Sayyidna Amir Muawiyah Bin Abi Sufyan (RA): Born: 602 AD Died: 680 AD.
Sayyidna Amir Muawiyah Bin Abi Sufyan (RA) was one of the most respected Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Sayyidna Amir
Muawiyah Bin Abi Sufyan (RA) was born in the year 602 A. D. He was the son of of the Quraish leader Sayyidna Abu Sufyan Bin Harb (RA). He belonged to
the clan of Banu Umayya which was the second most powerful family in Mecca after the Banu Hashim to which the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
belonged. When The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) started preaching Islam, the Banu Umayya opposed him vehemently. And since the pre-Islamic period
there was rivalry between the houses of Banu Hashim and the Banu Umayya.
Ultimately when Mecca was conquered by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in 630 A. D. the family of Sayyidna Abu Sufyan Bin Harb (RA) accepted
Islam. Sayyidna Amir Muawiyah Bin Abi Sufyan (RA) had already accepted Islam in his heart before the conquest of Mecca but he did not disclose
it to anybody. He hid his faith like Sayyidna Abbas Bin Abdul Muttalib (RA).
After conquest of mecca
After the conquest of Mecca, Sayyidna Amir Muawiyah Bin Abi Sufyan (RA) served as Secretary to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and was the
writer of the Revelation. Sayyidna Amir Muawiyah Bin Abi Sufyan (RA) was the brother-in-law of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as Sayyidna Amir
Muawiyah Bin Abi Sufyan (RA)’s sister Ummul Momineen Sayyidah Umm Habiba Bint Abi Sufyan (RA) was married to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Sayyidna Amir Muawiyah Bin Abi Sufyan (RA) was tall and was fair and handsome in appearance. He was eloquent in speech and was noted for his forbearance. He was a man of dignified bearing and good manners. He was a shrewd politician and diplomat par excellence. In winning wars
Sayyidna Amir Muawiyah Bin Abi Sufyan (RA) relied more on the use of the tongue than the use of the sword. He was loved and respected by the people
of Syria where he served as the governor for 20 years. He was known to his people as ” The Silver tongued Amir. ” He was a very good
mathematician and an excellent calligraphist. Sayyidna Umar Bin Al Khattab (RA) used to call him as ” The Ceasar of the Arabs. ”
beloved Prophet(PBUH) about Hazrat Amir Muawiyah(RA)
Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) came to the house of Ummul Momineen Sayyidah Umm Habiba Bint Abi Sufyan (RA) and found that Sayyidna
Amir Muawiyah Bin Abi Sufyan (RA) was also present there in her house.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked Ummul Momineen Sayyidah Umm Habiba Bint Abi Sufyan (RA) whether she loved Sayyidna Amir Muawiyah Bin Abi
Sufyan (RA). She replied that he was her brother and she definitely loved him. Hearing this, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) smiled and said
that Allah and His Messenger also love Muawiyah.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once prayed for Sayyidna Amir Muawiyah Bin Abi Sufyan (RA) like this:
” O Allah ! Make him a leader of the people and make him a guide through whom the people might be guided.”
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had said:
“The first group of Muslims to make Naval Jihad will be the inhabitants of Heaven. “
One of the instructions of Mu’awiya to a new governor was:
“Open your door to the people; thus you will have information from them. You and they are equal. When you decide on a matter, express it openly to the people, and no one will expect anything or make demands on you, and you will be able to carry it out. When you encounter your enemies, and they defeat you at the border of your territory, do not let them defeat you in its interior. If your companions need you to assist them personally, do so.”
He once wrote to ‘A’isha requesting some succinct advice and she wrote back, “I heard the Messenger of Allah say, ‘If anyone seeks the pleasure of people at the expense of the wrath of Allah, Allah will entrust him to them until the one who praised him becomes his critic. If anyone seeks the pleasure of Allah at the expenseof people, Allah will be enough for him against them.’” He took this to heart and later said on the minbar of Damascus, “No one abandons fearfulness of Allah but that the one who praised him becomes his critic.”
Mu'awiyah bin Abi-Sufyan was born in 602 C.E. into the Banu Umayya sub-clan of the Banu Abd-Shams clan of the Quraysh tribe. The Quraysh controlled the city of Mecca (in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia) and the Banu Abd-Shams were among the most influential of its citizens. Mu'awiya and the rest of his family were staunch opponents of the Muslims before the ascendancy of Muhammad.
In 630 CE, Muhammad and his followers conquered Mecca, and most of the Meccans, including the Abd-Shams clan, formally submitted to Muhammad and accepted Islam. Mu'awiyah, along with his father Abu Sufyan, became Muslims at the conquest of Mecca when further resistance to Muslims became an impossibility. Some scholars hold the view that Mu'awiya was the second of the two to convert, with Abu Sufyan convincing him to do it.
