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The Shi‘ahs from Kufah joined Imam al-Husayn (as) - Part 3

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

‘Abis ibn Abi Shabib Shakiri was one of the most famous Shi‘ah personalities in Kufah. He was a tribal headman and a very brave man. He was an eloquent speaker and a man devoted to worship. The tribe of Bani Shakir was among the most sincere believers in the wilayat (guardianship) of Imam ‘Ali (as). On the day of ‘Ashura, he came alone on the battlefield and challenged the enemy, “Is there anyone to fight me?” No one had the courage to come forward and fight him, so in the end, ‘Umar ibn Sa‘d ordered his troops to shower him with stones. When he saw this, he threw his armor and headcover off and went forward to fight them. He fought on till he attained martyrdom.

Yet another of the true Shi‘ahs from Kufah was ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umair Kalbi. He and his wife Umm Wahab hastened to help Imam al-Husayn (as). On the day of ‘Ashura, Umm Wahab held the pillars of the tents and said to her husband, “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you! Go and fight in the way of the Prophet’s grandson!”

‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umayr sent her to the women’s side of the camp, but this lioness could not leave her husband. She tightly held his clothes and said, “I will not leave you at all, till I attain martyrdom by your side.”

Imam al-Husayn (as) said to her, “May you have a good reward from the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and may Allah have mercy on you. Return to the women and stay there with them, because women are exempted from fighting.” She returned to the women. After her husband’s martyrdom, this heroine came to the place where her husband’s body had fallen and brushed the dirt off him while saying, “May you enjoy paradise.”

Shimr, the accursed, gave orders to his slave to hit the woman with a wooden stick in the head. Rustam, Shimr’s slave, struck her head with a wooden stick so hard that she attained martyrdom right there.

Two others who escaped from Kufah and managed to join Imam al-Husayn (as) were ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Urwah Ghaffari and his brother ‘Abd al-Rahman. These two brothers joined Imam al-Husayn (as) at Karbala. They were honored to be in the presence of Imam al-Husayn (as) on the day of ‘Ashura.

They said to Imam al-Husayn (as), “The enemy has surrounded you from every side. We would love to be at your service and fight your enemies so as to repel them from you.” Imam al-Husayn said, “Well done! Come with me.” They joined Imam al-Husayn (as) and fought by his side bravely until they attained martyrdom.

‘Amru ibn Qarzah Ansari is also one of the companions of Imam ‘Ali (as) who came from Kufah. He had fought beside Imam ‘Ali (as) in all the wars that had taken place during his time. He was a trusted memorizer and narrator of hadith. He joined Imam al-Husayn (as) in Karbala before anyone could prevent him. He too was one of the people who took turns guarding Imam al-Husayn (as) on the day of ‘Ashura.

He came forward with his face and chest towards the enemy in order to stop arrows and spears from harming Imam al-Husayn (as). He fell on the ground covered in blood. He said, “Have I been faithful to my promise?” Imam al-Husayn answered, “Yes, you are my guard in paradise. Give my greetings and salam to the Prophet of Allah. Tell him that I too will join him very soon.” Then, ‘Amru ibn Qarzah Ansari achieved martyrdom and returned to his Lord.

Abu Thamamah ‘Amru al-Sa’idi was also a Shi‘ah from Kufah from the time of Imam ‘Ali (as). He had taken part in the wars that Imam ‘Ali (as) had fought, and later in the battles his son Imam al-Hasan (as) had fought. Then, he remained in Kufah. After the death of Mu‘awiyah, he wrote a letter to Imam al-Husayn (as) asking him to come to Kufah.

In Kufah, he was one of those who had been ordered by Muslim ibn ‘Aqil to collect donations for buying arms. ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad sent a person to arrest him. He and Nafi‘ ibn Hilal Bajali escaped from Kufah and joined Imam al-Husayn (as).

On the day of ‘Ashura, he stood in line to protect the Imam from spears and arrows when Imam al-Husayn (as) was performing his prayers. By the end of the prayers, he had been hit by thirteen arrows. He suffered a lot of wounds and finally fell on the ground and attained martyrdom.

Muslim ibn ‘Awsajah was one of the Prophet’s (S) companions. He was one of the people of Kufah who had written the letter to Imam al-Husayn. He was also one of those who got the people’s allegiance for Imam al-Husayn (as). After the martyrdom of Muslim and Hani ibn ‘Urwah, he went into hiding in Kufah. Later, he and his family escaped. They joined Imam al-Husayn and he sacrificed his life for Imam al-Husayn in the way of Allah.

Another one of the people of Kufah who joined Imam al-Husayn (as) was the One Legged Martyr, Muslim ibn Kathir A‘raj Azdi. He had lost one of his legs fighting on the side of Imam ‘Ali (as) in one of the wars. Even though he was legally exempted from war, and it was not at all incumbent for him to fight, he escaped from Kufah and went to Karbala to be at the service of Imam al-Husayn (as).

He became one of Imam al-Husayn’s (as) soldiers and was one of the first people to be martyred at the beginning of the battle. Mas‘ud ibn Hajjaj Taymi and his child ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Mas‘ud were also among the people who came from Kufah and were martyred at the beginning of the battle on the day of ‘Ashura.

These two had employed a very good trick. When they noticed that they could not manage to escape from Kufah and join Imam al-Husayn (as) in Mecca, they enrolled in the army of ‘Umar ibn Sa‘d and in this way were able to reach Karbala. After reaching Karbala, they escaped from ‘Umar ibn Sa‘d’s army and joined Imam al-Husayn (as).

Mawaqqi‘ ibn Thamamah Asadi was also one of the people who came to Karbala from Kufah. He traveled by night until he joined Imam al-Husayn (as). On the day of ‘Ashura, he fought very bravely. When his strength was exhausted, he fell on the ground. The enemies wanted to cut his head from his body, but he had relatives in the army of Yazid who hurried to protect him from his enemies and managed to take him back to Kufah.

They wanted to secretly cure him, but their secret could not remain hidden. When news reached the Governor of Kufah about what they intended to do, he gave orders that Asadi’s wounded and incapacitated body should be put in yoke and chains and sent into exile to a distant land. Mawaqqi‘ ibn Thamamah Asadi spent a year in yoke and chains with a body covered in blood until he finally joined Imam al-Husayn (as) by attaining martyrdom.

These were some of the religious and devoted Shi‘ahs of Kufah who joined Imam al-Husayn (as) and sacrificed their lives and souls for the Imam and his aims and objectives.

There are many people who joined Imam al-Husayn (as) from Kufah, but we cannot mention all of them here.9


9. Tustari, Qamus al-Rijal; Absar al-‘Ayn fi Ansar al-Husayn (as); Dhakhirah al-Darin fima Yata‘alliqu bi al-Husayn wa Ashabih; Ma‘ali al-Sibtayn; Pishva-ye Shahidan (The Leader of Martyrs); Nafs al-Mahmum; Tarikh Tabari; etc.


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