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Who are Aale Ziyad?

It was only a matter of time before Allah, Blessed be He, manifested the signs of the verse till the Day of Judgment. The flower of the wretched tree in Hell, Aale Ziyad’s abominable and ugly personality Abdullah Ibne Ziyad, the sovereign of Kufa and Basra  fought the son of infallibility – Husain, son of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and massacred the youths of Bani Hashim with the son of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Ibne Ziyad made Imam’s (a.s.) pure and sinless family members captives and brought them to the court of Kufa! Time passed but the tragedy of Karbala remains a distinguishing factor between truth and falsehood in the entire universe and after which tyranny can never conceal itself in a human form. 

Aale Ziyad originated from the progeny of an ill-reputed woman ‘Somayya’. On the other hand, Imam Husain (a.s.) is the one about whom the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: ‘Husain is from me and I am from Husain.’ Till date, the progeny of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) continues through Imam Husain (a.s.). The Holy Quran is full of praise for Imam Husain (a.s.). There are numerous verses on him. For instance, ‘O soul that art at rest, return…’

                                                             (Surah Fajr: 27) 

It is indeed noteworthy that the Holy Quran has addressed the son of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Imam Husain (a.s.), as the ‘soul that art at rest..’, and has adorned his martyrdom with such red flowers whose fragrance will spread among humanity till the Day of Judgment. This is a subject of astonishment for intellectuals and learned persons and makes steadfast one’s knowledge and actions. It is a union of faith and certainty whose illustrative face (Imam Husain (a.s.)) will guide the lost and deviated on the right path towards Allah.  

Honorable readers! To understand the truth about Aale Ziyad it is necessary first to understand his background. His evil and wickedness was the result of his nourishment in an impure lap and the environment of shamelessness, immorality, cunningness and tyranny. We can analyze further against the backdrop of the pure souls whose image reflects in the verse of purity (Ayate Tatheer) which testifies to their purity and infallibility. Thus the progeny of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is a preface for the discussion. Allah, the Glorious and the Exalted has created an antithesis for everything, so that everything can be identified easily, the day from the night and the sun from the moon.  

The evil powers support them wholeheartedly and so those who are born in an unknown environment find their place in history, then their lineage is revealed, the mask on their face is ripped apart and their evil designs are exposed, which results in their exclusion from religion.  

As the discussion is about Aale Ziyad, we have enumerated his lineage. Ziyad was the son of a loose and immoral woman, Somayya. Abdullah Ibne Ziyad was also illegitimate like his father. Ziyad is the one who killed the followers of Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.). He blinded some of them by piercing hot iron rods in their eyes. The limbs of Shias were amputated. Ziyad ordered the abusing of Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) from the pulpit of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). He killed several Shias in prison. When he was the governor of Basra , he made the lives of the Shias very miserable. After Ziyad, Abdullah became the governor of Basra . He followed in the footsteps of his father. When he came to Kufa as Yazid’s governor, he perpetrated the
tragedy of Karbala . Such a battle between truth and evil will never be found in history till the Day of Judgment. It was a brutal battle in which falsehood was demolished and disgraced.  

Lets first understand the lineage and clan of Abdullah Ibne Ziyad. Who is Ziyad? How impure is his seed, his blood and who was his mother? How did she come to Hejaz ? What was her name in Islam? What was her profession? On which bed was Ziyad born and what were his other names? How much did Bani Umayyah benefit from his wretched and cunning nature?  

It is narrated in history that Abul Khair came to Kasra (anon-Arab) King and desired to help him. Abul Khair dispatched some non-Arab soldiers to Kasra’s aid. When these soldiers reached Kazemah, they were shocked by the beastly behavior of the Arab soldiers. When these soldiers found themselves in a totally alien environment, they requested Abul Khair to call them back and appealed to him to write a letter to Kasra. Abul Khair allowed the non-Arab soldiers to return and also wrote a letter to Kasra. In those days, Abul Khair was unwell. He went to Taif from Kazemah and got himself diagnosed by Harith Ibne Kuldah – a doctor. After Abul Khair was cured, he gifted Somayya (woman) and Abeed (male) to Harith Ibne Kuldah as a mark of his appreciation.

