Rafed English

The Shi‘ahs from Kufah joined Imam al-Husayn (as) - Part 1

Adapted from: "The Uprising of Ashura and Responses to Doubts" by: "‘Ali Asghar Ridwani"

History bears witness to the fact that a number of the Shi‘ahs found opportunities to escape from Kufah and join their beloved Imam. They did so at great risk of their lives and by exerting strenuous effort. One example of such Shi‘ahs is Yazid ibn Thubayt ‘Abdi and his two children ‘Abd Allah and ‘Ubayd Allah.

Yazid ibn Thubayt was a Shi‘ah and one of the companions of Abu al-Aswad. He was a person well-known among his people for his praiseworthy virtues and benevolence.

Abu Ja‘far Tabari recounts, “Mariyah, the daughter of Munfidh ‘Abdiyyah, was a Shi‘ah woman. Her house was a place for the Shi‘ahs to meet and engage in conversation. News reached Ibn Ziyad that Imam al-Husayn (as) was on his way towards Karbala in response to the letter the people of Kufah had written to him. Ibn Ziyad therefore ordered guards to keep strict surveillance over the city.

He ordered them to close the way and control the entry and exit of people into and out of Kufah. Yazid ibn Thubayt decided to leave Kufah and join Imam al-Husayn (as). He had ten children. He informed all of them about his will and decision. He suggested to them that anyone willing was welcome to come with him on this journey. Two of his ten children accepted to go with him. Their names were ‘Abd Allah and ‘Ubayd Allah. After that, he went to the house of Mariyyah and addressed his companions, ‘I have the intention of leaving Kufah and joining Imam al-Husayn (as). Who will join me on this journey?’

Most of them replied that they were afraid of Ibn Ziyad’s spies and companions… Then, accompanied by his two children, ‘Amir and his slave, Sayf ibn Malik, and Adham ibn Umayyah, Yazid ibn Thubayt left Kufah with the intention of joining Imam al-Husayn’s caravan.

They made every effort and managed to reach Imam al-Husayn in Mecca in a short period of time. When news reached Imam al-Husayn that some of his followers had arrived, he went out to meet them.

They said to him, ‘Yazid ibn Thubayt and some of his companions have come to join you also.’ Imam al-Husayn (as) waited for them. After a while, Yazid ibn Thubayt arrived and said to Imam al-Husayn,

    ... بِفَضلِ اللهِ وَبِرَحمَتِهِ فَبِذلِکَ فَليفرَحُوا ...697

With this statement, he implied that it was a grace and favor from Allah to meet Imam al-Husayn (as) and that he ought to be happy and be congratulated. Then, he gave his greetings [salam] to Imam al-Husayn (as) and sat on the ground in front of him. He told the Imam (as) that he had come with two of his children and a number of his companions to help him. Imam al-Husayn (as) made a prayer asking Allah to grant Yazid ibn Thubayt a good reward both in this world and in the hereafter.

Then Yazid ibn Thubayt’s caravan was brought next to that of Imam al-Husayn (as). They all accompanied Imam al-Husayn (as) to Karbala, where they were martyred after courageous battle.”

Another person who joined Imam al-Husayn (as) from Kufah was Burayd ibn Khadir Hamadani. He had not met or seen the Holy Prophet (S), but had met and seen the Prophet’s (S) companions. He was an excellent reciter of the Holy Qur’an, and was one of the companions of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as).

He was known to be of the nobles of Kufah. Writers of biography say, “When the news reached him that Imam al-Husayn (as) was on his way from Medina towards Mecca, he started off from Kufah towards Mecca where he joined Imam al-Husayn (as). He stayed with the Imam (as) until they arrived in Karbala where he was martyred.”

Other people who had joined Imam al-Husayn (as) from Kufah were Sa‘d ibn Harath Ansari and Abu al-Hutuf ibn Harath Ansari. These two had initially come together with the army of ‘Umar ibn Sa‘d with the intention of killing Imam al-Husayn (as).

However, on the day of ‘Ashura, and after the martyrdom of many of Imam al-Husayn’s (as) companions, and after hearing the wailing voices of women and children on the other side calling for help for Imam al-Husayn (as), they used their weapons to find their way out of ‘Umar ibn Sa‘d’s army and managed to join Imam al-Husayn’s (as) side.

In short, they defected from ‘Umar ibn Sa‘d’s army and came to the defence of Imam al-Husayn (as). After courageous battle and killing a lot of people in the army of ‘Umar ibn Sa‘d, they attained martyrdom.

Another group of Imam al-Husayn’s (as) sincere Shi‘ahs who came from Kufah to join him at Karbala consisted of six people. Their names were ‘Amru ibn Khalid Saydawi, Sa‘d Mawla ‘Amru ibn Khalid, Majma‘ al-‘A’idhi, ‘A’idh ibn Majma‘, Junadah ibn Harath Salmani and the servant of Nafi‘ Bajali (or Jamali) who was leading the horse that belonged to Nafi‘ because Nafi‘ had already joined Imam al-Husayn (as).

They were informed and persuaded to join Imam al-Husayn (as) by leaflets passed around by Qays ibn Mushir al-Saydawi. The leaflets said Imam al-Husayn (as) had left Mecca for Iraq. These six people knew that there were guards along the way who had been charged with the duty of arresting anyone going to help Imam al-Husayn.

They found a guide who could ride to show them a secluded way out of Kufah. Their guide took them to Imam al-Husayn (as) as fast as he could. They made every effort to hide themselves from the sentries. When they joined Imam al-Husayn (as), the newcomers recited some poems they had learnt from their guide for the Imam (as).

Imam al-Husayn (as) said, “I hope that Allah intends good for us, whether we are killed or are the victors.”

Hurr had tried to stop these newcomers from joining the caravan of Imam al-Husayn (as), and told them to return to Kufah or they would be taken prisoner. Imam al-Husayn (as) said, “We will never allow such. We will protect them in the same way that we protect ourselves. These people are my helpers.

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