Haniʾ b. ʿUrwa al-Muradi

Haniʾ b. ʿUrwa al-Muradi was a Yemeni chief of Kufa who lost his life during the attempt made by al-Hussain b. ʿAli Talib to seize power, at the end of 60/680. He hosted Muslim ibn Aqil during latter's revolt against Umayyads, and was killed by the governor of Kufa Obayd-Allah ibn Ziyad. Hani’ was buried near Dar al-Imara of Kufa. Today his shrine is connected to the Mosque of Kufa and is to the north of the grave of Muslim b. 'Aqil.

Haniʾ b. ʿUrwa al-Muradi
Kufa Mosque.jpg
Native name
هانی بن عروة المرادی
DiedDhu l-Hijja 8, 60 (September 12, 680)
Resting placeKufa, Iraq (in Kufa mosque)
Known forParticipating in the Battles of Imam Ali, One of the supporters of Muslim b. Aqil

Social StatusEdit

Haniʾ possessed great influence among the Yemenis of Kufa who, represented by the Madhhij. Kinda and Hamdan, formed a numerous element in the town; an anecdote related in the Kamil of al-Mubarrad and in the ʿIqd gives further proof that it was an advantage to enjoy his favor. He had a thorough knowledge of the Quran, and his name is mentioned in a list of readers belonging to the nobility (al-ashraf al-qurraʾ).

Role in the UprisingEdit

The fact to which Haniʾ owes his renown is his participation in the preparations for al-Hussain’s revolt. We know that the ʿAlid, urged by the Shiʿis of Kufa to come there and place himself at the head of his supporters, at first sent his cousin Muslim b. ʿAqil to take stock of the situation and to rally the support of those who sympathized with the movement. These steps not having passed unnoticed, the caliph Yazid appointed Obayd-Allah b. Ziad [q.v.] governor of Kufa, with instructions to bring this dangerous situation under control. The house of Haniʾ, used as a meeting-place by the conspirators, was almost the scene of an attempt against the life of Ibn Ziad himself.[1]; Muslim came there to take refuge, on learning that the net was closing round him.


Finally, Ibn Ziad invited Haniʾ, who on the pretence of illness had for some time absented himself from his meetings, to come and see him. Haniʾ hesitated, but in the end allowed himself to be persuaded, relying on the powerful influence he possessed, and unaware that a spy had discovered the part that he had taken in hatching the plot. When he had come into Ibn Ziad’s presence, the latter overwhelmed him with reproaches and accused him of giving asylum to Muslim. Haniʾ denied the charge, but the spy was summoned and Haniʾ was compelled to admit that Muslim had been given protection by him; nevertheless he tried to excuse himself and, possibly feeling convinced that the revolt would be successful, ventured to promise Ibn Ziad that no harm would befall him (according to al-Masʿudi, he advised him to flee with his family to Syria). Instead the governor, who had been instructed to arrest Muslim, demanded that he should be handed over to him, but this Haniʾ obstinately refused, even under the threat of execution; in a fury, Ibn Ziad struck his face with the stick he was holding; streaming with blood, Haniʾ made a vain attempt to wrest the spear from one of the guards, and was locked up in a wing of the castle. When the news that he had been killed spread about, an angry crowd of Madhhijis gathered, but dispersed when Ibn Ziad sent the Qazi Shurayh with assurances that Haniʾ was still alive.


Finally, Muslim was discovered in his latest hiding-place, taken to the castle and beheaded; Haniʾ was taken to the sheep-market and also put to death [2], being perhaps later crucified in the place known as al-Kunasa.[3] The news of this double execution reached al-Hussain after he had arrived in Iraq. Elegiac verses on Muslim and Haniʾ, attributed to Ibn al-Zabir al-Asadi or other poets, are repeated in several sources. Together with Muslim b. ʿAqil, Haniʾ became a character in the taʿziya.[4]

Historical Sources Narrating His MartyrdomEdit

Mas’oodi says that Bukayr bin Humran Ahmari severed the head of Muslim and threw it down followed by his body. Then Ubaydullah ordered that Hani be taken to the market-place and beheaded with hands fastened together. Hani was calling out to the people of Murad, whose chief and spokesman he was, to assist him.

When Hani would mount, four thousand armored men of the Bani Murad along with eight thousand men on foot would accompany him. And if those who were under the agreement with him among the people of Kinda and others would be with him, then thirty thousand armored men would accompany him. Even then at the need of the hour no one responded to him due to slackness and deceit.

Shaikh Mufeed says that Muhammad bin Ash’as came to Ubaydullah and interceded on behalf of Hani saying, “You are aware of the honor that Hani holds in this town while also his family in the tribe. His people know that myself and my colleague have brought him to your presence, hence I request you in the name of Allah to hand him over to me, for I do not desire enmity with the people of this town.”

Ubaydullah promised to do so but later regretted and immediately ordered that Hani should be taken to the market and beheaded. They took him to the market, where the sheep were sold, with hands bound together, while he was calling out, “O Mazhaj! There is no one from the Mazhaj for me today! O Mazhaj! Where is Mazhaj”? When Hani sensed that no one came forward to render him assistance, he pulled away his hand from the rope and started yelling, “Isn’t there a stick, a knife, a stone or even a bone by which a man may defend himself”?

The guards leapt upon him and tied his hands tightly and told him to extend his neck (so that they may behead him), to which he replied that, “I am not generous in this regard and shall not help you in the matter of my murder.” Then Rasheed, a Turkish retainer of Ubaydullah, dealt a blow with his sword upon Hani, which went waste, and Hani said, “Verily retreat is towards Allah. O Allah! (I come) towards Your Mercy and Your Paradise.” Then he dealt a second blow by which Hani was martyred. (May Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be upon him).

