Abdullah Ibne Ziyad
It was only a matter of time before Allah, Blessed be He, manifested the signs of the verse till the Day of Judgment. The flower of the wretched tree in Hell, Aale Ziyad's abominable and ugly personality Abdullah Ibne Ziyad, the sovereign of Kufa and Basra, fought the son of infallibility - Husain, son of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and massacred the youths of Bani Hashim with the son of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Ibne Ziyad made Imam's (a.s.) pure and sinless family members captives and brought them to the court of Kufa! Time passed but the tragedy of Karbala remains a distinguishing factor between truth and falsehood in the entire universe and after which tyranny can never conceal itself in a human form.
Aale Ziyad originated from the progeny of an ill-reputed woman 'Somayya'. On the other hand, Imam Husain (a.s.) is the one about whom the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: 'Husain is from me and I am from Husain.' Till date, the progeny of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) continues through Imam Husain (a.s.). The Holy Quran is full of praise for Imam Husain (a.s.). There are numerous verses on him. For instance,
'O soul that art at rest, return?' (Surah Fajr: 27)
It is indeed noteworthy that the Holy Quran has addressed the son of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Imam Husain (a.s.), as the 'soul that art at rest..', and has adorned his martyrdom with such red flowers whose fragrance will spread among humanity till the Day of Judgment. This is a subject of astonishment for intellectuals and learned persons and makes steadfast one's knowledge and actions. It is a union of faith and certainty whose illustrative face (Imam Husain (a.s.)) will guide the lost and deviated on the right path towards Allah.
Honorable readers! To understand the truth about Aale Ziyad it is necessary first to understand his background. His evil and wickedness was the result of his nourishment in an impure lap and the environment of shamelessness, immorality, cunningness and tyranny. We can analyze further against the backdrop of the pure souls whose image reflects in the verse of purity (Ayate Tatheer) which testifies to their purity and infallibility. Thus the progeny of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is a preface for the discussion. Allah, the Glorious and the Exalted has created an antithesis for everything, so that everything can be identified easily, the day from the night and the sun from the moon.
The evil powers support them wholeheartedly and so those who are born in an unknown environment find their place in history, then their lineage is revealed, the mask on their face is ripped apart and their evil designs are exposed, which results in their exclusion from religion.
As the discussion is about Aale Ziyad, we have enumerated his lineage. Ziyad was the son of a loose and immoral woman, Somayya. Abdullah Ibne Ziyad was also illegitimate like his father. Ziyad is the one who killed the followers of Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.). He blinded some of them by piercing hot iron rods in their eyes. The limbs of Shias were amputated. Ziyad ordered the abusing of Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) from the pulpit of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). He killed several Shias in prison. When he was the governor of Basra, he made the lives of the Shias very miserable. After Ziyad, Abdullah became the governor of Basra. He followed in the footsteps of his father. When he came to Kufa as Yazid's governor, he perpetrated the tragedy of Karbala. Such a battle between truth and evil will never be found in history till the Day of Judgment. It was a brutal battle in which falsehood was demolished and disgraced.
Lets first understand the lineage and clan of Abdullah Ibne Ziyad. Who is Ziyad? How impure is his seed, his blood and who was his mother? How did she come to Hejaz? What was her name in Islam? What was her profession? On which bed was Ziyad born and what were his other names? How much did Bani Umayyah benefit from his wretched and cunning nature?
It is narrated in history that Abul Khair came to Kasra (a non-Arab) King and desired to help him. Abul Khair dispatched some non-Arab soldiers to Kasra's aid. When these soldiers reached Kazemah, they were shocked by the beastly behavior of the Arab soldiers. When these soldiers found themselves in a totally alien environment, they requested Abul Khair to call them back and appealed to him to write a letter to Kasra. Abul Khair allowed the non-Arab soldiers to return and also wrote a letter to Kasra. In those days, Abul Khair was unwell. He went to Taif from Kazemah and got himself diagnosed by Harith Ibne Kuldah - a doctor. After Abul Khair was cured, he gifted Somayya (woman) and Abeed (male) to Harith Ibne Kuldah as a mark of his appreciation. (Ibne Khallekaan and Ibne Abd Rabeh have narrated in this manner)
However, Ibne Athir (Kamil) and Ibne Khaldun note that Somayya was a Dahkaani slave from a village near the river of Zindehrud (in Isfahan). Abul Khair had gifted her to the doctor - Harith Ibne Kuldah. However, the author of Shifaaus Sudoor considers the first report reported by Ibne Khallekaan and Ibne Rabbeh to be more reliable.
