Refuting Tijani’s criticisms of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan

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Chapter Eleven

Tijani’s criticisms of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan

 

There is no dispute that Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a leading figure who opposed ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu stance on dealing with the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu demanded that action be taken immediately and withheld giving the pledge of allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as leverage. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu insisted that he give the Bayah (pledge) and the matter of ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu murder will be dealt with as soon as things become stable again. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu felt that he was more entitled to seek retribution for ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu murder as he was closer related to ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Eventually this resulted in the Battle of Siffin. Therefore, it is to be expected that Tijani would pay special attention to him and accuse him of injustice and misguidance. What does it matter that Tijani accuses this scribe of Wahi (revelation) of misguidance after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said this about him:

 

اَللّهُمَّ اجْعَلْهُ هَادِيًا مَهْدِيًا وَاهْدِ بِهِ

O Allah, make him a guide, rightly-guided, and guide (others) through him.[1]

 

Tijani says:

 

Umar ibn al Khattab, who was well known for his strictness towards his governors whom used to dismiss them on mere suspicions, was quite gentle towards Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan and never disciplined him. Muawiyah was appointed by Abu Bakr and confirmed by Umar throughout his life, who never even rebuked him or blamed him, despite the fact that many people complained about Muawiyah and reported him for wearing silk and gold, which was prohibited to men by the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Umar used to answer these complaints by saying, “Let him be, he is the Kisra (king) of the Arabs.” Muawiyah continued in the governorship for more than twenty years without being touched or criticized, and when Uthman succeeded to the caliphate of the Muslims, he added to his authority further districts and regions, which enabled him to a mass great wealth from the Islamic nation and to raise armies to rebel against the Imam (Leader) of the nation and subsequently take the full power by force and intimidation. Thus he became the sole ruler of all Muslims, and later forced them to vote for his corrupt and alcohol drinking son Yazid, as his heir and successor.

This is another lengthy story in relation to its detail in this book.[2]

 

Our comment:

Tijani’s ignorance of history is shocking. He appears to blurt out facts, and relate episodes with complete disregard for accuracy. Now he claims that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu instated Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu endorsed this and retained him for the duration of his life. Contrary to what Tijani has written, it is well-known by anyone who studied history—including students in primary school—that Abu Bakr appointed Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan, the brother of Muawiyah, as a commander of a battalion during the conquest of Syria. When the city of Damascus was conquered during ‘Umar’s Caliphate he was appointed as the governor over Syria and remained the governor over it until his untimely passing in the plague of ‘Amwas. After Yazid’s passing ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu instated his brother, Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as the governor over the region.[3]

There remains the matter of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu being excessively lenient with Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and never holding him accountable for his actions. There appears to be no evidence to support this at all. One wonders where Tijani finds this when he failed to record the history of Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointment correctly.

That being said, there is evidence which is contrary to Tijani’s claim. Ibn al Kathir narrates in his encyclopaedia, al Bidayah wa al Nihayah:

 

Muawiyah visited ‘Umar wearing a green robe and the Sahabah starred at him. When ‘Umar saw that, he advanced towards him with a whip in his hand and started hitting him with it and Muawiyah said, “O Amir al Mu’minin, fear Allah concerning me!”

‘Umar then returned to his place and the people said to him, “Why did you hit him, O Amir al Mu’minin, when there is none like him?”

He said, “By Allah! I regard him to be a good person and I have only heard good things about him. If I had heard anything to the contrary about him, what you would have seen would be very different from what you just observed. Nevertheless, I saw him, gesturing with his hands, and I wanted to remove that sense of prominence from him.”[4]

 

As for his statement:

 

Despite the fact that many people complained about Muawiyah and reported him for wearing silk and gold, which was prohibited to men by the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Umar used to answer these complaints by saying, “Let him be, he is the Kisra (king) of the Arabs.”

 

Our comment:

This allegation is unfounded on numerous accounts. Firstly his statement, “Despite the many who complained against Muawiyah,” is called into question. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was an excellent appointment, well skilled at diplomacy. Historically there is no evidence of there being any major complaints against him. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu ruled the people of Syria for forty years, twenty years as a governor and twenty as a Khalifah. His relationship with them was so strong that they stood with him when he sought justice for the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. A leader about whom there are abundant complaints will never be able to yield that level of loyalty.

It is farfetched that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the Kisra of the Arabs when he learnt that he wore gold and silk, because ‘Umar hit Muawiyah for wearing a fancy green robe, which is permitted, why then would he remain silent when he wore gold and silk which is forbidden.

The narration from ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu which is narrated by Ibn Abi Dunya from Abu ‘Abd al Rahman al Madani, who said, “‘Umar used to say when he saw Muawiyah, ‘This is the Kisra of the Arabs.’”[5] The chain of this report is not very strong. Even if we were to accept it, there is no mention of Muawiyah wearing gold or silk.

 

Tijani goes on to say:

 

Muawiyah continued in the governorship for more than twenty years without being touched or criticized, and when Uthman succeeded to the caliphate of the Muslims, he added to his authority further districts and regions, which enabled him to a mass great wealth from the Islamic nation and to raise armies to rebel against the Imam (Leader) of the nation and subsequently take the full power by force and intimidation. Thus he became the sole ruler of all Muslims, and later forced them to vote for his corrupt and alcohol drinking son Yazid, as his heir and successor.”

 

Our comment:

In one sentence Tijani contradicts himself. He just told us despite numerous complaints which were raised against Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu did nothing. He now tells us that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was never criticized. If Tijani stated from the outset that he dislikes the Sahabah for whatever reasons he presented, it would have been easier for him to compose his thoughts since he would have begun from a position of honesty. However, Tijani chose the strategy of convincing his readers through a narrative that is meant to reflect his journey. The truth is that there was no journey since Tijani constantly contradicts himself, cites false references, and invents history as he goes along. This contradiction is evidence of that.

There is no blame upon ‘Umar or ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma for appointing Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu over Syria. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed his father, Abu Sufyan, over Najran which lasted until the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise. In fact, many of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam governors were from Banu Umayyah.

He appointed ‘Attab ibn Usayd ibn Abu al ‘As ibn Umayyah over Makkah, and he placed Khalid ibn Sa’id ibn al ‘As ibn Umayyah in charge of the charities of Madhhaj and San’a of Yemen, and he remained in that position until the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away. He appointed ‘Amr as the governor of Tayma and Khaybar and the villages of ‘Uraynah, and he appointed Aban ibn Sa’id ibn al ‘As as the governor of Bahrayn, its land and its ocean, when he removed ‘Ala ibn al Hadrami (from that position), and he remained in that position until the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away, and before that he appointed him as the leader of a number of military expeditions from amongst them was the expedition to Najd.[6]

When Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu became the governor of Syria his manner of governance and interaction with his citizens was exemplary and his citizens loved him and he loved them.

 

Qubaysah ibn Jabir says, “I never saw anyone more forbearing and more dignified and more tolerant and more lenient and more open handed than Muawiyah.”

Some people report that a man said some nasty and stern words to Muawiyah. It was said to him, “Why do you not deal with him?” He said, “I feel embarrassed by Allah that my forbearance does not extend beyond the wrongs of one of my citizens.”

