Uzra b. Qays

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Uzra b. Qays
Commander of 'Umar b. Sa'd's army
Full NameUzra b. Qays al-Ahmasi
LineageBanu Duhn
Place of ResidenceKufa
EraBanu Umayya
Notable roles
Commander of cavalry of Umar b. Sa'd's army in the Battle of Karbala
Taking the heads of the martyrs of Karbala to Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad

Uzra b. Qays (Arabic: عُزْرَةِ بْن قَیْس) was the commander of the cavalry of Umar b. Sa'd's army in the Battle of Karbala and one of the people from Kufa who wrote letters to Imam al-Hussain. After Imam al-Hussain's martyrdom, he was commissioned by Umar b. Sa'd to take the heads of the martyrs of Karbala to Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad together with Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan, Khawli, and others.

Name and Lineage[edit | edit source]

'Uzra b. Qays b. 'Uzayya al-Ahmasi al-Bajali was from the Banu Duhn tribe. He is mentioned as 'Urwa and 'Uzra. He is known as one of the Prophet Muhammad's sahaba.

In the Periods of Caliphs[edit | edit source]

In the period of the first caliph, Abu Bakr b. Abi Quhafa, 'Uzra accompanied Khalid b. Walid in battles of Syria. In the period of the second caliph, 'Umar b. al-Khattab, was an agent in Halwan (a border city between Syria and Iraq at that time). And in the period of Mu'awiya, he testified against Hujr b. Adi in the presence of Ziyad b. Abih.

He narrated hadiths from Khalid b. Walid, and Abu Wa'il narrated hadiths from him.

Battle of Ashura[edit | edit source]

In the Battle of Karbala, 'Uzra was one of the people of Kufa who wrote letters to Imam al-Hussain, inviting him to Kufa. However, he accompanied 'Umar b. Sa'd in the battle against Imam al-Hussain. When 'Umar b. Sa'd asked 'Uzra to go to Imam al-Hussain and ask him what took him there, he refused to do so because he had written a letter to the Imam.

On the Day of Tasu'a, Abbas b. Ali and some companions of Imam al-Hussain, including Habib b. Muzahir and Zuhayr b. Qayn went to the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd to ask them for the postponement of the battle to the Day of Ashura. Habib and Zuhayr started to preach the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd. 'Uzra b. Qays told Habib: "you pretend to be a pure person as much as you can". Zuhayr replied: "O 'Uzra, God has made him pure and guided him. O 'Uzra, fear God and be aware that I am a well-wisher for you. O 'Uzra, for the sake of God, do not be a person who helps misguided people kill pure people". 'Uzra said: "O Zuhayr! You were not a Shiite (follower) of this household; you were an advocate of 'Uthman b. Affan!" Zuhayr replied: "does not my being here show that I am with them now? I swear to God that I never wrote a letter to al-Hussain and never sent a messenger to him…".

Day of Ashura[edit | edit source]

On the Day of Ashura, 'Umar b. Sa'd appointed 'Uzra as the head of his army's cavalry. On this day, he was so pressured by the few cavalries of Imam al-Hussain's army that he had to ask 'Umar b. Sa'd to send to him some archers.

After Imam al-Hussain's martyrdom, 'Uzra, Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan, Qays b. Ash'ath al-Kindi and Amr b. Hajjaj were commissioned to take the heads of the martyrs of Karbala to 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad.

References[edit | edit source]