Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan
|Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan|
Murderer of Imam al-Husayn (a)
|Full Name||Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan|
|Place of Residence||Kufa|
|Era||Yazid b. Mu'awiyya, Umayyad dynasty|
|Known for||Murderer of Imam al-Husayn (a)|
|Notable roles||Commander of left side of 'Umar b. Sa'd's army|
|Activities||One of Tabi'un, companions of Imam Ali (a) in the battle of Siffin, participating in the event of Ashura, ...|
|Timeline of the Battle of Karbala|
|Rajab 15||Death of Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan|
|Rajab 28||Departure of Imam al-Husayn b. 'Ali (a) from Medina.|
|Sha'ban 3||Arrival of Imam al-Husayn (a) to Mecca.|
|Ramadan 10||Arrival of Kufiyans' first letter to Imam (a)|
|Ramadan 12||Arrival of 150 letters from Kufa|
|Ramadan 14||Arrival of the letter from leaders of Kufa|
|Ramadan 15||Departure of Muslim b. 'Aqil from Mecca toward Kufa.|
|Shawwal 5||Arrival of Muslim b. 'Aqil to Kufa.|
|Dhu l-Hijja 8||Departure of Imam al-Husayn (a) form Mecca|
|Dhu l-Hijja 8||Uprising of Muslim b. 'Aqil in Kufa|
|Dhu l-Hijja 9||Martyrdom of Muslim b. 'Aqil|
|Muharram 1||Asking for help of 'Ubayd Allah b. al-Hurr al-Ju'fi and 'Amr b. Qays in Banu Maqatil|
|Muharram 2||Arrival of Imam (a) to Karbala|
|Muharram 3||Arrival of 'Umar b. Sa'd with 4,000 people to Karbala|
|Muharram 6||Habib b. Muzahir's asking for help of Banu Asad|
|Muharram 7||Banding of water by 'Umar b. Sa'd|
|Muharram 7||Muslim b. 'Awsaja al-Asadi joined Imam (a)|
|Muharram 9||Arrival of Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan to Karbala|
|Muharram 9||Shimr's Safe conduct for Umm al-Banin's children|
|Muharram 9||Announcing of the Battle by 'Umar b. Sa'd and Imam's (a) asking for a delay|
|Muharram 10||Events of Ashura|
|Muharram 11||Moving the captives towards Kufa|
|Muharram 11||Burial of martyrs by Banu Asad|
|Muharram 12||Burial of a few member of martyrs|
|Muharram 13||Arrival of captives to Kufa|
|Muharram 19||Moving the captives from Kufa towards Syria|
|Safar 1||Arrival of the captives to Syria|
|Safar 20||Return of Ahl al-Bayt (a) to Karbala|
|Safar 20||Moving from Karbala toward Medina (in some accounts)|
Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan (Arabic: شمر بن ذي الجوشن), a chief of the tribe of Hawazin and one of the Tabi'un, is one of the most detested figures for the Shi'a because of his role in the Tragedy of Karbala. In the beginning, Shimr was one of the companions of Imam 'Ali (a) but later became an arch-enemy of the Imam (a) and his family.
He had a significant role in the tragedy of Karbala, including paving the ground for the martyrdom of Muslim b. 'Aqil, starting the battle on the day of 'Ashura, leading the left-wing of the army of 'Umar b. Sa'd, murdering Imam al-Husayn (a), attacking the tents of the Imam's family, and trying to murder Imam al-Sajjad (a), and this is why Shimr is cursed in Ziyarah 'Ashura.
He was defeated by al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi, and his head was cut off.
Abu Sabigha Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan was one of the Tabi'un and chiefs of the tribe of Hawazin from the clan of Banu 'Amir b. Sa'sa'a and the family of Dibab b. Kilab. This is why in some sources he is called 'Amiri, Dibabi, or Kilabi.
Shimr's birth date is not known.
His father's name was Shurahbil b. A'war b. 'Amr. Different explanations have been given as to why he was called Dhu l-Jawshan (the owner of the armor), including that he was the first Arab man who put on armor, which was given to him by the king of Iran.
When Hujr b. 'Adi, one of the companions of the Prophet (s) and Imam 'Ali (a), was arrested, Shimr was one of the people who falsely testified that Hujr had become an apostate and a rebel. In the Tragedy of Karbala, also, he was one of the people who played a major role in murdering the Imam (a).
Role in the Tragedy of Karbala
When Muslim b. 'Aqil went to Kufa in 60/680 as a representative of Imam al-Husayn (a), Shimr got a commission from 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad not to let the people gather around Muslim b. 'Aqil. Fulfilling this task, Shimr gave a speech in which he called Muslim b. 'Aqil a rebel and warned the Kufans of the army of the central government in Syria.
