The Omayyad and the Abbasid Caliphs
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
The Omayyad caliph, Yazid bin al-Waleed or Yazid III
On 1st of the Islamic month of Zil-Hajjah in 126 AH, the Omayyad caliph, Yazid bin al-Waleed or Yazid III died of a brain tumour, less than six months after seizing the caliphate through a coup against his immoral, drunkard and debauched cousin, Waleed bin Yazid or Waleed II, who was killed. His mother was an Iranian and he was known as “an-Naqqes” (the Diminisher) for his austerity measures in contrast to the profligacy and sinning habits of the Omayyads. It is worth noting that in 6 years from 126 to 132 AH, six Omayyad caliphs died one after another as this tyrannical dynasty was overthrown, but unfortunately replaced by the equally oppressive Abbasid caliphs.
Sulayman ibn Abdul-Malik, the 7th self-styled caliph of the usurper Omayyad regime
On 10th of the Islamic month of Safar in 99 AH, Sulayman ibn Abdul-Malik, the 7th self-styled caliph of the usurper Omayyad regime, died at the age of 43 after a reign of 2 years and nine months in Qenshirin, near Aleppo on his way to invade the Byzantine Empire, following the unsuccessful siege of Constantinople by his brother, Maslamah. He was gluttonous with insatiable appetite for large quantities of food, in addition to being a womanizer.
He was an intensely jealous person and publicly disgraced Musa ibn Nusayr, the governor-general of North Africa and Spain for not delaying the triumphal entry into Damascus with the rich spoils of the Iberian War until he could take over the caliphate from his ailing brother, Walid I. He subsequently had two of Ibn Nusayr’s sons executed and sadistically presented the head of one of them to the wretched father. Sulayman also had the governor of Khorasan and Transoxiana, Qutayba ibn Muslim, killed in battle for advising Walid to exclude him from the list of succession. He used to openly praise the founder of the Omayyad usurper regime, Mu'awiya ibn Sufyan, saying he had never come across anyone so unabashed in cruelty, crime and oppression.
The Last Umayyad Caliph, Marwan al-Hemaar
On 27th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 132 AH, with the killing of Marwan al-Hemaar, the 13th and last of the self-styled caliphs of the usurper Omayyad regime, the 91-year oppressive rule of the Godless dynasty founded by Mu’awiyya ibn Abu Sufyan after seizing power from Imam Hasan Mujtaba (AS), the elder grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), came to its ignominious end at the hands of the Abbasids – the new dynasty of usurpers that now began to persecute the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt. Marwan, who ruled for 6 years from Damascus after being governor of Armenia and Azarbaijan for 12 years, during which he terrorized the people of the Caucasus and devastated cities in Georgia, was killed by Abbasid agents in Egypt, where he had fled on losing the Battle of Zaab in Iraq.
Nasr Ibn Sayyar, the last Omayyad governor of Khorasan
On December 9,748 AD, Nasr Ibn Sayyar, the last Omayyad governor of Khorasan, who as an anti-Islamic Arab nationalist terrorized the people of northeastern Iran and Central Asia for decades, died at the age of 85 in Saveh (southwest of Tehran) while fleeing, after a string of defeats suffered by his Syrian-North Arabian army at the hands of the Arab-Iranian Muslim revolutionaries determined to the overthrow the Omayyads and replace them with members of the Prophet's clan, the Hashemites.
Unfortunately, the uprising was hijacked by the Abbasids, who seized the caliphate and once again deprived the Ahl al-Bayt of their political rights. Nasr ibn Sayyar earned lasting damnation for killing Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) venerable descendent, Yahya ibn Zaid – grandson of Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) – whom he martyred in battle in Jowzajan (in what is known as Afghanistan) and sent the head to the Omayyad court in Damascus. Nasr’s policy, like that of other Omayyad governors in Spain, France, the Caucasus, and Sindh, was to prevent the masses from becoming Muslims, since this would deprive the self-styled caliphs in Damascus of the revenues they reaped by levying heavy taxes on non-Muslims.
Mahdi al-Abbasi, the Third self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime
On 23rd of the Islamic month of Moharram in 169 AH, Mahdi al-Abbasi, the 3rd self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, died a miserable death at the age of 44 after a reign of 11 years, when the horse he was riding during a deer-hunt in Masabzaan in the Dinavar area of Kalhor in what is now Kermanshah Province of Iran (bordering Iraq), hurled him on a wall of a dilapidated structure and trampled him.
