Conclusion: An account of the Tawwabeen (Penitents) and the rising of Mukhtar bin Abu Ubaydah Saqafi to avenge the blood of Imam Husayn (a.s.)
Here we content ourselves to quote only that what has been narrated by Ibn Aseer in his Kamil.
When Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred and (Ubaydullah) Ibn Ziyad returned from Nukhaylah to Kufa, the Shi’ah disputed with one another in reproach and repentance. They realized their great sin that they invited Imam Husayn (a.s.) and later withdrew their hands from assisting and complying him, while he was killed in their very neighborhood. They realized that until and unless they either killed his murderers or were themselves killed, the sin and disgrace could not be washed off.
They gathered around the five noblemen of Shi’ah in Kufa viz. Sulayman bin Surad Khuza’ee, who was from among the companions of the Prophet (S); Musayyab bin Najabah Fazari, from among the companions of Imam Ali (a.s.); Abdullah bin Sa’ad bin Nufayl Azdi; Abdullah bin Waal Tamimi, from the clan of Taym Bakr bin Wael; and Rufa’ah bin Shaddad Bajali, who was from among the best companions of Imam Ali (a.s.).
They gathered at the house of Sulayman bin Surad Khuza’ee and Musayyab bin Najabah started the speech. After praising Allah he said, “Now then! Allah tried us by means of a lengthy age and delivered us from exposure to various mischiefs. We wish from our Lord that tomorrow in Qiyamah we might not fall prey to chastisement when it will said to us:
“Did not We keep you alive long enough for him who reflected to reflect therein? (Surah al-Fatir, 35:37).”
The faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) has said:
“The age until which Allah accepts apologies from the children of Adam (a.s.) is sixty years.”
While all of us have reached the age of sixty years and are self-praising and Allah found us to be treacherous with regards to the circumstances relating to the grandson of the Prophet of Allah (S). His letters and messengers reached us earlier and he ended his proof upon us and requested us to assist him from the beginning until the end. We remained away from self-sacrifice until he was martyred very close to us.
Neither did we assist him through our hands nor did we side with him by means of our tongues. Neither did we strengthen him with our wealth nor did we solicit help from our families for him. What excuse do we have in the presence of our Lord, and what explanation shall we offer to the Prophet (S) that his beloved son and his progeny were killed. No, by Allah! We have no excuse except that either we kill his murderers or we die in his way. And we desire that Allah might be pleased with us due to this self-sacrifice of ours’, and we should remain safe from His chastisement. O people! One of you should take lead and it is necessary that there should be a commander with whom you may take refuge, as also a standard under which you may gather”.
Then Rufa’ah bin Shaddad Bajali arose and said, “Now then! Allah has placed a best speech in your mouth, while you began your speech with a sane task of fighting against the lewd men and in repentance of a great sin. Your speech is justifiable and acceptable, while whatever you have said regarding the requirement of a commander under whom one would take refuge and a standard under which one would unite is true, and we all too opine likewise.
Then if you accept this task you are likeable, a well-wisher and beloved among the group. And if you opine, as also our group, we shall agree that the noblemen among the Shi’ah and a companion of the Prophet of Allah (S), a senior man like Sulayman bin Surad Khuza’ee should be handed over the charge of this task, whose valor and religiosity is commendable and whose foresight is reliable”.
Abdullah bin Sa’ad confirmed his speech, and Musayyab said, “You have said the truth, appoint Sulayman bin Surad as your commander”. Then Sulayman arose and after praising Allah, said, “Now then! I fear that we shall not reach a better day than this age of short livelihood and the great sin that has enveloped the distinguished chiefs of Shi’ah. All of us desired that the Progeny of the Prophet (S) should come to us and we promised to assist him. Then when they came to us, we displayed lethargy and indigence and became negligent. We waited for one another until the son of our Prophet (S), his progeny, his offspring and the pieces of his body were martyred. He desired justice, but was denied, the lewd men made him the target of arrows and focus of spears, and they galloped towards him and put aside justice. Beware! Now arise, for your Lord is furious with you and shut your eyes from your wives and children so that Allah may be pleased with you. By Allah! I do not presume that He will ever be pleased with you until you fight those who killed him. Do not fear death, for everyone who fears death is humiliated. Then be like the followers of Bani Israel when their Prophets told them: You oppressed your own self when you worshipped the calf, then return back to your Creator and kill your own ego. They refused and knelt down, then rebelled. But then they realized that there was no other way for deliverance from this great sin, except being killed. Then if you are invited towards that which they were invited, then what shall you do? Then sharpen your swords and fix points upon your spears
‘And prepare ye against them whatever (force) you can, and steeds of war at the garrison.’ (Surah al-Anfal, 8:60).”
Khalid bin Nufayl said, “By Allah! If I know that my salvation from my sin and the pleasure of my Lord lies in my being killed, I shall certainly kill myself. All those present bear witness that whatever I have with me, except my arms with which I fight my enemies, I sacrifice it for the Muslims so that they may acquire power in fighting against the lewd men”. Abu Ma’eemar bin Habas bin Rabi’ah Kinani supported his view.
Then Sulayman said, “Enough of speech. Whoever desires donating anything for this task should hand it over to Abdullah bin Waal Taymi. Then when an adequate budget gathers with him, we shall mobilize the Shi’ah destitutes with it”.
Sulayman bin Surad wrote a letter to Sa’ad bin Huzayfah (bin al Yaman) and informed him of their decision and invited him for assistance. Sa’ad read the letter for the Shi’ah of Madaen, who consented to it, and in contents of a letter addressed to Sulayman bin Surad agreed to assist him in this expedition. Sulayman wrote another letter with similar contents to Musanna bin Makhrabah Abadi at Basra. Musanna replied back saying, “We, the group of Shi’ah, praise Allah for this decision of yours’. And we promise that we shall unite with you at the appointed time”. And at the end of the letter he had written some couplets.
They started their activities in the year 61 A.H. after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.). They started gathering requirements for the battle and invited people to seek revenge of Husayn (a.s.), one after the other people started joining them and they continued their task until Yazid died in 64 A.H. Hearing this the companions of Sulayman rallied around him and informed him that, “Yazid has died and the state of the kingdom had turned sluggish. Then if you permit, we should revolt against ‘Amr bin Hurays, the assistant of Ibn Ziyad, and declare our intention of revenging the blood of Husayn (a.s.) as also pursue his murderers while inviting towards the sovereignty of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), who have been denied their rights”.
Sulayman replied, “Do not make haste. I have pondered upon your proposal and have concluded that all the murderers of Husayn (a.s.) are the noblemen of Kufa and among the valorous Arabs. Then if you try to seek revenge from them and they become aware of your intentions, all of them shall pounce upon you with more severity than anyone else. Then I have measured that if the group among your obedient ones revolt, you shall not be able to seek your revenge, and you shall not heal your hearts but shall fall prey to your enemies. Thus you may dispatch your missionaries and invite people towards our assistance”.
They did as advised and a large number of men rallied around them after the death of Yazid. The Kufans too expelled ‘Amr bin Hurays from Kufa and pledged allegiance for Abdullah bin Zubayr, while Sulayman and his companions remained busy in their missionary activities.
Mukhtar bin Abi Ubaydah entered Kufa in the middle of the month of Ramazan, six months after the death of Yazid. Abdullah bin Yazid Ansari was the governor of Kufa deputed by Ibn Zubayr, while Ibraheem bin Muhammad bin Talha assisted him and was appointed to collect taxes. Mukhtar arose to invite people towards seeking revenge for Husayn (a.s.) and his slogan for this invitation was that, “I have been assigned as a trustworthy deputy on behalf of the Mahdi Muhammad bin Hanafiyah”, while a group of Shi’ah rallied around him. He (Mukhtar) said, “Sulayman desires to revolt and lay his life, as well as those of his companions, while he has no insight with regards to battle”.
Abdullah bin Yazid was informed that daily in Kufa people revolted against him. It was said to him, “Imprison Mukhtar, and if you leave him free, you shall not see fairness”. Abdullah replied, “If they fight us, we too shall fight them, but if they do not disturb us, we do not have anything against them. They seek revenge for the blood of Husayn (a.s.), and may Allah’s mercy be upon them, they are in peace, they may revolt in open against those who killed Husayn (a.s.), who is coming towards them (he meant Ubaydullah bin Ziyad), while I too support them (against him).
This Ibn Ziyad, who is the murderer of Husayn (a.s.) and that of the virtuous and your colleagues, is coming towards you. The messengers from the place of the Manbaj Bridge have brought this news, it is better that you prepare unitedly for combat against him and not fight amongst yourselves and kill one another, until you find your enemies to be helpless and reach your goals.
This Ibn Ziyad is the worst among the creatures of Allah, he, as well as his father, ruled upon you for seven years, and did not refrain their hands from killing the virtuous and respectable people. He humiliated you and is the one who kills anyone whom he desires.
He is now coming towards him; therefore face him with power, your arms and your glory. Spend thoroughly against him and not upon your own selves, while I desire your well-being. While Marwan had dispatched Ibn Ziyad to (Northwest) Mesopotamia and ordered him that when he would free himself from conquering it, he should attack Iraq.
When Abdullah bin Yazid concluded his speech, Ibraheem bin Muhammad bin Talha said, “O people! Do not be tempted by the deceitful speech of this charlatan. By Allah! Whoever revolts against us, we shall kill him. And if we receive news that a group of men intends revolting against us, we shall reprimand a father for his son, an infant for his father, relative for a relative, a headman for his subservient, until they accept the truth and submit to us”. Hearing this Musayyab bin Najabah sprang from his place and cut short his speech saying, “O son of destitutes! You terrify us by means of your sword and power? By Allah! You are more base than him. We do not reprimand you for your enmity with us; we have killed your father and grandfather. But O Commander! You have said fairly”.
Ibraheem said, “By Allah! We shall slaughter, while this Abdullah bin Yazid shows frailty”. Then Abdullah bin Waal said, “Why do you interfere between us and our commander. You are not our commander, but are deputed to look after the finances. Go and gather finances, but if you desire spoiling the affair of this nation, (it is nothing new) for your father and grandfather had done similarly and then they faced evil”. Ibraheem and his accomplices started abusing them and they spoke badly with one another. Then the commander (Abdullah bin Yazid) alighted from the pulpit and Ibraheem threatened him that he would complain to Ibn Zubayr. Abdullah went to his house and asked pardon and he yielded, while Sulayman and his companions came out and started buying ammunitions and prepared for a combat.
The Shi’ah had been abusing and vilifying Mukhtar regarding the episode when Imam Hasan (a.s.) was wounded with a dagger in Sabat and was taken to the white palace of Madaen.1 When the time of Imam Husayn (a.s.) came and he dispatched Muslim bin Aqeel (a.s.) to Kufa, Mukhtar hosted him and admitted him in his house, which is now that of Muslim bin Musayyab (in the days of Hisham bin Muhammad Kalbi). He swore fealty at his hands and invited people to obey him. When Muslim revolted, Mukhtar had been to his village of Lafgha. He was informed regarding the untimely uprising of Muslim at the time of Zuhr and he returned back to Kufa along with his associates.
He reached Baab al Feel of the Mosque of Kufa after Maghrib, where Ubaydullah (bin Ziyad) had appointed ‘Amr bin Hurays to pitch his standard therein, while at that time people had already deserted Muslim. Mukhtar wandered around and was in abeyance, and when ‘Amr was informed of it, he invited him after offering shelter and he remained with him. When it dawned, Ammarah, the son of Walid bin Utbah, informed Ubaydullah regarding it. He summoned him (Mukhtar) with a group of other men and said, “You have brought a group for assisting the son of Aqeel?” Mukhtar replied, “Well, now I am under the protection of ‘Amr”, to which ‘Amr bore witness. Ubaydullah struck at the face of Mukhtar with his staff until his eyelid overturned, then he said, “If ‘Amr would not have borne witness, I would have killed you”.
Then he sent him to the prison until Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred. Mukhtar sent someone to Abdullah bin Umar, who was the husband of his sister Safiyyah, who in turn wrote to Yazid and mediated for him. Yazid ordered Ibn Ziyad to release him with a stipulation that he would not remain in Kufa for more than three days.
Mukhtar went to Hijaz and when Ibnul Arq met him after the episode of Waqisah, he saluted him and inquired about his eye. Mukhtar replied, “The illegitimate one struck at it with his stick and that happened what you now see”. Then he continued, “May Allah kill me if I do not shred his fingers along with the other parts of his body”. Mukhtar then inquired regarding Ibn Zubayr from him, and he replied, “He has taken shelter under the Ka’bah and accepts allegiance in secret, and if he gains power, he shall revolt”.
Mukhtar replied, “The sole man among Arabs today is he, and if he relies upon my opinion, I would mend the people’s affairs for him. The tempest of mischief is in the lightening and thunder and is revolving behind it. Then until you hear that I have revolted at a place along with a group of men and seek revenge for the blood of Husayn bin Ali (a.s.), the oppressed Martyr, the Master of Muslims and the Grandson of the Master of Prophets (S) killed at Karbala. By your Lord! I shall kill them equal to the number of the murderers of (Prophet) Yahya bin Zakariyyah (a.s.)”. Saying this Mukhtar left, while Ibnul Arq started wondering at his words.
Ibnul Arq says, that by Allah, I saw with my own eyes whatever he had said and I also related it to Hajjaj bin Yusuf, who laughed and said, “Praise be to his Lord! What a virtuous man, combatant and crusher of enemies was he”.
Mukhtar went to Ibn Zubayr but he did not confide in him and concealed his secret from him, then Mukhtar parted away from him and did not meet him for a year. Ibn Zubayr inquired regarding him and was informed that, “He is in Taif and is convinced of the anger of Allah and the elimination of the oppressors”. Ibn Zubayr replied, “May Allah kill him! He has rallied behind the liars and the soothsayers. Then if Allah desires eliminating the oppressors, Mukhtar himself is the first oppressor”.
While they were speaking thus, Mukhtar entered the Mosque and started circumambulating (the Ka’bah) and recited two units of Prayers. Then he sat down while his associates sat around him and started speaking to him.
Ibn Zubayr did not come to meet him and instead sent Abbas bin Sahl bin Sa’ar to spy upon him. He went to Mukhtar and asked, “You remained away from the group of the noblemen of Quraysh and the companions of the Saqeef ? There is no tribe whose chiefs did not come to him and offer allegiance at his hands”. Mukhtar replied, “I visited him last year but he did not confide in me. Perhaps he is in no need of me while I too am independent of him”. Abbas said, “Tonight come along with me to visit him”. He agreed and after the Prayers of Isha came to the presence of Ibn Zubayr and said, “I shall swear fealty at your hands upon three conditions:
(1) You shall not do anything which is not in consent to me,
(2) You shall consider me as the leading one in your kingdom, and
(3) When you revolt, you shall present me with the best of your tasks”.
Ibn Zubayr said, “You shall have to pledge allegiance in matter of the orders of Qur’an and Sunnah”. Mukhtar replied, “Then you may take pledge from the most degraded of my slaves. By Allah! I shall not pledge allegiance at your hands except upon these conditions”. Ibn Zubayr yielded and Mukhtar pledged allegiance at his hands and remained with him.
