The Life of Imam Al-hasan Al-mujtaba
The Unanimous Agreement
In the previous researches we have mentioned that the Iraqis were afflicted with disagreement and division. That is because the members of the parties spared no effort to shake the entity of the Hashimite government and to destroy its throne. But all the classes in Sham were not afflicted with such parties, nor were they stricken by the opinions hostile to the standing government. Peace, harmony, and tranquility prevailed over Damascus and all its districts. In the Army and the kingdom the Kharijites had neither place nor [^1] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 133.
summoners to them or to other than them from among those who worked to overthrow the government. This unanimous agreement was the reason for Mu’awiya’s power, his wide range and influence.
The huge Army
Mu’awiya spent all his spiritual and material efforts to set right his Army and to reinforce it. For example, when Sham was afflicted with the Romans’ danger, Mu’awiya hurried to conclude a timely truce with their Emperor and to give him important properties. He did not open a door to war against him lest the nerves of his Army should be weak. Besides he did not employ his Army during the conquests and the battles. He did not employ it at any battle except that of Siffin, so the Army kept its activity and strength.
In addition to his Army residing with him in Damascus, Mu’awiya wrote to his governors and his leaders in all the countries when he decided to war against Imam al-Hasan. He asked them for help and to be fully ready for fighting against the Prophet’s grandson (Imam al-Hasan). Shortly after that, huge military forces joined him. So he added them to those of Sham and set off towards Iraq along with a huge Army full in number, good in appearance, abundant in strength, and obedient to his commands. Accordingly, Imam al-Hasan understood that he had no ability to meet him (in battle) and to fight against him with his weak Army among which treason and perfidy spread.
In addition to the military forces Mu’awiya enjoined, he had other forces with effective influence on reinforcing his front, directing him, and managing his affairs. That was when the experienced and the politicians joined him because they craved after his property and his world. An example of these persons was al-Mughira bin Shu‘ba about whose trick and cunning it has been said: “If al-Mughira was in a city with eight gates and none could pass through them except through trick and deception, he would pass through all its gates!” And it was said concerning his great cunning: “When an affair happened to al-Mughira, he found an outlet to it. When two affairs became vague to him, he showed an opinion of one of them.” Yet another example of such people is Amr bin al-‘Aas who was a castle of cunning and falsehood. In respect of describing him it was said: “I have never seen (a man) greater than Amr bin al-‘Aas in overcoming the men when they came together and in spending!” He was on top of those who raised the flag of the revolt against ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan, for the latter removed him from his office. He moved against him in spites of the people and urged those far and near to fight against him. In this respect he said: “By Allah, when I met a shepherd, I provoked him against ‘Uthman! Besides (I provoked against him) the heads and the prominent persons!”When he heard of the murder of ‘Uthman, he said: “I am Abu Abdullah.When I move an ulcer, I make it bleed!” He had deceived the Iraqi Army through raising copies of the Qur’an. He divided the Army into parts and made it different in desires.
Mu’awiya attracted these cunning people, who mixed poison with honey, clothed falsehood with the garment of truth, did not refrain from sin, and detested things for their evil tendencies. They had no objective except putting an end to the progeny of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and those associated with them from among the righteous Muslims. That was because they wanted to put an end to Islam and to go too far in practicing dissoluteness wherever they wished. As for Imam al-Hasan (a.s) he took the decisive attitude that thinkers took. He protected the progeny of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and spared the blood of the believers from among his followers. He thought that the sacrifice at that time would never give general interests to the Muslims, for the Umayyads would give to it various kinds of distortion and misguidance through which it would lose its morale and originality.
Mu’awiya had immense wealth in Sham prepared throughout his governing it. He did not spend it on the interests of the Muslims; rather he bought by it the consciences and the religions to clear the way for him to win the supreme authority and to control the Muslims.
Mu’awiya sent cruel tax collectors to take taxes from the Muslim peoples in the countries he had occupied, and they unjustly took the Muslims’ properties to the extent that they went too far in exhausting them and forcing them to pay taxes. He also imposed on them taxes Islam had not legislated such as al-Nawruz[^1] gifts. So his treasuries were full of properties, and he freely spent them on fighting Imam al-Hasan, the Prophet’s darling grandson, and overcoming him. As for the Prophet’s grandson (al-Hasan), he came to know that Mu’awiya, Hind’s son, became powerful. He thought that he would not be able to fight against him, that he would win no victory over him, and that the attitude required peacemaking, not war and fighting. He was sure that war would bring about to the community bad complications whose dangers none knew except Allah.
