According to Qazi Ayaaz., the import of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) through the tradition concerning twelve Imams (a.s.) was that the twelve Imams (a.s.) will exist only during the caliphs’ might, the strength of Islam and the steadfastness of its affairs. This occurred when consensus was found among the people on this issue till the decline of the Bani Umayyah when mischief arose amongst them in the reign of Waleed Ibn Yazid. Ibn Hajar, in his Fath al-Baari, has opted for this interpretation citing the tradition ‘All of them (caliphs) will be the unanimous choice of the people’ as evidence for the same. Thereafter, he proceeds to mention the names of the caliphs, who enjoyed the consensus of the people: Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (a.s.), Muawiyyah, Yazid, Abd al-Malik and his four sons, Waleed, Sulaiman, Yazid and Heshaam.

He says, ‘Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz interrupted the chain between Sulaiman and Yazid. These are the seven after the four rightly-guided caliphs and when Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz is not counted amongst them. The twelfth of them is Walid Ibn Yazid Ibn Abd al-Malik.

Reply: This is the worst possible and most insulting interpretation of the Prophetic tradition, even if Ibn Hajar says that it is the most preferable of all interpretations. We will not argue about the antecedents of the Bani Umayyah and the incorrectness of attributing them to be from the Quraysh, as these traditions announce explicitly that the twelve Imams (a.s.) will be from the Quraysh.

Muawiyyah Ibn Abi Sufyan

How on earth can such tidings, which were announced as glorification of the twelve caliphs, be applicable for Muawiyyah’s caliphate? For, he is the one who

    • Fought with Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), about whom the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) declared, ‘War against you (O Ali) is war against me’
    • Organized speeches abusing Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) from the pulpits and,
    • Poisoned to death Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.), the chief of the youth of Paradise.

Yazid Ibn Muawiyyah

How on earth can these traditions apply for a beast like Yazid Ibn Muawiyyah, who

  • Fought against and mercilessly martyred Imam Husain (a.s.), his family and friends
  • Was a transgressor who committed sins publicly and announced his disbelief freely becoming a part of the renowned poems of Ibn al-Zab’ari, which he (Yazid) recited in joy when the severed head of Imam Husain (a.s.) was brought to him.
  • He was the one who ordered Muslim Ibn Aqabah to kill and plunder the people of Madinah on three occasions. During these attacks, he killed a number of companions and the city of Madinah was totally ransacked. It was during these attacks that more than 1000 Muslim virgins were raped and whenever a Muslim from Madinah offered his daughter in marriage, he did not guarantee her virginity saying, ‘Perhaps, she has lost her virginity during the Tragedy of Haraa.’ It is said that four thousand illegitimate children were born after this incident. Muslim, in his Saheeh, reports that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) warned, ‘Whoever frightens the people of Madinah, Allah will frighten him and upon him is the curse of Allah, the angels and all mankind.’[1]
  • Waaqedi narrates on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Hanzalah, ‘By Allah! We did not visit Yazid but that we feared a stone falling on our heads from the sky (as a divine punishment) because he was a man who married his mothers, daughters and sisters, drank wine, did not pray[2] and he is the one who had ordered the attack on the Holy Ka’bah.

Suyuti and others report on the authority of Nawfil Ibn Abi al-Furaat, “I was with Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz, when a person while mentioning Yazid, said, ‘the chief of the faithfuls, Yazid Ibn Muawiyyah’. On hearing this, Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz (became angry) and asked, ‘You call Yazid as Ameerul Momineen?’ and ordered that he be whipped 20 lashes.”[3]

It is mentioned in Al-Sawaaeq that it was said to S’ad Ibn Hassaan, ‘The Bani Umayyah claim that the caliphate is among them.’ He retorted, ‘The sons of the blue-eyed (referring to Hind — the wife of Abu Sufyaan) are lying. They are mere kings; nay, the worst of kings.’

Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan

How on earth can these traditions be applied for the caliphate of Abd al-Malik, the treacherous, the one who prohibited the Islamic injunction of enjoining good (امر بالمعروف).

