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz lasted for two years and five months.
Hence the sum total of the period in which there was no ruler and when the ruler was one who respected Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) comes to two years and eleven months. If two years and eleven months are deducted from eighty-six years and three months the remainder is 83 years and four months of the reign of the oppressive Banu Umayyah. Eighty-three years and four months is equal to a thousand months and it is this period of rulership that the Qur’an has mentioned. The holy Imam (a.s), before the end of this kingdom, informed about its tenure and applied this verse to Banu Umayyah, thus proving that they (Ahl al-Bayt) were true successors of the Prophet and the rightful bearers and explanators of Qur’an.
Anyway, these verses show that Qur’an is not devoid of statements about Banu Umayyah. Rather it contains all their details and traits and defects.
And the parable of an evil word is as an evil tree pulled up from the earth’s surface; it has no stability.21
After my article “Banu Umayyah in the View of Holy Qur’an” was published in al-Jawwad magazine last year, many brothers-in-faith from Pakistan requested me to write on all the topics that I had mentioned and compile a book. The following article is partly in compliance of their wishes but since time is short for a detailed write up I shall try to cover as many points as possible in the briefest manner.
Qusayy bin Kilab was the most prominent heir of the Bani Adnan. He lived in the fifth century A.D. He gathered his clan and resettled them once again in Mecca. That is why he is also known as Quraish (one who gathers) and his descendants began to be referred by this name. For details regarding this matter you may refer to Siratun Nabi of Shibli Nomani, Vol. 2, Pg. 188 and Tarikh Rauzatus Safa, Vol. 2, Pg. 13. He passed away in the year 480 A.D.22
Abde Manaf was the son of Qusayy who became the chief of Quraish after Qusayy. When the generation of Abde Manaf moved ahead, Hashim the ancestor of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) was born, whose descendants came to be called as Banu Hashim. Hashim was the great grandfather of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w). In addition to Hashim, Abde Manaf had three other sons, Abde Shams, Muttalib and Naufal.
Hashim and Abde Shams were twins and they were born in such a way that the toes of Hashim were stuck at the forehead of Abde Shams in such a way that it was not possible to separate them without causing loss of blood. Thus the toes of Hashim were separated from Abde Sham’s forehead by a sword and Abde Shams bled so much that his whole body was bathed in blood. At that time soothsayers and astrologers predicted that very soon there would be bloodshed between the descendants of these two as had never been witnessed in history. And this was what happened.23
Umayyah, the progenitor of Banu Umayyah is related to this same Abde Shams. Some people say that Umayyah was not the legitimate son of Abde Shams, he was just a slave boy, who became known as Abde Shams’s son as per the Arab convention of that time as Abde Shams had adopted him. The word Umayyah means ‘lowly maidservant’, which strengthens the above view. However, he was generally known as Umayyah Ibn Abde Shams. The second son of Abde Shams was called Rabi. After Abde Shams the family tree proceeded as follows:
Abde Shams had three issues, Umayyah, Rabi and Abdul Izzi.
Umayyah had two sons, Harb and Abul Aas.
Rabi had two sons, Utbah and Shayba.
Harb had a daughter named Umme Jamil, the wife of Abu Jahl and a son named Abu Sufyan. Abul Aas had three sons, Affan (Father of Uthman, the third caliph), Sa’eed and Hakam. Utbah had a daughter named Hind and a son named Walid.
Abu Sufyan had six children, Amr, Umme Habiba (a wife of the Holy Prophet), Muawiyah, Yazid, Utbah (father of Walid, the governor of Kufa) and Hanzala.
Hakam had three children, Harith, Marwan and Abdur Rahman. Muawiyah had eight children, Abdur Rahman, Abdullah, Hind, Aaqila, Ayesha, Yazid the accursed, Rehla and Safiya. Yazid the accursed had two sons, Muawiyah and Khalid.
Apart from this, during the period of Umayyad domination of ignorance an addition was made to this family tree. Zakwan, the slave of Umayyah known by the agnomen of Abu Amr began to be accepted as the son of Umayyah. And in this way in addition to Harb and Abul Aas, Umayyah got a third son free of charge. Thus Abul Faraj Isfahani has written in Aghani Vol. 1 the following episode: When Daghfal the expert of genealogy went to the court of Muawiyah the following conversation took place between them:
Muawiyah: Daghfal, tell me who all you have seen from the elders of Quraish.
Daghfal: I have seen Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim and Umayyah bin Abde Shams.
Muawiyah: Describe to me their appearance, please.