[^1] Al-Nawruz is the Persian New Year’s Day.
The Assassination of Imam Ali
Among the factors that urged Imam al-Hasan to make peace with Mu’awiya is the murder of his father through which he was terrified. This left in his soul permanent sadness and strong sorrow, because Imam Ali was killed not for money he had taken nor for a sunna he had changed nor for a right with which he had singled himself out excluding them. Rather throughout his reign he led a life of the poor and the weak. In the meantime he spared no effort to make the community lead a life full of boons and blessings. He did his best to establish justice, deaden tyranny, support the oppressed, and to relieve the weak and the deprived. However the people denied this shining justice and deliberately assassinated him at the time when he was before Allah. They paid no attention to his sacredness and to that of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). They committed this abominable crime, so Imam al-Hasan (a.s) thought that it was difficult for him to set them right or to return them to the way of the truth and rightness. He turned away from undertaking the authority over them and refrained from meeting with them. He wished that he had not known them just as his father had wished before. He (a.s) has mentioned this attitude, saying: “Your assassinating my father has made me refrain from you!”
Indeed the murder of Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, and the pioneer of the social justice, was among the most important reasons that made Imam al-Hasan refrain from those ignorant people who made troubles, had desires, and deviated from the straight path!
Sparing of Blood
Among the reasons for the peacemaking is that Imam al-Hasan’s urgently wanted to spare and not to shed the Muslims’ blood. If he had opened a door to war against Mu’awiya, he would have sacrificed his followers and his household; and through that the torch of faith would have been put out and Islam would have been uprooted. He (a.s) has mentioned that in his answer to the reasons of his making peace (with Mu’awiya). He has said: “Most surely I was afraid that the Muslims would be uprooted from the surface of the earth. So I wanted someone to announce the religion!”
He (a.s) answered those from among his followers who harbored malice against him because of the peacemaking, saying: “Through my making peace with Mu’awiya I wanted (nothing) except keeping murder away from you.”[^1] In the speech he made in al-Mada’in, he expressed his great taking care of sparing the Muslims’ blood. In it he has mentioned: “O people, most surely [^1] Al-Daynawari, p. 303.
the affair over which I and Mu’awiya have differed is a right (of mine). I am going to leave the right to set right the community’s affair and to spare its blood!”[^1] An example of his taking care of that is that he advised his brother al-Husayn when the inevitable moment of death came to him, saying: “I swear by Allah that you should not shed even a bit of blood in carrying out my command.”
Certainly the most lovable thing to Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was keeping the Muslims’ blood, spreading security and peace among them. He spared no effort to achieve that.
Imam al-Hasan (a.s) came to know that if he had fought against Mu’awiya, then the Iraqi rogues would have handed him over to Mu’awiya as a prisoner of war. Most likely Mu’awiya would not kill him, rather he would release him and recorded for him a laudable deed and favor against all the Hashimites, that he might remove from him the shame due to the fact that he (Mu’awiya) and his father (Abu Sufyan) were prisoners of war. As for al-Hasan (a.s) he has mentioned that, saying: “If I fought against Mu’awiya, they would seize me by the neck and peacefully hand me over to him. By Allah, if I made peace with him while I was powerful, it would be better for me than that when he would kill me and I was a captive, or he would be kind to me, and it would be shame on the Hashimites for ever. Mu’awiya and his children would remind the living and the dead from among us of it.”
This reason was too remarkable, for the Imam wanted his opponent not to gain any favor or laudable deed through him. Events of al-Mada’in
Among the reasons that prompted Imam al-Hasan to make peace with Mu’awiya is the severe events that he faced in al-Mada’in. We have mentioned that in detail. Yet it is important for us to summarize them as follows:
- The treason of the leaders and prominent persons and their communication with Mu’awiya,
- Accusing him of unbelief,
- Assassinating him, and
- Plundering his belongings.
[^1] A‘yan al-Shia, vol. 4, p. 42.
These are some factors that moved Imam al-Hasan to make peace with Mu’awiya. As far as we know that they required him to make peace and not to open a door to war against Mu’awiya.
