-Evaluation of Tradition and History-
The Role of ‘A’ishah in the History of Islam
‘Allamah Sayyid Murtada ‘Askari
Dr. ‘Ala ad-Din Pazargadi
‘A’ishah in the Time of
Mu‘awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan
نقش عـايشه در تاريـخ إسـلام
(جلد سوم : دوران معاويه)
107 / 50
Name of book: The Role of ‘A’ishah in the History of Islam
Volume Three: ‘A’ishah in the Time of Mu‘awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan
Author: ‘Allamah Sayyid Murtada ‘Askari
Translated from the Persian: Dr. ‘Ala ad-Din Pazargadi
Publisher: Naba’ Organization
No. of Copies: 2000
First published: 2000
P. O. Box: 13185-567
Add: No. 6, Homa Ally, Kargar Ave.,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.
Printed in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran
A word from the Persian translator ………………………………9 Preface: aim of the survey and discussion ……………………….17
A glance at the life of Mu‘awiyah
The lineage of Mu‘awiyah: Abu Sufyan and Hind………………21 The Umayyads in pagan times…………………………………….24 Abu Sufyan in the battle of Badr …………………………………26 Abu Sufyan in the battle of Uhud …………………………………28 Hind in the battle of Uhud …………………………………………31 Abu Sufyan as leader in the battle of al-Khandaq ……………..34 Feeling of weakness and proposal of peace ………………………35 Mecca is captured ……………………………………………………37 Abu Sufyan and his position in the Islamic community ………40 Abu Sufyan in the time of the first two caliphs …………………43 Abu Sufyan in the time of ‘Uthman ………………………………45
Role of Mu‘awiyah in the history of Islam
Mu‘awiyah in the time of the Prophet ……………………………47 Mu‘awiyah in the time of the caliphs …………………………….49 Mu‘awiyah and ‘Uthman ……………………………………………53 Abu Dharr facing Mu‘awiyah ………………………………………56 A fable in the history of Islam ……………………………………..61 Quranic Memorizers and Interpreters of Kufah in ash-Sham. 65 Mu‘awiyah after ‘Uthman ………………………………………….68 Siffin, the battlefield scene of right over wrong ………………..71 The trickery of Mu‘awiyah …………………………………………73 Abu Musa and ‘Amr ibn al-‘As …………………………………….76 ash-Shami plunderers………………………………………………79 Jariyah ibn Qudamah, a man of the Alawite front …………….89 Two opposing politics ……………………………………………….90 Mu‘awiyah in the time of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba ………..94 Motives for peace …………………………………………………….98
The rule of Mu‘awiyah and allegiance for Yazid
Cautious treatment of enemies ………………………………….103 Crafty Arabs in the trap laid by Mu‘awiyah …………………..105 Heavy taxes …………………………………………………………110 The Shi‘ah in torture and molestation ………………………….113 Governing becomes hereditary and imperial ………………….117 Allegiance to Yazid in Basra ……………………………………..120 Allegiance to Yazid in ash-Sham ………………………………..121 Allegiance to Yazid in Medina ……………………………………123 Allegiance to Yazid demands victims ……………………………125 Ceremonies of allegiance to Yazid ………………………………126
‘A’ishah and Mu‘awiyah
What caused the friendship between ‘A’ishah and the Umayyads ……………………………………………………………129 Gifts of Mu‘awiyah …………………………………………………131 The influence of ‘A’ishah in the rule of the Umayyads ………133 ‘A’ishah and Mu‘awiyah in reciprocal contention …………….134 Death of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr ……………………………..136 ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr is poisoned ……………………..138 ‘A’ishah is penitent about the battle of al-Jamal ……………..142
The qualities and characteristics of ‘A’ishah
‘A’ishah’s generosity ……………………………………………….145 Her family bigotry …………………………………………………148 ‘A’ishah as an eminent orator ……………………………………151 ‘A’ishah as a well-dressed woman ……………………………….153 ‘A’ishah’s monopoly of verdicts …………………………………..156 Anecdotes in the life of ‘A’ishah ………………………………….159
Fabrication of tradition and tradition-makers
A brief glance at the life of Mu‘awiyah …………………………165 Tradition making …………………………………………………..168 Freed persons and the caliphate …………………………………172 A cover for inferiority complexes …………………………………175 The fate of the noble persons who did not co-operate with Mu‘awiyah …………………………………………………………..181 Imam ‘Ali is cursed on Islamic pulpits ………………………….185 A group of people refuses to curse ……………………………….187 The ultimate goal of Mu‘awiyah …………………………………190 A tradition from ‘A’ishah ………………………………………….193 Conclusion and purpose …………………………………………..195
Addendum …………………………………………………………..203 Footnotes …………………………………………………………….207
ء – ’
ب – b
ت – t
ث – th
ج – j
ح – h
خ – kh
د – d
ذ – dh
ر – r
ز – z
س – s
ش – sh
ص – s
ض – d
ط – t
ظ – z
ع – ‘
غ – gh
ف – f
ق – q
ك – k
ل – l
م – m
ن – n
ه – h
و – w
ي – y
ا آ – a
و – u
ي – i
ـَـ – a
ـُـ – u
ـِـ – i
ـَـ و – aw
ـَـ ي – ay
پ – p
چ – ch
ژ – zh
گ – g
ة – ah; at
ي ، و ، ه ، م ، ل ، ك ، ق ، ف ، غ ، ع ، خ ، ح ، ج ، ب ، ء + ال – al-’, al-b, al-j, al-h, al-kh, al-‘, al-gh, al-f, al-q, al-k, al-l, al-m, al-h, al-w, al-y
ن ، ظ ، ط ، ض ، ص ، ش ، س ، ز ، ر ، ذ ، د ، ث ، ت + ال- at-t, ath-th, ad-d, adh-dh, ar-r, as-s, ash-sh, as-s, ad-d, at-t, az-z, an-n
A word from the Persian translator
The history of Islam and knowledge of its famous and important personalities serve as a necessary starting point of departure for an understanding of the main text of Islam. We may even venture to claim that without a proper and exact understanding of the history of Islam, one cannot get a true feeling of the facts and realities of this faith. For, on the one hand, knowledge of the great and well-known Islamic personalities and their ideas, conducts and deeds which form a part of the text of religion and which are translated into the term “tradition”, is not possible without a knowledge of the time, place, customs, habits and morals of their contemporaries, and on the other hand an understanding of the characters opposing Islam reveals the perspicacity Islam, and shows the manner of the combats and strivings of Islam and leaders against the wicked and wickedness.
In view of the importance of this principal fact we see what the role of a true history and its worth and position are in the religious life of the Muslims. We realize to what extent a knowledge of historical facts helps us in our clear understanding of the realities of our religion, and after being alien for many centuries from the rise of the bright sun of Islam, to what extent we are capable of noticing this brilliant light and how close we are getting to this fountain virtues.
In the coming pages we shall see how the history and tradition of Islam have become subject to the plots of sensualists, and how far falsehood and alterations have found their way into them.(1) History and texts of traditions were greatly altered and misinterpreted by the hands of these plotters who were supported by the Umayyad rulers, particularly by Mu‘awiyah himself. Every day that went by in the life of Islam, fresh lies were added to the enormous collection of falsehoods, to such an extent that the brilliant sun of God’s religion seemed, little by little, to have become obscured under so many lies and forgeries. It is here that the constancy and self-sacrifices of the Imams of the Prophet’s household act as savior of Islam, and these noble personalities and their devoted Shi‘ah followers rise to protect Islam, and engage in their perpetual and bloody combat with forgers and their supporters.
On the other hand the sentinels of paganism, namely the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs, endeavour to preserve the falsehoods which have been fabricated especially in the time of Mu‘awiyah, and even to spread them more widely every moment, since the foundation of their caliphate is nothing but dishonesty. In the battlefield of right and wrong, this combat between the party of God and Satan’s never ends, and no period is free from it.
In our own time, a keen-eyed scholar has with his penetrating insightfulness taken a great step to draw a line between truth and falsehood, and he has obliterated from the scene of history hundreds of falsehoods and alteration. Forty years of continual research in first-hand texts of history and tradition has led the scholar Sayyid Murtada ‘Askari to certain facts, which are published in a series of research volumes entitled “Dirasat fi al-hadith wa at-tarikh”. His daily scrutiny, reflection and labor have enabled him to unearth from thick layers of forgeries many true facts of Islam, and to place them at the disposal of seekers of truth in the world.
Indeed now the big idols and high barriers in the way of a proper understanding of the history of Islam have been broken, and such early and well-known texts as the at-Tabari history, a pioneer of historians, can no longer be relied on without reference to their research values. Thus Mahmud Abu Rayh, the famous and free-minded Egyptian scholar, rightly says: “Everyone who longs to be acquainted with the facts of the history of Islam since the time of its advent until the period of allegiance to Yazid, must study the two valuable research books of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’ and Ahadith of Umm al-Mu’minin ‘A’ishah.”(2)
The author of this book, scholar Sayyid Murtada ‘Askari, is of Iranian origin, whose ancestors have for many centuries acted as religious and missionary authorities in the cities of Sabzevar and then Saveh. He was born in city of Samarra’, and was brought up in a genuinely clerical family. His grandfather, Ayatollah Mirza Muhammad Samarra’i, a great and virtuous theologian, had a great role in his education. Scholar ‘Askari received his preliminary religious instructions and parts of his higher theological training in Samarra’. Then he travelled to Qom where he was engaged for five years the acquisition of higher knowledge in the theological center of that city. After that he returned once more to Iraq as a pilgrim to the holy shrines of his exalted ancestors. The last stages of his studies were covered in the religious cities of Iraq, and since then he has been fully active, devoting his whole life to scientific research and educational, social and missionary activities, so that fifteen Shi‘ah institutes including primary and high schools, colleges, hospitals, and welfare organizations are memorials of the social activities of scholar ‘Askari.
The scientific works of Professor ‘Askari have certain characteristics, which enhance the possibility of discovery of truth in his investigations, and allow the views expressed in these works to posses precision, weight and dignity.
The first quality that we observe in all his books and writing is his remoteness from prejudice and partiality. As we shall see in this book, in his care to preserve truth, beside his analysis of the weak points in the character of the personality concerned, namely ‘A’ishah, he has devoted a separate chapter to a description of her good qualities.
The second characteristic of his works is his reliance on important sources and first-hand texts, so that in the primary plan of his discussion he does not rely on the books written in the fifth century onward as the only reliable sources, and even in his use of first-hand texts he resorts to such books which are fully acceptable by the people. For instance, owing to the doubt expressed by some modern scholars concerning some historical books, he does not rely on the book of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’ as the only available source. Dr. Hafni, professor of the faculty of literature of Egypt, writes in an article printed in Iraqi journals on the occasion of the publication of the book of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’: “This scholar and expert of comparative history collects his highly scientific facts form many works and books, and he has stepped on every scene of history in order to discover forgotten truths. This master investigator tries to prove his points by basing them on the arguments presented in the writings of anti-Shi‘ah scholars. In this way he chooses the shortest route to vanquish the enemies of Shi‘ism through their own arguments.”(3)
The third distinct quality of scholar ‘Askari’s works is the multiplicity of the sources on which he relies. For example for the first chapter of this book 114 sources and references have been mentioned, whereas in Persian there are no more than forty pages and in the Arabic text no more than twenty pages. This quality is more noticeable in the first volume of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’, and the Arabic text of the present book, so that sometimes half of the page or more is devoted to footnotes and mention of the source.
Lastly the most significant characteristic which is not seen so much in the works of eastern and western scholars is a non-reliance on old and first-hand texts as a perfectly unquestionable and reliable source. In the researchers of scholar ‘Askari neither at-Tabari, nor Ibn Hisham, nor Ibn al-Athir, nor anyone else is accepted without care and calculation, however famous they might be and however reliable they may have been regarded by others. As a first step, the documents related to the historical topics and narrations are subjected to an analysis and evaluation, and if necessary, each narrator is subjected to a careful scrutiny, and then the related text is compared with other historical narrations in order to distinguish the correct from the incorrect.
It should be mentioned that western investigators usually and mostly pay attention to the texts and try to estimate the truth and falsehood of the events through those texts without paying attention to the narrators of the texts. Modern eastern scholars, too, who have studied in European and western schools, mostly follow the method of their masters, and if they present any work of research, it is not beyond the method of European historical research. On the other hand, that group of earlier eastern scholars who have written historical books, rely mostly on the reliability of an author with the result that sometimes they quote the most idle matters on the strength of the fame and credit of the author concerned.
But the tradition scholars of Islam have chosen the exactest possibly way by mingling the two above methods, and after a careful evaluation of the narrators, they deal with the evaluation of the related text, and compare it with other available sources and evidence, and eventually offer their conclusions.
The main research works of scholar ‘Askari are based on the adoption of such a method, and his novel views concerning the historical events and matters of Islam are derived in this manner. Those who have studied the two books of “‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’” and “Khamsun wa mi’ata sahabi mukhtalaq” (One Hundred and Fifty False Companions) confirm our statement.
Professor James Robson of Glasgow University in a letter written to him, confirms his point and says: “The method of your discussion in the survey of the topics narrated by Sayf(4), is very interesting in this way that you have firs surveyed Sayf’s narrations and then you have compared them with other narrations. This careful comparison has been carried out both on the topic of Sayf’s narrations and on their source and evidence. This shows that Sayf has often quoted from unknown individuals, namely fictitious narrators. Then the question arises why other writers have not quoted anything from any of those narrators. Therefore one concludes that Sayf himself has fabricate those narrators. This charge levelled to Sayf is a serious accusation and a logical conclusion derived from the comparison of Sayf’s narrations with the narrations of others. I am very glad and grateful to have had the opportunity of spending much time on the study of these topics which are perfectly convincing to me, and I feel sure that all those who study this book with a clear and broad mind, will praise the strength of argumentation.”(5)
Now we will mention the scientific and research works and writings of scholar ‘Askari:
1-” ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’ wa asatir al-ukhra”, printed in 1375 AH in an-Najaf, 1381 AH in Cairo, 1388 AH in Beirut, and 1393 AH in Tehran. This book has been translated into Persian, Turkish and English. The second volume of this book was published in 1392 AH. in Tehran with the efforts of the Great Islamic Library. The third volume is not yet ready for publication.
2-“Khamsun wa mi’ata sahabi mukhtalaq”, first edition in Beirut, second edition in 1389 AH in Manshurat kuliyat al-usul ad-Din, Baghdad. The second volume of this book is printed in Beirut and is ready for publication. The third volume is being prepared. These three volumes try to prove the fictitious identity of 150 so-called companions of the Prophet. The first volume begins with a preliminary discussion and then deals with 23 companions who exist only in the world of imagination, and proves them to be fictitious individuals.
3-“Ahadith Umm al-Mu’minin ‘A’ishah, adwar min hayatiha” (Traditions of ‘A’ishah and periods of her life), printed in Tehran in 1381. This book is translated into Persian in three volumes, and the present book is its third volume. The Urdu translation of the whole book has been published some years ago in Pakistan. The second volume of the book, which deals with the most significant narrations of ‘A’ishah, has not yet been printed and is being prepared.
4-“Ruwat mukhtaliqun” is a survey of false narrators in whose names fictitious historical events have been recorded in reliable books of history. Logically this book is a supplement to the three volumes of “One Hundred a Fifty False Companions”.
5-“Min tarikh al-hadith” (On the history of Tradition) is the most precise book concerning the fate found in history by tradition as the second basis for understanding Islam. This book is in 300 pages, and still requires further research and completion.
6-“as-Saqifah is an elaborate research on the most significant phases of the history of Islam. It is about 300 pages and requires further elaboration.
7-“Mustalahat Islamiyah is an interesting project for a more exact understanding of Islam, on the basis of the Qur’an and tradition. It is a treatise of 300 pages about the special terminology used in the text of Islam. This survey is based on the comparison of the verses with the aid of the traditions of the Prophet and impeccable Imams, and serves to expand methodical revision in the Islamic attitude of the present time. If this book is completed and published, it can uproot all the alterations, which have been produced in the meaning of a number of religious and Islamic terms.
8-“Ma‘a ad-Duktur al-Wirdi fi kitabihi Wu‘az as-salatin”, is a scientifically critical study of the book of “Wu‘az as-salatin” by Dr. ‘Ali al-Wirdi, in 300 pages.
9-“Kayfa ta‘lam ad-din”, in two volume, on the topics to be learnt by children in religious matters.
10-An Introduction to “Mir‘at al-‘uqul”, which is a great research book by the exalted scholar, Mulla Muhammad Baqir Majlisi on the great book of al-Kafi. The new edition of this great work is to be published with an elaborated introduction by scholar ‘Askari. This introduction is an independent and exceedingly useful book in about 250 pages comprising the newest historical and narrational researches, and it may be regarded as one of the most useful works of scholar ‘Askari. This book is about to be completed and printed.
11-Introduction to the book of “‘Ali wa as-sunnah” (‘Ali and tradition) by Sayyid Hashim al-Bahrani, the great scholar of the eleventh century of the Hijrah.
12-An Introduction and Survey for the book of “Tibb ar-Rida” by Dr. Sahib Ziyni. The last part of the book gives a brief account of the life of this great Imam.
13-An Introduction to the book of “al-Ijazat al-‘ilmiyah ‘ind al-Muslimin” by Dr. ‘Abd Allah Fayyad, professor of the education college of Baghdad and History of Islam on the principles of religion, printed in Baghdad in 1967.
14-An introduction to the book of “Asl ash-Shi‘ah wa usuliha” (The Origin of Shi‘ism and its principles) by Ayatollah scholar Kashif al-Ghita’. Its latest edition was printed in Tehran.
15-An introduction to the book of “A Survey of Sahihayn” by Muhammad Sadiq Najmi, published in Iran in 1972. An elaboration of this introduction and translation of the introduction to “Asl ash-Shi‘ah” is to be published as a separate treatise entitled “A Glance at the story of Tradition”.
There are also many articles by scholar ‘Askari printed in such Arabic scientific journals as “Risalat al-Islam”, and “al-Mujtama‘ al-Islami” in Baghdad, “al-Adwa’” and “al-Iman” in an-Najaf, and “al-‘Irfan” in Beirut. Moreover, this scholar has had a share in founding the two scientific journals of “Risalat al-Islam” and “al-Mujtama‘ al-Islami”.
The present book is a translation of the last part of the book of “Ahadith of Umm al-Mu’minin ‘A’ishah, adwar min hayatiha” entitled “Ma’a Mu‘awiyah”. The two preceding parts have already been published under the titles of “The Role of ‘A’ishah in Islam” and ” ‘A’ishah in the Time of Imam ‘Ali”.
As the text of the book has been written for Arabic-speaking scholars, and thus in some cases brief references are made to certain topics, we have been compelled in our Persian translation to offer additional explanations. But as the Persian translation has been effected wholly under the supervision of the exalted author, it is naturally devoid of the particular viewpoint of the translator, and may thus be regarded as a fresh book of his. Moreover, in some cases the author has added new pages wherever necessary, the example of which are the addendum and the subject of the arbitrators, which are re-written by the translator to bring them into harmony with the rest of the book. In this way this book takes the form of both compilation and translation, and thus the reader of the Arabic text can also benefit from the Persian translation.
In conclusion I must express my thanks to the scholarly friends who have read the manuscript and made useful suggestions in removing errors made. I am also grateful to the great scholar Mr. Nur ad-Din ‘Askari by whose endeavour the indices of the sources and bibliography have been prepared, and also to other friends who have assisted me in matters of print and proof-reading. In conclusion I request dear readers to make me indebted and thankful to themselves by informing me of any errors or shortcoming which they have appeared in this book.
Muhammad ‘Ali Jawidan
Aim of this survey and discussion
The period in which Mu‘awiyah ruled as compared with other eras and centuries in the life of Islam, has possessed a special distinction from the viewpoint of an overall interpolation brought about in the basic principles of Islam. For, the Umayyad government used all its massive power for the fabrication of traditions and forging of narrations, and started the large factory of tradition-making with the aid of its hirelings including some companions of the Prophet and its own agents.
The number of false traditions produced in this period is so great that they almost cover every subject of the all-inclusive religion of Islam and have found their way into the Islamic books, including official Islam, and the Islamic school of the caliphs and the powerful. This has left a deep and lasting influence on the intellectual and ideological as well as practical aspect of the school of Islam to the extent of replacing the basic pillars of thought in this school with the passage of time.
For this reason we are obliged to adopt an analytical method of survey in studying this period and its distinguished rulers and personalities in order to pave the way for the correct evaluation of the traditions fabricated in this period, and perhaps be able to discern the collaborative role of ‘A’ishah in the production of these interpolations.
We begin the discussion with an investigation about Mu‘awiyah; his lineage and a brief account of the life history of his family. Then the discussion is drawn to the period of his rule and caliphate and many other matters which are connected with it. It is then that we will be able to distinguish the bond which exists between ‘A’ishah, Mu‘awiyah and other rulers of the time. Finally we will make a careful survey of the life of ‘A’ishah which ends in this same period.
It should be mentioned that in this course we were forced to speak of the disgraceful and impure deeds which have occurred in Mu‘awiyah’s lineage, thus making his character clearer to us. For an understanding of the psychic complexes of Mu‘awiyah which incited him towards enmity with the good and virtuous and roused him to combat with their reputation of purity, there was no other way but a survey of those events.
Indeed with an understanding of the character of Mu‘awiyah and his motives and complexes, one can trace the traditions which were fabricated during his time for the satisfaction of his personal motives, and in this way the thick and dark screens which he hung, by means of those false traditions, over the brilliant visage of Islam and Muslims, may be drawn aside to reveal Islam and Muslims as they really were. Consequently, we unwillingly accepted this necessity of introducing Mu‘awiyah and his lineage as they were, and bring this discussion to an end for God’s satisfaction and with the motive of propagation of knowledge.
Sayyid Murtada ‘Askari
A glance at the life of Mu‘awiyah
Mu‘awiyah was the son of Abu Sufyan and fiend and was nicknamed ‘Abd ar-Rahman. According to the most common historical narrations, he seemed to apparently embrace Islam after the capture of Mecca, and in the 12th year of the Hijrah when Abu Bakr dispatched an army to ash-Sham under the command of Yazid, the other son of Abu Sufyan, to fight the Romans, Mu‘awiyah accompanied his brother as a banner-bearer of the army.
Yazid, Abu Sufyan’s son, died of plague in the year 18 of the Hijrah; in ‘Amwas(6), and appointed his brother, Mu‘awiyah, as commander of the army, a nomination that was accepted and signed by the caliph.
During the caliphate of ‘Uthman who was of the Umayyads and a cousin of Mu‘awiyah, many lands were annexed to the dominion governed by him, and ‘Uthman placed ash-Sham under his rule which to-day comprises Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan.
Thus for nineteen years Mu‘awiyah governed ash-Sham in peace and tranquility. But after this period when Imam ‘Ali assumed the position of caliph, Mu‘awiyah rebelled against and disobeyed him. He rose with the deceptive claim of avenging ‘Uthman’s blood, and entered the region of Siffin with a huge army. The Imam collected an army of the Emigrants, Ansar (helpers) and other Muslims to suppress him and proceeded to Siffin to confront him.
The two armies faced each other in the month of Dhu al-Hijjah of the year 36 of the Hijrah, and during one hundred and ten days ninety skirmishes took placed between them, and finally when the victory of the Imam’s army seemed certain, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As suggested to resort to trickery, which was carried out by the order of Mu‘awiyah. Soldiers were ordered to stick a copy of the Qur’an on their spearheads, inviting the Imam and his army to the arbitration of the Qur’an. This trick carried a considerable emotive effect on the army of ash-Sham and the simple-minded people of Kufah who faced the Imam to accept peace with their brothers-in-faith!
The war thus ended, and then the arm of Kufah, contrary to the view of the Imam, chose Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari as their arbitrator, while Mu‘awiyah nominated ‘Amr ibn al-‘As to act as arbitrator on behalf of himself and his army. These two arbitrators came together to the land of Dumat al-Jandal in the month of Ramadan of the year 38 of the Hijrah to negotiate. ‘Amr ibn al-‘As cunningly suggested that they should both reject ‘Ali and Mu‘awiyah as caliph so that the Muslims could then vote to choose anyone they wished as caliph.
Abu Musa accepted the proposal and was asked by ‘Amr ibn al-‘As to climb the pulpit and declare the denouncement. He did so. But when ‘Amr ibn al-‘As climbed the pulpit, contrary to their agreement, he denounced ‘Ali and nominated Mu‘awiyah as caliph. Abu Musa rose in anger of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As’s trickery and began to abuse him. ‘Amr ibn al-‘As was ready to retaliate. In this way Mu‘awiyah was chosen as caliph.
In Ramadan of the year 40 of the Hijrah, the sword of ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Muljam split the Imam’s forehead, who died after three days. The Emigrants, Ansar and other Muslims except the people of ash-Sham swore allegiance to Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba, but eventually failed to support him against Mu‘awiyah, and showed such weakness that evil intentions of Mu‘awiyah were carried out without any serious confrontation.
In that year which was named “Am al-Jama‘ah” Mu‘awiyah sat on the seat of caliph, and ruled some nineteen years. He died in Rajab of the year 60 and was buried in Damascus.
Abu Sufyan and Hind
Controversy over the true identity
of Mu‘awiyah’s father
On his father’s side Mu‘awiyah is related to four persons.
Mu‘awiyah’s father was Abu Sufyan, Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayyah ibn ‘Abd Shams, and his mother was Hind, daughter of ‘Utbah ibn Rabi‘ah ibn ‘Abd Shams. Hind’s first marriage was with al-Fakah(7), son of al-Mughayrah of the Banu Makhzum tribe, who was killed in the district of al-Ghamisa’(8). After the death of al-Fakah, Hind married Hafs, another son of al-Mughayrah, who died sometime after. So for the third time she married Abu Sufyan.(9)
Some historical texts have described her marriages at a greater length, and said that al-Fakah, Hind’s first husband, suspected her of adultery. So he separated from her since he could not tolerate the disgrace.(10) Other historians believe that Hind had won notoriety in Mecca for illegitimate acts and adultery.(11)
But concerning Hind’s marriage with Abu Sufyan they write that Musafir ibn ‘Amr, who was of the Umayyads, was so deeply in love with Hind that everyone suspected an affair between them. Hind became pregnant from him and when people came to notice this, Musafir ibn ‘Amr fled from Mecca and went to an-Nu‘man ibn al-Mundhir, the well-known Arab king of Hira, to beg his aid. It was in his absence that Abu Sufyan married Hind.(12)
Hisham ibn Muhammad al-Kalbi, well-known genealogist, in the book of al-Mathalib, and al-Asma‘i, famous scholar and man of letters, say: Mu‘awiyah was, in pagan times, related to four persons, namely:
a) ‘Amarah ibn al-Walid of the Banu Makhzum
b) Musafir ibn ‘Amr of the Umayyads
c) Abu Sufyan of the Umayyads
d) al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib of the Banu Hashim.(13)
All these men were each other’s friends, and each of them was known to have had a love affair with Hind!
a) ‘Amarah ibn al-Walid was one of the handsomest men of the Quraysh. He accompanied ‘Amr ibn al-‘As in his journey to Abyssinia to bring back the Muslims who had emigrated to that country and request Negus the king of Abyssinia to aid them in this task. Owing to the attachment he showed to the wife of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As during this journey, he was involved with the vengeful slyness of her husband, who took preliminary steps to slander him before Negus and rouse the King’s anger against him. So by the king’s order he was given certain drugs that drove him mad, and he took to the desert to keep the company of wild beasts.(14)
b) Concerning Musafir ibn ‘Amr, al-Kalbi, a great genealogist writes: During pagan times it was supposed that Mu‘awiyah is his son, since Musafir was more deeply attached to Hind then his rivals. When Hind became pregnant, Musafir, fearing exposure and being regarded as the begetter of the child, fled to the king of Hira and settled there.
After some time Abu Sufyan traveled to Hira and there he met his old friend. At this Musafir had fallen ill owing to his love for and separation from his beloved. After talking for some time about the people of Mecca, Abu Sufyan mentioned that after Musafir’s flight from Mecca, he himself had married Hind.
This news was a great shock to Musafir, whose condition deteriorated and he died soon after.(15) A historian considers Musafir a victim of love in pagan times.(16)
az-Zamakhshari, the well-known scholar and commentator, in his book of “Rabi‘ al-abrar” mentions the four people to whom Mu‘awiyah was related, as follows: Musafir ibn ‘Amr, ‘Amarah ibn al-Walid, al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, and lastly as-Sabbah, the minstrel slave of ‘Amarah.(17)
az-Zamakhshari says: Abu Sufyan was short of stature and ugly looking, whereas as-Sabbah who was his slave, possessed the freshness of youth, and Hind was attracted to him. Finally she could not conceal her love for him, and invited him to sleep with her and thus a secret love affair started between them. Some historians go even so far as to say that in addition to Mu‘awiyah, ‘Utbah, the other so-called son of Abu Sufyan, too, was really begotten by as-Sabbah. They say also that Hind had no inclination to give birth to this child at her home, so she went out to the desert and gave birth to him there.
Hassan ibn Thabit, a great poet of Islam, before the capture of Mecca and at a time when a cold war raged between the Muslims and infidels, composed a poem about this incident, satirizing and criticizing Hind:
“Whose is that child who lies in the corner of that sandy desert of al-Batha’, Mecca?
A child, lying on the earth and out of cradle.
He is born by a young and beautiful woman of the Banu Umayyah tribe!”
Hisham ibn Muhammad al-Kalbi writes as follows in his book of al-Mathalib: Hind was one of the women who was greatly attracted by black men, and whenever she gave birth to a black baby, she killed it. He adds: One day a heavy quarrel took up between Yazid ibn Mu‘awiyah and Ishaq ibn Tabah in the presence of Mu‘awiyah and during his caliphate. Yazid said ironically to Ishaq: “It is to your interest that all the children of Harb ibn Umayyah should enter heaven”, meaning that Ishaq was an illegitimate son of that house and a bastard, since his mother had secret relations with the Umayyads.
Ishaq retorted sarcastically: “O Yazid! It is to your interest that all the children of Banu ‘Abbas should go to heaven!”
Yazid did not get the meaning of Ishaq’s sharp remark, but his father, Mu‘awiyah, did. So when Ishaq left the gathering, Mu‘awiyah said to Yazid: “Why do you open your mouth to abuse when you do not understand what they say about you?” Yazid said: “My intention was to show his defects.” Mu‘awiyah said: “He, too, had the same intention about you.” Yazid asked: “How?” Mu‘awiyah said: “Don’t you know that some of the Quraysh of pagan times considered me a son of Banu ‘Abbas?” It was then that Yazid realized what an insult he had received.
Indeed, Hind’s bad reputation was so obvious and certain that on the day of capture of Mecca the Prophet made some reference to it. When Hind came to his presence to show allegiance, the Prophet pardoned her, even though he had declared Hind’s blood worthless owing to her great anti-Islamic crimes, and accepted her allegiance, and showed indulgence towards her unworthy deeds.(18)
She asked the Prophet: “On what ground should we show allegiance to you?” The Prophet answered: “On the ground of abstaining from adultery.” Hind said: “Is it possible that a free woman would commit adultery and thus contaminate herself?” Though the Prophet was aware of her character, he said nothing and only smiled.(19)(20)
The Umayyads in pagan times
Abu Sufyan was one of those who had joined hands to combat the Prophet.
As we saw Hind, Mu‘awiyah’s mother, was regarded as belonging to the Umayyads. Her father was called ‘Utbah and her uncle Shaybah, both of whom were considered as nobles of the Quraysh in pagan times. At the advent of Islam, ‘Utbah and Shaybah did not abstain from hostility to the Prophet, and in the battle of Badr they co-operated with other members of the Quraysh. It was in the same battle that in the early hours of the day these two came forward in the battlefield to challenge warriors in the other army, but their lot was to face the valiant and true warriors of Islam, namely Imam ‘Ali and Hamzah, had to be killed soon after.(21)
Abu Sufyan, Mu‘awiyah’s father was a stout, well-set and short man, and bore the name of Hanzalah, like his eldest son, and his nickname was Abu Hanzalah. He was one those who was killed by Imam ‘Ali in the battle of Badr.(22)
In pagan times Abu Sufyan was considered as a great man of the Quraysh, and after the battle of Badr in which the Quraysh leaders were killed, he assumed the position of the sole chief of Mecca and his own tribe. Thenceforth all the Arab wars and hostilities against Islam were conducted by him. Jewish and primitive tribes were mobilized against Islam at his instigation, and the battles of Uhud and al-Khandaq, which were considered the greatest anti-Islam line ups, were fought under his leadership.
Muhammad ibn Habib, great historian, has regarded Abu Sufyan as one of the eight Quraysh atheists.(23) According to Ibn Hisham, during the life of the Prophet, Abu Sufyan was one of the leaders of the groups opposed to the Prophet, and he spared no effort to destroy him.(24) He is also one of those who seeked to attach himself to Abu Talib, the great defender of Islam, seeking to prevent him from supporting the Prophet.(25) Moreover, there were some who got together in Dar an-Nudwah the meeting center of the Quraysh tribe, to discuss the elimination of the Prophet, and ended by concluding in agreement of collaboration to carry out this great crime.(26)
Gradually the Quraysh and their chiefs such as Abu Jahl, Abu Sufyan, Abu Lahab and others put such a pressure on the Muslims in Mecca that life became intolerable for them, and thus the decree was issued by the Prophet for emigration to Medina. So the hard-pressed and suffering Muslims departed from their city and land and cut off their ties with their home, property and relations, and proceeded towards Medina by the order of God in order to be delivered from the oppressors. Emigration was continued until with the exception of the Prophet and a few others, no Muslims remained in Mecca. In the last few years of their stay, suppression was so tense and hostile that the Prophet abstained from public propagation in Mecca and confined his activity to inviting desert dwellers and pilgrims towards God during the pilgrimage ceremonies only. As during these ceremonies fighting and dispute were forbidden, and since, owing to the Quraysh’s social prestige, they could not molest the Prophet, they tried to render his propagation ineffective. Thus Abu Lahab would walk a few steps behind him and prevent the people from having contact with the Prophet or listen to his words. He kept on abusing and accusing him in order to check his mission. At last, revelation descended ordering the emigration, thus delivering the Prophet from the clutches of the Quraysh. He left Mecca, to be followed soon by Imam ‘Ali and only a few of the Muslims remained in captivity and prison in that city. Now Abu Sufyan resorted to a fresh crime by meanly usurping the houses vacated by the Muslims and putting them up for sale.
Abu Sufyan in the battle of Badr
“Infidels freely offer their property to prevent people from joining the way of God.”
The Holy Qur’an
When the Muslims migrated to Medina, they were laxed from the molestation’s of the Quraysh, but they were faced with the deadly hardship of poverty and indigence, for, the emigrants had left behind all their property, houses and relatives and had taken refuge in the city of Islam that is Medina. Of course, the people of Medina, named Ansar (helpers), so far as they were able, assisted these emigrants, but the people of those days were not so well off as to provide themselves with a comfortable life, especially as a group of them had no dwellings or financial means to support themselves. Nevertheless, despite these shortcomings and deficiencies the number of the followers of Islam increased every day, and gradually they were able to present themselves as a new force in the Arabian Peninsula, and show their strength.
In the second year of the Hijrah an event took place which produced the first great battle of Islamic era. For many long years the Quraysh had been engaged in trade travels and transport of goods to foreign lands, and every year they regularly visited Yemen and once a year they took their merchandise to ash-Sham. In the second year of the Hijrah, as usual a big caravan headed by Abu Sufyan, father of Mu‘awiyah, had left for ash-Sham. On their return, the Prophet and a group of three hundred confronted the caravan demanding the lost property of the Muslims in Mecca.
When Abu Sufyan heard the news, he asked Mecca for help, and then tried to choose another route to return. To help Abu Sufyan, the Quraysh summoned a force of one thousand soldiers to fight the Prophet’s army who were small in number. Thus, started the battle of Badr, in an area called the same. Occult aid and the self-sacrifice of Islamic warriors brought them victory, while the other side lost seventy men and another seventy were taken captive.
Of the sons of Abd Shams of the Umayyads eight men were killed in this battle among them were Hanzalah, Abu Sufyan’s son, ‘Utbah and Rabi‘ah, father and uncle of his wife Hind, and al-Walid ibn ‘Utbah, uncle of Mu‘awiyah. Six members of the Hulafa’ and their confederates, too, lost their lives. Among the captives, too, were seven of the Umayyads including ‘Amr, another son of Abu Sufyan.(27) In retaliation for his son’s captivity, Abu Sufyan without any feasible excuse seized one of the great men of Ansar who was on his way to Mecca for pilgrimage, and imprisoned him, whereas before this battle, the Quraysh never molested a pilgrim. Consequently the Muslims were com¬pelled to set their POW’s free.(28)
After the battle of Badr in which the first-rank leaders of the Quraysh lost their lives, Abu Sufyan was able to seize the position of the absolute master of Mecca and the leadership of the Quraysh in war and peace. It was at this time that he vowed not to wash his head until he took revenge from the Prophet.
After some time, Abu Sufyan, in order to fulfil his indecent vow, proceeded to Medina accompanied by two hundred Quraysh horsemen and stayed with the Jewish tribe of Banu an-Nadir. Then he began to make inquiries about the city’s conditions, and sent a number of his men to set fire to the date palms of the people. These raiders, after carrying out their mission, killed two innocent men of the city who were near by, and then they all returned to Mecca.(29)
Hind, mother of Mu‘awiyah, was greatly enraged after the battle of Badr for the death of her father and uncle and other relatives of hers, and spent her time mourning for them, and did her worst to rouse the Quraysh to avenge their blood.(30)
After the battle of Badr and the death of seventy men and captivity of another seventy the Quraysh who were greatly distressed at the outcome of that battle, earmarked their enormous trade profits of ash-Sham and the goods carried by one thousand camels and valued at fifty thousand dinars(31) to a fresh war with the Muslims. It was then that the following verse of the Qur’an descended and reproached the infidels in a sharp tone:
“Surely those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder people from the way of Allah; so they shall spend it, then it shall be to them an intense regret, then they shall be overcome; and those who disbelieve shall be driven together to hell.”(32)
Abu Sufyan in the battle of Uhud
We possess such a god as the al-‘Uzza idol, whereas you have no al-‘Uzza.
Following the offensive raids of Abu Sufyan and the decision of the Quraysh traders to supply money, for the war the infidels prepared themselves for a war with the Prophet. Abu Sufyan held the command of this army and took with him his wife and a number of Quraysh women. Along the way between Mecca and Medina wherever Hind came across Wahshi, the slave of Jubayr ibn Mat‘am, she cried out: “O Wahshi! Take my revenge from the Prophet and heal my wounds if you wish to be set free!”
In this way Abu Sufyan and Hind, parents of Mu‘awiyah, started the bloody and longed-for battle of Uhud, causing the bloodshed of many true and striving devotees of Islam. On the day of the battle, Abu Sufyan addressed the Quraysh banner-bearers who were of the Banu ‘Abd ad-Dar, and said: “O sons of ‘Abd ad-Dar! In the battle of Badr you carried our banners of war and we suffered so many disasters and calamities. The matter of the military banner is so important that it leads either to victory or defeat. Therefore, either protect the banner or abandon it so that we ourselves may undertake this task.”(33) They responded: “Do you expect us to hand over the banner to you? This is impossible. When the fire of the combat is aflame tomorrow, you will witness our courage and self-sacrifice!”
This was what Abu Sufyan heartily desired, namely the defeat of Islam and annihilation of the Prophet. The following day when the sun came up, the two armies fell upon each other. Hind and other women, who had come to encourage their men, emerged from their tents, and while they beat their tambourine they chanted slogans to encourage their soldiers.
Hind started singing the following words:
“Forward, O sons of ‘Abd ad-Dar!
Endeavour O protectors and vanguards of the army!
Deal blows with your sharp swords!
We girls are morning stars!
If you advance victoriously,
We open our arms to you and spread beds for you!
But if you turn your back to the combat
And submit to defeat,
We, too, turn our backs to you!
Then you will suffer such a separation
In which you will see no sign of love and loyalty.”(34)
During the battle one of the Ansar fighters noticed Hind inciting the infidel army to fight. So he attacked her with his drawn sword, but when he was about to deal the blow, he realized that she was not a warrior, but a woman. So he abstained from killing her and returned in chivalry.
As we said, this battle was a heavy blow for the newly founded Islam in which about seventy of the best and devoutest sons of Islam lost their lives. One of the most distinguished martyrs of this battle, who was killed through the efforts of Abu Sufyan and Hind, was Hamzah, the noble uncle of the Prophet, whose killer was Wahshi, the slave of Jubayr ibn Mat‘am.
The combat ended and the dead lay down in the battlefield covered with blood. But the beastly spirit of savagery would not leave alone these godless people of Mecca, and Hind leading a number of women entered the field, each carrying a knife or other, and each looked for a dead warrior to cut off his ear, nose or other parts of his body. The number of the severed parts of the Muslims was so great that Hind was able to make a necklace and bracelet of them for herself, and in return for Wahshi’s service in killing Hamzah, she offered her own gold ornaments. Then she searched for the body of Hamzah, and tore open the side of that lion of God, and cruelly pulling out his liver, took it to her mouth to eat, but failing in it, she threw it down.(35) The nickname of “Liver-eating Hind” had its origin in this savage and vengeful act. Then she climbed on a rock and loudly sang the following lines:
“We made square for the battle of Badr!
War after war kindles a fire,
I was never tranquil at ‘Utbah’s death,
Nor for my brother and his uncle Shaybah,
Nor for my son Hanzalah.
Now I have remedied the pain of my heart
And have fulfilled my vow.
Wahshi brought tranquility to my burning breast
And I shall ever be grateful to Wahshi
Until my bones decay in the grave and turn into dust.”
A woman of Banu Hashim, named Hind, too daughter of Athathah ibn ‘Ibad ibn al-Muttalib composed the following lines in response to Hind, wife of Abu Sufyan:
“In both the battle of Badr and the next one,
You were sunk in the cesspool of meanness!
O offspring of vilenesses and great infidelities!
May God bring you a day when you will face
The strong arms of Banu Hashim and their sharp swords.
Hamzah was our courageous lion,
And ‘Ali is our sharp-clawed hawk.
When your father and uncle intended to kill us,
Their throats were covered with blood!
What a wicked vow was that evil vow of yours!”
After the battle of Uhud, Hulays who was the chief of an ally tribe of the Quraysh, saw Abu Sufyan in the battlefield standing over the dead body of Hamzah and toying its face with the end of his spear saying: “Now taste the bitterness of death for breaking your bond of kinship!” By this remark he meant that Hamzah, by embracing Islam, had abandoned the Quraysh and had risen to fight them. When Hulays(36) observed this mean act of Abu Sufyan, he cried out: “O men of Kananah tribes! Look at this chief of the Quraysh! See what he is doing with the lifeless body of the son of his uncle spread on the earth!”(37)
Abu Sufyan answered: “Woe upon you! Don’t say a word about what you saw me doing! It was a mistake.” Then he stood on the hillside and cried out loudly: “How well we have done! War always has two sides. Today as a response to the battle of Badr!” Then he said: “High and exalted be the idol Hubal!”(38)
The Prophet ordered to respond him: “God is greater and higher.” Against this Godly words of the Muslims, Abu Sufyan shouted: “We possess such a god as the al-‘Uzza idol, whereas you have no al-‘Uzza!”
The Prophet ordered to give him this answer: “Great God, Allah, is our Lord and Master, but you have no such lord!”
Abu Sufyan walked off while exclaiming: “Our next meeting by the wells of Badr, next year!” The Prophet ordered one of his friends to answer: “Yes, Allah’s army will meet you then and there.”
Abu Sufyan together with the Quraysh army left the battle-scene. But after a few days marching towards Mecca and thinking over the comparatively weak position of the army and the Muslims he decided to return and destroy the half- vanquished Muslims. But when he heard that the Prophet had left the city with a number of Muslim warriors and was ready to fight, he and his supporters were overcome with fear, and were thus compelled to return to Mecca.
Hind in the battle of Uhud
When I ripped open the belly of Hamzah and pulled out his liver!
Hind, like her husband, had a great role in the battle of Uhud. She had much influence in inciting this war and constantly fanning up the flame of war. She even brought a number of Quraysh women with her to the field of battle in order to boost up the Arab ardor of the Quraysh, thereby, bring about the attainment of victory. And as we saw, when the combat ended, she pulled out the liver of that valiant warrior of Islam, Hamzah, by ripping open his side, and wanted to eat it. Her epic words about this war show her old and biting rancor. We have already mentioned examples of her epical verses and there are some more:
“In Uhud I soothed the pain of my heart
And felt tranquil and free from the pains,
Which the action of Hamzah had caused,
When I ripped open his belly
And pulled out his liver.
This quenched the pain that lived with me,
And the intense injury which burnt me with its fire.
The war; like a hailstorm, poured its fire on you,
And we rushed upon you like roaring lions.”
After the battle, one of the Muslims said to Hassan ibn Thabit, a great Ansar poet(39): “I wish you could have heard Hind, standing on a rock and, reciting a bravado verse in which she spoke of her crimes towards the martyr of God’s way, Hamzah, in a boastful tone.” Hassan asked: “Can you repeat her words? Then I will supply the response.” That man quoted Hind’s words for Hassan and the latter composed a fine epic verse about Hind and her wickedness and crimes, which begin with the following lines:
“What show of meanness did that base woman exhibit,
For her conduct was always mean
And her meanness was combined with infidelity” (40)
Ibn Hisham, well-known biographer, after quoting these lines, does not repeat the rest of the verse and says: I have abstained from quoting the whole of Hassan’s poem since abuses her with biter words.(41)
But at-Tabari follows the above lines with eleven other rhymed lines, which go like this:
“May God deprive Hind of His blessing,
And involve her husband, too, with damnation.
O Hind! You arrived in Uhud merry-making among men,
While you had tied a litter on your camel,
An overloaded camel that a cry or whip could not make it rise,
Avenging the blood of you father and son
Who were killed in Badr, brought you to the battlefield,
And the vengeance for your uncle who
In the said battle had fallen naked, and his garment
Had been taken away and in vengeance for
Your brother who had fallen with the others
Face down in a pit and covered with blood.
Fie! You have forgotten that evil deed of yours!
Woe to you, an evil which will ever remain in time.
And finally you returned in abjectness
And failed in your vengeance and gained no victory!
Midwives say that Hind gave birth to a bastard son.”(42)
Other poems have been composed with a different rhyme on this subject, and they are quoted in his poetical work as follows:
“Whose is this child who has fallen on a corner of the earth in the land of al-Batha’?
A child who is abandoned without a cradle in the dust?
A young beautiful and free woman gave birth to him.
She went wailing to her lover; as-Sabbah.
O Hind! How enraged you are!
A respectable woman who used the best perfume of India to make herself sweet-smelling!
How like his mother is this child!
But the likeness to a black father with curly hair; as-Sabbah, is much greater.
That vile woman showed unruliness,
For, rebellion was a constant habit with her,
As well as taking a bone between her teeth and biting it.”(43)
In another biting and satirical poem, Hisham describes Hind in the following manner:
“Whose are those children that have fallen in the desert,
Rubbing their feet on the desert of Ajyad?
Fangs of labor overcame her,
And then she gave birth to her child,
While she had no midwife,
But beasts of the wild and jinn of the desert!
Among the abandoned babies fallen in the desert
There is one whose mother is of high lineage.
That woman said weekly in her travail:
O, that I had been a camel-driver,
And would not be involved with this condition!
They abandoned this child in the dust and went away,
While that woman’s father and uncle
Were the Sheikhs and chiefs of the tribe.”(44)
Ibn Hisham, the well-known biographer, quotes about thirty and a few more odes from the Muslims and infidels about the battle of Uhud in which the savage acts of Hind and Abu Sufyan are recorded.(45)
Abu Sufyan as leader
in the battle of al-Khandaq
The Quraysh proceed towards the battle of al-Khandaq while Abu Sufyan was their leader.
In the month of Sha‘ban of the fourth year of the Hijrah, the Prophet and his friends came to the land of Badr as they had agreed the year before. Abu Sufyan and the people of Mecca, too, left their city but after going some distance, they changed their minds and returned, but before doing so Abu Sufyan said to his supporters: “O men of Quraysh! This war would have been possible for you in the years of greenness and freshness of the desert. But nothing can be done. This year we are faced with a drought. So I will go back and you can follow my example.”(46)
They obeyed him and returned to their city wondering when to start another war against Islam. Time passed and the fifth year of the Hijrah began. Then the Quraysh tribe headed by Abu Sufyan started their preparation of a war. Many groups gathered, and the confederation of the Quraysh including the Jews organized a large army under the command of Abu Sufyan in order to uproot Islam and Muslims.
The Muslims sat in consultation, and on the suggestion of Salman al-Farisi, a wise man of Iranian nationality it was decided to dig a ditch round Medina.(47) The invaders reached Medina shortly after the defensive ditch was dug and the city was ready to face the enemy.
Abu Sufyan and his army besieged Medina for a month, but as the Arabs did not know how to overcome the barrier of the ditch in war, there occurred few clashes. Occasionally a warrior from the army of infidels found an opportunity to cross the ditch to attack the Muslim ranks. One of these was ‘Amr ibn ‘Abd Wud who had a fame as an Arab warrior. He leapt over the ditch with his horse and stood before the army of Islam and boastfully challenged them to fight.
No one dared to say a word and step forth for fear of death. Eventually no one but Imam ‘Ali was prepared to take up the challenge, and in a heroic and valiant combat he killed ‘Amr ibn ‘Abd Wud.
