Movement of Mukhtar in Kufa
Source: Nafasul Mahmum by Ayatullah Shaykh Abbas Qummi
In this year, i.e. 66 A.H. 14th Rabi’ ul Ula, Mukhtar revolted in Kufa and ousted Abdullah bin Muti’, the governor of Abdullah bin Zubayr from there. It started when Sulayman bin Surad was martyred and his companions returned back to Kufa, they saw that Mukhtar was imprisoned by Abdullah bin Yazid Hatami and Ibraheem bin Muhammad bin Talha. Mukhtar sent them a letter from the prison in which he praised them and promised them success, and he announced to them that he was deputed by Muhammad bin Ali, renowned as Ibn Hanafiyah, to seek vengeance (for the blood of Imam Husayn). His letter was read by Rufa’ah bin Shaddad, Musannah bin Makhrabah Abadi, Sa’ad bin Huzayfah bin Yaman, Yazid bin Anas, Ahmad bin Shamit Ahmari, Abdullah bin Shaddad Bajali and Abdullah bin Kamil.
After having read the letter they sent Ibn Kamil to Mukhtar with the message that, “We are your well-wishers, and if you desire we shall lay siege and rescue you from the prison”. When Mukhtar heard this he was overjoyed and said, “I shall be released from the prison in a few days”. Mukhtar had sent message to (Abdullah) Ibn Umar that, “I have been imprisoned innocently”, and he had desired that Ibn Umar should plead on his behalf to Abdullah bin Yazid and Ibraheem bin Muhammad bin Talha.
He in turn wrote a recommendation letter to them and they relented and released him. But they took surety from him and an oath that until they held the reins of the government of Kufa, he should not pave way for their captivity or revolt against them. And that if he does so, he shall be compelled to sacrifice a thousand Camels near the Kab’ah and that all his slaves, males and females, shall be emancipated.
And when Mukhtar was released, he remained at his house and with whomever he met, he said, “May Allah kill them! What foolish men they are that they believe that I shall honor the promise that I have given them. And as regards the promise, I always look at the task that is better than it, and then give compensation for it and thus I become free of the promise. While my stand against them is better than remaining aloof from them. As regards the sacrifice of Camels and emancipation of slaves, it is more easier for me than spitting, I befriend that if I reach my goal, I shall have no desire for slaves”.
Thereafter the Shi’ah visited him often and started liking him in conformity to one another, while his companions started increasing day by day and gained strength until Ibn Zubayr suspended Abdullah bin Yazid and Ibraheem bin Muhammad bin Talha and appointed Abdullah bin Muti’ as the governor of Kufa. Then when Ibraheem decided to go to Kufa, Bahir bin Rustam Humayri met him and said, “Do not leave tonight, for the moon is in the Aries”.
He replied, “We too are proceeding”, while he would proceed towards any danger that he desired (without fear). And it is as if his speech enamored him, while he was a valorous man. Ibraheem returned to Madinah while having a large amount of taxes with him, but he said that the situation was very bad and no taxes could be collected, while Ibn Zubayr did not press him further.
Ibn Muti’ entered Kufa, while five days of the month of Ramadhan were left, and appointed Ayas bin Abi Mazarib Ajali as chief of the police force and commanded him to treat the people pleasantly and arrest the suspicious ones.
When he reached Kufa, he ascended the pulpit and recited a sermon saying, “Now then! The Commander of the faithful (he meant Abdullah Ibn Zubayr, Allah’s refuge) has deputed me upon your city and your boundaries. And he has ordered me to collect the taxes from you and not to take anything outside of the city from your taxes without your permission. And to treat you in conformity to the last will of Umar, as also the custom of Usman bin Affan. Therefore fear Allah, and remain steadfast upon the right, do not cultivate disobedience, while slash the hands of the foolish among you. And if you do not do so, then condemn yourself for it. By Allah! I shall punish severely every evil-hearted disobeyer and shall straighten the back of every perverse and ignoble suspect”.
Hearing this Sa’eb bin Malik Ash’ari arose and said, “As regards the booty, we declare that we disagree that a large part of it should be taken out, rather it should be distributed amongst ourselves. And we do not want you to treat us in conformity to the attitude of anyone else except Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) that still remains amongst us in our city. While we do not have any need for the attitude of Usman, neither in the matter of booty nor regarding our own selves, as also of Umar bin Khattab, whereas his attitude was little soft as compared to that of Usman for sometimes he treated people with virtue”. Yazid bin Anas replied, “Sa’eb speaks the truth”.
