Sheikh `Abd Allah al-Dumayjî
Historically, people have been divided into three groups with respect to their opinions about Yazîd b. Mu`âwiyah.
One group said he was unbeliever and that he was behind the killing of al-Husâyn, the grandson of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They alledge that he had him killed as revenge against the Prophet (peace be upon him) on account of his grandfathers who had been killed by the Muslims during the Battle of Badr. This saying is adapted by the Shî`ah as well as their supporters who have no knowledge or understanding of historical events. Many history books are, regretfully, full of their lies.
Others said he was a devoted man, a just ruler, and that he was a Companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They claim that when he was born, the Prophet (peace be upon him) carried him and prayed for him. This saying is adapted by the `Adadiyyah, followers of `Adî b. Musâfir, and other people of ignorance.
The third opinion is that he was a Muslim king who had some good deeds to his credit and other bad ones. He was not a Companion because he was born during the reign of the Caliph `Uthmân and not during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It is worth noting that some people are confused between this Yazîd and his uncle Yazîd b. Abî Sufyân who was indeed a pious Companion.
This third opinion is the most balanced and moderate one. It is the opinion held by Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamâ`ah, who neither declare Yazîd b. Mu`âwiyah to be an unbeliever nor a devout nor a saintly man (walî). They recognize what happened to al-Husayn and what happened at the Battle of al-Harrâ. However, they also acknowledge that Yazîd b. Mu`âwiyah entered Constantinople with an army during his father’s reign. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The first army to beseige Constantinople will be forgiven their sins.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]
Moreover, it has never been historically authenticated that he gave orders to kill al-Husayn, or had al-Husayn’s head thrown before him, or put a stick through his teeth. Indeed, it was `Ubayd Allah b. Ziyâd who committed these atrocities, as is clearly stated in Sahîh al-Bukhârî.
It is a lie that the head of al-Husayn was paraded around areas and that some of his family were taken as prisoners of war. The true story is that the Shî`ah wrote to al-Husayn with false promises of their support. Many devoted and noble people advised al-Husayn not to be fooled by them.
He sent his cousin Muslim b.`Aqîl to them ahead of him. When his cousin was killed, many of them abandoned their promises of support to al-Husayn. Some of them even went so far as to fight alongside `Umar b. Sa`îd against al-Husayn. This is how al-Husayn became one of the martyrs who have returned to Allah for their infinite reward in Paradise.
So, people divided themselves into three groups regarding Yazîd b. Mu`âwiyah – one that cursed him, one that lauded him, and a third that neither liked him nor cursed him. This third group is Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamâ`ah. Their opinion is the correct opinion. It is preferable not to exceed the limit, either in praising him or derogating him.
Abû Mûhammad al-Maqdisî said when asked about Yazîd: “Do not curse him and do not like him.”
Majd al-Dîn Ibn Taymiyah (the grandfather of the more famous Ibn Taymiyah) said when asked about him: “ Do not exceed limits.”
I believe this is the fairest position, and that it should also apply to others who have left this world and who have gone ahead to their reckoning with Allah. They will have to face whatever they have done. Allah says: “That was a people that have passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and you of what you do! And you shall not be asked about what they did”.
It is preferable for a Muslim not to involve himself in these matters as he is already safe from them and he is not charged with their judgment.
Source: Islam Today