In one narration it mentions that a man said to him, “What makes you so forbearing?” He replied, “I am embarrassed that someone’s crime can be greater than my forbearance.”[7]

 

It is for that reason that they responded to him when he demanded retaliation against the killing of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and they gave him their pledge and trusted him with their lives and their wealth for that cause.

There remains Tijani’s claim that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu took control of the economy and mobilised the armies and the Bedouin Arabs to stand up in rebellion against the Imam of the Ummah, and that he seized control of the governorship by force, and ruled oppressively over the Muslim. This is one of the many forgeries against Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He was certainly not desirous of leadership nor did he object to the legitimacy of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Caliphate. All that he insisted on was that the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu be handed over to him, after which he would submit to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Al Dhahabi relates in his Siyar, from Ya’la ibn ‘Ubayd, from his father, who said:

 

Abu Muslim al Khawlani, and a group of people with him, came to Muawiyah and said to him, “Are you contesting ‘Ali’s right to the Caliphate or are you similar to him?”

Muawiyah said, “No, by Allah I know that ‘Ali is better than me and that he is more entitled to the leadership than me. However, do you not know that ‘Uthman was killed unjustly? I am his cousin and I am simply seeking retributivist punishment for ‘Uthman. So go to him and say that he should hand over to me ‘Uthman’s killers and I will submit to him.”

They then went to ‘Ali and spoke to him concerning that (Muawiyah’s comments) but he did not hand them over to him.[8]

 

Muawiyah continuously emphasised this sentiment with these words, “I only fought ‘Ali because of ‘Uthman’s situation.”

This is confirmed by ‘Ali from Twelver Shia sources. Al Sharif al Radi, in his book Nahj al Balaghah, relates one of ‘Ali’s sermons as follows:

 

Our matter started when we met the people of Syria. What is clear is that our Lord is the same, our Prophet is the same, and our call to Islam is the same. We do not expect more from them in respect of their belief in Allah and their belief in the Messenger, and they do not expect more from us in terms of our belief in Allah and belief in the Messenger. There is only one issue in which we differ and that is concerning the blood of ‘Uthman, and we are innocent of it.[9]

 

Here ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu emphasises that the only contention between him and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was concerning ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu murder, not about the Caliphate or ruling with tyranny over the Muslims as Tijani claims.

Tijani asserts that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu forced the Muslims to give their pledge to his drunkard son, Yazid. This is a bold attempt at cloaking falsehood with the garb of truth. The blatant lie is that Muawiyah did not coerce the people into giving their pledge to his son Yazid. Rather, he sought to take the pledge from the people in order for Yazid to be the heir apparent for the Caliphate and that is what occurred. Were it a case of coercion there would have been no excuse for the likes of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, Hussain ibn ‘Ali, and ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhum who withheld their pledge and were left to be. It was only after Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu demise that Yazid’s governors began demanding that they pledge their allegiance.

It is disputed whether Yazid was a drunkard and open sinner. There is no harm in presenting the testimony of Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib he lived during the reign of Yazid and would certainly have more insight about him. Ibn Kathir says in al Bidayah:

 

When the people of Madinah returned from Yazid, ‘Abdullah ibn Muti’ and his companions went to Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah with the intention of removing Yazid (from office) but he refused.

Ibn Muti’ said, “Indeed, Yazid consumes alcohol, neglects the salah, and transgresses the command of the Book (of Allah).”

He said to them, “I did not see (from my time with him) what you are mentioning as I visited him and stayed with him. In fact, I saw him regular with salah, searching for good, asking about fiqh and holding to the Sunnah.”

They said, “Indeed, that was pretentious from his side.”

He said, “What does he fear or hope for that would cause him to display such humility to me? Did he openly display to you what you mentioned about drinking alcohol? If he was open about it with you then you are his partners in that (crime). If he did not display that to you, then it is not permissible for you to testify about what you do not know.”

They said, “We consider that to be the truth even if we did not see it.”

He said, “Allah refused that from the people who provide testimony. He says:

إِلَّا مَنْ شَهِدَ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُوْنَ

But only those who testify to the truth [can benefit], and they know.[10]

(Muhammad ibn ‘Ali continues) I am not at all with you.”

They said, “Perhaps you dislike that someone besides you takes control of the matter (the Caliphate) therefore we entrust you with our matter.”

He said, “What you ask of me, whether as a follower or a leader, I do not consider it permissible to fight for.”

They said, “You fought with your father!”

He said, “Bring me someone similar to my father and for something similar to what he fought for!”

They said, “Then instruct your sons Abu al Qasim and Qasim to fight with us!”

He said, “Had I instructed them, then I would fight.”

They said, “Then stand with us so that we may encourage the people to fight!”

He said, “Subhan Allah! Should I command the people to do something I will not do and I am not pleased with? Then I have not displayed good towards the people for the sake of Allah.”

They said, “Then we will force you!”

He said, “Then I will instruct the people to fear Allah and not to be obedient to the creation at the expense of the Creator.” Then he left for Makkah.[11]

 

1. Tijani accuses Muawiyah of initiating the cursing of ‘Ali.

Tijani says:

 

I looked for the reasons which led those Companions to change the Sunnah [the tradition] of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and found that the Umayyads (and most of them were Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and Muawiah ibn Abi Sufian (writer of the revelation, as he was called) in particular used to force people to swear at Ali ibn Abi Talib and curse him from the pulpits of the mosques, as most of the historians have mentioned in their books.

Muslim, in his Sahih, wrote in a chapter entitled, “The virtues of Ali ibn Abi Talib”, the following: Muawiah ordered his governors everywhere to take the curse [of Ali ibn Abi Talib] as tradition, and that all the speakers must include it in their speeches.[12]

 

He says at another place:

 

How could they judge him as a man who had worked hard to promote Islam and to reward him, after he forced the people to curse Ali and Ahl al Bayt, the Family of the chosen Prophet (Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)?[13]

 

At another place he says:

 

He was the one who forced people to curse Ali and Ahlul Bayt, the offspring of the Prophet, in every mosque, so that it became a followed tradition for sixty years.[14]

 

Refuting Tijani’s accusation that Muawiyah initiated the cursing of ‘Ali.

Tijani displays little shame when he lies about Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was responsible for the despicable practise of cursing ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

One cannot rely on the books of history blindly, especially when there was little care in regard to distinguishing the reliable narrations from the unreliable. The matter becomes more questionable when the historians who narrate something of this nature happen to be Shia. Al Tabari says in the introduction of his work on history:

 

The reader should know that with respect to all I have mentioned, and made it a condition to set down in this book of ours, I rely upon traditions and reports which I have transmitted and which I attribute to their transmitters. I rely only very exceptionally upon what is learned through rational arguments and produced by internal thought processes. For no knowledge of the history of men of the past, and of recent men and events, is attainable by those who were not able to observe them and did not live in their time, except through information and transmission provided by informants and transmitters. This knowledge cannot be brought out by reason or produced by internal thought processes. Therefore, any report in this book of mine which may (be found to) contain some information, mentioned by us on the authority of certain men of the past, which the reader may disapprove of, and the listener may find detestable, because he can find nothing sound, and there is no sense in it then let him know that it is not our fault that such information comes to him. Rather, it comes from some of those who transmitted it to us and I simply transmitted that in the manner it was transmitted to me.[15]

 

Therefore, any argument forwarded by Tijani which relies on any book of history ought to be scrutinised in terms of its reliability. It is imperative that he mentions the exact narration which says that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu instructed the people to curse ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu from the pulpits. It is not sufficient to merely attribute this view to al Tabari.