The Prophetic Traditions
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, predicted the events that would happen after him. He saw them in reality, not in pictures and forms. He saw that disasters would spread over his community, troubles and misfortunes would befall it. He saw that his community would reach the lowest level of deterioration and backwardness, and that saving them from the bitter condition would be through the hands of his elder grandson, Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him. So he has said his immortal statement: “Most surely, this (grand) son of mine is a master. Perhaps through him Allah will make peace between two great groups of the Muslims.”[^1]
This tradition was impressed in Imam al-Hasan’s inner self from his early childhood. It appeared before him during that terrible attitude. Most surely he (al-Hasan) was sure of his grandfather’s tradition just as he was sure of the Qur’an. His grandfather said to him so. It was as if his holy voice sounded in his ear. He said to his pure mother. He said on his pulpit. He said among his companions and said on many occasions: “Most surely, this (grand) son of mine is a master. Perhaps through him Allah will make peace between two groups of the Muslims.”
This memory reacted strongly in his soul. In al-Mada’in he remembered what his grandfather, may Allah bless him and his family, suffered. That was when he saw two groups of the Muslims fighting against each other: The first group included his followers (Shia) from among the good, righteous Muslims who understood the true objectives of Islam.
The second group was composed of the naïve, the simple-minded, and those who deviated from Islam. Although they were rebels and they revolted against the Imam of their time, they claimed that they were Muslims. If the war had broken out between them, it would have destroyed many of them, and through that the entity of Islam would have been weak and its forces would have been collapsed. Then who, from the Muslims, would stand against the enemy who was watching the events to attack them. I (the author) wonder who would take care of Islam and protect the Muslims other than the Prophet’s grandson and his inheritor. Accordingly, Imam al-Hasan preferred peace to war regardless of the hardships. Shams al-Deen al-Siqqli, died 565 A. H., maintained that the [^1] We have mentioned the sources of the tradition in the first part of the book, p. 81.
reason which moved al-Hasan to abdicate the caliphate was the tradition of the Prophet (a.s) concerning that.[^1] Narrators have claimed that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, talked to his companions about the period of the Islamic caliphate, saying to them: “Most surely the caliphate after me will continue for thirty years, and then it will be monarchy.” They noticed that al-Hasan made peace with Mu’awiya when the thirty years was over, as they said.[^2]
Al-Hasan carefully considered the tradition of his grandfather (a.s) and came to know that there was no escape from that Mu’awiya would undertake the authority. Besides, his father had told him about that as imam al-Hasan (a.s) himself narrated: “One day my father said to me: ‘O Hasan, how will you behave if the Umayyads undertake this authority? Their ruler will be wide-necked and big-bellied. He eats but he will not be satisfied. He will control the west and east. The people will follow him. His kingdom will last long. He will legislate heresies and misguidance. He will deaden the truth and the Sunna of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. He will divide the property among the people of his and withhold it from those who are worthy of it. The believers will be abased in his kingdom, and the sinners will be powerful during his supreme authority. He will make his supporters succeed one another in respect of the property. He will regard Allah’s servants as slaves. During his reign the truth will be effaced, and falsehood will appear. He will kill those who oppose him for the truth.”[^3]
Most surely the Prophet and his guardian Imam Ali looked through the veil of the unseen and knew the ordeals and the tribulation with which the community were afflicted. That is because the members of the community turned away from supporting the truth and fighting against falsehood. For this reason, the freed prisoners of war and their children undertook the authority
[^1] Anba’ Nujaba’ al-Abnaa’, p. 56. [^2] Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 41. I (the author) think that this tradition is fabricated. That is because the caliphate became a biting king during the days of ‘Uthman, who changed its concept and preferred the Umayyads to others in respect of the properties and government. He prepared to them forces to make them ready to fight against the Commander of the faithful (Imam Ali). The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, talked about the form of the government after him, saying: “Most surely the beginning of your religion is prophethood and mercy, then it would be a king and fatalism.” (The tradition) has been narrated by al-Sayuti in his Tarikh al-Khulafa’, p. 6. His tradition became true. That is because the begging of the religion was prophethood and mercy, and then it changed during the time of the Umayyads into kingdom, tyranny, and fatalism. [^3] Bihar al-Anwar.