When Imam al-Husayn (a) arrived in Karbala, 'Umar b. Sa'd, the commander of the Kufan army, wanted to find a peaceful solution for the conflict, But Shimr encouraged 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad, who seemed to be inclined to 'Umar b. Sa'd's intention, to go for violent measures.
In the afternoon of Muharram 9, 61/680, Shimr arrived in Karbala with an army of four thousand soldiers and a threatening letter from 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad. When 'Umar b. Sa'd saw the letter, he criticized Shimr for destroying the chance of peace, but still complied with 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad's command and prepared for battle with Imam al-Husayn (a). Shimr became a commander of his army.
As Shimr was from the same tribe as Umm al-Banin, the mother of 'Abbas b. 'Ali, in the evening of Tasu'a he came close to the camp of Imam al-Husayn and addressed 'Abbas and his brothers as nieces and wanted them to abandon Imam al-Husayn (a) in return for a safe-conduct from 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad, but they refused and remained with Imam al-Husayn (a).
On the Day of 'Ashura
In the morning of the day of 'Ashura', Shimr became the commander of the left-wing of 'Umar b. Sa'd's army. When approaching the tents of Imam al-Husayn (a), he was faced with a ditch and burning firewood around the tents. This made him say rude words to the Imam (a). He also cut the Imam's speech for the Kufan army on the excellences of his family and the commands of the Prophet (s) to love his Ahl al-Bayt.
When most of the Imam al-Husayn's companions were killed and he was in the middle of the battle, Kufans attacked the tents. Shimr put his spear in the tent of the Imam (a) and called for fire to burn the tent.
Murdering Imam al-Husayn (a)
Shimr commanded his soldiers to shoot the Imam's body with their arrows and then attack him. There are different reports on who murdered the Imam (a) and cut off his holy head. According to al-Waqidi, Shimr did so and then stepped on the Imam's body with his horse. According to some reports, he sat on the Imam's (a) chest and cut his holy head from behind.
On Muharram 11, 61/680, 'Umar b. Sa'd commanded his soldiers to cut off the heads of the seventy-two martyrs of Karbala and take them, under the supervision of Shimr and some other commanders, to 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad in Kufa.
Ibn Ziyad, in turn, commissioned Shimr to take the heads and the captives to Yazid in Damascus. At the court of Yazid, Shimr gave an insulting speech about Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions.
After the return of Ahl al-Bayt (a) to Medina, Shimr went back to Kufa. It is said that in this period, he would pray and ask God for forgiveness, but still, he would justify his crime by calling it obedience to rulers.
End of Life
During al-Mukhtar's uprising started in 66/685, Shimr took part in the war against him. But al-Mukhtar was able to defeat his opponents, and thus Shimr ran away from Kufa. Al-Mukhtar sent a group to chase him; they found and killed Shimr, sent his head to al-Mukhtar, and threw his body to be eaten by dogs.
Status in the Eyes of Sunnis
Shimr has narrated from his father, and Abu Ishaq al-Subay'i has narrated from Shimr. However, Sunni sources mention Shimr disparagingly, regarding him as unqualified for narrating hadith because he participated in the murder of Imam al-Husayn (a).
- Ibn ʿAbd Rabbih, al-ʿAqd al-farīd, vol. 3, p. 318-320.
- Ibn ʿAsākir, Tārīkh madīnat Dimashq, vol. 23, p. 186.
- Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 482.
- Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 6, p. 46.
- Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 6, p. 47-48; Ibn ʿAsākir, Tārīkh madīnat Dimashq, vol. 23, p. 187-188.
- Naṣr b. Muzāhim, Waqʿat Ṣiffīn, p. 267-268; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh Ṭabarī, vol. 5, p. 28.
- Ṭabarī, Tārīkh Ṭabarī, vol. 5, p. 269-270.
- Abī Mikhnaf, Waqʿat al-Ṭaff, p. 123-124.
- Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 87-88.
- Abī Mikhnaf, Waqʿat al-Ṭaff, p. 187-188; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 482.
- Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 483; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh Ṭabarī, vol. 5, p. 414-415.
- Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 483-484; Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 82.
- Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 487.
- Abī Mikhnaf, Waqʿat al-Ṭaff, p. 205; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 487; Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 96.
- Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 488-489; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh Ṭabarī, vol. 5, p. 426.
- Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 493.
- Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 111-112.
- Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 500; Iṣfahānī, Maqātil al-ṭālibīyyīn, p. 119.
- Khwārizmī, Maqtal al-Ḥusayn, vol. 2, p. 41-42; Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 112; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 500-501; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh Ṭabarī, vol. 5, p. 453.
- Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 5, p. 212; Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 112-113; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh Ṭabarī, vol. 5, p. 454.
- Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 503; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh Ṭabarī, vol. 5, p. 456.
- Ṭabarī, Tārīkh Ṭabarī, vol. 5, p. 460.
