‘Alawides Revolutions

One of the products of that sacred uprising and clear victory was a transformation in the outlook of the ‘Alawides, in their lineage and creed, and in that of those who developed some norm of attachment to Muhammad's Progeny, even when one concealed the opposite of what he revealed.

All of these were relentless in propagating the rightful cause, in weakening the government of falsehood, and in reminding the nation that there was a right that belonged to Muhammad's Progeny and which was usurped, and that they were obligated to sever the hand that usurped it, hence those successive revolutions that brought a fresh hope to the hearts and to the desire to research the true guidance in order to find out where the truth lies.
The nation used to think that it was not possible to rise in the face of those who controlled its fate, and who ruled the Muslims, because of their might, and that to challenge the cruel authority would be futile; rather, the Shari’a prohibits anyone from tragically throwing himself in the pitfalls of perdition without gaining anything.
But the master of dignity and self-esteem, the Master of the Youths of Paradise, inspired the people who cared about the religion at the Taff incident with a loud scream to reject such an attitude, a scream the echo of which can still be heard by generations after generations. He called for the Shari’a mandating a revolution against every oppressor in the absence of any other means to subdue him.
Such is the level of conviction of those who make the attainment of restitution the motto of their revolution. So they will either score a victory, or their successors will, till the hopes are transformed into a glorious victory.
This is what we witness from the succession of revolutions that were the outcome of the Umayyads playing havoc with the pure Shari’a, hence al-Mukhtar's call for revenge for the wronged and the persecuted progeny of Muhammad (S).
Zayd Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Husayn (‘a) and his son Yahya stood to earn the pleasure of the progeny of Muhammad (S), and the remnant of the Hashemites demonstrated their denunciation of the oppressive rulers, leaping like lions to put an end to the sweeping torrent of misguidance.
If you contemplate on the biography of the Infallible descendants of the Messenger of Allah (S) and what the Master, Praise to Him, has bestowed upon them by making them the means to remove the thorns of abomination, and by their being the means to guide His servants to what is exemplary, you will clearly see their desire, peace be upon them, for waging such bloody brawls, aiming thereby to remind the nation of their being the most worthy of the post of successors of the holiest Messenger (S).

Anyone who foils their attempts to attain what belongs to them, that which the Creator, Praised is His Name, had allotted to them, deviates from the right path. Such an understanding is conceived and discussed because of such revolutions in various lands so that the argument against the nation will be completed. Nobody will then seek an excuse of being ignorant about the Imams appointed by the greatest Prophet (S).
If we come across statements made by some of the Imams of guidance denouncing or dissociating themselves from the ‘Alawides or others who revolted against oppressive rulers, it is only on account of the taqiyya, a safeguard against the schemes of the oppressive authority, so that such revolutions will not be attributed to them, for they would then face a dreadful fate.
Yes; there have been among the revolutionaries those who used the persecution meted to Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) as a trap to hunt simpletons. [‘Abdullah] Ibn al-Zubayr, for example, used to extol the name of al-Husayn (‘a) and denounce the injustice done to him.

But when he took charge, he abandoned such a line, becoming the most bitter enemy of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them, revealing what he had hidden in his chest. He, therefore, suspended [the custom of] blessing the Prophet (S) for full forty Jum’as. He was asked about his reason for doing so, whereupon he answered by saying,

“His Ahl al-Bayt are evil; whenever I mention his name, they become excited, and they become elated; therefore, I hated to bring happiness to their hearts by mentioning his name.”1
He was in reality encouraged to do so by Mu’awiyah. The latter heard the caller to the prayers reciting the kalima (which, of course, contains the name of Muhammad [S] as the Messenger of Allah), whereupon he commented by saying, “This brother of Banu Hashim yells his name five times a day saying, ‘AsHadu anna Muhammadan rasool-Allah' What deed can survive with something like this, may you lose your mother? By Allah, only burying it will, only burying it will.”2
When al-Ma'mun heard about this incident, he issued his orders to all regions to curse the Prophet (S) from the pulpits, but people thought that that was monstrous, indeed, and there was a great deal of uproar among the people, so much so that he was advised to withdraw his orders, which he did.3
The ‘Abbasides pretended to express their love for al-Husayn (‘a), filling the air with their shouts denouncing the atrocities committed against the family of Muhammad (S) during the Taff Battle. Having attained their goal, however, they turned against Muhammad's family, wiping them from the face of earth.

Musa Ibn ‘Eisa, the ‘Abbaside (general) who commanded the assault at Fakhkh, said, “Had the Prophet opposed us, we would have struck his nose with the sword.”4
These and their likes are the ones from whom one's conscience is detached. They will never be protected against the Almighty's wrath although the nation benefitted from their eradication of its enemies who belonged to the offspring of Harb and Umayyah.

Harb's sons coveted to see
In him submission to force and oppression,
They tried to hunt his valiant heroes
Like birds they shook off humiliation and flew.
They wished to forcibly drag him into disgrace,
Though to dignity he was accustomed and to grace.
How could he swear and submit
To filth only for fear of death?
He refused, hence the event that
Shook the world in awe and in fright.
So he came in an army and marched
Against hosts that filled the plains,
He and lions from ‘Amr, exalted ones
Wearing for the brawl steadfastness.
They dealt blows in a desert where
Death became in the morrow their mark
So they exalted justice and were spent
Pure in honour, clean of filth they went.
They sacrificed souls great and precious
Too dignified to please the lowly ones.5


  • 1. Abul-Faraj al-Isfahani, Al-Maqatil, p. 165 (Tehran edition).
  • 2. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, p. 165 (Tehran edition).
  • 3. al-Mas’udi, Muruj al-Thahab, Vol. 1, p. 343, where al-Ma’mun is discussed.
  • 4. Abul-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 158 (Tehran edition).
  • 5. Excerpted from a poem by Sayyid ‘Abd al-Muttalib al-Hilli published in its entirety in al-Khaqani's book Shu’ara’ al-Hilla.