The Life of Imam Al-hasan Al-mujtaba
Chapter Xxiv : Mu’awiya Violates the Stipulations of the Peacemaking Part 1
Nations and peoples, irrespective of their elements and religions, observe fulfilling covenants and carry out stipulations. They do not turn away from what they observe. They comply with social relationships and keep general regulations. As for Islam, it takes great care of this affair. It emphasizes the care for covenants and the fulfilling of them. Allah, the Most High, says: “And fulfill the promise; surely (every) promise shall be questioned about.”[^1] And He, the Exalted, says: “And if they seek aid from you in the matter of the religion, aid is incumbent on you except against a people between whom and you there is a treaty.”[^2] In this verse Allah, the Most High, summons the Muslims to support their brothers in religion and to take part in war operations when they summon them to that. He, the Most High, has excluded the Muslims between whom and the polytheists there are a covenant and a treaty. That is because it is not permissible for them to violate that, for covenants are of great importance with Allah. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, says: “The believers (should cleave to) their stipulations.” He, may Allah bless him and his family, says: “If a believer promises, he should fulfill (his promise).”
In his document of instructions to Malik al-Ashtar, Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, has said: “If you conclude an agreement between you and your enemy or enter into a pledge with him, then fulfill your agreement and discharge your pledge faithfully. Place yourself as a shield against whatever you have pledged because among the obligations of Allah there is nothing on which people are more strongly united despite the difference of their ideas and variation of their views than respect for fulfilling pledges. Besides, Muslims, even unbelievers have abided by agreements because they realize the dangers that would come in wake of violation (thereof). Therefore, do not deceive your enemy, because none can offend Allah save the ignorant and the wicked. Allah made His agreement and pledged the sign of security which He has spread over His creatures through His mercy and an asylum in which they stay in His protection and seek the benefit of nearness to Him.”
[^1] Qur’an, 17, 34. [^2] Ibid., 8, 72.
This is the attitude of Islam toward treaties and stipulations. It has made it incumbent on Muslims to fulfill them and to take care of them. It has made it unlawful to violate them. After this let us return to the truce of the peacemaking which was concluded by Imam al-Hasan and Mu’awiya, that we may see which of the parties observed it. As for the stipulations Imam al-Hasan (a.s) made against Mu’awiya, there was only one stipulation which was that the Imam had not to revolt against him. The Imam fulfilled that. That was when his loyal followers hurried to him after Mu’awiya had broken the conditions he had given to the Imam. They asked him to revolt against Mu’awiya. However, the Imam (a.s) refused to violate the covenant he had made. After his going out of Kufa to Yathrib, the leaders of his followers came to him. They asked him to fight against Mu’awiya. They guaranteed that they would occupy Kufa and remove Mu’awiya’s governor from it. However, the Imam (a.s) refused to respond to them and ordered them to incline to patience-as we have previously mentioned.
As for Mu’awiya, he violated his covenant and oath and he broke his promises though he had made it incumbent on himself through strong, sure oaths to fulfill what he had given to the Imam from among the stipulations. He has mentioned at the end of the treaty: “On Mu’awiya bin Abi Sufyan is Allah’s promise and covenant, what Allah took against any of His creature from among the fulfillment, and what Allah gave from among Himself.” However, after a few days Mu’awiya violated the treaty he had concluded. He said before the Muslims: “Truly all the things I had given to al-Hasan bin Ali are under these two feet of mine! I will not fulfill them!” Al-Husayn bin Numayr said: “Mu’awiya did not fulfill any of the things he had given to al-Hasan. He killed Hijr and his companions. He pledged allegiance to his son, and poisoned al-Hasan.” The Khousrow of the Arabs (Mu’awiya) violated all the conditions the treaty contained. He fulfilled nothing of them. Through that he showed his policy that raised the slogan of treachery, breaking promises, and violating covenants. The following are the stipulations Mu’awiya violated and did not fulfill:
Cursing Imam Ali When man dies, hatred, spites, and all effects should die with him. People have followed that since the dawn of history. However Mu’awiya, son of Hind, turned away from that. After the concluding of the peacemaking, Mu’awiya openly cursed Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, and went too far in disparaging him. Imam al-Hasan had stipulated that Mu’awiya should refrain from cursing his father, but Mu’awiya paid no attention to that. Imam Ali passed away, but Mu’awiya went on cursing him. It was said:
Respecting the dead is a must even if they are far. Just imagine how much more it is when they are near.[^1] Mu’awiya used all his abilities to disparage Imam Ali and to degrade his position. He employed all the organs of his government for that, to the extent that he regarded cursing the pure family (of the Prophet) as among the religious practices. So the Muslims protested when it (the cursing) was stopped, They called each other to perform it, and felt that they committed a sin when they did not perform it.
