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Why Allah punished the Muslims with Yazid?

Yazid was possibly the biggest punishment on the Muslim nation. This is clear from his heinous crimes like killing of Imam Husain (a.s.), catapulting fireballs on the Holy Kaaba and plundering of the sacred city of Medina.

How did such a monster come to rule over the Muslims?

Could the Muslims have prevented this catastrophe and in effect prevented the violation of the Holy Kaaba and saved the lives of Imam Husain (a.s.) and his companions and the thousands butchered and raped in Medina?

Yes, apparently Muslims could easily have prevented a monster like Yazid from ascending the throne. In fact, they could even have stopped his father Muawiyah from continuing as caliph, only if they had heeded the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) advice.

Imam Husain (a.s.) informed Marwan Ibn Hakam:

I have heard my grandfather the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) say:

Abu Sufyan’s offspring are prohibited from the caliphate, so if you see Muawiyah on my pulpit, you must rip his stomach open.

The people of Medina did, indeed, see Muawiyah on that pulpit, but they did not rip his stomach open. Therefore, Allah afflicted them with Yazid, the degenerate.

The Messenger of Allsh (s.a.w.a.) had said: If you ever see Muawiyah on my pulpit, you should kill him.

This tradition is recorded in the following Ahle Tasannun sources:

Tarikh Baghdad v 12 p 181
Tahzeeb al-Tahzeeb v 2 p 428, v 5 p 110
Tarikh al-Tabari v 11 p 357
Siffeen p 243, 248
Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah v 1 p 348
Al-Daqaiq p 18
Al-Jami al-Saghir v 1 p 320
Al-La’ali al-Masnu v 1 p 320
Kitab al-Manaqib v 1 p 268
Mizan al-Etidal v 2 p 129
Seyar Aalaam al-Nobala v 1 p 185
Maqtal al-Husain (a.s.) of Khwarazmi v 1 p 185
Tarikh Abil Fida v 2 under events of 283 A.H.
Notably, the Muslims protest against the Tabarra of companions like Muawiyah, while we see the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) commanding the Muslims to rip open bellies of so-called companions like Muawiyah! And the Muslims have been punished for not acting on the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) command. They should at least hold on to Tabarra, else they will likewise be punished if they abandon Tabarra.

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