Muhammad welcomed his former opponents, enrolled them in his army and gave them important posts in what was to become the Caliphate. After the Prophet Muhammad's death (632) Mu'awiya served in the Islamic army sent against the Byzantine forces in Syria. He held a high rank in the army led by his brother Yazid ibn Abu Sufyan.
Governor of Syria
Caliph Umar (Umar ibn al-Khattab) had appointed Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan as governor of Syria. In the year 640, Umar appointed Muawiyah as governor of Syria when his brother died in an outbreak of plague. Muawiyah gradually gained mastery over the other areas of Syria, instilling remarkable personal loyalty among his troops and the people of the region. By 647, Muawiyah had built a Syrian army strong enough to repel a Byzantine attack and, in subsequent years, to take the offensive against the Byzantines in campaigns that resulted in the capture of Cyprus (649) and Rhodes (654) and a devastating defeat of the Byzantine navy off the coast of Lycia (655). At the same time, Muawiyah periodically dispatched land expeditions into Anatolia.
According to the chronicler Theophanes the Confessor, Muawiyah I, after capturing Rhodes sold the remains of the Colossus of Rhodes to a traveling salesman from Edessa. The buyer had the statue broken down, and transported the bronze scrap on the backs of 900 camels to his home. Pieces continued to turn up for sale for years, after being found along the caravan route.
The lofty status of hazrat ameer mu'awiya (ra)
After moula Ali(RA) died , Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan said to Dirar bin Damrah
“Describe ‘Ali to me.”
“Will you not excuse me from answering you,” said Dirar.
“No, describe him,” insisted Mu`awiyah.
“Please excuse me from doing so,” said Dirar.
“I will not,” said Mu`awiyah.
” I will do so, then” said Dirar with a sigh.
“By Allah, he was (far-sighted) and very strong. He spoke with a truthful finality, so that, through him , truth became distinguished from falsehood. He ruled justly, and knowledge gushed forth from him, as did wisdom. He felt an aversion to the world and its (pleasure). He was comfortable with the night and its darkness ( meaning he prayed a lot). By Allah he would cry profusely ( from fear of Allah); long durations would he spend in contemplation, during which time he would converse with his soul. He showed a liking to coarse garments and lower-quality food. By Allah, it was as if – in his humbleness- he was one of us: when we asked him a question, he would answer us; when we would go to him, he would initiate (the salam); and when we would invite him (to our homes), he would come to us . Yet, in spite of his closeness to us, we would not speak (freely) with him, because of the dignity and honor that he exuded if he smiled, he revealed the likes of straight and regular pearls(his teeth). He honored religious people and loved the poor. The strong person could not hope to gain favors from him through falsehood. And the weak person never lost hope of his justness. I swear, by Allah, that on certain occasions, I saw him in his place of prayer when the night was dark and few stars could be seen; he would be holding his beard and crying the way a very sad person cries; and I would hear him saying,
“O world, O world, are you offering yourself to me? Do you desire me? Never! Never! Deceive someone other than me, I have divorced you for the third time, so that you cannot return to me (metaphorically, of course; he is alluding to the fact that, in islam, the third divorce is final) your life is short, the existence you offer is base, and your danger is great. Alas for the scarcity of sustenance (good deeds), the great distance of the journey, and the loneliness of the road!”
Upon hearing this description, Mu`awiyah’s eyes swelled with tears, and not being able to hold them from gushing forth, he was forced to wipe them with his cuffs; and the same can be said for those who were present. Mu`awiyah then said, “May Allah have mercy on the father of Al-Hasan, for he was, by Allah, just as you described him to be. “
He then said, “O Dirar, describe your sadness at having lost him.”
“My sadness” began Dirar “is like the sadness of a woman who cannot control her tears or allay her grief after her child , while in her lap, has just been slaughtered.”
Dirar then stood up and left.
Hadith in praise of Sayyedina Ameer Muawiya(ra)
"Imam Hakim claims that he never came across a single hadith in praise of Muaweyah that was Sahih". La'ali al-Masnu`aa fi ahadith al-Maudu`aa Volume 1 page 424.
"It is recorded in famous book Jami` al-'Usul that many muhaddith scholars have concluded that there exists not even a single hadith in praise of Muaweyah Radi Allahu anhu that is Sahih".