over them, treated them unjustly, possessed alone the wealth of Allah, and regarded people as salves. As for Mu’awiya, he came to know that the authority would reach him during the time of Imam Ali. That was when he made a premise through which he asked him about to whom the authority would pass. He sent to him some of his companions to Kufa to rumor that Mu’awiya had died. Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, heard of that; and the people repeatedly talked about that rumor. So he (a.s) Said: “You have announced the death of Mu’awiya very much! By Allah, he has not died! He will not die until he will possess that which is under my feet!”[^1]
When Mu’awiya heard of that, he believed it. For he had come to know that Imam Ali was the Gate of the City of the Prophet’s knowledge, and the Store of his secrets, that his speech did not remain behind the reality and did not miss the truth. Anyway the Muslims gave Imam al-Hasan (a.s) the name of the great reformer because of his making peace with Mu’awiya. It is worth mentioning that his grandfather the Apostle had given him this name before.
Some great religious scholars have mentioned the peacemaking of Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him. They have justified it through infallibility saying that the infallible Imam did not make any mistake and did nothing except that which brought about good and righteousness to the community. Perhaps the points we have mentioned have indicated the meaning of this speech and explained that it is good. That is because of the conditions that surrounded the Imam and forced him to make peace with Mu’awiya. Now we will mention some of those who have maintained this viewpoint. They are:
- Al-Shareef al-Murtadha
Al-Shareef al-Murtadha Alam al-Huda, may Allah have mercy on him, has said: “It has been established that he (al-Hasan) is infallible and strengthened with manifest proofs and strong signs.[^2] Therefore, there is no escape form
[^1] Al-Mas‘udi Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 295. [^2] Al-Shareef al-Murtada, is Ali bin al-Husayn. His very clear lineage reaches the Imam of the Muslims, Musa bin Ja‘far, peace be on him. He was the head of al-Talibiyyin. He was given the nickname of al-Murtada and ‘Alam al-Huda (the Flag of Guidance). He was born in the year 355 A. H. and died in the year 436. He was older than his brother al-Shareef al-Radi. Abu Ja‘far al-Tusi has said: “(Al-Shareef) al-Murtada was unique in many sciences. There is an unanimous agreement on his excellence and has given precedence in many sciences such as theology,
submission to his deeds though they have something whose meaning is not known in detail or has a surface from which people keep away.”[^1]
- Sayyid Ibn Tawus[^2]
In his will to his son, the genius of Islam, the great Sayyid Ibn Tawus, may Allah rest him in peace, has justified Imam al-Hasan’s peacemaking trough infallibility and some of the reasons we have mentioned. He, may Allah have mercy on him, said to his son: “It is not strange that the people criticized your grandfather for his making peace with Mu’awiya while he did that according to the command of his grandfather. His grandfather (Muhammad) had made peace with the unbelievers, and his excuse in respect of that was the clearest of all excuses. When his brother al-Husayn rose to support the Iraqis, to respond to their request, and to leave making peace with Yazid, they were either a killer or a deserter. It is worth mentioning that we have not known that they became angry during the days of Yazid for that horrible murder. Nor did they revolt against him nor did they remove him from his authority; whereas they became angry for Abdullah bin al-Zubayr and helped him with his misguidance. So they were exposed out of this large contradictory attitude; their bad choice made the misfortune appear. Therefore is it regarded as unlikely the deviation of these jurisprudence, the fundamentals of jurisprudence, literature, and the like. He has a collection of poems containing more than ten thousand (poetry) lines. He has many books on various sciences.” This has been mentioned in (the book) Mu‘jam al-Udaba’, vol. 13, p. 146.
[^1] Tanzeeh al-Anbiya’, p. 69. [^2] Ibn Tawus is a great, perfect Sayyid, a worshipper, and mujahid. (His full name is) Radi al-Deen Abu al-Qasim bin Ali bin Musa bin Ja‘far bin Tawus al-Hasani, al-Husayni. He was given the nickname of al-Tawus because he was handsome and his legs were coarse. He lived in al-Hillah (a city in Iraq). He is among the magnified Sayyids and one of the heads. He has many books. All his good qualities and sciences have been collected by al-Hujjah al-Thabt Muhammed al-Khunsari in his Roudaat al-Jinaan, vol. 3, pp.43-47. In the book al-Kuna wa al-Al-Qaab it has been mentioned: “He (al-Sayyid bin Tawus) undertook the union of the Talibiyyin. He used to sit in a green dome and was visited by the people who dressed in green instead of black. That was after the Battle of Baghdad.” In respect of that Ali bin Hamza has said:
This is Ali, the (grand) son of Musa bin Ja‘far the like of Ali, the son of Musa bin Ja‘far. That was dressed in green for the Imamate, and this was dressed in green for the union. By that he meant Imam al-Rida, peace be on him, when he undertook the succession (after al-Ma’mun) and was dressed in green. Al- Sayyid bin Tawus died on Monday, 5th Dhi al-Qu‘da in the year 664 A. H.
