Friday, 27 February 2009

Life of Husain 3


[Full Text]



Research and Analysis

By: Allamah Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi [IRAN 2007]


(page 303)

# Period of Imam Amirul Momineen Ali - Part 1

The revolution against Uthman established a great victory for the Muslims. Because it ended the profiteering and playing with the destinies of the people and it destroyed social deceit and oppression and it demolished the throne of the despotic regime. It created for the community an important thing, which was awaited for the establishment of justice, prosperity and security.

That uprising kept in view the matters for shaping the future of the nation. Of them the most important was the selection of His Eminence, Amirul Momineen Ali for the post of rulership. Historians say that the revolutionaries and other armed forces gathered around the Imam and raised slogans for his long life and they pleaded, “Except you, there is no Imam for us.”

People of various classes realized that this was the Imam who would fulfill their aims and aspirations and restore their honor and only in the shade of his rule would they achieve freedom, equality and justice. Therefore they insisted on his selection and to hand over the reins of power to His Eminence.

Disinclination and Silence of Imam

The Imam, with disapproval and silence and dissatisfaction for caliphate faced the revolutionaries because he was aware of the terrible circumstances he would have to face in event of his acceptance of caliphate. From the aspect that the covetous groups that Uthman’s regime had created, they made misappropriation as their morsel and had made greed and selfishness as their dress. They would stand up against His Eminence and in confronting him become an obstacle in carrying out his political program for the establishment of justice and eradication of oppression.

Imam announced in a loud voice to those who had gathered around him that he was absolutely not inclined to accept the caliphate. He said,

“I have no need of your offer. You may select whomsoever you like and I shall accept him…”

The Imam had no need of their caliphate because he had no concern to obtain anything for himself or his relatives. Rather he wanted to fulfill the aims of nation and rejuvenation of Islam to its natural path.

The milling crowd insisted that His Eminence accept their selection and they said, “We shall not accept anyone other than you…”

Imam paid no heed to them and remained firm on his disinclination and rejection. However the revolutionaries could not see anyone, except the Imam, suitable for administering the affairs of the community, as all the qualities of leadership were present in him. He was such that he had steadfastness on the path of truth and had the capability to bear the responsibility. On the basis of this view of theirs they were clamoring for the nomination of His Eminence for caliphate.


Conference of the Armed Forces

Before the Imam rejected their proposal, the armed forces held a special meeting to study the dangerous events that would befall due to the lack of an Imam in the community and they took the decision to summon the people of Medina and decided that if they do not select an Imam for the Muslims they must be threatened by violence. When they presented themselves they told them:

“You are the people of consensus committee and you appoint Imams and your choice is binding on the people. Thus find a person whom you can select and we shall follow you. We give you respite for today, that by Allah, if you don’t do it we shall kill Ali, Talha and Zubair as many people shall be sacrificed for this matter…”[1]

Medinites became anxious, a terror filled their hearts and they became aggravated. So they rushed to the Holy Imam while they were pleading, “Allegiance! Allegiance!… Don’t you see what has befallen Islam and what calamity has come on us at the hands of rustic elements?

Imam emphatically reiterated his refusal and said, “Leave me alone and find someone else…”

And he informed them of the terrible circumstances that would develop in event of his acceptance of caliphate and he said, “O people, I am facing some matters, which have some causes and conditions, that neither can the heart remain firm on it nor the intellects shall be steadfast on it…”[2]

However the great multitude did not pay any heed to His Eminence and they surrounded him from all sides and cried, “O Amirul Momineen Ali! Amirul Momineen Ali!”[3]

People’s insistence on His Eminence and their pressure on him increased and he clearly explained the reality of the matter so that they may become perfectly aware of it. Then he said, “If I accept your proposal I shall lead you the way I want but if you leave me alone I am like one of you. Indeed, I shall be most heedful and obedient of one you select for yourself…”

More and more people crowded around the Imam and collected from all sides and implored him to accept the caliphate. His Eminence has described their petitioning and requests in these words: “I saw that people swamped me from all sides like the hair on shoulders,[4] such that Hasan and Husain were crushed and my sides were injured and they gathered around me like a herd of sheep…”

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/192
[2] Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/181
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/7
[4] ‘YaalKiftaar’ = Thick hair that grow on the neck, used as idiom


Imam’s Acceptance

Imam had no option but to accept the caliphate from the risk that the evil of Umayyads may beset the community. Regarding this he says, “By Allah, I did not step towards it [caliphate] but for the fear that a goat of Bani Umayyah may jump on the nation and make the Book of Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime, a plaything…”[1]

Necessity and concern for Islam called His Eminence to the acceptance of caliphate. A caliphate, which was not aimed at anything but the establishment of truth and destruction of falsehood because the son of Abu Talib was that standard bearer of justice in Islam, not an aspirant for rulership and power and neither from those who wanted to secure personal gains from rulership. He was the child of revelation who in all the stages of his life preferred piety to material things and maintained distance from every worldly need.


People congregated in the great Masjid waiting impatiently that may be the Imam would accept their demand.

The Imam came forward surrounded by the surviving pure companions of the Prophet and faced the waves of slogans in his support, which showed their heartfelt longing that he accepts the leadership of Muslims. Imam ascended the pulpit and addressed the huge gathering as follows:

“O people, this matter of yours, no one has any right in it but that you may have given him authority. And when yesterday we separated from you in the condition that we had no desire for your caliphate but you did not accept except that I should be the ruler on you. However, I have no right that I should take even a single dirham against you. Thus if you like I shall accept your responsibility otherwise I shall not question anyone about it.”

Imam clarified his economic policy before the people because he used to be extremely careful regarding public wealth. He did not reserve anything for his own self and he never took single dirham for his personal needs or his special expenses. And His Eminence indicated to those who had dived in the Central Treasury when the previous government was overthrown they plundered and appropriated it for themselves that they should know that if the Imam takes over the caliphate those people shall be deprived of that wealth and they shall be considered equal to all other people of the community and wealth shall be returned to the people as Allah wills and not as per the wish and will of the rulers.

Slogans arose around the Masjid that announced their complete insistence on the selection of His Eminence and they said in a united voice, “We are just as we were when we separated from you yesterday…”

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf Vol. 1, Pg. 157


At that time waves of crowds fell towards the Imam to pay the oath of fealty and Talha – who very soon broke the pledge of God – came forward and gave oath with his crippled hand. The Imam had a feeling of dissatisfaction in his heart and he said, “Very soon he would break his pledge.”[1]

People were paying allegiance to the Imam in this manner and they were actually paying allegiance to Allah and His Messenger. The armed forces from Egypt and Iraq also paid allegiance to His Eminence and Arabs from provinces, Badr veterans, Emigrants and Helpers, all of them paid the oath of allegiance to His Eminence. None of the caliphs had ever received such a universal allegiance and happiness and gaiety had surrounded the people. The Imam has described their joy and celebrations in the following words:

“The joy of the people for their allegiance was to such an extent that even their children were overjoyed and their elders rushed to it and their ailing ones bore discomfort to reach it and women stepped out of their homes for it.”

Muslims were overjoyed due to this allegiance because their aims were to be fulfilled and they shall regain their honor and status that they anticipated. The oath of allegiance was given to His Eminence on Saturday the 11th night of Zilhajj in 35 A.H.[2]

Senior companions appeared before the great gathering of the people and expressed their full support to the Imam’s government and we have described in detail in our book, Life of Imam Hasan. And also in that book we have explained the arrival of delegations from different provinces to participate in the celebrations of Muslims and their pledge of support to the allegiance of Imam.

Sanitizing of Government Machinery

The first step that the Imam initiated immediately after taking over the caliphate was to dismiss the governors of Uthman who were utilizing the government machinery for their selfish gains and who had through embezzlement of public treasuries amassed a lot of wealth. His Eminence dismissed Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan. Historians say that some of the sincere advisors of the Imam suggested to him to allow Muawiyah to continue for some time till the Imam’s government becomes established and then depose him later on. However the Imam refused to do so and he announced that it was a fraud in religion. It was such a thing that the conscience of the Imam was not prepared to accept. That he should follow a path that is remote from truth. And if he had left him on his post even for a moment it would have denoted that he had expressed his acknowledgement of Muawiyah’s justice and ability.

During his period of rulership the Imam resorted to extreme care and precaution and on the basis of this he kept away from every kind of political diplomacy that was based on deceit and fraud.

[1] Hayatul Imam Hasan 1/376 (Third Edition)
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/22


Nationalization of Embezzled wealth

The standard bearer of Islamic justice in order to establish the rule of God in all corners of the Islamic kingdom and to hoist the flag of truth issued an absolute command to base it on the nationalization of the embezzled wealth that the former regime had plundered. Applying this law the Imam confiscated all the property that Uthman had appropriated for himself or given to his relatives, even if it were a sword or a coat of mail, it was restored to the Public Treasury and in this way the game governors and officials played with the destiny of the nation was destroyed.

Bani Umayyah were terribly worried and they began to criticize the Imam. Walid bin Uqbah denounced the Bani Hashim saying,

“O Bani Hashim retract the weapons of the son of your sister and do not plunder it as its plunder would not be lawful.

O Bani Hashim! How can peace be there among us when our horses and our clothes are with Ali?

O Bani Hashim, how can we befriend you when the clothes and armor of Uthman are with you?

O Bani Hashim! You do not return it; the killers and plunderers shall be same in our view.

O Bani Hashim! We are in front of what you have done like the crack in the stone, as the crack does not get the one who has made the crack.

You killed our brother so that you may occupy his position. Like border soldiers of Kisra had one day committed fraud on him.”

The above couplets well describe the animosity and hatred of the Umayyads against the Imam because they believed that it was the Holy Imam himself who had instigated the uprising against Uthman that resulted in Uthman’s dethroning. The Bani Umayyah demanded the Hashemites to return Uthman’s sword, armor and his other belongings that the Imam’s government had confiscated and these couplets became popular and they were recited in gatherings and assemblies and memorized. Abdullah Abu Sufyan bin Harith has replied to this also in form of couplets, some of which are as follows:

“Do not demand your sword from us as your sword is destroyed and its owner had thrown it away in fear.

You have compared him to Kisra, well he was really Kisra in his behavior as well as his opulence.”[1]

This poet has criticized the personality of Uthman and shown him to be indolent because in the moment of fear when the revolutionaries attacked him, he did not defend himself by it and he did not take any step for his defense and support. Rather he surrendered himself to the swords of the revolutionaries and only then was he cut up into pieces.

[1] Hayatul Imam Hasan 1/385 (Second Edition)


Quraishites Panic

The Quraish tribes went into panic and they began to worry because they were sure that the Imam would definitely confiscate all the wealth that Uthman has wrongly bestowed on them. Amr bin Aas wrote a letter to Muawiyah saying, “Do what you like, while the son of Abu Talib would deprive you of everything you have, like a stick is shaved (peeled off)…”[1]

The Quraish feared the loss of their wealth and they were fearful of losing their power and position. Because they well knew the Holy Imam and his program, which was aimed to establish truth and justice and the eradication of unlawful inequalities that they shall be dealt with like common people. Therefore they became deeply hateful and inimical to the government of His Eminence. Ibn Abil Hadid has described the level of their panic and aggravation in the following way:

“They were in such a condition that if on the day of the passing away of his cousin the caliphate had come to his hand and whatever was in his heart was expressed the contemporaries of Quraish, the youths and elders who had not seen his actions and had not witnessed his effect on their predecessors and not seen him perform such feats; if their predecessors had tried, they would have remained deficient in such things.”[2]

Jealousy was consuming the hearts of Quraish and hatred was shattering their intellects and they hastened forward in announcing disobedience and rebellion against the kingdom of the Holy Imam. We shall discuss this in detail in the coming chapters.

Afflictions of the Holy Imam

Imam bore hardships at the hands of the Quraishite clans and he had to face different types of troubles and problems in all stages of his life. His Eminence says, “Quraish frightened me in my childhood and bore enmity to me in my maturity till the Almighty Allah recalled His Prophet. At that time the great tragedy occurred. And the Almighty Allah, on the basis of what you say, is the giver of succor.”[3]

Imam in his letter to his brother Aqil writes about their confronting him in battle after battle like they had confronted the Messenger of Allah. His Eminence says, “Leave the Quraish in misguidance and may they remain in destruction and continue to wander, because before this they had gathered to confront the Messenger of Allah in battle. Those who reward may reward the Quraish in my place and they have cut off mercy from me and wrongfully taken away the power of my brother…”[4]

Imam did not worry about them. He continued to advance his just politics so

[1] Al-Ghadeer 8/288
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/108
[4] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 16/148


that the aspirations of the community could be realized in establishment of social justice. His Eminence decided to confront them like they were confronting him. And if they disobeyed and did injustice he would deal with them with an iron hand and they shall be put to death. His Eminence says, “What do I have to do with Quraish. I killed them when they were infidels and if they continue to remain with falsehood I would kill them yet again. By Allah, I would split the falsehood so that truth becomes apparent besides it. So tell the Quraishites that they may begin to scream.”[1]

Quraish tried to put out the light of God and to destroy Islamic principles with all their powers to battle the Imam and to bring down his government just as previously they had endeavored to confront the Messenger of Allah and to annihilate the message of Islam.

Policies of the Holy Imam

I don’t know of any political ruler or social reformer who had made justice with all its depth and meanings as the basis of his mission in the way that Imam Amirul Momineen Ali had acted. Because His Eminence based his government on pure truth and absolute justice. He paid utmost regard for the restoration of the rights of the deprived classes inspite of the opposition he had to face from different communities and their trustworthiness. O Bani Hashim, before what you have done we are like the crack of a rock, that the crack does not get the one who has made it. And he put himself into hardships in order to spread different kinds of justices and equalities. Because His Eminence used to keep an eye on every department of his government and used to be concerned for all the affairs of the people and regarding the deprived and the weak classes in all the provinces of the kingdom spread he was very much caring and due to this he used to be with them with his
coarse dress and difficult life. And therefore he fasted the days and even remained hungry at night that maybe in Hijaz or Yamamah there was someone who had nothing to eat and no hope of satiation. And it was due to this that he bore hardships and denied himself all the pleasures of life and made himself used to hardships and discomforts and he used his brilliant thoughts and a living consciousness for the welfare of people and spreading of prosperity…it is an indication that helps in understanding the policy of His Eminence.

Economic Policy of Imam Ali

The economic policy followed by the Holy Imam was a continuation of the policy of the Holy Prophet. It was aimed at imparting a comfortable economical life and progress in life of the common people in all the provinces of the kingdom and thus he accorded great importance to it. So that not a single destitute or needful person remains and this work took the shape of equitable distribution of wealth of the country among all the classes of people. The salient features of that economic policy were as follows:

[1] Hayatul Imam Hasan 1/382


1 – Equality in distribution of allowances in which no one had any sort of precedence and preference. All were considered equal. The Muhajir had no precedence over the Ansar and neither any preference was accorded to the family of the Prophet and his wives over others. Nor was there any superiority for an Arab oven a non-Arab. According to the unanimity of historians the Imam fulfilled these things with absolute care and precaution and he established equality in distributing shares to the Muslims and he did not give preference to one community over other. So much so that a Quraishite lady came from Hijaz to demand her allowance. Before she could reach His Eminence she saw an old Iranian lady who resided in Kufa and she asked her the quantum of her allowance and found that her share was equal to her own share. So she brought her along to His Eminence and complained, “Is it justice that I and this Persian maid are considered equal?”

Imam glanced at her and then picked a handful of dust and turning it in his hand looked at her saying, “No part of this dust is superior to another.” Then he recited the words of the Almighty: “Surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty)…”[1]

This equitable distribution angered the wealthy people of Quraish and others and they expressed their fury to the Imam and some of the companions of His Eminence came to him and asked him to change his policy. However His Eminence replied to them:

“Do you want me to achieve success by oppressing the weak? By Allah, till the time those who remain awake at night narrating stories and till the stars shine on the sky, I would not do this. Even if that were my own wealth I would have acted with equity. Then how could it be while it belongs to Allah? Indeed, wrongful distribution of wealth is excess and squandering which gives its owner a respectable position in the world but degrades him in the Hereafter. He becomes honorable in the view of the people but makes one humiliated before God…”[2]

Imam’s aim in his economic policy was the creation of a society in which amassing of wealth does not cause rebellion and there are no economic disasters in it. And that the society does not have to face any type of deprivation or hardship in earning its livelihood.

This luminous policy which was rooted in reality and teachings of Islam caused the rival powers to take a stand against Islam so that they may spread chaos and discord in the town and in this way they tried to bring down the Imam’s government…

Madayni believes that the most important cause of reluctance of Arabs in supporting the Imam was that His Eminence was acting upon actual equitability

[1] Surah Hujurat 49:13
[2] Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/76


and in giving allegiance he did not give any preference to any noble and did not give any precedence to any Arab or a non-Arab.[1]

The nose of those tyrants had become swollen due to the Imam’s policy, a policy that had removed the obstacles, destroyed the class system and imposed equality among all the children of Islam not only in the matter of allowance but in all rights and duties.

2 – Spending for progress in economic life; starting of agricultural projects and steps to increase the output of farms that were pillars of general economy of the poor people of that time the Imam in his letter to Malik Ashtar emphasizes the development of land before he should collect taxes from them. Such that His Eminence says, “And your view in developing the land is more than taxing the land because it cannot be achieved without spending and whoever taxes without spending upon it destroys the lands and farms and this would not go on much longer.”[2]

The most important thing that the Imam considered in his economic policy was increasing personal income and spreading prosperity and comfort in such a way that it included all the provinces of the world of Islam. The letters of the Imam to his governors pointed out this part because His Eminence has stressed on the necessity of spending in the path of development of general economy so that no sign of poverty and deprivation remains in the country.

3 – He did not reserve anything from the wealth of the nation for himself. The Imam was absolutely careful in this regard and exercised extreme precaution and Islamic sources have recorded numerous examples that prove this precaution of Imam. Of them is the incident when his brother, Aqil approached him asking for money to make his life comfortable.

Imam told him, “Whatever is in the Public Treasury belongs to the Muslims. No one has a right to take more or less from it. If he gives a thing more from it he has breached the trust.” However Aqil did not understand this matter and he continued to beseech the Imam and tried his best to get his demands fulfilled. So Imam heated a piece of iron and brought it near Aqil. It was so near that it nearly scorched him and he screamed out aloud. When he regained his senses he decided to join Muawiyah so that he may gain from the wealth he had accumulated by embezzling the Muslims.

Historians are unanimous that Imam himself bore many difficulties and hardships but neither he himself nor the people of his family profited from the public wealth and he did not reserve anything for himself till the greedy people began to desert him and encouraged one another among themselves.

[1] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/180
[2] Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 3/96


Khalid bin Moammar Awasi told Alba bin Haitham a companion of Ali: “O Alba! Fear Allah with regard to your family and think about yourself and your family. Whom have you reposed faith in? In the person you asked to increase few dirhams in the allowance of Hasan and Husain and he refused to do it and became angry at it…?”[1]

No matter how much justice the world practices it cannot create a system as equitable as the one Imam had established. This was so because he was aware of the reality of life and he did not separate from practices. And more than anything else he followed equitability in distribution, spreading prosperity for all and in eradicating needfulness and deprivation.

Yes! The economic policy that the Imam brought into force was very detestable to the powers that had deviated from Islam and they became aloof from the Imam and Ahle Bayt and they joined the forces of Umayyads so that they may arrange for them the plunder, looting, cheating people and playing with the economy of the nation…this was the reason that the military officers rushed to fight against the beloved one of the Messenger of Allah from among the affluent personages by Amr bin Hareeth, Shabt bin Rabia and Hijar bin Abjar and others because the Umayyad regimes had given them exceeding wealth and they hastened to fight the Imam in order to protect their interests and to save their property that they had acquired through unlawful means. Because they knew that if Imam Husain succeeds in defeating the Umayyads and comes to power he would not deviate from the policy of his revered father and they would lose all the bestowals and gifts given to them by the
Umayyad regimes. We shall discuss this in more detail in the coming pages.

Here comes to conclusion the discussion on the economic policy of Imam Ali.

Internal Policy of Imam Ali

The Holy Imam endeavored greatly to establish social and economical justice among the people. And he established them on a right and clear path without any crookedness and ambiguity and he acted upon the policy of the Messenger of Allah, which keeps in view all the far and near ones in applying justice and in the spread of truth in such a way that the entreaty of an oppressed one or deprived one is not heard and the shadows of poverty and indigence does not remain just as the Almighty Allah wants in the earth.

Imam focused on eradicating factors of backwardness and decadence and to create conditions favorable for a respectable life so that man may obtain all the needs of his life from comfort, security, facilities and stability. In the coming paragraphs we shall discuss some of these policies.

[1] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 10/250



Equality among the people was from the principles of personal policy of Imam and he applied them in all the areas of his government and raised its slogan till he became famous as the standard bearer of justice and equality on the earth. This was demonstrated in the following:

1 – Equality in rights and duties

2 – Equality in shares from Public Treasury

3 – Equality before the law

Imam announced to his governors and officials the necessity of applying the rules of equality among the people without any bias based on differences in class or religion. His Eminence in one of his letters that he wrote to his officers says:

“Be humble to the people and smiling face to them and act with them with softness (kindness) and to see them or salute and honor be equitable in this so that elders may not be greedy to deviate from you and weak people may not despair of your equitability.”[1]

In no religion or social doctrine such an illuminated equality is established that sought to restore the respect and merits of man and create love between intelligence and spirits and it brought the people in the sphere of love and brotherhood.


In the view of the Holy Imam freedom is a personal right of every man and it should be provided to one and all with a condition that it should not be used to encroach upon or injure others. The most important types of freedoms are as follows:

Political Freedom

Our aim in this is that the people should have complete freedom so that every political agenda should be such that any ruling system does not impose an opposing view on them. And the Imam presented the people with the most widespread meanings and in that he did not even care for his enemies and opponents. Those who had refrained from paying allegiance to him like Saad bin Abi Waqqas, Abdullah bin Umar, Hissan bin Thabit, Kaab bin Malik, Musialama bin Mukhlad and Abi Saeed Khudri and others like them who had supported the previous regime as Uthman had given them exceeding wealth and gifts and the Imam did not compel them and in no way did he take any absolute step against them like Abu Bakr had done against the Holy Imam when he refused to pay the oath of allegiance.

Imam believed that people are free and it is necessary for the government to provide them freedom so that they do not harm the security and may not rebel or rise up against the present government.

[1] Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 3/76


His Eminence accorded freedom to the Kharijis and he did not deprive them their shares from the Public Treasury inspite of knowing that they were forming the most powerful force against the government. However when they began to cause destruction in the land and a terror and worry gripped the people, for protecting general system and protecting the life and property of the people, he hastened to fight against them. This policy branches out into the following:

1 – Freedom of Expression

From the signs of widespread freedom that the Imam had bestowed to the people was the “freedom of expression”, even though it may be opposed to government interests but if one creates mischief he would be held liable for it. Historians have related that Abu Khalifa Tai met some of his brothers (fellowmen). Abul Izaar Tai was among them and he was from the Khawarij. So he said to Adi bin Hatim, “O Abu Tareef! Have you taken the booty and are safe and sound or an oppressor and sinner?”

Adi bin Hatim: Rather I have taken booty and I am safe and sound.

Abu Khalifa Tai: This decision is upon you.

Aswad bin Zaid and Aswad bin Qais became fearful about him and they arrested him and brought him under arrest to the Imam and told him about his mischievous statements.

His Eminence asked them, “What should I do?”

“Kill him.”

“Shall I kill one who has not risen against me?”

“Imprison him.”

“He has not committed any crime. Release him.”

Such a freedom has never been accorded to the citizens by any of the social doctrines.

On the basis of this the Holy Imam never punished the people due to what they had uttered. Rather they were accorded freedom to remain in any condition they liked and he did not keep any special surveillance so that there be separation between them and their freedom.

2 – Freedom of Criticism

From the expression of political freedom that the Imam provided to the people was freedom to criticize the government and thus those who were critical of the government were never targets of reprimand or harassment.

Historians say: His Eminence was busy in reciting the Surahs in Prayers and some of his companions were behind him. Then one of them, in opposition of the Imam’s recital recited as follows: “the judgment is only Allah's; He relates the truth and He is the best of deciders.”[1]

[1] Surah Anam 6:57


The Imam replied: “Therefore be patient; surely the promise of Allah is true and let not those who have no certainty hold you in light estimation.”[1]

And he did not initiate any step against that man. Rather he forgave him and released him because His Eminence believed in according widespread freedom to the people and he did not impose anything on anyone and he never forced anyone to obey him. He didn’t compel them for anything they didn’t like.

These were some of the signs of freedom that the Holy Imam had provided to the people during the period of his caliphate and he had established social and political justice among the people.

Universal Justice

“Universal Justice” was the slogan that the Imam called out in a widespread manner and he made it the foundation in all the periods of his rule because His Eminence made many efforts to establish and to elevate its luminous status and according to the historians he was the first ruler in Islam who established a house of justice so that oppressed ones and those who have received injustice or excess has been committed against them may appeal there and the Imam personally looked into their appeals. And he obtained their rights for them and removed the oppression or excess from them.[2]

Imam paid special attention for spreading of justice and propagating it among the people and according to the unanimity of historians, he used all his government machineries for destroying injustice and uprooting and erasing its effects. His Eminence has said: “The lowly is honorable in my eyes till I obtain his right for him and the strong one is weak in my view till I take the right from him.”

His Eminence dismissed one of his governors when Sawdeh binte Ammarah informed His Eminence that he had committed oppression in his rule. The Imam began to weep and said with extreme grief, “O Allah, You are a witness over me and over them that I have not commanded them to oppress any of the people and neither for leaving off Your right…”

After that he dismissed him immediately.[3] Historians have narrated numerous examples of the justice of His Eminence among the people that anything like that is not seen in any of the periods of history.

National Integration

The Holy Imam bore many hardships and untold difficulties so that he may provide unity to all the classes of the community. And that love and kindness is spread among the children of community (people). He considered Islamic attachment as one of the greatest bounties of God on this nation and he has said: “Certainly, it is a great blessing of Allah, the Glorified that He has engendered

[1] Surah Rum 30:60, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 3/73
[2] Subhul Aashi
[3] Al-Iqdul Farid 1/211


among them unity through the cord of affection in whose shade they walk and take shelter. This is a blessing whose value no one in the whole world realizes, because it is more valuable than any price and higher than any wealth.”[1]

The Imam opposed anyone who invited towards disunity and discord and according to his statement he issued orders that the sword should be pulled before them. In the same way His Eminence resisted and opposed nepotism and prejudice to ones own tribe etc. as it was one of the factors that created enmity and disunity among the people. However for perfection of morals he used to even encourage people to be prejudiced!

So much so that His Eminence says:

In case you cannot avoid vanity, your vanity should be for good qualities, praiseworthy acts, and admirable matters with which the dignified and noble chiefs of the Arab families distinguished themselves, as attractive manners, high thinking, respectable position and good performances. You too should show vanity in praiseworthy habits like the protection of the neighbor, the fulfillment of agreements, obedience to the virtuous, opposition to the haughty, extending generosity to others, abstention from rebellion, keeping aloof from blood-shed, doing justice to people, suppressing anger and avoiding trouble on the earth.[2]

Imam accorded importance to national unity and he kept in view all the factors that promoted integration and consensus and in all the periods of his life he protected this unity because he even let go of his right and for protecting the community from divisions and discord he maintained peace with the caliphs.

Training and Education

It is not narrated regarding any caliph that he gave as much importance to training and education as given by Imam Amirul Momineen Ali. Rather they focused all their attention and energies to military affairs, martial activities, spreading their jurisdiction on Islamic Kingdom and imposing their power on the world. While the fields of religious training had become very weak and it was this problem that led to the spread of religious problems and lack of knowledge about Islam. Its consequences were the appearance of apostasy and they were the beginning of the ruins Umayyads and Abbasids. And also of its consequences is the spread of lack of observing the Islamic modest dress (Hijab) and shamelessness in many of the areas. And the palaces of the caliphs and ministers themselves were centers of vice and sensuality.

Imam Amirul Momineen Ali was a believer in the importance of education and made the Kufa Masjid as the center of training, where he delivered addresses consisting of religious information and his own explanations. And most of the time he spoke only in inviting towards Almighty Allah and spoke on the philosophy of Monotheism and spreading manners and Islamic morals and his aim was to make

[1] Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/154
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/150


religious knowledge common and available to all so that a generation may be produced that has a belief in Allah by reasoning and not a belief by blindly following their ancestors. The sermons of His Eminence shook the depths of the souls and caused them to humble before the Almighty. In the school of His Eminence a group of good and righteous Muslims were trained like Hujr bin Adi, Mitham Tammar, Kumail Ibn Ziyad and other pious and righteous people in Islam.

The bequests of His Eminence for his two sons, Hasan and Husain and his other teachings were from the most important principles of training Islam that specified the foundations of training and based its methods on personal experience so that it may be the most valuable wealth of the Muslims in this field.

But in the field of education the Imam himself was the teacher and he was having spirit of knowledge and it were he that opened doors of knowledge in Islam like philosophy, scholastic theology, exegesis, jurisprudence, grammar and other sciences etc. that number more than thirty and the appearing of new branches of scientific movement in the period of the ascendancy of Islam, according to the view of historians are all connected to His Eminence.

Imam was the greatest founder of sciences and divine recognition in the Islamic world and he concentrated all his efforts for dispensing knowledge and promoting good morals and culture among Muslims and he repeated this statement of his among his companions that: “Ask me before you miss me, because certainly I am acquainted with the passages of the sky more than the passages of the earth…”

It is indeed a matter of great regret and remorse that those people did not take benefit from this lofty personality. And they did not ask him about the reality of space and the planets floating in it and other secrets of Nature as His Eminence has received their recognition and knowledge from the Holy Prophet. They did not ask him any of these things. Rather they tried to make fun of him and a joker among them asked, “How many strands of hair do I have on my head?”

The Imam was helpless among these ignorant people. So ignorant that they did not understand his value and aims of His Eminence. They did not even try to achieve the reality of his value and they did not realize his personal greatness and the gifts of His Eminence.

In any case the Imam established his government for spreading wide the intellectual and scientific life and the dispersal of knowledge and ethics in all areas of the kingdom.

Governors and Officers of Imam Ali

Imam exercised utmost precaution and care in selection of governors and officials and he did not appoint anyone in any of the Islamic provinces and did not entrust anyone with a post of responsibility before ascertaining his honesty, capability and ability to fulfill his responsibilities. He did not appoint anyone due to friendship or preferring him for a government post. Rather he employed the righteous and good people from the Muslims like Malik Ashtar, Muhammad bin


Abu Bakr, Sahal bin Hunaif, monk of the community, Abdullah Ibn Abbas and others like them who were having complete knowledge of affairs of administration and organizational expertise and he gave them an important documents (letter) in which he presented matters of governance and policies of the government and also fixed their rights and duties.

The most important of these political sources are instructions of His Eminence to Malik Ashtar which includes important rules for improvement of political, economic and military life and it is the most progressive political document whose aim is social development and protection of interests of the society. If it had not been beyond the scope of this book we would have presented a detailed analysis of its statements.

Supervision on Governors

According to the unanimous opinion of historians, the Imam verified the dealings of his governors and officials and he used to send a person secretly to keep an eye on their actions and affairs. Whenever he saw an instance of breach of trust or a shortcoming in fulfillment of their duty he dismissed them and accorded them the toughest punishment.

Information reached His Eminence that Ibn Hirma had committed embezzlement in the market of Ahwaz. So he wrote to his governor:

“When you read my letter, remove Ibn Hirma from his shady dealings in the market. And for the well being of the people keep him restrained. And keep him under arrest and announce regarding him and write a letter to your agents and inform them about our view about him. Under no circumstances should you be careless or lacking in this matter because you shall be destroyed near Allah and I shall dismiss you in the worst manner and I am warning you of this. Thus when it is Friday you must bring him out of the prison and lash him 35 times and take him around the market and if anyone comes to testify for him you put him under oath and repay his outstanding from the income he received from his business and issue the command so that he is taken back to the prison in utmost humiliation and degradation.”[1]

This is the intensity of justice that destroys embezzlement and eradicates bribes and no one could dare to commit any cheating. And the Imam kept an eye on all the actions and dealings of his governors. He received information that his governor in Basra had attended a dinner hosted by one of the affluent residents of that city. Imam wrote a letter to him and reprimanded him for that. He wrote as follows:

“Ibn Hunayf! I have received information that a person of Basra invited you to a dinner and you immediately accepted the invitation. I have also heard that very sumptuous meals were served there! Finest varieties of viands were placed before

[1] Bihar 16/26


you in large plates and you enjoyed them. I am sorry to hear the news. I never expected that you would accept the invitation of a person who invites big officers and rich people and from whose doors poor persons and hungry paupers are turned away rudely.

Look carefully into the things which you eat. If there is even a shade of their being obtained unlawfully then throw them away, only eat those things about which you are perfectly certain that they are obtained by honest means.”[1]

No matter how much experience and progress humanity may attain, no matter how many innovations they may bring in the administration and operating of a government it is not capable of creating such a system which invites its operators to such courage and steadfastness and demands them that they must not accept all invitations so that it may not be that one may trespass some right and may reply favorably to those who are accused of embezzlement and pride.

Keeping away the Opportunists

Imam did not allow near him anyone who was an opportunist, who had no regard for truth and who were only greedy and remained concerned with their personal gains and who did not recognize the benefits of the general public, because they were supporters of ruling powers in falsehood and not in justice. The society of Kufa had a big group of these people in it. Like Ashath bin Qays, Amr bin Hareeth, Shabt bin Rabi and others like them, whose interests were harmed during the tenure of the Holy Imam. So they began to be connected with the regime in Damascus and took over the activities of that regime and began to devise plots so that they may destroy the army and people of the Imam. And their aim was to destroy the Imam’s government.

According to historians, these very people became army commanders who committed the most terrible carnage, which was the carnage of Kerbala, because they were sure that if the Imam is able to obtain victory their personal interests shall be finished because the Imam’s policy would be a continuation of the policy of his father. A policy in which there was no place for cheaters and criminals.

Keeping away the Greedy Elements

Imam considered the government as a means for social reformation which should be given only to those who were careful and those who would fulfill the oaths (responsibilities) and those who were not inclined to their selfish desires and personal gains. And the power of government should be used to provide the well being of the people. And it is not permissible that it should be given for the sake of friendship and undue prejudice. His Eminence in his letter to his judge, Rufa bin Shaddad wrote:

“O Rufa! Know that this leadership is a trust and whoever commits breach of trust in it, shall be accursed till the Day of Judgment. And one who appoints an

[1] Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 3/70


embezzler to a post of government in the world in the Hereafter, His Eminence, Muhammad shall be disgusted with him.”[1]

Whenever Imam found anyone inclined to selfish desires he never appointed him on any office because he would make his appointment as a means to obtain his personal gains. When Talha and Zubair expressed their ardent desires to be appointed as governors, the Imam refused to fulfill their demands. And he summoned Abdullah Ibn Abbas and asked, “Have you heard what these two (Talha and Zubair) say?”

He replied, “Yes, I see that they would like to become governors. So appoint Zubair as the governor of Basra and Talha as the governor of Kufa.”

Imam objected to his view and said, “Woe be unto you. There are people and property in Iraq (in Basra and Kufa) and if they are made governors of these provinces they would deviate the foolish by greed, oppress the weak and dominate the powerful by the power given to them. And if I appoint one of them as governor, on the basis of their merits or benefits, I might as well have appointed Muawiyah as the governor of Syria. If their greed with regard to rulership had not been clear to me, I had something else in mind for them.”[2]

It was due to these sensitive matters that His Eminence did not appoint the two of them over the two Iraqi provinces…because in the belief of the Imam it is not allowed to entrust governance and other government posts to anyone except those honest people who always endeavor for the benefits of the community and do not consider rulership as a means of obtaining wealth and other personal benefits.

Frankness and Truthfulness

The most obvious matter in the policy of Imam Amirul Momineen Ali was the necessity of openness and rightfulness in all the affairs of his policy and His Eminence under no circumstance resorted to hypocrisy, deceit and fraud. Rather he followed an open policy, which had no ambiguity. And he moved on the method of his cousin, His Eminence, the Messenger of Allah and selected his mannerism and guidance of His Eminence. He trod in his footsteps and all his steps were in accordance with those of the Holy Prophet. And if His Eminence had acted upon the accepted principles of politics that permits resorting to hypocrisy and deceit for obtaining power the caliphate would never have reached Uthman. Because Abdur Rahman bin Auf insisted upon him that he shall pay oath to him with the condition that he would continue the practice of Abu Bakr and Umar. His Eminence refused to accept this condition and told him frankly that he would govern the affairs of the
community in accordance with the Book of Allah, the practice of the Messenger of Allah and his own judgment. And he would not act on any other source in the field of jurisprudence and Islamic politics. His Eminence says, “If deceit and fraud had not been in the fire (deadly sins) I would have been the most crafty person.”

[1] Nahjus Sa-a’-dah Dar Mustadrak Nahjul Balagha 5/33
[2] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/51


Enlightened intellect, full of piety and obedience of Almighty does not accept resorting to deceit and fraud to obtain power since the most pious people have been associated with the former qualities. His Eminence lamented due to the pains caused to him at the hands of the enemies and said, “Woe be to them that they commit deceit with us. And know that I am aware of their deceit and I am more knowledgeable of the different types of frauds than they are. However I know that deceit and fraud are deadly sins. Thus I remain patient on their deceit and I shall never do what they are doing...”[1]

His Eminence refuted one who had said about him that he was not aware of political affairs and that Muawiyah was more informed than him saying, “By Allah, Muawiyah is not cleverer than me. Rather he resorts to deceit and commits transgression. And if deceit hadn’t been an undesirable quality I would have been the most clever on of all.”[2]

His Eminence had spoke of some factors that are undesirable but some people rely on them in order to achieve their aims, actions like deceit and other things like it, like fraud and hypocrisy and whoever considers them as good manners is criticized by the Imam that, “One who knows what its consequences are, does not resort to deceit. But we live in such a time that most people consider deceit as something good and the ignorant people of this time consider it as good manners. What shall be there for them? The Almighty Allah shall kill them. The man who is aware sees the form of deceit and in front of it he sees the obstacle of divine do’s and don’ts. Thus he leaves it in a knowing manner while he were having the power to have committed it. However those who do not observe precaution in religion they consider this opportunity best…”

Imam based his policies on these ethics, policies which in the world of Islam were illuminated and caused immortality of His Eminence and the pride of humanity for His Eminence in all generations and time periods.

Here we conclude our discussion regarding the lofty examples of Imam’s policies. Policies that without any doubt had original aims in view that Islam has made them its slogan however those generations did not recognize him because they had got used to bias and profiteering and therefore they did not get the Tawfeeq to obtain that diplomacy.

With Imam Husain

Sentiments of Imam Amirul Momineen Ali merged with the emotions of his son, Husain and his spirit became like his spirit. So much so that he became an incomparable image of His Eminence that tells us of the reality and guidance of His Eminence.

Imam bequeathed all his personal traits to his son, Husain and bestowed him with his love and sincerity and embellished him with the loftiest wisdom and manners.

[1] Jame as-Sa’daat 1/239
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/180


The great love of his with relation to him was such that he was not allowing him to take an active part in the battle of Siffeen. In the same way he was also not permitting his brother Hasan, as he feared that the Progeny of the Prophet may become extinct.

The lofty values of Imam and his other ways of thinking had created an imprint in the soul of Husain and His Eminence like his father used to rise up in confronting injustice and falsehood and against oppression and force. And he used to sacrifice all he could in establishment of truth and justice and in all the paths of reformation and goodness.

His Eminence, in bravery, steadfastness, respect of the self, lofty values and courage was like his father and his enemies on the Day of Taff confessed to this because when they proposed him to surrender to the son of Marjana and to humble before his demands, one of them said: “He would never accept your proposal because the spirit of his father has entered into him.”

Yes, the spirit of his father, the brave stalwart of this community and the standard-bearer and high status towards honor and merits with all the signs had found a place in the being of Imam Husain. So much so that it is said that there was no difference between the father and the son. Both of them were such illuminated personages that humanity has prided upon them in all generations.

Imam Ali’s Prophecies on the Martyrdom of Imam Husain

Imam had informed the people about the martyrdom of his son, Imam Husain like the Messenger of Allah had also prophesied about this matter. The Imam on numerous occasions has mentioned this subject and some of the instances are presented below:

1 – Abdullah bin Yahya[1] has narrated from his father that he traveled with Ali to Siffeen and he was appointed as the attendant of His Eminence. When they reached besides Nainawa, the Imam became overcome with sadness and he raised up his voice and said, “Be patient, O Aba Abdillah! Be patient, O Aba Abdillah! On the banks of the Euphrates.”

Yahya was stunned and he asked, “Who is this Aba Abdillah?”

The Imam with a heavy heart and sorrowful mood told him, “I came to the Messenger of Allah and saw that the eyes of His Eminence were full of tears. I asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, has someone made you distraught? Why are there tears in your eyes?’ He replied: ‘Jibraeel stood near me and said: Husain shall be slain at the banks of Euphrates. And he asked: Shall I get you the soil of his place of martyrdom for you to smell? I replied: Yes. Then he brought a handful of dust and gave it to me. I was not able to control my eyes from weeping.’”[2]

[1] And in Tibrani Abdullah bin Naji has narrated it.
[2] Ibne Asakir, Biography of Imam Husain, Pg. 236. Tibrani in Mojam al-Kabir has explained it in this way in the account of Imam Husain.


2 – Harsima bin Sulaym has narrated: I was with Ali in the battle of Siffeen. When we reached near Kerbala he recited prayers with us and after the conclusion of prayers took up some of the soil of that place and smelt it and then he said, “Know that, O dust! A community shall go from you to the Gathering that shall enter Paradise without accounting.”

Harisma was bewildered and the statements of Imam were remained in his mind but he did not accept them. Thus when he returned to his wife, Jarda binte Sumair who was a Shia of Ali he told her what he had heard from the Imam. His wife said, “O man! What have we got to do with you? Because Amirul Momineen Ali does not say anything other than the truth.”

Days passed and the time arrived when Ibn Ziyad sent his forces to fight the beloved son of the Messenger of Allah and Harisma was among them. When he reached Kerbala and saw Husain and his companions, he recalled the statement of Imam Amirul Momineen Ali and he became disgusted with fighting and he went to the side of Imam Husain. And told His Eminence what he had heard from his father.

Imam told him, “Are you with us or against us?”

He replied, “Neither with you nor against you. Being away from my wife and children I am fearful of Ibn Ziyad.”

The Imam advised him, “Go away from here so that you may not witness our slaying, because by the One in Whose hands is the life of Muhammad, whoever sees my slaying and does not come to help us, the Almighty Allah shall make him enter Hell fire.”

Harisma went away from Kerbala and he did not witness the massacre of Imam Husain.[1]

3 – Abu Johfa has narrated that Urwah Bariqi came to Saeed bin Wahab when I heard him that he asked, “You told me of the statement of Ali Ibn Abi Talib?” He replied, “Yes, Makhnaf bin Sulaym sent me to Ali and I went to him in Kerbala. Then I saw him that he was gesturing and saying: “It is here. It is here.”

A man hastened to His Eminence and asked, “What is that, O Amirul Momineen Ali?”

His Eminence replied, “A family from the clan of Muhammad shall arrive here. Then woe be on those from you! And woe be on you from them!”

That man did not understand what the Imam said. So he asked, “O Amirul Momineen Ali, what does it mean?”

Imam replied, “Woe be on them from you as you would slay them. And woe be on you from them that Almighty Allah shall send you to Hell for slaying them.”[2]

[1] Waqa’tus Siffeen, Pg. 140-141, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 3/170
[2] Waqa’tus Siffeen, Pg. 141


4 – Hasan bin Kathir has narrated from his father that Ali came to Kerbala and stood there. Then it was asked to His Eminence, “O Amirul Momineen Ali, is this Kerbala?”

Imam replied while he was overcome with grief, “It is having grief and hardships.” Then he gestured to a place and said, “This is the place where they shall take abode.” Then he pointed to another place and said, “This is the place where their blood shall be shed.”[1]

5 – Abu Hareema has narrated: I was with Ali at the river of Kerbala. Then we passed by a tree underneath which lay deer droppings and His Eminence took a handful of dust and said, “From this place seventy thousand shall go to the Gathering and they shall enter Paradise without accounting.”[2]

6 – Abu Hayyana has narrated: I was with Ali when he reached Kufa. Then he ascended the pulpit and praised and extolled Almighty Allah. Then he said, “How shall you be if the Progeny of Prophet comes to you?”

They replied, “In that case we shall behave with them in the best way.”

Imam told them, “By the one in Whose hands is my life! They shall come to you and you shall go out to them and you shall slay them.”

Then he further said,

“They invited them on a false pretext and implored him to fulfill their demands till the time no salvation and excuse remained.”[3]

7 – Tibrani has narrated with his chains from His Eminence, Ali that he said, “Husain shall be slain and I am acquainted with a land between two streams where he shall be slain.”[4]

8 – Thabit has narrated from Suwaid bin Ghaflah that one day His Eminence, Ali delivered a sermon when a man stood up from below the pulpit and said, “O Amirul Momineen Ali, I passed by the valley of Qura and saw that Khalid Ibn Arafta was dead. So I sought divine forgiveness for him.”

His Eminence said, “By Allah, he is not dead and he shall not die till he does not become the commander of a deviant armed force whose standard bearer shall be Habib bin Himar.”

At that time a man stood up before His Eminence and cried, “O Amirul Momineen Ali, I am Habib bin Himar a Shia and partisan of yours.”

Imam asked, “Are you Habib bin Himar?”

“Yes,” he replied.

Imam repeated his statement, “Are you Habib?” and he replied, “Yes.”

[1] Ibid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 3/171
[2] Majma az-Zawaid 3/117/Hadith no. 2825
[3] Majma az-Zawaid 9/191, Tibrani, Mojam al-Kabir 3/117/H no. 2823
[4] Ibid. Tibrani, Mojam al-Kabir 3/117/H no. 2824


After that Imam said, “Yes, by Allah, you shall carry the standard, you shall carry it and you shall enter from this gate.” Saying this he pointed to the Baab-e-Feel (Elephant Gate) in the Kufa Mosque.

Thabit said, “By Allah, I didn’t die till I saw Ibn Ziyad send Umar Ibn Saad to fight against Husain bin Ali and appoint Khalid bin Arafta in the forefront of the battalion and made Habib bin Himar his standard bearer. And he entered with him from the Baab-e-Feel.”[1]

9 – Imam Amirul Momineen Ali delivered a sermon and inter alia said, “Ask me before you miss me, because, by Allah, Who has my life in His hands, if you ask me anything between now and the Day of Judgment or about the group who would guide a hundred people and also misguide a hundred people I would tell you who is announcing its march, who is driving it in the front and who is driving it at the rear, the stages where its riding animals would stop for rest and the final place of stay, and who among them would be killed and who would die a natural death.”

At this time Tamim bin Saama Tamimi, that filthy and dirty man glanced at His Eminence and asked, “How many strands of hair do I have on my head…?”

Imam glared at him and told him, “By Allah, I know about that but what is the proof if I tell you about it? And I inform you about your rising and your saying and I have been told that for each strand of hair on your head there is an angel who curses you and there is a Satan who instigates you and its sign is that in your house is a degraded one who would slay the son of the Messenger of Allah and encourage others on his slaying…”

Ibn Abil Hadid says, “The matter was just as His Eminence had informed, because his son Haseen at that time was an infant. He remained alive and became the police commissioner of Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad and Ubaidullah sent him to Ibn Saad to command him to fight against Imam Husain and he warned him that he should not delay the matter. Thus His Eminence was martyred the next day to the night Haseen had brought the letter to Saad.”[2]

10 – His Eminence told Bara bin Aazib, “O Bara, would Husain be slain while you are alive and you don’t help him?”

Bara replied, “O Amirul Momineen Ali! It won’t be like this.”

When His Eminence, Husain was martyred, Bara became regretful and he recalled the statement of Imam Amirul Momineen Ali and said, “What a great remorse that I was not with him so that I would have been martyred before him.”[3]

11 – Amirul Momineen Ali said, “As if I am seeing the palaces that are raised around the grave of Husain. I am seeing the bazaars that have come up around his grave. There is no passing of day and night there but that people arrive there from

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/286
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 10/14
[3] Ibid. Pg. 15


different areas. It shall be after the extinction of Bani Marwan.”[1]

What the Imam Amirul Momineen Ali prophesied came out to be true because His Eminence was the gate of the city of knowledge of the Prophet and he was the carrier of the secrets and wisdom of His Eminence. The Umayyads kingdom had not become extinct when the tomb of the beloved one of the Messenger of Allah was constructed in splendor and it became the sanctuary of the Almighty Allah that the hearts of all Muslims are attracted to it. Millions of Muslims aspire to perform the visitation (pilgrimage) of that shrine. They arrive from far off areas and the luckiest of the luckiest is one who gets the honor of being blessed by the visitation and kissing the shrine that houses the Imam’s grave.

The great tomb of His Eminence, in the view of Muslims and non-Muslims is symbol of human greatness and a lighted torch for every sacrifice which is offered for establishment of truth and justice and is an incomparable sign for the most holy thing that this living being among all the living ones and in all ages and periods gets an honor by it.

Here we reach to the end of the first volume of our book and we shall in the second volume go to the welcome of Imam Husain till the terrible events that the Imam had to face during the caliphate of His Eminence, Imam Ali. We shall make them a subject of our study; events that subjected the Muslims to a severe test. Events that caused neglect of helping and supporting the Imam and Imam Hasan was compelled to abdicate the caliphate and a dirty group of Umayyads was imposed on the necks of the people and that they may make them helpless and force them to what they did not want, and to destroy those lofty values that religion had brought so that it may become supreme in all corners of the earth.

With the Nakiseen and Qasiteen

The tribes of Quraish were frightened due to the severity of the Imam’s government and they became sure that all the political and economic policies of His Eminence that were same as the intellectual and social view of the Holy Prophet were going to crush their pride and arrogance. It would bring to an end their economic life, which was based on usury, hoarding and profiteering. Of all the steps of His Eminence was the dismissal of governors appointed by Uthman from all provinces and confiscation of the wealth they had plundered from the Central Treasury. They in the same way became worried and this matter distressed them due to the announcement of equality and justice among all the communities of Islam and the policy that all Muslims were equal in rights, duties and in everything because they believed themselves to be superior to other communities and special over other people.

The Quraishites and other powers that had deviated from the path of truth became angry at the Imam’s government and all of them together decided to announce an armed attack and they kindled the flames of war in different provinces. So that

[1] Musnad Imam Zaid, Pg. 47


they may be able to topple the Imam’s government which considered power as a means for social reform and progress in human life.

The first battle forced on the Imam was that of Jamal and after that the battle of Siffeen and then Nahrawan. These battles were obstacles to the government of the Imam whose aim was to raise the level of human values and destruction of all factors of backwardness in the country.

Narrators say that the Holy Prophet had informed His Eminence about the rebellion of some groups against him during the period of his caliphate and he told His Eminence that he must fight them and he named them as Nakiseen, Qasiteen and Mariqeen.[1] We are compelled to discuss in brief about these battles which would show us in true light the political and intellectual life of that period. A period in which the mentality of most of the people was full of seeking power and power worship. And it also shall describe for us the malice that the Quraish harbored against the Imam. And it is established that all these factors and events had a significant role in the tragedy of Kerbala. Because they had spread the social problems and brought into existence a generation which was always in search of comfort and which except for personal gains had nothing else in view. Here we present these matters:


Nakiseen are those who have broken their pledge, considered valueless their oath to Allah for sacrifice and obedience of the Imam and they have gone out in the field of disobedience. They became sunk in sins. Thus all the Islamic jurisprudents are unanimous on their sinfulness because they had no excuse for attacking the lawful government. A government, which took steps for the benefit of the people, acted only for sincere truth and pure justice among the Muslims and to root out factors of backwardness in the country.

The most important Nakiseen were Talha, Zubair, Ayesha binte Abu Bakr, Marwan bin Hakam, Umayyads and other people who were disgusted with justice and equitability of the Holy Imam.

Motive for Rebellion

It is established that the Nakiseen had no social aim; rather they had only their personal gains in view in breaking the pledge they had given to the Imam. For example Talha and Zubair, after His Eminence had accepted the caliphate, rushed to him and expressed their desire that the governorships of Basra and Kufa be given to them. After they failed in these efforts they became unhappy and they went towards Mecca to create an uprising against the Imam and announce the breaking up of the Muslim’s unity. Regarding this is the statement of Zubair in which he has described his aim at the time when a man approached him and asked, “You were with the Holy Prophet during his time and you are having

[1] Hakim, Mustadrak 3/139. Tarikh Baghdad 8/340. Usud al-Ghaba 4/33. Kanzul Ummal 13/112, H. no. 36367. Majma az-Zawaid 5/186


precedence. Thus you inform me about your movement and struggle. Is there something that the Messenger of Allah had ordered you for?”

Talha became silent but Zubair replied, “We were told that white and yellow (that is silver dirhams and gold dinars) are present here. We have come so that we may take something from it…!”[1]

Thus those two old men rebelled against the Imam’s government for obtaining material benefits.

As for Ayesha, she desired that she may return the caliphate to her own family. She was the first who had instigated the uprising against Uthman saying: “Kill the Nathal,[2] as he has become an infidel.”

She tried to have Talha nominated as the caliph and she used to praise him at every occasion. However on the basis of her special feelings of kindness for her nephew, Abdullah Ibn Zubair she gave a positive reply and made him lead the prayer; nominated him and gave him precedence over Talha.

However with regard to Bani Umayyah, they wanted that the Imam should allow them to keep the wealth they had amassed during Uthman’s regime but the Imam did not agree that they could keep the community wealth they had usurped. Therefore enmity with regard to His Eminence became apparent and they busied in creating mischief and discord.

Anyway, they had no aim of reform or inviting towards the path of truth and their motive was only selfish desires, greed and malice towards the Imam as His Eminence was the very self of the Messenger of Allah and the gate of the city of his knowledge.

Muawiyah and Defrauding of Zubair

Muawiyah became satisfied with the aims of Talha and Zubair, therefore he from his own side used deceit and conspiracy with them so that he may make them a step stone to reach his own aims and targets. On the basis of this he wrote a letter to Zubair as follows: To the servant of God, Zubair, the chief of the believers. From Muawiyah the son of Abu Sufyan. Peace be upon you. So to say: Know that I have taken the oath of fealty from the people of Syria for you and they have agreed to it and become organized like clouds pile upon one another. Thus keep Kufa and Basra in your hands. It should not be that the son of Abu Talib takes them before you, because apart from these two provinces, there is nothing. And after you, I have taken the oath of allegiance for Talha Ibn Ubaidullah. Thus announce the taking of revenge for Uthman’s blood and call the people to it and it is necessary for you to put in more efforts.

May the Almighty Allah make you victorious and may He abandon all those who oppose you.”

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/63 (Printed Daarul Fikr, Year 1417)
[2] Na’thal: an old foolish man


When this letter reached Zubair, he became elated and he rushed to Talha and informed him of it. They did not for a moment doubt the veracity of Muawiyah’s statements or his sincerity but they dared to announce their revolt against the Imam, and made the revenge-seeking of Uthman’s blood as their slogan.[1]

Conference of Mecca

The rebels rushed to Mecca and made it a center of their illegal activities against the Imam’s government and in that sanctified city mobilized many Quraish tribes and instigated them against the Imam and urged them to join their ranks. Because in the depths of their souls they harbored malice and jealousy against the Imam as the Imam had slain the relatives of the majority of these people in the way of Islam.

Anyway, in this conference the leaders of mischief voted upon and finalized their main issue, the city they must attack and other matters that would ensure the success of their revolt.

Resolutions of the conference

The members of the conference in a broad unanimity took the following decisions:

1 – They would take up revenge-seeking for the blood of Uthman as a slogan for their uprising because he was killed ‘unjustly’ and the revolutionaries had considered it lawful to shed his blood even though he had repented for his mistakes.

The rebels and Quraishite hoarders of wealth who had risen up in revolt in different areas made Uthman’s shirt the symbol of their uprising.

2 – The responsibility of Uthman’s murder should be thrown on His Eminence, Imam Ali because he had given refuge to the killers of Uthman and not extracted retaliation from them.

3 – To march towards Basra and take it under their control so that it may be a center for their revolt because there were many supporters there. They did not move to Medina because the lawful caliph having armed forces was present there and they were not capable of confronting him. In the same way they refrained from going to Syria because the Umayyads would not have allowed them to take over. They didn’t want to become hopeless and return empty-handed and they also feared that they may be attacked.

Equipping the Army with Plundered Items

Ya’la bin Umayyah equipped Ayesha’s forces with items he had plundered from the Public Treasury when he was a governor in Yemen during Uthman’s caliphate. Historians say: He gave 600 heads of camels and 600000 dirhams to the army.[2]

Abdullah bin Aamir, Uthman’s governor in Basra, also presented a lot of wealth to

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/231
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/207


the rebel forces, which he had robbed from the Public Treasury.[1] None of the members of this army refused using any of these things obtained through unlawful means.

Political Discourse of Ayesha

Ayesha delivered many political speeches in Mecca and in them she put the responsibility of Uthman’s murder to rogues and lowly people who had shed forbidden blood in a sacred month, because they killed him even though he had repented of his mistakes and thus they had no excuse for shedding his blood.[2]

According to historians the sermon was full of political sophistry because those who had shed his blood were not vagrants and rogues. Rather those who killed him were those who raised a standard of revolt against him and the foremost of them were senior companions like Ammar bin Yasir, Abu Zar,[3] Abdullah Ibn Masud, Talha and Zubair. Ayesha herself was his most severe critic. She acted with great fervor to oppose Uthman and gave a verdict for his killing and infidelity saying: “Kill the Nathal as he has become an apostate.” So what is the connection between Uthman’s murder and the rogues and lowly elements of society?

As for Uthman’s repentance, he had gone back on his words more than once because even though he wanted to give up, the Bani Umayyah dragged him to their own political goals and he returned to his previous policy and he did not give it up till he was killed.

Anyway, her sermon was the first step in announcement of armed rebellion against the Imam’s government. And it would have been better for Ayesha if she had in accordance with her status and position called the people to unite in supporting the Imam’s government which was to realize the aims of the Prophet and the well being of the community in honor and respect. She should have given it full support.

Ayesha and Umme Salma

It is really astonishing that Ayesha went to Umme Salma and asked her to confront the Imam inspite of knowing to what extent Umme Salma loved and respected the Imam. And this proves that Ayesha was not aware of the way of thinking of the wives of the Prophet. When Ayesha met Umme Salma she told her kindly and softly, “O daughter of Abu Umayyah! You are of the first women of Muhajireen among the Prophet’s wives and the senior-most mother of the believers. And the Prophet used to distribute to us from your house and Jibraeel used to be present mostly in your house…”

Umme Salma glanced at Ayesha and asked her with doubt and hesitation, “Why are you saying all this?”

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/207
[2] The text of this sermon is present in Tarikh Tabari 4/450
[3] Abu Zar was martyred during Uthman’s regime and he was not alive at the time of Uthman’s murder. But the writer wanted to name the opponents of Uthman.


Ayesha replied in a deceptive way, “People asked Uthman to repent and when he repented and while he was fasting they killed him in the sacred month. So I have decided that I should go out to Basra while Zubair and Talha are with me. Why don’t you also come with me? Perhaps the Almighty Allah would reform this matter through us…!”

Umme Salma advised her and reminded her of her stance and opposition against Uthman and also restrained her from rebelling against the cousin of the Prophet. She said, “O daughter of Abu Bakr! Have you stood up to revenge Uthman’s blood? By Allah! You were his most severe opponent and you did not call him except by the epithet of Nathal. What do you have to do with the blood of Uthman? Uthman was a man from Bani Abde Manaf and you are a woman from Bani Teem bin Marrah. Woe be on you, O Ayesha! Are you rising up in rebellion against Ali, the Prophet’s cousin while the Muhajireen and Ansar have paid oath of allegiance to him…?”

Umme Salma reminded Ayesha of the merits and excellences of Ali and the proximity of his status with relation to the Messenger of Allah while Abdullah Ibn Zubair was listening. This angered him and he feared that Umme Salma might succeed in dissuading Ayesha from her intentions. Therefore he cried, “O daughter of Abu Umayyah! We know of your enmity to the family of Zubair.”

Umme Salma chastised him and shouted, “By Allah, you and your father make her enter but do not take her out! Do you expect the Muhajireen and Ansar to accept your father Zubair and his friend Talha while Ali Ibn Abi Talib is alive and he is the master of all believing men and women?”

Ibn Zubair told her, “I have never heard this from the Messenger of Allah.”

Umme Salma said, “If you have not heard it, your aunt, Ayesha has heard it. She is also here. Ask her. She has heard the Prophet saying: Ali is my caliph on you in my life and after my death. One who disobeys him, has disobeyed me. O Ayesha! Do you testify having heard this..?”

Ayesha was not able to deny it. She said, “Yes, by Allah.”

Umme Salma continued to advise Ayesha and she said, “O Ayesha! Have fear of Allah in your conscience, and beware of what the Messenger of Allah had warned you about. Do not be with the dogs of Hawwab. Zubair and Talha should not deceive you as they could not get you any benefit in the presence of the Lord…”[1]

Ayesha heard Umme Salma’s advice but in obeying her emotions decided to continue her opposition to the Holy Imam.

Umme Salma wrote to His Eminence about the events occurring in Mecca and warned him of the mischief that was brewing against him.[2]

[1] Al-Futuh 2/282-283 (printed Daarun Nadwah. New Edition)
[2] Ibne Abil Hadeed, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/217-218 (Ismailian Edition)


Ayesha moves to Basra

Ayesha’s soldiers started for Basra beating drums of war and the rebels raised the voice of Jihad and the greedy and jealous ones towards the Imam hastened to join Ayesha’s forces and the army marched forward to destroy the unity of Muslims and to drown the cities in mourning, calamities and sorrows.


Ayesha’s caravan moved quickly in the heart of the desert. On the way a man named al-Urna who owned a camel, Askar met them. A person from Ayesha’s caravan went to him and asked, “O camel owner, would you sell your camel?”


“How much?”

“One thousand dirhams.”

“Woe be unto you! Are you mad? Would you sell this for a thousand dirhams?”

“Yes, this is my camel. None can escape my clutches if I chase him on this camel and none can catch me if I flee on it.”

“If you knew for whom I want it, you would have happily sold it to me.”

“For whom do you want it?”

“For your mother.”

“I left my mother sitting at home and she had no intention of going out.”

“I want it for Ayesha, the mother of the believers.”

“It is for you. Take it free.”

“Come with us to the caravan. We shall give you a she- camel in exchange and also give you some dirhams in addition to it.”

He went with them and they gave him a she-camel and also 400 or 600 dirhams. Askar was presented to Ayesha and she sat upon it.[1] That camel became like the calf of Bani Israel because around her hands were cut, people died and blood was shed.


Ayesha’s caravan moved forward and passed a place called Hawwab. The barking dogs of that place moved forward to welcome the caravan. Ayesha became worried and asked Muhammad Ibn Talha, “What place is this?”

“Mother of believers, this is Hawwab.”

[1] Ibne Abbas has narrated from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) that one day the Holy Prophet was with all of his wives when he said: Which of you would be the rider of that camel on which the dogs of Hawwab would bark and on the right and left of which innumerable people shall be killed…Sharh Nahjul Balagha 9/311, Ibne Kathir 6/212, Suyuti, Al-Khasais 2/232, Al-Istiab 4/1885 where it is mentioned: This tradition is one of the signs of the prophethood of His Eminence.


Ayesha was shocked and cried in distress:

“I should return!”

“Why, O mother of believers?”

I heard the Messenger of Allah say to his wives: “As if I could see one of you, that the dogs of Hawwab are barking on her. O Humairah![1] It shouldn’t be you!”

“Come on! May the Almighty Allah have mercy on you. Forget those things.”

However she did not move from her place and grief and sorrow began to surround her and she became sure that the way she was going was indeed deviated.

Military officers became worried by the stopping of Ayesha as they had made her the Qibla through which they could defraud the foolish people. They came to her and said, “O mother!”

But she interrupted them and said in a remorseful voice, “By Allah, I am the one for whom the dogs of Hawwab bark…take me back, take me back.”

Her nephew, Abdullah bin Zubair, rushed to argue with her but Ayesha told him about the voice of her conscience. And if Abdullah had not been there she would have returned to Mecca. However he brought some witnesses he had bribed and they swore that it was not Hawwab. This is said to be the first instance of false testimony in Islam.[2] She turned away from her view and she took up the leadership of the army to confront in battle the successor of the Messenger of Allah and the gate of the city of knowledge of His Eminence.

In Basra

Ayesha’s soldiers came to the people of Basra and made them distressed, fearful and worried because military forces had camped around their city and they were going to surround them and create a center for opposing the lawful caliph there.

Basra’s governor, Uthman bin Hunayf, who was a responsible and religious person at once acted in this regard and sent Abul Aswad Duali to Ayesha to ask her the reason for coming to their land.

When he came to Ayesha he asked her, “Mother of believers, what has brought you here?”

“To seek revenge of Uthman’s blood.”

“No killer of Uthman is there in Basra.”

“You are right, however they are with Ali Ibn Abi Talib in Medina and I have come to persuade Basrans to take up arms. Shall we only be angry at the lashes of Uthman and not be infuriated at your swords that you pulled out for Uthman?”

Abul Aswad replied, “What have you got to do with whips and swords? The Messenger of Allah stopped you and commanded you that you stay in your

[1] Ibne Athir 3/210, Tabari, Tarikh 4/456-458. Tadkiratul Khawaas Pg. 65-66
[2] Muruj az-Zahab 2/357, Tarikh 2/157


house and recite the Book of Allah as ladies are not supposed to fight battles. Seeking revenge for him shall not be advisable for you and the fact is that Ali is better than you and with regard to relationship more proximate to him as they are descendants of Abde Manaf.”

She did not agree to what he said and she maintained her stance saying, “I shall not leave till I do not achieve what I want. O Abul Aswad, do you think anyone would come to fight us?”

She was under the impression that due to her marital relationship to the Prophet she would be safe and no one would rise up to fight her. She did not understand that she had already destroyed this sanctity and had accorded no importance to it. Thus Abul Aswad reminded her of the reality and told her, “By Allah, such a battle shall be raged against you that its easiest would be the most difficult.”

At that moment Abul Aswad turned to Zubair and reminded him about his old friendship and proximity to the Imam and said, “O Abu Abdillah! People know about you that on the day of Abu Bakr’s allegiance you had wielded your sword and were saying: No one is more qualified for this matter than the son of Abu Talib. Such stance you had but what is your position now?”

In reply, Zubair said something in which he had no faith himself, “I have risen up to revenge Uthman’s blood.”

“Afterwards you and your companion (Talha) became his partisans.”

Zubair softened and accepted Abul Aswad’s advice but he decided to meet Talha and inform him about this matter.

Abul Aswad hurried to Talha and presented him his advice but he did not accept it and remained stubborn.[1] Abul Aswad returned unsuccessful from his mission and informed Ibn Hunayf of the situation. He summoned his companions and delivered a sermon to them and said, “O people, you have paid allegiance to God. The Hand of God is above them and whomsoever breaks the pledge has broken the pledge himself and whoever fulfils his pledge with God, Allah shall give him a great recompense. By Allah, if Ali knows that someone was more deserving he would not have the caliphate for himself. And if people had done allegiance for someone else he would have also given him allegiance and obeyed him. Of all the companions of the Messenger of Allah he is not needful of anyone and none is needless of him. He is a partner in their good deeds but they do not share his good deeds. And these two men have given allegiance but they do not care for the Almighty Allah. On the
basis of this they want milk before the milk is ready, to nurse before the child and want to deliver the child before its conception and they want divine rewards at the hands of the people. They claim that allegiance had been forcibly taken from them. Thus if they had been ordinary people of Quraish they should have claimed this but even under those circumstances they wouldn’t

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/226 (Ismailiyan Edition)


have had any right to issue orders to others. However, guidance is only that which is followed by the general public and the general public has given allegiance to Ali. Thus, O people, what is your opinion?”

At this moment, the prominent personality, Hakim bin Jabla arose and spoke by the logic of faith and truth and insisted that an armed confrontation should be initiated.[1]

After that a debate ensued between two groups which did not conclude in a positive note. At that time Talha and Zubair delivered speeches and demanded revenge for Uthman’s blood in opposition to a group of people of Basra whom Talha had incited for the killing of Uthman. They refuted the statements of Talha and put the responsibility of Uthman’s murder on Talha.

Ayesha also delivered a sermon and repeated the same points that had been time and again mentioned and it was seeking the revenge of Uthman because he had repented for his mistakes and announced his repentance.

Ayesha’s discourse had not concluded when a furor started in the crowd: one group supported her claims and another falsified her testimony. The two groups began to argue and fight among themselves and highly inimical parties came into being. So much so that a battle started between them and they agreed to halt hostilities till Ali reaches them. They wrote a document jointly that Ibn Hunayf also signed. On that document they agreed to leave the government, the armory and the treasury in the control of Ibn Hunayf but they had to allow permission for Ayesha and her followers to live anywhere they liked in Basra. This document was signed by both the parties.

Ibn Hunayf continued to lead the people in prayers and distribute allowances and took steps to spread peace and return of its comfort to the province. But those people did not respect their pledge and oaths and decided to remove Ibn Hunayf.

Historians say: Ayesha’s army took the opportunity of a dark stormy night and while Ibn Hunayf was leading the night prayer (Isha) they attacked and arrested him. Then they headed for the Public Treasury, killed forty men guarding it and seized the treasury.

They threw Ibn Hunayf in the prison after they had plucked the hair of his beard and mustaches and tortured him terribly.[2]

A group of Basrans became infuriated that those people had flamed the fire of discord, oppressed their governor and seized the Public Treasury. They began to protest against all this and they came out to fight. This was the group from Rabia under the leadership of the great stalwart, Hakim bin Jabla. They came out of the city with 300 persons from the clan of Abdul Qais.[3] Ayesha’s supporters also came

[1] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/60-61
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 9/319-321 (Ismailiyan Edition)
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 9/321 (Ismailiyan Edition)


out and made her sit on a camel. And that day became known as Jamal-e-Asghar (Lesser battle of Jamal).[1]

The two groups became involved in a furious battle. Ibn Jabla was searching for an opening in the ranks. Historians say: A companion of Talha delivered a strike to him cutting his leg. Hakim came down to the ground and picked up his severed leg and attacked his assailant with it finally killing him and he continued fighting like this till he was martyred.[2]

That group of rebels became liable for the crime of breaking their pledge to the Imam, for fanning the flames of rebellion against Ibn Hunayf, shedding of innocent blood, plundering Public Treasury and torturing Ibn Hunayf.

Historians say: They decided to kill him but he threatened them that if they caused any hurt to him, his brother Sahal bin Hunayf who was Ali’s governor in Medina would slay their families and they became fearful of this and released him. He moved from there and joined the forces of His Eminence, Ali on the way to Basra. When he came to the Imam, he remarked humorously to the Imam, “You sent me to Basra as on old man and I return to you as a youth.”

These terrible incidents were very painful to the people and a discord developed among the people of Basra who divided into different groups, one of whom came out and joined the Ayesha’s army. A third group kept itself away from the discord and avoided joining any party.

Conflict over Leading Prayers

It was not surprising that Talha and Zubair should vie with each other for leading the prayers because they had broken the pledge to the Imam due to their greed for rulership and material benefits.

Historians say: Whenever one of them tried to move ahead to lead the prayer the other one stopped him and this continued till the time of prayers passed away. Ayesha feared that the situation may go out of hand. Therefore she issued orders that one day Muhammad Ibn Talha should lead the prayer and one day Abdullah Ibn Zubair.[3] So Abdullah Ibn Zubair came out to lead the prayer but Muhammad pulled him back and went forward to lead the prayer, but Abdullah prevented him from it.

In order to end this controversy, people found the best way and drew lots. Muhammad bin Talha’s name was drawn. He stepped forward and prayed and in his prayer recited the verse of: “One demanding, demanded the chastisement which must befall…”[4]

This became an occasion of ridicule and people taunted him and criticized him.

[1] Life of Imam Hasan 1/430
[2] Usud al-Ghaba 2/40
[3] Yaqubi, Tarikh, 2/157
[4] Surah Ma’arij 70:1


Regarding this incident, the poet says:

“Those two youths competed to lead the prayer and the old men vied for rulership.

What do I have to do with Talha and Zubair. The leader in Zill Jaza is a devotee of Talha and Ibn Zubair.

Today their mothers deceived them and Ya’la bin Muniya has bestowed them mastership.”[1]

This movement indicates to what extent they were sacrificing themselves for rulership and power while they were just at the starting point and if they had reached unanimity to topple the Imam’s government, they would have confronted him in the battle and taken over the control of the affairs.

Imam’s Messengers to Kufa

The Holy Imam dispatched messengers to Kufa and sought the help of Kufians to rise up in his support so that they may stand up with him to extinguish the flames the rebels had fanned.

Imam’s messengers reached Kufa and found that their governor, Abu Musa Ashari was instigating the people to refrain from helping the Imam. He was inciting them to disobey the orders of Ali and encouraging them to a life of comfort and luxury.

Abu Musa had no justification for his stance except that he bore malice to the Holy Imam and as per the unanimity of historians he was inclined towards Uthman.

Imam’s messengers came to Abu Musa, objected to him and denounced him but he did not pay any attention. After that they wrote a letter to the Imam and informed him of Abu Musa’s rebellion who refused to harken to the call of truth.

Imam sent one of his best companions, Hashim Mirqal to Abu Musa with a letter summoning him to the Imam.

When he reached Abu Musa, he delivered the Imam’s letter but Abu Musa refused to obey and continued to remain obstinate and disobedient.

Hashim wrote a letter to the Imam and informed him about the position of Abu Musa and his rebellion. Then Imam sent his son, His Eminence, Hasan and Ammar Yasir with a proclamation of Abu Musa’s dismissal and appointment of Qardha bin Kaab Ansari in his place.

When Imam Hasan reached Kufa, people gathered in groups around him and announced their support and obedience. His Eminence informed them about the dismissal of the renegade governor and appointment of Qardha in his place. However Abu Musa continued to remain disobedient and went on weakening people’s determination. He incited them not to give their support and encouraged them to disregard the command and he himself gave a negative reply to Imam Hasan.

[1] Al-Aghani 12/337


Malik Ashtar, the great personality understood that there was no way of expelling Abu Musa except with humiliation. So he gathered some strong persons of his community and attacked his palace. People plundered his wealth and he was frightened and compelled to withdraw. He decided to spend that night in Kufa and flee to Mecca the next day and join the rebels.

Imam Hasan mobilized the people to support his father and thousands harkened to his call. Some of them boarded boats and some rode quadrupeds and they all set out for the Imam’s help.

Soldiers came out in the desert under the command of Imam Hasan till they arrived at a place called Zeeqar.

Imam was pleased at the success of his son and he acknowledged his efforts and labors.

Kufian soldiers, numbering 4000 joined the army of the Holy Imam and 400 of them were those who had participated in the Allegiance of Rizwan with His Eminence, the Messenger of Allah.

The Imam entrusted the right wing of his forces to His Eminence, Hasan and put the left wing under the command of His Eminence, Husain[1] while the Imam’s soldiers were equipped with the best of weapons. Historians say: His Eminence, Husain was astride his grandfather’s horse called Murtajiz.[2]

The Two Armies Come face to Face

Imam’s forces set out from Zeeqar while they were convinced of their own rightfulness. Neither had they any hesitation nor doubt that they were moving on the path of truth.

They reached an area called Zawiyah near Basra and the Imam halted over there. He stood up for prayer and after the prayer began to weep such that his tears flowed on his blessed face. He implored the Almighty to protect the Muslims from bloodshed and keep them away from the difficulties of war make the unity of Muslims to follow guidance and truth.

Messengers of Conciliation

Imam dispatched messengers of conciliation to meet Ayesha and they included Zaid bin Sauhan and Ubaidullah Ibn Abbas. When they met her they reminded her that the Almighty Allah has commanded her to remain in her house and not to shed the blood of Muslims. They advised and counseled her much. If she had accepted their advice it would have been in the interest of the people and they would have been saved from untold hardships and mischiefs but she ignored their suggestions completely and told them, “I will not reply to the son of Abu Talib in words, because I cannot overcome him in logic.”[3]

[1] Shamsuddin Abul Barakaat, Jawahirul Matalib dar Manaqib Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib 2/12
[2] Muhammad bin Zakaria bin Dinar, Waqiyah Jamal, Pg. 35
[3] Al-Futuh 2/306


Imam tried his utmost to bring reconciliation and prevent bloodshed but some persons accorded no importance to this proposal. They instead continued to fan the flames of war and began to defeat the procedure of armistice.

Calling by the Quran

When all efforts of the Imam to avoid bloodshed were defeated he called his companions and asked which of them would raise the Book of Allah and invite those people to follow its commands and he informed that whosoever will perform this function would be martyred. No one responded to the Imam’s offer except a Kufian who said, “O chief of believers! I shall do it.”

Imam turned away from him and in the same way glanced at his companions and called them to this important mission. But none, except that youth, agreed to volunteer. The Imam handed over a copy of Quran to the lad and he set out happily without an iota of fear or terror. He came to Ayesha’s army displaying the Quran in his hand and raised his voice inviting them to act upon it. However those people whose egotism had prepared them to kill him, cut off his right hand and he transferred the Quran to his left. Again he called them to act upon it. They fell upon him and cut off his left hand also. He held the Quran with his teeth while he had lost a lot of blood. And he continued to invite them to reconciliation and to refrain from bloodshed saying, “For the sake of Allah, desist from shedding our blood and your blood.”

They showered him with their small spears and arrows till he fell down on the earth with his lifeless body and his mother rushed to him weeping and with her melted body she sat down to weep.

“O Allah, Muslim came to them reciting the Book of God and he was not fearful.

They dyed their beards with his blood while his mother stood and watched all this.”

After this completion of argument, the Imam had no option but to initiate the battle. So he told his companions, “Now it has become lawful to fight them and battle has become lawful for you.”[1]

At that time he summoned Hazeen Ibn Mundhir, a youth and told him, “O Hazeen, take this standard, that by Allah, neither in the past nor in the future any flag has fluttered that was nearer to guidance than it, except the flag that waved over the Prophet’s head.”

Regarding this, the poet says:

“When Hazeen was told to take that black flag forward he took it.

He took it forward for death so that it may take to the pools of death and from it rained death and blood.”[2]

[1] Muruj az-Zahab 2/361
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 2/269

# Period of Imam Amirul Momineen Ali Part 2

General Battle

When the Imam became sure that there was no possibility of a truce he readied his army in an elaborate way. Ayesha’s supporters similarly followed, making her sit astride her camel, Askar. She was made to sit on a Howdah covered by iron coat of mail and they came out to the battlefield in this way.

A severe battle ensued between the two armies. Some historians say that Imam Husain was leading a battalion and was in the left wing. He participated in the battle with firmness and determination[1] while Ayesha’s camel, according to those who were present there was the standard of the Basran army and people used to take refuge in it like people take refuge under a standard.

The Imam attacked them holding the flag in his left hand and wielding the Zulfiqar in his right. It was the sword used extensively during the period of the Prophet in defense of faith and to fight the polytheists.

Both armies continued to fight a furious battle and Ayesha’s supporters wanted to obtain victory and help their mother while Ali’s followers desired to support their Imam and lay down their lives in defense of His Eminence.

Zubair is Killed

Zubair was kind-hearted and held a position of esteem with the Holy Prophet but lust for power had deceived him and made him come out in opposition to the Imam. In addition to this, it was his son, Abdullah Ibn Zubair who had forced him into this calamity and created a split between him and his faith.

The Imam was aware of Zubair’s soft-heartedness, therefore he went out to the battlefield and called out aloud, “Where is Zubair?” At that time Zubair was fully armed and he came out. When Imam saw him he hastened to him and the Imam embraced him and said to him in a kind manner, “O Abu Abdillah, what has brought you here?”

“I have come to seek revenge of Uthman’s murder.”

Imam glanced at him and asked, “Do you want revenge for Uthman’s murder?”


“May Allah kill the murderers of Uthman. I swear to you by God, do you remember, one day you passed by me while you were with the Prophet and he was leaning on your hand. Then the Messenger of Allah saluted me and smiled to me. After that he glanced at you and said: “O Zubair, you would fight Ali while you would be in the wrong with relation to him…”

Zubair recalled that event while pain and remorse was killing him and due to that condition of his he was very much ashamed. He glanced at the Imam, confirming the Imam’s statement.

“Yes, by Allah.”

[1] Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/288


“Then why are you fighting me?”

“By Allah, I had forgotten it. If I had remembered it, I would not have come out against you and fought you.”[1]

“Go back.”

“How can I go back when battle is raging on both the sides? And by Allah it is a shame that cannot be washed off.”

“Go back, before degradation and Hellfire get you.”

He pulled the reins of his horse while confusion and worry had afflicted him.

He was going reciting the following couplets:

“I preferred humiliation to the flame of Hell as anything made of clay is not able to bear it.

Ali told me something I was not aware of. By your life, humiliation shall be in the world and religion.

I said: O Abal Hasan, do not flay me more as this much is sufficient for me.”[2]

Imam returned to his men and they said to him, “You went unarmed to Zubair while he was fully armed. Do you know his valor?”

Imam said, “He is not my killer; my killer shall be a person of unknown parentage, of not much status in a place other than a battlefield and not in the arena of warriors. Woe be on him! He is the most wretched human and he shall desire that his mother had not given birth to him. Know that! He and the red-faced people of Thamud shall be together…”[3]

Zubair harkened to the Imam’s call and he went to Ayesha and told her:

“Mother of believers, I am certainly not standing in a place but that I recognize the place where I have placed my feet. Except for this condition that I don’t know whether I am fortunate or unfortunate.”

Ayesha understood his changed mood that he has decided to leave the battlefield. So in order to arouse his sentiments she said in a taunting way, “O Abu Abdillah, are you scared of the sword of Abdul Muttalib’s family?”

This ridicule almost killed him. Then his son Abdullah criticized him through fear and trepidation and said, “You came out with full realization but when you saw the standard of the son of Abu Talib you knew that you shall be killed under it and therefore you became fearful?”

Although he had not come out with full understanding and neither was he aware of his condition. He had come out only for power and rulership.

Zubair was very much disturbed by his son’s diatribe and he said, “Woe be on you,

[1] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/68
[2] Muruj az-Zahab 2/363
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/234-235


I have sworn that I would not fight him.”

“Release yourself from the oath by the penalty of emancipating your slave, Sarjus.”

So he freed his slave[1] and stepped in the battlefield with fervor and began his attack in order to display his valor to his son and show him that he had fled due to his religion and not because of fear. Then he went far away from his venue and went on in this way till he reached the valley of Sabaa where Ahnaf bin Qais and his people were camping. Ibn Jurmuz pursued Zubair and attacked and killed him and conveyed the news of his killing to the Imam. His Eminence was very much aggrieved at this. Narrators say that His Eminence picked up the sword of Zubair and said, “This is the sword which removed many worries of the Prophet.”

Anyway, Zubair’s end was indeed regretful and sad because he had rebelled against truth and declared war against the successor of Allah’s Messenger and the gate of the city of knowledge of the Holy Prophet.

Killing of Talha

Talha came out in the battlefield encouraging the fighters to battle. Marwan bin Hakam saw him and shot an arrow at him as revenge for Uthman’s blood and Talha fell down bleeding.

Marwan told a son of Uthman, “I have taken revenge for the blood of your father from Talha on your behalf.”

Talha ordered his slave to take him to a safe place where he could rest. He took him to a dilapidated house in Basra but he died there after sometime.[2]

Ayesha Leads the Army

After the death of Zubair and Talha, Ayesha took over the command of the army. People of Banu Zubah and Banu Najiya laid down their lives in her defense. Historians say that they had become so much obsessed in her devotion that they used to pick up the droppings of her camel, smell them and say: “The dung of our mother’s camel smells of musk.”

They were surrounding her camel and did not have any other aim except defending her and no care for any victory or help. Their singers of war poems were chanting:

“O group of Azadis! Defend your mother as she is your Prayer and Fasting.

And keep your efforts and farsightedness prepared for the great honor that has surrounded you.

It shouldn’t be that the poison of your enemy is victorious over yours. Because if the enemy defeats you, he shall put you to death.

He would subject each one of you to cruelty. May your people be sacrificed for

[1] Tabari, Tarikh, 4/509
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/243-244


you, do not humiliate yourself.”[1]

Ayesha was inspiring those who were at her right, at her left and in front of her and said, “Noble men are patient!”

The Imam’s men tried to persuade Ayesha’s soldiers to stop fighting and their war-poem singers said:

“O our mother, you are the worst kind of mother that we know because a mother feeds her children and is kind to them.

Don’t you see how many valiant ones are getting mourned and are losing their hands and arms?”[2]

Ayesha’s supporters cried in response:

“We are the Bani Zabaa and the folks of the camel and we fight with ferocity if they come before us.

Getting killed is sweeter for us than honey and we are fighting for the sons of Uthman with our swords.

They should send back to us our leader and also Bajal.”[3]

Battle continued to rage furiously and thousands were wounded and the battlefield strewn with dead bodies.

Cutting off the camel’s legs

Imam concluded that till the time Ayesha’s camel remained, the battle would not come to an end. So His Eminence called out to the men to floor the camel because its remaining would cause the destruction of Arabs. His Eminence, Hasan went towards it and cut off its right foreleg and His Eminence, Husain attacked it and cut off its left foreleg.[4] The camel let out such an ear-splitting squeal that something like it had never been heard and it fell on its side and the defenders of the camel fled to the wilderness because their idol, for which they were sacrificing themselves, had shattered.

The Imam ordered that the camel be burnt to ashes and its ashes dispersed and nothing should remain of it to deviate the foolish people. After this was done, he said, “Curse of God be on it. How similar it was to the calf of Bani Israel?”

When its ashes were being dispersed in the atmosphere he glanced at it and recited the following words of the Almighty:

“…and look at your god to whose worship you kept (so long); we will certainly burn it, then we will certainly scatter it a (wide) scattering in the sea.”[5]

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/255-256 (Ismailiyan Edition)
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, Ibne Abil Hadid 1/264
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, Ibne Abil Hadid 1/254, Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 150
[4] Muhammad bin Zakaria bin Dinar, Waqiyah Jamal, Pg. 44
[5] Surah Taha 20:97


In this manner the battle came to an end and victory fell to the share of the Imam and his followers and the embezzling powers were humiliated and routed.

