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Yazid in the viewpoint of Sunni scholars [‘ulama’]

As previously mentioned, many Sunni scholars have strongly criticized Yazid ibn Mu‘awiyah for killing Imam al-Husayn (as) and for numerous other crimes he committed. We will now mention some of these scholars and some of their criticisms:

1. Alusi says, “Anyone who says that Yazid did not sin, and hence cursing him is not permissible, should be considered as one of Yazid’s helpers and partisans.”57

2. Ibn Khaldun writes, “Ibn al-‘Arabi Maliki erred when he said, ‘Al-Husayn was killed by his grandfather’s sword.’ By making such a statement, he openly declared his consent to Yazid’s iniquitous and immoral life.”58

3. Taftazani writes, “Yazid’s satisfaction and pleasure at the killing of Imam al-Husayn (as), and his contempt towards the Ahl al-Bayt (as), are among his many vices detailed in the traditions. We have no hesitation about his true status. On the contrary, we do not hesitate in saying that he was a man who lacked faith. May Allah’s curse be on him and his partisans.”59

4. Jahiz says, “The crimes Yazid committed including killing al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, taking the members of his household into captivity, hitting Imam al-Husayn’s (as) teeth and severed head with a staff, intimidating and terrorizing the people of Medina, and destruction of the Ka‘bah are all evidence of his cruelty, wickedness, hypocrisy and apostasy. Without doubt, he is corrupt and cursed and anyone who prevents the damning of such a man is damned himself.”60

5. Doctor Taha al-Husayn, the Egyptian author, writes, “Some people suppose that Yazid is exonerated from the heinous massacre of al-Husayn (as). They make ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad the scapegoat for the savage killing. If Yazid is innocent of wrongdoing and Ibn Ziyad the guilty party, why did Yazid not reproach ‘Ubayd Allah? Why did he not punish him? Why did he not relieve him of his post?”61


57. Ruh al-Ma‘ani, vol. 26, p. 73.

58. The Introduction of Ibn Khaldun, p. 254.

59. Sharh ‘Aqa’id Nasfiyyah, p. 181.

60. Risa’il Jahiz, p. 298.

61. Al-Fitnah al-Kubra, vol. 2, p. 265.

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