Tijani rests his case on a narration which appears in Sahih Muslim under the chapter of the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The narration in Sahih Muslim is sound but Tijani’s distorted version of it is not; and the translators made sure of further distortion when rendering it into English. The narration under discussion is what ‘Amir ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas narrates from his father, who said:

 

أمر معاوية بن أبي سفيان سعدا فقال ما منعك أن تسب أبا التراب فقال أما ما ذكرت ثلاثا قالهن له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فلن أسبه لأن تكون لي واحدة منهن أحب إلي من حمر النعم سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول له خلفه في بعض مغازيه فقال له علي يا رسول الله خلفتني مع النساء والصبيان فقال له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أما ترضى أن تكون مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى إلا أنه لا نبوة بعدي وسمعته يقول يوم خيبر لأعطين الراية رجلا يحب الله ورسوله ويحبه الله ورسوله قال فتطاولنا لها فقال ادعوا لي عليا فأتي به أرمد فبصق في عينه ودفع الراية إليه ففتح الله عليه ولما نزلت هذه الآية فقل تعالوا ندع أبناءنا وأبناءكم دعا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عليا وفاطمة وحسنا وحسينا فقال اللهم هؤلاء أهلي

Muawiyah called for Sa’d and said, “What prevents you from abusing Abu al Turab?”

Thereupon he said, “It is because of three things which I remember Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam having said about him that I would not abuse him, and even if I find one of those three things for me, it would be dearer to me than red camels. I heard Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say about ‘Ali as he left him behind in one of his campaigns. ‘Ali said to him, ‘O Messenger of Allah, you leave me behind along with women and children?’ Thereupon Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him, ‘Are you not pleased with being unto me what Harun was unto Musa but with this exception that there is no prophet after me.’ And I (also) heard him say on the Day of Khaybar, ‘I would certainly give this standard to a person who loves Allah and his Messenger, and Allah and his Messenger love him too.’ We had been anxiously waiting for it, when he (the Prophet) said, ‘Call ‘Ali,’ he was called and his eyes were inflamed. He applied saliva to his eyes and handed over the standard to him, and Allah gave him victory. (The third occasion is this) when the (following) verse was revealed:

فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ

Let us summon our children and your children.[16]

Allah’s Messenger called ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hassan, and Hussain and said, ‘O Allah, they are my family.’”

 

This hadith does not state that Muawiyah instructed Sa’d to curse ‘Ali. Rather, as is apparent, Muawiyah wanted to know what prevents him from abusing ‘Ali. Thereupon, Sa’d provided the reason. When Muawiyah heard Sa’d’s response he did not become angry or punished him. In fact Muawiyah’s silence is confirmation that he approved of Sa’d’s view. If Muawiyah was a tyrant, coercing the people to curse ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as Tijani claims, then he would not have remained silent and he would have coerced Sa’d into cursing him. However, that did not occur and therefore it is known that he was not instructed to curse and that he was not pleased with that.

Al Nawawi says:

 

This statement of Muawiyah does not clearly mean that he requested him to curse ‘Ali. Rather, he asked the reason that prevents him from cursing. It is as if he is saying: Have you withheld out of piety, fear, or any other reason; so if it is out of piety and reverence for him then you have adopted the correct policy and if for any other reason there is a different response.

Or perhaps Sa’d was with a group who used to curse but refrained from cursing and was not in a position to rebuke them so he asked the question prompting him, and thus providing the opportunity to object to those who were cursing.

Some have said that it has the potential for an alternative interpretation and that it means why did you not object to his Ijtihad and make apparent to the people the correctness of our opinion and Ijtihad?[17]

 

Al Qurtubi said in al Mufhim:

 

This is not clear in that Muawiyah demanded that ‘Ali be cursed. Instead it was a question regarding what was holding him back from doing so, so that Sa’d could bring out ‘Ali’s virtues or praise for him as was clear from his response. When Muawiyah remained silent after hearing Sa’d’s response, he acknowledged the truth of what it was.[18]

 

2. Tijani’s claim that Muawiyah was not one of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam scribes

He says:

 

And how could they call him “The writer of the Revelations” since the revelation came upon the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for twenty-three years, and Muawiyah was a polytheist for the first eleven years of them, and later, when he was converted to Islam, did not live in Medina (for we could not find any historical reference to support that), whereas the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not live in Mecca after al Fath [the conquer of Mecca by the Muslims]? So how could Muawiya manage to write the Revelation?[19]

 

Refuting Tijani’s claim that Muawiyah was not one of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam scribes

The issue of Muawiyah being one of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam scribes is an established fact. Imam Muslim narrates in his Sahih from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Abu Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu made three requests to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, one of them being:

 

قَالَ وَمُعَاوِيَةُ تَجْعَلُهُ كَاتِبًا بَيْنَ يَدَيْكَ. قَالَ نَعَمْ

He said, “And Muawiyah, make him a scribe of yours.”

The Prophet responded, “Yes”

 

Ahmed, in his Musnad, and Muslim in his Sahih, narrate from Ibn ‘Abbas, who said:

 

I was a young boy running around with the other children when the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam happened to approach us from behind, I assumed that he did not seek anyone but me so I ran and hid behind a door of a house and I did not realise until suddenly he embraced me. He patted me between my shoulders and said, “Go and call Muawiyah for me,” and he [Muawiyah] was his scribe, so I ran and said, “Respond to the call of the Messenger of Allah as he seeks you.”[20]

 

Both these narrations confirm that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was one of the Prophet’s scribes.

 

Tijani goes on to state:

 

When he embraced Islam after the Conquest of Makkah we did not come across a single narration that says he stayed in Madinah, while the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not reside in Makkah after the Conquest.

 

Our comment:

Tijani’s glaring errors about history in general and about the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sirah specifically, ought to raise suspicion in the mind of any objective reader. It is very clear that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu took up residence in Madinah.

Fatimah bint Qays radiya Llahu ‘anha says:

 

When I became lawful [for marriage] I mentioned to him [the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] that both Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan and Abu Jahm have both proposed for me [in marriage] so the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “As for Abu Jahm he does not put his staff down from his shoulder, and as for Muawiyah he is destitute and he does not have much wealth; marry Usamah ibn Zaid [instead]…”[21]

 

Fatimah bint Qays was one of the early emigrants to Madinah. None of the Muhajirin returned to Makkah as a resident during the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lifetime. This proposal would only have been possible if Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a resident of Madinah.

However, it appears Tijani understood that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed Ibn ‘Abbas to call Muawiyah from Makkah! Tijani is not to be faulted for his statement, “I did not come across a single narration,” as he spoke the truth: He did not search for it in the first place! It is from Allah that we seek protection from such ‘objectivity’.

