Friday, February 21, 2020

The Truth Claimer: Imam Abdullah ibn Yahya Al-Kindi and His Revolution

Imam Abdullah ibn Yahya Al-Kindi (Talib Al-Haqq/ The Truth Claimer) and His Revolution

Who is the Imam Talib Al-Haqq? What are the dimensions of his revolution and his victories?
He is the Imam Abdullah ibn Yahya ibn Omar ibn Al-Aswad ibn Abdullah ibn Al-Harith Al-Kindi Al- Hadrami Al-Yemeni, nicknamed Abu Yahya. He was the first imam of Ibadhi. He was pledged allegiance in Hadramout in the year (129 AH) and was famous as Talib Al-Haqq (about 90 / 131-709 / 749). His first years were in Hadramout, and he studied at the Ibadhi school in Basra.

His teachers (Shuyukh):
1. Abu Ubaida Muslim ibn Abi Karima 145/762.
2. Dhamam  ibn Al-Saib. Perhaps he died before Imam Abu Ubaida.
3. Abu Noah Saleh al-Dahan (first half of 2/8).

His companions: We can not talk about the students of Talib Al-Haqq, but we mention his companions appointed by the Imam to support him in establishing the Imamate:
1. Abu Hamza al-Mukhtar ibn Awf [Al-Shari].
2. Bilj ibn Oqbah Al-Farahidi Al-Azadi.
3. Yahya ibn Harb.
4. Abraha ibn Ali.
5. Ibn Isa.
6. Abu Ayoub Wael ibn Ayyub al-Hadrami.

He was known for righteousness, piety, kindness, uprighteousness and humbleness. He was taught by Abu Ubaida Muslim ibn Abi Karima in Basra and then returned to Yemen, where he worked as a judge for Ibrahim ibn Jabalah, the administrator of Al-Qasim ibn Omar Al-Thaqafi in Hadramout in the era of Marwan ibn Muhammad.

And due to his righteousness, he ordered to take out what was in the governor's treasury and they brought it to the Masjid. The Imam Talib Al-Haqq divided it among the needy people in Sanaa. Although he and his companions were establishing a new state and they suffered from the hardship of poverty, they did not take anything from it. Previously, he ordered his companions that they must not kill those who turned flee, must not kill wounded persons straightway, and must not take any money.

The sources also indicate that he was very energetic, and very firm, and perhaps his fame as a "Talib Al-Haqq" indicates all these qualities. We can validate this title and his worthiness of it through his attitudes during his victory over his enemies and what he said in his letters and speeches of Dawa to be kind, and treat the defeated in the war with humane Islamic treatment.

Despite the status of Talib Al-Haqq, we do not find in historical Ibadhi sources or any other sources that mention the news of this Islamic preacher before the year 124 AH. This might be due to the absolute secrecy that was known at that stage, and the people of Dawa were living in secrecy, but sources say that the movement began on the ground with a communication between Imam Abu Ubaida and two of his students: Talib Al-Haqq and Wa'il ibn Ayyub Al-Hadrami, who were from the five Bearers of Knowledge (Hamalat al-‘ilm) to Yemen.

It is claimed that the relations between Talib Al-Haqq and Abu Ubaida were strong, otherwise they would not trust each other under the Umayyad rule, especially that Talib Al-Haqq was a judge under the Umayyad rule and Abu Ubaida was observed and chased by Umayyad in Basra.

As a result of the bad conditions, Talib Al-Haqq found the opportunity to carry out the revolution. He wrote to Abu Ubaida Muslim, consulting him and asking for his permission for rebellion. This confirms once again that the motive for the revolution was to change the abominable acts and remove the unjust of Umayyad rule.

The Imam's reply was soon followed by a message favoring speeding up and initiative, as stated: "If you can not to stay one more day, then do it. The initiative of the task is better, and you do not know when you will pass away, and Allah has the best of His slaves to send them out if He wishes to support His religion and gives them martyrdom in honor of them ».

The people of Dawa were not satisfied with this provoking message only, but they sent to him financial and military assistance. So, they sent the famous leader Abu Hamza Al-Mukhtar ibn Awf Al-Azadi and Bilj ibn Oqba Al-Azadi with a group of soldiers who carried with them strict commandments from Abu Ubaida commanding good conduct and kind behavior with their enemies, even if they overcome them. Thus, the composition of the army, led by Talib Al-Haqq, was composed of Hadramout, Yemen and Basra Ibadhi, and their number was a good one, although the sources do not specify the exact number.

The Army of Talib Al-Haqq in Hadramout
As soon as the permission of Abu Ubaida arrived from Basra and extended his moral, material and military assistance, Talib Al-Haqq met with his companions and the people of opinion from the Ibadhi, and he informed them of the issue. After consultation, they pledged allegiance to him, and thus Talib Al-Haqq was the first Imam of rise of a group of Ibadhi.  

