Chapter Three: Mu’awiya’s appointment of Yazeed as his successor


Abu Sulaiman claims:

“Mu’awiyah did not force people to give allegiance to his son Yazeed”

There is no evidence to support Abu Sulaiman’s assertion. We learn from history that Mu’awiya used many methods at his disposal to secure his son’s position as Khalifa. Methods included bribery and coercion [for those interested they can consult Khilafat wa Mulukiyyat, chapter 4, page 149, Ibn Atheer, vol 3, page249, Bidaya, vol 8, page 79, Tareekh Ibn Kahldoon, vol 3, page, 15-16]

Did Mu’awiya want to make Yazeed just a Crown Prince or Khalifa?

In his effort to protect Mu’awiya we see that Abu Sulaiman yet again uses semantics stating:

Mu’awiyah was eager for people’s agreement to give allegiance to his son Yazeed. He resolved to take allegiance to Yazeed as a crown prince. So he consulted the grandest companions, the masters of the people and the district’s governors. They all accepted. Delegations from the districts came with acceptance to give allegiance to Yazeed. Many Companions gave him the allegiance as well. Al-Hafedh Abdulghani Al-Maqdisay says: “His (Yazeed’s) caliphate is rightful, sixty of the companions of the prophet peace be upon him gave him the allegiance. Ibn`Umar was one of them.” [Qayd Al-Shareed min Akhbar Yazeed, by Ibn Khaldoun, p.70]

Could Abu Sulaiman explain the definition of a Crown Prince? If this is indeed the case, is there any evidence in the Qur’an and Sunnah entitling individuals to give bay`a to a Crown Prince? In fact in Islam Kingship is rejected outright, so even if this was correct Mu’awiya had acted contrary to Islam. If for arguments sake we accept this argument could Abu Sulaiman kindly tell us what the difference is between him appointing Yazeed as Crown Prince or Khalifa? Did he appoint someone separate as Khalifa? Did he tell the people to give bay`a to another person? In any case this defence is unsubstantiated and we challenge Abu Sulaiman to cite us a single source where he had referred to Yazeed as his Crown Prince and ordered people to give bay`a on this position.

It is not surprising that Abu Sulaiman has relied on the work of Ibn Khaldun who was an open Nasibi, such words from him are not an aberration. Recently killed prominent Deobandi Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai records the following episode in his esteemed work ‘Aqeedah Zahoor-e-Mahdi’ pages 113-114 (published by Idarah Dawat-e-Islam, Karachi.):

Hafiz Ibn Hajr states: “Our teacher, the prominent Muhaddith Hafiz al-Haythami used to severely condemn Ibn Khaldun. When its reason was asked to him, he said that Ibn Khaldun while mentioning Hussain has recorded a statement viz ‘He was killed with the sword of his grandfather’. Sakhawi states that when our teacher Hafiz Ibn Hajar narrated this statement, he cursed Ibn Khaldun, said something bad about him and was weeping. Hafiz Ibn Hajar has said that those words of him are no longer written in the present history book. [Al-Zawa Al-Lamea, Volume 4 page 147]

It should also be kept in mind that Ibn Khuldun was a Nasibi and had deviations for the progeny of Ali”

The book ‘Al-Zawa Al-Lamea’ by Imam Sakhawi can be downloaded from the Salafi website mentioned below and the aforesaid reference can be seen in Volume 2 No. 387 of this version.

Mu’awiya made Yazeed his Khalifa during his lifetime

The sources of history tell us quite the opposite. Abu Sulaiman’s claims are refuted by the last will and testament of Mu’awiya in which it is clear that he has made Yazeed his khalifa:

“O my son, I have arranged everything for you, and I have made all the Arabs agree to obey you. No one will now oppose you in your title to the caliphate, but I am very much afraid of Husayn b. Ali, Abd Allah b. ‘Umar, Abd ar-Rahman b. Abi Bakr, and Abd Allah b. az- Zubayr. Among them Husayn b. Ali commands great love and respect because of his superior rights and close relationship to the Prophet. I do not think that the people of Iraq will abandon him until they have risen in rebellion for him against you. As far as possible, try to deal with him gently. But the man who will attack you with full force, like a lion attacks his prey, and who will pounce upon you, like a fox when it finds an opportunity to pounce, is Abd Allah b. az-Zubayr. Whenever you get a chance, cut him into pieces.”
Iqd al Fareed, Volume 4 page 226

Here they also try to rid Mu’awiya of the crimes his son Yazeed committed against the Ahlul Bait at Kerbala.

From this text Mu’awiya had told his beloved son “No one will now oppose you in your title to the caliphate” – he is not telling Yazeed that he had made him Crown Prince he is informing him that he had laid the foundation for him to succeed him as khalifa.

To this effect we even have evidence from Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, hadith 352:

Narrated Yusuf bin Mahak:
Marwan had been appointed as the governor of Hijaz by Muawiya. He delivered a sermon and mentioned Yazeed bin Muawiya so that the people might take the oath of allegiance to him as the successor of his father (Muawiya).

From this source it is clear that the bay’a was given to Yazeed as khalifa, not Crown Prince, unless Abu Sulaiman is suggesting that Mu’awiya deemed himself to be a Crown Prince!

The evidence is clear that the people gave bay’a to Yazeed as the Khalifa. This is even evident from a source cited by Abu Sulaiman himself. Although we will examine the tradition at length afterwards suffice it to say Abdullah Ibn Umar said:

“…we have given the oath of allegiance to this person (Yazeed) in accordance with the conditions enjoined by Allah and His Apostle [Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Book of "Afflictions", vol.7, #6694]“

According to Ibn Umar bay’a was given to Yazeed “in accordance with the conditions enjoined by Allah and His Apostle” clearly these conditions are connected with giving bay’a to a khalifa not a Crown Prince.

