The First Discussion: The stance of the Umayyads.

The Fourth Discussion – The Efforts of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah in Refuting them
October 1, 2019
Module Two: The Life of Imam al Tabari Section One: Lineage, Travel for Knowledge, Character, and Views.
October 3, 2019

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The First Discussion

The Stance of the Umayyad Khalifas[1]


The Umayyads are considered to be the most important link in the chain of events which lead to the development of Nasb, a link which is not possible to understand without delving into its details and knowing about all its dynamics. This is because of the role they played which became the most effective reason in the development of the two types of Nasb and its proliferation amongst people. At the same time they were the severest opponents who emerged to combat the Khawarij who were the extremist Nawasib; this combat which they took up was extremely effective in curbing the influence of the Khawarij and the spread of their beliefs and ideas, one of which was their severe resentment for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, although not primarily intended by the Umayyads.

Hence the discussion will concern two perspectives:


The first perspective: The Umayyads and the non-excommunicating Nawasib.

The resentment the Umayyads had for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is quite popularly found in the statements of the scholars. Hence al Dhahabi says:


في آل مروان نصب ظاهر سوى عمر بن عبد العزيز

There was open Nasb in the family of Marwan, with the exception of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz.[2]


Likewise Ibn Taymiyyah has alluded:

كان في بني أمية من يسب عليا ويذمه

In the Umayyads there were people who reviled ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and condemned him.[3]


He also said:

وإن بعضهم كان ممن يبغض عليا

And some of them would despise ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[4]


And he has also stated that some of them would curse ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu[5] and that:


لما كان بنو أمية ولاة البلاد؛ بعض بني أمية ينصب العداوة لعلي ويسبه

When the Umayyads were the rulers of the lands, some of them would openly declare enmity for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and revile him.[6]


Others have suggested the following:


اشتغلت طائفة من بني أمية بتنقيصه وسبه على المنابر

A group of the Umayyads occupied themselves in denigrating him and reviling him upon the pulpits.[7]


They would deem that to be an official practice.[8]

Likewise, due to their immense hatred for him[9] and in order to obliterate all his accomplishments, at times they would discard the Sunnah which ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would enjoin in his time.[10]

Ibn Hazm has, however, alluded to the fact that (despite all of this) the Umayyads were unable to conceal the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and do away with them.[11]

And Ibn ‘Abdul Barr[12] has stated that:


كان بنو أمية ينالون منه وينقصونه، فما زاده الله إلا سموا وعلوا ومحبة عند العلماء

The Umayyads would speak ill of him and denigrate him. But Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala only increased him in highness, stature and love in the sight of the scholars.[13]


Likewise one of the scholars has suggested the following in a poem:

عدتهم كعدة الرافضية

وهكذا خلفا بني أمية

مائة من السنين خالصة

ولكن المدة كانت ناقصة

إلا الإمام عمر التقيا

وكلهم قد كان ناصبيا

And so were the rulers of the Umayyads, their number was just like the number of the Rafidah (twelve).

However, their time period was a hundred years less (than the time period of the Imams of the Rafidah).

Each one of them was a Nasibi, with the exception of the pious ‘Umar.[14]

Similarly, some of the Abbasid Khalifas would, in order to win the support of their Alawid opponents, remind them with presumptuousness of the abusive stance the Umayyads held toward ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[15]

Nonetheless, although the resentment of the Umayyads differed from individual to individual, it did not lead them to the extent of them excommunicating him. Likewise, although what had propelled Nasb in them initially was the grave events which took place after the martyrdom of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, but subsequently it shifted to a purely politically motivated issue.

Since the Nasb of most of the Umayyads is beyond dispute, it is important to ascertain the reality of their stance regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Likewise it is important to investigate the causes which led to them becoming disillusioned with him.

However, there is a contention here which poses itself to every researcher, i.e. the contention of their inconsistent stances regarding the Alawids in general, such that at times they would manifest as completely contradicting one another.

It would probably be easy to resolve a very large extent of this contention if one considers the human disposition. One should appreciate that within every human there is a mix of various conflicting interests, like love and hate, virtue and vice, pleasure and displeasure, inclination and aversion, advancement and decline. Hence, when there is a clash between these interests, often times what he displays is due to him succumbing to the strongest among them. Obviously the influence of these interests is dependent on the environment which engulfs him. As a result it is not possible for him to constantly remain in one condition throughout his life.

One should also remember that one of the most crucial causes which contributed to the obscurity of the relationship between the Umayyads and the Alawids was the conflict of interests and the disparity of desires. This becomes evident when considering that the Umayyad household, especially after its dynasty fell, became a victim of aggressive attacks from more than one front, all of which were united at opposing it. At the head of them were the Shia who believed that the Umayyads usurped the right of the Ahlul bayt. Similarly, the Abbasids were very keen on alienating them from the masses by obliterating their accolades in order to preserve the nascent stability of their dynasty from any political threat which the Umayyads might pose at any time.[16] And lastly, there were the Mawali who were victims of the Umayyad suppression and abuse; even after accepting Islam Kharaj (land tax) was imposed upon them, and they were coerced to join the wars without any bonus or stipend being allocated to them, with the exception of the era of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz[17], the crown of the Banu Umayyah.[18]

There is no doubt as to the fact that the clash between these two families of the Quraysh (the Hashimid and the Umayyad) is very different than other clashes. For their history is replete with huge events which transpired between them and continued for a protracted period of time even after the fall of the Umayyad dynasty. Similarly, each one of them attracted an innumerable amount of fanatic partisans who trespassed all bounds of moderation; as a result, the Khawarij thronged around the Alawids and the Nawasib thronged around the Umayyads. Ibn al Hanafiyyah has alluded to this reality in his statement:

أهل بيتين من العرب يتخذهما الناس أندادا من دون الله: نحن وبنو عمنا هؤلاء؛ يعني بني أمية

People have taken two households of the Arabs as deities other than Allah: Us and our cousins (i.e. the Banu Umayyah).[19]


If the Nawasib of Sham on the one hand exaggerated regarding the Khalifas of the Umayyads and elevated them,[20] then the Shia on the other adopted a similar stance, rather one far more extreme, regarding the Ahlul bayt; a stance which progressed from mere partisanship to consecration, and from there to a form of deification.[21] The Shia, in order to support the Ahlul bayt, and in order to bring disrepute to the Umayyads and their contributions and achievements, would not hesitate in forging fables, fabricating lies and circulating hearsays against them; fabricating was very normal for the Shia, as is stated by Ibn Kathir.[22]

From this we understand the importance of deliberation when examining events which have some sort of relationship with the topic at hand, especially when it is narrated through a Shia source or contains within it elements which smack off some sort of support for Shi’ism.

However, this does not exonerated the Pro Abbasid Historians, who utilised history as a medium of bolstering the Abbasid campaign,[23] from the suspicion of forging narrations and reports that poured into the same channel and which alongside the Shia narrations emphasised the wickedness of the Umayyad Rulers and their ill treatment of the Ahlul bayt. This of course entailed a subtle declaration of innocence of the Abbasids in the eyes of the Shia.

Hence, it is impossible for an impartial person to believe reports such as the one narrated from Abu ‘Abdur Rahman al Muqri’[24] which states:


كان بنو أمية إذا سمعوا بمولود اسمه علي قتلوه

When the Umayyads would hear of a child whose name was ‘Ali they would kill him.[25]


There are few considerations in this narration:

First of all, the endeavour to emphasise the transgressive nature of the Umayyads by giving them resemblance to Fir’awn who killed every male child that was born to the Banu Isra’il due to fear of losing his kingdom. This alone entails a very powerful means of disenchanting the people.

Secondly, had this really happened it would widely echo throughout the society. Hence it is strange that only one person narrates it when it is an issue of such a magnitude that it would demand multitudes of people to narrate it; especially when the report contains the word كان which denotes continuity, and also considering the fact that reports of lesser importance and significance have been widely reported.

Thirdly, a person who studies the books of transmitter biographies will certainly come to realise that during the Umayyad period there were many people whose names were ‘Ali, but none of them suffered any sort of harassment merely because of his name. This was not specific to the common people but was also inclusive of the Alawids themselves.[26]

Fourthly, the narrator of the report was born during the end period of the Umayyads, and thus only witnessed fifteen years of their rule. This supports the possibility that he narrated this from someone else, but who is this someone else?

Nonetheless, it is correct to aver that the Umayyads hated this name and wanted that no one be named with it, which is why during their rule this name was not very prevalent. But this is one thing, and killing every child because of his name is something completely different.

Likewise, there is doubt as to the fact that the Shia historians and their scholars forged the greatest amount of lies in this regard. Lies which did not remain confined to the events that transpired, but surpassed them to impugning the lineage of the Umayyads and their integrity in the most of wicked ways; to the extent that they went on to impugn their forefathers of the pre-Islamic era who had nothing to do whatsoever with what had transpired after them. Thus, they first targeted Umayyah (the first grandfather)[27] by alleging that he was a Roman slave who was falsely attributed to ‘Abd Shams. Subsequently they targeted Hind bint ‘Utbah and alleged that she was initially a concubine and thereafter they claimed that she took up prostitution as an occupation, wherefrom Muawiyah was born. And lastly they attacked Yazid and stated that he was an illegitimate child born out of wedlock.[28]

They have likewise quoted one of their Imams as saying:

اقتلوا الوزغ فإنها مسوخ بني أمية

Kill the lizards for they are the disfigured forms of the Banu Umayyah.[29]


They have also narrated that once a lizard came in front of one of their Imams dangling its tongue, so the Imam said to the person with him, “Do you know what it is saying?” He said, “I have no knowledge of what it is saying.” The Imam said that it is saying:


والله لئن ذكرت عثمان لأسبن عليا أبدا حتى تقوم من ها هنا

By Allah if you make mention of ‘Uthman, I will revile ‘Ali till you stand up and go away from here.


Thereafter the Imam told him that whenever any individual of the Umayyads dies he is disfigured into a lizard. He also added that ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan was disfigured into a lizard so his son had to place a date palm in his place in his winding sheet, i.e. so that the reality is not disclosed before the people.[30]

There is doubt that this narration and others of its like are patent lies, and that they disclose the inner animosity the Shia bore against the Umayyads. This indeed makes much of what they have narrated regarding the household of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu dubious at least.

The following is another narration similar to the aforementioned:

It is narrated that a person stood and called out to Hajjaj, “O governor, my family has disowned me and they named me ‘Ali. I am a poor person and in need of the gift of the governor.”

Hajjaj thus laughed and said, “Interesting indeed is the means you have chosen to gain my closeness. I have appointed you as the governor of such and such a place.”[31]


This narration is definitely a forgery. And even though there is a possibility that it was fabricated by the followers of the Abbasids, however, most probably it was forged by the Shia due to their sources independently citing it.

Was Hajjaj really such a simpleton and clueless person that he would appoint a poor person to governorship merely because he hated ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, not forgetting that he it was his genius that had helped pave the path to kingdom for the Umayyads?

Likewise, why did he not appoint anyone else from amongst his subordinates to that position when there were plenty amongst them who despised ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu?

Also, there were many people who coveted leadership, if it really was so easy then why did any one of them not seek the closeness of Hajjaj in the same way as this poor person did in order to obtain it.

How deep indeed was the insight of Ibn Kathir who stated:


وقد روي عنه (يعني الحجاج) ألفاظ بشعة شنيعة ظاهرها الكفر كما قدمنا. فإن كان قد تاب منها وأقلع عنها وإلا فهو باق في عهدتها، ولكن قد يخشى أنها رويت عنه بنوع من زيادة عليه؛ فأن الشيعة كانوا يبغضونه جدا لوجوه، وربما حرفوا عليه بعض الكلم، وزادوا فيما يحكونه عنه بشاعات وشناعات.

Some very repugnant and ugly statements have been narrated from al Hajjaj, the apparent meanings of which amount to disbelief, as we have mentioned. If he repented from them and he gave them up, or else he will still be responsible for them. But the fear is that they have been narrated with some sort of exaggeration from him; for the Shia hated him immensely for many reasons and thus they would at times distort his speech and add to it evil and bad statements.[32]


Another narration similar to the aforementioned is the narration which states that ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu one day witnessed the absence of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma in the Zuhr Salah. Hence he said to his companions, “What is up with Abu al ‘Abbas, he did not attend the Zuhr Salah?” Upon being informed that a child was born to him he performed the Salah and thereafter told the people to tag along with him. He congratulated him and said, “May you show gratitude to Allah, the Granter, and may you be granted blessings in the granted. What have you named him?”

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas said, “Would it ever be possible for me to name him before you name him.” Hence He took him and performed his Tahnik (sucked on a date and made the child suck on it) prayed for him, returned him and then said:


خذ إليك أبا الأملاك قد سميته عليا، وكنيته أبا الحسن

Take Abu al Amlak (the father of kings). I have named him ‘Ali and I have given him the agnomen Abu al Hassan.


Thereafter, when Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu became the Khalifah he said to Ibn ‘Abbas:


ليس لكم اسمه وكنيته وقد كنيته أبا محمد

You cannot keep his name and agnomen. I have given him the agnomen Abu Muhammad.


And thus that is what he became known by.[33]

There can be no doubt regarding this narration being a fabrication, especially when considering the fact that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave the child, who would go on to become the grandfather of the Abbasid rulers, the title ‘Abu al Amlak’. From where did ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu come to possess the knowledge of the unseen when there are many barriers before it?

Hence the fabricator of this narration was either a Shia who wanted to elevate the status of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu by claiming that he possessed knowledge of the future, or he was an Abbasid who was trying to convince the Shia regarding the legitimacy of the Abbasid rule; doing so by stating that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had prophesied that that would happen.[34]

Due to all of the aforementioned, one cannot pay attention to much of what is documented by the historians. One has to investigate whether it is established, or are there contextual indicators which suggest that it is true: like the validity of similar incidents to it or even worse than it being established, or some of the great research scholars like Ibn Hazm, al Dhahabi and Ibn Taymiyyah approving of it.

Returning to where we started from, the interaction of the Umayyads with the Alawids was governed by the following aspects:


The First Aspect: The Religious Aspect:

The loyalty of the Umayyads to Islam, their immense allegiance to it and their concern for it are things which cannot be suspected. However, they were humans and thus were prone to all the tendencies that humans are prone to; whether it be indulging in extravagance by way of following their fancies and base desires (in which case they still remained Muslims internally and externally and their sins were no different than the sins of other Muslims),[35] or bringing about innovations in the Din: like delaying the Salah to its end time, appointing two Mu’adhdhins (callers to Adhan), giving Adhan and Iqamah for the two ‘Ids, bringing the Khutbah forward in both of them, raising the hands when supplicating in Jumu’ah, discarding the Takbir (i.e. saying it softly) when going into lower postures and saying it aloud when coming up from them, and performing four Raka’at in Mina, etc.[36]

Despite these being deficiencies in them, but when compared to the Abbasids they upheld the Sunnah to a greater extent than them; the Sunnah was much more prevalent and strong in the era of the former than in the era of the latter.[37]

Likewise, despite all these innovations, it is an undeniable fact that the Din had a very emphatic presence in much of their doings, like in Jihad, where they have made everlasting contributions. Islam was much more glorious in their times than in the times that followed; Jihad was never fully systematically carried out after the fall of their empire.[38]

Ibn Kathir states:


كانت سوق الجهاد قائمة في بني أمية ليس لهم شغل إلا ذلك، وقد علت كلمة الإسلام في مشارق الأرض ومغاربها وبرها وبحرها، وقد أذلوا الكفر وأهله، وامتلأت قلوب المشركين من المسلمين رعبا، لا يتوجه المسلمون إلى قطر من الأقطار إلا أخذوه، وكان في عساكرهم وجيوشهم في الغزو الصالحون والأولياء والعلماء من كبار التابعين. بل كان الحسين بن علي رضي الله عنه في الجيش الذي غزا قسطنطينية

Jihad was alive and active in the Umayyads, they had no occupation besides that. The word of Islam had risen high in the east and the west of the earth, in its lands and in its oceans. They had subdued disbelief and its people. And the hearts of the polytheists were filled with awe for the Muslims. The Muslims would not advance toward any land or region but would conquer it and capture it. The pious, the ascetics, and great scholars of the successors participated in their campaigns and were part of their armies.[39] To the extent that even Hussain ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was part of the army which attacked Constantinople.[40]


However, their interaction with the Alawids was governed by more than one aspect, the political aspect being the greatest of them, even though it blended at times with the religious aspect.[41] The religious aspect did not emerge but in comparatively lesser times, especially during the era of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz.[42]


The Second Aspect: The familial aspect:

This refers to the family ties which existed between the Banu Hashim and the Banu Umayyah, for they were paternal cousins.[43]

Blood relations in essence lay at the very core of humanity, which is why it always remain attached to its roots and can never completely detach from them.

In light of this, it will be easy to understand some of the very noble stances taken by the Umayyads, which at times seem inaccurate or inexplicable due to there being a very huge contrast between them and between their stern and harsh positions, towards the Alawids.

So it was the familial ties which proved as a very effective impetus for much of the amiable doings of the Umayyads toward the Alawid household, like becoming enraged for them[44] and forgiving them for their violations.[45] All of this, however, was still trumped by the greed and the struggle for power.

