Mu'awiya's Actual Motive Was Power
Since Mu'awiya had decided to take it on himself to avenge Uthman's death, perhaps Abu Sulaiman could inform us what efforts Mu'awiya had taken to protect Uthman while he was alive? Had Mu'awiya had any love for his relative he would have sought to protect him, and protect he could, after all he had command over the army of greater Syria (Syria and Damascus).
With the largest army in the Empire at his disposal, what action did Mu'awiya adopt? In Ahl'ul Sunnah's authority work al-Nasa'ih al-Kaafiyah page 19 we learn that:
"Hadhrath Uthman asked Mu'awiya for assistance, but Mu'awiya did not listen to him. When the situation got worse and there remained little chance that Uthman would survive Mu'awiya sent Yazeed bin Asand ul Kasheeree with an army and told him to reach the point of Zeekush and remain there. The officer followed this order and when Uthman was killed Mu'awiya ordered his army to return.
This was done in order to show the people that he had sent an army but in reality this was just a trick, so that he could exploit Uthman's death as a means of taking power".
The agreement between Mu'awiya and Amr bin Aas is clear proof that the motive was power not avenging Uthman's murder Perhaps the advocates of Mu'awiya will not be convinced, well let us hear the testimony from the mouth of their Imam Mu'awiya. In Iqd al Fareed page 238 Volume 2 Chapter "Dhikr Amr bin Aas" a detailed conversation is cited between Amr bin Aas and Mu'awiya.
"Mu'awiya told Amr bin Aas to give him bayya. Amr replied 'if its with regards to the next world, then Allah (swt) will not be with you, if its in connection with this world then I would like a share". Mu'awiya replied, "in my world there is an equal share". Amr said, "I would like you to put into writing that you will give me Egypt and its surrounding suburbs". Mu'awiya did so adding (in the agreement) that Amr give him bayya.
Amr replied that it should also be written (in the agreement) that it (bayya) will be subject to the conditions being met. Mu'awiya replied "people will not look at this" but Amr said "Do this". At this point Umro attended and Amr said "Mu'awiya I have sold my religion at your hands". Umro said "Verily give him the full agreed amount as he was a Sahaba of the Prophet".
Notice how the killing of Uthman is missing from the entire conversation. The discussion is about power and Mu'awiya's bribing of Amr with land to get him on board. Despite Abu Sulaiman's excuses, the words used by Amr bin Aas "Mu'awiya I have sold my religion at your hands", stand as clear testimony that even he felt that he had abandoned his religion by siding with Mu'awiya, but alas for bin Aas his lust for power was so great that it outweighed his iman. Power was the name of the game not the enforcement "revenge for Uthman" was the war cry via which Mu'awiya sought to enhance his ambitions.
We read in al-Akhbar al-Tiwal page 158 "Dhikr Siffeen" that Amr said to Mu'awiya "Give me Egypt to eat from as long as you are a ruler". Tareekh Abu Fida Volume 2 page 238 "Dhikr Siffeen" likewise states that Amr placed a condition that to join Mu'awiya he would be given the power to govern Egypt. It is indeed interesting to note how the promise of power and authority was the factor that 'moved' Amr bin Aas over to the noble cause of avenging the blood of Uthman.
Power was the name of the game not the enforcement "revenge for Uthman" was the war cry via which Mu'awiya sought to enhance his ambitions. What greater proof of the deviance of Mu'awiya can there be than the admission of his key supporter Amr bin Aas. We read in in Ta'rikh Kamil Volume 2 page 139 "Dhikr Siffeen" that Amr bin Aas said the following to Mu'awiya:
"Avenging Uthman's blood was just an excuse, we are desirous of worldly power, upon hearing this Mu'awiya agreed to hand over Egypt to Amr". Do the defenders of Mu'awiya need to be convinced any further? This is the testimony of one of the key central characters in this episode admitting to Mu'awiya that Uthman's revenge was an excuse, the real motive was just power. If Mu'awiya disagreed with this assertion then why did he not admonish him and set the record straight?
Mu'awiya's testimony further proves his real motive was power not vengeance for the slain Uthman
Advocate of Mu'awiya, Ibn Kathir records two interesting references that further exposes the real reason for Mu'awiya's opposition:
In Al Bidayah page 131 Volume 8:
Un Sayeed bin Sadeed states that in Nakheela, Mu'awiya read Juma and said this, "I haven't fought with you to fast, pray and give Zakaat go on Hajj, you already do this, I fought to become Leader and Commander you don't like this but I have achieved it". Al Bidayah Page 128 Volume 8
"Prior to the battle of Siffeen, 'Ali gave Jareer bin Abdullah a letter that said 'Mu'awiya give me bay'a and obey me, do not create fitnah in the Islamic State'. Mu'awiya replied to Jareer, 'If 'Ali makes me Governor over the provinces of Egypt and Syria I will give him bayya, on the condition that after him no one else is given bay'a save me".
Imam of Ahl'ul Sunnah Khawarzmi in his "Manaqib" page 179 Chapter "Dhikr Siffeen" states that:
"Mu'awiya wrote a letter to 'Ali which he sent via the hand of 'Abdullah bin Ukbah. In the letter he stated 'I asked you about my ruling Syria, and placed an additional condition that neither I give you bay'a nor do I obey you, but you rejected this. I continue to hold the same view about Syria and my not giving you bay'a".
This and the previous reference from al Bidaya proves he had NO INTEREST in the killing Uthman rather his interest was one - gaining power. Mu'awiya simply used Uthman's murder as an 'excuse' not to give baya to Imam 'Ali (as). If he was indeed sincere perhaps Abu Sulaiman can explain why Mu'awiya did not ask for the killers to be handed following arbitration between the two sides at Sifeen? After all as Abu Sulaiman states the Syrians loved him and Mu'awiya was so determined to avenge Uthman's death that he deemed it appropriate to go to war.
This being the case how is it that he totally abandoned this determination when the two sides were negotiating, if Uthman's death was so important that thousands of lives could be lost, why did he all of a sudden abandon this resolve? If he was sincere would this not have been the very first thing that he demanded? This was clearly a farce and Deobandi scholar Sayyid Ahmad Raza Bijnori in his commentary of Sahih al Bukhari "Anwar ul Bari" states on Volume 12 page 73:
"Mu'awiya fought out of a personal desire for power and was motivated by his pro Umayya bias".
Anwar-ul-Bari Sharah Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol. 12 page 73
Moreover Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi in his Fatwa Azizi page 161 Chapter 8 under the chapter "Marwan" in answer to question 5 makes the admission: "The scholars of Ahl'ul hadith having relied on narration's have concluded that Mu'awiya's actions were based on his personal grudge and desire and it was not on account of the enmity that had been borne our between the Quraysh and Banu Umayya following the murder of the possessor of two lights [Uthman], the truth is that he was guilty of a great sin, was a baghi (rebel) and a fasiq (transgressor)".
Fatwa Azizi page 161 Chapter 8
Mu'awiya Thaneeh's condemnation of his grandfather eludes the fact that he fought Imam 'Ali (as) for power When Mu'awiya ibn Yazeed became khalifa he gave the following sermon:
"Verily Khilafath is Allah (swt)'s. My grandfather fought one that was more deserving of the khilafath and that was 'Ali ibne abi Talib and he performed such acts that you are all aware of, and in consequence he is suffering for these acts" A number of leading Sunni Ulama have recorded this sermons (Tareekh Khamees Volume 2 page 301; Hayatul Hayawan Volume page 88; Tareekh Ya'qubi Volume 2 page 241; Sawaiq al Muhriqa page 134; Yanabi al Mawaddah Volume page 325).
