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Moawiyah at Jerusalem, because there was none to oppose them, and that the Irakians set up Hasan against him, and would undoubtedly have succeeded in their attempt, but for their mismanagement and divisions among themselves. Had they but understood aright, they would have magnified the mercy of God in giving them the apostle's grandson. What we find in the book entitled, The Demonstrations of Prophecy,' from the tradition of Sephinah, who was a servant or freedman of the apostle of God, is a proof that he was the right successor. Here Mohammed is recorded to have said, 'The caliphate shall continue after me thirty years, and after that shall be a kingdom.' Now Mohammed died in the eleventh year of the Hejirah, and Hasan's abdication was in the fortieth. From whence it is plain, not only that Mohammed is a prophet, but that Hasan is his rightful successor. Mohammed, too, had prophetically praised Hasan, for thus relinquishing the present perishable world, and desiring that other which is permanent, and on this account sparing to shed the blood of this people; for Mohammed having one day mounted the pulpit, while Hasan sat by him (which he frequently used to do), after looking sometimes upon him, and sometimes upon the people, called out, O people! this son of mine is lord, and God shall unite by his means two great contending parties of the Mussulmans."" The last anecdote is from Al Bokhari, the great collector of the traditions of Mohammed.*
A woman once having presented Hasan with a bunch of fine herbs, he asked her if she was a free woman; the woman told him she was a slave, but that the present she had made was rare and curious. Hasan gave her her liberty, saying to those that were present, "We have received this instruction from God himself, that we ought to give to those that make
* I have not yet been able to find out who this author is from whom I have taken this last argument, because the book is imperfect both at the beginning and the end, and I could never find any other copy of him. But he hath been of singular use to me throughout the whole course of this history to the life of Merwan, the son of Hakem, where the copy fails. find in another passage, that he was himself the author of the book of the Demonstrations of Prophecy which he mentions. He also affirms, that he wrote another treatise to prove that it was impracticable for Mohammed to marry Abu Sofian's daughter, of which more afterwards. Whoever he was, it is certain he was a great Imam.
us presents something of more value than that which they give us. Meaning, that this moral instruction is couched in the Koran, which the Mussulmans, blind as they are, yet as they look upon it as the word of God, are careful to obey. A wonderful instance is related of the moderation of the caliph. A slave having spilled upon him, as he sat at table, a dish of scalding broth, instantly threw himself down at his knees, repeating these words of the Koran, "Paradise is open to those that govern their passion;" Hasan answered him, "I am not at all in a passion." Encouraged by this mildness, the slave went on, "And to those who pardon offences." "I pardon you yours," said Hasan. And when the slave continued to the end of the verse, which says, "God loves those above all who do good to them that have offended them;" Hasan concluded too, with these generous words, "Since it is so, I give you your liberty and four hundred drachms of silver."
Among my authorities I find one who, treating of Hasan's death, asserted that in the treaties between him and Moawiyah, it had been stipulated that Moawiyah should never declare a successor so long as Hasan lived, but should leave, as Omar had done before, the election in the hands of a certain number of persons, to be nominated by Hasan. Moawiyah therefore being desirous of leaving the caliphate to his son Yezid, and thinking he could not bring his design about so long as Hasan was alive, determined to get rid of him.
Hasan had twenty children, fifteen sons and five daughters. Though his wives were all of them remarkably fond of him, yet he was apt very frequently to divorce them and marry new ones. Among the sectaries of Ali some draw the line or descent of the true Imams from Abdallah, one of Hasan's children, who had a son named Yahya; while, according to the Persians, the succession passed from Hasan to his younger brother Hosein.
The Mussulmans are fond of quoting the following sentence of Hasan's : The tears which are let fall through devotion should not be wiped off, nor the water which remains upon the body after legal washing; because this water makes the face of the faithful to shine, when they present themselves before God."
+ MS. Hunt. ubi supra. D'Herbelot,
He died at the age of forty-seven years, in the month Sefer of the forty-ninth year of the Hejirah. He left directions in his will that he should be buried near his grandfather Mohammed: but to prevent any disturbance, and lest his body should be forcibly carried to the common burial-place, he thought it proper to ask Ayesha's leave, which she granted. Notwithstanding this, when he was dead, Saïd who was governor of the town, and Merwan the son of Hakem, and all the whole family of the house of Ommiyah that were then at Medinah, opposed it. Upon which the heats between the two families arose to a great height. At last Ayesha said, “that it was her house, and that she would not allow him to be buried there." Wherefore they laid him in the common buryingplace. When Moawiyah heard of Hasan's death, he fell down and worshipped.
THE CALIPHS OF THE FAMILY OF OMMIYAH, WHICH ARE FOURTEEN IN ALL, THE FIRST OF WHICH IS, MOAWIYAH I., THE SON OF ABU SOFIAN, BEING THE SIXTH CALIPH AFTER MOHAMMED.
Hejirah 41-60. a.d. 661–679.
