أبو بكر بن العربي
Death: 543H 1148
DEFENCE AGAINST DISASTER by QADI ABU BAKR IBN AL-`ARABI
Accurately Determining The Position Of The Companions After The Death Of The Prophet, May Allah Bless Him And Grant Him Peace AL-`AWASIM MIN AL-QAWASIM
If it is said: He gave it to Yazid, but he was not worthy,
340. If the gauge of worthiness for that is that he reach the level of Abu Bakr and `Umar in all their qualities, this will never be reached in the history of Islam nor was it done by `Umar b. `Abdu’l-`Aziz. Even if we desire the impossible and suppose that it is possible for another Abu Bakr and another `Umar to appear, we will never have a milieu like the milieu which Allah granted to Abu Bakr and `Umar. If the gauge of worthiness is being upright in behaviour and establishing respect for the Shari`a, acting by its judgments, being just to people, looking after their best interests, jihad against their enemies, expanding the horizons of its call and compassion for their individuals and groups, the reports of Yazid can be closely examined and people know his actual state as he was while alive. That will make it clear that he was not less than many of those whose praises have been sung by history and who have been abundantly praised.
And something took place between him and `Abdullah b. `Umar, ibn az-Zubayr and al-Husayn which the historians have related from Wahb b. Jarir b. Hazim from his father and from others. He said that when Mu`awiya decided that allegiance should be given to his son Yazid, he went on Hajj. He came to Makka with about one thousand men. When they were close to Madina, Ibn `Umar, Ibn az-Zubayr and `Abdu’r-Rahman b. Abi Bakr went out. When Mu`awiya came to Madina, he mounted the mimbar and praised and glorified Allah. Then he mentioned his son Yazid and said, "Who is more entitled to rule than him?"
341. There were many young men of Quraysh who were contemporary with Yazid among those who thought that they could undertake to rule by certain points which they knew that they possessed. Indeed, even Sa`id b. `Uthman b. `Affan and those who were less then Sa`id, wanted to undertake to rule after Mu`awiya. The principle of a council to elect the khalif was much better than the principle of rule by contract. However, Mu`awiya knew that opening the door of consultation to choose someone to succeed him would cause carnage in the Islamic community and that blood would not cease to flow until all the worthy men of Quraysh, capable of taking charge of the affairs of this community, were annihilated. Mu`awiya was too judicious not to have seen the virtues which those young men of Quraysh had. When any of them was distinguished by something over his peers, there was another one among them who was distinguished by something else. However Yazid, although he shared with the others in their accomplishments, was distinguished over them by the greatest thing that the state requires - military force to support him in the khalifate which makes it a force for Islam.
This was shown when Shaytan sowed sedition among those who competed for this throne so that it developed into a situation abhorrent to every muslim. If Yazid had only had his uncles of Quda`a and their allies in the Yemeni tribes, by that he would have possessed what would not have allowed the one with foresight to leave him out of the reckoning when he reflects on these matters. Add to this what Ibn Khaldun stated when he spoke about al-Husayn’s journey to Iraq to attack Yazid when he said in the section, ‘The Rule of Contract’, in the preface of his history, "As for zeal, he erred in it, may Allah have mercy on him, because the partisanship of Mudar was in Quraysh and the partisanship of Quraysh was in Abdu Munaf and the partisanship of `Abdu Manaf was in the Banu Umayya." Quraysh and all people recognised that this was theirs. They did not deny it. That was forgotten at the beginning of Islam when people were distracted by astonishment at the miracles of the revelation. When the business of prophecy and awesome miracles stopped, then judgment returned to normal after a short time. The partisanship became as it had been and went to those who had had it before. Mudar began to obey the Banu Umayya rather than others.
Then Mu`awiya left and went to Makka and finished his tawaf. He went into his house and sent for Ibn `Umar. He said the Shahada and said, "Ibn `Umar, you used to tell me that you would not like to spend a dark night without an Amir over you. I am cautioning you lest you sow dissension among the muslims and lest you try to corrupt what they have." When he was silent, Ibn `Umar spoke and praised and glorified Allah. Then he said, "There were khalifs before you who had sons. Your son is not better than them. They did not want for their sons what you want for your son. They gave the choice to the muslims since the muslims know best. You caution me in case I sow dissension among the muslims when I have not yet done it.
