Objection of Imam Husain (‘a)

Imam Husain (‘a) objected to Muawiyah for taking Ziyad as his brother because it was absolutely against the command of Muhammad (s). Imam Husain (‘a) sent a memorandum to him containing many crimes that Muawiyah had committed. It was mentioned in that denouncement: “Did you not claim that Ziyad the son of Sumaiyyah born on the bed of Ubaid Thaqif is the son of your father while Muhammad (s) has said: The son belongs to the father and the fornicator is to be stoned. You have willfully abandoned the practice of Muhammad (s) and followed selfish desires without any guidance of Allah.”

This action of Muawiyah caused great anger and unhappiness to the righteous and religious people as we have described in detail in our volume titled, Life of Imam Hasan (‘a).

Muawiyah’s Animosity towards the Prophet

Muawiyah was very inimical towards the Prophet (s) in such a way that during his caliphate, he did not recite Salawat on His Eminence for forty Fridays. Some of his friends asked the reason for this. He said, “Nothing prevents me from his remembrance except that some people begin to feel greatness (proud).”[1]

Once he heard the Muezzin recite: “I witness that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (s).” He could not remain quiet and he said, “May Allah bless his father! O son of Abdullah! You had great courage and you did not like for yourself but that your name should be with the name of the Lord of the worlds.”[2]

Among the indications of Muawiyah’s malice towards Holy Prophet (s) is the matter that Matraf bin Mughairah has narrated:

“I went to Muawiyah along with my father. My father used to visit him often and upon returning speak about Muawiyah and his intelligence, and he used to be astonished at him. Finally when he returned one night he did not even eat his dinner and I found him depressed. I waited for a while thinking that this depression was only because of something related to us. At last, I asked him, ‘Why do you look so aggrieved tonight?’ he replied, ‘Today I am coming from the worst infidel and the vilest person.’ I asked, ‘Who is that?’ My father replied, ‘Today, I told him (Muawiyah) in private: O Master of the faithful! You have reached an age when it would have been better if you had acted justly and nicely and looked at your brothers (i.e. Bani Hashim) with kindness and improved relations with them. By Allah! Today they have nothing, which you may fear and you shall always be praised due to this good deed and rewarded by Allah.’ Muawiyah said, ‘Alas! Alas! How can I hope for the endurance of remembrance? See, a man of the Teem tribe (i.e. Abu Bakr) became a ruler. He acted justly and did what he should have  

[1] An-Nasaaih al-Kafiya Pg. 116
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 10/101

done, till he finally died, and with him his memory also perished; just his name, Abu Bakr remains. Then a man from Adi tribe (i.e. Umar) became the ruler. He struggled for many years till he finally died and his memory also ended, except that just his name is mentioned as Umar. But see how the name of Ibn Abi Kabsha[1] is called out five times a day: “I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” Now after this which deed of mine and name shall endure? By Allah, there is none except Him, except that they shall be buried (destroyed).’”[2]

This matter shows the shaky religious belief of Muawiyah and it is that it was nothing but a thin veil that he had put over himself. It shows that same inclination towards the period of ignorance and being affected by it to the utmost limit.

Apostatic tendencies were present in most of the Umayyad rulers. Walid in one of his drinking bouts denied the Day of Judgment and raising up of the dead:

“Turn the goblet on the right and not to the left.

Give it to drink and at that time when it is incensed with aloe wood. A wine that is first placed in a pitcher.

It is laced with Perfume of bondmaids and camphor of dignity.

I am sure that I shall not be raised to be sent to Hell.

I raise people so that they may mount the ass of religion.

And leave to destruction those who aspire for Paradise.”[3]

Many of the Bani Umayyad governors also bore apostatic beliefs. For example Hajjaj addressed Allah in presence of a crowd and he said, “Is your Prophet higher or your caliph?” He meant to say that Abdul Malik was greater than the Prophet.[4]

In the same way he used object to those who visited the Prophet’s tomb. He used to say, “Woe be those who go around the wooden planks and decayed body. Why don’t they circumambulate the palace of Abdul Malik, chief of the believers? Do they not know that the caliph of all is better than his or her Prophet?”[5]

In this way the machinery of Umayyad regime was involved in insulting the Prophet of Allah (s) and in ridiculing his Prophethood.

Transforming the realities of Islam

Muawiyah encouraged transforming of the illuminated realities of Islam that established for all the communities movements of Jihad and movements for making the future. And he encouraged Muslims not to protest against the oppression of oppressors and calamities of tyrants. It was the slogan of the great companion of Abu Zar Ghiffari who had truly understood Islam and who raised the banner of protest against the Umayyad regime when he demanded Uthman and  

[1] A derogatory title given by the Quraish infidels to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.)
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 5/129-130
[3] Risaalatul Ghufran, Pg 304
[4] Maqrizi, An-Niza Wat-Takhasum, Pg. 43
[5] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 15/242

Muawiyah to act with justice with the oppressed and downtrodden people and distribute the wealth of the nation among the poor and deprived sections of the community.