Mu’awiya forced people to give bayya to Yazeed

We have discussed this topic with complete references in our article on Yazeed.
Please see our article: Yazeed (L’aeen)

Legendary Salafi scholar Muhammad Rasheed Raza (d. 1935) who is known as ‘reformer’ and who has been praised by several Salafi scholars including Al-Albaani has stated in his authority work Mujalat al-Manar, volume 33 page 441:

فإن متبع الحق مستقل الفكر فيه بلا هوى ولا تعصب لمذهب يجزم بأن معاوية نفسه كان باغيًا خارجًا على الإمام الحق كالخوارج ، وأنه طالب ملك ، ويؤيد ذلك إكراه الناس على جعل هذا الملك لولده يزيد المشتهر بالفسق

 Anyone delving into the truth with a free mind unclouded by emotion or sectarian affiliation, shall confirm that Mu’awyia was rebel (Baghi) and one that departed (Kharij) against the true Imam, he sought the throne and forced the people to transfer the throne to his son Yazeed who was known for his lechery (Fisq).

In Volume 24 page 33, he stated:

معاوية واستخلافه ليزيد الفاسق الفاجر بقوة الإرهاب من جهة ورشوة الزعماء من أخرى

Mu’awyia inaugurated Yazeed the Fasiq sometimes by means of terror while sometimes by means of bribe.

His book has been translated into Urdu language by the name of ‘Imamate al Uzma’ published by Quran Mahal, Molvi Musafir Khana, Karachi:
 Imamate al Uzma page 99

Deobandi scholar Rasheed Akhtar Nadwi in “Tahzeeb o Tamadun-e- Islami” comments on page 1:

“Mu’awiya forced people to give bayya to Yazeed”.
Tahzeeb-o-Tamadun-e-Islami, part 3 page 2 by Rasheed Akhtar Nadvi (Idara Saqafat-e-Islamia, Lahore)

Professor Saeed Akbar Allahbadi in his book “Musalman ka ‘Uruj-o-Zawal” (Urdu) page 53 likewise states:

“Mu’awiya attained power by force and secured it for Yazeed in the same manner. People who did not agree were forced to give it”.
Musalman ka ‘Uruj-o-Zawal page 53

Abu Sulaiman had proclaimed that Mu’awiya:

consulted the grandest companions, the masters of the people and the district’s governors. They all accepted. Delegations from the districts came with acceptance to give allegiance to Yazeed

What Abu Sulaiman fails to explain is the method Mu’awiya used that resulted in delegates giving bayya to Yazeed. Let us shed light on his methods by citing the comments of Syed Qutb Shaheed in “Social Justice in Islam” (English translation pages 209-210):

“With the coming of Mu’awiya, the caliphate in Islam became a monarchy, a tyranny confined to the Umayyad family…

It will be sufficient at this point to quote as proof of this the account of the oath of allegiance to Yazid. From here we may discover the foundation of Umayyad power and find out whether Mu’awiya who established that power was true to the spirit of Islam or to some other ideal. Mu’awiya summoned delegates to represent all the provinces at the taking the oath of allegiance to Yazid. Then Yazid Ibn al Muqaffa stood up and said “The Commander of the Faithful is here”, and he indicated Mu’awiya, “If he dies his successor is here” and he indicated Yazid. “And if anyone refuses – here” and he pointed to his sword. The, said Mu’awiya, “Sit down O best of preachers”.

After the oath was taken to Yazid in Syria Mu’awiya gave Said ibn al-’As the task of gaining the acceptance of the people of the Hejaz. This he was unable to do, so Mu’awiys went to Mecca with an army and with full treasury. He called together the principal Muslims and addressed them thus:

“You all know that I have lived among you, and you are aware also of my ties of kindred with you. Yazid is your brother and your nephew. It is my wish that you take the oath of allegiance to Yazid as the next Caliph; then it will be you who will bestow offices and depose from them, who will collect and apportion money”. He was answered by Abdullah ibn Al Zubair, who gave him a choice of three things to do, first he might do as Allah’s Messenger had done and appoint no successor, second he might do as Abu Bakr had done and nominate a successor, third he might do as Umar had done, and hand over the whole matter to a council of six individuals, none of whom was a member of his own immediate family. Mu’awiya’s anger was kindled, and he asked “Have you any more to say?” “No”. Mu’awiya turned to the remainder of the company “And you?” “We agree with what Ibn Al Zubair has said”, they replied. Then he addressed the meeting in threatening terms: “The one who warns is blameless. I was speaking among you, and one of you was bold to get up and call me a liar to my face. That I will bear and even forgive. But I stand to my words, and I swear by Allah that if any of you speaks one word against the position that I take up, no word of answer will he receive, but first the sword will take his head. And no man can do more than save his life”.

Thereupon the commander of Mu’awiya’s guard ordered two men to stand over each of the nobles of the Hejaz who opposed him and to each he said, “If your man leaves his guards to speak one word, either for me or against me, then let the guards strike off his head with their swords”. Then he mounted the pulpit and proclaimed: “These men are the Leaders and the choicest of the Muslims; no matter can be successfully handled without them, nor can any decision be taken without their counsel. They are now satisfied to take the oath to Yazid , and have indeed already taken that oath by the name of Allah”. So the people took the oath.
Social Justice in Islam, (English translation) pages 209-210

Mu’awiya bribed people to give bayya to Yazeed

We read in Tarikh al Kamil, Volume 3 page 350:

“Mu’awiya kept Mugheera in his post. Mugheera arrived at Kufa and spoke to his close representatives, bribing them with 30,000 dirhams to maintain their support. Mugheera sent his son Musa bin Mugheera to Head a delegation that visited Damascus, there they [the group] reiterated their support for the nomination of Yazeed as Khalifa. Mu’awiya summoned Musa and asked him how much money his father had spent to buy these individuals, he replied 30,000 dirhams”.