people from the straight path while they reached this ill, ugly condition?”[^1]
Sayyid Ibn Tawus, may Allah have mercy on him, has justified Imam al-Hasan’s peacemaking with (firstly) infallibility from mistakes. He compared his peacemaking with the peacemaking of his grandfather the Prophet (a.s) with the polytheists in the Peace Treaty of al-Hudaybiya. There is no doubt about the peacemaking of the Apostle and none can criticize it due to the existence of the interest. And so is that of al-Hasan with his opponent, for it was surrounded by the inclusive interest of Muslims in general. Secondly, he justified it with the tribulation and ordeal the Imam suffered from those devious people who paid no attention to virtue and did not understand any of the spiritual values. Therefore, it was they who forced Imam al-Hasan to make peace. Sayyid ibn Tawus has offered reasons for the bad manners of those people and their going too far in practicing evil deeds. That was when they followed Yazid (son of Mu’awiya), who drank wine, and practiced dissoluteness openly. They also supported him and took part with him in the most horrible crime history has ever recorded, which was the murder of the master of the youths of the Garden, al-Husayn, peace be on him. They showed neither sorrow nor sadness at this crime. They did not revolt against Yazid nor did they remove him from his office. In the previous researches we have mentioned the reasons for these lowly manners of the Iraqi masses.
Showing the Umayyad Reality
Before he took the reins of government, Mu’awiya was apparently committed to the Islamic teachings. He affected taking care of the Muslims’ affairs. However, that was, without doubt, hypocrisy and a plot. He walked slowly to hunt the game as they say. He concealed unbelief and hypocrisy. He harbored evil and enmity against the Muslims. So through his making peace with him, Imam al-Hasan (a.s) wanted to show his reality and to show the people his defects and plot. He wanted to make those whom he deceived know that he was the most hostile to Islam. As a result he left the field and handed over the authority to him. However, suddenly the Khousrow of the Arabs, as they say, showed his hellish policy through opposing Allah’s Book, and the Sunna of His Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. He violated the Islamic teachings, destroyed the abilities of Islam, and ruined the knowledgeable forces. He showered them with various kinds of painful torture. He executed and severely punished whomever he wished. He forced the Muslims to disown the family of their Prophet, to curse them openly and to disparage them on the [^1] Kashf al-Muhjah li Thamrat al-Muhjah, p. 46. It contains valuable commandments to his son.
pulpits. Through that the hidden things of his soul appeared. The Muslims came to know this tyrant and what he schemed against them. If the peacemaking had had no benefit except showing that, it would have been sufficient, just as Imam Kashif al-‘Ghita’, may Allah have mercy on him, has said in his introduction to the book.
