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Al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafy - Part 3

The Revolution breaks out

On Tuesday night, Rabi al-Awwal, namely two days before the revolution, on the way to al-Mukhtar's house, Ibraheem al-Ashtar and some of his friends came across a patrol. The Commander of the patrol said: "Who are you?"

Ibraheem al-Ashtar answered: "I'm Ibraheem al-Ashtar"

The Commander of the patrol said: "Who are those with you? Have you permission to go out at night?"


"We must arrest you!"

Ibraheem al-Ashtar was forced to attack the Commander. He killed him. The rest of the patrol ran away.

Ibraheem al-Ashtar and his friends hurried to al-Mukhtar. They told him about the accident. Ibraheem al-Ashtar said to al-Mukhtar: "You must announce the revolution at once!"

Al-Mukhtar said: "What has happened?"

"I have killed the Commander of the patrol. It's important to announce the revolution at once."

Al-Mukhtar became cheerful and said: "May Allah make you happy! This is the beginning of the conquest!"

The Revenge

Al-Mukhtar ordered his followers to make fires. The fires were a sign of the revolution.

At midnight, the Kufians woke. They heard the revolutionaries repeating slogans. The revolutionaries went to al-Mukhtar's house.

Street clashes took place in Kufa. The Ruler's soldiers and the police surrendered. Then the Ruler himself escaped to al-Hejaz.

In Kufa Mosque

Al-Mukhtar went up the pulpit. He announced the aims of the revolution:

"I'll conform to Allah's Book and to His Apostle's Sunnah. I'll take revenge on Imam Husain's killers I'll fight against those who have broken Allah's laws. I'll defend the weak against the strong."

Al-Mukhtar wanted to follow Imam Ali's just policy. So, the people were full of happiness. The Umayyads were racists. They preferred Arabs to non-Arabs. For this reason, al-Mukhtar abolished racial discrimination. He adopted justice instead.

The Victory

After the Battle of Ain al-Warda, the Umayyad Army went on advancing towards Kufa. It occupied Mousal City. Then it headed for Kufa.

Al-Mukhtar formed an army of three thousand fighters. Yazeed bin Anas, a brave, good, old man headed the army

Reaching Mousal suburbs, al-Mukhtar's Army met the Umayyads' one at two battles. It won the two battles. Then Yazeed bin Anas died. His death affected his fighters' spirits. They were afraid of the Umayyads' Big Army. Thus, they decided to come back to Kufa.

The Rumours

Imam Husain's killers rumoured that al-Mukhtar's army was defeated. They also rumoured that Yazeed bin Anas was killed at the battle.

So, al-Mukhtar formed an army of seven thousand fighters. He ordered Ibraheem al-Ashtar, a brave leader, to head the army.

The army left Kufa. Al-Mukhtar's enemies took advantage of the situation. They plotted against al-Mukhtar's government.

The rebels besieged the Prince's palace. In spite of the siege, al-Mukhtar sent a horseman to Ibraheem al-Ashtar. The horseman told him to come back.

After three days' siege, the rebels were astonished to see the army coming back. The army could end the Mutiny quickly. It arrested some plotters. And some escaped.

The army executed Harmala bin Kahil, who killed Imam Husain's baby. It arrested and executed Sanan bin Anas, who took part in Imam Husain's killing. And it executed Amr bin Saad, who led the Umayyad Army at Karbala massacre.

Shibth bin Riby escaped to Basrah. Shimr bin Zil- Jawshan also escaped. The army chased him. It found him at a village in Wasit and executed him. Al-Shimr himself had beheaded Imam Husain. He took his head to Kufa and Damascus.

Al-Mukhtar thanks To Allah

Al-Mukhtar was a good man. He fasted to thank Allah for His blessings. Allah granted him victory over the Prophet's enemies, who killed his grandson and robbed his family of their possessions. Al-Mukhtar thought that Allah's blessings are countless. Concerning this, Allah, the Glorified, said: "And if you count Allah's favours, you will not be able to number them."

So, al-Mukhtar fasted for most days of the year.

The Battle of al-Khazar

Ibraheem al-Ashtar's Army reached al-Khazar River. There he met Ubaidullah bin Zyyad's Army.

Violent fights took place between the two sides. The Kufian Army fought bravely. Some commandos made a brave attack against the Umayyads' headquarters. They killed senior leaders such as Ubaidullah bin Zyyad and al-Husain bin Numair. Anyhow, Ibraheem al-Ashtar's Army defeated Ubaidullah bin Zyyad's.

