Monday 2nd of October 2023
نفر 0

The repentance of Fudhayl al-Ayyadh

The repentance of Fudhayl al-Ayyadh

The repentance of Fudhayl al-Ayyadh

At the beginning Fudhayl was one of the highwaymen. He was the head of a gang of thieves who attacked the trading caravans and robbed their monies. But, nevertheless, Fudhayl had magnanimity and high determination. He did not rob the baggage of women. He did not rob the monies of poor and weak people in the caravans. And even the persons whom he took their monies he left some money with them so that they could reach their countries. He was not proud before anyone of people. He gave up neither prayers nor fasting. As for the reason of his repentance it has been said,

‘He loved a woman but he did not succeed to marry her. Sometimes he went near the house of that woman. He became exited and began crying because of his love to her. One night a caravan passed by that place. Among the people of the caravan there was a man reciting the Qur'an. Fudhayl heard him reciting this verse:

“Has not the time yet come for those who believe that their hearts should be humble for the remembrance of Allah.” Qur'an, 57:16

When Fudhayl heard this verse, he came down from above the wall and said, ‘O my Lord, Yes, it has come, it has com…’ He walked crying, regretting, being confused and unknowing where to go. He reached some ruins in which there were some people of one of the caravans. He heard them saying, ‘Let us go from here. It is the time of leaving.’ One of them said, ‘No, it is not the time of leaving. Fudhayl is in the road and he will attack the caravan and rob all what we have.’ Then Fudhayl cried, ‘O people of the caravan, it is the good news! This dangerous thief and polluted robber has repented.’

After his repentance Fudhayl went every day looking for the people whom he had robbed their monies and he begged them to pardon and forgive him.[1]

Later on he became one of the real instructors and he worked in educating the people. He had left wise maxims.

Three repentant Muslims

In the battle of Tabook some people did not join the Prophet (s); some of the hypocrites and some of the faithful men among whom were Ka’b bin Malik the poet, Marara bin ar-Rabee’ and Hilal bin Umayya al-Waqifi.

Ka’b said, ‘I have never been stronger than I was at that time when the Prophet (s) went to fight (in the battle of Tabook) and I did never have two sumpters together except on that day. I said to myself: I will go to the battle tomorrow…I will go after tomorrow…” I was strong but I slackened. After the going of the Prophet (s) (and his army) I remained (in Medina) several days. Every day I went to the market but without having anything to do. I met Hilal bin Umayya and Marara bin ar-Rabee’ who both had not joined the Prophet (s) too. We agreed on that we would come early to the market but without having any business. We always said that we would go (to join the Prophet (s)) the following day…and the day after it until we were told that the Prophet (s) would come back. We felt very sorry. When the Prophet (s) came, we received him to congratulate him for safety. We greeted him but he did not reply to our greeting and he turned away from us. We greeted our brothers (the Muslims) and they also did not reply to our greetings. Our families knew about that and they turned away from us. When we went to the mosque, no one greeted us or talked with us. Our wives went to the Prophet (s) and said to him, ‘We have known that you are angry with our husbands. Do we separate from them?’ the Prophet (s) said, ‘Do not separate from them but do not let them sleep with you.’

When Ka’b and his two friends saw what happened to them, he said, ‘What makes us remain here in Medina while the messenger of Allah (s), our brothers and our families do not talk with us? Come on! Let us go to the mountain and remain there until Allah accepts our repentance or we die there.’ They went to a mountain near Medina. They fasted. Their families brought them food, put it aside and left without talking with them. They remained such for many days crying day and night and praying Allah to forgive them. When it was too long, Ka’b said to his friends, ‘Allah has been angry with us, the messenger of Allah has been angry with us, our brothers have been angry with us and our families have been angry with us. No one talks with us. Why do we not be angry with each other?’ They separated in the night and took oaths that no one of them should talk with the other until Allah would accept their repentances. They remained so for three days. Each one of them was in a certain side of the mountain without seeing or talking with the others. In the third night while the Prophet (s) was in the house of Umm Salama (his wife), this verse, which announced the acceptance of the repentances of those three men, had been revealed to him,

“And to the three who were left behind, until the earth became strait to them notwithstanding its spaciousness and their souls were also straitened to them; and they knew it for certain that there was no refuge from Allah but in Him; then He turned to them (mercifully) that they might turn (to Him); surely Allah is the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.” Qur'an, 9:118