Nonetheless, it was primarily due to this reason that there were deep and genuine friendships which were fostered between senior members of both these households. Marwan ibn al Hakam for example was very fond of ‘Ali ibn al Hussain[46] and would often assist him with wealth.[47]

What further clarifies the impact of kinship upon their dealings is the statement of Hussain ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu when the army of ‘Umar ibn Sa’d surrounded him:

أو يبعث بي إلى يزيد بن معاوية فيرى في رأيه فإن الرحم تمنعه من قتلي

Or let him send me to Yazid ibn Muawiyah who can decide whatever he has to regarding me, for the familial bond between us will prevent him from killing me.[48]


Likewise the disturbance of Yazid ibn Muawiyah, if it is established, when he received the news of his martyrdom and his statement:


لعن الله بن مرجانة! أما والله لو كان بينه وبين الحسين رحم لما قتله

May Allah curse Ibn Marjanah, by Allah if there existed kinship between him and Hussain, he would never have killed him.[49]


Likewise his statement when he saw the family of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his children in a pitiable situation, overcome by disgrace and humility:

قبح الله ابن مرجانة لو كانت بينكم وبينه قرابة ما فعل بكم هذا

May Allah humiliate Ibn Marjanah! Had there been any kinship between you and him he would never have done this to you.[50]


In the words of Yazid, ‘If he was his cousin’ and ‘had there been any kinship between you and him’ is a subtle attack on the lineage of Ibn Ziyad, i.e. by hinting to the fact that convention has always compelled closely related individuals to stand up for one another; even in times of intense acrimony their hearts would not allow them to mutilate their bodies or allow people to disgrace them and humiliate them. What Yazid meant was that had there been close kinship between Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Ibn Ziyad it would have barred him from killing him and disgracing his household, as long as his objective of subduing him would be achieved without having the need to kill and take revenge. This is exactly what had moved him and is clear from the following statement:

أما والله يا حسين، لو أني صاحبك ما قتلتك

By Allah, O Hussain, if your affair was in my hand I would not have killed you.[51]


It was due to this familial aspect that he responded with the following to Muhaffiz ibn Tha’labah[52] who came to him with the head of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu and said, “I have come to you with the head of most wretched of the Arabs”:


ما ولدت أم محفز ألأم وأوضع

The child Umm Muhaffiz gave birth to is more wretched and disgraced.[53]


He also refrained from killing ‘Ali ibn al Hussain, after he was given the suggestion to do so by one of his courtiers, and he honoured the household of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his children.[54]

Hence the matter was as al Buhturi[55] described it:


إذا احتربت يوما ففاضت دماؤها            تذكرت القربى ففاضت دموعها

If they happen to fight on a particular day and their blood happens to flow, they immediately remember their kinship and thus their tears begin to flow.[56]


Nonetheless, there is still a question that lingers: is it not possible that the reason for his expression of grief was more because of a religious reason than a reason of kinship?

The answer to this is that is a possibility but evidence does not support it, especially when his biography is replete with criticisms and condemnations of his actions. He was condemned for sending an army to Madinah giving it permission to violate its sanctity for three days by looting and killing.[57] As a result, a fair amount of Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, their children, and the elite successors,[58] amongst who there were seven hundred bearers of the Qur’an, were killed.[59] Added to that is the fact that he did not take the killers of Hussain to task nor did he take revenge on his behalf.[60]

What supports the fact that it was based more on kinship is that when ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan was told of the following poem of ‘Imran ibn Hittan regarding the killer of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

يا ضربة من تقي ما أراد بها   إلا ليبلغ من ذي العرش رضوانا

إني لأذكره حينا فأحسبه    أوفى البرية عند الله ميزانا

What a strike from a pious person by way of which he did not intend, but to reach the pleasure of the owner of the throne.

I at times think of him and assume that he has the weightiest of scales by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.


He was overtaken by rage due to his kinship with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and thus intended to spill his blood and placed spies on him.[61]

Likewise, it was due to their stark chauvinism that they were not happy with Hajjaj, who was a pure Arab, marrying a Hashimid lady. This is in spite of the fact that he enjoyed a very lofty position in the sight of the Umayyads (due to him paving their path to kingdom for them and destroying many of their opponents).[62] This was because they conceded the merit of the Hashimids and their status despite all that had transpired between them. Whatever had happened did not stop them from expressing indignation at this marriage which in a way was compromising the high social standing of the Hashimids.

Ibn Taymiyyah mentions:


والحجاج كان قد تزوج ببنت عبد الله بن جعفر فلم يرض بذلك بنو أمية حتى نزعوها منه، لأنهم معظمون لبني هاشم. وقالوا: ليس الحجاج كفؤا لشريفة هاشمية

Hajjaj had married a daughter of ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar. But the Umayyads were not happy and subsequently took her away from him due to them revering the Banu Hashim.[63] They said, “Hajjaj is not compatible for a noble Hashimid lady.”[64]


This shows that their affinity for the Hashimids was very strong. But it would at times diminish when they would be overtaken by affinity for their own people, or when overwhelmed by the traces of the conflicts that had transpired between them. Hence Marwan ibn al Hakam told Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he was upon his deathbed:

ما وجدت عليك منذ صطحبنا إلا في حبك الحسن والحسين

I have no grudge against you since we have been in each other’s company other than because of you loving Hassan and Hussain.[65]


There is no doubt that his hatred for them was not because they were Hashimids, especially when he was a bosom friend of ‘Ali ibn al Hussain. But it was because his chauvinism for the Umayyad household compelled him to disenchant people from everything that was related to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, even it be by reviling him upon the pulpits and clashing vigorously with his two sons.[66] And thus Abu Hurairah’s open expression of love for them actually went against his goal and mission.


The Third Aspect: The Political Aspect

The interaction of the Umayyads with many of the Alawids was characterised by harshness and intransigence, it was motivated by the phenomena of exercising caution and sensing fear. This was due to the following reasons:


The first reason: Their passion to rule exclusively.

Humans have been created with the tendency to own and claim possession of even the most basic things, then what can one say about kingdom and the authority and pomp that it holds. Hence it is no surprise that many a people have due to it become victims of inconsistencies and have sacrificed the closest and the dearest of people to them. When the head of Mus’ab ibn al Zubair[67] was placed before ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan he said:


لقد كان أحب الناس إلي وأشدهم لي ألفة ومودة، ولكن الملك عقيم

He was the most beloved of people to me and of those who loved me the most, but kingdom is barren.[68]


Furthermore, just as people fight for the procurement of leadership, they likewise do everything within their capacity to preserve it. The Umayyads were no different in this regard and were not immune from becoming victims of greed for continuous power even if it meant sacrificing a lot. This was the primary reason why ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and some of his sons had suffered much at the hands of the Umayyads.

Hence Ibn Taymiyyah mentions that Yazid ibn Muawiyah did not execute the killers of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu nor he did avenge his murder in any way. Rather he killed his supporters and aiders in order to firmly ground his kingdom.[69]

This was not something unique to the Umayyads, i.e. their in-house fighting or their fights against the Alawids. For many of the events which transpired in the first century were due to greed for the world. This was precisely what Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had feared for his Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum:


فوالله ما الفقر أخشى عليكم، ولكني أخشى أن تبسط عليكم الدنيا كما بسطت على من كان قبلكم، فتنافسوها كما تنافسوها فتهلككم كما أهلكتهم

By Allah it is not poverty that I fear upon you. But I fear that the world will be given to you in abundance just as it was given to those before you in abundance. It will thus prompt you to vie with one another just as they vied with one another, and it will consequently destroy you just as it destroyed them.[70]


Ibn Kathir has stated that this hadith came to the fore in the eras of ‘Ali and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[71]

And Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma would say in his prostration:


قد تعلم أنه ما يمنعني من مزاحمة قريش على هذه الدنيا إلا خوفك

O Allah you know that the only thing which prevents me from rivalry with the Quraysh over this world is your fear.[72]


He would also say:

رحم الله ابن الزبير أراد دنانير الشام! رحم الله مروان أراد دراهم العراق

May Allah have mercy on Ibn al Zubair, he wanted the gold coins of Sham. May Allah have mercy on Marwan he wanted the silver coins of Iraq.[73]


Likewise he would say:

إنما هؤلاء فتيان قريش يتقاتلون على هذا السلطان وعلى هذه الدنيا، والله ما أبالي ألا يكون لي ما يقتل فيه بعضهم بعضا بنعلي

These youngsters of the Quraysh are fighting over rulership and this world. By Allah it would not bother me if I were given what they are killing one and another for in lieu of my sandal.[74]


How profound indeed was the statement of Ayman Ibn Khuraym[75] which he made when ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan called him to fight for him:

على سلطان آخر من قريش

ولست بقاتل رجلا يصلي

معاذ الله من جهل وطيش

له سلطانه وعلي إثمي

فليس بنافعي ما عشت عيشي

أأقتل مسلما في غير شيء

I am not one to kill a person who performs Salah, over the kingdom of another individual of the Quraysh.

For him will be his kingdom but upon me will be my sin. I seek the refuge of Allah from ignorance and rage.

Should I kill a Muslim for no valid reason? In that case my life would be of no benefit to me as long as I live.[76]


Nonetheless, few matters allude to this fact:

Firstly, the Umayyads are not recorded to have ill-treated the Alawids in general. Rather they are only known to have offended those amongst them who coveted rulership, which is evidence of the fact that the clash revolved around worldly issues. Had it been because of the Alawids themselves, or because of the offender being a heretic, for example, then it would have implicated every ‘Alawi. A phenomenon which we find occurred in the revolt of the leader of the Zanj,[77] who falsely claimed to be an Alawid;[78] this man would bargain an Alawid lady for two to three silver coins, as a result of which some of the Zanj would have ten Alawid ladies under his custody whom he would cohabit with[79] and whom he would debase by assigning to them difficult chores.[80]

This is not something which the governors of the Umayyad dynasty were unaware of. Hence Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, after having asked al Sha’bi about the view of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding some matters of inheritance, said to him:


إنا لم نعب على قضائه، إنما عبنا كذا و كذا

We did not criticise his judgements, we only criticised this and that.[81]


This statement is indicative of the type of clash which existed. This is notwithstanding that the Umayyads tried in every way to conceal this from the people by exaggerating in his denigration as if to suggest that he was not worthy of anything being drawn from him.

Ibn Taymiyyah tells us of the state of the killers of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He says:


كان كثير منهم أو أكثرهم يكرهون قتله ويرونه ذنبا عظيما، لكن قتلوه لغرضهم، كما يقتل الناس بعضهم بعضا على الملك

Many of them, or most of them, disliked killing him and considered it a major sin. But they killed him for their ulterior motives, like people kill one another for rulership and authority.[82]


The Alawids, hence, suffered harassment of others besides the Umayyads as well due to the same reason, i.e. the Caliphate. Ibn Hajar says:


كان محمد بن علي بن أبي طالب المعروف بابن الحنفية وعبد الله بن عباس مقيمين بمكة منذ قتل الحسين، فدعاهما ابن الزبير إلى البيعة له فامتنعا وقالا: لا نبايع حتى يجتمع الناس على خلفية وتبعهما جماعة على ذلك، فشدد عليهم ابن الزبير وحصرهم

Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, who was commonly known as Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah, and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas were both residing in Makkah since the martyrdom of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Ibn al Zubair called them to pledge their allegiance but they refused and they said, “We will not pledge until the people all unite upon a Khalifah.” And a group of people followed them in this regard. Hence Ibn al Zubair was hard on them and he besieged them.[83]


And Ibn Kathir states:

لما بويع لابن الزبير لم يبايعه (يعني ابن الحنفية) فجرى بينهما شر عظيم، حتى هم ابن الزبير به وبأهله

When people pledged their allegiance to Ibn al Zubair he, i.e. Ibn al Hanafiyyah, did not pledge his allegiance. Thus great evil ensued between the two of them and Ibn al Zubair eventually intended to inflict harm upon him and his family.[84]


The Umayyads themselves also suffered greatly and were massacred awfully, in ways that the Alawids were not, at the hands of al Saffah,[85] the first Khalifah of the Abbasids:

إذ تتبع بني أمية من أولاد الخلفاء وغيرهم فأخذهم، ولم يفلت منهم إلا رضيع أو من هرب إلى الأندلس

He searched for the Umayyads, the children of the Khalifas and others, and he apprehended them. None amongst them survived besides an infant child or those who fled to Andalus.[86]


He did not even leave those upon whom he got his hands in Makkah and Madinah.[87] So much so that he searched for them even in the belly of the earth,[88] for he ordered that the graves of some of them be exhumed.[89]

So in essence, these doings were all dictated by the clash over the materialistic things of this world. The Alawids thus were victims of these crimes due to them being part of the struggle, being no different than all else due to the human disposition being one and the same.

Secondly, the Umayyads offended the Zubairids[90] as well for the same reason. This was immediately after the clash which had ensued between the parties and after the Umayyads sealed the matter to their advantage. Hence some of their governors would curse ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu upon the pulpit.[91] His eldest son was likewise lashed by the order of al Walid ibn ‘Abdul Malik, a bag of cold water was thrown on his head on a cold day and thereafter he was made to stand at the door of the Masjid where he passed away.[92]

The objective of the Umayyads in doing this grave action was the exact same objective which propelled ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be harsh to his real brother, a partisan of the Umayyads, who allegedly passed away after he was lashed and crucified.[93] He also ordered that all the Umayyads be banished from the lands of Hijaz after having secured control over it.[94]

Of course there is a very great difference between his doings and their doings, but the objective here is to prove that the rationale was one in both their doings.

Moving on, it is important to point out here that the Zubairids were not abused with as much vigour and consistency as the Alawids. This was because they were very few in number and were completely extirpated, as opposed to the Alawids. Therefore, the prime concern of the Umayyads was to reduce the influence of the Alawids so as to prevent the people from being drawn toward them.

What makes this very clear is the incident of the Hajj of Hisham ibn ‘Abdul Malik.

Before he assumed rulership he circumambulated the Ka’bah. But when he intended to touch the Black Stone he did not manage to do so and thus a pulpit had to be placed for him after which he touched it. He thereafter sat and the people of Sham stood around him. Subsequently ‘Ali ibn al Hussain came and when he progressed toward the Black Stone the people, out of reverence and awe, cleared the path for him. Over and above this, he was dressed in an immaculate attire and was looking handsome. The People of Sham thus asked Hisham, “Who is this?” He replied, ‘I do not know.”

The reason why Hisham had wittingly displayed ignorance regarding ‘Ali ibn al Hussain was in order to degrade him so that the people of Sham would not be drawn toward him.[95]

Thirdly, it is important to remember that the Hashimids, including the Alawids, had fought amongst themselves; they were not safe from the attacks of each other when they came into power. In fact the Alawids had suffered more at the hands of the Hashimids then they had at the hands of their opponents the Umayyads.[96] Hence, the incentive which had driven the Hashimids to abuse their own kin was the very incentive which had driven the Umayyads to do so.

Ibn Taymiyyah mentions:


بنو هاشم قد جرى بينهم نوع من الحروب، وقد جرى بين بني حسن وبني حسين من الحروب ما يجري بين أمثالهم في هذا الأزمان، والحروب في الأزمان المتأخرة بين بعض بني هاشم وبين غيرهم من الطوائف أكثر من الحروب التي كانت في أول الزمان بين بعض بني أمية وبعض بني هاشم.

Some sort of warfare occurred between the Hashimids. Hence wars similar to those which take place in these ages occurred between the children of Hassan and the children of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Similarly, the wars which have occurred in recent times between the Hashimids and their rivals of other groups are much more than those that occurred in the past between the Umayyads and some of the Hashimids.[97]


He also said:

قد فعل بنو هاشم بعضهم ببعض أعظم مما فعل يزيد

The Hashimids have done graver things to each other than even what Yazid had done.[98]


Lastly, the harassment of the governors of the Umayyads had engulfed many people of different categories, including the scholars, the ascetics[99] and the notables.[100]

Hisham ibn Hassan[101] says:

أحصوا ما قتل الحجاج صبرا فبلغ مائة وعشرين ألف قتيل

They did a count of the people whom Hajjaj detained and killed and it reached one hundred and twenty thousand.[102]


Likewise, in one morning Sulaiman ibn ‘Abdul Malik freed 81000 prisoners from the prison of Hajjaj.[103]

In fact, they even harassed some of the Sahabah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who opposed the Umayyads or whom they did not have satisfaction regarding even if they did not do anything. Hence Ziyad ibn Abihi detained ‘Adi ibn Hatim radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he refused to bring forth his fugitive cousin; Ziyad had actually intended to kill him.[104]

As for Hajjaj and his transgression, it is more famous than a fire upon a hill. He would inflict upon them severe punishments, subdue them with vigour, would judge between them without the Sunnah and would deploy against them the riffraff of the people of Sham.[105]

Ibn al Jawzi says:

كان الحجاج قد أذل أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم.

Hajjaj had disgraced the Sahabah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[106]


And al Dhahabi has alluded to the fact that Hajjaj would denigrate the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.[107]

Hence in one of his sermons he said:


يا عذيري من عبد هذيل يزعم أن قراته من عند الله، والله ما هي إلا رجز من رجز الأعراب، ما أنزلها الله على نبيه

Will anyone excuse me regarding ‘Abd Hudhayl (if I kill him or harass him)? He claims that his reading of the Qur’an is from Allah. By Allah it is not but from the chants of the Bedouins, Allah did not reveal it upon his Nabi.[108]


And in another sermon he said:

والله لو أدركت عبد هذيل لضربت عنقه

By Allah if I get hold of ‘Abd Hudhayl I will kill him.[109]


In these statements he was referring to ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Whilst commenting upon them al Dhahabi states:


قاتل الله الحجاج ما أجرأه على الله كيف يقول هذا في العبد الصالح عبد الله بن مسعود

May Allah destroy Hajjaj, how bold was he against Allah! How could he make such statements regarding ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, the pious bondsman?[110]


And Ibn Kathir says:

هذا من جرأة الحجاج قبحه الله وإقدامه على الكلام السيء والدماء الحرام

This was due to the boldness of Hajjaj, may Allah disgrace him, and his advancement in making evil statements and spilling inviolable blood.[111]


Hajjaj likewise sent a condescending message to ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar taunting him therein that he coveted the Caliphate for himself despite not being eligible for it.[112] And he would also say:

وددت أني قتلت ابن عمر

I wish I had killed Ibn ‘Umar.[113]


His insolence had reached such a level that he would say upon the pulpit of Masjid al Haram in front of the people:


ألا إن ابن الزبير نكس كتاب الله نكس الله قلبه

Behold, Ibn al Zubair altered the Book of Allah, may Allah alter his heart.[114]


No one had the courage to retort besides ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar.

