Mukhtar Al-Thaqafi: Character Versus Controversy

Amina Inloes
First Published in: The Islamic College, London, UK.
Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies.
Spring 2009, Vol. II, No. 2.


Considerable debate surrounds the seventh-century revolutionary Mukhtar al-Thaqafi. While some view him as a staunch supporter of the Shi‘a Imams, others hold him responsible for the formation of several heterodox Islamic sects and for falsely promoting Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah as the Divine Saviour. This article attempts to clarify Mukhtar’s role in history through an examination of his biography and the history of his socio-political movement1.

Key Words: Muktar al-Thaqafi, Shi‘a history, Shi‘a sects


Few individuals throughout Islamic history appear as colourful, as controversial, or as genuine as al-Mukhtar ibn Abi ‘Ubaydah al-Thaqafi. Spanning three volumes of Tarikh al-Tabari, Mukhtar’s exploits included wresting Iraq from the Umayyids, uplifting the underprivileged and exacting vengeance on the killers of Imam Husayn ibn ‘Ali. Despite that stunning record, however, his detractors posthumously pegged him as a heretic who founded no less than three short-lived sects, all which centred on Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah as the Saviour and Imam. Tales also began to spread portraying him as pathetically anti-‘Alid in his youth. His reputation clouded, the one- time revolutionary began to be viewed as a renegade, and he acquired the name ‘Mukhtar the liar’ (al-kadhdhab) – a title that prompted his own son to ask Imam Muhammad al-Baqir whether his father truly was a ‘liar’.

Who was al-Mukhtar?

Who was this ‘liar’, and where did he come from? Long ago, in the days of his youth, Abu ‘Ubayd ibn Mas‘ud al-Thaqafi was suffering from a severe dilemma: he could not decide whom to marry. One night, he had a dream commanding him to marry a beautiful girl named Ruma bint Wahhab. Honoured by this proposal from the soon-to-be companion of the Prophet, Ruma and he soon married, and the fruit of their union was Mukhtar. While carrying him, Ruma herself is said to have dreamt of her son’s future valour and to have been instructed to name him al- Mukhtar, ‘because he would be a person free from avarice and possessor of plenty of supporters’2. Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib is also narrated to have praised Mukhtar while Mukhtar was still a child3. True or not, these stories speak volumes about his popularity and his character.

Both of Mukhtar’s parents sprang from the tribe of Thaqif, famed for producing educated Arabs. Brilliant and eloquent, Mukhtar proved to be no exception. Even before Islam, the Thaqafis were deeply experienced in administering Iraq and had forged close connections with both the Umayyids and the Quraysh. These connections served Mukhtar well; twice, his sister used her husband’s influence with the Umayyid caliph Yazid bin Mu’awiyah to free Mukhtar from prison4. But whereas most of the Thaqafis elected to work for Mu’awiyah in what Kennedy terms a ‘Thaqafi mafia’5, Mukhtar’s immediate relatives remained staunch supporters of Imam ‘Ali – and, therefore, anti- Umayyid.

Born in Ta’if in the first year of the hijrah, Mukhtar grew up with the Prophet’s grandsons Hasan and Husayn – whose murder he would later take vengeance for. Early on, he demonstrated his bravery; for instance, when he was thirteen, his uncle had to restrain him from rushing onto the battlefield to fight the Persians6. When Mukhtar reached his thirties, his father was sent to command the armies in Iraq, and so the family relocated, forcing Mukhtar to develop an intimate familiarity with the region.

Although Mukhtar’s father subsequently fell at the Battle of the Bridge, the family remained in Iraq and acquired property and prestige. Both he and his uncle held office under the caliphate of Imam ‘Ali, and, rapidly, the family became part of the Kufan elite7. From then on, Mukhtar largely dropped out of historical record until his sixties, when the ascension of Yazid sparked the uprising of Imam Husayn. The intense detail that his remaining seven years were chronicled with more than compensates for any lapses.

Friend or Foe?

