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Army of 'Umar b. Sa'd

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Army of 'Umar b. Sa'd was the army, 'Umar b. Sa'd gathered by the order of 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad. On the day of 'Ashura, they fought Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions and killed them all and then took the family of Imam (a) as captives.

Most sources have mentioned the number of soldiers in the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd, more than 20 thousand. The army of 'Umar b. Sa'd was comprised of different people of Kufa who went to Karbala with different motives. Most of them were from the 'Uthmaniyya. Also, there were many Khawarij among them. A group of the army attended in Karbala because of their enmity with the Ahl al-Bayt (a) and some others because of Ibn Ziyad's threat and enticements.

Name and Number

The army led by 'Umar b. Sa'd fought Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions on the day of 'Ashura and killed them all. Since 'Umar b. Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas was the commander of the army, it became famous as the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd. According to the report of most sources, the number of people in this army was about 4 thousand at the beginning,[1] but when other armies joined it, it exceeded 20 thousand people.[2] However, the number of people in the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd is reported between 6 to 35 thousand people. The number of the soldiers is also mentioned 6,[3] 14,[4] 17,[5] 22, 28,[6] 30[7] and 32[8] thousand people in some other sources.

The Way of Formation

'Umar b. Sa'd was supposed to go to Rey with an army and fight with Daylamites and take the government there. Before the event of Karbala, he had camped outside Kufa in a place called Hammam A'yan. But, before moving toward Rey, the caravan of Imam al-Husayn (a) stopped in Karbala. 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad, who was the governor of Basra and Kufa, asked 'Umar b. Sa'd to go to Karbala and fight with Imam al-Husayn (a) before going to Rey. First, 'Umar b. Sa'd refused, but, 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad made going to Karbala as the condition for him to receive the government of Rey. So, 'Umar b. Sa'd went to Karbala with his army.[9]

Strengthening the Army by Ibn Ziyad

According to some reports, after 'Umar b. Sa'd moved toward Karbala, some of the people of Kufa joined his army by Ibn Ziyad's threatening and enticement. He gathered the people of Kufa in the mosque of Kufa and persuaded their chiefs by giving them gifts and asked them to join the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd to fight Imam al-Husayn (a).[10]

He appointed Amr b. Hurayth in his place in Kufa and he, himself camped in Nukhayla and forced people of Kufa to go there.[11] Ibn Ziyad had made it obligatory for all men of Kufa to join the army of Ibn Sa'd. He sent Suwayd b. 'Abd al-Rahman Munqari to Kufa and ordered him to search in Kufa and bring him anyone who had refrained to go to fight Imam al-Husayn (a).[12]

'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad summoned Husayn b. Tamim and 4 thousand soldiers under his command from Qadisiyya to Nukhayla.[13] He also ordered Husayn b. Numayr, Hajjar b. Abjar, Shabath b. Rib'i and Shimr b. Dhi al-Jawshan to join the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd. Shimr with 4 thousand soldiers, Yazid b. Rakab al-Kalbi with 2 thousand soldiers,[14] Husayn b. Numayr with 4 thousand soldiers, Mudayir b. Rahina al-Mazini with 3 thousand soldiers and Nasr b. Harba with 2 thousand soldiers obeyed Ibn Ziyad's order. Also, by the order of Ibn Ziyad, Shabath b. Rib'i, Hajjar b. Abjar,[15] Muhammad b. Ash'ath[16] and Yazid b. al-Harith, each with one thousand soldiers moved toward Karbala to join the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd.[17]

Every day and noon, 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad sent groups of 20 to 100 people from Kufa to Karbala;[18] so that on Muharram 6th, the number of soldiers of Ibn Sa'd reached 22 thousand people.[19]

People Present in the Army and their Motives

The army of 'Umar b. Sa'd was mostly comprised of the people of Kufa [20]with different motives.[21]

Most of the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd were from the 'Uthmaniyya.[22] In historical sources, people such as Abu Barda b. 'Awf Azdi,[23] Shayban b. Makhrum,[24] Kathir b. Shihab[25] and Harthama b. Abi Muslim are mentioned from the 'Uthmaniyya. Some writers considered Ka'b b. Jabir, 'Umar b. Sa'd, Bishr b. Sawt and 'Imara b. 'Aqaba Abi Muhit were 'Uthmani as well.[26] Also, there were people from Khawarij in the army of Ibn Sa'd.

