Allegiance of Yazid
Muawiyah concluded his life in the world by committing the greatest sin in Islam and the most heinous act in history because without any sort of hesitation or fear he imposed his evil-minded son, Yazid as the future caliph of the Muslim community so that he may destroy their religion and world and present them with perpetual calamities and problems.
Muawiyah resorted to various types of uncivil means to assure that his kingdom is inherited by his clan.
Jahiz believes that Muawiyah emulated the Persian and Byzantine kings and changed the caliphate into a kingdom like that of the Sasanids and the Ceasers’Before we begin the account of allegiance and events contemporary to Yazid’s period we shall present in brief his biography based on books of history written since his time to the present age, that are full of his dispraise.
Yazid was born in the year 25 or 26 A.H.1 and surrounded the earth with the flame of hell fire, and its flaming and divine fury and evil had surrounded him. He was the most despicable creature that was ever found on the earth as if he was created to misbehave with and oppress the people. These were the signs of decadence of character, social injustice and inappropriate pretexts for suppressing the community and defeating their aims that continued in all times:
Shaykh Muhammad Jawad Mughniya says: “Yazid was the name of Muawiyah’s son, but for the Shias it has become a symbol of corruption, oppression, shamelessness and unrestrained behavior and an example of disbelief and apostasy, because wherever there is mischief and corruption, there is the name of Yazid and wherever there is good, truth and justice, the name of Husayn would be existing there.”2
It is narrated from His Eminence, the Holy Prophet (S) that he saw Muawiyah wearing a black cloak and he was walking in an arrogant way looking on both sides of his feet. The Prophet said, “What a day would come on our community through you and what a bad day shall be for our family from you. The issue that is going to come from your loins would ridicule the verses (signs) of Allah and consider lawful our unlawful which Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime has made unlawful.”3
Yazid grew up in the desert among his maternal uncles from Bani Kilab who were Christians before the advent of Islam. He spent his time with youths having no qualms about committing any sort of deeds and he was influenced by them a great deal because he made merry with them and played with dogs.
Alaili says: “It is likely or almost certain that Yazid’s training was not purely Islamic; it was in other words, purely Christian because there is no doubt that his crimes, shamelessness and disregard for morals is seen to be absolutely un-Islamic and no one considered them to be having any connection with Islamic values or beliefs. Nothing else could be imagined.”4
In our view, Yazid’s upbringing was purely in keeping with the system of the period of ignorance and absolutely bereft of any kind of resemblance to religion, because he grew up into a person of shameless nature in sensual preoccupations and his committing of evils and sinful deeds show that our view is not baseless.
As for his sensual qualities: He had inherited from his grandfather, Abu Sufyan and his father, Muawiyah, cruelty and shamelessness.
Sayyid Amir Ali says:
“As cruel and treacherous as Muawiyah, he did not, like his father, possess the capacity to clothe his cruelties in the guise of policy. His depraved nature knew no pity or justice. He killed and tortured for the pleasure he derived from human suffering. Addicted to the grossest of vices, his boon companions were the most abandoned of both sexes’”7
He was evil natured and shameless and devoid of every Islamic value and his most prominent personal qualities were fondness for bloodshed and misbehavior with others because in the first year of his brief rule he destroyed the purified progeny of the Holy Prophet (S), in the second year he had Medina plundered for three days and got killed 700 Emigrants and Helpers and 10,000 from Arabs, non-Arabs and companions of companions.
One of the prominent qualities of Yazid was that he was extremely fond of hunting because he used to spend a better part of his time in that preoccupation.
Historians say: Yazid was very fond of hunting and he was always occupied in that activity. He used to have his hunting dogs put in tethers of gold and dressed in clothes woven with gold thread. He appointed for each dog a special servant to take care of it’”8
According to the unanimity of historians Yazid was very fond of playing with monkeys. He had a monkey as a pet whom he had named as Abu Qais so that he may give him the last drops of wine that remained in his cup. He used to say: “He is an old man of Bani Israel who turned into a monkey due to his sins.”
He used to mount this monkey on a wild female donkey and make him race with horses. One day the donkey carrying the monkey went ahead of the horse. Yazid was overjoyed by this and he recited the following couplets:
“O Abu Qais, take care of your rein, for if you fall no one would save you. Because all are competing with their mounts, and the horse of the chief of the believers shall be a single female donkey.”
Then one day he sent him to participate in a race but he fell down due to the wind and died. Yazid was devastated by this tragedy and he commanded that the monkey be dressed in a shroud and given a proper burial. In the same way he ordered that people of Syria must give him condolence on this sad demise. He himself composed a dirge for the departed pet monkey as follows:
“So many prominent and noble persons came to give condolence to us regarding Abu Qais. He was a senior member of the family and the most powerful and most beautiful leader of the people.
May God not make that grave distant in which you are interred. There is beauty in it and the beard of a goat.”9
Yazid’s fondness for monkeys became well-known for the people till they gave him a title on this matter. A man from Tanukh says in his disparagement:
“Yazid, lover of monkeys, became fed up with our company, thus he became attached to monkeys.
Curse be on the one who became our caliph while his closest friends were monkeys.”10
Another prominent trait of Yazid was his alcoholism and he was a habitual drunkard. He indulged in this vice so much that never was he seen to be sober and he was never free of intoxication and in a normal condition. Among his ‘poetic masterpieces’ regarding wine are the following couplets:
“I say to friends that have come together to drink and the singers and musicians are busy singing. Take your shame from these bounties and enjoy yourself as howsoever anything may prolong it, it would come to an end at last.”11
One day after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (‘a) he stood drinking in such a way that Ibn Ziyad was on his right. Then he said,
“Give me a cup to drink so that my inside is also quenched. Then turn back and in the same way serve a drink to Ibn Ziyad.
And he is our confidant and trusted one, because he has completed our victory and Jihad.”12
During the period of Yazid a great transformation had come over the Islamic society because the relationship of the society with religion had become weak and a large part of Muslims were drowned in sensual activities and vices. And this transformation was not confined to that region. It was spread in all Islamic lands where vices, sensual pleasures and wine drinking had become common and the way of thinking of people regarding Islamic values had changed.
Independent Muslim poets in most of their periods have composed poetry ridiculing Yazid’s love of wine. Ibn Arada Shayer says,
“O Bani Umayyah the end of your regime is a body that is lying in shock and awe.
Its death is near and besides its bed is a cup of wine that when you see it you will find it laced with blood.
And a singing girl is crying in intoxication and sometimes she sits besides him and sometimes she gets up.”13
Anwar Jundi says,
“Its sinful soul is created with deceit, its eyes were fond of obscene things.
Thus he and his cup remained together for a long time and the two lived shamelessly in a single bedcover.”
Bolus Salamah says,
“Be kind to this king as he has become attached to beautiful maids rather than Allah.
A thousand “Allaho Akbars” in the view of Yazid are not better than a single draught of wine.
Fresh grape juice boils in wine while no hand has touched it or pure water is mixed in it.”14
Yazid was at the forefront in imbibing wine and he always remained intoxicated.
So much so that some historical sources state that he died as a result of excessive intake of alcohol. He drank so much that something burst inside his body and he died.15
Yazid had selected a group of base character people and he used to spend his red nights with them drinking and enjoying music and dance. This most important crony was the obscene Christian poet, named Akhtal. The two of them always drank together and listened to songs and music. Whenever he went on a journey he used to take him along.16 When Yazid died and caliphate reached Abdul Malik and he called him to himself, he entered without taking permission, wearing a fur cloak and a gold chain around his neck and wine was dripping from his beard.17
When Yazid’s vices and unrestrained behavior became notorious, Muawiyah summoned him and advised him to keep his vices and evil habits concealed so that his social respect is not destroyed. He told him:
“O my son, how you are indulging in shameless deeds without any restraint and falling into sensual desires? Your value and status shall be destroyed.” Then he recited the following couplets:
“Spend your day in obtaining respect and honor and avoid the company of your friends.
Till the dark night falls and the eyes of your adversaries wear the kohl of sleep. Then you can do whatever you like in the dark of the night as night is the day of clever ones.
How many sinners there are whom you think are pious while they spend the night in strange preoccupations?”18
Among the writers of this age having Umayyad inclinations is Muhammad Izzat Druze who has regrettably has gone to great lengths in defending the evils of Umayyad rulers. So much so that he has justified all the oppressions and corruptions that are reported about them. He has defended Muawiyah from being accused of committing those sins that are blemish on humanity and he considers him free from those defects and in this regard he has said as follows: “I consider Muawiyah, companion of the Messenger of Allah (S), scribe of His revelation as one who feared the Almighty and who is reported to be a pious and religious person, that he would accept that his son should go out of these limits and that he had encouraged him in those things, we consider him blameless for it. Rather we also think that even Yazid was quite unlikely to have committed these things’”19
This is really ridiculous and funny because Druze has not looked at the obvious matters in which no rational and sane person has any doubt as the old adage goes:
“It shall not even be logically correct that when it is a clear day you need a proof for it.”
The heinous crimes that are reported about Muawiyah like the killing of Hujr bin Adi, Rushaid Hijri, Amr bin Hamaq Khuzai and other believers like them, cursing the purified progeny and oppressing the people, imposing Yazid as caliph on them and other sinful deeds that he committed all go on to prove these factors alone were responsible for changing the face of Islam and deviating it from the right path. However Druze and other people like him have closed their eyes to reality. Therefore they have presented the Umayyads to be religious. Those who, on the basis their political steps and administration, themselves have proved that they were enemies and opponents of Islam.20
Muawiyah was very fond of his son, Yazid, therefore he accepted his transgression and sinful activities and he did not try to rein his wanton behavior.
Historian say: Muawiyah was informed that his son was in an inebriated condition. He set to investigate the matter and see his position, while he was heard reciting the following couplets:
“I say to the friends who have received the glass of wine and the sounds of music are enjoyed by them.
Enjoy the blessings to the full as everything has to go away.
Do not let go of a pleasure for the sake of tomorrow as no one know what would happen tomorrow.
The best life is that in which the night that has passed permits while the mishaps sleep.”21
Muawiyah returned to his place and he did not show himself to Yazid, and he said,
“By God, neither was I before him nor did I spoil his pleasure.”
Yazid’s soul was replete with enmity and malice to the Holy Prophet (S) because the Holy Prophet (S) had killed some members of Yazid’s clan. When Yazid massacred the purified progeny at Karbala he sat elated on the throne of his authority and was shaking his legs as he had taken revenge from the Holy Prophet(S). At that time he expressed the wish that his ancestors had been there to see how he has revenged their death. Then he recited the couplets of Ibn Zabari:
“If only my ancestors who died in Badr had been alive and seen how their opponents (Ahlul Bayt of Prophet) were suppressed, they would have screamed in joy: O Yazid! May your hands never tire!
We have killed their leader and in this way took revenge of Badr. And I won’t be eligible to be called the descendant of the fighters of the Ditch (Khandaq) if I had failed to take revenge from Muhammad and his relatives.”22
Yazid was deeply inimical to the Emigrants because they had helped the Holy Prophet (S), fought the Quraish and killed their stalwarts. They also did not have any regard for Bani Umayyah, when Uthman was killed among them, they did not defend him. After that they paid allegiance to Ali and on his side went to Siffin to fight Muawiyah. After the martyrdom of His Eminence, they were most important elements of opposition to Muawiyah. Yazid was always infuriated at them and he asked Ka’ab bin Ja’eel to talk ill of them. But he did not agree to it and he said:
“Do you invite me to polytheism after having faith? I shall not denounce the community that helped the Messenger of Allah (S). But you may be able to have your wish fulfilled through a Christian man among us having a (daring) tongue of the bull, that is Akhtal.”
Yazid summoned Akhtal and asked him to condemn the emigrants. He agreed at once and began to recite the following couplets:
“May God curse the Jews in Salisal and Sarar.23
A community that whenever they are in mirth you would find their eyes red in intoxication.
Leave alone nobility as you are not fit for it and take up your spade, O Bani Najjar.
The riders know your ancestors or children of every ploughman.
The Quraish have taken away all the virtues and decadence lies under the turbans of emigrants.”
Akhtal began his poem with the denouncement of Jews as he considered them near to the Emigrants because they lived with them in Yathrib and he found fault with the emigrants because they used to till the land and practice agriculture as they did not possess a noble ancestry and royal descent. He alleged that they were frightened of warfare and associated every good virtue to the Quraish and every defect to the Emigrants!
These caustic remarks infuriated Noman bin Bashir who was one of the Umayyad governors. He became very angry and he went to Muawiyah, took off his turban and asked, “O Muawiyah, do you see decadence here?”
“No, I see good and nobility. What happened?”
“Akhtal has alleged that there is decadence under our turbans.”
Noman looked at Muawiyah and said:
“O Muawiyah, you do not restore to us our rights, in that case by the right of ‘Azd’ where turbans are kept you will have to confess.
Should the slaves of Aragim speak ill of us? What would the Aragim give you in return?
I don’t want any revenge less than cutting off his tongue. So remember it that in their stead, wealth is not cause of happiness.”24
Muawiyah asked, “What do you want?” “I want his tongue.”
“You can have it.”
Akhtal learnt of it and he rushed to Yazid and sought his refuge saying, “This is the same news that I feared.”
Yazid assured him and he came to his father and apprised him of the situation and told him that he has given security to Akhtal. Muawiyah said, “Nothing could be done against one guaranteed safety by Abu Khalid (that is Yazid)”. Then he forgave him.
Akhtal gloated over Yazid’s support for him and he ridiculed Noman saying:
“O Aba Khalid, you have saved me from a great disaster and defended me from being cut to pieces.
And cooled the fire of Noman from me after he had been determined to punish me.
But when he looked at the son of the noble lady with me he despaired and turned away because he realized that he could not achieve anything.”25
These were some conditions and attitudes of Yazid that show his wanton behavior and his distorted nature and that to what extent he was involved in sinful deeds and evil and how far he was from every meritorious deed’from the ridiculous conditions of time and it was nothing but the blunders of the times that such a wanton and wayward man should be the ruler and Imam of Muslims.
The first man to pay this deplorable allegiance was the one-eyed man of Thaqif, Mughairah bin Shoba, the sinful evil beast in Islam.26 Burkleman has called him with the title of an opportunist who had no regard for any promise or covenant.27 He was one of the five cunning men of the Arabs.28 He devoted his life to conspire against Muslims and always endeavored to fulfill his selfish desires.
According to historians his call for Yazid’s allegiance was based on the fact that Muawiyah planned to remove him from the governorship of Kufa and to appoint Saeed bin Aas29 in his place. When Mughairah learnt of this, he traveled to Damascus to submit his resignation from his position so that his dismissal may not earn him disgrace. He gave a lot of thought to this matter and at last concluded that the best way to remain in his present post was to meet Yazid and encourage him for caliphate so that he may intercede with his father regarding him.
That deceitful man met Yazid and praised and honored him falsely and expressed his loyalty to him. Saying, “The elders of Muhammad (saws) and the famous men and elders of Quraish have gone away. Only his (Muhammad’s) children remain. As you are the most superior, more enlightened and knowledgeable of them in the matter of practice (Sunnah) and politics. And I don’t know what prevents the chief of believers (Muawiyah) to arrange this allegiance for you’?”
Yazid took this suggestion seriously, praised Mughairah’s loyalties and asked him,
“Do you think this is possible?” “Yes”
Yazid hastened to his father and informed him about what Mughairah had said. Muawiyah was very pleased with this and he summoned Mughairah. When he appeared, he incited Muawiyah to take steps for taking allegiance for Yazid. He said, “O Chief of believers, you have seen the bloodshed and controversies after the murder of Uthman while your successorship is ready in Yazid. So take allegiance for him so that if something happens to you, he shall be a refuge for the people and a successor for you. There shall neither be bloodshed nor mischief.”