However, Mukhtar’s intervening years do pop up in one dubious context – accounts, almost certainly fictitious – that portray him as a foe rather than a friend of the ‘Alids (the same ‘Alids that had appointed him to office). Of course, the Umayyids – who were infamous for defaming the family of the Prophet and their supporters – had every reason to tarnish Mukhtar’s good name. After all, not only had he lopped off a fair chunk of their land, but he enjoyed unprecedented popular support. Were that not enough, he had also put key Umayyid allies to death for murdering Imam Husayn. He also insisted on that pesky and very anti-Umayyid notion of social equality. Therefore, given his Umayyid unpopularity and the Umayyid mendacity, the Umayyids stand as strong suspects in inventing these tales.

Furthermore, Mukhtar was not just a Shi‘a; he was a super-Shi‘a! After the murder of Imam Husayn, he dedicated his entire life – and his followers’ lives – to the sole mission of bringing the killers to justice. In that quest, he left no stone unturned. Leading an army of thousands, he methodically hunted down the killers as they fled into the deserts and the villages and the Umayyid palaces. He succeeded where others – such as the tawwabun – had failed. Periodically, he also sent lavish gifts on the order of thousands of dirhams to Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah and Imam Sajjad.8

At one point, he even sent Imam Sajjad an army (known as the khashbiyyah because of the wooden sticks they bore) to free him and his kinsmen from Ibn Zubayr’s siege and to rebuild their demolished homes9. Such intense loyalty rarely develops overnight – particularly in later life – and it alone calls tales of disloyalty into question.

Additionally, the Shi‘a exhibited immense trust in Mukhtar at critical moments when no one with a sketchy history would have been entrusted with the safety of the movement. For instance, when Muslim ibn ‘Aqil was sent to Kufa to prepare for the uprising of Imam Husayn, Muslim headed directly for Mukhtar’s home, demonstrating both his trust in Mukhtar as well as Mukhtar’s status in the eyes of the community10. The government too had zero doubts about where Mukhtar’s loyalties lay, and, rather than trying to buy him – as they did others – they promptly jailed him11. These implicit character references attest that he was continuously allied with the Shi‘a cause.

The stories of Mukhtar’s treachery simply do not fit in with his character. Throughout history, Mukhtar proved himself a man of his word. For instance, when Ibn Zubayr, the de facto ruler of the Hijaz, sought his allegiance, he and Mukhtar haggled over the premises of the agreement before Mukhtar capitulated – thus indicating how highly Mukhtar valued his sworn word. For several months, he fought valiantly for Ibn Zubayr before realizing that Ibn Zubayr had no intention of living up to his half of the bargain12.

Later, after capturing Kufa, Mukhtar was itching to execute ‘Umar ibn Sa‘d, the commander who had led the armies against Imam Husayn. However, since Ibn Sa‘d rather cowardly sought immunity from Mukhtar, Mukhtar honoured that request – on the condition that Ibn Sa‘d remain confined to his house. Only after Ibn Sa‘d broke that agreement did Mukhtar gratefully return Ibn Sa‘d to his Maker13. Only in one instance did Mukhtar violate his sworn word, and that was when he was released from jail on the promise that he would not revolt. Even then, he offered to give full expiation for breaking his oath – namely, sacrificing one thousand camels and freeing all his slaves14.

Mukhtar was also not the treacherous type. Although he planned to take over the government, he did not plot to do so; in fact, he spoke quite openly about his intents – even though his forthrightness landed him in jail again15& 16. Furthermore, throughout his reign, he consistently conducted himself with honour and generosity, repeatedly pardoning his enemies and distributing all nine million dirhams of the treasury to the public17. He also went to great lengths to preserve his dignity and once disappeared to Ta’if for a year so that Ibn Zubayr would realize that Mukhtar ‘had no need of him’18. All in all, Mukhtar epitomized the proverbial Arab virtues of bravery, generosity, and honour; a European admirer would have called him chivalrous.

