Friday, 7 July 2017

Abd Allah b. Mu'awiya and the Janahiya

Abd Allah b. Mu’awiya was the great-grandson of sayyidina Ja’far al-TayyarRA. So this was neither an Alid nor Abbasid uprising during the latter part of the Ummayad rule, but nevertheless politically Shi’ite since it was motivated by a sense of allegiance to the Ahl al-Bayt. Tucker says about Abd Allah b. Mu’awiya: “the majority of sources accuse him of religious heterodoxy. This charge is probably more applicable to his followers, since he himself was more interested in politics than dogma.”

In the book Shi’ism in the Middle East by Aydin Bayram: “Shi’ites set up a certain Abd-Allah ibn-Muawiya as imam. He was a descendant of Ja’far ibn-Abi Talib, Ali’s brother. He is also considered to be hiding in the mountain of Isfahan. As a result, the belief in occultation (ghayba), which began with Muhammad al-Hanafiya returned.” (p. 12)

What I find very ironic is that Abd-Allah b. Mu’awiya was put to death under the orders of Abu Muslim al-Khurasani, architect of the Abbasid victory. According to one version, Abu Muslim’s governor in Herat, Abu Nasr Malik b. al-Haytham al-Khuza’i, was suspicious of Abd-Allah b. Mu’awiya, because he had the name “Mu’awiya” in his geneology, and found this to be strange for someone who claimed to be from the Ahl-al-Bayt. But it seems to me that the underlying reason for the killing of Abd-Allah b. Mu’awiya was because Abu Muslim considered him a dangerous rival.


During the uprising of Ibn Mu’awiya, the two main pillars of the support he received were from the Zaydiya and from the Rabi’a tribesmen of Kufa.

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