Rafed English

al-Hurr al-Riyahi in Ashura

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

After him, al-Hurr Ibn Yazid al-Riyahi came out accompanied by Zuhayr Ibn al-Qayn who was protecting him from the rear. Whenever one of them attacked and the situation became critical, the other would attack to rescue him, and they kept doing so for a while.30
The horse on which al-Hurr was riding received hits on its ears and eyebrows, and it was bleeding as its rider was quoting the following verse by Antar Ibn Shaddad al-’Abasi:
I kept shooting them at its very mouth,
At its chest, till blood drenched it all.
Al-Hasin said to Yazid Ibn Sufyan, “Is this al-Hurr whom you wished to kill?” “Yes,” said Yazid, so the first came out and challenged al-Hurr to a duel. It turned out that al-Hasin was asking for a swift death, for it did not take al-Hurr long to kill him!
Ayyub Ibn Mashrah al-Khaywani shot al-Hurr's horse with an arrow, hamstringing it. The poor horse leaped, so the rider leaped from it like a lion,31 holding his sword in his hand. He kept fighting on foot till he killed more than forty men.32
A company from the footmen fiercely attacked him and killed him. Al-Husayn's companions carried his body and put it before the tent in front of which they were fighting. They were doing so whenever a man was killed, and al-Husayn (‘a), each time, kept repeating this statement: “He has been killed as prophets and the offspring of prophets are killed.”33
Al-Husayn (‘a) turned to al-Hurr, who was breathing his last, and said to him, as he wiped out the blood from his face, “You are al-Hurr [which means: the free man], just as your mother named you, and you are free in this life and in the life hereafter.”
One of the companions of al-Husayn (‘a), who some say was [al-Husayn (‘a)’s son] ‘Ali Ibn al-Husayn,34 eulogized him with the following verses which some people claim the Imam (‘a) himself had composed:35
How good al-Hurr of Banu Riyah!
How patient when the lances intertwined!
How good al-Hurr when he defended Husayn!
And in the morning his life he sacrificed!


30. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 252. Al-Bidaya, Vol. 8, p. 183.

31. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, pp. 248 and 250.

32. Ibn Shahr Ashub, Manaqib, Vol. 2, p. 217 (Iranian edition).

33. This text is quoted from p. 118 of Tazallum al-Zahra’ of Radiyy ad-Din al-Qazwini, from p. 135, Vol. 13, of al-Nu’mani's Ghayba. According to p. 256, Vol. 6, of al-Tabari's Tarikh and p. 30, Vol. 4, of Ibn al-Athir's book, as well as al-Mufid's book Al-Irshad, a tent was placed on the battlefield, but these authors did not mention al-Husayn (‘a) by name due to the magnanimity of the situation.

34. ’Abdullah Nur-Allah al-Bahrani, Maqtal al-’Awalim, p. 85. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 2, p. 11.

35. ’Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Fattal al-Naishapuri, Rawdat al-Wa’izin, p. 160. as-Saduq, Al-Amali, p. 97, majlis 30.


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