Al-Musayyib b. Najaba

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Al-Musayyib b. Najaba
Full Nameal-Musayyib b. Najaba b. Rabi'a al-Fazari
Companion ofImam Ali (a)Imam al-Hasan (a)Imam al-Husayn (a)
Religious AffiliationShi'a
Place(s) of ResidenceKufa
Cause of
martyred in Tawwabun Uprising

Al-Musayyib b. Najaba b. Rabīʿa al-Fazārī (al-Farāzī) (Arabic:المُسَیِّب بن نَجَبَة بن رَبیعَة الفَزاری) was among the Tabi'un and companions of Imam Ali (a) and one of the leaders of Tawwabun Uprising. He participated in the ‌‌‌‌Battle of Qadisiyya and conquest of Iraq. He accompanied Imam Ali (a) in his battles. He was among those who invited Imam al-Husayn (a) to Kufa, but he was absent in the Battle of Karbala. Some years later, he was one of the leaders of Tawwabun together with Sulayman b. Surad al-Khuza'i, 'Abd Allah b. Sa'd al-Azdi, 'Abd Allah b. Wal al-Tamimi, and Rufa'a b. Shaddad al-Bajali. In the battle of 'Ayn al-Warda, after Sulayman b. Surad was martyred, al-Musayyib took the flag and fought until he was martyred.[1]


His name has been written differently in historical sources as Musayyib b. Najiba, Musayyib b. Najiya and Musayyib b. Najaba al-Farazi.

Before the Battle of Karbala

Musayyib was among the chiefs of the Followers.[2] He was among pious people of his time and brave ones of his tribe and participated in the battle of Qadisiyya and the conquest of Iraq.[3] He was among the chiefs of Kufa and Shia and the companions of Imam Ali (a) and in the battles of Jamal, Siffin and Nahrawan, he fought in the army of Imam Ali (a). He was among the companions of Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a) after Imam Ali (a) was martyred.

Inviting Imam al-Husayn (a)

During the reign of Yazid b. Mu'awiya, when Imam al-Husayn (a) did not pledge allegiance with him and stood against him in 60/680, some of the chiefs of Kufa wrote letters to him and invited him to Kufa. Musayyib b. Najaba, Sulayman b. Surad al-Khuza'i, Habib b. Muzahir and others wrote the first letter as the following:

"In the Name of God, the All-Compassionate, the Most Merciful. This is a letter from Sulayman b. Surad al-Khuza'i, Musayyib b. Najaba and your followers. After greetings and praise of God, the praise is to God who defeated your enemy (Mu'awiya); who took the rule over people by force and seized the treasure of Muslims…now, we have no leader and Imam but you. Come to us, so that God guides us to the truth by you…"

This letter was delivered to Imam (a) by some people in 60/680.[4]

Musayyib was absent in the Battle of Karbala. About the reason for his absence in the Battle of 'Ashura, some historians have mentioned the probability that he might have been in the prison by the order of 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad; but, historical sources have not given such a report. On the opposite, some researchers have referred to his speeches after the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) and have mentioned this possibility that he did not help Imam al-Husayn (a) out of fear or doubt or hoping it would end in peace.

After the Battle of Karbala

Musayyib, Sulayman b. Surad al-Khuza'i and some chiefs of Kufa were all very sad for not supporting the uprising of Imam al-Husayn (a) and blamed themselves for not sacrificing in his way after receiving the letter and messenger of Imam (a); thus, they made an uprising in 65/684 to take revenge for the blood of Imam al-Husayn (a) to make up for the injustice they did to Imam al-Husayn (a) and the Ahl al-Bayt (a) and for leaving them alone.[5]

Musayyib b. Najaba was the most regretful person for not helping Imam al-Husayn (a) and expressed his regret in a sermon he gave for the groups of Tawwabun,

"We had deceived ourselves by thinking of ourselves as pure. God found us lying in every case toward the son of the daughter of His Messenger (s). He (a) had sent us his letters and messengers to us and completed the proofs for us and asked for our help openly at the beginning and at the end, but we became ungenerous about our lives for him until he was martyred beside us. We neither helped him by our hands, nor defended him by our tongue, or strengthened him by our wealth or asked help for him from our relatives; thus, what is our excuse before God upon meeting our Prophet (s)? Unless, you kill his murderer and those who provoked people against him or that you would be killed in his way, may then God be pleased with us. I will not be safe from His punishment upon His meeting."[6]

In the Uprising of Tawwabun

Musayyib b. Najaba together with Sulayman b. Surad, Rufa'a b. Shaddad and some others organized the Uprising of Tawwabun. They held sessions and gave sermons until 4000 people gathered and went to fight the army of Syria and Umayyad rulers. After Sulayman b. Surad (leader of Tawwabun), Musayyib took the flag and became the leader and after killing some soldiers of the enemy, he was martyred.[7] According to some evidence, Musayyib b, Najaba was then over 60 years old. It is also said that 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad sent his head to Marwan b. Hakam (and in some reports 'Abd al-Malik b. Marwan) by Adham b. Muhraz Bahili.[8]


  1. Qarashī, Ḥayāt al-Imām al-Ḥusayn, vol. 3, p. 24.
  2. Ziriklī, al-Aʿlām, vol. 7, p. 225.
  3. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 48, p. 125; Chanārānī, Qīyām-i Tawwābīn, p. 53.
  4. Ibn Aʿtham al-Kūfī, Kitāb al-Futūḥ, vol. 5, p. 28-29.
  5. Qarashī, Ḥayāt al-Imām al-Ḥusayn, vol. 3, p. 362.
  6. Ibn al-Athīr, al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh, vol. 4, p. 159.
  7. Qarashī, Ḥayāt al-Imām al-Ḥusayn, vol. 3, p. 24; Mamaqānī, Tanqīḥ al-maqāl fī ʿilm al-rijāl, vol. 33, p. 186; Masʿūdī, Murūj al-dhahab, vol. 3, p. 94; Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-Islām, vol. 5, p. 248.
  8. Chanārānī, Qīyām-i Tawwābīn, p. 55.


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