Daghfal: His Eminence, Abdul Muttalib was fair, tall and handsome. The effulgence of prophethood and magnificence of rulership was apparent from his forehead. His ten sons used to surround him from all sides and they all seemed to be like awesome lions.
Muawiyah: okay, now describe the appearance of Umayyah.
Daghfal: He was short, frail, blind and thin old man, who was taken around by his slave, Zakwan.
Muawiyah: Enough! Enough! He was not his slave, he was his son Abu Umar.
Daghfal: Now you people have begun to say this and it is a later invention. I have told the facts that I know about him.24
Anyway, whatever may be the case, the progeny of Abu Umar had a branch, which is interesting to note:
Abu Umar – Abu Muit – Uqbah – Walid.
After that in order to consolidate his ascendancy, Muawiyah in the period of Islam made an addition of a branch to his family tree. That is, he accepted Ziyad bin Sumaiyah as the son of Abu Sufyan. The details of this are present in histories but here let me just explain in brief the basic points of the event. Before accepting Islam, Abu Sufyan once traveled to Taif and landed at a tavern owned by Abu Maryam. After having some drinks he asked Abu Maryam to provide him with a woman. Abu Maryam summoned Sumaiyah, who was the slave girl of Harith bin Kalda Thaqafi and married to one of his slaves, Ubaidah. Thus she became pregnant from Abu Sufyan and Ziyad was born. Initially he was called Ziyad bin Ubaidah or Ziyad bin Sumaiyah and those aware of the truth addressed him as Ziyad bin Abih (Ziyad, son of his father). Since Ziyad was extremely cunning, Muawiyah called him to his side and tried to make him his brother. All the Muslims were opposed to these tactics of Muawiyah, because there is a universally accepted principle in Islam and the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) has clearly stated that: “The child shall be related to the man whose wife has given him birth and there are only stones for the fornicator.” (that is the punishment for adultery). However, Muawiyah paid no heed to all this. He arranged witnesses for the despicable act and made Ziyad the son of Abu Sufyan. Abu Maryam, the wine seller was also among the witnesses. He described the episode in such graphic detail that at last Ziyad had to say: “Enough! Abu Maryam! You are here to testify about my genealogy and not to say abusive things about my mother.” The people were so much shocked by this that poets even composed satirical verses in this regard:
“O man, convey this message to Muawiyah. That: ‘Are you angry if someone says that your father was chaste and pious? And you are pleased if someone says that your father was a fornicator?’”
It is a strange way of nature that the most ancient couplet of the Persian language discovered so far is also about this same matter. Thus in the collection of the writings of Qazwini the famous researcher of Iran, titled Bast Maqalaat Qazwini. It contains an article on this topic that Ibn Ziyad punished an Iranian for no fault of his. So he composed the following three lines and displayed them on the streets and roads of Kufa and began to recite them:
“There is water and there is date wine. There is grape juice and Sumaiyah is a wanton.’
Anyway, the son of this same Ziyad, Ubaidullah was appointed as the governor of Kufa by Yazid and entrusted with the task of killing Imam Husayn (a.s).
Now I would like to present in brief the account of some other personalities from the Banu Umayyah clan.
Umayyah bin Abde Shams was very envious of His Eminence, Hashim, that why his generosity, charity and kindness was so renowned in the Arab world. Therefore he also tried to spend much wealth and help the people but failed to earn that same respect. At last he challenged His Eminence, Hashim to participate in a contest of superiority with him. In which both shall describe their virtues and high points and ask someone else to judge which of them was superior. His Eminence, Hashim declined the proposal of his unworthy nephew. However, in the end at the insistence of others he agreed at last on the condition that whichever of them was defeated, he shall have to give to the winner 50 black-eyed she-camels and be exiled from Mecca for ten years. The soothsayer, Khuzai who resided in Asfan was appointed as a judge. After listening to the statements of both, he said:
“By the shining moon and the brilliant stars, by the rain clouds, by the birds that live in the atmosphere and until the time those who go on a height or a lowliness seeking directions from the sign. Until that time Hashim is superior to Umayyah in every excellence and prominence. And the father-in-law of Umayyah, Abu Hamimah is himself aware of this.”
