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The Hereditary Enmity between the Hashimites and the Umayyads

The acknowledged superiority of Hashimites over all Arab tribes in respect of their lineage, gallantry, hospitality and ethical attributes did always evoke the jealousy of Umayyads against them. And, thus, the Umayyads were constantly bent on ruining the honour and vilifying the integrity of Hashimites by all means.


Abu Hatim Sajistani writes in his book, 'Kitab-ulMuammarin' :

"One day Muawiya expressed his wish to some of his associates to meet some aged man who could describe the antiquity and past events. The people brought before him Abad Bin Amad, a man of three hundred and sixty years old, hailing from Hazramoot.' Muawiya enquired of him if he had ever seen Hashim. The old man answered, "Yes! Hashim was a man of high stature and elegant personality". He further asked him if he had also seen Umayyah. The man said, "Yes! I have seen him too. He was blind and a man of short stature and meanness was obvious on his countenance." Hearing this, Muawiya turned pale and was taken aback. Ibne Aseer, commenting upon the cause of malice between Hashimites and Umayyads, writes, "When Hashim became the heir of his father Abd-e-Manaf and inherited his fortune, the jealousy of Umayyah, the son of Abd-ush-Shams, kindled the spark of malice against Hashim forever."

The gulf between Hashimites and Umayyads was widened till, in the third generation of Hashim, Hazrat Mohammad was born. Abu Sufian, the son of Harb, was the leader of Umayyads at that time who, right from the declaration of Hazrat Muhammad's prophethood till the fall of Mecca, remained the perpetual instigator behind all the wars against the Muslims and steered the vehicle of the campaign of hostility towards the Holy Prophet and his religion.

The fall of Mecca compelled Abu Sufian to embrace Islam, which he did reluctantly. After the Holy Prophet's death, he induced Hazrat Ali to rise against the Caliph in power and thus to weaken the solidarity of Islam but could not succeed in his treacherous designs. The appointment of his son Muawiya, by Hazrat Omar, as a governor of Syria in 20 A.H., lifted up the morale of the Umayyads and provided them with an opportunity to be on the rise. In the year 22 A.H. the 'Shure' Counsel elected Hazrat Osman as a Caliph. "By this time," writes Ibne Abdul Bar in 'Isteeab,' "Abu Sufian found a golden opportunity for the realisation of his dreams. He approached Hazrat Osman and addressed him in the following words:

"Osman! After Bani Taim ( Hazrat Abubakr ) and Bani Adi (Hazrat Omar), the Caliphate has at last come to you. So roll it like a ball wherever you wish and strengthen its foundation with your own Umayyads as this is an empire, and I do hardly have any faith in the so-called Paradise and Hell." The Historians unanimously agree with the fact that, in the reign of Hazrat Osman, all the key posts were entrusted to Umayyads throughout the whole Islamic Empire and Muawiya had secured complete domination over Syria. The exchequers (Bait-ul-Mal) of Medina and Damascus were at the disposal of Muawiya to meet his selfish ends of nepotism and diplomacy. Syria became the centre of attraction for all materialists. The mammonists were bent upon extracting their share of wealth and honour by showering upon the ruling power their utmost flattery. Muawiya harnessed these very elements to achieve his ambitious designs of vilifying and degrading the prestige of the Holy Prophet and his Progeny, and, thus, satisfied his cherished grudge and enmity between his ancestor Umayyah and Hashim.

2. Difference of Faith and Religion :

The second factor of animosity between Hashimites and Umayyads was the difference of their Faith and Religion.

Hashim and all his descendants, except Abu Lahab and his followers, were Unitarians and adhered to the faith of Abraham. On the contrary, Umayyah and his offsprings were heathens.


Ibne Jurair, Tabari and Hakim have quoted from authentic sources, "Those who changed the religion of God with infidelity were Bani Umayyah and Bani Mughairah, the two famous tribes of Quraish."