Imam sent Hasan, Husain and Muhammad Ibn Abu Bakr to meet Ayesha.[1] They went to her and Muhammad put his hand in the litter. Ayesha was shocked and she asked, “Who is it?”

“Your unhappiest relative.”

“Are you the son of that Khathami lady?”

“Yes, I am your righteous brother.”

“Very unkind to the relatives.”

“Have you received any harm?”

“An arrow has harmed me.”

He removed the arrow from her and picked up the broken litter and in the last part of the night took her to the house of Abdullah bin Khalaf Khuzai to Safiya, the daughter of Harith and she stayed there for some days.

General Amnesty

His Eminence, Ali dealt with the people of Basra in the same way as the Messenger of Allah had with the folks of Mecca. According to Yaqubi, His Eminence said:[2] “Thus the black and the red have become safe,” and he caused no harm to his enemy but sat down to meet the people. The healthy and the wounded ones among them pledged allegiance to him. At that time he went to the Public Treasury and took whatever was there in it and distributed it equally among the people. After that His Eminence went to Ayesha who was lodged at the house of Abdullah bin Khalaf Khuzai.

Safiya, the daughter of Harith came out and addressed Ali in the worst manner: “O Ali, O killer of the beloved ones, may God orphan your children like you orphaned the children of Abdullah.”

Abdullah’s sons were killed in the battle on Ayesha’s side.

Imam did not reply to her till he came to Ayesha and commanded her to leave Basra and go to her house and stay there as the Almighty has commanded.

When the Imam was leaving, Safiya repeated the things she had earlier said. Now His Eminence told her, “If I were the killer of relatives I would have killed those hiding in this house.” And he pointed towards the locked rooms where many of their wounded people and other rebels were hiding and Ayesha had given refuge to them. Those who were with the Imam wanted to attack them but the Imam restrained them and in this way he awarded amnesty to his enemies and opponents.

Imam sent away Ayesha in a suitable manner and also sent some women with

[1] Waqiyah Jamal, Pg. 45
[2] Yaqubi, 2/159, Ansaab al-Ashraaf 2/64


her dressed as men so that she may stay in her house as the Almighty had commanded.

Ayesha departed from Basra leaving many houses and families in mourning.

Umair bin Ahlab Zabi’, who was a partisan of Ayesha says:

“Our mother had left in heritage the scroll of death for us. And she did not move from her place but that we became like a rope.

We followed the clan of Teem due to our wretchedness, though Teem is nothing but a family of slaves and bondsmen.”[1]

The mother of believers put her children in the field of death because 10000 Muslims were killed in that battle according to some historians. Half were the partisans of Ayesha and the other half supporters of Ali.[2] More than anyone else, the Imam was aggrieved of this because he knew what evil consequences and calamities this battle was to cause.

Consequences of the Battle

The battle of Jamal was followed by the most terrible losses and greater disasters in which Muslims were involved. Some of them were as follows:[3]

1 – This battle opened up the way for Muawiyah to rise up in opposition to the Imam and to step out to engage the Imam in battles. Because he chose for himself the slogan of the people of Jamal, that was seeking the revenge for Uthman’s blood. And if the battle of Jamal hadn’t occurred, Muawiyah would not have dared to announce his disobedience and rebellion against the government of the Holy Imam.

2 – The battle of Jamal spread conflict and discord among the Muslims because before that the spirit of love and affection was dominant and after that enmity developed among the Arab families in such a way that people of Rabi and Yaman tribes of Basra became deeply inimical to their brothers from the Rabi and Yaman tribes of Kufa and they cried out for the revenge of the blood of their children. So much so that discord remained among the members of one and the same family if some of them were the Shias of Ali and others, partisans of Ayesha.

Historians say: Years later Basrans continued to nurture their loyalty to Uthman and that is why Imam Husain did not move to Basra as it was well known for its affections for the third caliph.

3 – The battle destroyed the awe of the government and people became emboldened to rebel against the law because it created groups that were only seeking benefits who had no other aim except to get rulership and to obtain control over the wealth of the country. So much so that battles took place with all its specialties of that time.

[1] Muruj az-Zahab 2/370
[2] Tabari, Tarikh, 4/539. In Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/59 the number of people who died is mentioned as 20000
[3] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/244


4 – The battle of Jamal opened the door of infighting among Muslims while before that they were extremely cautious of shedding each other’s blood.

5 – The battle became a cause for decline and backwardness of Islamic society and it hindered the progress that was originally intended. Because after the battle of Jamal, the Imam initiated fighting against the rebellion and disobedience of Muawiyah and other greedy characters that had began their activities against the government resulting in the most terrible losses to Islam.

Wells, the philosopher says, “It was very likely that Islam would have conquered the world if it had continued its original movement and if in the beginning itself internal fights had not occurred among them, which was the aim of Ayesha more than anything else, that was to defeat Ali.”[1]

6 – The battle trespassed the sanctity of the Holy Progeny whom the Holy Prophet had equated with the Book of Allah and compared them to the Ark of Salvation and safety for the people. And from the same day swords were pulled out against the Progeny of the Prophet and the pledge-breakers began to consider shedding their blood and captivating their children lawful. Hence the Bani Umayyads did not take into consideration any sort of sanctity and honor of those people in the event of Kerbala.

These were some of the most terrible consequences of the battle of Jamal, which created the greatest harms for the Muslims in all periods of history.

Qasiteen (Rebels)

The Holy Imam had hardly become free from the battle against the Nakiseen (Pledge-breakers) as the Holy Prophet had named them, when he had to prepare for the battle against the Qasiteen, as the Holy Prophet has also labeled them.

Imam decided to move from Basra to Kufa to prepare for the battle against the greatest enemy, Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan, who had fought against the Messenger of Allah and had made great efforts in this regard. Muawiyah was not in any way less than his father in his enmity towards Islam and Muslims. The early Muslims used to view with suspicion and doubt their acceptance of Islam and he was able to by deceit and fraud control the second caliph and had obtained a lofty position near him, till he made him the governor of Syria; and tried much to support and strengthen him. After his death, Uthman let him continue in his post and expanded his power and Muawiyah remained in Syria like a person who is desirous of power and rulership. On the basis of this he saw for himself a golden opportunity and he bought the loyalties of people and utilized the economy of the province for strengthening his position.

After the deeds that Uthman had committed it was obvious to Muawiyah that he would be killed. When Uthman was besieged and requested Muawiyah’s help, Muawiyah delayed sending assistance and was waiting for the time when Uthman

[1] Shaykh al-Madheerah, Abu Hurairah, Pg. 173


would be killed. After that Muawiyah took the shirt and blood of Uthman as his medium to obtain power. The battle of Jamal also showed him how the matter of seeking revenge for Uthman’s blood could be utilized for obtaining rulership and kingdom.

Historians say: He made the killing of Uthman a big issue and considered it to be a very serious matter. And took it as a pretext for strengthening his power.

Imam was observing extreme precaution in his religion, therefore neither he planned against anyone nor he expressed his support for any party. Rather he acted in the most open manner. Hence he refused to allow Muawiyah to continue as the governor of Syria because to allow him to continue at his post would be a support for oppression and strengthening of injustice.

Anyway, the Imam came out with his armed forces from the battle of Jamal in Basra and moved to Kufa in order to make it his capital and residence. As soon as he reached Kufa he began to prepare for confronting a powerful enemy and one who was popular and supported by all his people (Syrians).

After the Imam’s victory in Jamal, Sharii in the following couplets, encouraged him to go out against the Syrians:

“Tell this Imam that battle has ended and the bounty is completed for him.

We are free from fighting the pledge-breakers while a horrible serpent is present in Syria.

Which is spewing venom and whomsoever it strikes has no cure. So shoot it down before it could strike.”[1]

Sending of Jurair

Before the Imam could take up the matter of crushing the rebel in Syria, he sent Jurair bin Abdullah Bajali to him to call him to obedience and to enter into that allegiance with which the Muslims had entered to the Imam. He also sent a letter to him.[2] In which he called him in the briefest but clear statements that he should come to the right path. And he said: Wisdom guides those who seek guidance and those whose inner conscience the Almighty Allah has illuminated.

Jurair came to Muawiyah and delivered the Imam’s letter. He also advised him extensively and warned him. Muawiyah heard him but didn’t say anything in reply. He refrained from it for a long time, because he did not have any other option but to decline peace and postpone the matter.

Muawiyah and Amr Ibn Aas

Muawiyah realized that he would not be able to dominate the events without joining Amr Aas, who was the most cunning of the Arabs. So he wanted his help for political victory through his plots and machinations. Therefore he wrote to him

[1] Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 117
[2] Ar-Risalah fi Waqiyatus Siffeen, Pg. 27-30


inviting him to Damascus.

Ibn Aas according to historians, was displeased with Uthman due to his suspension at the latter’s hand and he was instigating people against Uthman. He encouraged them to rise up in revolt against the third caliph. Amr Aas was of those who had prepared the ground for revolution against Uthman. When he became assured that the uprising against Uthman was certain he returned to his land that he owned in Palestine and began to reside there and closely followed the news concerning Uthman.

When Muawiyah’s letter arrived, Amr Aas continued to remain busy in his work and sought advice from his two sons Abdullah and Muhammad.

Abdullah who was a man of righteous inclinations suggested that he should remain aloof and not to reply anything to Muawiyah till Muslims are united once more and then they could join the Muslims.

His son Muhammad who was greedy for that which the youth of Quraish had been covetous liked progress and fame and therefore he suggested to his father to join Muawiyah so that they should get some share from his worldly possessions.

Amr told his son, Abdullah: “You have advised us that which is good for our religion,” and he told his son, Muhammad, “You have suggested that which is beneficial for our worldly life.” Thus that night he remained sleepless debating whether he should join Ali and be like other Muslims so that whatever shall be for them would also be there for him. And to take up that which they had taken upon themselves except that he should achieve from this world but would decide his fate in the Hereafter. Or that he should join hands with Muawiyah and obtain material wealth that he anticipated while he had not forgotten the governorship of Egypt and he continuously used to lament at its loss. His couplets are recorded from him that night that describe his mental struggle.

The dawn had not broken but that he gave precedence to his world before his Hereafter and decided to join hands with Muawiyah. So he set out for Damascus accompanied by his two sons. When they reached he began to lament among the Syrians like a woman, “Alas, for Uthman! I am grieving for shame and religion!”[1]

We ask: O Ibn Aas! May God Kill you! Are you lamenting for Uthman? While you had instigated people against him? And encouraged enmity towards him? Even when you came across quadrupeds you used to incite them against Uthman so that they may shed his blood.

At that time he had gambled his life for power with so much ferocity that he made people forgetful of their religion and they committed all the things that the Almighty Allah had prohibited.

When he met Muawiyah he began to speak about the battle against Imam. Ibn Aas said, “As for Ali, by Allah! Arabs do not consider you and him equal in any matter

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/274


and in the battle he has an advantage that no one of the Quraish has except that you be oppressive to him.

Muawiyah expressed his view regarding the battle against the Imam and said: “You are right, but we shall fight for that which is in our hand and we shall put the responsibility of Uthman’s blood on him.”

Ibn Aas ridiculed him saying, “Woe be to me, you are the one who deserves to say the least about Uthman.”

“Woe be to you, why?”

“But you abandoned him while the Syrians were with you. So much so that Yazid bin Asad Bajali asked for help and he went towards him. And as far as I am concerned I openly deserted him and ran away to Palestine…”[1]

Muawiyah knew that Ibn Aas would not be sincere with him and he saw wisdom in making him his confidant and that he may reward him for his religion. So he clarified further and said, “O Amr, do you love me?”

“What for?” For the Hereafter? By Allah the Hereafter is not with you. Or for the world? By Allah, it shall not be so till I remain your partner in it.”

“Are you my partner in it?”

“Write Egypt and its surrounding areas for me.”

“You will get what you want.”

Thus he wrote the governorship of Egypt for him and also fixed remuneration for him[2] so that he may confront the successor of the Messenger of Allah. And in this way he won over the heart of the most cunning Arab and a senior member of Quraish. He was the person aware of the condition of the people and he knew that how he could dominate the events.

Sending back of Jurair

When Muawiyah’s job was over and his position became established, he sent back Jurair and along with him sent a letter addressed to the Holy Imam. Therein he put the responsibility of Uthman’s blood on Imam and he announced the unanimity of Syrians to fight His Eminence if he does not hand over to them the killers of Uthman and entrusts the caliphate to the consensus of Muslims.

Jurair departed for Kufa and informed him about the refusal of Muawiyah and told him about the topic the Syrians were according importance with reference to the Imam.

Imam decided to once again complete the argument for him and therefore he sent another messenger so that he may invite him to obedience and to enter that which the Muslims had entered. But this did not produce any result because Muawiyah became assured that he was capable of confronting and opposing the Imam and he became determined on his deviation and apostasy.

[1] Yaqubi, Tarikh, 2/162
[2] Iqdul Farid 4/345


Uthman’s Shirt

Muawiyah with deceit and intrigue incited the simple- minded people of Syria in the grief of Uthman because he used to display Uthman’s bloodstained shirt from the pulpit and this made them lament more. He also instructed his preachers to magnify this matter and instigate the people to seek revenge for Uthman’s blood. And whenever their grief abated to some extent, Ibn Aas said in a taunting manner, “Chase the young one of the she-camel and make her disconcerted.”[1]

Muawiyah also took out Uthman’s shirt for them and they again became aggrieved for him. They swore that except for nocturnal emission they would not put bath water on their body for ritual bath. And they swore that they would not go near their women and not sleep on their beds till they kill the murderers of Uthman.[2]

Their hearts burst to rise up in battle to seek the revenge for Uthman’s blood. Muawiyah convinced them that Ali was responsible for Uthman’s murder and he was shielding his killers. They reached to such a condition that they were more eager for the battle than Muawiyah himself.

Muawiyah’s Mobilization of Army towards Siffeen

Muawiyah understood that except for battle there was no other option because Imam in his own religion did not either openly showed off nor was there any intrigue in his plans. He did not let him continue as the governor of Syria and did not entrust him with any post in the government. Rather he had removed him from all government machinery. Because he had become aware of his defects in his faith and his evil intentions regarding Islam and Muslims.

Muawiyah set out with a huge army of Syrians and sent out scouts (advance guards) before him while he made his companions camp at the best place nearest to the Euphrates and he took control of the Euphrates and considered it his first victory and thus he deprived his enemy from water and posted his soldiers there as a preparation for beginning the battle and arranged his forces for the main confrontation.

Imam comes out for the battle

Imam became ready for the battle and sent out preachers in Kufa to mobilize people to rise up for Jihad and confront Muawiyah after they had obtained the great victory of Jamal.

Imam Husain delivered great awakening sermons. After praise and glorification of Allah he said as follows:

“O people! You are the chosen and selected companions to finish off that which has been created among you and to make efforts to ease what has been made difficult for you. But you should know that battle is an open mischief and a bitter

[1] This is a proverb which means: Remind them of some sorrows so that they become distressed (Tr.)
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/277


thing. Thus whoever is ready for it should prepare the necessary provision. And he must not fear for their wound before they are inflicted on him.

Know that! He shall be their friend and whoever moves towards it before its time and before its appointing of the manner and pursuit, then he shall be the nearest that the people shall not gain anything from him and he would have thrown away himself to perdition. We implore the Almighty that He may give you power by His help.”[1]

This sermon was full of encouragement to hasten for the battle and complete preparation for it. And to make them careful in understanding the requirements of success and means of obtaining victory on the enemies. And that carelessness and sloth shall result in defeat and humiliation. This sermon also proves the wide knowledge of the Imam regarding military affairs and problems connected with war.

After the speech of the Prophet’s grandson, people presented themselves for battle and began to arrange their forces and when their provision and preparations were ready Imam Amirul Momineen departed with them to fight the son of Abu Sufyan. He dispatched the vanguard before him and instructed it not to initiate the battle against the Syrians till His Eminence reaches to them.

The Iraqi army came out like a flood and they were convinced that they were going to battle disobedient powers that were against Islam and who were enemies of their aim.

Along the Imam’s journey numerous events occurred but prolonging our discussion by narrating them in detail here is uncalled for. We would mention them in a passing manner.

Obtaining control over the Euphrates

Imam’s men could not find a way to reach Euphrates because Muawiyah’s forces had surrounded the river and they strictly forbade the Imam’s forces to draw water from there.

When Imam saw this situation he dispatched a messenger to Muawiyah to ask him to accord permission to use the river water. However the dialogue did not produce any result but rather they persisted in their prohibition and they wanted to keep them deprived like Uthman was deprived of water when he was under siege.

The Imam’s soldiers were afflicted with severe thirst and Ashath bin Qais came out to His Eminence and asked permission to begin the battle and to compel the enemy forces to give up their control over the Euphrates. Imam had no option but to accord the permission.

Furious battle ensued between the two armies and the Imam’s forces emerged victorious and they took the Euphrates under their control. They wanted to pay back in their own coin and to deprive them of the water from Euphrates in the

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/186 (Ismailiyan Edition)


same way as the soldiers of Muawiyah had acted with them. However the Imam did not permit this and they acted as gentlemen and righteous people and allowed them use of river water.

Decadence and degradation were of the basic elements of the Umayyads and a part of their personal trait because in the plains of Kerbala also they repeated the same act they had performed in Siffeen and they cut off the water supply from the Euphrates for Imam Husain and his entourage and the ladies and children of the Prophet’s household were not given a drop from the river so that thirst may defeat them and lack of water may burst their hearts and the Umayyads did not pay heed to any voice of conscience and their hearts did not soften that they should have given a little water and proved their kind heartedness.

Messengers of Armistice

Imam very carefully refrained from shedding the blood of Muslims and in order to make peace and ceasefire he made many efforts. He dispatched Adi bin Hatim, Shabth bin Rabi, Yazid bin Qais and Ziyad bin Hafasa to Muawiyah in order to invite him to save the blood of Muslims, remind him of the Hereafter and warn him that if he desists they would to face the same fate as the folks of Jamal. But the son of Hind did not respond to these demands and continued to remain on his misguidance and deviation and hoisted the responsibility of Uthman’s murder on the Imam. Because his military power, unity in his forces and his obstinacy on seeking revenge for Uthman’s blood incited him to disobedience.

Agents for making peace returned unsuccessful and they became convinced that Muawiyah intended to fight and he was not at all inclined to peace. They informed the Holy Imam about this matter. His Eminence became prepared for the battle and called the people for war.

The Battle

Imam prepared his men with their flags for the battle and he commanded his soldiers that they must not begin hostilities as he had ordered in the battle of Jamal. And also not to pursue anyone who flees from the battle. They must not attack the wounded or trample the dead. They should not attack the women. These and other instructions issued by the Imam displayed the code of war in Islam.

Battalions from the army of the Imam came out against battalions from the army of Muawiyah and the two groups fought the whole day or a part of the day. Then they used to halt the fighting without an all out war taking place between them. From these circumstances the Imam hoped that Muawiyah may become inclined to making peace and refraining from bloodshed.

These conditions continued for some days of the month of Zilhajj, till the month of Mohurrum arrived. And these were the months in which, in Islam and in pre-Islamic age hostilities were prohibited. The two armies refrained from fighting the whole month and they got the opportunity to meet each other in peace because they gave assurance of ceasefire to each other and no fighting took place among them.


Envoys of peace also tried to bring peace between the two opponents but they did not achieve any result while the dispute among the two parties had intensified. People of Iraq were calling the Syrians for unity and asked them to join in the allegiance to the Imam. On the other hand the Syrians were determined to seek revenge of Uthman’s blood and they refused to pay allegiance to the Holy Imam. They wanted caliphate to be handed over to the Shura Committee of Muslims.

When the month of Mohurrum concluded they began to fight again but the battle did not take up the form of an all out war. It remained as sporadic fighting. A battalion fought a battalion and a regiment fought a regiment.

Both the groups finally tired of this sporadic fighting and they were goading for an all out battle. Therefore the Imam prepared the soldiers fully and Muawiyah also did the same. The two armies entered into furious battle and terrible fighting followed. And the right wing of the Imam’s army was placed at the back and the Imam accompanied by Hasan and Husain participated in the battle[1] But as for the left side his soldiers, that is Rabia continuously fought valiantly. Writers say: “After today no excuse shall remain with Arabs if you receive any harm while the Imam is amidst you.”

Rabia took oath for death and remained steadfast in the battle. And on the right the soldiers continued their efforts under the command of their general, Malik Ashtar. And the battle continued to rage on with ferocity. Weakness and signs of defeat became apparent in Muawiyah’s army and he decided to flee the battlefield but he recalled the couplets of Ibnul Itanabe that were as follows:

“I do not like courage, effort and moving forward against the magnanimous warrior.

And that I give my property unwillingly or to earn praise with profit.

And my words, when my life is in distress and anxiety; in your place would you praise him or you will sit quietly?”

Restraining Hasan and Husain from the Battle

Imam Amirul Momineen restrained the two grandsons of the Messenger of Allah from taking an active part in the battle. His Eminence said, “Protect these two youths (i.e. Hasan and Husain), in my place. So that as a result of their killing the Progeny of the Messenger of Allah should not be cut off.”[2]

Imam was making great efforts to keep the two beloved ones of the Messenger of Allah safe because they were the means of continuation and survival of the generations of His Eminence.

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 2/305 & 3/86
[2] Nahjul Balagha 11/200 (Ismailiyan Edition)


Ammar’s Martyrdom

Ammar bin Yasir was the most prominent face in the group of Imam. He was the one who made the greatest efforts and he was the most patient of them in the path of Islam. Since the passing away of the Prophet he had followed Ali and always accompanied him because he was certain that His Eminence was with the truth and truth was with him as the Messenger of Allah had informed.

At the time of the battle of Siffeen, Ammar was an aged man of ninety but his heart and perception were safe from ageing because in that battle he seemed to be a young man and he fought the battalion of Ibn Aas. He pointed to their standard and said, “By Allah, thrice have I fought this regiment and this one is not the best of them.” When he saw his men sitting back in the battlefield he told them, “By Allah, even if they chase us till Nakhala Hajr I shall still believe that we are on the right and they are on falsehood.”

Narrators say: One morning during the days of Siffeen he took up his position early in such a way that he was eager to see the Messenger of Allah and to meet his parents. So he hastened to the Holy Imam and sought his permission to enter the battlefield so that maybe he is blessed with martyrdom, but the Imam did not accord permission to him. However he persisted in his pleading and at last the Imam relented to his entreaties. Yet the Imam wept bitterly to see Ammar departing.

Ammar departed for the battlefield while his powers were at maximum and he achieved his desires that he had been allowed to proceed towards his martyrdom. He was elated and joyous at this and he called out aloud, “This day I shall meet my favorite ones, Muhammad and his companions…”

The battalion in which Ammar was fighting its standard bearer was Hashim bin Utbah Mirqal. He was a Muslim cavalier and a righteous person, one of the best friends of the Imam and the most sincere of them. He had only one healthy eye.

Ammar went towards him and sometimes he spurred him severely to the battlefield and said: “Move forward, O One-eyed man!” At other times he addressed him in a kind manner and said: “May my parents be sacrificed on you! Attack!” Hashim said: “May God have mercy on you. O Abul Yaqzan! You are a man who considers a battle as light and in the same way shall crawl ahead; maybe we can achieve what we desire.” At last Hashim was fed up and launched an attack reciting the following Rajaz (War poem):

“They have denounced me severely and not said anything less. I have gambled my life and I shall not return.

I am that one-eyed man who finds his own place. Either I shall defeat or be defeated.

I made great efforts in life and now I am fed up with it. I shall stop them with my spear.”


This Rajaz shows his determination and his disgust with the life of this world. When he jumped into the battle with ferocity and zeal Ammar was fighting alongside him, reciting the following Rajaz:

“We fought you for the revelation of Quran and today we fight you for its interpretation.

A fight that separates the head from the body and separates two friends.

It is that the right is restored to its position.”

Ammar, with a sincere faith, fought the polytheists on the side of the Messenger of Allah and in defense of monotheism he participated in severe confrontations. And with the brother of the Messenger of Allah he fought for the defense of the interpretation of Quran and in defense of the Imam of the Muslims. Thus what gifts and favors Ammar bestowed on Islam!

Ammar entered into a furious battle with the powers of embezzlement and the fighting intensified. Finally the filthiest one of humanity, a person named Abul Ghadiya attacked him and hit him with his sword injuring him fatally. Ammar, the one with a lofty belief and faith fell down while he was with intense thirst and lay writhing in his own pure blood. A lady brought a bowl of milk for him and when he saw her he smiled and became certain that his end was near and in a satisfied tone said, “The Messenger of Allah told me: Your last drink of the world would be a bowl of milk and an unjust group shall kill you.”

Not much time passed when he breathed his last and with his death, closed the most illuminated and prominent page of belief and Jihad. And that brave warrior who had illuminated his life and thoughts with sincerity and struggle departed up to the Almighty.

While Ammar was gone to the battle, Imam Amirul Momineen was continuously restless and he used to say, “Get me some news of the son of Sumaiyyah.”

A group of soldiers went out in search of Ammar and found him martyred soaked in blood. They rushed back to the Imam and informed him about Ammar’s martyrdom.

The Imam was devastated by the shock and his strength sapped. A wave of pain passed over his countenance, because he had just lost a brother and a friend.

The Imam moved towards the place of Ammar’s martyrdom with his heart filled with grief and his eyes filled with tears. Commanders of the army aggrieved at the loss of a great warrior also accompanied him.

When the Holy Imam reached that place of Ammar’s martyrdom, he threw himself upon him and kissed him. Then he wept bitterly and expressed his grief in fiery words and said: “One who does not accord any importance to son of Yasir of those killed among the Muslims and is not afflicted with a great sorrow is not a righteous person. May Allah have mercy on Ammar on the day he became a


Muslim. May Allah have mercy on Ammar on the day he is martyred. May Allah have mercy on Ammar on the day he shall be raised. I saw Ammar that whenever the Messenger of Allah named four companions, Ammar was fourth of them and whenever he names five companions, Ammar was fifth of them and none of the senior companions of the Prophet had any doubt that on more than one occasion the Paradise had been made incumbent for Ammar and no two persons (had doubt in it). Thus congratulations to Ammar for gaining Paradise.”

Imam took the head of Ammar in his lap while tears were flowing on his cheeks.

Imam Hasan and others also came forward and lamented for the great martyr in sorrow and grief. After that Imam arose and buried Ammar.

Historians say: When the news of Ammar’s martyrdom spread, consternation arose among the soldiers of Muawiyah because they had heard that the Holy Prophet had said: “An unjust group shall kill him (Ammar)” And it became clear to them they themselves were these same people about whom the Messenger of Allah had stated as above. However, Ibn Aas was able to remove the discord by saying that whosoever has brought Ammar to the battle is the one responsible for his death. The gullible Syrians believed what Ibn Aas told them.

After the martyrdom of Ammar the battle intensified further while the forces of Muawiyah had fled and weakness had become obvious in his fighters.

Ibn Aas’ Ruse

The most horrible trick ever played in all of history of all the nations was the one enacted by Ibn Aas. It was hoisting the pages of Quran on points of spears. R. Miller has described it as the worst type of joke ever played in the history of humanity.[1]He says: I believe that this was not an extempore trick and a sudden matter because it was probably as a result of a secret pact between Ibn Aas and Ashath bin Qais, an Iraqi commander. The two of them had been in secret contact throughout the battle. Dr. Taha Husayn also holds this belief and he says: “It is not unlikely that Ashath bin Qais, the most cunning of the Iraqi people in secret contact with Ibn Aas the most cunning one of the Syrians, hatched a plot so that people may fight among themselves. Then if the Syrians were to emerge victorious, what could be better than that but if they feared defeat or were about to be routed, they would raise Quran aloft the spears and in this way create
discord among the men of Ali and fan the flames of conflict among them.”[2]

Anyway when the defeat of Syrians became obvious and their forces began to disperse, Muawiyah rushed to Amr Aas in shock and sought his view. Amr advised him to raise the Quran.

Muawiyah at once ordered that approximately 500 copies of Quran should be

[1] Aqida wa Shariyat dar Islam, Pg. 190
[2] Al-Fitnatul Kubra 2/89


raised on spears and clamor of Syrians rose up in unison. All of them spoke in one voice, “This Book of Allah, from its opening till the end, is between you and us. Who would defend the borders of Syria after the people of Syria are destroyed? Who would defend the borders of Iraq after the Iraqis are destroyed? Who would go for Jihad to Rome? Who would defend against the Turks? Who would confront the infidels?”

This call fell like a bolt of lightning on the Iraqi army which transformed them completely and like waves they rushed to the Imam and cried, “Muawiyah has come to you with sincerity, he has called you to the Book of Allah. You must accept his offer.”

The Imam was greatly affected by the fraudulent proposal and he knew that it was a result of their military defeat. They had no aim except to deceive the people and they had raised Quran not because they had faith in it. It was only to fool their opponents. It was a matter of great regret that they did not take into consideration the moments of their future-making of history and they did not keep in view the future of the Ummah while not more than a few moments remained for the annihilation of oppression and destruction of the foundations of injustice.

How terrible and regretful it was that they remained obstinate on their rebellion and enmity. Twelve thousand person from among them having marks of prostration on their foreheads, they came out and addressed the Imam by his name, “O Ali, you must reply positively to these people who have called you in the name of this book. Otherwise we shall kill you like we killed the son of Affan. By Allah if you do not relent we shall make good our threat…”

The Holy Imam spoke to them in a sorrowful and kind manner so that he may root out the spirit of rebellion from them. However the Imam’s words remained ineffective and they continued in their deviation and they were stubborn on forcing the Imam to accept the truce. Ashath bin Qais was instigating them for this and in a loud voice he demanded that the offer of Syrians be accepted.

Imam had no option but to accept the offer and therefore he ordered that hostilities be stopped while his heart was shattered by grief and sorrow. Because he had become certain that falsehood had won over truth and all the efforts and sacrifices of his army had been in vain.

The traitors insisted upon the Imam that he should call back Malik Ashtar from the battlefield while he was just inches from victory.

Imam sent a message to him to come back but he paid no heed to this and he told the messenger, “Tell my master that this is not the time that you should prefer to keep me away from this opportunity. I am sure that the Almighty Allah shall bestow victory for us. Thus do not put me to haste…”

The messenger returned and conveyed Malik’s response to the Imam. Those uncivilized people began to scream in denouncing the Holy Imam. They said, “We don’t see except that you had ordered him to fight on.”


Imam was in a great difficulty in front of them. So he told them, “Did you see me speak in a secret manner with my messengers? Did I not speak to them in presence of you all?”

However they remained adamant on their waywardness and said, “Tell him to come back immediately or by Allah we shall depose you…”

They were determined to create mischief and it was very likely they would have harmed Imam. Therefore His Eminence issued an emphatic order that Malik should leave the battlefield.

Malik obeyed the instructions while the Syrian army was routed and as he returned to the Imam he asked Yazid, the Imam’s messenger, “Has this mischief appeared due to the raising of copies of Quran?”


Ashtar understood the deceit of Ibn Aas and he said, “By Allah, when the Qurans were raised I understood that discord and conflict would indeed develop and this was a plot of the son of that unchaste woman. Do you not see victory? Don’t you see what conditions they had created? Don’t you see what Allah is doing for us? Is it right to leave them and turn away?”

Yazid told him about the terrible circumstances and dangerous atmosphere in which the Imam was caught and he said, “Would you prefer that you become victorious while Amirul Momineen has to bear calamities at the hands of his enemies?”

Ashtar said what befits a believer, “Glory be to Allah! No by Allah, I would not like that!”

“It is only they who told the Imam, ‘Tell Malik to come back or we shall kill you with our swords like we slew the son of Affan, or we shall hand you over to your enemy?’”

Immersed in grief and deserted by sorrow, Ashtar returned while all his hopes were shattered.

He went towards the people and scolded them severely asking them to leave him to attack the enemies because victory and success was very close.

Those transmogrified people paid no heed to Malik’s statements and being firm on the way to degradation and humiliation said: “No! No!”

“Give me only respite equal to the jump of a horse because I am sure of victory…”

“In that case we shall become your partners in sin…”

Ashtar argued with them with logic and reasoning and he criticized their belief. He said, “Tell me, when the stalwarts have been martyred and the lowly ones among you remain in their places – when were you on the right? Whether it was of that time when you were killing the Syrians or now when you have stopped fighting and are on falsehood. Or now that you have refrained from fighting are you on the


right? In that case those of you were killed, whose greatness you do not deny, and who were better than you, are all in the fire of hell…”

These brilliant arguments did not succeed to change their stance. They said. “O Ashtar! Leave us! We fought them for the sake of Allah. We shall not obey you. Go away from us!”

When Ashtar became certain that they cannot be reformed he gave them a severe reply and he frightened them of the consequences of this mischief and that after this they would never get any respect.

In fact they never received any honor after that because the rightful rulership slipped from their hands and their power went into Muawiyah’s hands and he subjected them to terrible difficulties.

Malik petitioned the Imam to fight them but the Imam refused because definitely the majority of the representatives in the Imams army were opposing the Imam and starting battles against them would have worst consequences because the Ummah shall become an easy morsel for the Umayyads.

Imam (a.s) bowed his head while waves of pain and sorrow surrounded him. For a long time he thought of the bitter results that these disobedient people had created.

Historians say: They thought that the Imam’s silence implied his consent. They cried, “Ali, Amirul Momineen has accepted arbitration and has agreed to follow the command of Quran.”

Imam (a.s) was immersed in sorrow. The control of the affairs had gone out of his hand and his soldiers had rebelled against him. The Imam could not do anything about it. He describes what befell him in the following words, “Yesterday I was the chief and today I am ordered! Yesterday I was refusing it and today I am refused…”


The Imam’s difficulties and hardships at the hands of his rebellion army were not limited to this. A far greater problem appeared because the disobedient people under the leadership of Ashath bin Qais insisted on the selection of Abu Musa Ashari who was more severe and mischievous enemy of the Imam. This was so because they knew that Abu Musa would definitely depose the Imam from caliphate and appoint in his place a candidate of their choice. They all besieged the Imam from all sides and raised the slogan: “We want Abu Musa!”

Imam (a.s) prevented them and he refused to allow the selection of Abu Musa. He said, “In the beginning you turned away from me. Now do not disobey me. I have decided not to appoint Abu Musa.”

They remained adamant on their misguidance and disobedience and they said, “We shall not accept anyone else because we would befall into that which he had warned us of.”


The Holy Imam (a.s) told them about the real condition of Abu Musa and his opposition to His Eminence and said, “He is not reliable, he has separated from me and he instigated people against me and then he ran away from me till finally I gave him amnesty. We shall appoint Ibn Abbas (for arbitration).”

They refused the appointment of the Ibn Abbas. Imam (a.s) then proposed the appointment of Malik Ashtar but they remained adamant on selection of Abu Musa Ashari. The Imam had no option but to relent and accord his consent.

Arbitration Document

The two sides decided to appoint Ibn Aas from the Syrian and Abu Musa Ashari from the Iraqi side as arbitrators. And that they should compose a document and they decided that they would act according to their judgment. They wrote in the document a text that Tabari has narrated as follows:

In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful. This is the agreement between Ali Ibn Abi Talib and Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan. This decision of Ali will be effective on the people of Iraq and those who are in his community or ordinary believers with them. And this treaty of Muawiyah will be applicable to the people of Syria and those who are with Muawiyah. We accept the command of Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime and Book of Allah and except for the Book of Allah no decision would be applicable to us and we shall act upon whatever is present from the beginning to the end in the Book of Allah and that we shall make popular what this Book orders to enliven and we shall stop whatever it commands to be stopped. All the arbitrators, that is Abu Musa Ashari, Abdullah bin Qais and Amr bin al-Aas al-Qarshi will follow whatever decision they find in the Book of Allah. They shall act on the practice that is based on justice and equity and that upon which all
shall be in agreement and no one shall be opposed to it. Both the arbitrators shall take oaths and pledges from Ali and Muawiyah and their soldiers and other reliable people also that the lives and properties of both of them will be protected and whatever these two decide in that the whole community will co-operate with them and this pledge will be incumbent on the Muslims of both parties that whatever is written in this treaty is accepted by us and I have made the decision of both the arbitrators compulsory on all Muslims. All these people shall remove their weapons and all would observe peace. They can go wherever they like. Their lives, properties, women and children shall be secure. All shall observe peace whether present or absent and the oath and pledge of the Almighty shall be on Abdullah bin Qais and Amr bin Aas that they decide the matter of the community and that they do not once more make them involved in war and discord. It is another thing
that someone may not accept their decision and the duration of this judgment shall be till the month of Ramadan and if these two arbitrators like to increase this duration they can do so with mutual agreement and if one of the two arbitrators dies the Amir of the followers shall appoint another judge in his place and that person shall be selected from just and equitable persons. And the place of the judgment of these two shall be a place that is between the people of Kufa and Syria. These judges


may take the testimony of whosoever they like on the verdict and they shall write down their testimony and this verdict and those witnesses shall support them in their verdict. And they shall oppose those who intend to nullify it. O Allah! We seek Your help against the one who rejects this verdict.[1]

A group from each party signed the document and brought it into force. This agreement fulfilled the aspirations of Muawiyah and he survived the danger to his life and the lives of his followers.

The most remarkable point about this document is that it mentions nothing about the revenge of Uthman’s blood. Not a slightest objection is mentioned about it. Rather it speaks of peace and amity between the two groups. I believe that this document was written without the Imam having any say in it because His Eminence had left his army men to do as they like.

The Imam’s Return to Kufa

Imam left Siffeen for Kufa; we don’t think that any writer is able to describe in reality the calamity that befell the Holy Imam (a.s). Because His Eminence returned in great shock as he was aware that the falsehood of Muawiyah had become stable and strong and his position had become established. He saw that his own soldiers had become rebels because when he called them they did not harken to his call. This was a result of their involvement in mischief and hardships. Historians say that they used to abuse and kill each other. They also used to oppress each other. The most dangerous thing that arose was the problem of the Khawarij about which we shall discuss soon. It was a disease that was destroying the ranks of Iraqis and the biggest danger that came to them and had broken the unity of the Imam’s army and which spread fear and terror in their ranks.

Imam (a.s) reached Kufa and saw that people were afflicted due to the loss of the lives of their dear ones in the Battle of Siffeen because those who were killed in Siffeen were many times more than those who died in Jamal.

With the Mariqeen

Narrators say: the Messenger of Allah had named the people of Nahrawan as Mariqeen and he commanded Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s) to fight them just as he ordered fighting against the Nakiseen and Qasiteen.

The obvious fact is the method of thinking of Khawarij, deviation in the movement and obstinacy on ignorance and disobedience because they based their philosophy on bigotry and lack of contemplation and perception. Their slogan for which they sacrificed themselves was: There is no command except of Allah. However not much time passed but they began to accept that sword was necessary for rulership and they spread terror and mischief in the land, which we shall explain below.

Anyway, when Imam returned from Siffeen to Kufa they did not enter Kufa. They went to Hurura and became to be called Hururis. On the basis of what historians

[1] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/53-54


state, they numbered 1200. They selected Shabth Ibn Rabi as their commander and Abdullah Kuwa Yashkari to lead them in prayers. They vacated the Imam from caliphate and entrusted the caliphate to a Shura committee of Muslims.

The Imam was infuriated at their rebellion and he dispatched Abdullah Ibn Abbas to meet them emphasizing that he must not speak or deal harshly with them till the Imam reaches them. But Ibn Abbas was compelled to debate with them and he was talking to them when Imam arrived. He prohibited Ibn Abbas from arguing with them. He said, “By Allah, this is the occasion that whoever succeeds in this shall be successful in the Hereafter. And one who talks unrightfully in it shall be blind and deviated in the Hereafter.”

Then he asked them, “Who is your leader?”

“Ibn Kuwa.”

“What has forced you to disobey us?”

“Your arbitration in Siffeen?”

“I put you under oath of Allah. When they raised the Quran and you were telling me to accept the truce did I not tell you that I knew them better than you? They are not religious and people of Quran. I have lived with them. When they were children and when they grew up. They were the worst children and the most mischievous adults. Move forward with the truth and rightfulness because those people have raised Quran as a ruse. But you refused to accept my view and told me to accept the truce. Recall what I told you and how you opposed me. And when you did not accept anything except Quran we imposed the condition on the arbitrators that they should only follow the commands of Quran. Then if they had acted according to the command of Quran I would not have opposed it. If they had refused we would also have refused to accept their decision.”

This brilliant argument refuted all their doubts because they were themselves responsible for every mischief and corruption that had taken place and in this regard the Imam has not committed anything wrong.

They asked His Eminence, “Do you think it was an act of justice to appoint some people as arbitrators over loss of human lives?”

“We did not appoint people as arbitrators, rather we appointed the Quran as arbitrators. This is the Quran which is a writing between two covers, that people speak by it.”

“Tell us why you fixed a period of respite between you and them.”

“So that the ignorant may know and the knowledgeable may investigate and perhaps the Almighty Allah may set right the affairs of this community.”

The Imam refuted all their objections and compelled them to accept as right what all he had said. Then he said to them in a kind manner, “Enter your city, may Allah have mercy on you.”


They agreed to do so and all of them entered Kufa with Imam (a.s) however they retained their beliefs and spread their view among the gullible people so that they may also start expressing these distorted beliefs. Their awe became powerful and they began to spread their fear among the people and misguided the people to depose the Imam and called them to entrust the caliphate to a consultative committee.[1]

The Two Arbitrators hold a Meeting

Muawiyah regained his forces and stabilized his position after the collapse that had befallen him. He sent his messengers to Imam Ali. He asked him to fulfill the arbitration and to allow the arbitrators to hold a meeting. He hurried to do that because he knew that discords and misfortunes had befallen the Iraqi troops and they had divided into tribes and parties, and he knew that Abu Musa al-Ashari was deviated from the Imam as well. Accordingly, he intended to add another victory to his victory. The Imam responded to him. He sent four hundred men under the leadership of Shurayh bin Hani al-Harithi. Among them there were Abdullah bin Abbas to lead them in prayer and undertake their affairs, and Abu Musa al-Ashari, who was chosen for the arbitration. And so did Muawiyah. He sent Amr bin al-Aas with four hundred men. He supplied him with sufficient information about the dull one, Abu Musa, saying: “You will face a man with a long tongue and a little
reason! Therefore, do not employ your entire mind against him!”

The misguided judges[2] arrived in Adhruh or Doumat al-Jandal. Meetings and arbitrations were held there. The cunning one, Amr bin al-Aas, met the weak-minded and dull Abu Musa. He gave him three days’ time. He chose a special place for him. He gave him delicious food and drinks. He did not discuss the affair with him until he completely understood him and after bribing him. When he knew that he had dominated him, he talked with him with gentleness and leniency. He showed towards him admiration, reverence, and magnification. He said to him: “O Abu Musa, you are the chief of the companions of Muhammad! You have an excellence and precedence over them. You see that this community has fallen into blind sedition with which there is no safety. Therefore, is it possible for you to be the blessed one of this community, that Allah may spare their blood through you? Allah says about one soul: (and whoso saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the
life of all mankind). What about saving of the lives of these people?”

[1] Life of Imam Hasan 1/469-472
[2] Suwaid bin Ghafla has narrated: I came with Abu Musa Ashari at the bank of river Euphrates during the caliphate of Uthman. Thus he narrated a tradition of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) saying: I heard His Eminence say: Bani Israel developed discord till two misguided judges were sent to them, who were deviated and they deviated others who followed them. My community would also be like that till two judges are sent who are themselves deviated and they would deviate all those who follow them.
I told him, “O Abu Musa! Beware that you may not be one of them.”
He (the narrator) says: He removed his cloak away from himself and said, “I seek Allah’s refuge from it like I have removed this cloak of mine.” (Nahjul Balagha 13/315)


When was Abu Musa the chief of the Prophet’s companions? When did he have merits and precedence in Islam? These words played with his soul, and he asked how he could decide the conflict.

“You depose Ali bin Abi Talib,” replied Amr, “and I depose Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan. We choose for this community one who has no part in the discord nor has he plunged his hands into it.”

Abu Musa asked him about the person who would be nominated for the caliphate.

Amr understood Abu Musa’s desires and inclinations towards Abdullah bin Umar, so he said: “He is Abdullah bin Umar!”

Abu Musa al-Ashari was very delighted at that. He asked him for covenants to fulfill what he had said:

-How can I be sure of that?

-O Abu Musa, now surely by the remembrance of Allah are the hearts set at rest! Take promises and covenants until you are satisfied!

Then he gave him promises, covenants, and strong oaths, to the extent that he swore by all the sacred things to fulfill what he had said. The Sheikh who was old in age but small in mind (Abu Musa) was astonished at the cleverness that Amr bin al-Aas had. As a result he expressed his satisfaction and acceptance.

Their agreement on the time when they would meet was announced to the people.

Then came the terrible hour when the course of history changed. People gathered to receive the decisive result of this arbitration for which they were waiting impatiently. The cunning person, Amr bin al-Aas, and the deceived one, Abu Musa, came to the pulpit to announce the decision they had reached. Amr bin al-Aas turned to Abu Musa and said to him:

-Rise and address the people, O Abu Musa.

-You rise and address them!

-Glory belongs to Allah! Shall I precede you while you are the Sheikh of the companions of Allah’s Apostle? By Allah, I will never do that![1]

-Is there anything in your soul?

Amr took a strong oath before Abu Musa to conform to the promise he had given to him. As for Abdullah bin Abbas, he knew about Amr bin al-Aas’s trick. The plot that this cunning person made manifested itself. Abdullah turned to Abu Musa and said to him: “What a pity! I think he has deceived you! If you have agreed on an affair, then advance him and made him speak before you! Amr is a treacherous man. I do not think that he has given you consent about that which is between you and him! He will oppose you when you rise among the people!”

[1] Iqdul Farid 4/347


However, the low person (Abu Musa) paid no attention to Abdullah bin Abbas’ speech. He went quickly towards the pulpit. When he ascended, he praised and lauded Allah. He called down blessings upon Muhammad, and then he said: “O people, we reflected on our affair and knew that the closest thing to security, righteousness, sparing blood, and bringing together the friends is our deposing Ali and Muawiyah. I depose Ali as I take off my turban (and he took off his turban). We have appointed as a caliph a man who was a companion of Allah’s Apostle, and his father was also a companion of the Prophet. He became prominent through his precedence in Islam. He is Abdullah bin Umar!”[1]

He lauded him with a good laudation and gave to him good qualities and noble descriptions. Abu Musa turned away from Imam Ali who was the Prophet’s self and the gate of the city of his knowledge. He nominated Abdullah bin Umar, who did not know how to divorce his wife properly as his father said about him. What a bad time it was that such a low person should control the Muslims and impose his opinion on them. Anyway, Amr bin al-Aas lauded and praised Allah. He called down blessings upon the Prophet and then he said: “O people, Abu Musa Abdullah bin Qais has deposed Ali and removed him from this matter, and he is the most aware of him. Now, I depose Ali as he has done, and I appoint Muawiyah (as a caliph over you and me. Abu Musa has written in the document that Uthman was killed as an oppressed martyr,[2] and that his heir has the right to avenge his blood in any case. Muawiyah was a companion of Allah’s Apostle himself, and his father was a
companion of the Prophet. So he is the caliph over us. We have to obey him and pledge allegiance to him to avenge Uthman.”

The dull, deceived person (Abu Musa al-Ashari) said to Amr bin al-Aas: “What’s wrong with you! May Allah curse you! You are like a panting dog!”[3]

Amr bin al-Aas rebuked him after he had used him as a bridge to cross over. He said to him: “You are like a donkey carrying books!”

Yes they were like a dog and a donkey. They really described each other. Abu Musa set off towards Mecca carrying with him shame and disgrace after making this blind sedition and the rip which could be not mended. He left behind him the true Imam moaning due to his (Abu Musa’s) silly arbitration. Through his arbitration, he recorded for the Iraqis shame and disgrace that history would not ever forget.

The Iraqis were drowned in trials and tribulations and had become certain of the misguidance in which they had fallen. Ashari fled to Mecca, taking disgrace and humility for himself and his sons[4] because he had openly breached the trust of Muslims.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/70-71
[2] This is other than the document written after the cessation of hostilities.
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/124-125, Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/118
[4] People ridiculed the sons of Abu Musa Ashari and made fun of them. For example Farazdaq heard Abu Burdah, Abu Musa’s son saying: Why shouldn’t I be proud when I am a son of one of the arbitrators? Farazdaq retorted: Know that one of the two was a fool and the other one a transgressor. So you may become the son of whichever of them you like. (Sharh Nahjul Balagha 19/353) A man looked at one of the sons of Abu Musa walking in vanity, so he said to him: Look at the way he is walking; as if his father had deceived Amr Aas!


Poets of that time composed many satirical verses disparaging Abu Musa Ashari. Aiman bin Kharim Asadi says:

“If these people had wanted freedom from misguidance they would have sent Ibn Abbas to you.

May Allah honor his father, what a great man he is that there is none like him who could solve the difficulties of the people.

But they sent an old man from Yemen to you, who does not know the fraction one-fifth in one-sixth.

If Amr were alone before him he would have put him in such a ditch as if the goat star was among the billy goats.

Tell Ali, instead of complaining to him, the statements of a person who does not refrain from saying the truth.

O Abul Hasan, Ashari is not reliable that you deal with him in trust, because the weeds may again re-form.

Thus discuss your proximate companion as son of your uncle, Abbas is aggrieved.”[1]

Muawiyah achieved victory because the Syrians returned to him and saluted him with the title of “Amirul Momineen”. But the Imam’s army returned in such a way that his soldiers were drowned in discord and conflicts. Some were disgusted with others and they understood the mischief that their own hands had wrought.

Imam Hasan (a.s) delivered a long sermon and invited them to affection and love. Abdullah Ibn Abbas and Abdullah Ibn Ja’far also spoke and their speeches condemned the arbitration. They motivated the people towards obedience and to give up controversies.[2] Some people accepted them and some rebelled and remained on their disobedience.

When the news of arbitration reached Imam (a.s) he was highly aggrieved and he gathered the people and addressed them with an effective speech about his pain and sorrow as a result of their disobeying his commands against cessation of hostilities and letting victory to go out of their hands. He said:

“Praise be to Allah. However severe hardships and disasters may occur I still testify that there is no God except Allah, the One. And that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. So to say: Opposition to a well-wisher creates regret and humiliation and I had commanded you regarding these two men and this arbitration and told you of my sincere views. That if you had obeyed, it would have proved beneficial for you. But you left everything except what you wanted. I was with you like the poet of Hawazin says:

“I commanded them on a sensitive moment but they did pay attention to it even the next afternoon.”

[1] Life of Imam Hasan 1/529
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/129 & 134


Indeed the two persons you had accepted for arbitration, have disregarded the command of Quran and delivered a verdict on their conjecture because on the basis of this they have considered unlawful what was lawful and considered lawful whatever was unlawful. At that time they breached our trust in their decision. Thus no one of them either dispensed guidance nor spoke the right word. Allah, His Messenger and the righteous believers are disgusted of their deeds. Thus get ready for Jihad and to move forward. Report to the cantonment Monday morning, if Allah wills.”[1]

Armed forces of the Imam (a.s) got ready for journey at the place the Imam had appointed. His Eminence wrote a letter to the people of Basra and sought their help. Some battalions of Basra joined his forces.

Mutiny of the Mariqeen

Imam (a.s) moved towards Syria with his troops but not much time passed when he received news of rebellion and mischief of the Kharijis and their reverting to their views.

Historians say: A group of them came out of Kufa and some people of Basra holding similar views joined them. They went to Nahrawan and camped over there. They then initiated corruption and destruction and considered lawful the shedding of Muslim blood and considered them as infidels.

A companion of the Prophet, named Abdullah bin Khabbab Ibn Arat passed by them. They rushed to him and asked his name and then inquired about his beliefs about the Imam Amirul Momineen. He praised the Holy Quran and they became infuriated and they tied his arms and took him along with his pregnant wife under a palm tree. A fresh date fell down. One of them hurried to it and put it in his mouth. They objected to it and he spat it out. Another one of them drew his sword, struck with it a pig belonging to a Zimmi non-Muslim and killed it. One of them then shouted at him, “This is mischief in the land.”

The man hurried to the owner of the pig and satisfied him. When Abdullah bin Khabbab saw that, he said to them: “If you are truthful in what I see, then I feel no fear of you. By Allah, I have made no mistake in Islam. I am a believer, and you have given me security. You have said: ‘There is no harm on you!”

However, they paid no attention to his speech. They brought him along with his wife. They made him lie down at the bank of the river. They put him on that pig which they had killed. Then they killed him. Then they walked towards his wife, who was shaking with fear. She knew that the ghost of death was upon her. She was looking at her dead husband. She asked them for mercy and begged them, saying: “I am merely a woman! Do you not fear Allah!”

However, they paid no attention to her asking for mercy and beseeching. They hurried towards her as dogs. They killed her and split her belly open. Then they

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/140-141


went to three women and killed them. Among them there was Umm Sinan al-Saydawiya, a companion of the Prophet. The evil of the Kharijites did not stop at this. They persecuted the people, spread terror among them, and wrought corruption in the land.[1]

They began to spread terror and destruction in all the areas. Imam (a.s) send Harth bin Musa Abadi to them to ask them the reason for their terrifying the innocent people and that they should accept the sanctity of the blood that Allah has prohibited.

The messenger was killed before he could convey his message.

Battle against Mariqeen

The Imam’s companions did not consider it advisable to move towards Syria leaving behind them the Kharijis to wrought havoc with their families and properties. This was so because the Kharijis had absolutely no reservation against looting and plunders and they considered all Muslims as apostates and thought that it was permissible to shed their blood. So the companions suggested to the Imam that they first attack and finish off the Kharijis and only after that proceed against Muawiyah. Imam accepted their suggestion and marched with them till they came to Nahrawan. When they reached in the neighborhood to Kharijis they sent a message to them to hand over to them the killers of Khabbab and his wife. In the same way they asked first for the surrender of the murderers of Harth bin Musa and then ordered them to join the battle against Muawiyah. Only after that would their problems be solved.

They replied to the Imam: “There is no option between us except to fight it out; except that you confess you infidelity and do repentance like us.”

Imam was highly affected by this and he said, “Shall I bear witness against myself that I am an infidel after my faith in Allah, and after Jihad with Allah’s Messenger? If I do, then I have gone astray and I am not among the rightly guided…”[2]

Sometimes Imam gave them advice and sometimes he conveyed information till many of them came out and returned to Kufa and many joined the Imam’s forces. The third group separated for battle under the leadership of the Khariji chief, Abdullah bin Wahab Rasibi who had the mark of prostration on his forehead. They comprised in all three thousand soldiers.

When the Imam was hopeless of guiding them or taking them back to the way of the truth, he mobilized his troops and commanded them not to start fighting until they begin. When the Kharijites saw that readiness, they got ready too. As their souls and hearts were full of yearning for fighting as the thirsty yearned for water, they called each other: “Is there anyone who wants to go to Paradise?”

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/141-142, Tabari, Tarikh, 5/81-82
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/143-144


They all responded to that and strongly attacked Imam Ali’s troops, saying: “No judgment except Allah’s!” The Imam’s horsemen formed two parties. One party went to the right wing and the other to the left. As for the Kharijites, they were rushing between the two parties. The Imam’s companions received them with arrows. It was only an hour and they all were killed. None escaped death except nine persons.[1]

When the battle came to an end, the Imam asked his companions to look for Dhu al-Thadya[2] among the killed. They carefully looked for him but they did not find him. They returned to Imam Ali and told him that they had not found the man. He asked them to look for him, saying: “I have never lied nor have I been accused of lying. May Allah have mercy on you! Look for the man! He is among the killed!”

They went and looked for him. One of the Imam’s companions found him, and he hurried to the Imam and told him about it. The Imam said: “Allah is great! I have not fabricated a lie against Muhammad! He (Dhu al-Thadya) has a defective hand that has no bone. At the end of it there is a nipple like that of a woman’s breast and there are five or seven strands of hair on it whose ends are crooked.”

The Imam ordered the corpse of Dhu al-Thidiya to be brought. It was brought before him. He looked at his arm and found it pointed like a breast of a woman and there were black strands of hair on it. When the Imam saw that, he prostrated himself before Allah. Then he divided among his companions the Kharijites’ weapons and animals. He returned the equipment and the servants to their owners. the same way as he had done with the people of Jamal.

The battle of Nahrawan which was the result of the battle of Siffeen ended in this way. It left behind powerful effects in foundation that became apparent in the world of Islam. Like the army of Hururiya that specialized in rebellion against the government and spreading terror and corruption in the lands. This caused untold disasters in the country and mired the people in dissensions and bloodshed.

The most remarkable trait of the Khariji religious denomination was ascribing infidelity to every Muslim who did not ascribe to their dogma. They considered it lawful to shed their blood and plunder their properties.

And in my view most of the terrible cruelties that occurred in the battle of Kerbala are connected to these transmogrified people as all human qualities had gone away from them because most of the people of that army were influenced by these qualities and created the most horrible circumstances.

After effects of the Battle

These battles left behind the most terrible and severe consequences and hardships. Not only the Imam was involved in it but the whole of Islamic community was surrounded by them. Because they brought an everlasting mischief to the world of Islam and created difficulties that were to endure forever. Some of them were as follows:

[1] Al-Milal wan Nihal 1/107
[2] Like a breast nipple (Tr.)


Muawiyah’s victory

It accorded opportunity to Muawiyah, the governor of Syria to become the first of the governors to proclaim himself as the caliph. He has described his victory over the Imam in the following words: “After Siffeen I fought Ali without an army and without much difficulty and planning.”[1]

As for the Imam, he was sidelined from political and military power for even though he tried to mobilize forces people refused to pay heed.

These battles dragged the Islamic caliphate towards tyrannical rulership because not the slightest resemblance to Islamic politics or logic of Quran was seen in it. Because the job of rulership had reached to Muawiyah who considered the wealth of Allah as his personal property and made servants of Allah (people) as his slaves. And he compelled Muslims to that which they did not like.

Dissipation of Imam’s army

All the military powers in the army of the Imam scattered. Discord and dissension spread among them especially after the battle of Nahrawan because the spirit of fighting had died in them.

Balazari says: “Muawiyah sent Ammarah bin Uqbah to Kufa to spy on the position of the Imam’s army. He wrote to Muawiyah that companions of the Imam and their pious ones were displeased with Ali. They have abandoned him to his fate. On the basis of this commanders and people of the country are destroyed for him. Enmity has developed among them and they are badly divided.”

Muawiyah smiled and said to Walid bin Uqbah, “Do you consent to your brother becoming our spy?” Walid said to his brother Ammarah:

“If you think correctly O son of my mother! Ammarah will not rise up to revenge for the blood.

He resides in an area surrounded by the revenge seeking sons of Affan and he walks between the hare and the bridge.

You walk in contentment and power as if you have not any knowledge of the commander of Ibn Amr.”[2]

Imam’s forces were involved in mischief and corruption and the Imam inspite of his oratorical powers was unable to bring them to senses and destroy rebellion and disobedience that had become a part of their nature.

Among the factors that gave rise to rebellion among the Imam’s troops was that Muawiyah wrote to a group of prominent Iraqi commanders like Ashath bin Qais and he promised them wealth and money and also promised that he would provide them with huge wealth and posts if they could perform destructive activities in the Imam’s troops. They accepted his offer and by themselves they spread false

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/156
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/157


rumors and misguided the public opinion and disseminated the spirit of dissension and controversies among the people[1] in such a way that their propaganda had a profound effect on the troops and they became rebellious and disobedient to the Imam.

The absolute majority in the cantonment of the Imam was aspiring to obtain huge wealth and properties through their leadership (the caliph) and aimed to get as much benefit as possible while the Syrians were exactly opposed to this.

Hajjaj bin Khazine says to Muawiyah, “You have become strong with something other than with which Ali was strengthened. Because with us is a group that if you speak they shall remain silent. And if you command them they shall not question you while with Ali are such people that if he speaks they also start talking and if he is silent, they begin to question him.”[2]

Conquest of Egypt

Hardships and troubles of the Imam did not end at an appointed time, rather problem continued to occur without any respite and that also in the most severe manner. His Eminence had yet not become free from the battle against the Mariqeen when he became involved in the internal problems of the country. Because Muawiyah seized control of some provinces and on the other provinces he launched attacks and spread awe and terror among the people. Because he had became certain of the weakness and laxity of Imam’s troops and their involvement in discords and dissensions. Therefore he decided to take over Egypt which was the heartland of Arabian lands. Muawiyah made it a morsel for his vizier and the maker of his kingdom, Amr Aas, so that he may utilize its income and wealth for himself.

Imam (a.s) had selected the great leader, Qais bin Saad Ansari, for the governorship of Egypt. He was a prominent personality of Islam and followed good policies, had a deep contemplation and farsightedness and in the days of hardship he administered Egypt with truth and justice and he solved the internal problems and spread friendship and kindness among them. Imam dismissed him and in his stead appointed the purified man, Muhammad Ibn Abu Bakr.

The condition of Egypt became serious and Uthmani claimants appeared in the land. The Imam dismissed Muhammad and appointed in his place Malik Ashtar Nakhai who was the most sober person with regard to the Imam and most serious of them. However he had just reached Qulzum when he passed away.

Historians are unanimous that Muawiyah deceived the tax collector of Qulzum. He fed poisoned honey to Malik and killed him as Muawiyah and his companion Amr Aas after that have remarked and said, “Allah has soldiers of honey.”

Muawiyah prepared an army for taking over Egypt and gave it under the command

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/157
[2] Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 155


of Ibn Aas. When Imam (a.s) understood this matter he retained Muhammad on the governorship of Egypt and promised to send him more troops and monetary help and he called the people of Kufa to go to Egypt for helping their brothers. But they did not accept the Imam’s advice. Imam (a.s) insisted upon them and sought their help but except for some soldiers no one accepted his call, as if he were sending them to death.

Imam (a.s) sent them towards Egypt but not much time passed when His Eminence received the news that Amr Aas has taken over Egypt and the Imam’s representative, that is Muhammad, had been killed by him and his corpse was burnt to ashes.

Imam (a.s) recalled the troops and delivered a sensational sermon to the people of Kufa denouncing them for their sloth and laziness in obeying his commands.

Anyway the takeover of Egypt increased the power of Muawiyah and it motivated him to wage an attack on the Iraqis in their own land.


Muawiyah was not satisfied with his conquest of Egypt, rather be began to spread awe and terror in the cities that were under Imam’s control so that people in those areas may know that Ali (a.s) had lost all power and he was no more able to defend them and prevent harm from them.

Muawiyah began to form battalions and appointed them to move forward in the interiors of provinces and spread mischief and bloodshed. Along with this he also sent out some people well-known for their malicious nature and bereft of every human quality as commanders of those battalions against partisans of Ali. They conducted swift raids and attacks on some special provinces which we shall describe as follows:

Attack on Iraq

Muawiyah sent four military units to attack Iraq and the neighboring provinces and areas. So that the hearts of Iraqis are filled with fear and terror and thus whenever the Imam calls them for Jihad they should not accept. Some Iraqi provinces that were attacked are as follows:

1-Ainut Tamr: Muawiyah dispatched Noman bin Bashir Ansari at the head of 1000 strong battalion to Ainut Tamr where Malik Kaab was the governor. He also had an army of 1000 but he had no information about the attack of Syrian. He had permitted his soldiers family leave and they had all gone to Kufa except for a hundred soldiers who remained with him. When Muawiyah’s army attacked he displayed valor in defending himself and fifty men rushed to his assistance. When Noman saw them he was shocked and fled from there because he thought that other people would follow.

When the news of this attack reached the Imam he stood up among his soldiers and delivered a sermon to them and called them to help him. Then he said:


“O people of Kufa! Whenever a group approaches you or some riders come to you, each of you lock up your house and like cockroaches enter your holes to rest. Like birds take shelter in their nests. By Allah, degraded is the one that you helped. Everyone who is pleased with you with a broken bow without an arrow he attacks with it and you remain satisfied with him. Thus evil and helplessness may be upon you that you were called and spoken to but neither you met with clear conscience nor were helpers in battle. I have become deaf to you that I cannot hear, and dumb such that I don’t think and blind such that I do not see.”[1]

2- Haiyyat – Muawiyah sent Sufyan Ibn Auf with 600 troops to attack Haiyyat and told him that after he has attacked Haiyyat he should proceed to Anbar and Madayan and inflict plunder and torture on the people there. Sufyan departed with his troops to Haiyyat but he did not find anyone there. Then he proceeded to Anbar and there he found a military cantonment of the Imam consisting of 200 persons. He attacked and fought them and killed Ashras bin Hisaan Bakri along with his 30 companions. Then they plundered the city of Anbar and returned happily with the loot to Muawiyah.

News of Anbar reached to His Eminence, Ali (a.s) who was highly affected and very much shocked by this tragedy. Since he was indisposed he did not deliver any speech therefore he wrote a letter that may be read out to the public of that area. In the condition that His Eminence was there near to that place so that he may listen to its reading. The text of the letter is as follows:

“So to say: Know that! Jihad is a door from the doors of Paradise and one who leaves it carelessly shall be dressed in the garments of disgrace and calamities shall surround him and he shall become humiliated. He shall fall from his position and he shall be far from justice and equity. I have called you for day and night, openly and secretly for jihad against the people so that you go after them before they attack you, because no people were attacked in their homes but that they were humiliated. You pointed fingers at each other and showed laziness and my suggestion was very difficult for you. And you disobeyed my commands and disregarded my suggestions. So much so that attacks came on you from all sides. It is a pity that their riders entered Anbar and killed Ibn Hisaan Bakri, confiscated armory and killed righteous people. I have received information that a Syrian entered a house of a Muslim or a protected non-Muslim and snatched away her anklet,
bracelets and necklace. Alas, the heart is dying and it is sorrowful and grief flames up that there people are putting such efforts in their falsehood while you all are so much lazy even though you are on the right. Then how bad and humiliating is the condition in which you are involved. And you are the target of every archer. They attacked you by the night and you do not launch any attack. Disobedience of Allah continues and you agree to it. If I tell you to attack your enemies in summer you say who would fight in such hot climate, give us respite till the end of summer. And if I tell you to fight them in winter you say…summer, winter all

[1] In Tarikh Tabari Pg. 133-134: “And neither a reliable brother.”


there are your lame excuses. From summer and winter? When by Allah, you are afraid of fighting. O men look-alikes! O those who think like children and those who ponder like women in bridal chamber! Alas, if I only had never seen you. If only Allah had taken me away from you. As you have filled my breast with anger and you forced me to drink goblets of false accusations. By your disobedience you have destroyed my opinion. So much so that Quraish say: the son of Abu Talib is valiant but has no military knowledge. May Allah forgive their ancestors. Is there anyone among them more firm in fighting than me?[1] I started fighting since the age of twenty and now I have passed sixty. As for the one who is not obeyed, he has no venue.”[2]

These statements indicate the deep anger and severe despair from his companions that their hearts were full of fear of Syrians and degradation and they had accepted humility and they sat inside their homes in terror till the Imam had to spend the rest of his days in extreme difficulties.

3- Waqsa: Muawiyah sent Zahhak bin Qais Fahri to Waqsa to attack the Shias of Imam in that area and he gave 3000 men under his command.

Zahhak set out and plundered the wealth of people and whosoever he suspected of being obedient to the Imam he used to kill him. He continued his movement till he reached Qutqutana taking with himself fear and death. Then he moved and ended his mission at Samawa. Then he returned to Syria.

When these reports reached to the Imam (a.s) he stood among his troops and delivered a sermon and he called them to confront this oppression, however no one responded to his call. Then His Eminence said: “By Allah, I would prefer to have one Syrian instead of ten of you and to have used you like a goldsmith (with careful deliberation). I would like to face them with perception. May Almighty Allah give us patience to bear hardships and to behave nicely with you.”

After that the Imam moved to Ghariyyin alone so that he may confront that oppression. Abdullah Ibn Ja’far joined him with a horse. His Eminence climbed upon it.

When people saw this condition some of them hurried to His Eminence. His Eminence (a.s) sent Hujr bin Adi with 400 men to fight Zahhak so that he may proceed to find him but could not get them and they returned.[3]

Attacks of Muawiyah continued on Iraq in this way without having to face any kind opposition. Muawiyah had become confident of victory as a result of the sloth of the Imam’s companions.

Attack on Hijaz and Yemen

Muawiyah dispatched Busr bin Artat with 3000 men to Hijaz and Yemen. They moved towards Yathrib but did not meet any resistance from the people. Busr went upto the pulpit and in a loud voice lamented the murder of Uthman and put awe

[1] According to a narration he was not even twenty years old at that time.
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/201-202
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/197-198


and fear in the hearts of the people.

He took the allegiance from the people of Yathrib for Muawiyah. Then he moved to Yemen where Ubaidullah Ibn Abbas was the governor appointed by the Imam. Ubaidullah fled from there and came to Kufa.

Imam (a.s) appointed in his place, Ubaidullah Harithi but Busr killed him and also put his son to the sword and he went to two children of Ubaidullah and slew them. When the news of their death reached their mother, she was devastated in their sorrow recited some well-known couplets.[1]

Muawiyah’s rule was established on the foundation of killing of innocent people and beheading of children and spreading of terror and fear in the towns.

When this terrible news reached to the Imam, his strength gave way, his heart burst with grief and he stood among the troops and delivered a sermon. He spoke to them about the hardships and calamities that had befallen him through their hands.

“I have received information that Busr has taken over Yemen. By Allah, I think it is due to their union in falsehood and due to your disunity in your rightfulness and your disobedience of your Imam in rightfulness and their obedience and their trusts with their leaders and your breach of trust and their peacefulness in their lands and your mischief that these people shall obtain the kingdom. Because if I keep up with you as trust, I fear that their group shall take it away. O Allah, I am disgusted of them and they are disgusted of me. I am tired of them and they are tired of me. Thus give me someone better than them and give them someone worse than me. O Allah, Destroy their hearts like salt dissolves in water. O Allah, I prefer to have one thousand cavalries from the family of bin Ghanam.”[2]

“They are such that whenever you call them they come to you like rain after a long summer.”

After that he descended the pulpit[3] while he was in sorrow and grief and became helpless of his companions. And they were such that their organs were slothful and their feelings empty of sensation and perception was also lost to them.

These were some of the attacks that Muawiyah wrought on Iraq and other areas of Islamic lands that were under the control of the Imam. They aimed at weakening and shaking the faith of the people in those areas from the capability of the Imam from their support in confronting oppression and it was to display the military power of Muawiyah and to strengthen the morale of the soldiers and his army that was spread in the lands.

Anyway, these attacks exposed a great part of weakness and rebellion in the Imam’s troops till Muawiyah began to consider a general attack on Iraq to conquer it and destroy Imam’s rule. And it was clear that if he had done so he would have

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/383-385
[2] An Arab tribe famous for its valor and dynamism.
[3] Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/63-66


found it easy. And he would not have had to face any sort of difficulty or resistance because those people had become used to a comfortable life and were fed up of fighting.

Chaos and Disorder of Khawarij

Terrible hardships descended on the Holy Imam one after the other because attacks on Muawiyah created havoc in Iraq and other areas and fear and terror filled the hearts of citizens. The Imam was not able to defend the security and save the people from oppression as his troops refused to obey him and they had announced their disobedience and rebellion. His Eminence was in no way able to exercise his will upon them.

Among those hardships was the mischief of Khawarij because His Eminence had not completely destroyed them at Nahrawan. Rather he had only annihilated a group of them, however the majority of them remained and they lived along with His Eminence and were awaiting for an opportunity to attack him. They also incited the people to shun His Eminence as they considered themselves safe from his power and were sure that he would not be able to punish them.

They were greedy for his justice and his soft heartedness had deceived them. On the basis of this they used to criticize His Eminence and object to him. One of them interrupted the sermon of the His Eminence and recited the verse of Quran:

“Surely if you associate (with Allah), your work would certainly come to naught and you would certainly be of the losers.”[1]

Imam replied with another verse of Quran:

“Therefore be patient; surely the promise of Allah is true and let not those who have no certainty hold you in light estimation.”[2]

Kharit bin Rashid Saami came to the Imam with 30 persons and said, “O Ali, by Allah, I shall not obey you, I shall not pray in your leadership and tomorrow I shall go away from you.”

Imam dealt with him in a kind manner and spoke to him with logic and reasoning and left him on his condition. He did not cast him in prison, rather he left the way open for him and that man went to his tribe (Bani Naajiya) and he informed them of what had occurred between him and the Imam. After that in the night he came out to fight the Imam. Numerous disasters in the attack of Kharit and his rebellion came into being and historians have recorded them in detail.

Anyway a great responsibility in most of the terrible events that occurred in the Islamic world was on the Khawarij because they had dragged the future of the community to destruction in the most important of its historic periods. While the victory of Imam had become certain and the defeat and death of Muawiyah was imminent and just a few moments away when Malik Ashtar and troops of

[1] Surah Zumar 39:65
[2] Surah Rum 30:60


Imam were about to storm his tent, those Khawarij in the Imam’s army forced the Imam to accept arbitration, thus destroying a victory that was very near.

Supplication of the Imam for himself

Imam was surrounded by terrible waves and frightful events because he saw that the falsehood of Muawiyah had become strong and his position has reached its end. And he saw himself in Kufa in such a way that Arab wolves who disliked his justice and were displeased of his equity had surrounded him from all sides and they were trying to prevent the fulfillment of his aspirations from the roots, some people were seeking power and some rebelled.

The important problem that made the Imam sleepless was the disintegration of his troops and their mutual aloofness had afflicted each of them. His Eminence was helpless even though he was having authority over them. He was aware what their future shall be and in what they shall be involved after him; therefore he told them,

“Indeed! After me you shall fall into humiliation and sharp swords and class competition that oppressors shall consider as a practice for you. They shall disperse your unity and make you weep and fill your houses with poverty. Very soon you shall wish you had seen me and helped. You will know that what I am telling you is truth. The Almighty Allah shall not leave unpunished those who have wrought injustice or committed criminal acts…”[1]

Advice and good counsel of His Eminence did not have any effect on those people because they had gone much ahead in misguidance and their beliefs of ignorance age came back to them.

Imam became disgusted with them and he wished that he is distanced from their life and in his numerous sermons he used to say: When would the most evil of Ummah be sent? He continued to supplicate and with a sincere heart he became attached to the realm of the Lord as he got comfort from Him.

Balazari has narrated from Abu Salih that he said, “I saw Ali holding the Quran on his head, so much so, that I could hear the rustling of its pages while he was saying:[2]

“O Allah, I ask them for the sake of whatever is in the Quran but they prevented it from me. O Allah, I have become disgusted with them and they are fed up with me. They have resorted to such behavior with regard to me that had not been seen. Thus give me that which is better than them and give them someone who is worse than me and destroy their hearts like salt dissolves…”

The Almighty Allah accepted the supplications of His great devotee and after a brief period transferred him to the sanctified abode in the company of prophets and truthful ones and gave him salvation from a society that did not prefer justice and was disgusted of equity while He imposed the worst characters on them. They tried

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/155
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/156


to oppress and humiliate them and they considered the innocent as guilty and unjustly penalized those who were not guilty of any sin. They used to kill them only on the basis of false allegations. It was the time when the people woke up and realized what wrong they had committed with regard to the Imam and they saw their shortcomings, disobedience and lack of support and assistance to His Eminence and they regretted their past deeds and stance.

These were some of the after effects of those battles as a result of which the Imam was involved in so many hardships and bore terrible calamities that not His Eminence alone but the world of Islam was completely involved in them because great difficulties and problems befell the Muslims and they were drowned in a great mischief.

Imam Husain was present in all these terrible disasters that befell his eminent father and he knew the facts behind them and it had become clear to His Eminence how much they were averse to his father because he was sincere in his religion and he wanted to invite the people to the path of truth and justice and lead them on such a way so that no oppressed or deprived person remains in any of the Islamic provinces.

In any case, these battles actively affected the creation of the tragedy of Kerbala. That tragedy did not occur except that after it the morals shattered and religious and social views were destroyed and opportunism and social disintegration became common because the wealth gathering of Quraish began to control the affairs of society and in all places created corruption and it destroyed the foundations of morals that Islam had established and it was worse of their steps and also their spreading of enmity and malice towards Ahle Bayt, who were the source of view and understanding of this community. Till finally they openly cut into pieces their bodies in the desert of Kerbala and together slew them in such a terrible manner as has no equal in the history of humanity.

Demise of the Rightful Government

Neither in the history of western lands nor in any other place was seen a ruler like Imam Amirul Momineen in justice and purity and one who preferred the truth because His Eminence according to unanimity of historians was never inclined to his sentiments and never obeyed any selfish desires. Rather in a clear way and a perfect manner he followed in the practice of the Messenger of Allah. And therefore he always acted with absolute seriousness and perfect sincerity towards the Muslims. During his rule he tried his best to elevate the standard of Islam and establish the principles that served to remove every type of discrimination and injustice from among the Muslims.

The most important problem that he addressed was to establish the government funds for spending only on those ways sanctioned by religion and he did not utilize even a single penny in any other way. He never compelled them and if he had bribed the consciousness of people like how Muawiyah did, profit seekers in the


army of His Eminence, like Ashath bin Qais and other military chiefs who were embezzlers and mercenaries would not have objected to him.

His Eminence exercised extreme precaution with regard to public funds. He made great efforts in this regard and bore many hardships on this way so that economic justice may be established among the people.

Abdullah bin Razeem says: I came to His Eminence on the Eid of sacrifice. His Eminence brought Harira dish for us.[1] I asked him, “May Allah have mercy on you, why have you not brought something for us from these delicacies? Because Allah has created so many good things.” His Eminence replied, “O son of Razeem, I heard the Messenger of Allah say: Nothing is allowed from the wealth of Allah for any caliph except two vessels; one for himself and his family another for presenting to other people.”[2]

All those who had surrendered to selfish desires and sensualities criticized the policies of His Eminence and made every kind of effort to bring down his government and set up a regime that shall be beneficial to their political and economic interests.

It is established that Imam knew how to attract the obedience of people and how to spread his influence and power on those who criticized him. But such a thing would have been possible only when he had divided his religion into parts and had followed the way of deceit and fraud and had become like other power hungry and greedy rulers. It is natural that deviation from the truth and betrayal of the interests of the community was not acceptable to His Eminence, Ali and his high values rejected it because neither power deceived him nor the crowding of people around him increased his honor or their dispersing away from him, as he has himself said, increased his loneliness.

Imam had true faith in religion and considered it necessary that faith should dominate the hearts of the people and their thinking and it should not be that any effect of selfish interests and inadvisable hopes should exist in them. Such a kind of sincere faith was created for some of the persons who were his closest confidants like Hujr bin Adi, Malik Ashtar, Adi bin Hatim and Mitham Tammar and others like them. Those who had gained from his guidance. Those who recited the Quran and considered it indisputable and who performed the obligatory duties with care, who enlivened the Sunnah and eliminated innovations just as His Eminence has himself described that most elders of his army and community were not able to understand his aims and aspirations and did not recognize his high values in his brilliant policies that guaranteed the rights of the oppressed and recipients of injustice.

[1] Flour mixed with milk or oil
[2] Shamsuddin Abul Barakaat, Jawahirul Matalib dar Manaqib Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib 1/283, facsimile copy at Amirul Momineen Library


Imam observed extreme precaution in his policies and on the model of the policies of the Messenger of Allah he formed his religious and moral values. Therefore he spread truth with all its meanings and in no way allowed dominance of opportunity. He did not allow any power to the wealth collectors of Quraish who considered all people rebels.

Powers deviated from the path of truth came to confront the Imam and flamed the fire of war and stopped the movement of the Imam in establishment of justice and they created hurdles and obstacles in this path. The Imam became sad and sorrow remained in his place while some opportunist wolves attacked him. Among those terrible disasters that befell the Imam the most important was internal sorrow and the Khawarij were inciting it. They lived with him and displayed open enmity towards him and spread mischief and dissension and were waiting for an opportunity to attack him.

Conference of Mecca

Some Khawarij groups went to Mecca and held a meeting there to investigate the deaths of their partisans in Nahrawan. They discussed the terrible events current in the Muslim community and the dissension and discord that had spread in Muslim society. In their view all this was related to three persons: Imam Ali, Muawiyah and Amr Aas. After exchange of views they decided to assassinate them and in order to put this plan into effect they summoned the following people:

Abdur Rahman bin Muljim was appointed to assassinate Imam Ali.

Hajjaj bin Abdullah Sareemi took up the job of killing Muawiyah.

Amr bin Tamimi accepted the duty of eliminating Amr Aas.

They unanimously decided that the assassinations shall be carried out on the 18th night of the month of Ramadan at the time when those three persons come out for the Morning Prayer. They stayed in Mecca for the month and performed Umrah in the month of Rajab. After that they set out to accomplish their respective tasks.

Valueless Opinion

Among the useless views that have come into some books is the opinion of Dr. Badi Shareef that blames the assassination of His Eminence, Ali on the Iranians![1]

Was the Doctor aware of the lineage of Ibn Muljim that he was an Iranian? He was but a member of Murad tribe of Arabs that resided at Kufa.

Dr. Noori Jafari has remarked as follows about his views, “Who knows it might be the inclination of Iranians towards His Eminence, Ali that these writers became inimical to them and heaped unjustified allegations on them.”[2]

[1] As Saraa Bainal Mawali wal Arab
[2] As Saraa Bainal Mawali and Mabadi al-Arab


The Umayyad Plot

Historians have mentioned this important event observing great precaution and they have not fully exposed the reality and what we believe to be the fact and reality is that it was not the conspiracy of the Khawarij alone. Rather the Umayyad Party had a significant role in it. The following points support our views:

1 – Abul Aswad Duali in a part of his poetical composition lamenting for Imam has put the responsibility of the Imam on Bani Umayyah:

“Tell Muawiyah bin Harb that may the eyes of those who rejoice at the misfortune of others not be pleased.

Did you not make us sorrowful by eliminating the best of people in the month of fasting?

You have killed the one who was the best of those who rode on quadrupeds and sailed on boats.”[1]

These couplets mean that it was Muawiyah himself who had aggrieved the Muslims by the martyrdom of Imam, who was the best of the people and he Muawiyah was responsible for the Imam’s murder. It is natural that Abu Aswad did not relate this crime to Muawiyah without having become certain of this matter because he was very careful in whatever he said.

2 – Qadi Noman Misri who is an ancient historian has mentioned that Muawiyah himself sent Ibn Muljim for assassinating the Imam. He says: It is said that he (Muawiyah) secretly appointed him (Ibn Muljim) for this purpose (to eliminate the Imam) and he promised him a special reward…”[2]

3 – Among those factors that show the participation of the Umayyad party in this conspiracy is that Ashath bin Qais was backing Ibn Muljim and he was with him at the time of attack and told him, “Save yourself as the morning shall expose you.” When Hujr bin Adi heard this he cried to him, “O one-eyed man! You killed him!” Ashath was the most powerful element of the supporters of Umayyads and it is this same person who forced the Imam to accept arbitration and just a few days before the Imam’s martyrdom he had threatened to kill the Imam. Also he was a spy of Muawiyah in Kufa.

The conspiracy, according to historians, was carried out in extremely secret and concealed manner. Then what was the reason that Ashath should know about it and he should support him and what if there wasn’t an external support for Ibn Muljim?

4 – The conference of the Khawarij was held in Mecca during the Hajj season. Mecca was without any doubt, full of agents of the Umayyad party who had shifted to Mecca in order to create enmity and opposition to the Imam’s government. Most

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/395
[2] Al-Manaqib wal Mathalib, Qadi Noman Misri, facsimile copy at Imam Hakim Library


probably they introduced (pointed out) the Khawarij who were the most inimical people with regard to the Holy Imam and they gave complete support to them especially that they take steps to eliminate the Imam. That which supports this view is that the Khawarij stayed in Mecca after the conclusion of the Hajj season till the month of Rajab and after performing Umrah started on their plot and probably during this period they continued to be in contact with the Umayyad party and other groups opposed to the Imam’s government.

5 – That which gives certainty to that the Umayyad party had a special role in this, was that Ibn Muljim was a teacher of Quran[1] and he received stipend from the Public Treasury and he had no personal wealth. Then how could he purchase a sword for a thousand units of currency and the poison for another thousand with which he attacked the Imam? In addition to the money he gave to Quttam as dower which consisted of three thousand units of currency, a slave and a slave girl?

All these things indicate that Ibn Muljim had received monetary help from the Umayyads for assassinating the Imam.

6 – Another point that lends more support to the theory that Ibn Muljim was on the payroll of Umayyads is that he had an obvious connection with Amr Aas and for a long time had been his supporter because when Amr Aas conquered Egypt, Ibn Muljim was with him and had a place of respect near him. So much so that he ordered him to stay near him.[2] It is also likely that he informed Amr Aas of his agreement with two helpers in the plot of killing him (Amr Aas), the Imam and Muawiyah. Therefore Amr Aas did not come out for the prayer himself. He sent a substitute and was saved. It was not accidental; it was as a result of the plot which had the backing of Amr Aas.

These were some factors on the basis of which it seems that the Umayyad party had a definite role in planning the Imam’s assassination and its execution.

Imam’s Assassination

The month of Ramadan, that is the month of the revelation of Quran arrived for the Muslims and Imam was certain that he shall be transferred to the eternal abode during this great month. That is why he used to break his fasts with barley bread and a piece of salt. On the basis of what historians say he never had more that three morsels. His Eminence used to spend the nights of this month in worship. When the 18th night arrived, the Imam perceived the shattering calamity that was to befall him and he looked sorrowful and aggrieved. The stars were seen to be trembling and their shivering light fell on the earth; as if they were throwing a forlorn light on the face of the earth. At that time he said, “Neither have I lied nor been lied to. This is the night that I have been promised.”

The Imam remained awake the whole night reminiscing about his Jihad and his great efforts in the path of Islam and his attachment and longing to meet his

[1] Lisanul Mizan: 3/440
[2] Lisanul Mizan: 3/440


cousin, the Messenger of Allah increased so much that he complained to His Eminence about the hardships he had suffered at the hands of the Ummah.

Imam concentrated all his thoughts and feelings for the Almighty Allah. Dawn had not yet broken upon the dark night when the Imam arose, performed a fresh ablution and prepared to leave the house. The pet geese in the courtyard came out before him and cackled loudly as they had the premonition of the impending tragedy that was to strike the lands of Arabs and Muslims.

