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Al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafy - Part 1

In the month of Rajab, 60 A.H., Mu'awiyah died. He had ruled the Muslim countries for twenty years. He killed many companions of our Master Muhammad. Hajar bin Ady al-Kindy, Amr bin al-Hamq al-Khazay, and Rasheed al Hajry were some of them. He killed with poison Imam Hasan (the Prophet's grandson), Malik al-Ashtar, Saad bin Abu Waqas, and others.

In spite of the Muslims' dissatisfaction, Mu'awiyah appointed his son Yazeed caliph. So, the Caliphate became kingdom.

The Muslims were angry with Yazeed, for he was a corrupt young man. Besides he drank alcohol and amused himself with his monkeys and dogs.

The Muslims in Kufa hoped that Imam Husain would be the Caliph, for he was our Master Muhammad's grandson. Moreover, he was good, God-fearing, and a believing man. And he treated the poor kindly.

So, the Muslims sent Imam Husain hundred's of letters asking him to come to save them from persecution.

Imam Husain (A.S.) was in al-Madena al-Monawwara. He did not pay homage to Yazeed, for the latter behaved badly. In the meantime, he sent his cousin Muslim bin Aqeel as his envoy to Kufa.

Imam Husain asked his cousin to stay with the most loyal person in Kufa.


The people of Kufa were waiting for Imam Husain's coming. They were tired of the Umayyads' persecution. Meanwhile, they longed for Imam Husain's justice.

Muslim bin Aqeel arrived in Kufa and stayed with al-Mukhtar. The people of Kufa heard about his arrival.

The people crowded around al-Mukhtar's house to see Imam Husain's envoy. And they wanted to pay homage to establish Allah's government.

Muslim bin Aqeel read the Kufians Imam Husain's message: In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

From al-Husain bin Ali,

To the believing Muslim people,

Hany and Saeed brought me your letters.

They were your last two messengers.

I have understood all that you have written.

The majority of your letters have showed that there is no Imam other than me.

You have said: Come. May Allah bring us together with you

to follow Guidance and truthfulness.

So, I have sent you my cousin Muslim bin Aqeel.

I have ordered him to write me about your attitude.

If he writes me that your good people are all in agreement,

I'll come, Allah willing.

By my life! The Imam must conform to the Book and Justice.

The Muslims were full of hope when they heard Imam Husain's message. Al-Mukhtar paid homage to al-Husain's envoy. He promised to establish the Muslim government. He also promised to revolt against the unjust. Besides he promised to support the persecuted.

Al-Mukhtar was the first to pay homage to al-Husain. Then thousands of people paid homage. Their number was eighteen thousand people.

Al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafy

Al-Mukhtar bin Abu UbAld bin Masoud al-Thaqafy was born in Tayif City, 1 A.H.

Al-Mukhtar's father loyally believed in Islam. He led the Muslim Army to conquer the Persian country. An elephant killed him at the Battle of al-Jisr. So, his son Jubair led the Muslim army. He became a martyr, too.

Al-Mukhtar's house became the headquarters. The Muslims went to it every day.

The spies told Yazeed bin Mu'awiyah about al-Mukhtar. They also told him about al-Numan bin Basheer al-Ansarys' mildness, the ruler of Kufa, with him.

Yazeed bin Mu'awiyah asked the advice of Sergon. Sergon was a spiteful Christian man. Sergon advised Yazeed bin Mu'awiyah to appoint Ubaidullah bin Zyyad, the ruler of Basrah, ruler over Kufa.

Ubaidullah bin Zyyad arrived in Kufa. He ordered his guards to arrest Muslim bin Aqeel.

Muslim bin Aqeel disappeared in a house in Kufa. Ubaidullah bin Zyyad's guards arrested al-Mukhtar. They sent him to al-Tamura. Al-Tamura was a fearful prison under the ground.

Ubaidullah bin Zyyad filled the prisons with innocent people. Meanwhile he sent spies all over Kufa to look for Muslim bin Aqeel.

Muslim bin Aqeel was forced to announce the revolution. Many people supported him.

Muslim bin Aqeel's forces besieged the Prince's palace for several days.

Ubaidullah bin Zyyad was wicked. He spread a rumour: The Shamian enormous army will come. It will destroy Kufa and kill its people.

The people believed Ubaidullah bin Zyyad's rumour. They left Imam Husain's envoy alone. Muslim bin Aqeel was forced to disappear again.

Taua's House

The spies found Muslim bin Aqeel in a house which belonged to a good old woman called Taua.

Ubaidullah bin Zyyad sent the police to arrest Muslim bin Aqeel. When the police asked him to surrender, he refused and began fighting alone.

Muslim bin Aqeel was badly wounded. The police promised to treat him kindly. So, he handed over his sword. The police arrested and took him to the Prince's palace.

Ubaidullah bin Zyyad was full of spite. He hated Ahlul-Bait and their supporters. So, he ordered his guards to kill Muslim bin Aqeel. Besides he ordered them to kill one of his companions. The companion's name was Hany bin Urwa. He was a leader in Kufa.

Ubaidullah bin Zyyad ordered his guards to throw Muslim bin Aqeel and his companion down the palace.

Ubaidullah bin Zyyad began killing and imprisoning the people in Kufa for any accusation. So, the people there were afraid.

The Battle of Karbala

Imam Husain left al-Madina al-Monawwara. He went to Mecca to perform the Hajj. Yazeed bin Mu'awiyah knew about al-Husain's travel. He sent some spies to kill him. So, Imam Husain decided to leave Mecca. He said: "I don't want them to violate the Holiness of the Kaaba."

Imam Husain headed for Kufa. On the way, he heard that Ubaidullah bin Zyyad's guards killed Muslim bin Aqeel, Hany, Qais bin Muzahir al-Saidawy, and others.

A thousand horsemen surprised Imam Husain's caravan. They prevented it from advancing towards Karbala. Then the military battalions came successively. Their number was four thousand fighters. Seventy persons came with Imam Husain. They were his family and his supporters.

When Ubaidullah bin Zyyad's army asked Imam Husain to surrender and to pay homage to Yazeed bin Mu'awiyah, he said his famous words: "Abasement is far away from us!"

Imam Husain was ready to die a martyr for Islam.

In the morning, Muharram 10th, the Battle of Karbala took place. Thousands of fighters launched a savage attack against Imam Husain and his companions. They faced the attack bravely. Strong fights took place. They astonished the enemies. Only seventy fighters were fighting from the early hours of the morning till afternoon.

All of Imam Husain's companions passed away. Imam Husain was alone. Still he attacked Ubaidullah bin Zyyad's army. He was fighting bravely.

Ubaidullah bin Zyyad's Army killed Imam Husain. It beheaded the martyrs, tied their heads to the spears, and burnt the tents. Then it took the women and the children prisoners.

Adapted from the book: "The Companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w)"

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