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Habeeb bin Muzahir - Part 2


On Muharram 9th, 61 A.H. Umar bin Saad started his attack at night. He advanced towards Imam Husayn's camp. Zaynab, Imam Ali's daughter, heard the enemy's voice. She said to her brother al-Husayn:

The enemies have approached!

Imam Husayn [a] ordered his brother al-Abbas to ask them. Al-Abbas, Habib bin Muzahair, and twenty persons jumped on their horses and rode away. Al-Abbas asked them about their aim. They said:

Obey Ubaidullah bin Ziyad, otherwise we'll attack you!

Al-Abbas came back to Imam Husayn [a] to tell him about the enemy's attitude.

Habib stayed behind. He began advising the enemy army:

By Allah, tomorrow, Allah will regard you as bad people! How will you meet Him while you are going to kill Imam Husayn and his family? Don't you know that they're the Prophet's grandsons? Don't you know that they pray to Allah after midnight and remember Him very much?

An enemy person called Uzrah said: Habib, you're praising yourself!

Zuhair answered: Allah has praised and guided him. Uzrah I advise you to fear Allah!

For Prayers

Al-Abbas went to Imam Husayn [a] to tell him about the enemies' attitude. The Imam said to him:

Go back and ask them for time to pray. We want to pray to Allah tonight. We want to ask Him to forgive us. Allah knows that I love prayers, reading the Qur'an, and asking forgiveness.

Al-Abbas came back and asked them for some time. Umar bin Saad thought for a while. He thought that Imam Husayn [a] would change his mind. So, he agreed on Imam Husayn's request and said:

We'll give you a chance till tomorrow. If you give in, we'll take you to Emir Ubaidullah bin Ziyad. If you refuse to give in, we won't let you go.

Imam Husayn [a] gets ready to fight

Imam Husayn [a] and his companions began praying and reading the Qur'an, for it was the last night in the world.

The tents were here and there. Imam Husayn [a] wanted to prevent the enemies from penetrating them. So, he ordered his companions to tie them to each other. He also ordered his companions to dig a trench at the back of the tents to fight the enemies at one front.

The Imam met his companions and said:

I praise Allah with the best praise! I am thankful to Him in all conditions whether pleasant or otherwise! Allah, I thank you for making my grandfather a prophet and teaching us the Qur'an! I thank you for giving us ears, eyes and hearts. I thank you for you have not made us polytheists!

The Imam added:

I don't think that there are companions better than mine, there's a family more loyal than mine! May Allah reward you all. I think that we'll face those enemies tomorrow! Now you may go!

All refused and said: We'll sacrifice our lives, money, and families to defend you against the enemies! We'll stand by you!

The Prisoner of War

A young man came to Imam Husayn's camp. He was looking for his father Muhammad bin Basheer al-Hadramy.

The young man said to his father: My brother is a prisoner of war at Ray (a town near Teheran).

His father said:I'll support Imam Husayn at any rate!

Imam Husayn said:You're free. Go and release your son.

Muhammad bin Basheer refused that and said: By Allah, I won't leave you!

Imam Husayn [a] gave him five garments. Each cost one thousand dinars. Then he said to him: Give your son these garments to release his brother.

Thus Imam Husayn's companions preferred death with him to life with the unjust.

Zaynab's Tent

At midnight, Imam Husayn [a] went out to see the nearby hills. One of his companions, named Nafi bin Hilal al-Jamaly, saw and followed him.

The Imam asked his companion about his going out.

His companion said: Son of Allah's Apostle, I'm anxious about you.

Imam Husayn [a] said to him: I've gone out to see the nearby hills.

Imam Husayn [a] and his faithful friend came back together. On their way, Imam Husayn [a] said to him: Why don't you go through those two hills in the dark to save yourself?

Hilal wept and said: No! By Allah, I won't leave you alone! I want to be killed with you!

When the Imam got to the tents, he came into the tent of his sister Zaynab. Hilal stood by the tent waiting for him. Hilal heard Zaynab saying to her brother:

Are you certain of your companion's intentions?

The Imam said: By Allah, I've tried them. They are brave. They are ready to die for me.

When Nafi heard Zaynab's words, he wept and went to Habib's tent. He told him about Zaynab's word. Then he said to him: We'd better go to her to relieve her worry.

Habib stood, left his tent, and said loudly: Good friends!

The men went out. They stood around Habib. He said to them: Let us go to Zaynab's tent to relieve her worry.

The men took their swords and went to Zaynab's tent. They said to her: By Allah, we're ready to sacrifice our lives for you!

Zaynab went out and said: Good companions, defend the grandsons of Allah's Apostle against their enemies.

Habib and his friends wept. They decided to fight till death.


Imam Husayn's [s] companion went to their tents. Some companions went to bed to get ready to tomorrow's fight, and some began praying and reading the Qur'an. Al-Husayn was in his tent mending his sword. He felt tired and closed his eyes.

It was early morning. Imam Husayn [a] dreamt that he saw dogs attacking him. One of the dogs was spotted. It was biting his neck. Al-Husayn woke and said:

We belong to Allah, we shall come back to Him!

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

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