Did Husain (ra) want to compromise with Yazeed?

Did Husain (ra) want to meet Yazeed to settle his dispute before he was martyred?

Many books on Tarikh and even an authentic report states that Husain wanted from the force of Ibn Ziyad that he be left to meet Yazeed where he could settle down his dispute. In the wording mentioned in narrations Husain asked that he be taken to Yazeed where he could give his hand in his hands. In some tradition it is reported as one of the three options Husain seek before he was attacked and finally martyred.

The foremost to report this was the Shia Historian Abu Mikhnaf who is the foremost in narrating incidents of Karbala. Imam Ibn Jareer (5/413) has quoted him saying, “As for what has been narrated to us by Mujalid b. Saeed, Sa’aqab b. Zuhair al-Azdi and other muhadditheen then it is something which was opined by the group of muhadditheen, and they say: Husain said, “Accept from me any of the three things; 1. Either let me go back to the place I came from (i.e. Makkah) 2. Or let me put my hands in Yazeed hands so he will see what is between us, 3. Or take me to any of the borders of Muslim state so I will be one of them…”

Then Abu Mikhnaf says: As for Abdur Rahman b. Jundub, he narrated to me from Uqba b. Sam’aan that he said, “I accompanied Husain when he left Madina for Makkah, and Makkah for Iraq. I did not leave him until he was killed. There was nothing of his speeches in Madina or Makkah, and on the way or in Iraq and also during battle until his death except that I heard it. By Allah, he did not gave them what they are talking about that he agreed to give his hand in the hands of Yazeed b Muawiyah, nor that he be sent to some city near border of Islamic country. However, he said, “Leave me so that I may go to this waste land until I see what has happened to people.”

It seems the incident was well known among people that is why Abu Mikhnaf came up with his clarification in form of a report. The defensive report he gives is weird because the person he quotes the explanation of is not known in history except through Abu Mikhnaf himself. This is after the fact that this same report claim that Uqba b Sam’an was one of his close companions who accompanied Husain not just from Makkah to Iraq, but also from Madina to Makkah when Husain did not intend to go back to Iraq. He is not known in Islamic history (except through Abu Mikhnaf) and appears to be a forgery of Abu Mikhnaf (died. 157 AH) known for his Tashayyu’. Abu Mikhnaf was accused of lying.

The other view which is that Husain wanted to compromise with Yazeed has been reported in many books. Besides Abu Mikhnaf himself, it was also narrated by Abu Ma’shar Najeeh (d. 170 AH) from his shuyukh. Abu Ma’shar was better than Abu Mikhnaf in narrating historical traditions.

There is a connected report also which attest to this view. This has been reported by Ibn Jareer al-Tabari (5/591) through Muhammad b Ammar al-Razi from Saeed b. Suleiman (Sa’dwaih) from from Abbad b. Awwam from Husain from Hilal b. Yisaaf.Al-Baladhuri also narrated it in Ansab al-Ashraf (3/173, shii tahqiq) through same chain of Saeed b. Suleiman Sa’dwaih as in Tabari.The chain is connected and reliable. In it Husain asked Umar b Sa’d, Shimr and Husain b Numair that he be taken to Yazeed where he could give his hand in his hands, but they refused until he submit to Ibn Ziyaad.Note that Hilal b Yisaf lived during the time of Sayyiduna Husain, and he had also seen Sayyiduna Ali even though he did not hear anything from him.


This incident does not prove that Yazeed was a righteous person. It only shows that later Husain was inclined to the opinion of other senior companions like Ibn Umar and Ibn Abbas who accepted Yazeed not because he was good but because it was good to avoid the bloodshed. Husain did not fear for his life because in that case he would have submitted to Ibn Ziyaad also which never happened.This also disprove the conclusion of some scholars that Yazeed was a Kafir because he hurt the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) by hurting his family.

And Allah knows best.

4 thoughts on “Did Husain (ra) want to compromise with Yazeed?”

