To respond to this false allegation I say: al Tabari has narrated in his Tarikh (3/202) by way of ‘Umar ibn Shabbah — from ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al Mada’ini — from Maslamah ibn Muharib:
‘Abdur Rahman ibn Khalid ibn al Walid had gained much prominence in al Sham, and the peoples’ hearts were inclined towards him on account of their sentiments towards his father, Khalid ibn al Walid; and on account of his defence of the Muslims in the Roman territories and his strength and might. Muawiyah was cautious of him and feared for himself, and the position he held in the hearts of the people. So Muawiyah instructed ibn Uthal to devise a plan to have him, ‘Abdur Rahman, killed and guaranteed that if he succeeds in killing him will have the taxes lifted from him — the assassin — for the rest of his life. In addition to this he will make him responsible for collecting the taxes in Hims. So when ‘Abdur Rahman arrived in Hims, on his return from the Roman territories, Ibn Uthal had him poisoned by giving one of his slaves a poisoned drink which resulted in the death of ‘Abdur Rahman. So Muawiyah fulfilled his promise and waived the taxes from him and appointed him in charge of the collection of the land taxes of Hims.
This narration is unreliable. Appearing in the chain is Maslamah ibn Muharib — his ascription is al Ziyadi — and the issue with him is his anonymity as a narrator. He narrates from his father and Ibn Jurayj; and from al Mada’ini. None have ratified him besides Ibn Hibban. Al Bukhari and Ibn Abi Hatim have listed him without mentioning any impugning comments, nor any endorsement. Furthermore, Maslamah ibn Muharib was not present during the occurrence of this alleged incident and he does not narrate from Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu except through an intermediary — his father — which is a clear indicator that the incident has been narrated via an interrupted chain.
Another narrator in this chain, ‘Ali ibn Muhammad, Abu Saif, al Mada’ini al Anbari has been criticised and his status as a narrator is disputed. Ibn Ma’in has endorsed him; al Dhahabi states in al Siyar (10/401):
He was a wonder in terms of his knowledge of the military expeditions, genealogy and the history of the Arabs; and he was honest in what he transmitted.
On the other hand, Ibn ‘Adi said of him in al Kamil (5/213):
He was not strong in hadith, he was a person of historical narrations. Very few a narration did he have with a proper chain.
Therefore, al Tabari’s narration of it in the passive voice (3/202) which indicates the weakness of what is being reported. It has also been narrated by Abu al Faraj al Isfahani in al Aghani, and al Baladhuri in Ansab al Ashraf (5/118) (16/209) and it is unreliable. Ibn Kathir states in al Bidayah wa al Nihayah (11/174):
Some have claimed that Muawiyah conspired to have him killed, but it is not correct.
 See his biographical details in al Bidayah wa al Nihayah (11/173)
 See al Amthal (36) of al Qasim ibn Sallam, Usd al Ghabah (693) and al Kamil (3/309) of Ibn al Athir
 Al Thiqat (7/490)
 Al Tarikh al Kabir (7/387), al Jarh wa al Ta’dil (8/266)
 See the above references.Back to top