Of dark complexion, and born to "Shikla", a Negroid concubine of the tyrant Mansur Dawaniqi, he was known as "at-Tinnin" (the Dragon). He was deliberately named "Mahdi" by the crafty Mansur in a bid to distract attention from the Infallible Ahl al-Bayt and to mislead Muslims, in view of the famous hadith of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) that the Last of his rightful successors who will fill the earth with justice, would rise as "Mahdi al-Qa'em" to end oppression on earth.
An open drunkard who spent most of his time in the pleasures of the flesh in violation of the tenets of the "Shari'ah", Mahdi al-Abbasi was not just fond of music and songstresses, but universalized music in the Islamic realm. He bore an unabated hatred towards the Prophet's progeny. When he found that Mansur had stored in a house, tagged bodies of Imam Hasan al-Mojtaba's (AS) descendents killed by the regime, he ordered these bodies to be buried in a mass grave over which a market was built to remove any trace of them.
Like the Omayyad tyrant, Mu'awiyya ibn Abu Sufyan, he spent huge sums of money on hadith forgery to try to negate from public minds the God-given right of leadership of the Ahl al-Bayt – although the sons and grandsons of Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttaleb, like the rest of the Hashemites, had never considered as legitimate the rule of the first three caliphs.
The term "Ahl as-Sunnah", coined by Mansur, was promoted to brainwash the neo-Muslim community, while the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt were persecuted as "Rawafedh" (Rejectors), despite the fact that the Prophet had explicitly used the word "Shi'ite" in praise of the true followers of his divinely-appointed successor, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). At least twice, he imprisoned the Prophet's 7th Infallible Heir, Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS).
So great was his fear among the people that many "Sadaat" (plural of Seyyed), in order to avoid imprisonment and possible death, used to live incognito by concealing their identity, such as Eisa, a son of Zayd the Martyr – the son Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) – who revealed his genealogy to his wife and children only on his deathbed. Mahdi al-Abbasi was succeeded by his son Musa al-Hadi, who, during his brief rule of a year and a few months, perpetrated the Fakh Tragedy – the most gruesome massacre of the Prophet's progeny after the heartrending Tragedy of Karbala.
The famous Abbasid vizier, Ja’far bin Yahya Barmaki
On 1st of the Islamic month of Safar in 187 AH, the vizier, Ja’far bin Yahya Barmaki was killed by his own boon companion, the crafty tyrant, Haroun Rasheed, who styled himself the 5th caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime. Haroun imprisoned other prominent members of the family, thus ending the over 55-year domination of the Barmakids, who were of Iranian origin from the Khorasani region of Balkh (presently in Afghanistan), and who after helping the Abbasids to usurp the caliphate, had for three generations headed the administrative affairs. Their downfall was because of court intrigues by fellow Iranian commanders from Khorasan.
The sixth self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, al-Amin
On 24th of the Islamic month of Moharram in 198 AH, the 6th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, Mohammad al-Amin, was defeated, caught while fleeing, and executed by Taher Ibn Hussain, the commander of the army sent by his stepbrother Abdullah al-Mamoun from Khorasan to attack Baghdad and seize the caliphate. Amin, who ruled for four years following the death of his father, the tyrant Haroun ar-Rasheed, was an impetuous, rash, incompetent, and immoral person, immersed in the un-Islamic practice of sodomy.
Al-Watheq-Billah the Ninth self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime
On 24th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 232 AH, al-Watheq-Billah the 9th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime died under suspicious conditions at the age of 31 in his capital Samarra after a 5-year reign, and there were no tears shed for him as the whole court, leaving his corpse unattended, busied itself in celebrating the crowning of his brother, Mutawakkel. Later after the festivities when his corpse was taken for the ritual washing before burial, it was found that his eyes were missing from their sockets, having been eaten by mice.
Son of Mutasem’s Greek concubine Qaratis, on succeeding his father, he arrested several prominent officials and tortured them to surrender wealth they allegedly misappropriated. Devoid of any piety, he was renowned for his musical talents and is reputed to have composed over one-hundred songs. During his reign, a number of revolts broke out, the largest ones in Syria and Palestine, as a result of an increasingly large gap between Arab populations and the Turkish slave armies (Mamluk) formed by Mutasim, the son of Haroun Rasheed’s Turkic concubine. The revolts were put down, but antagonism between the two groups continued to widen, with the Turks gaining more power at the expense of the Arab and Iranian Muslims.