And one day he said to Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu after the latter had appeared before him:


إيه إيه يا أنيس! يوم لك مع علي، ويوم لك مع ابن الزبير، ويوم لك مع ابن الأشعث! والله لأستأصلنك كما تستأصل الشاة، ولأدمغنك كما تدمغ الصمغة

Amazing o Unays (small Anas)! One day you stand with ‘Ali, one day you stand with Ibn al Zubair, and one day you stand with Ibn al Ash’ath![115] By Allah I will destroy you just like how a sheep is destroyed, and I will completely remove you just as gum is completely removed.


Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu asked, “Is the governor referring to me, may Allah reform him?”

He retorted:

إياك أعني صك الله سمعك

It is you that I intend, May Allah make you deaf.[116]


That is why ‘Umar ibn al ‘Abdul ‘Aziz would say:

لو تخابثت الأمم فجاءت كل أمة بخبثيها وجئنا بالحجاج لغلبناهم

If the nations vie with one another in evil and each of them brings forth its most evil person and we bring forth Hajjaj we will overpower them.[117]


And ‘Ᾱsim ibn Abi al Najud[118] would say:

ما بقيت حرمة إلا وقد ارتكبها الحجاج

There is no sanctity which Hajjaj has not violated.[119]


If this was the brazenness, the blatant contempt and the crude interaction he had with the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, despite them enjoying great reverence amongst the people, then what would his interaction with those besides them be like?  People whose merits could never match the merits of Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and whose grandeur could never match their grandeur.

Hence, a poet who was stricken by intense fear due to Hajjaj apprehending him describes his situation in the following way:

كأن فؤادي بين أظفار طائر     من الخوف في جو السماء محلق

كأن فؤادي بين أظفار طائر     من الخوف في جو السماء محلق

حذار امرئ قد كنت أعلم أنه     متى ما يعد من نفسه الشر يصدق

حذار امرئ قد كنت أعلم أنه     متى ما يعد من نفسه الشر يصدق

It is as though, due to fear, my heart was between the claws of a bird which was flying in the sky

Beware of the person who I know to be such that when he threatens you of evil he will deliver on his threat.[120]


Nonetheless, the fear of losing leadership was what had overwhelmed the Umayyads. It was the mere thought that had motivated many of their actions and by extension the actions of their governors. People had two contentions regarding their dynasty, each one inseparable from the other:

The first contention: The rule of the Umayyads itself, which for an extended period of time continued to encounter a legal crisis which the Umayyads tried to impose upon those who denied it.

The second contention: The remonstration of the people and their bemoaning of the Umayyads. This although was a result of the previous point, but at the same time it had prompted many of the Khalifas to do the following: to appoint the harshest of governors and the most cruel of them, and to unsheathe the sword in combatting any opposition even if it be driven by people of knowledge and stature. Hence Yazid ibn Muawiyah cited the following poem and informed us of his feelings:


لقد بدلوا الحلم الذي في سجيتي   فبدلت قومي غلظة بليان

They changed the forbearance that was my nature, so I treated my people with harshness in place of leniency.[121]


Likewise if one has to ponder over the sermons of Ziyad ibn Abihi, Hajjaj and others like them, the harshness and cruelty with which they treated people will become clear.

This had created an atmosphere of fear which had overwhelmed the scholars themselves.

The following is an excerpt from the Khutbah Batra’ (truncated sermon)[122] which Ziyad ibn Abihi delivered when he first entered Basrah:


وإني لأقسم بالله لآخذن الولي بالولي، والمقيم بالظاعن، والمقبل بالمدبر، والصحيح منكم بالسقيم، حتى يلقى الرجل منكم أخاه فيقول: انج سعد فقد هلك سعيد أو تستقيم لي قناتكم… وأيم الله إن لي فيكن لصرعى كثيرة، فليحذر كل امرئ منكم أن يكون من صرعاي.

I swear by Allah that I will hold a relative accountable for a relative, a resident person for a traveller, an advancing person for a fleeing person, a healthy person for a sick person. To the extent that a time will come when a person amongst you will meet his brother and say, “Attain safety, O Sa’d for Sa’id has died,” (this will continue) till you become upright for me. By Allah I will surely have many people whom I will drop amongst you, so every person should be wary of not becoming part of those whom I will drop.[123]


Ziyad was the first individual who applied harshness in the affairs of leadership and enforced the rulership of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He made adherence compulsory upon the people, he advanced in penalising, he unsheathed his sword, and he apprehended and punished people based on suspicion. And thus the people feared him immensely.[124]

Much more harsh and daunting than his sermon was the sermon of Hajjaj, also the first sermon he delivered when entering Iraq. The following is an excerpt from it:


والله يا أهل العراق إني أرى رؤوسا قد أينعت وحان قطافها، وإني لصاحبها، فكأني أنظر إلى الدماء فوق العمائم واللحى…والله لأعصبنكم عصب السلمة ولأضربنكم ضرب غرائب الأبل.

By Allah, O people of Iraq, I see heads that have ripened and whose time of harvest has arrived and I will be the one harvesting them. It is as though I see blood staining the turbans and the beards. By Allah I will tie you like how the Salamah tree[125] is tied, and I will beat you like how stray camels are beaten.[126]


والله لأذيقنكم الهوان حتى تدرو، ولأعصبنكم عصب السلمة حتى تنقادوا، أقسم بالله لتقبلن على الإنصاف ولتدعن الإرجاف، وكان وكان، وأخبرني فلان وفلان، وأيش الخبر وما الخبر؟ أو لأهبرنكم بالسيف هبرا يدع النساء أيامى، والولدان يتامى

By Allah I will make you taste humiliation till you come to learn. And I will tie you like how the Salamah tree is tied till you relent. I swear by Allah you will surely advance to justice and you will give up your circulation of false rumours, your statements ‘that this happened and that happened’, that ‘so and so informed me from so and so’, and ‘what is the news’, or else I will slice you with the sword in a way that will make the women widows and the children orphans.[127]


He likewise said in another sermon:


يا بني اللكيعة وعبيد العصا وأبناء الإماء والأيامى! ألا يربع كل رجل منكم على ظلعه ويحسن حقن دمه، ويبصر موضع قدمه، فأقسم بالله لأوشك أن أوقع بكم وقعة تكون نكالا لما قبلها وأدبا بعدها

O the sons of an ignoble maid, the slaves of the stick, the children of slave girls and widows! Would not every person amongst you pity himself, prudently protect his life, and carefully watch his step. For, by Allah, very soon I will inflict you with a punishment which will be an admonishment for those to come.[128]


And when Hajjaj intended to travel from Basrah to Makkah, he addressed the people saying:


يا أهل البصرة إني أريد الخروج إلى مكة، وقد استخلفت عليكم محمدا ابني، وأوصيته فيكم بخلاف ما أوصى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في الأنصار، فإنه أوصى في الأنصار أن يقبل من محسنهم ويتجاوز عن مسيئهم، ألا وإني قد أوصيته بكم ألا يقبل من محسنكم ولا يتجاوز عن مسيئكم

O people of Basrah, I intend leaving for Makkah. And I have appointed over you my son Muhammad,[129] and I have advised him with an advice contrary to the advice of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding the Ansar; he advised that the good of their good doers be accepted and the bad of their falterers be overlooked, and I have advised him not to accept the good of your good doers and not to pardon the bad of your evil doers.[130]


The threatening was not unique to a specific place, rather it was employed in any region where there was resentment and remonstration. Hence in Makkah, Khalid ibn ‘Abdullah al Qasri delivered a sermon in the people and he said:


إني والله ما أوتى بأحد يطعن على إمامه إلا صلبته في الحرم

Indeed by Allah, if a person who criticises his leader is brought to me I will crucify him in the Haram.[131]


Harshness was also deployed against the people of Madinah who were not partisans of the Umayyads.[132] In fact the pledge for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was forcibly taken from many of them.[133] But it was most vigorously deployed in Iraq due to it being the hub of the opposition consisting of the Shia, the Khawarij and others.

Hajjaj and others had realised that the people of Basrah and Kufah would revolt wherever they found the time opportune, and that the only requirements for the success of their revolt was safety at the time of launching the revolt and the hope of attaining victory and defeating the Umayyads.[134] Thus they had created such an environment that the mere inclination of a man toward any of the opponents, like the Alawids and the Zubairids, would engender him incurring harm and drawing harassment.

Hence, when it reached ‘Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad that a certain individual was condemning the murder of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he ordered that he be lashed and imprisoned.[135] And Hajjaj’s treatment of the Shia was such that he would not acknowledge the good people amongst them and he would not overlook their bad people.[136] Likewise ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan would not give a hearing to the poets of Mudar due to them being Zubairids.[137] And when a Zubairid hailing from Iraq asked one of the freed slaves of Sa’id ibn al Musayyab whether he (Sa’id ibn al Musayyab) preferred ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair or the people of Sham, Sa’id having heard his query turned around and said:


أفلا أضبث بك الآن، فأقول هذه زبيري

Should I not get you apprehended immediately by reporting that ‘this person is a Zubairi?’[138]


Likewise, Marwan ibn al Hakam had innovated the bringing forth of the Khutbah before the ‘Id Salah, he was the first person to do so according to popular opinion.[139] The reason behind this was that he would revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his sermon. This disenchanted the people and consequently they started leaving immediately after the Salah; he thus brought the sermon forward in order to force the people to give him a hearing.

Ibn Hazm has stated that after the Salah the people would leave the orators of the Umayyads and they would not sit for the sermon. This is because they would revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and so the Muslims would leave, and rightfully so.[140] Many others have stated the same.[141]

If one has to merely ponder over the audaciousness of Marwan in opposing the Sunnah in Madinah, in the presence of a group of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, in a way that compelled the people to walk away and not acquiesce, the immense exertion of authority of the Umayyads will become completely clear to him. Had it not been for fear which had settled in the hearts of the people he would never have managed to do so. Hence there were only a handful of people who objected to what he had did.[142]

Nonetheless, the Umayyads had honoured those of the Hashimids whom they perceived to be well-wishers and whose opposition they did not fear. Hence ‘Ali ibn al Hussain was the best of his household, the most diligent and adhering and the most beloved to Marwan and his son, ‘Abdul Malik.[143]

And amongst the advices of ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan to his son al Walid in his final moments was the following:


وانظر ابن عمنا علي بن عبد الله بن عباس فإنه قد انقطع إلينا بمودته ونصيحته، وله نسب وحق، فصل رحمه واعرف حقه

And care for our cousin ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas who has joined our camp by loving us and being our well-wisher. He is a man of noble pedigree and has a right over us, so foster ties with him and acknowledge his rights.[144]


Conversely, the beard of one of the Umayyads was plucked due to him not standing with his people and supporting them when they were gathered and besieged.[145] Likewise ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan got one of his cousins[146] executed due to him coveting the Caliphate; He slaughtered him after granting him amnesty and promising to appoint him to office after him.[147]

All of this makes it very clear that the harshness and leniency in many of the dealings of the Umayyads was not motivated by din or kinship, it was rather motivated by the desire to ground themselves in leadership.


The Second Reason: The Alawids coveting the Caliphate

Probably this was the underlying malady which caused an increase in the suffering of the Alawids and the disillusionment of the Umayyads. The belief of majority of the Alawids was that ‘Ali and his household were much more deserving of the Caliphate and that they were wronged and their rights were usurped.[148] And thus they viewed the Umayyads as transgressors and usurpers.

This belief had dragged the Alawids to such harassment that only Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows, whether it be during the era of the Umayyads or the era of the Abbasids. The sentiment of being the oppressed which never parted from them would always erupt in them the spirit of revolting at any availing opportunity. Hence it is worth noting that the Alawids throughout their history tried to attain leadership and take charge of issues, they led several revolts against the governing dynasties.[149]

Al ‘Aqqad[150] says:


لم يعرف التاريخ نظيرا لثبات بني علي وفاطمة على حقهم في الإمامة أو الخلافة، حوربوا فيها زمانا، وتولاها من لا شك عندهم ولاعند الناس ف  ي فضلهم عليهم كيزيد بن معاوية، فإنفوا أن يتركوها استخذاء وخضوعا، وحاربوا فيها كما حوربوا، وصمدوا للطلب الحثيث طالبين ومطلوبين مائة سنة ثم مائتين ثم ثلثمائة سنة.

History has not known an example of steadfastness like that of the children of ‘Ali and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma upon their right[151] of Imamah or Caliphate. For a period of time they were fought for it. Thereafter, individuals who, without any doubt according to them and the rest of the people, were inferior to them assumed it, like Yazid ibn Muawiyah, and they refused to accept that humiliatingly. And subsequent to that, they fought for it just as they were fought for it. They remained steadfast whilst seeking and whilst being sought for a hundred years, rather two hundred years, and even three hundred years.[152]


On the other hand, the Umayyads remained constantly in a state of alarm and caution with regard to the Alawids specifically. This was because they noticed that the Alawids were very ambitious and that their ambitions every now and then would flare up.[153] At the same time they had realised that, due to them enjoying the love of the people and their veneration, it was not possible for anyone else besides the Alawids to claim Caliphate for themselves. Hence when Ibn Kathir alluded to Ibn al Zubair’s annihilation of the remains of the army of Yazid ibn Muawiyah, which had resulted in him earning acclaim in Hijaz and gaining the support of the people, he still commented by saying:


ومع هذا كله ليس هو معظما عند الناس مثل الحسين، بل الناس إنما ميلهم إلى الحسين لأنه السيد الكبير، وابن بنت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. فليس على وجه الأرض يومئذ أحد يساميه ولا يساويه.

Despite all of this, he was not as respected amongst the people as Hussain was. People’s inclination was still toward Hussain because he was the great leader and the grandson of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Hence there was no one upon the earth who could compete with him or match him.[154]


He also says:

لا يمكنه أن يتحرك بشيء مما في نفسه أي من طلب الخلافة مع وجود الحسين

It would not be possible for him to campaign for himself in the presence of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[155]


This caution of the Umayyad rulers was exploited by their governors to get rid of their rivals who also worked for the Umayyads, doing so by creating suspicion regarding their loyalty and allegiance. For example Yusuf ibn ‘Umar,[156] the governor of Iraq, wrote the following to Hisham ibn ‘Abdul Malik:

إن أهل البيت من بني هاشم قد كانوا هلكوا جوعا حتى كانت لقمة أحدهم قوت عياله، فلما ولي خالد العراق أعطاهم الأموال فقووا بها فتاقت نفوسهم إلى طلب الخلافة، وما خرج زيد إلا عن رأي خالد

The Hashimid members of the Ahlul Bayt were completely destroyed due to hunger, so much so that a morsel of one of them would serve as the provisions of the entire family. But when Khalid assumed the governorship of Iraq he granted them wealth by way of which they gained strength. Subsequently they coveted the Caliphate. Zaid’s rebellion was only because Khalid had told him to do so.


The Third Reason: The Shia of the Alawids

Avenging the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the focal point which had led to the establishment of the Umayyad Empire, it had granted it the legitimacy that in long required in its initial stages. Which is why the Umayyads were very eager to subdue anyone who did not think along the same lines, at the head of who were the Alawids.

Although after the martyrdom of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the relinquishment of the Caliphate by Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the Umayyads had become grounded in power, but the Shia still remained loyal to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu; they believed that the Caliphate was usurped from him. After his demise their allegiance shifted to the Alawids due to them being the natural and legal heirs of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his Caliphate. Together with that, they opposed the Umayyads fervidly and some of them would thus say:


كلب للعلوية خير من جميع بني أمية

A dog of the Alawids is better than all the Umayyads.[157]


The Shia had not only resented the Umayyads and their doings, rather they went on to openly impugn them and the legitimacy of their rule, and to kindle the spirit of opposing the Umayyads amidst the people by criticising ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and reviling Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[158]

Apart from all of this, the most dangerous of measures which they implemented was that they incited the Alawids to revolt against the Caliphate and induced them to reclaim what was usurped from them, promising them their full support if they did so.

But in reality, they would incite those of the Ahlul Bayt whom they promised to support, and when they would develop confidence in the Shia and a reprimander would reprimand them for their doings they would abandon them hand them over and give preference to this world.[159]

Al Khudri,[160] whilst elaborating upon the role the Shia played in straining the relationship between the Umayyad and the Alawid households, states:

تتمنى قلوب شيعتهم أن ينالوا هذا الحق، فيحملون الواحد منهم بعد الواحد على الخروج فيخرجون وتكون العاقبة قتلا وتمثيلا

The hearts of their Shia yearned that they obtain this right. Hence they would incite one individual after the other to revolt. Subsequently they would revolt, but the result would only be murder and mutilation.[161]


There can be no doubt that impugning the Umayyads, making mention of the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his sons, campaigning for their right of Caliphate, and some of the Alawids becoming propelled by all of this toward coveting the Caliphate had incited the people to revolt. This had induced the fury of the Umayyads and had prompted them to deploy excessive harshness toward the Alawids, even if it be denigrating ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, disrespecting him and disassociating from him. Especially when they discerned that the Alawids have the capacity to pounce upon their kingdom at any given time.

The conclusion of all the aforementioned is that the Umayyad Khalifas and their subordinates played a role in the emergence of Nasb. The details are as follows:

1. The Role of the Khalifas

Previously we have alluded to the fact that impugning ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had started a short while after the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Subsequent to that, the Khawarij and the people of Sham had taken his disparagement to a more extreme level.