The Holy Imam understood from their unrest that a calamity was about to befall: “There is no might and strength except by Allah. These are the petitioners that reciters of dirges shall be following them.”[1]

The Imam set out for the house of God (mosque) and as per his habit awoke people for worship of the Lord. After that he stood up to pray. When he bent to prostrate for the Almighty and recite words of divine praise that filthy sinner, Abdur Rahman Ibn Muljim, attacked him shouting the slogan of Khawarij: “The rule is for God and not for you.” And he hit the Imam’s forehead with the sword. The blessed forehead which excessively prostrated on the earth for the Lord, split. The strike sliced the Imam’s head till his holy brain. The brain which except for the well being of the people and gathering justice for them had not been occupied with anything else.

When the Imam felt the sword, a smile appeared on his lips and his voice echoed in the vicinity of the mosque: “By the Lord of the Kaaba, I have succeeded.”

O Amiral Momineen! You were the first successful one and the greatest one to gain benefit from the pleasure of the Almighty Allah. You remained with the truth from your youth and in your religion you had no hypocrisy and you did not give preference to the pleasure of anyone to that of the Almighty Allah’s. You performed Jihad and fought to exalt the word of God in the earth. With his soul and being, he put his life at stake for the Messenger of Allah and supported him.

You became successful and principles of your belief succeeded and you alone established the illuminated custom and you bestowed illumination to the sky of the world and fed the generations with the essence of truth and justice.

When the news of attack on the Imam spread, people rushed to the Masjid and found His Eminence lying in the Mihrab uttering the remembrance of Allah and he had lost a lot of blood. They carried him to his residence while they were all weeping bitterly and in extreme grief. They were lamenting:

The Imam of truth and justice is martyred.

The father of the weak and poor is martyred.

[1] Muruj az-Zahab Pg. 413


Ladies of the house of His Eminence rushed forward to receive him lamenting; His Eminence told them to be patient.

Imam Hasan was deep in weeping. The Imam glanced at him and said: “My son, do not weep, for you shall be martyred by poison and your brother would be martyred by the sword.”

Imam’s prophecy proved true and not many years passed when Muawiyah had Imam Hasan assassinated through poison, splitting up his liver. And swords and spears cut up into pieces the body of His Eminence, Imam Husain and his parts of his holy body were strewn in the desert of Kerbala.

Historians say: Imam Husain was not present in Kufa at the time of the attack on Imam. He was at the cantonment of Nakhila commanding a battalion from the army that was being prepared to fight against Muawiyah. Imam Hasan sent a messenger to him and informed him what had happened to their father. His Eminence returned to Kufa while he was deep in sorrow and he found his father on the verge of death. Then he threw himself upon him while tears flowed on his countenance and he kissed his blessed father.

The great Imam made a bequest to his sons to follow lofty morals and human values and told them not to kill anyone except his murderer and not to make his assassination an excuse to create mischief and bloodshed among the Muslims like the Umayyads had done on the killing of their leader, Uthman.

Towards the Eternal Abode

Imam while reciting the verses of Quran was involved in the throes of death. The last words that passed his lips was the saying of Almighty:

“For the like of this then let the workers work.”[1]

At that moment his purified soul flew out and the angels of the Beneficent Lord took it…The foundation of justice on the earth weakened and the signs of religion became concealed from the eyes. That refuge for the oppressed and the deprived, and the one who bore all hardships to establish truth and justice in all the lands of his dominions passed away.

The two grandsons of the Messenger of Allah stood up to perform the last rites of their beloved father. Gave bath to his holy corpse, put on the shroud cloth and in the last hours of the night buried him at Najaf al-Ashraf, his eternal abode.

Along with him was buried social justice and human values.

Historians say: When the news of Imam’s martyrdom reached Muawiyah, he was overjoyed and announced the day of the Imam’s martyrdom as a feast in Damascus. Because his aspirations had been fulfilled and now the possibility had developed for him that he could make his kingdom a means for killing the Muslims and to take them to slavery and force them to that which they did not like.

[1] Surah Saffat 37:61


Effects of the Imam’s Government

The Imam’s government left many influences on the Islamic society. Probably the most important of them are as follows:

1 – He manifested Islamic reality with all its powers in the world of politics and rulership, because in his government the Imam wanted to remove social inequalities that had appeared among the people and promote unity among them in spite of the communal and religious differences. So that all the groups are dealt with justice and equity. And no group should be accorded any preference. This policy of His Eminence made him very popular among the people. His Eminence, Ali on the basis of establishment of justice and equality, remained in that same way in the hearts of the masses. People of noble inclinations became his supporters and they looked upon him as the greatest social reformer on the earth and considered him as the most prominent well known person of his time. Ayman bin Khareem Asadi addresses the Bani Hashim and especially says about the Imam:

“Shall we consider others equal to you, while between you and them is selfish desire.

They are ground for your feet and you are the sky for their heads and eyes.”[1]

2 – Principles and illuminated views of the Imam continued behind the Umayyads and were also present in their own palaces and they looked at these principles with trepidation which used to challenge their power in such a way that Muawiyah ordered that the Imam should be abused from the pulpits so that his respect is reduced and that they may incite the people to disregard and forget his lofty status and position.

3 – The great social justice which the Imam’s government had taken up as its slogan was the main factor that caused hardships and calamities for his descendants. They were subjected to all sorts of atrocities, tortures and killings at the hands of the tyrant rulers as the Prophet had prophesied about it. Abu Ja’far Iskafi has narrated that the Holy Prophet came to Her Eminence, Fatima and found Ali sleeping. Her Eminence, Fatima wanted to wake him up but the Holy Prophet said, “Leave him as he shall remain too sleepless after me and my Ahle Bayt would suffer untold hardships due to him.”[2]

Fatima began to weep. His Eminence told her, “Do not weep, as he shall be with me in the lofty position near me.”

Umayyad and Abbasid regimes endeavored too much to oppress the Imam’s descendants because they were attentive to the rights of the oppressed and the afflicted and they had taken as their slogan the lofty principles that Amirul Momineen had taken as his slogan and struggled to establish it during his lifetime. The Imam’s son, who was the most prominent and hardest effort maker in this regard was His Eminence, Husain who set out for Jihad ready for

[1] Al-Aghani 1/21
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/107


martyrdom and despaired of life so that he may help the principles of his grandfather and father and to exalt the standard of Islam and defend its honor and bring down the flags of polytheism and apostasy and to untie the knots of slavery and servitude.

Imam during his short tenure of rulership had an original view to confront with injustice and oppression because his great companions like Hujr bin Adi, Amr bin Hamaq Khuzai, Abdullah bin Afif Azadi and others like them who were brought up in the school of thought of the Imam stood up against the Umayyad regime and by one uprising after another destroyed their arrogance and oppression and they made them worried.

The Imam’s government was the school of confrontation and revolution and a school for creating a religious view and social understanding.

Here we conclude our discussion about the important after effects of the Imam’s government.

# Caliphate of His Eminence, Hasan

Imam Hasan took the reins of Islamic caliphate in his hands after his father. His Eminence took over the leadership of the community in such a way that mischiefs had created a serious trouble in it. Battles and groupism had created discord in their army and no public department remained immune from the attack of the Umayyads because the general views of the people and nobles had inclined to consider Muawiyah to be of higher rank and before the Imam’s martyrdom as well as after it, they maintained close contact with Muawiyah and played a significant role in dispersing the Imam’s troops at the time of the defeat of the army of Muawiyah.

Anyway, Imam Hasan after taking over the caliphate prepared for war and issued orders that a public meeting should be arranged in Kufa Mosque and the armed forces and other people attended the meet. Imam Hasan delivered an eloquent and effective sermon. He spoke of creating unity and gathering of forces and warned them of the propaganda of the Umayyad regime that was aimed to disunite the people. He called the people to join the forces to fight against Muawiyah.

When the people heard these words they were terrified and their tongues became dumb. None of them responded except the great warrior, Adi bin Hatim, who stood up and announced his complete support to the Imam and he denounced the stance of the Kufians devoid of their support towards the Imam which would lead to their imminent defeat. It became clear to the Imam and other people that the army was not prepared for war because they had given up obedience and they had stepped in the field of rebellion.

According to Shaykh Mufeed after the efforts of certain sincere supporters of the Imam some people were mobilized to go forward in battle. Most of them comprised of Khawarij, doubters and greedy elements. These elements did not have any regard for the Imam’s aim because they had made embezzlement and disloyalty as their habit.

Narrators say: Imam appointed Ubaidullah Ibn Abbas as the commander-in-chief of his forces. Muawiyah had killed two of his sons so that it may make him sincere due to this. However when he faced Muawiyah’s forces Muawiyah threw the rope of deceit towards him and promised him 1000000 Dirhams, half of which would be payable upfront and the balance after he had crossed over to him.[1]

Ubaidullah’s mouth watered and he gave a positive reply to Muawiyah. He deviated from the truth and joined the forces of oppression and injustice while he had 8000 soldiers with him.[2] He did not pay any heed to humiliation and embezzlement. He completely disregarded the terrible harm he had brought for the

[1] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/27-29
[2] Yaqubi, Tarikh, 25/214


troops of his cousin as a result of which all the unity and stability of the troops was destroyed.

The breach of trust was not limited to Ubaidullah. Other commanders of the Imam’s troops also defected to Muawiyah. And they left the Imam crushed in disunited troops and they left him in sorrow and pain.

The Imam’s hardships and problems were not restricted to the defection of his commanders because the Imam’s problems increased further and regiments of that army committed atrocious acts against the Holy Imam as follows:

1 – Cruelty to the Imam

The filthy character, Jarrah bin Sinan committed cruelty on the Imam and with a spear wounded the Imam’s thigh. The Imam was terribly wounded and he fell down and was taken for treatment.[1]

Another person, during the prayers, attacked the Imam with a sword.[2] Yet another man shot an arrow at the Imam though it caused him no harm. Imam[3] became certain that the Kufians were bent on killing and assassinating His Eminence.

2 – Associating Infidelity with Imam Hasan

That army was also sick in its faith and religion in such a way that they alleged the grandson of the Prophet and his darling to have become infidel and left the religion. Thus Jarrah bin Sinan stood up in front of His Eminence and cried, “O Hasan! You have committed polytheism like your father did…!”[4]

This was the view of most of the Khawarij and they inculcated this same view among the troops.

3 – The Great Breach of Trust

The great breach of trust that the commanders of the army committed was that they wrote to Muawiyah and guaranteed to him that whenever he liked they would hand over the Imam to him as a prisoner or assassinate him.[5] And this matter made the Imam very cautious that it may not be that he is taken a prisoner and handed over to Muawiyah and then Muawiyah does a favor to him by giving him amnesty. And this matter of Bani Umayyah doing favor to the family of the Prophet may be established as His Eminence has said regarding this in his statements after the treaty.

[1] Al-Irshad, Pg. 2-12
[2] Life of Imam Hasan 2/106
[3] Life of Imam Hasan 2/106-107
[4] Life of Imam Hasan 2/105
[5] Life of Imam Hasan 2/203


4 – Plundering Sources and Capital of Imam Hasan

The debased persons from among the people of Kufa busied in plundering the sources and necessities of life of the Holy Imam and they pulled away the carpet from under him just as they had snatched away the cloak of His Eminence.[1]

These were some of the terrible blows dealt by that army which had taken up breach of trust as its profession.


In front of these dark mischiefs the Imam assumed a stance of farsightedness along with knowledge and observed that depths had been illuminated by wisdom because the Imam understood that there were two options before him, first to begin war against Muawiyah or to make peace with him.

1) He could have initiated war against Muawiyah while the Imam knew that Muawiyah would indeed be victorious. Or that he himself, his companions and members of his Ahle Bayt who were representations of Islamic values should be eliminated and by their martyrdom Islam would have been deprived of its leaders and missionaries without any advantage accruing to the religion because Muawiyah had with all his capability given this responsibility to the Imam in a very diplomatic way that he should choose either of the two options and he had put a thousand veils on the sacrifices of His Eminence. Or that His Eminence should have become a prisoner of Muawiyah and would have had to bear the favor of Muawiyah which would have become the cause of Bani Umayyah gloating at it.

2) The next option to make peace with Muawiyah and for the sake of Islam defend its warriors and missionaries and by his treaty expose the true face of Muawiyah and tear away the thick veil that he had cast on his evil deeds. The Imam chose this second option inspite of the fact that there was a thorn in his eye and a bone stuck in his throat.[2]

Historians say: His Eminence gathered his troops and presented them the options of war or peace. Shouts arose from all sides: “We shall remain where we are.”

They accepted humiliation and were pleased with degradation and deviated from the path of truth. Imam had become certain that they had lost all senses and perception and he was not capable to force them for his obedience and war. On the basis of this he had to accept the treaty with bitterness and displeasure.

That treaty was a bitter and unbearable one that the religious law considered it obligatory and intellect knew that it was necessary and the social conditions which were full of political problems were demanding it because if he had initiated a war his troops would have indeed been defeated and the community as a result of this would have been involved in untold calamities and there would have been no limit to it.

[1] Yaqubi, Tarikh, 2/214
[2] Hayatul Islam 1/123


We have discussed in detail the circumstances of treaty, its terms, causes and the useless talks of the critics in our book, Life of Imam Hasan.

Reaction of Imam Husain

What is confirmed is that Imam Husain was in principle in agreement with his brother in opting for the treaty and it was with his advice because the conditions were such that necessitated armistice and there was no other option. However there exist fabricated traditions that go against what we have stated. And it is that Imam Husain was displeased with the treaty and wanted to oppose it but his brother restrained him and said: I shall put you in a house and seal it with plaster till the treaty is complete. His Eminence, Husain saw that loyalty demanded that he should obey his brother and not oppose him. On the basis of this he supported him in this matter. We have completely refuted and disproved this theory supported by proofs in our book, Life of Imam Hasan.

Adi bin Hatim

When the treaty was concluded Adi bin Hatim along with Ubadah bin Umar hurried to Imam Husain while his heart was burning in fury and he called the Imam to begin the battle and said, “O Aba Abdillah, have you exchanged honor for humiliation and accepted the minority and closed our eyes from the majority? Today you listen to us and then oppose us forever! Leave Hasan to what he thinks about peace treaty and mobilize your Shias and people of Kufa. I and my companions have taken it as our priority that the son of Hind shall not come of his own accord but that we shall strike his head with our swords.”

His Eminence, Husain said: “We have accepted it and we have made oath and covenant and there is no way we could break the pledges.”[1]

If Imam Husain had any option to dominate the events he would have opted to fight and confronted Muawiyah in the battle but all the options were closed for him and his brother and he saw that there was no way for them except to make peace.

Transformation of Caliphate

The Islamic caliphate underwent a change from its real function and characteristics that its maker had intended in a tyrannical and despotic rulership that not a shadow of justice existed in it and it had no resemblance to truth.

Despots from the Umayyad regimes were imposed on the community and began humiliating and suppressing them, plundering their wealth and forcing them to slavery. One of the writers says: “The end of a caliphate which was on the right path and its transfer to Bani Umayyah bore important consequences: The Umayyad clan became victorious over the Bani Hashim. Its meaning is that the nobles of Quraish, the rich people and traders became victorious over the people of principles and values.

[1] Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 220


The victory of Muawiyah brought defeat to all efforts to prevent the evil of the wealth hoarders of Quraish. It was the defeat of Hilful Fuzool.[1] A defeat for values and principles and victory for deceit and political intrigue from the previous ones and the wealth hoarders. This defeat left a terrible effect on Islam and Muslim generations.”

And also Nicholson says, “Muslims considered the victory of Bani Umayyah under the leadership of Muawiyah to be the great victory of the idol-worshippers who had been inimical to the Prophet and his companions and fought against Allah’s Messenger till the Prophet exiled them. Till the time the Muslims, along with the Prophet fought in Jihad and confronted them with patience till the Almighty Allah rewarded them with victory and the foundation of Islam was laid on their shriveled faces. That easy religion which understood both the happiness and unhappiness of the people. And the joy of the group that considered poor people as degraded, humiliated the deprived and plundered wealth, was destroyed.

In any case after the treaty the Islamic world was involved in a great disaster and from the world of comfort, security and stability it was changed into a world full of injustice and oppression because the Umayyads after coming to power very fast began to commit tyranny and suppress the Muslims and forced them to that which they did not like.

The Kufians also more than others, bore many hardships and terrible calamities because the administration of the ruler made them severely accountable for their support to the Imam in the battle of Siffeen and their cruel ones like Mughairah bin Shobah and Ziyad bin Abih were selected for these functions. They initiated a terrible punishment that continued on the people without any respite. It was a time when Kufians due to their misfortune that they had got as a result of their not obeying and supporting Imam Amirul Momineen and his son Imam Hasan. And their sending delegations and writing letters to His Eminence, Husain to insist him to come and save them from the cruelty of the Umayyads and emancipate them. But it is astonishing that when the Imam responded to them positively their swords were drawn upon His Eminence and they cut up his body and those of his children in the desert of Kerbala.

Here comes to an end our chapter on the Demise of the Rightful Government.

[1] It is an oath that: Hashim, Zohra and Teema came to Abdullah bin Juda’n and pledged to defend oppression and oppressor and to remain with the truth (Tr.)

# Muawiyah’s Rule

After the peace pact the Muslims welcomed Muawiyah’s rulership with terror and fear because they were aware of the reality of his affair and were cognizant of his way of thinking and his beliefs and faith. On the basis of this they feared him for their religion, life and property and that which they had dreaded happened. Thus no sooner did he gain power over the provinces that he began to spread injustice, oppression and mischief in all lands.

Historians say: He adopted such a policy for Muslims that before this they had not known it because the sign of his policy was death and destruction. As if it were an axe of destruction for all human and moral values while in his time the idol worship was revived though all the people were hateful of it.

Sayyid Amir Ali says: “With the rise of Muawiyah the oligarchic rule of the heathen times displaced the democratic rule of Islam. Paganism, with all its attendant depravity, revived, and vice and immorality followed everywhere in the wake of Umayyad governors and the Syrian soldiery. Hijaz and Iraq groaned under the usurper’s rule; but his hold on the throat of Islam was too strong to be shaken off with impunity. The wealth which he pitilessly extracted from his subjects, he lavished on his mercenaries, who in return helped him to repress all murmurings…”[1]

What is confirmed and proved is that the people did not willingly support Muawiyah in his policies. Their support was obtained forcibly from them on the point of sword. Muawiyah has himself confessed to this matter and in his statement to multitudes of crowds he has said: “By Allah! I have not achieved rulership for the sake of love you have for me, or that you are happy for my rule. Rather I have fought you with the sword. If you have seen that I have not strengthened all of your congregation, then accept less from us…”

After the treaty when the community came to him like a morsel he delivered an acerbic speech at Nakhila and spoke of his tyranny and force on the people and lack of any regard for the rights of people. He clearly declared, “By Allah, I did not fight you to make you pray, fast and perform the hajj or pay Zakat. You already perform these duties. But I fought you so that I may rule over you and the Almighty Allah has given this to me while you were not desirous of it.”[2]

This speech indicates the mischievous aspects of Muawiyah because he on the basis of rulership and power indulged in bloodshed of Muslims and spread sorrow and grief in their houses.

We are compelled to investigate the political progress of Muawiyah’s regime and the great disasters which were contemporary to his period because according to our belief these were the factors that led to the rising of His Eminence, Imam Husain

[1] Ruhul Islam, Pg. 296
[2] Life of Imam Hasan 2/262, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 16/46


from that aspect that His Eminence witnessed the deprivation and problems of the Muslims in which they were involved and deviation and helplessness from social defects of Umayyad regime; therefore His Eminence began his great revolution after the death of Muawiyah. It was a revolution aimed at social awakening and as a result uprooted the Umayyad rule and destroyed all its signs indications. Some of Muawiyah’s political stances were as follows:

Muawiyah’s Fiscal Policy

Muawiyah in no way observed any policy that could be termed as a policy to solve economic or monetary problems. It was solely aimed at acquiring wealth for himself and hoarding it under his control and spending it according to his desires and inclinations in such a way that he gave his great wealth to those who were his partisans while he deprived his opponents from even the ordinary share to which they were legally entitled. He used to seize properties and impose unjustified taxes.

Muawiyah’s regime had absolutely no sign of Islamic economics policy which was aimed at solving economic problems in the best way because Islamic fiscal policy was encouraged for increasing personal income and fighting unemployment and poverty and it considered the government wealth as the property of people which should be utilized for development and progress of the society. While Muawiyah spread poverty and needfulness among the majority of the people and confined the hoarding of wealth for a minority who were connected to the regime. Some of the special features of his fiscal policy were as follows:

Economic Deprivation

Muawiyah imposed an oppressive economic policy in provinces that were opposed to his regime. He spread helplessness and needfulness in those provinces so that the people there may not be able to rise up in his opposition. Some of the provinces that were subjected to oppressive fiscal policies were as follows:

1) Yathrib

Muawiyah initiated the weakening of Yathrib and he did not spend anything on the people of this province because it was an area inhabited with persons opposed to his regime and many of the personalities who were critics of the Umayyads or who were aspirants for power and rulership resided therein.

Historians say: He compelled them to sell off their properties and he purchased them at a meager price. He sent his tax collectors to tax their profits but they refused and came to their governor, Uthman bin Muhammad and said: “All this money belongs to us. Muawiyah in their profits has acted with discrimination. He did not give us a single dirham or more than that till we fell to hard times and hunger has befallen us. At that time he bought over our properties at one-hundredth the value.” The governor of Medina replied in an acerbic and a nasty tone.

The respected companion, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari went to Muawiyah but he in order to humiliate him did not accord permission to meet him. Jabir returned from there. At that time Muawiyah sent 600 dirhams for Jabir but Jabir returned them


and he wrote to him:

“I select contentment over wealth when the two of them come together. Just as I select the cool drinking water. Whenever I become needless I shall consider myself the ruler while there are many who are ruled but themselves are never rulers.

I shall wear the dress of modesty while I see the position of wealth and would not dishonor my respect for it.”

And he told Muawiyah’s messenger: “Tell him that by Allah, O son of Hind, the liver-eater, you shall not find any good thing in your scroll of deeds as I shall be the cause of it.”

Poverty spread into the homes of Ansar and they were involved in such bad circumstances that none of them were able to even purchase a camel to utilize it for their needs. When Muawiyah was going to Hajj some of the Ansar went to meet him while most of them were on foot. He said: “What has prevented you from welcoming me in the usual way of welcome.”

Saeed bin Ubadah said, “Lack of mounts, poverty, hard times and your favoritism to others have prevented us.”

Muawiyah said in a mocking way, “Why do you not use the camels of Medina?”

Saeed replied in such a sharp logic that it pierced like an arrow, “We slaughtered them on the day of Badr, the day we killed (your brother) Hanzalah bin Abu Sufyan.”[1]

Muawiyah’s policy was aimed that hunger should spread in Medina and people should be deprived from gifts and endowments. Abdullah bin Zubair wrote to Yazid in his letter: “By my life what you hold in your hand from our rights, you do not give a small part of it and you deny a great part of it…”

Muawiyah ordered the central government authority in Medina to increase the price of essential commodities so that hunger and deprivation increases. Yazid has mentioned this in his letter to the people of Medina and promised them good behavior if they submitted to his rulership. In that letter he says: “They have my covenant that I shall fix the price of wheat same as the wheat in our possession and the allowances that they claim were stopped during Muawiyah’s time shall be restored to them.”[2]

Muawiyah appointed as governors of Hijaz sometimes Marwan bin Hakam and sometimes Saeed bin Aas. He dismissed one and appointed the other. Both of them went all the way to subject the populace of Medina to poverty and humiliation.

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf, Vol. 1, Part 2/73
[2] Al Imamah was Siyasah 1/177


2. Iraq

Muawiyah subjected Iraq to the worst of punishment because it was the original center of opposition and it was the only province discontented with his regime. Mughairah bin Shobah, the governor of Kufa, cancelled the allowances of Kufians from the public treasury. Umayyad ruler who succeeded Muawiyah also continued this policy of injustice and oppression of Iraq and depriving the people. So much so that even the most just of them, Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz did not observe equity with regard to parity between the allowance of Syrians and Iraqis. He gave a raise of 10 dinars for the former but no raise was allowed for Iraqis.[1]

During the Umayyad rule different kinds of tribulations befell the Iraqis, such that the Iraqis began to organize continuous armed uprisings against the Umayyads regime.

3. Egypt

Egypt was involved in more economic suppression because Muawiyah wrote to his agent there: “Give a raise of one Qeeraat to each of the Copts.” But his representative objected to this and said: “How can I give them any raise while it was decided that they would not be given any raise?”[2]

Economic hardships also spread to other Islamic lands so that people may remain involved in their own problems and thus may not be able to put up any sort of opposition to the despotic regimes.

Prosperity in Syria

While the Islamic lands were involved in hardship and deprivation, we see that Syria was living in perfect comfort and the prices of essential commodities there were the lowest because they were loyal to the Umayyad clan and were always trying for stability for their regime, therefore luxury was made widespread there. That which supports this assertion is the letter of Yazid from which we had quoted previously.

The Syrians also were given preference over other people. Thus Malik bin Hubaira in his conversation with Haseen bin Numaira has indicated this and he says: “Hurry up so that we may give allegiance to this young man (Khalid bin Yazid) because we have brought his father to power and he is our cousin. You know our position with his father that how he had given us a position among the Arab multitudes.”[3]

Muawiyah Employed wealth for strengthening his rule

Muawiyah used the central treasury for lending stability to his rulership and power and employed it as a weapon to make himself capable of leadership of community and the chieftainship of the kingdom.

[1] Iqdul Farid 6/220
[2] Life of Imam Musa bin Ja’far 1/302
[3] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/535-536


Sayyid Amir Ali says: “The wealth which he pitilessly extracted from his subjects, he lavished on his mercenaries, who in return helped him to repress all murmurings.”[1]

This policy was a new thing for the Muslims that none of the caliphs before that had even considered. The Umayyad caliphs after that also continued the same policy of using wealth as a means of strengthening their power.

Dr. Muhammad Mustafa says, “Of the elements of the Umayyad policy was the use of wealth as a weapon for intimidation as well as for winning loyalties because a group of people was deprived and he lavished too much on other groups so that it may be a price for their conscience and should be a guarantee for their silence.”[2]

Shokri Faisal considers wealth as one of the two basic factors before which the Islamic society humbled in a strange manner. It was among all the factors of political mischief and the dominance of the ruling class from Quraish and also one of the factors for creating dissensions between the Arabs and non-Arabs and even among the Arabs themselves.[3]

Muawiyah’s great bestowals to his clansmen

Muawiyah made huge bestowals of wealth to his clansmen and put them in charge of exceeding wealth[4] so that it may strengthen their position and spread their dominance in the Islamic world while he spread needfulness and deprivation in most other groups of the community.

Amr Aas sanctioned the Tax of Egypt

Muawiyah sanctioned all the tax collected from Egypt to Amr Aas and made it a morsel (luxury) for him as long as he (Amr) lived. This was recompense to Amr Aas for helping Muawiyah against Amirul Momineen the standard bearer of truth and justice on the earth. We have already mentioned the details of those events in the forgone pages.

Largesse upon the supporters

Muawiyah made huge bestowals to his own supporters and those who were inimical to Imam Amirul Momineen and in this he resorted to unjustified expenditure. Narrators say: “Yazid bin Munabba came to Muawiyah from Basra and complained about his indebtedness. Muawiyah ordered that 30000 be issued to him from the Public Treasury. When he took the amount and was leaving, Muawiyah said: Give him another 30000 for his role in the Battle of Jamal.[5]

Muawiyah gifted this large amount to him for his and his brothers’ role in the battle of Jamal in helping the rebels who were plundering the Public Treasury. In

[1] Ruhul Islam, Pg. 296
[2] Ittijahaatul Shi’r Al-Arabi, Pg. 27
[3] Shukri Faisal, Al-Mujtima-aatul Islamiya fi Qarnil Awwal, Pg. 50
[4] Al-Fakhri, Pg. 104-105
[5] Al-Iqdul Farid 2/68


this way Muawiyah helped and rewarded the opponents of the Imam. History has recorded numerous examples of this kind.

Purchase of Faith

Muawiyah had opened a new chapter in his economic policy and it was the buying up of people’s faith, trust and consciences because delegations of Arab nobles came to him and he gave each of them a hundred thousand but gave 70000 to Hinat, the uncle of Farazdaq. When Hinat realized this he became infuriated. He came back to Muawiyah and said, “You have humiliated me in the eyes of Bani Tamim. My origin and genealogy is correct. Am I not of old age? Am I not being obeyed among my people?”

“You are.”

“Then why you gave me less than my people? And gave more to those who opposed you than those who supported you?”

Muawiyah sat in a shameless manner, “I have purchased their faiths and left you on your religion.”

“Purchase my religion also.”

Muawiyah ordered that the remaining cost may be paid to him.[1]

This harmful matter clearly shows the way those people had transmogrified and how they had sold their consciences for worldly wealth.

Deficiency of Central Treasury

As a result of these wasteful expenditures in endowing largesse for purchasing people’s consciences and religion a serious shortage developed in the Central Treasury and the government was not able to even pay the rightful shares of the workers. Muawiyah was compelled to write to Amr Aas and ask for his help from tax of Egypt that he had given to him. Muawiyah’s letter said, “So to say: Petitioners from Hijaz and visitors from Iraq have increased and I have nothing in excess after paying the military. So help me from the collections of Egypt…”

Amr Aas did not accept his request and he raised objection to him and reminded him of his favors on Muawiyah. He wrote the following couplets to him:

“O Muawiyah if you have become such a miser you should know that I have not received Egypt in inheritance.

I have not obtained it free. It was a condition that I demanded and I had to fight a severe battle for it.

If my collusion with Ashari hadn’t been there you would have had to bear very hard times like the bleating of a hungry camel.”

When Muawiyah read these couplets he was very much affected and after that he never told anything to Amr Aas regarding the taxes of Egypt.[2]

[1] Life of Imam Hasan 2/159-160, Al-Kamil, Ibne Athir 3/468
[2] Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 222


Confiscating the properties of citizens

After his wasteful expenditure and excess Muawiyah was compelled to confiscate unrightfully the properties of people to compensate shortages in his royal treasury. He confiscated the inheritance left by Hinat, Farazdaq’s uncle. Farazdaq objected to this action of Muawiyah and denounced him in the following lines of poetry:

“Your father and my uncle, O Muawiyah, left inheritance and inheritance is given to a person’s surviving relatives.

Then why did you take over the property of Hinat while the inheritance of Abu Sufyan is indeed your right.

If this had happened in the age of ignorance it would have been with regard to those whose inheritors are few.

If in religion there is something else, you have usurped our share or left only a little of it (like water that is left in the throat of the person who drinks it).

Am I not the most respectful of the people in my class and family with regard to the afflicted neighbors?

No one is born after the Prophet and his progeny like Hisaan who is most proximate to them among the people.

My family is besides the Pleiades and the moon and the stars are less in brilliance to it.

I am the son of a high mountain as the number of sand particles and the root of the earth is my root. So who could be equal to it?

My ancestors are numerous, O Muawiyah! They are illuminated and the wind guards around their raiments.

They were from the generations of kings and your family from Abde Shams cannot be equal to them.”[1]

The above couplets mean that the inheritance left by Sakhr, grandfather of Muawiyah was transferred to his inheritors while the inheritance of Farazdaq’s uncle was confiscated by Muawiyah. And if this had occurred during the pre-Islamic age Muawiyah would not have been able to take it because the family of Farazdaq was of the most prominent clans of Arabs.

Agricultural Income

Muawiyah deprived the people from annual agricultural income to cover his expenditure and in this matter he resorted to severe oppression and force on the people. According to historians he extracted upto 10 million Dirhams and it became[2] such an obstacle that Muslims were completely alien to it. But the succeeding caliphs also followed the same practice after Muawiyah and they forced Muslims to pay such heavy taxes.

[1] Ibne Athir 3/468, Diwan-i-Farazdaq, 1/502-503
[2] Tarikh Tamaddun Islami 1, Part 2/276


Plunder carried out by governors and Agents

Rulership in the period of Muawiyah became a source of plundering and usurpation of wealth and a means for gathering wealth and misappropriating property.

Anas bin Abi Unaas said to Haritha Ghadani, a supporter of Ziyad Ibn Abih, when he became the governor of Surraq a province of Ahwaz:

“O Haritha bin Badr, you have become associated with rulership. So remain therein like a field mouse and indulge in breach of trust and theft.

Enjoy with the Tamim in wealth as wealth is a tongue that man speaks to it in awe.

O Haritha, a thing that you have obtained, do not consider it valueless as your share in the two Iraqs is Surraq.”[1]

Also Uqbah bin Hubaira Asadi has described the oppression of government agents and their usurping of wealth in the following manner:

“O Muawiyah, we are humans, deal with us as men, we are not mountains and iron.

You have usurped our land and destroyed it. Does a tree or a trunk remain intact in it?

I find myself in a community that is destroyed and Yazid and his father rule over it.

Can we covet caliphate while we are already destroyed? Neither you nor me shall remain alive.

From arrogance of caliphate and rulership free the oppressed and slaves and come to the right path.

Observe equity among us before the troops abandon soldiery and pounce upon you.”[2]

Muslims bore different types of atrocities from the agents and tax collectors because they were experts in plunder and thus they did not find anything with anyone but that they used to somehow seize and appropriate it.

Tax collection

Tax collection depended upon the whims and fancies of the collectors. The agent Khana asked Amr Aas about the tax that was payable to him. Amr Aas scolded him and said, “Even if you had paid me from the earth to the sky I would not have told you the limit of your tax liability. You are our treasurers. When our expenses increase we shall increase it on you and when they reduce we shall reduce them on you…”[3]

These oppressive steps destroyed all the rules of justice and equality that Islam had brought.

[1] Ash-Shi’r wal Shu’ara, Pg. 494-495
[2] Khazaanatul Adab, 2/260
[3] Tarikh Tamaddun Islami 2, Part 4/359


Hoarding of Gold and Silver

Muawiyah ordered Ziyad bin Abih to collect all the gold and silver for him. Ziyad and his agents began to forcibly seize any quantity of gold and silver that people had in their possession and dispatched it all to Damascus.[1] This matter made life difficult for the people and deprivation began to kill them.

Economic Progress Paralyzed

Economic progress became paralyzed in all the areas and agriculture and trades declined and the public economy became involved in decadence as a result of wasteful expenditure and excess of Muawiyah. In such a way that Abdullah bin Hamam Saluli has announced this matter and he wrote some couplets on this topic on a piece of paper threw it in the Mosque complaining about the terrible oppression and horrible injustice that Muawiyah and his agents were committing upon the people:

“Tell Muawiyah the son of Sakhar, that the province of Sawad is destroyed and no longer any Sawad remains.

I see our agents stone-hearted for ourselves because for the sake of their personal benefits they have oppressed people.

Can you do something immediately and remove corruption from your subjects?

And that you may dismiss those who are always following their selfish desires and those who are destroying the cities due to their foolishness.

As much you tell them to refrain from greed and covetousness as much they shall persist in deviation.”[2]

Through these couplets Saluli described the economic conditions and domination of the rulers in oppressing the subjects. He has demanded the government to dismiss such officials and change their behavior because they indulged in destroying the provinces, sucking of people’s blood and following their selfish desires.

Muawiyah’s Justification

Muawiyah believed that the funds of Muslim community and central treasury were his personal properties and that he could utilize them in any way he liked; so much so that he says: “The earth is for the Lord and I am His representative. So whatever is taken from the wealth of God is my property and whatever I leave, it is allowed for me.”[3]

Such a logic was absolutely opposed to the spirit of Islam and its viewpoint because Islam based the principles of economy on the foundation that government funds belonged to the Muslim Community and the government is duty bound to take care of the funds and endeavor to increase them and the ruler or others had no

[1] Life of Imam Musa bin Ja’far 1/301. At-Tamaddun al-Islami 2, Part 4/359
[2] Al-Islam wal Hizaaratul Arabiyya 2/149-150
[3] Life of Imam Musa bin Ja’far 1/301


right to play with the economy of the nation and spend from public wealth according to their whims and desires because such an action would spread poverty and unemployment and subject the country to economic difficulties.

Islam considered poverty a social evil and an epidemic and it is necessary to confront and remove such things in every way possible. The head of the regime is not allowed to restrict anything from public wealth. The viewpoint of Islam is thus. But Muawiyah (in an inarguable manner) did not pay attention to this and he spent the wealth of Muslims according to his personal whims and desires.

These were some examples of the fiscal policies of Muawiyah which were bereft of the spirit of balance and which caused widespread poverty and deprivation in the country.

Policy of disintegration and favoritism

Muawiyah based his policy on creating disunity among the Muslims and their disintegration and made the spirit of disunity and enmity predominant among them because he believed that the regime cannot gain stability except through destroying the unity of the people and there should be widespread mutual animosity among the members of the community.

Aqqad says: Muawiyah had an excuse (intrigue) that he repeated and used it fully and became dominant in it and before his enemies in his kingdom, whether Muslims or non-Muslims he used it for them and it was based on sowing dissension and creating conflicts in the ranks of enemies and encouraging mutual enmity among them by putting doubts in their mind regarding each other. Some of them were members of his own clan and family…he could not bear to see two important persons united on something and he used to sow enmity between them so that he could overpower them.”[1]

Muawiyah disintegrated the Muslims and broke the relationship of Islamic brotherhood that the Holy Prophet had established and based his society on.

Oppression of Non-Arabs

Muawiyah tried his utmost to oppress and humiliate people of non-Arab origin. So much so that he wished to eliminate all of them completely. Historians say: He summoned Asnaf bin Qais and Samrah bin Jundab and told them: I see that the population of redskins has increased and that could be a problem for us in the future and may precede us. As if I can see them dictating to the Arabs on administration, therefore I have decided to eliminate half of them and keep their other half under surveillance. So that they may help in industry and keep the roads etc in perfect condition.”

Asnaf and Samrah did not like this draconian step and they spoke very kindly to him and dissuaded him from this plan.[2]

[1] Muawiyah fil Mizaan, Pg. 64
[2] Al-Iqdul Farid 3/413


Muawiyah established the practice of cruelty on slaves and the regimes that succeeded him spread cruelty and deprivation inspite of the fact that they used to participate in military affairs and other government matters. The poet says regarding the oppressions done on these non-Arabs as follows:

“Whenever you see the Umayyads, Ibn Zubair or those Arab rulers, convey the message to them.

That non-Arabs are writhing in hunger and battle and they complain to the caliph.”

A Khorasani person addressed Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz and requested him to deal with them with justice. He says, “O Amiral Momineen, one thousand non-Arab people are going to war without getting any allowance or livelihood and like them the Zimmis (non-Muslims) who have become Muslims and also pay tax.[1] This was at the time when Shobi, the judge of Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz had become disgusted with the Mosque as he abhorred the rubbish of his house because people of non-Arab origins used to pray therein.[2] So much so that the non-Arabs were compelled to make a separate Masjid for themselves and called it Masjid-e-Mawali.[3] They used to pray in this mosque.[4] Khuda Bakhsh is of the view that the factor that compelled them to recite prayers in that mosque was that they saw the bigotry of the Arabs against them and they did not permit them that to pray with them in the same Masjid while Mawali (non-Arabs) behaved very kindly with Arabs and used to invite them
to the path of guidance and say: “We do not deny the differences of the people and their precedence over others and we don’t consider master and slave and the nobles and lower class people as equal. Rather we say that the superiority of man is not on the basis of their parentage or genealogy, it is due to their nobility, deeds and morals and their valor. Thus anyone who does not have courage and valor is not superior even if he may be from Bani Hashim because the honorable is one whose deeds have given him honor and superior is one whose bravery has bestowed them superiority.”[5]

Umayyads and those people having same views did not understand this logic which is taken from the reality of Islam and its guidance. That Islam had ordered the spreading of equality and justice among all people without any discrimination between them on the basis of race.

Anyway, this policy of racial discrimination spread dissensions and enmity among the Muslims and created discord in them. And also the non-Arab Muslims become ready for every uprising against the Umayyad regime in such a way that at last they were the active power that destroyed the Umayyad rule and eliminated all their signs.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh, 6/559. Al-Kamil 5/51
[2] Ibne Sa’ad, Tabaqat 6/251
[3] Tabari, Tarikh, Events of year 254
[4] Al-Hizaaratul Islamiyya 1/43
[5] Al-Iqdul Farid 3/410


Tribal Prejudice

Along with the policy of groupism and creating dissensions that the Umayyads resorted to, they also revived tribal prejudice. Among the terrible examples of this painful confrontation was that the Umayyads incited communal discord among the people and ensured their non-interference in political matters. This has become known from Arabian poetry so that people may keep away from the cruelty and oppression that Muawiyah heaped on them.

Historians say: Muawiyah took new steps to revive the ancient tribal enmity between Aws and Khazraj. In this way he wanted to devalue them and that their respect in the Islamic and Arab world may be lost. Also he created bigotry among the Yemenites towards the Egyptians so that he may incite the fire of mischief among them and there should be no unity between among them to speak up or to cause harm to his regime.

Muawiyah’s officials acted upon the destructive policies of Muawiyah. For example Ziyad bin Abih used to make tribes fight each other and enflame the fire of mischief among them so that they may remain involved in it and may continue under his power. Falhauzen says: Ziyad knew how to make tribes fight against each other and keep them under his power and he incited them to work for him and he encouraged them in this way…”[1]

Historical sources contain many examples of different types of tribal battles that Muawiyah and his agents created and which spread enmity and malice among Muslims and Islam. People were involved in great problems due to them and all fruitful activities were made to serve Muawiyah’s aims. He opposed the call of the Prophet that had invited people to brotherhood and mutual affection.

Policy of intimidation and violence

Muawiyah ruled the people with policy of intimidation and violence and considered their destiny and value to be worthless. After the treaty he announced that he had fought Muslims only to obtain rulership and power and shed their blood and he completely disregarded all conditions he had accepted from Imam Hasan and declared that he would not fulfill any of them. He openly expressed his arrogance and cruelty when he said, “We are such an age that if we give respite to someone he would become elevated and if we suppress anyone he shall fall into oblivion…”[2]

His agents and governors also acted upon this deceitful manner. Utbah bin Abu Sufyan delivered a sermon in Egypt and said: “O you most humiliated people! I have kept my nails for you so that the evil doers among you may be reformed. And I wanted that you all should be reformed if your corruption still remains on you. Then except for criticism of government and denouncing it, you did not intend anything else. By Allah, we shall break whips upon your backs. Thus if you could cure your pain, what could be better than it? And if it is not so, the sword would be

[1] ad-Daulatul Arabiyyah, Pg. 207
[2] Nihayatul Arab 6/7


after you. What wisdoms we had but your hearts did not understand them and the advises that we gave were met with your closed ears. If you continue in your disobedience, I am not miserly in punishing…”[1]

In another sermon to Egyptians he says, “O people of Egypt! You must not be like a sharpened sword with which the Almighty Allah has slaughtered one that was Uthman. Thus creating mischief and trampling the prophetic practices and putting yourself in the terror of falsehood after having attached yourself with truth. That by Allah I shall trample you in such a way that after that no life shall remain in you till you forget even what you know.”[2]

The sentences of his sermons indicate the level of his animosity to the community and his complete disregard to all its values and aims.

In the same way one of those governors who had become deniers of truth and justice was Khalid Qasri who gave a speech in Mecca and threatened the society with destruction and annihilation and he said, “O people, it is necessary for you to obey and move with the congregation and beware of doubts, by Allah if anyone is brought to me who criticizes his leader, I shall crucify him in the sanctuary (Ka’ba)…”[3]

This condition was found in all agents and governors of the Umayyad regime.

Walid bin Yazid says:

“Forget the memory of Sa’ad as we are more in number and wealth.

We are such that we became rulers of people by force and consider punishing and humiliating them as lawful.

We take them towards degradation and humiliation and except for misfortune have nothing else for them.”[4]

These couplets show to what extent he considered the community as lowly. Therefore he, along with rulers of his family, ruled people by force, humiliated them and led them to the pit of destruction.

And also there is the statement of Abdul Malik Ibn Marwan who delivered a sermon in Yathrib before the children of Emigrants and Helpers and he said: “Know that, I solve the problems of this community only with the sword so that you come to the path. You have remembered the first of the Emigrants but you have not acted like them. You order us to observe fear of Allah but you neglect your own selves. By Allah, if after this anyone commands me piety, I shall kill him…”[5]

[1] Mubarrad, Tahzeebul Kamil 1/17
[2] Al-Iqdul Farid 4/137
[3] Tabari, Tarikh, 6/464
[4] Life of Imam Musa bin Ja’far 1/307, Ibne Athir 5/282
[5] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 45/391-392


This address indicates the transgression of that criminal because he had no option remaining for solving the problems of the community except bloodshed and spreading injustice and intimidation. However spreading of justice, comfort and prosperity among the people was something that neither he thought about nor other Umayyad rulers had in their imagination.

Considering the poor people as despised

The Umayyad regime in all its periods, based its rule on wreaking injustice on the poor and considering the weakened section of people to be despised. Historians say: Bani Umayyads permitted poor people to enter government offices only after all the people had been dealt with. Ziyad bin Abih asked Ajlan, the sentry of his court: “How do you behave with the people?”

“First I accord preference by family status secondly by their elegance and thirdly by their manners.”

“Whom do you admit last?”

“Those whom even God does not accord importance.”

“Who are those people?”

“Those who wear summer clothes in winter and warm clothes in summer.”[1]

This policy destroyed the principles of justice and equality that Islam had brought because is not supportive of any discrimination between Muslims and it considers them equal like the teeth of a comb.

Policy of Deceit and Intrigue

Muawiyah based his rulership on the foundations of deceit and intrigue and in none of his political activities there was any shade of rightfulness because a sleeping and stagnant conscience does not understand truth and does not perceive reality. History has recorded many examples of his intrigues and some of them are as follows:

1. When Muawiyah had the great leader, Malik Ashtar poisoned, he glanced at the people of Syria and said, “Ali had sent Ashtar to Egypt, then pray God to protect you from him.”

People of Syria imprecated Malik in every ritual prayer[2] and when Muawiyah received the news of his passing away he informed the Syrians that his death was due to their prayers because they belonged to the party of God. After that he whispered to Amr Aas, “God has an army of honey.”[3]

2. From the intrigue and frauds of Muawiyah was that when the Imam sent Jubair Bajali to him and called him to pay allegiance, Muawiyah summoned Sharehbil Kandi who was the most prominent personality of Syria and instructed a

[1] Nihayatul Arab 6/86
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/76
[3] Biharul Anwar 3/591, with a little difference


group of confidants that each of them should separately meet Sharehbil and remind him that Ali had killed Uthman. When Sharehbil arrived, Muawiyah informed him about the arrival of Jubair and that he was asking to pay allegiance to Ali but he had not paid him allegiance in order to first know the view of Sharehbil because the Imam had killed Uthman.

Sharehbil asked for some time to consider the matter. When he came out every person of that group met him separately and informed that Imam was responsible for Uthman’s murder. Sharehbil did not doubt their truthfulness and he hurried back to Muawiyah and said, “O Muawiyah, where are the people? Indeed Ali has killed Uthman. By God, if you give him allegiance, we shall throw you out of Syria and kill you.”[1]

Muawiyah told him in a deceitful manner, “I shall not oppose you. I am nothing but a citizen of Syria…”

Through such frauds he established the foundations of his power and based his kingdom on them.

3. Another kind of his fraud with the people of Syria was that he wrote a letter to Qais bin Sa’ad, a leader of his time, and promised him governorship of Iraq and governorship of Hijaz to any person from his family who liked it if Qais supported him. Qais replied him negatively in harsh words but Muawiyah told the people of Syria that Qais had given him allegiance and told them to pray for Qais and forged a letter and saying that Qais had sent it to him. After that he read it out for the people of Syria as follows:

“So to say: Indeed the murder of Uthman was a terrible disaster in Islam. And I have pondered on myself and my religion and saw that it is not possible for us to back that community which has killed the sanctified, righteous and pious Imam of Muslims. We seek Allah’s forgiveness for our sins and that we have entered into a peace pact with you and I would like to battle those who have killed the oppressed guiding Imam. Thus let me know how much money and how many men you require so that I may send them to you immediately…”[2]

In this undesirable manner Muawiyah deceived the people of Syria and sent them to fight the successor of Muhammad and the gate of his knowledge.

4. Deceit and fraud was one of the elements of Muawiyah’s nature and character, and principles that shaped his policy in such a way that his son, Yazid was surprised when people paid allegiance to him and praised him and he told his father, “O chief of believers, we don’t know whether we are deceiving the people or the people are deceiving us?”

Muawiyah replied, “You may deceive whomsoever you want. Show yourself to be deceived by him till you obtain what you want. At that time you would have

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/71-73
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/60-62


deceived them.”[1]

Muawiyah breathed with cunning and fed it to the people of his kingdom till a generation came into being and these qualities became a part of their nature.

Spread of opportunism

Muawiyah’s regime took steps to spread opportunism and benefit-seeking among the people while Islam has taught the importance of truth and selflessness. While in the view of most people it was not having any value. Among their qualities was their waywardness and unrestrained character. Historians have narrated that: Yazid bin Shajrah Rahawi came to Muawiyah and when he was listening to Muawiyah’s address, a stone hit and injured him but he did not pay any attention to it and showed no reaction. Muawiyah asked him, “What has happened to you?”

“What, O Amirul Momineen?”

“Why are you bleeding in your face?”

“I was so engrossed in the address of chief of believer that I did not notice anything else till the chief called my attention to it.”

Muawiyah was astounded and he said, “He has done injustice that has made you of those having an allowance of one thousand and taken you out of the row of the people of Siffeen.”

At that time he ordered that 500,000 Dirhams should be paid to him and he increased his allowance by a thousand.[2]

This phenomenon was predominant in all the periods of Umayyad power. Just as historians have stated that Ismail bin Yasar was a supporter of Ibn Zubair but when the Merwanids emerged victorious over the clan of Zubair, Ismail switched his loyalties and joined the party of Marwan.

One day he had gone to meet Walid and he made him wait for hours. When he was given permission he entered weeping. Walid asked the reason for his lamentation. He said, “You kept us waiting while I and mother have joined the Merwanids.”

Walid excused himself but he continued to cry in that same way. Walid comforted him. At that time Walid ordered that he be given a nice present. When he came out a person who knew him followed him and asked about his claim of loyalty to the Merwanids that since when had he become a partisan of Merwanids?

He replied, “Our enmity to Merwanids is same as the enmity of our father Yasar at the time of his death till he cursed Marwan bin Hakam to obtain the proximity. And it is the same thing that encouraged his mother also that in order to obtain Allah’s proximity, instead of reciting the rosary (praising God) she used to curse the progeny of Marwan.”[3]

[1] Mubarrad, Kamil 1/305
[2] At-Taaj fi Akhlaaqil Mulook, Pg. 111-112
[3] Al-Aghani 4/410


Historians have recorded numerous examples of such frauds that were common in that time and without any doubt it was the consequence of Umayyad policies that they were raising their generations on selfishness and deviation from the truth.

Insult and Unrestrained Behavior

Muawiyah was famous for his insulting manners and unrestrained behavior. Ibn Abil Hadid says: “During the time of Uthman, Muawiyah was well-known for unrestrained nature and he committed every kind of infamy. He had been careful to some degree during the time of Umar due to his fear but he still used to wear silk and brocade and used gold and silver utensils and he used to ride on saddles decorated with gold while he used to don silk and brocade garments. At that time he was a young man having the arrogance of youth and its effects and was intoxicated with power and rulership. Books of biography say that he used to imbibe wine in Syria during the period of Uthman…

In the same way he used to listen to songs and rock and swing and gave rewards to singers and musicians. It was nothing wrong in his view. And his son, Yazid also was affected by this and he was always intoxicated with wine and he was absolutely unrestrained. All subsequent caliphs of Bani Umayyah followed these manners.

Jahiz says: Yazid, that is Muawiyah’s son, never passed an evening without intoxication and never started a day without a drink. Abdul Malik bin Marwan drank (wine) once a month and he did not perceive whether he was in the sky or in water… Walid bin Abdul Malik drank alternate days and Sulaiman bin Abdul Malik drank once in three days. Hisham drank every Friday eve. Yazid bin Walid and Walid bin Yazid were always listening to songs and music and drinking wine. However Yazid bin Walid was always in one of the two conditions. He was either ecstatic in songs and music or intoxicated with alcohol. Marwan bin Muhammad drank every Monday and Friday night.[1]

In the year 119 A.H. Hisham bin Abdul Malik appointed Walid as the Amir of Hajj (leader). He carried dogs with him hidden in caskets. One of the boxes containing a dog fell down…In the same way he carried domes in order to renovate the Ka’ba and fixed them on the Ka’ba. He also brought with him quantities of wine. He wanted to fix the dome on top of the Ka’ba and to sit inside it. However his companions warned him and said, “We shall not be able to save you and ourselves from the people.” So he decided not to perform that antic.[2]

During the caliphate of Walid bin Yazid when Ali bin Abbas came to him while he had brought Ibn Shuray from Kufa. And he told Walid without any preface that, “By Allah, we have not been sent but to ask you about the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet…”

[1] At-Taaj fi Akhlaaqil Mulook, Pg. 258-259
[2] Tabari, Tarikh, 7/209-210


Ibn Shuray smiled and said, “If you asked me about them you would find me ignorant.”

“I have been sent to you to ask you about Qahwa (wine). Tell me about wine.”

“O Chief of believer, ask me whatever you like.”

“What do you say about water?”

“I don’t know. I am ignorant about it.”

In the same way he continued to ask him about different drinks till he reached to wine: “What do you say about wine?”

“Ah! It is my life!”

“You, by Allah, are my life!”[1]

Walid sent message to his deputy in Kufa and instructed him to send all shameless poets to him so that they may entertain him. This was at such a time when people were taunting him for waywardness in all parts of his kingdom. He wrote to his governor in Khorasan and asked him to send him musical instruments. A poet contemporary to him ridiculed him as follows in his composition.

“O trustful one of God! Good news to you! Good news to you! Good news to you! Those camels on which were loaded goods and commodities in excess. Those asses of theirs on which wine is loaded and on which a drum is affixed.

In this world it is all for you and in Paradise also you shall have all comfort.”[2]

Pleasure seeking and vain past times became dominant in the society and the people surrendered themselves to transgression and sinful deeds became their habit such that it is narrated that an old man was brought to Hisham bin Abdul Malik while singing girls, wine and harp were in his company. Hisham said, “Hit the drum on his head.” That old man began to cry. A person from the audience said, “Be patient.” The old man said, “Do you think I am crying because of the beating? I am weeping because he has considered the harp so lowly that he is calling it ‘drum’”.[3]

The manners and customs of the Umayyads followed the manners and customs of Muawiyah. Singing and music and every type of unrestrained behavior had spread in all areas so that the foundation of the community may be destroyed and their religious and social views may become distorted.

Spread of Unrestrained behavior in Mecca and Medina

Muawiyah intentionally spread profanity and unrestrained behavior in the two holy places so that their sanctity may be destroyed and their honorable position in society and in the hearts of the people may be eliminated.

[1] Nihayatul Arab 4/93, Iqdul Farid 4/456-457
[2] Tabari, Tarikh, 7/224-225
[3] Tabari, Tarikh, 7/203-204


Alaili says: “Umayyads used to encourage the view that unrestrained behavior was lawful in the holy places of Mecca and Medina because a group of poets and eunuchs among whom was Umar bin Abi Rabia were hired so that the two centers of Mecca and Medina may be introduced in an inappropriate way so that they may not seem capable of religious leadership.”

Asmai has said, “I entered Medina but except for eunuchs I did not see anyone else and people were narrating stories and relating jokes.”[1]

Gatherings of music and songs became common in Medina and the governor also attended these programs and participated in them actively. In this way the spirit of morals was completely disintegrated and people became aloof from those lofty values that Islam had brought.

Considering religious values unimportant

Muawiyah considered all religious values unimportant and he ignored all the laws that Islam had brought. On the basis of this he used vessels of gold and silver and considered usury lawful. He used perfume in the condition of Ihram and trespassed laws.[2]

Most of the Islamic laws in the major period of Umayyad rule were rendered useless. Thus Kumayt, the poet of Islam says regarding this:

“The laws were not applied because we are in such a community which is having a contrary belief.

Are you and we followers of a book so that we may act according to it?

As if these were foolish ones who commanded and prohibited according to the Book of God.

We see rulers of evil character that how long they have ruled and the pain and problems of the people also prolonged.

We have not seen worse examples of injustice than the oppression of our rulers.”[3]

Muawiyah considered light the commandments of Islam and looked upon them with disdain.

Narrators say: When he became victorious it was said to him: “Why do you not reside in Medina as it is the town of (Prophet’s) Migration and the tomb of the Prophet is situated there? “He replied, “In that case I shall become deviated and not be of the rightful ones.”[4]

All the Bani Umayyah caliphs followed this stance of Muawiyah. For example,

[1] Sammawal Maani fi Samma waz Zaat, Pg. 30
[2] The sources of this event are mentioned in the second part of Life of Imam Hasan
[3] Al-Hashimiyaat, Pg. 111
[4] Qadhi Noman Misri, Al-Manaqib wal Mathalib, Pg. 70


Yahya bin Hakam asked Abdullah bin Ja’far: “Why did you leave the dirty town (city of Prophet)?”

The son of Ja’far objected to this and he cried, “Muhammad had called it “Tayyabah” (Purified) and you call it “dirty”? You have separated in the world and therefore you shall also be separated in the Hereafter.”

Yahya said, “By Allah, if I die and am buried in the sacred land of Syria it is more preferable to me than being buried in Medina.”

The son of Ja’far said, “You have preferred the neighborhood of Jews and Christians to the neighborhood of Muhammad and the Emigrants.”[1]

Joining Ziyad with his lineage

An example of Muawiyah’s disregard for Islamic values is relating Ziyad bin Ubaid Rumi to his lineage without a legal proof merely on the basis of the sole testimony of Abu Maryam the wine-seller, a thing that does not prove lawful relationship and by this act he had gone against the statement of Holy Prophet when he said, “The child is related to the father and stoning is decreed for the fornicator.”

Muawiyah adopted this tactic for political aims and to strengthen his rulership and power…a curious matter with regard to this is that Nasr bin Hajjaj in the presence of Muawiyah spoke angrily to Abdur Rahman bin Khalid bin Walid about Abdullah, slave of Khalid bin Walid. Muawiyah ordered his sentry to remove the two as long as the court was in session.

When the session concluded Muawiyah ordered to get him a stone and placed the lapel of his cloak on it. Then he allowed the two persons to enter. They presented their quarrel to him regarding Abdullah. Then Nasr told Abdur Rahman, “My brother and father have made a bequest to me that he (Abdullah) is born through him.”

Abdur Rahman replied, “He is my slave and the son of slave and maidservant of my father was born on his bed.”

Muawiyah issued his judgment in the matter and said, “Take this stone and give it to Nasr bin Hajjaj because Muhammad has said: The son belongs to the father and the stone is for the fornicator.”

Nasr glanced at him and said, “Why did you not issue this judgment in the case of Ziyad?”

Muawiyah said, “That was the order of Muawiyah and this is the command of Muhammad.”[2]

[1] Ansabul Ashraf, Vol. 1, Part 1
[2] Tabari, Tarikh, 8/131. Al-Iqdul Farid 6/133-134

# Objection of Imam Husain

Imam Husain objected to Muawiyah for taking Ziyad as his brother because it was absolutely against the command of Muhammad. Imam Husain sent a memorandum to him containing many crimes that Muawiyah had committed. It was mentioned in that denouncement: “Did you not claim that Ziyad the son of Sumaiyyah born on the bed of Ubaid Thaqif is the son of your father while Muhammad has said: The son belongs to the father and the fornicator is to be stoned. You have willfully abandoned the practice of Muhammad and followed selfish desires without any guidance of Allah.”

This action of Muawiyah caused great anger and unhappiness to the righteous and religious people as we have described in detail in our volume titled, Life of Imam Hasan.

Muawiyah’s Animosity towards the Prophet

Muawiyah was very inimical towards the Prophet in such a way that during his caliphate, he did not recite Salawat on His Eminence for forty Fridays. Some of his friends asked the reason for this. He said, “Nothing prevents me from his remembrance except that some people begin to feel greatness (proud).”[1]

Once he heard the Muezzin recite: “I witness that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” He could not remain quiet and he said, “May Allah bless his father! O son of Abdullah! You had great courage and you did not like for yourself but that your name should be with the name of the Lord of the worlds.”[2]

Among the indications of Muawiyah’s malice towards Holy Prophet is the matter that Matraf bin Mughairah has narrated:

“I went to Muawiyah along with my father. My father used to visit him often and upon returning speak about Muawiyah and his intelligence, and he used to be astonished at him. Finally when he returned one night he did not even eat his dinner and I found him depressed. I waited for a while thinking that this depression was only because of something related to us. At last, I asked him, ‘Why do you look so aggrieved tonight?’ he replied, ‘Today I am coming from the worst infidel and the vilest person.’ I asked, ‘Who is that?’ My father replied, ‘Today, I told him (Muawiyah) in private: O Master of the faithful! You have reached an age when it would have been better if you had acted justly and nicely and looked at your brothers (i.e. Bani Hashim) with kindness and improved relations with them. By Allah! Today they have nothing, which you may fear and you shall always be praised due to this good deed and rewarded by Allah.’ Muawiyah said,
‘Alas! Alas! How can I hope for the endurance of remembrance? See, a man of the Teem tribe (i.e. Abu Bakr) became a ruler. He acted justly and did what he should have

[1] An-Nasaaih al-Kafiya Pg. 116
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 10/101


done, till he finally died, and with him his memory also perished; just his name, Abu Bakr remains. Then a man from Adi tribe (i.e. Umar) became the ruler. He struggled for many years till he finally died and his memory also ended, except that just his name is mentioned as Umar. But see how the name of Ibn Abi Kabsha[1] is called out five times a day: “I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” Now after this which deed of mine and name shall endure? By Allah, there is none except Him, except that they shall be buried (destroyed).’”[2]

This matter shows the shaky religious belief of Muawiyah and it is that it was nothing but a thin veil that he had put over himself. It shows that same inclination towards the period of ignorance and being affected by it to the utmost limit.

Apostatic tendencies were present in most of the Umayyad rulers. Walid in one of his drinking bouts denied the Day of Judgment and raising up of the dead:

“Turn the goblet on the right and not to the left.

Give it to drink and at that time when it is incensed with aloe wood. A wine that is first placed in a pitcher.

It is laced with Perfume of bondmaids and camphor of dignity.

I am sure that I shall not be raised to be sent to Hell.

I raise people so that they may mount the ass of religion.

And leave to destruction those who aspire for Paradise.”[3]

Many of the Bani Umayyad governors also bore apostatic beliefs. For example Hajjaj addressed Allah in presence of a crowd and he said, “Is your Prophet higher or your caliph?” He meant to say that Abdul Malik was greater than the Prophet.[4]

In the same way he used object to those who visited the Prophet’s tomb. He used to say, “Woe be those who go around the wooden planks and decayed body. Why don’t they circumambulate the palace of Abdul Malik, chief of the believers? Do they not know that the caliph of all is better than his or her Prophet?”[5]

In this way the machinery of Umayyad regime was involved in insulting the Prophet of Allah and in ridiculing his Prophethood.

Transforming the realities of Islam

Muawiyah encouraged transforming of the illuminated realities of Islam that established for all the communities movements of Jihad and movements for making the future. And he encouraged Muslims not to protest against the oppression of oppressors and calamities of tyrants. It was the slogan of the great companion of Abu Zar Ghiffari who had truly understood Islam and who raised the banner of protest against the Umayyad regime when he demanded Uthman and

[1] A derogatory title given by the Quraish infidels to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.)
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 5/129-130
[3] Risaalatul Ghufran, Pg 304
[4] Maqrizi, An-Niza Wat-Takhasum, Pg. 43
[5] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 15/242


Muawiyah to act with justice with the oppressed and downtrodden people and distribute the wealth of the nation among the poor and deprived sections of the community.

Muawiyah intended to destroy this religious view and shatter this responsibility. Therefore he instituted groups of tradition forgers who considered social protest an innovation and he ordered them to forge traditions and attribute them to the Prophet, the great freedom-giver of humanity making it compulsory for people to accept without protest all sorts of injustices at the hands of tyrant rulers. Some examples of such forged traditions are as follows:

1. Bukhari through his chain of narrators has quoted from the Messenger of Allah that he said to his companions, “After me you shall see that they have restricted some things for themselves and you shall see some things that you consider wrong.” They asked, “O the Messenger of Allah, what do you command us in this matter?” He replied, “Give to them their rights and ask your rights from the Almighty Allah.”[1]

2. Bukhari has narrated through his chains of narrators that the Holy Prophet said, “You will see after me, selfishness (on the part of other people) and other matters that you will disapprove of.” They asked, “What do you order us to do, O Allah's Apostle? (under such circumstances)?” He said, “Pay their rights to them (to the rulers) and ask your right from Allah.” [2]

3. Muslim has narrated through his chain of narrators that Salama b. Yazid al-ju'afi asked the Messenger of Allah: Prophet of Allah, what do you think if we have rulers who rule over us and demand that we discharge our obligations towards them, but they (themselves) do not discharge their own responsibilities towards us? What do you order us to do? The Messenger of Allah avoided giving any answer. Salama asked him again. He (again) avoided giving any answer. Then he asked again-it was the second time or the third time-when Ashath b. Qais (finding that the Holy Prophet was unnecessarily being pressed for answer) pulled him aside and said: Listen to them and obey them, for on them shall be their burden and on you shall be your burden.[3]

4. Bukhari through his chains has narrated from 'Arfaja who said: I have heard the Messenger of Allah say: Different evils will make their appearance in the near future. Anyone who tries to disrupt the affairs of this Ummah while they are united you should strike him with the sword whoever he be.[4]

[1] Bukhari, Sahih 9/59
[2] Bukhari, Sahih 9/59
[3] Bukhari, Sahih 9/59, Sahih Muslim 3/1474-1475, Tr. No. 1846
[4] Bukhari, Sahih 9/59, Sahih Muslim 3/1479 Tr. No. 1852


Muawiyah’s Behavior with Ahle Bayt

Muawiyah tried his utmost to reduce the respect and value of Ahle Bayt[1] while they were the heritage (memento) and the perceptive nerve of this community. He employed the most terrible means to distance them from the field of Islamic life. He employed the following means for his purpose:

1. Control over Preachers

Muawiyah put preachers in all areas under his control so that he may distance the people from Ahle Bayt[2] and that they may spread misguided statements and reduce their importance and accord strength to the Umayyad regime.

2. Using the centers of Education

Muawiyah transformed the centers of education like the school and instructions classes in order to feed the children and youth enmity and malice towards Ahle Bayt so that a generation of opponents may come into being.[3] It was a very important machinery which imprinted the hearts of the youth with malice towards the progeny of the Holy Prophet.

3. Fabricating Traditions

Muawiyah established special networks for forging traditions and these were the worst networks devised to destroy Islam. He instructed them to fabricate traditions and attribute them to the Holy Prophet so that the value of Ahle Bayt may be decreased. The prominent members of this group of tradition fabricators were as follows:

1. Abu Huraira Doosi

2. Samra bin Jundab

3. Amr bin Aas

4. Mughairah bin Shoba

These persons fabricated thousands of traditions and attributed them to the Holy Prophet such that on the basis of the policy of the regime they are divided into some groups and they are as follows:

First Group: Fabrication of traditions in praise of companions so that they may be equaled in rank to the Ahle Bayt. Imam Muhammad Baqir has pointed out more than a hundred ‘traditions’ in this group that are of this type:

A – Umar is a ‘Mohaddas’, that is one with whom the angels speak.

B – Tranquility speaks from the tongue of Umar.

C – An angel brings inspiration to Umar

D – Angels are ashamed of Uthman.[4]

And numerous traditions like these have been fabricated in praise of companions.

[1] Life of Imam Hasan 2/161, Second edition
[2] Life of Imam Hasan 2/161, Second edition
[3] Life of Imam Hasan 2/161, Second edition
[4] Life of Imam Hasan 2/161, Second edition


Ibn Arafa Muhaddith alias Naftuyya says: Most traditions fabricated in praise of companions were fabricated during the Umayyad period in order to get into their good books as they were of the view that they shall be able to humiliate the Bani Hashim…[1]

In the same way traditions were concocted to mimic similar statements of the Messenger of Allah in praise of the Holy Ahle Bayt. For example the saying that: Abu Bakr and Umar are two chiefs of aged people of Paradise. This blatant fabrication was in confrontation of the Prophet’s statement that is Mutawatir (widely related): Hasan and Husain are two chiefs of the youths of Paradise.[2]

Second Group: Fabrication of traditions that denounce the purified progeny and reduce their value. Muawiyah gave 4000 dirhams to Samra bin Jundab so that he may deliver a sermon before the Syrian people and state a tradition purporting to say that the following verse of Quran is regarding Ali:

“And among men is he whose speech about the life of this world causes you to wonder, and he calls on Allah to witness as to what is in his heart, yet he is the most violent of adversaries. And when he turns back, he runs along in the land that he may cause mischief in it and destroy the tilth and the stock, and Allah does not love mischief-making.”[3]

Samra bin Jundab related this matter to them and he took away a great prize from the Public Treasury of Muslims…[4]

Among the statements fabricated by those people is a ‘saying’ of the Holy Prophet with regard to the family of Abu Talib that: “The family of Abu Talib is not my well-wisher. My well-wishers are the Almighty Allah and the righteous believers.”[5]

Amash has narrated that when Abu Huraira came with Muawiyah in the year of congregation (year 41 A.H.) to Iraq he went to the Kufa Masjid and when he saw that a large number of people have come to welcome him, he kneeled down on the ground and slapped his cheek saying: “O people of Iraq, do you claim that we attribute falsehood to the Messenger of Allah?[6] And I shall burn myself in fire (of Hell)? While I have heard from the Messenger of Allah that he used to say: “There is a sanctuary for every Prophet and my sanctuary is in Medina from Eir to Thoor. Thus whoever creates a disaster therein shall be cursed by Allah, the angels and all the people. By Allah, I testify that Ali has committed a disaster therein.”

When this statement of Abu Huraira reached Muawiyah he rewarded him and

[1] An-Nisaih al-Kafiya, Pg. 89
[2] Life of Imam Hasan
[3] Surah Baqarah 2:204-205
[4] An-Nisaih al-Kafiya, Pg. 64
[5] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/64, Vol. 11/42 & Vol. 12/88
[6] Faqihul Islam, Allamah Shaykh Mahmud Aburiya in the book, Abu Hurairah Pg. 236


accorded him great respect and also made him the governor of Medina.[1]

There are other fabricated traditions of the same kind that cast aspersion on the purified progeny. The same purified progeny which was the source of belief and perception in the world of Islam.

Third Group: Fabrication of traditions in praise of Muawiyah for purifying the blemish of confronting Islam by him, his father and his family and for concealing that which has been related by the Prophet in their denouncement. Some of these ‘traditions’ are as follows:

1. The Holy Prophet said: “Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan is the most forbearing and forgiving person of my community.”[2]

2. The Holy Prophet said: “My confidant is Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan.”[3]

3. The Messenger of Allah said: “O Allah! Teach Quran to him (Muawiyah) and protect him from divine chastisement and admit him into Paradise…!”[4]

4. The Holy Prophet said: “Whenever you see Muawiyah on my pulpit delivering a sermon,[5] you must accept (what he says) as he is my trustee in this nation.”[6]

Other fabricated traditions indicate Muawiyah’s mental confrontation against Islam and it is that he endeavored to eliminate and destroy the religion.

Fabricated Traditions Regarding Imam Husain

Among the traditions fabricated against Imam Husain is that they narrated that His Eminence went to meet Muawiyah on Friday while Muawiyah was on the pulpit reading a sermon. A person from the audience said to Muawiyah: Allow Husain to address from the pulpit. Muawiyah said: “Woe be to you. Leave me, so that I can express praise and glory.” After that he praised and glorified the Almighty and he glanced at Husain and asked, “O Aba Abdillah! I ask you, am I not a son of Meccan valley?

“Yes, by the One who sent my grandfather as the herald of glad tidings.”

“O Aba Abdillah, I ask you, am I not the maternal uncle of the believers?”

“Yes, by the One who sent my grandfather with prophethood.”

“I ask you, O Aba Abdillah, am I not the scribe of revelation?”

“Yes, by the One who sent my grandfather as a warner.”

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/68
[2] Tatheer al-Jinaan (printed at the end of As-Sawaiq al-Mohreqa, Pg, 12)
[3] Tatheer al-Jinaan, Pg. 13
[4] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/120-121
[5] This ‘tradition’ was fabricated to counter the authentic tradition of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) in which he said: Whenever you see Muawiyah reading a sermon from my pulpit, cut off his head. Biharul Anwar 33/196, Tr. No. 481
[6] Tarikh Baghdad 1/259, but on Vol. 2, Pg. 181 it has come: “kill him”


After that Muawiyah came down from the pulpit and Husain ascended the pulpit and praised and glorified the Almighty Allah in such a way as none from the previous and latter ones had ever done. Then he said: “My father from my grandfather and my grandfather from Jibraeel and Jibraeel from the Almighty Allah has narrated that below the leg of the Throne of the Arsh (Heavens) is a green leaf of lilac and it is inscribed on it: There is no god except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. O Shias (partisans) of Amirul Momineen none of you shall come on Day of Judgment but that the Almighty Allah shall admit him or her to Paradise.

Muawiyah asked him, “O Aba Abdillah, I ask you, who are the Shias of Amirul Momineen?” His Eminence replied, “One who does not talk ill of the two Shaykhs, Abu Bakr and Umar and who do not speak ill of Uthman and who do not speak ill of you, O Muawiyah.”

Hafiz Ibn Asakir has remarked in connection with this ‘tradition’: “This tradition is alien and I don’t see its chain of narrators reach upto Husain.”[1]

Muslim people became involved in great turmoil due to these concocted traditions. ‘Traditions’ that became to be recorded in books of tradition and many Muslims thought that they are authentic. Therefore they began to regard Muawiyah as a respectable personality and they included him in the first group of companions of the Prophet who were very much steadfast in their religion. While if they had really learnt of the reality of these ‘traditions’ they would have become disgusted with him as Madayani has said.[2]

The fabricated traditions were not restricted to praise of Muawiyah and devaluation of Ahle Bayt. They were also fabricated on the subject of religious legislations and in this sphere they mixed in them controversial and absurd matters and showed the reality of Islam in unfavorable light and destroyed the beliefs of Muslims.

Imprecation of Imam Amirul Momineen

Muawiyah was in the forefront in enmity to His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen and he openly announced curse and imprecation on His Eminence, in private and public gatherings and ordered all his officials and governors to speak ill of His Eminence among the people. Invoking curse on Imam became widespread in all areas of Islamic lands. Muawiyah himself delivered a sermon to the people of Syria and told them:

“O people, the Messenger of Allah told me, ‘After me you shall become the caliph. So select the holy land (of Syria) as there are righteous people over there’, and I selected you. So curse Abu Turab.”[3]

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh, 14/113-114
[2] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 11/46
[3] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/172


The people of Syria imprecated the Imam in response. Muawiyah also spoke to these beasts and said, “What do you think of a man that is Ali – who did not do good to his brother, Aqil? O people of Syria, Abu Lahab the uncle of Ali Ibn Abi Talib is denounced by the Quran.”[1]

Historians say: Whenever Muawiyah read the sermon he used to conclude it on the statement: O Allah, Abu Turab has apostisied from Your religion and has gone off from Your path. Thus You curse him severely and involve him in a painful chastisement.”

They used to utter such nonsense from the pulpits.[2] And when Muawiyah appointed Mughairah bin Shoba to the governorship of Kufa, the most important instruction he gave him was that he should not allow any shortcoming in speaking ill of the Imam, invoking blessings on Uthman, finding defects in Ali’s supporters and in distancing them. Mughairah remained the governor of Kufa for seven years and during this period he did not give up the criticism of Ali and speaking ill of His Eminence.[3]

By this Muawiyah wanted to distance the people from their regard towards His Eminence. And that a distance be created between the principles of His Eminence and the people; principles that even pursued Muawiyah in his palaces.

Dr. Mahmud Sabhi says: “The Imam had become a lifeless body that neither he prevented their power nor he personally threatened them. This matter (of speaking ill about Imam) was not a thing except that the principles of His Eminence in rulership and his political view after his passing away also like during his lifetime made life dark and difficult for them.”[4]

Imam was the standard bearer of human justice and the greatest example of this religion.

Jahiz says: “Whenever prominence and superiority in Islam is mentioned, whenever we speak of fighting for and defending Islam, whenever we talk of religious knowledge and whenever people argued among themselves about piety, no one was ever able to recognize anyone with all these qualities except Ali.”[5]

Hasan Basri says, “By Allah, yesterday a man passed away from among you who was the thrower of an arrow from the arrows of Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime. (He conveyed divine messages). Thus after the Prophet he was the captain of this nation and one having its superiority and excellence and the closest relative of Muhammad such that neither was he disgusted of the command of Allah nor embezzled the wealth of God. He presented his endeavors to the Quran and the Quran in return admitted him to the fruit laden orchards and blooming gardens.

[1] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/172
[2] An-Nasaaih al-Kafiya Pg. 87
[3] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/253
[4] Nadhariyatul Imam Ladai ash-Shiaul Ithna Ashariya, Pg. 282
[5] Al-Islam wal Hizaaratul Arabiyyah 2/145


Yes! He is Ali Ibn Abi Talib.”[1]

The curses that Muawiyah and his governors laid on His Eminence made apparent the excellences of His Eminence because the Imam became an illuminated page of history for the people and became known in the society. His Eminence’s first voice raised the rights of people and established social justice on the earth. They survived centuries and eons and those regimes that were opposed to Imam, be they Bani Umayyah or Bani Abbas were all destroyed and no sign or influence of them remains today. Imam alone was that person who remained on the heights of the fort of greatness and nobility. Because he was the first standard bearer of humanity and its lofty and greatest leader. The brief rule of His Eminence became an example of ideal government for the eastern ruler and the official foundations that continued to serve as the torch of guidance for those who want to form a government based on justice and truth and to build the future of nations while Muawiyah’s
regime remained as an example of breach of trust, mercenary groupism and oppression on people and considering them lowly.

Concealing the Merits of Ahle Bayt

Muawiyah with all his powers tried to conceal the merits of Ahle Bayt and he made their greatness distant from the view of Muslims and he prohibited the spreading of sayings of the Prophet in their praise.

Historians say: After the treaty, Muawiyah went for Hajj to the House of Allah and he passed by a group of people. They stood up to pay respect to him but Ibn Abbas did not stand up in his honor.

Muawiyah looked at him and asked, “O Ibn Abbas, what has stopped you from rising up like your companions have stood up? Is it the effect of some anger about the battle of Siffeen? O Ibn Abbas, my cousin, Uthman was killed unjustly.”

Ibn Abbas replied him logically, “Umar bin Khattab was also killed unjustly and he entrusted the affair to his son. His son is here,” so saying he pointed towards Abdullah Ibn Umar.

Muawiyah replied to him without any logic,

“A polytheist had killed Umar…”

Ibn Abbas said, “Who killed Uthman?”

Muawiyah said, “Muslims killed him”.

Ibn Abbas took control over the reins of Muawiyah’s reasoning and said, “This matter further refutes your argument. If Muslims killed and abandoned him, it is nothing but right.”

Muawiyah could not afford a reply and he took up the matter that in his view was more important than Uthman’s blood and said: “I have written to all provinces and prohibited the mention of good qualities of Ali and his Ahle Bayt, so restrain

[1] Ibne Maghazali, Manaqib, Hadith no. 69


your tongue, O Ibn Abbas.”

Ibn Abbas shot an arrow of reply full of logic and eloquent proof to Muawiyah, “Do you prohibit us to recite the Quran?”


“Do you prohibit us its interpretation?”


“Then, shall we read it and do not accept what Allah means to say in it?”


“Now what is more incumbent on us? Reading or acting upon it?”

“To act upon it.”

“How can we act upon it if we don’t know what Allah has meant to say in it?”

“Ask about it from one who interprets it in such a way that it is different from what you and Ahle Bayt interpret it.”

“Indeed, the Quran is revealed on our Ahle Bayt. Now shall we ask about it from the progeny of Abi Sufyan and progeny of Abi Muit?”

“Read the Quran but do not talk about what Allah has revealed about you and the Messenger of Allah has said regarding you and do narrate other things.”

Ibn Abbas eyed him with ridicule and recited the statement of the Almighty Allah:

“They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse.”[1]

Muawiyah cried at him, “Leave me! And restrain your tongue from me. If you want to do it, do it secretly and do not say anything to anyone openly…”[2]

This conversation proves the depth of the mediums employed by Muawiyah to oppose Ahle Bayt and to conceal their merits.

Muawiyah’s malice with regard to the Imam reached such a level that at the time of victory of Amr Aas over Muhammad bin Abi Bakr in Egypt and his killing when Amr Aas obtained Muhammad’s letters and mementoes the most important of them beings letters sent to him from Imam Ali which were best political documents, he (Amr Aas) sent them to Muawiyah and when he saw them he told those who were around him, “We do not say that these are from the letters of Ali bin Abi Talib, but we say that these are from the letters of Abu Bakr that were with him.”[3]

[1] Surah Taubah 9:32
[2] Life of Imam Hasan 2/349-351, Kitab Sulaym bin Qais, Pg. 164-165
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/72


Preventing the Remembrance of Imam

The Umayyad regime committed such excess in their enmity to Imam Amirul Momineen that they proclaimed that every newborn child who is named ‘Ali’ must be eliminated. This news reached Ali bin Rubah who was terrified and he said, “If anyone calls me Ali I shall not leave him, because my name is ‘Ulay’ (with vowel ‘O’ on ‘Ain’).”[1]

Historians say: Scholars and traditionists restrained from mentioning the Imam and narrating traditions from him due to the fear of Bani Umayyah. Whenever they intended to relate something from him they used to say, “Zainab’s father has reported…”

Narrated Moammar from Zuhri from Akrama from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said, “Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, prevented rain over the Bani Israel due their ill behavior with regard to their prophets and their discord in their religion and Allah subjected this community to yearly famine and prevented rain from them due to their enmity to Ali Ibn Abi Talib.”[2]

Moammar said, “Zuhri narrated to me a tradition during one of his illnesses that I had not heard before or after that; he narrated from Akrama and when he recovered from his illness he regretted relating to me that tradition. He said. “O Yamani, hide this tradition and do not narrate it in my name because they (Bani Umayyah) do not forgive anyone who praises Ali or mentions him.”

Moammar asked, “Then why did you, along with them speak ill of Ali while you had heard what you heard?”

Zuhri said, “It is enough, they made us participate in their important affairs and we followed them in their selfish motives…”[3]

Muslims became involved in terrible circumstances due their devotion to the Imam and in this regard they resorted to utmost precaution in this matter.

Shabi says: “What can we do about Ali? If we befriend him we lose our world and if we hate him we lose our religion.”

The poet says, “Devotion to Ali is a terrible blow that its memory makes us shudder.”

These were some of the calamities that Muslims bore due to their love for Ahle Bayt which is a part of their religion.

Behavior with Shias

During the time of Muawiyah, Shias in all areas were made targets of oppression and they were subjected to terrible tortures because Muawiyah dealt with them in the most atrocious manner and took severe revenge from them with cruelty and

[1] Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 7/319
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 11/14
[3] Ibne Maghazali, Manaqib, 141-142, Hadith no. 186


rode the mount of his regime on the bodies of their sacrifices. Thus Imam Muhammad Baqir has mentioned examples of atrocities of Umayyads on Shias of Ahle Bayt in all provinces and he says, “Our Shias were being killed in all towns and their limbs were being cut off merely on suspicion. Anyone who remembered our devotion and leadership was cast into prison or his property was destroyed or his house was ruined.”[1]

Also a Shia man with regard to difficulties and calamities that Shias bore has remarked in the following way to Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah, “We were so much involved in calamities because of our devotion to you that people were killed in it, testimonies were made redundant and we became helpless in cities and bore tortures till I decided to go away from my motherland and continue to worship till the day of meeting with Allah. However, this would have become a cause for me to have remained ignorant of the position of Progeny of Muhammad and I also decided to rise up in with the Khawarij as their and my view about the rulers is same. They rose up and they were killed.”[2]

Muawiyah did not refrain from any kind of atrocity in order to obtain the security of his regime and power. Shias were the most potent danger for his regime. Therefore he employed the most severe methods to eliminate them. Some of the steps that Muawiyah took in this regard are as follows:

Mass Killings

Muawiyah went to extremes in shedding the blood of Shias and ordered the chief military executioners to pursue the Shias and execute them wherever they might be. Thus Busr bin Artat after this proclamation killed 30000 persons. These were in addition to those who were burnt to death.[3]

Samrah bin Jundab put to sword 8000 people from the citizens of Basra.[4]

Ziyad bin Abih was the most atrocious of the killers in this matter. He used to cut off their limbs and gouge out their eyes and employed such various kinds of tortures on Shia people that it is not even possible to describe them all due to their severity and cruelty.

Eliminating Great Shia Thinkers

Muawiyah indulged in the elimination of prominent Shia personalities and their thinkers in such a way that he took a group of them to the killing fields and filled their houses with sorrow and grief. Some of such personalities were as follows:

1. Hujr bin Adi

Hujr bin Adi raised the banner of protest and in defense of rights of oppressed people he took up arms and he defeated the aim of the Umayyad rulers who had

[1] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 11/43
[2] Ibne Sa’ad, Tabaqat 5/95
[3] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/10-17
[4] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/237


taken the destinies of the people as their playthings and changed them into their personal fiefdoms and destroyed everything…

Hujr considered death as nothing serious and ridiculed life and relished the taste of martyrdom for faith and became a defender of the religion of Ahle Bayt.

Hujr bore terrible difficulties and calamities when he saw that the administration of the regime was openly abusing Amirul Momineen and forcing the people to become aloof from His Eminence. Thus he spoke up against it and denounced the rulers of Kufa.

Ziyad bin Abih declared that it was lawful to kill Hujr. He got him arrested and with a group of his supporters dispatched him as a prisoner to Muawiyah. They were stopped at ‘Maraj-e-Azra’ till the order of their execution was issued from Damascus. Executioners appointed for this job carried out their duty and his body fell to the ground smeared in the blood of martyrdom and greatness so that it may illuminate the path of life for the people without injustice and rebellion.

