The Life of Imam Al-hasan Al-mujtaba
Chapter Xvii : the Reasons of the Peacemaking Part 3
A. Samra Bin Jundub
Among Mu’awiya’s hirelings and helpers in spreading oppression and tyranny was Samra bin Jundub, the sinful, cursed one. His crimes have blackened the face of history and pages of biographies. Before we talk about his line of conduct during the time of his authority by the Umayyad authority, we briefly have to mention his lifetime during the days of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. This wicked man was famous for his hypocrisy and mutiny during the time of the Prophet. The narrators have mentioned that he bothered one of the Ansar concerning some date palms he had in the garden of that Ansari person. So the Ansari complained to the Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, of Samra. The Prophet summoned Samra and commanded him:
-Sell your date palm-trees to this man and take its price! -I will not do that. -Take some date palm-trees in place of yours! -I will not do that. -Buy the garden from him! -I will not do that. -Leave this for me, and you shall be in the Paradise! -I will not do that.
When Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, came to know Samra’s stubbornness, evil, wickedness, violence, and harm toward the Ansari, he became displeased with him. Then he turned to the Ansari and said to him: “Go and cut off his date palm-trees, for he has no right in them!”[^1]
This story indicates that Samra went too far in practicing sin and error, that he was void of humanity and noble ideals. Muhammad, the Master of the prophets and noblest of creatures, asked him to put an end to the dispute and [^1] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.363. In his book al-Faa’iq, al-Zamakhshari has said: “Surely, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said to Samra: ‘You are a harmful man. There is no harm and causing harm in Islam.” Zarara narrated on the authority of Abu Ja‘far, peace be on him, saying: “Surely, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said to the Ansari: ‘Go, uproot them (the date-palms), and throw them at him. That is because there is neither harm nor causing harm.’” In his book al-Idah, Chapter on Mortgage, Fakhr al-Muhaqiqeen claimed that the tradition is ensured by many lines of transmission. The said transmission is either general or abstract. As for the literal, it is incorrect because the words of narrating the tradition are different. I (the author) have in detail mentioned the rule in the Volume Three of my book Idah al-Kifaya.
guaranteed him in place of some date palm-trees a place in Paradise, the place of the prophets and the righteous, that he might enjoy it. However he did not respond to the Prophet (a.s) and insisted on his mutiny and disobedience, so he deprived himself of happiness and was satisfied with unhappiness. Among Samra’s major sins and bad deeds was that he sold wine after Islam had forbidden it. ‘Umar bin al-Khattab heard of that and said to him: “May Allah fight Samra. Surely, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: ‘Allah cursed the Jews. It was forbidden for them to sell fat, but they sold it.’”[^1] This is Samra’s condition in his rudeness, turning away, and his mutiny. When Mu’awiya became a caliph, Ziyad appointed Samra as a governor over Basra, and he went too far in killing the innocent people unjustly. Muhammad bin Saleem narrated: “I asked Anas bin Sireen[^2] : ‘Has Samra killed anyone?’”
Anas hurried to say with anger: “Can those whom Samra killed be counted?” Ziyad appointed him as a governor over Basra, and he went to Kufa and killed eight thousand people. So he (Ziyad) said to him: “Are you afraid that you have killed anyone innocent?” Samra, the sinful one, paid no attention to shedding the Muslims’ blood, saying: “If I killed the like of them, I would be not afraid!”[^3] Abu Sawar al-‘Adawi[^4] said: “In one morning, Samra killed forty-seven people from my people who gathered the Qur’an.”[^5] ‘Awf narrated about Samra’s
[^1] Ahmed bin Hanbel, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 25. In his book al-Fa’iq, al-Zamakhshari has narrated: “Allah cursed the Jews. It was forbidden for them to sell fat. But they melt and sold it.”
[^2] Anas bin Sireen al-Ansari was born one or two years before the end of the caliphate of ‘Uthman. He narrated (traditions) on the authority of some companions of the Prophet, and a group of traditionists narrated on his authority. Ibn Ma‘een and the like said: “Surely he is trustworthy.” Ibn Sa‘d said: “He is trustworthy. He narrated few traditions.” Al-‘Ijjli said: “He belonged to the second generation. He is trustworthy.” He died in the year 118. A. H. It was said that he died in the year 120 A. H. This has been mentioned in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 1, p.374.
