The Eighth Allegation

The Ninth Allegation
January 19, 2016
The Seventh Allegation
January 19, 2016

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The Eighth Allegation


Muawiyah’s Killing of Hujr Ibn ‘Adi


There is a difference of opinion regarding the status of Hujr Ibn ‘Adi, whether he is a Sahabi or a Tabi’i. Ibn Sa’d has mentioned him in the fourth category of Sahabah and has mentioned that he had once visited the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Thereafter he mentioned him in the first category of Tabi’in of the people of Kufah. Al Bukhari, ibn Abi Hatim (in what he relates from his father), Khalifah ibn Khayyat and Ibn Hibban all mention him among the Tabi’in. Abu Ahmed al ‘Askari has said:

Majority of the scholars of hadith do not consider him to be from the Sahabah.[1]


Hujr Ibn ‘Adi was among those who rallied against Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as mentioned in Tabaqat ibn Sa’d (6/151), al Isti’ab (174), Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ (3/462) al Bidayah wa al Nihayah (11/229) and al Isabah (2/37).

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu made clear his excuse for having him killed. Al Baladhuri[2] narrates in al Ansab (2/169) and Ibn ‘Asakir in his Tarikh (12/230) with a chain to ibn Abi Mulaykah who said:


Muawiyah had come to the home of Aisha and sought permission to enter and she refused to allow him to enter. A slave of hers named Dhakwan came out and Muawiyah said to him, “let me in, for she is displeased with me!” Her slave was still with her when she permitted him to enter and he was more obedient to her than I. The moment he entered he said, “O my beloved mother, what causes you to be angry with me?” She responded, “my displeasure is on account of your killing Hujr Ibn ‘Adi and his companions.” So he said to her, “as for Hujr and his companions I had feared unrest and communal strife. I feared that innocent blood would be spilt and that which is sanctified would be transgressed. Leave me unto Allah and let Him do with me as He sees fit.” She responded, “I have left you by Allah,” repeating it thrice.


Ibn ‘Asakir states in his Tarikh (12/229) by way of Ahmed — from ‘Affan — from Ismail ibn Ibrahim ibn ‘Ulayyah — from Ayub — from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Mulaykah:


When Muawiyah came to visit Aisha she said to him, “have you killed Hujr?” He replied, “O Mother of the Believers I found that the greater interest of the people lay in killing him, rather than keeping him alive and allowing harm to come to them.”


Ibn al ‘Arabi states in al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim (211):


If it is said that he killed Hujr — a Sahabi well-known for his righteousness — while he was imprisoned (and Ziyad says) Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha sent to him trying to intervene in the matter of Hujr; we say that we are all well aware of the fact that Hujr was killed. However, we dispute by some saying this was done unjustly and others saying that there was justification for his killing. If it is said that the original case is that he was killed unjustly unless proven otherwise, we say that the original case is that the leader kills on a justified basis unless evidence points to the contrary. However, according to what was said, Hujr had seen some undesirable behaviour from Ziyad and he began to throw pebbles at him and abandoned his gathering and wanted to turn the community against him. So Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu saw this as one who is causing an uprising. Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha spoke to him (Muawiyah) during the time he embarked on the pilgrimage and he said to her, “leave me and Hujr until we stand before Allah.” As for you, O assembly of Muslims, it is more befitting that you leave them until they both appear before Allah, with their just companion. Leave your speculations since you lack in judgment, why is it that you do not listen?[3]


NEXT⇒ The Ninth Allegation

[1]  See al Tabaqat (6/217) of Ibn Sa’d, al Bidayah wa al Nihayah (11/228) and al Isabah (1/313)

[2]  Translators note – the reader might have found that the author has objected to many narrations quoted by al Baladhuri throughout this book and here he is quoting him to support his viewpoint. This seems contradictory at face-value. However, consideration is always given to the chain of transmission in establishing the reliability, not merely the book unless the book’s purpose is specific.

[3]  For further reading see the book on Muawiyah by Dr ‘Ali al Sallabi.

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