Without doubt cursing Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, means cursing and disparaging the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. It has been narrated from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, his sauying: “Whoever curses Ali curses me. Whoever curses me curses Allah.”[^2] It has been narrated that he has said: “Whoever hurts Ali hurts me.”[^3] He, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: “O Allah, befriend whoever befriends him, be hostile to whoever opposes him, support whoever supports him, and desert whoever deserts him.”
True traditions transmitted from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, have mentioned that Imam Ali was his brother, his guardian, his bosom friend, and the gate of the city of his knowledge. They have also mentioned that had it not been for his jihad and his defending the religion of Allah, no pillar of Islam would have stood, no worshipper would have worshipped Allah, and no monotheist would have professed the unity of Allah. It was said in the past:
Do you openly curse him on the pulpits while their sticks have been installed for you through his sword? As for the reason that Mu’awiya cursed Imam Ali, it was that Mu’awiya came to know that the affairs would not go well except through cursing and
[^1] Al-Safi, Diwan, p. 589. [^2] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 121. Dhakha’ir al-‘Uqba, p. 66.
[^3] Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 3, p. 483. Asad al-Ghaba, vol. 4, p. 113. In al-Haythami’s Majjma‘, vol. 9, p. 129, it has been mentioned on the authority of Sa‘d bin Abi Waqqas, who said: “I and two men were sitting in the mosque. We disparaged Ali. So Allah’s Apostle, (a.s.) angrily came towards us. Anger was seen on his face. So I sought refuge with Allah from his anger. He, (a.s.) said: ‘There is no relationship between you and me. Whoever hurts Ali hurts me.’” In the book Dhakha’ir al-‘Uqba, p. 65, it has been mentioned on the authority of ‘Amru bin Shas al-Aslami, who said: “Allah’s Apostle, (a.s.) said: ‘Whoever loves Ali loves me. Whoever detests Ali detests me. Whoever hurts Ali hurts me. Whoever hurts me hurts Allah.’”
slandering him. Marwan bin al-Hakam declared that, saying: “The affair does not go well with us but through that (through cursing Imam Ali).” [^1] Anyway when Mu’awiya returned to Damascus after concluding the peacemaking, he ordered the people to gather together. He arose among them and said: “O People, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said to me: ‘Surely you will undertake the caliphate after me. Choose the Sacred Land, for there are righteous people in it.’ I have chosen you. Therefore, curse Abu Turab (Imam Ali)!” The people began cursing and disparaging him.[^2] Then Mu’awiya used cursing him as a constant Sunna during Friday and eid sermons. He addressed the people and said at the end of his sermon: “O Allah, Abu Turab (Imam Ali) disbelieved in Your religion and turned away from Your way, so curse him with a harmful cursing and punish him with a painful chastisement!” These words were mentioned on the pulpits.[^3] Then Mu’awiya wrote to all his governors letters in which he commanded them to curse the brother of Allah’s Apostle and master of this community (Imam Ali).
The orators disowned Imam Ali and cursed him in all the districts and on all the pulpits.[^4]
[^1] Al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa, p. 33. [^2] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.3 , p.361. [^3] Al-Nasaa’ih al-Kafiya, p. 72. He quoted it from Abu ‘Uthman al-Jahiz in the book al-Radd ‘alaa al-Imamiya. [^4] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.3, p.15. It is an act of good to mention the attitude of Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, and of his son al-Hasan toward cursing Mo’awiya. In the book Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.361, it has been mentioned that Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, heard some people cursing the people of al-Sham (Syria). So he rebuked them and prevented them from that, saying: “Surely I dislike that you curse them. However, if you described their deeds and mentioned their conditions, it would be a better way of speaking and a more convincing way of arguing. Instead of abusing them you should say: ‘O Allah, spare our and their blood, make peace between us and them, and bring them out of their misguidance so that he who is ignorant of the truth may know it, and he who inclines toward rebellion and revolt may turn away from it.’”