[^3] Al-Kamil, vol. 3, p. 183. Al-Tabari, vol. 6, p. 132.
[^4] It was said that the name of Sawar al-‘Adawi was Hassan bin Hurayth; and it was said that his name was Hurayth bin Hassan; and it was said that it was Munqidh. He narrated traditions from Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and from Imam al-Hasan. Another group of traditionists narrated from him. Ibn Sa‘d has said: “He is trustworthy.” Abu Dawud has said: “He is among the reliable people.” In his book al-Kuna, al-Nisaa’i has said: “Abu Sawar, Hassan bin Hurayth al-‘Adawi is trustworthy.” This has been mentioned in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 12, p. 123.
[^5] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 132. Others than him have also mentioned that.
crimes, saying: “Samra came to Medina. When he was near the houses of the Banu (family of tribe of) Asad, some man came out of one of the streets. The man suddenly met the vanguard of people. A man attacked him and stabbed him with his sword as a sign of play and insolence. Then the horses went away. Samra passed by the man while he was covered with his blood. He asked: ‘What is that?’ ‘The Emir’s first horses hit him,’ was the answer. Samra said with insolence and haughtiness: ‘If you heard that we rode our horses, then guard against our spear heads.’”[^1]
This tyrannical person, who was thirsty to shedding blood, killed people because of suspicion and accusation. He was asked: “O Samra, what will you say to your Lord tomorrow? A person is brought to you. It is said to you that the person is from the Kharijites, and you ordered him to be killed. Then another person is brought to you and it is said to you: ‘The person you had killed was not from the Kharijites. Rather he was going to satisfy a need of his. We were confused. The Kharijite is this person.’ Nevertheless you order the second person to be killed.”
Samra answered through what his soul harbored of savageness and crime and what was in his nature of deviation and misguidance, saying: “And which harm results from that? If he (the killed person) was from the men of the Garden, he would go to the Garden! If he was from the men of the fire, he would go to the fire!”[^2]
Al-Hasan al-Basri narrated: “A man from Khurasan came to Basra. The man paid the zakat on his property to the Public Treasury. He took a receipt, and then he came into the mosque and performed two ruk’as. Then Samra took him and accused him of being a Kharijite. He ordered him to be beheaded. They checked what was with him and found that he was innocent. He just had a book written by the director of the Public Treasury. As a result, Abu Bakra hurried to rebuke him for that, saying: “O Samra, have you not heard Allah, the Exalted, say: He indeed shall be successful who purifies himself, and magnifies the name of his Lord and prays?
Samra said: “Your brother (Ziyad) commanded me to do that!”[^3]
Samra went on accompanying Ziyad. When Ziyad died, Samra was at the service of the sinful one, Ubaydillah, Ziyad’s son. He was the commander of [^1] Al-Kamil, vol. 3, p. 183. Imam Sharaf al-Deen has mentioned it in his book al-Fusool al-Muhimma, p. 122. [^2] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.363. [^3] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.363.
his policemen. He took part in the most horrible crime history has ever written-that was the murder of Imam al-Husayn, the best of blessings and peace be on him, the master of the youths of the Garden. He provoked the people to war against Imam al-Husayn (a.s).[^1] Yet another example of his crimes and grave sins is that some Muslims were brought to him, and he asked each of them: “What is your religion?” Each of them said: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that I am innocent of (the opinion) of the Harawriyya (the Kharijites).” Nevertheless, he ordered them to be beheaded, to the extent that he killed over twenty Muslims during one assembly.[^2] Samra did these serious offences for nothing but to please Mu’awiya. However he said after he deposed from the authority over Basra: “May Allah curse Mu’awiya! By Allah, if I had obeyed Allah as I obeyed Mu’awiya, He would never have chastised me!”[^3]
Anyway these atrocities that issued from Samra indicate that his soul was void of humanity and mercy. He went too far in disobedience (to Allah), in committing crimes, and evil.