Umayyah according to the terms of the contest handed over 50 she-camels to His Eminence, Hashim and departed to Syria for ten years.25
Harb bin Umayyah was the contemporary of His Eminence, Abdul Muttalib. He wrongfully murdered a Jew and had his property seized. Then he gave refuge to the killers in his house (one of whom was Sakhr bin Amr, the grandfather of Abu Bakr). His Eminence, Abdul Muttalib told him to turn out the killers so that retaliation may be taken with regard to them. Harb refused to do so. The matters reached such a head that it was decided to have a debate and like Hashim and Umayyah, and state their excellences and merits in presence of a judge who would decide between them. Both the parties went to Najjashi, the Abyssinian ruler, but he refused to mediate in the matter. Therefore the two of them returned to Mecca and Umar’s grandfather, Nufail bin Abdul Izzi was appointed as the referee. After listening to both their claims he said, “Why Harb! Why did you try to gain prominence over this honorable gentleman? The one who is taller in stature than you and is more respectable. He is having an awesome personality and is superior to you in elegance. He commands much more respect than you and is very less in dishonor compared to you. He has more children than you and he is more benevolent and generous that you. He is much ahead of you in his awe and grandeur. I am saying this but I am very much aware that far from anger and fury you are a strong rope for the support of your clan. But justice says that you have tried to compete with one before whom you are absolutely worthless and lowly.”
Harb bin Umayyah was infuriated to hear this and he said: “It is but the upheaval of this damned time that a person like you has become a judge in this matter.”
Anyway, after this, His Eminence, Abdul Muttalib had him removed from his circle. He was also made to pay a hundred she-camels for the murder of the Jew and the property of the Jew that was allowed to be plundered by Harb was restored to its owners. Whatever things could not be returned were paid from his money.26
He was the father of Uthman. He was a professional traditional singer and he used to play the drum etc. Affan literally means ‘bad smelling’ or ‘rotten’.
He was the third caliph of the majority (Sunnis) whose caliphate was established solely as a result of the opinion of Abdur Rahman bin Auf and upon whose execution the whole Islamic community was unanimous. He appointed Banu Umayyah everywhere over the Muslims. He appointed as the governor of Egypt apostate like Abdullah bin Abi Sarah regarding whom the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) ordered that he should be executed even if he is found in the Ka’ba. Uthman acted thus because Abdullah was his foster brother. In place of Saad bin Abi Waqqas (who was included among the Ashra Mubashera)27 and was the father of Umar Ibn Saad) he appointed Walid bin Uqbah as the governor of Kufa, who in a state of intoxication led the congregation to recite four instead of two units in the Morning Prayers. Uthman called back Marwan bin al-Hakam to Medina and made him his right hand. It was the same Marwan whom the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) had expelled from Medina and Umar had exiled him out of Hijaz to Yemen. Uthman entrusted the complete matter of caliphate to him and gave him the total Khums money received from Africa. Uthman also recalled to Medina, his uncle, Hakam, the father of Marwan who was called ‘the one expelled by the Prophet’. And he gave him a place to reside in Medina.
He (Uthman) showered the Banu Umayyah with money, although they were deadly foes of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w), on the other hand he dishonored many respectable companions of the Prophet. He had Abu Zar beaten up and exiled. Abdullah Ibn Masud was also beaten up so badly that he got hernia. He burnt up copies of Holy Qur’an. He plotted the murder of Muhammad bin Abi Bakr. He beat up a beloved companion of the Prophet like Ammar in such a way that he lost consciousness. Contrary to the prophetic practice, he recited complete four units of prayers instead of the prescribed shortened two units in Mina plains on the occasion of the Hajj, while the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) used to always shorten them to two units. He took possession of the pastures on the outskirts of Medina in the area of Baqi though it was public property. He handed over Fadak to Marwan and made it his personal property. It was the same Fadak that Umar and Abu Bakr had confiscated saying that it was the property of Muslims.
At last people became so much fed up with his favoritism and despotism that Muslims of Egypt, Kufa and Basra gathered at Medina and killed him. The corpse could not be buried for three days and even when it was buried, it was in the cemetery of Jews. A leg was devoured by the dogs of Medina. In other words there was such a consensus on him being guilty and fit to be executed that the consensus of Saqifah was nothing in comparison to it.
This gentleman was the uncle of Uthman. He was compelled to accept Islam in the year of the conquest of Mecca, while his heart was yet full of disbelief and hypocrisy. He came and settled down in Medina and passed on confidential information about the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) to the infidels. He used to spy on the activities of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w). Shobi says that actually that was why he had made a show of accepting Islam. One day the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) saw that he was mimicking him behind his back. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) cursed him and he became such that it seemed as if he was to fall down headlong while walking. After that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) had him exiled to Taif. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) invoked curse on him on three occasions and said: “Very soon he would oppose the Book of Allah and the practice of the Messenger and very soon such mischiefs will emerge from his loins that their smoke shall reach upto the sky.” People asked, “O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w), he is so lowly and degraded that such great acts cannot be expected from him.” The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said, “No, it shall be as I have said and at that time some of you shall be his helpers and supporters.” Abdullah bin Zubair while circumambulating the Ka’ba said: “By the Lord of the Ka’ba, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) had invoked curse on Hakam and also cursed those who are born from him.”
