Promotion of Christian Preachings and Poetry
Promotion of Christian Preachings and Poetry
With respect to the details mentioned by the Sunni Clerics in their books, we can understand a few important points:
Poetry has not just successfully kept the Muslims away from paying heed to the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophet and has not just granted drinking, corruption, indecency and ignorance of the religion for the society, but it has also propelled them towards Christianity and laid a big trap for the Muslims to convert into Christianity.
With respect to this detail, we understand the reason why the Christian poets were honored and treated with immense respect in the court of Mu’awiyah and other Umayyad rulers! And why did they hold a significant position before the Muslim Caliph, to such an extent that they played an important role in taking the political decision for a Muslim country.
The first person to utilize the Christians and make them perform the administrative works of the government was Umar.
Abu Zubaid, one of the companions of Walid who used to drink alcohol with him, was given responsibility by Umar for collecting Zakat from his tribe. Although Abu Zubaid was Christian, as per the book ‘Al Istee’aab’, Umar made him responsible for collecting the Zakat funds from his tribe.
With this act, Umar opened the doors for all the upcoming rulers to bring into use the Christians and non-believers for religious purposes. It exceeded to such an extent that at the time of Othman, many Christians were given administrative post and positions by him in the government. When the Christians held the administrative posts in the government, they began to propagate poetry in order to diminish the attention of people towards the Holy Quran, and this was precisely what they had predicted even before the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.).
They gave high importance to the promotion of poetry and propelled the people towards drinking and neglecting the religion by this means. In this way, they not just played a crucial role in weakening the spirituality of the people, but also forbade others from inclining towards Islam.
As per what we are about to mention, according to the narration of Ibn e Shahaab, Umar sent a letter towards Abu Musa which stated: Command them to narrate poetries as they guide towards good etiquettes.
In this manner, the persuasion towards poetry began with the words of Umar and became a trend at the time of Mu’awiyah and after him, all the Umayyad rulers exceeded him in the promotion of poetry.
The author of ‘Al Istee’aab’ writes about Walid: It is doubtless amongst the knowledgeable people that the verse “If a profligate (person) should bring you some news, verify it” was sent down regarding Walid.
Moreover, it has been narrated from Ibn e Abbas that the verse “Is someone who is faithful like someone who is a transgressor? They are not equal” was sent down regarding the faith of Imam Ali (a.s.) and the debauchery of Walid, and has narrated an incident in this context.
The author of ‘Al Isaabah’ writes about Abu Zubaid that he lived with his maternal uncles in the Age of Ignorance and after the emergence of Islam, he became a companion of Walid when he became the ruler of the Arabian Peninsula and Kufah.
Ibn e Qutaibah writes about him that Abu Zubaid never accepted Islam and remained a Christian until his death. Marzbaani says that he lived a long life of 150 years and came across Islam but did not become a Muslim, and was alive till the rule of Mu’awiyah.
Although, the debauchery of Walid has been approved apparently by the Quran and the narration, and most of the historians have confirmed that Abu Zubaid was a Christian, even then, Umar considered the common welfare in appointing Walid as the ruler of the peninsula and as per Ibn e Hajar, ‘‘Abu Zubaid was appointed for the collection of Zakat from his tribe and he was the only Christian who was given an authority’’. Meanwhile, Umar issued an order, as per the narration of Ibn e Shahab, and wrote a letter to Abu Musa Ash’ari which said, ‘command your companions to learn Arabic grammar which will teach them better communication skills and command them to quote poetry which will teach them good etiquettes’.
Narrating poetries was an Arabic tradition which was not paid attention by Islam and neither did the Holy Book praise the poets and poetry, nor did the tradition show any inclination towards it.
It is narrated that the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: I swear in the name of He who chose me righteously, there will come a phase on my nation after my demise when wealth will be taken away unjustly, blood will be shed and poetry will replace Quran.
At present, we stand before issues like promotion of poetry and informing of the hidden, providing evidence regarding it and indicating towards the phase when poetry will replace the Holy Quran. In the light of the invitation of narrating and quoting poetries, we come across the tribe Bani Tughlab which was denounced by the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.), the Christians of Haira who remained on their religion till the Abbasside Caliphate, the caravans of the slaves of Qaisariyya who were sent to the capital city of Caliphate by Mu’awiyah and other groups which stood in the way of Allah.
At the time of Othman, due to the removal of a few obstacles and the appointment of Walid as the ruler of Kufa, the influence of Christians exceeded and it was during this period that the relationship with the Christians of Haira was built and their caravans travelled throughout the area and the monastic poetry which had a hidden effect on the intellectual trend, became common. Thereafter, it was the poetry of Alcoholism which clearly aimed at deviating hearts from Islam and freeing them.
We have mentioned a few aspects with reference to this discussion in our book ‘Al Inherafaat ul Kubra’ and the ones who wish to know the factors that lead to this phase, can refer to that book.
In a state where alcoholic and monastic poetry had become a trend, Walib bin Uqba (the ruler of Kufa) and Abu Zubaid (his companion), were undermining the ethical norms of the society.
The author of ‘Al Istee’aab’ writes with reference to this case that the news of Walid’s alcoholism and his companionship with Abu Zubaid was extremely famous.