Mu’awiya killed all those who posed a hurdle for him making Yazeed Khalifah

Muawiyah not only used his money, but he also made use of violence to secure his filthy son’s seat succession to the throne. Victims of such violence included Abdur Rahman bin Khalid bin Waleed. Though Abdur Rahman was not a Shia rather a Nasibi, when it cames to the love of his filthy son, Muawiyah didn’t even spare one of his companions.

  1. al Bidaya wa al Nihaya, Volume 8 page 31 Dhikr 31 Hijri
  2. al Istiab, Volume 1 page 250, Dhikr Abdur Rahman bin Khalid
  3. al Nasa al Kafiya, page 62
  4. Asadul Ghaba, page 440 Dhikr Abdur Rahman bin Khalid bin al-Walid
  5. Tarikh Kamil, Volume 2 page 213
  6. Shazarath’ul Dhahab, Volume 1 page 55 Dhikr 46 Hijri

We read in Al Bidaya:

عبد الرحمن بن خال بن الوليد
القرشى المخزومى وكان من الشجعان المعروفين والأبطال المشهورين كابيه وكان قد عظم ببلاد الشام لذلك حتى خاف منه معاوية ومات وهو مسموم

“Khalid bin Walid’s son Abdur Rahman was from amongst the brave men and was popular in Syria hence Mu’awiya was against him and was poisoned”

We read in al-Istiab:

“Abdurehman was againt Ali and Bani Hashim … he had fought in Sifeen alongside Muawiyah…When Muaiywah decided to take bayah from people for his Yazeed, he gave a sermon to the people of Syria in which he said: ‘the time of my death is approaching, I am elderly and I want to make a ruler for you people, what do you people want?’. They said: ‘We like Abdurehman’. Muawiya didn’t like it but kept it within him and once Abdurehman got ill, Muawiya told the doctor to treat him and gave him a syrup that could kill him, the doctor administered it and killed him by giving him poison.”

Why did Imam Hussain (as) refuse to give bay’a to Yazeed?

Abu Sulaiman claims:

Ibn Al-Zubair and Al-Hussain (as) disagreed on this allegiance but it does not defame this allegiance because it must have some objectors. From this we know that Mu’awiyah was eager to have the acceptance of the Ummah in giving the allegiance to Yazeed.

The objection was not some simple matter like a difference of opinion over a dinner table. This was a matter intrinsically linked to the Deen (religion), that ultimately asks the question, ‘was it legitimate for a fasiq to be the khalifa of Rasulullah (s)?’ On the one hand we had the opinion of Ibn`Umar who deemed it correct, and on the other we had Imam Hussain (as) who said that this was a sin in the eyes of Allah (swt). The clearest proof comes from his letter to the Shi’a of Kufa:

“From Husayn b. Ali to the believers and the Muslims. Hani and Sa’id came to me with your letters, they being the last among your messengers and delegations to come to me. I have understood what you said and that you have invited me to come to you because you have no Imam to guide you, and that you hope my arrival there will unite you in the right path and in the truth. I am sending my cousin and the trusted one from my family [Muslim b. Aqil] to report to me about your affairs. If his report conforms with what you have written, I will soon come. But you must be clear about the fact that the Imam is only one who follows the Book of God, makes justice and honesty his conduct and behaviour, judges with truth, and devotes himself to the service of God. Peace.”
History of Tabari, Volume 19 pages 26-27

The last sentence of the letter, explaining the duties of an Imam and the nature of the Imamate, helps us to understand Hussain’s approach and attitude towards the whole problem. The Imam was one who:

  • Followed the Quran and Sunnah
  • Was just and trustworthy
  • Was of good character
  • Was a true devotee of Allah (swt)

It is evident that Imam Hussain (as) did not see these conditions inherent in Yazeed which is why he refused to give him bay’a.

Tabari also records this letter of Imam Hussain (as) to the Shi’a of Basra:

“God has chosen Muhammad from among his people, graced him with His Prophethood and selected him for His message. After he admonished the people and conveyed His message to them God took him back unto Himself. We, being his family (ahl), his close associates endowed with the quality of guardianship (awliya’), his trustees and vice regent (awsiya’), and his heir and legatee (warith), are the most deserving among all the people to take his place. But the people preferred themselves over us for this [privilege]. We became contented, disliking dissension and anxious to preserve the peace and well being [of the community], though we were fully aware that we were more entitled to this [leadership] than those who had taken it for themselves . . . I have sent my messenger to you and I call you to the Book of God, and the Sunna of his Prophet, the Sunna which has become obliterated and innovations have become active and energetic. If you listen to me and obey my orders I will guide you to the right path. May the Peace and the Mercy of God be upon you.”
History of Tabari, Volume 19 page 32

So Imam Hussain (as) felt that the Deen had been corrupted and he was calling on the people to turn to him for guidance. This was far more than just a difference of opinion it was a difference at the heart of Deen, who has the right to call oneself the khalifa?

Mu’awiya’s development of lineal succession states:

 Mu’awiyah did not invent a new system for the caliphate by inheriting the leadership to his son Yazeed. Abu Bakr was the first to do it when he gave the leadership to `Umar bin Al-Khattab and`Umar did the same when he limited the leadership in six Companions.

Mu’awiya created a completely new system. Abu Bakr deemed Umar the most worthy for the role of succession and Umar selected six people who he himself stated that were the most worthy to succeed him. For Mu’awiya he created a system where succession was NOT based upon merit but upon lineage character did not come in to the equation.

He then states that Imam Ali (as) in fact started the lineal succession that appointed Imam Hasan (as). He accuses the Shi’a of applying contradiction condemning:

“…Mu’awiyah giving the leadership as an inheritance to his son Yazeed yet the greatest doctrine of the Imamiyah Rafidites is their belief that the leadership is a hereditary in the sons of Ali bin Abi Talib by the father giving the leadership as an inheritance to his son! Is it allowed for them and forbidden on others?”