Hence, during the Battle of Siffin explicit revilement and mutual imprecation had ensued between the two groups. Here, however, we will only allude to that with which ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was targeted.

When the Umayyads had achieved stability in their dominion they found that there were people who objected to their Caliphate and criticised it a lot, doing so by extolling the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and claiming that they usurped his right. This could potentially cause the hearts to yearn toward Fitnah and rise toward rebellion once again. As a result, most of the Umayyad Khalifas were propelled to intentionally denigrate him and openly revile him, thereby attempting to disenchant the people from and obstruct the path of any person who wanted to criticise their Caliphate.

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had asked Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “What prevents you from reviling Abu Turab” He replied thusly:


أما ما ذكرت ثلاثا قالهن له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فلن أسبه- لأن تكون لي واحدة منهن أحب إلي حمر النعم، سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول له: خلفه في بغض مغازيه فقال له علي: يا رسول الله خلفتني مع النساء والصبيان؟ فقال له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أما ترضى ان تكون مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى إلا أنه لا نبوة بعدي. وسمعته يقول يوم خيبر: لأعطين الراية رجلا يحب الله ورسوله ويحبه الله ورسوله، قال فتطاولنا لها فقال: ادعوا عليا فأتي به أرمد فبصق في عينه، ودفع الراية إليه ففتح الله عليه. ولما نزلت هذه الآية  فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَ أَبْنَاءَكُمْ دعا رسول الله عليا وفاطمة وحسنا وحسينا فقال: اللهم هؤلاء أهلي

After hearing three things Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioned regarding him I will never revile him, I would prefer one of them over red camels for myself. When Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam deputised him in one his battles and ‘Ali asked, “O Rasul Allah do you leave behind with the women and children,” I heard Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “Are you not happy that you to me like how Harun was to Musa, however there is no Nubuwwah after me.” I also heard him saying on the day of Khaybar, “I will give the flag to a man who loves Allah and his Rasul and Allah and his Rasul love him.” We all aspired for it but he said, “Call ‘Ali.” He was brought and his eyes were sore. Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam applied his saliva in his eyes and gave him the flag. Subsequently Allah had granted him victory. And when the verse: “So say, come we call our sons and your sons…” was revealed, Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam summoned ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum and said, “O Allah this is my household.”[162]


Al Nawawi, however, explains:


قالوا: ولا يقع في روايات الثقات إلا ما يمكن تأويله. فقول معاوية هذا ليس فيه تصريح بأنه أمر سعدا بسبه، وإنما سأله عن السبب المانع له من السب كأنه يقول: هل امتنعت تورعا أو خوفا أو غير ذلك؟ فإن كان تورعا وإجلالا له عن السب فأنت مصيب محسن، وإن كان غير ذلك فله جواب آخر.

They (‘Ulama’) say, “In the narrations of reliable transmitters there is always content which is plausibly interpretable.” Hence in this statement of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu there is no explicit mention that he ordered Sa’d to revile him. In fact he only asked him regarding the reason which prevented him from doing so, as if he was asking him, “Is it due to piety or fear or otherwise that you refrain?” If it is because of piety and respect then you are correct, and if it is for any other reason than the answer would be different.[163]


Likewise al Tahir ibn ‘Ashur[164] has also supported the view that no revilement occurred during the era of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He has said:

لم أقف على تعيين الوقت الذي ابتدع فيه هذ السب، ولكنه لم يكن في خلافة معاوية رضىي الله عنه

I have not come across the exact time in which this revilement was initiated. However it was not during the era of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[165]


It has also been reported that one of the conditions placed by Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu during the truce was that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu not be reviled in front of him.[166]

It is reported that Marwan ibn al Hakam would revile him upon the pulpit and that the governor of Madinah, who was from the family of Marwan, had ordered Sahl ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu to denigrate him. And lastly regarding Mughirah radiya Llahu ‘anhu there are also reports which support this viewpoint.[167]

Even if it is accepted that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did in fact criticise ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu then it will be said that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu erred in reviling ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu just as he erred in fighting him; for nor was he or any of the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum infallible. The principal in this regard is that from the narrations which contain elements which dispraise the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhu: many are lies; in some of them they acted according to their reasoning and what they deemed best; and in some, even if they sinned, they were not infallible. Rather, together with them being the friends of Allah and from those promised Jannat they had sins which Allah will forgive them for.[168]

Furthermore, the widely accepted principal of the Ahlus Sunnah has always been that they do not exonerate Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu nor those who were better than him from sins, let alone exonerating them from committing errors in their reasoning.[169]

Profound indeed is the following analyses of Ibn Taymiyyah which he presents when discussing the mutual imprecation which ensued during the Battle of Siffin:


التلاعن وقع بين الطائفتين كما وقعت المحاربة، وكان هؤلاء يلعنون هؤلاء في دعائهم، هؤلاء يلعنون رؤوس هؤلاء في دعائهم، وقيل: إن كل طائفة كانت تقنت على الأخرى، والقتال باليد أعظم من التلاعن باللسان، وهذا كله سواء كان ذنبا أو اجتهادا أو مخظئا أو مصيبا، فإن مغفرة الله ورحمته تتناول ذلك بالتوبة والحسنات الماحية والمصائب المكفرة وغير ذلك

Mutual imprecation ensued between them just as fighting ensued between them. These people would curse the leaders of these people, and these people in return would curse the leaders of these people. It is actually said that each group would recite the Qunut against the other. Fighting with the hands is of course graver than cursing with the tongue. All of this, whether characterised as sins, or results of correct or incorrect reasoning, will be encompassed by the mercy and forgiveness of Allah, either by way of repentance, or good deeds that wipe out evil deeds, or calamities which expiate sins.[170]


In all probability, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had did what he did based on his reasoning that that was most opportune for the time. He was driven to take such measures out of the fear of disunity shattering the Ummah and causing it to fall into civil strife. This was because the Shia were igniting unrest by relying upon the mention of the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, wittingly or unwittingly, especially when considering that the hearts were not at ease and that they were ever willing to fight. This contained such calamities which only Allah knows.

Hence he assumed that although disparaging ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was an evil in itself, but the resultant bickering and bloodbath from the propaganda of the opposition was much worse. His reasoning was thus based upon doing the lesser of the two evils in order to circumvent the greater of them. This is clear from the fact that in the hadith we are ordered to kill anyone who intends to shatter the unity of the Ummah whoever he maybe.[171] Surely reviling and disparaging is of a lesser degree than killing.

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu condensed his policy in his statement:


أضع سيفي حيث يكفيني سوطي، ولا أضع سوطي حيث يكفيني لساني

I drop my sword where my whip suffices. And I do not drop my whip where my tongue suffices.[172]


And he said to Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu at one occasion:


أنت على ملة علي؟ قال لا ولا على ملة عثمان، ولكني ملة النبي

“Are you upon the creed of ‘Ali?”

He replied, “No. Not even upon the creed of ‘Uthman. But I am upon the creed of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”[173]


Al Dhahabi declares:

ومعاوية من خيار الملوك الذين غلب عدلهم على ظلمهم، وما هو ببريء من الهنات، والله يعفو عنه

Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the best of kings whose justice had supeceded his injustice. He was not free from blemishes, but Allah will pardon him.[174]


There is no doubt as to the fact that if the Shia of ‘Ali did not exist and if they did not do whatever they did he would never have resorted to such measures, notwithstanding his piety, his understanding, his virtue and his forbearance.[175]

What emphasises this point is that Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma would often visit him and he would honour them and show them phenomenal respect. He would offer them a hearty welcome and gift them with handsome gifts. On one occasion he gave them two hundred thousand and then said:

خذاها وأنا ابن هند، والله لا يعطيكماها أحد قبلي ولا بعدي

Take this and I am the son of Hind. By Allah no one before me or after me will give you so handsomely.[176]


Likewise one day he told Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “I will give you a gift that no one before me has gifted,” and thereafter gave him four hundred thousand.[177]

Even after the demise of Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu would still visit him and he would gift him and offer him respect.[178]

Similarly, when Yazid ibn Muawiyah and Hassan one day vied with another as to who is better, his father asked him, and “Did you vie with Hassan?” he replied in the affirmative, whereafter he said to him:


لعلك تظن أن أمك مثل أمه، أو جدك كجده! فأما أبوك وأبوه فقد تحاكما إلى الله فحكم لأبيك على أبيه

You probably thinking that your mother is like his mother, or you grandfather is like his grandfather. As for your father and his father, they raised their case to Allah, and he decided in favour of your father over his father.[179]


Moving on, many of the Umayyads would designate the title Abu Turab or Abu al Turab (the father of sand) to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu condescendingly, as though suggesting that this title entailed disparaging him[180] and assuming that he disliked it. Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalani states:


كان أعداؤه (يعني) عليا يقولون: أبو تراب ظنا منهم أنه يكرهها

His enemies (i.e. the enemies of ‘Ali) would call him Abu Turab assuming that he disliked it.[181]


And Sahl ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates that a person came to him and said:


هذا فلان أمير من أمراء المدينة يدعوك لتسب عليا على المنبر. قال: أقول ماذا؟ قال: تقول له أبو تراب…

This person, a governor from the governors of Madinah, is calling you to revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu upon the pulpit. He asked, “And what should I say?” The man replied, “You can call him Abu Turab…”[182]


This was noticed and picked up by some of their governors and partisans.[183] Hence some of them would intentionally call the Shia Turabi.[184] This would make them feel indignant because they knew of the evil intent.[185]

Despite this, this did not in the least debase ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, due to this name being the most beloved of names to him; Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had named him with it.[186]

The affair had remained such during the reign of most of the Umayyad rulers after him. But now it was not due to their fear of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu because he had moved on to his Lord. Rather it was out of the fear that people will gather around his sons who continuously opposed them and anticipated calamities to befall them.

It is well-known that the Alawids themselves did not have such qualities which would make them qualify for the Caliphate. Hence their campaign was always centred around advancing the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his virtues, and on claiming that the Shar’i Caliphate has always been the right of ‘Ali. They would further aver that if it was usurped from him, then the Alawids were his heirs. The Umayyads were not unaware of this, as is clear from what ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Marwan[187] told his son ‘Umar one day:


يا بني، إن الذين حولنا لو يعلمون من علي ما نعلم تفرقوا عنا إلى أولاده

O my son, if those around us come to know that regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which we know, they would leave us and join the ranks of his sons.[188]


Because the motive of the Umayyads was to prevent the people from developing an inclination toward ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu so that it not be exploited by his children, they would choose the times in which people would gather, like the ‘Ids and the days of Hajj, to disparage him and revile him. ‘Amir ibn ‘Abdullah[189] would say:

انظروا إلى ما يصنع بنو أمية يخفضون عليا ويغرون بشتمه

Look at what the Umayyads do! They disparage ‘Ali and incite people to revile him…[190]


Nonetheless, the reviling of the Umayyads of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is well-established according to many scholars. Ibn Taymiyyah mentions that the greatest issue the people held against the Umayyads was their disparaging of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[191] And al ‘Ayni[192] has described their era as one in which they would curse him upon the pulpits.[193] Others have also averred the same.[194]

It is not far-fetched that hatred for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and disillusionment with him was something deeply rooted in the hearts of many of the later Umayyads who did not live to see many of the major events. Their situation was thus no different than that of the people of Sham who grew up hating ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hence it is narrated that when ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas,[195] whose title was Abu al Hassan, visited ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan the latter said to him:

غير اسمك وكنيتك فلا صبر لي على اسمك وكنيتك

Change your name and your title, for I cannot bear you name and your title.


Upon which the former said:

أما الاسم فلا، وأما الكنية فأكتني بأبي محمد، فغير كنيته

As for name I will not change it. And as for my title I switch to Abu Muhammad.


He thus changed his title.[196]

Ibn Khallikan[197] says, whilst commenting upon this incident:


إنما قال له عبد الملك هذه المقالة لبغضه في علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه، فكره أن يسمع اسمه وكنيته

‘Abdul Malik only said this to him because of his hatred for ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He disliked hearing his name and his title.[198]


In conclusion, reviling him and cursing him was a practice well-followed by most of the Umayyads. To the extent that when Hisham ibn ‘Abdul Malik came to perform Hajj after assuming the Caliphate, Sa’id ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Walid ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan[199] said to him:


يا أمير المؤمنين، إن الله لم يزل ينعم على أهل بيت أمير المؤمنين وينصر خلفيته المظلوم، ولم يزالوا يلعنون في هذه المواطن الصالحة أبا تراب، فأمير المؤمنين ينبغي له أن يلعنه في هذه المواطن الصالحة

O Amir al Mu’minin! Allah has continued to shower his favours upon the household of Amir al Mu’minin and has always supported his oppressed Khalifah. They have continued to curse Abu Turab in these holy places and Amir al Mu’minin should also curse him in these holy places.[200]


All of this had caused some of the scholars to exercise caution and not mention the name of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu explicitly in the aspects of knowledge which they narrated to the Khalifas, i.e. due to them knowing how severely disillusioned they were with him.

Al Amir al San’ani[201] states:


وقد روي أن رواة الحديث وأهل العلم في بعض أيام بني أمية- وهي أيام عبد الملك وولاته كالحجاج وبعض بلدانهم- كانوا لا يقدرون على إظهار الرواية عن علي رضي الله عنه لشدة عدوانهم له ولمن ذكره

It has been reported that some transmitters of hadith and people of knowledge, during a time in the era of the Umayyads (the time of ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan and some of governors like Hajjaj), did not have the courage to explicitly narrate the narrations of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, due to their immense acrimony for him and for whoever he mentioned.[202]


What al San’ani has mentioned was not specific to the era of ‘Abdul Malik. Rather it continued during the rule of many others besides him, intensifying and diminishing, depending on the surrounding impactors. Hence whenever there would be a Shia uprising, the pressure would intensify in this regard.

Al Zuhri reported that Sulaiman ibn ‘Abdul Malik once saw a person who was striking in his appearance and intelligence, circummambulating the Ka’bah. He inquired, “Who is this O Zuhri?” Al Zuhri replied, “This is Ta’us,[203] a person who has met multiple Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.” Sulaiman summoned him and asked him, “Would you narrate something to us?”

He said:

حدثني أبو موسى قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن أهون الخلق على الله من ولي من أمور المسلمين شيئا فلم يعدل فيهم

Abu Musa narrated to me that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The most insignificant of people to Allah is a person who presided over the affairs of the Muslims and thereafter did not act justly amongst them.”


The face of Sulaiman changed. He lowered his head for a long time, thereafter he raised it and said, “Would you narrate something to us?”

Ta’us said:


حدثني رجل من أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال ابن شهاب ظننت أنه أراد عليا- قال: دعاني رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى طعام في مجلس من مجالس قريش ثم قال: إن لكم على قريش حقا، ولهم على الناس حق، ما إذا استرحموا رحموا، وإذا حكموا عدلوا، وإذا ائتمنوا أدوا، فمن لم يفعل فعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين، لا يقبل الله منه صرفا ولا عدلا.

A person from the companions of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam narrated to me (al Zuhri says, “I assumed he was referring to ‘Ali,”), “Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam invited me to a gathering from the gatherings of the Quraysh. He said, “You have a right over the Quraysh and they have a right over the people. The rights of the people over them is that they show mercy when mercy is sought from them, they act justly when they rule, and they deliver when they are entrusted. Whoever does not do this, upon him is the curse of Allah, his angels and all the people. Allah will not accept any optional or obligatory action from him.”


The face of Sulaiman once again changed and he lowered his head for a long time. Thereafter he raised it and asked, “Would you narrate something to us?”

He said, “Ibn ‘Abbas narrated to me that the last verse of the Qur’an to be revealed was:


وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

And fear the day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be wronged.[204]


Similarly when Mughirah ibn Miqsam[205] narrated the hadith of Mubahalah (mutual imprication between Nabi {saw} and the Christians) from al Sha’bi, he was asked, “People have narrated in the hadith of the people of Najran that ‘Ali was with them?”

He replied:

أما الشعبي فلم يذكره، فلا أدري لسوء رأي بني أمية في علي، أو لم يكن في الحديث

As for al Sha’bi, he has not made mention of him. I do not know was it because of the ill-opinion of the Umayyads regarding ‘Ali, or because he just was not in the narration.[206]


This suggests that it had settled in the minds of many that at times the name of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was purposely not mentioned due to the position of the Umayyads regarding him.

If the Umayyads could not tolerate people merely narrating a narration from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whatever its topic might be, then how would they have tolerated people narrating his merits and extolling his virtues.[207]

The fear of not explicitly taking the name of an individual or narrating from him was not confined to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Rather it exceeded him to his children as well. Hence some scholars did not narrate the narrations of senior scholars of the Ahlul Bayt but after the fall of the Umayyad dynasty, as al Darawardi[208] narrates from Imam Malik:

لم يرومالك عن جعفر حتى ظهرأمر بني العباس

Malik did not narrate from Jafar[209] but after the matter of the Abbasids prevailed.[210]


Nonetheless, due to the reason for the denigration of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu persisting, the Umayyad Khalifas continued to do so. The later Umayyads had, however, taken a step ahead and begun to harass many of the Alawids to an extent that some of them had to resort to going undercover;[211] they had likewise refused to acknowledge the prominent figures amongst them, as Hisham ibn ‘Abdul Malik had done with ‘Ali Zayn al ‘Abidin in his time; and the most horrendous ill-treatment was carried out against Zaid ibn ‘Ali who was crucified and left hanging naked for four to five years and thereafter burnt.[212] Subsequent to that his son was crucified.[213] The Abbasids constantly reminded the Alawids about these events (so as to win their sympathy).[214]

All of this had changed dramatically after ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz had assumed the Caliphate. This was due to him being very keen on returning the Ummah to the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah in many of its political, religious, financial and social matters, wherein it had diverted from the correct path.

