The Life of Imam Al-hasan Al-mujtaba
Al-Mughira bin Shu‘ba, the sinful hypocrite, the one-eyed of Thaqif, the leader of the events and owner of the atrocities in Islam, was the first to undertake the unlucky summons to the pledge of allegiance to Yazid.[^1] The reason for that, as historians have narrated, is that Mu’awiya wanted to remove him from the authority over Kufa. When al-Mughira heard of that, he thought that he had to travel to Damascus to be the first person to resign from his office, that Mu’awiya would not harbor malice against him, and that the people might come to know that he hated the authority. When he arrived in Damascus, he thought that he had to meet with Yazid before he meet with Mu’awiya to make him think favorably of the caliphate, that he might use seducing him as means to remain in the office, just as he told his companions about that. When he met with Yazid, he said to him: “The prominent companions of Muhammad (a.s) and the leaders of Quraysh died. Their children have remained. You are the most meritorious of them, the best of them in opinion, and the most knowledgeable of them in the Sunna and policy. I do not know why the Commander of the faithful (Mu’awiya) does not take the pledge of allegiance to you.”
When Yazid, the reckless, vainglorious one, heard of that, he lost his mind out of happiness and delight. So he asked him: “Do you think that that will be accomplished?”
“Yes,” replied al-Mughira.
Yazid quickly went to his father and told him about al-Mughira’s statement. As for Mu’awiya, he became happy at that and immediately sent for al-Mughira. He told him about his statement to Yazid, and he confirmed that. Then al-Mughira urged Mu’awiya to achieve this idea. He said to him with the statement of someone hypocrite who does not know good and does not think of it: “O Commander of the faithful, you have come to know about the bloodshed and the differences after ‘Uthman. Yazid is your successor. Then appoint him as a successor after you. If something happened to you, he would be a cave for the people and your successor. Blood will not be shed nor will there be a discord.” [^1] Among the offences of al-Mughira is that he was the first to be bribed in Islam, as al-Bayqahi and the like have narrated. Among his crimes is that he was the mediator in adding Ziyad to Mo’awiya. He was the owner of the summons to the pledge of allegiance to Yazid.
Mu’awiya approved al-Mughira’s opinion, rewarded him for that, and installed him in his office. Then he commanded him to go to Kufa to achieve that. When al-Mughira went away from Mu’awiya, he met with his people. They questioned him about his fate. He answered them about what he had brought from among the tribulation and the discords to the Muslims in general for his purpose. He said to them: “I have put Mu’awiya’s leg into a leather stirrup which is far from the community of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, in objective. I have ripped for them a rip which can never be mended.” Then he quoted as an example: “Through the like of me, the enemies and the angry opponents have witness the secret conversation and exaggerated.”
Al-Mughira went to Kufa. He negotiated with those who were famous for allegiance and loyalty about his task. He bribed each one of them with thirty thousand dirhams. So they responded to what he wanted. He appointed his son Musa as a head over ten persons and sent them to Mu’awiya. When they reached him, they made him think favorably of the affair and asked him to carry it out. So Mu’awiya thanked them for that and asked them to keep the affair secret. Then he turned to al-Mughira’s son and asked him secretly:
-How much did your father pay to buy their religion? -Thirty thousand dirhams.
Mu’awiya laughed and said: “Certainly their religion has become easy to them!”[^1] Mu’awiya achieved that through buying religions and consciences, and through the means with which the Muslims were unfamiliar and which the religion did not confirm.
Delegations of the Countries
Mu’awiya officially summoned all the remarkable personalities in the Islamic world. He invited them to come to Damascus that he might negotiate with them about the affair of the pledge of allegiance to Yazid. When they stood before him, he secretly summoned al-Dhahhak bin Qays al-Fihri and said to him: “When I sit down on the pulpit and finish some of my sermon and speech, ask me to permit you to stand up. When I permit you, you praise Allah, the Most High, mention Yazid and say about him that which is his right against you from among the good laudation toward him. Then ask me to [^1] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 169. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil, vol. 3, p. 214. Al-Mughira came to Mo’awiya in the year 45 A. H. In this year Mo’awiya made the premises of the pledge of allegiance to his son.
appoint him as a successor after me. For I have thought and decided to appoint him as a successor. Then ask Allah to decree well that and other than it.”
Then Mu’awiya summoned another group of the hirelings to whom their religion was easy, and they pledged allegiance to Yazid at low prices. He commanded them to confirm al-Dahhak’s statement and idea. They were Abdurrahman bin ‘Uthman al-Thaqafi, Abdullah bin Mus‘ida al-Fazari, Thawr bin Ma‘an al-Salmi, and Abdullah bin ‘Usam al-Ash‘ari.
