Al-Husayn (as) In Madinah
Mu’awiyah’s1 Last Will
Tabari reports in his Tarikh (5:322) saying: “Thereafter began the year 60 H…In this year Mu’awiyah took allegiance for Yazid from a delegation that had come to see him together with ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad.
His will was as Hisham bin Muhammad has reported from Abu Mikhnaf who says that ‘Abd al-Malik bin Naufal bin Musahiq bin ‘Abdullah bin Makhramah has narrated to me saying:
“When Mu’awiyah became afflicted with the illness that took his life, he called upon his son Yazid2 and said: My dear son! I have spared you the trouble of travelling and going from one place to another [for attaining the caliphate]; I have prepared the grounds for you; I have humbled the enemies for you; I have subjugated the Arabs for you; and I have produced a consensus [among them] in favour of you.3 I have no fear that anyone will contend with you in this matter which has already been settled in your favour, except for four people from the Quraish: Husayn bin ‘Ali4, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar5,
With regard to ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar, he is a man exhausted by excessive devotion. If there remained none other than him, he would pay you allegiance.
As for Husayn bin ‘Ali, the people of Iraq will never leave him until they cause him to rise.8 If he were to rise against you and you were to gain victory over him, then you should pardon him9; for he belongs to an important family and has a great right [on the people]!
Regarding [‘Abd al-Rahman] Ibn Abu Bakr, he is a kind of person who will follow whatever his companions will do, and his only concern is women and sport.
The one who will crouch the crouching of a lion in wait of its prey, and will consistently engage in trickery like a fox and pounce on you when an opportunity presents itself, is Ibn al-Zubair. If he does that with you, tear him to pieces.”10
[Mu’awiyah died in the beginning of Rajab 60 H]11. Dahhak bin Qais [al-Fihri]12 came out from the palace and went on the pulpit while Mu’awiyah’s shroud was visible in his hands. He praised and extolled Allah and then said: “Mu’awiyah was the backbone of the Arabs and their master. Allah wiped off dissension (fitnah) through him, made him in charge of His servants, and conquered new territories at his hands. He is now dead and this is his shroud with which we shall wrap him and put him in the grave and leave him to his deeds. He shall remain in barzakh till the Day of Judgement. Whosoever among you wishes to attend his funeral should come [at noon].”
A messenger had earlier been sent to Yazid to inform him of Mu’awiyah’s critical condition.13 [Upon receiving the news,] he said:
A carrier with a letter came trotting,
Casting fear in the heart, frightening.
So we said: Woe unto you! What is the news?
As if uprooted were its every foundation.
One whose soul remains in apprehension,
Almost brings about that which he does fear.
I found the mansion gate closed when I came near,
Ramlah’s voice wrecked my heart and it was rent apart.14
Yazid assumed power in the beginning of Rajab in the year 60 H. The governor of Madinah at the time was Walid bin ‘Utbah bin Abi Sufyan15, while ‘Amru bin Sa’id bin al-‘Ass was the governer of Makkah.16
and the governer of Basrah was ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad.19
Yazid’s most pressing concern was to take allegiance from those four people who had refused to answer Mu’awiyah’s call for pledging allegiance to Yazid as his heir apparent, and get rid of their opposition.
So he wrote to Walid:
“In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful. From Yazid -the commander of the faithful- to Walid bin ‘Utbah… Indeed, Mu’awiyah was a servant among the servants of Allah. He honoured him and made him His successor. He bestowed on him authority and established him. He lived based on what had been decreed for him and died when his term came to the end. May Allah have mercy on him! He lived a praiseworthy life and died as a good and pious person.”
In another letter to Walid, which was as small as a rat’s ear, he says:
to come to him.24
When Walid read Yazid’s letter to Marwan, the latter pronounced the verse: “Verily, we belong to Allah and to Him do we indeed return”, and invoked Allah’s mercy upon Mu’awiyah. Walid then asked for his advice saying: “In your opinion what shall we do?”
Marwan replied: “I think you should send a messenger to these people and invite them to pledge their allegiance and submit to Yazid’s authority. If they did that, accept it from them and leave them. But if they refused, you should strike their heads. You must do this before they become aware of Mu’awiyah’s death. Otherwise, each of them will scatter away and announce his opposition and rejection, and will invite people toward himself.”25
Walid sent ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amru bin ‘Uthman26 -who was then a young man- to summon al-Husayn (as) and Ibn al-Zubair. He found them sitting in the mosque. So he came [later] at a time when Walid did not usually have any meeting with the people, nor would the people come to him at such a time.27 The messenger said to them: “The governor is calling you, so answer him!”
They said: “Proceed! We are coming to him.”28
Then they looked at one another and ‘Abdullah bin al-Zubair said to al-Husayn (as): “What do you think should be the reason that he has sent for us at this unusual hour?”
Al-Husayn (as) replied: “I think the tyrant among them has perished29, so he has summoned us to take allegiance from us before the news spread to the people.”
Ibn al-Zubair said: “I suppose it is so. What do you intend to do then?”
Al-Husayn (as) answered: “I will gather my young men right now and will go to see him. As I reach the entrance, I will leave the young men by the gate and enter myself.”
Ibn al-Zubair remarked: “I indeed fear for you if you enter.”
Al-Husayn (as) replied: “I will not go to see him unless I am capable of refusing [what he wants from me].”
He then left the mosque and assembled his servants and the members of his household. They all walked until they reached the door of Walid. He then said to his companions: “I am entering. If I call you, or you hear my voice raised, then rush your way in. Otherwise, remain in your positions until I come out.”30
Al-Husayn (as) entered and greeted the governer while Marwan was sitting next to him. [Marwan had once cut off from Walid as mentioned earlier].
Al-Husayn (as) said –as if he did not suspect Mu’awiyah’s death: “Maintaining the bond of kinship is better than severing it. May Allah set aright your difference.” But the two men did not return a word.
After al-Husayn (as) took his seat, Walid read him the letter and informed him about the death of Mu’awiyah, and asked him to pay allegiance [to Yazid].
Al-Husayn (as) said: “Verily, we belong to Allah and to him do we indeed return…’ As for the oath, anyone like me would not give his allegiance in secret. And I do not think you will be contented with a pledge from me in privacy, without making it known to the people publicly.”
Walid responded: “Yes, indeed!”
[Al-Husayn (as)] said: “So when you go out to the people inviting them to pledge their allegiance, invite us along with them, thus the matter will take place at one time.”31
Walid [in fact] wanted to be excused from the issue of al-Husayn (as). So he said to him: “Go in the name of Allah until you come back to us with the people.”
[Here] Marwan interrupted “By Allah! If he parts from you now without paying allegiance, then you will never have the same power over him until a great number of people from among you and him are killed! Arrest him and do not let him leave you until after he has paid homage [to Yazid], or you have executed him!”32
Then he went out and passed by his companions, so they accompanied him until he reached his house.35
With regard to Ibn al-Zubair, he said to the messenger: “I am just coming.” He then went to his house and hid himself. Walid sent for him and found him among his companions well guarded. So Walid went on insisting by repeatedly sending messengers, one after the other… So Ibn al-Zubair said: “Do not be hasty with regard to me; I will surely come to you; grant me respite.” Ibn al-Zubair spent the whole day and part of the night by answering: “I will come soon.”
Walid sent a group of his servants who rebuked Ibn al-Zubair and shouted at him saying: “O son of Kahiliyyah! By Allah, either come to the governor, or else he will kill you!” But when they impelled him to come, he reacted in these words: “By Allah! I have grown suspicious because of the repeated summons and successive coming of these people. So do not rush me until I send someone to the governor to inform me of his orders.”
He then sent his brother Ja’far bin al-Zubair who told Walid: “May Allah have mercy on you! Hold back from ‘Abdullah, for you have indeed scared him by sending too many messengers. He will come to you tomorrow if Allah wills. So order your messengers to leave us alone.” So Walid ordered them to disperse and they did so. Ibn al-Zubair left [Madinah] under the cover of the night preceding Saturday, [three days before the end of Rajab] and a night before al-Husayn’s departure.
He set out to Makkah by taking the unusual way -avoiding the main one in fear of being traced- together with his brother Ja’far without anyone accompanying them. [See also al-Tadhkirah, pg.236]. In the morning Walid sent for Ibn al-Zubair but he had already left. So Marwan said “By Allah! He has not gone except towards Makkah.” Walid thus dispatched after him eighty riders from among the servants of the Banu Umayyah, but they could not reach him and returned.
Ibn al-Zubair entered Makkah saying: “I am only seeking refuge here.” ‘Amru bin Sa’id was then the governor of Makkah. While he was there, Ibn al-Zubair would neither pray with the people, nor leave the mosque with them. Instead, he used to pray in one corner together with his companions and then leave with them (See al-Tabari:5:343, Hisham bin Muhammad reporting from Abu Mikhnaf).
Al-Mufid (pg.201) also has related it and so has Ibn al-Jawzi (pg.236) saying: “Al-Husayn (as) left Madinah the following night together with his family and young men, while the authorities were preoccupied with the matter of Ibn al-Zubair.” On page 245, Ibn al-Jawzi reports from Hisham and Muhammad bin Ishaq that [al-Husayn (as) left] on Sunday, two nights before the end of Rajab. According to al-Khwarazmi (pg.189), he left on the third of Sha’ban!
They were distracted from al-Husayn (as) by the pursuit of ‘Abdullah [bin al-Zubair throughout the first day and the morning of the day he departed] until the evening.
[Walid] then sent his men to al-Husayn (as) in the evening [of the second day, Saturday, 28th of Rajab]. His response was: “Come in the morning, then you will [have time to] consider [the situation] and so shall we.” So they left him for that [second] night, [i.e. the night preceding Sunday 29th of Rajab], without insisting upon him [attending].36
[It was on the first of the two days that al-Husayn (as) went to the mosque of Madinah supported by two people as related] by Sa’id al-Maqbari who said: “I saw al-Husayn (as) entering the mosque of Madinah. He was walking by leaning on two men, sometimes leaning on this, and at times on the other. I heard him quoting [Yazid] bin al-Mufarragh [al-Himyari]: “Let me not live -and be called by my name and drive my flocks- if I were to be granted dignity only after humiliating myself, at a time when I can face death without degradation.”37
Al-Maqbari says: “I said to myself: By Allah! He did not repeat the two verses except that he had a purpose behind it.” After only two days I heard that he had left for Makkah.38
[With regard to Muhammad bin al-Hanafiyyah39, when he heard about the matter, he came to his brother, al-Husayn (as) and] said to him:
“O my brother! You are the most lovable of people to me and the dearest of them to me. You are more entitled to my advice than any other person is. Avoid giving allegiance to Yazid bin Mu’awiyah and [avoid] the towns as much as you can. Then send your messengers to the people and summon them to [follow] you. If they pledge allegiance to you, then praise Allah for that. [But] if the people agree upon someone other than you, then Allah will not make your religion nor your reason deficient on that account, nor will he remove your manliness and outstanding merit because of it. [Yet] I am afraid that you will enter one of these towns and a group of people will gather around you, thus they will differ with each other; a group will be for you and another against you. They will fight each other and you will be a target for the first of their spears. Then, the best of all this community, in person, in father and in mother, would be the one in it whose blood was most terribly exposed and whose family most humiliated!”
Al-Husayn (as) said: “Where then should I go, my brother?”
Ibn al-Hanafiyyah said: “[Go and] stay at Makkah. If that base is secure for you, then stay there. [However,] if it becomes dangerous for you, then you can take to the deserts and the mountain peaks, and move from place to place so that you may see how the people’s attitude to the affair develops. Then you will know the right decision [to make]. It is only by facing matters directly that you will be able to make the best judgement and you will be more resolute in practice. And nothing will ever make matters more difficult for you than turning away from them.”
Al-Husayn (as) responded to him saying: “My brother! You have given advice and shown your concern. I hope that your judgement is correct and lucky.”40
[Al-Husayn (as) had told Walid:] “Hold back! Give the matter a thought and so should we.” But they were preoccupied by the pursuit of ‘Abdullah [bin al-Zubair on the first day and the day he left] until evening. [In the evening, Walid] sent his men to al-Husayn (as), the evening [of the second day, Saturday 27th of Rajab]. Al-Husayn (as) said: “Wait till tomorrow morning. Then you will [have time to] think [over the matter] and so shall we.” So, they left him that [second] night [the night preceding Sunday 28th of Rajab] without compelling him.
Al-Husayn (as) departed under the darkness of this [second] night, the night before Sunday and two days before the end of Rajab 60 H. He took with him his children, his brothers, his nephews and most of his family members except for Muhammad bin al-Hanafiyyah.41
[As he was leaving the city,] he recited the following verse: “So he left the city, fearful and vigilant. He said: ‘My Lord, deliver me from the wrongdoing lot.’”42 And when he entered Makkah, he recited this verse: “And when he turned his face toward Midian, he said: ‘May be my Lord will show me the right way.’”43,44
- 1. Al-Tabari: Mu’awiyah bin Sakhr bin Harb bin Umayyah bin ‘Abd Shams. He was born 25 years before the migration [of the Prophet (S) to Madinah] (5:325). Mu’awiyah was with his father Abu Sufyan in all his battles against the Prophet (S). He embraced Islam together with his father in 8 H, the year of the conquest of Makkah. The Prophet (S) then made him and his father in charge of the people whose hearts were to be won over (3:90). ‘Umar appointed him as the governer of Sham (3:604) and he retained this position till ‘Uthman was assassinated.
He rose against ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, to avenge ‘Uthman’s blood and fought him at Siffin for the same. He continued to stand against the Commander of the Faithful until the latter was martyred. Therafter he fought Hasan bin ‘Ali till the month of Jumad al-¬la of the year 41 H when he signed a peace treaty with him. This year came to be known as the Year of Unity (‘am al-jama’ah). He ruled for 19 years and just under three months and died in the beginning of Rajab of the year 60 H, at the age of 85, based on what Tabari narrated from al-Kalbi and who, in turn, was reporting from his father (5:325).
- 2. Al-Tabari: He was born in the year 28 H. His mother was Maisun bint Bajdal al-Kalbi. Mu’awiyah summoned the people in 56 H to pay their allegiance to Yazid as his heir apparent and in 59 H he took allegiance from different delegations. Yazid assumed leadership in the beginning of Rajab 60 H, a few months after reaching the age of 32. He died at Hawwarin on the 14th night of Rabi’ al-Awwal 64 H (5:499).
Accordingly, he ruled for a period of 3 years, 8 months and 14 days, and was 36 years of age when he died. We shall comment in the coming pages on the presence of Yazid at his father’s deathbed. In Tadhkirat al-Khawass (pg.235), Sibt bin al-Jawzi agrees [with the opinion that he was present]. The same has been reported by Shaikh al-Saduq in his Amali through a chain of narration which goes back to Imam ‘Ali bin al-Husayn (as).
Al-Khwarazmi narrates in his Maqtal al-Husayn (pg.177) from Ahmad bin al-A’tham al-Kufi (d.314 H) that Yazid was present at that moment, but then left for hunting and returned after three days. On his return, he entered the palace and was not seen for another three days. This might have been the case, or, perhaps, Mu’awiyah had two separate wills; one in the presence of Yazid and another in his absence, and which was reported by two people whom we shall mention later. For this very reason, we find differences in the two wills.
- 3. This was done over a period of ten years, from the year 50 H uptil the time of his death in 60 H. Tabari (5:301) has mentioned the [following] reason for that: In the year 49 H, Mughirah bin Shu’bah had come to see Mu’awiyah from Kufah, fleeing from the plague that had then struck the city. Mughirah had been the governor in the city since the year 41 H. He was complaining to Mua’wiyah of his deficiency and requested him to accept his resignation from the office.
Mu’awiyah accepted his resignation and thought of appointing Sa’id bin al-‘Ass in his place. This aroused Mughirah’s jealosy and so he came to Yazid and proposed his allegiance to him as the crown prince. Yazid brought the matter to this father and he reinstated Mughirah in the office and ordered him to return to Kufah and prepare the people for Yazid’s heir-apparency. So Mughirah went back to Kufah and discharged this duty and sent a delegation to Mu’awiyah for this purpose.
Mu’awiyah wrote to Ziyad bin Sumayyah -who was then his governor in Basrah since 45 H- asking for his advice on the issue. So Ziyad sent ‘Ubaid bin Ka’ab al-Numairi al-Azdi to Yazid proposing that the latter should leave all detestable behavior so that it would be easier for the governors to rally people round him. Ziyad passed away in Kufah in the month of Ramadhan 53 H, while he was in charge of Basrah and Kufah (‘iraqain).
Mu’awiyah went to ‘umrah in the month of Rajab 56 H and there he announced that he had appointed Yazid as his successor and invited people to swear allegiance to him. Sa’id bin ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan approached Mu’awiyah and declared his opposition to that upon which Yazid intervened and requested him to be appointed as the governer of Khurasan, and Mu’awiyah did that. Marwan – who was then his governer in Madinah since the year 54 H- also came to see Mu’awiyah and expressed his disapproval on the matter. This action so incensed Mu’awiyah that he dismissed him from the post in 57 H, as reported by al-Tabari (5:309). Al-Mas’udi has extensively mentioned about Marwan’s opposition in Muruj al-Dhahab (3:38).
Finally, in the year 60 H ‘Ubaid Allah bin Ziyad -Mu’awiyah’s governor in Basrah since 55 H- dispatched a delegation to Mu’awiyah and he took their allegiance on Yazid’s heir-apperency (5:322).
- 4. Al-Tabari: He was born a few days after the beginning [of the month] of Sha’ban in the year 4 H (3:555). He lived with his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (S), for 6 years, and with his father, the Commander of the Faithful [‘Ali (as)], for 30 years. In the year 30 H and during the reign of ‘Uthman, he took part in a military expedition to Khurasan together with his brother, al-Hasan (as), Hudhaifah bin al-Yamani, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas and a number of other Prophet’s companions, under the leadership of Sa’id bin al-‘Ass (4:269).
He spent 10 years with his brother Hasan (as), while the period of his divine leadership (imamah), after al-Hasan (as), also lasted for 10 years. He was a comtemporary of Mu’awiyah bin Abi Sufyan during these ten years until the latter’s death. Al-Husayn (as) was martyred in Karbala’ on Friday, 10th of Muharram 61 H and was, at that time, fifty-six years and six months of age.
- 5. Al-Tabari: He did not pay allegiance to ‘Ali (as) after ‘Uthman. ‘Ali (as) is narrated to have told him: “You are ill-natured, both when you were a child and as a man” (4:428), or, according to another report, he said: “Had it not been because of what I know of your ill-nature, both as a child and now as a man, you would not have renounced me.” (4:436). However, he prevented his sister, Hafsah, from accompanying ‘Aishah when she rose [against ‘Ali (as)] (4:451).
He also refrained from joining Talhah and Zubair in their revolt against ‘Ali (as) (4:460). Beside that, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar was the son in-law of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari. When the latter was approached for the arbitration, he invited ‘Abdullah along with a group of other people. Al-Ash’ari also refused the proposal of ‘Amru bin al-‘Ass that ‘Abdullah should be made the caliph. But when the matter was settled in favour of Mu’awiyah, ‘Abdullah took his side (5:58).
Although he did not pay allegiance to Yazid at this stage, he wrote him a letter after the martyrdom of al-Husayn (as) requesting for the release of Mukhtar, his brother in-law. Yazid granted his request and ‘Abdullah might have paid allegiance to him after this (5:571). But al-Mas’udi clearly states that he paid allegiance to Yazid through Walid, and to Marwan through Hajjaj (Muruj al-Dhahab: 2:316).
- 6. Al-Tabari: He was born in the first or the second year of Hijrah. He defended ‘Uthman during the siege until he sustained injuries (4:328). He did this on the order of his father, Zubair (4:385), whom ‘Uthman had entrusted with a will (4:387). ‘Abdullah participated with his father in the battle of Jamal and prevented him from repenting (4:502), at the time when ‘Aishah had already assigned him the treasure house of Basrah. He was her half brother through her mother, Umm Ruman (4:377). ‘Abdullah was injured in the battle of Jamal and was taken off the field and he later recovered (4:509).
‘Ali (as) used to call him ‘the evil son’ (4:509). He was with Mu’awiyah and was sent together with ‘Amru bin al-‘Ass to fight Muhammad bin Abi Bakr. When ‘Amru sought to kill Muhammad, ‘Abdullah interceded with Mu’awiyah on his behalf, but he did not accept (5:104). After the martyrdom of al-Husayn (as), ‘Abdullah bin al-Zubair revolted in Makkah (5:474). He continued with his struggle there for twelve years until he was killed at the hands of Hajjaj during the reign of Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, in Jumada al-¬la 73 H (6:187). In an expedition personally led by ‘Abd al-Malik, Hajjaj had also killed ‘Abdullah’s brother, Mus’ab, at al-Anbar a year before.
- 7. The author of Usud al-Ghabah says: “’Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr left for Makkah before the allegiance to Yazid was accomplished and he died at a place called Habashi, about ten miles from Makkah, in the year 55 H.” This report is not in agreement with the above will, and Allah knows best.
- 8. He came to know this from what the people of Iraq had written to the Imam (as) while he was in Madinah, after the death of his brother al-Hasan (as), as reported by al-Ya’qubi (2:216). According to al-Ya’qubi, “The people of Iraq were waiting for the Imam to rise for his right and Mu’awiyah heard about this. So he reproached the Imam for this, but he refuted his claim. Mu’awiyah then left the issue.”
- 9. His statement: “If he were to rise against you and you were to gain victory over him”, clearly implies that: should he rise against you, fight him till you are victorious, but then do not kill him. Mu’awiyah was in this manner trying to combine two good things (husnayayn) for Yazid; the victory over al-Husayn and the privilege of not avenging him. What indicates the preparation of Mu’awiyah for encountering al-Husayn (as) is the former’s letter which he had given to Sarjaun, his Roman servant, containing the order to appoint Ibn Ziyad over Iraq if such an incident were to occur, as we shall see later.
- 10. Al-Khwarazmi also has related this in his Maqtal (pg.175) with some additions.
