Chapter Two: Was Mu’awiya seeking Qisas for the death of Uthman?
Since the field of history is mostly relied upon for revealing the detestable actions of Muawiyah and Co, the present day Nawasib try their utmost to exihibt their treachous nature and cast doubts on the authneticty of certain notable narrators of historical text. Abu Mukhnaf Lut bin Yahyah and Waqidi are two such narrators who shall appear in the texts we will quote throughout this article. The Nawasib shall no doubt bring objections against both narrators accompanied with deceitfulness. We shall therefore direct our readers to these two links right at the start of the article that contains the refutation to all objections the Nawasib raise against both of these Sunni figures:
Mawla Ali (as) did not deem Uthman to have been killed innocently
Before we analyse Muawiya’s claim that he was seeking to avenge the blood of Uthman, it is essential to highlight the conditions under which Uthman was killed. Firstly, Uthman was not killed innocently. The facts are clear:
- Uthman contributed towards his demise due to his transgressions as well as those of his relatives.
- His alleged killers (the people of Kufa, Basra and Egypt) came only for his correction and demanded that he put an end to his evil and cruel innovations. This was there initial claim, but Uthman decieved them (as well as Ali and other Madinan Sahaba) on several occasions by making false promises whilst conspiring against them.
- Historical facts are very clear that when the Madinans failed to support Uthman against them, he sent letters to his governors in other provinces (including Mu’awiya) to send armies in order to kill these innocent people.
Allah (swt) saved these people from all these conspiracies of Uthman Ibn Affan, and they came to know of them at the right time, and killed Uthman in order to quell those problems. Uthman’s killing was a direct consequence of his unjust corrupt reign.
Prior to discussing Mu’awiya, it is essential that we first look at all the historical events which corroborate the fact that Uthman was killed on account of his transgressions. We therefore strongly recommend that our readers first read out our article on Uthman:
The Opinion of Mawla Ali (as) upon Uthman and Mu’awiya
We read in Tarikh Tabari:
People of delegation asked Ali Ibn Talib) Do you bear witness that Uthman has been killed Innocent? Upon this Ali responded:
Neither do I say he was killed as an innocent, nor as an oppressor.
History of Tabari, Arabic Edition, volume 4, page 4 and 5
Mu’awiya’s refusal to help Uthman during the Seige
Mu’awiya was the master of deception and his sole aim was to reap the pleasures of the world. Just look at his role during Uthman’s life:
Imam Tabari says, it was related to me by Ja’far- ‘Amr and ‘Ali- Husayn- his father- Muhammad bin Sa’ib Kalbi:
When Uthman saw what happened to him and how many of people had been sent against him, he wrote Mu’awiyah bin Abi Sufyan in Syria: “In name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. To proceed: The Medinese (i.e. Uthman reffering to People of Madina and not of Egypt) have become unbelievers (Kafirs), they have abandoned obedience and renounced their oath of allegiance. Therfore send to me the Syrian soldiers who are at your disposal, on every camel you have, whether docile or stubborn”.
When Mu’awiya got the letter, he delayed action on it, for he did not wish to differ openly with the Companions of Messenger of God, since he knew that they concurred [on this matter].
When Uthman became aware of the delay, he wrote to seek and from Yazid bin Asad bin Kurz and the Syrians, he stressed his rightful claims upon them, and mentioned Almighty God’s commandment to obey the Caliphs.
History of Tabari, English Edition, vol. 15, page 185 (Translated by R. Stephan Humphreys)
Therefore it becomes very clear from the above narration (and many others) that:
- Outsiders and the Madinans opposed Uthman and ultimately deemed him a Kaafir (infidel).
- Uthman asked Mu’awiya for support by sending an army, but Mu’awiya didn’t respond whilst he knew that the Sahaba had turned against the Ummayad Khalifa.
It is also appropriate at this point to highlight the fact that the leading antagonists in the killing of Uthman were Aisha, Talha and Zubair and other Sahaba such ‘Amr bin al-Aas. Ultimatelty Mu’awiya’s claim that he was avenging Uthman’s blood was nothing more than a drama. He took on these actor skills when (at the beginning of his reign) Maula Ali (as) wanted to remove Mu’awiya from his post as Governor of Syria. Let’s see the following tradition of Ibn Abbas:
According to Muhammad- Hisham b. Sa’d- Abu Hilal- Ibn Abbas:
I went into Ali, and greeted him. He asked me: Did you meet al-Zubayr and Talhah? “I met them in al-Nawasif.” “Who was with them?” He asked. “Abu Saìd bin al-Harith bin Hisham with a Quraishi force,” I replied. ‘Ali then said: ‘I am sure they will never refrain from coming out and saying, ‘We seek repayment for ‘Uthman’s blood.’ By Allah! We know that they are the ones who killed ‘Uthman”.
“Commander of faithful!” said Ibn Abbas. “Tell me about the business with al-Mughirah and why he had a private audience with you.” He said: “He came to me two days after the murder of Uthman and said to me”, May I have a private word with you?” I agreed, and he said: “Good advice costs nothing. You are the most excellent in thie community and I have some sincere advice for you. I advise you to return Uthmans’s governers to office this year, so write to them confirming their governorships. When they have given you allegiance and things have settled down under your command, then you may remove or confirm whomever you wish”. So I replied: “By Allah! I don’t compromise my religion by cheating, nor do I give contemptible men [a say] in my command” . If you insist on rejecting this suggestion, ‘he replied, ‘then revove whomever you will, but leave Mu’awiya. Mu’awiya is daring, and Syrians listen to him. Moreover, you have good reason to keep him in office, for Umar bin al-Khattab made him governor of whole Syria.’ “By Allah! no,” I replied. “I would never appoint Mu’awiya as Governor, even for two days! “ Al-Mughirah then left me without further suggestion. However, he came back again and said to me: ‘I gave you some advice, but you didn`’t agree with me. So I thought about it and realized that your were right. You should not assume your authority deceitfully. There should be no fraud in your rule’”.
