Rafed English

Burayr’s Speech

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

Burayr Ibn Khudayr sought al-Husayn's permission to deliver a speech He was a mentor, a tabi’i, a qari, actually one of the most prominent qaris of Kufa's grand mosque. Among the people of Hamdan he enjoyed a great deal of honour and prestige.
Having acquired permission, he stood near the enemy and said:

“O people! Allah sent Muhammad (S) as bearer of glad tidings, a warner, a caller to Allah's Path and a lantern of noor. Here is the water of the Euphrates wherein black boars and dogs wade, yet it has been made taboo for the son of the daughter of Allah's Messenger! Is this how you show your gratitude to Muhammad (S)?!21
They said to him, “O Burayr! You have already said too much, so spare us for, by Allah, al-Husayn (S) shall suffer of thirst just as those before him had suffered.” He said, “O people! Muhammad's offspring are now among you!

These are his offspring, progeny, daughters and ladies; so, let us know what you have in mind, what you are planning to do with them.” They said to him, “We intend to put them at the disposal of the governor ‘Ubaydullah Ibn Ziyad who will fare with them as he sees fit.”

He asked them, “Are you not satisfied if they go back to whence they had come from? Woe unto you Kufians! Have you forgotten the letters you wrote and the pledges you made, invoking Allah to be a Witness over you and over what you said therein?!

Did you invite the family of your Prophet, claiming you would defend them with your own lives, then, when they came to you, you now want to hand them over to Ibn Ziyad and even prohibited them from drinking of the Euphrates' water?! Evil, indeed, is the way how you succeeded your Prophet (S) in faring with his offspring! What is the matter with you?!

May Allah deprive you of drinking on the Day of Judgment, for surely you are a most evil people!” Some of them said to him, “Man, we do not know what you are talking about!” Said he, “All Praise is due to Allah Who blessed me with more insight than you. Lord!

I invoke You to testify that I dissociate myself from the deeds of these people! Lord! Direct their mischief against their own selves so that they may meet You and You are angry with them.” It was then that arrows started pouring on him, forcing him to retreat.22


21. According to p. 96, majlis 30 (first edition), of as-Saduq's Amali (or Majalis), it is stated that when thirst took its toll on al-Husayn (‘a) and those in his company, Burayr sought his permission to address those folks, and permission was granted to him.

22. al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 10, where Muhammad Ibn Abu Talib is quoted.

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