This cursing is so famous that Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s), Imam Hasan (a.s), Imam Husayn (a.s), Ayesha and many other companions of the Prophet mentioned it to Marwan bin Hakam directly. Since the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) had him exiled to Taif he came to be known as ‘the one expelled by the Prophet’. When Uthman became the caliph, he recalled him to Medina. When he died, Uthman prayed his funeral prayer and accompanied his bier. Upon this, Muslims criticized his saying: “You have recalled him. This itself was not enough that now you are reciting prayer on a hypocrite and accursed man, whom the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) had cursed and had him exiled?”28
Uthman had appointed him as the collector of Zakat from the tribe of Qazaya. He collected 30000 Dinars from them. Uthman told him to keep all the money for himself. Upon this, Saad bin Abi Waqqas, the treasurer came to the Masjid and threw down the key of the treasury saying, “If Hakam is given 30000 Dinars, I would not remain the treasurer.”
Marwan was the son of Hakam, cousin and son-in-law of Uthman. He was born in the year 2 A.H., while his father was yet a disbeliever. When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) saw him, he said, “The young one of a lizard is also a lizard. The offspring of an accursed is accursed.” He was six or seven years of age when Hakam became a Muslim and came to Medina and was immediately expelled and the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: “Who would save me from this lizard?” He also said, “He should not be allowed to be with me at any place.” Thus at this same time he went to Taif with his father and brothers. From there when the second caliph expelled him to Yemen, he also went with them. He came back during the third caliphate and became the vizier and the secretary of the caliph. He was the one most responsible for the murder of Uthman. After Uthman, he became Muawiyah’s adviser. During the time of Muawiyah he remained the governor of Medina for some time. After the coronation of Yazid, he told Walid bin Uqbah, the governor of Medina that if Husayn (a.s) did not pay allegiance at that moment he would never pay it. So either you kill him or take allegiance.” After the martyrdom of Husayn (a.s) when the people of Medina rebelled against Yazid and began to expel selectively each member of Banu Umayyah from Medina, and there was risk of being killed and destroyed, Marwan sought the refuge of Imam ‘Ali Ibn Husayn (a.s) and the Imam gave him refuge. This was the magnanimity of the holy Imam. When after the death of Yazid, his son Muawiyah became aloof from the kingdom and because of this he was buried alive, the throne of Damascus remained vacant for six months. At last, this same Marwan got the throne and again the kingdom of Banu Umayyah remained in their own progeny. It could be possible only for those who believe Muhammad as a prophet to accord such honor to one who was cursed by the Prophet and whose progeny was cursed by the Prophet and one who was externed by the Prophet! It was not surprising that he married the wife of Yazid and mother of Khalid. One day in the full court, Marwan abused Khalid and Khalid complained to his mother. She obtained the assistance of her maids and during the night smothered Marwan with a pillow and sat upon it until he died of suffocation.
He was the son of Hakam and the brother of Marwan. He was a partner of his father in the Prophet’s curse. Uthman received in Zakat a train of camels and gifted them all to Harith in fulfillment of his duties towards the next of kin.
He was the paternal uncle of Uthman. Uthman gifted him a hundred thousand Dinars from the public treasury at a single time. These very generosities became the cause of ill will among the people.
Utbah bin Rabi was the maternal grandfather of Muawiyah and Walid bin Utbah was the brother of Muawiyah’s mother. All of them were severe infidels and leaders of the polytheists of Quraish. In the battle of Badr they were the first to come out to fight. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) sent three men from Ansar (Helpers) to fight them. They were named Maaz, Masud and Auf. When the three infidels asked their names and genealogy and it was learnt that these youths were from the Helpers, they said they had nothing to do with them. ‘We have enmity towards the Quraish who have become Muslims.’ At last the three young men returned and Utbah and his companions called out that someone who belonged to their community should come out and fight them. At last the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) sent His Eminence, Hamzah, His Eminence, ‘Ali (a.s) and His Eminence, Ubaidah bin al-Harith to confront them. After names and genealogies were mentioned, the battle started, Walid bin Utbah (Muawiyah’s uncle) contested His Eminence, ‘Ali (a.s), Utbah himself fought with His Eminence, Hamzah and Shayba went to battle with Ubaidah. His Eminence, ‘Ali (a.s) sent Walid to Hell with a single stroke of the sword. His Eminence, Hamzah slew Utbah and dispatched him to the Hellfire. However, Shayba slashed at the legs of His Eminence, Ubaidah in such a way that he fell down and his heels began to bleed. Meanwhile after finishing off their foes, His Eminence, Hamzah and His Eminence, ‘Ali (a.s) turned to help Ubaidah and killed Shayba. They carried Ubaidah from the battlefield to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w). He lived until the battle continued but before reaching Medina, he passed away from the world to Paradise at a place called Rad-ha or Wadi Sughra. He was buried at the same place.
