Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan
I have stated above that the Holy Prophet (S) absolutely despised the Bani Umayyah. So much so that he had even cursed this clan. The accursed tree in the Holy Quran denotes Bani Umayyah according to the unanimous view of the interpreters of Quran. The Holy Prophet (S) says: “I dreamt that Bani Umayyah were jumping on my pulpit like monkeys.”1
I have also described how Bani Umayyah became the rulers of Shaam (Syria) and how the Arab Kingdom passed into their hands. The Holy Prophet (S), after ten years of efforts, had left Bani Umayyah so weak that now there remained no capacity for them to create mischief. But in order to save their Caliphate, Abu Bakr and Umar made the Chief of this tribe, Abu Sufyan, the ruler of Shaam. Since Abu Sufyan could not move to Shaam himself, his elder son, Yazeed Ibn Abu Sufyan was appointed the governor of Shaam. He died within a period of four years and Muawiyah took his position.
With this, began the worldly ascendancy of Bani Umayyah and its main promoters were Abu Bakr and Umar. Similarly, the two were also responsible for all the calamities that visited the family of the Messenger (S). Muawiyah is the fifth Caliph of Ahlul Sunnat. He became a Caliph by use of force, but the condition of consensus was also present in him. Below we describe the traits of Muawiyah:
On page 194 of Tarikhul Khulafa and in Izalatul Khifa, it is written that Muawiyah said: “Since the Prophet told me that when you become a king be kind to the subjects, I always vied for rulership.”
Indeed, whatever kindness he might have done to common people, he was indeed very kind to the family of the Prophet after he became the ruler! The reward of this kindness will definitely, be given to him on the Day of Recompense by Ali (a.s.), Hasan (a.s.) and their numerous companions. The Prophet must have learnt through divine intuition, what Muawiyah was about to do, that is why he told him to be kind to the creatures of Allah.
Jabir bin Saad is reported to have said in Sahih Muslim2 that Muawiyah asked Saad bin Abi Waqqas why he did not curse Ali (a.s.)? It is also written in Asaatul Labeeb that Muawiyah forcibly told people not to relate any tradition in favor of Ali (a.s.) and no one should narrate any tradition from that person. Tarikh Abul Fida3 says:
In the initial period of the Caliphate of Imam Hasan (a.s.), in 41 A.H. upto 99 A.H., the Bani Umayyah Caliphs recited curses on Ali (a.s.) from pulpits till Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz discontinued the practice.4
It is also written in Tarikh Abul Fida5 that the agents of Muawiyah used to recite curse on Ali (a.s.) in the sermon of Friday prayers. In the same way, in Izalatul Khifa6 it is seen that Muawiyah told his officials: “You all force to curse Ali, anyone who praises him.” Thus, the preachers began to recite curse on Ali (a.s.) from the pulpits throughout the kingdom of Shaam. At that time, Shias of Kufa were under very perilous circumstances. No well-known Shia personality survived.
Muawiyah had written to his officers that if any Shia of Ali was in any government post, he should be expelled and he should not be paid any compensation. Anyone found having regard for Ali should be put to the sword and his house should be demolished. In those days, if a Shia visited another Shia, it was in an extremely secret manner. They would only open themselves up when they are absolutely certain they would not be exposed.
Masters were in fear of their slaves and maids and used to take oaths from them that they would not betray their Shia faith or they shall be destroyed. The time of the passing away of Imam Husayn (a.s.) was the most difficult period. They spent their life in dissimulation (Taqayyah). After the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.), Abdul Malik bin Marwan became the Caliph. The period was no better for Shias. The order of the Caliph was that people should practice hatred of Ali – as it was actual piety.
In Tarikhul Khulafa7 it is seen that the people of Shaam raised the pages of Quran as per the advice of Muawiyah. What an intelligent way to use the Quran! Muawiyah was indeed incomparable in deceitful ways. It is written on page 76 of Dar Asaatul Labeeb that Muawiyah started many innovations. The chief of them being kissing the Rukne Yamani8 in Kaaba and omitting Bismillaah (In the name of Allah…) etc.