Therefore, it is hard to believe that someone as noble as Mukhtar would have ever backstabbed anyone (unless, of course that person had murdered Imam Husayn). Nevertheless, Tabari – who himself relates all of these shining examples of Mukhtar’s chivalry – writes that, one day in Ctesiphon, Imam Hasan ibn ‘Ali was wounded in battle and sought refuge in the house of the governor, who happened to be Mukhtar’s uncle. Thrilled at this unprecedented opportunity, Mukhtar is said to have suggested that his uncle turn their wounded guest over to Mu’awiyah to prove their goodwill to the Syrian caliphate. ‘Enraged’ would not sufficiently express Mukhtar’s uncle’s response, and so Mukhtar wisely dropped the idea19. A credible story – except that it contradicts everything else that is known about Mukhtar. Someone who took so much pride in his dignity and honour would hardly have been expected to stoop to the level of betraying an injured guest – his childhood friend, no less – in order to curry royal favour with the Syrian caliphate that was wreaking havoc in Iraq. Perhaps Tabari should have ascribed this story to one of the more Umayyid-friendly Thaqafis rather than Mukhtar.

Mukhtar’s Enemies

Doubtlessly, this fib was scribed by the Umayyid propaganda vizier. However, while Mukhtar had ample external enemies – including the Umayyid caliphs, his rival Ibn Zubayr, and the killers of Imam Husayn – his true enemies came from within, and, in the end, they were the ones who brought him down. While virtually no one, not even the Umayyid governor ‘Abdullah ibn Yazid, could find fault with his desire to take vengeance for Imam Husayn20, the Kufan aristocracy shivered at his other banner: social equality.

At the time, Kufan society was highly stratified, with the non-Arabs (mostly Iranian mawali) paying higher taxes and receiving short shrift21. However, as these foreigners joined the fold of Islam, they expected to be treated as equals and were dismayed when they were viewed more as chattel. Mukhtar promised to uplift them, and, unsurprisingly, they followed him in droves. Mukhtar’s equitable treatment towards them scared the nobles, who gathered outside the city and proclaimed22:

By god, this man [Mukhtar] has made himself commander over us without our consent. He has drawn our mawali near to himself, mounted them on horses, given them stipends, and assigned our fay’ to them. Our slaves have disobeyed us, and our orphans and widows have thus been despoiled.

As soon as Mukhtar’s army had left Kufa, they revolted, forcing kinsmen to fight kinsmen and blood to flow through the Kufan streets23. While Mukhtar quickly put down that rebellion, animosity towards the mawali did not subside. Tragically, during a subsequent battle, one of Mukhtar’s officers tricked his commander into dismounting the mawali; practically none of them survived24. Despite the fact that Mukhtar had once pardoned these Kufan nobles, they ultimately turned against him and sided with Mas‘ab ibn Zubayr, even though he prided himself on being ‘the butcher’. After killing Mukhtar, Mas‘ab then fulfilled his name and executed thousands of mawali25.

Clearly, this oligarchy had no interest in actually living the egalitarian ideals of Islam. But whether Mukhtar supported his underprivileged followers out of idealism or pragmatism, none can deny that he died for his egalitarian ethos. Therefore, how is it that, so soon after his death, he acquired the honorific of ‘the liar’ (al- kadhdhab)?

‘Abdullah ibn Zubayr (the brother of ‘the butcher’) first named Mukhtar ‘the liar’. Although Ibn ‘Abbas, a respected companion of the Prophet, immediately objected, saying that Mukhtar ‘killed our assassins’, ‘took revenge for our blood’, ‘soothed our pains’, and therefore did not deserve such an insult26, the catchy title stuck – and Mukhtar’s enemies gleefully branded him as ‘Mukhtar the liar’. Despite Mukhtar’s outstanding record, posthumous accusations began raining down on his grave – mostly, of heterodoxy. While a minority – beginning with ‘the butcher’ – accused him of claiming prophethood, others credited him with starting three separate Shi‘a sects (namely, the kaysaniyyah, the ‘abbasiyyah, and his namesake, the mukhtariyyah). These sects all held that Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (the son of Imam ‘Ali but not the Prophet) was the Divine Saviour (mahdi) and the Shi‘a Imam.