- 11. Al-Tabari (5:324): “Hisham bin Muhammad has said…” Page 338 of the same book says: “Hisham bin Muhammad reported on the authority of Abu Mikhnaf that Yazid ascended the throne in the beginning of Rajab 60 H.”
- 12. Al-Tabari: He was with Mu’awiyah in the battle of Siffin and was appointed by him as the commander of the foot soldiers, the heart of the Damascus army. Later Mu’awiyah assigned him the administration of a peninsula under his control in Harran. He thus became the focus of the partisans of ‘Uthman living in Basrah and Kufah. In the year 36 H, ‘Ali sent Malik al-Ashtar al-Nakha’i to confront him. Mu’awiyah then appointed al-Fihri as the head of his bodyguards in Damascus. He sent him to Kufah in 55 H in order to invite people to pay allegiance to Yazid as heir apparent.
In the year 58 H, he called him back (5:309). Al-Mas’udi (2:328): “He reinstated him as the head of the bodyguards. He continued to hold this position till 60 H when the delegation sent by ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad from Basrah arrived in Damascus and Mu’awiyah took allegiance from them for his son Yazid.” It seems natural that he should have remained in this position until the time when the prisoners from the Prophet’s family entered Sham.
Al-Tabari: When Mu’awiyah bin Yazid died in the year 64 H, Dahhak invited the people first towards himself and later to Ibn al-Zubair! When Marwan arrived in Sham and met ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad from Iraq, the latter tempted Marwan to take up the caliphate. So Marwan started inviting people towards himself and they paid him allegiance. This prompted al-Dahhak to lead a protest against Marwan in Damascus and, later, rise to fight him at Marj Rahit, a few miles away from Damascus. The fight lasted for twenty days, at the end of which Dahhak was killed and his side defeated. His head was brought to Marwan in the month of Muharram 64 or 65 H (5:535-544). The Commander of the Faithful (as) used to curse Dahhak in the qunut of his prayers as reported in al-Tabari (5:71) and Waq’at Siffin (pg.72).
- 13. This is how the narration by al-Tabari leaves off at the will and picks up again at the dispatch of the messenger to Yazid, without any mention of his journey and the place he was. For this reason Tabari gives another report after this one, based on the authority of Hisham from ‘Awanah bin al-Hakam (d. 157) [who says]: “Yazid was not present, so Mu’awiyah called Dahhak bin Qais al-Fihri -who was the head of his bodyguards- and Muslim bin ‘Aqabah al-Mariyy -who led the raid of Harrah in Madinah- and made his will. Then he told them: “Inform Yazid of my will.”
This narration from al-Tabari about the will of Mu’awiyah slightly differs from that of Abu Mikhnaf, both in wording and meaning. [Firstly,] while Abu Mikhnaf’s report mentions ‘Abd al-Rahman bin ‘Umar as one of the four people about whom Mu’awiyah was apprehensive that they might not pay allegiance to Yazid, this narration omits him.
[Secondly,] in the previous account Yazid is advised not to avenge al-Husayn (as), while in the present narration from al-Tabari, Mu’awiyah hopes that Allah would save Yazid through those who killed the father of al-Husayn (as) and abandoned his brother –i.e. the people of Kufah.
[Thirdly,] Abu Mikhnaf reports that Mu’awiyah advised Yazid to tear Ibn al-Zubair to pieces, while this narration enjoins him to make peace and not engage in bloodshed with the Quraish!
What backs the account of al-Tabari is the fact that ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr is not mentioned in Yazid’s letter to Walid, and also that ‘Abd al-Rahman died in the year 55 H as previously reported by Usud al-Ghabah. In addition to that, the appointment of Ibn Ziyad by Mu’awiyah as the governer of Iraq in his letter deposited with Sarjaun, the Roman, confirms the present account, as we shall see later.
As for the place where Yazid was at the time of his father’s death, al-Tabari (5:10) narrates from ‘Ali bin Muhammad that he was at Hawwarin. Al-Khwarazmi relates in his Maqtal (pg.177) from Ibn al-A’tham that Yazid had left for Hauran on the same day, after the will, for hunting. He thus reconciles between the present version of the will and the absence of Yazid at the time of Mu’awiyah’s death.
- 14. Al-Tabari: “I narrate, on the authority of Hisham bin Muhammad, from Abu Mikhnaf who said: “‘Abd al-Malik bin Naufal bin Masahiq bin ‘Abdullah bin Makhramah told me that when Mu’awiyah died…” (5:327)
- 15. Al-Tabari: He became the governer of Madinah on the order of Mu’awiyah in the year 58 H (5:309). Yazid dismissed him in the month of Ramadhan of the same year for not handling the issue of Imam al-Husayn (as) seriously, and instead appointed ‘Amru bin Sa’id al-Ashdaq in his place (5:343). His father was ‘Utbah bin Abi Sufyan who was among the supporters of Mu’awiyah at Siffin. According to Waq’at Siffin (pg.417), his grandfather had been earlier killed by ‘Ali (as).
The last place we read of Walid in al-Tabari is as follows: “After the death of Yazid, Dahhak called on the people to pay allegiance to Ibn al-Zubair. Walid swore at Dahhak due to which the latter imprisoned him (5:533).
Muhaddith al-Qumi says in Tatimmat al-Muntaha (pg.49) that Walid attended the funeral prayer of Mu’awiyah bin Yazid bin Mu’awiyah where he was stabbed to death.
- 16. He was appointed by Yazid as the governor of Madinah in the month of Ramadhan 60 H. He also designated him as the head of pilgrimage affairs, thus he led the people to Hajj in the year 60 H. This supports the assertion that Yazid had ordered him to assassinate al-Husayn (as) wherever he found him, even if he was holding to the covering of the Ka’bah.
He was paid allegiance as an heir apparent of Khalid bin Mu’awiyah bin Yazid on the same day that people pledged their allegiance to Marwan bin al-Hakam. This took place at Jabiyah, situated in Jawlan, a place between Damascus and Jordan, either on Wednesday or Thursday, three or four days to the end of Dhu al-Qa’dah 64 H, after the death of Mu’awiyah bin Yazid. It was agreed then that ‘Amru would assume the governorship of Damascus the same day.
When Dahhak bin Qais al-Fihri came over to them from Damascus inviting people to accept either him or Ibn al-Zubair as the governer, and Marwan decided to fight him, ‘Amru was in charge of the right wing of Marwan’s army (5:527). Later he also conquered Egypt for Marwan and fought Mus’ab bin al-Zubair in Palestine till the latter was defeated (5:540). When ‘Amru set out to return to Marwan, he [i.e. Marwan] was informed that Hassan bin Bajdal al-Kalbi -the maternal uncle of Yazid bin Mu’awiyah, the chief of the Banu Kilab, and the one who rallied the people round Marwan for allegiance- has paid allegiance to ‘Amru bin Sa’id directly.
Marwan thus summoned Hassan and told him of what he had heard. He denied the claim and said: “I will protect you from ‘Amru.” So when the people assembled that evening, Hassan stood up and addressed them and called for allegiance to ‘Abd al-Malik [bin Marwan] as the successor to Marwan. All the people, without exception, extended their pledges to him!
In the year 69, 70 or 71 H, he came out to fight Zafr bin al-Harith al-Kilabi, or was heading towards Dair al-Jathaliq to fight Mus’ab bin al-Zubair. He left behind ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Thaqafi as his deputy in Damascus. So ‘Amru bin Sa’id al-Ashdaq said to ‘Abd al-Malik: “You are going towards Iraq, so appoint me as your deputy in your absence.” ‘Abd al-Malik refused to do so, so al-Ashdaq went back to Damascus while al-Thaqafi fled from it.