Many historians and reporters have narrated that Walid led the Morning Prayer while he was intoxicated and after offering four Rakah, he asked the ones who prayed behind him if they want him to offer additional Rakah?
This incident led to the first uprising against Othman bin Affan which was settled by the Caliph by depositioning Walid and making him the scapegoat. Although poetry went on progressively and the alcoholic poetry turned into the poetry of love and thereafter, it turned into lecherous poetry. At the time of Mu’awiyah, Arabic literature was at its peak and the lecherous poetry which was promoted by the ruling political party and was aimed at initiating conflict between the tribes and strengthening the Arabian intolerance, came on display.
Umayyad rulers excessively promoted poetry and often granted hundreds and thousands of Dinars in return of a couplet or an interesting literary gist. People also began to do poetry or to narrate them and give an account of the Arabian battles and in this way, they earned heavy amount of riches.
The poetic and literary dominance was such that many of the clerics who intended to prove their opinion in the knowledgeable circle and regarding intellectual discussions, began to quote poetries or famous proverbs.
During this era, an indecent poem that could keep people away from God, helped the poets to easily find their way in the darkness of conspiring nights towards the hubs of the leaders to attain their proximity. One of these poets was Akhtal who was born in Heira and was from Bani Tughlab, and like all the other members of his tribe, he also was Christian. When Yazid bin Mu’awiyah became the Caliph, he invited him towards his royal vicinity and honored him. The Caliphs who succeeded Yazid also paid respect to him and granted him enormous worldly bounties. Specially Abdul Malik bin Marwan, who preferred him over other poets and gave him immense wealth.
Amongst the poets of this era was Aashi, who was a Christian and whose poetry was welcomed wherever he visited.
This deceitful tradition extended excessively and the Christians attained such positions at the time of Umayyad rule that no political decision could be taken without their consent. A few of them were appointed as the tax collectors and many of them attained highly significant positions near the Caliph.
From beneath the layers of this conspiracy, which progressed with the aid of poetry, wine and debauchery towards a non-traditional atmosphere, emerged the Heterodox and Christian thoughts which were the root cause of all the other notions, and the concept of Murje’a* was therefore presented by Yahya e Demeshqi whose father was the friend and companion of Abdul Malik bin Marwan. Yahya himself wrote a book on the distinguished attributes of Christianity. It was no coincident that the concept of Yahya e Demeshqi got spread between the Murje’a and Qadriyya* of Syria. It was in this turbulent situation that the old and ancient system became steadily evident once again and wealth came with unmatchable power which sabotaged all the cultural norms and every other thing became worthless before wealth, and in order to lay hands on it, the elite class of men used all the indecent ways and tried their best to precede each other.
At the end of this movement, such poets emerged who humiliated everything that was religious and presented their viewpoints openly and daringly in an unprecedented manner. Abul Alaa e Mu’arri (363-449) was a poet in Syria who emerged with an intellectual viewpoint and attacked all the religious concepts; and used to say: ‘O ignorant men! Awaken yourselves! Awaken yourselves as your religiousness is nothing but the deceit of your predecessors who wished to gather the worldly riches by this means. They passed away and the tradition of the reproached ones has ended’’!
He himself says: ‘People steadily moved towards corruption and all the religions are equally misleading’. Then it was Ibn e Rawandi (293 Hijrah) who said that we find the words of Aktham addressed to Saifi to be much more beautiful that the Quran.
Similarly, it is said about Abul Araa e Muarri that he stood against the Holy Quran and wrote a book named ‘Al Fusool wal Ghayaat fi Muhazaatis Suwar wal Aayaat’. When he was told that these writing are good but do not possess the delicacy of the verses of Quran, he replied: ‘Let these writings be recited for another four hundred years in the mosques, then give an opinion about them’.
In this way, the prediction made by the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) emerged to be truthful with the strengthening of poetry when the gates of the palaces were opened by Walid for the Christians of Heira who then joined hands with the Christians of Tughlab. Thereafter, monastic poetry followed by alcoholism and lecherous poetry became common; and with the recollection of the old Arabian battles and recounting the attributes of the Umayyads and promoting the norms of the Age of Ignorance, it made its way towards the throne of Caliphate, and as a result of political pressure, Sufism entered those fields where Hadith did not exist, which were opposed by the heterodox and the teachings of Murje’a and others. During this turmoil, Christians were looking after the collection of taxes and whoever wished to attain a ministry, had to necessarily gain proximity to them. And there was a deadly havoc created by all those who wished to acquire wealth and the poets who wished to block the path towards Allah announced their war against the religion and Quran in an unprecedented manner.
 Kanzul Ummal: 10/300
 Chapter Hujurat, verse 6
 Al Isteeaab: 3/632
 Chapter Sajdah, verse 18
 Al Isteeaab: 3/633
 Al Isabah: 4/80
 Kanzul Ummal: 10/300 as per the narration of Ibn e Ambari
 Same: 11/187, as per the narration of Dailami
 Al Isteeaab: 3/633
 Tareekh ul-Adab ul-Arabi: 1/205
 Same: 238
 Same: 256
 Al Hidaratul Islamiyya: 2/65
 Same: 1/127
 Az Zirfaye Fitne’ha: 1/418