Why did you come to me, Ibn Al-As? Did you come to remind me of your misdemeanor, which I have struggled to forget? And you dare come into my court carrying your sword? I’m rather carrying the security pledge you granted me, My Lord. There’s no safety for a man who dissented from me and coveted my throne. I only gave you that pledge so I wouldn’t see you again. Why have you come? Woe betide you! Why did you walk to your own death? My Lord! Kill him, Abdul Aziz. I’m leaving for prayer. I don’t want to see him when I’m back. Will you really do that? I can’t defy the Caliph orders. Then why don’t you just get it over with? Two things are stopping me; the kinship between us, and the safety pledge to spare your life. Why did you throw it all to the wind by coming back here? To put myself at his service again, and to restore our relationship to how it was before. Why did you ruin that relationship after he trusted you when he went to war against Ibn Al-Zubair? My human tendency to do evil got the best out of me. It tempted me to seek something I didn’t want in the first place. You were close to him so you knew that my brother, the Caliph, pledges and forgives, but he does not forget nor neglect. So why did you come and reminded him of what you’ve done, after he had all but forgotten about it? Perhaps fate led me to die before him. That’s God’s will. I stalled in carrying out the Caliph’s orders, in the hope that his anger might have abated after prayers, so he might let you go. If he does, don’t you ever come back here again. – Tell me something, Ibn Zinba’. – What is it, My Lord? What made you leave your camp and soldiers? So I could have the honor of performing this blessed prayer with My Lord. Do you pray so that you’d be in the company of the Caliph, – or to stand before God Almighty? – My Lord… Listen, Ibn Zinba’, never leave your soldiers, otherwise, they won’t take you seriously, and they will underestimate you. I heard they have already started to do so, so be tough with them so they remain obedient. – Yes, My Lord. – If my men wish to see me, they can only do that when I summon them. Now get back to your camp and make sure to put it in order.
حجاج بن یوسف قسط نمبر 2
Haven’t you killed him yet? – My Lord… – Woe betide you! Woe betide you! If you were someone else, I would kill you for disobeying my orders. I didn’t disobey you, I just thought that your anger might abate and be replaced with leniency. You should’ve avoided making a lenient man angry. I shall kill him myself, get out. How dare you come in to see me with a sword and a shield? Do you think this would protect you? Put him down. Won’t you say anything? Won’t you ask for forgiveness and mercy? You wouldn’t like what I have to say, My Lord. Have not I said repeatedly to my people that if anyone tried to take my gown, I would take his life? So what do you expect me to do when you try to take my throne? Have not I said repeatedly that whoever said “no” to me, I shall say to him… Are you really leaving Syria? I’m rather migrating. Won’t you stay until this thing clears up? It couldn’t get any clearer. The Caliph granted him a pledge of safety with one hand, and took his life away with the other. I see that Caliph Abdul Malek bin Marwan is the first betrayer in Islam. He killed a man after guaranteeing his safety. You are exaggerating. No; for the Marwans are oppressors. They condemn by suspicion, make subjective judgments, and kill people out of anger. It is said that Caliphs have a cabinet full of the heads of those who opposed them, to terrorize the people with them. Would he add the head of Amor bin Sa’eed bin Al-As to them to horrify people? I will not stay in Syria after this; for no one is safe anymore even if he has a safety pledge from the Caliph. What does that have to do with us? We are ordinary people and none of us is seeking power. When worse comes to worst, everybody will be involved. Let me go ahead with what I intend to do. Soldiers, you heard what happened to the disobedient Amro bin Sa’eed bin Al-As. So, be alert and ready to observe what the people might do, and keep your grips on your swords, awaiting the orders of the Emir of Believers. Don’t unsheathe your sword! Peace be upon you. Peace be upon you too, I don’t have a sword. Come here. Listen, inn keeper, By the orders of the Chief of Police Rauh bin Zinba’, you must report to us any stranger who checks into this inn, if you find him suspicious. I will, although we may not share the same opinion. Don’t worry, when you turn him in, we’ll question him. Are you heading to Syria while people are leaving it? You are the only one I saw leaving. I might be the first, but others may follow. Why did you leave it? The cruelty I witnessed by the Umayyad Caliph Abdul Malek bin Marwan. The ruler should be strict and tough. Unless he grants a pledge of safety. What do you mean? He granted