Abu Hafsa Yazid

Abu Hafsa Yazid (Arabic: ابو حفص يزيد, romanizedAbū Ḥafṣa Yazīd) was a mawla, or servant, of the Umayyad Caliph Marwan ibn al-Hakkam (r. 684–685).[1] Yazid's full name is not known; Abu Hafsa means "father of Hafsa" (see Arabic name).

Marwan freed Yazid and assigned him posts including taxation in Medina. He married the daughter of the amir of al-Yamama, and among their descendants were several prominent poets of the early Islamic period, including Marwan ibn Abi Hafsa and Marwan ibn Abi al-Janub.[2][3]

Abu Hafsa Yazid's origins are unclear; he may have been either Persian or Jewish.[2] He may have been taken prisoner as a youth in the capture of Istakhr in ca 650 CE, and later sold to the Caliph. He was freed on the day of the assassination of Uthman ibn Affan. Sources vary as to whether Abu Hafsa Yazid converted to Islam or retained his Jewish faith.[1]

Abu Hafsa Yazid is sometimes described as court physician to the Caliph Umar I around the year 643 CE,[4] however this may be an error based on writings by later Arab historians, as he is not called a physician in the earliest texts.[5]


  1. ^ a b Ibn Khallikan (1868). Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary. Vol. 3. Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. pp. 343–347. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  2. ^ a b Bencheikh, J.E. (1991). "Marwān al-Akbar b. Abī Ḥafṣa and Marwān al-Aṣg̲h̲ar b. Abi 'l-D̲j̲anūb". In Bosworth, C. E.; van Donzel, E. & Pellat, Ch. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume VI: Mahk–Mid. Leiden: E. J. Brill. pp. 625–626. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_4981. ISBN 978-90-04-08112-3.
  3. ^ Meisami, Julie Scott; Starkey, Paul (1998). Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature. Vol. 2. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-415-18572-6. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  4. ^ Landman, Isaac (1942). Simon Cohen (ed.). The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Inc. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  5. ^ Siddiqi, Muḥammad Zubair (1959). Studies in Arabic and Persian Medical Literature. Calcutta University. pp. 6, 8. Retrieved 2011-12-12.