As for Imam al-Hasan’s attitude toward cursing Mo’awiya, once a messenger from Mo’awiya came to him. When the messenger saw the Imam’s dignity and greatness, he said: “I ask Allah to protect you and to ruin these people!” Imam al-Hasan rebuked him and said to him: “Slowly! Do not betray him who trusts you. It is enough for you to love me because of the love for Allah’s Apostle, (a.s.) and for my father and mother. It is an act of treason that some people trust you while you are hostile to them and invoke (Allah against) them.” Al-Malahim wa al-Fitan, p. 143.
Mu’awiya’s governors followed that. Mu’awiya removed from office those who refused to curse Imam Ali. He removed from office Sa‘eed bin al-‘Aas because he refused to curse the Imam. He replaced him by Marwan bin al-Hakam. This wicked rogue (Marwan) went too far in cursing and disparaging Imam Ali, to the extent that Imam al-Hasan did not come to the mosque.[^1] Al-Mughira bin Shu‘ba went too far in cursing him, to the extent that none was able to count the times of his cursing him.[^2] Ziyad provoked the people to curse him and he killed with the sword those who refused to curse him.[^3]
The governors went too far in cursing Imam Ali, to the extent that they regarded his cursing as one of the parts of the Friday Prayer. One of them forgot to curse Imam Ali (a.s) during the Friday sermon. He remembered it during his travel, so he recompensed it. They built a mosque and called the mosque Masjid al-Dhikr.[^4] Hisham bin ‘Abdul Melik made a speech at ‘Arafa. So ‘Abdul Melik bin al-Waleed criticized him for that, saying: “O Commander of the faithful, on this day the caliphs regard cursing Abu Turab (Imam Ali) as desirable!” However Hisham said to him: “We have come not for this.”[^5] When ‘Abdul Melik bin Marwan became a ruler, he regarded cursing (Imam Ali) the Commander of the faithful as on top of his tasks. He spread cursing him in all the Islamic countries. Khalid bin Abdullah al-Qasri[^6] , an Umayyad governor over Mecca and Iraq, openly cursed Imam Ali, al-Hasna, and al-Husayn. He ascended the pulpit and said: “O Allah, curse Ali
[^1] Tatheer al-Jinan wa al-Lisan, p. 142. [^2] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p.361. [^3] Al-Mas‘udi, vol. 6, p. 99. [^4] Al-Miqrim, Maqtal al-Husayn, p. 198. [^5] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p.476. [^6] Khalid bin Abdullahal-Qasri was appointed by Hisham bin ‘Abd al-Malik as a governor over Iraq. His mother was a Christian. He built to her a church to worship in it. Concerning that al-Farazdaq satirized him, saying:
May Allah make ugly the back of the riding animal that brought us Khalid from Damascus! How do the people pray behind him whose mother believes that Allah is not one. He built to his mother a church on which there was a cross. And he demolished the minarets of the mosques out of detest. Hisham removed him from the Iraqis because he forced a Muslim woman to commit fornication. Then he killed him during the days of al-Waleed. This has been mentioned in Wafayat al-A‘yan, vol. 5, pp. 152-162. A narration similar to this has been mentioned by Ibn Katheer in his al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 10, p. 20. It is strange that Ibn Habban regarded this sinful criminal as among the trustworthy. This has also been mentioned by Ibn Hajar in his Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol.3, p. 101. May Allah fight tribalism, for it clothes falsehood in the garment of the truth. bin Abi Talib, the son-in-law of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, the husband of his daughter, the father of al-Hasan and al-Husayn.”
Then he turned to the people and said to them: “Have I used a kunya?” [^1] Al-Hafiz al-Sayuti has mentioned that there were during the days of the Umayyads more than seventy thousand pulpits on which (Ali) bin Abi Talib (a.s) was cursed. That was because Mu’awiya had legislated that. In connection with this Allama Ahmed Hafiz al-Shafi‘i has said: Sheikh al-Sayuti has related that among what they made as a Sunna (was) seventy thousand and ten pulpits on which they cursed Haydar (Imam Ali). The great become small beside this; rather it lays the blame on (Mu’awiya). When the common people and the low class came to know that cursing and disparaging (Imam Ali), the Commander of the faithful (a.s) was the most lovable thing to the Umayyad authority and the best means to communicate with it, they sought nearness to the government through that. A rogue went to al-Hajjaj raising his voice, saying: “Surely my family harmed me when they named me Ali. I am poor and miserable. I am in need of the gift of the Emir.”
