People confuse between Muwayah (RA) and his son, Yazid bin Muwayah.
This confusion comes because
1- Muslims go extreme because of their emotions, feelings, and love of Ahlul Bayt and they were devastated by what happened to them.
2- Lack of knowledge
3- They were taught to hate him by some sects.
However, there is a huge difference between these two:
1- Muwayah is a companion who met the prophet Muhammed PBUH
2- Yazid is not a companion. Hence, Muslims consider him as a one of the Muslim rulers who has good deeds and bad deeds
Other than that he didn't not participate in killing Ahlul Bayt (AS). Also, the martyr of Hussien (RA) happened when Yazid was the Ruler. So Muwayah had nothing to do with it.
Excluding the virtue of being a companion of the prophet the prophet (PBUH) which is enough to put (RA) after his name, Muawiyah has a few rare virtues:
- Mu’aawiyah was one of the scribes who wrote down the Revelation - [Source]
- Muawiyah was politically adept in dealing with the Eastern Roman Empire and was therefore made into a secretary by Muhammad
- A narration also tells that Muhammad prayed to God in favor of Muawiyah:
Allahumma (O Allah) guide him and guide people by him.
This narration is in many hadith (narration) books.
Al-Dhahabi says that this narration has a strong predication (reference), and Al-Dhahabi also explained how some scholars erred in saying that the narration is weak.
While Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani (a modern narrations critic) also said:
"all the men of the predication (reference) are trustworthy. and then he explained how the predication is strong."
- Muawiyah was very active in the Arab–Byzantine wars and was also involved in the siege of Jerusalem.
For more Hadiths and narrations regarding him, check this doc file. Sheik Muhamed ameen al Shanqedi(An amazing scholar) has gathered all the hadiths in this file. but note that it is all in Arabic
Here are more virtues:
This virtue below always give me chills
It was narrated that Abu Bakr al-Marwadhi said:
I said to Abu ‘Abd-Allaah – Ahmad ibn Hanbal –
Who is better, Mu’aawiyah or ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez? He said: Mu’aawiyah is better; we do not compare the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to anyone. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of mankind are my generation among whom I was sent.”
Al-Sunnah by al-Khallaal (2/434).
He was given the name "maternal uncle of the believers" – as his sister "Umm Habeebah" was the Mother of the Believers – this is proven from some of the imams of Ahl al-Sunnah, chiefly "Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal"
It was narrated from Abu Taalib that he asked Abu ‘Abd-Allaah – Ahmad ibn Hanbal – about saying “Mu’aawiyah the maternal uncle of the believers” or “Ibn ‘Umar the maternal uncle of the believers”. He said:
Yes, Mu’aawiyah was the brother of Umm Habeebah bint Abi Sufyaan, the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him and may Allaah have mercy on her), and Ibn ‘Umar was the brother of Hafsah the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him and may Allaah have mercy on her). I said: Can I say Mu’aawiyah the maternal uncle of the believers? He said: Yes.
Al-Sunnah by al-Khallaal (2/433), Dar al-Raayah edition.
It was narrated from Haroon ibn ‘Abd-Allaah that he said to Abu ‘Abd-Allaah –Ahmad ibn Hanbal - :
A letter came to me from al-Raqqah saying that some people say: We do not say that Mu’aawiyah was the maternal uncle of the believers. He got angry and said: Why are they objecting to this matter? They should be shunned until they repent.
Al-Sunnah by al-Khallaal (2/434).
It was narrated from Muhammad ibn Abi Haroon and Muhammad ibn Abi Ja’far that Abu’l-Haarith told them:
We sent a note to Abu ‘Abd-Allaah – Ahmad ibn Hanbal – saying: What do you say, may Allaah have mercy on you, about that who say: I will not say that Mu’aawiyah was the scribe of the revelation and I will not say that he was the maternal uncle of the believers, because he took the caliphate by the sword and by force? Abu ‘Abd-Allaah said: These are bad words and these people should be avoided and shunned, and we should warn the people about them.
Al-Sunnah by al-Khallaal (2/434)
All the Isnaads of these reports are saheeh as you will see in the examination of the book by Dr. ‘Atiyah al-Zahraani.
For more of his virtues and what he did to the Muslims and Islam, check this doc file. Also in Arabic but by a different Author
If you would like to read books:
The name of the book in Arabic:
أمير المؤمنين معاوية بن أبي سفيان
محمد مال الله ، وهو كتاب مهم جمعه من كلام شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية ، ورتبه وعلق عليه
The name of the book in English:
Ameer Al Muameen Mu’aawiyah bin Sufiyan - Author Muhamed Mal allah. Which contains all the sayings of Ibn Taymiyah regarding Mu’aawiyah (RA)
Off topic :
- Ruling on hating the Sahaabah
- Our attitude towards Yazeed ibn Mu’aawiyah