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Sulayman b. Surad al-Khuza'i

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Sulayman b. Surad al-Khuza'i
Personal Information
Full Name Sulayman b. Surad b. Jawn b. al-Khuza'i
Teknonym Abu Mutarraf
Lineage Khuza'a
Birth 5 years before Bi'tha
Place of Birth Mecca
Place(s) of Residence Mecca, Kufa
Martyrdom 65/684
Cause of Martyrdom He was martyred in Tawwabun Uprising
Religious Information
Known for Leader of Tawwabun Uprising, Companion of Imam 'Ali (a), Imam al-Hasan (a), and Imam al-Husayn (a)
Notable Roles Imam 'Ali's representative, commander of right wing of Imam's army in the Battle of Siffin
Other Activities Objecting the peace treaty of Imam al-Hasan (a), sending letter to invite Imam al-Husayn (a) to Kufa

Sulaymān b. Ṣurad b. Jawn al-Khuzāʿī (Arabic: سليمان بن صُرَد بن جون الخُزاعي) was an honorable Shi'a of Kufa. He was a companion of the Prophet (s), Imam Ali (a), Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a). He fought in some battles beside Imam Ali (a). During the imamate of Imam al-Hasan (a), he was considered a leading Shi'a in Kufa, however, he disagreed with Peace Treaty of Imam al-Hasan (a) with Mu'awiya. The first correspondence to invite Imam al-Husayn (a) to Kufa took place under his leadership. However, he was absent in the Battle of Karbala. Historians have cited different reasons for his absence. He led the Tawwabun Uprising in 65/684 after the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) to take his revenge. He was martyred in this uprising.


Sulayman b. Surad was born in Mecca. There is no mention of the date of his birth in historical records, but according to Ibn Sa'd, Sulayman was martyred in 65/684 when he was 93 years old, so it can be said that he was born 5 years before bi'tha. The name of his father was Jawn. There is no doubt that he was from Khuza'a tibe. Before Islam his name was Yasār but the Prophet (s) changed his name to Sulayman. His Kunya was Abu Mutarraf.


Both Shi'a and Sunni historians mention Sulayman by speaking in favor of him in their reports. According to the historians of both schools, Sulayman b. Surad al-Khuza'i was a devout, virtuous and renowned person who prayed a lot. He was in a strong position among his tribe that obeyed him.

Companionship with the Prophet (s)

Fadl b. Shadhan says that he was among Tabi'un (the Followers) and Sunni sources counted him among sahaba. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi also mentioned him among sahaba. Ayatullah al-Khoei said, "probably, al-Shaykh al-Tusi has chosen this report from Sunni books."

Companionship of Imam Ali (a)

Sulayman b. Surad was among the first people who lived in Kufa, at the area of Khuza'a. Sulayman gave allegiance to Imam Ali (a) together with many Shi'a noblemen and elders. As mentioned in the letter Imam Ali (a) wrote to him, Sulayman has been representing Imam Ali (a) in the region of Jibil. He joined in battles of Imam Ali (a) and fought in Siffin beside Imam (a) and led the right wing of his army. In this battle, the leader of Mu'awiya's right wing called Hawshab was killed by his sword.

Some said that Sulayman did not participate in the Battle of Jamal and thus Imam Ali (a) disapproved of him. Although, this has been doubted in historical sources, Ayatollah al-Khoei argues that Sulayman's absence in the battle was due to his justifiable excuse. However, al-Shaykh al-Tusi has proven the argument of Sulayman's absence in the battle as false and incorrect.

Meeting with Imam al-Hasan (a)

Historians report about Sulayman's meeting with Imam al-Hasan (a) after the peace treaty with Mu'awiya and that he deemed it inappropriate. Also in another meeting with Imam al-Husayn (a), he mentions the issue, but Imam (a) stresses on keeping the peace until the death of Mu'awiya.

At the Time of Imam al-Husayn (a)

Writing Letter to al-Husayn b. Ali (a)

Following the death of Mu'awiya and Imam al-Husayn's (a) refusal to giving allegiance to Yazid, Shi'as gathered at the house of Sulayman b. Surad and wrote two letters to Imam al-Husayn (a), in which they pledged their allegiance to him. In that gathering, Sulayman said, "Mu'awiya is dead and al-Husayn (a) has traveled to Mecca. You are followers of his father, so, help him and fight his enemies."

Absence in the Event of 'Ashura

Sulayman was not present in the Event of 'Ashura. There are no explicit reports in historical sources about the reason why he was not present in Karbala at the time. Writers and researchers have proposed different conjectures. Some of them hold that Sulayman and some other prominent Shiite figures were imprisoned at the command of 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad, but there is no report in this regard in historical sources.

Others believe that it was impossible for Sulayman b. Surad and other Shi'as in Kufa to join Imam al-Husayn (a) in Karbala because of intense surveillance by Ibn Ziyad's forces on people of Kufa and the city's exits. However, some people do not find this convincing because there were few Shi'as from Kufa who managed to find their ways to Karbala and join the Imam (a).

Some other researchers take the indolence of people of Kufa, including Sulayman b. Surad, to be the main reason why they did not join the Imam (a) in Karbala. The confession by Sulayman and other people of Kufa to their sin because of not helping the Imam (a) and their onset of Tawwabun Uprising support this view. Thus, some authors take Sulayman b. Surad and other people of Kufa to be irresolute Shi'as. The view is also reinforced by Sulayman b. Surad's record of opposing Imam Ali (a) and Imam al-Hasan (a). Some old sources have also pointed to skepticisms of Sulayman with regard to the story of 'Ashura.

Leader of Tawwabun

Main article: Tawwabun Uprising

After the Battle of 'Ashura, he assumed the leadership of a group called Tawwabun. They took up arms and tried to take revenge for the blood of Imam al-Husayn (a) against the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd in 65/684. Ibn Nama al-Hilli said, "the first person who led an uprising in Kufa was Sulayman b. Surad al-Khuza'i."


He was martyred by the spear of Yazid b. Huṣayn during the uprising of Tawwabun in the battle with the army of Syria in 'Ayn al-Warda. They say that upon death, he said, "By the God of Ka'ba, I reached salvation." Ibn Sa'd said, "he was 93 years old at the time of martyrdom. In the Battle of Siffin, Imam Ali (a) had told Sulayman, 'you are among those who await martyrdom and would never change their promise.'"

It is reported that in dream, Sulayman saw Lady Khadija, Lady Fatima (s), al-Hasan (a) and al-Husayn (a) and Lady Khadija told him, "O Sulayman, God is grateful to you and your brothers and all of you will be with us on the Day of Judgment."