The same book says, that when Imam Hasan (a.s.) passed away, Muawiyah said: “It was a spark that has now become silent.” Followers of Muawiyah must also consider Imam Hasan (a.s.) as a spark, and like their leader, should also celebrate the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.). If you really follow Muawiyah, you must act as he did. The Holy Prophet (S) would indeed intercede for such Muslims of Muawiyah on Judgment Day and their intercession is guaranteed. They must continue to follow Muawiyah.
In Sharhe Fiqhe Akbar9, it is mentioned that Muawiyah said: “The responsibility of the killings of Muslims is on Ali, because if he had not fought, there would have been no bloodshed.” Ali (a.s.) replied: “It means that the killing of Hamza lies on the Prophet!” On page 83 of the same book, we see that the first king of Islam was Muawiyah and he is the greatest of the Bani Umayyah kings and he is also the rightful Imam.
O Muslims! Congratulations for getting such an Imam! The known fact is that Muawiyah uprooted the pulpit of Medina. The day he did this, the sun became dark and stars were seen. The writer of Tarikh Khamis writes10 that when Imam Hasan (a.s.) was sick, Marwan sent the information to Muawiyah. Muawiyah replied that when Imam Hasan (a.s.) dies, Marwan should immediately inform Muawiyah.
When Muawiyah got the news of Imam Hasan’s death, he recited “God is the Greatest” (Allaahu Akbar) aloud and the people of Shaam followed suit. Upon this, his wife said: “You are happy on the death of Fatima’s son?” Muawiyah said: “Not only am I happy; my heart has become restful.” O followers of Muawiyah! Do you also feel restful or not? If not, then what type of followers are you? The passing away of Imam Hasan (a.s.) should cause restfulness! What a strange thing indeed! Curse of Allah be on the unjust people.
It is written on page 199 of Tarikhul Khulafa that the first to recite the sermon in the sitting position, was Muawiyah. This was so, because he was very obese and had a huge belly. In the same way, he made innovations before Eid prayer; he removed one Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar) from the funeral prayer; he castrated males and kept them as slaves and he also uncovered the Holy Kaaba, though before this, there used to be layers on the Kaaba.
It seems that Muawiyah was only worried about this world. The thought of the Hereafter never troubled him. How evil is a man who castrates another man to enslave him? Such a practice is not sanctioned in any religion or community. Which is that evil deed Muawiyah was not capable of doing? Poison, deceit and intrigue was his staple diet. He was an exemplar of his tribe, Bani Umayyah. Bani Umayyah was cursed by the Holy Prophet (S).
On page 234 of Sharh Ibn Abil Hadid, we see the statement of Tabari that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Muawiyah will not die on the Shariah of Muhammad.”
Also that Muawiyah will scream from the casket of fire that he was burning and the angel’s will reply: “You were from the transgressors and you deserved it.” The statement of Nasai is similar to this: The Prophet said: “It would be too much if Muawiyah could escape Hell fire, how can there be any good in him?11
This Nasai is the same person who used to relate the merits of Ali (a.s.). One day the people of Shaam asked him to mention some merits of Muawiyah. He said what merit Muawiyah had that could deserve mention? Yes, there is only one merit of Muawiyah that the Prophet said: “May Allah never fill your stomach.”
Upon this, the people of Shaam beat up Nasai, crushing his testicles, resulting in his death. The above prophecy was from the Prophet. It was proved true and Muawiyah was greedy all his life and was never satisfied till death. In view of the writer, the Prophet, due to his divinely bestowed knowledge, had known that Muawiyah will enter Hell and he would be burning. Actually the proof of existence of Hell is the existence of Muawiyah. There would be no lack of space in the domain of Muawiyah in the abode of fire. All his supporters, friends and followers will be accommodated with him. One gets a place in the neighborhood of one that loves.