Muawiyah intended to destroy this religious view and shatter this responsibility. Therefore he instituted groups of tradition forgers who considered social protest an innovation and he ordered them to forge traditions and attribute them to the Prophet, the great freedom-giver of humanity making it compulsory for people to accept without protest all sorts of injustices at the hands of tyrant rulers. Some examples of such forged traditions are as follows:

  1. Bukhari through his chain of narrators has quoted from the Messenger of Allah (s) that he said to his companions, “After me you shall see that they have restricted some things for themselves and you shall see some things that you consider wrong.” They asked, “O the Messenger of Allah (s), what do you command us in this matter?” He replied, “Give to them their rights and ask your rights from the Almighty Allah.”[1]

  2. Bukhari has narrated through his chains of narrators that the Holy Prophet (s) said, “You will see after me, selfishness (on the part of other people) and other matters that you will disapprove of.” They asked, “What do you order us to do, O Allah's Apostle? (under such circumstances)?” He said, “Pay their rights to them (to the rulers) and ask your right from Allah.” [2]

  3. Muslim has narrated through his chain of narrators that Salama b. Yazid al-ju'afi asked the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him): Prophet of Allah, what do you think if we have rulers who rule over us and demand that we discharge our obligations towards them, but they (themselves) do not discharge their own responsibilities towards us? What do you order us to do? The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) avoided giving any answer. Salama asked him again. He (again) avoided giving any answer. Then he asked again-it was the second time or the third time-when Ashath b. Qais (finding that the Holy Prophet was unnecessarily being pressed for answer) pulled him aside and said: Listen to them and obey them, for on them shall be their burden and on you shall be your burden.[3]

  4. Bukhari through his chains has narrated from 'Arfaja who said: I have heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: Different evils will make their appearance in the near future. Anyone who tries to disrupt the affairs of this Ummah while they are united you should strike him with the sword whoever he be.[4]  

[1] Bukhari, Sahih 9/59
[2] Bukhari, Sahih 9/59
[3] Bukhari, Sahih 9/59, Sahih Muslim 3/1474-1475, Tr. No. 1846
[4] Bukhari, Sahih 9/59, Sahih Muslim 3/1479 Tr. No. 1852

Muawiyah’s Behavior with Ahle Bayt (‘a)

Muawiyah tried his utmost to reduce the respect and value of Ahle Bayt (‘a)[1] while they were the heritage (memento) and the perceptive nerve of this community. He employed the most terrible means to distance them from the field of Islamic life. He employed the following means for his purpose:

1. Control over Preachers

Muawiyah put preachers in all areas under his control so that he may distance the people from Ahle Bayt (‘a)[2] and that they may spread misguided statements and reduce their importance and accord strength to the Umayyad regime.

2. Using the centers of Education

Muawiyah transformed the centers of education like the school and instructions classes in order to feed the children and youth enmity and malice towards Ahle Bayt (‘a) so that a generation of opponents may come into being.[3] It was a very important machinery which imprinted the hearts of the youth with malice towards the progeny of the Holy Prophet (s).

3. Fabricating Traditions

Muawiyah established special networks for forging traditions and these were the worst networks devised to destroy Islam. He instructed them to fabricate traditions and attribute them to the Holy Prophet (s) so that the value of Ahle Bayt (‘a) may be decreased. The prominent members of this group of tradition fabricators were as follows:

  1. Abu Huraira Doosi

  2. Samra bin Jundab

  3. Amr bin Aas

  4. Mughairah bin Shoba

These persons fabricated thousands of traditions and attributed them to the Holy Prophet (s) such that on the basis of the policy of the regime they are divided into some groups and they are as follows:

First Group: Fabrication of traditions in praise of companions so that they may be equaled in rank to the Ahle Bayt (‘a). Imam Muhammad Baqir (‘a) has pointed out more than a hundred ‘traditions’ in this group that are of this type:

A – Umar is a ‘Mohaddas’, that is one with whom the angels speak.

B – Tranquility speaks from the tongue of Umar.

C – An angel brings inspiration to Umar

D – Angels are ashamed of Uthman.[4]

And numerous traditions like these have been fabricated in praise of companions.  

[1] Life of Imam Hasan (a.s.) 2/161, Second edition
[2] Life of Imam Hasan (a.s.) 2/161, Second edition
[3] Life of Imam Hasan (a.s.) 2/161, Second edition
[4] Life of Imam Hasan (a.s.) 2/161, Second edition

Ibn Arafa Muhaddith alias Naftuyya says: Most traditions fabricated in praise of companions were fabricated during the Umayyad period in order to get into their good books as they were of the view that they shall be able to humiliate the Bani Hashim…[1]

In the same way traditions were concocted to mimic similar statements of the Messenger of Allah (s) in praise of the Holy Ahle Bayt (‘a). For example the saying that: Abu Bakr and Umar are two chiefs of aged people of Paradise. This blatant fabrication was in confrontation of the Prophet’s statement that is Mutawatir (widely related): Hasan and Husain are two chiefs of the youths of Paradise.[2]

Second Group: Fabrication of traditions that denounce the purified progeny and reduce their value. Muawiyah gave 4000 dirhams to Samra bin Jundab so that he may deliver a sermon before the Syrian people and state a tradition purporting to say that the following verse of Quran is regarding Ali (‘a):

“And among men is he whose speech about the life of this world causes you to wonder, and he calls on Allah to witness as to what is in his heart, yet he is the most violent of adversaries. And when he turns back, he runs along in the land that he may cause mischief in it and destroy the tilth and the stock, and Allah does not love mischief-making.”[3]

Samra bin Jundab related this matter to them and he took away a great prize from the Public Treasury of Muslims…[4]

Among the statements fabricated by those people is a ‘saying’ of the Holy Prophet (s) with regard to the family of Abu Talib that: “The family of Abu Talib is not my well-wisher. My well-wishers are the Almighty Allah and the righteous believers.”[5]

Amash has narrated that when Abu Huraira came with Muawiyah in the year of congregation (year 41 A.H.) to Iraq he went to the Kufa Masjid and when he saw that a large number of people have come to welcome him, he kneeled down on the ground and slapped his cheek saying: “O people of Iraq, do you claim that we attribute falsehood to the Messenger of Allah (s)?[6] And I shall burn myself in fire (of Hell)? While I have heard from the Messenger of Allah (s) that he used to say: “There is a sanctuary for every Prophet and my sanctuary is in Medina from Eir to Thoor. Thus whoever creates a disaster therein shall be cursed by Allah, the angels and all the people. By Allah, I testify that Ali has committed a disaster therein.”

