It was the legacy of Muawiyah ibn Abu-Sufiyan (may Allah be pleased with him) that continues till today. I love this gentleman so much so that, I gave no second thought when Allah blessed me with 2nd son and I named him Muawiyah.
“In terms of his appearance, he was fair and tall, bald with a white head and he had a beard that he used to color with henna. He was mild-tempered, dignified, dominant and noble amongst the people, generous, just and astute.” – Al-Bidāya wa-n-nihāya page-113
According to al-Baladhuri, Urwa ibn az-Zubayr, relating from his father, Aisha said “I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who was in a room with Umm Habiba (Muawiyah’s sister and Muhammad’s ﷺ wife) on her day. Muawiyah knocked on the door and he gave him permission to enter, which he did. He had a pen behind his ear which he had not used. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘What is this on your ear?’ He said, ‘A pen which I have made ready for Allah and His Messenger.’ The Prophet ﷺ said. ‘May Allah repay you well on behalf of your Prophet! By Allah, I will only ask you to write down revelation from heaven.”
Muawiyah’s unique and awesome style of Ruling his kingdom: Under Muawiyah’s governance the Syrian army became a major military force. He picked out the best leaders from various tribes where as elsewhere in the state the military units were still based along tribal lines. He personally saw to the comfort and the equipment of the troops, increased their pay and paid them on a regular basis when they were on duty. He kept the troops in training by an annual expedition against the Byzantines and therefore kept the Byzantines in a constant state of unease and therefore kept his northern border safe. He took Qaysariyya in 19 AH. He encouraged innovations in military technology. Muawiyah’s armies used “Minjenique” machines to propel large stones onto enemy ramparts. He modernized the army, introducing specialized units for desert combat and snowy terrains. New forts were also built.
Muawiyah left the Byzantine and Persian administrative structures intact, being sure not to give his largely non-Muslims subjects any incentive to revolt.
Muawiyah built up a professional and disciplined army where people were promoted on their abilities not along tribal lines. Additionally the army units were not based along tribal lines, but along the disciplines and the type of warfare they specialized in. While on expeditions, Muawiyah provided for their families. In the early days, before the battle of Saffin, Muawiyah and the Syrians also served under Ali. According to Ali “Sometimes they would even set out without provisions, without asking for pay. At the call of Muawiyah, they put themselves on campaigns for two, even three times a year, not caring where he wanted to take them (Tabri 1,3410).
Prophet’s ﷺ grandson Hussein ibn Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) would frequently visit Muawiyah with his brother and he would show great hospitality in return. Following Hassan’s (may Allah be pleased with him) death, Hussein would travel to see Muawiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) every year and in return Muawiyah would show great hospitality. The Caliphate of Banu Umayyah The First Phase Taken from Al-Bidayah Wan-nihayah. page 134.
During Mu’awiya’s rule he put into practice the advice that Muhammad ﷺ had given him, “When you rule, do it well.” He was scrupulous about justice and was generous and fair to people of all classes. He honored people who possessed ability and talent and helped them to advance their talents, regardless of their tribe. He displayed great forbearance towards the rashness of ignorant men and great generosity towards the grasping. He made the judgements of the Shari’a binding on everyone with resolution, compassion and diligence. He led them in their prayers and directed them in their gatherings. He led them in their wars. In short, he proved to be a balanced and model ruler. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas stated that he did not see a man more suited to rule than Mu’awiya. [Bewley 2002, p. 8-9.]
The first major library was formed by Muawiyah: Muawiyah had a personal library collection (bayt al-hikmah) that was enlarged by his successors “throughout the Umayyad period.… This first major library outside of a mosque was known to include works on astrology, medicine, chemistry, military science, and various practical arts and applied sciences in addition to religion.” M. Lesley Wilkins (1994), “Islamic Libraries to 1920”, Encyclopedia of Library History, New York: Garland Pub.
Christian Historians praise for Muawiyah:
Writings of the Nestorian Christian John bar Penkaye in the 690s says about Muawiyah, “the peace throughout the world was such that we have never heard, either from our fathers or from our grandparents, or seen that there had ever been any like it”. ‘The Great Arab Conquests’ By Hugh Kennedy, page 349.
Praise for Muawiyah from our pious Imams and Sahaba of the past:
Al-Hasan al-Basree about Mu’aawiyah radhiallahu anhu: It was said to al-Hasan rahimahullah: O Abu Sa’eed! Verily there are people here who bear witness that Mu’aawiyah radhiallahu anhu is from the people of Fire. He replied: “Allaah’s curse be on them! How do they know who is in the fire?” – [al-Istee’aab (1/631)]
Al-Fudhail Ibn ‘Iyyaadh about Mu’aawiyah radhiallahu anhu: Al-Fudhail Ibn ‘Iyyaadh rahimahullah used to pray for mercy for Mu’aawiyah radhiallahu anhu and use to say: “He was one of the scholars from the Companions of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.” [Al-Sunnah of al-Khallaal (2/438)]
It is reported that Bishr b. Al-Harith said: I heard Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyad say, “It has reached me that Allah has barred repentance from every adherent of bid’ah (religious innovation), and the worst of the people of bid’ah are those who hate the Companions of Allah’s Messenger – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.” He then turned to me and said, “Make the firmest of your deeds with Allah your love for the Companions of His Prophet, for [then], were you to come to the standing of judgment (on the Day of Resurrection) with the likes of the Earth in sins, Allah would forgive you; but if you come [on that Day] with even the smallest amount of hatred for them, no [good] deed will benefit you.” [Abu Bakr Al-Daynuri, Al-Mujalasah wa Jawahir Al-‘Ilm 5: 412]
Al-Ma’aafa bin ‘Imraan** about Mu’aawiyah radhiallahu anhu: A man asked al-Ma’aafa bin ‘Imraan: “O Abu Mas’ood! How is ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abdul-‘Azeez in comparison to Mu’aawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyaan?” Because of this al-Ma’aaf got extremely angry and said: “There is no one comparable with the Companions of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Mu’aawiyah accompanied (the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), was his brother in-law, was his Kaatib (scribe) and his trustworthy over the Wahee (revelations) of Allaah.” [Tareekh Baghdaad (1/209)]
Al-Ma’aafa was also asked: Is Mu’aawiyah better or ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul-‘Azeez? He replied: “Mu’aawiyah is six hundred times better than the likes of ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul-‘Azeez.” [Al-Sunnah of al-Khallaal (2/433/664)]
For his uniqueness, his piety, his forbearance, and his commitment to establish justice on earth, I love Muawiyah (may Allah be pleased with him), no matter Khomeni the devil wrote against him, Syed Qutb of Ikhwanul-Muslimeen accused him of treachery and lies, and Maududi calls for highlighting his mistakes. The statements of Sahaba and As-Salaaf are more important to me, than the modern day deviant thinkers and propagandists.