This type of hereditary succession is in accordance with the will of Allah (swt) and Rasulullah (s). The Shi’a concept of succession is that the Imam is appointed by Allah (swt) BECAUSE he has the right to succeed on account of his perfection / merits. Imam Ali’s appointment of Imam Hasan (as) is not on account of the fact that he is his son, but because he is the most superior in the Ummah to lead the Ummah. Rasulullah had made it clear that if you follow the Qur’an and Ahl’ul bayt (as) you will NEVER go astray. Hence the succession of Hasan (as) was not in any way shaped by nepotism rather it was on account of his entitlement to lead as he was the legitimate Imam appointed by Ali (as) through the will of Allah (swt) who would prevent the people from going astray. Imam Hasan (as) was qualified to take power, whilst the Banu Umayya possessed no such qualities. Is Abu Sulaiman going to suggest to us that no one in the entire Ummah was superior to Yazeed?

Yazeed the ‘protector of afflictions’

In his defence of Mu’awiya, Abu Sulaiman comments:

Perhaps the reason that pushed Mu’awiyah to take allegiance to Yazeed was to push away the disagreement and to be one in this crucial time at which the Ummah lived and where a lot of people claimed the caliphate. Hence, Mu’awiyah thought that by giving the leadership to Yazeed would be a good thing for the Ummah and it would prevent another affliction of happening

And what wonderful affliction was prevented. Yazeed reigned for three years. In the first year Imam Hussain his family and companions were martyred. In the second year Yazeed ordered an attack on Harra that led to the slaughter of the companions and the mass rape of their women folk.

In History of al-Fakhri, translated by C.E.J. Whitting, London, 1947, pp. 113-115 we learn that Yazeed first asked Ubaydullah bin Ziyad to lead an army against Medina, who made excuses, then he asked Muslim bin Uqbah who led the army:

“Then Muslim, son of ‘Uqbah, for three days gave Madinah to the sack. He murdered, looted and took prisoners, so that it was said that a man of Madinah thereafter, if he gave his daughter to wed, would not guarantee her virginity, “She may have been raped in the battle of Harrah.” (from page 114)

Ta’rikh Duwal al-Islam, al-Dhahabi, Hyderabad, page 31 provides list of those Sahaba who were killed in Harra.

Yazeed’s protection from affliction did not just end there. Fakhri on page 114-115 states that Yazeed issued an order to go to Mecca, though Muslim died before he reached Mecca and so that another person (who Yazeed had nominated should Muslim die, since he was old led attack:

“The son of Zubair, with the men of Meccah, made a sally against him, battle was joined and a Syrian versifier said:- “‘Artillery’ like a foaming stallion, with which he shoots at the timbers of this mosque.” A footnote says ‘timbers’ refers to the Prophet’s pulpit and other relics.

In al-Isabah fi tamyiz al-Sahaba, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani volume 3, page 470 also mentions the pillage of Medina, and stoning of Ka’bah during Yazeed’s reign.

Appraisal of ‘pious’ Yazeed by the Nasibi author

Abu Sulaiman states:

“It is also a lie that Yazeed was an alcohol drinking person”. We will let Muhammad bin Ali bin Abi Talib to answer this claim because Muhammad knew Yazeed the best because he lived with him for a while. Ibn Katheer says in Al-Bidayah: (When the people of Al-Medina returned from Yazeed, Abdullah bin Mutee’a and his companions walked to Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyah. They wanted Muhammad to agree to dismiss Yazeed, but Muhammad refused. Ibn Mutee’a said: “Yazeed drinks alcohol, does not pray, and ignores the rule of the Book.” Muhammad answered them: “I never saw what you are saying about him. I came to him, and stayed with him for a while and I saw him taking care of his prayers, looking for goodness, asking about jurisprudence, and clinging to the Sunnah….[Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah for IbnKatheer,vol.8,p.236]

It is agreed by Sunni and Shi’a alike that Yazeed was an ill character individual, and he is reviled throughout the world in Muslim circles. Curiously Abu Sulaiman seems to depart from the common Sunni line and all of a sudden endorses the piety of Yazeed! No true Sunni would ever utter praise for Yazeed. It is extremely insulting to see that yet again Abu Sulaiman is presenting his Nasibi thinking and cloaking it as Sunni Islam.

In any case Abu Sulaiman has failed to substantiate his claim. Assuming that this statement attributed to Ibn al-Hanafiyya is not a fabrication, Muhammad bin Hanafiyya is stating that he (personally) had NOT seen Yazeed drinking this so could not verify the allegation. Had Abu Sulaiman had an ounce of honesty in him, he would have acknowledged that the filthy character was a fact that no prestigious scholar of Ahlul Sunnah has denied.

Ibn Kathir’s comments on Yazeed the drunkard

Interesting the very same text al Bidaya from where Abu Sulaiman had sought to extol the virtues of his Imam Yazeed, also contains comments of Ibn Kathir proving that he was indeed a drunkard. Ibn Kathir is the Wahabi’s biggest historian and a student of Ibn Taymiyya himself. As far as Wahabis are concerned, his words are written in gold. Yet Ibn Kathir himself writes in ‘al Bidayah’ Volume 8 page 1169 “Dhikr Yazeed bin Muawiya”:

“Traditions inform us that Yazeed loved worldly vices, would drink, listen to music, kept the company of boys with no facial hair [civil expression for paedophilia with boys, a form of homosexuality], played drums, kept dogs [civil expression for bestiality], making frogs, bears and monkeys fight. Every morning he would be intoxicated and would bind monkeys to a horse saddle and make the horse run”.
Al Bidayah Wal Nihayah (Urdu), Vol 8 Page 1169, Nafees Academy Karachi

Imam Ibn Atheer’s comments on Yazeed ‘the drunkard’

Imam Ibn Atheer Jazri records the following testimony of Munzar bin Zubayr in ‘Tareekh al Kamil’ Volume 3 page 450:

إنه أجازني بمائة ألف ولا يمنعني ما صنع بي أن أخبركم خبره وأصدقكم عنه والله إنه ليشرب الخمر والله إنه ليسكر حتى يدع الصلاة

‘He rewarded me with one hundred thousand, but this deed will not prevent me from telling you honestly about his status, by Allah he drinks alcohol, by Allah he is drunkard and even abandons prayer’
Tareekh al Kamil, Volume 3 page 450

Imam Dhahabi’s naration and verdict on Yazeed ‘the drunkard’

Yazeed’s drinking despite Abu Sulaiman’s denials is such an established fact that even Dhahabi, relied on as an authority by Abu Sulaiman, testifies to this fact.