From the changes that he effected, two which are related to the topic are worth mentioning:

  1. Discarding the denigration of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu upon the pulpits.[215] He was a person who did not possess such love for the world that would drive him to do such a grave action.[216] He thus supplanted it with the mention of the four Khalifas and a supplication of pleasure in order to obliterate that evil practice.[217] He also added the recitation of the following verse in the sermon:


إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives, and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you may be reminded.[218]


He also included the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the sermon even after the remonstration of a group of the detractors of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[219] And due to there being people in various areas who cursed ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu upon the pulpits and elsewhere, [220] he wrote these instructions to all the areas of the Caliphate.[221] This was received well by the people and they praised him immensely for it.[222] In fact up to present day, these insertions continue to be read in the sermons.[223]

Al Tahir ibn ‘Ashur says:

في تلاوة هذه الآية عوضا عن ذلك السب دقيقة، إنها تقتضي النهي عن ذلك السب إذ هو من الفحشاء والمنكر والبغي

In supplanting that revilement with the recitation of this verse there was an intricate indication; the verse entailed the prohibition of that revilement due to it being immorality, bad conduct and oppression.[224]


Even some Shia poets have acknowledged this feat of ‘Umar and have extolled him for it in a poem:


وليت فلم تشتم عليا ولم تخف         بريئا، ولم تقبل إشارة مجرم

You assumed leadership and subsequent to that you did not revile ‘Ali, you did not intimidate an innocent person and you did not accept the council of a sinner.[225]


Al Sharif al Radi[226] likewise says the following, despite being very vocal about the impressions the Alawids had regarding the Umayyads:


يا بن عبد العزيز لو بكت العي          ن فتى من أمية لبكيتك

أنت نزهتنا عن السب والش          تم فلو أمكن الجزاء جزيتك

دير سمعان لا أغبك غيث             خير ميت من آل مروان ميتك

O the son of ‘Abdul ‘Aziz if the eye would tear for any youngster of the Umayyads it would tear for you.

You purified us from revilement and denigration. If it was possible for me to reward you I would reward you.

O Dayr Sam’an[227] may the rain never part from you, for the best deceased of the Umayyads is the deceased buried in you.[228]


  1. Honouring the Hashimids in general and the Alawids in specific, thereby attempting to preserve the bequest of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding his Ahlul Bayt:

أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي

I remind you of Allah regarding my household. I remind you of Allah regarding my household. I remind you of Allah regarding my household.[229]


He would also explicitly acknowledge the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he would say:


أزهد الناس في الدنيا علي بن أبي طالب

The most ascetic of people in this world was ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.[230]


He would also honour the ambassador of the Alawids and would increase the bonus he would give them.[231] He would prevent them from standing at his door and would say:


إني لأستحيي من الله تبارك وتعالى أن يقف على بابي رجل من أهل بيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فلا يؤذن له علي من ساعته

I feel shy from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala that a person of the Ahlul Bayt of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stand by my door and he is not immediately granted permission.[232]


What he also did was that he returned Fadak to what it was during the time of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam [and the first four Khalifas]; He would give charity from it and would spend upon the minors of the Hashimids and would utilise it to get their unmarried ladies married.[233] In addition, he reinstated some of the nobles of the Hashimids to positions of overseeing the charities of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after they were dismissed prior to that.[234]

Due to his sterling efforts, one among which was prohibiting the denigration of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and acting justly with the Alawids and being good to them, they praised him immensely. Hence Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Hussain[235] said:


لكل قوم نجيبة، وإن نجيبة بني أمية عمر بن عبد العزيز، وإنه يبعث يوم القيامة أمة وحده

Every nation has a highbred and the highbred of the Umayyads is ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz. He will be raised as a nation by himself on the Day of Judgment.[236]


And Fatimah bint al Hussain[237] would say:

لو كان بقي لنا عمر بن عبد العزيز ما احتجنا بعده إلى أحد

If ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz remained for us we would not need anyone after him.[238]


2. The Role of the Governors

The doings of the Umayyad governors was a reflection of the political tactics of the Khalifas in Damascus and their fears. They were, overall, unique in their harshness, iron grip and excessive transgression. Especially in specific periods and specific locations which witnessed a fair amount of upheaval and unrest.[239]

These people had made the tasks assigned to them their ultimate goal. Hence they deployed all such measures which they thought would secure stability for the Umayyads against their opponents, amongst who were the Alawids. One such measure was obliterating the mention of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his merits, and ultimately severing the rope which the Alawids and their Shia were holding onto very firmly in order to obtain legitimacy.

Their revilement had taken two forms:


Form 1: Reviling him and granting permission for his revilement

The governors of the Umayyads did not refrain from reviling ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and denigrating him openly. Although widespread, it is important to note that amongst them there was a group that did not revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and did not debase him, like Sa’id ibn al ‘As.[240]

Hence in Makkah, when the order to revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had arrived to its governors,[241] there is no doubt that they all complied. This had caused one person to become enraged; he ascended the pulpit, held on to the covering of the Ka’bah and then said:


لعن الله من يسب عليا      وبنيه من سوقة وإمام

أيسب المطهرون أصولا      والكرام الأخوال والأعمام

يأمن الظبي والحمام ولا يأ           من آل الرسول عند المقام

May Allah curse the one who reviles ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his sons, whether they be the ordinary salesmen of the market or the ruler.

Will the men who have a pure pedigree, and noble maternal and paternal uncles be reviled?

The deer and the dove enjoy safety, but the family of the Rasul do not enjoy amnesty by the Maqam (of Ibrahim).

They brought him down from the pulpit and they hit him with their sandals till they made him bleed.[242]


In Madinah also several of its governors would revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu: Marwan ibn al Hakam would revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu every Friday upon the pulpit,[243] and Hisham ibn Ismail[244] would likewise swear him upon the pulpit.[245]

As for Iraq, many of its governors would criticise him, some lesser than others, one of them being Mughirah ibn Shu’bah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[246]

Ibn al Jawzi says:

أقام المغيرة على الكوفة عاملا لمعاوية سبع سنين وأشهرا هو حسن السيرة إلا أنه لم يدع الدعاء لعثمان والوقيعة في علي.

Mughirah radiya Llahu ‘anhu remained the governor of Kufah for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu for a period of seven years and few months. He ruled sublimely. However, he did not stop from praying for ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and from criticising Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[247]


Mughirah would say:


اللهم ارحم عثمان بن عفان وتجاوز عنه واجزه بأحسن عمله، فإنه عمل بكتابك واتبع سنة نبيك وجمع كلمتنا وحقن دماءنا وقتل مظلوما، اللهم فارحم أنصاره وأولياءه ومحبيه والطالبين بدمه ويدعو على قتلته

O Allah have mercy upon ‘Uthman and overlook his shortcomings and reward him for his good deeds. He practiced upon your book, followed the Sunnah of your Nabi, united us, and protected our blood. He was killed wrongly. O Allah have mercy upon his helpers, his gaurdians, his lovers, and those who seek retaliation for his blood. Mughirah would also make an evil prayer for his killers.[248]


From those who governed Iraq, There was no one who displayed more insolence and cursed more than Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, as stated by Ibn Hazm:


كان الحجاج وخطباؤه يلعنون عليا

Hajjaj and his orators would curse ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[249]


Khalid al Qasri would also denigrate ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his sons every Friday.[250]

In Yemen Muhammad ibn Yusuf al Thaqafi,[251] the brother of Hajjaj, would revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu upon the pulpits.[252]

In addition to that, all the governors of Qazwin[253] would also curse him.[254]

From all the aforementioned, it is worth noting that Marwan ibn al Hakam and Hajjaj ibn Yusuf reviled him the most and exaggerated in doing so.

Considering their locations it is not difficult to understand why they were so aggressive, for they both ruled over places which were in general dissatisfied with the Umayyads.

The first was the governor of Madinah which was the locus of Nubuwwah. Its people were thus never going to be ignorant of the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, especially due to the presence of many of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum amongst them. This had, therefore, served as a propellant for Marwan to not only revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu but to exaggerate in doing so,[255] as stated by Ibn Kathir:


لما كان متوليا على المدينة لمعاوية كان يسب عليا كل جمعة على المنبر

When he was the governor of Madinah for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu he would revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu every Friday upon the pulpit.[256]


As for Hajjaj, he was the governor of Iraq which was the stronghold of the Shia of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Although both men reviled him and denigrated him, their revilements differed drastically. Marwan ibn al Hakam would only disrespect ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in public, thereby wanting to disenchant the people from him. But he would acknowledge his knowledge and merits.

Hence, despite the fact that disputes would occur between him and Hassan ibn ‘Ali,[257] which would prompt his brother Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu to refute him and revile him upon the pulpit,[258] and despite him acknowledging that he did not love the two of them, no source states that he would curse ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu like the others would do.

On the other hand, Marwan would clandestinely deal in an amiable way with the household of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu by fostering family ties with them and according them gifts. He had also befriended some of them to an extent that he sought amnesty for them.[259]

And when al Baqir was asked regarding Marwan and Sa’id ibn ‘As, despite the former of the two exaggerating in the revilement of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu after assuming the governorship of Madinah, he said:


كان مروان خيرا لنا في السر وسعيد خير لنا في العلانية

Marwan was better for us in secrecy and Sa’id was better for us in public.[260]


Actually, Marwan has himself explained the reason why he would revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his following words to ‘Ali ibn al Hussain:

ما كان في القوم أحد أدفع عن صاحبنا من صاحبكم يعني عليا عن عثمان

There was no one who defended our man more than your man, referring to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu defending ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.


‘Ali ibn al Hussain asked him, “Why do you then revile him upon the pulpit?” He replied:


لا يستقيم الأمر إلا بذلك

The matter will not remain stable but with that.[261]


This is diametrically opposed to what Hajjaj would do, for it is not known that he conceded the merits of the Ahlul Bayt or was considerate of their rights. Rather it is reported that he would exceed all bounds in debasing ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu and would not hesitate in cursing him.


Form 2: Ordering people to Revile him and Disassociate from him:

With the Umayyad governors the matter did not stop at merely reviling ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Rather it surpassed that to instructing others to openly revile him, and to trialling yet others by asking them to do so. They did this especially with those people whom they thought were displeased with the Umayyad rule or whom they assumed were the partisans of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Their insolence had reached such an extent that they even went to order some of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum to revile him. If they could be so bold as to do this with them then to order others besides them was of course even easier.

Sahl ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:


استعمل على المدينة رجل من آل مروان، قال: فدعا سهل بن سعد فأمره أن يشتم عليا، قال: فأبي سهل، فقال له: إما إذا أبيت فقل: لعن الله أبا تراب! فقال سهل: ما كان لعلي اسم أحب من أبي التراب وإن كان ليفرح إذا دعي بها. فقال له: أخبرنا عن قصته لم سمي أبا تراب قال: جاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم  بيت فاطمة فلم يجد عليا في البيت فقال: أين ابن عمك؟ فقالت: كان بيني وبينه شيء فغاضبني فخرج فلم يقل عندي. فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لإنسان: انظر أين هو. فجاء فقال: يا رسول الله هو في المسجد راقد، فجاءه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو مضطجع قد سقط رداؤه عن شقه فأصابه تراب فجعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يمسحه عنه ويقول: قم أبا التراب، قم أبا التراب.

A person from the family of Marwan was appointed as the governor of Madinah. He called Sahl ibn Sa’d and demanded from him that he denigrate ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sahl refused. He thus said, “If you refuse to do so, then say May Allah curse Abu Turab.” Sahl replied, “‘Ali did not have a name which was more beloved to him than Abu Turab, and he would become happy when he was called by it.” So the governor said, “Inform us of his story, why was he named Abu Turab?” He responded, “Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam once came to the house of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he did not see ‘Ali in the house. He thus asked, “Where is your cousin?” She said, “Something happened between us and so he got upset with me and did not sleep by me.” Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam thus told a person, “See where he is.” He returned and said, “He is sleeping in the Masjid, O Rasul Allah.” Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to him. He was lying asleep and his shawl had fallen from his side and consequently had become dusty. Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam started to dust the sand off him and said, “Stand, O Abu Turab, stand, O Abu Turab.”[262]


Likewise Hisham ibn Ismail wanted Yazid ibn Umayyah, Abu Sinan al Dili,[263] born during the Battle of Uhud, to revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. But he replied thusly:

لا أسبه ولكن إن شئت قمت فذكرت أيامه الصالحة ومواطنه

I will not revile him. But if you want I can stand up and mention his glorious days and places.[264]


And Ziyad said to one of them:

لتلعننه أو لأضربن عنقك

You better curse him or else I will slay you.[265]


Likewise, Hajjaj had ordered several men to curse ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, amongst them were the following:

  • ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Layla:[266] He was an Alawid. A’mash narrates:

رأيت عبد الرحمن محلوقا على المصطبة وهم يقولون له العن الكاذبين- وكان رجلا ضخما به ربو- فقال: اللهم العن الكاذبين آه، ثم يسكت: علي وعبد الله بن الزبير والمختار

I saw ‘Abdur Rahman with a shaven head upon a raised platform. They were demanding, “Curse the liars.” (He was a big person who experienced difficulty in breathing) He would say, “O Allah curse the liars,” gasping for breath. He would then remain silent and say, “‘Ali, ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair and al Mukhtar.”[267]


Al A’mash further says:

وأهل الشام حوله كأنهم حمير لا يدرون ما يقول، وهو يخرجهم من اللعن

The people of Sham around him were as though they were donkeys. They did not know what he was saying, whereas he was removing them from cursing.[268]


Al Dhahabi has also stated that Hajjaj once hit him so that he may revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[269]


  • ‘Attiyah al ‘Aufi:[270]

Ibn Sa’d[271] states, “‘Attiyah joined the revolt of Ibn al Ash’ath. Hence Hajjaj wrote to Muhammad ibn al Qasim[272] ordering to offer him to revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. And if he refuses, then to hit him four hundred lashes and shave his beard. He thus summoned him but he refused. So he carried out the instructions of Hajjaj on him.”[273]


  • Misda’al Ma’arqab:[274]

Ibn Hajar states, “The reason why he is known as al Mu’arqab is because Hajjaj or Bishr ibn Marwan[275] told him to revile ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and when he refused to do so they cut his Achilles.[276] This was because he loved ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[277]


Muhammad ibn Yusuf al Thaqafi had likewise summoned Hujr al Madari[278] and told him, “My brother Hajjaj has written to me that I make you stand before the people and that your curse ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.” He replied by saying, “Gather the people for me.”

When he gathered them Hujr stood amongst them and said:


إلا إن الأمير محمد بن يوسف أمرني بلعن علي فالعنوه لعنه الله

Behold the governor Muhammad ibn Yusuf has ordered me to curse ‘Ali, so curse him, may Allah curse him.[279]


In conclusion, the Umayyads were so harsh and aggressive that many a people stayed away from crossing the limits. One of the successors, ‘Abdullah ibn Shaddad,[280] thus merely hoped that he could ascend the pulpit one day and bring to the fore the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which the Umayyads were trying to conceal. He said:


وددت أني قمت على المنبر من غدوة إلى الظهر فأذكر فضائل علي ثم أنزل فتضرب عنقي

I desire that I stand upon the pulpit tomorrow at the time of Zuhr and mention the merits of ‘Ali, subsequently I descend and I am killed.[281]


The Second Perspective: The Umayyads and the excommunicating Nawasib

The Khawarij were immensely infuriated by the arbitration which took place between the people of Iraq, under the leadership of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and the people of Sham, under the leadership of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and hence they excommunicated both of them.[282]

If they did not hesitate in excommunicating ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu whom they had supported and whose merit and knowledge they had acknowledged, then why would they hesitate in excommunicating Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu whom they considered a rebel? It was therefore expected of them to oppose him and endeavour to kill him.[283]

Furthermore, their enmity was not restricted to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, rather it surpassed him and included all the Khalifas who ruled after him. This was because they believed that they were disbelievers and that their rule was illegitimate, with the exception of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz.

The clash between the two groups had started at a very early stage when Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had dispatched a battalion from Sham to combat the Khawarij, but it was defeated near Kufah. Subsequent to that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu ordered the people of Kufah to attack them and they had succeeded in defeating them and banishing them.[284]

Revolts followed one after the other in various areas.[285] It would barely stop in one area but that it would gain momentum in another. The only time they would rest was to recover from their exhaustion and to prepare for new revolts.

The Umayyad clash with the Khawarij had taken a political turn, i.e. the only objective thereof being safeguarding the dynasty from anyone plotting against it. And as was their wont, it was characterised by sternness and harshness. They had thus given their governors carte blanche authority in dealing with the Khawarij and in deploying all measures which they felt were appropriate in eliminating them. Consequently, some of the Khawarij were compelled to flee and hide.[286] And with the combat intensifying over time, the governors were further incited with promises of handsome compensations. For example, they had told al Muhallab:[287]


إن كل بلد أجلي عنه الخوارج كان له التصرف في خراجها

Every city wherefrom the Khawarij will be banished he will have the right to administer its taxes.[288]


Furthermore, they were ever ready to respond to any sudden mobilising of the Khawarij. Consider:


كانت ببغداد لهشام بن عبد الملك وغير من الخلفاء خمسمائة فارس رابطة، يغيرون على الخوارج إذا خرجوا في ناحيتهم

In Baghdad, Hisham ibn ‘Abdul Malik and the other Khalifas had a battalion of five hundred horsemen on standby. They were meant to attack the Khawarij if they emerged in their region.[289]


Unsurprisingly, they did not deem it vital to debate with them and ask them to repent. All they were interested in was obedience to the dynasty. So they would be killed and their heads would be sent to different places and put on display in order to instil fear in the people. This practice became so popular amongst the people that if the heads of others were hung, they would express amazement, because only the heads of the Khawarij were put up.[290]

Crucifying was not specific to the men of the Khawarij. At times the clothes of their women would be removed and they would likewise be crucified, thereby preventing the people from even thinking of revolting and joining in the battles. The women of the Khawarij would emerge from their homes and participate in revolts.[291]

These brutal measures had surely put an end to the movements of the Khawarij and had imposed upon them the awe of the dynasty.[292] However, their evil was not completely extirpated due to the dynasty not bothered about doing so from the very beginning.

‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz was the only exception. His manner of dealing with them was very different than that of his predecessors. He was eager to establish the evidence against them and remove their doubts before engaging in warfare with them. Hence when some Khawarij revolted in Iraq he sent a message to his governor ordering him to call them to the truth and be lenient with them. He ordered him not to fight them till they wreaked havoc on the earth.[293] He also sent debaters to others amongst them and had also gone on to the extent of debating with them himself.[294]


NEXT⇒  The Second Discussion: The Stance of the Abbasid Rulers

[1] It is more appropriate to rather class them and Muluk (kings) than as Khalifas, as per the hadith of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Dubbing them Khalifas is merely a trope. Safinah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:


خلافة النبوة ثلاثون سنة ثم يؤتي الله الملك أو ملكه من يشاء. قال سعيد: قال لي سفينة: أمسك عليك: أبا بكر سنتين، وعمر عشرا، وعثمان اثنتي عشرة، وعلي كذا. قال سعيد: قلت لسفينة: إن هؤلاء يزعمون أن عليا لم يكن نبيا. قال: كذبت أستاه بني الزرقاء! يعني بني مروان. زاد الترمذي: بل هم ملوك من شر الملوك.

The Caliphate (succession) of Nubuwwah will be thirty years. Thereafter Allah will grant kingdom, or his kingdom, to whomsoever he wishes.”

Sa’id, the narrator from Safinah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, mentions, “Bear this from me: Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu ruled for two years, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu for ten years, ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu for twelve years, and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhufor so many years.”  Sa’id says that he said to Safinah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “These people claim that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not a Khalifah.” He replied, “The butt-cheeks of the Banu al Zurqa’ have lied!” intending the Banu Marwan. Al Tirmidhi has added, “In fact they are kings from the worst of kings.”


This hadith appears in Sunan Abi Dawood 4/211; Sunan al Tirmidhi 4/503 (he has deemed it Hassan; al Albani has deemed it Sahih and has documented it in Sahih al Jami’ wa Ziyadatuh: narration no. 5568.)

When this hadith was narrated before Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu he said, “We are content with kingdom.” See: al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 6/198.

Likewise he would also say, “I am the first king.” See: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/157.

Whilst commenting upon the aforementioned hadith of Safinah radiya Llahu ‘anhu Ibn Kathir mentions:


وهذا الحديث فيه المنع من تسمية معاوية خليفة، وبيان أن الخلافة قد انقطعت بعد الثلاثين سنة لا مطلقا بل انقطع تتابعها

This hadith contain the prohibition of dubbing Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu a Khalifah, just as it contains mention of the fact that Caliphate ended after thirty years, not completely but its perpetuity ended.


See: al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 6/250.

That is why Ibn Taymiyyah mentions the following in his Fatawa:


اتفق العلماء على أن معاوية أفضل ملوك هذه الأمة، فأن الأربعة قبله كانوا خلفاء نبوة، وهو أول الملوك كان ملكه ملكا ورحمة

The scholars agree that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the best king of this Ummah. The four that preceded him were successors of Nubuwwah, but he was the first king. His kingdom was kingdom coupled with mercy.


See: Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 4/478; also see: 10/356, 35/19.

And al Dhahabi said, “Amir al Mu’minin and the first king of Islam.” See: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/120.

Likewise Ibn Kathir has said the following in his Tafsir, “The first king of Islam was Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan.” See: Tafsir Ibn Kathir 2/15.

Ibn Abi al ‘Iz al Hanafi similarly said, “The first king of the Muslims was Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he was the best king of the Muslims.” See: Sharh al Tahawiyyah p. 545.

Furthermore, Ibn al ‘Arabi al Maliki and Ibn Khaldun both have rejected the hadith of Safinah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, but have erred in doing so. See: al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim p. 208; Tarikh Ibn Khaldun 2/650.

For more details see: Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 35/24; the annotations of Ibn al Qayyim upon Sunan Abi Dawood 11/244; Fath al Bari 12/392; al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah 1/66; Tuhfah al Ahwadhi 6/396.

[2] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 5/113.

[3] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 4/164.

[4] Ibid. 4/144; also see: 7/410.

[5] Ibid. 5/9.

[6] Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 4/488; Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 5/9.

[7] Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah 2/353.

[8] Fath al Bari 7/71.

[9] Sunan al Nasa’i 5/253; Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah 4/260; al Mustadrak ‘ala al Sahihayn 1/636; Sunan al Bayhaqi al Kubra 5/113.

[10] Al Tafsir al Kabir of al Razi: 1/169.

[11] Al Fisal fi al Milal wa al Ahwa’ al Nihal 1/66.

[12] Yusuf ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Barr al Namiri, Abu ‘Umar al Qurtubi. One of the great scholars of Andalusia and its prominent leaders. He was born in 368 A.H. al Dhahabi has said regarding him, “Amongst the people of the West there is not a greater retainer of hadith than him. This is together with him being reliable, diligent in his Din, pure, and having through knowledge in jurisprudence, language and history.” He passed away in 463 A.H. Some of his books are: al Tamhid, al Istidhkar and al Isti’ab. See: Tadhkirah al Huffaz 3/1128; al ‘Ibar fi Khabar man Ghabar 3/257; al Wafi bi al Wafayat 29/99; Shadharat al Dhahab 3/314.

[13] Al Isti’ab 3/257; al Wafi bi al Wafayat 21/181.

[14] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 13/206 (Ibn Kathir has not attributed to anyone specific.)

[15] Tarikh al Tabari 4/433; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 5/155; Tarikh Ibn Khaldun 4/10; Simt al Nujum al ‘Awali 4/175.

[16] Consider the following incident. It is narrated regarding Abu Jafar al Mansur that he ordered al Mustahil ibn al Kumayt to ascend the pulpits of Sham and expound on the merits of the Banu Hashim and the privileges Allah had granted them, and the demerits of the Banu Umayyah and the vice they were on. Hence, he did so, he ascended the pulpits of various places in Sham, starting with Halab; he ascended its pulpit and mentioned the merits of the Banu Hashim and the demerits of each individual of the Banu Umayyah until he reached ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz where he said, “His example was that of the prostitute of the Banu Isra’il who would fornicate in lieu of a seed of a pomegranate and give it in charity to the sick.” See: Bughyah al Talab fi Tarikh Halab 4/1601.

Likewise in some books of exegesis it is narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma that he said that the accursed tree refers to the Banu Umayyah. Whilst commenting upon the narrations of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma in his al Tahrir wa al Tanwir 13/148, Ibn ‘Ᾱshur says, “My assumption is that the Abbasids propagandists forged it in order to increase the resentment against the Banu Umayyah.”

[17] Gharib al Hadith of Ibn Sallam 3/39; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/321; Tarikh Ibn Khaldun 3/95. For more details see: al Dawlah al Umawiyyah al Muftara ‘Alayha p. 353, 403; Wad’ al Mawali fi al Dawlah al Umawiyyah p. 83.

[18] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 6/238.

[19] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 5/94; Tarikh al Islam 6/192; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/116.

[20] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 2/477.

[21] Al Shahrastani: al Milal wa al Nihal 1/93.

[22] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 12/4.

[23] Sosiolojia al Fikr al Islami: Tawr al Takwin p. 244.

[24] ‘Abdullah ibn Yazid al Qurashi al ‘Adawi, their client, Abu ‘Abdur Rahman al Makki. A reliable scholar who was from the eminent teachers of al Bukhari. He was originally from Basrah or Ahwaz. He became famous as ‘al Muqri’’ because he taught the Qur’an for seventy and some odd years consecutively. He passed away in Makkah in 212 A.H. almost reaching a hundred years. His narrations appear in the six books. See: al Tabaqat al Kubra 5/501; Tahdhib al Kamal 16/320; Tarikh al Islam 15/241; Tadhkirah al Huffaz 1/367.

[25] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 41/480; Tahdhib al Kamal 20/429; Tarikh al Islam 7/427; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 7/413; al Wafi bi al Wafayat 21/72; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 7/280 (also see the comment of al Dhahabi).

[26] Al Tarikh al Kabir 6/269; al Tuhfah al Latifah fi Tarikh al Madinah al Sharifah 2/288.

[27] Umayyah ibn ‘Abd Shams ibn ‘Abd Manaf ibn Qusay al Qurashi. The grandfather of the Umayyads of Syria and Andalusia. He lived in the pre-Islamic era and was an inhabitant of Makkah. He was the commander of the Quraysh after his father. He lived on to witness the birth of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He and his cousin ‘Abdul Muttalib were amongst those who visited Saif ibn Dhi Yazan in his palace in Ghamdan in order to congratulate him upon his victory against the Abyssinians. His death of demise is not known. See: al Zarkali: al A’lam 2/23 (with a little bit of change).

[28] Al Tara’if p. 501; Nahj al Haqq wa Kashf al Sidq p. 307; al Tusturi: Ihqaq al Haqq p. 249, 263; Ilzam al Nawasib p. 169; Kashf al Ghita’ 1/19; Khafaya Umawiyyah p. 80.

[29] Mashariq Anwar al Yaqin p. 135; al Ta’arif 1/655.

[30] Basa’ir al Darajat p. 373; al Kafi 8/232; Mustadrak al Wasa’il 16/167; Bihar al Anwar 62/225.

[31] Ibn Ma’sum: al Darajat al Rafi’ah p. 7.

[32] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/132.

[33] Al ‘Iqd al Farid 5/84; al Bad’ wa al Tarikh 6/56; Wafayat al A’yan 3/274; Mir’at al Jinan 1/245; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 7/312.

[34] In another narration Rashid ibn Kurayb narrates that Abu Hashim ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah departed for Sham and met Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas and said to him, “O cousin, I have some special knowledge which I am going to reveal to you so do not let anyone come to know of it; This matter which they covet is going to be in your family.” He thus replied, “I know, so let not anyone hear it from you.” Tarikh al Tabari 4/344; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 5/63; Tarikh al Islam 8/336.

[35] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 4/519.

[36] The aforementioned is scattered in the following sources: Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq 2/518; Tarikh al Tabari 4/9; Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Tamhid 10/243, 12/8, 16/8, 16/303, 24/239; al Mudawwanah al Kubra 1/87; Sharh Ma’ani al Ᾱthar 1/220; al Tahqiq fi Ahadith al Khilaf 1/304; al Muhalla 1/55, 2/241, 3/140, 5/78; al Sarakhsi: al Mabsut 2/37; Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 8/237, 239; al Jawab al Sahih 6/115; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/306; Fath al Bari 2/201, 270, 8/223, 13/253; Sharh Fath al Qadir 1/243; al Fawakih al Dawani 1/271; Mawahib al Khalil 2/119; Hashiyah al ‘Adawi 1/492; Subul al Salam 1/125; Hashiyah Ibn ‘Abidin 3/390; Hashiyah al Tahtawi ‘ala Maraqi al Falah 1/129; Sharh al Zarqani 1/223, 2/478.

[37] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 4/130.

[38] Ibid. 6/419.

[39] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/87.

[40] Ibid. 8/151.

[41] Al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/362; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/111; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/229.

[42] Al Muntazam 6/337; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/133.

[43] Fath al al Bari 8/328.

[44] See the story of ‘Abdur Rahman ibn al Dahhak with Fatimah bint al Hussain in: al Muntazam 7/87; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/362; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/229; Tarikh Ibn Khaldun 3/105

[45] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/111.

[46] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/220.

[47] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 57/247; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/258.

[48] Al Bad’ wa al Tarikh 6/11.

[49] Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 27/480; Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 4/557.

[50] Tarikh al Tabari 3/239; al Muntazam 5/343; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/194.

[51] Tarikh al Tabari 3/328; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 34/316; Tarikh al Islam 5/18; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/191.

[52] Muhaffiz (Mihfaz) ibn Tha’labah ibn Murrah al ‘Ᾱ’idhi al Qurashi. The person who brought the head of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu to Yazid. His son ‘Ubaidullah ibn Muhaffiz narrated from him. See: Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 57/96; al Ikmal 7/164; Tawdih al Mushtabih 8/57.

[53] Tarikh al Tabari 3/338; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 57/98; Tarikh al Islam 5/19; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/315.

[54] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 12/480.

[55] Al Walid ibn ‘Ubaid ibn Yahya al Buhturi, Abu ‘Ubadah al Ta’i. A very prominent poet who was a master in different formats of poetry. He was born in the Manbij near Halab, he grew up there and studied literature there as well. Thereafter he travelled to Iraq and praised the Khalifah al Mutawakkil and other prominent people. He stayed in Baghdad for a long time and thereafter returned to his hometown and passed away there in 283 A.H. He is the author of Diwan al Hamasah and Kitab Ma’ani al Shi’r. See: Tarikh Baghdad 13/476; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 63/188; Mujam al Udaba’ 5/570; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 13/486.

[56] Diwan al Buhturi 2/83.

[57] Lisan al Mizan 6/294.

[58] Tahdhib al Tahdhib 11/316.

[59] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 6/234.

[60] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 8/141.

[61] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/215.

[62] Al Muntazam 6/275; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/67.

[63] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 4/559.

[64] As for the Shia, some of their contemporaries have suggested that the reason why the Umayyads were not happy with the marriage of Hajjaj is that they feared that it would remove the acrimony he bore for the Banu Hashim, specifically the Banu Talib. See: Dirasat fi Minhaj al Sunnah li Ma’rifah Ibn Taymiyah p. 431; Fi Khabar Tazwij Umm Kulthum min ‘Umar p. 60; Muhadarat fi al I’tiqad p. 697.

[65] Al Tabarani: al Mujam al Kabir: hadith no. 2656. Al Haythami has deemed its narrators as authentic in Majma’ al Zawa’id 9/181.

[66] Al Mujam al Kabir 3/85; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/276, 447.

[67] Mus’ab al Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam ibn Khuwaylid al Qurashi, Abu ‘Abdullah al Madani. The ruler of Iraq and one of the warriors of the Quraysh and its geniuses. He was the most handsome of men and the most generous of them. He assumed governorship over Iraq for his brother, ‘Abdullah, and was the man who put an end to Mukhtar ibn ‘Ubaid and his comrades. Then in 71 A.H. he clashed with ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan and was killed. See: Tarikh Baghdad 13/105; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 58/210; al Muntazam 6/114; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/317.

[68] Tarikh Baghdad 13/107; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 58/235; al Muntazam 6/114; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/321.

[69] Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 4/506.

[70] The hadith of ‘Amr ibn ‘Awf al Ansari which appears in Sahih al Bukhari: Chapter of battles: sub-chapter regarding the presence of the angels in Badr: hadith no. 3791; Sahih Muslim: Chapter regarding disinclination from the world and heart softening narrations: hadith no. 2961.

[71] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 6/190; Fath al Bari 6/614.

[72] Hilyah al Auliya’ 1/292; al Muntazam 6/134; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 3/191; Usd al Ghabah 3/350; al Nawawi: Tahdhib al Asma’ 1/263.

[73] Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah: chapter of Fitan: sub-chapter regarding the one who dislikes being part of the Fitnah and seeks refuge from it: hadith no. 37323.

[74] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 4/171; Hilyah al Auliya’ 1/310; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/237.

[75] Ayman ibn Khuraym ibn al Akhram ibn Shaddad al Asadi, Abu ‘Attiyah al Shami. A prolific poet. There is difference of opinion regarding his Suhbah (being a Sahabi). Al ‘Ijli says, “He was a reliable successor.” I did not come across his date of demise. His hadith appears in Sunan al Tirmidhi. See: Ma’rifah al Thiqat 1/240; al Isti’ab 1/129; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 10/41; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 1/343.

[76] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 6/38; In Qutaybah: al Ma’arif p. 340; al Thiqat 4/47; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 10/43.

[77] Referring to a famous event which was known as the Fitnah of the Zanj (black people). There emerged in 255 A.H a person who claimed that he was ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Isa ibn al Shahid Zaid ibn ‘Ali. He campaigned and thus the first people to be drawn toward him were the black slaves of the people of Basrah, which is why it was dubbed ‘the Fitnah of the Zanj’. Likewise many mischievous people had joined him. In due time he gained a lot of strength. He thus defeated the armies of the Khalifah, looted Basrah and other places and done many heinous actions. His accursed days extended till 270 A.H. wherein he died. See: al ‘Ibar fi Khabar man Ghabar 2/14.

[78] He would go by the name: ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al ‘Abqasi. See: al ‘Ibar fi Khabar man Ghabar 2/47.

[79] Al ‘Ibar fi Khabar man Ghabar 2/48; Simt al Nujum al ‘Awali 3/477.

[80] Simt al Nujum al ‘Awali 3/477.

[81] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah: chapter of inheritance: sub-chapter regarding a mother, a full sister and a grandfather: hadith no. 31244.

Ostensibly it seems that because of Hajjaj accused ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu of being complicit in the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as was popular amongst the Umayyads and their governors, al Sha’bi disliked clearly mentioning that and thus he said ‘this and that’ instead.

[82] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 4/560.

[83] Fath al Bari 8/327; al Tabaqat al Kubra 5/106; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 54/338; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/356.

[84] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/38.

[85] ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Qurashi, Abu al ‘Abbas al Hashimi, commonly known as al Saffah (the blood shedder). The first ruler of the Abbasids upon whose hands the Umayyad dynasty fell. He was acknowledge as the Khalifah and given allegiance in Kufah in 132 A.H. He ruled over Iraq, Khorasan, Hijaz, Sham and Egypt. He passed away in 136 A.H. after having lived for twenty eight years. See: Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 32/276; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 6/77; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 6/247; Ma’athir al Inaqah 1/170.

