Trials and Demise
The world is a place of tests and trials, and not our eternal abode; the scholars being the inheritors of the Prophets they too are tested in a similar manner as the Prophets. Such was to be the fate of this esteemed illustrious scholar as well, by which his status was elevated and his errors forgiven.
The trials already began during the era of Abu al ‘Abbas al Saffah but he overlooked it and paid very little attention to it; however, Abu Jafar al Mansur—may Allah deal with him as he deserves—imprisoned ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan, Hassan al Muthallath, and Ibrahim ibn Hassan in an attempt to subjugate the sons of ‘Abdullah, Muhammad and Ibrahim, who were intending to rebel against his rule. Also imprisoned with ‘Abdullah al Mahd was his uterine brother, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, known as al Dibaj. They passed away in 145 A.H while imprisoned. ‘Abdullah was 75 years old at the time.
We now refer to Ibn Kathir who will relate to us this tragic tale.
وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ اللَّهَ غَافِلًا عَمَّا يَعْمَلُ الظَّالِمُونَ إِنَّمَا يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ تَشْخَصُ فِيهِ الْأَبْصَارُ
And never think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delays them for a Day when eyes will stare [in horror].
ألح المنصور على عبد الله في طلب ولديه فغضب عبد الله من ذلك، وقال: والله لو كانا تحت قدمي ما دللتك عليهما، فغضب المنصور وأمر بسجنه، وأمر ببيع رقيقه وأمواله، فلبث في السجن ثلاث سنين، وأشاروا على المنصور بحبس بني حسن عن آخرهم فحبسهم، وجد في طلب إبراهيم ومحمد جداً، هذا وهما يحضران الحج، في غالب الأوقات، ولا يشعر بهما من ينم عليهما ولله الحمد، والمنصور يعزل نائبا عن المدينة ويولي عليها غيره، ويحرضه على إمساكهما والفحص عنهما، وبذل الأموال فى طلبهما، وتعجزه المقادير عنهما لما يريده الله عز وجل.وقد واطأهما على أمرهما أمير من أمراء المنصور يقال له: أبو العساكر خالد بن حسان، فعزموا فى بعض الحجات على الفتك بالمنصور بين الصفا والمروة فنهاهم عبد الله بن الحسن لشرف البقعة، وقد اطلع المنصور على ذلك وعلم بما مالأهما ذلك الأمير، فعذبه حتى أقر بما كانوا تمالئوا عليه من الفتك به، فقال: وما الذي صرفكم عن ذلك فقال: عبد الله بن الحسن، نهانا عن ذلك، فأمر به الخليفة فغيب فى الأرض فلم يظهر حتى الآن، وقد استشار المنصور من يعلم من أمرائه ووزرائه من ذوي الرأي فى أمر ابني عبد الله بن الحسن، وبعث الجواسيس والقصاد فى البلاد فلم يقع لهما على خبر، ولم يظهر لهما على عين ولا أثر، والله غالب على أمره، وقد جاء محمد بن عبد الله بن حسن إلى أمه فقال: يا أمه إني قد شفقت على أبي وعمومتي، ولقد هممت أن أضع يدي فى يد هؤلاء، لأريح أهلي فذهبت أمه إلى السجن فعرضت عليهم ما قال ابنها فقالوا: لا ولا كرامة بل نصبر على أمره، فلعل الله يفتح على يديه خيرا، ونحن نصبر وفرجنا بيد الله إن شاء فرج عنا وإن شاء ضيق، وتمالئوا كلهم على ذلك رضي الله عنهم.ونقل آل حسن من حبس المدينة إلى حبس بالعراق، وفي أرجلهم القيود، وفي أعناقهم الأغلال، وكان ابتداء تقييدهم من الربذة بأمر أبي جعفر المنصور، وقد أشخص معهم محمد بن عبد الله العثماني، وكان أخا عبد الله بن حسن لأمه، وكانت ابنته تحت إبراهيم بن عبد الله بن حسن وقد حملت قريبا فاستحضر الخليفة وقال: قد حلفت بالعتاق والطلاق إنك لم تغشني وهذه ابنتك حامل فإن كان من زوجها فقد حبلت منه، وأنت تعلم به وإن كان من غيره فأنت ديوث، فأجابه العثماني بجواب أحفظه به، فأمر به فجردت عنه ثيابه فإذا جسمه مثل الفضة النقية، ثم ضربه بين يديه مائة وخمسون سوطاً منها ثلاثون فوق رأسه أصاب أحدها عينه فسالت، ثم رده إلى السجن، وقد بقي كأنه عبد أسود رزقه الضرب وتراكم الدماء فوق جلده فأجلس إلى جانب أخيه لأمه عبد الله بن الحسن فاستسقى ماء فما جسر أحد أن يسقيه حتى سقاه خراساني من جملة الجلاوزة الموكلين بهم ثم ركب المنصور هودجه وأركبوا أولئك في محامل ضيقة وعليهم القيود والأغلال فاجتاز بهم المنصور وهو في هودجه فناداه عبد الله بن الحسن: والله يا أبا جعفر ما هكذا صنعنا بأسراكم يوم بدر، فأخسأ ذلك المنصور وثقل عليه ونفر عنهم، ولما انتهوا إلى العراق حبسوا بالهاشمية، وكان فيهم محمد بن إبراهيم بن عبد الله بن الحسن وكان جميلا فتيا فكان الناس يذهبون، لينظروا إلى حسنه وجماله، وكان يقال له: الديباج الأصغر فأحضره المنصور بين يديه وقال له: أما لأقتلنك قتلة ما قتلتها أحداً، ثم ألقاه بين اسطوانتين، وسد عليه حتى مات، فعلى المنصور من الله سبحان ما يستحقه