These words were taken in all seriousness by Muawiyah and he cunningly asked him for his advice in achieving all this. He asked, “How would you do this for us?”
“I shall take care of the Kufians and Ziyad should take the responsibility of Basra. After these two provinces no one would oppose you.”
Muawiyah liked his idea and thanked him. He let him continue in his post and told him to return to Kufa and put the plan into action.
When Mughairah came out from Muawiyah’s meeting he told his entourage, “I have put Muawiyah’s foot in such a stirrup that its aim is aloofness from the community of Muhammad and I have made such a crack in it that it shall never be filled.” Then he illustrated his argument by quoting the following lines of a poet:
“Be witness to people who entreat like me. And through me aim at your angry enemies and opponents.”
Mughairah created such a crack in the community of Muhammad for his selfish motives that its cure was not at all possible and he brought upon the nation the most terrible disaster.
Mughairah set out for Kufa carrying with him mischief and ruin for the people of that area and all the Muslims. As soon as he reached Kufa he called a conference of Umayyad governors and kept before them the subject of Yazid’s allegiance. They agreed to his opinion in that matter. He sent a group of them to Damascus and sent Abu Musa with his two sons with them. When they arrived to Muawiyah, they encouraged him to conclude the allegiance of Yazid. He lauded them and advised them to keep the matter confidential. Then he turned to Mughairah’s son and asked, “How much did your father pay to purchase their consciences?”
“Thirty thousand Dirhams.”
Muawiyah smiled and jokingly said, “Their religion has no value for you.” Then he granted them a further thirty thousand Dirhams.30
They accepted the allegiance and agreed to one who himself had shaky conscience and who considered it a marketable commodity.
A group of historians and writers have defended Muawiyah and they have justified this action of his in taking allegiance for Yazid which was the most terrible disaster for the world of Islam. Some of them are as follows:
One of the staunchest defender of Muawiyah, Ahmed Dijlan says, “Muawiyah saw the might of his splendor (that is Umayyads) and firmness of their party spirit to such an extent that if after him the caliphate were to go out from them, a mischief would appear and a controversy would present itself for the community. So for the sake of maintaining national unity he wanted the caliphate to remain among them. Therefore he pondered upon it deeply as to who was the most powerful of them. And he found it to be Yazid, because be was of mature age and during the lifetime of his father had commanded armies. He possessed awe in the eyes of military generals. He was powerful and his words were effective. If the caliphate had been given to anyone else it would have caused a conflict, as especially he had control over the Public Treasury. If caliphate had been entrusted to someone other than him, it would have created controversies and conflicts. Thus he decided to entrust caliphate to Yazid so that it may ensure peace and amity in the nation. It was the reason why Yazid became the heir apparent. Muawiyah didn’t know what Allah would bring about after that’”31
A handful of dust for the like of those who have accepted an evil like nepotism and made them justify it. Should the caliphate, which was supposed to be the shadow of God on the earth, go to the Umayyads and that Muawiyah should keep the selfish motives etc. in his view while they were of those who opposed the Prophet of Islam and fought wars with him? They tortured every person who accepted Islam. Then how can the caliphate be in their control? If reason and logic had remained supreme and religion had remained dominant, they would have been at the end of the caravan of Muslims, unworthy of any kind of precedence.
Among those who have justified the action of Muawiyah regarding taking of allegiance for Yazid are Dr. Abdul Munim Majid who says: “It seems that the aim of Muawiyah in bequeathing the caliphate to Yazid was to remove the conflict from the Islamic community and it was foresight regarding future mischiefs as had occurred after Uthman. Also he may have wanted to solve the problem that the Prophet had left unsolved and that was the perpetual domination of Islam. Muawiyah had no other option because the Bani Umayyah were not ready to accept the caliphate of anyone else and they used to be infuriated in this matter.”32
This view is not having any kind of balance because Muawiyah in taking allegiance for Yazid not only failed to unite the Muslims, he further increased conflicts among them and mischiefs that were to haunt them forever from the aspect that during the days of Yazid the community had to undergo various kinds of calamities whose intensity fails description. In such a way that the grandson of Abu Sufyan made every endeavor to destroy Islam and trample upon all its sanctities and values, and he massacred the purified progeny which on the basis of widely reported statement of the Messenger of Allah (S) was equal to Quran. Also in the incident of Harra he wreaked havoc on the people of Medina such that the forehead of humanity perspires just by thinking about it. Did Muawiyah, by this act, established unity among the Muslims and integrated their ranks?
The view of the above writer is ridiculous when he says that the Holy Prophet (S) left the matter of caliphate unsolved and Muawiyah arrived and solved this problem by taking allegiance for Yazid!
The Holy Prophet (S) did not leave any matter unsolved for the Ummah, rather he provided absolute and clear cut solutions for all the problems that were to arise ever. The most important matter that he addressed was the question of caliphate and he entrusted it to the most superior man of his community, the gate of the city of his knowledge, His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a). Senior companions and other people present on the day of Ghadeer with His Eminence pledged allegiance to him but those people did not like that prophethood and caliphate should be in the same family. Therefore they kept the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) of the Prophet from caliphate. This became a cause for Yazid and other deviated person like him who by their behavior proved that they had no connection to Islam and they had no connection to religion, to take authority of Muslims in their hands.
Of those who have defended the fervor of Muawiyah in appointing Yazid as heir apparent is Husayn Muhammad Yusuf. He has, without any justification issued statements in this matter and he concludes his discourse as follows: “Muawiyah’s position can be summarized to that he was in his own view a jurisprudent (Mujtahid) and when he called the community to pay allegiance to Yazid be had the well-being of people in his mind because no defect is proved in it. Yazid used to send some people to Muawiyah to canvass for him and show himself to be the one best qualified among the sons of companions. Thus if Muawiyah were correct in his selection he would get two rewards and if he erred in it he shall get one reward. Beyond this no one has any right to say anything else in this matter because deeds are dependent on intention. Whatever one intends, in the same way he or she is.”33
Indeed, it is really regretful that these people have gone out of their way to justify this mammoth crime of Muawiyah which involved the world of Islam in mischiefs and calamities... when did Muawiyah apply juristic consideration to impose his son as caliph on Muslims? Because he employed every kind of intrigue and intimidation and compelled the Muslims to have that allegiance imposed on them under the great force of arms’
Muawiyah did not resort to jurisprudence in this matter, rather he responded to his heart felt desires he harbored with regard to the welfare of his son without there being in it any sort of consideration for the well-being of the community.
These were some of the supporters of Muawiyah in taking allegiance for Yazid who have such strange views foreign to Islam and absolutely devoid of any logic and completely away from truth.
Hasan Basri has condemned the allegiance for Yazid and he considers it to be the most terrible of evil deeds of Muawiyah. He says, “Muawiyah had four such defects that each one alone is sufficient to make him be regarded as evil:
a) Obtaining power over the community through foolish people, till he operated the caliphate without their counsel while there existed among them companions and virtuous persons.
b) Appointing of Yazid as caliph after him while he was a drunkard and alcoholic. He wore silk and played the drum.
c) Making Ziyad as his brother while the Messenger of Allah (S) has said, “The child belongs to the father and the adulterer must be stoned.”
d) Killing of Hujr and his companions. Woe be on him for murdering Hujr and his companions.34
Ibn Rushd, the great Muslim philosopher believes that the taking by Muawiyah of allegiance for Yazid changed the course of Islam and destroyed the rule of the righteous in Islam.
He says: “The conditions of Arabs during the time of the righteous caliphs (Khulafa Rashideen) was to the side of correctness just as Plato has described his government in his book, The Republic. A democratic government which shall be an ideal for all governments. However, Muawiyah demolished its great foundations. He turned it into a kingdom of Bani Umayyah and the power of their cruelty. In this way he opened avenues of mischiefs which continue to this day in our land of Andulasia.”35
All thinkers and philosophers of the Islamic Ummah from the days of Muawiyah till date have dissented from the allegiance of Yazid and objected against it and considered it an open oppression on the community and something which was against public opinion.
Motives that impelled Muawiyah to impose his drunkard son as caliph on Muslims: The most important of them was his extreme affection to his son and he was very fond of Yazid. He has expressed this matter to Saeed bin Uthman when the latter asked Muawiyah to leave off Yazid and instead appoint him (Saeed) as the next caliph. Muawiyah derided him and said, “By Allah, if Ghuta36 is full of people like you even then Yazid shall be most preferable for me’”37
His fondness for his son had blinded him and he deviated from the truth. He himself says, “If I had not been so fond of Yazid, I would have obtained salvation and betterment’”38
He was certain that appointing Yazid was a most terrible sin that he has committed and he clearly mentioned this to his son, “I will not face God with anything worse than appointing you as a caliph!”39
Muawiyah committed a heinous crime on the community by transferring caliphate to a cruel ruler who did not take into any consideration choice and desire of the
Ummah. Thus Muawiyah was responsible for a very serious crime.
Muawiyah resorted to the following diplomatic antics in order to obtain the oath of allegiance for his worthless son:
In those times, the poets formed the most influential group that existed and Muawiyah bestowed them with unprecedented wealth so that in return they may begin to praise and glorify Yazid and make him imbued with lofty virtues and excellent qualities. Some of those poets are as follows:
Ajaaj: Ajaaj praised Yazid excessively and he said regarding him:
“Even if people stagger and swerve in their position, you shall not deviate from the religion of Musa and the Holy Prophet.
You were a sword of God that never loses its sharpness; which sometimes rises on the heads and sometimes beheads.”40
These couplets mean to say that Yazid was a follower of Prophet Musa and His Eminence, Muhammad and that he was the cutting sword of God which is waved upon the saints and favorite people of God!
Ahwas: The poet, Ahwas, composed a panegyric in praise of Yazid and said:
“He is that blessed king who rules over the kings and his awe is so immense that it can destroy the mountain.
All the wealth of Balkh and Tigris reaches him. And Euphrates and the area it irrigates and the Nile, all of it belongs to him.”
His awe was such that heads humbled before him and mountains pulverized in his fear. This was the same who remained intoxicated with wine, whose favorite pastimes were playing with goats and dogs and who did not leave a single evil deed.
Miskeen Darami: Miskeen Darami was among the poets on the payroll of Muawiyah who had been instructed to encourage anyone from Bani Umayyad and rich personalities of Syria who may be present in Muawiyah’s court to pay allegiance for Yazid. Thus Miskeen arrived to Muawiyah and when the court was full of people he recited in a loud voice:
“If they call me Miskeen, I am the son of such a group whose support and defense I do.
I wish I knew what Ibn Aamir and Marwan say and what Saeed says.
O sons of the Caliphs of God! Think deeply on this. The Almighty puts caliphate wherever He likes.
If your Lord vacates the western pulpit Yazid shall be the chief of believers.
It is a blessing for the bird to fly and in the effort of the effort-maker. So everyone should move and make effort.
Thus you shall in the same way be superior to all people and delegations shall come to you one after another.
And the tent of rulership is raised upon you like this and you keep its ropes and pegs taut.”41
These were some poets who indulged in concocting excellence for Yazid and who praised him unreasonably in order to conceal his vices and defects even though everybody was cognizant of those things.
Muawiyah doled out generously huge amounts to influential people of his time to obtain their assent to the imposition of his drunkard son as caliph over Muslim people.
Historians say: He gave Abdullah Ibn Umar a hundred thousand Dirhams and he accepted them.42
This son of Umar became a staunch supporter of allegiance for Yazid. He even had the audacity to raise objection to Imam Husayn (‘a) for his uprising against the drunkard Yazid. We shall discuss this matter in greater depth in the forthcoming chapters.
Muawiyah wrote to all the governors and officers in the Islamic countries regarding his decision to take allegiance for Yazid and he commanded them to carry out the following commands:
a. To announce the news among multitudes of people regarding the decision of the Damascus regime about taking allegiance for Yazid.
b. Order the orators and other channels of propagation to praise Yazid and concoct excellences for him.
c. Send delegations consisting of prominent Islamic people to him (Muawiyah) so that their views regarding the allegiance of Yazid may be ascertained.43
Governors began to carry out the commands and to announce his decision regarding the taking of allegiance for Yazid. In the same way they ordered the speakers and others to eulogize Yazid wrongfully.
Local governments in Islamic countries contacted the thinkers and presented to them Muawiyah’s decision regarding the entrusting of heir-apparency of caliphate to his son, Yazid and asked them to go to Damascus at once in order to inform Muawiyah about their opinion. Delegations departed for Damascus and in the forefront of these delegations were the following:
1. Iraqi delegation, under the leadership of the Iraqi leader, Ahnaf bin Qais.
2. Medinite delegation, under the leadership of Muhammad bin Amr bin Hazm.44
Delegations arrived in Damascus to express their opinion as per the orders of the ruler of Syria and Muawiyah accorded them a warm welcome and honor.
Delegations from Islamic lands held a conference in the Umayyad court in Damascus so that they may express their views in connection with the taking of allegiance for Yazid.
Muawiyah inaugurated the conference with glorification of Islam and necessity of obedience to those who are in authority (rulers). After that he presented the merits of Yazid and his superiority. He spoke of Yazid’s political expertise and invited them to pay allegiance to him.
A group of Umayyad chiefs hastened forward to register their support for Muawiyah and they openly encouraged and praised him for his decision to take allegiance for Yazid.
They were as follows:
1. Zahhak bin Qais
2. Abdur Rahman bin Uthman
3. Thawr bin Maun Salmi
4. Abdullah bin Asam
5. Abdullah bin Masadah
Muawiyah had ordered these people beforehand to voice their support for him and object to anyone who opposes his move.
Ahnaf bin Qais, a leader of Iraq and the chief of the Tamim tribe ñ regarding whom Maysun, Yazid’s mother said: “If there had been nothing in Iraq except him, it would have been sufficient for you.”45 Stood up to speak and came forward. He recited the praise of Allah. After that he turned to Muawiyah and said, “O Allah, have mercy on the chief of believers! People have lived their life in the period of Ignorance and the present age of knowledge. Yazid, the son of the chief of believers is the best successor and you too have tasted sweet and bitter days.
Thus O Chief of believers, think upon it that whom would you entrust the matter of caliphate after you? So, you must oppose the order of all those who order you. The view of those who give ideas to you must not deceive you and it may not cause some problem to you. See the congregation and learn about the kind of obedience that is shown keeping in mind that the people of Iraq and Hijaz are not in agreement with this matter. As long as Hasan is alive, they would not give allegiance to Yazid’”
Ahnaf’s speech created a wave of anger and displeasure in the Umayyad party. Zahhak bin Qais objected to this and denounced the people of Iraq and spoke ill of Imam Hasan (‘a). He suggested to the Iraqi delegation to become sincere towards Muawiyah and to accept his invitation regarding allegiance of Yazid.
Ahnaf did not pay any attention to him and he stood up again and proffered counsel to Muawiyah and asked him to honor the covenant that he had made incumbent upon himself and entrust the caliphate after him to Imam Hasan (‘a) under the terms of treaty, one of the most important terms of which was the return of caliphate to Imam Hasan (‘a) after Muawiyah. Ahnaf also warned Muawiyah of war if he did not fulfill the terms of the treaty.
After the discourse of the great leader, Ahnaf bin Qais the conference broke into an open failure and arguments erupted between the members of delegations and organs of the Umayyad party. Yazid bin Muqaffah thundered at the opponents fully utilizing the strength of his ferocity:
“This is the chief of believer”, said he indicating to Muawiyah, “Thus, if he passes away, it is this one”, he said pointing to Yazid, “And this is for one who does not accept it,” he said gesturing to his sword.