Al-Hajjaj was pleased with that. He laughed and said: “The thing through which you have gained access is nice. I have appointed you in the place so-and-so.”[^2]
Abusing and cursing Imam Ali (a.s) spread throughout the Islamic countries except Sajistan. He was not cursed on the pulpits there except one time. When the Umayyads insisted on that, the people of Sajistan refrained from it, to the extent that the Umayyads finally were forced to agree with them.[^3] Through that the people of Sajistan obtained honor and glory. This laudable deed has been written down for them with a pen of honor and light.
The Umayyads insisted on cursing the hero of Islam and defender of its entity (Imam Ali). They spared no effort to do that till ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz came. He abolished cursing Imam Ali and wrote about the abolition letters to all his governors. He ordered the cursing during the Friday and eid sermons to be replaced by these words of Him, the Exalted: “Our Lord, forgive us and those of our brethren who had precedence over us in faith. And do not allow any spite to remain in our hearts towards those who believe; our Lord, surely You are Kind, Merciful.”[^4]
[^1] Al-Nasaa’ih al-Kafiya, p. 80. [^2] Ibid. Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.356. [^3] Mu‘jam al-Buldan. [^4] Qur’an, 59, 10.
It was said that he replaced that by these words of Him, the Most High: “Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the kindred, and He forbids indecency and evil and rebellion. He admonishes you that you may be mindful.”[^1] It also was said that he replaced that by both verses.[^2] Through that he has recorded a laudable deed that none forgets throughout generations and epochs. Sayyid al-Shareef al-Rady, a genius poet, may Allah have mercy on him, praised ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz and thanked him for the service he rendered to all the Muslims, saying:
[^1] Qur’an, 59, 90. [^2] Al-Ghadir, vol. 10, p. 266. In his book Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 356, Ibn Abi al-Hadeed has mentioned: “Surely ‘Umar (bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz) related the reason for his abstaining from cursing (Imam Ali), the Commander of the faithful, saying: ‘(When) I was a boy, I recited the Qur’an to one of the sons of ‘Uttba bin Mas‘ud. One day he (‘Uttba) passed by me while I was playing with the boys and we were cursing Ali, he hated that and entered the mosque. I left the boys and went to him to learn my part (of the Qur‘an) under him. When he saw me, he rose and prayed. He prayed for a long time as if he turned away from me, to the extent that I felt that from him. After he had finished praying, he turned his face away from me. So I said: ‘What is the matter with the Shaykh?’ So he said to me:
‘Are you the one who cursed Ali today?’ ‘Yes,’ I replied. He said: ‘When did you come to know that Allah was displeased with the people who took part at the Battle of Badr after He had been pleased with them?’ So I said to him: ‘Father, was Ali among those who took part in the Battle of Badr?’ So he said: ‘Woe unto you, all the Battle of Badr belonged to him.’ So I said to him: ‘I will not return (to cursing him). He said: ‘I adjure you before Allah not to return.’ ‘Yes,’ I replied. He (‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz) said: ‘I used to sit beside the pulpit in Medina. My father delivered a sermon on Friday. He was then the governor over Medina. I heard that my father was eloquent in his sermons. When he reached cursing Ali, he maundered and was unable to express himself. I wandered at that. So, one day, I asked him:
‘O father, you are the most eloquent of the people and greatest of them in delivering sermons. Why do I see that you are the most eloquent orator on the day of your sermon but when you pass by cursing this man (Imam Ali), you become stammering and are unable to express yourself?’ He said: ‘O my little son, if the people of al-Sham and other than them from among those who sit beside our pulpit came to know of the excellence of this man (Imam Ali) just as your father knew (it), none of them would follow us.’ So ‘Umar said: ‘I kept his words secret in my heart along with what my teacher said to me during the days of my childhood. I promised Allah that if I had had a share in this authority, I would have changed it. When Allah was kind to me through the caliphate, I abolished that (i.e. cursing Imam Ali).