They responded to his summons. Then Mu’awiya ascended the pulpit. He spoke to the people about what he wanted to speak. After he had finished his speech, al-Dahhak arose and asked him to permit him to speak, and he permitted him. Al-Dahhak praised and glorified Allah. Then he said: “May Allah set right the Commander of the faithful and make us enjoy him. Surely we have tested unity, friendliness, difference, and discord. We have found that it (the caliphate) is greater in uniting us, in security for our ways, and that it spares our blood, brings about to us the urgent and the delayed for which we hope, along with the unity for which the community hopes. It is not good for us that we are left in vain. The days return in a crookedly manner. Allah says:
‘every moment He is in a state (of glory).’ We do not know that on which night and day we disagree. You, O Commander of the faithful, will die as those who had died before you from among the prophets and vicegerents of Allah. We ask Allah to enjoy us with you. We have seen the meekness of Yazid, the son of the Commander of the faithful. We have seen his good faith, moderate conduct, and blessed nature, along with what Allah has distributed for him love among the Muslims and similarity to the Commander of the faithful in his reason, policy, and satisfactory qualities. These things have urged us to be satisfied with him (Yazid) as to our affairs and to be content with him as to the rule over us. Therefore, let the Commander of the faithful, may Allah honor him, appoint him as ruler and make him for us a refuge and resort after him, that we may resort to him if something happens. That is because none is worthier of it (the caliphate) than he is. So decide that! May Allah decide to guide you and to grant you success as to our affairs.”
This speech indicates that its owner was a man of evil and hypocrisy. That is because he intended to destroy all human values for his ambitions and interests.
After al-Dahhak had finished speaking, his friends confirmed his speech. They ascribed to Yazid the virtues of the good, the talents of the genius, huge attributes, and noble qualities, while he was distinguished by qualities contrary to that. They told the people that they had talked for their interests and their happiness, while they, Allah knows, had come to know that they intended to perish and destroy them and to put an end to their laws and their sacred beliefs. When these people had finished their speech, Mu’awiya turned to the Iraqi delegation, that he might hear its viewpoint. The personality of the delegation was al-Ahnaf bin Qays, the clement one of the Arabs and the master of (the tribe of) Tamim. Mu’awiya asked him to express his viewpoint about the affair. So al-Ahnaf arose and made a speech. He praised and glorified Allah. Then he turned to Mu’awiya and said: “May Allah set right the Commander of the faithful! Surely the people have witnessed the evil of the past time and have witnessed the good of the present. Yazid is the son of the Commander of the faithful. What an excellent successor he is! O Commander of the faithful, you are experienced. Therefore, show one to whom you want to entrust the rule after you. Then disobey the command of one who commands you. He who advises you and does not think of you should not deceive you. You are the greatest in thinking of the community and most knowledgeable in the straight obedience. Besides, the people of Iraq and those of al-Hijaz are not satisfied with this (affair) nor will they pledge allegiance to Yazid as long as al-Hasan is alive.”
Al-Ahnaf gave Mu’awiya a piece of advice and guided him to the truth. He advised him not to listen to the statements of the mercenaries who thought of their interests more than they thought of his interest. He explained to him that the people of Iraq and those of al-Hijaz were not satisfied at that pledge of allegiance (to Yazid) as long as al-Hasan, the first grandson of the Apostle, was alive. These words moved the anger of those opportunists and bribed whom Mu’awiya had used as means to achieve his objectives. Accordingly, al-Dahhak bin Qays arose, abused the Iraqis, and condemned their speech.
This is the text of his speech: “May Allah set right the Commander of the faithful! Surely the men of hypocrisy are from the people of Iraq; their manhood in their souls is dissension and their unity in their religion is discord. They see the truth according to their inclinations as if they look through their backs. They have strutted out of ignorance and ingratitude. They do not expect from Allah any expectation nor do they fear an evil result. They have taken Iblis as a lord for them, and Iblis has taken them as a party.
So whomever they approach they do not delight, and whomever they leave, they do not harm. Therefore, O Commander of the faithful, refuse their viewpoint and their speech. There is no relationship between al-Hasan and his relatives and the supreme authority of Allah over which He has appointed Mu’awiya as a vicegerent in His earth. How far! The caliphate is not inherited (except) out of fatigue nor does anything veil the reputation except the community. Therefore, habituate yourselves, O people of Iraq, to sincerity to your Imam, the scribe of your Prophet, and his brother-in-law, that the urgent may be safe for you, and you take advantage of the delayed.”
I (the author) think that Iraq has not been dispraised with such a horrible dispraise or branded with such affairs. But it was the Iraqis who brought about to themselves this tribulation and let this rogue and the like of him degrade their dignity and have the audacity to them.