The death of ‘Amr and the lengthy ineffectiveness of the siege especially the tactics deployed by the Prophet made the Jews retire from the combat. The weather, too, became severely cold and a violent wind started blowing so that it shook the tents of the Quraysh army violently, extinguished their fires and caused their horses and camels to flee to the desert, and thus complete chaos and disorder reigned over the whole army of the enemy.
Abu Sufyan, who was furious with this state of affairs, summoned the army commanders for consultation and said to them: “O men of Quraysh! I swear to your god that you are in a land where one cannot live or stay longer. Our horses and camels have run away. The Jews of Banu Qurayzah who were our allies have abandoned their pact and left us. Moreover, as you see we are confronted with cold and bad weather, which has even put out our fires and has left no tent standing. Therefore, I think we had better return. I am ready to move back.”
In the same dark night the large army of the Quraysh and their allies departed for Mecca and their own tribes.(48) Abu Sufyan was in such a hurry to flee that he forgot to untie the foot-fetters of his camel and leapt on its back to move off!
Thus the big battle of al-Khandaq (or al-Ahzab) ended without any result for Abu Sufyan, and the big army of the infidels despite their large number failed to do anything against Islam, the religion of God.
Feeling of weakness
and proposal of peace
O people! I have concluded a pact between the Quraysh and the Muslims.
The weakness of the parties opposed to Islam, despite their greater number greatly asserted the power, dignity and glory of Islamic front, and the Muslims were now recognized as a power in the Arabian Peninsula and perfectly counted upon. Every day the number of Muslims and their economic and military power improved.
In the seventh year of the Hijrah the Prophet accompanied by a group of 1,500 departed for Mecca for a pilgrimage to the House of God. The arrival of the Muslims in the land of Mecca was very displeasing for the Quraysh, for, allowing this pilgrimage to take place meant a formal recognition of Islam and its power. Consequently with a great effort they checked the entry of the Muslims to the city. So the Prophet wisely considered it enough to conclude a pact of non-aggression with them and issued the order for a return to Medina. Although this pact seemed to be more in the interest of the Meccan side and was protested against by those who judged by appearances, yet the infidels’ acceptance of the pact which meant an unconscious recognition of Islam as an official power in Arabia, was wholly in the interest of Islam especially as on its account the Prophet was able to confront his other enemies. The battle of Khaybar was one such case when the Muslims succeeded in uprooting that powerful anti-Islamic king and were delivered from the dangers and hindrances created by the Jews.
Now in the desert land of Arabia, with the exception of the Quraysh, there existed no strong enemy to pose a threat to the Muslims, and owing to the pact concluded the Quraysh, too, had to abstain from dangerous moves. Consequently Islam was able to conquer Arabia rapidly. But no more than a year had passed of the al-Hudaybiyah peace when one of the terms of this pact was violated by the infidels of Mecca.
The Prophet thus decided to smash the last great stronghold of paganism and infidelity. The conquest of Mecca was about to be achieved. Abu Sufyan who had observed the increasing power of Islam, came to Medina to renew the pact, but the Prophet refused to meet this old enemy of Islam who pretended friendship and all due to his fear.
So Abu Sufyan met Imam ‘Ali and said to him: “O Abu al-Hasan! I am badly involved with great difficulties! Please help me out and guide me.”
The Imam said: “I swear to God that I see no way of salvation for you. You are the chief of the Quraysh and their allies.(49) Get up and go amidst the people and announce your friendship with them and then return to your homeland.”
Abu Sufyan said: “Do you think it is of any avail?”
The Imam said: “Not really! But I know of no other way for you.”
Abu Sufyan left and went to the mosque, and stood amidst the Muslims and cried out: “I pledge a pact of non-aggression and peace with you.” Then he came out and embarked on his mount and proceeded towards Mecca.(50)
Mecca is captured
Go your way, for, you are all free!
At a time when paganism was having its last days, Abu Sufyan was considered the most outstanding person of the Arab infidel front. Not only was he the chief and leader of the Quraysh, but also he was considered as the head of the tribes of Banu Kananah, Quraysh and their allies. He had roused Banu Kananah, Quraysh and their allies. He had roused them all to fight the Muslims, made plans for it, and collected forces. Similarly in case of need he compelled them to retreat or make peace. The death of the great chiefs of the Quraysh in the battle of Badr had paved the way for his sole leadership.
He continued to hold this position until the day the warriors of Islam entered Mecca and freed it from the hands of infidels. On that day the supremacy of Abu Sufyan was broken for ever at the hands of the Prophet, in the same way that many idols were broken and destroyed by the order of the Prophet and at the hands of Imam ‘Ali.
In the event of the capture of Mecca, Abu Sufyan played a particular role, which shows his cunning and deceitful nature. We will describe this incident by reference to the writings of Ibn Hisham and other historians.
At the time when the Prophet and his ten thousand Muslim combatants were approaching Mecca under God’s banner, al-‘Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle, mounted his camel and went forward to find someone and send him as an envoy to the Meccans in order to warn them of any resistance, and persuade them to send an envoy to the Prophet to seek asylum. On his way al-‘Abbas came across three men of the Quraysh including Abu Sufyan. They had come Out of the city to inspect the area and find out the more about the advancing Muslims.
al-‘Abbas said to Abu Sufyan: “I swear to God that if our men find you, they will kill you right away. Then he allowed him to mount behind on the Prophet’s camel and proceeded towards the Prophet. al-‘Abbas managed to somehow take Abu Sufyan safe to the Prophet. Abu Sufyan got permission to the presence of the Prophet. He saluted. The Prophet said: Woe upon you, Abu Sufyan! Has the time not arrived for you to know and admit that there is no god but Allah?”
Abu Sufyan said: “Bless your holiness! How noble and tolerant you are! And how kindly you treat your kith and kin! By God, I think if there existed a god but Allah, he would have granted me some benefit by now!”
The Prophet said: “Woe upon you, Abu Sufyan! Has the time not come yet for you to know that I am the Prophet of God?” Abu Sufyan repeated what he had already said and added: “I am still doubtful about this matter.”
al-‘Abbas who had sensed danger, said: “Woe upon you, Abu Sufyan! Embrace Islam and submit to God. Do not be stubborn in welcoming death.”
Fearful Abu Sufyan had no alternative but to utter the divine words pretending to testify to the truth of the existence of God and His Prophet, and thus apparently converted to Islam.(51)
Following Abu Sufyan’s embracement of Islam, al-‘Abbas begged the Prophet for a privilege for him, and after the capture of Mecca and entry of the army of Islam to the city, declare that anyone who takes asylum in Abu Sufyan’s house, would be spared his life. He stated that as Abu Sufyan loves honour and reputation, such a consolation in the first moments of this conver¬sion would serve a good purpose.
The holy Prophet with his usual nobility and generosity declared the house of his old enemy who had apparently shown submission now, a safe place for all who took refuge there, and said: “Indeed, he who enters Abu Sufyan’s house, is secure, and anyone who shuts himself in his house is safe. Anyone who enters the House of God, will be immune, and anyone who lays down his arm will be secure against every danger.”
The army of Islam proceeded towards Mecca in a bid to transform that center of Arab polytheism into an eternal seat of monotheism and worship of God. The Prophet ordered al-‘Abbas to keep Abu Sufyan at the entrance of a gorge on the way to Mecca so that he could observe God’s army and its great size.
The Prophet’s order was carried out, and many tribes and groups of well-armed Muslim warriors carrying their particular banners marched by in good order and discipline. Every time a tribe passed, Abu Sufyan asked the name of the tribe, and al-‘Abbas answered. al-‘Abbas responded to his question: “This is the Banu Sulaym tribe.” Abu Sufyan said annoyedly: “What do I have to do with Banu Sulaym?” He meant: Why have these tribes come to fight us, since the Quraysh had no quarrel with them? In this way all the tribes passed by until the Prophet and his closest friends, namely the Emigrants and Ansar, passed by. The warriors were so fully armed and in battle dress that only their eyes could be seen. Abu Sufyan asked their names. al-‘Abbas said: “This is the Prophet of God surrounded by the Emigrants and Ansar.”
Abu Sufyan said: “No one could have bore in front of such an army. The kingdom of your cousin has become very great!”
al-‘Abbas said: “O Abu Sufyan! This is a divine Prophet and mission, not a kingship!”
Abu Sufyan said: “Yes, it is so.” Then al-‘Abbas left him to himself and joined the army. Abu Sufyan hurriedly went to Mecca, and on reaching it he went straight to its center, Masjid al-Haram, and loudly exclaimed: “O men of the Quraysh! This is Muhammad who is coming to you with a massive army. Remember that anyone who enters the house of Abu Sufyan, will be secure.”
At this moment Hind, Abu Sufyan’s wife, rose and plucked at her husband’s hair and cried out angrily: “Kill this fat, stupid man. Curse be upon such a leader of tribe as you!”
Abu Sufyan paid no attention to her abuses, and exclaimed again: “Let not this woman deceive you. Muhammad is coming towards you with an army that has no end. Anyone who enters Abu Sufyan’s house will be immune.”
The people shouted: “May God destroy you! How can your house accommodate all of us?” Abu Sufyan continued to say: “Whoever shuts the door on himself in his house, will be secure. Whoever enters the mosque, will be secure.” Then the people went to their own houses, or towards the mosque of al-Haram.
Not long afterwards, the Prophet whom God may bless, entered Mecca with his well-organized army and neared the House of Ka‘bah. Then he stopped there and delivered a detailed speech, ending with an address to the Quraysh, saying: “What do you think I will do to you?” They said: “We expect nothing but goodness from you. You are a noble brother and a noble cousin.” The Prophet said: “Go your way! For, you are all free!”(52)
On such a day, such a word showed only the deep nobility of the character and the great decency of the Prophet. At the height of his power the Prophet pardoned his bitterest enemies, who had for so many years abused, tortured and molested him and had even killed his friends, and for long years they had fought him in many ways.
The generous pardon granted by the Prophet, in later years was interpreted as a disgrace for the Quraysh and their children. The word “at-Tulaqa’” means “those who were set free”, and so some used it to decide the Quraysh as salves set free.
Abu Sufyan and his position
in the Islamic community
If I could, I would once more rouse the people against this man!
After his speech the Prophet circumambulated the House of Ka‘bah. Abu Sufyan was standing in a corner watching the scene. When he noticed with what love and devotion the Muslims were circling round the House of God behind their Prophet, a wicked idea occurred to him, thinking how find it would be if he could once more rouse the people against Muhammad!
The Prophet, reading his thought, turned to him and knocking on Abu Sufyan’s chest with his finger, said: “On any such day God will abuse you!”
Abu Sufyan said: “I turn to God again and beg His forgiveness. I did not give tongue to my thought!” Then he murmured to himself: “I do not understand how Muhammad overcame us.”
At the same moment the Prophet patting his back said: “I overcame you at the Will of God!” It was then Abu Sufyan had to utter these words: “I confess that you are the messenger of God.”(53)
After the capture of Mecca, the Prophet departed towards Hunayn to stop the aggression of the Hawazin, and he was accompanied by a group of the Quraysh.
al-Miqrizi, a well-known historian, writes: A group of Meccans who had apparently embraced Islam, accompanied the Prophet. They did not take part in the battle but waited to see which side would be victorious so that they could seize some spoils of war from the defeated side. Among this group was Abu Sufyan ibn Harb who had taken his son Mu‘awiyah with him. Abu Sufyan moved in the rear of the army. In his quiver he carried “al-Azlam”, a kind of wooden arrows. He collected for himself what the soldiers happened leave on the battle field, such as shield, spear or anything else, so that the sack on the back of his camel as gradually filled with such objects so much so that the poor camel could hardly carry so much weight.(54)
According to al-Waqidi, Hunayn is a land within three days’ journey from Mecca(55). In this land there lived a strong tribe of ‘Adnani Arabs called Hawazin.(56)
In spite of its strength, the army of Islam, did not primarily gain any success in the clash. They had to advance through a narrow valley towards the center of the tribe that they were suddenly raided by the enemy. The majority of the men fled, and only a few including Imam ‘Ali and al-‘Abbas remained with the Prophet.(57) In the midst of this situation some of the newly-converted Quraysh chiefs uttered some words which are recorded by Ibn Hisham in his biography.
He says: When the Muslims were fiercely under attack the hypocrites who had accompanied the Prophet, observing the run of the war against the Muslims, began to show their old rancor. For instance Abu Sufyan had remarked: “This rout and fight will stretch as far as the Red Sea.” He had also brought with him some symbols of infidelity belonging to pagan times, namely al-Azlam which were wooden arrows used by the infidels on special occasions for drawing lots, and the Qur’an speaks of them in reproach in conjunction with pagan idols.(58)
Another chief of Quraysh had remarked: “Look, the witchcraft is new counteracted!”
On the order of the Prophet and the gallantry of al-‘Abbas the Muslim army pulled together after the shock of the sudden and unexpected raid. Soon after, the enemy forces were defeated and the army of Islam came out victorious.
Most of the spoils seized in this clash were divided among the new converts who in the words of the Qur’an are called “Those whose hearts are made to incline to truth”.(59) God and His prophet wished to provide them with their material expectations and thereby soften their hearts towards Islam as God’s true religion. Therefore each man of this group was given one hundred camels. Abu Sufyan and his son Mu‘awiyah, too, received one hundred camels each as well as a large amount of silver. Then Abu Sufyan said the Prophet: “By God, you are a noble man. May my parents’ life be offered for you! When I fought you, I found you to be the best fighter, and now that I am at peace with you, you are the best of peace-makers.”
The group of Ansar, who received a small share of the spoils, feel that they had been treated with discrimination and favoritism towards the kith and kin. Consequently they were very vexed and expressed their dissatisfaction. The Prophet summoned all the Ansar and after some preliminary remarks, said: “The matter is not as you think. The reason for my action was to incline them more towards Islam, whereas I left you to your true faith in Islam.”(60)
With the capture of Mecca, Abu Sufyan had apparently embraced Islam and had joined the Muslim society, but the Muslims found it hard to forget his past deeds against Islam and his constant opposition and enmity. Consequently they could not look upon him with kindness or welcome him in their gatherings.(61) Muslim ibn Hajjaj, the great Sunni traditionist, describes the attitude and conduct of the Muslims as follows in his book of Sahih:
“One day Abu Sufyan was passing by a group of good and virtuous early Muslims such as Salman, Bilal and Suhayb.(62) They were talking together when they noticed Abu Sufyan, and said: “By God, the swords of God did not fall upon the neck of this great enemy of God.” Abu Bakr, hearing their words vexedly said: “Are you speaking thus about the chief and Sheikh of the Quraysh?” Then fearing that his words might produce an unfavorable reaction in the Islamic community, he went hastily to the Prophet and narrated what had occurred. The Prophet said: “May be you have annoyed and angered your Muslim brethren. If they are enraged with you, God, too, will surely be enraged with you.”
Abu Bakr returned to Salman and his friends and excused himself by saying: “Brothers! Have I annoyed you?”
They said: “No, brother! May God bless you!”(63) Such an attitude was not confined to the time of the Prophet. After him, too, as we shall see in the next chapter, the Muslim’s attitude towards Abu Sufyan had undergone no change whatever.
Abu Sufyan in the time of two caliphs
May God kill them for not abandoning their rancor against the Muslims.
Ibn ‘Asakir, the great historian of Damascus, writes: One day Abu Bakr, during the period of his rule, spoke harshly to Abu Sufyan. His father, Abu Quhafah, said: “O Abu Bakr! Why did you speak in such a tone to Abu Sufyan?” Abu Bakr answered: “O father! For the sake of Islam, God has granted eminence to some families and abased others. My house is one of those which found eminence, and his is one with debasement!”
At the time when ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab had visited Mecca on pilgrimage, he was informed that Abu Sufyan was building a house, and the stones he had heaped for it on the water-course had exposed the city to the danger of a torrent. ‘Umar accompanied the complainants to Abu Sufyan’s house and ordered he himself to carry the stones back to where they belonged. Then he raised his arms heavenward and said: “O God! I praise you for enabling me to issue a command to Abu Sufyan, chief of the Quraysh in the middle of the city of Mecca, and making him obey me!”
Historians have written: One day ‘Umar, as caliph, was passing along one of the streets of Mecca, and noticed that it was filthy. He ordered the people to clean the front part of their houses. A few days later again he found the streets dirty. He picked up his whip in anger, and hit Abu Sufyan on the head. The incident of the whipping of Abu Sufyan, chief of the Quraysh, was reported to his wife, Hind. This heiress of pagan times, remembering the time of material power and magnificence, said: “O ‘Umar! By God, if you were to whip him in former times, the city of Mecca would have trembled under your feet!” ‘Umar answered: “You are right. But for the sake of Islam God has given dignity to one group and has abased another.”(64)
We saw how Islam had given eminence to one group and abjectness to Abu Sufyan. Consequently in his heart much rancor and hostility were nested towards Islam and the Muslims; a rancor which revealed itself in his words from time to time.
‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr says: “I was present with my father in the battle of al-Yarmuk, but I was too small to fight. During the battle I noticed a group on a hill not participating in the combat. I went towards them and saw Abu Sufyan and some Quraysh chiefs assembled here. They were the men who had embraced Islam after the capture of Mecca. When I reached them they were in the middle of their conversation. As they looked upon me as a child, they did not think I would understand their words. So they continued their talk and spoke as openly as possible. The moment the Muslims happened to make a slight retreat giving the Romans a slight advantage, this group shouted gladly: “Oh! Long live the Romans!” But as soon as the Romans were driven back and the Islamic army gained the advantage, they cried with a great regret: “O, pity for you Romans!”(65)
When the battle ended and the Muslims defeated the Romans, I told the story to my father az-Zubayr. He laughed and said: “May God destroy them, for not abandoning their rancor! For, we are better than the Romans for them.”(66)
The above incident is narrated differently elsewhere, namely: Whenever the Romans drove back the Muslims, Abu Sufyan shouted: “Long live the Romans!” But when the Muslims gained some advantage, Abu Sufyan cried out: “It seems that no living personality has remained from the Roman nobility.”
When the warriors of Islam won the final victory, and I told my father the story, he held my hand and took me among various groups of Muslims, saying to each group: “My son! Repeat the story for them!” I repeated all I had heard, and they were amazed at all that hypocrisy and hostility to Islam.(67)
Abu Sufyan in the time of ‘Uthman
By God! There exists neither a heaven, nor a hell!
Time passed and with the assassination of ‘Umar, ‘Uthman became caliph, and Abu Sufyan, owing to his kinship with ‘Uthman, found new respect, and he was no longer humiliated. One day when he went to ‘Uthman’s presence and said: “O sons of Umayyah! Since the time the caliphate had fallen into the hands of the men of the Taym and ‘Adi tribes (meaning Abu Bakr and ‘Umar) I coveted that position. Now that it has fallen into your hands, you should take turns in seizing it, in the same way that children pass a ball to one another. I swear to God that there exists neither a heaven nor a hell!”(68)(69)
Another narration says that Abu Sufyan declared: “O Banu Umayyah! Pass the caliphate like a ball to each other. I swear in the name of him to whom Abu Sufyan takes an oath that I have been hoping for a long time to see the caliphate in your hands. Now you should let your children inherit it.” ‘Uthman rebuked him for this remark and was very displeased.(70)
Another narration says: In his old age and when he had lost his eyesight, Abu Sufyan went to ‘Uthman’s presence and after settling down, he said: “Is there no stranger present who might report our words to others?” ‘Uthman said: “No, no one.” Abu Sufyan said: “This matter of caliphate is a worldly one, and this government is of the same kind as that of pagan times. Therefore, it is up to you to make our tribe of Banu Umayyah the administrators of the wide realm of Islam.”(71)(72)
It was in the same period that Abu Sufyan one day passing by the tomb of Hamzah, the martyr of Islam, started kicking the tomb, and said: “Abu ‘Amarah, the thing for which we drew our swords yesterday, has fallen into the hands of our children today, and they are playing with it now.”(73)
Thus we see that Abu Sufyan secured his evil wishes with the caliphate of ‘Uthman, such wishes for the fulfillment of which he had made so much effort, and for which many leaders of the Quraysh had been killed, without producing any success, owing to the valor of the Muslims. But now in ‘Uthman’s time and after his death, the rule of the Umayyads fulfilled all those wishes.
Abu Sufyan died in ‘Uthman’s time in one of the years between 31 and 34 of the Hijrah, and according to various reports he was between 80 and 90 years of age. But his wife, Hind, had died before him during ‘Umar’s caliphate.(74)
Role of Mu‘awiyah in the history of Islam
Mu‘awiyah in the time of the Prophet
Truly these two, Mu‘awiyah and ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, never turn to goodness and honesty.
Mu‘awiyah did not for a moment stay away from the leaders of infidelity at the point of the clash between paganism and Islam. Even on the day when he saw his father apparently embracing Islam, he addressed him with reproach¬ing verses saying:
“Oh Sakhr! Do not accept Islam since you will bring us disgrace,
After the death of the dear ones who were torn to pieces in the battle of Badr,
Both my uncles and my mother’s uncle, who was the third of those, killed;
And Hanzalah, my good brother, were those who turned our dawn’s sleep into wakefulness.
Do not even for a moment incline to Islam, since it will burden us with disgrace.
I swear to the camels, which go dancing on the way of Mecca,
That death is easier than the reproach of enemies,
Who may say, Abu Sufyan, son of Harb, turned away for fear of the idol al-‘Uzza.”(75)
After the capture of Mecca, among those who embraced Islam, Mu‘awiyah appeared to turn to this religion, and he received his share of the spoils of the battle of Hunayn, given to the newly converted to incline them more to Islam, a share which consisted of a hundred camels and a large sum of silver.(76) It was in the last years of the Prophet’s life that he generously appointed Mu‘awiyah as one of his numerous scribes.(77)(78)
One day the Prophet sent Ibn ‘Abbas to fetch Mu‘awiyah to write a letter and carry out an order for him. Ibn ‘Abbas found him at his meal, so he returned and reported it to the Prophet. Once again Ibn ‘Abbas was asked to go to fetch Mu‘awiyah. After he found him still at his meal, and Mu‘awiyah refused to come. This incident occurred for the third time, and when Ibn ‘Abbas was unable to fetch him to carry out the Prophet, the Prophet cursed Mu‘awiyah with these words: “May God never satisfy his belly!”(79)
Later on Mu‘awiyah stated: “The Prophet’s curse was fulfilled in my case”, for, he partook of several meals a day, and an enormous quantity of food(80) and still he felt hungry, so that his gluttony had become proverbial, and the people said of a gluttonous person: “It seems as if Mu‘awiyah is in his belly!”
Irrespective of the position of scribe which was not so significant owing to the multiplicity of the Prophet’s scribes, Mu‘awiyah was not regarded as an important personality even though he was the son of the former chief of the Quraysh and top person of Mecca, since the position of Abu Sufyan as a chief no longer existed with the overthrow of the domination of the Quraysh. There were also other reasons for this indifference: firstly he did not possess such qualities as chastity and knowledge which inspire true respect. Secondly, now he was not financially so rich as to dazzle the shallow-minded with his wealth.
One day female Emigrant consulted the Prophet about her marriage with Mu‘awiyah or one of the two other Muslims. The Prophet said: “Mu‘awiyah is an indigent man who has no wealth.”(81)(82)
The future black deeds of Mu‘awiyah could not be hidden from the discerning and divinely penetrating eyes of the Prophet of Islam. Therefore on various occasions he warned the Muslims about Mu‘awiyah and his associates. We see many examples of this in historical incidents, such as the following:
One day when the Prophet was leaving Medina in a journey, he heard two people singing, and each one repeated the following line after the other:
“The bones of our friends are still exposed,
The war has prevented their burial and concealment,
The Prophet said: ‘find out who they are!’
They said: ‘They are Mu‘awiyah and ‘Amr ibn al-‘As!’
The Prophet raised his arms in prayer and said:
‘O God! Throw these two in mischief
And scorch them in the fire.’ ”(83)
In another tradition it is said that in the battle of Tabuk the Prophet noticed these two were walking while talking together. The Prophet turned to his friends and said: “Whenever you see these two together, separate them, for they never get together for any good purpose.”(84)
In a third narration it is stated that the Prophet saw these two together and looked sharply at them. This encounter was repeated on the second and third days, and on each occasion he stared at them for several moments. On the third occasion he said to his friends: “Whenever you see Mu‘awiyah and ‘Amr ibn al-‘As together, you should keep them apart since their getting together is for no good purpose.”(85)
One day Abu Sufyan was riding a horse and his two sons, Yazid and Mu‘awiyah accompanied him on foot, one of them holding the bridle and the other driving the horse from behind. When the Prophet saw this scene, he said: “O God, let your damnation descend on this rider and his guide and driver, and deny them your blessing.”(86)
Many such words have remained from the Prophet which can be found in the books of history and tradition, all of which give a true picture of the personality of Mu‘awiyah from the viewpoint of the Prophet, and the true opinion of Islam about them.(87)
Mu‘awiyah in the time of the caliphs
We quote the words of the Prophet even if Mu‘awiyah be displeased.
‘Ubadah ibn as-Samit
After the Prophet’s death when Abu Bakr became caliph, at first Abu Sufyan showed opposition to him; for, he was loath to see as a ruler, a member of the lowest of the Quraysh tribes, whereas there existed members of the higher Quraysh tribes such as Banu Hashim and Banu Umayyah, both of them of the branch of ‘Abd Manaf and each other’s cousins, who had received no share of such high positions despite their merit.
Therefore, for the first time he came to Imam ‘Ali and said: “O Abu al-Hasan! Offer your hand so that I may show allegiance to you!” He was willing to do anything to attain his purpose, and declared: “I see a mist in the space, which cannot be cleared by anything except by blood.”(88)
The conspirators of as-Saqifah were fully aware of the character of Abu Sufyan and his power. So they made an effort to keep him quiet and satisfied. ‘Umar said to Abu Bakr: “Let him keep the alms he has collected in the Prophet’s time so that we may be free from his evil.”(89)
This was done and Abu Sufyan showed allegiance to Abu Bakr and accepted their rule; for, on the one hand he had no hope of becoming a ruler since no one would submit to him, and on the other hand Imam ‘Ali would not and could not support him. Therefore, he chose the third alternative, namely to collaborate with the authorities of the time. Thus Abu Sufyan joined the party of the administrators of as-Saqifah, and he and his household were placed in their rank.
As a reward for Abu Sufyan’s silence and collaboration, Abu Bakr appointed Yazid, Abu Sufyan’s son, as commander of a large army of Islamic warriors for the conquest of the ash-Sham region. This event occurred in the year 13 of the Hijrah, and Mu‘awiyah took part in this campaign under his brother’s command. After the conquest of ash-Sham, by the order of Abu Bakr, Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan was granted the governorship of Damascus as well as the command of the army there.
During ‘Umar’s caliphate when Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan was stricken with plague, he nominated his brother Mu‘awiyah as the ruler of ash-Sham and commander of the army in his own place, and ‘Umar, the second caliph, accepted the nomination, and entrusted those positions to Mu‘awiyah(90) It was thence that the foundation of the rule and caliphate of the Umayyads was laid.
During the rule of Mu‘awiyah over ash-Sham, ‘Umar made a visit to that province on his way to Egypt. On entering Damascus, Mu‘awiyah went out with a magnificent retinue and received him with a ceremonious welcoming. When ‘Umar noticed all that pomp and ostentation of Mu‘awiyah, he exclaimed: “This man is an Arab Kasra!” When Mu‘awiyah approached him, ‘Umar asked: “Is all this magnificent retinue yours?” Mu‘awiyah answered: “Yes, O commander of the faithful!”
‘Umar said: “I am told that the needy turn to your court and stand at your door for long hours!”
Mu‘awiyah said: “Yes, what you have heard is true.” ‘Umar asked: “Why do you act in this way?” Mu‘awiyah answered: “You see, we are living in a land where there are many enemy spies (Romans) and it is necessary to frighten them with our pomp and glory.”(91)(92)
The time of ‘Umar passed, and ‘Uthman became caliph, and on his assumption of power he granted Mu‘awiyah the rule over the whole region of ash-Sham of that day(93) in addition to the governorship of Damascus, and allowed him perfect liberty to act as he wished. Mu‘awiyah, too, continued his habitual selfish conduct and created a wholly aristocratic and pagan system, and nothing could hinder him from carrying out his evil fancies or desires.
Among the examples of these selfish acts are the incidents which occurred between him and ‘Ubadah ibn as-Samit Khazraji, a noble companion of the Prophet. ‘Ubadah was one of the twelve men of Medina who took part in the allegiance of ‘Aqabah, and who were given the honorable title of “Sheriffs”. They were the first group of Muslims of Medina. ‘Ubadah was one of the few who compiled the Qur’an in the time of the Prophet.(94)
‘Umar ibn al-Khattab had sent this learned companion to ash-Sham during the rule of Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan to teach people the Holy Qur’an. He stayed in the town of Hims until Yazid’s death, and then with the assumption of power by Mu‘awiyah, he joined the Islamic army which was fighting at the Roman frontiers. Muslim, the great Sunni scholar and a famous traditionist, and author of the book “Sahih”, narrates that Mu‘awiyah and ‘Ubadah had both taken part in one of the Islamic wars in which they were victorious and seized some spoils, including silver vessels, which were by the order of Mu‘awiyah offered for sale so that the price of them would be divided among the fighters. The people crowded to buy these silver vessels, and each vessel was sold at double its weight in silver. When ‘Ubadah heard this matter, he rose and exclaimed: “I have heard the Prophet forbidding the exchange of gold for gold and silver for silver except on an equal basis, and thus anyone who takes in excess of this amount, will have committed usury.”
On hearing this verdict, the people who had paid more claimed back the extra sum. When Mu‘awiyah heard of this matter, in great vexation he said: “How is it that people quote verdicts from the Prophet, whereas we who have been his close companions have never heard him utter such words?”
‘Ubadah rose and repeated his former words and added: “We will quote the words of the Prophet even if Mu‘awiyah be displeased.”
According to another narration, he had said: “Despite Mu‘awiyah, I don’t care even if he does not admit me one night in his army!”(95)
According to Ahmad ibn Hanbal and an-Nisa’i, ‘Ubadah had said: “I swear to God that it does not matter at all if I do not spend one night in a land where Mu‘awiyah lives!”(96)
In Usd al-ghabah and Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ which give an account of ‘Ubadah, it is stated that he criticized some acts of Mu‘awiyah and declared them to be contrary to the explicit injunctions of Islam, and then added: “I will not stay in the same land with you.” Then he left ash-Sham for Medina. ‘Umar who was still caliph, asked him why had come to Medina. ‘Ubadah narrated the improper acts of Mu‘awiyah for him. ‘Umar said: “Go back to your former place. May God bring shame on that land in which you and others like you do not live! He can never have domination over you.”(97)
adh-Dhahabi adds in Siyar al-a‘lam: One day ‘Ubadah ibn as-Samit was in the mosque with Mu‘awiyah. The Muezzin called for prayer, and then a preacher climbed the pulpit and in his sermon he praised Mu‘awiyah. ‘Ubadah rose and threw a handful of dust at the preacher’s mouth. Mu‘awiyah became very angry. ‘Ubadah turned to him and said: “You were not with us on the day in the land of ‘Aqabah.(98) Before the emigration when we made a pact with the Prophet to uphold the truth wherever we were. We have promised not to fear any reproacher wherever we are. Then Prophet said: Whenever you see a person praising another to his face, throw dust at him.”(99)(100)
Another day Mu‘awiyah spoke in the sermon he was giving about escaping from plague. ‘Ubadah interrupted him by saying: “Your mother, Hind, was wiser than you!”
Mu‘awiyah ended his sermon and performed the prayer. Then he returned to his palace and sent for ‘Ubadah. Several of the Ansar of ash-Sham accompanied ‘Ubadah, but government officials refused to admit them, so ‘Ubadah alone was taken to Mu‘awiyah’s presence. Mu‘awiyah said to him: “Have you no fear of God, and do you not feel respectful in the presence of your Imam?”(101)
‘Ubadah answered: “Do you not know that in the night of ‘Aqabah I made a pact with the Prophet not to fear any reproach in the way of God.” Later that day Mu‘awiyah went to the mosque for the afternoon prayers, and then on the pulpit he addressed the people, saying: “I quoted a tradition for you earlier today. Then I realized that what ‘Ubadah had said was true. Follow him, for, he is wiser than me!”(102) These events which show a greater degree of mildness, occurred during ‘Umar’s rule, who, owing to his coarseness, did not allow anyone to go to excess.
Mu‘awiyah and ‘Uthman
They brought wine for us and Mu‘awiyah kept on drinking it heedlessly.
‘Abd Allah ibn Buraydah – a companion of the Prophet
Mu‘awiyah’s position in the time of ‘Uthman was different from his state in the time of the first two caliphs. In ‘Uthman’s time he was given a free hand which enabled him to loosen all the ties of law and morality, and his power and wealth had made him wholly oblivious of all Islamic and human matters, and dragged him to the point of winebibbing.
Ibn ‘Asakir and adh-Dhahabi, two greater historians, narrate: One day ‘Ubadah ibn as-Samit was walking along one of the streets of Damascus. He noticed a caravan of camels carrying loads. He asked: “What is the load? Is it olive oil?” Someone said: “No, it is wine; they take it to Mu‘awiyah who has ordered them.” ‘Ubadah at once found a knife and ripped open all the skins of wine. Abu Hurayrah lived in ash-Sham at this time. During the Prophet’s time he was not considered of any account, but after him, owing to the favour shown to him by the caliphate, he was greatly respected. So Mu‘awiyah sent someone to him with this message: “Why don’t you check your brother in his deeds? He goes to the market every morning and hinders tributaries from their transactions, and sits in the mosque at doing nothing but blemishing our honour and prestige.”
At Mu‘awiyah’s request Abu Hurayrah went to ‘Ubadah and said to him: “What is your business with Mu‘awiyah? Leave him alone and do not molest him.”
‘Ubadah said: “Abu Hurayrah! You were not with us on the day we made a pact with the Prophet of God to obey his orders to the effect to do our best in enjoining good and forbidding evil, and have no fear of any reproach, for the sake of Allah.”
Abu Hurayrah had no answer to give but to remain silent. So Mu‘awiyah wrote to ‘Uthman: “ ‘Ubadah has ruined and corrupted ash-Sham and its inhabitants. Summon him and either prevent him from such deeds, or allow me to hand over ash-Sham to him.”
‘Uthman wrote in answer: “Expel ‘Ubadah from the city and send him back to his house in Medina.”
Historians write: “When ‘Ubadah returned to Medina, he went to see ‘Uthman. ‘Uthman was sitting in his house and on looking up, he saw ‘Ubadah in front of him. So he said: “What is your business with us? Why do you interfere in our affairs?”
‘Ubadah arose from amidst the people said: “I heard the Prophet state: After me such people govern you who accustom you to forbidden things and pollution’s with their actions, and at the same time they will criticize the good deeds with which you are familiar. Therefore it is not right to obey the rebellious. Take care not to be diverted from the way of your God.”
According to Ibn ‘Asakir, ‘Ubadah continued by saying: “I swear in the Name of Him in Whose Capable Hand lies the life of ‘Ubadah, that Mu‘awiyah belongs to this group of people. ‘Uthman said nothing in answer and did not protest at all.”(103)
The story of Mu‘awiyah’s excess in drinking and his involvement’s and attitude towards the remaining friends of the Prophet is not the only incident related to him and ‘Ubadah. Historians have written that ‘Abd ar-Rahman, son of Sahl ibn Zayd al-Ansari, had during ‘Uthman’s time, gone to ash-Sham and Damascus to take part in the frontier’s holy war, and as we know, at this time Mu‘awiyah was governor of ash-Sham.
One day on passing in the street he noticed several skins of wine being carried. He had a spear in his hand and rushed upon them and ripped them open. The servants who were in charge of the skins fell upon him. When the matter was reported to Mu‘awiyah he told his men to leave him alone since he had gone crazy. Mu‘awiyah’s remark was reported to ‘Abd ar-Rahman who said: “By God! I have not gone crazy, but the Prophet had ordered us never to bring wine into our houses, and I swear that if I stay in this land and notice Mu‘awiyah doing what the Prophet has forbidden, I will either rip his belly or lose my life for it.”(104)
Ahmad ibn Hanbal writes in his book of Musnad quoting ‘Abd Allah ibn Buraydah, narrating: I went to see Mu‘awiyah with my father. He told us to sit down on the floor covered with carpets and ordered to bring us food. We partook of it. Then they brought wine. He drank some then offered my father a cupful. My father refused it, saying: “Since the day the Prophet has forbidden wine, I have abstained from it.”(105)
Other stories, too, have been told about Mu‘awiyah’s excesses in drinking wine, and Ibn ‘Asakir(106) mentions them in his history books. Those who are interested can refer to that reliable source.
Abu Dharr facing Mu‘awiyah
The blue sky has never thrown its shadow over anyone more honest than Abu Dharr!
In ‘Uthman’s time, Mu‘awiyah had some violent encounters with Abu Dharr, the well-known companion of the Prophet and the great upright Muslim, an account of which is too lengthy, so we will describe them briefly here.
Historians say: Abu Dharr, that devout Muslim and true believer of Islam, believed in God even in pagan times, and was wholly averse towards the worship of idols.(107) When he heard the news of the rise of a prophet in Mecca, he traveled to that city, and was the fourth or fifth person to embrace Islam.(108)
The day after embracing Islam he went to the mosque of al-Haram and loudly declared his faith amidst Qurayshi infidels. They rushed upon him from every side and beat him so badly that his whole body was covered with blood, and as a result he fell down unconscious. Had not al-‘Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle come to his aid, he might have died under the cruel assaults of the Quraysh. An hour later, he rose with a stiff and injured body and went to a corner to wash his wounds and rest his battered body.
Next day he went to the mosque again and loudly exclaimed: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet.” For, he was never afraid of anything in the way of truth. Once more the people rushed upon him and beat him almost to death, leaving him unconscious again.
The following day he emigrated from Mecca to his tribe by the order of the Prophet to invite them to Islam, and stay with them until they were converted. Abu Dharr returned to his tribe of Ghifar, and made many efforts to convert them to Islam. Many years passed until he heard the news of the Prophet’s arrival in Medina and his rise to power and glory. So he set off from his home to stay with his beloved Prophet and feel at peace in his association with him. His emigration to Medina took place after the battle of al-Khandaq. Thenceforth he never left the Prophet’s side, and benefited greatly from his infinite store of knowledge and spirituality, and showed great loyalty and self-sacrifice, and engaged in so many religious acts of devotion and reflection that he became one of the dearest friends of the Prophet.
He has been praised greatly in many genuine traditions by the Prophet. Such as the following:
1-“The blue sky has never thrown its shadow over anyone more honest than Abu Dharr.”(109)
2-In the battle of Tabuk, when his old and weak camel could not keep pace with others Abu Dharr was left behind. He had to abandon the camel. Then he carried his load on his own back and proceeded to march towards the Prophet’s army. The hot desert and scorching sands made this march very difficult, but his true faith made it easy to bear all the hardships. He made a great effort until he finally reached the army. When the Prophet noticed the lonely figure of him approaching the warriors of Islam, he said: “May God bless Abu Dharr; he walks alone, dies alone and will be resurrected alone.”(110)
From the time ‘Uthman became caliph until the days he made innovations for the enhancing the influence of his kith and kin, several years passed. Therefore at the beginning of his caliphate when he followed the ways of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, the Quraysh chiefs were satisfied with him. But when some of the Umayyads began to influence him, and other Quraysh leaders such as Talhah, az-Zubayr, ‘A’ishah, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As and their supporters were treated with indifference, displeasure and difference arose.
He offered an enormous gift to his son-in-law, Marwan, namely the taxes of a large region like Africa;(111) three hundred thousand drachmas to his cousin, al-Harith ibn al-Hakam; one hundred thousand drachmas to his supporter, Zayd ibn Thabit al-Ansari.
When Abu Dharr saw that Muslims’ public fund was being squandered and the Islamic government, as Abu Sufyan said, was changed into a pagan one, he felt it his duty to revive the forgotten injunctions of the Qur’an and deliver the Muslims from their negligence towards the Qur’an and Prophet’s household. It was owing to this feeling that Abu Dharr adopted this smashing verse of the Qur’an as his slogan:
“Those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend in Allah’s way, warn them of a painful chastisement.”(112)
This verse was addressed to the Umayyads who regarded other people’s property and public funds as their own and easily made use of them. They gave them away, built palaces, and spent them extravagantly. Consequently the caliph’s administrators took umbrage at Abu Dharr’s words, and sharp altercations between Abu Dharr and ‘Uthman took place. ‘Uthman was aware that no compromise was possible with that true and God-fearing warrior of Islam, and Abu Dharr showed no mercy with the pagan customs, which were being revived under the cover of Islam, and he did not allow them a formal recognition. So ‘Uthman ordered him to go to ash-Sham and to the border where the Muslims were fighting the Romans, hoping that Abu Dharr would be involved with these wars, and leave the caliph’s organization alone.
But who was governing ash-Sham except the Mu‘awiyah a man of the Umayyads, and an heir of black paganism, and a hypocrite in the garb of Islam? Therefore in ash-Sham, too, Abu Dharr could not abandon his duty of enjoining good and forbidding evil. As we have already stated, Mu‘awiyah acted as a great pillar of paganism which with the aid of ‘Uthman, was now governing the wide realm of Islam. Consequently there occurred clashes since Abu Dharr reminded Mu‘awiyah of his deeds which lacked the hue of Islam and were nothing but infidelity and selfishness, and forbade him from engaging in them.
One day Mu‘awiyah sent him three hundred dinars. When Abu Dharr saw Mu‘awiyah’s messenger and the gold dinars, he said: “If this money is my annual salary from the public fund of which you deprived me last year, I will accept it, but if it is meant to be a gift, I have no need of it.”
When Mu‘awiyah began the construction of his palace, a big palace of green stones which was unrivaled in the world at that time and was a symbol of paganism and sensuality in the land of Islam, Abu Dharr protested loudly to Mu‘awiyah: “If you are building this palace with public funds and God’s property, your action is treachery, since such funds should be spent on the amelioration of the conditions of the Muslims and Islam and they do not belong to any particular person. But if it is built out of your own wealth, then it would be a sign of extravagance; for, how many things does a single person need for his daily life?”
Mu‘awiyah had nothing to say, and Abu Dharr as usual emerged victorious in this argument with his power of reasoning. Abu Dharr had often said to him: “I swear to God, you have committed such acts the examples of which we do not remember in our Islamic customs, and know nothing like them. By God! Such deeds are mentioned neither in the Book of God, nor in the ways and traditions of His prophet. I am witnessing the right being suppressed and the wrong coming into surface. Truth is negated, and the incompetent and unabstemious are exalted, and a noble and pious person like Imam ‘Ali is forced to retire to his house.”(113)
The people gathered round this old man who was full of love for God and sympathy for people, to hear the sincere words which he uttered in defense of Unity, truth and Islam. But unfortunately the pestilential organization of Mu‘awiyah would not tolerate him, and his soldiers shouted: “O people! No one should associate with Abu Dharr!”(114) He was one of the few true Muslims who still lived in that land, and as Islam could not tolerate paganism, paganism, too, could not tolerate Islam.
A historian writes: One night Mu‘awiyah sent Abu Dharr one thousand dinars, and he in turn immediately divided that money among the needy people since Islamic training and ascetic spirit had no liking for collecting worldly treasures. In the morning when Mu‘awiyah came for prayer, he summoned the previous night’s messenger and told him to go to Abu Dharr and say to him: “Save me from Mu‘awiyah’s punishment. The money, which I brought to you, was a mistake. Please give it back to me to deliver it to its original place, and be thus immune from Mu‘awiyah’s punishment.”
When the messenger delivered his message, Abu Dharr said to him: “My son, tell Mu‘awiyah that Abu Dharr says: I swear to God that at this dawn not a single dinar remains with me. Give me three days’ respite to take the money back from the needy.”
Mu‘awiyah realized that Abu Dharr is not merely a man of talk, but engages in action at the first opportunity, and thus he proves his words. So Mu‘awiyah felt apprehensive of him, and an old man like Abu Dharr with his Islamic belief and deeds posed a threat to him making his backspin shiver with fear. At this time he took refuge with his master, ‘Uthman, and wrote to him: “If you have authority over ash-Sham and its people, summon Abu Dharr since he fills people’s minds with rancor.”(115)
According to al-Baladhuri, ‘Uthman wrote to Mu‘awiyah in answer: “Make Abu Dharr mount a rough and uneasy ride and send him back to Medina.” Consequently they made him ride an unruly camel and proceed non-stop to Medina. It was a long and exhausting journey in a dry and sandy desert, led by cruel and inhuman guards.(116)
al-Ya‘qubi gives further details and says: ‘Uthman wrote to Mu‘awiyah: “Put him on a saddleless camel and send him to us.” ‘Uthman’s strict order was carried out about this man of God, and as a result when he reached Medina he had lost much of the flesh of his legs.(117)
al-Mas‘udi says: They made him mount a camel, which had only a dry niece of wood on its back, and he was guarded by five coarse men of as-Saqalabah(118) who forced him to move swiftly. This went on until they reached Medina. His thighs were badly sore and showed raw flesh. In short, during those few days he had suffered so much that he was almost on the point of death.(119)
But this brave and valiant man was not so weak as to be vanquished by such treatments, nor had he forgotten his duties towards the Qur’an and the Prophet’s household as to come to terms with ‘Uthman. He was like a steadfast mountain that could not be moved by any event. Consequently the moment he reached Medina, he cried out vigorously and rose once more to fight the ‘Uthmanic paganism. He said protestingly: “They appoint children as administrators and arrange fiefs and feuds for themselves. They raise and exalt the offsprings of the men freed after the capture of Mecca and bestow on them rank and dignity.”
It was the reward and lot of this godly man to be exiled to ar-Rabadhah, a very dry and waterless desert in which Abu Dharr had stayed before Islam and which he disliked immensely.
Thenceforth the rest of Abu Dharr’s life was spent in ar-Rabadhah, that terribly dry and lifeless desert. It was in the same place, too, that he lost his wife and children, and he himself died of hunger and illness. Only one of his daughters stayed alive to live.
According to historians, Abu Dharr spent one year in ash-Sham where he had been exiled in the year 29 of the Hijrah. In the year 30 Mu‘awiyah complained of him to ‘Uthman, following which he was summoned to Medina in the sorry conditions described before. Then in the same year he was exiled to ar-Rabadhah, where he died in the year 31 or 32 of the Hijrah.
A fable in the history of Islam
Many things have been said about the reason for Abu Dharr’s exile which I feel disgusted to mention.
What we have described in the proceeding pages concerning Abu Dharr’s life, and his exiles from Medina to ash-Sham, from ash-Sham to Medina and from Medina to ar-Rabadhah, was only a brief account derived from the reliable researches of historians. But what has been narrated about this subject by at-Tabari and his followers, namely Ibn al-Athir, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Khaldun and Abu al-Fida’ are a series of lies and forgeries all of which were originally fabricated by Sayf ibn ‘Umar, the great Kufi interpolator and forger of history. at-Tabari and succeeding historians have adopted the historical events of those years from the fables invented in the imagination of Sayf and have thus filled their books and history of Islam with these lies and fables.
at-Tabari writes in his history: In this year, namely the year 30 of the Hijrah, the incident of Abu Dharr has taken place, namely his expulsion from ash-Sham to Medina by Mu‘awiyah. Narrators have said much about this hideous exile which I have no inclination to quote.
But those who offer an excuse for Mu‘awiyah in this incident, have quoted a story narrated by Sayf from Yazid al-Faq‘asi. He says: When Ibn as-Sawda’ arrived in ash-Sham, he met Abu Dharr and said to him: Abu Dharr, are you not surprised at Mu‘awiyah who says: ‘Wealth belongs to God’, whereas everything belongs to God? Then he adds: Mu‘awiyah intends to swallow the whole of the public funds and revenue, and deprive the Muslims of it.”(120)
Here at-Tabari is quoting the story of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’, the fabulous hero of the history of Islam, with the title of Ibn as-Sawda’, and we have shown in the book of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’, two volumes of which have been published, that it is full of lies and fables, and interested readers can refer to them.
All the historians who have succeeded at-Tabari have more or less followed his example in quoting the said story. For example, Ibn al-Athir, the great historian of the 7th century, writes in his history book: ‘In that year (30th of the Hijrah) the incident of Abu Dharr’s exile from ash-Sham to Medina by Mu‘awiyah took place. Many things have been said about the motive and cause of this matter including Mu‘awiyah’s abuses and threats to Abu Dharr and his expulsion on a bare camel, his exile to Medina in that tragic state, which should be left, unsaid. If it is true, it would be fitting to offer an excuse for ‘Uthman about this matter such as the claim that a ruler and imam can chastise his subject and so on, and not make use of such incidents as a basis of irony and criticism towards ‘Uthman. These narrations contain matters, which I do not like to quote. But Mu‘awiyah’s apologists have offered some excuses in this connection. They write…”(121)
Then he narrates the story of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’, the imaginary and untrue hero of the stories of Sayf ibn ‘Umar from at-Tabari, and this is exactly what Ibn Kathir, Ibn Khaldun and others have done. But when we refer to at-Tabari’s words, we see that he does not disregard the numerous calamities, which have befallen Abu Dharr owing to their being false and forged, but he merely does not like to quote them, since he does not wish to blemish such Prophet’s companions as ‘Uthman and Mu‘awiyah.
Then he speaks of apologists and excuse-makers and fills his great book with their false and fabulous reports, such reports which he himself calls “fibs”. Thus he closes the door of truth seeking upon future investigators, and throws the chaste visage of such a great man as Abu Dharr into the depth of obscurity.
The conduct of Ibn al-Athir, the great historian of the middle centuries of the history of Islam, is similar. He, too, collaborates with at-Tabari in this great crime and truth-destroying history, and after referring to a number of issues, despite the fact that the sources do not weaken his statements, he avoids going into details, since he thinks that such matters should not be described fully for, such a description would be detrimental to the powerful Umayyads and caliphs.