After living with Harith Ibne Kuldah, Somayya gave birth to Naf'e. However, Harith Ibne Kuldah refused to accept him as his son. Abu Bakarah went to Harith considering Naf'e to be his son. But Harith was even more vehement in his denial of Naf'e's fatherhood.? When Harith denied any links with Naf'e, Abu Baqarah married Somayya. Then Abeed, Somayya, Abu Bakarah and Shabal Ibne Ma'bad (Somayya's son), approached Umar Ibne Khattab - the second Caliph and accused Mughira Ibne Sho'ba of adultery with Somayya. Umar made some gesture towards Ziyad. Ziyad understood this gesture and behaved discreetly. Then Umar punished those witnesses for accusing Mughira Ibne Sho'ba and released the latter. (This incident is explained in detail in 'Kuloob-e-Kalamiyya')
According to Uqdul Fareed, women of ill-repute used to fix a flag at their houses. This was an indication to men of their reputation in adultery and prostitution. It was also an invitation to the men in the area, as a result of which, men used to frequent such women. Some men used to permit their maidservants to indulge in these activities and they collected money from these women. Holy Quran has censured it thus:
"...and do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, when they desire to keep chaste, in order to seek the frail good of this world's life; and whoever compels them, then surely after their compulsion Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." (Surah Noor: 33)
It is reported in 'Murujuz Zahab' that Somayya was among the women famous for prostitution. One day Abu Sufyan was drunk and totally intoxicated. In this condition he approached Abu Maryam Saluli, who was a known drunkard himself. Abu Sufyan asked Abu Maryam to arrange a woman for him. Abu Maryam said, 'At this hour there is no one, except for Somayya.' Abu Sufyan replied, 'Then get her, although her mouth and armpits smell very foul'. So Abu Maryam got Somayya for Abu Sufyan, took them both to a room and shut the door. Historians conclude from this that Abu Sufyan used to frequent these places and was well-aware of the women and their characteristics.
Somayya gave birth to Ziyad in the first year of Hijrah, while she was still with Abeed. However, at Ziyad's birth no one was ready to accept fatherhood and Ziyad remained illegitimate in the truest sense of the word. Over a period of time, Ziyad became famous by several titles - Ziyad Ibne Abeed, Ibne Ummah, Ibne Rabeeh, Ibne Somayya. After making some progress, he became famous as Katibe Abi Moosa Ash'ari - Abu Moosa Ash'ari's scribe.
Ziyad was very capable and could shoulder important responsibilities effortlessly. Moreover he was decisive. Once Umar Ibne Khattab appointed Ziyad to undertake an important assignment. Ziyad completed the assignment most impressively. Umar was very pleased with his performance and praised him from the pulpit of the mosque. At Umar's praise, Amr Ibne Aas said, 'If only this man was from the Quraish, he could have been appointed as the Caliph.' Abu Sufyan who was also present in the gathering said, 'By Allah! I have placed him in his mother's womb.'
Till the time of Ameerul Momeneen's (a.s.) caliphate, Ziyad had not performed any condemnable act. So Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) appointed him as the governor of Faaras in Iran. Ziyad with his intelligence and capabilities handled his responsibilities most admirably. In this period, Muawiya tried his best to attract Ziyad to his side and betray Ameerul Momeneen's (a.s.). But Ziyad remained steadfast and did not waver in his faith. Ziyad used to reply to Muawiya?s letters most disdainfully. In a sermon he said about Muawiya,
'The son of the liver-eater and the chief of hypocrisy tries to terrify me with his plan.'
Then in the same sermon he praised Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) in a most eloquent and expressive manner, thereby underlining his loyalty towards Imam (a.s.). So till the time Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) was alive, Ziyad remained firmly loyal towards him and disregarded Muawiya?s invitation. But once Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) was martyred, Muawiya once again began his scheming to entice Ziyad to his side. Ultimately Muawiya?s perseverance with Ziyad paid off, and Ziyad's illegitimacy and wickedness that he had concealed for so many years came to the fore.?
Muawiya brought about this transformation in Ziyad with the help of Mughira Ibne Sho'ba - the leader of hypocrisy and mine of corruption. With Mughira's plotting, Muawiya claimed to be Ziyad's brother. As an extension of this relationship, he took Ziyad's brothers as his own brothers and his sisters as his own sisters. Moreover he sent his sister - Juwirriya to Ziyad, who exposed her hair in front of the latter.