It is likely that this was in the year 129 AH, where he managed to enter Hadramaut and open it without any fight, and arrested Ibrahim ibn Jiblah, and imprisoned him, who was then released and left to follow his master Qasim ibn Omar Al-Thaqafi in Sanaa. So he did the commandments of Imam Abu Ubaida and the virtues of the righteous ancestors of the Ibadhis, who had always treated their contraries with tolerance, even if they had overcome them.

Talib Al-Haqq was able with his good conduct, which the people were impressed with, to gather supporters and followers around him, especially they did not see this type of rule, and did not enjoy it under the rulers of injustice of the Umayyads.

Victory in Sanaa
After he established the rule in Hadramout with his good conduct, his reputation preceded him to Sanaa, which had been complaining about the oppression of the Umayyad rulers and their persecution. Talib Al-Haqq was in contact with the supporters of Dawa people in Sanaa. When he felt that the time had come to enter it, he appointed Abdullah ibn Saeed Al-Hadrami in Hadramout. Talib Al-Haqq marched on with two thousand of his soldiers to Sanaa.

The governor, Al-Thaqafi, came out to meet him out of Sanaa and prepared a large army to meet Talib Al-Haqq and the people of Dawa. Some sources say that it was thirty thousand, indicating that Al-Thaqafi was totally prepared to eliminate the army of Talib Al-Haqq.  No doubt this was the order of the central authority.

But the faith of the people of Dawa, their strong-will in the war, and their steadfastness in the field defeated Al-Thaqafi and his army the worst defeat. He fled to Sanaa and took refuge in it, and he suffered a more severe defeat. So, he fled to Al-Sham with what remained of his army, and so the Ibadhi rule over the city. It is worth mentioning that the sources all agree that Talib Al-Haqq, his assistants and his army were an example of good treatment, in accordance with the commandments of their Imam Abu Ubaida. Some sources provide the speech of Talib Al-Haqq, which he delivered the day after of his entry into Sanaa. It was a strong evidence of the ideal approach of the Ibadhi imams, which they followed in war and in peace. And he established his rule there, keeping the governors in their jobs, being lenient, so he could have the hearts of the people of Yemen.

The people of Dawa in Hijaz
It was not the goal of the people of Dawa in reaching Yemen and Hadramout to keep their Dawa regional, but it was a comprehensive Islamic movement aimed at establishing the Grand Imamate, and the overthrow of corruption, which spread under the dominating rule of the Umayyad.

Thus, as soon as things became steady for Talib Al-Haqq in Yemen and Hadramout, he directed his great leader Abu Hamza Al-Mukhtar Al-Shari Al-Azadi, accompanied by Balj ibn Oqba Al-Azdi and Abraha ibn Al-Sabah Al-Himyari, at the head of a military force to Makkah. The orders of Talib Al-Haqq was that Abu Hamza Al-Mukhtar take over Hijaz, and to direct Balj ibn Oqba to Al-Sham to fight Marwan ibn Mohammed, the last of the Umayyad Caliphs.

Ibadhis Entering to Madina
The martyrdom of Abu Hamza and his army's defeat in Hijaz was a key factor in encouraging Abdulmalik ibn Attia to devote himself to kill Abdullah ibn Yahya Al-Kindi, Talib Al-Haqq, by order of Marwan ibn Mohammed. The two parties met in the north of Sanaa in the Saada region.

There were violent battles in which Ibadhi showed a rare courage that ended with the martyrdom of Imam Talib Al-Haqq in 131 AH, and with his death the Ibadhi movement was characterized by the decline within the south of the Arabian Peninsula and was contended by the defense of the centers of its existence in Yemen.

How did the Ibadhi movement end in Yemen and Hadramout?
Hadramout remained the support and stronghold of the Ibadhi after their defeat in Yemen. The Ibadhi bloc to defend their last fortresses under the banner of Abdullah ibn Saeed Al-Hadrami, the imam of defense.

Abdulmalik ibn Attiyah rushed to Hadramout to eliminate the movement before returning to its strength again. There were fierce battles that lasted for days and nights, in which the Ibadhi strived. The Umayyad army was defeated several times between hit - and - run operations. The most intense battles were fought around the fort of Shibam.

Although the movement was able to kill the Umayyad leader Abdulmalik, a new leader, Al-Waleed ibn Orwa, was able to lead horrific campaigns of genocide in retaliation of his uncle's death.

It is likely that the elimination of the last political entity of the movement in Hadramout was in early 132 AH.

Ibadhi Figures; by Farahat Al-Ja’biri
Theological Thoughts of Ibadhis, by Musallam Al-Wahibi
Al-Ibadhiyah Approach on Dawah; by Dr. Muhammed Salih Nasser

This article was prepared by Bint Ibadh and translated by Um Mohammed Al-Aghbari. All rights are reserved!

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