The Godless tyrant Mutawakkil
On December 11, 861 AD, the Godless tyrant Mutawakkil, who styled himself as the 10th caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, was murdered while drunk and asleep, by his own son, Muntasir, with the help of the Turkish guards, at the age of 39 after a reign of 14 years. Born to Qaratis, a Greek concubine of Mu’tasim, he became caliph on the suspicious death of his brother Watheq – whose body lay in negligence with mice eating away his eyes, while Mutawakkil held festivities for several days. Immediately he unleashed a reign of terror, especially on the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
He persecuted the Prophet’s progeny, instructed judges to always give the verdict against them, forbade them to ride horses in Egypt, forcibly brought the Prophet’s 10th Infallible Heir, Imam Ali an-Naqi (AS), to Samarra from Medina to be placed under house arrest, and blasphemously destroyed the holy shrine of Imam Husain (AS) in Karbala.
Musta'in-Billah the 12th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime
On 3rd of the Islamic month of Moharam in 252 AH, Musta'in-Billah the 12th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime was deposed by his masters, the powerful Turkish guards that had installed him as ruler in Samarra, after the suspicious death of his cousin, Muntasir-Billah. During his 4-year rule, Musta'in suffered two disastrous defeats at the hands of Christians in Armenia, and his only success was his killing in unequal combat near Kufa, of the Prophet's descendant, Yayha Ibn Umar Ibn Yahya Ibn Hussain Ibn Zayd the Martyr – son of Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) the 4th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
The cause of his downfall was his quarrel with the Turkish guards, who released Mu'taz, the son of the murdered Mutawakkil-Billah from prison and declared him the 13th Abbasid caliph. Musta'in, the son of Wathiq-Billah, the 9th Abbasid caliph – whose corpse lay in negligence with eyes eaten by termites as his brother Mutawakkil immediately celebrated his own rise to power as the next caliph with festivities – was further humiliated by humbly paying homage to the new caliph, who imprisoned him Baghdad and soon had him murdered.
When the severed head was brought before Mu'taz who was playing chess, he said: "lay it aside, till I have finished the game." Then having satisfied himself that it was really the head of his cousin, he commanded 500 pieces of gold to be given to the assassin as reward. These events occurred during the last days of the 34-year imamate of the Prophet’s 10th Infallible Successor, Imam Ali al-Hadi (AS), who in 254 AH was martyred through poisoning by Mu’taz in Samarra, where he was kept under virtual house arrest.
Al-Muttaqi-Billah, the 21st self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime
On 3rd of the Islamic month of Safar in 333 AH, al-Muttaqi-Billah, the 21st self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, was deposed and blinded after a rule of four years by the Turkic general, Tuzun, who replaced him on the same day with a cousin called al-Mustakfi. The caliphate or political rule of the Islamic state that was snatched from its rightful inheritor, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), at the scandalous gathering of Saqifa Bani Sa'da, by a group of Sahaba – recent converts from years of idolatry – no sooner did Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) leave the mortal world, had become so insignificant after the tyrannically un-Islamic rule of the Omayyads and the early Abbasids, that it now depended on the whims of the neo-Muslim Turkic slave guards who played havoc in Baghdad.
Iran and the east were long became independent of Abbasis caliphs; Egypt and Africa had been lost to the Fatemids, Arabia and Yemen were held by the Carmathians and local chieftains, Syria and Palestine were no longer under the caliphate, and even in Iraq there were revolts in Basra and Waset, while Mosul had become independent. In northern Syria and Anatolia, the Byzantine attempts to advance was being thwarted only because of the bravery of the Hamdanid Shi'ite Muslim dynasty whose protection Muttaqi-Billah sought on becoming caliph. Naser od-Dowla Hamdani saw this as an opportunity to add all of Iraq to his realm and marched along with the caliph, but because of the well-organized opposition of the Turkic forces he found it difficult to control Baghdad. The caliph after wondering from city to city finally threw himself at the mercy of Tuzun, who soon broke his promises and deposed, blinded and replaced him with another puppet.