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Muhammad b. al-Ash'ath al-Kindi

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Muhammad b. al-Ash'ath al-Kindi
Commanders of 'Umar b. Sa'd's army
Full Name Muhammad b. al-Asha'th b. Qays al-Kindi
Well-known As Ibn al-Ash'ath
Lineage Kinda
Well-known Relatives Al-Ash'ath b. Qays (father), Qays (brother), Ja'da bt. al-Ash'ath b. Qays (sister), Abu Bakr (uncle)
Place of Residence Kufa
Death/Martyrdom 67/687
Cause of
Death/Martyrdom
Killed in the battle between Mus'ab b. Zubayr and al-Mukhtar
Era Umayyad
Notable roles Commander of forces of Ibn Ziyad in capturing Muslim b. 'Aqil
Activities Testifying against Hujr b. 'Adi

Muḥammad b. al-Ashʿath b. Qays al-Kindī (Arabic:محمد بن أشعَث بن قَیس الکِندی) known as Ibn Ashʿath (إبن أشعث) was among the agents in the Event of Karbala. He was the leader of the forces of Ibn Ziyad in capturing Muslim b. 'Aqil. On the Day of Ashura, he rejected the valuable relationship of Imam al-Husayn (a) with the Holy Prophet (s). During the Uprising of al-Mukhtar, al-Mukhtar's agents could not find Ibn Ash'ath. He was finally killed in the war between Mus'ab and al-Mukhtar.

Lineage and Family

His father, al-Ash'ath b. Qays al-Kindi, was the chief of Kinda tribe and the agent of Imam Ali (a) in Azerbaijan. In the Battle of Siffin, he was in the army of Imam Ali (a) and played a role in provoking Khawarij against Imam (a).

His mother was Umm Farwa, daughter of Abu Quhafa and thus he was the nephew of the First Caliph. In the Event of Karbala, his brother Qays b. al-Ash'ath was in the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd. His sister, Ju'da was the wife of Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a) who finally killed the Imam (a).

Imam al-Sadiq (a) considered al-Ash'ath an accomplice in killing Imam Ali (a) and the son of al-Ash'ath, Muhammad, an accomplice in killing Imam al-Husayn (a) and has also mentioned the role of his daughter Ju'da in killing Imam al-Hasan (a).

Muhammad b. al-Ash'ath was among those who testified against Hujr b. 'Adi.

Capturing Muslim b. 'Aqil

Muhamamd b. al-Ash'ath had an effective role in dispersing people of Kufa from around Muslim b. 'Aqil. Muhammad b. al-Ash'ath also was the commander of forces sent by Ibn Ziyad who arrested Muslim b. 'Aqil by promising him a safe conduct. But, Muslim was martyred by the order of Ibn Ziyad.

On the Day of Ashura

On the Day of 'Ashura, he rejected the valuable relationship of Imam al-Husayn (a) with the Holy Prophet (s); thus, he was cursed by Imam (a).

According to some recent sources, just after the curse of Imam (a), Ibn al-Ash'ath went to a side to relieve himself but a scorpion bit him and he died naked. This report disagrees with the report of historical sources about his activities in the Uprising of al-Mukhtar and his death in the war between Mus'ab with al-Mukhtar in 67/687.

After the Event of Karbala

Hawshab b. Ya'li al-Hamdani besieged the palace and the village of Ibn al-Ash'ath in Qadisiyya by the order of al-Mukhtar to capture Ibn al-Ash'ath. But, he escaped from a hidden door. By the order of al-Mukhtar, his palace was destroyed and by its remaining, they reconstructed the house of Hujr b. 'Adi which had been ruined by the supporters of Ibn Ziyad.

When Muhammad b. al-Ash'ath and others who cooperated in killing Imam al-Husayn (a) heard that al-Mukhtar was searching for them, they escaped. When they were informed about the revolt of the people of Kufa, they returned to Kufa and took the leadership of their revolt. But, when the revolt was defeated, Muhammad b. al-Ash'ath, Shabath b. Rib'i and other killers of Imam al-Husayn (a) escaped to Basra and provoked Mus'ab b. al-Zubayr to fight with al-Mukhtar. In 67/687, he delivered Mus'ab's letter to Mulhab b. Abi Safra in Fars.

Ibn al-Ash'ath was killed in the war between Mus'ab and al-Mukhtar in 67/687. Ibn Habban has said that he was killed by al-Mukhtar himself.

References