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The First Visitor Of Al-Husayn (as) From Kufah

[After the martyrdom of al-Husayn] ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad inquired about the noblemen of Kufah. He did not see ‘Ubaidullah bin al-Hurr [al-Ju’fi]. After a couple of days, Ibn Hurr came to Ibn Ziyad. So he asked: “Where were you, O son of Hurr?”

He replied: “I was sick.”

[Ibn Ziyad] said: “Sick in soul or in body?!”

He said: “As for my heart, it has not ailed. With regard to my body, Allah has granted me soundness in health!”

Ibn Ziyad said to him: “You are a liar. Rather you were with our enemy.”

He said: “If I was with your enemy, it would have been known. The place of someone like me is never unknown.”

Ibn Ziyad [then] became inattentive of him for a moment. So Ibn Hurr [availed the opportunity and] took his way out and mounted his horse. [After sometime] Ibn Ziyad said: “Where is Ibn al-Hurr?”

“He has just left”, the people answered.

Ibn Ziyad said: “Get him for me.”

So [his] guards went after him and said to him: “The governor is calling you!”

[Ibn al-Hurr] drove his horse and then said: “Tell him that, by Allah, I will never submit to his obedience again!”

Then he left [Kufah] and went to Karbala’. He recited in this regard:

A treacherous governor, son of a traitor says: why did you not fight the martyr, son of Fatimah?

I regret that I did not help him, a soul which is not rightly directed [always] regrets.

Since I was not among his supporters, I am in a grief that will not part me!

May Allah make the souls -that determinedly helped him- to drink from the everlasting shower [of his mercy].

[Now] that I am standing by their graves and places, I am torn apart from within and my eyes are tearful.

By my life, they were valiant amidst the tumult, hurrying towards the battle and defending [al-Husayn] like lions.

[Now] that they have been killed, every pious soul on the earth has become despondent.

None has seen [a people] better than them, at death [they were] like chiefs and blooming flowers.

[O Ibn Ziyad] you kill them unjustly and then expect our love; leave this plan which is not favourable for us.

By my life, you have rubbed our nose in the ground by killing them, what a large number of man and woman from us will take revenge from you.

Many a time I intend to advance with an army against a group which has unjustly deviated from the truth.

So restrain yourselves or else I will drive you away with the support of an army, severer than the [forces] of the Dailamites.1,2

  • 1. Al-Tabari (5:469): “[Abu Mikhnaf says:] ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Jundab al-Azdi narrated to me that…”
  • 2. Al-Tabari: The reason Ibn al-Hurr brings in the example of the Dailamites is because of the valour they exhibited during the battles of resistance, after the fall of the Sasanid dynasty. He was a follower of ‘Uthman. When [‘Uthman] was assassinated, Ibn al-Hurr left Kufah and went to Mu’awiyah. He remained there until the [martyrdom] of ‘Ali (as) (5:128). Thereafter, he returned to Kufah. When Hujr [bin ‘Adiyy] was arrested, Ibn al-Hurr wished that if only five to ten men had helped him, he could have saved Hujr and his companions (5:271). When al-Husayn (as) invited him to join him, he said: “By Allah, I only left Kufah out of dislike that you may enter it while I am there.” Al-Husayn (as) said: “If you are not [intending] to help us, then [at least] fear Allah in that you should be among those who fight us; for by Allah, one who hears our call [for help] but does not come to our help, is, indeed, going to perish” (5:407). After the death of Yazid and the flight of Ibn Ziyad and during the uprising of Mukhtar, Ibn al-Hurr went to Madain with 700 horsemen, collecting money [from the people]. Mukhtar detained his wife in Kufah and told her: “I am going to kill his companions” (5:129). Ibn al-Hurr later joined Mus’ab bin al-Zubair and fought against Mukhtar (5:105). Ibn al-Hurr is the one who suggested to Mus’ab, after Mukhtar was killed, to kill the non-Arabs among [Mukhtar’s] followers and leave the Arabs. And Mus’ab did so (5:116). Then, Mus’ab feared him for his own life, so he imprisoned him. A group from the Madhhij interceded with him on his behalf, so he freed him. Thereafter, [Ibn al-Hurr] rose against him (5:131). He later joined ‘Abd al-Malik bin Marwan. The latter sent him to Kufah at a time when [the city] was under the governer of Ibn al-Zubair. So [Ibn al-Hurr] fought him in the year 68 H and killed him (5:135). We made some mention of his life when giving the account of his meeting with the Imam (as) at Qasr Bani Muqatil, on the way to Karbala’.