Some of the soldiers of 'Umar b. Sa'd were among the followers of Mu'awiya and dissidents of Imam Ali (a) and enemies to Shi'a. It is said that Shayban b. Makhzum hated Imam Ali (a).[27] Shabath b. Rib'i had a mission from Mu'awiya to assassinate Imam al-Hasan (a)[28] and Kathir b. 'Abd Allah Sha'bi were enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt (a).[29] 'Abd al-Rahman b. Abi 'Umayr Thaqafi beheaded 'Amr b. Hamiq al-Khuza'i as a revenge for 'Uthman b. 'Affan. Also, Muhammad b. 'Umayr al-Tamimi, Shimr b. Dhi al-Jawshan, 'Umar b. Sa'd, Kathir b. Shihab Harithi, Shabath b. Rib'i, 'Ubayd Allah b. Muslim Hadrami, Zahr b. Qays, Khalid b. 'Artafa 'Udhri, Hajjar b. Anjar, Asma' b. Kharija Fizari, 'Uzra b. Qays, 'Amr b. al-Hajjaj al-Zubaydi, Suwayd b. 'Abd al-Rahman and 'Imara b. 'Aqaba Abi Muhit were in the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd who previously gave testimony before Ibn Ziyad against Hujr b. 'Adi (among the Shi'a and companions of Imam Ali (a)).[30]

Some of them were among the aristocrats of Kufa who had written letters to Imam al-Husayn (a) and had invited him to Kufa, but after Ibn Ziyad went to Kufa, they joined him due to his threatening and enticement. 'Urwa b. Qays, Shabath b. Rib'i, Hajjar b. Abjar, Qays b. Ash'ath, Yazid b. al-Harith, 'Amr b. Hajjaj and Muhammad b. 'Umayr al-Tamimi were among such people.[31]

Some of the people of Kufa and Syria entered the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd by threatening and enticement of Ibn Ziyad.[32] 'Umar b. Sa'd refrained from fighting Imam al-Husayn (a) until he received threatening (being killed) and enticement (receiving the government of Rey) from Ibn Ziyad.[33] Shabath b. Rib'i pretended to be sick to avoid going to the war with Husayn b. Ali (a), but he moved toward Karbala after he received Ibn Ziyad's threats and enticements.[34]

Although some people, such as Shimr b. Dhi al-Jawshan,[35] Muhammad b. al-'Umayr al-Tamimi,[36] Zahr b. Qays al-Ju'fi[37] and Shabath b. Rib'i,[38] previously accompanied Imam Ali (a) in the battles of Jamal, Siffin or Nahrawan, attended the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd.

However, there were people from other cities in the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd such as Muslim b. 'Amr Bahili from Basra who lived in Syria.

Commanders on the Day of 'Ashura

On the day of 'Ashura, 'Umar b. Sa'd appointed the commanders of his army. He appointed Shimr b. Dhi al-Jawshan as the commander of the left wing of the army, and 'Amr b. al-Hajjaj al-Zubaydi as the commander of the right wing of the army. He also appointed 'Uzra b. Qays as the commander of mounted soldiers and Shabath b. Rib'i as the commander of foot soldiers and Zeyd, his slave, as the standard bearer.[39]

'Umar b. Sa'd appointed Al-Hurr b. Yazid al-Riyahi as the commander of Banu Tamim and Banu Hamdan. But, Hurr left his army and joined Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions.[40]

Joining of People to the Army of Imam al-Husayn (a) from the Army of Ibn Sa'd

On the day of 'Ashura, some people left the army of Ibn Sa'd and joined the army of Imam al-Husayn (a), including Hurr b. Yazid al-Riyahi,[41] Sa'd b. al-Harth al-Ansari, Abu al-Hutuf, Nu'man b. 'Amr, Halas b. 'Amr, Bakr b. Tamim, Qasim b. Habib. Juwayn b. Malik and Abu l-Sha'tha' al-Kindi. However, some writers believe that some of these people had not entered the army of Ibn Sa'd to fight with Imam al-Husayn (a) in the first place; but since Ibn Ziyad had closed the exits of Kufa, they devised to join Imam al-Husayn (a) by entering the army of Ibn Ziyad.