Suyuti records, ‘Among the evil deeds of Abd al-Malik was the appointment of Hajjaaj as a governor for the Muslims and the sahaabaa (r.a.), who was degrading and insulting them through killings, assault, abuse and imprisonments. Indeed, he killed innumerable sahaabaa and great taabe’een, apart from the ordinary folks. He put a seal around the neck of Anas and other companions with the intent of degrading them. May Allah not have mercy on him and may Allah not forgive him.’[4]

Waleed Ibn Yazid Ibn Abd al-Malik

How on earth can these traditions be applied for a person like Waleed Ibn Yazid Ibn Abd al-Malik, the sinner, the alcoholic and the one who did not care for the prohibitions of Allah? He is the one who went for Hajj to drink wine atop the Holy Ka’bah, for which he received outright condemnation from the people.[5] He is the one who opened the Holy Quran and on seeing the verse, واستفتحوا و خاب كلْ جبْار عنيد And they asked for judgment and every insolent oppressor was disappointed [6], he flung it on the ground and shot it with an arrow, reciting,

Are you threatening me with the (words of) insolent oppressor?

Here, I am that insolent and oppressor

When you (Quran) are brought on the Day of Gathering by your Lord

Say, O Lord, Waleed has ripped me apart.[7]

He continued to live in vulgar opulence and luxury till he was killed.

Is this the might and respect of Islam? Is this the representation of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.)?

It is reported that when he left for Hajj, he carried along with himself dogs in trunks, got a dome fabricated as per the size of the Ka’bah to place it on its top and carried a few trunks of wine. By this he intended to place the dome on the Ka’bah and sit in it to drink wine. But his advisors dissuaded him from doing so fearing the wrath of the people. Waleed finally relented.[8]

Masoodi reports on the authority of Mubarrad, ‘Waleed has recited some poems in which he has overtly proclaimed disbelief, and while mentioning the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), he said:

The Hashemites played with the caliphate

(Actually) neither any revelation came, nor did any Book descend

And say to Allah to stop me, my food

And say to Allah to stop me, my drink.[9]

Is’haaq Ibn Muhammad al-Azraq recounts, ‘I went to Mansoor Ibn Jahoor al-Azdi after the murder of Waleed. He had two maids from the slave-girls of Waleed… One of them said, ‘We were among his favorite and most respected slave-girls. He went to bed with her (indicating to the other slave girl), when the call for the prayer (azaan) was made. He ordered her to lead the prayers of the people while she was drunk, unclean and veiled.’[10]

Suyuti brings a narration from the Musnad of Ahmad: “A man will come for this nation, called Waleed, who will be more oppressive to his people than Fir’aun was for his nation.”[11]

Therefore, it will be more apt to name such persons as Fir’aun than the Caliphs (of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.)) as they resemble the disbelievers and the apostates more than the companions of Prophet Eesaa (a.s.) or the chiefs of the Bani Israel.

If we so desire, we can exhaust the discussion on the likes of the Bani Umayyah but we intend to cut it short due to fear of prolongation.

We say: How can Qazi Ayaaz be satisfied with appointing these tyrants as the caliphs of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), about whom he (s.a.w.a.) has given tidings, and has informed that they will act with guidance and that if they were not there, the world will be destroyed with its inhabitants, and that till they exist, the Islamic nation will continue to survive and that they are like the chiefs (نقباء) of the Bani Israel.

Even more stunning is their omission of Imam Hasan (a.s.) from the narration, despite the fact that he (a.s.) was clearly named as a caliph in the traditions narrated from his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), and the inclusion of Yazid, Moawiyah and Bani al-Aas, whom he (s.a.w.a.) has cursed  in these traditions.

And why did they not include Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz among these caliphs?

(Abridged from the English translation of the book ‘Muntakhab al-Asar’, vol. 1, (published by Naba Publications, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran) by Ayatollah Lotfollah Saafi Golpaygani (may Allah prolong his life))!


[1] Murooj al-Zahab, vol. 3, pg. 69.

[2] Taarikh al-Khulafaa, pg. 209

[3] Al-Sawaaeq al-Mohreqah, pg. 219, printed at Cairo; Taarikh al-Khulafaa, pg. 209, printed at Egypt

[4] Taarikh al-Khulafaa, pg. 220

[5] Taarikh al-Khulafaa, pg. 250; Taarikh al-Tabari, vol. 7, pg. 209

[6] Surah Ibraheem (14): Verse 15

[7] Murooj al-Zahab, vol. 3, pg. 216

[8] Al-Kaamil fi al-Taarikh, vol. 3, pg. 394

[9] Murooj al-Zahab, vol. 3, pg. 216.

[10] Al-Eqd al-Fareed, vol. 2, pg. 290.