“So I said to Ali, said Ibn Abbas, “his first suggestion advised you well, his last deceived you. I advise you to confirm Mu’awiya. If he gives you allegiance, then I will undertake to topple him from his position. “Ali replied, “By Allah! No. I will give him nothing but the sword. ” And he quoted the following verse:
Death, if I die without weakness, is no disgrace when the sould meets its destruction.
“Commander of Faithful! I replied, you are a courageous man, but you are not a warmonger. Didn’t you hear the Messenger of Allah say, ‘War is deceit’? “Indeed I did,” said Ali. “By Allah! If you do as I say” replied Ibn Abbas, “I will take them back to the desert after a watering, and I will leave them staring at the backside of things whose front side they have no idea of, and you will incur neither loss nor guilt,” Ibn Abbas, said Ali, “I don’t want anything to do with these mean schemes of yours or of Mu’awiya’s. You give me advice, and I consider it. If I go against you, then you do as I say.” “I will,” I replied. “Obedience is my first and foremost obligation to you.”
History of Tabari, English Edition, volume 16, page 23-24.(Translated by R. Stephan Humphreys)
This was the evil scheme of Mu’awiya, the claim that he was avenging Uthman’s blood was just a farce. Maula Ali (as) vigorously criticised Uthman (during his siege) about the wrong doings of his governors (especially Mu’awiya). How could Khalifa Ali (as) allow Mu’awiya to continue such transgressions in the name of politics? If this background has become clear to our reders, then we can move forward and assess the quality of excuse offered by todays Nasibi to defend their father Mu’awiya.
Abu Sulaiman of ansar.org puts forward the common excuse:
Mu’awiyah did not want to rule, nor refused the leadership of Ali bin Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased at him, but Mu’awiyah requested from Ali was to give in Uthman’s murderers, and only after that he would obey him (Ali).
The contradiction is evident in just this single sentence. On the one hand he states Mu’awiya did not “refuse the leadership of Ali bin Abi Talib” and yet then states it was not until Uthman’s killers were handed over that “he would obey him”. Hence he WAS refusing the Leadership. In other words Mu’awiya was indeed refusing the leadership of Ali (as) by placing a ‘condition’ for bay`a. We should also point out Abu Sulaiman’s tactical use of the English language.
Mu’awiyah ‘requested’ from Ali was to give in Uthman’s murderers, and only after that he would obey him Ali.
A request in English is simply when a person asks another as to whether such an option was available. Clearly Mu’awiya was NOT in any way making a request, since as Abu Sulaiman says, it was not UNTIL this so-called request was granted that he would give bay`a. So it was NOT a ‘request’ but a ‘demand’.
Later on Abu Sulaiman passes the following comment:
Mu’awiyah did not fight Ali except for the matter of Uthman. Mu’awiyah saw himself as the guardian of Uthman’s blood, and Uthman was one of his relatives”
Whilst Abu Sulaiman admires Muawiya’s stance we ask ‘ is there any evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah that entitles an individual to delay giving bay`a UNTIL Qisas is implemented?’ If there is, why did Mu’awiya the alleged Mujtahid not cite a source to support his position and why did Imam Ali (as) not accept it? Or does Abu Sulaiman have more knowledge on the Shari`a than these two central characters?
Abu Sulaiman also seeks to defend Mu’awiya by saying:
“…and Mu’awiyah relied on some prophetic hadeeths that show and clear that Uthman would be killed as an innocent and describes the rebels as hypocrites… Mu’awiyah and his companions thought they were right according to this and that they were on guidance especially when we know that the hypocrite rebels against Uthman were in the army of Ali. Hence, Mu’awiyah and his companions thought them on astray and therefore they made it lawful for themselves to fight Ali and his faction..”
Could Abu Sulaiman show any reference as to when Mu’awiya cited these traditions to support his action? Or is Abu Sulaiman simply seeking to read Mu’awiya’s mind? Do these ahadith (narrations) state that it will then be permissible for Uthman’s relatives to rebel against the state and demand retribution forthwith?
We should also ask Abu Sulaiman ‘was Mu’awiya’s desire for revenge, more important than the smooth running of the Islamic State under the rule of the rightful caliph? Did Mu’awiya not consider the repercussions of such an action? Was there for example not a risk of Munafiqs (hypocrites) and the Kuffar (pagans) exploiting the situation and spread fitnah to further their own machinations? It is indeed interesting that when the same Abu Sulaiman seeks to read the mind of Mu’awiya later by pointing out that Mu’awiya killed Hujr to quell the risk of sedition and yet the same Mu’awiya saw no problem in himself opposing Imam Ali (as) actively participating in rebellion and sedition!
Clearly the risk was inherent – the third khalifa had been killed, so it was a time of upheaval. In light of such tense / delicate circumstances would it not have been better for Mu’awiya to allow the new Khalifa to settle down and then punish the killers of Uthman? What was the exact correlation between giving bay`a and Imam Ali (as) handing over Uthman’s killers? How exactly was Mu’awiyas demand going to help the situation?
One also wonders how Mu’awiya had all of a sudden become the Waris of Uthman demanding Qisas. Uthmans was survived by sons all of who were baligh they were his Waris and they had the right to ask for Qisas not Mu’awiya.