But to-day we neither intend to cavil anyone, nor to find baseless excuses for him. We are only trying to find the truth of historical events for the sake of doing service to the sacred field of knowledge. We will not, of course, forgive these great scholars for their connivance at the facts of the history of Islam; for, their purpose has been nothing but to please the powerful and the ruling caliphs by their works.
* * *
As we saw, at-Tabari quotes the story of Abu Dharr from Sayf, and other historians have either borrowed it directly from Sayf or through at-Tabari. This story is part of the fable of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’, which is fabricated by Sayf ibn ‘Umar. We have dealt with it in the second volume of this book in connection with the fable of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’ and its origin and source. Here we add that the story of Abu Dharr and most of the fables of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’ have been quoted solely by Sayf from a person named Yazid al-Faq‘asi.
Now we should see who this Yazid al-Faq‘asi is and what his narration is to discover the identity of this man, we have referred to all the available sources about personalities, traditions, history, biography, genealogy and Islamic and Arab literature, and have not found the slightest trace of his name or mention of him, except in the narrations quoted from Sayf by at-Tabari and adh-Dhahabi. Such narrations are no more than six in number, five of which are seen in at-Tabari, and one in adh-Dhahabi’s “History of Islam”.(122)
In these narrations Sayf has quoted the story of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’ from Yazid al-Faq‘asi, and one of them is related to the story of Abu Dharr. In this one Sayf has lowered Abu Dharr, that great companion and secret-keeper of the Prophet, to a point where he, under the influence of an unknown Jew, namely
‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’, engages in riot and uprising against Mu‘awiyah and other Umayyad rulers, and thus causes mischief in an Islamic environment. This narration concludes that in all these riots the Umayyads, namely ‘Uthman, Mu‘awiyah and others have not been guilty at all and that their son-in-law been a perfectly virtuous man!
After a long and careful investigation about the source of the story of Abu Dharr and ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’, we came to the conclusion that all these fables are borrowed from Sayf ibn ‘Umar by all writers of history, and Sayf, the forger and fabricator of events, in order to give validity to a story and narration, invents a narrator named Yazid al-Faq‘asi, and this fictitious narrator is artificially related to the house of al-Faq‘asi which is a branch of the Asad tribe.(123) But in none of these narrations does Sayf mention him, as if he considered him to be fatherless!
In fact the real father of this narrator and all those fabricated companions and narrators who are the heroes of Sayf’s stories, and the father of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’, the greatest hero of his fables, is Sayf ibn ‘Umar at-Tamimi himself who is the first producer of all these lies, and no one else has been his partner.
Unfortunately most great writers of history such as at-Tabari, Ibn al-Athir, Ibn ‘Asakir, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Ibn Hajar and many others have filled their books with the fabrications of that great liar and atheistic forger named Sayf ibn ‘Umar. Consequently the views of most Mus¬lims about the friends of the Prophet are based to day on those fables, and they tend to know Islam through them.
Will they allow us after twelve centuries to pull these fables out of the traditions and history of Islam and throw them away in order to open the way for a true understanding of Islam for all people?
The Quranic memorizers and
interpreters of Kufah in ash-Sham
Mu‘awiyah was deeply averse to the stay of the Prophet’s great companions in ash-Sham.
The clashes of Mu‘awiyah were not confined to such men as Abu Dharr. This ungodly man Mu‘awiyah, who was the heir of paganism with all its peculiarities came into conflict with anyone who had even slightly discovered the truth of Islam. Consequently he quarreled violently with the Kufah memorizers and interpreters of the Qur’an, who had been exiled to Sham.
al-Baladhuri, the great historian, writes in his reliable book of Ansab al-ashraf: When ‘Uthman dismissed al-Walid from the governorship of Kufah and replaced him by Sa‘id ibn al-‘As, he ordered the latter to treat the people of that city leniently and try not to confront them as al-Walid had done. So Sa‘id kept the company of the dignitaries and Quranic interpreters of the city and they got together every night, and discussed various matters.(124)
One day in this gathering the talk led to the subject of Sawad and al-Jabal(125). Those present preferred the flourishing state and greenness of Sawad to Jabal, and claimed that in the fields and gardens of Sawad all kinds of crops could be found, in addition to date palms. The city’s chief of police said: “I wish these lands belonged to the Emir so that you could own better fields and gardens.”
Malik al-Ashtar answered: “If your wish is for the Emir, wish him to obtain better fields and gardens than ours. Do not wish him to obtain property. Let us keep ours!”
That man said: “What harm does that wish do to you that has angered you? By God, if he decided and wanted it, he could take possession of all these fields and gardens!”
al-Ashtar answered: “I swear to God that even if he decides to take possession of them, he is not capable of it.”
Sa‘id ibn al-‘As became angry at these words and said to those present: “The fields and gardens of Sawad under any circumstances belong to the Quraysh.” (Meaning the Umayyads and such tribes as Taym and ‘Adi who were in Mecca, and not to the Ansar who were originally from Yemen, to which group Malik al-Ashtar and most inhabitants of Kufah belonged.)
al-Ashtar answered sharply: “Do you wish to make for yourself and your relatives a fief of the fruits of our wars and what God has granted us? I swear to God that if anyone covets the lands and fields of that region, we will pound him so heavily as to be a lesson to him.”(126)
Then al-Ashtar rushed upon the chief of the police, but he was checked by those present. Sa‘id ibn al-‘As wrote an account of this incident to ‘Uthman and stated: “So long as al-Ashtar and his friends, who are called the Qaris of Kufah and are nothing but ignorant and stupid people, remain in this city, I cannot keep control of anything.”
‘Uthman wrote back: “Send them to ash-Sham.’ Thus these Kufah Qaris, namely these Quranic interpreters who had quarreled with Sa‘id, left Kufah and settled in Damascus in ash-Sham. Mu‘awiyah with his particular cunningness Considered it necessary at first to show a welcome to these exiled Qaris, and thus he treated them kindly and respectfully. But this treatment could not last long, since al-Ashtar and his friends were valiant, honest and devout individuals who could not sincerely associate with such a cunning, hypocritical and ungodly man as Mu‘awiyah.
At last what was expected to happen, took place and a violent altercation occurred between Mu‘awiyah and al-Ashtar, and a severe quarrel ensued. al-Ashtar was seized and imprisoned for quite a long time. After he was set free, conditions assumed a different form. Now al-Ashtar and his friends, who stayed away from the ruler of ash-Sham, chose to associate with the people of the streets and markets of Damascus. Mu‘awiyah reported this matter to ‘Uthman and stated: “You have sent to me such individuals who have corrupted their own city and caused a riot there. I am not secure from the danger of there corrupting my entourage and the people of Damascus, too, and teach them things, which they had not known so far. Thus the people of ash-Sham will be as corrupt as the Kufans and will lose their mental health and equilibrium.”
‘Uthman thought of a way, namely to send al-Ashtar and his friends to a remote and insignificant town where they could not do much harm. So he ordered to deport them to the town of Hims, and this order was carried out.(127)
al-Mada’ini, the famous historian of the early centuries of Islam, narrates that they had some gatherings with Mu‘awiyah in ash-Sham where they had heated arguments with each other. For instance, one day Mu‘awiyah said to them: “All the Qurayshis know that Abu Sufyan was the noblest and most exalted member of them, with the exception of the Prophet who was chosen by God and respected by all. If Abu Sufyan had been the father of everyone, all of them would have been great, docile and forbearing men.”
Sa‘sa‘ah ibn Sawhan retorted at once: “You are lying Mu‘awiyah! Human beings are produced by someone (meaning Adam) who had definitely been better than Abu Sufyan, by a man whom God created with His own hand and by His own power, and into whom He breathed His own spirit, and ordered the angels to prostrate themselves before him. Nevertheless among his offsprings there appeared good and wicked ones, intelligent and stupid ones, and they were not all the same in character.”(128)
As we saw, Mu‘awiyah was displeased with the stay in ash-Sham of the Prophet’s true friends and companions and of such individuals as Abu Dharr and ‘Ubadah. Similarly he had no desire that the interpreters and followers of the Qur’an and honest and devout persons should reside in that city. This matter vexed him so much that these individuals would divulge to the people certain truths, which had been hidden from them, and inform them of divine injunctions, in which case Mu‘awiyah could no longer carry on his selfish life in the manner of the tyrants of the time, like Caesars and Kasras.
Mu‘awiyah after ‘Uthman
God forbid that I should lake the perverse as my aids.
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib
As we have already seen(129) owing to the greed and crimes of the relatives of ‘Uthman who had the ruling power behind them, riots and rebellions spread over big Islamic cities, and dissatisfied Muslims placed ‘Uthman in straitened circumstances in Medina. This third caliph wrote to Mu‘awiyah in the same way that he had written to other governors, asking for help. He said in his letter: “The people of Medina have resorted to infidelity and disobedience and have violated their allegiance. Let the warriors of ash-Sham mount any kind of animal, and dispatch them to my aid.”
Mu‘awiyah received the letter. He was well aware of the chaotic conditions, and was probably waiting for the death of ‘Uthman and his removal as a powerful rival, in order to get one step nearer to the seat of caliphate. Therefore, despite all his debt to ‘Uthman, he showed no haste in sending help, and accounted for his negligence by declaring: “I have no wish to oppose all the friends and companions of the Prophet.” What a deception and cunning¬ness he displayed!
When he took so long in giving a positive response to the caliph’s letter, ‘Uthman wrote to the people of ash-Sham themselves, asking them to leave their city and hasten to his aid.(130)
al-Baladhuri writes: When ‘Uthman wrote to Mu‘awiyah asking for his help, Mu‘awiyah sent Yazid ibn Asad al-Qasri with a group of soldiers towards Medina, but ordered that on-their arrival at Dhu Khushub(131) they should set up a camp there and proceed no further.
With such an order, the commander and his army proceeded towards Medina, and when they reached the zone of Dhu Khushub, they halted and lingered there so long until ‘Uthman was killed in the hands of the people. When all the riot and tumult subsided, Mu‘awiyah recalled Yazid ibn Asad, and the army returned to ash-Sham without having taken a positive step.
al-Baladhuri, the reliable historian of the third century of Hijrah, believes that Mu‘awiyah’s action was not without a plan and motive. He wished that ‘Uthman would be killed during the events so that he could claim the caliphate as ‘Uthman’s cousin.(132)
But, as we know, events took a different course; the people gathered round Imam ‘Ali and chose him as caliph. When public allegiance was shown to Imam ‘Ali, Mu‘awiyah regretted his own negligence towards ‘Uthman; for, he saw that the caliphate was now out of his reach. Therefore, he thought of a new plan and a fresh trick. He secretly wrote to Talhah and az-Zubayr and tried to rouse their desire for the position of caliph.
These two were sensual men who loved money, and had tasted the sweetness of being wealthy in ‘Uthman’s time. Therefore they easily accepted Mu‘awiyah’s wicked offer.(133) His plan was to persuade those two, who pos¬sessed much influence and credit in those days, to fight with the Imam, using the pretext of claiming vengeance for the blood of ‘Uthman as an innocent caliph. Talhah and az-Zubayr were deceived by Mu‘awiyah’s trick and started the battle of al-Jamal, and, as we have already seen,(134) Talhah was killed at the beginning of the battle, and az-Zubayr, who had retired from fighting, was unchivalrously killed by a man of the Tamim tribe.(135) Thus two of the greatest rivals of Mu‘awiyah for the caliphate departed from the scene, since the death of rivals from each front would bring Mu‘awiyah one step nearer to his assumption of that position.
After Imam ‘Ali became caliph, he sent a messenger by name of Jarir to Mu‘awiyah to get allegiance. Mu‘awiyah said to Jarir: “Tell your friend I am willing to submit to him and show allegiance on two conditions: Firstly to make ash-Sham and Egypt my fief and let tributes of these lands be mine, and secondly not to impose on me the allegiance to anyone after his own death!”
These declarations clearly showed Mu‘awiyah’s intense desire for the caliphate. He knew well that he could not compete with Imam ‘Ali since he lacked all the virtues and merits by which Imam ‘Ali was known, and of which he was aware, and did not yet dare to rise in rebellion against the new caliph. He thought it more expedients to let others such as ‘A’ishah, Talhah and az-Zubayr pave the way for him. Therefore he considered it wiser to come to terms with the Imam, and by gaining the governorship of Egypt (Muslim part of Africa) he could add another extensive province to his dominion, so that after the death of the Imam he could more easily secure the position of the caliphate.
Jarir responded: “You may write to him whatever you like, and I shall write my report.”
Mu‘awiyah wrote his proposals to the Imam, and the Imam sent the following answer to Jarir: “Mu‘awiyah seems definitely resolved not to vow allegiance to me, and to do as he likes. He intends to detain and delay you so long as to secure the control of public opinion on his arrival. When I was in Medina, al-Mughayrah ibn-Shu‘bah suggested that I should let Mu‘awiyah remain in ash-Sham. I rejected this suggestion since I had no wish to let God see me desiring the aid of such perverse and wicked men as Mu‘awiyah. If he agrees to show allegiance to me, all is well, otherwise you may return soon.”(136)
Ibn Kathir, the historian of the 8th century, writes in his history book of al-Bidayah wa an-nihayah: ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu‘ayt wrote a letter to Mu‘awiyah reproaching him severely for writing to Imam ‘Ali and demanding the governorship of ash-Sham and Egypt, and included the following poetical lines in his letter:
“Mu‘awiyah! Do not lose ash-Sham, for it is your land,
Take care not to let enemies enter it who are as dangerous as vipers.
‘Ali is waiting to see what you answer;
Take a war as souvenir for him that whitens the black hair of the young.
Defend your ash-Sham with swords and spears.
Otherwise give way to submission in which lies security for him who desires no war.
O son of Harb! That letters which you wrote out of cupidity,
Will bring you many great calamities.
In that letter you have demanded things which you can never secure.
Even if you secure what you have asked, it won’t last more than one night.
You will wait so long for the fulfillment of your desire,
That you will eventually secure what is going to destroy you.
Therefore, do not heap up so many fancies in your head.
You can never deceive a man like ‘Ali with your cunning!
You have tested him sufficiently in the past
And seen that he built up what you demolished.
If his clutches penetrate you even once,
He will skin you. You who skinned others.”(137)
Siffin, the battlefield of right and wrong
In Mu‘awiyah’s army five hundred Qur’ans were placed on spearheads.
We saw how Mu‘awiyah, despite all his indebtedness to ‘Uthman cunningly abstained from helping him, and delayed help to ‘Uthman so long that dissatisfied Muslims finally killed ‘Uthman. Maybe he intended thereby to remove a great obstacle in the way of his own aspirations to become the caliph. But following ‘Uthman’s assassination, and Contrary to Mu‘awiyah’s expectations, Imam ‘Ali was chosen as caliph by the people and it was him who took charge of the affairs and with his usual determination demanded allegiance and submission from him.
But Mu‘awiyah had made an evil and ruinous plan. He wished to fight the Imam under the pretext of the innocence of ‘Uthman and claiming revenge for his blood, an excuse, which had been brought up first in the battle of al-Jamal.
He hoped that in this way he would fulfill the great desire of his own and the will of his father Abu Sufyan, and seize control of the whole wide realm of Islam. Consequently he hung the bloody garment of ‘Uthman by the pulpit of the mosque of Damascus, and commissioned a number of white-bearded and affectedly meek old men to gather round it and weep. Then in his sermon he declared ‘Uthman to be an innocent guardian of the people who was killed unjustly and those who had murdered him must suffer vengeance for his blood. The people of ash-Sham were easily deceived by this scene making. Was it not true that they had been made to embrace Islam by his brother, Yazid, and had been governed by Mu‘awiyah for twenty years? Therefore their simple-mindedness and their conduct which had been shaped by the Umayyads as well as their being accustomed to a life under them, had prepared them to accept the ideas and plans of Mu‘awiyah. Therefore, all the people of ash-Sham showed allegiance and obedience to him.(138)
The ash-Shamis wanted to fight the Imam and were led to mistakenly believe that the assassins of ‘Uthman were enjoying his protection. So they decided to seize the culprits and kill them in revenge for ‘Uthman’s blood. Allegiance was made with Mu‘awiyah and the people of ash-Sham prepared themselves to accompany him in a war against Imam ‘Ali. The two armies faced each other at Siffin in the lunar month of Rabi‘ al-Awwal (Rabi‘ I) in the year 36 of the Hijrah.(139)
The two armies remained in the wide plain of Siffin on the bank of the river Euphrates long. Imam ‘Ali was in the habit of not making the first move in any of the wars, since this was the way of Islam and its counsel. He was always ready to defend. During the beginning days Mu‘awiyah ordered his army to take control of the way to the river and blocked the way of access to water for Imam ‘Ali’s army. Although ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, the cunning counselor of Mu‘awiyah, had advised him against it, arguing that Imam ‘Ali would never let his army remain thirsty, Mu‘awiyah did not abstain from that wicked move. But al-Ashtar, the brave commander of ‘Ali’s army, with his unceasing efforts captured the route of access to water from Mu‘awiyah army, and then the Imam in a manner fitting his noble and generous position as a religious leader, sent the following message to Mu‘awiyah:
“We do not retaliate your mean action by a wrong deed. You and we are on an equal footing in the access to water. You may use and benefit from it, since water is for everybody’s use.”(140)
The trickery of Mu‘awiyah
Place the Qur’ans on spearheads.
This was the first encounter of the two armies. A relative calmness reigned over the battlefield for a long time, since Imam ‘Ali was doing his utmost not to impose his views by means of force and war. But the ash-Shamis spoke of nothing but avenging “‘Uthman’s blood”.
In the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, some minor clashes took place between the two armies without producing any decisive result, and owing to the commencement of the month of Muharram (in which fighting is forbidden) both sides desisted from combat. But after the end of Muharram, the fight was resumed. During this time Mu‘awiyah tried hard to gain the Imam’s writ granting him the governorship of ash-Sham and thus put an end to the war. But the Imam could not at any cost accept the co-operation of such a man as Mu‘awiyah.
In a fierce clash and owing to the valor and steadfastness of the army of the Imam, the right wing of his forces succeeded in advancing as far as the tent of Mu‘awiyah, while the left wing retreated before the onslaught of the army of ash-Sham. It was then that the Imam himself entered the field and organized the retreating wing. Then he invited Mu‘awiyah to a man-to-man combat so that with the death of one of the two an end would be put to the differences between the two sides, and all the bloodshed which was undesirable in his opinion, would cease. But Mu‘awiyah refused the challenge for fear of his life, since he felt sure that he could not escape the powerful clutches of the Imam.
Fighting continued into the night, and by dawn the final defeat of ash-Sham’s army became evident. Malik al-Ashtar, the valiant man of Kufah, on the right wing and the Imam himself in the center made severe onslaughts on the enemy. The columns of the Kufah army had also penetrated deeply into the ash-Sham’s front. Mu‘awiyah was preparing to flee, for his defeat was close at hand, and this great pillar of paganism and infidelity was about to topple over, and the rule of ‘Ali was to be established over the whole realm of Islam. Suddenly ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, the cunning adviser of Mu‘awiyah, thought of a devilish plan, and by his suggestion and Mu‘awiyah’s order the soldiers of ash-Sham placed copies of the Qur’an on their spearheads and shouted the slogan “We will submit to the verdict of the Qur’an.”
Five hundred copies of the Qur’an went up on spearheads.(141) Those men of the Imam’s army who had not really understood Islam were deceived by this great trick, and with the exception of steadfast warriors, no one could escape from its effect, especially on the hirelings of Mu‘awiyah and hypocrites of the Kufah army such as al-Ash‘ath ibn Qays were meanwhile doing their worst to create mischief and sedition.(142)
Despite the advises of the Imam and some wise men of his army to the effect that this act of Mu‘awiyah was nothing but trickery and deceitfulness and despite the fact that they had been called to follow the Qur’an, they had shown no inclination, and the simple-minded rebels of Imam’s army headed by al-Ash‘ath refused to accept reason. As we have said, there was also some treason at work and Mu‘awiyah’s agents were trying in every possible way to prevent unity and unanimity.
At this time on the one hand Malik al-Ashtar had smashed the army of Mu‘awiyah and was on the point of ending the battle in favour of the army of Iraq, and on the other hand al-Ash‘ath and his supporters were putting a great pressure on the Imam to order al-Ashtar to return. The Imam ordered Malik to return, but Malik said: “Tell the Imam this not a suitable moment to recall me from the front. I am relying on God to grant me a speedy victory.”
The messenger returned and reported Malik’s answer. At the same moment a terrible dust rose and the shouts of the warriors filled the whole space, displaying the victory of the Iraqi army and defeat of ash-Sham’s forces. Those who had surrounded the Imam cried out: “Have you ordered al-Ashtar to fan up the flame of war?” The Imam said: “Woe upon you! Did I send my messenger with a secret message? Did I not give him instruction in a loud voice within your hearing?” They said: “Send another message to al-Ashtar to return, otherwise we will leave you!”
The Imam sent the message telling al-Ashtar to return since a riot and sedition had started. al-Ashtar asked: “Why? Do they make this riot only because the enemies have placed their Qur’ans on spearheads?” The messenger said: “Yes!” al-Ashtar said: “By God! I fear that this matter will produce a division amongst us. It is an action suggested by the son of Nabighah(143) in order to produce a deadlock for us. Don’t you see that God has granted us victory? Would it be right for me to withdraw from the battle at such a moment?”
The messenger said: “Do you wish to get victory in the battlefield while they kill the Imam or surrender him to the enemy? They have said to the Imam: ‘Either make al-Ashtar return, or we will kill you with our swords in the same way that we killed ‘Uthman, or we hand you over to your enemy as a captive.’ ”
al-Ashtar said: “By God! I don’t desire such a victory,” and withdrew at once from the battlefield and went to the Imam’s presence, and then turned to those who had surrounded the Imam and said sharply to them: “O base weaklings! At a time when you have gained victory over the enemy, and have caught him who has trampled upon the Book of God and the Prophet’s tradition, you tremble at his trickery, and surrender to his cunning invitation to the Qur’an? At least be wise enough to give me one hour’s respite to end this war.”
They said: “No!” He said: “All right give me time at least for one gallop of a horse!”
They replied: “Then we will become your accomplice in sin!” al-Ashtar said: “Tell me, were you in the right in those days when you were fighting and your good men like ‘Ammar ibn Yasir got killed, or are you in the right now that your wicked ones are left and your desire peace? If you are in the right now, then your good men who were killed and whose chastity you cannot deny, are your burning in the fire of hell.”
They answered: “al-Ashtar! Leave us alone, for, we won’t follow you. Keep away from us!”
al-Ashtar said: “I swear to God that you have been deceived. We regarded your prayer as a sign of your love for God and your submission to Him. Now it is quite evident that you fear death and wish to flee, and are eager to stay in this world! After today you will never find honour and dignity. Stay away in the same way that the tyrants have gone away!”(144)
The rioters, who were unable to find an answer, began to abuse him and whipped his horse. The dispute became more violent and al-Ashtar used sharp words. Then Imam ordered him to be quiet. They became silent. al-Ashtar turned to the Imam and said: “Give me to leave to attack them and vanquish all of them!” Those present protested, and Imam ‘Ali at last agreed to arbitration in accordance with the verdict of the Qur’an.
al-Ashtar said: “If he agrees to this, I, too, am satisfied.”
The clamor rose from every side: “the commander of the faithful has agreed! He has agreed!”
Imam had retreated in deeper ponder remained silent, not uttering a word.(145)
Abu Musa and ‘Amr ibn al-‘As
You are like a dog which on being attacked, breathes hard with its tongue hanging out, and in being left alone, it does the same thing.
Abu Musa addressing ‘Amr ibn al-‘As
You are like a donkey laden with books.
‘Amr ibn al-‘As addressing Abu Musa
As we saw, the Imam was eventually compelled to accept the view of the rebels of his army who demanded arbitration. The matter led to the choice of arbitrators. The people of ash-Sham chose ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, and al-Ash‘ath and his Kufan supporters, who after this event formed the party of Khawarij (namely outsiders, leaving ‘Ali’s side as a successor to the caliphate), declared that Abu Musa was their nominee. The Imam said: “I do not think Abu Musa is the right man for such an important task.”
al-Ash‘ath and his supporters said: “We choose no one but him, since it was he who warned us against this war from the beginning.”
The Imam said: “I could not be pleased with him and his judgment. He stayed away from me and forbade the people from aiding me. Then he fled from me until I granted him grace. I nominate Ibn ‘Abbas for this affair.”
They said: “By God! Ibn ‘Abbas is not different from you. We accept none from the army of Iraq unless his family ties with you and Mu‘awiyah is on an equal footing.”
The Imam said: “In that case I nominate Malik al-Ashtar.”
al-Ash‘ath said: “It was none but Malik who set fire to the land under our feet. Is it not true that we are under al-Ashtar’s verdict?”
The Imam said: “What is his verdict?” They said: “His verdict is that we and the army of ash-Sham give each other so many blows of the sword until what you desire and what he wishes to be fulfilled.”
The Imam said: “But you see, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As will deceive Abu Musa.”
They said: “We will be satisfied with Abu Musa’s arbitration.” Then Imam said: “Is he your only choice?” They said: “Yes.” The Imam said: “Then do what you wish.”
They sent after Abu Musa, and when he arrived, al-Ashtar suggested to Imam ‘Ali: “O Imam, let me go with him.”
This suggestion was presented to the Kufans, but again they showed obstinacy and rejected it. Then they wrote a letter of agreement making God a witness over the two arbitrators to deliver a judgment only in accordance with the Qur’an the Prophet’s tradition. Then they added that if they judge contrary to the Qur’an and the Prophet’s tradition, the Muslims would not heed to it.
With the signing of this agreement, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, the cunning adviser of Mu‘awiyah was chosen for arbitration by the people of ash-Sham, and the thick head and faithless Abu Musa by the Iraqis.(146) In the first meeting of the two arbitrators of Dumat al-Jandal, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As tried to show a deep respect to Abu Musa and cunningly gave him priority over himself. He said to him: “You have been the Prophet’s companion a long time before me, and you are older than me.” After sitting down for discussion, Abu Musa said to him: “O ‘Amr! Are you not in favour of the good of the Ummah and satisfaction of God?” ‘Amr ibn al-‘As asked: “What is the good of the ummah?” Abu Musa said: “Let us give the caliphate to ‘Abd Allah bin ‘Umar(147) who has taken no part at all in these wars.”
‘Amr said: “Why have you forgotten Mu‘awiyah?” Abu Musa said: “What business has Mu‘awiyah with the caliphate? He has no merit for it at all.” The discussion lasted long, and neither of them reached any agreement. At last Abu Musa said: “In my opinion we should reject both ‘Ali and Mu‘awiyah, and let a council of Muslims choose anyone they like as caliph.”
‘Amr ibn al-‘As said: “This is exactly what I had in mind, and I approve of it. This is the kind of verdict which contains the good of the people.”
In the morning of next day they appeared before the people, and Abu Musa said to ‘Amr: “Climb the pulpit and announce the verdict.” ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, in accordance with his pre-arranged plan, said: “I shall never allow myself priority over you. You are superior to me, and excel me in both the matters of age and wisdom.”
So Abu Musa rose and climbed the pulpit and after offering his praises to God, he announced:
“O people! We have thought of the way of bringing back the unity and friendship of the Islamic ummah, and we have found no better way than denouncing both ‘Ali and Mu‘awiyah, so that we may leave the choice of the caliph to the Muslims’ council, that they may choose anyone they choose. I hereby announce the deposition of both ‘Ali and Mu‘awiyah, and you can start your task of appointing as your ruler anyone you elect.”
Saying this he descended from the pulpit, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As was next to climb the pulpit. After praising God, he said: “You heard what this man said. He deposed ‘Ali and I do the same, and replace him by Mu‘awiyah, since he is the friend of ‘Uthman, and avenger of his blood, and the most deserving and meritorious person to succeed him.”
Abu Musa, who was greatly enraged at this cunning and perfidy of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, shouted: “Why have you acted in this way? May God never help you! You have resorted to treachery. In your sin you are like a dog which in being attacked, lets its tongue hang out and breathes hard, and if it is left alone, it does the same thing.”
‘Amr ibn al-‘As retorted at once: ‘and you are like a donkey laden with books.”(148)
The arbitrators and their companions separated abusing each other while they had achieved nothing by their arbitration, except placing Mu‘awiyah in the same rank as Imam ‘Ali, whereas until that moment he could claim no title but an unruly and rebellious governor, and now his name was mentioned as a nominee for the position of a ruler over the realm of Islam.
In the battle of Siffin the number of men killed were forty- five thousands of the army of ash-Sham, and twenty-five thousands of the army of Iraq.(149)
After his return to ash-Sham, Mu‘awiyah dispatched some plunderers to ‘Ali’s dominion to kill and plunder.
In the year 37 of the Hijrah, Mu‘awiyah and his remaining army returned to ash-Sham, but he prepared a new plan for the destruction of the righteous army of Imam ‘Ali. From time to time he sent small military units to various regions under rule of Imam ‘Ali, to kill, burn, plunder, take captives, and destroy everything that flourished!
Those who were given these criminal missions included such persons as an-Nu‘man bin Bashir, Sufyan ibn ‘Awf, ‘Abd Allah ibn Mus‘adah, ad-Dahhak ibn Qays and Busr ibn Abi Artat, who carried out the order of Mu‘awiyah in the flourishing lands of Islam, namely Iraq, Hejaz and Yemen, and brought souvenirs of death, destruction, fear and panic for innocent Muslims.
Here we will narrate the tragic story of these bloodshed’s, massacres and inhumane acts and give a description of these hirelings.
A) an-Nu‘man ibn Bashir
Mu‘awiyah sent an-Nu‘man ibn Bashir with one thousand men to ‘Ayn at-Tamr and they destroyed the city.
He was one of the Ansar and of the al-Khazraj tribe who was born six or eight years before the Prophet’s decease. In the riots and rebellions of ‘Uthman’s time, which had started because of ‘Uthman’s wrong deeds, he was a supporter of ‘Uthman. After ‘Uthman’s death he joined Mu‘awiyah, and after him he co-operated with his son, Yazid. His conduct was wholly contrary to the conduct of almost all his tribe, since the Ansar helped both Imam ‘Ali and Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba during their caliphates and exhibited every kind of loyalty and self-sacrifice.
an-Nu‘man ibn Bashir is the man who brought the bloody shirt of ‘Uthman from Medina to ash-Sham, and, as we saw Mu‘awiyah hung it by the pulpit of Damascus in order to rouse the simple-minded people of ash-Sham against the Alawite Islamic front and Imam ‘Ali. During the rule of Mu‘awiyah he was governor of Kufah and then governor of the city of Hims. After Mu‘awiyah, ibn Yazid, the third Umayyad caliph, chose to support ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr, and so the Umayyad forces killed an-Nu‘man at Maraj Rahit in the month of Dhu al-Hijjah in the year 64 of the Hijrah.(150)
In the year 39 oft he Hijrah Mu‘awiyah sent an-Nu‘man with a thousand men to ‘Ayn at-Tamr(151) a town where a garrison of the Imam existed consisting of a hundred men. an-Nu‘man made a violent raid, but the brave defenders of the city took arms and fought bravely against the ash-Shami plunderers. During the engagement fifty men of the surrounding lands came to their aid. The Umayyad raiders took them for a big reinforcement so they fled during the night towards the frontiers of ash-Sham.(152)
B) Sufyan ibn ‘Awf
Kill anyone who confronts you, and destroy everything in your way.
It is fitting if a Muslim dies with this sorrow, and there is no reproach for him.
The second such plunder and pillage by the army of ash-Sham was carried out by Sufyan ibn ‘Awf, son of the ‘Awf ibn al-Mughaffal al-Azdi al-Ghamidi.
He accompanied Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah in the wars and conquests of ash-Sham. Later on Mu‘awiyah gave him the command of an army in the holy war with the Romans. He died at last in Roman land in the year 51 or 52 of the Hijrah. Sufyan was also given other commissions by Mu‘awiyah, one of which was the raid upon the Islamic land of Iraq, which took place in the year 34 of the Hijrah.
Some of the instructions given to him by Mu‘awiyah on Sufyan’s departure from ash-Sham were: “In your military travel whenever you meet someone who differs from you in your views and is not of the Umayyad house, kill him at once, and destroy any inhabited district by which you pass and plunder their property; for, plunder is not unlike massacre from the viewpoint of demolition, and it is in some cases even more heart-rending.(153)
at-Tabari and Ibn al-Athir describe this plunder as follows: Mu‘awiyah sent Sufyan in command of an army of six thousand on a military mission, and gave him the following instruction for fighting and plunder: You will first go to the flourishing region of Hit(154) and raid it and then proceed to the two cities of Anbar and Madain and attack them.
Sufyan departed and reached Hit and found no one there to plunder. So he continued his advance till he reached the city of Anbar, where a small garrison of a hundred soldiers protected that city. During clashes a number of them were killed. The raiders plundered the city and returned to Mu‘awiyah with a great deal of property.(155)
Abu al-Faraj, the great historian and literary man, writes in his book of al-Aghani the following story of the raids of Sufyan: The al-Ghamidi fellow raided the city of Anbar and savagely killed its governor and a large number of its men and women. The event was reported to the Imam, and he said in a sermon: “You disobeyed my words and orders. This al-Ghamidi man has raided the city of Anbar and has cruelly killed many men and women. By God, I am told that he has assaulted Muslim women as well as the followers of divine books and has forcefully pulled off their adornments from their hands and feet, and then the raiders have returned to their city, their hands full of plundered property, and without suffering the slightest wound or injury. If a valiant Muslim man dies of regret and sorrow for these un-Islamic and inhuman acts, it would be fitting and he cannot be blamed.”(156)
C) ‘Abd Allah ibn Mus‘adah
Mu‘awiyah has ordered to kill every one of the primitive tribes between here and’ Mecca who refuses to pay you tithe.
‘Abd Allah ibn Mus‘adah, son of the Hakamah ibn Malik ibn Badr al-Fazari was another commander sent by Mu‘awiyah for sabotage and destruction in Iraq in the Imam’s realm. ‘Abd Allah was at first a follower of the Imam, but he went to Damascus after some time to join Mu‘awiyah, and changed his conduct so much that he became one of the staunchest enemies of Imam ‘Ali. He lived long, so that in the time of Yazid ibn Mu‘awiyah he took part in the event of al-Harrah when the army of ash-Sham attacked Medina, a combat which was full of cruelty, violation, insult and disgrace, and another black stain on the wicked character of Yazid and Umayyad caliphs.
Later on ‘Abd Allah fought in the ash-Shami front with ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr, and was badly wounded. Historians have said nothing of this man’s life after the above event.(157)
Mu‘awiyah sent ‘Abd Allah ibn Mus‘adah with 1700 soldiers to the Imam’s realm, ordering him to collect tithe by force from every inhabited place on his route, and kill anyone who refused payment. By Mu‘awiyah’s order he passed through Medina, Mecca and the land of Hejaz.(158)
D) ad-Dahhak ibn Qays
They plundered the pilgrims on the way to Mecca.
ad-Dahhak ibn Qays was of the Quraysh and one of Mu‘awiyah’s commanders. He was born seven years before the decease of the Prophet. He fought hard in the wars of Mu‘awiyah and suffered many difficulties. He was for a long time chief of the police in Damascus. Later in the year 53 of the Hijrah he became governor of Kufah for four years, and was then given, for the second time, the position of chief of the police of Damascus. In the time of Mu‘awiyah’s death he was in charge of his burial affairs, and informed Yazid who had gone hunting, of his father’s death. But after the death of Mu‘awiyah ibn Yazid, the third Umayyad caliph, he showed allegiance to ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr and fought with Marwan ibn-Hakam, the Umayyad caliph, at Maraj Rahit, and it was in the same region and battle that he was killed in the month of Dhu al-Hijjah of the year 64 of the; Hijrah.(159)
at-Tabari writes: Mu‘awiyah sent ad-Dahhak towards Iraq with three thousand men, ordering him to pass through the lower region of Waqisah and plunder all the Arabs who inhabited this region and were followers of the Imam. ad-Dahhak obeyed the order and went to the region of ath-Tha‘labiyah and plundered the tribes that lived there. Then he proceeded towards Kufah and raided the region of al-Qutqutanah, and came across ‘Amr ibn ‘Umays ibn Mas‘ud who was on a pilgrimage trip and without paying attention to any sanctity he pillaged him and the caravan which was visiting the House of God, and prevented them from continuing their sacred journey.(160)
In ath-Thaqafi’s book of “Plunders” (al-Gharat), the story of ad-Dahhak is narrated as follows: ad-Dahhak proceeded to Iraq, plundering every place and killing of people, until he reached the region of ath-Tha‘labiyah where he plundered the pilgrims who were going to Mecca, and then went on till he came across ‘Amr ibn ‘Umays, nephew of ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud, a well-known companion of the Prophet, who was with the caravan going to Mecca, and killed him and a group of his fellow pilgrims.(161)
E) Busr ibn Abi Artat
Mu‘awiyah ordered them to roam the Islamic realm and kill everyone who supported ‘Ali.
Busr ibn Abi Artat was one of the Quraysh and one of the most bloodthirsty commanders that Mu‘awiyah dispatched to Iraq and Hejaz. He was a most stubborn supporter of Mu‘awiyah and one of his army commanders in the battle of Siffin. During the battle Mu‘awiyah ordered him to combat with ‘Ali in a man-to-man fight, and said: “I heard that you long for such a duel. So you can challenge him now, and if God grants you victory, this world and hereafter will be yours.”
Mu‘awiyah continued encouraging him to this combat. But we know that such a duel with the Imam was a very difficult task, and no brave warrior came out safety from such a combat. Therefore, Busr with all his daring and boldness and his pagan Arab fanaticism, did not venture into the arena, until one day during the battle he saw himself face to face with the Imam. He rushed upon Imam ‘Ali, but before he could deal a blow with his sword, the Imam gave him a heavy stroke, which knocked him down from his saddle. This shameless man, seeing his life in the clutches of such a valiant and strong lion as the Imam, resorted to a very disgraceful and unmanly act, by pushing aside his garment to exhibit his private parts. The noble Imam turned away his face and left him to himself.
As we know, in the same battle a similar incident occurred in the case of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, when the Imam turned away from and abstained from killing a man who has lowered himself to this extent in order to save his life.
These two incidents have produced a sharp reaction in Arab literature, and some poets have composed verses about them. One of these is al-Harith ibn an-Nadr as-Sahmi who says:
“Do you send a warrior horseman to the field on every day of the war
Whose private parts are displayed amidst the dust of the battlefield?
It is then that ‘Ali does not bring down his spear upon on him
And Mu‘awiyah laughs at that man in secret.
Yesterday ‘Amr’s private pails were shown
And this meanness will forever be tied on his head like a headgear.
Today, too, Busrs’ private pails were displayed like ‘Amr’s.
Tell ‘Amr ibn al-‘As and Busr to look carefully at their way,
Lest they once more face the formidable lion!
You must be praisers and worshippers of your private parts;
For by God, it was your private parts that saved your lives!
Surely, if it were not for them, you would not have been saved!
This incident must check you from returning to the scene of war.”(162)
Malik al-Ashtar, the valiant warrior of the battlefield, too, has composed the following lines about this matter:
“Does every day of the combat the leg of one of your great men lift itself
To exhibit his private parts in the dust of the field?
The hard blow of the spear-owner who has been treated unjustly
Results in revealing your private parts!
Whose private parts? ‘Amr’s and Busr’s, May their backs be broken!”(163)
Historians differ about the point whether Busr has had any association with the Prophet or not. And if so, has he heard from him any tradition or not? They think that after the Prophet he showed no constancy in his faith and became an apostate. When Imam ‘Ali heard of his criminal acts and carnage’s in the Islamic lands of Iraq and Hejaz, and learned that he had not even abstained from killing small children, he cursed him, and said: “O God! Take back his faith from him, and seize his intellect from him before his death!”
The Imam’s prayer was fulfilled, and Busr lost his mind before death and he was usually in delirium and would cry out: “Sword! Sword!” and then searched for it. They handed him a wooden sword and placed a balloon-like skin in front of him, and he dealt it so many blows until he became weary and exhausted. He lived for sometime in this misery and pain until he died in the time of Mu‘awiyah.(164)
at-Tabari writes: In the year 40 of the Hijrah, Mu‘awiyah sent Busr ibn Abi Artat with an army to the lands ruled over by the Imam. They proceeded from ash-Sham to Medina. The raid of this bloodthirsty man terribly frightened the defenseless people of that city and the remaining Ansar who had for many long years defended Islam and had spared no life and property of theirs to that end. As a result of this raid many houses of Medina were demolished and many people became homeless.
Then he left Medina and went towards Yemen. There he came across the baggage of ‘Ubayd Allah bin al-‘Abbas, governor of that land, which was accompanied by two of his children. That savage man beheaded these little children with his own hands. This was not, of course, his only crime. He had killed many supporters of Imam ‘Ali only because they loved and respected their exalted Imam.(165)
Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ath-Thaqafi, the Islamic historian, writes in his book of “al-Gharat” (plunders): Mu‘awiyah sent Busr with three thousand ash-Shami soldiers to Iraq, ordering him to proceed to Medina, disperse the people, and frighten everyone that he met, and plunder those who had some property and did not submit to Mu‘awiyah’s rule.
Busr carried out the evil order of Mu‘awiyah, and when his army reached any inhabited place, they seized the people’s camels and quadrupeds to ride or take away. During the whole route between ash-Sham and Medina, every inhabited spot suffered the same unfortunate fate. On their arrival at Medina, they entered the city, and Busr delivered an oration to the people, abusing and threatening them.(166)
The story of Busr is narrated as follows in the book of “Tahdhib at-tahdhib”: Mu‘awiyah sent Busr towards Yemen and Hejaz in the year 40 of the Hijrah, ordering him to kill anyone who obeyed the Imam. By the order of Mu‘awiyah this tyrannical man committed many inhuman and criminal acts in Mecca and Medina, the birthplace of Islam.(167)
Ibn ‘Asakir writes: He came across many people and killed anyone who had shown submission to the Imam. For instance, he massacred the tribe of Banu Ka‘b who lived at a place between Mecca and Medina, and then threw their bodies into a well.(168)
al-Mas‘udi writes in his reliable book of “Muruj adh-dhahab”: In Medina and on the way between Medina and Mecca there lived many people of the Khuza‘ah and other tribes, who were killed by him. Then he went to al-Jarf(169) and killed many of its Arab inhabitants named “Abna’” and he left alive no one who was a supporter of Imam ‘Ali.(170)
Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, the well-known historian and literary man, reports in his book of al-Aghani: After the question of arbitration, Mu‘awiyah sent Busr to the Imam’s realm when Imam ‘Ali was still alive. He had ordered Busr to roam about that realm and kill every Shi‘ah and companion of the Imam that he came across, and then plunder their property, and even spare no women had children.
Busr, this bloodthirsty and devilish commander, proceeded by the order of Mu‘awiyah towards Medina, and on reaching there he killed many of the Imam’s friends and supporters and destroyed many houses. Then he proceeded to Mecca where he killed some children of Abu Lahab, and then to as-Sirat where he killed some followers of the Imam. From there he went to Najran where he killed ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Madan al-Harithi and his son who were of the house of al-‘Abbas. Then he went to Yemen, the governor of which was appointed by the Imam, and named ‘Ubayd Allah son of al-‘Abbas, who was at that time not present in Yemen, or, as some historians says, he had fled on hearing of the arrival of Busr. When Busr saw that ‘Ubayd Allah was not within his reach, he seized his two small sons and killed them with his own hands. Then he returned with his army to ash-Sham.(171)
Historians says: A woman said to Busr: “Man! You have killed so many people. Why do you kill these two little children? By God, neither in pagan times nor after Islam any one has killed children as you do. O son of Artat! I swear to God that a government, which lays its foundation with the massacre of children and old men, and severs the ties of kinship and abstains from pity and kindness, is a very bad government.”(172)
It is said that the bereaved mother of these two children had suffered so much pain at the calamity of their loss, that she had gone crazy, and she listened only to words in which they talked of her dear sons, and she sang out these heart-rending lines here and there in public gatherings:
“Oh, who has heard the story of my two dear sons,
Who were like two precious pearls out of shells?
Oh, who knows the story of my two sons?
Who were my heart and my hearing?
Now I have been robbed of my heart!
Oh, who has heard of the state of my two sons,
Who were the narrows of my bones,
And now the bones are without marrow?
Who is aware of my lost and perplexed heart?
That heart is distressed for the loss
Of the two children who were helpless in the absence of their father.
They told me of it, but I believed them not.
They spoke of the injustice inflicted on me!
They told me that Busr cut the throats
Of my two sons with his sharp swords!
Alas! Is such a great injustice possible?”(173)
We read the following passage in the two books of al-Isti‘ab and Usd al-ghabah: Busr ibn Abi Artat, in one of his savage raids, attacked the Hamdan tribe, killed their men and took their women captive. They were the first group of Muslim women who were taken captive in Islam and put up for sale in the market.(174)
We read also in the book of al-Gharat: A group of people of Ma’rib came across Busr and his soldiers on a caravan route. This inhuman creature killed them all except one man who fled from his bloody clutches and returned to his tribe, reporting this great calamity in one brief sentence: “I have brought you the news of death and massacre of our old and young men.”(175)
Jariyah ibn Qudamah
a man of the Alawite front
Do not fight a person who does not fight you, and do not oppress the Jews and Christians who have made a pact with the Muslims.
Now we should see what Imam ‘Ali did against these unmanly raids and bloody assaults of Busr, the commander of Mu‘awiyah’s army. As usual he stood up against wrong and injustice and asked the people’s aid to remove these agents of tyranny and oppression. The Kufans as usual received his order coldly, as if they had no wish to defend their realm, which was exposed to destruction; as if the dust of death was scattered over their city. The painful outcries of Imam ‘Ali echoed in the mosque and city of Kufah, but it could not awaken the motionless and dead spirits of the Kufans.
Some time passed until one of the remaining heirs of Islam’s warriors, named Jariyah ibn Qudamah, rose and responded positively to the call of the Imam. According to al-Ya‘qubi, the Imam issued the following order on dispatching him on this mission: “Never fight a person who does not fight you. Never kill a wounded person. Even if you and your men are forced to go on foot, never seize people’s horses forcefully. In inhabited places and springs never take the lead over the owners of water, and consume only their extra supply of water, even then, with their approval. Never abuse or reproach a Muslim, since in such a case it would be necessary for others to admonish you. Never oppress the followers of divine books who have made pacts with the Muslims.”
Another part of this order states: “Do not shed anyone’s blood except where you are ordered by God, in the same way that your duty is to protect people’s blood for the sake of God.”(176)
In the book of al-Gharat we read the following about the defensive battles of Jariyah: Jariyah left Kufah and at first he went to Basra, and from there he went towards Hejaz, and advanced until he reached Yemen. At this time Busr learnt of the move made by Jariyah. So he changed his route and went to al-Yamamah. Jariyah increased his speed and did not stand long at any town or the amp they set up. He was in pursuit of Busr everywhere, while Busr cont¬inued to flee in different directions, until he crossed over the border of the Imam’s realm. When the people saw him in flight, they attacked him from every side, since they had been much oppressed by him. The number of those killed in Busr’s savage raids was estimated at thirty thousand. He even threw number into the fire and burnt them. An Arab poet describes these painful and savage events in his poem, a part of which we will quote for you:
“As far as he could lead his army,
He caused as much massacre and indecency as he could.”(177)
Two opposite policies
Do not shed the least blood in the land unjustly.
Order of Imam ‘Ali
Do not spare the lives of even women and children.
Order of Mu‘awiyah
Mu‘awiyah also sent other sabotage and plundering groups to the realm of Imam ‘Ali, the stories of which we have not narrated here. Those who are interested can refer to elaborate texts of history.(178)
But his armies always avoided facing the soldiers of the Imam and fighting them. They only raided those parts, which were remote, or were weak in garrison and military equipment. Whenever an army was sent from Kufah to face them, they fled, since they were only sabotage groups and bloodthirsty plunderers in the true sense of the word.
Among the destructive groups which came into conflict with the army of the Imam, was an army sent by Mu‘awiyah to Mesopotamia. The commander, who had been appointed by the Imam for those parts, asked Kumayl ibn Ziyad, the governor of the city of Hit, for reinforcement. Kumayl hastened to his aid with six hundred warriors. They engaged in fighting, but the ash-Shamis as usual decided to flee leaving many of their dead behind.
Kumayl ordered not to kill the wounded, and not to pursue the fugitives. In this conflict only two of Kumayl’s soldiers were killed. In another encounter, one of Imam ‘Ali’s commanders chased a group of Mu‘awiyah’s saboteurs and plunderers, but they fled, and he pursued them across the Euphrates and scattered his army in various parts of ash-Sham to engage in plunder, and advanced as far as ar-Riqqah, and left no horses, arms and quadrupeds for the supporters of ‘Uthman. Mu‘awiyah sent a troop to confront him, but they were unable to catch him since he had returned safely to his headquarters at Nisibis.(179) This commander on his return to his own quarter, wrote a letter to the Imam and reported his activities.
His report shows that he did not consider any of his acts to be unlawful, since he regarded them as a slight vengeance for the violent and inhuman deeds of Mu‘awiyah’s plundering troops. He may even have expected some big reward or word of encouragement. But the Imam did not only refuse to praise him, but also reproached him for having acted contrary to his order instructing him to abstain from such acts, while it was permissible to seize the enemy’s property only in case of a war and the enemy’s use of arms. Such spoils, too, were to be confined to the clothes, weapons, mounts and military equipment of the enemy.(180)
Thus we see that in those periods two opposite policies were adopted in the world of Islam.
