The Martyrdom of ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله عنه
بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم
السلام عليكم و رحمت الله و بركاته
In 56H, Mu’awiyah رضي الله عنه decided to make his son, Yazid, the caliph. Many of the eminent Sahabah رضي الله عنه disagreed with this. And Mu’awiyah رضي الله عنه used to say, “None of the other has the ability to take the Khilafah, from Yazid besides ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr.” In 64H, Husayn ibn Numayr, after taking Madinah, besieged Makkah and whilst he was besieging Makkah, the news came that Yazid had passed away. The same Husayn ibn Numayr wanted to give ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله عنه bay’ah but he رضي الله عنه refused to take his ba’yah because of the atrocities he had committed in Madinah and Makkah. Husayn ibn Numayr went back to Damascus. Then the son of Yazid, Mu’awiyah II, wanted to give bay’ah to him but before he could, he passed away. Marwan ibn al-Hakam, the next Khalifah, wanted to give ba’yah to ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله عنه but when he left Damascus, ‘UbayduLlah ibn Ziyad managed to convince him to not give ba’yah because ‘UbayduLlah ibn Ziyad was the man who instigated the shahadah of Husayn رضي الله عنه and he knew if ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله عنه became the Khalifah, his days were numbered. After Marwan ibn al-Hakam passed away, then ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan became the Khalifah and at that time there were Khalifatyn. One was the legitimate one: ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله عنه from 64H and the other was the false Khalifah: ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan. Most of the people of Hijaz, Palestine and ‘Iraq gave bay’ah to ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله عنه whilst only a handful from Damascus and Sham had given to ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan. What would happen is that, periodically there would be clashed between both armies until finally the army of ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan took over Basra and they killed the brother of ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله تعالى عنه , Mus’ab رضي الله تعالى عنه . Then on that occasion, ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan made an announcement, “Who is ready to take ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr?” And the tyrant of this Ummah stood up, a man called al Hajjaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thaqafi. And regarding him, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz (RahimahuLlah) said, “If all the previous Ummahs brought their tyrants and we only brought al Hajjaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thaqafi, his tyranny would be greater than all their tyrannies put together!” He said, “O’ Ameer-ul-Mu’minin! I will take him on because yesterday I saw a dream that I am killing ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr and then I am skinning him!” Then with a huge army, he set towards Makkah and besieged it. What they had was these huge catapults and in it they had these huge rocks and they would throw them into Makkah and scores of people would die. On occasions, these would even hit the house of Allah سبحانه و تعالى. And the narrations mention that ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله عنه was praying Salah and one of these rocks fell close to him and the fire between was his chest and his beard. But he was so emerged and engrossed in his Salah that he didn’t’ even know what had happened. And the narrations mention that these huge catapults were around Makkah and what happened that lightning came from the sky and hit one of these catapults and al Hajjaj ibn Yusuf men were taken aback that this was the Adhaab of Allah سبحانه و تعالى but like all deviant and corrupt leaders, al Hajjaj used the Qur’an and hadith to substantiate his abhorrent actions. He said, “What you getting worried for? This is not the Adhaab of Allah! Have you not read the Qur’an where Allah سبحانه و تعالى when He would accept the sacrifices of the people a fire would come from the sky and it would burn the sacrifice. This is a sign from Allah سبحانه و تعالى is accepting our sacrifice.” And like all sheep, they said, “SubhanAllah Allahu Akbar Takbir!” And for 5 months and 17 days they besieged Makkah. Until the men of ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله عنه became so weak that many of them could not carry their own swords. They had nothing to eat and the only thing they had to drink was the Zam-Zam. Al Hajjaj ibn Yusuf said, “Whoever leaves the side of ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr and comes to me, I will give them protection.” And he was saying to ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله تعالى عنه , “’AbduLlah! For you, you can go where ever you want leave Makkah where ever you want. If you don’t want, then come to ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan and he will do whatever he wants with you and then your final option is that you fight till death.” And the narrations mention, one by one, one by one all of the men of ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله عنه left his side. In one day, 10,000 men left his side and he رضي الله عنه just had a handful of men left with him. Then he decided to go and visit his mother: Asmaa’ bint Abi Bakr رضي الله تعالى عنه .
