وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ آلَ زِيادٍ وَآلَ مَرْوانَ، وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ بَنِي أُمَيَّةَ قاطِبَةً
“May the curse of Allah be upon the family of Ziyad and the family of Marwan and may the curse of Allah be upon Bani Umayyah.”
At this point in the Ziyarat, we now begin to relate some of the names of the criminals responsible for the massacre in Karbala’ by listing three specific families and tribes: the family of Ziyad, the family of Marwan, and the corrupt tree of Bani Umayyah. The history of these three groups would take us pages to narrate, however we offer a few highlights of their infamous lives so that this Ziyarat is better understood.
1) Who was Ziyad and why curse him and his family? His own lineage is not known since his mother was a known adulteress and has thus been attributed to being the son of no less than seven different men – it is for this reason that he is sometimes referred to as Ziyad the son of his father! In the beginning, Ziyad was a staunch follower of Imam ‘Ali (peace be upon him) and was appointed to the region of Fars (Iran) as a governor. He was also loyal to Imam Husayn during the initial period of his Imamate however very shortly, Mua’wiyah managed to buy him out and use him for his own wicked games. He was appointed by Mua’wiyah as the governor of Kufah at which time he killed numerous Shi’a and caused great problems for the followers of ‘Ali.
2) Marwan was the son of Hakam Ibn Abil Aas Ibn Umayyah and was the uncle of Uthman Ibn Affan (the 3rd Caliph). He and his father were exiled by the Prophet and remained out of Madinah during the reign of the first two caliphs and it was Uthman who permitted them back (thus going against the Prophet) and also granted Marwan huge sums of money from the public treasury (after all, they were related). Mua’wiyah appointed Hakam as the governor of Madina and after his death, many individuals from his family took this position.
To show how despised this family was, it has been narrated that any time a child was born in Madina, the parents would take the child to the Prophet for him to make a Du’a for him. When Marwan was born the Prophet made a Du’a and said, “...he is the cursed son of a cursed father...”
3) The Bani Umayyah need no introduction due to their known acts of tyranny and oppression against the Prophet and the first 6 Imams. Insha-Allah, during this exposition, more light will be shed on the polluted tree of the Bani Umayyah and the evils which they wreaked on the Muslim society.