Protest of Imam Husain

When Imam Husain received the news of Hujr's martyrdom he was devastated with sorrow. He wrote a letter of protest to Muawiyah pointing out his ill deeds and he also reminded him of the most terrible and atrocious action of his with respect to Hujr and his companions. Imam Husain also flayed the crimes and innovations that Muawiyah had committed:

“Are you not the one who killed Hujr, brother (a member of the tribe) of Kinda, (and his companions) those who prayed, the worshippers who condemned oppression, regarded as great sins the heresies, and did not fear the censure of any censurer? Unjustly killed them out of aggression after your giving them a strong oath and sure covenants that you would not punish them according to an incident (that had happened) between you and them nor according to malice you had harbored against them.”[1]

This letter of protest contains the following points:

1. A severe objection against Muawiyah’s killing of Hujr and his companions without any crime committed by them or their having spread mischief in the land.

2. It praised the brave qualities of those martyrs, the brave ones of them as all had objected to injustice and considered seriously rising up against oppression, innovations and evils that Muawiyah’s regime had initiated. They were of those who hastened to the field of Jihad for establishment of truth and to confront falsehood.

3. That memorandum stated that Muawiyah had previously made agreement with Hujr and his companions that he would ensure them security and that he would not go back on his word and he would cause them no harm. But Muawiyah disregarded the promise and did not fulfill it in the same way as he violated the terms of his

[1] Life of Imam Hasan 2/372-373. Kishi, Rijal 47, Tr. No. 97


treaty with Imam Hasan. Rather he violated each and every term as he has announced in his address at Nakhila.

Hujr’s murder was a great disaster in Islam and objections continued to be raised against Muawiyah due to this from all parts of Islamic lands and we have described them in detail in our book on Imam Hasan.

2. Rushaid bin Hijri

In the days of great calamities that Shias bore under the son of Sumaiyyah (Ziyad) Rushaid Bin Hijri was involved in the most terrible adversities because Ziyad sent his officials to him and when he came to him he cried to him. “Did your friend (His Eminence, Ali) tell you what we shall do with you?”

Rushaid replied with truthfulness and faith to him, “You would cut off my hands and my feet and that you would crucify me.”

That dirty man ridiculed this and said, “By Allah, I will prove his prophecy wrong. Set him free.”

His men released him but that rebellions Ziyad regretted it, and he told them to arrest him again. Then he shouted to him, “We can find for you nothing better than what your friend said. You will bring about evil to us if you remain alive. Cut off his hands and feet.”

The executioners at once amputed the limbs of Rushaid but he did not care for the pain that afflicted him.

Historians say: He spoke about the evils of Bani Umayyah and caused awakening in the people for revolution which angered Ziyad greatly and he ordered that Rushaid’s tongue be cut off.[1] The tongue which was demanding truth and justice and which was protesting in favor of the rights of the poor and deprived.

3. Amr bin Hamaq al-Khuzai

Among the martyrs in the path of religion was Amr bin Hamaq al-Khuzai. The Prophet prayed for him: “O Allah! Make him enjoy his youth.” The Almighty Allah answered the plea of His Messenger and even when Amr reached the age of eighty not a single hair of his beard was seen to have grayed.[2]

Amr learnt the mannerisms of Ahle Bayt and benefited from their sciences and became a prominent Shia personality.

As a result of the great mischief that had started due to the rulership of that tyrant Ziyad and their pursuit of Amr, Amr became sure that the regime was after his life. So he, along with a friend, Rufa bin Shaddad fled from Kufa and took shelter in a cave and after that he went to Mosul.

The police became tense and they set out in search of Amr. But Rufa was able to escape and they could not lay their hands on him. They took Amr as prisoner to

[1] Safinatul Bihar 1/522, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/294
[2] Al-Isabah 3/53


Abdur Rahman Thaqafi the governor of Mosul. He reported the arrest to Muawiyah. Muawiyah ordered that he be executed with nine stabs of dagger because he had stabbed Uthman Ibn Affan.

Executioners began to stab him but he passed away in the very first stab. At that time they severed his head and sent it to the tyrant at Damascus. He ordered that it be taken around in Syria.

Historians say: It was the first severed head in Islam that was taken around in different areas. After that Muawiyah ordered that it be taken to his wife Amina, daughter of al-Shareed who was in one of Muawiyah’s prisons. The head was brought and put into her lap while she was inattentive and had no information about her husband’s affair. She was shocked and on the verge of death. After that she was taken from the prison to Muawiyah. A dialogue ensued between her and Muawiyah which proves Muawiyah’s baseness and his disregard for Arabian Islamic values. That is good behavior to ladies and not punishing them for the actions of their husband.

Imam Husain's Memo

Imam Husain was greatly affected when he learnt of Amr’s murder and he wrote a memo to Muawiyah enumerating his evil deeds and his atrocities that the community of that time was bearing. This memo was especially about Amr:

“Are you not the one who killed Amr bin Hamaq, companion of the Messenger of Allah the righteous servant (of Allah)? Worship exhausted him, and so his body became weak and his face yellow. That was after you had given him security and given to him some of Allah’s promises and covenants, to the extent that if you gave them to a bird, it would come to you from a peak of a mountain. Then you killed him showing audacity to your Lord and making light of that covenant.”[1]

Muawiyah violated his covenant that he had made at the time of treaty that he would not harm this respected companion of the Prophet.

4. Awfa bin Haseen

Awfa bin Haseen was of the righteous Shias in Kufa and one of the famous and prominent personalities there. He was a severe critic of Muawiyah who made the people aware of his evil deeds and atrocities. And when the son of Sumaiyyah (Ziyad) learnt of this he ordered his policemen to arrest him. As soon as Awfa came to know about it he went into hiding. One day when Ziyad was watching a parade, Awfa passed before him. Ziyad was not sure about his identity so he inquired about it and Awfa’s name was mentioned to him. He issued orders for his arrest.

When Awfa was brought to him, he asked him his view regarding his policies. Awfa criticized and objected against Ziyad. Ziyad issued orders that he be executed and the executioners attacked him with their swords and he fell down lifeless.[2]

[1] Life of Imam Hasan 2/382, Ikhtiyar Ma’rifatur Rijal, Pg. 47, Tr. No. 97
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/462, Tabari, Tarikh, 5/235-236


5. Hadhrami and his companions

Abdullah Hadhrami was a companion of Ali and one of his sincere partisans. He was also a military officer about whom the Imam said during the battle of Jamal, “O Abdullah glad tidings to you as you and your father are from the police of al-Khamees because the Messenger of Allah informed me about your name and that of your father’s that you two shall be from al-Khamees police.”[1]

When Imam Ali was martyred, Abdullah was devastated at the tragedy. He left Kufa and built a monastery cell for himself so that he may worship therein. He was joined by a group of his Shia friends there in worship.

Ziyad ordered that he should be brought to him. When he was brought, Ziyad issued an order for his execution and he was executed unjustly.[2]

The tragedy of Abdullah was like the tragedy of Hujr bin Adi because both of them were innocent and they were killed unjustly for no fault of theirs except that they were devoted to the Progeny of the Messenger of Allah.

Objection of Imam Husain

Imam Husain was devastated at the news of the killing of Hadhrami and his righteous companions. He protested against it by sending a memorandum to Muawiyah. His letter included the following: “Did you not have Hadhrami killed when Ziyad wrote to you complaining that he was a Shia of Ali and you wrote to him: Kill anyone who is on the religion of Ali? And Ziyad killed him and as per your order had him cut into pieces while the religion of Ali is same as the religion of his cousin which has enabled you to occupy the position that you are now in, and if he hadn’t been there, the greatness of your father and you would have had to bear difficulties of two journeys, journey of winter and journey of summer.”[3]

This letter of protest clearly explains that it was Muawiyah who issued orders to kill anyone who followed the religion of Ali inspite of the fact that it was the same religion of the Holy Prophet. It also shows that Ziyad, after having them killed had them cut into pieces in order to take his revenge from them for their devotion towards the Progeny of the Messenger of Allah.

6. Juwayriyya Abadi

Among the famous companions of Imam Ali was Juwayriyya bin Mushar Abadi. During the terrible circumstances through which the Shias lived during the reign of Ziyad in Kufa he was pursued and then orders were issued to have his limbs amputed and then to have him crucified on a short trunk of palm tree.[4]

[1] Ikhtiyar Ma’rifatur Rijal, 6/Tr. No. 10. Al-Ikhtisas, Pg. 7. Biharul Anwar 42/151, Tr. No. 18
[2] Ilalush Shara-I, Pg. 212 & 216, Biharul Anwar 44/3 & 9
[3] Biharul Anwar 44/213
[4] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/290-291


7. Saifi bin Faseel

Saifi bin Faseel was a person of a solid Islamic faith who showed an unmatchable example of firm faith because he spoke up against the tyrant Ziyad in his very presence. When he was brought Ziyad shouted at him, “O enemy of God, What do you say about Abu Turab?”

“I don’t know who Abu Turab is.”[1]

“You very well know him, do you not know?”

“Yes, I know him.”

“He is only Abu Turab.”

“Never, he is Abul (father of) Hasan and Husain.”

The police chief of Ibn Ziyad scolded him and said, “The Amir is saying that he is Abu Turab and you refute it!”

That great brave man cried at him and ridiculed his chief saying, “If the Amir is saying something wrong, should I also say it? Shall I testify falsely like he has falsely testified?”

Pride and arrogance of the tyrant was defeated and he didn’t know what to reply. At last he said, “This has increased your crime.”

Then he ordered his men, “Get me the cane.” They brought the cane to him. He asked: “What do you say?”

The brave and fearless man with a firm determination and without any worry said, “It is the best statement that I said with regard to the right of a person from the believing servants of God…”

That blood-shedder told his executioners, “Beat him so hard that his shoulder falls down.”

They rushed to him and beat him so hard with their sticks that he fell down. At that time he told them to stop the beating and asked him, “Good! What do you say about Ali?”

That cruel man thought that the torture would take him away from his faith, therefore he said, “By Allah, even if you cut me into pieces by swords and knives I would not say anything other than what you have already heard.”

The murderer lost his temper and he screamed, “You must invoke curse on him or I shall cut off your head.”

Saifi shouted at him, “By Allah, in that case before that you cut off my neck if you don’t want anything else. I am satisfied with the Lord, but you shall be an unjust oppressor.”

[1] The Umayyads had given this derogatory title to Imam which was the name of a bandit. This matter is mentioned in Tarikh Siyasi Daulat Arabi. And also in Al-Aghani 13/168 it is mentioned: Ziyad used to insult the Shias and he used to call them by the title of ‘Turabiya’ (Tabari, Tarikh, 5/277)


At that time he ordered that Saifi be bound in chains and shackles and thrown in a dungeon.[1] And after that he was sent along with Hujr bin Adi and was martyred with him.[2]

8. Abdur Rahman Anzi

Abdur Rahman Anzi was one of the best Shia men. Ziyad’s mercenaries arrested him. He asked them to allow him to go and meet Muawiyah in person. May be he would give him amnesty. His captors agreed to his request and sent him in captivity to Damascus. When he arrived before the tyrant, Muawiyah asked him, “Well, O brother of Rabia, what do you say about Ali?”

“Leave me and do not ask me that, as it is better for you…”

“By God, I shall not release you…”

That brave-hearted man began to narrate the merits and excellences of the Imam and praised the status and position of His Eminence: “I testify that he is the one who remembers Allah in excess and commands rightfulness and establishes justice and restrains people from sins…”

Muawiyah became infuriated and reiterated the excuse of Uthman that may be he would speak ill of him and become liable for capital punishment. So he asked him, “What do you say about Uthman?”

He told him about his views about Uthman and Muawiyah boiled with rage and screamed at him, “You have killed yourself!”

“Rather I have killed you, is there no one present from the tribe of Rabia?”

Abdur Rahman thought that his clansmen would defend him and rush forward to have him released. However, none came to his help and when Muawiyah became assured that he had none for his defense he sent him to Ziyad, the tyrant, and ordered him to have him executed. Ziyad in turn sent him to Qassun Naatif[3] and had him buried alive.”[4]

This valiant personality raised the standard of truth and took up the hammer of demolishing the forts of oppression and in the way of defense of the most sanctified matter of Islam, reached martyrdom.

These were some of the martyrs among the prominent personalities of Shias who had taken up the torch of freedom and illuminated the path for other revolutionaries who destroyed the grandeur of Umayyad regime and who endeavored for its destruction.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/266-267
[2] Life of Imam Hasan 2/371
[3] Qassun Naatif is a locality near Kufa
[4] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/276-277


Prominent Shia Personalities who bore tortures and sorrows

Muawiyah subjected a large group of prominent Shias to intimidation, threats and terror. Some of them were as follows:

1. Abdullah bin Hashim Mirqal

2. Adi bin Hatim Tai

3. Sa’sa bin Sauhan

4. Abdullah bin Khalifa Tai

Muawiyah subjected these senior members of Shia community to severe persecution and his mercenaries pursued them hard and intimidated them. We have described in detail there terrible circumstances in our volume titled, Life of Imam Hasan.[1]

Intimidation of ladies

Muawiyah did not rest content merely by torturing and hurting Shia men. He also made ladies targets of his oppression and subjected them to the most terrible fear and had them terrorized. He ordered his governors to send some of them to him and they complied with his commands. Among the ladies who bore the brunt of his evil were:

1. Zarqa binte Adi, 2. Ummul Khair Barqiya, 3. Sawdah binte Ammarah, 4. Ummul Baraa binte Safwan, 5. Bukara Hilaliya, 6. Arwa binte Harith, 7. Akarsha binte Atrash, and 8. Daramia Hajooniya.

Muawiyah behaved with them with the worst type of behavior and exhibited great pride and arrogance to them and insulted them and expressed his power to take revenge from them instead of taking into consideration their weakness and helplessness. We have described in detail in our volume on Imam Hasan how he insulted them in public.[2]

Demolishing Shias houses

Muawiyah proclaimed to all his governors to have the houses of Shia people demolished and they diligently followed these commands[3] leaving the Shias of Ahle Bayt shelterless while they had no justification for these merciless actions except that they wanted to distance the people from the power of the Messenger of Allah.

Depriving Shias from Public Treasury

Among the atrocities that the Shia were involved in the tenure of Muawiyah was that Muawiyah had written to each of his governors regarding the stipulation of allowances of people: “Take care, that if you have a proof that anyone of them is devoted to Ali and his Ahle Bayt you must remove his or her name from the register of stipends and cancel their allowance.”[4]

[1] Life of Imam Hasan 2/377-403
[2] Life of Imam Hasan 2/404-423
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 11/43
[4] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 11/45


His governors willingly took upon this task of scrutinizing the registers to see if any Shia name appeared therein. If they found any such name they immediately removed it from the register and cancelled the stipend of that particular person.

Testimonies of Shias not accepted

Muawiyah tried his best to abuse the Shias and render them valueless socially. Therefore he ordered his governors not to accept the testimonies of Shia people[1] in any legal matter or judicial affair so that they may be abased and suppressed and their humiliation is maximized.

Banishment of Shias to Khorasan

Ziyad bin Abih decided to purge Kufa of Shias and thus have them scattered. So he banished 50000 Shias to Khorasan, an eastern province of Iran.[2]

By this act Ziyad hit the first nail into the coffin of Umayyad regime because the group of those exiles to Iran spread Shiaism in the lands till finally that province became the center of revolt against the Umayyads under the leadership of Abu Muslim Khorasani which brought the downfall of Umayyad rule.

These were some of the calamities on Shias during Muawiyah’s rule that they were subjected to various tortures and intimidation. The terrible disasters that befell them were the most important of the factors that led to the rising of Imam Husain, because His Eminence raised the banner of revolution so that he may release them from their afflictions and difficulties and return to them peace and security.

[1] Life of Imam Hasan 2/386, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 11/44
[2] Tarikh Shaoob al-Islamiya Pg. 123

# Allegiance of Yazid

Muawiyah concluded his life in the world by committing the greatest sin in Islam and the most heinous act in history because without any sort of hesitation or fear he imposed his evil-minded son, Yazid as the future caliph of the Muslim community so that he may destroy their religion and world and present them with perpetual calamities and problems.

Muawiyah resorted to various types of uncivil means to assure that his kingdom is inherited by his clan.

Jahiz believes that Muawiyah emulated the Persian and Byzantine kings and changed the caliphate into a kingdom like that of the Sasanids and the Ceasers…Before we begin the account of allegiance and events contemporary to Yazid’s period we shall present in brief his biography based on books of history written since his time to the present age, that are full of his dispraise.

Birth of Yazid

Yazid was born in the year 25 or 26 A.H.[1] and surrounded the earth with the flame of hell fire, and its flaming and divine fury and evil had surrounded him. He was the most despicable creature that was ever found on the earth as if he was created to misbehave with and oppress the people. These were the signs of decadence of character, social injustice and inappropriate pretexts for suppressing the community and defeating their aims that continued in all times:

Shaykh Muhammad Jawad Mughniya says: “Yazid was the name of Muawiyah’s son, but for the Shias it has become a symbol of corruption, oppression, shamelessness and unrestrained behavior and an example of disbelief and apostasy, because wherever there is mischief and corruption, there is the name of Yazid and wherever there is good, truth and justice, the name of Husain would be existing there.”[2]

It is narrated from His Eminence, the Holy Prophet that he saw Muawiyah wearing a black cloak and he was walking in an arrogant way looking on both sides of his feet. The Prophet said, “What a day would come on our community through you and what a bad day shall be for our family from you. The issue that is going to come from your loins would ridicule the verses (signs) of Allah and consider lawful our unlawful which Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime has made unlawful.”[3]

Yazid’s Upbringing

Yazid grew up in the desert among his maternal uncles from Bani Kilab who were Christians before the advent of Islam. He spent his time with youths having no

[1] Quzai, Tarikh, from facsimile copy at Imam Hakim Library
[2] Ash-Shia fil Mizan, Pg. 455
[3] Qadi Baqqal Misri, Al-Manaqib wal Mathalib, Pg. 71


qualms about committing any sort of deeds and he was influenced by them a great deal because he made merry with them and played with dogs.

Alaili says: “It is likely or almost certain that Yazid’s training was not purely Islamic; it was in other words, purely Christian because there is no doubt that his crimes, shamelessness and disregard for morals is seen to be absolutely un-Islamic and no one considered them to be having any connection with Islamic values or beliefs. Nothing else could be imagined.”[1]

In our view, Yazid’s upbringing was purely in keeping with the system of the period of ignorance and absolutely bereft of any kind of resemblance to religion, because he grew up into a person of shameless nature in sensual preoccupations and his committing of evils and sinful deeds show that our view is not baseless.

Yazid’s characteristics

As for his physical characteristics. He was wheat- complexioned and there were pock marks on his face.[2] In the same way he was fat and plump having thick hair.[3]

As for his sensual qualities: He had inherited from his grandfather, Abu Sufyan and his father, Muawiyah, cruelty and shamelessness.

Sayyid Amir Ali says:

“As cruel and treacherous as Muawiyah, he did not, like his father, possess the capacity to clothe his cruelties in the guise of policy. His depraved nature knew no pity or justice. He killed and tortured for the pleasure he derived from human suffering. Addicted to the grossest of vices, his boon companions were the most abandoned of both sexes…”[4]

He was evil natured and shameless and devoid of every Islamic value and his most prominent personal qualities were fondness for bloodshed and misbehavior with others because in the first year of his brief rule he destroyed the purified progeny of the Holy Prophet, in the second year he had Medina plundered for three days and got killed 700 Emigrants and Helpers and 10,000 from Arabs, non-Arabs and companions of companions.

Yazid’s fondness for Hunting

One of the prominent qualities of Yazid was that he was extremely fond of hunting because he used to spend a better part of his time in that preoccupation.

Historians say: Yazid was very fond of hunting and he was always occupied in that activity. He used to have his hunting dogs put in tethers of gold and dressed in clothes woven with gold thread. He appointed for each dog a special servant to take care of it…”[5]

[1] Sammawal Maani fi Samma waz Zaat, Pg. 60
[2] Quzai, Tarikh
[3] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/271, Events of the year 70
[4] Ruhul Islam, Pg. 296
[5] Al-Fakhri, Pg. 55


Fondness for Monkeys

According to the unanimity of historians Yazid was very fond of playing with monkeys. He had a monkey as a pet whom he had named as Abu Qais so that he may give him the last drops of wine that remained in his cup. He used to say: “He is an old man of Bani Israel who turned into a monkey due to his sins.”

He used to mount this monkey on a wild female donkey and make him race with horses. One day the donkey carrying the monkey went ahead of the horse. Yazid was overjoyed by this and he recited the following couplets:

“O Abu Qais, take care of your rein, for if you fall no one would save you.

Because all are competing with their mounts, and the horse of the chief of the believers shall be a single female donkey.”

Then one day he sent him to participate in a race but he fell down due to the wind and died. Yazid was devastated by this tragedy and he commanded that the monkey be dressed in a shroud and given a proper burial. In the same way he ordered that people of Syria must give him condolence on this sad demise. He himself composed a dirge for the departed pet monkey as follows:

“So many prominent and noble persons came to give condolence to us regarding Abu Qais. He was a senior member of the family and the most powerful and most beautiful leader of the people.

May God not make that grave distant in which you are interred. There is beauty in it and the beard of a goat.”[1]

Yazid’s fondness for monkeys became well-known for the people till they gave him a title on this matter. A man from Tanukh says in his disparagement:

“Yazid, lover of monkeys, became fed up with our company, thus he became attached to monkeys.

Curse be on the one who became our caliph while his closest friends were monkeys.”[2]

Habitual Alcoholism of Yazid

Another prominent trait of Yazid was his alcoholism and he was a habitual drunkard. He indulged in this vice so much that never was he seen to be sober and he was never free of intoxication and in a normal condition. Among his ‘poetic masterpieces’ regarding wine are the following couplets:

“I say to friends that have come together to drink and the singers and musicians are busy singing.

Take your shame from these bounties and enjoy yourself as howsoever anything may prolong it, it would come to an end at last.”[3]

[1] Jawahirul Matalib dar Manaqib Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib 25/303-304
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/300
[3] Muzaffari, Tarikh Pg. 215


One day after the martyrdom of Imam Husain he stood drinking in such a way that Ibn Ziyad was on his right. Then he said,

“Give me a cup to drink so that my inside is also quenched. Then turn back and in the same way serve a drink to Ibn Ziyad.

And he is our confidant and trusted one, because he has completed our victory and Jihad.”[1]

During the period of Yazid a great transformation had come over the Islamic society because the relationship of the society with religion had become weak and a large part of Muslims were drowned in sensual activities and vices. And this transformation was not confined to that region. It was spread in all Islamic lands where vices, sensual pleasures and wine drinking had become common and the way of thinking of people regarding Islamic values had changed.

Independent Muslim poets in most of their periods have composed poetry ridiculing Yazid’s love of wine. Ibn Arada Shayer says,

“O Bani Umayyah the end of your regime is a body that is lying in shock and awe.

Its death is near and besides its bed is a cup of wine that when you see it you will find it laced with blood.

And a singing girl is crying in intoxication and sometimes she sits besides him and sometimes she gets up.”[2]

Anwar Jundi says,

“Its sinful soul is created with deceit, its eyes were fond of obscene things.

Thus he and his cup remained together for a long time and the two lived shamelessly in a single bedcover.”

Bolus Salamah says,

“Be kind to this king as he has become attached to beautiful maids rather than Allah.

A thousand “Allaho Akbars” in the view of Yazid are not better than a single draught of wine.

Fresh grape juice boils in wine while no hand has touched it or pure water is mixed in it.”[3]

Yazid was at the forefront in imbibing wine and he always remained intoxicated. So much so that some historical sources state that he died as a result of excessive intake of alcohol. He drank so much that something burst inside his body and he died.[4]

[1] Muruj az-Zahab 3/67
[2] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/545
[3] Mulhamatul Ghadeer, Pg. 237
[4] Muzaffari, Tarikh, facsimile copy at Imam Hakim Library, Pg. 213 & 215. It is mentioned in Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/300 that: The reason for Yazid’s death was that he had mounted his monkey on the back of a female donkey while himself in a state of intoxication ran after him, then something burst inside him and he died.


Yazid’s Cronies

Yazid had selected a group of base character people and he used to spend his red nights with them drinking and enjoying music and dance. This most important crony was the obscene Christian poet, named Akhtal. The two of them always drank together and listened to songs and music. Whenever he went on a journey he used to take him along.[1] When Yazid died and caliphate reached Abdul Malik and he called him to himself, he entered without taking permission, wearing a fur cloak and a gold chain around his neck and wine was dripping from his beard.[2]

Muawiyah’s advice to Yazid

When Yazid’s vices and unrestrained behavior became notorious, Muawiyah summoned him and advised him to keep his vices and evil habits concealed so that his social respect is not destroyed. He told him:

“O my son, how you are indulging in shameless deeds without any restraint and falling into sensual desires? Your value and status shall be destroyed.” Then he recited the following couplets:

“Spend your day in obtaining respect and honor and avoid the company of your friends.

Till the dark night falls and the eyes of your adversaries wear the kohl of sleep.

Then you can do whatever you like in the dark of the night as night is the day of clever ones.

How many sinners there are whom you think are pious while they spend the night in strange preoccupations?”[3]

Defense of Yazid by Muhammad Izzat Druze

Among the writers of this age having Umayyad inclinations is Muhammad Izzat Druze who has regrettably has gone to great lengths in defending the evils of Umayyad rulers. So much so that he has justified all the oppressions and corruptions that are reported about them. He has defended Muawiyah from being accused of committing those sins that are blemish on humanity and he considers him free from those defects and in this regard he has said as follows: “I consider Muawiyah, companion of the Messenger of Allah, scribe of His revelation as one who feared the Almighty and who is reported to be a pious and religious person, that he would accept that his son should go out of these limits and that he had encouraged him in those things, we consider him blameless for it. Rather we also think that even Yazid was quite unlikely to have committed these things…”[4]

[1] Al-Aghani 7/170
[2] Al-Aghani 8/288, 290, 299
[3] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/288
[4] Tarikh Jinsul Arabi 8/288


This is really ridiculous and funny because Druze has not looked at the obvious matters in which no rational and sane person has any doubt as the old adage goes:

“It shall not even be logically correct that when it is a clear day you need a proof for it.”

The heinous crimes that are reported about Muawiyah like the killing of Hujr bin Adi, Rushaid Hijri, Amr bin Hamaq Khuzai and other believers like them, cursing the purified progeny and oppressing the people, imposing Yazid as caliph on them and other sinful deeds that he committed all go on to prove these factors alone were responsible for changing the face of Islam and deviating it from the right path. However Druze and other people like him have closed their eyes to reality. Therefore they have presented the Umayyads to be religious. Those who, on the basis their political steps and administration, themselves have proved that they were enemies and opponents of Islam.[1]

Muawiyah accepted the wanton behavior of Yazid

Muawiyah was very fond of his son, Yazid, therefore he accepted his transgression and sinful activities and he did not try to rein his wanton behavior.

Historian say: Muawiyah was informed that his son was in an inebriated condition. He set to investigate the matter and see his position, while he was heard reciting the following couplets:

“I say to the friends who have received the glass of wine and the sounds of music are enjoyed by them.

Enjoy the blessings to the full as everything has to go away.

Do not let go of a pleasure for the sake of tomorrow as no one know what would happen tomorrow.

The best life is that in which the night that has passed permits while the mishaps sleep.”[2]

Muawiyah returned to his place and he did not show himself to Yazid, and he said, “By God, neither was I before him nor did I spoil his pleasure.”

Yazid’s Malice to the Holy Prophet

Yazid’s soul was replete with enmity and malice to the Holy Prophet because the Holy Prophet had killed some members of Yazid’s clan. When Yazid massacred the purified progeny at Kerbala he sat elated on the throne of his authority and was shaking his legs as he had taken revenge from the Holy Prophet. At that time he expressed the wish that his ancestors had been there to see how he has revenged their death. Then he recited the couplets of Ibn Zabari:

“If only my ancestors who died in Badr had been alive and seen how their opponents (Ahle Bayt of Prophet) were suppressed, they would have screamed in joy: O Yazid! May your hands never tire!

[1] Muzaffari, Tarikh, 215
[2] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/192


We have killed their leader and in this way took revenge of Badr. And I won’t be eligible to be called the descendant of the fighters of the Ditch (Khandaq) if I had failed to take revenge from Muhammad and his relatives.”[1]

Yazid’s Malice to Emigrants

Yazid was deeply inimical to the Emigrants because they had helped the Holy Prophet, fought the Quraish and killed their stalwarts. They also did not have any regard for Bani Umayyah, when Uthman was killed among them, they did not defend him. After that they paid allegiance to Ali and on his side went to Siffin to fight Muawiyah. After the martyrdom of His Eminence, they were most important elements of opposition to Muawiyah. Yazid was always infuriated at them and he asked Ka’ab bin Ja’eel to talk ill of them. But he did not agree to it and he said:

“Do you invite me to polytheism after having faith? I shall not denounce the community that helped the Messenger of Allah. But you may be able to have your wish fulfilled through a Christian man among us having a (daring) tongue of the bull, that is Akhtal.”

Yazid summoned Akhtal and asked him to condemn the emigrants. He agreed at once and began to recite the following couplets:

“May God curse the Jews in Salisal and Sarar.[2]

A community that whenever they are in mirth you would find their eyes red in intoxication.

Leave alone nobility as you are not fit for it and take up your spade, O Bani Najjar.

The riders know your ancestors or children of every ploughman.

The Quraish have taken away all the virtues and decadence lies under the turbans of emigrants.”

Akhtal began his poem with the denouncement of Jews as he considered them near to the Emigrants because they lived with them in Yathrib and he found fault with the emigrants because they used to till the land and practice agriculture as they did not possess a noble ancestry and royal descent. He alleged that they were frightened of warfare and associated every good virtue to the Quraish and every defect to the Emigrants!

These caustic remarks infuriated Noman bin Bashir who was one of the Umayyad governors. He became very angry and he went to Muawiyah, took off his turban and asked, “O Muawiyah, do you see decadence here?”

“No, I see good and nobility. What happened?”

“Akhtal has alleged that there is decadence under our turbans.”

[1] Tabaqat ash-Shura, Pg. 320 but he has quoted only two lines and Iqdul Farid 5/321
[2] Salaeesal and Saraar are localities near Medina


Noman looked at Muawiyah and said:

“O Muawiyah, you do not restore to us our rights, in that case by the right of ‘Azd’ where turbans are kept you will have to confess.

Should the slaves of Aragim speak ill of us? What would the Aragim give you in return?

I don’t want any revenge less than cutting off his tongue. So remember it that in their stead, wealth is not cause of happiness.”[1]

Muawiyah asked, “What do you want?”

“I want his tongue.”

“You can have it.”

Akhtal learnt of it and he rushed to Yazid and sought his refuge saying, “This is the same news that I feared.”

Yazid assured him and he came to his father and apprised him of the situation and told him that he has given security to Akhtal. Muawiyah said, “Nothing could be done against one guaranteed safety by Abu Khalid (that is Yazid)”. Then he forgave him.

Akhtal gloated over Yazid’s support for him and he ridiculed Noman saying:

“O Aba Khalid, you have saved me from a great disaster and defended me from being cut to pieces.

And cooled the fire of Noman from me after he had been determined to punish me.

But when he looked at the son of the noble lady with me he despaired and turned away because he realized that he could not achieve anything.”[2]

These were some conditions and attitudes of Yazid that show his wanton behavior and his distorted nature and that to what extent he was involved in sinful deeds and evil and how far he was from every meritorious deed…from the ridiculous conditions of time and it was nothing but the blunders of the times that such a wanton and wayward man should be the ruler and Imam of Muslims.

Mughairah’s invitation for Yazid’s allegiance

The first man to pay this deplorable allegiance was the one-eyed man of Thaqif, Mughairah bin Shoba, the sinful evil beast in Islam.[3] Burkleman has called him with the title of an opportunist who had no regard for any promise or covenant.[4] He

[1] Iqdul Farid 5/321-322
[2] Akhtal, Diwan, Pg. 89
[3] As Baihaqi has narrated, one of the evils of Mughairah was that he was the first person in Islam to resort to bribing and it was he that was instrumental in legalizing Ziyad’s brotherhood to Muawiyah.
[4] Tarikh Shaoob al-Islamiya 1/129-130


was one of the five cunning men of the Arabs.[1] He devoted his life to conspire against Muslims and always endeavored to fulfill his selfish desires.

According to historians his call for Yazid’s allegiance was based on the fact that Muawiyah planned to remove him from the governorship of Kufa and to appoint Saeed bin Aas[2] in his place. When Mughairah learnt of this, he traveled to Damascus to submit his resignation from his position so that his dismissal may not earn him disgrace. He gave a lot of thought to this matter and at last concluded that the best way to remain in his present post was to meet Yazid and encourage him for caliphate so that he may intercede with his father regarding him.

That deceitful man met Yazid and praised and honored him falsely and expressed his loyalty to him. Saying, “The elders of Muhammad (saws) and the famous men and elders of Quraish have gone away. Only his (Muhammad’s) children remain. As you are the most superior, more enlightened and knowledgeable of them in the matter of practice (Sunnah) and politics. And I don’t know what prevents the chief of believers (Muawiyah) to arrange this allegiance for you…?”

Yazid took this suggestion seriously, praised Mughairah’s loyalties and asked him, “Do you think this is possible?”


Yazid hastened to his father and informed him about what Mughairah had said. Muawiyah was very pleased with this and he summoned Mughairah. When he appeared, he incited Muawiyah to take steps for taking allegiance for Yazid. He said, “O Chief of believers, you have seen the bloodshed and controversies after the murder of Uthman while your successorship is ready in Yazid. So take allegiance for him so that if something happens to you, he shall be a refuge for the people and a successor for you. There shall neither be bloodshed nor mischief.”

These words were taken in all seriousness by Muawiyah and he cunningly asked him for his advice in achieving all this. He asked, “How would you do this for us?”

“I shall take care of the Kufians and Ziyad should take the responsibility of Basra. After these two provinces no one would oppose you.”

Muawiyah liked his idea and thanked him. He let him continue in his post and told him to return to Kufa and put the plan into action.

When Mughairah came out from Muawiyah’s meeting he told his entourage, “I have put Muawiyah’s foot in such a stirrup that its aim is aloofness from the community of Muhammad and I have made such a crack in it that it shall never be filled.” Then he illustrated his argument by quoting the following lines of a poet:

“Be witness to people who entreat like me. And through me aim at your angry enemies and opponents.”

[1] Tabari, Tarikh
[2] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/142


Mughairah created such a crack in the community of Muhammad for his selfish motives that its cure was not at all possible and he brought upon the nation the most terrible disaster.

Mughairah set out for Kufa carrying with him mischief and ruin for the people of that area and all the Muslims. As soon as he reached Kufa he called a conference of Umayyad governors and kept before them the subject of Yazid’s allegiance. They agreed to his opinion in that matter. He sent a group of them to Damascus and sent Abu Musa with his two sons with them. When they arrived to Muawiyah, they encouraged him to conclude the allegiance of Yazid. He lauded them and advised them to keep the matter confidential. Then he turned to Mughairah’s son and asked, “How much did your father pay to purchase their consciences?”

“Thirty thousand Dirhams.”

Muawiyah smiled and jokingly said, “Their religion has no value for you.” Then he granted them a further thirty thousand Dirhams.[1]

They accepted the allegiance and agreed to one who himself had shaky conscience and who considered it a marketable commodity.

Granting Immunity to Muawiyah

A group of historians and writers have defended Muawiyah and they have justified this action of his in taking allegiance for Yazid which was the most terrible disaster for the world of Islam. Some of them are as follows:

1. Ahmad Dahlan

One of the staunchest defender of Muawiyah, Ahmed Dijlan says, “Muawiyah saw the might of his splendor (that is Umayyads) and firmness of their party spirit to such an extent that if after him the caliphate were to go out from them, a mischief would appear and a controversy would present itself for the community. So for the sake of maintaining national unity he wanted the caliphate to remain among them. Therefore he pondered upon it deeply as to who was the most powerful of them. And he found it to be Yazid, because be was of mature age and during the lifetime of his father had commanded armies. He possessed awe in the eyes of military generals. He was powerful and his words were effective. If the caliphate had been given to anyone else it would have caused a conflict, as especially he had control over the Public Treasury. If caliphate had been entrusted to someone other than him, it would have created controversies and conflicts. Thus he decided to
entrust caliphate to Yazid so that it may ensure peace and amity in the nation. It was the reason why Yazid became the heir apparent. Muawiyah didn’t know what Allah would bring about after that…”[2]

A handful of dust for the like of those who have accepted an evil like nepotism and made them justify it. Should the caliphate, which was supposed to be the shadow

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/503-504
[2] Tarikh Dawl Islamiya, Pg. 28


of God on the earth, go to the Umayyads and that Muawiyah should keep the selfish motives etc. in his view while they were of those who opposed the Prophet of Islam and fought wars with him? They tortured every person who accepted Islam. Then how can the caliphate be in their control? If reason and logic had remained supreme and religion had remained dominant, they would have been at the end of the caravan of Muslims, unworthy of any kind of precedence.

2. Dr. Abdul Munim

Among those who have justified the action of Muawiyah regarding taking of allegiance for Yazid are Dr. Abdul Munim Majid who says: “It seems that the aim of Muawiyah in bequeathing the caliphate to Yazid was to remove the conflict from the Islamic community and it was foresight regarding future mischiefs as had occurred after Uthman. Also he may have wanted to solve the problem that the Prophet had left unsolved and that was the perpetual domination of Islam. Muawiyah had no other option because the Bani Umayyah were not ready to accept the caliphate of anyone else and they used to be infuriated in this matter.”[1]

This view is not having any kind of balance because Muawiyah in taking allegiance for Yazid not only failed to unite the Muslims, he further increased conflicts among them and mischiefs that were to haunt them forever from the aspect that during the days of Yazid the community had to undergo various kinds of calamities whose intensity fails description. In such a way that the grandson of Abu Sufyan made every endeavor to destroy Islam and trample upon all its sanctities and values, and he massacred the purified progeny which on the basis of widely reported statement of the Messenger of Allah was equal to Quran. Also in the incident of Harra he wreaked havoc on the people of Medina such that the forehead of humanity perspires just by thinking about it. Did Muawiyah, by this act, established unity among the Muslims and integrated their ranks?

The view of the above writer is ridiculous when he says that the Holy Prophet left the matter of caliphate unsolved and Muawiyah arrived and solved this problem by taking allegiance for Yazid!

The Holy Prophet did not leave any matter unsolved for the Ummah, rather he provided absolute and clear cut solutions for all the problems that were to arise ever. The most important matter that he addressed was the question of caliphate and he entrusted it to the most superior man of his community, the gate of the city of his knowledge, His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen. Senior companions and other people present on the day of Ghadeer with His Eminence pledged allegiance to him but those people did not like that prophethood and caliphate should be in the same family. Therefore they kept the Ahle Bayt of the Prophet from caliphate. This became a cause for Yazid and other deviated person like him who by their behavior proved that they had no connection to Islam and they had no connection to religion, to take authority of Muslims in their hands.

[1] At-Tarikh Siyasi Lid-Dawlatul Arabiya: 2/62


3. Husain Muhammad Yusuf

Of those who have defended the fervor of Muawiyah in appointing Yazid as heir apparent is Husain Muhammad Yusuf. He has, without any justification issued statements in this matter and he concludes his discourse as follows: “Muawiyah’s position can be summarized to that he was in his own view a jurisprudent (Mujtahid) and when he called the community to pay allegiance to Yazid be had the well-being of people in his mind because no defect is proved in it. Yazid used to send some people to Muawiyah to canvass for him and show himself to be the one best qualified among the sons of companions. Thus if Muawiyah were correct in his selection he would get two rewards and if he erred in it he shall get one reward. Beyond this no one has any right to say anything else in this matter because deeds are dependent on intention. Whatever one intends, in the same way he or she is.”[1]

Indeed, it is really regretful that these people have gone out of their way to justify this mammoth crime of Muawiyah which involved the world of Islam in mischiefs and calamities... when did Muawiyah apply juristic consideration to impose his son as caliph on Muslims? Because he employed every kind of intrigue and intimidation and compelled the Muslims to have that allegiance imposed on them under the great force of arms…

Muawiyah did not resort to jurisprudence in this matter, rather he responded to his heart felt desires he harbored with regard to the welfare of his son without there being in it any sort of consideration for the well-being of the community.

These were some of the supporters of Muawiyah in taking allegiance for Yazid who have such strange views foreign to Islam and absolutely devoid of any logic and completely away from truth.

Opinion of Hasan Basri

Hasan Basri has condemned the allegiance for Yazid and he considers it to be the most terrible of evil deeds of Muawiyah. He says, “Muawiyah had four such defects that each one alone is sufficient to make him be regarded as evil:

a) Obtaining power over the community through foolish people, till he operated the caliphate without their counsel while there existed among them companions and virtuous persons.

b) Appointing of Yazid as caliph after him while he was a drunkard and alcoholic. He wore silk and played the drum.

c) Making Ziyad as his brother while the Messenger of Allah has said, “The child belongs to the father and the adulterer must be stoned.”

d) Killing of Hujr and his companions. Woe be on him for murdering Hujr and his companions.[2]

[1] Sayyida Shabaabi Ahalil Jannatul Hasan bin Ali, Pg. 208
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/279 and others


Statement of Ibn Rushd

Ibn Rushd, the great Muslim philosopher believes that the taking by Muawiyah of allegiance for Yazid changed the course of Islam and destroyed the rule of the righteous in Islam.

He says: “The conditions of Arabs during the time of the righteous caliphs (Khulafa Rashideen) was to the side of correctness just as Plato has described his government in his book, The Republic. A democratic government which shall be an ideal for all governments. However, Muawiyah demolished its great foundations. He turned it into a kingdom of Bani Umayyah and the power of their cruelty. In this way he opened avenues of mischiefs which continue to this day in our land of Andulasia.”[1]

All thinkers and philosophers of the Islamic Ummah from the days of Muawiyah till date have dissented from the allegiance of Yazid and objected against it and considered it an open oppression on the community and something which was against public opinion.

Muawiyah’s Motives

Motives that impelled Muawiyah to impose his drunkard son as caliph on Muslims: The most important of them was his extreme affection to his son and he was very fond of Yazid. He has expressed this matter to Saeed bin Uthman when the latter asked Muawiyah to leave off Yazid and instead appoint him (Saeed) as the next caliph. Muawiyah derided him and said, “By Allah, if Ghuta[2] is full of people like you even then Yazid shall be most preferable for me…”[3]

His fondness for his son had blinded him and he deviated from the truth. He himself says, “If I had not been so fond of Yazid, I would have obtained salvation and betterment…”[4]

He was certain that appointing Yazid was a most terrible sin that he has committed and he clearly mentioned this to his son, “I will not face God with anything worse than appointing you as a caliph!”[5]

Muawiyah committed a heinous crime on the community by transferring caliphate to a cruel ruler who did not take into any consideration choice and desire of the Ummah. Thus Muawiyah was responsible for a very serious crime.

Diplomatic tricks for obtaining allegiance

Muawiyah resorted to the following diplomatic antics in order to obtain the oath of allegiance for his worthless son:

[1] Faraj Antun, Ibne Rushd wa Falsafatihi, Pg. 60
[2] It is a very green area near Damascus (Al-Mojam Al-Wasit)
[3] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/79
[4] Qadi Noman Misri, Al-Manaqib wal Mathalib, Pg. 68
[5] Tarikh Khulafa, written by anonymous writer published by Akadami Ittehad Shura


1. Use of Poets

In those times, the poets formed the most influential group that existed and Muawiyah bestowed them with unprecedented wealth so that in return they may begin to praise and glorify Yazid and make him imbued with lofty virtues and excellent qualities. Some of those poets are as follows:

Ajaaj: Ajaaj praised Yazid excessively and he said regarding him:

“Even if people stagger and swerve in their position, you shall not deviate from the religion of Musa and the Holy Prophet.

You were a sword of God that never loses its sharpness; which sometimes rises on the heads and sometimes beheads.”[1]

These couplets mean to say that Yazid was a follower of Prophet Musa and His Eminence, Muhammad and that he was the cutting sword of God which is waved upon the saints and favorite people of God!

Ahwas: The poet, Ahwas, composed a panegyric in praise of Yazid and said:

“He is that blessed king who rules over the kings and his awe is so immense that it can destroy the mountain.

All the wealth of Balkh and Tigris reaches him. And Euphrates and the area it irrigates and the Nile, all of it belongs to him.”

His awe was such that heads humbled before him and mountains pulverized in his fear. This was the same who remained intoxicated with wine, whose favorite pastimes were playing with goats and dogs and who did not leave a single evil deed.

Miskeen Darami: Miskeen Darami was among the poets on the payroll of Muawiyah who had been instructed to encourage anyone from Bani Umayyad and rich personalities of Syria who may be present in Muawiyah’s court to pay allegiance for Yazid. Thus Miskeen arrived to Muawiyah and when the court was full of people he recited in a loud voice:

“If they call me Miskeen, I am the son of such a group whose support and defense I do.

I wish I knew what Ibn Aamir and Marwan say and what Saeed says.

O sons of the Caliphs of God! Think deeply on this. The Almighty puts caliphate wherever He likes.

If your Lord vacates the western pulpit Yazid shall be the chief of believers.

It is a blessing for the bird to fly and in the effort of the effort-maker. So everyone should move and make effort.

Thus you shall in the same way be superior to all people and delegations shall come to you one after another.

[1] Shuara Nasraniya Ba’ad al-Islam, Pg. 234


And the tent of rulership is raised upon you like this and you keep its ropes and pegs taut.”[1]

These were some poets who indulged in concocting excellence for Yazid and who praised him unreasonably in order to conceal his vices and defects even though everybody was cognizant of those things.

Doling out wealth to prominent persons

Muawiyah doled out generously huge amounts to influential people of his time to obtain their assent to the imposition of his drunkard son as caliph over Muslim people.

Historians say: He gave Abdullah Ibn Umar a hundred thousand Dirhams and he accepted them.[2]

This son of Umar became a staunch supporter of allegiance for Yazid. He even had the audacity to raise objection to Imam Husain for his uprising against the drunkard Yazid. We shall discuss this matter in greater depth in the forthcoming chapters.

Correspondence with Governors

Muawiyah wrote to all the governors and officers in the Islamic countries regarding his decision to take allegiance for Yazid and he commanded them to carry out the following commands:

1. To announce the news among multitudes of people regarding the decision of the Damascus regime about taking allegiance for Yazid.

2. Order the orators and other channels of propagation to praise Yazid and concoct excellences for him.

3. Send delegations consisting of prominent Islamic people to him (Muawiyah) so that their views regarding the allegiance of Yazid may be ascertained.[3]

Governors began to carry out the commands and to announce his decision regarding the taking of allegiance for Yazid. In the same way they ordered the speakers and others to eulogize Yazid wrongfully.

Delegations from Islamic countries

Local governments in Islamic countries contacted the thinkers and presented to them Muawiyah’s decision regarding the entrusting of heir-apparency of caliphate to his son, Yazid and asked them to go to Damascus at once in order to inform Muawiyah about their opinion. Delegations departed for Damascus and in the forefront of these delegations were the following:

[1] Al-Aghani 20/212-213
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/506
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/506-508


1. Iraqi delegation, under the leadership of the Iraqi leader, Ahnaf bin Qais.

2. Medinite delegation, under the leadership of Muhammad bin Amr bin Hazm.[1]

Delegations arrived in Damascus to express their opinion as per the orders of the ruler of Syria and Muawiyah accorded them a warm welcome and honor.

Conference of Islamic Delegations

Delegations from Islamic lands held a conference in the Umayyad court in Damascus so that they may express their views in connection with the taking of allegiance for Yazid.

Muawiyah inaugurated the conference with glorification of Islam and necessity of obedience to those who are in authority (rulers). After that he presented the merits of Yazid and his superiority. He spoke of Yazid’s political expertise and invited them to pay allegiance to him.

Supporters of Allegiance

A group of Umayyad chiefs hastened forward to register their support for Muawiyah and they openly encouraged and praised him for his decision to take allegiance for Yazid.

They were as follows:

1. Zahhak bin Qais

2. Abdur Rahman bin Uthman

3. Thawr bin Maun Salmi

4. Abdullah bin Asam

5. Abdullah bin Masadah

Muawiyah had ordered these people beforehand to voice their support for him and object to anyone who opposes his move.

Speech of Ahnaf bin Qais

Ahnaf bin Qais, a leader of Iraq and the chief of the Tamim tribe – regarding whom Maysun, Yazid’s mother said: “If there had been nothing in Iraq except him, it would have been sufficient for you.”[2] Stood up to speak and came forward. He recited the praise of Allah. After that he turned to Muawiyah and said, “O Allah, have mercy on the chief of believers! People have lived their life in the period of Ignorance and the present age of knowledge. Yazid, the son of the chief of believers is the best successor and you too have tasted sweet and bitter days.

Thus O Chief of believers, think upon it that whom would you entrust the matter of caliphate after you? So, you must oppose the order of all those who order you. The view of those who give ideas to you must not deceive you and it may not cause some problem to you. See the congregation and learn about the kind of obedience that is shown keeping in mind that the people of Iraq and Hijaz are not in agreement with this matter. As long as Hasan is alive, they would not give allegiance to Yazid…”

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/507
[2] At-Tadhkiratul Hamduniya 1/373, No. 954


Ahnaf’s speech created a wave of anger and displeasure in the Umayyad party. Zahhak bin Qais objected to this and denounced the people of Iraq and spoke ill of Imam Hasan. He suggested to the Iraqi delegation to become sincere towards Muawiyah and to accept his invitation regarding allegiance of Yazid.

Ahnaf did not pay any attention to him and he stood up again and proffered counsel to Muawiyah and asked him to honor the covenant that he had made incumbent upon himself and entrust the caliphate after him to Imam Hasan under the terms of treaty, one of the most important terms of which was the return of caliphate to Imam Hasan after Muawiyah. Ahnaf also warned Muawiyah of war if he did not fulfill the terms of the treaty.

Failure of the Conference

After the discourse of the great leader, Ahnaf bin Qais the conference broke into an open failure and arguments erupted between the members of delegations and organs of the Umayyad party. Yazid bin Muqaffah thundered at the opponents fully utilizing the strength of his ferocity:

“This is the chief of believer”, said he indicating to Muawiyah, “Thus, if he passes away, it is this one”, he said pointing to Yazid, “And this is for one who does not accept it,” he said gesturing to his sword.

Muawiyah liked this statement very much and he said, “Please be seated as you are the chief of orators and most respectable of them.”

Ahnaf bin Qais paid no attention to him. He glanced at Muawiyah and advised him to refrain from taking allegiance for Yazid and not to give preference to anyone over Hasan and Husain.

Muawiyah turned away from him and remained firm on his view which was absolutely opposed to Islamic behavior.

Anyway, the conference did not conclude on the note that Muawiyah had desired and planned. Because it was now confirmed for him that some of the Islamic groups were not in agreement with him regarding the allegiance and they were not pleased with his decision.

Muawiyah’s Journey to Medina

Muawiyah decided to undertake a journey to Medina which was the centre of attention for Muslims and sons of companions who comprised the party opposed to Muawiyah resided there. They did not consider Muawiyah as their friend and they considered Muawiyah’s taking allegiance for Yazid to be an attack against the intention of the Ummah and it was considered a deviation from the Islamic Shariah which did not permit Yazid to take up authority over the affairs of the Muslim community because he was famous for having unrestrained behavior and bad character.

Muawiyah traveled to Medina in official manner and bore the hardships of the journey in order to transfer the caliphate to a tyrant ruler, in whom cannot be seen even the shadow of truth and justice.


A closed door meeting

As soon as Muawiyah reached Yathrib he ordered that the following people be summoned at once: Abdullah bin Abbas, Abdullah bin Ja’far, Abdullah bin Zubair and Abdullah bin Umar. A confidential meeting was arranged with them so that His Eminence, Hasan and Husain may not be present there. Because Muawiyah had given oath to His Eminence, Hasan that after Muawiyah the caliphate shall be transferred to him. Then how could be have held meeting with him and what he would have told him?

Muawiyah ordered his sentry not to permit anyone else to enter till he had concluded his talk.

Muawiyah’s Speech

Muawiyah initiated his talk with the recital of God’s praise and glorification and invoking blessings for His Prophet. After that he continued, “So to say: I have advanced in age, my bones have become weak and my end has come near. Very soon I shall be summoned and I would have to respond. I have decided to appoint Yazid as my successor. And you are the four Abdullahs[1] from Quraish. The excellent ones and sons of the excellent ones. And nothing prevented me from inviting Hasan and Husain for the meeting except that they are sons of Ali, even though I have a good opinion about them and am fond of them. So give a positive reply to the chief of believers, may God have mercy on you…”

Muawiyah did not resort to threats and intimidation with them so that he may turn their blessings towards himself and this matter may not remain unknown to them and they may not raise their voices of dissent against him.

Speech of Abdullah bin Abbas

The first to speak up to Muawiyah was Abdullah bin Abbas. After praise and glorification of the Almighty he said, “So to say, know that! You spoke and we lent our ears and you said and we heard. Indeed, the Almighty Allah, hallowed be His praise and hallowed be His Name – chose Muhammad for His messengership and selected him for His revelation and He accorded excellence to His creatures. Thus the most excellent of the people is one who obtains excellence from him (Muhammad). And the most deserving of them for the post of Caliphate is the chosen one in relation to it. And it is incumbent for the Ummah to accept its Prophet as the Almighty Allah had selected him for them. Because Allah had chosen Muhammad through His knowledge and He is the All-knowing. I seek the forgiveness of the Lord for myself and for you.”

Call of Ibn Abbas is clearly advocating the return of Caliphate to Ahle Bayt, who were the nearest people to the Prophet and his closest relatives, because caliphate is continuation of the position of Prophethood and the Ahle Bayt of His Eminence are most qualified to occupy his position.

[1] The four Abdullah’s whose names were mentioned


Speech of Abdullah bin Ja’far

Abdullah Ibn Ja’far began to express his view and after praise and glorification of Almighty said, “So to say: If the matter of caliphate is to be conducted in compliance with Quran, relatives in the Book of Allah are also having precedence over each other. If this is (appointment of caliphate is performed according to the practice of the Messenger of Allah, the progeny of the Holy Prophet shall be deserving of attention. And if it is conducted according to the manners of the two Shaykhs, Abu Bakr and Umar, then who from the people is most superior and most perfect and more deserving of this matter than the progeny of the messenger? By Allah, if after your Prophet they had been given authority, the caliphate would have been established in its proper place due to their rightfulness and truthfulness. In that case the Almighty Allah would have been obeyed and the Satan would have been disobeyed and among the people two warring parties would not have
engaged in a tussle. Thus, O Muawiyah, keep Allah in mind, as you became the ruler and we became subjects. So pay attention to your subjects as tomorrow you shall be answerable to it. And as for what you said about our two cousins and that you did not invite them (for this meeting) you should know that by Allah, you have not acted aright. This matter cannot be lawful except through them. You know very well that the two of them are sources of knowledge and greatness – you say if you like or don’t say it – I seek divine forgiveness for myself and for you too…”

This speech, full of call to the people to truth and sincerity because it specified Ahle Bayt for caliphate and leadership and it prohibited them to keep caliphate away from them just as the other caliphs had acted and it resulted in the community being involved in difficulties and defeats and had to bear the most severe hardships and most unbearable events.

Speech of Abdullah bin Zubair

Abdullah bin Zubair also delivered a speech and after praise and extolling of the Almighty Allah spoke as follows: “So to say: This caliphate is restricted to the Quraish as they have obtained it through their illuminated greatness and their preferable deeds along with the nobility of the ancestors and the excellence of the descendants. O Muawiyah, fear Allah and do justice as this is Abdullah bin Abbas, the Prophet’s cousin and this is Abdullah bin Ja’far at-Tayyar cousin of the Prophet, I am Abdullah bin Zubair cousin of the Prophet and he left Ali, Hasan and Husain after him. You know very well who and what they are? So, O Muawiyah, fear Allah as you are the judge between us and yourself…”

Ibn Zubair specified this group for caliphate and instigated them to rise up against Muawiyah and to destroy his plans.

Statements of Abdullah bin Umar

Abdullah bin Umar spoke up after this and opened his statement with divine praise and benediction upon the Messenger of Allah. Then he went on to say: “So to say: This caliphate is neither the kingdom of Hercules, nor of Caesar or Choesroe that the sons may receive it in inheritance from their father. If it had been thus I


would have stepped forward after my father. By Allah, he did not include me among the six members of the Shura Committee for the fact that caliphate is not a specified condition, rather it is restricted to the Quraish for anyone who is deserving of it from those whom Muslims choose for themselves among the most pious and the most popular people. Thus if you want the youths of Quraish, by my life! Yazid is from them and you should know that he does not have any consequence for you near Allah.”

The speeches of four Abdullah’s did not express their personal views, rather in a truthful way they displayed the view of the absolute majority of Muslims that did not like the caliphate of Yazid and were not satisfied with it.

Muawiyah’s Discourse

The speeches of that group fell heavy on Muawiyah. He could not find any way to obtain their concurrence. On the basis of this he began to praise and eulogize his son and said, “I said and you said; that the fathers have gone and the sons remain, my son, in my view is more preferable to me than your sons. Inspite of this if you speak to my son you would find him a good speaker…This matter belonged to the family of Abde Manaf because they are of the clan of the Messenger of Allah. And when the Messenger of Allah passed away from the world, Abu Bakr and Umar ruled over the people without having sources of rulership and caliphate. However the two of them acted in a good way and then the rulership reverted to the clan of Abde Manaf and it shall remain in this way till the Day of Judgment. The Almighty Allah has taken you out of it, O Abdullah Ibn Zubair and Abdullah bin Umar. But these two cousins of ours, if Allah wills, shall not be kept out of

Muawiyah’s meeting with them came to an end in such a way that Muawiyah failed in it completely. Because it became obvious to him that the community has firmly decided not to accept the allegiance of Yazid…After that Muawiyah left Medina. None of the available historical sources show him making any mention about meeting the grandsons of the Messenger of Allah and it is very likely that he did not meet them at all.

Consternation of Muslims

Upon learning about the decision of Muawiyah to impose his son as caliph over the Muslims, they became very much worried. Among the Muslims, the people of Medina and Kufa were more anxious because they were aware of the reality of Yazid’s character and were cognizant of his attitude against Islam.

Thomas Arnold says, “Muawiyah’s decision to consider legitimate hierarchic transfer of caliphate was a dangerous change in the life of Muslims as they were only used to allegiance, the consultation committee and the initial administrative systems

[1] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/146-150. Khateeb 2/236-249


in Islam. They were not cognizant of anything away from those systems and from all aspects, they and specially in Mecca and Medina where people had attachment with the traditions and the first practices of the Prophet, they felt that the Umayyads, instead of safeguarding piety and simple life of the Prophet, had changed caliphate into a temporal rulership influenced by worldly matters as a sign of their own greatness and selfishness.”[1]

Muawiyah’s steps for imposing his son, Yazid as a ruler over Muslims brought dangerous change in the life of Muslims. They had no idea that such a thing would ever come to pass by the use of force and weapons.

Opposition group

Nobles and reformers of the world of Islam announced their absolute rejection regarding the allegiance of Yazid and he was not accepted as the ruler of Muslims. Here we shall mention some prominent personalities who voiced their opposition to Yazid’s allegiance:

1. His Eminence, Imam Husain

In the forefront of opponents of allegiance for Yazid was His Eminence, Imam Husain who considered Yazid as unworthy and he did not like his bad traits and he described him as a drunkard and hunter and that he obeyed the Satan and left the obedience of the Beneficent Lord, he created mischief, trespassed the limits of religious law, restricted the war booties for himself and made unlawful things lawful and ruled the lawful as unlawful.[2] If he were such a base man, how could he (Husain) give his allegiance and consider him a ruler of Muslims? When Walid summoned Imam Husain to give allegiance for Yazid, Imam told him,

“O Chief, we are the Ahle Bayt of prophethood and mine of messengership and place of going and coming of angels. The Almighty Allah initiated the creation with us and He shall end it with us. Yazid is a transgressor, a drunkard, killer of sanctified people, and one who commits sins openly. A person like me cannot give allegiance to a man like him.”

All the members of the family of the Holy Prophet followed their great leader in not accepting the allegiance for Yazid and they did not dissent from the Imam.

Fiscal Deprivation

Muawiyah imposed fiscal embargo on the Prophet’s family in order to punish them for their refusal to pay allegiance to Yazid.

He deprived them from their share from the Public Treasury for a whole year,[3] but this matter did not serve as any obstruction from their determination to refuse allegiance for Yazid.

[1] Thomas, Caliphate, Pg. 10
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/511, Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/164


2. Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr

Among those who opposed Yazid’s allegiance was Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr. He labeled him as Hercules; as whenever a Hercules died another Hercules used to take his place.[1]

Muawiyah sent 100,000 Dirhams to him in order to bribe him but he refused them and said, “I will not sell my religion.”[2]

3. Abdullah bin Zubair

Abdullah bin Zubair did not accept the allegiance of Yazid and he described him as follows, “Yazid the transgressor, Yazid plays with monkey and dogs, Yazid remains intoxicated and Yazid the wild hunter.”[3] And when the provincial regime of Medina tried to compel Abdullah to pay allegiance for Yazid, he fled to Mecca.”

4. Mundhir bin Zubair

Mundhir bin Zubair did not accept Yazid’s allegiance and he denounced him and delivered a speech to the people of Medina regarding Yazid’s transgression and said, “He rewarded me 100,000 units of currency but it does not restrain me from telling you about his real condition. By Allah, he imbibes wine! He remains intoxicated till he leaves off prayers.”[4]

5. Abdur Rahman bin Saeed

Abdur Rahman bin Saeed refused to give allegiance to Yazid and he spoke about his evil traits as follows:

“You are not from us (you aren’t a Muslim) and your maternal uncle is also not a Muslim. O one who forgoes the prayer due to sensual desires!”[5]

6. Abis bin Saeed

Abis bin Saeed also did not accept Yazid’s allegiance and when Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas called him to pay allegiances he told him, “I know him better than you; you have sold your religion in exchange of your world.”[6]

7. Abdullah bin Hanzalah

Abdullah bin Hanzalah was the toughest opponent of Yazid and he was of those who rebelled against him during the incident of Harrah (Plunder of Medina). He addressed the people of Medina and said, “By Allah, we did not rise up against Yazid except when we feared that stones shall rain upon us from the heavens. He (Yazid) is one who commits incest, drinks wine and omits prayers. By Allah, even if I had no one else on my side I would have fought him with ferocity solely for the

[1] Al-Istiab 3/825
[2] Al-Istiab 3/825-826. Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/89
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 4/30
[4] Tabari, Tarikh 5/481
[5] Al-Husain bin Ali 2/6
[6] Al-Quzat, Kandi, Pg. 310


sake of Almighty…”[1]

He recited a war song on that occasion as follows:

“Keep away from those who create mischief, commit transgression, rebel and keep away from truth and signs of guidance.

As the Almighty Allah does not keep anyone away from His mercy except those who disobey Him.”[2]

Attitude of the Umayyad clan

The Umayyad clan also objected to Muawiyah regarding allegiance for Yazid but their objections were not based on religious or social considerations. It was due to their personal interests because Muawiyah had given the caliphate to Yazid and deprived them from it. Some of such dissenters were as follows:

1. Saeed bin Uthman

When Muawiyah took the allegiance for Yazid, Saeed bin Uthman went to Muawiyah and cried, “Why have you appointed your son, Yazid as the heir apparent? By Allah, my father was better than his father and my mother was better than his mother and I am better than him. We made you the ruler and did not depose you. Whatever you have achieved is due to us…”

Muawiyah made excuses and said, “What you have said that your father was better than his father is correct. By God, Uthman was better than me and as you have said, your mother is better than his mother. It is sufficient for the woman to be in the house of her people and her husband may select her and make her children pure. As for what you say that you are better than Yazid let me tell you that by God, I shall not be pleased that in the place of Yazid I be given an ocean full of gold. And as for your claim that you have appointed me as ruler and not deposed me, you should know that whoever gave me the rulership was better than you, that is Umar bin Khattab. And you allowed me continue and I was not a bad ruler for you. I stood up to take revenge on your behalf and killed the murderers of your father and appointed the caliphate in your clan. We enriched your paupers and elevated your debased ones…”

Yazid also spoke up to him and made him reconcile by allotting to him the governorship of Khorasan.[3]

2. Marwan bin Hakam

Marwan bin Hakam denounced the allegiance for Yazid and his precedence to him because he was as senior member and leader of the Umayyad clan more qualified for it. Thus he said to Muawiyah, “O Son of Abu Sufyan! Act aright and refrain from appointing lads to leadership. And you should know there are people equal to

[1] Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 5/66
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/490
[3] Wafayatul Ayan 6/348


you in your community and they possess the power to oppose you.”

Muawiyah responded to him in a deceptive manner and told him, “You are like the chief of believers after him and you shall be his helper in every difficulty. I have given you authority on your community and allotted you a huge share from taxes. We welcome with honor your arrival and we acknowledge your favors.”[1]

Marwan had said to Muawiyah, “You have made it a dynastic rule and taken allegiance for your descendants.”[2]

3. Ziyad bin Abih

Ziyad bin Abih did not like Muawiyah’s taking of allegiance for Yazid who well known for his unrestrained behavior, shamelessness and sinful deeds. Historians say: Muawiyah wrote a letter to him calling him for the allegiance to the heir- apparency of Yazid as he was not better than Mughairah bin Shoba.

When he read Muawiyah’s letter he summoned a trustworthy confidant of his and said: I wish to share a confidential matter with you which I cannot confide to the text of letters. Go to Muawiyah and tell him: “O chief of believers, your letter regarding such and such matter reached me. Then what shall I tell the people if we call them for the allegiance of Yazid while he plays with dogs and goats, wears colorful clothes, always remains drunk and spends the nights in company of singing girls while there are present, among the people persons like Husain bin Ali, Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Abdullah bin Zubair and Abdullah bin Umar? Or you tell him to follow the morals and manners of these personages for a year or two so that I may present the matter to the people.”

The messenger set out to meet Muawiyah and delivered Ziyad’s message to him. Muawiyah was very much infuriated and he began to scold him and said, “O son of Ubaid! It has come to my knowledge that a reader has read out to him that the chief after me shall be Ziyad. By God, I shall turn him back to his mother Sumaiyyah and his father Ubaid.”[3]

These were some critics from the Umayyad clan and others who opposed the action of Muawiyah in appointing his debased son Yazid as the caliph over Muslims.

Seeds of dissent among the Umayyads

Muawiyah began to create disunity among the Umayyads in order to prepare a favorable atmosphere for his son, Yazid. He dismissed Saeed bin Aas, his governor at Medina and in his stead appointed Marwan bin Hakam. Then he dismissed Marwan and appointed Saeed in his place again and ordered him to ruin the house of Marwan and confiscate his property. Saeed did not carry out Muawiyah’s orders. Muawiyah again deposed him and appointed Marwan as the governor for

[1] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 152
[2] Al-Islam wal Hizaaratul Arabiyya 2/395
[3] Yaqubi, Tarikh, 2/219-220


the second time and ordered him to seize Saeed’s property and to demolish his house.

When Marwan decided to carry out the orders Saeed came to him and showed him Muawiyah’s letter regarding him and Marwan refrained from carrying out Muawiyah’s orders. Saeed wrote a letter to Muawiyah and condemned his action. He wrote as follows:

“On the basis of this, Amirul Momineen in this work of his resorted to patience upon that you don’t like for your filthy friends, and his forgiveness and creating enmity among us and creating malice that sons inherit, it is the result of it.”[1]

Umar Abu Nasr has remarked as follows regarding Muawiyah’s policy of sowing discord among members of his clan: “The reason for this policy of his to create discord among his relatives was that he feared they may gain dominance over Yazid after him. So he used to use some of them to attack others so that they may always remain needful of his attention and favors.”[2]

Postponing the Allegiance

Muawiyah postponed the official acceptance of allegiance for Yazid to the future so that hurdles and obstacles in his way shall be removed and the path may become easier.

Historians say: After meeting with the four Abdullahs of Quraish in Yathrib, Muawiyah became certain that they had views opposed to him. Hence he postponed all his activities in that matter and decided to perform this task at a later date.[3]

Assassination of Muslim personages

Muawiyah realized that it was not possible that his entrusting of caliphate to his son can be accomplished while there remained alive those lofty personalities in the Islamic society who were widely respected by the Muslim populace. Therefore he decided to have them assassinated so that the ground is prepared for him and no obstacle remains for him. On the basis of this he began to assassinate the following persons:

1. Saad bin Abi Waqqas

Saad held a high position among many Muslim people because he was one of the members of the Shura committee and he was the conqueror of Iraq. His prominence was unbearable for Muawiyah therefore he got him poisoned and killed.[4]

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/393-394
[2] Umar Abu Nasr, As-Siyasah Indal Arab, Pg. 98
[3] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 157/164
[4] Maqatilut Talibiyyin, Pg. 60 & 80


2. Abdur Rahman bin Khalid

Syrians held Abdur Rahman bin Khalid bin Walid in great regard and were extremely fond of him. When Muawiyah asked them whom he should appoint as the caliph after him they proposed the name of Abdur Rahman bin Khalid. This was very hurtful to Muawiyah but he concealed his feelings.

Abdur Rahman fell ill. Muawiyah ordered a Jew physician who was under his patronage to come and treat him, and to administer a lethal substance to him. The doctor came and administered a poisonous substance to Abdur Rahman and he died as a result of it.[1]

3. Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr

Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr was one of the most important members of the opposition to Muawiyah’s proposal to take allegiance for his son, Yazid. He raised objection against Muawiyah in this regard. Muawiyah dispatched him a hundred thousand Dirhams but he declined saying, “I do not wish to sell my religion for the world.” But not much time passed but that he died all of a sudden in Mecca.[2] According to historical sources the cause of is death was that Muawiyah had got him poisoned.

4. His Eminence, Imam Hasan

Muawiyah committed a heinous sin and crime in Islam because he undertook the assassination of the grandson of the Messenger of Allah and his beloved one, that is His Eminence, Imam Hasan as he had signed an agreement with him that in event of his (Muawiyah’s) death, Imam Hasan shall be the caliph.[3]

That tyrant in order to establish the Umayyad rule and to make it dynastic did not restrain from committing this crime. Major Osborne has described him as a deceitful person absolutely bereft of any kind of good emotion because he did not refrain from any action in order to fulfill his selfish desires. Murder was one of his ways to get rid of his enemies. He devised a plot to have the Prophet’s grandson poisoned just as he had done in the case of Malik Ashtar, the commander of Ali.

That tyrant searched for persons who can best carry out this assassination of the Prophet’s grandson. So that he may select one of them for the job. He did not find anyone more capable than Judah, the daughter of Ashath who could carryout this terrible deed because she was from a family which was by nature deceitful and which had made evil and intrigue its habit. Thus a poison obtained from the King of Rome was sent to Marwan bin Hakam and he was ordered to coerce Judah with bribes and offer of her marriage with Yazid if she liked.

Marwan conferred with Judah secretly and she was pleased with the proposal. She took the poison and administered it to the Holy Imam one day at the time of breaking his fast of a very hot day. When poison entered into the Imam’s body his

[1] Al-Istiab 2/829-830
[2] Al-Istiab 2/825-826
[3] Ruhul Islam, Pg. 295


liver burst into pieces. The Imam glanced at his unlucky consort and said:

“You killed me! May Allah kill you. By Allah, after me you shall not get anything. He (Muawiyah) has deceived you and he has ridiculed you. The Almighty Allah shall expose you and him.”

The Prophet’s grandson became restless with the pain of the poison while his face had become withered and the complexion had yellowed till finally the imminent end came behind him. We have already written the details of the passing away of the Holy Imam and events of his time in our book, Life of Imam Hasan.

Official Announcement for Allegiance

After the assassination of the grandson of the Messenger of Allah and the beloved one of His Eminence the ground was cleared for Muawiyah because he destroyed all those whom he feared and the circumstances turned in his favor and there was no visible opposition for his plans.

He wrote to his governors to, without any delay, take allegiance for Yazid and compel the Muslims to accept it.

The governors hastened to force the people for allegiance and all those who dared to oppose were subjected to the most terrible punishment.

With the opponents in Medina

Medina raised its head against allegiance of Yazid and their leaders among whom the foremost was His Eminence, Imam Husain absolutely refused to pay allegiance. The local conditions were reported to Muawiyah. He decided to travel to Yathrib to personally reassure the opponents and if they still refused they could be forced to pay allegiance.

Muawiyah moved to Medina in an official caravan while a great military force was surrounding him. When he arrived he was welcomed by a group of his opponents. But he did not respond with cheerfulness, instead he scolded them.

On the next day Muawiyah summoned Imam Husain and Abdullah bin Abbas. When they arrived he welcomed them with honor and inquired from Imam Husain about the well-being of his nephews and nieces (children of Imam Hasan) and the Imam responded accordingly. After that Muawiyah began his discourse and mentioned the Holy Prophet in words of glorification and praised His Eminence. Then he presented the matter of Yazid’s allegiance and mentioned lofty titles and praiseworthy qualities regarding his son and he invited the two gentlemen to pay allegiance for Yazid.

Statements of His Eminence, Imam Husain

At that time the chief of nobles began to speak and after due praise and glorification of the Almighty Allah said: “So to say: O Muawiyah! However the talker may praise the Holy Prophet he cannot describe a part of the whole. But the brief description you presented (about Yazid) and restrained to praise the Holy Prophet in detail, I have understood it! Alas, alas, O Muawiyah! The tongueless morning has exposed open darkness and the sun has astounded the lights of lamps


and you have committed excess, so much so that you have exceeded the ordained limits. You have restricted it so much that you have emptied it and you have restrained so much that you resorted to miserliness and you have committed so much injustice that you have crossed the limits. You have not given the rightful share to the one who deserved it. Till the Satan had taken the greater profit and complete share and I noticed that you, in raising the position of Yazid, spoke about him, it was only because you wanted to put the people into doubt about him. As if what you are informing and describing is some unknown thing and praising the unseen things as if you have you received it from some special knowledge? While Yazid himself on the basis of his views and intellectual capacity proves it. Thus look at Yazid, what he has inculcated in himself. Like making dogs fight and racing of pigeons, listing to songs and music of various kinds. You shall find Yazid
involved it.

Leave off what you are trying for him. You have no need to meet the Almighty with more than these sins with His community. By Allah, you have always practically acted with wrongfulness to oppress and you have gone much ahead in it. So much so that you have filled the water skins to full capacity. (It is the limit!) while there is only a short while between you and your death. On that day you shall openly see what you have done and you would not be able to escape.

I see that after this you will object to me and deprive us from the inheritance of our father. By Allah, the Messenger of Allah has left inheritance to us in the capacity of a father. And you have brought it for us. The same thing that you have used as the argument against one who stood up at the time of passing away of the Messenger of Allah. And he also accepted it. And his faith made him stick to justice. At that time you brought arguments and performed tasks and you said: It happened in this way and it shall happen in that way, till finally the matter reached you – O Muawiyah, from the path whose aim was someone other than you. O people of understanding, take lesson from this.

Do you remember about the leadership of that man over the people whom the Messenger of Allah had specified as the leader? It was the same thing. That day for Amr Aas from the companionship to the Prophet and allegiance to him was a merit. That day the work was not done. So much so that those people were displeased with his leadership and disliked his precedence. And they returned his matters to him that the Holy Prophet said: O group of Emigrants, after this day no one other than me shall be the ruler upon you. Then how is it possible that something that was abrogated by the Prophet, in the most important laws and the most preferable of work upon which all are unanimous that it is correct (that is caliphate) you are arguing by it? And how have you considered a Tabii (companion of a companion) as a companion while there are around you those who do not themselves consider themselves companions. They do not consider religion and their proximity to religion
as reliable. You are passing by deceived and committing excess in it. You desire to hide the doubts from people so that whoever


remains in it may gain from his world and you shall be unfortunate in your hereafter as this is an open loss and I seek the forgiveness of Allah for myself and for you…”

Imam, in his discourse exposed all the misgivings of Muawiyah and he closed all his ways of dominance and made him responsible for the great step regarding forcing Muslims to the allegiance of his son. In the same way he mentioned the matter of caliphate and questioned the position that was restricted to the Prophet’s Progeny was taken away from them and the community kept it away from Ahle Bayt, its real place?

Muawiyah was perplexed at the Imam’s statements and there was no way of escape for him. He asked Ibn Abbas, “O Ibn Abbas! What is this?”

“By Allah, this is the progeny of the Messenger of Allah and a member of the folks of the blanket (Kisa) and from the purified Progeny. So desist from what you intend to do as you are making it a medium for reassuring the people, till the time the Almighty Allah issues His command. And He is the best of the deciders…”[1]

At the time the chief of the nobles stood up and left Muawiyah infuriated in such a condition that he realized he could not deceive Imam Husain and cannot take allegiance from him.

Pressurizing the Opponents

Muawiyah left Medina for Mecca in such a condition that he was thinking deeply about the matter of opponents. Thus he decided to employ intimidation and force. When he reached Mecca he summoned Imam Husain, Abdullah bin Zubair, Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr and Abdullah bin Umar and put the matter of Yazid’s allegiance before them again and they declared their refusal to accept it.

He glanced at them angrily and said, “I am telling you that whoever commits a mistake is excused. I used to stand among you to deliver sermons and one of you used to stand up and in presence of people falsify me. I used to bear it and forgive. Now, I intend to speak about a matter which by God, I remember. If one of you speaks a word to refute me, in this place where I am, I won’t say a word against him but that before that the sword will be pulled over his head. Thus no one would say anything to me except at the risk of his life…”

At that time he summoned his security chief and told him, “Put two guards each having a sword, over each of these people. Then if anyone of them tries to utter a single word to support or refute me, hit him with the swords. Then he emerged and those persons also came out with him. He ascended the pulpit and praised and extolled the Almighty. After that he said,

“These are leaders and prominent persons of the Muslims, such that nothing is accomplished without their participation. They have expressed their willingness to give allegiance to Yazid. Then, in the name of God, all of you also pay allegiance…”

[1] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/160-161


People gave him allegiance. After that he mounted his horse and left Mecca.[1]

Muawiyah thought that the matter of caliphate had been confirmed in favor of his son and the kingdom had become established in his posterity while the fact was that he had pulled destruction towards his kingdom and incited the people to revolt against his son.

Attitude of Imam Husain

The reaction of Imam Husain was that he acted with severity and absolutions with Muawiyah because His Eminence invited the Muslims openly to rise up against Muawiyah and he warned them of his destructive policies which indicated the destruction of Islam.

Delegations of Islamic countries

Delegations arrived to Imam Husain from all the countries of Islamic lands and they complained to him about the injustice and oppression that had afflicted them so that His Eminence may give them refuge and save them from it.

Spies informed the local regime about the congregations of people in Medina and their frequent consultations with Imam Husain. At that time Marwan was the governor of Medina. He became extremely fearful of the circumstances.

Marwan’s Memorandum to Muawiyah

Marwan dispatched a memo to Muawiyah stating therein his fear of the Imam’s movement and the coming and going of people to the Imam. The text of that memo was as follows: “So to say: More and more people are coming to meet Husain. By God, I see from his side difficult times for you.”[2]

Muawiyah’s Reply

Muawiyah ordered him not to take any kind of step against the Imam and wrote to him as follows: “Leave Husain alone till he has left you alone and his enmity towards you is not exposed and he does not express his true feelings and motives. remain before him concealed and in ambush like moisture remains concealed, if Allah wills. And peace be on you…”[3]

Muawiyah became fearful of the changed circumstances therefore he ordered Marwan not to give any kind of trouble and harm to His Eminence.

Marwan’s Opinion Regarding Exiling the Imam

Marwan suggested Muawiyah to remove the Imam far away from Medina and keep him under surveillance in Syria so that he is prevented from communicating with the people of Iraq. However Muawiyah did not like the proposal and he replied to Marwan, “By God, you want to become free of him and put me into trouble. If you have borne with patience on this, you have been patient on something that I am

[1] Al-Kamil 3/510-511
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/367
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/367


unhappy with it, but if you do ill to him, you would have broken off relations with him…”[1]

Muawiyah’s Letter to Imam Husain

Muawiyah became worried of the Imam’s movement and consultations of people with him. He wrote a letter to His Eminence which is narrated in two versions:

1. Balazari has quoted it as follows: “So to say: A matter regarding you has been reported to me, which if true, I don’t think you will turn away from it. If it is wrong you would be among the fortunate ones if you remain away from it. You are beginning with your future and for the command of Allah you are turning your attention. Thus do not compel me to break off relations and do ill for you. If you do not like me, I also do not like you. And whenever you take steps against me, I shall also take steps against you. So, O Husain, refrain from creating discord among Muslims and turning them to mischief in the name of God…”[2]

2. Ibn Kathir has quoted the letter of Muawiyah as follows: “Whoever has given allegiance for God and vowed, it is better for him to fulfill it. I have received news that people of Kufa have invited you to create discord. The people of Iraq are those whom you have tested and they have destroyed your father and brother. Thus for the sake of God remember the terms of treaty as whenever you shall move against me, I shall move against you.”[3]

This letter, on the basis of the concluding sentences contains the following points:

1. Muawiyah has asked Imam to observe the terms of treaty and not rise up with arms against him, while the Imam was indeed following the terms of treaty. Muawiyah on the other hand had failed to honor every term of treaty.

2. Muawiyah was aware of delegations of Kufa who had invited the Imam to rise up against him, because he has called them as people of discord and that previously they had been disloyal to His Eminence, Ali and His Eminence, Imam Hasan.

3. Openly threatening the Imam that whenever he rises up against Muawiyah he would be dealt with, with a strong hand.

The Imam’s Reply

The Imam sent an important letter of memorandum to Muawiyah in reply to his letter. In that document the Imam reiterated that Muawiyah was himself responsible for all the disasters and tragedies that had spread in all areas of Islamic lands. Among these were bloodshed of innocent people upto the destruction of peace and making the community face calamities, which are the most obvious proofs that have confirmed the evils of Muawiyah. The text of the letter was as follows: “So to say: I received your letter in which you stated that you have been

[1] Al-Iqdul Farid 4/22
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/367
[3] Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 8/162


informed of some matters which you have denied and I except for them are most deserving in your view. And know that, that except for Allah no one guides to righteous deeds.

As for what you have stated that you have learnt about me, indeed none but the flatterers, tale-tellers and mischief maker in the society have conveyed you this information and the misleaders have lied. I neither want to wage war against you nor have I created an opposition to you. I am fearful in this matter regarding you from the Almighty Allah and that I should make helpless you and your companions, that is the same group of rebels and the party of oppressors in that matter.

Are you not the killer of Hujr bin Adi, the brother of Kinda and his companions who were pious worshippers and thank- givers? Who did not like injustice and considered innovations as serious matters. They performed enjoining of good and prohibiting sinful deeds and they did not fear the denouncing the sinful people. You killed them wrongfully in an oppressive manner in spite of the fact that you had promised and vowed their security. Is this not an act of defiance before God and considering divine laws unimportant?

Are you not responsible for the killing of Amr bin Hamaq Khuzai, the companion of the Holy Prophet, pious servant of the Lord who had become physically weak due to extreme piety and abstinence and whose complexion had paled due to the same thing? You had him killed after you accorded him oath of security and guaranteed him such safety that if a bird had understood it would have come down from the mountain peaks.

Have you not claimed regarding Ziyad bin Sumaiyyah who was born on the bed of Ubaid Thaqif and proclaimed that he was the son of your father? While the Messenger of Allah has stated: The child belongs to the father and the fornicator has to be stoned. You have willfully omitted the practice of the Messenger of Allah and followed your selfish desires without any guidance from the Almighty Allah. At that time you imposed him on Muslims so that he may kill them and cut off their limbs, gouge out their eyes and impale them on date trunks. As if you are not from this community and they are not from you.

Are you not the killer of Hadhrami? Ziyad wrote to you about him that he was on the religion of Ali and you wrote to him to kill anyone who is on the religion of Ali. Killed him as per your orders and Ziyad had him cut up into pieces in spite of the fact that the religion of Ali is the same as the religion of his cousin (the Prophet) which has enabled you to occupy the position that you are now in, and if he hadn’t been there the greatness of your father and you would have had to bear difficulties of two journeys, journey of winter and journey of summer…

In your letter you said: ‘Think about yourself, your religion and the Ummah of Muhammad and do not create discord in the community and from involving them in mischief, while I did not consider anything as a greater mischief than your


authority upon them. And I do not consider anything greater than this for myself, my religion and the Ummah of Muhammad that I should openly confront you. Thus if you do it, it would be nearness to Allah and if you refrain from it, I shall seek divine forgiveness for my religion and petition Him for divine opportunity in activities.

You have inter alia said: If I rise up against you, you would also act against me and if I take a step against you, you would step against me. So do what you can against me as I am hopeful that your deceit would not cause us any harm though there is no one more harmful than you, because you are bent on your ignorance and become greedy to break the covenants. By my life, you have not fulfilled any condition and by killing these persons after having accorded them guarantee of safety and oaths of security you have broken your covenant. Thus you had killed them in spite of the fact that they did not wage any war or killed anyone. You killed them only because they narrated our merits and considered our right important. And you did that due to the fear that if you did not kill them, before they could do it you die or that before they fall into hardship, they should die.

So, O Muawiyah, good news to you for retaliation and be sure of the accounting (in the hereafter). You should know that there is a book of Allah which does not leave any big or small act but that it shall be accounted for. And the Almighty Allah would not overlook how you have taken people into confidence and wrongfully implicated and killed the holy men and you exiled them from their homes to alien lands and forced people to give oath of allegiance to your young drunkard son who plays with dogs. I do not see you except that you are harmful for yourself and you have destroyed your religion and deceived your subjects and gave ear to the talks of foolish and ignorant persons and harassed the pious and religious people. Was-Salaam.”[1]

We don’t think any other political document describes more clearly any regime as awful as that of Muawiyah and the bloodsheds and the harassment of people. It is a vehement protest against tyranny and oppression. O Allah, how delicate and sensitive discourse is that which says: “As if you are not from this community and they are not from you.” This statement is full of perception of dignified men as Sabi has said long ago, “When man separates from a community, he is not severe to it.” This is the blame of Husain on Muawiyah at a time when he had established a reputation by shedding extensive blood of friendship and nationality.[2]

It is a memorandum full of the sinful acts of Muawiyah and the great crimes he and his governors, especially Ziyad bin Sumaiyyah committed. And how they spread terror and injustice among the people and killed people on the basis of suspicion and allegations and killed anyone who followed the religion of Imam Amirul Momineen, which was same as the religion of the Messenger of Allah, was

[1] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/155-157. Rijal Kishi, Pg. 49, Tr. 99. Ad-Darajaatul Rafiya, Pg. 334
[2] Al-Imam al-Husain, Pg. 338


persecuted and put to death. The tyrant wrongfully shed unprecedented blood on the land and it is natural that all these acts were not carried out except at the behest of Muawiyah because it was he that had ordered them.

