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Seerah

The exile of religious and pious Shi‘ahs from Kufah

Ibn Abi al-Hadid recounts that Abu al-Hasan Mada’ini said, “Mu‘awiyah issued these orders to his governor generals in a letter he had circulated to them, ‘I have acquitted myself from any obligation regarding anyone who recounts the virtues of Abu Turab (Imam ‘Ali) and his Ahl al-Bayt.’ It has been narrated that Mu‘awiyah went so far as to declare that whoever would transmit a hadith in praise of the virtues of the Household of the Prophet (S) would have no immunity or protection concerning his life, property and merchandise.

After this command, the governor generals gave orders to their state preachers to start cursing and insulting Imam ‘Ali (as) and his pure Ahl al-Bayt (as) from the pulpits. The people most affected by this misfortune were the people of Kufah because at that time there were many Shi‘ahs in that city.

Then, Mu‘awiyah ibn Abu Sufiyan appointed Ibn Ziyad to be the governor general of Kufah and Basrah because he knew and recognized the Shi‘ahs very well. Ibn Ziyad kept very strict surveillance over the Shi‘ahs through his secret network of spies. ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad used to look for the Shi‘ahs and kill them wherever he found them, or terrorize them by cutting off their hands and legs and by plucking their eyes from their eye-sockets.

His tactics included hanging innocent Shi‘ahs from trees and expelling a large number of them from Iraq. That is why no well-known Shi‘ahs remained in Iraq.”7

Notes:

7. Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 11, p. 44.

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