Al-Thahabi narrated in “Sayr A’alam Al-Nubala’a” from Ya’ali bin Ubayd from his father who says: (Abu Muslim Al-Khulani and some others went to Mu’awiyah and asked him: “Do you dispute Ali or are you equal to him? Mu’awiyah answered: “By Allah no. I know he is better than I am, and he has the right to rule, but do not you know that Uthman was killed as an innocent? And I am his cousin and the seeker of his revenge? Therefore go to Ali and tell him to send me Uthman’s murderers then I will obey him.” They went to Ali and talked to him, but Ali refused to hand in Uthman’s murderers to Mu’awiyah.) [Sayr A'alam Al-Nubala'a, vol.3, p.140, the examiner of the book said that its narrators are trustworthy]
Abu Sulaiman’s use of this reference is indeed disturbing. It is implying that Imam Ali (as) was AWARE who the killers of Uthman were, despite this he let these killers roam free. Does Abu Sulaiman not understand the serious implication of this viewpoint? The Ahl’ul Sunnah have never espoused the view that Imam Ali (as) knew and protected Uthman’s killers, they absolve him of any such slander and yet Abu Sulaiman is seeking to offer a new approach casting doubts on Imam Ali (as). This is a subtle and devious method used by Abu Sulaiman, he has consciously cited this reference, implicating Imam Ali (as) as the wrongdoer and Mu’awiya as the distraught sincere relative. It is clear that the majority Ahl’ul Sunnah do NOT believe such slander against Imam Ali (as) but they should be warned of the risks of infiltration by Nasibis seeking protection for their comments under the Sunni garb.
Mu’awiya and his supporters
Abu Sulaiman extols the cosy relationship between Mu’awiya and the people of Sham at several points in his article. Ansar.org states:
“Mu’awiyah ruled Al-Sham for forty years, and his relationship with Al-Sham’s people was a relationship of love and loyalty to a degree that the people of Al-Sham agreed strongly with him when Mu’awiyah wanted to avenge Uthman’s murder”.When Mu’awiyah took the governship of Al-Sham, his policy with his people was one of the best policies. His people loved him, and he loved them too… his people supported him when Mu’awiyah wanted to take Uthman’s revenge. They gave him allegiance on that and promised him that they will spend their lives and money for the cause of Uthman, take Uthman’s revenge, or Allah take their souls before that. [Al Bidaya Volume 8 p.131]
So we learn:
- Mu’awiya loved the people of Sham and vice versa
- Such was their love they supported him in his decision to avenge Uthman’s murder
It should be made clear than the Shari`a is NOT based on the opinions of the Sahaba. The legitimacy of any stance is only valid if it is supported by the dictates of the Qur’an and Sunnah. The premise that the love of the people constitutes legitimacy of a stance is indeed a very faulty logic. The German people had a deep seated love for Adolph Hitler, this does not in any way mean that this support and his subsequent actions were sanctioned by Allah (swt). To love a person and follow him accordingly does not in any way mean that an individual’s action is correct. On the contrary the correct approach is to follow Allah (swt)’s Deen. Had he been sincere, Abu Sulaiman would have informed his admiring public as to who should have been followed in those circumstances, the Khalifa Ali (as) or Mu’awiya?
Even if for arguments sake we were to accept this, i.e. love for Mu’awiya constitutes legitimacy to rebel, what is Abu Sulaiman’s verdict on those that opposed Mu’awiya and fought him, were they not also the Prophet’s Sahaba (companions)?
Mu’awiya exploited people’s ignorance and greed to attain support
The reality is that Mu’awiya was indeed a ‘master politician’ with the ability to use any method to get his way, like the Leaders of Arab nations today, he used methods of maintaining leadership – ‘by any means necessary’. This included courting and bribing people and subduing opposition through intimidation and violence. This was a reality that was recognized by famed Salafi Syed Qutub in ‘Kutub wa Shakhsyat’ page 242 who whilst commenting on the modus operandi he used to oppose Ali (as) stated:
وحين يركن معاوية وزميله إلى الكذب والغش والخديعة والنفاق والرشوة وشراء الذمم
Mu’awyia and his comrade (Amr bin Aas) used lies, deception, hypocrisy,and bribery.
Ibne Maghazli states in his Manaqib page 128 “Dhikr Sifeen”
“Imam ‘Ali wrote a letter to Mu’awiya stating ‘Makka and Madina have given bayya to me you should do the same so as to avoid a war between the people of Iraq and Syria’. Mu’awiya used Uthman’s blood as an excuse not to give bayya and he used this excuse to mislead the ignorant Arabs, bribing people with money and land”.
The issue that Abu Sulaiman intentionally avoids throughout the article is not that they loved and supported Mu’awiya the actual issue that he should answer is ‘does The Shari`a permit them to act in the way that they did?’ This is a question Abu Sulaiman knows he has no answer to which is why he has failed to cite even a single verse to defend Mu’awiya. Mu’awiya was an individual deviated from the truth and had likewise led others into misguidance.
Mu’awiya falsely claimed that Ali (as) killed Uthman so as to garner the support of the Syrians
Mufti Ghulam Rasool (d. October 2010) of Daar ul Uloom Qadriyah Jilaniyah, London in his famed work ‘Hasab aur Nasab’ Volume 5 page 252 records as follows:
“Moreover in the year 62 H, Ali, the lion of Allah, sent another letter to Muawiya through Jarir bin Abdullah al-Bajali wherein he tried to make him understand that he should obey the caliphate upon which the Ummah had agreed and not to cause a dispute by separating from the majority but for a considerable period of time , Muawiya did not respond to Jarir bin Abdullah al-Bajali and kept avoiding him. At last, upon the advice of Amr bin al-Aas, Muawiya decided that war should be fought against Ali by proving him responsible for the murder of Uthman, thus Muawiya appointed a man so that he could arrange for some witnesses that could testify before the people of Syria that Ali was responsible for Uthman’s murder. The man therefore prepared five such witnesses who testified before the people of Syria that it was Ali who had murdered Uthman after which Ali from Iraq and Muawiya from Syria prepared for the war and advanced towards each other ”
Hasab aur Nasab, Volume 5 page 252
This reference proves that the causal factor that led to the battle of Sifeen was Mu’awiya’s efforts to whoop up an anti sentiment against the Ali (as) amongst the Syrian, and he did this by falsely claiming that he killed Uthman. This was the spring board that via which the Syrians were convinced that an armed campaign should launched against Ali (as), one that formed on the plains of Sifeen.
