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Abu l-Tufayl al-Kinani

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Companion of Imam (a)
Abu l-Tufayl al-Kinani
Full Name Abu l-Tufayl 'Amir b. Wathila al-Kinani
Companion of Imam Ali (a)
Kunya Abu l-Tufayl
Lineage shi'a
Birth 3/624
Place(s) of Residence MedinaKufaal-Mada'inMecca
Death/Martyrdom after 100/718
Activities flag-bearer in the uprising of al-Mukhtar

Abū l-Ṭufayl ʿĀmir b. Wāthila al-Kinānī (Arabic: أبو الطفيل عامر بن واثلة الكناني) (b. 3/624, d. after 100/718) was a companion of Prophet Muhammad (s). He was also a poet and a supporter of Imam Ali (a). Abu l-Tufayl has narrated a few hadiths from the Prophet (s), and from some of the Sahabas including Khadija (a), Mu'adh b. Jabal, and Ibn Mas'ud. 'Amir b. Wathila has also narrated hadiths from Imam Ali (a), Imam al-Hasan (a), and Imam al-Sajjad (a).

Abu l-Tufayl was a companion of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya and he was a flag-bearer of al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi's army who launched an uprising to avenge Imam al-Husayn (a) and martyrs of Karbala. 'Amir and his son, Tufayl, attended the 'Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad b. Ash'ath's uprising against al-Hajjaj in 82/701.

In Imam Ali's (a) Era

Abu l-Tufayl was born in 3/625; in that year the Battle of Uhud took place. He lived in the last eight years of Prophet Muhammad's (s) life.

'Amir b. Wathila moved to al-Mada'in in the time of Hudhayfa b. al-Yaman's rule over Kufa. He had a good relationship with Ali (a) for a long time. Abu l-Tufayl was regarded as a loyal companion of Imam Ali (a) and he also learned a lot from him. 'Amir attended all the battles alongside Imam Ali (a).

After the martyrdom of Imam Ali (a), 'Amir b. Wathila returned to Mecca where he lived until his death.

The Uprising of al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi

In 65/684-85, Ibn Zubayr asked Muhammad b. Hanafiyya to take oath of allegiance to him, but he refused. Then Ibn Zubayr imprisoned him along with a number of his supporters including Abu l-Tufayl in Shi'b Banu Hashim. Abu l-Tufayl was imprisoned until the uprising of al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi. Then he joined al-Mukhtar's rebel and he was appointed as the flag-bearer of his army.

Because 'Amir joined al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi's army, he was regarded a member of Kaysanites. But he cannot be a Kaysanites only because he joined the rebel launched by al-Mukhtar.

As Abu l-Tufayl stated in a meeting with Mu'awiya that he was present in the incident which led to death of 'Uthman b. 'Affan, but he did not play a role in his death. He also said that there was a strong friendship between him and Imam Ali (a).

'Amir and his son, Tufayl, attended the rise of 'Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad b. Ash'ath against al-Hajjaj. His son, Tufayl was killed in the battle in Muharram, 82/701 and 'Amir composed a mourning poem on his son's death.

Narrating Hadiths

Abu l-Tufayl has narrated a few number of hadiths from the Prophet (s) and notable Sahaba of the Prophet (s) including Khadija (s), Mu'adh b. Jabal and Ibn Mas'ud. He has also narrated hadiths from Imam Ali (a), Imam al-Hasan (a), and Imam al-Sajjad (a).

In addition, there is a narration in al-Kafi 'Amir b. Wathila narrated hadith from Imam al-Baqir (a) and also according to 'Ilal al-sharayi' 'Amir has narrated hadiths from Imam al-Sadiq (a). It is obvious that, he has narrated hadiths from Imam al-Sadiq (a) before Imamate of him and in the time of Imamate of Imam al-Baqir (a).

Literary Character

Abu l-Tufayl was an eloquent man. Some parts of his speeches in Mu'awiya's court are stated in historical sources. His poems, like poems of Jahiliyya era, are cohesive and epic with the context of mourning and honoring. Some of his poems are cited in literal sources in no particular order.

A German researcher has published a collection of 'Amir b. Wathil's poems together with a poem collection of al-Tirimmah b. Hakim al-Ta'I; both of them are translated into English by Fritz Krenkow. 'Abd al-'Aziz b. Yahya al-Jalawdi (d. 302/914) has written a book called Akhbar Abi l-Tufayl which is about the biography of 'Amir b. Wathila. Al-Tayyib 'Ashshash al-Tunisi has published this work with 'Amir's poem collection in 37 pages in Hawliyyat Jami'a al-Tunisiyya in 1973.