Pearl of Wisdom

'Certainly Allah has divided faith into seven parts: goodness, honesty, conviction, contentedness, loyalty, knowledge and clemency.'

Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq [as]
Ibid. p. 42, no. 1

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Question : #580 Category: Muharram Related
Subject: massacre in Medina
Question: Can you please explain the event of the massacre that Yazid's troops committed in Madina?

I am interested to know more about the background behind it.
Answer: All reliable historical sources have narrated this tragedy which took place almost 3 years after Ashoora.

Although right after the catastrophe of Karbala, so many protests were mobilized against Yazid, Madina, the centre of revelation and the main base of the Prophet (s) in which hundreds of the companions of the Prophet (s) were still living, rebelled against the tyranical government of Bani-Ommaya.

Abdullah son of Handhaleh (bathed by the angels) (footnote 19.) who later on led the movement, upon receiving the news of Karbala, paid a visit along with a delegation from Madina to Damascus, the capital of Yazid. He reported later on, out of what he had observed in Damascus, that the extent of the corruption had gone so far, he wouldn't be surprised if they were stoned in Damascus from the sky.

As a result, upon his arrival to Madina, he mobilized an army against the government. They captured the House of the Governor in Madina, deported the governor, Othman Ibn Mohammad Ibn Abu-Sofyan, from the city and declared an autonomy. By doing this, the first capital of Islam was released from the influence of Bani-Omayya. However, as soon as the news was reported to Syria, Yazid dispatched one of his most vicious and murderous officers named Muslim Ibn Aqabeh (20) along with his troops which consisted of 5000 soldiers to suppress the revolt.
In spite of a heroic defense from Madinians, the barbaric troops of Yazid ultimately conquered the city. According to Mas'odi, the famous historian, so many people including Bani-Hashim and the companions of the Prophet were killed.

In short, Yazid had permitted his troops to enjoy their total freedom for 3 days in Madina, meaning no chastity, no property and no blood was respected. Tens of pages in the history of early Islam consist of descriptions of the Massacre of Madina.

Al-Fakhri in his History describes this bitter part of Islamic history as: during those 3 days, hundreds of the Prophet's companions were killed. The troops of Yazid entered the Masjidul-Nabi, and polluted the mosque. Around 900 girls were raped. For many years, Madinians would not guarantee the virginity of their daughters when marrying them.


(19): Handhaleh, the father of Abdullah was among the martyrs of the battle of Ohod who had just married one night before the battle. Since he had directly gone from his wedding night to the battle without having his ritual bath done, the Prophet gave him the title of 'being bathed by the angels'. Abdullah, his son, was the only child he left behind as a result of the one and only communication he had with his wife.

(20): Due to his numerous crimes, some historians have named him instead of Muslim 'Mojrem' (meaning criminal).

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