Today we are talking about the story of Marwan. Recently, we posted a blog post on hadith 7. You can read it here if you haven't already.
It was mentioned that after the fitnatus sarra', people will pledge allegiance to a man who will be like a hip-bone on a rib. Some scholars say that this man is Marwan Ibn Hakam. His story pertains to before the fitnah of Mukhtar (which I will talk about in another blog post insha'Allah). He was killed by Mus'ab Ibn Zubayr in Kufa. Marwan Ibn Hakam has challenged Abdullah Ibn Zubayr who had become the caliph of the entire Muslim world after the death of Mu'awiyah Ibn Yazid.
Marwan had compelled the people of Damascus to swear allegiance to him as the caliph after assuring the caliphate. Therefore, apart from the Banu Umayyah, other tribes like the Banu Kalb, 'Inan, etc. pledged allegiance to him, and submitted to his caliphate. This was the beginning of turmoil and civil strife and it caused a lot of damage to Islam and the Muslims. Their strength was sapped. The power that ought to have been used against their enemies was wasted in shedding the blood of their own brothers.
Marwan Ibn Hakam was cunning and deceitful, but he was not far-sighted and strong willed (qualities which are essential for the caliph). This is evident from the fact that Marwan observed (after the death of Mu'awiyah Ibn Yazid) that there were some differences among the tribes with regards to the issue of the new caliphate. However, Iraq and much of Shaam had accepted Abdullah Ibn Zubayr (may Allah be pleased with him) as the caliph. So, he decided to go to Abdullah Ibn Zubayr and pledge allegiance to him.
He was prepared to go when Abdullah Ibn Ziyad came to Damascus and persuaded him to declare himself as caliph and invite people to give him their pledge. It is assumed, therefore, that his caliphate was truly because of Ibn Ziyad's conspiracy.
If Marwan had possessed acumen and intelligence, then he would not have been deputed by Ibn Ziyad and he would have gone to Abdullah Ibn Zubayr. Then, perhaps, the civil strife would have been averted.
This is only the opinion of some scholars with regards to this matter.
If you have any opinions or corrections to make, please mention them in the comments. Jazakumullah khair.