Then Ibn Muti’ said, “I shall deal with you in conformity to the attitude of whomsoever you desire”, saying this he alighted the pulpit. Ayas came to him and said, “This Sa’eb bin Malik is from among the commanders of Mukhtar, then dispatch him to fetch Mukhtar, and when he comes, imprison him, until the people’s affairs get straightened. His provisions have been gathered and as if he desires to revolt”. Ibn Muti’ dispatched Za’edah bin Qudamah and Haseen bin Abdullah Barsami to fetch Mukhtar. They told him, “Hasten to the call of the commander”. Mukhtar prepared to go, when Zaedah recited the verse of the Qur’an: “And when planned they against you, those who disbelieved, that they might imprison you, or slay you or drive you away (Surah al-Anfal, 8:30).”
Hearing this, Mukhtar threw away his clothes and said, “Wrap me with a gown for fever has taken hold of me and I sense severe trembling within me”. They returned back and informed Ibn Muti’ who then lifted his hands off him.
Thereafter Mukhtar sent someone to fetch his companions and made them reside in the adjoining houses, while he intended rising up in the city of Kufa in the month of Muharram. A man from the clan of Shibam, a branch of (the clan of) Hamadan, named Abdul Rahman bin Shurayh, who was modest, came and met Sa’eed bin Munqiz Sawri, Sa’ar bin Abi Sa’ar Hanafi, Aswad bin Jarar Kindi and Qudamah bin Malik Jashmi, and said, “Mukhtar intends to drag us to revolt while we are not sure whether Muhammad bin Hanafiyah has sent him or no? Come, let us go to him and apprise him regarding Mukhtar, then if he directs us, we shall obey him and be his associates, and if he refuses, we shall get away from him. By Allah! It should not be that we should let go our Religion for this world”.
They agreed and went to Ibn Hanafiyah who inquired from them regarding the affairs of men. They gave him the details and related to him their stand as also that of Mukhtar, and asked his permission to obey him. Then when they concluded their speech, Ibn Hanafiyah, while answering them, after praising and glorifying Allah and relating the merit of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and remembering the sufferings of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.), said, “Regarding whom you have inquired that he invites you to avenge our blood, by Allah! I desire that Allah may take revenge from your enemies at the hands of anyone”.
And if he had been displeased with Mukhtar he would have commanded them not to obey him. They returned back, while a group of the Shi’ah were awaiting them so as to know their intentions, while their recourse towards Muhammad bin Hanafiyah was displeasing to Mukhtar, who feared lest they would bring a message that would disperse the Shi’ah from him. Therefore when they entered Kufa, before going to their houses, they went to Mukhtar who asked them, “What happened that you fell in doubt and sedition?”
They replied, “We have been ordered to assist you”, and Mukhtar said, “Allah is Great! Then summon the Shi’ah to me”. They called for those who were within their reach and Mukhtar said, “A group desired that they should verify the validity of my claim and therefore went to Imam Mahdi (Muhammad Hanafiyah) and asked him regarding me. He replied to them that I am his vizier, assistant and envoy, and he has ordered you to obey and assist me with regards to my invitation of revolting against the enemies, and seek revenge for the blood of the Progeny (a.s.) of the Chosen Prophet (S)”.
Abdul Rahman bin Shurayh arose and gave them details of his journey and announced that Ibn Hanafiyah had ordered them to assist and support him. Then he said, “Those who are present should inform those who are absent, then prepare yourselves and beware”. Thereafter those who had accompanied him also arose and confirmed his words. The Shi’ah rallied around Mukhtar while along with them was Sha’bi and his father Sharahil. Then when they resolved to arise, one of his companions informed him that, “The chiefs of Kufa have united with Ibn Muti’ to fight with you, then if Ibraheem bin Malik (bin Ashtar) sides with us, we shall gain victory upon the enemies. For he is well versed in politics, while his father was honorable and from a (great) tribe, while his tribe is honorable and well equipped with men”.
Mukhtar replied, “Then visit him and invite him”. Therefore a group, along with Sha’bi, went to meet Ibraheem, and they apprised him of their affairs and invited his assistance. They reminded him that his father was from among the friends of Imam Ali (a.s.) and his Progeny (a.s.).
