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Evidence regarding the illegitimacy of Yazid’s caliphate - Part 3

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

5. The continuity and stability of the Prophet’s (S) mission depended heavily on al-Husayn’s (as) uprising

On his own chain of transmission, al-Tirmidhi narrates from Ya‘la ibn Marrah that the Holy Prophet (S) said,

    «حسين منّي وأنا من حسين.»

“Al-Husayn is from me and I am from al-Husayn.”18

It is clear that Imam al-Husayn (as) comes from the Prophet (S) because he is the Holy Prophet’s (S) grandson born from his daughter Fatimah (as). However, what is the meaning of the second part of the Prophet’s (S) saying that he is from al-Husayn (as)?

We can positively assert through examination of the results of his uprising that Imam al-Husayn (as) revived the Prophet’s (S) mission by rising up against Yazid. His martyrdom and the martyrdom of the youths of Bani Hashim and all his companions kept the true message of the Holy Prophet (S) alive.

The survival of the religion of Islam and the continuity of the Holy Prophet’s (S) mission were secured by Imam al-Husayn’s (as) uprising. Therefore, it can be said that the Holy Prophet’s (S) characteristics is dependent on Imam al-Husayn’s (as).

Al-Tirmidhi considered the previously mentioned hadith of the Prophet (S) to be good [hasan].19 After recounting this hadith, Hakim al-Neyshaburi has also presented its sound and correct chain of transmission [sahih al-asnad], and Dhahabi agrees with him.20

In his book entitled “Misbah al-Zajajah fi Zawa’id ibn Majah”, Busayri says that the chain of transmission of this hadith is good [hasan] and the transmitters recounting it are all honest and trustworthy [thaqah].21

After narrating this hadith, Haythami says that its chain of transmission is good [hasan].22
6. Peace treaty with Imam al-Hasan and the caliphate

The conditions that Mu‘awiyah ibn Abi Sufiyan accepted in the peace agreement he signed with Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba (as) are worthy of careful thought and consideration.

Mu‘awiyah had mentioned certain conditions in his proposal for peace, and Imam al-Hasan (as) added other conditions.23 Among the items that were agreed upon was a stipulation that Imam al-Hasan (as) would cede the caliphate to Mu‘awiyah on the condition that, when Mu‘awiyah died, the caliphate would be handed back to Imam al-Hasan (as).

In the event that Imam al-Hasan (as) were not alive, the caliphate would be handed over to his brother Imam al-Husayn (as).24

That is why as soon as Imam al-Husayn (as) heard that Mu‘awiyah had died, he told ‘Abd Allah ibn Zubayr, “I will never pay allegiance to Yazid, because after my brother, al-Hasan (as), the caliphate returns to me. Mu‘awiyah did as he wanted, and swore to my brother that he would never hand the caliphate over to anyone of his children. He promised that if I were alive, the caliphate would return to me.”25

It has been clearly stated in many Sunni sources that Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba (as) put a condition on Mu‘awiyah that he should not hand over the caliphate to anyone after he died.26

This peace agreement and its conditions, which were agreed upon by both parties of the treaty, substantiate the illegitimacy of the succession of Yazid to the caliphate after his father’s death.


18. Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, vol. 5, p. 324.

19. Ibid.

20. Al-Hakim al-Neyshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn, vol. 3, p. 177.

21. Misbah al-Zajajah, vol. 1, p. 85.

22. Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 9, p. 181.

23. Tarikh Tabari, vol. 4, p. 124.

24. ‘Umdah al-Talib, p. 67.

25. Ibn A‘tham, Al-Futuh, vol. 5, p. 12.

26. Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 16, p. 22; Al-Futuh, vol. 4, p. 291; Mukhtasar Tarikh Damishq, vol. 13, p. 265.


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