Along the same lines Ahle Hadith scholar Sideeq Hassan Khan Qanuji in ‘Al-Roza tul Nadiyah Sharah Al-Durar al-Bahiya’ Volume 2 page 360 also opined that Muawiya’s motivation behind rebelling against Ali (as) was nothing other than greed:
وأما الكلام فيمن حارب عليا كرم الله وجهه فلا شك ولا شبهة أن الحق بيده في جميع مواطنه أما طلحة والزبير ومن معهم فلأنهم قد كانوا بايعوه فنكثوا بيعته بغيا عليه وخرجوا في جيوش من المسلمين فوجب عليه قتالهم وأما قتاله للخوارج فلا ريب في ذلك والأحاديث المتواترة قد دلت على أنه يمرقون من الدين كما يمرق السهم من الرمية وأما أهل صفين فبغيهم ظاهر لو لم يكن في ذلك إلا قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم لعمار: “تقتلك الفئة الباغية” لكان ذلك مفيدا للمطلوب ثم ليس معاوية ممن يصلح لمعارضة علي ولكنه أراد طلب الرياسة والدنيا بين قوم أغتام لا يعرفون معروفا ولا ينكرون منكرا فخادعهم بأنه طلب بدم عثمان
With regards those that fought against Ali (k), there is no doubt or suspicion that the truth was in his hands on all occasions. In relation to Talha, Zubair and others accompanying them, they gave allegiance to Ali but then broke it and brought an army from the Muslims, it was hence necessary to fight against them. With regards to his fighting against the Khawarij, there is no doubt that, there are Mutawatir traditions that refer to them being outside the pale of religion in the same manner that an arrow that has left its bow. With regards the people of Sifeen, they were open rebels, as the Prophet (s) had stated to Ammar ‘You will be killed by a rebel group’ and this is what was required in this regard. Muawiya was not competent to oppose Ali rather he wanted government and the world and he was with a nation that neither commanded good things nor forbade bad things. Thus Muawiya deceived them by calling for avenging the blood of Uthman’.
Abu Sulaiman’s attempts to misinterpret the words of Imam Ali (as) as a means of defending Mu’awiya
Al-Shareef Al-Ridi narrated in Nahjul Balagha a speech delivered by Ali where Ali says: “In the beginning of our matter, the people of Sham and us met. It is obvious that our God is one, our Prophet is one, and our call in Islam is one. We do not see ourselves more in faith in Allah or more in believing His messenger than them, nor they do. Our matter is one, except for our disagreement in Uthman’s blood, and we are innocent from his murder.” [Nahjul Balagha, vol.3, p.648] Hence, Ali is confirming that the conflict between him and Mu’awiyah is about the murder of Uthman, not for the sake of leadership or to take control of the Muslims”
If anything Imam Ali (as) is expressing his concern at, is the ‘mentality’ of the people of the time, both believed in the principles of Deen and yet despite this fact they sought it fit to rebel against the Ul’il ‘Amr whilst such an act contradicts the Qur’an. Whilst the spilt was linked to over allegation that Mu’awiya sought retribution for`Uthman’s killers, there is no edict in Islam for an individual to rebel against the rightful Khalifa in order to his own way, and that was what Imam Ali (as) had set out here. He was questioning the legality of Mu’awiya’s actions.
Imam Ali (as) questions Mu’awiya’s motives
Since Abu Sulaiman’s sought to defend his Imam Mu’awiya by misinterpreting the words of Imam ‘Ali (as)’s, we present proof that Imam Ali (as) was openly sceptical about Mu’awiya’s motives. Coupled with the sermon cited by Abu Sulaiman, one is able to get a true picture of how Ali (as) saw and interpreted his opponent’s actions:
This sermon is taken from Ahl’ul Sunnah’s authority work al-Akhbar al-Tiwal, page 173 by Ahmed Bin Daud Abu Hanifa Dinwari:
“From the Servant of Allah, Ali Ammerul Momineen to Mu’awiya ibn Abi Sufyan. Khaulani has brought your letter to me. You have claimed that I deserted Uthman and instigated people against him. In fact I did no such thing, when people got annoyed with the late Caliph some withdrew their support of him whilst others killed him. I chose to remain in my home keeping aloof from the matter….As regards to your demand that I hand over the killers of Uthman I shall not. I am fully aware that you wish to exploit this as a means to fulfil your own ambitions, which has no aim to avenge the blood of Uthman. By my life if you refuse to abandon your rebellion and opposition, this same chastisement will fall on you as has fallen on every tyrant, sinner and rebel”.
Here Imam ‘Ali (as) exposes the treachery of Mu’awiya making clear that he has no interest in avenging Uthman’s murder rather he had ulterior motives. The harsh reality is that the demand of Qisas was in fact a smokescreen by which Mu’awiya sought to catapult his ambitions of power.
The Imam can only implement Qisas
Even if his motives were sincere Mu’awiya’s very demand that the killers of Uthman are handed over to him contradicts the Shari`a since the Head of State can ONLY enforce the Law of Qisas.
Zameer Sayyid Sharred in Sharra Muwaffaq page 530 comments:
“The Imam’s duty is to implement the Shari’a, rules on Qisas, nikah jihad, Eid, the rules cannot be implemented without an Imam”.
In Sharh al Maqasid page 251 we read:
“The appointment of the Imam is an absolute necessity, he implements the Shari’a and places the required limits upon man”.
If one was to accept Mu’awiya’s stance, then this in effect gives a green light for blood feuds and vigilantism – the law of the land is a mockery since citizens have the right to kill to avenge the murder of a relative. Does Abu Sulaiman represent this viewpoint, that not only undermines a Khalifa’s authority but in effect creates a state of anarchy and violence? If he does not deem this as the correct way for a citizen to behave when there is a rightful Khalifa at the helm, then on what premise is he seeking to defend Mu’awiya’s demand?
