Those who didn’t take part in the uprising

Some people are seen among the eminent figures of Medinans who had withdrawn from the uprising of the general public and did not interfere in it from the early phases of the people's revolt and resistance against the Umayyid rule. Although few in number, these people had totally different motives and insights. Imam Zayn al-'Abidīn ('a) was among them who, according to ideological principles and religious criteria, regarded the Umayyid rule as basically usurping and did not have the least belief in Yazīd's competence and the overthrow of his rule was one of the wishes of the Imam ('a) and his household. On the other hand, among the withdrawers from the uprising of the Medinans were such people as 'Abd Allāh b. 'Umar, who, according to what the historians have recorded had a viewpoint and analysis opposite to that of Imam Zayn al-'Abidīn ('a).

'Abd Allāh b. 'Umar. He did not participate in the public protest of the Medinans against Yazīd and the Umayyid rule, neither because he did not view the battle style as inefficient, nor because he regarded the consequences of the uprising as heavy and devastating; rather, he viewed the Umayyid rule and the Yazīd's government as legitimate and simplistically presumed Yazīd as the guardian of the Muslims.

This is implied from his remarks to 'Abd Allāh b. Mutī' - one of the activists in the uprising of Medina - saying:
“Whoever abandons obeying a ruler will meet God on the Resurrection Day without a proof and whoever dies and there is not an allegiance of a leader on his neck dies a death of ignorance (Jāhilliyah).”3
If this is really stated by 'Abd Allāh b. 'Umar, it is so surprising that with such contention he refused to swear allegiance to 'Alī b. Abī Tālib during the latter's Caliphate while the people of Medina did swear allegiance to the Imam, and was rated as among the six people who refused allegiance to Imam 'Alī ('a).
He would say: “I must be the last one to pledge allegiance to 'Alī ('a)!1233

It is reported that when Yazīd died and 'Abd al-Malik b. Marwān took over the rule and dispatched Hajjāj to Medina to suppress Ibn Zubayr and his advocates, 'Abd Allāh b. 'Umar went to Hajjāj overnight to swear allegiance and said: “I have come to swear allegiance to the Caliph! “When asked why in such a hurry, 'Abd Allāh b. 'Umar replied: whoever dies and has no leader, dies a death of Jāhiliyyah; and I am afraid I may die overnight without having a leader! Hajjāj heedlessly stretched his leg and said 'kiss my leg instead of my hand'!”2234

'Abd Allāh b. 'Abbās. 'Abd Allāh b. 'Abbās was the Holy Prophet's (s) cousin who was born in Shi'b of Abū Tālib three years before hijrah and died in Tā'if in the year 80 A.H. (689 C.E.) at the age of 69 while having lost his eye sight and was buried in that place.3235
Amr b. Khazrajī The reasons for his not participating in the battle of Harrah can be numerous, for it is reported that he became blind and was sick toward the end of his life and since Tā'if had a pleasant climate, he went there for rest and remedy. After the martyrdom of Imam Husayn b. 'Alī ('a), Ibn 'Abbās sent a letter of condemnation to Yazīd, part of which is as follows:
“… Do not suppose that I will forget your killing of Imam Husayn ('a) and the youth of the Banī 'Abd al-Muttalib who were beacons of guidance and guiding stars. Your troops left their pure bodies soiled with dust and exposed to the wind.”

Yet, he wrote in another part of his letter:
“You killed Husayn and his companions. Nothing is stranger to me than your seeking my companionship! You have killed the sons of my father, and it is my blood that is dripping from your sword.”4
This shows that the withdrawal of 'Abd Allāh b. 'Abbās from the uprising of Medina has not been because of avoiding opposition to Umayyid rule, but it has mainly been due to his illness.

Jābir b. 'Abd Allāh Ansārī. Jābir b. 'Abd Allāh b. 'Amr b. Khazrajī Ansārī Sulamī Sahābī5 died in Medina in 78 A.H. (687 C.E.) at the age of 74 while blinded. Some have reported that he was the last of the Prophet's (s) companions.6238
Ibn Qutayba Dīnawarī writes:
“Jābir was blind during the Harrah battle. He would walk in some alleys of Medina and say: Woe to the one who frightens God and the Messenger! A man asked 'who has frightened God and the Messenger?! Jābir answered: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: Whoever frightens the people of Medina is as if frightening what is with me. The Syrian man attacked Jābir with his sword to kill him. Marwān drove that man away and ordered to send Jābir back to his house and lock the door behind him.”7
Muhammad b. Hanafiyya. Muhammad b. 'Alī b. Abī Tālib b. 'Abd al-Muttalib b. Hāshim b. 'Abd Manāf b. Qusayy, whose mother was Khawla daughter of Ja'far b. Qays b. Muslima from the Hanafiyya tribe, hence known as Hanafiyya.8

Ibn Sa'd wrote:
“After Imam Husayn ('a) left Medina, Ibn Hanafiyya stayed in that city until he heard that Yazīd troops were approaching; then he left Medina for Mecca, where he stayed with Ibn 'Abbās.”9

  • 1. Ibn Abī al-Hadīd, Sharh Nahj al-Balāgha, vol. 4, p. 11.
  • 2. Ibid, vol. 3, p. 242.
  • 3. Dhahabī, Siyar A‘lām al-Nubalā, vol. 3, p. 354; Ibn Abī al-Hadīd, Sharh Nahj al-Balāgha, vol. 20, p. 130, 134.
  • 4. Ya‘qūbī, Ta’rīkh, vol. 2, p. 250; Tabarī, Ta’rīkh, vol. 4, p. 128.
  • 5. Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī, Al-Isāba, vol. 1, p. 213; Ibn Qutayba, Al-Ma’ārif, p. 307.
  • 6. Dhahabī, Ta’rīkh al-Islām, vol. 5, p. 27.
  • 7. Ibn Qutayba, Al-Imāma wa al-Siyāsa, vol. 1, p. 214.
  • 8. Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqāt, vol. 5, p. 66.
  • 9. Ibid, vol. 5, p. 73.