He fought along with Ibn Zubayr against Haseen bin Nameer and passed the best test and fought manly and was most severe upon the Syrians than all others. Then when Yazid died and the people of Iraq submitted to Ibn Zubayr, Mukhtar remained with him for five months but Ibn Zubayr did not present him any vital tasks. Then whenever any Kufan would come to Makkah, Mukhtar would inquire from him about the Kufans.
Hani bin Habbuh Wada’ee told him that, “The Kufans have mutually submitted to the command of Ibn Zubayr, but there exists a group of men from among the Kufans, that if someone commands them and gathers them upon their desires, he shall succeed to conquer Iraq for a considerable time due to them”.
Mukhtar replied, “I am Abu Ishaq! I am the one who shall prepare them upon the truth and shall throw the faulty upon the ground at their hands and kill every oppressive mine”. Saying this he immediately mounted his camel and reached Kufa. He entered the town of Heerah and on Friday performed bath and wore a dress and passed by the Mosque of Sakoon and the ground of Kindah. And from whichever group he passed by, he saluted them and said, “Have glad-tidings of victory and success. The one whom you desired has arrived”. Then he met Ubaydah bin ‘Amr Badee in Bani Bada’, who was from the clan of Bani Kindah, and saluted him, and said, “I give you glad-tidings of victory and salvation. You are Abu ‘Amr and are of a best belief. May Allah forgive your sins due to this belief of yours’ and conceal your evils”.
Ubaydah was more valorous and knowledgeable among men and (one of) the most staunch adherents of Imam Ali (a.s.), but could not refrain himself from consuming wine. He replied, “May Allah give you glad-tidings of fairness! Then would you interpret regarding this glad tidings for me?” Mukhtar replied, “Yes, meet me tonight”. Then Mukhtar proceeded further and met Isma’eel bin Kaseer in Bani Hind and said, “Come to me tonight along with your brother, I have good news for you”.
Then he went to the people of Bani Hamadan and said, “I have brought for you that which would delight you”. Then he entered the mosque and people became conscious of him. He sat down for Prayers under a pillar until the Prayers started. He recited the Friday Prayers along with the men and remained engrossed in Prayers until the Prayer of Asr. He returned back to his house and the Shi’ah started visiting him, and Isma’eel bin Kaseer, accompanied by his brother and Ubaydah bin ‘Amr visited him. He inquired of them and they informed him about the movement of Sulayman bin Surad and said, “He is one of the men of the pulpit”.
Mukhtar, after praising Allah, said, “Mahdi, the son of the Successor (of Prophet) (referring to Muhammad bin Hanafiyah), has sent me to you so as to be (his) trustworthy (authority), deputy, master and commander. He has ordered me to kill the renegades and seek revenge for the blood of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and aid the weak. You are the first ones among the creatures of Allah to yield”.
They offered their hands to him and pledged allegiance. A similar proposal was sent to the Shi’ah who were with Sulayman bin Surad and informed them that, “Sulayman has no expertise with regards to battle and is inexperienced. He desires to induce you to rebel and forwards you towards death along with himself. While I shall undertake with schemes and shall act according to the order of light (guidance) which has been bestowed upon me. I shall help the friends and kill the enemies thereby pleasing your hearts. Then listen to my words, take heed and scatter”.
He assembled a group of Shi’ah around him through such propaganda and they started visiting him. They accepted him as a notable, while the noblemen among the Shi’ah rallied around Sulayman and they would consider none equal to him, while he was more of a burden for Mukhtar than anyone else and he awaited the conclusion of Sulayman’s mission.
When Sulayman left for (northwest) Mesopotamia, Umar bin Sa’ad, Shabas bin Rab’ee and Zaid bin Hars bin Ruwaym came to Abdullah bin Yazid Hatami, the governor of Kufa, and his associate Ibraheem bin Muhammad bin Talha, and said, “Mukhtar is more dangerous for you than Sulayman, he (Sulayman) has left to fight your enemies but Mukhtar desires to fight you in this very town. You may therefore arrest him and imprison him until the affairs of men are set right”. They came to him unawares and surrounded him. When Mukhtar saw them, he asked, “What do you desire? By Allah! You shall never face victory”.
Ibraheem bin Talha bin Ubaydullah told Abdullah (bin Yazid), “Bound his shoulders tightly and arrest him bare feet”. Abdullah replied, “I shall not do so to a person who has not yet disclosed his animosity towards us. While we have arrested him due to suspicion only”. Then Ibraheem turned towards Mukhtar and said, “There is no nest for you here so that you may spread your wings and feathers. O son of Abu Ubayd! What news has reached me regarding you?” Mukhtar replied, “You have been informed falsely. I seek refuge from Allah from deceit similar to the deceit committed by your father and grandfather”.
Then he was taken to the prison without chains, while some say that he was bound in chains. Mukhtar said in the prison, “By the Lord of the seas ! By the palm-trees, trees, deserts, wilderness, the virtuous Angels, the righteous chosen ones! I shall kill every obstinate with my sharp edged sword along with a group of friends that would not be similar to the Razalan, the deceivers and ill natured, until I strengthen the pillar of the Religion and end the differences of the Muslims and please the hearts of the believers and seek revenge for the blood of the Prophets. The decline of this world is not hard upon me nor do I safeguard against death”.
It has also been related regarding the revolt of Mukhtar in Kufa and it’s causes, apart from the one quoted above, that Mukhtar told Abdullah bin Zubayr that, “I know a group of men, that if there exists a man who is intelligent, prudent, experienced and shrewd, who would control them suitably and gather an army from among them for you, so that you may combat the Syrians along with them”.
Ibn Zubayr asked as to who they were and Mukhtar replied, “The Shi’ah of Ali in Kufa”. Ibn Zubayr said, “Then the concerned person should be yourself”. Saying this he dispatched him to Kufa and he took residence in a street and wept upon Imam Husayn (a.s.) and remembered his sorrows until people gradually started gathering around him. They took him to their base in Kufa and a large group rallied around him and when he gained momentum, he attacked Ibn Muti’.
In the year 65 A.H. when Sulayman bin Surad Khuza’i intended revolting, he called for the chiefs among his associates and they rallied around him. When the moon of the month of Rabi’ul Ula was sighted, and as per their promise to revolt, they gathered at Nukhaylah. Sulayman arrived and when he paraded among them he found them to be quite less in numbers. He dispatched Hakeem bin Munqiz Kindi and Waleed bin Usayr Kinani to Kufa and they called out, “O seekers of revenge for the blood of Husayn”, while he was the first one to have raised this slogan.
When it dawned, only those men remained with him, who were with him since earlier, and when Sulayman saw the record, he found that sixteen thousand men had pledged their allegiance to him. He said, “Glory be to Allah! Out of sixteen thousand men only four thousand have remained loyal to us”. Someone told him, “Mukhtar has hindered them in between, while two thousand men have joined him”. Sulayman replied, “That leaves another ten thousand, then do not they possess faith? Do not they remember Allah? Nor do they consider the pledge and covenant?”
They halted at Nukhaylah for three days and then dispatched someone to those who had disputed with them, and a thousand other men joined them. Musayyab bin Najabah arose and said, “May Allah’s Mercy be upon you! Lazy men are useless for you, and shall not fight alongside you, then we should arise with those who possess faith. Then do not await anyone and assume your task”. Sulayman replied, “Verily yes! You have advised wisely”, saying this Sulayman stood amidst his men and said, “Those who have come while their aim in (serving) Allah’s way and the hereafter, is from us, and we too are from him.
And Allah’s mercy be upon him whether they be alive or dead. And those who have come to us with the intention of this world should know, that we shall not lay our hands upon the spoils nor shall we obtain taxes, except the pleasure of Allah. We do not possess gold, silver or other goods, except swords and ammunitions. Then those who desire this world should not accompany us”.
His associates called out from all sides, “We are not of those who crave for this world, nor have we come to you in it’s pursue. We have joined you so as to repent and revenge the blood of the grandson of the Prophet of Allah (S)”. When they resolved to arise, Abdullah bin Sa’ad bin Nufayl arose and said, “I have a suggestion, if it is fair, consider it as a grace from Allah, and if not, then deem it to be from me. We have come here to avenge the blood of Imam Husayn (a.s.), while all of his murderers viz. Umar bin Sa’ad and the chiefs of the four districts of Kufa and of the tribes, are very much in Kufa. We are leaving their blood unshed here and are heading where?”
Hearing this all his associates agreed to his view, but Sulayman said, “I do not share this view. For the one who in fact killed him and gathered an army for him while saying: I shall not give you refuge until you submit to my command, the lewd and son of a lewd is none other than Ubaydullah bin Ziyad. Then proceed towards him with Allah’s affluence, then if Allah bestows victory upon us, we believe that defeating others would be all the more easy. And we believe that all the Kufans will side with us, and will put to sword all those who are included in the blood of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and shall not commit deceit. And if you are killed, you will have fought those men whose blood was considered lawful for you to shed, while goodness is reserved for the virtuous near Allah. And it will not please me that you strive except against those whose blood is lawful for you to shed. Then if you fight against the men of your own city, all of you shall be entangled in (shedding the blood of) men among your brothers or fathers or relatives or desirous of killing them. Then desire goodness from Allah and proceed further”.
News reached Abdullah bin Yazid and Ibraheem bin Muhammad bin Talha that Ibn Surad has revolted, they came to him along with a group of the notables of Kufa, while those who had accompanied in shedding the blood of Imam Husayn (a.s.) did not join him, rather they hid themselves in fear.
While during those days Umar bin Sa’ad had taken shelter in the Royal Palace. Abdullah bin Yazid told him, “Muslims are brothers of one another, and should not commit treason and deceit with each other. You are our brothers and inhabitants of the same city, while you are more endeared to us than all the other citizens. Then do not aggrieve us due to you nor lessen our quantity. You may therefore pause until we too prepare ourselves, and when our enemy comes to us, we should face him hand in hand”. He also offered them the taxes of the village of Jawkhee (a Village in Wasit). Ibraheem bin Muhammad too agreed to his proposal. Sulayman replied, “You have fulfilled your right of counseling and have opined best what you desired. But we have offered ourselves to Allah and we desire from Allah that He should bring forth fairness for us. Now we should proceed”.
Abdullah said, “Then wait until we gather a huge army for you and you should face your enemy with an enormous contingent”. They had received news that Ubaydullah was coming from Syria with a huge contingent of army. But Sulayman refused to delay any further and arose on Friday, the fifth of the month of Rabi’us Saani 65 A.H. They reached Deere A’awar and a large group among his companions remained behind and he said, “I do not befriend that they stayed behind, but if they had accompanied us, they would have acted miserly. Allah despised their motives and kept them away from assisting us. And Allah chose you for this merit”.
They proceeded until they reached the grave of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and all of them lamented in a loud voice and wept bitterly. They requested Allah to bestow His blessings upon him and repented for remaining aloof from assisting him and fighting alongside him. They remained there for one night and day and mourned him, while sending Allah’s blessings upon him and his companions.
While their words near his grave were: “O Lord! Bestow Your blessings upon Husayn, the Martyr and son of the Martyr! The guided one and the son of the guided one! The Truthful one and son of the Truthful one! O Lord! Bear witness that we are steadfast upon their Religion and their customs, and we bear enmity with their murderers and are friendly towards their friends. O Lord! We abandoned the grandson of our Prophet, thus forgive our past sins, and accept our repentance. And bestow Your blessings upon Husayn (a.s.) and his companions, who are the Martyrs and Truthful Ones. And we hold You as a witness that we are steadfast upon their Religion and upon that belief for which they were martyred. And if You do not overlook our sins and do not bestow your blessings upon us, we shall be of those who are in loss”.
They looked at his grave and their rage increased. Then they bade farewell to his grave and left and they (had) gathered around it (his grave) similar to (the people that gather around) the Hajar al Aswad, then they left until they reached Anbar.
When they reached Anbar, they received message from Abdullah bin Yazid, the governor of Kufa, with the following contents: “O our people! Do not renounce your friends and do not comply with the orders of your enemies. You all are the virtuous ones among your city, and when the enemies lay their hands upon you, remember that you are the notables of the city and do not fall prey to greed. O our people! Then if they lay their hands upon you, they shall either stone you to death or try to revert you back to their faith, and you shall not find salvation (if you do so). O our people! Your hands and our hands are one and the same, while also our enemies. Then if we unite against our enemies, we shall face victory, and if we are entangled in differences, our pride would be diminished. O people! Do not consider my advice to be a result of covetousness and do not go against my decision, then when my letter is read to you, return back. And salutations”.
Then Sulayman and his companions said, “This was offered to us even when we were in our own city, and now when we have dedicated our hearts towards the struggle, and have neared the battlefield of the enemies, this opinion is not dear to us”.
Then Sulayman wrote a reply to him, he thanked and praised him and wrote, “These sagacious men have sold themselves to their Lord and have repented upon their great sin. They have turned their face towards Allah and rely upon Him alone, and they agree to what Allah has destined for them”. When this answer reached Abdullah, he said, “This group has dedicated itself to death. The first news that shall reach you will be none other than the news of their death. By Allah! They shall offer their lives with greatness and piety”.
Then they proceeded until they reached Qarqisiyah well prepared, while Zafar bin Qays Kalabi had bolted the doors (of the city) and did not come to meet them. Musayyab bin Najabah was sent to him to request him that he should sell them foodstuffs and provisions. Musayyab reached the doors of Qarqisiyah and revealed his identity and then desired permission to meet Zafar. Hazeel, the son of Zafar, came to his father and said, “A man possessing a pleasing countenance revealing his name to be Musayyab bin Najabah seeks permission to meet you”. Zafar replied, “O my son! Do you not know who this man is? He is the sole horseman of the entire tribe of Muzar Hamra’.
And if ten notables among them are counted, then he is one of them. He is virtuous, abstentious and a devout man”, then he gave him permission to enter therein. When Musayyab came to him, he offered a seat near him and inquired from him. Musayyab revealed to him the circumstances and their intentions.
Zafar replied, “We closed the doors upon you for we did not know as to why you came to us, whether for ourselves or something else. We are neither helpless nor do we befriend fighting you. We have received news that you are peace loving and well-behaved men”. Then he commanded his son to organize a market for them in the city and gifted Musayyab with a thousand Dirham and horses. Musayyab returned the amount but accepted the horses saying, “I believe that my horse has turned feeble upon his feet and therefore I am in need of another”.
Zafar sent large quantity of bread, fodder and flour for them, thus they did not have the need to buy anything more. Only some of them bought whips and clothes and then they received orders to proceed the next day. Zafar himself came out to bid farewell to them and gave the news to Sulayman that, “Five commanders viz. Haseen bin Nameer, Sharhabeel bin Zil Kila’, Adham bin Muhriz, Jabalah bin Abdullah Khas’ami and Ubaydullah bin Ziyad are entering Iraq from Riqqah. While they have a large contingent of army similar to the thorns and trees of the desert. Then if you desire, you may remain in our city and we shall side with you, and when the enemy reaches us we shall face them together”. Sulayman replied, “The people of our city too desired similarly but we refused”.