In an Islamic State Individuals are entitled to voice their concerns / opinions to those in authority. Concerns are only permitted to go as far as ‘silent protest’ not armed rebellion. There exists no verse in the Qur’an or hadith that entitles individuals to rebel and fight the rightful khalifa if their demands are not met. If this was the case then all Governments would be held to ransom, a ‘its my way or the highway’ approach – leaders would be constantly watching over their shoulders wondering when the next opposition rebellion would take place. If Mu’awiya was indeed correct in rebelling to get his way, then this sets a clear precedent, if you don’t get your way and the rightful khalifa does not listen to your demands then you can rebel. Is this option set out in any of the sources of Shari`a? Clearly it is not as we have stated already Allah deems obedience to Ulil ‘Amr unconditional, and with regards to ‘Ali (as) Rasulullah (s) said:
“Whoever obeys ‘Ali, obeys me, whoever obeys me, obeys Allah, whoever disobeys ‘Ali disobeys me, whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah” [Kanz ul Ummal, hadith numbers 32973]
Kanz ul Ummal, Page 614, Hadith numbers 32974 & 32977
Mustadrak al Hakim, Vol. 3, Page 128
Riyadh ul Nadira, Vol. 3, Page 110
This hadith is absolutely explicit, obedience to ‘Ali (as) is unconditional, it is on par with obedience to Rasulullah (s) and Allah (swt).
Fatwa of Shah Abdul Aziz – one that fights Ali (as) is a kaafir
Al Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz comments in – Hadiyyah Majeediyyah page 813
“One who fights Ali (r) with enmity is a kaafir according to the ijma of Ahl’ul Sunnah”
On that same page he seeks to protect Mu’awiya citing the Ansar line of defence namely:
“Whoever deems Ali (r) to be a kaafir or opposes his khilafath is a kaafir, this trait was evident amongst the Khawaarij at Naharwaan”.
Also on the same page Shah Abdul Aziz seeks to protect Mu’awiya by pointing out that Mu’awiya does NOT come within this definition since:
“Mu’awiya and the people of Syria sought revenge for the killing of Uthman”.
As we shall prove if this is the defence by which the majority seek to prevent Mu’awiya then this motive is also without any comprehensive proof….
Mu’awiya’s actual motive was power
Since Mu’awiya had decided to take it on himself to avenge `Uthman’s death, perhaps Abu Sulaiman could inform us what efforts Mu’awiya had taken to protect `Uthman while he was alive? Had Mu’awiya had any love for his relative he would have sought to protect him, and protect he could, after all he had command over the army of greater Syria (Syria and Damascus). With the largest army in the Empire at his disposal, what action did Mu’awiya adopt? In Ahl’ul Sunnah’s authority work al-Nasa’ih al-Kaafiyah page 19 we learn that:
” Uthman asked Mu’awiya for assistance, but Mu’awiya did not listen to him. When the situation got worse and there remained little chance that Uthman would survive Mu’awiya sent Yazeed bin Asand ul Kasheeree with an army and told him to reach the point of Zeekush and remain there. The officer followed this order and when Uthman was killed Mu’awiya ordered his army to return. This was done in order to show the people that he had sent an army but in reality this was just a trick, so that he could exploit Uthman’s death as a means of taking power”.
The following reference recorded by Ibn Katheer also makes it clear that the main motive of Muawiya was not to avenge the murder of Uthman rather he was interested to become the ruler over various key geographical areas like that of Egypt. Ibn Kathir records:
“When Ali came to know that people of Egypt have deemed Muhammad bin Abu Bakar as inferior due to his tender age of 26, he thought of giving Egypt back to Qais bin Sa`d who was the head of his police during that time or give Egypt to Ashtar Nakhi who was his vicegerent over Mosul and Nasibain. Thus, after Sifeeen Ali wrote to him, called him and made him the ruler of Egypt. When Muawiyah came to know that instead of Muhammad bin Abu Bakar, Ali had made Ashtar Nakhi the ruler of Egypt, this thing went harsh on him because he was interested in Egypt and he wanted to snatch it from Muhammad bin Abi Bakar and he knew that Ashtar bin Nakhi would save Egypt from his hands due to his intelligence and bravery.”
Al Badayah wal Nihayah (Urdu), Vol 7 page 612, Events of 38 H, [Nafees Academy Karachi].
The agreement between Mu’awiya and Amr bin Aas is clear proof that the motive was power not avenging Uthman’s murder
Perhaps the advocates of Mu’awiya will not be convinced, well let us hear the testimony from the mouth of their Imam Mu’awiya. In Iqd al Fareed page 113 Volume 1 Chapter “Yaum Sifeen” a detailed conversation is cited between Amr bin Aas and Mu’awiya.
“Mu’awiya told Amr bin Aas to give him bayya. Amr replied ‘if its with regards to the next world, then Allah (swt) will not be with you, if its in connection with this world then I would like a share”. Mu’awiya replied, “in my world there is an equal share”. Amr said, “I would like you to put into writing that you will give me Egypt and its surrounding suburbs”. Mu’awiya did so adding (in the agreement) that Amr give him bayya. Amr replied that it should also be written (in the agreement) that it (bayya) will be subject to the conditions being met. Mu’awiya replied “people will not look at this” but Amr said “Do this”. At this point Utba bin Abi Sufiyan attended and Amr said “Mu’awiya I have sold my religion at your hands”. Utba said “Verily give him the full agreed amount as he was a Sahaba of the Prophet”.
