The chief characteristic or the best attribute of the supporters of the Family of Abu Talib was their magnanimity. The object of their lives was that they should always help the oppressed, promote true beliefs and sacrifice their lives in the path of truth. Their number was no doubt small. This did not, however, constitute a shortcoming, because magnanimous and noble-minded persons are always small in number, but the deep impressions which they leave behind are never obliterated and the result of their efforts is always far-reaching. The smallness of their number is a proof positive of the greatness of their object, and the loftiness of their aim. At times it so happens that a single person performs a feat which cannot be performed by thousands combined together. The supporters of the descendants of Abu Talib too were firm in their beliefs, and steadfast in promoting them, although their number was small.
These very friends of Imam Ali were offered wealth and positions by Mu`awiya so that they might abuse Ali and his descendants, but they declined to do so. He then threatened them with torture. They however, preferred to bear all hardships rather than abuse Imam Ali.
One day Mu`awiya was sitting with his associates and Ahnaf bin Qais was also present. In the meantime a Syrian came and began delivering a speech. At the end of his speech he abused Ali. Thereupon Ahnaf said to Mu`awiya: “Sir! If this man comes to know that you are pleased if the Prophets are cursed, he will curse them also. Fear God and don't bother about Ali any longer. He has since met his Lord. He is now alone in his grave and only his acts are with him. I swear by God that his sword was very pure and his dress too was very clean and neat. His tragedy is great”. The following conversation then took place between him and Mu`awiya:
Mu`awiya: O Ahnaf! You have thrown dust in my eyes and have said whatever you liked. By God you will have to mount the pulpit and curse Ali. If you do not curse him willingly you will be compelled to do so.
Ahnaf: It will be better for you to excuse me from doing this. However, even if you compel me I will not utter any such words.
Mu`awiya: Get up and mount the pulpit.
Ahnaf: When I mount the pulpit I shall act justly.
Mu`awiya: If you act justly what will you say?
Ahnaf: After mounting the pulpit I shall praise the Almighty God and shall then say this:
“O People! Mu`awiya has ordered me to curse Ali. No doubt Ali and Mu`awiya fought with each other. Each one of them claimed that he and his party had been wronged. Hence, when I pray to God all of you should say `Amen'. Then I shall say: O God! Curse him who, out of these two is a rebel and let Your angels and Prophets and all other creatures curse him. O God! Shower Your curses on the rebellious group. O people! Say `Amen'. O Mu`awiya I shall not say anything more or less than this even if I have to lose my life.
Mu`awiya: In that case I excuse you (from mounting the pulpit and cursing). (`Iqd-al-Farid, vol.2 p.144 and Mustatraf, vol.1, p.54).
At times it so happened that Mu`awiya, in order to express his hatred against Ali, persecuted his supporters. Those persons could not tolerate this (i.e. cursing of Ali) and abused Mu`awiya and his descendants. They did so in spite of the fact that at that time Ali was in his grave, and no benefit could be expected from him, and the cruel and despotic Mu`awiya was the ruler of the time.
History has recorded many incidents which go to show that the people hated very much this attitude of Mu`awiya. He executed Hujr ibn Adi, a distinguished companion of the Prophet and his friends for the only reason that they refused to curse Ali and his descendants from the pulpit. We shall give details of this incident later.
The followers of Ali zealously kept on looking after the high morality and good qualities which were planted by him in their hearts till they bore fruit. All of them, whether men or women, big or small, were alike.
During his rule Mu`awiya once came to Mecca to perform Hajj. He enquired about a woman named Darmiyah Hajuniyah who belonged to the tribe of Kananah and was informed that she was alive. Darmiyah was a black-coloured well-built woman. He called her and on her arrival the following conversation took place between them: Mu`awiya: O daughter of Ham! 1 How have you come here? Darmiyah: If you are calling me `daughter of Ham' by way of ridicule I may tell you that I am not a descendant of Ham. I belong to the tribe of Kananah.
Mu`awiya: You are right, however, do you know why I have summoned you?
Darmiyah: Only God knows the hidden things.
Mu`awiya: I have called you so that you may tell me why you loved Ali so much and were inimical towards me.
Darmiyah: I would request you to excuse me from answering this question.
Mu`awiya: No; that cannot be. You must give me a reply.
Darmiyah: If you insist on having a reply, then hear what I say. I loved Ali because he was a just ruler and gave every person what was his due. And I was against you because you contended with a person who was more deserving than yourself to be ruler, and you desired a thing which you did not deserve. I obeyed Ali because the Prophet had appointed him as our Amir and ruler. He loved the poor and the needy and respected the true believers. And I despised you because you shed the blood of the Muslims without a just cause, give unjust judgements and decide matters arbitrarily.
Mu`awiya: Is it on this account that your belly is swollen, your breast is protruding and your buttocks have grown so fat.
Darmiyah: I swear by God that these things are said proverbially about your mother and not about me.
Mu`awiya: Just wait. I have said something good. When the belly of a woman is big she gives birth to a healthy child. When her breast is big she can suckle her child properly. And when her buttocks are fat she looks beautiful while sitting. Well, tell me: Did you ever see Ali?
Darmiyah: Yes, by God, I saw him.
Mu`awiya: How did you find him?
Darmiyah: I swear by God that I saw him in such a condition that sovereignty had not made him proud like you and the office of the caliphate had not made him proud like you.
Mu`awiya: Did you hear him talk?
Darmiyah: Yes, by God I did, with his words he used to remove the darkness of the hearts and brighten them in the same manner in which gilding brightens a utensil.
Mu`awiya: That is true. Now tell me what can I do for you?
Darmiyah told him of her requirement. Thereupon Mu`awiya asked her: “If I meet your need will you treat me at par with Ali?” Darmiyah retorted: “You stand no comparison with him”. Mu`awiya met her need and said: “By God, if Ali had been alive he would not have given you so much wealth”. Darmiyah replied: “You are right. He never gave even a penny out of the property of the Muslims to any one unless he was entitled to it”. (Balaghat al-Nisa, p.72 and `Iqd-al-Farid, vol.1, p.216).
Once Adi son of Hatim came to see Mu`awiya during the period of his rule. Mu`awiya asked him ironically: What has happened to `Tarafat?' 2 Adi replied: “They were killed supporting Ali. Mu`awiya said: “Ali has not been just to you. Your sons were killed but his own sons remained alive”. Adi replied: “I, too, have not been just. Ali has already been martyred but I am still alive.
