As Hazrat Hussain (A.S) set on the journey of Kufa with his companions, the governor of Kufa Ubayd Allah Ibn Ziyad gave the task of arresting Imam Hussain (A.S) along with companions to the finest warrior of Iraq known as Al-Hurr Ibn Yazid Al-Tamimi.
Al-Hurr held the rank of commander in the army of Ubayd Allah Ibn Ziyad. He had the characteristics of a noble warrior who adhered to military discipline & obedience to administrative edicts.
But if Al-Hurr Ibn Yazid Al-Tamimi represented Yazid’s army, then how did he become one of the most respectful names in the history of Islam? What were the events that earned him the honour of being a dear companion to Imam Hussain (A.S)?
The Landmark Conversation of Dhu Hussam
Imam Hussain (A.S) and Ahl-al-Bayt continued their voyage to Kufa, but at one point, Imam Hussain (A.S) asked his brother Janab-e-Abbas (A.S) to carry four times more water than required. Hazrat Abbas (A.S) got confused but obeyed as Imam Hussain (A.S) directed.
When the caravan reached Dhu Hassam, Imam Hussain (A.S) saw an army of at least one thousand soldiers led by Al-Hurr Ibn Yazid Al-Tamimi. But these soldiers had no strength to move an inch from their position.
The whole army was about to faint with thirst; it is reported that the intensity of thirst was so high that their horses stuck their tongues out in search of water.
The moment it felt that the army would collapse with thirst, Imam Hussain (A.S) rose to rescue those who evidently came to harm him.
Imam Hussain’s (A.S) son Hazrat Ali Akbar (A.S) & brother Hazrat Abbas (A.S) provided water to the entire army and their horses. Before Al-Hurr could say something, Ali Akbar (A.S) called the Azan for Zuhar.
Imam Hussain (A.S) deliberately asked Al-Hurr:
“Will you pray with us or wish to do it separately?”
Al-Hurr thought for a second and then immediately replied:
“How is it possible that you led a prayer and we don’t follow. I shall definitely pray in your Imamat”.
Riwaya states that this was the moment when Imam Hussain (A.S) judged that Al-Hurr was not their enemy and possessed the strength of Iman.
Right after namaz, Imam Hussain (A.S) sat on his horse and was about to march when Al-Hurr stopped his way,
“I’ve been ordered to arrest you and take you to Kufa,” said Al-Hurr.
At first, Imam Hussain (A.S) ignored him, but Al-Hurr grabbed the rope of his horse. Imam Hussain (A.S), with the intention to examine Al-Hurr’s character, said,
“Hurr! May your mother mourn over your death, what do you want from us”?
Upon which Al-Hurr replied:
“If anyone else among the Arabs had said this, I would have answered him equally, but I respect your mother Bibi Fatima (A.S) and cannot utter her name, except with fairness.”
Historians believe this reply convinced Imam Hussain (A.S) that Hurr has Iman in his heart.
Al-Hurr denied to leave and asked Imam Hussain (A.S) to take the caravan on a route that neither leads to Kufa nor Medina. Imam Hussain (A.S) took the route to Uzaib and Qadsia.
The Letter at Naynwa: Life Changing Moment for Al-Hurr
On Muharram 2nd – 61 AH, when the caravan and army of Al-Hurr reached Naynwa, a messenger of Ubayd Allah Ibn Ziyad came with a message that shooked Al-Hurr. The message stated:
“As you receive this message, force Al-Hussain to camp in a dry & tree-less land. I have commanded the messenger not to leave you until the orders are fulfilled.”
Al-Hurr was devastated by the message and narrated it to Imam Hussain (A.S); Having no choice, Ahl-al-Bayt set up their camps in Karbala.
The warrior of Yazid that was supposed to arrest Imam Hussain (A.S) maintained respectful behaviour with them and felt helpless on being unable to facilitate Ahl-al-Bayt.
The Oppression of Yazid & Repentance of Al-Hurr
On 7th Muharram, Imam Hussain (A.S) and his entire family were deprived the access to water. It is reported, that till Ashura, Al-Hurr lived in a state of inner chaos and guilt.
Whenever Al-Hurr listened to the crippling request of children saying “Al Atash (Oh Water)”, he sank deeper into self-guilt. He called himself the reason that pushed the offspring of Muhammad (S.A.W) into this condition.
Before the night of Ashura, Al-Hurr could sense that Jannah is there where Imam Hussain (A.S) has set his feet & Hell is the resort of those who are standing against Hussain.
Al-Hurr took his companions & son, and he proceed towards Imam Hussain’s (A.S) camp. As he was about to reach, Hazrat Abbas (A.S) came towards him,
“Come Al-Hurr! Imam Hussain has said that you are our guest”.
Imam Hussain (A.S), with an open heart, welcomed him. Al-Hurr couldn’t hold himself and fell on the feet of Imam Hussain (A.S) and asked for forgiveness. Imam Hussain (A.S) picked him up and said,
“You are Hurr (free) in this world & you will be Hurr on the day of judgement”.
As an act of repentance, Al-Hurr asked permission from Imam Hussain (A.S) to fight while representing him. Imam Hussain (A.S) allowed him to enter the battlefield.
When this warrior met with Hussain (A.S) in Dhu Hassam, he was just a soldier. But now and till the Qayamah, this man known would be known as Hazrat Al-Hurr (A.S) – the companion of Ahl-al-Bayt.
Hazrat Al-Hurr (A.S) spend his last moments in this world as a warrior of truth. He entered the battlefield and one last time called the army of Yazid to repent. The enemies of Islam attacked Hazrat Hurr (A.S) from all sides. The brave warrior fought like a lion. But one after another, the strikes of the sword edged him closer to Shahadat.
The man who got the blessing from Imam Hussain (A.S) of being free in hereafter, has inked his name on every Muslim heart due to his love for Ahl-al-Bayt. Hazrat Hurr (A.S) has explained to stand with truth no matter what price you have to pay.
Disclaimer: The source of all events has been taken from available literature and address of Imams available online.