Of the merits of Muawiyah is that he brought together the companions and the Tabein (companions of companions) on a single purpose to invent traditions criticizing Ali (a.s.). Of them were Amr Ibn Aas, Mughaira, Urwah and Zuhri and also Abu Huraira who is the favorite companion of the Sunnis. Urwah has fabricated a tradition on the authority of ‘A’ysha that His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) and Abbas will die on disbelief and the two of them will go to Hell. Refer Sharh Ibn Abil Hadid, page 194.
Apparently, it is a concocted tradition of Muawiyah, which is fabricated to counter the tradition of the Messenger of Allah (S) that prophesied that Muawiyah will go to Hell. That Muawiyah was finally relegated to Haawiya12 in Hell, those who cursed Ali (a.s.) were also due to Muawiyah, involved in new kinds of maladies in this world and at last after death, they were taken to the place where Muawiyah was dispatched.
The supporters of Muawiyah quote the following tradition of Tirmidhi to prove the superiority of Muawiyah: “O Allah! Make him a guide and the guided one.” And the tradition of Ahmad Hanbal: “O Allah! Teach the book to Muawiyah and save him from punishment.” But Muhaddith Dehlavi writes in Madarijun Nubuwwah that traditionists are unanimous that no tradition is proved authentic in praise of Muawiyah. Both these tradition are concocted.
Whatever the devotees of Muawiyah might say, the Prophet despised Muawiyah greatly. Thus, in Tarikh Abul Fida13 it is written that Muawiyah and his father accepted Islam at the time of the conquest of Mecca, but the Holy Prophet (S) continued to hate them. How can he be virtuous, one who is said to be an inmate of Hell by the Prophet? Only that person can believe in the merits of Muawiyah that is an opponent of the Messenger of Allah (S) and who harbors enmity to Ali (a.s.).
Now I will show what position Muawiyah has in Islam. The Imamite sect considers him a traitor, an enemy of Ali (a.s.) and the Prophet’s family (a.s.). He is absolutely irreligious and an inmate of hell on the basis of the sayings of the Holy Prophet (S). The Sufi sect is also against considering Muawiyah to be good. But Ahlul Sunnat consider him a rightful Caliph and Imam due to the demands of their faith they call his mistakes, mistakes of jurisprudence. They consider him fifth of their twelve Caliphs. Below we shall discuss his religious leadership.
Abu Shakoor Salmi’s Sharh Aqaide Nasafi14 indicates that after Ali (a.s.), the majority of companions and Muslims followed Muawiyah, son of Yazeed. They say it was valid, because Muawiyah had made a bequest for him and the companions and the Muslims obeyed Yazeed.
According to analogy, the obedience of Yazeed was obligatory on Imam Husayn (a.s.). Thus, I (Abu Shakoor) say: “Muawiyah was a scholar who had committed no transgression and he was also a trustworthy man. If he had no trustworthiness, Imam Hasan (a.s.) would not have signed a peace treaty with him. After Ali (a.s.), Muawiyah was a just Imam, a righteous and pious person in the religion of Allah.”
The above statement of Abu Shakoor Salmi informs us of a few things:
First of all, Muawiyah was made a Caliph in the same way as Abu Bakr was appointed Caliph by consensus.
Secondly, the son of Muawiyah was made Caliph and Imam by will, just as Umar was appointed a Caliph.
Thirdly, since the companions and Muslims had approved the appointment of Yazeed, it was necessary for Imam Husayn (a.s.) to consider the obedience of Yazeed to be compulsory.
Fourthly, Muawiyah was a non-transgressing scholar and was trustworthy.
Fifthly, if there had been no trustworthiness in Muawiyah, Imam Hasan (a.s.) would not have signed a peace treaty with him.
Sixthly, Muawiyah was a just Imam, righteous and pious in the religion of Allah. Now what remains to be said for Muawiyah and Yazeed? The father is like Abu Bakr and son is like Umar in the affair of Caliphate and Imamate. Muawiyah himself was on the practice of Abu Bakr and Umar, so why his son should not have acted according to their practice?
