After 21 years of oppressive rule, Abdel Malek bin Marwan died in 86 A.H, and his son Walid succeeded him. In order to decrease the dissatisfaction of the people he decided to take a moderate approach toward ruling. He especially decided to earn the acceptance of the people of Medinah, one of the two holy cities for the Muslims, which hosted the followers [Tabe’een1] and remaining figures from the companions of the prophet and the experts in Fiqh and narration. Therefore he deposed the notorious and ruthless ruler of Medinah, Hesham bin Ismael Makhzumi, Abdel Malek’s father in law whom the people of Medinah always wished for his downfall.

Hesham bin Ismael used to go very far in ruthlessness toward the people of Medinah. For example, Saeed bin Mosabbeb, the respected and famous narrator was wiped for 60 times with charge of not paying allegiance; Hesham dressed him with a harsh cloth and rode him on a camel around Medinah2. He also used to show a lot of disrespect toward the household of Amir al-Moumenin (PBUH) and especially the master of them Imam Ali bin al-Hossein (PBUT). According to history, he who was a member of the al-Makhzumi tribe, the leaders of which had a long history of animosity toward the Prophet of Allah (PBUH&HP); he always bothered Imam Ali bin al-Hossein (PBUH) and used bad language against Amir al-Moumenin Ali (PBUH) in public3.

Walid chose his young cousin Omar bin Abdel Aziz, who was renowned for good will and justice among the people, as the ruler of Medinah. Omar, in order to uphold justice, ordered to keep Hesham bin Ismael in front of the house of Marwan so that all whom had been treated with injustice by Hesham can go and seek justice in some form or be compensated. People went there group by group and cursed him and swore at Hesham.

However Hesham himself was only worried about having to face Imam Ali bin Hossein4 (PBUT). He thought that the revenge of Imam (PBUH) for all those insults and injustices against Imam’s fathers would not be less that killing him. However, on the contrary Imam told the Alawites [his followers] to not to do anything to Hesham and not to speak harshly to him5. In other words he showed that his manner is not to kick the downfallen and revenge the enemy after he is weakened; on the contrary, his practice is to help and show kindness toward the downfallen. When Imam, along with the Alawites, was approaching Hesham he was almost going pale. He was expecting to be killed. But against his expectation, Imam just as when habitually a Muslim greets another Muslim when he meets him, greeted Hesham and showed mercy to him and told him that: If I can financially help you I am ready, and you are safe from the side of me and my followers6. That means Imam not only did not punish him, but also looked forward to helping him.

In that instance, Hesham recited that verse of the Holy Quran which says: Truly Allah knows better where to place his message7,8. After this incident the people of Medinah, as well, stopped defaming him.

(Selection from “Dasstan Raastan” by Murtaza Mutahari)

The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 5th of Sha’ban, the birthday anniversary of the adornment of worshipers, and the Leader of prostration, Imam Ali ibn Hussain (PBUH).


1. Tabe’een are the ones who did not see the great Prophet (PBUH&HP) but they had seen and lived with his companions.

2. Ansaab al-Ashraaf, vol. 7, pg. 256

3. Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 5, pg. 170

4. Tarikh al-Tabari, vol 6, pg. 428 & Manaqib Ibn Shahr Ashub, vol. 3, pg. 301

5. Tarikh al-Tabari, vol 6, pg. 428 & Manaqib Ibn Shahr Ashub, vol. 3, pg. 301

6. Manaqib Ibn Shahr Ashub, vol. 3, pg. 301

7. The Holy Quran 6:124

8. Tarikh al-Tabari, vol 6, pg. 428 & Manaqib Ibn Shahr Ashub, vol. 3, pg. 301

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