a safety pledge to his cousin Amro bin Sa’eed bin Al-As, then he lured him in with it, and when he stood before him, he killed him. – Then what? – Once I heard about that, I left Syria hurriedly and didn’t stop until I reached this place. Why would you leave because of that? If he did that to his closest relatives, then what would he do to us, ordinary people? Where are you heading to? I will join Ibn Al-Zubair. Is it Mus’ab in Iraq or Abdullah bin Al-Zubair in Makkah? I will join Abdullah in Makkah. Makkah is safe,. Nobody dares attack it or do harm to the people who take haven in it. Tell me, who is the Chief of Abdul Malek bin Marwan’s Police? Rauh bin Zinba’. Is he tough, cruel man? All those around the Umayyad Caliph derive their strength and cruelty from Abdul Malek. I’ll get going, for the ghosts I left behind are haunting me. I feel sorry for you, heading towards that. Do not feel sorry for me. Feel sorry for yourself being in such a state of terror. I do not know whether we will meet again. We are going in opposite directions and I hope we won’t meet again. Atika, what is worrying you? What I heard today. I’m not asking what you heard. Come and sleep. Everything will be forgotten tomorrow. You killed Amro bin Sa’eed bin Al-As yourself after granting him a safety pledge. Wasn’t he safe when I made him close to me and gave him power and authority? He lost that security when he tried to revolt against me. I’m afraid of a time when everything will be stained with blood. Only if the blood of rebellion kept coursing through some veins. Or if some voices kept on trying to get louder than the voice of the Emir of Believers. What about your patience and leniency, Emir of the Believers? I still reserve a place for that in my heart, so don’t worry. Then why don’t you show that to the people to reassure them? Atika, when I became Caliph over this nation, I addressed the people by saying: I will not be a weak Caliph like Othman, nor am I a toady Caliph like Mu’awiya, nor am I a stupid Caliph like Yazeed. I will only rule this nation by the sword, until it complies. This is my approach as long as I’m the Caliph. Come here and put your illusions aside. I’m afraid of what the people might do when they pour their rage upon you. If they come to me furious and exasperated, saying bad things about me, I know how to make them leave singing my praises. Come. Tell me, is there an inn around here? There are several ones. – And bathrooms? – Woe be to you! How could you ask such a question in the Capital of the Umayyad Caliphate and city of Abdul Malek? What does the Caliph have to do with my question? Is he busy constructing bathrooms and inns? Where do you come from? You look crude and tough. That’s right, and there is more to me than meets the eye. I’m from the Thaqif tribe, from Ta’ef. How is Hijaz doing under the rule of Ibn Al-Zubair? I asked you about an inn and a bathroom and you started asking about Caliphs here and there. I have no interest in discussing that. All I want is a bathroom to have a shower, and an inn to sleep at, so will you tell me where I can find them? If I walk you with you, will you talk to me about that? No, I don’t have the gift of the gap, and you may not like what I say. And if I stand here any longer, I won’t have a need to bathe or sleep anymore.
I’ve never seen a stranger who, on his first visit to a city, acts so rough, so why did you come? One day you will know my story and why I came here. So will you help me now? Go down this path and you will reach an inn, beside which there is a bathroom. If you return to Hijaz one day, pass my greetings to them. Tell me, inn keeper, Syria looks different to me from what I have heard. What did you hear and what do you see? I heard it was a lively, highly populated country. But I see that it is almost deadly quiet. These days are an exception. So believe what you have heard, and ignore what you see now. Is it due to what happened between the Caliph and Ibn Al-As? I told you to ignore what you see and hear these days. Is it the grieve for Ibn Al-As or the fear of the Caliph? Listen, stranger, strangers like you come to this inn to spend the night, and then they leave. It is no place for talks that may lead to death. So, spare your life. I need to sleep to forget what has happened, and to wake up to see what is going to happen. My Lord, I witnessed a scene which I don’t think you’d want to hear about. Then why are you telling me about it? Because I’m afraid of its consequences. Then speak, and I will measure the consequences. We had thrown the head of Amro bin Sa’eed bin Al-As on the road, so people got furious, and they carried it and roamed the streets in revolt. This is what we wanted. Why do people condemn killing my cousin? Isn’t he an Umayyad too? Power, Abdul Aziz, override blood ties. They are angry because of the safety pledge you gave him.