In “Siyar A’lam Al-Nubala” Volume 4 pages 37, Dhahabi narrates:

“Ziyad Haarthi narrated: ‘Yazeed gave me alcohol to drink, I had never drunk alcohol like that before and I enquired where he had obtained its ingredients from’. Yazeed replied: ‘it is made of sweet pomegranate, Isfahan’s honey, Hawaz’s sugar, Taif’s grapes and Burdah’s water’. Ahmed bin Masama’ narrated: ‘Once Yazeed drank alcohol and started to dance, suddenly he fell down and his nostril began to bleed’.

After citing the above cited traditions, Imam Dhahabi then gave his own verdict regarding Yazeed wihch has also been recorded by Allamah Ibn al-Emaad al-Hanbali (d. 1089 H) in “Shadharat al Dhahab” Volume 1 page 69:

وقال الذهبي فيه كان ناصبياً فظاً غليظاً يتناول المسكر ويفعل المنكر افتتح دولته بقتل الحسين وختمها بوقعة الحرة فمقته الناس ولم يبارك في عمره

“Al-Dhahabi said about him (Yazeed) that he was Nasibi, rude, harsh, used to drink alcohol and committed evil deeds. He started his reign by killing al-Hussain and concluded it by the battle of al-Hara, so the people hated him and Allah didn’t bless his life”

The book can also be downloaded from the following Salafi library:

Moreover, in his another authority work ‘Tarikh Islam’ Volume 5 page 30, Imam Dhahabi states:

قلت: ولما فعل يزيد بأهل المدينة ما فعل، وقتل الحسين وإخوته وآله، وشرب يزيد الخمر، وارتكب أشياء منكرة، بغضه الناس، وخرج عليه غير واحد، ولم يبارك الله في عمره، فخرج عليه أبو بلال مرداس بن أدية الحنظلي

I say: ‘When Yazeed did to the people of Madina what he did and killed al-Hussain and his brothers and progeny, and Yazeed drank alcohol, and performed abominable things, then the people hated him and rose against him more than once and God didn’t bless his life and Abu Bilal Mirdas bin Adya al-Hanzali rose against him.’

Imam Ibn Jauzi’s comments on Yazeed ‘the drunkard’

Ibn Jauzi in Wafa al-Wafa Volume 1 page 217:

“Yazeed appointed his cousin Uthman bin Muhammad bin Abu Sufyan as Governor of Madina. He sent a delegation to visit Yazeed who bore gifts so that they might take the oath of allegiance to him. Upon their return they said ‘We have returned having visited a man who has no religion, he drinks, plays instruments, keeps the company of singers and dogs, we declare that we have broken our allegiance to him. Abdullah bin Abi Umro bin Hafs Mukhzumee commented ‘Yazeed gave me gifts, the reality is this man is an enemy of Allah (swt) and a drunkard, I shall separate myself from him in the same way that I remove my turban [from my head]….”

Ibn Hajar al-Haythami’s comments on Yazeed ‘the drunkard’

In his book written against the Shi’a namely ‘Sawaiqh al Muhriqa’ page 221, Ibn Hajr Makki al-Haythami sets out the Sunni position on Yazeed:

One group that includes Ibn Jauzi deem Yazeed a kaafir, another group says that he was not a kaafir, this is a disputable matter of Ummah and the majority of Ahl’ul Sunnah agree that he was a fasiq (transgressor), a fajir (one that commits debauchery) and a drunkard.

Al-Waqidi has recorded from various ways that Abdullah bin Hanzallah narrated: ‘verily we opposed Yazeed at that time when we feared that Allah (swt) would then send down stones on us, Yazeed considered nikah (marriage) with mothers, daughters and sisters to be permissible, drank alcohol and abandoned prayers’.

These comments are indeed interesting. Ibn Hajr asserts that in the eyes of the vast bulk of Ahl’ul Sunnah, Yazeed was “a fasiq, a fajir and a drunkard” while Abu Sulaiman who claims he is Ahl’ul Sunnah wants us to believe in a tradition portraying him as a pious worshipper who never drank alcohol.

Shah Abdul Aziz Muhadith Dehalwi’s comments on Yazeed ‘the drunkard’

Renowned Sunni scholar of Pakistan (Late) Allamah Shafi Okarvi Qadri who was known by the title “Khateeb A’zam of Pakistan” wrote a book “Imam Paak aur Yazeed Paleed” [The pure Imam and filthy Yazeed] wherein he refuted one of the lovers of Yazeed [la] Maulana Mahmood Abbasi. During the course of argument, Allamah Okarvi quoted the famed anti-Shia scholar and the beloved of Ahle Sunnah Muhadith Shah Abdul Aziz Dehalwi who wrote the following about Yazeed:

“Verily, Hussain (as) rejected to give bayah to Yazeed because he was Fasiq, drunkard and an oppressor and Hussain went Makkah.[Sirul Shahadatayn, page 12]“
Imam Paak aur Yazeed Paleed, page 97 (Zia ul Quran publications, Lahore)

Qadhi Thanaullah Paani Patti’s comments on Yazeed ‘the drunkard’

