Rafed English

Awfa bin Hisn

He was among the victims of the Umayyad injustice. Zyyad summoned Him, but he refused to meet Him. Zyyad reviewed the people so that he passed by Awfa and said: "Who is this?" It was said to Him: "Awfa b. Bism." Thus Zyyad said: "His two legs have brought you a traitorous (deed)." Then he said to Awfa: "What do you think of Uthman?" "The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family, married his (ie, Uthman's) two daughters," replied Awfa. Then Zyyad asked Him; "what do you think of Mu'awiya?" (He is) generous and clement," answered Awfa.

Awfa was smart in his language and his style so that Zyyad was unable to find a jutification to kill Him.

Again Zyyad came back to Awfa and asked Him: "what is your opinion concerning me?" Awfa replied:

"I have heard that you said in Basra: By Allah, I will punish the innocent one because of the guilty one and the comer becuase of the runaway. "I said that" said Zyyad. "you mixed them at random," said Awfa.

I (i.e., the author) say: Some of the smartness of this wise man (ie, Awfa) was that he gave gradual answers to Zyyad to draw his attention to his errors. Do not forget that Awfa was at that time between the leather rug and the sword (ie, he was about to be killed), and between the right and the wrong. These attitudes increase our admiration towards these heroes from the students of Ali, However, all his preachment went in vain. That is because Zyyad said concerning Him: "the blower is not the worst of the group." Then Zyyad ordered Awfa to be killed.1

I (i.e., that author) do not know, and I do not think that Zyyad Himself knew the reason why he shed the blood of Awfa, while the Prophetic tradition says: "It is forbidden for the Muslim to (shed) the blood of the Muslim, (to violate) his honor, and (to confiscate) his property."

In all his answer, the man (ie, Awfa) as you have seen, did not reveal a secret, nor did he violate an affair. Rather the one who opposed the Koran openly when he punished the innocent because of the guilty and the comer because of the runaway did not understand the above mentioned traditions and the Words of Allah, that say: "And no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another."

Zyyad adhered to his immoderation. Thus the people around Him suffered from the strongest ordeals in the world: some of them were driven to prison; some of them were chased, and hundreds of them were brought before Him every day so that their eyes knocked out, their limbs were cut off, and their ribs were destroyed.2 Other shackled victims were between Kufa and Sham (Syria). There was another in Kufa except dreadful terrorism, and there was nothing in Sham but horrible death.
Kufa, which was full of plots and opposition, submitted as the broken wing did because of the oppression of the Umayyad rulers. Thus the people who plotted the Umayyads yesterday began to practice oppression today when they became rulers over the Kufans. Thus the Kufans became various groups and took to flight.

Mu'awiya, Zyyad b. Abih, and the men of their school were heedless. they did not think that violence would result in finding an ideal leader who was able to fight against the violent ruler, and that violence was unable to destroy that opinion that has become immortal in history.

For this reason hunderd millions of people took part in the opinion of the Kufans, and were ready to send Mu'awiya and his men its echo which the days were unble to wear out.

Torture without killing

The Umayyads had methods other than killing, homelessness, demolishing houses, confiscating properties, and muzzling mouths.

When b. al-Athir mentioned the tragedy of Awfa b. Hism, he said: "He (i.e., Awfa) was the first to be killed by Zyyad after the event of the thirty or the eighty (people) whose hands Zyyad cut off.

Mu'awiya knew thoroughly the internal affairs of Basra and Kufa, Thus he attacked the chiefs of the people, the swordsmen, the notable orators, and the Shi'te talented poets. He irritated them, imprisoned them, shackled them, made them homeless, and shed their blood.

The following are some examples of the tragedies which Abu Yazid (ie, Mu'awiya) comitted then against the prominent figures from the Shi'ite leaders.

1. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, vol.3. p.183. al-Tabari, Tarikh, pp.130-32.

2. In bood (Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 147), al-Tabari said: "Umayr b. Yazid (a companion of Hijr b. Adi's) was brought before Zyyad. He had been given security over his blood and his property. Zyyad ordered Him to be shackled. Then the men began to lift Him to the highest point and let Him fall over the ground many times."

Adopted from the book: "Sulh al-Hasan (a.s.)" by: "Sheykh Radi al-Yasin"

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