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Khuzayma b. Thabit

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Khuzayma b. Thabit
Personal Information
Full Name Khuzayma b. Thabit b. Fakih b. Tha'laba al-Ansari
Teknonym Abu 'Umara
Epithet Dhu l-Shahadatayn
Lineage Aws
Muhajir/Ansar Ansar
Place(s) of Residence Medina, Kufa
Death/Martyrdom 37/657
Cause of Death/Martyrdom He was martyred in the Battle of Siffin
Burial Place Siffin
Religious Information
Presence at Ghazwas Badr, Uhud, Muta, Jamal, Siffin
Other Activities Opposing with first three caliphs, participating in the Battle of Jamal and Battle of Siffin

Khuzayma b. Thābit b. Fākih b. Thaʿlaba b. Sāʿida al-Anṣārī (Arabic: خُزَیمَة بن ثابِت بن فاکه بن ثَعْلَبَة بن ساعدة الأنصاري) was one of the Prophet's (s) companion and Imam 'Ali's friend. He was pioneer among the people of his tribe to convert to Islam and became the companion of the Prophet (s). He was martyred in the Battle of Siffin.

Name, Lineage, and Kunya

Khuzayma b. Thabit b. Fakih b. Tha'laba b. Sa'ida al-Ansari was from Medina, the tribe of Aws, Banu Khatma family. He was one of the great companions of the Prophet (s) and a famous friend of Imam 'Ali (a).

His mother, Kabsha, the daughter of Aws, was from Banu Sa'ida. His kunya was Abu 'Umara. There is no report about his life before becoming Muslim.

Becoming a Muslim

There are disagreement about the time that he became Muslim. Some believe he became Muslim before the Battle of Badr (2 AH/623) and others say he became Muslim between the battles of Badr (2 AH/623) and Uhud (3 AH/624). After converting to Islam, by cooperating 'Umayr b. 'Uday b. Kharsha, he became agent to break the idols of his tribe. Save for the Battle of Badr, he participated in all ghazwas (battles) and also the Battle of Muta.


Khuzayma b. Thabit is known as Dhu al-Shahadatayn; because once he testified due to a request for verification of a dealing and the Prophet (s) regarded it as the testimonies of two just witnesses which it apparently was due to Khuzayma's strong faith in the Prophet (s) and Islam. It brought him a great honor and the people of Medina, from both tribes of Aws and Khazraj, felt proud of him. The people of Ows said, "The one whose testimony was regarded as two testimonies by the Prophet (s) is one of us"[1]. His testimony was about the horse of the Prophet (s) called Murtajiz. The Prophet (s) had bought it from an Arab, but he denied the dealing. Khuzayma testified for the Prophet (s). The Prophet (s) asked him, "How do you testify while you were not with us?" Khuzayma answered, "I am sure that you tell nothing but the truth. How can we affirm you regarding bringing a new religion, while we do not affirm your claim about buying a horse?" Then, the Prophet (s) said, "Khuzayma's testimony for or against a person is a proof"[2].

At the Time of the Prophet (s)

Khuzayma b. Thabit fought in the Battle of Uhud and the battles after it. However, the authors of maghazi [accounts of the Prophet's raids during his lifetime] have not mentioned his name in the list of the Prophet's (s) companion who fought in the Battle of Uhud, and it is said that he fought in the battles after the Battle of Uhud. At the time of the Muslim conquest of Mecca, Khuzayma b. Thabit carried the flag of Banu Khatma.

He took part in the Battle of Muta (8 AH/629). He killed a Roman soldier in this battle and took a piece of jewel as trophy. Later he sold that jewel and bought a grove of date palm instead.

Refusing to Accept Caliphate of the First Caliph

Some sources have reported about the presence of Khuzayma in Saqifa Bani Sa'ida. According to them he was the first lecturer in that association and said some virtues of Ansar, then asked others to pay allegiance with some one as caliph from whom Quraysh have obedience and he do not harm Ansar. Similar to some other companions of the Prophet (s), Khuzayma b. Thabit together with the majority of Banu Hashim, acknowledged caliphate of 'Ali (a) after the Prophet (s), and refused to accept caliphate of Abu Bakr. He debated with Abu Bakr in this regard and testified that the Prophet (s) on Ghadir Khum had said, "Whoever I am his master and authority, this 'Ali (a) will be his master and authority"[3] and testified that 'Ali (a) was the Prophet's (s) brother and successor.

The name of Khuzayma has been mentioned among the names of 12 people who refused to accept caliphate of Abu Bakr; and each of them, in some way, wanted Abu Bakr to relinquish caliphate.

His words with Abu Bakr has been recorded as follows: "O Abu Bakr! Do you know that the Prophet (s) accepted my testimony as two testimonies?" Abu Bakr answered, "Yes" Khuzayma said, "So, I swear by God that I heard the Prophet (s) saying, 'My Ahl al-Bayt (a) make the distinction between the truth and the falsehood; and they are the leaders to be followed'."[4]

On the other hand, there are some records about his cooperation with Abu Bakr in the process of collecting Qur'an.

There is no report about him in the events of the time of the second and third caliphs.