However, ‘Abd al-Malik personally traveled to Damascus, reconciled their differences and entered the city. He then assassinated al-Ashdaq in his palace with his own hands (6:140-148). ‘Amru al-Ashdaq’s father, Sa’id bin al-‘Ass was ‘Uthman’s governor in Kufah. The people of Kufah had once complained against him to ‘Uthman for consuming intoxicants. The Commander of the Faithful, ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (as), executed on him the legal punishment [specified by the Shari’ah].
The following report has appeared in Majma’ al-Zawaid (5:240) of Ibn Hajar al-Haithami, and also in Tathir al-Jinan which has been collected on the margins of Sawaiq al-Muhriqah: “From Abu Hurairah who said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying: ‘Verily, a tyrant from among the tyrants of the Banu Umayyah shall have a nose-bleed on my pulpit which shall flow [on it].’ This happened exactly in the case of ‘Amru bin Sa’id who had a nose-bleed while on the pulpit of the Messenger of Allah (S) and his blood flowed [on it]!”
- 17. He was a Khazraji. In his Rijal (pg.30), Shaikh al-Tusi counts him among the companions of the Prophet (S), while according to Tabari (4:430) he was among those who did not pay allegiance to ‘Ali (as) after the death of ‘Uthman and instead joined Mu’awiyah and supported him at Siffin. Later, He was sent by Mu’awiyah to raid ‘Ain Tamr, and he did that as reported in al-Tabari (5:133; The Events of the Year 34 H). In 58 H, Mu’awiyah appointed Nu’man as the governor of Kufah and he continued to hold this position until the former died.
After succeeding Mu’awiyah, Yazid replaced Nu’man in 60 H with ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad. Nu’man thus returned to Yazid and was with him till the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (as). He accompanied the family of the Imam (as) to Madinah on the order of Yazid (5:462). He once again went back to Sham and was with Yazid till he sent him to Madinah to dissuade the Ansar from supporting ‘Abdullah bin Han¨alah, and warn them of opposing Yazid, but they did not pay heed to him (5:481).
- 18. Al-Tabari: Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas wrote to ‘Umar [bin al-Khattab] about the success granted by Allah to the Muslims in conquering Jalwala. In reply, ‘Umar wrote him: “Remain in your position, do not pursue them and prepare for the Muslims a place for migration (hijrah) and a point for Jihad.” Hence, Sa’d stopped at al-Anbar where they were caught by fever.
So he wrote to ‘Umar informing him of the situation. ‘Umar wrote back to Sa’d saying: “No place will fit the Arabs except that which is suitable for their camels and sheep, a place where there is enough vegetation. Look for a plain beside the river [Euphrates] and take it up as a habitation for the Muslims.” So Sa’d returned and camped at Kufah. (3:579)
Literally, Kufah means a plain with pebbles and red sand (3:619). Any area with red sand is called ‘sahlah’. An area covered with the mixture of such pebbles and sand is called Kufah (4:41). Kufah had three regions: Hirqah, Umm ‘Amru and Silsilah (4:41).
In the month of Muharram 17 H, Sa’d and his men erected structures made of reed. There occured a great fire in Kufah due to which eighty structures were destroyed, and the reeds razed to the ground by the month of Shawwal. Sa’d therefore sent some people to ‘Umar asking for permission to build structures with mud bricks. ‘Umar replied saying: “Go ahead, but no one among you should have more than three houses, nor should you construct high buildings.”
Abu al-Hayyaj bin Malik was the person in charge of accommodating people in Kufah, so Sa’d sent him a message informing him of ‘Umar’s order regarding the plan for the city, and that the following method must be followed: the main streets were to be 40 arms-lenght wide; the streets following that should be 30 arms-length; 20 arms-length for smaller streets; and 7 arms-length for the alleys. Nothing should be below this. The experts then gathered to assess the plan and Abu al-Hayyaj was to be informed about all they had agreed upon, so that he could assign everyone with a particular task.
Accordingly, the first thing to be sketched out and built in Kufah was the mosque. It was located on that side of the market in Kufah which was held by the date and soap sellers. A man good in archery stood in the middle of the place where the mosque was to be constructed and shot arrows to his right, before and behind him, and then declared that everyone is free to build houses beyond the points the arrows have landed. A canopy of two hundred arm-lengths was erected in the front part of the mosque. It was placed on marble columns which belonged to the Persian kings; while its ceiling was similar to that of Roman churches. A ditch was dug around it to mark its borders in order to prevent encroachment. A residence was built for Sa’d adjacent to the mosque, separated by an overlaid street of 200 arm-lengths. The treasure houses were located at this very place. This was the palace of Kufah which was constructed for him by Ruzbah out of the burnt bricks used for the buildings of the Persian kings at Hirah (4:44&45).
Sa’d was living in the palace adjacent to the mihrab of the mosque, where the treasure house was located. However, one day a hole was drilled through it and the treasures were stolen, so Sa’d wrote about this to ‘Umar. The mosque was then moved to some other place. Its foundations were changed and built afresh from the burnt bricks of a palace which belonged to the Persian kings in the suburbs of Hirah. The mosque was now located in the area near the treasure houses, starting from there upto the end of the palace, in a direction opposite the Qiblah. The qiblah of the mosque was on the right of the palace. The mosque was founded on a marble which belonged to the Persian monarchs.
- 19. Al-Tabari: ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad was born in the year 20 H (5:297). In the year 41 H, Busr bin Artat imprisoned him in Basrah together with his two brothers: ‘Abbad and ‘Abd al-Rahman. He then wrote to Ziyad saying: “You should present yourself before Mu’awiyah, or else I will kill your sons.” (5:168). Ziyad died in 53 H (5:288), so his son ‘Ubaidullah went to see Mu’awiyah who then appointed him as the governor of Khurasan in the year 54 H (5:297). In 55 H he was transferred to Basrah, leaving Aslam bin Zur’ah al-Kalbi over Khurasan (5:306).
During his governership in Khurasan, ‘Ubaidullah had launched an attack on Bukhara highlands and conquered the cities of Ramithnah and Bikand. He captured two thousand archers from Bukhara, won their hearts and brought them to Basrah with himself (5:298). Mu’awiyah also appointed ‘Abbad bin Ziyad as the governer of Sajistan, and ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Ziyad as the administrator of Khurasan together with his brother ‘Ubaidullah (5:315). ‘Ubaidullah held this position for two years (5:316), and was then also made in charge of Kerman. Thereafter, Sharik bin al-A’war al-Harithi al-Hamdani was assigned over Kerman (5:321).
Later, Yazid dismissed ‘Abbad from Sajistan and ‘Abd al-Rahman from Khurasan and appointed Silm bin Ziyad, their brother, over both the places; and he later sent Yazid bin Ziyad, Silm’s other brother, to Sajistan (5:471). In 60 H, Yazid made ‘Ubaidullah in charge of Kufah, so he left Basrah under his brother, ‘Uthman bin Ziyad (5:358). ‘Ubaidullah was forty years old when al-Husayn (as) was martyred. He returned to Basrah in 61 H. When Yazid and his son Mu’awiyah died, the people of Basrah paid allegiance to ‘Ubaidullah temporarily and until the next caliph had been chosen. But then they opposed him and so he went to Sham (5:503) together with his brother ‘Abdullah in 64 H (5:513).