Anyway al-Ahnaf did not yield to Mu’awiya nor did he pay attention to al-Dahhak’s statement. He had threatened Mu’awiya with declaring war if he had insisted on carrying out his idea, saying: “O Commander of the faithful, we have carefully considered (the qualities of) Quraysh. So we have found that you are the most generous of them in giving, the strongest of them in contract, and the greatest of them in fulfilling covenant. You have come to know that you did not conquer Iraq by force nor did you show sudden death against it. But you had given al-Hasan bin Ali some of Allah’s covenants you have known, that he might undertake the rule after you. So if you fulfilled (that), then you were worthy of fulfillment. If you betrayed, you would come to know that, by Allah, there are behind al-Hasan good horses (horsemen), strong arms, and sharp swords. If you approached him through a span of the hand of treachery, you would find behind him a span of the outstretched arms of victory. You know that the people of Iraq have not loved you since they hated you, nor have they detested Ali and al-Hasan since they loved them, nor have come down to them changes from the heaven as to that, that the swords they drew with Ali against you are still on their shoulders, the hearts through which they detested you are still among their ribs. By Allah, al-Hasan is more lovable to the Iraqis than Ali.”
Al-Ahnaf went too far in advising Mu’awiya. He reminded him of that the Iraqis were the followers of the Prophet’s household, peace be on them, that they were more loyal to Imam al-Hasan than his father, and that they had been ready to fight against Mu’awiya if he had carried out the pledge of allegiance to Yazid. However, Abdurrahman bin ‘Uthman condemned al-Ahnaf for his statement and urged Mu’awiya to carry out his task, saying: “May Allah set right the Commander of the faithful! Surely the people’s opinions are different. Many of the people are devious. They do not summon anyone to right guidance nor do they respond to the one who summons them to rightness. They turn away from the opinions of the caliphs and oppose the caliphs as to the Sunna and decision. You have entrusted Yazid with the best of affairs and the most satisfactory of them in leading the subjects. If Allah has chosen the best for you, then decide and put an end to those who speak (against the pledge of allegiance to Yazid). That is because Yazid is the greatest of us in clemency and knowledge, the widest of us in protection, and the best of us in ancestors. The experiences have made him firm, and the ways of the doctrines have straightened him out. Therefore, let no one turn you away from pledging allegiance to him, nor let any one stand in your way as to it, from among those who are far, disobedient, who prepare all means for discord, whose tongues are crooked, and in whose hearts there is a dangerous disease. If they say, they say evil. If they keep silent, then they are the people of defects. You have come to know who they are. They want to turn you away from the success and to divide the community. So remove the grief from us through paying homage to him and unite the community through him. Do not deviate from him when you are guided to him. Do not turn away from him if you have supported him. This opinion belongs to you and us. The right is against you and us. I ask Allah for help and a good end for you and us.”
These words show us that Abdurrahman bin ‘Uthman had a restless conscience and a wicked soul. He followed evil and went far from good. Then Mu’awiya threatened those who did not agree with him on his wish, that he might force the community to yield to his idea and to be content with the pledge of allegiance to Yazid. He said: “O people, Iblis has brothers and companions. Through them he gets ready, from them he gets help, and through their tongues he utters. If they hope for greediness, he agitates them. If he is in no need of them, they spread lies. Then they add discords to licentiousness and split for them the wood of hypocrisy. They are censurers and doubters. If they undertake the handle of an affair, they become angry. If they are summoned to an error, they go too far. They do not desist nor do they refrain nor do they take a lesson until the bolts of evil disgrace befall them and the calamities of a great affair descend upon them and uproot them as truffles are uprooted. Therefore, it is more appropriate for them (to pledge allegiance to Yazid). That is because we have presented (our idea) and warned you if the presentation suffices you anything or if the warning benefits you.”
Mu’awiya used such a kind of horrible matchless terrorism as a means to achieve his idea. Then he summoned al-Dahhak bin Qays and appointed him as governor over Kufa as a reward for his speech. That was after the death of al-Mughira bin Shu‘ba. He also summoned Abdurrahman bin ‘Uthman and appointed him as governor over al-Jazira. Then Yazid bin al-Muqaffa‘ arose and raised his voice, saying:
“This is the Commander of the faithful!” He pointed with his hand to Mu’awiya. Then he said: “If he dies, then this!” He indicated with his hand to Yazid.
