Question: What do we say about Mu`âwiyah? Is it true that he instituted the practice of cursing `Alî b. Abî Tâlib on the pulpit?
Answered by Sheikh Muhammad al-Turkî, professor at King Sa`ûd University
The narration that Mu`awiyah is the one who initiated cursing `Alî b. Abî Tâlib on the pulpit is not authentic. Moreover, Mu`âwiyah was a prominent Companion who knew and respected the other Companions, so it can not be believed on hearsay that he ordered Muslims to do this.
I would like to warn the questioner not to rely on history books in these issues, since these books are full of unauthenticated and spurious stories. Experts in history concur with this.
The position of Ahl al-Sunnah on Mu`âwiyah is similar to their position on other Companions. We ask Allah to bless them all and be pleased with them. Mu`âwiyah is one of them, and his companionship with the Prophet (peace be upon him) is firmly established. Hence, it is unlawful to derogate him, since he is a Companion, and whoever does so is facing real danger in his religion and belief.
I remind my dear questioner of a what Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal said when he heard a man derogate Mu`âwiyah and `Amr b. al-`Âs: “ This man dares to talk about them because he has a corrupt heart. No one hates a Companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him) except those who have a corrupted heart.”
When al-Hasan al-Basrî was asked about those who curse Mu`âwiyah and Ibn al-Zubayr, he said: “May Allah curse those who curse them.”
You should warn others to the seriousness of this issue. May Allah guide us all to the right path.