I am a muslim man. When they agree on a business, I am with them." Then Ibn `Umar left. 342. This report contradicts what is in ‘The Book of Raids’ of the ‘Sahih’ of al-Bukhari (book 64, chap. 29, pt. 5, p. 47) from Ibn `Umar that his sister, the Umm al-Mu’minin Hafsa advised him to go quickly and offer his homage. She said, "The truth is that they are waiting for you. I fear that there will be divisions if you hold back from them." Look at p. 166.
He sent to `Abdu’r-Rahman b. Abi Bakr. He said the shahada and then began to speak. He interrupted him and said, "By Allah, you want us to give you authority to give power to your son, for Allah. By Allah, we will not do it. By Allah, you will refer this business to a council of the muslims or the business will be taken back to the beginning for you.
343. i.e. it will bring about civil strife in its worst states against you. He noted that the people who ascribed arrogance against Mu`awiya did not attack the adequacy and worthiness of Yazid because it was the last thing which they doubted in him during the lifetime of Mu`awiya. Those who fabricated these reports and ascribed them to Wahb b. Jarir b. Hazm have lied disgracefully. Then he leapt up. Mu`awiya said, "Oh Allah, restrain him as You like." Then he said, "Oh man, calm yourself! Do not look to the people of Syria. I fear that they will beat me to you until it is reported this evening that you have offered homage. After that, you can do whatever seems best to you in your affair."
Then he sent to Ibn az-Zubayr and said, "Ibn az-Zubayr, you are a wily fox. Whenever it leaves a hole, it goes to another. You have relied on these two men and I have blown up their noses." Ibn az-Zubayr said, "If you have wearied of being Amir, then leave it and bring your son and we will offer him homage. If I give your son homage along with you then which of you two do you think we should listen to and which should we obey? The homage cannot ever be for both of you."
344. Ibn az-Zubayr was too intelligent to miss the fact that the homage to Yazid was after Mu`awiya and that both homages were not effective while Mu`awiya was still alive. Those who fabricated these reports and ascribed them to Wahb b. Jarir have made a disgraceful lie. Then he got up. Mu`awiya went out and ascended the mimbar. He said, "We found that people’s conversations contain faults. They claim that Ibn `Umar, Ibn az-Zubayr and Ibn Abi Bakr did not offer homage to Yazid. They have heard and obeyed and they have offered homage."
The people of Syria said, "No, by Allah, we will not be content until they offer homage before witnesses. If not, we will cut off their heads." He said, "Shame! Glory be to Allah! How quick people are to treat Quraysh badly! I will not hear these words from anyone after today!" Then he descended. People said, "They offered homage." They said, "We did not offer homage." People said, "You offered homage." Wahb related by another means, "Mu`awiya spoke and mentioned Ibn `Umar. He said, ‘By Allah, he will give homage or I will kill him.’ `Abdullah b. Abdullah b. `Umar went to his father and he travelled to Makka in three days and told him about this.
345. This report from Wahb b. Jarir b. Hazim shows that Mu`awiya made his speech while he was in Madina, coming there from Damascus, before he had reached Makka and that Ibn `Umar was in Makka on that day. His son rode to him to meet him in Makka and tell him about this speech. In the report before this, which is also related from Wahb b. Jarir b. Hazim, he clearly states that Ibn `Umar was in Madina when Mu`awiya arrived there from Damascus and that he was among the notable men who went out to meet him. The two reports contradict each other and refute each other, although they are from the same man. I do not know where the author got them. At-Tabari did not relate them even though he was concerned with the reports of Wahb b. Jarir because he was reliable. Wahb died in 206 A.H. and his father died in 180 A.H. after he had become confused. Between these two and these reports are other transmitters, and between the two of them and at-Tabari and other historians there are many transmitters. I believe that these reports are not sound since they contradict each other. If we knew their transmitters up to Wahb and after Wahb, we would know where the lie came from.
Ibn `Umar wept. The news reached `Abdullah b. Safwan. He went to Ibn `Umar and said,
‘Did that man say that?’ He said, "Yes.’ He said, ‘What do you want? Do you want to fight him?’ He said, ‘Ibn Safwan, patience is better than that.’ Ibn Safwan said, ‘By Allah, if he means to do that, I will fight him.’