  1. Dear Brother Muhammad Moin,
    The narration you assumed reliable is not authentic.
    It has 2 chains:
    (i) Husain bin Nasr > Abu Rabi’ah > Abu Awwanah > Husain bin Abdur Rahman
    (ii) Baladhuri (or Muhammad bin Ammar al-Razi) > Saieed bin Sulaiman > Abbad bin al-Awwam > Husain bin Abdur Rahman.
    In first chain , Abu Rabi’ah is Matruq, even accused of Kidhb.
    In second (& first too) chain, Husain bin Abdur Rahman is Mukhtalit. There is no proof that Abbad bin al-Awwam heard before his Ikhtilat.
    Imam Muslim recorded a narration of Abbad from Husain, but he took it due to support of Abul-Ahwas and others.
    Well, it is well known that the standards for evaluating Asanid of historical narrations are lenient than those of Ahadith; however, when evidence from the wording of a historical tradition is taken (not necessarily that you took here), the standards of Muhaddithin should be implemented.
    حصين بن عبد الرحمن السلمي، ابو الهذيل الكوفي، ابن عم منصور المعتمر
    كان يكون بواسط؛ وله: ٤٣، الوفاة: ١٣٦ سنة
    وثقه يحيى بن معين وأحمد وأبو زرعة ويعقوب بن سفيان وابن حبان
    وقال بن عدي له أحاديث وأرجو أنه لا بأس به
    وقد أنكر علي بن عاصم اختلاطه
    وأنكر علي ابن المديني في علوم الحديث اختلاطه وتغيره
    قال ابن حاتم قلت لأبي زرعة حصين حجة قال إي والله
    وقال أبو حاتم: صدوق ثقة في الحديث، وفي آخر عمره ساء حفظه
    وقال العجلي: كوفي ثقة ثبت في الحديث، سكن المبارك ـ اسم نهر بالبصرة ـ بأخرة، والواسطيون أروى الناس عنه
    وقال البخاري: قال أحمد عن يزيد بن هارون طلبت الحديث وحصين حي كان بالمبارك ويقرأ عليه وكان قد نسي
    وعن يزيد قال اختلط حصين
    وقال الحسن يعني الحلواني عن يزيد بن هارون اختلط
    وذكره العقيلي ولم يذكر إلا قول يزيد بن هارون أنه نسي
    وقال النسائي تغير
    قال يحيى بن معين: ما روى هشيم عن حصين وسفيان فهو صحيح، ثم إنه اختلط – يعني حصينا، وقال: أنكر بأخرة
    وقال الذهبي: ثقة حجة؛ وذكره في كتابه “من تكلم فيه وهو موثق”، فقال: لم يؤخذ عليه إلا تغير حفظه في آخر عمره
    وقال ابن حجر في التقريب: ثقة تغير حفظه في الآخر
    ذكره ابن الصلاح فيمن اختلط وتغير وعزاه للنسائي وغيره
    قال العراقي: وقد سمع منه قديما قبل أن يتغير سليمان التيمي وسليمان الأعمش وشعبة وسفيان. والله تعالى أعلم.
    So far I found, only Ali bin Asim and Ali Ibn al-Madini ignored Husayin’s Ikhtilat.
    As for Ali bin Asim,
    then although a student of Husayin, he himself is NOT Thiqah, and so his statement is not Hujjah (particularly when it is contradictory to the statement of Yazid bin Harun – an extremely Thiqah narrator & a direct student of Husayin b. Abdur Rhman).
    One important point to note:
    Imam Ahmad is a student of Ali bin Asim, and he considers some of Ali’s narrations sound. This is also reflected in his Musnad, where he recorded some ahadith from Ali bin Asim.
    However, regarding Husayin bin Abdur-Rahman, Imam Ahmad didn’t record Ali bin Asim’s statement, nor he agreed to him (Ali); rather he recorded Yazid bin Harun’s statement and opined similarly.
    As for Ali Ibn al-Madini,
    then let us first look at what exactly he said concerning Husayin.
    حدثنا محمد، قال: حدثنا الحسن، قلت لعلي [ابن المديني]: حصين؟
    قال: حصين حديثه واحد وهو صحيح،
    قلت: فاختلط؟
    قال: لا، ساء حفظه وهو على ذاك ثقة
    [الضعفاء الكبير للعقيلي؛ شرح علل الترمذي لابن رجب الحنبلي]
    Ibn al-Madini was NOT a direct student of Husayin bin Abdur-Rahnam (which Yazid bin Harun was). He judged Husayin based on the information & narrations reached to him. Perhaps he didn’t come across any defective narration of Husayin, and therefore objected to the allegation of Ikhtilat (which was according to the general principle of Tawthiq — waLlahu A’lam).
    However, even though Ibn al-Madini declared Hysayin “close to Thiqah,” he himself acknowledged the decline of Husayin’s memory!
    Besides, contrary to Ibn al-Madini’s evaluation, majority of the scholars of Hadith and Jarh & Tadil (including Husayin’s direct student like Imam Yazid bin Harun) considered Husayin bin Abdur-Rahman a Mukhtalit or a demented person.