She was the sister of Abu Sufyan and the maternal aunt of Muawiyah. She was the wife of Abu Lahab, the enemy of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w). She used to lay horns in the path of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w). That is why she is referred to as ‘the carrier of firewood’ in the Surah Lahab and given the ‘good news’ that a rope of fire shall be around her neck. Zakir Husayn Sahab in his History of Islam, Pg. 47 has written that, “Abu Lahab’s opposition was mostly due to the opposition of his wife, as he was very obedient to her.” When the Surah Lahab was revealed, she came with a stone to kill the Prophet but the Almighty Allah put a curtain on her sight and she could not see the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) even though he was sitting right before her.29
One day His Eminence, Aqil went to the court of Muawiyah who in order to ophumiliate him told the people, “This is Aqil whose uncle was Abu Lahab.” Aqil at once retorted, “And this is Muawiyah whose aunt was the carrier of firewood.” After that he said, “O Muawiyah! When you go to Hell, look to your left, my uncle Abu Lahab would be upon your aunt there also. At that time you must ponder that of the two whether the subject is better or the object.”30
He was in the forefront in harassing the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) before the migration (Hijrat). When the infidels forced Banu Hashim to be confined in the Sheb-e-Abu Talib, it was this accursed man who went accompanied with Abu Jahl outside Mecca and told all the traders and foreigners not to have any dealings with Banu Hashim otherwise they would have to face dire consequences. He used to think up a thousand ways to kill the Prophet. According to the statement of the historian of Rauzatus Safa, after the demise of Abu Talib, Abu Lahab had told the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w), “You may continue your mission like you did during the lifetime of Abu Talib, I shall defend you.” At that time it was Abu Jahl who instigated Abu Lahab and he became a more severe enemy of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w). It was Uqbah who had once in the vicinity of the Ka’ba, put a sheet around the Prophet’s neck and twisted it so much that the Prophet was suffocated. At last Lady Fatima (s.a.) was informed about it and she arrived to save the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w).
Uqbah was taken a captive in the Battle of Badr. Other captives were released after paying Jizyah31 but Uqbah and another dangerous man, Nadhr bin Harith were executed.
He was the son of Uqbah mentioned above. He was the half brother of Uthman. That is their mother was same. According to the unanimous opinion of the Qur’anic exegesists, he was the person who is mentioned as “evil-doer” in the following verses of Qur’an:
O you who believe! If an evil-doer comes to you with a report, look carefully into it…32
Uthman appointed him as the governor of Kufa. He used to drink from dusk until dawn. One day after the call for Prayer he arrived in the Masjid in a state of intoxication and led the people of Kufa to recite four instead of the prescribed two units of the dawn prayers. During the bowings and prostrations, instead of praising and glorifying Allah he said: “You drink” and “Serve me the drink.” Then he vomited in the prayer niche (Mihrab). After that he recited the salutation and said, “Today I am in a very good mood. If you want, I can make you recite more prayers.” At that moment, Ibn Masud cursed him and the one who had appointed him as the governor. Turmoil and a clamor arose among the people. Poets composed couplets on the episode. The couplets Abu Malika Hatiya are very famous in this regard.