A) Policy of Imam ‘Ali
“Fight with warmongers only. Do not usurp people’s quadrupeds, even if you be compelled to go on foot. Do not consume the waters of springs and wells in various inhabited places unless their people agree; even then consume what remains above their demand, and never to excess. Do not abuse a Muslim, and do not oppress allies, even if they are not Muslims. You can shed a person’s blood only according to what is right and lawful. You cannot seize the property of enemy fighters except what they have brought with them for fighting, such as horses and weapons.”(181)
B) Policy of Mu‘awiyah
“Kill anyone who does not hold your opinion or belief. Destroy all the inhabited places and plunder their property. Forcefully seize the property of everyone who is rich and does not obey us. Do not abstain from molesting people. Kill ‘Ali’s supporters, and even spare no woman or child.”(182)
An Analysis of the above policies
Of the above two policies, obviously the policy which orders the plunder of property must vanquish the policy which enjoins a respect for people’s property; for, naturally it seems easier to win a war in which no recognition of laws and regulations are observed. Because they would resort to every mean act to gain victory. But for those binds by the laws of Islam, who recognize virtue and humanness there exists limitations. This is not, of course, a true victory, but an apparent and transient victory which the first group obtain in attaining their goal because they abstain from no action however wrong it may be, whereas the second group are bound by humane laws which forbid certain actions.
The army of the Imam showed negligence towards the limitations which existed in the Islamic Alawite front, and did not respond positively to the divine and right-seeking call of the Imam, since in the war which was ahead of them they had no expectation but death. If they became victorious, they were not allowed to seize the property of the conquered, and they could not kill freely; or take women and children captive. In that case why should they fight? They had no material profits to expect, whereas they were faced with a constant threat of death. Therefore without a divine motive or a human virtue it would be useless to go to war.
But the people of ash-Sham could give a quick and positive answer to the call of Mu‘awiyah, since in the forthcoming war all their animal instincts would be satisfied. They could kill freely; they could seize as captive and slave anyone they wished; and they could obtain much profit by plundering people’s property. In that case, why should they not obey Mu‘awiyah’s order, and carry out his wishes? This was true especially as the people of ash-Sham were totally ignorant of an Islamic education, and next to the emperor of Rome they were ruled by a man like Mu‘awiyah!
Naturally if on the basis of an impossible supposition the Imam could give up his way of seeking right and truth, and, God forbid, if he could, in the way of Mu‘awiyah forget God and Islam, and if he could, in the way of Mu‘awiyah, give an absolutely free hand to his army, then all the wicked and cunning plots and fraudulent conduct of Mu‘awiyah would have become null and void.
But the Imam was not a man to adopt such a way. He said to the people of Kufah: “I swear to God, I am aware of everything that can reform you, but I see my own depravity in the bad action of the wicked.”(183)
Indeed the Imam could buy the people off with money. He could by means of dissimulation and disregard of divine injunctions, win over the powerful elders of the tribes. He was in a position to meet the wishes of the people, and thereby organize a huge army, but he saw in all these acts his own depravity and corruption of his own faith and his hereafter. He never con¬taminated himself with such deeds since he had tasted virtue and piety with all its depth and strength.
Mu‘awiyah waged a war against the Imam in the name of ‘Uthman and under the pretext of avenging his blood. But had these remote Muslim settlements throughout Iraq and Hejaz or even Yemen been guilty of taking part in ‘Uthman’s assassination? Were tens of thousands of those people guilty who had been killed by the ash-Shami plunderers in revenge for the blood of ‘Uthman who was one victim anyhow? Were the captive Muslim women, and murdered small children guilty of shedding ‘Uthman’s blood? No, never!
But Mu‘awiyah, in accordance with his father’s will and for the sake of satisfying his ambitions, was seeking domination as a ruler. He wished to govern the whole wide realm of Islam, and he regarded the employment of every possible means legitimate for the attainment of his objective. He did not shun any wickedness and meanness in this course. In fact the claim for avenging ‘Uthman’s blood was only a cover to attain that goal. That was a small picture of Mu‘awiyah’s evil role during Imam ‘Ali’s rule.
Mu‘awiyah in the time of
Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba
I did not fight you for religion’s sake but only to govern you.
When Imam ‘Ali was martyred with the sword of Ibn Muljam, one of the wickedest men of all ages and eras, and for the second time in their history the Muslims chose a ruler for themselves through a free allegiance and Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba succeeded his father as caliph, he wrote a letter to Mu‘awiyah asking for his allegiance; for, on the one hand he was a rightful Imam, and on the other hand he was freely elected as a ruler by the people with their open allegiance. But Mu‘awiyah, as we know him, would not submit to the right, and as he had always been accustomed to reject the right and the truth, now he refused to obey the Imam’s demand, and proceeded towards Iraq with a large army to fight the Imam.
Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba, too, left Kufah with his army to confront that guardian of paganism and infidelity, and as a preliminary step he dispatched his cousin, ‘Ubayd Allah ibn al-‘Abbas with twelve thousand of the finest warriors of Iraq and Kufah, and let Qays ibn Sa‘id ibn ‘Ubadah, his loyal, valiant and devout companion, to accompany him. ‘Ubayd Allah was ordered not to disregard the views of ibn Sa‘id and to benefit from them in all matters. The two armies camped facing each other for several days during which some small clashes took place. But Mu‘awiyah preferred to resort to cunning rather than to the sword. Therefore he pulled a trick which caused some disruption in the Imam’s army.
One night Mu‘awiyah’s envoy secretly visited ‘Ubayd Allah, delivering this message of Mu‘awiyah: “al-Hasan has sent me a letter for peace. If now, before it is too late, you obey us, you will gain high position and command, but if you hesitate and come to us after the question of peace is settled, you cannot obtain any position as others may do, and nothing will be left for you but inferiority and obedience. If you come to us now, you will be paid one million drachmas, half of which you will receive now, and the other half on the entry of our army to Kufah.”
‘Ubayd Allah was caught in the webs of Mu‘awiyah’s trickery which was so attractive. He thought: If the reasoning of Mu‘awiyah is correct, now that the Imam is seeking peace, I have only two alternatives: “Either I obtain money, position and respect if I join Mu‘awiyah, or I may lose my life and suffer the dangers of the war if I maintain this position and show resistance. In that case, why should I lose my life or bear the hardship of war?” In this way the materialistic attitude and inner temptation of ‘Ubayd Allah had their effect, and during the night he fled to the Umayyad front with his family and a group of his army, and left the main army without a commander.(184)
Another strategy which Mu‘awiyah adopted during those days was to send secret envoys to ‘Amr ibn-Harith, al-Ash‘ath ibn Qays, al-Hajjar ibn Abjar and Shabath ibn Rub‘i. These men were influential chiefs of the tribes but they lacked loyalty and personality and cherished rancor towards the Prophet’s household.
The spy of Mu‘awiyah delivered the message of Mu‘awiyah as follows: “If you kill al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali, you will receive one hundred thousand drachmas in cash as well as the command of one of the armies of ash-Sham and governorship of a city, and possess one of my daughters as reward!”
This secret plot was reported to Imam al-Hasan, and so thenceforth he wore a chain mail under his garment, to be secure against the sudden attacks of these unmanly creatures. He even went to prayer dressed in the same manner without removing the chain mail. It was a proper idea and precaution since on one occasion one of those self-sold men shot an arrow at the Imam while he was in prayer, but as he had his chain mail on, no injury was caused and he was saved from death.(185)
al-Ya‘qubi writes: Mu‘awiyah secretly sent a group amidst the army of the Imam to propagate this idea among the soldiers that Gheyss ibn-Sa’ed, too, who had taken the command of the army after ‘Ubayd Allah, had made a peace agreement with Mu‘awiyah and had reached terms with him. On the other hand he sent another group amidst Qays’s army to spread the rumor that Imam al-Hasan had made peace with Mu‘awiyah. His purpose was to disrupt the solidarity and discipline of both armies and cause dispersion between all their units.
Another plot of Mu‘awiyah was to send an official group to the Imam consisting of al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah, ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Amir and ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Hakam. They visited Imam al-Hasan in the city of Madain, which was the headquarters of his military columns. They talked for some time in the Imam’s tent, and then emerged pretending to be glad and satisfied and said loudly within the hearing of other people: “God has preserved people’s blood through the son of the Prophet and has quelled riot and mischief by establishing peace.”
When the soldiers heard this, they became full of anxiety especially as a large number of the Imam’s army consisted of the Khawarij (outsiders) who thought of war only, and had joined the Imam only because he was going to fight Mu‘awiyah. They felt no special devotion and sanctity towards the Imam, and did not unquestionably regard him as a leader. It seemed that the soldiers allowed no doubt about the words of such men as al-Mughayrah who, in addition to their own wickedness and black record, represented a tyrannical and mischievous man as Mu‘awiyah. Thus they were roused to such a great protest that they rushed to the commanders’ tent and plundered everything which was there.
The Imam aiming to deliver himself from un-Islamic rioters mounted a horse and proceeded towards the center of the city of Madain and the governor’s building. In the darkness of Sabat, a place near Madain, a villainous creature named Jarrah ibn Sanan al-Asadi who was of the Khawarij, lay an ambush in order to make an attempt on the life of the Imam and kill him. As the Imam was passing by, this man jumped and rushed upon the Imam and delivered a severe blow with his dagger causing a mortal injury. But the people, who were around, prevented the man from making any more move, and killed him on the spot. As the Imam was badly wounded, he was carried to the governor’s palace in Madain and was treated. He was very weak owing to the loss of much blood, and it took him long time to recuperate. Meanwhile his army, which was left without a commander and without a plan of action and also owing to their lack of steadfastness, soon dispersed in various directions.(186)
at-Tabari describes these events as follows: After the people showed allegiance to the Imam, they accompanied him to fight against Mu‘awiyah. He departed Kufah towards Madain where he set up his camp. As he was trying to mobilize an army there, a voice among the army declared: “Listen! Qays ibn Sa‘id is killed! Run away everybody!”
Much confusion followed and opportunist rioters plundered the Imam’s tent, and the even forcefully pulled out the carpet on the Imam sat and pillaged it away.(187) According to another narration they even seized the anklet-rings of his slave-girls and plundered them.(188) at-Tabari adds: Not many days had passed since they had shown allegiance to the Imam when they made an attempt on his life and wounded him severely.
Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, the well-known historian and a man of letters, writes: Mu‘awiyah sent an envoy to the Imam to ask for a truce pact, and in his letter he promised to stick certain conditions, namely that he would not molest anyone for their past actions, and also to leave alone the supporters of the Imam, and lastly to speak well of the Imam in future.
When owing to the cunning and unmanly plots of Mu‘awiyah on the one hand, and the perfidy of the Kufah people and their lack of devotion in the way of right on the other hand, the truce was concluded, Mu‘awiyah entered as a powerful Umayyad statesman to the city of Kufah, the capital of the Alawite caliphate, and delivered a public oration in which he said:
“I swear to God that I did not fight you because you pray and observe fast nor because you go on pilgrimage and pay tithes. These tasks are your own duties. But my only purpose was to rule and govern you! God has granted me my wish, whereas you are not pleased with it.”(189)
Then he added shamelessly: “Remember that I will trample upon what al-Hasan has stipulated with me and I have concluded with him.”(190)
Motives for peace
Mu‘awiyah would have taken me captive and them set me free, and this would have been a mark of disgrace on the brow of the Banu Hashim until the day of resurrection.
In the question of Imam al-Hasan’s peace, namely in his truce with Mu‘awiyah, many significant consequences can be observed which, similar to the uprising of Imam al-Husayn, have been effective in the survival of the foundation of religion and Islamic principles. For the sake of the brevity which we have observed throughout the discussions of this book, we will deal only with three reasons about the necessity of abandoning the combat, while a survey of all the aspects and reasons requires an independent book which is beyond the scope of this topic.
Here are the three reasons:
1-We have already seen how Mu‘awiyah was able, by means of relying on the bloody shirt of ‘Uthman and his skillful scene-making, to accuse the chaste and sacred person of Imam ‘Ali of the assassination of ‘Uthman, and mobilize a large number of the people of ash-Sham under the pretext of avenging the blood of the so-called innocent and martyred caliph, and bring them to the field of battle at Siffin. His lies, cunning and plots which formed the basis of all his acts, was enough to deceive the simple-minded people of almost the whole of the Islamic realm, or at least expose them to doubt and hesitation. Even the personality of such a man as ‘Ammar ibn Yasir who, was in those days regarded as the embodiment of the rightfulness of the Alawite front, and was many a times praised by the Prophet, had been unable to influence the people fully owing to their credulity and Mu‘awiyah’s cunning and trickery. Therefore another plan was required to bring Mu‘awiyah out of his deceptive shell and reveal his evil and wicked identity.
One of the main results of Imam al-Hasan’s truce was the above point. The oration of Mu‘awiyah, quoted above, was a clear evidence of his wicked thoughts and evil deeds. It showed that all the bloodshed’s and plunders carried out in the name of avenging ‘Uthman’s blood were in fact for the sake of his ambition and desire to rule, and for his material greed, and the story of claiming ‘Uthman’s blood was nothing but a lie and a plot.
This went on, and as it was gradually proved, those people who ran away from the justice and equality of the Alawite government and took refuge in ash-Sham, now heartily desired justice and every day in some corner or other they rose against the Umayyads under the leadership of a descendant of ‘Ali.(191)
In fact Mu‘awiyah and his successors had during their rule committed so many crimes and evil deeds that even slothful and right-repelling people, too, began to feel that the Alawite government with all its justice and equality had been the only government, which could bring them true happiness.(192)
2-Another important reason for the truce was the weakness of the people of Kufah and their mental and practical dispersion. As we saw, this spirit was so dominant among the men of the said army that a chaos reigned over an army of several thousands at the smallest incident and destroyed all order and discipline. Even the killing of the son of the Prophet and Imam and leader of the people, was received as a very simple matter, and if it had not been checked and had been carried out, all the plots of the guardians of paganism would have been accomplished.
In view of the above point, it is quite clear that Mu‘awiyah could, by buying off some of the army commanders, as we saw in the incident of arrow shooting, arrest of the Imam with the complicity of his own soldiers and after gaining complete victory claim that as a great favour he would grant pardon to the Imam and set him free. Thus this disgrace would have always remained for the Imams of the Prophet’s household and for the leaders of human and Islamic societies, to be considered as the freed captives of the symbols of infidelity and hypocrisy, and to be indebted for their lives to the Umayyads who were the descendants of their captive grandfathers who were freed by the Prophet on the capture of Mecca.(193)
3-In the battle of Siffin, as we shall see, a large number of the Prophet’s companions accompanied Imam ‘Ali whose number was said to be more than two thousand, including seventy warriors of the battle of Badr who were the oldest friends of the Prophet, and 700 or 800 of those who had taken part in the ar-Ridwan allegiance whom God has p raised in the Holy Qur’an, and about 1400 men of the Emigrants and Ansar.(194)
All these men had the honour of association with the Prophet, and were present in the time of the descent of the Holy Qur’an, and had felt authentic Islam in the person of the Prophet himself. Consequently they were intimately familiar with the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s tradition. After-wards, too, they had for many years been associated with Imam ‘Ali who was an incarnation of Islam and parallel with the Qur’an.
All these conditions enabled the said group to be acquainted with various aspects of Islam and propagate it properly whenever it was necessary and possible.
But Mu‘awiyah had only a few of the Emigrants and Ansar of polluted and evil nature with him(195) and with the aid of these wicked hirelings he was able later on to prepare the scheme of a new perverted Islam in harmony with his whim and fancies, since he had no liking for an authentic Islam and cherished in his heart nothing but envy and rancor towards it!
With the aid of Abu Hurayrah, Anas ibn Malik, al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar and especially ‘A’ishah he succeeded in creating a major resource for the fabrication of traditions. Each of these wicked creatures was able during Mu‘awiyah’s rule to contaminate some aspect of the beautiful visage of genuine Islam. If it had not been for the persistent and devoted endeavors of the Imams of the Prophet’s household, the numerous traditions which were quoted from Abu Hurayrah and ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar about various matters, might have transformed Islam altogether, and fulfilled the evil wishes and desires of the guardians of paganism and infidelity.
The first step to confront with Mu‘awiyah’s scheme (being the transform of genuine Islam) was the truce of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba, since he was thus able to save from certain death a number of true Muslims and friends of the Prophet and of Imam ‘Ali, since it was this same devoted and steadfast group who were his true friends, and if he had persisted in his combat, all of them would have been killed either in the war, or at its conclusion they would have been annihilated by Mu‘awiyah in the name of avenging ‘Uthman’s blood. In that case Mu‘awiyah could in all tranquility of mind carry on his assault upon the heart of the truth of Islam, without meeting the smallest obstacle and check in this course.
These points show that the only way of preserving true Islam from the danger of alteration was a truce with Mu‘awiyah, and this was the way adopted by Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba and he went ahead with it.
The rule of Mu‘awiyah and allegiance for Yazid
Cautious treatment of enemies
Mu‘awiyah adopted the policy of compromise.
Mu‘awiyah managed by all possible means to assume the position of the ruler of the Islamic realm. With the martyrdom of Imam ‘Ali, and the truce of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba, all the major resistance against his influence and domination were removed. But there existed another problem for him for the solution of which he felt it necessary to carry out a new plan. The whole of the Islamic realm was shaken by the savage onslaughts and plunders of ash-Shami raiders who had been mobilized by his order, and people’s hearts were palpitat¬ing with rancor and enmity since Mu‘awiyah had killed thousands of Muslims in Siffin to be followed by other massacres in the name of avenging ‘Uthman’s blood, bereaving many families, mourning for their fathers, brothers and sons.
In these conditions Mu‘awiyah adopted a new policy which could be summed up in a brief phrase, namely “lenient and cautious treatment even towards the enemies.” For, this danger was always present that the extensive Muslim lands of Iraq and Hejaz might start a revolt and thus nullify all the constant efforts of Mu‘awiyah and the Umayyad party which had been made for assuming the reign of affairs.
al-Ya‘qubi, the great history writer, writes: In the year 41 of the Hijrah, Mu‘awiyah returned to ash-Sham and there he heard an unpleasant news. A large unit of Roman army was proceeding towards the Islamic lands, and a great danger threatened the government of Damascus. What should he do in the face of this danger, in view of the difficulties with which he was involved and the dangers, which threatened him from within? He chose the simplest way Out of this difficulty by sending an envoy as representative of the caliph of the Muslims to the emperor of Rome offering one hundred thousand dinars of gold as a tribute to persuade him to recall his army from the frontiers of Islamic lands.(196) What a shame and disgrace!
A similar policy of caution and mildness formed the basis of Mu‘awiyah’s method of dealing with internal affairs, by which means he intended to reinforce the pillars of his newly- established government.(197)
As for the story of ‘Uthman’s innocence, which had shaped the cover of his early activities, it was sent down to oblivion after his assumption of power, as if no such matter had ever existed in his life. Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih, the great Andalusian scholar, writes: After his assumption of rule, Mu‘awiyah came to Medina, and visited ‘Uthman’s house. ‘Uthman’s daughter, named ‘A’ishah, on seeing Mu‘awiyah and remembering her father’s assassination began to weep and cried out: Alas for ‘Uthman!’, hoping that in this way she might remind Mu‘awiyah of his claim of avenging her father’s blood.
But against all the emotion and fervor, Mu‘awiyah remained cool and said: “O daughter of my brother! The people have entrusted us with the rein of affairs, and we have given them asylum. On the one hand we have concealed our rage under a cover of fortitude, and on the other hand they have hidden their rancor under a veil of abjectness. Each person has a sword with him and knows many friends and supporters. If we break our promise and change our conduct, they, too, will face us in a different manner. In such a case we would not know what our fate would be, and whether the riot and disobedience of the people would end in our favour, or in our loss. I think if our rule remains established and you are treated as the caliph’s cousin, it would be better than our losing the government, in which case you would be regarded as an ordinary woman.”(198)
Crafty Arabs in the snare of Mu‘awiyah
I have bought from these people their religion.
The second plan which Mu‘awiyah adopted to reinforce the foundation of his government, was to get hold of crafty men from every corner of various cities, and buy them with money, rank and position or any other way possible, and engage them in a work in favour of his own rule.
It was in accordance with this policy that Mu‘awiyah tipped the treasures of public fund into the pockets of chiefs of tribes and dignitaries of cities to make them forget old rancours, and under a change of heart, since he knew of the people’s love of money and worldly goods.
at-Tabari says: A number of tribal chiefs including Hattat ibn Yazid Mujashi‘i visited Mu‘awiyah, who offered each of them one hundred thousand dinars, whereas he gave Hattat only seven thousand dinars. When these men left ash-Sham, each one declared the sum given to him by Mu‘awiyah. Hattat was so vexed at being given a smaller sum, that he returned from there to Damascus and went straight to Mu‘awiyah and said in reproach: “What was your reason for offering me less than others? Why were you so parsimonious to me?” Mu‘awiyah said: “Yes, I bought their religion from them, and that is why I gave them that sum. But I left you to yourself because I know you are a true supporter of ‘Uthman.” The mean Hattat retorted: “Buy my religion from me, too.”(199) So Mu‘awiyah ordered to pay him the remainder.(200)
Among those who fell into the golden snare of Mu‘awiyah and worked for the newly established Umayyad government, were al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah and ‘Amr ibn al-‘As. Mu‘awiyah appointed al-Mughayrah who was one of the most notorious crafty Arabs, as governor of Kufah, and ‘Amr ibn al-‘As as governor of Egypt. He agreed also to leave him the governorship of that large and rich province for life and grant him the whole taxes of it.
Meanwhile there was left another clever and crafty man who had escaped the clutches of Mu‘awiyah and showed no liking to him. He could be a potential danger for the newly risen Umayyads, and thus Mu‘awiyah could not disregard him. This man was Ziyad who must be brought under Mu‘awiyah’s banner by every possible means, to benefit from his cunning and craftiness in the interest of his rule. Therefore, without bothering about religion and its injunctions and without fearing the alteration of divine verdicts, he tried to find a solution. In all aspects of his life what was predominant were worldly matters, deceits and transient joys of the world, and so in this course, too, no alternative remained for him but worldly methods.
Ziyad ibn Abihi had been the son of a slave named ‘Ubayd who had married a notorious prostitute named Sumayyah. Thus from a family viewpoint, Ziyad had no worth in the Arab society. His father was regarded as a low creature according to the Arab custom and tradition. He was a slave lacking Arab blood. Therefore he was scorned for having a slave father and for his own non-Arab blood. This was naturally intolerably painful for Ziyad who was gradually gaining a position for himself, and he longed to be delivered from these fetters.
Mu‘awiyah was aware of all these conditions. So he resorted to a plan from which there was no escape for Ziyad. What he did was to place his finger on his Achilles heel, and by proposing to call him his brother, he won his agree¬ment to submit to the Umayyad rule and abstain from disobedience.
On his own part, Ziyad realized that from the viewpoint of lineage in being introduced as Mu‘awiyah’s brother, he was joining the most famous and strongest Arab tribe, and his father was no longer a slave named ‘Ubayd, but it was Abu Sufyan, chief of the Quraysh and father of his brother Mu‘awiyah. Until yesterday he was regarded as an ordinary man of an ordinary descent, but now he had become the brother of the caliph of the time.(201)
al-Mas‘udi and Ibn al-Athir and other famous historians report this grafting of Ziyad with the Umayyad house as follows: Sumayyah, Ziyad’s mother, was a slave-girl of al-Harath ibn Kaldah ath-Thaqafi, a well-known Arab physician. This woman was one of the most notorious prostitutes who lived in the town of at-Ta’if in the prostitutes’ quarter where a red flag was hoisted indicating the residence of such women. As she was a slave of al-Harath, she had to hand over to him a part of her income as was the pagan customs, and al-Harath wedded her to his Roman slave, ‘Ubayd.
During pagan times Abu Sufyan visited at-Ta’if and stayed in the house of a wine-seller named Abu Maryam as-Saluli, and told him of his lustful desire, asking him to get a prostitute for him. Abu Maryam suggested Sumayyah, and Abu Sufyan agreed.
Abu Maryam brought Sumayyah to Abu Sufyan and went out himself. Sumayyah became pregnant, and Ziyad was born in the first year of the Hijrah. Later on when Imam ‘Ali became caliph, he appointed Ziyad as the governor of the vast province of Fars owing to his efficiency in governmental affairs, and his oratory and courage. Ziyad administered that province efficiently and effectively. Mu‘awiyah was greatly vexed at this matter, and he had repeatedly written threatening or promising letters to him in which he had even reminded him of his kinship with Abu Sufyan. But so long as the Alawite rule lasted, Ziyad showed resistance to Mu‘awiyah and paid no attention to his threat or allurement.
But Imam ‘Ali was martyred and Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba was compelled by various painful factors to accept truce, as a result of which most of the Islamic lands came under the control of Mu‘awiyah, and the only remaining part was Fars which was impenetrable under Ziyad and did not submit to the Umayyad rule.
Consequently Mu‘awiyah summoned al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah who had been friendly with Ziyad in the past(202) and said to him: “Ziyad is an intelligent and powerful man. He is now the ruler of Fars and with his great wealth he had closed the gate of his strong forts to our influence. I do not feel immune at all since he may show allegiance to someone of the Prophet’s household and thus pave the way for fresh wars and difficulties for us.” Then he divulged his plan to al-Mughayrah for trapping Ziyad and sent him to meet Ziyad.
After learning of Mu‘awiyah’s cunning plot, al-Mughayrah departed to visit his old friend. After these two met and sat down to talk, al-Mughayrah said to Ziyad: “Conditions are now changed in the world of Islam as compared with the past. The only man who can now stretch his arm towards the position of caliphate, is al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali, but he has concluded a truce with Mu‘awiyah. Before, any danger lifts its head, you had better obtain a safe asylum for yourself.”
Ziyad said: “Tell me your view. What do you think I should do?”
al-Mughayrah said: “I think it would be wise if you join your lineage with the Umayyad house, and create a kinship between yourself and Mu‘awiyah.”
Ziyad said: “Are your suggesting that I should place a branch in a spot other than its original home?”
The conversation of these two friends ended here, but Ziyad did not feel easy in his mind, thinking of Arab blood and the value, which the Arabs attached to blood and racial nobility. One can imagine the intense dilemma, which was stirred up in his heart and conscience by the words of his friend, especially as the question of the loss of position as well as life had been brought up. At last Ziyad felt vanquished and decided to accept the proposal of al-Mughayrah. Con¬sequently he left his headquarters and proceeded towards Damascus.
His long journey came to an end and he arrived at the Umayyad capital. On his arrival, Juwayriyah, Mu‘awiyah’s sister, by the order of her brother, sent for him and when they met she bared her head in his presence (thus considering him a member of the family), and said at once: “You are my brother. Therefore there is no need for me to cover my head in your presence. I have heard this fact from Abu Maryam Saluli.”
The planned meeting of Juwayriyah with Ziyad left its effects on Ziyad’s mind and heart. Following this meeting Mu‘awiyah ordered to form a gathering in the Jami‘ mosque of Damascus which Ziyad should attend. It was also arranged for witnesses to be present, one of whom was Abu Maryam Saluli. Mu‘awiyah turned to Abu Maryam and asked: “What is your testimony.”
Abu Maryam rose and said: “I testify that in pagan times when I was a wine-seller, one day Abu Sufyan came to at-Ta’if and asked me to provide him with a prostitute. I told him I knew only of Sumayyah the slave-girl of al-Harath ibn Kaldah. Abu Sufyan said: ‘All right, bring her though she is dirty and evil smelling!’ ”
Ziyad became angry on hearing these words and said: “Be quiet, Abu Maryam! You have come here to testify, not to abuse!”
Abu Maryam said: “lam not pleased with acting as a witness, and I would be glad if you exempt me from this task. I have only repeated what I have seen and heard. Abu Sufyan got hold of Sumayyah’s sleeve and took her to a private room and shut the door. I sat outside, and soon after Abu Sufyan came out, his forehead covered with sweat. I asked him how he found the woman. He answered: ‘I have not seen a woman like her, though…’ ”
Ziyad stood up and turning to the people, he said: “This man has given his testimony. I know nothing of the truth or falsehood of it, but what I know is that if ‘Ubayd was my father, he was a good father, and if he was my teacher and guardian and not my real father, he was a good teacher. I am indebted to him. Of course witnesses are more aware of the truth of the matter.”
Yunus ibn ‘Ubayd ath-Thaqafi, whose sister was the lady mistress of Sumayyah, rose and said: “O Mu‘awiyah! The verdict of the Prophet of God is that the bond between a father and son is due to a legitimate marriage, and the punishment for adultery is stoning. But despite such a law you issue a verdict on the testimony of Abu Maryam about the adultery of Abu Sufyan to make his illegitimate child related to him, and instead of stoning, you make an offspring a legitimate child of marriage, whereas such a verdict is quite contrary to the Book of God and the Prophet’s tradition!”
Mu‘awiyah, realizing the danger of such an argument, contrary to his usual policy, began to speak threateningly and said: “O Yunus! Shut your mouth, otherwise I shall throw you up so high that it will take you sometime to fall down!”(203)
Yunus said: “In that case, would I go towards anyone but God?” Then he sat down and realizing the truth of Mu‘awiyah’s threat, he said: “Yes! I beg God to forgive me.”
This incident caused much noise in the world of Islam and filled Arab literature with sharp satires, one of which is a poem composed by ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn-Hakam as follows:
“Say from me as a man of Yemen
To Mu‘awiyah, the son of Harb,
Would you be angry if they say:
Your father is virtuous and chaste?(204)
Your father has committed adultery?
I testify that your kinship with Ziyad
Is like the kinship of an elephant with a foal.”(205)
Ibn al-Athir, the well-known scholar and historian writes: The story of grafting Ziyad to Abu Sufyan was the first verdict issued openly contrary to the sacred canon law of Islam. The holy Prophet has declared: “An offspring is related to a legitimate and lawful bed, while the punishment of an adulterer is stoning to death.”(206)
Mu‘awiyah ordered his governors to collect gold and silver for me.
As we have already seen, Mu‘awiyah bought the favour of crafty men of his own time by every possible trick. He deceived some with the offer of rank and position, others with money and property, and a third group under the pretext of kinship, and joined them to the Umayyad party who were guardians of paganism and infidelity. On the other hand he persuaded to cooperation and friendship or at least to silence such individuals as the chief of tribes and men of power and even the enemies by means of moderation, cajolery, offers of wealth, pretending toleration, and conniving at their hostilities. He tried in every possible way to make them act in harmony with his government.
This sly and un-Islamic policy had, of course, been adopted since the beginning of his rule. But when his power was established and strengthened, he revealed his inner rancor and envy, and then showed his true self from behind his calm appearance. This was followed by the issue of a decree by the caliph for the collection of revenue from every part of the wide Islamic land. Now gold and silver were no longer divided among chiefs of tribes and powerful individuals.(207)
Mu‘awiyah’s greed knew no bounds, and every day he found a fresh excuse to seize people’s property. One day he ordered to confiscate the crown properties of the Sasanid kings around Kufah. Then these domains were placed among his personal property. The revenue from these lands amounted to five million drachmas a year. Another day, a new decree added Basra and the flourishing lands around it to his own possessions, and ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr was appointed to execute his wishes.
A third decree of Mu‘awiyah was related to another matter. From that day onward the gifts, which were offered by Iranian subjects to their kings on festival days of the New Year and Mehrgan, were to be delivered to the caliph’s organization. In this way Mu‘awiyah had modelled himself on the kings and emperors of pre-Islamic periods and pagan times. He had completely fulfilled the will of his father, Abu Sufyan, who had told him to change the caliphate into a monarchy. The worth of the gifts, which the people of Iran and Iraq were to offer on those festival days, amounted to millions of drachmas.(208)(209)
The usurpation of the flourishing Islamic lands was not confined to Kufah and Basra alone. Mu‘awiyah also encroached on the domains of Yemen, ash-Sham and Mesopotamia, and took possession of all the lands which had formerly been fiefs and public domains. In this way most of the wealth of the world of Islam was concentrated in the hands of the Umayyad house, namely Mu‘awiyah and his kith and kin. He was the first man in the world of Islam to take possession of so much land. His impudence reached such a point that he did not even spare the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and every year a large amount of date and wheat were brought for him from these two cities.(210) It was at this time, too, that Fadak(211) was given by Mu‘awiyah as a fief to Marwan ibn al-Hakam.(212)
With the establishment of the Umayyads’ rule, the policy of Mu‘awiyah underwent a change. Hitherto he had treated his enemies with toleration, a policy which he attributed to Abu Sufyan. But now that he had tamed the unruly with money and rank, and had brought the cities and other parts of the country under his complete control, he could reveal his old hostility and rancor. So when he visited Medina and the Banu Hashim came to him to speak of their affairs, he said to them: “What are you saying and what are your expectations? Is it not enough for you that I respect your blood even though you have shed ‘Uthman’s blood? By God, shedding your blood is more legitimate than anyone else’s!”
He continued to speak more sharply and rudely, as if he had forgotten his own open and secret crimes, and had thrown into oblivion his own negligence in the story of ‘Uthman. He went so far in his onslaught, that Ibn ‘Abbas, the spokesman of the ummah and pupil of Imam ‘Ali, rose to speak, and said: “O Mu‘awiyah! What you said and what you attributed to us show nothing but your inner maliciousness and wickedness. I swear to God that you deserve those charges more than anyone else! It was you who carried the guilt of ‘Uthman’s blood on your neck, and yet you pretend that you are endeavoring to avenge ‘Uthman’s blood!”
He spoke so long that Mu‘awiyah felt vanquished. Then the Ansar began to speak, but Mu‘awiyah answered them rudely and sharply, and in reproaching them he said: “What has happened to your water-drawing camels?”(213) The Ansar answered angrily: “We lost them on the day of the Battle of Badr when we were engaged in killing your father, brother and grandfather! To your face we are resolved to act upon what God and His Prophet have commanded us.” Mu‘awiyah asked: “What are those commands?” They said: “We have been advised to show patience and fortitude.” Mu‘awiyah said: “Then keep on being patient!”(214)
Then Mu‘awiyah returned from Medina to ash-Sham without meeting any of their lawful demands.(215) At this time Mu‘awiyah ordered to carry the Prophet’s pulpit from Medina to ash-Sham, declaring that the Prophet’s pulpit and stick should not remain in Medina whose people are ‘Uthman’s assassins. So his men went round in search of the Prophet’s stick, while another group removed the pulpit from its place. Historians say that with the removal of the pulpit, there occurred the eclipse of the sun and a great uproar rose from the people, so carrying it away was abandoned. Some other historians say that the remaining friends of the Prophet prevented its removal,(216) and thus the plan of Mu‘awiyah was not carried Out.
In this period when Mu‘awiyah had altered his policy and revealed his true desires, the Shi‘ah and friends of Imam ‘Ali suffered discomfort and pressure more than any other groups since Mu‘awiyah had ordered the governors of various cities to curse the Imam in speaking on their pulpits. Consequently there were two alternatives left for the supporters of the Imam to choose; either to resort to combat and retaliation which would mean imprisonment, torture, exile or even death, or keep silent and bear the whole of that deep suffering.
When al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah was departing as governor of Kufah, Mu‘awiyah said to him: “I intended to speak to you about various matters, but I abstained from it since I trust your intelligence and understanding. But I must mention one point, namely that I commission you not to forget abusing ‘Ali at all times, and not to abandon begging God’s grace and blessing for ‘Uthman. In addition to these two matters, remember to find fault at all moments with ‘Ali’s friends, and treat them very harshly, while you must show favor to supporters of ‘Uthman and bring them close to yourself.”
This evil order of Mu‘awiyah produced many blood-spilling events in the history of Islam, the examples of which you will read in the coming chapters.
The Shi‘ah in torture and molestation
Do not remove the chain from my hands, and do wash away blood from my body, for, I wish to face Mu‘awiyah in this condition in the presence of Divine Justice.
Hujr ibn ‘Adi
We have already said that Mu‘awiyah, in his order to the governors of the land under his rule, the example of which was his recommendations to al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah, had insisted that torture and molestation should be implemented towards the supporters of Imam ‘Ali and their beloved Imam and leader should be openly abused and cursed. This order was carried out and in its execution the whole administration of the caliphate was busy at work.
al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah, who was the governor of a large and flourishing province, never neglected this wicked policy, and during the whole period of his office he persisted in his abuse, falsehood and calumny towards Imam ‘Ali. Of course Hujr ibn ‘Adi, a great Shi‘ah devotee, on these occasions rose courageously and confronted him. After al-Mughayrah’s death, Ziyad ibn Abihi was appointed as governor of Kufah, and he continued the same evil conduct according to the same pre-arranged plan, and Hujr continued bravely to answer his abuses.
Historians say: One day the sermon of Ziyad ibn Abihi became very lengthy. Hujr, fearing that the time for prayer could pass, cried out: “Prayer time!” But Ziyad paid no attention and went on with his speech. Hujr rose once more and reminded Ziyad of the time of prayer. Ziyad ignored the reminder again. This incident was repeated for the third time, but it produced no result. At last Hujr took a handful of pebbles and threw it at Ziyad, and stood up himself for prayer. The people, too, followed his example and stood up. Thus Ziyad was compelled to abandon speaking and to join the people for prayer. When the prayer was over, Ziyad ordered the guards to bring Hujr to him, but the relatives of Hujr (of the Kanda tribe) defended and concealed him, and thus Ziyad’s agents were unable to find him.
Ziyad then resorted to a trick, and in his talks with the chiefs of the Kindah tribe, he declared that he would give asylum to Hujr and send him to Mu‘awiyah to reach a decision about him. They agreed, and then Ziyad imprisoned Hujr and eleven of his friends. Then he arranged to prepare a written testimony signed by some well-known and self-sold men of the city to the effect that Hujr and his friends had abused the caliph Mu‘awiyah, and have invited the people to fight him and expel his appointed governor. Among the signatures under his attestation could be seen the name of Shurayh ibn Hani’, judge of the city, too. Ziyad then sent Hujr and the others to Mu‘awiyah. When Shurayh learnt that his signature had been forged under the letter, he left the city and caught up with the guarded group, and wrote a letter to Mu‘awiyah and sent it with them to him. When Hujr and his friends were brought to Mu‘awiyah, he read the testimony as well as Shurayh’s letter in which he had written: “I have been told that Ziyad has recorded my testimony under his letter. My real testimony is as follow: Hujr performed his prayer, pay his tithe, and perform his pilgrimage every year. He enjoins unto good and forbids wrongdoing. He is a man that violation to whose life and property must be forbidden to others. Now, you are free to punish him or let him free.”
Mu‘awiyah, after reading Shurayh’s letter, said: “ This man has retired from the group who have given testimony in your letter.” Then he ordered to imprison all those five and virtue men in Maraj ‘Adhra’, a spot near Damascus. The imprisonment of Hujr’s friends was not long, and some of Mu‘awiyah’s courtiers on the intercession of others took steps to set some of them free. But Mu‘awiyah made a decision about the rest of them, namely to give them the choice of death or cursing Imam ‘Ali and declaring their immunity from him.
These remaining people were divided into two groups; those who were steadfast in their friendship to the Imam and feared God, said: “No! We will never submit to such a disgrace!” The agents of Mu‘awiyah dug graves in their presence and prepared shrouds for them. But Hujr and his friend without any sign of agitation stood up and spend their whole life in the name and remembrance of God Whom they regard ad their greatest beloved and their first and last Worshipped One.
In the morning they were brought out to face death. Hujr said to Mu‘awiyah officials: “Give me time to perform ablution and prayer; for, I have never performed ablution without following it by prayer.” They allowed him to do so, and his prayer did not take long. Then he stood up and said: “By God! I have never during my whole life performed a briefer and lighter prayer than this. If it was not for your wrong assumption that I may fear death, my prayer would undoubtedly have lasted longer!” Then he spent a few moment of convocation with God, saying: “O God! I complain to you of the Muslims ummah! I swear to God that if you killed me in this land, you would be killing the first Muslim who has uttered words of testimony to the Uniqueness of God and the first Muslims warrior who has stepped on this land!” Then the executioner approached him with drawn sword, and Hujr trembled slightly. The man said: “You thought that you did not fear death. Declare your immunity from your friend, and thereby save your life!”
Hujr said: “Why should I fear death? A grave is dug, a shroud is prepared, and I see a drawn sword before me! But even if I were to fear death, I would never utter a word that might rouse the wrath of my God!”
They killed that steadfast and Godly man and six of his friends. But two of them asked the official to take them back to Mu‘awiyah and said: “We are of the same opinion as Mu‘awiyah about this man (meaning Imam ‘Ali).” They were taken back to Mu‘awiyah who said to one of them: “Do you declare your immunity from the religion in which ‘Ali worshipped God?” The man remained silent, and some of his relatives interceded for him. Mu‘awiyah set him free and ordered to exile him to the city of Mosul (in the north of Iraq). Then he addressed the other man and said: “O brother Rabi‘i!(217) What do you say about ‘Ali?” The man said: “Let me be, and forego this question since it will be to your interest!” Mu‘awiyah said: “By God! I won’t let you be!” The Kufi man said courageously: “I testify that ‘Ali was a man who always remembered God. He enjoined right and did justice, and showed indulgence towards people’s blunders.”
Mu‘awiyah said: “What do you say about ‘Uthman?” The man said: “He was the first man to open the doors of oppression and block the ways of right.” Mu‘awiyah said: “So you are killing yourself.” The brave man of Kufah said: “No! I have killed you!” Then he added: “In this land there are none of the Rabi‘ah tribe to come to my aid.”
Mu‘awiyah ordered to send the man back to Ziyad ibn Abihi, telling him to kill the man in the worst possible manner. The mean and cruel governor obeyed the order, and on the charge of loving and supporting Imam ‘Ali, he buried him alive.(218) May God bless the soul of these devotees!
Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr writes in his famous book of al-Isti‘ab: Hujr said to his kinsmen who were present at his execution: “Do not remove these chains from my hands and do not wash away the blood from my body and wounds so that I may face Mu‘awiyah by the heavenly bridge and plead for justice at the Divine Presence.”(219)(220)
Mu‘awiyah put to death many of the Imam’s friends and supporters like Hujr and his followers, on the one hand owing to the rancor he felt towards them, and on the other hand because he wanted to reinforce the basis of his rule, since they were likely to rebel soon against the paganism which was being revived, thus creating a serious danger for his government. So we see that Mu‘awiyah was not averse to any forbidden act in order to strengthen the pillars of his rule, since the basis of his thought were pagan ideas and values. Where paganism is a supreme ruler, there exists nothing to bind people, and no true principle has any worth, and no human virtue and no quality wins respect.
He spent the first part of his twenty years of caliphate in the firm establishment of his rule, and the last part of it in making it hereditary for his sons. You will read more about this subject in the forthcoming chapters.
Government becomes hereditary (imperial)
I tore up the affair of this ummah to such an extent that it can never be repaired.
al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah
Their religion has indeed been worthless in their mind.
When the rule of Mu‘awiyah was established and its pillars became firm, and no danger threatened his position any more, he had a new idea. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that this idea had always existed in his mind, since, as we have already seen, this was a part of the counsels given to him by his father, Abu Sufyan. This idea was nothing but making the Umayyad government hereditary. So he started making his idea an actual fact. In this task he made use of every existing factor in the country, and employed every trick and scheme and crime that is possible.
Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih, well known Andalusian writer, says: Mu‘awiyah spent seven successive years trying to pave the way for the people’s allegiance to Yazid. He consulted crafty politicians, and deceived those around him with money, and brought near him those who were more remote by means of all kinds of tricks.(221)
In this connection, too, he adopted the same method he had used in strengthening his own rule, using money, position etc., and when he found these weapons weak or ineffective, he had no fear of even killing his uncom¬promising enemies. He knew no bounds in his cunning and unmanly deeds.
A group of historians depict the origin of the idea of making the government hereditary in a special way. Ibn al-Athir writes: The first move for securing allegiance to Yazid was made by al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah. Mu‘awiyah had intended to dismiss him as governor of Kufah and replace him by Sa‘id ibn al-‘As who was of the Umayyads.
When crafty al-Mughayrah learnt of this, he departed for ash-Sham with a group of his friends. When he reached Damascus, he said to his supporters: “If I do not succeed in this visit to consolidate my position as governor, a success from which you, too, will benefit, then I shall never be able to get such a chance.”
Then he proceeded to meet Yazid, and said to him: “All the great friends and companions of the Prophet and the chiefs and elders of the Quraysh have departed this life. Only their descendants are left, of whom you are more superior and enlightened and better familiar with the Prophet’s tradition and the manner of ruling. I do not know what obstacle exists in the way of Amir al-Mu’minin (Mu‘awiyah) that he does not take a step in securing allegiance to you from all people.”
Yazid said: “Do you think this matter will eventually be settled success-fully?” al-Mughayrah answered in the affirmative. The meeting came to an end and the conversation was reported by Yazid to Mu‘awiyah. Mu‘awiyah summoned al-Mughayrah and made inquiries about the subject. Cunning al-Mughayrah said: “You yourself have witnessed all those wars and bloodsheds which occurred after ‘Uthman about the question of government. Yazid is competent to succeed you. Why delay it, then? Secure allegiance for him, so that if anything happens to you, there will be your successor and people’s support to prevent bloodshed and mischief.”
Mu‘awiyah asked: “Who can undertake this task?” al-Mughayrah answered: “I accept the responsibility for Kufah, and Ziyad can for Basra, and next to these two cities there is no one left to oppose you.”
Mu‘awiyah said: “You had better return to your own seat and consult your trusty friends until we see what course the events take.”
al-Mughayrah returned to his friends and said to them: “I have placed Mu‘awiyah’s feet in a stirrup where his drilling- ground over the ummah is far and wide, and I have torn up the affair of this ummah in such a way that it can never be repaired.”
Then al-Mughayrah returned to Kufah and prepared ten of the supporters of the Umayyads together with his own son, Musa, to depart for a journey to ash-Sham. He divided three hundred thousand dinars among them to go to Mu‘awiyah and give the question of the allegiance a new gloss and attraction. In his meeting with this group, Mu‘awiyah said: “Do not be hasty in this matter, and of course you should not forget your view, either.”
Then he secretly summoned Musa, son of al-Mughayrah, and asked him: “At what price has your father bought these men’s religion?”
Musa said: “For three hundred thousand dinars!”
Mu‘awiyah said: “How trifling their religion seems to be to them!”(222)
Allegiance to Yazid in Basra
Yazid is a dog fancier; a monkey-fancier and a wine- bibber! How can I invite people to allegiance to him?
Ziyad ibn Abihi
At the time that al-Mughayrah was preparing the people of Kufah for allegiance to Yazid, Mu‘awiyah wrote a letter to Ziyad ibn Abihi, governor of Basra, as follows:
“al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah has invited the people of Kufah for allegiance to Yazid and his succession as caliph. Without a doubt in connection with the son of your brother, al-Mughayrah is not worthier than you. Therefore, on receiving my letter, invite the people of your city to the same thing that al-Mughayrah has invited the people of Kufah, and receive allegiance from them for Yazid.”
Ziyad received the letter and, on learning of its content, summoned one of his friends whose wit and intelligence he trusted and said to him: “I want to entrust you with a secret; for, one cannot be sure that letters and written things can keep it. Go to Mu‘awiyah and say to him: O commander of the faithful! I have received your letter. What will the people say when I invite them for allegiance to Yazid, while he is a dog fancier and a monkey-fancier? He wears a garment of a different color every day, and is always drunk with wine. He does not abstain from music. Opposite him there are such men as al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, ‘Abd Allah ibn al-‘Abbas, ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr and ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar. There is only one alternative left, namely that you order him for a year or two to conduct himself in the manner of his rivals and adopt their behaviour. It is then that we might succeed in deceiving people.”
The messenger went to Mu‘awiyah and delivered his message. Mu‘awiyah said: “Woe upon the son of ‘Ubayd! By God! I have heard that a minstrel has composed this line for him: ‘After me Ziyad will be Emir!’ By God I will send him back in his lineage to mother Sumayyah and his slave father, ‘Ubayd!”(223)
at-Tabari and Ibn al-Athir narrates this story at a greater length but with a slight difference. They say: Ziyad’s envoy said to Ziyad: “My opinion is that you do not charge Mu‘awiyah’s view with error in such a way, and do not rouse his anger against his son. I will go to Yazid and inform him that the caliph has consulted Ziyad about the question of allegiance to him, and Ziyad fears people’s opposi¬tion, since they have observed unseemly deeds from Yazid. Ziyad’s opinion is that Yazid should abandon his improper conduct in order to make allegiance and caliphate possible for himself.”
Ziyad agreed to his envoy’s suggestion. The envoy left Basra and reached ash-Sham, and on meeting Yazid, informed him of Ziyad’s view. Yazid, on his part, accepted that suggestion and thenceforth temporarily gave up some of his unworthy deeds. Then the envoy delivered Ziyad’s letter to Mu‘awiyah.
In this letter Ziyad had dissuaded Mu‘awiyah from haste in this matter, and Mu‘awiyah, on reading the letter, approved of his suggestion. But when Ziyad died, Mu‘awiyah became more determined to follow up the question of allegiance to Yazid, and at first sent one hundred thousand drachmas to ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar who was a so-called devout ascetic. ‘Umar accepted the money, and then Mu‘awiyah’s messenger brought up the question of allegiance to Yazid.
‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar said: “So this is what Mu‘awiyah wants! If I were to show allegiance in return for this money, it would be clear that I consider my religion as trifling and worthless.”(224)(225)
Allegiance to Yazid in ash-Sham
Mu‘awiyah ordered his Jewish physician to poison and kill ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Khalid.
Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr
Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, the great biographer, writes: When Mu‘awiyah became determined to win allegiance for Yazid, he delivered a sermon to the people of ash-Sham, saying: “I have lived too long and my death is near. I wish to secure allegiance for a man, but as I am one of you, I wish to hear your view without which no decision will be taken!”