ثم قال وقد هلك كثير منهم في السجن حتى فرج عنهم بعد هلاك المنصور، فكان فيمن هلك في السجن عبد الله بن الحسن بن الحسن بن علي بن أبي طلب، وقد قيل: والأظهر أنه قتل صبراً، وأخوه إبراهيم بن الحسن وغيرهم وقلً من خرج منهم من الحبس وقد جعلهم المنصور في سجن لا يسمعون فيه أذاناً، ولا يعرفون فيه وقت صلاة إلا بالتلاوة، ثم بعث أهل خراسان يشفعون في محمد بن عبد الله العثماني، فأمر به فضربت عنقه وأرسل برأسه الى أهل خراسان لا جزاه الله خيراً، ورحم الله محمد بن عبد الله العثمانـي
Al Mansur continued badgering ‘Abdullah about the whereabouts of his sons, which angered ‘Abdullah, who said, “By Allah, even if they were beneath my feet I would not inform you.” This angered al Mansur who had him imprisoned, and his properties and assets sold. ‘Abdullah remained in prison for three years. Al Mansur also had the children of Hassan imprisoned and maximized his efforts to find Muhammad and Ibrahim. He did all of this while they were both present for Hajj most of the time, and none who would betray them recognised them—and all praise belongs to Allah.
Al Mansur dismissed his governor of Madinah and appointed someone else, who he pressured to detain them and investigate into their affairs. Al Mansur spent much money towards that end but to no avail.
One of the Amirs of al Mansur called Abu al Asakir Khalid ibn Hassan conspired with them to kill al Mansur between Safa and Marwah during one of the Hajjs. However ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan prohibited them from carrying this out due to the sanctity of the place. Al Mansur was informed about the conspiracy and tortured the Amir until he confessed to his role in it.
Al Mansur asked him, “Who is the one who prevented you all from carrying it out?”
“‘Abdullah ibn Hassan,” came the reply.
The Khalifah then ordered him to be executed and he was buried in the earth, and his whereabouts have not been disclosed until now.
Al Mansur enquired from his governors and viziers about any information concerning Muhammad and Ibrahim, even sending out spies and detectives to the various cities but they learnt nothing, nor found any trace of them. And Allah is predominant over His affair.
Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan came to his mother and said, “O my mother, I feel for my father and uncles, and think that I should pledge myself to these people so that my family may be released.”
His mother went to the prison and related what her son had said to her.
They all said, “Never, not even as a kind gesture. We will remain patient and Allah will make a way for us. If Allah wishes He will free us, and if He wishes He will restrict us.” All of them inclined to the same.
The family of Hassan were then moved from the prisons of Madinah to the prisons of Iraq, with fetters and chains around their necks and feet. They were bound from Rabdhah on the order of al Mansur. Also imprisoned with them was Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah al ‘Uthmani, who was the uterine brother of ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan, and his daughter was married to his nephew Ibrahim ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan, and she had just recently conceived. Al Mansur had him brought before him and said, “I promise to set you free if you do not deceive me. And this is your daughter who is with child; if she is married then the child is his and you know of his whereabouts, and if the child is from another then you are a cuckold.” The ‘Uthmani replied in a way that concealed their whereabouts. So al Mansur ordered that he be punished, his clothes were thus removed and his body was gleaming like pure silver; he was then given 150 lashes, 30 of which were above his head. One stuck his eye and blinded him. He was then returned to his cell and he [now] looked like a black slave due to the bruises and lashes. He was seated next to his brother ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan. He asked for water but no one dared give it to him until one Khurasani guard from amongst them gave it to them.
