Debate: Was the 'Caliph Yazid' really a bad character of Islam or the Savior of Sunni Islam?
2 Jun, 2005
[Authors Note: This subject of historical character 'Caliph Yazid' has been debated by me with a Bangladeshi Islamist living in the infidel land. The Islamist did not participate in this debate. My honest intention to post this debate in the internet forums is to dig out the real historical truth about 'Yazid' the most hateful character of Islam! I urge knowledgeable persons to participate in this debate to bring about the truth on the surface, which had been buried by the century long dishonest negative propagandas by the Mullahs.]
Yazid the son of Muabhiya was portrayed as the most malevolent human being in the early Islamic history. It's quite possible that the story of Yazid with which majority of Muslims have been brainwashed with does not match at all with the reality of this ancient incident. Especially, as the Muslims of the sub-continent have perceived by studying the famous novel by Mir Mussarraf 'Bishad Shindhu' and also from one sided biased and fabricated history created by the appeasing characters of Islamic mullahs, the Yazid was the most hateful Character of Islam. Their intention was to highly eulogize grandsons of Prophet Muhammad in order to please Allah by creating saintly character of Prophet's grandsons (though they were not at anywhere near to be called saint) in exchange of heavenly reward from Allah. One such attempt by one of the Islamists of Bangladesh origin Dr. Mainul Ahsan Khan from the kaffir land USA wrote an essay in the internet daily journal (News From Bangladesh) to eulogize grandsons of Prophet Muhammd. His essay could be read here.
In this essay the writer has strongly condemned Yazid (son of Umayyad Caliph Mu'awiyya:661-680 C.E.) and his ascension to Caliphate of Islam and by doing so he tried to soft-selling of Islamic hoax! In one hand, the author strongly discards Islamic administration/guidance for public life; on the other hand he highly praises ancient Islamic administration that was existed in the Arab lands. Especially, I am greatly troubled by some comments made by the author about the ancient Islamic governance which I think not factual. If I have understood well, the author has claimed pre-Yazid era as the golden period of Islam and post-Yazid era as the Jahiliyah period (according to him) which I believe not correct. In my conclusion, I have more to say about the so called golden age of Islam. The following were my comments after each remarks made by the author Dr. Khan in his essay.
Dr. Khan said: "Yazid cannot be regarded as a Caliph. He was a killer of the most heinous type. Saying that Yazid was a killer does not make one a shia. Moreover, to be a Muslim or Yazid, you don't even have to be a shia or sunni. With the establishment of the Abbasid Caliphate around the year 750, many traditions inherited from Yazid began to change. Around 680, Yazid, indeed, revived a full jahiliyah at the top of Muslim governance."
My Comments: As per Islamic history and on the basis of Sahih Hadiths we came to know that actually Islamic golden period was emerged after Yazid. Yazid's ascending to power was the golden period of Umayyad dynasty in Damascus which led to the formation of Abbasid dynasty in Baghdad. It was the Abbasid dynasty during which Islamic golden era was emerged through the famous rationalist movement called mu'atazila. This mu'atazila (rationalist) movement by freethinkers of all race and religions was responsible for bringing golden era which was erroneously known as Islamic golden era. Fundamental puritanical Islam had nothing to give to this movement of mu'atazila which brought intellectuals/ freethinkers of all race and religions together in Baghdad. It was the re-emergence of pure Islam (under the leadership of great Islamic scholar Imam Gazzali) by toppling the movement of mu'atazila the golden era of Abbasid dynasty was stopped for ever. Therefore pure Islam of Prophetic standard had nothing to do with the so called Islamic golden era. In fact, before CaliphYazid there was nothing good about Islamic rule that we can count on, which had brought any good thing for public. Yazid the son of Muabhiya was not that bad human being as he was perceived by studying the famous novel by Mir Mussarraf 'Bishad Shindhu' and also from one sided biased history by Islamic mullahs.
In brief there was power struggle as to who will rule Arabia after Prophet Muhammad and Prophet himself wanted that his son-in-law Hz Ali be the successor to him but others did not like it. Therefore, a vibrant power struggle between the two camps of Prophet's household, Ayesha-Hafsa (Abubakar's and Omar's daughters) vs. Fatima-Ali was genuinely evolved. Ultimately Sahabis were divided too, in support of (Shia) or against (Sunni) Ali's first leadership; hence the birth of Sunni-Shiate sect of Muslims came to exist. Had there been no action taken by Yazid the Sunni sect of Muslim could be in dire minority today, just like Shiite sect today! Yazid virtually saved Prophetic version of Islam (Sunni) from virtual extinction. Besides, Prophet's grandson Hussain's own character was not that rosy or better than Yazid either.
History before Yazid was full of treachery, reactionary, restrictive, harsh, coercion, cruelty, rivalry, fighting, killings, and bloodsheds. All those four Caliphs after Prophet Muhammad's demise were ruling Arabian Peninsulaby the sword with brutal force. Intolerance was widespread and draconian punishments like stoning, flogging, beheadings were the random rules of punishment. Three out of four Caliphs (who are called rightly guided Caliphs) were assassinated brutally and killings and bloodsheds were daily affairs.
Omar fought and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Egypt, Palestine, Iran and Syria. He brutally killed the opponents whatever country was invaded by his force. In Iran, the famous river "Red canal" (Canal filled with human bloods) was created by him when his force killed 30,000 Iranian in a single day. That canal was filled with human's bloods; hence named the "red canal". He also killed 100,000 Iranian in Iran in another war.
People during Prophet Muhammad's rule or after his death were utterly
poor. During the period of four Caliphs (Khula-faye-Rashedins)
people were desperately poor, there was no food available, famous story
of boiling stone in the empty pot instead of food was the story during
Hazrat Umar (ra). This 'stone boiling' story was the testament of
precarious economic condition of then Arab land. Could you tell us what
good about that period?