Al-Mukhtar's victory spread all over the Muslim cities. The Muslims became happy when they heard about Ubaidullah bin Zyyad's killing. The Battle of al-Khazar suited Allah's Words: "How often has a small party vanquished a numerous host by Allah's permission"

Ibraheem al-Ashtar's small army defeated Ubaidullah bin Zyyad's big one.

Abid al-Malik bin Marwan

Al-Mukhtar made peace with Abdullah bin al-Zubair to unite efforts against the Umayyads, the enemy of Islam.

Still Abdullah bin al-Zubair was ambitious. He was afraid of al-Mukhtar's increasing power and popular base, for he could end the persons who committed Karbala massacre.

Yazeed bin Mu'awiyah died. His son Mu'awiyah succeeded him. Mu'awiyah bin Yazeed bin Mu'awiyah was a believing young man. He admitted that his father was bad. Therefore, he resigned from the Caliphate.

Marwan bin al-Hakam was ambitious. He took advantage of the situation. So, he became the ruler. He ruled for six months. He died. Then his son Abid al-Malik succeeded him.

Abid al-Malik bin Marwan sent a big army to occupy al-Madina al-Monawwara. Al-Mukhtar heard about the army. He formed an army of three thousand fighters to save the Prophets' City.

Apparently, bin al-Zubair sent an army of two thousand fighters to defend Madina against Abid al-Malik's Army. Abdullah bin al-Zubair's real aim was to attack al-Mukhtar's Army.

Al-Mukhtar's soldiers were busy fighting. Bin al-Zubair's army took advantage of the situation. It attacked al-Mukhtar's soldiers. It killed some soldiers. The rest escaped to the desert. They died of hunger and thirst.

Bin al-Zubair disliked the Alawids. He brought them together near a mountain outside Mecca. He prevented them from leaving that place. Besides he demolished their houses.

Al-Mukhtar sent five thousand fighters to raise the siege. He released the Alawids and rebuilt their houses.

Musab bin al-Zubair

Abdullah bin Al-Zubair thought about a new, strict ruler to appoint over Basrah. He chose his brother Musab to carry out the task. Musab bin al-Zubair arrived in Basrah. He addressed its people: "Some people have told me that you surname your rulers. Before you surname me, I have surnamed myself al-Jazzar (Butcher)."

Some persons killed innocent people. They escaped from al-Mukhtar's justice. They began urging Musab to fight al-Mukhtar.

The End

Musab formed a big army and headed for Kufa. He took al-Mukhtar by surprise.

Ibraheem al-Ashtar was in Mousil City. Al-Mukhtar faced Bin al-Zubair with his small army. The two sides won victories during the first fights.

Bin al-Zubair's Army launched a strong attack. It forced al-Mukhtar's army to come back to Kufa.

Musab's Army followed al-Mukhtar to Kufa. It besieged his palace. The siege went on for four months. Al-Mukhtar tried to raise the siege. He ordered the Kufians to make street clashes. But they disobeyed him.

On Ramadhan 14th, 61, al-Mukhtar decided to leave his palace. He said to his companions: "The siege will weaken us more and more! Let's go out to die martyrs."

Only seventeen persons obeyed al-Mukhtar. They went out to fight the big army that surrounded the palace.

Al-Mukhtar was sixty-seven years old. He fought bravely. Then he died a martyr for Islam.

Musab cheated the persons who stayed in the palace. He promised not to harm if they came out. When they opened the gates of the palace, he ordered his soldiers to kill them all. Meanwhile, he executed seven thousand people on one day. It was a horrible massacre. The Kufians had never seen it before.

The Believing Women

Musab ordered his soldiers to arrest al-Mukhtars wife. Her name was Umra. Her father's name was al-Numan bin Basher al-Ansary. She was a believing woman.

Musab asked her to disown her husband. She said: "I won't disown him. He fasted at day. He said his prayers at night. He sacrificed himself to Allah and His Apostle. He took revenge on Imam Husain's killers."

Musab said with a threat: "I'll kill you."

The believing woman said: "To die a martyr for Allah is better than this world. I'll die and enter the Paradise! I prefer Imam Ali's to everything!"

Musab decided to kill her. In the dark, a person took her to a place between Hira and Cuba. In that desert the person beheaded her. She died a martyr for Imam Husain's aims.

Al-Mukhtar and his wife passed away. They wrote a bright page in the history of Jihad. The page has illuminated the way for generations.

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

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