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Post - Peace Treaty Events

Mu'awiyah entered the city of Kufa after signing the peace treaty with Imam Hassan (a.s.). His army encircled it. He addressed the Kufans in these words: "O people of Kufa! Do you think that I have fought you for the sake of prayer, poor-rate and hajj (pilgrimage), whilst I know you offer your prayers, give the poor-rate and perform hajj? Nay, I fought you so as to be your ruler and seize control of your lives. Allah granted any property plundered or any blood shed in this sedition is irretrievable. Any promise I have given is trampled under these two feet of mine ..." 27

This address of Mu'awiyah amounted to a public revocation of the treaty which was conducted with Imam Hassan (a.s.) as expressed in these words: "Any promise I have given is trampled under these two feet of mine." Not a few days had passed after the signing of the peace document, when Mu'awiyah began implementing a new plan, totally in contrast to the terms of the peace document. The following goals figure in his notorious plan:

1. Unleashing a wave of terror, and embarking on elimination of all opposition forces, particularly the followers of Imam Ali (a.s.). They were bunted down, and every means of oppression and terror was employed to silence every free voice. No better testimony to the danger of this savage and horrifying policy than the following text, which carries the orders of Mu'awiyah to one of his military officers:

" ... And kill any one you come across who does not hold the same views you hold, and attack every town you pass by. And plunder property as plundering property is tantamount to killing, and it is more hurting to the heart ..." 28

If the deviant Ummayyad plot, expressed clearly in this text, is devilish, it was first implemented during the life of Imam Ali (a.s.); it took on more dangerous proportions after the signing of the peace document with Imam Hassan (a.s.). More innocent blood was shed, and opponents, who came from different schools of thought, at the head of which were the followers of Imam Ali (a.s.) and the Ahlul Bait (a.s.), were put to the sword.

Mu'awiyah wrote to his governors in all provinces: "See to it that whoever is proven, by irrefutable evidence, to love Ali and his household, his name is erased from the public register and his pay and food allotment are dropped." 29

In another letter, he wrote: "Whomever you accuse of being loyal to these people, severely punish him and tear down his house." 30

In short and expressive words Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) depicts this bloody tragedy. He says: "... Our followers were killed in every city. Hands and legs were cut off at the slightest suspicion. Whoever was reported to love us or had any contact with us would either be imprisoned or robbed of his property or his house destroyed. Oppression increased in volume and became unduly harsh, till the time of Ubaidullah bin Ziyad, the murderer of Hussein (a.s.)." 31

At the head of the victims of that horrible carnage was a group of pious companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) including Hijr bin Uday and his followers, Rasheed al-Hajari, Amru bin al-Humq al-Khuza'i, Awfa bin Hisn and many others. Books such as al-Tabari, al-Kamil and Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah collected countless stories about Mu'awiyah's hatred for the followers of Ahlul Bait (a.s.).

2. Dispersing money for the sake of buying-out men, and weakening their Islamic character, and helping the deviant policy of Mu'awiyah to fulfill its devilish objectives. In reality, two kinds of men were bought out:

A. A number of preachers and traditionists whose role was outrageous in working in favor of Mu'awiyah. They forged traditions and narratives and falsely attributed them to the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) in order to depricate Imam Ali (a.s.) and all the members of his family.

B. Leading social men who might act against the Ummayyad rule. It was a policy practised by Mu'awiyah and the other rulers of the Ummayyad dynasty. This policy became an adopted line of action throughout the Ummayyad rule. No better testimony to this policy than Mu'awiyah's sending 1,000 Dirhams to Malik bin Hubairah al-Sakoon. The latter was enraged to hear of the murder of the great companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.), Hijr bin Uday, and his followers (may Allah be pleased with them). Mu'awiyah sent him the money. Al-Sakooni, upon receiving it, gave up any intention of rising against oppression and corruption.

3. War of starvation. It was the most effective weapon used by the Ummayyads. The Muslim ummah felt humiliated and unable to challenge the rulers.

As this policy was based on fighting the opposition forces with their daily bread and depriving them of the means to earn their living, Mu'awiyah employed the most horrendous way to besiege the followers of Ahlul Bait (a.s.) in particular. His recorded directive, which he sent to his governors in this respect said: "... See to it that whoever is proven, by irrefutable evidence, to love Ali and his household, his name is erased from the public register, and his pay and food allotment are dropped."