Qadhi Thanaullah Paani Patti (d. 1225) was a Sunni scholar of twelfth century, who studied under the teachings of Shah Waliullah Muhadith Dehalvi (d. 1176 H) while his anti-Shia son Shah Abdul Aziz Muhadith Dehalvi (d. 1239 H) would call Qadhi Thanaullah the ‘Behaqqi of his time’. He was also the Khalifa of Mirza Mazhar Jaan Janan (d. 1195 H) who would refer to Qadhi Thanaullah as ‘Ilm al-Huda’. His commentary of the Holy Quran, Tafseer Mazhari is popular among the Sunni masses particularly amongst the Deobandies. We will cite the complete text later on, suffice is to quote Qadhi’s testimony regarding Yazeed being a drunkard:

Moreover, he made alcohol Halal and these are his couplets for alcohol:

‘The treasure of alcohol is in a utensil which is like silver and the branch of grapes are loaded by grapes which is like stars, the depth of the branch of grapes is alternate for the stars over sun, the east of this sun (alcohol) is the hand of the drinker while the place for the sunset (alcohol) is my mouth, thus, if one day alcohol was made Haram in Ahmad’s religion, then O addressee, you just take it according to the religion of Masih ibn Mariam (i.e. deem it Halal)’
Tafseer Mazhari [Arabic], Volume 5 page 271, commentary of 14:29
Tafseer Mazhari [Urdu], Volume 6 pages 202-203, commentary of 14:29

At another place (under the commentary of 24:55), Qadhi Thanaullah wrote:

“It is possible that this verse refers to Yazeed bin Muawiyah. Yazeed had martyred the grandson of Holy Prophet (s) and his companions, those companions were actually the members of the Prophet’s family, he disgraced the honor of the Prophet (s) and then became proud of that and stated: ‘Today, the revenge for the day of Badr has been taken’. He was the one who brought the army to storm Madina and destroyed it during the incident of Hara, and he dishonored the mosque that had been founded on the basis of Taqwa and which has been referred to as one of the gardens of heaven, he installed positions in order to stone the house of Allah, he was the one who martyred Abdullah bin Zubair (ra) the grandson of the first caliph Abu Bakr (ra). He did such indecent things that at last he denounced the religion of Allah and made the alcohol Halal that had been made Haram by Allah”
Tafseer Mazhari [Urdu], Volume 8 page 268

Mu’awiya also knew that Yazeed drank alcohol

Ibn Kathir in his authority work ‘Al Bidayah wa al Nihaya’ (Urdu) Vol 8 page 1156 “Dhikr Yazeed bin Muawiya” testifies that Muawiyah also knew about Yazeed’s habit of consuming alcohol and in this regard Muawiyah advised him through poetry not to do such things in daylight (i.e. in public) as a means of avoiding objections from his opponents. Ibn Kathir states:

Yazeed in his youth indulged in alcohol consumption and used to do other things youth would do, and this came to the attention of Mu’awiya who wanted to advise him warmly so he said to him: ‘O my son, you do have capability of achieving what you want without disgrace and debasement, which will destroy your youthfulness and value, and will make your enemy happy at your adversity and your friend will treaty you badly’. He then stated: ‘O my son, let me recite to you some couplets, try to learn manners from these couplets and learn them by heart’. Thus, Muawiyah recited:
“Stay all the day long in the pursual of heights and have patience on the departure of a close mate, untill the darkness of night appears and your enemy falls asleep, thus, do whatever you wish to do throughout the night, night is like a day for the wise, there are plenty of Fasiq people whom you deem pious, but they spend their nights commiting strange things, night has provided veils to their acts and he has spent the night with calm and pleasure, while the wish of a stupid person is of a visible nature.”

Al Bidayah wa al Nihaya (Urdu) Vol 8 page 1156 (published by Nafees Academy Karachi)

We appeal to our readers to ponder over this reference carefully. Who knows a man’s character better than his father? Abu Sulaiman relied on Ibn Kathir’s narration wherein Ibn Hanafiyya said he had never seen Yazeed drinking alcohol. In the same book Ibn Kathir records the testimony of Mu’awiya himself, namely his advice that Yazeed keep his alcoholism a secret. Tell us Abu Sulaiman whose word is more reliable yours or Muawiya’s?

Ibn Hajar Asqalani’s views regarding those that praise Yazeed

The statement by one of the most esteemed Sunni Imams Ibn Hajar Asqalani regarding the one who praises Yazeed is quite serious, yet we find Nawasib like those of, Sipah-e-Sahabah ( and some self proclaimed scholars like that of Dr. Zakir Naik trying to absolve Yazeed [la] and making an attempt to praise him. Imam Ibn Hajar Asqalani records:

وأما المحبة فيه والرفع من شأنه فلا تقع إلا من مبتدع فاسد الاعتقاد فإنه كان فيه من الصفات ما يقتضي سلب الإيمان عمن يحبه لأن الحب في الله والبغض في الله من الإيمان والله المستعان

‘Loving and glorifying him is not performed except by a heretic who has void belief because he (Yazid) had characteristics that his lover deserves to be faithless, because to love and hate just in the sake of God is the sign of faith’
Al-Emta bil al-Arbaeen, page 96

Imam Ahmad issued Takfeer against drunkard Yazeed

In Sharh Fiqh Akbar, page 88 we read the following account about Yazeed:

“He considered alcohol halal and at the time of killing Husayn and his companions, he stated: ‘I have avenged the death of my ancestors at Badr’ and other statements like this. This is the reason that Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal declared Yazeed to be a kaafir as the copy of Yazeed’s statement was proved authentic to him (Imam Ahmed)”

Allamah Syed Mahmood Alusi al-Baghdadi (d. 1270 H) under the commentary of 47:22-23 as well as other Sunni scholars quoted the follwing opinion of Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal regarding Yazeed:

Al-Barzanji in Al-Ishaat and al-Haythami in al-Sawaiq recorded that Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal’s son (Saleh) narrated that he said to his father that he had seen people saying that they love Yazeed bin Muawiya. To this Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal said “For a person having belief in Allah there was no reason to love Yazeed bin Muawiya. Why should the person not be cursed who has been cursed by Allah in Quran. To this Saleh asked that where in the Quran had Allah cursed Yazeed bin Muawiya. Imam Ahmed replied quoting the verse: ‘Then, is it to be expected of you, if ye were put in authority, that ye will do mischief in the land, and break your ties of kith and kin? Such are the men whom Allah has cursed for He has made them deaf and blinded their sight. Do they not then earnestly seek to understand the Qur’an, or are their hearts locked up by them?’ [47:22-24].
1. Tafseer Ruh al-Ma’ani, Volume 26 page 227
Tafseer Ruh al-Ma’ani (Online), Volume 26 page 72
2. Tafsir Mazhari (Urdu), volume 10 page 326 (Published by Darul Isha’at Karachi)
3. Ghidha al-albab li-Sharh Manzumat al-Adab by Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Saffarini al-Hanbali (d. 1188), Volume 1 page 182
4. Adab Shari’a by ibn Muflih al-Hanbali, Volume 1 page 342

In Sawaiq al-Muhriqa (Urdu), page 734, the conversation ends with the words of Imam Ahmed:

“Can there be any worse fitna than this murder (of Hussain)?”
Sawaiq al-Muhriqa (Urdu), pages 733-734

Allamah Mahmood Alusi’s takfeer against Yazeed

Allamah Syed Mahmood Alusi al-Baghdadi (d. 1270 H) in his famed commentary of Quran namely Tafseer Ruh al-Ma’ani, Volume 26 page 73 under the commentary of the verse 47:22-23, wrote his views about Yazeed in the following words:

“And I say what is prevalent over my mind that (Yazeed) Khabeeth did not testify to the messengership of the Holy Prophet (s)… According to me it is correct to curse a person like Yazeed, although one cannot imagine a Fasiq like him and apparently he never repented, the possibility of his repentance is weaker than the possibility of his faith (Iman). Along with Yazeed, Ibn Ziyad, Ibn Sa’ad and his group shall also be included. Verily, may Allah’s curse be upon all of them, their friends, their supporters, their group and upon everyone who inclines towards them until Qayamah and until an eye sheds a tear for Abu Abdullah Hussain (ra)”
Tafseer Ruh al-Ma’ani (online), Volume 26 page 73
Tafseer Ruh al-Ma’ani, Volume 26 pages 228-229

Qadhi Thanaullah Paani Patti’s takfeer against Yazeed

The following views of Qadhi Thanaullah about Yazeed will shut the mouths of those Deobandies who are coming under Salafi/Wahabi influence for absolving Yazeed from his Kufr. Qadhi wrote:

Yazeed and his associates did Kufr with the bounties of Allah. They deem it as their aim to have a grudge against the progeny of the Prophet (s) and murdered Hussain (ra) with oppression and Yazeed did Kufr with the religion of Prophet (s) to the extent that Yazeed recited the following couplets over the murder of Hussain (ra)

‘Where are my ancestors, they should come and see that I have take revenge from the progeny of the Prophet and Bani Hashim’.

And the last prose are:

‘I would not be from the progeny of Jandab had I not taken revenge from the progeny of Ahmad for whatever they had done.’

Moreover, he made alcohol Halal and these are his couplets for alcohol:

‘The treasure of alcohol is in a utensil which is like silver and the branch of grapes are loaded by grapes which is like stars, the depth of the branch of grapes is alternate for the stars over sun, the east of this sun (alcohol) is the hand of the drinker while the place for the sunset (alcohol) is my mouth, thus, if one day alcohol was made Haram in Ahmad’s religion, then O addressee, you just take it according to the religion of Masih ibn Mariam (i.e. deem it Halal)’
Tafseer Mazhari [Arabic], Volume 5 page 271, commentary of 14:29
Tafseer Mazhari [Urdu], Volume 6 pages 202-203, commentary of 14:29

Various other Sunni Ulema did takfeer against Yazeed and have deemed it permissible to curse him

Let us begin with the views of great Shafiyee scholar al-Kesa al-Harsi. The prestigious rank of this Shafiyee scholar and his views about Yazeed are recorded by Ibn Katheer:

“Ibn Ali bin Emaaduddin Abu Hassan Tabari, who was known as al-Kesa al-Herasi and was amongst the activist pioneer jurists (Fuqaha) of Shafiya (sect), he was born in 450 H. He benefited from Imam al-Harmayn, he and Imam Ghazzali are among his prominent students…at Nizamamiyah in Nishapur, he used to curse Iblis seven times at every stair of Nizamiya and there were 70 stairs in all. He heard plenty of hadiths, he debated, issued edicts, taught and was amongst the Akabir Fuzala and Sadaat jurists…And he was asked an edict about Yazeed bin Muawiyah to which he mentioned Yazeed’s dishonesty and his being a Fasiq and deemed it permissible to slander him”
Al Badayah wal Nihayah [Arabic], Volume 12 page 213

Shaykh Kamaluddin Muhammad bin Musa Damiri (742-808 H) in ‘Hayaat ul Haywaan’ Volume 2 page 196 recorded the views of this great Shafiyee scholar in detail. When he was asked whether it is permissible to curse Yazeed, he replied:

“As for cursing him, there are two types of statements from the Salaf Saliheen, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmed Hanbal, one statement is with Tasreeh (i.e. to curse him by taking his name) and another one is with Talweeh (i.e. to curse without taking his name and only by using hint e.g. May Allah curse the killers of Imam Hussain) but according to us, there is only one statement which is Tasreeh, not the Talweeh and why should that not be the case since Yazeed used to play the game of hunting cheetahs, chess and always used to drink alcohol thus amongst his couplets, the one regarding alcohol is:
I say to my friends who have been gathered by the alcohol and the warmness of romance are calling in rhythm to take your portion of bounties and enjoyment because every person shall die no matter how long his age is (thus do all kinds of enjoyment you want to do in this short time span).”