The Mahdi

If that were not enough, centuries later, Mukhtar was also accused of introducing the entire concept of the Mahdi into Islam. In particular, secular scholarship seems to have latched onto that idea, although plenty of Islamic writers have mentioned it too. For instance, H. U. Rahman writes in his book A Chronology of Islamic History27:

Mukhtar acquired a revolutionary significance; the idea of the Mahdi took a firm and lasting hold, the Shia was transformed from being a political party (based on the question of the Caliphate after the Prophet’s death) into a religious sect....Although in the Shi’ite creed the Mahdi became an essential figure, later identified with the ‘Hidden Imam’ who would reappear and rule by divine order, filling the world with righteousness, there also developed gradually a Sunni conception of the Mahdi.

In A History of the Muslim World to 1405, Egger is even blunter28:
Mukhtar claimed that Ibn al-Hanafiya was...the madhi, a messiah-like figure....Within the first few decades of Islam there arose informal traditions to the effect that the end of history would be heralded by a Muslim Mahdi and by Jesus.

These loaded statements reflect the modern academic perspective on Mukhtar – and, indeed, on the concept of the mahdi itself. According to this view, the concept of the mahdi had no basis in the Prophet’s Islam. At first, Mukhtar invented the idea of the mahdi and popularized it among the Shi‘a; later, the Sunnis grasped on to it too.

Since both Rahman and Egger were busy writing sweeping histories of the Islamic world, they might not have had time to investigate their assumptions too carefully. Otherwise, they surely would have noticed the ample discussion of the mahdi in the six monumental sahih Sunni hadith collections. These Sunni hadith describe the mahdi much as the Shi‘a do – namely, as the Saviour who will emerge from the lineage of the Prophet to lead the Battle of Armageddon and bring peace and justice to the world. The only major difference is that (orthodox) Sunnis do not yet believe that the mahdi has been born29.

Of course, no one can guarantee that all of the sahih hadith are actually authentic. Therefore, two possibilities remain: either the Prophet said these hadith, or he didn’t. If he didn’t, then someone else much more favourable to the caliphate than Mukhtar must have, for the sponsors of the ahl al-sunnah wal-jama‘ah were hardly inclined to give credence to Shi‘a heterodoxies. So if they did fabricate these stories, the question would be: why?

While the Umayyids had a long history of tinkering with hadith, they had no conceivable reason to inflame popular imagination with stories of a divine saviour – an ‘Alid, no less – who would arise and slay the tyrants of the world (particularly since they themselves were the said unjust tyrants). Taking the Umayyid distrust of the mahdi one step further, the ‘Abbasids actually attempted to slay the child that the Shi‘a believed was the mahdi. Therefore, in the absence of any motivation for the fabrication of these hadith, it stands to reason that the Prophet must have said at least some of them – and that the mahdi was neither a Shi‘a invention nor the brainchild of Mukhtar.

Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah

Of course, Mukhtar only invented the mahdi centuries after his death.
Individuals living closer to his era were more concerned with whom he named as the mahdi, not that he invented the mahdi himself. Therefore, the question is worth asking: did Mukhtar ever refer to Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah as the mahdi?
The answer is a resounding yes. In letters and speeches and everyday discourse, Mukhtar - bolstered by his supporters – promoted Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah as ‘the mahdi’ after his return to Kufa in 64 AH. Upon entering the city, he headed directly for the house of Sulayman ibn Surad (where the leaders of the Kufan Shi‘a were gathered) and declared: ‘I have come to you from the mahdi, Muhammad b. ‘Ali...chosen by him and as his wazir.30’ Mukhtar even wrote to Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah as ‘Mahdi b. Muhammad b. ‘Ali’ and greeted him with: ‘Salutations be upon you oh [sic] Mahdi’31; Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah is not recorded to have expressed any comment on the matter.

