Rafed English

Burayr Ibn Hudayr

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

Yazid Ibn Ma’qil57 called out, “O Burayr! How do you see what Allah has done to you?!” Burayr answered: “Allah has done very well to me while afflicting you with evil.” Yazid said, “You have lied, and before today you were never known to lie.

Do you remember the day when I was walking with you in the quarters of Banu Lawthan,58 when you said that Mu’awiyah had strayed and that the Imam of guidance is ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib?”

Burayr answered: “Yes, I testify that such is my view.” Yazid said, “And I bear witness that you are among the misguided!” Burayr then challenged him to a Mubahala; they both raised their hands and supplicated to Allah, Glory to Him, invoking Him to curse the liar and to kill him. Then they fought one another.

Burayr hit the man on his head with his sword, splitting it in two halves. Yazid fell as Burayr's sword was still planted in his head. As he was trying to take it out, Radiyy Ibn Munqith al-’Abdi attacked Burayr and engaged him in a fight for some time. Burayr subdued this one, too, sitting on his chest.

The loser screamed for help, whereupon ‘Afif Ibn Zuhayr Ibn Abu al-Akhnas shouted at him saying, “This is Burary Ibn Hudayr, the qari who used to teach us the Qur’an at Kufa's mosque,” but he did not pay him any attention and stabbed Burayr in the back.

Burayr fell on Radiyy and bit him on the face, cutting the tip of his nose off. Ka’b used his lance to remove him from the man's chest then hit him with his sword, killing him.
The al-’Abdi man stood up to remove the dust from his clothes saying, “O brother of the Azd! You have done me a favour which I shall never forget.”
When Ka’b Ibn Jabir returned to his family, his wife, al-Nuwar, rebuked him saying, “You have sided with the enemies of Fatima's son and killed the master of [Kufa's] qaris...; you have done something monstrous... By Allah! I shall never speak to you a word.” He said in his answer the following verses:
Ask about me and you will be told,
Even if you may be held in low esteem,
How al-Husayn fared when the lances were bold
Did I not do the most of what I did seem?
Hate and no fear did I feel from what I did.
With me was my sword never disappointed,
White, sharp edged, cutting,
So I unsheathed it against a gang
Whose creed is not mine at all.
And I know who the son of Harb and call
Him what he really is. Never have eyes
Seen anyone like them in their time
Nor before their time even in my youth
More striking with the sword on the battlefield,
Except one who protects his honour to the extreme.
They for the blows and the stabs persevered
Though they had none to protect,
And they would have dueled, had it been of any use.
So tell ‘Ubaydullah if him you meet
That I obey the caliph, that I hear and obey.
Burayr did I kill: a bliss I carried, became excited,
Of Abu Munqith when he to duel invited.
Radi son of Munqith al-’Abdi responded to him with these verses:
If my Lord willed, I would not have fought them at all,
Nor Jabir's son would have sought my bliss.
That day was nothing but a curse and a shame
Sons after friends will call it by its name;
So how I wish before killing him I better knew
And on Husayn's Day was in the grave, too.59


57. According to p. 247, Vol. 6, of al-Tabari's Tarikh, he belonged to Banu ‘Umayr Ibn Rabi’ah and was an ally of Banu Sulayma Ibn Banu ‘Abd al-Qays.

58. In Taj al-’Arus and under the word “lawth,” his name is given as Lawthan Ibn ‘Abd-Wudd Ibn Zayd Ibn Jasham Ibn Hashid.

59. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 248.


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