Notice how the killing of Uthman is missing from the entire conversation. The discussion is about power and Mu’awiya’s bribing of Amr with land to get him on board. Despite Abu Sulaiman’s excuses, the words used by Amr bin Aas “Mu’awiya I have sold my religion at your hands”, stand as clear testimony that even he felt that he had abandoned his religion by siding with Mu’awiya, but alas for bin Aas his lust for power was so great that it outweighed his iman. Power was the name of the game not the enforcement “revenge for Uthman” was the war cry via which Mu’awiya sought to enhance his ambitions.
We read in al-Akhbar al-Tiwal page 158 “Dhikr Siffeen” that Amr said to Mu’awiya “Give me Egypt to eat from as long as you are a ruler”. Tareekh Abu Fida Volume 2 page 238 “Dhikr Siffeen” likewise states that Amr placed a condition that to join Mu’awiya he would be given the power to govern Egypt. It is indeed interesting to note how the promise of power and authority was the factor that ‘moved’ Amr bin Aas over to the noble cause of avenging the blood of Uthman.
Power was the name of the game not the enforcement “revenge for Uthman” was the war cry via which Mu’awiya sought to enhance his ambitions.
What greater proof of the deviance of Mu’awiya can there be than the admission of his key supporter Amr bin Aas. We read in in Ta’rikh Kamil Volume 2 page 139 “Dhikr Siffeen” that Amr bin Aas said the following to Mu’awiya:
“Avenging Uthman’s blood was just an excuse, we are desirous of worldly power, upon hearing this Mu’awiya agreed to hand over Egypt to Amr”.
Do the defenders of Mu’awiya need to be convinced any further? This is the testimony of one of the key central characters in this episode admitting to Mu’awiya that Uthman’s revenge was an excuse, the real motive was just power. If Mu’awiya disagreed with this assertion then why did he not admonish him and set the record straight?
Mu’awiya’s testimony further proves his real motive was power not vengeance for the slain Uthman
Advocate of Mu’awiya, Ibn Kathir records two interesting references that further exposes the real reason for Mu’awiya’s opposition. One who these references is about Muawiya’s first sermon to the people of Kufa that has also been quoted by Syed Qutub Shaheed in his famous book ‘Social justice in Islam’:
“Men of Kufa, do you think I fought against you on account of prayers or Zakar or pilgrimage? I knew that you said the prayers, that you paid the Zakar and that you performed the pilgrimage. I fought you in order to have control and mastery over you, now Allah has granted me that mastery, though you may not like it. Now, therefore, all the money and all the blood that I have had to expend in this war is still to be repaid, and all the promises that I made in the truce are under my feet here”
1. Social justice in Islam, page 237
2. Al-Bidayah (Urdu), Vol 8 page 974, under the topic of Merits and virtuous of Muawiya
The report has originally been recorded in al-Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah, Volume 6 page 187 No. 3055 that has been graded as ‘Jaiyid’ by Al-Albaani in Irwa al-Ghalil, Volume 3 page 63.
Before the above cited episode, we read in Al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah, Volume 8 page 13 under the topic of Merits and virtuous of Muawiyah:
Ibn Asakir has narrated from Amir Shu’bi that prior to the battle of Siffeen…Ali sent Jareer bin Abdullah al-Bajli to Muawiyah with a letter which contained the text: ‘It is compulsory on you to give allegiance (bayyah) to me since Muhajir and Ansar have already given their allegiance to me and if you don’t give it, I will seek Allah’s help against you…’ Muawiyah read the letter before the public and Jareer got up and addressed the people and in his speech he advised Muawiyah to listen and obey (Ali) and warned him from opposing and prevented him from spreading mischief (fitna) among the people…Muawiyah told Jareer: ‘If Ali makes me Governor over Syria and Egypt, on the condition that after him it will not be obligatory on me to give bayah to someone else, I will give him bayyah.’
Allamah Khawarzami in his “Manaqib” page 255 Chapter “Dhikr Siffeen” states that:
“Mu’awiya wrote a letter to ‘Ali which he sent via the hand of ‘Abdullah bin Uqbah. In the letter he stated ‘I asked you about my ruling Syria, and placed an additional condition that neither I give you bay’a nor do I obey you, but you rejected this. But Allah gave me what you rejected to give me, I continue to hold the same view about what I had invited you before (about Syria and not giving you bay’a).”
This and the previous reference from al Bidaya proves he had NO INTEREST in the killing Uthman rather his interest was one – gaining power. Mu’awiya simply used Uthman’s murder as an ‘excuse’ not to give bay`a to Imam ‘Ali (as). If he was indeed sincere perhaps Abu Sulaiman can explain why Mu’awiya did not ask for the killers to be handed following arbitration between the two sides at Sifeen? After all as Abu Sulaiman states the Syrians loved him and Mu’awiya was so determined to avenge Uthman’s death that he deemed it appropriate to go to war. This being the case how is it that he totally abandoned this determination when the two sides were negotiating, if Uthman’s death was so important that thousands of lives could be lost, why did he all of a sudden abandon this resolve? If he was sincere would this not have been the very first thing that he demanded? This was clearly a farce and Deobandi scholar Sayyid Ahmad Raza Bijnori in his commentary of Sahih al Bukhari “Anwar ul Bari” states on Volume 12 page 73:
“Mu’awiya fought out of a personal desire for power and was motivated by his pro Umayya bias”.
Anwar-ul-Bari Sharah Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol. 12 page 73
Moreover Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi in his Fatwa Azizi page 161 Chapter 8 under the chapter “Marwan” in answer to question 5 makes the admission:
“The scholars of Ahl’ul hadith having relied on narration’s have concluded that Mu’awiya’s actions were based on his personal grudge and desire and it was not on account of the enmity that had been borne our between the Quraysh and Banu Umayya following the murder of the possessor of two lights [Uthman], the truth is that he was guilty of a great sin, was a baghi (rebel) and a fasiq (transgressor)”.
