Burayr b. Khudayr al-Hamdani al-Mishraqi

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Burayr b. Khudayr al-Hamdani al-Mishraqi was a prominent companion of Imam Hussain who was martyred at the Battle of Karbala. He was a reciter of the Qur'an who taught the Qur'an in the Mosque of Kufa. He was well-known for his devotion to the Ahl al-Bayt. He was one of the Tabi'un and a companion of Imam Ali as well as Imam al-Hussain.

Burayr b. Khudayr al-Hamdani al-Mishraqi
Martyrs of Karbala.jpg
Native name
بُرَیر بن خُضَیر الهَمْدانی المِشْرَقی
Died61/680, Day of 'Ashura
Resting placeKarbala, Iraq
Known forBattle of Karbala

In the Battle of Karbala[edit | edit source]

When Burayr learned about Imam al-Hussain’s departure from Medina to Mecca, he went to Mecca and joined the companions of the Imam there. He accompanied the Imam from Mecca to Karbala.

Imam al-Hussain delivered a sermon once he and his caravan arrived in Karbala on Muharram 2, 60/October 14, 679. After his sermon, his companions stood and renewed their allegiance to the Imam . One of these people was Burayr.

Speech to the People of Kufa[edit | edit source]

It is stated in Bihar al-Anwar that Muhammad bin Abu Talib says, that in the early hours of the Day of Ashura the army of Umar bin Sa’ad mounted their horses and came forward. Imam too mounted his horse, and accompanied with some of his companions, advanced towards them. He told Burayr bin Khuzayr, who was riding in his forefront, “You may speak with these people.” Thus, Burayr came forward and said, “O people! Fear Allah, verily the trust of Prophet Muhammad is present amongst you. They are his Progeny, Family, Daughters and the House­hold (Ahl al-Bayt). Then say as to what is in your hearts and how do you desire treating them”?

They replied, “We desire that we hand him over to Obayd-Allah bin Ziad, so that he may decide as to what is to be done with him.” Burayr said, “Do you not agree to let them return to the place they came from? O people of Kufa! Have you forgotten the letters which you addressed to him, and the pledge which you had given him with Allah as the witness? Woe be to you! You invited the Household of your Prophet and pledged to sacrifice your life for him, and when they have come, you intend handing them over to the son of Ziad, and have stopped the access of water to him? How badly have you treated the Progeny of your Prophet after his death. What has happened to you? May Allah not quench your thirst on the day of Qiyamah, for verily you are a band of thorough wicked men.”

Some men from among the people of Kufa said, “We do not understand as to what you speak.” Burayr replied, “Praise be to Allah, Who has made me fair-sighted among you. O Allah! I disassociate myself near You from their affairs. O Allah! Instill fear in them until they come to Your presence, thus You may be wrathful towards them.” Hearing this they started shooting arrows at him and Burayr retreated back.

Mubahala with Yazid b. Ma’qal[edit | edit source]

Azdi says that Yusuf bin Yazid related to me from Afeef bin Zuhayr bin Abi Akhnas, who was present at Karbala. He says that Yazid bin Ma’qal, who was from the tribe of Bani Umayrah bin Rabi’ah, which is a branch of Bani Salimah of Abdal Qays, came forward.

He told Burayr, “O Burayr bin Khuzayr! Do you see as to what Allah has done to you.” Burayr replied, “By Allah! Allah has dealt fairly with me and has brought forth evil for you.” Yazid said, “You speak a lie, and you never lied before. Do you remember once when I was walking along with you in Bani Lawzan, you told me that Usman bin Affan had killed himself, while Mu’awiyah bin Abu Sufyan was a misguided man and the one who leads others astray, while the true and Righteous Imam and guide is Ali bin Abi Talib”?

Burayr replied, “I bear witness that this is (still) my belief.” Yazid bin Ma’qal said, “I bear witness that you are among the astray.” Then Burayr said, “Then do you desire that we imprecate one another, while invoking the curse of Allah upon the one who lies. Then the one on the right path should kill the one who is upon the wrong, then I shall come out to fight with you.”

The narrator says that both of them came out into the battlefield and lifting their hands invoked the curse of Allah upon the liar and that the righteous one should kill the evil. Then they started fighting one another. There were exchange of swords between them, when Yazid bin Ma’qal dealt a light and ineffective blow on Burayr. Then Burayr dealt a blow upon his head, which cut his head and reached his brain. He rolled down upon the ground like a ball, while the sword of Burayr was stuck in his head, and he was lifting it up and down to pull it out.

Martyrdom[edit | edit source]

After the death of Yazid bin Ma’qal, Razee bin Manqaz Abadi attacked Burayr and grappled him. Both of them struggled until Burayr threw him down and sat on his chest. Then Razee called out, “Where are my defenders”? Hearing this Ka’ab bin Jabir bin ‘Amr Azdi advanced to assist him, when I said, “This is Burayr bin Khuzayr, the reciter of the Qur’an, who taught us the Qur’an in the Mosque.”

He attacked Burayr with his spear. When Burayr felt the point of the spear, he threw himself upon him and bit his nose. But Ka’ab sunk his spear into him and drew it till his heart, while the entire point of the spear entered his back. Then he hit him on the head and started attacking him with his sword until he killed him (May Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be upon him).

Afeef bin Zuhayr bin Abi Akhnas says, that it is as if I see Razee, who was scattered on the ground, arising while brushing off the dust from his cloak and telling Ka’ab that, “O brother (from the clan) of Azd! You have favored me and I shall never forget it.”

Yusuf bin Yazid says, that I asked Afeef whether he had really witnessed it with his own eyes, to which he replied that, “I have seen it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears.”

When Ka’ab bin Jabir returned back, his wife, and his sister, Nawar bint Jabir told him, “You have sided with the opponents of the son of Fatima, and have killed the chief of the Qur’an Reciters? By Allah! I shall never ever speak to you from now on.” And Ka’ab bin Jabir recited the following couplets: “You ask regarding me and shall be informed regarding the morning of Imam Hussain, when the spears were being thrust, that did not I commit the act which you despise? When it could not be imagined that day as to what I would do, I had with me my spear, which did not falter and a white shining sword, which was sharp-edged and fierce, then I unsheathed it and attacked a group, whose Religion was not the same as mine, which was the obedience to the son of Harb, when I had not witnessed anyone similar to them in their age before them, who had fought fiercely in the battle, they are those who safeguard their honor, then they bore patiently against the spears and swords and stepped into the battlefield, I wish this had profited them, then when you meet Obayd-Allah, give him this message that I am obedient to the Caliph and compliant of his words, then it is I who killed Burayr and favored the son of Manqaz, when he called for assistance.”

In his combat with Radi b. Munqidh, Burayr made him fall on the ground. Radi asked his friends for help, and Ka'b b. Jabir b. 'Amr al-Asadi joined him and attacked Burayr with his spear. Burayr was thus martyred.

According to other sources, Burayr went to the battlefield and was martyred by Bujayr b. Aws al-Dabi after killing 30 people from the enemy.

Sources[edit | edit source]