Mu`awiya was cut to the heart on observing this love and devotion of Adi for Ali. He said in a threatening manner: “One drop of Uthman's blood still remains. It can be washed away only with the blood of one of the nobles of Yemen. (i.e. Adi).
Adi did not care for Mu`awiya's threat and said: “I swear by God that the hearts with which we remained your enemies still exist in our bosoms, and the swords with which we fought against you are still on our shoulders. If you step forward towards us treacherously even to the extent of a finger we shall proceed towards you to the extent of a span. It is easier for us that our heads are cut off and our chests are trampled upon as compared with our hearing even a word against Ali. Give the sword to the executioner (so that he may sever my head)”.
Mu`awiya then resorted to flattery as was usual with him. Addressing those present he said: “These are words of wisdom. Write them down”. (Murooj-al-Zahab v.2, p.309).
Mu`awiya once proceeded to Mecca to perform Hajj. When he reached Madina and met Sa'd son of Abi Waqas he asked him to accompany him. Sa'd agreed. After performing the ceremonies of Hajj both of them went to Dar-al-Nadwa and conversed there for a long time. As Sa'd had come to perform Hajj on the suggestion of Mu`awiya the latter thought that Sa'd supported him. In order to find out as to how far Sa'd supported his attitude towards Ali he began cursing and abusing Ali and asked Sa'd flatteringly: “Why don't you curse and abuse Ali?” Sa'd got annoyed and said: “You have made me sit on your carpet and then you began abusing Ali. I swear by God that if I had possessed even one of the many attributes possessed by Ali it would have been dearer to me than anything else on earth. I swear by God that I shall not come to see you so long as I live”. Then he left that place in a state of extreme anger”. (Murooj-al-Zahab, vol.2, p.317).
Amr bin Humq was also one of the staunch supporters of the Family of Abu Talib. Ziad bin Abih killed him for the only offence that he loved Ali. After killing him he severed his head and sent it to Mu`awiya. In the history of Islam it was the first head which was sent to any one as a present.
Another sincere supporter of Ali was Maitham Tammar. He was a close companion of Ali and was aware of the dignity and high position of the Imam. He remained associated with Ali for quite a long time. It has been said that Ali usually frequented his shop and if he went on some business leaving Ali in the shop he (Ali) even sold dates on his behalf.
When the Comannder of the Faithful Ali and Husayn were martyred and Ibn Ziad had nothing to fear any longer in Kufa he threatened Maitham saying that if he continued to love Ali and praise him for his equity and justice he would kill him. He tried to coax him by saying that if he became a supporter of the Umayyad regime his name would be recommended to the king for his being awarded alarge amount of money and other presents.
This happened at a time when lbn Ziad heard Maitham delivering a speech and was very much impressed by his eloquence and sagacious reasoning. Amr son of Haris, a flatterer of Ibn Ziad's court asked him whether he knew who the man was; and upon his expressing ignorance about him he (Amr) said: “He is the liar Maitham, supporter of the liar Ali son of Abu Talib”. Ibn Ziad became attentive and said to Maitham: “Do you hear what Amr says?” Maitham replied: “He is telling a lie. My Imam Ali was a truthful man and the true caliph and I, too, am truthful”.
Ibn Ziad became angry and said: “Dissociate yourself from Ali and abuse him and express love for Uthman and praise him, or else I shall amputate your hands and feet and hang you”. Maitham replied to this threat by narrating publicly the virtues of Ali and began crying recalling his justice and kindness, and then censured and blamed Ibn Ziad and Bani Umayyah for their rebellion and opposition.
Ibn Ziad flew into a rage and said to Maitham: “I swear by God that I shall cut off your hands and feet but shall spare your tongue so that I may prove that you are a liar and your Imam Ali was also a liar”.
The hands and feet of Maitham were cut off and he was sent to the gallows. Even then he said loudly: O people! Whoever desires to hear the Prophet's Hadith about Ali should come to me”.
The people gathered round him and he began to narrate the superior merits and virtues of Ali. In the meantime Amr bin Haris passed that way and enquired as to why the people had gathered there. On having been informed that they were listening to the traditions of Ali being narrated by Maitham he hurried to inform Ibn Ziad about the matter and said: “Please send some one immediately to cut off the tongue of Maitham, for I am afraid that if he continues to narrate the virtues of Ali the people of Kufa will turn against you and revolt”.
Ibn Ziad sent a man to cut off the tongue of Maitham. He arrived at the place and asked Maitham to take out his tongue so that it might be cut off in compliance with the orders of the governor. Maitham said: “Did not that son of a whore say that he would prove me and my Imam to be liars? Now you may cut off my tongue”. The executioner cut off his tongue and the blood flowed from it so profusely that Maitham passed away. Ibn Ziad then crucified his dead body.
Another devotee of Imam Ali and martyr in the path of God was Rashid Hujari who was a close companion of his. His story also resembles that of Maitham. Ibn Ziad told him that his life would be spared if he dissociated himself from Ali. He flatly refused to do so. Ibn Ziad enquired of him as to how he would like to die. Thereafter he got his hands and feet amputated.
The greatness and sincerity of the friends of Ali can be assessed from the fact that they loved him whole-heartedly and held him in great reverence without any pressure or coercion. They did not seek any reward or praise for doing so. Their only wish was that they should live and die supporting truth. Their love for Ali was similar to that the early Muhajirs and the Ansar for the Prophet.
Ammar Yasir, a zealous supporter of Ali, on seeing the large army of Mu`awiya in the Battle of Siffin truly mentioned the sentiments of the Shias of Ali in these words: “I swear by God that even if they fight with their arms and push us back upto a far off place we shall remain convinced that we are following truth and they are following falsehood”.
The companions and supporters of Imam Husayn were also like those of his father Ali. They had before them the same lofty object which the devotees of Ali had in view.
During the night of `Asbura when the only alternative left before Husayn was to fight and meet martyrdom and when only a few hours were left before this was to happen he addressed the small group of his friends and said to them: “These people want only my head. It is not, therefore, necessary for you to lose your lives. You may depart in the darkness of night so that nobody can see you”. It is possible that he had suggested to them to depart at night, so that they might not feel ashamed of leaving him alone in the broad daylight, or that they might not be located and arrested. This was a manifestation of Imam Husayn's sublime character. However, his companions said with one voice: “We shall lay down our lives at your feet”.