Muawiyah liked this statement very much and he said, “Please be seated as you are the chief of orators and most respectable of them.”
Ahnaf bin Qais paid no attention to him. He glanced at Muawiyah and advised him to refrain from taking allegiance for Yazid and not to give preference to anyone over Hasan and Husayn (‘a).
Muawiyah turned away from him and remained firm on his view which was absolutely opposed to Islamic behavior.
Anyway, the conference did not conclude on the note that Muawiyah had desired and planned. Because it was now confirmed for him that some of the Islamic groups were not in agreement with him regarding the allegiance and they were not pleased with his decision.
Muawiyah decided to undertake a journey to Medina which was the centre of attention for Muslims and sons of companions who comprised the party opposed to Muawiyah resided there. They did not consider Muawiyah as their friend and they
considered Muawiyah’s taking allegiance for Yazid to be an attack against the intention of the Ummah and it was considered a deviation from the Islamic Shariah which did not permit Yazid to take up authority over the affairs of the Muslim community because he was famous for having unrestrained behavior and bad character.
Muawiyah traveled to Medina in official manner and bore the hardships of the journey in order to transfer the caliphate to a tyrant ruler, in whom cannot be seen even the shadow of truth and justice.
As soon as Muawiyah reached Yathrib he ordered that the following people be summoned at once: Abdullah bin Abbas, Abdullah bin Ja’far, Abdullah bin Zubair and Abdullah bin Umar. A confidential meeting was arranged with them so that His Eminence, Hasan and Husayn (‘a) may not be present there. Because Muawiyah had given oath to His Eminence, Hasan (‘a) that after Muawiyah the caliphate shall be transferred to him. Then how could be have held meeting with him and what he would have told him?
Muawiyah ordered his sentry not to permit anyone else to enter till he had concluded his talk.
Muawiyah initiated his talk with the recital of God’s praise and glorification and invoking blessings for His Prophet. After that he continued, “So to say: I have advanced in age, my bones have become weak and my end has come near. Very soon I shall be summoned and I would have to respond. I have decided to appoint Yazid as my successor. And you are the four Abdullahs46 from Quraish. The excellent ones and sons of the excellent ones. And nothing prevented me from inviting Hasan and Husayn for the meeting except that they are sons of Ali, even though I have a good opinion about them and am fond of them. So give a positive reply to the chief of believers, may God have mercy on you’”
Muawiyah did not resort to threats and intimidation with them so that he may turn their blessings towards himself and this matter may not remain unknown to them and they may not raise their voices of dissent against him.
The first to speak up to Muawiyah was Abdullah bin Abbas. After praise and glorification of the Almighty he said, “So to say, know that! You spoke and we lent our ears and you said and we heard. Indeed, the Almighty Allah, hallowed be His praise and hallowed be His Name ñ chose Muhammad for His messengership and selected him for His revelation and He accorded excellence to His creatures. Thus the most excellent of the people is one who obtains excellence from him (Muhammad). And the most deserving of them for the post of Caliphate is the chosen one in relation to it. And it is incumbent for the Ummah to accept its Prophet as the Almighty Allah had selected him for them. Because Allah had chosen Muhammad through His knowledge and He is the All-knowing. I seek the forgiveness of the Lord for myself and for you.”
Call of Ibn Abbas is clearly advocating the return of Caliphate to Ahlul Bayt (‘a), who were the nearest people to the Prophet and his closest relatives, because caliphate is continuation of the position of Prophethood and the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) of His Eminence are most qualified to occupy his position.
Abdullah Ibn Ja’far began to express his view and after praise and glorification of Almighty said, “So to say: If the matter of caliphate is to be conducted in compliance with Quran, relatives in the Book of Allah are also having precedence over each other. If this is (appointment of caliphate is performed according to the practice of the Messenger of Allah (S), the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S) shall be deserving of attention. And if it is conducted according to the manners of the two Shaykhs, Abu Bakr and Umar, then who from the people is most superior and most perfect and more deserving of this matter than the progeny of the messenger? By Allah, if after your Prophet they had been given authority, the caliphate would have been established in its proper place due to their rightfulness and truthfulness. In that case the Almighty Allah would have been obeyed and the Satan would have been disobeyed and among the people two warring parties would not have engaged in a tussle. Thus, O Muawiyah, keep Allah in mind, as you became the ruler and we became subjects. So pay attention to your subjects as tomorrow you shall be answerable to it. And as for what you said about our two cousins and that you did not invite them (for this meeting) you should know that by Allah, you have not acted aright. This matter cannot be lawful except through them. You know very well that the two of them are sources of knowledge and greatness ñ you say if you like or don’t say it ñ I seek divine forgiveness for myself and for you too’”
This speech, full of call to the people to truth and sincerity because it specified Ahlul Bayt (‘a) for caliphate and leadership and it prohibited them to keep caliphate away from them just as the other caliphs had acted and it resulted in the community being involved in difficulties and defeats and had to bear the most severe hardships and most unbearable events.
Abdullah bin Zubair also delivered a speech and after praise and extolling of the Almighty Allah spoke as follows: “So to say: This caliphate is restricted to the Quraish as they have obtained it through their illuminated greatness and their preferable deeds along with the nobility of the ancestors and the excellence of the descendants. O Muawiyah, fear Allah and do justice as this is Abdullah bin Abbas, the Prophet’s cousin and this is Abdullah bin Ja’far at-Tayyar cousin of the Prophet, I am Abdullah bin Zubair cousin of the Prophet and he left Ali, Hasan and Husayn after him. You know very well who and what they are? So, O Muawiyah, fear Allah as you are the judge between us and yourself’”
Ibn Zubair specified this group for caliphate and instigated them to rise up against Muawiyah and to destroy his plans.
Abdullah bin Umar spoke up after this and opened his statement with divine praise and benediction upon the Messenger of Allah (S). Then he went on to say: “So to say: This caliphate is neither the kingdom of Hercules, nor of Caesar or Choesroe that the sons may receive it in inheritance from their father. If it had been thus I would have stepped forward after my father. By Allah, he did not include me among the six members of the Shura Committee for the fact that caliphate is not a specified condition, rather it is restricted to the Quraish for anyone who is deserving of it from those whom Muslims choose for themselves among the most pious and the most popular people. Thus if you want the youths of Quraish, by my life! Yazid is from them and you should know that he does not have any consequence for you near Allah.”
The speeches of four Abdullah’s did not express their personal views, rather in a truthful way they displayed the view of the absolute majority of Muslims that did not like the caliphate of Yazid and were not satisfied with it.
The speeches of that group fell heavy on Muawiyah. He could not find any way to obtain their concurrence. On the basis of this he began to praise and eulogize his son and said, “I said and you said; that the fathers have gone and the sons remain, my son, in my view is more preferable to me than your sons. Inspite of this if you speak to my son you would find him a good speaker’This matter belonged to the family of Abde Manaf because they are of the clan of the Messenger of Allah (S). And when the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away from the world, Abu Bakr and Umar ruled over the people without having sources of rulership and caliphate. However the two of them acted in a good way and then the rulership reverted to the clan of Abde Manaf and it shall remain in this way till the Day of Judgment. The Almighty Allah has taken you out of it, O Abdullah Ibn Zubair and Abdullah bin Umar. But these two cousins of ours, if Allah wills, shall not be kept out of view’”47
Muawiyah’s meeting with them came to an end in such a way that Muawiyah failed in it completely. Because it became obvious to him that the community has firmly decided not to accept the allegiance of Yazid’After that Muawiyah left Medina. None of the available historical sources show him making any mention about meeting the grandsons of the Messenger of Allah (S) and it is very likely that he did not meet them at all.
Upon learning about the decision of Muawiyah to impose his son as caliph over the Muslims, they became very much worried. Among the Muslims, the people of Medina and Kufa were more anxious because they were aware of the reality of Yazid’s character and were cognizant of his attitude against Islam.
Thomas Arnold says, “Muawiyah’s decision to consider legitimate hierarchic transfer of caliphate was a dangerous change in the life of Muslims as they were only used to allegiance, the consultation committee and the initial administrative systems in Islam. They were not cognizant of anything away from those systems and from all aspects, they and specially in Mecca and Medina where people had attachment with the traditions and the first practices of the Prophet, they felt that the Umayyads, instead of safeguarding piety and simple life of the Prophet, had changed caliphate into a temporal rulership influenced by worldly matters as a sign of their own greatness and selfishness.”48
Muawiyah’s steps for imposing his son, Yazid as a ruler over Muslims brought dangerous change in the life of Muslims. They had no idea that such a thing would ever come to pass by the use of force and weapons.
Nobles and reformers of the world of Islam announced their absolute rejection regarding the allegiance of Yazid and he was not accepted as the ruler of Muslims. Here we shall mention some prominent personalities who voiced their opposition to Yazid’s allegiance:
In the forefront of opponents of allegiance for Yazid was His Eminence, Imam Husayn (‘a) who considered Yazid as unworthy and he did not like his bad traits and he described him as a drunkard and hunter and that he obeyed the Satan and left the obedience of the Beneficent Lord, he created mischief, trespassed the limits of religious law, restricted the war booties for himself and made unlawful things lawful and ruled the lawful as unlawful.49 If he were such a base man, how could he (Husayn) give his allegiance and consider him a ruler of Muslims? When Walid summoned Imam Husayn (‘a) to give allegiance for Yazid, Imam told him,
“O Chief, we are the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) of prophethood and mine of messengership and place of going and coming of angels. The Almighty Allah initiated the creation with us and He shall end it with us. Yazid is a transgressor, a drunkard, killer of sanctified people, and one who commits sins openly. A person like me cannot give allegiance to a man like him.”
All the members of the family of the Holy Prophet (S) followed their great leader in not accepting the allegiance for Yazid and they did not dissent from the Imam.
Muawiyah imposed fiscal embargo on the Prophet’s family in order to punish them for their refusal to pay allegiance to Yazid.
He deprived them from their share from the Public Treasury for a whole year,50 but this matter did not serve as any obstruction from their determination to refuse allegiance for Yazid.
Among those who opposed Yazid’s allegiance was Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr. He labeled him as Hercules; as whenever a Hercules died another Hercules used to take his place.51
Muawiyah sent 100,000 Dirhams to him in order to bribe him but he refused them and said, “I will not sell my religion.”52
Abdullah bin Zubair did not accept the allegiance of Yazid and he described him as follows, “Yazid the transgressor, Yazid plays with monkey and dogs, Yazid remains intoxicated and Yazid the wild hunter.”53 And when the provincial regime of Medina tried to compel Abdullah to pay allegiance for Yazid, he fled to Mecca.”
Mundhir bin Zubair did not accept Yazid’s allegiance and he denounced him and delivered a speech to the people of Medina regarding Yazid’s transgression and said, “He rewarded me 100,000 units of currency but it does not restrain me from telling you about his real condition. By Allah, he imbibes wine! He remains intoxicated till he leaves off prayers.”54
Abdur Rahman bin Saeed refused to give allegiance to Yazid and he spoke about his evil traits as follows:
“You are not from us (you aren’t a Muslim) and your maternal uncle is also not a Muslim. O one who forgoes the prayer due to sensual desires!”55
Abis bin Saeed also did not accept Yazid’s allegiance and when Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas called him to pay allegiances he told him, “I know him better than you; you have sold your religion in exchange of your world.”56
Abdullah bin Hanzalah was the toughest opponent of Yazid and he was of those who rebelled against him during the incident of Harrah (Plunder of Medina). He addressed the people of Medina and said, “By Allah, we did not rise up against Yazid except when we feared that stones shall rain upon us from the heavens. He (Yazid) is one who commits incest, drinks wine and omits prayers. By Allah, even if I had no one else on my side I would have fought him with ferocity solely for the sake of Almighty’”57
He recited a war song on that occasion as follows:
“Keep away from those who create mischief, commit transgression, rebel and keep away from truth and signs of guidance.
As the Almighty Allah does not keep anyone away from His mercy except those who disobey Him.”58
The Umayyad clan also objected to Muawiyah regarding allegiance for Yazid but their objections were not based on religious or social considerations. It was due to their personal interests because Muawiyah had given the caliphate to Yazid and deprived them from it. Some of such dissenters were as follows:
When Muawiyah took the allegiance for Yazid, Saeed bin Uthman went to Muawiyah and cried, “Why have you appointed your son, Yazid as the heir apparent? By Allah, my father was better than his father and my mother was better than his mother and I am better than him. We made you the ruler and did not depose you. Whatever you have achieved is due to us’”
Muawiyah made excuses and said, “What you have said that your father was better than his father is correct. By God, Uthman was better than me and as you have said, your mother is better than his mother. It is sufficient for the woman to be in the house of her people and her husband may select her and make her children pure. As for what you say that you are better than Yazid let me tell you that by God, I shall not be pleased that in the place of Yazid I be given an ocean full of gold. And as for your claim that you have appointed me as ruler and not deposed me, you should know that whoever gave me the rulership was better than you, that is Umar bin Khattab. And you allowed me continue and I was not a bad ruler for you. I stood up to take revenge on your behalf and killed the murderers of your father and appointed the caliphate in your clan. We enriched your paupers and elevated your debased ones’”
Yazid also spoke up to him and made him reconcile by allotting to him the governorship of Khorasan.59
Marwan bin Hakam denounced the allegiance for Yazid and his precedence to him because he was as senior member and leader of the Umayyad clan more qualified for it. Thus he said to Muawiyah, “O Son of Abu Sufyan! Act aright and refrain from appointing lads to leadership. And you should know there are people equal to you in your community and they possess the power to oppose you.”
Muawiyah responded to him in a deceptive manner and told him, “You are like the chief of believers after him and you shall be his helper in every difficulty. I have given you authority on your community and allotted you a huge share from taxes. We welcome with honor your arrival and we acknowledge your favors.”60
Marwan had said to Muawiyah, “You have made it a dynastic rule and taken allegiance for your descendants.”61
Ziyad bin Abih did not like Muawiyah’s taking of allegiance for Yazid who well known for his unrestrained behavior, shamelessness and sinful deeds. Historians say: Muawiyah wrote a letter to him calling him for the allegiance to the heir- apparency of Yazid as he was not better than Mughairah bin Shoba.
When he read Muawiyah’s letter he summoned a trustworthy confidant of his and said: I wish to share a confidential matter with you which I cannot confide to the text of letters. Go to Muawiyah and tell him: “O chief of believers, your letter regarding such and such matter reached me. Then what shall I tell the people if we call them for the allegiance of Yazid while he plays with dogs and goats, wears colorful clothes, always remains drunk and spends the nights in company of singing girls while there are present, among the people persons like Husayn bin Ali, Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Abdullah bin Zubair and Abdullah bin Umar? Or you tell him to follow the morals and manners of these personages for a year or two so that I may present the matter to the people.”
The messenger set out to meet Muawiyah and delivered Ziyad’s message to him. Muawiyah was very much infuriated and he began to scold him and said, “O son of Ubaid! It has come to my knowledge that a reader has read out to him that the chief after me shall be Ziyad. By God, I shall turn him back to his mother Sumaiyyah and his father Ubaid.”62
These were some critics from the Umayyad clan and others who opposed the action of Muawiyah in appointing his debased son Yazid as the caliph over Muslims.
Muawiyah began to create disunity among the Umayyads in order to prepare a favorable atmosphere for his son, Yazid. He dismissed Saeed bin Aas, his governor at Medina and in his stead appointed Marwan bin Hakam. Then he dismissed Marwan and appointed Saeed in his place again and ordered him to ruin the house of Marwan and confiscate his property. Saeed did not carry out Muawiyah’s orders. Muawiyah again deposed him and appointed Marwan as the governor for the second time and ordered him to seize Saeed’s property and to demolish his house.
