Lament for al-Hurr

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Lament for al-Ḥurr refers to the lamentation which describes the martyrdom of al-Hurr b. Yazid al-Riyahi during the battle of Karbala. This lament is usually recited in the mourning ceremonies of the Shi'as in the First Ten Days of Muharram. The lament contains remarks about the character of al-Hurr, his encounter with Imam al-Husayn (a), his repentance, and then his martyrdom. The participants are usually called to take al-Hurr as a role model in repentance and return to God.

Al-Hurr b. Yazid al-Riyahi

Al-Hurr b. Yazid al-Riyahi was from a clan of the Tamim tribe. He was a well-known warrior in Kufa.

Al-Hurr was sent to combat Imam al-Husayn (a) at the command of 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad. He encountered the Imam (a) in Dhu Husam. He then regretted his encounter with the Imam (a) and joined the army of Imam al-Husayn (a). He was one of the first people who were martyred in Karbala in defense of the Imam (a).


The lament is usually recited at the eve, and on the day, of Muharram 4. The naming of the nights of Muharram after the martyrs of Karbala is only done as an honor for them and has no ground in history or hadiths. Thus, the lament of al-Hurr was sometimes recited in the first night of Muharram and sometimes in the third night.

In the elegy meeting, the reciter makes remarks about the character of al-Hurr, his courage and his love for Ahl al-Bayt (a), as well as his encounter with Imam al-Husayn (a) on the way from Mecca to Kufa, and the story of al-Hurr's repentance. It is elaborated in the elegy that Imam al-Husayn (a) generously accepted al-Hurr's repentance, which provides a background for the significance of repentance to God and the forgiving character of the Imam (a). In the end, the details of al-Hurr's martyrdom and the presence of Imam al-Husayn (a) near him are elaborated, and then it is reminded that Imam al-Husayn (a) was alone at the time of his own martyrdom. In some of such elegy meetings, the story of the exhumation of al-Hurr's grave by a Safavid king is mentioned; according to this story, al-Hurr's corpse was still completely intact.


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from روضه حر in Farsi Wikishia.