More On Muawiyah

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Here is more evidence on Muawiyah from the History and Hadith:

On His Character

al-Hasan al-Basri said:

Muawiyah had four flaws, and any one of them would have been a serious offense:

1. His appointment of trouble makers for this community so that he stole its rule without consultation with its members, while there was a remnant of the Companions and possessors of virtue among them.

2. His appointment of his son as his successor after him, a drunkard and a winebibber who wears silk and plays tunburs.

3. His claim about Ziyad (as his son), while the Messenger of God (S) has said: ‘The child belongs to the bed, and the adulterer should be stoned.’

4. His killing of Hujr and his companions. Woe unto him twice for Hujr and his companions.

Sunni references:

- History of al-Tabari, English version, The Events of Year 51 AH, v8, p154
- History of Ibn al-Athir, v3, p242
- al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, by Ibn Kathir, v8, p130 who mentions the first crime as: "His fighting ‘Ali."
- History of Ibn Kathir, v3, p242
- Khilafat Mulukiyat, Syed Abul Ala Maududi, pp 165-166

Here is some background on the Tragedy of Hujr:

Who Was Hujr Ibn ‘Adi?

In an effort to eradicate freedom of expression, Muawiyah started off with the killing of Hujr, who was a famous Tabi’i and the respected Sahabi of Imam ‘Ali (as). During the time of Muawiyah when Imam ‘Ali (as) was being cursed from the pulpits of the mosques, it caused a lot of pain and grief to the Muslims, but people were patient. However Hujr in Kufah could not further bear this and in resistance Hujr used to praise Imam ‘Ali (as) and curse Muawiyah.

Mughairah who was the Governor of Kufah at that time was considerate towards Hujr. However, during the Governership of Ziyad, when Basra was also included with Kufah, differences emerged between Ziyad and Hujr. Ziyad used to swear (say bad words) and Hujr used to reply to Ziyad.

During this period Hujr also corrected Ziyad when he delayed the Friday Prayer. Eventually Hujr along with his twelve companions were arrested on the following charges

- Hujr had organized a group and he used to swear at Muawiyah
- He instigates people to fight against Muawiyah
- He claims that the Caliphate belongs to Imam ‘Ali and his progeny (as)
- He supports Abu Turab (nickname of Imam ‘Ali (as))
- He sends his blessings on Imam ‘Ali (as)

So under these charges, these personalities were sent to Muawiyah, and Muawiyah ordered their killing. Before their execution, the executors said to them:

We have been ordered that if you show negative feelings towards ‘Ali and curse him you shall be free to go, otherwise you shall have to die (shall be killed).

Upon hearing this Hujr and his companions refused to do what they were asked to do, and Hujr replied:

I can’t utter those words from my tongue that would anger my Lord!

Following this they were killed, with the exception of Abdurrahman Ibn Hassaan who was sent by Muawiyah to Ziyad with the order that Ziyad himself should brutally kill him, and thereby, he was buried alive.

Sunni references:

- Histroy of al-Tabari, v4, pp 190-206
- al-Isti’ab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr, v1, p135
- History of Ibn Kathir, v3, pp 234-242
- al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, v8, pp 50-55
- History of Ibn Khaldoon, v3

Reviving The Customs Of The Jahiliyyah

Amputations of the head and moving the heads from one place to another, the mistreatment of the dead bodies out of sheer passion of revenge, that was prevalent during the days of ignorance (al-Jahiliyyah), started again among the Muslims during this era.

Case 1

The very first head that was amputated from the body during the Islamic period was of Ammar Ibn Yasir (ra), the famous companion of the Messenger of Allah (S). Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad narrates a tradition as follows, that has also been mentioned in the Tabaqat of Ibn Sa’d that:

In the Battle of Siffin, when the head of Ammar Yasir (ra) was cut off and was taken to Muawiyah, two people were arguing over it, each one claiming that he had killed Ammar.

Sunni references:

- Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Traditions #6538, #6929 Printed in Dar al- Maarif, Egypt 1952

- al-Tabaqat, by Ibn Sa’d, v3, p253

Case 2

The second head that was amputated from the body was for Umro Ibn al- Hamaq, who was among the companions of the prophet (Allah’s blessings on him and his cleansed progeny). Muawiyah alleged that he has participated in the assassination of Uthman. When efforts were carried out for his arrest, he hid in a cave, where a snake bit him. The people who were in his pursuit cut off the head from the dead body and took it to Ziyad. He then sent it to Muawiyah in Damascus, where the head was roamed around the city and was finally presented to his wife in her lap.