One can see for himself the repercussions of this inhuman policy, adopted by the Ummayyad house to corrupt people and numb their conscience. It was not a temporary line of action. Mu'awiyah made it a consistent policy throughout the twenty years of his rule (41-60 A.H.).

4. Breaking the bonds holding the Muslim ummah as one entity by stirring up the nationalist, tribal and regional spirit among the different groups. Thus, plunging the Muslims into infighting at the expense of their real opposition to the oppressive rule of the Ummayyads. Mutual spite and hatred between the Arab tribes were awakened and soon differences and violence began to surface. The tribes of Qays and Mudhar fought each other. The people of Yemen and those of Medina jumped at each other's throats. And so was the case among the tribes of Iraq! In the same way sectarianism was revived between the Arabs and non-Arab Muslims who came to be historically known as al-Mawali. This policy of ignorance was expressively reflected in the poetry of many poets like Miskeen al-Darimi, al-Farazdaq, Jareer, al-Akktal and others. 32

5. Assassination of Imam Hassan bin Ali (a.s.) as he was the legitimate symbol of original Islam.

6. Crowning Yazid as the new king after his father, Mu'awiyah. Such a move was taken in a severe atmosphere of oppression, and in line with the stick-and-carrot policy, which ran counter to the peace treaty which appointed Imam Hassan (a.s.) as the next caliph after the death of Mu'awiyah. If Imam Hassan (a.s.) himself was already dead at the time of Mu'awiyah's death, the document said that Imam Hussein (a.s.) would be the next caliph.

And so Mu'awiyah completed his plot of revoking every term of the treaty he concluded with Imam Hassan (a.s.). Mu'awiyah, thus, went another step in tresspassing the Islamic concept of rule, by adopting the hereditary rule, which implies dictatorship, as a system of rulership in the Muslim world. Islamic principles and the Muslim ummah were exposed to the most violent tragedy in their history. The ummah's movement swerved off the right track it was supposed to tread.

Deviation took a clear shape shortly after the death of Mu'awiyah and the ascension of Yazid to the office of caliphate. Such was the desire of Mu'awiyah who nurtured and kept it alive till it was completely realized.

The mandate given to Yazid to lead the Muslim ummah, plan its future, and define its course of action meant, in reality, the liquidation of the Islamic existence. It was an actual regression from it shrouded in another attire.

Yazid, as history testifies, was overwhelmed by deviation in his thought, practices and feelings. Unbiased researchers would admit that Yazid could not find the chance to consciously open to Islam and its high objectives which models man as an individual and a member in a society in a way that keeps him totally away from the pillars of ignorance. It is the best model of man any ideology can produce.

When Yazid got rid of the atmosphere of good education furnished by Islam for its followers, it is no wonder that our history brims over with stories about Yazid's daily practices which were immersed in deviation, under the noses of the majority of the Muslims in Syria. He plunged himself into debauchery, loose entertainment, alcohol-drinking, womanizing and singing...He was so careless and morally loose that he used to put gold bangles on his dogs! 33

And so the ummah stood at the threshold of a new stage of its history. Ahead of it, there were two choices:

Either to develop a strong rejection of the type of life being imposed on it, whatever the price; or accept the de facto life, wherein it had to give up its Message, the source of its greatness and symbol of its pride among other nations.

Then, which choice did the ummah prefer?
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27. lbn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah (Explanation of the "Peaks of Eloquence"), vol. 16, p. 15, 1959 ed., Ihya' al-Kutaun al-Arabiyyah Publishing House.

28. Ibid., vol. 2, p. 86.

29. Ibid., vol. 11, p.45.

30. Ibid.

31. Ibid., p.43.

32. Thawrat al-Hussein (Revolution of Hussein), Revival and Exploitation of Tribal Bigotry, Muhamamd Mahdi Shams al-Deen, p. 61, (Beirut: Al-Andalus Publishing House).

33. Al-Sifr al-Qayyim li al-Imam al-Hussein (a.s.) (The Invaluable Book of Imam Hussein (a.s.)), Abdullah al-Alaili, and Ma'a al-Hussein fi Nahdhatih (With Hussein in His Uprsing), Asad Haidar.

Adapted from the book: "Imam Hussein Bin Ali" Published by: "Al-Balagh Foundation"