After writing briefly on the other branches of the family tree of Banu Umayyah I begin with the family of Yazid himself. Abu Sufyan, father of Muawiyah and grandfather of Yazid was the deadliest foe of Islam. In the Battle of Badr, as we have stated above, the father-in-law and brothers-in-law of Abu Sufyan were put to death. In addition to this, Abu Sufyan’s son, Hanzala was also killed at the hands of Amir al-Mu’minin (a.s). Thus it is mentioned in Rauzatus Safa that Amir al-Mu’minin (a.s) hit Hanzala with such a strike that Hanzala’s eyes popped out. Another son of Abu Sufyan, Amr bin Abu Sufyan was also arrested by Amir al-Mu’minin (a.s), and at the time of distribution of war booty he fell in the share of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w). Abu Jahl was also killed in the Battle of Badr. And now the leadership of the polytheists of Quraish fell on Abu Sufyan. He swore that until he does not avenge those killed in the Battle of Badr, he would refrain from sex and from oiling his hair. After the Battle of Badr and until the Treaty of Hudaibiyah a period of four whole years passed. During this period he fought altogether five battles against the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w): (1) Battle of Sawiq (2) Battle of Uhad (3) Humartul Asad (4) Second Battle of Badr and (5) Battle of Khandaq (Ditch). Of these, the Battles of Uhad and Khandaq were very significant. In the last battle, Abu Sufyan even made a pact with the Jews to confront the Prophet jointly and in addition to Quraish, Bani Nuzayr, Bani Ghaftan, Bani Qais many other tribes came to his side. After the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, direct confrontation came to an end. Again in 8 A.H. he broke the terms of the truce and at last the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) was compelled to undertake the conquest of Mecca. Abu Sufyan and all other polytheists were so much awed that without any bloodshed the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) and his army entered victorious in Mecca only by the help of God and Mecca was conquered. At that time, Abu Sufyan and others had to helplessly obey Islam. He is included among ‘Moallifatul Quloob’. That is he is of those whom the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) used to pay now and then from the war booty so that they may not oppose Islam in greed of the money they were getting.
After the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w), when instead of His Eminence, ‘Ali (a.s), Abu Bakr became the caliph, Abu Sufyan with the intention of destroying the Muslims, tried to instigate Amir al-Mu’minin (a.s) to fight against Abu Bakr. His Eminence, Amir al-Mu’minin (a.s) understood his plans and he said to him, “You were an enemy of Islam while being a disbeliever and still wish bad for Islam.” After this Abu Sufyan went to Abu Bakr and threatened that he would put his rulership to disintegration, and the caliph, in order to win him to his side, offered the governorship of Syria to him. He said that since he was aged, the position may be entrusted to his son, Yazid. Thus Yazid bin Abu Sufyan became the governor of Syria. When he died, Muawiyah, another son of Abu Sufyan took his place. In this way two birds were killed with one stone. Abu Sufyan’s opposition was neutralized and a force came into being against the Banu Hashim.
When Uthman became the caliph, Abu Sufyan told him, “O Banu Umayyah! I don’t think that the affair (prophethood) is anything but rulership. Now that you have become its masters, you turn it around like a ball and play with it.” This statement informs us about the actual faith of this man. The surprising fact is that Uthman did not even correct him. I don’t know if the saying: “Silence is like complicity” is applicable here.
Thus, from the early age until the end, Abu Sufyan remained an apostate and the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) had cursed him and his progeny. Thus Imam Razi has written that Imam Hasan (a.s) delivered a sermon in the presence of Muawiyah and said:
“O Muawiyah, one day you were herding your father’s camel and your brother was pulling at it. (This episode is after Abu Sufyan lost his eyesight). The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) cursed the camel, its rider and one who was pulling it and one who was herding it. And your father was riding it, your brother was pulling it and you were herding it (from behind).” Allamah Sibte Ibn Jauzi has written in Tadkeratul Khawaas that Imam Hasan (a.s) said: “This episode of cursing is of the Battle of Khandaq.” Anyway, whatever its occasion may be, it is proved that Abu Sufyan was cursed by the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) himself.
Her father, Utbah, uncle, Shayba, brother, Walid and son, Hanzala were all killed in the Battle of Badr. And it was a coincidence that all of them were killed at the hands of Banu Hashim. The fire of revenge was raging in her heart. When preparations began for the Battle of Uhad, Hind insisted that women should also be taken along. Thus along with other people, Abu Sufyan also took his wives, Hind and Binte Saad. Hind became the leader of the ladies group. At every halt the ladies used to sing about memory of those slain in Badr. When the battle started, Hind and other women, began to play tambourine and sing the famous song whose opening lines were:
We are the daughters of Tariq.33
We walk upon the plush floorings.