At the time of Imam 'Ali (a)

regarding the process of paying allegiance with 'Ali (a), he introduced 'Ali (a) as the most appropriate one for caliphate, the most faithful man, the best knowing God, the closest one towards the Prophet (s). He also composed some poetry in this regard.

In the Battle of Jamal

Khuzayma did an important role in the Battle of Jamal. Wearing yellow turban and white clothes, held the flag of the army, he led one thousand troopers. when Imam 'Ali (a) was blaming the heads of sedition (Zubayr, Talha, Aisha, Ya'la b. Umayya), Khuzayma arose and called them as guilty of perjury, perfidious and lower than 'Ali (a), then he composed a poetry in this regard. Reciting paean verses, he also showed gallantry when he fought against the the enemy.

In the Battle of Siffin and Martyrdom

In the Battle of Siffin, Khuzayma was one of the commanders of Imam's army. Although at that time he was an old man, with a firm belief in Imam Ali's (a) truthfulness, he fiercely fought against Mu'awiya's army and Mu'awiya's deception did not weaken him. In the Battle of Siffin, when 'Ammar b. Yasir was martyred, Khuzayma b. Thabit went into his tent, performed his ritual bath for martyrdom. Then, he went to the battlefield and fought until he was martyred.

Kuzayma's Testimony about 'Ammar b. Yasir's Murder by a Group of Oppressors

Khuzayma b. Thabit has quoted from the Prophet (s) that 'Ammar b. Yasir would be killed by a group of oppressors. Khuzayma was martyred in 37 AH/657 in a stage of Battle of Siffin when the fight became very fierce and has become known as Yawm Waq'a al-Khamis. Imam 'Ali (a) has mentioned Khuzayma b. Thabit as one of the martyrs of Siffin and one of his brothers who remained steadfast in the right way. Therefore, according to previously mentioned traditions, this matter that Khuzayma b. Thabit did not fight in the battles of Jamal and Siffin until 'Ammar was martyred, cannot be true.

Some historical narrators believe that Khuzayma b. Thabit passed away at the time of 'Uthman and the one who attended the Battle of Siffin was a person with the same name. However, according to general and specific traditions, martyrdom of Khuzayma b. Thabit in Siffin has been related by successive transmitters and denial of Khuzayma's martyrdom in Siffin is actually an attempt by the enemies to claim that those who struggled in the Battle of Badr did not side with 'Ali (a) in Siffin. Moreover, most of the historians such as Khatib Baghdadi and Ibn Abi al-Hadid have said that Dhu al-Shahadatayn was Khuzayma b. Thabit, and according to genealogical references, there was no other one called Khuzayma b. Thabit among Ansar. The belief that Khuzayma is someone other than Dhu al-Shahadatayn is actually originated from the bias propagated by Umayyads.

Transmitter of Hadiths

Khuzayma b. Thabit is among reliable transmitters of hadiths who has directly quoted hadiths from the Prophet (s). Also some people have quoted from Khuzayma b. Thabit, some of whom are:

  1. 'Umara (his son)
  2. Jabir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari
  3. 'Umara b. 'Uthman b. Hanif
  4. 'Amr b. Maymun
  5. Ibrahim b. Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas
  6. Abu 'Abd Allah al-Jadali
  7. 'Abd Allah b. Yazid al-Khatmi
  8. 'Ata' b. Yasar

In the collections of hadiths, 38 hadiths from the Prophet (s) have been quoted by Khuzayma b. Thabit.

Composing Poems for Praising 'Ali (a)

Khuzamah b. Thabit had a talent for composing poems and a large number of poems have been attributed to him. Some have counted him among Shi'a poets. Khuzayma, who was present in the events such as Saqifa Bani Sa'ida, Jamal, and Siffin, has composed many poems about Imam 'Ali (a) in which he has praised and supported him.

Children of Khuzayma

Khuzayma had two wives:

  • Jamila bt. Zayd b. Khalid from the family of Banu Qawqal;
  • Safiyya bt. 'Amir from the family of Banu Khatma

His sons, 'Abd al-Rahman and 'Abd Allah, were born from Jamila and 'Umara was born from Safiyya.

It is mentioned that his daughter, Dubay'a or Na'ima, composed an elegy about his father after he martyred. In his life story, such a daughter was not be mentioned, but 'Umara's daughter was called Na'ima.

The famous historians of 6th/12th century (499-565/1105-1169), Ibn Funduq Ya'la b. Zayd al-Tabari, was of descendant of Khuzayma.

The grave of Khuzayma is not known in Siffin.


  1. Dhahabi, Vol.2, P.478
  2. Ibn Sa'd, Vol.4, PP.378-9; Kulayni, Vol.7, P.401
  3. مَن کُنتُ مولاه فهذا عليٌ مولاه
  4. Al-Saduq, Vol.2, PP.461-4


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from خزیمة بن ثابت in Farsi WikiShia.
  • Al-Saduq, Muhammad b. 'Ali, Al-Khisal, Ed. 'Ali Akbar Ghaffari, Qom, Mu'assisa Al-Nashr al-Islami, 1416 AH/1995