He replied, “I shall assist you in revenging the blood of Imam Husayn (a.s.) with a condition that you shall make me your commander”. They replied, “You are worthy to command, but presently this is not possible, for Mukhtar has been sent and deputed for this task by the Mahdi (referring to Muhammad bin Hanafiyah) to fight with the enemies, while we have been commanded to obey him”. Hearing this Ibraheem became silent and did not answer them while they returned back to Mukhtar and informed him.
Mukhtar waited for three days and went to Ibraheem, accompanied with more than ten of his companions, and Sha’bi and his father. He received them fairly and made Mukhtar sit besides him. Then Mukhtar told him, “This letter is from the Mahdi, Muhammad bin Ali the Commander of the faithful (a.s.), who is among the best of men today upon the earth, and is also the son of the best of men who have departed until he reaches the Prophets of Allah and His Messengers. And he desires that you should assist and support me”. Sha’bi says, that the letter was in my hand. When Mukhtar ended his words, he said, “Hand him over the letter”. Sha’bi handed him over the letter and he read it, the contents of which were as follows: “From Muhammad al Mahdi to Ibraheem bin Malik Ashtar. Peace be upon you! I send praise of Allah, besides Whom there is no other Deity, to you. And now then! I am dispatching to you my vizier, a trustworthy man and the one whom I have chosen to fight against my enemies, and have commanded him to seek revenge for the blood of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Therefore you, along with your tribe and those under your obedience, should fight alongside him. Then if you obey us and accept our invitation, you shall certainly hold a position near us, then you shall have control upon each horsemen, the battalion, every city, pulpit and border, from Kufa till Aqsa, the town of Syria, on which you gain victory”.
When Ibraheem completed reading the letter, he said, “Ibn Hanafiyah has written to me earlier and had only written his name along with that of his father (and not addressed himself as the Mahdi)”. Mukhtar replied, “That was another time, while this is another time”. Ibraheem said, “Who knows this letter is from him or no”. A group of the companions of Mukhtar, comprising of Zayd (or Yazid) bin Anas, Ahmar bin Shamit, Abdullah bin Kamil and others, except Sha’bi, arose to bear witness that the letter was from him.
When Ibraheem heard their witnesses, he arose from his elevated bed and sat Mukhtar in his place and pledged allegiance to him and they left. Ibraheem turned towards Sha’bi and said, “You, as also your father, did not bear witness along with this group, then do you consider them to be liars?” He replied, “Rather they are the Master Scholars, Reciters of the Qur’an, Chieftains of the city and the valorous among Arabs, those similar to them do not speak except the truth”.
Then Ibraheem noted down their names and preserved it with himself and invited his tribesmen and elders. Ibraheem started visiting Mukhtar every night and revising the fulfillment of their plans. They resolved to arise on Thursday night, the fourteenth of the month of Rabi’ ul Ula 66 A.H.
That night Ibraheem recited the Maghrib Prayers with his companions and thereafter went towards Mukhtar equipped with arms. Ayas bin Mazarib came to Abdullah bin Muti’ and said, “Mukhtar plans to fight you tonight until tomorrow night, while I have dispatched my son to the ground of Kinasah. Then if you dispatch a man from among your companions’ along with well-equipped men to every ground of Kufa, Mukhtar and his companions would fear to revolt against you”.
Therefore Ibn Muti’ sent the following with command upon the ground. He dispatched Abdul Rahman bin Qays Hamadani to the ground of Sabi’ and told him to gain control of his own clan but not to bring about any incident. He dispatched Ka’ab bin Abi Ka’ab Khas’ami to the ground of Bashar, Zahr bin Qays Ju’fi to Kinda, Abdul Rahman bin Abi Makhnaf to Sa’ediyyin, Shimr bin Ziljawshan to Salim, and Yazid bin Ruwaym to Murad. He commanded each one of them that the rebels should not cross them to enter the city.
He dispatched Shabas bin Rab’ee to Sabkhah and told him, “Whenever you hear any of their voices, go towards them”. It was on Monday when the (army of the) empire occupied the grounds and on the night of Tuesday Ibraheem desired to join Mukhtar.