 

3. Tijani’s claim that Muawiyah had Hujr ibn ‘Adi executed because he refused to curse ‘Ali

Tijani says:

 

When some of the Companions protested very strongly against such a rule, Muawiah ordered their killing and burning. Among the famous Companions who were killed at the order of Muawiah were Hijr ibn Adi al Kindi and his followers, because they protested and refused to curse Ali, and some of them were buried alive.[22]

 

At another place he says:

 

How could they judge him as a promoter of Islam when he killed Hijr Ibn Adi and his companions and buried them in Marj Adhra in the Syrian desert because they refused to curse Ali ibn Abi Talib?[23]

 

Refuting Tijani’s claim that Muawiyah had Hujr ibn ‘Adi executed because he refused to curse ‘Ali

There is a difference of opinion regarding the status of Hujr ibn ‘Adi, whether he is a Sahabi (Companion) or a Tabi’i (Follower). Ibn Sa’d has mentioned him in the fourth category of Companions and has mentioned that he had once visited the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Thereafter he mentioned him in the first category of Tabi’in of the people of Kufah. Al Bukhari, Ibn Abi Hatim, Khalifah ibn Khayyat, and Ibn Hibban all mention him among the Tabi’in. Abu Ahmed al ‘Askari has said, “Majority of the scholars of Hadith do not consider him to be from the Companions.”[24]

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not kill Hujr because he refused to curse ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is a blatant mistruth. The historians discuss the cause of Hujr’s death that Ziyad, the Amir of Kufah, by Muawiyah’s appointment[25], gave a lengthy sermon and Hujr ibn ‘Adi yelled out, ‘Salah!’ However, Ziyad continued with the sermon and Hujr and his companions began pelting him with stones. Ziyad then wrote to Muawiyah about the disturbance caused by Hujr and his companions, since Hujr had done this before to the person who governed Kufah before Ziyad. Muawiyah then commanded that Hujr be sent to him, and when he arrived he instructed that he be executed. The reason for Muawiyah’s firmness in the execution of Hujr was that Hujr’s behaviour could be the catalyst for a second rebellion against the leader of the community, and this would result once again in polarizing the Muslim community. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarded it as provoking sedition. This was of serious concern since Kufah was the city where some of the rebels against ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu had emerged from. ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu leniency in this matter led to his murder. This resulted in bloodshed and brought about great civil strife in the Ummah. Indeed, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu sought to ‘nip the fitnah in the bud’ with the execution of Hujr.

 

4. Tijani’s claim that Hassan al Basri disparaged Muawiyah

Tijani says:

 

Abu al Aala al Mawdudi wrote in his book “Caliphate and Kingdom”: Abu al Hassan al Basri said:

Muawiah had four features, and if he had only one of them, it would have been considered a great sin:

  1. Making decisions without consulting the Companions, who were the light of virtues.
  2. Designating his son as his successor. His son was a drunkard, corrupt and wore silk.
  3. He claimed Ziyad [as his son], and the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “There is offspring for the honourable woman, but there is nothing for the whore.”
  4. His killing of Hijr and his followers. Woe unto him from Hijr and the followers of Hijr.[26]
 

Refuting Tijani’s claim that Hassan al Basri disparaged Muawiyah

This narration revolves around Abu Mikhnaf.[27] Abu Mikhnaf is Lut ibn Yahya al Azdi al Kufi a prominent forger and liar.

Al Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar say about him:

 

A ruined historian who should not be trusted.[28]

 

Ibn Hajar says:

 

Abu Hatim, and others, abandoned him.

Al Daraqutni says, “Weak!”

Ibn Ma’in says, “He is definitely not reliable.” (On one occasion he said,) He is not worth much as a transmitter.”

Ibn ‘Adi says, “He is a Shia innovator.”[29]

 

Al Uqayli counts him amongst the weak narrators.[30] Therefore, this narration is baseless.

The study of its text further indicates an inherent flaw in this narration. The assertion that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu assumed leadership without any consultation is false. We know this since Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma abdicated in favour of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and the entire Ummah pledged allegiance to him. If they pledged allegiance to him whilst he was unqualified it would be an indictment on them and not him. The person who ought to bear the greatest responsibility in this regard would be Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

The hadith of reconciliation between Hassan ibn ‘Ali and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhum has been narrated by way of Hassan al Basri. Why would he narrate a hadith wherein the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised a reconciliation which resulted in the appointment of a condemned individual as Khalifah?

Qatadah relates from Hassan al Basri that some people had testified that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his companions are in the Fire. He said, “May Allah curse them! What gives them the idea that he is in the Fire?”[31]

The narration provided by Tijani is thus evidently a lie that has been carefully placed in the mouth of Hassan al Basri. It is flawed not only because it is only narrated by way of Lut ibn Yahya, Abu Mikhnaf the famous forger, but it contradicts that which has been accurately ascribed to Hassan al Basri in terms of his stance on Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. We also learn the extent of desperation in Sahabah-haters like Tijani, they have to resort to lies and forgery to argue their case!

 

5. Tijani’s perspective of Muawiyah during the Fitnah

Tijani says:

 

When we ask some of our scholars about Muawiah’s war against Ali, who had been acknowledged by al Muhajireen and al Ansar, a war which led to the division of Islam into Sunnis and Shiites and left it scarred to this very day, they simply answer by saying, “Ali and Muawiah were both good Companions, and both of them interpreted Islam in his own way. However, Ali was right, therefore he deserves two rewards, but Muawiah got it wrong, therefore, he deserves one reward. It is not within our right to judge for them or against them, Allah- the Most High – said:

تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُمْ مَا كَسَبْتُمْ وَلَا تُسْأَلُوْنَ عَمَّا كَانُوْا يَعْمَلُوْنَ

That was a nation which has passed on. It will have [the consequence of] what it earned and you will have what you have earned. And you will not be asked about what they used to do.[32]

Regrettably, we provide such weak answers that neither a sensible mind nor a religion, nor indeed a law would accept. O Allah, I am innocent of idle talk and of deviant whims. I beg You to protect me from the devil’s touch.

How could a sensible mind accept that Muawiah had worked hard to interpret Islam and give him one reward for his war against the leader of all Muslims, and for his killing of thousands of innocent believers, in addition to all the crimes that he committed? He was known among the historians for killing his opponents through feeding them poisoned honey, and he used to say, “Allah has soldiers made of honey.”

How could these people judge him as a man who worked hard to promote Islam and give him a reward for that, when he was the leader of a wrong faction? There is a well-known Hadith of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and most of the scholars agree its authenticity, “Woe unto Ammar … he will be killed by the wrong faction.” And he was killed by Muawiah and his followers.

How could they judge him as a promoter of Islam when he killed Hijr Ibn Adi and his companions and buried them in Marj Adhra in the Syrian desert because they refused to curse Ali ibn Abi Talib?

How could they judge him a just Companion when he killed al Hassan, leader of the Heaven’s youth, by poisoning him?

How could they judge him as being correct after he had forced the nation to acknowledge him as a caliph and to accept his corrupt son Yazid as his successor, and to change the Shurah [consultative] system to a hereditary one?

How could they judge him as a man who had worked hard to promote Islam and to reward him, after he forced the people to curse Ali and Ahl al Bayt, the Family of the chosen Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and killed those Companions who refused to do so, and made the act of cursing Ali a tradition? There is no power but in Allah, the Most High, the Great.

