By Shaykh `Aa’id Abdullah al-Qarnee
Al Hajjaaj kept pursuing the noble scholar Sa`eed bin Jubayr for eight years or more until he eventually found him.
Bin Jubayr was a scholar known for his scrupulous piety and a man of great knowledge and action who was waging jihad to raise the flag of La ilaha ill Allah the uppermost.
When he was arrested – as in the story mentioned by the author of Tuhfatul Ahwadhi – Sa`eed bin Jubayr entered upon al Hajjaaj, so al Hajjaaj told him: “What is your name (and he knew his name well)?”
He answered: “Sa`eed bin Jubayr.”
So Al Hajjaaj responded to him saying: “Nay, you are Shaqiy bin Kusayr.” (Al-Hajjaaj is playing with words here: Sa`eed means happy and Shaqiy means unhappy, wretched. Jubayr means one who splints broken bones, and Kusayr one who breaks them.)
Sa`eed told him: “My mother knew better when she named me.”
So Al Hajjaaj told him: “You are wretched (shaqayta) and your mother is wretched” (shaqiyat – Al Hajjaaj is again playing with words, referring to Shaqiyy – “unhappy/wretched”). Then he told him: “By Allah, I will replace your dunya with a blazing Fire.”
Sa`eed said, “If I knew you could do it, I would take you as a god.”
So al Hajjaaj told him, “I have gold and wealth.”
Bags of gold and silver were brought and spread before Sa`eed bin Jubayr in order to try him.
Sa`eed bin Jubayr said: “O Hajjaaj, if you gathered it to be seen and heard in show-off, and to use it to avert others from the way of Allah, then by Allah, it will not avail you (lan yughneeka) against Him in any way.”
So Al Hajjaaj said: “I have a female slave-singer” (al-mughanniyah – al-Hajjaaj continues to play with words, responding in mockery to Sa`eed’s words ‘lan yughneeka/it will not avail you‘ with a word that has the same triliteral root). He told her: “Sing for me and entertain me.”
Sa`eed bin Jubayr cried, and Al Hajjaaj told him: >“Are you crying out of joy?”
So Sa`eed told him: “By Allah, I do not cry out of joy, but I cry for the slave girl that was subjected to other than what she was created for, for she was not created to sing, and `ood (musical instrument) was not built but for disobedience of Allah.”
Al Hajjaaj said: “Take him and turn him to other than the Qiblah. By Allah, O Said bin Jubayr, I will kill you with a killing with which I have not killed any of the people.”
Sa`eed said: “O Hajjaaj choose for yourself whatever killing you want, by Allah you will not kill me with a killing except that Allah will kill you with a like of it, so choose for yourself whatever killing you like.”
Al Hajjaaj said: “Turn him (wallooh) to other than the Qiblah.”
Sa`eed said: “Wherever you [might] turn (tuwalloo), there is the Face of Allah.” [Qur’an, 2:115]
Al Hajjaaj said, “Put him under the earth.”
Sa`eed said: “From it [the earth] We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will extract you another time.” [Qur’an, 20:55]
The Death of Al-Hajjaaj
Al-Hajjaaj said: “Kill him.”
Sa`eed said: “Laa ilaha ill Allah Muhammadun Rasulullah. Take it, O Hajjaaj, until you meet me with it tomorrow before Allah. O Allah, do not give him authority over anyone after me! O One who cuts up the tyrants, cut up al Hajjaaj!” – and in the same gathering a blister appeared on Al-Hajjaaj’s hand and he became enraged like a bull for a whole month – he couldn’t sleep from the pain and fatigue, nor could he eat and drink.
Al-Hajjaaj said about himself: “No night has passed except that I saw myself swimming in blood and no night has passed except that I saw as if al Qiyamah took place and that Allah took me to account and that I was killed for whoever I killed with one killing, except Sa`eed bin Jubayr – Allah punished me for killing him with seventy killings.”
Allah caused him to die after a month. He is considered wretched and miserable, although he belonged to Muslims. This is because he didn’t know the guidance or uprightness and because he couldn’t make sense out of his life mission.
Question: What is the position of tha scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamâ`ah towards al-Hajjâj b. Yûsuf?
Answered by the Fatwa Department Research Committee – chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî
We quote this statement about al-Hajjâj b. Yûsuf that is made by Imam al-Dhahabî in his biographical and historical encyclopedia Siyar A`lâm al-Nubalâ’:
He died in Ramadan in the year 95 AH. He was very old. He had been an oppressor, and an arrogant, deviated, wretched, blood-shedder. He was at the same time brave, clever and a marvelous speaker. He highly respected the Qur’ân. He seized Ibn al-Zubayr in the Ka`bah and attacked the Ka`bah by mangonel. He humiliated the people of Mecca and Madinah. He ruled Iraq and the eastern territories for twenty years. He used to delay the prayer times. We curse him and dislike him. We hate him for the sake of Allah. He had some few good deeds that cannot be counted in the sea of the sinful deeds he committed. However, he believed in monotheism and he was not alone among the oppressive rulers.
This is, in brief, the additude if the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamâ`ah towards al-Hajjâj b. Yûsuf.