’” In the book al-Islam bayna al-Sunna wa al-Shia, p. 25, it has been mentioned: “When ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz abolished cursing (Imam Ali), the Commander of the faithful, an orator delivered a sermon in Harran Mosque. When the orator ended his sermon, he did not curse (Imam Ali), the Commander of the faithful. So the people shouted from all directions: “Woe unto you! The sunna! The sunna! You have left the sunna!” Some books have mentioned: “All the Islamic countries abandoned cursing (Imam Ali), the Commander of the faithful, after ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz had abolished it except the people of Hams; they insisted on that.” O bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, if the eye wept for a man from the Umayyads, it would weep for you. I say that you were good though your house was not good and pure. It was you who deemed that we were far above cursing and slandering. If I saw your grave, I would feel shame that I saw (you) and did not greet you. It was little that if I refined the blood of the body out of striking on the peaks and gave it to you to drink. O monastery of Sam‘an, in you is the shelter of Abi Hafs, so would that I lodged you. O monastery of Sam‘an, may no rain visit you. The dead one in you is the best of the dead of Marwan’s family.[^1] Through these wonderful poetry, Sayyid al-Shareef praised and thanked him for his abolishing this heresy indicating Mu’awiya’s pre-Islamic beliefs and his apostasy from the religion.
The Deniers of the Cursing
Curing Imam Ali (a.s) moved the displeasure of the good, religious people. Imam Ali (a.s) was the very self of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, his brother, father of his grandsons, and the one who toiled for Islam for a long time. In the meantime cursing a Muslim is among the ugliest forbidden things. It has been reported from the Prophet that he has said: “Cursing a Muslim is transgression.”[^2] And he has said: “A believer is not a curser.”[^3] Other traditions have been reported from the Prophet (a.s) regarding cursing and slandering a Muslim. For this reason some people hurried to declare their displeasure with Mu’awiya. They criticized him and his governors for that. We will relate the text of their statements in connection with that:
Sa‘d Bin Abi Waqqas
It was difficult for Sa‘d to hear Mu’awiya curse Imam Ali (a.s). He cared much for that and he criticized Mu’awiya for it. The historians have mentioned that Mu’awiya went to the Sacred House of Allah (Mecca) after the year of the peacemaking. After he had finished circumambulating the Kaaba, he went to Dar al-Nadwa (Assembly House). After he had sat down, he cursed Imam Ali (a.s). So Sa‘d became angry. He turned to Mu’awiya and [^1] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.357. [^2] Al-Targheeb wa al-Tarheeb, vol. 3, p. 394. Fayd al-Qadeer, vol. 4, p. 84. [^3] Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh.
said to him: “O Mu’awiya, you have seated me on your chair and begun cursing Ali. By Allah, if I had one of Ali’s qualities, it would be more loveable to me than to have all that which the sun shines over. By Allah, if I was the son-in-law of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and had the sons Ali had, it would be more loveable to me than to have all that which the sun shines on. By Allah, if Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, had said to me as he said to Ali at the Battle of Khaybar: ‘Tomorrow I will give the standard to a man whom Allah and His Apostle love, and who loves Allah and His Apostle. He does not flee, and through his hands Allah will grant victory’ it would have been more loveable to me than to have all that which the sun shines on. By Allah, if Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, had said to me at the expedition to Tabuk: ‘Are you not content, Ali, that you are to me as Harun (Aaron) was to Musa (Moses), except that there is no prophet after me,’ it would have been more loveable to me than to have all that which the sun shines on. By Allah, I will not enter your house as long as I remain (alive).” Then he rose with anger and excitement.[^1]
Umm Salama (the Prophet’s wife) was aware of the position of Imam Ali, (a.s) and of his position to Allah’s Apostle (a.s). When she came to know that Mu’awiya openly cursed Imam ali, she hurried to criticize Mu’awiya for that. She wrote Mu’awiya a note in which she mentioned: “Surely you curse Allah and his Apostle on your pulpits when you curse Ali bin Abi Talib and those who love him. I bear witness that Allah and His Apostle love him.”
