Khawli b. Yazid al-Asbahi

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Khawli b. Yazid al-Asbahi
Murderer of Ja'far and 'Uthman b. Ali
Full Name Khawli b. Yazid al-Asbahi
Lineage Himyar
Death/Martyrdom After Mukhtar's uprising
Cause of
He was killed by Mukhtar's companions
Era Yazid b. Mu'awiyya, Umayyad dynasty
Known for Killing Ja'far b. 'Ali and 'Uthman b. Ali

Khawlī b. Yazīd al-Aṣbahī (Arabic: خَولي بن یَزيد الأَصبَحي) is one the killers of Imam al-Husayn's (a) children and companions in the day of 'Ashura'. According to some reports he decapitated Imam al-Husayn (a).


There is no report in history books about his birth. He was not a famous nor an important person, thus his lineage is unknown. His father was Yazid al-Asbahi, who is said to be from the tribe of Himyar. He was present in Karbala and was counted as one of the killers of Imam al-Husayn (a). He was killed by Mukhtar's companions in 66/685.

Day of 'Ashura'

It is said that he was one of the killers of Ja'far b. 'Ali and 'Uthman b. Ali. Khawli shot 'Uthman by an arrow and a man from Banu Darim killed him.

After that Imam al-Husayn (a) had received many injuries and felt exhausted, Khawli, encouraged by Shimr or Sinan, intended to decapitate Imam al-Husayn (a); but he started shivering in a way that he could not do that. Sinan reproached him and cut Imam al-Husayn's pure head by himself. However, in some reports, it is said that Khawli was the one who decapitated Imam al-Husayn (a). Regardless to the details, he was counted in most of the reports as one of the killers of Imam al-Husayn (a).

After 'Ashura'

'Umar b. Sa'd gave Imam al-Husayn's pure head to Khawli so that he took it to Kufa to 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad and give him the news of the victory of Kufa army. Khawli arrived in Kufa at night and went to his house so that he goes to Dar al-Imara (residence of Emir) in the next morning. He took the head to his house and, reportedly, hid it in the tandoor. His wife rebuked him for that when she knew about it.


After that Mukhtar took control of Kufa, he sent Abu 'Umra to track down the killers of Imam al-Husayn (a) including Khawli. When Khawli knew that Mukhtar's companions are at his door, he hid in the cesspit. They asked his wife about him and she, who was displeased with him and had rebuked him for bringing the head of Imam al-Husayn (a) to her house, pointed to his hideout. Mukhtar's companions brought him out and took him to Mukhtar. Mukhtar ordered them to kill him near his house and then burn his body.