-Martyrdom of Abdullah bin Afeef Azdi
Sayyid Ibn Tawoos relates, that then (Ubaydullah) Ibn Ziyad ascended the pulpit, and after praising and glorifying Allah, said, “Praise be to Allah that He has bestowed dominance to the truth and the truthful ones, and presented victory to the commander of the faithful and his adherents, while killing the liar and son of a liar (Allah's refuge)”.
At that moment Abdullah bin Afeef Azdi, who was one of the virtuous and abstentious Shi'ah, whose one eye had been blinded in the battle of Jamal, while the other one in the battle of Siffīn, and who served at the grand mosque of Kufa where he remained engrossed in Prayers until the night, arose and said, “O son of Marjanah! You are a liar and son of a liar, while also the one who deputed you and his father. O enemy of Allah! You kill the sons of the Prophets and thereafter you utter such words on the pulpit of the believers?”
The narrator says that, hearing this, Ibn Ziyad was infuriated and said, “Who is this speaker?” He replied, “O enemy of Allah! I am the eulogizer of the Chaste Progeny (of the Prophet) from whom Allah has kept away all filth and whom you killed, yet you consider yourself to be a Muslim? Alas! Where are the children of the Muhajereen and the Ansar, that they do not seek revenge from your rebellious one Yazid, the accursed one and son of the accursed one through the tongue of the Prophet of the Lord of the universe?”
The narrator says that hearing this, Ibn Ziyad was all the more enraged and the vein of his neck swelled and he said, “Bring him to me”. The soldiers ran towards him from all directions, but the chiefs of the clan of Azd, who were his cousins, defended him from the hands of the headsmen. They took him out of the mosque and reached him to his house.
Ibn Ziyad said, “Go out and bring the blind man of Azd to me whose heart has been blinded by Allah similar to his eyes”. They proceeded towards his house, and when the people of the clan of Azd came to know, they, along with the clans of Yaman, assembled to defend him. When the news reached Ubaydullah, he gathered the people of the clan of Muzar and dispatched them to fight them handing over the command to Muhammad bin Ash'as.
The narrator says that they fought fiercely and numerous Arabs were killed. The soldiers of Ibn Ziyad approached the door of Abdullah and breaking it open entered therein. Seeing this, his daughter called out, “That which you had been avoiding has approached while the army has come forth”. He said, “Do not fear and hand me over my sword”. The sword was handed over to him and he defended himself saying, “I am the son of the possessor of two-fold eminence Afeef the chaste, Afeef is my master while my mother is Umme Amir, how many armored and cloaked men do you possess whom I have killed and thrown them upon the ground”. His daughter said, “O father! I wish I was a man, and then today I would have fought with these futile men and the murderers of the Pure Progeny in front of you”.
The army had surrounded him from all sides and he defended himself, while none could lay their hands upon him. And from whichever side they attacked him, his daughter kept informing him (for he was blind). Then they increased in size and cornered him and captured him, while his daughter called out, “O humiliation! They have surrounded my father while he has no aide”. He started whirling his sword while saying, “I swear that if my sight would return, it would become difficult upon you to besiege me”.
The narrator says that again they attacked him and arrested him and took him to Ubaydullah bin Ziyad. He said, “Praise be to Allah that He has humiliated you”. Abdullah bin Afeef answered, “O enemy of Allah! How have I been humiliated? For by Allah! If my sight returns, it would become difficult upon you to besiege me”. Ibn Ziyad said, “O enemy of Allah! What do you say regarding Usman (bin Affan)?” He replied, “O son of the slave of Allah! O son of Marjanah!” Saying this he abused him and said, “What do you have to do with Usman bin Affan whether he performed good or evil deeds? And whether he reconciled or destroyed? Allah, may He be Hallowed and Exalted, is an Authority upon His creatures and shall deal with justice and righteousness in between them and Usman bin Affan.
But you can ask me regarding yourself and your father, or regarding Yazid and his father”. Ubaydullah bin Ziyad said, “By Allah! I shall not question you until you die of grief”. Abdullah bin Afeef said, “All Praise be to the Lord of the universe! I had desired from my Allah to bestow martyrdom upon me long before your mother gave birth to you. And I had desired it at the hands of the worst among His creatures and the most detested one near Him. But when my eyes had turned blind, I had lost hope, but now, praise be to Allah, after despair it has been manifested to me and I perceive that my ancient desire has been fulfilled”. Ibn Ziyad ordered, “Behead him”, they beheaded him and his head was hanged at the salt swamp. (May Allah's Mercy and Blessings be upon him).
