What the Sunni Scholars Have Said
We begin with what Sheikh Abdallah Saleh Farsy says in his book, Maisha ya Sayyidnal Husayn (Biography of Sayyidna Husayn), on page 40: “As we saw earlier, Yazid’s succession was established by force and contrary to the wishes of the people.” What needs to be asked is: Is it possible that although his succession was “by force”, he himself is exculpable? Is it permissible in Islam for one to rule over Muslims as Amirul–mu’minin on the basis of force and “contrary to the wishes of the people”?
Similar statements have been made by Sheikh Muhammad Abduh. In his exegesis of the Holy Quran, known as Tafsirul Manaar, commenting on Chapter 5: 36-37 (p.367, Volume Six), this Sheikh brands Yazid as “an oppressive and tyrannical leader, who conducted the affairs of Muslims with force and deceit.” Does he deserve to be addressed as Amirul Muminiin?
Our third source is Allaamah Shawkaani who, in his book on the Traditions of the Prophet, called Naylul Awtwaar (in Chapter Seven, page 362) characterizes Yazid as “pathological drunkard, and violator of the sanctified ordinances.” Yet he is Amirul Mu’minin of the Wahabis!
Our fourth source is Abul Hasan Ali bin Muhammad Bin Ali Al Twabarii, a famous Shaafi’i scholar, who, when asked about Yazid, among other things, called him “a notorious drunkard whose poetry in praise of liquor was of public knowledge.” This has been extracted from page 287 of Chapter Three of Ibn Khalikaan’s Wafayaatul A’yaan.
Fifthly, Ibn Hazm, on page 98 of Chapter Eleven of his book, Al Muhallaa, has categorized Yazid bin Muawiya with those “who were secularist”, the thrust of whose policy was “oppressive and devoid of any legitimacy..” Can such a person claim the title of Amirul Mu’minin?
The sixth source is Abul Falaah Abdul Hayy Ibnul Imaad, who is an eminent Hanbali scholar and who, on page 69 of Chapter Three of his famous book, Shadharaatudh Dhahab, quotes another famous scholar, Imam Dhahabi, to have said: “Yazid was hateful of Imam Ali a. s., arrogant, insolent, wine-bibber and sinful. He initiated his kingship by murdering Husayn, and he sealed it with the incident of Harra. People hated him and he was not graced with a long life.” The incident of Harra here refers to the sacking of Madina, explained by us on page 14.
Do you still think it appropriate to call Amirul Mu’minin that person who initiated his kingdom by murdering the grandson of the Prophet (S), and crowned it with the sacking of the Prophet’s city, and violating the sanctity of not less than one thousand women (of the city) by impregnating them through raping? We ask the Wahabis: What Islamic justifications do you have to back your claim?
Our seventh source is Ibn Kathir who is regarded as an authority by the Wahabis. On pages 235-236 of Chapter Four of his Al Bidaaya Wan Nihaaya, he enlists what have been confirmed about Yazid. Amongst these are that “Yazid was notorious for his love of music and liquors… his illicit friendship with singing boys and girls… There was not a single day that he woke up not intoxicated…”
Before that, on page 216 of the above mentioned Chapter and book, Ibn Kathir writes about the delegation, “comprising three citizens of Madina”, going to Yazid. He says: “When they returned to Madina, they made public their grave findings pertaining to Yazid’s perversities. They said: ‘We are returning from that person who is irreligious, who is a wine-bibber and who is surrounded by singing girls, entertaining him with music…”’. He also writes about the comments made by the Head of this delegation, Mundhir bin Zubair, upon his return from Basra, where he had gone to meet his friend, the governor (Ubaidillaah bin Ziyaad), namely that Yazid “consumes so much intoxicants that he misses prayers!”
There we are! When such is the case with Yazid, then what kind of a Muslim will take pride in having him as his Amirul Mu’minin? Let the Wahabis, who distributed the pamphlet calling Yazid Amirul Mu’minin, thank their stars for not having lived during the reign of Umar bin Abdul Aziz. Or else, they would have got the best of what they deserve! This Caliph was from the same clan as Yazid; nonetheless, he flogged 20 lashes that individual who addressed Yazid as Amirul Mu’minin! Those who want to verify this may turn to page 69 of Chapter Three of Shadharaatudh Dhahab.