Muslim bin Awsajah Asadi said: “Should we desert you? Why should we not make our excuse clear before God tomorrow by doing our duty to you? I swear by God that I shall not leave you till I break my lance in the breasts of the enemies. So long as the sword is in my hand and I possess strength I shall go on striking them. If I do not have any arms I will stone them and will continue to fight till I lay down my life before your very eyes”.
Muslim proved what he had said. He laid down his life bravely before the Imam.
When Muslim, having been wounded grievously, fell down from his horse Habib ibn Mazahir came by his side and said: “If I had not known that very shortly I am going to join you I would have asked you to make a will”. Thereupon Muslim replied and those were his last words:
“The only will I have to make is that you should sacrifice your life for the sake of this Imam”.
When Hur bin Yazid al-Riyahi saw the evil deeds and malpractices of Yazid and his supporters and observed the lofty character of Imam Husayn and the faith and steadfastness of his companions his conscience was awakened and he forsook worldly gains and offices.
This Hur was one of those commanders of the army of Bani Umayyah who had been promised great rewards for fighting against Imam Husayn and killing him and his supporters. Ubaidullah son of Ziad, the Governor of Kufa had specially entrusted this task to Hur. However, when he approached the camp of Imam Husayn he showed such perplexity and anxiety that his companions became doubtful (of his fidelity to the Umayyah regime). Eventually he galloped his horse, reached in the presence of Imam Husayn and said: “O son of the Prophet of God! I am very much ashamed for what I have done and pray to God to forgive me. I shall fight for you till I lay down my life at your feet”.
Hur achieved his martyrdom before Imam Husayn. All the supporters and companions of Imam Husayn were of the same calibre. Their number was very small but they faced the enemies who were thousands and thousands in number. They were overpowered by thirst and were in peril of their lives but the only thing they were fond of was the death of a martyr. These valiant persons laid down their lives at the feet of Imam Husayn. Every one of them longed to achieve martyrdom. They considered this death to be a great honour for themselves.
Husayn son of Ali was martyred and the government of Yazid and his associates became an established fact. There was now no hope that the caliphate would return to the Family of Abu Talib. Their supporters became sure that the bounties of the earth would no longer be distributed among the people through them. However, the Family of Abu Talib and their helpers and supporters neither sat still nor was their spirit curbed. In fact it got more awakened that before, and they became more active.
For example, when the news of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn and his companions reached Kufa Ibn Ziad collected the people for congregational prayers. In a speech after offering prayers he said: “Praised be God who has manifested truth and granted victory to the truthful people. He helped the Commander of the Faithful Yazid and his people and killed the liar son of the liar father - Husayn son of Ali and his associates”.
He had not yet completed his sentence when an old man named Abdullah son of Afif Azadi, who was a companion of Ali and had fought valiantly along with him in the Battles of the Camel and Siffin, got on his feet and said loudly: “O son of Marjana! You kill the descendants of the Prophets and then dare stand on the pulpit, which is the place meant for the truthfulness! You are a liar and your father was a liar and he too is a liar who conferred rulership on you and your father”. Although as a result of this the old man was hanged the following day in the ground of Kufa, this incident goes to prove that the cruelty and oppression of Bani Umayyah did not curb the spirit of the supporters of Ali. Rather their will and determination gained momentum all the more.
The well-known poet Farazdaq recited openly and in the very presence of Bani Umayyah, the qasidah (panegyric) which he had composed in paise of Imam Zain-al-Abedin. At the time the rule of Bani Umayyah was at its zenith and none could dare utter even a word against them. However, Farazdaq did not care for his life. He did not praise the Imam to get a reward or to win favour. It was only a manifestation of love and an ardent desire for obedience to him, which roused him to compose the panegyric. The story runs as follows:
The Umayyad caliph Hisham son of Abdul Malik went to Mecca to perform Hajj when he was a prince. After circumambulation of the Ka`abah he wished to kiss the Black stone but could not reach it. Partly it was due to the hatred which the people had in their hearts for Bani Umayyah that they did not make a way for Hisham, and partly it was because the number of the Hajis (pilgrims) was so large that he could not reach there. Hisham had, therefore, no alternative but to go back and sit in a chair.
In the meantime Imam Sajjad son of Husayn came and proceeded towards the Black stone. The people immediately stepped back and made way for him and he kissed the Black stone without any inconvenience. Those who had come with Hisham from Syria asked him as to who that respectable person was. Who was he for whom all the Hajis had stepped back? Hisham knew who he was, but fearing that the Syrians might be influenced by the Imam he said: “I don't know who that man is”. Farazdaq could not tolerate this disrespect for the Imam by Hisham. He, therefore, stood up and said: “I know him”. Then he occupied an elevated place and recited with great zeal and courage the entire qasida which will for ever remain a lasting monument in the literary history of Arabia. Its first verse says: “He is that great personality whose foot-prints are known to Mecca, the Ka`abah, the Harem and its surroundings”.
Hisham was very much annoyed to hear the qasida and imprisoned Farazdaq. While in prison Farazdaq wrote a satire against Hisham and Bani Umayyah without caring for the atrocities they might let loose on him. In that satire he said about Hisham: “He turns the head which is not the head of a chief. He is squint-eyed and his defects are evident”.
We have mentioned only a few instances which throw light on the conduct of the supporters of the Family of Abu Talib. They, however, show very clearly that they were steadfast in their love and reverence for that illustrious family and were prepared to lay down their lives for the sake of Ali.
However, as regards the supporters of Bani Umayyah they could be divided into two groups. To the first group belonged those whose consience had been purchased by the Umayyads through bribes. And the second group consisted of those who were born criminals. Mean persons are by their very nature inimical towards those who are noble-minded and magnanimous. As they lack good qualities they nurse a grudge against those who are virtuous and befriend and support those who are base and ill-natured like themselves.
The persons who became the adherents of Bani Umayyah by means of bribes were the helpers and supporters of Abu Sufyan. The concept of bribe is different in respect of each individual. Each person is bribed in accordance with his position and status. Abu Sufyan bribed some persons by means of wealth and others by promising them freedom. For example, he promised Wahshi, an Ethiopian slave (the murderer of Hamzah) that he would be granted freedom if he killed anyone of Muhammad, Ali, and Hamzah.
Some persons were offered high position as bribe. There were many who sided with Bani Umayyah and fought against the Prophet and his companions with the hope that the offices and position held by them during the age of ignorance would remain intact.
