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History

‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad was Yazid’s courtier and advisor

Mas‘udi and other historians have recounted, “Yazid was always a pleasure-seeking man… One day after killing al-Husayn Ibn ‘Ali (as), he was seated in a gathering where liquor was being served with ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad on his right hand side. Yazid said to his bartender in verse,

    إسقني شربةً تروّي مَشاشي ثمّ مِل فَاسقِ مثلَها ابن زيادِ

    صاحبَ السرّ والامانةِ عندي ولتسديدِ مغنمي وجهادي

“Give me liquor that is strong enough to completely satisfy my whole being.

After you have served me, turn to Ibn Ziyad, and quench his thirst in the same way.

He is the possessor of my secrets and trusts.

And do it for the purpose of confirming his awards and endeavors.”35

Sibt ibn al-Jawzi writes, “Yazid called for the son of Ziyad and gave him many rewards. He made him a close companion and elevated his position. Yazid even brought his womenfolk for Ibn Ziyad and gave him his goblet of wine. Then, he said to his private musician, ‘Play a song.’ Then, he himself recited the two previous verses.”36

Ibn A‘tham recounts that Yazid ibn Mu‘awiyah gave a reward of one million dirhams to ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad for killing Imam al-Husayn (as).37

Notes:

35. Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 3, p. 77.

36. Tadhkirah al-Khawass, p. 260.

37. Kitab al-Futuh, vol. 5, p. 252.

Adapted from: "The Uprising of Ashura and Responses to Doubts" by: "‘Ali Asghar Ridwani"