In Sham, ‘Ubaidullah paid allegiance to Marwan bin al-Hakam and prompted him to wage a war on Iraq. Marwan thus sent him towards Iraq (5:530) where he fought the [members of the] movement of Tawwabun in the year 65 H and defeated them (5:598). Then he fought Mukhtar in 66 H (6:81) where he and those with him from Sham were killed in 67 H (6:87).
- 20. Al-Tabari (5:338): “Hisham bin Muhammad narrated from Abu Mikhnaf…” This is the first among the numerous reports which Tabari connects part of it to another by saying in the beginning of each report: ‘He narrated (qala)’, while the report is based on the narration of Abu Mikhnaf.
- 21. This is how Tabari’s report from Abu Mikhnaf, on the authority of Hisham, is restricted to the mention of ‘severity’ only, without any mention of bloodshed. So is the report of Sibt bin al-Jawzi (pg.235), also from Hisham, and of Shaikh al-Mufid in al-Irshad (pg.200), which is either from Hisham or al-Madaini. However, al-Ya’qubi reproduces in his Tarikh (2:229) the text of Yazid’s letter in the following words: “As soon as my letter reaches you, call on Husayn bin ‘Ali and ‘Abdullah bin al-Zubair and take allegiance from both of them. If they refuse, behead them and send me their heads. Also invite the people to pay their allegiance. And whosoever refuses [to do so], then carry out my order on him, [and] on Husayn bin ‘Ali and ‘Abdullah bin al-Zubair. That is all.”
Al-Khwarazmi mentions the letter in al-Maqtal (pg.180) from Ibn al-A’tham in the same manner as al-Tabari did from Hisham, and adds: “… And whoever among them refuses, then behead him and send me his head.”
Yazid’s letter reached Walid on the night preceding Friday, 26th of Rajab, as it is inferred from Imam al-Husayn’s date of departure from Madinah, as we shall see later.
- 22. Historians have not specified when exactly Yazid wrote this letter and when he sent it to Madinah, based on which the time period of traveling from Sham to Madinah could have been calculated. But we can infer that from what al-Tabari (5:482) has reported from Abu Mikhnaf, on the authority of Hisham that: “‘Abd al-Malik bin Marwan told the person he sent with the letter from the Banu Umayyah – when they were besieged in Madinah before the event of Harrah- to Yazid in Sham: ‘I give you twelve nights for going and twelve for returning; so report back to me within 24 days at this place.’ Later the messenger said: ‘I went and came back to ‘Abd al-Malik within that time or a little later.”
This is also confirmed by what al-Tabari (5:498) has related from al-Waqidi (d. 207 H) that the news of Yazid’s death reached Madinah in the beginning of Rabi’ al-Akhar, while Yazid had died 14 nights after [the month of] Rabi’al-Awwal 64 H began –as mentioned on the same page. Therefore the news of Yazid’s death must have reached them after 16 days.
- 23. Al-Tabari: He was banished by the Messernger of Allah (S) from Madinah along with his father, Hakam bin al-‘Ass bin Umayyah, because the latter used to mock at the Prophet (S). ‘Uthman escaped with Hakam and married his daughter, Na’ilah. ‘Uthman granted Hakam a tribute from Africa which weighed [around] 300 qintar of gold (4:256). [Marwan] purchased a series of wells in Iraq by that [tribute] which later came to be known as ‘Nahr Marwan’ (4:280). He also gave Marwan 15,000 silver coins (4:345). ‘Uthman had become a puppet in the hands of Marwan as ‘Ali (as) once said (4:364).
[On the day of the siege,] Marwan fought in defence of ‘Uthman and was struck with sword on [the back part of] his neck and fell to the ground. The people wanted to finish him off but his wet nurse, who was then an old woman, jumped on him saying: “If you are intending to kill the man, then he has already been killed. But if you intend to mangle his body, then this is abominable.” So they left him (4:381). His servant, Abu Hafsah al-Yamani, then carried him to his house (4:380). Marwan continued to live thereafter with a short neck (4:394).
He participated in the battle of Jamal and used to call to prayer (4:454). He shot an arrow at Talhah on the day of Jamal and killed him (4:509). He also sustained injuries on that day (4:530), thus escaped from the battlefield and sought protection with Malik bin Masma’ al-Ghazari and he granted him (4:536). On his return, Marwan joined Mu’awiyah (4:541) who appointed him as the governor of Madinah after the Year of Unity (5:172). There he invented the maqsurah for prayers in the year 44 H (5:215). [Maqsurah was a cabin-like place in the mosque from inside which the ruler used to lead the people in prayers. This norm was first invented by Mu’awiyah out of fear of being assassinated.]
Mu’awiyah had gifted him with Fadak but later took it back from him (5:231). [Mu’awiyah] dismissed him from the governorship of Madinah in 49 H (5:232), and reinstated him in the same position in 54 H (5:293). It was during Marwan’s rule in Madinah that Mu’awiyah had gone for Hajj in 56 H and prepared the grounds for the successorship of his son, Yazid (5:304). However, in the year 57 or 58 H, Mu’awiyah replaced him with Walid bin ‘Uqbah bin Abi Sufyan. It was for this very reason that he used to dislike Walid (5:309).
Marwan was in Damascus when the captives, together with the heads of the martyrs, arrived [in the city] (5:465). When the incident of Harrah took place in 62 H, [Marwan] was in Madinah. Actually, it was he who asked Yazid for help, and the latter sent Muslim bin ‘Aqabah al-Mariyy to his help (5:482). As the people of Madinah heard about the coming of Muslim bin ‘Aqabah, they besieged the Umayyads -who were a thousand men- at Marwan’s house, and then expelled them from Madinah. [Marwan] thus left his family in the custody of ‘Ali bin al-Husayn (as) at Yanbu’, who agreed to provide for them and protect them. ‘Ali bin al-Husayn (as) had earlier withdrawn from Madinah to Yanbu’, as he detested witnessing the atrocities [of the Banu Umayyah] (5:485).
In the year 64 H, ‘Ubaidah bin al-Zubair took charge of Madinah for his brother ‘Abdullah bin al-Zubair. He expelled the Umayyads from Madinah to Sham. Marwan was paid allegiance as the caliph in Sham the same year (5:530). He died in the month of Ramadhan 65 H.
- 24. Al-Tabari: The complete report is as follows: “Marwan reluctantly came to Madinah on the same day as Walid (5:325). When Walid noticed that from him, he reviled [Marwan] in his gathering. The news reached Marwan and so he cut-off from Walid.
The situation continued to remain so until the news of Mu’awiyah’s death reached Walid. The death of Mu’awiyah and Yazid’s order to take allegiance from a particular group of people was so distressing for Walid that he had to take refuge to Marwan and call on him.”
- 25. Al-Tabari (5:339): “Hisham bin Muhammad related from Abu Mikhnaf that…” This has also been reported by al-Khwarazmi in al-Maqtal (pg.181).
- 26. He was alive till the year 91 H. He was among those men from the Quraish who welcomed Walid bin ‘Abd al-Malik to Madinah (al-Tabari:6:465). His agnomen was al-Mutarrif. He died in 96 H (al-Qamqam, pg.270). His father, ‘Amru, was the son of ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan, the third caliph. His mother was Umm ‘Amru bint Jundab al-Azdi (4:420).
Al-Tabari (5:494) reports that ‘Abdullah’s mother was from Dus. During the event of Harrah, Muslim bin ‘Uqbah accused him of not being sincere to the Banu Umayyah. So when [‘Abdullah] was brought before Muslim, the latter swore at him and ordered his beard to be plucked (5:494).