That being said, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah’s newfound position appears to have been met with, at best, disinterest and, at worst, skepticism. For instance, several of Mukhtar’s more dubious followers travelled all the way to Madinah to ask Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah whether he had really appointed Mukhtar as his wazir. However, they forgot to ask whether he was really the mahdi – even though they took the liberty of referring to him as the mahdi upon their return32.

Conversely, when Mukhtar’s followers presented Ibrahim ibn Malik al- Ashtar with a letter from ‘Muhammad al-Mahdi’ commanding him to support them, Ibrahim pointedly remarked that Muhammad ibn al- Hanafiyyah had never called himself the mahdi before. Although several of Mukhtar’s followers enthusiastically swore that the letter had not been forged, Ibrahim remained unconvinced. Later, he confided that although he doubted the letter’s authenticity, he wanted to join Mukhtar’s movement, so he let the matter go33; he then went on to become Mukhtar’s key military commander.

This casual acceptance of Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah as their mahdi could indicate that the Shi‘a of Kufa had more pressing issues than eschatology. However, it could also suggest that at least some of the Kufans took the term mahdi at face value to mean ‘a rightly guided person’ instead of ‘the Divine Saviour’. After all, the ‘Abbasid caliph Mansur styled his son as ‘al-Mahdi’, but no one ever confused him with the Divine Saviour34. The Shi‘a Imams also occasionally took the title of mahdi, but to indicate their roles as guides, not to imply they were the final awaited Saviour35. While later scholars familiar with the specialized implications of the word mahdi attached a tremendous significance to Mukhtar’s adoption of it, his contemporaries hardly seemed to care.

Doubtlessly, Mukhtar must have been aware of the soteriological overtones of the word mahdi, or else he wouldn’t have used it. However, aside from employing the term for dramatic effect, he does not appear to have elaborated on the subject. He neither explained Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah’s role as the Divine Saviour, nor did he attribute him with any supernatural powers. (Indeed, had Muhammad ibn al- Hanafiyyah actually been the mahdi, he should have arisen – not Mukhtar.) Mukhtar’s concern was revenge, not doctrine.

Less spectacularly, Mukhtar is said to have made Muhammad ibn al- Hanafiyyah the Shi‘a Imam. (In contrast, all of the extant Shi‘a sects except the Zaydis identify Imam Sajjad as the Imam of his time.) Of course, doing so would have hardly made him heterodox; for the first three centuries of Islam, the Shi‘a hotly debated the topic of who the Imam was due to the repressive political conditions that prevented the Imams from spreading their teachings openly. To put this question to rest once and for all, Nawbakhti wrote his book36. To further confuse the matter, in Mukhtar’s time, many Muslims who would not have identified themselves as Shi‘a nonetheless preferred the Imams over the caliphs on account of their piety, knowledge, justice, and kinship with the Prophet.

Therefore, addressing Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah as ‘the imam’ may have seemed less significant than it does today. Just like its sister term mahdi, imam can be ambiguous. While imam can refer to the Shi‘a Imam, it can also refer to any leader, such as a leader of prayer – and, nowadays, in some locales, to the leader of a mosque, or the leader of the Islamic Republic. Therefore, was Mukhtar calling him a leader, or the Leader?

Unfortunately, Mukhtar took that secret to his grave, for he never elaborated upon what he meant by imam either. However, he was definitely not the first to look to Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah for leadership; the rest of Iraq did so too, and so, unsurprisingly, no one really raised an eyebrow when Mukhtar called him the imam. For instance, Mukhtar’s companions first went to Muhammad ibn al- Hanafiyyah to ask for permission to fight – even though Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah reminded them that they had to ask Imam Sajjad, ‘my Imam and yours.37

Mukhtar too prioritized Muhammad ibn al- Hanfiyyah, first sending him – not Imam Sajjad – the heads of the killers as well as 30,000 dinars, and leaving Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah the honour of forwarding the good news. Nor did Imam Sajjad take this as a slight; on the contrary, he profusely thanked both Mukhtar and God38.

