Delivered in the Battle of Jamal when
Amir al-mu'minin gave the standard to his son Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (1)
from their position but you should not move from yours. Grit your teeth. Lend to Allah
your head (in fighting for Allah, give yourself to Allah). Plant your feet firmly on the
ground. Have your eye on the remotest foe and close your eyes (to their numerical
majority). And keep sure that succour is but from Allah, the Glorified.
Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah was Amir al-mu'minin's son but called Ibn Hanafiyyah after his
mother. His mother's name was Khawlah bint Jafar. She was known as Hanafiyyah after her
tribe Banu Hanifah. When people of Yamamah were declared apostates for refusing to pay
zakat (religious tax) and were killed and their women-folk were brought to Medina as slave
girls, this lady also came to Medina with them. When her tribesmen came to know it they
approached Amir al-mu'minin and requested him to save her from the blemish of slavery and
protect her family honour and prestige. Consequently, Amir al-mu'minin set her free after
purchasing and married here whereafter Muhammad was born.
Most historians have written his
surname as Abu'l-Qasim. Thus, the author of al-Istiab (vol. 3, pp. 1366, 1367-1368, 1370,
1371-1372) has narrated the opinion of Abu Rashid ibn Hafs az-Zuhri that from among the
sons of the companions (of the Prophet) he came across four individuals everyone of whom
was named Muhammad and surnamed Abu'l-Qasim, namely (I) Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, (2)
Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (3) Muhammad ibn Talhah and (4) Muhammad ibn Sad. After this he
writes that Muhammad ibn Talhah's name and surname was given by the Prophet. al-Waqidi
writes that the name and surname of Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr was suggested by A'ishah.
Apparently the Holy Prophet's giving the name of Muhammad ibn Talhah seems incorrect since
from some traditions it appears that the Prophet had reserved it for a son of Amir
al-mu'minin and he was Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah.
As regards his surname it is said
that the Prophet had particularised it and that he had told Ali that a son would be born
to you after me and I have given him my name and surname and after that it is not
permissible for anyone in my people to have this name and surname together.
With this opinion before us how can
it be correct that the Prophet had given this very name and surname to anyone else since
particularisation means that no one else would share it. Moreover, some people have
recorded the surname of Ibn Talhah as Abu Sulayman instead of Abu'l-Qasim and this further
confirms our view point. Similarly, if the surname of Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr was on the
ground that his son's name was Qasim, who was among the theologians of Medina, then what
is the sense in A'ishah having suggested it. If she had suggested it along with the name
how could Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr tolerate it later on since having been brought up under
the care of Amir al-mu'minin the Prophet's saying could not remain concealed from him.
Moreover, most people have recorded his surname as Abu Abd ar-Rahman, which weakens the
view of Abu Rashid.
Let alone these people's surname
being Abu'l-Qasim, even for Ibn al-Hanafiyyah this surname is not proved. Although Ibn
Khallikan (in Wafayat al-ayan, vol. 4, p.170) has taken that son of Amir al-mu'minin for
whom the Prophet had particularised this surname to be Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, yet
al-Allamah al-Mamaqani (in Tanqih al-maqal, vol. 3, Part 1, p. 112) writes:
In applying this tradition to
Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, Ibn Khallikan has got into confusion, because the son of Amir
al- mu'minin whom the Prophet's name and surname together have been gifted by the Prophet,
and which is not permissible to be given to any one else, is to the awaited last Imam (may
our lives be his ransom), and not to Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, nor is the surname Abu'l-
Qasim established for him, rather some of the Sunnis being ignorant of the real intention
of the Prophet, have taken to mean Ibn al-Hanafiyyah.
However, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah
was prominent in righteousness and piety, sublime in renunciation and worship, lofty in
knowledge and achievements and heir of his father in bravery. His performance in the
battles of Jamal and Siffin had created such impression among the Arabs that even warriors
of consequence trembled at his name. Amir al-mu'minin too was proud of his courage and
valour, and always placed him forward in encounters. ash-Shaykh al-Baha'i has written in
al-Kashkul that Ali ibn Abi Talib kept him abreast in the battles and did not allow Hasan
and Husayn to go ahead, and used to say, "He is my son while these two are sons of
the Prophet of Allah." When a Kharijite said to Ibn al-Hanafiyyah that Ali thrust
him into the flames of war but saved away Hasan and Husayn he replied that he himself was
like the right hand and Hasan and Husayn like Ali's two eyes and that Ali protected his
eyes with his right hand. But al-Allamah al-Mamaqani has written in Tanqih al-Maqal that
this was not the reply of Ibn al-Hanafiyyah but of Amir al-mu'minin himself. When during
the battle of Siffin Muhammad mentioned this matter to Amir al-mu'minin in complaining
tone he replied, "You are my right hand whereas they are my eyes, and the hand should
protect the eyes."
Apparently it seems that first Amir
al-mu'minin must have given this reply and thereafter someone might have mentioned it to
Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah and he must have repeated the same reply as there could be no
more eloquent reply than this one and its eloquence confirms the view that it was
originally the outcome of the eloquent tongue of Amir al-mu'minin and was later
appropriated by Muhammad al-Hanafiyyah. Consequently, both these views can be held to be
correct and there is no incongruity between them. However, he was born in the reign of the
second Caliph and died in the reign of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan at the age of sixty-five
years. Some writers have recorded the year of his death as 80 A.H. and others as 81 A.H.
There is a difference about the place of his death as well. Some have put it as Medina,
some Aylah and some Ta'if.
When in the Battle of Jamal Amir al-mu'minin sent Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah to the
battle-field, he told him that he should fix himself before the enemy like the mountain of
determination and resoluteness so that the onslaught of the army should not be able to
displace him, and should charge the enemy with closed teeth because by pressing teeth over
the teeth tension occurs in the nerves of the skull as a result of which the stroke of the
sword goes amiss, as he said at another place also viz. "Press together the teeth. It
sends amiss the edge of the sword." Then he says, "My child, lend your head to
Allah in order that you may be able to achieve eternal life in place of this one, because
for a lent article there is the right to get it back. Therefore, you should fight being
heedless of your life, otherwise also if your mind clings to life you will hesitate to
advance towards deathly encounters and that would tell upon your reputation of bravery.
Look, don't let your steps falter because the enemy is emboldened at the faltering of
steps, and faltering steps fastens the feet of the enemy. Keep the last lines of the enemy
as your aim so that the enemy may be overawed with loftiness of your intentions and you
may feel ease in tearing through their lives, and their movement should also not remain
concealed from you. Look, do not pay heed to their superiority in numbers, otherwise your
valour and courage would suffer." This sentence can also mean that one should not
wide open the eyes to be dazzled by the shining of weapons, and the enemy may make an
attack by taking advantage of the situation. Also, always bear it in mind that victory is
from Allah. "If Allah helps you no one can overpower you." Therefore, instead of
relying on material means seek His support and succour.
(Remember O' ye Believers!) If
Allah helpeth you, none shall overcome you...(Qur'an, 3:159) .
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