Monday, 22 January 2018

A Pharaoh Named Walid


بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على نبينا محمد

وعلى آله واصحابه اجمعين

والعاقبة للمتقين

 

A Pharaoh Named Walid

 

It was narrated from Sa’id b. al-MusayyabRA that Umar b. al-KhattabRA said: A boy was born to the brother of Umm SalamaRA, the wife of the Prophet , and they called him al-Walid. The Prophet said:
سَمَّيْتُمُوهُ بِأَسْمَاءِ فَرَاعِنَتِكُمْ ، لَيَكُونَنَّ فِي هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ رَجُلٌ يُقَالُ لَهُ : الْوَلِيدُ ، لَهُوَ شَرٌّ عَلَى هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ مِنْ فِرْعَوْنَ لِقَوْمِهِ
“You have called him by the name of your Pharaoh, for there will be among this Umma a man who is called al-Walid and he will be worse to them than Pharaoh was to his people.” (Musnad Ahmad)
 
This Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad is a reference to either one of two individuals by the name of Walid, both Umayyad rulers known for their extreme cruelty and wickedness:
 
(1) al-Walid b. Abd-al-Malik b. Marwan
(2) al-Walid b. Yazid b. Abd-al-Malik b. Marwan
 
One of the narrators of this Hadith, namely Imam al-Awza’iRA stated:
فَكَانَ النَّاسُ يَرَوْنَ أَنَّهُ الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ ، ثُمَّ رَأَيْنَا أَنَّهُ الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ يَزِيدَ لِفِتْنَةِ النَّاسِ بِهِ حِينَ خَرَجُوا عَلَيْهِ فَقَتَلُوهُ ، فَانْفَتَحَتِ الْفِتَنُ عَلَى الأُمَّةِ وَالْهَرْجُ
Likewise, another narrator, Imam al-ZuhriRA has identified the ‘Pharaoh’ as Walid b. Yazid:
إِنِ اسْتُخْلِفَ الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ يَزِيدَ فَهُوَهُوَ
And Imam al-HakimRA, in his Mustadrak, has identified this ‘Pharaoh’ as Walid b. Yazid:
هُوَ الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ يَزِيدَ بِلا شَكٍّ
 
Imam al-DhahabiRA has agreed with the authentication of this Hadith upon the conditions of Imams Bukhari and Muslim by Imam al-Hakim in his Talkhis, where it is narrated through Abu HurairaRA. In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad and in other books, this Hadith is narrated as a Mursal report through Sa’id b. al-MusayyabRA, but the reader should know that senior scholars, such as Imam al-Shafi’iRA accept the Irsal of Sa’id b. al-Musayyab. In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, Sa’id b. al-Musayyab narrates from Umar b. al-KhattabRA, despite the fact that the latter two never met. However, such reports are acceptable because Ibn UmarRA used to ask Sa’id b. al-Musayyab about judgments from his own father. Thus both Imams al-Shafi’iRA and Ahmad bin HanbalRA accepted the Mursalat of Sa’id b. al-MusayyabRA.
 
Now coming back to the cursed pharaoh of this Umma, namely, Walid b. YazidLA (709-744 CE): “From the beginning of his adulthood, his conduct was not good. He was notorious for his indulgence in sin, immorality and debauchery…Waleed refused to keep his misdeeds to himself he offended the people with openly drinking and he made public his wrong beliefs and thoughts. He not only drunk wine but he committed adultery.” (History of Islam, Najibabadi; v.2 pp.232-233)
 
Perhaps the greatest oppression and criminal act of the cursed pharaoh, Walid b. YazidLA, was his opposition to the Prophet’s pious descendant, Imam Yahya b. ZaidRA: “Before Nasr [bin Sayyar] had received the orders of his dismissal and when he still recognized the caliphate of Waleed bin Yazid, he received the order that he should arrest and send Yahya bin Zaid bin Ali bin Husain bin Ali bin Abi Talib to Damascus. Yahya bin Zaid was staying in Balkh following his father’s death. Nasr had Yahya bin Zaid imprisoned. Waleed bin Yazid ordered that Nasr should send Yahya to him. Nasr released Yahya and ordered him to go to the Caliph in Damascus. Yahya left but turned back and returned to Khorasan. A large number of his followers rallied round him. Nasr sent an army to fight against them and Yahya was hit by an arrow in the forehead and died from the injury just like his father and all his comrades were slain. This happened in Jurjan in 125 A.H. Yahya’s head was sent to Waleed and his dead body was hung on a cross, which remained there for seven years. It was Abu Muslim Khorasani who later took it down.” (ibid, p.235)
 
In a version reported by Imam al-TabariRA: According to Hisham (b. Muhammad al-Kalbi)-Musa b. Habib: When Yahya b. Zayd was killed and al-Walid b. Yazid received news of it, al-Walid wrote to Yusuf b. Umar as follows: “When this letter of mine reaches you, look for the calf of Iraq, burn him, then scatter his as dust in the river.” Yusuf gave orders to Khirash b. Hawshab and he brought Yahya down from the gibbet, burned his body, then crushed it, put it in a date basket, placed it in a boat, and then scattered Yahya’s remains in the Euphrates. (The History of al-Tabari; v.26 pp.124-125)
 
Consequently, the Prophet disliked the name ‘Walid’ because of its association with the pharaoh of the Umma, who was responsible for the martyrdom of Imam Yahya b. ZaidRA and the subsequent desecration of his noble corpse. Muslims today should therefore avoid the name ‘Walid’, the name of the Pharaoh of this Umma. The historian, al-Mas'udi, narrates that this wretched man, Walid b. Yazid, once read the Ayah of the Holy Quraan "And they requested victory from Allah, and disappointed, therefore, was every obstinate tyrant [Jabbaarin 'Aneed]" (Sura 14:15), and was so enraged that he tore the Mus-Haf of the Quraan to pieces!
Reference: Muruj al-Dhahab; v.3 p.180


 

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