However her criticism was useless because Mu’awiya insisted on his error and sin.[^2]
Abdullah Bin Abbas
Abdullah bin Abbas, the authority of the nation, passed by some people who cursed Imam Ali (a.s). He said to the driver (of his camel): “Bring me nearer to them!” The driver took him nearer to them. Ibn Abbas faced them while his [^1] Al-Mas‘udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 317. It has been mentioned by Ibn Katheer in his al-Tarikh, Muslim in his al-Saheeh, and al-Turmidhi in his al-Saheeh. There is a simple difference among the narrations. Al-Mas‘udi has mentioned Mo’awiya’s answer to Sa‘d. It is ugly to mention it. We think that it is better to leave it.
[^2] Al-‘Aqd al-Farid, vol. 3, p. 117. In the book Mustadrak al-Saheehayn, vol. 1, p. 121, it has been mentioned on the authority of Abu Abdullahal-Jadali, who said: “I came in to Umm Salama and she said to me: ‘Is Allah’s Apostle, (a.s.) cursed among you?’ So I said: ‘I seek refuge with Allah or glory belongs to Allah or a word like it.’ She said: ‘I heard Allah’s Apostle, (a.s.) say: ‘Whoever curses Ali curses me.’” heart was filled with pain. He said to them with words dripping anger:
-Which one of you cursed Allah’ Apostle?
-We seek refuge with Allah from cursing Allah’s Apostle. -Which one of you cursed Ali bin Abi Talib? -As for this, it is ‘yes’. -I bear witness that I heard Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, saying: “Whoever curses me curses Allah. Whoever curses Ali bin Abi Talib curses me.”
So they bowed their heads out of shame and were unable to answer. Then he left them and went away, but left regret prevailing them. He turned to the driver (of his camel) and asked him: “How did you see them?” He answered him while he was delighted at what he had done to these criminals, saying: “They looked at you with red eyes as if they were goats looking at the knives of a butcher!” Ibn Abbas was pleased and said: “Tell more! May my father and mother die for you!” He said: “They looked askance at you while they were bowing their chins as the lowly looked at the mighty victor.” “Tell more! May my father and mother die for you!” retorted bin Abbas.
“I have nothing more,” said the driver, “but I have: Their living wrong their dead. The dead are the scandal of the past.”[^1] A debate took place between Ibn Abbas and Mu’awiya. The debate shows the terrible plans Mu’awiya had followed to conceal Imam Ali’s outstanding qualities, to veil his laudable deeds and his excellences. We will relate the text of the debate because it is of great importance. The historians have mentioned that Mu’awiya performed pilgrimage to the Kaaba after the year of the peacemaking. He passed by a group of people from Quraysh. They arose for him except Abdullah bin Abbas. So Mu’awiya hurried to say to him:
-O Ibn Abbas, the thing that has prevented you from rising for me as your companions have done is the anger against me because of my fighting you at the Battle of Siffin. O Ibn Abbas, surely my cousin ‘Uthman was unjustly killed. [^1] Al-Mas‘udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 229. Al-Riyad al-Nadira, vol. 2, p. 166.
-‘Umar bin al-Khattab was unjustly killed. He handed over the matter to his son. This is his son. He pointed to Abdullah bin ‘Umar. -Surely a polytheist killed ‘Uthman. -So who killed ‘Uthman? -The Muslims killed him. -Therefore, this is greater in refuting your proof. If the Muslims killed and deserted him, then (they did that with nothing) but with justice. -We have written books to the countries to prevent (the people there) from mentioning the outstanding qualities of Ali and of his household. Therefore prevent your tongue, O Ibn Abbas. -Do you forbid us from reciting the Qur’an? -No. -Do you forbid us from interpreting it? -Yes. -Shall we recite it and do not ask about what Allah has meant by it? -Yes. -Which is more obligatory on us; reciting it or doing according to it? -Doing according to it. -How do we act according to it while we do not know what Allah has meant by what He has revealed to us? -Ask those who interpret it in a way different from the way with which you and your household interpret it. -The Qur’an was sent down to my household. Shall I ask the family of Abu Sufyan and that of Abi Mi’yat about it? -Recite the Qur’an! But do not narrate anything of what Allah has revealed concerning you and what the Prophet has said. Narrate something other than that. -Allah, the Most High, has said: “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.” -O Ibn Abbas, suffice me yourself. Prevent your tongue from me. If you do that, let it be secret. Do not make anyone hear it openly.[^1] This debate shows the deep plans on which Mu’awiya depended to fight against Ahl al-Bayt, to conceal their outstanding merits, and to veil the Muslims from them. [^1] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p.15.