Then he said: “Whoever refuses, then this!) He pointed with his hand to the sword. So Mu’awiya approved his speech and said to him: “Sit down! You are the master of the orators and the noblest of them!” With such a kind of terrorism Mu’awiya imposed his dissolute, sinful son as a caliph over the Muslims. Had it not for the sword, he would not have found a way for that. When al-Ahnaf bin Qays came to know that Mu’awiya insisted on his idea and was not ready to give it up, he said to him: “O Commander of the faithful, you are the most knowledgeable of us in his night and day, his secret and openness. If you came to know that he was good for you, then appoint him as ruler and caliph. If you came to know that he was evil for you, then do not supply him with the world while you are going to join the hereafter. That is because you shall have nothing of the hereafter except the good. Know that you shall have no proof with Allah if you prefer Yazid to al-Hasan and al-Husayn, while you know who they are and to whom they belong. We only must say: We hear and obey, our Lord! Your forgiveness (do we crave), and to You is the eventual course!”[^1]
Mu’awiya paid no attention to al-Ahnaf’s statement nor did he think of the Muslims’ fate. He appointed as caliph over them his son (Yazid), who played with the leopards and was addicted to wine. Then Mu’awiya took his son and seated him in a red dome and commanded the people to pledge allegiance to him. A hireling came and greeted them. Then the hireling turned to Mu’awiya and said to him: “O Commander of the faithful, know that if you do not entrust this (he indicated with his hand to Yazid) with the affairs of the Muslims, you will lose them.”
Then Mu’awiya turned to al-Ahnaf and asked him:
-Why do you not speak, O Abu Bahr? -I fear Allah when I tell a lie and fear you when I say the truth! -May Allah reward you with good for obedience!
Al-Ahnaf went out. Abdurrahman bin ‘Uthman met him after Mu’awiya had generously given (money) to him. He apologized to al-Ahnaf for his statement, saying: “O Abu Bahr, surely I know that the wickedest of those Allah created is this (Mu’awiya) and his son (Yazid). But they have made sure of these properties with the doors and the locks. So none craves after taking them out except through what you have heard.”[^2] [^1] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, pp. 174-180. [^2] Ibn Khullikan, Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 230. Al-Tamadun al-Islami, vol. 4, pp. 76-77.
Through this ill-omened pledge of allegiance (to Yazid), Mu’awiya created a crack in Islam. In his wonderful poem, Abdullah bin Hisham al-Saluli has shown his impatience and that of the good Muslims toward the caliphate of Yazid, saying:
If you brought Ramla or Hind, we would pledge allegiance to her as a (female) commander of the faithful. When Khousrow died, another Khousrow came. We number them as three harmonious (kings) Alas! If we had thousands (of fighters), but we will not become as we were concerned, then you will strike until you return to Mecca where you lick the warm (food). We have feared the rage. We will not quench our thirst even if we drink the blood of the Banu Umayya. Your subjects have got lost while you are hunting hares with inattentiveness.[^1] Certainly the Muslims throughout the countries were terrorized by this dangerous event. That is because the caliphate in their viewpoint was neither caesarian nor Khousrowian, that it might be inherited. Rather the affair of the caliphate was consultation among the Muslims, who chose whom they loved to be a caliph over them. That is according to the viewpoint of the Sunnis. As for the Shia, they maintain that the caliphate is the lawful right of Imam Ali (a.s), and his good sons, just as the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, had stated.
Anyway, After Mu’awiya had taken the pledge of allegiance to Yazid from the people of Damascus, he wrote letters to all his governors and commanded them to take the pledge of allegiance to Yazid from all the people. All his governors responded to that except Marwan bin al-Hakam, who became angry because the rule had been turned away from him while he was the leader of the Umayyads after Mu’awiya. Immediately he and his retinue headed for Damascus. When he stood before Mu’awiya, he angrily said to him: “Set right the affairs, O son of Abi Sufyan, and refrain from your appointing the boys as commanders. Know that you have equals from among your people, and that you have helpers who are hostile to them.”
Mu’awiya hurried to deceive him with soft words, saying: “You are the equal of the Commander of the faithful, his equipment in his hardship, his upper arm, and the second after his heir apparent.” [^1] Al-Mas‘udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 339.
He gave him regency with trick and cunning. He honorably took him out of his capital. However he removed him from his office when he had arrived in Yathrib and replaced him by Sa‘eed bin al-‘Aas or al-Waleed bin ‘Aqaba. Then he wrote to him (the new governor) to take the pledge of allegiance to his son Yazid from the people of Medina. But he finally failed in carrying out his task. The people there insisted on refusing Mu’awiya’s summons and did not obey him as to his new caliph, especially the remarkable personalities from among the Muhajireen and the Ansar, for they condemned that and announced their displeasure with Mu’awiya, because they disrespected Yazid and disdained him, apart from that he would be a caliph over them.