346. `Abdullah b. Safwan, the grandson of Ummaya b. Khalaf al-Jumahi. He was killed with Ibn az-Zubayr in 73 A.H. Mu`awiya came to Makka and alighted where he would spend the night. `Abdullah b. Safwan went to him and said, ‘Do you claim that you will kill Ibn `Umar if he does not offer allegiance to your son?’ He said, ‘Me kill Ibn `Umar? By Allah, I will not kill him!’" Wahb related by a third path....
347. This report is not in at-Tabari. I think that it was fabricated in the book from which the two previous reports came. ....that he said: When Mu`awiya left Batn Marr on his way to Makka, he said to the master of his guard, "Do not let anyone go with me until I give him a mount." He went out alone until he was in the middle of Al-Arrak, al-Husayn b. `Ali met him. He stopped and said, "Welcome, son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and master of the young muslim men. A beast for Abu `Abdullah to ride! " He was brought a mule and shown it. Then `Abdu’r-Rahman b. Abi Bakr came.
348. We know from the first report from Wahb himself that `Abdu’r-Rahman b. Abi Bakr was in Madina. He was one of those who met Mu`awiya when he came there from Damascus. What took him to Makka so that he was among those who met Mu`awiya when he arrived there? Truly those who made lies against Mu`awiya are naive, and do not act well, even in the craft of lying.
He said, "Welcome, son of the shaykh of the Quraysh and its master and the son of the Siddiq of this community. A beast for Abu Muhammad to ride!" He was brought a mule and rode it. Then Ibn `Umar came. He said, "Welcome to the Companion of the Messenger of Allah and the son of the faruq and the master of the muslims." He called for a beast and he rode it. Then Ibn az-Zubayr came. He said, "Welcome to the son of the Companion of the Messenger of Allah and the son of the aunt of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace." He called for a beast for him and he rode it. Then he began to go between them.
He did not let any of them leave until he had entered Makka. He was the first to enter and the last to leave. Every morning they received gifts and honour. He did not mention anything to them about Yazid until he had finished his Hajj rites and loaded his baggage and was bout to leave for Syria and his mounts were ready to go. Then the people turned to each other and said, "People do not be deceitful! By Allah, he has not done this for your love or your honour. He only did what he wanted. Prepare and answer for him." Then they went to al-Husayn and said, "Abu `Abdullah, you!" He said "While the shaykh and master of Quraysh is among you? He is more entitled to speak." They said to `Abdu’r-Rahman b. Abi Bakr, "You, Abu Muhammad," He said, "I am not the one to speak when you have the Companion of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the son of the master of the muslims, among you." (i.e. Ibn `Umar) They said to Ibn `Umar, "You!" He said, "I am not your man, but let Ibn az-Zubayr speak. He will be enough for you." Then they said, "You, Ibn az-Zubayr." He said, "Yes, if you give me your contracts and your pledges that you will not oppose me, then I will deal with this man for you." They said, "You have that." Permission was sought and Mu`awiya gave them permission and they came in.
Mu`awiya spoke and praised and glorified Allah. Then he said, "You know my behaviour with you, my connection to your kin, my indulgence to you and my enduring what you do. Yazid, the son of the Amir al-Mu’minin, is your bother and the son of your uncle and the person with the best opinion for you. I want you to give him the name "Khalif" and for you to be those who depose and appoint and oblige and divide, although none of that is yours." The people were silent. He said, "Won’t you answer me?" The people remained silent. He said, "Won’t you answer me?" They remained silent. He turned to Ibn az-Zubayr and said, "Come. Ibn az-Zubayr, by my life, you speak to the people!" He said, "Yes, Amir al-Mu’minin. I will give you a choice between three qualities. Whichever you take, the choice is yours." He said, "Your father belongs to Allah, present them!" He said, "If you wish, you can do what the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did. If you wish, you can do what Abu Bakr did. He was the best of the community after the Messenger of Allah. If you like, you can do what `Umar did. He was the best of the community after Abu Bakr." He said, "Your father belongs to Allah, what did they do?" He said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died and did not appoint anyone. The muslims were content with Abu Bakr. If you like, you can leave the business of this community until Allah decides what He decides in it. The muslims will choose for themselves." He said, "Well, you do not have anyone among you today like Abu Bakr. I do not think that you will be safe from dispute." He said, "Then do as Abu Bakr did.