When Marwan decided to carry out the orders Saeed came to him and showed him Muawiyah’s letter regarding him and Marwan refrained from carrying out Muawiyah’s orders. Saeed wrote a letter to Muawiyah and condemned his action. He wrote as follows:
“On the basis of this, Amirul Momineen (‘a) in this work of his resorted to patience upon that you don’t like for your filthy friends, and his forgiveness and creating enmity among us and creating malice that sons inherit, it is the result of it.”63
Umar Abu Nasr has remarked as follows regarding Muawiyah’s policy of sowing discord among members of his clan: “The reason for this policy of his to create discord among his relatives was that he feared they may gain dominance over Yazid after him. So he used to use some of them to attack others so that they may always remain needful of his attention and favors.”64
Muawiyah postponed the official acceptance of allegiance for Yazid to the future so that hurdles and obstacles in his way shall be removed and the path may become easier.
Historians say: After meeting with the four Abdullahs of Quraish in Yathrib, Muawiyah became certain that they had views opposed to him. Hence he postponed all his activities in that matter and decided to perform this task at a later date.65
Muawiyah realized that it was not possible that his entrusting of caliphate to his son can be accomplished while there remained alive those lofty personalities in the Islamic society who were widely respected by the Muslim populace. Therefore he decided to have them assassinated so that the ground is prepared for him and no obstacle remains for him. On the basis of this he began to assassinate the following persons:
Saad held a high position among many Muslim people because he was one of the members of the Shura committee and he was the conqueror of Iraq. His prominence was unbearable for Muawiyah therefore he got him poisoned and killed.66
Syrians held Abdur Rahman bin Khalid bin Walid in great regard and were extremely fond of him. When Muawiyah asked them whom he should appoint as the caliph after him they proposed the name of Abdur Rahman bin Khalid. This was very hurtful to Muawiyah but he concealed his feelings.
Abdur Rahman fell ill. Muawiyah ordered a Jew physician who was under his patronage to come and treat him, and to administer a lethal substance to him. The doctor came and administered a poisonous substance to Abdur Rahman and he died as a result of it.67
Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr was one of the most important members of the opposition to Muawiyah’s proposal to take allegiance for his son, Yazid. He raised objection against Muawiyah in this regard. Muawiyah dispatched him a hundred thousand Dirhams but he declined saying, “I do not wish to sell my religion for the world.” But not much time passed but that he died all of a sudden in Mecca.68
According to historical sources the cause of is death was that Muawiyah had got him poisoned.
Muawiyah committed a heinous sin and crime in Islam because he undertook the assassination of the grandson of the Messenger of Allah (S) and his beloved one, that is His Eminence, Imam Hasan (‘a) as he had signed an agreement with him that in event of his (Muawiyah’s) death, Imam Hasan (‘a) shall be the caliph.69
That tyrant in order to establish the Umayyad rule and to make it dynastic did not restrain from committing this crime. Major Osborne has described him as a deceitful person absolutely bereft of any kind of good emotion because he did not refrain from any action in order to fulfill his selfish desires. Murder was one of his ways to get rid of his enemies. He devised a plot to have the Prophet’s grandson poisoned just as he had done in the case of Malik Ashtar, the commander of Ali (‘a).
That tyrant searched for persons who can best carry out this assassination of the Prophet’s grandson. So that he may select one of them for the job. He did not find anyone more capable than Judah, the daughter of Ashath who could carryout this terrible deed because she was from a family which was by nature deceitful and which had made evil and intrigue its habit. Thus a poison obtained from the King of Rome was sent to Marwan bin Hakam and he was ordered to coerce Judah with bribes and offer of her marriage with Yazid if she liked.
Marwan conferred with Judah secretly and she was pleased with the proposal. She took the poison and administered it to the Holy Imam (‘a) one day at the time of breaking his fast of a very hot day. When poison entered into the Imam’s body his liver burst into pieces. The Imam glanced at his unlucky consort and said:
“You killed me! May Allah kill you. By Allah, after me you shall not get anything. He (Muawiyah) has deceived you and he has ridiculed you. The Almighty Allah shall expose you and him.”
The Prophet’s grandson became restless with the pain of the poison while his face had become withered and the complexion had yellowed till finally the imminent end came behind him. We have already written the details of the passing away of the Holy Imam (‘a) and events of his time in our book, Life of Imam Hasan (‘a).
After the assassination of the grandson of the Messenger of Allah (S) and the beloved one of His Eminence the ground was cleared for Muawiyah because he destroyed all those whom he feared and the circumstances turned in his favor and there was no visible opposition for his plans.
He wrote to his governors to, without any delay, take allegiance for Yazid and compel the Muslims to accept it.
The governors hastened to force the people for allegiance and all those who dared to oppose were subjected to the most terrible punishment.
Medina raised its head against allegiance of Yazid and their leaders among whom the foremost was His Eminence, Imam Husayn (‘a) absolutely refused to pay allegiance. The local conditions were reported to Muawiyah. He decided to travel to Yathrib to personally reassure the opponents and if they still refused they could be forced to pay allegiance.
Muawiyah moved to Medina in an official caravan while a great military force was surrounding him. When he arrived he was welcomed by a group of his opponents. But he did not respond with cheerfulness, instead he scolded them.
On the next day Muawiyah summoned Imam Husayn (‘a) and Abdullah bin Abbas. When they arrived he welcomed them with honor and inquired from Imam Husayn (‘a) about the well-being of his nephews and nieces (children of Imam Hasan) and the Imam responded accordingly. After that Muawiyah began his discourse and mentioned the Holy Prophet (S) in words of glorification and praised His Eminence. Then he presented the matter of Yazid’s allegiance and mentioned lofty titles and praiseworthy qualities regarding his son and he invited the two gentlemen to pay allegiance for Yazid.
At that time the chief of nobles began to speak and after due praise and glorification of the Almighty Allah said: “So to say: O Muawiyah! However the talker may praise the Holy Prophet (S) he cannot describe a part of the whole. But the brief description you presented (about Yazid) and restrained to praise the Holy Prophet (S) in detail, I have understood it! Alas, alas, O Muawiyah! The tongueless morning has exposed open darkness and the sun has astounded the lights of lamps and you have committed excess, so much so that you have exceeded the ordained limits. You have restricted it so much that you have emptied it and you have restrained so much that you resorted to miserliness and you have committed so much injustice that you have crossed the limits. You have not given the rightful share to the one who deserved it. Till the Satan had taken the greater profit and complete share and I noticed that you, in raising the position of Yazid, spoke about him, it was only because you wanted to put the people into doubt about him. As if what you are informing and describing is some unknown thing and praising the unseen things as if you have you received it from some special knowledge? While Yazid himself on the basis of his views and intellectual capacity proves it. Thus look at Yazid, what he has inculcated in himself. Like making dogs fight and racing of pigeons, listing to songs and music of various kinds. You shall find Yazid involved it.
Leave off what you are trying for him. You have no need to meet the Almighty with more than these sins with His community. By Allah, you have always practically acted with wrongfulness to oppress and you have gone much ahead in it. So much so that you have filled the water skins to full capacity. (It is the limit!) while there is only a short while between you and your death. On that day you shall openly see what you have done and you would not be able to escape.
I see that after this you will object to me and deprive us from the inheritance of our father. By Allah, the Messenger of Allah (S) has left inheritance to us in the capacity of a father. And you have brought it for us. The same thing that you have used as the argument against one who stood up at the time of passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S). And he also accepted it. And his faith made him stick to justice. At that time you brought arguments and performed tasks and you said: It happened in this way and it shall happen in that way, till finally the matter reached you ñ O Muawiyah, from the path whose aim was someone other than you. O people of understanding, take lesson from this.
Do you remember about the leadership of that man over the people whom the Messenger of Allah (S) had specified as the leader? It was the same thing. That day for Amr Aas from the companionship to the Prophet and allegiance to him was a merit. That day the work was not done. So much so that those people were displeased with his leadership and disliked his precedence. And they returned his matters to him that the Holy Prophet (S) said: O group of Emigrants, after this day no one other than me shall be the ruler upon you. Then how is it possible that something that was abrogated by the Prophet, in the most important laws and the most preferable of work upon which all are unanimous that it is correct (that is caliphate) you are arguing by it? And how have you considered a Tabii (companion of a companion) as a companion while there are around you those who do not themselves consider themselves companions. They do not consider religion and their proximity to religion as reliable. You are passing by deceived and committing excess in it. You desire to hide the doubts from people so that whoever remains in it may gain from his world and you shall be unfortunate in your hereafter as this is an open loss and I seek the forgiveness of Allah for myself and for you’”
Imam, in his discourse exposed all the misgivings of Muawiyah and he closed all his ways of dominance and made him responsible for the great step regarding forcing Muslims to the allegiance of his son. In the same way he mentioned the matter of caliphate and questioned the position that was restricted to the Prophet’s Progeny was taken away from them and the community kept it away from Ahlul Bayt (‘a), its real place?
Muawiyah was perplexed at the Imam’s statements and there was no way of escape for him. He asked Ibn Abbas, “O Ibn Abbas! What is this?”
“By Allah, this is the progeny of the Messenger of Allah (S) and a member of the folks of the blanket (Kisa) and from the purified Progeny. So desist from what you intend to do as you are making it a medium for reassuring the people, till the time the Almighty Allah issues His command. And He is the best of the deciders’”70
At the time the chief of the nobles stood up and left Muawiyah infuriated in such a condition that he realized he could not deceive Imam Husayn (‘a) and cannot take allegiance from him.
Muawiyah left Medina for Mecca in such a condition that he was thinking deeply about the matter of opponents. Thus he decided to employ intimidation and force. When he reached Mecca he summoned Imam Husayn (‘a), Abdullah bin Zubair, Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr and Abdullah bin Umar and put the matter of Yazid’s allegiance before them again and they declared their refusal to accept it.
He glanced at them angrily and said, “I am telling you that whoever commits a mistake is excused. I used to stand among you to deliver sermons and one of you used to stand up and in presence of people falsify me. I used to bear it and forgive. Now, I intend to speak about a matter which by God, I remember. If one of you speaks a word to refute me, in this place where I am, I won’t say a word against him but that before that the sword will be pulled over his head. Thus no one would say anything to me except at the risk of his life’”
At that time he summoned his security chief and told him, “Put two guards each having a sword, over each of these people. Then if anyone of them tries to utter a single word to support or refute me, hit him with the swords. Then he emerged and those persons also came out with him. He ascended the pulpit and praised and extolled the Almighty. After that he said,
“These are leaders and prominent persons of the Muslims, such that nothing is accomplished without their participation. They have expressed their willingness to give allegiance to Yazid. Then, in the name of God, all of you also pay allegiance’”
People gave him allegiance. After that he mounted his horse and left Mecca.71
Muawiyah thought that the matter of caliphate had been confirmed in favor of his son and the kingdom had become established in his posterity while the fact was that he had pulled destruction towards his kingdom and incited the people to revolt against his son.
The reaction of Imam Husayn (‘a) was that he acted with severity and absolutions with Muawiyah because His Eminence invited the Muslims openly to rise up against Muawiyah and he warned them of his destructive policies which indicated the destruction of Islam.
Delegations arrived to Imam Husayn (‘a) from all the countries of Islamic lands and they complained to him about the injustice and oppression that had afflicted them so that His Eminence may give them refuge and save them from it.
Spies informed the local regime about the congregations of people in Medina and their frequent consultations with Imam Husayn (‘a). At that time Marwan was the governor of Medina. He became extremely fearful of the circumstances.
Marwan dispatched a memo to Muawiyah stating therein his fear of the Imam’s movement and the coming and going of people to the Imam. The text of that memo was as follows: “So to say: More and more people are coming to meet Husayn (‘a). By God, I see from his side difficult times for you.”72
Muawiyah ordered him not to take any kind of step against the Imam and wrote to him as follows: “Leave Husayn alone till he has left you alone and his enmity towards you is not exposed and he does not express his true feelings and motives. remain before him concealed and in ambush like moisture remains concealed, if Allah wills. And peace be on you’”73
Muawiyah became fearful of the changed circumstances therefore he ordered
Marwan not to give any kind of trouble and harm to His Eminence.
Marwan suggested Muawiyah to remove the Imam far away from Medina and keep him under surveillance in Syria so that he is prevented from communicating with the people of Iraq. However Muawiyah did not like the proposal and he replied to Marwan, “By God, you want to become free of him and put me into trouble. If you have borne with patience on this, you have been patient on something that I am unhappy with it, but if you do ill to him, you would have broken off relations with him’”74
Muawiyah became worried of the Imam’s movement and consultations of people with him. He wrote a letter to His Eminence which is narrated in two versions:
1. Balazari has quoted it as follows: “So to say: A matter regarding you has been reported to me, which if true, I don’t think you will turn away from it. If it is wrong you would be among the fortunate ones if you remain away from it. You are beginning with your future and for the command of Allah you are turning your attention. Thus do not compel me to break off relations and do ill for you. If you do not like me, I also do not like you. And whenever you take steps against me, I shall also take steps against you. So, O Husayn, refrain from creating discord among Muslims and turning them to mischief in the name of God’”75
2. Ibn Kathir has quoted the letter of Muawiyah as follows: “Whoever has given allegiance for God and vowed, it is better for him to fulfill it. I have received news that people of Kufa have invited you to create discord. The people of Iraq are those whom you have tested and they have destroyed your father and brother. Thus for the sake of God remember the terms of treaty as whenever you shall move against me, I shall move against you.”76
This letter, on the basis of the concluding sentences contains the following points:
1. Muawiyah has asked Imam (‘a) to observe the terms of treaty and not rise up with arms against him, while the Imam (‘a) was indeed following the terms of treaty. Muawiyah on the other hand had failed to honor every term of treaty.
2. Muawiyah was aware of delegations of Kufa who had invited the Imam to rise up against him, because he has called them as people of discord and that previously they had been disloyal to His Eminence, Ali (‘a) and His Eminence, Imam Hasan (‘a).
3. Openly threatening the Imam that whenever he rises up against Muawiyah he would be dealt with, with a strong hand.
The Imam’s Reply
The Imam sent an important letter of memorandum to Muawiyah in reply to his letter. In that document the Imam (‘a) reiterated that Muawiyah was himself responsible for all the disasters and tragedies that had spread in all areas of Islamic lands. Among these were bloodshed of innocent people upto the destruction of peace and making the community face calamities, which are the most obvious proofs that have confirmed the evils of Muawiyah. The text of the letter was as follows: “So to say: I received your letter in which you stated that you have been informed of some matters which you have denied and I except for them are most deserving in your view. And know that, that except for Allah no one guides to righteous deeds.
As for what you have stated that you have learnt about me, indeed none but the flatterers, tale-tellers and mischief maker in the society have conveyed you this information and the misleaders have lied. I neither want to wage war against you nor have I created an opposition to you. I am fearful in this matter regarding you from the Almighty Allah and that I should make helpless you and your companions, that is the same group of rebels and the party of oppressors in that matter.
Are you not the killer of Hujr bin Adi, the brother of Kinda and his companions who were pious worshippers and thank- givers? Who did not like injustice and considered innovations as serious matters. They performed enjoining of good and prohibiting sinful deeds and they did not fear the denouncing the sinful people. You killed them wrongfully in an oppressive manner in spite of the fact that you had promised and vowed their security. Is this not an act of defiance before God and considering divine laws unimportant?