Mu’awiya’s first Journey to Yathrib
The people of Medina refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid and unanimously agreed on refusing it. So Mu’awiya thought that he himself had to go to Medina to negotiate with the influential people, to buy the covenants and consciences for money, and to threaten and terrorize those who did not yield to money, that his son might win the caliphate. For this purpose he traveled to Medina in the year 50 A. H. When he arrived in it, he immediately sent for Abdullah bin Abbas, Abdullah bin Ja‘far, Abdullah bin ‘Umar, and Abdullah bin al-Zubayr. When they stood before him, he commanded his chamberlain not to let anyone to come in to him until these people would leave. Then he turned to them and said: “Praise belongs to Allah, Who has commanded us to praise Him and promised us His reward. We praise Him much as He has bestowed much upon us. I bear witness that there is no god apart from Allah, Who is unique and without partners. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Prophet.
“I have grown old, my bones have become weak, my appointed time is close at hand, and I have been summoned and it is nearly the moment for me to answer. So I have seen that I have to appoint Yazid as successor after me. I know that he will please you. You are people from Quraysh with the name of Abdullah, the best of them, and the children of the best of them. Nothing has prevented me from summoning al-Hasan and al-Husayn except that they are the sons of their father Ali in spite of my good opinion as to them and my strong love for them. Therefore, answer the Commander of the faithful with good, may Allah have mercy on you!”
His speech contained leniency, praise, and laudation. However these heroes, who were the best of the Arabs in opinion and precedence in Islam, did not yield to Mu’awiya, refuted his statement, and made him know the person who was worthy of the caliphate. Abdullah bin Abbas, the religious scholar of the community, was the first to speak: “Praise belongs to Allah, Who has inspired us with praising Him and made it incumbent on us to thank Him for His trial and boons. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, Who is unique and without partners. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Prophet, may Allah bless Muhammad and his household.
“You talked, and we listened. You said, and we heard. Allah, Majestic is His eulogy and Holy are His names, chose Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, for His message and His revelation and honored him over His creatures. Therefore the most honorable of the people is he who has the honor to him; the most appropriate of them for the rule are the nearest of them to him. The people should only submit to their Prophet as long as Allah had chosen him for them. He (Allah) chose Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, according to His knowledge; and He is Knowledgeable, Aware. I ask Allah’s forgiveness for you and me.”
After him Abdullah bin Ja‘far said: “Praise belongs to Allah, Who is worthy of praise and the utmost of praise. We praise Him for His inspiring us with praising Him. We ask Him to help us perform His right on us. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, Who is unique, on Whom all depend, Who has not taken a consort nor a son. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.
“If the Qur’an is taken into consideration as to the caliphate, then the possessors of relationship have the better claim in the ordinance of Allah to inheritance, one with respect to another. If the Sunna of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, is taken into consideration as to it, then the kinship of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, (is more appropriate for it).
If the Sunna of the two Sheikhs, Abu Bakr and Umar, (is taken into consideration), then which of the people is better, more perfect, and worthier of the rule than the Apostle’s household? By Allah, if they had appointed him (Imam Ali) as ruler after their Prophet, they would have placed the rule in its place due to his right and truthfulness. The Most Merciful (Allah) would have been obeyed, Satan would have been disobeyed, and no two swords of the community would have differed. Therefore, fear Allah, O Mu’awiya, for you have become a guardian, and we have become subjects. Take care of your subjects, for you will be asked about them tomorrow. As for that you have mentioned as to my cousins and that you have left summoning them, by Allah you have not hit the truth. That is not permissible for you except through them, and that you have come to know that they are the essence of knowledge and nobility. Therefore, say or leave! And I ask Allah’s forgiveness for you and me!”
Abdullah bin Ja‘far has shown that the Prophet’s household, peace be on them, were the worthiest of people in the caliphate according to all the sources. If the source to deserve it is the Qur’an, then the possessors of relationship have the better claim in the ordinance of Allah to inheritance, one with respect to another. If it is the Sacred Sunna, then the Household of the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, are more appropriate for the rule than other than them. If it is the Sunna of the two Sheikhs (Abu Bakr and ‘Umar), then the Household of the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, are more appropriate for the rule, for they have talents and perfect qualities, and that they are the best of the people in knowledge and excellence. Then he has shown the damages that resulted from that the community had left and not followed them.
After him Abdullah bin al-Zubayr said: “Praise belongs to Allah, Who has made us know His religion and honored us through His Apostle. I praise Him for His trial and His boons. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Prophet.
“Surely the caliphate belongs to Quraysh in particular. They take it according to their sublime achievements and their satisfactory actions, along with the honor of the fathers and the nobility of the children. Therefore, fear Allah, O Mu’awiya, and be just to yourself. This is Abdullah bin Abbas, who is the cousin of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. This is Abdullah bin Ja‘far, who is adorned with two wings, and who is the cousin of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. I am Abdullah bin al-Zubayr, the cousin of Allah’s Apostle. As for Ali, he appointed al-Hasan and al-Husayn as successors (after him). You know who they are and what they are. Therefore, fear Allah, O Mu’awiya! And you are the judge between us and yourself.”