It is written in Kamil of Ibn Aseer that Abdul Rahman bin Haseen Muradi once met the Turkish retainer (who had killed Hani) traveling along with Ubaydullah and killed him.

Abdullah bin Zubayr Asadi said regarding the murder of Hani bin Urwah and Muslim bin Aqeel (while some attribute it to Farazdaq, the poet):

“If you do not know what death is, then look at Hani in the marketplace and the son of Aqeel, a hero whose face was covered with the wounds of sword, and another who fell to death from the roof, the wrath of Ibn Ziyad struck them both, and they became legends for every traveler on road, you see a beheaded corpse whose color death has changed, and his blood flowed abun­dantly like a river, a young man who was more shy than a young woman, was more incisive than a sharp edged sword, is Asma riding in safety a mount which moves at walking pace, while Mazhaj urged him to seek revenge, and Murad wander around him? And all of them in fear of the questioner and the questioned, then if you do not avenge (the death of) your two masters, then you are illegitimate (sons), lowly and degraded.”

Ubaydullah dispatched both, the heads of Muslim and Hani to Yazid, who sent him a thanksgiving letter as follows:

“I have received news that Hussain is coming towards Iraq, deploy guards over the roads, gather provisions, and keep alert. Imprison and detain the dubious ones and kill those who fight you.”

It is stated in Irshad that Yazid said,

“And arrest people on grounds of suspicion and kill the accused, then keep me informed of the happenings.”

Mas’oodi says that Muslim bin Aqeel revolted in Kufa on Tuesday, the eighth of the month of Zilhaj 60 A.H., this being the same day when Imam Hussain left Makkah to come to Kufa, and (Muslim) was martyred on Wednesday ninth Zilhaj, i.e., the day of Arafah. Then Ubaydullah ordered that Muslim’s body be hanged and his head was dispatched to Damascus. This being the first body among the Bani Hashim, which was hanged upon the (city) door, and the first head among them, which was sent to Damascus.

It is written in Manaqib that both the heads were sent to Damascus with Hani bin Habooh Wade’ee and were hung at the gate of (the city of) Damas­cus.

In the Maqtal of Shaikh Fakhruddin it is quoted that the bodies of Muslim and Hani were being dragged in the market. When the people of the tribe of Mazhaj were informed about it, they mounted on their horses and fought with them until they took the bodies of Muslim and Hani from them. Then they gave the dead body bath and shrouded and buried them. May Allah’s Mercy be upon them and may Allah’s wrath befall their murderers, a severe wrath.


  1. al-Tabari, ii, 244, 246-9; Abu Hanifa al-Dinawari, 247 f., etc.
  2. al-Tabari, ii, 268 f.
  3. ibid., ii, 231
  4. E. Rossi and A. Bombaci, Elenco di drammi religiosi persiani, Vatican 1961, index


  • Tabari, ii, 229-32, 244, 246-9, 250-4, 268-70, 284, 292
  • ʿArīb, Tabari continuatus, 62
  • Abu Hanifa al-Dīnawarī, al-Ak̲h̲bār al-ṭiwāl, 247 ff., 250-2, 255, 259, 260
  • Yaʿḳūbī, Historiae, ii, 287-9
  • Mubarrad, Kāmil, ed. Wright, 71 ff. (Cairo 1376/1956, i, 123 f.)
  • ʿIḳd ed. A. Amīn etc., Cairo, i, 160 f., ii, 378 f.
  • Masʿudi, Murūd̲j̲, v, 135 f., 140 f.
  • Abu ’l-Farad̲j̲ al-Iṣfahānī, Maḳātil al-Ṭālibiyyīn, ed. Ṣaḳr, Cairo 1368/1949, 97-100, 108
  • idem, Ag̲h̲ānī 1, xiii, 37, xiv, 98
  • Ibn ʿAsākir, al-Taʾrīk̲h̲ al-kabīr, Damascus 1329-32, iv, 336 f.
  • Ibn Badrūn, S̲h̲arḥ Kaṣīdat Ibn ʿAbdūn, ed. Dozy, Leiden 1846, 162 f.
  • Ibn al-At̲h̲īr, iv, 19-24, 29 f., 54, 188
  • Bayyāsī, K. al-Iʿlām bi-’l-ḥurūb fī ṣadr al-Islām, ms. Cairo, ii, 31, 32, 33
  • Fak̲h̲rī, ed. Derenbourg, 159 f.
  • D̲h̲ahabī, Taʾrīk̲h̲, ms. Bodl., fol. 20 v
  • Ibn Kat̲h̲īr, Bidāya, Cairo 1348-55, viii, 153, 154, 168
  • Muḥsin al-Amīn al-Hussainī al-ʿĀmilī, Aʿyān al-s̲h̲ī ʿa, viii, Beirut 1367/1948, 199-202, 208 f.
  • ʿAbd al-Razzāḳ al-Mūsawī al-Muḳram, al-S̲h̲ahīd Muslim b. ʿAqil, Nad̲j̲af 1369/1950, 129-34, 138 f., 147-53
  • F. Wüstenfeld, Der Tod des Husein ben ʾAlí und die Rache, Ein historischer Roman..., Göttingen 1883 (Abh. der K. Ges. der Wiss. zu Göttingen, xxx), 31-7, 43 f., 46
  • J. Wellhausen, Die religiös-politischen Oppositionsparteien, Berlin 1901, 61, 62-4
  • H. Lammens, Le califat de Yazîd I er , 144, in the reprint (= MFOB, v, 142). The poems are also in The Naqāʾiḍ of Jarīr and al-Farazdaq, ed. Bevan, 246
  • Ṭād̲j̲ al-ʿarūs, iii, 359.