[11] Taarikh al-Khulafa, pg. 251

According to Qazi Ayaaz., the import of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) through the tradition concerning twelve Imams (a.s.) was that the twelve Imams (a.s.) will exist only during the caliphs’ might, the strength of Islam and the steadfastness of its affairs. This occurred when consensus was found among the people on this issue till the decline of the Bani Umayyah when mischief arose amongst them in the reign of Waleed Ibn Yazid. Ibn Hajar, in his Fath al-Baari, has opted for this interpretation citing the tradition ‘All of them (caliphs) will be the unanimous choice of the people’ as evidence for the same. Thereafter, he proceeds to mention the names of the caliphs, who enjoyed the consensus of the people: Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (a.s.), Muawiyyah, Yazid, Abd al-Malik and his four sons, Waleed, Sulaiman, Yazid and Heshaam.

He says, ‘Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz interrupted the chain between Sulaiman and Yazid. These are the seven after the four rightly-guided caliphs and when Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz is not counted amongst them. The twelfth of them is Walid Ibn Yazid Ibn Abd al-Malik.

Reply: This is the worst possible and most insulting interpretation of the Prophetic tradition, even if Ibn Hajar says that it is the most preferable of all interpretations. We will not argue about the antecedents of the Bani Umayyah and the incorrectness of attributing them to be from the Quraysh, as these traditions announce explicitly that the twelve Imams (a.s.) will be from the Quraysh.

Muawiyyah Ibn Abi Sufyan

How on earth can such tidings, which were announced as glorification of the twelve caliphs, be applicable for Muawiyyah’s caliphate? For, he is the one who

    • Fought with Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), about whom the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) declared, ‘War against you (O Ali) is war against me’
    • Organized speeches abusing Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) from the pulpits and,
    • Poisoned to death Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.), the chief of the youth of Paradise.

Yazid Ibn Muawiyyah

How on earth can these traditions apply for a beast like Yazid Ibn Muawiyyah, who

  • Fought against and mercilessly martyred Imam Husain (a.s.), his family and friends
  • Was a transgressor who committed sins publicly and announced his disbelief freely becoming a part of the renowned poems of Ibn al-Zab’ari, which he (Yazid) recited in joy when the severed head of Imam Husain (a.s.) was brought to him.
  • He was the one who ordered Muslim Ibn Aqabah to kill and plunder the people of Madinah on three occasions. During these attacks, he killed a number of companions and the city of Madinah was totally ransacked. It was during these attacks that more than 1000 Muslim virgins were raped and whenever a Muslim from Madinah offered his daughter in marriage, he did not guarantee her virginity saying, ‘Perhaps, she has lost her virginity during the Tragedy of Haraa.’ It is said that four thousand illegitimate children were born after this incident. Muslim, in his Saheeh, reports that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) warned, ‘Whoever frightens the people of Madinah, Allah will frighten him and upon him is the curse of Allah, the angels and all mankind.’[1]
  • Waaqedi narrates on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Hanzalah, ‘By Allah! We did not visit Yazid but that we feared a stone falling on our heads from the sky (as a divine punishment) because he was a man who married his mothers, daughters and sisters, drank wine, did not pray[2] and he is the one who had ordered the attack on the Holy Ka’bah.

Suyuti and others report on the authority of Nawfil Ibn Abi al-Furaat, “I was with Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz, when a person while mentioning Yazid, said, ‘the chief of the faithfuls, Yazid Ibn Muawiyyah’. On hearing this, Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz (became angry) and asked, ‘You call Yazid as Ameerul Momineen?’ and ordered that he be whipped 20 lashes.”[3]

It is mentioned in Al-Sawaaeq that it was said to S’ad Ibn Hassaan, ‘The Bani Umayyah claim that the caliphate is among them.’ He retorted, ‘The sons of the blue-eyed (referring to Hind — the wife of Abu Sufyaan) are lying. They are mere kings; nay, the worst of kings.’

Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan

How on earth can these traditions be applied for the caliphate of Abd al-Malik, the treacherous, the one who prohibited the Islamic injunction of enjoining good (امر بالمعروف).

