Qasr Bani Muqatil

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Qasr Bani Muqatil is a way station or resting area near Kufa. At this station, Imam al-Hussain met ‘Ubaydullah b. al-Hurr al-Ju’fi and invited him to join his camp. But ibn al-Hurr refused to help Imam Hussain.

Naming and Location[edit | edit source]

“Qasr Muqatil” means the castle of Muqatil, namely Muqatil ibn Hassan ibn Thu’labah who, according to Yaqut al-Hamawi's Mu’jam al-Buldan, descended from Imri'ul-Qays ibn Yazid ibn Manat Ibn Tamim [the famous poet]. It is situated between ‘Ayn al-Tamr and al-Qatqatana. It was demolished by Eisa ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al-’Abbas, then he rebuilt it.

Events[edit | edit source]

Al-Hussain marched from ‘Udhayb al-Hajanat till he reached Qasr Bani Muqatil. There, he saw a tent, a lance planted in the ground, and a mare waiting. He inquired about them and was told that they belonged to ‘Ubaydullah b. al-Hurr al-Ju’fi. Al-Hussain sent him al-Hajjaj B. Masruq al-Ju’fi as his messenger.

B. al-Hurr asked him what he wanted. He said, “I have a gift for you and I have esteem, if you only accept. Al-Hussain invites you to support him. If you fight for him, you will be rewarded, and if you get killed, you will be a martyr.” ibn. al-Hurr said, “By Allah! I did not leave Kufa except on account of the large number of people whom I saw going out to fight him, and on account of his own Shi’as betraying him; so I realized that he was certainly going to be killed and that I am unable to do much for him; I do not like him to see me, nor do I like to see him.” [1]

Al-Hajjaj relayed what he had heard to Al-Hussain who stood up and, accompanied by a number of his family members and companions, entered al-Hurr's tent. The latter seated the Imam in the middle. Ibn al-Hurr himself narrated later saying, “I never saw in my life anyone better looking or greater than al-Hussain, nor did I ever feel sorry for anyone as much as I felt sorry for him when I saw him walking surrounded by very young men.

I looked at his beard and found it as dark as a raven's wing, so I asked him whether it was naturally black or whether he had dyed it. He said to me, ‘O al-Hurr! Gray hair hastened to me,' so I realized that he had dyed it.” [2]

Having settled there, Abu ‘Abdullah praised Allah and glorified Him then said, “O al-Hurr! Your countrymen wrote me saying that they were unanimous in supporting me. They asked me to go to them, but it seems it is not as they claimed . [3]

You have committed a great many sins; so, would you like to seek repentance whereby you wipe out your sins?” He said, “And how is that, O son of the Messenger of Allah?” Al-Hussain said, “You should support the son of your Prophet's daughter and fight on his side.” [4]

B. al-Hurr said, “By Allah! I know that whoever supports you will be happy in the hereafter, but how much help can I afford you, having left in Kufa none to support you? I, therefore, plead to you in the Name of Allah to agree to this plan of mine, for I hate to die!

My mare, al-Mulhiqa, is such that I never pursued anything except that it caught up with it, nor did anyone pursue me except that I outran him. Take her; she is yours.” Al-Hussain said, “Should you prefer your own safety over supporting our cause, we have no need for your mare or for you[5] :

‘You should not take those who mislead others for friends' (Qur’an, 18:51)7[6] .

I advise you just as you advised me, that if you can, do not hear our cries, nor should you witness our battle, for by Allah, whoever hears our mourners and refuses to come to our rescue will be hurled by Allah into the fire of hell headlong.” [7]

Ibn. al-Hurr regretted having lost the opportunity to support Al-Hussain, so he composed the following poetic lines:

So long as I live, so shall my sigh

Reverberating between my chest and my choke

When he did say to me at the mansion:

“Should you really leave us and from us depart?”

Hussain in humility seeks my support

Against the people of enmity and dissension.

Should sighing cleave a freeman's chest,

My heart would now be cleft.

Had I defended him with my life

I would have earned mercy on the Day of Meeting.

Had I fought beside Muhammad's son, may I

For him sacrifice my life;

So bid farewell and hurry to set out,

Surely winners are those who support Hussain,

While deeds of others, the hypocrites, will be in vain.

At the same place, ‘Amr B. Qays al-Mashfari and his cousin met Al-Hussain who asked them whether they had met him in order to supporthim. They said to him, “We have a large number of dependents and we have many items which belong to others.

We do not know what will happen, and we hate not to give people back what they had entrusted to us.” He said to them, “Go, and do not hear our women mourn, nor should you see us wearing black, for whoever hears our women wailing or sees our black without supporting us, it will be incumbent upon Allah, the most Exalted, the most Great, to hurl him in hellfire headlong.”[8]

Source[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


  1. al-Dinawari, Al-Akhbar al-Tiwal, p. 246.
  2. al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Khazanat al-Adab, Vol. 1, p. 298 (Bulaq, Egypt, edition). al-Balathiri, Ansab al-Ashraf, Vol. 5, p. 291.
  3. Shaikh ‘Abbas al-Qummi, Nafs al-Mahmum, p. 104.
  4. Sayyid Kadim al-Ha’iri, Asrar al-Shahada, p. 233.
  5. al-Dinawari, Al-Akhbar al-Tiwal, p. 249.
  6. al-Saduq, Al-Amali, p. 94, majlis 30.
  7. Khizanat al-Adab, Vol. 1, p. 298.
  8. al-Saduq, ‘Iqab al-A’mal, p. 35. Al-Kashshi, Rijal, p. 74.