Muawiyah’s Anguish on Receiving the Imam’s Letter

When the Imam’s letter reached Muawiyah he became extremely gloomy and anguished and as per his habit and in a deceitful way said: “I have not seen Abu Abdillah except as a lion.”[1]

Public Political Meeting

Imam held a public political conference in Mecca and invited a large member of people from the participants of Hajj rituals from the Emigrants, Helpers, companions of companions and other Muslim people to attend it. His Eminence delivered a sermon to them and narrated and described in his style the hardships that had befallen the purified progeny and their Shias and atrocities that Muawiyah had done to them and the severe steps he had taken to conceal their merits and hide the statements of the Messenger of Allah regarding Ahle Bayt. The Imam spoke about all these things and asked the people present in the conference to convey these points to others and spread this information among the people. According to the narration of Sulaym Ibn Qais, the text of the Imam’s discourse was as follows:

“A year before the death of Muawiyah, Husain b. ‘Ali, ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abbas, and ‘Abd Allah b. Ja’far performed the hajj. Then Husain gathered the banu (sons) of Hashim, their men folk, their womenfolk, and their supporters. Besides he gathered the Ansar whom he knew. Then he summoned messengers (and said to them): ‘Gather to me the righteous Companions of the Apostle of Allah.’ So more than seven hundred men met him at Mina. Most of them were later (Companions of the Prophet). About two hundred men from the Companions of the Prophet (met him there, too.). Then Husain addressed them.

He praised Allah and lauded Him, and then he said: “Now then, indeed, this tyrant (i.e., Muawiyah) has done towards us and towards our Shia what you have seen, known, and borne witness for. Indeed I want to ask you about a thing. So indeed, if I say the truth, believe me. If I lie, accuse me of lying. Hear my words and write down my speech. When you return to your homelands and your tribes summon those from the people whom you trust to what you know of our right. It is so because I am afraid that this matter will be obliterated, and the truth will be removed and overcome. (Still) Allah shall complete His Light even if the unbelievers hate (that).”

He left nothing of what Allah has revealed in the Quran concerning them but he read it and explained it, nor did he leave a thing of what the Apostle of Allah

[1] Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/294


said concerning his father, his brother, his mother, himself, and his household but he narrated it. Moreover, his companions said: ‘O Allah, yes. Indeed we have heard and seen (that).’ The later Companions said ‘O Allah, he whom I believe and trust from the Companions of (the Prophet) told me about it.’[1]

Then he (i.e., Husain) said: “I implore Allah for you to tell him whose religion you trust.” This conference was the first public meeting in Islam till that time. In that meeting, the Imam denounced the policies of Muawiyah and exhorted the Muslims to spread the excellences of Ahle Bayt and their lofty status which the regime was trying to conceal.

Judah’s Letter to the Imam

Judah bin Hubairah bin Abi Wahab was of the sincerest and most devoted of persons with regard to Imam Husain. Shia people gathered around him and insisted him to write a letter to the Holy Imam so that he may come to their area and announce his revolt against Muawiyah’s regime. Judah wrote a letter to Imam Husain which ran as follows:

“So to say: Your Shias in our province are sincere and loyal towards you and they do not consider anyone your equal. They had understood the view of your brother regarding hostilities and known you as kind towards friends and tough for the opponents, and that you have a firm determination on the path of God. Thus if you like that you want to do thus, come to us for we are prepared to lay down our lives for you.”

Imam’s Reply

Imam had no intention to conduct an uprising against Muawiyah because His Eminence was aware of the failure of the uprising and lack of its success. This was so because Muawiyah, through diplomatic and military means would definitely destroy him and would change it from Islamic condition to an illegal movement and show the revolutionaries as rebels and traitors against the government. The Holy Imam, after invoking the name of Allah and after His praise and glorification replied as follows:

“As for my brother, I am sure that the Almighty Allah had given him Tawfeeq and supported him. And as for me: I have no motives (to rise up), on the basis of this pray Allah have mercy on you. Be quiet to yourself and stay in your houses and keep yourself safe from suspicion and doubt as long as Muawiyah is alive. Thus if the Almighty Allah subjects him to an incident (and he dies) and I am alive, I shall write to you about my view. And peace be on you…”[2]

Imam ordered his Shias to observe patience and refrain from rising up in opposition to Muawiyah and that they should remain in their houses due to the fear

[1] Sulaym bin Qais, Pg. 168
[2] Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 221-222, Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/366


of Muawiyah’s power on them as Muawiyah considered innocent people to be offenders merely on the basis of suspicion and false allegations. Most probably this letter was written during the governorship of Ziyad who used to gouge out the eyes of Shias, impale them on trunks of date palms and employ lethal means to annihilate them.

Khudri’s Advice to the Imam

Reports concerning the delegations of people of Kufa and their meetings with Imam Husain and their request for Imam’s help to release them from the injustice and tyranny of Muawiyah began to be discussed in social gatherings. When Abu Saeed Khudri learnt about this he hastened quickly to the Holy Imam in order to advise and warn him. The text of his statements to him is as follows:

“O Aba Abdillah! Indeed, I am with regard to you an advisor and a well-wisher. I have received the news that some Shias of Kufa have written to you and invited you to go out and join them. Do not go towards them because I have heard your father say: By Allah, I am disgusted with them and I have become their enemy and they have become disgusted with me and have become my enemies. They would never be loyal. Whosoever gets them shall get failure. By Allah, neither do they have steadfastness nor any determination in anything and nor are they steadfast in front of swords…”[1]

Doubtlessly, he was one of the most prominent companions of Amirul Momineen and he had the most devotion and sincerity with regard to Ahle Bayt. He was indeed a well-wisher of Imam Husain and he feared for him Muawiyah’s reprisals. Therefore he advised the Imam not to rise up against the Umayyad tyrant. Sources that are available with us do not mention the Imam’s reply to this advice.

Imam Husain takes over Government Funds

Muawiyah used to spend a major part of public wealth to strengthen his kingdom and therefore he used to allot unlimited funds to the members of his Umayyad clan so that they may make become socially and politically powerful. Imam Husain denounced these policies and believed that public funds should be released from Muawiyah’s control and given over to those who are needful.

A caravan carrying goods from Yemen arrived in Medina. It was headed for Damascus Royal Treasury. Imam took over the possession of all the goods and distributed them among the needy people of Bani Hashim and others. Then he wrote to Muawiyah as follows: “From Husain bin Ali to Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan. So to say: A caravan from Yemen was passing by us carrying goods, cloth, amber and perfumes towards you so that you may keep it in the treasury of Damascus and by it bestow power to your clan after this same hoarding of wealth.

[1] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/161. Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/205


I developed need for it and I have taken possession of it. Was-Salaam…”

Muawiyah replied to His Eminence as follows: “From the servant of God, Muawiyah to Husain bin Ali. so to say: Your letter was received wherein you stated that a caravan from Yemen was passing by you carrying goods, cloths, amber and perfume for me to put in the Damascus Treasury and then to bestow it to my family people in order to make them powerful. But you became needful of it and took it in your possession while you had no right to do so because it was for me and the ruler is more deserving to take over the funds. And after that he may give it to whomsoever he likes. By God, if you had left it to reach me I would not have decreased therein any share for you. O nephew, I like that movement in leadership should be in my period so that I may make you recognize your own power and I may be free of that. But by Allah, I fear that you may become involved with a person who would not give you any respite.”

Towards the end of the letter he wrote the following couplets:

“O Husain bin Ali! What you have done was not lawful.

That you took over the wealth without permission. This action of Husain was a hasty step.

We have allowed it and did not become angry with him. We condoned this action of Husain.

O Husain bin Ali! That uprising is awaited which you would undertake after me but not condoned.

I wish I would be there to witness it. That from among your people there be a warner.

I am afraid you shall be burnt at the hands of someone who has a sharp sword ready with him beforehand.”[1]

There is a threat in this letter to His Eminence from the one who would be Muawiyah’s successor, that is his son Yazid who had no faith in the status of His Eminence, Husain and his position with the Messenger of Allah.

In any case, the Imam took over these things from Muawiyah’s control and distributed them to the poor while he did not accept any reward or gift from Muawiyah for himself because Muawiyah had sent a lot of money, clothes and expensive dresses for His Eminence but he returned them to Muawiyah.[2] Imam Musa bin Ja’far has narrated that Imam Hasan and Imam Husain did not accept the presents of Muawiyah.[3]

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 18/409
[2] Ali Jalal, Al-Husain 1/117
[3] Life of Imam Musa bin Ja’far 2/332


A Fabricated Tradition

Among the fabricated reports is that it is narrated that Imam Husain and his brother came to Muawiyah who ordered that 100,000 Dirhams be given to them. And he said to them, “Take these as I am the son of Hind, neither anyone before me has given like this nor would anyone give like this after me…”

Imam Husain glanced at him and said, “By Allah, no one before or after you have given to two persons more respectable than us…”

There is no scope of denying the authenticity of this report because Imam did not go to Muawiyah in Syria. Rather Imam Hasan had gone to him not for the sake of his rewards and presents as some simple-minded historians have stated but the aim of that journey was to point out the true face of the Umayyads and to bring to people’s attention the evil deeds of Muawiyah. His debates with Muawiyah and his friends prove this matter that except for this aim he had no other motive. We have described this topic in detail in our book, Life of Imam Hasan.

His Eminence, Husain and Bani Umayyah

Enmity between His Eminence, Husain and Bani Umayyah was a personal enmity because that enmity was against each other. Saeed Hamadani asked Imam Husain about Bani Umayyah. His Eminence replied, “We and they are two enemies especially inimical to each other with regard to their Lord…”[1]

Yes, the two of them were enemies in their aims and enemies in their views. Because Imam Husain was the representative of the essence of faith in Allah and the symbol of lofty values which impart greatness to man. While the Bani Umayyads stood for the evils of the period of ignorance that take man to a debased position. Umayyads, on the basis of their corrupt nature, bore enmity to Imam Husain and made great efforts to insult him. For example, an argument took place between His Eminence, Husain and Walid bin Utbah bin Abi Sufyan regarding some property they possessed. Walid trespassed the rights of Imam and Imam stood up against him and said:

“By Allah, I say that either you do justice with my right or I shall take up my sword and stand in the Masjid of the Messenger of Allah and call the people to Hilful Fuzool (committee of dispensing justice)…”

Imam wanted to revive the Hilful Fuzool that the Hashemites had established first. Its slogan was supporting the oppressed and restoring of rights to them that the Umayyads in their period of ignorance had usurped in compliance to their greedy nature.

Abdullah bin Zubair arose and joined His Eminence, Husain and hastened to help him. He said: “By Allah, I shall also take up my sword if he calls me and stand by him till he gets his right or we are all killed…”

Masoor bin Makhrame bin Naufal Zuhri also heard this report and joined His

[1] Ibne Bushr Dulabi, Al-Kuni wal Asmaa 1/77


Eminence, Husain and repeated what His Eminence had mentioned. Walid became helpless and disheartened. He gave up his oppressive step and accorded justice to Imam Husain.[1]

Among the examples of the malice of Umayyads was that one day His Eminence, Husain was seated in the Prophet’s mosque when he heard a person speaking to his companions in a voice loud enough to be heard by Imam Husain. He was saying:

“We were partners with the Progeny of Abu Talib in the matter of prophethood. Till we obtained that which they did not obtain. Then, what is it that they pride over us?”

He repeated this statement thrice. Then His Eminence, Husain glanced at him and said: “I overlooked the first time you said it on the basis of forbearance, the second time on the basis of forgiveness. However for the third time I would reply you. I have heard my father say: Indeed, in the revelation that the Almighty Allah sent to Muhammad it is mentioned: When the Great Qiyamat shall occur, the Almighty Allah would raise up Bani Umayyah in the form of minute particles, such that people would trample upon them till the accounting is over. After that they shall be brought for accounting and be taken towards Hell.”[2]

That Umayyad became speechless and went away from there in a fit of fury.

Here we conclude our discussion about the attitude and reaction of Imam to Muawiyah and Bani Umayyah. In the next part we shall present the subject of Muawiyah’s death and events contemporary to that.

Muawiyah’s Death

Muawiyah became ill and his physical condition deteriorated. Treatment administered by the physicians had no effect on his illness because he had become afflicted with numerous diseases. He perceived that death was near and he became regretful of what he had done to Hujr bin Adi and he became a lifeless body filled with terror and said: Woe be on me from you, O Hujr! I shall have a long day due to the son of Adi![3]

People discussed about the illness of Muawiyah and remarked that he was sure to die. He ordered his family members to apply Kohl to his eyes and massage perfume to his hair and make him sit upright. Then people were ordered to come to him and salute him in a standing position. When they came out from there they recited the following couplets:

“In spite of the affliction I shall show to those who ridicule that I am not affected by the hardship of time.”

A partisan of Ali heard this and he recited in rebuttal:

[1] Ibne Hisham, Seerah 1/134-135
[2] Qadi Noman Misri, Al-Manaqib wal Mathalib, Pg. 61
[3] Al-Fitnatul Kubra 2/245


“When you fall into the trap of death every charm becomes ineffective.”[1]

Muawiyah’s Testaments

When his physical condition worsened further he wrote a testament for Yazid which mentioned as follows: “My son! I have secured you against mischief coming to you and prepared our future tasks, humiliated for you the enemies and humbled Arabs before you and arranged that none has ever arranged. So take care of the people of Hijaz as they are our roots and if anyone from them come to you, you must accord honor to him and you must inquire of those who are not present there. And keep an eye on the people of Iraq. Then if they desire that every day you dismiss a governor, do it. Because dismissal of one man is better than that a hundred thousand people pull out swords against you. And pay attention to the people of Syria and it is necessary that they should be your confidants and companions. Thus if something from an enemy worries you, you must take help from them. And when you gain an upper hand on the enemies, return the Syrians to their land, because if
they settle in any other area their behavior would change. And I don’t fear that anyone would dispute you in this matter except four persons from Quraish: Husain bin Ali, Abdullah bin Umar, Abdullah bin Zubair and Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr. As for Ibn Umar: he is a man whom worship acts have made weak. Thus if none remains except him, he would give allegiance to you. And as for Husain bin Ali: He is like a sparrow (free) and the people of Iraq will not leave him till they expel him. So whenever he makes an uprising and you gain power over him, you must condone him as he is having relationship and proximity and a great right and family relation to Muhammad. And as for the son of Abu Bakr: Whenever he sees friends doing something, he also does the same. He has no courage except regarding women and comfort. And as for one who comes before you like a lion and in the same way one who deceives you like a fox so that whenever he gets a chance he would rise
up against you, it is the son of Zubair. Thus whenever he confronts you and you gain an upper hand over him, you must cut him into pieces and as far as you can, you must defend your community…”[2]

Most probably the points mentioned in this testament are fabricated because the far-sightedness of Muawiyah is already understood and explained that he told his son to be generally nice to the Muslims and that he was not responsible for the affairs of his son it is very unlikely…the following points show this testament to be fabricated:

1. Historians narrate that Muawiyah had made another bequest to Yazid because he told him that he shall face a hard day from the people of Medina. “Thus if they do so, and Muslim bin Uqbah is killed by them, he is such that we recognize his loyalty.”[3]

[1] Damiri, Hayatul Haiwan 1/89
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/5-6
[3] Tarikh Khalifa, Khayyat, Pg. 238


And Muslim bin Uqbah was a cruel killer who had no mercy and kindness. Yazid, as per the bequest of his father, used him in the plunder of Medina. He committed all sorts of atrocities and oppressions. Then how could this bequest be reconciled with the previous testament where Muawiyah told Yazid to be nice to the people of Hijaz?

2. He told Yazid to keep in view the desires of the people of Iraq and to do as they wish. That he must carry out their wishes if they desire to have the governor dismissed. This is opposed to what historians have recorded. Yazid appointed Ubaidullah bin Ziyad as governor of Iraq while he was aware of his cruelty, severity and inhuman nature. He was the son of that same Ziyad who drowned Iraq in the blood of innocent souls. Then was appointing him as the governor a kindness and doing good to the people of Iraq?

3. It is mentioned in this will that he was afraid of Abdullah bin Umar with regard to Yazid while worship had made him physically weak. If such was his condition, then by his nature he would have been aloof from politics. Then what was the need to be afraid of him?

4. It is mentioned that he was afraid of Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr with regard to Yazid while historians are emphatic that he passed away during the lifetime of Muawiyah himself. Then what is the meaning of being frightened of a dead man?

5. He willed Yazid to honor the position of Imam Husain as he was related closely to the Prophet and had a great right due to his relationship with the Messenger of Allah. It is confirmed that Muawiyah himself did not accord any consideration to relationship with the Messenger of Allah and he broke off all those relations because he openly made cursing them an obligatory duty and he instructed educators and teachers to inculcate hatred for Ahle Bayt among children and he did everything to reduce the honor of Ahle Bayt. As Ustad Abdul Hadi Mukhtar has remarked with regard to this portion of the testament:

“Some sources say: Muawiyah made a bequest to his son, Yazid that he must be considerate to His Eminence, Imam Husain. Our view regarding this is that no sign of authenticity is found in it because Muawiyah had Imam Hasan assassinated in spite of the fact that he had made a peace treaty with him. Then how is it possible that he told his son: When you gain power over Husain, you must be kind to him?

Muawiyah was not one to have any kind of respect and honor for the Messenger of Allah and he could never have advised his son to be kind to the progeny of Muhammad. It was indeed never so. Because Muawiyah had fought the Holy Prophet in the period of ignorance till he accepted Islam unwillingly on the day of the conquest of Mecca. And after that he fought against the successor, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet, Ali. And he took over the caliphate of Muslims forcibly. He had the son of the daughter of the Messenger poisoned. Now after all this who can believe that Muawiyah made such a bequest?


It is possible that he made a bequest to have Imam Husain killed secretly or have him poisoned. Or to send someone over to him to kill him in the dead of the night. This is more likely to be true with regard to that bequest. However historians endeavor to separate the father and the son and they wish to make the son responsible for all the atrocities, while the fact is that both of them were the fruits of the same evil tree.

He has further added: “If this testament is claimed to be authentic, Yazid would not have been like this after the death of his father who had no other aim except taking allegiance from Imam Husain as he was so much insistent on his governor in Medina to take the oath from Imam Husain.[1]

Muawiyah moved towards his death in distress and he was continuously weeping due to pain and he expressed his restlessness due to the atrocities he had committed in shedding the blood and plundering the properties of Muslims.

Muawiyah died in Damascus but he was deprived of seeing his son in his last moments. The son for whom he had usurped the caliphate and imposed him on the necks of Muslims because Yazid according to historians was busy in hunting, drinking and enjoying songs and music at the time of his father’s death.

Here we conclude the discussion on the rule of Muawiyah and the terrible events of his age.

[1] Journal ‘Ghurra’, Year 8, No. 9-10

(page 474)

# Yazid’s Rule

After the death of his father, Yazid took the reins of Islamic leadership in his hands while he was of young age and had not gained any experience by time. According to the unanimity of historians he was fond of comfort, wine, luxury, women and hunting dogs and he was more inclined to committing all sorts of wanton and shameless deeds.

At the time of his father’s death, he was not present in Damascus. He was in an area called Hawarin at-Thaniya busy in hunting.[1] Zahak bin Qais wrote a letter to him condoling him for the death of Muawiyah and congratulated him for having become the caliph. He also asked him to come to Damascus immediately and take over the reins of government.

When Yazid read the letter he immediately set out with his entourage towards the seat of his power. He had thick hair and the dust of the journey settled on his face. He neither wore a turban nor had a sword tied to his waist.

People came forward, saluted him and gave condolence to him while they ridiculed him for his appearance. They remarked: “Is it the same one wearing the cloak that Muawiyah had imposed on the people? The Almighty Allah shall interrogate Muawiyah regarding him.”[2]

Yazid hurried to the grave of his father, wept and recited the following:

“The courier brought such a letter that it punctured my heart.

We said: Woe be to you, what is there in your letter. He replied: The caliph is in the throes of death.”[3]

After that he set out in an official caravan surrounded by the debased characters of Syria, his maternal relatives and other people towards the Green Palace.

First Royal Address

Yazid went to the podium to announce his policies and explain the agenda of his regime.

When he sat in the speaker’s seat he began to tremble and could not say anything. So Zahak bin Qais stood up before him and Yazid cried to him, “What do you want?”

[1] Al-Futuh 4/265
[2] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 4/168 (Hadith of 6th year)
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 9/45
[4] Tarikh Khulafa, written by anonymous writer published by Akadami Ittehad Shura


Zahak told him, “Speak to the people and take allegiance from them.” Yazid told him to be seated[4] and himself began to speak, “Praise be to God that He does what He wants and He refrains from whatever He wants. He debases whomsoever He likes and exalts whomsoever He likes. Know that, Amirul Momineen (Muawiyah) was a rope from the ropes of God. As long as He liked, God maintained the connection and whenever He desired, He cut it off. He was lesser than his predecessors and he was better than his successors. I shall not complain to God why he died. Thus if He forgives him, it shall be through His mercy. If He punishes him it would be as a result of his sins. After him I have become entitled to caliphate. Thus I neither seek excuse for my ignorance and nor desire to become knowledgeable. You continue on your way. If God doesn’t like something, He would destroy it and if He likes something, He shall keep it in force…”[1]

In this speech, Yazid did not say anything about his policies and did not mention anything so that the community may always be needful of him in the social and political fields. It was absolutely nothing about which he had thought and planned. Rather he indicated his arrogance, cruelty and his disrespect with regard to the Ummah that neither he regretted ignorance nor committing evils. Rather the people were obliged to submit to his forceful behavior.

Yazid speaks to Syrians

Yazid delivered a speech to people of Syria and inter alia said that he intended to wage a destructive war against the people of Iraq. The speech was as follows:

“O people of Syria! know that! Well-being was continuously in your share. There shall be a terrible battle between me and the people of Iraq. I have seen in a dream that there was flowing a river of blood between me and them. In the dream I tried to cross the river and was not able to do so till Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad came before me and he crossed it as I looked on.”

Syrians voiced their support and encouraged him saying, “O chief of believers, take us wherever you want. And pose us before anyone you like. We are in your service and the people of Iraq have come to know the ferocity of our swords in the battle of Siffeen.”

Yazid accorded thanks to them and praised their sincerity and loyalty towards him.[2] While in gatherings of Syria it had been confirmed that Yazid was preparing to wage a war against Iraq due to their unwillingness to pay allegiance to Yazid and due to the similarity of their views with Imam Husain.

With the Opponents in Medina

Whenever Yazid saw that an opposition group arose against him he did not rest till he had made concrete plans to have it subdued; that is why the ground was prepared for him, people were made submissive to him and he gained control over all the government machinery. Then what was it that could have restrained him from wreaking havoc on his opponents?

The most important thing that made Yazid worried about his opposition was the existence of His Eminence, Imam Husain because His Eminence possessed an encompassing influence and a lofty status in the view of Muslims. He was the grandson of the bearer of prophethood and the chief of the youths of Paradise. As for the son of Zubair, he did not have as much importance in the view of Yazid.

[1] Al-Iqdul Farid 4/374-375
[2] Al-Futuh 5/6


Emphatic orders to Walid

Yazid issued emphatic orders to his governor in Medina, Walid so that he may compel the opponents to give oath of allegiance for him. He dispatched two letters to Walid. The first letter is reported in two versions:

1. Khwarizmi has quoted it as follows: “So to say: Muawiyah was one of the servants of God. Whom God exalted and purified for Himself. And He bestowed him power. After that He summoned him to the place of His comfort and the garden of His mercy. He lived according to his destiny and died when his death was destined. He made a will to me and warned me about the family of Abu Turab due to their daring to commit bloodsheds. You, O Walid, know that the Almighty Lord shall take the revenge of the innocent blood of Uthman through the progeny of Abu Sufyan because they are supporters of truth and seekers of justice. Thus when you receive this letter take allegiance from the people of Medina.”[1]

The above letter contained the following salient features:

A. Informing Walid about Muawiyah’s death.

B. Yazid’s fear of family of Prophethood because his father had made a bequest to him to be wary of them and this matter disproves that which is claimed about Muawiyah because therein emphasis is made to respect the position of Imam Husain.

C. Urgency in taking the allegiance of people of Medina

2. Balazari has quoted the letter of Yazid to have the following text: “So to say: Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan was a servant of God whom He had accorded honor, made him the caliph, made him powerful and arranged means for him. He died as per destiny and died when his death was fixed. God’s mercy be upon him. Because he lived in righteousness and passed away in piety and goodness. Was Salaam!”[2]

The dominant view is that this narration is correct because he has remained content only with reporting the death of Muawiyah. Instead of making any indication to take allegiance from Imam Husain and other opposition groups. However on the basis of the first report the conversation from the below letter that Yazid sent to Walid to force Husain to allegiance would become meaningless.

[1] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 1/180
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/313

Secondly: It is a short letter, like the ear of a mouse and three versions are reported:

1. Tabari and Balazari have reported it. The text of this letter was as follows: “So to say: Husain, Abdullah bin Umar and Abdullah bin Zubair must be dealt with force and they should not be allowed anything till they give allegiance. Was Salaam!”[1]

2. Yaqubi has quoted it as follows: “When this letter reaches you, summon Husain bin Ali and Abdullah bin Zubair and take allegiance from them. If they refuse, strike off their heads and send them to me and take allegiance from the people. Thus if anyone refuses apply the same order to him as applied to Husain bin Ali and Abdullah bin Zubair.”[2]

In the second narration there is no mention of Abdullah bin Umar and it is very much likely that his name was added to the names of Husain bin Ali and Abdullah bin Zubair so that he may be shown to be from opposition group and make him dissociated from open support to Yazid’s allegiance.

3. Hafiz Ibn Asakir has narrated it in the following manner: “Summon the people and take allegiance from them and begin with the senior persons of Quraish and the first one you begin with is Husain bin Ali because the chief of believers (Muawiyah) had willed me to be kind to him and obtain his view.”[3]

In this report there is no mention of the son of Zubair and son of Umar because in the view of Yazid they had no importance except that we have doubt regarding the matter at the end of this letter from the fact that Muawiyah made a bequest to Yazid to deal kindly with Husain because Muawiyah himself had utmost enmity to all members of Ahle Bayt and he had a cruel attitude towards them. He employed all kinds of merciless steps with them as we have already explained in the previous section. Most probably this sentence was added to it in order to free Muawiyah from the responsibility of the evil deeds of his son against the purified progeny.

Here are a matter remains that historians have spoken about this letter on the basis of it being brief and short as the mouse’s ear. Probably the reason it was sent so brief was that Yazid thought that Walid would carry out his commands, that is killing of Husain and Abdullah bin Zubair. It is natural that such a step was going to cause displeasure of the people and he wanted this crime to be attributed to Walid and thus he did not spell out the command of killing them in this letter. If he had to issue an open command he would have written a detailed letter to the effect.

Zareeq, Muawiyah’s slave, took both the letters and moved with speed without any halts till he reached Yathrib.[4] He was accompanied by Abdullah bin Sa’ad bin Abi Sarah. He was wearing a mask so that only his eyes were visible. On the way he was met by Abdullah bin Zubair who held his hand and asked him about

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/338, Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/313
[2] Yaqubi, Tarikh, 2/241
[3] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh, 14/170 (Events of year 60)
[4] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 4/170, Tarikh Khalifa Khayyat, Pg. 238. And in Tarikh, Ibne Asakir 14/206 it is mentioned that: Yazid wrote this letter in addition to Abdullah bin Umar to Ibne Idris Aamir and Aamir bin Luwi also.


Muawiyah. however he did not give any reply. Then he said: Has Muawiyah died? But he didn’t accord any response. Abdullah understood that Muawiyah had died and he hurried on and conveyed this information to Imam Husain.[1] His Eminence, Imam Husain told him: “I understood that Muawiyah must have died because last night I saw in dream that Muawiyah’s pulpit was ruined and his house was in flames. I interpreted it to myself to indicate his death.”[2]

Zaraaq came to Walid’s house and told the sentry to let him enter. But he was told that Walid had retired into the inner portion and it was not possible to meet him at that time. Zaraaq screamed to him that he had brought a royal command for him. The guard went and informed Walid about the matter and Walid permitted him to enter. Walid was seated on the throne when he read Yazid’s letter about the death of Muawiyah. He became extremely perturbed and distressed. He used to stand up and then throw himself upon his bed.[3]

Walid’s Consternation

Walid became perturbed by the orders of Yazid to suppress the opponents and compel them for allegiance because he was sure that taking allegiance from them wasn’t an easy thing except that they would have to be dealt with an iron hand. And in the way Yazid had ordered him to strike off their head it was something that even Muawiyah in spite of his political power could not accomplish in his lifetime. Then how could Walid do what even Muawiyah was unable to do for obtaining allegiance for Yazid?

Consulting Marwan

Walid became confused and worried in this matter and he realized that he was needful Marwan’s advice, the senior member of Umayyad clan. He summoned him and Marwan arrived dressed in white embroidered garments.[4] Walid told him about Muawiyah’s death and he was shocked. After that Walid told him about Yazid’s order to compel the opponents to give allegiance and to kill them if they refused. He asked Marwan to study this matter and give his advice.

Marwan’s Advice

Marwan expressed his views and told Walid: “Send a messenger to them right now and call them to give allegiance of Yazid and his obedience. If they do it, accept from them and if they refuse, kill them before they receive the news of Muawiyah’s death. Because if they receive this information, each of them would rise up and express their opposition and call people to their obedience. In that case I fear that which shall reach you, and that which you are incapable to bear. Except for Abdullah bin Umar who has no dispute with anyone in this matter…While I know that Husain bin Ali would not agree to give oath of allegiance for Yazid and

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 20/115-116
[2] Al-Futuh 5/14
[3] Tarikh Khalifa Khayyat 1/232
[4] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 4/170 (Events of year 60)


he shall not agree to obey Yazid in any matter. By Allah, if I had been in your place, I would not exchange a single word with him but would have slashed his neck, no matter what had happened.”

This problem seemed very complex for Walid who was the most cruel and most cunning man of the Umayyad clan. He told Marwan: “Alas, if only Walid had not come into the world and had not been worthy of mention.”

Marwan made fun of him and considered him base. He said, “Do not become perplexed at what I have told you. The Progeny of Abu Talib was, since before, enemies and they are same. They are those who killed the Caliph Uthman bin Affan. After that they went to the chief of the believers (Muawiyah) and waged battle against him.”

Walid screamed at him, “Woe be on you, O Marwan for saying these things. Say better things about the children of Fatima as they are the reminders of Prophethood.”[1]

They agreed to call the two persons and to inform them of the matter and that they may come to know about their agreement with the power of judgment.

Explanation of Marwan’s attitude

Marwan incited Walid to suppress and punish the opponents and especially Imam Husain’s name was emphasized in the matter. Marwan insisted on Walid that in case His Eminence refuses to give oath of allegiance he should be killed. I think the following factors prepared Marwan for this:

1. Marwan was hostile towards Walid and there was a deep-rooted enmity between the two. He was certain that Walid was a comfort-seeking person and he would not carry out the orders issued to him regarding Imam Husain. So he made good use of the opportunity and pressurized him to take serious steps against Imam Husain so that his attitude may become known to the tyrant of Shaam and that he may not continue to repose any more trust in Walid and dismiss him from the governorship of Medina. This, in fact happened. When Yazid learnt about Walid’s attitude towards Imam Husain, he was infuriated at him and he removed him from his post.

2. Marwan was displeased with Muawiyah as he had given the caliphate to his son and deserted Marwan who was a leader of the Umayyad clan and the senior-most member of his family. He wanted Yazid get involved in the killing of the Imam so that as a result of it he would have to wash his hands off the kingdom.

3. Marwan had deep animosity to Imam Husain because His Eminence was the grandson of the Messenger of Allah, who had beheaded the polytheists of Bani Umayyah, exiled Hakam, his father and cursed his progeny. Marwan’s hatred to the family of prophethood reached to such a level that he prevented the burial of Imam Hasan next to the grave of the Holy Prophet.

[1] Al-Futuh 5/11-13


Historians say: He was not fond of Abu Huraira because he used to narrate whatever the Messenger of Allah had said regarding his two beloved grandsons. One day it so happened that Marwan went to visit Abu Huraira while the latter was indisposed. Marwan said, “I have no grudge against you except your fondness for Hasan and Husain.”

Abu Huraira replied, “I testify that I went out with the Messenger of Allah and His Eminence heard Hasan and Husain crying. He asked what was wrong with his sons and Fatima replied saying that they were thirsty. O Marwan! How can I not be fond of them when I saw from the Messenger of Allah what I saw?”[1]

Marwan instigated Walid to kill Imam Husain so that may be he would agree with him and satisfy his soul that was thirsty to see the Purified Progeny persecuted and killed.

4. Marwan indeed knew that he would become the caliph because Imam Amirul Momineen, the gate of Prophet’s knowledge had informed him when His Eminence, Hasan and Husain had interceded for him after the battle of Siffin. His Eminence had said: There is a kingdom for him like a dog licks his nose. Marwan had accepted it; therefore he incited Walid to kill Imam Husain so that it would become a cause for downfall of the kingdom of the family of Abu Sufyan and the turning of the caliphate to Marwan.

These were some of the factors on the basis of which Marwan was motivated to suggest to Walid to kill Imam Husain and in this matter there was no sincerity on his part towards Yazid.

Summons for Imam Husain

In the middle of the night[2] Walid sent Abdullah bin Amr bin Uthman, a young slave to His Eminence, Husain and son of Zubair and the reason for choosing this hour was that probably His Eminence, Husain’s support for allegiance for Yazid may be obtained even though it be secretly. He knew that if His Eminence accepts this matter from him he would not break his covenant and not go back on his word.

That young man went to Imam Husain and Zubair’s son to summon them to Walid. He found them in the Prophet’s mosque and conveyed the message. They agreed to do so and told him to go back.

Zubair’s son became worried and he asked the Imam, “Do you know why he has called us at an hour he generally does not meet us?”

“I think that the tyrant, Muawiyah has died and he has summoned us to take oath of allegiance from us before the news spreads among the people.”

“I also think that there is no other explanation. What do you want to do?”

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh, 4/208
[2] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah: 8/147


“I shall gather my young men, go to him and post them at the doorstep.”

“I am worried about you if you choose to do this.”

“I shall go to him alone only if I have the power to refuse.”[1]

The chief of the nobles went to his residence, performed the ritual bath, prayed and supplicated the Lord.[2] After that he ordered the members of his family to take up their weapons and come with him. They obliged at once and accompanied His Eminence. His Eminence ordered them to sit at the doorstep and said: I am going inside. If I call you or you hear me shouting all of you enter immediately.”

Imam came to Walid and found Marwan with him though a rift had appeared between them. Thus Imam advised them to make peace and leave off hostilities. Making peace was in the very nature of His Eminence even among foes and opponents. So His Eminence told them, “Maintaining amity is better than discord and peace is better than mischief. Now is the time for you to remain united, may the Almighty Allah make peace between you.”[3]

They accorded no reply to His Eminence and a fearful silence descended on them. At that moment the Imam glanced at Walid and asked, “Have you received some news about Muawiyah. Because he was ill and his illness had prolonged. What is his condition now?”

Walid called out in a sorrowful and anxious tone, “May the Almighty Allah reward you for your patience in Muawiyah’s death. He was for you a sincere uncle and now he has tasted death. This is the letter of the chief of believers, Yazid…”

His Eminence, Husain recited the word of Istirjaah[4] and told him, “Why have you called me here?”

“I have called you to pay the oath allegiance.”[5]

Imam said: “A person like me does not give allegiance in a secret manner and my allegiance in a secret manner shall not be accepted. When you go out to people to take allegiance, call me also along with them and it shall be the same for all.”

Imam requested that the matter should be postponed to the morning next so that a gathering of prominent people is arranged and then the Imam may announce his view condemning the allegiance of Yazid. And that he may call the people to rebel and destroy Yazid’s regime.

According to what historians say Walid was peace-loving and he did not like discord. So he thanked the Imam for what he said and permitted him to return home.

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/14-15
[2] Ad-Darun Nazeem, Pg. 171
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/15
[4] Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihe rajioon
[5] Al-Futuh 5/17


Here the debased and evil Marwan bin Hakam became infuriated and he screamed at Walid, “If this opportunity goes away from you and he does not give you allegiance you will never get a second chance and there shall be greater bloodshed between you. Restrain him and make him give allegiance and if he doesn’t, kill him now!”

The chief of nobles stood up towards the greatest coward, son of a coward and told him, “O son of the blue-eyed woman! Would you kill me or he would? By Allah! You have lied and you have lost courage.”[1]

After that he glanced at Walid and informed him about his determination and decision at not accepting the allegiance of Yazid and said: “O chief, we are Ahle Bayt of Prophethood and the mine of messengership. We are the place of coming and going of angels and the place of descent of divine mercy. The Almighty Allah has initiated the creation with us and He shall conclude it with us. Yazid is a transgressor, a drunkard, killer of innocent people and an open sinner. A person like me can never give allegiance to persons like him. However we and you shall see in the morning which of the two of us is more qualified for caliphate.”[2]

This was the first announcement that His Eminence had openly made after the death of Muawiyah regarding the rejection of Yazid’s allegiance that he issued in the palace of the governor without having any fear of reprisal.

Open expression of His Eminence rejecting Yazid’s allegiance shows the determination of His Eminence to prepare himself for a sacrifice that was the beginning of his greatness, superiority and faith. Because His Eminence from the aspect of spiritual heritage and his family background had all human perfections so how he could have accepted Yazid’s allegiance, who was one of the pillars of transgression and sins. If His Eminence had accepted him as a leader of Muslims, he would have taken the life of Islam towards destruction and annihilation, and subjected the religious beliefs to deviation which would have become involved with deep ignorance.

The forceful statement and the truth that the chief of nobles expressed displeased Marwan. Therefore he turned to Walid in anger and denounced him for letting His Eminence go. He said, “You did not listen to me. By God, you will never get such opportunity over him ever.”

Walid had become influenced with the logical discourse of the Imam and it awakened his conscience. Therefore to refute Marwan he said, “Woe be to you. You had suggested to me something which would have involved the destruction of my own faith. By God, I would not want all the worldly wealth and dominion on which the sun rises and sets, (if it involved) killing Husain. Glory be to God, should I kill Husain because he said: “I will not swear allegiance? By God, I do not think on the Judgment Day a man who is responsible for the blood of Husain (will weigh) little in the scales of God.”

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/15
[2] Al-Futuh 5/18-19


Marwan ridiculed him saying, “If this is your opinion, then you have acted correctly in what you did.”[1]

His Eminence, Husain decided to leave Medina and go to Mecca to take refuge in the sanctuary of the House of Allah and remain safe from the mischief and oppression of the Umayyads.

Imam Husain and Marwan

His Eminence, Husain met Marwan on the way the next morning after he had refused allegiance to Yazid. Without any preliminaries Marwan said to His Eminence: “I am your well-wisher, listen to what I say, so that you remain safe.”

“What is that, O Marwan?”

“I suggest you pay allegiance for the chief of believers, Yazid, as there is in it good for your religion and the world.”

Imam was much disconcerted and he recited the word of Istirjah (Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihe Raajeoon) and he replied to Marwan’s statement in a most logical manner: “If the community is involved with a ruler like Yazid, farewell to Islam. Woe be on you, O Marwan. Are you advising me to pledge allegiance to Yazid who is a transgressor?

What you say is absolutely inappropriate…I shall not denounce you for what you said because you are such an accursed person that the Messenger of Allah had cursed you when you are in the loins of your father, Hakam bin Aas.”

Imam added further, “O enemy of Allah! Get away from me! As we are the Ahle Bayt of the Messenger of Allah. The truth is between us and our tongues speak the truth. I have heard the Messenger of Allah say: The caliphate is unlawful for the family of Abu Sufyan, the freed prisoners and sons of freed prisoners. And he said: Whenever you see Muawiyah on my pulpit, slit his belly. By Allah, people of Medina saw him on the pulpit of our grandfather and they did not do what they had been commanded...”

The filthy and debased Marwan became angry and he screamed, “By Allah, do not separate from me till you pledge allegiance of Yazid in a submissive way because you, the family of Abu Turab has become full of enmity towards the family of Abu Sufyan. You bear malice to them and they also have the right to consider you as foes.”

The Imam also cried at him, “O filthy man get away from me as I am from the purified Ahle Bayt regarding whom the Almighty Allah has revealed the following verse to His Prophet:

“Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! And to purify you a (thorough) purifying.”[2]

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/340
[2] Surah Ahzab 33:33


Marwan was unable to bear this and fell into the fire of pain and grief. Then Imam told him: “O son of the foreign lady! Glad tidings to you for everything that the Holy Prophet did not like. One day you shall meet your Lord and my grandfather shall interrogate you about my right and right of Yazid.”

Marwan hurried to Walid and informed him about what Imam Husain had said.[1]

Walid contacts Damascus

Walid informed Yazid about the position of governor in Medina and told him about Imam Husain's refusal to pledge allegiance to Yazid. He said that His Eminence believed that he could not accord any obedience to Yazid. When Yazid understood this matter he was terribly infuriated.

Strict orders from Damascus

Yazid issued fresh orders to severely compel the people of Medina to pledge allegiance for him and also commanded to Walid that Imam Husain be put to death and his severed need be dispatched to him. He wrote as follows: “From the servant of God, Yazid, the chief of believers to Walid bin Uqbah. So to say: When this letter of mine reaches you, once again insist on the people of Medina to pledge allegiance. Leave alone Abdullah bin Zubair, for as long as he lives he cannot escape us. The severed head of Husain bin Ali should accompany your reply. If you do that, reins of horses shall be arranged for you and you shall become eligible for exceeding rewards from me. Was Salaam…”

Non-acceptance of Walid

Walid officially rejected the order of Yazid regarding the killing of His Eminence, Husain and he said: “No by God! The Almighty Allah shall not see me as the killer of Husain bin Ali…I shall not kill the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah even if he (Yazid) gives me all the world.”[2]

Yazid’s lettered arrived when Imam Husain had already departed for Mecca.

Farewell to the Prophet’s Tomb

On the second night, Imam Husain hurried to the side of the grave of his grandfather in a sorrowful and aggrieved demeanor to complain to His Eminence about the atrocities of the oppressors. Imam stood by the side of the grave and performed two units of Prayers. He became extremely affected by sentiments and he complained to His Eminence about the hardships and calamities that had befallen him.

“O Allah! This is the grave of your Prophet, Muhammad and I am the son of the daughter of Muhammad and what has befallen us is well known to you. O Allah, I like the good and am disgusted of evil. O one with glory and greatness, by the right

[1] Al-Futuh 5/23-25
[2] Al-Futuh 5/26


of this grave and by the one who is in it, I ask You to select for me that which shall be the cause of Your pleasure and satisfaction of Your Prophet.”

Imam Husain sees his Grandfather in his Dream

Imam Husain continued to gaze at the grave of his grandfather while he had become sure that he shall not see it again ever. At that moment he began to weep.

It was not yet dawn when His Eminence fell asleep and he saw his grandfather in dream that he has arrived with an entourage of angels. His Eminence took Imam Husain in his arms and kissed him on the forehead, saying: “O my son! As if I can see you in the near future, you shall be killed in Kerbala among a crowd of my community and your head shall be cut off while you shall be thirsty and water shall not be given to you. You will be thirsty but your thirst would not be quenched. Inspite of committing such deed they shall be hopeful of our intercession on the Day of Judgment. For them there shall be no benefit with Allah.

My dear Husain, your father, mother and brother have come to me. They are eager for you. Indeed, for you there are grades in Paradise that except for being martyred you cannot achieve them…”

Imam Husain looked at his grandfather for a long time and remembered his kindness and sentiments with regard to him. This made me more eager for him and he picturized the hardships and afflictions caused to him by the Umayyad regime. Because he was offered only two options: to pledge allegiance to the tyrant of Bani Umayyah or be killed. At that moment he created an attachment with his grandfather and told him lamenting: “O my grandfather, I do not wish to remain in the world anymore. Take me with you and keep me in your house.”

The Prophet was moved by this and he told him: “You must go back to the world so that you are given martyrdom and the Almighty Allah has appointed a great reward for you. You, your father and your uncle and the uncle of your father shall be raised up together so that you may enter Paradise.”[1]

His Eminence, Husain awoke worried and anxious while waves of grief and sorrow had surrounded him. He was now certain that he shall indeed be granted martyrdom. Then he gathered all his family members and related his dream. On that day, there was no one in the East or West of the world more aggrieved than the members of Ahle Bayt of the Messenger of Allah and no man or woman wept more than them.[2]

Imam Husain’s farewell to the Graves of his mother and brother

In the darkness of the night His Eminence, Husain went to the grave of his mother, who was the memory of the Holy Prophet and a part of His Eminence. He stood besides the grave for sometime while he looked at the grave with the last glance of farewell and he recalled her deep attachment and love towards him. He

[1] Al-Futuh 5/27-29
[2] Al-Awalim, 17/177-178


wished the earth would split and take him to his mother below the dust. Then he wept and bid farewell to the grave. After that he moved to the blessed grave of his brother, His Eminence, Hasan and watered the grave with his tears. And he was in that same condition when pain and sorrow had surrounded him. Then he returned home with a heavy sorrowful heart.[1]

Fear of Bani Hashim Ladies

When the Imam decided to leave Medina and take refuge in Mecca the ladies of the family of Abdul Muttalib were terrified because they had heard of numerous traditional reports about the imminent tragedy from the Messenger of Allah and thus they all gathered in an atmosphere of sorrow and trepidation.

They began to wail and the sounds of their weeping arose in the surroundings. It was a scene of fear and shock. Imam Husain turned to them with a firm determination and said: “By Allah, do not commit an act which is in disobedience of Allah and the Prophet.”

Their hearts became filled with pain and they said: “Why shouldn’t we weep and wail. This day is like the day of the passing away of the Prophet, Ali, Fatima and Hasan… May the Almighty Allah make us sacrificed on you, O beloved of the righteous!”

One of the paternal aunts of His Eminence came towards him while her face was a picture of fear. When she got respite from weeping she used to say: “I have heard a caller saying:

O the one that shall be slain on the land of Taff from the family of Hashim, you have made the necks of Quraish bow down in humility and you have degraded them.”

Imam comforted her and advised her patience as he had done with other ladies of Abdul Muttalib’s clan.[2]

With his brother, Ibn Hanafiyah

Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyah hastened to His Eminence, Husain in a worried state, while his steps moved very fast and due to the intensity of sorrow and grief he could not even see the way properly. When he reached him, he faced His Eminence, Husain and said haltingly with sincere words interspersed with weeping:

“O my brother! May I be sacrificed on you. You are the most beloved person to me. By Allah! I don’t advise anything to anyone and no one is more deserving of it than you. You are like my soul and my life. You are the senior-most person of my family. You are one whom I trust and whose obedience is obligatory on me. Because the Almighty Allah has bestowed nobility on you and made you one of the chiefs of the people of Paradise. I wish to offer a goodly advice to you Please accept it from me…”

[1] Al-Futuh 5/29
[2] Muqarram, Maqtal Hazrat Husain 137-138


Through these statements filled with concern and kindness, Muhammad expressed his love and respect towards his brother. Imam looked at him and Muhammad said, “I advise you that as much as possible keep away from the allegiance of Yazid Ibn Muawiyah and places of mischief and discord. After that send messengers to the people. If they give allegiance to you, thank Allah for it. If they begin to support someone else, the Almighty Allah would neither make your faith defective nor your intelligence. There would be no decrease in your respect or merits. I dread that you may reach some town where people create discord. And that one group may support you and another may oppose you. At that time they may fight among themselves and you become the first target of spears. In that case the best of the people with regard to personal merits and nobility of ancestry shall be humiliated…”

Imam Husain asked him, “Where should I go?”

“Stay in Mecca and if you get peace there, continue to reside there. If not, turn to deserts and mountains and go from town to town and see where the destiny of the people reaches. In this manner your intention would be best and your job shall be done in a foreseeing way. So much so that the future events and beginning of your mission would not be so difficult that you have to abandon it.”[1]

Imam spoke up in such a way that he was absolutely fearless of dangers and with a firm determination informed his rejection of Yazid’s allegiance. “My brother, even if there is no refuge in this world for us, I shall never give allegiance to Yazid Ibn Muawiyah.”

Ibn Hanafiyah began to weep because he had become sure a terrible calamity and tragedies were to strike his brother. The Holy Imam comforted him and thanked him for his sincere concern. He told him, “My brother, may Allah reward you for your concern for us and for guiding us to the right way. I have decided to move to Mecca. I and brothers and nephews and our Shias all are in the same position and we all have similar views. But there is no problem if you stay put in Medina and keep an eye on what goes on and keep me informed about it.”[2]

Imam Husain’s bequest to Ibn Hanafiyah

Imam Husain wrote a will for his brother, Ibn Hanafiyah in which he mentioned the reasons of his great revolution against Yazid’s rule. After the name of God, the will says:

“This is the will of Husain bin Ali to his brother, Muhammad bin Hanafiyah. Husain testifies that except for the One Allah there is no other god and He has no partner. And Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger who has come from Him with truth. And Paradise is truth and fire (Hell) is truth and the Day of Judgment shall indeed come to pass. And the Almighty Allah shall raise all those who are in the graves. I have not taken up arms in order to make merry, or be

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/341-342
[2] Al-Futuh, Pg. 32


ecstatic over what I possess. I am not making mischief, nor exercising oppression. But I am ready to fight for the sole goal of seeking reform of the Ummah of my grandfather, the Apostle of Allah. I want to enjoin good and forbid evil and guide the affairs of the people as my grandfather and father, Ali Ibn Abi Talib were doing. One who accepts me with truth, the Almighty Allah is more deserving for truth and one who objects against me, I shall be patient on it. So that the Almighty Allah may judge between me and these people. He is the best of those who judge. This is my bequest for you, O my brother! I have no Tawfeeq except from Allah, that I rely on Him and that I shall return to Him only.”[1]

It was due to these lofty aims that the Imam began his everlasting revolution, because His Eminence did not take up arms to make merry or to be ecstatic over what he had. There was no personal gain in it for him or his family. Rather he had risen to oppose the tyrannical and oppressive regime. He wanted to establish the lofty foundations of justice among the people. And what a great statement His eminence has issued:

“Thus one who accepts me with truth, the Almighty Allah is by truth more deserving. And one who opposes me, I shall be patient upon it till the time Allah judges between me and those people as He is the best of those who judge.”

In this way the Holy Imam described and explained the philosophy of his uprising. That it was for the establishment of truth and to destroy falsehood. His Eminence called the community by truth that they should gather around him to support their rights and regain their honor and respect that were being trampled upon and destroyed by the Umayyads. If the people do not heed his call he was prepared to be patient and determined to continue his mission single-handed till the time the Almighty Allah would dispense justice between him and the people. And in this way he was prepared to act on the examples of his grandfather and father and not on the method of any other Caliph.

This document mentions the most important factors and causes underlying the mission of Imam Husain and we shall refer to these in our discussion in the coming pages.

After making out and sending his will to his brother, Muhammad, His Eminence started his journey to Mecca in order to meet the pilgrims to the House of Allah and make them aware of the conditions of that time in the country and to warn them of the calamities and dangers that had beset the community during the tyrannical regime of Yazid.

Before leaving Medina for Mecca, Imam came to the tomb of his grandfather in the Prophet’s mosque so that he may bid it farewell for the last time. He entered the Prophet’s mosque and glanced at the Mihrab and the pulpit of his grandfather. He recalled the care and love of his grandfather that he had showered upon him in his childhood. Because he had not forgotten the kind emotions that he had

[1] Al-Futuh: 33-34, Khwarizmi, Maqtal 1/188-189


experienced during his early years. Especially the saying of the Messenger of Allah that: “Husain is from me and I am from Husain. May Allah love all those who love Husain. Husain is a grandson of mine…”[1]

Imam reminisced how the Messenger of Allah had presented and inculcated into him the lofty values and fine humanistic qualities that he himself possessed. Imam Husain was aware that this concern was not only because he was the grandson of the Prophet. It was aimed at something else and the Messenger of Allah was knowing of some future events that would necessitate that Imam Husain take up the mission to save the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet and the principles he had established. Imam had made a firm determination that he would have to present that great sacrifice in order to save Islam from those destructive hands…

Historians say: His Eminence came to the mosque with his family members while he took support of two persons. He was reciting the composition of Mufragh:

“Neither I harass the birds at the time of daybreak nor should Yazid call me when I launch my attack.

On the day when I see that I am forced to humiliation and when death is waiting for me.”[2]

Abu Saeed says, “When I heard these two lines I realized that His Eminence was not quoting that couplet as an example except for the firm intention that he had made. Thus not much time passed when I learnt that His Eminence had left for Mecca.”[3]

Imam had decided to indeed sacrifice his life in order to change the flow of life and to exalt the word of God and goodly opinion in the earth.

However when the people of Medina, the cradle of the Prophet’s mission, learnt about the departure of His Eminence, Husain they were filled with shock and grief because they were now certain that they would suffer a terrible loss as the ray of the light of prophethood that used to illuminate their life was going away from them. The respectable companions of the Messenger of Allah who at the time resided in Medina were aggrieved because in Imam Husain they had always viewed the continuity of the image of the Holy Prophet. Which had released them from their life of roaming the deserts.

[1] Tirmidhi, Sunan: 5/658 Tr. No. 3775, Ibne Majah, Sunan 1/51, Tr. 144, Al-Awalim 17/33-34, Chapter 1/ TR. No. 1-4
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/17
[3] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/204, Tabari, Tarikh 5/342

# Imam Husain’s Revolution:
Activities and programs
Part 1

Imam Husain, just as he has himself mentioned, did not initiate his great revolution for something useless or to project his own image. He neither undertook it for creating mischief and oppression. Rather, His Eminence moved out to reform the condition of the country so that he may establish social justice among the people and destroy factors of terrible humiliation the people were subjected to under the yoke of the Umayyad regime. That he may release them from tethers of degradation that the tyrant rulers had tied them in.

Imam initiated his mission against the ruling tyrant so that he may restore to the people their capabilities and nature that they had lost. And to get back the respectable nature to its original position so that through it may be established a rule of justice and equity under the leadership of the Imam and every type of social discrimination is destroyed. Also that life may be established on the foundation of love and brotherhood as that is the rule of God, the Creator and giver of all existence and not the regime of Muawiyah which was based on killings, murders and trampling of human values and suppression of social activities and humanity.

Imam began his great revolution so that through it he may open the Book of Allah and make his uprising a lesson for people of reason. Thus he illuminated the path and fixed the aim and bestowed enlightenment to the thinking ones. And through that revolution he demolished the obstacles that the Umayyads had installed to prevent the progress of Islam and its followers. Hence after that revolution, no negative effect or dangerous plots of the Umayyad regime remained in the world of Islam. Because, after the slaying of the Imam, the people rose up like valiant lions and they did not give any importance to their life and safety. They all arose with a firm determination to take up arms against the tyrannical regime of Umayyads and one after other, revolts rocked the Umayyad rule till finally the unjust regime was uprooted from Islam and their ego was annihilated.

Imam did not initiate his revolution till the time all options had been exhausted for him and no hope remained for the reform of the community and there was no other way for him. He had become certain that nothing could reform the condition of the community except the sacrifice of his life. This was the only way to transform the life of the nation and to install the standard of truth on the earth.

I believe that the most important thing for the readers is to learn about the causes of Imam’s revolution and the program of his mission. And this is what we shall discuss in detail in the coming pages.

Causes of the Revolution

Some religious responsibilities and social duties etc. had surrounded the Imam and persuaded him for the revolution. They prepared him for sacrifice and staking his life. Some of these responsibilities were as follows:


1. Religious responsibility

Islam has fixed the responsibility of all the disasters and calamities that befall the people of Islamic lands and all those things that are not beneficial for them upon all Muslims. No one is absolved of this answerability and Islam has not accepted such a thing. Muslims cannot be aloof and careless about whatever happens in the Islamic world. While the Holy Prophet has announced this responsibility and said: “Each of you is responsible and each of you is caretaker of all who are under you.” Thus Muslims are responsible to God, that they must have concern for the society, defend the advantages of the country and remain aware of their community.

It was due to this great responsibility that the Imams confronted the atrocities of the Umayyads and destroyed their plans of enslaving the community, humiliating the people and usurping their property. His Eminence has spoken in his address to Hurr and his companions about that which was made incumbent on him by Islam and on the basis of which he performed jihad against the tyrant regime of Yazid.

His Eminence said:

“O people! The Messenger of Allah has said: ‘One who sees a tyrant ruler considering the unlawful things lawful, ignoring the command of God, opposing the practice of the Messenger of Allah and deals with people in a sinful and oppressive way, but by word or action he does not object to it, the Almighty Allah has the right to convey him to his place.’”

Religious duty made it incumbent on the Imam to rise up against the Umayyad regime. A regime which considered the unlawful things lawful, trampled His laws, and opposed the practice of the Messenger of Allah and a group of Muslim scholars have stated clearly that it was obligatory for the Imam to start a Jihad in defense of Islam. Some of the scholars who mention this are as follows:

A – Imam Muhammad Abduh: Under the discussion of just and unjust rule according to Islam, Imam Muhammad Abduh has alluded to the uprising of the Imam against Yazid’s regime and has considered the Imam’s uprising as a religious duty. And he says: “If a just rulership is established in the world that applies the law of Shariah and at the same time there is another regime that does not apply the laws of Shariah, it is incumbent upon all Muslims to support the former and abandon the latter…and in this way was the uprising of Imam Husain the Prophet’s grandson against the leaders of injustice and oppression. Who had forcibly usurped the affairs of Muslims under the kingship of Yazid Ibn Muawiyah, may Allah degrade him and his supporters also, that is the Caramatees and Nawasib.”[1]

B – Muhammad Abdul Baqi: Ustad Muhammad Abdul Baqi Sarwar says regarding religious and social duty that it became obligatory for the Imam to take a stand against Yazid’s regime. He says: “If Husain had given allegiance to Yazid, the

[1] Tafsir al-Manar 12/183


transgressor and profligate, who made wine and fornication lawful, degraded the status of caliphate by sitting with singers and women, arranged drinking parties in official places, decorated dogs and monkeys with gold ornaments while hundreds of thousands of Muslims remained starving and deprived, it would have implied the legalization of all these things.

If Husain had pledged allegiance to Yazid while he was a successor of the Messenger of Allah, this verdict would have decreed all those things lawful in the view of people and Husain’s silence would also have implied his approval of these sinful activities. His silence against these things would have amounted to sin and crime according to Islamic law… The status that Husain was having during the time of Yazid not only in the Arabian Peninsula, but in all the Islamic lands, his position among the Muslims and his proximity to the Prophet of the Lord of the worlds and on the basis of this after the passing away of the greatest personality of Muslims, from the aspect of knowledge, piety, ancestry and circumstances he was the foremost person of the nation. Because he was having the responsibility of defending the Islamic heritage. On the basis of this he considered it his duty when he was called to help in order to stop the evils. Especially that he stops
the evils because they were committed and encouraged by those who were occupying the seat of vicegerency of the Prophet.

Secondly: His Eminence had received allegiance for caliphate in the Arabian Peninsula and thirty thousand letters of support were received by him from Iraq from the people of Kufa and Basra. And they promised the Imam that they would support him in his fight against Yazid bin Muawiyah. Repeated entreaties insisted that the Imam must rise up against the tyrant regime. So much so, that a leader of these petitioners, Abdullah bin Haseen wrote: “O Husain! We shall complain against you to Allah on the Day of Judgment.” How was it possible for Husain, who had religious modesty and Islamic shame to have continued to witness these terrible things without taking any action? How is it possible for him not to reply to their calls for help? On the basis of this, he answered their call positively just as Islamic Shariah has stated and he moved to Iraq.”[1]

This view is the final argument as it is with Islamic proofs that makes it incumbent for the Imam to perform Jihad against the tyrant regime of his time.

C – Abdul Hafeez Abu Saud: Ustad Abdul Hafiz Abu Saud says: “Imam Husain after that – that is the death of Muawiyah – realized that it was his minimum duty to announce his denial to Yazid’s allegiance and to take the allegiance of Muslims for himself for the defense of Islam, for removing oppression and Yazid’s destruction.[2]

D – Dr. Ahmad Mahmood Sabhi: Among those who expressed their views on this subject is Dr. Ahmad Mahmood Sabhi. He says: “In the rising of Husain the

[1] At-Thair al-Awwal fil Islam, Pg. 79
[2] Sibtar Rasool, Pg 133


acceptance of Yazid’s allegiance would have been a deviation from the principles of religion because he considered the transformation of religions successorship into dynastic rule as nothing but a Herculean innovation which had entered Islam. And from that aspect the appointment of Yazid, even though he had such vile habits and was addicted to wine and indulged in playing with monkeys, to the post of successorship of the Prophet was the greatest crime in religion of Islam. Such that whoever were party to that crime or pleased at that, would be responsible for that crime. And that also that a person doing this be the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah! In such circumstances the rising of Husain was a matter that more than propagation and belief he should be concerned with politics and war first.”[1]

E – Alaili: Alaili says: Responsibilities are there upon the caliph, such that if he does not fulfill them, it would be incumbent on the people to depose him. The community is obliged to take up arms against him and it is unanimous verdict of all Muslims that making effort in this regard is obligatory. On the contrary if the ruler is not such, it would be wrong to protest against him and the consequences of opposition in this case would be very bad. Moreover one who legislates is more obliged to respect the law, than any other person in every way. His responsibility in this regard is more. And whenever the ruler becomes a transgressor, openly commits evils and ignores God, His Messenger and believers, respect to such a person would tantamount to be respect of a transgressor and evil man and trusting him would be nothing except trusting ego and open transgression. It is the same thing that is mentioned in the solution-giving statement of His Eminence:
“Yazid is a corrupt man, who imbibes wine, puts to death the soul which Allah forbids to be harmed and declares his debauchery in public.”[2]

These were some views that reject the allegation of those who say that the Imam had no right to take up arms against the tyranny and oppression that Yazid had wrought.

2. Social Responsibility

Imam had a great responsibility on the basis of his social position with regard to the community against the oppression and injustice that the Umayyads had wrought upon it. Who could have been more deserving to defend the nation and to remove calamities from them? He was the grandson and the beloved one of the Messenger of Allah. The religion (of Islam) was the religion of his grandfather. The community (Muslims) was the community of his grandfather. He was having the first preference for the responsibility of leading the Ummah.

Imam Husain was certain that he had a responsibility with regard to this community and the selection of remaining silent and lack of uprising against the Umayyad regime which was unjust and tyrannical, was in no way effective in

[1] Nazaria Imamate Nazd Shia Ithna Ashari, Pg. 334
[2] Imam Husain, Pg. 94


changing the society. Therefore His Eminence took up this great responsibility on his shoulders and fulfilled his duty with trustworthiness and sincerity and sacrificed his life and that of the members of his family and his friends so that he may turn the Islamic justice and Quranic law to the sphere of life.

3. Completion of Argument for Imam Husain.

The argument was completed for the Imam to declare Jihad and confrontation against the powers of injustice and apostasy because he continuously received letters and representations from the important Islamic center of the city of Kufa. The people’s letters cast the divine responsibility on His Eminence. If the Imam had not replied positively to the petitions of the people to save them from oppression he would have been indeed answerable to God and its responsibility and completion of argument would have remained on him forever.

4. Defense of Islam

The most important factor that motivated the Prophet’s grandson to undertake an uprising was to defend Islam from the dangers of the Umayyad rule. The regime that wanted to destroy Islam, uproot it completely and annihilate its values. Because when Yazid sat on the seat of caliphate he announced his disbelief and apostasy in the following words:

“The Hashemites played a game to get rulership. Neither came any news nor any revelation.”

The above couplet clearly exposes the infidelity of period of ignorance which Yazid followed. Because Yazid had no faith in revelation, book, Paradise and Hell. And the grandson of the Prophet realized that if he did not take up arms in defense of religion, the grandson of Abu Sufyan would launch an attack on him and Islam would have remained only in name. On the basis of this, His Eminence initiated his great revolution and sacrificed his blood for the religion of Allah. His blood which was imbued with the fragrance of prophethood, became a balm for this religion. It is definite that if His Eminence had not sacrificed his life, neither the name of Islam had survived nor its customs. The religion would have become the disbelief of the period of Ignorance, sensualities and transgression and all the efforts and hardships of the Holy Prophet for the well-being and guidance of the community would have been in vain. Thus the Messenger of Allah had learnt from
the unseen knowledge the future turmoils of his nation and its afflictions at the hands of Quraish. He also knew how Husain would rise up in defense of faith and lay down his life for it. That is why he said in his most sublime saying: Husain is from me and I am from Husain. Indeed it is a fact that the Prophet was from Husain because his sacrifice was in defense of Quran and his pure blood would continue to water the tree of Islam for ages and eons.


5. Protecting Islam

The most important factor for which Imam Husain undertook a revolution was to clean up the Islamic caliphate from Umayyad filths that they had usurped unjustly…because the caliphate of that time was not a medium of establishment of injustice and removal of backwardness and mischief from the world in a way Islam desired.

Islam considers the institution of caliphate as an important agency for spreading truth and justice among the people. Therefore if the caliphate is righteous all the nation shall also be righteous and if caliphate deviated from its responsibility the community shall fall into terrible turmoil and calamities. That is why Islam has issued detailed instruction about the matter of caliphate and decreed that it should necessarily be headed by a person having a good nature and morals and one who possesses good qualities of justice, trustworthiness and knowledge of the needs of the community in the fields of economics, organization and politics. And one who lacks these qualities is prohibited to claim caliphate…Imam mentioned these qualities in his first letter to the people of Kufa and stated that one who claims the caliphate of Muslims must necessarily have these traits in a sufficient measure. His Eminence said, “I swear by my religion, he is not an Imam
that does not act in accordance with Quran, treads the path of equity, believes in truth and guards his self for the sake of God.”[1]

So only one who is imbued with these traits has the right to present himself for the leadership of community and their caliphate and one who is not having these qualities has no right to take up this post which is an important position delegated by the Prophet…

Islamic caliphate is not only dominance over the nation. It is the vicegerency of the Prophet and a continuation of his illuminated personal rulership. Imam Husain (a.s) realized that the position of his grandfather had fallen into the hands of a drunkard who did not recognize anything apart from his sexual desires and selfish desires. On the basis of this His Eminence rose up so that he may restore to it an illuminated existence and brilliant future of the Islamic Caliphate.

6. Freeing the Aspirations of the Nation

During the time of Muawiyah and Yazid the Islamic community did not have its intentions and any kind of freedom. It was like a lifeless body absolutely bereft of any sensation or capability because it was tied up in chains of slavery and suppression. Their thinking and foresight was curbed completely and between them and their intention was the wall of the Umayyad regime.

The tyrannical regime of the Umayyads had succeeded in destroying and paralyzing the feelings of the people and made them absolutely powerless to do anything against the rule. Though they were supportive of Imam Husain in

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/353


their mind they were not capable of following their conscience because the Umayyad regime of that time had taken full control of their destinies. They were like lifeless idols without any feeling and movement. They had no determination or intention to take any step. They were dressed up in raiment of humiliation and suppressed by the lashes of the Umayyads. They were downtrodden and rendered completely valueless.

Imam stepped in the field of Jihad and sacrifice so that he may bestow the spirit of respect and honor to the community. The martyrdom of His Eminence was the changing point in the history of Muslims and their life. Suddenly there was a complete change in them and they became armed with determination and resolve and all those obstacles that had restrained them were removed and they were released. The clouds of fear and submissions that had enveloped them changed into a revolution and confrontation. They undertook many uprisings one after the other whose slogan was: “O blood of Husain! we shall take the revenge of Husain!” These slogans struck like lightning the thrones of the Umayyad regime and destroyed their power.

7. Freeing the National Economy

Economy of the nation, the lifeblood of social and individual life had been completely destroyed. Because the Umayyads in a blatant manner had taken over the full control of Public Treasury and kept all the funds, war booty and other incomes at their own disposal. They had got hold of a great treasure and accumulated such wealth in their houses that they could not think up of enough channels to spend it. Muawiyah declared to the Muslims that the wealth belonged to God and not to the Muslims and that he was more deserving of it. Saeed bin Aas said: “The towns and habitations are the gardens of Quraish.”

The Umayyads employed public funds to further their political aims which were in no way related to the well being of the community. Their significant expenditures were in the following instances:

A) Purchasing consciences and faiths as we have explained many such instances in our discussion on the economic policy of Muawiyah.

B) The Umayyads also utilized a great part of public funds in forming committees for fabricating traditions of the Prophet that would exalt the position of Umayyads and decrease the status of Ahle Bayt as we have already explained in detail in the previous chapters.

C) They made huge grants, gifts and rewards to nobles in order to prevent them from objecting against the unlawful activities of the regime to curb the rights of the people.

D) The Umayyads spent without any kind of restraint on vices of wine, dance and songs. That is why their houses had become full of instruments of vice and sensuality and professionals of these activities.

These were some of the ways in which public funds were spent in a free and open


manner while the general populace was suffering poverty and hunger. Destitution had increased and the shadow of deprivation was seen in all lands of Islam except for Syria where all the luxuries and riches were obvious. For Syria was the strong fort that the Umayyads were defending with their injustice and atrocities.

Imam Husain rose up to support the economy of the nation and to restore to people a life of balanced livelihood.

His Eminence confiscated the land tax that was being transported to Muawiyah. He also took over various funds that were on way to Damascus Treasury during Yazid’s rule and distributed all these funds among the poor and needful people. More than anything else what pained him most was that he saw that poverty was prevalent in people while nothing was being spent on them from the Public Treasury.

8. Social Injustice

Social injustice had spread in all the nooks and corners of the Muslim dominions. There was no place that escaped the atrocities of the Umayyads. Following are some examples of their excesses:

A. Absence of peace: Peace had disappeared from all over the country and fear and terror surrounded all the people. Because the Umayyads were in the forefront to unleash their oppressions in such a way that the innocent were punished instead of the offenders and the non-sinners were penalized instead of the sinners. They used to cast into dungeons people who had not committed any crime simply on the basis of doubt or allegations. A large number of people were also put to death. People used to say in the time of Ziyad: “Leave Saad as Saeed has died.” None could be found except that he was terrorized of oppression regarding his life and property. On the basis of this, Imam undertook an uprising in order to save the people from this terrible oppression.

B. Considering the people lowly: The political line of action of the Umayyads was to humiliate the community and to consider the Muslims lowly. One of their signs of their subjugation of people was that they used to brand the necks of Muslims like cattle are branded and which indicated slavery. They also used to brand the palms of Muslims with a sign so that they may be considered slaves, as the slaves of Rome and blacks were considered.[1] Imam hastened to the field of Jihad so that he may bestow the Muslims honor and respect and release them from the darkness of oppression that had afflicted them.

9. Terrible Atrocities on Shias

Imam was aggrieved at the atrocities unleashed on the Shias during Muawiyah’s rule because Muawiyah left no stone unturned to oppress and torture them and to have them killed in the worst possible manner. So much so that he told Imam Husain, “O Aba Abdillah! You know that I kill the Shias of your father and give them funeral bath, wrap them in shrouds, recite funeral prayer and

[1] Tarikh Tamaddun Islami


consign them to the grave.”[1]

Muawiyah tried his best to annihilate the Shias as we have already discussed in the chapter on Muawiyah’s rule:

A. Executing their important personalities like Hujr bin Adi, Amr bin Hamaq Khuzai, Saifi bin Faseel and others.

B. Crucifying them on date palms.

C. Burying them alive.

D. Demolishing their houses.

E. Not accepting their witnesses.

F. Depriving them from the fixed stipend from Baitul Maal.

G. Terrorizing their ladies and intimidating them.

H. Spreading murder and terror in their areas.

These and other atrocities that the Shias were involved in, pained Imam Husain to such an extent that he was compelled to write to Muawiyah complaining about his acts of oppression against the Shias as we have already explained in the chapter on Muawiyah’s rule.

The cruel steps that the Umayyad regime took against the Shias were among the factors that motivated Imam Husain to undertake an uprising against Yazid so that he may emancipate the Shias from these terrible circumstances and to defend them from injustice and oppression.

10. Destroying the name of Ahle Bayt

The foremost cause of the uprising of the Imam was that the Umayyad regime was trying its utmost to destroy the remembrance of Ahle Bayt and to remove their merits and virtues from the minds of the people. In this regard Muawiyah was worst and he resorted to the most dirty means to achieve this, some are as follows:

A. Fabrication of traditions for reducing the value of Ahle Bayt.

B. Employing government machinery and educational institutions to train and bring up their children inculcating them with enmity towards Ahle Bayt.

C. Punishing those in the most terrible manner who mention the excellences of Ahle Bayt.

D. Imprecating them from the pulpits, minarets and in their Friday Prayer sermons.

Imam Husain arranged a great political gathering in the Holy Mecca and informed the people about the dangerous program Muawiyah had designed to remove the Ahle Bayt from the sphere of Islam…His Eminence stepped out for Jihad immediately and he preferred an early death instead of being compelled to hear the name of his father abused from pulpits and minarets.

[1] Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/231


11. Destruction of Islamic Values

The Umayyads dared to destroy the Islamic values in such a manner so that no sign of it remains in the life of Muslims. Some of their steps were as follows:

A. Unity of Muslims

The Umayyads spread discord and conflict among the Muslims and enlivened tribal prejudices and fights among clans and Arab tribes so that no unity is created among the Muslims.

Yazid encouraged Akhtal to denounce the Ansars, who had given refuge to the Prophet and in the days of trouble and hard times of Islam they supported the religion of Islam.

The poetry of the Umayyad period was mainly concerned with shameless insults to some people. Some poets devoted their artistic capabilities only to degrade their rival tribes and clans. The Umayyad poetry was devoid of any sort of social or humanistic aim and it was only concerned with abusing and flaying their competitors. In this way it opposed the formation of unity that Islam desired for its followers.

B. Equality:

Umayyads destroyed justice and equity that Islam had announced because they gave preference to Arabs over non-Arabs and promoted an atmosphere of fear full of convulsions and political groupism among the Muslims, the consequences of which was that non-Arabs began to write books against the Arabs and the Arabs wrote books pointing out the defects of non-Arabs. The person who was foremost in inciting such tendencies was Ziyad bin Abih. He was such that he harbored a great malice towards the Arabs and he ordered writers to denounce their opponents in their writings.

This evil policy was opposed to the spirit of Islam which has appointed all the rights and duties among the Muslims without any tribal discrimination and established equitability.

C. Freedom:

Throughout the Umayyad regime there was no sign of freedom in the sphere of people’s life. Because they were dealt with very severely if they tried to do anything according to their will but it was not in accordance with the ruler’s wish so that no one could demand his or her right or to say anything for general good. So much so that the regime of guillotine and sword was established.[1]

The chief of noble men rose up so that humans, Muslims and other people may be liberated from social injustice and the rights of people that were usurped during Muawiyah’s rule may be restored.

[1] Leather mat on which beheading is done


12. Trampling of the society

During the Umayyad period the society had sunk into decadence and all Islamic values had disappeared. The most important causes of decadence that appeared were as follows:

1. The society was deprived of spiritual training regarding which no other caliph other than Ali paid any attention. His Eminence had paid special attention to it but the terrible incidents obstructed his way when he wanted to reform the society and better their morals.

2. The Umayyad regime tried to destroy the fabric of the society and to deviate it. They instead forced upon the society everything that was far from the reality of Islam and Islamic guidance. These two factors according to our view were responsible for taking the society towards decadence…The signs of that decay and decadence were as follows:

A. Oath breaking: Most people of the society did not consider it sinful to break oaths and promises because such a thing was considered usual in the society of that time. Arab kings encouraged them in this regard. That is why they announced in their statement of Nakhila: “Every oath we had made to Hasan, we shall not fulfill.” And they intentionally broke all pledges they had made to Imam Hasan. It was one of the most prominent characteristics of the Kufians. That is why the greatest pledge they had made to help and assist Imam Husain was subsequently broken by them. Thus they broke the pledge they had made to the Almighty. They failed to help him. Nay they even became instrumental in his martyrdom.

B. Not refraining from lies: The maladies that afflicted the society included not refraining from lying. Especially the Kufians were more involved in it. That is why when they had surrounded Imam Husain to slay him, His Eminence posed a question to the commanders of the army who had previously written to him inviting him to Kufa:”

“O Shabth bin Rabi’! O Hijaar bin Abjar! O Qais bin Ashath! Did you not write that the fruits were ready and the orchards had become green and you shall find an army at your disposal?”

Those filthy people were absolutely unashamed to lie. They all responded. “We never did that!”

The Imam was astounded. He said, “Glory be to Allah! You indeed did so!”

While the fact was that the crimes they had committed were responsible for the society being involved in calamities and disasters. Their leaders used such people as instruments of injustice and oppression on the Muslims.

C. Selling of consciences: The worst condition towards which the society was headed is best seen in the readiness of the people to sell their consciences to the rulers. We have explained this in detail in the chapter on the reign of Muawiyah.


D. Attracting people to vices: The society was fully attracted to vices and vain pastimes. The Umayyads directly promoted a life of waywardness and they openly tried to deviate the beliefs of the people so that they become absolutely against the balance life advised and commanded by Islam.

These were some of the maladies that the society was involved in and decay and waywardness was widespread in the people. Imam Husain took up the uprising to destroy that decadence into which the Muslim society of that time was sinking.

13. Defending his own rights

Imam Husain rose up to define his own rights that the Umayyads had usurped from him. The most important of these were as follows:

A. Caliphate: Like his father, Imam Husain also had faith that the Progeny of Prophet was more deserving of his successorship than others. Because they were the Ahle Bayt of Prophethood, mine of messengership and the place of the coming and going of Angels. The Almighty Allah began creation with them and ended it on them. On the basis of the statement of His Eminence he was brought up since childhood with this very belief. That is why he rushed to Umar and shouted, “Get down from my father’s pulpit and go on the pulpit of your father.”

Such a feeling was not unique to only Imam Husain. It was found in all the Imams of Ahle Bayt because they all believed that Caliphate was one of their rights, because they were the closest people to the Holy Prophet and ones most aware of the aims of His Eminence…

Another point worth mention is that according to the terms of the treaty Imam Husain should have been accepted as the de facto caliph as he was according to Shariah. Because Muawiyah had agreed not to transfer the caliphate to anyone else after himself. After Muawiyah, the caliphate should have returned to Imam Hasan and if anything happened to him it would go to Imam Husain.[1]

On the basis of this, the allegiance of Yazid was not lawful and Imam Husain did not revolt against a lawful Caliph of Islam as the Umayyads believe and allege. Rather he had risen up against a tyrant who had usurped his right of caliphate.

B. Khums: Khums is the obligatory right for Ahle Bayt as clearly explained in Quran and too many traditions have been recorded about it but the previous regime had usurped it and did not pay anything from it so that the Alawites may not muster the power to revolt. Imam Husain told this to Abu Huraira when he refrained him from rising up against Bani Umayyah: “Woe be unto you, O Abu Huraira. Bani Umayyah usurped our property and we remained patient on it.”

Most probably the Imam meant to denote Khums by this. In the panegyric that Dibil Khuzai recited for Imam Reza in Khorasan, he has mentioned this point:

“I see that their right has been distributed among others and their hand has become empty of their rights.”

[1] Life of Imam Hasan 2/298, Al-Isabah 1/333


Imam Reza was moved by these lines and spreading his palms said: “By Allah, they are empty.”

Denying the Khums funds to the Alawites became the most important cause of their economic difficulties. Probably through his uprising, Imam Husain wanted to restore this right to Ahle Bayt.

14. Enjoining Good

The strongest motive for Imam Husain in his uprising was the establishment of enjoining good which was one of the primary principles of religion and the Imam was the person having greatest responsibility towards it.

Imam in his bequest to his brother, Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyah, has explained the aim of his uprising against Yazid. His Eminence said: “…I am not taking up arms in order to make merry, or be ecstatic over what I possess. I am not making mischief, nor exercising oppression. But I am ready to fight for the sole goal of seeking reform of the Ummah of my grandfather, the Apostle of Allah. I want to enjoin good and forbid evil…”

Imam rushed to the fields of Jihad so that he may lay the foundation on which Islamic respectable life may be built up. Pillars of foundation that had been demolished during the period of Umayyad regime. Because in their time the good had become evil and the evil had become good. Imam objected against them on many occasions. The most well-known of these instances is the speech His Eminence delivered before the Ansar and Muhajireen denouncing their attitude of supporting the tyrants, obstructing the truth and preferring a life of comfort and luxury as we have already mentioned in the first part of this book.

Regarding the matter, His Eminence said the following to his companions on the day of Ashura, “Do you not see that truth is not acted upon and falsehood is not being removed so that a believer creates in himself the love of proximity of his Lord?”

His Eminence preferred death to life because he witnessed that the truth was being destroyed and falsehood was becoming stronger.

15. Uprooting Innovations

Umayyad regime dared to spread innovations among the Muslims and its aim was not but the destruction and defeat of Islam. Imam indicated this in his letters to people saying, “The Sunnah is gone and innovation has become alive.”[1]

Imam rose up so that the innovations that Umayyads had spread may be destroyed and to enliven the Sunnah of his grandfather that they had destroyed. On the basis of this the ever living aim of His Eminence was uprooting ignorance and hoisting the flag of Islam.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/357


16. Order of the Prophet

The Holy Prophet had been informed through the Unseen about dangers that Islam would face at the hands of Umayyads in future. He also knew that the reformation of message and restoring eternality to its principles was not possible except through the sacrifice of his grandson, Imam Husain. Therefore it was incumbent on His Eminence to don the coat of mail and take up arms for the defense of faith. That is why His Eminence had ordered sacrifice. Therefore His Eminence, Husain stated this reply to the sincere advisor refraining him from going to Iraq. Imam Husain told him as follows: “I have been commanded and I am going to fulfill the command…”

Historians have said, “The Messenger of Allah prophesied to the people the martyrdom of His Eminence, Husain and also informed them about the great calamities that would befall him and he always expressed sorrow at his killing and cursed his killers.”

In the same way Imam Amirul Momineen has also spoken about the impending martyrdom of Imam Husain as we have discussed in the previous volume and quoted the widely narrations in this regard…

Imam Husain had perfect knowledge of what was to befall him because he had heard it all from his grandfather and father and he had become certain of his martyrdom. He had no more hope for living and went on the way of sacrifice and fulfillment of the command of his grandfather; he moved towards death with full determination.

17. Respect and honor

Of the most important factors for which the chief of the nobles undertook an uprising were ‘respect and honor’. Because the Umayyads wanted to force him to humiliation and degradation. But His Eminence did not accept it. He continued to live in honor under the shade of swords and spears. His Eminence has himself explained this matter on the day of Ashura: “Know that this man of evil ancestry has given two options. To pull the sword or face humiliation. Never could we accept humiliation. Allah, His Prophet and noble and valiant ones would never accept it for us. That we prefer the obedience of lowly ones to sacrifice in spite of the testimony of these great people…”

His Eminence then said: “I don’t see death except success and I don’t see life with oppressors except as deceit.”

His Eminence happily laid himself in the lap of death to bestow respect and honor to humanity and sacrificed everything for his independence and honor.

18. Deceit and tyranny of Umayyads

Imam Husain was certain that the Umayyads would never leave him alone and would leave no stone unturned to conspire against him and make his life difficult till he gives them the pledge of allegiance.

Imam was the most prominent personality of the Islamic world and Muslims had


much regard and devotion to him because His Eminence was the grandson of their Prophet and Chief of the Youths of Paradise. And it is natural that such a thing was unbearable for the Umayyads that someone should, with all his dominance and lofty status be present in all the lands because such a thing posed a great danger to their kingdom.

The Umayyads were sworn enemies of the Prophet because in the Battle of Badr he had eliminated their elders and humiliated them absolutely. Yazid was waiting for an opportunity to take revenge from Ahle Bayt for the Battle of Badr. Narrators say that he said:

“I am not from Khandaf if I do not take revenge from the descendants of Ahmad.”

When he had taken his revenge and satiated his malice by shedding blood he began to cry and said:

“We have killed their elders of elders and taken revenge for Badr; thus our account is leveled.”

Umayyads were well known for their deceit and oath- breaking. Because Imam Hasan made a peace treaty with Muawiyah and surrendered the Caliphate seat to him. In spite of this Muawiyah betrayed his trust and had him poisoned. And they had also given guarantee of security to Muslim Ibn Aqil but again they betrayed the trust…We have mentioned many examples of those whom Muawiyah had put to death because he feared danger from them.

Imam Husain declared that the Bani Umayyah would not leave him. His Eminence told his brother, Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyah: “Even if I enter into the holes of reptiles they would take me out and kill me.” Also His Eminence told Ja’far Ibn Sulaiman Zai-ee: “By Allah, they would not leave me till they do not take out my heart from inside me.”

Imam stood up against them and declared war and died an honorable death that was to shake up the throne of their tyranny and destroy their injustice and rebellion.

These were the factors that compelled the chief of the nobles to revolt against Yazid’s regime.

Valueless Opinion

A group of bigoted supporters of Bani Umayyah have considered the Imam’s uprising to be aimed at obtaining rulership and wealth of the country. This view is a sign of their malice towards Imam. And it is because of the victory that His Eminence achieved with regard to his blessed aim. It was a victory no other reformer of the world had ever achieved.

Probably some of them may be excused for being ignorant of the facts of the mission of Imam Husain because the Imam was certain that his revolution would be defeated in the martial field as his enemy was having the support of a


huge army and had a lot of power while the Imam had no army to obtain rulership. If it was as they claimed that his aim was rulership, when he got the news of the martyrdom of Aqil and the about turn of the people of Kufa, he could have gone back to Hijaz and again started gathering forces to achieve his aim.

Imam knew that the circumstances were in every way favorable for the Umayyads and nothing was in his favor or benefit.