He was informed that the grounds were filled with the army, while Ayas bin Mazarib, along with the guards, had taken the streets and the Royal Palace under his protection. Ibraheem was accompanied by a hundred men who had worn armors below their shirts. His companions told him to take a by-way but he said, “No, by Allah! Rather I shall pass from the center of the road and from near the Royal Palace to instill fear into the hearts of the enemies and announce that they are degraded and less in our eyes”.
Ibraheem passed by Baab al Feel and circled the house of ‘Amr bin Hurays. Ayas bin Mazarib, along with an army well-equipped with arms, faced him and asked, “Who are you?” Ibraheem replied, “I am Ibraheem bin Ashtar”, to which Ayas asked, “What is this group that you have brought along with you, and what do you intend? I shall not lift my hands off you until I take you to my commander”.
Ibraheem replied, “Get away from my way”, to which he replied, “I shall not do so”. Abu Qatan Hamadani, who was one of the friends of Ibraheem, was along with Ayas. Ibraheem called out to him, and he, presuming that Ibraheem would request him to mediate on his behalf, went towards him. When he neared him, Ibraheem snatched off his spear and pierced into the neck of Ayas and threw him down, and commanded one of his companions to get hold of his head. While the army of Ayas scattered and reached Ibn Muti’. He deputed Rashid bin Ayas as the head of police in place of his father and dispatched Suwayd bin Abdul Rahman Manqari to Kinasah in his stead.
Meanwhile Ibraheem bin Ashtar reached Mukhtar and said, “We had decided to lay siege tomorrow night, but due to certain circumstances we should do so tonight”, and he informed him about the killing of Ayas. Mukhtar was pleased by this news and said, “This is the first victory, Allah willing”.
Then he told Sa’eed bin Manqaz, “Arise and set on fire dry sticks and reeds and give signal”, and he told Abdullah bin Shaddad, “Arise and announce: O defenders of the Nation”! Then he told Sufyan bin Layla and Qudamah bin Malik, “Both of you raise the slogan of: O revengers of the blood of Husayn”. Then he himself wore the dress of battle, and Ibraheem said, “This army, that has gained control upon the grounds, shall not let our companions reach us. It is better that I go to my tribe along with my companions, and prepare those who obey us, and along with them I should surround the districts of Kufa and raise the slogan. Then those who desire to revolt would join us, while those who come to you should be taken care of. And if they attack you, there should remain with you such number of men who would defend you until I join you”. Mukhtar replied, “Go and hasten, but lest you attack the commander and fight them, then do not fight anyone except those who fight you”.
Ibraheem and his companions left and reached their tribe, and those who accepted their call accompanied them. He entered them on the streets of Kufa that very night and passed by the ground where the chiefs of Ibn Muti’ had been stationed. There they met a group of cavalry of Zahr bin Qays Ju’fi who had no commander. Ibraheem attacked them and pushed them back until the road of Kinda, then said, “O Lord! You know that we have come to rage for the sake of the Progeny of Your Prophet (S) and seek revenge for their blood. Bestow victory for us upon them”.
Then he came back after leaving those who had fled and reached the ground of Aseer. A group of men raised slogans and Ibraheem halted there. Suddenly Suwayd bin Abdul Rahman Manqari, with a greed to earn proximity to Ibn Muti’, galloped towards them, and when Ibraheem received news that he had come; he called out, “O army of Allah! Come forth, for you are more worthy of victory than these lewd men who are submerged in the blood of the Progeny (a.s.) of your Prophet (S)”.
They proceeded further and attacked them until they pushed them into the desert. They started climbing upon each other’s shoulders vilifying one another; they chased them and entered them into the ground. The companions of Ibraheem told him, “Some of us should follow them and should gain benefit from the fear that has been instilled in their hearts”.
Ibraheem replied, “No, rather we should reach Mukhtar and relieve his heart, he should know that we are along with him and he should be brave-hearted along with his companions. And because it is possible that he must have been attacked till now”. Ibraheem reached the door of the house of Mukhtar when he heard voices and perceived that battle was on. Shabas bin Rab’ee had attacked them from the side of Sabkhah, while Mukhtar had dispatched Yazid bin Anas to face him. Hajjar bin Abjar Ajali too had laid siege, while he (Mukhtar) had dispatched Ahmar bin Shamit to face him.