Abu Sufian as well as the other members of Umayyads were, therefore, the deadliest enemies of the Holy Prophet and continued their greatest endeavours to uproot Islam as long as it was possible. They remained subdued as long as the Holy Prophet lived. But the spark of their animosity against Hashimites which was buried in the ashes of their diplomacy, was rekindled after the demise of the Holy Prophet, and the descendants of Abu Sufian availed a golden opportunity to realise their long-cherished dream.

"The persecutors of Muhammad," says Gibbon, "usurped the inheritance of his children and the champions of idolatory became the supreme heads of his religion and Empire. The opposition of Abu Sufian had been fierce and obstinate, his conversion was tardy and reluctant; his new faith was fortified by necessity and interest."

In malice, jealousy and animosity against the Ahl-ulBait, Moawiya like his son Yazid was no less than his father Abu Sufian. He first extracted the allegiance of the Syrians by presenting himself as a great religious leader and then addressed himself to the task of vilifying and degrading the Holy Prophet and his Progeny.

3. The virtuous attributes of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his family :

The third important reason of the malice and grudge, existing between Bani Hashim and Bani Umayyah, was the virtuous attributes with which Prophet Muhammad and his Holy Progeny were gifted. The existence of Prophet Muhammad as a Hashimite was enough to awaken an inferiority complex among their rival tribe, the Umayyads, but what added fuel to the fire was the Holy Prophet's frequent elaboration upon the virtues of his family members to such an extent that the recognition of their integrity survived all the endeavours of the enemies to malign the world opinion against them.

To quote Ibne Abi Hadid al-Mutazali,

"The traditions, regarding Hazrat Ali's attributes, were quoted from the Holy Prophet to such an extent that the Umayyads, inspite of their kingdom and power, failed to erase them from the memory of the world; and were it not for the will of God, the records of the excellence of the Ahl-ul-Bait would not have survived the long reign of the Umayyads due to their intense malice and severe hatred against the Hashimites." 4. Services rendered to 'Islam' All the members of the Hashimite family, irrespective of their age, excluding Abu-Lahab and his followers, devoted their all to the cause of Islam. Hazrat Jafar Tayyar's propagation, the holy war of Hazrat Hamza and the heroism of Hazrat Ali were the weapons to counteract the efforts of the enemies of Islam. As a matter of fact, Abu Sufian and his followers were the deadliest enemies of Islam till the conquest of Mecca, but whenever they opposed the Holy Prophet, the Hashimites came to his rescue. After embracing Islam, Abu Sufian could naturally not assassinate the Holy Prophet but his mission was later accomplished by his son Muawiya, who poisoned Imam Hasan through Juda Binte Ashas, and by his grandson Yazid who massacred Imam Husain and the progeny of the Holy Prophet in the field of Kerbala.

Islamic History can never forget the occasion when the revered family of the Holy Prophet were brought as captives to the court of Damascus and the slain head of Imam Husain was placed in a golden tray before Yezid; while he, touching the sacred teeth of the Apostolical Imam with his stick, was reciting the following verses :

"If my ancestors, who had been slain in the battle of Badr, would witness the way I have avenged their blood from Muhammad's progeny, they would admire my deed immensely and would say, Bravo, Yazid! May not thy hands get benumbed, and it was nothing but an imperialistic design of the Hashimites, as neither a Divine Message ever came to Muhammad nor was there any Revelation (Wahl)."


These were the causes of the enmity between the Hashimites and Umayyads, instigated by Umayyah himself and remained till the decline of the Umayyad's Empire.

In short, the royal treasury of Damascus met the lavish expenses of Muawiya's project which attracted not only the aristocrats of Hejaz, Iraq, Egypt and other Islamic countries but also exposed the materialists behind the garb of spiritualist and religious scholars from Mecca and Medina who thronged the court of Damascus. The coining of false traditions came into operation, which, in no time, brought forth lacs of traditions eulogising Umayyads and censuring and degrading Prophet Muhammad and his Holy Progeny. Thus, the false contents and the raw materials formed the very nucleus of the so-called 'History of Islam.'

Adapted from: "Ali, The Magnificent" by: "Yousuf N. Lalljee"

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