When this statement of Abu Huraira reached Muawiyah he rewarded him and  

[1] An-Nisaih al-Kafiya, Pg. 89
[2] Life of Imam Hasan (a.s.)
[3] Surah Baqarah 2:204-205
[4] An-Nisaih al-Kafiya, Pg. 64
[5] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/64, Vol. 11/42 & Vol. 12/88
[6] Faqihul Islam, Allamah Shaykh Mahmud Aburiya in the book, Abu Hurairah Pg. 236

accorded him great respect and also made him the governor of Medina.[1]

There are other fabricated traditions of the same kind that cast aspersion on the purified progeny. The same purified progeny which was the source of belief and perception in the world of Islam.

Third Group: Fabrication of traditions in praise of Muawiyah for purifying the blemish of confronting Islam by him, his father and his family and for concealing that which has been related by the Prophet in their denouncement. Some of these ‘traditions’ are as follows:

  1. The Holy Prophet (s) said: “Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan is the most forbearing and forgiving person of my community.”[2]

  2. The Holy Prophet (s) said: “My confidant is Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan.”[3]

  3. The Messenger of Allah (s) said: “O Allah! Teach Quran to him (Muawiyah) and protect him from divine chastisement and admit him into Paradise…!”[4]

  4. The Holy Prophet (s) said: “Whenever you see Muawiyah on my pulpit delivering a sermon,[5] you must accept (what he says) as he is my trustee in this nation.”[6]

Other fabricated traditions indicate Muawiyah’s mental confrontation against Islam and it is that he endeavored to eliminate and destroy the religion.

Fabricated Traditions Regarding Imam Husain (‘a)

Among the traditions fabricated against Imam Husain (‘a) is that they narrated that His Eminence went to meet Muawiyah on Friday while Muawiyah was on the pulpit reading a sermon. A person from the audience said to Muawiyah: Allow Husain to address from the pulpit. Muawiyah said: “Woe be to you. Leave me, so that I can express praise and glory.” After that he praised and glorified the Almighty and he glanced at Husain and asked, “O Aba Abdillah! I ask you, am I not a son of Meccan valley?

“Yes, by the One who sent my grandfather as the herald of glad tidings.”

“O Aba Abdillah, I ask you, am I not the maternal uncle of the believers?”

“Yes, by the One who sent my grandfather with prophethood.”

“I ask you, O Aba Abdillah, am I not the scribe of revelation?”

“Yes, by the One who sent my grandfather as a warner.”  

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/68
[2] Tatheer al-Jinaan (printed at the end of As-Sawaiq al-Mohreqa, Pg, 12)
[3] Tatheer al-Jinaan, Pg. 13
[4] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/120-121
[5] This ‘tradition’ was fabricated to counter the authentic tradition of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) in which he said: Whenever you see Muawiyah reading a sermon from my pulpit, cut off his head. Biharul Anwar 33/196, Tr. No. 481
[6] Tarikh Baghdad 1/259, but on Vol. 2, Pg. 181 it has come: “kill him”

After that Muawiyah came down from the pulpit and Husain ascended the pulpit and praised and glorified the Almighty Allah in such a way as none from the previous and latter ones had ever done. Then he said: “My father from my grandfather and my grandfather from Jibraeel and Jibraeel from the Almighty Allah has narrated that below the leg of the Throne of the Arsh (Heavens) is a green leaf of lilac and it is inscribed on it: There is no god except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (s). O Shias (partisans) of Amirul Momineen (‘a) none of you shall come on Day of Judgment but that the Almighty Allah shall admit him or her to Paradise.

Muawiyah asked him, “O Aba Abdillah, I ask you, who are the Shias of Amirul Momineen (‘a)?” His Eminence replied, “One who does not talk ill of the two Shaykhs, Abu Bakr and Umar and who do not speak ill of Uthman and who do not speak ill of you, O Muawiyah.”

Hafiz Ibn Asakir has remarked in connection with this ‘tradition’: “This tradition is alien and I don’t see its chain of narrators reach upto Husain.”[1]

Muslim people became involved in great turmoil due to these concocted traditions. ‘Traditions’ that became to be recorded in books of tradition and many Muslims thought that they are authentic. Therefore they began to regard Muawiyah as a respectable personality and they included him in the first group of companions of the Prophet who were very much steadfast in their religion. While if they had really learnt of the reality of these ‘traditions’ they would have become disgusted with him as Madayani has said.[2]

The fabricated traditions were not restricted to praise of Muawiyah and devaluation of Ahle Bayt (‘a). They were also fabricated on the subject of religious legislations and in this sphere they mixed in them controversial and absurd matters and showed the reality of Islam in unfavorable light and destroyed the beliefs of Muslims.

Imprecation of Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a)

Muawiyah was in the forefront in enmity to His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) and he openly announced curse and imprecation on His Eminence, in private and public gatherings and ordered all his officials and governors to speak ill of His Eminence among the people. Invoking curse on Imam (‘a) became widespread in all areas of Islamic lands. Muawiyah himself delivered a sermon to the people of Syria and told them:

“O people, the Messenger of Allah (s) told me, ‘After me you shall become the caliph. So select the holy land (of Syria) as there are righteous people over there’, and I selected you. So curse Abu Turab.”[3]  

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh, 14/113-114
[2] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 11/46
[3] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/172

The people of Syria imprecated the Imam in response. Muawiyah also spoke to these beasts and said, “What do you think of a man that is Ali – who did not do good to his brother, Aqil? O people of Syria, Abu Lahab the uncle of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (‘a) is denounced by the Quran.”[1]

Historians say: Whenever Muawiyah read the sermon he used to conclude it on the statement: O Allah, Abu Turab has apostisied from Your religion and has gone off from Your path. Thus You curse him severely and involve him in a painful chastisement.”