Fatwa Azizi page 161 Chapter 8
Mu’awiya Thaneeh’s condemnation of his grandfather eludes the fact that he fought Imam ‘Ali (as) for power
When Mu’awiya ibn Yazeed became khalifa he gave the following sermon:
“Verily Khilafath is Allah (swt)’s. My grandfather fought one that was more deserving of the khilafath and that was ‘Ali ibne abi Talib and he performed such acts that you are all aware of, and in consequence he is suffering for these acts”
A number of leading Sunni Ulama have recorded this sermons (Tareekh Khamees Volume 2 page 301; Hayatul Hayawan Volume page 88; Tareekh Ya’qubi Volume 2 page 241; Sawaiq al Muhriqa page 134; Yanabi al Mawaddah Volume page 325).
This sermon by Mu’awiya’s own grandson destroys the notion that he sought Uthman’s revenge. He clearly pointed out that his opposition was without any basis rather he just fought for attaining power.
Abu Sulaiman questions the justice of Imam Ali (as)
In his defence of Mu’awiya Abu Sulaiman further uses his psychic abilities citing the opinions of Mu’awiyas supporters. Ansar.org states:
“Mu’awiyah’s supporters would say: “We cannot give allegiance to anyone except the one who would act with justice and does not oppress us…Ali is unable to act justly and we do not have to give allegiance to such a person”.
On the one hand the Ansar passionately use every method in the Book to stir emotions to the masses, namely Shi’a don’t respect the Sahaba, and here Abu Sulaiman’s Nasibi mentality shines so clear that he is even supporting the view that Ali was unjust. Does this Nasibi really believe Mu’awiya was more interested in justice than ‘Ali (as)? This when we have ‘Abu Bakr narrating this hadith:
“Verily Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s) spoke the truth, I heard Rasulullah (s) say on the night of Hijrah as we left Makka ‘My hand and Ali’s hand are EQUAL in dispensing justice” (Taken from Manaqib by Ibne Maghazli al Shaafi page 98, this hadith can also be found in Kanz al Ammal Volume 11 page 604)
Interestingly whilst also defending the rebellious group, Abu Sulaiman manages to travel back in his imaginary time machine and state on their behalf that they would justify their opposition saying:
“Uthman’s murderers are in the army of Ali, and these murderers are unjust”.
Mu’awiya did not apply Qisas against Amr bin Aas
Now perhaps Abu Sulaiman could inform us how Mu’awiya dealt with the killers of Uthman in his own side, did he implement Qisas, as he demanded? He did not and in fact the clearest evidence that Mu’awiya’s approach was nothing but a façade, comes from the very fact that he failed to take any action against the killers of `Uthman who were also in his army. Is it not logical that the first thing he would do would be to get his own house in order and ‘avenge’ `Uthman’s murders by slaying the killers hiding in his army? His trusted general at Sifeen was none other than `Amr bin al-`Aas who openly admitted his role in the killing of `Uthman proudly declaring:
“I am Abu Abdullah. When I scratch an ulcer, I cut it. I used to campaign against him vehemently. I even instigated the shepherds at the top of the mountains to revolt against him.”
Al-Tabari Volume 14, pages 171-172
Despite this, not only did Mu’awiya not kill him, he promoted him to his second in command – would he really have acted in this way if he sincerely wanted to avenge Uthman’s murder? Demanding the killers from Ali’s side and promoting the killers to Commanders on his own?
The comments of modern day Sunni academic Professor Masudul Hasan in his book Hadrat Ali Murtada (R.A.A) page 248 are indeed worthy of note:
“Mu’awiya in spite of his cry for vengeance for the blood of Hadrat Othman found no harm in making an alliance with a man who had in fact incited the rebellion against Hadrat Othman. ‘Amr bin Al-Aas in spite of his bitter opposition to Hadrat Othman during his lifetime saw nothing wrong in joining the chorus for vengeance for the blood of the man in whose murder he was indirectly if not directly involved”
Hadrat Ali Murtada (R.A.A) by Professor Masudul Hasan. page 248
Misuse of a Shia tradition by the Nawasib to support Uthman
Since Nawasib like Abu Sulaiman do not find any justification for the deviations committed by their Imam Mu’awiya, they are often left with misuing Shia texts and interpreting them in a way that suits them.
If Al-Tijani haven’t had enough of this, then I would be compelled to give him something from his guides, the Imamiyah, what proves that Ali and Mu’awiyah are both rightful in their interpretation. Al-Kulayni mentioned in his book, Al-Rawdah min Al-Kafi – which represents the basis and branches of the Imamiyah sect – from Muhammad Bin Yahya who says: (I heard Abu Abdullah peace be upon him saying: “Disagreement of Bani Al-Abbas is unavoidable, the calling is unavoidable, and the coming of the twelfth Imam is unavoidable.” I said: “And how is the calling?” He answered: ‘Someone will call from the heaven in the beginning of the day: “Ali and his party are the winners.”‘ He also said: “And someone will call in the end of the day: “Uthman and his party are the winners!”‘) [Al-Rawdah min Al-Kafi, p.177, vol.8] And here is Ali bin Abi Talib makes a resolution that Uthman and his party are people of Islam and faith, but the case is a matter of interpretation, every person seeing himself on the right path in the matter of Uthman.
Reply One: The authenticity of the tradtion
The hadith cited by Ansar.org can be read at:
Al-Kafi, Volume 8 page 209 Chapter 25 Hadith 253
It is indeed unfortunate that our opponents stoop so low in order to absolve their ancestors sins, to the point that they feel no shame in attributing a tradition to one of our Imams, namely Imam Abu Abdullah Jafar al-Sadiq (as), in this age of internet when anyone can browse a relevant library and check the chain of any tradition along with its ‘Matan’ (text). If one reads the complete chain of narration, we see that there is no mention of Imam Jafar (as) in the text, rather it has been narrated by a narrator namely Dawood bin Farqad who heard this tradition from an unknown man belonging to the tribe of Al-Ejlia. That is why Muhaqiq Ali Akbar Ghaffari who wrote the margin/column of Furu al-Kafi has written about this tradition:
“This tradition is Muzamir and Musquf”
Hashiya Kitab Raudah, page 209
Maquf is a type of tradition whose chain does not go back to the infallible ones.