Are you not responsible for the killing of Amr bin Hamaq Khuzai, the companion of the Holy Prophet (S), pious servant of the Lord who had become physically weak due to extreme piety and abstinence and whose complexion had paled due to the same thing? You had him killed after you accorded him oath of security and guaranteed him such safety that if a bird had understood it would have come down from the mountain peaks.
Have you not claimed regarding Ziyad bin Sumaiyyah who was born on the bed of Ubaid Thaqif and proclaimed that he was the son of your father? While the Messenger of Allah (S) has stated: The child belongs to the father and the fornicator has to be stoned. You have willfully omitted the practice of the Messenger of Allah (S) and followed your selfish desires without any guidance from the Almighty Allah. At that time you imposed him on Muslims so that he may kill them and cut off their limbs, gouge out their eyes and impale them on date trunks. As if you are not from this community and they are not from you.
Are you not the killer of Hadhrami? Ziyad wrote to you about him that he was on the religion of Ali (‘a) and you wrote to him to kill anyone who is on the religion of Ali. Killed him as per your orders and Ziyad had him cut up into pieces in spite of the fact that the religion of Ali is the same as the religion of his cousin (the Prophet) which has enabled you to occupy the position that you are now in, and if he hadn’t been there the greatness of your father and you would have had to bear difficulties of two journeys, journey of winter and journey of summer’
In your letter you said: ‘Think about yourself, your religion and the Ummah of Muhammad and do not create discord in the community and from involving them in mischief, while I did not consider anything as a greater mischief than your authority upon them. And I do not consider anything greater than this for myself, my religion and the Ummah of Muhammad that I should openly confront you. Thus if you do it, it would be nearness to Allah and if you refrain from it, I shall seek divine forgiveness for my religion and petition Him for divine opportunity in activities.
You have inter alia said: If I rise up against you, you would also act against me and if I take a step against you, you would step against me. So do what you can against me as I am hopeful that your deceit would not cause us any harm though there is no one more harmful than you, because you are bent on your ignorance and become greedy to break the covenants. By my life, you have not fulfilled any condition and by killing these persons after having accorded them guarantee of safety and oaths of security you have broken your covenant. Thus you had killed them in spite of the fact that they did not wage any war or killed anyone. You killed them only because they narrated our merits and considered our right important. And you did that due to the fear that if you did not kill them, before they could do it you die or that before they fall into hardship, they should die.
So, O Muawiyah, good news to you for retaliation and be sure of the accounting (in the hereafter). You should know that there is a book of Allah which does not leave any big or small act but that it shall be accounted for. And the Almighty Allah would not overlook how you have taken people into confidence and wrongfully implicated and killed the holy men and you exiled them from their homes to alien lands and forced people to give oath of allegiance to your young drunkard son who plays with dogs. I do not see you except that you are harmful for yourself and you have destroyed your religion and deceived your subjects and gave ear to the talks of foolish and ignorant persons and harassed the pious and religious people. Was-Salaam.”77
We don’t think any other political document describes more clearly any regime as awful as that of Muawiyah and the bloodsheds and the harassment of people. It is a vehement protest against tyranny and oppression. O Allah, how delicate and sensitive discourse is that which says: “As if you are not from this community and they are not from you.” This statement is full of perception of dignified men as Sabi has said long ago, “When man separates from a community, he is not severe to it.” This is the blame of Husayn on Muawiyah at a time when he had established a reputation by shedding extensive blood of friendship and nationality.78
It is a memorandum full of the sinful acts of Muawiyah and the great crimes he and his governors, especially Ziyad bin Sumaiyyah committed. And how they spread terror and injustice among the people and killed people on the basis of suspicion and allegations and killed anyone who followed the religion of Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a), which was same as the religion of the Messenger of Allah (S), was persecuted and put to death. The tyrant wrongfully shed unprecedented blood on the land and it is natural that all these acts were not carried out except at the behest of Muawiyah because it was he that had ordered them.
When the Imam’s letter reached Muawiyah he became extremely gloomy and anguished and as per his habit and in a deceitful way said: “I have not seen Abu Abdillah except as a lion.”79
Imam (‘a) held a public political conference in Mecca and invited a large member of people from the participants of Hajj rituals from the Emigrants, Helpers, companions of companions and other Muslim people to attend it. His Eminence delivered a sermon to them and narrated and described in his style the hardships that had befallen the purified progeny and their Shias and atrocities that Muawiyah had done to them and the severe steps he had taken to conceal their merits and hide the statements of the Messenger of Allah (S) regarding Ahlul Bayt (‘a). The Imam spoke about all these things and asked the people present in the conference to convey these points to others and spread this information among the people.
According to the narration of Sulaym Ibn Qais, the text of the Imam’s discourse was as follows:
“A year before the death of Muawiyah, Husayn b. ‘Ali, ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abbas, and ‘Abd Allah b. Ja’far performed the hajj. Then Husayn gathered the banu (sons) of Hashim, their men folk, their womenfolk, and their supporters. Besides he gathered the Ansar whom he, peace be on him and his family, knew. Then he summoned messengers (and said to them): ‘Gather to me the righteous Companions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.’ So more than seven hundred men met him at Mina. Most of them were later (Companions of the Prophet). About two hundred men from the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, (met him there, too.). Then Husayn addressed them.
He praised Allah and lauded Him, and then he said: “Now then, indeed, this tyrant (i.e., Muawiyah) has done towards us and towards our Shia what you have seen, known, and borne witness for. Indeed I want to ask you about a thing. So indeed, if I say the truth, believe me. If I lie, accuse me of lying. Hear my words and write down my speech. When you return to your homelands and your tribes summon those from the people whom you trust to what you know of our right. It is so because I am afraid that this matter will be obliterated, and the truth will be removed and overcome. (Still) Allah shall complete His Light even if the unbelievers hate (that).”
He left nothing of what Allah has revealed in the Quran concerning them but he read it and explained it, nor did he leave a thing of what the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said concerning his father, his brother, his mother, himself, and his household but he narrated it. Moreover, his companions said: ‘O Allah, yes. Indeed we have heard and seen (that).’ The later Companions said ‘O Allah, he whom I believe and trust from the Companions of (the Prophet) told me about it.’80
Then he (i.e., Husayn) said: “I implore Allah for you to tell him whose religion you trust.” This conference was the first public meeting in Islam till that time. In that meeting, the Imam denounced the policies of Muawiyah and exhorted the Muslims to spread the excellences of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) and their lofty status which the regime was trying to conceal.
Judah bin Hubairah bin Abi Wahab was of the sincerest and most devoted of persons with regard to Imam Husayn (‘a). Shia people gathered around him and insisted him to write a letter to the Holy Imam so that he may come to their area and announce his revolt against Muawiyah’s regime. Judah wrote a letter to Imam Husayn (‘a) which ran as follows:
“So to say: Your Shias in our province are sincere and loyal towards you and they do not consider anyone your equal. They had understood the view of your brother regarding hostilities and known you as kind towards friends and tough for the opponents, and that you have a firm determination on the path of God. Thus if you like that you want to do thus, come to us for we are prepared to lay down our lives for you.”
Imam had no intention to conduct an uprising against Muawiyah because His Eminence was aware of the failure of the uprising and lack of its success. This was so because Muawiyah, through diplomatic and military means would definitely destroy him and would change it from Islamic condition to an illegal movement and show the revolutionaries as rebels and traitors against the government. The Holy Imam (‘a), after invoking the name of Allah and after His praise and glorification replied as follows:
“As for my brother, I am sure that the Almighty Allah had given him Tawfeeq and supported him. And as for me: I have no motives (to rise up), on the basis of this pray Allah have mercy on you. Be quiet to yourself and stay in your houses and keep yourself safe from suspicion and doubt as long as Muawiyah is alive. Thus if the Almighty Allah subjects him to an incident (and he dies) and I am alive, I shall write to you about my view. And peace be on you’”81
Imam (‘a) ordered his Shias to observe patience and refrain from rising up in opposition to Muawiyah and that they should remain in their houses due to the fear of Muawiyah’s power on them as Muawiyah considered innocent people to be offenders merely on the basis of suspicion and false allegations. Most probably this letter was written during the governorship of Ziyad who used to gouge out the eyes of Shias, impale them on trunks of date palms and employ lethal means to annihilate them.
Reports concerning the delegations of people of Kufa and their meetings with Imam Husayn (‘a) and their request for Imam’s help to release them from the injustice and tyranny of Muawiyah began to be discussed in social gatherings. When Abu Saeed Khudri learnt about this he hastened quickly to the Holy Imam (‘a) in order to advise and warn him. The text of his statements to him is as follows:
“O Aba Abdillah! Indeed, I am with regard to you an advisor and a well-wisher. I have received the news that some Shias of Kufa have written to you and invited you to go out and join them. Do not go towards them because I have heard your father say: By Allah, I am disgusted with them and I have become their enemy and they have become disgusted with me and have become my enemies. They would never be loyal. Whosoever gets them shall get failure. By Allah, neither do they have steadfastness nor any determination in anything and nor are they steadfast in front of swords’”82
Doubtlessly, he was one of the most prominent companions of Amirul Momineen (‘a) and he had the most devotion and sincerity with regard to Ahlul Bayt (‘a). He was indeed a well-wisher of Imam Husayn (‘a) and he feared for him Muawiyah’s reprisals. Therefore he advised the Imam not to rise up against the Umayyad tyrant. Sources that are available with us do not mention the Imam’s reply to this advice.
Muawiyah used to spend a major part of public wealth to strengthen his kingdom and therefore he used to allot unlimited funds to the members of his Umayyad clan so that they may make become socially and politically powerful. Imam Husayn (‘a) denounced these policies and believed that public funds should be released from Muawiyah’s control and given over to those who are needful.
A caravan carrying goods from Yemen arrived in Medina. It was headed for Damascus Royal Treasury. Imam (‘a) took over the possession of all the goods and distributed them among the needy people of Bani Hashim and others. Then he wrote to Muawiyah as follows: “From Husayn bin Ali to Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan. So to say: A caravan from Yemen was passing by us carrying goods, cloth, amber and perfumes towards you so that you may keep it in the treasury of Damascus and by it bestow power to your clan after this same hoarding of wealth. I developed need for it and I have taken possession of it. Was-Salaam’”
Muawiyah replied to His Eminence as follows: “From the servant of God, Muawiyah to Husayn bin Ali. so to say: Your letter was received wherein you stated that a caravan from Yemen was passing by you carrying goods, cloths, amber and perfume for me to put in the Damascus Treasury and then to bestow it to my family people in order to make them powerful. But you became needful of it and took it in your possession while you had no right to do so because it was for me and the ruler is more deserving to take over the funds. And after that he may give it to whomsoever he likes. By God, if you had left it to reach me I would not have decreased therein any share for you. O nephew, I like that movement in leadership should be in my period so that I may make you recognize your own power and I may be free of that. But by Allah, I fear that you may become involved with a person who would not give you any respite.”
Towards the end of the letter he wrote the following couplets:
“O Husayn bin Ali! What you have done was not lawful.
That you took over the wealth without permission. This action of Husayn was a hasty step.
We have allowed it and did not become angry with him. We condoned this action of Husayn.
O Husayn bin Ali! That uprising is awaited which you would undertake after me but not condoned.
I wish I would be there to witness it. That from among your people there be a warner.
I am afraid you shall be burnt at the hands of someone who has a sharp sword ready with him beforehand.”83
There is a threat in this letter to His Eminence from the one who would be Muawiyah’s successor, that is his son Yazid who had no faith in the status of His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) and his position with the Messenger of Allah (S).
In any case, the Imam took over these things from Muawiyah’s control and distributed them to the poor while he did not accept any reward or gift from Muawiyah for himself because Muawiyah had sent a lot of money, clothes and expensive dresses for His Eminence but he returned them to Muawiyah.84 Imam Musa bin Ja’far has narrated that Imam Hasan (‘a) and Imam Husayn (‘a) did not accept the presents of Muawiyah.85
Among the fabricated reports is that it is narrated that Imam Husayn (‘a) and his brother came to Muawiyah who ordered that 100,000 Dirhams be given to them. And he said to them, “Take these as I am the son of Hind, neither anyone before me has given like this nor would anyone give like this after me’”
Imam Husayn (‘a) glanced at him and said, “By Allah, no one before or after you have given to two persons more respectable than us’”
There is no scope of denying the authenticity of this report because Imam (‘a) did not go to Muawiyah in Syria. Rather Imam Hasan (‘a) had gone to him not for the sake of his rewards and presents as some simple-minded historians have stated but the aim of that journey was to point out the true face of the Umayyads and to bring to people’s attention the evil deeds of Muawiyah. His debates with Muawiyah and his friends prove this matter that except for this aim he had no other motive. We have described this topic in detail in our book, Life of Imam Hasan (‘a).
Enmity between His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) and Bani Umayyah was a personal enmity because that enmity was against each other. Saeed Hamadani asked Imam Husayn (‘a) about Bani Umayyah. His Eminence replied, “We and they are two enemies especially inimical to each other with regard to their Lord’”86
Yes, the two of them were enemies in their aims and enemies in their views. Because Imam Husayn (‘a) was the representative of the essence of faith in Allah and the symbol of lofty values which impart greatness to man. While the Bani Umayyads stood for the evils of the period of ignorance that take man to a debased position. Umayyads, on the basis of their corrupt nature, bore enmity to Imam Husayn (‘a) and made great efforts to insult him. For example, an argument took place between His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) and Walid bin Utbah bin Abi Sufyan regarding some property they possessed. Walid trespassed the rights of Imam (‘a) and Imam (‘a) stood up against him and said:
“By Allah, I say that either you do justice with my right or I shall take up my sword and stand in the Masjid of the Messenger of Allah (S) and call the people to Hilful Fuzool (committee of dispensing justice)’”
Imam (‘a) wanted to revive the Hilful Fuzool that the Hashemites had established first. Its slogan was supporting the oppressed and restoring of rights to them that the Umayyads in their period of ignorance had usurped in compliance to their greedy nature.
Abdullah bin Zubair arose and joined His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) and hastened to help him. He said: “By Allah, I shall also take up my sword if he calls me and stand by him till he gets his right or we are all killed’”
Masoor bin Makhrame bin Naufal Zuhri also heard this report and joined His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) and repeated what His Eminence had mentioned. Walid became helpless and disheartened. He gave up his oppressive step and accorded justice to Imam Husayn (‘a).87
Among the examples of the malice of Umayyads was that one day His Eminence, Husayn was seated in the Prophet’s mosque when he heard a person speaking to his companions in a voice loud enough to be heard by Imam Husayn (‘a). He was saying:
“We were partners with the Progeny of Abu Talib in the matter of prophethood. Till we obtained that which they did not obtain. Then, what is it that they pride over us?”
He repeated this statement thrice. Then His Eminence, Husayn glanced at him and said: “I overlooked the first time you said it on the basis of forbearance, the second time on the basis of forgiveness. However for the third time I would reply you. I have heard my father say: Indeed, in the revelation that the Almighty Allah sent to Muhammad it is mentioned: When the Great Qiyamat shall occur, the Almighty Allah would raise up Bani Umayyah in the form of minute particles, such that people would trample upon them till the accounting is over. After that they shall be brought for accounting and be taken towards Hell.”88
That Umayyad became speechless and went away from there in a fit of fury.
Here we conclude our discussion about the attitude and reaction of Imam (‘a) to Muawiyah and Bani Umayyah. In the next part we shall present the subject of Muawiyah’s death and events contemporary to that.