One of the supporters of Mu`awiya was Amr son of Aas who was his right hand. We shall speak about him in detail later.
The Syrian soldiers whom Mu`awiya sent to Siffin to fight against Ali also belonged to this group. Their object was to serve the man who paid them their wages and made attractive promises of wealth and position in the event of victory.
To this group also belonged the army of Yazid. These persons had been bribed heavily by Yazid and his courtiers, who had promised them security of life in case they sided with them. Many of these soldiers had come to fight against the Family of Ali because they feared that if they declined to do so they would be subjected to harassment and torture. Evidently every person does not possess the spirit of sacrifice.
History records that while going from Mecca to Kufa Imam Husayn met the poet Farazdaq and enquired from him about the attitude of the people of Kufa. Farazdaq replied: “The hearts of those people are with you but they will draw their swords against you tomorrow”.
Husayn made a similar enquiry from Majm`a son of Ubaid Aamari, Majm`a replied: “The distinguished and influential persons have been bribed heavily. They are your fell enemies. As regards others they are your supporters in the heart but their swords will be drawn against you tomorrow”.
As regards the other group of the supporters of Bani Umayyah i.e. those persons who sided with them on account of their inherent meanness their number was very large. Had these sinners and criminals been the enemies of the descendants of Abu Talib for the only sake of pleasing their chiefs they could be excused to some extent, and it could he said that these were worldly-minded persons who fought against the descendants of Abu Talib for worldly gains.
Their enmity with this family was not, however, on account of wealth or position which they wanted to acquire. Their enmity was basic and natural just as darkness is opposed to light, deviation is opposed to guidance and falsehood is opposed to truth, and oppression and tyranny is opposed to justice and equity. They were more hard- hearted and cruel than the ferocious animals. They were the deadly enemies of every virtuous person on account of their inherent wickedness. Only such mean persons can amputate the bodies of the dead, slaughter the children and harass the helpless women.
One of these tyrants was Busr son of Artat who has been given the name of executioner by the historians. When one studies his character the mentality of the second group of the supporters of Bani Umayyah can very well be realized. He was the right hand of Mu`awiya in the matter of tyranny and oppression. He committed atrocities which one shudders even to imagine. He killed old men whose backs were bent. He pulled out children from the laps of their mothers and slaughtered them. And all this was done by him to strengthen Mu`awiya's rule. When Mu`awiya sent him to Yemen with an army to loot and plunder he displayed such tyranny and cruelty as is unparalleled in history. Before his departure Mu`awiya called him and said: “Adopt the Hijaz route and reach Yemen passing through Mecca and Madina. If you pass through a place whose residents are supporters of Ali threaten them so much that they may become convinced that their lives are not going to be spared. Then compel them to take oath of allegiance to me. Kill those who decline to do so. Kill the supporters of Ali wherever you find them”.
Having obtained these instructions Busr departed and reached Madina. The Governor of Madina was Abu Ayyub Ansari, the first host of the Prophet in that city. Finding it difficult to oppose Busr he left Madina. Busr entered the city and delivered a speech. He hurled abuses on the people and said: “May your faces become black! “ Then he addressed the Ansar in particular and said: “O Jews and descendants of slaves! I shall torture you in such a way that the believers will come to their senses. He then put many houses to fire. Thereafter he reached Mecca. Qasham bin Abbas, the Governor of Mecca, ran away. There also Busr abused and threatened the people.
Kalbi says that on his way from Madina to Mecca Busr killed and plundered a large number of people. When the people of Mecca came to know about it they flew away from the city. Two sons of Ubaidullah bin Abbas also left the city. Busr caught them and put them to death. Some women of the tribe of Kanana also came out. One of them said: “I can understand the killing of men but I do not know what offence the children have committed. The children have never been killed either during the age of ignorance or after the advent of Islam”.
Then, passing through Taif, Busr reached Najran where he killed Abdullah bin Abdul Madan and his son Malik. This Abdullah belonged to the family of the in-laws of Ubaidullah bin Abbas. Then he assembled together the people of Najran and addressed them thus: “O Christians! O brothers of apes! If I am informed of any such act of yours as I do not like I shall mete out such a treatment to you that your race will become extinct, your fields will be destroyed and your houses will become desolate”.
Thereafter he reached San`a and killed a large number of people in the city. A deputation of Ma'arib waited on him but he killed all its members. On departing from San`a he again killed thousands of the inhabitants of the city. He again came to San'a and killed some aged persons who belonged to Persia. (Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, Ibn Abi'l Hadid vol. 1, p.271).
Historians say that Busr killed as many as thirty thousand persons. They do not include those whom he burnt alive. (Ibn Abi'l Hadid vol. 1, p. 30). The poets composed many verses about the atrocities committed by this hard-hearted criminal. Yazid son of Muzr`a says: “To whichever place Busr goes he plunders it and sets it on fire. His entire life history is full of such crimes”.
Another criminal belonging to this group was Ziad bin Abih who massacred and plundered the people of Iraq in a very dreadful manner. In the first instance Mu`awiya acknowledged him to be his brother and gave him the name of Ziad son of Abu Sufyan to win his support. Then he appointed him as the Governor of Basra. On reaching Basra he delivered his well-known speech called `Khutbah-al-Batra'. Then he busied himself in strengthening the Umayyad rule. He killed some and awarded punishments to others on mere suspicion and doubt.
There was nothing easier for the supporters and agents of Bani Umayyah than to amputate the hands and feet of their opponents, to hang or imprison them, to plunder their property, burn them alive, and to humiliate them during their life and also after their death. During the rule of Ziad people suffered untold miseries and hardships. None excelled him in cruelty and tyranny from among the deputies and agents of Bani Umayyah except Hajjaj who was even a greater criminal than he.
Commenting on his own policies and modus operandi Ziad said thus in the above-mentioned Khutbah-al-Batra. “I swear by God that I shall arrest the master in lien of his slave, the person available instead of one who has run away, the obedient one instead of the disobedient, and the healthy one instead of the invalid till one of you will say to the other: “O Sa`d! Run away for Sa`id has been killed. I shall not eat or drink anything till I set you right and destroy Basra and burn and pull down its houses. Beware! None of you should come out of his house during night. Whoever does so shall be beheaded. I swear by God that many of you will be killed at my hands. Everyone should take care that his blood is not shed by me”.