However, Imam Husayn (a.s.) could not have obeyed Yazeed, because on the basis of his religious beliefs, leave alone Yazeed, he did not even consider, Muawiyah and his peers (like Umar and Abu Bakr) worthy of obedience, because the four of them were not the Caliphs of the Prophet; they were made Caliphs by the people. On the other hand, Imam Husayn (a.s.) considered himself to be the Caliph of the Prophet, and he was correct in this way. Then how could Imam Husayn (a.s.) obey Yazeed?
The fact is that neither Imam Husayn (a.s.) considered Yazeed to be a rightful Caliph and Imam on the basis of appointment by will nor he considered Umar to be so. Imam Husayn (a.s.) and other Imams of the family of the Prophet considered Caliphate and Imamate to be divinely ordained and not something decided by the people. Such a person cannot be expected to obey Yazeed.
Indeed, in the view of Ahlul Sunnat, Yazeed seems to be one whose obedience is compulsory. If it had not been so, such a large number of Muslims, the people of Shaam and other unscrupulous religion-sellers would not have taken precedence in giving allegiance to Yazeed. But when Imam Husayn (a.s.) had remained aloof from all the preceding so-called Caliphs, what was so special in Yazeed that he should have given allegiance to him? Imam Husayn (a.s.) was an Imam like his father and a member of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).
If he had been a Sunni, he could have paid allegiance to Yazeed, Muawiyah, Umar, Abu Bakr and all the Caliphs and Imams of Ahlul Sunnat. As for as the matter of trustworthiness and non-transgression of Muawiyah, except for Abu Shakoor Salmi, no sane person could agree to it. If Muawiyah had been so, why was the Prophet displeased with him? Why should he (S) prophesize that Muawiyah will go to hell? If he had any type of merit, why did the writer of Madarijun Nubuwwah write that no merit of Muawiyah is confirmed?
And why would Nasai had said that on the basis of the saying of the Prophet, if Muawiyah escapes the fire of Hell, it is sufficient? What merit can there be in him? Abu Shakoor Salmi can write whether he likes about Muawiyah but according to Ali (a.s.) the abode of Muawiyah is Haawiya (in Hell). This statement of Ali (a.s.) is based on the saying of the Messenger of Allah (S). Thus, according to both their sayings, Muawiyah belongs to Hell.
The argument of Abu Shakoor that if there had been no trustworthiness in Muawiyah, Imam Hasan (a.s.) would not have signed a peace treaty with him, is also mentioned in the book Ashatul Lumaat15 to prove the correctness of the Imamate of Muawiyah. It is like saying: “That the signing of the Treaty of Hudaibiya proves the validity of the religion of Meccan infidels.”
The reason for signing the treaty was that the faithless Muslims of that time, especially the people of Shaam, had become opposed to Imam Hasan (a.s.). With what strength could he have fought the father of Yazeed? Muawiyah had been made so powerful by Umar and Uthman that this traitor had no problem in confronting His Eminence, Ali (a.s.). What did Imam Hasan (a.s.) had that he could have fought an enemy of the family of the Prophet?
What recourse did Imam Hasan (a.s.) have, except to sign the treaty? Signing the treaty does not prove any superiority of Muawiyah? If Caliphate obtained through force is considered valid by Ahlul Sunnat, let it be so. Apparently, the signing of the treaty by Imam Hasan (a.s.) was very much appropriate. The army and wealth of Muawiyah was much more than the military and wealth of Imam Hasan (a.s.). The result of such a fighting would have been nothing, except defeat. The followers of Imam Hasan (a.s.) would have been killed in vain. Keeping these consequences in mind, Imam Hasan (a.s.) made peace with the enemies. But how could this treaty make his enemy a rightful Imam and a Caliph? Yes, if Imam Hasan (a.s.) had signed the treaty saying:
“O Muawiyah! You and your tribe had been a helper and supporter of Islam since the time of the Prophet and the Holy Prophet (S) has not said that you and your tribe will go to Hell and you are deserving of Imamate and Caliphate by the divine command,” it would have proved the correctness of the Caliphate of Muawiyah. Just suppose, instead of Muawiyah some transgressing king had attacked Imam Hasan (a.s.) and he had made peace with him due to his inability to confront him, according to the logic of Abu Shakoor Salmi that king would not have been considered a transgressor, because Imam Hasan (a.s.) could not have made peace with a transgressor. Obviously, in such situations a person only sees the best option rather than insist on the trustworthiness and religiosity of the foe.