Zafar said, “Then hasten towards Aynul Wardah before them, where there is a stream. Then turn your back towards the city and spend from the villages, water and foodstuffs and remain composed from our side. By Allah! I have not seen a group more dearer than you and desire that you may reach there before them. Then if you have to fight along with them, do not fight them in an extensive place, for it will result that they will shoot their arrows & lances at you and vise versa, for they are more in numbers than you, and I fear lest their surround you. Do not stand facing them, for they shall throw you upon the ground, nor form ranks facing them, for you do not have foot soldiers, while they have both foot-soldiers as well as cavalry who would assist one another. Then you should divide yourselves into groups and sections, and then you should together lay siege upon their right and left wings and one group should have another group accompanying them. Then if one of the groups gets surrounded, the other should assist them and grant relief. Then both of these groups should help one another and go up and come down. But if you face them standing in ranks, the foot-soldiers shall attack you and when you try to help your ranks, it will break up and result in your defeat”.
Then they bade farewell, prayed for one another and praised him and proceeded further until they reached Aynul Wardah. They encamped at its western side and rested there for five days. And when the Syrian army reached just one station away from Aynul Warda, Sulayman arose and enjoined his companions regarding the Hereafter and encouraged them in similar words and said, “Now then! The enemy whom you pursued day and night has ultimately reached you. You should fight them fairly when you encounter them and remain steadfast, for Allah sides those who forbear. None of you should flee from the battlefield except in conformity with the schedules of the battle or to return to one’s headquarters. Do not kill those who flee, nor behead the wounded ones, and do not put to sword the captured Muslims except when they fight you even after detention. The attitude of Imam Ali (a.s.) was similar to those who revolted against Islam”.
Then he continued, “If I am killed, Musayyab bin Najabah shall be your commander, and if he too is killed, Abdullah bin Sa’ad bin Nufayl shall command you. He shall be succeeded by Abdullah bin Waal, and if he too is killed, Rufa’ah bin Shaddad shall be your commander. May Allah bestow His Mercy upon the one who remains steadfast upon his pledge with Allah”.
Then he dispatched Musayyab with four hundred horsemen and commanded him to instantaneously attack the forefront of the Syrian army, then if they succeed in their intentions, he should repeat the attack, or else they should return back. He said, “You should neither leave behind any of your companions nor dispatch anyone forward, except when there is no other way”.
Musayyab traveled one night and day until it dawned, thereafter he dispatched a group of patrolmen around to bring someone to him. They brought a nomad to him and he inquired from him regarding the near-most group of the enemy’s army. He replied, “The nearest to you is the army of Sharhabeel bin Zil Kila’, at a distance of one mile away from you. But he differs with Haseen (bin Nameer), who considers himself to be the commander while Sharhabeel does not accept him, and both of them await the orders of Ibn Ziyad”.
Musayyab hastened with his companions until he caught the Syrian army unawares and assaulted them. They scattered around while Musayyab and his companions killed some and wounded numerous while seizing their mounts. The Syrian army evacuated their camps and scattered around, while the companions of Musayyab gathered whatever spoils they could lay their hands upon and returned to Sulayman with a large booty.
When Ibn Ziyad was informed about this, he dispatched Haseen bin Nameer with an army of twelve thousand men to face Sulayman. The companions of Sulayman faced them, when four days of the month of Rabi’ ul Ula were left. Abdullah bin Sa’ad commanded the right wing, Musayyab bin Najabah the left wing, while Sulayman positioned himself in the center of the army. Haseen deputed Jumalah bin Abdullah to command the right wing and Rabi’ bin Makhariq Ghanawee upon the left wing.
Then when they neared one another, the Syrians invited them to submit to Abdul Malik bin Marwan. The companions of Sulayman replied that they should depose Abdul Malik and hand over Ubaydullah bin Ziyad to them, and in exchange they would expel the companions of Ibn Zubayr from Iraq, and also that they should hand over the Caliphate to the Progeny of Prophet Muhammad (S).
They refused to concede to each other’s proposals while the right wing of Sulayman’s army attacked the left wing of Haseen and their left wing attacked the right wing of Haseen’s army. Sulayman himself started a general attack from the center of the army, while the Syrians scattered away from their camps until night, while victory was at the hands of the companions of Sulayman.
Both the armies retired for the night and when it dawned, (Sharhabeel) the son of Zil Kila’ was dispatched by Ibn Ziyad to assist the Syrians with an army of eight thousand vigorous men. The companions of Sulayman faced them valorously, the similitude of which was never seen before, and when the night came they lifted their hands off each other.
The wounded ones were numerous in both camps, while Sulayman appointed preachers to exhort his companions to repeat the attack (the next day). When it dawned, Adham bin Mahraz Bahili was dispatched by Ibn Ziyad to assist the Syrians with an army of ten thousand vigorous men. They fought fiercely until Zuhr on Friday, while the Syrians exceeded them and surrounded them from all sides.
When Sulayman perceived the plight of his companions, he prepared for martyrdom. He dismounted from his horse and called out, “O slaves of Allah! Whoever desires meeting his Lord shortly and desires that his sins should be forgiven, should come to me”. He broke his sheath, while his companions imitated him and broke their sheaths too and fought with them on foot until they had killed and wounded numerous ones from among them.
When Haseen observed their forbearance and valor, he commanded the foot soldiers to advance towards them and shoot arrows at them. The cavalry, along with the foot soldiers, surrounded them and Sulayman was martyred (May Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be upon him). Yazid bin Haseen shot an arrow at him and he fell down, then he leapt from his place and again fell down.
Then when Sulayman was martyred, Musayyab bin Najabah lifted the standard and sent blessings (of Allah) upon Sulayman. He proceeded further and fought awhile then returned back. He repeated his attack until he too was martyred, while having put to sword numerous others (May Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be upon him).
Thereafter, Abdullah bin Sa’ad bin Nufayl lifted the standard while sending blessings upon them both and recited the following verse of the Qur’an:
“Of the believers are the men who are true to what they covenanted with Allah, of them is he who fulfilled his vow and of them is he who awaits (its fulfillment), and they have changed not in the least” (Surah al Ahzab, 33:23).
His friends from the clan of Azd surrounded him (to shield him) and in the heat of the battle three riders arrived with glad-tidings that Sa’ad bin Huzayfah was arriving to assist them with one hundred and seventy men from Madaen, while Musanna bin Makhraba Abadi too was arriving with three hundred men from Basra. Abdullah bin Sa’ad said, “I wish they reach us until we are alive”. And when the sight of the messengers of Madaen fell upon the corpses of their brothers, they were dejected and then retrieved and fought alongside them until Abdullah bin Sa’ad bin Nufayl fell a martyr (May Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be upon him).
He was killed by the nephew of Rabi’ah bin Makhariq. His brother Khalid bin Sa’ad attacked the killer of his brother and entered his sword into him and he fell in embrace of Khalid. His companions rescued him while attacking Khalid and killing him.
The standard now lay without any bearer, while people called for Abdullah bin Waal, who was engrossed in fighting fiercely with a group surrounded by the Syrians. Seeing this, Rufa’ah bin Shaddad lay siege and scattered the Syrians and rescued him from their midst while handing him the standard. Abdullah fought for a while and then told his companions, “Whoever desires a life after which there is no death, and whoever wishes for repose following which there is no grief, and desires bliss succeeding which there is no sorrow, should strive for proximity to Allah by fighting against them, who have made lawful the prohibitions of Allah. At night you shall be in Paradise”.
It was the time of Asr when he was fighting fiercely with his companions and he put to sword numerous Syrians and forced them back. Then the Syrians came to them from all sides and pushed them back to their barracks where they could not attack them except from one side. At night Adham bin Mahraz Bahili was appointed to fight them, and he attacked along with the cavalry and foot-soldiers until he reached Ibn Waal, who was reciting the following verse,
“Think not of those who were slain in the cause of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive, finding their sustenance with their Lord (Surah ale-Imran, 3:169)”.
Hearing this Adham was enraged and attacked him while severing his arm from his body. Then he retreated back and said, “I presume you might wish you had remained at home”. Ibn Waal replied, “You have given way to suspicion in your heart. In fact I do not cherish that your hand should have been severed instead of mine. Rather I befriend that the reward would be given to me for the hand severed in the way of Allah, and that your sin may multiply as also my reward”.
He was again enraged by this answer and attacked him and killed him with his lance while he was facing the enemy and was not moving an inch behind (May Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be upon him). While Abdullah bin Waal was a Virtuous Jurist (Faqih).
And when Abdullah was martyred, the standard was handed over to Rufa’ah bin Shaddad, and he said, “We should retreat back, perhaps Allah may gather us on a worst day for our enemies to be entangled into”.
Abdullah Ahmar said, “But if we return back we shall all be killed, while the enemies will be upon our shoulders and we shall not reach a distance of one Farsakh, except that each one of us shall be killed. And even if anyone is saved, the nomads will get hold of him and will hand him over to the enemy to again proximity, then we shall be killed with bounded hands. The sun is just about to set, we shall resist them and in the darkness of the night we shall gallop our horses and leave before morning and obtain respite. Then each one should ride along with his companion and the wounded ones and we should know where we are going”.
Rufa’ah replied, “You have advised fairly”, saying this he lifted up the standard and fought fiercely. The Syrians had assumed that they would get rid of them until the night, but could not do so for they fought bravely and in a valorous manner.
Abdullah bin Aziz Kinani proceeded further and fought with the Syrians, then he called for the (people of the) Syrian tribe of Bani Kinanah to himself. He handed over his child Muhammad to them so that they could reach him safely to Kufa. They offered him protection but he refused, and returned back and fought until he fell a martyr. Thereafter Kurb bin Yazid Humayri fought fiercely with the Syrians at evening along with a hundred of his companions and Zil Kila Humayri took him and his companions in his protection while offering them immunity.
He replied, “We were at peace in this world, rather we came out for immunity of the hereafter”, saying this they fought with them until they were martyred. Thereafter Sakhr bin Hilal Mazani, accompanied by thirty men of the clan of Bani Mazinah, proceeded forward and fought until they too were martyred. (May Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be upon all of them). At night the Syrians returned back to their camps and Rufa’ah assessed his companions that their horses had either been killed or were wounded, he handed them over to their relatives and collected provisions at night and fled away.
When it dawned Haseen followed them but found none nor did he dispatch anyone in their pursuit. They proceeded until they reached Qarqisiyah where Zafar (bin Qays) requested that they should halt there. He kept them as his guests for three days and gave them provisions for the journey and they left for Kufa.
Sa’ad bin Huzayfah reached Hayyat with a group of people of Madaen, where he received the news and therefore returned back. He reached Sandoodah where he met Musanna bin Makhrabah Abadi and informed him too, they remained there until Rufa’ah reached them. They received him and wept and halted there for a day and night, thereafter each group left for their cities.
When Rufa’ah reached Kufa, Mukhtar was in the prison from where he sent him a message saying, “Now then! Bravo to the returning men who have been offered a great reward by Allah! And Allah cherished their tasks that they were martyred. By the Lord of the Ka’bah! For every pace that you have taken and every hillock that you have stepped upon, its reward is greater than this world. Sulayman fulfilled his pledge and Allah received his spirit and offered a status among the Spirits of the Prophets, the Truthful Ones and the Martyrs, but he was not a leader in your victory. Verily I am the appointed commander and the reliable trustee, the killer of the tyrants, the one to seek vengeance from the enemies of the Religion and the seeker of revenge of blood. Therefore prepare yourselves and gather arms and ammunitions and receive glad tidings upon the book of Allah and the Customs (Sunnah) of His Prophet (S) and revenge for (the blood of) Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) to defend the feeble and strive against the ones who have considered the prohibitions of Allah to be lawful. And greetings”.
The martyrdom of Sulayman and his companions occurred in the month of Rabi’ul Ula. When Abdul Malik bin Marwan received news of the martyrdom of Sulayman and the plight of his companions, he ascended the pulpit and praised and glorified Allah and said, “Sulayman bin Surad, one of the chiefs of Iraq, the creator of revolt and the leader of misguidance has been killed, and the swords rolled the head of Musayyab upon the ground like a ball. While their two chiefs of astray and deception, Abdullah bin Sa’ad Azdi and Abdullah bin Waal Bakari, too have been killed, and after them none remains among the transgressors”. But the accuracy of this narration is doubtful for during that period his father Marwan was yet alive (therefore he could not have succeeded his father).
In this year, i.e. 66 A.H. 14th Rabi’ ul Ula, Mukhtar revolted in Kufa and ousted Abdullah bin Muti’, the governor of Abdullah bin Zubayr from there. It started when Sulayman bin Surad was martyred and his companions returned back to Kufa, they saw that Mukhtar was imprisoned by Abdullah bin Yazid Hatami and Ibraheem bin Muhammad bin Talha. Mukhtar sent them a letter from the prison in which he praised them and promised them success, and he announced to them that he was deputed by Muhammad bin Ali, renowned as Ibn Hanafiyah, to seek vengeance (for the blood of Imam Husayn). His letter was read by Rufa’ah bin Shaddad, Musannah bin Makhrabah Abadi, Sa’ad bin Huzayfah bin Yaman, Yazid bin Anas, Ahmad bin Shamit Ahmari, Abdullah bin Shaddad Bajali and Abdullah bin Kamil.
After having read the letter they sent Ibn Kamil to Mukhtar with the message that, “We are your well-wishers, and if you desire we shall lay siege and rescue you from the prison”. When Mukhtar heard this he was overjoyed and said, “I shall be released from the prison in a few days”. Mukhtar had sent message to (Abdullah) Ibn Umar that, “I have been imprisoned innocently”, and he had desired that Ibn Umar should plead on his behalf to Abdullah bin Yazid and Ibraheem bin Muhammad bin Talha.
He in turn wrote a recommendation letter to them and they relented and released him. But they took surety from him and an oath that until they held the reins of the government of Kufa, he should not pave way for their captivity or revolt against them. And that if he does so, he shall be compelled to sacrifice a thousand Camels near the Kab’ah and that all his slaves, males and females, shall be emancipated.
And when Mukhtar was released, he remained at his house and with whomever he met, he said, “May Allah kill them! What foolish men they are that they believe that I shall honor the promise that I have given them. And as regards the promise, I always look at the task that is better than it, and then give compensation for it and thus I become free of the promise. While my stand against them is better than remaining aloof from them. As regards the sacrifice of Camels and emancipation of slaves, it is more easier for me than spitting, I befriend that if I reach my goal, I shall have no desire for slaves”.
Thereafter the Shi’ah visited him often and started liking him in conformity to one another, while his companions started increasing day by day and gained strength until Ibn Zubayr suspended Abdullah bin Yazid and Ibraheem bin Muhammad bin Talha and appointed Abdullah bin Muti’ as the governor of Kufa. Then when Ibraheem decided to go to Kufa, Bahir bin Rustam Humayri met him and said, “Do not leave tonight, for the moon is in the Aries”.
He replied, “We too are proceeding”, while he would proceed towards any danger that he desired (without fear). And it is as if his speech enamored him, while he was a valorous man. Ibraheem returned to Madinah while having a large amount of taxes with him, but he said that the situation was very bad and no taxes could be collected, while Ibn Zubayr did not press him further.
Ibn Muti’ entered Kufa, while five days of the month of Ramadhan were left, and appointed Ayas bin Abi Mazarib Ajali as chief of the police force and commanded him to treat the people pleasantly and arrest the suspicious ones.
