The stance of Ahlus-Sunnah with regards to Yazeed, the son of Mu’aawiyah
The belief of Ahlus Sunnah and the Scholars of the Ummah is that Yazeed, the son of Mu’aawiyah, should not be insulted nor loved. This is due to the following.
Saalih the son of Ahmad bin Hanbal (may Allah have mercy upon him) said,
“I said to my father: “Some people say that they love Yazeed.”
He replied, “O my son, is it possible for a person who believes in Allah and the Last Day to ever love Yazeed?”
So I said, “O my father, why do you not then curse him?”
He replied “O my son, when did you ever see your father curse any person?””
It has also been narrated from him (Imaam Ahmad) that it was said to him,
“do you write the hadeeth narrated by Yazeed the son of Mu’aawiyah?”
He replied, “No, and he is without honour; is he not the person who did to the people of Madinah what he did?”
So Yazeed, according the Scholars, the leaders of the Muslims is a king from amongst the kings. They do no love him like the love of the righteous people, the Awliyaa of Allah but neither do they insult him. This is because the Scholars do not ever curse an individual Muslim. This is due to the narration whereby a man who was known as Hamaar used to drink alcohol excessively. Every time he was bought in front of the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam), he would hit this man (i.e. carry out the Prescribed Sharee’ah punishment)
So a man said, “May the curse of Allah be upon him. How many times has he been bought in front of the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam)?!”
The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) replied, “Do not curse him, for indeed he loves Allah and His Messenger.”
Despite this, a group from amongst Ahlus Sunnah permit cursing him due to them believing that he committed such oppression that it permits cursing the one who would do it.
Another group are of the opinion that he must be loved because he was a Muslim who ruled at the time of the companions and they pledged allegiance to him. They say, what has been narrated regarding him is not true and he had many good qualities or he merely strived to arrive at the judgement of what he did.
However the correct stance is what the Imaams (the great scholars) are upon; that he should not be specified with love nor specified with cursing. Along with this, if he was a corrupt individual or an oppressor, then Allah forgives the corrupt person and the oppressor, more so if such a person had great deeds of goodness with him.
It has been narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, “The first army to raid Constantinople will be forgiven.”
The commander of the first army to ever raid Constantinople was Yazeed the son of Mu’aawiyah; Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaaree (may Allah be pleased with him) was with him…
…So it is obligatory to withhold in this regard, to stay away from mentioning Yazeed bin Mu’aawiyah and testing the Muslims by him.
Indeed this is an innovation which contradicts Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah. Due to this, an ignorant group of people believed Yazeed bin Mu’aawiyah to be from the Companions and that he was from the most righteous people and from the Just leaders. All of this is in clear error.
Majmoo’ Fataawa Vol 3 Pg 130
The Massacre of Karbala – A Historical Analysis