The question crops up over and over again. Which faction was right, and which faction was wrong? Either, Ali and his followers were wrong, or Muawiah and his followers were wrong, and the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam explained everything.

In both cases, the proposition of the righteousness of all the Companions does not hold ground and is incompatible with logic.[33]

 

Refuting Tijani’s perspective of Muawiyah during the Fitnah

Tijani’s amazement at the explanation of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah is an inexpensive escape from his prejudice. Would he display the same level of amazement if it were the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who suggested that both parties were upon guidance?

Al Bukhari narrates in his Sahih by way of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

لا تقوم الساعة حتى يقتتل فئتان دعواهما واحدة

The last hour will not come until two groups fight one another,[34] their call will be the same.[35]

 

Muslim narrates in his Sahih from Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he said, the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

تمرق مارقة عند فرقة من المسلمين يقتلها أولى الطائفتين بالحق

A faction will renegade at a time when there is division among the Muslims; and the party, among two parties, which is closer to the truth, will fight them.[36]

 

The narration of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is an explanation of what occurred between ‘Ali and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma; and there is no doubt that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was closer to the truth than anyone else, and it was also ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu who fought against the Khawarij renegades. In these narrations one finds a clear indication of the Islam of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu since the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that ‘Their call is one’ and that ‘the party closest to the truth among two parties’ would fight the defectors. We understand that both parties sought the truth though they disputed about it.

Al Nawawi has said in his commentary of Muslim:

 

One finds that it contains an unequivocal pronouncement that both parties were believers; and they do not, on account of their fighting, exit the religion neither are they described with fisq [flagrant sin]; and this is our stance [i.e. the Ahlus Sunnah].[37]

 

We have previously pointed out that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu only fought ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu because he considered himself the avenger of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu due to him being a Wali al Dam (blood heir). His position was the result of understanding that ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was killed unjustly and the narrations describe those who rebelled against him as munafiqin. The hadith under discussion is what al Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah narrate from Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, who said:

 

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ يا عثمان إن ولاك الله هذا الأمر يوما فأرادك المنافقون أن تخلع قميصك الذي قمصك الله فلا تخلعه‏ يقول ذلك ثلاث مرات

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O ‘Uthman! If Allah should place you in charge of this matter one day and the munafiqin want you to remove your shirt which Allah clothed you with then do not remove it!” He said this thrice.[38]

 

Similarly, Ka’b ibn Murrah confirmed this in front of Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu army when he said:

 

لولا حديث سمعته من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما قمت ‏وذكر الفتن فقربها فمر رجل مقنع في ثوب فقال هذا يومئذ على الهدى فقمت إليه فإذا هو عثمان بن عفان قال فأقبلت عليه بوجهه فقلت هذا قال نعم

Had it not been for a hadith I heard from the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam I would not have stood up! The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioned the trials and made them seem close by, then a man passed by wrapped in a shawl and he said, “This man on that day will be upon the truth.” I rushed to him and it was ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan. I turned his face towards him (the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and asked, “This person?” and he replied, “Yes!”[39]

 

‘Abdullah ibn Shaqiq ibn Murrah also narrates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

Trials will erupt on this earth like the horns of the bull. Then a man clad in a robe passed by and the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “This man and his companions will be upon the truth on that day.” So I rushed to him and uncovered his mask and I turned his face to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Is it this person?” He said, “This is the person!” (‘Abdullah said :) “And it was ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan.”[40]

 

Muawiyah and his companions considered themselves upon the truth and guidance because of these narrations. When they found the rebels were embedded in ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu army. They assumed it was permitted to fight them in light of the narrations they were aware of. This was a time of Fitnah, and the third force exploited the confusion.

It comes as no surprise that Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu supporters said, “We will only give our pledge to someone who is fair to us and does not oppress us and if we give our pledge to ‘Ali, his people will oppress us in the same manner that they oppressed ‘Uthman. ‘Ali is unable to provide justice for us and therefore it is not compulsory upon us to give our pledge to someone who is unable to provide justice for us.”[41]

They felt that since ‘Uthman’s killers were in ‘Ali’s army, and they were the oppressors who intended to transgress against us in the same manner that they transgressed against ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they will fight them in defence in addition to the fact that they did not start the fight. This accounts for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his comrades.

There was another group among the Sahabah who stayed out of the internal unrest because of narrations from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which encourage refraining from fighting. It was not mandatory or even recommended. For that reason, ‘Imran ibn Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu used to prohibit the sale of weapons during times of civil strife. He used to say, “Weapons are not sold during times of civil strife.” This is also the view of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, Ibn ‘Umar, Usamah ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and the majority of those who remained from the early Muhajirin and the Ansar[42] who avoided the fitnah and did not participate in the fighting. Therefore, many of the leaders of the Ahlus Sunnah say:

 

It is not a condition to fight the rebellious group as Allah did not order (us) to start the fight with them. Rather, he commanded us that when two groups are fighting one another to reconcile between them. Then if one of them transgresses against the other the transgressing group is fought.[43]

 

Therefore, Tijani’s claim that Muawiyah was the one who called towards fighting ‘Ali is a blatant lie.

Ibn al ‘Arabi comments on this issue:

 

That which will bring coolness to your chest is that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioned the communal strife and gave indications and warned about the Khawarij when he said, “The closest of the two groups to the truth…” so he explained that each of these two groups has an attachment with the truth; however the group of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was closer to it. Allah says:

 

وَإِنْ طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ اقْتَتَلُوْا فَأَصْلِحُوْا بَيْنَهُمَا فَإِنْ بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الْأُخْرٰى فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِيْ تَبْغِيْ حَتّٰى تَفِيءَ إِلٰى أَمْرِ اللّٰهِ فَإِنْ فَاءَتْ فَأَصْلِحُوْا بَيْنَهُمَا بِالْعَدْلِ وَأَقْسِطُوْا إِنَّ اللّٰهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِيْنَ (9) إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُوْنَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوْا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُوْنَ

If two groups of the believers fight each other, seek reconciliation between them. And if one of them commits aggression against the other, fight the one that commits aggression until it comes back to Allah’s command. So if it comes back, seek reconciliation between them with fairness, and maintain justice. Surely Allah loves those who maintain justice.” [al Hujurat:9]

 

He did not exclude the rebellious party from the faith because their insubordination was on account of juristic interpretation; neither did He strip them of the description of brotherhood since He says after that “Indeed the believers are brothers; so reconcile between your two brothers…” [al Hujurat:9]. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said of ‘Ammar, “The rebellious party will kill him,” and he said with regards to Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “This son of mine is a Sayed; and perhaps Allah will bring about reconciliation at his hands between two major groups from the Muslims.” So Hassan’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu part in all of this was that he abdicated and brought about reconciliation.[44]

 

Allah refers to both parties as brothers despite their fighting and rebelling against one another. For that reason, the Ahlus Sunnah supplicates for mercy upon both groups as Allah says:

 

وَالَّذِيْنَ جَاءُوْا مِنْۢ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُوْلُوْنَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِيْنَ سَبَقُوْنَا بِالْإِيْمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِيْ قُلُوْبِنَا غِلًّا لِلَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوْفٌ رَحِيْمٌ

And those who came after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts (any) resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.”[45]

 

Even if one were to assume that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not motivated by Ijtihad, the oceans of Allah’s mercy are vast and the doors of forgiveness had not been closed on him. Furthermore, Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu actions after the truce all indicate a sense of piety which are a means of expiation of sins. Ibn Kathir writes in al Bidayah from Miswar ibn Makhramah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he came to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He says:

 

When I entered upon him—the narrator says I think he said I greeted—he asked me, “What has come of your accusing the leaders, O Miswar?”