B. Bisr Bin Arta’a
Among Mu’awiya’s governors and helpers in achieving oppression, tyranny, injustice, and terrorism was Bisr bin Arta’a, the sinful one, who did the abominable deeds. He killed old men and slew suckling babies, that he might strengthen Mu’awiya’s domain and authority. When Mu’awiya sent him along with his Army to Yemen, he did the abominable deeds the like of which history has never seen in horribleness and severity. Before this sinful person headed for his task, Mu’awiya had summoned him and supplied him with his teachings that contained terrifying and killing the Muslims. This is the text of his teachings: “Go and pass through Medina. Dismiss the people. Terrify those by whom you pass. Plunder the properties of all those you think that they have properties from among those who have not entered the obedience to us. When you enter Medina, show them that you want (to take) their souls. Tell them that they have neither innocence nor an excuse with you. When they come to know that you will kill them, then refrain from them. Then go and come into Mecca and do not interfere with anyone. Terrify the people
[^1] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.363. [^2] Al-Nasaa’ih, p. 54. [^3] Ibid. It is strange that al-Bukhari depended on Samra’s speech and traditions in his Saheeh, vol. 8, p. 138. According to these crimes mentioned by the traditionists, Samra is regarded as among those who renounced the religion. So none has the right to depend on his narrations and traditions. But may Allah fight fanaticism, for it has thrown the people into great evil and turned them away from the straight path!
between Medina and Mecca and make them homeless. Then go to San‘a and al-Jind because we have followers in them. Their letter has come to me.”[^1] This criminal person yielded to the teachings of Hind’s son (Mu’awiya). So he terrified the Muslims, made terror and fear enter their hearts. He spread murdering and corruption in the land. He took the women of Hamadan as prisoners of war. They were placed in the markets. The greatest of them in leg was sold. So they were the first Muslim women to be taken as captives.[^2] He passed by some people standing beside a well. He threw them all with their boys into the well.[^3] Then he left them and headed for Yathrib (Medina). He entered Medina without any war. He went up on the pulpit and expressed his arrogance and unbelief, saying: “By Allah, were it not for that with which Mu’awiya has entrusted me, I would not leave in it (Medina) even a boy.” He stayed in it for one month. He demolished the houses of its people. He reviewed the people.
When it was said to him that someone took part in killing ‘Uthman, he killed him. Then he took his Army and marched towards Yemen. There he killed many people from among the followers of Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He demanded two children of Ubaydillah bin al-Abbas. When he found them, he ordered them to be killed. So a man from Kinana rose to him and asked: “Why have you killed these (two children), while they have no crime? If you are going to kill them, then kill me with them!” So he ordered the Kinani to be killed, and then he killed the two children. Then a woman from Kinana became so excited because of this horrible act. She opposed and said to him with words dripping pain and sadness. “Fellow, you have killed the men! So why have you killed these two (children)? By Allah, (the people) before Islam and in Islam did not kill (children). By Allah, O Ibn Abi Arta’a, the supreme authority that which stands on nothing except killing children, old men, mercilessness, disobedience to relatives is bad!”[^4]
[^1] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.117. [^2] Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 1, p. 165. Al-‘Alam al-Shamikh, p. 570. [^3] Al-Nasaa’ih, p. 54. [^4] Al-Kamil, vol. 3, p. 194. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 80. In his book Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 120, Ibn Abi al-Hadeed has mentioned: “Surely Bisr turned to the womenfolk of Kinana and said to them: ‘By Allah, I have intended to put the sword into you.’ So one of them criticized him for his tyranny: ‘By Allah, it is more lovable to me to do that.’ Then this criminal person headed for San‘a’ and there he killed one hundred old men from among the people of Persia (Iran). That is because a woman called the daughter of Bazrajj from among them had hidden ‘Ubayd Allah’s children in her house.
Yes, by Allah, Mu’awiya’s authority was bad, for it was based on oppression and tyranny; it was established on shedding blood, causing terror and fear to the souls of the innocent. The narrators have mentioned that this sinful person killed thirty thousand Muslims in addition to those whom he burnt with fire.[^1]
C. Abu Hurayra
Sheikh al-Mudhira, Abu Hurayra al-Dousi, was mean and low. He loved a cat during his early childhood. He was fond of the cat to the extent that he was nicknamed by it.[^2] He spent a great part of his lifetime poor and needy. He lived on begging. He became a servant in the houses. He hired himself to satisfy his stomach.[^3] He was satisfied with meanness and humiliation.