They used to utter such nonsense from the pulpits.[2] And when Muawiyah appointed Mughairah bin Shoba to the governorship of Kufa, the most important instruction he gave him was that he should not allow any shortcoming in speaking ill of the Imam (‘a), invoking blessings on Uthman, finding defects in Ali’s supporters and in distancing them. Mughairah remained the governor of Kufa for seven years and during this period he did not give up the criticism of Ali and speaking ill of His Eminence.[3]

By this Muawiyah wanted to distance the people from their regard towards His Eminence. And that a distance be created between the principles of His Eminence and the people; principles that even pursued Muawiyah in his palaces.

Dr. Mahmud Sabhi says: “The Imam had become a lifeless body that neither he prevented their power nor he personally threatened them. This matter (of speaking ill about Imam) was not a thing except that the principles of His Eminence in rulership and his political view after his passing away also like during his lifetime made life dark and difficult for them.”[4]

Imam (‘a) was the standard bearer of human justice and the greatest example of this religion.

Jahiz says: “Whenever prominence and superiority in Islam is mentioned, whenever we speak of fighting for and defending Islam, whenever we talk of religious knowledge and whenever people argued among themselves about piety, no one was ever able to recognize anyone with all these qualities except Ali.”[5]

Hasan Basri says, “By Allah, yesterday a man passed away from among you who was the thrower of an arrow from the arrows of Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime. (He conveyed divine messages). Thus after the Prophet (s) he was the captain of this nation and one having its superiority and excellence and the closest relative of Muhammad such that neither was he disgusted of the command of Allah nor embezzled the wealth of God. He presented his endeavors to the Quran and the Quran in return admitted him to the fruit laden orchards and blooming gardens.  

[1] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/172
[2] An-Nasaaih al-Kafiya Pg. 87
[3] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/253
[4] Nadhariyatul Imam Ladai ash-Shiaul Ithna Ashariya, Pg. 282
[5] Al-Islam wal Hizaaratul Arabiyyah 2/145

Yes! He is Ali Ibn Abi Talib (‘a).”[1]

The curses that Muawiyah and his governors laid on His Eminence made apparent the excellences of His Eminence because the Imam became an illuminated page of history for the people and became known in the society. His Eminence’s first voice raised the rights of people and established social justice on the earth. They survived centuries and eons and those regimes that were opposed to Imam, be they Bani Umayyah or Bani Abbas were all destroyed and no sign or influence of them remains today. Imam alone was that person who remained on the heights of the fort of greatness and nobility. Because he was the first standard bearer of humanity and its lofty and greatest leader. The brief rule of His Eminence became an example of ideal government for the eastern ruler and the official foundations that continued to serve as the torch of guidance for those who want to form a government based on justice and truth and to build the future of nations while Muawiyah’s regime remained as an example of breach of trust, mercenary groupism and oppression on people and considering them lowly.

Concealing the Merits of Ahle Bayt (‘a)

Muawiyah with all his powers tried to conceal the merits of Ahle Bayt (‘a) and he made their greatness distant from the view of Muslims and he prohibited the spreading of sayings of the Prophet in their praise.

Historians say: After the treaty, Muawiyah went for Hajj to the House of Allah and he passed by a group of people. They stood up to pay respect to him but Ibn Abbas did not stand up in his honor.

Muawiyah looked at him and asked, “O Ibn Abbas, what has stopped you from rising up like your companions have stood up? Is it the effect of some anger about the battle of Siffeen? O Ibn Abbas, my cousin, Uthman was killed unjustly.”

Ibn Abbas replied him logically, “Umar bin Khattab was also killed unjustly and he entrusted the affair to his son. His son is here,” so saying he pointed towards Abdullah Ibn Umar.

Muawiyah replied to him without any logic,

“A polytheist had killed Umar…”

Ibn Abbas said, “Who killed Uthman?”

Muawiyah said, “Muslims killed him”.

Ibn Abbas took control over the reins of Muawiyah’s reasoning and said, “This matter further refutes your argument. If Muslims killed and abandoned him, it is nothing but right.”

Muawiyah could not afford a reply and he took up the matter that in his view was more important than Uthman’s blood and said: “I have written to all provinces and prohibited the mention of good qualities of Ali and his Ahle Bayt (‘a), so restrain  

[1] Ibne Maghazali, Manaqib, Hadith no. 69

your tongue, O Ibn Abbas.”

Ibn Abbas shot an arrow of reply full of logic and eloquent proof to Muawiyah, “Do you prohibit us to recite the Quran?”


“Do you prohibit us its interpretation?”


“Then, shall we read it and do not accept what Allah means to say in it?”


“Now what is more incumbent on us? Reading or acting upon it?”

“To act upon it.”

“How can we act upon it if we don’t know what Allah has meant to say in it?”

“Ask about it from one who interprets it in such a way that it is different from what you and Ahle Bayt (‘a) interpret it.”

“Indeed, the Quran is revealed on our Ahle Bayt (‘a). Now shall we ask about it from the progeny of Abi Sufyan and progeny of Abi Muit?”

“Read the Quran but do not talk about what Allah has revealed about you and the Messenger of Allah (s) has said regarding you and do narrate other things.”

Ibn Abbas eyed him with ridicule and recited the statement of the Almighty Allah:

“They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse.”[1]

Muawiyah cried at him, “Leave me! And restrain your tongue from me. If you want to do it, do it secretly and do not say anything to anyone openly…”[2]

This conversation proves the depth of the mediums employed by Muawiyah to oppose Ahle Bayt (‘a) and to conceal their merits.

