I’m wondering about you, My Lord. Don’t use titles here. What are you wondering about? Your traveling through this harsh, empty desert. – Didn’t you do that too? – I did. But you are the Caliph’s delegated ruler over Khorasan. While I’m just a commoner, escaping out of fear to a safe place, from a place where people are living in terror. I am going there to restore security and stability, with God’s will and help. By God, you are not a mere commoner, Malik bin Basheer, you are one of the elite. So come back with me to Basra and be my right hand in fighting those who drove you out of it. Ibn Abi Sufra, our meeting here was a sheer coincidence. You haven’t known me well enough yet to give me all that praise. I’m an expert in judging men. Now talk to me until dawn about the Khawarij and what they do. Woe be to you! Woe be to you! You fill your stomachs and sleep with comfort, while all these seditions and revolts are raging around you? I’m not sure whether Abdullah bin Al-Zubair’s prefects are too weak, or the Khawarij are too strong. They have killed every man Ibn Al-Zubair sent to fight them. What about the Muslims, do they follow them out of faith in their call? Only a few of them do, but the majority follow them out of fear. For they do not approve of the Islam of others, and kill whoever disagrees with them along with their families. I know that. Tell me about what they did in Basra and the neighboring areas. Why don’t you wait and see for yourself. You won’t be satisfied by what you hear from a single man. Woe be to you! Can somebody tell me what’s going on? If your determination was as strong as your stomachs, the Caliph wouldn’t have suffered with you. – What have you done? – Commander, bring them out. I’m not finished with them and their punishment yet. He gives orders as if he were our commander, and he lashes us with his whip. You are our commander, so stop him. I’ll take care of him. What’s wrong, Hajjaj? These are your friends, Ibn Zinba’, that’s why they ran to you. Then leave them alone. I won’t. Woe b ye to you! How dare you disobey me? To obey your superior, so bring them out. – What if I didn’t? – All hell will break loose. – Stop it, Hajjaj! – Step aside, Commander. I won’t change my mind. I’ll accompany you tomorrow. I don’t need you. How? Aren’t you going to the Caliph to complain about me? And I’ll gloat at your punishment. How could the complaint and the punishment be delivered if the culprit was not present? Tell me, how did you find Abdullah bin Al-Zubair? You call him by name without acknowledging him as the Emir of Believers? Yes, but in the lands of Islam there are several Caliphs and Emirs of the Believers.
حجاج بن یوسف قسط نمبر 5
They are constantly attacking Basra. Do you think that Ibn Abi Sufra will handle them better than his predecessors did? – I hope so. – You seem to have so much faith in him. I rather have so much confidence in the Caliph’s choices. We’ll see what he can do. What did you expect from me, Abu Bahr, when you recommended me and sent for me to come from Khorasan? Only what’s expected from men like you. Firm and chivalrous leadership. What about those who will accompany me in my mission? They will follow your example, as all men in Basra are your soldiers. They are not known for that, as they lead a luxurious, quiet life. They suffered through the war with the Khawarij, and were burned by a raging fire, which made them change into what you will see. I hope so. Had it not been for this hope, I wouldn’t have left Khorasan to come here. – But there’s something else. – What is it? Iraq today is between a rock and a hard place; the Khawarij threat and the Umayyads’ ambitions and hostility. Yes, indeed. I only came here to fight the Khawarij and deter them. – I see. – As for the conflict between Zubairis and the Umayyads, I won’t have any part in it. Aren’t you one of Abdullah bin Al-Zubair’s rule.