[86] Al Kamil fi al Tarikh 5/78.

[87] Al Muntazam 7/321; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 5/89.

[88] Tarikh Ibn Khaldun 4/154.

[89] Al Bad’ wa al Tarikh 6/74.

[90] The Zubairids were the supporters of ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair during his leadership. They comprised of the notables of Kufah and Basrah and whoever else followed them. See: Yusuf al ‘Ish: al Dawlah al Umawiyyah p. 193.

[91] Al Muhalla 5/64.

[92] Tarikh al Tabari 4/20; Tahdhib al Kamal 8/225; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/87; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 3/116.

[93] ‘Amr ibn al Zubair was his name. See: Tarikh al Tabari 3/274; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/149; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 46/11.

[94] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/63.

[95] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/108.

[96]Al Khudri: al Dawlah al Umawiyyah 1/150.

[97] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 9/108.

[98] Ibid. 4/574.

[99] Like the killing of Sa’id ibn Jubayr, Muhammad ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, and Mahan al Hanafi al Kufi, and the detaining of Mujahid ibn Jabr. See: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/349; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/101; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 4/16.

[100] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 5/156.

[101] Hisham ibn Hassan al Qurdusi al Azdi, their client, Abu ‘Abdullah al Basri. A prominent scholar, an ascetic and a reliable transmitter. The most meticulous of narrators from Ibn Sirin. But there is some criticism regarding his narrations from Hassan and ‘Ata’ due to him omitting them. He passed away in 148 A.H. His narrations appear in the six books. See: Tahdhib al Kamal 30/181; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 6/355; Tadhkirah al Huffaz 1/163; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 11/32.

[102] Sunan al Tirmidhi 4/433.

[103] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/136.

[104] Al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/330.

[105] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 7/143; al Muntazam 7/46; Wafayat al A’yan 2/42.

[106] Al Muntazam 6/336.

[107] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 5/44.

[108] Sunan Abi Dawood: chapter of Sunnah: sub-chapter regarding the Khalifas: hadith no. 4643. Al Albani has deemed the narration authentic. See what propelled him to make this statement in al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/128.

[109] Mustadrak al Hakim: chapter regarding knowing the Sahabah: mention of ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam: narration no. 6352.

[110] Tarikh al Islam 6/320.

[111] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/128.

[112] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/219.

[113] Ibn Sallam: Gharib al Hadith 4/411; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 61/409; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/542.

[114] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah: chapter of leaders: sub-chapter regarding the leaders and visiting them: hadith no. 30648; Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah: Chapter of erring in Salah: sub-chapter regarding perfecting the Ruku’ of this Rak’ah and its Sujud in order to complete his Salah or his optional Salah: hadith no. 1027.

[115] ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn al Ash’ath ibn Qais al Kindi. The governor of Sijistan. He had campaigned for himself and thus many scholars of Basrah had supported him due to their frustration regarding the oppression of Hajjaj and his harshness. He had put Hajjaj in tight position due to his victories against him, so much so that he was compelled to send his family to Sham out of fear for them. Thereafter Hajjaj got hold of him in 84 A.H. and thus killed him and sent his head around. See: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/183; Tarikh al Islam 6/129; al Wafi bi al Wafayat 18/134; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/53.

[116] Bughyah al Talab fi Tarikh Halab 5/2052; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 12/185; al Muntazam 6/337; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/132.

[117] Bughyah al Talab fi Tarikh Halab 5/2043; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 12/185; Tarikh al Islam 6/323; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/132.

[118] ‘Ᾱsim ibn Abi al Najud (his name was Bahdalah, al Asadi, their client, Abu Bakr al Kufi. One of the seven prominent masters of Qira’ah (the art of the recital of the Qur’an). He was considered to be from the minor successors. After his teacher Abu ‘Abdur Rahman al Sulami he became the most prominent. He had the best of voices. He was likewise a reliable narrator of hadith; however, now and then he would err. He passed away in 129 A.H. His narrations appear in all six books. See: al Tabaqat al Kubra 6/320; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 25/220; Tahdhib al Kamal 13/473; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 5/256.

[119] Dala’il al Nubuwwah 6/489; Tarikh al Islam 6/324; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/132.

[120] Ta’wil Mukhtalif al Hadith p. 347; Bughyah al Talab fi Tarikh Halab 5/2061; Kashf al Mushkil 2/143.

[121] I don’t know who said the poem. It appears in Tarikh al Tabari 3/352; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/455.

[122] It was named thus because he did not praise Allah in it. See: Tarikh al Tabari 3/197.

[123] Al Bayan wa al Tabyin 243; Tarikh al Tabari 3/197; al ‘Iqd al Farid 4/102; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/305.

[124] Tarikh al Tabari 3/198; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/307; Tarikh ibn Khaldun 3/10.

[125] This is a thorny tree from which it is difficult to pick leaves due to it being very thorny. Hence its branches are gathered and they are tied together firmly, and thereafter they are struck with a stick subsequent to which leaves fall for the animals or for those keen on collecting them. See: al Nihayah fi Gharib al Athar 3/244; Lisan al ‘Arab 1/603.

[126] Al Bad’ wa al Tarikh 6/29; Tarikh al Tabari 3/547; al Muntazam 6/152; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 12/127. Ibn al Athir says whilst commenting upon his phrase ‘stray camels’, “He is threatening his subjects. What the statement means is that when the camels come to water to drink and a stray camels comes to join them it is hit and chased away. Lisan al ‘Arab 1/647.

[127] Tarikh al Tabari 3/548; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/139; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/9.

[128] Tarikh al Tabari 3/549; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/140; Tarikh al Islam 6/318; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/9.

[129] Muhammad ibn al Hajjaj ibn Yusuf al Thaqafi, Abu Ka’b. One of the man of the Banu Umayyah. He heard from Anas Ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu. His father would entrust him with many a duties, like combatting Ibn al Ash’ath, and would deputise him. He passed away in 91 A.H. His father was struck with severe grief after his demise and passed away a week later. See: al Muntazam 6/302; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 52/259; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/47.

[130] Al Bayan wa al Tabyin p. 201; Bughyah al Talab fi Tarikh Halab 5/2058; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 12/170; al Muntazam 6/343.

[131] Tarikh al Tabari 4/8; al Muntazam 6/299; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/262.

[132] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 2/85.

[133] Al Bad’ wa al Tarikh 5/229; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 11/235.

[134] Al Dawlah al Umawiyyah p. 222.

[135] Al Isabah fi Tamyiz al Sahabah 6/351.

[136] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 2/92.

[137] Tabaqat Fuhul al Shu’ara’ of Ibn Sallam al Jumahi 2/418; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 52/261.

[138] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 5/135.

[139] See: Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Tamhid 10/261; Ibn Qudamah: al Mughni 2/121; Sharh al Nawawi ‘ala Sahih Muslim 2/21; Fath al Bari 2/450; ‘Umdah al Qari 6/280.

[140] Al Muhalla 5/86. Note: thereafter for a very long time people became accustomed to sermon before the Salah due to the Umayyads doing so. Hence Muaz ibn Muaz narrates, “When the Banu ‘Abbas took control they performed the Salah before the sermon. The people started walking away saying ‘the Sunnah has been changed’ ‘the Sunnah has been changed on the day of ‘Id’. See: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 9/56.

[141] Al Sarakhsi: al Mabsut 2/37; Bada’i’ al Sana’i’ 1/276; Hashiyah al Dasuqi 1/382.

[142] See: Sharh al Nawawi ‘ala Sahih Muslim 2/22; Fath al Bari 2/450; ‘Umdah al Qari 6/280.

[143] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 5/215, al Tarikh al Awsat 1/214; Tahdhib al Kamal 20/386; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/389.

[144] Al Muntazam 6/275; Tarikh al Islam 6/144; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/67.

[145] ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan. See: al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/461; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/220.

[146] ‘Amr ibn Sa’id ibn al ‘Ᾱs, well known as al Ashdaq.

[147] Al ‘Ibar fi Khabar man Ghabar 1/78; Tarikh al Tabari 3/423; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/85; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/307.

[148] Al Khudri: al Dawlah al Umawiyyah 1/151.

[149] Fitnah al Sultah p. 98.

[150] ‘Abbas ibn Mahmud ibn Ibrahim al ‘Aqqad. One of the prominent scholars of Arabic literature from Egypt. He was born in 1307 A.H. He was originally from Dimyat. He had mastered English and had a good grasp over German and French. He worked in several positions and thereafter freed himself for writing till the end of his life. His name shone bright for almost half a century. He had written excessively and had left behind eighty three books. Some of his works are the following, “‘An Allah, al ‘Abqariyyat and his compilation of poetry. He passed away in 1383 A.H. see: al ‘Alam 3/266.

[151] According to their assumption.

[152] Fatimah al Zahra’ wa al Fatimiyyun p. 47.

[153] See the amount of people who revolted against the Umayyads in Maqalat al Islamiyyin p. 75.

[154] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/151.

[155] Ibid. 8/151.

[156] Yusuf ibn ‘Umar ibn Muhammad ibn al Hakam al Thaqafi. The governor of Iraq and Khorasan. He was the cousin of Hajjaj. He had governed Yemen for Hisham ibn ‘Abdul Malik and thereafter Iraq after Khalid al Qasri. He was generous, awe inspiring, adept at administration and was a little harsh. He was tested in the era of Yazid al Naqis due to which he fled and hid away for a while. He was later discovered and was imprisoned in Damascus. Eventually he was killed at the hands of Yazid ibn Khalid al Qasri in 127 A.H. See: al Ma’arif of Ibn Qutaybah p. 398; Wafayat al A’yan 7/101; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 5/442; al Wafi bi al Wafayat 29/117.

[157] Tarikh Baghdad 4/248; al Muntazam 7/247; Wafayat al A’yan 7/106; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/476.

[158] Tarikh al Tabari 3/182; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/291.

[159] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 2/92.

[160] Muhammad ibn ‘Afifi al Bajuri, who was well known as al Sheikh al Khudri. He was a jurist, a scholar of the principles of the Shari’ah, a historian, a master of literature, and an orator. He was born in 1289 A.H. He graduated at the Dar al ‘Ulum institute. He served in many positions and eventually settled as an inspector in the ministry of Education. He passed away in Cairo in 1345 A.H. Some of his books are: Usul al Fiqh, Tarikh al Tashri’ al Islami, Muhadarat fi Tarikh al Umam. See: al A’lam 6/269; Mujam al Mu’allifin 10/295.

[161] Al Dawlah al Umawiyyah 1/150.

[162] Sahih Muslim: chapter of merits: sub-chapter regarding the merits of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib: hadith no. 2404.

[163] Sharh al Nawawi ‘ala Sahih Muslim 15/175. In 15/176 he has offered another interpretation which reads as follows, “What prevents you from deeming him wrong in his opinion and reasoning and expressing to the people the accuracy of our opinion and reasoning.”

[164] Muhammad al Tahir ibn ‘Ashur. The head Mufti of the Maliki school in Tunisia and the supreme scholar of the Zaytunah University and its branches. He was born in 1296 A.H. He was part of the two Arabic academies in Damascus and Cairo. He passed away in 1393 A.H. Some of his books are: al Tahrir wa al Tanwir, Maqasid al Shari’ah al Islamiyyah, Usul al Nizam al Ijtima’i fi al Islam. See: al A’lam 6/174; al Jawab al Mufid li al Sa’il al Mustafid p. 65; Sheikh al Islam al Imam al Akbar of Muhammad al Habib ibn Khujah.

[165] Al Tahrir wa al Tanwir 13/259.

[166] Tahdhib al Kamal 6/246; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/264; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/14.

Ibn Taymiyah says: As opposed to reviling ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu for it was rampant amongst the followers of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. See: Majmu’ Fatawa 4/436. He also says, “Reviling ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and cursing him was part of the revolt because of which the opposition came to draw the title ‘the rebellious group’.

[167] Sunan Abi Dawood 4/211. The hadith is deemed authentic by Albani in his Sahih Sunan Abi Dawood: hadith no. 4648.

[168] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 4/244.

[169] Ibid. 4/385.

[170] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 4/468; Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 4/485; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/284.

[171] Sahih Muslim 3/1480; Sunan al Nasa’i 7/93; Sahih Ibn Hibban 10/438; al Mustadrak ‘ala al Sahihayn 2/169.

[172]Ibn Qutaybah: Gharib al Hadith 2/413; al ‘Iqd al Farid 1/37; Tarikh al Yaqubi 2/238; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 59/173.

[173] Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah 1/94; Hilyah al Auliya’ 1/329; Ibn Hazm: al Ihkam 4/607; Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 3/415; Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 2/96; al Nubuwwat p. 142; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/342.

[174] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/159.

[175] Tarikh al Yaqubi 2/

[176] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/150; Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 6/250.

[177] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/154.

[178] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/150.

[179] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 13/241; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/260.

[180] Sahih al Bukhari 3/1358; Fath al Bari 10/588.

[181] Nuzhah al Albab fi al Alqab 2/253.

[182] Sahih Ibn Hibban: chapter regarding he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informing regarding the merits of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, their men and their women, by name: sub-chapter regarding Mustafa salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam naming ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu Abu Turab: hadith no. 6925.

[183] See: Sahih Muslim 4/1870, 1874; al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh 2/344; I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah 8/1381; Tarikh al Tabari 2/15, 3/225; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 24/258, 42/18; Mujam al Udaba’ 3/358; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/330; Akhbar wa Hikayat p. 52; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/267; al Wafi bi al Wafayat 15/67; Fawat al Wafayat 1/430; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/234; Nuzhah al Albab fi al Alqab 2/253.

[184] Akhbar al Wafidin min al Rijal p. 30; Tarikh al Tabari 3/233; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 24/91; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/330.

[185] Tarikh al Tabari 3/225; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 24/258; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/330.

[186] Sahih Muslim 4/1874. Abu Hayyan al Andalusi has stated the these titles were not considered to be bad or disrespectful amongst the Arabs. He mentions in al Bahr al Muhit:

When the Arabs intend to be light hearted with the addressee, they coin a name for him from the condition he is in. For example: Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam titled ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, when he was sleeping on the sand and his forehead had become dusty, “Stand, O Abu Turab,” thereby suggesting that he was being light hearted. See: 8/353.

[187] ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Marwan ibn al Hakam al Umawi, Abu al Asbagh al Madani. Remained the governor of Egypt for twenty years. He was the first person to mint gold coins during his tenure. He was appointed to office after ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan, but he passed away before him. Ibn Sa’d has said, ‘He was reliable and narrated a few narrations.” He passed away in 85 A.H. His narration appears in Sunan Abi Dawood. See: Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 36/345; Tahdhib al Kamal 18/197; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/280; al Tuhfah al Latifah fi Tarikh al Madinah al Sharifah 2/188.

[188] Al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/315.

[189] ‘Amir ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam al Qurashi, Abu al Harith al Madani. A reliable scholar who an ascetic and highly appreciated. Al Khalili has said regarding him, “All his narrations can be used as proof.” He passed away in 124 A.H. His narrations appear in the six books. Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil 6/325; Tahdhib al Kamal 14/57; al Kashif 1/523; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 5/64.

[190] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 13/68.

[191] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 8/239.

[192] Mahmud ibn Ahmed ibn Musa ibn Ahmed al ‘Ayntabi, Abu Muhammad al ‘Ayni. A Hanafi jurist, a hadith master and a historian. He was born in 726 A.H. He was appointed as a judge in Cairo and was dismissed several times. Thereafter he presumed over the judiciary of the Hanafi judges. He was eloquent in both Turkish and Arabic. He passed away in 855 A.H. Some of his works are: ‘Umdah al Qari, Sharh al Hidayah, Sharh al Kalim al Tayyib. See: Shadharat al Dhahab 7/286; al Badr al Tali’ 2/294; al A’lam 7/163; Mujam al Mu’allifin 12/150.

[193] ‘Umdah al Qari 24/194.

[194] Al Ikhtilaf fi al Lafz wa al Rad ‘ala al Jahmiyyah wa al Mushabbihah p. 42; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/234; Tahdhir al ‘Abqari min Muhadarat al Khudri 12/150.

[195] ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas al Hashimi, Abu Muhammad al Madani. He was born the night ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred in the year 40 A.H. and was thus named after him and given his title. Thereafter ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan changed his title. He became famous as al Sajjad (the one who prostrates a lot) due to performing excessive Salah. He was amongst the most handsome man of Quraysh. He has been deemed reliable by several scholars. He passed away in Balqa’ in Sham in 117 A.H. His narrations appear in al Adab al Mufrad of al Bukhari, the Sahih of Muslim of the four Sunans. See: Hilyah al Auliya’ 3/207; al Muntazam 7/181; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 43/37; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 7/312.

[196] Hilyah al Auliya’ 3/207; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 43/45; Tarikh al Tabari 4/165; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/422.

[197] Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al Irbili, Shams al Din. More commonly known as Ibn Khallikan. A Shafi’i jurist and a master in literature, Arabic and history. He was born in 608 A.H. and hails from the lineage of the Baramikah. He was appointed as the supreme judge in Sham. One of his many good attributes was that no one would ever dare to backbite regarding anyone else in his presence. He passed away in 681 A.H. amongst his works are: Wafayat al A’yan. See: al ‘Ibar fi Khabar man Ghabar 5/334; Tabaqat al Shafi’iyyah al Kubra 8/32; al Nujum al Zahirah 7/353; Shadharat al Dhahab 5/371.

[198] Wafayat al A’yan 3/275.

[199] I did not come across his biography.