After Mu’awiya had taken the reins of government, he carried a destructive axe and began destroying all the Islamic foundations attempting to extinguish the light of Islam, to fold its standard, to efface and uproot it, and to return the pre-Islamic life. Before we deal with some of his offences and bad manners through which he had blackened the face of history, we have to mention what have been reported from his parents from among malice and enmity against Islam. We also have to mention what have been narrated from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, from among the traditions on disparaging and dispraising Mu’awiya. That is because we want to understand whether he was worthy of being entrusted with the authority, being imposed as a ruler over the Muslims, and of acting freely in respect of whatever he pleased without any reckon and supervision. We mention that to readers as follows:
Abu Sufyan and Hind
As for Abu Sufyan, he was the bitterest enemy to the Prophet (a.s). It was he who led the allies, helped the Jews, and supported all the forces hostile to Islam. His malice toward the Prophet (a.s) doubled when some of his family and seventy valiant Qurayshi polytheists were killed at the Battle of Badr. So his sinful soul was full of sadness at them. He went on fighting against the Apostle (a.s), and moved against him the spites. But Allah repelled his plot. That was when he gave victory to His Apostle, strengthened His religion, abased Abu Sufyan and his party. Accordingly, the Prophet (a.s), conquered Mecca and entered it successfully and victoriously. He destroyed and smashed the idols. As for Abu Sufyan, he reluctantly embraced Islam. He was low and defeated. Shame and disgrace followed him. Though he became a Muslim, he maintained his pre-Islamic beliefs. Islam changed nothing of his natures and manners. His house was a place of treason; and he was a cave of hypocrisy.[^1]
When the Muslims suffered the loss of the Prophet (a.s) and when Abu Bakr usurped the caliphate, Abu Sufyan went to Imam Ali (a.s). Abu Sufyan asked Imam Ali (a.s) to revolt and to fight against Abu Bakr, that he might return the caliphate to him. He had no faith in the right of Imam Ali (a.s); rather he
through that wanted to find a gap through which he wanted to destroy and ruin Islam. However his wicked intentions were clear to the Imam, and he turned away from and rebuked him. After that Abu Sufyan kept to the corners of inactivity. The Muslims looked at him with the looking of suspicion and doubt about his faith. When ‘Uthman became a caliph and brought nigh the Umayyads and entrusted them with the Muslims’ affairs, Abu Sufyan appeared, his star went high, he showed his spites and enmity toward the Prophet. One day he stood by the grave of Hamza, the master of the martyrs, peace be on him. He looked at it through his hollow eyes. Then he moved his lips, saying: “O Abu Immarah, most surely, the affair for which we met in duel yesterday is in the hands of our boys; they are playing with it!”
Then he kicked the holy grave with his leg and went tranquilly and delighted. All these things happened before the very eyes of ‘Uthman but he neither blamed nor punished him. So we belong to Allah and to him we will return!
This is the reality of Abu Sufyan in his unbelief and his malice toward Islam. As for his wife Hind, she was not less than her husband in cruelty. She was more malicious than him toward Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. She moved the polytheists to fight against him. When the Battle of Badr was over and her polytheist family and relatives were killed, she did not show mourning and sadness at them.[^1] That is because she wanted through that to provoke Quraysh to avenge their blood. The Qurayshi women came to her and said: “Why do you not lament for your father, bother, uncle, and your household?”
She angrily answered them, saying: “If I lament (for them), Muhammad and his companions will heard of that; they will gloat over us and the womenfolk of the Banu al-Khazrajj! No, by Allah, (I will not lament for them) until I take vengeance on Muhammad and His companions! It is forbidden for me to oil my head until we invade Muhammad! By Allah, if I came to know that sadness went away from my heart, I would weep! But nothing drives it away until I see with my own eye that my vengeance on those who killed my beloved ones is taken!”
[^1] The people before Islam used to delay their lamentation over their killed until they took their vengeance. When it was taken, their womenfolk lamented for them. In this respect their poet say:
Whoever is delighted at the murder of Malik, then let him come to our womenfolk in broad daylight! He will find our womenfolk bare (headed). They lament for him (and) scratch their hot cheeks in the early mornings! Subh al-A‘sha, vol. 1, p. 405.
Hind went on her condition. She did not show sadness. She did not approach Abu Sufyan’s bed and did not oil her hair until the Battle of Uhd happened.[^1] She took vengeance on Hamza, the master of the martyrs. She maimed him and did to him that ugly deed. Then she showed delight and rejoicing. Then she composed poetry, saying:
I satisfied myself (for revenge) at (the Battle) of Uhd. That was when I split open his stomach (and cut off) his liver! That removed from me what I had found from among the agony of the followed intense sadness! The war overtopped you with a shower of hailstones! We came to you with the coming of a lion! When Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, saw what Hind did to his uncle, he became angry and burnt with grief. Then he said: “No attitude made me angry as this one did!” He also said: “I have never been stricken by anything like by Hamza!”[^2] When the day of the conquest came and the Muslims entered Mecca, Abu Sufyan walked through the streets and lanes. He unwillingly called out: “Whoever lays down his weapon is safe! Whoever enters his house is safe! And whoever enters Abu Sufyan’s house is safe!” When Hind heard that from him, she scratched her face and unwillingly shouted: “Kill the wicked, dirty one! How ugly the head (chief) of the people is!”
