Muhammad b. al-Ash'ath al-Kindi

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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 Mukhtar, his agents could not find Ibn Ash'ath. He was finally killed in the war between Mus'ab and Mukhtar.

Lineage and Family

The father of 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. 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 Ash'ath an accomplice in killing Imam Ali (a) and the son of Ash'ath 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. Ash'ath was among those who testified against Hujr b. 'Adi.

Capturing Muslim b. 'Aqil

Muhamamd b. Ash'ath had an effective role in dispersing people of Kufa from around Muslim b. 'Aqil. After Taw'a, the freed maidservant of Ash'ath b. Qays sheltered Muslim in her house, son of Taw'a informed Muhammad b. Ash'ath about the hideaway of Muslim and he informed Ibn Ziyad about that. Muhammad b. Ash'ath 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), 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 Mukhtar and his death in the war between Mus'ab with Mukhtar in 67/687.

After the Event of Karbala

Hawshab b. Ya'li al-Hamdani besieged the palace and the village of Ibn Ash'ath in Qadisiyya by the order of Mukhtar to capture Ibn Ash'ath. But, he escaped from a hidden door. By the order of 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. Ash'ath and others who cooperated in killing Imam al-Husayn (a) heard that 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. Ash'ath, Shabath b. Rib'i and other killers of Imam al-Husayn (a) escaped to Basra and provoked Mus'ab b. Zubayr to fight with Mukhtar. In 67/687, he delivered Mus'ab's letter to Mulhab b. Abi Safra in Fars.

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

References