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Sa'sa'a bin Shoban

Sa'sa'a was among the Arab chiefs. He was among the virtuous highborn figures. He became Muslim during the lifetime of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family. However, he did not met the Prophet, for he was still little. During the days of his c'Aliphate, Umar faced adifficult Problem. Thus is addressed the people and asked them about an answer for the Problem. Sa'sa'a, who was still young, rose. He gave an excellent answer. So the Muslims put his opinion into practice. Sa'sa'a was among the planners in Kufa. He took part at the Battle of the Camel and Battle of Siffin headed by the Commander of the faithful (i.e, Imam 'Ali). "Indeed al-Mughira banished Sa'sa'a from Kufa to the island (al-jazira) or to Bahrain. It was said that he was exiled to the island of bin Kafan (jazirat bin Kafan), Thus he died there."1

"Mu'awiya imprisoned Sa'sa'a b. Shoban al-Abdi2 Abd Allah b. al-Kauwa al-Yashkuri, a group of 'Ali's companions, and a group of Quraysh. One day, Mu'awaya came to them and adked them: Swear by Allah to say the truth. Which of the C'Aliphs have you seen me?" Thus b. al-Kauwa said: Were it not for that you asked us, we would not say for you are a stubborn tyrant. you do not fear Allah when you kill the good ones. Still we say: your life in this world, as we know, is wide, and your next life will be narrow. you are near to the ground and far from the pasture. you make darkness light and light darkness.' Then Mu'awiya said: "Indeed Allah has honored this matter (i.e, the authority) through the Syrians who defend His enmity, and who avoid what He has forbedden. The Syrians are unlike the Irqis who violate what Allah has forbidden, make lawful what Allah has for bidden, and make unlawful what Allah has made lawful. Thus b. al-Kauwa said: Bin Abu Sufyan, there is an aswer for every speech. We are afraid of you might. If you released our tongues we would defend the Iraqis with sharp tongues that do not fear the blame of a blamer concerning Allah; otherwise we will be patient till Allah judges and shows us His ease. By Allah, your tongue will not be released, said Mu'awiya. Then Sa'sa'a said: Bin Abu Sufyan, you have exaggerated, and have not abbreviated what you have wanted. The matter is nor as you have mentioned. Does the successor rule the people by force, subjugate them with haughtiness, and dominate (them) with false ways (such as) lying and cunning? Verily, by Allah, you had neither a sword nor a spear at the Battle of Badr. you and your father were (busy) in trade and war. You were among those who gathered against the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family. you were in freed prisoner (of war). The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family, had released you, Then, is the succession (Khilafa) appropriate for a freed prisoner (of war)? Thus Mu'awiya said: Were in not for that I resort to the words of Abu Talib who said:

(I met his ignorance with clemency and forgiveness and forgiveness is a type of generosity). I would kill you. Then Mu'awiya asked Sa'sa'a: Who are the pious, and who are the sinners? Whoever unveils (the facts) leaves deception. 'Ali and his Companions were from the pious Imams. you and your compaions are from those (i.e, the sinners) said Sa'sa'a. Then Mu'awiya asked Him about Hisham. Thus Sa'sa'a said: He (i.e., Hisham) was the most obedient of all people to a creature, and the most disobedient of them to the Creator. He has disobeyed the Almighty (Allah) and followed the evil. May destruction befall Him, and the evil abode be his. Bin Sohan, by Allah, you have carried you knife for along time. However, it is the clemency of b. Abu Sufyan that prevents me from (killing) you, said Mu'awiya. Rather the decree of Allah and His power have stopped you from killing me. Indeed Allah's decreed is certain."

Al-Mas'udi said Sa'sa'a b. Sohan had good stories and clear eloquent words concerning the meanings though tye are brief."

Sa'sa'a was a prominent figure from the companions of the commander of the faithful. The Commander of the faithful described Him as a miserly orator. Then al-Jahiz described Him as the most eloquent of all the people. When Mu'awiya entered Kufa after the Peace Treaty, he said to Sa'sa'a: "Indeed, by Allah, I had hated to give you security." Thus Sa'sa'a said: "By Allah, I hate to call you with this little (i.e, the Commander of the faithful)."

Then Sa'sa'a greeted Mu'awiya during his succession. So Mu'awiya said to Him: "If you are truthful, then go up on the pulpit and curse 'Ali." Thus Sa'sa'a went up on the pulpit. He praised Allah and lauded Him, and then he said: "O men, I have come to you from a man who had advanced his evil and delayed his good. He has ordered me to curse 'Ali. Therefore curse Him (i.e, Mu'awiya), may Allah curse Him." Thus the people of the mosque shouted: "Amen!" When Sa'sa'a came back to Mu'awiya and told Him about what he had said, the latter said: "No, by Allah, you have meant me. Go back and mention his name." Sa'sa'a went back, went up on the pulpit, and said: "O people, the Commander of the faithful (i.e, Mu'awiya) has ordered me to curse 'Ali b. T'Alib. Therefere curse Him (i.e, Mu'awiya). When Mu'awiya was told about that, he said: "By Allah, he has meant no one except me. Take Him out. He shouted not live with me in a certain country." Thus the people took Him out (of the country where Mu'awiya lived).3

'Ibn Abd Rabba said: "Sa'sa'a b. Sohan came to Mu'awiya when Amru b. al-As was with Him (i.e, Mu'awiya) and was sitting on his (i.e, Mu'awiya's) bed. Thus Mu'awiya said (to Amru b. al-As): "Make room for Him (i.e, Sa'sa'a) in spite of his (tirabiya)4" By Allah, I am a (tirabi) (i.e, I was created from dust). I was created from it, to it I will return, and from it I will be raised from the dead. However, you were created from a flame of fire."

The delegation of the Iraqis came to Mu'awiya, Adi b. Hatam was among the delegation of Kufa. al-Ahnaf b. Qays and Sa'sa'a b. Sohan was among the delegation of Basra. Thus Amru b. al-As said to Mu'awiya: "There are the men of the life in this world. They are the Shi'ites of 'Ali who led them at the Battle of the Camel, and the Battle of Siffin. Therefore be careful of them."

Sayyid Abd al-Qays wrote at length about Sa'sa'a b. Sohan to the extent that his details are not appropriate for out brief intention. In other words we have intended to give a brief idea about the history of Sa'sa'a, and about the attitudes of Mu'awiya towards Him.

1. Ahmad Shahab al-Din al-Asqalani, al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba, vol.3, p.23.

2. al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol.6, p.117.

3. Abbas al-Qmmi, Safiinat al-Bihar, vol.2, p.31.

4. His love for Abu Turab (i.e, 'Ali, peace be on Him).

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

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