The answer to the question of who were the killers of Imam Hussein on Day of Ashura, In all eras, there has been a confrontation between Shias and Sunnis over their rightness, and perhaps the source of this confrontation goes back to the event of Karbala. One of the most debated issues is about the killers of Imam Hussain, the ones who have been cursed by the Shias and believed to be a killer, while on the other hand, Wahabis praise them, consider them sincere, and so on.
An ongoing debate exists between Shias and Wahabis who accuse one another of killing Imam Hussain. Although more than once these talks and objections have been replied to and refuted, yet once in a while the same voice is heard again. In the book of Understanding Karbala, three major questions as a criterion have been mentioned which can be used for anyone to distinguish between truth and falsehood and any impartial, justice-minded person would have no difficulty in differentiating between truth and falsehood:
The first, Which sect is in perfect agreement with the holy personalities and their deeds and which group is in opposition to them?
The second, Which sect considered Yazid to obligatorily deserve curse and in contrast in the view of which sect is he obligatorily qualified for obedience (or in whose view at least he should not be cursed)?
Third, Which sect observes aloofness and harbors hatred towards the military chiefs of Yazid and those who participated in the slaying of Imam Hussain (a.s) and which group considers them reliable in religious matters and takes narration reports from them and praises and admires them?
The First, Which sect is in perfect agreement with the holy personality of the martyr of Karbala’ and his deeds, and which group is in opposition to him.
As it is always said, the Shias consider Imam Hussain (a.s) obligatorily worthy of obedience by the command of Allah, that he is appointed by Allah and was the true successor of the Prophet. They consider each saying and action of his as per the will of Allah.
They consider his truce and battle the mirror of the best wisdom and his rising and sitting a reflection of the Divine hidden wisdom. In their point of view, Hussain (a.s) was a piece of Muhammadan effulgence. His flesh and blood were flesh and blood of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w). Love towards him is obligatory on all. His obedience was a channel for the perfection of faith. He was pure of every mistake and deviation.
It is not only the Shia who think this way, many Ahl al-Sunnah researcher scholars consider the sons of the prophet protected from sins. And for the non-Shia sects, among them also all Hanafi, Shafei and most Hanbali (such as Allamah Qastalani, Ibn Jauzi, Sibte Ibn Jauzi, Allamah Ahmad bin Hajar al-Haithami) also consider Imam Hussain (a.s) to be on the right side and Yazid on the wrong one.In contrast, there is a group of people (some Hanbalis) who consider Ibn Taiymiyah as their leader and they are Nasibis and Kharijis who call themselves Sunnis (in order to deceive the common people).
Such people consider Yazid as a rightful caliph hence they think that Imam Hussain (a.s) was in the wrong and thus worthy of capital punishment, rather obligatorily deserving of being killed.
An example of such people in the present time is Mahmud Ahmad Abbasi and in thepast age, Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Abdullah Ibn Arabi who said:
“Hussain was not killed but by the sword of his grandfather (that is, as per the command of the Shariah) because the allegiance for Yazid had been paid before and Hussain had rebelled against it.”
The second, How a particular sect regards Yazid?
In Shias’ opinion, Yazid is an undesirable name and not only Yazid but the family tree and clan of Yazid, as per Qur’anic directions, are considered an accursed tree.
In contrast, Wahabis, followers of Ibn Taiymiyah consider Yazid as the rightful caliph. An example is from Mulla ‘Ali Qari on Pg. 84 of Sharh Fiqhe Akbar and Ibn Hajar al-Haithami in Sawaiqul Mohreqa, (P11, 12) which is said Yazid among the twelve Imams regarding whom is the tradition of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) that religion shall remain dominant until 12 Imams (caliphs) are present.
Some of the Wahabi scholars try to save Yazid from curses and damnation, even a decree is issued that Yazid was a Muslim and cursing a Muslim is unlawful. Or the responsibility of the killing of Hussain is attributed to Ibn Ziyad from the beginning to the end.
The truth is, Shias, Hanafis, Shafeis and moderate Hanbalis have absolute hatred for Yazid, while Nasibis, Wahabis not only refrain from cursing Yazid and criticizing him, they also try to restrain other people from it.
Third, How a particular sect regards people who were involved in Tragedy of Karbala
In Shia’s point of view, Yazid and his military chiefs who were the killers of Imam Hussain (a.s) were infidels, therefore, they curse them and those who approve their actions considering them inmastes of Hell. Hanafi, Shafei, and moderate Hanbalis also completely hate the killers of Imam Hussain (a.s) and consider them worthy of being denounced.
But, the behavior of Nasibis and Wahabis is exactly the opposite. They believe the ones who are connected to the murder of Imam Hussain (a.s) are generally worthy of praise. Some of them have reached the position of the caliphate and some are remembered as ‘truthful’ and trustworthy and a lot of them are included among the narrators of the ‘Sihah Sittah’ books and religious laws are derived from their traditions.
Let’s see what people think about the military chiefs of the Yazid army and Mukhtar:
- Umar bin Saad bin Abi Waqqas: he was directly responsible for all those cruelties after Yazid and Ibn Ziyad. He also had told his cronies: Be witness that the first arrow shot to the army of Hussain is mine. But in the point of view of Wahhabi’s scholars, he is very trustworthy, truthful, reliable, and accepted.
- Shimr bin Ziljaushan: He himself on regard to the Karbala event said: since the leaders commanded us for it and we did not disobey them. If we had disobeyed, our consequences would have been worse than the killing of Hussain. However, he is an authoritative source of Wahabi traditions.
- Hussain Ibn Numair: All four traditionists, comfortably quoted his traditions in their books, which are from the Sihah Sittah (Six authentic books) even though he was among the killers of Hussain (a.s).
- Muhammad Ibn Ashath Ibn Qais: He is a very respectable tradition reporter of Ahl al-Sunnah, and is considered among reliable persons.
- Shabath Ibn Rabi: His traditional reports have found a place in the books of Abu Dawood and Imam Nasai.
- Samarah Ibn Jundab: He was a companion of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) and the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) had informed that he would go to Hell.
- Marwan Ibn Hakam: Marvan is well known for his enmity toward Hussain (a.s). He, who was exiled by the Prophet from Medina, cursed and called ‘lizard, young one of lizard’, who instigated the governor of Medina to kill Imam Hussain (a.s), the same Marwan is accorded such an honorable position that he is made as to the caliphs and he is termed blameless in narrating traditions.
- Mukhtar: Mukhtar who destroyed the killers of Hussain (a.s), was attacked by the ones who dislike this matter (supporters and followers of the killers of Imam Hussain (a.s)) began to criticize and defame him.
All the above reasons, and introducing the people, shows that the Wahabi people respect and honor the killers of Imam Hussain (a.s). Most of them are considered reliable, trustworthy, truthful, and acceptable. One of them was made a caliph in spite of being the killer of Hussain (a.s) and another was a caliph even though he instigated the killing of Hussain (a.s) and that he was exiled by the Prophet. While the one who took revenge from these killers was called a deviant, a liar, and one worse than Hajjaj, etc.!
All the people who have similar views as Wahabi not only do not consider the battle of Imam Hussain (a.s) good(divine), most of them even consider him obligatorily deserving of being killed due to his opposition to Yazid, who is a rightful caliph. Therefore, they do not blame the killers of Hussain (a.s) for taking part in his murder.
Now the question is this, after all this, is it still needed to be told the name of the group that considers the killers of Imam Hussain (a.s) as their leaders?
– Understanding Karbala by Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi
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