Muawiyah became ill and his physical condition deteriorated. Treatment administered by the physicians had no effect on his illness because he had become afflicted with numerous diseases. He perceived that death was near and he became regretful of what he had done to Hujr bin Adi and he became a lifeless body filled with terror and said: Woe be on me from you, O Hujr! I shall have a long day due to the son of Adi!89
People discussed about the illness of Muawiyah and remarked that he was sure to die. He ordered his family members to apply Kohl to his eyes and massage perfume to his hair and make him sit upright. Then people were ordered to come to him and salute him in a standing position. When they came out from there they recited the following couplets:
“In spite of the affliction I shall show to those who ridicule that I am not affected by the hardship of time.”
A partisan of Ali (‘a) heard this and he recited in rebuttal:
“When you fall into the trap of death every charm becomes ineffective.”90
When his physical condition worsened further he wrote a testament for Yazid which mentioned as follows: “My son! I have secured you against mischief coming to you and prepared our future tasks, humiliated for you the enemies and humbled Arabs before you and arranged that none has ever arranged. So take care of the people of Hijaz as they are our roots and if anyone from them come to you, you must accord honor to him and you must inquire of those who are not present there. And keep an eye on the people of Iraq. Then if they desire that every day you dismiss a governor, do it. Because dismissal of one man is better than that a hundred thousand people pull out swords against you. And pay attention to the people of Syria and it is necessary that they should be your confidants and companions. Thus if something from an enemy worries you, you must take help from them. And when you gain an upper hand on the enemies, return the Syrians to their land, because if they settle in any other area their behavior would change. And I don’t fear that anyone would dispute you in this matter except four persons from Quraish: Husayn bin Ali, Abdullah bin Umar, Abdullah bin Zubair and Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr. As for Ibn Umar: he is a man whom worship acts have made weak. Thus if none remains except him, he would give allegiance to you.
And as for Husayn bin Ali: He is like a sparrow (free) and the people of Iraq will not leave him till they expel him. So whenever he makes an uprising and you gain power over him, you must condone him as he is having relationship and proximity and a great right and family relation to Muhammad. And as for the son of Abu Bakr: Whenever he sees friends doing something, he also does the same. He has no courage except regarding women and comfort. And as for one who comes before you like a lion and in the same way one who deceives you like a fox so that whenever he gets a chance he would rise up against you, it is the son of Zubair. Thus whenever he confronts you and you gain an upper hand over him, you must cut him into pieces and as far as you can, you must defend your community’”91
Most probably the points mentioned in this testament are fabricated because the far-sightedness of Muawiyah is already understood and explained that he told his son to be generally nice to the Muslims and that he was not responsible for the affairs of his son it is very unlikely’the following points show this testament to be fabricated:
1. Historians narrate that Muawiyah had made another bequest to Yazid because he told him that he shall face a hard day from the people of Medina. “Thus if they do so, and Muslim bin Uqbah is killed by them, he is such that we recognize his loyalty.”92
And Muslim bin Uqbah was a cruel killer who had no mercy and kindness. Yazid, as per the bequest of his father, used him in the plunder of Medina. He committed all sorts of atrocities and oppressions. Then how could this bequest be reconciled with the previous testament where Muawiyah told Yazid to be nice to the people of Hijaz?
2. He told Yazid to keep in view the desires of the people of Iraq and to do as they wish. That he must carry out their wishes if they desire to have the governor dismissed. This is opposed to what historians have recorded. Yazid appointed Ubaidullah bin Ziyad as governor of Iraq while he was aware of his cruelty, severity and inhuman nature. He was the son of that same Ziyad who drowned Iraq in the blood of innocent souls. Then was appointing him as the governor a kindness and doing good to the people of Iraq?
3. It is mentioned in this will that he was afraid of Abdullah bin Umar with regard to Yazid while worship had made him physically weak. If such was his condition, then by his nature he would have been aloof from politics. Then what was the need to be afraid of him?
4. It is mentioned that he was afraid of Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr with regard to Yazid while historians are emphatic that he passed away during the lifetime of Muawiyah himself. Then what is the meaning of being frightened of a dead man?
5. He willed Yazid to honor the position of Imam Husayn (‘a) as he was related closely to the Prophet and had a great right due to his relationship with the Messenger of Allah (S). It is confirmed that Muawiyah himself did not accord any consideration to relationship with the Messenger of Allah (S) and he broke off all those relations because he openly made cursing them an obligatory duty and he instructed educators and teachers to inculcate hatred for Ahlul Bayt (‘a) among children and he did everything to reduce the honor of Ahlul Bayt (‘a). As Ustad Abdul Hadi Mukhtar has remarked with regard to this portion of the testament:
“Some sources say: Muawiyah made a bequest to his son, Yazid that he must be considerate to His Eminence, Imam Husayn (‘a). Our view regarding this is that no sign of authenticity is found in it because Muawiyah had Imam Hasan (‘a) assassinated in spite of the fact that he had made a peace treaty with him. Then how is it possible that he told his son: When you gain power over Husayn, you must be kind to him?
Muawiyah was not one to have any kind of respect and honor for the Messenger of Allah (S) and he could never have advised his son to be kind to the progeny of Muhammad. It was indeed never so. Because Muawiyah had fought the Holy Prophet (S) in the period of ignorance till he accepted Islam unwillingly on the day of the conquest of Mecca. And after that he fought against the successor, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet, Ali (‘a). And he took over the caliphate of Muslims forcibly. He had the son of the daughter of the Messenger poisoned. Now after all this who can believe that Muawiyah made such a bequest?
It is possible that he made a bequest to have Imam Husayn (‘a) killed secretly or have him poisoned. Or to send someone over to him to kill him in the dead of the night. This is more likely to be true with regard to that bequest. However historians endeavor to separate the father and the son and they wish to make the son responsible for all the atrocities, while the fact is that both of them were the fruits of the same evil tree.
He has further added: “If this testament is claimed to be authentic, Yazid would not have been like this after the death of his father who had no other aim except taking allegiance from Imam Husayn (‘a) as he was so much insistent on his governor in Medina to take the oath from Imam Husayn (‘a).93
Muawiyah moved towards his death in distress and he was continuously weeping due to pain and he expressed his restlessness due to the atrocities he had committed in shedding the blood and plundering the properties of Muslims.
Muawiyah died in Damascus but he was deprived of seeing his son in his last moments. The son for whom he had usurped the caliphate and imposed him on the necks of Muslims because Yazid according to historians was busy in hunting, drinking and enjoying songs and music at the time of his father’s death.
Here we conclude the discussion on the rule of Muawiyah and the terrible events of his age.
After the death of his father, Yazid took the reins of Islamic leadership in his hands while he was of young age and had not gained any experience by time. According to the unanimity of historians he was fond of comfort, wine, luxury, women and hunting dogs and he was more inclined to committing all sorts of wanton and shameless deeds.
At the time of his father’s death, he was not present in Damascus. He was in an area called Hawarin at-Thaniya busy in hunting.94 Zahak bin Qais wrote a letter to him condoling him for the death of Muawiyah and congratulated him for having become the caliph. He also asked him to come to Damascus immediately and take over the reins of government.
When Yazid read the letter he immediately set out with his entourage towards the seat of his power. He had thick hair and the dust of the journey settled on his face. He neither wore a turban nor had a sword tied to his waist.
People came forward, saluted him and gave condolence to him while they ridiculed him for his appearance. They remarked: “Is it the same one wearing the cloak that Muawiyah had imposed on the people? The Almighty Allah shall interrogate Muawiyah regarding him.”95
Yazid hurried to the grave of his father, wept and recited the following:
“The courier brought such a letter that it punctured my heart.
We said: Woe be to you, what is there in your letter. He replied: The caliph is in the throes of death.”96
After that he set out in an official caravan surrounded by the debased characters of Syria, his maternal relatives and other people towards the Green Palace.
Yazid went to the podium to announce his policies and explain the agenda of his regime.
When he sat in the speaker’s seat he began to tremble and could not say anything. So Zahak bin Qais stood up before him and Yazid cried to him, “What do you want?”
Zahak told him, “Speak to the people and take allegiance from them.” Yazid told him to be seated97 and himself began to speak, “Praise be to God that He does what He wants and He refrains from whatever He wants. He debases whomsoever He likes and exalts whomsoever He likes. Know that, Amirul Momineen (Muawiyah) was a rope from the ropes of God. As long as He liked, God maintained the connection and whenever He desired, He cut it off. He was lesser than his predecessors and he was better than his successors. I shall not complain to God why he died. Thus if He forgives him, it shall be through His mercy. If He punishes him it would be as a result of his sins. After him I have become entitled to caliphate. Thus I neither seek excuse for my ignorance and nor desire to become knowledgeable. You continue on your way. If God doesn’t like something, He would destroy it and if He likes something, He shall keep it in force’”98
In this speech, Yazid did not say anything about his policies and did not mention anything so that the community may always be needful of him in the social and political fields. It was absolutely nothing about which he had thought and planned. Rather he indicated his arrogance, cruelty and his disrespect with regard to the Ummah that neither he regretted ignorance nor committing evils. Rather the people were obliged to submit to his forceful behavior.
Yazid delivered a speech to people of Syria and inter alia said that he intended to wage a destructive war against the people of Iraq. The speech was as follows:
“O people of Syria! know that! Well-being was continuously in your share. There shall be a terrible battle between me and the people of Iraq. I have seen in a dream that there was flowing a river of blood between me and them. In the dream I tried to cross the river and was not able to do so till Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad came before me and he crossed it as I looked on.”
Syrians voiced their support and encouraged him saying, “O chief of believers, take us wherever you want. And pose us before anyone you like. We are in your service and the people of Iraq have come to know the ferocity of our swords in the battle of Siffeen.”
Yazid accorded thanks to them and praised their sincerity and loyalty towards him.99 While in gatherings of Syria it had been confirmed that Yazid was preparing to wage a war against Iraq due to their unwillingness to pay allegiance to Yazid and due to the similarity of their views with Imam Husayn (‘a).
Whenever Yazid saw that an opposition group arose against him he did not rest till he had made concrete plans to have it subdued; that is why the ground was prepared for him, people were made submissive to him and he gained control over all the government machinery. Then what was it that could have restrained him from wreaking havoc on his opponents?
The most important thing that made Yazid worried about his opposition was the existence of His Eminence, Imam Husayn (‘a) because His Eminence possessed an encompassing influence and a lofty status in the view of Muslims. He was the grandson of the bearer of prophethood and the chief of the youths of Paradise. As for the son of Zubair, he did not have as much importance in the view of Yazid.
Yazid issued emphatic orders to his governor in Medina, Walid so that he may compel the opponents to give oath of allegiance for him. He dispatched two letters to Walid. The first letter is reported in two versions:
1. Khwarizmi has quoted it as follows: “So to say: Muawiyah was one of the servants of God. Whom God exalted and purified for Himself. And He bestowed him power. After that He summoned him to the place of His comfort and the garden of His mercy. He lived according to his destiny and died when his death was destined. He made a will to me and warned me about the family of Abu Turab due to their daring to commit bloodsheds. You, O Walid, know that the Almighty Lord shall take the revenge of the innocent blood of Uthman through the progeny of Abu Sufyan because they are supporters of truth and seekers of justice. Thus when you receive this letter take allegiance from the people of Medina.”100
The above letter contained the following salient features:
A. Informing Walid about Muawiyah’s death.
B. Yazid’s fear of family of Prophethood because his father had made a bequest to him to be wary of them and this matter disproves that which is claimed about Muawiyah because therein emphasis is made to respect the position of Imam Husayn (‘a).
C. Urgency in taking the allegiance of people of Medina
2. Balazari has quoted the letter of Yazid to have the following text: “So to say: Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan was a servant of God whom He had accorded honor, made him the caliph, made him powerful and arranged means for him. He died as per destiny and died when his death was fixed. God’s mercy be upon him. Because he lived in righteousness and passed away in piety and goodness. Was Salaam!”101
The dominant view is that this narration is correct because he has remained content only with reporting the death of Muawiyah. Instead of making any indication to take allegiance from Imam Husayn (‘a) and other opposition groups. However on the basis of the first report the conversation from the below letter that Yazid sent to Walid to force Husayn to allegiance would become meaningless.
Secondly: It is a short letter, like the ear of a mouse and three versions are reported:
1. Tabari and Balazari have reported it. The text of this letter was as follows: “So to say: Husayn, Abdullah bin Umar and Abdullah bin Zubair must be dealt with force and they should not be allowed anything till they give allegiance. Was Salaam!”102
2. Yaqubi has quoted it as follows: .When this letter reaches you, summon Husayn bin Ali and Abdullah bin Zubair and take allegiance from them. If they refuse, strike off their heads and send them to me and take allegiance from the people.Thus if anyone refuses apply the same order to him as applied to Husayn bin Ali and Abdullah bin Zubair.103
In the second narration there is no mention of Abdullah bin Umar and it is very much likely that his name was added to the names of Husayn bin Ali and Abdullah bin Zubair so that he may be shown to be from opposition group and make him dissociated from open support to Yazid’s allegiance.
3. Hafiz Ibn Asakir has narrated it in the following manner: .Summon the people and take allegiance from them and begin with the senior persons of Quraish and the first one you begin with is Husayn bin Ali because the chief of believers(Muawiyah) had willed me to be kind to him and obtain his view.104
In this report there is no mention of the son of Zubair and son of Umar because in the view of Yazid they had no importance except that we have doubt regarding the matter at the end of this letter from the fact that Muawiyah made a bequest to Yazid to deal kindly with Husayn because Muawiyah himself had utmost enmity to all members of Ahlul Bayt (.a) and he had a cruel attitude towards them. He employed all kinds of merciless steps with them as we have already explained in the previous section. Most probably this sentence was added to it in order to free
Muawiyah from the responsibility of the evil deeds of his son against the purified progeny.
Here are a matter remains that historians have spoken about this letter on the basis of it being brief and short as the mouse.s ear. Probably the reason it was sent so brief was that Yazid thought that Walid would carry out his commands, that is killing of Husayn and Abdullah bin Zubair. It is natural that such a step was going to cause displeasure of the people and he wanted this crime to be attributed to Walid and thus he did not spell out the command of killing them in this letter. If he had to issue an open command he would have written a detailed letter to the effect.
Zareeq, Muawiyah.s slave, took both the letters and moved with speed without any halts till he reached Yathrib.105 He was accompanied by Abdullah bin Sa.ad bin Abi Sarah. He was wearing a mask so that only his eyes were visible. On the way he was met by Abdullah bin Zubair who held his hand and asked him about Muawiyah. however he did not give any reply. Then he said: Has Muawiyah died? But he didn’t accord any response. Abdullah understood that Muawiyah had died and he hurried on and conveyed this information to Imam Husayn (‘a).106 His Eminence, Imam Husayn (‘a) told him: “I understood that Muawiyah must have died because last night I saw in dream that Muawiyah’s pulpit was ruined and his house was in flames. I interpreted it to myself to indicate his death.”107
Zaraaq came to Walid’s house and told the sentry to let him enter. But he was told that Walid had retired into the inner portion and it was not possible to meet him at that time. Zaraaq screamed to him that he had brought a royal command for him. The guard went and informed Walid about the matter and Walid permitted him to enter. Walid was seated on the throne when he read Yazid’s letter about the death of Muawiyah. He became extremely perturbed and distressed. He used to stand up and then throw himself upon his bed.108
Walid became perturbed by the orders of Yazid to suppress the opponents and compel them for allegiance because he was sure that taking allegiance from them wasn’t an easy thing except that they would have to be dealt with an iron hand. And in the way Yazid had ordered him to strike off their head it was something that even Muawiyah in spite of his political power could not accomplish in his lifetime. Then how could Walid do what even Muawiyah was unable to do for obtaining allegiance for Yazid?