These preferences may have reflected nothing more than Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah’s seniority. In a tribal society that respected age, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah was a generation older than Imam Sajjad (as was Mukhtar). Even during the other Imamates, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah had played a leadership role; for instance, his brother Imam Husayn left him in charge of Madinah and also left him his will39. While not overtly political, he was less quietist than Imam Sajjad who focused entirely on spiritual teachings. Therefore, although the Shi‘a of Iraq – including Mukhtar – accepted him as a reliable leader, they may not have viewed him as the absolute religio-political Imam, nor does their acknowledgement of his political leadership exclude the possibility that they also acknowledged Imam Sajjad’s spiritual leadership. To give a modern example, many Shi‘a of the past few decades acknowledged Ayatollah Khoei as their marja‘ and spiritual leader but Ayatollah Khomeini as their political leader.

In any case, while Mukhtar may have been overenthusiastic – and perhaps irresponsible – in calling Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah the imam and the mahdi in order to garner support, he did not single- handedly invite people towards his Imamate, nor did he preach a new doctrine. Therefore, he hardly deserves to be called ‘the liar’ who went off and started three new sects.

The Kaysaniyyah

Nonetheless, the new sects did appear. Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah’s stature swelled until he was said to have been the most important of the ‘Alids, and ‘no one from his household’ – including Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn – ‘was permitted to oppose him, dispute his imamate, or use the sword without his permission’40. Unable to accept his death, his followers then claimed he had gone into concealment on Mt. Radwa, where he was ‘nourished with springs of water and honey and protected by a lion and a leopard.41’ Such a complex (and baseless) ideology was a far cry from Mukhtar’s mere capitalization on the honorific. What happened?

To begin with, the people of the time were desperate for a saviour. Already suffering under political instability and Umayyid oppression, some must have seen the bloody massacre of the grandson of the Prophet at the hands of Muslims as a sign of the end of the world, or at least their religion. Tensions between the masses and the nobility as well as the Arabs and the non-Arabs set the stage for severe social conflict. In such an explosive environment, many Muslims had immense faith but little knowledge, especially in areas far from the Hijaz. Kufa itself had only received a canonized copy of the Qur’an three decades before42.

Fearful of the Prophet’s teachings – which justified neither monarchy nor tyranny – the Umayyid dynasty suppressed many of the hadith, particularly those pertaining to social equality and the family of the Prophet. Simultaneously, hordes of newcomers were entering Islam and needed to be educated about the Islamic cause. Mass religious illiteracy reached the point where the Shi‘a were said to have been ignorant before the advent of Imam Baqir. In such a desperate and repressed environment, it is easy to imagine how heterodoxies could take root.

Nawbakhti also points to another option and places the blame squarely on the shoulders of Mukhtar’s police chief, Abu ‘Amrah al- Kaysan (hence one source of the name kaysaniyyah). According to him, Kaysan went around saying that the Angel Gabriel visited Mukhtar and tried to offer him revelation, but Mukhtar was unaware of it43. (Of course, one might ask how Kaysan was aware of it if Mukhtar was not) Additionally, after Mukhtar’s death, Mas‘ab ibn Zubayr (a.k.a. ‘the butcher’) spread the rumour that one of Mukhtar’s wives had claimed Mukhtar was a prophet – even though she had not – and, therefore, he had been forced to execute her44. Given Mukhtar’s numerous enemies, it is no surprise that these fictions abounded.

Mukhtar may also have simply been the victim of his own sharp foresight. Many times, he very accurately predicted what the future would unfold, to the surprise of those who could not believe that such events would come to pass. Although his foresight undoubtedly resulted from his sharp intellect combined with his unparalleled determination – since much of what he predicted pertained to himself – amazed passers-by did sometimes wonder whether he had been granted with the gift of prescience from God45. He also quoted a prophecy – that came true – that was handed down to him from Imam ‘Ali through Maytham al-Tammar46. Nonetheless, Mukhtar himself never claimed any sort of supernatural wisdom.

