The Second Mu‘awiyah, a Flower Flourishes and Blooms in a Heap of Dirt

Before the bloodthirsty wine- drinking traitor Yazid died he obtained for his son Mu‘awiyah through menace and bribery a pledge of allegiance from the Muslims. At a special ceremony he declared his son to be his successor after his death. Yazid's son, from his earliest childhood had been trained and educated by a good Muslim teacher, who had faith in Allah, his teacher had told him that his father and father's father had seized power through deceit, treachery and the use of force against the family of the Prophet; they had taken control of the affairs of the government claiming to be the true caliphs of the Muslims.

This conscientious teacher showed Yazid's son the difference between truth and falsehood ; he taught him that only someone who led a perfect life and whose concern was for Islam and for the benefit of the people had a right to the caliphate and the government of the Muslims' affairs; "such persons" he said "were only to be found in the family of the Prophet, that is, Ali and his sons and progeny".

The teacher continued: "If you understand this, then refrain, after the death of your father from taking the reins of government into your hands: Oh son of Yazid, you are responsible in the eyes of Allah and on the Day of Judgement you will be questioned as to your actions in front of all the people. You would be questioned why you accepted government of the Muslims while there existed a man perfectly suited to the position Zaynu 'l-‘Abidin, son of Imam Husayn (a.s.). Do you not realize that your father seized control of the affairs of the Muslims through deceit, treachery and by plotting and threatening?"

These words of the teacher had a profoundly good effect in the heart of this receptive pupil and his love for Ali (a.s.) and hate for his grandfather Mu‘awiyah grew increasingly stronger during his period of learning and training. It was for this reason that on the death of the despicable Yazid his son, Mu‘awiyah the second succeeded him but remained only forty days in power. Conflicting forces were at work in the heart of Mu‘awiyah the second: the forces of truth versus the forces of falsehood.

This inner commotion continued until the day of truth triumphed and he stepped onto the minbar of the mosque to make a speech, after cursing his father and father's father he began, "Oh people. My grandfather, Mu‘awiyah made war on the noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Ali (a.s.) and the latter were the most suited to the position of governing the Muslims. Mu‘awiyah, through deceit and treacherous scheming usurped the caliphate of the Muslims, which was rightly due to the family of the Prophet. He committed actions during his life which you, better than I, are most familiar with. After Mu‘awiyah, my father Yazid seized control of the government, which as before should have been given to the family of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) . He killed the offspring of the Prophet (s. a. w. a.) and manipulated the divine code of living which is Islam; he committed countless crimes and barbaric atrocities which you are better aware of than I. The truth is that I am ashamed even to speak about them.

"He desecrated the sanctuary of the Haram and the mosque of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and destroyed or set fire to other mosques. He violated the honour and the property of the Muslims. I confess I cannot bear to talk about anymore of his horrible actions. Thus I am placing control of affairs into your hands and you are free to choose your owner ruler."

After finishing his speech he returned home and sat crying for a long time. His mother came to him and said: "Oh son, what a pity you did not die in my womb and I did not hear these poisonous words of yours from the very same minbar from which Mu‘awiyah and your father used to speak . . ."

Thus she continued until Mu‘awiyah the second replied to his mother: "What a pity that I did not die and was not spared the indignity of having a wine-drinking father and a shameless mother."

Mu‘awiyah lived only a few days longer, dying at the age of twenty-two. After his death, Mu‘awiyah's teacher, who was responsible for awakening the conscience of Yazid's son, was buried alive.

They realized that it was he who influenced Mu‘awiyah the second and had taught him the truth about Islam. Although the influence of the teacher on Mu‘awiyah's spirit and intellect was considerable, it was not the ultimate cause of his abandoning the position of caliphate.

There was another more important reason; one day while the son of Yazid was sitting deeply in thought in his home he heard the raised voices of two slave-girls conversing with each other. One of them had turned to the other who was the more beautiful and charming, saying: "Your beauty is the cause of the pride and arrogance of the Sultans."

The beautiful slave girl replied: "What better Sultanate exists than the rule of beauty and charm? — No king in his arrogance can refuse the request of a beautiful woman; thus I hold sway over all the kings of the world."

The other slave girl said: "What I ask you, is the good in being a power ruler: every king who wishes to fulfill his duty and responsibility towards the people cannot expect to live a life of ease and comfort. If however a king wants to spend his life in luxury, easy living indulgence in sensual pleasure and debauchery then he has mined his claim to kingship and has failed to fulfill his duty towards the people. He will be responsible before Allah and the people: his place will be in hell and he will not be spared the punishment of Allah. Thus we can see that sultans and kings cannot enjoy both this world and the next."

The slave girl's words affected the heart of Yazid's son and consequently he abandoned the sultanate and delivered himself of its heavy responsibilities and Allah's punishment in the next world.