Allah accepted their repentance when He knew the sincerity of their intentions.[2]

Repentance of al-Hurr bin Yazeed ar-Riyahi

At first al-Hurr bin Yazeed ar-Riyahi was not with Imam Husayn (s) but then he became one of his most sincere companions and supporters. Al-Hurr was a magnanimous man and the chief of the tribe of bani Riyah. He did not believe in the weak saying “an ordered one is excused”; therefore he disobeyed the order of the emir ibn Ziyad[3] and joined Imam Husayn bin Ali (s) and he fought against the unjust army bravely and determinedly until he was martyred.

Al-Hurr was one of the chiefs of Kufa (in Iraq) and of the notable leaders of the Umayyad army. His family was one of the noble Arab families. Therefore ibn Ziyad, the wali of Kufa, made use of this rank of al-Hurr and appointed him as the leader and emir of an army of one thousand knights and sent him to capture Imam Husayn (s) and bring him to Kufa.

It has been mentioned that when al-Hurr had taken the book (the order) of ibn Ziyad and gone out of the palace of ibn Ziyad, he heard a voice calling out, ‘Be delighted to be in Paradise O Hurr!’ He turned and he did not see anyone. He said to himself, ‘What is this good news?! I am going to fight al-Husayn and I am brought good news of being in Paradise!’

Thus, al-Hurr was a man moving from the direction of intellect and he did not look at the matter from its worldly side. He did not follow the order of ibn Ziyad blindly and he was not among those who bought with their faith worldly ranks and positions. He was unlike many of people who whenever their ranks went higher their feet sank more into the sands of the untruth and followed their tendencies and followed the surrounding influences without distinguishing the right from the wrong and the truth from the untruth. He was not like those who considered good whatever their leader considered good and bad whatever their leader considered bad. Those people thought that a leader did not commit anything wrong at all. They thought that every opinion the leader had must be right. But al-Hurr was not of this kind. He thought before he obeyed. His obedience was not blind roving in vacuum and darkness.

Al-Hurr set out from Kufa in the morning at the head of one thousand knights towards the desert to meet Imam Husayn (s). When it was noon, the caravan of Imam Husayn (s) appeared to them from far but thirst had struck al-Hurr, his men and their horses then. There was no water in that land and Imam Husayn (s) could do with his enemies by the weapon of thirst and so he would gain an important victory without using the sword or shedding blood. But he did not do that. Rather he faced the enmity with love and said to his companions, ‘Al-Hurr is thirsty, give him water! His men are thirsty, give them water and their horses are also thirsty, water them!’ His companions obeyed him and al-Hurr, his men and their horses quenched their thirst. Al-Husayn (s) had expected that he would face such a situation and so he had taken with him much water. Then Imam Husayn (s) said to the caller (of Azan), ‘Call out for the prayer!’ Imam Husayn (s) said to al-Hurr, ‘Would you lead your companions in offering the prayer?’ Al-Hurr said, ‘No, but I offer the prayer behind you.’ This exalted morals and high politeness of one of the leaders of the enemy army showed the strong determination and high personality of this man. In this way al-Hurr resisted his tendencies and high standing and became humble before Imam Husayn (s) and offered the prayer behind him with one thousand of his knights.

This high politeness was a flash of success and the first step for guidance in the end. He could control his tendent soul and this gave him strength and determination to an extent that at the critic moment and in front of thirty thousand warriors of the people of Kufa he felt strong and determined that he refused to obey the order of the Umayyad leadership and controlled the deviate motives that took him towards the untruth.

As if he felt that there were two comparable powers inside him; one was the power of politeness and the other was the power of understanding and feeling. Each one of these two powers pulled him towards Allah the Almighty and by the two powers together, he got great might and a defeating power.

Al-Hurr’s prayer behind Imam Husayn (s) was the first glimpse of faith he felt inside him and practiced in his conscience. That prayer was as the first objection and indifference to the orders of the Umayyad government by al-Hurr bin Yazeed ar-Riyahi.

The army of Kufa offered the prayer behind Imam Husayn (s) too. This prayer was a sign of being Muslims and obeying the Prophet (s).