After Basra he became the Governor of Kufa. On the very first day sitting at the gate of the Masjid and got the hands of eighty persons cut off. He followed the policy of oppression and terrorism to please Mu`awiya. Madaini writes: “He kept searching the Shi`a of Ali and, as he had been one of them during the time of Ali, it was easy for him to find them out. He found them out from everywhere. He harassed and intimidated them, amputated their hands and feet, made them blind, hanged them on date-palm trees and expelled them from Iraq. The result was that no distinguished Shi`a remained there. We shall shortly narrate the story of Ziad and Hujr b. Adi, who was one of the supporters of Ali”.
To this very group of criminals belonged Ubaidullah son of Ziad, the founder of the tragedy of Karbala and murderer of Amr son of Hamq, Maitham Tammar, the aged Abdullah son of Afif Azdi and thousands of other innocent persons. It was the most ordinary thing for him to arbitrarily hang, kill and amputate others. Muslim son of Aqil said about him: “Merely on account of anger, enmity and suspicion he kills those whose killing has been forbidden by God. And this does not affect his merry-making and enjoyment. He feels as if he had done nothing. The worst type of cruelty and hard-heartedness manifested itself on the day on which he martyred Imam Husain. Even after the holy Imam's martyrdom Ibn Ziad's shamelessness, wickedness and meanness knew no bounds”.
Shimr son of Zil Jaushan, too, was as nasty in his meanness and wickedness as his master lbn Ziad. He had a distinguishing quality of nursing grudge and enmity against all noble and magnanimous person. He made many small children of Husayn die of thirst, although the Euphrates was flowing just in front of them. He ordered his soldiers to trample the body of Imam Husayn with the hooves of their horses as a consequence of which his back and many of his ribs were broken to pieces. His dress, which was torn on account of arrow shots and strokes of the swords, had already been looted. If the small children of the Imam's family had come out of the tents, the Syrian soldiers would have cut them also to pieces.
Another such criminal was Hasin ibn Numayr. Imam Husayn had been deprived of water since the seventh day of Muharram. On the tenth of Muharram he reached the bank of the Euphrates after fighting with the enemies and took some water in the palm of his hand to drink and quench his thirst. This despicable person suddenly shot an arrow which struck the Imam's mouth and as a consequence of this his mouth and palms were filled with blood. On observing this the wicked person laughed shamelessly and went back.
Another such sinner was Amr Sa`d. He obeyed his wicked master Ubaidullah bin Ziad and made his best efforts to carry out his orders, although he could choose not to participate in the tragedy of Karbala (because Ubaidullah had not compelled him to assume the command of the Umayyad forces but had told him that he was prepared to entrust the expedition to some other commander).
After the martyrdom of Imam Husayn and his companions Amr Sa`d made the ladies of the Prophet's family captives and made them pass by the dead bodies of the martyrs whose heads had been severed.
Amr Sa`d was the first to shoot an arrow on Imam Husayn's forces and initiate the battle. He then said to the soldiers: “Bear witness to the fact that the first arrow has been shot by me”.
Amongst these criminals was also a Syrian who pointed towards Fatima daughter of Husayn and said: “This slave-girl may please be given to me”.
Another supporter of Bani Umayyah was Muslim bin Uqbah who committed the most dreadful and abominable atrocities. Yazid sent him to Hijaz in the capacity of the commander of an army. He displayed extreme savagery there. In Madina he killed so many persons that blood began to flow in the streets of the city. He made it lawful for his soldiers to commit any unlawful act in Madina for three days.
As a consequence of this men and women were killed indiscriminately and their property was looted. The modesty of the women was outraged. Children were pulled away from the laps of their mothers and thrown on the walls so that their bones cracked and they died. Houses were razed to the ground. The descendants of the Muhajirs and the Ansar of the Prophet were not spared. During these three days seventeen hundred Muhajirs and Ansar were killed besides ten thousand other men and women.
Here we reproduce some sentences of the letter which Muslim bin Uqbah wrote to Yazid after this event. In this letter he has indulged in self-glorification on account of his achievements and has surprisingly enough associated all his crimes and atrocities to the will and determination of God. He says: “I have to inform the Commander of the Faithful - may God preserve him - that I left Damascus. The preparations which we made before departure were seen by you. Marwan bin Hakam also returned from Damascus and accompanied me. He proved to be very useful for combating our enemies. May God accord dignity to the Commander of the Faithful. Marwan behaved excellently and was so harsh with our enemies that I hope that his services will not remain unrewarded by the Imam of the Muslims and the vicegerent of God.
May God keep the supporters of the Commander of the Faithful hale and hearty! None of them was inconvenienced and none of the enemies faced them during day time. I did not offer my prayers in the Masjid of Madina until thousands of persons had been killed and their property had been freely looted. Every person who came before us was put to sword. Whoever tried to escape was pursued. He who was dying of wounds was done away with. As the Commander of the Faithful had ordered we plundered Madina for three days. I thank God who cured me of my worry when I killed the old opponents and hypocrites. Their stubbornness had exceeded all bounds and they were old rebels”.
The greatest criminal amongst the supporters of Bani Umayya was Hajjaj bin Yusuf Saqafi.
In compliance with the orders of the Umayyad caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan, Hajjaj proceeded to the Hijaz to fight against Abdullah bin Zubayr. He besieged Mecca where Abdullah had taken refuge. He threw stones and fire on Mecca by means of catapults and consequently a part of the Ka`abah was burnt. When he achieved victory he cut off the heads of many opponents of Bani Umayyah and sent them to Abdul Malik at Damascus. He severed Abdullah's head and then sent him to the gallows. Not only this but he allowed the dead body to remain on the gallows for many days.
Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, who was the mother of Abdullah was very old at that time and her son's death had grieved her much. Her eyesight had also grown weak. She came to the place where the dead body of Abdullah was hanging and said: “Has the time not yet come when this rider should dismount?”. This displeased Hajjaj much and he insulted and rebuked the poor old woman.
As a reward for this achievement Abdul Malik appointed Hajjaj as Governor of Hijaz. He then killed innumerable persons and inflicted very harsh punishments upon others. Hajjaj praised himself in these words: “I am very quarrelsome, extremely revengeful and highly jealous”. It is not possible to asses how much this man hated mankind.
