Umar Sa'd (Curse of Allah Be Upon Him)
The martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) and the massacre of his faithful companions, also destruction of the texts, snatching of womenfolk veil, dragging them from place to place all this was handiwork of those who sold-off their conscience cheaply and proved their wretched origin, their sole object was gaining Yazeed's pleasure. Among them Umar Ibne Sa'ad was always at the forefront. In other words, Umar Ibne Sa'ad was among the pillars or Yazid's kingdom, who established his rule more firmly. He was prompted by the greed of Kingdom of Raiy, preferred worldly gains over the hereafter but still remained deprived and went to Hell as a loser.
The greed of power and pelf and worldly pleasures made him to stoop so low that his nature too became like an animal's and his eyes were blind to reality. He obeyed Ibne Ziyad and waged a war against Imam Husain (a.s.), in all this he did not think about his formidable end. He was not forced by anyone to kill Imam Husain (a.s.), he could have easily avoided the gruesome sin. Ibne Ziyad lured him that if he will kill Husain he will be made a ruler of Raiy. This made him accept the leadership of avaricious, ruthless and conscienceless animals that were his army.
Neither of this world nor of the hereafter
The author of Tarikhe Tabari has written that 'Ubaidullah Bin Ziyad gifted Raiy to Umar Ibn Sa'ad Bin Abi Waqqas and instructed him to deal with the man. Ibne Sa'ad wrote back apologizing and asking him to absolve him. When Ibne Ziyad was not convinced then Umar Ibne Sa'ad asked for at least a day's respite. He was given respite. For the whole night he was pondering over the proposition. At the outset of dawn he went to Ibne Ziyad and expressed his agreement and left to fight Husain Ibne Ali. (Tarikh Al Umama wal Moluk (Tarikhe Tabari) Section IV, Ch. 10, pg. 215, printed at Nafees Academy, Karachi).
The State of Raiy
The ancient state of Iran was considered of star value in front of the Kings of Persia. Since the day Sa'ad Ibne Abi Waqqas (Father of Umar Ibne Sa'ad) conquered this kingdom, Umar Ibne Sa'ad was desirous of ruling the state. He said while instigating his self on the assassination of Imam Husain (a.s.):-"So by Allah, I cannot understand two important things about which I am too worried and bewildered.
Should I leave the thought of Raiy, or shall I commit the crime of killing Husain. While his killer will be doomed to hell and nothing can save him, the state of Raiy is the comfort of my eyes." (Kamil Ibn Aseer, Tabari)
Very scant information is at hand about the life of Umar Ibne Sa'ad in the books of history. But in the incidents of Karbala, his mention can be found at several places. Hence we are forced to write only those incidents, which are related to Karbala. When Imam Husain (a.s.) was confronted by Ibn Sa'ad, he suggested three options to Ibn Sa'ad "Accept any of the three options, either leave me so that I may return to the place from where I have come, or let me go to Yazid or at least let me go to any border". Umar Ibne Sa'ad accepted his last option. But Ibne Ziyad wrote that unless he pledge allegiance to us, we will not leave him. Imam Husain (a.s.) replied "This shall never be." (Tarikhe Tabari, Section IV, Ch. 10, pg. 215).
When Ibne Sa'ad was ordered to go against Imam Husain (a.s.) then Abdullah Ibne Siyaar and the nephew of Ibne Sa'ad, Hamzah bin Mughirah bin Shobah, and others tried to dissuade Ibne Sa'ad from the act. As it was mentioned earlier that Ibne Sa'ad himself foreknew that the assassination of Imam Husain (a.s.) means to be doomed eternally. At the admonitions of these men he tried to exempt himself again and said to Ibne Ziyad: "This contingent which comprises the best men of Kufa, should be headed by such a man who is well-versed in fighting tactics, a good leader and who should comply with your wishes and I may not have any power upon him. Appoint such a man and send him against Husain." Then he suggested few names too. To which Ibne Ziyad curtly replied that why tell these names to me. I don't require your counsel about their appointment. Either you go with the contingent of soldiers or return back man firmaan. At this Ibne Sa'ad agreed to leave and took four thousand soldiers with him. He arrived in Nainavah the day after Husain reached there. (Ibid, pg 237).
Umar Ibn Sa'ad Prohibited Water on Imam Husain (a.s.)
Ibne Ziyad wrote a letter to Umar Ibne Sa'ad commanding him to put restrictions of water on Imam Husain (a.s.). At the receipt of this letter Umar Ibne Sa'ad gave 500 soldiers under the command of Amr Bin Hajjaj and instructed him to put a stop on water to Imam Husain (a.s.)'s camp. These soldiers put a stay at the bank of Furaat and became a barrier between the water and the camp of Imam Husain (a.s.) (Ibid, pg 239).
An in-depth study of history of events of Karbala reveal about Umar Ibne Sa'ad that though he obviously was the assassin of Imam Husain (a.s.) he committed this heinous act under threatening pressure of Ibne Ziyad. Besides, the greed of state at Raiy, was another factor, which instigated him to do what he did. Otherwise he did not wish to do so.
But the thoughts and actions of Umar-e-Sa'ad and his submissive obedience to the command of Ibne Ziyad are the ample proofs that he indeed was a lowly man with mean and base character. Why else will he drag the women, mothers and sisters of the martyrs to the place where their corpses lay smeared with blood and soil? At such a heart rendering sight, the women screamed and raised their wail in such a pitiful manner that even the hard-core soldiers of Umar Ibne Sa'ad's army wept, while it was not expected of such stone-hearted rogues.
The Elimination of Umar-e-Sa'ad
In the year 66 A.H. Mukhtar Ibne Abi Ubaid Saqafi rose to avenge the blood of Imam Husain (a.s.). Tabari has written the events of 66 A.H. in detail including the revolt of Mukhtar and his revenge from the assassins of Imam Husain (a.s.). He wrote: "One day Mukhtar told his companions that tomorrow I shall slay such a man whose legs will be long, whose eyes will be held in his brows. His murder will please the angels and all the believers" (Ibid, pg. 503).
When Umar lbne Sa'ad learnt of Mukhtar's intention through Uryaan, the son of Hasheem Ibne Al-Aswad Al Nalshee (he was a companion of Mukhtar), he left his home and went to the public bathhouse. At second thought he returned home through 'Rowhaar', preferring to remain at home then elsewhere.
When Mukhtar received information that Umar-e-Sa'ad has returned home he sent Abu Umrah to call. When Abu Umrah received the message Umar Ibne Sa'ad rose to follow him. But his robe came in between and he tripped and fell. Abu Umrah beheaded him, covered his head with his robe and threw it in front of Mukhtar (Ibid, pg 504)
As is popularly known, Umar Ibne Sa'ad was killed on 9th Rabiul Awwal 66 A.H