Al-Ahnaf Bin Qays
Al-Ahnaf bin Qays came in to Mu’awiya. After he had sat down, a sinful rogue from among the people of Sham arose and made a speech. The rogue started his speech with cursing Imam Ali (a.s). It was difficult for al-Ahnef to hear that. He turned to Mu’awiya and sadly said to him: “If the sayer came to know that you were pleased at cursing the apostles, he would curse them. Therefore, fear Allah, O Mu’awiya. Leave Ali because he has met his Lord, he is alone in his grave, and is with his deeds. By Allah, he was accepted in his precedence (to Islam), pure, blessed in soul, and great.”
Mu’awiya was burnt with this scolding and felt pain because of this great laudation to Imam Ali (a.s), before the people of Sham. He turned to al-Ahnaf and said to him: “O Ahnaf, you have swallowed the bitter pill and said what you see! Surely, by Allah, you should ascend the pulpit and curse Ali willingly or unwillingly.” Al-Ahnaf said to him: “If you exempted me (from that), it would be better for you. If you forced me to do that, I would never say it.” Mu’awiya paid no attention to his speech and said to him violently: “Arise and ascend the pulpit!”
-Surely I will treat you with justice in word and act.
-What will you say if you treat me with justice?
-I will ascend the pulpit. I will praise and laud Allah. I will call down blessings upon His Prophet, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. Then I will say: “O people, (Mu’awiya), the Commander of the faithful, has commanded me to curse Ali. Ali and Mu’awiya differed with each other and fought against one another. Each one of them claimed that the other had rebelled against him and his group. When I supplicate, you say ‘amen!’ May Allah have mercy on you!” Then I will say: “O Allah, You, Your angels, Your prophets, and all Your creatures curse the one who rebelled against his companion, and curse the rebellious group. O Allah, curse them very much. Say ‘amen’! May Allah have mercy on you!” O Mu’awiya, I will neither increase nor decrease a word more than this even if I am killed.
Mu’awiya dodged and said: “Therefore, we exempt you (from that), O Abu Bahr!”[^1] [^1] Al-‘Aqd al-Farid, vol. 2, p. 144. al-Mustatraf, vol. 1, p. 54.
Katheer Bin Katheer
Among those who blamed Mu’awiya for cursing Imam Ali is the genius poet Katheer bin Katheer al-Sahmi.[^1] His religious creed and his honest feelings moved him to condemn that and to declare his displeasure at it. He has displayed that in some poetry in which he has shown splendor and gentleness:
May Allah curse him who curses Ali and Husayn whether they are common people or an Imam. Are those, whose forefathers are pure, whose maternal and paternal uncles are noble, cursed? The birds and doves at (al-Maqam) are safe while the family of the Prophet is not safe! O House, you are good! Your men, the household of the Apostle and of Islam, are good. Allah’s mercy and peace be on them whenever a riser rises with peace.[^2]
When Mu’awiya installed some orators to curse and disparage Imam Ali (a.s), Anees al-Ansari along with his good companions hurried to censure Mu’awiya for that. He made a speech. He praised and lauded Allah, and then he said: “You have cursed this man (Imam Ali) very much. I swear by Allah that I heard Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, say: ‘On the Day of Resurrection I will intercede for most people in the earth.’ I swear by Allah that none is greater than him in taking care of kinship. Do you think that he will intercede for you and do not intercede for his household?”[^3]
[^1] Katheer bin Katheer bin al-Muttalib bin Abi Wada‘a al-Qarashi al-Sahmi narrated (traditions) on the authority of his father, Sa‘d bin Jubayr, and a group (of traditionists). Another group (of traditionists) narrated (traditions) from him. Ahmed and Ibn Mu‘een said: “He is trustworthy.” Ibn Habban has mentioned him as one of the reliable. This has been mentioned in (the book) Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 8, p. 426. In his (book) Mu‘jam al-Shu‘ara’, vol. 2, p. 348, al-Marzabani has mentioned him and said: “The reason for his composing these poetry lines is that he heard Abdullahbin al-Zubayr slander Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet’s Household).” It was said that he composed them because Hisham bin ‘Abd al-Malik wrote (a letter) to his governor over Medina to force the people there to curse (Imam Ali), the Commander of the faithful. Ibn Abi al-Hadeed has mentioned these poetry lines and ascribed them to Abdullahbin Katheer al-Sahmi. This is a mistake because such a name is not available in the biography books. The one who is available is Katheer bin Katheer. So these poetry lines belong to him.