Dr. Khan said: "An Islamic judicial system is supposed to stop all kinds of killing, and even prevent such crimes before they can occur in Muslim territories. But in reality, we find that Muslims are killing Muslims everywhere, and Muslim governments are the main culprits behind all kinds of massacre, atrocities, and genocide."
My Comments: Islamic judicial system is supposed to stop killing? Where did you learn that, or where did you see that happen? Who gave you this impossible idea? Islamic judicial system (Shariaat or Hudud laws) is loaded with cruelty, barbaric, uncivilized and draconian punishment for even simple crime like stealing an apple to eat, listening songs or music, shaving beards or not putting hijab for women. Quran emphatically orders Muslim ruler to chop hands and feet for simple stealing of some meager amounts of foods! This is the only reason we have seen so much draconian punishments in Islamic Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia . You are right here that all Muslims are killing Muslims. Because, cruelty and killings, beheadings, stoning death all are the hall mark of Islamic judicial system. Please give us just one Islamic kingdom (from present or past) in which peace and tranquility was prevailing because of Islamic rule. Or, you give us some Quranic verses or Sahih g hadiths in support of your assertions.
Dr. Khan said: "Most Fuqaha (jurists) have created an Islamic consensus (ijma) that the Islamic state is essentially a Welfare State intended to put the public interest above all kinds of individual luxury, and that envisions a complete eradication of poverty at all levels, if it is to be a truly Islamic state."
Response: It does not sound true to me. No Islamic state was ever
a welfare state for human, rather it was welfare or dedicated state for
Allah only. Human freedom or human choices were denied in every Islamic
state. Caliph or the ruler was always accountable to Allah only never
to the people. Please name one Islamic state (present or past) in
which human dignity got upper hand, or it was a welfare state to put public
interest above all. This is only your own imagination due to the childhood
brain washings by mullahs.
Dr. Khan said: "The second Caliph declared that a Muslim ruler would be accountable in front of God, if even a dog dies from hunger or cruelty, in any corner of the Islamic Caliphate. Our prophet stated that at his visit to Miraj (observing heaven and hell directly) he saw that a pious woman was thrown into hell because of her cruelty to a cat."
Comments: Do you really believe this story of Miraj which is
nothing but a hoax? So you believe that Islamic state under Islamic caliphate
was so rich and developed with affluent life style? Why then some
mothers needed to boil stone in the water when her children were waiting
nearby hungry? History tells us that Arabs were terribly poor and generally
poverty-stricken people. Could you give us some Hadiths or Quranic
verses which stated that Islamic states were so rich and had abundant
of food and necessary commodities? Please give us an example!
Dr. Khan said: "Mercy is the cornerstone of Islam, and the Quran declares the Prophet of Islam to be the model of Rahmatul lil Alamin (kindness toward all of humanity). Yet, today, many Muslim political forces give Islam a very bad name, as they cry out in favor of corporal punishment for poverty-stricken people and ignore the fundamental right of all to live in peace and dignity without any intimidation."
Could you give us some Hadiths or any evidence that will assure that "Mercy
is the cornerstone of Islam"? Prophet had to fight over 100 battles
and killed tens of thousands of human beings yet Islam was a mercy for
people? Prophet himself killed his verbal opponent by brutal assassination
and killed whoever tried to resist his invasions. Killing by treachery,
beheadings for simple animosity, father killing sons, son killing father,
brother killing brother were the rule of thumb for most ancient Islamic
states or rulers. Could you deny that?
Dr. Khan said: "Throughout its pages, the Quran identifies itself as a book of guidance for a moderate and straight path. In addition, the Quran provides some specific rules and regulations to regulate one's human behavior as a trader or cultivator, husband or wife, employer or employee, and so forth."
My Comments: Could you give us some good guidance for mankind
from the Quran? Please name some nations or one single nation which
is getting good guidance from Quran. Or give us names of some people who
are guided by Quran! Should the Muslims follow the foot-prints of
Prophet Muhammad today?
Dr. Khan said: "If one chooses to treat the Quran as a law book, presumably one could still derive some specific rules and regulations from it, to be enforced for all Muslims, all of the time. But the Quran itself warns Muslims not to treat it as a literal list of rules. Likewise, in many hadiths, the Prophet of Islam prohibited the imposition of any rigid rule pertaining to worldly affairs or spiritual matters."
My Comments: Quran never told Muslims to treat Quranic laws non-literally, rather Quran emphatically commands Muslims to follow the rules of Quran very strictly, and otherwise Muslims will be in hell fire for ever. How can you claim such non-existent words which Quran never told? Could you give us some verses which really tell what you just told us?
In conclusion let me re-iterate my concern that Dr. Khan's undue comments about Quran and Islam will definitely create some mixed messages for gullible Muslims who would be mesmerized by the goodies (illusions) of Islamic kingdoms existed in the 7th century which will generate wide supports for the political Islam for which fundamentalist class of Muslims like Jamati Islami is already fighting tooth and nail in many Muslim majority nations of the Third world. It is really mysterious why Dr. Khan discourages Muslims to adopt Islamic laws for the land when he considers Quran and Islam are the guarantor of "Mercy and cornerstone of peace"? Only Allah knows when the Muslims will realize the truth about Islamic history and when the Muslims will come out of Islamic illusions that is a burning question today!
Syed Kamran Mirza is the author of Roots of Terrorism in Islam. He has also contributed in Beyond Jihad — Critical Voices from Inside Islam and Leaving Islam — Apostates Speaks Out. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.