Muawiyah’s malice with regard to the Imam reached such a level that at the time of victory of Amr Aas over Muhammad bin Abi Bakr in Egypt and his killing when Amr Aas obtained Muhammad’s letters and mementoes the most important of them beings letters sent to him from Imam Ali (‘a) which were best political documents, he (Amr Aas) sent them to Muawiyah and when he saw them he told those who were around him, “We do not say that these are from the letters of Ali bin Abi Talib, but we say that these are from the letters of Abu Bakr that were with him.”[3]  

[1] Surah Taubah 9:32
[2] Life of Imam Hasan (a.s.) 2/349-351, Kitab Sulaym bin Qais, Pg. 164-165
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/72

Preventing the Remembrance of Imam (‘a)

The Umayyad regime committed such excess in their enmity to Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) that they proclaimed that every newborn child who is named ‘Ali’ must be eliminated. This news reached Ali bin Rubah who was terrified and he said, “If anyone calls me Ali I shall not leave him, because my name is ‘Ulay’ (with vowel ‘O’ on ‘Ain’).”[1]

Historians say: Scholars and traditionists restrained from mentioning the Imam and narrating traditions from him due to the fear of Bani Umayyah. Whenever they intended to relate something from him they used to say, “Zainab’s father has reported…”

Narrated Moammar from Zuhri from Akrama from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (s) said, “Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, prevented rain over the Bani Israel due their ill behavior with regard to their prophets and their discord in their religion and Allah subjected this community to yearly famine and prevented rain from them due to their enmity to Ali Ibn Abi Talib (‘a).”[2]

Moammar said, “Zuhri narrated to me a tradition during one of his illnesses that I had not heard before or after that; he narrated from Akrama and when he recovered from his illness he regretted relating to me that tradition. He said. “O Yamani, hide this tradition and do not narrate it in my name because they (Bani Umayyah) do not forgive anyone who praises Ali or mentions him.”

Moammar asked, “Then why did you, along with them speak ill of Ali while you had heard what you heard?”

Zuhri said, “It is enough, they made us participate in their important affairs and we followed them in their selfish motives…”[3]

Muslims became involved in terrible circumstances due their devotion to the Imam and in this regard they resorted to utmost precaution in this matter.

Shabi says: “What can we do about Ali? If we befriend him we lose our world and if we hate him we lose our religion.”

The poet says, “Devotion to Ali (‘a) is a terrible blow that its memory makes us shudder.”

These were some of the calamities that Muslims bore due to their love for Ahle Bayt (‘a) which is a part of their religion.

Behavior with Shias

During the time of Muawiyah, Shias in all areas were made targets of oppression and they were subjected to terrible tortures because Muawiyah dealt with them in the most atrocious manner and took severe revenge from them with cruelty and  

[1] Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 7/319
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 11/14
[3] Ibne Maghazali, Manaqib, 141-142, Hadith no. 186

rode the mount of his regime on the bodies of their sacrifices. Thus Imam Muhammad Baqir (‘a) has mentioned examples of atrocities of Umayyads on Shias of Ahle Bayt (‘a) in all provinces and he says, “Our Shias were being killed in all towns and their limbs were being cut off merely on suspicion. Anyone who remembered our devotion and leadership was cast into prison or his property was destroyed or his house was ruined.”[1]

Also a Shia man with regard to difficulties and calamities that Shias bore has remarked in the following way to Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah, “We were so much involved in calamities because of our devotion to you that people were killed in it, testimonies were made redundant and we became helpless in cities and bore tortures till I decided to go away from my motherland and continue to worship till the day of meeting with Allah. However, this would have become a cause for me to have remained ignorant of the position of Progeny of Muhammad and I also decided to rise up in with the Khawarij as their and my view about the rulers is same. They rose up and they were killed.”[2]

Muawiyah did not refrain from any kind of atrocity in order to obtain the security of his regime and power. Shias were the most potent danger for his regime. Therefore he employed the most severe methods to eliminate them. Some of the steps that Muawiyah took in this regard are as follows:

Mass Killings

Muawiyah went to extremes in shedding the blood of Shias and ordered the chief military executioners to pursue the Shias and execute them wherever they might be. Thus Busr bin Artat after this proclamation killed 30000 persons. These were in addition to those who were burnt to death.[3]

Samrah bin Jundab put to sword 8000 people from the citizens of Basra.[4]

Ziyad bin Abih was the most atrocious of the killers in this matter. He used to cut off their limbs and gouge out their eyes and employed such various kinds of tortures on Shia people that it is not even possible to describe them all due to their severity and cruelty.

Eliminating Great Shia Thinkers

Muawiyah indulged in the elimination of prominent Shia personalities and their thinkers in such a way that he took a group of them to the killing fields and filled their houses with sorrow and grief. Some of such personalities were as follows:

1. Hujr bin Adi

Hujr bin Adi raised the banner of protest and in defense of rights of oppressed people he took up arms and he defeated the aim of the Umayyad rulers who had  

[1] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 11/43
[2] Ibne Sa’ad, Tabaqat 5/95
[3] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/10-17
[4] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/237

taken the destinies of the people as their playthings and changed them into their personal fiefdoms and destroyed everything…

Hujr considered death as nothing serious and ridiculed life and relished the taste of martyrdom for faith and became a defender of the religion of Ahle Bayt (‘a).

Hujr bore terrible difficulties and calamities when he saw that the administration of the regime was openly abusing Amirul Momineen (‘a) and forcing the people to become aloof from His Eminence. Thus he spoke up against it and denounced the rulers of Kufa.