Sharh Mishkat Shareef Vol. 4 page 716
Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani states in Fathul Bari Volume 7 page 104:
"Imam Bukhari on the topic of Muaweyah Radi Allahu anhu wrote a Chapter Bab ai Dhikr Muaweyah because no hadith in praise of Muaweyah Radi Allahu anhu are proven and Ibn Abi Asim and Abu Umar Ghulam Thalib and 'Abu Bakr Nakash wrote on the virtues of Muaweyah Radi Allahu anhu and Ibn Jauzi in Maudu'at wrote about him, then Ibn Jauzi stated in the opinion of Isaac bin Raaviya, in praise of Muaweyah Radi Allahu anhu no hadith is Sahih and that's why Imam Bukhari wrote a Chapter titled bab ai Dhikr Muaweyah rather than bab ai Fadail Muaweyah"
Fathul Bari Vol. 7 page 104
Allama al 'Aini in "Ummdat al Qari fi Sharh Sahih al Bukhari page 994 Volume 7 comments:
"No reports in praise of Muaweyah are proven. If many are present, the reply is that no hadith exist with a Sahih isnad as stated by Isaac bin Rahvia and Imam Nasai, and that's why Imam Bukhari wrote Chapter bab ai Dhikr Muaweyah rather than bab ai Fadail Muaweyah."
"Imam Shafi'I said that the testimony of four companions will not be accepted and those four are Muaweyah, Amr bin Aas, Mugheera (bin Shuba) and Ziyad (bin Abi)"
This view of Imam Shafi'i has also been attributed to him by his student Hadhrath Rabi in Tareekh Abul Fidah Volume 1 under the chapter addressing the events of 45 Hijri. It can also be located in Kitab Mukhthasar fi Ahbar al Bashar Vol. 1 page 100
Muhammad bin Ali bin Shawkani in "Fawa'id al Mujmu`a fi bay`an al-hadith al-maudu`a", page 147 states that:
"Ibn Hibban commented that all ahadith in praise of Muaweyah are fabricated". Fawa'id al Mujmu`a fi bay`an al-hadith al-maudu`a page 147
Al Muhaddith Shaykh Abdul Haqq Dehlavi in "Sharh Mishkat Shareef" - Volume 4 page 716 (published in 1873) after citing the hadith in praise of Muaweyah including the "guidance hadith" Abu Sulaiman cited from Tirmidhi comments:
Abu'l Hasan Quinani in "Thunziyaa as Shari'a al Murfoo'a", Volume 2, Chapter 8 page 7 comments . "Imam Hakim cites from a chain used by Sibt Ibne Jauzi who cites Isaan bin Ruhiyaa that 'there exists nothing in praise of Muaweyah that is Sahih".
Thunziyaa as Shari'a al Murfoo'a Vol. 2 Chapter 8 page 7
Allamah Ibn al-Jawzi al-Qurashi in "al- Mawdu`at" Volume 2 page 24 states:
"Imam Hakim narrated from Abu'l `Abbas who heard from his father, who heard from Ishaq bin Ibraheem al-Hanzali that 'no hadith in praise of Muaweyah are Sahih'.
al- Mawdu`at Volume 2 page 24
Shaykh Ismail bin Muhammad in "Kashful Khafa" Volume 2 page 420 states:
'There exist no hadith in praise of Muaweyah that is Sahih" Kashful Khafa Vol. 2 page 420
"Imam Ahl'ul Sunnah Muhammad bin 'Ali Shawkani wrote in his book Fawaid Majmu`a Dhar ahadith Maudu'ah states that in praise of Muaweyah no hadith exists"
al-Nasa'ih al-Kaafiyah page 163.
Hazrat Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan:
When the time of departure came for Hazrat Muawiyah may Allah be pleased with them, he said: ‘O Allah, have mercy on this sinful and cruel old man. O Allah, take away my stumbles (and forgive my mistakes), and treat mildly with this persons stupidity who does not rely upon anyone but you, nor does he have hope upon anyone but you.’ Saying this he started to cry inconsolably.
Muhammad bin Aqeer states that when the time of departure came close for Amir Muawiyah may Allah be pleased with them he was stating: ‘Alas, I wish I was a hungry (poor) person of Quraish and had nothing to do with Khilafat.’ (Ihya-ul-Uloom pg 677, Vol 4)
A short while before his death he said sit me down. So he was sat down. Then he remained in remembrance of Allah, Tasbeeh and Taqdees. Then he said addressing himself that O Muawiyah, you are now remembering Allah when everything has been broken, then he started crying so much that he was screaming, thereafter he recited this verse (of a poem)
Death will certainly come; you cannot run away from it, the thing that I fear after death is extremely frightening and terrifying.
Then he made the following prayer: O Allah decrease this distress and forgive mistakes and treat with mercy such a person who does not have hope upon anyone but you and he does not rely upon anyone but you. Then he said to his son Yazid: ‘O son; when my final time comes open up my cloth (Rumal) which is in the treasury, within it is the blessed clothes of the Prophet may Allah send peace and blessing upon him and his blessed hair and blessed nails. When you start to conduct burial preparations put the Prophets blessed clothes with my body and place the Kafan on top of that. Place the blessed hair and blessed nails of the prophet may Allah send peace and blessing upon him upon my face, my nose and my eyes. When you place me into the grave, leave me and the most merciful of merciful alone. (Kitabul-Aqibah, No 94).