Actions in Karbala

The army of Ibn Sa'd carried out some actions in Karbala, some of which are as follows:

Blocking the access of Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions to water

After 'Umar b. Sa'd received the letter of Ibn Ziyad in which he asked him to block Imam's (a) access to water, Ibn Sa'd sent 'Amr b. Hajjaj with 500 horsemen to Euphrates on Muharram 7th, to prevent Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions from reaching the water.[42]

Martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) and His Companions

The army of 'Umar b. Sa'd began the war on the day of 'Ashura. The first arrow was thrown by 'Umar b. Sa'd himself.[43] They killed Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions. Then, they robbed what Imam (a) wore. Qays b. al-Ash'ath al-Kindi and Bahr b. Ka'b al-Taymi took the clothes,[44] Aswad b. Khalid al-Udi took the shoes, Jami' b. Khalq al-Udi took the sword, Akhnas b. Marthad took the turban, Bajdal b. Sulaym al-Kalbi took the ring and 'Umar b. Sa'd took the armor of Imam (a).[45]

Burning the Tents

After the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a), the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd attacked the tents and looted what was in them as the booty[46] and then burned the tents.[47]

Trampling on the Body of Imam al-Husayn (a) by Horses

Following the order of Ibn Ziyad, 'Umar b. Sa'd ordered ten soldiers of his army to trample on the body of Imam al-Husayn (a), and they shattered the bones of his chest and back.[48] Ishaq b. Haywa, Akhnas b. Murthad,[49] Hakim b. al-Tufayl al-Ta'i, 'Amr b. Subayh al-Saydawi, Raja' b. Munqidh al-'Abdi, Salim b. Khaythama al-Ju'fi, Wahiz b. Na'im, Salih b. Wahab al-Ju'fi, Hani b. Thubayt al-Khadrami and Usayd b. Malik al-Hadrami[50] trampled on the blessed body of Imam al-Husayn (a) by horses.

Sending the Heads of Martyrs to Kufa

The soldiers of 'Umar b. Sa'd beheaded the martyrs of Karbala and by the order of 'Umar b. Sa'd, sent the heads to Kufa. Khawli b. Yazid al-Asbahi and Humayd b. Muslim al-Azdi took the head of Husayn b. Ali (a) to 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad. Also, Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan , Qays b. al-Ash'ath al-Kindi, 'Amr b. al-Hajjaj al-Zubaydi and 'Uzra b. Qays took the heads of other martyrs to Kufa.[51]

Captivity of the Family of Imam (a)

By the order of 'Umar b. Sa'd, his soldiers buried the ones killed from their army and took those who remained of the caravan of Imam al-Husayn (a) as captives and sent to Ibn Ziyad in Kufa and then to the court of Yazid in Syria.[52]

Those who were Killed

There is no exact number about those who were killed from the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd. Some Shi'a sources mentioned that 225 or 226 soldiers were killed from the army of Ibn Sa'd by the companions of Imam al-Husayn (a)[53] and some other sources mentioned up to 900 people.[54] According to a report mentioned in Ibn Shahr Ashub's Manaqib, Imam al-Husayn (a) himself killed 1950 soldiers from the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd on the day of 'Ashura and injured some others as well.[55] Also, in Ithbat al-wasiyya, the number of those who were killed from the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd is mentioned 1800 soldiers.[56]