Muawiya seated Ziyad one step above him on the pulpit. He announced that this is my brother and Abu Maryam Saluli gave witness in support of this claim. Abu Maryam narrated the incident of that night between Abu Sufyan and Somayya in detail to the audience. He described Somayya in the words of Abu Sufyan i.e. she emanated foul smell from her mouth and armpits. Muawiya became upset at this description. But Abu Maryam said, 'It would have been better if you had not compelled me to narrate the incident as a witness.'
Since Ziyad had stayed in Kufa during the time of Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) he was familiar with all the renowned Shia families of Basra and Kufa. He was evil-natured which was a direct consequence of accursed mother and an unknown father. Although Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) had rescued him from his filthy origin and brought him close to his own piety and devoutness, Ziyad managed to revert to his roots. He evolved into such a ruthless and oppressive tyrant that to find is equal is indeed a tough task. For instance, he buried alive Abdur Rahman Ibne Hassan due to his love for Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.). To narrate the innumerable instances of his tyranny would be beyond the scope of this article.
Ibne Athir in 'Asadul Ghabah' Abdul Birr, Ibne Manzar and Abu Noaim and Abu Moosa all have recorded that Ziyad was the companion of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Ziyad was born in 1 A.H. in the house of Abeed. There is no information about his antecedents. He was 10 years old when Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) passed away. Ziyad was not present during the Prophet's (s.a.w.a.) stay in Medina as he was born after Hijrah and he did not even see Medina. But yet he is included among the companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Thus Ahle Sunnah traditionists (muhadditheen) follow a strange rule. They reject the testimony of Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) when he was 9 years old on the pretext that he was not mature (na-baligh) according to Islamic Shariat for his witness to be valid and hence his name cannot be recorded as the first Muslim. Instead Abu Bakr was the first Muslim. By making such ridiculous observations, they have exposed themselves to Allah's wrath and will find themselves in the Fire of Hell in Ziyad's neighbourhood.
Ubaidullah Ibne Ziyad played a critical role in holding aloft the tyrannical and oppressive standard of Ale Ziyad. As was mentioned earlier he was appointed by Yazid as the governor of Kufa and he mercilessly martyred the son of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in Karbala after keeping him hungry and thirsty for 3 days. In this manner he displayed his illegitimate roots. In addition to Ubaidullah, Ziyad had other children. Ibne Qutaybah has listed his children as follows:
Abdur Rehman, Mughairah, Muhammad, Abu Sufyan, Ubaidullah, Abdullah (the mother of both these was Marjanah), Muslim, Uthman, Ebad, Rabia, Abu Obaidah, Yazid, Afisah, Umme Moawiyah, Umar, Ghusn, Atbah, Abaan, Jafar, Saeed and Ibrahim. In all 21 children have been listed.
The Assassin of Imam Husain (a.s.) - Ibne Ziyad (Curse of Allah upon him)
This is the first article in the series of the wretched assassins of Imam Husain (a.s.) in the service of our esteemed readers to enlighten them on the character and conduct of the enemies of Ahle Bait (a.s.). Here we have recorded the circumstance of Ibne Ziyad's immoral life so that the readers of Al-Muntazar may understand his 'unholy position'.
His name was Ubaidullah and his father's name was Ziyad bin Abeeh. His epithet was Abu Hafs. His mother's name was Marjana. His paternal grandmother Somaiya was a slave- maid of Haaris bin Kaldah Taefi. Since her promiscuous nature was known to everybody, hence Haris had refused to own two of her sons viz. Abu Bakr and Ziyad. It was for this reason that Ziyad was known as Ziyad bin Abeeh (his father's son). When Muawiya bin Abu Sufyan succeeded in grabbing the caliphate then he declared Ziyad to be a son of Abu Sufyan (born under sin) and thus his brother. When Ziyad died in 53 A.H. then all of his sons adhered to Umayyad dynasty. Ubaidullah was more prominent among them. As a conclusion, Ubaidullah was known as a nephew of Muawiya since his father Ziyad was ascribed to Abu Sufyan. Ubaidullah and his father Ziyad, both of them were illegitimate by birth.
The ruler of Khorasan and Basra.