- 27. This is how the report of Abu Mikhnaf is restricted here to the description of this ‘hour’ as ‘the one in which Walid did not usually meet the people’, without specifying whether it was in the daytime or at night. Nevertheless, the same report contains a number of contextual clues that help us in concluding that it was in the early hours of Friday, four days to the end of the month of Rajab. They are:
(a) The actual text of the report goes like this: “Then he sent… to summon both of them. The messenger saw them and said: ‘The governor is calling you, so answer him!’ They said: ‘Go, we are just coming.” Therefore, they were both invited at the same time. The end of the report relates Ibn al-Zubair as saying: “I am just coming.” He then went to his house and hid himself. Walid sent for him a second time and found him among his companions well guarded.
So Walid went on insisting by repeatedly sending messengers, one after the other [for a third and a forth time, at least]. Ibn al-Zubair said: “Do not be in haste with regard to me; grant me respite, for I will surely come to you.” Walid sent a group of his servants [for the fifth time] who rebuked Ibn al-Zubair and shouted at him saying: “O son of Kahiliyyah! By Allah, either to the governer, or else he will kill you!”
Ibn al-Zubair spent the whole day and part of the night answering: “I will come soon.” But when they impelled him to come, he reacted by saying: “By Allah! I have grown suspicious because of the repeated summons and successive coming of these people. So do not rush me until I send someone to the governor to inform me of his orders.”
He then sent his brother Ja’far bin al-Zubair who told Walid: “May Allah have mercy on you! Hold back from ‘Abdullah; for, indeed, you have scared him [by sending] numerous messengers. He will come to you tomorrow if Allah wills. So order your messengers to leave us alone.” So Walid ordered them to disperse and they did so [in the evening], while Ibn al-Zubair left [Madinah] under the cover of the night.”
It seems that all these exchanges took place in the day time. In addition, the text also is explicit in that when it says: “… he then lingered the whole day and part of the night…” Now, since he was summoned at the same time as the Imam (as) was, it seems that the Imam (as) also was called in the early part of the morning.
(b) The report contains the following: “They impelled the two men at the evening and early parts of the night.” This phrase might lead some to think that they were summoned in the evening –at the time of ‘asr, but this is a mere illusion because the report says ‘fa alahhu ‘alaihima’, and ilhah literally means to ‘demand urgently, to insist and to repeat a request or a call’. Therefore, the call at the evening must have been preceded with similar calls before it. Thus, the text itself leads us to conclude that the invitation was in the day time, and not at night.
(c) Abu Mikhnaf relates from ‘Abd al-Malik bin Naufal bin Musahiq bin Makhramah, who reported from Abu Sa’id al-Maqbari who said: “I saw al-Husayn (as) entering the mosque of Madinah …and after only two days I was informed that he has left for Makkah (5:342).”
This report confirms another report by Abu Mikhnaf which suggests that Ibn al-Zubair concealed himself in his house guarded by his companions. He spent there the whole day and the early hours of the night and then departed from Madinah at night. In the morning Walid sent to him but found that he had already left. So he dispatched eighty riders after him, but they could not reach him and returned.
The authorities were preoccupied with this matter for the whole of the second day till evening when Walid sent for al-Husayn (as). He responded to them saying: “Wait until morning, then you will [have time to] consider so shall we.” So they left him that night and did not compel him, and [al-Husayn (as)] left under the cover of darkness, on the night preceding Sunday, two days before the end of Rajab” (5:431).
Accordingly, Ibn al-Zubair remained in Madinah only for one day after the start of the invitation and left at night, while al-Husayn (as) was there for two days and departed on the second night. Since the Imam (as) departed on the night preceding Sunday, the days of his stay in Madinah, after the call, must have been [the day of] Friday, the night [preceding] Saturday and the day of Saturday.
Also, the series of calls from Walid must have started in the early hours of Friday morning. Thus, describing the time of the arrival of the messenger as: “An hour in which Walid did not usually have meetings with people”, would thus be correct. So the meeting of Ibn al-Zubair with the Imam (as) in the Prophet’s mosque took place on Friday morning, probably after the morning prayers. What Abu Mikhnaf reported on the authority of al-Maqbari that Imam Husayn (as) entered the Prophet’s mosque supported by two men, must have been after his return from Walid’s palace with two of his men with whom he had gone to see him.
We thus conclude that: Walid’s invitation was sent in the early hours of Friday, four days before the end of Rajab, at such a time when Walid did not have sittings with the people; since it was Friday and it was not his working day.
- 28. Al-Tabari (5:339): “Hisham bin Muhammad narrated from Abu Mikhnaf…” Sibt bin al-Jawzi brings the above report in al-Tadhkirah (pg.203), while al-Khwarazmi has paraphrased it in his Maqtal. It is not known why the pronoun (dhamir) in the report has appeared in the dual form, while the invitation was sent to three people. What appears from the final part of the report is that these two people were al-Husayn (as) and ‘Abdullah bin al-Zubair only, and there is no any mention of ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr and ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar. What would probably account for the omission of Ibn Abi Bakr is that he had died before this -as mentioned earlier, while Ibn ‘Umar was not present in Madinah at that time as al-Tabari has narrated from al-Waqidi (5:343).
With regard to Walid’s envoy and who he was, al-Khwarazmi (pg. 181), based on the report of Ibn al-A’tham, and also Sibt al-Jawzi (pg.235), [are of the opinion that] he was ‘Amru bin ‘Uthman. According to Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir (4:327), he was ‘Abd al-Rahman bin ‘Amru bin ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan.
- 29. The actual text reads: “I think I am going to see the tyrant among them”, but what we have mentioned is more correct.
- 30. Al-Mufid has narrated this briefly in al-Irshad (pg.200), and so has Ibn al-Jawzi (pg.236) and al-Khwarazmi (pg.183).
- 31. Al-Khwarazmi has reported this on pg.183 of his Maqtal with different wordings.
- 32. See al-Maqtal of al-Khwarazmi (pg.184).
- 33. She was Zarqa’ bint Mawhib. She was among the prostitutes who had banners [on their houses] as reported in al-Kamil (4:75). Therefore, the Imam’s statement was not an accusation, nor was it ‘calling someone by bad names’. Rather, it is similar to what has appeared in the Holy Qur’an regarding Walid bin al-Mughirah al-Makhzumi: “Any violent tyrant, who is in addition base born” (68:13). The word zanim –which has appeared in the verse just mentioned- literally means a ‘bastard’.
- 34. Al-Khwarazmi (pg.184) has related [the above words of the Imam (as)] and added: “Verily, we are the family to which belongs the Prophethood, [we are] the origin of the [divine] messengership (ma’din al-risalah), the place frequented by the angels, and the point where the mercy of Allah descends. With us Allah began the creation and with us he will end it. Yazid is an immoral person who drinks wine, kills innocent people and sins openly. A person like me cannot pay allegiance to someone like him!
However, the matter will eventually come to light as to who among us deserves the allegiance and the caliphate.” [Meanwhile,] the people at the door heard the voice of al-Husayn (as) raised, so they were about to enter with their swords drawn when al-Husayn (as) came out and ordered them to return to their houses.” Sayyid Ibn Tawus (d.693 H) also has narrated this in al-Malhuf fi Qatla al-Tufuf, and so has Ibn Nama (d.645 H) in Muthir al-Ahzan.