After some time Abdul Malik appointed him as Governor of Iraq to suppress disturbances in that region and restore law and order. Hajjaj reached Kufa accompanied by only twelve soldiers. However, he sent one man in advance so that the people might become aware of his impending arrival. Everyone began waiting for him in the masjid. It was the month of Ramazan. While the people were expressing their displeasure and hatred on his appointment as the governor, he arrived on the scene. He was wearing a red silken turban on his head with which a large part of his face was covered, and was holding a sword and a bow in his hand. He walked on step by step silently. The gathering was also silent. Eventually he mounted the pulpit and ordered the people to be called. The people of Kufa came into the masjid.
Hajjaj kept sitting silently on the pulpit for quite some time. The people got tired of waiting and began abusing him in low tones. Some of them even picked up pebbles to throw on him. Suddenly, however, he began speaking and the pebbles fell down from the hands of the people on account of fear.
Removing his turban from his head Hajjaj said: “I am the son of a very brave and terrible person who plunged himself into dangers with closed eyes. When I remove the turban from my face you will come to know who I am. “By God I am observing the raised looks, and stubborn necks, and the heads the time for whose chopping off has arrived, and it is I who will chop them off. I can see only blood between the heads and the beards. Look here! The Commander of the Faithful (Abdul Malik bin Marwan) spread his quiver and examined its wood. Then he found me to be the most solid wood and has sent me to you”.
“O people of Iraq! I swear by God that you are the sources of rebellion and treachery; you are the people of most immoral character. I shall peel you in the same manner in which a wood is peeled and shall beat you as the alien camels are beaten. You are like the people of a village whose inhabitants were leading comfortable lives and had enough to eat and drink, and when they showed ingratitude in respect of God's bounties, He subjected them to fear and hunger. O people of Iraq! O slaves of sticks and sons of slave-girls! I am Hajjaj bin Yusuf. I swear by God that when I swear to do something I do it. Now these groups are before me. You should follow the right path for I swear by Him who controls my life that I shall make you such that everyone of you will remain busy with his own body (i.e. I shall give you such a beating that it will take you sufficient time to recover from its effects).
You should, therefore, accept justice and forsake injustice before I mete out such a treatment to you that your women should become widows and your children orphans. I swear by God that if all of you do not go and join Mohlab's army within three days I shall kill those who are found here and shall confiscate their property and demolish their houses”. These were not empty threats. He treated the people of Kufa more harshly than what he had threatened them with.
Hajjaj was an equal partner in all the heinous crimes committed by Bani Umayyah as detailed above. He killed innumerable innocent persons. He himself used to say: “The thing which I enjoyed most was bloodshed, and doing things which none else can pick up courage to do, and which have not been done by anyone earlier. (Murooj- al-Zahab Mas`udi, Vol.3, p.67).
As soon as his name is mentioned one automatically is reminded of cruelty and oppression. It appears that Hajjaj and injustice are concomitants of each other.
The historians say: After Ubaidullah ibn Ziad, - the murderer of Imam Husayn, came Hajjaj bin Yusuf. He killed the supporters of Ali one by one on mere suspicion and groundless charges. He liked it more that a person might be called an infidel and an atheist in his presence rather than a supporter of Ali. In fact in his view the infidels and atheists deserved indulgence and even presents and prizes, but the supporters of Ali were fit to be killed.
Hajjaj began his rule in this oppressive manner and was never satiated with the horrible atrocities which he indulged in.
In Kufa he conscripted the people into the army for three days and sent everyone of them to the theatre of operations. There was none who did not go to the battlefield. So much so that children who had not yet come of age were also recruited and sent to fight. In the meantime Umayr bin Zabi Hanzali came to him and said: “May God bless the Amir! I am an old man. My son is young and quite strong”. Hajjaj said: “This son will prove to be better than his father”. Then he asked: “Who are you?” Umayr replied: “I am Umayr bin Zabi Harzali”. Hajjaj said: “Are you not the same man who fought against Uthman bin Affan?” Umayr said: “Yes. I am that man”.
Hajjaj said: “O enemy of God! Why did you do so?” Umayr replied: “I did so because Uthman had imprisoned my father who was old and weak. He did not release him till he died in the prison”. Hajjaj said: “Did you not compose this verse: “I wished to kill him but I did not. O that I had done so, so that Uthman's wives might have mourned his death”. Then he added: “I think the two cities namely Basra and Kufa will benefit, if you are killed. Your excuse is quite clear and your senility is evident. However, I am afraid that if I spare you others may also have the courage of disobeying my orders”.
He was then beheaded in accordance with the orders of Hajjaj, his property was looted and his house was razed to the ground.
Hajjaj appointed Abdur Rahman bin Ubayd Tamimi, who was a very harsh person, to serve as his deputy in Kufa. When he was satisfied with the conditions prevailing in Kufa he proceeded to Basra. At Basra great opposition prevailed against Bani Umayyad dynasty and the city was in a riotous condition. There he delivered a speech and abused the people of Basra very much. He also threatened them in the same manner in which he had threatened the people of Kufa. He told them that if they did not join Mohlab's army within three days they would be punished severely.
When he descended the pulpit it so happened that an old man named Sharik bin Amr Yashkari who was one-eyed and was suffering from hernia came to him and said: “May God bless the Amir! I am a patient of hernia. Bushr bin Marwan, the brother of the caliph and the former Governor of Basra, had also excused me from military service”. Hajjaj said: “I think you are speaking the truth”. However, immediately after saying this he ordered his head to be chopped off. The result was that every young and old man of Basra joined Mohlab's army.
One day this very Hajjaj was taking his meals and some associates of his were also present at his dining table. In the meantime the policemen brought a man and said that he was disobedient. The man was trembling with fear. He said to Hajjaj: “For God's sake do not take my life. I swear by God that I have never borrowed money from anyone nor have I joined any army. I am a weaver and I was arrested and brought here while I was at my loom”. Hajjaj ordered the man to be beheaded at once. When the poor man saw the sword he prostrated himself and his head was severed while he was in that posture.
Hajjaj continued eating as if nothing had happened. However, his associates stopped eating. They were astonished to see this cruelty. Hajjaj got annoyed and said. “What has happened to yon? Why has the colour of your faces changed and why have the morsels of food fallen from your hands? Is it because one single person has been killed? A disobedient person sets an example for others to disobey. The ruler is entitled to kill him or spare him''.
According to Hajjaj the people of Kufa and Basra could be brought to their senses only when they were subjected to tyranny and cruelty of this kind.