Abdullah bin al-Zubayr nominated these people for the caliphate and urged them to oppose Mu’awiya and to spoil his task. After him Abdullah bin ‘Umar said: “Praise belongs to Allah, Who has honored us through His religion and ennobled us through His Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.
“Surely the caliphate is neither Herculean nor caesarian nor Khousrowian (hereditary). Had it been so, I would have undertaken it after my father. By Allah, he (my father) did not add me to the six members of the consultative committee except for that the caliphate is not a stipulated condition. Rather it belongs to Quraysh in particular. It belongs to one who is entitled to it, with whom the Muslims are satisfied, who fears Allah and pleases the people. If you want to entrust the caliphate to the boys from Quraysh, then, by my life, Yazid is from their boys. Know that he shall never avail you in the least against Allah.”
Abdullah bin ‘Umar condemned the pledge of allegiance to Yazid. However, shortly after that, he listened, obeyed, and pledged allegiance to Yazid, for Mu’awiya bribed him with a hundred thousand dinars.[^1] For that he sold him his conscience and religion. Anyway the speech of these people was difficult to Mu’awiya, for they told him that his son was not appropriate for the caliphate and that they were more appropriate for it than him. So Mu’awiya answered them, saying: “Certainly, I have said and you said. The fathers have died, and the children have remained. My son is the most lovable to me of their children. If you debated with my son, he would find a statement. This rule belongs to the Banu ‘Abd Manaf, for they are the household of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. When Allah’s Apostle passed away, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar became caliphs over the people while they did not belong to the rule and the caliphate. But they followed a good way. Then the rule returned to the Banu ‘Abd Manaf and they shall have it till the Day of Resurrection. As for you, O Abdullah bin al-Zubayr and (Abdullah) bin ‘Umar, Allah has taken you out of it (the rule). As for these two cousins of mine, they are not outside the opinion, Allah willing.”
Anyhow, Mu’awiya failed in carrying out his task and left Yathrib for his capital Damascus. He turned away from the pledge of allegiance to Yazid.[^2] He came to know that Yazid would not be a caliph as long as Imam al-Hasan was alive. He thought for a long time about how he would assassinate him, that the affairs might go well with him. At last he achieved what he had wanted. He assassinated him with poison. We will explain that in the conclusion of this book.
Having assassinated Imam al-Hasan, Mu’awiya took all the procedures and depended on all the means to force the Muslims to pledge allegiance to Yazid and to impose him as a ruler over them. He corresponded with the great figures from among the children of the Muhajireen and the Ansar and summoned them to that. The historians have mentioned the texts of his letters along with their answers to him. Mu’awiya wrote Imam al-Husayn a letter [^1] Al-Bayqahi, Sunan, vol. 8, p. 159. Ibn Katheer, Tarikh, vol. 8, p. 137. Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, p. 59. [^2] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, pp. 180-183. Jamharat al-Khutab, vol. 2, pp. 233-236.
whose text is as follows: “Some affairs from you have come to me. I do not think that you will turn away from them. The worthiest of the people in fulfilling the pledge of allegiance he has given is he who is like you in your importance, honor, and position in which Allah has placed you. Therefore do not dispute (with me about something that makes me) boycott you. Fear Allah and do not return this community to the discord. Take care of yourself and the community of Muhammad. And let not those who have no certainty hold you in light estimation.”
Imam al-Husayn (a.s) answered him. He reminded him of the horrible events he (Mu’awiya) had committed. He told him about that with which the Muslims were afflicted of oppression and tyranny during his reign. I (the author) have quoted some of it to indicate that Imam al-Husayn (a.s) had condemned Mu’awiya’s atrocities. At the end of his answer to Mu’awiya, Imam al-Husayn has said: “You have said in what you said: ‘Do not return this community to a discord.’ Surely I have come to know that there is no discord greater than your authority over the nation.
“You have said in what you said: ‘Take care of yourself, your religion, and the community of Muhammad.’ Surely, by Allah, I do not know that there is something greater than waging jihad against you. So if I do that, then it is nearness to my Lord. If I do not do, then I will ask Allah to forgive me my sin and ask Him to grant me a success to achieve that which He loves and with which He is satisfied.
“You have said in what you said: ‘When you scheme against me, I will scheme against you.’ So scheme against me, O Mu’awiya, as you like. By my life, people schemed against the righteous in the past. I hope that you will harm none except yourself and ruin nothing except your action. Therefore, plot against me as you like.