At that moment while fighting, Ibraheem came from the side of the Royal Palace and Hajjar and his companions realized that Ibraheem had reached them from their backs, therefore they immediately scattered unto the streets. While Qays bin Tahfah Nahdi, one of the companions of Mukhtar, along with a hundred men attacked Shabas bin Rabi’ who was fighting with (Yazid bin) Anas and opened the way and reached Anas bin Yazid (or Yazid bin Anas).
When Shabas saw this, he returned back to Ibn Muti’ and said, “You should gather all the chiefs whom you have stationed on the grounds and collect the army at one place and attack them, for they have attained victory. While Mukhtar has prepared his task and has revolted”.
When Mukhtar was apprised of this, he came out of his house, and along with a group of his companions, positioned himself in Sabkhah behind Deere Hind. Abu Usman Nahdi came out and proclaimed: “O seekers of revenge for the blood of Husayn! O defenders of the nation”, to the tribe of Shakir who had gathered in their houses but had concealed themselves due to fear of Ka’ab Khas’ami who had positioned himself close to them and had blocked their way.
He then said, “O the guided tribe! The trustworthy and vizier of the Progeny (a.s.) of Muhammad (S) has arisen, and has positioned himself near Deere Hind. He has sent me so that I may invite you and give you glad tidings, then come out, may Allah have mercy upon you”! They all scattered out calling, “O seeker of revenge for Husayn”, and fought with Ka’ab until they opened their way and reached Mukhtar and stationed themselves alongside him. Abdullah bin Qatadah joined Mukhtar along with two hundred men, Ka’ab attacked them, but when he realized that they were from his own tribe, he opened their way. Shibam, a branch of the tribe of Hamadan, too came out in the last part of the night. When this news reached Abdul Rahman bin Sa’eed Hamadani, who was one of the chiefs, he sent them message saying that, “If you intend assisting Mukhtar, do not pass by the cemetery of Sabi’”.
They too joined Mukhtar, while three thousand and eight hundred men from among the twelve thousand, who had pledged allegiance at his hands, gathered around him until the dawn. He completed arranging them until dawn and recited the morning Prayers along with his companions in darkness.
Ibn Muti’ summoned the chiefs of all the grounds to the Mosque and commanded Rashid to announce that, “Any one who does not come tonight to the Mosque, his blood and wealth is lawful upon us”. Every one of them gathered and Ibn Muti’ dispatched Shabas bin Rab’ee with an army of three thousand men against Mukhtar, as also Rashid bin Ayas with four thousand guards. Shabas proceeded towards Mukhtar, while Mukhtar received the news of his arrival after the Morning Prayers and sent someone to investigate.
Sa’ar bin Abi Sa’ar, who was one of the companions of Mukhtar, and could not reach him until then joined him. He informed him that Rashid bin Ayas had collided with him on the way. Mukhtar dispatched Ibraheem bin Ashtar with five hundred or six hundred horsemen and five hundred foot-soldiers to face Rashid, and he also sent Na’eem bin Hubayrah, the brother of Masqalah bin Hubayrah, with three hundred horsemen and six hundred foot-soldiers to face Shabas bin Rab’ee. He ordered them to fight at night and not to fall prey to the enemy for they were large in number than them.
Ibraheem went towards Rashid, while Mukhtar sent Yazid bin Anas with nine hundred men towards the site of the Mosque. Shabas lined up facing him and Na’eem fought fiercely with Shabas. Na’eem deputed Sa’ar bin Abi Sa’ar as commander upon the cavalry and himself proceeded further along with the foot-soldiers and fought with them until the sun arose and the sun-light spread wide. The companions of Shabas attacked those of Na’eem who scattered, while Na’eem himself resisted strongly until he fell a martyr (May Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be upon him).
Sa’ar bin Abi Sa’ar too was arrested along with a group of his companions; they released the Arabs and killed the Non-Arabs. Shabas proceeded and surrounded Mukhtar who had turned feeble due to the death of Na’eem.
Ibn Muti’ dispatched Yazid bin Hars bin Ruwaym with two thousand men who blocked the entrance of the streets. Mukhtar handed over the command of the cavalry to Yazid bin Anas and himself proceeded onto the ground along with the foot-soldiers, while the cavalry of Shabas attacked him and the companions of Mukhtar resisted them.
