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Majlis 26

Women Who Helped Imam Al-Husayn (A)

All the aspects of Islam be they natural, social or related to monotheism, divine recognition and faithfulness or disputes appear complete. Those who played their role in Karbala included a suckling baby as well as an elderly person aged seventy or eighty years old and the ladies. The wife of Abdullah Ibn Umair Kalbi (Umm Wahab) was one of those elderly people.

Three persons had come along to Karbala along with their wives and children to assist Imam Al-Husayn (A). After the martyrdom of these three persons, their families remained with the family of Imam Al-Husayn (A).

The other companions were not accompanied by wives and children. The three persons whose wives and children accompanied them in Karbala were Muslim Ibn Awsaja, Abdullah Ibn Umair Kalbi and Junada Ibn Harth Ansari.

Take Me Along

Abdullah Ibn Umair was among the companions of the Holy Prophet (S). He had participated in Islamic battles. It is mentioned that he was not present in Kufa during those days. When he got the news of the disturbed affairs of Kufa that an army was being readied to fight against Imam Al-Husayn (A), he told himself,

“By Allah, I fought against the disbelievers for long years for the sake of Islam. However, that jihad cannot be equal in rank to his one where I am getting a chance to defend the people of the house of the Holy Prophet (S).”

He reached home and told his wife about his decision. His wife said, “May God reward you! You have made a great decision, but I put forward a condition for it.” He asked what that condition was. His wife replied, “You should take me along.” Thus he took his wife as well as his mother along. What a great thing to do! How great these women were!

Abdullah Ibn Umair was a valiant fighter. He fought with both the slaves of Umar Ibn Saad and Ibn Ziyad who had sought their equal and were very strong. He dispatched both to hell.

It is mentioned that when those slaves sought their equal, the choosing eyes of Imam Al-Husayn (A) looked at the body and arms of Abdullah Ibn Umair and the Imam selected him. He said, “You are the man to fight these two.” Thus, he went to the battlefield and became a fitting opponent for both.

First, the slave of Umar Ibn Saad, Yasar came forward. Abdullah Ibn Umair defeated him in one stroke. However, before that, a person attacked him from behind. The companions of Imam shouted to alert him but before he could balance himself, he was vigorously attacked with a sword and Abdullah’s hand was cut off at his wrist. However, this brave man killed him with his other hand.1

He came to Imam Al-Husayn (A) in this state reciting the war poem and asked his mother, “O mother! Are you happy now?” his mother replied, “I would not be pleased with you till you sacrifice yourself for the sake of Fatimah’s beloved.”

Abdullah’s wife was also present. She clung to him. His mother said, “Beware, don’t pay heed to what your wife says. It is not the time to listen to your wife. If you want me to be pleased with you, there’s no way for you, except martyrdom.”

This stalwart went to the battlefield again and was finally martyred. The enemies severed his head and threw it towards the tents of Al-Husayn’s family members (Severed heads of some martyrs were thrown at Al-Husayn’s camp and Abdullah Ibn Umair’s was one of them).

The aged mother of this martyr lifted her son’s head, pressed it to her chest, kissed it and said: “O my dearest one! I am pleased with you now. You have fulfilled your duty.” Then she threw his head back to the enemy, saying, “We don’t take back whatever we have given in the way of Allah.”

After Abdullah Ibn Umair’s mother, who had exceeding love for Ahl al-Bayt, picked up a tent pole and attacked the impure enemy saying:

“Even though I am a weak old woman, I would defend the family of Fatimah as long as there is strength in my old bones.”2

In the name of Allah and by Allah and on the religion of the Messenger of Allah (S)

  • 1. Mausuat al-Kalimat al-Imam al-Husayn, Pg. 433 (the topic is related to the companion of the Holy Prophet (S), Abdullah Ibn Umair Kalbi till here. After this, it is related to Wahab Ibn Abdullah Ibn Habbab Kalbi who was young in age). (Rizwani)
  • 2. These verses were not recited by the mother of Abdullah Ibn Umair Kalbi. Instead they were mentioned by the mother of that child about whom it is written that he was the youth whose father had been killed in the attack.