[200] Tarikh al Tabari 4/118; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/374; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/224. The rest of the narration states that Hisham was disturbed by what he said and told him, “We have not come to revile anyone or curse him. We have merely come to perform Hajj.”

[201] Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn Salah ibn Muhammad al Hassani, Abu Ibrahim al San’ani. A great Mujtahid and a prolific author. He belonged to his Imamah household in Yemen. His was born in Kahlan in 1099 A.H. and was known, just like his predecessors, as ‘al Amir’. He suffered various trials at the hands of the fanatics and the laity due to him opposing the norm and approbating what was supported by evidence. He passed away in San’a’ in 1182 A.H. Some of his books are: Subul al Salam, Tawdih al Afkar, Irshad al Nuqqad ila Taysir al Ijtihad. See: al Badr al Tali’ 2/133; al A’lam 6/38; Mujam al Mu’allifin 9/56.

[202] Tawdih al Afkar 1/369.

[203] Ta’us ibn Kaysan al Hamadani, their client, Abu ‘Abdur Rahman al Yamani. The leading scholar of Yemen and its ascetic. He was one of the senior successors and one of the great students of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. He performed fourty Hajjs and was a person who prayers were always accepted. ‘Amr ibn Dinar said regarding him, “I have not seen anyone like Ta’us.” He passed away in the days of Hajj in 105 A.H. His narrations appear in all six books. See: al Thiqat 4/391; Tahdhib al Kamal 13/357; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 5/38; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 5/8.

[204] The narrations appears in Hilyah al Auliya’ 4/15; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/238. And the verse is from Surah Baqarah: 281.

[205] Mughirah ibn Miqsam al Dabbi, their client, Abu Hisham al Kufi. He was a blind jurist and was from the students of Ibrahim al Nakha’i. Ibn Hajar has said regarding him, “A reliable scholar who was meticulous, he would, however, practice Tadlis.” His narrations appear in the six books. He passed away in 133 A.H. See: Ma’rifah al Thiqat 2/293; Mashariq al Anwar 1/399; Tahdhib al Kamal 28/397; Mizan al I’tidal 6/496; Taqrib al Tahdhib p. 543; Taj al ‘Arus 5/319.

[206] Tafsir al Tabari 3/297. Also see: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 5/139; Ruh al Ma’ani 1/46.

[207] Al Isabah fi Tamyiz al Sahabah 4/565.

[208] ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaid al Juhani, their client, Abu Muhammad al Darawardi. A hadith scholar of Madinah. His ancestors hailed from Daraward, a village from the villages of Persia. However, he was born in Madinah and that is where he passed away in 187 A.H. Ibn Hajar has stated, “An average narrator who would narrate from the books of others and would err. His narrations appear in all six books. See: Tahdhib al Kamal 18/187; Tadhkirah al Huffaz 1/269; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 6/315; Taqrib al Tahdhib p. 358.

[209] Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain al ‘Alawi, Abu ‘Abdullah al Madani. He was given the title ‘al Sadiq’. He was a jurist, an ascetic and a great scholar. He was the leader of the Banu Hashim in his time and was considered the sixth Imam in the line of Imamah according to the Twelvers. They falsely attribute themselves to him as ‘the Jafariyyah’. He passed away in 148 A.H. at the age of 68. His narrations appear in the al Adab al Mufrad of al Bukhari, the Sahih of Muslim and the four Sunans. See: al Muntazam 8/110; Tahdhib al Kamal 5/74; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 6/255; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 2/88.

[210] Al Kamil fi Du’afa’ al Rijal 2/131; Tahdhib al Kamal 5/76; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 6/256; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 2/88. Note: It would not be possible to say that the reason why Imam Malik did not narrate from Jafar ibn Muhammad during the Umayyad era was due to his tender age. This is because at that time he was at least 39 years of age, because he was born in 93 A.H., as appears in Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 8/49. And the reign of the Abbasids started in 132 A.H., as appears in al Bad’ wa al Tarikh 6/55; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 10/38.

[211] Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah 2/524.

[212] Wafayat al A’yan 6/111; Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 1/35; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 5/389.

[213] Al Bad’ wa al Tarikh 6/52; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 64/228; Shadharat al Dhahab 1/167.

[214] Tarikh al Tabari 3/431; al Muntazam 8/66; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 5/154; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 10/86.

[215] Al Bad’ wa al Tarikh 6/46.

[216] Al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/315.

[217] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 4/160. Ibn Taymiyah started this point by saying, “And it is alleged…”

[218] Surah al Nahl: 90.

[219] Ibid. 4/164.

[220] Tarikh al Yaqubi 2/305; Simt al Nujum al ‘Awali 3/326.

[221] Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah 6/201. Also see: Ruh al Ma’ani 14/220.

[222] Al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/315.

[223] Tarikh al Khulafa’ p. 243.

[224] Al Tahrir wa al Tanwir 13/259.

[225] Diwan Kuthayr ‘Azzah p. 310.

For more details see: Hilyah al Auliya’ 5/322; al Tabaqat al Kubra 5/393; Tarikh al Yaqubi 2/305; al Muntazam 7/40; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 50/92; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/315; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 5/147; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/252; Ma’athir al Inaqah 1/144.

[226] Muhammad ibn al Hussain ibn Musa al Musawi, Abu al Hassan al Baghdadi. The leader of the Alawids who was famously known as al Sharif al Radi. A prominent Shia scholar and an outstanding poet. He was born in 359 A.H. al Khatib al Baghdadi said regarding him, “He was from the people of virtue, literature and knowledge.” He passed away in 406 A.H. and was buried in his house in Baghdad. He has written: Kitab fi Ma’ani al Qur’an, and a voluminous compilation of poetry. See: Tarikh Baghdad 2/246; al ‘Ibar fi Khabar man Ghabar 3/97; al Nujum al Zahirah 4/240; Shadharat al Dhahab 3/182.

[227] A place on the outskirts of Sham. Mujam al Buldan 2/517.

[228] Diwan al Sharif al Radi 1/206.

[229] The reference has passed on p. 45. (add page number)

[230] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 42/489; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/265; Tarikh al Islam 3/645; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/209.

[231] Hilyah al Auliya’ 5/364; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 65/323; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 10/95.

[232] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 54/269; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/203.

[233] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 5/128. Also see: Tarikh al Yaqubi 2/305; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/200; Tarikh al Khulafa’ p. 231.

[234] Tahdhib al Kamal 10/53.

[235] Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali al Hashimi, Abu Jafar al Madani, commonly known as al Baqir. He was a reliable erudite. He complemented his knowledge with action and was also an acclaimed leader. He was born in 60 A.H. and is considered one the Imams according to the Twelvers. His narrations appear in the six books. He passed away in 114 A.H. See: al Tabaqat al Kubra 5/320; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 54/268; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/401; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 9/311.

[236] Hilyah al Auliya’ 5/254; Tahdhib al Kamal 21/439; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 5/120; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 7/419.

[237] Fatimah bint al Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib al Hashimiyyah. A reliable successor. She was amongst those who were sent to Damascus after the martyrdom of her father. She was the sister of ‘Ali Zayn al ‘Abidin. She passed away after 110 A.H. at the age of ninety. Her narrations appear in the Sunans of Abu Dawood, al Tirmidhi, al Nasa’i and Ibn Majah. See: Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 70/10; Tahdhib al Kamal 35/254; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 6/81; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 12/469.

[238] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 45/196; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/330.

[239] ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz had alluded to this in his statement, “Walid ibn ‘Abdul Malik in Sham, Hajjaj ibn Yusuf in Iraq, Muhammad ibn Yusuf in Yemen, ‘Uthman ibn Hayyan in Madinah, and Qurrah ibn Sharik in Egypt! By Allah the earth has been filled with oppression.” See: Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 38/343; Tahdhib al Kamal 19/361.

[240] Al ‘Ilal wa Ma’rifah al Rijal 3/176; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 21/129; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 10/84.

[241] Al Muntazam 7/103.

[242] Al Fakihi: Akhbar Makkah 3/347; al Bayan wa al Tabyin p. 551; al Muntazam 7/103.

[243] Al ‘Ilal wa Ma’rifah al Rijal 3/176; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 57/243; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/259; Tarikh al Khulafa’ p. 190.

[244] Hisham ibn Ismail ibn Hisham al Makhzumi al Madani. The governor of Madinah. He was from amongst the scholars and the transmitters. He is the one who hit Sa’id ibn al Musayyab when he refused to pledge his allegiance to Walid ibn ‘Abdul Malik. He was dismissed after two years of the Caliphate of Walid and was substituted with ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz. He visited Damascus and passed away there in 88 A.H. See: al Tabaqat al Kubra 5/244; al Thiqat 5/501; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/76, 160; Ta’jil al Manfa’ah p. 430.

[245] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 5/220.

[246] Musnad al Imam Ahmed 1/189.

[247] Al Muntazam 5/241.

[248] Tarikh al Tabari 3/219.

[249] Al Muhalla 5/64.

[250] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/327.

[251] Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Abi ‘Aqil ibn Mas’ud al Thaqafi. The governor of Yemen who was the brother of Hajjaj. He was appointed over San’a’. When Ibn al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred his hand was sent to him so he hung it in San’a’. Thereafter Hajjaj appointed him over al Jand as well and thus he governed over them till he died after contrating a fatal illness. Muhammad ibn Hajjaj and he both died on the same night in 91 A.H. See: Tarikh al Tabari 4/30; al Wafi bi al Wafayat 5/158; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/80; al A’lam 7/147.

[252] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/80.

[253] Qazwin is situated in present day Iran on the west of Tehran. It was conqured during the era of the Umayyads. See: Mujam ma Ustu’jim 3/1072; Mujam al Buldan 4/342.

[254] Al Tadwin fi Akhbar Qazwin 1/55.

[255] Al ‘Ilal wa Ma’rifah al Rijal 3/176.

[256] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/259.

[257] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/266.

[258] Majma’ al Zawa’id 9/180.

[259] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/220, 258.

[260] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 57/247; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/15.

[261] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 42/438; Tarikh al Islam 3/460; Simt al Nujum al ‘Awali 2/533.

[262] Sahih Muslim: chapter of merits: sub-chapter regarding the merits of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu: hadith no. 2409.

[263] Yazid ibn Umayyah al Dili, Abu Sinan al Madani. A reliable successor whom some scholars have adjudged amongst the Sahabah. I did not come across the date of his demise. His narrations appear in the Sunans of Abu Dawood, al Nasa’i and Ibn Majah. See: al Thiqat 5/537; Tahdhib al Kamal 32/86; al Kashif 2/380; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 11/274.

[264] Al Tarikh al Kabir 8/319; al Tarikh al Awsat 1/206; al Thiqat 5/537; Tahdhib al Kamal32/87.

[265] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 24/259; Tarikh al Tabari 3/225; al Kamil fi al Tarikh 3/330; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/234.

[266] ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Layla (his name was Yasar according to one view) al Ansari al Awsi, Abu ‘Isa al Kufi. He was from the prominent jurists of the successors. ‘Abdul Malik ibn ‘Umair said regarding him, “I saw ‘Abdur Rahman in a gathering wherein a group of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were present, one of them being Bara’ radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They were listening to his conversation and being attentive toward him.” He was part of the revolt of Ibn al Ash’ath. He drowned in 82 A.H. His narrations appear in the six books. See: Tarikh Baghdad 10/199; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 36/76; Tahdhib al Kamal 17/372; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/262.

[267] Al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh 3/3; Hilyah al Auliya’ 4/351; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 36/98; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/265.

[268] Al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh 3/3; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 36/98; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/264; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 6/235. Al A’mash intended to say that Ibn Abi Layla was saying, “‘Aliyyun…” in the state of Raf’ which denotes the beginning of a new sentence. Had he intended to curse them he would have said, “‘Aliyyan…” in the state of Nasb.

[269] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/267.

[270] ‘Attiyah ibn Sa’d ibn Junadah al ‘Aufi, Abu al Hassan al Kufi. A successor who had Shia leanings. Ibn Hajar has said, “He was an average narrator who used to err a lot. He was a Shia and would practice Tadlis.” He died in 111 A.H. His narrations appear in the al Adab al Mufrad of al Bukhari and the Sunans of Abu Dawood, al Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. See: al Tabaqat al Kubra 6/304; Du’afa’ al ‘Uqayli 3/359; Tahdhib al Kamal 20/145; Taqrib al Tahdhib p. 393.

[271] Muhammad ibn Sa’d ibn Mani’ al Hashimi, their client, Abu ‘Abdullah al Basri. A retainer of hadith, reliable scholar with deep knowledge. He was known as the scribe of al Waqidi and the author of al Tabaqat. He was born in 106 A.H. Al Khatib has said regarding him, “From the people of merit, knowledge, understanding and impartiality. His narrations suggest that he was trustworthy.” He passed away in Baghdad in 230 A.H. His narrations appear in Sunan Abi Dawood. Some of his books are: al Tabaqat al Kubra. See: Tarikh Baghdad 5/321; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 10/664; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 9/161; Tabaqat al Huffaz p. 186.

[272] Muhammad ibn al Qasim ibn Muhammad al Thaqafi. The governor of the lands of Sindh and its conqueror. He was the cousin of al Hajjaj. He attacked these lands at the age of seventeen. Thereafter he remained its governor till Sulaiman ibn ‘Abdul Malik assumed the Caliphate. Sulaiman had deposed him and appointed Ibn Abi Kabshah in his place. Ibn Abi Kabshah had subsequently tied him and sent him to the governor of Wasit who imprisoned him and punished him till he died, doing so in order to take revenge for his brother who Ibn Qasim had killed. This was in 98 A.H. See: al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/250, 286; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/87; Tarikh ibn Khaldun 3/83; al A’lam 6/333.

[273] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 6/304; Tarikh al Islam 7/424; al Wafi bi al Wafayat 20/56; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 7/201.

[274] Misda’ al A’raj al Ansari, their client, Abu Yahya al Kufi, commonly known as ‘al Mu’arqab. He was a successor who had Shia leanings and had knowledge regarding Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Al Dhahabi has said regarding him, “An average narrator, regarding who scholars have spoken.” I did not come across the date of his demise. His narrations appear in Sahih Muslim and the four Sunans. See: al Majruhin 3/39; Mizan al I’tidal 6/433; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 10/143.

[275] Bishr ibn Marwan ibn al Hakam al Umawi, Abu Marwan al Dimashqi. He governed Kufah and Basrah for his brother ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan. He had a soft nature, always had a smiling face, and was generous and praiseworthy. He would not bar anyone from his door and would say, “Only woman cover up.” He passed away in Basrah in 75 A.H. due to a sickness which befell him. See: al Muntazam 6/131; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 10/253; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 4/145; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/7.

[276] Tahdhib al Tahdhib 10/143.

[277] Ma’rifah al Thiqat 3/280.

[278] Hujr ibn Qaifs al Hamdani al Madari. A prominent successor of Yemeni descent. He lived during the era of Jahiliyyah but did not hear anything from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He was of those who served ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Al ‘Ijli has said regarding him, “A reliable successor.” I did not come across his date of demise. His narrations appear in the Sunans of Abu Dawood, al Nasa’i and Ibn Majah. See: al Mustadrak ‘ala al Sahihayn 2/390; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 56/310; Tahdhib al Kamal 5/475; Jami’ al Tahsil p. 161; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 2/188.

[279] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 56/310; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/80. Also see another story in al Mustadrak ‘ala al Sahihayn 2/390; also see the comments of Ibn Hajar upon it in Lisan al Mizan 4/122.

[280] ‘Abdullah ibn Shaddad ibn al Hadd al Laythi, Abu al Walid al Madani. A successor who was jurist and resided in Kufah. He was born during the era of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He participated with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the battle of Nahrawan. Imam Ahmed has said regarding him, “A reliable scholar who was from the prominent successors.” He went missing the night of Dujayl with Ibn al Ash’ath in 83 A.H. His narrations appear in the six books. See: Tarikh Madinah 29/144; Tahdhib al Kamal 15/81; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/489; Tahdhib al Tahdhib 5/222.

[281] Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 29/151; Tarikh al Islam 6/112; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ 3/489; al Tuhfah al Latifah fi Tarikh al Madinah al Sharifah 2/43.

[282] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 6/216, 7/285.

[283] Al Bad’ wa al Tarikh 5/230; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 7/330.

[284] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 8/22.

[285] Al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/117; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/244, 10/25, 57; al ‘Ibar fi Khabar man Ghabar 1/90; al Maghrib 1/156.

[286] Al Isabah fi Tamyiz al Sahabah 5/305.

[287] Al Muhallab ibn Zalim ibn Suraqah al Azdi, Abi Sa’id. He was well known as Ibn Abi Sufrah. He was the governor of Khorasan and was one of the notables of Basrah, their geniuses and their generous men. He was born the year Makkah was conquered. In the days of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu he participated in the Jihad in India. He had governed the Arabian peninsula for Ibn al Zubair in 68 A.H. Thereafter Hajjaj had selected him to combat the Khawarij and he had managed to kill four thousand eight hundred people in one battle. This had earned him acclaim. He passed away in 82 A.H. See: al Muntazam 6/242; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 61/280; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/42; Shadharat al Dhahab 1/90.

[288] Al Isabah fi Tamyiz al Sahabah 6/387.

[289] Tahdhib al Kamal 3/99.

[290] Al Kamil fi al Tarikh 4/485. Also see: Tarikh Baghdad 4/205; Tarikh Madinah Dimashq 5/247, 12/366, 24/52; al Khalili: al Irshad 2/468; Tabaqat al Muhaddithin Bi Asbahan wa al Waridin ‘Alayha 2/152.

[291] Ansab al Ashraf 4/177.

[292] Al Bakka’i: Harakah al Khawarij p. 71.

[293] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/187.

[294] Al Tabaqat al Kubra 5/358; Hilyah al Auliya’ 5/309; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 9/187.