Notes

  1. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 409; Dīnawarī, al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl, p. 253.
  2. Ibn Aʿtham, al-Futūḥ, vol. 5, p. 89-90; Ibn Ṭāwūs, Luhūf, p. 85.
  3. Ibn al-Jawzī, Tadhkirat al-khawāṣ, p. 226.
  4. Ṭabarī, Dalāʾil al-imāma, p. 178.
  5. Kāshifī, Rawḍat al-shuhadāʾ, p. 346.
  6. Masʿūdī, Ithbāt al-waṣīyya, p. 166.
  7. Ibn Shahrāshūb, Manāqib Āl Abī Ṭālib, vol. 4, p. 86; Ṣadūq. al-Amālī, p. 461.
  8. Kāshifī, Rawḍat al-shuhadāʾ, p. 346.
  9. Dīnawarī, al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl, p. 253; Ṭabarī, Dalāʾil al-imāma, p. 178.
  10. Ibn Aʿtham, al-Futūḥ, vol. 5, p. 89-90; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 178.
  11. Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 178.
  12. Dīnawarī, al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl, p. 254-255; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 179.
  13. Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 178.
  14. Ibn Aʿtham, al-Futūḥ, vol. 5, p. 89.
  15. Ibn Aʿtham, al-Futūḥ, vol. 5, p. 89-90; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 178.
  16. Ṣadūq. al-Amālī, p. 155.
  17. Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 179.
  18. Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 179.
  19. Ibn Aʿtham, al-Futūḥ, vol. 5, p. 90.
  20. Ibn al-Jawzī, Tadhkirat al-khawāṣ, p. 226.
  21. Hidāyatpanāh, Bāztāb-i tafakkur-i ʿuthmānī dar wāqiʿa-yi Karbalā, p. 166.
  22. Hidāyatpanāh, Bāztāb-i tafakkur-i ʿuthmānī dar wāqiʿa-yi Karbalā, p. 166.
  23. Naṣr b. Muzāhim, Waqʿat siffīn, p. 5.
  24. Ibn ʿAsākir, Tārīkh madīnat Damascus, vol. 14, p. 221.
  25. Balādhurī, Futūḥ al-buldān, p. 301.
  26. Hidāyatpanāh, Bāztāb-i tafakkur-i ʿuthmānī dar wāqiʿa-yi Karbalā, p. 87-95.
  27. Ibn ʿAsākir, Tārīkh madīnat Damascus, vol. 14, p. 221.
  28. Ṣadūq, ʿIlal al-sharāʾiʿ, vol. 1, p. 220-221.
  29. Balādhurī, Futūḥ al-buldān, p. 301.
  30. Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 5, p. 255; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 269-270.
  31. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 409.Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 353-354.
  32. Ibn Aʿtham, al-Futūḥ, vol. 5, p. 89.
  33. Ibn Aʿtham, al-Futūḥ, vol. 5, p. 85-86.
  34. Ibn Aʿtham, al-Futūḥ, vol. 5, p. 89-90.
  35. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 28; Naṣr b. Muzāhim, Waqʿat siffīn, p. 195-198.
  36. Ibn Athīr, al-Kāmil, vol. 4, p. 144.
  37. Ibn Aʿtham, al-Futūḥ, vol. 4, p. 207.
  38. Naṣr b. Muzāhim, Waqʿat siffīn, p. 5.Naṣr b. Muzāhim, Waqʿat siffīn, p. 195-198.
  39. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 422, 436; Dīnawarī, al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl, p. 256.
  40. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 409.Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 427.
  41. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 427.
  42. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 412; Dīnawarī, al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl, p. 255.
  43. Ibn Ṭāwūs, Luhūf, p. 110.
  44. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 543.
  45. Ibn Ṭāwūs, Luhūf, p. 130.
  46. Qummī, Nafas al-mahmūm, p. 479.
  47. Ibn Aʿtham, al-Futūḥ, vol. 5, p. 138; Ibn Ṭāwūs, Luhūf, p. 180.
  48. Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 113; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 455; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 204.
  49. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 455.
  50. Ibn Ṭāwūs, Luhūf, p. 135.
  51. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 456; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 411.
  52. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 456.
  53. Ṣadūq. al-Amālī, p. 223-226; Fattāl al-Niyshābūrī, Rawḍat al-wāʿiẓīn, p. 186-188.
  54. Ibn Shahrāshūb, Manāqib Āl Abī Ṭālib, vol. 4, p. 109-114.
  55. Ibn Shahrāshūb, Manāqib Āl Abī Ṭālib, vol. 4, p. 110.
  56. Masʿūdī, Ithbāt al-waṣīyya, p. 168.

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