Preface By Shaykh `Abd Allah ibn `Abd al-Rahman al-Sa`d Part 1

Preface by Shaykh `Abd Allah ibn `Abd al-Rahman al-Sa`d Part 2
January 21, 2016
Introduction
April 14, 2016

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Preface

by the Esteemed Sheikh and Muhaddith ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman al Sa’d

 

All praise belongs to Allah; we praise Him and seek His divine aid and forgiveness, and we seek refuge in Allah from the wickedness of our souls and the evils of our actions. He whom Allah has guided none shall misguide; and he whom Allah has misguided there shall be no guide for him. I testify that there is none worthy of worship besides Allah, alone, and there is no partner with him; as I testify that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.

As for what follows, indeed Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has perfected for us the religion and completed upon us the grace; as He says: “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed upon you My grace; and I am pleased for you with Islam as your religion.”[1] Therefore, all that we require for our religious and worldly affairs has its explanation in the Book of our Rabb and in the Sunnah of our Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Allah says: “We have sent down to you the Book to make clear every affair; and as guidance, mercy and glad-tidings to the Muslims.”[2]

 

Muhammad ibn Abi Hatim, the scribe of al Bukhari, said:

 

I heard Muhammad ibn Ismail al Bukhari saying, “I do not know of anything which is needed except that it is in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah,” so I said to him, “is it possible to know of it all?” and he replied, “Yes!”.[3]

 

Al Shatibi, in al I’tisam (1/64), has said:

 

Indeed the shari’ah has come complete, it does not bear the capacity for additions [to it] nor deductions [from it]; since Allah Almighty has said with regards to it [the shari’ah]: “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed upon you My grace; and I am pleased for you with Islam as your religion.”[4]

 

And in the narration of ‘Irbad ibn Sariyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu it appears:

 

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam delivered to us an admonition which caused the eyes to flow and the hearts to tremble and we said, “O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam this admonition seems as if it is one of farewell so what do you advise us with?” He said, “I have left you on the clear path, its night is like its day, none deviates from it after me except one who is destined for destruction. Those who live after me shall see many disagreements, so you must take hold on to what you know of my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided khulafa’ after me…”

 

It has been established that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not depart from this world except that he explained all that is required of the affairs of religion and of the world; and there is no difference of opinion on this matter among the Ahlus Sunnah. If that is such then the result of what the Mubtadi’ [innovator] says or promotes by merely adopting such a view, is that the shari’ah was incomplete and there remains some affairs that require readdressing or that there is room for supplementing what is missing. Since it would not be necessary for him – if he believed in the completion and perfection of the shari’ah in every way – to innovate, nor would he need to readdress or assume to supplement that which he conceives missing; and one who says this – that there is room for improvement to the shari’ah –is deviated from the straight path.

Therefore, it is upon every person who wishes to find out about any matter or ruling that he refers it to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah, which includes what relates to Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and what has been said regarding him.

Indeed this matter is a great matter and an intricate one at that. Some people have indulged in it and it brought them to Nasb [anti-’Ali sentiments]; whilst others have been led to Tashayyu’ and Rafd [anti-Sahabah sentiments]. The path from both of these problems is to refer everything to the Sunnah; since in it is sufficient explanation and information for those who seek the truth and salvation.

If one who speaks of this matter were to refer to what al Bukhari has related (Hadith: 2704) from the narration of Abu Musa, Isra’il, from Hassan, from Abu Bakrah that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “This son of mine is a Sayed [noble/chief/leader] and I anticipate that Allah will bring about reconciliation, through him, between two groups of the Muslims,” it would have sufficed. The explanation of the points of reflection from this hadith will follow in this article with Allah’s permission.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has also elaborated on his [Muawiyah’s] status whilst he was a young man (that was very soon after his embracing Islam), then after he had matured in age and thereafter when he reached old age until he departed from this world; the details of all of this follow, with Allah’s permission.

I have perused what has been written by our son, Sheikh Sa’d ibn Daydan al Subay’i with regards to Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and in defence of him; and I have considered him to have excelled and benefitted in what he has written. He has mentioned the evidences that indicate the high status of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well as mentioning the scholarly writings in defence of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Therefore, I pray that Allah rewards him well and blesses him.

 

The Virtues and Merits of Muawiyah

The elaboration of this will be in line with the following points:

 

1. His Islam

There is no disagreement among the scholars regarding the Islam of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. All that they have differed on was the time of his accepting Islam as some have said it was in the year of Hudaybiyyah [6 A.H], others said the year following that, and yet others have said it was after the conquest of Makkah [8A.H]; whilst he was still a young man and he was around eighteen years of age at the time.[5]

I say that this is the foundation of all virtues; and the scale by which all people ought to be measured as it is well known. Allah Almighty says: “Indeed the only religion [acceptable] by Allah is Islam…”[6] and He also says: “Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it shall never be accepted from him…”[7] and He says: “Say: with the grace of Allah and His mercy in this let them rejoice; it is better than what they amass.”[8]

If it is said that his Islam was invalid and he merely accepted Islam out of hypocrisy, then I say that the response to that is threefold.

Firstly, that which has come by way of textual statements from the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they clearly state the Islam of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and these texts are of two categories:

  • Specific texts
  • General texts
 

As for the specific texts, then Muslim has related (Hadith: 1480) by way of Malik ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Yazid, Mowla [freed slave] of al Aswad ibn Sufyan, from Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman, from Fatimah bint Qais radiya Llahu ‘anha – and then he mentioned an incident – in it she 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]…”

 

In this narration there is mention of the virtue of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and a refutation on those who accuse him of hypocrisy since the extent of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam communication with Fatimah bint Qais was that he did not have wealth and if there had been any point of concern regarding his Islam the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would have brought this to the attention of Fatimah bint Qais and he would not have hidden this; and in this is praise for Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his religion, and this was during his early stages of life and at the early period of his Islam.

After the demise of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam he went to the region of al Sham [Greater Syria] as a soldier and warrior; and this was during the era of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu; and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed him as the leader of the troops who were sent as reinforcements to al Sham.

Thereafter, he was tasked with governing areas of al Sham by ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu; and this was after the demise of his own brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan – as will be elaborated on later – and he remained in that position until ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu became the Khalifah, and he was then tasked with the responsibility of governing the entire region of al Sham. All of this is a clear demonstration of his situation during his years of youth.

As for his situation after maturing in age, then it has been explained by the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as narrated by al Bukhari (Hadith: 2704) from the narration of Hassan al Basri who said that he heard Abu Bakrah saying that he had seen the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – and Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was at his side – and he was saying:

 

This son of mine is a Sayed [noble/chief/leader] and I anticipate that Allah will bring about reconciliation, through him, between two great groups of the Muslims.

 

Al Bukhari has repeatedly mentioned this narration at various places in his compilation (Hadiths: 3629,3747,7109)

 

This Hadith contains of the great merits of Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he is a Sayed and the sign of that is his abdication of the Khilafah [in favour of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu]. In this hadith there is also a description of the parties that were with Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and with Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that they are both Muslims; further it includes merit and praise for Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu since the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised the action of Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu – abdicating in favour of Muawiyah – and were Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu not fit for leadership the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would not have praised that reconciliation and Hassan’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu abdication in favour of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah said:

The prophetic statement, “… two parties from the Muslims,” impresses us greatly.[9]

 

Abu Bakr al Bayhaqi stated:

 

The reason for being impressed is that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam called both parties Muslims. And this narration is a prediction from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as to what will happen with Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu after the demise of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu; and his handing over the rule to Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu has said in his sermon:

 

O people, indeed Allah has guided you by the first of us, and has saved your blood by the last of us; and this matter in which Muawiyah and I have differed in is either the right of an individual who was more deserving of it than me, or it is a right belonging to me which I have forgone for Muawiyah with the intention of reconciliation among Muslims and preserving their blood [from being spilt], and I know not whether it is a trial for you or an enjoyment for a period of time.[10]

 

Abu Sulaiman al Khattabi has written in his book, Ma’alim al Sunan (7/37), under the commentary of this hadith:

 

The confirmation of this prediction came to being on account of the reconciliation between the people of Iraq and the people of al Sham, and his [Hassan’s] withdrawing from the matter [of leadership], out of fear of the spilling of blood and that year was referred to as the year of collectiveness [or unity]. Furthermore, in the narration is a proof that none of the parties had exited the fold of Islam on account of what happened between them, whether verbally or physically, since the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has called them both Muslims. This is the way to deal with every person who does Ta’wil [scholarly interpretation] by any view or stance that he calls towards if the basis of his interpretation is vagueness and potential uncertainty, even if such a person is error in that matter. It is known that one of the parties was in the right and the other was mistaken.[11]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned in his Fatawa (35/70):

 

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised Hassan on account of this settlement which came about at his hands, and called him a Sayed for that sake; that is due to the action of Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being beloved to Allah and His Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and Allah and His Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are pleased with it. Were the in-fighting that occurred between the Muslims that which Allah and His Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed with, this would not have been the case [praising the action of Hassan]; then infact Hassan would have omitted a necessary responsibility, or that which was more beloved to Allah. However, this narration is sound and unambiguous in expounding that what Hassan did was praiseworthy and pleasing to Allah and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

 

What could be further extracted from the hadith is to avoid the discussions surrounding this fitnah [communal strife] and to refrain from attacking Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and those with him, since the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised the reconciliation and he praised Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu at whose hands this reconciliation came about. So when someone attacks Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and those with him, it undermines the basis of the reconciliation which the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised. Furthermore, in order for the results of this reconciliation to remain and continue it is necessary to avoid rekindling the causes which brought about the internal differences in the first place; among that being the attacks on Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and rather limiting oneself to what have been mentioned in the clear texts so that the effects of this reconciliation may still be preserved. Abu Dawood has named the chapter in his Sunan under which this hadith is mentioned, “the chapter of avoiding speaking about the fitnah,” (5/211) and it is as if he is indicating to what has just been mentioned – and Allah knows best – and no doubt that is from his profound insight, may Allah have mercy on him.

