The status of Yazeed and the position of the narrator Abu Mikhnaf

Q: Could you explain to me the correct opinion regarding Yazeed bin Mu’aawiyah? I read the book “Revealing the True Facts of Yazeed ~ The Incident of KARBALA and the Events that Followed”. I found it to be very beneficial, however I have heard that there is a weak narrator by the name of Abu Mikhnaf, who appears in some of the reports quoted in the book. Is this correct? 

A: As far as the topic of Yazeed is concerned, it should be borne in mind that the fuqaha, muhadditheen and the luminaries of Deen, throughout the centuries of Islam, have condemned him for the colossal harm and irreparable damage that he caused to Islam. Their declaring him as an evil ruler was in compliance with the Holy Qur’an, wherein Allah Ta’ala says, “Allah Ta’ala does not like that evil be publicized except where one is oppressed (Surah Nisaa, 148)”.

The severe oppression and tyranny that the Sahaaba (Radiyallahu Anhum) and Taabi’een (Rahimahumullah) faced during the reign of Yazeed is well known to all. The reason for the Ulama explaining to the ummah the injustices and wrongs that had occurred during the reign of tyrant rulers, be it Yazeed, Hajaaj bin Yusuf or any other oppressive ruler, was so that the Haq becomes clear from baatil and the oppressors become distinct from the oppressed. Another reason for them detailing the wrongs that had occurred in history was so that this may serve as guidance for the ummah. By showing them the manner in which their pious predecessors had conducted in the face of such trials, the ummah will be able to determine what line of action they need to adopt when faced with similar situations.

Though some Ulama in the past held the view that cursing Yazeed is permissible, the majority of our Ulama explain that we should refrain from cursing any person who passed away upon Imaan. Therefore, though we condemn Yazeed on account of the atrocities he had committed during his reign (due to which the Sahaaba (Radiyallahu Anhum) and Taabi’een (Rahimahumullah) had broken their allegiance to him), we will refrain from cursing him.

Below are some of the wrongs attributed to Yazeed on account of which the Sahaaba (Radiyallahu Anhum) and Taabi’een (Rahimahumullah) broke their allegiance to him.


Some of the Atrocities of Yazeed

Yazeed sent his army to wage war against the people of Madinah Munawwarah. In this war thousands were ruthlessly massacred and brutally killed among which were Sahaaba (Radiyallahu Anhum) and Taabi’een (Rahimahumullah). He thereafter sent his army to lay siege on Makkah Mukarramah and fight in the Haram. In doing so, he blatantly ignored all the Ahaadith that prohibit fighting in the Holy Haram of Makkah Mukarramah. It was while his armies were fighting in the Haram that Yazeed breathed his last and left this world. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an Shareef regarding the one who commits evil in the Holy Haram:

وَمَن يُرِد فيهِ بِإِلحادٍ بِظُلمٍ نُذِقهُ مِن عَذابٍ أَليمٍ (سورة الحج: 22)

And whoever intends to commit therein (the Haram of Makkah) deviation with injustice and oppression, We will make him taste a painful punishment.

In regard to the one who frightens the people of Madinah Munawwarah, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) mentioned in his Mubaarak Hadith:

عن السائب بن خلاد أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال من أخاف أهل المدينة ظلما أخافه الله وعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين لا يقبل الله منه يوم القيامة صرفا ولا عدلا (مسند أحمد رقم 16557)

It is reported from Hazrat Saa’ib bin Khallaad (Radiyallahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: The one who oppresses the people of Madinah Munawwarah and creates fear within them, Allah Ta’ala will frighten him and upon him is the curse of Allah, the angels and all the people. Allah Ta’ala will neither accept his fardh deeds nor his nafl deeds on the day of Qiyaamah.

The famous Muhaddith, Allama Zahabi (Rahimahullah), has written the following in Siyar A’alaamin Nubalaa (4/37) regarding Yazeed:

“Yazeed, the son of Hazrat Mu’aawiyah (Radiyallahu Anhu), was a Naasibi who was foul mouthed, cruel and barbaric. He would consume wine and perpetrate numerous wrongs and evils. He commenced his rule with the killing of Hazrat Husain (Radiyallahu Anhu) and terminated it with the incident of Harrah (the killing of thousands among which were Sahaaba (Radiyallahu Anhum) and Taabi’een (Rahimahmullah) in Madinah Munawwarah) due to which many cursed him. He never enjoyed any form of barakah in his life and there were numerous people – such as the people of Madinah Munawwarah – who, after the martyrdom of Hazrat Husain (Radiyallahu Anhu), rose against him.”

