The devil has an influence, and the Ruler has a sword. “Al-Hajjaj.” I am here amongst you again with a different face and a different attitude. “Episode 18” What have you come back with? Al-Hajjaj’s soldiers have left Maimoun well. So that they’ll get closer to Makkah, and tighten the grip around it.
How about you send a group of men to go to the well, now that he left it? He wouldn’t leave it before interring it. We can pump water again from it to Makkah. No one has gone out of Makkah and returned to it. It’s all to no avail. Has anyone who went to him returned yet? No, My Lord. No one shall leave Makkah while the Umayyad is surrounding it. He’ might be strong on the outside but we can be strong inside Makkah. Come on in. Uncle, you were present when my father met with Khalid bin Yazeed. Yes, I was, but I did not partake in the conversation.
What could possibly be said about a marriage between a man and a woman? Don’t make light of that. Khaled bin Yazeed’s marriage to Ramlah bint Al-Zubair isn’t like any other marriage. What makes it so different? Listen, Waleed, Khaled is the grandson of Mu’awiya, and Mu’awiya, may God bless his soul, was the most cunning man in Arabia. Khaled did not inherit the throne of his father, Yazeed, but he inherited the cunning of his grandfather, Mu’awiya. Khaled isn’t just seeking to marry a woman. If he reached Abdullah Ibn Al-Zubair, he wouldn’t just betroth his sister, he would also pledge allegiance to him and stand by him.
You mentioned Mu’awiya and Yazeed. Didn’t Mu’awiya instruct Yazeed when he made him his successor, that if he got hold of Ibn Al-Zubair, he should tear him to pieces? Yes, he did. How could it be then? I will tell you. The Mu’awiyans resentment to the Zubairis has ended with the end of their reign, and transferring power to the Marwans. Hence, they redirected their resentment towards the Marwans. And Khaled holds that kind of resentment for them. I see, but I don’t accept that Al-Hajjaj Al-Thaqafi is given power over someone like Khaled to stop him. Al-Hajjaj was following the orders of the Caliph. That’s what I blame my father for. If he gave him power over Khaled today, what kind of power would he obtain in the future? Don’t exaggerate. Al-Hajjaj is just a man among the men of the Umayyads, and he will never be anything more than that. Makkah! Peace be upon the Emir of Believers. Peace be upon you too.
You’re late, what took you so long? We got carried away with conversation. Is it a conversation between a man and his uncle, Or a father and a son in law? Or is it something more than that? I won’t hide it from you, My Lord. We were talking about Al-Hajjaj Al-Thaqafi. What you hide from me, you reveal to each other. You have the same opinion of him, so keep it to yourselves, and leave this matter to me. Sit down. I hope that the sharpening of swords will fuel people’s determination, and that rectifying of the spears, will also rectify the souls. Tell me, My Lord, if Abdul Malek sends a messenger ahead of his soldiers… Don’t finish that, Ibn Safwan! I expect nothing but malice from Ibn Marwan, which I shall face with malice as well. You keep turning that sword over and over in your hands, Son. It’s in my hands, but I haven’t fought with it for a long time. Have you come here eager to fight?
I came to stand by you in a war I thought was so fierce that the dust from its battlefield was clouding the sky, and the clattering of swords was heard from a distance. But I didn’t find any of that. I wouldn’t have quit. But those I came to defend against the danger of the Khawarij, left me when they felt safe. I was also let down by those under whose flag I’m fighting the Khawarij. – The rulers of Iraq? – Yes. I also fought under the Zubairis, and when the Umayyads took over, I kept on fighting the Khawarij. But now… So why don’t you leave the whole thing? No, one day I will resume my war against the Khawarij. I have sworn to eradicate them and I will. The Byzantine emperor has sent us a messenger with this letter. What’s in it? His spies informed him that we were preparing to issue the Arabic Dinar, so he got angry. Why would this make him angry? He’s angry because we’re setting ourselves free from the domination of the Byzantine Dirhams, and replacing them with our own currency. Let him be angry then. And he’s threatening us. All he can do is provoke the Jarajina tribes at our Northern borders to stir up unrest. Don’t underestimate the matter, Abdul Aziz. Unrest can shake the foundation of the State. Excuse me, My Lord, but shouldn’t the army that went to Hijaz to fight Ibn Al-Zubair, have headed to Constantinople instead to deter the Romans?