Sunni references:

- al-Tabaqat, by Ibn Sa’d, v6, p25
- al-Isti’ab, v2, p440
- al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, v8, p48
- Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, v8, p24

Case 3

The same atrocity was committed against Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr (ra) who was the Governor for Imam ‘Ali (as) in Egypt. When Muawiyah captured Egypt, he was arrested and was killed. His dead body was placed in a belly of a dead donkey and then was brutally burnt.

Sunni references:

- al-Isti’ab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr, v1, p235
- History of al-Tabari, v4, p79
- History of Ibn Kathir, v3, p180
- History of Ibn Khaldoon, v2, p182

Case 4

After this, it became a tradition for people who sought vengeance after their enemies were killed. Imam Husayn’s (as) head was amputated, and was taken from Karbala to Kufah and from Kufah to Damascus. The body of Imam Husayn (as) was brutally ruined by the running of horses.

Sunni references
- History of al-Tabari, v4, pp 349-351,356
- History of Ibn Kathir, v3, pp 296-298
- al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, v8, pp 189-192

On Some Of His Accounts

Jalaluddin al-Suyuti worte:

Ibn Asakir records on the authority of Hamid-b Hilal, that Akil the son of Abu Talib begged of ‘Ali and said , ‘ I am poor and needy, therefore give unto me. ‘ He replied, ‘ wait untill my stipend cometh with that of the other Muslims, and I will give unto thee with them,’ but he was importunate and ‘Ali said to a man, ‘ take him by the hand and go with him to the shops of the people of the market and say, ‘ break these locks and take what is in these shops, ‘ Akil said, ‘ dost thou wish to make me a thief ?, ‘

‘Ali retorted, ‘ and dost thou wish to make me a thief that I should take the property of the Muslims and give it to thee, and not to them ?. ‘ He answered, ‘ I shall assuredly go to Muawiya. ‘ He replied,’ that as thou wilest, ‘ and he went to Muawiya and begged of him, and he gave him a hundred thousand dirhams and said, ‘ get up on the pulpit and mention what ‘Ali hath given to thee and what I have fiven thee.’ Then he mounted, and praised God and glorified him, and said, O people I tell ye, verily I tempted ‘Ali in regard to his religion and he preferred his religion, and verily I tempted Muawiyah in regard to his religion and he preferred me to his religion.

Sunni refernce: History of the Caliphs, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, English version, p208

al-Suyuti also recorded:

al-Sha’abi said that the first who preached seated to the people was Muawiyah and that was when his flesh had increased and his stomach had grown large. (Recorded by Ibn Abi Shaybah). Az Zuhri states that Muawiya was the first who introduced the discourse before prayers on the Eid. (Abdur Razzaq in his Musannaf). And Said-b-ul Musayyab says that he was the first who introduced the call to prayers on the Eid, (Ibn Abi Shaybah), and he who diminished the number of Takbirs. Sunni refernce: History of the Caliphs, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, English version, p204

Raising Qur’an On Spear

In addition to the atrocities commited by Muawiyah, perhaps his act of raising the Qur’an on the spear against Imam ‘Ali (as) in the Battle of Siffin undoubtedly reflects on his character as a ruler, a person that would resort to any means to make his plan a success. He played with the book of Allah in order to deceive the naive people. As a result of this trick, al-Khawarij (those who believed Imam ‘Ali is politheist and unbeliever) emerged in the history of Islam.

Ibn Sa’d reports a tradition from al-Zuhri that:

At the eve of the Battle of Siffin when fight was at it’s peak and people had started to loose hope, Amr Ibn al-Aas said to Muawiyah: Accept my proposal and order the people (i.e., army of Muawiyah) to open the Qur’an (i.e., raise the Qur’an on spears) and say, O people of Iraq, we call you towards the Qur’an, and we decide by virtue of what is contained in it from al-Hamd to al-Naas. This act will create dissension in the ranks and file of the Iraqis and will create hopes for the people of Shaam. Thereby Muawiyah accpeted his proposal. (to do as he said).

Sunni references:

- Tabaqat of Ibn Sa’d, v4, p255 as per
- Khilafat Mulikiyat, Abul Ala Maududi, p345

The same fact has been mentioned in great detail by al-Tabari, Ibn Kathir, Ibn al-Athir, and Ibn Khaldoon. The purpose behind the propsal was to create dissension in the ranks and file of Imam ‘Ali’s (as) army, and even if they accept the proposal (of calling towards the Qur’an), Muawiya’s army would manage to buy time to delay the battle.