When he reached Kufa, he ascended the pulpit and recited a sermon saying, “Now then! The Commander of the faithful (he meant Abdullah Ibn Zubayr, Allah’s refuge) has deputed me upon your city and your boundaries. And he has ordered me to collect the taxes from you and not to take anything outside of the city from your taxes without your permission. And to treat you in conformity to the last will of Umar, as also the custom of Usman bin Affan. Therefore fear Allah, and remain steadfast upon the right, do not cultivate disobedience, while slash the hands of the foolish among you. And if you do not do so, then condemn yourself for it. By Allah! I shall punish severely every evil-hearted disobeyer and shall straighten the back of every perverse and ignoble suspect”.
Hearing this Sa’eb bin Malik Ash’ari arose and said, “As regards the booty, we declare that we disagree that a large part of it should be taken out, rather it should be distributed amongst ourselves. And we do not want you to treat us in conformity to the attitude of anyone else except Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) that still remains amongst us in our city. While we do not have any need for the attitude of Usman, neither in the matter of booty nor regarding our own selves, as also of Umar bin Khattab, whereas his attitude was little soft as compared to that of Usman for sometimes he treated people with virtue”. Yazid bin Anas replied, “Sa’eb speaks the truth”.
Then Ibn Muti’ said, “I shall deal with you in conformity to the attitude of whomsoever you desire”, saying this he alighted the pulpit. Ayas came to him and said, “This Sa’eb bin Malik is from among the commanders of Mukhtar, then dispatch him to fetch Mukhtar, and when he comes, imprison him, until the people’s affairs get straightened. His provisions have been gathered and as if he desires to revolt”. Ibn Muti’ dispatched Za’edah bin Qudamah and Haseen bin Abdullah Barsami to fetch Mukhtar. They told him, “Hasten to the call of the commander”. Mukhtar prepared to go, when Zaedah recited the verse of the Qur’an:
“And when planned they against you, those who disbelieved, that they might imprison you, or slay you or drive you away (Surah al-Anfal, 8:30).”
Hearing this, Mukhtar threw away his clothes and said, “Wrap me with a gown for fever has taken hold of me and I sense severe trembling within me”. They returned back and informed Ibn Muti’ who then lifted his hands off him.
Thereafter Mukhtar sent someone to fetch his companions and made them reside in the adjoining houses, while he intended rising up in the city of Kufa in the month of Muharram. A man from the clan of Shibam, a branch of (the clan of) Hamadan, named Abdul Rahman bin Shurayh, who was modest, came and met Sa’eed bin Munqiz Sawri, Sa’ar bin Abi Sa’ar Hanafi, Aswad bin Jarar Kindi and Qudamah bin Malik Jashmi, and said, “Mukhtar intends to drag us to revolt while we are not sure whether Muhammad bin Hanafiyah has sent him or no? Come, let us go to him and apprise him regarding Mukhtar, then if he directs us, we shall obey him and be his associates, and if he refuses, we shall get away from him. By Allah! It should not be that we should let go our Religion for this world”.
They agreed and went to Ibn Hanafiyah who inquired from them regarding the affairs of men. They gave him the details and related to him their stand as also that of Mukhtar, and asked his permission to obey him. Then when they concluded their speech, Ibn Hanafiyah, while answering them, after praising and glorifying Allah and relating the merit of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and remembering the sufferings of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.), said, “Regarding whom you have inquired that he invites you to avenge our blood, by Allah! I desire that Allah may take revenge from your enemies at the hands of anyone”.
And if he had been displeased with Mukhtar he would have commanded them not to obey him. They returned back, while a group of the Shi’ah were awaiting them so as to know their intentions, while their recourse towards Muhammad bin Hanafiyah was displeasing to Mukhtar, who feared lest they would bring a message that would disperse the Shi’ah from him. Therefore when they entered Kufa, before going to their houses, they went to Mukhtar who asked them, “What happened that you fell in doubt and sedition?”
They replied, “We have been ordered to assist you”, and Mukhtar said, “Allah is Great! Then summon the Shi’ah to me”. They called for those who were within their reach and Mukhtar said, “A group desired that they should verify the validity of my claim and therefore went to Imam Mahdi (Muhammad Hanafiyah) and asked him regarding me. He replied to them that I am his vizier, assistant and envoy, and he has ordered you to obey and assist me with regards to my invitation of revolting against the enemies, and seek revenge for the blood of the Progeny (a.s.) of the Chosen Prophet (S)”.
Abdul Rahman bin Shurayh arose and gave them details of his journey and announced that Ibn Hanafiyah had ordered them to assist and support him. Then he said, “Those who are present should inform those who are absent, then prepare yourselves and beware”. Thereafter those who had accompanied him also arose and confirmed his words. The Shi’ah rallied around Mukhtar while along with them was Sha’bi and his father Sharahil. Then when they resolved to arise, one of his companions informed him that, “The chiefs of Kufa have united with Ibn Muti’ to fight with you, then if Ibraheem bin Malik (bin Ashtar) sides with us, we shall gain victory upon the enemies. For he is well versed in politics, while his father was honorable and from a (great) tribe, while his tribe is honorable and well equipped with men”.
Mukhtar replied, “Then visit him and invite him”. Therefore a group, along with Sha’bi, went to meet Ibraheem, and they apprised him of their affairs and invited his assistance. They reminded him that his father was from among the friends of Imam Ali (a.s.) and his Progeny (a.s.).
He replied, “I shall assist you in revenging the blood of Imam Husayn (a.s.) with a condition that you shall make me your commander”. They replied, “You are worthy to command, but presently this is not possible, for Mukhtar has been sent and deputed for this task by the Mahdi (referring to Muhammad bin Hanafiyah) to fight with the enemies, while we have been commanded to obey him”. Hearing this Ibraheem became silent and did not answer them while they returned back to Mukhtar and informed him.
Mukhtar waited for three days and went to Ibraheem, accompanied with more than ten of his companions, and Sha’bi and his father. He received them fairly and made Mukhtar sit besides him. Then Mukhtar told him, “This letter is from the Mahdi, Muhammad bin Ali the Commander of the faithful (a.s.), who is among the best of men today upon the earth, and is also the son of the best of men who have departed until he reaches the Prophets of Allah and His Messengers. And he desires that you should assist and support me”. Sha’bi says, that the letter was in my hand. When Mukhtar ended his words, he said, “Hand him over the letter”. Sha’bi handed him over the letter and he read it, the contents of which were as follows:
“From Muhammad al Mahdi to Ibraheem bin Malik Ashtar. Peace be upon you! I send praise of Allah, besides Whom there is no other Deity, to you. And now then! I am dispatching to you my vizier, a trustworthy man and the one whom I have chosen to fight against my enemies, and have commanded him to seek revenge for the blood of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Therefore you, along with your tribe and those under your obedience, should fight alongside him. Then if you obey us and accept our invitation, you shall certainly hold a position near us, then you shall have control upon each horsemen, the battalion, every city, pulpit and border, from Kufa till Aqsa, the town of Syria, on which you gain victory”.
When Ibraheem completed reading the letter, he said, “Ibn Hanafiyah has written to me earlier and had only written his name along with that of his father (and not addressed himself as the Mahdi)”. Mukhtar replied, “That was another time, while this is another time”. Ibraheem said, “Who knows this letter is from him or no”. A group of the companions of Mukhtar, comprising of Zayd (or Yazid) bin Anas, Ahmar bin Shamit, Abdullah bin Kamil and others, except Sha’bi, arose to bear witness that the letter was from him.
When Ibraheem heard their witnesses, he arose from his elevated bed and sat Mukhtar in his place and pledged allegiance to him and they left. Ibraheem turned towards Sha’bi and said, “You, as also your father, did not bear witness along with this group, then do you consider them to be liars?” He replied, “Rather they are the Master Scholars, Reciters of the Qur’an, Chieftains of the city and the valorous among Arabs, those similar to them do not speak except the truth”.
Then Ibraheem noted down their names and preserved it with himself and invited his tribesmen and elders. Ibraheem started visiting Mukhtar every night and revising the fulfillment of their plans. They resolved to arise on Thursday night, the fourteenth of the month of Rabi’ ul Ula 66 A.H.
That night Ibraheem recited the Maghrib Prayers with his companions and thereafter went towards Mukhtar equipped with arms. Ayas bin Mazarib came to Abdullah bin Muti’ and said, “Mukhtar plans to fight you tonight until tomorrow night, while I have dispatched my son to the ground of Kinasah. Then if you dispatch a man from among your companions’ along with well-equipped men to every ground of Kufa, Mukhtar and his companions would fear to revolt against you”.
Therefore Ibn Muti’ sent the following with command upon the ground. He dispatched Abdul Rahman bin Qays Hamadani to the ground of Sabi’ and told him to gain control of his own clan but not to bring about any incident. He dispatched Ka’ab bin Abi Ka’ab Khas’ami to the ground of Bashar, Zahr bin Qays Ju’fi to Kinda, Abdul Rahman bin Abi Makhnaf to Sa’ediyyin, Shimr bin Ziljawshan to Salim, and Yazid bin Ruwaym to Murad. He commanded each one of them that the rebels should not cross them to enter the city.
He dispatched Shabas bin Rab’ee to Sabkhah and told him, “Whenever you hear any of their voices, go towards them”. It was on Monday when the (army of the) empire occupied the grounds and on the night of Tuesday Ibraheem desired to join Mukhtar.
He was informed that the grounds were filled with the army, while Ayas bin Mazarib, along with the guards, had taken the streets and the Royal Palace under his protection. Ibraheem was accompanied by a hundred men who had worn armors below their shirts. His companions told him to take a by-way but he said, “No, by Allah! Rather I shall pass from the center of the road and from near the Royal Palace to instill fear into the hearts of the enemies and announce that they are degraded and less in our eyes”.
Ibraheem passed by Baab al Feel and circled the house of ‘Amr bin Hurays. Ayas bin Mazarib, along with an army well-equipped with arms, faced him and asked, “Who are you?” Ibraheem replied, “I am Ibraheem bin Ashtar”, to which Ayas asked, “What is this group that you have brought along with you, and what do you intend? I shall not lift my hands off you until I take you to my commander”.
Ibraheem replied, “Get away from my way”, to which he replied, “I shall not do so”. Abu Qatan Hamadani, who was one of the friends of Ibraheem, was along with Ayas. Ibraheem called out to him, and he, presuming that Ibraheem would request him to mediate on his behalf, went towards him. When he neared him, Ibraheem snatched off his spear and pierced into the neck of Ayas and threw him down, and commanded one of his companions to get hold of his head. While the army of Ayas scattered and reached Ibn Muti’. He deputed Rashid bin Ayas as the head of police in place of his father and dispatched Suwayd bin Abdul Rahman Manqari to Kinasah in his stead.
Meanwhile Ibraheem bin Ashtar reached Mukhtar and said, “We had decided to lay siege tomorrow night, but due to certain circumstances we should do so tonight”, and he informed him about the killing of Ayas. Mukhtar was pleased by this news and said, “This is the first victory, Allah willing”.
Then he told Sa’eed bin Manqaz, “Arise and set on fire dry sticks and reeds and give signal”, and he told Abdullah bin Shaddad, “Arise and announce: O defenders of the Nation”! Then he told Sufyan bin Layla and Qudamah bin Malik, “Both of you raise the slogan of: O revengers of the blood of Husayn”. Then he himself wore the dress of battle, and Ibraheem said, “This army, that has gained control upon the grounds, shall not let our companions reach us. It is better that I go to my tribe along with my companions, and prepare those who obey us, and along with them I should surround the districts of Kufa and raise the slogan. Then those who desire to revolt would join us, while those who come to you should be taken care of. And if they attack you, there should remain with you such number of men who would defend you until I join you”. Mukhtar replied, “Go and hasten, but lest you attack the commander and fight them, then do not fight anyone except those who fight you”.
Ibraheem and his companions left and reached their tribe, and those who accepted their call accompanied them. He entered them on the streets of Kufa that very night and passed by the ground where the chiefs of Ibn Muti’ had been stationed. There they met a group of cavalry of Zahr bin Qays Ju’fi who had no commander. Ibraheem attacked them and pushed them back until the road of Kinda, then said, “O Lord! You know that we have come to rage for the sake of the Progeny of Your Prophet (S) and seek revenge for their blood. Bestow victory for us upon them”.
Then he came back after leaving those who had fled and reached the ground of Aseer. A group of men raised slogans and Ibraheem halted there. Suddenly Suwayd bin Abdul Rahman Manqari, with a greed to earn proximity to Ibn Muti’, galloped towards them, and when Ibraheem received news that he had come; he called out, “O army of Allah! Come forth, for you are more worthy of victory than these lewd men who are submerged in the blood of the Progeny (a.s.) of your Prophet (S)”.
They proceeded further and attacked them until they pushed them into the desert. They started climbing upon each other’s shoulders vilifying one another; they chased them and entered them into the ground. The companions of Ibraheem told him, “Some of us should follow them and should gain benefit from the fear that has been instilled in their hearts”.
Ibraheem replied, “No, rather we should reach Mukhtar and relieve his heart, he should know that we are along with him and he should be brave-hearted along with his companions. And because it is possible that he must have been attacked till now”. Ibraheem reached the door of the house of Mukhtar when he heard voices and perceived that battle was on. Shabas bin Rab’ee had attacked them from the side of Sabkhah, while Mukhtar had dispatched Yazid bin Anas to face him. Hajjar bin Abjar Ajali too had laid siege, while he (Mukhtar) had dispatched Ahmar bin Shamit to face him.
At that moment while fighting, Ibraheem came from the side of the Royal Palace and Hajjar and his companions realized that Ibraheem had reached them from their backs, therefore they immediately scattered unto the streets. While Qays bin Tahfah Nahdi, one of the companions of Mukhtar, along with a hundred men attacked Shabas bin Rabi’ who was fighting with (Yazid bin) Anas and opened the way and reached Anas bin Yazid (or Yazid bin Anas).
When Shabas saw this, he returned back to Ibn Muti’ and said, “You should gather all the chiefs whom you have stationed on the grounds and collect the army at one place and attack them, for they have attained victory. While Mukhtar has prepared his task and has revolted”.
When Mukhtar was apprised of this, he came out of his house, and along with a group of his companions, positioned himself in Sabkhah behind Deere Hind. Abu Usman Nahdi came out and proclaimed: “O seekers of revenge for the blood of Husayn! O defenders of the nation”, to the tribe of Shakir who had gathered in their houses but had concealed themselves due to fear of Ka’ab Khas’ami who had positioned himself close to them and had blocked their way.
He then said, “O the guided tribe! The trustworthy and vizier of the Progeny (a.s.) of Muhammad (S) has arisen, and has positioned himself near Deere Hind. He has sent me so that I may invite you and give you glad tidings, then come out, may Allah have mercy upon you”! They all scattered out calling, “O seeker of revenge for Husayn”, and fought with Ka’ab until they opened their way and reached Mukhtar and stationed themselves alongside him. Abdullah bin Qatadah joined Mukhtar along with two hundred men, Ka’ab attacked them, but when he realized that they were from his own tribe, he opened their way. Shibam, a branch of the tribe of Hamadan, too came out in the last part of the night. When this news reached Abdul Rahman bin Sa’eed Hamadani, who was one of the chiefs, he sent them message saying that, “If you intend assisting Mukhtar, do not pass by the cemetery of Sabi’”.