When the light of Islam appeared, Abu Hurayra embraced it as those who embraced it. He was in his first condition of poverty and misery. He included himself as one of the poor in al-Suffa[^4] . He lived on the leftovers of the houses and the Muslims’ alms. He described his poverty and his bad condition, saying: “I was among the poor people of al-Suffa.”[^5] He communicated with Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, to satisfy his stomach and his defect.[^6] In this manner he remained in his bitter condition for some years. He was hungry and naked. He had neither home nor money. When the caliphate reached ‘Umar, he did him a favor. He saved him from poverty and abject misery. He appointed him as a governor over Bahrain in the year 21 A. H. Then he removed him from the office in the year 23 A. H., for treason. Umar took back from him the property he had stolen from the Muslims’ properties. He said to him: “You came to know that I had appointed you as a governor over Bahrain while you had no sandals. Then I have heard that you sold some horses for a thousand and six hundred dinars.”
[^1] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.120. [^2] Al-Ma‘arif, vol. 1, p. 93. It has been mentioned in it: “Surely Abu Hurayra said: ‘I have been given the Kunya of Abu Hurayra (the father of the kitten) because of a small cat with which I used to play.” As he was so fond of the cat, he narrated a tradition from Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family: “Surely a woman entered the fire because of the cat she tied and did not leave it to eat of the things in the earth.” The tradition has been mentioned by al-Bukhari in his book al-Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 149. [^3] Al-Isaba, vol. 4, p. 207. This has been mentioned by: Abu Na‘eem in his book al-Hulya, and Ibn Sa‘d in his book al-Tabaqat. [^4] Al-Sifa was a shady place of the Mosque of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The guests of Islam spent the night in it. This has been mentioned by al-Fayruzi in his al-Qamoos, entry al-Saf. [^5] Al-Bukhari, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 1. [^6] Al-Isaba, vol. 4, p. 204.
Abu Hurayra fearfully said: “O Commander of the faithful, I had horses that reproduced and gifts followed one another!” ‘Umar angrily said to him: “I have fixed your livelihood and your provision. This is a surplus, so give it back!” -This does not belong to you! -By Allah, I will hurt your back! Then he rose and flogged him until he made him bleed. When Abu Hurayra suffered pain, he accepted to give back the money, and then he said: “I will bring it and sacrifice it in anticipation of Allah’s reward!” ‘Umar opposed him and refuted his claim about this anticipation, saying: “That is (right) if you had taken it from something lawful and willingly brought it back! You came from the remotest stone of al-Bahrain! The people collected (taxes) to you, neither to Allah nor to the Muslims. Umayma[^1] will bring you back to (no job) except grazing the sheep!”
Then ‘Umar took back the properties Abu Hurayra had stolen.[^2] Abu Hurayra returned to his early condition. He kept to the corners of inactivity. He was disgraced by treason and embezzlement. When the caliphate reached ‘Uthman, Abu Hurayra joined him and became among his helpers. He fabricated traditions in respect of his excellence. He said: [Allah’s Apostle has said:] “Surely every prophet has a bosom friend from among his community; and my bosom friend is ‘Uthman.”[^3] “Every prophet has a comrade in the Garden; and my comrade in it is ‘Uthman.”[^4] There are other traditions he fabricated and ascribed to Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, in respect of ‘Uthman and the Umayyads. When the community revolted against ‘Uthman and killed him because of his bad conduct and management, and when the caliphate reached Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s) Abu Hurayra returned to withering after the freshness. Then he left Medina for Damascus. There he joined Mu’awiya’s camp and flattered him and tried to please him with all means possible. He narrated to the people of Sham traditions from Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, saying: [Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and
[^1] Abu Hurayra’s mother. [^2] Al-‘Aqd al-Fareed, vol. 1, p. 25. [^3] Al-Dhahabi has mentioned it in his Mizan al-I‘tidal, in the biography of Ishaq bin Nujayh. He has decided that the tradition is false. [^4] Al-Dhahabi has mentioned it in his Mizan al-I‘tidal, in the biography of ‘Uthman bin Khalid. He has regarded the tradition as among the denied traditions.