    قال أحمد عن يزيد بن هارون: طلبت الحديث وحصين حي كان بالمبارك ويقرأ عليه وكان قد نسي [(التاريخ الكبير للبخاري: ٣/ ٧-٨)، وذكر هذا أيضا في (التاريخ الصغير: ٢/ ٣٠)؛ وفي (تاريخ ابن أبي خيثمة)]
    وقال الحسن [يعني الحلواني]: سمعت يزيد بن هارون، يقول: اختلط [الضعفاء الكبير للعقيلي: ١/ ٣١٤]
    قال حرب عن أبا عبد الله [-يعني- أحمد] كأنه قال: إن حصينا تغير بآخرة [مسائل الإمام أحمد رواية حرب: ٣/ ١٢٤٠-١٢٤١]
    قال أبو حاتم: صدوق ثقة في الحديث، وفي آخر عمره ساء حفظه [الجرح والتعديل لابن أبي حاتم]
    قال ابن طهمان الدقاق في كتابه (من كلام أبي زكريا) [ص ٧١، برقم ١٩٥]: «وسمعته [يعني يحيى ابن معين] يقول:……حصين وعطاء أنكرا جميعا بأخره / بأخرة»
    وقال في موضع آخر [ص ١٠٤، برقم ٣٢٩]: «قلت له: عطاء بن السائب وحصين اختلطا؟ قال: نعم؛ قلت: من أصحهم سماعا؟ قال: سفيان أصحهم -يعني الثوري- وهشيم في حصين؛ قلت: فجرير، أين مكانه؟ فلم يلتفت إليه»
    وقال أيضا [رقم ١٣]: سمعت يحيى، يقول: عطاء بن السائب أنكره/[أنكروه] بآخره/[بأخرة]؛ وما روى هشيم عن حصين وسفيان فهو صحيح، ثم إنه اختلط – يعني حصينا.
    قال ابن معين: اختلط بآخره
    قال يزيد بن الهيثم، عن يحيى بن معين: ما روى هشيم وسفيان عن حصين صحيح، ثم أنه اختلط
    وقال أيضا يزيد: قلت ليحيى بن معين: عطاء بن السائب وحصين اختلطا؟ قال: نعم؛ قلت: من أصحهم سماعا؟ قال: سفيان أصحهم – يعني الثوري – وهشيم في حصين؛ قلت: فجرير؟ فكأنه لم يلتفت إليه
    [شرح علل الترمذي لابن رجب الحنبلي]
    قال النسائي: تغير [الضعفاء والمتروكون: ١٣٠]
    وذكره فيمن اختلط الحافظ أبو سعيد العلائي في “المختلطين” (رقم ١١)
    ذكره ابن الصلاح فيمن اختلط وتغير وعزاه للنسائي وغيره؛
    وقد تعقبه الحافظ العراقي: …وقد سمع منه قديما قبل أن يتغير سليمان التيمي وسليمان الأعمش وشعبة وسفيان [التقييد والإيضاح: ص ٤٥٦]
    وقال ابن حجر العسقلاني: ثقة تغير حفظه في آخره [التقريب]
    ومرة: متفق على الاحتجاج به إلا أنه تغير في آخر عمره [هدي الساري]
    وقال الخزرجي: وثقه أحمد، والعجلي، وأبو حاتم، وقال: ساء حفظه في آخر عمره [الخلاصة]
    وذكره فيمن اختلط الحافظ شمس الدين السخاوي في “فتح المغيث بشرح ألفية الحديث”.
    وذكره برهان الدين الحلبي في كتابه “الاغتباط بمن رمي من الرواة بالاختلاط” (رقم: ٢٦)؛ وقال المحقق علاء الدين علي رضا:
    وممن سمع منه قديما غير الأربعة الذين ذكرهم الحافظ العراقي: هشيم بن بشير، وزائدة بن قدامة، وخالد الواسطي، وسليمان بن كثير (أنظر هدي الساري مقدمة فتح الباري: ٢/ ١٢٣). وممن روى عنه بعد الاختلاط: حصين بن نمير، وأبو عوانة، وأبو بكر بن عياش، وأبو كدينة، وعبثر بن القاسم، وعبد العزيز العمي، وعبد العزيز بن مسلم، ومحمد بن فضيل؛ وقد أخرج البخاري من حديثهم ما توبعوا عليه، كما نص عليه ابن حجر في مقدمة الفتح. وكذلك روى عنه بعد الاختلاط: حصين بن نمير، وقد أخرج له البخاري بمتابعة هشيم ومحمد بن فضيل له.
    [نهاية الاغتباط بمن رمي من الرواة بالاختلاط]
    This is why, the issue of Husayin’s impaired remembrance is an established fact and nothing against it is concretely proven.
    In Siyar al-Alam, Hafiz Zahabi expressed surprise while mentioning the criticism (vide supra); but he didn’t deny it explicitly
    قال الذهبى:…احتج به أرباب الصحاح، وهو أقوى من عبد الملك بن عمير، ومن سماك بن حرب، وما هو بدون أبي إسحاق؛ والعجب من أبي عبد الله البخاري، ومن العقيلي، وابن عدي – كيف تسرعوا إلى ذكر حصين في كتب الجرح! [سير أعلام النبلاء]
    Imam Zahabi is mostly in favor of Husayin’s Tawthiq, yet that he couldn’t reject the condemnation is also apparent here
    قال الذهبى:
    وذكره البخاري في كتاب الضعفاء، وابن عدي والعقيلى، فلهذا ذكرته، وإلا فهو في الثقات [ميزان الاعتدال فى نقد الرجال]
    In another work, Zahabi quoted Imam Nasa’i, and then ascribed it to Husayin’s older age
    ثقة تابعي؛ قال النسائي: تغير -يعني- من الكبر [من تكلم فيه وهو موثق أو صالح الحديث]
    Elsewhere, Imam Zahabi himself stated the Jarh (as his own ruling) and quoted Nasa’i in favor of it
    تابعي ثقة عُمِّر ونسي، قال النسائي تغير [المغني في الضعفاء].
    Now comes the final and burning question, did Abbad bin al-Awwam heard from Husayin before Ikhtilat?