I said, “Let us leave that aside; or let us discuss what I have come here for.”

He said, “You shall speak what is on your chest.”

Miswar said, “I did not leave anything with which I could fault him except that I told him about it.”

Then he said, “I do not absolve myself from sins. Do you have sins that you fear destruction for yourself if Allah does not forgive you?”

I said, “Yes.”

He said, “What makes you more deserving of hope in Allah’s forgiveness than me? I swear by Allah, that which I take responsibility for with regards to resolving peoples disputes, upholding the penalties, engaging in jihad in the path of Allah, and the great matters which you cannot count, is much more than you have taken up on yourself. And I am upon a religion in which Allah accepts the good deeds and pardons the errors. And I swear by Allah, that whenever presented with a choice between Allah and others besides him I have always chosen Allah over anyone besides Him!”

Miswar said, “I reflected upon what he said and realised that he had proven his point to me in this discussion.”

And whenever Miswar thought of him he would pray for him.[46]

 

Here Muawiyah is elaborating the point raised earlier. He declares unapologetically that he was motivated by Allah’s command and it was his Ijtihad that led him to do what he did. Even if it were not Ijtihad, surely he would have compensated for the wrong by the abundance of righteous deeds that he performed subsequent to the communal strife.

The hadith, “Woe unto ‘Ammar. The rebellious group will kill him,” is of the clearest proofs that ‘Ali was in the right. When the death of ‘Ammar reached ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and his son, fear overwhelmed them. In the hadith narrated by Ahmed in the Musnad from Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Amr ibn Hazm, from his father, he said:

 

لما قتل عمار بن ياسر دخل عمرو بن حزم على عمرو بن العاص فقال قتل عمار وقد قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم تقتله الفئة الباغية فقام عمرو بن العاص فزعا يرجع حتى دخل على معاوية فقال له معاوية ما شانك قال قتل عمار فقال معاوية قد قتل عمار فماذا قال عمرو سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول تقتله الفئة الباغية فقال له معاوية دحضت في بولك أو نحن قتلناه إنما قتله علي وأصحابه جاؤوا به حتى القوه بين رماحنا أو قال بين سيوفنا

When ‘Ammar was killed, ‘Amr ibn Hazm went to see ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and said, “‘Ammar has been killed and the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘The rebellious group will kill him.’”

Then ‘Amr ibn al ‘As stood up anxiously saying, “To Allah we belong and unto Him shall we return,” until he went to see Muawiyah.

Muawiyah said to him, “What is the matter with you?”

He said, “‘Ammar has been killed.”

Muawiyah said, “What is it if ‘Ammar was killed?”

‘Amr said, “I heard the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘The rebellious group will kill ‘Ammar.’”

Then Muawiyah said to him, “You have slipped! Did we kill him? Rather, ‘Ali and his companions killed him. They brought him here and threw him between our arrows or swords.” [47]

 

Then the people came out saying, “Those who brought ‘Ammar killed him,” and confidence was restored within the army. The reason Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu interpreted this hadith in this manner is because he could not imagine ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu killers being upon the truth in light of the narrations which confirm that he was killed unjustly. Since ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu killers were the wrongdoers there was no doubt in his mind that the rebellious group was within ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu army. However, the reality was somewhat different. While the transgressors might have formed part of ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu army, he remained the Khalifah. It is imperative to obey the Khalifah. Thus, ‘Ammar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu death was a distinguishing marker to identify which party was in the right.

Tijani claims to find the truth with the Twelver Shia school. One of the doctrines of the Twelver school is the infallibility of the Twelve Imams. It is also a matter of consensus that Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, after having accepting the pledge from his people after his father passed away, abdicated in favour of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If we assume Tijani’s perspective, any claim to follow sound reason is in jeopardy since the ‘infallible’ Imam surrendered the Caliphate to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which means that Muawiyah’s Caliphate was valid according to the ‘infallible’ Imam, or the Imam is not infallible to begin with. For the Ahlus Sunnah there is no problem since Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu is not considered infallible, though his decision to abdicate in favour of Muawiyah is the realisation of his grandfather’s prophecy. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “This son of mine is a leader. Perhaps Allah will reconcile two groups of Muslims through him.” Which view aligns with logic and reason?

Lastly, there is evidence in the Twelver Shia books which confirms that ‘Ali and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were both upon the truth and rewarded for their efforts. Surprisingly al Kulayni relates in al Rawdah min al Kafi, from Muhammad ibn Yahya, who said:

 

I heard Abu ‘Abdullah al Sadiq saying, “The dispute of the Banu al ‘Abbas is inevitable, and the calling is inevitable, and the appearance of the al Qa’im is inevitable.”

I said, “What is the calling?”

He replied, “An announcer calls out at the beginning of the day, ‘Indeed, ‘Ali and his supporters are the successful ones!’”

He also said, “An announcer calls out at the end of the day, ‘Indeed, ‘Uthman and his supporters are the successful ones!’”[48]

 

There is further evidence from the books of the Shia where ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu confirms that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his supporters were believers and the fighting that resulted was one of scholarly discretion, each group believing itself to be upon the truth in terms of how it would deal with the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Al Sharif al Radi mentions in Nahj al Balaghah from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he said:

 

Our matter started when we met the people of Syria. What is clear is that our Lord is the same, our Prophet is the same, and our call to Islam is the same. We do not request more from their belief in Allah and their belief in the Messenger, and they do not request more from us in terms of our belief in Allah and belief in the Messenger. There is only one issue in which we differ and that is concerning the blood of ‘Uthman and we are innocent of it.[49]

 

6. Tijani’s claim that Muawiyah poisoned Hassan

Tijani says:

 

How could they judge him a just Companion when he killed al Hassan, leader of the Heaven’s youth, by poisoning him? [50]

 

He says at another place:

 

How could they judge him like that when he was the one who poisoned al Hassan ibn Ali, leader of Heaven’s youth? Perhaps they say, “This was an aspect of his Ijtihad [interpretation], but he got it wrong!”[51]

 

Refuting Tijani’s claim that Muawiyah poisoned Hassan

This claim is false for the following reasons:

No reliable evidence exists for this claim. The burden of proof lies with the one making the claim. The narrations that discuss Hassan’s poisoning are unreliable. If we consider the fact that Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu had an entire army behind him and still abdicated in favour of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, what would Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu have to fear that he had Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu poisoned?

The correct policy, especially at the time of Fitnah, is to avoid suspicion. The historical reports, as weak as they are, only provide suspects and no culprits. On what grounds does Tijani convert that suspicion into a conviction against Muawiyah?

The person accused of poisoning Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was his wife. Some have suspected her father, al Ash’ath ibn Qays, of instructing her to do so, and others have said it was Yazid. This confusion about the one who poisoned Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu indicates that the culprit cannot be identified or else there would have been no speculation. However, Tijani’s ‘impartiality’ led him to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu directly.

