Beliefs and acts of Yazid ibn Muawiyah
Source: Understanding Karbala, By: Allamah Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi
What was the character of this so-called caliph of the Prophet?
He was such that he openly denied the messengership of the Messenger (s.a.w). He made his beliefs clear in the following couplets: “Banu Hashim (the Prophet and his family) has played a game to obtain temporal power. The fact is that neither an angel came to them nor any revelation descended.”
Intoxicated in this wrong belief, he considers that the tussle between Islam and disbelief to be a battle between two clans and is overjoyed that he has succeeded in taking revenge from the progeny of the Prophet on behalf of his ancestors.
“If only my ancestors who died in Badr had been alive and seen how their opponents (Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet) were suppressed, they would have screamed in joy: O Yazid! May your hands never tire! We have killed their leader and in this way took revenge of Badr. And I won’t be eligible to be called the descendant of the fighters of the Ditch (Khandaq) if I had failed to take revenge from Muhammad and his relatives.”
This much is sufficient to learn about his true beliefs. Let us now see what he says regarding other pillars of Islamic faith:
Qiyamat (Day of Judgment)
“O my beloved! (Do not be sure of reunion after death) Because whatever you have heard of life after death is mere fiction which makes one heedless of the joys of this real world.”
Wine and Worship
Your God has not said that Hell is for those who drink. Rather He has said that it is for those who pray.”
Against the background of his misguided notions it is also necessary that we study his evil feats.
In addition to the tragedy of Karbala’ he committed so many atrocities in the history of humanity that each alone is sufficient to make him forever deserving to be cursed.
Here we shall present only two examples of his evil feats in which he was not successful but his aim became very much obvious. It was at the time when he was the heir apparent of Muawiyah.
First of all he wanted to marry Ayesha, the widow of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w). At that time the age of Ayesha was more than fifty years. This desire only proves that all he wanted was to insult the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) and Holy Qur’an, because the Holy Qur’an has prohibited the Muslims to marry the wives of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w). Thus Yazid also intended to insult the Muslims who considered the wives of the Prophet as the mothers of the believers.
Yazid had to give up the desire at the behest of his father, who was a cunning diplomat, and he knew that this blatant act would cause the loss of all opportunities of Yazid of ever becoming the Caliph.
Secondly he tried to drink wine on the roof of the House of God, that is the Holy Ka’ba. On this occasion also he was restrained by his friends and advisers.
After gaining caliphate he began to openly ridicule the Islamic worship acts (as we have stated before). He dressed up dogs and monkeys in the attire of scholars and religious leaders. Chess and playing with bears was his favorite pastime. He used to spend all his time everywhere in drinking wine without any hesitation whatsoever. He had no respect for any woman. So much so that even the ladies among his blood relation, like the mother, sisters, paternal aunts, nieces and daughters were like other women for him.
Plunder of Medina
Yazid ordered attack on Medina and the holy town of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) was freely plundered. Three hundred virgins (along with other ladies) became the target of their lusts. Three hundred reciters of the Holy Qur’an and seven hundred companions of the Messenger were martyred mercilessly. The Holy mosque of the Prophet remained shut for many days and Yazid’s forces utilized it as a stable for their mounts, and dogs took shelter in it.
Even the holy pulpit of the Messenger did not remain safe from filth. At last the commander of the forces compelled the people of Medina to pay allegiance to Yazid in the following words: “We are the slaves of Yazid. And it is upto him whether he restores our freedom or sells us in the slave market.” Those who wanted to pledge allegiance for Yazid upon the condition that he would follow the Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet were put to death. Here it would not be importunate to state that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) has said: “Whoever terrifies the people of Medina shall be under divine curse forever.”
Siege of Mecca
After this, under orders from Yazid, the army departed for Mecca and these people laid siege to the Holy City of God. This army could not enter the town so they used catapults and by this method rained stones and burning logs of wood on the Ka’ba. Kiswa, that is the cloth covering of the Ka’ba was burned down and a part of the Holy Ka’ba collapsed.
In this way we have reached such a time when everything connected to Islam, from the roots of religion to the sanctified worship acts, from family life to social system all were under attack and were being destroyed.
Through whom? Through Yazid who was supposed to be the protector and defender.
And the most important matter was that some of those innovations would indeed have been considered Islamic and made a part of Islam. Because since the last fifty years people had become accustomed to accept all that the ruler does as the true criteria of Islam. Today no sign would have remained of Islam if Imam Hasan (a.s) had not put a stop to this tendency and if Imam Husayn (a.s) had not openly opposed the reigning king (that is Yazid).