The people unanimously said: “We approve of the caliphate of ‘Abd ar-¬Rahman ibn Khalid.” But this view was not pleasing to Mu‘awiyah, for, he supposed that they would surely nominate Yazid for this position. He saw now that they had paid no attention to Yazid, and were bringing up the name of ‘Abd ar-Rahman, son of Khalid ibn al-Walid. He was greatly enraged, but he could not reveal it. The people of ash-Sham were the same people who had tolerated his rule for forty years and had supported him in all the dangerous events of the time. So he had to control his anger, and secretly take steps for the removal of this obstacle.
Some time passed and ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Khalid, fell ill. Mu‘awiyah sent his personal physician, who was a Jew, to visit and treat him. This man was a trusty secret keeper of Mu‘awiyah, so he was ordered to poison ‘Abd ar-Rahman in any way he knew. This dishonest and self-sold physician carried out Mu‘awiyah’s order to the letter, poisoning his innocent patient, and the poison was so strong that it split ‘Abd ar-Rahman’s belly and he died very quickly. (226)
at-Tabari and Ibn al-Athir narrate this story in a different way, and say: Mu‘awiyah ordered his personal physician who was a Christian named Ibn Athal to kill ‘Abd ar-Rahman by any trick that he considered efficacious, and in return for this service he would be exempted from the payment of tribute all his life, and would be appointed as a collector of taxes for the town of Hims, as a reward. The wicked physician poisoned ‘Abd ar-Rahman and carried out the evil order of Mu‘awiyah. In return for this service, Mu‘awiyah fulfilled his promise.(227)
Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr adds: After the death of ‘Abd ar-Rahman, his brother, Muhajir, secretly travelled to Damascus and in the company of his slave waited in ambush for the Jewish physician. One night when the physician was returning from Mu‘awiyah’s house, they attacked him and after putting his companions to flight, they killed him.
After quoting the above incident, Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr writes: This story is rumored by scholars.
Allegiance to Yazid in Medina
O Mu‘awiyah! Your relatives refuse to carry out your order concerning the allegiance to Yazid.
Marwan ibn al-Hakam
It is reported in the book of al-Imamah wa as-siyasah of Ibn Qutaybah: Mu‘awiyah wrote a letter to Marwan who was his governor at Medina, asking him to propose the allegiance to Yazid to the people of that city. This was an unpleasant task for Marwan, and also the Quraysh chiefs of Medina were by no means willing to show allegiance to Yazid. So Marwan wrote to Mu‘awiyah, saying: “Your relatives refuse to carry out your order concerning the allegiance to Yazid. Write your view to me.”
Mu‘awiyah was annoyed at the conduct of Marwan and at his negative answer, and dismissed him from the governorship of Medina, replacing him by Sa‘id ibn al-‘As. Marwan departed for ash-Sham with a group of the Umayyads, being full of rage the whole time.
He visited Mu‘awiyah and spoke harshly in his presence. But cunning Mu‘awiyah did not think it expedient to be sharp then. So he treated him calmly and mildly, and after increasing his salary, he sent him back to Medina.(228)
After this incident he thought of a new plan. He thought that the best way of carrying out the question of Yazid’s succession, was to create a division among the chiefs of his own tribe, the Umayyads. Consequently he wrote a decree and sent it to Sa‘id ibn al-‘As, governor of Medina, ordering him to demolish the house of Marwan ibn al-Hakam, and confiscate all his property including Fadak.
Ibn al-Athir writes: In the year 54 of the Hijrah, Mu‘awiyah dismissed Sa‘id ibn al-‘As as governor of Medina and replaced him by Marwan. The reason for his dismissal was that Mu‘awiyah had written to Sa‘id during his governor-ship ordering him to demolish Marwan’s house and confiscate all his property and even Fadak which he had granted to him in the past. But Sa‘id had ignored his order and had failed to act upon it.
Mu‘awiyah sent Sa‘id another letter reminding him of this order, but again Sa‘id disregarded it and only kept the two letters. After dismissing him and replacing him by Marwan, Mu‘awiyah wrote to Marwan, ordering him to demolish Sa‘id’s house and confiscate his property. Marwan, accompanied by several officials went to Sa‘id’s house to carry out the order. Sa‘id came out and said: “O ‘Abd al-Malik! Do you intend to demolish my house?” Marwan answered: “Yes, the caliph has written a letter ordering me to demolish your house. If you were given such an order to demolish mine, you would carry it out immediately!”
Sa‘id said: “But I would not do so!” Marwan said: “By God! You would have done so!” Sa‘id said again: “No! I would never do so!” Then he showed Marwan the two letters of Mu‘awiyah and said: “Mu‘awiyah intends to create division and differences between us.
When Marwan saw the contents of the letters and observed Sa‘id’s reaction to Mu‘awiyah’s order, he said: “By God! You are better than me!”
Then he desisted from demolishing Sa‘id’s house and returned. Following this incident Sa‘id wrote a letter to Mu‘awiyah, saying: “How strange is the conduct of the caliph! And how incompatible it is with kinship! He has decided to create enmity and rancor between us and divide us into hostile groups! The caliph, with all his tolerance and fortitude, despite his disapproval of hastiness and anger, and with all his inclination to indulgence and forgive-ness, tries to produce enmity and separation between his kins, so that their descendants would inherit these rancours. Even if we did not share the same father with the caliph and did not possess such a close bond, it would have been proper for the caliph Mu‘awiyah to have a consideration for our right, in view of the goal for which he gathered us together, making us claim vengeance for the innocent and martyred caliph, ‘Uthman’s blood!”
Mu‘awiyah was greatly vexed that this plan bad failed, but he wrote to Sa‘id pretending to apologize for his treatment.(229)
Allegiance to Yazid demands victims
For the matter of allegiance to Yazid, Mu‘awiyah secretly killed Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba and Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas.
The question of Yazid’s caliphate had occupied the mind of Mu‘awiyah and he saw certain obstacles in it which he could not overcome. But he used all his efforts to remove the last obstacles. On the one hand there was Imam al-Mujtaba, the grandson of the Prophet who was the greatest social and spiritual personality of the day, and on the other hand there was Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas, a great general and a member of the council of six appointed by ‘Umar, and popular with a number of Muslims.
Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, famous historian, writes: “Mu‘awiyah desired people’s allegiance for his son, Yazid. But in this course no obstacles were greater than al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali, and Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas. In order to remove these two great obstacles, he secretly poisoned them both, and they died.”(230)
The reason why Imam al-Hasan and Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas were at that time regarded as obstacles in the way of Mu‘awiyah’s objective, was that Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas was the last remaining member of the council of six appointed by ‘Umar to decide the choice of the successor to him as caliph.(231) Later on these six men gained such a high reputation that each of them was considered worthy of being chosen as caliph. But Imam al-Hasan, in addition to his particularly great virtue and fine qualities, had stipulated in his truce with Mu‘awiyah that after the latter’s death he should be caliph,(232) and Mu‘awiyah was not allowed to nominate any other successor for himself.(233)
Historians have not described how Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas was killed. They only state that his death was due to poisoning. But in connection with the martyrdom of Imam al-Hasan, there exists several pieces of evidence, which clarify this tragic matter.
al-Mas‘udi writes: Ju‘dah, daughter of al-Ash‘ath ibn Qays al-Kindi poisoned Imam al-Hasan with a poison sent secretly to her by Mu‘awiyah. He had sent her a message that if she could kill Imam al-Hasan through an effective plan, he would reward her with one hundred thousand drachmas, and would wed her to his son, Yazid. Thus Ju‘dah was persuaded to commit that criminal act.
When the Imam died, Mu‘awiyah fulfilled that part of his promise about the money, and sent it to her, but concerning the question of marriage with Yazid, he sent a message to her, saying: “We love our son’s life, and if it were not 50, we would fulfill our second promise, namely your marriage with him, too!” He meant that as she had poisoned her husband, the grandson of the Prophet for the sake of promises, she was also capable of repeating it in the case of his son. Therefore he abstains from fulfilling his second promise.(234) Mu‘awiyah’s plot removed Imam al-Hasan and Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas, to open the way for the caliphate of Yazid. As Mu‘awiyah had already killed ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Khalid, he is also likely to have killed ‘Abd ar-Rahman, son of Abu Bakr. We will deal with this subject in future chapters.
Ceremonies of allegiance to Yazid
Rise and in the Name of God show allegiance to Yazid.
Mu‘awiyah was engaged in a great attempt, and was inviting great men of influence to Damascus from every part of the country, and persuading them to show allegiance to Yazid. He threatened those who opposed the plan, and satisfied those who agreed by granting them huge sums of money,(235) and sometimes by giving them high positions and ranks.(236)
Several years passed in this way and many parts of the country were brought under the Umayyad yoke. But Hejaz, with its two great cities of Mecca and Medina, still refused to submit to allegiance to Yazid. Mu‘awiyah decided to visit Hejaz and those cities, and departed with a number of sup-porters to secure allegiance from the people of Mecca and Medina, who owing to their greater familiarity with Islam, and also because of the influence of such personalities as Imam al-Husayn, ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr, ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar and ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr, refused to agree to that allegiance for Yazid.
Ibn al-Athir writes: To carry out his wishes, Mu‘awiyah made use of enormous gifts granted to his intimates, mildness with those who stayed away, and kindness to chiefs of tribes. He was so successful in this scheme that the people began to trust him and showed allegiance to Yazid. When the allegiance of the people of ash-Sham and Iraq was carried out, he left for Hejaz with one thousand horsemen, and in Medina Imam al-Husayn was the first person to meet him.
Ibn al-Athir then describes this meeting at length and quotes the words exchanged between Imam al-Husayn and three other dignitaries of the city and Mu‘awiyah, and the rude and sharp answers given by Mu‘awiyah. He adds that Mu‘awiyah refused to meet these four persons in Medina, and then went to visit ‘A’ishah. As he had heard that she had spoken of Imam al-Husayn and those men, he said to her: “If they do not show allegiance, I will kill them.”
He complained of them to ‘A’ishah, and she gave him advice and counsel. Ibn al-Athir describes Mu‘awiyah’s travel to Mecca as follows: In that city the people went out to welcome him, and those four persons were among the Muslims there. He treated them gently and then brought up the subject of allegiance. The son of az-Zubayr said to him: “You may accept one of our three proposals, either act in the manner of the Prophet who did not choose anyone as his successor,(237) and the people themselves showed allegiance to Abu Bakr, or act in the manner of Abu Bakr who nominated a man of the Quraysh as caliph, and did not allow any of his house to assume this position, or act in the manner of ‘Umar who entrusted the choice of the caliph to a council of six, to which his son did not belong.
Mu‘awiyah said: “Have you any other proposal or suggestion?” They said: “No.”
Mu‘awiyah said: “I have given you a warning, and he who warns others of their fate, is excusable. Now, it is my turn to speak, and I swear to God that if any of you here says something contrary to my words, he will lose his head before he concludes his words. Therefore every person should think of his own life and try to preserve it.”
Then he ordered to place two men with drawn; swords by each of those objectors so that if they uttered a word of protest, they would be beheaded without delay.
Then he proceeded with these men to the mosque of al-Haram, climbed the pulpit and, after praising God, he said: “These are the leaders and dignitaries of Islam, and the best of them, and no one should perform a task without consulting them. They have voluntarily shown allegiance to Yazid! Now you people rise and in the Name of God, show allegiance.”
The people on every side rose and showed allegiance, and when the ceremony was concluded, he ordered to prepare the mounts and then proceeded towards Medina. He seized allegiance from the people of this city in the same way he had done with the people of Mecca, and then he returned to ash-Sham.
As for the allegiance falsely attributed to Imam al-Husayn and those few men, the matter did not remain hidden, and after the departure of Mu‘awiyah the people said to those four men:
“How did you, who had no intention of ever showing allegiance, submit so easily and voluntarily to this allegiance to Yazid?”
In answer they described the unmanly and cunning plan of Mu‘awiyah and the danger that threatened their lives.(238)
* * *
We have made a deep inquiry into the events of Mu‘awiyah’s life, since there was no other alternative for discovering the reasons and factors for the fabrication of traditions in the time of Mu‘awiyah, we wished to re-discover his complex personality in order to find out the nature of his connection with and interest in Umm al-Mu’minin ‘A’ishah in this particular field. This is a subject, which will be dealt with in the forthcoming pages.
‘A’ishah and Mu‘awiyah
The factors of friendship between
‘A’ishah and the Umayyads
O ‘A’ishah! To combat with the Prophet’s household, one day you ride a mule and the next day a camel!
We have already seen to what extent Mu‘awiyah went in his hostility to Imam ‘Ali, so that during the rule of the Imam be fought him in every possible way. After the Imam was martyred in the mosque of Kufah, Mu‘awiyah’s combat took the form of cold war and he never ceased in his propagation against the Imam and his abuse and curse to him. We saw also that ‘A’ishah, fought the Imam with her utmost ability during her life, and when he was killed by Ibn Muljam and departed this world, on being informed of his death, she was so overjoyed that she prostrated herself in thankfulness to God,(239) and began singing the following lines:
“ ‘Ali has died and there is no return for him.
With his death lam as overjoyed as the family
Of a dear traveler returning from his journey!
‘Ali’s death illuminated my eyes!”
‘A’ishah’s flame of enmity with the Alawite house was so strong, that she even veiled herself from his two sons who were her husband’s grandsons, and abstained from meeting them.(240) When we read what al-Ya‘qubi and Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani have narrated about the events of those days, we will see that her intense hostility continued so long that it could be regarded as a reason for the attachment between her and the Umayyads in general, and with Mu‘awiyah in particular.
al-Ya‘qubi writes: Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba had reached the last painful moments of his life, and wished to announce his will to his dear brother Imam al-Husayn. He said: “When I die, bury me by the side of my exalted grandfather the holy Prophet; for, no one deserves more than me to be buried by his side, unless they prevent this burial and do not let my last wish to be fulfilled. If this happens, then of course do your best in preventing even the smallest bloodshed.”
When the Imam departed this mortal life and reached eternity, preparations were made for his burial. His body was carried by his relatives towards the tomb of the holy Prophet.
According to Maqatil at-Talibiyin, ‘A’ishah, as a so-called kind mother of all believers, rode a mule in the company of the Umayyads, having the guilt of rousing them on her neck, and came in front of the procession and prevented them from proceeding to the Prophet’s tomb. The following lines have been composed for her unworthy act on that occasion:
“One day your ride a mule,
And the next day a camel!”(241)
al-Ya‘qubi writes: Marwan ibn al-Hakam and Sa‘id ibn al-‘As rode on and prevented the burial of the Prophet’s grandson by his tomb. ‘A’ishah, too, riding a mule, shouted in front of the mourners: “This is my house, and I allow no one to be buried here!”
al-Qasim, grandson of Abu Baker, came forward and said: “O aunt! We have not yet washed off our heads the blood of the day of the battle of al-Jamal. Do you intend that in future they call this day the day of mule?”
The Alawite supporters did not, naturally, remain passive. A number gathered round Imam al-Husayn and said: “Allow us to deal with those men. By God! They are no more than a bite for us!”
The Imam said: “My brother has willed that at his burial not even one drop of blood be shed.”
Then the body of Imam al-Hasan was taken to the al-Baqi‘ cemetery and buried by the side of his grandmother, Fatimah, daughter of Asad and mother of Imam ‘Ali.(242)
These activities of ‘A’ishah, which showed her old-standing rancor and hostility towards the Prophet’s household, had created a close and firm friendship between ‘A’ishah and Umayyads, especially with Mu‘awiyah, for which reason they showed a great respect to her and offered her many gifts.
Gifts of Mu‘awiyah
Once Mu‘awiyah sent ‘A’ishah one hundred thousand drachmas.
When a critical scholar searches reliable historical texts, he finds strange signs of ‘A’ishah’s attachment to the government of the Umayyads. These two, despite their past differences and their combats in the assassination of ‘Uthman, now found it expedient to sit alongside each other and form a single front.
The financial considerations of the Umayyad government towards ‘A’ishah are a clear evidence of the said attachment. Again and again many gifts and sums of money were sent for her by Mu‘awiyah and other Umayyad rulers. Here we cite some examples of this treatment, which we have collected from reliable historical texts.
Abu Nu‘aym al-Isfahani, well-known writer of Hilyat al-awliya’, quoting ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Qasim, says that once Mu‘awiyah sent some gifts for ‘A’ishah which included money, clothes and precious objects.(243)
He also quotes ‘Urwah ibn az-Zubayr, saying that on another occasion Mu‘awiyah sent ‘A’ishah one hundred thousand drachmas.(244)
Ibn Kathir, the famous historian of the 8th century, quotes ‘Ata’, saying that Mu‘awiyah sent a valuable necklace for ‘A’ishah in Mecca, the price of which was about one hundred thousand drachmas, and she accepted it.(245)
The reliable book of Tabaqat al-kubra reports that Munkadir ibn ‘Abd Allah visited ‘A’ishah, and after some preliminary talks, she asked him: “Have you an offspring?” He said: “No!” ‘A’ishah said: “If I had ten thousand drachmas, I would give it to you to buy a slave-girl and have an offspring by her.” This meeting came to end, and on the same day Mu‘awiyah sent ‘A’ishah a huge sum of money. ‘A’ishah said: “How soon we are entangled!” and then sent Munkadir ten thousand dinars, with which he bought a slave-girl.(246)
Ibn Kathir quotes another incident from Sa‘d ibn al-‘Aziz, saying that Mu‘awiyah once repaid a debt of ‘A’ishah for a sum of eighteen thousand drachmas. These debts were incurred by her owing to the gifts of money given by her to the people.(247)
These were some examples of the financial considerations of Mu‘awiyah for ‘A’ishah. Such a treatment was not confined to Mu‘awiyah. Other Umayyad rulers, too, acted in a similar manner, and from time to time they sent her various gifts. One of these men was ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Amir, governor of Basra, who once sent her money and clothes.(248)
Despite the time that separates us from ‘A’ishah and the Umayyad period, we see that the instances and evidence of such financial considerations by the Umayyad government towards ‘A’ishah are so numerous that we are compelled to conclude that the actual instances are much more numerous than what have reached us, and that history has buried most of them within itself.
In view of this point, we can realize the degree of the respect shown to ‘A’ishah by the Umayyad rulers on account of their own worldly considerations and expediency as well as the reciprocal consideration and expediency that ‘A’ishah felt towards them, and thus we discover the extent of the connection and attachment of those two strong fronts of the time. Thus we can henceforth have a better and clearer understanding of the evil results of the close connection of these two poles for the Muslims and Islam.
The influence of ‘A’ishah
in the rule of the Umayyads
Ziyad ibn Abihi said proudly: This is the letter of ‘A’ishah Umm al-Mu’minin to me!
If the reader has paid sufficient attention to what has already been said about the life of ‘A’ishah and her political and social activities, he will have distinguished the extraordinary political genius of this woman. From the viewpoint of social and political understanding, and the power of imposing her views and many other qualities, which are necessary for a politician, she has an evident superiority over most men and women of her own time. This point will be illustrated in many ways in the forthcoming pages.
One aspect of this woman’s genius is the influence of her words. We read in the book of Tabaqat al-kubra: Murrah ibn Abi ‘Uthman was the freed slave of ‘Abd ar-Rahman son of Abu Bakr. One day he went to ‘Abd ar-Rahman and requested him to write a letter to Ziyad, asking him to meet his need. ‘Abd ar-Rahman wrote the letter but addressed Ziyad as the son of his real father ‘Ubayd, not as Abu Sufyan’s son. Murrah ibn Abi ‘Uthman said: “I won’t take such a letter to Ziyad, for instead of securing a benefit, I shall receive some harm.”
Then he went to ‘A’ishah and repeated the same request. ‘A’ishah wrote: “This is a letter from ‘A’ishah Umm al-Mu’minin to Ziyad, son of Abu Sufyan.” The man took the letter to Ziyad who said to him after reading it: “Go now and come back to me to-morrow so that I fulfill your wish.” Next day when he went to Ziyad while he was surrounded by people, Ziyad told him to read the letter. He read this sentence which was written in it and nothing more: “This is a letter from ‘A’ishah Umm al-Mu’minin to Ziyad, son of Abu Sufyan.” Then Ziyad complied with the man’s request.(249)
Yaqut al-Hamawi narrates this story in the section on “Nahr Murrah” of his geographical encyclopedia, and writes: Ziyad was very pleased with ‘A’ishah’s letter and treated the man very kindly, and then turned to the people and said proudly: “This is a letter of Umm al-Mu’minin to me!”
Then he ordered to give Murrah one hundred acres of land by the river al-Ubulah as his fief, and dig a special canal to irrigate his land, and this river is thus called “Nahr Murrah”.(250) What is interesting in this incident is the use made by Ziyad of the effect of ‘A’ishah’s written words for his own benefit. He felt so pleased at being addressed by ‘A’ishah as Abu Sufyan’s son, and being accepted by her as such. So he wished that the so-called letter be read publicly, so that the people would see that his noble lineage is recognized by ‘A’ishah, the great personality of the time, considering him as the son of Abu Sufyan, former chief of the Quraysh, and brother of the present caliph!
Another time ‘A’ishah wrote a letter to Ziyad in which he recommended a man. Ziyad wrote at the bottom of the letter: ‘He lives with his parents’, meaning that Ziyad will treat the man so well that he will feel as if he lives with his parents.(251)
‘A’ishah and Mu‘awiyah
in reciprocal contention
I swear to God that Hujr and his friends were the leaders and selected ones of the Arabs.
Although the hostility with Imam ‘Ali had produced a deep friendship between ‘A’ishah and Mu‘awiyah, yet later on a number of factor caused a break in this relationship, and it led to coolness and enmity.
We will deal with these factors in several different sections. Mu‘awiyah’s constant efforts enabled him to seize the rein of all affairs, but he was not content with this and wished to make his rule hereditary. What is significant is that at first even some groups of his friends did not approve of this project, and at this time the son of Abu Sufyan revealed the savage and violent, and cruel side of his character. It was then that ‘A’ishah joined the group of his opponents, and severed her last bond of connection with Mu‘awiyah.
The first disagreement which arose between ‘A’ishah and Mu‘awiyah, appeared in the unpleasant event of the death of Hujr ibn ‘Adi, the brave warrior of Kufah and chaste Shi‘ah follower of Imam ‘Ali.
Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani writes: ‘A’ishah sent an envoy named ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Harath to ash-Sham to intercede on her behalf to Mu‘awiyah for Hujr and his friends. This man reached Damascus at a time when Mu‘awiyah had already killed them. ‘A’ishah’s envoy returned in disappointment and reported the event to her. ‘A’ishah said in vexation: “If it had not been for the fact that whenever we start a revolt and change the conditions, the situation becomes more complicated, and unpleasant events occur, we would have started another revolt, and would not have left Hujr’s death without vengeance, since I swear to God that he was a true Muslim and striver in the way of God.”(252) What ‘A’ishah meant by her statement about revolt was that the popular movement started by her against ‘Uthman, had produced many difficulties as a result of which Imam ‘Ali had assumed the position of caliph. This matter was so insupportable for ‘A’ishah that she longed and prayed for the annihilation of the heaven and earth and its people if the caliphate became a definitely established fact for the Imam.
But her hopes were in vain since Imam ‘Ali assumed that position as a fact. Therefore, she used all her efforts to change the course of events, and deprive the Imam of his position as caliph, and thus she started the battle of al-Jamal which caused so much bloodshed and massacre(253), but without any avail, except that her cousin Talhah, her son Muhammad and her sister’s husband lost their lives, and she was brought much pain and suffering!
Now she was afraid that if she started a revolt against Mu‘awiyah, a step which was possible for her owing to her social power and influence, more bitter and unpleasant events would ensue which might affect her future, and condi¬tions would become worse.
Therefore, she was compelled to suppress her anger, and try to forget this failure which damaged her social prestige. Thus she controlled her rage and remained silent against Mu‘awiyah’s action.
Another point is mentioned in historical texts concerning the execution of Hujr, which shows ‘A’ishah’s deep political understanding. She had declared: “By God, if Mu‘awiyah had recognized the heroic spirit, zeal and power of the people of Kufah, he would never have dared to arrest and kill Hujr and his friends. But the son of the liver-eater woman(254) knows that fervent men of the Arabs no longer exist in this world-; I swear to God that Hujr and his friends possessed a high rank in their clear-sightedness, heroism and courage.”
The poet Lubayd has finely composed the following lines about this matter:
“Those under whose auspices one could live,
Have departed this life, and lam left alone,
Amidst those who are as worthless as leprous skins!
They afford neither a benefit,
Nor is there any hope of their charity,
Their spokesman is cavilled at,
Even if he has caused no mischief.”(255)
The death of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr
O Mu‘awiyah! Did you not fear God in killing Hujr and his friends?
The second factor of ‘A’ishah’s disagreement with Mu‘awiyah, was the tragic event of the killing of her brother, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr and Ibn al-Athir narrate: In the year that Mu‘awiyah had gone on a pilgrimage to Mecca, he went to Medina presumably to visit the tomb of the Prophet of God. During his stay in Medina, one day he went to visit ‘A’ishah. Her first words with him were related to the execution of Hujr, about which she said many things. The last answer of Mu‘awiyah was: “Leave Hujr and me alone to meet at the threshold of our God.”(256)
Some historians give greater details about this story and say: After Mu‘awiyah was permitted by ‘A’ishah to enter her house and sit down, she said to him: “Mu‘awiyah! How could you so confidently enter my house without fearing my retaliation for the death of my brother Muhammad?”
Mu‘awiyah said: “Because I have entered this asylum.” ‘A’ishah said: “O Mu‘awiyah! Did you not fear God in killing Hujr and his friends?”
Mu‘awiyah said: “They were in fact killed by those who have given testimony about them.”(257)
Ahmad ibn Hanbal writes in his book of Musnad that Mu‘awiyah gave the following answer to ‘A’ishah’s questions: “You would never commit such an act since I am in this asylum, and I have heard the Prophet say that a faith in God checks the act of killing a person.” Then he asked her: “What do you think of my treatment of you and meeting your needs?” ‘A’ishah said: “It is excellent.” Then Mu‘awiyah said: “In that case leave us to others until we meet at the threshold of our God.”(258)
As history was reported, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, ‘A’ishah’s brother was killed in the year 37 of the Hijrah, and Hujr ibn ‘Adi in the year 50. Therefore the question arises as to why and how ‘A’ishah remained silent all those years without saying a word about avenging her brother’s blood until Hujr and his friends were killed, and then she remembered her brother’s death?
We believe that the reason for these changes were the events that took place at the beginning. We have already seen that ‘A’ishah sent an envoy named ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Harath from Medina to ash-Sham to intercede for Hujr and his friends. The report of this mission spread to all parts of the Islamic realm, and the people who were aware of ‘A’ishah’s history and influence with the caliph’s government, sincerely hoped that her request would be complied with, and Mu‘awiyah would not disappoint her. But not more than a few days later her envoy returned in disappointment and for the first time announced ‘A’ishah’s failure.
Such a thing had been almost unprecedented in the past. ‘A’ishah had somehow or other secured a great influence in the time of the caliphs, and the government organization with the exception of the Alawite government had respectfully accepted her views,(259) and this was the first time that her demand was not agreed to.
With the spirit that we know of ‘A’ishah, it was very hard for her to bear this failure, and it created a deep rage and rancor in her. Was it not this same factor that caused her to speak harshly with Mu‘awiyah after so many years of friendship and attachment for him and despite all his material considerations and kindness to her, and remind him of his wrong deeds, and bring up the subject of the unjust death of her brother after fifteen years?
Sly and states manlike Mu‘awiyah preferred to show calmness and moderation against ‘A’ishah’s rage and dissatisfactions and remind her of his past friendship and his gifts and his generosity towards her.
Of course ‘A’ishah, as a strong woman that we have got to know in the pages of this book, would not so easily calm down from her state of boiling rage, and would not quickly forget her rancor and enmity, especially as Mu‘awiyah had at that time inflicted another fresh wound upon her, namely by putting to death another brother of hers in the question of the allegiance to Yazid. Naturally the disagreement between ‘A’ishah and Mu‘awiyah became more intensified at the sudden death of her own brother, ‘Abd ar-Rahman, and she was filled with boiling rage.
‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr is poisoned
Marwan is a piece of God’s damnation.
The third factor of the disagreement between ‘A’ishah and Mu‘awiyah was the question of the mysterious death of her brother, ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr. We have already seen that at the time when Mu‘awiyah was preparing the Muslim people to show allegiance to Yazid, Marwan ibn al-Hakam governed Medina. One day during his sermon he spoke of Yazid and of his nomination as caliph to succeed his father. ‘Abd ar-Rahman rose and spoke in opposition to Marwan, and Marwan ordered to arrest him.
But ‘Abd ar-Rahman fled out of the mosque and went to the house of ‘A’ishah, and Marwan’s men had no power to seize him. At this time Marwan said in reproach and scorn of him: “This is the man about whom the Qur’an has said: ‘And he who says to his parents: Fie on you! Do you threaten me?’ ”(260)
At this time ‘A’ishah cried out from behind the screen: “God has not descended any verse about our house except where He declares my innocence in the incident of Ifk.”(261)
Ibn al-Athir, the famous historian, narrates this story as follows: In the question of allegiance for Yazid, Mu‘awiyah wrote a letter to his governor, Marwan, and on receiving this letter, Marwan rose and declared: “Amir al-Mu’minin Mu‘awiyah has nominated a successor to the caliphate for you, and has shown good-will in this matter by choosing his son Yazid for this position.”
‘Abd ar-Rahman rose and said: “Both you and Mu‘awiyah have lied! You have not taken into consideration people’s interest and welfare. Your intention is to transform the caliphate into an empire and adopt the ways of Kasras and Caesars, so that when an emperor dies, another emperor takes his place!”
Marwan addressed the people and said: “This is the man about whom the Qur’an says: ‘He who says to his parents: Fie on you! Do you threaten me?’ ” ‘A’ishah, hearing his words from behind the screen, stood up and shouted: “O Marwan! O Marwan!”
The people became silent, and Marwan turned his face in that direction. ‘A’ishah said after a brief pause: “‘Are you the man who said to ‘Abd ar-Rahman that a verse has descended in the Qur’an reproaching him? You are lying! I swear to God that he is not the man about whom the verse has descended, it must be another person, but you are a piece of God’s damnation!”(262)
According to another narration, she said: “He is lying. By God, ‘Abd ar-Rahman is not the man he spoke of. But God damned the father of Marwan when Marwan was still in his loins; so Marwan is a piece of God’s damnation!”
Thus Marwan found no chance to secure allegiance for Yazid. Therefore this important task was left for Mu‘awiyah himself to accomplish. After some¬time Mu‘awiyah travelled to Hejaz, seemingly for pilgrimage to Mecca, and then visited Medina. We have already described some of the incidents, which occurred in Medina, and now we will narrate some others.
Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr writes in his book of al-Isti‘ab: Mu‘awiyah sat on the pulpit of the Prophet’s mosque and called upon the people to show allegiance to Yazid. But Imam al-Husayn, ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr and ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr protested against it, and many angry words were exchanged. The son of Abu Bakr said: “O Mu‘awiyah! Has the caliphate been transformed into an empire so that if an emperor died, another emperor would take his place without taking people’s approval and allegiance into consideration? We can never agree to this matter.”
That night Mu‘awiyah sent him one hundred thousand drachmas to win his approval for the allegiance. But ‘Abd ar-Rahman refused to accept the bribe and said: “Do you suppose that I would sell my religion for the world? Never!” Then he departed from Medina and went to Mecca. But soon afterwards he died before the allegiance for Yazid was accomplished and accepted generally.(263)
Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr adds: ‘Abd ar-Rahman died of a sudden death in the vicinity of Mecca. The spot where he died was called al-Hubshi within ten miles of Mecca, and he was buried in the same place. It is said that he died in his sleep. When the news of his death was reported to ‘A’ishah, she hastily left Medina for Mecca, and after arriving there, she stood for some time by his grave and wept for the loss of her own brother, and recited the following lamentation for him:
“For a long time we two were
Like two companions of Judhaymah, king of Hira,
Who were so attached to each other
Like two inseparable companions,
So that it was said that they would never be apart.
But when we separated with the death of my brother; Malik,
It seemed as if we had not even spent one night
Together; despite all those attachments and companionships.”(264)(265)
Then she added with poignant grief: “I swear to God that if I were present at your death, I would have buried you in the spot where you died, and would not have shed tears for you in that condition.”
Thus the disagreement between ‘A’ishah and the Umayyads became more intensified and its flame soared higher. ‘A’ishah had unexpectedly lost her brother who had died suddenly and mysteriously. But there was really no mystery, and a close scrutiny will reveal its cause, since he died of poisoning on the way to Mecca in the same way that Malik al-Ashtar died on his way to Egypt.(266)
Undoubtedly his death like the deaths of ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Khalid, Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas and Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba could not have been without a sinister cause. All these great men of the time were killed in order to open the way for securing allegiance for Yazid.
Thus the fire of dispute and division between ‘A’ishah and the Umayyads rose high after she lost her dear brother, but now there was no one to help her to start a combat with the Umayyads, since now neither az-Zubayr nor Talhah were alive, nor ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr, nor anyone else on whom she could rely. Thus she recited the following lines which eloquently expressed her present condition:
“Those under whose protection I could live,
Have gone and left me alone now
Amidst those who are as worthless
As leprous skins, who offer no benefit,
Nor is there any hope for their goodness.”
Besides, ‘A’ishah’s age was now such that she could not sit on a mount and cover deserts and mountains and start a war with the Umayyads. Therefore, she showed her rancor and hostility in a different way, and as we saw the Umayyad emir of Medina became the target of her revenge, and ‘A’ishah quoted the words of the Prophet concerning his reproach and damnation of him and his father and said that he was a piece of God’s damnation.
Thenceforth that was the way she chose for future. We think that in this period she did not confine her activity only to quoting the traditions which were related to the reproach of the Umayyads, but she also quoted what she had heard the Prophet state concerning the virtue of his household and of Imam ‘Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan and al-Husayn. For, in those times nothing was harder for the Umayyads to tolerate than hearing words of praise about the Prophet’s household. It meant condemning and humiliating the Umayyads, and made Imam al-Husayn who was the last member of that house and the noblest Muslim of that day, most loved by the people. Therefore the traditions which are found in books of tradition in which the names of Imam ‘Ali, Siddiqah (Fatimah) and her noble mother Khadijah are mentioned, must have belonged to this period even though their number is not great.
We think it probable that her expressions of penitence about the battle of al-Jamal, too, have their beginning in this period and have continued to the end of her life. Now we deal with this subject at length in the next section.
‘A’ishah is penitent about
the battle of al-Jamal
Oh! The battle of Jamal is stuck in my throat like a bone!
Abu Jundab, a man of Kufah, narrates the story of his meeting with ‘A’ishah as follows: When I went to the house of Umm al-Mu’minin and met her, she asked me who I was. I said: “I am a man of the al-Azd tribe, living in Kufah.”
She asked me: “Did you take part in the battle of al-Jamal?” I said: “Yes”. She asked: “Were you fighting for us or against us?”
I told her that I was fighting against her.
She asked: “Do you know the person who declared in his slogan: ‘O dear mother! O the best mother that we know?’ ”
I said: “Yes, he was my cousin.” Then she began to weep so profusely that I thought she would never calm down.(267)
Ibn al-Athir writes: One day in ‘A’ishah’s presence the conversation led to a mention of the battle of al-Jamal. She asked: “Do the people still remember it?” They said: “Yes”. She said: “I wish I had not taken part in that battle and had sat down in my house like the other wives of the Prophet. Keeping to my house like them would have been worthier for me than having by him ten noble children as ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr and ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Harath ibn Hisham.”(268)
Historians and commentators quoted a man named Masruq, saying: When ‘A’ishah was reciting this verse of the Qur’an which orders the wives of the Prophet to stay at home,(269) she wept so much that her head cover was wet with tears.(270)
‘A’ishah before her death
Muhammad ibn Sa‘d author of the book of Tabaqat al-kubra, narrates that Ibn ‘Abbas one day went to visit ‘A’ishah before her death, and praised her. After his departure, ‘A’ishah said to ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr: “The son of ‘Abbas praised me. Now I do not like anyone to speak well of me. How I long to be forgotten by the people, or that I had never been born!”(271)
In the old and reliable Book of Balaghat an-nisa’ we read: When ‘A’ishah was on the point of death, she was very uneasy and distracted. They asked her: “Why are you so distressed? You are the daughter of Abu Bakr the Truth, and mother of all the faithful!”
She answered: “Indeed the battle of al-Jamal is stuck like a bone in my throat. I wish I had died before that day, or I had been one of the forgotten crea¬tures.”(272)
Another time she had said: “I swear to God that I wished to be only a tree! I wished to be a stone; I wished God had never brought me into the world!”
It is said: At the time of her death she said regretfully: “After the Prophet’s decease I have caused some events. Now that I am departing from this world, bury me alongside the other wives of the Prophet.” adh-Dhahabi, the great Sunni scholar writes: What ‘A’ishah meant by the word “events” was the battle of al-Jamal and her role in starting it.(273)
He says also: In the night of 17th Ramadan of the 58 of the Hijrah she died after her one-unit prayer. She had willed to be buried the same night. The Emigrants and Ansar assembled and a large crowd gathered. They lighted date palm branches to illuminate the way for the procession. The narrator of the story says: I saw the women of Medina in the al-Baqi‘ cemetery that night assembled like festival days. Abu Hurayrah performed her burial prayer, since he governed the city on behalf of Marwan. At her death ‘A’ishah was 63 years and a few months old.(274)
* * *
We have studied ‘A’ishah’s life from the first days of her arrival at the Prophet’s house until the last moments of her life in the time of Mu‘awiyah(275) and have made a survey of all her personality as a social and political genius. In the forthcoming pages we will discuss some of her fine qualities.
The Qualities and Characteristics of ‘A’ishah
One day I saw ‘A’ishah giving people seventy thousand drachmas.
‘Urwah ibn az-Zubayr
Although generosity is an admirable quality, yet sometimes it is performed on the basis of a divine thought, meaning that a person voluntarily offers something to which he is attached or gives up a wish or property for the sake of God in the hope of winning His satisfaction or receiving a heavenly reward. Such a person is bound to be rewarded heavily and to receive divine satisfaction.
But if a person shows generosity for the sake of a worldly benefit such as gaining a good reputation, although his action is good in itself, yet he will not be rewarded in the next world since his action’s motive has been related to this world.
Among the Arabs it had long been customary for great men and chiefs of tribes to perform certain acts such as showing generosity in their offer of money and property. If a person came to the house of such men and returned empty-handed and disappointed, it was considered a great disgrace for the master of the house.
With the advent of Islam, such ideas were not forgotten altogether, and the people who showed generosity were divided into two groups: One group engaged in generous acts for the sake of Islamic teachings and in the way of God, and the next group did so in accordance with pagan and Arab customs, such as the generosity shown by two powerful chiefs of the Banu Tamim tribe in the caliphate of Imam ‘Ali in the region of Kufah. One of these was named Ghalib ibn Sa‘sa‘ah ad-Darami and the other Suhaym ibn Wathil ar-Riyahi. These two began to compete with each other in killing camels and feeding people for the sake of ostentation, rivalry and pride, which were based on pagan ideas. Each of them tried to excel the other in order to win fame and reputation. The contest began with the sacrifice of one camel and reached the number of one hundred camels.
The last time that this camel-killing contest took place was in the time of caliphate of the Alawite. The people of Kufah hurried with their baskets to the place of the slaughter where several hundred camels were slaughtered, to obtain free meat.
The Imam heard of this incident, and declared: “Do not eat the flesh of these camels, since they have been killed, not in the Name of God, but for the sake of pride and glory and on the basis of pagan customs.” The declaration of the Imam is related to the verse of the Qur’an which says: “Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood and flesh of swine, and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked.”(276)
The people of Kufah obeyed the order of Imam ‘Ali and refused to partake of that flesh. They threw it all on a heap of rubbish at Kanasah of Kufah to be eaten by dogs and vultures.(277)
In our opinion ‘A’ishah belongs to the second group since she was always desirous prestige, reputation and respect, and to gain these benefits the best way was such a show of generosity. She could not easily let all the reputation and influence which she had gained during the rule of the former caliphs, be forgotten.(278) Credit and greatness, too, required assets. Therefore, as we shall see, she did her utmost to tolerate hardships and sometimes indigence caused by her extravagant offers, or she found herself compelled to be indebted to the tyrannical son of Abu Sufyan for securing money to be bountiful.
The reason why we venture to make such a claim is that we find ‘A’ishah scattering as bounties the money that was repeatedly sent to her by such oppressive rulers as Mu‘awiyah and his governors. Could such riches which have been gathered by oppression, be really offered for the sake of God and His satisfaction, whereas the first Islamic and heavenly duty of ‘A’ishah would in such a case have been to keep away from Mu‘awiyah and whatever was connected to him?
Umm Dharrah, who was a woman who occasionally visited ‘A’ishah, narrates: They sent ‘A’ishah two large bags full of money. She said: “I think there must be eighty thousand or one hundred thousand drachmas in these bags.” Then she asked to bring her a large tray. On that day she had been observing a fast. Then she began to distribute all that money, and by nightfall not a single drachma was left with her. That night she told her slave girl to bring some food to break her fast. She brought her some bread and olive oil. Umm Dharrah says: I told her: “Couldn’t you get us some meat with some of the money that you gave away to the people today, to break our fast?” ‘A’ishah said: “Don’t trouble me. If you had reminded me of it, I would have done so.”(279)
‘Urwah, son of az-Zubayr and ‘A’ishah’s nephew, says: “One day I saw ‘A’ishah dividing seventy thousand drachmas among the people, whereas her own dress was patched.” This extravagant bounty vexed ‘Abd Allah son of az-Zubayr, and he could not bear such squandering of money by his aunt.
Abu Nu‘aym writes: ‘A’ishah put her camels for sale. ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr said: “I will declare myself her guardian so that she can no longer take possession of her property.” When ‘A’ishah heard this remark, she said: “I will make a vowed never to speak with him until I die.”
This separation lasted long. ‘Abd Allah begged many people to intercede with her for him, but ‘A’ishah remained obdurate and said: “By God, I will never commit a sin for his sake by breaking my vow.” The intercessions were of no avail, and ‘A’ishah refused to admit ‘Abd Allah to her presence. A long time after this separation, one day ‘Abd Allah accompanied by Miswar ibn Makhramah and ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Aswad, while ‘Abd Allah had covered his head and face with a piece of cloth, went to ‘A’ishah’s house and begged leave to enter. Permission was given and the three of them went to her presence. ‘Abd Allah went towards and threw his arms round his aunt’s neck, and both of them began to weep. Then he begged her in the Name of God and for the sake of their kinship to speak with him. Upon his importunity and insistence, ‘A’ishah began to speak with him.(280)(281)
These were a few examples of ‘A’ishah’s generosity some cases of which we have already cited in connection with Mu‘awiyah’s financial considerations for her. Here we assert once more that not every bounty is followed by God’s satisfaction, since that satisfaction requires devotion and sincerity towards God. Moreover, the granted money should have been obtained legitimately, not through the offers of such a man as Mu‘awiyah who plundered Muslims’ public fund and offered them to such influential people as ‘A’ishah, Abu Hurayrah, al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah, and ‘Amr ibn al-‘As so as to win their collaboration in his hostility to Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, and that to attain this end, they should reinforce his organization for forging and fabricating traditions, and inventing a fresh tradition as the circumstances required, and then attributing it to the Prophet of Islam.
‘A’ishah’s family bigotry
All that strictness and hostility of ‘A’ishah towards the enemies of her relatives, were due to her deep attachment to the latter.
As historical researches have shown, ‘A’ishah was deeply prejudiced in favour of her relatives, and loved them almost to the point of worship. In this bigotry she had climbed to the highest possible point, so that for their sake ignored all laws and regulations. All that harshness and enmity which she displayed to the enemies of her kith and kin, was the result of her intense love for her relatives. The events, which we have already cited in her life, have been a proof of the above claim, and the clear-sighted reader must have paid attention to this matter.
One of the clearest signs of this deep and excessive attachment to her relatives, are the events which have taken place in connection with her brother Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr. These two sister and brother strongly supported each other at the commencement of the public movement of the Muslims against ‘Uthman, so that these two may be regarded as the most effective personalities who directed the uprising against ‘Uthman’s rule until the mo¬ment of his assassination.
But with ‘Uthman’s death, the matter assumed a different shape, and each of them chose a different course to follow. Muhammad went under the Alawite banner and drew sword against ‘A’ishah, and never ceased his efforts to the end of the combat. As we know, the battle of Basra or battle of al-Jamal ended with the defeat of ‘A’ishah and death of her military commanders. At this time the Imam ordered Muhammad to approach the litter of his sister and treat her kindly and take charge of her affairs.
Muhammad went forth and found her sister’s litter in a corner. Then he put his head inside it to discover her condition. ‘A’ishah cried out: “Woe upon you! Who are you?”
He said: “I am he to whom you are more hostile than to all your kith and kin.”
‘A’ishah said: “Oh, then you are the son of that Khath’ami woman.” Muhammad said: “Yes.”
‘A’ishah said: “Thank God that I see you safe and sound.”(282)
It was not long before Muhammad was killed in Egypt and his severed head was placed in the belly of a donkey and burnt. When ‘A’ishah heard of it, despite her vexation with him, she became very sad and shed many tears. But when the matter was reported to Umm Habibah, Mu‘awiyah’s sister who was one of the wives of the Prophet, she roasted a lamb and sent it to ‘A’ishah in spitefulness, hinting thereby that her brother was killed and burnt like that lamb in revenge for ‘Uthman. On seeing the roasted lamb, ‘A’ishah exclaimed: “May God destroy the daughter of that adulteress (meaning Hind)! By God henceforth I shall never eat roasted meat!” Then she placed her brother’s wife and children under her own protection.(283)
al-Qasim, son of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, narrates: “When my father was killed by Mu‘awiyah ibn Khudayj al-Kindi and ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, the officials of the Umayyad government in Egypt, my uncle, ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr went to that land and brought back my sister to Medina with him. After arriving there, ‘A’ishah sent someone to take us from ‘Abd ar-Rahman’s horse to her. We had never seen such a kind and affectionate mother. She always held us in her arms or caressed us on her knees.
Some time passed in this manner, and the conduct of her brother and our uncle, ‘Abd ar-Rahman gave her the feeling that he had become uneasy at our being taken to her house. So she sent someone for him and when ‘Abd ar-Rahman came to her presence, ‘A’ishah said to him: “Dear brother!” Ever since the day I brought Muhammad’s children to my house, I feel that you have been displeased with me. But I swear to God, I did not take them out of your house by transgressing upon your sanctity. I have neither had any ill feeling towards you, nor anything that might displease you. My only reason was that, as you have several wives and these children are small and cannot look after themselves, I was afraid that your wives might observe something in these children that may rouse their dislike of them. But I could treat them more kindly, and their behaviour and the incidents which are bound to occur, would not annoy me. Therefore, I felt I deserved more than anyone else to take care of them. Now that after some years they have left their childhood behind and can look after themselves, they are quite ready to be placed under your care and stay in your home. Dear brother, take care of them like Hujiyah ibn al-Mudarrab.” Then she told the story of Hujiyah ibn al-Mudarrab to her brother. He was a man of the Kanda tribe. His brother died leaving his small children behind. Hujiyah took them to his own house and acted as their guardian, and treated them even more kindly than he treated his own children.
He happened to go on a journey, and so he instructed his wife to take charge of the children, in his absence. When he returned after some months, he noticed that the children were unhappy and had become lean and weak. He said to his wife: “Woe upon you! Why do I see my nephews lean and your own children fat?” She said: “I am not at fault! I showed no discrimination between them. They must have fallen into this condition by their negligence and naughtiness!” Hujiyah became very angry, and when camel-drivers returned from the pasture, he said to them: “You two and my camels belong to my nephews!”(284)
Then ‘A’ishah delivered her nephews to their uncle and begged him to treat his nephews in the way of Hujiyah ibn al-Mudarrab, and give them preference over his own children, and never cease being kind and affectionate to them.
Another example of this excessive affection was that when ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr fell into the hands of valiant man of the Kufah army, Malik al-Ashtar, in the battle of al-Jamal and managed to flee and save his life, she gave a reward of ten thousand drachmas to the man who had brought her the news of his safety.(285)
Many such events, which had occurred in the life of ‘A’ishah show her excessive affection and bigotry towards her relatives, and her readiness to display such a self- sacrifice.
The sermons which have been quoted from her in praise of her father, and the efforts made by her for making her cousin, Talhah, assume the position of caliph, the story of which we have already narrated at length,(286) and some of the traditions that she has quoted from the Prophet in praise of her father and his loyal friend ‘Umar and other authorities of as-Saqifah such as Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah, show this strong and irresistible conduct of ‘A’ishah. We have dealt with these traditions in some parts of this book.
‘A’ishah as an eminent orator
By God! I know of no better orator than ‘A’ishah.
One of the most effective means of the influence of social and political personalities on human society, is the manner of their speech. If such in¬dividuals can speak eloquently and know the value of using words in their proper place without being boring, they can produce a deep impression on the society. It should, of course, be said that the rightfulness and religious char¬acter of a person may not produce a perfect effect in this process, but every great social personality who is blessed with this gift,(287) can deeply influence a society even though he may be antagonistic towards God, morality and humanity.
