The devil has an influence, and the Ruler has a sword. Hajjaj Bin Yusuf I am here amongst you again with a different face, and a different attitude. How long has it been since I last saw you? I almost forgot you face. Distant faces are almost forgotten, but they’re remembered, but intentions can be concealed. Then reveal them, why did you leave Mosul? I heard about your separation from Qatari bin Al-Fuja’a and the Azariqa. We were separated in terms of place, so we could face the same enemy on two different fronts. I came here after asking around. Let’s stand together, and wage war against Abdul Malek, the Marwan dynasty and the Umayyads. Is this why you chose the Euphrates island? I wanted to stay close to disturb the source of evil; the man sitting on the throne, bearing down on people. Do you remember what Abdul Malek said about Bakr bin Wa’el, and he meant me? He said he didn’t want many of us on his land. I will never forget that. I didn’t say anything, but I knew he would know my answer someday. That day has come. This is why I’m staying close to him, and waging war against him in particular. Prepare dinner, Ghazalah. We need more women like Ghazalah. Leave this aside, whenever I go to a battle, she encourages me and gives me strength.
We’re partners in our fights, and that’s enough for me. I don’t need many women. What do you say, Abu Bahr? You used to delay but you’re eager now. Yes, because times have changed; and what was true in the past isn’t true today. I was waiting for the division between the Khawarij to grow bigger, and help me reach them. As you said, the division is growing bigger. Only a small number of men is still with Qatari bin Al-Fuja’a, and they’ll become even weaker over time. But the situation is different now, as the Zubairis lost control over Iraq, and Abdul Malek bin Marwan took over, and you know him. I don’t understand.
حجاج بن یوسف قسط نمبر 9
If I am to go to the Caliph Abdul Malek bin Marwan to pledge my loyalty and support, I won’t go empty handed. I must gain my victory over the Khawarij first. Are you going to do that, Muhallab? Do you have a different opinion? Listen, Abu Bahr, I have decided to destroy the Khawarij, and I don’t care who sends me to fight them. You know that I’m brave and courageous, and God willing, I will prevail. I won’t be on the side of the weak, but on the side of the dominant party, which is in the people’s best interest. I don’t know what to say. Yes, you do, but you hide your pain and choose to be quiet. You won’t say anything until the Khawarij are eradicated. This is why you selected me, and I’m up for it. It’s getting late, allow me to leave.
The sun will soon rise, Abu Bahr. Let Malek announce that Al Muhallab will fight the Khawarij, and invade them until they leave the land. I call on anyone who’s able to fight to join me. You are stirring embers! Yes, because I can do it, but what can I do about the embers that burn me inside? Did your guest go to sleep? Yes, he had to sleep after his long journey. What is he after? What’s the matter, Ghazalah? Are you saying you don’t know? No, but be careful. What’s wrong with you? How can you warn me against Saleh bin Musrih when we’re brothers in arms? He’s been away for a long time and you don’t know what he was up to. Listen, Shabeeb, What drives him to fight the Umayyad? Spite, sorrow, or a grudge? Whatever it is, he won’t be driven by faith like you are. So, you are not brothers in arms as you think. I don’t understand, Ghazalah, what do you mean? I heard that Saleh bin Musrih sent letters and mediators to Abdul Malek, but he rejected his attempts. I heard something like that but I did not check if it was true. You did not want to check, because you need someone to aid you in your war, against the Umayyad. Listen, Shabeeb, A true believer is supported by himself, and a man with greed disappoints himself. I’m worried that if the Umayyad bribes such a man, who’s cunning and masterful in sowing discord, your brother in arms sleeping in your house may turn against you. Ghazalah, Ghazalah. Did you call me, My Lord? – Yes. – I’m honored. Sit down. I did not call you out of affection, but I couldn’t sleep so I called whoever was present. I am at your disposal, My Lord. May I ask what made you sleepless? Nothing, it’s just yearning. For Damascus? I lingered just before reaching it. My Lord, if we had kept moving, we would’ve reached it and you wouldn’t have kept yearning. Woe unto you! I want my yearning to grow stronger, so that the meeting will be more pleasant. Your intelligence betrayed you this time, Ibn Yusuf. You wanted me to reach Damascus by night while people are asleep, after this great victory. Tell me, Hajjaj, what will the people there say about conquering Iraq? It’s not a conquest, My Lord, you just returned everything to its rightful owner, and reclaimed it from Al-Zubairis who usurped it. Your intelligence is back, what else? I’m not just saying this to amuse you. I think