Yazid bin Anas told them, “O group of Shi’ah! They kill you due to your affection for the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and severe your hands and legs and blind your eyes and hang you upon the branches of the palm-tree even while though you remain seated in your houses obeying the enemies. Then what do you presume, if they gain victory upon you today, by Allah, in the twinkling of an eye they shall kill you with hands bound together, and shall treat your children, womenfolk and wealth in a manner that death is better than beholding it. By Allah! You shall not pave the road of salvation from their side except through insistence and forbearance besides opportune lances and the impressive striking of the swords. Then prepare for the attack”.
Hearing this they gained momentum, knelt down and yielded to his orders. Ibraheem Ashtar reached Rashid who had four thousand men along with him, he told his companions, “Do not fear their large numbers, by Allah, for even one man can be better than ten. And Allah is along with those who forbear”. Then Ibraheem turned towards his standard-bearer and said, “Take the standard further and kill the army behind you”.
They fought fiercely while Khuzaymah bin Nasr Abasi reached Rashid and killed him while calling out, “By the Lord of the Ka’bah! I have killed Rashid”. Hearing this, his (Rashid’s) companions fled while Ibraheem, Khuzaymah and their companions, after having killed Rashid, proceeded towards Mukhtar. They sent him a message, and when they received the glad-tidings, they pronounced the Takbeer and their hearts became stronger.
Ibn Muti’ dispatched Hissan bin Qa’ed bin Bakr Abasi with two thousand men towards Ibraheem bin Ashtar to prevent him from reaching his army positioned at Sabkhah. Ibraheem attacked them and they fled without fighting them while Hissan stayed behind and defended his companions. Khuzaymah attacked him and recognizing him said, “O Hissan! If there would not have been relation between us, I would have killed you. Then save yourself”. Suddenly his horse stumbled and he fell down upon the ground, while people surrounded him and he fought with them for awhile.
Then Khuzaymah told him, “You are in protection. Do not hand over yourself to death”. All of them lifted their hands off him and he (Khuzaymah) told Ibraheem, “He is my cousin while I have promised him protection”. Ibraheem replied, “You have done fair”, saying this he commanded that his horse be brought. He was seated upon his horse and Ibraheem told him, “Go to your house”. Ibraheem then proceeded towards Mukhtar, who was surrounded by Shabas bin Rab’ee. Yazid bin Hars, who was positioned upon the entrance of the streets, faced him so as to desist him from reaching Shabas. Ibraheem dispatched a group of his companions with Khuzaymah bin Nasr to face him, and himself, along with some others, went to Mukhtar’s aid.
Ibraheem attacked the army of Shabas from behind, while Yazid bin Anas too called out for battle. Shabas and his army fled and entered the houses of Kufa, while Khuzaymah bin Nasr too defeated Yazid bin Hars and they too fled and gathered in the entrances of the streets and behind the roofs. Mukhtar proceeded further and when he reached the entrance of the street, they started shooting arrows at him and prevented him from entering Kufa from there. The defeated army of Sabkhah came to Ibn Muti’ and he also received the news of the killing of Rashid and turned restless.
‘Amr bin Hajjaj Zubaydi told him, “O man! Do not clasp your hands. Go out to the men and invite them to face your enemy. There are numerous who will side you except these rebels whom Allah shall ultimately humiliate. I am the first one to accept it while a group of men are along with me and another is with others”. Ibn Muti’ himself came out and reprimanded people for their flight and commanded them to face Mukhtar and his companions.
When Mukhtar saw that Yazid bin Hars would not let him enter Kufa, he turned his way towards the houses of Mazinah, Ahmas and Bariq. They owned houses separated from the city, they gave water to his companions to drink while he (Mukhtar) himself did not partake, for he was in the state of fasting.
Ahmar bin Shamit told Ibn Kamil, “Do you not know that he is fasting?” he replied in the affirmative. He said, “I wish he would break his fast then he would be more stronger”. Ibn Kamil said, “He is infallible and is intelligent with regards to his responsibility”. Ahmar replied, “You speak the truth. Allah’s pardon”. Then Mukhtar said, “This place is better for battle”. Ibraheem replied, “Allah has entangled the opponent enemy in flight and instilled fear into their hearts. Then take us to Kufa, by Allah! There is none to block our way to the Royal Palace”. Mukhtar then kept those among his companions, who were old and ailing, as also his belongings there, and appointed Abu Usman Nahdi to take care of them and dispatched Ibraheem before him. Ibn Muti’ dispatched ‘Amr bin Hajjaj with two thousand men to face Mukhtar.