They too joined Mukhtar, while three thousand and eight hundred men from among the twelve thousand, who had pledged allegiance at his hands, gathered around him until the dawn. He completed arranging them until dawn and recited the morning Prayers along with his companions in darkness.
Ibn Muti’ summoned the chiefs of all the grounds to the Mosque and commanded Rashid to announce that, “Any one who does not come tonight to the Mosque, his blood and wealth is lawful upon us”. Every one of them gathered and Ibn Muti’ dispatched Shabas bin Rab’ee with an army of three thousand men against Mukhtar, as also Rashid bin Ayas with four thousand guards. Shabas proceeded towards Mukhtar, while Mukhtar received the news of his arrival after the Morning Prayers and sent someone to investigate.
Sa’ar bin Abi Sa’ar, who was one of the companions of Mukhtar, and could not reach him until then joined him. He informed him that Rashid bin Ayas had collided with him on the way. Mukhtar dispatched Ibraheem bin Ashtar with five hundred or six hundred horsemen and five hundred foot-soldiers to face Rashid, and he also sent Na’eem bin Hubayrah, the brother of Masqalah bin Hubayrah, with three hundred horsemen and six hundred foot-soldiers to face Shabas bin Rab’ee. He ordered them to fight at night and not to fall prey to the enemy for they were large in number than them.
Ibraheem went towards Rashid, while Mukhtar sent Yazid bin Anas with nine hundred men towards the site of the Mosque. Shabas lined up facing him and Na’eem fought fiercely with Shabas. Na’eem deputed Sa’ar bin Abi Sa’ar as commander upon the cavalry and himself proceeded further along with the foot-soldiers and fought with them until the sun arose and the sun-light spread wide. The companions of Shabas attacked those of Na’eem who scattered, while Na’eem himself resisted strongly until he fell a martyr (May Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be upon him).
Sa’ar bin Abi Sa’ar too was arrested along with a group of his companions; they released the Arabs and killed the Non-Arabs. Shabas proceeded and surrounded Mukhtar who had turned feeble due to the death of Na’eem.
Ibn Muti’ dispatched Yazid bin Hars bin Ruwaym with two thousand men who blocked the entrance of the streets. Mukhtar handed over the command of the cavalry to Yazid bin Anas and himself proceeded onto the ground along with the foot-soldiers, while the cavalry of Shabas attacked him and the companions of Mukhtar resisted them.
Yazid bin Anas told them, “O group of Shi’ah! They kill you due to your affection for the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and severe your hands and legs and blind your eyes and hang you upon the branches of the palm-tree even while though you remain seated in your houses obeying the enemies. Then what do you presume, if they gain victory upon you today, by Allah, in the twinkling of an eye they shall kill you with hands bound together, and shall treat your children, womenfolk and wealth in a manner that death is better than beholding it. By Allah! You shall not pave the road of salvation from their side except through insistence and forbearance besides opportune lances and the impressive striking of the swords. Then prepare for the attack”.
Hearing this they gained momentum, knelt down and yielded to his orders. Ibraheem Ashtar reached Rashid who had four thousand men along with him, he told his companions, “Do not fear their large numbers, by Allah, for even one man can be better than ten. And Allah is along with those who forbear”. Then Ibraheem turned towards his standard-bearer and said, “Take the standard further and kill the army behind you”.
They fought fiercely while Khuzaymah bin Nasr Abasi reached Rashid and killed him while calling out, “By the Lord of the Ka’bah! I have killed Rashid”. Hearing this, his (Rashid’s) companions fled while Ibraheem, Khuzaymah and their companions, after having killed Rashid, proceeded towards Mukhtar. They sent him a message, and when they received the glad-tidings, they pronounced the Takbeer and their hearts became stronger.
Ibn Muti’ dispatched Hissan bin Qa’ed bin Bakr Abasi with two thousand men towards Ibraheem bin Ashtar to prevent him from reaching his army positioned at Sabkhah. Ibraheem attacked them and they fled without fighting them while Hissan stayed behind and defended his companions. Khuzaymah attacked him and recognizing him said, “O Hissan! If there would not have been relation between us, I would have killed you. Then save yourself”. Suddenly his horse stumbled and he fell down upon the ground, while people surrounded him and he fought with them for awhile.
Then Khuzaymah told him, “You are in protection. Do not hand over yourself to death”. All of them lifted their hands off him and he (Khuzaymah) told Ibraheem, “He is my cousin while I have promised him protection”. Ibraheem replied, “You have done fair”, saying this he commanded that his horse be brought. He was seated upon his horse and Ibraheem told him, “Go to your house”. Ibraheem then proceeded towards Mukhtar, who was surrounded by Shabas bin Rab’ee. Yazid bin Hars, who was positioned upon the entrance of the streets, faced him so as to desist him from reaching Shabas. Ibraheem dispatched a group of his companions with Khuzaymah bin Nasr to face him, and himself, along with some others, went to Mukhtar’s aid.
Ibraheem attacked the army of Shabas from behind, while Yazid bin Anas too called out for battle. Shabas and his army fled and entered the houses of Kufa, while Khuzaymah bin Nasr too defeated Yazid bin Hars and they too fled and gathered in the entrances of the streets and behind the roofs. Mukhtar proceeded further and when he reached the entrance of the street, they started shooting arrows at him and prevented him from entering Kufa from there. The defeated army of Sabkhah came to Ibn Muti’ and he also received the news of the killing of Rashid and turned restless.
‘Amr bin Hajjaj Zubaydi told him, “O man! Do not clasp your hands. Go out to the men and invite them to face your enemy. There are numerous who will side you except these rebels whom Allah shall ultimately humiliate. I am the first one to accept it while a group of men are along with me and another is with others”. Ibn Muti’ himself came out and reprimanded people for their flight and commanded them to face Mukhtar and his companions.
When Mukhtar saw that Yazid bin Hars would not let him enter Kufa, he turned his way towards the houses of Mazinah, Ahmas and Bariq. They owned houses separated from the city, they gave water to his companions to drink while he (Mukhtar) himself did not partake, for he was in the state of fasting.
Ahmar bin Shamit told Ibn Kamil, “Do you not know that he is fasting?” he replied in the affirmative. He said, “I wish he would break his fast then he would be more stronger”. Ibn Kamil said, “He is infallible and is intelligent with regards to his responsibility”. Ahmar replied, “You speak the truth. Allah’s pardon”. Then Mukhtar said, “This place is better for battle”. Ibraheem replied, “Allah has entangled the opponent enemy in flight and instilled fear into their hearts. Then take us to Kufa, by Allah! There is none to block our way to the Royal Palace”. Mukhtar then kept those among his companions, who were old and ailing, as also his belongings there, and appointed Abu Usman Nahdi to take care of them and dispatched Ibraheem before him. Ibn Muti’ dispatched ‘Amr bin Hajjaj with two thousand men to face Mukhtar.
Mukhtar sent a message to Ibraheem saying that he should kneel down facing them, they knelt down while Mukhtar dispatched Yazid bin Anas and commanded him to stand facing ‘Amr bin Hajjaj. Then he himself proceeded behind Ibraheem and halted at the ‘Musalla’ (the place of Prayer) of Khalid bin Abdullah. When Ibraheem desired entering Kufa from the road of Kinasah, Shimr bin Ziljawshan came out against him with a group of two thousand men. Mukhtar dispatched Sa’eed bin Manqaz Hamadani to face him and sent message to Ibraheem that he should continue moving.
Ibraheem proceeded further until he reached the street of Shabas, while Nawfal bin Masahiq had positioned thereat with two thousand or five thousand men, while the latter number is more reliable. Ibn Muti’ ordered that it should be announced that people should join Ibn Masahiq, and he himself positioned at Kinasah while giving the charge of the Royal Palace to Shabas bin Rab’ee.
Ibraheem reached Ibn Muti’ and ordered his companions to dismount and said, “Do not fear when they say that Shabas has come, or the family of Atbah bin Nahas has come, or the family of Ash’as or Yazid bin Hars or the family of so and so has come”, naming all the families of Kufa. Then he retorted, “If they taste the fire of the swords, they shall flee away from Ibn Muti’ as a sheep flees away from the wolf”. All of them obeyed his orders while Ibn Ashtar tied the end of his shirt upon his waist while all of them scattered in one manly attack. They ran upon each others shoulders and gathered at the entrance of the streets.
Ibn Ashtar reached Ibn Masahiq, and catching hold of his reins, lifted his sword upon him. Ibn Masahiq said, “O son of Ashtar! I request you in the name of Allah, does there exist envy or revenge of blood between us?” Ibraheem spared him and said, “Then remember this (kindness)”, while he always remembered this favor. Then they entered Kinasah, while pursuing those who had fled, and took control of each market and mosque, while Ibn Muti’ and those of the noblemen of Kufa, who were along with him in the Palace, were surrounded, except ‘Amr bin Hurays, who had remained in his house and had retired to the desert.
Mukhtar himself entered and positioned himself at the corner of the market and deputed Ibraheem, Yazid bin Anas and Ahmar bin Shamit to surround the palace. After three days of severe siege, Shabas told Ibn Muti’, “Find a way out for yourself and your companions. By Allah! They do not possess the power to save you or their own selves”. Ibn Muti’ replied, “Then give me your opinion”. Shabas replied, “There is one way, and that is ask protection for yourself and us and submit to them and come out along with your companions, and do not kill yourself and your companions”.
Ibn Muti’ replied, “I consider it a shame to seek their protection when the commander of the faithful (he meant Abdullah bin Zubayr) holds control upon Hijaz and Basrah”. Shabas said, “Then you should come out of the palace in secret and enter the house of the one on whom you rely and remain there until you reach your master”. Abdul Rahman bin Sa’eed, Asma bin Kharejah, Ibn Makhnaf and other noblemen too accepted his proposal.
They remained there until night, then Ibn Muti’ told them, “I know what the ignoble and lewd men did to you, while all the noblemen and meritorious among you listened and obeyed. I shall inform my master regarding this and shall relate to him your obedience and battle until whatever Allah wills”. All praised him and he came out alone and took refuge in the house of Abu Moosa. Ibn Ashtar reached the door of the palace while the companions of Ibn Muti’ threw open the doors after he had left and said, “O son of Ashtar! Are we in protection?”
He replied, “All of you are granted protection”, thus they came out. All of them then swore allegiance to Mukhtar, who entered therein and spent the night therein, while the noblemen saw the dawn in the mosque and at the door of the palace.
At dawn, Mukhtar came out and ascended the pulpit, after praising and glorifying Allah, he said,
“Praise be to the Lord, Who promised victory to His friend, and to His enemy a share in losses, and has made these glad tidings a means of performance until the end of the world, and has approved His command, while the one who accuses will ultimately be dejected. O people! A standard was erected for us and duration was fixed. It was said unto us: Raise the standard and perform the task in the scheduled time and do not violate it. We paid heed to the invitation of the caller and heard the words of the announcer, and how many men and women are there who give news of death of those killed in the battle. Far be away the rebels, the treacherous, the disobedient ones, those who refute and flee away. Beware O people! Enter, and pledge allegiance at the hands of guidance. I swear by the One Who has made the sky a roof upon everyone, and has furbished valleys and roads upon the earth, after the allegiance of Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) and his Progeny (a.s.), you will not find any other allegiance more economical than this”.
Then he alighted the pulpit and all the noblemen of Kufa came and swore allegiance at his hands upon the book of Allah, the customs of the Prophet (S), seeking avenge for the blood of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and struggle against the cunning, defense of the weak, battle against the aggressors, and peace with the Muslims.
Manzar bin Hissan and his son Hissan too pledged their oath of allegiance to Mukhtar and when they came outside after visiting him, Sa’eed bin Manqaz Sawri met them and said, “By Allah! Both of them are from among the leaders of tyrants”. Then he killed both of them and as much as Manzar kept saying, “Lift your hands off us until we obtain orders from Mukhtar”, he did not pay heed to him.
When Mukhtar was informed about this episode, he disliked their attitude. While Mukhtar was giving fair promises to the people and was attracting the views of the notables to himself and was treating them with kindness. It was said to him, “Ibn Muti’ is present in the house of Abu Moosa”, but he did not reply and sent a hundred thousand Dirhams at night with a message that, “Keep this as expenses for your journey, and I know as to where you are and that you intend going away, but you do not have the money”, while there was friendship between them.
Mukhtar had a thousand Dirhams in his treasury from which he gave five hundred Dirhams each to those who remained with him until the siege of the palace, while they were three thousand men. And he gave twenty Dirhams each to those who had joined him after the siege of the palace while remaining for three days of siege along with him. He met people courteously and made the notables sit with him. T
hen he appointed Abdullah bin Kamil Shakiri as the head of his police and appointed Kaisan Abu Umrah as the chief of guards upon his the seat of his capital. One day when Abu ‘Amr was standing at the head of Mukhtar, while he was speaking with the notables and was paying heed to their words, one of his Persian friends told him in the Persian language, “Do you not see that Abu Ishaq has turned towards the Arabs and does not look at us?” Mukhtar asked him, “What did he say?” Abu Umrah repeated his words for him and Mukhtar said, “This should not be objectionable for you, for you are from me and I from you”, saying this he bowed his head for some time and remained silent, then he recited the following verse
“Verily We, from the guilty ones, shall exact (the due) retribution” (Surah al-Sajdah, 32:22).
When they heard his words, they said, “Have glad tidings, as if you are the ones who will kill”, while he had meant (to kill) the notables.
The first standard which Mukhtar fastened was for Abdullah bin Hars (or Haris), the brother of Malik Ashtar, and made him the governor of Armenistan. Then he appointed Muhammad bin Umayr bin Atarud upon Azarbayjan, Abdullah (or Abdul Rahman) bin Sa’eed bin Qays upon Mosul, Ishaq bin Mas’ood upon Madaen and Jawkha. He also appointed Qudamah bin Abu Isa bin Zam’ah Nasari, who was an ally of the Saqif (tribe), upon the greater Bahqabaz, Muhammad bin Ka’ab bin Qarzah upon the Central Bahqabaz, Sa’ad bin Huzayfah bin Yaman upon Halawan, and commanded him to fight the Turks and make peace therein.
Ibn Zubayr had appointed Muhammad bin Ash’as bin Qays as the governor of Mosul, and when Abdul Rahman bin Sa’eed reached Mosul from the side of Mukhtar, Muhammad fled to Takrit and paused there to see as to view the circumstances, then he came from there to Mukhtar and pledged allegiance at his hands.
Then when Mukhtar became relieved of the rebels and other tasks, be called for audience of people and sat to judge and said, “I have to attend to a task due to which I will not be able to accomplish this task of judging”, saying this he appointed Shurayh to judge among people. Shurayh feared the people and therefore pretended to be ill. While people would say, “He befriends Usman and gave witness against Hujr bin Adi and did not even reach the message of Hani bin Urwah from the prison to the men, while Imam Ali (a.s.) himself had deposed him from judgment”, and when this criticism came to his ears, he pretended to be ill and abdicated. Therefore Mukhtar appointed Abdullah bin Utbah bin Mas’ood in his place but he too became ill, then he appointed Abdullah bin Malik Tai.