Hence, we see that Yazeed opposed the Qur’an and the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). He oppressed and killed the Ahle Bayt (family of Rasulullah [Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam]), the Sahaaba (Radiyallahu Anhum) and Taabi’een (Rahimahumullah) and died in the state of committing major sins. Therefore, the Hadith which explains that Allah Ta’ala has forgiven the sins of those who participated in the battle of Constantinople –  and Yazeed was part of that army – cannot be used as a basis to prove his innocence and forgiveness in relation to all the major sins he committed throughout his life and the irreparable damage he caused to Islam and the Muslims. Hazrat Sha Waliyullah (Rahimahullah) has mentioned that forgiveness in the Hadith refers to the period of his life before he committed all these major sins, as the action of jihaad is classified under the category of actions which expiate past sins, not future sins.


The Historian Abu Mikhnaf Lut bin Yahya

As far as the reports of the historian, Abu Mikhnaf, Lut bin Yahya, are concerned, then it should be understood that though his narrations will not be accepted to prove Ahkaam (laws and injunctions of Deen), however on account of him being an Imaam (an authority) in the field of Tareekh and Siyar (history), his narrations in this field will be accepted.

The senior ranking Muhadditheen, the likes of Hafiz ibnu Hajar Asqalaani (in Fathul Baari and Al-Isaabah), Allama Qastallani (in Irshaadus Saari), Allama Ibnu Jareer Tabari (in Taareekhul Umam wal Mulook), Allama Ibnu Katheer (in Al Bidaayah wan Nihaayah), Allama Ibnu Khalli Kaan (in Wafayaatul Ayaan) (Rahimahumullah) and others have all accepted his narrations regarding Tareekh and Siyar (history) and included them in their commentaries on Hadith and books of Tareekh (history).

In fact, Allama Zahabi (Rahimahullah) even recorded his narrations regarding Karbala in Tareekhul Islam and explicitly mentioned that even though he is not an authentic narrator in other departments of Deen, his narrations in regard to Tareekh will be accepted.

وقال أبو مخنف وليس بثقة لكن له اعتناء بالأخبار (تاريخ الإسلام للذهبي 5/195)

We should bear in mind that the mere fact that the Muhadditheen have ruled him as a weak narrator in other departments of Deen will not mean that his narrations in Tareekh are not acceptable according to them. Otherwise, we find that it is these very same Muhadditheen who have ruled him as a weak narrator in the kitaabs of rijaal who have themselves accepted his narrations in Tareekh and included them in their kitaabs. Hence, we have only followed the standard set by these great senior ranking Muhadditheen in quoting his narrations in the field of Tareekh (history).

As far as the issue of him being a shia is concerned, then it should be remembered that the information that is being reported from him does not pertain to any of the shia beliefs or practices. Rather, the information reported merely pertains to the finer details of certain unanimously accepted events that occurred in history and there is absolutely no problem in narrating that. It is for this reason that Allama Tabari, Allama Ibnu Katheer, Allama Zahabi (Rahimahumullah) and others narrate the details of these events from him.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the narrations of Abu Mikhnaf have not been made the basis of proving Yazeed being a faasiq. Rather, his fisq has already been established through overwhelming reports and narrations. If one has to ignore and disregard the narrations of Abu Mikhnaf, the abundant reports and narrations that have been transmitted regarding the fisq of Yazeed will in no way be affected.

It is for this reason that the Ulama, Muhadditheen and great luminaries of Deen, throughout every century of Islam, considered Yazeed to be a faasiq and held him fully responsible for the crimes he committed. If the reports were unfounded and unauthentic, we would have not found so many Ulama of such a high rank concurring against Yazeed.  The statement of Hazrat Shaikh Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (Rahmatullahi Alayh) bears testimony to this fact, where he mentioned: “As for the claim that all the reports regarding Yazeed’s evil and vice are incorrect and unfounded, then this claim is difficult to substantiate. When the historical reports are so numerous that they reach close to the rank of tawaatur, then rejecting them will result in losing reliance in history entirely.”

