Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Discuss the portrait of al-Hajjaj Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

Discuss the portrait of al-Hajjaj - Essay Example Although al-Hajjaj is commonly considered a villain notorious for his relentless brutality, the portrait we obtain from the primary texts is not that simple and transparent, instead, the texts create a complicated image of the province governor illustrated in various situations. Thereby, ambiguities in portrayal can be explained by certain bias in attitude of the texts’ authors towards the governor. Many scholars assert that the commander was an extremely brutal and cruel governor, who caused numerous deaths and imprisonments in the course of his life. This assumption finds its confirmation in the texts, where we see that the commander is believed to be liable for a â€Å"hundred and twenty thousand† executions (Schroeder, p. 229). Many other situations described in the text provide evidence of al-Hajjaj’s bad temper and brutality: after defeating Ibn Zubayr in Mecca, al-Hajjaj is told to have killed and gibbeted him in the street. In a similar way, while coming to Kufa, he immediately executed the old man, who sprang on the corpse of Othman. Furthermore, we see numerous mentions of Hajjaj’s nasty character in the narratives, for instance, that of Ubayd son of Abu Mukhariq, who calls the commander â€Å"a fearsome master† (Schroeder, p.220). However, despite nasty character and brutality, which became his most famous feature, the commander seems to p ossess reason and a pinch of mercy in his nature, as it can be traced in the sources. For instance, as Hajjaj is in need of wise advise concerning the inheritance, he eventually rules according to the fairest of options: he is told to have given â€Å"each heir an equal third† of the inheritance. This fragment was told by al-Sha’bi, whose figure is rather controversial in terms of his relation to the Umayyads. Sha’bi probably supported the rebellion in Kufa, then fled to Khurasan and later returned to the Umayyad court willing to serve in the administration. Here,

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