Then she turned to the masses and provoked them. She enthusiastically said:
“Why did you not fight for your own city and defend yourselves?”
Through that she tried to move the anger of the people and to kindle the fire of the revolt among her people. However Allah repelled her plot and frustrated her effort. That was when Allah gave a victory to Islam and its men. These are Mu’awiya’s parents. According to the hereditary rule, I (the author) definitely think that what was settled in their souls from among malice, hatred, and hostility to Islam and Allah’s Apostle (a.s), passed to Mu’awiya. Besides, Allah’s Apostle met all the Umayyads with disdain and disrespect because of what he had met from them of tiredness and pain. He ordered them to be exiled from Yathrib (Medina) such as al-Hakam, his son Marwan, Sa‘eed bin al-‘Aas, and al-Waleed. He ordered the Muslims to avoid them and to call them the accursed tree. These things that Mu’awiya saw brought about in his soul malice against the Prophet (a.s) and his Household.
[^1] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p. 342. [^2] Ibid., p. 387.
The Prophetic Traditions about Mu’awiya
Many authentic traditions have been narrated from the Prophet in respect of dispraising and disdaining Mu’awiya. Some traditions are as follows:
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “A man will come out of this mountain pass. He will be mustered (in a manner) other than (that) of my community.” So Mu’awiya came out.[^1]
Allah’s Apostle (a.s) saw Abu Sufyan riding a donkey, his son Mu’awiya leading the donkey, and his son Yazid driving it. He said: “May Allah curse the leader, the rider, and the driver.”[^2]
Al-Barra’ bin ‘Aazib narrated: “Abu Sufyan came forward and Mu’awiya was with him, so Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said: ‘O Allah, take al-Uqay‘is!’” Al-Barra’ asked his father about al-Uqay‘is, and he answered: “He is Mu’awiya.”[^3]
A woman came to the Prophet (a.s) and consulted him in respect of marrying Mu’awiya. He prohibited her and said to her: “He (Mu’awiya) is low.”[^4]
Abu Barzah al-Aslami[^5] has narrated: “We were with Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. We heard singing. A man rose and listened to it. That had been before the wine was prohibited. The man came to us and told us that Mu’awiya and Amr Ibn al-‘Aas answered each other through this verse of poetry:
[^1] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 11, p. 357. Nasr bin Muzahim has narrated in his Kitab Siffin, p. 247, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said: “A man will come to you from this mountain pass. When he dies, he dies in (a manner) other than my Sunna.”
[^2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 11, p. 357. Imam al-Hasan, the Prophet grandson, peace be on him, narrated the tradition from his grandfather. Nasr bin Muzahim has mentioned it in his Kitab Siffin, p. 247.
[^3] Nasr bin Muzahim, Kitab Siffin, p. 244. Imam al-Hasan also narrated it.
[^4] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 8, 200. Asas al-Ghaba, vol. 5, p. 527. Tarikh al-Khamis, vol. 2, p. 29.
[^5] Abu Barzah al-Aslami is Naddlah bin ‘Ubayd. He was a companion of Allah’s Apostle. He narrated (traditions) from him and Abu Bakr. Some other traditionists reported (traditions) on his authority. Ibn Sa‘d has said: “He lived in Medina, and then he (lived) in Basrah. He invaded Khurasan.” Al-Khatib has said: “He witnessed (the Battle of al-Nahrawan). He fought against the Kharijites at (the Battle of) al-Nahrawan. After that he invaded Khurasan and died in it.” It was said that he died in Nisabur; it was said (that he died) in Basrah; other than that was said. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 10, p. 446.