The Holy Prophet (S) had also this in view and he had not considered whether his opponents were disbelievers or not, but by the logic of Abu Shakoor Salmi, they could not be considered disbelievers, because the Prophet could not make peace with infidels. Indeed, the religion of Ahlul Sunnat is a very astounding faith. Though there are many strange things in the world, this religion is the strangest of all.
Because Ahlul Sunnat religion is based on opposition to Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), that is why this rule is framed that if the companions commit any mistake or become eligible for curse and criticism even then with the help of interpretation they can be saved from blame, even if that interpretation is against Quran and tradition. There is no need to comment on this rule.
According to the principle of Ahlul Sunnat, an Imam cannot become disqualified on the basis of transgression and injustice. Because most Sunni Imams, after the Righteous Caliphs had committed sins and transgression and the scholars of the time were under the control of the unjust Imam. Obviously, if infallibility is not accepted as a necessary condition of Imamate, it is one and the same thing, whether the Imam is good or bad. Ahlul Sunnat want an Imam. It is not important what type of an Imam he is. That is why on this principle, Yazeed is as qualified for Imamate as Abu Bakr was. Thus, Yazeed is one of the twelve Caliphs of Sunnis. What a strange rule, under which every transgressor and sinner can become an Imam of Ahlul Sunnat just as often was seen and the Caliphs of Bani Umayyah are included in the twelve Caliphs of Ahlul Sunnat.16
In this book17 it is written that all battles fought against Ali (a.s.) were not because of the Caliphate. They occurred due to the mistake of jurisprudence. For example, the Battle of Jamal and Siffeen. But on page 395 of Seeratul Muhammadiya, it says that the confrontation between Ali (a.s.) and Muawiyah was the confrontation of Caliphate. Then the statement of Nasafi regarding the mistake of jurisprudence will be proved invalid. Now we don’t know what is the correct position.
It is proved in history that Muawiyah totally denied the Caliphate of Ali (a.s.). Thus, Muawiyah practically opposed Amirul Mo-mineen in the treaty, as clearly mentioned in Shawaahidun Nubuwwah.18 The fact is that the religion of Ahlul Sunnat is a concocted one. If one thinks deeply in this matter, it is proved that there is a great shield in Ahlul Sunnat called the mistake of jurisprudence. It was created to protect the opponents of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) from criticism.
Apparently, it is seen that Ahlul Sunnat tried their best so that no blame should come on the opponents of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Even though in this venture, the interpretation of Quran and tradition may be distorted beyond recognition.
- 1. Tafseer Nishapuri, Tafseer Baidhawi and Tafseer Kabir of Razi
- 2. Vol. 2, Pg. 278.
- 3. Vol. 1, Pg. 212.
- 4. Ref. Tarikh Khamis, Vol. 2, Pg. 317.
- 5. Vol. 1, Pg. 196
- 6. Vol. 2, Pg. 96
- 7. Pg. 72
- 8. A sacred place in Holy Kaaba.
- 9. Pg. 79
- 10. Vol. 2, Pg. 294.
- 11. Ref. Tarikh Ibn Khallikan
- 12. A particular section of Hell.
- 13. Pg. 198
- 14. Pg. 102
- 15. Vol. 47, Pg. 678.
- 16. Ref. Sharh Aqaide Nasafi
- 17. Ibid.
- 18. Pg. 87