(Ibne Khallekaan and Ibne Abd Rabeh have narrated in this manner)

 However, Ibne Athir (Kamil) and Ibne Khaldun note that Somayya was a Dahkaani slave from a village near the river of Zindehrud (in Isfahan). Abul Khair had gifted her to the doctor – Harith Ibne Kuldah. However, the author of Shifaaus Sudoor considers the first report reported by Ibne Khallekaan and Ibne Rabbeh to be more reliable.  

After living with Harith Ibne Kuldah, Somayya gave birth to Naf’e. However, Harith Ibne Kuldah refused to accept him as his son. Abu Bakarah went to Harith considering Naf’e to be his son. But Harith was even more vehement in his denial of Naf’e’s fatherhood. When Harith denied any links with Naf’e, Abu Baqarah married Somayya. Then Abeed, Somayya, Abu Bakarah and Shabal Ibne Ma’bad (Somayya’s son), approached Umar Ibne Khattab – the second Caliph and accused Mughira Ibne Sho’ba of adultery with Somayya. Umar made some gesture towards Ziyad. Ziyad understood this gesture and behaved discreetly. Then Umar punished those witnesses for accusing Mughira Ibne Sho’ba and released the latter. (This incident is explained in detail in ‘Kuloob-e-Kalamiyya’)  

According to Uqdul Fareed, women of ill-repute used to fix a flag at their houses. This was an indication to men of their reputation inadultery and prostitution. It was also an invitation to the men in the area, as a result of which, men used to frequent such women. Some men used to permit their maidservants to indulge in these activities and they collected money from these women. Holy Quran has censured it thus:

“…and do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, when they desire to keep chaste, in order to seek the frail good of this world’s life; and whoever compels them, then surely after their compulsion Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

(Surah Noor: 33)

It is reported in ‘Murujuz Zahab’ that Somayya was among the women famous for prostitution. One day Abu Sufyan was drunk and totally intoxicated. In this condition he approached Abu Maryam Saluli, who was a known drunkard himself. Abu Sufyan asked Abu Maryam to arrange a woman for him. Abu Maryam said, ‘At this hour there is no one, except for Somayya.’ Abu Sufyan replied, ‘Then get her, although her mouth and armpits smell very foul’. So Abu Maryam got Somayya for Abu Sufyan, took them both to a room and shut the door. Historians conclude from this that Abu Sufyan used to frequent these places and was well-aware of the women and their characteristics.  

Somayya gave birth to Ziyad in the first year of Hijrah, while she was still with Abeed. However, at Ziyad’s birth no one was ready to accept fatherhood and Ziyad remained illegitimate in the truest sense of the word. Over a period of time, Ziyad became famous by several titles – Ziyad Ibne Abeed, Ibne Ummah, Ibne Rabeeh, Ibne Somayya. After making some progress, he became famous as Katibe Abi Moosa Ash’ari – Abu Moosa Ash’ari’s scribe.  

Ziyad was very capable and could shoulder important responsibilities effortlessly. Moreover he was decisive. Once Umar Ibne Khattab appointed Ziyad to undertake an important assignment. Ziyad completed the assignment most impressively. Umar was very pleased with his performance and praised him from the pulpit of the mosque. At Umar’s praise, Amr Ibne Aas said, ‘If only this man was from the Quraish, he could have been appointed as the Caliph.’ Abu Sufyan who was also present in the gathering said, ‘By Allah! I have placed him in his mother’s womb.’

 Till the time of Ameerul Momeneen’s (a.s.) caliphate, Ziyad had not performed any condemnable act. So Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) appointed him as the governor of Faaras in Arial” mce_style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family:  Iran. Ziyad with his intelligence and capabilities handled his responsibilities most admirably. In this period, Muawiya tried his best to attract Ziyad to his side and betray Ameerul Momeneen’s (a.s.). But Ziyad remained steadfast and did not waver in his faith. Ziyad used to reply to Muawiya’s letters most disdainfully. In a sermon he said about Muawiya,

 ‘The son of the liver-eater and the chief of hypocrisy tries to terrify me with his plan.’  