In Memoriam

Therefore, Mukhtar should be remembered by his true name –‘Mukhtar al-Thaqafi’ – and not his acquired name, ‘Mukhtar the Liar’. While heterodox sects did appear posthumously bearing his name, he had no hand in them. He had two goals – taking vengeance and reforming society – and he accomplished both of them. Scripting doctrine was not one of them. Epitomizing bravery, valour, intellect, generosity, and determination, Mukhtar gave his life for justice.

  • 1. I would like to thank Dr. Jassim Husain of The Islamic College (London) for his tireless assistance, encouragement, and support.
  • 2. Ali Munfarid, The Story of Karbala (Qum: Suroor Publications, 1997), 485, citing Bihar al-Anwar.
  • 3. Munfarid, 487.
  • 4. Munfarid, 491.
  • 5. Hugh Kennedy, The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates (Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 1986), 86.
  • 6. Munfarid, 485.
  • 7. Kennedy, 95; Munfarid, 485.
  • 8. Munfarid, 541.
  • 9. Rasul Ja‘farian, History of the Caliphs: From the Death of the Messenger (s) to the Decline of the Umayyad Dynasty 11-123 AH (Qum: Ansariyan Pulibcations, 2003), 460.
  • 10. Muhammad ibn Jarir Tabari, The History of al-Tabari XIX, trans. W. Watt & M. McDonald (New York: SUNY, 1988), 39; Lut b. Yahya Al-Kufi (Abu Mikhnaf, d. 157 AH), Maqtal al-Husayn (A) – Account of the Martyrdom of al-Husayn (A), trans. Hamid Mavani, 31. Retrieved from accessed: October, 2004.
  • 11. Munfarid, 489.
  • 12. Tabari, XX, 111.
  • 13. Munfarid, 527.
  • 14. Munfarid, 492.
  • 15. Tabari, XX, 111.
  • 16. Munfarid, 491.
  • 17. Munfarid, 522-523.
  • 18. Tabari, XX, 111.
  • 19. Tabari, IV, 441; Ja‘fariyan, 449.
  • 20. Tabari, XX, 94.
  • 21. Kennedy, 94-95.
  • 22. Tabari, on the authority of Abu Mikhnaf in the year 66.
  • 23. Munfarid, 517.
  • 24. Munfarid, 547.
  • 25. Munfarid, 555.
  • 26. Ja‘farian, 462.
  • 27. H. U. Rahman, A Chronology of Islamic History: 570-100 CE (London: Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd., 1995), 83-84.
  • 28. Vernon Egger, A History of the Muslim World to 1405: The Making of a Civilization (Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, 2004), 70.
  • 29. Luis Alberto Vittor, Shi‘ite Islam: Orthodoxy or Heterodoxy?, 165. Retrieved from: accessed October, 2007.
  • 30. Tabari, XX, 93.
  • 31. Munfarid, 528.
  • 32. Tabari, XX, 193.
  • 33. Tabari, XX, 195.
  • 34. Kennedy, 137.
  • 35. See ‘Abbas Qummi, “Ziyarat al-Imam al-Husayn al-Mutlaqah”, in Mafatih al-Jinan (Qum: Firuz Abadi Publishers, 1426 AH), 501; which reads, ‘Ashhadu annaka al-Imam… al-Hadi al-Mahdi.
  • 36. Al-Hasan ibn Musa Al-Nawbakhti, Shi’a Sects, trans. A. Kadhim (London: ICAS Press, 2007), 33.
  • 37. Munfarid, 495.
  • 38. Munfarid, 542.
  • 39. ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain: Martyrdom Epic of Imam al-Husain, trans. Yasin T. al-Jibouri (Beirut: Al-Kharsan, 2005), Ch. 21. Available online at , accessed April, 2009.
  • 40. Nawbakhti, 75.
  • 41. Egger, 70.
  • 42. Ahmad von Denffer,‘Ulum al-Qur’an: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an (London: The Islamic Foundation, 1994), 63.
  • 43. Nawbakhti, 70.
  • 44. Munfarid, 556.
  • 45. Tabari, XX, 109.
  • 46. Munfarid, 489.