Al-Hajir

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Al-Hajir (Arabic:الحاجر) is a way station between Mecca and Kufa where Imam Hussain’s caravan stayed for a rest. In this station, Imam Hussain wrote a letter in response to Muslim b. ‘Aqil’s letter and sent it by Qays B. Mushir al-Saydawi.

Al-Hajir in Historical Sources[edit | edit source]

According to Mu’jam al-Buldan, “al-hajir” is a water jetty built at the borders of a valley as a safeguard against the flood. However, it is also referred to as a resting area for those travelling from Basra to Medina, a place where the people of Kufa and Basra meet[1] . In Taj al-’Arus, it is said to be a place on the highway to Mecca[2] . In Tarikh al-Adab al-’Arabi, (History of Arab Literature)[3] , where Zuhayr Ibn Abu Sulma's biography is detailed, it is quoted as saying that al-Hajir is located in the south of today's city of Riyadh, in Najd. According to Mu’jam al-Buldan[4] , it is indicated that it lies within the expanse of al-Rumma, a plateau in Najd.

Rida Kahhalah, in his book Jughrafyat Shubh Jazirat al-’Arab (Geography of the Arabian Peninsula), quotes Ibn Durayd saying that al-Rumma is a spacious low land in Najd in which the rainfall pours from several valleys. Ibn al-’Arabi says that al-Rumma is wide and expansive and is traversed by one travelling for a full day, a place upon the high lands of which Banu Kilab descend, then they depart there from, whereupon Abas and Ghatfan people do likewise, then Banu Asad. Al-Asma’i says, “Al-Rumma's low land is a huge valley acting as a barrier to the right of Falja and al-Duthayna till it passes through the quarters of al-Abyad and al-Aswad which are separated by a distance of three miles.”

He continues to say, “Al-Rumma extends from the Ghawr [deep low land] to Hijaz. The high areas of al-Rumma are inhabited by the people of Medina and to Banu Salim. Its middle part is inhabited by Banu Kilab and Ghatfan, while its south is populated by Banu Asad and Banu Abbas, then it ends at the sand dunes of al-’Uyun.”

Events[edit | edit source]

Having reached al-Hajir, from the direction of al-Rumma, Imam Hussain sent the people of Kufa the answer to the letter he had received from Muslim B. ‘Aqil and dispatched it with Qays B. Mushir al-Saydawi [5]. In that letter, Imam Hussain wrote:

"In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the Most Merciful; From Husayn b. Ali (a) to Muslims and brothers in religion. Peace be with you, indeed I praise the Lord, there is no one worthy of worship than Him. But then, surly, I received the letter of Muslim b. Aqil in which he reported about your good will and gathering to help us take back our lost rights. I have asked God to make our destiny good and give you best of rewards in this regards. I began to move from Mecca toward you on Tuesday, Dhu l-Hijja 8, Day of Tarwiya; so, when the person I sent reaches you, hasten in your affairs, because I will reach you in coming days. And the peace be with you and the mercy of Allah and His blessings."

Source[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


  1. Mu’jam al-Buldan, p. 290, Vol. 4
  2. Taj al-’Arus, p. 136, Vol. 3
  3. Tarikh al-Adab al-’Arabi, p. 195, Vol. 1
  4. Mu’jam al-Buldan, p. 219, Vol. 2
  5. On p. 152 of ‘Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Fattal al-Naishapuri's book Rawat al-Wa’izin, it is indicated that he was dispatched by ‘Abdullah Ibn Yaqtur, and it is quite possible he had sent them two letters, one with ‘Abdullah Ibn Yaqtur and another with Qays Ibn Mushir.