every piece of land in the Islamic world, must be under your rule and that of the Umayyads. All the Islamic lands must be united under the caliph’s command, and then the rule of Islam will spread over the entire world. Your imagination went too far, Ibn Yusuf. My Lord, everything I say is inspired by your thoughts and wishes. Go to sleep, Hajjaj. I want to reach Damascus while fresh and alert. We’re approaching Damascus, My Lord. Do you think I don’t feel it? I don’t just see it, my heart feels it, too. Listen, have the leaders change the troops’ course, and enter the city from the gates leading to their camps. I don’t want to enter the city with this whole army, I just want a few men to go in with me. Will I be among them? These men will be the ones close to me, Hajjaj, and you’re one of them. I don’t want to enter the city in broad daylight; as people will express their sympathy and pity. We’ll stay here until the sun goes down. Nobody in Basra would respond to such a call in the past. How did you get them so determined, Muhallab? I did not gather them, Abu Bahr; the idea of victory reassured and united them. They thought the Khawarij were invincible. Pray that we achieve more victories with the help of Allah. May Allah grant you victory. Come on. Everyone in Damascus will welcome the caliph after his triumph, – and you’re going home! – What triumph, Abed? This is war among Arabs and Muslims. If I can’t do anything, I’ll stay home. I’m not pleased with all this. Let people celebrate if they want, but I won’t join them. Come on. Ibn Marwan, Abdul Malek, Abul Walid! Leave him. I’m willing to risk my life before you, to say what I have to say unless you kill me first. I know I have nothing left but speaking my mind, and I know I’m doomed. Speak up, and I’ll decide whether you deserve to live or die. Give up persecuting Al-Zubair bin Al-Awwam’s family, they are good people, the best among the Arabs. I will if they stop trying to take over our throne. You’ve shed Mus’ab’s blood, that should be enough. Don’t go after Abdullah, he doesn’t care about earthly possessions.
He is righteous, honest, respectful of fathers and mothers, sincere in his prayers, and in his fasting, and he knows the Quran by heart. Kill him or let me do it myself, he has upset me. Woe unto you, Hajjaj! The caliph can’t kill one of his subjects in front of everyone. What else can you say of Abdullah bin Al-Zubair? He worships Allah by praying, fasting, telling the truth, honoring his kin, punishing the immoral, and treating the pious with modesty. I listened to you, old man, but I don’t know if you were praising Ibn Al-Zubair or disparaging me. I was talking about him, not you. If this man in your procession, urged you to kill me, then do it. He seems to be a man who would kill someone for telling the truth. You deserve to be rewarded for telling the truth, but why didn’t you join Ibn Al-Zubair if that was your opinion? And I agree with you in what you said. I wanted to be with him, close to the Holy Mosque, but there was no way for me to get there. I’ll send you there. Soldier, come. Pick up this money and prepare yourself to travel to Makkah. Spend it in the years you have left. It’s a sincere gift, just like your words, and I demand no obligation in return. If you reach Makkah and meet Ibn Al-Zubair, and find his as ascetic as you say, then advise him to leave this world to its people, and stop pursuing power and trying to take it away from us. Qatari bin Al-Fuja’ah, won’t you spare your people’s lives, and take them back to the way of righteousness? What are you talking about, Muhallab? I swear in the name of Allah Whose ruling we follow, that we never lost our way, but you and your followers did. Then let the sword rule between us. Let it rule, and the believers will keep their swords raised high. Allah is the Greatest! There is no rule but Allah’s rule. – Tell me the truth, Saleh. – Have I ever lied to you? No, but something is being kept a secret, and I want you to reveal it. Ask me. What’s the truth about your letters to Abdul Malek bin Marwan? I won’t lie about that, yes. I slipped into this error, but I came to my senses. When? Before or after he turned you down? Why are you asking?
Do you have any doubts? I already hated him even before he turned me down. In both cases, it reached its limits. – Why did you do it then? – Take it easy, Shabeeb. I wanted to get to him using his methods; deceit and trickery. I planned to not back down before shedding his blood. We don’t do things that way. I said it was a mistake. Yes, it was a mistake. What I did still lies heavy on me, when I lurked for Abdul Malek in the pilgrimage season. I almost assassinated him. We both failed because those were not our ways. We only achieve our goals through fighting. Why don’t we go inside? You’ve relieved me from my burden. – My Lord. – What’s the matter, Ibn Basheer? The Khawarij army is almost destroyed. This is our chance to surround them.