As for his situation in his old age, then that has also been expounded upon by the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as well as has been narrated by al Bukhari (Hadith: 7222, 7223) and Muslim (Hadith: 1821) from the narration of ‘Abdul Malik ibn ‘Umair, from Jabir ibn Samurah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said:

 

I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “The affair of the people with continue [to be elevated] for the duration of the leadership of twelve men…” then he said something which was inaudible to me so I asked my father what did the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say and he said, “… all of them are from Quraysh.”

 

This is the wording in Muslim who has also narrated it (821) by way of Hussain from Jabir and the wording is:

 

Indeed this affair shall not expire until twelve khulafa’ come to pass over them.

 

It also appears with a variant wording by way of Simak, from Jabir:

 

Islam shall continue to be mighty until twelve khulafa’ – and then he said something which I did not comprehend which I asked from my father what he said and he told me, “all of them shall be from Quraysh.”

 

And in the wording of the narration by way of al Sha’bi, from Jabir:

 

This affair shall remain strong and mighty through twelve khulafa’.

 

It has also been narrated by Muslim (1822) by way of ‘Amir ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas who said that Jabir ibn Samurah had written to him with his slave, Nafi’, informing him of something that he heard from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who said:

 

The religion will continue to be dominant until the emergence of the [final] hour; or there are twelve khulafa’ over you, all of them from Quraysh.

 

So based on the apparent meaning of these narrations Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu is included since he was from the Quraysh and he ruled and the religion was mighty and dominant during his reign. So this narration clearly applies to him, more specifically the narration of al Sha’bi and Simak which describe Islam as being mighty and strong and the apparent meaning of this narration indicates that the strength, and might began with the first khalifah after the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who is Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu until twelve khulafa’ came to pass, which would include Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu among them; more specifically since he was granted the pledge of allegiance by all the Muslims and that year was titled the year of collectiveness or unity as is well known.

So, based on this, Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a legitimate khalifah, and the religion during his reign was strong and mighty and this was on account of him ruling according to the shari’ah and implementing the Sunnah; otherwise the religion would not have had might and strength, and Allah knows best.

 

Abu Zur’ah said:

 

‘Abdur Rahman ibn Ibrahim narrated to us – who said – al Walid narrated to us – who said – al Awza’i said: “The era of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu witnessed many of the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, among them: Sa’d, Usamah, Jabir, ibn ‘Umar, Zaid ibn Thabit, Maslamah ibn Makhlad, Abu Sa’id, Rafi’ ibn Khadij, Abu Umamah, Anas ibn Malik and so many others who exceed to number we have mentioned by many times. They were lanterns of guidance, and vessels of knowledge; they witnessed the revelation of the Qur’an and they took its interpretation from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. As for the generation that followed them with excellence – with the Will of Allah – from the successors they comprise of : al Miswar ibn Makhramah, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn al Aswad ibn ‘Abd Yaghuth, Sa’id ibn al Musayyab, ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair, ‘Abdullah ibn Muhayriz and the likes of them who did not budge in maintaining the unity of the ummah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”[12]

 

Al Dhahabi said in his Siyar (3/132) :

 

It should suffice you that this is an individual who has been appointed by ‘Umar and then ‘Uthman over a province – which is a frontier – and he excels in his duties and responsibilities, and his people are pleased with his generosity and forbearance even though some may have experienced some inconvenience at his hand on occasion; and likewise that he should continue as a king, even though there were others from the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who excel over him in virtue and piety. This is the man who ruled and led the world his ingenious intellect, unsurpassed forbearance, bountiful generosity, subtle cunningness and tactful decisions. He also has those matters for which he will stand before Allah to account for. He was extremely beloved by his people; he was a governor over al Sham for twenty years, then he became the khalifah for twenty years. During this period no one dared to lampoon him in his kingdom, to the contrary all nations drew close to him and he ruled over the Arabs and non-Arabs. His kingdom spanned over Arabia, Egypt, al Sham, al ‘Iraq, Khurasan [Central Asia], Persia, al Jazirah, Yemen and al Maghrib [the Western Islamic regions] and other places as well.”

 

As for the general texts, then they will be listed as will follow.

Al Bukhari narrates (3608) from al Hakam ibn Nafi’ – who said –Shu’ayb narrated to us from al Zuhri – who said – Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman narrated to be that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

The [final] Hour shall not come until two groups fight each other; their call being one.

 

Muslim narrates (1065) by way of Qasim ibn al Fadl – who said – Abu Nadrah narrated to us from Abu Sa’id radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

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.

 

So in the narration of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is an explanation of of what occurred between ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu; 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 this narration is also a clear indication of the Islam of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan 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.

 

Al Nawawi has said in his commentary of Muslim (7/168):

 

… and in it [the narration] is 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].

 

Ibn Kathir in his Bidayah (10/513) states:

 

… and in it [the narration] is a ruling of Islam upon both parties, the people of al Sham and the people of Iraq; not as is claimed by the Rafidi group – the people of ignorance and deviation – who pronounce apostasy upon the people of al Sham.

 

2. His Companionship

Al Bukhari has narrated in his Sahih (3746) from Hassan ibn Bishr – who said – al Mu’afa narrated to us from ‘Uthman ibn al Aswad, from ibn Abi Mulaykah who said:

 

Muawiyah prayed one rak’ah [unit of prayer] of witr [odd-numbered evening prayer] and a Mowla [freed slave] of Ibn ‘Abbas was with him, so he came to Ibn ‘Abbas [telling him about Muawiyah] and he [Ibn ‘Abbas] said: “Leave him for indeed he has been in the companionship of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

 

I say that the companionship of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is well-known as is indicated by this narration and others; and the status of companionship and its virtue is known from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah. From the very clear proofs for that is what is mentioned in the Qur’an:

 

لَا يَسْتَوِيْ مِنْكُمْ مَّنْ أَنْفَقَ مِنْ قَبْلِ الْفَتْحِ وَقَاتَلَۚ أُولئِكَ أَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً مِّنَ الَّذِيْنَ أَنْفَقُوْا مِنْۢ بَعْدُ وَقَاتَلُوْاۚ وَكُلًّا وَّعَدَ اللّٰهُ الْحُسْنَىٰۚ وَاللّٰهُُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ خَبِيْرٌ

Not equal among you are those who spent before the conquest [of Makkah] and fought [and those who did so after it]. Those are greater in degree than they who spent afterwards and fought. But to all Allah has promised the best [reward]. And Allah , with what you do, is Acquainted.[13]

 

This verse encompasses all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum; those who spent and fought before the conquest of Makkah, and those who spent and fought after after the conquest. All of them Allah has promised the “Best [reward]”, which is Paradise; and as has been explained earlier that the Islam of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was either before the conquest or after, regardless of when he is still included under the meaning of this verse.

 

3. He was a Scribe of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

Ahmed has narrated in his Musnad (1/291) from ‘Affan – who said – Abu ‘Awanah narrated to us – who said – Abu Hamzah narrated to us that he heard Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying:

 

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 us, 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 [the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] scribe, so I ran and said: “respond to the call of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as he needs you.”

 

Abu Dawood al Tayalisi narrated a similar narration in his Musnad (2746) by way of Hisham and Abu ‘Awanah, from Abu Hamzah al Qassab, from Ibn ‘Abbas.

The essential part of this narration is found in Muslim (2604) by way of Shu’bah, from Abu Hamzah with the same wording except for the phrase “…he was his scribe…” although the narration of Muslim is more complete.[14]

Abu Hamzah is named ‘Imran al Qassab, and the most dominant view is that there is no harm in him in what he narrates as Ahmed has said of him, “fair in Hadith,” and the narration of Shu’bah from him adds strength to him. Sufyan al Thowri has also said of him, “he was from the companions of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu,” and this indicates the well-known fact of his connection to Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu and in this narration he explicitly mentions that he heard it from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

I say, the fact of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu being the scribe of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is something that is well-known among the scholars; and the fact that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took him as a scribe for the revelation is a great merit and accolade for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

He was also a scribe for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Yaqub ibn Sufyan says in al Ma’rifah wal Ta’rikh (3/373):

 

Sulaiman has narrated to us – who said – ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali narrated to us from Hisham ibn ‘Urwah, from his father who said: “I entered upon Muawiyah and he asked me where is al Maslul [the name of a document]; and I told him it was with me. He then said, ‘By Allah, I had written it with my own hand. Abu Bakr was allocating a piece of land for al Zubair and I was recording it. Then ‘Umar approached and Abu Bakr took it and placed it in the fold of the mattress; and when he [‘Umar] entered he asked, “It seems as if you are having a private discussion?” and Abu Bakr replied in the affirmative. So ‘Umar left and Abu Bakr brought out the book again and I completed it [i.e. writing the document].’”

