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Imam Sajjad (a.s.) during the Rulership of Abdul Malik bin Merwan

Merwan was succeeded by his eldest son Abdul - Malik in A.H. 65. He ruled for about twenty two years. Before becoming the ruler he was a pious person. When people came to inform him that he had become the ruler, he was reading the Qur'an. He closed the Qur'an and addressing the Qur'an he said, "O Qur'an! from now onwards we are going to take separate ways - I will be on my own and you too be on your own. Our ways will never meet."

True to his words, he changed completely. He turned to all the pleasures of the world including drinking wine. His main interest in life was to rule. Anyone who came on his way was killed. For example, when he found that his uncle, Amr Bin Said Bin Abul Aas, was becoming a threat to his kingdom, Abdul Malik killed him with his own hands!

Abdul Malik's announced his policy from the Mimbar saying, "I am not weak like Uthman or tricky like Muawiya or stupid like Yezid. I will bring down with my sword the head of any one who raises it against me!" And he carried out this policy throughout his life as a king. We are giving only two examples below.

Mukhtar Bin Abu Ubayda rose in Iraq in A.H. 65. He took Kufa and put to death all those who had taken part in the Murder of Imam Husain (A.S) and his followers in Kerbala. Abdul Malik sent an army under the command of Ibne Ziyad (who had by then earned the title of "THE BUTCHER" for killing of Imam Husain (A.S)) to fight against Mukhtar. Mukhtar proved successful. But soon after that Mukhtar was killed in a separate battle with Musab Bin Zubair, who had come to kill Mukhtar on behalfofhis brother Abdullah who too claimed to be the ruler of the Muslims at Mecca.

With Mukhtar out of his way, Abdul Malik sent an army that killed Musab and then went to kill Abdullah Bin Zubair in Mecca.

Abdullah Ibne Zubair in the meantime was busy fighting battles against the Khwarjis in Iraq and in Persia. Earlier on, Ibne Zubair had Imprisoned Imam Zainul Abidin's uncle, Muhammad Hanafia, in Mecca on the suspicion that Muhammad Hanafia was Mukhtar's agent. Only a last minute effort by Mukhtar's people saved Muhammad Hanafia.

The Muslim world therefore was in such a confusion that in the year 71 A.H. during Haj season there were four groups at Arafa, each claiming to be the RIGHTFUL LEADER OF THE MUSLIMS. First, there was the group of Abdullah Ibne Zubair. Then there was Abdul Malik's group. The third group was of the Khwarijs and the last group claimed their leader to be Muhammad Hanafia. These were in fact the groups that were fighting against each other. Notice that no group claimed to stand for Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S).

Whereas these groups were busy fighting and killing each other, Imam Zainul Abidin spent his time spreading the Message of true Islam through ways which were free from polities but which were very effective.

In A.H 73, Abdul Malik sent a huge army to Mecca under the command of Hajjaj B in Yusuf. Ibne Zubair w as killed without any mercy shown to him.

Hajjaj Bin Yusuf then was made the Governor of Hijaz, Iraq and Persia (Karman, Khuramsha). He was enemy number one of the Prophet, Imam Ali (A.S) and other members of their family. His cruelty is described by Syed Amir Ali in his Book "A SHORT HISTORY OF THE SARACENS" in these words, "Whilst Governor or Hijaz, Hajjaj had cruelly oppressed the inhabitants of Medina and ill-treated the surviving companions of the Prophet. At one time he thought of rasing the city to the ground. In the course of his long government over Iraq, he put to death nearly 150,000 men, many for false charges, some of them the best of the Arab Race. At the time of his death 50,000 people of both sexes were found rotting in his prisons and cursing the tyrant" It goes without saying that Imam (A.S) must have been closely watched by both Abdul Malik and Hajjaj for a small cause for which he, too, could be severely punished like others. Indeed, by some accounts, Imam (A.S) too was imprisoned for a short time by Abdul Malik. But then the life style of the Imam was so much in prayers that Abdul Malik had to free him fearing that his own people would turn against him if he harmed the Imam (A.S).

Having ruled with Iron-hand for about 22 years, Abdul Malik at last died in A.H. 86 at an Age of 62 years. His last two acts of cruelties before his death were: First, to deny his brother Abdul Aziz of rulership, second to make sure that Hajjaj continued to commit his crimes against Muslims.

Adopted from the book : "A Brief Biography of Ali bin Husain (a.s.)" by : "Muhammad Reza Dungersi Ph.D"

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