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Hurr ibn Yazid al-Riyahi

Hurr ibn Yazid al-Riyahi

Hurr ibn Yazid Al-Riyahi was the commander of Yazid I’s regiment, who had obstructed Hussain ibn Ali’s way near Kufa, was also present in the enemy’s forces in Karbala. He spent all his time in repenting and feeling very guilty for having obstructed the way of the son of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed, and blamed himself for bringing the third Shi’a Imam (Hussain ibn Ali) to Karbala. The enemy’s officers and soldiers were only wondering at the mysterious sorrowful silence and the serious pensive mood in which Hurr spent all his time since his arrival on the plain.

On the morning of 10th Muharram, Hurr called his son secretly in his tent and said: “We are doomed driven towards ‘hell’. There is yet time. I have decided to dash out of the ranks of Satan and join the side of Hussain ibn Ali and seek pardon of the son of the Apostle of God. Would you like to accompany me or stay where you are?”

The son of Hurr readily consented to accompany him and Hurr’s slave who was a faithful and trusted one of his master, was present in the tent and implored saying Master! Take me away from this God’s cursed side, along with you. Please don’t leave me for hell and Hurr agreed.

Hurr, with his son and a slave, dashed out of the enemy’s ranks. After that, Hurr approached until he took a place ahead among the people then he started to approach Hussain ibn Ali little by little. ‘Al-Mouhajer ibn Awss’ asked him: What do you want to do? Do you want to fight Hussain? Hurr began to tremble and Al-Mouhajer said: You arise my doubt; I swear by God that I have never seen you like this in any situation and if someone asked me about the most courageous man in Kufa, I would have never chosen anyone else other than you. But what happened to you today? For God’s sake, I am choosing between heaven and hell and by God I’ll never choose but heaven even if I am to be cut into pieces and burnt.

Hurr appearing before the third Shi’a Imam, Hussain ibn Ali, with tears in his eyes begged his pardon for the wrong he had done. “O my Imam, I am so sorry for forcing you to come to Karbala. Please allow me to fight along with you. I would be honored if you would let me lay down my life first before anyone amongst you is killed. I have brought my son to die with me defending your sons.” The return of Hurr had already been foretold by Imam Hussain in his camp. Hurr was received very warmly by Hussain ibn Ali and his companions as special guest. Hurr was amazed by the kindness of Hussain ibn Ali. And when the fight against the devil began, Hurr was the first one who went into the field against the enemy and charged bravely like a wolf among a herd of Sheep and laid down his life, after killing more than forty (40) of enemies.

Hussain ibn Ali rushed to him found him with big cut on the head and the wound was bleeding badly. Hussain ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib took his scarf which had belonged to his mother Fatima Zahra and bandaged his wound and cleaned his eyes from blood. Hurr asked Hussain ibn Ali, “Did I do well and are you satisfied?”

The last thing Hurr heard before he died was Hussain ibn Ali telling him your mother made the right choice by naming you Hurr (The Freeman). Hurr was martyred on October 20, 680 (AD) and his body was carried by his tribe and buried. A shrine has been built over his grave, in the city of Karbala.

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