Sermon 056 – Amír al-mu’minín said to his companions about Mu`áwiyah

                Soon after me there would be put on you a man with a broad mouth and a big belly. He would swallow whatever he gets and would crave for what he does not get. You should kill him but (I know) you would not kill him. He would command you to abuse me and to renounce me. As for abusing, you do abuse me because that would mean purification for me and salvation for you. As regards renunciation, you should not renounce me because I have been born on the natural religion (Islam) and was foremost in accepting it as well as in Hijrah ( migrating from Mecca to Medina). (1)

(1).          About the person to whom Amír al-mu’minín has alluded in this sermon some people hold that he is Ziyád ibn Abíh; some hold that he is al-Hajjáj ibn Yúsuf ath-Thaqafí and some hold that he is Mughírah ibn Shu`bah. But most of the commentators have held him to be Mu`áwiyah and this is correct because the qualities that Amír al-mu’minín has described prove true fully on him alone. Thus Ibn Abi’l-hadíd has written about the gluttonous quality of Mu`áwiyah that once the prophet sent for him and he was informed that Mu`áwiyah was busy eating. Then a second and third time a man was sent to call him but he brought the same news. Thereupon the Prophet said , “May Alláh never satisfy his belly.” The effect of this curse was that when he felt tired of eating he would say , “Take away, for, by Alláh I am not satiated but I am tired and disgusted.” Similarly, his abusing Amír al-mu’minín  and ordering his officers for it are such accepted facts of history about which there is no scope of denying. In this connection such words were used on the pulpit that even Alláh and the Prophet were hit by them. Thus, Umm al-mu’minín Umm Salamah wrote to Mu`áwiyah, “Certainly you people abuse Alláh and the Prophet, and this is like this that you hurl abuses on `Alí and those who love him, while I do stand witness that Alláh and the Prophet did love him.” (al-`Iqd al-Faríd, Vol. 3, p. 131)

                Thanks to `Umar ibn `Abdil-`Azíz who put a stop to it, and introduced the following verse in place of abuse in the sermons:

Verily Alláh enjoineth justice and benevolence (to others) and giving unto the kindred, and forbidden lewdness, and evil, and rebellion; He exhorteth you that ye may take heed (Qur’án 16:90)

                In this sermon Amír al-mu’minín has ordered his killing on the basis of the Prophet’s order that “When you (O’ Muslims) see Mu`áwiyah on my pulpit, kill him.” (Kitáb Siffín, pp. 243, 248; Sharh of Ibn Abi’l-hadíd, Vol. 1, p.348; Ta’ríkh Baghdád, Vol. 12, p. 181; Mízán al-I`tidál, Vol. 2, p. 128; Tahdhíb at-tahdhíb, Vol. 2, p. 428; Vol. 5, p. 110; Vol. 7, p. 324)

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