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The Shi‘ahs from Kufah joined Imam al-Husayn (as) - Part 2

You promised not to interfere until the letter of Ibn Ziyad arrives.” Hurr said, “That is true, but these people did not come with you.” Imam al-Husayn (as) said, “These people are my helpers and companions. It is better for you to keep your promise or we will be forced to fight you.” When Hurr heard this, he dropped his opposition and left them alone. The six people mentioned were not only martyred at Karbala, but were among the earliest to be martyred. At the beginning of the battle, they were surrounded by the enemy. Imam al-Husayn (as) told his courageous brother, ‘Abbas, to go and free those six people from encirclement.

‘Abbas followed his brother’s orders and made a vicious attack on the enemies who had surrounded those six people. He broke the enemy line and freed them. These six youths returned to Imam al-Husayn (as) covered in blood. ‘Abbas ibn ‘Ali was behind them keeping watch over them. Yazid’s soldiers tried to close the way for them.

When the six men saw this, they separated themselves from ‘Abbas and in a fierce counter attack they all attained martyrdom. ‘Abbas gave the final report of what had happened to Imam al-Husayn (as) and the Imam prayed for them and wished them a peaceful return to their Lord.8

Yet another person who joined Imam al-Husayn (as) from Kufah was Habib ibn Mazahir Asadi, a very popular companion of the Holy Prophet (S). He and Muslim ibn ‘Awsajah were among those who had gotten the people’s allegiance on behalf of Imam al-Husayn (as). After ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad entered Kufah and isolated Muslim ibn ‘Aqil, they left Kufah with the intention of going to help Imam al-Husayn (as).

Writers of biography narrate, “Habib equipped his horse and told his slave to take his horse and go to a certain place, being careful not to attract anyone’s attention. He told him to wait for him at that place. Habib bade farewell to his wife and children. He then secretly left the city. When the slave saw that Habib was late, he started talking to the horse,

‘O Horse! If your owner does not come, go by yourself to help al-Husayn (as).’ At that very moment, Habib arrived and heard what the slave said to his horse. He could not help but start crying. As his tears were flowing, he said, ‘May my father and mother be sacrificed for you, O son of the Holy Prophet! Even slaves have hopes of helping you, let alone the free.’

Then, he freed his slave in the way of Allah. The slave started crying and said, ‘O my master! I will never leave you alone. I am coming with you to help Imam al-Husayn’.”

Another person from Kufah who came to the help of Imam al-Husayn (as) was Hajjaj ibn Masruq Ju‘fi. He was one of the followers of Imam ‘Ali (as). He came from Kufah to Mecca in order to join Imam al-Husayn (as). He came with the Imam to Karbala. At prayer times, he was the one who recited the call to prayer [adhan]. He was one of those martyred at Karbala.

Two others from Kufah were Nu‘man ibn ‘Amru Azdi Rasibi and his brother Hulas ibn ‘Amru. These two brothers were initially in the army of ‘Umar ibn Sa‘d, but escaped to join Imam al-Husayn’s (as) army by night. They stayed with him and were among the people martyred in the early confrontation with the enemy.

Also, from among the people of Kufah was Zuhayr ibn Qayn Bajali. He was one of the nobles and brave men of Kufah. He was extraordinary in battle. In the beginning, he was a supporter of ‘Uthman, but in the year 60 of the Islamic calendar, he went on pilgrimage [hajj] to Mecca together with his family.

When returning to Kufah, he met Imam al-Husayn (as) along the way. Allah, the Exalted, guided him. From then on, he became one of the supporters of Imam al-Husayn (as). He came with the Imam to Karbala and was martyred there.

It can be deduced from this that there were other supporters and well-wishers of ‘Uthman in Kufah. They existed up to the time of Imam al-Husayn (as), and did not have much inclination towards the Ahl al-Bayt (as). Therefore, it cannot be supposed that all the people of Kufah were devout and faithful to Imam ‘Ali (as).

One of the Shi‘ahs who escaped to join Imam al-Husayn (as) was Sa‘id ibn ‘Abd Allah Hanafi. He was one of the bravest and most devoted Shi‘ahs of Kufah. When the news of Mu‘awiyah’s death reached him, he called the Shi‘ahs of Kufah together. They wrote a joint letter to Imam al-Husayn (as) inviting him to come to Kufah. When Muslim ibn ‘Aqil came to Kufah, Sa‘id ibn ‘Abd Allah Hanafi swore that he would sacrifice his life to help Imam al-Husayn (as).

Muslim ibn ‘Aqil wrote a letter and entrusted it to Sa‘id to take to Imam al-Husayn (as). When Sa‘id joined Imam al-Husayn (as), he stayed with him until the day of ‘Ashura when he got martyred.

On the night before the day of ‘Ashura, Imam al-Husayn (as) gave a speech in which he gave his companions the liberty to stay with him or escape under the cover of darkness. In the beginning, every one of the members of Bani Hashim said something pledging loyalty to Imam al-Husayn (as) and promising to stay with him to the very end.

When they finished talking, the first person from the companions to speak in defence of Imam al-Husayn (as) was Sa‘id ibn ‘Abd Allah. He said to Imam al-Husayn (as), “We will never leave you alone until we are sure that we have safeguarded the Prophet’s right in you. I swear to Allah! Even if I knew that I would be killed, then brought back to life, then burnt alive, and this were repeated seventy times, I still would never stop at anything to help you.”

On the day of ‘Ashura, he was the one shielding Imam al-Husayn (as) from spears by acting as a human shield. His body took all the spears and arrows that were aimed at the Imam. As a result of this, no spear or arrow hit the Imam. He got so wounded by the arrows and spears which hit him that he finally fell on the ground. Then after cursing the enemies, he turned to Imam al-Husayn and said, “O son of Allah’s Prophet! Have I been faithful to my promise?” Imam al-Husayn (as) replied, “Yes, you will be my advance guard in paradise.” Then, the soul left his blessed body and he was martyred.

Others from Kufah include Shawdhab ibn ‘Abd Allah Hamadani and ‘Abis ibn Abi Shabib Shakiri. Shawdhab was one of the bravest Shi‘ahs of Kufah. He was one of the reliable memorizers and transmitters of hadith (Islamic traditions) from Amir al-Mu’minin Imam ‘Ali (as). Together with his master, he brought Muslim ibn ‘Aqil’s letter from Kufah to Mecca for Imam al-Husayn (as) and then they accompanied him to Karbala where they were both martyred.

Notes:

8. Absar al-‘Ayn fi Ansar al-Husayn (as), p. 66.

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