The people of Kufa offered prayers because they were Muslims and followers of the prophet of Islam but nevertheless they failed the son and guardian of the Prophet (s) and left him aidless and then killed him. Is there such a contradiction among the other nations and peoples?

After Asr[4] prayer Imam Husayn (s) made a speech before the all. He said,

‘O people, if you fear Allah and give the right to its people, Allah will be more pleased with you. We are the progeny of Muhammad (s) and we are worthier of this matter (the caliphate) over you than those who claim what they have no right of and who rule over you with injustice and aggression. If you refuse but to bear a grudge against us and to ignore our right and if your opinion now is other than what your books and messengers have had when they have come to me, I will leave you alone and go back.’ Al-Hurr said, ‘By Allah I do not know what books and messengers you talk about!’ Imam Husayn (s) said to one of his companions, ‘O Aqaba bin Sam’an, take out the two saddlebags which have the books (of the people of Kufa) sent to me!’ Aqaba took out two saddlebags full of books and he spread them before al-Hurr. Al-Hurr said, ‘We are not among those who have written books to you. We are ordered if we meet, we should not leave you until we take you to Kufa to Ubaydillah bin Ziyad.’ Imam Husayn (s) said to him, ‘(Our) death is nearer to you than this matter.’ Then he said to his companions, ‘Get up and ride your sumpters.’ They rode and waited until their women rode. Imam Husayn (s) said to them, ‘Leave!’ When they tried to leave, the army of Kufa prevented them from leaving. Imam Husayn (s) said to al-Hurr, ‘May your mother lose you, what do you want?’ Al-Hurr said, ‘If any one of the Arabs other than you said it to me, I would not refrain from defaming his mother whoever he was but, by Allah, I cannot mention your mother except with the best of attributes as possible as I can.’ Imam Husayn (s) said to him, ‘Then what do you want?’ Al-Hurr said, ‘I want to take you to the emir Ubaydillah.’ Imam Husayn (s) said, ‘By Allah, I will never follow you.’ Al-Hurr said, ‘By Allah, I will never let you alone…’[5]

Then some men of Kufa joined Imam Husayn (s). Al-Hurr wanted to imprison them. Imam Husayn (s) refused and said, ‘I will protect them from whatever I protect myself.’ Then al-Hurr left them alone.[6]

They moved until they arrived at Kerbala where Umar bin Sa’d was the leader of the army. When Umar bin Sa’d got ready to fight, al-Hurr came to him and said, ‘May Allah right you! Will you fight this man (Imam Husayn)?’ Umar said, ‘Yes, by Allah, a fight in which heads should fall and hands should scatter.’ Al-Hurr said to him, ‘Will you not be satisfied with one of the conditions he has offered?’ Umar bin Sa’d said, ‘By Allah, if it was up to me, I would but your emir (bin Ziyad) has refused that.’

Then al-Hurr came, with a man from his people called Qurra bin Qays, and stopped aside. He said, ‘O Qurrah, have you watered your horse today?’ Qurra said (to himself), ‘By Allah I thought that he wanted to withdraw so that he would not attend the fight and he did not want me to see him do that. I said to him, ‘No, I have not. I will go to water it now.’

Al-Hurr began to go nearer little by little towards Imam Husayn (s). A man from his people called Muhajir bin Owss said to him, ‘O ibn Yazeed, what do you want to do? Do you want to attack?’ He kept silent and he began shivering. The man said to him, ‘O ibn Yazeed, by Allah your state is suspicious! By Allah, I have not seen you in such a state at all. If it is said to me “who is the bravest one in Kufa” I will not mention anyone but you. What is the matter with you?’ Al-Hurr said, ‘I am choosing between Paradise and Hell. By Allah, I will never prefer anything to Paradise even if I am cut to pieces and then burnt.’ Then he beat his horse and hastened to join Imam Husayn (s).

Al-Hurr had believed in Paradise, Hell and the Day of Resurrection and thus was the result of believing in the Day of Resurrection.

Men of understanding know well that at the time of crisis some moments may come to man that form in his heart a hundred meetings of consultation and speechers and preachers stand in every side of the heart instead of the different tendencies mentioning their opinion on the matter. Then man is in need of an ultimate power to give a final decision and then to take him out of the circle of pondering and thinking into the field of execution and this power is not found except in the heroes and liberal people who carry out the requirements of faith with wisdom and prudence and omit the obstacles due to their faith in their mission.