- Dīnawarī, al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl, p. 260; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh Ṭabarī, vol. 5, p. 459; Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 118.
- Ibn ʿAsākir, Tārīkh madīnat Dimashq, vol. 23, p.189; Dhahabī, Mīzān al-iʿtidāl, vol. 2, p. 280.
- Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 6, p. 58-59; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh Ṭabarī, vol. 6, p. 18, 29.
- Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 6, p. 65-66.
- Dhahabī, Mīzān al-iʿtidāl, vol. 2, p. 280.
- Abī Mikhnaf, Lūṭ b. Yaḥyā. Waqʿat al-Ṭaff. Edited by Muḥammad Hādī Yūsufī Gharawī. Qom: 1367 Sh.
- Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn. Maqātil al-ṭālibīyyīn. Edited by Sayyid Aḥmad al-Ṣaqar. Cairo: 1368 AH-1949.
- Balādhurī, Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā al-. Ansāb al-ashrāf. Edited by Maḥmūd Firdūs Aʿzm. Damascus: 1997-2000.
- Dīnawarī, Aḥmad b. Dāwūd al-. al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl. Edited by ʿAbd al-Munʿim ʿĀmir. 1960.
- Dhahabī, Muḥammad b. al-Aḥmad al-. Tārīkh al-Islām wa wafayāt. Edited by ʿUmar ʿAbd al-Salām al-Tadmurī. Beirut: 1408 AH.
- Dhahabī, Muḥammad b. al-Aḥmad al-. Mīzān al-iʿtidāl. Edited by ʿAlī Muḥammad al-Bajāwī. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, [n.d].
- Fīrūz Ābādī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb. Al-Qāmūs al-muḥiṭ. [n.p]. [n.d].
- Ḥamawī, Yāqūt b. ʿAbd Allāh al-. Muʿjam al-buldān.
- Ibn Kalbī, Hisham b. Muḥammad. Mathālib al-ʿarab. Edited by Najāḥ Ṭāʾī. London: 1998.
- Ibn Aʿtham al-Kūfī, Aḥmad b. Aʿtham. Kitāb al-Futūḥ. Edited by ʿAlī Shīrī. Beirut: 1411 AH-1991.
- Ibn al-Athīr al-Jazarī, ʿAlī b. Abī l-Karam. Al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh. Beirut: 1385 AH-1965.
- Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Aḥmad b. ʿAlī. Lisān al-mīzān. Hyderabad: 1423 AH-2002.
- Ibn Ḥazm al-Andulīsī, ʿAlī b. Aḥmad b. Saʿīd. Jamharat ansāb al-ʿarab. Edited by ʿAbd al-Salām Muḥammad Hārūn. Beirut: 1403 AH-1983.
- Ibn Saʿd, Muḥammad. Al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā. Beirut: [n.d].
- Ibn ʿAbd Rabbih, Aḥmad Muḥammad. Al-ʿAqd al-farīd. Edited by ʿAlī Shīrī. Beirut: 1417 AH-1996.
- Ibn ʿAsākir, ʿAlī b. al-Ḥasan. Tārīkh madīnat Dimashq. Edited by ʿAlī Shīrī. Beirut: [n.d].
- Ibn Qūlawayh, Jaʿfar b. Muḥammad. Kāmil al-zīyārāt. Edited by Jawād Qayyūmī. Qom: 1417 AH.
- Jāḥiz, ʿAmr b. Baḥr. Kitāb al-burṣān wa al-ʿurjān. Beirut: 1410 AH.
- Khalīfa b. Khayyāṭ. Tārīkh-i Khalīfa b. Khayyāṭ. Edited by Muṣṭafā Najīb Fawwāz and Ḥikmat Kashlī Fawwāz. Beirut: 1415 AH-1995.
- Khwārizmī, Muwaffaq b. Aḥmad al-. Maqtal al-Ḥusayn. Edited by Muḥammad al-Samāwī. Qom: 1381-1421 AH.
- Mufīd, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-. Al-Irshād. Qom: 1413 AH.
- Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Biḥār al-anwār al-jāmiʿa li-durar akhbār al-aʾimmat al-aṭhār. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1403 AH.
- Naṣr b. Muzāhim Minqarī. Waqʿat Ṣiffīn. Edited by ʿAbd al-Salām Muḥammad Hārūn. Cairo: 1382.
- Naʿnaʿī, ʿAbd al-Majīd. Tārīkh al-dawlat al-Umawīyya. Beirut: 1986.
- Sibṭ b. al-Jawzī, Yūsuf b. Qazāwughlī. Tadhkirat al-khawāṣ. Beirut: 1401 AH-1981.
- Sayyid b. Ṭāwūs, ʿAlī b. Mūsā. Al-Luhūf fī qatlā l-ṭufūf. Najaf: 1369 AH-1950.
- Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-. Tārīkh Ṭabarī. Beirut: [n.d].