Marwan bin al-Hakam
What a farcical time! What a ridiculous fate! How did Marwan bin al-Hakam become a caliph over the Muslims? How was the important office of the Caliphate entrusted to him? Marwan bin al-Hakam and his father were cowardly persons. Because of their corrupt behavior, Allah's Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, banished them. The bad social, intellectual and religious circumstances caused to the Muslim these tragedies and misfortunes, and helped this corrupt person become a ruler over them.
Marwan was one of the destructive elements of falsehood and hypocrisy. He had shameful qualities and anti-Islam attitudes. All the historians unanimously agreed that Marwan was a cheating, evil person, that the Muslims detested him and called him Khayt Batil (the thread of falsehood).
He and his father lived in exile (at al-Ta'if) throughout the time of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and the government of the two Shaykhs (i.e. Abu Bakr and 'Umar). They stayed there until they became hungry and poor. When 'Uthman b. 'Affan became a caliph, he summoned them to Medina (Yathrib) brought them near to him, and spent money on them lavishly. He trusted Marwan, appointed him a minister, and entrusted to him all the political affairs, though he had no correct political opinion.
However, it was the tribal fanaticism that moved 'Uthman to take care of the Umayyads and the family of Abi Mi'yat, to give to them the properties of the Muslims, and to single them out for the highest official positions. He created from them a dangerous capitalist family, such that they controlled the political affairs of the Islamic countries, and it was very difficult for the Muslims to decrease their influence and to destroy their domination.
Any how, during the days of the Caliphate of 'Uthman, Marwan was the absolute ruler. He moved about in the affairs of the state according to his desires. Hence the revolutionary Muslims all over the Islamic countries demanded 'Uthman to remove him from office, but he refused their demand and insisted on clinging to him. Accordingly, the revolutionists attacked 'Uthman and killed him.
After the murder of 'Uthman, all the Muslims pledged their allegiance to Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and Pioneer of social justice on the earth. The pledge of allegiance to him was general. All the Muslims in Medina (Yathrib) and the rest of the Islamic cities celebrated it, while they did not celebrate the pledge of allegiance to the other Caliphs.
The Qurayshi capitalist forces were frightened when the Muslims pledged allegiance to Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. This is because they feared for the properties which they took from the people during the government of 'Uthman, and which the Imam, peace be on him, would confiscate. They held meetings and exchanged views.
Then they accused the Imam of murdering 'Uthman, and mutinied against him. They used Mrs. 'A'isha as a means. They adopted her as a face to seduce the mobbish whom rumors changed from state to state, and who are the affliction of this East throughout history.
Any how, they entrusted the leadership of the movement to 'A'isha, and appointed her as a commander-in-chief of the armed forces. All the Umayyads headed by Marwan joined the rebels. They crept toward Basrah and occupied it. Hence Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, headed an army and hurried to Basrah to destroy this mutiny. After the terrible battle which the historians have mentioned, the Imam's Army could defeat 'A'isha's troops. It could captured 'A'isha and her prominent commanders among whom was Marwan.
Al-Hasan and al-Husayn interceded for Marwan with their father to release him, and he pardoned him. Then Marwan and the members of his family fled to Syria, which was the stronghold of the Umayyads. He stayed with his cousin Mu'awiya, and joined him in waging war against the legal authority.
After the terrible events and black afflictions which befell the Muslims, Mu'awiya could attain the Caliphate with sword and trickery. He appointed Marwan as a governor over Medina (Yathrib) several times. When Mu'awiya died and Yazid held the reins of authority, Marwan was among those who were the first to support his government.
It was he who advised al-Walid, the governor of Medina, to arrest Imam Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, but he refused to respond him. When Yazid perished, and Mu'awiya (the Second) abdicated the Caliphate, Marwan decided to pledge allegiance to 'Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr. However, 'Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr prevented him from this idea1. He did not dream of the Caliphate nor was he worthy of it, for he had no good past nor did he render any service to the Muslims.
Any how, al-Husayn (bin Numayr) nominated Marwan for the Caliphate. He said: "In my sleep I saw a lamp hanging in the heaven. He who undertook the Caliphate could reach it. None could reach it except Marwan.(Ibn al-Athïr, Ta`rikh, vol. 3, p. 327).
Then he told the Syrians about his dream, and they responded to him. Accordingly, Rouh b. Zunba' addressed the Syrians saying: "O Syrians, this is Marwan b. al-Hakam, who is the Shaykh of Quraysh, demanded the blood of 'Uthman, fought against 'Ali b. Abi Talib at the Battle of the Camel and Battle of Siffin. So pledge allegiance to the great one!(Al-Ya'qu`bi, Ta`rikh, vol. 3, p. 3).
" Hence the opportunists and mobbish competed with each other for pledging allegiance to Marwan, who was the first to assume the Marwani State, which subjected the Muslims to tyranny, poverty, and deprivation.
The Shi'ites disappear
During the days of Marwan, the Shi'ites disappeared, for they feared for their souls and properties. Al-Mas'udi said: "The believers disappeared. The Shi'ites were sought in the cities of the land. Their blood was shed in vain, and their properties were (confiscated). They (the Marwanis) cursed (Imam 'Ali), the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, on their pulpits.(Ithba`t al-Wasiya, p. 168).
His Cursing the Commander of the faithful
Marwan was fond of cursing Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He cursed him on the pulpits every Friday when he was the governor of Medina (Yathrib).(Haya`t al-Ima`m al-Ba`qir, vol. 2, p. 16).
He expressed the reason for cursing Imam 'Ali when he met Imam Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, and said to him: "None of the people defended our companion (i.e. 'Uthman) more than your Companion (i.e. Imam 'Ali) did." Hence Zayn al-'Abidin asked him: "So why do curse him on the pulpits?"
"The authority does not go well with us except through this," replied Marwan.
Disparaging Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and distorting his brilliant reality was part of the Umayyad policy based on lying, deception, and misguidance.
The Death of Marwan
The Caliphate of Marwan did not lengthen, for Marwan stayed on the throne of government for some months. Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, foretold the period of his Caliphate, and described it as short as the dog licked its nose.When Marwan died, one of the pages of treason, sins, and falsehood was turned over!