Ibn Khaldun says: “Husain’s defeat was a foregone conclusion because Husain had nothing with which he could have defeated the Umayyads because the Mudhir tribe was bigoted to the Quraish and the Quraish was malicious to the clan of Abde Manaf and the family of Abde Manaf was hateful to the Umayyads. And the Quraish was aware of this and other people also know it.”[1]

Imam’s revolution was aimed at the restoring of their honor and respect that they had lost and which they had never expected. Therefore the Imam’s uprising against Yazid’s regime was on the basis of Islamic values that had been plundered by the Umayyads and which they were cutting up into pieces and destroying them…

One of the contemporary writers says: “We have the right to ask what was the aim of Husain and why he rose up? If this aim was to eliminate Yazid so that he may take up the Caliphate for himself that he had eyes on we have not seen the insistence in His Eminence himself that he try to go to Kufa in spite of the fact that the people had distanced from him and submitted to Ibn Ziyad and they had aimed themselves to confront the Imam. Even those not having a wide view knew that whatever His Eminence was doing was not in any way improper. If Husain had lacked perception he would have turned back to Mecca so that he may once again muster up means to achieve the Caliphate. If he had aimed to obtain the seat of caliphate since the beginning and when the news of killing of his cousin reached him he would have marched forward along with his family members to take revenge for it as some historians have claimed. And if their aim had been such, while he had hardly
ninety people of them and if he had gone to take revenge they would all have been killed and thus he would have sacrificed his life for an aim which was less in value and based on revenge.

Apart from this, his duty in revenge would have been such that he would have turned back and gone to gather relatives and supporters so that a group of revenge-seeking persons would have come into being.

On the basis of this, the matter was not connected with revenge and he had no personal motive in it. Rather, the matter was concerned with the Ummah and the problem was related to truth. The movement was the movement of sacrifice, such that he desired to establish an example of sacrifice. That Imam Husain did not try to enter Kufa when he learnt that people had turned away from him and his giving up the plan of armed opposition was that he may hoist a flag through his sacrifice for the few people who had some regard for faith and who were in search

[1] Muqaddimah Pg. 171, Qaidah 30


for a leader who moved to struggle against them and make efforts in this regard. And also that the movement of their human consciousness and their despair from being able to obtain their rights had become obvious.”

This discussion contains the illuminated reality present behind the mission of Imam Husain because His Eminence had no personal motive in mind. Rather his aim was to reform the Ummah and to keep them safe from the hands of Umayyads.

Charting out the Course of Revolution

Imam Husain studied deeply the aspects of revolution and his methods were based on complete knowledge and faith and he charted out the program in accordance with it. He decided to employ all his powers in confrontation and to sacrifice everything to save the Ummah, which was involved in hardships at the hands of the political rulership. And he wanted to achieve the liberation of their aspirations.

The German Orientalist, Morbin has studied the planning of Imam Husain for his revolution and he believes that the Imam began to expect victory in the first stage itself and he was sure that he would indeed succeed in his aim. Because the movement of Imam against Yazid was as he has said: “A firm determination such that it was difficult for him to surrender himself to the demands of Yazid. And immediate victory was also very difficult for him. On the basis of this he marched forward with his family members and companions so that future victory would be achieved in it after he had passed away. By these means he enlivened a matter that had been suppressed and apart from this he had no hope of life for himself.”

The chief of the nobles was certain that the reality of Islam was not possible that it would succeed but with the sacrifice that he presents with greatness. That is why he became determined and with faith decided to present great sacrifices, some of which were as follows:

1. Sacrificing his own life

Imam declared his determination to give up his life and he made this clear in Mecca among the Muslims that the parts of his body would be strewn between Nawawis and Kerbala and he also spoke of his martyrdom during the journey to Iraq. He dwelt on the similarity between himself and his brother, Yahya bin Zakaria. That is, his severed head shall be presented to the tyrant of that time from the Umayyads just as the severed head of Yahya was presented to the tyrant of Bani Israel.

His Eminence was determined to be martyred and he considered life valueless so that the standard of Islam is hoisted and the word of God is exalted on the earth and in the same way he remained firm on his resolve. And when the multitude of soldiers had surrounded him, he was in no way worried while those mercenaries had mercilessly slaughtered his supporters. Such was the horror of the tragedy that


human consciousness is shocked by the magnitude of the disaster. However, His Eminence was the most steadfast and valiant among the people in that terrible calamity. None was seen to have had more determination and resolve neither before that or afterwards. History is not able to find a greater example of such determination and powerful resolve in any period that influenced the life of people with such a sacrifice that it seemed a bolt of lightning had struck the oppressors and its echo is still heard among the unjust people.

2. Sacrificing his family Members

The chief of the nobles initiated his movement with such conviction that no other social reformer had taken such a step in the whole world. It was that he inculcated the sacrifice-giving belief in order to establish justice and spread truth and righteousness among the people.

For this sacrifice, His Eminence charted out a program and he considered it an important duty of his. When he was in Medina and when Umme Salma, the Prophet’s wife rushed to stop him from leaving Medina, he mentioned this and informed her about his martyrdom and the martyrdom of his children…

Armed with this faith His Eminence rushed forward to the field of Jihad and saw his chosen companions competing with each other to give up their lives in his service. They were such that humanity has well recognized their loyalty to truth. He was seeing the stars of Ahle Bayt and his sons that how in the prime of youth their bodies were being cut up by swords and spears and His Eminence was advising them patience and steadfastness and saying: “Be patient O’ my nephews. Have patience O’ my Ahle Bayt! After this you shall never face humiliation and degradation.”[1]

The whole world was shocked by this great sacrifice which has shown nobility of faith, loftiness of aim and greatness of principles for which His Eminence took up confrontation. Without any doubt, this movement will remain for centuries and generations in the same way so that it can illuminate the way for the people and which may offer to them the best of lessons in loyalty and sacrifice.

3. Sacrificing his property

The chief of the nobles sacrificed all his property and whatever he possessed in the path of Quran and the way of religion. For the Umayyad beasts moved to the camps of His Eminence after his martyrdom and plundered whatever they could find over there. So much so that even sheets and head coverings were not left for the ladies. The plunderers took away these also. In this way they exhibited a decadent behavior and their conscience which had been completely transmogrified.

4. Taking the ladies of his family with him

One of the important aspects of his planning for the great revolution was that he took along the ladies of the family of prophethood to Kerbala while he knew that

[1] Biharul Anwar 45/36


they would have to suffer untold hardships. When Ibn Abbas restrained him from this step he told him: “Indeed Allah has desired to see them in captivity…”[1]

Through this His Eminence wanted to fulfill his everlasting message in liberating the Ummah from the slavery of the Umayyads…Those exalted ladies had a very significant role in the overall goal of the chief of the martyrs. They awakened the people from a sleep that had overpowered them and destroyed the awe of the Umayyad rule. The door of opposition to that regime was opened by them. If it hadn’t been so none would have dared to utter a single word against the tyrants and transgressors. Whoever studied the aim of the Holy Imam deeply has understood this meaning. Some scholars and writers have pointed out this matter and some of them are as follows:

A. Imam Kashiful Ghita: Imam Shaykh Muhammad Husain Aale Kashiful Ghita (q.s.) in many of his writings has emphasized that the coming out of Imam Husain with his family members towards Kerbala was to perfect the aim and to reach his objective of destroying the Umayyad rule and he says: “Have you any doubt that if only Husain and his sons had been martyred and those noble ladies had not stepped forward in these circumstances to confront those tyrants the killing of His Eminence would have indeed been forgotten and no one would have arisen to take the revenge of his blood. His blood would have been wasted. Husain knew that there was no other option for him. No one, other than those great ladies, was capable of the tasks they accomplished. Hence it became incumbent for His Eminence to take them along and it was not only to have them made captives in oppression. It was actually because of a political point of view and deep thought, that is the completion
of aim and achievement of objective of destroying Yazid’s rule and that he rushed to finish them off before the people may apostatize to their former infidelity of the period of Ignorance and that they destroy Islam…”[2]

B. Ahmad Fahmi: Ustad Sayyid Ahmad Fahmi says, “Husain realized that he would be martyred because he was aware of the evil, debauchery and tyranny of Yazid. After the killing of Husain, Yazid would have got a free hand to torture the progeny of the Prophet, kill the innocent children, defile the honor of ladies and take them and remaining children from wilderness to wilderness and from town to town seeing which the people would be shocked that no greater revenge can be taken from women and children after killing their men and youths.

Under such circumstances His Eminence wanted to take revenge from Yazid in his caliphate and to destroy him while he was in full power and position. And in fact it happened in the way His Eminence had desired. What Yazid and his group did had a profound effect on the conscience of the community because he had behaved in such a horrible manner with the progeny of prophethood, put to such disrespect, ladies who had not seen anything but chastity, purity and honor. These actions of

[1] Biharul Anwar 44/364 (With a little difference)
[2] Imam Kashiful Ghita has discussed this in detail in his book, As-Siyasatul Husainiyah


theirs motivated the poets to versify the defects and evils of the Umayyads. The majority of Muslims began to despise the Umayyad Caliphate and the hearts of believers were enraged. On the basis of this, Husain killed more severely than his own slaying.”[1]

C. Ahmad Mahmud Sobhi: Dr. Ahmad Mahmud Sobhi says: “At the time he (His Eminence, Husain) did not accept but that he took his family members along with himself. So that people may see how evil his enemy was such that he neither did anything acceptable to religion nor anything permitted by humanity. Therefore whatever is done to them along with the spilling of his blood in the desert would not go in vain and that severe allegations are made against him when there was no impartial witness upon everything that passed between them and their enemies.”

Khanam Dr. Binte Ash-Shati says: “Zainab, Husain’s sister, destroyed the victory of Ibn Ziyad and Bani Umayyah and she put drops of fatal poison in the goblets of the victors. And all political events that occurred after that like the revolt of Mukhtar, revolt of Ibn Zubair, downfall of Umayyad regime, establishment of Abbaside rule and after that the strengthening of Shia school of thought. The founder and originator of all these was Zainab al-Kubra.[2]

We wish to ask what would have been the circumstances if Husain had been killed with his men without any witnesses from his side. The enemy would have shown the incident according to their routine and thus the martyrdom of Husain in the desert would have been in vain…”[3]

These were some of the views in support of our own opinion. That is the aim of Imam Husain in taking his ladies and children along with him to Kerbala was only to enlighten the general views and to explain the lofty aims for which he had undertaken an uprising. The chief of these aims being the elimination of the Umayyad rule whose danger was always perceived on Islamic belief.

Another view is also prevalent that Late Allamah Shaykh Abdul Wahid Muzaffar has explained. It is that His Eminence, Husain took his family with him for the fear that the Umayyads would arrest them and put them into their prisons. He says, “If His Eminence, Husain had left the ladies in Medina, the government would have taken them under their control; rather they would have been arrested openly and cast into dark dungeons. In such circumstances, His Eminence would have had to choose one of the two options each of which was alone sufficient to destroy his objective:

One that he surrenders to the enemies and obeys them so that they may release his honored women and children while it was against the reform expected from the Imam that he had considered so necessary that he bore all hardships.

[1] Raihaanatur Rasool, Pg. 167
[2] Batla Kerbala, 176-180
[3] Nazaria Imamat Nazd Shia Ithna Ashari, Pg. 343


Or that he should continue to propagate his message and leave his family ladies at the mercy of the enemies while the ladies were such that they had always been secure in the veil of revelation, greatness and majesty. This was something that the modest spirit of Husain could never accept and no sort of shame and modesty hindered the Bani Umayyah and no one in the Islamic world was capable of stopping them.

Bani Umayyah had no qualms in committing any kind of evil deed but their efforts were concentrated only for achieving their aims. They tried all means to reach their objectives even if the means were against religion and reason.

Have you not heard that the Umayyads cast into prison the wife of Amr bin Hamaq Khuzai, wife of Ubaidullah bin Hurr Johfi and wife of Kumayt Asadi also?[1]

Anyway, Imam by his going out with the ladies destroyed the political program of Umayyads and shattered all signs of oppression that Muawiyah had established because the ladies of the family of revelation took upon themselves the active role to enlighten the society and create awareness in the people. They made them cognizant about the true face of the Umayyads and tore away the disguise of religion that the Umayyads had donned. If these ladies hadn’t been there the effects of Imam Husain’s revolution would have been lost.

The greatest factor which made the revolution of Imam Husain eternal is this very decision of taking along with himself the ladies of the Prophet’s household. This resulted in the spread of social reformation throughout the periods of history which had a prominent role in creating general awareness. They took up the standard of faith that the Imam had hoisted and they propagated the principles for which the Imam had given up his life. That is why the granddaughter of the Prophet and sister of Husain, Zainab binte Amirul Momineen, stepped forward to the field of Jihad. While they were demolishing the forts of oppressors and through his sacrifice her brother was destroying their victories and giving them defeat and humiliation in their fate and was filling up their houses with grief and sadness.

Leader of Husain’s caravan, lady of the family of prophethood, Her Eminence Zainab rushed to the battlefield while she drove away the mercenaries from her brother, the great Imam. She came forward till she came and stood over the mortal remains of her brother. The eyes of the army were fixed on her. All the ears were attentive to hear what Her Eminence had to say regarding the terrible calamities that had befallen her one after another.

Her Eminence, with absolute calmness, without being worried and shaken by the mountains of calamities looked up at the heavens and with the fervor of faith and warmth of belief said:

“O Allah, please accept this sacrifice from us.”

By this statement she threw the first spark of revolution against the Umayyad

[1] Tauzeeh al-Ghaamiz min Asraarus Sunan wal Faraidh, Pg. 297-298


regime after the passing away of her brother. That army wished it had sunk into the earth. Because they realized what infamy they had committed and how they had destroyed the principles of Islam and centers of knowledge and faith.

When the prisoners of Ahle Bayt neared Kufa a huge crowd of Kufians came out to see the captives. The chief lady of the Prophet’s family delivered sermons to them that had them shocked and bewildered. People were astonished and neither could they pay attention nor understand how their houses fell into mourning. They were grieving their terrible destiny because of the sin they had committed. When Her Eminence reached the palace of that rebellious tyrant, the big Satan faced her gloating over his success. He tauntingly asked, “How do you consider God has treated your brother?”

The lady of Bani Hashim glared at him and with great daring replied, “Nothing but good! They were a people for whom God had decreed death and they went forward (bravely) to their resting places. God will gather you and us together. You will plead your excuses to Him and we will be your opponents before Him. At that time you shall see who is successful. May your mother mourn for you, O son of Marjana.”

These statements exposed Ibn Marjana and disgraced him in a way that was worse than a wound caused by spears.

When they reached Syria, through her effective sermon she shook up the throne of Umayyads. In this way she obtained a victory that not even well-armed armies could have achieved.

The decision of Imam Husain to bring along with himself his household was based on a deep knowledge and foresight through which he was able to achieve a stupendous victory.

Here we conclude our discussion on the factors and causes responsible for the rising of Imam Husain.

In Mecca

After His Eminence, Imam Husain announced his absolute denial to give allegiance to Yazid. He set out, with his family and children to Mecca which was the sanctuary of God and His Messenger and he took refuge in the sacred house of Allah because the Almighty Allah has granted security and peace to His servants in it.

Imam turned to the city of peace so that he may remain safe and secure from the mischief and oppressions of the Umayyads.

Historians say that His Eminence set out on the night of Sunday, 28th Rajab[1] while consternation had fallen on the people of Medina because they were seeing that the

[1] Maqrizi, Khatat 2/286 Printed by Ahya al-Uloom-Lebanon. Ibne Jauzi, Munatzim, 5/324 Al Ifada min Tarikhul Aimmatus Saadah. And in Al Futuh 5/34 it has come that: His Eminence departed after three nights of the month of Shaban had passed.


Prophet’s clan was leaving their town, never to return again.

The caravan left Medina moving swiftly while the Imam was reciting the words of God, “My Lord, deliver me from the unjust people.”[1]

The Holy Imam has compared his mission to that of His Eminence, Musa against Firon. The mission of His Eminence against the tyrant of his time, the Firon of this Ummah was same so that he may establish truth and raise the lofty edifice of justice.

Imam selected the route frequented most by travelers and he did not diverge much from it. Some of his friends suggested to His Eminence, like Ibn Zubair that he should leave the general route lest the Umayyad agents may pursue and arrest him. However, the Imam replied with perfect calmness and unabashedly, “No, by Allah! I would never leave this route till we decry the houses of Mecca or that Allah brings the command of that which He likes.”

Imam was satisfied with all the commands that God had destined and he never weakened in this resolve. And those terrible disasters that no man could have borne, failed to weaken his determination. During his mission he used to quote the couplets of the poet, Yazid bin Mufragh:

“Neither do I harass the birds in the morning, nor may Yazid summon me.

That day I shall be disgraced with fear of death while it is behind me so that I may run away from it.”[2]

His Eminence was sure while he was firm on his great resolve that death was in his pursuit to allow him to live without disrespect and disgrace and that he does not surrender before Yazid…Some narrators say that His Eminence was reciting the following couplets:

“If a person does not support his wives and children he shall be terribly disgraced.

Tomorrow, before Yazid may reach his aim, we would have accepted death in the east and west.

We shall rush forward like blazing fire such that even if a lion sees it, he would not dare to confront.”

These couplets inform us about the determination of His Eminence to accept death and his firm resolve never to accept the allegiance of Yazid.

With Abdullah bin Muti’

On the way, Abdullah bin Muti’ Adawi hastened forward to welcome His Eminence and he said, “O Aba Abdillah, may I be sacrificed for you, where do you head?”

[1] Surah Qasas 28:21
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/342


“I am going to Mecca. When I reach there I shall seek the advice of Allah what I do after that.”

“O son of the daughter of Allah’s Messenger, may Allah destine good for what you have intended. I am making a suggestion to you, please accept it.”

“What is that?”

“When you go to Mecca, beware so that Kufians may not deceive you because your father was martyred there and your brother was attacked and injured in such a way that he almost died. So maintain the honor of the sacred sanctuary as you are the chief of the Arabs in your time. Thus if you are eliminated, your Ahle Bayt shall also be finished.”

Imam thanked him and prayed for his well-being.[1]

The Imam’s caravan Imam moved forward and continued fast without worrying for anything till they reached Mecca. When His Eminence decried the mountains of Mecca he recited the verse of Quran:

“And when he turned his face towards Madayan, he said: Maybe my Lord will guide me in the right path.”([2])([3])

The Hijrat of His Eminence to Mecca was like the Hijrat of Musa to Madayan; because both of them had fled from the Firons of their time and migrated to confront tyranny and rebellion.

Imam Husain in Mecca

Imam Husain reached Mecca on Friday, the third Shaban[4] and stayed in the

[1] Ibne Jauzi, Muntazim, Part 5, Pg. 327. Al-Futuh 5/34-35. And in Tarikh Ibne Asakir 14/182 it is mentioned: His Eminence, Husain passed by Ibne Muti’ when they were busy at the well. So he asked His Eminence, “Where are you going, may my parents be sacrificed on you?” His Eminence replied, “I am going to Mecca.” And His Eminence showed him one of the letters he had received from the people of Kufa. Ibne Muti’ told him not to go there. But the Imam did not accept his suggestion. After that Ibne Muti told him that their work at the well was complete and that they had already struck water. He requested the Imam to pray that the water be potable. Imam told him to get some water from it which was immediately presented to him. He tasted some of it and directed that the remaining be returned to the well. The water of the well became potable. And in Waseelatul Maal fee idda manaqibul Aal, Pg. 185 it is quoted from Safiuddin that: Abdullah came to
His Eminence, Husain and said, “May I be sacrificed on you, where are you going?” His Eminence replied, “Right now I am going to Mecca and after that I shall seek divine counsel and do as Allah wills.” He said, “May Allah keep you all in good health and make us be sacrificed on you. You be the caretaker of the Sanctuary as you are the leader of Arabs and the people of Hijaz do not consider anyone your equal. People shall come to from all over. Do not leave the vicinity of the Sanctuary, may my paternal and maternal uncles be sacrificed on you.”
[2] Al-Futuh 5/37
[3] Surah Qasas 28:22
[4] Ibne Jauzi, Muntazim, Al-Ifada min Tarikhul Aaimmatus Saada


house of Abbas Ibn Muttalib.[1] The people of Mecca welcomed him according to his honor and they met him day and night and inquired from him about religious laws and traditions of the Prophet.

Ibn Kathir says, “In Mecca people met him, sat around him and heard his talks and took benefit from whatever they heard from him and whatever they heard him narrate, they used to note it down.”[2]

Through spiritual magnetism, His Eminence attracted the hearts of the people towards him. People used to make a circle around him so that they may satiate their souls with the continued light of his grandfather that spread knowledge and effulgence in the earth.

Attention of Hajj Pilgrims and Umrah visitors towards His Eminence, Husain

All those people who came from various provinces for the Hajj and Umrah of the House of Allah, also began to make it a point to pay visits to His Eminence[3] and they also called others to the Holy Imam. They used to sit besides him. One of them used to ask him about knowledge and traditions and other asked him beneficial things and obtained complete information from him so that through those lights they may be guided in the darkness of their life.[4] Imam did not waste a single second of his time without spending it to spread his view and social awareness. His Eminence used to advise the people to remain awakened and warned them of the Umayyad policy as its aim was to enslave the Muslims and humiliate them.

Consternation of Ibn Zubair

Ibn Zubair had fled from the allegiance of Yazid and taken refuge in Mecca and the frequenting of people in Imam’s company and their devotion and respect to the Imam was very distasteful to him, because he himself was devoid of a pleasing nature and kindness.

Zaid bin Ali Juzani says, “He had such qualities that with them he was unfit for caliphate because he was miserly and inhospitable. He had bad habits and was jealous of others. He expelled Muhammad bin Hanafiyah and exiled Abdullah bin Abbas to Taif.”[5]

Among his personal traits were lowliness and miserliness. A poet has said thus about him:

“By your Lord I have seen Ibn Zubair trying to obtain caliphate at the cost of a date fruit.”[6]

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/207 and in Akhbarud Daul, Pg. 229 it is mentioned: His Eminence arrived at Sha’b Ali
[2] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah: 8/151
[3] Ibne Sabbagh, Al-Fusul al-Muhimma, 183, Waseelatul Maal fi ad Manaqibul Aal, 185
[4] Nahzatul Husain, Pg. 57
[5] Fawaatul Wafayaat 2/173
[6] Ibne Qutaybah, Al-Ma’rif, Pg. 225


During his brief rule the people were troubled with hunger and deprivations. They were involved in different types of problems. Their poets have versified their despair and hopelessness in the following way:

“Slaves complain to the caliph and bemoan anger and starvation.

What was our fault and what had distressed us that which king had become dominant on other around us.”[1]

Ibn Zubair used to hunt the simple people, deceive the less intelligent ones and made a show of piety and abstemiousness just as Imam Amirul Momineen has described him: “He uses the trap of religion to hunt for the world.”[2]

It is confirmed that he revolted against the Umayyad regime not for the sake of Allah. Actually he wanted to obtain kingdom and power. Abdullah bin Umar had expressed this reality when his wife insisted on him to pledge allegiance and she reminded him of his obedience and piety. So he said, “Have you not seen those donkeys of Muawiyah on whom he traveled for Hajj and they were grey? Ibn Zubair does not want anything except that.”[3]

Anyway, nothing was more unbearable for Ibn Zubair except the matter of His Eminence, Imam Husain. Because he knew that in the presence of Imam Husain no one would pledge allegiance to him. Since His Eminence was the grandson of the Messenger of Allah and there was no one equal to him on the face of the earth as Ibn Kathir has said.[4]

Oakley has also emphasized this matter and he says: Ibn Zubair perfectly knew that as long as His Eminence, Husain remained, all his efforts shall be in vain. But were he to get some harm the way of caliphate would become easy for him.”

Ibn Zubair suggested to Imam Husain to go to Iraq so that he may get relief. He used to ask him, “What hinders you from going to your Shias and Shias of your father? By Allah, if I had such supporters, I would never have left them.”[5]

Ibn Zubair was not really sincere to the Holy Imam and he was not having any true concern towards the Holy Imam. He only wished that His Eminence may go away and he be relieved of worry regarding his presence in Mecca. However, the Imam was not ignorant of his true intentions. His Eminence told his companions, “This one”, pointing to Ibn Zubair, “Nothing in the world is better for him except that I leave Hijaz. He knows that people do not consider me equal to him. He

[1] Muruj az-Zahab 7/48
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 7/48
[3] Al-Mukhtar, Pg. 95
[4] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah: 8/151. And in Waseelatul Maal, Pg. 185 it is mentioned: The presence of Husain was unbearable for the son of Zubair, because as long as Husain was in that area the people would not give allegiance to him and he would not be able to gain from them what he wanted.
[5] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 4/170, (First events of year 60)


wishes I go away from here so that he may get a free hand.”[1]

The Umayyad regime also did not pay much attention to Ibn Zubair. It focused all its efforts on Imam Husain.

Ghazzali’s view

Shaykh Muhammad Ghazzali thinks it was unlikely that Ibn Zubair suggested Imam Husain to go to Iraq so that he (Ibn Zubair) may get a free hand. He says: “Abdullah Ibn Zubair was most God-fearing and there was no one more rooted in Islam than him that he could have stooped to such a lowly act.”[2]

This view is absolutely against reality. Ibn Zubair had no sort of religiosity because it was he who had flamed the fire of Battle of Jamal and who instigated his father to take part in it. He was that same who sacrificed everything to obtain wealth and power. He was the most malicious foe of the Purified Progeny. For someone like this, is it possible that he could be pious and rooted in Islam?

Cheap view

Among the cheap opinions is that of Anees Zakaria who is well-known for his loyalties towards Bani Umayyah. He says: “One of the most important factors that led to the uprising of Imam Husain was the instigation of Ibn Zubair to His Eminence to move to Iraq to organize a revolt which had a deep effect on the Imam’s thinking.”[3]

This statement is absolutely baseless because Imam Husain did not pay attention to the suggestion of Ibn Zubair and he was not deceived by it. Rather there were other factors that motivated the Imam to head towards Iraq, that we have explained in detail in the previous chapter.

Anxiety of the local regime

The local regime of Mecca fell into anxiety by the coming of the Imam and it feared that the Imam may make it the centre of his politics for his call and make it the locale of announcement against the Damascus regime. Therefore, Amr bin Saeed Ashdaq, the governor of Mecca hastened to Imam Husain and asked, “What has brought you here?”

“I have come for Allah and the refuge of this House…”[4]

Imam took refuge in the sacred House of Allah which guaranteed security and protection from all oppressions for all those who entered it.

Ashdaq did not pay any heed to the Imam’s reply. Instead he wrote a letter to Yazid informing him about the arrival of Holy Imam in Mecca and also about the constant stream of visitors who met the Imam, their crowding around him and their

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/38. Tabari, Tarikh 5/383
[2] Min Ma’alimul Haqq, Pg. 139
[3] Ad-Daulatul Amawiya fish Shaam, Pg. 54
[4] Tadkiratul Khawaas, Pg. 237


congregations in honor of Imam Husain. He also mentioned that this could create a great danger for the Umayyad regime.

Yazid’s Anxiety

When Yazid learnt of Husain’s denial to his allegiance and along with it that he has fled to Mecca, made it a center of his mission and that people of Iraq were sending letters and delegations to Imam for his allegiance, he (Yazid) was filled with anxiety. He penned a letter to Abdullah Ibn Abbas, the text of which was as follows:

“So to say: Your cousin and the enemy of Allah and Ibn Zubair have refused to pledge my allegiance and gone to Mecca. And they intend to spread mischief and they have put themselves in mortal danger. But Ibn Zubair shall be killed by sword and finished but as for Husain, I wish to make excuse for your Ahle Bait regarding him. I have heard that some Shias of Iraq write to him and he corresponds with them. They are promising him the caliphate and he is promising leadership. You know what relationship exists between you and us. And for what reasons has Husain has cut off these relations and sanctities? You are the leader of your Ahle Bayt and chief of your nation. So you meet and speak to him and restrain him from this mischief. If you are able to stop him, he shall be accorded security and honor from us. I will issue for him that which my father had issued with regard to his brother. If he wants more I guarantee whatever he wants. I guarantee whatever he
demands and I shall fulfill your guarantee and I shall give him a position and give him strong pledges and oaths till he agrees to my proposals and he shall trust all the points. Hasten in replying to my letter and stating your demands. And peace be on you.”

He concluded his letter with the following couplets:

“O rider who rides the mount with speed and moves fast.

Move to Quraish in spite of the distance, there is God between me and Husain and relationship.

Whatever I pledge Him standing near the Ka’ba, tomorrow he shall fulfill it.

You have considered your people important due to the pride in your mother. A mother, by my life, the palace of chastity and greatness.

She was such that none could be her equal, daughter of the Prophet and the best of men and all know this.

I know or I think in the way I think it is. Such that even my expectation shall prove true.

That for which you call him for, shall kill you or the consequences shall befall him.

O my people, do not light the fire of war that has been extinguished and hold tight the rope of peace-treaty.


Those who preceded you tried to resort to fighting and communities were destroyed in it.

So be just for your people and do not pull them to mischief because sometimes the feet of mischief-making people slip.”

This letter proves the foolishness of Yazid because he thought that the Imam had organized the uprising to obtain wealth and riches and he was not aware that the Imam had taken a stand against him for the sake of the Almighty Allah and that he aimed only for the reward of the Hereafter.

Response of Ibn Abbas

Ibn Abbas replied to him as follows: “So to say: I received your letter in which you have continuously mentioned about the flight of Husain and Ibn Zubair to Mecca. As for Ibn Zubair, he is a man cut off from us and who is involved in his selfish desires. Apart from this he conceals malice for us like the flint stone conceals fire. He has saved the malice so that Allah may not release his prisoner so you may have your view about him…And for Husain, when he entered Mecca leaving behind the sanctuary of his grandfather and the house of his father, I asked him about his mission and he told me that your officials have ill-treated him in Medina and spoke ill to him. Hence he came to me and took refuge in the sanctuary of Allah. I shall meet him regarding what you have written and I shall not refrain from dispensing good counsel so that Allah may bring about unity and the fire of mischief of war and conflict will be put out. And may Allah keep the blood of
the community safe. Thus, have fear of God, secretly and openly and you must not ever be such that displease the Muslims or that you sit in ambush to oppress them. Or that you dig a pit for them because those who dig a pit for others fall into it themselves. And many are the hopeful ones who do not fulfill their desires. So for yourself choose the recitation of Quran and spreading of Sunnah. You should be fasting and praying such that the vain pastimes of the world and sinful activities may not hinder you from them. As whatever keeps you occupied from Allah shall harm you and shall be destroyed and whatever keeps you occupied in the matters of the Hereafter, shall profit you and it shall be lasting. And peace be upon you…”[1]

This letter contains the following points:

1. Bani Hashim had no connection with Ibn Zubair and they were not responsible for his revolt. Because he was inimical to them and was waiting for an opportunity to take revenge and he had a negative opinion about them.

2. Imam Husain came to Mecca from Medina not to create mischief. But it was due to the ill-behavior of the officials of Yazid to him. He came to Mecca to take refuge in the sanctuary of Allah’s house.

[1] Tadkiratul Khawaas, Pg. 237-239, Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/207

# Imam Husain’s Revolution:
Activities and programs
Part 2

Deposition of Governor of Medina

Walid bin Utbah bin Abu Sufyan became the governor of Medina after the deposition of Marwan. On the basis of what historians say: He was a cunning and sharp man. He was peace-loving and he did not like mischief. When Imam Husain refused to give allegiance for Yazid, he did not force His Eminence or dealt with him severely and he did not compel His Eminence to something against his will. Rather he created a favorable condition for His Eminence to go to Mecca, without putting any hindrance in this regard with the holy Imam even though Marwan had urged him to be tough with Husain. However he did not agree to this.

The Umayyads informed Yazid about his stance and soft approach to His Eminence. He was enraged and he deposed him from the governorship.[1] And he transferred the position to the harshest of the Umayyads, Amr Ibn Saeed Ashdaq,[2] who was well known for his cruelty and tyranny. After getting the appointment in the month of Ramadan he went there and lead the congregation prayer of Isha (Night Prayer). In the morning he came out to the people wearing a red dress and a scarlet turban. The people regarded him with critical eyes. He mounted the pulpit and said:

“O people of Medina! What’s wrong with you that you stare at me like that? As if you shall slay me with your swords. Have you forgotten what you have done? If revenge had been taken from you in the first instance you would not have repeated it. You have been deceived that you have killed Uthman, you got him as a patient and forbearing Imam from whom anger had gone away and his ego had been destroyed. So take care of yourselves, as an Imam has got authority over you who is in the prime of his youth. He is having long hopes, a firm base and powerful bones. Who has the eye on the present circumstances and he has faced all of them. And if he chews, he swallows and if he kicks, he shatters into pieces. Neither is he afraid of any desert nor any stick creates sound for him.”

And in his discourse he mentioned about Ibn Zubair and said, “By God! We shall pursue him and if he enters the Kaaba we shall rain fire on it even if the people don’t like it.”[3]

The tyrant’s nose began to bleed on the pulpit. A man threw a turban to him and he cleaned he blood with it. A man spoke up in malice, “By the Lord of the Kaaba! Blood in a turban on the pulpit is an evil which shall become widespread and known to all.”[4]

[1] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah: 8/148
[2] “Ashdaq” had got this title due to his boastful way of speaking (that is he did not accord respect to anyone). It is said that he was given this title because his chin was crooked. This matter is mentioned in Al-Bayan wat Tibbiyyin 1/315. And it is said that due to his excess badmouthing about His Eminence, Ali he was affected with crookedness of the throat. This point is mentioned in Mojam ash-Shoara, Pg. 231
[3] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 4/268
[4] Simtun Nujoomul Awaali 3/57


It has been narrated from the Messenger of Allah that he said, “A tyrant from the tyrants of Bani Umayyah shall get nosebleed while on the pulpit.”[1]

Ashdaq decided to quell opposition with an iron hand because his predecessor, Walid had been deposed only because of his soft approach to His Eminence, Husain. Maybe one of the reason why Imam Husain left Mecca was that he was concerned about the tyranny of this tyrant and it was feared that he may kill Imam while he were in the sanctuary of God.

His Eminence, Husain with Ibn Umar and Ibn Abbas

When his Eminence, Imam Husain arrived in Mecca, Abdullah Ibn Abbas and Abdullah Ibn Umar were settled over there. Both of them hastened to welcome the Holy Imam and pay their respects to him. Though actually they wanted him to go away from Mecca. So Ibn Umar said to His Eminence:

“O Aba Abdillah! May God have mercy on you. Fear Allah as your return is to Him. You are aware of the enmity of the people of this clan (Bani Umayyah) towards you. A person from them – Yazid bin Muawiyah – has become the ruler. I think that people would be lured by wealth and riches and they may kill you. And a large number of people would be killed because of you because I have heard the Messenger of Allah say: “Husain shall be killed and if they kill him or desert him or do not help him, the Almighty Allah shall degrade and humiliate them till the day of Qiyamat. I suggest that you make a peace treaty so people may join it and remain patient as you had maintained patience with Muawiyah. Perhaps the Almighty Allah would judge between you and the unjust people…”

The chief of the nobles asked him, “I should pledge allegiance to Yazid and make peace with him? While the Prophet has said what he said regarding him and his father?”

Ibn Abbas began to speak and said to His Eminence: “O Aba Abdillah! You are right. The Prophet said during his lifetime: What I have to do with Yazid? May Allah not bless Yazid. He would kill Husain, my (grand)son and the son of my daughter, and by the One in Whose hand is my life, my son would be killed among a people and they shall not help him, such that Allah would create a contradiction between their word and deed.”

Ibn Abbas and His Eminence, Husain began to weep. Then His Eminence looked at Ibn Abbas and said, “O Ibn Abbas! Do you know that I am the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah?”

“Yes, by Allah!...I know that except for you there is no one in the world who is the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah and that it is obligatory for this Ummah to help you just as Prayer and Zakat is obligatory. Such that each of them would not be accepted without the other…”

His Eminence, Husain told him, “O Ibn Abbas! What do you say regarding the

[1] Majmauz Zawaid 5/240


people who drove out the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah from his home and abode, from the tomb and sanctuary of His Prophet and the neighborhood of his grave and the place of his Hijrat? And they terrified and harassed him such that neither could he get peace at any place nor could he take refuge in a locality. They are determined to kill him and shed his blood even though he has neither associated anyone with Allah nor sought the help of anyone other than Him. And neither has he deviated from the principles followed by the Messenger of Allah…”

Ibn Abbas agreed to what he had said and in support of His Eminence said, “I have nothing to say about them except that they have disbelieved in God and His Prophet and they do not go to pray except that they be tired and bored by it. They show-off their religiosity and except for a few none remembers Allah. They roam about among these and those whom Allah misguides cannot find a path towards Him. By way of example of these is that a great punishment shall befall. As for you, O son of the Messenger of Allah, you are the head of the pride of the Messenger of Allah, so do not think of son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah that the Almighty Allah is unaware of what the oppressors commit. I testify that one who avoids your company or those who wage war against you and your Prophet, he shall never gain anything…”

Imam Husain agreed to what he said and remarked, “Yes, by Allah!” At that time Ibn Abbas told him about his decision to help the Imam and he said, “O son of the Messenger of Allah, may my life be sacrificed on you. As if you want me. And want me to help you. By the God, except Whom there us no deity. If I fight with this sword for you to the extent that both my hands are separated from my shoulders I would not have fulfilled even one part of the right. Even then I am at your service and waiting for your order.”

Ibn Umar interrupted the statement of Ibn Abbas, turned to His Eminence and said, “Give up your decision, return to Medina right now and become a part of peace of this community. And do not go away from your native place and the sanctuary of your maternal grandfather, the Messenger of Allah. Do not take any responsibility for these people when there is no benefit in it for them. If you like, do not pay allegiance, you are free to follow your view because Yazid bin Muawiyah may not live for long and the Almighty Allah shall issue His command for you.”

Imam disagreed with him and rejected what he suggested, “It is a pity forever. As long as the sky and the earth remain, I ask you O Abdullah, am I guilty according to your opinion? Thus if I am on the wrong, turn me back. I shall accept it and agree to what you say.”

Ibn Umar said, “By Allah, No! Allah does not blames the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah and no one like Yazid Ibn Muawiyah is equal to you in purity and proximity to the Messenger of Allah. However, I fear that they shall smite this illuminated face of yours (killing you). And you shall see in this


community that none shall support you. So come back to Medina with us. If you like you may withhold the oath of allegiance and remain in your house.”

Imam addressed him and informed him about the evil and bad intentions of Bani Umayyah towards His Eminence, saying, “Alas, O Ibn Umar, these people would never leave me. As long as I am present and they could not get hold of me they will try all means to compel me to give allegiance or put me to death. Do you know, O Abdullah! How worthless is the world for Allah. That an oppressor of Bani Israel brought the severed head of Yahya bin Zakaria while that head was speaking to them to perfect the argument. Do you not know, O Abu Abdur Rahman! The Bani Israel used to kill seventy prophets from dawn to sunrise and after that sit in the market conducting their business as usual, as if they had not done anything? The Almighty Allah did not requite them immediately; but later He caught hold of them with a strong grip!”[1]

This conversation shows that His Eminence had made a firm determination to rise up against Yazid, because he was not likely to leave the Imam to his condition. So there were only two options. Either he pledge allegiance humiliating his Islam and defiling its sanctity or lay down his life with honor and respect. His Eminence gave preference to death for the sake of the honor of his community and its sanctities.

Bequest of Imam Husain to Ibn Abbas

Imam Husain turned his attention to Ibn Abbas and made the following bequest to him and said, “You, O Ibn Abbas, are the cousin of my father. I know you since the time you have continued to enjoin good in this same way. You were with my father and you made suggestions that were good and beneficial. My father used to take you in his consultations and sought your opinion. You also responded with sincere advices. So go to Medina in the safety of Allah and do not conceal any of your news from me. Till I see those people giving me a positive reply and agree to help me I shall make this place as my residence. When they leave me, I shall select another place. And by the words by which Ibrahim sought refuge at the time of being thrown into the fire, I shall also take refuge from these words. Allah is sufficient for me and the best of the helpers. And the fire became cool and safety for him…”[2]

Letters of Imam Husain to Leaders of Basra

Imam wrote to five chiefs of Basra and he requested them for help and taking of his right by uprising. And he wrote letters to the province leaders. Some of them were as follows:

1. Malik Ibn Musamma Bakri, 2. Ahnaf bin Qais, 3. Mundhir bin Amr, 4. Masud bin Amr, 5. Qais bin Mitham, and 6. Umar Ibn Abdullah bin Muammar[3]

[1] Al-Futuh 5/38-43
[2] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 1/193
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/23


“So to say: Know that the Almighty Allah chose Muhammad among His creatures and bestowed him with the honor of His prophethood and selected him for His messengership. After that He called him to Himself in a condition that he may dispense sincere advices to His creatures and deliver the message he was sent with. My family members were saints, successors and his legatees and the most eligible for his position but the people considered themselves more superior to us and we did not object and we did not like conflicts while we know that we were more rightful for that which they had taken for themselves. I am sending my messenger to you with this letter and I call you by the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger because the Sunnah has been destroyed and innovation has come into being. So if you listen to what I say, I shall guide you to the right path…”[1]

This letter has clearly explained that caliphate is the right of Ahle Bayt because they are the most proximate to Prophet and the most well-versed in knowledge with regard to the aims of His Eminence. However those people had taken the caliphate to themselves and the Purified Progeny could not but remain patient on it. Because they did not like mischief and they desired unity of Muslims. In the same way this letter contains the call for truth and all its profundities and meanings. Because it has invited them to help in the revival of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet as the Umayyad regime had purposely distanced them from public life.

Some writers have expressed opinions about the letter of Imam Husain to the people of Basra and stated:

“This letter of Imam Husain to the people of Basra shows how aware he was regarding his responsibility and he was moving forward with it. That is why the people of Basra had not written to His Eminence and they had not invited him to their city like the people of Kufa had done. On the basis of this His Eminence wrote to them and informed them about the facts. Because when His Eminence decided to rise up for religion and his community, his determination was from the depths of the spirit and conscience and not because of the invitation of the people of Kufa.”

Anyway, Imam sent his letters with his slave named Sulaiman to Basra. His patronymic was Abu Razeen. He traversed the distance very soon and conveyed the letters to the addressees.

Reply of Ahnaf bin Qais

Ahnaf bin Qais, the Iraqi leader, replied the Imam in the following words without adding anything else:

“Therefore be patient; surely the promise of Allah is true and let not those who

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/375


have no certainty hold you in light estimation.”([1])([2])

He wanted to suggest that the Holy Imam should remain patient and that he should not be influenced by those who have no faith in Allah and those who have no worth in the view of Allah.

Evil Deeds of Mundhir bin Jarud

Mundhir bin Jarud was of the worst and evil-minded person of the Arabs. He arrested the Imam’s messenger and sent him to Ibn Ziyad who was his son-in-law so that he may prove his sincerity and loyalty to Ibn Ziyad. Ibn Marjana had him executed the night he (Ibn Marjana) set out for Kufa.[3]

Some historians have justified the actions of Mundhir and they say that he was helpless because he feared that the messenger might have been sent by Ibn Marjana to test him. That is why he had him sent to Ibn Ziyad. This justification is unacceptable because first he should have investigated the matter to find the truth.

Positive Reply of Yazid bin Masud

The great leader, Yazid bin Masud Nahshali, gave a positive reply to the call of truth and on the basis of his faith and spirit of belief he rose up to help the Holy Imam. He organized a public meeting and invited the neighboring tribes including:

1. Bani Tamim, 2. Bani Hanzalah, and 3. Bani Sa’ad.

When these tribes arrived he stood up to address them. First he turned to Bani Tamim and asked, “How do you consider my position among you and my ancestry?”

Bani Tamim raised its voice and they guaranteed him absolute loyalty and acknowledged their respect to him. They said in one voice, “Hear! Hear! By Allah, you are the support of the poor and the center of pride and you are central to respectability. You have superiority over all…”

He was pleased with their support and he continued his discourse, “I have gathered you for a purpose so that I may consult you and seek help regarding it.”

They all expressed their loyalty and help to him in unison. They said, “By Allah, we say to you in all sincerity and we shall try to do our best. So tell us about it.”

At that time necks were stretched and people looked on with bated breaths this great leader. He continued, “Muawiyah had died and may he be degraded. By Allah he has been destroyed and eliminated but left the door of injustice and sin open. And the pillars of oppression are shaken. He organized an allegiance and thought that he had performed a stable action. Alas! He failed in his aim. He took counsel but could not reach any conclusion. Yazid is a drunkard and well-known

[1] Surah Rum 30:60
[2] Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/298
[3] Tabari, Tarikh 5/357-358


for transgression and sinful acts. He stood up and claimed the caliphate of Muslims. And he exercised his command on them without their permission. He had not an iota of knowledge and has no forbearance as well. By Allah! To fight Jihad against him in religion is superior to making war against the polytheists.

This is Husain Ibn Ali, the grandson of the Messenger of Allah, possessing true nobility and having correct views. A superiority that cannot be described and a knowledge that is unbounded. He is more deserving for this matter. Due to his seniority and proximity and his kindness to the old and the young he has been accorded the position of Imamate and final authority that we must accept and honor. It should not be that you close your eyes to truth and move to falsehood. On the day of Jamal, Sakhar bin Qais was humiliated. So move to the help of the son of the Prophet and wash away that blemish. One who refrains from this shall be cursed by Allah by decrease in progeny and humiliation among relatives. Thus I have worn the dress of war and coat of mail. Those who do not die fighting shall die in any case and those who try to flee shall never be able to escape. So give a proper reply, may Allah have mercy on you.”

This discourse contains many important points. The chief of them are as follows:

First: It considered the death of Muawiyah as insignificant and that he left the door of oppression.

Secondly: It has vehemently denounced the allegiance that Muawiyah organized for Yazid.

Thirdly: The evil traits that were present in Yazid. Like he was always drunk and devoid of forbearance and knowledge about the truth.

Fourthly: It invited the people to gather in support of His Eminence Imam Husain because he possessed fine qualities of originality of view, was well-versed in knowledge, having seniority of age, kindness to young and old and other good manners that qualified His Eminence for the position of Imamate.

Fifthly: He informed the people that he was himself determined to help, support and defend the Imam.

When the great leader concluded his discourse the elders of Bani Hanzalah began to speak and expressed their full backing for him. They said: “O Aba Khalid! We are the arrows of your bow (we shall do as directed). If you take our help, you shall gain victory and you shall never find us wanting. By Allah you should not have any worry for we shall always be with you and you won’t have to face any problem. Except that we shall also face it with you. We shall help you with our swords and whenever you want, we shall defend you with our bodies.”

This logic of pride expressed their feelings and loyalties towards him. After that Bani Aamir stood up and spoke of their deep loyalty and said, “O Aba Khalid! We are sons of your father and your equals. If you become angry we cannot remain happy. If you move we cannot remain still. It is upto you. You can count on our support whenever you need…”


However Bani Saad expressed negative opinion and refused any sort of assistance. They said, “O Aba Khalid, the worst thing in our view is opposition to you and leaving your view. Sakhar bin Qais humiliated us. He called us on the Day of Jamal to abandon fighting and our respect remained intact. Give us some time so that we may seek counsel and then we shall inform you of our decision…”

He was displeased with their negative reply and he denounced them saying, “If you do it, by Allah, the sword shall never be lifted from you and your sword shall be used among you in the same way…”

Yazid bin Masud’s Reply to Imam

Yazid bin Masud wrote a letter to Imam which proves his nobility and high status and that he accepted the invitation of the Holy Imam. The text of the letter is as follows:

“So to say: Your letter was received and I was informed about your call to me to benefit from your obedience and a part of my righteousness which is due to my devotion to you. The Almighty Allah never leaves the earth devoid of a person who acts on good and who guides to righteousness. You are the proof of Allah on the creatures and their security on earth. You are the branch of the Ahmadi olive and he was its root and you are the stem. So rise up as success is for you. I have turned the loyalty of Bani Tamim to you and made them as obedient as camels that are given water after three days. And by persuading the Bani Saad for your obedience, I have washed their hearts with rain water. As if lighting shone on them and they became illuminated…”

This letter is brimming with respect and good manners towards the Holy Imam.

Some historians say that the Imam received this letter on the 10th of Mohurrum after his companions and relatives had been martyred. And His Eminence was alone and helpless and the rebellious armies had surrounded him. When His Eminence read the letter he said, “What would happen to you? May Allah keep you safe from fear and may he satiate you on the day of the great thirst.”

When Ibn Masud was about to set out for rendering help to Imam he received the terrible news of the Imam’s martyrdom. He was so much struck with grief and remorse that he passed away in it.[1]

Positive Reply of Yazid Basri

Yazid bin Masud Basri gave a positive reply to the call of truth. According to the statements of historians he used to visit the residence of Maria bin Saad or Manqadh as it was the place where Shias used to gather. The people were informed about the merits of Ahle Bayt at the place and their greatness and virtues used to be publicized from there. When Imam invited the people of Basra to help him, Yazid bin Nabit gave a positive reply to it and of his ten sons, Abdullah and

[1] Al-Lohoof, Pg. 16-19


Ubaidullah joined him but their friends feared that the police appointed by Ibn Ziyad would arrest them. He said to them, “When the hooves of my beast fall on smooth desert ground, all those who are with me shall be safe.[1]

Then he mounted his horse and his slave, Aamir, Saif bin Malik and Adham bin Umayyah departed with him and joined the Imam at Mecca till they were in the service of Imam in Iraq and they were martyred in Kerbala along with the Imam.[2]

Opposition of Iraq to Umayyads

The majority of Iraqis were displeased with the Umayyad regime and they did not like their dominance and control. This was due to some reasons and in our view they were as follows:

1 – During Muawiyah’s time Iraq was governed by an iron hand and the governor did not follow any sort of system. There was mostly military rule which did not follow any fixed law. Especially during the period of Ziyad bin Sumaiyyah who used to hold the innocent as guilty and the offenders as innocent. He used to kill people on suspicion and allegations. This caused spread of hatred towards the Umayyads.

2 – Kufa, during the time of Imam Amirul Momineen was the seat of Islamic government and during the time of Muawiyah Damascus became the seat of government and capital. Iraq became a province like other provinces and the Central Treasury was transferred from there. After the transfer of caliphate and treasury from there, the Kufians began to regret their ill fortune and the Imam’s name signified for them a sign of lost prosperity. Their hopes became reposed in the sons of the Holy Imam and they were the brave and capable leaders who would annex Damascus and gain power again. This was so because the Iraqis did not like to submit to the Syrians like the Syrians were unwilling to submit to the people of Iraq. A Syrian poet has mentioned this matter as follows:

“I see that Syria does not like the kingdom of Iraq and the people of Iraq dislike us.

They say: Ali is our Imam and we say: we are happy with the son of Hind.”

The poet of Iraq had also written about the Iraqi view of rulership in this way:

“Ali has come to you with people of Iraq and Hijaz. Then what shall you do?

If your people do not like the rulership of Iraq, before that we are happy on what you were displeased with.”[3]

Continuous revolts of the Iraqis did not signify anything except their dissatisfaction with people of Syria and they were only aimed at gaining freedom

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/354
[2] Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 144 quoted from Dhakeeeratud Daarain, Pg. 224
[3] Al-Akhbar at-Tiwal, Pg. 161


from the Umayyad rule.

3 – The oppressive policies that Muawiyah employed with Shia leaders, who were in the forefront of solving their problems of the future and of all the people of the Islamic community by killing and torturing them shook the feelings of the Kufians. And their hearts were filled with hatred to Umayyads. For example the abusing of His Eminence, Imam Ali from the pulpits of Damascus intensified their hatred and the flame of opposition flared up in their hearts.

4 – The Umayyads looked upon the people of Kufa as opponents of their governments and source of danger for them who were confronting their rule. On the basis of this they dealt with them with absolute severity and mercilessness. This was the reason why the Kufians were always prepared to oppose the Umayyads.

These were the factors responsible for deep-rooted opposition of Iraqi people towards the Umayyad regime and their enmity to them.

Announcement of Disobedience in Iraq

After the death of Muawiyah, the Iraqis had become certain of the downfall of the Umayyad regime and they saw that the control of rule and caliphate had been given to Yazid and it was the series of that same Umayyad rule which tried to suppress and humiliate them.

Gowler Tashir says: “Shias in Kufa became unanimous to attack Yazid and rise up in opposition to his rule. And they believed that their confrontation against Yazid was a religious Jihad.”[1]

And Kramer believes that the good and righteous of the Shias looked upon Yazid as the heir of enemies of Islam and successor of Abu Sufyan.

Anyway, the Shias of Kufa did not accept the authority of Yazid and leaving it aside they became unanimous in agreeing to pledge allegiance to the Imam and took the following steps:

Public Conference

After the death of Muawiyah, the Shias held a public conference in the house of their greatest leader, Sulaiman Ibn Surd Khuzai. They delivered speeches highlighting the evils and crimes of the Umayyad regime and in the same way they exalted the name of Imam Husain and called for his allegiance.

Sulaiman’s Speech

Sulaiman took the speaker’s seat and addressed the gathering in his first speech as follows: Muawiyah is dead. Imam Husain had gone out to Mecca after taking allegiance of the people for himself. You are his Shias and Shias of his father. If you know that you can help him and confront his enemies you write to him. If you are fearful of defeat and sloth, do not deceive this gentleman…”

[1] Aqida was Shariyat dar Islam, Pg. 69


The voices of people arose in clamor and they were saying, “We shall give our life in his support…”[1]

“We shall battle his foes…”

They expressed their deep devotion and complete support for the Holy Imam and took the following decisions:

1 – Refraining from Yazid’s allegiance

2- Appointing of a delegation that would meet the Imam and invite him to join them in Iraq.

3 – Sending letters by people of various classes to Imam expressing their aspirations to have the Imam’s rulership.

Delegation of Kufa

Kufa sent a delegation to the Imam so that it may invite the Imam to join them in Iraq. The delegation consisted of many persons; one of them was Abdullah Jadali.[2] When the delegation met the Holy Imam it spoke of the unanimity of people of Kufa to support His Eminence and their determination in restoring their rights. They also reiterated that they did not consider anyone as their Imam except His Eminence. They motivated him to join them in Kufa.


After their conference, the people of Kufa wrote letters to the Imam that spoke of their loyalty and sincerity towards him and they motivated him to come to them and take over the leadership of the community. Some of those letters mentioned as follows:

1 – From Sulaiman bin Surd, Musayyab bin Najiha, Rafa-a bin Shaddad, Habib Ibn Mazahir, Shias of His Eminence and Muslims of Kufa.

So to say: Thanks be to Allah that your worst cruel enemy (Muawiyah) has died, who had usurped power, snatched the control of this community, plundered their wealth and became their ruler without their agreement. After that he killed the righteous people of the community and left off the evil doers. He gave the wealth of God to oppressors and opulent people. Then he went away like the Thamud were turned back…There is no Imam on us. Please come to us, perhaps the Almighty may keep us on the right path through you. Noman bin Bashir resides in the governor’s palace. Neither we pray behind him on Fridays nor Eids. If we come to know that you are coming to us we shall expel him so that he may go to Syria if Allah wills. And peace of Allah be upon you and His mercy and bounties…”[3]

This letter was composed in the final days of Shaban month and it was sent with Abdullah Hamadani and Abdullah bin Wael. They were instructed to speed with it

[1] Al-Irshad, Pg. 2/36
[2] Maqatilut Talibiyyin, Pg. 99
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/369. Al-Imamah was Siyasah 4/2. Tabari, Tarikh 5/352


while at the same time being careful of the enemies. They set out with speed and did not let their attention be distracted, till the first ten days of Ramadan were over and they reached Mecca.[1] They delivered the letter to the Holy Imam and informed him about the yearnings of the people to have him with them.

This letter spoke of the defects of the Umayyad regime and considered Muawiyah to be the worst of oppressors who through force and tyranny had taken over the rulership of the community and had ruled over the community without their consent. How he had killed their good persons and handed over national wealth to selected rich people and nobles while he deprived others from it.

In the same way this letter explained their estimation of Noman bin Bashir and his worth in the eyes of the Kufians. After that it promised the Imam that if he agreed to join them they would expel Noman and drive him to Syria and pay allegiance the Holy Imam.

2 – The Second letter was sent by some people of Kufa and its text was as follows:

To Husain bin Ali from his Shias and from Muslims. “So to say: Come to us and make haste in it as people are waiting for you and they do not want anyone else.[2] So please hurry up. Hurry up. And peace be on you.”[3]

This letter was couriered by Qais bin Mus-har Saidawi from Bani Asad, Abdur Rahman bin Abdullah Ar-habi and Ammarah bin Abdullah Sulooli. And around fifty more letters were couriered by one, two, three or four persons[4] to motivate the Imam to move towards them and they implored him for it, at the same time assuring him of their full support.

3 – These letters were sent by opportunists who had no faith in God. They were Shabth bin Rabai Yarbui, Muhammad bin Umar Tamimi, Hijaar bin Abjar Ajali, Yazid bin Harith Shabani, Azra bin Qais Ahmasi and Amr bin Hajjaj Zubaidi. The letter was as follows:

“So to say: The atmosphere is favorable, the fruits are ready and springs have erupted and are full of water. So come and take the leadership of the army that is ready for you. And peace be upon you…”[5]

This letter shows the high hopes of the people and worldly prosperity and the consent of the provincial army to accept the Imam’s command. It also instigated him to confront his enemy. This letter was signed by those who were appointed in the forefront of the army dispatched by Ibn Marjana to fight and kill the Holy Imam. And it is certain that they had no faith in the rightfulness of Imam. They were only pursuing the matter for their personal gain and to obtain worldly

[1] Al-Futuh 5/44. Mufeed, Irshad 2/37
[2] It is mentioned in Tarikh Yaqubi that: “And they don’t have any Imam except you.”
[3] Irshad, Pg. 2/38
[4] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/370
[5] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/370. Matalibus Su-ool fi Manaqib Aaali Rasool 2/31-32


wealth and power in dealing with the Umayyads, as Imam has explained this matter clearly to his companions.

4 – Among those letters was the following: “We have dedicated ourselves for you and we do not participate in the congregation prayer led by the rulers. Come to us as we are having 100000 men for you and oppression has become widespread among us. And among us action against the Book of Allah and Sunnah of the Prophet is being done. We are hopeful that Allah would keep us on the right path through you. And through you He may keep injustice away from us as you are more qualified for this position than Yazid or his father. He has usurped power of the nation, imbibed wine and cultivated vain pastimes like music and playing with monkeys. And they have made religion a plaything.”[1]

5 – A group of Kufians wrote the following letter and put their signatures on it. The text of that letter was as follows: “To Husain Ibn Ali, Amirul Momineen from the followers of his father. So to say: People are waiting for you. They are not having anyone else in view. O son of the Messenger of Allah, please hurry up. Perhaps the Almighty Allah may gather us on truth through you and help Islam and Muslims through you…exceeding and perfect peace on you and the peace of Allah and His mercy…”[2]

6 – Another group wrote this brief letter to His Eminence: “We are with you and 100000 hands with swords are with us.”[3]

7 – The last letter that reached His Eminence was as follows: “O son of the Messenger of Allah, make haste in coming here as 100000 armed men are ready to support you in Kufa. So do not delay.”[4]

Letters reached the Imam continuously. So much so that two saddle bags were filled with it. Historians say that more that 12000 letters collected with the Holy Imam.[5] In this way 1,40,000 names were collected who assured him of full support if he arrived to them in Kufa.[6] On a single day 600 letters were received by His Eminence.[7]

Anyway, a large number of letters were received from Kufians by His Eminence and they were signed by prominent personalities of Kufa assuring that they would provide complete support if the Imam joined them. They implored him to come and save them from the atrocities of the Umayyad regime. But it was a pity that the

[1] Tadkiratul Khawaas, Pg. 237. Sayyid Mahmud Qadani, As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi from facsimile copy at Imam Amirul Momineen Library and Masudi has narrated it in gist in Muruj az-Zahab 3/54
[2] Waseelatul Maal, Pg. 185. Ibne Sabbagh, Al-Fusul al-Muhimma, 184
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf, Part I, Vol. 1
[4] Biharul Anwar 44/337
[5] Al-Lohoof, Pg. 15
[6] Al-Wafi fil Masaalatush Sharqiya 1/43
[7] Ad-Darul Maslook fi Ahwaalil Anbiya wal Awsiya 1/107, from written manuscripts at Imam Hakim Library


page of hope turned upside down. Suddenly Kufa became such that the people of Kufa were waiting to quench their swords with Imam’s blood and feed their arrows with the flesh of Imam…They wanted to take up the body of Imam Husain and cut it up into pieces by their swords, pierce it with their spears and trample him below the hooves of their horses.

Kufa was waiting for Husain like a lion eager to pounce upon him and sink its claws into his blessed body.

Kufa was waiting for Husain not to defend his family but to make them their prisoners and instead of giving refuge to his children to harass and torment them.[1]

The condition was such and the command of Allah does not change. That those people broke the allegiance of the Imam and they became unanimous to fight His Eminence.

Historians say that after receiving those letters Imam decided to give a positive reply to the requests of Kufians. He decided to first send his cousin, Muslim Ibn Aqil to them.

Muslim Delegated for Iraq

A flood of letters arrived from Kufa to Imam Husain that implored him to move to the people there and save them from the injustice and oppression of the Umayyads. Some of those letters said that if the Imam would delay in harkening to their call he shall be responsible before the Almighty Allah and to the Ummah.

Imam decided to first and foremost select an emissary who would go and meet them in order to gauge their sincerity and determination. So that if they were found to be really sincere about their claims and promises to support the Imam the emissary may take allegiance from them for the Holy Imam. After that the Imam would move towards Kufa. With this view Imam Husain selected from among his group a man who possessed all excellences and one who was most qualified for this important mission. It was Muslim Ibn Aqil who was presented this proposal and who accepted it readily. Imam Husain immediately wrote a letter to send along with him. The text of the letter is narrated in various formats as follows:

Firstly: Abu Hanifah Dinawari has quoted it in the following way: “From Husain Ibn Ali to all his supporters and Shias in Kufa who receive this letter. Peace be upon you. So to say: I have received your letters and was informed about your desire to join you all. I am sending to you my brother, the son of my uncle and a reliable person of my family – that is Muslim Ibn Aqil so that he may convey to me your real position. If he finds that your views agree with his opinions he would write to me about it. Thus if it is found that your position is the same as you wrote in your letters and as your delegations to me stated, I shall hasten to join you, Insha

[1] Ma’al Husain fi Nahza, Pg. 157


Allah. And peace…”[1]

Second: Saifuddin says that after the name of God, the Imam wrote as follows: “So to say: I received your letters and was informed about what you intended to convey. I am sending a reliable person, Muslim bin Aqil to you and very soon I shall also join you, Insha Allah…”[2]

This is a rare narration because it does not state the purpose of Muslim’s appointment as emissary and his mission of taking allegiance from them.

Third: Tabari has narrated that after the name of Allah it was mentioned: From Husain bin Ali to all Muslims and believers. “So to say: Hani and Saeed[3] have arrived to me with your letters. They are your last messengers who have come to me. I have heard what all they said and reminded as most of that was what you all have conveyed. You said that you do not have an Imam. ‘So come (to us), perhaps the Almighty Allah would give us guidance and truth through you.’ I have sent my brother, the son of my uncle and a reliable member of my Ahle Bayt to you and instructed him to write to me about your circumstances and views about me. Thus if he writes that the views of your elders and the intelligentsia are same as what your messengers have conveyed, and what I have read in your letters, Insha Allah, I shall set out to meet you at the earliest. By Allah no one is an Imam except one who acts on the Book of Allah, who practices justice, who follows the
truth and who has connected his self to the command of God. And peace…”[4]

The above letter quoted by Tabari contains the following important points:

1 – It introduces Muslim as a trustworthy person and his lofty status due to the trust His Eminence, Husain reposed in him.

2 – It specifies the powers allowed to Muslim to find out the present circumstances and study the political events as also the level of their sincerity which they had claimed to the Imam. It is natural that the knowledge of these sensitive matters should be left to a person who is sufficiently cognizant of the affairs of the society and conditions of the people.

3 – His Eminence has stated that his coming to them was dependant upon the feedback of Muslim regarding the unanimity of their claims and the view of their leaders about allegiance of His Eminence. And it implied that His Eminence would not set out towards them unless and until his emissary wrote to him positively about these matters.

4 – His Eminence has clarified about the qualities necessary for an Imam and leader of the movement of the community. They are as follows:

A – Following the Book of Allah

[1] Al-Akhbar at-Tiwal, Pg. 230
[2] Waseelatul Maal, Pg. 186 from written manuscripts at Imam Hakim Library
[3] The two were Hani bin Hani Sabi-I and Saeed bin Abdullah Hanafi
[4] Tabari, Tarikh 5/353


B – Observing justice and equality

C – Truthfulness

D – Having spiritual connection to the Almighty

Except for His Eminence, these lofty qualities which indicated the views and qualities of the Prophet, were not to be found in anyone else.

Muslim carried this letter of the Holy Imam while the Imam reminded him to observe piety and seek refuge in Allah and repose hope in Him so that he may help in fulfillment of this mission.[1]

Muslim set out from Mecca on the eve of the 15th Ramadan.[2] On his way he stopped in Medina, prayed at the Prophet’s mosque and circumambulated his sarcophagus. After that he bid farewell to his family and friends.[3] It was his last farewell to them. He then set out for Iraq accompanied by Qais bin Mus-har Saidawi, Ammarah bin Abdullah Salooli and Abdur Rahman bin Abdullah Azadi. From Medina they hired two guides from the tribe of Qais to show them the way.[4]

Muslim’s caravan began to move with speed and they did not let themselves be distracted by anything else. The two guides moved ahead leading the caravan and making haste in case they may be followed by someone from the enemy side. But they lost their way and no matter how much they tried they could not find the road again. Thirst and tiredness overpowered them.

Historians say: They informed Muslim about the signs and directions of the route and passed away immediately.[5] Muslim set out with his companions will they found the way and also got water, but the guides could not be saved and they died of thirst.

Muslim’s Letter to the Holy Imam

Historians say: Muslim became fearful of his mission and after he fell into hardships and his two guides expired, he began to consider it a bad omen. Therefore he wrote a letter to the Imam and implored him to excuse him from this embassy. The letter was as follows:

“So to say: I set out from Medina with two guides and they missed the way and got lost. Both were overcome by thirst and soon died. But we kept going until we came to water. We were only saved at the last moment of our lives. That water is in a place called al-Madiq in a low valley. I have taken this as a bad omen for my mission. If you consider it so, you could relieve me and send another person in my place. And peace…”

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/21
[2] Muruj az-Zahab 2/54
[3] Tabari, Tarikh 5/354
[4] Al-Akhbar at-Tiwal, Pg. 230. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/21
[5] Al-Irshad, Pg. 2/39-40


Reply of His Eminence, Husain

Imam Husain wrote back to Muslim refusing his proposal and said that it was the result of cowardice. The letter was as follows:

“So to say: I am afraid that your urging me in the letter to relieve you from the task which I sent you on is only cowardice. Therefore go on with your task which I gave you. And peace…”[1]

Explanation of the Matter

Most probably the letter and reply quoted above are fabricated and they lack authenticity for the following reasons:

1 – On the basis of what Hamuyi has written: Mudiq al-Khabt, the place that Muslim has mentioned in his letter to the Imam is situated between Mecca and Medina[2] while we have seen in the preceding narration that Muslim hired the two guides from Medina and set out for Iraq and lost their way and finally the two guides died of thirst and exhaustion. It is natural that this incident must have occurred between Medina and Iraq and it did not happen between Mecca and Medina.

2 – If there had been a place by the same name between Medina and Iraq and Hamuyi has not mentioned it, the journey from this point to Mecca needed at least 10 days’ travel while according to the historians Muslim left Mecca on the 15th of Ramadan and arrived in Kufa on the 5th of Shawwal. That is his journey was completed in 20 days which is the minimum time required to travel from Mecca to Kufa because there is a distance of 1600 kilometers between the two places. If during this period the messenger of Muslim went to Mecca and returned he would have taken ten days for it. So does it imply that Muslim covered the distance in only ten days? Which is an impossible task!

3 – Imam is supposed to have blamed Muslim for cowardice. This contradicts the previous statements of the Holy Imam when he remarked that Muslim was the most reliable and superior person of his Ahle Bayt. Thus how could the Imam now accuse Muslim of cowardice?

4 – Accusation of cowardice on Muslim is in contradiction to his character because he was the most courageous person and he exhibited such valor that left people astonished. Because when a group of people of Kufa attacked him, he confronted them single-handed without caring if anyone helped him or not. He killed many of the militants such that their hearts were filled with terror. And when they arrested him and took him to Ibn Ziyad he did not betray any humility or acceptance of defeat. Balazari has said regarding him: He was the bravest and the most valiant person from the family of Aqil.[3] Rather he was the most courageous of the Hashemites after the Imams of Ahle Bayt, as history has recognized. These narrations were fabricated to decrease the status of that great emissary who was the pride of the Arab community and Islam.

[1] Al-Irshad, Pg. 2/40, Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/114
[2] Mojam al-Buldan 2/343
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/334


In the House of Mukhtar

Muslim traversed the desert and reached Kufa. He stayed in the house of Mukhtar Thaqafi[1] who was the most prominent elder of the Shia community and the most valiant of them. He was the most loyal devotee and sincere lover of them with regard to Imam Husain.

Muslim arrived at Mukhtar’s residence and not at the house of any other Shia leader because of his trust in Mukhtar’s sincerity to Imam Husain and his readiness to sacrifice himself on the Holy Imam. Though there was another factor that was of significance and it was that Mukhtar’s wife was Ammarah the daughter of Noman bin Bashir the governor of Kufa. Therefore if Muslim stayed in Mukhtar’s house, Noman would not try to arrest him. This shows that Muslim was well aware of the social circumstances prevalent at that time.

Mukhtar welcomed Muslim in his house and accorded him respect and honor. He invited the Shias to come and visit him. People from all directions came to meet Muslim and reiterate their loyalty and obedience to him.

Celebrations in Kufa

Joy engulfed all the gatherings of Shia in Kufa. Muslim saw their warm welcome and their excessive support. He read out the letter of Imam Husain to them and they began to weep and they expressed their longing to have the Imam with them. They stated their loyalty and willingness to give sacrifices for the Imam so that he may establish again a rule of justice and equity in their city like his holy father, Imam Amirul Momineen had established on the earth. Muslim advised them to continue to have the fear of Allah and he also warned them to keep their activities secret till Imam Husain arrives.

Taking Allegiance for Imam Husain

Shias inclined towards Muslim so that they may give him allegiance on behalf of Imam Husain. The formula of the allegiance consisted of oath of invitation by the Book of Allah and Sunnah of His Prophet, Jihad with oppressors and defense of the deprived people, restoring of the right of the deprived, equitable distribution of booties among the Muslims, returning the rights of the rightful, supporting the Ahle Bayt, peace with all those who are at peace with them and war with all those who are at war with them.

Sayyid Muqarram has compared this oath of allegiance to the pledge of Aws and Khazraj to the Messenger of Allah.[2] Habib bin Mazahir Asadi took their oaths of allegiance on behalf of Imam Husain.[3]

[1] Al-Irshad, Pg. 226. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/22 and it is said that Muslim arrived at the house of Muslim Ibne Ausaja or Hani Ibne Urwah. This is mentioned in Al-Isabah 1/332 and Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 2/349
[2] Ash-Shahid Muslim bin Aqil, Pg. 103
[3] Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/125 from written manuscripts at Imam Kashiful Ghita Public Library


Speech of Abbas Shakiri

The prominent believer, Abbas bin Shabib Shakiri stood up to speak and informed Muslim about his personal loyalty and his readiness to lay down his life in the path of propagation. However he did not accept the pledge from any person of his town. He said:

“So to say: I do not warn you about the people and I do not inform you what they have in their hearts and I don’t deceive you by them. By Allah! Whatever you call out I shall respond and I shall fight your enemies with you and shall strike my sword in your defense till I rush to meet God and I don’t desire anything other than what is with Allah…”

Abbas fulfilled his pledge to the Almighty and he did not betray the trust of his conscience. He sacrificed his life for the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah and was martyred in Kerbala…

Habib bin Mazahir turned to him and said: “May Allah have mercy on you for expressing your view in brief. By Allah, there is no deity except Him, I also have the same views as you.”

Saeed Hanafi also spoke up and supported the statements of his two friends.[1] He was the most prominent fighter whom history has recognized for sincerity and loyalty because they generously gave up their lives for Imam Husain and they attained martyrdom in Kerbala in the service of His Eminence.

Number of Pledge-makers

Crowds of people of Kufa descended upon Muslim bin Aqil to pledge allegiance for His Eminence, Husain and competed with each other in this.

Historians have differed as regards the number of people who pledged allegiance. Some of the estimations are as follows:

1 – 40000 persons[2]

2 – 30000 including Noman bin Bashir, the governor of Kufa[3]

3 – 28000 persons[4]

4 – 18000 persons. This was on the basis of the letter that Muslim sent to Imam Husain when he said: “18000 people have given oath of allegiance to me, so make haste in coming here.”[5]

5 – 12000 persons[6]

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/355
[2] Abi Faraas, Sharh Shaafiya 1/90 from written manuscripts at Imam Hakim Library. Ibne Numa, Matheer al-Ahzaan, Pg. 26
[3] Wajidi, Dairatul Ma’arif 3/444. Haqaiq al-Akhbar an Daul al-Bihar, Rauzatul Ayaan Akhbar Mashaheeruz Zamaan, Pg. 67. By Muhammad bin Abi Bakr (d. 730 A.H.) from written manuscripts at Imam Hakim Library. In Manaqib Imam Ali bin Abi Talib, Pg. 13 it is mentioned that Noman said: “O people of Kufa, the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah is better for you than the son of the daughter of Bajdal.”
[4] Abul Fida, Tarikh 1/189
[5] Tabari, Tarikh 5/375
[6] Muruj az-Zahab 3/54. As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 86 from facsimile copy at Imam Hakim Library. Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 2/349. Al-Isabah 1/333. Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/117. Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/306


Letter of Muslim to Imam Husain

When Muslim found that a large number of people of Kufa had pledged allegiance to him and he also saw their devotions and faith in favor of his call he wrote a letter to Imam and urged him to come to Kufa. He penned this letter twenty and some days before his martyrdom.[1] The letter was as follows:

“So to say: The vanguards of the caravan do not lie to their own people. 18000 people of Kufa have given oath of allegiance to me.[2] When you receive my letter, make haste as all the people are in your support and they have no positive view and relation with the family of Muawiyah.”[3]

Muslim wrote this letter because he did not encounter or foresee any opposition to his mission. Rather he found people unanimous and united on the allegiance to Imam and their eagerness to meet the Holy Imam.

The letter was carried by a group of Kufians at the head of which was the great stalwart, Abbas Shakiri. This delegation reached Mecca and delivered the letter to the Holy Imam. They urged His Eminence to move towards Kufa. They also repeated to him about the unanimity of the people on allegiance of Imam and their great reverence that Muslim had witnessed. It was then that the Imam decided to move to Kufa.

Reaction of Noman bin Bashir

Noman bin Bashir’s reaction[4] to the revolution was gentle and soft. The Umayyad party blamed him for laxity and leniency in defending the interests of the regime and his not giving importance to its safety. In reply he said: “It is better for me to be lenient on Allah’s obedience than to be strict in His disobedience. I shall not tear away the covering that Allah has provided.”[5]

This position of Noman imparted power to the Shias and it openly encouraged

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/378
[2] And in the narration of Balazari: “All the people of Kufa are with you.”
[3] Tabari, Tarikh 5/375
[4] Muawiyah appointed Noman bin Bashir Ansari Khazraji as the governor of Kufa after Abdur Rahman bin Hakam. He was a friend of Uthman and harbored malice towards Ali and spoke ill of him. He fought against His Eminence in the battle of Jamal and Siffeen and he sincerely endeavored to strengthen Muawiyah’s regime. He was one to lead ferocious plunder attacks on various provinces of Iraq. Scholars say: He was opposed to Yazid and would have liked to see his kingdom destroyed upon the condition that the caliphate returns to the family of Ali. It is surprising that when Yazid oppressed the people of Medina and for three days made it lawful for his mercenaries, this man, that is Noman, did not help them with his countrymen and community. In Al-Isabah 3/559 it is mentioned: When Yazid died, Noman called people to Ibne Zubair and later towards himself so that Marwan fought with him and he died in the year 65 AH. He was an expert poet and his Collected Works
have been published lately.
[5] Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/306


them to act against the government. This was probably for two reasons:

1 – Muslim bin Aqil was the guest of Mukhtar and Mukhtar was the son-in-law, husband of his daughter, Ammarah. So being respectful to Mukhtar he did not object to the revolutionaries.

2 – Noman was opposed to Yazid. The reason was Yazid’s enmity to the Ansar. Yazid had persuaded the Christian poet, Akhtal to denounce the Ansar and Noman stood up for their support. We have indicated this matter in the previous discussions. Probably this and other factors were responsible for Noman not taking any step against the revolution.

Noman’s Speech

Noman allowed the Shias a power for the systematic and organized revolution and he gave them opportunity to establish a firm base. This attitude of Noman became a cause for displeasure of the Umayyad party. They objected against him and urged him to punish and penalize the Shias.

Noman came out and ascended the pulpit and announced his policy with a soft approach. After praise and glorification of God, he said:

“So to say: O servants of God! Fear God and do not move towards mischief and discord as people lose their lives in it and blood is shed and properties are plundered. I do not make war on those who do not make war on me. I do not rise up against those who do not rise up against me. Neither I shall abuse you nor make excuses to you. Neither shall I make allegations against anyone nor would I be suspicious about anyone. However, if you stand up to confront me and break my pledge and oppose your leaders, by the God, except Whom there is no deity, I shall strike you with my sword as long as I retain power, even though I may not have any helper. And I hope that those of you who recognize the truth are more than those who intend to establish falsehood.”[1]

No type of fear, severity and harshness is seen in this speech. Rather it is warning against mischief-making and it advocates the preference to peaceful means. And it is that he shall not oppose those who do not oppose the regime and would not falsely accuse or be suspicious about the people like Ziyad bin Abih had done in Iraq. Anas Zakaria has presented an opinion regarding Noman’s speech and said:

“Noman’s speech in Kufa is another proof that he was aware of the present mischief that would surely flare up. He did not attack those who were instrumental in creating this discord, before they attacked him. On the basis of this he became responsible for allowing the revolutionaries the power and opportunity for their mission.”[2]

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/22
[2] Ad-Daulatul Amawiya fish Shaam, Pg. 41


Anger of Umayyad Party

Noman’s policy enraged the officials of the Umayyad regime and Abdullah bin Muslim Hadhramai, an ardent Umayyads supporter rushed to him and criticized his program saying, “What you are thinking is not possible except through oppression. The position you have taken regarding your enemies and you is fraught with weakness.”[1]

Noman defended his stance and said, “I shall not employ any method that distances us from God and I shall not step towards any path that takes me away from religion.” In this way it was proved to the Umayyads that Noman could not effectively deal with the revolutionaries.

Contact of Umayyad Party with Damascus

The Umayyad party became worried due to the general support mobilized for Muslim’s revolution, while the local government was ignoring it. They blamed the local government for weakness and connivance with the revolutionaries and they immediately contacted the Damascus government in this regard imploring it to take immediate action before the revolution spreads its wings and Iraq develops stability and becomes independent from Damascus. Among the letters that reached Yazid was included the letter of Abdullah Hadhrami which said as follows:

“So to say: Muslim bin Aqil has come to Kufa. Shias have pledged allegiance to him for Husain bin Ali. So if you want to retain Kufa, send a strong man to it who can impose your command and who deals with the enemy like you would. Noman bin Bashir is a weak man or that he has made himself weak.”[2]

This letter has petitioned the deposition of Noman bin Bashir and the appointment of one who is more strict than him so that he may suppress the revolt because Noman was not capable of suppressing it. Ammarah bin Walid bin Uqbah and Umar bin Saad wrote to Yazid about this matter.

Yazid’s Worry

When Yazid received letter after letter from his officials in Kufa regarding the people’s allegiance to Imam Husain he became perturbed. He could not sleep the whole night only thinking about what could be done about it because he knew that Iraq was the center of power in the Islamic world and the people of Iraq hated him and were inimical to his father because Iraq was wounded by the oppression that was considered lawful for them. The enmity of Iraqis to Yazid was less than their animosity to his father. In the same way he was certain that the majority of people in Islamic world were yearning for Imam Husain’s rulership because he was the representative of the law of his ancestors, and people were not prepared to have anyone else taking his position.

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/297
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/22


Yazid takes Sarjun’s Counsel

Yazid was extremely worried by these developments and he saw a mortal danger facing his regime. Therefore he summoned Sarjun the Roman, who was a confidant of his father and his closest associate. Yazid informed him about the matter saying, “What is your view? Husain is going towards Kufa and Muslim bin Aqil has taken allegiance for Husain in Kufa. I have been reported about the weakness and inappropriate behavior of Noman. Who in your view, should I appoint as the governor of Kufa?”[1]

Sarjun pondered on this for sometime and asked, “Do you think you’d have accepted the opinion of Muawiyah if he were alive?”

“Yes,” replied Yazid.

Sarjun took out the proclamation of Muawiyah appointing Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad as the governor of Kufa and said, “This is the view of Muawiyah who is dead but he proclaimed it through this document.”[2]

However the opinion of Sarjun in supporting the candidature of Ibn Ziyad for governorship of Kufa was based on two factors:

1 – He was aware of the harshness and ruthlessness of Ibn Ziyad and he knew that no one else was capable of subduing Iraq. And only he was competent enough to quell the disturbance with an iron hand.

2 – Communal bigotry – It was communal prejudice that motivated him to nominate Ibn Ziyad because Ibn Ziyad was also a Roman like Sarjun.

Ibn Ziyad’s Rule in Kufa

Yazid was extremely displeased with Ibn Ziyad and wanted to dismiss him from the governorship of Basra[3] because he had opposed his allegiance when his father was taking it. But he accepted the advice of Sarjun because he saw in it protection of interests of his regime. That is why he issued a proclamation appointing Ibn Ziyad as governor of Basra and Kufa. In this way the whole of Iraq came under the governorship of Ibn Ziyad.

Yazid wrote the following for Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad: “So to say: Our followers from the people of Kufa have written to us that Ibn Aqil was gathering people in Kufa to create disunity among the populace. So when you get this letter, leave for Kufa immediately and summon Ibn Aqil like you search for a bead, so that you may get him. Then you decide either to imprison him or put him to death.[4]

This letter shows the worry of the ruler in Damascus about Muslim Ibn Aqil and it emphasizes to Ibn Ziyad that he must make haste in undertaking the journey to

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/356
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/23
[3] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/152
[4] Tabari, Tarikh 5/357


Kufa. Some sources state: Yazid wrote to Ibn Ziyad that if he has a pair of wings he must use them to fly to Kufa.[1] This indicates the fear that Yazid had about the revolution of Iraq.

Muslim bin Amr Bahili carried this letter of Yazid along with the proclamation to Ibn Ziyad.

Historians say that Bahili was a spy of the Umayyads in Kufa and among one their important officials. He was one of the most evil people of the Arabs. He was the one who refused a gulp of water to Muslim bin Aqil when he was brought as a prisoner to Ibn Ziyad.

Ibn Ziyad received the official proclamation through Bahili; he was greatly pleased at it because while previously he was being threatened with dismissal from the governorship of Basra now he had become the de facto ruler of Iraq. The Damascus regime had accorded him complete authority over Iraq and also gave him a free hand to deal with ferocity and harshness against all those who showed opposition to the allegiance of Yazid. Ibn Ziyad was very much elated by these changed circumstances. This was so because it conformed to his harsh nature and his inclination to employ such cruelty with the people. Because he experienced immense pleasure in torturing others and was fond of cruelty and bloodshed.

Ibn Ziyad’s Speech in Basra

Ibn Ziyad readied to leave Basra and move to Kufa. Before departure he addressed the people in a severe tone in which he said, “Chief of the believers, Yazid has appointed me as the governor of Kufa. I shall leave for Kufa tomorrow. By Allah, I shall not refrain from using force and no evil shall stop me. Whoever becomes inimical to me shall be destroyed by me. Because I am a poison to everyone who makes war on me. He has done justice that shot arrows at Qarra.[2]

O people of Basra, I appoint Uthman bin Ziyad bin Abu Sufyan as my representative on you. Never disobey and disregard his commands. By the One except Whom there is no deity if I am reported about opposition of anyone towards him I shall eliminate his men and supporters. I consider the one closest to sin as the farthest one so that you may listen to me. It should not be that one of you may become my opponent or rival…I am Ibn Ziyad, I am most resembling the one who walks the desert. And I am having no resemblance to the paternal or maternal uncle.”[3]

How easy is barbarity and ferocity in the view of the governors of Bani Umayyah. That tyrant spoke with his most evil nature that was immersed in cruelty. Because

[1] Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/299
[2] It is an Arabian proverb: “He has done justice that shot arrows at Qarra”. “Qarra” was a well-known Arab tribe. In the battle between Quraish and Bakr bin Abd Manat bin Kinana, Qarra, a group of archers, sided with the Quraish. When the battle started a group began to shoot arrows at them. At that time a man said, “He has done justice that shot arrows at Qarra”. (Kitabul Amthal, Pg. 137, (Tr.)
[3] Tabari, Tarikh 5/358


he used to punish the innocent instead of the offenders and leave the offenders unpunished. He used to order killings and murder on the basis of allegations and suspicion like his father, Ziyad, had done. He made manslaughter a common phenomenon in Iraq.

The Tyrant goes to Kufa

The vilest and most degraded man of Basra set out for Kufa to wreak tyranny and commit evils. So much so that he did not leave off a single crime that he did not commit while 500 Basrans accompanied him. Abdullah bin Harith bin Naufal and Shareek bin Aawar Harithi,[1] who was actually a sincere follower of the Holy Imam joined the entourage of Ibn Ziyad to keep informed of the developments and plans of Ibn Ziyad. These people Ibn Ziyad had taken with him in order to spread terror and fear among the people and that they may help him in quelling the revolution by using their contacts among the Kufian leaders.

Anyway Ibn Ziyad covered the journey very fast without being distracted by anything else. He made haste so that he may reach Kufa before the arrival of Imam Husain. His men were exhausted and tired and it was difficult for them to keep moving. Some of them fell own exhausted and Abdullah bin Harith was one of them. But Ibn Ziyad did not pay any heed to this. When they reached Qadissiyyah, his slave Mehran fell down. Ibn Ziyad told him, “If you continue to move in this condition till we reach the fort, I shall give you 100,000.”

Mehran said, “No, by Allah, I cannot go on.” At that time the tyrant dismounted and wore a Yemeni dress and a black turban and a veil to cover his face so that people may think that he is His Eminence, Husain. And he moved on alone and entered Kufa from the direction of Najaf[2] while he was fearful and shaking like a wing of a bird. If he had the least scruples and courage he would not have disguised himself in order to deceive people into thinking that he was Husain…that coward resorted to this trick in order to keep himself safe. Some sources say that he avoided speaking out lest people may recognize him and slay him with their weapons.