They began to encourage the people to fight fiercely. She told Wahshi the slave of Jubair bin Motam that he would be rewarded very much if he could succeed in killing the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w), His Eminence, ‘Ali (a.s) or His Eminence, Hamzah. When Wahshi came to the battlefield, he saw that it was impossible to reach the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) and His Eminence, ‘Ali (a.s) was very alert in fighting, but His Eminence, Hamzah was fighting with such passion that now and then he became oblivious of the surroundings. So Wahshi began to pursue him and when he killed Sabbagh bin Abdul Izzi, Wahshi hid in an ambush and threw his attack towards Hamzah. It cut through the navel and came out breaking the back. In this condition also, His Eminence, Hamzah tried to pursue him but he fell down and reached the mercy of Allah. Wahshi slit open the belly of His Eminence, Hamzah, took out his liver, came to Hind and said, “This is the liver of your father’s killer.” Hind put the liver in her mouth and began to chew it. The Almighty Allah disliked that the liver of the Chief of the Martyrs, His Eminence, Hamzah should become a part of the body of an inmate of Hell. Therefore the liver became stone hard and came out of her mouth. From that time Hind began to be called, “The liver-eater.” Whatever dresses and jewellery Hind had, she gave it all in reward to Wahshi and also promised that on return to Mecca she would further give him ten Dinars. Then she expressed the desire to visit the site of Hamzah’s martyrdom. When she reached there, she mutilated the body of this holy martyr and she cut off his ears, nose and private parts and took them to Mecca.
On the day of the conquest of Mecca when Abu Sufyan saw the might of the Prophet’s army, and he came running to his people, to persuade the infidels not to fight the Prophet, Hind pulled at his beard and said, “O progeny of victors, kill this aged fool so that he may not talk of such things.”
At last when the Meccans helplessly and detesting it, accepted Islam and the points on which the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) took the allegiance of Hind, one of them was that she would not commit fornication. Maybe some people would feel it a strange promise. However, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) was compelled to take this type of undertaking because like Abu Sufyan, Hind was also notorious for her wanton deeds that she committed openly. She was specially attracted to black men and whenever she gave birth to a black child she used to kill it. Allamah Sibte Ibn Jauzi’s words in Tadkeratul Khawaasul Ummah are worthy of mention:
“Asmai and Hisham bin Muhammad Kalbi have written in Mathaleeb and from that writing I understood this statement of Imam Hasan (a.s) that: ‘O Muawiyah! You well know of the bed on which you were born.’ Asmai and Kalbi say that Muawiyah was born of the seeds of four men of Quraish: (1) Ammar bin Walid bin Mughaira (2) Musafir bin Abi Amr (3) Abu Sufyan and (4) Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib. They were friends of Abu Sufyan and each of them had relations with Hind. Ammar was the most handsome man of Quraish. Regarding Musafir bin Amr, Kalbi says that Muawiyah was most likely his son because Musafir was highly infatuated with Hind. When Hind conceived Muawiyah, Musafir feared that the secret would be revealed that it was by his seed. So he fled to the king of Hira, Hind bin Amr and settled there. It so happened that Abu Sufyan arrived in Hira on some business and met Musafir. At that time Musafir was lying sick in the love and separation of Hind. Musafir asked about the well-being of the Meccan folks and Abu Sufyan informed him accordingly. People say that Abu Sufyan married Hind when Musafir left Mecca (Hence before that, Abu Sufyan also had illicit relations with Hind). So Abu Sufyan informed Musafir also about his marriage to Hind after he (Musafir) had left Mecca. On hearing this, the illness of Musafir became more serious and he began to waste away until he finally died in the love of Hind.”
The Allamah has also said that Hind was among the most lustful women and she was highly attracted towards black men. Whenever she gave birth to a black child, she used to kill it.
The lustful behavior of Hind was so famous that when Hassaan bin Thabit composed a panegyric in praise of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w), he included therein some couplets openly describing the deeds of Hind. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) also did not say anything against it, thus permitting the denouncement of these foes of Islam. Hassaan says:
“May Allah curse Hind and her husband Abu Sufyan. Hind, whose clitoris is very long.
Her back and front have become injured,
Because they are again and again receiving hits.
O Hind, have you forgotten your unlawful deeds that you have done?
O Hind, The curse of the world be on you.
The women think that children born to Hind,
Have all come through fornication.”
He was considered an expert in un-Islamic politics and this cunning and deception was only due to the fact that he was a child of sin as proved by statements of Ahl al-Sunnah scholars.