    My research suggests he heard after Husayin’s dementia. This is because,
    (I) According to Yazid bin Harun, Husayin was Mukhtalit or demented when he was in a place called “Mubarak”,
    So, Husayin bin Abdur-Rahman was in a state of impaired memory when he was residing in “Mubarak” (if not from even before).
    (IIa) According to ‘Ijli, Husayin settled in “Mubarak” in his advanced or older age [this thematic translation is in collaboration with Kalabadhi’s statement]
    حصين بن عبد الرحمن السلمي: كوفي، ثقة، ثبت في المدينة [وفي معرفة الثقات: “ثبت في الحديث”]، والواسطيون أروى الناس عنه؛ لأنه سكن المبارك بأخرة فسمع منه الواسطيون بالمبارك، وأرواهم عنه: عباد بن العوام، وكان شيخا قديما، ويقال: إنه أسن من منصور بن المعتمر السلمي
    [تاريخ الثقات للعجلي: (ص ١٢٢، رقم ٢٩٨)؛ معرفة الثقات للعجلي: (١/ ٣٠٥، رقم ٣١٧)]
    قال أسلم بن سهل الرزاز الواسطي، المعروف ببحشل (المتوفى: ٢٩٢ هـ) في “تاريخ واسط”:
    قال أبو الحسن، وسمعت وهبا، يقول: كان حصين ينزل عند دور بني سافري. ثم زوج ابنته رجلا منهم ممن كان ينزل بالمبارك/(المبارك) وانتقل مع ابنته إلى المبارك.
    Allamah Kalabadhi [323 – 398] and Ibn Kiyal corroborated ‘Ijli
    وكان في آخر عمره ينزل في قرية يقال لها المبارك…[الهداية والإرشاد للكلاباذي]
    …أبو الهذيل:…سكن المبارك بأخرة…[الكواكب النيرات لابن الكيال].
    Again from ‘Ijli’s statement [under (IIa), and thematic meaning in collaboration with Kalabadhi under (IIb)], it is manifest that Abbad (bin al-Awwam) took from Husayin in Mubarak (and by that period, Husayin was already in demented state).
    Now, If you look into Shahihayin, so far I found, there is no narration of Abbad in Sahih Bukhari which he narrated from Husayin bin Abdur Rahman.
    There is 1 such narration in Shahih Muslim
    حدثنا أبو بكر بن أبي شيبة، حدثنا عباد بن العوام، عن حصين، عن الشعبي، قال: سمعت النعمان بن بشير، ح
    وحدثنا يحيى بن يحيى -واللفظ له-، أخبرنا أبو الأحوص، عن حصين، عن الشعبي، عن النعمان بن بشير؛
    قال: تصدق على أبي ببعض ماله. فقالت أمي -عمرة بنت رواحة-: لا أرضى حتى تشهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم.‏ فانطلق أبي إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ليشهده على صدقتي. فقال له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ‏أفعلت هذا بولدك كلهم؟‏ قال: لا‏.‏ قال: اتقوا الله واعدلوا في أولادكم‏.‏ فرجع أبي فرد تلك الصدقة‏.‏
    As it is being seen, Imam Muslim mainly took the narration of Abul-Ahwas and quoted the Lafz of this sanad. He mentioned Abbad’s sanad only as support (even then he didn’t mention Abbad’s Lafz).
    Moreover, immediately following above, Imam Muslim also narrated almost similar (but more detailed & intricate) narration in multiple Asanid
    حدثنا أبو بكر بن أبي شيبة، حدثنا علي بن مسهر عن ابن حيان، عن الشعبي، عن النعمان بن بشير، ح
    وحدثنا محمد بن عبدالله بن نمير -واللفظ له-، حدثنا محمد بن بشر، حدثنا أبو حيان التميمي، عن الشعبي، حدثني النعمان بن بشير:
    أن أمه بنت رواحة سألت أباه بعض الموهوبة من مال/[ماله] لابنها. فالتوى بها سنة ثم بدا له. فقالت: لا أرضى حتى تشهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على ما وهبت لابني. فأخذ أبي بيدي -وأنا يومئذ غلام- فأتى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فقال: يا رسول الله، إن أم هذا بنت رواحة أعجبها أن أشهدك على الذي وهبت لابنها. فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: يا بشير، ألك ولد سوى هذا؟ قال: نعم. فقال: أكلهم وهبت لهم مثل هذا؟. قال: لا. قال: فلا تشهدني إذا فإني لا أشهد على جور
    [صحيح مسلم » كتاب الهبات » باب كراهة تفضيل بعض الأولاد في الهبة]
    Thus, it is crystal clear that Imam Muslim’s quoting “Abbad ‘an Husayin” no way prove Abbad’s hearing from Hasayin before Ikhtilat or dementia.
    To sum up, Husayin bin Abdur Rahman was Mukhtalit &/or Mutaghayyir and there is no evidence proving Abbad bin al-Awwam’s hearing from him before the Ikhtilat &/or Taghayyur.
    Consequently, there is NO evidence proving ‘Husayin (RAA)’s intention to pledge allegiance to Yazheed.
    WaLlahu Ta’ala A’lam!