Walid became confused and worried in this matter and he realized that he was needful Marwan’s advice, the senior member of Umayyad clan. He summoned him and Marwan arrived dressed in white embroidered garments.109 Walid told him about Muawiyah’s death and he was shocked. After that Walid told him about Yazid’s order to compel the opponents to give allegiance and to kill them if they refused. He asked Marwan to study this matter and give his advice.
Marwan expressed his views and told Walid: “Send a messenger to them right now and call them to give allegiance of Yazid and his obedience. If they do it, accept from them and if they refuse, kill them before they receive the news of Muawiyah’s death. Because if they receive this information, each of them would rise up and express their opposition and call people to their obedience. In that case I fear that which shall reach you, and that which you are incapable to bear. Except for Abdullah bin Umar who has no dispute with anyone in this matter’While I know that Husayn bin Ali would not agree to give oath of allegiance for Yazid and he shall not agree to obey Yazid in any matter. By Allah, if I had been in your place, I would not exchange a single word with him but would have slashed his neck, no matter what had happened.”
This problem seemed very complex for Walid who was the most cruel and most cunning man of the Umayyad clan. He told Marwan: “Alas, if only Walid had not come into the world and had not been worthy of mention.”
Marwan made fun of him and considered him base. He said, “Do not become perplexed at what I have told you. The Progeny of Abu Talib was, since before, enemies and they are same. They are those who killed the Caliph Uthman bin Affan. After that they went to the chief of the believers (Muawiyah) and waged battle against him.”
Walid screamed at him, “Woe be on you, O Marwan for saying these things. Say better things about the children of Fatima as they are the reminders of Prophethood.”110
They agreed to call the two persons and to inform them of the matter and that they may come to know about their agreement with the power of judgment.
Marwan incited Walid to suppress and punish the opponents and especially Imam Husayn’s name was emphasized in the matter. Marwan insisted on Walid that in case His Eminence refuses to give oath of allegiance he should be killed. I think the following factors prepared Marwan for this:
1. Marwan was hostile towards Walid and there was a deep-rooted enmity between the two. He was certain that Walid was a comfort-seeking person and he would not carry out the orders issued to him regarding Imam Husayn (‘a). So he made good use of the opportunity and pressurized him to take serious steps against Imam Husayn (‘a) so that his attitude may become known to the tyrant of Shaam and that he may not continue to repose any more trust in Walid and dismiss him from the governorship of Medina. This, in fact happened. When Yazid learnt about Walid’s attitude towards Imam Husayn (‘a), he was infuriated at him and he removed him from his post.
2. Marwan was displeased with Muawiyah as he had given the caliphate to his son and deserted Marwan who was a leader of the Umayyad clan and the senior-most member of his family. He wanted Yazid get involved in the killing of the Imam so that as a result of it he would have to wash his hands off the kingdom.
3. Marwan had deep animosity to Imam Husayn (‘a) because His Eminence was the grandson of the Messenger of Allah (S), who had beheaded the polytheists of Bani Umayyah, exiled Hakam, his father and cursed his progeny. Marwan’s hatred to the family of prophethood reached to such a level that he prevented the burial of Imam Hasan (‘a) next to the grave of the Holy Prophet (S).
Historians say: He was not fond of Abu Huraira because he used to narrate whatever the Messenger of Allah (S) had said regarding his two beloved grandsons. One day it so happened that Marwan went to visit Abu Huraira while the latter was indisposed. Marwan said, “I have no grudge against you except your fondness for Hasan and Husayn (‘a).”
Abu Huraira replied, “I testify that I went out with the Messenger of Allah (S) and His Eminence heard Hasan and Husayn crying. He asked what was wrong with his sons and Fatima replied saying that they were thirsty. O Marwan! How can I not be fond of them when I saw from the Messenger of Allah (S) what I saw?”111
Marwan instigated Walid to kill Imam Husayn (‘a) so that may be he would agree with him and satisfy his soul that was thirsty to see the Purified Progeny persecuted and killed.
4. Marwan indeed knew that he would become the caliph because Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a), the gate of Prophet’s knowledge had informed him when His Eminence, Hasan and Husayn (‘a) had interceded for him after the battle of Siffin. His Eminence had said: There is a kingdom for him like a dog licks his nose. Marwan had accepted it; therefore he incited Walid to kill Imam Husayn (‘a) so that it would become a cause for downfall of the kingdom of the family of Abu Sufyan and the turning of the caliphate to Marwan.
These were some of the factors on the basis of which Marwan was motivated to suggest to Walid to kill Imam Husayn (‘a) and in this matter there was no sincerity on his part towards Yazid.
In the middle of the night112 Walid sent Abdullah bin Amr bin Uthman, a young slave to His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) and son of Zubair and the reason for choosing this hour was that probably His Eminence, Husayn’s support for allegiance for Yazid may be obtained even though it be secretly. He knew that if His Eminence accepts this matter from him he would not break his covenant and not go back on his word.
That young man went to Imam Husayn (‘a) and Zubair’s son to summon them to Walid. He found them in the Prophet’s mosque and conveyed the message. They agreed to do so and told him to go back.
Zubair’s son became worried and he asked the Imam, “Do you know why he has called us at an hour he generally does not meet us?”
“I think that the tyrant, Muawiyah has died and he has summoned us to take oath of allegiance from us before the news spreads among the people.”
“I also think that there is no other explanation. What do you want to do?”
“I shall gather my young men, go to him and post them at the doorstep.” “I am worried about you if you choose to do this.”
“I shall go to him alone only if I have the power to refuse.”113
The chief of the nobles went to his residence, performed the ritual bath, prayed and supplicated the Lord.114 After that he ordered the members of his family to take up their weapons and come with him. They obliged at once and accompanied His Eminence. His Eminence ordered them to sit at the doorstep and said: I am going inside. If I call you or you hear me shouting all of you enter immediately.”
Imam (‘a) came to Walid and found Marwan with him though a rift had appeared between them. Thus Imam (‘a) advised them to make peace and leave off hostilities. Making peace was in the very nature of His Eminence even among foes and opponents. So His Eminence told them, “Maintaining amity is better than discord and peace is better than mischief. Now is the time for you to remain united, may the Almighty Allah make peace between you.”115
They accorded no reply to His Eminence and a fearful silence descended on them. At that moment the Imam glanced at Walid and asked, “Have you received some news about Muawiyah. Because he was ill and his illness had prolonged. What is his condition now?”
Walid called out in a sorrowful and anxious tone, “May the Almighty Allah reward you for your patience in Muawiyah’s death. He was for you a sincere uncle and now he has tasted death. This is the letter of the chief of believers, Yazid’”
His Eminence, Husayn recited the word of Istirjaah116 and told him, “Why have you called me here?”
“I have called you to pay the oath allegiance.”117
Imam (‘a) said: “A person like me does not give allegiance in a secret manner and my allegiance in a secret manner shall not be accepted. When you go out to people to take allegiance, call me also along with them and it shall be the same for all.”
Imam (‘a) requested that the matter should be postponed to the morning next so that a gathering of prominent people is arranged and then the Imam may announce his view condemning the allegiance of Yazid. And that he may call the people to rebel and destroy Yazid’s regime.
According to what historians say Walid was peace-loving and he did not like discord. So he thanked the Imam for what he said and permitted him to return home.
Here the debased and evil Marwan bin Hakam became infuriated and he screamed at Walid, “If this opportunity goes away from you and he does not give you allegiance you will never get a second chance and there shall be greater bloodshed between you. Restrain him and make him give allegiance and if he doesn’t, kill him now!”
The chief of nobles stood up towards the greatest coward, son of a coward and told him, “O son of the blue-eyed woman! Would you kill me or he would? By Allah! You have lied and you have lost courage.”118
After that he glanced at Walid and informed him about his determination and decision at not accepting the allegiance of Yazid and said: “O chief, we are Ahlul Bayt (‘a) of Prophethood and the mine of messengership. We are the place of coming and going of angels and the place of descent of divine mercy. The Almighty Allah has initiated the creation with us and He shall conclude it with us. Yazid is a transgressor, a drunkard, killer of innocent people and an open sinner. A person like me can never give allegiance to persons like him. However we and you shall see in the morning which of the two of us is more qualified for caliphate.”119
This was the first announcement that His Eminence had openly made after the death of Muawiyah regarding the rejection of Yazid’s allegiance that he issued in the palace of the governor without having any fear of reprisal.
Open expression of His Eminence rejecting Yazid’s allegiance shows the determination of His Eminence to prepare himself for a sacrifice that was the beginning of his greatness, superiority and faith. Because His Eminence from the aspect of spiritual heritage and his family background had all human perfections so how he could have accepted Yazid’s allegiance, who was one of the pillars of transgression and sins. If His Eminence had accepted him as a leader of Muslims, he would have taken the life of Islam towards destruction and annihilation, and subjected the religious beliefs to deviation which would have become involved with deep ignorance.
The forceful statement and the truth that the chief of nobles expressed displeased Marwan. Therefore he turned to Walid in anger and denounced him for letting His Eminence go. He said, “You did not listen to me. By God, you will never get such opportunity over him ever.”
Walid had become influenced with the logical discourse of the Imam and it awakened his conscience. Therefore to refute Marwan he said, “Woe be to you. You had suggested to me something which would have involved the destruction of my own faith. By God, I would not want all the worldly wealth and dominion on which the sun rises and sets, (if it involved) killing Husayn. Glory be to God, should I kill Husayn because he said: “I will not swear allegiance? By God, I do not think on the Judgment Day a man who is responsible for the blood of Husayn (will weigh) little in the scales of God.”
Marwan ridiculed him saying, “If this is your opinion, then you have acted correctly in what you did.”120
His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) decided to leave Medina and go to Mecca to take refuge in the sanctuary of the House of Allah and remain safe from the mischief and oppression of the Umayyads.
His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) met Marwan on the way the next morning after he had refused allegiance to Yazid. Without any preliminaries Marwan said to His Eminence: “I am your well-wisher, listen to what I say, so that you remain safe.”
“What is that, O Marwan?”
“I suggest you pay allegiance for the chief of believers, Yazid, as there is in it good for your religion and the world.”
Imam (‘a) was much disconcerted and he recited the word of Istirjah (Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihe Raajeoon) and he replied to Marwan’s statement in a most logical manner: “If the community is involved with a ruler like Yazid, farewell to Islam. Woe be on you, O Marwan. Are you advising me to pledge allegiance to Yazid who is a transgressor?
What you say is absolutely inappropriate’I shall not denounce you for what you said because you are such an accursed person that the Messenger of Allah (S) had cursed you when you are in the loins of your father, Hakam bin Aas.”
Imam (‘a) added further, “O enemy of Allah! Get away from me! As we are the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) of the Messenger of Allah (S). The truth is between us and our tongues speak the truth. I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say: The caliphate is unlawful for the family of Abu Sufyan, the freed prisoners and sons of freed prisoners. And he said: Whenever you see Muawiyah on my pulpit, slit his belly. By Allah, people of Medina saw him on the pulpit of our grandfather and they did not do what they had been commanded...”
The filthy and debased Marwan became angry and he screamed, “By Allah, do not separate from me till you pledge allegiance of Yazid in a submissive way because you, the family of Abu Turab has become full of enmity towards the family of Abu Sufyan. You bear malice to them and they also have the right to consider you as foes.”
The Imam also cried at him, “O filthy man get away from me as I am from the purified Ahlul Bayt (‘a) regarding whom the Almighty Allah has revealed the following verse to His Prophet:
“Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! And to purify you a (thorough) purifying.”121
Marwan was unable to bear this and fell into the fire of pain and grief. Then Imam (‘a) told him: “O son of the foreign lady! Glad tidings to you for everything that the Holy Prophet (S) did not like. One day you shall meet your Lord and my grandfather shall interrogate you about my right and right of Yazid.”
Marwan hurried to Walid and informed him about what Imam Husayn (‘a) had said.122
Walid informed Yazid about the position of governor in Medina and told him about Imam Husayn's refusal to pledge allegiance to Yazid. He said that His Eminence believed that he could not accord any obedience to Yazid. When Yazid understood this matter he was terribly infuriated.
Yazid issued fresh orders to severely compel the people of Medina to pledge allegiance for him and also commanded to Walid that Imam Husayn (‘a) be put to death and his severed need be dispatched to him. He wrote as follows: “From the servant of God, Yazid, the chief of believers to Walid bin Uqbah. So to say: When this letter of mine reaches you, once again insist on the people of Medina to pledge allegiance. Leave alone Abdullah bin Zubair, for as long as he lives he cannot escape us. The severed head of Husayn bin Ali should accompany your reply. If you do that, reins of horses shall be arranged for you and you shall become eligible for exceeding rewards from me. Was Salaam’”
Walid officially rejected the order of Yazid regarding the killing of His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) and he said: “No by God! The Almighty Allah shall not see me as the killer of Husayn bin Ali’I shall not kill the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S) even if he (Yazid) gives me all the world.”123
Yazid’s lettered arrived when Imam Husayn (‘a) had already departed for Mecca.
On the second night, Imam Husayn (‘a) hurried to the side of the grave of his grandfather in a sorrowful and aggrieved demeanor to complain to His Eminence about the atrocities of the oppressors. Imam (‘a) stood by the side of the grave and performed two units of Prayers. He became extremely affected by sentiments and he complained to His Eminence about the hardships and calamities that had befallen him.
“O Allah! This is the grave of your Prophet, Muhammad and I am the son of the daughter of Muhammad and what has befallen us is well known to you. O Allah, I like the good and am disgusted of evil. O one with glory and greatness, by the right of this grave and by the one who is in it, I ask You to select for me that which shall be the cause of Your pleasure and satisfaction of Your Prophet.”
Imam Husayn (‘a) continued to gaze at the grave of his grandfather while he had become sure that he shall not see it again ever. At that moment he began to weep.
It was not yet dawn when His Eminence fell asleep and he saw his grandfather in dream that he has arrived with an entourage of angels. His Eminence took Imam Husayn (‘a) in his arms and kissed him on the forehead, saying: “O my son! As if I can see you in the near future, you shall be killed in Karbala among a crowd of my community and your head shall be cut off while you shall be thirsty and water shall not be given to you. You will be thirsty but your thirst would not be quenched. Inspite of committing such deed they shall be hopeful of our intercession on the Day of Judgment. For them there shall be no benefit with Allah.
My dear Husayn, your father, mother and brother have come to me. They are eager for you. Indeed, for you there are grades in Paradise that except for being martyred you cannot achieve them’”
Imam Husayn (‘a) looked at his grandfather for a long time and remembered his kindness and sentiments with regard to him. This made me more eager for him and he picturized the hardships and afflictions caused to him by the Umayyad regime. Because he was offered only two options: to pledge allegiance to the tyrant of Bani Umayyah or be killed. At that moment he created an attachment with his grandfather and told him lamenting: “O my grandfather, I do not wish to remain in the world anymore. Take me with you and keep me in your house.”
The Prophet (S) was moved by this and he told him: “You must go back to the world so that you are given martyrdom and the Almighty Allah has appointed a great reward for you. You, your father and your uncle and the uncle of your father shall be raised up together so that you may enter Paradise.”124
His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) awoke worried and anxious while waves of grief and sorrow had surrounded him. He was now certain that he shall indeed be granted martyrdom. Then he gathered all his family members and related his dream. On that day, there was no one in the East or West of the world more aggrieved than the members of Ahlul Bayt of the Messenger of Allah (S) and no man or woman wept more than them.125
In the darkness of the night His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) went to the grave of his mother, who was the memory of the Holy Prophet (S) and a part of His Eminence.
