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Kumayl b. Ziyad al-Nakha'i

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Companion of Imam (a)
Kumayl b. Ziyad al-Nakha'i
کمیل بن زیاد.jpg
Tomb of Kumayl b. ziyad in Kufa, Iraq
Full Name Kumayl b. Ziyad b. Nahik al-Nakha'i al-Suhbani al-Kufi
Companion of Imam Ali (a), Imam al-Hasan (a)
Lineage Nakha' tribe
Birth 12/633-4
Place(s) of Residence Kufa
Death/Martyrdom 82/701-2
Cause of
Killed by the order of al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf
Burial Place Kufa
Activities Governor of Hit, Participating in the battle of Siffin

Kumayl b. Zīyād b. Nahīk al-Nakhaʿī al-Ṣuhbānī al-Kūfī (Arabic: کُمَیل بن زِیاد بن نَهِیک النَخَعي الصُهباني الکوفي) ( b.12/633-4 - d. 82/701-2) was one of the Tabi'un and an important companion of Imam Ali (a) and Imam al-Hasan (a). He was one of the first people who suggested the deposition of 'Uthman, and the caliphate of Imam Ali (a). During Imam Ali's (a) caliphate, he was the governor of a region called Hit for a short time. When Mu'awiya's army, plundered Hit, Imam Ali (a) rebuked him for negligence in protecting the city. Lots of hadiths have been narrated from him in Shi'a sources, the most famous of which is Supplication of Kumayl. In Sunni sources, however, Kumayl is described as "Ghalil al-Hadith" (someone who has narrated few hadiths) and, even sometimes, he has been dispraised.

Lineage and Family

Kumayl was from the tribe of Nakha' and his father was Ziyad b. Nahik.

The Prophet (s) has been quoted "O, Allah, bless the Nakha'."

Muhammad Dashti, has mentioned that Harith b. Ziyad -the murderer of Muslim b. 'Aqil's two children and the companion of 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad- was Kumayl's brother.

Kumayl's birthdate has not been reported in historical sources. However, al-Zirikli mentioned that he was born in 12/633-4.

During Imam Ali's Caliphate

Kumayl was one of the Tabi'un and one of the close companions of Imam Ali (a) and companions of Imam al-Hasan (a). He was 18 when the Prophet (s) passed away. He was one of the first Shi'as who pledged allegiance to Imam Ali (a) in the first days of his caliphate. He participated in the battles took place in Imam Ali's (a) caliphate, including the Battle of Siffin. He was trusted by Imam Ali (a) to the extent that Imam would told him some secrets.

He and 'Amr b. Zurara b. Qays al-Nakha'i were among the first people who suggested deposition of 'Uthman and the caliphate of Imam Ali (a). Kumayl is one of 10 persons who were exiled from Kufa to Syria, during the caliphate of 'Uthman.

Imam Ali's (a) Officer

During Imam Ali's (a) reign, he was appointed as the governor of Hit, a city near Baghdad. When he was informed that Mu'awiya's army, led by Sufyan b. 'Uwf, want to attack Hit, under the false impression that they had camped in Qarqisiya, he left Hit toward Qarqisiya without Imam Ali's (a) permission. He left 50 armed soldiers in Hit for protecting the city. Mu'awiya's army took advantage of this opportunity, and invaded Hit. Imam Ali (a) rebuked him in a letter (number 61 in Nahj al-balagha) for his action. After Imam Ali's (a) martyrdom, he stood by Imam al-Hasan (a) and became one of his companions.


Kumayl has narrated hadiths from Imam Ali (a), 'Umar b. al-Khattab, 'Uthman b. 'Affan, Ibn Mas'ud, Abu Hurayra, and others. 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Abis, Abu Ishaq al-Subay'i, al-'Abbas b. Zurayh, 'Abd Allah b. Yazid al-Sahbani, al-A'mash, 'Abd al-Rahman b. Jundub, and others have narrated hadiths from him.

Lots of hadiths have been narrated from him in Shi'a sources. However, he was described as Ghalil al-Hadith (someone who has narrated just few hadiths) in Sunni sources. Ibn Hibban and Ibn Ma'in said that he was a thiqa (reliable) narrator. Though, he was dispraised in some Sunni books.

Supplication of Kumayl

The original name of this supplication –which he has narrated it from Imam Ali (a)- is Supplication of Khidr, nevertheless, it is known by the name of its narrator as Supplication of Kumayl. Kumayl was one of the most pious and ascetic people in Kufa.

Some of Imam Ali's testament to him have been quoted in the book Bihar al-anwar. A summary of these wills have also been narrated in the book Tuhaf al-'uqul.


Imam Ali (a) had foretold Kumayl's demise. Most historians said that he passed away in 82/701-2, but al-Tabari said it was in 83/702-3, and al-'Asqalani quoted Yahya b. Ma'in that it was in 88/707.

He was 70 when he passed away. Al-Dhahabi narrated from al-Mada'ini that he was 90.

He was killed by the order of al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf al-Thaqafi. Al-Hajjaj summoned him but he fled, so al-Hajjaj persecuted his relatives and tribe. When he knew that, he went to al-Hajjaj, and after a conversation between them, al-Hajjaj gave the order for his execution. His tomb is located in Thuwayya, on the route of Kufa to Najaf, near the al-Hannana mosque.