He رضي الله عنه went to his mother, who was over 100 years old and was blind, when he entered the room, he gave her Salam and she رضي الله تعالى عنها replied to the Salam. Then she asked, “Where did the men of al-Hajjaj reach?” He رضي الله عنه said, “O’ my mother in death, I will find peace and tranquillity. O’ my mother! All my companions have left me until my own family and children have left my side and I only have a handful of people around me. And the people are ready to give me whatever I want form this Dunya what is your opinion my mother?” She رضي الله تعالى عنها said, “O’ my son! You are more knowledgeable regarding your circumstances than me. But I do say, if you know that you are on the truth, and then die like your companions and if you want the Dunya, then you are the most wretched of people because you have wasted yourself and your companions. And how long are you going to live in this Dunya?” Then she رضي الله تعالى عنها continued, “If you say that you are on the truth, but when your companions left you, you became weak. This is not the action of the free man and the people of Deen! And how long are you going to live in this Dunya?” He رضي الله عنه said, “O’ my mother, I’m scared that if they kill me, then they will mutilate my body and they will hang me up.” She رضي الله تعالى عنها said, “O’ my son! A slaughtered goat doesn’t feel the pain when it is skinned!” And when she said this, he رضي الله عنه stood up and kissed her upon her forehead and he said, “I swear by Allah, this is my opinion! I have no desire to live in this Dunya for my aspiration is the life of the here after and all my life I have stood up for truth but I wanted to know is your opinion so that your opinion strengthens my opinion!” And then his mother رضي الله تعالى عنها said, “Come closer my son!” When he رضي الله عنه came closer to her, she embraced him and when she did so, she felt that he had some metal armour on. And she رضي الله عنها said, “O’ my son! What is this? For people who want Shahaadah don’t wear this!” He رضي الله عنه said, “O’ my mother! I only did this to comfort you!” She رضي الله عنها said, “My son, take it off.” Then she said, “O’ my son! Tie your belt so when you fall, your ‘awrah is not exposed!” “O’ My son! Fight with bravery for you are the son of Zubayr and the grandson of Abu Bakr and your grandmother was Safiyyah.”
That day, AbduLlah رضي الله عنه fought like a thousand men from noon till evening and one-by-one all his men died until he was left alone by himself. He would repel huge numbers of men until finally, they threw a rock upon him and he was on the floor and was still fighting. Then they cut off his leg and finally, they martyred him. And narrations mention, when they martyred him, Makkah erupted with crying and al Hajjaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thaqafi stood up and said, “O’ people! Know ‘AbduLlah was the best of people but when he rebelled against the Khalifah, then he had to be removed from Makkah for Adam was best of People but when he rebelled against the command of Allah, he was removed from Jannah and Adam is better then ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr and Jannah is better than Makkah.” al Hajjaj came to the mother of ‘AbduLlah رضي الله عنه and wanted to break her resolve and he said, “How has Allah dealt with His enemy?” She رضي الله عنها said, “You may have corrupted this Dunya, but He has corrupted your Aakhirah!” Then he said, “I heard they call you Dhat-an-Nitaqayn?” And she رضي الله عنه said, “Yes, they do call me Dhat-an-Nitaqayn because I took off my waist belt and tore in 2 and I gave one to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and I kept one myself. Let me tell you one thing. I heard the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم say, ‘From Thaqif, two people will emanate. One will be a tyrant and other will be a liar. The lair that we have seen and the tyrant is you!’”
Then they beheaded ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله عنه and stuck his body up. The men of al Hajjaj were saying, “Allahu Akbar Takbir!” And ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar رضي الله عنه went by and he heard them saying Takbir and he رضي الله عنه turned towards his body رضي الله عنه and said, “I was there the day ‘Abdullah was born and I am here the day he has died and I heard those who said Takbir the day he was born and I heard those who have said Takbir the day he has died and I swear by Allah those who said Takbir the day when he was born were far greater than those who have said Takbir today!” The narration mentions, there was a beautiful fragrance coming from the body but what the men of al Hajjaj did that they tied a dead cat around his waist. The fragrance was so beautiful that even over the stench of the dead cat you could smell it. Then they went to al Hajjaj and said, “al Hajjaj take his body down it has been up for days.” al Hajjaj said, “I swear by Allah I will not take it down until Asmaa’ begs me.” And when they told Asmaa’ رضي الله عنها, she said, “Take me to where the body of my son is.” She made du’a for her son and said, “Isn’t it time that knight of Allah was allowed to come off his horse?” And when they told this to al Hajjaj, he felt little and brought the body down.
From the lecture, “The Life of ‘AbduLlah ibn Zubayr رضي الله عنه,” by Shaykh Zahir Mahmood (HafidhahuLlah)