“Fear Allah, O Mu’awiya! Know that Allah has a Book that does not omit a small one and a great one, but numbers them (all). Know that Allah will not forget that you killed some people because of a doubt and punished others because of an accusation, that you have appointed as a ruler a boy who drinks wine and plays with the dogs. I can not see you except that you have ruined yourself, destroyed your religion, and neglected the subjects. With Greetings.”[^1]
Neither this advice nor the warning against Allah’s punishment was useful to Mu’awiya. He went on practicing his pre-Islamic beliefs to destroy Islam and to force the Muslims to pay homage to Yazid, who violated all what Allah had prohibited. [^1] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, pp. 188-190.
Mu’awiya’s second Journey to Yathrib
When Mu’awiya came to know that the good companions (of the Prophet), the children of the Muhajireen and the Ansar did not respond to his summons and they insisted on refusing to pledge allegiance to Yazid, he again traveled to Yathrib. He surrounded himself by military forces so that he might force the opposing front to respond to him. On the second day of his arrival, he sent for Imam al-Husayn and Abdullah bin Abbas. Abdullah bin Abbas had come before Imam al-Husayn. Mu’awiya seated him at his left hand. He made him busy with speaking until Imam al-Husayn (a.s) came. He seated Imam al-Husayn at his right hand. He asked him about the Banu al-Hasan and their old people, and he told him about that. Then Mu’awiya made a speech in which he lauded Yazid, mentioned his knowledge of the Qur’an and the Sunna, and his good policy. Then he summoned them to pledge allegiance to him and to respond to his speech.
Imam al-Husayn’s Speech
After Mu’awiya had finished his speech, Imam al-Husayn, the one who refused oppression, arose and made a speech. He praised Allah and glorified him. Then he said: “O Mu’awiya, although man elaborates on mentioning the qualities of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, he cannot express part of them. I have understood that in which you have clothed the successor after Allah’s Apostle from among briefing his qualities and keeping away from depicting him. How far! How far, O Mu’awiya! The morning has removed the darkness of the night. The sun has dazzled the light of the lamp. You have preferred others to us to the extent that you have gone too far. You have possessed alone the properties to the extent that you have become unjust. You have refrained from giving to the people to the extent that you have become miserly. You have wronged (the people) to the extent that you have exceeded (the proper limits). You have not given the possessor of a right a share of his right until Satan has taken his plentiful luck and his fullest portion.
“I have understood what you have mentioned as to Yazid from among his perfection and his policy toward the community of Muhammad. You want to deceive the people with Yazid. It is as if that you are describing a veiled one or depicting someone absent or that you are telling about that which you have contained through special knowledge. Yazid himself has indicated the situation of his opinion. Therefore, adopt to Yazid what he himself has adopted from among following the attacking dogs when they start a brawl with each other, the doves that precede their mates of the same age, the female singers with musicals, and various kinds of amusement centers. (Through these actions) you will find him a helper.
“Leave what you attempt! It does not avail you that you meet Allah with the sins of these people with that which you will meet Him. By Allah, you still strike falsehood in tyranny and rage in oppression to the extent that you have filled the water skins. There is only a blink between you and death, and then you will get to kept actions on the day that shall be witnessed, and it is too late to escape. I have come to know that you have referred indirectly after this affair and prevented us from the inheritance of our forefathers. And certainly, by Allah, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, bequeathed us at our birthday. You brought to us that with which you argued the one who undertook the caliphate after the death of the Apostle. So, through that, he yielded to the proof, and the faith returned him to justice. But you followed the justifications… and you said: ‘It was and it will be until the rule came to you, O Mu’awiya, through a way leading to someone other than you. Therefore take a lesson, O you who have eyes!
“And you have mentioned that the man leads the people according to the covenant of Allah’s Apostle and his investing him with authority. And certainly that was. ‘Amr bin al-‘Aas had then excellence because he was a companion of the Apostle and pledged allegiance to him. By Allah, when the people were sent then, they disdained his being a commander over them, hated his being preferred (to them), and numbered his actions. So he (the Prophet), may Allah bless him and his family, said: ‘Without doubt, O people of the Muhajireen and the Ansar, none other than me will be a commander over you after this day!’ So how do you use as a proof the abrogated actions of the Apostle as to the most certain precepts and the most appropriate of them instead of those on whose authenticity there is an agreement? Or how have you taken a successor as a companion while there are around you those who do not believe in his being a companion (of the Prophet), nor do they depend on his religion and his relationship, and you have exceeded them to someone excessive and suffers from an affliction? You want to clothe the people in a vague error at which one who remains alive in the world becomes happy, and you become unhappy at it in the hereafter! That is a manifest loss. I ask Allah’s forgiveness for you and me!”