At the Governor’s Palace

The tyrant hurried to the governor’s palace[3] while he was greatly perturbed and he

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/359
[2] Muqarram, Maqtal Husain Pg. 165
[3] The Governor’s palace (castle of the ruler): It was the first building to be constructed in Islam and Saad bin Abi Waqqas has got it constructed but its signs were completely obliterated like the signs of all the buildings of Kufa except the Jame Mosque. The department of archeology in Iraq tried to locate the foundation of this edifice and they have excavated it. Their research has shown that the palace was surrounded by an outer boundary and it includes the four walls. Its length was approximately 170 meters and it was four meters high. Every portion has six semi-circular towers that guarded it except for the northern portion which had two towers. The distance between each tower was 24.60 meters. The height of this boundary with the towers was around 20 meters. The castle was having very solid constructions and it had been constructed in such a way that it offered absolute security and defense against external attacks. This matter is mentioned in
the book, Sketch of Kufa City, by Dr. Kazim Janabi, Pg. 135-155. I have seen it many times and studied many of its relics. Some of its original gates are having canopies for the palace guards, which are now ruined and only some of its relics have survived. There are some rooms on one side that at that time served as prison cells and they are constructed in a strange fashion. On the other side were kitchens that Ustad Janabi has not indicated. The engineers had made this edifice impregnable so that it may easily repel attacks and withstand sieges.


was much angered when he saw that people were celebrating the arrival of Husain.

When he reached the palace he found the doors closed. Noman, still thinking that he was Husain, went up to the balcony and called down, “I invoke God before you, unless you withdraw (from me), by God, I will not hand over my office to you but I have no wish to fight you.”

Ibn Marjana sensed weakness and backwardness in the statement of Noman. Therefore in words full of anger, he cried, “Open! You have not opened yet and you have already had a long night (in which you have slept instead of governing).”

A man behind him heard this and withdrew to the people from Kufa who had followed (Ibn Ziyad) believing him to be Husain. He said, “O people, it is Ibn Marjana, by Him other than Whom there is no deity!” It was astonishing that they could not distinguish between Ibn Marjana and Imam Husain inspite of the fact that many of them had lived with him in the same town. Probably it was so because Ibn Ziyad had disguised himself and had donned a black turban.

Anyway when people recognized that he was Ibn Ziyad, they were shocked and they ran away to their houses in such a condition that they recalled the oppression of the time of his father. Ubaidullah also sensed that mischief was brewing…that very night Ibn Ziyad took the treasury and armory under his control. He spent the night in wakefulness while the officials of the Umayyad regime were around him discussing about the uprising. They were introducing him to prominent personalities. Along with it they were planning to quell the revolt.

Ibn Ziyad’s Speech in Kufa

In the morning the call was given among the people: “As-Salaat jaami’a (the prayer is a general prayer which all should gather for).” The people gathered and he went out to them. He praised and glorified God and said: “The Commander of the faithful (Yazid) has appointed me in charge of your town, your frontier-station and the distribution of your booty. He has ordered me to give justice to the oppressed among you, to be generous to those of you who are deprived, and to treat the obedient among you with generosity like a good father, but to use the whip and the sword against those who abandon my commands and oppose my appointment. Let each man protect himself. True belief should declare itself on your behalf, not the threat of punishment…”[1]

[1] Maqatilut Talibiyyin, Pg. 100


The speech of Ibn Ziyad had the following highlights:

1 – It announced the governorship of Kufa for Ibn Ziyad and dismissal of Noman bin Bashir from that post.

2 – It stated that the Damascus regime had accorded him this post and commanded him to deal nicely with people who obey the government and are not rebels and also instructed him to deal with the opponents and rebels with an iron hand.

In his speech Ibn Marjana made no mention of Imam Husain and his emissary, Muslim bin Aqil lest people might raise a clamor as he had not yet established his position firmly.

Spread of Terror and Fear

Ibn Ziyad began to spread tyranny, fear and terror. A historian says: As soon as Ibn Ziyad reached Kufa, the very next morning he began to start his mission of quelling the revolution. He immediately got the rebel leaders arrested and had them executed.[1] He initiated these step in order to crush the rebellion and kill the uprising.

On the second day he issued a command to gather the people in the Mosque and he came out dressed in new clothes. He began to address the people in a severe tone warning them. First he praised and glorified Allah and then said, “This matter cannot be corrected without using force and absolute harshness. And it is that I arrest the innocent with the offenders, the present with those who are absent and the friend with the friend.”

Thus a Kufian named Asad bin Abdullah Mari spoke up, “O Chief, the Almighty Allah has said: And a burdened soul cannot bear the burden of another and if one weighed down by burden should cry for (another to carry) its burden, nor aught of it shall be carried…Know that! Man is related to his efforts, the swords and horses are ready. You just say what you want but do not bring evil before the good…”

This silenced Ibn Ziyad. He came down from the pulpit and went home.[2]

Muslim Shifts to Hani’s House

Muslim was compelled to change his lodging and to conceal his political activities with diligence because the arrival of that tyrant in Kufa posed a serious danger to the revolution. He was aware of the deviation and misguidance of that filthy tyrant as he had no regard for the Almighty Allah and had no qualms about committing any sinful act.

Muslim decided to leave Mukhtar’s house because he did not have anyone capable enough to protect him and he was not connected to any center of power. Therefore he sought refuge in the house of Hani bin Urwah as he was the leader of his area and chief of Murad tribe. He was capable enough to support the revolution and

[1] Al-Fusul al-Muhimma, 185, Waseelatul Maal, Pg. 186
[2] Al-Futuh 5/67


dominate the events because on the basis of what historians say: When he rode he used to be accompanied by 4000 horsemen in armor and 8000 infantry men. And if their supporters from Kinda and other tribes joined them, 30000 men would wear armors for him.[1] Also he had previous good connections with his clansmen.

Muslim moved to the house of this great leader who welcomed him and accepted him with all formalities. Some of the sources[2] say: It was difficult and dangerous for Hani to give refuge to Muslim because his residence would become the center of rebellion and opposition to the government because he, due to this, was putting himself as target of revenge and punishment. However he unwillingly gave a positive reply to Muslim as it was Arab custom not turn away anyone who came seeking protection even though it may prove to be difficult and dangerous…

But what we believe is that it was not so. Because if Muslim had sensed his unwillingness and hesitation he would not have taken refuge in that place. He would have definitely restrained from entering that house because Muslim was well-trained in Islamic etiquette. He was an honorable person and a valiant man and he would have kept away from every action of his that may be responsible for harming others or putting them to inconvenience or hardships. Apart from this if Muslim had not been aware of the perfect faith and absolute submission of Hani with regard to his mission which had not been an established fact he would not have taken refuge in the dangerous circumstances he was in.

It is certain that Hani did not support Muslim due to shame and etiquette. Rather it was as a result of absolute faith and religious belief. Therefore he agreed to host Muslim.

Anyway, Muslim began to stay in Hani’s house and made it a place for organizing his revolt while Hani was assisting him and he summoned the tribes for his call. 18000 persons paid allegiance to Muslim in Hani’s place.[3] Muslim informed Hani about the problems of the uprising and introduced to him the leaders and prominent persons connected with it.

Muslim Refrained from Killing Ibn Ziyad

Most historians agree that Shareek bin Aawar became seriously ill in Hani’s house or his own residence.[4] The news of his illness reached Ibn Ziyad. He sent a messenger that he was coming to pay him a visit. Shareek considered it a good opportunity and he told Muslim, “The aim of your Shias and you is to kill this oppressor. Allah has given you an upper hand over him. He is coming to visit me. So get up! And hide in the closet. When he sits with me relaxed, come out and slay

[1] Murujuz Zahab 3/59
[2] Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 233
[3] Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 233
[4] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/153. It is famous among the historians that Shareek was in the house of Hani and not in his own house, because he lived in Basra and he had come to Kufa with Ibne Ziyad.


him. Then go to his palace of command and occupy the seat. Because no one would oppose you in this and if Allah restores my health I shall go to Basra and take control over there on your behalf. The people there would pay allegiance to you.[1]

Hani did not favor the slaying of Ibn Ziyad in his house as Arab custom did not allow the killing of a guest.[2] Therefore he said, “I don’t like that he should be killed in my house.”

Shareek asked him, “Why? By Allah, his slaying will be a cause of divine proximity (a good deed)!”

Shareek did not pay attention. He turned to Muslim and urged him to kill Ibn Ziyad and he said, “Do not fall short in this matter.” As they spoke they heard clamor at the door of the house because Ibn Ziyad had arrived with his entourage. Muslim arose and hid in the closet. Ibn Ziyad entered and inquired about Shareek’s illness. Shareek informed him of his condition. When Shareek saw that Muslim delayed in coming out he recited the following lines of poetry:

“For whom do you await that you don’t welcome Salmi. Welcome him and whosoever welcomes him, give the goblet of death.”[3]

At that time his voice arose so that Muslim may hear him. He said:

“May Allah give your father a good reward. Give him the drink even if my life is lost in it.”[4]

Ibn Ziyad did not realize what he intended; he thought that he was talking in delirium. So he asked Hani, “Is he talking in delirium?”

“Yes, may Allah do good to the Amir, he is like that since morning.”[5]

Mehran, Ibn Ziyad’s slave was a cunning fellow. He sensed some mischief and

[1] Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 234. Maqatilut Talibiyyin, Pg. 101. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/26. Some historians have opined that one who invited Muslim to kill Ibne Ziyad was Hani Ibne Urwah as mentioned in Al-Imamah was Siyasah 2/4.
[2] Maqatilut Talibiyyin, Pg. 101. It is mentioned that Hani did not like that Ibne Ziyad should be killed in his house.
[3] Maqatilut Talibiyyin, Pg. 101. Maqtal Abi Mikhnaf Pg. 43 it has come that he recited the following couplets: “What are you waiting for that you did not welcome Salmi. Say welcome to him and to all those who say welcome to him.
It is not worth drinking that which comes to me when I am thirsty. And I die and my death is in it. If you fear to cast a glance at Salmi you shall never be able to remain safe from his intrigue.” And in Futuh 5/72 and Al-Akhbar at-Tiwal, Pg. 236 it has come that he recited the following couplet:
“Regarding Salmi in his opportune time what are you waiting for? Because he is such that his friendship has weakened and his separation has been decided.
[4] Maqatilut Talibiyyin, Pg. 101
[5] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/26 and Maqatilut Talibiyyin, Pg. 102


winked to Ibn Ziyad. He got up in haste. Shareek told him, ”O Amir, I wish to make some bequests to you.” Ibn Ziyad said, “I shall visit you again.”

Mehran was worried. He addressed Ibn Ziyad and said, ”He wanted to kill you.”

Ibn Ziyad was shocked. He asked, ”How is it possible? After the respect I have for him? In the house of Hani, with father’s liking for him?”

When the tyrant went away Muslim emerged from the closest and found that Shareek was in remorse. He asked, “What prevented you from killing him?”[1]

Muslim replied, “Two things restrained me from this. Firstly: Hani did not like him killed in his house. Secondly: The saying of the Messenger of Allah that Islam has prohibited that a believer never kills by deceit.”

Shareek told him, “By Allah, if you had killed him your mission would have gained stability and your power would have become established.”[2]

Shareek did not remain alive for more than three days after this. Ibn Ziyad recited his funeral prayer and had him buried in Thaya. When he learnt of the plot that Shareek had devised he said, “By Allah I shall not recite the funeral prayer for any Iraqi. If the grave of Ziyad had not been in their town I would have dug up Shareek’s grave.”[3]

Explanation of this Event

Many people have questioned the attitude of Muslim and they criticize him and hold him responsible for the events that followed. They say that if he had killed the tyrant, the Muslims would have been relieved of the terrible hardships in which they had fallen…”

However, this censure is baseless and in no way is it having any balance and truth. Because it is not in accordance with Muslim’s character and his true circumstances. As he was an incomparable example of piety and religiosity among the people. He was the one who had been brought up in the house of his uncle, Amirul Momineen Ali and he had imbibed the character and views of his exalted uncle. He has considered his illuminated manner to mould his own behavior and the way of his life. He had molded his life on absolute truth without any sort of deviation. Ali had also shown a life devoid of everything that could be construed to be against the religion of Islam. It was only he who had said, “An intelligent man is aware of deceitful ways but piety prevents him from them.”

This is the ray of the sun of that character in which Ibn Aqil developed his views,

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/26
[2] Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 235 and in Tarikh Ibne Athir 4/27 it is mentioned: Hani told Muslim: If you had killed him you would have killed a transgressor, a sinner and an infidel who betrayed trust. Ibne Numa says that Hani’s wife implored Muslim in the name of God that he must not kill Ibne Ziyad in her house. When Hani came to know about it, he said, “She has killed herself and me and she is standing for that which has fled her.”
[3] Tabari, Tarikh 5/363-364. Al-Aghani 6/59


which became clear in his actions and it is of the manners of the Alawites.

Dr. Muhammad Tahir Darush says, “Hashemites have a way of living and they spend their life in it. Apart from that they do not know of any other way. That is why such things became their distinguishing characteristics, like faith, frankness, chastity, nobility, merits, lofty point of view, exemplary habits, religious nature and prophetic manners were a part of their character.”[1]

Muslim did not act to assassinate his deceitful foe because religion has prohibited killing anyone through trickery and a believer never resorts to this type of act. Habtut Deen opines: “This statement is having a lofty aim and broad vision because Ali’s progeny along with being absolute followers of truth and rightfulness never resorted to deceit and trickery even if the circumstances demanded it. And they preferred a delayed success in a rightful manner to an immediate victory achieved through trickery. This was a habit seen in their predecessors also and received by their descendants in inheritance. As if they were created to establish the rule of justice and virtue in the hearts of the selected ones or those who have divine recognition. And history has treasured their status for them in the hearts.”[2]

Shaykh Ahmad Fahmi also says, “This is Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad the same cunning man regarding whom Muslim had an excellent opportunity and he was within his easy reach. He could have killed him easily. If he had done so, he would have deprived Yazid from a cruel and powerful ally. However Muslim took lesson from the guidance of his cousin,[3] avoided this course of action and saved himself from resorting to deceit and fraud.”

The duty entrusted to Muslim was to take the allegiance of the people and to keep an eye on the current events. Apart from this he had no other immediate function. If he had assassinated the tyrant be would have gone out of the limits of his responsibility…While the government as the representative of which he had arrived was a religious government and it was such that before initiating anything it took care to follow the fundamentals of religion. It strictly followed and established the practice and laws of Islam while assassination has no place in Islam.

Ahle Bayt absolutely avoided following crooked ways and they used to object against the inappropriate actions of Bani Umayyah with regard to religious laws. His Eminence, Husain did not go out on his great mission except that he may reform the conditions of that time and to show the Islamic way to the people….If Muslim had committed that act which was unacceptable to religion, how it could have been justified for the righteous and pious people?

Anyway, Muslim restrained his hands on the basis of religious virtue and nobility

[1] Khutabah dar Sadr-e-Islam 2/13
[2] Nahzatul Husain, Pg. 71-72
[3] Raihaanatur Rasool, Pg. 178


and he did not kill Ibn Ziyad by trick even though he was within his easy reach. The most useless and absurd remark is that which accuses Muslim of weakness and sloth. It can never be justified and accepted. Because he was such a valiant man that he exhibited it when people betrayed him in Kufa. He displayed such valor that its equal is not found anywhere in history. When he remained determined in front of a large number of militants and no kind of weakness and sloth was seen in him. He beheaded the multitudes and dispersed their ranks. When the carnage reached a high level the Kufians began to scream in terror. Then how is it possible to accuse the valiant stalwart, the pride of the family of Adnan of sloth and weakness?

Horrible Plot

The oppressive tyrant, Ibn Ziyad devised a horrible plot to gain political dominance and control of the situation in Kufa even though before it, Muslim was in absolute control. This charge occurred very suddenly and he succeeded on turning the tables on Muslim and having him put to death. The salient feature of Ibn Ziyad’s plan were as follows:

Spying upon Muslim

The first step that Ibn Ziyad took was that he selected his loyal slave, Maqil to spy on Muslim and find out his political activities and learn about his strengths and weaknesses. Maqil was brought up by Ibn Ziyad, trained in all kinds of trickery and deceit so that he developed into a vile trickster with a cunning mind who was also dependable and sincere. Ibn Ziyad gave him 3000 dirhams and instructed him to develop contacts with Shias and claim that he was a Syrian and a slave of Kala Himyari. In those days the Syrian slaves were generally in support of Ahle Bayt therefore he was told to pose as a slave so that no one may have doubt or suspicion about him. And he told him that whenever he met Shia people he should tell them that he was a devotee of Ahle Bayt whom Allah has bestowed with the love of the household of the Messenger of Allah. He should say that he has learnt that a person has come who was mobilizing the people towards Imam Husain, and that
Maqil was having some funds that he wanted to contribute for their fight against their enemies. Maqil set out to fulfill his duty and entered the Masjid.

He came (to a place where) he sat near Muslim bin Ausaja as-Asadi in the great mosque. The latter was praying, and he (Maqil) heard some people saying that this (was one of those who) had pledged allegiance to Imam Husain. He went up and sat right next to him until he had finished praying.

“O servant of God,” he said, “I am a Syrian whom God has blessed with love for the House and love for those who love them.”

He pretended to weep (in front of) him. Then he continued: “I have three thousand dirhams with which I want to meet a man from them (the House) whom I have learnt has come to Kufa to receive pledges of allegiance on behalf of the son of the


daughter of the Messenger of Allah. I have been wanting to meet him but I have not found anyone who will direct me to him and I don’t know the place (where he is staying).While I am sitting (here), I heard a group of the faithful saying that this is a man (i.e. Muslim bin Ausaja) who is acquainted with this House. Therefore I have come to you so that you may take this money from me and introduce me to your leader; for I am one of your brethren and someone you can trust. If you wish, you may receive my pledge of allegiance to him before my meeting him.”

“I thank God for you meeting me,” replied (Muslim) bin Ausaja, “and it gives me great joy to get (you) what you desire, and that God should help the House of His Prophet through you. Yet the people’s knowledge of my (connection) with this affair before it is finished troubles me, because of (my) fear of this tyrant and his severity.”

“It would be better (if) you took the pledge of allegiance from me (now),” Maqil told him. So he took his pledge of allegiance and testaments heavily supported by oaths that he would be sincere and keep the matter concealed. He (Maqil) gave him whatever would make him content in that way.[1]

“Come to visit me at my house for (a few) days,” said (Muslim bin Ausaja), “for I will seek permission for you (to visit) your master.”

He began to visit him frequently with his people (i.e. the other members of the Shia) and sought permission for him (to visit). Permission was given and Muslim b. Aqil received (Maqil’s) pledge of allegiance. He told Abu Thamama as-Saidi to take the money from them and what could be used to help each other, and he used to buy their arms. He was a perceptive man and one of the knights of the Arabs and one of the notables of the Shia.

That man (i.e. Maqil) began to visit them regularly. He was the first to enter and the last to leave, in order to become acquainted with (everything of) their affairs which Ibn Ziyad wanted. He used to keep him informed about that at regular intervals.[2]

With the Organs of the Revolution

First: Maqil was a Syrian inimical to Ahle Bayt and loyal to Bani Umayyah, well known for his sacrifices in their love. What was the worth of his trustworthiness for Muslim?

Second: When Maqil gave the money to Muslim bin Ausaja, he began to weep. What was the meaning of his weeping or pretence of weeping? It should have created doubt in his sincerity?

Third: When he developed contacts. He was the first to enter the gatherings of Shias and the last to leave. His regularity in attending their meetings and staying

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/25-26
[2] Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 236


for long hours was indeed a cause of suspicion.

It would have better if they had been careful in this matter and found the reality behind this man. Though it is true that he was an expert spy and well informed of the details of his mission.

Anyway Ibn Ziyad, on the basis of espionage, gained a lot of intelligence and he learnt all about the strengths and weakness of the revolution. This in turn helped him to dominate the circumstances.

Bribing the leaders and elders

Ibn Ziyad became cognizant of the nerve of Kufa and learnt how he could gain control over the people. Therefore he began to bribe the leaders and elders and generously bestowed cash gifts on them, thus obtaining their loyalty and friendship so much so that they began to speak in his praise and glorification and Ibn Ziyad succeeded in making the powerful supporters of Muslim abandon him and dispersed the people from around him.

Ibn Marjana enslaved all those on whom he gifted money and they became his sincere supporters and loyal men. They broke the oath and pledges they had made to Muslim. Therefore a man of Kufa informed the Holy Imam about this when he met him on way to Kufa. He told the Imam, “As for the elders, their bribes have increased and their lives have prospered, their supports are obtained and their loyalties are being purchased. As for the other people, their hearts are with you but tomorrow their swords would be upon you.”[1]

Kufians forgot the letters they had dispatched to Imam and the pledge of allegiance they had made to the emissary of His Eminence because of the monies bestowed on them by the governor’s regime. A writer says: A group motivated by criticism of Bani Umayyah, those who had written letters to His Eminence, Husain emphasizing their sincerity and shed their most precious tears in the presence of Muslim; these were the same people whose loyalties were purchased by Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad. After that Musab bin Umair purchased their loyalties and separated from Mukhtar leaving him alone to be killed. After that the Umayyah Caliph Abdul Malik Ibn Marwan purchased them and they became aloof from Musab who met his end at the hands of Abdul Malik bin Marwan.[2]

Refraining from Attacking Hani’s House

Ibn Ziyad, the tyrant knew that Hani was a prominent element of the revolution because his dangerous spy, Maqil had informed him of the active role Hani played in support and organization of the revolution. He was also told that Hani’s house was the center of common Shias and the real place of refuge of Muslim, the ambassador of His Eminence, Husain… Thus why Ibn Ziyad did not raid Hani’s house or attack it and lay siege to it with his army in order to quell the revolt?

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 6/233
[2] Mukhtar Thaqafi Aaina Asr Amawi, Pg. 69-70


It was so because Ziyad was militarily weak and he did not possess enough strength to undertake an armed struggle. Because Hani’s house and its surroundings were encircled with 4000 armed men who had paid allegiance to Muslim. Apart from this was the following that Hani had among the people and his important position in the province. Therefore Ibn Ziyad did not dare attack him, as he feared dire consequences.

Messengers of Deceit

Ibn Ziyad used to remain awake at night and pondered and discussed with his associates the matter of Hani, because Hani was the most popular man of the province and the most powerful personality who could support the revolution and not leave Muslim to be captured by the enemy. Thus if Hani is eliminated the revolt shall be uprooted. However he refrained from putting Hani under arrest or laying siege to his house because it was not possible. They unanimously decided to send a delegation to Hani and trick him to surrender himself. The delegation was supposed to convey to him that Ibn Ziyad wished to meet him. Once Hani comes under their control it would not be difficult to find his followers and all the problems would be solved. Thus a group of people were selected for this job. They were as follows:

Hisaan bin Asmaa bin Khatija, leader of Fuzara tribe.

Muhammad bin Ashath, leader of Kindi tribe

Amr bin Hajjaj

Hisaan bin Asmaa was unaware of the trickery with Hani but Muhammad bin Ashath and Amr bin Hajjaj knew it well. Ibn Ziyad instructed them to convey to Hani his (Ibn Ziyad’s) eagerness to meet him and that they must try their best to satisfy Hani of their sincerity and quell all his doubts and fears.

Hani’s Detention

The delegation hastened to Hani’s residence in the night and found him seated there. They saluted him and asked, “What is stopping you from seeing the governor? For he has mentioned you and said that if he had been told you were ill, he would have paid you a visit.”

“An illness has stopped me,” he answered.

They rejected the excuse and said, “He has been informed that you sit at the door of your house every evening. He finds you tardy and tardiness and churlish behavior he will not tolerate. We adjure you to side with us.”

They continued to urge him to come to Ibn Ziyad till he unwillingly assented. He called for his clothes and got dressed. Then he called for a mule and rode (with them).

When he got near the palace, he began to feel some apprehension and decided to turn back. He said to Hisaan bin Asmaa, “Nephew, my God, I fear this man. What do you think?” Hisaan replied, “Uncle, by God, I do not fear anything for you.


Why do you invent a reason (for blame) against yourself?”

They urged him to move on till they brought him to Ibn Marjana who welcomed him with anger and said (to himself): “The legs of the swindler have brought him to you.”

Then he said to Shurayh who was near him:

“I want his life[1] but he wants my death.

The one who makes excuses to you is one of your own bosom friends from the tribe of Murad.”

He was referring to his earlier kindness and gentleness to him (Hani).

“What is that, governor?” asked Hani.

“Yes, Hani, what are these matters which you have been plotting in your house against the Commander of the faithful and the general community of the Muslims?” asked Ibn Ziyad. “You have brought Muslim bin Aqil and taken him into your house. You have gathered arms and men for him in houses around you. You thought that was hidden from me.”

“I have not done that and Muslim is not with me,” he replied.

“Oh yes (you have),” was the answer.

After the argument between them had gone on for some time and Hani persisted in contradicting and denying (the accusations), Ibn Ziyad summoned that spy, Maqil. He came and stood before him.

“Do you know this man?” (Ibn Ziyad) asked him.

“Yes,” he replied.

At that (moment) Hani realized that he had been a spy against them and had brought (Ibn Ziyad) all their information. For a moment he was bewildered, and then his spirit returned to him.

“Listen to me,” he said, “and believe what I say. I swear by God that I do not lie. By God, I did not summon him to my house. I did not know anything about his business until he came to me asking to stay with me. I was too ashamed to refuse him. As a result of that, the duty of giving (him) protection fell upon me. Therefore I gave him lodging and refuge. Then his affair developed as you have been informed. If you wish, I will give you strongly sworn testaments that I will not do you any harm and danger, and I will come to you and put my hand in your hand.[2] If you wish, I will give you a guarantee which will be in your hand until I return to you. Then I will go to him and order him to leave my house for wherever in the land he wants to go. Then he will leave his right of protection.”[3]

[1] “Hayaa”, it is narrated that it also denotes the stipulated allowance from the Public Treasury.
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/27-29
[3] Muruj az-Zahab 3/57, Simtun Nujoomul Waali 3/61. Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 4/170 & 304 and 301 has related his statement in another way also which is different from the version generally quoted by famous historians.


“You will never leave me unless you bring him,” answered Ibn Ziyad.

“No, by God, I will not bring him to you,” (the other) declared.

After the argument between them had gone on for some time, Muslim bin Amr al-Bahili rose (to speak). There was no other Syrian or Basran in Kufa except him.

“May God make you prosper, governor,” he interjected, “(please) leave me with him (for a time) so that I can speak to him.” He arose and took him (Hani) aside from Ibn Ziyad. They were (standing) where he could see them and when they raised their voices, he could hear what they were saying.

“I adjure you before God, Hani,” said Muslim, “you are killing yourself and bringing tribulation on your clan. By God, I hold you too precious to be killed. This man is the cousin of (your) tribe so they will not fight against him, nor harm him. Therefore give him (i.e. Muslim bin Aqil) to them (the authorities). There will be no shame and failure for you by that for you would only be handing him over to the authorities.”

“By God, indeed there would be shame and disgrace for me,” answered Hani, “were I to hand over one who has come under my protection and is my guest, while I am still alive and sound. I can hear; I see well; I have a strong arm and many helpers. By God, if I was the only one without any helper, I would not hand him over until I had died on his behalf.”[1]

He began to shout at him saying: “By God, I will never hand him over to him.”

Ibn Ziyad heard that. “Bring him to me,” he said. They brought him. “Either bring him to me or I will have your head cut off,” demanded Ibn Ziyad.

“Then there will be much flashing (of swords) around your house,” replied Hani, thinking that his clan would prevent him (from being killed).

“Come near me,” demanded (Ibn Ziyad). He came nearer and Ibn Ziyad struck his face with his cane and went on beating at his nose, forehead and cheeks so that he broke his nose and the blood flowed from it on to his face and beard and the flesh of his forehead and cheeks was sprinkled over his beard. Eventually the cane broke. Hani stretched out his hand towards the hilt of the sword of one of the armed attendants but the man pulled it away and prevented him.

“You have been behaving like one of the Haruri (i.e. Kharijites) all day long!” yelled Ibn Ziyad, “so your blood is permitted to us. Take him away!”

They took him and threw him into one of the rooms in the building. They locked the doors on him. He had told them to put guards on him and that (also) was done.[2] However Hissaan bin Asmaa arose and said: “Are (we) messengers of treachery now? For you told us to bring the man to you. Yet when we brought him to you,

[1] Al-Futuh 5/83
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/28-29


you smashed his nose and face, and his blood flowed on his beard. Then you claimed that you would kill him.”

“You will be for it here (and now),” cried Ubaidullah and he ordered him to be struck, shaken, and pushed aside.

“We are satisfied with the governor’s attitude on our behalf and against (those of) us (who are wrong); the governor is only punishing (those who are wrong),” declared Muhammad bin Ashath.[1]

It was nothing serious for Ibn Ashath that what oppression the tyrant may resort to.

Revolt of Madhij Tribe

However when it was reported to Amr bin al-Hajjaj and he learnt that Hani had been killed, he advanced with Madhij and surrounded the palace. He had a great crowd with him.

“I am Amr bin al-Hajjaj,” he called out, “and these are the knights of Madhij, and their leading men. We have not broken away from obedience, nor have we separated from the community.”

It had been reported to them that their colleague had been killed, and they regarded that as a great crime. Ubaidullah was told that Madhij were at the gate. He told Qadi Shurayh: “Go in to their colleague, look at him and then go out and inform them that he is still alive and has not been killed.”

Shurayh went in and looked at him. When Hani saw Shurayh, he said, with blood flowing down his beard: “Oh what a God! Oh what Muslims! Has my clan been destroyed? Where are the people of religion? Where are the people of the town? Are they avoiding me because of their enemies?”[2]

When he heard the tumult at the door of the palace he said: “O Shurayh![3] I think those are the voices of Madhij and my group of the Muslims. If ten of them got in, they would be able to rescue me.”[4]

After Shurayh had listened to what he had to say, he went out to them and told them: “When the governor learnt about your attitude and your statements concerning your colleague, he ordered me to go and see him. I went and I saw him. Then he ordered me to meet you and inform you that he is still alive and that the report that he had been killed was false.”

“Praise be to God since he has not been killed,” answered Amr bin al-Hajjaj and his colleagues.[5]

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh, Pg. 29
[2] And in the narration of Tabari Vol. 5/267 it is mentioned: “Are they leaving me to their enemies?”
[3] Shuraih Qadhi was related to a poet of Kinda. This is mentioned in Kamil Mubarad, Pg. 21.
[4] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/30. In Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 2/351 it is mentioned: Hani told Shuraih: “O Shuraih, fear for Allah, he would kill me.”
[5] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/30


At that time they went away fast as if they had been released from a prison. They went, taking along with themselves humiliation and disgrace and became examples of betraying of trust.

In my view, the going away of Madhij so soon without being fully assured about Hani’s safety was as a result of a deep secret relationship that Ibn Ziyad had developed with their prominent members to eliminate Hani. If it had not been so, the Madhij tribe would not have allowed Hani’s execution, in an open manner by hanging him in the market place of shoe-makers.

Anyway the Madhij earned disgrace and allowed themselves to be humiliated. An anonymous poet who kept his name concealed for fear of reprisal from that tribe, composed elegy in the sorrow of Hani in which he denounced Hani’s clansmen and through this tried to rekindle in them anger so that they may revenge the killing of their tribe member. He says:

“If you do not know what death is, then look at Hani in the market-place and Ibn Aqil.

(Look at) a hero whose face has been covered with wounds and another who fell dead from a high place.[1]

The command of the governor struck them (down) and they became legends for those who travel on every road.

You see a corpse whose color death has changed and a spattering of blood which has flowed abundantly;

A young man who was (even) more bashful than a shy young woman, was more decisive than the polished blade of two-edged sword.

Is Asma riding in safety a mount which moves at walking pace while Madhij urged him to seek vengeance

And Murad wander around him? Are all of them in fear of the questioner and the questioned?

If you do not avenge your two brothers, then be harlots satisfied with little.”[2]

Dr. Yusuf Khalif has expressed his opinion regarding the above couplets and he says: “Here is an effective voice and it goes from urging to openly instigating till it reaches the position of blatant daring although the poet was living under the rule of the Umayyads. Because he was able to conceal his name. So much so that there

[1] In Muruj az-Zahab 2/60 it is mentioned: These couplets are by an anonymous poet. In Aghani 13/35 and in Jumharatul Ansaab, Pg. 228 they are considered to be of Akhtal. In Maqatilut Talibiyyin, Pg. 110 they are considered to be written by Abdullah bin Zubair Asadi. And in Tabari 5/379-380 by Farazdaq and in Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 242 by Abdur Rahman bin Zubair Asadi and in Lisanul Arab 4/502 by Sulaym bin Salam Hanafi.
[2] Timaar is the name of a room on the top of the royal palace, and Muslim was killed in that place and from there his body was thrown down. Thus what Ibne Abil Hadid has written in Sharh Nahjul Balagha 5/237 that it was a wall, is incorrect.


was difference of opinion between narrators regarding his identity. While for other narrators he was completely unknown. In this call neither has he spoken of Husain nor about politics. Rather he only wished to kindle the spirit of conscience of Yemenis so that they may take revenge of the killing of their man. On the basis of this suspicion he did not intentionally mention the name of Muhammad Ibn Ashath Yemeni. He only named Asmaa bin Kharija Fuzari, whom he blamed for the murder of Hani. He did not mention anyone else. Inspite of the fact that both of them were sent by Ibn Ziyad. However, the poet has as a precaution not mentioned the name of Ibn Ashath so that there may not be discord or mischief among the Yemenis. This was so because he wanted the people to be united in taking revenge. In his elegy the poet has given a graphic description of the two persons who were put to death and the description is really terrifying; the poet was sure that the
story of two corpses, one of which had the face crushed and the other which was thrown from the top of the palace, would definitely spread among the people.”

In this picture the poet has emphatically presented two horrifying scenes so that he may cause to rise in them sentiments and emotions of sorrow which would lead them to become angry and take revenge: The scene of the two corpses whose color death had changed and the blood that was dripping from them, they bled from every side. After that the description of Asma who mounted his horse and in absolute comfort and security was riding to Kufa. He rode on in pride and arrogance. And he asks, “How long would this man remain safe while the tribesmen around him would seek revenge?” At that time nothing greater shall be seen except that nobility would ridicule them. Therefore the poet tells them: “If you do not take revenge you would be like prostitutes who sell their honor at a paltry price.”[1]

Thus Faal Hauzen writes: Madhij ignored their leadership and they did not fulfill its right. They captured their leader and delivered him into the hands of Ibn Marjana, lest he may create disturbance. Although this tribe was having leadership and dominance in Kufa.

Anyway, the passing of away of Hani induced a great effect in spreading terror and fear in the hearts of Kufians and it finally became the cause of people abandoning their support for Muslim and thus finally causing the failure of the uprising.

Muslim’s Uprising

When Muslim learnt of what passed on Hani he hastened the uprising against Ibn Ziyad because knew that the same fate awaited him, so he ordered Abdullah bin Hazim to summon the people he had hidden in the houses. 4000[2] or 40000[3] people gathered near him while the Muslims were chanting the slogan of the Battle of

[1] Hayatush Sha’ar fil Kufa ilaa Nihayatul Qarnuth Thani lil Hijrah, Pg. 463-464
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/30. Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/92
[3] Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 2/351. Dhahabi, Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 1/150 from facsimile copy at Amirul Momineen Library


Badr: “O ones helped by the Ummah,[1] O victorious ones, sacrifice your lives!”

Muslim perfected the arrangement of his forces and entrusted the general command of the army to those who were known to him for their loyalty and sincerity to Ahle Bayt They were as follows:

Abdullah bin Aziz Kindi was entrusted with Kinda quarter.

Muslim bin Ausaja was given the command of Madhij quarter.

Ibn Thamame Saidi was given the leadership of the tribes of Bani Tamim and Hamadan.

Baath bin Jude Jadali was made the commander of Medina quarter.

When Muslim moved to the governor’s palace with his army in order to lay siege to it[2] Ibn Ziyad had gone out to speak to the people after the passing away of Hani. He went to the great mosque and mounted the pulpit. Then he glanced at his companions and they stood to his right and left with their maces and swords pulled out to defend him. Seeing this his worries faded and he addressed the people of Kufa as follows:

“So to say: O people of Kufa! Cling to the obedience of Allah, His Messenger and that of your leaders. And do not create discord and become disunited or you shall be destroyed. You shall be defrauded, regretful and defeated. No one would be able to find a conclusive way. He who warns is excused.”

The tyrant had hardly concluded his address when a shout was heard and people began to yell. He asked about it and was told, “Beware it is Muslim bin Aqil who has come with those who have pledged allegiance to him.”

Ibn Ziyad was filled with apprehension and his limbs began to shudder in fright. The coward hastened to his palace in such a terrified condition that his tongue hung out of his mouth. He went into the palace and bolted all the doors from inside.[3]

The mosque and the market place became full of Muslim’s companions and the world became narrow for Ibn Ziyad and he became sure that he would be killed because he did not have any power to defend himself except for thirty bodyguards and his twenty officials.[4] While the soldiers of Muslim were increasing in number till according to some historians their numbers reached 18000. They were waving their flags and flashing their swords and raising slogans denouncing Ibn Ziyad and announcing their enmity to him. Some historians have written that there was a severe confrontation between Muslim’s soldiers and Ibn Ziyad’s men.

Ibn Ziyad began to ponder upon the quickest means that could release his regime from the clutches of the revolution and he concluded that except for a psychological war no other option was there for him, and he began to put this into effect.

[1] This slogan used to motivate the fighters in battle to fight with greater fervor and also contains the glad-tidings of victory.
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/30
[3] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/154. Al-Futuh 5/85-86
[4] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/30

# Imam Husain’s Revolution:
Activities and programs
Part 3

War of Nerves

The tyrant ordered a group of Kufian leaders to spread fear and terror among the people and these people began to implement these instructions. They were as follows:

1. Kathir bin Shahab Harithi

2. Fa’qa’ bin Shuhur Dhahabi

3. Hijar bin Abjar

4. Shimr bin Ziljaushan[1]

These men set out towards the rows of the army of Muslim and began to spread terror and propagate fear among them. They frightened them of the Syrian army. Among the statements of Kathir bin Shahab were:

“O people, stay with your families. Do not hurry into evil actions. Do not expose yourselves to death. These are the soldiers of the Commander of the faithful, Yazid, who are approaching. The governor has given God a promise that if you persist in fighting him and do not go away by nightfall, he will deprive your children of their (right to a) state allotment of money and he will scatter your soldiers in Syrian campaigns. He will make the healthy among you responsible for the sick and those present responsible for those who are absent until none of those rebellious people will remain who has not tasted the evil consequences of what their hands have earned.”[2]

This warning fell like lightning on the heads of Kufians because it contained different cruelties and terror. The following warnings were present in these statements:

A warning to them about the coming of the Syrians who had supposedly set out towards them. So that if they continued disobedience and rebellion they shall be captured, tortured and killed.

They would be deprived of stipends and allowance although the whole province was administered and all received their income from the public treasury.

Gathering them in the battlefields of Syrians and sending them in the battlefields.

If they remain stubborn on their rebellion Ibn Ziyad would announce his military regime and deal with them with the policy of his father among them. And that policy had the signs of death and desolation. In this way Ibn Ziyad would employ all the tactics with those people.

The other nobles spoke in similar vein and helped in spread of terror and fear among the people. Among the slogans that spread among the people were:

“O people of Kufa! Fear Allah! Do not create discord and mischief in this Ummah! And do not make the horsemen of Syria come to you as you have tested them and tested their strength.”

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh Pg. 31
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/370-371


Epidemic of Terror and Fear

Epidemic of terror and fear spread in the hearts of Kufians and their nerves shattered, as if death was hovering upon them, and they were telling each other, “We are hastening towards mischief. What to do? Tomorrow the Syrians would attack us? We should go back and stay in our houses and leave these people so that Allah may cause reform among them.”[1]

Women also came out to their sons, brothers and husbands while their faces had paled due to fear and they said, “Go, the people will be (enough) without you.”[2]

Men were going to their sons and brothers and filling their hearts with fear.

Ibn Ziyad gained absolute control over the situation while the Kufians took off the dress of opposition of Bani Umayyah and donned the raiment of degradation of slavery, which was caused by cruelty and terror spread by the regime. As if blood was flowing between the turbans and the beards.

Defeat of the army

Muslim’s army suffered such a humiliating defeat that its equal is not found in all the ages of history because misleading rumors pulled them towards defeat without the use of any military power. Historians say: “From whichever lane Muslim’s army passed a group of his companions used to separate from him, in such a condition that they used to say, “Why should we interfere with the rulers?”[3]

Not much time when most of them fled Muslim’s army and Muslim prayed the Isha prayer in the great mosque. They were fleeing during the prayer itself. When Ibn Aqil concluded the prayer all the generals of his army had disappeared and none remained even to show him the way. He became worried and he could not find his way[4] while according to historians he was also having multiple injuries.[5] He was absolutely helpless. He neither had any refuge nor anyone to help him in any way.

As a Guest of Tawa

That great commander, the grandson of Hashim and the pride of the clan of Adnan roamed the streets and lanes of Kufa. Full of apprehension and worry he set out for the Kinda locality[6] with the hope of finding a house where he could spend the remaining part of the night, while the streets were completely deserted and a fearful atmosphere reigned. This was so because all the soldiers and companions of Muslim had gone back to their houses and shut themselves inside lest the spies of Ibn Ziyad recognize them as supporters of Muslim and put them into arrest.

[1] Al-Futuh 5/87
[2] Abul Fida, Tarikh 1/189-190, Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/31
[3] Ad-Darul Maslook fi Ahwaalil Anbiya wal Awsiya 1/108
[4] Jurairi, Maqamat 1/192
[5] Al-Futuh 5/87
[6] Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 239


Muslim was caught in a whirlpool, surrounded by griefs and pain and a great sorrow had filled his heart so much that it was about to burst, because the people’s betrayal had put him into apprehension and he realized that there was not a single noble man in that city, to give him refuge for the right, help him and show him the way, while he was not cognizant of the town layout and ways.

He wandered amid the lanes of Kufa without knowing where he was going until he came to the houses of Banu Jabala of Kinda. He went on until he came to a door (at which was) a woman called Tawa. She was a lady possessing the best morals and manners among all the people of the town. She had been a slave-wife (umm walad) of Ashath b. Qais and he had freed her. She had, then, married Usayd al-Hadhrami and had borne him (a son called) Bilal,[1] Bilal had gone out with the people and his mother was standing at the door waiting for him concerned with the terrible events that were unfolding in her town.

When Muslim saw her, he approached her and greeted her. She returned the greeting and asked him, “What do you want?”

“Please give me water to drink.”

She went inside and brought water for him. Muslim drank the water and sat down. She became suspicious of him and she asked, “Haven’t you had your drink?”

“Yes,” was the answer.

“Then go to your people,” She said, “as your sitting here is not right.”[2]

But he was silent. She repeated it but he was still silent. A third time she said, “Glory be to God, servant of God, get up-may God give you health – (and go) to your people. For it is not permitted for you to do it.”

When that lady made it unlawful for Muslim to sit there he was compelled to get up and there was no other way except to leave that place. So he spoke up in a sorrowful tone, “Servant of God, I have neither house nor family in this town. Would you (show) me some generosity and kindness? Perhaps I will be able to repay it later on.”

The lady understood that he was a man of noble descent and possessed good manners and he could repay her kindness. She asked him, “What is it, servant of God?”

Muslim said with tearful eyes, “I am Muslim bin Aqil, these people have lied to me, incited me (to action) and then abandoned me.”

The lady asked with respect and humility, “You are Muslim?”

“Yes,” he answered.[3]

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/31. And in Al-Futuh 5/88 it is mentioned: Previously she was the wife of Qais Kandi and after that she married a man from Hadramaut named Asad bin Bateen and she bore a son who was called Asad.
[2] Dhahabi, Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 1/151
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/31


“Come in”, she said and he was taken into a room in her house but not the room she used. She was pleased to have the honor of hosting a descendent of Hashim and the ambassador of the son of the Messenger of Allah. She spread out a carpet for him and offered him supper but he could not eat because sorrow and grief had destroyed his appetite. He had now become certain of the future calamities and the terrible disaster that was to occur. He was apprehensive because of the letter he had written to His Eminence to come to Kufa.

Soon her son returned. He saw her going frequently to and fro between the rooms and exclaimed, “By God, the number of times which you have gone into and come out of that room this evening, makes me suspect that you have something important (there).”

“My little son, forget about this,” she answered.

“By God, tell me,” he replied.

“Get on with your own business and don’t ask me about anything,” she retorted. However he persisted until she said, “My little son, don’t tell any of the people anything about what I am going to tell you.”

“Indeed,” he answered and she made him take an oath. When he swore (not to do) that, she told him. He went to bed without saying anything.

But the evil-minded man did not go to sleep. He remained awake so that he may sneak out and inform the regime that Muslim was hiding in his house. This was very much against Arab manners, which considered hospitality and helping guests compulsory...These manners were practiced even during the regimes of tyrannical rulers...We shall study this in the social conditions of that time and show that the words and manners of people of that time had reached a decadent and a low level.

Anyway Muslim passed the night in sorrow and grief. He was worried and full of apprehension. On the basis of historians he spent half the night in worship reciting Quran and prayers. He slept for a brief period and saw his Uncle, Amirul Momineen in dream who prophesied to him that he would meet him soon. Muslim became certain of his death in the near future.

The Tyrant becomes certain of the Failure of the Uprising

After the people had deserted Muslim bin Aqil, a long time passed for Ibn Ziyad without him hearing the voices of the supporters of Ibn Aqil as he had heard them before. He told his followers to look down at that and see whether they could see any of them. They looked down and did not see anyone. Then he told them to see whether they were in the shadows lying in ambush for them. They removed the (bamboo) roof covers of the mosque and began to lower the torches of fire in their hands, and to look. Sometimes the torches gave light for them and sometimes they did not give (as much) light for them as they would have wished. They let down the torches and sticks of cane tied with rope on which was fire. They were let down


until they reached the ground. They did this in (places in which was) the deepest darkness, (as well as) those parts which were closer and those which were in between. They (also) did that in the darkness around the pulpit. When they saw that there was nothing, they informed Ibn Ziyad that the people had dispersed.

And the tyrant became sure that the uprising has failed and was quelled.[1]

Announcement of Emergency

Early next morning, the tyrant announced the imposition of emergency in all the areas of the city and he ordered his police chief to implement the following:

All houses must be searched for Muslim.

All roads and highways going out of the city must be blocked to prevent Muslim’s escape.

Detention or prevention of all the supporters of rebellion.

The police arrested the following people:

1. Abdul Aala bin Yazid bin Kalabi

2. Ammarah bin Salkhab Azadi

3. Abdullah bin Naufal bin Harith

4. Mukhtar Thaqafi

5. Asbag bin Nubatah

6. Harith Aawar Hamadani[2]

Standard of security

The tyrant ordered Muhammad bin Ashath to wave the flag of security and declare to the people that whoever came under it would be guaranteed safety. The reasons for this course of action are the following:

To recognize the supporters of Muslim so that they may be controlled.

Announcement of their victory and informing about the failure of the uprising.

Paralyzing the movement and telling the people that the power of the regime was in force in all the areas of the country.

The standard of security was waved and the Kufians who had previously been with Muslim hastened forward to come under it in order to remove allegations and to assure the regime of their loyalty to it.

A Doubt

Ibn Qutaybah[3] and Hurr Amili[4] have mentioned a strange matter that Muslim was in Mukhtar’s house. After that he came out to fight Ibn Ziyad. After the failure of the revolt he took refuge in Hani’s house. Hani gave him refuge and told him that Ibn Ziyad would enter his house and Muslim must strike off his neck when he did

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/372
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/314
[3] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 4/2
[4] Ad-Darul Mamlook 1/108


do. However Muslim refused to kill him by trickery. Ibn Ziyad had Hani arrested and sent his policemen to capture Muslim. Muslim fought with them but he could not confront them successfully. Finally he was taken as a prisoner.

But this matter these two writers have mentioned is not written by any other historian and the details of the events are same as we have described. Anything else regarding this matter is a result of weak research.

Ibn Ziyad Speaks

When that oppressor was sure of the failure of Muslim’s uprising and dispersal of his armed forced he ordered his men to gather people in the Mosque.

A group of people arrived in a terrified manner as if danger was hovering over them. The tyrant came forward warning and chastising them. He began to speak:

“Ibn Aqil, stupid and ignorant (man as he is) has attempted the opposition and rebellion which you have seen. There will be no security from God for a man in whose house we find him. Whoever brings him, will have the reward for his blood. Fear God, you servants of God, and keep to obedience and your pledge of allegiance. Do not do (anything which will be) against yourselves.

Whoever brings Muslim to us would be rewarded ten thousand Dirhams. He shall get a high position near Yazid bin Muawiyah and everyday one of his wishes would be fulfilled.”[1]

This address which was filled with harshness and cruelty had the following salient points:

A. Warning of punishment to anyone who gave refuge to Muslim in any place that person had in the province.

B. Blood money of Muslim shall be for one who brought him to Ibn Ziyad.

C. The regime shall reward with 10000 Dirhams anyone who surrendered Muslim to the regime.

D. Whoever brought him would get a high position and earn the trust of Yazid bin Muawiyah.

E. The regime shall reward anyone who brought Muslim, in such a way that everyday one of his wishes shall be fulfilled.

Most people wanted to find Muslim, claim the prize from Ibn Marjana and become proximate ones of Yazid.

Information Regarding Muslim’s whereabouts

Bilal, son of lady Tawa who had accorded refuge to Muslim, spent the long night because he was impatiently waiting for the morning so that he may inform the regime about the whereabouts of Muslim who was taking refuge in his house. He could not sleep that night because of the excitement and because he was thinking of all his aspirations and dreams that were about to be fulfilled.

[1] Al-Futuh 5/90


When morning came he hastened to the palace in an apprehensive state which was very much visible on him. He went to Abdur Rahman bin Muhammad bin Ashath a relative of his and who had no kind of nobility or courage. He told him that Muslim was put up in his house. Abdur Rahman told him to be quiet lest someone hears it and informs Ibn Ziyad about it to claim the reward first. Abdul Rahman hastened to his father Muhammad Ibn Ashath and told him about it. Ibn Ziyad accorded importance to this topic and he asked Ibn Ashath, “What has Abdul Rahman told you?”

“May Allah give health to the governor. It is great news!”

“What is that good news?”

“This son of mine has informed me that Muslim bin Aqil is in Tawa’s house.”

Ibn Ziyad was elated and he could not conceal his joy. He promised Ibn Ashath of rewards and money and said, “Get up and bring him to me. You shall get any recompense and position you want.”

Ibn Marjana was able to arrest the grandson of Hashim to make his sacrifice a revenge for Umayyads. This was so because Ibn Ziyad and his father were absolutely devoid of any sort of human values and they committed every misdeed that religion had prohibited. They considered all such evil deeds lawful for themselves.

Muslim Attacked

The tyrant dispatched his police chief, Amr bin Hareeth Makhzoomi and Muhammad bin Ashath to fight Muslim. Additionally 300-armed horsemen accompanied them. Those wild beast set out to fight that great leader who had come to release them from humiliation and oppression.

They went to the house where Muslim bin Aqil was lodged. When the latter heard the beating of horses’ hooves and the voices of men, he knew that it was him they had come for. He dressed up and took the sword. Then he faced the lady of the house first thanking her for her hospitality and refuge. Then he told her that these people have come because her lowly son had passed the information.[1]

Then he went out against them with his sword (drawn) as they rushed blindly towards the house. He fell upon them and struck them with his sword so that he drove them away from the house. They repeated the attack, and Muslim counter- attacked in the same way. He striked off their heads. He displayed such valor and rare courage that it has no equal in history in all actions of battle. He fought them reciting the following song of war:

“This is death, woe be to you. Do whatever you like the cup of death shall reach you.

So be patient with the command of God because God’s command is in force

[1] Al-Futuh 5/92-93


among the people.”[1]

Hashim’s grandson displayed such valor and strength in his fight that it astonished the intellects. He killed 41 men apart from those he injured.[2] Such incomparable was his strength that he used to get hold of a man and throw him on the housetop.[3] Such physical prowess was not seen anywhere in the history of humanity. However it was not surprising because he was the nephew of Ali Ibn Abi Tali who was the bravest and the most powerful warrior of all times.

The Kufians cowards fought him with extraordinary and unusual tricks. They climbed up the roofs of surrounding houses and began to hurl stones and lighted sticks on Muslim.[4] If this battle had been fought in an open field Muslim would have indeed emerged victorious but here the confrontation was enacted on streets and lanes.

Soldiers Defeated

The soldiers of Kufa were defeated and they failed to subdue the valiant fighter. A large number of their men were killed and a terrible loss was inflicted on them. Such that the coward betrayer, Muhammad Ashath fled to Ibn Marjana and implored him to send more horsemen and infantry for their help as they had become helpless in subduing Muslim.

The tyrant scolded him saying, “Glory be to God. We sent you to bring one man to us. He has killed a large number of your companions.”[5]

This ridicule was too much for Ibn Ashath. He spoke in praise of Ibn Aqil, “Do you think you sent me to a grocer of Kufa or to Juramiqa Hira?[6] While you sent me to a formidable lion and a sharp sword in the hand of a brave warrior[7] from the famous clan of the best of the people.”[8]

Ibn Ziyad sent a huge battalion to replenish his forces. Those men conducted a furious battle with Muslim, while he was reciting following lines:

“I swear I will only be killed as a free man, although I see death as something horrible,

Or it makes the cold a bitter heat and deflects the rays of the sun (forever).

Every man one day will meet an evil, I fear that I will be cheated and deluded.”[9]

O son of Aqil, you were the leader of noble men. That is why you waved the flag

[1] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/93
[2] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/93
[3] Ad-Darun Nazeed, Pg. 164. translation of Nafasul Mahmoom, Pg. 52
[4] Baihaqi, Al-Mahasin wal Masawi 1/60
[5] Al-Futuh 5/93
[6] Muqarram, Maqtal Husain, Pg. 159
[7] Juramiqa is a non-Arab tribe that lived in Mosul
[8] Al-Futuh 5/93-94
[9] Tabari, Tarikh 5/374


of respect and nobility and raised the slogan of independence and lofty human values and your foes are degraded because they are slaves as they have accepted humility and lowliness.

Dr. Yusuf Khalif has explained this war song as follows: From the aspect of flow the Rajaz was absolutely correct and it has expressed the flow of the thought of the composer. It was so because he had fallen into such difficult circumstances because more than everything else he had decided to retain his freedom even if it caused him to be killed. He clearly and truthfully announced that death was an undesirable thing because even those who exaggerate do not claim that death is lovely. Rather they are frank about their views about death. That it is something abhorrent. But he is not running away from it while he wants to protect his freedom. Then he tries to quell his worries and control this horrifying thought instead of entrusting his heart to fear and cowardice. So he speaks to himself that the world is always changing and all are helpless to face things that they may abhor. Through these lines he displays his art as well as expresses deep thoughts.”

He further adds, “He desires to live but is also needful of freedom but he has refuted himself because he was fearful lest his enemies may accuse him of lying, deceive him or kill him without allowing him to fulfill his oath and that he dies in the path of his freedom or they may capture him and take away his freedom which he considered more precious than his life.

We see how his difficult situation is presented in these eloquent lines.

Don’t you see how he is describing his straitened circumstances in a poetic manner, in a true manner and without any show off and without any intention of misleading others. Another thing is that it is exceedingly prominent and attractive? It is this very secret that the effect these couplets have put in our hearts and make us understand his grief. It enables us to confront the enemies internally and except for confronting them externally and nothing can equal it.[1]

Ashath Guarantees Security

When Muhammad bin Ashath heard the Rajaz of Muslim that he has sworn to die a death of freeman and it should not be that he is deceived he went to him and said, “You will not be cheated, deluded or deceived.” These people (i.e. Bani Umayyah) are your cousins and they will not fight you or strike you.”[2]

Muslim paid no heed to him and continued fighting in the same ferocious manner. They began to flee from him and climbed the roofs of their houses and from there began to throw stones upon him. Muslim objected to them about it and told them, “Woe be to you that you are stoning me like infidels throw stones? While I am from Ahle Bayt of the righteous ones. Woe be to you, do you not have any regard to the right of the Messenger of Allah and his progeny…?”

[1] Hayatush Sha’ar fil Kufa, Pg. 371-372
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/33


They fell weak from fighting him face to face and they were frightened to battle with him directly. Ibn Ashath was also extremely apprehensive. He cried at the soldiers, “Leave him, so that I can talk to him.” He came near Muslim and said, “Do not kill yourself. You can have my guarantee of security and we are responsible for your safety.”

Muslim did not pay attention to him because he knew that there was no example of nobility or loyalty in the history of Ashath and his family. Therefore he said to him, “O Ibn Ashath, as long as I have the strength to fight, I will not surrender myself to anyone. By Allah, it would never be so.”

Muslim attacked Ibn Ashath and he fled screaming like dogs. Muslim was extremely thirty and he was feeling very weak. He began to speak up and said, “O Allah, I am terribly thirsty.”

Soldiers outnumbered him but all of them were fearful and apprehensive. Ibn Ashath cried to them, “This is the same disgrace and helplessness that you cannot subdue a single man. Attack him all together.”[1]

They attacked him in unison and Bakeer bin Humran Ahmari hit him a terrible strike and slashed his upper lip and it went upto his lower lip. But Muslim requited him with such a strike that he fell down at that same spot.

Muslim taken Prisoner

After Muslim had been hurt by stones and fighting he was arrested by these filthy people. They were competing with each other to be the first to convey this ‘good news’ to Ibn Ziyad so that they may receive the rewards of taking as prisoner one who had come to free them from degradation and oppression. That tyrant was also highly pleased because he had won the contest and it became clear to him that the revolution was destroyed…As for the arrest of Muslim there are differences among historians. Following are some varying opinions:

1. Ibn Asim Kufi says: Muslim sat hurt and terribly wounded and he was attacked by a Kufian coward from the back. This hit felled him to the ground and he was taken a prisoner.[2]

2. Shaykh Mufeed says: He (Muslim) had been hurt by stones and weakened by the fighting. He was out of breath and he was propping his back up against the wall of that house. Ibn al-Ashath told him, “You shall get security.”

Muslim said, “Am I granted security?”

“Yes,” he replied and he said to the people who were with him, “Would he have security from me?”

“Yes,” replied the people, except (Amr) b-Ubaidullah, b. al-Abbas al-Sulami.

“I say neither yes or no,” and he turned aside.

[1] Al-Futuh 5/94-95
[2] Al-Futuh 95-96


“If you had not granted me security”, declared Muslim, “I would not have put my hand in yours.”

A mule was brought and he was put on it. They gathered around him and pulled his sword away. At that he was in despair for his life and his eyes were filled with tears.

“This is the first betrayal”, he cried.[1]

3. Abu Mikhnaf says: “They dug up a pit for him and covered it with dust. Then they ran away from him. Muslim attacked them and they pushed him back till he reached the edge of the pit and stumbled backwards into it. They surrounded him and put him into captivity.”[2] But except for Abu Mikhnaf no one has mentioned this.

With Ubaidullah Sulami

At that time Muslim was not worried as to what his fate would be at the hands of the tyrant, Ibn Marjana. Whether he would be killed or tortured etc. he was more concerned with the letter he had written to Imam Husain inviting him to Kufa. He was certain that if the Imam were to arrive in Kufa he would also fall into the same fate as he had fallen. Therefore he began to weep in apprehension. Ubaidullah bin Abbas Sulami thought that he was weeping due to his defeat and arrest. He criticized him saying, “One who has sought for the like of what you have sought for, should not weep when there befalls him what has befallen you…”

Muslim removed his misconception and said, “By Allah, I do not weep for myself, nor do I grieve for my own death, even though I have not the slightest desire for destruction. But I am weeping for my family who are coming to me, I am weeping for Husain and the family of Husain”[3]

The streets and lanes were filled with people eager to see what would be the consequences of Muslim, the great leader, and what treatment he receives at the hands of the Umayyads. Not one of them dared to say anything against the oppressive regime.

With Bahili

They brought Muslim as a prisoner in such a way that guards were surrounding him with naked swords. When they took him to the governor’s palace he saw a jug of water there. Since he was extremely thirsty he told the people around him, “Please give me some water.”

The degraded and filthy man, Muslim bin Amr Bahili glanced at him and asked, “Don’t you see how cool the water is? By God, you shall not have a drop of it till you taste boiling water in Hell fire.”

[1] Al-Irshad, 2/58-59. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/33
[2] Abi Mikhnaf, Maqtal Pg. 54
[3] Al-Irshad, 2/59


There is no limit to the oppression of man and there is no end to his tyranny and beastly actions. What problem those oppressors had if they had given water to Muslim, while he was their prisoner and had no choice of his own. This was the limit of backwardness and decadence of those degraded people, which was the distinguishing quality of the killers of reformers.

Muslim wanted to know who this transmogrified man was, who was very distant from the simplest human values so he glanced at him and asked, “Who are you?”

The man, proud of his post as an officer in Umayyad regime said, “I am the one who recognized the truth when you denied it; who was sincere to his Imam when you deceived him; who was obedient to him when you opposed him. I am Muslim b. Amr al-Bahili.”

What truth has this Bahili realized? And which loyalty has this decadent oppressor acted upon with regard to the well-being of the Ummah? He, that was sunk in falsehood and drowned in misguidance, has the greatest pride that he was in service of Ibn Marjana, while it was a matter of great shame in all the history of humanity.

Muslim responded with logic, “May your mother mourn for you. How coarse you are, how tough, how hard your heart is, Man of Bahila, you are more appropriate for the boiling water of Hell and to remain there forever, than I am.”

Ammarah bin Uqbah[1] felt ashamed at the cruelty and hard-heartedness. He called for cold water and poured it in a utensil. Muslim took it but whenever he tried to drink it, it used to become filled with blood. He repeated this thrice. When his heart was melting with thirst he said, “If a portion of it had been destined for me, I would have drunk it.”[2]

In other words Muslim remained deprived from water and passed away from this world thirsty. In the same way as his cousin, the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah achieved martyrdom.

In the Presence of Ibn Ziyad

The greatest difficulty that befell Muslim was that he was taken as a prisoner to Ibn Ziyad while he would have preferred to have sunk in the ground rather than to stand facing Ibn Ziyad. However, history wished that he undergo this difficulty. He was brought to Ibn Ziyad surrounded by guards but that stalwart did not pay any heed to Ibn Ziyad. Then he saluted him but he did not reciprocate. A guard who was of the most degraded person of Kufa, objected to him and asked, “Why don’t you salute the governor?”

[1] In Al-Irshad, 2/60 it is mentioned: Amr bin Hareeth sent his slave and he brought a cup that had a kerchief and a vessel covering it. He poured water in it and told him: Drink!
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/34.


Muslim considered him and his governor worthless and he cried at him, “Shut up! May your mother die! Who are you to say this? By Allah, he is not my Amir, that I should salute him.”

How can Ibn Marjana become the Amir of Muslim, the leader of noble men and a martyr on the path of perfection and humanity? He was that transmogrified man who did not have anything except shamelessness. Could be become the Amir of Muslim?

That tyrant was infuriated due to the indifference and carelessness of Muslim towards him. He cried, “No problem whether you salute or not, you shall be killed.”

That tyrant had no thought except to shed prohibited blood. He thought that this matter would frighten Muslim or it may cause him to become despaired and defeated. That he would humble himself before him. However, that stalwart from the clan of Adnan, along with self respect and reliance said, “If you kill me, he is worse than you who killed one who was better than me.”

This solid fact vanquished his pride because by these words Muslim had him joined with killers and murders of reformers.

Therefore that oppressor cried at Muslim, “Oh mischief- maker! O evil-doer! You have attacked the Imam of your time, destroyed the unity of Muslims and incited the flame of mischief.”

What Imam was it against whom Muslim had come out, what Muslim unity had he destroyed and what flame of mischief had he ignited? He had only risen up against one who cultivated the company of dogs and monkeys in order to save the community from his dark regime and hardships.

Muslim replied to him. “By Allah! Muawiyah did not become caliph by consensus of the Ummah. He obtained caliphate by deceit and fraud and usurped the seat of Prophet’s successorship. And his son Yazid is also like him…but you and your father, Ziyad from the ignoble infidel family have ignited the flames of mischief.

I am desirous that the Almighty Allah bestow martyrdom to me at the hands of the worst people. By Allah, neither have I rebelled nor disbelieved or wrought any changes. I am only obeying the leader of believers, Husain Ibn Ali. We are more rightful for caliphate than Muawiyah, his son and the progeny of Ziyad.”

These words were more distasteful for Ibn Ziyad than death since Muslim had exposed his reality before his officials and servants and had showed him to be bereft of morals and human nature. In this way he had described him as the lowliest creature of the earth. That filthy man had no way to take refuge. Except that he should take the help of concocted facts and allegations. This was the old trick played by his father. Therefore he alleged Muslim to have committed an act he was blameless of and said, “O you sinner! Did you not imbibe wine in Medina?”


Muslim cried at him, “By Allah, it is you who are more correctly described as drinking wine than me, (you) who lap the blood of Muslims and kill the life whose killing God has forbidden and (you are one) who sheds sacred blood on behalf of usurpation, enmity and evil opinion while he (Yazid) enjoys himself and plays as if he had done nothing.”

That tyrant changed his opinion and learnt that the lie had not availed him anything. So he said to Muslim, “You great sinner, your own soul made you desire what God prevented you from having (i.e. authority) (because) God did not regard you as worthy of it.”

Muslim ridiculed him and asked, “Who is worthy of it, if we are not worthy of it?”

“The commander of the faithful, Yazid Ibn Muawiyah.”

“Praise be to God,” called out Muslim. ”We will accept God’s judgment between us and you in every circumstance.”

“Do you think you have a share of this rule?”

“No by God we are sure of our rightfulness.”

“May God kill me, if I do not kill you.”

“You will never abandon evil murder, wicked punishment, shameful practice, and avaricious domination to anyone (else). By Allah! If I had ten reliable people and had water to drink you would have seen me in this palace for a long time. But if you have decided to kill me send me a man of Quraish so that I can make my bequest to him.”[1]

That tyrant allowed him to make the bequest.

Muslim’s Bequest

Muslim glanced at the assembly and decried Umar bin Saad and expressed his desire to make a bequest to him. So he told him, “There is no one except you from Quraish here.[2] I am also having a secret wish from you...”[3]

Ibn Ziyad because infuriated because Muslim had not considered him from Quraish and considered it untrue that he was from Bani Umayyah thus refusing to acknowledge his lineage of Bani Umayyah, which was proved by the testimony of Abu Maryam, the wine-seller. Ibn Ziyad could not say anything.

Ibn Saad refused to accept the request of Muslim so that he may please his master, Ibn Marjana and remain in his good books. Ibn Ziyad noticed his hesitation to accept Muslim’s request but he concealed it. And he saw that he preferred to lead an army against the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah.

Ibn Ziyad ordered Umar Ibn Saad to heed Muslim’s request and listen to his

[1] Al-Futuh 97-99
[2] Jawahirul Matalib dar Manaqib Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib Pg. 2/268
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/34. Al-Irshad, 2/61


bequest. Ibn Saad arose and approached Muslim. Muslim made the following bequest to him:

1. He owed 700 dirhams in Kufa so he were to sell his sword and coat of mail and pay his debt[1] as it was a matter accorded much importance and emphasis in religion. And if any amount remained from that, it was to be handed over to lady Tawa.

2. Take his corpse from Ibn Ziyad so that it may be buried in a proper way[2] because Muslim was aware that they would not refrain from cutting it up into pieces.

3. Write a letter to His Eminence, Husain regarding his condition[3] as he was very much apprehensive about him because he had written to the Imam and invited him to Kufa.

Ibn Saad, acting like a coward turned to Ibn Ziyad and said, “O Amir! You know what he told me? He said such and such…”[4]

Ibn Ziyad objected to him why he was exposing his secret and he said, “The faithful would not betray you, but the traitor was confided in. As for what you have, it is yours, and we will not prevent you from doing with it what you like. As for Husain, he does not intend (harm) to us, we will not intend (harm) to him. As for his dead body you shall not get intercession in it.”[5]

That oppressor did not accept the intercession of Ibn Saad regarding the corpse of Muslim because he had decided to cut it up into pieces. Thus extracting his revenge and also terrifying the people.

Muslim and the Oppressor

Ibn Marjana screamed at Muslim and said, “Why did come to this city? Ibn Aqil, you came to the people while they were all (united) and you scattered them and divided their opinions so that some of them attacked others.”

Pride of Bani Hashim said with self respect and determination, “I did not come for that but (because) the people of the town claimed that your father had killed their best men, shed their blood and appointed governors among them like the governors of Choesroe and Caesar. We came to enjoin good and forbid evil and urge them to rule by the Book and Sunnah, as we are more deserving to do so. Amirul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib was martyred, the caliphate was ours and that caliphate also needs people like us as we have undergone hardships regarding it…You were the first to rebel against the Imam of guidance and created disunity

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/34 and in Tabari 5/376 it is mentioned: I owe 700 dirhams and in Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 241 it is said: I owe 1000 dirhams.
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/376
[3] Al-Irshad, 2/61
[4] Tabari, Tarikh 5/377
[5] And in Al-Irshad, 2/61 it is mentioned: “As for his dead body, after we have killed him, it is not important for that what we do with it.”


among the Muslims, taken away caliphate and dealt with cruelty with those who were deserving of it...”[1]

Muslim, in this statement has spoken about the factors associated with the uprising of Imam Husain against the regime as he had himself announced. That oppressor was stunned at the discourse of Muslim and he became confused and being intoxicated in his apparent victory he could not find a way to satisfy his anger except that he began by cursing Ali, Hasan and Husain. Muslim stood up before him and said, “You and your father are more appropriate for cursing, order whatever you like, we are the Ahle Bayt and hardships are destined for us.”[2]

Till his last moments Muslim retained his courage and faced perils in a valiant manner and no one else could be compared to Muslim as far as his self-defense and logical arguments with Ibn Ziyad are concerned.

Towards God

The moment arrived when this great leader, after having loyally fulfilled the duties of his mission departed for the other world while being bestowed with martyrdom at the hands of the most evil person of the world at that time, i.e. Ibn Marjana.

Ibn Ziyad ordered Bakeer bin Humran to strike his head as Muslim had struck him. He told him, “Climb up, and you be the one who cuts his head off. So that you may extract your revenge.”

Muslim glanced at Ibn Ashath who had guaranteed security to him and said, “O Ibn Ashath! By Allah! If you had not guaranteed security to me, I would not have surrendered. Get up and defend me with your sword.”

Ibn Ashath paid no heed to him.[3]

Muslim welcomed death with a smile. They took him to the top of the palace while he was at complete ease, having firm faith in Allah and satisfied by his fate. He was reciting glorifications of Allah and seeking His forgiveness and praying for blessings on the Apostle, saying: “O God, judge between us and a people who have enticed us, lied against us and deserted us.”[4]

The executioner took him to a part, which overlooked where the shoemakers are today. He striked off his head and threw his head and body down.[5] In this way came to end the life of the stalwart who was in the manners of his uncle, Amirul Momineen and the hope of his cousin, His Eminence, Husain (as.) and he was martyred in the path of defending religion and the rights of the oppressed and deprived people.

[1] Al-Futuh 5/101
[2] Al-Futuh 2/102-103. And in Tarikh Ibne Athir 4/35 and Irshad 2/63 it is mentioned that Muslim did not speak to Ibne Ziyad after he had resorted to foul language.
[3] Tabari, Tarikh 5/378
[4] Al-Futuh 5/103
[5] Muruj az-Zahab 3/59


When the evil-doers came down, Ibn Ziyad went to welcome them. He asked, “What did he say when you took him to the top?”

“He praised God and sought His forgiveness. When I wanted to kill him, I said to him, ‘Thanks be to Allah that He gave me power over you to take revenge from you.’ Then I hit him a strike but nothing happened and he said to me, ‘Do you see a defect in me that due to it you blame me instead of your blood, O slave?’”

Ibn Ziyad was astonished and he expressed surprise and he considered him great. He said, “Did he have pride even at the time of death?”[1]

By the martyrdom of Muslim the bright page of the most prominent pages of faith and Jihad in Islam was closed. He was killed in the way of social justice and for emancipating the people from oppression and injustice. He was the first martyr from the family of the Prophet who was openly murdered in presence of Muslims who failed to defend him.

Plundering Muslim

Offspring of betrayal, Muhammad bin Ashath,[2] began to plunder Muslim and he took away his sword and coat of mail. He didn’t care for disgrace and shame while he was denounced about this in all the gatherings of Kufa. Thus a poet has composed some couplets in this regard:

“You abandoned your cousin (to be killed) and in a shameless way you did not defend him. While if you hadn’t been there he would not have been caught.

You killed the ambassador of the Progeny of Muhammad and plundered the swords and armors.”[3]

Some ignoble persons of Kufa indulged in looting the cloak and clothes of Muslim.

Hani is sentenced to Death

The tyrant ordered that the great leader, Hani bin Urwah be arrested so that by humiliating a leader of Kufa and by spreading terror among people he may subdue all possibilities of rebellion against his regime.

Being scared of Hani’s clan, Muhammad bin Ashath stood up to intercede on his behalf, and he said, “May the Lord give health to the governor, do you know of the position of Hani in the town and of his House in the clan?[4] His people know that I and Asmaa bin Kharija brought him to you. I adjure before God, hand him over to

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/35-36
[2] Ashath bin Qais was named such because of his baldness. His real name was Sa’ad bin Karb. He was killed 40 days after the martyrdom of Amirul Momineen. He was 63 at that time. This is mentioned on Pg. 35 of Tarikh as-Sahaba. But Muhammad bin Ashath’s mother, Umme Farwa was the sister of Abu Bakr from her father’s side. This is mentioned in Ar-Riyadhul Mustab, Pg. 8
[3] Muruj az-Zahab 3/59
[4] And it is mentioned in a report: “Do you know his position in his town?”


me for I would not like (to face) the enmity of the town and his family…”[1]

Ibn Ziyad paid him no attention and instead scolded and screamed at him. That man fell silent.

They took the brave warrior, Hani to the area where sheep were sold so that he may be insulted further, when he realized that he was going to be killed, he called out for help from his clan and he began to shout, “O Madhij! Is there no one from Madhij for me today? O my relatives!”[2]

If Madhij had any nobility and principles remaining it would have taken action for release of its leader. However they, like the other tribes of Kufa, had divorced goodness…

When he realized that no one was going to help him, he pulled his hand and wrenched it free of the chain. So that he may catch hold of a weapon to defend himself. When they saw this they jumped upon him and tied the chains (more) tightly. He was told, “Stretch out your neck.”

With firm determination and right faith he answered, “No, by Allah! I will not help you to take my life.” At that moment a Turkish retainer (mawla) of Ubaidullah called Rashid[3] struck him with a sword but it did not do anything. “To God is the return, O God to Your mercy and Your Paradise. O Allah! Make this blood as an atonement of my sins, because I have supported the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah...”

Then the oppressor struck him with another blow and he fell down bleeding. He passed away after a short time.[4] He was aged 99 years on the day of his martyrdom.[5]

He achieved martyrdom on the path of his faith and the noble men and reformers were shocked and aggrieved at his murder. Abu Aswad Duali has versified as follows:

“That praiseworthy battle that neither was won against the oppressors nor does it lose our sincere admiration.”[6]

Akhtal bin Ziad also says in his elegy:

“Neither the son of Urwah disappeared in the day nor the son of Aqil vanished in the night.

[1] Al-Futuh 5/104
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 2/340. Al-Futuh 5/105
[3] Abdur Rahman bin Haseen stood up to revenge the killing of Hani and killed Rashid. And he says about this: I killed Rashid Turki and I attacked him with a white sword and through this I have pleased the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). This matter is mentioned in Ansaab al-Ashraf, Vol. 2/340
[4] Al-Futuh 5/105
[5] Miraat az-Zamaan, Pg. 85
[6] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 2/341. Diwan Bu Aswad, Pg. 102


That praiseworthy battle was neither won from the oppressors nor did it reduce the heaviness of the heart.”[1]

Dragging the corpses of Muslim and Hani through the streets

The tyrant ordered his slaves and officers to drag the corpses of Muslim and Hani through the streets and market places. They tied up their legs with ropes and dragged their corpses through the roads in order to terrorize the common people and put awe into their hearts. That it should serve as a lesson for anyone who may be thinking of staging a rebellion against the Umayyad regime.

Hani was killed in the very presence of his clansmen and community. If they had the least nobility and zeal they would have rushed to get release of the corpse of their leader from these ignoble rascals who were trying to humiliate it.

Hanging the Corpses at City Gate

After the tyrant had fulfilled his desire of dragging the bodies of Muslim and Hani through the streets he ordered that now the corpses must be suspended at the city gates. The two bodies were hung upside down[2] at Muzbala[3] on the gate. And on the basis of what historians say, Muslim was the first martyr of Bani Hashim whose corpse was hung at the City Gate.[4]

Muslims were severely considering this dangerous incident as significant because this terrible punishment was prescribed for anyone who fought with Allah and His Prophet and spread mischief in the earth, while Muslim and Hani were those who wanted truth and desired reform in the earth.

Anyway, by the killings of Muslim and Hani, Ibn Ziyad the tyrant, managed to subdue Iraq that had dared to rebel and other provinces also without any additional effort.

Severed heads taken to Damascus

Ibn Marjana dispatched the severed heads of Muslim, Hani and Ammarah Bin Salkhab Azadi[5] to his master, Yazid, in Damascus so that he may obtain reward for it and also achieve the affections of the ruling family. Along with the severed heads he sent the following letter:

“Praise be to God, Who exacted the dues of the Commander of the faithful and has given him sufficient provisions against his enemy. I (am writing) to inform the Commander of the faithful that Muslim bin Aqil took refuge in the house of Hani bin Urwah al-Muradi. I set look-outs and spies on them, concealed men against them, I tricked them until I brought them out. God gave me power over them. Thus I came upon them and had them executed. I have sent their heads to you with Hani

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 2/341. Khwarizmi, Maqtal 1/215
[2] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/94
[3] Al-Manaqib wal Mathalib, Pg. 172
[4] Muruj az-Zahab 3/60
[5] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 2/342


Bin Abi Hayya and al-Zubayr bin Arwah al-Tamimi. They are both people who are attentive and in obedience to you, and of sincerity. Let the Commander of the faithful ask them about whatever of the affair he may wish; for they have knowledge and truth

Farewell. Greetings.”[1]

This letter mentioned the actions that the oppressor took to quell the revolt. Most important of them were as follows:

Using scouts and spies to understand the factors of uprising and to learn its secrets. These duties were carried out by his slave, Maqil.

He sent prominent persons to get Hani to him because Hani was an important part of the uprising. In the same way he was able to have Muslim in his control. He also instructed well-known people of Kufa to spread terror and fear among the people. This also helped in dispersing the forces of Muslim.

Yazid’s reply

When the severed heads reached Damascus, Yazid was extremely elated and he wrote a reply to Ibn Marjana and thanked him profusely. The text of that letter was as follows:

“You have not gone beyond what I wanted. You have acted with the decisive action I wanted. You have launched into the attack with the violence of man who has control of his emotion. You have satisfied me, been sufficient for (the task) and corroborated my view of you and my opinion of you. I have summoned your two messengers and questioned them, and talked to them. I found them in their views and merit as you have mentioned. Receive them both with kindness on my recommendation. I have been informed that Husain has set out for Iraq. Therefore set look-outs and watches, be vigilant and detain suspicious (characters). Put to death (any who are) accused and write to me about any news which occurs. God the Exalted, wishing.”[2]

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/380
[2] Al-Futuh 5/109. Ansaab al-Ashraaf, Part I, Vol. 1, Al-Futuh 5/109. Ansaab al-Ashraf, Part 1, Vol. 1. But historians have no indication where these severed heads were finally placed. Were they buried in Damascus or some other place and they have found this problem unsolved. Except that in Miratuz Zaman, Pg. 59 it has come regarding the severed head of Hani: This year (that is 302 AH) information has reached Baghdad that a huge room has been discovered in a castle in Khorasan in which a thousand severed heads are kept in a tower. Each of these have a silk thread pierced to the ear with a paper tied to it, containing the name of the owner of that head. Among them is the severed head of Hani Ibne Urwah, Hatim bin Hanna, Talaq bin Maaz and others. The year these were kept in that room is 7 AH.
Zarkali in his Hashiya Alaam 9/51-52 quotes from Tarikh Tabari 11/59-60 in the events of the year 304 AH that it is mentioned: A letter arrived from Khorasan to Baghdad saying that in the city of Khandhar are towers and in an adjoining tower they found 5000 severed heads of which 29 are labeled and the severed head of Hani is among them. And it is said: They are as they were originally except that the skin has dried but the hairs remain without any change.


This letter has acknowledged the talent of Ibn Ziyad and described him as a “man who has control of his emotions.” Who has corroborated the view of Yazid about him and that he had been sufficient for the task. Yazid informed him about the decision of Imam Husain to move towards Iraq and he ordered Ibn Ziyad to do as follows:

Set up lookouts and watches on all highways and roads.

Be vigilant and detain suspicious (characters), subdue the people through terror and cruelty.

Write to Yazid about any news which occurs in the provinces.

Ibn Marjana compiled with all instruction and undertook following actions:

Declaring Martial Law

After the tyrant quelled Muslim’s uprising, he took hold of Iraq in an iron grip. He declared military rule in all the Iraqi provinces. In order to achieve his plans he employed cruel acts and spread such oppression and injustice as defies description. In such a way that the mere mention of his name used to induce terror into the hearts of Iraqi people, just as previously his father’s name had.

The Damascus regime accorded wide ranging powers to Ibn Ziyad and ordered him to arrest people merely on suspicion and execute anyone who harbored enmity to the Umayyad rule or associated with any power that dared to oppose it. By these dreadful means they assured that all the people of Iraq would be compelled to fight against Imam Husain. For if anyone restrained from it he shall be sentenced to death by the regime.[1]

Sealing Borders of Iraq

Ibn Ziyad stationed troops on all the borders of Iraq and sealed the frontiers so that neither could anyone enter nor leave the boundaries of Iraq without the special permission of police.

Whenever they found anyone entering or leaving the borders they used to conduct a through investigation and if found innocent they were released and if any suspicion remained they used to deport them to Kufa so that the central government may conduct further inquiry. They exercised extreme precaution and vigilance in the matter so that no Shia of Imam Husain should be able to enter Iraq or leave it.

Historians say: Ibn Ziyad stationed his spies and informers on all highways and behind roof-tops in the same way as he placed sentries and garrisons in the desert to keep all movements under surveillance. He also sent his police chief, Haseen bin Numair to Quddisiya and from there to Khifan and then to Qutqutaniya and Koh-e-la’la' and in all these areas he stationed a group of riders to prohibit anyone from entering or leaving the limits. This was to assure that these areas do not take part in

[1] Ad-Daulatul Amawiya fish Shaam, Pg. 56


any action against the regime. Moreover he kept the letters and correspondence between Kufa and Syria under surveillance, so that the officials are able to arrest the messenger of Imam Husain and hand him over to Ibn Ziyad in Kufa. We shall describe these events below.

Widespread Arrests

Ibn Ziyad ordered widespread arrests of Shias in order to avoid any confrontation from them and to ensure that their power does not spill out to other areas. A large number of people were put under arrest. According to historians 12000 people were arrested[1] and among those detained were Sulaiman bin Surd Khuzai and Mukhtar bin Yusuf Thaqafi and 4000 other prominent persons.[2]

These steps not only caused terror and fear in Kufa but also in all the areas of Iraq. Kufians distanced themselves from every political interference and they did not dare to put up any opposition. They had become certain that they were incapable of any confrontation with the Umayyad regime and thus they continued to live under the yoke of the cruel rule.

[1] Al-Mukhtar, Miraatul Asrul Amawi, Pg. 74-75
[2] Ad-Darul Maslook fi Ahwaalil Anbiya wal Awsiya 1/109

# Failure of the Uprising

Many people have questioned the factors that led to the failure of Muslim’s uprising inspite of the fact that he enjoyed military power while his opponent had no sort of power to defend himself. Leave alone getting such strength to attack or make war. Some of them think that the cause lay in Muslim’s lack of knowledge about political matters and his weakness in dominating the affairs. They think that he opened the way for the enemy to prevail over him…Obviously this is a superficial view and has no sign of research or contemplation for it is not based on a thorough understanding of the circumstances and events of that time. Most important thing is to undertake a thorough study of the social conditions of Kufa of that time and the similarity of its people in individual and social behavior. Also the political program of Ibn Ziyad that he used to subdue them. More than that the discretions allowed for Muslim by the Imam, because complete information
about this matter explains to us the causes of the failure of the uprising which shall be studied in the coming pages.

Kufian Society

It is necessary for us to speak in more detail about the nature of society in Kufa. Because it is the mirror that reflects the terrible events that have left their imprints on the history of political Islam. And it is a must for us to describe the local elements in Kufa and the types of social relationships among them and the economic life that ruled over them so that this discussion illuminates the causes of the failure of revolution. It would also clarify the condition of indifference and deviated thinking regarding the sufferings of that society which resulted in the most evil disaster in the history of humanity; that is their stepping forward to slay the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. The following are the main points that we explain to our readers:

Social Phenomena

The following social phenomena were present in the Kufian society of that time, which were exclusive to it among all communities:

Contradictory Behavior

A strange phenomenon in Kufa society was that, that society was in contradiction with its real life. Because they said one thing and did just the opposite. They believed in one thing and committed the opposite of it. While it is necessary for the actions of man to conform to his beliefs. These contradictions were mentioned by Farazdaq when Imam Husain asked him about the conditions of Kufa. He said to the Imam, “The hearts of the people are with you but their swords are against you.”

Although it was necessary that their swords should have supported what they had faith in and confronted in the path that they believed in, and such a phenomenon is not seen in the history of any community.