Ziyad bin Abih declared that it was lawful to kill Hujr. He got him arrested and with a group of his supporters dispatched him as a prisoner to Muawiyah. They were stopped at ‘Maraj-e-Azra’ till the order of their execution was issued from Damascus. Executioners appointed for this job carried out their duty and his body fell to the ground smeared in the blood of martyrdom and greatness so that it may illuminate the path of life for the people without injustice and rebellion.

Protest of Imam Husain (‘a)

When Imam Husain (‘a) received the news of Hujr's martyrdom he was devastated with sorrow. He wrote a letter of protest to Muawiyah pointing out his ill deeds and he also reminded him of the most terrible and atrocious action of his with respect to Hujr and his companions. Imam Husain (‘a) also flayed the crimes and innovations that Muawiyah had committed:

“Are you not the one who killed Hujr, brother (a member of the tribe) of Kinda, (and his companions) those who prayed, the worshippers who condemned oppression, regarded as great sins the heresies, and did not fear the censure of any censurer? Unjustly killed them out of aggression after your giving them a strong oath and sure covenants that you would not punish them according to an incident (that had happened) between you and them nor according to malice you had harbored against them.”[1]

This letter of protest contains the following points:

  1. A severe objection against Muawiyah’s killing of Hujr and his companions without any crime committed by them or their having spread mischief in the land.

  2. It praised the brave qualities of those martyrs, the brave ones of them as all had objected to injustice and considered seriously rising up against oppression, innovations and evils that Muawiyah’s regime had initiated. They were of those who hastened to the field of Jihad for establishment of truth and to confront falsehood.

  3. That memorandum stated that Muawiyah had previously made agreement with Hujr and his companions that he would ensure them security and that he would not go back on his word and he would cause them no harm. But Muawiyah disregarded the promise and did not fulfill it in the same way as he violated the terms of his  

[1] Life of Imam Hasan (a.s.) 2/372-373. Kishi, Rijal 47, Tr. No. 97

treaty with Imam Hasan (‘a). Rather he violated each and every term as he has announced in his address at Nakhila.

Hujr’s murder was a great disaster in Islam and objections continued to be raised against Muawiyah due to this from all parts of Islamic lands and we have described them in detail in our book on Imam Hasan (‘a).

2. Rushaid bin Hijri

In the days of great calamities that Shias bore under the son of Sumaiyyah (Ziyad) Rushaid Bin Hijri was involved in the most terrible adversities because Ziyad sent his officials to him and when he came to him he cried to him. “Did your friend (His Eminence, Ali) tell you what we shall do with you?”

Rushaid replied with truthfulness and faith to him, “You would cut off my hands and my feet and that you would crucify me.”

That dirty man ridiculed this and said, “By Allah, I will prove his prophecy wrong. Set him free.”

His men released him but that rebellions Ziyad regretted it, and he told them to arrest him again. Then he shouted to him, “We can find for you nothing better than what your friend said. You will bring about evil to us if you remain alive. Cut off his hands and feet.”

The executioners at once amputed the limbs of Rushaid but he did not care for the pain that afflicted him.

Historians say: He spoke about the evils of Bani Umayyah and caused awakening in the people for revolution which angered Ziyad greatly and he ordered that Rushaid’s tongue be cut off.[1] The tongue which was demanding truth and justice and which was protesting in favor of the rights of the poor and deprived.

3. Amr bin Hamaq al-Khuzai

Among the martyrs in the path of religion was Amr bin Hamaq al-Khuzai. The Prophet prayed for him: “O Allah! Make him enjoy his youth.” The Almighty Allah answered the plea of His Messenger and even when Amr reached the age of eighty not a single hair of his beard was seen to have grayed.[2]

Amr learnt the mannerisms of Ahle Bayt (‘a) and benefited from their sciences and became a prominent Shia personality.

As a result of the great mischief that had started due to the rulership of that tyrant Ziyad and their pursuit of Amr, Amr became sure that the regime was after his life. So he, along with a friend, Rufa bin Shaddad fled from Kufa and took shelter in a cave and after that he went to Mosul.

The police became tense and they set out in search of Amr. But Rufa was able to escape and they could not lay their hands on him. They took Amr as prisoner to  

[1] Safinatul Bihar 1/522, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/294
[2] Al-Isabah 3/53

Abdur Rahman Thaqafi the governor of Mosul. He reported the arrest to Muawiyah. Muawiyah ordered that he be executed with nine stabs of dagger because he had stabbed Uthman Ibn Affan.

Executioners began to stab him but he passed away in the very first stab. At that time they severed his head and sent it to the tyrant at Damascus. He ordered that it be taken around in Syria.

Historians say: It was the first severed head in Islam that was taken around in different areas. After that Muawiyah ordered that it be taken to his wife Amina, daughter of al-Shareed who was in one of Muawiyah’s prisons. The head was brought and put into her lap while she was inattentive and had no information about her husband’s affair. She was shocked and on the verge of death. After that she was taken from the prison to Muawiyah. A dialogue ensued between her and Muawiyah which proves Muawiyah’s baseness and his disregard for Arabian Islamic values. That is good behavior to ladies and not punishing them for the actions of their husband.

Imam Husain's Memo

Imam Husain (‘a) was greatly affected when he learnt of Amr’s murder and he wrote a memo to Muawiyah enumerating his evil deeds and his atrocities that the community of that time was bearing. This memo was especially about Amr:

“Are you not the one who killed Amr bin Hamaq, companion of the Messenger of Allah (s), may Allah bless him and his family, the righteous servant (of Allah)? Worship exhausted him, and so his body became weak and his face yellow. That was after you had given him security and given to him some of Allah’s promises and covenants, to the extent that if you gave them to a bird, it would come to you from a peak of a mountain. Then you killed him showing audacity to your Lord and making light of that covenant.”[1]

Muawiyah violated his covenant that he had made at the time of treaty that he would not harm this respected companion of the Prophet.