 

4. The Praise of the Sahabah and Tabi’in

It appears in one of the wordings of the previously quoted narrations related by al Bukhari (3765) by way of ibn Abi Mulaykah, from the narration of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu questioning the Witr of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Ibn ‘Abbas responded, “he is indeed a jurist.”

Al Khallal has narrated in al Sunnah by way of Hushaym, from al ‘Awwam ibn Howshab, from Jabalah ibn Suhaym who said:

 

I heard Ibn ‘Umar saying, “I have not seen anyone after the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam more tactful in leadership than Muawiyah,” it was said to him, “what about your father?” and he responded, “my father – may Allah have mercy on him – was superior to Muawiyah. However, Muawiyah was more tactful in leadership than him.”

 

Ma’mar has related in his Jami’ (20985, from the printed Musannaf of ‘Abdur Razzaq) from Hammam ibn Munabbih, who heard Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying:

 

I have not seen any person who appeared to have been created for the role of kingship more than Muawiyah. People would come to him from far and wide; and he was never miserly, stingy, harsh or temperamental.

 

Al Dhahabi has stated in Tarikh al Islam (2/544):

 

Busr ibn Sa’id narrates from Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas who said: “I have not seen anyone after ‘Uthman who ruled with justice than the companion of this door – meaning Muawiyah.”

 

Abu Zur’ah al Dimishqi narrates in his Tarikh (1/572) from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Ibrahim – who said – Ka’b ibn Khudayj Abu Harithah narrated to me – Abu Zur’ah said:

 

I have seen Abu Harithah and sat in his company and he was a pious sheikh [narrator of hadith] – who said – ‘Abdullah ibn Mus’ab ibn Thabit narrated to us, from Hisham ibn ‘Urwah, who said that he heard ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair said: “I swear by Allah that he was as Ibn Raqiqah said, ‘shall I not cry over him, shall I not cry over him, both wealths are with him.”

 

Al Khallal has also narrated (p. 438) from al A’mash, from Mujahid who said:

 

Had you seen Muawiyah you would have said, “this is the Mahdi”.

 

Ahmed narrated in his Musnad (4/93) from Waki’ – who said – Abu al Mu’tamir narrated to us, from Ibn Sirin, from Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Do not ride on [saddles made of] silk and leopards skins.” And Muawiyah was one who is not accused of anything in terms of what he narrates from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Al Ajurri narrates in al Shari’ah (5/2466 – number 1955) that a man from Marw [Merv] asked ‘Abdullah ibn al Mubarak whether Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was superior or ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz, so ibn al Mubarak responded:

 

The dust that entered the nostrils of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is better than ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz.

 

Al Khatib al Baghdadi narrated in his Tarikh (1/209) by way of Rabah ibn al Jarrah al Mawsili – who said – I heard a man asking al Mu’afa ibn ‘Imran how does ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz compare with Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu; and he became extremely angry and said:

 

None can be compared to the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; Muawiyah is his companion, his brother-in-law, his scribe and one entrusted with the Wahi [Revelation] from Allah.

 

I say, it has been previously mentioned regarding ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointing him over al Sham after the demise of his brother Yazid; and likewise ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. this is sufficient proof that he had virtue in their opinion. What can be included in the praise of the companions for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was that some of them and some of the great successors narrated from him hadith as will follow in a later section.

 

Praise for him by ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and his Senior Companions

Muhammad ibn Nasr al Marwazi narrates in Ta’zim Qadr al Salah (2/134):

 

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu took responsibility for fighting the people who rebelled, and he narrated from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding them all that he narrates, and he called them believers, and ruled them with the laws of the believers, and likewise ‘Ammar ibn Yasir.

 

Muhammad ibn Nasr al Marwazi narrates in Ta’zim Qadr al Salah (361) by way of Qais ibn Muslim, from Tariq ibn Shihab who said:

 

I was with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu when the fighting ended at Nahrawan and it was said to him, “Are they polytheists?”, to which he replied, “It was polytheism from which they fled.” Then it was said, “Hypocrites?” and he responded, “Hypocrites do not remember Allah, except a little.” Then it was asked what they were and he replied, “a group of people who rebelled against us and we fought them.”

 

He has a similar narration by way of Ishaq, from Waki’, from Mis’ar, from ‘Amir ibn Shaqiq, from Abu Wa’il – who said:

 

A man said: “Who called to the grey mule on the day the polytheists were fought,” so ‘Ali said, “It was polytheism from which they fled.” Then it was said, “hypocrites?” and he responded, “Hypocrites do not remember Allah, except a little.” Then it was asked what they were and he replied, “a group of people who rebelled against us and we fought them and were victorious against them.”

 

He also narrates in Ta’zim Qadr al Salah by way of Ishaq, from Abu Nuaim, from Sufyan, from Jafar ibn Muhammad, from his father who said:

 

‘Ali heard of the Day of Jamal or the Day of Siffin a person exceeding the bounds in what he was saying [against the opposing party] so he said: “Do not say anything except that which is good. All that they are is a people who claim that we have rebelled against them, and we say that they have rebelled against them; and on that we have fought them.”

 

Muhammad ibn Nasr al Marwazi further narrates in Ta’zim Qadr al Salah by way of Muhammad ibn Yahya – who said – Ahmed ibn Khalid narrated to us – who said -Muhammad ibn Rashid narrated to us from Makhul that the companions of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu asked regarding the companions of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu what is their situation? He said: “They are believers.”

 

He narrates further in Ta’zim Qadr al Salah by way of Muhammad ibn Yahya – who said – Ahmed ibn Khalid narrated to us – who said -’Abdul ‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Salamah narrated to us from ‘Abdul Wahid ibn [Abi] ‘Awn who said:

 

‘Ali passed by the martyrs at Siffin while leaning on al Ashtar and he found Habis al Yemani slain to which al Ashtar claimed, ‘To Allah do we belong and unto Him shall we return, Habis al Yemani is with them, O Amir al Mu’minin, he has the sign of Muawiyah. By Allah, I always assumed him to be a believer,” to which ‘Ali replied, “and now he is still a believer. Habis was from the people of Yemen, people of piety and exertion in worship.”[15]

 

Muhammad ibn Nasr narrated from Muhammad ibn Yahya – who said –Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaid narrated to us – who said – al Mukhtar ibn Nafi’narrated to us from Abu Matar who said:

 

‘Ali said: “When is the most wretched of them going to rise up violently?” it was said to him, “Who is the most wretched?” and he replied, “the one who will kill me.” So ibn Muljim struck him with his sword and it landed on the head of ‘Ali and the Muslims wanted to kill him. However, Ali prevented them saying, “do not kill the man, for if I recover then it will be retribution for the wounds and if I die, then kill him”, and he said, “you are dead.” ‘Ali replied, “what makes you so certain?” to which he answered, “my sword was poisoned.”

 

Muhammad ibn Nasr narrates with his chain from ‘Ammar ibn Yasir that man said that the people of al Sham had committed disbelief and ‘Ammar responded:

 

Do not say that; our Qiblah is one, our Prophet is one. However, they are a people who have been affected by fitnah and it is our duty to fight them to bring them upon the right.

 

He also narrates with an alternative chain to ‘Ammar ibn Yasir radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he said:

 

Our Qiblah is one, our Prophet is one, our call is one; however they are a group who has rebelled against us and we have fought them on account of it.

 

He narrated with an alternative chain from Rayah ibn al Harith, from ‘Ammar ibn Yasir radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he said:

 

Do not say that the people of al Sham have disbelieved; rather say that they have strayed or transgressed.

 

Muhammad ibn Nasr narrates from Harun ibn ‘Abdullah, from Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaid, from Mis’ar, from Thabit ibn Abi Hudhayl that he asked Abu Jafar regarding the people of Jamal and he replied: “Believers,” or “Not disbelievers.”

He narrates, with two alternative chains from Abu Jafar, the statements mentioned in the narration above.

 

The Pledge of Allegiance to Muawiyah by Hassan, Hussain, the Members of Their Household, and the Rest of the Sahabah

This section has a number of topics as the reader will come to see.

Firstly, Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave the pledge of allegiance to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu willingly and not under duress. The evidence for that is the fact that Hassan had the entire army of Iraq with him; and they had pledged their allegiance to him after the demise of his father, and they were ready to assist him in whatever way necessary. It was only the riffraff and the ruffians in the society that betrayed him; and this is a natural occurrence that people defect to the opposing camp. However, this indicates that Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu chose to pledge allegiance to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu out of his own free will; and that he was not coerced into doing so; and it was done out of displeasure at the spilling of innocent blood and the division within the ranks of the Muslims. Otherwise, he could have continued the fighting if he so wished, or at least go into hiding to avoid pledging allegiance to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He remained on this pledge until his demise.