‘…his bones appeared, turned the war away from him, that he may be killed and buried. “When Allah’s Apostle heard of that, he raised his hands to supplicate, saying: ‘O Allah, throw them into sedotion! O Allah, drive them away to the fire with violence!”[^1] He said to Mu’awiya: “You will take, O Mu’awiya, the heresy as sunna (law) and the ugly as good!”[^2] Allah’s Apostle (a.s) looked through the unseen and came to know that Mu’awiya would undertake the affairs of the government. Accordingly, he warned the Muslims and ordered them to fight against him. He said to them: “When you see Mu’awiya make a speech from on my pulpit, then behead him!”[^3] When al-Hasan (a.s) narrated this tradition, he became displeased and said: “They did not do nor did they succeed!”[^4]
In this manner during the lifetime of the Prophet (a.s), Mu’awiya was humiliated,, low, and abased. Shame and disgrace followed him. The Prophet (a.s) cursed him. The Muslims disdained and disparaged him. When ‘Umar became caliph, he turned away from what had been reported from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, in respect of Mu’awiya. He brought him nigh to him. He promoted him after lowliness and humiliation. He appointed him as a governor over Sham. He gave him wide authorities, entrusted to him the affair of judgeship, prayer, collecting taxes, and the like from among the affairs that required trustworthiness and justice. He loved and directed him so much that he reckoned his governors and looked into their acts every year except Mu’awiya. He did not reckon him nor did he watch him. It was said to ‘Umar that Mu’awiya deviated from the straight path, wasted the wealth, and wore silk garments, but he paid no attention to that; rather he gave him the
[^1] Waqi‘at Siffin, p. 246. Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 4, p. 421. [^2] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 79. [^3] The devious have narrated the tradition in another way. For example al-Khatib, in his Tarikh, has narrated on the authority of Jabir, who said: “Allah’s Apostle said: ‘If you see Mu‘awiya make speech from on my pulpit, then accept him, for he is faithful.” In his Tarikh al-Hakim has narrated on the authority of Ibn Mas‘ud who said: [Allah’s Apostle said:] “If you see Mu‘awiya on my pulpit, then accept him, for he is faithful and trustworthy.” When was the son of Hind (Mu‘awiya) faithful and trustworthy? Was that through his fighting against Allah’s Apostle? Or through his going too far in shedding the Muslims’ blood, killing the good and righteous people, and the like from among the heavy events that indicate that he had the beliefs of those lived before Islam, and that he paid no attention to the religion? [^4] Waqi‘at Siffin.
garment of pomp and glory, saying: “That (Mu’awiya) is the Khousrow of the Arabs!” When he distorted the rules of the Consultative Committee to remove the Household of the Prophet (a.s) from the government and to participate the Umayyads in the rule, he praised Mu’awiya and inspired into him the spirit of ambition. He was then at the last days of his life. He said to the members of the Consultative Committee: “If you envy each other, tarry one another, be hostile to each other, and hate one another, Mu’awiya will overcome you for this (authority). At that time he (Mu’awiya) was the governor of Sham.”[^1]
‘Umar’s governors were many. Why did he praise Mu’awiya and exclude them? How was it possible for him to threaten the members of the Consultative Committee through his power while they had high positions near the Prophet (a.s) who died while he was pleased with them, as it was? If he had fear for them from Mu’awiya, then why did he reserve him in the government? Most surely these affairs make one ask questions and find them strange!
Anyway, ‘Umar preferred Mu’awiya to others, and Mu’awiya was the most beloved to ‘Umar. An example of his preferring him and showing love toward him was what Muslim bin Jundub narrated on the authority of Aslam, ‘Umar’s retainer, who said: “We went to Mu’awiya. He was the most tender-skinned and the most handsome. He performed the hajj with ‘Umar. ‘Umar looked at him and admired him. He put his finger on his back and raised it as he raised it from the shoelace. Then he said: ‘Bravo! Bravo! Therefore, we are the best of the people if the good in the world and the hereafter is gathered for us!’”[^2] In this manner ‘Umar loved Mu’awiya.
When ‘Uthman became a caliph, he increased the area of Mu’awiya’s authority and reinforced his influence. We have explained that in the first part of the book. Accordingly, Mu’awiya did in Sham as if he wanted the domain and the supreme authority. When the Muslims killed ‘Uthman for his unwanted, heavy doings, Mu’awiya used his (Uthman) murder as means to achieve his purposes and objectives. So he rebelled against Imam Ali (a.s) claiming that he was satisfied with the murder of ‘Uthman and gave a refuge to those who killed him. Misfortunes and ordeals with which Islam was afflicted followed that, and through which the unity of the Muslims was divided. So the sorrowful events brought about his victory, deserting Imam Ali and his son Imam al-Hasan.
[^1] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 187. [^2] Samt al-Nujoom al-‘Awali, vol. 3, p. 48.