Among the great Ulama and luminaries of the past who declared Yazeed as a faasiq were:

1. Hazrat Abdullah bin Zubair (Radiyallahu Anhu)
2. Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu)
3. The Son of Yazeed (Demise: 64 Hijri)
4. Hazrat Sa’eed bin Musayyib (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 94 Hijri)
5. Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Azeez (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 101 Hijri)
6. Hazat Hasan Basri (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 110 Hijri)
7. Imaam Abu Haneefah (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 150 Hijri)
8. Imaam Maalik (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 179 Hijri)
9. Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 241 Hijri)
10. Imaam Abu Bakr Jassaas Hanafi (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 370 Hijri)
11. Ibnu Hazm Zaahiri (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 456 Hijri)
12. Imaam Baihaqi Shaafi’ee (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 458 Hijri)
13. Qaadhi Abu Ya’laa Mowsili (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 458 Hijri)
14. Shaikh Ebrahim bin Ismail (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 534 Hijri)
15. Qaadhi Iyaadh Maaliki (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 544 Hijri)
16. Allaamah Ibnul Jowzi (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 597 Hijri)
17. Allaamah Ibnul Atheer Shaafi’ee (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 630 Hijri)
18. Ibnu Salaah (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 643 Hijri)
19. Mufassir Qurtubi (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 671 Hijri)
20. Allaamah Ibnu Taimiyyah Hambali (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 728 Hijri)
21. Allaamah Zahabi Hambali (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 748 Hijri)
22. Allaamah Ibnu Katheer Shaafi’ee (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 774 Hijri)
23. Allaamah Taftaazaani Hanafi (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 791 Hijri)
24. Allaamah Ibnu Khaldoon (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 808 Hijri)
25. Author of Fataawa Bazzaaziyah (Demise: 827 Hijri)
26. Haafiz Ibnu Hajar Asqalaani Shaafi’ee (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 852 Hijri)
27. Allaamah Suyuti Shaafi’ee (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 911 Hijri)
28. Allaamah Ibnu Hajar Makki Shaafi’ee (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 974 Hijri)
29. Allaamah Ibnu Hajar Makki Shaafi’ee (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 974 Hijri)
30. Mullah Ali Qaari (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 1014 Hijri)
31. Hazrat Mujaddid Alf Thaani Hanafi (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 1034 Hijri)
32. Shaikh Muhaddith Abdul Haqq Dehlawi Hanafi (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 1052 Hijri)
33. Shah Waliyyullah Hanafi (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 1176 Hijri)
34. Allaamah Bahrul Uloom Lukhnowi Hanafi (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 1225 Hijri)
35. Allaamah Aaloosi (Rahimahullah) (Demise 1270 Hijri)
36. Hazrat Moulana Abdul Hayy Lukhnowi (Rahimahullah) (Demise: 1304 Hijri)
37. Hazrat Moulana Abdul Haqq Haqqaani (Rahimahullah) – The Author of Tafseer-e-Haqqaani (Demise: 1336 Hijri)
38. Hazrat Moulana Salaamatullah Saheb Kashfi
39. Hazrat Moulana Qaasim Naanotwi Hanafi
40. Hazrat Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi
41. Hazrat Moulana Khaleel Ahmad Sahaaranpuri
42. Hazrat Mufti Azeezur Rahmaan Uthmaani
43. Allaamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri
44. Hazrat Mufti Jameel Ahmad Saheb Thaanwi
45. Mufti Abdush Shakoor Tirmizi
46. Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi Hanafi
47. Hazrat Moulana Husain Ahmad Madani Hanafi
48. Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Shafee Saheb Hanafi
49. Hazrat Moulana Abdush Shakoor Lukhnowi
50. Hazrat Moulana Yusuf Binnori
51. Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Gangohi
52. Hazrat Moulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib Hanafi
53. Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ameen Safdar Hanafi
54. Hazrat Moulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi

We make dua that Allah Ta’ala unite the entire Ummah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhim) and bless them with the Taufeeq of remaining on the path of the Sunnah – Aameen.

N.B: To view the proofs which substantiate the claim that the narrations of Abu Mikhnaf can be used according to the Muhadditheen in the field of Tareekh and Siyar, refer to the following link This discussion being of an academic nature will be better understood by the Ulama.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)


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