What further supports this is the fact that those who were on the side of Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, like his brother Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the rest of his family, all pledged allegiance to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Will it be said that they were all coerced into doing so? Yes, some among them disliked that Hassan abdicated. However, when they had seen his firm decision on this matter they followed him and pledged their allegiance to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and this year was named the year of Jama’ah [collectiveness or unity], since all were united under the leadership of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Furthermore, it adding support to this explanation is the fact that Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu remained on this pledge until the demise of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whose reign lasted twenty years. His revolt only occurred in the reign of Yazid since he refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid; and that was at the end of the reign of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, when he ordered the people to give the pledge of allegiance to Yazid after him. Many of the Sahabah, among them Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, refrained from giving the pledge. He remained firm on this until he revolted with a small party, mostly from his noble household, after his Shia in Kufah betrayed him by misleading him in their promise of assistance and loyalty until the unfortunate ending of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who was brutally murdered. So, notice how different this is from the pledge of Hassan to Muawiyah. During his time he had an entire army under his command and they were prepared to fight if he so instructed, and to defend him. It is for this reason that Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not say to anyone, not from his family, nor anyone else, that his pledge was coerced; and this is evident and clear for anyone who reads the history of these events.

 

Secondly, in all that preceded is a clear rebuttal of those who criticise Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to the extent of declaring him a disbeliever. Is it conceivable that Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and all those who were with them, that they would pledge allegiance to a disbeliever? It is not conceivable ever!

 

Thirdly, when Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu came into office and the entire ummah pledged allegiance to him he did not bring about much change as far as the religious matters are concerned. So the hallmark features of the religion continued to be displayed, and the religious affairs flourished. The call to prayer was still called out, and the prayers continued to be observed, the zakat was still collected, people continued to fast and the hajj rites were observed. If Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu could not perform hajj he would send someone in his place. As a matter of fact, the jihad was still active especially against the Romans. A few Sahabah joined his campaign to conquer Constantinople; to the extent that Abu Ayub al Ansari was buried in Constantinople on his request during the campaign against the Romans and that is the clearest refutation against those who cast allegations against Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Since, if the matter was as these people claim it to be, he would have prohibited the call for prayer to be announced loudly, and the observance of prayer and fasting would have been restricted, and the zakat would have been replaced by taxes and levies and the rites of hajj would have been abandoned and no armies would have been sent to continue the jihad.

 

Fourthly, during his reign and during the period in which he and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu fought, he never sought assistance from the Romans; nor did he seek to join forces with them against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. What prevented him from doing that was his Islam and faith; how could he seek the aid of a disbeliever against a Muslim. Otherwise, there was nothing standing in his way from doing that to fulfil his wishes and fancies if that were all he was after.

 

Fifthly, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was from the learned among the Sahabah and the Authority of this ummah and the Interpreter the Qur’an, ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, described him as a jurist and a person with deep insight into religious matters, as has been earlier mentioned.

Al Khallal has related in al Sunnah (pg 438) from Muhammad ibn Hisn – who said – Muhamad ibn Zunbur who said:

 

Al Fudayl said: “The most reliable of all my actions is my love for Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah; and my love for all the Sahabah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,” and he used to pray for the mercy of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and say, “he was from the learned among the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

 

I say: Fudayl is Ibn ‘Ayyad, and he was from the most revered of people during his era. He was well-known for austerity and worship and he is from the generation after the successors.

What also indicates his [Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu] knowledge and understanding is all that has been narrated of him with regards to legal verdicts and juristic issues which was known of him and which have been spread out in the books of the scholars. Some of these will be mentioned later – with Allah’s permission – and Ibn Hazm has mentioned him from the middle category of those who issued legal verdicts from the Sahabah.

In addition to all of that he was a narrator and the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would narrate from him.

Abu Nuaim al Isfahani, in his book Ma’rifat al Sahabah (5/2497), has mentioned those companions and successors who narrate from him. He said:

 

Those who narrate from him from the companions are: ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, Abu Sa’id al Khudri, Abu al Darda’, Jarir, al No’man, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, Wa’il ibn Hujr and ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair[16]; and from the successors: Sa’id ibn al Musayyib, ‘Alqamah ibn Waqqas, ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair, Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah, ‘Isa ibn Talhah, Humaid ibn ‘Abdur Rahman, Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman, Salim ibn ‘Abdullah, Qasim ibn Muhammad among others.

 

Ibn Hazm has mentioned of him 163 narrations from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in his famous treatise, Asma’ al Sahabah al Ruwat (pg.277).

Ibn al Wazir al Yemani, in al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim, has mentioned the narrations of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he was extensive on his expert opinion thereof. He mentioned the summary of it in his book al Rowd al Basim, whose comments shall be mentioned later – with Allah’s permission.

 

These are some of the proofs that indicate his knowledge; that which has been passed on from his legal verdicts and fulfilment of the duty of inviting to Allah and forbidding the evil. From these are:

 

1. What has been narrated by al Bukhari (587) by way of Muhammad ibn Jafar – who said – Shu’bah has narrated to us from Abu Tayyah – who said – I heard Humran ibn Aban narrating from Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he said:

 

Indeed you perform a prayer; and we have been in the company of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam yet we have not seen him praying it. He used to prohibit it – meaning two Rak’ahs after ‘Asr.

 

2. Al Bukhari (5932) narrates from Ismail, from Malik, from Ibn Shihab, from Humaid ibn ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf that he heard Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu during the year that he performed Hajj – whilst on the Mimbar – and he took a bunch of [false] hair from a guard and said:

 

Where are your scholars? I have heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prohibiting the likes of this and saying: “The destruction only came on Banu Isra’il when their women adopted this.”

 

3. Ahmed narrates (4/96) by way of Ibn Jurayj – who said – ‘Amr ibn ‘Ata’ ibn Abi al Khuwar narrated to him that Nafi’ ibn Jubayr sent him to al Sa’ib ibn Yazid asking him about something that he had seen from Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in prayer. So he replied:

 

Yes, I have prayed with him the Friday Prayer in the enclosure. After concluding the prayer I stood up in my place and performed [Sunnah] prayer. When he entered he called for me and said, “do not do that again. If you completed your Friday prayer do not perform [additional] prayer until you have spoken or moved from your spot since the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had commanded to do this. Do not link the prayers [by performing Sunnah prayers immediately after the obligatory Friday prayers] until you leave [your spot] or you speak.”

 

– it has also been narrated by Muslim through ibn Jurayj – who said – ‘Amr ibn ‘Ata’ narrated to us… [with the same chain].

 

4. Ahmed narrates (4/100) from Marwan ibn Muawiyah al Fazari – who said – Habib ibn al Shahid narrated to us from Abu Mijlaz who said that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu exited on one occasion and everyone stood up for him, to which he remarked:

 

I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “Whoever is pleased by the men standing up for him should prepare his abode in the Fire.”

 

It has also been reported by al Tirmidhi (2755) by way of Qabisah, from Sufyan, from Habib with the above chain; and al Tirmidhi graded it Hassan. Ahmed also narrates it (4/94) by way of Ismail, from Habib ibn al Shahid, from Abu Mijlaz that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu entered the home in which Ibn ‘Amir and Ibn al Zubair were both present. When he entered Ibn ‘Amir stood up and Ibn al Zubair remained seated so Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

 

Sit, for I have heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “Whoever pleases him that the slaves [of Allah] should stand up for him; let him prepare his abode in the Fire.”

 

He also narrates it at another place in his Musnad (4/91) by way of Muhammad ibn Jafar, from Shu’bah, with this narration, a similar meaning.

 

5. Abu Dawood narrates in his Sunan (2074) from Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Faris – who said – Ya’qub ibn Ibrahim narrated to us – who said – my father narrated to us from Ibn Ishaq – who said – ‘Abdur Rahmanibn Hurmuz al A’raj narrated to him that ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas married his daughter to ‘Abdur Rahman ibn al Hakam, who in turn married his daughter to ‘Abbas and that was made the dowry. So Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu wrote to Marwan instructing him to separate them and wrote in his instruction, “this is the Shighar [marrying of one’s female relative on condition that the other party does the same and that would be the dowry] that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prohibited.” Ahmed narrates it (4/94) by way of Ibrahim ibn Sa’d with this chain.

 

6. Ahmed narrates in his Musnad (4/93) from Hashim ibn al Qasim – who said – Hariz narrated to us from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Awf al Jurashi, from Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he said:

 

I had seen the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam kissing his tongue or lips – referring to Hassan – and that tongue or lips which have been kissed by the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam shall never be punished.

 

7. Ahmed narrates in his Musnad (4/94) from ‘Ali ibn Bahr – who said – al Walid ibn Muslim narrated to us – who said – ‘Abdullah ibn al ‘Ala’ narrated to us from Abu al Azhar, from Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he mentioned to them the ablution of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he wiped his head with a handful of water, such that the water dripped – or nearly dripped – off his head. Then he physically showed them the ablution of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and when he came to the wiping of the head he placed his hands at the front of his head and moved them backward to the base of the neck and then brought his hands forward again to their former position, which he began from.

 

The Narrations of the Ahlul Bayt from Muawiyah

Their narrating from him indicates his virtue and his trustworthiness in their eyes. The narrations of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu has been previously mentioned; and from other narrations which he narrates is the narration of ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed in the Zawa’id of his Musnad (4/97) from ‘Amr ibn Muhammad al Naqid, from Abu Ahmed al Zubairi, from Sufyan, from Jafar ibn Muhammad, from his father, from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, from Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said:

 

I clipped from the hair of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at Marwah.