In this year, i.e., sixty six hijrah, Mukhtar turned towards the murderers of Imam Husayn (a.s.) to kill them. The reason was because when the caliphate of Marwan bin Hakam was established in Syria, he dispatched two armies, one to Hijaz under the command of Hubaysh bin Daljah Qayni, and the second towards Iraq under the command of Ubaydullah bin Ziyad, while we have discussed regarding him during the course of our discussion of the Tawwabeen.
He had promised Ibn Ziyad that on whatever he would lay his hands upon, would be his own, and he had permitted him to plunder Kufa for three days. He blocked the island where Qays Aylan and Zafar bin Hars, the partisans of Ibn Zubayr remained, and he remained busy in skirmish with them for one year and remained unmindful of Iraq until Marwan died and his son Abdul Malik succeeded him.
He too renewed the agreement entered with Ibn Ziyad by his father and commanded him to struggle for the fulfillment of his task. Therefore when he could not lay his hands upon Zafar and Qays, he turned around towards Mosul. Abdul Rahman bin Sa’eed, who was appointed the governor upon Mosul by Mukhtar, wrote to him that Ubaydullah had stepped upon the soil of Mosul and that he had evacuated Mosul and had taken refuge in Takrit.
Mukhtar called for Yazid bin Anas Asadi and commanded him to go to Mosul and station himself at the nearest place therein until an army would be dispatched to assist him. Yazid replied, “Then give me the authority to select three thousand horsemen so as to take along with me, and that I should be at liberty to take my own decisions, and if I am wanting of manpower, I shall ask help from you”.
Mukhtar agreed to his view and he selected three thousand horsemen and left. Mukhtar escorted him, and while parting with him, said, “Then when you reach your enemy, do not give them respite, and do not postpone any opportunity for tomorrow. Then inform daily regarding your reports, then if you ever require help, write to me, I shall dispatch assistance to you even if you do not need help, so that your arms may become more stronger and your enemies fearful”. Then people prayed for their well being and he too prayed for them and said, “Desire the felicity of martyrdom for me from Allah. By Allah! If victory parts away from me, I should not loose martyrdom”.
Then Mukhtar wrote to Abdul Rahman bin Sa’eed that, “Hand over the cities of Mosul to Yazid”. Yazid went to Madaen and traversed through the land of Jawkhi and passed by Razanat and reached Mosul. He positioned himself at Baquli and the news reached Ibn Ziyad. He said, “I shall dispatch two thousand men against each thousand”.
Then he dispatched Rabi’ah bin Makhariq Ghanawi with three thousand men and Abdullah bin Jumlah Khas’ami with three thousand also. Rabi’ah entered Baquli a day before Abdullah and stood facing Yazid. Yazid, who was severely ill, mounted his ass, while some people looked after him upon that, and arrayed his troops and incited them for combat and said, “If I die, your commander shall be Warqa’ bin Azib Asadi, and after him Abdullah bin Zamarah Azari, who shall be succeeded by Sa’ar bin Abi Sa’ar Hanafi”.
Then he appointed Abdullah to lead the right wing and Sa’ar upon the left wing and appointed Warqa’ upon the cavalry and himself was laid upon a bed in the midst of the army while he was saying, “If you wish defend your commander or else desert him and flee”. He was guiding the army while sometimes he was falling unconscious and some time regaining consciousness. The army started the battle at dawn on the day of Arafah and fought fiercely until the evening, while the Syrians scattered and their barracks came under the control of the companions of Yazid. They reached Rabi’ah bin Makhariq, the commander of the Syrians, whose companions had deserted him. He came down on foot and called out, “O friends of the truth! I am the son of Makhariq! You are fighting against the slaves who have fled away and those who have left Islam”.
Hearing this, a group gathered around him and again battle ensued, while the Syrians scattered for another time and Rabi’ah bin Makhariq was killed. Abdullah bin Warqa’ Asadi and Abdullah bin Zamarah Azari killed him. The losers settled for a moment and Abdullah bin Jumlah reached them along with three thousand men and gathered those who had scattered and stationed himself at Baquli. They spent the night patrolling, and at dawn, which was the day of I’d uz Zuha, they fought fiercely. Then they halted at the time of the Prayers of Zuhr and thereafter resumed fighting, while the Syrians fled and left Ibn Jumlah along with a group of men.
They fought until Abdullah bin Qirad Khas’ami attacked him and killed him while the Kufans gained control of their barracks. They uprooted them while killing them and arrested three hundred men whom Yazid bin Anas commanded to be put to death while he himself was on the verge of death. They were killed and he himself died at the end of the day, his companions buried him while they wandered.
Warqa’ bin Azib Asadi, who he (Yazid) had appointed to succeed him, lead his funeral Prayers and then addressed his companions saying, “What is your view? It has reached me that Ibn Ziyad himself is coming with an army of eighty thousand men, while I am one of you, therefore give me your opinions.
According to my view, in the circumstances that Yazid (bin Anas) has died while some have scattered away, we do not have the power to confront the Syrians. Then today if retreat on our own, they will say that we have withdrawn due to the death of our commander in suspension, while our fear will still remain in their hearts. Then if we face them, we shall fall in danger. And today if they rout us, their defeat of yesterday will not benefit us”.
They replied, “You have opined fairly”, saying this they dispersed. Their news reached Mukhtar and the Kufans created commotion and said, “Yazid has been killed and not died a natural death”. Then Mukhtar called for Ibraheem and dispatched him with seven thousand men, saying, “If you come across the army of Yazid bin Anas, you shall be their commander, then take them back along with you until you reach Ibn Ziyad and his battalion, and fight with them”.
Ibraheem made Hammamul A’ayun his headquarters and proceeded further. When he had left, the chiefs of Kufa, in opposition to Mukhtar, gathered at the house of Shabas bin Rab’ee and said, “By Allah! Mukhtar has become our commander without our consent and has emboldened our slaves, he has made them mount our horses and given a share of our wealth to them”. Shabas, who was their chief from the days of ignorance until the declaration of Islam, said, “Leave me, I will go and meet him”.
He came to Mukhtar and related to him all the complaints of the chiefs. Mukhtar answered each of their objections saying, “I am here to comply to their consent and do whatever their desire”. As regards the slaves and their entitlement to wealth, he answered, “I shall lift my hands off them and shall hand over all the wealth to you so that you may fight the Bani Umayyah and Ibn Zubayr, but with a stipulation that you shall pledge and promise with a proper assurance”. Shabas replied, “I shall discuss your stated opinions with my companions”, saying this he went to them but did not return back and all of them consented to fight him. Thereafter Shabas bin Rab’ee, Muhammad bin Ash’as, Abdul Rahman bin Sa’eed bin Qays and Shimr together came to Ka’ab bin Abi Ka’ab Khas’ami and spoke to him regarding this and he too consented with them. Then they, in conformity to one another, came to Abdul Rahman bin Makhnaf Azdi and invited him too. He replied, “If you listen to my words, do not fight them”.
They said, “And why not?” He replied, “I fear lest dispute might erupt amongst yourselves, while the valorous and champions among you (he named some of them) are along with him, as also your slaves and retainers, and they have a single slogan. While the slaves detest you more than your enemies of the Arabian race, then they shall fight you with the valor of the Arabs and enmity of the non-Arabs. Then if you give him some respite, others will suffice you. The Syrian and Basran army shall soon arrive and they shall remove him from amongst your midst, while you do not fight amongst your own selves”. They replied, “We request you by Allah not to oppose us, and do not ruin our consented opinions”. He said, “Indeed I am one of you, then whenever you may desire arising, do so”.
As soon as Ibraheem left, they leapt upon Mukhtar and occupied the grounds of Kufa and each chief took position in each lane. Then when the news of their revolt reached Mukhtar, he dispatched a swift messenger to Ibraheem, who reached him at Sabat, with orders to return back immediately. Then he dispatched someone to the chiefs of the revolters saying, “Tell me as to what you desire? Then I shall do whatever you wish for”.
They replied, “We desire that you remain away from us, because as you assert that you have been sent by Muhammad bin Hanafiyah, while it has been known that he has not sent you”. Mukhtar replied, “Then you may dispatch your messenger to him and I too shall send mine, then wait until his message arrives”, while Mukhtar desired to engage them in conversation until Ibraheem reached him. Then he commanded his companions to lift their hands off them, while the Kufans had sealed the entrances of the lanes upon the revolters and except some little provisions, none could reach them.
Abdullah bin Sabi’ stationed himself upon the ground, while the (clan of) Bani Shakir fought fiercely with him, then Aqbah bin Tariq Jashami came and sided with him while defending him from them. Aqbah came and positioned himself in Jabanah Salul along with Shimr and Qays Aylan, while Abdullah bin Sabi’, accompanied by the Yemenites, positioned himself upon the ground of Sabi’.
The messenger of Mukhtar reached Ibn Ashtar on the night of that day, Ibraheem himself returned and descended the next day. Then he gave rest to his horses and left at night until he reached Kufa the next day at the time of Asr. Then he spent the night along with his companions in the Mosque. When the Yemenites gathered at the field of Sabi’ and the time of Prayers arrived, each chief among them disliked that anyone among them should lead the Prayers. Seeing this Abdul Rahman bin Makhnaf said, “This is the first discord, then you may make the praiseworthy man, the master of the Recitors, Rufa’ah bin Shaddad as the leader of Prayers”. He lead their Prayers until the battle started.
Mukhtar aligned his companions in the street that did not have buildings. Then he commanded Ibn Ashtar to face the people of Bani Muzar, whose commanders were Shabas bin Rab’ee and Muhammad bin Umayr bin Atarud, and they had positioned themselves at Kinasah. He (Mukhtar) feared to dispatch him (Ibraheem) towards the people of Yemen, who were his tribesmen, lest he might falter to fight them. While Mukhtar himself went to face the people of Yemen who had stationed themselves at the road of Sabi’.
He stationed himself near the house of ‘Amr bin Sa’eed and dispatched Ahmar bin Shamit Bajali and Abdullah bin Kamil Shakiri forward and ordered each of them that they should proceed from a fixed route which would reach the field of Sabi’. Then he told them in confidence that (the tribe of) Shibam had informed him that they would attack them from behind, and they proceeded further in accordance to the orders. When the people of Yemen were informed about their arrival, they split into two armies and faced them and they fought such fiercely that men had not seen a more fierce battle than this.
The companions of Ahmar bin Shamit and Ibn Kamil retreated back and joined Mukhtar. Mukhtar asked them as to what was the news, and they replied, “We were routed, and Ahmar bin Shamit had come on foot along with a group of his followers”. While the companions of Ibn Kamil said, “We do not know as to what happened to him”. Mukhtar, accompanied by them, turned towards the ground until he reached facing the house of Abu Abdullah Jadali. He positioned himself there and dispatched Abdullah bin Fu’ad Khas’ami with four hundred men to search for Ibn Kamil, and told him, “If he (Ibn Kamil) has been killed, you shall take over the reins of command in his stead and fight the enemies. And if he is alive, leave three hundred men from this group with him and take the rest one hundred along with you and go towards the road of Sabi’ and attack them from the side of Hammamul Qatn”.
He went and saw that Ibn Kamil was in the heat of the battle along with a group of his companions. He left three hundred men with him and took one hundred along with himself to the Mosque of Abdul Qays and then told his companions, “I befriend that Mukhtar should be victorious, but I also detest that today the noblemen of my clan should be killed at our hands. By Allah! I endear death rather than that they should be killed at my hands. Then position yourselves here, for I have heard that the tribe of Shibam shall attack them from behind. Perhaps they should do so and we might be excused from it”.
They yielded to his words and spent the night near the Mosque of Abdul Qays. Then Mukhtar dispatched Malik bin ‘Amr Nahdi, who was a valorous man, along with Abdullah bin Sharik Nahdi and hour hundred men, to aid Ahmar bin Shamit. They reached him when the enemies had reached upon his head and had surrounded him, while when this group reached there, the battle became more intense. Ibn Ashtar, along with his army, reached facing the people of Muzar and met Shabas bin Rab’ee and his companions and said, “Woe be to you! Refrain from battle and retreat back”.
They did not pay heed to his words and fought him until they had to flee. Hissan bin Qa’ed Abasi was wounded and was taken to his home where he died, while he was the associate of Shabas bin Rab’ee. News was sent to Mukhtar that the Muzar had fled, while he sent this glad tidings to Ahmar bin Shamit and Ibn Kamil and their frontline became stronger.
While the people of (the tribe of) Shibam gathered and appointed Abul Qaloos as their commander so as to attack the people of Yemen from behind. But they told one another, “We wish we could attack the (tribes of) Muzar and Rabi’ah for it was more appropriate”. Abul Qaloos did not reply, and they asked him, “What do you say?” He replied,
“Allah, the Almighty, has said: Fight ye those of the infidels near you” (Surah at-Tawbah, 9:123).
They accompanied him towards the people of Yemen and when they reached the entrance of the ground of Sabi’, A’asar Shakiri collided with them and they killed him while calling out, “O seekers of revenge for Husayn”! When Yazid bin Umayr bin Zi Maran Hamadani heard them, he called out, “O seekers of revenge for Usman”. Hearing this Rufa’ah bin Shaddad said, “What do we have to do with Usman? I shall not fight along with those who seek revenge for the blood of Usman”. A group of his tribesmen objected to him saying, “You have brought us to the battlefield, and now when we see them entering the swords into them, you tell us to retreat and abandon them?”
He turned towards them and recited the following couplet, “I am the son of Shaddad and upon the religion of Ali, I do not befriend Usman or a deceptor, today I shall enter into the heat of the battle, and shall attack fiercely”. He fought until he was killed. Rufa’ah previously sided with Mukhtar, but when he realized his (alleged) fraud, he desired to kill him unawares. That day he sided with the Kufans and when Yazid bin Umayr called out, “O seekers of revenge for the blood of Usman”, he separated from them and fought siding with Mukhtar until he was killed.
Yazid bin Umayr bin Zi Maran, and Nu’man bin Sahban Jarmi, who was a virtuous man, were also killed. Furat bin Zahr bin Qays too was killed and Abu Zahr was wounded. Abdullah bin Sa’eed bin Qays, as also Umar bin Makhnaf, were killed. Abdul Rahman bin Makhnaf fought until he was wounded and was taken in the state of unconsciousness to his home, while the people of Azd fought surrounding him, and the people of Yemen were routed in the worst manner. They arrested five hundred men from the houses of Wadi’ayn and were brought with hands bound together to Mukhtar. Mukhtar said, “Investigate regarding them, then inform me as to which of them were included in the murder of Husayn (a.s.)”.
Then he put to death two hundred and forty eight men from among them (who were included in the murder of Imam Husayn). His companions started putting to sword their enemies (among the captives), and when Mukhtar saw this, he commanded that those of the captives who were left should be released. Mukhtar took an oath from them that they should neither side with his enemies nor should they revolt against him or his companions or plot against them. The caller of Mukhtar announced, “The one who remains locked in his house shall remain in peace, except those who are included in the blood of the Progeny of Muhammad (S)”.
‘Amr bin Hajjaj Zubaydi, who had sided in the blood of Imam Husayn (a.s.), mounted his Camel and fled from the road of Waqisah while none had any news until now regarding him. It is said that the companions of Mukhtar found him while he had fallen down due to thirst, and they killed him (May Allah’s eternal curse be upon him) and brought his head to Mukhtar.