What we have mentioned here is only a very brief account of the atrocities committed by him, otherwise a voluminous book is needed to record his cruel acts and the murders which he committed in different ways.
Ibn Jarood revolted against the cruelty and oppression of Hajjaj but the revolt did not succeed and Hajjaj was victorious. He cut off the heads of a large number of the rebels and sent them to Mohlab asking him to display them extensively so that those who might be thinking of rebellion might ponder over the consequence of such an act.
Then he conscripted hundreds of thousands of the people of Kufa and Basra to fight against the enemies of Bani Ummayyah. By doing so he wanted to take revenge on the followers of Ali, and at the same times he used those soldiers to serve his own interests. As a consequence of this there was not a single young man left in those two cities who was not compelled to meet death. They were killed either at the hands of Hajjaj or with the swords of his enemies.
The people of Iraq revolted against Hajjaj time and again but these revolts were weak and the rebels were soon overpowered by Hajjaj and became target of his indignation. Most of them were killed, their houses were set on fire, and their properties were confiscated. Hundereds of people were put to death evcrvday. The men and women who were imprisoned in the prisons of Iraq were subjected to extreme torture and awaited their turn to be killed. If Hajjaj or his soldiers did not find time to do away with them they died of hunger.
The people were spending their days in great distress.Their condition became worse when Hajjaj was victorious in the Battles of Zawiah and Dayr Jamajam. As a consequence of the Battle of Zawiah in which Hajjaj was victorious and Muhammad bin Ash'ath was defeated he captured eleven thousand Iraqis. In the first instance he promised that their lives would be spared, but, when thev surrendered their arms, he beheaded all of them. As a result of the Battle of Dayr Jamajam the Iraqis were completely vanquished. Besides there being shortage of food plague also broke out. All the rebels were captured by Hajjaj and he did not spare even one of them.
Even after all this widespread destruction, havoc, and loot, Kufa and Basra did not enjoy peace. Hajiaj continued to harass them and the number of those killed increased day after day. Before killing them he wildly insulted and humiliated them and ridiculed their views and beliefs. Just as his slaughtering the people knew no bounds, his insulting and humiliating them also was at its extreme, so much so that whenever people met in the masjids and bazars they did not talk of anything except that such and such person was killed the other day, such and such would be sent to gallows that day, and how someone was maltreated before his being put to death.The well-known sentence of Hajjaj: “Soldier! Chop off his head” was common talk of the town in Iraq.
He had such a spite against the Shi'a of Ali that he killed those persons who bore the names of anv of the members of the Family of Abu Talib) (e.g. Ali, Husayn) Many persons came and offered excuse for their names.
It is said that a man came before him and said: “O Amir! My parents have been very unjust to me. They named me Ali, although I am a poor and helpless man and need your kindness and assisstance”.
In short the cruelty of Hajjaj had become proverbial and the supporters of Ali were his special target. When those who were killed in compliance with his orders were counted, it transpired that they numbered 120 thousand. At the time of his death fifty thousand men and thirty thousand women were in prisons.
However, the Umayyad caliph - Abdul Malik bin Marwan made this recommendation to his sons: “Honour Hajjaj, because it is he who has trampled upon the pulpits, destroyed the cities and subjugated the enemies for your sake”. This recommendation was fully acted upon. After Abdul Malik's death his son Walid allowed Hajjaj to continue as Governor of Kufa, Basra and the eastern regions.
Before ending this chapter it seems necessary to mention an extremely tragic event. This event shows apparently the traits and characteristics of Bani Umayyah and the descendants of Abu Talib and of their respective supporters. If on the one hand it displays the greatness and dignity of the supporters of Ali it manifests on the other hand the meanness and wickedness of Bani Umayyah.
Briefly the story is this: Hujr bin Adi Kandi was a sincere devotee of Ali. When Imam Hasan was obliged to make peace with Mu`awiya Hujr also along with others took oath of allegiance. But this did not make him forsake his love for Ali, and express hatred for him. Rather he wished to follow in the footsteps of Ali. He wanted his character to be a specimen of Ali's character.
Hujr was was a very sincere and upright person. He liked peace and hated fighting and conflict. He whole- heartedly supported social justice. He did not consider authority to be anything other than a source of public service. In all these matters his views were the same as those of Ali. If a ruler helped the people he supported him, but otherwise he was his sworn enemy. Hence it was natural that he should not like Bani Umayyah abusing Ali from the pulpits and should openly express his resentment against this practice even though he might have to suffer hardships at the hands of the ruler of the day.
History says that once Mughayrah bin Sho`ba, the Governor of Kufa abused Ali from the pulpit. Hujr bin Adi rose to his feet and said loudly: “What is all this extravagant talk. Pay us the stipends which you are withholding. The money is not for you, and the previous governors never coveted it. You abuse the Commander of the Faithful and praise and eulogize the criminals. Many other persons supported Hujr and consequently Mughira had to descend the pulpit without finishing his speech. Hujr continued to criticize Bani Umayyah and did not sit quiet as and when he saw the religious laws being infringed.
In the meantime Mughayrah died and was succeeded by Ziad bin Sumayyah. At one time Ziad and Hujr were friends, but their friendship came to an end on account of an incident. It so happened that a Muslim Arab killed a Zimmi unbeliever. The case came before Ziad who decided that the Muslim need not be punished for the crime but should pay blood-money. The heirs of the Zimmi declined to take blood money. Their stand was that:
• In Islam all the people are the family of God.
• Every human being is the brother of another human being whether he likes it or not.
• No Arab is superior to a non-Arab. It is only piety and doing good which can make one superior to others.
Hujr believed in the justice which Imam Ali had made his motto and for the sake of which he laid down his life. He, therefore, disliked Ziad's decision. He could not keep silent. He insisted that in the matter of retaliation the Muslims and the non-Muslims were equal. Many other Muslims lent support to Hujr. Ziad and his men feared that a disturbance might take place. Ziad, therefore, ordered reluctantly that the criminal might be awarded punishment. Thereafter he wrote to Mu`awiya complaining about the conduct of Hujr and his companions. Mu`awiya advised Ziad to watch the activities of Hujr and his companions so that he might find something done by them which might serve as a proof against them. From that time onwards the differences between the two parties increased.
Ziad sent some residents of Kufa to Hujr so that they might advise him to refrain from his activities. They came back after meeting Hujr and said that he was adamant in his views. Ziad then summoned Hujr but he declined to come. Eventually Ziad deputed a police-officer to arrest Hujr. A fight however took place between Hujr and the police-party, and Hujr went underground. Ziad was very much annoyed.