In 54 A. H. Muawiya appointed Ubaidullah as the governor of Khorasan. He conquered some of the regions of Mawara-ul-Nahar. In 56 A. H. he was dismissed from the governorship of Khorasan and in the same year, he was made the governor of Basrah. In 60 A. H. with the death of Muawiya, the governorship of Kufa also fell in his hands. In 61 A. H., Yazid deputed him to fight against Imam Husain (a.s.). Under his commandership, the event of Karbala took place. After the death of Yazid, he staked the claim for caliphate and invited the people of Basrah and Kufa for the pledge of allegiance.
Initially the people of Basrah paid fealty to him but later they rose in rebellion against him. While the people of Kufa out rightly repudiated paying fealty to him. (Ansabul-Ashraaf, vol. 4, pg. 79)
The Activities of Ibne Ziyad in Kufa.
According to a narration, Yazid was displeased with him and wanted to dismiss him. But because of his enmity towards Imam Husain (a.s.) and also at the same time Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel who was in Kufa seeking allegiance for Imam Husain (a.s.), was seen as a threat by Yazid and hence to counter this threat he send Ibne Ziyad to Kufa so that he can arrest Hazrat Muslim and finally kill him. (Tabari, the events of 60 A H-)
While Balazuri writes in Ansabul Ashraaf that Muawiya appointed him as the governor of Kufa in his own lifetime.
When Janabe Muslim bin Aqeel reached Kufa and the people expressed their fealty to Imam Husain (a.s.) and were earnestly awaiting him. In the meantime Ibne Ziyad entered Kufa incognito since the people of Kufa did not know him hence they mistook him for Imam Husain (A.S.). Ibne Ziyad monitored the circumstances very shrewdly and reached the ministerial palace. He ordered search for Muslim Ibne Aqeel. (Tabari, the events of 60 A H-', Al-'Bidaya wan-Nihaya, vol.8, pg. 155)
During his address to the people of Kufa, he threatened his opponents with dire consequences and lambasted them. While his supporters were tempted with bribes and gifts. (Abul-Qaraj, pg. 97)
Janabe Haani Ibne Urwah was sick and since Ibne Ziyad knew him, he expected the visit of Muslim bin Aqeel. Ibne Ziyad has come to know of this, hence he summoned Haani Bin Urwah to his palace and imprisoned him. Later he also arrested Muslim Ibne Aqeel and slayed both of them. He dispatched both of their heads to the court of Yazid. (Tabari, the events of 60 A H)
The Terrorism of Ibne Ziyad
His tyranny and oppression in Kufa was rising everyday. The prominent and reputed Shias were imprisoned. The seekers of the world who use to brag of their loyalty to Imam Husain (a.s.) joined hands with Ibne Ziyad and strived their best to gain his pleasure. Many of them who had corresponded with Imam Husain (a.s.) and had invited him to Kufa disappeared. In short Ibne Ziyad publicized his despotic maneuvers which were enough to spread terror among the masses.
When Janabe Muslim Ibne Aqeel was brought to the court of Ibne Ziyad they exchanged a fiery dialogue which is recorded by the historians. We are quoting it briefly over here:
When Janabe Muslim Ibne Aqeel was ushered in the court he did not greet Ibne Ziyad. When the soldiers said you did not greet the Emir.
Janabe Muslim: "He is not my Emir."
Ibne Ziyad: "You greet or not you will definitely be killed."
Janabe Muslim: "If you kill me (so what), as worse people than you have killed a superior people to me."
Ibne Ziyad (in a fit of rage): "O you sower of dissensions. Rebel! You have revolted against your Imam. You have tarnished the Muslim Unity and spread commotion."
Janabe Muslim (shot back): "You are a blatant liar. Muawiya was not the caliph of Muslims, rather he overpowered the successor of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) with fraud and deceit and snatched caliphate from him. Similar was his son Yazid.
Commotion was wrought by you and your father Ziyad. I beseech God to bestow martyrdom on me through his worst creatures. By Allah! I have not sown dissensions neither did I make any change in the religion. I am a obedient follower of Husain Ibne Ali, the son of Fatema (s.a.) and the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). We deserve caliphate more in comparison of Muawiya and the offspring of Ziyad." (Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah by Ibn Kaseer, vol. 8, pg. 158)
It is a very lengthy dialogue, in the end of which Ibne Ziyad got so flared up that he started abusing Muslim Bin Aqeel, which is a typical trait of every disgraceful and mean person.
Who tampered Religion?