When Furat bin Zahr bin Qays was killed, Ayesha, daughter of Khalifah bin Abdullah, who was one of the wives of Imam Husayn (a.s.), sent a message to Mukhtar requesting for his burial. He permitted her and he was buried.
Mukhtar dispatched one of his retainers named Zarbi behind Shimr bin Ziljawshan, who was along with his companions. When they neared him, Shimr told his companions, “You draw back, and perhaps this slave bears avarice with me”. They went away from him and Zarbi ran towards Shimr who attacked him and killed him. Shimr, accompanied by his companions, ran out of Kufa and reached Sadna until night and went towards a village called Kaltaniyah, which was on the bank of a stream and at the foot of a hillock. They caught hold of a non-Arab man from the village and brought him to Shimr. He thrashed him up and said, “You should take my letter to Mus’ab bin Zubayr”.
The man went to his village in which Abu Umroh, one of the companions of Mukhtar, was positioned on guard there between Mukhtar and the Basrans. The non-Arab man met another non-Arab man from his village and complained to him regarding his state and how Shimr had treated, he also told him regarding the responsibility assigned to him. At that moment, one of the companions of Abu Umroh, called Abdul Rahman bin Abi Kanood, met them and saw the letter of Shimr addressed to Mus’ab bin Zubayr in their hands. He asked the man as to where was Shimr. He showed him the way and there was a distance of less than three farsakh in between them. The companions of Shimr had warned him that it was dangerous to remain there and that they should leave from there. He replied, “You fear this liar such? By Allah! I shall rest at this place for three days”. But their hearts were full of fear, and when they slept they heard the sound of the horses’ hooves.
They said, “This is the sound of the horses’ hooves”. They neared them, and before his companions could arise, the cavalry came down from the hill and called out the Takbeer and surrounded the tents. His companions scattered in bewilderment and left their horses behind them. Shimr wound a clock around himself while the marks of leprosy were visible from beneath it. He took a lance in his hand and hit it towards them, they had not even given him time to wear his clothes or ammunitions. His companions, who had positioned themselves at the distance away from him, heard the voice of Takbeer and someone calling out, “The vicious one has been killed”. Ibn Abi Kanood, who had seen his letter in the hands of the non-Arab man, killed him and scattered his remains in front of the dogs. (May Allah’s eternal curse be upon him, and may he remain in the deepest dent of hell).
Thereafter Mukhtar returned to the royal palace from the ground of Sabi’ and Suraqah bin Mirdas Baraqi was arrested and brought to him. Suraqah called out, “Forgive me today O disposer of goodness! O best among every master of diligence and eminence, in the pilgrimage, continuance of mercy and effort in prostration”. Mukhtar sent him to a prison, and on the preceding day summoned him. He faced Mukhtar and said, “May Allah amend the tasks of the commander! I swear by Allah, besides Whom there is no other Deity, I have seen the Angels, mounted upon pie-bald swift horses between the heavens and the earth, assisting you”.
Mukhtar said, “Then mount the pulpit and announce to the men what you saw”. Then he mounted the pulpit and reported and alighted. Mukhtar took him in secret and said, “I know that you have not seen anything, and you desired that I should save you from killing. Then go to any place that you desire, then go, for you are at liberty, but then do not incite your men against me”. He left Kufa and reached Basra. Then he joined Mus’ab.
On that day Abdul Rahman bin Sa’eed (bin) Qays Hamadani was killed, while Sa’ar bin Abi Sa’ar, Abu Zubayr Shibami and another man claimed to have killed him, while Shibam is a branch of the tribe of Hamadan. The son of Abdul Rahman told Abu Zubayr Shibami, “Have you killed my father Abdul Rahman, the chief of your own clan?” He replied, “The one who believes in Allah and the day of Resurrection, does not befriend the enemies of Allah even if they be his father or brother”. And in this battle eight hundred and eighty men were killed, while mostly those killed were from among the Yemenites. The date of this struggle was the sixth of Zilhajj 66 A.H.
Thereafter the notables scattered away and reached Basra, while Mukhtar then turned towards killing the murderers of Imam Husayn (a.s.). He said,
“Our religion is not that we may live and leave the murderers of Imam Husayn (a.s.) alive. In that case what bad companions should we be in this world for the progeny of Muhammad (S). While I would become the ‘Liar’ as is attributed to me. I solicit Allah’s assistance upon them. Then inform me regarding each of them, and pursue them until you kill them. And eating and drinking is detestable for me until I do not purify this earth of them”.
They informed him regarding Abdullah bin Usayd Jahni, Malik bin Bashir Badi and Haml bin Malik Muharibi. Mukhtar dispatched someone and summoned them from Qadisiyyah. When his sight fell upon them, he said, “O enemies of Allah and the Prophet of Allah (S)! Where is Husayn bin Ali? Settle the debt of Husayn, you have killed those on whom you were ordered to send salutations?”
They replied, “May Allah’s mercy be upon you! We were compelled to go there, therefore oblige us and leave us alive”. He replied, “Why did you not oblige Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet, and leave him alive, nor give him water to drink?” While Badi (Malik bin Bashir) had seized the burnoose of Imam Husayn (a.s.), Mukhtar ordered that both his hands and legs should be severed. He was laid down and he coiled until he died, while the two others were killed similarly.
Then Mukhtar summoned Ziyad bin Malik Zaba’i, Imran bin Khalid Qushayri, Abdul Rahman bin Abi Khashkar Bajali and Abdullah bin Qays Khawlani. They were brought to him, and when his sight fell upon them, he said, “O murderers of the virtuous ones! O murderers of the Master of the dwellers of paradise! Today Allah seeks retribution from you. It was an ill-omened day on which you raided the dye weeds”, while they had looted the dye weeds of Imam Husayn (a.s.). Mukhtar ordered them to be killed.
Abdullah and Abdul Rahman, the sons of Salkhab were then brought to him along with Abdullah bin Wahb bin ‘Amr Hamadani, the cousin of A’amash Hamadani. Mukhtar ordered them to be killed too. Then they brought Usman bin Khalid bin Usayd Dahmani Jahni and Abu Asma bin Bashr bin Shumayt Qanesi, who had assisted one another in killing Abdul Rahman bin Aqeel and stripping him. He ordered them to be beheaded and they were thrown into the blazing fire.
Then he summoned Khawli bin Yazid Asbahi, who had brought the head of Imam Husayn (a.s.) to Kufa. When they went in his pursuit, he hid himself in the lavatory, while the companions of Mukhtar entered his house to search him. His wife, Ayoof, the daughter of Malik, who had become his enemy from the night he had brought the head of Imam Husayn (a.s.), came outside and said, “What do you desire?” They asked, “Where is your husband?” She replied, “I do not know”, saying this she pointed towards the lavatory. They went there and caught him while he had worn a leather upon his head. They brought him outside and killed him in front of his family and burnt him. (May Allah’s eternal curse be upon all of them).
One day Mukhtar told his associates, “Tomorrow I shall kill a man who is big-footed, with sunken eyes and stout eyebrows, the murder of whom will please the believers and the ‘Neared Angels’“.
Haysam bin Aswad Nakha’i, who was near him, understood that he meant Umar bin Sa’ad. He returned home and sent his son Irban to Umar and informed him. Umar replied, “May Allah reward your father fairly! How can Mukhtar kill me after bestowing promises and oath to me”. Abdullah bin Ja’daj bin Hubayrah, was a relative of Imam Ali (a.s.), and was more endeared to Mukhtar than anyone else. Umar bin Sa’ad had asked his intervention and had secured a letter of protection from him. In the letter Mukhtar had (deliberately) stated that any incident (Hadas) should not come forth from his side, while what he meant was to answer the call of nature (for Hadas also means that).
When Irban returned back, Umar came out of his house and went to Hammamah and asked for explanation of the deed of security from one of his retainers. The person replied, “It has been related on oath that no impurity (Hadas) should be done on your part, and what impurity (Hadas) is bigger than that you have left your house and have come here? Thus hasten to your house and do not create any excuse for you”. Hearing this Umar hastened to his house, while it was informed to Mukhtar that Umar bin Sa’ad had left his house. He replied, “No never, he has a chain bound in his neck which will bring him back”.
On the preceding morning, Mukhtar dispatched Abu Umroh in his pursuit. He came to Umar and said, “Answer the call of the commander”. Umar arose while his legs got entangled in his shirt and he fell down upon the floor. Abu ‘Amr dealt a blow at him with his sword and killed him (May Allah’s eternal curse be upon him) and brought his head to Mukhtar. Mukhtar told his son Hafas, who was seated near him, “Do you recognize this head?” He answered, “Verily yes! While life after him does not seem fair”. Mukhtar ordered him to be killed too and said, “That was in lieu of Husayn (a.s.) and this is in lieu of Ali bin Husayn (a.s.). By Allah! If I kill one third of a quarter of Quraysh, debt of even one of their fingers will not have been given”.
The reason for his agitation in killing Umar was that Yazid bin Sharahil Ansari went to the presence of Muhammad bin Hanafiyah. He saluted him and when their conversation reached Mukhtar, Ibn Hanafiyah said, “He perceives that he is our Shi’ah, when the murderers of Husayn (a.s.) are seated on the chairs facing him and he speaks to them?” When Yazid returned to Kufa, he informed Mukhtar regarding it. Thus he killed Umar bin Sa’ad and sent his head to Muhammad bin Hanafiyah and wrote to him that, “Wherever I will find them, I will kill them. While I am in pursuit of the remaining ones who had participated in the murder of Imam Husayn (a.s.)”.
Abdullah bin Sharik says, that I have seen men wearing fringed robes and black caps and mounted, that when Umar passed by them, before he was killed, they would say, “He is one of the murderers of Husayn”.
Ibn Sireen says, that Imam Ali (a.s.) had once told Umar bin Sa’ad, “When you shall reach a place and shall have an option to choose between paradise and hell, while you shall select hell”.
Thereafter Mukhtar dispatched someone in pursuit of Hakim bin Tufayl Ta’i, who had plundered the clothes of Abbas bin Ali (a.s.) and had shot an arrow at Imam Husayn (a.s.), and would say, “My arrow pierced his shirt but caused him no harm”. The companions of Mukhtar arrested him, while he dispatched someone to Adi bin Hatim, so as to intervene on his behalf. Adi spoke to those who had arrested him and they replied that, “Option lies with Mukhtar”, thus he went to meet him. While Mukhtar had accepted his intervention for some people of his tribe who were arrested in the ground of Sabi’.
The Shi’ah said, “Perhaps he may accept intervention for him”, saying this they shot arrows at him in penalty of the arrows that he had shot at Imam Husayn (a.s.) and had made his body similar to the porcupine. Adi went to Mukhtar, who made him sit with him, and he intervened on his (Hakim’s) behalf. Mukhtar replied, “Is it that I should release the murderers of Husayn (a.s.)?” Adi replied, “He has been falsely accused”. Mukhtar said, “Then if it is true, we shall leave him to you”. Ibn Kamil entered therein and informed Mukhtar of his murder.
Mukhtar said, “Why did you make haste in killing him and not bring him to me?” while in his heart he was pleased by his murder. Ibn Kamil replied, “The Shi’ah arrested him forcefully and killed him”. Adi told Ibn Kamil, “Rather you speak a lie. You perceived lest the one who is better than you might accept my intervention for him. Therefore you killed him”. Ibn Kamil started abusing Adi, while Mukhtar restrained him.
Thereafter Mukhtar dispatched someone in pursuit of the murderer of Ali Akbar, Munqiz bin Murrah, from the clan of Abdul Qays, while he was a valorous man. They surrounded his house, when he mounted his horse and with a lance in his hand, attacked them. A sword was struck at his hand, but he scattered from their midst and saved himself and reached Mus’ab bin Zubayr. But his hand turned ill and worthless.
Then Mukhtar sent someone behind Zayd bin Riqqad Habbani, he would say: I shot an arrow at one of the martyrs and fixed his hand upon his forehead, while he was none other than Abdullah bin Muslim bin Aqeel. He could not separate his hand and said, “O Lord! They consider our worth to be less, and consider us to be wretched. Thus kill those who kill us”. Then another arrow pierced his heart, and when I came to his head, he had already died. Then I pulled out the arrow from his heart that had killed him, I tried pulling out the arrow that had pierced his forehead and shook it, and its handle came out but the point remained stuck. When the companions of Mukhtar surrounded him, he attacked them sword in hand. Ibn Kamil said, “Do not attack him with lances or swords, rather shoot arrows and stones at him”. They brought him down to his feet by shooting arrows and stones at him, and then burnt him alive (May Allah’s curse be upon him).
Then Mukhtar dispatched someone to fetch Sinan bin Anas, who had claimed to have killed Imam Husayn (a.s.). But he was informed that Sinan had fled to Basra, therefore he ordered his house to be demolished.2
Then he summoned Abdullah bin Uqbah Ghanawi, he too had fled to (northwest) Mesopotamia, while his house too was destroyed. He had killed a child at Karbala.
Thereafter a man from the clan of Bani Asad, viz. Hurmalah bin Kahil Asadi was summoned, who had killed one of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) (Ali Asghar), but he could not be caught.3
Then he dispatched someone in pursuit of a man from Bani Khas’am named Abdullah bin Urwah Khas’ami, who would say, “I shot twelve arrows at the companions of Husayn”, but he too could not be arrested and had joined Mus’ab bin Zubayr, while his house too was destroyed.
Then they chased ‘Amr bin Sabah Sada’i, who would say, “I wounded the martyrs but killed none”. They arrested him and at night brought him to Mukhtar, who ordered him to be killed with lances, until he died.
Muhammad bin Ash’as was pursued, who had taken refuge in his village in the south of Qadisiyyah, but they could not lay their hands upon him, for he had fled to Mus’ab. Mukhtar ruined his house, and with the clay and bricks he repaired the house of Hujr bin Adi, which was destroyed by Ziyad.
In this way, eight days remained of the month of Zilhajj, when Ibraheem bin Malik al Ashtar left for a combat with Ibn Ziyad. He left two days after the incident of Sabi’. Mukhtar dispatched all the valorous, handsome and wise, experienced, and trained men among his companions along with him. He himself escorted him until the monastery of Abdul Rahman bin Ummul Hakam. There they met the companions of Mukhtar, the occupants of the ‘chair’, which they had established upon a red mule and would pray for his victory. When Mukhtar’s sight fell upon them, he said, “By the Lord Who sends forth with goodness one after the other! They shall be killed horde after horde and the oppressors shall be eliminated in thousands”.
Then he bade farewell to Ibraheem and said, “Remember these three things from me: Fear Allah openly and in secret, hasten in proceeding further, when you reach the enemy, do not give respite and leap upon them”. Ibraheem left until he reached the occupants of the chair, who had gathered around it and were praying with their hands raised towards the heavens. Ibraheem said, “O Lord! Do not entangle us in the tasks of our foolish men. By Him in Whose hands is my life! This is of the custom of Bani Isra’eel, who had gathered around the calf”. The occupants of the chair returned back while Ibraheem proceeded towards his goal.
Ibraheem bin Malik al Ashtar hastily left Kufa so as to reach Ibn Ziyad before he entered the territory of Iraq. Ibn Ziyad, accompanied by a huge army, had come from Syria and occupied Mosul. Ibraheem came and passed by Iraq and entered Mosul. He appointed Tufayl bin Laqit Nakha’i, who was a valorous man, to command the front line of his army.
