Ubayd Allah b. al-Hurr al-Juʿfi

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Ubayd Allah b. al-Hurr al-Juʿfi
Betraying al-Mukhtar
Full NameUbayd Allah b. al-Hurr al-Ju'fi
LineageBanu Sa'd al-'Ashira
Cause of DeathDrowned in Euphrates
Burial PlaceKufa
Known forAn advocate of 'Uthman b. 'Affan
ActivitiesParticipating in the Battle of Siffin in the army of Mu'awiya, rejecting the call of Imam al-Husayn (a) for help

Ubayd Allah b. al-Hurr al-Juʿfi (Arabic: عُبَیدَالله بن الحر الجُعفی) was one of the outstanding leaders in Kufa who refused to help al-Hussain when the latter had asked him to. After the Battle of Karbala, 'Ubayd Allah so much regretted for his dereliction, lamented al-Hussain and his followers in a poem in which he shows his grief, his regret and his desire for vengeance. Later, he joined the Uprising of al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi, but after a while he broke the promise to al-Mukhtar and joined Mus'ab b. al-Zubayr to fight against al-Mukhtar.

Battle of Karbala[edit | edit source]

When 'Ubayd Allah learned about Imam Hussain’s departure to Kufa, he left Kufa so that he does not encounter Imam. However, near Karbala, he encountered Imam. When Imam al-Hussain arrived in Qasr Bani Muqatil, or according to another report, to Qatqataniyya, some he saw a tent and asked to whom it belonged? They said that it belonged to 'Ubayd Allah b. Hurr al-Ju'fi. Imam sent someone to him (most books have reported that this person was Hajjaj b. Masruq al-Ju'fi) to invite him to help the camp of Imam, but he excused and said, "I did not come out of Kufa, but because I was afraid that al-Hussain goes there and I would not be able to help him." The person Imam had sent, returned and delivered 'Ubayd Allah's answer to Imam.

Imam al-Hussain went to his tent, sat and praised God and said, "O man, you have done many mistakes in the past and God will ask you for your actions; don't you want to return to Him in these hours and help me so that my grandfather intercedes for you on the Day of Judgement?" He said, "O son of the Prophet, if I come to help you, I will be killed at the beginning before you, and I am not consent to die, but take horse of mine; by God I swear no one has ever gone with it to pursue anything except they have reached it and no one has ever chased me unless it has surpassed it and I have been rescued." Imam al-Hussain turned his face from him and said, "I do not either need you or your horse." and then recited this verse from the Sura al-Kahf, "…nor do I take those who mislead as assistants." (18:51) and continued, "so, escape from here and go! Do not be either with us or against us! Because if someone hears our call for help and does not answer, God will throw him to the hell fire on the face and will be destroyed." Then, Imam returned to his tent.

After the Battle of Karbala[edit | edit source]

After the tragedy of Karbala, he proclaimed his rebellion against the Umayyad regime as represented by ' Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad. He gathered his followers around him and went to Karbala. He looked at the place where al-Hussain and those with him had been killed. Then he went on to al-Mada'in. There he recited a poem. In this poem he blamed himself for his failure to support the son of the daughter of the Prophet, This failure filled him with a grief that would not leave him, He remembered standing at the graves of those who had been killed and prayed to God for them. He described them as heroes and the best and bravest of them. Then he promised vengeance on their behalf. Thus, this poem of lament expresses the profound grief and regret in his heart and gives the threat of vengeance.

Mukhtar’s Uprising[edit | edit source]

Following the Uprising of al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi in 66/685 to revenge for the blood of Imam al-Hussain, 'Ubayd Allah joined him. When Mus'ab b. al-Zubayr moved to fight with al-Mukhtar, 'Ubayd Allah joined him and participated in the war with al-Mukhtar. But, Mus'ab feared and imprisoned him. After a while, 'Ubayd Allah was released by intercession of some people and began recruiting 300 soldiers. He attacked Kufa after Tikrit and made the situation difficult for Mus'ab b. al-Zubayr. Finally, some of his soldiered left him and in 68/688, he throw himself into Euphrates to avoid being captured by the army of Mus'ab and was drowned.

Source[edit | edit source]