Introduction

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

After the downfall of the hated dynasty of Abu Sufyan it was the Marwan family who came to power. The Marwan family seized control of the Muslim government which had been usurped previously by Abu Sufyan in the wars against the family of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). They then proceeded to direct the affairs of the community in the name of Islam.

Marwan, whose son ‘Abd al-Malik was noted for his ignorance and stupidity, was little suited for the responsibility of ruling. He began a conflict with a man called Zubayr and after a reign of terror, killing and plundering he extracted an oath of allegiance from him and his followers under the threat of death. Likewise among the first people to make a pact of support with him were the tribes of Jordan, but only (as they themselves admitted) for fear of being killed if they did not accept.

Marwan was known by various other names such as: 'the monkey' 'the lizard' and `the crocodile'. This despicable evil man acquired these names because of the thin and sickly shape of his body reminded people of these animals; moreover he used to set out in search of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and when he found him stand and make ridiculous monkey- like gestures. The Prophet of God would curse him and pray that God turn him into the very creature he was aping; thus it was that he became afflicted with the shaking palsy: without warning his whole body would suddenly begin to tremble.

There is a hadith (a saying) of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), which describes Marwan's bodily organ as resembling a lizard. The noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has declared that the lizard is a filthy animal. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has also stated that whenever one of the Banu Umayyah family dies he changes after death into the form of a lizard or crocodile. It is for this reason that people are reminded of lizards at the mention of any of the Banu Ummayyah family.