Rafed English

Yazid’s actions correspond with his personality

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

For anyone who examines historical accounts, it becomes clear that Yazid had a treacherous personality. When one understands Yazid’s real personality, he can easily see why he could not refrain from killing such a revered person as Imam al-Husayn (as), and why doing so was an easy task for him.

Mas‘udi narrates, “Yazid was a pleasure-seeking person who owned slave girls, dogs, monkeys, leopards and drunken jesters. Whatever ugly act he committed was imitated by those close to him. During the three years of his caliphate, music became widespread both in Mecca and Medina. Instruments of pleasure and amusement were commonplace. The people openly and publicly engaged in wine drinking.”53

A group of people from Medina, among them ‘Abd Allah ibn Hanzalah and other noble men of Medina, went to see Yazid ibn Mu‘awiyah. Yazid agreed to meet them. When they returned to Medina, some of the people of the group began talking ill of and castigating Yazid.

They announced that they were returning from the presence a man who lacked religion, drank wine and played the tambourine. They said that Yazid played with dogs. They reported to the people that Yazid also had singers who sang seductive music for him…54

‘Umar ibn Sabi‘ah says, “During his father’s reign, Yazid went to Mecca for the hajj. When he reached Medina, he sat at a wine drinking gathering and recited poetry.”55

Suyuti writes, “The reason the people of Medina retracted the allegiance they had made to Yazid was that he used to exceed limits in committing transgressions.”56


53. Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 3, p. 77.

54. Tarikh Tabari, vol. 4, p. 368; Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 307; Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, vol. 8, p. 238.

55. Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 317; Mukhtasar Tarikh Damishq, vol. 28, p. 24.

56. Tarikh al-Khulafa’, p. 209.


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