Ibn Hubayra, al-Hasan al-Basri and al-Sha’bi

It is al-Hasan’s story when Ibn Hubayra sent for him and for al-Sha’bi, and he said to the former, “Abu Saeed (Hasan), what do you think we should do with letters that come to us from Yazid ibn Abd al-Malik, with their controversial contents? If I implement them, they incur the wrath of Allah; but if I do not implement them, I fear for my life.” “Here,” al-Hasan said to him, “you have with you al-Sha’bi, the jurist of al-Hijaz.” So he asked him. Al-Sha’bi made light of the matter.

“Implement as much as possible and make adjustments,” he replied. “You are only a servant who takes orders.”


Then Ibn Hubayra turned to al-Hasan and asked, “What do you think, Abu Saeed?” “O Ibn Hubayra,” he replied,

fear Allah when obeying the commands of Yazid and do not fear Yazid when obeying the commands of Allah.


O Ibn Hubayra, Allah will protect you from Yazid, but Yazid cannot protect you from Allah.


O Ibn Hubayra, no creature should be obeyed who commands the disobedience of the Creator.


Look then at what Yazid wrote to you, and compare it with the Book of Allah, may He be exalted. What agrees with the Book of Allah, may He be exalted, you may implement; and what disagrees with the Book of Allah, you should not implement.


Allah should have for you a priority over Yazid, and the Book of Allah should have for you a priority over his letters.”

Ibn Hubayra patted al-Hasan on the shoulder. “This old man has told me the truth. By the Lord of al-Ka’ba,” he said.


He then ordered al-Hasan to be given four thousand [dirhams], and al-Sha’bi two thousand. Al-Sha’bi said, “We made light of the matter for him, now he has made light of the reward for us.”


Al-Hasan sent for the poor; when they came, he distributed the money to them. Al-Sha’bi accepted the money and gave thanks for it.


[Al-Iqd Al-Farid, vol. 1, page 68]


Abu Sufyan’s and his wife’s advice to their son Muawiya when Umar appointed him governor

When Muawiya came back from Syria, of which Umar had appointed him
governor, he went to see his mother Hind.

She said to him,

“My son, rarely has a free woman given birth to one like you, and this man has appointed you governor; so, do what pleases him, whether you like it or not.”


Then he went to see his father Abu Sufyan. He said to him,

My son, this group of Emigrants have preceded us in adopting Islam and we came to it later; so, their precedence has raised them and our lateness has reduced our rank. We have become followers and they have become leaders.


And now they have appointed you for a great task; so, do not disagree with them, for you are running toward an end that you have not reached; and even if you have reached it, you will breathe easily in it.”


Muawiya said, “I was amazed at their agreement on the idea, although their words were different.”


[Al-Iqd al-Farid, page 34]