Suyuti records, ‘Among the evil deeds of Abd al-Malik was the appointment of Hajjaaj as a governor for the Muslims and the sahaabaa (r.a.), who was degrading and insulting them through killings, assault, abuse and imprisonments. Indeed, he killed innumerable sahaabaa and great taabe’een, apart from the ordinary folks. He put a seal around the neck of Anas and other companions with the intent of degrading them. May Allah not have mercy on him and may Allah not forgive him.’[4]

Waleed Ibn Yazid Ibn Abd al-Malik

How on earth can these traditions be applied for a person like Waleed Ibn Yazid Ibn Abd al-Malik, the sinner, the alcoholic and the one who did not care for the prohibitions of Allah? He is the one who went for Hajj to drink wine atop the Holy Ka’bah, for which he received outright condemnation from the people.[5] He is the one who opened the Holy Quran and on seeing the verse, واستفتحوا و خاب كلْ جبْار عنيد And they asked for judgment and every insolent oppressor was disappointed [6], he flung it on the ground and shot it with an arrow, reciting,

Are you threatening me with the (words of) insolent oppressor?

Here, I am that insolent and oppressor

When you (Quran) are brought on the Day of Gathering by your Lord

Say, O Lord, Waleed has ripped me apart.[7]

He continued to live in vulgar opulence and luxury till he was killed.

Is this the might and respect of Islam? Is this the representation of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.)?

It is reported that when he left for Hajj, he carried along with himself dogs in trunks, got a dome fabricated as per the size of the Ka’bah to place it on its top and carried a few trunks of wine. By this he intended to place the dome on the Ka’bah and sit in it to drink wine. But his advisors dissuaded him from doing so fearing the wrath of the people. Waleed finally relented.[8]

Masoodi reports on the authority of Mubarrad, ‘Waleed has recited some poems in which he has overtly proclaimed disbelief, and while mentioning the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), he said:

The Hashemites played with the caliphate

(Actually) neither any revelation came, nor did any Book descend

And say to Allah to stop me, my food

And say to Allah to stop me, my drink.[9]

Is’haaq Ibn Muhammad al-Azraq recounts, ‘I went to Mansoor Ibn Jahoor al-Azdi after the murder of Waleed. He had two maids from the slave-girls of Waleed… One of them said, ‘We were among his favorite and most respected slave-girls. He went to bed with her (indicating to the other slave girl), when the call for the prayer (azaan) was made. He ordered her to lead the prayers of the people while she was drunk, unclean and veiled.’[10]

Suyuti brings a narration from the Musnad of Ahmad: “A man will come for this nation, called Waleed, who will be more oppressive to his people than Fir’aun was for his nation.”[11]

Therefore, it will be more apt to name such persons as Fir’aun than the Caliphs (of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.)) as they resemble the disbelievers and the apostates more than the companions of Prophet Eesaa (a.s.) or the chiefs of the Bani Israel.

If we so desire, we can exhaust the discussion on the likes of the Bani Umayyah but we intend to cut it short due to fear of prolongation.

We say: How can Qazi Ayaaz be satisfied with appointing these tyrants as the caliphs of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), about whom he (s.a.w.a.) has given tidings, and has informed that they will act with guidance and that if they were not there, the world will be destroyed with its inhabitants, and that till they exist, the Islamic nation will continue to survive and that they are like the chiefs (نقباء) of the Bani Israel.

Even more stunning is their omission of Imam Hasan (a.s.) from the narration, despite the fact that he (a.s.) was clearly named as a caliph in the traditions narrated from his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), and the inclusion of Yazid, Moawiyah and Bani al-Aas, whom he (s.a.w.a.) has cursed in these traditions.

And why did they not include Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz among these caliphs?

(Abridged from the English translation of the book ‘Muntakhab al-Asar’, vol. 1, (published by Naba Publications, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran) by Ayatollah Lotfollah Saafi Golpaygani (may Allah prolong his life))!


[1] Murooj al-Zahab, vol. 3, pg. 69.

[2] Taarikh al-Khulafaa, pg. 209

[3] Al-Sawaaeq al-Mohreqah, pg. 219, printed at Cairo; Taarikh al-Khulafaa, pg. 209, printed at Egypt

[4] Taarikh al-Khulafaa, pg. 220

[5] Taarikh al-Khulafaa, pg. 250; Taarikh al-Tabari, vol. 7, pg. 209

[6] Surah Ibraheem (14): Verse 15

[7] Murooj al-Zahab, vol. 3, pg. 216

[8] Al-Kaamil fi al-Taarikh, vol. 3, pg. 394

[9] Murooj al-Zahab, vol. 3, pg. 216.

[10] Al-Eqd al-Fareed, vol. 2, pg. 290.

[11] Taarikh al-Khulafa, pg. 251