Death of a Great Scholar


Al Hajjâj kept pursuing the noble scholar Sa`îd 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 jihâd to raise the flag of La ilaha ill Allâh the uppermost.

When he was arrested – as in the story mentioned by the author of Tuhfatul Ahwadhi –
Sa`îd bin Jubayr entered upon al Hajjâj, so al Hajjâj told him:

  “What is your name (and he knew his name well)?”

He answered:

  “Sa`îd bin Jubayr.”

So Al Hajjâj responded to him saying:

  “Nay, you are Shaqiy bin Kusayr.”

(Al-Hajjâj is playing with words here: Sa`îd means happy and Shaqiy means unhappy, wretched. Jubayr means one who splints broken bones, and Kusayr one who breaks them.)

Sa`îd told him:

  “My mother knew better when she named me.”

So Al Hajjâj told him:

  “You are wretched (shaqayta) and your mother is

(shaqiyat – Al Hajjâj is again playing with words, referring to Shaqiyy
“unhappy/wretched”). Then he told him:

  “By Allâh, I will replace your dunya with a blazing Fire.”

Sa`îd said,

  “If I knew you could do it, I would take you as a god.”

So al Hajjâj told him,

  “I have gold and wealth.”

Bags of gold and silver were brought and spread before Sa`îd bin Jubayr in order to try him.

Sa`îd bin Jubayr said:

  “O Hajjâj, if you gathered it to be seen and heard in show-off, and to use it to avert others from the way of Allâh, then by Allâh, it will not avail you (lan yughnîka) against Him in any way.”

So Al Hajjâj said:

  “I have a female slave-singer”

(al-mughanniyah – al-Hajjâj
continues to play with words, responding in mockery to Sa`îd’s words ‘lan yughnîka/it will not avail you’ with a word that has the same trilateral root). He told her:

  “Sing for me and entertain me.”

Sa`îd bin Jubayr cried, and Al Hajjâj told him:

  “Are you crying out of joy?”

So Sa`îd told him:

  “By Allâh, 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 `ûd (musical instrument) was not built but for disobedience of Allâh.”

Al Hajjâj said:

  “Take him and turn him to other than the Qiblah. By Allâh, O Said
bin Jubayr, I will kill you with a killing with which I have not killed any of the

Sa`îd said:

  “O Hajjâj choose for yourself whatever killing you want, by Allâh you
will not kill me with a killing except that Allâh will kill you with a like of it, so choose for yourself whatever killing you like.”

Al Hajjâj said:

  “Turn him (wallûh) to other than the Qiblah.”

Sa`îd said:

  “Wherever you [might] turn (tuwallû), there is the Face of Allâh.” [Qur’ân, 2:115]

Al Hajjâj said,

  “Put him under the earth.”

Sa`îd 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’ân, 20:55]

The Death of Al-Hajjâj

Al-Hajjâj said:

  “Kill him.”

Sa`îd said:

  “Lâ ilaha ill Allâh Muhammadun Rasulullâh. Take it, O Hajjâj, until you meet me with it tomorrow before Allâh. O Allâh, do not give him authority over anyone after me! O One who cuts up the tyrants, cut up al Hajjâj!” –

and in the same gathering a blister appeared on Al-Hajjâj’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-Hajjâj 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 Allâh took me to account and that I was killed for whoever I killed with one killing, except Sa`îd bin Jubayr – Allâh punished me for killing him with seventy killings.”

Allâh 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.


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