A contemplating glance over the dialogue will show that how Janabe Muslim Ibne Aqeel even at the end moments of his life was defending Imamat and very vociferously announced that the Holy Ahle bait (a.s.) did not change or ?distort the religion rather it has been habit of Muawiya, Yazid and their offspring.
Who made divisions among Muslims?
He also clearly said in this dialogue that Muslims were divided due to commotion which was spread by Muawiya, Yazid, Ziyad and Ibne Ziyad.
The Machinations for the assassination of Imam Husain (a.s.)
After the murder of Janabe Muslim Ibne Aqeel he turned towards Imam Husain (a.s.) and commanded Hurr bin Yazid Riyahee with a contingent to intercept Husain where ever he is found and to restrict water to him. He dispatched Umar bin Sa'ad bin Abi Waqas with another contingent. He enticed Umar bin Sa'ad with the greed of ruler ship and asked him to seek allegiance from Imam Husain (a.s.).
On 10th Moharram 61 A. H. Imam Husain (a.s.) was slain along with his kith and kin. The, plan for this whole massacre was laid out by Ibne Ziyad.
This heinous crime of Ibne Ziyad displeased Muslims to no end and particularly the people of Kufa were more angered because after the event of Karbala during his first address. Abdullah bin Afeef rose and abused Yazid. Tabari has written that even his mother Marjana was enraged at this. But Ibne Ziyad due to his power and self remained stuck to the caliphate. Finally Yazid left for hell and Abdullah bin Zubair staked his claim for caliphate in Hijaz, while Ibne Ziyad left Iraq and migrated to Syria.
It is a matter of dispute among historians that after Yazid, whether Ibne Ziyad went to Syria and Basra or he made a claim for caliphate in Kufa.
The death of Ibne Ziyad
In 67 A. H. he had fled to Syria. Later he made preparations to fight Janabe Mukhtar. Ibrahim bin Malik Ashtar along with a troop of twelve thousand soldiers went towards Mosul in search of Ibne Ziyad. After covering only a few stages of journey, he saw some of the assassins of Imam Husain (A.S.) like Shees bin Rabiee, Shimr bin Ziljaushan, Mohammad bin Ashath bin Qais and Umar-e-Sa'ad. They sent a message to Mukhtar that if leniency was not showed to them then be ready to fight with them.
Mukhtar conveyed a message to Ibrahim bin Malik that be soft with them so that they may return towards Kufa. The messenger gave this message to Ibrahim who allowed them to return towards Kufa. When he received the intelligence that they all are at the house of Shees bin Rabiee and are planning to fight against Mukhtar. He immediately raided the house of Shees bin Rabiee and arrested all of them. Fifty men were killed and eight hundred of them were made captive, two hundred and fifty of them were of those who had been to Karbala to fight with Imam Husain (a.s.). They all were beheaded and their heads dispatched to Mukhtar. Then Ibrahim bin Malik again went in the search of Ibne Ziyad. In the region of Mosul both the armies confronted and after a very brief fighting the Syrian army made a bid to escape. But Ibrahim bin Malik moved ahead and encouraged his soldiers in these words:
"O partisans of truth and helpers of religion, kill these children of Shaitan. Kill whoever had come with the son of Marjana."
Then he attacked Ibne Ziyad and said , "He is the same who restricted the water of Furat to Imam Husain(a.s. ). He is the same who had told Imam that you will not be granted amnesty unless you pay allegiance to me. He is the one who had misbehaved with the family of prophethood and Imamat and made them captive and dragged them in the streets of Kufa and Syria."
These words of Ibrahim bin Malik had such an effect upon the soldiers that they again attacked the Syrian army and devastated them. Ibrahim saw a man near Furat who wore armor and gloves in his hands, with a sword, he attacked him, snatched his sword and killed him. He was Ibne Ziyad, the next day he was beheaded and his head was brought in front of Ibrahim. He became joyous and lay prostrate in gratitude to God. (Zindagani-e-Abi Abdullah Al-Husain by Emaadzadeh, vol. 2, pg. 255).
A Drop of Blood.
Emaadzadeh writes that after the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.), a drop of blood dropped from the holy head of Imam and fell on the thigh of Ibne Ziyad and drilling a hole in it fell on the ground. This wound of Ibne Ziyad was not healed even up to the end of his life (i.e. for five years). It also emitted such a foul smell that it was odious to others hence to suppress the smell he use to always use musk. The soldiers identified him from the strong smell of musk and beheaded him.
"O Lord! Chastise Ibne Ziyad, his progeny and his partisans."