      1. Imam Sakhawi came centuries later, and so without evidence from earlier scholars of Hadith his statement can not be taken as evidence on its own

  2. I have been following the criticism on husayn for quite a while now .
    A disclaimer before anything else: like the author bof blog i consider this narration no refuge for yazeed against all of the blames he holds to his account.
    Now their are two points here,
    1. Is their defenitive proof of Abaad hearing from him after taghayur/ikhtalat.
    2. How significantly is the narration impacted if his narration is post ikhtalat.
    As for the ist point is considered the proof you brought doesn’t conclusively establish Abads listining post impairment of husayns memory conclusively.
    The point that his memory impaired when he was in wasat by towards the end of his life , doesn’t mean his memory impaired the day 1 he entered mubarak.
    Rather we definitely know wastiyoon who narrated from him before impairment and are even considered knowledgeable most in his narrations.
    Example: Khalid Al wasatey narrates from him pre impairment.
    Similarly hishaym narrates from him and hishaym is considered among the most knowledgeable of husayns narrations is still a wasatey
    (See ھدی الساری).
    As for as the second point is considered ,i-e evaluating the significance of the listining post impairment, then we see imam Bukhari including narration of husaayn bin numayr from husayn bin Abdur Rehman, while ibn hajjar remarks that husayn ibn numayrs listining is post impairment.
    3. as for imam Muslim including the husaayn through Abbad route in support that also is no proof either for or against such a transmission generally.
    Because you will find that muslim also relates from husayn through hysham in support while he is the look upto authority on hyshams hadeeth.
    So it seems like ,even post impairment listining isn’t judged so severely by muhadiseen in husayns case.
    To conclude hafidh sakhawi does include Abbads narrations in pre imapirment period and it doesn’t seem like there is too much scope of weakining this narration for this defect.

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