Mukhtar sent a message to Ibraheem saying that he should kneel down facing them, they knelt down while Mukhtar dispatched Yazid bin Anas and commanded him to stand facing ‘Amr bin Hajjaj. Then he himself proceeded behind Ibraheem and halted at the ‘Musalla’ (the place of Prayer) of Khalid bin Abdullah. When Ibraheem desired entering Kufa from the road of Kinasah, Shimr bin Ziljawshan came out against him with a group of two thousand men. Mukhtar dispatched Sa’eed bin Manqaz Hamadani to face him and sent message to Ibraheem that he should continue moving.
Ibraheem proceeded further until he reached the street of Shabas, while Nawfal bin Masahiq had positioned thereat with two thousand or five thousand men, while the latter number is more reliable. Ibn Muti’ ordered that it should be announced that people should join Ibn Masahiq, and he himself positioned at Kinasah while giving the charge of the Royal Palace to Shabas bin Rab’ee.
Ibraheem reached Ibn Muti’ and ordered his companions to dismount and said, “Do not fear when they say that Shabas has come, or the family of Atbah bin Nahas has come, or the family of Ash’as or Yazid bin Hars or the family of so and so has come”, naming all the families of Kufa. Then he retorted, “If they taste the fire of the swords, they shall flee away from Ibn Muti’ as a sheep flees away from the wolf”. All of them obeyed his orders while Ibn Ashtar tied the end of his shirt upon his waist while all of them scattered in one manly attack. They ran upon each others shoulders and gathered at the entrance of the streets.
Ibn Ashtar reached Ibn Masahiq, and catching hold of his reins, lifted his sword upon him. Ibn Masahiq said, “O son of Ashtar! I request you in the name of Allah, does there exist envy or revenge of blood between us?” Ibraheem spared him and said, “Then remember this (kindness)”, while he always remembered this favor. Then they entered Kinasah, while pursuing those who had fled, and took control of each market and mosque, while Ibn Muti’ and those of the noblemen of Kufa, who were along with him in the Palace, were surrounded, except ‘Amr bin Hurays, who had remained in his house and had retired to the desert.
Mukhtar himself entered and positioned himself at the corner of the market and deputed Ibraheem, Yazid bin Anas and Ahmar bin Shamit to surround the palace. After three days of severe siege, Shabas told Ibn Muti’, “Find a way out for yourself and your companions. By Allah! They do not possess the power to save you or their own selves”. Ibn Muti’ replied, “Then give me your opinion”. Shabas replied, “There is one way, and that is ask protection for yourself and us and submit to them and come out along with your companions, and do not kill yourself and your companions”.
Ibn Muti’ replied, “I consider it a shame to seek their protection when the commander of the faithful (he meant Abdullah bin Zubayr) holds control upon Hijaz and Basrah”. Shabas said, “Then you should come out of the palace in secret and enter the house of the one on whom you rely and remain there until you reach your master”. Abdul Rahman bin Sa’eed, Asma bin Kharejah, Ibn Makhnaf and other noblemen too accepted his proposal.
They remained there until night, then Ibn Muti’ told them, “I know what the ignoble and lewd men did to you, while all the noblemen and meritorious among you listened and obeyed. I shall inform my master regarding this and shall relate to him your obedience and battle until whatever Allah wills”. All praised him and he came out alone and took refuge in the house of Abu Moosa. Ibn Ashtar reached the door of the palace while the companions of Ibn Muti’ threw open the doors after he had left and said, “O son of Ashtar! Are we in protection?”
He replied, “All of you are granted protection”, thus they came out. All of them then swore allegiance to Mukhtar, who entered therein and spent the night therein, while the noblemen saw the dawn in the mosque and at the door of the palace.
At dawn, Mukhtar came out and ascended the pulpit, after praising and glorifying Allah, he said, “Praise be to the Lord, Who promised victory to His friend, and to His enemy a share in losses, and has made these glad tidings a means of performance until the end of the world, and has approved His command, while the one who accuses will ultimately be dejected. O people! A standard was erected for us and duration was fixed. It was said unto us: Raise the standard and perform the task in the scheduled time and do not violate it. We paid heed to the invitation of the caller and heard the words of the announcer, and how many men and women are there who give news of death of those killed in the battle. Far be away the rebels, the treacherous, the disobedient ones, those who refute and flee away. Beware O people! Enter, and pledge allegiance at the hands of guidance. I swear by the One Who has made the sky a roof upon everyone, and has furbished valleys and roads upon the earth, after the allegiance of Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) and his Progeny (a.s.), you will not find any other allegiance more economical than this”.