Then in the same sermon he praised Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) in a most eloquent and expressive manner, thereby underlining his loyalty towards Imam (a.s.). So till the time Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) was alive, Ziyad remained firmly loyal towards him and disregarded Muawiya’s invitation. But once Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) was martyred, Muawiya once again began his scheming to entice Ziyad to his side. Ultimately Muawiya’s perseverance with Ziyad paid off, and Ziyad’s illegitimacy and wickedness that he had concealed for so many years came to the fore.

  Muawiya brought about this transformation in Ziyad with the help of Mughira Ibne Sho’ba – the leader of hypocrisy and mine of corruption. With Mughira’s plotting, Muawiya claimed to be Ziyad’s brother. As an extension of this relationship, he took Ziyad’s brothers as his own brothers and his sisters as his own sisters. Moreover he sent his sister – Juwirriya to Ziyad, who exposed her hair in front of the latter.  

Muawiya seated Ziyad one step above him on the pulpit. He announced that this is my brother and Abu Maryam Saluli gave witness in support of this claim. Abu Maryam narrated the incident of that night between Abu Sufyan and Somayya in detail to the audience. He described Somayya in the words of Abu Sufyan i.e. she emanated foul smell from her mouth and armpits. Muawiya became upset at this description. But Abu Maryam said, ‘It would have been better if you had not compelled me to narrate the incident as a witness.’  

Since Ziyad had stayed in Kufa during the time of Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) he was familiar with all the renowned Shia families of Basra and Kufa. He was evil-natured which was a direct consequence of accursed mother and an unknown father. Although Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) had rescued him from his filthy origin and brought him close to his own piety and devoutness, Ziyad managed to revert to his roots. He evolved into such a ruthless and oppressive tyrant that to find is equal is indeed a tough task. For instance, he buried alive Abdur Rahman Ibne Hassan due to his love for Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.). To narrate the innumerable instances of his tyranny would be beyond the scope of this article.  

Ibne Athir in ‘Asadul Ghabah’ Abdul Birr, Ibne Manzar and Abu Noaim and Abu Moosa all have recorded that Ziyad was the companion of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Ziyad was born in 1 A.H. in the house of Abeed. There is no information about his antecedents. He was 10 years old when Holy  rophet (s.a.w.a.) passed away. Ziyad was not present during the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) stay in Medina as he was born after Hijrah and he
did not even see Medina . But yet he is included among the companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Thus Ahle Sunnah traditionists (muhadditheen) follow a strange rule. They reject the testimony of Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) when he was 9 years old on the pretext that he was not mature (na-baligh) according to Islamic Shariat for his witness to be valid and hence his name cannot be recorded as the first Muslim. Instead Abu Bakr was the first Muslim. By making such ridiculous observations, they have exposed themselves to Allah’s wrath and will find themselves in the Fire of Hell in Ziyad’s neighbourhood.

  Ubaidullah Ibne Ziyad played a critical role in holding aloft the tyrannical and oppressive standard of Ale Ziyad. As was mentioned earlier he was appointed by Yazid as the governor of Kufa and he mercilessly martyred the son of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in Karbala after keeping him hungry and thirsty for 3 days. In this manner he displayed his illegitimate roots. In addition to Ubaidullah, Ziyad had other children. Ibne Qutaybah has listed his children as follows:

Abdur Rehman, Mughairah, Muhammad, Abu Sufyan, Ubaidullah, Abdullah (the mother of both these was Marjanah), Muslim, Uthman, Ebad, Rabia, Abu Obaidah, Yazid, Afisah, Umme Moawiyah, Umar, Ghusn, Atbah, Abaan, Jafar, Saeed and Ibrahim. In all 21 children have been listed.

September 2, 2020