Among the strange things about these contradictions was that the Kufa society in a positive way involved itself in the political field and they actively participated in those events and raised the slogan of overthrowing the Umayyad rule. People wrote letters to Imam Husain imploring him to save them from the oppressions and injustice of the Umayyads. They sent delegations and messengers with thousands of letters to the Holy Imam in order to invite him to their land. And when His Eminence sent his emissary, Muslim bin Aqil to them they welcomed him with great enthusiasm and assured him of their full support, so much so that he wrote to Imam Husain to come over there at the soonest. However when Ibn Marjana arrived in Kufa and unleashed terror and fear among them, they became aloof from Muslim shutting their doors upon him and said, “Who are we to interfere in the affairs of rulers?”

Their practical life was not in consonance to their beliefs and in what they had faith in. Because they gave promises to their leaders that they would stand beside them and then in a delicate moment they become aloof from them.

Among examples of their contradictions was that after they had compelled Imam Hasan to make peace with Muawiyah and His Eminence left their lands they lamented upon their own shortcomings regarding him. And when they had slain Imam Husain and the prisoners of Ahle Bayt arrived in their city, they raised their voices in lamenting for them. Such that Imam Ali Ibn Husain considered this action of theirs astounding and he said, “They are lamenting for us and wailing, then who has killed us?”

Absence of balance in the life of that society for the people there brought calamities and problems and involved them in a great mischief.

Disloyalty and Deceit

Another phenomenon present in Kufa society was deceit and betrayal and they became so famous for this quality that idioms began to be coined regarding this specialty. So much so that it is said: “More deceitful than a Kufian.”[1]

And also about disloyalty an idiom says: “Al-Koofi Laa Yoofi (A Kufian cannot be loyal).”[2]

Amirul Momineen has described them as follows: “Deceitful loins and crafty foxes…”

And it is said regarding them, “They are people whose bodies are together but whose views are conflicting. Anyone who has them with him just derived meager advantage. And they have become such that there should be no hope in their loyalty and their statements cannot be verified.”[3]

Practical aspects in their life were turnabout, hypocrisy and lack of co-operation.

[1] Abdul Qahir Baghdadi, Al-Farq Bainal Farq, Pg. 26
[2] Zakaria Qazwini, Aathaarul Bilaad, Pg. 251
[3] Al Imamah was Siyasah 1/129-130


They deceived that great revolutionary, Zaid bin Ali and told him, “A hundred thousand men of Kufa are with you, who shall fight on your side.”[1] And 50000 people gave allegiance to help him.[2] Later when he declared his uprising their number went down to 218.[3] Such that Dawood bin Ali advised Zaid that he should not be fooled by the deception of Kufians and he said,

“Cousin, these people are fooling you. Before you, did they not deceive one who was more respected among them, that is your grandfather, Ali? And after him they pledged allegiance to Hasan but later arose against him and snatched his cloak, plundered his tent and injured him. Did they not call out your grandfather, Husain and made strongest oaths to him and later deserted him and did not submit? They did not rest content with this, they even went so far as to slay him.”[4]

They broke allegiance after allegiance.

Aashi Hamdan, who was the poet of uprising of Muhammad bin Ashath against Hajjaj, has ridiculed the Kufians in the following lines:

“Allah did not accept but that His light be perfected and that the light of the transgressors is extinguished and that light was extinguished.

And on Iraq and its people He sent humiliation due to their breaking of pledge.

And they created such inappropriate things that are not eligible to be taken up to God. (Be of any benefit).

That is they broke one pledge after another. Such that if they pledged an oath one day, they betrayed it the next.”[5]

They are well-known to all scholars for this quality of theirs. Falhauzen believes that they were absolutely ignorant of rebellion, retraction, deception and disobedience. And political and military loyalty was absolutely unknown to them. The scholar, Waztarshuneen has also emphasized this matter and he says, “Their most prominent characteristic was deception, retraction and betraying trust.”[6]

This deception in their life was not confined to their commoners, it was also seen in their thinkers and litterateurs. Because, the famous poet, Surraqa stood against Mukhtar and fought against him in the battle of Jabanah as-Sabi. However when Mukhtar came out victorious Surraqa was brought as a prisoner to him and he threw him into the prison. Surraq began to present his excuses to Mukhtar and composed poems and panegyrics in his praise. Therein he recalled the principles of his uprising. He resorted to hyperbole in his glorification. Among his compositions are the following couplets:

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 6/166
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 6/171
[3] Tabari, Tarikh 6/167-168
[4] Tabari, Tarikh 6/167-168
[5] Tabari, Tarikh 6/376
[6] As-Siyaadatul Arabiyya, Pg. 74


“You emerge victorious on your enemies everyday and with every battalion mourn the martyrdom of Husain.

Like the victory of Muhammad in the battle of Badr and on the day of the splitting of the mountains which was seen in the battle of Hunain.

Thus, now that you are victorious, be kind to forgive though if we were to be victorious we would have committed oppression and injustice in the kingdom.

Accept my repentance, such that even if you repay me afterwards I shall be grateful to you.”

When Mukhtar forgave him, he left Kufa and not much time elapsed that he again started badmouthing Mukhtar and instigated people against him saying:

“Tell Abu Ishaq that we have seen a large and strong number of piebald horses.

I shall show with my eyes those things that are not seen. We know even that which is hidden.

If they say that I have lied to them and if they come out I shall put on the armors to fight them.”[1]

He has sung about his uprising against Mukhtar and ridiculed him and his supporters with the same fervor as he showed in his previous panegyric. It is natural that such continued contradiction in their life caused perplexity and lack of equitability in their behavior.

The most surprising aspect of their contradictory behavior was that some of them exercised utmost precaution in the most ordinary religious problems but did not flinch from committing the most heinous of deeds. For example, a Kufian came to Abdullah Ibn Umar and asked whether the blood of mosquito on his clothes be considered ritually pure or impure.

“To which area do you belong?” asked Ibn Umar.

“I am an Iraqi.” replied the man.

Ibn Umar was surprised. He said, “Look at him, he is asking me about mosquito blood! While they have killed the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah! I have heard His Eminence say about him and his brother: These two (Hasan and Husain) are for me two flowers in the world.”[2]

Some people have explained the cause of this confusion of theirs to be the tough political conditions that befell them. Because the Umayyad regime dealt with them in the harshest and most cruel manner. They appointed over them the most merciless and ferocious persons as governors, like Mughairah bin Shoba and Ziyad bin Sumaiyyah, who made public life suffocating and difficult. These conditions created contradictory behavior in them.

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 6/401. Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 303
[2] Al-Adabul Mufrad, Pg. 14. Hilyatul Awliya 5/71


Rebellion against Governors

A special characteristic prominently seen in Kufa society was its rebellion against governors and their complains regarding them. There was no governor whom they did not denounce. For example, Saad bin Abi Waqqas who was the founder of their city. They criticized him and said: He does not know the prayer well.[1] Umar dismissed him and appointed in his place, the most respectable companion, Ammar bin Yasir. Not much time passed but they complained about him also to Umar. Umar dismissed him also and appointed Abu Musa Ashari in that post. Again not many days passed in his governorship that they began to raise objections against him and said, “We have no need of Abu Musa.”[2]

Umar was fed up with them and he expressed his displeasure. Thus when Mughairah asked him what was troubling him, “O Chief of believers! You are like this only when facing a serious problem. Have you encountered a problem?”

Umar complained to him about the pain caused by the people of Kufa and he said, “What trouble is greater than these hundred thousand people who are neither satisfied with any governor nor any governor is satisfied with them…?”[3]

Umar has said about them as follows: “Among my problems from the people of Kufa is that if I appoint a strong man upon them, they describe him as a transgressor and if I appoint a weak one, they consider him lowly…”[4]

They had made rebellion a habit and were not able to sit peacefully without making any movement.[5]

Dimo Mobin believes that Kufians resorted to this habit during the time when they were ruled by Persians and they always kept on changing the governors.

Flutton is of the view that the Bedouins inhabiting Kufa possessed characteristics like enmity, malice, revengefulness, plunder and crying for blood. Therefore they were always rebellious and disobedient to the government.[6]


Another astounding quality of Kufian society for which it is famous, is the cowardice of those people and their lack of determination in the face of difficulties and disasters. Because whenever they were in hardships they used to retract and flee. For example they initially paid allegiance to Muslim in large numbers and promised him their support. But when he declared uprising against Ibn Marjana, they went away from him. So much so that not even a single person remained to show him the way.

[1] Futuh al-Buldan Pg. 277
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 4/165. And it is mentioned therein that he was a grocer.
[3] Futuh al-Buldan Pg. 278
[4] Futuh al-Buldan Pg. 278
[5] An-Nazmul Islamiya, Pg. 26
[6] As-Siyaadatul Arabiyya, Pg. 11


Zaid bin Ali was also the recipient of this same treatment. Because they deserted him and left him alone to confront the Syrian army, while he remarked, “Just as they did with Husain.”[1]

Also, they pledged allegiance to Abdullah bin Muawiyah and told him, “Call the people towards you, because Bani Hashim are more deserving of caliphate than Bani Marwan.” They urged him out of his residence and to come to the palace where they pledged oath of allegiance to him. However when he marched forward to fight Abdullah bin Umar, the Umayyad governor, they began to flee. Abdullah bin Muawiyah looked and saw the field devoid of his supporters because the commanders of his forces had betrayed his trust when they aligned with the Umayyad governor. So he fled from the side of Abdullah bin Muawiyah and the battalions also followed him.[2]

Isa bin Zaid has said regarding them, “I don’t know anyone worthy of trust, who would fulfill his pledge of allegiance and remain steadfast fast when facing the enemy.”[3]

Bad Manners

Most Kufians possessed bad morals and manners. Thus Abdullah bin Hasan says regarding them, “Apparently they seem to be proud but inwardly they are lazy, in replying they were nasty and in facing the enemy, impatient. Their tongues are in their forefront but their hearts do not follow them.”

Imam Amirul Momineen has described them as follows: “If you are left alone you are cowardly, if you engage in battle you are lazy. If people get an Imam you criticize him and if you fall into hardships you turn on your heels.”[4]

Mukhtar has also described them to Ibn Zubair when he inquired from him about them and said, “Apparently they seem to be loyal to their rulers but actually they are inimical to them.”

Ibn Zubair added the following to the statement of Mukhtar, “This is the characteristic of bad slaves. That whenever they are in the presence of their masters, they serve and obey him. But whenever they (masters) are away, they abuse them.”

Aashi Hamadan has also denounced them as follows:

“A fear that Allah has put in their hearts that without being chastised they do not go near people.

Neither is there truthfulness in their statements nor do they have any patience. But pride, vanity and greed is widespread among them.”[5]

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 4/183-184
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 7/302-303
[3] Maqatilut Talibiyyin, Pg. 353
[4] Tabari, Tarikh 7/169
[5] Tabari, Tarikh 6/376


And Abul Sarya says regarding them:

“I have traveled to various lands but I haven’t seen people like you.

You are contradictory, foolish, lacking determination, lazy and weak in hardships and prosperity.

The curse that fell on you before and which shall remain on you till Doomsday is that no one is pleased with you and you are not pleased with anyone.[1]

I have made my home, in discontent, far away from your lands. Thus if I have become distanced from you, so you taste the enmity.”[2]

Dr. Yusuf Khalifa has explained these couplets as follows: In these lines, Abul Sarya has repeated the ancient view regarding the people of Kufa that were a people having evil, hypocrisy and bad morals. They are described to be disunited, contradictory, ignorant and having lack of determination, weakness and helplessness. The poet believes that these qualities shall remain in them always whether it is war or peace. Among their qualities was that no leader or guide has ever passed that was satisfied with them or they were satisfied with him. They were unique among all the communities with regard to their being affected by these traits and the poet says that nowhere has he come across people like them. In the end the poet declares his enmity to them and his decision to go far away from them. He also warns them of dire consequences and evil fate that was to befall them.”[3]

Abu Bakr Hazali has also described their condition as, “The people of Kufa broke off relations. They wrote to Husain bin Ali that, ‘We, a hundred thousand men are with you,’ till he came out to join them. But when he arrived, they attacked him. They killed the young and old of his family. After that they came out to take revenge for his blood. Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?”[4]

Greed and Jealousy

Another prominent defect of Kufian people was their greed for material wealth. They were so much greedy for worldly things that they did not refrain from resorting to the most shameless methods to achieve them. They had no fear of insult or exposure. This was one of the most important factors that led to the failure of Muslim’s uprising. Because Ibn Ziyad generously bestowed money to the nobles and leaders of Kufa and they hastened to him and betrayed Muslim. They broke the oath of allegiance they had given him and Ibn Ziyad was able to purchase their loyalties through his wealth and he was able to send them to fight the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah while they had pledged to help and support His Eminence.

[1] He is alluding to Imam Husain's curse on the people of Kufa on the day of Ashura that: “May your rulers never be satisfied with you.”
[2] Maqatilut Talibiyyin, Pg. 444
[3] Hayatush Sha’ar fil Kufa, Pg. 445
[4] Mukhtasar al-Buldan, Pg. 173


Influenced by Rumors

Another major defect of Kufa society was that the people were proved to believe in rumors very soon without investigating the reality behind it. Umayyads took advantage of this in the days of Maskan[1] and spread rumor in Iraqi army that Imam Hasan has made peace with Muawiyah. When the soldiers heard this rumor they were shocked and there developed conflict among them. They rushed upon Imam and plundered all his belongings. They even attacked him and slashed his thigh with a sword.

When Ibn Ziyad’s agents spread rumor among them that the Syrian army was fast approaching them to take revenge from them, they were absolutely devastated. Their fighting spirit died down and they began to flee from the army. They left Muslim Ibn Aqil alone and not a single person remained with him who could have pointed him the way.

These were some prominent aspects of the Kufian society that tell us about their decadence and their failures in face of disasters because neither they possessed a firm determination nor view of social principles. Due to this they brought misfortune upon themselves and destroyed their future. They did not respect their own rights and instead opened up the way for the cruel son of Marjana to rule upon them and shower upon them the most terrible punishments.

Economic Life

The economic life in Kufa was in a disbalanced condition. A noble class existed which was drowned in extreme wealth due to the fact that the Umayyad regime during the reigns of Uthman and Muawiyah had accorded special treatment and made generous grants to persons of this special class, by depriving the poor and destitute they had become wealthy and some of them are as follows:

1. Ashath bin Qais: During the reign of Uthman he purchased large tracts of land in Iraq and he became the foremost feudal lord of that time. He was the one who compelled the Imam to accept arbitration because the Imam’s government criticized special benefits and privileges given to him by the previous regimes.

2. Amr bin Hareeth: He was the most affluent man of Kufa[2] and he played an important role in quelling Muslim’s uprising and paralyzing his movement.

3. Shabth bin Rabi: He was from a prominent noble class of Kufa.[3] He was one of those who restrained people from supporting Muslim. In the same way he commanded a battalion in battle against His Eminence, Husain.

These were some wealthy people of that time who strengthened the hands of Ibn Marjana and provided him with their support so that the uprising of Muslim may be suppressed because they possessed wide power in Kufa and had the capability

[1] It is a locality of Kufa (Tr.)
[2] It is mentioned in Tabari: Amr bin Hareeth was the richest man of Kufa.
[3] Hayatush Sha’ar fil Kufa, Pg. 168


to announce their opposition to Mukhtar even though the majority of people on his side included slaves and retainers. They were also those who overthrew his rule.

However the majority of the people of society in Kufa were having connections with the government and they obtained their livelihood from it as it was originally an army cantonment and the regime had guaranteed its expenses as many people of this area were deprived and in a poor condition.

Asadi, the poet, has described its unsuitable economic life in his panegyric that he composed in praise of a leader in order to obtain his favors and kindness. In that panegyric he says:

“O the generous Aba Talha! Bestow me something from what is given to you.

Enliven me, may my life be sacrificed on you as I am helpless and deprived and you’re aware of it.

Or give me barley flour as it is a great rewarding deed.

You know what Allah has said about feeding the orphans, so do not ignore me, sir.

Except for a cup and leather utensil and a discolored book-like fresh saplings, I do not possess anything else.

And the covering sheet patched with leather that I am selling for a loaf of bread.

And the firm saddle that I have been lent is sufficient for every respected guest.”[1]

You can see how poverty and deprivation has impelled him to beg in these lines. This was the same face of destitution that had squeezed his neck. Shauqi Zaef has opined about these couplets that: “If it is from here that the call for money arose in the Umayyad panegyric. It surrounds their various aspects and it became a basis of life of people. It is natural that it should also form the basis of their art and poetry. Is it not from the important pillars of life? Then how it could not be the important pillar of art? Because in the palm is hidden the sea of life and in the depth of poetry, because only poetry reflects life.”[2]

Economic life has a deep and active impact in the existence of society and it plays an important role in leading the society on the path of good or evil. And it is proved that the crimes and evils they committed was as a result of extreme poverty and deprivation. Or it was due to their greed in obtaining material things. Most of the soldiers who had gone out to fight Imam Husain had done so only when Ibn Marjana promised a raise in their stipends.

Anyway, bad economic conditions in Kufa played an active role in failure of Muslim’s uprising and dispersing people from around him. At that time Ibn Ziyad generously bestowed riches to leaders and prominent people and they began to oppose Muslim and finally deserted him.

[1] Haajiz, Al-Haiwan 5/297
[2] Al-Tatur wat Tajaddud fil Sha’arul Amawi, Pg. 34


Social Factors

The city of Kufa was a city of many communities and people speaking various languages inhabited it. They differed from each other in habits and mannerisms because they included Arabs, Persians, Nabateans who lived with slaves and other people. It was not considered a pure Arab town like Mecca and Medina. Rather it was a town of homogeneous population. As Yaqubi says, these people migrated to this town as it was considered to be the original Islamic army cantonment. And Muslim soldiers used to be sent for expeditions from this town. War booties were sent to this town continuously as Allah has prescribed, so much so that every participating soldier’s share from the booty of Madayan came to 12000 units of currency,[1] thus that which became a cause to impel the people to move to Kufa was the desire to obtain wealth. Some of these communities were as follows:


When Kufa was founded at the hands of the conqueror of Iraq, Saad bin Abi Waqqas, Arabs were attracted to it. They began to compete with each other to relocate to Kufa. In the very beginning, seventy Badr veterans and 300 companions of Shajarah arrived to settle here.[2] Ibn Saad in his Tabaqaat has mentioned about 150 companions who were settled in Kufa.[3] Saffah says about them that, “It (Kufa) is the best residence of companions and noble men.”[4]

As for the Arab tribes that settled over there, they were as follows:

Yemeni Tribes

Yemeni tribes competed with each other to settle in Kufa. They numbered according to the statements of historians to be 12000 people[5] comprised of following clans:

1. Qaza – a, 2. Ghasaan, 3. Bajeela, 4. Khas-a’m, 5. Kinda, 6. Hadhramaut, 7. Azd, 8. Madhij, 9. Himyar, 10. Hamadan, 11. Nakha.

These were clans that originally belonged to Yemen but who had made Kufa their home. The settled on the west side of the Masjid. And Falhauzen believes that famous tribes of Yemen like Madhij, Hamadan and Kinda became dominant in Kufa and acquired leadership. When Abdul Malik bin Marwan arrived in Kufa and when people of Madhij and Hamadan approached him he said to them, “Except for them I do not see anything for anyone.” (That is they are prominent everywhere).

Adnani Tribes

Adnani tribes that settled in Kufa comprised of 8000 persons. They formed two major groups: 1. Tameem, and 2. Bani Asr.

[1] Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 6/4. Mukhtasar al-Buldan, Pg. 166
[2] Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 6
[3] Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 6
[4] Mukhtasar al-Buldan, Pg. 73
[5] Mojam Qabail al-Arab 1/15 etc. Futuh al-Buldan Pg. 276. Mojam al-Buldan 5/492


Bani Bakr Tribes

A number of Bani Bakr clans arrived and settled in Kufa. They were as follows: 1. Bani Asad, 2. Ghitfaan, 3. Muharib, 4. Nameer.

Also other Arab tribes had settled in Kufa which were as follows: Kanariah, Jadeela, Zabee-a’, Abdul Qais, Taghlab, Iyyad, Tai, Thaqeef, Aamir and Mazeena.[1]

Masniyun believes that along with the Quraish tribe there were in Kufa people who were Bedouins at the heart that lived in tents and were camel herders from Bani Daram Tamimi and the neighbors of ancient Yemeni, the Tayy and people of lower middle class from the Rabia and Asad. Also from west and north-west. There was Bakr from east and south-east. There were also elements among the city dwellers from the original southern Arab tribes who had relocated from Hadhramaut. They were of two types: Either they were semi-urbans from Kinda and Bajila and fully urban people from other Yemeni cities and villages, that is the Madhij, Himyar and Hamadan.[2]

Arab people who came and settled in Kufa at the time of its establishment were a mixture of Yemenis, Nizaris and others, however the Yemenis were more in number. In the same way their influence on social life of Kufa was much more than that of the others.

Tribal Spirit

Tribal spirit reigned over the social tribes of Arabs in Kufa who lived in their particular quarters and people of other tribes had no share in their quarters. And Masniyun believes that the burial grounds in Kufa were also having demarcated areas based on tribal divisions.[3] In the same way roads and streets were also named after the tribes that resided in those areas.[4] The city became a perfect image of tribal life, so much so that tribal feeling and spirit was at the foremost and tribal bigotry was at the highest. And the tribes resorted to competition for achieving success among themselves just as was seen in the battle of Jamal. This led to a situation when ignorance reigned supreme in the life of Kufa.[5]

Ibn Abil Hadid has described to us in the following way the tribal spirit that was dominant in Kufa. “In the last period of Hazrat Ali the people of Kufa were divided into tribes that whenever a person from a tribe came out and passed through the area of another tribe he used to call out the name of his tribe: O Nakha! O Kinda! Thus young men of that tribe used to gather around him and shout: O Tamimi! O Rabia! And they used to rush to the one who was shouting and they used to beat him up. He used to go towards his tribesmen and call them. They pulled out their swords and fights erupted.”

[1] Al-Hayatul Ijtimaiyyah was Iqtisaadiyaa fil Kufa, Pg. 42
[2] Naqshe Hai Kufa, Pg. 12-13
[3] Khatat al-Kufa, Pg. 18
[4] Khatat al-Kufa, Pg. 18
[5] Al-Tatur wat Tajaddud fil Sha’arul Amawi, Pg. 80-81


Tribal spirit was the most important element of social life of Kufa which was effectively utilized by Ibn Sumaiyyah to capture Hujr and to quell his uprising. And he used one group of people to defeat another group. In the same way his son took advantage of this phenomenon in order to put down the movement of Muslim, Hani and Abdullah bin Afif Azdi.[1]


Along with the Arabs, there resided in Kufa, people of Persian race also, were given the title of al-Humra,[2] the red-faced. They inquired about the most powerful of the Arabian tribes. It was said to them that they were the Tameem. And so they signed a peace treaty with them.[3] The greatest wave of Persians that came to Kufa and settled there at the time of its establishment comprised of surviving soldiers of the Sasanids who joined the Arab army and fought at their side. They came to be known in history as Humra Dailam. Their number according to historians was four thousand fighters. Their commander was a person, Dailam, with whom they had fought under the command of Rustam at Quddisiya and when the Persians were defeated and Rustam was killed they made peace with Saad bin Abi Waqqas with the condition that they would settle down wherever they liked and they would have treaties with anyone they liked. And that he would appoint a share for them from
the Public Treasury.

They entered into a treaty with Zahra bin Juba Tamimi, a victorious general. Saad appointed for them a million as their share in Public Treasury. They became Muslims and participated in the conquest of Madayan just as they also had share in the conquest of Jeloola. After that they shifted their residence and settled down in Kufa.[4]

These were some of the people who had settled down in Kufa in large numbers. Falhauzen says they were more than half the total population of Kufa and their population increased so much so that Arab ratio decreased and in the time of Mamun they had become a majority. During that period Persian became the chief language.[5]

Jahiz says: “The Persian language has great influence on the language of Kufa.”[6]

Anyway, the Persians played an important role in Kufa and a big group of migrants came into being there in such a way that people of Kufa said: “I have come from Humra of Dailam.”[7]

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 13/167-168
[2] Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 288 & 293
[3] Tabari, Tarikh
[4] Futuh al-Buldan Pg. 279. Khatat al-Kufa, Pg. 11
[5] Fikrul Arabiyya, Pg. 83-84
[6] Al-Bayan wat-Tibbiyin 1/26
[7] Itiihaajaatush Sha’arul Arabi fil Qarith Thaaniul Hijri, Pg. 55


Balazari says, “Ziyad sent some of them to Syria and a group of them to Basra.[1] This group took part in numerous Islamic conquests and they were instrumental in the defeat of the Umayyad regime.


Anbat was one of the tribes that resided in Kufa. They had influenced the social and intellectual life. Historians say: “Anbat did not denote a distinct people. Rather they were Arabs and used the Darami language in their writings. They were natives of rocky parts in the Arab lands but from there they relocated to Iraq and started agriculture. They spoke in their own Darami language.”[3]

They had much influence on the life of Kufa. Abu Amr bin Alaa said to the people of Kufa: “You have the pretensions and cheekiness of the Anbat and we have the personality of the Persians and their foresight.”[4]

Tabari narrates: “A man from Bani Abas took a man from Nihawand, called Dinar as a prisoner. He used to frequent Abasi and gave him gifts. In the rule of Muawiyah he came to Kufa and stood among the people. He told them: ‘O people of Kufa! You are of the first who superceded us and were the best of people and took up your responsibility during the time of Umar and Uthman and after that you changed it and four qualities were acquired by you: Miserliness, deceit, betrayal of trust and poverty as none of them existed in you. I became with you and saw that they existed in your posterity and after that realized from where you have come.’”[5]

De Bond believes that the society and morals of Kufa underwent a great transformation in the past during the period of Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan[6] and it is natural that Anbat caused a great part of this change.


The fourth element that took part in the creation of Kufa was the Syrians. They had spread in Iraq before Islamic conquest and an exceeding number of them settled at Tigris and some of them at Hira and Kufa. They developed relations with the Kufaites and were influenced by their habits and behavior because social life, as the scholars of social sciences say, is a life of giving and accepting influence. Every human accepts influence and to those are around him he leaves his effect.

These were some of the elements that contributed to the formation of society in Kufa. These people were not pure Arabs. Rather they were mixed races and the majority among them was Arab as they were dominant majority of the province. The religious customs and social habits were formed under the Arab influence in the same way the Arabs had the last word in that province…

[1] Futuh al-Buldan Pg. 279
[2] Sami people from north Arabian Peninsula. People who were originally Darham and Qati. (Al-Mojam al-Wasit).
[3] Al-Hizaaratul Islamiyya Pg. 97
[4] Al-Bayan wat-Tibbiyin 2/106
[5] Tabari, Tarikh 4/135-136
[6] Tarikh Falsafa dar Islam, Pg. 15-18


Religious Groups

The Kufan society was not made of people following one and the same religion. Rather people of every religious denomination resided in Kufa and each followed its particular religious customs. Some of the major religious groups were as follows:

1. Islam

Islam was the religion of the majority of Arabs who had settled in Kufa and the cause of the establishment of this town was that it was a garrison of soldiers who fought for Islam under the control of the regimes. They were actually expected to fight Jihad for the Islamic faith but most of them lacked this sincerity and they had joined the army due to greed and to earn booties from war prescribed by Allah for religious fighters. Social scientists have emphasized that social change, alone, developed after generation and generations and the society in the same way protected their habits and practices that they had received from their ancestors. Dua to this the Kufian society was involved in intellectual movements that were opposed to Islam and few dangerous groups existed among their ranks as we shall explain in the following pages:

A - Khawarij: The reciters of Quran and those who had blackened their foreheads in prostrations had acquired this faith. When in Siffeen, Qurans were raised aloft on the spears they compelled the Imam to accept arbitration after Muawiyah was defeated and almost routed. Imam accepted this against his will and warned them of deceit and humiliation. But he could not influence them and they remained obstinate upon their belief and when they realized that they have been misguided, they came to the Imam and said: “We had become disbelievers and have repented. You also express your regret and confess to your disbelief, so that we may accompany you!”

Imam refused to do this. They separated from His Eminence and selected for themselves the slogan of, “There is no command except of Allah’s!” They fell into falsehood and went astray. The Imam fought against and killed a large number of them. However some of them survived and they continued actively to spread their views and played an important role in fighting against Imam Hasan who was finally compelled to sign the peace treaty with Muawiyah. In the same way most soldiers sent by Ibn Ziyad for battle against Imam Husain were from the Khawarij, who harbored enmity against Imam Amirul Momineen. They displayed this enmity before his pure son in the battle of Kerbala and took revenge from him.

B – Umayyad Party: These persons were the representatives of the nobles of Kufa and their leaders. Like Qais bin Ashath, Amr bin Hajjaj Zubaidi, Yazid bin Harth, Shabt bin Rabi’, Amr bin Hareeth and Umar bin Saad. They were having loyalty to Bani Umayyah and believed that they were superior to Ahle Bayt in the matter of Caliphate and leadership of the community. They played an important role in quelling the uprising of Muslim and they instigated people to participate in war against Imam Husain.


C – Shias: They had faith in the loyalty to Ahle Bayt and considered them a religious necessity. Shias of Kufa displayed sincerity in their love and loyalty to Ahle Bayt and the signs of their devotion were as follows:

1 – They used to deliver sermons to the people regarding the events related to Ahle Bayt in which they praised and described the merits and greatness of Ahle Bayt and they told the people about the examples of justice and truthfulness that they had witnessed during the rule of Imam Amirul Momineen.

2 – They wept profusely remembering the calamities and tortures that they bore during the reign of Muawiyah and the insults they had to suffer. However they did not show exemplary sacrifice in the path of their faith. Their friendship was merely a sort of human kindness and it was not based on firm religious belief. They separated from Muslim and abandoned him to become a morsel in the hands of the oppressive Ibn Marjana. Balazari has narrated that in Kerbala when they saw that swords and spears were hacking at the blessed body of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah they wept and prayed to God: “O God! Send Your help to the son of the daughter of Your Messenger!” One of them glanced at the suppliant and said in ridicule, “Why don’t you rush to help him instead of just praying?” Imam Husain differentiated them from True Shias and shouted at them: “O Shias of the progeny of Abi Sufyan!”

The fact is that except for a small group, the majority were not true Shias. The small group of real Shias joined Imam Husain and was martyred with His Eminence. In the same way a large number of them were lying in the dark dungeons.

Anyway, the Muslims of Kufa were not following a single faith. They were having some dangerous groups among them.

2 – Christians

Among the people that settled down in Kufa were the Christians who had arrived in Kufa after the downfall of the glory of Hira. They settled down in Kufa and constructed some churches for themselves. They had a church at the back of the great mosque of Kufa.[1] They were having two bishops, one following the Nestorian church and the other, Jacobite.[2] There were two major tribes among them:

A – Taghlib Christians: They had settled there since the time Saad laid the plans of Kufa. This tribe commanded respect and earned glory.[3] People of this tribe refused to pay the Jizya tax and Umar was helpless and instead allowed them to pay Sadaqah like other Muslim subjects.[4]

B – Christians of Najran: They settled down on the outskirts of Kufa during the

[1] Futuh al-Buldan Pg. 284
[2] Khatat al-Kufa, Pg. 35
[3] Tabari, Tarikh
[4] Tabari, Tarikh


caliphate of Umar and their locality came to be known as “Najraniyyah”.[1]

Christians were employed in many government posts. Such that Abu Musa Ashari had Christian scribes[2] and Walid bin Uqbah, the governor of Uthman appointed a Christian in charge of the office of caretaker of mosques near Kufa.[3]

Christians mostly followed the occupation of money-changer in Kufa and they established markets for this purpose.[4]

These special banks during difficult times in the province loaned funds to the local government and the government used to distribute these funds among people with potential of staging uprisings so that such rebellions may be avoided. Ibn Ziyad also borrowed from them to pay the nobles in order to quell the uprising of Muslim.

Anyway, the population of Kufa was a mixture of Muslims and Christians and relations between the two groups were extremely strong.

3 – Jews

Jews came and settled down in Kufa since the 20th year of the Hijrah[5] and the majority of them arrived from Hijaz after they had been expelled from there by Umar bin Khattab.[6] They lived in a separate area in Kufa which was associated with their name and they also had a synagogue there. The traveler Binyamin writes: “Seven thousand Jews lived in Kufa. There was a grave over there that they considered sacred and circumambulated around it. They had built a synagogue over this tomb.”[7]

They mostly followed occupations like that of goldsmith etc. and other professions that the Arabs disliked…The Jews harbored deep animosity to the Holy Prophet because he had destroyed a large number of them and humiliated and defeated them in every confrontation. According to some researchers they played a prominent role in the massacre of Kerbala so that by killing the grandsons and progeny of the Prophet they may extract their revenge…

Here we conclude our discussion regarding the various religious groups that dominated the population of Kufa and which played important roles in movements of Jihad and military actions of that area.

[1] Hayatush Sha’ar fil Kufa, Pg. 144
[2] Uyun al-Akhbaar 1/43
[3] Al-Aghani 4/184
[4] Tarikh Kufa, Pg. 148. The money changers and bankers’ begin from the Masjid Sohail to the Great Mosque as some of the sources have mentioned.
[5] Yusuf Rizqullaah Ghaneema, Nuzhatul Mushtaq fi Tarikh Yahood wal Iraq, Pg. 103
[6] Al-Hayatul Ijtimaiyyah was Iqtisaadiyaa fil Kufa, Pg. 105
[7] Safarnama Binyamin, Translation of Azar Haddad, Pg. 146


Military Organization

The city of Kufa had been initially established as a military cantonment to house the soldiers of the Islamic army. The army was organized on the basis of tribal divisions. It was divided into platoons and divisions according to the clans and tribes they belonged to. The divisions of the army were as follows:

Seven-division System

The army was divided into seven major divisions based on tribal differences inspite of the fact that all of them were supposed to be fighting for Islam and Allah. And tribal feeling dominated them to a great extent and it had not decreased a bit. The organization was as follows:

First Division: This division consisted of Kinanah and those who had peace treaties with them from the Abyssinians and the Jadilah who were, since the days of Saad, obedient to the governors of Quraish and they acted loyally to the Bani Umayyah and their governors.

Second Division: Qazaa-a, Ghassaan, Bajeelah, Khath-a’m, Kinda, Hadhramaut and Azd.

Third Division: Madhij, Himyar, Hamadan and their confederates who were distinguished for their enmity to Bani Umayyah and their support for His Eminence, Ali and his children.

Fourth Division: Tameem and other Arab tribes and their confederates.

Fifth Division: Asad, Ghitfaan, Muharib, Zabi-a’, Taghlib and Nameer.

Sixth Division: Iyyad, A’k, Abdul Qais, Ahle Hijr and Humra.

Seventh Division: Tayy.[1]

These seven groups were present in the tribal battalions of the army. This system was followed so that general soldiers may participate in the battles that may occur in that period and that they may share in the war booty that is distributed after returning from the battles. Kufa was divided in this manner till the year 50 A. H. However Ziyad bin Abih, the governor of Iraq changed it and converted it into a four-division army as follows:

1 – People of Medina, Amr bin Hareeth was appointed over them.

2 – Tameem and Hamadan, Khalid bin Arafta was their commander.

3 – Rabi-a, Bakr and Kinda, Qais bin Walid bin Abde Shams controlled them.

4 – Madhij and Asad,[2] Abu Burdah bin Abu Musa was their commander-in-chief.

The reason why Ziyad took this step was that he wanted to make whole of Kufa his military regime. Thus he chose only those persons as commanders who were known for their loyalty to the government. Ibn Ziyad solicited their assistance in

[1] Hayatush Sha’ar fil Kufa, Pg. 29-30
[2] Khatat al-Kufa, Pg. 15-16


suppressing the uprising of Muslim. In the same way some of them were appointed as commanders of the battalions that the tyrant had dispatched to fight Imam Husain. Thus Amr bin Hareeth and Khalid bin Arafta were commanders of that army.

Military commanders are chosen from those who hold a social position and are well known for harshness, courage and experience in war.[1] The commanders of all the four divisions were under the control of the government and the connection of the government with the people was also maintained through them, that in view of their great importance in the province, Imam Husain wrote to them and requested them to help and support him.[2]

Experts of Tribal Affairs

The government relied upon the U'rafa.[3] They solved the problems of the tribes and distributed allowances among them, and also helped in maintaining public registers that recorded the names of men, women and children. In the same way they recorded births in order to secure from the government stipends for the newborns. Names of people who died used to be deleted from those registers by these officers.[4]

In the same way they also bore the responsibility of maintaining law and order and during hostilities they used to mobilize people for joining the army and used to encourage them in this regard. They used to report to the government about those who refused to join the armed forces.[5] If the U'rafa fell short in their duties or went beyond their power they used to be punished very severely by the government.[6]

One of the important causes of the people leaving Muslim was the activity of these U'rafa because they discouraged the people from joining the movement and spread fear and rumors among them.[7] In the same way they played an active role in instigating people to join forces against Imam Husain.

With this we conclude our discussion on the salient features of social life in Kufa as their understanding is necessary from the aspect of their effect on the failure of the uprising.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/268
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf
[3] Urfa is the plural of Arifeen. It is that man who recognizes his friends. It is mentioned in traditions: “Turn back to your Urfa, so that they may tell us about you.” Arif’s duty was to administer the affairs of the tribe and its members. Through him the governor used to know of tribal matters and problems of members.
[4] Al-Hayatul Ijtimaiyyah was Iqtisaadiyaa fil Kufa, Pg. 53
[5] Tabari, Tarikh 7/226
[6] Al-Aghani
[7] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah Pg. 154-155


The Tyrant Ibn Marjana

To understand fully the failure of Muslim’s revolt, it is necessary to know about the tyrant, Ibn Marjana’s coup d’etat and to learn about his life, characteristics and the plan he resorted to, to quell the uprising. Therefore we present the following points for our readers:

Birth of Ibn Marjana

This tyrant was born in the year, 39 A. H.[1] He created disasters and difficulties on the earth. Thus he was 21 when he put to the sword the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. Sources available to us do not specify the place of his birth.


His father was Ziyad, the son of Sumaiyyah. He was among the elements of mischief and corruption on the earth. Such that, he blinded people and had them crucified on trunks of palm trees, and merely on the basis of suspicion or allegations he punished innocent people. Thus he put the area of Iraq into untold misery and sorrow.

Ibn Ziyad’s mother was Marjana, a Magian woman[2] well-known for her wantonness. Ubaidullah Tamimi mentioned her in the presence of Ibn Marjana and said, “Umar bin Khattab has said: O God! I seek Your refuge from fornicating women and from children of fornicating women.” Ibn Ziyad was disturbed by these words and he replied, “Umar said: No child remains for nine months in its mother’s womb but that it comes out as a fool.”[3]

Ziyad left Marjana and Shiruyah married her.[4]

Upbringing of Ibn Marjana

That tyrant was brought up in the house of crime. He spent his early childhood in the house of his stepfather, Shiruyah, who was not even a Muslim. When he grew up he was taken up by his father, Ziyad and trained to cause bloodshed and oppress the people. He was brought up to practice deceit and employ intrigue. In other words he inherited all the evil traits of his father, like cruelty and getting pleasure by doing bad to people. He was not less cruel than his father. That tyrant has himself mentioned in one of his speeches:

“I am Ibn Ziyad, I am most resembling the one who walks the desert. And I am having no resemblance to the paternal or maternal uncle.”[5]

Like his father he was harsh and firm on committing evil and he very much distant from truth.

[1] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah Pg. 283
[2] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah Pg. 283
[3] Al-Bayan wat-Tibiyyin 2/242
[4] Al-Bayan wat-Tibiyyin 1/72
[5] Tabari, Tarikh


Characteristics of Ibn Marjana

Of his prominent psychological characteristics were cruelty and obtaining pleasure through bloodshed. He arrested a Khawarij woman, cut off her limbs and ordered that she be exhibited in the market place.[1]

Hasan Basri has described him as a senseless young man who shed a lot of blood.[2] Muslim bin Aqil said about him: “He laps the blood of Muslims and kills the life of those whose killing Allah has forbidden and he sheds blood on the basis of anger, enmity and suspicion, while he is busy in vain pastimes, in such a way as if he has not done anything.”

He was arrogant and he did not heed the advice of anyone. For example Aaez bin Amr Sahabi came to him and said: “My son! I have heard the Messenger of Allah say: The worst ruler is one who is cruel and who oppresses the people. So take care that you don’t become such.”

These words hit him sharply and he screamed, “Sit down! You are the rubbish of the companions of the Messenger of Allah.”

Aaez objected against him and said, “Is there rubbish among them? Rubbish is after them and among those other than them.”[3]

During his governorship of Basra he became well known as a deceitful man and a trickster with regard to the people. Motal bin Yasar advised him to leave such acts, saying, “I have heard the Messenger of Allah say: There is none that is appointed as ruler who acts deceitfully with the people except that Allah deprives him from Paradise.”[4]

These were his personal and psychological characteristics. As for his physical traits, they were as follows:

Bad Accent

The tyrant was brought up in the house of his mother, Marjana, who was not Arab. He learnt her accent and was not able to understand Arabic. For example he often used to say: “Open up your swords!” While he meant to say: “Pull out your swords!” Yazid bin Mufrag in his poem had alluded to Ibn Ziyad’s faulty Arabic:

“On the day when you opened your sword from far away, you destroyed it, as all your actions were destructive.”

During a conversation with Suwaid, Ibn Ziyad said, “Sit on the buttocks of the floor!!”

Suwaid ridiculed him saying, “I didn’t know the floor had buttocks!”[5]

[1] Qisasul Arab 1/212
[2] Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/545
[3] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/285
[4] Muslim, Sahih 1/124, Tr. 142
[5] Al-Bayan wat-Tibiyyin 1/73


He pronounced the ‘h’a’ of Arabic as ‘ha’. Thus asked Hani: “Are you Haroori today?” While he meant to ask him if he had joined the Khawarij (H’aroori). He also used to pronounce the Arabic alphabet of ‘A’ain’ as ordinary ‘a’ and the Arabic ‘q’ as ‘k’. One day he said, “Man kaatalna kaatalna!” Actually he meant to say: “Man Qaatalna Qaatalna!” which means that we shall fight those who want to fight us.[1]

Gluttony and Debauchery

Historians say: He was a glutton and he had a voracious appetite. He ate five times a day and his last meal of the day used to be a donkey leg. His meal was concluded only after eating this. If a full lamb or a kid was brought to him, he used to finish it off alone.[2] In the same way he was a sex maniac. On the night he entered Kufa he slept with a woman named, Umme Nafe, the daughter of Ammarah bin Uqbah bin Abi Muit.[3]

These were his salient physical characteristics.

Ibn Ziyad’s Rule in Basra

Muawiyah gave him the governorship of Basra and entrusted him with authority upon the affairs of Muslims at a time when he was in the prime of his youth and given to arrogance and pride. He ruled Basra in the same way as his father had. Because he also killed on the basis of mere suspicion and allegation. And he considered the innocent as criminals and the sinners as innocent ones. Muawiyah trusted him and was pleased with his manners. Therefore he also proclaimed for him the governorship of Kufa. But Muawiyah died before dispatch of this appointment letter.

Yazid’s Dislike for Ibn Marjana

Yazid hated Ibn Marjana very much. This was due to some matters, most important of whom was that his father, Ziyad had objected to his father, Muawiyah when he wanted to appoint Yazid as the next caliph because Yazid was a profligate and always involved in evil vices.

Yazid wanted to dismiss Ubaidullah from the governorship of Basra and take away all his powers but when Imam Husain announced his uprising and he sent Muslim as his emissary to Kufa to take the allegiance of the people for him, Sarjun suggested to Yazid that he allow Ibn Ziyad continue as the governor of Basra and at the same time appoint him as the governor of Kufa also and order him to quell the uprising. Yazid accepted this suggestion and the whole of Iraq came under the control of Ibn Ziyad. Ibn Ziyad took over the province in an iron fist and strived by all his might to suppress the uprising so that through it he may be able to get into the good books of Yazid and to gain the affections of the Umayyad clan.

[1] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/284
[2] Nihayatul Arab 3/343
[3] Miraat az-Zamaan, Pg. 285


Plan for Coup d’etat

In spite of his young age Ibn Ziyad was an expert politician and he had mastered the art of conducting coups and knew well how to turn unfavorable circumstances to his advantage. He succeeded through deceit and intrigue to get the control of the garrisons of Kufa and quell the revolt. The main points of his master plan were as follows:

1 – Spying on Muslim in order to gain intelligence about his matters.

2 – He spread such fear and rumors that it created an atmosphere of terror in Kufa and the people became concerned with their own selves. In this way he was able to prevent them from interference in any way, in the political events of that time.

3 – He bribed the nobles and upper class people so that they would always be at his beck and call and he could use them in any way whenever he liked. These people created disunity among the tribes and defeated Muslim’s forces.

4 – He worked out a cunning plot regarding Hani and had him arrested as he was a prominent man of the province. Through this he was able to remove a very important factor of the uprising.

These were some of the dangerous points of the plan of the tyrant, Ibn Ziyad, by which he was able to dominate the circumstances and to destroy the revolt and finally to mobilize forces to slay the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah.

Muslim bin Aqil

As for Muslim bin Aqil, he was an emblem of piety in Islam and extremely precautious and careful and in his behavior he did not deviate in any way and never resorted to any kind of deceit and fraud even if political victory depended on it. In this regard he acted on the manner of his uncle, Amirul Momineen. Moreover, he was not sent to Kufa as an absolute ruler that he could have acted in any way he liked. His responsibility was only to take allegiance on behalf of the Imam and to find out the true position of the Kufians. So that if he found it favorable he would ask Imam Husain to proceed to Kufa. Apart from this he did not have any other responsibility as we have already explained in the previous discussions.

Thus we end our discussion about the failed uprising of Muslim, which was the beginning of the tragedy of Kerbala and the initial point of the deep pains. Along with this we conclude the second volume of this book.

# Selection of Migration to Iraq

Imam Husain chose to migrate to Iraq and not to any other place in the Islamic lands, while he knew what conditions and atmosphere surrounded the people and what difficulties the Iraqis lived in. Probably, the selection of Iraq and not any other place was made the Holy Imam due to the following factors:

First: Iraq, in those days, was the center of Islamic Kingdom and the place of wealth and manpower, such that Kufa was established there as a garrison town and it had a definite role to play in Islamic victories and had participated in the conquests of Ram Hormuz, Shoosh, Shustar and Nihanand as Umar bin Khattab had sought help from them in these campaigns.

Umar wrote to his governor, Saad bin Abi Waqqas: “Send a large contingent with Noman bin Maqran to Ahwaz. In numerous reports concerning Islamic conquests it has been recorded that Umar sought the help of Kufians. Umar has also praised them extensively, “May Allah give the people of Kufa a goodly reward as they are content with their area and they also help people of other areas.”

A Syrian has said regarding them, “You are the treasure of Islam. When the people of Basra seek your help, you help them. And if the Syrians seek your help, you help them.”[1]

Apart from this Iraq was the capital of the government and it had been in ancient times a land of power and wealth. “It was the centre of the kingdom and it held a huge treasure in addition to the prosperity that the Almighty Allah had given to the Kufians: Such as: Manufacture of colored garments and silk and other things like fruits and dates etc.”[2]

Umayyads considered it as an important source that contributed to the treasury of Damascus.[3] Muawiyah received around 50 million Dirhams from taxes of Kufa and its surrounding areas.[4]

While taxes collected from Batha[5] were only in the range of 5 million Dirhams.[6]

Iraq was the center of the illuminated world of Islam which surpassed all the provinces in fields of politics, economics and social spheres, such that all the revolutionaries were attracted by it and moved towards it[7] so that they may make it the place of launching their political movement….And Kufa alone was that city in the Islamic lands that understood the value of the events and aims of political

[1] At-Tabaqat al-Kubra, 6/124
[2] Hamadani, Mukhtasar Kitab al-Buldan, Pg. 52
[3] Futuh al-Buldan, Pg. 293
[4] Yaqubi, 2/218
[5] ‘Batah’, a large part of land between Waast and Basra consisting of villages in close proximity (Mojam al-Buldan 1/666)
[6] Qudamah bin Ja’far, Al-Khiraj wa Suna’tul Kitabah, Pg. 169
[7] Al-Iraq fee Zillul Hukmul Amawi, Pg. 9


movements because social awareness was dominant there to a great extent and Kufians used to impose their desires on rulers and when they did not fulfill them they used to draw swords against them and stand up to confront them.

Anyway, Imam chose to migrate to Kufa, from the aspect that the city of Kufa was the center of power in the Islamic world. Abdul Muta-aal Saeedi says: “Imam Husain did not make a wrong choice. He decided to move to Iraq at that time because Iraq was a suitable place to lay the foundation of the movement of uniting the aims of Muslims. And therefore he selected it so that afterwards this Kingdom may be established for the Iraqis and later on the Abbaside Kingdom developed there, which ruled on Muslims for 500 years.”[1]

Secondly: Kufa was the cradle of Shiaism and a native place of the Alawites which displayed exceptional devotion to Ahle Bayt on numerous occasions. Groups of revolutionaries, under the leadership of Malik Ashtar Nakhai, a prominent Shia personality, moved to Medina and laid siege to Uthman and they attacked him and nominated the Imam for caliphate. This was the seed of Shiaism that was sown in Kufa during the caliphate of Umar. Because among the governors of Kufa were Ammar bin Yasir and Abdullah Ibn Masud, who publicized the greatness and merits of the Imam in gatherings of Kufa; that had been recorded from the Holy Prophet in his regard. They spoke all this so much that finally the people became devoted to the Imam and began to have respect and regard for him. In such a way that Kufians participated on the side of the Holy Imam in the battles of Jamal and Siffeen and they used to say to His Eminence, “O Amiral Momineen! Take us wherever you like as
we are your soldiers and companions. We are inimical to all those who are inimical to you and we shall be with anyone who returns to you and obeys you.”[2]

Imam Amirul Momineen has praised their goodness because he believed that they were sincere friends towards him and he told them, “O people of Kufa! You are my brothers, companions and supporter for truth and those who respond for Jihad against those who make the unlawful as lawful. By your support I shall defeat all those who confront us and I am hopeful of your complete obedience.”[3]

He also said, “Kufa is the mine of faith, the treasury of Islam and swords and spears of God that He appoints wherever He likes.”[4]

Iraq participated in the more severe battles and the deadliest confrontations for the sake of Ahle Bayt and they took revenge from the killers of Ahle Bayt under the leadership of the great revolutionary Mukhtar Ibn Abi Ubaidah Thaqafi who rose up to take revenge for their blood. On the basis of this the Imam selected Iraq for migration because the people of the Iraqi cities had a deep loyalty and devotion to Ahle Bayt.

[1] Journal ‘Ghurra’, Year 9, No. 11-14, Pg. 108
[2] Al Imamah was Siyasah 1/125
[3] Al Imamah was Siyasah 1/124
[4] Ibne Faqih, Mukhtasar al-Buldan, Pg. 163


Thirdly: Kufa was the original center of the opposition to Umayyad Kingdom. Because throughout the Umayyad rule, the Kufians had never restrained from confronting the Umayyads and they always aspired to bring about its downfall. According to Falhauzen the cause of Kufian animosity towards the Umayyads was that the caliphate had been relocated from Kufa to Damascus and that previously, they themselves had been at the helm of the government. And that their city was reduced to the position of only a territory of the new kingdom. And their lands were taxed and funds dispatched to the lands they themselves had conquered. Now the position was such that they had to remain content at the leftovers of the Umayyad rule. Therefore it was nothing strange that Kufians displayed remarkable fury in confronting the Syrian Kingdom and they considered their authority as a yoke of slavery upon them and tried their best to overthrow their domination.

Among the factors that lent severity to the anger of Kufians against the Umayyads was that Muawiyah had appointed incapable persons like Mughairah bin Shoba and Ziyad bin Abih as governors of Iraqi provinces. And these two wreaked injustice and oppression among them and took away their comfort and peace. They also tried to bring about their economic deprivation and took steps to make effective the politics of hunger and deprivation…Kufa became the center of revolt against the Umayyad regime and the arrests, murders and oppression of the governors did not restrain them from it.

Thus, the selection of Kufa by the Imam for migration and his decision to chose it as the center of his mission was that it was the only city inimical to the Umayyads and that the clamor of opposition to the Umayyads had reached to its peak after the death of Muawiyah.

Fourthly: Imam Husain selected Iraq to migrate because of the continuous flow of letters from the people who wrote to him and begged him to join them. The majority people sent the Imam letters persuading him to come for their help. These petitions were dispatched to the Holy Imam even during the lifetime of Muawiyah. Thus Imam had to relent when letter after letter arrived and they encouraged the Imam to move to Iraq. If the Imam had refrained from giving them a positive reply he would have been answerable to the Almighty Allah. Especially after his emissary Muslim Ibn Aqil wrote him informing him about the unanimity of the people on Imam’s allegiance and their anticipation of Imam’s arrival. Muslim also urged him to come immediately. Thus His Eminence had no choice but to accept it.

Dr. Muhammad Halami says: “Imam Husain did not set out to Iraq immediately after receiving representations from Iraqi people so that he may lead them in revolt against the caliphate of Yazid. But he first dispatched his emissary, Muslim bin Aqil bin Abi Talib so that he may test the claims of the people of Kufa and find out if they were really having true sympathies with the Holy Imam. Muslim succeeded in taking allegiance of 12000 persons to help in the determined


uprising of Imam Husain and managed to keep them away from the allegiance to Yazid. Muslim reported these developments to Imam Husain and he decided to personally travel to Iraq and lead the uprising. Therefore Imam Husain cannot be said to have resorted to haste in initiating the uprising because letters addressed to him had arrived. His Eminence wanted to find the level of their sincerity. And his active representative was able to gauge this in a short period of time and had taken allegiance of thousands of people.”[1]

Fifthly: If Imam Husain had moved to any other province, Umayyad mercenaries would have pursued him and definitely martyred him against his will. While he would have been criticized why he did not move to Iraq? While it was a land of his companions and Shias and people of Iraq had sent him letters in thousands and encouraged him to join them? In that case what reply His Eminence had given if he had moved to some other land and the Umayyad army had pursued him?

These were some of the factors that caused the Imam to select Kufa in order to make it the launch pad of his uprising.

Abandoning Hijaz

Here a matter remains that why the Imam did not remain in Hijaz to make it the center of his movement? Probably the following factors caused him to take this step:

(a) The Hijaz province had very few economic sources because Muawiyah had spread poverty and deprivation there. And it is natural that a revolution required greater monetary support and with the lack of wealth and money how could the Imam organize his revolt in Hijaz?

(b) There was lack of political awareness in Hijaz, because the majority of the people there were aloof from politics while Iraq held the torch of political know how in the Arab lands.

(c) Hijaz was not suitable to become the center of revolution because it had been continuously made the target of attacks by the Umayyad forces. That is why Yazid had sent a huge army to fight Ibn Zubair under the commandership of his brother, Amr bin Zubair.

(d) Hijaz did not have a garrison town or center so that the Imam may have taken refuge there to obtain protection and support.

(e) The majority of people in Hijaz was inimical to Ahle Bayt and more inclined to Umayyads.

Abu Ja’far Iskafi says: “As for the Meccans they were all hostile to Ali and the whole of Quraish was opposed to him. And the majority of the people supported Bani Umayyah.”[2]

[1] Al-Khilfah wad daulah fil Asr al-Amawi, Pg. 115-116
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/103


Imam Ali Ibn Husain has said, “There were not even 20 individuals in Mecca and Medina who supported us.”[1] Thus despite it being a known fact that Hijaz was hostile to Ahle Bayt how could the Imam make it the center of his uprising?

Imam left Hijaz seen and heard by its populace but none rushed out to accompany him and except for his Ahle Bayt no one followed him to help and defend him.

Avoiding Egypt

Imam avoided Egypt and he did not correspond with anyone there because the people of that area had during the regime of the Umayyad caliphs, been used to comfort and peace and they remained aloof from political happenings. Also not a single letter from them was sent to the Imam, inviting him to join them. Then how could the Imam have migrated there? In addition to this, the Uthmani view was predominant over there. And the governor of Egypt was Amr bin al-Aas who propagated enmity towards Ahle Bayt and cultivated among the people devotion and loyalty to Umayyads. Thus how it be possible for the Imam to decide on Egypt?

Avoiding Yemen

Ibn Hanafiyah and others suggested to the Imam to move to Yemen because Shias of the Imam and his Holy father resided there. But the Imam did not accept this view. In our opinion the Imam avoided Yemen for the following reasons:

(1) Garrison area was not present in Yemen that could have helped and defended the Imam from attack of Bani Umayyads because the Yemenis neither have weapons nor military provisions or contingents. They had no military capability at all.

(2) The rabble of Yemen, when Muawiyah’s soldiers attacked them under the command of Busr Ibn Abi Artat, the oppressor, did not step forward to defend their land. So much so that oppressors slew a lot of their men and captured their women and sold them in the markets. The stronger of them brought a good price due to their physical well-being. But the Yemeni people did not stand up to defend their territories and property and they submitted their blood and property to the Umayyad foes. In such a case how the Imam could had moved to Yemen?

(3) Yemen was involved in poverty and deprivation, the economic life was paralyzed and people had no power to provide funds and weapons necessary for revolution and a large number of Yemenis had migrated to Kufa in search of livelihood and prosperity.

(4) If Imam had gone to Yemen, Yazid would not have left him alone. He would have sent his mercenaries to fight him and in this way lives would have been lost and Imam would have been blamed for creating mischief and discord and thus the justice established by His Eminence on the basis of the statement of Dr. Ahmad

[1] Ibid, Pg. 104


Mahmud Sabihi, would have been destroyed.[1]

From what we have stated is apparent the weakness of the view of Dr. Ali Husain Kharbutali who has criticized the Imam ‘Why he did not head to Yemen after leaving Hijaz because these two places were having his true friends and sincere Shias of his father. Apart from this the plus point of Yemen was that it was far from the center of caliphate, his strong castle and his vast valley.’[2] This view is not having an iota of reality because the Imam did not have any true friends in Hijaz and if he really had them when he declared his move to Iraq they would have come forward to accompany him and they would not have left him alone a prey in the hands of Ibn Marjana. We have also mentioned that Yemen, from the strategic view point was not suitable that the Imam could have chosen it for his revolution.

Avoiding Iran

The Holy Imam avoided going to Iran also because he did not have any support there and the invitation towards Ahle Bayt had yet not crystallized there. It was only after a short time that it became the center of the Alawite propagation. That is when a great society of Shias, most of whom had been exiled there, took shape in this land and they began to spread Shiaism there and the claimants of Bani Abbas bore the fruits that the Shias had produced in Iran. They designated Iran for themselves and it was from here that they launched their opposition to Bani Umayyah and destroyed their kingdom.

Avoiding Basra

Imam avoided Basra also because it had a garrison loyal to Uthman and many of the people there were followers of Talha and Zubair.

Abu Ja’far Iskafi says, “The people of Basra were generally inimical to Ali.”[3] And it was because of the Battle of Jamal that most of the heads of the people of Basra had reaped and made their hearts filled with animosity towards the Imam and his children. Although there did reside a group of Shias in Basra to whom the Imam wrote at the time of his departure towards Kufa.

Anyway, Kufa was the most suitable center for announcing the revolution against the Umayyads. Because this revolutionary town had led the opposition to Bani Umayyah and after the death of Muawiyah it had become absolutely ready to invite the Imam. In such a way that it was considered the real native town of the Shias of His Eminence. The hearts of the people of Kufa were rich with love and devotion to His Eminence.

The selection of Kufa as the destination was chosen by the Imam with exception to all other places because of a deep study of the existing conditions in all Islamic provinces and their surrounding areas. His Eminence had encompassing knowledge

[1] Nazaria Imamat Nazd Shia Ithna Ashari, Pg. 243
[2] Tarikh Iraq Dar Zer-e-Sulte Umayyan, Pg. 121. Sooli has also expressed the same view in his book Ad-Daulatul Amawiya fish Shaam, Pg. 53
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/103


of the attitude of the people of every place, be it in the political sphere or in the field of belief which was the standard of their economic and military power. Because the Holy Imam was aware of all these matters and knowledge and he could not find any other place having the strategic advantage of Kufa for support of his revolution and guarantee of his victory. And he had realized the strengths of his supporters and opposition to the Umayyad regime. On the basis of this, movement towards Kufa was the need of the hour as there was no alternative to it.

Sympathizers and critics

When the decision of His Eminence, Husain and his determination to leave Hijaz for Kufa became public, a group of members of Ahle Bayt and his Shias sympathized with him and some of the politically greedy persons made a show of sympathy like Abdullah Ibn Zubair and feigned sincerity to him or like Ashdaq, due to trepidation that the Umayyad regime will be destroyed, became worried and he expressed sympathy for the uprising of the Imam. They all warned the Holy Imam and frightened him of the about turn of the people of Kufa and their betrayal of trust towards him, just as before this they had betrayed trust of his brother. They all suggested to the Imam that he must not go to this province and that he must not join them.

In the same way some government agents and their followers, due to the fear of the downfall of Umayyad regime and their routing criticized the Imam for organizing the uprising. Some opponents of Ahle Bayt in numerous areas also spoke up against the Imam’s uprising. The views of these two groups are presented below:


Sympathizers from the Shias of Imam Husain and his Ahle Bayt were such that their hearts were filled with sorrow, and grief for Imam’s departure from Hijaz overcame them. They spoke with a kind tongue and warned the Imam of things he was not fearful of. They suggested to the Imam that he give up confrontation with the regime and give allegiance to Yazid so that he remains safe from his mischief and oppression. However His Eminence saw that the religion of his grandfather had become a toy in the hands of Abu Sufyan’s grandson and it was necessary for him to rise up in defense of its honor and to sacrifice everything in its support and it was that same aim that none was capable of restraining the Imam from it…these are some of the statements of sympathizers and those who restrained him:

1. Masoor bin Mukhrama

When Masoor bin Mukhrama[1] came to know of the decision of the Imam about leaving Hijaz for Iraq he became extremely perturbed and he wrote the following letter to His Eminence: “You must not join with the letters of the people of Iraq

[1] Masoor bin Mukhrama bin Naufal Qarashi Zuhri was born two years after the Hijrah and he has narrated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). He was a man of religion and excellence. He was with Ibne Zubair and when the siege of Mecca took place he was injured by a stone thrown by the catapult and he passed away, Al-Isabah 3/400


and to what Ibn Zubair has told you, you must not believe that they would give you support. You will be deceived. You must not go away from the Holy Sanctuary as they, that is the Iraqis, if they are needful of you, they would mount the camels and hasten to join you. In that case you may go out to them with power and military equipment.”

When the Imam read his letter he thanked him for his sympathy and sent a message to him: “I shall beseech the Almighty for goodness in this matter.”[1]

2. Abdullah bin Ja’far

Abdullah bin Ja’far also became fearful about his cousin when he learnt about the decision of His Eminence to march towards Iraq. Waves of depression surrounded him. He sent his sons, Aun and Muhammad to His Eminence with the following letter: “So to say: I implore you by the name of God, that the moment you read this letter, you change your decision because I am afraid regarding you as you are risking your life for this and your Ahle Bayt shall be uprooted and destroyed if something happens to you today. The effulgence of the earth shall be extinguished. You are the standard bearer of guidance and the chief of the believers. So do not make haste in moving out as I am coming behind my letter. And peace be upon you.”

While the son of Ja’far had exhausted his strength and he had become worried and perplexed he hastened to Amr bin Saeed the governor of Mecca and took from him a letter guaranteeing security to His Eminence, Husain and then went quickly to His Eminence while Yahya bin Saeed bin Aas was with him. Then he suggested the Imam to stay in Mecca and give up the intention of going to Iraq but the Imam did not accept his advice. He began to petition the Imam and implored him to change his decision.

Imam said, “I saw Allah’s Messenger in the dream and he commanded me to hasten towards him…”

Ja’far’s son asked him about the dream but the Imam refused to speak about it. He said, “I have not related it to anyone and I shall not relate it to anyone till I meet Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.”[2]

Abdullah Ibn Ja’far was filled with sorrow and grief and he went away with the certainty that a terrible catastrophe would befall. He ordered his two sons to remain in the service of their maternal uncle, His Eminence, Husain.

3. Abdullah bin Abbas

Abdullah bin Abbas hurried to the Imam in a disturbed state of mind and asked him, “Useless people have spread the rumor that you have decided to move to Iraq. Have you indeed made such a decision?”

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/208-209
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/387, Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/163 & 167, Seer A’laamun Nubla 2/297


“Yes, I have decided to set out to Kufa on one of these two days. I want to, if Allah wills, join my cousin, Muslim, there.”[1]

Ibn Abbas became distressed and he told the Imam, “I beseech the Almighty’s refuge for you, tell me, are you going towards the community that has murdered its chief (Amir) and that has taken over its province? If they have done so, you may go to them. But if they have invited you while their governor is upon them, ruling over them and his officials are collecting taxes from them, they have in fact invited you for war and I am not in peace regarding you because they are deceiving you, they have lied to you. They shall desert you and betray you and they shall be the worst of the people against you.”

These perceptive points were not concealed from the Imam, because His Eminence was perfectly aware of his circumstances, therefore he told Ibn Abbas, “I shall seek goodness (Istikhara) from the Almighty Allah and see what happens.”

Ibn Abbas was worried and agitated and he could not rest in peace. Thus he turned to the Imam and said, “I tried to remain patient but was unable to do so. I am fearful of your death and destruction because of this decision of yours…the people of Iraq are disloyal and betrayers of trust, do not go to them. Stay in this town as you are the leader of the people of Hijaz. Thus if the people of Iraq are desirous of you as they are claiming to be, write to them to extern their governor and enemy and then you may go and join them. Then if you like you may go out and move to Yemen as there are castles and valleys over there and it is a vast and huge land. And your father had Shias over there and you shall be far away from the people. Then you may write to the people and send letters to them, send your emissaries all over the country and I am hopeful that you shall able to achieve what you like peacefully…”

Imam informed him about his determination and steadfastness to undertake the journey. Ibn Abbas told him, “If you have decided to move, do not take your ladies and children as I am afraid you shall be slain in the same way as Uthman was killed, while his ladies and children witnessed the carnage….By setting out from Hijaz you have pleased the son of Zubair, today while you are present here; no one pays attention to him.

At that time, Ibn Abbas lost control of his emotions and in a bewildered state, as the historians have described he said, “By the One except Whom there is no deity, if I had known, I would have held your hair and forehead, so that people gather over us and you had listened to what I say and remained here, I shall do it.”

Whatever Ibn Abbas had said was not concealed upon the Holy Imam and His Eminence was determined on his aim which was the victory of Islam.

[1] Waseelatul Maal fee idda manaqibul Aal, Pg. 187, from the facsimile in Amirul Momineen Public Library, and it is also mentioned in As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 285, by Sayyid Mahmud Shaikhani Qadri, from facsimile copy at Imam Amirul Momineen Library.


Ibn Abbas, while his feet were moving with difficulty and his heart was bursting with grief, went to Ibn Zubair and told him, “O Ibn Zubair! Your eyes have lighted up!” Then he recited the following couplets:

“O lark! Now you are left alone and your surroundings have become empty. So lay your egg and chirp aloud.

And as much you like peck at the ground

For Husain who is going to Iraq and leaving you at Hijaz…”[1]

If the Imam had been desirous for rulership and kingdom he would have accepted the suggestion of Ibn Abbas. However, His Eminence wanted reform and he wanted to turn back Islam to the illuminated reality and he was certain that this could not be accomplished except through blood sacrifice. It was the only thing that would enable him to achieve his aim.

4. Abu Bakr Makhzumi

Abu Bakr bin Abdur Rahman Makhzumi[2] hastened to the Imam and said to His Eminence: “My relationship has persuaded me to sympathize with you and I don’t know how I should advise you? Your father was the bravest person and people were more hopeful of him, more obedient to him and were more prepared for him. He marched against Muawiyah while except for the people of Syria all were supporting him and he was more respected than Muawiyah. But they deserted him and in greed of material wealth left him alone. And they made him taste gulps of anger and they opposed him till he reached where he reached from the honor and satisfaction of God…after that they did with your brother what they did and you also witnessed all that and saw it with your own eyes. Now you are going towards those who had oppressed your father and brother so that you may fight against the people of Syria and the people of Iraq. You are going out to fight one who is more prepared and
stronger than you and people are more afraid of him and are more hopeful of him. If the news of your departure reaches them, they will lure the people through greed of wealth so that they may become slaves of the world. At that time, those who have promised you support would be prepared to fight you. And they shall desert you. You are more liked by those you help. So remember Allah in your heart…”

Imam thanked him for his advice and sympathy and informed him that he was determined on what he had decided.

Abu Bakr despaired and said, “O Aba Abdillah! I entrust you to the security of God!”

Then Abu Bakr went to the governor of Mecca saying:

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 4/39, Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/374
[2] Abu Bakr bin Abdur Raman bin Harith Makhzumi Qarashi was one of the jurists who was born during the caliphate of Umar and due to his excessive prayers he was called the monk of Quraish. He was blind and an elder of Quraish and he passed away in 95 A.H. (Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 30/12)


“Many of those who are advised do not pay any attention to it, however if they are blamed secretly they accept the advice.”

“What happened, O Abu Bakr?”

He informed him about his conversation with His Eminence, Husain. He told him, “By the Lord of the Ka’ba! You have indeed given a sincere advice to him.”[1]

5. Abdullah bin Judah

Abdullah bin Judah bin Hubairah was very much concerned about the Imam. Thus he sent his son, Aun to the Holy Imam with a letter in which he requested the Imam to turn back and also stated his apprehension regarding the march of His Eminence to Iraq. However this matter was not liked by the Imam.[2]

6. Jabir bin Abdullah

Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari also rushed to the Imam and demanded him not to leave but the Imam did not agree to it.[3]

7. Abdullah bin Muti

Imam met Abdullah bin Muti’ on way to Iraq and Abdullah, knowing the decision of the Imam said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! I remind you about the sanctity of Allah that it may not be defiled. And the respect of Quraish and the pledge of Arabs. I beseech you in the name of God. By Allah! If you seek what is in the hands of Bani Umayyah, they shall kill you and if they kill you, after you they shall not care for anyone…By Allah! This is the sanctity of Islam, the sanctity of Quraish and the sanctity of Arab. So for the sake of Allah! For the sake of Allah! Do not do this and do not go to Kufa and do not put yourself in opposition to Bani Umayyah.”[4]

8. Amr bin Saeed

Amr bin Saeed Ashdaq sent a letter to the Imam offering security and assured that His Eminence will not have to face any difficulty.

It was mentioned therein: “I pray to the Almighty that He may inspire you to resort to peace. And I want to tell you about what they (enemies) intend to do with you.

[1] Muruj az-Zahab 3/56, Tabari, Tarikh 5/382
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/377
[3] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/8
[4] Waseelatul Maal fee idda manaqibul Aal, Pg. 189. And in Tarikh Ibne Asakir 14/207 it has come that: Abdullah bin Muti’ said to His Eminence, Husain: May my parents be sacrificed on you, benefit us by your presence and do not go to Iraq as by Allah, if these people kill you they would make us slaves and bondsmen. And in Al Iqdul Farid 4/376 it is mentioned that he met the Imam and said to His Eminence: O Aba Abdillah, after you, the Almighty Allah will not give us drinking water, where are you going? His Eminence said: Muawiyah is dead and I have received more than a camel load of letters. Abdullah said: Do not do this, as by Allah, they did not accord security to your father while he was better than you, thus how will they give you security? By Allah, if you are killed, after you no sanctity will remain but they defile it.


I have heard that you have decided to go to Iraq. I pray Allah to give you refuge from mischief. Thus if you are afraid, come to me as you shall have security and rewards with me.”

How was it possible for the chief of the nobles to humble himself before Ashdaq and ask for his protection? Ashdaq wanted to control the Imam so that he may no more exercise his will. This matter was not unknown to the Imam. He replied to Ashdaq as follows:

“If your intention by writing to me was really to reward me, the Almighty Allah shall give you a goodly reward in the world and the Hereafter…and the one who invites to Allah and performs good deeds and says that I am a Muslim, he is creating mischief. And the best of the security is the protection of Almighty Allah and by Allah! One who does not fear Allah in the world is not having faith in Him. And we beseech Allah to make us fearful of Him in the world so that we may be eligible for His protection in the Hereafter.”[1]

9. Muhammad bin Hanafiyah

Muhammad bin Hanafiyah was in Medina and when he learnt about the decision of his brother to march towards Iraq, he set out for Mecca[2] and he reached there a night prior to the scheduled departure of Imam to Iraq. He met His Eminence immediately and said, “My brother! The people of Kufa! You are aware of their betrayal of trust with your father and your brother. I am afraid that you shall also have to bear the same treatment. Thus if you decided to stay on in the Holy Sanctuary, you would be the most beloved and secure person in the here.”

Imam thanked him for his concern and advice and told him, “I am afraid that Yazid Ibn Muawiyah would have me killed and at that time I shall be the one to have defiled the sanctity of this House.”

Muhammad said, “If you are afraid of this, you may go to Yemen or some desert area as there, you would be in a better position to defend yourself and no one would be able to overpower you.”

His Eminence, Husain said, “I shall reflect upon what you have said.”[3]

When it was dawn and he was performing ablution (Wuzu), he was informed that the Imam has set out for Iraq. He began to weep so much that the sound of his tears falling into the pail was audible.[4]

Muhammad rushed to his brother and caught the rein of his camel and said to His Eminence, “O my brother! Did you not promise me about what I had requested you?”

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/209-210
[2] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 9/5
[3] Ad-Darul Maslook 1/109 and close to this conversation there was agreement between the Imam and his brother when he was in Medina.
[4] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/377 and in As Sawaiq al-Mohreqa Pg. 196 it is mentioned that he cried till the pail was filled with his tears.


“Yes, but after you departed, Allah’s Messenger came to me and told me: O Husain! Set out! As the Almighty Allah wants to see you slaughtered.”

Muhammad was terribly distressed and he began to tremble from the head to toes and tears began to flow on his cheeks while he was saying, “Then why are you taking these ladies and children when you are going out in such circumstances?”

Imam replied to him with determination and calmness, “The Almighty Allah desires to see them as hostages.”[1]

10. Her Eminence, Umme Salma

When Umme Salma, the Mother of believers became aware of the Imam’s determination to move to Iraq, she was extremely disturbed. It was the time when His Eminence was in Medina and had not yet gone to Mecca. So she hurried to the Imam and in a voice filled with sorrow and shock, she said:

“O my son! Do you distress me by going out to Iraq as I heard your grandfather, Allah’s Messenger say: ‘My son, Husain shall be killed in Iraq at a place called Kerbala, and I have the soil of your grave in a bottle that the Prophet had entrusted to me.”

Imam replied to her with firm determination, “O mother! I also know that I shall be killed unjustly and oppressively and Allah, the Mighty and Sublime desires to see my family and Ahle Bayt rendered homeless and my children killed and taken hostages in chains in such a way that they would be calling out for help but shall not be helped…”

Umme Salma was extremely distressed and she exclaimed loudly, “Wonder! Then why are you going while you know that you shall be killed?!!”

Imam, while he considered death a joke and life an object of ridicule replied to her, “O mother! If I do not go today, I will have to go tomorrow. And if I don’t go tomorrow, I have to go the day after. And there is no escape from death. And I know the day I shall be killed and the hour I shall be slain and the ditch I shall be buried in, just as I recognize you and I am watching it just as I am looking at you.”[2]

11. Abdullah bin Zubair

When the Imam decided to leave Mecca, Abdullah Ibn Zubair hastened to meet him from the Bab-e-Mujamela.

Balazari has stated: By this Ibn Zubair desired that the Imam should not blame him and that he should be excused from the aspect of speaking.[3] So he expressed sympathy and concern for His Eminence and said, “Where are you going? To the community that killed your father and slashed your brother?”

[1] Ad-Darul Maslook 1/109
[2] Muqarram, Maqtal 136 and Khwarizmi has said: This conversation was between His Eminence, Husain and Ibne Umar in Mecca, when he invited His Eminence to come with him to Medina.
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/375


Imam replied, “If I am killed at such and such place it is preferable to me than this place; that is Mecca should be defiled because of me.”[1]

Imam remained firm in his resolve and the forbidding of forbidders and the sympathies of the sympathizers did not make him change his decision. Because he had become absolutely certain that the affairs of Islam shall not be successful and the word of Allah cannot be exalted on the earth except by laying down his life and giving sacrifice.

Ustad Khalid Muhammad Khalid says: The matter that made the valiant one wave his flag was not a personal one that it be related to his right to caliphate…or due to his personal rivalry with Yazid. In the same way that was not an imaginative high flying matter that falls down on its author. And that it may force him to a bewildered state where there may be profit or loss. This matter was greater, higher and loftier. It was the matter of Islam and its future and for Muslims and the future generations.

When all Muslims were silent against this falsehood while some were criticizing it and the rest hated it inwardly, the meaning of this was that Islam has been prevented from training those people.

It implied that Muslims had lost their eligibility of the greatness of this great religion…and also its meaning is that the future of Islam and Muslims both had been surrendered to power of invaders. Whoever is dominant, he mounts it and apart from this no power remained for Islam and reality…it was this matter in the view of Husain and it was this logic that persuaded him to rise up in revolt.[2]

Sympathizers of His Eminence urged him not to harken to the callers of Kufa and that he should keep sitting at home and make peace with Yazid. But the chief of the nobles was thinking of something all those people were unaware of. His Eminence saw that Islamic life had fallen into severe weakness and this matter was reaching a situation when it would be completely destroyed. What it was required that he should infuse it with his own blood so that the active life of Muslims may return and its youth may be restored through his blood which was the blood of the Holy Prophet.


Also a group stood up to criticize the uprising of the Imam and denounced the declaration of Jihad by the Imam because this was going to be a cause of the weakening of the Umayyad regime by whom they had received rewards and largesses. Some of those who followed them have also issued statements of writer who flayed the Imam’s revolution against Yazid’s regime while their statements had no value in Islamic Shariah. They have quoted the following characters:

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/203
[2] Farzandaane-e-Payambar dar Kerbala, Pg. 123-124


1. Abdullah Ibn Umar

Abdullah Ibn Umar criticized the Imam’s uprising and found fault with his entering into political confrontation and he said, “Husain succeeded by his uprising against us and by my life he derived lesson from his father and brother, he saw how the people left them and did not help them. And it was not suitable for him to initiate any moment as long as he was alive and for the sake of the well-being that people have seen it was necessary for him to realize that this congregation is better!”[1]

2. Saeed bin Musayyab

Saeed bin Musayyab denounced the uprising of the Holy Imam and said, “If Husain had not undertaken the uprising, it would have been better for him.”[2]

3. Abu Waqid Laithi

Abu Waqid Laithi was a partisan of Bani Umayyads. He came to the Imam and implored him in the name of Allah that he must not rise up against Yazid. He did not do this because of his attachment to the Imam. It was so because he was worried about the Umayyad regime. Imam, on the other had, paid no attention to him. He just ignored him.[3]

4. Abu Salma

Among those who condemned Imam’s revolt against Yazid was Abu Salam bin Abdur Rahman[4] who said, “Husain must have recognized the people of Iraq and he would not have moved towards them, but Ibn Zubair encouraged him!”[5]

[1] Tahzib al-Kamal, 6/416. Tarikhul Islam 5/8. Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/208. It is mentioned in Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 1/155 that Shobi said: “Ibne Umar had come to Medina when he got the news that Husain has departed for Mecca. Thus he journeyed for two days to reach him. He dissuaded him and said: It is their rule and the Almighty Allah put the choice of the world and the hereafter for His Prophet and the Prophet chose the hereafter and you are also a part of his body, none of you will give your hand to him. He has not taken it away from you but for something better.” Imam refused and that time Ibne Umar embraced him and said: “And seeing that you shall be surely killed I entrust you to Allah.” It is mentioned in Ad-Darul Maslook of Hurre Amili 1/106: Abdullah bin Umar suggested to His Eminence that he should pledge allegiance to the deviated people and he warned him of being killed and fought. His Eminence, Husain said to him: “O Aba Abdur
Rahman! How valueless it is before Allah that the head of Yahya bin Zakaria was gifted to a tyrant of Bani Israel? Have you not seen that the Bani Israel killed seventy prophets from the dawn to sunrise and after that sat conducting their usual business as if they have not done anything? The Almighty Allah was not hasty on them, rather gave respite to them and after that He seized them; a terrible seizing. O Aba Abdur Rahman! Fear Allah and do not give up my support.”
[2] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/208, Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/8
[3] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/208, Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 8/162, Tarikh Islam 5/8
[4] Abu Salma bin Abdur Rahman bin Auf Zuhri Madani is considered as belonging to the second category of Medinans. He died in 104 A.H., Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 12/116
[5] Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 8/162


5. Abu Saeed

Abu Saeed also criticized the Imam’s revolution and said, “Husain invited me to join the uprising, but I told him, ‘Fear Allah, stay in your house and do not rise up against your leader!’”[1]

6. Ammarah binte Abdur Rahman

Ammarah binte Abdur Rahman[2] was a staunch ally of Bani Umayyad and she was much concerned about the well-being of Umayyad regime. She wrote a letter to the Imam pointing out that the Imam’s revolt was a dangerous matter and she urged him to co-operate and obey the congregation (majority). She warned him against rising up in revolt because it was inciting him to his death. She wrote in her letter that she heard Ayesha narrating the Prophet that His Eminence said, “My son, Husain shall be killed.”

When Imam read the letter and saw the Prophet’s saying about his martyrdom he said, “In that case there is no solution other than my being killed.”[3]

These were some of the critics of the Imam who condemned his stand and they did not view the uprising of His Eminence from the Islamic point of view. They viewed it from a materialistic angle because the Umayyad regime had given a lot of wealth to them and thus they were worried of the downfall of the regime.

Modern Critics

A group of modern writers have also condemned Imam Husain’s uprising against Yazid and they considered it an uprising against the will of the community. Below we present some examples:

1. Shaykh Muhammad Hadhari

Shaykh Muhammad Hadhari, Shaykhul Azhar, in his historical discussions about Islam, has not displayed any regard to Ahle Bayt, while the Almighty Allah had commanded love and devotion towards them, and he says with regard to Imam Husain: “By undertaking the uprising, he committed a great mistake. This action of his created such discord and mischief in the community and shook the foundation of communal amity that its effects last to this day.”[4]

Imam definitely did the correct thing and staged his uprising for the benefit of the community and he is having superiority to every Muslim, because if his sacrifice hadn’t been there neither would have Islam survived in name nor in ritual. His Eminence destroyed the plot of the Umayyads whose aim was to eradicate Islam and annihilate all its treasures. His Eminence, Husain, by his sacrifice made himself the sacrifice of the religion of Islam and the belief of Monotheism.

[1] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/8
[2] Ammarah the daughter of Abdur Rahman bin Saad Ansari Madani, was brought up under the care of Ayesha and she has narrated from her. She was most knowledgeable about the traditions of Ayesha and she passed away in 103 A.H. (Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 12/438)
[3] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/209
[4] Tarikh Al Imamatul Islamiya 1/517


2. Muhammad Najjar

Muhammad Najjar says, “As for the rightfulness of Husain in the position of caliphate, it is a matter regarding which the majority of the people agree. But what is the value of these opinions if they are not supported by military power? In such circumstances the uprising was not necessary because the leadership of the inferior in presence of the superior is lawful, just as Ali Ibn Abi Talib considered himself as the rightful recipient of caliphate post but he did not organize uprising against anyone.”[1]

Najjar believes that the caliphate of Yazid was legal according to the Shariah! And it is the weakest type of Imamate that is lawful in their view…However, it has been proved by many logical arguments that the Imamate of the weaker in presence of the better one is invalid and Shia scholastic theologians have proved its absolute invalidity and said that it is a revolt against logic and an attack on Islamic guidance to say that Islamic law allows in practical life and general welfare of the community that the superior could follow the inferior. Because it is a matter that would destroy merit and it would be a revolt against the well-being of the community and the Holy Quran has said that it is improper to consider the two of them equal, as the Almighty Allah says:

“Are those who know and those who do not know alike?”[2]

And as the Usulis have said: If we accept this rule, it still does not justify the caliphate of Yazid because he, according to the consensus of Muslims, had no merit, rather he was a transmogrified man who committed evil deeds and was sunk in sinful acts and revolt against him was a religious duty.

3. Muhammad Ghazzali

Shaykh Muhammad Ghazzali has also condemned the revolution of Imam Husain and he considers it extremism devoid of diplomacy![3] And according to Ghazzali it was necessary for Husain to have paid allegiance to Yazid and accepted the leadership of this wanton sinner, who was in no way qualified for the leadership of the community. And it was something that His Eminence, Husain and his lofty principles could never accept, because His Eminence was the foremost in having the responsibility of saving Islam and defending its sanctities and values.

4. Ahmad Shibli

Ahmed Shibli is another one who has frantically defended Yazid and criticized the Imam for having organized uprising against the son of Muawiyah. He says: We come towards Husain and regretfully state that his steps in some of the aspects of this matter were unacceptable, because he did not accept the advice of the advisors and especially Ibn Abbas and he remained adamant in his attitude! Secondly: He forgot the behavior of the people of Kufa and the way they dealt with his father

[1] Ad Daulatul Amawiyah fil Sharq, Pg. 102-103
[2] Surah Zumar 39:9
[3] Min Maalimul Haq, Pg. 131


and brother or that he ignored those things. Thirdly: He took along his ladies and children as if he were going to a special outing or to visit relatives and that during the journey he received the news of the betrayal and disloyalty of people of Kufa but in spite of this he continued his journey towards them or that he followed the opinion of Aqil’s family and he took a group of children, women and some men in order to take the revenge of Muslim’s murder. It is, by Allah, possible that the incumbency of Yazid was a practical mistake, but was it the right way to confront a mistake?”[1]

Shibli has not studied with insight the reality of Islamic life during the period of Yazid. He has merely followed his inclination to bigotry and considered him sentimentally, that is why he has written such absolutely deviated things.

Islam, during the time of Yazid was in a mortal danger of being wiped out and the uprising of the Imam was aimed at restoring life to the arteries of the Islamic community and His Eminence declared that: “…I am not taking up arms in order to make merry, or be ecstatic over what I possess. I am not making mischief nor exercising oppression. But I am ready to fight for the sole goal of seeking reform of the Ummah of my grandfather the Apostle of Allah. I want to enjoin good and forbid evil and guide the affairs of the people as my grandfather and father were doing…” We have explained the aims of the revolution of Imam Husain in the second volume of this book and also clarified the doubts regarding it.

Here we conclude our discussion about those who criticized the uprising of the Imam against Yazid’s regime.

[1] At Tarikhul Islam wal Ikhtisarul Islamiya 2/201

[PART 4 continues below...]


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