Marwan ibn al-Hakam, the fourth caliph of the usurper Omayyad regime
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 3rd of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 65 AH, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, the fourth caliph of the usurper Omayyad regime died in Damascus at the age of 64, after nine months in power, which was limited mostly to Syria. He was killed by his most recent wife, a widow of the tyrant Yazid ibn Mu'awiyyah, who put a pillow on his face and sat over it till his breath was snuffed out.
One of the most criminal characters in Islamic history, Marwan was the son of the hypocrite Hakam bin Aas, who was expelled from Medina by Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) for ridiculing Islam. He was the first cousin of Osman bin Affan, who on becoming caliph recalled him to Medina in violation of the Prophet’s Sunnah, gave his daughter in marriage to him, and entrusted him all affairs of the state. The resulting mismanagement and plunder of the public treasury ended some twelve years later in the killing of Osman by Muslim revolutionaries from Egypt.
In the "Battle of Jamal" that the pledge-breakers led by Ayesha – a wife of the Prophet – imposed on the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), near Basra in Iraq, Marwan treacherously killed his own leader, Talhah Ibn Obaidollah, with an arrow shot at the unprotected thigh. When the Omayyads seized the caliphate he served as governor of Medina for intermittent periods, and stayed there after retirement until Abdullah ibn Zubayr rebelled against Yazid and made the mistake of allowing him and his son Abdul-Malik to leave for Damascus.
In Syria, following Yazid’s death and abdication by his son Muawiya II, in protest to his father’s crimes against Islam and humanity, including the tragic martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS) in Karbala, Marwan found himself propelled to the caliphate. His ascension pointed to a shift in the lineage of the Omayyad dynasty from descendants of Abu Sufyan to those of Hakam, both of whom were grandsons of Omayya. Some 67 years later, the Marwanids were thrown into the dustbin of history with the rise of the new dynasty of usurper caliphs, the Abbasids.