'Uzra b. Qays

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'Uzra b. Qays
Commander of 'Umar b. Sa'd's army
Full Name 'Uzra b. Qays al-Ahmasi
Lineage Banu Duhn
Place of Residence Kufa
Era Banu Umayya
Notable roles Commander of cavalry of 'Umar b. Sa'd's army in the Battle of Karbala
Activities Taking the heads of the martyrs of Karbala to 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad

ʿUzra (ʿUrwa) b. Qays al-Aḥmasī (Arabic: عُزْرَةِ (عُرْوَة) بْن قَیْس الأحْمَسی) 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-Husayn (a). After Imam al-Husayn's (a) 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

'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 (s) sahaba.

In the Periods of Caliphs

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 b. Abi Sufyan, 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

Main article: Battle of 'Ashura

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

On the Day of Tasu'a, 'Abbas b. 'Ali (a) and some companions of Imam al-Husayn (a), 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!" 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-Husayn (a) and never sent a messenger to him…".

Day of Ashura

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-Husayn's (a) army that he had to ask 'Umar b. Sa'd to send to him some archers.

After Imam al-Husayn's (a) 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