Al-Hurr asked him, “What is your objection to his offer of departure?” ‘Umar answered: “Had it been up to me, I would have accepted it, but your governor refuses.”
Al-Hurr left him and stood by the others. Beside him stood Qarrah Ibn Qays whom he asked, “Have you watered your horse today?” “No,” came the answer. “Do you then wish to do so?” was al-Hurr's question.
Qarrah took that statement to imply that al-Hurr was reluctant to fight al-Husayn (‘a) and did not wish to be seen by him defecting, so he walked away from him. Al-Hurr kept getting closer and closer to al-Husayn (‘a). Al-Muhajir Ibn Aws asked him, “Do you want to charge at him?”
Al-Hurr remained silent. He felt chilled to the bones, so he shivered. Having seen him shiver, al-Muhajir felt terrified and said to him, “Had I been asked: ‘Who is the most daring of all the Kufians?', I would have given no name other than yours; so, why do I see you look like that?”
Al-Hurr said, “I am giving my soul the option between choosing Paradise or hell. By Allah! I do not prefer anything over Paradise even if it means I will be burnt alive.” Having said so, he beat his horse in the direction of al-Husayn (‘a).28
Turning his spear upside down and holding his shield the opposite way, he came lowering his head, feeling too shy to look at the Prophet's family in the eyes because of having exposed them to such hardship, bringing them to such a place where neither water nor grass could be found. Loudly he spoke these words:
“O Allah! To You do I surrender, so do accept my repentance, for I have filled the hearts of Your walis and the sons of Your Prophet with fear! O father of ‘Abdullah! I am repentant; so, can my repentance be accepted at all?”
Al-Husayn (‘a) said, “Yes. Allah will accept your repentance”.29 This statement found its place to al-Hurr’s heart, filling it with joy. He took a moment to contemplate upon the eternal life and the incessant bliss. It now became clear to him what that voice, which had addressed him, meant upon his departure from Kufa. He had a dialogue with al-Husayn (‘a). Among what he said to him was:
“When I went out of Kufa, I was addressed thus: “O Hurr! You are given the glad tidings of [going to] Paradise!” I said to myself, “Woe unto me! How can I be given such glad tidings since I am going to fight the son of the daughter of Allah's Messenger?!”30
Al-Husayn (‘a) said to him, “You have now acquired a great deal of good and a great reward.”31 A Turkish slave was with him. 32
28. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 244.
29. We read the following on p. 63, Vol. 7, of Ibn Kathir's book Al-Bidaya: “During the Battle of Yarmuk, George, a Christian, said to Khalid Ibn al-Walid: ‘What is the outcome of one of us who enters into this matter [i.e. becomes Muslim]?'
Khalid said, ‘He will have rewards greater than ours because we believed in our Prophet (S) who is alive among us receiving revelation from the heavens, and we witnessed the miracles. Whoever among you embraces Islam without having ever heard what we have heard nor seen what we have seen of the wonders and proofs, accepting it in a true intention, will be better than us.' It was then that George turned his shield upside down and inclined to Khalid saying, ‘Teach me about Islam.'”
On p. 42, Vol. 1, of al-Balathiri's book Ansab al-Ashraf (published by Dar al-Ma’arif of Egypt), “Whenever the Arabs felt they were in danger and sought refuge and asylum, they would turn their lances upside down.” The same author says the following on p. 43: “Al-Harith Ibn Zalim came to ‘Abdullah Ibn Jad’an at ‘Ukaz when everyone was embroiled in the Battle of Qays, so he turned his lance upside down. Once he was recognized and felt secure, he raised it.”
30. Ibn Nama, Al-Luhuf, p. 58. as-Saduq, Al-Amali, p. 97, majlis 30. ‘Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Fattal al-Naishapuri, Rawdat al-Wa’izin, p. 159.
32. Ibn Nama, Muthir al-Ahzan, p. 31. On p. 9, Vol. 2, of his book Maqtal al-Husayn, al-Khawarizmi says that he [al-Hurr] had a Turkish slave with him.