This sermon by Mu'awiya's own grandson destroys the notion that he sought Uthman's revenge. He clearly pointed out that his opposition was without any basis rather he just fought for attaining power.
Abu Sulaiman questions the justice of Imam 'Ali (as)
In his defence of Mu'awiya Abu Sulaiman further uses his psychic abilities citing the opinions of Mu'awiyas supporters:
Ansar.org states:"Mu'awiyah's supporters would say: "We cannot give allegiance to anyone except the one who would act with justice and does not oppress usAli is unable to act justly and we do not have to give allegiance to such a person".
On the one hand the Ansar passionately use every method in the Book to stir emotions to the masses, namely Shi'a don't respect the Sahaba, and here Abu Sulaiman's Nasibi mentality shines so clear that he is even supporting the view that Ali was unjust. Does this Nasibi really believe Mu'awiya was more interested in justice than 'Ali (as)? This when we have 'Abu Bakr narrating this hadith:
"Verily Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s) spoke the truth, I heard Rasulullah (s) say on the night of Hijrah as we left Makka 'My hand and Ali's hand are EQUAL in dispensing justice" (Taken from Manaqib by Ibne Maghazli al Shaafi page 98, this hadith can also be found in Kanz al Ammal Volume 11 page 604)
Interestingly whilst also defending the rebellious group, Abu Sulaiman manages to travel back in his imaginary time machine and state on their behalf that they would justify their opposition saying:
Ansar.org states:"Uthman's murderers are in the army of Ali, and these murderers are unjust".
Mu'awiya did not apply Qisas against Amr bin Aas
Now perhaps Abu Sulaiman could inform us how Mu'awiya dealt with the killers of Uthman in his own side, did he implement Qisas, as he demanded? He did not and in fact the clearest evidence that Mu'awiya's approach was nothing but a faade, comes from the very fact that he failed to take any action against the killers of Uthman who were also in his army.
Is it not logical that the first thing he would do would be to get his own house in order and 'avenge' Uthman's murders by slaying the killers hiding in his army? His trusted general at Sifeen was none other than Amr bin al-Aas who openly admitted his role in the killing of Uthman proudly declaring:
"I am Abu Abdullah. When I scratch an ulcer, I cut it. I used to campaign against him vehemently. I even instigated the shepherds at the top of the mountains to revolt against him." (Al-Tabari Volume 4, pages 356-57)
This can also be found in English version.
Al-Tabari Volume 14, pages 171-172
Despite this, not only did Mu'awiya not kill him, he promoted him to his second in command - would he really have acted in this way if he sincerely wanted to avenge Uthman's murder? Demanding the killers from Ali's side and promoting the killers to Commanders on his own?
The comments of modern day Sunni academic Professor Masudul Hasan in his book Hadrat Ali Murtada (R.A.A) page 248 are indeed worthy of note: "Mu'awiya in spite of his cry for vengeance for the blood of Hadrat Othman found no harm in making an alliance with a man who had in fact incited the rebellion against Hadrat Othman.
'Amr bin Al-Aas in spite of his bitter opposition to Hadrat Othman during his lifetime saw nothing wrong in joining the chorus for vengeance for the blood of the man in whose murder he was indirectly if not directly involved"
Hadrat Ali Murtada (R.A.A) by Professor Masudul Hasan. page 248 Mu'awiya's appointment of Yazeed as his successor Abu Sulaiman claims:
Ansar.org states:"Mu'awiyah did not force people to give allegiance to his son Yazeed"
There is no evidence to support Abu Sulaiman's assertion. We learn from history that Mu'awiya used many methods at his disposal to secure his son's position as Khalifa. Methods included bribery and coercion [for those interested they can consult Khilafat wa Mulukiyyat, chapter 4, page 149, Ibn Atheer, vol 3, page249, Bidaya, vol 8, page 79, Tareekh Ibn Kahldoon, vol 3, page, 15-16]
Did Mu'awiya want to make Yazeed just a Crown Prince or Khalifa?