his family, has said:] “Allah entrusted His revelation to three: I, Gabriel, and Mu’awiya!” He also said to them: “Surely the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, gave Mu’awiya an arrow and said to him: ‘Take this arrow until you meet me in the Garden!’”[^1]
In this manner Abu Hurayra fabricated traditions one after another about Mu’awiya, the Umayyads, and the companions’ excellence. Through that he sought nearness to Mu’awiya that he might get something of his world. As a result Mu’awiya showered him with enormous money and raised his importance. He made him wear silk and flax garments.[^2] When the Year of Unity came, Abu Hurayra and Mu’awiya went to Iraq. When he saw many people coming to receive him, he sat on his knees. Then he hit his hairless head several times and said: “O People of Iraq, do you claim that I tell lies against Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and burn myself in the fire? By Allah, I have heard Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, say: ‘Every prophet has a sanctum, and my sanctum is Medina. Whoever brings about an event in it, then the curse of Allah, the angels, and of all people be on him! And I bear witness that Ali brought about (an event) in it….’”
When Mu’awiya heard of that, he rewarded and honored him and appointed him as a governor over Medina.[^3] Abu Hurayra deserved this great position because he fabricated a tradition against Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. Through that he sought nearness to Mu’awiya and tried to achieve his interests and ambitions.
Abu Hurayra terribly harmed Islam through his fabricated traditions. He distorted the Islamic Law, added to it fables and imaginations, added to the religion what the religion was free from, divided the unity of the Muslims, made them parties and sects different in the fundamentals and branches of the religion. In his immortal book Abu Hurayra, his Eminence, late Imam Sharafuddeen has made a research on the traditions fabricated by Abu Hurayra. In his book Sheikh al-Mudhira, his Eminence, the great ‘Allama Sheikh Mahmood Abu Riyya has also criticized Abu Hurayra. He has said that Abu Hurayra was on the top of those who fabricated traditions and distorted the Holy Islamic Law. The Muslims are in urgent need of such free
[^1] Al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi has narrated the tradition in his book Tarikh. In his book Abu Hurayra, p. 27, His Eminence Imam Sharaf al-Deen has established that the tradition is among the fabricated ones. [^2] Al-Bukhari, Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 175. [^3] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.358.
researches that uncover such swindlers who spared no effort to scheme against Islam and plot against Muslims through the narrations they fabricated, and which have no reality and no share of truthfulness.
D. Ziyad Bin Abeeh
Ziyad bin Abeeh is the most dangerous of Mu’awiya’s governors in tyranny and oppression. The narrators have mentioned that he was the first to strengthen the authority and make firm the dominion of Mu’awiya. He drew his sword, punished (the people) because of suspicion and doubt.[^1] He was the first person before whom the bodyguards walked carrying Iron staffs. He was the first person in front of whom the people sat on chairs. He was the first to employ policemen and bodyguards.[^2] Mu’awiya increased the area of his authority. He appointed him as a governor over Basra, Kufa, Sajistan, Persia, Sind, and India.[^3]
These Islamic countries under his influence were afflicted with ordeals, tribulation, and unhappiness. Chaos dominated them, all freedoms were removed from them, the opinions of their people became disordered owing to the terror and fear of the tyrannical authorities that were void of mercy and compassion. The authorities punished the people on account of suspicion and accusation, cut off legs and hands, and knocked out eyes, to the extent that death spread everywhere. Ziyad’s name was a reason for moving terror in the Iraqis’ souls because he had spread oppression and tyranny, to the extent that there was no way to picture the severity and violence. Ziyad himself has expressed his blind policy in his al-battra’[^4] speech. In his speech he has mentioned: “And surely I swear by Allah that I will punish a friend because of a friend, the residing because of the departing, the coming because of the turning back, and the sound from among you because of the sick. So the man from among you meets his brother and says to him: “O Sa‘d, escape! For Sa‘eed has been perished!”
He added, saying: “We have decided that there is a punishment for each crime. So whoever drowns people, we will drown him! Whoever burns people, we will burn him! Who ever bores a house (to rob it), we will bore his heart! Whoever digs a grave, we will bury him alive!”
[^1] Al-Kamil, vol. 10, p. 183. [^2] Subh al-A‘sha, vol. 1, p. 416. [^3] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 416. [^4] It has been called al-battra’ because he has not praised Allah in it.