4. Awfa bin Haseen

Awfa bin Haseen was of the righteous Shias in Kufa and one of the famous and prominent personalities there. He was a severe critic of Muawiyah who made the people aware of his evil deeds and atrocities. And when the son of Sumaiyyah (Ziyad) learnt of this he ordered his policemen to arrest him. As soon as Awfa came to know about it he went into hiding. One day when Ziyad was watching a parade, Awfa passed before him. Ziyad was not sure about his identity so he inquired about it and Awfa’s name was mentioned to him. He issued orders for his arrest.

When Awfa was brought to him, he asked him his view regarding his policies. Awfa criticized and objected against Ziyad. Ziyad issued orders that he be executed and the executioners attacked him with their swords and he fell down lifeless.[2]  

[1] Life of Imam Hasan (a.s.) 2/382, Ikhtiyar Ma’rifatur Rijal, Pg. 47, Tr. No. 97
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/462, Tabari, Tarikh, 5/235-236

5. Hadhrami and his companions

Abdullah Hadhrami was a companion of Ali (‘a) and one of his sincere partisans. He was also a military officer about whom the Imam said during the battle of Jamal, “O Abdullah glad tidings to you as you and your father are from the police of al-Khamees because the Messenger of Allah (s) informed me about your name and that of your father’s that you two shall be from al-Khamees police.”[1]

When Imam Ali (‘a) was martyred, Abdullah was devastated at the tragedy. He left Kufa and built a monastery cell for himself so that he may worship therein. He was joined by a group of his Shia friends there in worship.

Ziyad ordered that he should be brought to him. When he was brought, Ziyad issued an order for his execution and he was executed unjustly.[2]

The tragedy of Abdullah was like the tragedy of Hujr bin Adi because both of them were innocent and they were killed unjustly for no fault of theirs except that they were devoted to the Progeny of the Messenger of Allah (s).

Objection of Imam Husain (‘a)

Imam Husain (‘a) was devastated at the news of the killing of Hadhrami and his righteous companions. He protested against it by sending a memorandum to Muawiyah. His letter included the following: “Did you not have Hadhrami killed when Ziyad wrote to you complaining that he was a Shia of Ali and you wrote to him: Kill anyone who is on the religion of Ali? And Ziyad killed him and as per your order had him cut into pieces while the religion of Ali is same as the religion of his cousin (s) which has enabled you to occupy the position that you are now in, and if he hadn’t been there, the greatness of your father and you would have had to bear difficulties of two journeys, journey of winter and journey of summer.”[3]

This letter of protest clearly explains that it was Muawiyah who issued orders to kill anyone who followed the religion of Ali (‘a) inspite of the fact that it was the same religion of the Holy Prophet (s). It also shows that Ziyad, after having them killed had them cut into pieces in order to take his revenge from them for their devotion towards the Progeny of the Messenger of Allah (s).

6. Juwayriyya Abadi

Among the famous companions of Imam Ali (‘a) was Juwayriyya bin Mushar Abadi. During the terrible circumstances through which the Shias lived during the reign of Ziyad in Kufa he was pursued and then orders were issued to have his limbs amputed and then to have him crucified on a short trunk of palm tree.[4]

[1] Ikhtiyar Ma’rifatur Rijal, 6/Tr. No. 10. Al-Ikhtisas, Pg. 7. Biharul Anwar 42/151, Tr. No. 18
[2] Ilalush Shara-I, Pg. 212 & 216, Biharul Anwar 44/3 & 9
[3] Biharul Anwar 44/213
[4] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/290-291

7. Saifi bin Faseel

Saifi bin Faseel was a person of a solid Islamic faith who showed an unmatchable example of firm faith because he spoke up against the tyrant Ziyad in his very presence. When he was brought Ziyad shouted at him, “O enemy of God, What do you say about Abu Turab?”

“I don’t know who Abu Turab is.”[1]

“You very well know him, do you not know?”

“Yes, I know him.”

“He is only Abu Turab.”

“Never, he is Abul (father of) Hasan and Husain.”

The police chief of Ibn Ziyad scolded him and said, “The Amir is saying that he is Abu Turab and you refute it!”

That great brave man cried at him and ridiculed his chief saying, “If the Amir is saying something wrong, should I also say it? Shall I testify falsely like he has falsely testified?”

Pride and arrogance of the tyrant was defeated and he didn’t know what to reply. At last he said, “This has increased your crime.”

Then he ordered his men, “Get me the cane.” They brought the cane to him. He asked: “What do you say?”

The brave and fearless man with a firm determination and without any worry said, “It is the best statement that I said with regard to the right of a person from the believing servants of God…”

That blood-shedder told his executioners, “Beat him so hard that his shoulder falls down.”

They rushed to him and beat him so hard with their sticks that he fell down. At that time he told them to stop the beating and asked him, “Good! What do you say about Ali?”

That cruel man thought that the torture would take him away from his faith, therefore he said, “By Allah, even if you cut me into pieces by swords and knives I would not say anything other than what you have already heard.”

The murderer lost his temper and he screamed, “You must invoke curse on him or I shall cut off your head.”

Saifi shouted at him, “By Allah, in that case before that you cut off my neck if you don’t want anything else. I am satisfied with the Lord, but you shall be an unjust oppressor.”  