Then when they neared Ibn Ziyad, he arrayed his army and arranged them in ranks. He proceeded further, and for the sake of investigation he dispatched Tufayl further and himself reached the river of Khazir of Mosul. He positioned himself in a village therein named Barmisa. Ibn Ziyad too came facing him and positioned himself near him on the banks of the river Khazir.
Umayr bin Habbab Salami, one of the companions of Ibn Ziyad, secretly sent a message to Ibn Ashtar that, “Meet me specially”. The entire tribe of Qays had borne enmity with Abdul Malik ibn Marwan after the episode of Marje Rahit, while the army of Abdul Malik was the same tribe of Kalb. Umayr and Ibn Ashtar met one another, and Umayr said, “I am the commander of the left wing of the army of Ibn Ziyad. And I promise to abandon the left wing and flee away”.
Ibn Ashtar asked him, “What is your opinion? Should I dig trenches and await for two three days?” Umayr replied, “Beware! The enemy does not desire anything except this. Every delay will be a boon for them, who are similar to you in numbers. The scant army in postponement does not have power to ward off numerous enemies. Attack them without respite while their hearts are still in awe. And if they blend with your army and fight day by day and in turn become familiar with them, they will turn audacious”.
Ibraheem replied, “Now I have realized that you are my well-wisher, while Mukhtar too had advised me similarly”. Umayr replied, “Then obey him, for he is an expert in warfare, while none is more experienced than him in this, and fight them this very morning”.
Umayr returned to his army and Ibn Ashtar gnashed his teeth while sleep did not enter his eyes. When it dawned, he prepared his army and arrayed the groups while appointing commanders. He appointed Sulayman bin Yazid Azdi upon the right wing of his army and Ali bin Malik Jashami upon the left wing, while he was the brother of Ahwas. He gave the charge of the cavalry to Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah, his foster brother, while his cavalry were quite less in numbers. He appointed Tufayl bin Laqit to command the foot soldiers and handed over his standard to Mazahim bin Malik.
Nearing dawn, he recited the Prayers in darkness and arranged his companions. He stationed the appointed ones in their place and himself came on foot while encouraging his army. He gave them tidings of victory and took them in joy upon the huge hillock that stooped down upon the enemy. He was informed that none of them had moved from their place.
He dispatched Abdullah bin Zuhayr Salwani to investigate regarding it. He returned back and said, “Everyone of them were in the state of fear and indolence. One of them met me and they say: O Shi’ah of the Progeny of Abu Turab! O Shi’ah of the liar Mukhtar! While I replied that what we possess is far more important than abusing”. Thus Ibraheem mounted and neared the standards, while he remembered that Ibn Ziyad had killed Husayn and his companions and family and he also remembered the captivity (of his women) and blockage of water, thus he incited them to kill him.
The army of the enemy came face to face. Ibn Ziyad appointed Haseen bin Nameer as the commander of the right wing of Syrians and Umayr bin Habbab Salami upon the left wing. He gave the charge of the cavalry to Sharhabeel bin Zil Kila’. Then when they neared, Haseen attacked the left wing of Ibraheem with the right wing of the Syrians. Ali bin Malik Jashami confronted him until he was killed.
Then Qurrah bin Ali lifted the standard and he too pressed in along with a group of valorous men until he was killed, while the left wing started to flee. Then Abdullah bin Warqa’ bin Janadah Saluli, the nephew of Habashi bin Janadah, who was from one the companions of the Prophet of Allah (S), lifted up the standard and took charge of the fleeing ones and called out, “O Army of Allah! Rally around me”.
He then gathered most of them around him and said, “Your commander himself is fighting Ibn Ziyad, come let us go to him”. They came back to Ibraheem and saw that he had bared his head and was calling out, “O army of Allah! Come to me. I am the son of Ashtar. The best fugitive is the one who attacks once more, while the one who excuses from reattacking has committed evil”. Thus his companions returned back to him.
The right wing of Ibraheem attacked Umayr bin Ziyad (or Habbab) perceiving that Umayr would flee the battle as promised. But Umayr confronted them severely and considered fleeing away to be a disgrace. When Ibraheem saw this, he said, “We shall attack the vast central part of their army with a group, and if we rout them from their place and make them flee, those whom you see on our right and left, shall fly away like frightened birds”. His army attacked one side together and fought with one another with lances, swords and clubs and fought for some time. The sound of iron sounded similar to the pounding of clothes by washer men.
Ibraheem told his standard-bearer, “Take the standard into the ranks of the enemy”. He said, “There is no way to proceed further”. Ibraheem replied, “Yes, there is”, and when he took a step further, Ibraheem attacked severely with his sword. And he threw anyone who came in his way and crushed the foot soldiers as if they were a flock of cattle. His companions too followed suit, while a fierce battle ensued. The army of Ibn Ziyad started fleeing and numerous people from both the armies fell upon the ground.
It is said that the first one to flee was Umayr bin Habbab, while his earlier combat was just an excuse. When the enemy had fled, Ibraheem said, “I have killed a man under the standard lonely upon the bank of the Khazir river. Go and find him, for I smelt the fragrance of Musk emanating from him. Both of his hands had fallen towards the east and his legs towards the west”. They found him and he was none other than (Ubaydullah) Ibn Ziyad, who had been divided into two by the sword of Ibraheem, and as described by him. They took hold of his head and burnt his body. (May Allah’s eternal curse be upon him and his associates, and may he remain eternally in the lowest dent of hell).
Sharik bin Judayr Taghlubi attacked Haseen bin Nameer Sakuni and assumed him to be Ibn Ziyad. They scuffled with one another and Taghlubi called out, “Kill me along with this illegitimate one”, thus they killed Haseen.
It is also said that Sharik killed Ibn Ziyad. Sharik had accompanied Imam Ali (a.s.) in the battle of Siffīn and his eyes had become weak. And when Imam Ali (a.s.) passed away, he went to Baitul Muqaddas and settled there in seclusion. And when Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred, he took an oath to Allah that if revenge for his blood would be sought, he would kill Ibn Ziyad or himself be killed.
And when Mukhtar arose to revenge the blood of Imam Husayn (a.s.), he turned towards him and accompanied Ibraheem to Jabhah. And when the Syrian army was attacked, he split the ranks along with his companions, who were from Rabi’ah, until he reached Ibn Ziyad.
Then dust arose, and none could see each other, and accept striking of iron nothing could be heard. And when the dust settled, both, Sharik and Ibn Ziyad had fallen down killed. But the first narrative is more reliable (of Ibn Ziyad being killed at the hands of Ibraheem bin Malik Ashtar). Sharik was the same one who had composed, “I consider every life to be futile, accept the lances under the shadow of the horses”.
Sharhabeel bin Zil Kila’ Humayri too was killed, while Sufia bin Hasid Azdi, Warqa’ bin Azib Asadi and Abdullah bin Zuhayr Salami each claimed to have killed him.
Uyaynah bin Asma was along with Ibn Ziyad, and when the army of Ibn Ziyad was routed and fled, he took along with him his sister Hind, the daughter of Asma and wife of Ibn Ziyad, while reciting the following Rajaz, “Then if you have severed our ropes, you have also flung valorous upon the ground”.
When the army of Ibn Ziyad fled from the battle, the companions of Ibraheem pursued them and threw them into the river, while those who were drowned were mostly the murderers (of Imam Husayn). Then they took hold of their barracks with all their provisions as booty.
Ibraheem sent the glad-tidings of victory to Mukhtar and he received it in Madaen. Ibraheem dispatched his officials to the cities of Mosul that were under their control. He appointed his (foster) brother Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah upon Nasibayn and gave him dominance upon Sanjar and Darad and its surroundings from the island of Arazi. He appointed Zafar bin Haris as the governor of Qarqisiyah and Hatim bin Nu’man Bahili upon Haran, Riha, Samisat and it’s districts. He also appointed Umayr bin Habbab Salami the governor of Kafare Tawsa and Tawre Asabdayn, while Ibraheem himself positioned at Mosul.
He then sent the head of Ubaydullah, along with that of his other commanders, to Mukhtar and they were scattered in the palace. A small snake was seen crawling among the heads and it entered the mouth of Ubaydullah and came out of the opening of his nose. Then it entered through the other opening of his nose and came out of his mouth, and repeated this act several times. Tirmizi has quoted similarly in his Jame’.
Mughirah says, that the first one in Islam to mint false coins was Ubaydullah (bin Ziyad).One of the porters of Ubaydullah bin Ziyad entered the royal palace along with him at the time of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.). Suddenly the face of Ibn Ziyad became ablaze, and he wiped it by the sleeve of his shirt and told the porter, “Beware! Do not relate this to anyone”.
Mughirah says, that after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.), Marjanah, the mother of Ubaydullah, told him, “O unchaste! You killed the grandson of the Prophet of Allah? You shall never see paradise”.
Here concludes that what is quoted from Kamil of Ibn Aseer.
It is quoted in Bihar al Anwar from Sawabul A’amal, through chain of narrators from Ammar bin Umayr Tamimi, that when the head of Ubaydullah bin Ziyad and his companions were brought, I went to them, and people said, “It’s come, it’s come”. Suddenly a snake came and started crawling in the midst of the heads. It entered the opening of the nose of Ubaydullah and came out, and then entered through the other opening of his nose.
It is related in Kamiluz Ziarat, through chain of transmitters from Abdul Rahman Ghanawi in context of the narration, that soon Yazid was inflicted, and after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) he did not benefit, while he died suddenly. He slept at night in an inebriate state and in the morning his corpse had turned black similar to tar and had fallen prey to remorse. And there was none who had obeyed him in the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and fought with him, except that he had turned insane or developed leprosy or paralysis, and this continued in his progeny as inheritance.
It is related in Akbarud Dawl of Yusuf Qirmani, that Yazid was born in the year 25 or 26 A.H. while he was stout, obese and with abundant hair. His mother was Maysoon, the daughter of Bajdul Kalbi ... until he says that, Nawfal bin Abil Furat says, that I was in the presence of Umar bin Abdul Aziz when a man pronounced the name of Yazid along with the epithet of ‘the Commander of the faithful’. Hearing this, Umar said, “You address him as ‘the Commander of the faithful’?” saying this he ordered him to be flogged twenty times.
Ru’yani in his Musnad relates from Abu Darda’, that I heard the Prophet of Allah (S) as saying that, “The first one to change my customs will be from among the Bani Umayyah by the name of Yazid”.
Yazid died in the month of Rabi’ul Ula 64 A.H. due to leprosy in Hawran. His corpse was brought to Damascus where his brother Khalid, while some say his son Mu’awiyah, recited Prayers upon his dead body. He was buried in the graveyard of Baab al Sagheer, while his grave has now been turned into a trashcan, while he lived for thirty-seven years and his caliphate lasted for three years and nine months.
Thus ends the book ‘Nafasul Mahmoom fee Maqtal al Husayn al Mazloom’ on the Asr of Friday, the twentieth of Jamadi’ul Akhar 1335 A.H., corresponding to the birthday of our Lady Sayyidah Fatemah Zahra (a.s.), benedictions upon her, and upon her father (S), and upon her spouse (a.s.), and her sons (a.s.), (composed) at the hands of the guilty author, Abbas, the son of Muhammad Reza al Qummi, may Allah nullify his faults, facing the dome (of the Mausoleum) of Imam Ali Reza (a.s.), a thousand greetings and salutations upon His Eminence, and Praise be to Allah at the beginning and the conclusion, and Allah’s benedictions upon Muhammad (S) and his Chaste, Virtuous, and Infallible Progeny (a.s.).
The English translation of this felicitous book ends on Wednesday, 29 January 2003 A.D. i.e. 25 Zilqa’ad 1423 A.H., corresponding to the blessed day of Dahw al Arz, at the hands of the humble-most adherer of the threshold of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), Aejaz Ali al Husaynee.
- 1. It has been narrated by Tabari in his Tareekh (Vol. 5) that when Imam Hasan (a.s.) was taken to the white palace at Madaen, Sa’ad bin Mas’ood, the uncle of Mukhtar, was alongwith him. Mukhtar went to his uncle and said, “Do you not desire acquiring a higher position”? to which Sa’ad asked, “And what is that”? Mukhtar replied, “Arrest Hasan and hand him over to Mu’awiyah”. Sa’ad replied, “Woe be to you! Should I arrest the son of the Prophet of Allah (S) and hand him over to his enemy? What a degraded man are you”.
This was the episode which provoked resentment against Mukhtar. But the majority of Shi’ah historians refute this and consider this episode to be a fabrication to malign the devoutness of Mukhtar. While some are of the view that even if Mukhtar did this, it was due to his dissimulation (Taqiyyah), for he was being closely monitored by the spies of Mu’awiyah. He later sheltered Muslim bin Aqeel and rendered assistance to him.
As is related that when Muslim bin Aqeel was arrested, Mukhtar had been to a village called Lafgha. He was then arrested by Ubaydullah bin Ziyad and was imprisoned until Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred. He was very much aggrieved and pledged to avenge his death. Later he avenged the blood of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and put to sword numerous ones among his murderers, thus his pure and genuine intentions can certainly be considered. And Allah is the ‘Best Knower’.
- 2. It is also related that Sinan bin Anas was arrested and brought to Ibraheem bin Malik Ashtar, who told him, “Woe be to you! Are you capable to speak the truth as to what you did on the day of Ashura in Karbala”? Sinan replied, “I did not do anything else except looting some pieces of Imam Husayn (a.s.)’s clothings”. Hearing this Ibraheem wept and ordered the flesh of his thigh (or leg) to be cut to pieces, when he was on the verge of death; Ibraheem beheaded him and burnt his evil corpse. May Allah’s eternal curse be upon him.
- 3. It is narrated from Minhal bin ‘Amr, that after returning from Makkah, I went to Madinah to meet Imam Ali Zainul Abedeen (a.s.). I saluted him and sat down. Imam asked me, “O Minhal! What news do you have regarding Hurmalah bin Kahil Asadi”?
I replied, “I found him alive and safe while I left Kufa”. Hearing this Imam (a.s.) lifted his hands towards the heavens and said, “O Lord! Let him taste the heat of iron. O Lord! Let him taste the heat of the fire”. Thereafter I went to Kufa and found out that Mukhtar had risen to seek vengeance from the murderers of Imam Husayn (a.s.). I was friendly with Mukhtar and went to meet him and he inquired regarding myself. Then we started walking until we reached ‘Kanaes’, where he halted, as if awaiting the arrival of someone.
Suddenly a group hastened towards him with the news that Hurmalah had been arrested. When he was brought to Mukhtar, he said, “Praise be to Allah Who has granted us power upon you, the enemy of Allah and His Prophet (S)”. Then he called for the executioner and said, “Severe his hands and feet”. They yielded, then he ordered fire to kindled and a sword was placed in it until it turned red hot, then his neck was severed with it. (May Allah’s eternal curse be upon him).
Seeing this I exclaimed, “Glory be to Allah”! Hearing this, Mukhtar asked me the reason for glorifying Allah at that moment. I related to him the above episode, hearing which he was overjoyed and dismounted from his mount. Then he recited two units of Prayers and glorified Allah for a lengthy period of time for offering him the grace of becoming a medium of fulfillment of desires of Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s.).