Then he said: “By Allah, I will kill many of you! Therefore each one of you should beware of that he is among those I will kill!”[^1] The meaning of this speech is that, in Ziyad’s viewpoint, the punishments prescribed by Allah and His Apostle were not enough to make the people of Basra and Kufa follow the straight path. That is because Islam does not drown him who drowns (people), does not burn him who burns (people), and does not bore the thief’s heart even if he bores houses (to rob them). Islam does not bury people alive in graves even if they dig the graves of the dead. Islam does not administer the punishment because of suspicion; rather it turns it away. This is the religious legislation. As for Ziyad’s serious offences, they are not few. Surely the Muslims did not know this abominable policy declared by Ziyad and were not familiar with it. This policy indicates that its owner was tyrannical and wanted to rule the people through aggression, to fill their hearts with terror and fear, and to usurp the obedience and yielding to him by force.
Through his crooked policy, Ziyad decided to punish the sound because of the crime of the sick and the coming because of the turning back. This decision is arbitrary, void of justice and mercy. When he had finished his severe speech, Abu Bilal Mirdas bin Adiya rose for him, whispered, and said to him: “Allah has informed us with something other than what you have said. Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: ‘And Ibrahim who fulfilled (the commandments). That no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another. And that man shall have nothing but what he strives for.’ [^2] Therefore Allah promised us (something) better than what you have promised us, O Ziyad.”
Ziyad opposed him with words dripping anger and vengeance, saying: “Surely we find no way to what you and your leader want unless you should wade into blood for it!”[^3]
Ziyad followed this terrorist, tyrannical plan that had the signs of death and executing of all the free and thinkers, to the extent that he set the record of the oppressive authority. He was so criminal that he killed some people though he knew that they were innocent. They did not interfere and took no part in any of the political affairs. Once, his policemen arrested a Bedouin. The Bedouin was brought to him, and he asked him:
-Have you heard the call? [^1] Al-Kamil, vol. 3, p. 226. [^2] Qur’an, 53, 37, 38, 39. [^3] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 135.
-No by Allah, I brought a cow. It got dark, so I was forced to go to a place to spend the night there till morning. I had no knowledge of what the Emir had decided.
-By Allah, I think you are right! However murdering you sets the community right! Then he ordered him to be beheaded.[^1] The Bedouin was killed though he committed no crime. In this manner Ziyad went too far in shedding the Muslims’ blood. He did not respect it, nor did he refrain from shedding it. This sinful man went too far in shedding the blood of the followers of the Prophet’s progeny (a.s). He declared a violent war against the Shia on the first day of his authority over Kufa. He did not permit them to meet each other in their houses. If they wanted to do that, they had to come together in the mosques, that they would be under his supervision.[^2] He brought them together and forced them to disown Imam Ali.[^3] He killed seventy men from them, for they refused to curse Imam Ali.[^4] He went too far in exhausting and killing them everywhere. He cut off their hands and their legs, crucified them on the trunks of the date-palms, knocked out their eyes, and rendered them homeless.[^5] Therefore that pure blood which was shed, the women who were widowed, and the children who were orphaned were sacrificed in anticipation of Allah’s reward!
These are some of Mu’awiya’s governors and headsmen whom he empowered over the Muslim community, and they killed Muslims’ children, employed their womenfolk as servants, plundered their wealth, and spread corruption among them.
The Inclusive Oppression
The governors of Mu’awiya intentionally spread tyranny and oppression all over the countries. So their offices were a source of upset and disorder, and one of the doors to tribulation against the people. When someone went to them, he or she was burnt by their fire. Describing them, ‘Abd al-Malik said: “The most comfortable of the people in life is he who has that which suffices him, a wife who pleases him, and does not know our wicked doors that hurts him!”[^6]
[^1] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 135. [^2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 6 p. 132. [^3] Al-Bayqahi, al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi’, vol. 1, p. 39. [^4] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 210. [^5] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.3, p.15. [^6] Al-Kamil, vol. 10, p. 183.