He delegated a man from the far part of Quraysh who was not one of the children of his father and appointed him." He said, "Your father belongs to Allah! And the third?" He said, "Do what ‘Umar did. He made the business a council with six men of Quraysh. None of them was his relative." He said, "Is there anything else?" They said, "No." He said, "And you?" They said, "We as well." He said, "No, I wanted to meet you. Whoever is warned is excused. If any of you rises against me and rejects me in front of witnesses, I will take him for that. I have a statement. If I am truthful, I have my truthfulness. If I lie, the lie is mine. I swear by Allah, if any of you refutes me, his words will not come back to him before I have his head." Then he called for the Captain of the Guard and said, "Put two of your guards over each of these men. If any man begins to repeat something, true or false, then strike him with your swords.:"
349. The author quoted these disgraceful reports which were falsified in order to expose them. Compare them with the hadith of al-Bukhari regarding the sound position of Ibn `Umar in this event so that people would know that the truth lay in one valley and those lying transmitters lay in another valley. Then he left and they left with him. He went up the mimbar and praised and glorified Allah. Then he said, "These are the party of the masters of the muslims and the best of them. We do not act independently in anything without them nor do we decide any business without consulting them. They are satisfied and have given homage to Yazid, the son of the Amir al-Mu’minin, after him. They gave homage in the Name of Allah. They have shaken his hand."
Then he sat on his camel and departed. The people met them and said, "You claimed and you pretended. Then you were satisfied and presented yourselves and acted." They said, "By Allah, we did not do it." They said, "What kept you from answering the man when he lied then?" Then the people of Madina and the people in general gave homage. Then Mu`awiya went to Syria. Qadi Abu Bakr, may Allah be please with him, said, "We do not lack knowledge nor are we ignorant. We have not been moved by ignorant rashness nor do we have any rash zeal for the right. We do not have nay malice towards any of the Companions of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. We say, ‘Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in belief. Do not put malice in our hearts towards those who believe. Our Lord, you are forgiving, merciful.’ We do not say, ‘Mu`awiya abandoned the best course of action when it had been a council. He should not have singled out any of his kin, let along a son, for it, and he should have followed what `Abdullah b. az-Zubayr indicated by either not acting or acting by what he said.
350. Mu`awiya knew Ibn az-Zubayr better than Ibn az-Zubayr himself. Al-Baladhuri related in ‘The Lineage of the Nobles’ (4:"2":53-54) from al-Mada`ini from Maslama b. `Alqama from Khalid from Abu Qilaba that Mu`awiya said to Ibn az-Zubayr, "Avarice and eagerness will make you enter a narrow entrance. I wish that I could be with you at that time so that I could rescue you." When Ibn az-Zubayr was near death, he said, "This is what Mu`awiya said to me. I wished that he had been alive." He inclined to appoint his son. He then gave him the homage and the people gave him homage and those who did not act did not act.
351. He turned from the best form when he feared seditions and slaughter if he were to make it a council. Homage is effected in the Shari`a because it can be effected by one, or it is said that it can be effected by two people. If it is said, "Only for the one possessing the preconditions of the Imamate", we said, "Age is not one of its preconditions, nor is it confirmed that Yazid lacked them.". If it is said, "Justice and knowledge are among its preconditions, but Yazid was neither just nor was he a man of knowledge," we said, "How do we know that he lacked knowledge or lacked justice"
352. As for justice, Muhammad b. `Ali b. Abi Talib testified in his favour when he was arguing with Ibn Muti` when he rebelled against Yazid in Madina. He said about Yazid, "I did not see him do what you mentioned. I was present with him and I stayed with him. I saw him persevere in the prayer and I saw him eager for good. He asked about fiqh and kept to the sunna (Ibn Kathir 8:233), "As for knowledge, it was not necessary for someone like him in a place like this. He was in a position of approval and beyond approval in it. Al-Mada’ini related that Ibn `Abbas came to Mu`awiya after the death of al-Hasan b. `Ali, Yazid came to Ibn `Abbas and sat with him to console him. When Yazid left him, Ibn `Abbas said, "When the Banu Harb depart, then the `ulama' of the people will depart (Ibn Kathir, 8:228).
Does he lack them by the statement of three excellent men who indicated that he should not do it? They alluded to a fault of judgment. They wanted it to be a council." If it is said that there were men who were worthier than him and men with greater knowledge - there were some hundred men, perhaps even a thousand - then we said, that the subject of the less excellent being Imam is a disputed topic among the `ulama'. The `ulama' have mentioned that topic as we already mentioned it.