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Nafi al-Jamali

Using poisoned arrows, Nafi’ Ibn Hilal al-Jamali al-Mathhaji shot arrows on which he had written his name50 as he recited these verses:51
I shoot it, and its tips trained
In poison, on the wind borne,
To fill the earth with shots, and the soul
Is not benefitted by fear at all.

He killed twelve men, not counting those whom he injured. Having run out of arrows, he pulled his sword to fight them, but he was hurled with stones and spearheads till his arm was broken, and he was taken captive.52
Al-Shimr and those in his company dragged him away. [‘Umar] Ibn Sa’d asked him, “What caused you to do to yourself what you have done?” He said, “My God knows what I want.” A man who saw how blood was pouring down his face and beard said to him, “Can't you see in what condition you are?”

He said, “By Allah, I have killed twelve of your men, not counting the ones I injured, and I have no regret at all for resuming the jihad against you if I remain alive and if I have any strength at all, had you only not taken me captive.”53

Al-Shimr pulled his sword out of its scabbard to kill him, but Nafi’ said to him, “O Shimr! Had you been Muslim at all, you would have found it very hard to meet Allah stained with our blood; so, all Praise is due to Allah Who caused our death to be at the hands of the very worst of His creatures.” Al-Shimr pulled him and struck his neck with his sword.54


50. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 252. Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil, Vol. 4, p. 29. Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidaya, Vol. 8, p. 184.

51. ’Abdullah Nur-Allah al-Bahrani, Maqtal al-’Awalim, p. 90. On p. 184, Vol. 8, of his book Al-Bidaya, Ibn Kathir cites portions of these verses, and so does as-Saduq in his book Al-Amali, though the latter provides the name of Hilal Ibn Hajjaj as the poet.

52. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 2, p. 21.

53. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 253.

54. Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidaya, Vol. 8, p. 84. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 253.

Adapted from: "Maqtal al-Husayn; Martyrdom Epic of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.)" by: "Abd al-Razzaq al-Muqarram"