Abraham (s), the destroyer of the idols, was the only man who had faced his enemies alone and after achieving his aim (destroying the idols), his enemies knew his intention.

Thus was al-Hurr! He saw the both sides and the both ways clearly and so he had nothing but to set about. This situation was in need of determination to set about and al-Hurr had had determination and power. He flew with the wings of determination and power towards Imam Husayn (s) and escaped from his hunters.

When he became away from the influence of his enemies and the influence of this worldly life and turned away from the pleasures of ranks, leadership, worldly honor and the likes and nothing remained except his rescue from plagues, he remembered that whoever followed the path of Allah and the path of jihad would not be afflicted with plagues even if he died on the way and before reaching the destination because the Divine mercy would receive him and rescue him from death. Allah the Almighty rescues His beloved people from death and death does not take them from Allah the Almighty. Everyone chooses Allah, Allah will choose him and he will be among the dwellers of the gardens of bliss.

Anyhow this liberal man could pass three difficult stages;

  1. Coming out of the influence of the enemy and its army
  2. Coming out of the influences of the worldly life
  3. Coming out of the circle of plagues

The love of the truth became firm inside him and if they had cut him into pieces, they would have not been able to shake his firm faith or to turn him away from Paradise which he had aimed at. Therefore, he said in his reply to al-Muhajir bin Owss, ‘I am choosing between Paradise and Hell…’ and he took an oath, ‘By Allah, I will never prefer anything to Paradise even if I am cut into pieces and then burnt.’

He beat his horse and hastened towards Imam Husayn (s). When he became near the camp of Imam Husayn (s), he turned over his armor. The companions of Imam Husayn (s) said, ‘This knight, whoever he is, has come for safeguard.’

Ibn Tawooss, the historian, says, ‘…then he beat his horse and hastened towards al-Husayn (s) putting his hand on his head and saying, ‘O Allah, I have turned to you. Turn to me for I have frightened the hearts of Your guardians and the children of Your prophet!’[7]

At-Tabari says, ‘…he joined al-Husayn (s) and said to him, ‘May I die for you O son of the messenger of Allah! I am the one who has prevented you from going back and kept step with you along the way and clamored against you in this place. I swear by Allah Who there is no god but Him, that I did not think that the people (Yazeed, ibn Ziyad and their followers) would refuse what you had offered to them at all and they would dare to fight you. I said to myself: I do not care to obey some of their orders so that they will not think that I disobey them and they will accept from Husayn the conditions he has offered to them. By Allah, if I thought that they would not accept them from you, I would not do to you what I have done. Now I have come to you turning to Allah and repenting of what I have done and comforting you with myself until I die before you. Do you think that my repentance will be accepted?’

Imam Husayn (s) said, ‘Yes, Allah accepts your repentance and forgive you. What is your name?’

He said, ‘I am al-Hurr bin Yazeed.’

Imam Husayn (s) said, ‘You are (hurr) free[8] as your mother has named you. You are free inshallah in this world and in the afterworld. Get down!’[9]

[1] Tathkiratul Awliya’, p.79.

[2] Tafseer al-Safi, vol.1 p.738.

[3] Ubaydillah bin Ziyad was the wali of Kufa appointed by Yazeed bin Mo’awiya the Umayyad caliph.

[4] Asr means afternoon.

[5] Al-Irshad by al-Mufeed, p.224-225.

[6] Tareekh of at-Tabari, vol.3 p.308.

[7] Al-Malhoof, p.160.

[8] Hurr in Arabic means free or noble.

[9] Tareekh of at-Tabari, vol.3 p.320.

0% (نفر 0)
نظر شما در مورد این مطلب ؟
امتیاز شما به این مطلب ؟
اشتراک گذاری در شبکه های اجتماعی:

latest article

A brief commentary of Surah Al-Asr
Professor Ansarian: The completion and perfection of Islam is linked to Mahdism
Professor Hussein Ansarian: Frightening people according to narration
Professor Ansarian: Modesty
the sky wept for forty days over the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (as)
Professor Hussein Ansarian: The Qur'an is the manifestation of divine knowledge
Impatience in worship is the effects of ill-gotten gains
Man’s and Woman’s Independence in Islam
The reward looking at Allah’s house(Mecca)
A beautiful and influential anecdote from Professor Ansariyan

user comment