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Chapter 37: Confident Companions of Imam Husayn

Tabari writes that after the Imam had offered the noon prayers, Zuhyar bin Qayn engaged the enemy. While fighting he continued to say: "I am Zuhayr bin Qayn. I drive the enemies away from my Imam with my sword".

Then he placed his hand on the shoulder of the Holy Imam and said: "Step forward and do not be worried. You are our Divine guide. Why should you be anxious in connection with this occurrence? Is it anything other than that today you will see your grandfather, the Prophet of Allah, your brother, your father Ali, your uncle Hamza, the Doyen of Martyrs, and become happy?

What a high position Zuhayr had attained in the matter of faith and spiritual insight! He consoled the Imam and said: "Do not be worried on account of what has happened, because there is no need for anxiety and regret". It would not be surprising if, as written in some books, Imam Ali is reported to have said: "Even if the curtain is lifted and the hidden realities are manifested it will add nothing to my faith".

Whether Ali did or did not say this he definitely enjoyed this position and did possess such a sublime faith. It is not something unexpected and nothing else could be expected from Imam Ali. What is surprising is that Zuhayr bin Qayn also enjoyed this position to some extent.

What he said to the Imam shows that he was telling him: "I who am Zuhayr and one of the devotees of the son of the Commander of the Faithful have arrived at such a position after attending upon the Imam for some days that even if the curtain is removed from my eyes nothing will be added to my faith". This very faith and clear sightedness kept the friends of the Imam on the right path in all circumstances and they did no stumble in the least.

Nafe' bin Hilal Jamali, one of the companions of the Imam, was shooting down the enemies with arrows and was reciting the following epic verse: "I am Hilal Jamali. I follow the path of Ali" i.e. even when fighting was in progress he was advocating the cause of Ali and was mentioning his name and praising his faith. He killed twelve men of Umar bin Sad and also wounded some others. Eventually, however, his arms were broken and he was disabled and arrested. When he was brought before Ibn sad he asked him: "O Nafe', why have you subjected yourself to this calamity?" Umar was perhaps expecting that like many others he would regret his action and apologize.

However, Nafe' said: "Allah is aware of my intention with regard to what I have done"; and while blood was flowing down from his beard he added: "I swear by Allah that I have killed twelve of your men and also wounded some others. I do not regret my action and if I had not broken my shoulders and arms you could not have arrested me". Nafe' was the first of the companions of the Imam to be arrested and executed.

At the time of his death also he furnished a clear proof of his faith and correct assessment, and history, too, recorded it with perfect honesty. When the sword was raised to cut off his head he said: "I thank Allah that I am going to be killed at the hands of the worst people".

This was the spiritual condition of the persons to whom we send greetings and then say with boldness: "We wish that we too had been with you and had been honored and exalted like you". Why don't we ever say: "Thank Allah that we were not present on that day and did not get involved in such a test and did not participate in shedding the blood of the pure and virtuous persons like you". Was that day nearer to reality and truth or is this thanksgiving and rejoicing?

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