Mu'awiyah, the first ruler of the usurper Omayyad dynasty that tarnished the image of Islam
On May 6 in 680 AD, Mu'awiyah, the first ruler of the usurper Omayyad dynasty that tarnished the image of Islam, died in Damascus. Son of the arch enemies of Islam, Abu Sufyan and Hend (who tore out the liver of the Prophet’s martyred uncle, Hamza, at the Battle of Ohad), he pretended to become Muslim, when Mecca surrendered to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) in 629 AD.
In 640 AH, he was appointed by the Second Caliph, Omar ibn Khattab, as governor of the newly conquered predominantly Christian land of Syria, where he consolidated his rule for two decades and misled people against the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt. His supposed conversion to Islam is dismissed as mere hypocrisy. He is also regarded as a manipulator and liar who misused Islam for purely political and material gains that the pagan Arabs of Mecca had lost.
When the Prophet's rightful successor, Imam Ali (AS), assumed the caliphate or political rule of the Islamic realm in 656 AD, he came out into open rebellion, resulting in the protracted War of Siffeen that lasted for several months, mainly besides the River Euphrates in Riqqa near Aleppo, Syria. When challenged by the Imam for a single combat to settle the matter rather than shed the blood of Muslims, he shied away from battle, and the result was the death of as many as 70,000 Muslims in this war.
When faced with imminent defeat, he hoisted on spear-points what he called copies of the holy Qur’an for arbitration – a ruse that misled many and enabled him to escape certain death. After the martyrdom of Imam Ali (AS), he rebelled against the authority of the Prophet's elder grandson, Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), and caused dissension in Muslim ranks through bribes, threats, and murders. Next he forced Imam Hasan (AS) to hand him over the caliphate in 661 AD.
His 18-year reign as caliph was even worse than his 21-year rule as governor of Syria, because now Mu'awiyah began unparalleled disaster in all Muslim lands, including killing of many of the Prophet's Sahaba or companions, directly or indirectly, either by the sword or though poison. He killed Amr bin al-Hameq, Ammar ibn Yasser, Mohammad, the son of the First Caliph, Abu Bakr, Malek Ashtar, Hujr ibn Adi. Abdur-Rahman bin Hassaan, and even Ayesha – a wife of the Prophet.
The key officials of his administration were mostly Christians and Jews, and he followed the anti-Islamic policy of favouring Arabs over non-Arab Muslims. Prominent Sunni scholars such as the authors of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim have quoted Hadith from the Prophet cursing Mu'awiyah.
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Rajab in 60 AH, the Omayyad tyrant, Mu’awiya ibn Abu Sufyan, died in Damascus at the age of 80, nineteen years after usurping the caliphate from the Prophet’s elder grandson, Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), whom he martyred through poisoning in 50 AH in violation of the terms of the treaty signed in 41 AH. Born to two of the most spiteful enemies of Islam (Abu Sufyan and Hind) and a reluctant convert to Islam in 8 AH – only two-and-a-half-years before the passing away of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) – Mu’awiyah was surprisingly appointed by Omar ibn Khattab as governor of the vast province of Shaam (made up of today’s Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and the illegal Zionist entity Israel), a position he held for almost 20 years despite his dismissal by the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) against whom he came out into open armed rebellion at the Battle of Siffeen.
During the almost 40 years he had entrenched himself in the Levant, he did not spare any effort to distort the teachings of Islam, oppress, torture, and kill Muslims, and indulge in all cardinal sins. On his deathbed, contrary to the terms of the treaty with Imam Hasan (AS), he named his libertine and openly infidel son, Yazid, as caliph, a criminal decision that led to three of the most heinous crimes in history. The Godless Yazid, in the first year of his reign tragically martyred the Prophet’s younger grandson, Imam Husain (AS) at Karbala. In the subsequent two years of his evil rule, he desecrated the sanctity of the Prophet’s shrine and mosque in Medina by ordering a general massacre, rape and plunder of Muslims; and next ordered the sacrilegious storming of the holy Ka’ba in Mecca, during the midst of which he died, thereby ending the dynasty established by Mu’awiya – although another branch of the Omayyads continued the evil work of terrorizing the Muslim ummah for some 70 more years before they were thrown into the dustbin of history.
Before his death, he breached another clause of the Treaty that he had signed with Imam Hasan (AS), by naming his equally Godless son, Yazid, as caliph – a measure that resulted in the heartrending martyrdom of the Prophet’s younger grandson, Imam Husain (AS) at Karbala, followed by the blasphemous desecration of the Prophet’s Mosque and Shrine in Medina, and the sacrilegious storming of the holy Ka’ba.