Shaikh Mufeed says, that when the headsmen arrested him, he announced the slogan of the people of Azd, while seven hundred people of Azd gathered near him and released him from the headsmen. Ibn Ziyad dispatched his men at mid-night and he was brought out and beheaded and was hung at his salt-swamp. Then when it dawned, Ibn Ziyad called for the head of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and ordered it to be paraded in the streets of Kufa and among all the clans. Zayd bin Arqam says that, I was on my terrace when the head passed by me placed upon a lance. When it came close to me, I heard it recite:
“Or do you think that the Fellows of the Cave and (of) the Inscription (which) were of Our Signs (Miracles) (matters) wonderful?” (Surah al-Kahf, 18:9).
The hair of my skin arose and I said, “O son of the Prophet of Allah! Your mystery, as also your task, is most astonishing, and yes most astonishing”. Then after it was paraded in the city of Kufa, it was brought back to the royal palace. Then Ibn Ziyad handed it to the custody of Zahr bin Qays, along with that of his companions, and dispatched them to Yazid bin Mu'awiyah”.
Sayyid Ibn Tawoos says that Ibn Ziyad wrote a letter to Yazid, in which he informed him of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and the state of his family. He dispatched a letter with similar contents to Umro bin Sa'eed bin Aas, the governor of Madinah.
Tabari relates from Hisham (bin Muhammad Kalbi), who relates from Awanah bin Hakim Kalbi, that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred and his belongings and captives were brought to Kufa for Ubaydullah bin Ziyad, they were imprisoned. When the captives were in the prison, a stone was hurled inside, which was tied in a letter. The contents of the letter were as follows:
“On such and such day a message regarding yourselves has been dispatched to Yazid. Then it will take so many days to travel and to return back. It will then return on such and such day, and then if the voice of 'Allaho Akbar' reaches your ears, be informed that there will be a general massacre, but if you do not hear it, then you will be in peace, Allah willing”.
Two three days before the return of the message another letter tied with a stone and a blade was thrown, in which was written: “Make your wills and pledge among yourselves, that the message will come on such and such day”. Finally the message came, while the voice of 'Allaho Akbar' was not heard, with the message that: “Dispatch the captives to me”.
Ubaydullah called for Makhfar bin Sa'labah and Shimr bin Ziljawshan and said, “You should take the captives and the head of Husayn (a.s.) to the presence of Yazid”, they left until they reached him.
It is stated in Kamil of Ibn Aseer, that when Umar bin Sa'ad returned back after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.), Ibn Ziyad told him, “O Umar! Return to me the letter in which I ordered you to kill Husayn”. He replied, “I have executed your orders, while the letter has been lost”. Ibn Ziyad said, “You should hand it over to me”. Umar replied, “It is lost”, “Then you should get it” said Ibn Ziyad. Umar replied, “I have kept it with me, so that, by Allah, I may read it in front of the old Qurayshite women of Madinah as a cover-up for me. Beware! I had counseled you regarding Husayn, that if I had done similar to my father Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas, I would have fulfilled all rights due to a father”.
Hearing this, Usman bin Ziyad, the brother of Ubaydullah, said, “He spoke the truth by Allah! I cherish it that until the day of Qiyamah the noses of all the progeny of Ziyad would be bridled and Husayn would not have been killed”, while Ubaydullah himself did not deny it.
It is stated in Tazkirah of Sibt Ibn Jawzee, that after this, Umar bin Sa'ad arose from the assembly of Ibn Ziyad so as to return to his house. On the way he said, “None has returned back from the battle more miserable than me. I obeyed the son of Ziyad, an oppressor and son of a loose woman, while disobeying Allah, the Just. While I severed the honorable relation that I shared with the family of the Prophet (S)”. The people distanced themselves from him, and whenever he encountered anyone from among them, they would turn their faces away from him. And whenever he stepped into the mosque, the people therein would leave. And whoever saw him would abuse him, and he remained secluded in his house until he was killed. (May Allah's eternal curse be upon him and his accomplices).
Abu Hanifa Daynoori says that Hameed bin Muslim relates, that Umar bin Sa'ad was my companion, and after returning from battle against Imam Husayn (a.s.) I inquired of him, and he said, “Do not ask me regarding my state, none has left one's house and brought back the worst that what I have brought back to my house. I severed the most merciful relation and performed a great (worst) task”.
 Muhajereen - The Emmigrants of Makkah, who accompanied Prophet Muhammad (S) to Madinah. Ansar - The Helpers of Madinah who welcomed the Prophet whole-heartedly and rendered assistance to him.