 

The essence of this narration is to be found in al Bukhari (1730) by way of Tawus, from Ibn ‘Abbas, from Muawiyah.

From those who narrate from is as well is Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib – known as Ibn al Hanafiyyah – and from his narrations is what Ahmed narrates in his Musnad (4/97) from ‘Affan, from Hammad ibn Salamah, ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Aqil, from Muhammad ibn ‘Ali – Ibn al Hanafiyyah – from Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said:

 

Permanent residency is permitted from those who own it.

 

Sixthly, his jihad; since he fought alongside the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,and was present for some of the major encounters. Ibn Sa’d says in his Tabaqat (7/406):

…and he was witnessed with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam [the expeditions of] Hunayn and al Ta’if.

 

And from his military activities during his governorship of al Sham during the eras of both ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and after his rise to leadership, are as follows:

 

1. He sought permission from ‘Uthman to take a naval expedition to Cyprus and Allah allowed Cyprus to be conquered at his hands.

And it is this expedition that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said of it:

 

The first army to fight on the sea will be incumbent [for Paradise].

 

Al Bukhari narrates (2924) by way of ‘Umair ibn al Aswad that he came to ‘Ubadah ibn al Samit radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he was descending upon Hims in a structure of his and with him was Umm Haram – ‘Umair says – she narrated to us that she heard the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, saying:

 

The first army to fight in the sea; [Paradise] will be incumbent for them. So she asked the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam if she would be one of them and he said, “you are among them.”

 

Al Bukhari (2799-2800) narrates it by way of al Layth, through Anas ibn Malik, from his aunt Umm Haram bint Malhan and he mentioned the narration; and at the end he says:

 

The first naval expedition by the Muslims was by Muawiyah.

 

Ibn Hajar says in Fath al Bari (6/90):

 

… and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first to undertake a naval expedition and that was during the era of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the leader of that navy.[17]

 

2. The first siege of Constantinople was during his era in the year 49 A.H. In the army dispatched by Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu were: Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn al Zubair and Abu Ayub al Ansari.[18]

3. In the year 54 A.H Constantinople was laid siege to for the second time under the command of ‘Abdullah ibn Qais al Harithi and reinforced by Fadalah ibn ‘Ubaid. The siege continued for six to seven years.[19]

4. As for the conquest of North Africa, they began in the year 41 A.H. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu instructed his governor over Egypt, ‘Amr ibn al ‘As to prepare an army against the Byzantine colonisers and he prepared an army under the leadership of ‘Uqbah ibn Nafi’ al Fihri who conquered many of the North African territories.

5. During his reign the city of Qayrawan was established, which was the central point for further conquests in North Africa.

6. During his era many parts of Central Asia, like Khorasan, Sijistan and Kabul were conquered. These campaigns began between 42-43 A.H when he appointed ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amir ibn Kurayz and he was the representative of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu; when he appointed ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Samurah ibn Habib over those regions and made him responsible for the military campaigns there. The city of Marw was the base of operations there and the governor of Marw was al Hakam ibn ‘Amr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

Seventhly, he was very particular with upholding the shari’ah and forbade any opposition to the Qur’an and Sunnah. This is clearly highlighted by the many incidents in his life where he displayed this demeanour and some of that has already been touched on in the earlier paragraphs where his knowledge and narrations were mentioned.

 

Eighthly, his honesty and precision and accuracy in what he narrates. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is known for his trustworthiness and he is not accused in what he narrates. Al Khallal has narrated in al Sunnah (pg. 447) that Ahmed ibn Hanbal was asked about a person who ridicules Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu will such a person be called a Rafidi? He responded:

 

None shall have the courage to say something about them except that he harbours within himself evil intent.

 

Al Mizzi has mentioned in Tahdhib al Kamal (1/45):

 

Al Hakim has narrated with his chain to Abu al Hassan ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al Qabisi who said, “I heard Abu al Hassan ibn Hilal saying, ‘Abu ‘Abdur Rahman al Nasa’i was asked about Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, the Sahabi of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he said: ‘Indeed Islam is like a home with a door. The door of Islam is the Sahabah. So whoever causes harm to the Sahabah in essence wishes to cause harm to Islam just as one who knocks at the door intends to enter that home. As for those who seek out Muawiyah, they only want to get to the Sahabah.

 

Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned in his collection of Fatawa (35/66):

 

It is known that there were issues in which Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu were at odds with others. However, no one ever accused them of lying against the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, neither from their supporters nor from their opposition. Actually, all the Sahabah and the Tabi’in are unanimous in the view that they were trustworthy in what they report from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the hypocrite is not trusted in what he relates from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The hypocrite is a liar against him and one who belies him.

 

He was cautious and meticulous in what he narrated from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and these are some examples. Ahmed narrates in his Musnad (4/99) from Ibn Mahdi, from Muawiyah ibn Salih, from Rabi’ah ibn Yazid, from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amir al Yahsubi who heard Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying:

 

Beware of what you report of the hadith of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; except that which was narrated during the time of ‘Umar since he made people fear Allah. I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “whoever Allah wishes good for, He grants him deep understanding in the religion.”

 

It has also been narrated by Muslim (1037).

 

Al Bukhari (al Fath 13/333) reports that Abu al Yemani narrated from Shu’ayb, from al Zuhri, from Humaid ibn ‘Abdur Rahman that he heard Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu addressed a group from the Quraysh in Madinah and he mentioned Ka’b al Ahbar, and said:

He is from the most truthful of those who narrated from the people of the Book, yet with that we still take caution in his narrations from error.

 

‘Uthman al Darimi, in his refutation of al Marisi (364) said:

 

The opposition claims to have heard from the Abu al Salt mentioning that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu also had a place known as the House of Wisdom and whoever had any hadith [written] it would be kept there and would be narrated afterwards. However, this incident we do not know of it nor do we find any reference to it in the narrations. So, we do not know from whom Abu al Salt is narrating from, for indeed he has not reported it from a reliable source since Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was known for limited narrations and if he wished he could have narrated in excess; however he avoided that. He would caution people from abundant narration from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to the extent that he would say, “beware of what you narrate from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; except that which was narrated during the time of ‘Umar since ‘Umar used to instill within the people the fear of Allah.” Ibn Salih narrated to us, from Muawiyah ibn Salih and he mentioned his chain. The claim of the opposition is a great accusation against Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he would carelessly collect the narrations of people without checking and attributing it to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. If Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu permitted this approach he would have used it for his own agenda and attributed it to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, yet he would only accept of it if he was certain of it being from the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he would not just accept what people said [regarding prophetic narrations]. What the limited narrations from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu – even though he was the scribe – indicates is the untruthfulness of what you narrated from Abu al Salt; and if you are honest you will mention the chain; for undoubtedly you will not relate it from a competent narrator.

 

Ibn al Wazir al San’ani has mentioned that narrations of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and explained that he did not narrate these narrations individually. He said in al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim (3/163):

 

After these principles I will mention to you what supports it from the narrations of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu from the six books so that you realise three things:

  1. the fact that he is supported in narrations.
  2. that his narrations are limited.
  3. that his narrations are not munkar.

Then he mentioned the narrations and explained who jointly narrated them from the Sahabah. He says further (3/207):

 

And this is the extent of Muawiyah’s narrations in the six books and Musnad Ahmed according to my knowledge. The total of the narrations is sixty narrations which include the sound and the weak narrations… he narrates very little considering his long life and plentiful interaction, and the sound narrations do not correspond with anything that raises concern or is a means of questioning his narrations…

 

He also said in al Rowd al Basim (2/523-543) :

 

The third group: Muawiyah, Mughirah, ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, and those who have previously mentioned in the erroneous presumptions. Indeed many of the Shia have mentioned that there are many factors surrounding these three which indicate ta’wil, and they object to the authentification of their narrations in the authentic hadith books like al Bukhari and Muslim. As for the partisans of hadith, their way is that they are from the people of ta’wil and ijtihad on the basis of them expressing the interpretation in a way that could be conceived. As for knowledge of what is within, then that is concealed from all; and between these two parties, in this matter, is what cannot be addressed in this concise work. The objective is simply to reiterate the authenticity of the authentic narrations and to defend it, nothing besides it – like explaining the differences between both parties. I have given my best effort in this book to support the authentic narrations by ways that are agreed upon by both parties in terms of its authenticity or in terms of the general principles that necessitate authenticity as will be noticed by one who carefully observes the book. At this point I do not find a path that is close and unanimous except one path; and that is to show the truthfulness of these mentioned, in their narrations. This is by the testimony of those whom the Shia have not accused from the Sahabah, about the authenticity of every narration by singling them out; particularly the narrations used for religious rulings which establish the lawful and prohibit the unlawful. As for Abu Musa al Ash’ari and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and the likes of them whom it was not correctly proven of them that they fought ‘Ali, nor cursed, then the response to the objections of the opposition have already been mentioned earlier. As for these three, it is them whom I wish to prove that their narrations are sound. I will restrict myself to the narrations dealing with Ahkam [legal topics] for the sake of brevity. This will be completed by mentioning their narrations pertaining to legal Ahkam, as well as the complimentary narrations and corroboratory reports from the other Sahabah from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and I will attempt to limit myself to being as concise as possible without diminishing from the academic nature of this discussion – with Allah’s permission – so I begin:

  1. The narration prohibiting false hair and wigs for women. Al Bukhari, Muslim and others reprot it and it has been supported by the complimentary narration of Asma’, Aisha and Jabir. As for the narration of Asma’ it has been reported by Muslim and al Nasa’i; the narration of Aisha has been reported by al Bukhari, Muslim and al Nasa’i; amd the narration of Jabir by Muslim.
  2. “A party from by ummah will remain dominant; upon the truth…” Al Bukhari and Muslim both report it from him. Muslim has reported it from Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas. Muslim, Abu Dawood and al Tirmidhi all report it from Thowban. Al Tirmidhi reports it from Muawiyah ibn Qurrah. Abu Dawood reports it from ‘Imran ibn Hussain.
  3. The narration prohibiting the two rak’ahs after ‘Asr prayer has been reported by al Bukhari. It has also been reported from Umm Salamah by al Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood and al Nasa’i. Muslim reported from ‘Umar that he used to discipline those who prayed after ‘Asr and no one reprimanded him for that, which is treated by some as an Ijma’ [scholarly consensus]. This is also the position of many of the jurists.
  4. The narration on the prohibition on demanding when asking [seeking financial assistance] has been recorded by Muslim. It has also been reported from Ibn ‘Umar by al Bukhari, Muslim and al Nasa’i. Abu Dawood, al Tirmidhi and al Nasa’i report it from Samurah ibn Jundub. al Bukhari reports it from Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam; and al Nasa’i from ‘A’id ibn ‘Amr. Al Bukhari, Muslim, al Tirmidhi, al Nasa’i and Malik in his Muwatta report it from Abu Hurairah. Abu Dawood and al Nasa’i both record it from Thowban; and Malik from ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr. al Bukhari, Muslim, al Tirmidhi and al Nasa’i all relate it from Hakim ibn Hizam; and Abu Dawood and al Nasa’i from Ibn al Farisi, from his father.
  5. The narration, “this affair will remain with the Quraysh,” has been reported from him by al Bukhari. Al Bukhari and Muslim both report it from Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurairah; and Muslim from Jabir.
  6. The narration for lashing the person who drinks alcohol; and killing him on the fourth occasion has been reported from him by Abu Dawood and al Tirmidhi. As for the lashing, it is known by necessity and its narrations are plenty. However, the additional punishment of killing a fourth time offender has also been reported from Abu Hurairah by al Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood; who also reports it from Qabisah and other companions. Al Imam al Hadi, Yahya ibn Hussain, reports it in Kitab al Ahkam; however this ruling has been abrogated according to most scholars.
  7. The narration prohibiting the wearing of silk, gold and the hides of predators has been reported from him by Abu Dawood. Al Nasa’i and al Tirmidhi report a portion of it with variant wording. The supplementary narrations for the prohibition of silk and gold are more famous than to be mentioned. As for the prohibition on the hides of predators, it has been reported by an alternative chain from Abu al Malih by Abu Dawood, al Tirmidhi and al Nasa’i.
  8. The narration of the ummah being divided into seventy-odd groups has been reported from him by Abu Dawood. al Tirmidhi reports it from Ibn ‘Amr; as does he and Abu Dawood from Abu Hurairah.
  9. The narration for the prohibition of preceding the Imam in ruku’ and sajdah has been reported from him by Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah. It has been reported from Abu Hurairah by al Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, al Tirmidhi and al Nasa’i. Malik also reports it in al Muwatta. Muslim and al Nasa’i report it from Anas.
  10. The narration prohibiting Shighar has been narrated from him by Abu Dawood. al Bukhari and Muslim narrate it from ibn ‘Umar and it is reached the status of popular narrations and the resultant practise on this narration resembles Ijma’.
  11. The narration of him performing ablution like the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has been recorded by Abu Dawood, and it does not require any corroboration except for the fact of pouring water over the head and face, which Abu Dawood also narrates from ‘Ali.
  12. The narration prohibiting wailing has been reported from him by Ibn Majah and is more famous than to mention other narrations.
  13. The prohibition on being pleased by others standing has been reported from him by Abu Dawood and al Tirmidhi. It has a supporting narration from Anas by al Tirmidhi; and by Abu Umamah in Abu Dawood. In al Nawawi’s book on the concession for standing he related the previous two narrations and from Abu Bakrah. Al Nawawi ratified the narration of Anas.
  14. The narration prohibiting excessive praise has been reported from him by Ibn Majah. Al Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawood report it from Abu Bakrah; and al Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Musa. Muslim, Abu Dawood and al Tirmidhi reported it from Miqdad ibn al Aswad; and al Tirmidhi from Abu Hurairah.
  15. Prohibiting all intoxicants; Ibn Majah reports it from him while the rest besides Ibn Majah report it from Ibn’Umar. Muslim and al Nasa’i report it from Jabir; Abu Dawood and al Nasa’i from Ibn ‘Abbas as well.
  16. The ruling of one who forgets something during prayer; this narration has been reported from him by al Nasa’i and it has a complimentary narration from Thowban in Abu Dawood.
  17. The prohibition of Qiran [combining hajj and ‘umrah in one journey with the same intention] has been reported from him by Abu Dawood; and it has also been reported from Ibn’Umar, as Malik recorded. The narrations from ‘Umar and ‘Uthman [not tracing back to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] have both been reported by Muslim.
  18. The narration that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had his hair trimmed by a clipper after his ‘umrah and after his hajj has been reported from him by al Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood and al Nasa’i. A similar narration has been related from ‘Ali and ‘Uthman, both in Muslim. Malik has narrated in his Muwatta from Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, as well as al Nasa’i and al Tirmidhi, who authenticated it. Al Nasa’i also narrated it from Ibn ‘Abbas, from ‘Umar; and al Tirmidhi from ‘Umar. al Bukhari and Muslim both report it from ‘Imran ibn al Hussain; and al Tirmidhi and al Nasa’i both report the version of it where Muawiyah narrates it and Ibn ‘Abbas comments that it goes against his own view since Muawiyah did not consider Tamattu’ valid [combining hajj and ‘umrah in one journey with separate intentions].
  19. The narration which he narrates from his sister, Umm Habibah, the wife of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would pray in the same garment that he had relations with her in, as long as the garment was not soiled. Abu Dawood and al Nasa’i both report this from him. There are many narrations that support a similar meaning; among them that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would pray in his sandals as long as they were not soiled as narrated by al Bukhari and Muslim from Sa’id ibn Yazid; and Abu Dawood from Abu Sa’id al Khudri. This narration is supported by many other narrations like the one that says a person need not repeat his ablution unless he is certain of passing wind by the evidence of sound or smell, there are plenty of narrations that support the maxim that unless there is evidence to the contrary, the ruling is assumed as it was previously and prominent examples for these would be the eating on the day of doubt, which is the last day of Sha’ban, if the moon is not seen due to cloudy weather etc,; likewise the fasting of the final day of Ramadan if the moon is not sighted.
  20. The narration of the prohibition of eating garlic or onions before entering the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Masjid. This is a narration that he narrates via his father and has many supporting narrations. Malik reports it from Jabir as do al Bukhari and Muslim; the two of them also report it from Anas. Muslim and Malik both report it from Abu Hurairah; whereas Abu Dawood report it from Hudhayfah and al Mughirah. al Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawood report it from Ibn ‘Umar; whilst al Nasa’i narrates it from ‘Umar. Muslim and Abu Dawood narrate it from Abu Sa’id al Khudri. As for the prohibition of eating from those two trees in general, it is not restricted to entering the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Masjid, it has been reported by al Bukhari and Muslim from Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah; and Abu Dawood and al Tirmidhi from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.
  21. The narration regarding ‘Ashura’ not being prescribed has been reported from him by Malik, al Bukhari, Muslim and al Nasa’i. Al Bukhari and Muslim have both reported from Ibn ‘Abbas a narration that supports this meaning and it is the meaning understood from the response of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after asking about the reason of fasting that day from the Jews where he says, “I am more deserving of Musa,” and his statement, “we fast it out of veneration for him.”
  22. The narration about hijrah not coming to an end has been reported from him by Abu Dawood; although it is not correct from him. Al Khattabi said that there is some objection in the chain. There is, however, a similar narration from ‘Abdullah ibn al Sa’di recorded by al Nasa’i.
  23. The narration of wearing gold in clothing, Abu Dawood reports it from him. It is supported by a narration from a group of companions reported by al Nasa’i.
  24. The prohibition of misleading questions, al Khattabi said it is not correct from him since there appears in the chain a narrator who is unknown. Abu al Sa’adat ibn al Athir has corroborated it with another narration from Abu Hurairah in Jami’ al Usul.
  25. The narration with separating between the obligatory Friday prayer and the nafl by speech or exiting has been reported from him by Muslim. There is a similar narration in both al Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn ‘Umar from the practice of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.Abu Dawood has reported a similar narration from Abu Mas’ud al Zuraqi with regards to the Imam doing this.
  26. The narration that every sin may be forgiven by Allah besides Shirk and murdering a believer; this has been reported from him by al Nasa’i. It is supported by a narration from Abu al Darda’ in Abu Dawood; as well as by the verse in the Qur’an.
  27. The narration regarding being rewarded when interceding on behalf of someone has been reported from him by Abu Dawood. It is a well-known narration to be found in al Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Musa, and the Qur’an supports this meaning as well.
  28. Prohibition for collecting the faults of people; this has been reported from him by Abu Dawood. It has complimentary narrations in al Tirmidhi from Ibn ‘Umar; in Muslim from Abu Hurairah and in Abu Dawood itself from Abu Barzah al Aslami, ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amir and Zaid ibn Wahb
  29. The narration, “whoever Allah wishes good for; He grants him deep understanding in the religion,” al Bukhari reports this from him; and it has two narrations to support it. One narration is from Ibn ‘Abbas and the other from Abu Hurairah; al Tirmidhi mentioned them both and authenticated the narration of Ibn’Abbas.

