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Zubāla (Arabic: زُبالة) is an old way station on the way from Hijaz to Kufa. It is located between the station of Shuquq and that of Qa'. It was at this station that Imam al-Husayn (a), who was on his way from Mecca to Kufa, learned that his foster brother, Abd Allah b. Yaqtar was martyred. At this station, Imam al-Husayn (a) informed his companions of the martyrdom of Muslim b. Aqil, Hani b. Urwa, and Abd Allah b. Yaqtar, and withdrew their allegiance to him. Imam al-Husayn (a) reportedly delivered a speech at this station implying the disloyalty of the people of Kufa.


The word "zubala" literally means a place that keeps water in it. The place is said to be known as Zubala Bint Mus'ar. It is an old station on the way from Hijaz to Kufa in which Banu Ghadira, a clan of the Banu Asad tribe, had several strongholds and a mosque. It was a thriving village with bazaars, located between al-Tha'labiyya and Waqisa. On the way from Mecca, the station is located before Shuquq and after Qa'.[1] It is 24 miles away from Qa' and Shuquq.[2]


  • At this station, Imam al-Husayn (a) heard the news of Abd Allah b. Yaqtar being martyred.[3]
  • At this station, the messenger of Muhammad b. al-Ash'ath and Umar b. Sa'd (who was sent, at the request of Muslim b. Aqil, with a letter revealing that people of Kufa had broken their pledge to the Imam (a)) arrived. When Imam al-Husayn (a) read the letter, he became certain that Muslim b. Aqil and Hani b. Urwa were martyred.[4]

Imam al-Husayn's (a) Speech

When Imam al-Husayn (a) heard in Zubala that Abd Allah b. Yaqtar was martyred, he took out the letter and informed his companions that Muslim b. Aqil, Hani b. Urwa, and Abd Allah b. Yaqtar had been martyred. So he withdrew their allegiance to him and told them, "Our followers humiliated us. If any of you wants to go back, he can go back; no problem! Such a person has no obligations to me".[5]

After that, some people went away from right and left.[6] According to Ibn al-Athir, Imam al-Husayn (a) delivered this speech in Hajir.[7]


  1. Ḥamawī, Muʿjam al-buldān, vol. 3, p. 129.
  2. Maqdisī, Aḥsan al-taqāsīm, p. 251.
  3. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 398; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 169.
  4. Dīnawarī, al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl, p. 247.
  5. Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 75; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 398-399.
  6. Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 75. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 398-399.
  7. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 8, p. 169.


  • Balādhurī, Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā al-. Ansāb al-ashrāf. Edited by Suhayl Zakār & Riyāḍ al-Ziriklī. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1417 AH.
  • Dīnawarī, Aḥmad b. Dāwūd al-. al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl. Edited by ʿAbd al-Munʿim ʿĀmir. Qom: Manshūrāt al-Raḍī, 1368 Sh.
  • Ḥamawī, Yāqūt b. ʿAbd Allāh al-. Muʿjam al-buldān. Beirut: Dār al-Ṣādir, 1995.
  • Ibn Kathīr, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1986.
  • Maqdisī, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-. Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fī maʿrifat al-aqālīm. Cairo: Maktabat Madbūlī, 1411 AH.
  • Mufīd, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-. Al-Irshād. Qom: Kungira-yi Shaykh al-Mufīd, 1413 AH.
  • Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-. Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk. Edited by Muḥammad Abū l-Faḍl Ibrāhīm. Beirut: Dār al-Turāth, 1387 AH.