Reply Two: The actual ‘Uthman’ mentioned in the tradition and the Nasibi distortion
Unsuprisingly, Nawasib have adopted such distortion to evidence the merits of their ancestors in Shia books, such as the misuse of the tradition but such dissection has placed them in a rather awkward situation. How did they conclude that the Uthman mentioned in the above tradition is their caliph Uthman bin Affan? Who told these lunatics that the second caller mentioned in the tradition will be the caller of glad-tidings?
Let us first reveal the identity of the second caller mentioned in the traditions as commented upon by Shaykh Ali Khorani al-Amili in ‘Al-Entisar’ Volume 9 page 145:
“The first call is the call of truth because it is the voice of Gabriel from the sky, the second call is of the falsehood because it is the voice of Iblis from the earth.”
Coming to the person mentioned in the tradition by the name of Uthman, we shall point out that Nawasib have committed deceit by making it Uthman bin Affan while in reality the Uthman mentioned in the tradition is one is often mentioned as Sufyani, who will be from the Nasibi progeny of Abu Sufyan and will eventually be shown the path of hell by the Imam of the time [aj]. Imam Ali (as) narrated:
“The son of the liver eater shall appear from the dry valley, he is a man of average height, an ugly face, big head, there is trace of smallpox on his face, if you see him you will think he is one-eyed, his name is Uthman, his fathers name is Anbesa and he is from the descendants of Abu Sufyan.”
Kamal al-Deen, by Sheikh Seduq, page 651
We also read the testimony of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) in this regard:
Abu Hamza al-Thumali narrated: I said to Abu Abdullah (as) that Abu Jafar (as) used to say: ‘The Sufyani is unavoidable’. He (Abu Abdullah) replied: ‘Yes, Bani al-Abbas disagreement is unavoidable, the death of Nafs al-Zakia is unavoidable, the coming of the twelfth Imam is unavoidable.’ I asked: ‘How that be?’ He (Abu Abdullah) replied: ‘Someone will call from the heaven in the beginning of the day ‘the truth is with Ali and his party’, then Iblis may Allah curse him will call at the end of the day ‘The truth is with Sufyani and his party’ then the followers of falsehood will have doubts’.
Kamal al-Deen, by Sheikh Seduq, page 652
Reply Three: The actual attributes of the followers of Uthman bin Affan recoded in Sunni texts
We have cited the dishonesty of the Nasibi author who tried to use the above cited Shia tradition in order to prove Uthman and his followers to be on right path. We would like to know why thet don’t they reveal the actual attributes of the followers of Uthman bin Affan recorded in authentic Sunni texts? Dear readers, let us reveal the attributes of the followers of Uthman whom the author of Ansar.org suggesyed were on the right path, but were infact Nawasib according to the testimonies of Sunni scholars. The favorite scholar of the Nawasib, Ibn Tamiyah recorded:
“The followers (shias) of Uthman used to do abuse Ali openly from the pulpits of mosques”
Minhaj al Sunnah, Volume 6 page 201
We all know that one who abuses Ali bin Abi Talib (as) is hypocrite according to the prophetic traditions, yet the author of Ansar.org is keen to give glad tidings to the perpetrators of this very sin!
If this does not suffice, let us point out an Uthmani individual namely Abul Ghaya and then check the ‘virtuous’ act he committed. Imam Ibn Abdul Barr while writing on Abul Ghaya records in Al-Istiab, Volume 2 page 153:
“He was a lover of Uthman and was the killer of Ammar bin Yasir”
Imam Ibn Athir records in ‘Asad al-Ghaba’ Volume 5 page 267:
“He (Abu al-Ghadya) was among the followers (Shia) of Uthman (ra) and he is the killer of Ammar bin Yasir”
According to the prediction of Holy Prophet (s) regarding Ammar Yasir (ra), “He will be killed by a rebellious aggressive group. ‘Ammar will invite them to (obey) Allah and they will invite him to the (Hell) fire.” (Bukhari, v4 Hadith 67). Thus, there shall remain no confusion in the mind of the present day Nawasib regarding the Uthmani killers of Ammar Yasir (ra) being the people of Hell fire, yet we see author like Abu Sulaiman suggesting that Uthmanies are the people of heaven contrary to the prediction of Holy Prophet (s)!
Let us conclude the topic by gifting the following reference to the Nawasib recorded by one of their esteemed Imams, Dhahabi:
“When Dajjal appears, his followers will be the lovers of Uthman”
Mizan al-Eitadal, Volume 2 page 107 Translation No. 3031
Sunni scholar Yaqub Fasawi tried to cast doubts on the authenticity of the chain of narration of this tradition which sparked the grand Sunni Imam Dhahabi to refute him, stating:
“That is what al-Fasawi rejected from the hadiths, no one did so before him, and if we follow such scruples we would be rejecting many correct Sunnah just due to wrong illusions”
- Was Mu’awiya seeking Qisas for the death of Uthman?
- Mu’awiya’s appointment of Yazeed as his successor
- The callous killing of the Sahaba including Hujr bin Adi (ra) and of other innocent Shias
- The peace treaty with Imam Hasan (as)
- Mu’awiya the baghi (rebel)
- Mu’awiya instituted the bid’ah of cursing Imam Ali (as)
- The phantom merits of Mu’awiya
- Abu Sulaiman’s plea of clemency for Mu’awiya
- Was Mu’awiya a Momin or Munafiq?
- The ‘true’ merits of Mu’awiya bin Hind
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