[1] The Umayyads had given this derogatory title to Imam (a.s.) which was the name of a bandit. This matter is mentioned in Tarikh Siyasi Daulat Arabi. And also in Al-Aghani 13/168 it is mentioned: Ziyad used to insult the Shias and he used to call them by the title of ‘Turabiya’ (Tabari, Tarikh, 5/277)

At that time he ordered that Saifi be bound in chains and shackles and thrown in a dungeon.[1] And after that he was sent along with Hujr bin Adi and was martyred with him.[2]

8. Abdur Rahman Anzi

Abdur Rahman Anzi was one of the best Shia men. Ziyad’s mercenaries arrested him. He asked them to allow him to go and meet Muawiyah in person. May be he would give him amnesty. His captors agreed to his request and sent him in captivity to Damascus. When he arrived before the tyrant, Muawiyah asked him, “Well, O brother of Rabia, what do you say about Ali?”

“Leave me and do not ask me that, as it is better for you…”

“By God, I shall not release you…”

That brave-hearted man began to narrate the merits and excellences of the Imam and praised the status and position of His Eminence: “I testify that he is the one who remembers Allah in excess and commands rightfulness and establishes justice and restrains people from sins…”

Muawiyah became infuriated and reiterated the excuse of Uthman that may be he would speak ill of him and become liable for capital punishment. So he asked him, “What do you say about Uthman?”

He told him about his views about Uthman and Muawiyah boiled with rage and screamed at him, “You have killed yourself!”

“Rather I have killed you, is there no one present from the tribe of Rabia?”

Abdur Rahman thought that his clansmen would defend him and rush forward to have him released. However, none came to his help and when Muawiyah became assured that he had none for his defense he sent him to Ziyad, the tyrant, and ordered him to have him executed. Ziyad in turn sent him to Qassun Naatif[3] and had him buried alive.”[4]

This valiant personality raised the standard of truth and took up the hammer of demolishing the forts of oppression and in the way of defense of the most sanctified matter of Islam, reached martyrdom.

These were some of the martyrs among the prominent personalities of Shias who had taken up the torch of freedom and illuminated the path for other revolutionaries who destroyed the grandeur of Umayyad regime and who endeavored for its destruction.  

[1] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/266-267
[2] Life of Imam Hasan (a.s.) 2/371
[3] Qassun Naatif is a locality near Kufa
[4] Tabari, Tarikh, 5/276-277

Prominent Shia Personalities who bore tortures and sorrows

Muawiyah subjected a large group of prominent Shias to intimidation, threats and terror. Some of them were as follows:

  1. Abdullah bin Hashim Mirqal

  2. Adi bin Hatim Tai

  3. Sa’sa bin Sauhan

  4. Abdullah bin Khalifa Tai

Muawiyah subjected these senior members of Shia community to severe persecution and his mercenaries pursued them hard and intimidated them. We have described in detail there terrible circumstances in our volume titled, Life of Imam Hasan (‘a).[1]

Intimidation of ladies

Muawiyah did not rest content merely by torturing and hurting Shia men. He also made ladies targets of his oppression and subjected them to the most terrible fear and had them terrorized. He ordered his governors to send some of them to him and they complied with his commands. Among the ladies who bore the brunt of his evil were:

  1. Zarqa binte Adi, 2. Ummul Khair Barqiya, 3. Sawdah binte Ammarah, 4. Ummul Baraa binte Safwan, 5. Bukara Hilaliya, 6. Arwa binte Harith, 7. Akarsha binte Atrash, and 8. Daramia Hajooniya.

Muawiyah behaved with them with the worst type of behavior and exhibited great pride and arrogance to them and insulted them and expressed his power to take revenge from them instead of taking into consideration their weakness and helplessness. We have described in detail in our volume on Imam Hasan (‘a) how he insulted them in public.[2]

Demolishing Shias houses

Muawiyah proclaimed to all his governors to have the houses of Shia people demolished and they diligently followed these commands[3] leaving the Shias of Ahle Bayt (‘a) shelterless while they had no justification for these merciless actions except that they wanted to distance the people from the power of the Messenger of Allah (s).

Depriving Shias from Public Treasury

Among the atrocities that the Shia were involved in the tenure of Muawiyah was that Muawiyah had written to each of his governors regarding the stipulation of allowances of people: “Take care, that if you have a proof that anyone of them is devoted to Ali and his Ahle Bayt you must remove his or her name from the register of stipends and cancel their allowance.”[4]

[1] Life of Imam Hasan (a.s.) 2/377-403
[2] Life of Imam Hasan (a.s.) 2/404-423
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 11/43
[4] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 11/45

His governors willingly took upon this task of scrutinizing the registers to see if any Shia name appeared therein. If they found any such name they immediately removed it from the register and cancelled the stipend of that particular person.

Testimonies of Shias not accepted

Muawiyah tried his best to abuse the Shias and render them valueless socially. Therefore he ordered his governors not to accept the testimonies of Shia people[1] in any legal matter or judicial affair so that they may be abased and suppressed and their humiliation is maximized.

Banishment of Shias to Khorasan

Ziyad bin Abih decided to purge Kufa of Shias and thus have them scattered. So he banished 50000 Shias to Khorasan, an eastern province of Iran.[2]

By this act Ziyad hit the first nail into the coffin of Umayyad regime because the group of those exiles to Iran spread Shiaism in the lands till finally that province became the center of revolt against the Umayyads under the leadership of Abu Muslim Khorasani which brought the downfall of Umayyad rule.

These were some of the calamities on Shias during Muawiyah’s rule that they were subjected to various tortures and intimidation. The terrible disasters that befell them were the most important of the factors that led to the rising of Imam Husain (‘a), because His Eminence raised the banner of revolution so that he may release them from their afflictions and difficulties and return to them peace and security.  

[1] Life of Imam Hasan (a.s.) 2/386, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 11/44
[2] Tarikh Shaoob al-Islamiya Pg. 123