Rafed English

Mu‘awiyah and his great [kabirah] sins

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

Mu‘awiyah the son of Abu Sufiyan was not a person who refrained from committing great sins. He was so daring that he openly committed illegitimate actions among the people. Here, reference will be made to some of the actions he committed that were in flagrant contradiction to the divine law [shari‘ah] of Islam:
Mu‘awiyah dranked alcoholic beverages

Ahmad ibn Hanbal quotes ‘Abd Allah ibn Buraydah saying, “My father and I went to visit Mu‘awiyah. He spread a carpet for us and made us sit on it. Then, he brought us some food, which we ate. After that, he brought us some alcohol. Mu‘awiyah drank from it and invited my father to partake of it, but my father refused and said, ‘Since the time that the Noble Prophet (S) made alcohol haram (forbidden), I have not drunk it’.”2

Mu‘awiyah did this heedless of the fact that the Holy Prophet (S) said,

    «شارب الخمر کعابد وثن.»

“One who drinks alcohol is the same as one who worships idols.”3
Mu‘awiyah engaged in usury

‘Ata’ ibn Yasar says, “Mu‘awiyah sold a cup made out of gold at a price more than its weight. Abu al-Darda’ said to him, ‘I heard Allah’s Prophet (S) forbidding this kind of action. Selling and buying should not be concluded unless the deal is equal as regards weight.’ Mu‘awiyah boldly answered him, ‘I see nothing wrong with taking usury.’

Abu al-Darda’ said, ‘Who will justify Mu‘awiyah’s actions? I am telling him what Allah’s Prophet (S) has said, and he is telling me what he himself thinks. From now on, I will never live in the same territory with Mu‘awiyah’.”4

Mu‘awiyah used to take usury in spite of the fact that Allah has cursed the one who takes usury, the one who gives it, the two witnesses required for recording such a contract, and the writer of the transaction.5

The Holy Prophet (S) said, “Refrain from seven actions because these seven deeds invite Allah’s punishment and wrath.” The people asked, “O Prophet of Allah! What are those seven deeds?” He said, “Associating others with Allah (polytheism), sorcery and witchcraft, killing of a life which Allah has made honorable except by justice, consuming that which belongs to orphans and taking usury.”6

On his own chain of transmission, Bukhari quotes from Abi Juhayfah that the Holy Prophet (S) cursed both the giver and taker of usury.7
Mu‘awiyah altered the practice of obligatory rituals

In his book entitled “Kitab al-Umm”, Shafi‘i recounts that Zuhri said, “The the Islamic call to prayer [adhan] was never recited for the two festival prayers (‘Id al-Qurban and ‘Id al-Fitr) during the time of the Holy Prophet (S), Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman. The only time when the adhan was recited before the two ‘Id prayers was when Mu‘awiyah innovated and introduced it during his reign in Sham, and Hajjaj followed up on this innovation when he became the governor of Medina.”

Ibn Hajar says, “On a sound chain of transmission, Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates from Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyib that the first person who innovated and introduced the adhan into the two ‘Id prayers was Mu‘awiyah.”

Shafi‘i also quotes Zuhri who recounts from a truthful and trustworthy person that it was Mu‘awiyah who innovated and introduced the adhan into the two ‘Id prayers.8

Mu‘awiyah, the son of Abu Sufiyan, brought about this innovation in the two ‘Id Prayers despite the fact that there is no legitimate justification in Islam for the adhan and iqamah to be read for any prayers except the obligatory daily prayers. This is a legal verdict in the practical laws of Islam which is undisputed by any school of Islamic thought.

Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah says, “I was present when the Holy Prophet (S) offered prayers on the day of ‘Id. He offered the prayers before the sermon and without reciting either the adhan or iqamah. Then, while he was leaning on Bilal, he invited the people to piety and obedience of Allah.”9

Ibn ‘Abbas and Jabir say, “The Holy Prophet (S) never recited the adhan for the prayers of ‘Id al-Fitr or al-Qurban.”10


2. Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al-Musnad, vol. 6, p. 476.

3. Ibn al-Mundhir, Al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib, vol. 3, p. 102.

4. Malik, Al-Muwatta’, vol. 2, p. 59.

5. Muslim, Al-Sahih, vol. 5, p. 500.

6. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 271.

7. Sahih Bukhari, vol. 5, p. 2219, hadith 6501.

8. Fath al-Bari, vol. 1, p. 353, 452.

9. Sahih Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 332, hadith 935; Muslim, Al-Sahih, vol. 2, p. 284, hadith 4.

10. Sahih Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 327, hadith 917; Muslim, Al-Sahih, vol. 2, p. 285, hadith 5.


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