Ibn al ‘Arabi said in al Awasim min al Qawasim regarding the allegation that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu poisoned al Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

It is a matter of the unseen known only to Allah. How can you place the blame on Muawiyah without any proof; especially after such a long time? We cannot rely on a spurious report that has been transmitted among people of innovation; especially during a time of Fitnah when each party ascribes to the next that which is inappropriate. So nothing will be accepted of [such reports] except that which is evidently clear, and it will not be accepted except from one with great moral integrity.[52]

 

He states further:

 

If it is said he secretly conspired to have Hassan poisoned, we say that this claim is far-fetched for two reasons, one of them was the fact that Hassan handed over the Caliphate willingly and there was no incentive for Muawiyah to have Hassan killed. Secondly the narration mentioning it is unreliable and a number of scholars have identified flaws in the narration.[53]

 

7. Tijani’s claim that Muawiyah altered the Caliphate from shura to monarchy

Tijani says:

 

How could they judge him as being correct after he had forced the nation to acknowledge him as a caliph and to accept his corrupt son Yazid as his successor, and to change the Shurah [consultative] system to a hereditary one?[54]

 

He says at another place:

 

After Ali, Muawiya took over the caliphate and changed it to a hereditary system within Bani Umayya, and after them came Bani al Abbas where the caliphs succeeded one after the other either by personal nomination [from the previous caliph] or by means of force and seizure of power. From the beginning of the Islamic era until Kamal Ataturk – who abolished the Islamic caliphate – there has been no correct acclamation except that for the Commander of the Believers Ali ibn Abi Talib.[55]

 

He says at another place:

 

How could they judge his Ijtihad, when he was the one who took the nation’s acclamation for himself by force, then gave it to his son Yazid after him, and changed the Shura system to a hereditary one? [56]

 

Refuting Tijani’s claim that Muawiyah altered the Caliphate from shura to monarchy

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not take the Caliphate by force. Rather, it was handed over to him by Hassan ibn ‘Ali after the reconciliation. It was the fruition of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prediction when he said, “This son of mine is a leader. Perhaps Allah will reconcile two groups of Muslims through him.”

Al Bukhari narrates in his Sahih that Hassan al Basri said:

 

استقبل والله الحسن بن علي معاوية بكتائب أمثال الجبال فقال عمرو بن العاص إني لأرى كتائب لا تولي حتى تقتل أقرانها فقال له معاوية وكان والله خير الرجلين أي عمرو إن قتل هؤلاء هؤلاء وهؤلاء هؤلاء من لي بأمور الناس من لي بنسائهم من لي بضيعتهم فبعث إليه رجلين من قريش من بني عبد شمس عبد الرحمن بن سمرة وعبد الله بن عامر بن كريز فقال اذهبا إلى هذا الرجل فاعرضا عليه وقولا له واطلبا إليه فأتياه فدخلا عليه فتكلما وقالا له فطلبا إليه فقال لهما الحسن بن علي إنا بنو عبد المطلب قد أصبنا من هذا المال وإن هذه الأمة قد عاثت في دمائها قالا فإنه يعرض عليك كذا وكذا ويطلب إليك ويسألك قال فمن لي بهذا قالا نحن لك به فما سألهما شيئا إلا قالا نحن لك به فصالحه فقال الحسن ولقد سمعت أبا بكرة يقول رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على المنبر والحسن بن علي إلى جنبه وهو يقبل على الناس مرة وعليه أخرى ويقول إن ابني هذا سيد ولعل الله أن يصلح به بين فئتين عظيمتين من المسلمين

Hassan faced Muawiyah with military squadrons like mountains. Then ‘Amr said, “By Allah! I see military squadrons that will not turn back until they kill their opponents.”

Then Muawiyah who was the better of the two men said, “O ‘Amr! If these people are killed then who will assist me with governing the people, who will assist me with their women, who will assist me with their vulnerable?”

Then he sent to him two men from the Quraysh, from Banu ‘Abd al Shams (tribe); ‘Abd al Rahman al Sumarah and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amir ibn Kurayz. He said (to them), “Go to this man and present (the option of a peace treaty to him), and plea with him, and request it from him!” They went to him and got his audience and pleaded with him and requested from him.

Hassan ibn ‘Ali said, “We are the Banu ‘Abd al Muttalib, we have acquired some of this wealth and this Ummah has squandered a lot of it in its blood.”

They said, “He offers you ‘this and that’ and requests from you ‘this and that’.”

He said, “Who will guarantee for me this (the fulfilment of this agreement)?”

They said, “We guarantee you that.”

Then he did not ask them anything except that they said, “We guarantee you that.”

Then he entered into the peace treaty with him. Hassan (al Basri) says, “I heard Abu Bakrah saying, ‘I saw the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the mimbar while Hassan ibn ‘Ali was by his side. He faced the people and then faced Hassan and said, ‘Indeed this son of mine is a leader. Perhaps Allah will reconcile between two groups of Muslims because of him.’”[57]

 

Tijani’s assertion that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu forced people into acknowledging his Caliphate is unfounded. How did he force Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whereas Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu had an entire army with him?

It is surprising that Tijani accuses Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu of changing the Caliphate and replacing it with monarchy since he does not acknowledge the validity of all the Khalifas before Muawiyah, nor does he approve of the manner of their appointment.

Safinah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates that the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

Caliphate will remain in my Ummah for thirty years, then it will become a monarchy after that.[58]

 

Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates that the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

The beginning of this affair is Prophethood and mercy, then it will be a Caliphate and mercy, then monarchy and mercy, then leadership and mercy, then they will be biting each other for it as donkeys do, so it is your duty to engage in Jihad, and the best of your Jihad is in Ribat [guarding the borders], and the best of your Ribat is at ‘Asqalan [Ashkelon].[59]

 

Al Haythami commented saying, “Al Tabarani narrates it and the narrators are reliable.”[60]

Ibn Taymiyyah responded to a question regarding Yazid ibn Muawiyah in Jami al Masaʾil saying:

 

A wave of fitnahs emerged after the demise of Muawiyah and disunity and fragmentation which is a confirmation of what the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam foretold since he said, “There will be Prophethood and mercy, then Caliphate and mercy, then monarchy and mercy, then tyrannical monarchy.” So the period of Prophethood was a period of mercy, as was the period of al Khulafaʾ al Rashidun, and the period of Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu rule was also a mercy, and after him began the cruel monarchy.[61]

 

He also said in his Fatawa:

 

By necessity the combination of Caliphate and monarchy is allowed in our Shari’ah, and that does not negate his moral, upright status; even though absolute Caliphate is the best.[62]

 

With regards to the pledge of his son, Yazid, no doubt Muawiyah sought consent of the people. He consulted the Companions, and the leaders of the people, and the governors of the provinces, and the consent came from most parts agreeing to the pledge for Yazid. Many of the Companions gave their pledge to the point where al Hafiz ‘Abd al Ghani al Maqdisi said:

His Caliphate was valid. Sixty of the Sahabah gave their pledge including ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar.[63]

 

Also, it has been established in Sahih al Bukhari that Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave his pledge to Yazid and when some civil strife arouse in Madinah he gathered its people and warned them about rebelling against Yazid. Nafi’ quotes him as having said:

 

لما خلع أهل المدينة يزيد بن معاوية جمع ابن عمر حشمه وولده فقال إني سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول ينصب لكل غادر لواء يوم القيامة‏ وإنا قد بايعنا هذا الرجل على بيع الله ورسوله وإني لا أعلم غدرا أعظم من أن يبايع رجل على بيع الله ورسوله ثم ينصب له القتال وإني لا أعلم أحدا منكم خلعه ولا بايع في هذا الأمر إلا كانت الفيصل بيني وبينه‏

When the people of Madinah retracted their allegiance from Yazid ibn Muawiyah, Ibn ‘Umar gathered his servants and his children and said, “I heard the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘A flag will be raised for every traitor on the Day of Judgement,’ and indeed we gave our pledge to his man in the name of Allah and his Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Certainly, I do not know of a treachery greater than a man giving his pledge of allegiance (to a man) in the name of Allah and the name of his Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then he starts a fight against him. Anyone amongst you who withdraws him (as his leader) and whoever follows this matter (the rebellion) it is the separation between him and me.[64]

 

There was opposition from Ibn al Zubair and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, among others. No doubt Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu sought the consent of the Ummah for the pledge of succession for Yazid. If Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu intended to rule autocratically and take the pledge for Yazid by force, as Tijani claims, he would have satisfied him with one pledge and forced it upon the people but Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not do that. Rather, those who opposed him opposed him but Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not take steps to coerce them upon the pledge.

Perhaps the reason for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu taking the pledge for (the succession of) Yazid was in order to avoid any further dispute and for the Ummah to maintain its stability. Therefore, he thought that appointing Yazid was for the benefit of the Ummah and to remove the possibility of another fitnah with people contesting authority.

Lastly, what is indeed astonishing about Tijani’s rant is that the Rafidah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah oppose, in principle, the standard of the shura and claim that it is necessary that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instated the leadership with a clear text. Indeed, Tijani himself opposes the Caliphate of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum, despite their appointment through shura. Why then does he pretend to cry about the shura system which he himself opposes? If Yazid were to have been elected through shura would Tijani and his Rafidah brothers have accepted it? Or is the matter deliquescent to them? The answer is that they will never accept it even if the shura included all the Muslims. Why then is there this favouritism and false piety from Tijani about the principle of shura?

 

NEXT ⇒ Chapter 12 – Refuting Tijani’s Criticisms of Abu Hurairah


[1]Sunan al Tirmidhi, Kitab al Manaqib, Bab Manaqib Muawiyah, Hadith: 3842; See Sahih al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3108.

[2]Then I was guided, p. 94.

[3] Siyar Alam al Nubala’, vol. 1 pg. 329

[4]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 8, p. 128.

[5]  Ibid

[6] Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 4, p. 460.

[7]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 8, p. 138.

[8]Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 3, p 140, the examiner of the books says, “Its transmitters are reliable.”

[9]Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 3, p. 648.

[10]  Surah al Zukhruf: 86

[11]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 8, p. 236.

[12]Then I was guided, p. 105.

[13]  Ibid, p. 122.

[14]  Ibid, p. 169.

[15] Tarikh al Tabari, the Muqaddimah (introduction) p. 13

[16]  Surah Al ‘Imran: 61

[17]  Op. cit. p. 250-252.

[18] Al Mufhim vol. 6 pg. 276

[19]  Ibid, p. 169.

[20] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 1, Musnad Ibn ‘Abbas, Hadith: 2618; Sahih Muslim with the commentary, Kitab al Birr wa al Silah, Hadith: 2603.

[21] Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Talaq, hadith 1480.

[22]Then I was guided, p. 105.

[23]  Ibid, p. 121.

[24] al Tabaqat vol.6 pg. 217, al Bidayah wal Nihayah vol. 11 pg. 228 and al Isabah vol. 1 pg.313

[25]  The ummah at this point in history had submitted to Muawiyah’s Caliphate and they were safe from civil strife.

[26]Then I was guided, p. 105-106.

[27]  Refer to al Tabari, vol. 3, p. 232, the year 51 A.H.

[28]Mizan al I’tidal by al Dhahabi, vol. 3, p. 419, biography no. 6992; Also Lisan al Mizan by Ibn Hajar, vol. 4, p. 492

[29]Mizan al I’tidal by al Dhahabi, vol. 3, p. 419-420.

[30]Al Du’afa’ by al ‘Uqayli, vol. 4, p. 18-19, biography no. 1572.

[31] Al Shariah vol. 5 pg. 2468; Tarikh Dimashq vol. 59 pg. 206

[32]  Surah al Baqarah: 134

[33]Then I was guided, p. 121-122.

[34]  Ibn Hajar says, “Intended thereby are those with ‘Ali and Muawiyah when they fought at Siffin.”Fath al Bari, vol. 6, p. 713.

[35]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Manaqib, Bab ‘Alamat al Nubuwwah fi al Islam, Hadith: 3413.

[36]Sahih Muslim with the commentary, Kitab al Zakah, Bab Dhikr al Khawarij wa Sifatihim, Hadith: 151.

[37] Al Minhaj Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol.7 pg.168

[38] Sunan Ibn Majah, al Muqaddimah, Bab Fada’il Ashab al Messenger, Hadith: 112; Refer also to Sahih Ibn Majah, Hadith: 90.

[39]  Narrated by al Tirmidhi from Abu al Ash’ath al San’ani, Kitab al Fada’il, Hadith: 3704; Refer also to Sahih al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2922.

[40]Fada’il al Sahabah by Ahmed, vol. 1, p. 449-450, Hadith: 720, the examiner says, “its sanad is reliable.”

[41]  Refer to Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 4, p. 384.

[42]  Ibid, vol. 4, p. 391-391.

[43]  Ibid, vol. 4, p. 391.

[44] al Awasim min al Qawasim, vol. 1 pgs. 171-174

[45]Surah al Hashr: 10.

[46]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7, p. 235.

[47]Musnad al Shamiyyin from Musnad al Imam Ahmed, vol. 2, Musnad ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, Hadith: 957, p. 163, the examiner says, “its transmitters are reliable.”

[48]Rowdah al Kafi, vol. 8, p. 177.

[49]Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 3, p. 648.

[50]Then I was guided, p. 121.

[51]Then I was guided, p. 169.

[52] al Awasim min al Qawasim vol. 1 pg. 214

[53] Ibid

[54]Then I was guided, p. 121.

[55]Then I was guided, p. 145.

[56]Then I was guidedp. 169.

[57]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Sulh, vol. 2, Hadith: 2557.

[58] Musnad Ahmed vol.5 pg.220, Jami al Tirmidhi hadith no. 2226, Sunan Abi Dawood hadith no.4646, al Nasaʾi in al Kubra hadith no.8155

[59] Al Mujam al Kabir lil-Tabarani vol. 11 pg. 88

[60] Majma al Zawa’id vol. 5 pg. 190

[61] Jami al Masaʾil vol.5 pg.154

[62] Majmu al Fatawa vol. 35 pg. 27

[63]Qayd al Sharid min Akhbar Yazid by Ibn Khaldun, p. 70.

[64]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Sulh, vol. 2, Hadith: 2557.