- 35. Al-Tabari (5:339): “Hisham bin Muhammad narrated from Abu Mikhnaf…” Al-Khwarazmi (pg.184) has also related it with the following addition: “So Marwan said to Walid: ‘You disobeyed me! By Allah! He will never give you the same opportunity over his life!’ Walid retorted: ‘Blame someone other than myself, O Marwan! Indeed, you have chosen for me something which would destroy my religion! By Allah, I would not love to have all the worldly wealth [and dominion] which the sun rises and sets over, while I am [guilty of] killing al-Husayn.” Ibn al-Jawzi (pg.226) has briefly related this: “Walid remarked: ‘Glory be to Allah! Should I kill al-Husayn because he said ‘I will not pay allegiance’?! By Allah, I believe that anyone who is [responsible] for the blood of al-Husayn shall certainly have light scales (khafif al-mizan) before Allah on the Day of Judgement!’ ‘If this is your opinion, then you have acted correctly in what you did”, said Marwan. He said this showing his disapproval of his view.” See also al-Irshad (pg.201).
- 36. Al-Tabari (5:338-341): “Hisham bin Muhammad reports from Abu Mikhnaf…” See also al-Irshad (pg.201).
- 37. Al-Khwarazmi (pg.186) related it uptil here.
- 38. Al-Tabari (5:342): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘‘Abd al-Malik bin Naufal bin Musahiq narrated to me from Abu Sa’id al-Maqbari that…” We have given al-Maqbari’s biography in the introduction of this book. Ibn al-Jawzi (pg.237) has also narrated [the above report], but in different wordings.
- 39. Al-Tabari: His mother was Khaulah bint Ja’far bin Qais from the clan of the Banu Bakr bin Wail (5:154). He was together with his father, ‘Ali (as) on the day of Jamal, and was given the banner by him (5:445). He fought and severed the hand of a man from the tribe of Azd who was urging his men to fight for [the companions of] the camel (4:512). Ibn al-Hanafiyyah participated in Siffin also where ‘Ubaidullah bin ‘Umar challenged him for a duel but ‘Ali (as) prevented him, out of pity, lest he should be killed (5:13). Ibn al-Hanafiyyah was residing in Madinah when al-Husayn (as) departed Makkah for Iraq (5:394).
Mukhtar had claimed that he was calling the people of Kufah on behalf of Ibn al-Hanafiyyah (5:561). When he was informed about this and asked for his comments, he said: “I wish Allah grants us victory over our enemy through whoever he wishes from among his creatures.” When his observation reached Mukhtar, he gave him [i.e. Ibn al-Hanafiyyah] the appellation of ‘Imam al-Mahdi’ (6:14).
Mukhtar showed Ibrahim bin Malik al-Ashtar a document attributed to Ibn al-Hanafiyyah, thus inviting Ibrahim to follow him on that authority (6:46). The incident was reported to Ibn al-Hanafiyyah who refuted it in these words: “He claims to be our follower, while the murderers of al-Husayn sit in his company and chat with him!” [A few years after the event of Karbala’] when Mukhtar killed ‘Umar bin Sa’d and his son, he sent their heads to Ibn al-Hanafiyyah (6:62). He also tried to dispatch an army to Ibn al-Hanafiyyah in order for him to confront Ibn al-Zubair, but he refused the offer and stopped him from bloodshed (6:74). When Ibn al-Zubair heard this, he imprisoned Ibn al-Hanafiyyah at Zamzam, along with other seventeen people from among his family members and the people of Kufah who were with him, and asked them to pay him allegiance, or else he would burn them! So Ibn al-Hanafiyyah sent three men from Kufah to Mukhtar seeking his help. So Mukhtar sent 4,000 men together with a great amount of money. As they reached Makkah, they entered Masjid al-Haram and freed the prisoners. After this, they sought the permission of Ibn al-Hanafiyyah to fight Ibn al-Zubair, but he did not allow them and distributed the money among them (6:67).
He also used to stop the Shi‘ah from exaggeration (ghuluww) (6:103). Ibn al-Hanafiyyah had a separate banner for the pilgrimage in the year 68 H. He used to say: “I am a person seeking to get rid of Ibn al-Zubair and what he wants from me, but I do not want to achieve this aim at the cost of difference among people regarding me” (6:138). He was alive until the Year of Draught in 81 H and was then 65 years of age (5:152). He passed away in Taif and his funeral prayer was led by Ibn ‘Abbas. (5:154)
- 40. Al-Tabari (5:341): “Hisham bin Muhammad reports from Abu Mikhnaf…” Al-Mufid (pg.202) also has narrated the report in al-Irshad. Al-Khwarazmi (pg.188) has related it with some additions. He has also included the Imam’s will to Ibn al-Hanafiyyah, narrating it from Ibn al-A’tham, [which says]: “Indeed, I have not come out…”, and then [al-Khwarazmi mentions the following as part of the will also]: “[and that I may follow the path of the Prophet (S)…] and that of the rightly guided caliphs!”
- 41. Al-Tabari (5:340-341), and the date of his departure has been mentioned in (5:381), which he also related from Abu Mikhnaf, who narrated it from Saq’ab bin Zuhair, who in turn reported from ‘Aun bin Abi Juhaifah. See also al-Irshad (pg.209). Ibn al-Jawzi (pg.236) says: “And al-Husayn (as) departed the following night along with his family and young men, while the authorities remained distracted from him by the issue of Ibn al-Zubair.” He also narrated it on page 245 from Muhammad bin Ishaq and Hisham [saying]: “[It was] on Sunday, two nights before the end of Rajab.” But al-Khwarazmi says on page 189 of his Maqtal: “[It was on] the third day of Sha’ban.”!
- 42. Qur’an:28:21.
- 43. Qur’an:28:22.
- 44. Al-Tabari (5:343): “Hisham bin Muhammad reported from Abu Mikhnaf…”
The Stand of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar
Walid sent for ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar and said [to him]: “Pay allegiance to Yazid.” ‘Abdullah replied: “If the people pay allegiance, I will do the same.”* Someone asked him: “What prevents you from paying allegiance?! Indeed, you only want the people to disagree and fight among themselves, and annihilate each other. And when they are exhausted by that, they would say: Follow ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar, for there remains no one except him! So pay him your allegiance.” ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar replied: “I do not like to see people fighting amongst themselves, disagreeing and annihilating each other. But if the people paid allegiance and no one remained apart from me, then I will give allegiance.” Thus, they left him and were, no more, afraid of him.**
* As was acknowledged by Mu’awiyah in his will, and by Marwan in his advice to Walid, as mentioned earlier.
** Al-Tabari (5:342): “Hisham bin Muhammad reports on the authority of Abu Mikhnaf that…” Then al-Tabari says: “Al-Waqidi (d.207 H) maintains that: ‘Ibn ‘Umar was not in Madinah when the news of Mu’awiyah’s death and the matter of paying allegiance to Yazid were brought to Walid.” [So has been maintained by Ibn al-Jawzi (pg.237) also]. [Al-Waqidi also says:] “And when Ibn al-Zubair and al-Husayn (as) were summoned to pay allegiance to Yazid, they refused to do so and left for Makkah the same night. They were met on the way by Ibn ‘Abbas and Ibn ‘Umar who were coming from Makkah. So they asked them about the news. They answered: ‘Mu’awiyah’s death and allegiance to Yazid.’ So Ibn ‘Umar said: ‘Fear Allah [both of you] and do not sow discord within the Muslim community!’ Ibn ‘Umar continued towards Madinah and stayed there a number of days waiting, until the news of the people’s allegiance from different cities reached Madinah. Thereafter, he along with Ibn ‘Abbas came forth and paid allegiance.”