In his effort to protect Mu'awiya we see Abu Sulaiman to yet again use semantics stating:
Ansar.org states:Mu'awiyah was eager for people's agreement to give allegiance to his son Yazeed. He resolved to take allegiance to Yazeed as a crown prince. So he consulted the grandest companions, the masters of the people and the district's governors. They all accepted. Delegations from the districts came with acceptance to give allegiance to Yazeed.
Many Companions gave him the allegiance as well. Al-Hafedh Abdulghani Al-Maqdisay says: "His (Yazeed's) caliphate is rightful, sixty of the companions of the prophet peace be upon him gave him the allegiance. IbnUmar was one of them." [Qayd Al-Shareed min Akhbar Yazeed, by Ibn Khaldoun, p.70]
Could Abu Sulaiman explain the definition of a Crown Prince? If this is indeed the case, is there any evidence in the Qur'an and Sunnah entitling individuals to give baya to a Crown Prince? In fact in Islam Kingship is rejected outright, so even if this was correct Mu'awiya had acted contrary to Islam.
If for arguments sake we accept this argument could Abu Sulaiman kindly tell us what the difference is between him appointing Yazeed as Crown Prince or Khalifa? Did he appoint someone separate as Khalifa? Did he tell the people to give baya to another person? In any case this defence is unsubstantiated and we challenge Abu Sulaiman to cite us a single source where he had referred to Yazeed as his Crown Prince and ordered people to give baya on this position.
Mu'awiya made Yazeed his Khalifa during his lifetime
The sources of history tell us quite the opposite. Abu Sulaiman's claims are refuted by the last will and testament of Mu'awiya in which it is clear that he has made Yazeed his khalifa:
"O my son, I have arranged everything for you, and I have made all the Arabs agree to obey you. No one will now oppose you in your title to the caliphate, but I am very much afraid of Husayn b. Ali, Abd Allah b. 'Umar, Abd ar-Rahman b. Abi Bakr, and Abd Allah b. az- Zubayr. Among them Husayn b. Ali commands great love and respect because of his superior rights and close relationship to the Prophet.
I do not think that the people of Iraq will abandon him until they have risen in rebellion for him against you. As far as possible, try to deal with him gently. But the man who will attack you with full force, like a lion attacks his prey, and who will pounce upon you, like a fox when it finds an opportunity to pounce, is Abd Allah b. az-Zubayr. Whenever you get a chance, cut him into pieces." (Iqd al Fareed Volume 4 page 226)
Here they also try to rid Mu'awiya of the crimes his son Yazeed committed against the Ahlul Bait at Kerbala.
From this text Mu'awiya had told his beloved son "No one will now oppose you in your title to the caliphate" - he is not telling Yazeed that he had made him Crown Prince he is informing him that he had laid the foundation for him to succeed him as khalifa.
To this effect we even have evidence from Sahih al Bukhari:
Narrated Yusuf bin Mahak:
Marwan had been appointed as the governor of Hijaz by Muawiya. He delivered a sermon and mentioned Yazeed bin Muawiya so that the people might take the oath of allegiance to him as the successor of his father (Muawiya). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, hadith 352).
From this source it is clear that the baya was given to Yazeed as khalifa, not Crown Prince, unless Abu Sulaiman is suggesting that Mu'awiya deemed himself to be a Crown Prince!
The evidence is clear that the people gave baya to Yazeed as the Khalifa. This is even evident from a source cited by Abu Sulaiman himself. Although we will examine the tradition at length afterwards suffice it to say Abdullah IbnUmar said:
Ansar.org states:"we have given the oath of allegiance to this person (Yazeed) in accordance with the conditions enjoined by Allah and His Apostle [Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Book of "Afflictions", vol.7, #6694]"
According to IbnUmar baya was given to Yazeed "in accordance with the conditions enjoined by Allah and His Apostle" clearly these conditions are connected with giving baya to a khalifa not a Crown Prince.