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Character and Psychology of Tyrants

The character of tyrants fall into two categories, we either have a sly and cunning tyrant or a slow-witted and stupid one, and the sign of the first kind is that he is deceitful in war, vile and despicable in peace, while the second is vicious and savage in war and irresponsible and disrespectful in peace. Using Mo’awiyah and Yazid as examples, Mo’awiyah being the son of two devious parents, Abu Sufian and Hind, he is deceptive and disingenuous, and this could be clearly be seen in his wars with Imam Ali and Imam Hasan alayhum-as-salam, where deception played major and important roles in Mo’awiyah’s wars.

The example of the second category is Yazid the son of Mo’awiyah, and his savagery in war, as seen from unspeakable brutality in his war with

Of course his viciousness and savagery was not limited to that battle alone, as he displayed his barbarity and cruelty, and his total disregard for any value when he attacked the holy city of Medina and instructed his soldiers to do whatever they wanted to do. they committed the most gruesome atrocities, ranging from burning, looting, and destruction to killing the young and old, women and children, even the infant babies, as well as raping thousands of women, ...and all that took place in the sacred city of Medina. Yazid also attacked the holy city of Mecca and in particular he ordered to destroy the Ka'bah and the Holy Mosque there, which the army torched by attacking it by mangonel or catapult. It is in this sense that one is considered savage and brutal in war, since the tyrant does not respect even the rules and regulations of engagement, or any other laws, ideas or understanding. And this is the meaning of Taghut (the Arabic word of Tyrant) not respecting nor distinguishing between anything. Hence they say in Arabic the Tughyan of fire (meaning the rage of fire) since the fire does not recognise the laws and values and dose not respect anything but burns everything in its path, and it does so without distinguishing one thing from another. This is the nature of Yazid in war, and in peace he does not hold or respect any value for anything. He did not use to have any respect for anyone nor for any right of the people, he used to keep company with monkeys, drink wine, and regularly commit adultery and incest. This was to the extend that one of them used to say, “we were fearful that it would rain stone on us since Yazid used to commit incest with the likes of his sisters and aunts”.

These are the two categories of tyrants, and there is no third type to them.

Adopted from the book : "Husayn; the Sacrifice for Mankind" by : "Imam Muhammad Shirazi"

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