Abdullah bin Al-Zubair in Hijaz. Abdul Malek Ibn Marwan in Syria. Even Qatari bin Al-Fuja’a, the leader of the Khawarij, calls himself an Emir of the Believers and his followers acknowledge him as such. Al-Mukhtar Al-Thaqafi also called himself Caliph before he was killed. You’re right, so stop counting them. If I mentioned the title instead of the name, you would be confused and you wouldn’t know who I was asking about. If I would get confused by that, what would it do to the Nation of Islam? – You haven’t answered my question. – I found him as people described him. They praise him for praying and fasting a lot, and for fighting in the cause of God, as well as his cavalry, bravery and endurance. Is there something else you’re not telling me? I didn’t mention what I didn’t know, for I was far away in Khorasan. They praise him for that, but they blame him for his reclusion which keeps people away and repels them, as well as acting superior to others. – What did you say? – Some Bedouins came to pledge loyalty to him, but they sensed he was cold towards them, so they turned away from him. I didn’t know about that. He is also criticized for not being generous with his money, His brother Mus’ab is like him in that regard. In addition to his inability to lead people. You said too much, or are you trying to hold a comparison between his strengths and weaknesses? There’s no comparison. I know that, otherwise I wouldn’t be here with you while you’re his delegated ruler and the commander of his soldiers. Actually, I’m implying something else. – Speak. – Life is deteriorating and people these days are losing their values. And the Umayyads, represented today by Abdul Malek bin Marwan know how to lead and tempt people, if not by force then by money and life is very tempting. I get your point. He will not stop praying, and will stand before God for long. I won’t get a chance to talk to him. May God accept your prayers, My Lord. You were looking at me in a way I didn’t understand. Was it a look of rage or pity? Both, I’m angry for what you’ve done, and I feel sorry for your punishment by the Emir of Believers. What do you think he would do? If he spares your life, he may send you back home to teach children. Perhaps it’s the only thing you’re good at. The Emir of Believers hasn’t arrived yet. Then we’ll wait for him. Atika, I didn’t think I would be late for my court. – Why did you stay then? – Your arms imprisoned me.. You are free now. They set me free, but I keep coming back. They have what it takes to distract me from the problems of this court. You’re bluffing, Abdul Malek. Didn’t you say in your court while surrounded by poets: I’ll love Da’d forever. But if I die, may Da’d be useless for other men. How did you know about that? If I get to know about the affairs of politics, how couldn’t I know about love affairs? Who is that Da’d, whom you love and who is useless for others? Just an anonymous name, good for poetry. As for you, you are good beyond poetry and beyond anything that can be said. Go to your court, Abdul Malek, they are waiting for you. Do you want people to say that the Umayyad Rule is collapsing between Atika’s arms? Go. If you admitted your guilt we wouldn’t be here. I will admit it before the Emir of Believers. Peace upon My Lord. Peace be upon you too. What brings you here? A plight and a complaint, My Lord. What about you, Hajjaj? I’m the reason of his plight and the subject of his complaint, My Lord. Have things gone that worse? Follow me. If only I were there, to see how he would behave before the Emir of Believers, and gloat at his punishment by the Caliph. I don’t think that this Thaqafi will come back to us again. What he did destroyed him. My Lord, he beat the soldiers with whips until they bled. Two soldiers were beaten to death. Did you do that, Hajjaj? It wasn’t me, My Lord. Woe betide you! who did it then? – Do you deny the accusation? – No, I don’t, but it wasn’t me who did it. Is this a riddle? Who did it then, Hajjaj? Speak! You, My Lord. Woe betide you! I did it? Yes, My Lord, you did it all. For my hand is your hand, my tongue is your tongue with which you speak, my whip is your whip, and my sword is your sword. I was merely the hand which carried out your will. – And if you allow me… – That’s enough, Hajjaj. I’m pleased with what you said. My Lord… Quiet, Rauh. I h ad already expressed to you my displeasure with your men and my discontent with their behavior. My Lord… I don’t deny that you were harmed by that, Rauh. My Lord, reimburse Commander Rauh with twice what he’d lost, so he may be content. I hope that My Lord won’t break my word after he chose me for this job, nor counteract any order I make or any decision I take in front of those he put me in charge of. Otherwise, they would underestimate me and the one who put me in charge. Listen, Ibn Zinba’, We shall reimburse you with twice of what you’ve lost, but I approve what Al-Hajjaj did on my behalf. I will also promote him to a higher rank. I want you to be close to me, Hajjaj. You are a man for hard times. My Lord… I didn’t come here to complain so I’d be reimbursed. nor to gain a reward for something Al-Hajjaj did and I thought was wrong, while My Lord the Emir thought it was right. I was wrong about that. Continue. I think that my days of glory are running out. I hope, My Lord… Stop, Ibn Zinba’. I’ve always held you in high esteem. It’s just that we’re facing hard times which call for tough men, So keep Al-Hajjaj in the army, to keep up the high spirits and the strong determination. And accept what I’ve given you. A man came from Basra. What did he tell you? That Al-Muhallab Ibn Abi Sufra arrived there and was received by its people. Shouldn’t he have come to us to tell us he was up to, and take our permission? Wasn’t the Caliph’s generosity enough for him? My Lord, the Khawarij have become an imminent and dangerous threat. I don’t think we can afford that.