In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Promptness of Choice
“When I exited the house, I heard a voice calling me three times: Glad tidings of Paradise to you! I told myself, ”May your mother mourn for you! You are going to fight the son of the Messenger of Allah and you hear glad tidings of Paradise? (1)”
Imam Hussain (PBUH) came across an army on his way. The army, which was commanded by Hurr ibn Yazid Tamimi, moved amid the unbearable heat of midday till they faced Imam Hussain (PBUH). Hurr was a brave and combatant man, and was famous among people as a hero and swordsman. He was ordered not to leave Imam Hussain (PBUH) unless he takes the Imam (PBUH) to Ubaydullah the ruler of Kufa. Imam Hussain (PBUH) refused to follow him, turned to his companions and ordered them to return to Medina.
When Hurr’s army prevented Imam Hussain (PBUH) from moving, Imam (PBUH) said to Hurr, ”May your mother mourn for you! What do you want? (2)”
Hurr replied, ”If anyone other than you had told me these words in this situation, I would have told him the same. But by Allah I cannot mention the name of your mother expect with utmost respect.”
This respect of Hurr towards Imam Hussain (PBUH) and Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (PBUH) (daughter of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP)), which revealed his inner decency, changed the path of his life.
Time passed and passed…
It was the day of Ashura and Umar ibn Sa’ad was appointed Ubaydullah as the commander of army (3). When Hurr heard Imam Hussain’s (PBUH) ask for help, he was awakened from the dream of negligence; as he saw the people determined to fight Imam Hussain (PBUH), he went to Umar ibn Sa’ad (the commander of the army) and said, ”Are you going to fight Imam Hussain (PBUH)?” Umar ibn Sa’ad replied, ”Yes; I swear to God that I will fight a battle the least incident of which would be beheading and cutting of hands”.
After this conversation, Hurr approached the army of Imam Hussain (PBUH) gradually. Meanwhile, a person asked him, ”What do you have in mind? Are you going to attack?” Hurr did not answer him and started trembling. That person said, ” I’m confused. I swear to God that I have never seen you like this in any battle. If someone asked me who the bravest man in Kufa was, I would have definitely named you as one of the bravest people. What is this state I’m finding you in?”
Hurr replied,” I swear to God that I see myself choosing between the Paradise and the Hell; and I swear to God that I will choose nothing but Paradise, even if my body is torn apart or burned”.
Hurr had made his choice. Thus, he galloped his horse and joined Imam Hussain’s (PBUH) army while he had his hand on his head and was saying:
“O Allah! I have returned to you. Forgive me and accept my repentance, as I have put fear to the hearts of your friends and the children of Your Messenger”.
Hurr came to Imam Hussain (PBUH), greeted him, and said, ”May my life be sacrificed for you O son of the Messenger of Allah! It was me who blocked your way, accompanied you, and was harsh to you. But I did not imagine it would get like this! I swear to God that if I had known, I would not have done so”. Then, he repented, and asked to be the first person to go to the battlefield.
When Hurr entered the battlefield, he addressed the people and advised them; then, he started fighting and killed a great number of people from the army of the enemy…
On the last moments that he was alive, he opened up his eyes and saw Imam Hussain (PBUH). He smiled and asked, ”O son of the Messenger of Allah! Are you satisfied with me?”
Imam Hussain (PBUH) replied, ”I am satisfied with you; May Allah be satisfied with you”. Hurr became happy and then passed away, then Imam Hussain (PBUH) and his companions cried over Hurr (4).
A person like Hurr would choose the Hereafter over this world, whereas a person like Umar ibn Sa’ad would choose the Hell.(5) Some people do not flatter themselves with the promises of this world, but others think of the Hereafter as a void promise! The incident of Karbala is one the most evident manifests of human’s free will to choose the path of their lives and destiny. In that incident, some people chose the Paradise for themselves while others chose the Hell; but what is our choice?
(Selection taken from ”The Cloud of Mercy”, by Abbas Isma’ili Yazdi)
The Roshd Website offers condolences to all the freemen of the world, especially your dear friend, upon the time of mourning for the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) and the true manifestation of love,
the month of Muharram.
1. Jala’ al-Uyun, p. 377, and similarly in Amaali of Shaykh Saduq, p. 154
2. Maqtal Kharazmi, vol. 1, p. 232
3. Ubaydullah chose Umar ibn Sa’ad instead of Hurr to fight against Imam Hussain (PBUH). Umar ibn Sa’ad had no popularity among the combatant people and the militants, neither was he famous as a hero or swordsman; however, the reason for his appointment was that his father was a well-known person, and Umar himself was a hypocritical and recognized man. Therefore, Ubaydullah wanted to make benefit of his recognition; because he knew that fighting against Imam Hussain (PBUH) was difficult act, not everyone would accept to do it.
4. Rawda al-Shuhada, p. 280
5. Before accepting the suggestion of Ubaydullah for being the commander of the army, Umar Sa’ad consulted his friends and family. His wife, younger son, friends, and even one of the friends of his father advised him not to accept the position and made him aware of the bad consequences of this decision, however his elder son encouraged him. Finally Umar Sa’as accepted the suggestion and said that the position and wealth of this world is available within hands while the hereafter is not available right now. He added that he does prefer what is available over what is not available.