He called Muhammad bin Ash`ath bin Qais who was a supporter of Hujr and a distinguished personality of the Kandi tribe and threatened him that if he did not bring Hujr he would put him into prison, and his hands and feet would be cut off and he would be executed. Hujr did not like that another person should suffer on account of him. He, therefore, came before Ziad but before doing so he obtained an undertaking from him that he would not molest him but would instead send him to Mu`awiya with whom he would settle the affair himself.
However, as soon as Hujr came he was arrested and thrown into the prison. Thereafter a search was made for his supporters. After some bloodshed some of them were arrested and also put into the prison.
Ziad then called the people of Kufa and asked them to give evidence against these persons and threatened them. Some of them however deposed that Hujr and his friends loved Ali and none else, and they criticized Uthman and abused Mu`awiyah. Ziad was not satisfied with what they said because he required some decisive evidence. In the meantime Abu Burdah bin Abu Musa Ash`ari prepared an evidence deed against Hujr: “This is the evidence which Abu Burdah son of Abu Musa Ash`ari has given for the sake of God. He deposes that Hujr and his companions have ceased to be obedient and have left the paty. They have ceased to have any affinity with the caliphate of Mu`awiya and have decided to start fighting once again”.
When Abu Burdah finished writing the deed, Ziad asked the people of Kufa to affix their signatures on it. About seventy persons signed it. Ziad fraudulently wrote on it the names of some such persons who were neither present at that time nor had affixed their signatures. One of them was the Judge Shurayh. He at once sent a message to Mu`awiya dissociating himself from the evidence deed and said in clear terms: “I testify that Hujr is a pious person and is one of the distinguished personalities of the age”.
Hujr and his friends were then taken to Mu`awiya. Ziad's letter and the evidence deed also reached him. He read out the two documents before the people. Thereupon some persons advised him to imprison the persons concerned. Others suggested that they might be kept in different cities of Syria and might not be allowed to go back to Iraq. Mu`awiya corresponded with Ziad on the subject. He replied: “If you want to keep Iraq in your hands you should not let them come back here”.
After a few days Mu`awiya sent a man to Hujr and his companions and offered that if they dissociated themselves from Ali and abused him and praised Uthman, their lives would be spared, but those who declined to do so would be killed”.
Hujr and his friends turned down the offer and were consequently put to death. This tragic story is also recorded in all the history books. It shows the loftiness of character, the steadfastness ot these brave men, for they could see their graves with their own eyes and the swords hanging on their heads and yet they could not for a moment forsake their love for Ali. What Mu`awiya and his men had done in their case was that they had dug a grave in front of each of them so that whoever declined to show disgust against Ali might be beheaded and thrown down into the grave.
Some historians have also stated with regard to these persons that two of Hujr's companions were terrified when they saw the swords and the graves and asked Mu`awiya's guards to take them to the caliph, saying that they had no difference with Mu`awiya about Ali and Uthman. They were, therefore, taken to Mu`awiya. One of them expressed hatred against Ali outwardly, but the other praised Ali and his companions, abused Mu`awiya and his supporters and said extremely harsh words about Uthman,which Mu`awiya could not tolerate. He ordered the man to be sent back to Ziad with instructions that he should be killed in a manner in which none had ever been killed in the Muslim world till that time. Ziad buried him alive.
It is said that when Hujr was going to be killed he uttered only this sentence: “There is God between us and these Muslims. The Iraqis gave evidence against us and the Syrians killed us”.
There is no doubt about the fact that the example of despotic and dictatorial rule set by the Umayyads dynasty and the atrocities committed by them were unparalleled and the lives of Ali and his descendants were on the other hand the best specimens of purity of intellect and action, and of democracy. They did not exploit the people like the Umayyads but considered the produce of the land to be the right of common men rather than that of the rich and the influential persons.
The nature of the followers and supporters of Bani Umayyah had a sharp contrast with that of the descendants and followers of Ali. The worldly-minded influential persons, therefore, inclined towards Bani Umayyah for the sake of material gains and the common people also became their adherents in large numbers. This happened because at that time the people did not assess the moral values and did not understand what would be beneficial for them in future and what would be harmful to them. They, therefore, thought of immediate gains and did not realize what sort of people they were supporting. And when they did realize it the time had already passed and it was too late.
On the other hand the persons whose nature, morals and ways and manners resembled those of Ali and his descendants, inclined towards them, and remained steadfast on the path of truth. They were subjected to severe persecution and torture by Bani Umayyah and their supporters but they never wavered or faltered. Following the example of their Imam, the Commander of the Faithful Ali, they laid down their lives but did not tolerate the extinction of social justice.
Just as the supporters and friends of Ali and his descendants became virtuous and acquired the high qualities of magnanimity, mercy and piety, in the same manner the followers of Bani Umayyah became the victims of vices like egotism, obstinacy, oppression and exploitation.
It will be better if we mention once again the views expressed by some Arab writers without commenting on them because what we have said in this chapter completely refutes their idle talk. Out of these Arab writers we may take Muhammad Kurd Ali and what has been stated by him about the importance and greatness of Bani Umayyah may be treated as a specimen of the praises showered upon them by others.
Praising Mu`awiya and his blood thirsty army officers who committed innumerable atrocities as detailed in the foregoing pages Muhammad Kurd Ali says in his book entitled “Al-Islam wa al-Hazarat al-Arabiyah”: “The most important action which Mu`awiya took was that he increased the salaries of the army and due to his good luck he also acquired the support of some very efficient persons like Ziad bin Abih, Mughira bin Sho`ba, Zuhhak bin Qais, Muslim bin Uqbah, Busr bin Artat etc”.
Praising these bloodthirsty persons Kurd said that they were very efficient and great personalities of the country although it was necessary for him to explain that Islam has nothing to do with such tyrants and oppressors and all civilized people, whether Arabs or non-Arabs, hate such cruel persons.
It is very surprising that Muhammad Kurd Ali does not feel the prick of conscience while writing such things, nor does he do justice with those living in the 20th century by falsifying historical facts. He also fails to remember that earlier he himself has written in his book: “During the days of Mu`awiya a pious person was asked: “In what condition have you left the people?” He replied: “I have left them in two conditions - the oppressed who do not get justice and the oppressors who are not tired of injustice”.