Question: Is it permissible to curse Yazid ibn Muawiya?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
Islam is a religion of love and beauty and not a religion of hatred. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘I was not sent to curse people. I was only sent as a mercy.’ [Muslim] And he said, ‘Do not curse the dead. They have already gone on to that which they put forward for themselves.’ [Bukhari]
When someone’s whole religious focus is listing who the bad guys are and cursing them, there is something seriously off with their religious life.
Every one of us loves the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), his offspring, and his grandson, Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib. Everyone one of us feels the pain within us when we think of his murder. At the same time, we cannot let this love and anger lead us away from the teachers of the one for whom our hearts bleed.
Imam Ahmad was asked by his son why he did not curse Yazid ibn Muawiya, and he replied, ‘My child, since when have you seen your father cursing anybody?’ [Majmu al-Fatawa, Ibn Taymiyya]
Imam al Ghazali tells us that cursing a specific corrupt person is not permissible and that this ruling applies to Yazid ibn Muawiya, even if it is alleged that he had Husayn ibn Ali (Allah be pleased with him) killed.
Firstly, argues Imam al Ghazali, this is because it is not historically proven that he ever did such a thing and secondly that he may have repented after doing it, just like Wahshi became Muslim and repented after killing Hamza (Allah be well pleased with him). [Ihya Ulum al-Din, Ghazali]
The reason why Yazid ibn Muawiya was hated by so many people, as Imam al Dhahabi explains, was mainly because of the sharp contrast that his actions made with those of the Prophetic Companions. In other words, if he was just one of many, many other not so fantastic Muslim rulers whom ‘we neither curse nor love.’ (Siyar Alam al-Nubala, Dhahabi) The issue was that his vices were amplified when put side-by-side with the piety of the people of his time.
As mentioned before, it is not permissible to single out a specific corrupt person to curse. One should not say, ‘O Allah, punish So-and-so.’ because he may well have repented. [Hashiyat al-Bajuri ala Ibn Qasim] However, this is not a point of scholarly consensus and not a point of creed. (Al-Radd ala al-Mutaassib al-Anid al-Mani min Dhammi Yazid, Ibn al-Jawzi)
In sum, one should refrain from cursing Yazid ibn Muawiya and busy oneself with correcting one’s own life.
I pray this helps.
[Ustadh] Farid Dingle
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.