Abu Sulaiman’s plea of clemency for Mu’awiya


Ansar.org states:

About Mu’awiya’s transgression, it is either Mu’awiyah thought that the truth lies with him or that he was deliberate in his transgression. In both cases, Mu’awiyah is not infallible from mistakes. Ahl Al-Sunnah do not refrain him from falling in sins, but they say that sins have reasons, and these sins could be removed by asking for forgiveness and repenting, or other than that.

Now rather than float around the periphery of the subject matter, does Abu Sulaiman have the courage to tell us “Was Mu’awiya’s act of transgression, uprising and rebelling against the Khalifa of the time a sin? Does the Shari`a apply to all Muslims or are the Sahaba exempt from sins? Clearly this cannot be the case and we have examples in the lifetime of Rasulullah (s) when he would implement Shari’a and punish companions that had committed sins.

Is he then who is a believer like he who is a transgressor (fasiq)? They are not equal.
(Qur’an: Surah al-Sajdah, verse 18)

Abu Sulaiman then cites this supplication of Mu’awiya showing his alleged ‘piety’:

By Allah, I have done good deeds for my people, established Islamic Law, went to Jihad for the sake of Allah, and a lot of great things I did that only Allah can count, but we do no count them more than our mistakes. And I am a believer in a religion where deeds are accepted; either rewarded by good, or rewarded by a guilt that Allah may forgives us. By Allah, if I were to choose between two matters, between Allah and anything else, I would chose Allah” [Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah, vol.8, p.136-137]

Abu Sulaiman is seeking to plead clemency for his client on account that he would ask forgiveness for his sins. If sins can be removed by repentance then why do the Ahl’ul Sunnah condemn those that rebelled against Abu Bakr and incited insurgency against `Uthman? They might have likewise repented and asked for Allah (swt)’s forgiveness, so why do the `ulama insist on continuing to condemn such individuals? Rather than demand Qisas why did Mu’awiya not demand that the killers of `Uthman repent for their sins?

Undoubtedly, Allah (swt) can pardon all sins but if we accept Abu Sulaiman’s argument then what is the point in having a judiciary in Islam? Why have a penal code when all that transgressors need to do is ask for the forgiveness of Allah (swt)? Clearly this is not logical and the Shari`a prescribes clear punishment for offences, particularly crimes against fellow human beings.

Interesting is the fact that Mu’awiya never sought forgiveness for his practice of cursing `Ali (as), rather he introduced it throughout his Kingdom a tradition that did not end until it was repealed by`Umar bin Abdul Aziz. On the issue of cursing, Rasulullah (s) said, “Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (evil doing) and killing him is Kufr (disbelief).” [Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 197]. Abusing a momin is fisq; perhaps Abu Sulaiman should think about the momin that he was cursing. Now let us see the verdict on one who hates and curses Ali (as) and decide on where the truth lies.