Thus the Sunni writer Qutubuddin Shirazi writes in his book, Nazihatul Quloob that is quoted in Ahqaqul Haqq as follows:
“Allamah Qutubuddin Shirazi has said that the child born through adultery is more ‘brilliant’ because man commits adultery with great joy and delight, on the basis of which the child becomes perfect, while in sex with wife, the man has to observe artificiality. And that is the reason that Amr bin Aas and Muawiyah were the most cunning men. After saying this he has given details of their genealogy. Then he says that among those born by the grace of adultery was Ziyad bin Abih regarding whom the poet says:
“O man, convey this message to Muawiyah. That: ‘Are you angry if someone says that your father was chaste and pious? And you are pleased if someone says that your father was a fornicator?’”34
The evil traits and defects of Muawiyah are so numerous that if it is not possible to discuss all of them in this brief chapter. However, since the antics of his ancestors were not so well known I discussed them in some detail. But as for the handiworks of Muawiyah, they are common knowledge therefore I feel there is not much need to describe them here. Before accepting Islam he was the right hand of Abu Sufyan in every battle against Muslims and was always trying ways to finish the Prophet. When he accepted Islam he continued to be included among doubtful characters. On the day of the Conquest of Mecca the lives of the polytheists were spared by the Prophet’s words that, “Go, I have freed you.” According them freedom means that at that time they all had become his slaves, but the benevolence of the Prophet emancipated them. When his elder brother, Yazid, who was appointed the governor of Syria, died, he succeeded to the seat of governorship. There he indulged in such luxury and opulence that it even exceeded Choesroes and Caesars. Thus Umar used to call him the Caesar of Arabs. It is mentioned in Tarikh Rauzatus Safa, Pg. 34, that he was the first in Islam to construct a prison. He was the first to take allegiance for his son. He was the first one to make a hollow in the wall of Masjid for the prayer leader. He was the first to employ eunuchs in his service. In his final age he developed such a huge belly that he used to deliver the sermon in the sitting position in prayers. He was the first to make a stranger his blood relative. That is, he made Ziyad bin Abih as his brother. He took up arms against Amir al-Mu’minin, His Eminence, ‘Ali (a.s). He fought 19 battles with him and in this took the burden of the death of thousands of people on his neck. He instigated Judah binte Ashath to poison Imam Hasan (a.s). He had Abdur Rahman bin Khalid bin Walid poisoned. He had Muhammad bin Abi Bakr put in a skin of a donkey and had him burnt alive. In addition to these, there are numerous other misdeeds of Muawiyah mentioned in Rauzatus Safa, but it is not possible to narrate all of them here. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) cursed him that may his belly never fills. Thus he used to get tired of eating but his appetite was never satiated and he used to remain hungry. He had Ammar Ibn Yasir killed and thus fulfilled the prophecy of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) that a rebellious group shall kill Ammar. He had Malik Ibn Ashtar poisoned. He had Hujr bin Adi and Amr bin Hamaq Khuzai and his companions killed. He promoted wine drinking. He permitted sensuality. Thus what all traits could be described? His greatest ‘achievement’ was that he hoisted Yazid as the ruler of Muslims and started dynastic rule in Islam.
Yazid was the son of Muawiyah. Yazid naturally became such because he was born and bred in a family in which not a single person could be said to have any positive quality. On top of this, like Muawiyah he was also a child of adultery and as per the statement of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) such people shall indeed be enemies of the saints of Allah. The account of the mother of Yazid is given in Nasikhut Tawarikh,35 on the authority of other books of history:
“The mother of Yazid was Maysun. She was the daughter of Bajdal bin Ainaf Kalabi. They all were Bedouins. Muawiyah married her. It was the second marriage for Maysun. But just before this marriage she had slept with Saffah, a slave of her father and from whom she had become pregnant with Yazid. After coming to Damascus, the secret remained a secret because until that time the pregnancy had not become apparent. Muawiyah thought that it was his own child and he named him Yazid.
Maysun, as we have stated, was a Bedouin woman and she was in love with Saffah. She began to find the luxury of Damascus suffocating. One day she was reciting the following couplets in her room, when Muawiyah overheard her:
“I prefer thick woolen garments to delicate fabrics as they please me more.
And I like a house of wild winds blowing than a high palace.
I am more pleased with the sound of wind in caves and doors than sounds of tambourine and musical instruments.
And a line of supple camels that could pursue an ostrich is better for me than swift ponies.
The flesh of porpoise and rabbit is my staple diet and more delicious to me than bread.
And any of my cousins of noble birth is better than this nasty infidel.”
As soon as Muawiyah heard this bitter satire, he divorced her and packed her off back to her tribe. Yazid visited his mother frequently and stayed with her. Her people were all Christians. The life of desert, company of infidels, family impurity and natural illegitimacy were all those things that came together to be seen in the nature of Yazid.