[^2] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.3, p.475. [^3] Al-Isaba, vol. 1, p. 89. Asad al-Ghaba, vol. 1, p.134.
Zayd Bin Arqam
Zayd bin Arqam, a companion of the Prophet, came to know that al-Mughira bin Shu‘ba openly cursed (Imam Ali). He denied and criticized him for his cursing the Imam, saying: “O Mughira, did you not know that Allah’s Apostle had forbidden from cursing the dead? So why do you curse Ali while he has died?”
Bisr bin Arta’a, a sinful criminal, made a speech in Basra. He cursed Imam Ali from on the pulpit. Then he turned to the people and said to them: “I adjure you before Allah that if a man came to know that I was truthful, he should believe me or if a liar, he should accuse me of lying.” Abu Bakra said: “By Allah, we do not know but that you are a liar!” Bisr lost mind. He strangled Abu Bakra, but the people saved him.[^1]
Anyway these people who criticized Mu’awiya took great care of the dignity of Islam standing in Imam Ali (a.s). They came to know that Mu’awiya had intended to destroy his achievements, so they hurried to condemn him for that.
Mu’awiya and his followers spared no effort to destroy Imam Ali (a.s), and defame his outstanding personality. However Allah, through His eternal will, retained the truth and made it immortal. In the meantime He removed falsehood. Although Mu’awiya gained a victory over the truth for time, his victory disappeared just as smoke disappears in space. This is Imam Ali (a.s). He has been mentioned in all languages in the world. The circles and clubs mention and praise him. They pride themselves on his holy personality. This is his sacred shrine. It has become a Kaaba for visitors, a refuge for the yearning, and a shelter for the believers. Millions of Muslims visit it just as they visit the House of Allah (The Kaaba). They are blessed by visiting it and seek nearness to Allah through coming to it. Indeed this is the victory and the conquest, and the good end of the pious.
This is Mu’awiya. He is not mentioned but with disrespect, scorn, evil fate, and pricking of the conscience. This is his ruined grave. It is in one of the dunghills in Sham. Disgrace has occupied it, and abasement has spread over it. Indeed this is the death. This is the disgrace and shame. Muhammad Majdhub al-Suri, a great poet, stood by Mu’awiya’s grave. He saw the dirt of that insulted grave. He saw flies revel in it. So he composeed [^1] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 96.
his poem called al-‘Asma’ in which he has mentioned:
This is your grave. If you saw its misery, the black fate would make your tears flow. Blocks of insulted earth are in ruins. The flies in them has become drunk and begun to revel. Their traces have become hidden to those who visit them as if they were in an unknown land to which none has gone. They have become old. The wall around them is uncovered and is about to bow down out of begging. The part of the high dome has shrunk. The distinction is clear in each part of it. Rain flows through the cracks in it, and the wind resounds inside it. Even the place of pray is dark as if no worshipper passed by it.
The time passed, but Imam Ali (a.s), has become the giant of mankind and pioneer of the social justice in the earth. Mu’awiya has become in the Muslims’ viewpoint sinful and rebellious. Vengeance and disrespect follow him.
The Land tax of Dar Abjard
Among the conditions Imam al-Hasan made against Mu’awiya is that he had to give him the land tax of Dar Abjard, that he might, through that, let the poor and the needy from among his followers live in comfort. However Mu’awiya violated that and did not fulfill it, as Abu al-Fida’ has mentioned. Al-Tabari has mentioned that the people of Basra came between Imam al-Hasan and the land tax of Dar Abjard. Ibn al-Atheer has mentioned that they prevented him from that according to an order issued from Mu’awiya lest Imam al-Hasan should be powerful and his affair might be great.