So these are all the narrations of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu which are expressly clear in the category of Ahkam; or legal rulings may be extracted from them. They are all in conformity with the Mazhab [school of thought] of the Shi’ah and the jurists; and there is nothing in these narrations that the vast majority of scholars have not adopted except for the narration of killing the fourth-time offender for drinking alcohol on account of abrogation. However, the leading scholar of the Zaidis has narrated it as we have mentioned earlier. His narrations have been consistent with what has been narration from the other reliable Sahabah in all that they narrate. Therefore, I am really surprised by those who condemn the compilers of the Sihah [sound collections] for reporting these narrations and including them in the sound collections.

He has, besides these narrations, a few others which are famous which we have omitted mentioning them and their complimentary corroboratory narrations for the sake of brevity. We can make subtle reference to them here so that they may be identified; among them is his narration on the virtues of the mu’adhin, the virtue of answering the call of the adhan, the virtues of the gatherings of knowledge, and that Laylat al Qadr is on the 27th night, the virtue of loving the Ansar, the virtue of Talhah, the date of the demise of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and that he departed from this world at the age of sixty-three. Also the hadith with the supplication, “O Allah there is none to withhold what You give…” Muslim reports this from ‘Ali, from him. Also the narration of “Goodness is a habit…” and “… all that remains in this world is trial and tribulation,” and “Indeed actions are like a vessel, if the lower part is pure the upper part is pure as well,” as well as the individuals regarding whom the verse of hoarding gold and silver[20] was revealed. Add to that two statements of his which are Mowquf [statement of a companion which does not trace back to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam].

So this is the bulk of his narrations in the six major collections and none has escaped me except a few which I may have inadvertently missed out, and that is something which no human can be free from. There is nothing in his narrations which contradict the established narrations; although there are some narrations whose chain up to him is not sound or the authenticity of these are disputed. The bulk of which the soundness is agreed upon is from the category of Ahkam and of virtues which number thirteen narrations, al Bukhari and Muslim have agreed on four, and al Bukhari independently narrates four, and Muslim five. This is a proof of the honesty of that period and their abstinence from descending to the level of the liars – may Allah forsake them – and if nothing indicates their honesty then suffice to that is the fact that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu has not narrated anything in criticism of ‘Ali ever, neither did he narrate anything that legitimises fighting with him; nor did he narrate anything of the merits of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu or in criticism of those who participated in his assassination; even though his army would have believed him and it would have been in his better interests to stir them up with such emotions. However, he did not do any of that throughout this lengthy period; neither during the lifetime of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu nor after his demise. Add to that the fact that he did not narrate any narration that is in opposition to the teachings of Islam or which seeks to destroy its foundations. It is for this reason that more than one of the notable Sahabah and Tabi’in narrated from him like Ibn ‘Abbas, Abu Sa’id al Khudri, Ibn al Zubair, Ibn al Musayyib, Abu Salih al Samman, Abu Idris al Khowlani, Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman, ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair, Salim ibn ‘Abdullah, Muhammad ibn Sirin and so many others besides them. As for those who narrated from these people, they were of a similar calibre. I only mention this so that you realise that the scholars of hadith were not the only ones who chose to narrate his narrations since it is known that they will not accept a narration except whose chain is continuous with reliable narrators. Were it not for the reliable narrators of every generation narrating his hadith, they would not have accepted it as his narrations; and if it did not meet their criteria of acceptance that it is his hadith, they would not have included them in their sound collections. I have only mentioned this here on the basis of being familiar with it, although the major proof is in what had preceded. And Allah knows best.

The Shia Mu’tazilah have accepted that which is of greater consequence than accepting his narrations, according to their principles; the Mursal [narration with interrupted chain] of the reliable narrators which is accepted by them without restrictions. So, they accepted the narrations of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu without realising it. As a matter of fact, they accepted many a fabrication which have sometimes been transmitted by some of the reliable narrators who, with a clear conscience, narrated from individuals who were unknowns and in some cases from the criticised narrators.

And this is what happens to those who accept Mursal reports that such narrations enter upon him without realising… so the acceptance of Mursal reports on this basis is a cause for greater harm and allows easier access for lies against the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam so it is necessary for an intelligent person to look at the flaws of those close and dear to him, just as he does the flaws of those who are his opposition and who are distant from him. We ask Allah for assistance in this matter, Amin.

 

Some of the Incidents From His Life

These incidents and reports from the life of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu have been specifically chosen since the majority of what is mentioned about him is usually limited to the period of internal strife; whereas the other aspects of his life are often neglected or forgotten.

It is narrated by al Tirmidhi (2414) by way of Suwaid ibn Nasr, from ‘Abdullah ibn al Mubarak, from ‘Abdul Wahhab ibn al Ward, from a man from the people of Madinah who said:

 

Muawiyah wrote to Aisha – beginning with salam – then it read, “write a letter to me advising me but do not overburden me,” so Aisha wrote back: “Peace be upon you. As for what follows, indeed I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘whoever seeks the pleasure of Allah with the wrath of the people, Allah shall suffice him from the people. And whoever seeks the peoples pleasure by the wrath of Allah, Allah will subject him to the people,’ and peace be upon you.”

 

He narrates a similar chain via Sufyan al Thowri, from Hisham ibn ‘Urwah, from his father from Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha… but this version is Mowquf. I say that the Mowquf narration is more correct.

Ma’mar narrates in his Jami’ (20717 in Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq) from al Zuhri, from Humaid, from Miswar ibn Makhramah that he once went to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He said:

 

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.

 

Ibn ‘Asakir narrates in his Tarikh (62/384) by way of Shu’bah, from Simak ibn Harb, from ‘Alqamah ibn Wa’il, from his father [Wa’il ibn Hujr]:

 

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had allocated to me a portion of land and sent Muawiyah with me to identify it or to hand it over to me. Muawiyah said to me, “let me ride with you on your mount.” I said to him, “you shall not ride along with the kings.” [indicating that he preferred not to put Muawiyah behind him on his mount]. Then Muawiyah said, “let me wear your sandals,” and I said, “use the shade of the camel,” [meaning that Wa’il had sandals and Muawiyah was barefoot, since Wa’il did not allow him to ride at least he could lend him his shoes so that his feet do not burn on the desert sand. So, Wa’il told him to walk in the shade of the camel as he did not want to lend him his sandals as well.]” He said: “When Muawiyah became the khalifah I came to him and he sat me down next to him on his mattress and reminded me of the incident.” Simak says that Wa’il said: “I wished then that I had let him ride in front of me.”

 

Ibn Kathir has related in his Tafsir (5/190):

 

Ibn Lahi’ah narrated from Salim ibn Ghaylan, from Sa’id ibn Abi Hilal that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to Ka’b al Ahbar: “You say that Dhu al Qarnayn used to tie his horse to [the star] al Thurayya?” So Ka’b said: “If I say that then Allah has also said, ‘We have endowed him with a means to all things…’”[21] And Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu reproaching Ka’b is correct; and he is in the right since Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu used to say about Ka’b: “It is only on account of us fearing from him lies,” – referring to what he transmitted from his scrolls that they have been interpolated – not that Ka’b would lie about what was in his scrolls. However, the nature of the scripture with Ka’b is that is from the Israelite reports, much of which has been corrupted or interpolated or even fabricated, and we have absolutely no need for it after what has been told to us by Allah and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Indeed much harm has entered upon the people through these scriptures, and widespread corruption. As for the interpretation of Ka’b of what Allah said, “We have endowed him with a means to all things…” and his proving that with what he finds in his scrolls that Dhu al Qarnayn used to tie his horse at [the star] al Thurayya, it is not correct and not consistent [with reality] since that is beyond the power of man, as well as ascending toward the heavenly bodies. Allah says with regards to Bilqis: “… and she was granted from everything.”[22] meaning the likeness of what kings would have been granted. Likewise, Dhu al Qarnayn was granted these means and this was made easy for him by Allah so that he could conquer various lands, provinces and regions and he could bring the tyrants adown and humiliate the polytheists. He was granted all that was needed to perform these tasks, and Allah knows best.

 

Al Bukhari narrates with his chain in al Adab al Mufrad (564) from the narration of ‘Urwah who said:

 

I was seated with Muawiyah once and he inadvertently spoke to himself and then became aware. He said: “There is no forbearance without experience,” he repeated this thrice.

 

Muawiyah was a perfect example of forbearance such that Ibn Abi al Dunya had compiled a book on the forbearance of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as did ibn Abi ‘Asim.