Al Mansur then mounted his carriage and loaded them into a narrow carriage with them tied in chains and fetters. ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan called out to al Mansur while he was in his carriage, “By Allah, O Abu Jafar, this is not how we treated your captives on the day of Badr.” Al Mansur was humiliated by this, and felt it heavy so he distanced himself from them.
When they reached Iraq they were imprisoned with the Hashimis, amongst them was Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan who was an extremely handsome youngster to whom people would flock to gaze at his handsomeness. He was called al Dibaj al Asghar. Al Mansur had him brought before him and said to him, “I will kill you in a way that no one before you has been killed,” and he then had him placed between two columns which were pressed on him till he passed. May Allah inflict upon al Mansur what he deserves.
(Ibn Kathir said,) Most of them died in prison and only after al Mansur’s death were those who survived finally released. Amongst those who passed away in person was ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. It has also been said that he was executed as was his brother, Ibrahim ibn Hassan, and others. Few were those who survived and were later released. Al Mansur had imprisoned them in a cell where they could neither hear the Adhan or discern the times of salah.
The people of Khurasan interceded for Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah al ‘Uthmani, but he was executed instead. His head was severed and sent to the people of Khurasan. May Allah not give al Mansur a good return and shower his mercy on Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah al ‘Uthmani.
Al Khatib al Baghdadi transmits to us another dreadful tale. When Fatimah bint ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan crossed paths with Abu Jafar al Mansur—may Allah give him what he deserves—when he was on his way to perform Hajj, she recited the following couplets:
في السجن بين سلاسل وقيود
|ارحم كبيراً سنه متهدم|
يتموا لفقدك لا لفقد يزيد
وارحم صغار بني يزيد فإنهم
|ما جدنا من جدكم ببعيد||
إن جدت بالرحم القريبة بيننا
Have mercy on an elderly man whose age is dwindling in prison in shackles and chains.
And have mercy upon the children of Banu Yazid, for they have become orphans because of losing me and not because of losing Yazid.
If you are gracious today because of the close kinship between us, our grandfather was not a far relative of your grandfather.
Abu Jafar thus said, “You have reminded me of him,” then he ordered that he be taken to the basement, and that was the last time we had heard of him.
As for their brother al Dibaj, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan al Umawi Abu ‘Abdullah al Madani, who was known as al Dibaj (silk) on account of his handsomeness; his mother was Fatimah bint Hussain ibn ‘Ali. He narrates Hadith from his father and mother, and from his Kharijah bint Zaid, Tawus, Abu al Zinad, al Zuhri, Nafi’, and others. A group of people have narrated from him. He has been deemed reliable by al Nasa’i and Ibn Hibban. He was the uterine brother of ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan and his daughter, Ruqayyah, was married to his nephew, Ibrahim ibn ‘Abdullah. She was an extremely beautiful lady, and on account of her [marriage to Ibrahim] Muhammad al ‘Uthmani was killed by Abu Jafar al Mansur. He was kind, generous, and praiseworthy. Zubair al Bakkar related that Sulaiman ibn ‘Abbas al Sa’di recited the following couplets to him:
فتى بين الخليفة والرسول
|وجدنا المحض الأبيض من قريش|
|وكنت له بمعتلج السيول||
أتاك المجد من هنا وهناك
وما للمجد دونك مقيل
|فما للمجد دونك من مبيت|
|ولا هو قابل بك من بديل||
فلا يمض وراءك يبتغيه
We find the pure and the fair youngster of Quraysh, to be a youngster between a leader and a prophet.
Glory came to you from here and from there, when you were in obtaining it at a clashing point of the floods.
Now, without you, it does not spend a night. And now, without you, it does not spend a day.
It will not go on after you, nor would it accept a substitute to replace you.
Muhammad (al Dibaj) was loved dearly by his brother ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan. Al Khatib al Baghdadi reported from ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan al Muthanna:
أبغضت محمد بن عبد الله بن عمرو بن عثمان أيام وُلِدَ بغضاً ما أبغضته أحداً قط ثم كبر وبرَّني فأحببته حباً ما أحببته أحداً قط
I loathed Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman when he was born, I hated him more than I ever loathed anyone. Then when he grew older, he [still] honoured me and as a result I never loved anyone as much as I loved him.
 Taqrib al Tahdhib, # 3274.
 Surah Ibrahim: 42.
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 10/81.
 Tarikh Baghdad, 9/433.
 Tarikh Baghdad, 3/276.Back to top