Abd Allah Ibn Al-Zubayr and His Career as Caliph
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Mehdi Ilhan∗
‘Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr was raised by ‘A’isha in the Prophet’s (s.a.s.) house. Safiyyah, the Prophet’s maternal aunt was his paternal grandmother, ‘A’isha’s sister Asma was his mother, and Abu Bakr his maternal grandfather. ‘Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr’s upbringing and lineage played an important role throughout his life and future career as caliph. Although ‘Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr was undeniably close to ‘A’isha, a very reliable source for the sunna and the traditions of the Prophet, his loyalty to the teachings of the Prophet and particular-ly the warning to those who attribute to the Prophet what he had not said that they would be sent to hell determined his choice of only 33 hadith to transmit. His love for the house of the Prophet and his grandfather Abu Bakr made him a staunch defender of the office of caliphate when he saw it abused by Mu‘awiyah and his son Yazid.
‘Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr ruled over Hijaz and the Eastern provinces from Mecca for nine years. The people of Iraq, Hijaz, and a large part of Syria paid him homage as caliph. After his death in 692 A.D., the caliphate of ‘Abd al-Malik b. Marwan was confirmed.
In this paper I will deal with the life and career of ‘Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr and show how the Prophet’s teachings were reflected in his character and behaviour.