How can I fight the Romans with Ibn Al-Zubair’s dagger is stabbed in my back! Had we gone to fight the enemies of Arabs and Muslims, we would have Ibn Al-Zubair on our side. You have faith in people, you trust Ibn Al-Zubair a lot. Actually, I have faith and trust in every Arab and Muslim. Should our war be against Muslims and Arabs’ enemies. I shall deal with the issue of Romans and their emperor when I’m done with other issues. Are there any issues other than that of Ibn Al-Zubair? The Khawarij. Could the night in Ahvaz be darker than it is here? We don’t understand what you mean, My Lord. Didn’t you say that the people of Basra left Al-Muhallab after that battle? Most of them did. Then what is he doing in Ahvaz without men? Then, this is our opportunity to attack Ahvaz and take it away from him. I’m not in the habit of seizing small opportunities. We’re not a gang anymore, that raids and retreats. This is a State facing another State. If we are to wage a war, we shall wage it with this. We’ve tightened the grip around him. You think he would surrender? He wouldn’t. You say that? Because I know the nature of men. What’s the point of the siege then? It’s not for him but for those with him. If we attacked them once without this siege, we wouldn’t get to him. I want them to leave him first. As for Ibn Al-Zubair, he does not surrender. I haven’t known anyone among the Arabs more courageous or more patient than him.. So, be patient.
I know what I’m doing and what we’re in for. As you wish, My Lord, I’ve never been a patient man, or one who takes things slowly. But when it comes to this, I shall be as patient as possible. I will defeat Ibn Al-Zubair. He hasn’t sent any soldiers to fight since he camped at Maimoun well, and now he has left it to another location, and he hasn’t taken any action yet. He’s lurking. He’s doing to us what is harder than fighting and confrontation. Chief of Thaqif. We were touched by your decision to be on our side against your own son. Don’t describe him as such. Yes. But this may go on for a long time, so if you find that… Don’t finish that sentence, Ibn Al-Zubair! I haven’t come to console you on a passing matter. I came here determined to stand by you until the Umayyad’s troops retreat, or are deterred by your men. Either that or to die as a martyr. Let’s go. No one has ever come to me with a better gift than this. I shall keep this first Dinar. Bring me another one. Delegate a trustworthy man Abdul Aziz, to send a letter with him to the Byzantine Emperor along with the Arabic Dinar as a gift, Since they got so angry that we discontinued using their Dirham, and replaced it with our own independent currency. Let this Dinar be our response to them. You dismissed them and let me stay to talk about something, but you didn’t say what it was. What if I tell you that I’m confused about it. I haven’t seen you confused about something before. I do, for I conceal more than I reveal. As for this, it’s stuck like a thorn in my throat, and I have no way to express it. The Caliph asked me to send someone to Ibn Al-Zubair to give him a choice before we fight them. Yet I tried stall this as much as I could, perhaps I would forget it. But it’s an order from Abdul Malek and I can’t stop thinking about it. A choice in what? Either he leaves Makkah to a land of his choice to rule, and the Caliph won’t interfere with him. or to be sent handcuffed to the Caliph in Syria. or, this is all pointless, as Ibn Al-Zubair will refuse all the choices he’s given by Abdul Malek. Then do that, My Lord. Give him that choice, and let it be witnessed by a crowd of people. Continue. This way you will have an excuse to fight him, no matter what that fighting may lead to. Yes, and I won’t stand to see him decline of the Caliph’s offer. You disagree with me a lot in my court, Waleed. If that’s what you do, what should I expect from others? They all agree with you, My Lord. You didn’t attend my court that often. You avoided it deliberately and you always had an excuse. You would either go to Jerusalem, or the Jordan river. I’ve been attending your court regularly since I came back this time. And you disagree with me in it. I won’t attend it if you want. Either being absent or disagreeing with me, Waleed! Listen, Son, I know you have a say in all that’s happening. If you disagree with me on something,, then don’t mention it in the court, and discuss it with me outside. Isn’t the court a place for consultation and exchanging opinions? Although the final decision is yours, My Lord. Yes. Yes. These days, all matters should be held in one strong grip. Ibn Amr, listen! I spent all night and a part of this day looking at Makkah, thinking about it and about its people.
And I decided that you should go to Ibn Al-Zubair, and take my letter to him with the choices offered by the Caliph’s. Go and prepare for that. God bless you, Makkah! What you and your people have come to! How long will the people endure this? I’m ready. Where’s the letter? I see you’re eager to meet Ibn Al-Zubair. I’m rather eager to achieve our end. Here it is. I hope Ibn Al-Zubair will deal rationally with the lenient discourse in this letter, And that he will think of the dire consequences of rejecting it. I don’t see you carrying your sword.