Rafed English

Zuhayr Ibn al-Qayn Delivers a Speech

Adapted from: "Maqtal al-Husayn; Martyrdom Epic of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.)" by: "Abd al-Razzaq al-Muqarram"

Zuhayr Ibn al-Qayn came out on a horse with a huge tail, fully armed. He shouted out:
 “O people of Kufa! Be forewarned of a torment from Allah! It is the obligation of each Muslim to admonish his brethren. Till now, we are still brethren following the same religion so long as the sword does not interfere between us.

You deserve to be admonished; so, once the sword starts doing its thing, none of you shall be protected from such a torment. We will then be one group and you will be another. Allah has tried us and your own selves through the offspring of His Prophet Muhammad (S) in order to see what we and you will be doing.

We call upon you to support them and to abandon the tyranny of Yazid and ‘Ubaydullah Ibn Ziyad, for you should not expect from them except evil so long as they rule over you. They will gouge out your eyes and amputate your hands and legs. They will mutilate you and crucify you on palm trees.

They will kill the best among you, and they will kill those among you who know and recite the Qur'an such as ‘Hujr Ibn ‘Adiy and his fellows and also Hani Ibn ‘Urwah and his likes”.
They taunted him and praised ‘Ubaydullah Ibn Ziyad and even supplicated for him. Then they said, “We shall not leave this place before killing your friend and all those who accompany him, or we safely send him and them to ‘Ubaydullah Ibn Ziyad.” Zuhayr said, “O servants of Allah!

The descendants of Fatima (‘a) are more worthy of being loved and supported than the son of Sumayya! But if you do not support them, I seek refuge with Allah against you killing them! Save this man from Yazid, for by my life! Yazid will be satisfied with your obedience to him even if you do not kill al-Husayn (‘a).”
Shimr shot him with an arrow saying, “Shut your mouth! May Allah forever silence your voice! You have bored us with talking too much!” Zuhayr said, “You! You son of the man who urinates on his heels! I was not addressing you, for you are, by Allah, an animal, and I do not think that you fully understand even two verses from the Book of Allah!

So, be prepared to be shamed on the Day of Judgment, and be prepared for a very painful chastisement!”

Shimr said, “Allah will soon kill you and your friend.” Zuhayr said to him, “Are you scaring me with death? By Allah! To die with him is more pleasing to my heart than having to live forever among you, folks.” He then loudly called out to them, “O servants of Allah! Let not this crude ruffian and his likes deceive you with regard to your creed!

By Allah! Muhammad's intercession shall never reach those who spill the blood of his offspring and Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) or those who kill their supporters and who protect their women.”

A man from among his group called out to him saying, “Abu ‘Abdullah is telling you to go back, for the believer from among the family of Pharaoh had admonished his people and was quite eloquent in doing so. You have admonished these folks and you have been quite eloquent had admonishment and eloquence been of benefit for such people.”20


20. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 243.


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