‘A’ishah, in addition to her social and political genius, possessed this quality to a very high degree. When Mu‘awiyah was leaving ‘A’ishah’s house, as he was leaning on the arm of his slave, Dhakwan, he exclaimed: “By God! With the exception of the Prophet, I have never seen a more eloquent person than ‘A’ishah.”(288)(289)
al-Ahnaf ibn Qays has said: “I have heard the speech of Abu Bakr and others, but I know of no speech stronger than that of ‘A’ishah.”(290)
One day Mu‘awiyah asked Ziyad: “Who speaks better and more eloquently than others?” Ziyad answered: “You, O caliph!” Mu‘awiyah said: “Swear it!” Ziyad said: “In that case I must stay that ‘A’ishah is the most eloquent speaker.” Mu‘awiyah said: ‘‘A’ishah has not opened a door, which she wished to shut except that she was able to close it, and she has not shut a door that she wished to open except that she opened it.”(291)
From her conversations that we have already quoted with Umm Salamah and Abu al-Aswad ad-Du‘ali(292), and from ‘A’ishah’s writings, letters and sermons in the battle of al-Jamal, we can easily see her extraordinary power of oratory.
Naturally we do not wholly accept the words of Mu‘awiyah, al-Ahnaf ibn Qays and other about ‘A’ishah, since we consider them to be an exaggeration. For, on the one hand they collaborated with each other and exchanged favors, and on the other hand they were all intent on their hostility to the Prophet’s household and concealing their virtues. But what we may conclude is that ‘A’ishah was an extraordinary woman and a genius as an orator and her power of discerning the proper time and place for speaking.
In addition to her eloquence and power of expression ‘A’ishah was familiar with the Arab poetry, and very often in her talk she quoted the poems of Lubayd(293) who was a famous poet of pagan times. She herself has said: “I have memorized one thousand couplets of Lubayd and can recite them.”(294)
Historians have said: Sometimes ‘A’ishah recited an ode of sixty couplets or more by heart:(295) a fact which showed her strong memory. Even with the limited knowledge of the time, she was familiar with medicine. ‘Urwah, son of az-Zubayr and ‘A’ishah’s nephew has said something about her aunt, which, despite its exaggeration, is an evidence of ‘A’ishah’s talent and strong memory. He says: “I know of no one who is so familiar with medicine as she is. One day I said to her: “Dear aunt! From whom have you learnt medicine?” She said: “I have always listened to what people narrate about the words and experiences of others and commit them to my memory.”(296)
Historians say: ‘A’ishah could read well, but not write.(297)
In conclusion we must unfortunately state that ‘A’ishah made use of all those God-given gifts in the way of fabricating traditions in order to vanquish Imam ‘Ali and his friends, and for the promotion of her father’s party (as-Saqifah friends) in the interest of Mu‘awiyah’s caliphate organization. But as she was greatly talented, the traditions which are attributed to her in the name of the Prophet on the basis of the above-said motives, are not weak and insipid, unlike some of the traditions of Abu Hurayrah or other tradition forgers, and most of them contain eloquent and tasteful words and phrases. Consequently the task of discovering the truth of the traditions quoted from the Prophet is a very difficult one. Therefore it is very hard to get a real picture of the character of the Prophet from what our Sunni brothers and Orientalists have gathered through her traditions, since truth and lies are so mingled in them that they cannot be sifted except through many long years of research even then by an impartial and discerning scholars.
‘A’ishah as a well-dressed woman
‘A’ishah in the time of pilgrimage adorned herself with gold ornaments and was dressed in red garments.
al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr
Before the advent of Islam, the Arab society was a poor and indigent one, and with the exception of a few who included big merchants and animal breeders of Mecca, Medina and at-Ta’if, no one possessed the comforts and magnificence of life.
When the bright sun of Islam, with all its spiritual greatness and glory, spread its warm light over the cold and spiritless life of the Arabs, no change took place in their simple way of living, since the Prophet’s intention was to build up their soul and spirit and then see to the moderate welfare of the material life of his people, not to increase its dazzling grandeur and magnificence or create a consumer community devoid of spirituality. One can even claim that some combats of Islam were intended to demolish such tendencies.
But with the decease of the Prophet and assumption of power by others, the people had to change their ways, so that in the time of ‘Uthman those Islamic ways were wholly forgotten, and the cultural ideas of the decayed Roman civilizations began to penetrate the Islamic society. The houses of great men began to be adorned; clothes became rich; and wealth was heaped up. Thus the balance which had been brought as souvenir by Islam for the society under whose auspices God was to be recognized and worshipped, was destroyed, moving toward ostentation and turning people’s thoughts and inclinations towards non-Islamic ideas and ways.
‘A’ishah, the personality under our discussion in this book, was one of those who proceeded in this direction after the Prophet passed away. Owing to her excessive and violent ambition, she resorted to every possible means in order to win public favour and greatness. All those bounties of hers, all these traditions which she quoted from the Prophet on various occasions, all her connection with the caliphate organization etc. etc. were manifestations of this strong characteristic. Here we get familiar with other examples of the manifestation of this quality in her.
At a time when all Muslim women and other wives of the Prophet dressed simply and without any gaudiness, ‘A’ishah made use of all kinds of clothes of different colors and textures. She did not abstain from wearing precious ornaments, and even on pilgrimage and during the performance of this great act of religious devotion when everyone lays aside all the material garishness, she did not abstain from wearing rich, colorful and beautiful clothes. The texts, which are quoted below, support our claim.
The author of Tabaqat quotes al-Qasim, a nephew of ‘A’ishah, saying: She wore yellow dresses and gold rings.
A Muslim woman named Shumaysah narrates that one day she went to see ‘A’ishah and saw her dressed in a yellow dress and a yellow head-cover and veil.
‘Urwah, her nephew, narrates: “ ‘A’ishah had a silk(298) surcoat which she wore occasionally, and she offered it to ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr.”
Muhammad ibn al-Ash‘ath, a chief of the Kindah tribe, brought a fur garment as a gift for ‘A’ishah which she wore in cold weather.
A Muslim woman named Aminah says: One day I saw ‘A’ishah wearing a red surcoat and a black head-cover.(299)
Ma‘adhah, a woman of the Adi tribe, narrates: “I saw ‘A’ishah wearing a yellow surcoat.”(300)
Bakrah, daughter of ‘Uqbah says: “One day I went to ‘A’ishah’s house. She was sitting down and had worn a yellow dress.”(301)
Abu Malikah says: “I saw ‘A’ishah in a “mudarraj” dress.” They asked: “What is “mudarraj”?” He said: “You call it “pink”.”(302)
al-Qasim, son of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, says: “ ‘A’ishah wore a yellow dress for pilgrimage ceremony, and adorned herself with gold ornaments.”(303)
‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Qasim quotes his mother saying: “I saw ‘A’ishah in a dress, which was as red as fire, although it was during the pilgrimage ceremony.”(304)
‘Ata’ says: “ ‘Ubaydah ibn ‘Umayr and I went to visit ‘A’ishah. She was staying in az-Zubayr mountain near the House of God, and they had installed a cupola with a cover for her there. I was only a child and saw her in a red dress.”(305)
al-Bukhari quotes this narration with some addition and says: They asked: “What was she covered in?” He said: “She was in a Turkish tent with a cover, which was between us and her, and I saw her in a red dress.”(306)
‘A’ishah’s monopoly of verdicts
on sucking period
‘A’ishah ordered her brother’s sister or daughters to suck the man that she wished to visit her house, so that they may be considered religiously legitimate intimates.
al-Muwatta’ of Malik
We have already seen that ‘A’ishah was considered a great authority in religious matters from the time of her father’s caliphate until the period of Mu‘awiyah, with the exception of the period of the Alawite rule. She was frequently consulted by the caliphs and was asked to issue verdicts on various questions. Consequently she was treated with a great respect, and inquirers crowded at the door of her house. Among the Prophet’s wives she was the only one who took part in the great political events of his life, and also, as we saw, she caused so much bloodshed, whereas the other consorts of the Prophet did not interfere in such affairs.
It was probably due to this reason that she quoted the Prophet’s tradition concerning the sucking period, while the other wives of the Prophet contradicted her in this matter.
According to Musnad of Ahmad, ‘A’ishah says about this tradition: Sahlah, daughter of Suhayl ibn ‘Amr and wife of Abu Hudhayfah, came to the Prophet and said: Salem, the freed slave of Abu Hudhayfah enters our house while we are not fully dressed and not properly covered. We used to call him our son, since Abu Hudhayfah had adopted him as his son, in the same way that the Prophet had adopted Zayd as his son.
The following verse of the Qur’an descended about this matter: “Assert their relationship to their fathers; this is more equitable with Allah.”(307)
The Prophet said to Sahlah: “You may suckle your freed slave and adopted son five times; than he may be regarded as your foster son and thereby become a religiously legitimate relation.”
By relying on this tradition the narrator of which was herself, she ordered her sisters and nieces to give suck five times to the men that she wished to visit her, even though they were full-grown adults, so that thereby they could be considered as religiously legitimate intimates and be allowed to enter house without any inconvenience.
But the other wives of the Prophet abstained from this action and did not allow an adult man to visit them by means of sucking their sister’s milk, and treat them like an intimate relation. They regarded sucking as something solely related to babyhood. They said to ‘A’ishah: “We do not know. Maybe the verdict of the Prophet has been given only in the case of Salem, the slave-girl of Abu Hudhayfah and his adopted son, and it is not applicable to others.”(308)
This incident has been narrated in Sahih of Muslim within six traditions, the last of which in his own words is as follows: They said to ‘A’ishah: “By God! We consider the matter of Salim as a leave given by the Prophet to him only. Therefore we cannot in that way allow anyone to become intimately related to us.”(309)
Salim ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar was one of those who, in adulthood, was allowed by means of suckling to visit ‘A’ishah. The author of Tabaqat writes: ‘A’ishah sent Salem to her sister Umm Kulthum, wife of ‘Abd Allah ibn Rabi‘ah to be given suck, so that he would legitimately be allowed to visit her and listen to some tradition.(310)
The next tradition, which is narrated by Muslim in his Sahih, confirms the opinion of Umm Salamah and other wives of the Prophet in the question of suckling. ‘A’ishah says: One say the Prophet came in and saw a man sitting before me. He was annoyed and I could observe signs of anger on his face. I told him that the man was my foster brother. He made a remark(311) which is explained as follow by an-Nawawi, a famous interpreter of tradition in Sahih of Muslim:
It means: You must reflect to see whether this sucking has been effected in accordance with the required condition and laws of Islam or not. For, sucking is due to hunger, and the legitimacy of the glance is due to the face that the child is so young that his hunger is satisfied through sucking without needing any other food, whereas in the case of grown-ups milk alone would not serve as an adequate food, and they required some other food, too. Therefore, not every person who suckles the milk of a mother maybe regarded as her foster offspring, or a foster brother of her children. Thus the above legitimate intimacy can be obtained only by giving suck to a small baby.
In at-Tirmidhi’s tradition there is a sentence which means: Only that kind of sucking creates legitimacy of intimacy as a relative and bans marriage when the milk serves as the only food for the baby. Therefore its period is confined to the normal period of sucking in a baby. an-Nawawi adds that this is a well-known point in religious jurisprudence, about which there is, of course, a different of opinion.(312)(313)
The above tradition which we mentioned as a quotation of an-Nawawi in the book of Sahih of Muslim, has been quoted in the book of Tradition of at-Tirmidhi from Umm Salamah which makes this relationship more conditional, namely: “The state of sucking create sanctity and close relationship and prohibits marriage only if milk is offered as a substitute to food and the infant’s bones are still soft (and not become hard).”(314) Then Abu ‘Isa at-Tirmidhi, the famous author of the book writes: This is a correct tradition, which is acted upon by most scholar friends of the Prophet and others on the basis of the above remark of the Prophet. According to the verdict of the Prophet in reference to this tradition, they believe that if the suckling occurs in the first two years of a baby’s life, it created a legitimate intimacy, but after two full years, no intimacy is possible.
These traditions were contrary to ‘A’ishah’s views. The words which, she quoted from the Prophet could not hold out against all the traditions of others, especially as her opponents were all the wives of the Prophet. To remove this obstacle, the best way for her was to invent a Quranic verse to prove that it is possible to produce legitimate intimacy in adults with oneself through sucking.
To attain this goal, again ‘A’ishah narrates that a verse had descended about stoning to death and also about the sucking of adults in which it was said that ten suckings would be enough for obtaining legitimate intimacy. She claimed that this verse was written on a piece of paper, placed under her bed, she said: “When the Prophet was ill in bed and we were looking after him in his last hours of life, a domestic animal entered the room and ate the paper, and thus the said verse was lost.”(315)(316)
In other narrations quoted from ‘A’ishah by Muslim in his Sahih, ‘A’ishah says: In the Qur’an which had been descended to the Prophet, there existed the following verse: “Ten times of clear and known suckings provide legitimate intimacy.” Then this verse was abrogated by the phrase ‘five known times’, but as this verse was being recited from the Qur’an, the Prophet passed away.
an-Nawawi, great Sunni scholar and interpreter of Muslim’s book of Sahih says: The narration means that the abrogation of ‘ten times’ for ‘five times of known suckings’ has taken place at the end of the Prophet’s life, and some people recited the phrase ‘ten times’ without knowing that it was abrogated. Then an-Nawawi describes the difference of views of the Shafi‘ite and Malikite Jurisprudents, and adds on behalf of the Malikites that Quranic words are proved by the statement of one person. Then in explaining the sucking of adult men and the manner of it, he quoted Judge ‘Ayyad that the manner of sucking took this form that the milk offering woman milked herself in a pot, and the man drank out of it, and not by sucking her breast.
In this way ‘A’ishah answered the criticism levelled at her by the other wives of the Prophet, and acted upon his own monopoly of verdicts.
Anecdotes in the life of ‘A’ishah
May God bless ‘Ali who was always with God.
Although ‘A’ishah was in her life always involved with various events and difficulties, yet she was not heedless of wit and humor in view of her delicate mind and subtlety. Some incidents are narrated about her in this connection in books of history.
Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih writes in his famous book of al-‘Iqd al-farid: One day Imam al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali visited Mu‘awiyah when ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr and Abu Sa‘id, son of ‘Aqil, were present there. When Imam al-Hasan sat down, Mu‘awiyah asked: “Abu Muhammad! Which of them was senior, ‘Ali or az-Zubayr?” The Imam said: “They were both almost of the same age, but ‘Ali was regarded as az-Zubayr’s senior.”
‘Abd Allah, son of az-Zubayr, began to speak and said: “And May God bless az-Zubayr!”(317) Imam al-Hasan only smiled, since he was above such superficialities and was aware of Mu‘awiyah’s mischievous intention. But Abu Sa‘id, son of ‘Aqil, could not control his anger, and said: “Stop speaking about ‘Ali and az-Zubayr. ‘Ali invited the people to something in which he was a leader and Imam, whereas az-Zubayr invited the people to something the leadership of which was held by a woman! Then the two sides faced each other and the flame of war of kindled, and both groups prepared themselves for combat. But az-Zubayr took to his heels and fled from the field of battle before the victory of right and before his submission to right and before wrong was vanquished and before he could abandon it. Then a man seized him, who was much shorter than az-Zubayr, and cut off his head and carries away his clothes, and brought his severed head to the Imam as a souvenir.
But Imam ‘Ali, as usual served under the Prophet of God and was the vanguard of the army on that day. Therefore, may God bless ‘Ali, not az-Zubayr!”
‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr said: “By God! If anyone else but you had uttered such words, I would have known what to do with him!”
The son of ‘Aqil said: “The person towards whom you committed this insolence, nobly turned away from you and your words, and thus I was compelled to speak for him.”
This incident was reported to ‘A’ishah. One day when Abu Sa‘id was passing by her house, she shouted to him and said: “You squint-eyed devil! Are you the man who spoke their biting words to my sister’s son?”
Abu Sa‘id looked round and saw no one. So he shouted: “The devil sees you, but you cannot see him.” ‘A’ishah laughed on hearing these words and said: “May God bless your father! How sharp and biting your tongue is!”(318)
The above incident shows that Mu‘awiyah’s intention was to produce a clash between Imam al-Hasan and ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr and cause hostility. this was a policy he constantly adopted towards the Quraysh chiefs, and roused one group against another.
In the above incident ‘Abd Allah was unconsciously caught in the webs of Mu‘awiyah cunning and followed the course envisaged by Mu‘awiyah, while Imam al-Hasan, who was acquainted well with the character of Mu‘awiyah, safely escaped from his trap. The role of ‘A’ishah, too, in this incident was in accordance with what she did all her life, namely to support her kith and kin, and oppose their enemies.
Another anecdote in her life is a story narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his book of Musnad. He writes: ‘Ammar ibn Yasir accompanied by Malik al-Ashtar went to ‘A’ishah’s house and asked for admission. When they entered, ‘Ammar said: “O mother!” ‘A’ishah said: “But I am not your mother!”
‘Ammar said: “But you are, even though you dislike it.”(319) ‘A’ishah asked: “Who is the man with you?”
‘Ammar said: “al-Ashtar.” ‘A’ishah turned to him and said: “Was it you who wanted to kill my sister’s son?” al-Ashtar said: “Yes, he wanted to kill me, and so I desired his death.”
‘A’ishah said: “If you had killed him you would never have received salvation; for, I have heard the Prophet say: ‘Killing a Muslim is not permissible except in one of the three following cases: if he has killed someone, and he is killed, or a married man who commits adultery, or a man becomes an apostate after embracing Islam.’ ”(320)
Here ‘A’ishah should have been asked: “O mother of the faithful! Why did you not remind your sister’s son, ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr, of the Prophet’s words? Was he not eager to kill such a Muslim as al-Ashtar?
Was the consideration about the death of a Muslim confined only to the person of ‘Abd Allah, and was the verdict not applicable to thousands of Muslims who had innocently been killed in that fearful battle in the way of whim and fancy? Had their blood no worth in the eye of God and Islam?”
Another anecdote mentioned in history about ‘A’ishah’s life, is a story narrated by Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih in al-‘Iqd al-farid. He says: After the battle of al-Jamal, one day Umm Ufa al-‘Abdiyah of the ‘Abd al-Qays tribe many hundred famous men of which such as Hakim ibn Jabalah had been killed by ‘A’ishah’s army, visited ‘A’ishah and said to her: “O mother of the faithful! What do you say about a mother who kills her small offspring?” ‘A’ishah said: “She must receive the fire of hell.” Umm Ufa asked: “What do say about a mother who kills twenty thousand grown-up sons of hers?” ‘A’ishah shouted: “Throw out this enemy of God!”(321)
How hard was this reproach for ‘A’ishah to hear!
The event of the battle of al-Jamal and its greatness and fearfulness weighed like a heavy mountain on her mind, and during the rest of her life it had not lost its effect.
We have already mentioned her deep regret and penitence about participating in that war, and our subsequent reference to this matter may depict the same kind of repentance. Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih quotes a remark of ‘A’ishah about this matter in his book of al-‘Iqd al-farid. She has said: “A spindle in the hand of women is better and nobler than a spear in the hand of fighters in the way of God.”(322) The effect of the battle of al-Jamal on the mind and spirit of ‘A’ishah was as painful as it was exhilarating for the Umayyad party, so that they spoke of it every day and gloried in mentioning its details.
Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih writes: “Yazid ibn Munyah went to Mu‘awiyah from Basra to ash-Sham. He was a brother of Ya‘la ibn Munayh, a chief of Basra and a commander in the battle of al-Jamal, and the original owner of ‘A’ishah’s camel. She rode it and directed the combat from there. Ya‘la also had some kinship with Mu‘awiyah, for his daughter was the wife of ‘Utbah ibn Abi Sufyan, brother of Mu‘awiyah. When Yazid ibn Munayh set by Mu‘awiyah, he began complaining of his debts, and requested Mu‘awiyah to help him out of his difficulties. Mu‘awiyah said to Ka‘b: “Give him thirty thousand dinars!” When he rose to go out, Mu‘awiyah said again: “Add to it another thirty thousand for the sake of the day of al-Jamal.”(323)
One day ‘Amr ibn al-‘As in his conversation with ‘A’ishah said: “I wish you were killed on the day of al-Jamal?” ‘A’ishah said: “Why, you old villain?” ‘Amr ibn al-‘As answered: “Then you would have died fittingly and gone to heaven, and we could have used your death as the best excuse for pounding the Alawite front.”(324)
Books of history narrate another encounter of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As with ‘A’ishah, namely that, one day in ‘A’ishah’s presence the talk led to the death of Dhu ath-Thadiyah at the hand of Imam ‘Ali. The narrator says: ‘A’ishah said to me: “If you visit Kufah bring me a letter of testimony from the people who have witnessed this scene.” I went to Kufah and I chose ten people from each group and collected their testimony in a letter and took it to Medina for ‘A’ishah. When she saw it, she said: “May God damn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As! He claimed that I have killed Dhu ath-Thadiyah in Egypt.”(325)
After narrating this story, Ibn Kathir adds: Then ‘A’ishah bent her head and wept bitterly. After she stopped crying and calmed down, she said: “May God bless ‘Ali! He was always with God. What occurred between me and him, was what often occurs between women and their husbands’ family.”(326)
But as to why ‘Amr ibn al-‘As had made such a false claim and intended to attribute the death of Dhu ath-Thadiyah to himself, a reference to the narrations of the Prophet clarifies the matter: Writers of tradition and historians have quoted narrations from the Prophet in reproach of Dhu ath-Thadiyah and in praise of his killer. In this way ‘Amr ibn al-‘As intended to show the conformity of his own praise with that of the Prophet.
Here the survey of ‘A’ishah’s life comes to an end, and we return to the life of Mu‘awiyah in order to discover the motives for and factors of the fabrication of traditions and narrations of that period, and find out the great role of ‘A’ishah in this process. For, all our discussions and efforts are intended to recognize the traditions, which are falsely attributed to the Prophet in order to invert Islam. Therefore, without such an analysis those lies cannot be distinguished and criticized.
Fabrication of tradition and tradition-makers
A brief glance at the life of Mu‘awiyah
A summary of previous discussions
In pagan times the Umayyads showed envy to the Banu Hashim.
During the pagan times Umayyah and his descendants were deeply envious of the greatness and headship of Hashim and his descendants, and this jealousy produced many unpleasant results. But before the advent of Islam the opposi¬tion and hostility of the Umayyads were not so hard and acute. Time passed and the grandson of ‘Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim brought Islam, the great religion of God, as souvenir to the world of humanity. It was at this time that Abu Sufyan, grandson of Umayyah assumed the leadership of Quraysh combat against Islam, and directed most of the anti-Islamic combats of the Meccan infidels. During the whole time of the apparent weakness of Islam, Abu Sufyan imposed severe and deadly tortures upon the weak and impotent followers of this new religion and did his worst to molest them.
Naturally the conditions could not remain such forever, and eventually God Almighty helped His prophet and opened the gates of Mecca for him and Muslim combatants and brought them success and victory. Thenceforth the Quraysh no longer dominated Arab tribes, and they were given the epithet of “freed ones” and a stain of disgrace on their character. Abu Sufyan was vanquished in the same way that Arab idols had been smashed and destroyed, and those same weak and rejected individuals of pagan times such as ‘Ammar, Abu Dharr and Bilal, were now greatly respected and had rightfully become the heirs of all the political and social power of the time. Abu Sufyan passed by them and they said regretfully: “The swords of God did not cut the head of this enemy of God in the way he deserved.”
Abu Sufyan lived long enough to see the caliphate of Abu Bakr. At this time one day the caliph treated him so harshly that Quhafah, Abu Bakr’s father, was worried. Abu Bakr gave the following explanation to his father: “God has granted greatness and glory to your house for the sake of Islam, and lowered his house from the height of mastery.”
Abu Sufyan also lived long enough to be compelled by ‘Umar one day to carry stones on his back in Mecca, the seat of his former domination. Another day, too, he dealt Abu Sufyan strokes of the lash His wife, Hind, who was greatly vexed at this incident, spoke sharply to ‘Umar and said: “By God! There was a time that if you dared to beat him, the land of Mecca would have trembled under your feet!” ‘Umar answered: “You are right, but God has elevated some and abased others for the sake of Islam!”
Time passed and ‘Uthman became caliph, and once more the Umayyads assumed power, and like children who pass a ball to one another, the Umayyads transferred ranks and positions to each other. In each province one member of the Umayyad house assumed the seat of governorship and was greatly proud of his position. It was at this period that the darlings of the Prophet’s time, namely the chaste devouts, had become inferiors and weakened individuals like ‘Ammar who were harshly treated, or like Abu Dharr and Malik al-Ashtar who were exiled to arid deserts!
Now the Qurayshis had once more regained their former pride and haughtiness, and one of the Umayyads exclaimed: “The green lands of Iraq are one of the garden of the Quraysh.” All this conceit, haughtiness and injustice led the Islamic realm towards a revolt, and this revolt and riot were so wide and deep that they culminated in the assassination of the caliph, and even then in his own house!
After this bitter experience, the Muslims joined hands, and despite the Umayyads’ wish, they brought the camel of caliphate to the door of the Banu Hashim. Now began the just rule of the Alawites and once more in Medina the Umayyads lost their power and glory, and the Quraysh guardians of paganism were humbled. But they could not keep quiet, and every day they opposed the Alawite government in one way or another, since they cherished in their hearts the hope of recovering domination and rule from the time of ‘Uthman onward. Gradually they paved the way for a war against the Imam’s rule, which caused much bloodshed in Basra, but they gained no profit from it.
During the whole of this period Mu‘awiyah had governed ash-Sham since the time of ‘Umar, and now he wanted to make the foundation of his rule stronger at every opportunity. Consequently he wrote to the Imam demanding the governorship of Egypt and ash-Sham, but as the Imam refused to comply with his demand, he gathered together thousands of supporters in Siffin in the name of avenging ‘Uthman’s blood, and started a cruel and bloody battle!
But the battle did not settle the question, and the matter of arbitration was brought up, and Mu‘awiyah returned to ash-Sham after consolidating his position. Then he began dispatching successive groups of plunderers to the Islamic lands of Iraq and Hejaz to seize innocent Muslim women as captives and kill the young and old, burn, massacre, pillage and demolish. The result of the wicked raids of one group of plunderers was the death of thirty thousand Muslims who were caught innocently in the clutches of the unjust and bloodthirsty raiders of Mu‘awiyah.
After the martyrdom of Imam ‘Ali, Mu‘awiyah again refused to show allegiance to Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba, and with a large army invaded Iraq.
At the same time Mu‘awiyah tried to buy off the guards and companions of Imam al-Hasan with money and position in order to kill the Imam. As the Imam did not succeed in persuading his supporters to engage in war with Mu‘awiyah and was also badly wounded, he concluded a truce with him, and stipulated heavy conditions in this pact, none of which was fulfilled by Mu‘awiyah.
After his arrival in Kufah, Mu‘awiyah declared: “I swear to God that I have not fought you for the sake of fast and prayer. You can please yourselves in performing these acts. My only reason for this combat has been to rule you, and so I trample upon every condition that I have made in my pact with al-Hasan.”
In his first days and years of his rule, Mu‘awiyah was compelled to follow a policy of caution and moderation. He made peace with the emperor of Rome, and even paid tributes to him. He sent bags of money from Damascus to all parts of the country. He deceived the chiefs and dignitaries of tribes and crafty Arabs with money, position and ties of kinship until his rule was consolidated on the basis of materialism and tyranny. It was then that he revealed his real visage and nature. He revived the customs of the tyrannical emperors of the world. Gold and silver from one side, and property, gardens and springs from another side were brought under his bloody hands from all parts of the great Islamic realm. He issued the order, like Iranian kings, that on the new year and Mehrgan festivals gifts should be offered to him, an act which was the heritage of the two great neighboring empires, namely Iran and Rome.
Tradition making and its motives
in the time of Mu‘awiyah
Many loads of wine were carried for Mu‘awiyah.
With the commencement of the rule of Mu‘awiyah, the friends and companions of the Prophet who had gathered round Imam ‘Ali during the Alawite rule, were scattered in different parts of the Islamic realm. After the truce of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba with Mu‘awiyah, as this group had lost their strong support and were now a weakened party, they were dispersed in various lands of Islam.
If we have used the phrase ‘the friends round the Imam’ it is because reliable historians have spoken of a large group of the Prophet’s companions as supporters of Imam ‘Ali in the battles of al-Jamal and Siffin, whereas they mention the names of only three companions in Mu‘awiyah’s army who had the honour of association with the Prophet.
adh-Dhahabi writes in his book of “History of Islam”: On the day of the battle of al-Jamal there were present in ‘Ali’s army eight hundred of the Ansar and seven hundred of those who had participated in the ar-Ridwan allegiance and also one hundred and thirty of the men who had fought in the battle of Badr under the Prophet.(327)
Ibn Khayyat writes in his history: “Eight hundred of those who had shown allegiance until death with the Prophet at ar-Ridwan,(328) accompanied Imam ‘Ali in the battle of Siffin.”(329)
Nasr ibn Muzahim writes in his book of the event of Siffin: Qays ibn Sa‘d ibn ‘Ubadah, the valiant and devoted friend of the Imam in the event of Siffin, one day said to an-Nu‘man ibn Bashir who accompanied Mu‘awiyah together with Muslamah ibn Mukhallad: “O an-Nu‘man! Do you see anyone with Mu‘awiyah but a freed-slave or an ignorant desert Arab or a deceived Yemeni? Look carefully! Where are the Emigrants and Ansar and devout followers with whom God is satisfied? Then look again! Who else is with Mu‘awiyah but you and your two friends, whereas you are neither among the combatants of Badr, nor among the allegiants of ‘Aqabah, nor among the warriors of the battle of Uhud, nor have you a record in Islam and religion, nor has a verse of the Qur’an descended in your praise? Upon my life, if you are fighting us and causing mischief to day, your father, too, had acted in the same way in the past!”(330)
What Qays meant by the allies of ‘Aqabah were men of Ansar who concluded a pact with the Prophet at ‘Aqabah(331) and embraced Islam, and what he meant by the opposition and combat of an-Nu‘man’s father, was his taking the lead in as-Saqifah for allegiance to Abu Bakr. This action of an-Nu‘man’s father helped to consolidate the caliphate of Abu Bakr.
In the statements that we have quoted from old and reliable historians, you have noted that the devout and true supporters of the Prophet who were trained by Islam, served under the banner of the Alawite government, whereas Mu‘awiyah had only two of the Prophet’s companions with him neither of whom had a record in Islam, nor had they shown any self- sacrifice, nor did they possess a good reputation.
Now after the martyrdom of Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, all those friends were scattered in various lands of Islam. Of course wherever these men went, loyal Muslims gathered around them, and heard and sometimes wrote down the traditions that these companions quoted from the Prophet, and thus they became familiar with the teachings of their faith.
It can, of course, be easily imagined that the hot topics of those days were related to the battles of Siffin and al-Jamal, the revolt of ‘Uthman’s time and such events, in all of which reference was made to the defects, treason’s and black deeds of the Umayyads. Sometimes, too, they talked of the time of the first two caliphs and the victories gained in that period when no virtue or excellence could be attributed to the Umayyad house. Similarly there was an occasional talk of the Prophet’s time and the wars and battles of that period, and of the tortures inflicted upon devout Muslims by the Quraysh, impressing the hearts with the greatness and glory of the time, and rousing a feeling of humility in the listeners. Obviously in these conversations there was always a mention of the virtue and fine qualities of the Banu Hashim, and the reproach and berating the conduct and deeds of the Umayyads.
They narrated the story of Badr for interested Muslims and showed how Mu‘awiyah’s grandfather, uncle, brother and other members of his house were killed, and how seventy or more of the Quraysh and kins and friends of the Umayyads were taken captive. They narrated the story of the battle of Uhud when Abu Sufyan, father of Mu‘awiyah, directed the combat, and his liver eater mother, Hind, ripped open the body of Hamzah, the Prophet’s noble and valiant uncle, and bit his liver with her teeth. They narrated how on that day Abu Sufyan cried out: ‘Long live Hubal!’ (the idol), and then how the men recited a poem of al-Hasan composed in reproach of Hind in which reference was made to the illegitimate birth of Mu‘awiyah!
One day they talked of the capture of Mecca and the apparent conversion of Abu Sufyan and his offsprings to Islam, and explained why Abu Sufyan had no sincerity towards Islam and took nothing into consideration but the expediency of the time.
Then they narrated how the holy Prophet sent Mu‘awiyah and his sons much of the spoils of war as a consolation and softening of their hearts towards Islam, but the efforts of the Prophet to win them over truly to Islam proved to be of no avail. After embracing Islam, Abu Sufyan had declared: “I wish I could mobilize warlike groups against this man!” On the day of battle when in the first hours of combat the Muslims retreated, Abu Sufyan said to his friends: “The rout and flight of these men will continue as far as the shores of the Red Sea!” On the day of the battle of al-Yarmuk after the Prophet’s decease, when he observed the retreat of the Muslims, he cried out: “Long live the Romans!” and when the Romans retreated, he cried out: “Woe upon you!” and at the same time here regretfully recited these lines:
“Of the noble Romans and emperors of Rome
No single member seems to have remained.”
All these talks went on during the tyrannical rule of Mu‘awiyah, whereas for the Arabs of the Arabian peninsula nothing was so worthy and noble as the memory of their fathers and ancestors and the story of their glory, greatness and courageous deeds. Arabs loved this, and did their utmost for its sake. Despite all the combats of true Islam against this attitude, it had not lost its force and had not been vanquished. The number of those, who truly followed Islamic verdicts and injunctions and had forgotten those pagan and super¬stitious ideas and customs, was very small.
It is quite clear that Mu‘awiyah belonged to this group of notorious Muslims. During the short period of his association with the Prophet and his stay among the Muslims in Medina, no change of attitude had taken place in him. We discover this fact well from his conduct during his rule in ash-Sham he engaged in usury, and stored skins full of wine in his house; he gave away Muslims’ public fund for his own whims and fancies as if they were his own property. The orators of the city sang his praises to his face. He arranged parties similar to those of pagan times for a narration of futile and imaginary stories of pride and greatness, and proudly and pompously said to those present: “All the Quraysh know that Abu Sufyan is the greatest man of them and the son of the noblest of them, of course, with the exception of the Prophet who was chosen and exalted by God. In my opinion, if all people were to be considered the descendants of Abu Sufyan, they would all have been far¬sighted and discerning individuals.”(332)
Is there any self-conceit greater than this claim of Mu‘awiyah that if his father had been the father of all human beings, then no one but wise and discerning creatures would have existed in the world? He imagined that his father was the noblest man of the Quraysh, with the exception of the Prophet. Could anyone make a higher claim in that time than speaking of himself? Well, during his rule Mu‘awiyah showed this degree conceit and haughtiness to others!
Freed persons and the caliphate or
the judgment of the great about
Mu‘awiyah and his house
Mu‘awiyah and his father were leaders of the wars against Islam.
During his caliphate Mu‘awiyah became more conceited, pompous and haughty than ever. On these days he did not think only of the glory and greatness of his tribe and of its propagation, but his mind was also occupied with another important matter. He was constantly endeavoring to con¬solidate the basis of his rule as an emperor, and how he could accomplish this purpose.
Among the Muslims, Sa‘sa‘ah ibn Sawhan, the loyal friend of the Imam, speaks of it bravely to Mu‘awiyah’s face and says: “You and your father belonged to that group of fighters who went to combat the Prophet of God, and you are the freed son of another freed man who were indebted to the Prophet for granting you your freedom. How could the caliphate be right for a freed captive?” (333)
Similarly ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Ghanam al-Ash‘ari said to Abu Hurayrah and Abu ad-Darda’ at the time they were sent to the Imam on a mission by Mu‘awiyah: “How can after all Mu‘awiyah enter the caliphate’s council while he is one of those who is not qualified to be elected caliph? He and his father have been among the leaders of the groups fighting against Islam.”(334)
How could the caliphate be consolidated for him when ‘Umar had said during his own rule: “In the question of caliphate there is no share for a freed captive or the son of a freed captive or for other Muslims of Mecca after its capture’? Such persons are not allowed to assume that position.”(335)
The people also remembered the declaration of Imam ‘Ali who had said: “Mu‘awiyah is a man for whom God has prescribed no precedence in religion, and he has no backing of chastity and honesty this faith. He is the freed son of another freed captive who has taken part in all the wars against Islam. He and his father have always been hostile to God, His Prophet and Islam, so much so that they unwillingly embraced Islam and abstained from proclaiming it.”(336)
Another time the Imam said to Mu‘awiyah: “Remember that you are one of those freed captives who are never allowed to become caliph, and do not merit the crown of allegiance, and have not the right of entry into the Muslims’ council.”(337)(338)
‘Abd Allah ibn Badil, a commander of the Alawite army in the battle of Siffin, said about Mu‘awiyah: “Mu‘awiyah is claiming something which does not belong to him, and combats someone to whom the caliphate belongs and has no similarity to Mu‘awiyah. Fight this oppressive group who are combating a person who has the merit of being caliph, while they themselves have no merit for it. I have fought them in the company of the Prophet, and today they are the same creatures who are no better nor chaster individuals than those days. (Meaning in fighting the Imam they are no better than the days when they fought the Prophet). They are the enemy of God and you. Rise up and may God bless you!”(339)
‘Ammar ibn Yasir, a true Muslim and a devoted supporter of the Imam, cried out in the battle of Siffin about Mu‘awiyah: “O Muslims! Do you wish to have a look at the enemy of God and His prophet, and a man fighting them and oppressor of Muslims and an accomplice of infidels? A man who came to the Prophet embraced Islam when God Almighty willed that His religion should be victorious and His prophet be aided, whereas God knew that he has turned to this direction for fear, not owing to ardor and willingness! Moreover, at the time the Prophet of God departed this world, we knew him to be an enemy of the Muslims and a friend of the wicked. Know that that creature is this same Mu‘awiyah! Curse him, for, may God damn him! Fight him since he is one of those who is intent on extinguishing the light of God, and collaborates with the enemies of God.”(340)
al-Aswad ibn Yazid said to ‘A’ishah about this matter: “Are you not amazed at a man who is a freed captive and fights for seizing the caliphate against the true friends of the Prophet?”
‘A’ishah answered: “No! There is no question of amazement in this matter; for, this is a position, which God may grant to a good or bad individual! The pharaoh who claimed divinity, ruled Egypt many long years, and others, too, have assumed such a position.”(341)
Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba wrote to Mu‘awiyah in a letter: “It is very surprising, O Mu‘awiyah, that to-day you have encroached upon a position for which you have no merit at all; for, you possess neither an excellence in religion, nor a good precedence in Islam, since you are the son of one of high leaders of anti-Islamic wars, and the most hostile creature towards the Qur’an and Prophet of God.”(342)
Shu‘bah ibn Ghurayd said to Mu‘awiyah: “You have been a destroyer of right in both pagan and Islamic times. In pagan times you continued to combat the Prophet and divine revelation so long that God nullified your plots with the victory of Islam. Now in the Islamic period, too, you prevent the son of the Prophet of God from assuming the position of caliph! What business have you in this matter as a freed son of a freed captive?”(343)
With all that disgrace and lack of purity, nobility and virtue, how could the rule of a man like Mu‘awiyah remain stable? The above remarks had been uttered about him by exalted men of Islam and clear-sighted contemporaries. His record was so black that when ‘A’ishah wanted to defend him, she said: “God may grant the rule to a good or bad person!”(344)
Indeed, how could the garment of Islamic rule fit the unseemly body of Mu‘awiyah, and then enable him to make it hereditary for his descendants, while he was judged in the above manner by the worthy leaders and influential men of Islamic society, whereas there existed in that community such personalities as Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn, who were the heirs of all the glory and greatness of the Banu Hashim, and descendants of the holy Prophet, and loved so deeply by the Muslims?
Therefore, in order to preserve his position as a ruler and consolidate its foundation on the one hand, and to make it hereditary in his house on the other hand, Mu‘awiyah was compelled to disperse the people by every possible means from around the Prophet’s and ‘Ali’s household, and turn their hearts away from them, in order to attract them towards himself and his own house! For this reason he started such a war against that household and their devoted followers that children were aged with fear, and the whole land was colored with Muslim blood, and Muslim women were sold in the slave markets!
To this end Mu‘awiyah employed everything which was at his disposal, such as money, power, plot, cunning and political genius. Moreover, as he possessed a very black record in the history of Islam, he resorted to every pretext in the attainment of his goal, to capture the simple hearts of the people and dominate their immature minds, such as the claims for avenging the blood of ‘Uthman, whom he called an innocent and martyred caliph!
Tradition making or
a cover for Inferiority complexes
Mu‘awiyah had no scruple about lying and calumny.
Mu‘awiyah used two pillars for his evil propaganda: On the one hand he tried to steal genuine things by means of brain-washing and rob the primary cultures and fundamental beliefs of the Muslims from them, and on the other hand replace those beliefs by his own ideas which had their source in the Arab pagan culture and Christian culture of ash-Sham, and fill the vacant minds of the Muslims with them.
In this discussion we shall see how Mu‘awiyah employs every possible means in order to carry out his wicked purpose of blemishing the household of the Prophet, the Qur’an and the guardians of Islam, especially the most outstanding of them, namely Imam ‘Ali, all of whom had conquered people’s hearts with their peerless chastity and virtue. He did his utmost to misrepresent their fine qualities and brilliance, and influence people with the propagation of misinterpreted ideas and topics, and take control of the minds of simple-minded people in such a way as to make it impossible for them to return to the clear spring of Islam and the Qur’an, and unable to find the true path of the Qur’an and Islam by reference to the Prophet’s descendants. He could then succeed in infusing those altered ideas as a constant element in people’s minds.
at-Tabari writes: Mu‘awiyah appointed al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah as governor of Kufah, but before the latter departed for that destination, he summoned him and said to him: “I intended to make several recommendations to you which I desist from, because of your great intelligence and discernment. I leave it all to your intelligence to carry out, but there is one thing that I must not forget to point out to you. As a first recommendation never cease to reproach and speak ill of ‘Ali, and also to beg God’s favour and salvation for ‘Uthman.(345) In the second place never abstain from finding fault with ‘Ali’s friends and companions and being strict to them, but at the same time bringing ‘Uthman’s supporters close to you and showing kindness to them.”
al-Mughayrah said: “I have already been tried, and have gained much experience. I have also rendered many services for others before your time, and no one has reproached me! You, too, will test me, and see whether you approve and praise my deeds or consider them unworthy and reproach me.”
Mu‘awiyah said: “No, with God’s Will, I shall praise you.”(346)
al-Mada’ini writes in his book of “al-Ahdath”: After he became caliph, he wrote a decree to all his governors and officials to the effect that whoever speaks of the excellence and virtue of Abu Turab (‘Ali) and his family, it will mean his having no respect for his own life and property, and will lose his blood!
Meanwhile the people of Kufah, who loved the Alawite house, suffered more than others.
Once again Mu‘awiyah wrote to his agents in all parts of the realm, not to accept the testimony of the Shi‘ites of ‘Ali and his household, and to find out those who were attached to ‘Uthman and those who spoke of his fine qualities in the land under their administration, in order to show them favors and a greater respect. Then these agents were ordered to write down for him the words of such givers of praise together with their names and their parents’ names.
This order was carried out to such an extent and so many traditions were forged by the self-sold and worldly individuals for the sake of worldly profits, that ‘Uthman’s virtues were given no bounds. For this purpose Mu‘awiyah offered money, robes of honour, property and everything else under his control. Every unknown and worthless fellow who found his way to Mu‘awiyah to offer a word or tradition in praise of ‘Uthman, was shown much favour, and his name was recorded and he was granted a position in the governmental organization!
After some time another decree was issued by Mu‘awiyah to his agents, stating: “As the narrations about ‘Uthman’s excellence have become plentiful and are heard in every city, on the receipt of my letter invite the people to recite the virtues of the Prophet’s companions and early caliphs, without any mention of Abu Turab’s qualities except something to his detriment. This will be preferable for me and will please me more, since this is a better means of refuting the arguments of Abu Turab and his Shi‘ites, and more smashing and harder to digest for them than the traditions cited about the excellence of ‘Uthman.”
The decree of Mu‘awiyah was proclaimed to the people, and immediately false narrations about the virtues of the companions became very abundant without having a trace of truth. Simple people heartily accepted these traditions, and they spread so quickly that they were quoted on every pulpit, and were distributed among teachers to instruct children according to them. Young people became so accustomed to them, that parallel with the Qur’an, they memorized these false traditions. Then they penetrated the circles of full-grown adult men, and reached the instruction sessions of women where teachers were engaged in teaching them to women and girls. These traditions were also propagated among servants and slaves.
In this way the Islamic society spent many long years of its life, and thus many false and forged traditions remained for future generations, and they were learnt by Jurisprudents, judges, men of learning, governors etc. and also believed in.(347)
Ibn ‘Arafah Naftuyah, who is a great scholar in the field of tradition, mentions certain points in his history which are in agreement with the statements of al-Mada’ini. He writes: Most of the false traditions concerning the qualities of the companions, have been fabricated in the time of the Umayyads, so that their forgers may find their way into the caliph’s organization and be favored by the Umayyads, thereby humiliating the Banu Hashim.(348)
It was not, of course, only in this period that Mu‘awiyah had resorted to forging traditions. He had long been engaged in this task before this time, too. at-Tabari writes: when Mu‘awiyah met with disappointment at the refusal of Qays ibn Sa‘d, the valiant and wise governor of the Imam in Egypt, to collaborate with and assist him, he was worried about this matter and was seeking a solution. At last he resorted to a cunning plan, namely to spread the rumor that Qays had agreed to co-operate with him, and Mu‘awiyah asked the people to pray for Qays. Then he read a false letter on behalf of Qays to the people, which said:
“In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This is a letter to Emir Mu‘awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan from Qays ibn Sa‘d. Greetings to you. The assassination of ‘Uthman has been a very great event in Islam. I looked at myself and considered my religion. I realised that I could not cooperate with a group who have killed their chaste Imam and their beneficent Muslim leader! There fore we beg God forgiveness for our sins and wish Him to preserve our religion. Remember that I am at peace with you, and also I declare my readiness to assist you in the war with the assassins of ‘Uthman who was the Imam of guidance and was killed innocently. Therefore inform me of the amount of money and number of soldiers that you need, so that I provide and dispatch them to you at once. Greetings to the Emir, with God’s blessing and favors.”(349)
This was Mu‘awiyah! He never abstained from lies and forgery and used all such means to promote his policy. But when his dominion became extensive enough to include the whole of the Islamic realm, he was in a greater need of falsehood and fabrication, and was thus compelled to seek the help of villains.
This war was a cold war of propaganda, which took the form of a contest in forging traditions in the interest of one group and to the loss of another group. Meanwhile, a group of so-called companions, too, responded positively to the ill-omened and faith-destroying call of Mu‘awiyah. Such people were al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, Samara ibn Jundab and Abu Hurayrah who were enamoured of money and position, and had no worth at all from the viewpoint of religion and personality.
Ibn Abi al-Hadid, famous Sunni Mu‘tazilite scholar, quotes his teacher, Abu Ja‘far al-Iskafi as follows:
Mu‘awiyah employed a number of the companions and their pupils to fabricate reports against ‘Ali in order to blemish the Imam’s character, and thus make others shun association with him. Obviously much money was earmarked for these tradition forgers to entice them to take up their task eagerly and seriously. These creatures wholly performed what was expected of them. Among this group were some companions such as Abu Hurayrah, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah and their pupils such as ‘Urwah ibn az-Zubayr.
az-Zuhri narrates that ‘Urwah ibn az-Zubayr quoted a tradition from ‘A’ishah in which she says:
“I was with the Prophet of God when ‘Ali and al-‘Abbas arrived and came towards us. The Prophet said: ‘O ‘A’ishah! These two will depart this world remote from my nation and my religion.’ ”
‘Abd ar-Razzaq quotes Mu‘ammar, saying that az-Zuhri had two traditions, which had been quoted from ‘A’ishah by ‘Urwah. These two traditions were about Imam ‘Ali. Mu‘ammar says: One day I asked az-Zuhri about those two (‘Urwah and ‘A’ishah). He answered: “What is your business with those two and their tradition? God knows them better. They are accused by me of falsehood about the Banu Hashim.”
The first of these two traditions was the one quoted above, and in the second one quoted by ‘Urwah, ‘A’ishah says: “I was with the holy Prophet when ‘Ali and ‘Abbas arrived. The Prophet said: ‘O ‘A’ishah! if you wish to look upon two men of fire, look at these two who are coming towards us.’ I looked up and saw ‘Ali and al-‘Abbas.”(350)
Among the traditions fabricated by ‘Amr ibn al-‘As is a tradition, which is quoted from him by al-Bukhari in his book of Muslim. He says: “I heard the Prophet say aloud: Abi Talib’s descendants are not among my friends. My friends are God, and benevolent and honest believers.”(351)
In another tradition al-Bukhari makes an addition to the above tradition and says: The Prophet continued to say: “But they have a kinship with me and I observe bonds of kinship with them.”
Among the traditions invented by Abu Hurayrah by the order of Mu‘awiyah, there is one quoted from him by al-A‘mash, as follows: When after the truce of Imam al-Hasan with Mu‘awiyah, Abu Hurayrah accompanied Mu‘awiyah on his journey to Iraq and entered the mosque of Kufah, seeing the large number of welcomers, he sat down on his knees and after slapping his own face and head several times, he said: “O people of Iraq, do you suppose that I attribute a falsehood to God and His prophet and burn myself in the fire of hell? I swear to God that I heard the Prophet say: ‘For every prophet there is a sanctity, and my sanctity is between the mountains of ‘Ayr and Thawr,(352) and he who causes unpleasant events to occur in this sanctity, may the curse of God, angels and all people descend upon him!’ ” Then he added: “I take God to witness that ‘Ali has caused mischief in this sacred land.”
The news of his speech and quoting this tradition reached Mu‘awiyah who in return for this great service showed Abu Hurayrah much favour and ap¬pointed him governor of Medina.