Mu’awiya became astonished, so he looked at Abdullah bin Abbas and asked him: “What is this, O Ibn Abbas?”
“By Allah,” replied Ibn Abbas, “he belongs to the progeny of the Apostle, one of the people who were under the cloak (kisa), and among the purified house. He said that about what you wanted. That is because there are some people who convince you until Allah judges with His command, and He is the best of judges.”[^1] [^1] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, pp. 195-196.
Imam al-Husayn went away and made sadness hurt Mu’awiya’s soul. After that Mu’awiya depended on all means of violence and terrorism. The historians have narrated: “When Mu’awiya was in Mecca, he summoned Imam al-Husayn, Abdullah bin al-Zubayr, and Abdurrahman bin Abi Bakr. He said to them: ‘I am approaching you. He who warns is excused. While I was addressing you, some of you arose and openly accused me of lying. I stood that and pardoned (you). I am going to say a statement. I swear by Allah that if any of you answered me with a word in this place of mine, the sword would reach his head before he says another word. Therefore, a man should keep nothing except his own soul!’
“He summoned the leader of his guards and said to him: ‘Position two men with swords behind each of these people. If any of them answers me with a word to believe me or to accuse me of lying, let them strike him with their swords!’ “He went out and the people went out with him. He ascended the pulpit. He praised and glorified Allah. Then he said: ‘Surely, these people are the masters of the Muslims and the best of them. An affair is not extorted without them nor is it decided without consulting them. They are satisfied and have pledged allegiance to Yazid. Therefore, pledge allegiance (to him) in the name of Allah.”[^1]
With these terrible means and flagrant lying, Mu’awiya forced the Muslims to pledge allegiance to Yazid. Through that he violated the forbidden and threw the Muslims into discords and misfortunes.
A’isha and the Allegiance to Yazid
A’isha, the Prophet’s wife, did not oppose this bad pledge of allegiance nor did she take any positive procedure against this dangerous disaster through which the Muslims were terrorized and the sacredness of Islam was violated. She advised Mu’awiya to force his opponents to obey him. In the meantime she advised him to be kind to them, that they might respond to him. She said to him: “Be kind to them, for they will follow what you like, Allah willing!”[^2]
A’isha took this poor attitude toward the pledge of allegiance to Yazid, the sinful, the dissolute. Without doubt she had come to know that he was a transgressor, that he played with the leopards and the dogs, and regarded as lawful what Allah made unlawful. Indeed man stands perplexed before this attitude of her and her attitude toward the pledge of allegiance to Imam Ali [^1] Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil. Some other historians have also narrated it. [^2] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa.
(a.s), who was the brother of the Prophet, the father of his grandsons, and the gate of the city of his knowledge. That is because when she was told about the pledge of allegiance to him, she lost mind. She angrily said while she was looking towards the sky and at the earth: “By Allah, would this (the sky) fell on this (the earth) if (Ali) bin Abi Talib became a caliph!”
Then she returned to Mecca to provoke the people to fight against Imam Ali. She led the armies to battle against him, to the extent that she filled the land with blood and spread orphanhood, sadness, and mourning among the Muslims in order to overthrow his government. Anyway A’isha’s attitude toward the pledge of allegiance to Yazid, the confirmation of Abdullah bin ‘Umar and of all the opportunist forces to her have brought for Muslims discords and hardships, brought to them disasters and misfortunes. That is because the Islamic caliphate passed through inheritance to the freed (prisoners of war) and to their children, who spared no effort to scheme against Islam, to spread rebellion and corruption in the land.
Anyway Mu’awiya intentionally violated all the stipulations of the peacemaking. He did not fulfill any of them for Imam al-Hasan. Rather he put them under his feet just as he announced that before the crowded people shortly after concluding the treaty of peace. Through that he showed his pre-Islamic beliefs, that he went too far in committing sins, and that he was void of all noble tendencies. The historians have unanimously agreed on that he unjustly went too far in shedding the blood of the Muslims, that he spread terror and fear all over the Islamic regions. That was when he commanded his governors to punish the opposing front severely, to deprive them of all the natural rights, and to practice violence against them. His governors carried that out, as we have already mentioned.
The most dangerous thing through which Mu’awiya violated the things made forbidden by Allah was that he empowered his son Yazid over the Muslims after him. It is worth mentioning that Yazid proved through all his political practices that he was an apostate from the religion and an infidel. That was when he killed Imam al-Husayn (a.s) who was the Prophet’s grandson, and destroyed the pure family of the Prophet. The historians say that he went too far in killing them because he wanted to take revenge on the Prophet for the Battle of Badr. This disaster was the most dangerous thing by which the Muslims were stricken throughout the times.