Habib ibn Mazahir: Leader of the left wing of Imam Hussain’s (A.S) army

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    When he heard of the concerns of the women of the Ahl al-Bayt (A.S) on the eve of Ashura, he took a group of the companions outside their tents and assured them that the tents would be safe as long they – the companions – were alive. 

    This is the story of a man, who was so steeped in the love of Imam Hussain (A.S). Of the various amazingly bright personalities that shine out in Karbala, Habib ibn Mazahir al Asadi has a special place. He was one of the companions of the Prophet (PBUH), and Imam Ali (A.S).

    After the death of Mu’awiya, Habib and some of the heads of Shia communities in Kufa, refused to swear allegiance to Yazid, and sent letters to Imam Hussain (A.S) inviting him to lead Kufa in his uprising against Umayyad Dynasty.

    It was to Habib that Imam (A.S) wrote a letter, specifically inviting him to join him in Karbala. Habib not only responded by coming from Kufa, but he also repeated  his expression of loyalty to Imam Hussain (A.S) and took a major role in the battle, leading the left wing of Imam’s (A.S) army. Despite his age, his energy and zeal were those of a young man.

    As soon as he observed the great number of Imam’s enemies and small number of his companions, Habib asked Imam Hussain (A.S) to go to a nearby tribe of Banu Asad and to ask them to join Imam. With the permission of Imam, Habib hurried to the tribe and started preaching them and encouraging them to join the Imam. However, ‘Umar Ibn Sa’d stopped the tribe from joining Imam by sending an army to them and Habib came back alone to the tent of the Imam and informed him of what happened.

    On the fateful day of Ashura, between zuhr and asr, Habib Ibn Mazahir rode into the battlefield. He fought bravely. Finally he was over-powered, he fell to the ground.

    Imam Hussain (A.S) rushed to him. Habib looked at Imam and said “O the grand-son of the Holy Prophet, please forgive this humble servant for not being able to give more than his unworthy life for you and Islam.” Imam took Habib in his arms and cried, “O my friend! O my friend!” Habib died resting his head on Imam’s shoulder.

    Sources:

    The Journey of Tears

    Tears For Karbala, Liaket Dewji

    Habib Ibn Mazahir, Kamal al-Sayyid

    The Life of Imam Husayn (‘a) Research and Analysis

    Baqir Sharif al-Qurashi

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