Allamah Ibn Khalikaan (d. 681 H) in Wafayat al-A’yan, Volume 3 page 287 also recorded the very text with difference of words.
Wafayat al-A’yan, Volume 3 page 287

We read in Sharh Aqaid Nafsiyah (with Nabras), page 553:

“Some Ulema and Imams have declared it permissible to curse Yazeed, because by ordering the killing of Husayn he had committed kufr”.

This text as well as the text from Sharah Fiqh Akbar that we cited above have also been quoted by the Mufti of Daarul Uloom Qadriyah Jilaniyah London namely Mufti Ghulam Rasool in:
Hasab wa Nasab, Volume 2 pages 89-90 (published in London)

Ibn Kathir writes in ‘Al Bidayah Wal Nihayah’:

“Whoever frightens Medina incurs the wrath of Allah, His Angels and all the people”. Those people who deem it permissible to curse Yazeed bin Muawiyah deemed this and other similar kinds of hadiths as its basis. This tradition is from Ahmad ibn Hanbal and has been taken by Alkhilal, Abu Bakr Abdul Aziz, Qadhi Abu Laila and his son Qadhi Abul Husayn. Abul Faraj Ibn Jauzi wrote a seperate book deeming it permissible to curse Yazeed”.
Al Bidayah Wal Nihayah (Urdu), Vol 8 Page 1148, Nafees Academy Karachi

Imam of Ahle Sunnah Saaduddin Taftazani also cursed and did takfeer against Yazeed, as recorded by Imam Ibn Emaad Hanbali (d. 1089 H) as well as by Allamah Mahmood Alusi under the commentary of 47:22-23:

فنحن لا نتوقف في شأنه بل في كفره وإيمانه لعنة الله عليه وعلى أنصاره وأعوانه

‘We don’t delay in his (Yazeed’s) case, not even in his kufr and faith, may Allah curse him, his supporters and his helpers’
1. Shadharat al Dhahab, Volume 1 pages 68-69
2. Tafseer Ruh al-Ma’ani, Volume 26 page 72

Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti is also one of those prestigious Sunni scholars who cursed Yazeed personally, we read in Tareekh Khulafa:

“Allah’s curse be opon all three Ibn Ziyad, Yazeed and the killer of Imam Hussain”
Tareekh ul Khulafa (Urdu) page 208, published by Nafees Academy Karachi

While answering to the question whether it is permissible to curse Muawiyah, Imam of Ahle Sunnah Mullah Ali Qari replied:

“It is not permissible but it is permissible to curse Yazeed, Ibn Ziyad and their likes. [Sharah Shifa, Volume 2 page 556]“
Imam Paak aur Yazeed Paleed, page 93 (Zia ul Quran publications, Lahore)

Qadhi Thanaullah Paani Patti (d. 1225) in one of his letters wrote:

“Verily, the Kufr of Yazeed is proven from authentic traditions, thus he is worthy of being cursed, though there isnt any benefit in cursing him but ‘Al-Hub fi Allah’ and ‘Al-Bughz fi Allah’ demands it. [Maktubaat, page 203]“
Imam Paak aur Yazeed Paleed, page 104 (Zia ul Quran publications, Lahore)

Prominent Shafiyee scholar Shaykh Sulaiman bin Muhammad bin Umar al-Bejarmi (d. 1221 H) records:

أن للإمام أحمد قولا بلعن يزيد تلويحا وتصريحا وكذا للإمام مالك وكذا لأبي حنيفة ولنا قول بذلك في مذهب إمامنا الشافعي وكان يقول بذلك الأستاذ البكري .ومن كلام بعض أتباعه في حق يزيد ما لفظه زاده الله خزيا ومنعه وفي أسفل سجين وضعه وفي شرح عقائد السعد يجوز لعن يزيد

“Imam Ahmad has statements about cursing Yazid both Talweeh (directly) and Tasreeh (indirectly) and so has Imam Malik and Abu Hanifa and we have similar statements in the madhab of our Imam Shafiyee and al-Bakri too said the same. Some of his (al-Bakri’s) followers said about Yazeed ‘may Allah increase his disgrace and put him in the most lowest level of hell’. According to Sharh Aqaid al-Saad, it is permissible to curse Yazeed”
Hashyat al-Bejarmi, Volume 12 page 369

An appeal to our Sunni brethren

We have faithfully cited the comments of grand Sunni Ulema who have deemed Yazeed to be a drunkard and issued fatwas declaring it permissible to curse him on account of his deeds. Sunnies likewise the world over are united in their hatred of Yazeed ibn Mu’awiya, he is despised and cursed whenever his name is mentioned. Curiously by citing this tradition Abu Sulaiman has sought to present an alternative viewpoint of Yazeed, one of an ardent pious worshipper. This is a belief that is alien to Sunni aqeedah and one has to ask ‘what is this new belief system that Abu Sulaiman is seeking to pass off as ‘the truth’? Clearly his views bear no correlation with Sunni Islam; the only group that would have the audacity to praise Yazeed, killer of Imam Hussain (as) would be Nasibis. Would it not simply be better for Abu Sulaiman to stop adopting taqiyya and instead acknowledge that his appraisal of Yazeed is in line with his Nasibi ideology? Why is he seeking to make false misleading representations on behalf of Sunni Muslims? Perhaps Abu Sulaiman is seeking to amalgamate his Nasibi endorsement of Yazeed with mainstream Sunni aqeedah. Whatever his motives, we would urge our Sunni brethren to distance themselves from Nasibis like Abu Sulaiman who are seeking to indoctrinate Sunnis with the false thinking that Yazeed was a pious Muslim.


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