MUAWIYA'S (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) REIGN AS HEAD OF STATE
The opinions of Ahle Sunnah scholars on this issue is provided below:
It is in Hadith Bukhari - Ibn 'Abbas ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) said to me and to his son Ali, "Go to Abu Sa'id ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) and listen to what he narrates." So we went and found him in a garden looking after it. He picked up his Rida', wore it and sat down and started narrating till the topic of the construction of the mosque reached. He said, "We were carrying one adobe at a time while 'Ammaar ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) was carrying two. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) saw him and started removing the dust from his body and said, "May Allah be Merciful to 'Ammaar ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ). He will be killed by a rebellious, aggressive group. He will be inviting them to Paradise and they will invite him to Hell-fire." 'Ammaar ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) said, "I seek refuge with Allah from affliction." (Bukhari)
تقتلك الفئة الباغية وهذا خبر مقبول من طريق التواتر حتى إن معاوية لم يقدر على جحده لما قال له عبد الله بن عمر ، فقال: إنما قتله من جاء به فطرحه بين أسنتنا
(Meaning - "Ammar ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) you will be killed by the rebellious group" This Hadith is a continuous Narration (Hadith-e-Mutawatir) so much so that even Muawiya ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) could not deny it when Abdullah Ibn Umar ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) mentioned it to him. Muawiya ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) replied : He was killed by those who brought him to our swords.").
(ii) Following Hadith is reported twice in Musnad Imam Ahmed with a sound chain:
(iii) Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) said - "I do not regret anything more than the fact that I did not fight against the rebel Group (Muawiya - رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) (Ibn Abdul Barr in Al-Istiab ) (iv) Imam Shafi'i said - " I derived the rulings about Rebels from the battles of Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) with Muawiya ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) (Ibn Hajr Makki in Tatheer al-Janan, page 30) (v) Imam Mohammed Ibn Ismail al-Sana'ani said - "The Hadith of Ammar Yasir ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) is a proof that rebel party is Muawiya ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) and those in his party; and the Party of truth is Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) and his companions and there is Ijma of ahl al-sunna on this position". (Sharah Subul as-Salam upon bulugh al-maram of Imam Ibn Hajar Makki V3, P 358).
(x) Imam al-Manawi (1545 - 1621), known for his works on 'Early History of Islam' and 'History of Sufism' wrote in his book Fayd al-Qadeer with reference to Imam Abdul Qahir al-Jurjani's (1007-1078) Aqeeda:
وقال الإمام عبد القاهر الجرجاني في كتاب الإمامة: أجمع فقهاء الحجاز والعراق من فريقي الحديث والرأي ، منهم مالك والشافعي وأبو حنيفة والأوزاعي والجمهور الأعظم من المتكلمين والمسلمين ، أن علياً مصيب في قتاله لأهل صفين كما هو مصيب في أهل الجمل ، وأن الذين قاتلوه بغاة ظالمون له ، لكن لا يكفَّرون ببغيهم
(Meaning - There is Ijma of Jurists of Hijaz (Makka and Madina) and Iraq (Kufa and Basra), amongst them Imam Malik, Imam Shafi'i, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Awzai and majority of theologians and Muslims that Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) was on Haq in his fight against the people of Siffeen and those who fought him were Oppressive Mutineers (Zaalim Baghis) but were not kafir for their rebellion.)
"It was a false pretext of Muawiya ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) to justify his fight with Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) under the guise of revenge for the murder of Hadhrat Uthman ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) because when he completely attained the power and became ruler of the whole State, he never opened the case of the murder of Hadhrat Uthman ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) and did not arrest the murderers though he claimed earlier that the killers were still around. This proves that all his fight was for worldly rule under the deceit of revenge for the murder."
Needless to say that we, the Ahle Sunnah wal Jama'a, respect all Sahabah. However, distinction among the status of Sahabah is an established fact from Quran and Sunnah. If you do not keep this distinction in mind, you have strayed, you have lost the right path of Islam. There is consensus (Ijma) of Ahle Sunnah Ulema about the merits of Sahabah in the following order.
As we have described above, Muawiya Ibn Abu Sufyan (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) has been a subject of debate among Muslims for about 1400 years. He is praised by some people and condemned by others. Also there are differences of opinion among Ahle Sunnah Ulema about him.There are 2 distinct groups among Muslims in this context.
(i) Those who claim love of Ahle Baite-at-haar but accuse and abuse Khulafa-e-Rashideen and Sahabah. Like Shia Ithna Ashari, Zaidi and other groups who also hate Muawiya ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) for his fight against Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه). In their blind hate, they shower choicest abuses on Muawiya ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ). Needless to say that they have lost the right path of Islam.
(ii) Those who single out Muawiya ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) among Sahabah and spend their lives in his over-glorification knowing fully well that their behavior undermines the importance and sacrifices made by Khulafa-e-Rashideen and Ahle Baite At Haar ( رضئ الله تعالی عنهم اجمعين ) in the eyes of people.
Every Muslim respects Sahabah and praises them individually and collectively. But Muawiyeen behave strangely. They praise one to undermine other Sahabah. They single out Muawiya ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) among Sahabah and shower excessive praises and place him equal in status with Khulafa-e-Rashideen. In order to justify their behavior, they give references from Quran and Sunnah about generalized praise of Sahabah, and taking it as a cover, they write books, conduct seminars, sing encomiums over-glorifying Muawiya (رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) in their choicest terms.
There are two sub groups of this category.
(a) Salafis, Ikhwan, Deobandis, and their like minded groups claim Muawiya ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) was on Haq in his fight with Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ). They claim that Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) should have surrendered to Muawiya ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) as was done by his son Imam Hassan ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ). They also claim that Yazid was a pious Khalifa. They add رضئ الله تعالی عنه with Yazid's name and claim that Imam Hussain ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) was at fault. They say Karbala was a political episode. They blame Imam Hussain ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) to be a Mutineer who revolted against a just Khalifa. (Astaghfirullahal azeem).(b) Muawiyeen and their like minded claim that both Muawiya ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) and Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) were right in their fight with each other. They equate Muawiya ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) with Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) in spite of the fact that Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) was the Khalifa-e-Rashid and Head of Islamic nation and Muawiya ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) was a Governor of a Province under him. There were 12 provinces of Islamic State at that time. They choose Muawiya ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) for their over-praise and keep their mouth shut about Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ). They write books, conduct Seminars, Conferences, shower accolades, sing praises and scream slogans and emphasize Muawiya's (رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) importance and greatness among Sahabah. They claim Muawiya (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) was Khalifa-e-Rashid and Amir-ul-Momineen on par with Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) and other Khulafa-e-Rashideen. They proudly say that they are the defenders of Muawiya ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ). They cite references from Quran and Sunnah about the praise of Sahabah in general, and taking it as a cover, over glorify Muawiya ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) in the choicest terms possible.
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