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Habeeb bin Muzahir - Part 1

The desert was very vast. The sky was full of stars. An old man aged seventy-five left his tent. The old man jumped on his horse and rode away. The old man heard a wolf howling. He was afraid of nothing. He intended to get to Mudharib (Bani Asad's tribe) near the Euphrates.

When the old man got there, some dogs barked at him. Some men of Bani Asad's tribe were sitting in a big tent. They were chatting with one another at night.

The old man greeted them. They stood up for him. He looked dignified, but they did not know him.

The old man sat down. He had a beard. His beard was as white as cotton. The men began looking at his calm expression and his white beard.

I am Habib

The old man introduced himself to the men in the tent.

I'm Habib bin Mudhahir: I belong to Bani Asad's tribe.

One of the men was very old. He was acquainted with ancestry. So, he knew Habib and said:

Habib is telling you the truth.

Then the old man added:

He's bin Riaab bin al-Ashtar bin Fakas bin Tareef bin Qais bin al-Harith bin Thalaba bin Doodad bin Asad.

Another man added:

This is the companion of Allah's Apostle. He has lived in Kufa since Imam Ali's Caliphate. He stood by him at the Battle of Camel, the Battle of Siffeen, and the Battle of Nihrawan.

One of the men asked Habib:

Bani Asad's Shaikh, what have you brought?

Habib quietly answered:

I've brought you good no leader has brought to his people.

The men listened to him attentively. Then he added:

Al-Husayn, Ali and Fatima's son is around. A group of the believers has accompanied him. His enemies have surrounded him. They want to kill him. So, I've come to you. I ask you to defend him against his enemies to save the dignity of Allah's Apostle. By Allah! If you support him, Allah will give you honour in here and hereafter.

One of the men stood up. His name was Abdullah bin Bashher al-Asady. He said:

May Allah thank you for your effort. You've brought us a good deed. I'm the first to defend al-Husayn against his enemies.

The number of the volunteers became ninety fighters. Habib took them and headed for an area called Karbala. Their Imam Husayn [a], his family, and his believing supporters had camped there.

A man belonging to Bani Asad was a traitor. He took advantage of the darkness and hurried to tell Umar bin Saad, the leader of Yazeed's Army, about Habib and his friends.

Yazeed's Army had besieged Imam Husayn's caravan and prevented them from drinking water.

Umar bin Saad formed a division. The number of the division was five hundred horsemen. Al-Azraq headed them.

The horsemen hindered Bani Asad. Al-Azraq asked them to come back, but they refused. A fight took place between the two sides. So, some men of Bani Asad were killed and some were wounded.

The volunteers knew that there was a big army before them. And there were big supplies behind the army. For this reason, they decided to come back.

When the volunteers got to their tribe Mudharib, they warned it of staying at that area.

The men quickly collected their tents and moved to another place in the desert.

Habib came back by himself. He was sad. He told Imam Husayn [a] about Bani Asad's attitude. Imam Husayn [s] said:

There's neither might nor power but with Allah!

In Karbala

Mu'awiyah died. His son Yazeed succeeded him. So, the Caliphate became a kingdom.

Yazeed was a bad man. He drank alcohol. He committed illegal actions. He amused himself with his dogs and monkeys. Thus Imam Husayn [s] refused to pay him homage.

The people in many Muslim cities suffered from Mu'awiyah's unjust policy. They wanted him to die to get rid of his bad behaviour. When the Muslims knew that Yazeed would be the Caliph, they felt pain and were full of anger. They opposed his rule because he did not respect Islam and Muslims.

The people in Kufa liked Imam Ali [a] because he was just and merciful. Besides they knew al-Husayn's good behaviour and his kind treatment towards his Muslim brothers. Therefore, they sent him many letters.

In Makkah, Imam Husayn [s] received the Muslims messengers. In their signed letters, the Muslims said to Imam Husayn [a]:

Come to us! You are our leader only!

Imam Husayn [a] accepted the Muslims request. He decided to revolt against Yazeed bin Mu'awiyah. He took his family and supporters and left for Kufa.

The Siege

Ubaidullah bin Ziyad had sent a military division. The number of the division was one thousand horsemen. Its aim was to hinder Imam Husayn's caravan.

It was very hot. Ubaidullah's horsemen used up their water. Imam Husayn [a] took a pity on them, and ordered his companions to give them water.

Imam Husayn [a] camped near River Euphrates. Ubaidullah appointed Umar bin Saad over the division. Umar bin Saad occupied the riverbanks. He prevented Imam Husayn [a] and his companions from drinking water.

Umar bin Saad sent a man called Qurra bin Qais to Imam Husayn [a]. He ordered him to ask the Imam: Why have you come to Kufa?

When Qurra went to Imam Husayn [a], the Imam asked Habib bin Mudhahir about him: Do you know him?

Habib answered: Yes, this is Qurra bin Qais. I know his good opinion. I don't think he'll fight you.

Qurra came and greeted the Imam. He told him about Umar bin Saad's letter. The Imam said:

The people of Kufa have asked me to come. If they hate me, I'll leave them.

Qurra bin Qais kept silent. He wanted to come back to Umar bin Saad. So Habib said to him:

Qurra, woe unto you! Don't come back to the unjust people! Support Imam Husayn!

Qurra said: I'll tell Umar about Imam Husayn's answer. Then I'll consider your request.

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

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