Sa'id b. 'Abd Allah al-Hanafi

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Sa'id b. 'Abd Allah al-Hanafi
Martyrs of Karbala.jpg
Burial place of martyrs of Karbala
Native nameسعید بن عبد الله الحنفی
Full NameSa'id b. Abd Allah al-Hanafi
Companion ofImam al-Hussain
LineageBanu Hanifa b. Lajim tribe
Place(s) of ResidenceKufa
Cause of
Martyred in the Battle of Karbala
Burial PlaceHoly Shrine of Imam al-Hussain, Karbala, Iraq
ActivitiesParticipated in the Battle of Ashura

Sa'id b. 'Abd Allah al-Hanafi (Arabic: سعید بن عبد الله الحنفی) was a companion of Imam al-Hussain who was martyred in the Battle of Karbala. As a prominent Shiite and a nobleman in Kufa, he played a significant role in calling Imam al-Hussain to Kufa. He delivered several important letters of the Kufans to Imam al-Hussain. The final letter he delivered was Muslim b. 'Aqil's letter to the Imam. From that point he accompanied the Imam from Mecca to Karbala. Sa'id is also remembered for his speech on the night before Ashura in which he proved his love for the Ahl al-Bayt and support of Imam al-Hussain.

Lineage[edit | edit source]

Sa'id b. 'Abd Allah al-Hanafi was from the Banu Hanifa b. Lajim tribe, a clan of Banu Bakr b. Wa'il from the 'Adnan tribe. He was one of Kufa's famous nobleman of Kufa that was well-known for his courage and piety. In some accounts, his name was Sa'd.

Accompanying Imam al-Hussain[edit | edit source]

Delivering the Last Letter of Kufans[edit | edit source]

After the death of Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan, the Shiites of Kufa wrote several letters to Imam al-Hussain and invited him to their city. The third letter was delivered by Sa'id b. 'Abd Allah al-Hanafi and Hani b. Hani al-Sabi'i. It was was written by Shabath b. Rib'i, Hajjar b. Abjar, Yazid b. al-Harith al-Shaybani, Yazid b. Harith, Yazid b. Ruwaym, 'Uzra b. Qays, 'Amr b. Hajjaj and Muhammad b. 'Umayr. On some accounts, Sa'id b. 'Abd Allah was commissioned to deliver the letter to the Imam because he was so well-reputed that he could convince the Imam to come to Kufa.

The letter began as such,

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. To Hussain b. Ali from the Shiite Muslims. Please come sooner because the people are waiting for you and their hearts are with you. Please hurry. Peace be upon you. Every place is green, fruits are ripe, and water wells are full. Please come; your army is ready, and peace be upon you.

Imam al-Hussain wrote a reply to this letter and Sa'id delivered it to people of Kufa. The Imam appointed Muslim b. 'Aqil as his representative in Kufa. When Muslim entered Kufa, he stayed in al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi's house and delivered a speech for people. I 'Abis b. Abi Shabib al-Shakiri and Habib b. Muzahir also gave speeches in this assembly. Then Sa'id b. 'Abd Allah al-Hanafi gave a speech and swore that he was resolved to helping Imam al-Hussain. Muslim b. 'Aqil gave Sa'id the responsibility to call Imam al-Hussain to Kufa. Sa'id returned to Mecca and delivered Muslim b. 'Aqil's letter to the Imam. He accompanied Imam al-Hussain from Mecca to Karbala.

In Karbala[edit | edit source]

On the night before Ashura, Imam al-Hussain called all his companions to gather behind the camp and gave a speech, asking them to take the hands of their friends and escape the land in the darkness of the night. The Imam said, "these people are after me, so there is nothing for you to be concerned about, and I will forgive you all".

Sa'id was one of the companions who stood up and replied to the Imam,

O, the son of the Prophet! I swear to God that we will never stop helping you so that God knows that we have obeyed the Prophet's will about his progeny. I swear to God that if I am killed and then restored to life, and my corpse is burned 70 times and my ashes are scattered by the wind, I will never give up on you. May I be sacrificed for you.

Martyrdom[edit | edit source]

According to some accounts, Sa'id went to Imam al-Hussain after the noon prayer on the day of Ashura and asked for his permission to go to the battlefield. He went to the battlefield while chanting paeans and inflicted many casualties on the enemy's army before becoming martyred.

A different account states that Sa'id was martyred after the noon prayer while protecting the Imam. When Imam al-Hussain was reciting the noon prayer, the enemy's army approached him. Sa'id guarding him by making himself a shield against the arrows thrown at the Imam and the other companions performing prayers. He was hit by arrows in his face, chest, sides, and hands. When he fell down and was dying, he made the following prayer,

O, God! As you have cursed the people of 'Ad and Thamud, curse these people [that is, the army of Kufa]. O, God! Send my regards to your prophet and inform him of pains and injuries I have suffered in my body, since I have helped your prophet to achieve your rewards.

It is said that Sa'id then turned to Imam al-Hussain, and said to him,

O the son of the Prophet! Have I fulfilled my pledge?

The Imam responded,

Yes, you are in the heaven in front of me.

It is said that when he was martyred, there were 13 arrows on his body in addition to injuries by swords and spears.

Source[edit | edit source]