He stood besides the grave for sometime while he looked at the grave with the last glance of farewell and he recalled her deep attachment and love towards him. He wished the earth would split and take him to his mother below the dust. Then he wept and bid farewell to the grave. After that he moved to the blessed grave of his brother, His Eminence, Hasan (‘a) and watered the grave with his tears. And he was in that same condition when pain and sorrow had surrounded him. Then he returned home with a heavy sorrowful heart.126
When the Imam (‘a) decided to leave Medina and take refuge in Mecca the ladies of the family of Abdul Muttalib were terrified because they had heard of numerous traditional reports about the imminent tragedy from the Messenger of Allah (S) and thus they all gathered in an atmosphere of sorrow and trepidation.
They began to wail and the sounds of their weeping arose in the surroundings. It was a scene of fear and shock. Imam Husayn (‘a) turned to them with a firm determination and said: “By Allah, do not commit an act which is in disobedience of Allah and the Prophet.”
Their hearts became filled with pain and they said: “Why shouldn’t we weep and wail. This day is like the day of the passing away of the Prophet, Ali, Fatima and Hasan’ May the Almighty Allah make us sacrificed on you, O beloved of the righteous!”
One of the paternal aunts of His Eminence came towards him while her face was a picture of fear. When she got respite from weeping she used to say: “I have heard a caller saying:
O the one that shall be slain on the land of Taff from the family of Hashim, you have made the necks of Quraish bow down in humility and you have degraded them.”
Imam (‘a) comforted her and advised her patience as he had done with other ladies of Abdul Muttalib’s clan.127
Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyah hastened to His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) in a worried state, while his steps moved very fast and due to the intensity of sorrow and grief he could not even see the way properly. When he reached him, he faced His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) and said haltingly with sincere words interspersed with weeping:
“O my brother! May I be sacrificed on you. You are the most beloved person to me. By Allah! I don’t advise anything to anyone and no one is more deserving of it than you. You are like my soul and my life. You are the senior-most person of my family. You are one whom I trust and whose obedience is obligatory on me. Because the Almighty Allah has bestowed nobility on you and made you one of the chiefs of the people of Paradise. I wish to offer a goodly advice to you Please accept it from me’”
Through these statements filled with concern and kindness, Muhammad expressed his love and respect towards his brother. Imam (‘a) looked at him and Muhammad said, “I advise you that as much as possible keep away from the allegiance of Yazid Ibn Muawiyah and places of mischief and discord. After that send messengers to the people. If they give allegiance to you, thank Allah for it. If they begin to support someone else, the Almighty Allah would neither make your faith defective nor your intelligence. There would be no decrease in your respect or merits. I dread that you may reach some town where people create discord. And that one group may support you and another may oppose you. At that time they may fight among themselves and you become the first target of spears. In that case the best of the people with regard to personal merits and nobility of ancestry shall be humiliated’”
Imam Husayn (‘a) asked him, “Where should I go?”
“Stay in Mecca and if you get peace there, continue to reside there. If not, turn to deserts and mountains and go from town to town and see where the destiny of the people reaches. In this manner your intention would be best and your job shall be done in a foreseeing way. So much so that the future events and beginning of your mission would not be so difficult that you have to abandon it.”128
Imam (‘a) spoke up in such a way that he was absolutely fearless of dangers and with a firm determination informed his rejection of Yazid’s allegiance. “My brother, even if there is no refuge in this world for us, I shall never give allegiance to Yazid Ibn Muawiyah.”
Ibn Hanafiyah began to weep because he had become sure a terrible calamity and tragedies were to strike his brother. The Holy Imam (‘a) comforted him and thanked him for his sincere concern. He told him, “My brother, may Allah reward you for your concern for us and for guiding us to the right way. I have decided to move to Mecca. I and brothers and nephews and our Shias all are in the same position and we all have similar views. But there is no problem if you stay put in Medina and keep an eye on what goes on and keep me informed about it.”129
Imam Husayn (‘a) wrote a will for his brother, Ibn Hanafiyah in which he mentioned the reasons of his great revolution against Yazid’s rule. After the name of God, the will says:
“This is the will of Husayn bin Ali (‘a) to his brother, Muhammad bin Hanafiyah. Husayn testifies that except for the One Allah there is no other god and He has no partner. And Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger who has come from Him with truth. And Paradise is truth and fire (Hell) is truth and the Day of Judgment shall indeed come to pass. And the Almighty Allah shall raise all those who are in the graves. I have not taken up arms in order to make merry, or be ecstatic over what I possess. I am not making mischief, nor exercising oppression. But I am ready to fight for the sole goal of seeking reform of the Ummah of my grandfather, the Apostle of Allah (S). I want to enjoin good and forbid evil and guide the affairs of the people as my grandfather and father, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (‘a) were doing. One who accepts me with truth, the Almighty Allah is more deserving for truth and one who objects against me, I shall be patient on it. So that the Almighty Allah may judge between me and these people. He is the best of those who judge. This is my bequest for you, O my brother! I have no Tawfeeq except from Allah, that I rely on Him and that I shall return to Him only.”130
It was due to these lofty aims that the Imam began his everlasting revolution, because His Eminence did not take up arms to make merry or to be ecstatic over what he had. There was no personal gain in it for him or his family. Rather he had risen to oppose the tyrannical and oppressive regime. He wanted to establish the lofty foundations of justice among the people. And what a great statement His eminence has issued:
“Thus one who accepts me with truth, the Almighty Allah is by truth more deserving. And one who opposes me, I shall be patient upon it till the time Allah judges between me and those people as He is the best of those who judge.”
In this way the Holy Imam (‘a) described and explained the philosophy of his uprising. That it was for the establishment of truth and to destroy falsehood. His Eminence called the community by truth that they should gather around him to support their rights and regain their honor and respect that were being trampled upon and destroyed by the Umayyads. If the people do not heed his call he was prepared to be patient and determined to continue his mission single-handed till the time the Almighty Allah would dispense justice between him and the people. And in this way he was prepared to act on the examples of his grandfather and father and not on the method of any other Caliph.
This document mentions the most important factors and causes underlying the mission of Imam Husayn (‘a) and we shall refer to these in our discussion in the coming pages.
After making out and sending his will to his brother, Muhammad, His Eminence started his journey to Mecca in order to meet the pilgrims to the House of Allah and make them aware of the conditions of that time in the country and to warn them of the calamities and dangers that had beset the community during the tyrannical regime of Yazid.
Before leaving Medina for Mecca, Imam (‘a) came to the tomb of his grandfather in the Prophet’s mosque so that he may bid it farewell for the last time. He entered the Prophet’s mosque and glanced at the Mihrab and the pulpit of his grandfather. He recalled the care and love of his grandfather that he had showered upon him in his childhood. Because he had not forgotten the kind emotions that he had experienced during his early years. Especially the saying of the Messenger of Allah (S) that: “Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn. May Allah love all those who love Husayn. Husayn is a grandson of mine’”131
Imam (‘a) reminisced how the Messenger of Allah (S) had presented and inculcated into him the lofty values and fine humanistic qualities that he himself possessed. Imam Husayn (‘a) was aware that this concern was not only because he was the grandson of the Prophet. It was aimed at something else and the Messenger of Allah (S) was knowing of some future events that would necessitate that Imam Husayn (‘a) take up the mission to save the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S) and the principles he had established. Imam (‘a) had made a firm determination that he would have to present that great sacrifice in order to save Islam from those destructive hands’
Historians say: His Eminence came to the mosque with his family members while he took support of two persons. He was reciting the composition of Mufragh:
“Neither I harass the birds at the time of daybreak nor should Yazid call me when I launch my attack.
On the day when I see that I am forced to humiliation and when death is waiting for me.”132
Abu Saeed says, “When I heard these two lines I realized that His Eminence was not quoting that couplet as an example except for the firm intention that he had made. Thus not much time passed when I learnt that His Eminence had left for Mecca.”133
Imam had decided to indeed sacrifice his life in order to change the flow of life and to exalt the word of God and goodly opinion in the earth.
However when the people of Medina, the cradle of the Prophet’s mission, learnt about the departure of His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) they were filled with shock and grief because they were now certain that they would suffer a terrible loss as the ray of the light of prophethood that used to illuminate their life was going away from them. The respectable companions of the Messenger of Allah (S) who at the time resided in Medina were aggrieved because in Imam Husayn (‘a) they had always viewed the continuity of the image of the Holy Prophet (S). Which had released them from their life of roaming the deserts.
- 1. Quzai, Tarikh, from facsimile copy at Imam Hakim Library
- 2. Ash-Shia fil Mizan, Pg. 455
- 3. Qadi Baqqal Misri, Al-Manaqib wal Mathalib, Pg. 71
- 4. Sammawal Maani fi Samma waz Zaat, Pg. 60
- 5. Quzai, Tarikh
- 6. Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/271, Events of the year 70
- 7. Ruhul Islam, Pg. 296
- 8. Al-Fakhri, Pg. 55
- 9. Jawahirul Matalib dar Manaqib Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) 25/303-304
- 10. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/300
- 11. Muzaffari, Tarikh Pg. 215
- 12. Muruj az-Zahab 3/67
- 13. Tabari, Tarikh, 5/545
- 14. Mulhamatul Ghadeer, Pg. 237
- 15. Muzaffari, Tarikh, facsimile copy at Imam Hakim Library, Pg. 213 & 215. It is mentioned in Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/300 that: The reason for Yazid’s death was that he had mounted his monkey on the back of a female donkey while himself in a state of intoxication ran after him, then something burst inside him and he died
- 16. Al-Aghani 7/170
- 17. Al-Aghani 8/288, 290, 299
- 18. Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/288
- 19. Tarikh Jinsul Arabi 8/288
- 20. Muzaffari, Tarikh, 215
- 21. Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/192
- 22. Tabaqat ash-Shura, Pg. 320 but he has quoted only two lines and Iqdul Farid 5/321
- 23. Salaeesal and Saraar are localities near Medina
- 24. Iqdul Farid 5/321-322
- 25. Akhtal, Diwan, Pg. 89
- 26. As Baihaqi has narrated, one of the evils of Mughairah was that he was the first person in Islam to resort to bribing and it was he that was instrumental in legalizing Ziyad’s brotherhood to Muawiyah
- 27. Tarikh Shaoob al-Islamiya 1/129-130
- 28. Tabari, Tarikh
- 29. Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/142
- 30. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/503-504
- 31. Tarikh Dawl Islamiya, Pg. 28
- 32. At-Tarikh Siyasi Lid-Dawlatul Arabiya: 2/62
- 33. Sayyida Shabaabi Ahalil Jannatul Hasan bin Ali, Pg. 208
- 34. Tabari, Tarikh 5/279 and others
- 35. Faraj Antun, Ibne Rushd wa Falsafatihi, Pg. 60
- 36. 3 It is a very green area near Damascus (Al-Mojam Al-Wasit)
- 37. Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/79
- 38. Qadi Noman Misri, Al-Manaqib wal Mathalib, Pg. 68
- 39. Tarikh Khulafa, written by anonymous writer published by Akadami Ittehad Shura
- 40. Shuara Nasraniya Ba’ad al-Islam, Pg. 234
- 41. Al-Aghani 20/212-213
- 42. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/506
- 43. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/506-508
- 44. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/507
- 45. At-Tadhkiratul Hamduniya 1/373, No. 954
- 46. The four Abdullah’s whose names were mentioned
- 47. Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/146-150. Khateeb 2/236-249
- 48. Thomas, Caliphate, Pg. 10
- 49. Ibne Athir, Tarikh
- 50. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/511, Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/164
- 51. Al-Istiab 3/825
- 52. Al-Istiab 3/825-826. Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/89
- 53. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 4/30
- 54. T abari, Tarikh 5/481
- 55. Al-Husayn bin Ali (a.s.) 2/6
- 56. Al-Quzat, Kandi, Pg. 310
- 57. Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 5/66
- 58. Tabari, Tarikh 5/490
- 59. Wafayatul Ayan 6/348
- 60. Al-Imamah was Siyasah 152
- 61. Al-Islam wal Hizaaratul Arabiyya 2/395
- 62. Yaqubi, Tarikh, 2/219-220
- 63. Tabari, Tarikh 5/393-394
- 64. Umar Abu Nasr, As-Siyasah Indal Arab, Pg. 98
- 65. Al-Imamah was Siyasah 157/164
- 66. Maqatilut Talibiyyin, Pg. 60 & 80
- 67. Al-Istiab 2/829-830
- 68. Al-Istiab 2/825-826
- 69. Ruhul Islam, Pg. 295
- 70. Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/160-161
- 71. Al-Kamil 3/510-511
- 72. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/367
- 73. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/367
- 74. Al-Iqdul Farid 4/22
- 75. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/367
- 76. Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 8/162
- 77. Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/155-157. Rijal Kishi, Pg. 49, Tr. 99. Ad-Darajaatul Rafiya, Pg. 334
- 78. Al-Imam al-Husayn, Pg. 338
- 79. Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/294
- 80. Sulaym bin Qais, Pg. 168
- 81. Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 221-222, Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/366
- 82. Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/161. Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/205
- 83. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 18/409
- 84. Ali Jalal, Al-Husayn 1/117
- 85. Life of Imam Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.) 2/332
- 86. Life of Imam Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.) 2/332
- 87. Ibne Hisham, Seerah 1/134-135
- 88. Qadi Noman Misri, Al-Manaqib wal Mathalib, Pg. 61
- 89. Al-Fitnatul Kubra 2/245
- 90. Damiri, Hayatul Haiwan 1/89
- 91. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/5-6
- 92. Tarikh Khalifa, Khayyat, Pg. 238
- 93. Journal ‘Ghurra’, Year 8, No. 9-10
- 94. Al-Futuh 4/265
- 95. Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 4/168 (Hadith of 6th year)
- 96. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 9/45
- 97. Tarikh Khulafa, written by anonymous writer published by Akadami Ittehad Shura
- 98. Al-Iqdul Farid 4/374-375
- 99. Al-Futuh 5/6
- 100. Khwarizmi, Maqtal 1/180
- 101. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/313
- 102. Tabari, Tarikh 5/338, Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/313
- 103. Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/241
- 104. Ibne Asakir, Tarikh, 14/170 (Events of year 60)
- 105. Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 4/170, Tarikh Khalifa Khayyat, Pg. 238. And in Tarikh, Ibne Asakir 14/206 it is mentioned that: Yazid wrote this letter in addition to Abdullah bin Umar to Ibne Idris Aamir and Aamir bin Luwi also.
- 106. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 20/115-116
- 107. Al-Futuh 5/14
- 108. Tarikh Khalifa Khayyat 1/232
- 109. Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 4/170 (Events of year 60)
- 110. Al-Futuh 5/11-13
- 111. Ibne Asakir, Tarikh, 4/208
- 112. Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah: 8/147
- 113. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/14-15
- 114. Ad-Darun Nazeem, Pg. 171
- 115. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/15
- 116. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihe rajioon
- 117. Al-Futuh 5/17
- 118. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/15
- 119. Al-Futuh 5/18-19
- 120. Tabari, Tarikh 5/340
- 121. Surah Ahzab 33:33
- 122. Al-Futuh 5/23-25
- 123. Al-Futuh 5/26
- 124. Al-Futuh 5/27-29
- 125. Al-Awalim, 17/177-178
- 126. Al-Futuh 5/29
- 127. Muqarram, Maqtal Hazrat Husayn (a.s.) 137-138
- 128. Tabari, Tarikh 5/341-342
- 129. Al-Futuh, Pg. 32
- 130. Al-Futuh: 33-34, Khwarizmi, Maqtal 1/188-189
- 131. Tirmidhi, Sunan: 5/658 Tr. No. 3775, Ibne Majah, Sunan 1/51, Tr. 144, Al-Awalim 17/33-34, Chapter 1/ TR. No. 1-4
- 132. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/17
- 133. Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/204, Tabari, Tarikh 5/342