Then he alighted the pulpit and all the noblemen of Kufa came and swore allegiance at his hands upon the book of Allah, the customs of the Prophet (S), seeking avenge for the blood of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and struggle against the cunning, defense of the weak, battle against the aggressors, and peace with the Muslims.
Manzar bin Hissan and his son Hissan too pledged their oath of allegiance to Mukhtar and when they came outside after visiting him, Sa’eed bin Manqaz Sawri met them and said, “By Allah! Both of them are from among the leaders of tyrants”. Then he killed both of them and as much as Manzar kept saying, “Lift your hands off us until we obtain orders from Mukhtar”, he did not pay heed to him.
When Mukhtar was informed about this episode, he disliked their attitude. While Mukhtar was giving fair promises to the people and was attracting the views of the notables to himself and was treating them with kindness. It was said to him, “Ibn Muti’ is present in the house of Abu Moosa”, but he did not reply and sent a hundred thousand Dirhams at night with a message that, “Keep this as expenses for your journey, and I know as to where you are and that you intend going away, but you do not have the money”, while there was friendship between them.
Mukhtar had a thousand Dirhams in his treasury from which he gave five hundred Dirhams each to those who remained with him until the siege of the palace, while they were three thousand men. And he gave twenty Dirhams each to those who had joined him after the siege of the palace while remaining for three days of siege along with him. He met people courteously and made the notables sit with him. Then he appointed Abdullah bin Kamil Shakiri as the head of his police and appointed Kaisan Abu Umrah as the chief of guards upon his the seat of his capital. One day when Abu ‘Amr was standing at the head of Mukhtar, while he was speaking with the notables and was paying heed to their words, one of his Persian friends told him in the Persian language, “Do you not see that Abu Ishaq has turned towards the Arabs and does not look at us?” Mukhtar asked him, “What did he say?” Abu Umrah repeated his words for him and Mukhtar said, “This should not be objectionable for you, for you are from me and I from you”, saying this he bowed his head for some time and remained silent, then he recited the following verse “Verily We, from the guilty ones, shall exact (the due) retribution” (Surah al-Sajdah, 32:22).
When they heard his words, they said, “Have glad tidings, as if you are the ones who will kill”, while he had meant (to kill) the notables.
The first standard which Mukhtar fastened was for Abdullah bin Hars (or Haris), the brother of Malik Ashtar, and made him the governor of Armenistan. Then he appointed Muhammad bin Umayr bin Atarud upon Azarbayjan, Abdullah (or Abdul Rahman) bin Sa’eed bin Qays upon Mosul, Ishaq bin Mas’ood upon Madaen and Jawkha. He also appointed Qudamah bin Abu Isa bin Zam’ah Nasari, who was an ally of the Saqif (tribe), upon the greater Bahqabaz, Muhammad bin Ka’ab bin Qarzah upon the Central Bahqabaz, Sa’ad bin Huzayfah bin Yaman upon Halawan, and commanded him to fight the Turks and make peace therein.
Ibn Zubayr had appointed Muhammad bin Ash’as bin Qays as the governor of Mosul, and when Abdul Rahman bin Sa’eed reached Mosul from the side of Mukhtar, Muhammad fled to Takrit and paused there to see as to view the circumstances, then he came from there to Mukhtar and pledged allegiance at his hands.
Then when Mukhtar became relieved of the rebels and other tasks, be called for audience of people and sat to judge and said, “I have to attend to a task due to which I will not be able to accomplish this task of judging”, saying this he appointed Shurayh to judge among people. Shurayh feared the people and therefore pretended to be ill. While people would say, “He befriends Usman and gave witness against Hujr bin Adi and did not even reach the message of Hani bin Urwah from the prison to the men, while Imam Ali (a.s.) himself had deposed him from judgment”, and when this criticism came to his ears, he pretended to be ill and abdicated. Therefore Mukhtar appointed Abdullah bin Utbah bin Mas’ood in his place but he too became ill, then he appointed Abdullah bin Malik Tai.