As for the story of Samara ibn Jundab, Abu Ja‘far al-Iskafi, teacher of Ibn Abi al-Hadid, says: Mu‘awiyah gave Samara one hundred thousand drachmas to cite the following narration for the people in the name of the Prophet: “The verses ‘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.’(353) are descended about ‘Ali and the verse: ‘Among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah’(354) is descended about Ibn Muljam, the killer of ‘Ali.”
Samara refused the proposal, and so Mu‘awiyah sent him two hundred thousand drachmas, and again Samara refused. The offered sum was raised to four hundred thousand, and this time Samara agreed to cite for the people the above false narration as a quotation from the Prophet.(355)
The fate of the noble persons who refused
to co-operate with Mu‘awiyah
Chain him heavily and throw him into prison.
It was a fearful turmoil, and the foundation of faith had been destroyed by the whirlwind of that turmoil. A group of companions and their followers had responded favorably to the call of Mu‘awiyah, and supplied themselves with the provisions of his wide and long realm in proportion to their appetites. Gold and silver of the Muslim public fund and government over Islamic lands were offered to buy off necessary individuals, and these filled their bags or ascended the high seats of their positions.
There was also a small group who refused to co-operate with Mu‘awiyah. They loved their honour and religion more. Consequently they were involved with torture, banishment and death, and lost their life and property for the sake of guarding divine heroism’s and Islamic virtues.
The consequence of this terrible battle was on the one hand thousands of false traditions which the Islamic society inherited from that dark period with the result that the recognition of true and proper Islam became extremely difficult, and on the other hand thousands of devout and loyal Muslims lost their lives under the most terrible conditions.
As we have already said, Samara ibn Jundab was one of those who agreed to co-operate with Mu‘awiyah and carry out his order. His reward was the deputyship of the governor of Basra. In addition to his wicked deeds in the past, he started a terrible massacre in that city.
at-Tabari writes: Ibn Sirin, well-known scholar, was asked: “Did Samara ibn-Jundab kill anyone at all?” He answered: “Could those who were killed by him be counted at all? Once Ziyad on going to Kufah, chose Samara and his deputy, and when he returned after six months, Samara had killed eight thousand innocent people! It is said that one morning he killed forty-seven men all of whom were memorizes of the Qur’an.”(356)
at-Tabari adds that when Ziyad died, Samara was acting as his deputy in Basra. Mu‘awiyah allowed him to govern that city for some months and then dismissed him. For that reason Samara had said: “May God damn Mu‘awiyah! By God! If I had obeyed my God in the way I obeyed Mu‘awiyah, I would never have been punished by Him.”(357)
Another of those self-sold creatures was al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah. He governed Kufah for seven years and a few months, and never ceased his insult and reproach towards the Imam and his devout followers and caviling at the killers of ‘Uthman, and praying for ‘Uthman and presenting his supporters and companions as virtuous individuals. Of course al-Mughayrah, owing to his political understanding, adopted a relatively lenient and moderate method with occasional strictness. at-Tabari says: One day al-Mughayrah addressed Sa‘sa‘ah ibn Sawhan, devout friend of the Imam and said: “Take care and let me not hear one day that you have criticized ‘Uthman. Similarly you must abstain from a public declaration of ‘Ali’s virtues. For, I am more aware of everything than you about this matter, but what can I do? The Umayyad ruler is in control of the affairs and we have been charged with the task of reproaching ‘Ali. Naturally in many cases we desist from it unless we are compelled to do so, in which case we say a few things for our own protection. If you wish to speak of ‘Ali’s good qualities, you could do so privately with your relatives and close friends and in your houses and secret gatherings. But public and open declarations in a mosque is a matter which is neither tolerated by the caliph, nor does he forgive us for it.”(358)
Then there was Ziyad ibn Abihi who was more strict and persevering than other was governors in the execution of Mu‘awiyah’s order. We are already familiar with his cruel conduct towards Hujr and his noble friends. One such an incident is what took place between him and Sayfi ibn Fusayl. One day this man was brought to Ziyad’s presence by his order. Ziyad said to him: “O enemy of God! What do you say about Abu Turab?”
Sayfi said: “I know of no one called Abu Turab!”
Ziyad said: “Oh, no! You know him very well.”
Sayfi said: “But I don’t.”
Ziyad aid: “Don’t you know ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib?”
Sayfi aid: “Yes, I do.”
Ziyad aid: “He is Abu Turab.”
This conversation went on, and then Ziyad ordered to bring him a stick, and turning to this man of Kufah, he said: “What do you say about ‘Ali, now?” He said: “I can say the best words that one can utter about a servant of God!”
Ziyad ordered to beat him on the neck with the stick until he was knocked down. The order was carried out, and then he told them to stop, and again asked Sayfi: “What was your view about ‘Ali?”
He answered: “I swear by God that if you tear me to pieces with your knives and swords, you will hear nothing but what I said!”
Ziyad said: “You must either curse him or I will behead you!”
Sayfi said: “Even if you behead me, you shall not hear from my tongue what you want. And if you kill me, I shall attain happiness and you will receive misery and adversity!”
Ziyad ordered to chain him heavily and throw him into prison. Eventually this courageous and loyal man was martyred together with Hujr and his friends.(359)
On another occasion Ziyad sent two men of Hadhramaut(360) with a letter to Mu‘awiyah, writing that they follow ‘Ali’s religion. Mu‘awiyah answered in a letter: “Kill every person who is a follower of ‘Ali’s faith and idea, and cut up his body after death.” That tyrannical governor carried out the order and hanged them by the doors of their houses.(361)
In another letter Mu‘awiyah ordered him to bury alive a Khath’ami man who had praised ‘Ali to Mu‘awiyah’s face and had criticized ‘Uthman. Thus this man, too, was buried alive so that no one else would dare to speak of the excellence of ‘Ali.(362)
Historians have described the end of Ziyad’s life as a great scene of villainy. Ibn ‘Asakir writes: One day he ordered to assemble all the people of Kufah, and a big crowd filled the mosque and governor’s palace. He intended to speak in this gathering about immunity from ‘Ali.(363)
al-Mas‘udi writes: Ziyad assembled all the people of Kufah at the gate of his palace, and then ordered everyone to curse ‘Ali, and if anyone refused to do so, he should be put to the sword. Fortunately before the order was executed, he was struck down by plague and died soon after, and the people were delivered from his molestation.(364)
‘Amr ibn al-Himaq al-Khuza‘i a chaste and devoted man, was one of those who was involved with a tragic death during Ziyad’s rule. In order to avoid carrying out that intolerable order, namely taking immunity from the Imam, he fled to the desert, but the functionaries of the governor of Kufah searched every spot for him, and at last they found him in a cave in the hot desert of Iraq. As he had never bowed to tyrants, he met with a tragic death. They cut off his head and carried it to Mu‘awiyah who ordered to hang it in the market as a lesson to others.
After a few days they sent the head to his wife in prison where she had been kept on a similar charge, and threw it on her lap. The bereaved woman said sorrowfully: “You had kept him away from me for such a long time, and now you have brought me his severed head as a gift! What a worthy and precious gift!”(365)
Imam ‘Ali is cursed on Islamic pulpits
Imam ‘Ali was cursed from the pulpits in all the eastern and westerns parts of the Islamic realm.
The plan of annihilating the Imam’s supporters and the propagation of false traditions for the purpose of defaming the good, and attributing a good reputation to the wicked to conform with Mu‘awiyah’s intentions, was carried out in the whole of the Islamic realm. Ziyad ibn Abihi and other governors of Mu‘awiyah(366) put his order into force and did their utmost to execute it success-fully and wholeheartedly.
Historians have narrated many bloody events related to the deeds of those agents, and the whole of the Umayyad period has witnessed the execution of this policy. Accordingly, to give the Muslims a complete brain-wash, Imam ‘Ali was cursed from every pulpit in the east and west of Islamic lands, and only the province of Sistan disobeyed the order of Mu‘awiyah, and only once was the Imam cursed from the pulpit there. Later on the people of this zone made a pact with the Umayyad government that they should be exempted from this order, whereas at the same time the Imam was being cursed from the pulpits in the most powerful cities of Islam, namely Mecca and Medina.(367)
Hired orators cursed the noble Imam sometimes in the presence of the Alawite household. History remembers painful incidents related to this matter, but here we confine ourselves to the narration of a single incident. Ibn Hajar writes in the book of “Tathir al-lisan” that ‘Amr ibn al-‘As began to criticize Imam ‘Ali from the pulpit. He was followed by al-Mughayrah on the pulpit uttering evil words. At this time it was suggested to Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba, who was present there, to climb the pulpit and answer those two. The Imam stated that he would be willing to do so if the people promise to confirm his words if he told the truth, and if, God forbid, his words were false, they should contradict him. They agreed, and the Imam climbed the pulpit and after praising God Almighty, he addressed both ‘Amr ibn al-‘As and al-Mughayrah, and said: “I ask you in the name of God: Do you not remember that the Prophet cursed the position of that horseman, one of whom was that fellow (meaning Mu‘awiyah)?”(368) They said: “We do.” Then he turned to ‘Amr and al-Mughayrah and said: “Don’t you know and don’t you remember that the Prophet cursed ‘Amr ibn al-‘As for every line of his poem?”(369) They said: “By God! You are right!”(370)
Of course as the Muslim supporters of the Prophet’s households were never prepared to listen to a sermon in which the Imam was reproached, abused or cursed, they immediately left the mosque after the prayer and before the sermon. So Mu‘awiyah and his governors changed the procedure which was prescribed by God and His prophet, and delivered the sermon before the prayer.
Ibn Hazm writes in his book of “al-Muhalla”: For the first time the Umayyad made the sermon prior to the Friday prayer. They accounted for this unlawful action of theirs by saying that as the people left the mosque immediately after the end of the prayer, they do not wait to listen to the sermon. But the truth was that they cursed Imam ‘Ali from the pulpit, and as the people disliked this action, they left the mosque, and they were indeed right in doing so.(371)
In Sahih of al-Bukhari and Muslim and other reliable books of tradition it is quoted from Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri as follows: I accompanied Marwan, then governor of Medina, out of the city on the Sacrificial (Qurban) or al-Fitr festival. At the spot chosen for the festival prayer, a pulpit had been put up by Kathir ibn as-Salt. On arriving there, Marwan wanted to climb the pulpit and deliver a sermon before the prayer. I caught his robe and tried to check him from doing so, but Marwan released himself by pulling his robe Out of my hand, and quickly ascended the pulpit, and recited the festival sermon.
When he descended the pulpit, I said to him: “By God! You have produced a change in the religion!” He answered: “O Abu Sa‘id! Those things with which you were familiar in the name of religion, have disappeared.”
I said: “By God! What I knew was much finer than these innovations and unfamiliar ways!”
Marwan said: “The people never lingered our sermons. So we were compelled to place the sermon before the prayer.”(372)
A group of people refuses to curse
O Mu‘awiyah! In cursing ‘Ali you are cursing God and the Prophet from the pulpit.
The governors and administrators of the Umayyad caliphate’s organiza¬tion did not confine themselves to this step. They also ordered the Prophet’s friends, who, in addition to their superior knowledge of Islam, had a deeper attachment to it, to follow the ways of these innovators.
Sahl ibn Sa‘d says: A man of Marwan’s house(373) ruled Medina. One day he summoned me and ordered me to abuse. ‘Ali, but I refused. He said: “Now that you refuse to Abuse ‘Ali, at least say: May God curse Abu Turab.” I said: “Imam ‘Ali could not have chosen a better name than Abu Turab for himself, and when they addressed him by that name, he was very pleased.” The governor said: “Tell us the story of this name and the reason for his gladness.” I said: “One day the great Prophet of Islam went to visit his daughter, Fatimah, and did not find ‘Ali there. He said to his noble daughter: ‘Where is your cousin?’ She said: ‘Something has occurred between us that made both of us uneasy. So he left the house without taking his afternoon nap.’(374)
The Prophet asked a man to go and search for ‘Ali. The man returned after some time and reported that ‘Ali was asleep in the mosque. The Prophet went to the mosque and saw ‘Ali asleep on his side while his robe, which covered him, had slipped away and his body was on the earth. The Prophet with utmost kindness and affection wiped the dust from ‘Ali’s body and said: ‘Get up, O Abu Turab! Get up, O Abu Turab!’ ”(375) (Turab means “earth”, and Abu Turab’ means A friend of the earth! The Umayyads supposed that this nickname was humiliat¬ing for ‘Ali, whereas it was a proof of the Prophet’s utmost affection for ‘Ali. Thus the Umayyads ordered the people to curse Abu Turab!)
‘Amir, son of Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas who was a witness of the following incident says: One day Mu‘awiyah summoned my father, Sa‘d, and asked: “Why do you abstain from reproaching and abusing Abu Turab?” Sa‘d answered: “As long as I remember three remarks of the Prophet about ‘Ali, I shall never abuse him, since those words of the Prophet are more precious to me than the best property of the Arab people, namely; red-haired camels!
When the Prophet decided not to let ‘Ali accompany him in one of the wars (battle of Tabuk), and left him in charge of the city of Medina against the malicious deeds of hypocrites, ‘Ali came to the Prophet with tearful eyes and said: ‘O Prophet of God! Are you leaving me amidst women and children, and depriving me of keeping your company in this war?’ I heard the Prophet say to him: ‘Are you not glad that your relation to me is like the relation of Aaron to Moses, except that there will come no Prophet after me?’
Another time I heard the Prophet say on the day of the battle of Khaybar: ‘I will entrust this banner to a man who loves God and His Prophet, and is loved by God and his Prophet.’ We all stretched our necks and looked eagerly at the Prophet to see who is meant. The Prophet said: ‘Bring ‘Ali to me.’ They found and brought him to the Prophet, while he was suffering from a painful eye-ache. The Prophet touched his painful eye with the saliva of his own mouth. Then he handed him the banner, with the result that God granted us victory on that day.
I remember also that at this time the following verse descended: ‘Then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons, and our women and your women and our near people and your near people…’ (376)
The Prophet summoned ‘Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, and said: ‘This is my household!’ ”(377)
al-Mas‘udi quotes the story of this meeting from at-Tabari as follows: When Mu‘awiyah had come on pilgrimage to Mecca, he went with Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas to circumambulate the House of God, and after that ceremony he visited Dar an-Nudwah, the gathering place of the Quraysh dignitaries in Pagan times, and let Sa‘d sit by him. Then he began to insult and abuse the Imam. Sa‘d was greatly vexed at this conduct of Mu‘awiyah and stood-up, saying: “You are seating me in your place and engage in abusing such a man as ‘Ali? I swear to God that if I possessed only one of his virtues and fine qualities, it would be more precious to me than anything else.”
After quoting the above remark, al-Mas‘udi narrates the story with a slight difference from what we said, and then concludes by quoting the following words of Sa‘d: “By God! I shall never enter your house as long as lam alive!” Then he rose and left Mu‘awiyah’s gathering.(378)
Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih al-Andulisi quotes the following story from his book in his account of Mu‘awiyah: When Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba departed this world, Mu‘awiyah came on pilgrimage as a caliph, and then visited Medina. He intended in this journey to curse the Imam from the Prophet’s pulpit in Medina. His companions said to him: “In this town there is Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas, the victor of Iran and an old influential companion of the Prophet. He will not approve of your action. You had better summon him and ask his view.”
Mu‘awiyah sent for Sa‘d and informed him of his intention. Sa‘d said: “If you do so, I will leave the mosque and will not return there.” (Meaning that he refuses to go to a mosque where ‘Ali has been cursed. The significance of this remark becomes clear when we remember that the mosque referred to, have been the mosque of the Prophet.)
Mu‘awiyah who was apprehensive of Sa‘d’s great influence, abandoned his intention, and waited until Sa‘d died. (379) It was then that Mu‘awiyah was able to curse the Imam of the chaste from the Prophet’s pulpit in Medina. It was also in these times that he wrote to all his agents to abuse the Imam from pulpits. After some time a letter was sent by Umm Salamah to Mu‘awiyah, saying: “O Mu‘awiyah! In cursing ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and his friends, you are cursing God and His Prophet from your pulpits! I take God to witness that God and His Prophet love him.”
But the letter of Umm Salamah had no effect on Mu‘awiyah, and he did not pay the least attention to it.(380)
The ultimate goal of Mu‘awiyah
No! By God, I shall not rest until! Bury the name of the Prophet!
Mu‘awiyah suffered from irremediable complexes which were formed within him owing both to the lineage which had been attributed to him and also to the defects heaped on him and his family concerning their resistance and opposition to Islam. These complexes became more intense when he saw that Islam had humbled him and his house who had possessed a high rank and material opulence in Pagan times, and the Prophet had placed him, his father and brother in the rank of freed captives.
Against the low name of himself and his house in Islam, he saw the popular and immortal names of their rivals, namely the Banu Hashim. So these inferiority complexes were a very heavy burden on his back to bear, and he fervently sought a way to emerge from them. As we have already seen in past events and in his encounters with the Prophet’s companions, he was not able to reveal these internal rancours and hostilities on every occasion and in every place, since they were not harmonious with the personality he had somehow acquired and exposed his life and position to danger. But in private sessions with al-Mughayrah, whom he considered as one of the guardians of Paganism(381) and as both of them had collaborated with each other for many long years in wicked deeds, these complexes came to the surface and revealed his real beliefs and nature.
az-Zubayr ibn Bakkar quotes the son of al-Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah in his book of “al-Muwaffaqiyat”, as follows:
I had accompanied my father al-Mughayrah on his travel to ash-Sham to see Mu‘awiyah. My father went to him every day and talked with him for a long time. Whenever he returned home he spoke of the amazing intelligence and shrewdness of Mu‘awiyah and of what he had seen. But one night when he returned, he refused to eat anything and he was very despondent. I waited for some time thinking that his despondency was due either to some actions of ours or to some hitch in our affairs. When I asked him why he was so dejected, he said: “My boy, I have come back from the presence of the wickedest and most infidel of all people!” I asked: “How and who?” He said: “It was a private session with Mu‘awiyah I said to him: O Amir al-Mu’minin, You have attained your wish. Now it would be fitting if in your old age you act justly and treat others kindly: If you favour your kith and kin of Banu Hashim and observe your bonds of kinship with them, you will leave a good name behind. I swear to God that today they have nothing left to frighten you with (meaning that they are remote from assuming the position of caliph).”
Mu‘awiyah answered: “What you say is quite remote. Abu Bakr became caliph and acted justly, and bore so much trouble. By God, when he died, his name, too, died with him unless someone may one-day call: ‘Abu Bakr!’ Then ‘Umar assumed the rule, and endeavored much and suffered many pains for ten years. But a few days after his death, nothing of him remained except an occasional word of someone, saying: ‘ ‘Umar!’ Then our brother ‘Uthman became caliph, a man whose lineage nobody could rival, and he acted as he did, and was treated as we know. But by God, as soon as he was killed, his name, too, died, and his deeds were forgotten!
But you see that this Hashimi man’s (The Prophet) name is spoken loudly and respectfully five times a day in the whole of the Islamic realm (referring to the Muslim prayer and the call for it). What deed, do you think, will leave a memory and what good name can last long? By God! I shall never rest until I bury that name!”(382)(383)
Mu‘awiyah’s breast was burning with a flame of rancor and envy at the popular name of the Prophet who had destroyed his brother, uncle and grandfather and other relatives of his in the battle of Badr. He longed to bury that name. To attain that goal he had two plans: His first scheme could be summoned up in this sentence: “Not even one member of Banu Hashim should remain alive.” This is not only our understanding of it. Imam ‘Ali himself says explicitly: “I swear to God that Mu‘awiyah desires that not even one of the Banu Hashim should survive. He wishes to extinguish the light of God in this way, but God will not allow this light to be extinguished even if infidels are not pleased with His wish.”(384)
The second plan of Mu‘awiyah was to dispatch their names to oblivion. To attain this end he created the large organization of forging tradition, biography and history to defame those chaste personalities, and remove the signs of defects and shortcomings from the Umayyads. Consequently opposite the traditions, which existed from the Prophet damning Mu‘awiyah and his father and Umayyad household and such creatures as al-Hakam ibn Abi al-‘As, similar but false traditions were offered to the people as quotations from the Prophet, saying: “O God! I am only a human being exposed to error, oblivion and anger! If I have cursed or reproached a Muslim on account of my anger, consider that curse and abuse as expiation for his sins so that he may be cleansed of them.”(385)
This forged tradition and similar ones were like a double-edged sword serving the interests of Mu‘awiyah. On the one hand they cleansed him and his household from all the things that the Prophet had rightly said about them, and on the other hand they presented the prophets as ordinary men subject to human failings and in most cases unable to control their rage with the result that they may utter futile and unjust words, whereas we know that God has praised the Prophet and his character in the best possible way as the worthiest human being, saying in this verse:
“And most surely you conform yourself to sublime morality.”(386), and in this verse:
“Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal them gently, and had you been rough and hard-hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you.” (387)
He says also that all his utterances have their source in revelation, as in the following verse:
“Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed.”(388)
Not many people understand this evil plan of Mu‘awiyah, and thus many simple-minded Muslims ignorantly followed and collaborated with him, and spread the traditions which had been fabricated by his hirelings. Although Mu‘awiyah was unable to publicly reveal all his rancor and hostility towards the Prophet, yet in other extensive fields he succeeded in fulfilling his wishes. Indeed he was successful in the question of defending ‘Uthman and his policy, and also in pounding ‘Ali, his household, his friends and supporters. We have already mentioned these points and seen how Mu‘awiyah treated those who did not collaborate with him in these wicked deeds. Imam ‘Ali’s friends gained nothing by supporting the Imam but torture, imprisonment, or death by hanging or being buried alive.
‘A’ishah, as the main personality under our discussion, at the moment when human feelings were dead, and human beings’s share was nothing but torture, imprisonment and execution, was greatly respected by him, and the caliph’s organization showed the greatest possible considerations to her especially at the beginning, and these two co-operated closely in the overall combat with the Imam.
In order to see the role and task of ‘A’ishah in Mu‘awiyah’s policy of forging traditions, we may speak of two incidents: A Muslim man named Sa‘d ibn Hisham asked another Muslim named Hakim ibn Aflah to visit ‘A’ishah. Hakim said: “I refuse to go to her. I had warned her against speaking of these two groups (the supporters of ‘Ali and followers of ‘Uthman), but she paid no attention to my counsel, and went her own way.”(389)
What was the manner of ‘A’ishah’s talk about the Alawite party and ‘Uthman’s group? As we have already seen and will also see, at this time ‘A’ishah spoke well of ‘Uthman’s party and quoted some traditions from the Prophet in favour of that party, and thus she resorted also to other traditions in reproach of the Alawite party. These two matters are what Hakim had warned her against, and to which she had paid no attention.
A tradition from ‘A’ishah
‘A’ishah! Had you forgotten this tradition?
Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his book of Musnad quotes an-Nu‘man ibn Bashir, saying: Mu‘awiyah wrote a letter to ‘A’ishah. I went with the letter to her in Medina and delivered it. After she took it, she said: “My son! should I not narrate for you something that I have heard from the Prophet?” I said: “Yes, of course!” She said: “Hafsah and I were with the Prophet one day and he said to us: ‘How nice it would have been to have a man with us to talk to!’ I said: ‘Should I send for Abu Bakr?’ He remained silent and said again: ‘How fine it would have been to have a man with us to talk to.’ This time Hafsah said: ‘Couldn’t we send for ‘Umar?’ He did not answer, and then called a man and whispered something to him. The man went out and after some moments. ‘Uthman arrived. The Prophet began to speak eagerly with him, and I heard these words: ‘O ‘Uthman! Let us hope that God will adorn you with the garment of caliphate and greatness, and if they tried to remove it from your body, never submit to it’, and he repeated this sentence three times.”
an-Nu‘man ibn Bashir says: I said to her: “O Umm al-Mu’minin! Had you forgotten this tradition when you combatted so much with ‘Uthman, and wanted to depose him, and even incited the people to kill him?”(390)
‘A’ishah said: “My son! I had forgotten this tradition. So thoroughly as if I had never heard it.”(391)
The incident took place in the following way: A letter arrived for ‘A’ishah from the caliph Mu‘awiyah, and the messenger was waiting for an answer. At this moment ‘A’ishah remembered a tradition of the Prophet and quoted it for the caliph’s messenger, stating that the Prophet had predicted that ‘Uthman would in future assume the position of caliph(392) and in such a case he should never abdicate.
What is the connection of this letter with the tradition? Had Mu‘awiyah asked her in his letter to defend ‘Uthman? Or did ‘A’ishah intend that an-Nu‘man, Mu‘awiyah’s messenger, on his return to him, should quote the tradition for his master? Or was there some other reason for it?
Is it possible at all that ‘A’ishah had really forgotten this tradition and similar ones which she had quoted for different people during Mu‘awiyah’s rule, all the time that she combatted against ‘Uthman and incited the people to rise against him?
Whatever the reason may be, this tradition and similar ones which we will quote in the tradition section of this book, as well as the traditions that ‘A’ishah has narrated in praise of the excellence of her father Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar, and her cousin Talhah and others, place her in the rank of the most superior individuals who did their utmost in pleasing Mu‘awiyah in connection with his special policy of fabricating traditions. Naturally his greater endeavors, were directed towards the propagation of the virtue and excellence of his own kith and kin and of their supporters; for, as the proverb says: Blood is thicker than water.
In our discussion we have no intention of propagating the excellence of some, or cavilling at others. What we are investigating are the traditions, which we will mention in the last part of this book. Our task is to survey the traditions which are narrated from the Prophet, and that is why we have stepped in this course.
Conclusion and Purpose
‘A’ishah made use of the life of the Prophet in quoting traditions for the promotion of her own goals.
The Conclusion of previous discussions:
In previous chapters we made a careful survey of the life of ‘A’ishah in order to become familiar with her social and political personality and with her ideas and objectives, and discover her particular mental and social motives which roused her to quote so many traditions.
Our conclusion is briefly that ‘A’ishah was a very intelligent woman, a fine orator familiar with the way of speech making and oration, and fully aware of the effect of words in capturing the hearts and influencing the minds of people. She was a statesman well acquainted with the political and governmental affairs of the time. She was able to lead and command a large and powerful army. She possessed a great social personality, and such a wide influence among the Muslims that she could with a small effort rouse the people against the government of the time and overthrow it.
‘A’ishah was a domineering and ambitious woman who did not halt or remain idle anywhere, and sought the highest point in every course and purpose, and spared no effort and action, and no factor could check her from following her objective.
She was filled with a deep emotional attachment for her kith and kin, so much so that she showed a high degree of devotion and self-sacrifice in their favour and interest. She was at the same time violently vindictive towards those who opposed her and her household, and strict and hard and hostile to the point of desiring their death and destruction. She was a woman the like of whom has rarely been witnessed or even known by history. Sometimes she uttered brief remarks in defense of her relatives and supporters that they were then frequently repeated by people, as a lasting phrase in history. She created such a bright spot in their lives that later on it helped to win them a name, a reputation and popularity. Sometimes she spoke so smashingly against her opponents that its effect remained long on their character like a stain on the pages of history.
Her words, whether in favour or against a person, passed from mouth to mouth, and were handed on as a souvenir from one city to another, and were then transferred to books, left for future generations for many centuries as her traditions. This was the greatest evidence of ‘A’ishah’s personality in the Islamic world of those days.
Thus we have observed ‘A’ishah from the angle of the true facts of history, and depicted her as she really was. But those who have desired to build up a different greatness and personality for her, seem to have wished to introduce her as an offspring of the Prophet; a matter which is wholly wrong and untrue.
We should neither introduce the personalities of the early period of Islamic period according to our fancy, since such a picture would be illusory and fanciful, nor depict a true personality and his life differently from what he has actually been.
The purpose of the survey of ‘A’ishah’s life:
As we have repeatedly said, we point out in conclusion, too that ‘A’ishah skilfully made use of two things in order to attain her end:
1-In all her adventurous life she emphasized her being the Prophet’s consort and mother of the faithful, and used this advantage as an effective weapon against her opponents and as a means of encouraging her supporters.
2-Whenever she found it necessary, she quoted a tradition from the Prophet and his life, and made use of her overflowing talent in referring to that tradition to promote her goal.
The number of such cases when ‘A’ishah used her position as the Prophet’s consort is so large that it is beyond the scope of this book. But the following incident illustrates the above point. We read in the story of the battle of al-Jamal that ‘A’ishah wrote a letter to Zayd ibn Sawhan asking his aid, and to rouse his ardor, she began her letter with this phrase: “From ‘A’ishah Umm al-Mu’minin daughter of Abu Bakr and consort of the prophet of God.”(393)
We have repeatedly seen in our discussions how ‘A’ishah made use of the title “Umm al-Mu’minin” and “The Prophet’s consort” in order to produce great events on that basis and impress people. Even up to now it is still used as an effective weapon in the hands of her supporters and in her defense.
As for the cases when ‘A’ishah relied on the details of the Prophet’s life to attain her purpose and forge a tradition, there are many of them, some of which are as follows:
1-Muslim narrates in his book of Sahih: ‘A’ishah said: “When the Prophet was in his deathbed, he said to me: Call your father and brother to write down my will, for, I fear that a claimer may claim that he has a greater merit to be caliph, whereas God and believers accept none but Abu Bakr as caliph.”
2-al-Bukhari says in his book of Sahih that ‘A’ishah said: When the Prophet fell seriously ill, he said to ‘Abd ar-Rahman son of Abu Bakr: “Fetch a shoulder blade(394) or a tablet to write a letter to Abu Bakr so that no one opposes his caliphate.” When ‘Abd ar-Rahman rose to bring writing materials, the Prophet said: “O Abu Bakr! God and believers do not wish any disagreement to arise about your right.”(395)
As you see, ‘A’ishah has made use of the Prophet’s illness and concurrent incidents to create these two traditions for the purpose of consolidating her father’s position as caliph.
3-At a time when ‘A’ishah’s relation with ‘Uthman was friendly and co-operative, she made a similar use of forged traditions in his favour on the basis of the Prophet’s private and family life. Muslim quotes ‘A’ishah in his book of Sahih, saying: ‘The Prophet and I were lying down under the same cloak when Abu Bakr arrived and asked leave to enter. The Prophet gave him permission, and when he left, ‘Umar asked leave to enter and he was allowed to see us in that condition. When ‘Umar left, ‘Uthman asked leave to meet the Prophet. This time the Prophet rose and arranged his clothes and then admitted ‘Uthman to his presence. After ‘Uthman left, I said to the Prophet: “You allowed Abu Bakr and ‘Umar to see you in your former state of lying down, whereas in admitting ‘Uthman, you rose and arranged your clothes. There must be a mystery in this behaviour.” The Prophet said: “As ‘Uthman is a shy and modest person, I was afraid he would not divulge his request on seeing me in that condition.”
4-In his book of Sahih, Muslim narrates this story differently, and says: One day the Prophet was lying down in his bed and had spread ‘A’ishah’s robe on himself. When ‘Uthman arrived, the Prophet ordered ‘A’ishah to cover herself. ‘A’ishah said: “O Prophet! When Abu Bakr and ‘Umar came to see you, you made no change in your state, whereas you were at a loss to what to do when ‘Umar arrived and you re-arranged your garment!”
5-We read in another narration of Muslim in his Sahih that ‘A’ishah says: When I asked the Prophet this question, he said: “Why should I not be coy of ‘Uthman, and show no respect, whereas I swear to God that God’s angels are shy and respectful towards ‘Uthman?”(396)
The same ‘A’ishah who makes so much use of the Prophet’s private life to support the caliphate of ‘Uthman, very soon uses the same weapon to vanquish ‘Uthman. When a leaf of history was turned over and the relation of ‘A’ishah with ‘Uthman was darkened, ‘A’ishah held up the shirt of the Prophet and to rouse the people against ‘Uthman, she addressed the Muslims, saying: “O Muslims! This is the Prophet’s shirt, which is not worn-out yet, but ‘Uthman has so soon altered the Prophet’s ways and tradition, and has made his religion old and worn-out.”
Another time, too, she showed the Prophet’s slippers to the people in the mosque, and third time a hair of the Prophet, in support of her accusation. Thus we see her making use of the tangible things of the Prophet to incite the people against ‘Uthman.(397) For, at this time ‘A’ishah is pursuing other motives and goals, which necessitate a change in the use of the means!
With the assassination of ‘Uthman another leaf history is turned over, and now ‘A’ishah forgets the past and once more she begins to eulogise ‘Uthman, and again she employes the details of the Prophet’s life in support and praise of ‘Uthman and because of fresh goals and motives!
6-At a time when Mu‘awiyah had made it obligatory for all the people to sing the praises of ‘Uthman, and by his order the machinery for fabricating traditions about ‘Uthman’s personality was functioning, ‘A’ishah quoted in amazing tradition about ‘Uthman in the presence of the deputy of Mu‘awiyah’s court, saying: Hafsah and I were in the Prophet’s presence, when he said: “I wish someone were here to talk with me!” I suggested my father Abu Bakr as a talking companion, and Hafsah proposed her father ‘Umar, but he remained silent about our suggestions. Then he summoned a man and whispered something to him. Very soon ‘Uthman arrived and the Prophet was greatly pleased and began talking with him. I heard him with my own ears, saying: “O ‘Uthman! God will adorn you with the garment of caliphate, and if they try to remove this garment from you, you must resist and not take off with your own hands the garment with which God has adorned you!”(398)
7-‘A’ishah had her own particular view about sucking and said that five times sucking of a stranger creates a legitimate intimacy as a relative. She advised her own sisters and kith and kin to follow her example. In issuing this verdict, her intention was to create intimacy with those whose aid she needed socially, so that no one could protest against this relationship. But the other wives of the Prophet rejected this view and said that this sucking must be related to early babyhood and be repeated ten times, not five times.(399) ‘A’ishah claimed against this protests saying: “In a verse descendent to the Prophet it is stated that the creation of legitimate intimacy by sucking adult boys is possible with ten times’ sucking, and this verdict was written on a piece of paper placed under my bed, but during the Prophet’s illness when I was busy nursing him, a domestic animal came in and ate the paper on which this subject was written!”(400)
In another narration of Muslim in his book of Sahih, ‘A’ishah says that there was a verse declaring legitimate intimacy with ten definite sucking, and then the number was reduced to five times’ sucking, thus abrogating the previous verse. Then ‘A’ishah adds: When the Prophet died the verse related to five times’ sucking existed in the Qur’an and it was even recited.(401) She meant that the above number of sucking was adequate for creating legitimate intimacy, since such a Quranic verse confirmed it in the Prophet’s time but it has been forgotten now!(402)
The above traditions were examples of the kinds of things fabricated and presented to the Islamic society by this lady on the basis of the Prophet’s life. In future discussions where ‘A’ishah’s traditions will be surveyed and evaluated independently, we shall see that no one has spoken so abundantly about the Prophet’s life as ‘A’ishah has, and in her descriptions of him she has depicted an astonishing picture to the extent of lowering him even below the level of an ordinary human being!
What is even more important is that since the time of ‘A’ishah’s influence in the Islamic society till today, all the Muslims except the followers of the Prophet’s household seek the true character and real life of the Prophet in ‘A’ishah’s narrations. The result is that the real character of the Prophet has remained unknown even for the Muslims, since they have relied only on ‘A’ishah’s narrations in this matter, and have shown the same way to others to pursue, whereas these traditions have misrepresented and wholly reversed the true personality of the Prophet.
The conclusion is therefore that to know the real character of the Prophet we should make a careful study and investigation of ‘A’ishah’s traditions in order to remove all obscurities and alterations in it. Moreover, to have a proper understanding of Islam, too, depends on a real recognition of the Prophet’s true visage.
Therefore in this book, which is translated into three volumes, we have made a survey of ‘A’ishah’s life from the viewpoint of reliable history, and will continue this survey by investigating her traditions, too.
In this course and this survey we apologize to those who are attached to ‘A’ishah, and we hope for their forgiveness. We have stepped on a very hard and painful route in our search for the true character of the Prophet and his faith, and have honestly tried to render a service in presenting the true facts of Islam and real visage of Islamic personalities.
The above point has been our goal and purpose, which took the form of the study of ‘A’ishah’s life in the first part, and will continue to deal with her traditions in the second part. May we succeed in winning God’s satisfaction in following this objective! May God be a witness to what we have narrated!
Sayyid Murtada ‘Askari
The effort made by the Sunnis in
correcting and explaining a tradition
Here in bringing our discussion to an end, it would be fitting to pause for a while and make a survey of the tradition quoted in previous pages, and evaluate the efforts made by Sunni scholars in explaining and interpreting it and comparing it with true facts.
It is narrated in Muslim’s book of Sahih that the Prophet said: “My sanctity is in Medina in the land situated between the mountains of Thawr and ‘Ayr or ‘A’ir.”(403)
The narrators of this quotation have intended to create boundaries of sanctity for Medina, as it has been done for Mecca. But they have erred in choosing Thawr mountain as a boundary since this mountain is situated in Mecca. It is the spot where the Prophet went into hiding in a cave on his emigration from Mecca to Medina,(404) and Medina does not possess a mountain named Thawr, as it is testified by the following great scholars.
1-Mus‘ab az-Zubayri of Medina, who is a great scholar of that city and died in 236 of the Hijrah, says about this tradition: “Thawr mountain is not in Medina.”(405)
2-Famous scholar Abu ‘Ubayd al-Qasim ibn Salam, who died in 224 of the Hijrah, writes: “This is an Iraqi narration. The people of Medina know of no mountain in Medina called Thawr. This mountain is in Mecca. My belief is that the tradition was related to the mountain of Uhud, which was mistaken for Thawr.”(406) What Abu ‘Ubayd means is that the said narration has been quoted by the people of Iraq who had no knowledge of Medina and was not aware that Thawr is not a Medinan mountain.
3-Qadi ‘Ayyad, who died in 544 of the Hijrah, author of Description of Muslim’s book of Sahih.
4-Bakri, a geographer who died in 478 of the Hijrah, in the book of Mu‘jam ma ista‘jam.
5-Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Musa Hazimi, memorizer of the Qur’an and tradition scholar who died in the year 548 of the Hijrah.(407)
6-Great scholar Ibn al-Athir Jaziri, who died in 606 of the Hijrah, in the book of an-Nihayat al-lughah, on the word “Thawr”.(408)
7-Yaqut al-Hamawi, who died in 626 of the Hijrah, a geographer and writer of the geographical encyclopedia of Mu‘jam al-buldan, in the same book on the word “Thawr”.(409)
All the above scholars assert that no such mountain named Thawr exists in Medina. Therefore to correct and compensate this error, Sunni tradition scholars have made the following efforts:
The leader of their tradition scholars, al-Bukhari, who died in 256 of the Hijrah, abstain from mentioning the name of Thawr mountain in his book of Sahih, and says in one place: “Medina is a sanctity from the mountain of ‘Ayr to so-and-so mountain”(410), while in Muslim’s book of Sahih the word Thawr is mentioned in the place of so-and-so.
Beside al-Bukhari other scholars, too, have in one way or other spoken of the incorrectness of this tradition. One of them says: “Maybe the holy Prophet himself has given names to two mountains of Medina.”
Another scholar says: Maybe the Prophet intended to fix the limits of the sanctity of Medina, and he has compared its boundaries to the space which lies between the two mountains of Mecca, since Thawr is in Mecca, not in Medina.
A third scholar writes: The narrator mistakenly uses the name of Thawr mountain, and he should have said “Uhud”, since Uhud is in Medina, not Thawr.
A fourth writer has left a blank space for the name of the mountain in the narration so as to avoid probable difficulties.
Still others make different suggestions as a way of correcting the above tradition.(411)
These successive efforts, some of which we have mentioned, continued until the first half of the 7th century, until ‘Abd as-Salam ibn Muhammad ibn Mazru‘, a Hanbalite tradition scholar of Basra, who died in 669 of the Hijrah, ably corrected the above error with his constructive hand in the second half of the same century, and created a mountain named Throw next to Uhud mountain, and to prevent the negation of his claim by others, he stated that the people of Medina are familiar with this mountain!
Next to him ‘Abd Allah Matri, who died in 765 of the Hijrah, quotes the same point from his late father Muhammad Matri, and adds: “The people of Medina have for many generations been familiar with a mountain called Thawr alongside Uhud mountain. It is a small and red mountain!”
Thus Ibn Mazru‘ was the first person to discover this mountain, and after him ‘Abd Allah Matri used his particular method confirm that discovery! But the great memorizer of the Qur’an and tradition scholar Yahya an-Nawawi, who died in 676 of the Hijrah, has made no reference to this great discovery in his famous description of Muslim’s book of Sahih. But he describes the efforts of great scholars of the past for correcting and explaining the tradition, which subject we have already mentioned. After him scholar Ibn Manzur, a great philologist who died in 711 of the Hijrah, in discussing the word Thawr in his book of “Lisan al-‘Arab”, confirms the non-existence of such a mountain in Medina. Thus these two great experts of tradition and philology have either been ignorant of the above so-called great geographical discovery, or they have mistrusted it, even though they lived at a time after Ibn Mazru‘. But the following scholars have made a reference to it:
1) Muhibb ad-Din at-Tabari, who died in 694, in his book of al-Ahkam.
2) al-Firuzabadi, who died in 817 of the Hijrah, in his book of al-Qamus on the word Thawr.
3) Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani, who died in 852 of the Hijrah, in his description of the said tradition in the book of Fath al-bari.
4) az-Zabidi, who died in 1205 of the Hijrah in his book of Taj al-‘arus on the word Thawr.
But the order of our contemporary scholars has been greater in this field, and they have even registered the mountain of Thawr on the geographical map of Medina! For example Professor ‘Abd al-Quddus, author of “The Monuments of Medina” on page 139 of his book draws the map of the mountain, and Dr. Muhammad Hassanein Heikal produces this map on page 512 of the book of “Manzil al-wahy”, and on page 440 he says that he has used the former book as a reference.(412)
Thus the mountain of Thawr was first discovered in the second half of the 7th century, and then after another seven centuries, namely in the 14th century, it was registered on a geographical map!
1. What are meant here are such books as al-Bukhari, Muslim, History of at-Tabari and Ibn al-Athir.
2. You can see the full text of Abu Rayh in the preface of ” ‘A’ishah in the time of Imam ‘Ali”.
3. The school of Shi‘ism, fourth Year, 1341, page 307 (1962).
4. A history writer who has been quoted by such famous historians as at-Tabari, Ibn al-Athir and Ibn Khaldun.
5. Professor James Robson is chief of the research group of Arabic at Glasgow University and secretary of the Orientalists Society of that university, and professor of the Arabic chair of Manchester University. His books are “A comparison of the Islamic culture with other religions”, “An Introduction to the field of Tradition” “Translation and commentary on Mishkat al-masabih” four volume etc. etc.
6. ‘Amwas was a village in Palestine within six miles of Jerusalem from where plague spread in ‘Umar’s time to all parts of Palestine and destroyed many Muslims. (Mu‘jam al-buldan 4/257 printed Beirut).
7. You can read an account of al-Fakah in the hook of Nasab Quraysh (lineage of the Quraysh) p.300, printed Cairo.
8. al-Ghamisa’ e is a district near Mecca where the tribe of Banu Judhaymah a used to live. This tribe had killed al-Fakah and several other members of the Quraysh in pagan times. In Islamic times when Khalid ibn al-Walid was commissioned after capture of Mecca to invite Arab tribes to Islam, he claimed blood from this tribe. The Prophet was greatly enraged at his action and paid the ransom of the victims out of the public fund.
9. al-Muhbar 437 and Tabaqat of Ibn Sa‘d 8/235.
10. al-‘Iqd al-farid 6/86-87, al-Aghani 9/53.
11. Description of Nahj al-balaghah of Ibn Abi al-Hadid 1/336, Research of Muhammad Abu al-Fadl.
12. Refer to al-Aghani 9/50-53.
13. According to the narration of Sibt ibn al-Jawzi in Tadhkirat al-khawas 116.
14. Refer to al-Aghani 9/55-58 in which the story of ‘Amarah has been fully given.
15. Here ends the narration of Ibn al-Jawzi quoted from al-Asma‘i and Ibn al-Kalbi p. 116.
16. al-Aghani 9/53.
17. Rabi‘ al-abrar vol. 3 Chapter of al-Ghirabat wa al-ansab manuscript copy, Endowment Library of Baghdad No. 388, and Description of Nahj 1/336, The life of Musafir and ‘Amarah can be read in al-Aghani vol. 9 p.49 onward.
18. An Arab poet says in a verse:
“We won victory and pardoned; for,
For giveness was in our character
But when you became victorious
Our blood flowed in the desert like a torrent.”
19. What has been described about Mu’awiyah’s lineage is not confined to him alone. Similar descriptions are given about ‘Amr ibn al-‘As and his mother Nabighah, Ziyad and his mother Sumayyah, Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas, Marwan ibn al-Hakam and many other great men of pagan times by various genealogists. In fact at that time the city of Mecca was from the viewpoint of sexual carelessness like the Paris of the 19th and 20th centuries. It has been God’s wisdom to send the Prophet first for that corrupt society.
20. Tadhkirat al-khawas 203 printed an-Najaf 1064. Compare with Ansab al-ashraf 1/360 printed Egypt 1959.
21. Ansab al-ashraf 1/297 and Sirah of Ibn Hisham 1/709 printed Egypt 1955.
22. Ansab al-ashraf 1/296-297 and Sirah of Ibn Hisham 1/708.
23. al-Muhbar 161 printed India.
24. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 1/315-317 and al-Aghani 6/343-344.
25. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 1/276-279 and 2/26-27.
26. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 2/92-95 and at-Tabari 21370 published by Dar al-ma‘arif, Egypt.
27. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 2/355-364 and Ansab al-ashraf 1/301 and Nasab Quraysh 126.
28. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 2/295.
29. The same source 2/422-423.
30. The same source 2/414-416.
31. al-Waqidi in al-Maghazi 1/27, printed Oxford printing society 1966 and Tabaqat al-kubra 2/37 printed Beirut.
32. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter al-Anfal, Verse 36.
33. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 3/587-588 research of Muhammad Muhyi ad-Din ‘Abd al-Hamid, Egypt, 1963.
34. al-Maghazi 1/225-227, and Sirah of Ibn Hisham 3/588, and Ansab al-ashraf 1/317, and at-Tabari 2/513 published by Dar al-ma‘arif and Ibn al-Athir 2/106 published by Dar al-kitab al-‘Arabi and Tabaqat al-kubra 2/40 printed Beirut.
35. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 3/607 published by ‘Abd al-Hamid and al-Maghazi 1/274 and 286, and Ansab 1/322, and at-Tabari 2/524, and al-Ya‘qubi 2/35.
36. Hulays was the son of ‘Alqamah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-Arqam al-Kinani. al-Ahabish are the members of the two tribes of Banu al-Mustalaq and Banu al-Hawn that at the Habashi mountain made a pact of assistance with the Quraysh and because of the name of that mountain they were called al-Ahabish. Refer to Jamharat ansab al-‘Arab 177 onward, and ‘Uyun al-athar 1/25 for information bout al-Ahabish and their connection with the Quraysh.
37. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 3/608-609, and at-Tabari 2/527 published by Dar al-ma‘arif and Ibn al-Athir 2/111.
38. at-Tabari 2/526, and Ansab al-ashraf 1/327, and al-Maghazi 1/296-297, and Tabaqat al-kubra 2/48.
39. Hassan is the son of Thabit ibn al-Mundhir ibn Haram. His parents were of the Ansar of the al-Khazraj tribe. The Prophet had allotted him a pulpit in the mosque to stand on and defend the Prophet. The Prophet said: “So long as Hassan defends the position of the Prophet, the Holy Spirit supports him.” The Prophet had ordered him to go Abu Bakr and learn the Quraysh’s lineage from him. He usually went to Abu Bakr to receive instructions. Abu Bakr said to him: “Abstain from satirizing such and such a fellow, but make such a statement about so and so.” When the Quraysh heard his satirical composition, they said: “These poems have been composed under the supervision of Abu Bakr.” Hassan lived to be 120, and died in the year 40 of the Hijrah. Refer to al-Isti‘ab 125-129 No. 522, Usd al-ghabah 2/4-7.
40. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 3/608 published by ‘Abd al-Hamid and al-Aghani 14/16-21.
41. When well-known biographers and writers of history and tradition of the Sunnis did not find their own thoughts and interests or those of the public and the influential people of the time in harmony with a tradition or an event, they resorted to one of the following methods: Either they abstained wholly from quoting it, or quoted only the necessary part, or they altered it completely. Among such writers are Ibn Hisham at-Tabari and al-Bukhari. This painful story is a long one in the history of Islam, and we will make some references to it in future.
42. Hassan’s poetical works 87 printed Europe, and at-Tabari 2/525-526 printed Dar al-ma‘arif, and Description of Hassan’s poetical works 229-230 printed Egypt, and al-Aghani 14/16-21 published by Sasi.
43. Hassan’s poetical works 91 printed Europe, and Sharh Diwan Hassan of al-Barquqi 157-158.
44. Hassan’s poetical works 91, and Description of Hassan’s poetical works 158-159, and Description of Nahj al-balaghah 3/387 with slight changes.
45. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 3/581-667 published by Muhammad Muhyi ad-Din ‘Abd al-Hamid, Egypt.
46. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 3/697.
47. al-Ya‘qubi 2/37, and Tabaqat al-kubra 2/66 printed Beirut, and al-Maghazi 2/455.
48. al-Maghazi 2/490, and Sirah Ibn Hisham 3/714-715 published by ‘Abd al-Hamid.
49. Refer to Jamharat ansab al-‘Arab 89-179 printed Egypt concerning the lineage of Banu Kananah.
50. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 4/756.
51. In the succeeding pages we will show that Abu Sufyan only pretended to be a Muslim, whereas in reality he was an infidel at heart.
52. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 4/470, and at-Tabari 3/61, and Ibn al-Athir 2/170, and al-Maghazi 2/835 (with the omission of the last sentence), and al-Ya‘qubi 2/45 printed an-Najaf, and Futuh al-buldan 55 printed Egypt, and al-Bad’ wa at-tarikh 5/3.
53. Refer to an account of Abu Sufyan in Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 6/404, and al-Isabah 2/172 printed Egypt 1358.
54. al-Imta‘ al-asma’ 405 printed Egypt.
55. Mu‘jam al-buldan 2/313 printed Beirut.
56. Jamharat ansab al-‘Arab 252-254 printed Egypt.
57. al-Maghazi 3/900, and al-Ya‘qubi 2/47 and Ansab al-ashraf 1/365.
58. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter al-Ma’idah, Verses 3 and 90, and Chapter at-Tawbah, Verse 60.
59. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter al-Ma’idah, Verses 3 and 90, and Chapter at-Tawbah, Verse 60.
60. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 4/934-935, and at-Tabari 3/93-94, and al-Maghazi 2/955-956.
61. Sahih of Muslim 7/171 printed Egypt 1334 of Hijrah.
62. Salman al-Farisi was a Zoroastrian who had become a Christian before the Prophet’s ordainment. Then he traveled to Medina to meet the Prophet. On the way he came across a group of Arabs who unchivalrously took him prisoner and sold him to a Jew of Medina. Salman spent some time in slavery until he met the Prophet, and on observing signs of prophethood in him, he embraced Islam. The Prophet bought him from the Jew and set him free. Salman is the man who suggested and drew the plan of the ditches of al-Khandaq round Medina before the battle of al-Khandaq. It was then that the Prophet said about him: “Salman is of our house.” He died in the time of ‘Uthman in the year 53 of the Hijrah in Madain, a city which he governed, and was buried in. (al-Isti‘ab on al-Isabah 2/56-61, Usd al-ghabah 2/228-232: al-Isabah 2/62-63.) Bilal was the son of Ribah of Abyssinia, and his mother was Hamamah. He was one of the early Muslims who were tortured by the Quraysh. They forced him to lie on the ground with his back exposed to the sun and placed a large stone on him to be heated by the sun and then said to him: “Show infidelity to Muhammad’s God” but they could hear no word from him but “One, one”. Abu Bakr bought Bilal and set him free. Some time later he was granted the honour of acting as muezzin and treasurer of the Prophet and accompanied the Prophet in all the Islamic wars. After the Prophet’s death, he went to ash-Sham to fight the infidels and died there in the second decade of the Emigration, at the age of over sixty. (al-Isti‘ab 1/141-145, Usd al-ghabah 1/209, al-Isabah 1/165 printed Beirut.) Suhayb ibn Sanan’s father was governor of al-Ubulah on behalf of the king of Iran. The Romans attacked them and seized Suhayb as captive. He grew up amidst them until they sold him to the Kalb tribe who brought him to Mecca and sold him to ‘Abd Allah ibn Jad‘an, who set him free. Suhayb was one of the early Muslims who suffered torture in Mecca. The Prophet nicknamed him Abu Yahya. Suhayb had a slight stammer. He died in Medina in the year 38 or 39 of the Hijrah, and was buried there, at the age of 70 or 73. (al-Isti‘ab 2/174-182, Usd al-ghabah 3/31-33, al-Isabah 3/195-196.)
63. Sahih of Muslim 7/173, and account of Salman, Bilal and Suhayb in Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/15.
64. Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 6/406-407 on Abu Sufyan.
65. at-Tabari 4/137, Ibn al-Athir 2/159, al-Isabah 2/172.
66. at-Tabari 4/137 printed Egypt First, and Ibn al-Athir 2/284, and al-Isabah 2/172, account No. 4046, and Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 5/356 and 6/406.
67. al-Aghani 6/354-355, and al-Isti‘ab 689 account No. 321, and Usd al-ghabah 5/216.
68. al-Aghani 6/355-356, and al-Isti‘ab 690.
69. And an-Niza‘ wa at-takhasum 20.
70. Muruj adh-dhahab on Ibn al-Athir 5/465-166.
71. al-Aghani 6/355, and Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 6/407.
72. In our perusal of the caliphate of ‘Uthman and the Umayyads we see that the evil suggestions and Islam-destroying ideas of Abu Sufyan have been carried out word for word by the Umayyads, and governing was made hereditary for the first time by Mu‘awiyah, and in Uthman’s time the whole realm of Islam was given to the Umayyad house to govern.
73. Description of Nahj al-balaghah 4/51 printed first Egypt.
74. Refer to his account in Usd al-ghabah 5/563.
75. Quoted by az-Zubayr ibn Bakkar in the book of al-Mufakhirat. Refer to the description of Nahj al-balaghah 2/102, and Tadhkirat al-khawas 115 and Jamharat of al-Khatib 2/12.
76. This type of share was given to the shallow-minded who only appeared to be Muslims, but had not really shown a true belief and conviction. This share was intended to soften their hearts to God’s religion.
77. al-Mas‘udi in at-Tanbih wa al-ishraf 282-283 printed Beirut 1965, published by Maktabat Khayyat.
78. Abu Sufyan had requested the Prophet to give him and his son some suitable positions in order to win the affection of the Muslims gradually, and thereby improve their social status. The Prophet who never refused a legitimate means of reform, and also because he had no wish to refuse a request on the basis of Islamic ethical standards the acceptance of which would be proper, agreed, and granted Mu‘awiyah the honour of acting as his scribe occasionally. Abu Sufyan too was sometimes commissioned to collect alms.
79. Ansab al-ashraf 1/532: and Sahih Muslim 8/27 Chapter on the Prophet’s curse: and description of Nahj al-balaghah 1/365, and Musnad at-Tayalasi, Tradition 2746, and Ibn Kathir 8/119.
80. Ansab al-ashraf 1/532.
81. Sahih Muslim 4/195 Chapter on Divorce and Alimony in the book of Talaq (Divorce), and Musnad at-Tayalasi 228, Tradition 1645, and Sunan of Abu Dawud 307-308 Book of Marriage, and Sunan of Ibn Majah, Book of Marriage, Tradition 1869.
82. We shall see how this indigent man gained much wealth from Muslims’ property, and built a green palace.
83. Musnad Ahmad 4/421: and Siffin of Nasr ibn Muzahim 246: In this source the names of Mu’awiyah and ‘Amr ibn al-‘As have been explicitly mentioned, and an-Nasayih al-kafiyah 9, al-La’ali’ al-masnu‘ah chapter of Manaqib sayir as-Sahabah 1/427.
84. al-‘Iqd al-farid 3/345. Mu‘awiyah summoned ‘Ubadah and asked for his aid in the war with Imam ‘Ali. When ‘Ubadah came to Mu‘awiyah’s presence, he sat between him and ‘Amr and quoted this tradition for them.
85. Siffin 245-246.
86. Siffin 248, and at-Tabari 11/357, az-Zubayr ibn Bakkar too, has used the same phrases in Mufakhirat, and description of Nahj al-balaghah 2/103, and Tadhkirat al-khawas of Ibn al-Jawzi 115.
87. For example we may refer to reliable sources for an account of al-Hakam ibn Abi al-‘As ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu‘ayt and other members of this house, to realize their religious weaknesses.
88. at-Tabari 2/449.
89. al-‘Iqd al-farid 3/62, and at-Tabari 2/449.
90. at-Tabari 4/202 printed Egypt, and Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 1/237-238.
91. al-Isti‘ab 1/253 and al-Isabah 3/143, and Ibn Kathir 8/120.
92. Was ‘Umar so lenient to other agents of his? Did he not confiscate all their properties at the conclusion of their rule? Why, then, did he show so much kindness and indulgence to Mu’awiyah? There must have been a secret in all this policy!
93. The region given by ‘Uthman to Mu‘awiyah, today includes Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon.
94. ‘Ubadah accompanied the Prophet in all the wars and was alive until the year 34 of the Hijrah. He died eventually in ar-Ramalah or Jerusalem (Bayt al-muqaddas), and was buried there. al-Isti‘ab 412 and Usd al-ghabah 3/106, and Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 7/206-214, and al-Isabah 2/240: and Siyar al-a‘lam 2/1-5.
95. Sahih of Muslim 5/46, and Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 7/212.
96. Musnad of Ahmad 5/319, and Sunan an-Nisa’i 2/222.
97. Usd al-ghabah 3/106, and Siyar al-a‘lam 2/2.
98. ‘Aqabah is a land near the great Jamarah in Mina where the first pact of the Prophet with the people of Medina was concluded.
99. Religious scholars have said that praise is blamable which is false, otherwise the Qur’an says that Joseph praised his sincere friend for being trustworthy.
100. Siyar al-a‘lam 2/2, and Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir.
101. What he meant by Imam was his own person.
102. Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 7/210-211.
103. Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 8/211-212, and an-Nubala’ 2/3-4, and Musnad of Ahmad 5/325.
104. al-Isabah 2/394, In al-Isti‘ab too and Usd al-ghabah some parts are omitted, and in Tahdhib at-tahdhib 6/192 some references are made to this story.
105. Musnad of Ahmad 5/347.
106. There is also another story which has happened in Antersouss between Mu‘awiyah and ‘Ubadah. There is also a third incident between Mu‘awiyah and ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Harith ibn Umayyah. Refer to Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 7/213 and 348, and al-Isabah 2/282.
107. Tabaqat al-kubra 4/222-223, and Siyar al-a‘lam 2/38, and Usd al-ghabah 1/301. It is stipulated in Sahih of Muslim 7/153-155, and Tabaqat 4/222 onwards, and Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 7/218, and Hilyat al-awliya’ 1/157, and Sifat as-safwah 1/238, and Siyar al-a‘lam 2/38 that he performed his prayer two or three or four years before embracing Islam.
108. Refer to former books on the life of Abu Dharr.
109. All the former sources as well as at-Tirmidhi in the Chapter of Manaqib Abu Dharr and Musnad of Ahmad 2/163,175 and 223 and 5/197, and 6/442. In some of these sources we read the following: “Whoever wishes to see the examples of the morality and asceticism of Jesus son of Mary, should look at Abu Dharr.”
110. Sirah of Ibn Hisham 4/179, and at-Tabari 3/45, also refer to Tabaqat al-kubra and al-Isti‘ab and Usd al-ghabah, and al-Isabah for an account of Abu Dharr.
111. Ansab al-ashraf 5/25.
112. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter at-Tawbah, Verse 34.
113. Ansab al-ashraf of al-Baladhuri 5/53.
114. Tabaqat al-Kubra 4/229.
115. Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/50.
116. Ansab al-ashraf 5/53.
117. al-Ya‘qubi 2/120-122.
118. These were the inhabitants of a land near Khazar. (Mu‘jam al-buldan 3/416 printed Beirut).
119. Muruj adh-dhahab on Ibn al-Athir 5/161-163.
120. at-Tabari 5/66.
121. Ibn al-Athir in al-Kamil fi at-tarikh 3/43.
122. The Narrations of Sayf by Yazid al-Faq‘asi can be seen in at-Tabari, printed in Europe, following pages 1/2849, 2858, 2895, 2922 and 2952. Also in The History of Islam 2/122.
123. His lineage in Ansab of Sam‘ani 466, and al-Lubab al-ansab of Ibn al-Athir 2/199-220, and Jamharat of Ibn Hazm 195-196.
124. The word “Qari” (which now means a reciter of the Qur’an) had a wider meaning in the culture of those days. It meant a person who had memorized the Qur’an and was familiar with its interpretation and acted as a religious guide for the people. Consequently ho ad a great influence on their thoughts and beliefs.
125. as-Sawad was the villages and farms situated in Iraq which were conquered in ‘Umar’s time, and because of its numerous trees and cultivated fields it was called Sawad (meaning “black” with greenness). It stretches from Mosul to Abadan in length and from al-‘Adhib in al-Qadisiyah to Halwan in breadth. But Jabal was the region between Isfahan and Zanjan, Qazvin, Hamadan (Achmethan), Dinawar, Qarmasin and Rayy. (Mu‘jam al-buldan)
126. Ansab al-ashraf 5/40.
127. Former source 5/43.
128. at-Tabari 5/88-90, and Ibn al-Athir 3/57-60, and Description of Nahj 1/58-160.
129. Refer to volume two of the translation of this book.
130. at-Tabari 5/115-116.
131. Dhu Khushub is a land within one night’s journey of Medina. (Mu‘jam al-buldan 2/372).
132. Description of Nahj 57-58.
133. Muruj adh-dhahab 2/332-333 published by Dar al-Andulus, and Usd al-ghabah 2/198 and 3/61.
134. Refer to the second volume of the translation of this book pp. 109-115.
135. Description of Nahj 580-581.
136. Nasr ibn Muzahim in Siffin 58, and Description of Nahj 1/250.
137. al-Bidayah wa an-nihayah 8/129.
138. Siffin 127-128 research by ‘Abd as-Salam Harun.
139. Siffin 209, and Description of Nahj 1/250.
140. Siffin 193.
141. al-Mas‘udi in Muruj adh-dhahab 2/390 published by Dar al-Andulus.
142. History of al-Ya‘qubi 2/165, printed an-Najaf.
143. Nabighah, mother of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As was a notorious prostitute of pagan times. Consequently his opponent’s sarcastically called him Nabighah’s son.
144. The Event of Siffin 2/491.
145. The Event of Siffin 490-492.
146. adh-Dhahabi in Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/282 printed Egypt, Dar al-ma‘arif.
147. What is worthy of notice is that ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar was the son-in-law of Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari. Therefore alt his endeavors were in the interest of his son-in-law.
148. The Event of Siffin 546-549, and al-Akhbar at-tiwal 119-201.
149. Siffin 643 research by ‘Abd as-Salam.
150. Refer to his biography in Usd al-ghabah 5/22-23, and al-Isabah 3/529, No. 8730.
151. A town west of Kufah and near the town of Anbar. (Mu‘jam al-buldan 4/176-177)
152. at-Tabari 6/77, events of the year 39, and Ibn al-Athir 3/150, a greater detail of the event in Description of Nahj 1/212-213, and Ibn Kathir 7/319 and 324.
153. According to the narration of Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ath-Thaqafi in the book of al-Gharat, quoted from Description of Nahj 2/58-90, research by Muhammad Abu al-Fadl.
154. Hit is a district on the bank of the Euphrates and near Baghdad and Anbar. (Mu‘jam al-buldan 5/420-421)
155. at-Tabari 6/78-80, and Ibn al-Athir 2/150-153.
156. Nahj al-balaghah 1/63 description by Muhammad ‘Abduh, and al-Bayan wa at-tabyin 1/70, and al-Kamil of al-Mubarrad 1/13, and ‘Uyun al-akhbar 2/236, and al-‘Iqd al-farid 2/163, and al-Aghani 15/43 published by Sasi.
157. Refer to Usd al-ghabah 3/255, and al-Isabah 2/359 No. 4953. His lineage in Jamharat ansab al-‘Arab 245, Battle of Banu Fazarah in at-Tabari 4/83, and al-Ya‘qubi 2/44, and al-Muhbar 490, and al-Imta‘ al-asma’ 269-270.
158. at-Tabari 6/78, and Ibn al-Athir 3/150.
159. Usd al-ghabah 3/36-37, and Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 7/4-9.
160. at-Tabari 6/78, and Ibn al-Athir 3/150.
161. Description of Nahj 2/111-117, and Nahj al-balaghah description of Muhammad ‘Abduh, Vol. One quotes the Imam’s sermon in this connection.
162. al-Isti‘ab 64-67 and Siffin 527.
163. Description of Nahj 2/301. In this source can be seen two couplets and former lines.
164. al-Aghani 15/45, and Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 3/220-222.
165. at-Tabari 6/78.
166. Book of al-Gharat quoted by Ibn Abi al-Hadid 2/3-14 research by Muhammad Abu al-Fadl and al-Ya‘qubi 2/141.
167. Tahdhib at-tahdhib 1/436.
168. Ibn ‘Asakir 3/222, and Biography of Banu Ka‘b in Nihayat al-arb by al-Qalqashandi 371.
169. Jarf was a place north of Medina and within three miles of it. (Mu‘jam al-buldan, 2/128)
170. Muruj adh-dhahab on Ibn al-Athir 6/93, and Nihayat al-arb 230 an account of Khuza‘ah and Jamharat ansab al-‘Arab 228-231.
171. al-Aghani 15/45 published by Sasi. For an account of ‘Ubayd Allah ibn al-‘Abbas refer to Usd al-ghabah 3/340.
172. Ibn al-Athir 3/153-154, and Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 3/224-225, for the poems refer to al-Aghani 15/45 and Description of Nahj quoted from the book of al-Gharat.
173. al-Aghani 15/45 published by Sasi.
174. al-Isti‘ab 1/65-66, and Usd al-ghabah 1/180.
175. Description of Nahj 2/15 research by Muhammad Abu al-Fadl.
176. al-Ya‘qubi 2/143 printed Beirut.
177. al-Aghani 17/51-72 an account of Yazid ibn al-Mifragh, for his lineage refer to Jamharat ansab al-‘Arab 409.
178. These plunderers preceded Busr, Ibn al-Athir 3/153.
179. It is a large and flourishing town on the trade route of Mosul to ash-Sham, within six days’ journey to Mosul. (Mu‘jam al-buldan 5/288-289).
180. Ibn al-Athir in al-Kamil fi at-tarikh 3/152-153.
181. al-Ya‘qubi 2/143.
182. Description of Nahj 213-14, and al-Ya‘qubi 2/141.
183. al-Ya‘qubi 2/142.
184. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani in Maqatil at-Talibiyin 50-65, a brief accounts.
185. Bihar al-anwar 10/107 quoted from ‘Ilal ash-Sharayi‘ of as-Saduq.
186. al-Ya‘qubi 2/156.
187. at-Tabari 6/69.
188. Bihar al-anwar 10/116 quoted from Ibn Abi al-Hadid.
189. Maqatil at-Talibiyin 70, and Ibn Kathir 8/131, and Ibn Abi al-Hadid 4/16.
190. Maqatil 69, and Ibn Abi al-Hadid 4/16.
191. Refer to Maqatil at-Talibiyin 51-117 printed an-Najaf, and Maqalat al-Islamiyin 2/150-166 printed Egypt.
192. The repeated uprisings, which occurred under the Alawites, were a proof to this fact.
193. Refer to the reasons given by Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba himself the truce with Mu‘awiyah, Bihar al-anwar 44/25-29, compare with al-Akhbar at-tiwal 220-221.
194. al-Ya‘qubi 2/164, and History of Ibn Khayyat 1/180.
195. Of the Ansar tribe only two men were with him.
196. History of al-Ya‘qubi 2/217, and “Wellhausen” “Arab government” 86, Commentary from al-Buldan, at-Tabari, ad-Dinawari and al-Mas‘udi.
197. Ibn Kathir in al-Bidayah 7/131.
198. al-‘Iqd al-farid 3/126, printed Egypt 1331, and Ibn Kathir 8/132 with a slight change of description, al-Bayan wa at-tabyin 2/182.
199. Meaning: “I do not act according to a belief, either. I desire money, and so you can treat me like the others.”
200. at-Tabari 6/135 briefly, and Ibn al-Athir 3/201.
201. Blood, race or color value is of no account at all in a true Islamic society. The only criterion for superiority is the possession of knowledge, chastity and good deeds, and even this superiority is in relation to God’s attitude. But as after the decease of the Prophet, the people continued to be removed from the ways of Islam, gradually such pagan ideas flourished again in seemingly Islamic communities. Ziyad’s thought proceeded in the same direction, and eventually this anti-Islamic attitude dragged him towards a hell of rebellion and sin, and to the abyss of inhuman oppression.
202. Their friendship started on the day when Ziyad, following the wish of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, did not explicitly testify to the adultery of al-Mughayrah, and the caliph exempted al-Mughayrah from the punishment of adultery, and punished the other three witnesses except Ziyad. Refer to the chapter concerned about this subject in ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’ Vol. One.
203. This is an Arabic proverb, meaning: “I will smash you if you do not keep quiet.”
204. Meaning: “With Sumayyah. mother of Ziyad.”
205. This story about Ziyad is given in al-Isti‘ab, Ibn ‘Asakir 5/409, and Usd al-ghabah and al-Isabah on the life of Ziyad, and Muruj adh-dhahab 2/54, and al-Ya‘qubi 2/195, and Ibn Kathir 8/28, and Abu al-Fida’ 194, and Ibn al-Athir 3/l92 events of the year 44 AH, and at-Tabari 3/259 briefly, and al-Aghani 17/51-73 briefly.
206. We have briefly quoted this event in Volume One from Muruj adh-dhahab on Mu‘awiyah, and from Ibn al-Athir on the events of the year 44 of the Hijrah, and from Ansab al-ashraf. For a more detailed account refer to Volume One of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’ written by Murtada ‘Askari.
207. In the account on al-Hakam ibn ‘Amr al-Ghifari in Tabaqat al-kubra 7/28, and al-Isti‘ab 1/117, and at-Tabari 6/141, and Ibn al-Athir 3/202, and Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/340.
208. al-Ya‘qubi 2/218, published by Dar Bayrut.
209. Imagine the worth of millions of drachmas in those days!
210. al-Ya‘qubi 2/234, published by Dar Bayrut.
211. Fadak was a large flourishing settlement, which was transferred to the Prophet by the Jews. Then he transferred its ownership to his daughter Fatimah. But this property was seized from her during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and remained in the possession of the caliphs until the rule of Mu‘awiyah.
212. al-Ya‘qubi 2/305, published by Dar Bayrut.
213. He said this because the Ansar possessed palm groves and used their camels for drawing water from the wells for their groves instead of using them, like other Arab tribes, for riding in war with others. The response of the Ansar to Mu‘awiyah was, therefore, a proper and smashing answer.
214. This remark was meant to be a sarcasm to them and to their belief in the words of the Prophet.
215. al-Ya‘qubi 2/223, published by Dar Bayrut.
216. Ibn al-Athir 3/199, and Muruj adh-dhahab 3/35 published by Sa‘adat.
217. It means “a man of the Rabi‘ah tribe”.
218. at-Tabari 6/155-160 briefly on the events of the year 51 of the Hijrah, and Ibn al-Athir 3/202-209, and al-Aghani 16/10: and Ibn ‘Asakir 2/379.
219. al-Isti‘ab biography 547, and Usd al-ghabah 11385-386. This man was a great companion. He went to the Prophet to embrace Islam in the last years of the Prophet’s life. He took part in the battle of al-Qadisiyah, and was nicknamed Hujr al-Khayr.
220. The story of Hujr and his friends has been told in detail in Volume Two of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’.
221. al-‘Iqd al-farid 3/129 on the life of the caliphs, published by Jamaliyah.
222. Ibn al-Athir 3/214-215 on the events of the year 56 of the Hijrah, and at-Tabari 6/169-170.
223. al-Ya‘qubi 2/161-162, printed Europe.
224. at-Tabari 6/169-170, and Ibn al-Athir 3/214-215, and Ibn Kathir 9/5 quoting ‘Abd Allah’s acceptance, and Hilyat al-awliya’ 1/296. The writer does not mention the time of sending the money.
225. Of course he was too ready to sell his religion than to show resistance against one hundred thousand drachmas. But in this case as he was a candidate for the caliphate, he could hardly meet the wish of Mu’awiyah. The money, which was offered, was in fact the price of his retirement from his candidacy and his probable election.
226. al-Isti‘ab 2/396 biography No. 1697, and Usd al-ghabah 3/289. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr gives an account of ‘Abd ar-Rahman.
227. at-Tabari 6/128, and Ibn al-Athir 3/195, and al- Mughtalun min al-ashraf 47: and Ibn Kathir 8/31, and al-Aghani 14/13 and Ibn Shahnah 11/133 on Ibn al-Athir.
228. al-Imamah wa as-siyasah 1/144-146, and al-Mas‘udi 3/37 briefly and with a slight change, published by Muhammad Muhyi ad-Din ‘Abd al-Hamid.
229. Ibn al-Athir 3/212-213, and at-Tabari 6/164-165.
230. Maqatil at-Talibiyin 43, and Ansab al-ashraf 1/404, and Ibn Abi al-Hadid 4/11 and 17.
231. Refer to ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’ 1/118-126 on the story of the council.
232. Ibn Kathir 8/41: as-Suyuti in the History of the Caliphs 138, and al-Isabah on the life of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba, and Ibn Qutaybah 150, and Ibn Abi al-Hadid 4/13.
233. Ibn Abi al-Hadid 4/8 quoted from al-Mada’ini and as-Sawa‘iq al-muhriqah 81.
234. Muruj adh-dhahab 6/55 on Ibn al-Athir, and Maqatil at-Talibiyin 73, and al-Ya‘qubi 2/225, and Ibn ‘Asakir 4/226, and Asma’ al-mughtalin 44, and al-Isti‘ab on the life of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba and Tadhkirat al-khawas on the same subject, and Ibn al-Athir 2/197, and Ibn Shahnah 11/132 on Ibn al-Athir, and Ibn Kathir 8/43: and Ibn Abi al-Hadid 4/4, al-Ya‘qubi and Ibn al-Athir do not mention the principal agent of poisoning.
235. Refer to al-‘Iqd al-farid 3/129-130, and Ibn al-Athir 3/216.
236. Like Sa‘id ibn ‘Uthman who was sent to Khurasan. Refer to Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 6/155 and at-Tabari 6/171, and Ibn al-Athir 3/218, and Ibn Kathir 8/79-80.
237. From Abu Bakr’s time it had become customary to propagate this view that (God forbid) the Prophet had acted unwisely in not appointing a successor for himself. This is quoted from ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr who was Abu Bakr’s grandson and was known to be very hostile to the Prophet’s household (Vol. Two, Arabic source, pages 285-292) on the same basis as the above custom. For further information on this subject refer to the book of ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’, Volume One, by the author of this book.
238. Ibn al-Athir 3/216-218, and al-‘Iqd al-farid 3/130-131.
239. at-Tabari 6/155-160 the events of the year 51, and Ibn al-Athir 3/202-209, and al-Aghani 16/10, and Ibn ‘Asakir 2/379.
240. Tabaqat al-kubra 8/73.
241. al-Ya‘qubi 2/200, and Maqatil at-Talibiyin 75, and Tadhkirat al-khawas al-ummah 122, and Rawdat al-awa’il 11/133 on Ibn al-Athir.
242. al-Ya‘qubi 2/200 onward.
243. Hilyat al-awliya’ 2/48.
244. Hilyat al-awliya’ 2/47: and Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/131, and Ibn Kathir 7/136-137: and al-Mustadrak 4/13.
245. Ibn Kathir 7/137, and Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/131: It adds at the end of the tradition that he divided this money among the Prophet’s wives.
246. Tabaqat al-kubra 5/18 on the life of Munkadir.
247. Ibn Kathir 81136, and Siyar al-a‘lam 2/131 estimating the amount of debt at twelve thousand drachmas.
248. Musnad of Ahmad 6/77 and 259. This ‘Abd Allah is a cousin of ‘Uthman. You can refer to Volume One of the translation of this book about him.
249. Tabaqat 7/99.
250. Futuh al-buldan 360-361, and al-Ma‘arif and Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 5/411, and Mu‘jam al-buldan 5/323.
251. al-‘Iqd al-farid 4/217.
252. al-Aghani 16/10 and at-Tabari 4/192, and Ibn al-Athir 3/209.
253. It is estimated that the number of people killed in the battle of al-Jamal was more than thirty thousand. (al-Ya‘qubi 2/159 printed an-Najaf). Also refer to Volume Two of the translation of this book pages 251-254 published by Mihr Ustuwar, Qom.
254. This refers to the tragic crime of Hind in the battle of Uhud when she pulled out the liver of martyred Hamzah and bit it. (part one, p. 29)
255. Lubayd is one of the Mukhdarm poets, namely those who have lived in both the pagan and Islamic periods. He was over one hundred of age, and died in the time of ‘Uthman or Mu’awiyah, al-Aghani 14/211 and Usd al-ghabah 4/261. In this book, too, mention is made of his poem quoted by ‘A’ishah.
256. Usd al-ghabah and al-Isti‘ab on the life of Hujr.
257. Refer to al-Isti‘ab on Hujr, and Ibn Kathir.
258. Musnad of Ahmad 4/92.
259. Refer to Volume One of the translation of the present book entitled “The Role of ‘A’ishah in the History of Islam”.
260. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter al-Ahqaf, Verse 17.
261. Sahih of al-Bukhari 3/126 in the commentary on the Quranic Chapter of al-Ahqaf.
262. Ibn al-Athir 3/199 on the events of the year 56. An account of this story is found in the following books: al-Aghani 16/90-91: and al-Mustadrak 4/481 and Ibn Kathir 8/89 and al-Ijabah 141, and Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 4/226 in the translation of ‘Abd ar-Rahman and on the life of al-Hakam ibn Abi al-‘As in al-Isti‘ab, Usd al-ghabah and al-Isabah.
263. al-Isti‘ab 2/373, and Usd al-ghabah 3/306, and al-Isabah 2/400, and Shadharat adh-dhahab on the events of the year 53.
264. al-Isti‘ab 2/373.
265. This elegy had been composed originally by Mutammam in lamentation for his brother Malik ibn Nuwayrah when Khalid ibn al-Walid took him prisoner after prayer in the land of al-Batah and beheaded him, and slept with his wife in the same night. Here Mutammam has compared the intimacy between himself and his brother Malik to the close friendship of two companions of Judhaymah ibn al-Abrash who was a king of Hira, whose attachment had become proverbial. ‘A’ishah recites the poem of Mutammam in mourning for the sudden death of her brother.
266. Malik al-Ashtar ibn al-Harath an-Nakha‘i was the chief of his own people and had had the advantage of living in the Prophet’s time. His eye was damaged in the battle of al-Yarmuk and he was thus nicknamed al-Ashtar (meaning: “With torn-eyelid”). He exhibited much valor and self-sacrifice in the battles of al-Jamal and Siffin. He was appointed governor of Egypt in the year 38 of the Hijrah, but owing to a plot of Mu‘awiyah, he was killed by a peasant on his way, at ‘Uraysh, a city in ash-Sham. (Muruj adh-dhahab 2/139, al-Ya‘qubi 2/170: Description of Nahj 2/29: at-Tabari, events of the year 38 and 39, Mu‘jam al-buldan 1/454).
267. at-Tabari 5/11 on the events of the battles of al-Jamal.
268. Usd al-ghabah 3/284, and Tabaqat of Ibn Sa‘d 5/1.
269. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter al-Ahzab, Verse 33.
270. Tabaqat 8156 printed Europe, and ad-Durr al-manthur in the commentary on this verse. (Chapter al-Ahzab, Verse 33)
271. Tabaqat 8/51’ and Sahih of al-Bukhari 3/11 in the commentary on the Quranic Chapter an-Nur and Hilyat al-awliya’ 2/45 on the life of ‘A’ishah, and Musnad of Ahmad 276 and 349.
272. Balaghat an-nisa’ 8, and Tadhkirat al-khawas at a greater length.
273. Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/134-135, and al-Mustadrak 416.
274. Siyar al-a‘lam 2/136.
275. This subject is described in the first two volumes of this book and this is the translation of it.
276. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter al-Ma’idah, Verse 3, Chapter al-An‘am, Verse 145, and Chapter an-Nahl, Verse 115.
277. Refer to the biography of Sahim in al-Isabah 2/109, and al-Aghani. 19/5-6 published by Sasi, and al-Kuna wa al-alqab 3/17-18.
278. Refer to the translation of Volume One of this book.
279. Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/131. According to this narration the money had been sent by ‘Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr, but we have not observed this quality in ‘Abd Allah.
280. Hilyat al-awliya’ 2/47-49, and Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/120. See the traditions related to ‘A’ishah’s generosity in these two books.
281. According to the common and jurisprudentially laws of Islam, it is not right to make such a vow at all, since making a vow permitted only in the case of good and legitimate matters. Moreover, breaking a vow on the insistence of others is not permissible, and the maker of the vow is religiously obliged to act upon it.
282. at-Tabari 5/204, and al-‘Iqd al-farid 4/328, and al-Ya‘qubi Volume Two.
283. Tadhkirat al-khawas al-ummah 114 Battle of Khawarij, at-Tamhid wa al-bayan 209.
284. al-Aghani 21/9-10 on the life of Hujiyah ibn al-Mudrrab, for his lineage refer to al-Ishtiqaq 371.
285. al-‘Iqd al-farid 3/102 on the history of the battle of al-Jamal, published by Jamaliyah.
286. Refer to the translation of Volume Two this book.
287. Hitler who possessed a great powers of oratory a perfect example of such a personality.
288. Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/229.
289. It is probable that his praise of ‘A’ishah at her door has not been a sincere one, since he may have wished it to be reported to her and make her pleased with him.
290. Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/134.
291. Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir 5/417.
292. Refer to the translation of the second volume of this book.
293. The last one of the famous poets of pagan times who composed “The Seven Suspended Poems”.
294. Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/138.
295. Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/136.
296. Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/128.
297. Futuh al-buldan 472.
298. The word “fur” is mentioned in history, but it is changed into “silk”. But some think it was a mixture of silk and wool.
299. All the traditions quoted so far can be found in Tabaqat al-kubra 8/69-73 in the biography of ‘A’ishah.
300. Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/132.
301. Biography of ‘A’ishah in Tabaqat and Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’.
302. The same books.
303. The same books.
304. Tabaqat al-kubra, biography of ‘A’ishah.
305. Biography of ‘A’ishah in Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ al-Bukhari too has some narrations on this subject in the chapter on pilgrimage garments in his book of Hajj 1/480.
306. al-Bukhari in al-Jami‘ as-sahih in the Chapter on the circumambulation of men and women 1/195.
307. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter al-Ahzab, Verse 5.
308. Musnad of Ahmad 6/270-271 and al-Muwatta’: Book of Sucking 2/115.
309. Sahih of Muslim, chapter on Great Sucking 4/168-170, and Sunan of an-Nisa’i chapter on Major Sucking in the book of Marriage, and Tabaqat al-kubra 8/270-271, and in the biography of Salim 3/87 almost the same subject has been quoted, and Musnad of Ahmad 6/312 from Umm Salamah, and Sunan of Ibn Majah, tradition 1947, and Sunan of Abu Dawud 1/278-279 from ‘A’ishah and Umm Salamah.
310. Tabaqat of Ibn Sa‘d 8/462 in the biography of Umm Kulthum daughter of Abu Bakr and 8/271 in the biography of Sahlah, and al-Muwatta’ Book of Sucking 3/114, and al-Bukhari 3/162, and Sunan of an-Nisa’i 2/83, and Sunan of ad-Darami, chapter on Major Sucking 1/158.
311. Sahih of Muslim 4/170, and Musnad of Ahmad 6/174, and Ibn Majah, tradition 1945.
312. We have quoted this part from an-Nawawi’s Description, which is printed as commentary of Muslim’s Sahih 4/170.
313. One of the reasons of differences of view in the Sunni jurisprudence about sucking is the existence of these different traditions which are quoted from ‘A’ishah on this subject, so that a group consider five times’ sucking adequate for legitimacy intimacy, while another group think that ten sucking are necessary.
314. Sunan of at-Tirmidhi 5/96-97 printed (first) Egypt.
315. Refer to Sahih of Muslim with an-Nawawi’s Description 10/29-30 for these narrations and their explanation.
316. It seems that in making the above remarks ‘A’ishah had forgotten that God Almighty, according to the verse 9 of the al-Hijr which says: “Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We will most surely be its guardian”, has undertaken the preservation of His own Book. Moreover, the Qur’an as the most fundamental evidence and text of God’s religion, cannot be so unimportant as to be allowed to be destroyed by an animal. Had the Prophet communicated this verse with ‘A’ishah alone? Would he in the performance of his universal mission confine himself to such a small effort and propagation? Would the Muslims, in view of their attachment to the Qur’an and their efforts to preserve it, be likely to forget a verse of it? This is not possible especially as in those times many people had the ability to write, and they would make every effort to write it down and keep it for himself. We can definitely declare that after the Prophet’s decease there existed hundreds of handwritten copies of the Qur’an in the possession of his companions, irrespective of thousands of people who knew the Qur’an by heart. In answer to the above claim, we must declare that ‘A’ishah’s narration is wholly untrue, and the narrator’s intention has been to offer a strong evidence to prove her own view and convince the people by that means!
317. With this remark ‘Abd Allah implied that ‘Ali would not be blessed by God!
318. al-‘Iqd al-farid 4/14-15, and Description of Nahj 3/7.
319. Even if the narration is true, it means that Muslim men cannot marry ‘A’ishah!
320. Musnad of Ahmad 6/205.
321. al-‘Iqd al-farid on the termination of the battle of al-Jamal, and ‘Uyun al-akhbar 1/202.
322. al-‘Iqd al-farid 2/455.
323. al-‘Iqd al-farid 1/299 and 2/68 second edition, Egypt.
324. al-Kamil of al-Mubarrad 151, printed Leaden.
325. al-Mustadrak 4/13, and Siyar al-a‘lam an-nubala’ 2/141, and Ibn Kathir 8/303.
326. The reader who has patiently read the whole of this book may ask: How can we account so easily for all the hostility of ‘A’ishah towards the Prophet’s household and Imam ‘Ali? Is it reasonable to consider the death of twenty thousand Muslims due to family differences? Is such an explanation adequate for such acts as her prostration before God thanking Him for ‘Ali’s tragic martyrdom, her avoidance of his sons, her co-operation with the enemies of God and the Prophet and the Qur’an, (meaning with the Umayyads) and her fabrication of traditions in their favour? Never!
327. adh-Dhahabi’s History of Islam 2/149.
328. Related to the sixth year of the Hijrah before al-Hudaybiyah. The number of the participation in this allegiance is said to have been fourteen hundred. (al-Ya‘qubi 2/40-41, and Ibn Hisham 2/315-316, and at-Tabari 2/620-644.)
329. Khalifah ibn Khayyat in his history 1/180, published by al-Adab of an-Najaf 1386.
330. Nasr ibn Muzahim on the Event of Siffin 449.
331. ‘Aqabah is a land in Mina on the way to Mecca between Waqisah and Qa‘. (Mu‘jam al-buldan 4/134)
332. History of Ibn Jarir at-Tabari 5/89 on the events of the year 33, and Ibn al-Athir in al-Kamil 3/59.
333. Muruj adh-dhahab of al-Mas‘udi 3/50, published by as-Sa‘adah 1377.
334. Refer to his biography in al-Isti‘ab 2/417, and Usd al-ghabah 3/318.
335. Ibn al-Athir in Usd al-ghabah 4/387, and Tabaqat 3/248, printed Leaden.
336. The Event of Siffin 227 and at-Tabari 6/4, and Ibn al-Athir 3/125.
337. Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih in al-‘Iqd al-farid 2/284, and Nahj al-balaghah 2/5, and Description of Nahj 1/248 and 3/300.
338. In these declarations the Imam is speaking about matters which are basically acceptable for the enemy, in the sense that on the basis of what the enemy has accepted, his claim for the caliphate is wrong and in doing so he is fighting rightful people. From the time of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar onward this idea was inculcated in the Islamic society that only the first Emigrants could be chosen as caliphs and could be members of the council which chose the caliph. Consequently they had either forgotten that this was a divine matter, or that it was not to their interest.
339. Siffin 263, and at-Tabari 6/9, and Ibn al-Athir 3/128, and al-Isti‘ab 1/340: and Description of Nahj 1/483.
340. Siffin 240, and at-Tabari 6/7, and Ibn al-Athir 3/126.
341. as-Suyuti in ad-Durr al-manthur 6/19, and Ibn Kathir in al-Bidayah wa an-nihayah 8/131.
342. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani in Maqatil at-Talibiyin 22, and Description of Nahj 4/12.
343. al-Aghani 3/25, published by Dar al-fikr in the account of Shu‘bah ibn Ghurayd, and al-Isabah 2/41 No. 3245.
344. ad-Durr al-manthur 6/19, and Ibn Kathir 8/131.
345. What Mu‘awiyah meant was that during the Friday prayer sermons and official gatherings, ‘Uthman should be praised from the pulpit, and Imam ‘Ali should be blamed and spoken ill of.
346. at-Tabari 6/108, events of year 51 of the Hijrah, and Ibn al-Athir 3/202.
347. Description of Nahj 3/15-16.
348. Description of Nahj 3/15 onward, and Fajr al-Islam 213.
349. at-Tabari 5/229-230, and Description of Nahj 2/24, and an-Nujum az-zahirah fi muluk Misr wa al-Qahirah 1/101, and Ibn al-Athir 3/116.
350. Description of Nahj al-balaghah 1/258.
351. This narration and its later addition is found in al-Bukhari’s al-Jami‘ as-sahih 3/34, book of al-Adab.
352. In addendum at the end of this book the learned author discusses this tradition under the title of “The ‘Ayr and Thawr tradition”. It would be fitting if tradition scholars read it carefully.
353. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter al-Baqarah, Verses 204 and 205.
354. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter al-Baqarah, Verse 207.
355. Description of Nahj al-balaghah 1/358-361.
356. at-Tabari 6/132 in the events of the year 50, and Ibn al-Athir 3/189.
357. at-Tabari 6/164 in the events of the year 52, and Ibn al-Athir 3/212. The subjects of both sources have been quoted briefly here.
358. at-Tabari 6/108 in the events of the year 43 Hijrah.
359. at-Tabari 6/149, and Ibn al-Athir 3/204, and al-Aghani 16/7, and Ibn ‘Asakir 6/459.
360. Hadhramaut is in Yemen, a wide land east of Aden, near the Sea. (Mu‘jam al-buldan 2/270)
361. al-Muhbar by Muhammad ibn Habib 479.
362. at-Tabari 6/155-160 in the events of the year 51, and Ibn al-Athir 3/202-209, and al-Aghani 16/10, and Ibn ‘Asakir 2/379.
363. Ibn ‘Asakir 5/421.
364. Muruj adh-dhahab 3/30 in the events during the rule of Mu‘awiyah.
365. al-Ma‘arif by Ibn Qutaybah 127, and al-Isti‘ab 2/517 and al-Isabah 2/526, and History of Ibn Kathir 8/48, and al-Muhbar 490.
366. Such as Busr in Basra and Ibn Shihab in Rayy (at-Tabari 6/96, and Ibn al-Athir 3/165 on the events of the year 41 of the Hijrah, especially Ibn Shihab in the history of Ibn al-Athir 3/179 on the rule of al-Mughayrah in Kufah in the year 41 of the Hijrah).
367. A summary of Mu‘jam al-buldan by Yaqut 5/38, printed Egypt about the word Sijistan.
368. The horseman was Abu Sufyan, and his postillions were his two sons. Mu‘awiyah and Yazid, all the three of whom were cursed by the Prophet.
369. In pagan times ‘Amr ibn al-‘As had composed an ode in reproach of the Prophet. The Prophet raised his arms in prayer and begged God to damn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As for every line of his poem.
370. Tathir al-lisan 55 says all the men mentioned are correct except one and adh-Dhahabi supports him.
371. Ibn Hazm’s al-Muhalla 5/85-86 research by Ahmad Muhammad Shakir: and ash-Shafi‘i’s al-Umm 1/208.
372. al-Bukhari in al-Jami‘ as-sahih 2/111, and Muslim 3/20, and Sunan of Abu Dawud 1/178, and Ibn Majah 1/386, and al-Bayhaqi 3/297: and Musnad of Ahmad 3/10, 20, 52, 54 and 92. The person protesting to Marwan in Musnad of Ahmad is not Abu Sa‘id.
373. Meaning Marwan ibn al-Hakam.
374. In accordance with our method, we have quoted this tradition on the basis of reliable Sunni evidences, which considers the exit of Imam ‘Ali from his house due to a slight estrangement between him and chaste Fatimah az-Zahra’. This view is not, of course, acceptable and correct Shi‘ah narration interprets the incident differently. (A‘lam-al-wara 160, and Safinat al-bihar 1/l21).
375. Muslim in al-Jami‘ as-sahih 7/124, and al-Bukhari with a slight alteration in the book of as-Salat 2/199, and Irshad as-sari 6/112, and Sunan of al-Bayhaqi 2/446.
376. The Qur’an, Chapter Al ‘Imran, Verse 61.
377. Muslim 7/120, and at-Tirmidhi 13/171, and al-Mustadrak 3/108-109: and al-Isabah 2/509, and al-Khasa’is of an-Nisa’i 15.
378. Muruj adh-dhahab 3/24 the time of Mu‘awiyah.
379. As we have already seen, Sa‘d’s death was caused by Mu‘awiyah.
380. al-‘Iqd al-farid 3/127.
381. The story of al-Mughayrah’s adultery during his governorship of Kufah and ‘Umar’s favour to him in this matter, prove the above claim. Refer to ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’ 1/127 to 133, Second edition, Egypt. by the author of this book.
382. Muruj adh-dhahab on Ibn al-Athir 9/49 in the events of they ear 212: and Description of Nahj 1/463 and al-Akhbar al-Muwaffaqiyat by az-Zubayr ibn Bakkar, printed Iraq.
383. It is said that the above remark and some other profane words were uttered by Mu‘awiyah.
384. Muruj adh-dhahab 3/28 on the time of Mu‘awiyah, research by Muhammad Muhyi ad-Din.
385. This tradition and similar ones, which are found in reliable Sunni books of tradition, will be investigated in the second volume of the present book.
386. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter al-Qalam, Verse 4.
387. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter Al ‘Imran, Verse 159.
388. The Holy Qur’an, Chapter an-Najm, Verses 3 and 4.
389. Musnad of Ahmad 6/53-54, and Tahdhib at-tahdhib 2/444.
390. At that time ‘A’ishah had compared ‘Uthman with a Jew named Na‘thal, and said: “Kill that Na’thal! He is an infidel!”
391. Musnad of Ahmad 6/149.
392. ‘A’ishah had narrated a similar tradition for Abu Sahlah saying: One day the Prophet asked us to summon one of his companions. I mentioned Abu Bakr, and he said no. I mentioned his cousin ‘Ali, but he said no. I mentioned ‘Uthman and he agreed. When ‘Uthman arrived the Prophet told me to go away. Then they talked privately each other for some time, and I noticed that ‘Uthman’s face kept on changing color every moment. When ‘Uthman was besieged in his house, we said: “O Commander of the faithful! Why do you not fight them?” He answered: “The exalted Prophet has made a pact with me, and I must keep my promise with all my heart and soul.” (Refer to Tahdhib of Ibn ‘Asakir on the life of ‘Uthman, and Ansab al-ashraf 5/11.)
393. Refer to “‘A’ishah in ‘Ali’s time” Page 55.
394. Shoulder blade and other bones were probably used at that time to write on, but in most cases skin was used. In the Prophet’s biography no mention is made of the use of bones by him to write a letter or a pact on.
395. Refer to “The Role of ‘A’ishah in the History of Islam” Vol. 1, Chapter on ‘A’ishah’s traditions concerning the matter of caliphate. In narrating these two traditions ‘A’ishah intended to nullify the story that ‘Umar wanted to prevent the writing of the Prophet’s will in which the Prophet wished to speak of ‘Ali, and she wished to show there that the will was to be written about her father, and not about ‘Ali. The reason why the Prophet did not write the will, was not ‘Umar’s prevention of it, but because the Prophet thought it unnecessary to write it, since Abu Bakr’s caliphate was so certain that no opposition was expected to it on the side of God and believers so as to require a written will and testimony. Refer to ‘Abd Allah ibn Saba’, chapter on written evidence, volume one.
396. These three narrations are quoted from ‘A’ishah by Muslim in his Sahih, and are discussed in the book of “The Role of ‘A’ishah in the History of Islam” Vol. 1.
397. The Role of ‘A’ishah in the History of Islam Vol. 1, chapter on ‘A’ishah’s instigations against ‘Uthman, 122.
398. This point was discussed in previous pages.
399. The Shi‘ah jurisprudence, which is based on the narrations of the Prophet’s household, considers fifteen times’ sucking valid for legitimate intimacy.
400. Musnad of Ahmad 269, Sunan of Ibn Majah, book of marriage, tradition 1944.
401. Sahih by Muslim, book of sucking, chapter on legitimacy through five times’ suckings 1075, and al-Muwatta’ of Malik book of sucking, Volume Two, 608.
402. It is strange that ‘A’ishah, mother of the faithful, states that the verse related to ten times’ sucking has been eaten by a domestic animal, hut she fails to say why the verse about five times’ sucking has diappeared! Has it been eaten by a domestic animal, took, or has other calamity befallen it?
403. Sahih of Muslim 995, Tradition 467, Research by Muhammad Fu’ad ‘Abd al-Baqi.
404. at-Tabari 20/378, published by Dar al-ma‘arif, and Ibn Hisham 1/485 second edition Mustafa as-Saqqa’ and others, and Ansab al-ashraf 1/260, published by Muhammad Hamid Allah and Ibn al-Athir 2/73, published by Dar al-kitab.
405. Fath al-bari 4/453 on the sanctity of Medina from al-Bukhari’s book of Sahih.
406. Fath al-bari 4/453.
407. Refer to Description of an-Nawawi on Muslim’s Sahih 9/143, Chapter of “Fadl al-Madinah”. Refer to an account of Hazimi in al-A‘lam 7/339.
408. Nihayat al-lughah 1/229, Research by Tahir Ahmad az-Zawi and Mahmud at-Tabahi.
409. Mu‘jam al-buldan 2/86, printed Beirut.
410. Sahih of al-Bukhari book of Hajj, chapter sanctity of Medina.
411. Refer to Fath al-bari for this traditions and Description of an-Nawawi on Muslim, and Wafa’ al-wafa’ 1/92 and Mu‘jam al-buldan and Nihayat al-lughah on the word Thawr.
412. The efforts made in this period for explaining this tradition are based on Description of Muslim’s Sahih by Muhammad Fu’ad ‘Abd al-Baqi, printed Lebanon 995-998.
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