Marwan was the great grandson of Umaiyya and a cousin of the third Caliph Usman bin Affan.
One day, the Noble Prophet dreamt that Hakam’s sons were jumping like monkeys on his (Prophet’s) pulpit. This dream aggrieved him so much that he did not laugh for the rest of his life. (Tafsir-e-Tabari, 15/77, Al-Durrul Mansur 4/191) When the Noble Prophet saw Marwan, he said: “The young one of a lizard is also a lizard. The offspring of an accursed is accursed.”
The Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) saw Marwan’s father Hakam caricaturing him; hence, on the behest of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) Hakam was externed from Madinah. Marwan was 7 or 8 years old at that time. The first two Caliphs did not allow Hakam to return but the third Caliph, Usman bin Affan recalled him to Madinah and appointed Marwan as advisor.
Ummul Momineen Ayesha said to Marwan: “O Marwan! I testify that you are the one whose father was cursed by the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) while you were still in his loins.” She further said: “I have heard the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) saying about your father and grandfather that you (Marwan) are the Accursed Tree” (Tafsir-e-Durrul Mansoor 4/1919)
Marwan and Karbala: After the death of Muawiya, Yazid became the King of Umayyad Dynasty. He asked the governor of Madinah, Walid bin Utbah to obtain allegiance (Bai’at) from the Infallible Imam Husayn (a.s.). When Imam Huasyn (a.s.) came to see the governor, Marwan was also sitting next to him. When Imam Husayn (a.s.) advised the governor that such matters can only be discussed in front of a gathering, Marwan told the governor to either obtain Yazid’s allegiance right away or kill Imam Husayn (a.s.) as if he leaves then Walid will never be able to get him. When Imam Husayn (a.s.) replied in a high tone, the brave band of Hashemite Youths forcibly entered the court with drawn swords and a blood-shed was imminent, but the Imam (a.s.) pacified them.
In the book, Ihtejaj, it is related from Muhammad bin Saeb, that one day Marwan bin Hakam told the Infallible Imam Husayn (a.s.): “If it were not for your esteem and honor through Hazrat Fatima (s.a.), how could you have gained excellence over us.” Imam Husayn (a.s.) was infuriated and caught hold of his neck with an iron fist, then he removed the turban from his head and tied it in Marwans’ neck, and he fell down unconscious, then he left him.
It is reported that the Fadak was given to Marwan bin Hakam by the third caliph, Usman bin Affan. Fadak was gifted by the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) to his beloved daughter Sayyidah Fatima Zahra (s.a.) but was snatched away by the first caliph.
When Marwan was called back by the third caliph, he was dressed in tatters and when he left the court he was dressed in silken clothes with a mantle. The caliph gave three hundred thousand Dirhams to Marwan out of charities of Yemen. (Tariq Ya’qubi 2/41)
It is reported that Muawiya used the services of his governor of Madinah, Marwan bin Hakam to poison Imam Hasan (a.s.) so as to pave the way for appointing his son Yazid as a successor, in contravention of the “Peace Treaty” with Imam Hasan (a.s.). Marwan did not allow the body of Imam Hasan (a.s.) to be buried near the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) and had the unique distinction of raining arrows on the sacred body of Imam Hasan (a.s.)!
After the death of Yazid, his son Muawiya II gave a long sermon accusing his father Yazid for the slaughter at Karbala and suggesting Imam Ali, Zain al-Abedin (a.s.) should be the caliph of Muslims. He voluntarily abdicated from the caliphate and the crafty Marwan bin Hakam propelled through and captured the caliphate. It is the greatest tragedy of history that the family which was externed from Madinah by the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) succeeded in becoming the caliph of the same Noble Prophet of Islam!
Time changed and Marwan was desperate about his family. He came to Imam Zain-al-Abedin and requested for shelter for his family and the generous and forgiving Imam offered shelter and comfort to his family!
It is also reported that Marwan first married the daughter of the third caliph, Usman bin Affan. Afterwards he married the widow of Yazid and mother of Khalid. One day, in the full court, Marwan abused Khalid and Khalid complained to his mother. She obtained the assistance of her maids and during the night smothered Marwan with a pillow and sat upon it until he died of suffocation!
Sources used: Nafsul Mahmum Shaykh Abbas Qummi
Understanding the Karbala Allama Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi
Every day is Ashura.blogspot.com
Marwan bin Hakam: The Accursed Tree imamreza.net
Imam Hasan & Caliphate Qurrat-ul-Ain Abedi
Islam, faithpractice and history Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi