The Uprising Mokhtar ibn Abi Obaidah Saqafi
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 14th of the Islamic month of Rabi as-Sani in 66 AH, Mokhtar ibn Abi Obaidah Saqafi launched his uprising to avenge the martyrdom of the Imam Husain (AS). He had the support of Iraqi Arab tribes loyal to Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) Ahl al-Bayt and the “Mawali” (as the Iranians were known), in his campaign to bring to justice the killers of the Prophet’s grandson and and family members.
He took the city of Kufa and brought vast tracts of Iraq and Iran under his control at a time the Omayyad usurpers and the pseudo caliph, Abdullah ibn Zubayr, who had established himself in the Hejaz, were battling for power of the Islamic state that belonged to neither of them. Mokhtar repulsed the attacks of the Omayyad army from Syria, and in heroic combat along with Ibrahim ibn Malik Ashtar, killed the principal perpetrators of the heartrending tragedy of Karbala, such as Obaidollah ibn Ziyad, Haseen ibn Numayr and others.
So strong was his sense of justice that he even did not spare the life of his own brother-in-law (sister’s husband), Omar ibn Sa’d, who had commanded the Omayyad forces against Imam Husain (AS) and then imprisoned the Prophet’s family. Mokhtar and his companions, including Iranians and Arabs, meted out justice to such bloodthirsty murderers, as Shemr Ziljowshan, Khouli, Harmala etc. After a rule of a year-and-a-half, Mokhtar attained martyrdom because of the habitual treachery of the Kufans during battle with the forces of Mos’ab ibn Zubayr. His tomb is in the mausoleum of Imam Husain’s (AS) cousin, Muslim ibn Aqeel, beside the Grand Mosque of Kufa.