Sunni references:

- History of al-Tabari, v4, p34
- al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, by Ibn Katir, v7, p272
- Histoty of Ibn al-Athir, v3, p160
- History of Ibn Khaldoon, v2, p174
- Khilafat Mulukiyat, Maududi, p345

Muawiyah And The Origin Of The Word "Al-Jama’ah"

al-Tabari recorded that: Sajah remained with Banu Taghlib untill Muawiya transferred them in his days on the "year of the union (al-Jama’ah)". When the people of Iraq agreed (to recognize) Muawiyah (as caliph) after ‘Ali, Muawiyah took to expelling from al-Kufa those who had been vehement in the cause of ‘Ali, and to settle in their homes those people of Syrai and al-Basrah and the Jazirah who were most vehement in his own cause; it was they who were called the "transfers”in the garrison towns.

(The translator of the work writes in reference to the year of the union as follows:)

Aam al-Jama’ah the year 40 A.H/A.D 660-661, so called because the Muslim Community came together in recognizing Muawiyah, ending the political division of the first civil war. Pace Caetani, 648; see Abu Zahrah al-Dimashqi, Tarikh, 188 (no. 101) and 190 (no. 105)

Sunni reference:

History of al-Tabari, English version, v10, p97

Jalaluddin al-Suyuti mentions this very fact, with the utmost clarity in his work, History of the Caliphs (Tarikhul Khulafa) with the following words:

al-Dhahabi says that Ka’ab died before Muawiyah was made caliph, and that Ka’ab was right in what he said, for Muawiyah continued for twenty years, and none of the princess of the earth contended with him, unlike others who came after him, for they had opponents and portions of their dominions passed out of their sway. Muawiyah went forth against ‘Ali as has preceded, and assumed the title of Caliph.

Then he marched against al-Hasan, who abdicted in his favor. He therefore became firmly eshtablished in his Caliphate from Rabi’iul Akhir or Jumadal Awwal 41 AH. The year was therefore called the Year of the Union (al-Jama’ah), on account of the gathering of the people under one Caliph. During this year Muawiyah appointed Marwan Ibn al- Hakam over Medina.

Sunni refernce: History of the Caliphs, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, English version, p204 (Chapter of Muawiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan)

The Scribe Of Revelation

A a pro-Umayad mentioned that: Muawiyah was a scribe of the revelation. Is your character judgement better then that of the Prophet?

In the previous parts, I have given the opinion of the Prophet (S) about those who will fight Ahlul-Bayt based of the most authentic Sunni collections of the traditions. According to the opinion of the Prophet, such people were hypocrites and infidels.

Muawiyah and his father Abu Sufyan were among those who fought the Prophet till last minutes and when they found that Mecca will be captured shortly and their turn is over, they decided to go under the guise of Islam to save their life and to destroy Islam from inside. This is what Abu Sufyan, his son Muawiyah and his grandson Yazid were trying to achieve every day and night. Now they suddenly became the Scribe of Revelation! Here is the reason behind it:

From the time the Caliphate fell into the hands of the Umayad, they strove to distort the truth and turn everything head over heels. They, thus, elevated to the zenith of power people who were, during the life of the Prophet (S), ordinary, with no special standing, while they ignored others who were at the peak of honor and nobility during the lifetime of the Prophet (S).

Their sole criterion in for honor and dishonor, was their intense enmity and excessive hatred for Muhammad (S) and the members of his household, ‘Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be upon them. The Umayad elevated the status, and fabricated false traditions, on the merits of every person who opposed the Prophet (S) and his Ahlul-Bayt whom Allah has purified and from whom He removed all abomination in Qur’an. They sought nearness to those who opposed the Prophet, accorded them high positions and grants so that they enjoyed favors and respect among the populace. They sought to denigrate, fabricate defects, falsify reports that denied the superiority and merits of anyone who used to love the Prophet (S) and would defend him.

Thus Umar Ibn al-Khattab, who used to dispute every command of the Prophet of Allah (S), even accusing the latter of hallucination in his last days, became the hero of Islam amongst the Muslims during the time of the Umayad dynasty.

On the other hand, ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib who was, to him, what Aaron was to Moses, and who loved him, and who was loved by Allah and His Prophet, he who was the guardian of every believer, was cursed from the pulpits for eighty years. The effect of false propaganda reached to the point that when the news of assassination of Imam ‘Ali (as) during the Fajr prayer in Mosque reached to the people of Syria, they were surprised and asked if ‘Ali used to pray!

Similarly Aisha, who caused the Prophet of Allah (S) much torment and disobeyed his instructions and the instructions of her Lord, rose against the successor of the Messenger of Allah and caused the worst strife known to the Muslims, a strife which resulted in the death of thousands of Muslims, became the most famous lady in Islam, with religious rulings being accepted from her.

But Fatimah al-Zahra (sa), the leader of the women of this world and the world after, she for whom the Lord gets angry if she becomes angry, and she for whom the Lord is happy when she is happy, became a forgotten woman, and was buried in the secrecy of the night, after they had threatened to burn her, and after they forced the door of her house against her stomach, causing her to lose her child.