ALL opposition being now removed by the death of Hasan, Moawiyaht took possession of the whole caliphate. The family of Hashem, of which were Mohammed and Ali, lay like coals raked up in embers not able to stir.§ The hearts of the people
* Ebn Al Athir.
+From the middle of the seventh to a like period of the eighth century of the Christian era (a space of about ninety-two years) the family of Moawiyah were invested with the regal and sacerdotal office. This dynasty is called the dynasty of the Ommiades, from the caliph Moawiyah or Ommia, the first of the house, the son of Abu Sofian, the successor of Abu Talet, in the principality of Mecca.--Mills,
"Moawiyah was called the son of the liver-eater,' because, after the battle of Ohud (see Life of Mohammed), his mother Hind, finding the body of Hamza, Mohammed's uncle, amongst the slain, immediately tore out his liver, and eat it in her rage."-Weil.
§ MS. Hunt. No. 495.
were entirely in the interest of Hosein the younger brother of Hasan, but Moawiyah had possession and the army, and was, moreover, a man of great abilities and steady conduct. But before we proceed to give an account of his government, it will not be amiss to inquire a little into his origin.*
His father Abu Sofian was one of the heads of the noble tribe of the Koreish, to which Mohammed also belonged. When Mohammed took up arms, not so much for the defence as for the propagation of his pretended revelation, Abu Sofian was made generalissimo of the infidels against him and after the battle of Beder, he stood very fair for the headship of that tribe. He wanted nothing to recommend him; his courage, his gravity and immense riches, set him above competition. But at last he was convinced (as it seems, by a signal victory gained by Mohammed over his enemies), of the truth of the prophet's pretensions. The conversion of Abu Sofian was no small accession to Mohammed's party, which had been sufficiently galled and harassed by the Koreish. Moawiyah with his wife came in on the same day as their father, who, on his adhesion to the new religion, begged three things of Mohammed. The first was, that in order to make amends for the offences committed by him against the true religion, when he commanded the forces of the infidels, he might now have the honour of leading the army of the faithful against the infidels; a request which was readily granted. His second petition was, that his son Moawiyah might be his secretary, to which also Mohammed assented. The third was, that the apostle would vouchsafe to marry his second daughter Gazah ; an honour which Mohammed begged leave to decline. Our author says, it was not lawful; but he omits to give the reason, referring us to a particular treatise which, as we have before observed, he hath written on that subject.
Moawiyah was no sooner settled in his government, but the Karegites, enemies to all government both ecclesiastical and civil, began to disturb him. It was one of their opinions
"The families of Moawiyah, and of Mohammed, were of the same tribe, but, according to the principles of legitimacy, the throne belo the descendants of Fatima, and even the children of Albas, the uncle of the prophet, had a claim prior to that of Moawiyah."―Mills.
Yaumal phethi. "The day of victory.
that the person who had the rule in spirituals should not be one of man's appointment, nor descend by any succession; but one whose spirituality should recommend him to the approbation of the godly. Upon Hasan's refusal to take up arms, Moawiyah ordered the Syrians to march against them; but the Separatists beat the Syrians. So he applied himself to his new subjects the Cufians, and the inhabitants of all that part of Babylonia, telling them that now was their time to give him proof of the sincerity of their obedience; and hat he could have no better security for their loyalty than their vigorous opposition to this rebellion. When accordingly they took up arms, the Separatists would have persuaded them to desist, and asked them whether or no Moawiyah was not their common enemy. 66 Let us alone," said the Karegites, "to make war upon him; if we kill him, we shall have ridden you of your enemy; if he kills us, you are rid of us." The Cufians did not think it prudent to hearken to this suggestion, and the war was soon ended by the discomfiture of the rebels.
After this rebellion we meet with little worth observing till the three and fortieth year;' which was remarkable for the death of the famous Amrou,† of whom it is reported by tradition, that Mohammed said, "There is no truer Mussulman, nor one more stedfast in the faith than Amrou." He served in
*MS. Hunt. No. 495.
An. Hej. 43, cœpit April 14, A.D. 663.
When Amrou perceived death approaching, he wept like a child, which caused his son to ask him if he feared its approach. "No," he replied, "but I dread that which follows it!" When the young man endeavoured to cheer him by reminding him of his victories in the cause of Islamism, he said, "My life has been divided into three periods. Had I died within the first two, then I should have known what the world would have said of me. When Mohammed began to preach his mission, I was is bitterest foe, and wished for nothing better than his death. Had I died hen, people would have exclaimed, Amrou has left this world an unbeliever, an enemy to God and his ambassador; and he will belong to the inhabitants of hell.' But after that God filled my heart with faith, and I repaired to Mahommed, and held out my hand towards him and said, 'I yield reverence to thee if thou wilt ensure me forgiveness for all my past sins,' for I believed at that time that I should sin no more as a Mussulman. The ambassador of God replied, Amrou! Islamism brings forgiveness for all past transgressions.' If I had died then, people would