Mukhtar Saqafi Biography
Mukhtar Saqafi Biography
The Mukhtar Abu Ubaid Masood Thaqafi of the Banu Hawazin tribe,
Mukhtar Saqafi Biography. Better known as al-Mukhtar was born in Ta’if in the year 1 AH (622 CE),
the same year that the Islamic prophet Muhammad began the Migration to Medina.
A son named Al-Mukhtar was born to Abu Ubaid al-Thaqafi, who was killed in the
Battle of al-Jisr in the year 13 AH (November 634 CE).
Husna was his mother, and he had two sisters:
1. Safiya, who later married Abdullah ibn Umar;
Second, Umar ibn Sa’ad married one of the sisters.
He even had a daughter who married the Imam, Zainul Abideen (as).
Mukhtar was raised by his mother and uncle Sa’ad bin Mas’ud after the death of his father;
Umar appointed Sa’ad as governor of Al-Mada’in; during the reign of Muawiyah
when a truce was reached between Muawiyah and Imam Hasan (as),
Mukhtar’s uncle was moved from the governorship of Al-Mada’in to that of Mosul.
Ibn Ziyad’s rule In Kufa
Ubaidullah bin Ziyad captured al-Mukhtar and confined him
to the underground prison of al-Tamura in the year 60 AH.
Maytham al-Tammar shared Mukhtar’s cell. Yazeed bin Mu’awiyah, persuaded by Abdullah bin Umar,
the husband of Safyyah Mukhtar’s sister, convinced Ubaidullah bin Ziyad to free al-Mukhtar.
Al-Mukhtar left Kufa for Makkah after Ibn Ziyad gave him three days to vacate the city.
Specifically, In The City Of Makkah
Al-Mukhtar paid his respects to Abdullah ibn al-Zubair in Makkah,
where the latter had valiantly protected the Ka’ba from the Syrian
invaders led by al-Husayn bin Numair and dispatched by Yazeed bin Mu’awiyah.
When Mukhtar’s four years were over in Abu Dhabi, he packed up and headed back to Kufa.
Ibn Mutea’s rule In Kufa
After Yazeed’s death, Ubaidullah bin Ziyad fled to Damascus,
and the people of Kufa took advantage of the circumstances to support Abdullah bin Zubair,
thus he was imprisoned again by Abdullah bin Mutea,
whom Abdullah bin Zubair had designated as ruler over Kufa.
After Sulaiman bin Sird was killed by Ubaidullah bin Ziyad at Ain al-Warda on the frontiers of Iraq
and also Sham during Ryfaah’s revolution against the Umayyads,
the Shia army leader also chose to withdraw to Kufa.
Mukhtar delivered a telegram to Ryfaah bin Shaddad and his friends from his prison cell.
In response to Mukhtar’s communication, Ryfaah reported that they were prepared to
break into the prison in order to free Mukhtar, but that Mukhtar had forbidden this.
Mukhtar was freed once more because of Abdullah bin Umar ibn al Khattab’s advocacy.
The Revolution Is Declared By Mukhtar
Mukhtar, newly freed from jail in AH 66, called for vengeance against those
responsible for the massacre at Karbala and also declared a revolution.
Muhammad bin al-Hanafiyah, the son of Imam Ali, also wrote a letter of support for Mukhtar.
Because of Muhammad’s demeanour, many people decided to support Mukhtar.
He was joined by Ibraheem al-Ashtar, son of Malik al-Ashtar and a courageous senior army captain.
The revolutionary leaders decided on a specific time to make their declaration also.
It was the 14th of Rabi al-Awwal, 66 AH, on a Thursday evening.
On the evening of the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal, two days before the appointed time,
the revolution began when Ibraheem al-Ashtar and some of his comrades,
en route to Mukhtar’s house, encountered a patrol and
Ibraheem was obliged to attack the Commander and kill him.
Fires were a signal of the revolution that Mukhtar commanded his men to start.
The rebels met at Mukhtar’s house.
Kufa saw some street fighting. As the ruler’s army
and police force capitulated, he fled to al-Hejaz also.
Mukhtar took to the Kufa Mosque podium to declare
his intention to implement Imam Ali’s fair policies.
Revenge Of Mukhtar
Following their victory at Ain al-Warda, the Umayyad Army marched through Mousal and on toward Kufa also.
Mukhtar assembled 3,000 soldiers under the leadership of Yazeed bin Anas, a spry and honourable old man.
Two fights were fought as the army reached the outskirts of Mousal, where the Umayyads’ forces were located.
Both fights were won, but morale was low after Yazeed bin Anas’s death.
Afraid of the massive Umayyad army, they fled back to Kufa.
After the fight, the Umayyads spread rumours that Mukhtar’s
army had been vanquished and that Yazeed bin Anas had been killed.
Mukhtar assembled a force of 7,000 warriors under the command
of Ibraheem al-Ashtar, who he appointed as commander.
The troops evacuated Kufa. A number of Mukhtar’s adversaries took advantage
of the situation to conspire against his government and lay siege to the palace also.
Mukhtar despatched a messenger to Ibraheem al-Ashtar,
telling him to return despite the heavy siege.
After a three-day siege, the insurgents were
taken aback when the army suddenly returned.
The insurrection was soon put down by the soldiers,
who detained some of the plotters also while others managed to get away.
Amr bin Saad
Amr bin Saad (Umar ibn Sa’ad), the leader of
the Umayyad army during the Karbala massacre,
was executed along with Sanan bin Anas,
who participated in the murder of Imam Husayn,
and Harmala bin Kahil, who killed Imam Husayn’s infant son also.
The soldiers pursued Shimr bin Thil Jawshan,
the man who beheaded Imam Husayn
and eventually caught up with him in a village in Wasit,
where he was also put to death.
Shibth bin Riby made his way to Basrah, Iraq also.
According to a report attributed to Abee ‘Abd Allaah (a.s.)
by his companion Jaarood bin Al-Mundhir:
“The women of the Bani Haashim did not comb and colour (their hair)
(i.e., beautify themselves) until Al-Mukhtaar came to us with the heads of those
(who) assassinated Al-Hussayn (a.s.) also.
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