Abu Bakr al Dinwari relates with his chain in his Mujalasah (2140) that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu once saw his son beating up a slave of his so he scolded him saying, “are you going to corrupt your manners by disciplining him?,” and he was never seen beating a slave after that.

 

He also relates in his Mujalasah (801) with his chain from Abu Sufyan ibn al ‘Ala’ that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

 

My nature is more elevated than to let a misdeed be more weighty that my forbearance.

 

Ibn Abi al Dunya has related in al-Hilm (32) and in al Ishraf (337) with is chain from al ‘Ala’ who said that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

 

Red camels do not please me as much as spreading generosity.

 

It has also been narrated in Ansab al Ashraf of al Baladhuri (5/32), from al Mada’ini

 

Abu Zur’ah al Dimashqi relates in his Tarikh (1/231) from Abu Yusuf al Hajib that Abu Musa al Ash’ari came do Damascus on one occasion and was staying in some dwelling; and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu used to come out at night to listen to his recitation.

He also relates (1/223) with his chain that Fadalah ibn ‘Ubaid passed away during the era of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, so Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu carried his casket and instructed his son ‘Abdullah to join in since he would never carry the body of someone like him ever again.

 

He relates further (1/593) with his chain, from Qabisah ibn Jabir who said:

 

I went to Muawiyah and I presented my needs to him and he arranged for them to be seen to. I said: “You did not leave any of my needs unattended to except one; and I will be clear as to what it is.” He asked what it was and I said to him, “who will take hold of affairs of state after you?” He said, “and of what interest is that to you?” I said, “why not, O Amir al Mu’minin? By Allah, I am a very close relative, very loyal and noble.” He said, “appoint between four from the line of ‘Abd Manaf.” Then he said, “as for the nobleman of Quraysh, it is Sa’id ibn al ‘As, as for its young man, in modesty, forbearance and generosity, then it is ibn ‘Amir. As for Hassan ibn ‘Ali he is a Sayed, noble. As for its reciter of the Book of Allah and its jurist in the religion and the one who is severe in upholding the penalties it is Marwan ibn al Hakam. As for ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar he is a man to himself. As for the one who reaches such and such, and is as cunning as a fox it is ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair.

 

Yaqub ibn Sufyan relates in his Tarikh (1/303) with his chain from Iyas ibn Abi Ramlah al Shami:

 

He heard Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu asking Zaid ibn Arqam radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “have you witnessed with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam two ‘Ids occurring on the same day?” He said, “Yes,” and Muawiyah asked, “What did he do?” He answered, “he performed the ‘Id prayer and granted concession for the Friday prayer; those who wished to perform it may do so.”

 

He further relates in his Tarikh (1/367-368) with his chain to Humaid ibn ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf who said the he heard Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu while he was delivering a sermon in Madinah saying:

 

I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying on this day: “This is the day of ‘Ashura’ [10th Muharram] and Allah has not ordained its fasting but I am fasting it. Those of you who wish to fast it may do so and those wish not to fast may eat.”

 

He further relates in his Tarikh (1/413) with his chain to ‘Abdullah ibn Rabah al Sulami that he prayed with Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu the day he was stabbed in Jerusalem after completing the first Rak’ah and when he was getting up for the second he was stabbed and his reaction was nothing but raising his head from Sajdah when he said to the people, “complete your prayer,” so every person got up to complete what was left of the prayer, he did not call anyone forward [to lead] neither did anyone step forward.

 

He relates further in his Tarikh in a lengthy narration (1/458) with his chain to Qabisah ibn Jabir who said:

 

I have accompanied Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan and I have not seen a man with a clearer vision [for reading people and scenarios] and a companion with such forbearance than him, and I accompanied Ziyad and I have not seen a more generous companion than him and someone whose public and private life resembled each other so closely. And I have seen al Mughirah ibn Shu’bah and he was such a person that if he was in a city with eight gates and none could escape from it except through cunningness and resourcefulness he would have been able to escape.

 

He relates further in his Tarikh (2/380-381) with his chain to Sulaim ibn ‘Amir al Khuba’iri that once there was a drought and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu went out with the people of Damascus for Istisqa’ [praying for rain]. When he sat on the mimbar [pulpit] he called for Yazid ibn al Aswad al Jurashi. He was called and people made way for him until he approached the Mimbar and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu instructed him to ascend it while he sat at his feet. Then Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said: “O Allah we are asking You today on account of the best and most virtuous among us, we are asking on account of Yazid ibn al Aswad, O Yazid raise your hands to Allah,” and Yazid raised his hands and the people all raised their hands and very soon thereafter a cloud appeared from the west, the wind was blowing it with force and it began to rain that people almost did not make it to their homes due to the abundance of rain.

He relates further (2/410) with his chain to ‘Ali ibn Abi Hamlah who said that once the people of Damascus were afflicted by drought. Leading the people was al Dahhak ibn Qais al Fihri and he went out with the people for Istisqa’. He asked where Yazid ibn al Aswad was, but no one responded. He repeatedly called out for Yazid ibn al Aswad and demanded that if he is present that he comes forward. A person wearing a Burnus [a cloak with a hood] came forward and when he stood facing the people he lowered the hood to his shoulders and raised his hands: “O my Lord, the people have asked of me that you send down the rains,” the people returned to their homes drenched in the rain water, then Yazid said: “O Allah, he has exposed me so grant me comfort from him.” It was not even a week that passed when al Dahhak was killed. And with the same chain he relates that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu paid on behalf of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha 18000 gold coins.

He relates further (2/479) with his chain to al Awza’i that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first to sit during the first khutbah of Fridays, and his excuse for that was his advanced age.

 

He narrates further in his Tarikh (3/373) with his chain to Hisham ibn ‘Urwah, from his father who said:

 

I entered upon Muawiyah and he asked me where is al Maslul [the name of a document]; and I told him it was with me. He then said, “by Allah, I had written it with my own hand. Abu Bakr was allocating a piece of land for Zubair and I was recording it. Then ‘Umar approached and Abu Bakr took it at placed it in the fold of the mattress; and when he [‘Umar] entered he said, ‘it seems as if you are having a private discussion?’ and Abu Bakr replied in the affirmative. So ‘Umar left and Abu Bakr brought out the book again and I completed it [writing the document].

 

Abu Dawood narrates in his Sunan (2753) with his chain to Sulaim ibn ‘Amir, a man of Himyar, said:

 

There was a covenant between Muawiyah and the Romans, and he was going towards their territory, and when the covenant came to an end, he attacked them. A man came on a horse, or a packhorse saying, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great; let there be faithfulness and not treachery. And when they looked they found that he was ‘Amr ibn ‘Abasah. Muawiyah sent for him and questioned him (about that). He said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say, ‘when one has covenant with people he must not tighten or release it till its term comes to an end or he brings it to an end in agreement with them (to make both the parties equal),’ so Muawiyah returned.

 

Ahmed narrates it (4/111) as well as al Tirmidhi (1580) and he said regarding it, “Hassan Sahih”. However, Abu Hatim – as mentioned in the Marasil of his son (310) – said:

 

Sulaim ibn ‘Amir did not meet ‘Amr ibn ‘Abasah

 
 

NEXT⇒ Preface by Sheikh ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman al Sa’d Part 2


[1] Surah al Ma’idah: 3

[2] Surah al Nahl: 89

[3]  Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ (12/412); and Muhammad ibn Abi Hatim, the scribe of al Bukhari, has a book called Shama’il al Bukhari which al Dhahabi describes as being a large compilation. Ibn Hajar has quoted his chain of transmission to this particular book in Taghliq al Ta’liq (5/386).

[4] Surah al Ma’idah: 3

[5]  The biography of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu may be accessed from the Tarikh of Ibn ‘Asakir as he has listed the opinions of the various scholars regarding this.

[6] Surah Al ‘Imran: 19

[7] Surah Al ‘Imran: 85

[8] Surah Yunus: 58

[9]  It has been narrated by Yaqub ibn Sufyan in his Tarikh and Sa’id ibn Mansur as quoted by Ibn Hajar in Fath al Bari (13/66)

[10]Al I’tiqad by al Bayhaqi

[11]  Al Baghawi has stated something similar in Sharh al Sunnah (14/136)

[12]Tarikh Abi Zur’ah (pg 42-43)

[13] Surah al Hadid: 10

[14]  The famous narration of ibn ‘Abbas in ‘Sahih Muslim’ (1501) also mentions that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took him [Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu] as a scribe and the discussion on that narration is well-known

[15]  The editor of the book says: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz, he is ibn al Majishun – the additional information on his name is from al Tahdhib, and the second additional clarification in his teachers name is from al Minhaj and al Tahdhib

[16]  The narrations of Abu Sa’id and Jarir are both in Muslim, the narration of Ibn ‘Abbas in Sahihayn and from the younger companions is al Sa’ib ibn Yazid and his narration appears in Muslim.

[17]  See Tarikh Ibn Jarir (2/601), Ibn ‘Asakir , and Ibn Kathir (10/228)

[18]  See Tarikh Ibn Jarir (3/206)

[19]  Ibid

[20] Surah al Tawbah: 34

[21] Surah al Kahf: 84

[22] Surah al Naml: 23

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