The governors went too far in wronging and persecuting the people. They unjustly plundered their properties. They were strict in the affair of land tax, and forced the people to pay it with all cruel means. Fan Flotin has said: “In stead of that the Caliphs (the Umayyad kings) should take the procedures to punish the governors and prevent them from practicing oppression, we find that they shared with them in the interests of the properties they had collected through those cruel ways. This means that the caliphs were satisfied with the governors’ bad behaviors toward the people of the country. Besides, it is a proof showing that some of them, in the first place, took care of the interests of the central treasury.”[^1]
Surely Mu’awiya and the rest of the Umayyad kings did not punish any of their governors, nor did they prevent them from practicing oppression and aggression against the people. ‘Aqaba bin Hubayra al-Asadi criticized Mu’awiya for the greediness of his governors and their extorting the subjects’ properties. He said to him:
O Mu’awiya, surely we are human beings; be gentle to us, for we are neither mountains nor iron. You have swallowed down our land and made it barren. So is there anything standing or as a crop? Suppose that we are a community of no avail, (but) Yazid and Yazid’s father are its commanders. Do you crave after the caliphate when we perish while neither you nor we have immortality? Leave the slaves of the caliphate, be righteous, and (leave) appointing the low and the slaves as commanders! Give us equality, for the soldiers followed by soldiers do not support you!
Al-Nimyari, a poet and shepherd, explained to Abdul Melik bin Marwan that his governors wronged and persecuted his people, to the extent that they became poor and they escaped to the desert, and that they had nothing except weak camels. The shepherd said to him:
O vicegerent of the Most Merciful One, surely we are true people who prostrate in the early morning and the late afternoon. Surely the governors disobeyed you on the day when you commanded them, and brought, if you knew, low misfortunes. They took the noble master standing and shackled, and cut off the middle of his chest with the whip.
[^1] Al-Siyada al-‘Arabiya, p. 28.
When they left nothing of his flesh on his bones and nothing reasonable in his heart, they brought their title deed to a plump one whom the whips made cowardly and fearful.
They took his camels, and he became sitting and cannot leave the house. He calls the Commander of the faithful and in front of him is a wide desert through which the winds draw tails. He is like the hoopoes whose wings the shooters have broken and that coo in the middle of the road. O Vicegerent of the Most Merciful One, surely the livestock of my clan have become defeated groups. They (my clan) have taken care of Islam; they have not left paying Zakat, nor have they lost saying: There is no god but Allah. They covered al-Yamama; they were driven away as if that they were people who hit oppressors with something. For two spring months their milk ewes have tasted nothing but bitter, salty, bad, and withered trees. Yehya have come to them and made firm a contract the Muslims regard as heavy. Letters have made their rich poor after the riches and made their poor emaciated. I have left my people. Shall they entrust their affairs to you or shall they wait for a short time?[^1]
This poetry is full of sorrow and pain. In it the poet has pictured the tyranny and oppression the governors poured upon the people. The tyranny continued even at the time of ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, who was the most just of the Umayyad kings, as they say. That is because his governors spared no effort to plunder the properties of the people and to loot their wealth. In this connection Ka‘b al-Ash‘ari, a poet, addressed him, saying:
If you protect what follows you, then the governors of your land are wolves in the country. They do not respond to that which you summon to unless you cut off heads with the sword. Through the hands of brave ones endowed with insight; in their striking there are restraints and punishment.[^2]
[^1] Tabaqat Fuhool al-Shu‘ara, pp. 439-441. Jamharat Ash‘ar al-‘Arab, p. 341. [^2] Al-Jahiz, al-Bayan wa al-Tabiyin, vol. 3, p. 358.
While ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-’Aziz was delivering a sermon on the pulpit, a man interrupted him, saying: Surely those whom you have sent in the countries have left your letter and regarded as lawful the unlawful. Those whose clothes are dirty (are sitting) on the pulpits of our land; all of them tyrannize (the people) and all of (the people) complain (of them). You want a just one from among them to undertake the trust. How far is the trustworthy Muslim![^1] The Muslims were severely afflicted with those governors and were exhausted by the Umayyad government that intended to deaden the truth, battle against justice, and spread poverty and misery all over the countries.
Anyway these practices, which we have mentioned about Mu’awiya and the Umayyads, made the vengeance of the people upon them strong throughout the historical stages. The Umayyads have showed their pre-Islamic reality, which has no relation with the religious laws. This is the wonderful victory Imam al-Hasan (a.s) won during his making peace with Mu’awiya. The peacemaking has brought about defeat to the Umayyads, slandering and criticizing to Mu’awiya when dead and alive. It has also showed that the Umayyad government was an example of the tyrannical authority holding the slogan of oppression, dictatorship, and making light of the people’s rights. We are satisfied with this brief account of Mu’awiya’s serious offences that have blackened the face of history. Imam al-Hasan (a.s) has shown them through his making peace with Mu’awiya.