You can hardly find one amongst Sunnis who knows a single Hadith which she reported from her father. This is while their books are replete with the traditions of Aisha simply because she was the only woman who fought Imam ‘Ali (as).

Similarly, Yazid Ibn Muawiyah, Ziyad, the son of his father, Ibn Marjanah, Marwan, al-Hajjaj, Ibn al-Aas, and others from the accursed tree mentioned in Qur’an, and who were cursed by the tongue of the Prophet (S), they became the commanders of the believers and the guardians of their affairs.

As for al-Hasan and al-Husayn, the masters of the youths of paradise, the delights of the Prophet of this nation, the Imams from the progeny of the Prophet (S), the custodians of this Ummah, they were banished, imprisoned, murdered, and poisoned. In this way, Abu Sufyan the hypocrite, the leader in every battle that was waged against the Prophet, came to be praised and thanked.

As for Abu Talib, the protector and defender of the Prophet (S) with all that he had, who passed his life in hostility with his people and relatives for the sake of his nephew’s call, so much so that he spent three years in the enclave with the Prophet in the valley of Mecca, keeping his belief secret, for the benefit of Islam, that some bridges remained still open with the Quraish and so that they would not persecute the Muslims as they wished (he was like the believer from the family of Pharaoh who hid his belief; see Qur’an 40:28), Abu Talib’s alleged reward turns out to be a pair of slippers in the hellfire, his feet placed into it and his brain is popping out from the pain!!!

In this way, Mu’awiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan, who was the freed man, son of the freed man, the accursed one, and the son of an accursed one, he who used to play with the injunctions of Allah and His Prophet, not attaching any importance to it, he who used to murder the upright and innocent ones so as to pursue his vile goals and would revile the Prophet of Allah (S) while the Muslims would see and hear, became known as the scribe of revelation!!! They say that Allah entrusted His revelation to Gabriel, Muhammad and Muawiyah. He also came to be described as a man of wisdom, political acumen and reflection.

As for Abu Dharrr al-Ghifari, the earth did not carry nor the sky did put its shadow on anyone more truthful in speech than him; he was treated as a mischief monger. He was beaten, exiled and banished to Rabdha. Salman, Miqdad, Ammar and Hudaifah and all the sincere companions who took Imam ‘Ali as their leader and followed him, they met with punishment, banishment and murder.

Similarly, those who followed the school of the Caliphs, the followers of Muawiyah and the companions of the schools founded by the tyrannical rulers, they turned out to be Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama’a and they represented Islam. Whoever opposed them was judged to be a disbeliever.

As for those who followed the school of the Ahlul-Bayt and followed the gate to the city of knowledge and the first one to accept Islam, he whom the truth revolved around wherever he was, those who followed the Ahlul- Bayt and the infallible Imams came to be considered as the people of innovation and misguidance, and whoever opposed and fought against them came to be seen as a Muslim.

Surely there is no power and no strength except with Allah, the Highest, and the most Powerful. Allah surely spoke the truth when He said:

"If it is said to them; ‘Make not any mischief on earth’, they say: ‘We are the righteous ones’. Certainly they are indeed the corrupt ones but they do not realize it. And if it is said to them: ‘Believe as other people have believed’ they say: ‘Shall we believe as the stupid ones believe’? They are the stupid ones, though they know it not.’“(Qur’an 2:13)

A Side Comment

A brother mentioned that one may kill another with good intention and with love towrd each other and both (the killer and the killed one) would go to Paradise. We have the example of Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) who received commandment to kill his son, Ismail, though it was just a test and Allah wanted to test both of them, and finally they slaughtered a ship by Allah’s command.

The above incedent is true. However, there is a falacy hiden in the above argument. Abraham (as) was a prophet and the order (to sacrifice his son) was given by God through revelation. Also he did not fight with Isma’il, nor Ismail fought back. It was the order of Allah, and both father and son were submissive to that. There was no dispute between them.

But let me ask you this question: Did Talha and Zubair received revelation from God to kill people? Did Qur’an tell them to fight against their legitimate Caliph? If so, why not against the first three Caliphs? Did Muawiyah and Marwan received revelation of ordering people to curse Imam ‘Ali (as) and make it a popular habit of people? ... And finally, they slaughtered the whole household of Prophet (S) including his beloved son (grandson) in the same way. Do You believe when somebody is ready to kill the whole house-hold of prophet, he refrains or is afraid of cursing them? La Wallah...

- Is cursing Imam ‘Ali a sign of love and good intention?
- Is shedding the blood of thousands of innocent Muslims a sign of affection and obedience to Allah?
- Is erdicating the houshold of the Prophet a sign of love toward them?