Abd Allah b. Umayr al-Kalbi

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Abd Allah b. Umayr al-Kalbi
Burial Place of most of the martyrs of the Battle of Karbala, near the holy grave of Imam al-Husayn (a) in his shrine
Burial Place of most of the martyrs of the Battle of Karbala, near the holy grave of Imam al-Husayn (a) in his shrine
Companion ofImam al-Husayn (a)
LineageBanu 'Ulaym
Wellknown RelativesUmm Wahb
Place(s) of ResidenceKufa
Cause of
He was martyred in the event of Karbala
Burial PlaceHoly Shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a), Karbala

ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿUmayr al-Kalbī (Arabic: عبدالله بن عُمَير الكَلبي) was a martyr in the Battle of Karbala. When he learned that the army of Kufa was departing to Karbala to fight with Imam al-Husayn (a), he and his wife, Umm Wahb, left Kufa to join the army of Imam al-Husayn (a). They both were martyred on the Day of Ashura. According to Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari, 'Abd Allah b. 'Umayr was the second martyr in Imam al-Husayn (a)'s army.

Name and Lineage

'Abd Allah b. 'Umayr was from the Banu 'Ulaym tribe. Some historical reports about Wahb b. Wahb or Wahb b. Abd Allah al-Kalbi is similar to reports about Abd Allah b. 'Umayr which have led some scholars to identify these two and reject the existence of a person named Wahb b. Wahb. However, despite the similar historical reports, there are remarkable differences between them as well. Therefore, it is not unlikely that these are, in fact, two persons especially because it is mentioned in some historical resources that Wahb was a Christian which does not apply to Abd Allah b. Umayr who was a renowned companion of Imam al-Husayn (a).

Joining Imam al-Husayn (a)

According to Abu Mikhnaf, 'Abd Allah b. 'Umayr saw people of Kufa preparing themselve for a battle in Nukhayla. He asked them about what was going on, and they replied: "We are going to fight with al-Husayn, the son of Fatima al-Zahra (a), the daughter of the Prophet (s)". He said: "I swear to God that I ws looking forward to fighting with polytheists, and I hope the reward for fighting people who intend to fight with their Prophet (s)'s son is no less than fighting with polytheists".

He went to his wife then, and told her the story and let her know about his intention to join Imam al-Husayn (a). Umm Wahb said: "God has led you to a good path. Do this and take me with you". 'Abd Allah b. 'Umayr and his wife went out of Kufa over night and joined Imam al-Husayn (a)'s army.

Day of Ashura

On the Day of Ashura, 'Umar b. Sa'd threw an arrow to Imam al-Husayn (a)'s army and thus the battle began. Yasar, Ziyad b. Abi Sufyan's emancipated slave, and Salim, 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad's emancipated slave, went to the battlefield and asked for rivals. Habib b. Muzahir and Burayr b. Khudayr wanted to go and fight with them, but Imam al-Husayn (a) told them to stay. At this time, 'Abd Allah b. 'Umayr who had a muscular body and strong arms asked for Imam al-Husayn (a)'s permission to fight with them. The Imam (a) gave him the permission. When he went to the battlefield, he was asked: "who are you?" He introduced himself. They said: "We do not know you. Zuhayr b. Qayn or Habib or Burayr should come to fight us". He told Yasar who was closer to him: "these people are superior to you and they will not fight with you". He then attacked and killed him. At this time, Salim attacked 'Abd Allah. Imam al-Husayn (a)'s soldiers shouted and tried to alert 'Abd Allah about Salim's attack, but 'Abd Allah did not notice until Salim approached him and hit him with his sword. 'Abd Allah tried to prevent the strike with his left hand and so his fingers were cut. Then 'Abd Allah attacked Salim and killed him with one strike.

Then his wife, Umm Wahb, took a baton and went to him. 'Abd Allah asked her to go back to the camp, but she took her husband's clothes and told him: "I will not leave you unless I am martyred with you". At this time, Imam al-Husayn (a) called her and said: "May God give you a great reward on behalf of Ahl al-Bayt (a). Go back (may God have His mercy on you) and sit with women, since it is not obligatory for women to fight". So she went back to women in camps.


On the Day of Ashura before noon, Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan, who was the commander of the left wing of the army of Kufa, attacked Imam al-Husayn (a)'s army with his soldiers. At this time, Hani b. Thubayt and Bukayr b. Hayy al-Taymi attacked 'Abd Allah b. 'Umayr and martyred him. According to al-Tabari, he was the second martyr in Imam al-Husayn's (a) army.

Umm Wahb's Martyrdom

After 'Abd Allah's martyrdom, his wife, Umm Wahb, went to his corpse and wiped out dusts and dirt from his head and face, and said: "May the Heaven be pleasant to you". At this time, Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan told his servant, Rustam, to hit the woman's head with a baton. He did so and Umm Wahb was martyred. She is said to be the first martyred woman in the Event of Karbala.