Hur was a career officer in Yazid’s army stationed at Kufa garrison. He was sent with an army of 1000 men to intercept Imam Husayn (A.S.). Hur knew that the government did not want Imam Husayn ( A.S.) to enter Kufa. But as a professional soldier he did not concern himself with the political issues. His duty was to execute the orders of his superiors. However, a pure conscience was lurking in his tough military heart.
Hur and his 1000 strong army surrounded in a hostile posture Imam Husayn ( A.S.) and his companions outside Kufa. Hur and his soldiers were traveling for a long time in the desert and consequently they were thirsty. Hur requested Imam Husayn ( A.S.) for water for his army. Imam Husayn (A.S.) asked Hazrat Abbas (A.S.), Hazrat Ali Akbar, Hazrat Qasim and others to provide water to Hur’s army and also to their horses. Water in those days in the desert was a valuable commodity. However, the son of “Saqi-e-Kausar” showed benevolence even to his enemies.
After Hur’s army and their horses quenched their thirst, it was time for Zuhar prayers. Congregational prayers were led by Imam Husayn ( A.S.) and Hur and his army prayed behind Imam Husayn (A.S.)!
After the prayers, Hur told Imam Husayn (A.S.) that his orders were to stop him from entering Kufa except if he pays allegiance (Bai’at) to Yazid. Imam Husayn (A.S.) said that he would never give allegiance to a man who was an unjust ruler and was determined to destroy Islam. In any case he was going to Kufa because people had invited him. The Imam produced two sacks of letters and petitions from the people of Kufa who were begging him to go there. Hur said that as his orders were not to allow the Imam to go to Kufa there was nothing he could do save carry out the orders.
From modern military warfare strategies, it is one of the tactics to destroy the enemy’s line of supplies. If Imam Husayn (A.S.) would have been on an adventure to grab power, it was a golden opportunity to deprive water to Hur’s army and let the enemy die of thirst.
But as Imam Husayn (A.S.), like rest of The Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) who always acted not for personal glory but for the sake of Allah.
The Imam told Hur that he will take another route and go away from Kufa. Hur said that his orders were to stop Imam Husayn (A.S.). Saying this, Hur placed his hand on the reigns of Imam Husayn (A.S.)’s horse. The Imam became furious and said, “May your mother mourn your death”. Hur said that he could have replied to him but he could not take Imam’s mother’s name in public. And so, followed by Hur and his 1000 strong army, the Imam and his companions rode in the direction away from Kufa.
On 2nd Muharram, they reached
Karbala. Imam Husayn (A.S.) purchased a piece of
land of Karbala with a foresight for future, and pitched his tents. Hur and
his soldiers pitched their camps some distance away.
Next day, Umer ibn Sa’ad came with an army of 4,000 men. Umer ibn Sa’ad was the commander of the Yazid’s army. He had several meetings with the Imam and he was so impressed with the Imam that he also prayed behind Imam Husayn (A.S.). When Ibn Ziad heard this, he was very furious. He sent Shimer with 10,000 men and wrote a letter to Umer ibn Sa’ad ordering him to take allegiance (Bai’at) from Imam Husayn (A.S.) or kill him. Umer bin Sa’ad immediately changed his attitude towards Imam Husayn (A.S.).
Following the instructions, he imposed restrictions on Imam Husayn (A.S.) and his followers from getting water from the
and from the 7th Muharram,
no one from Imam’s camp was allowed near the river Euphrates.
On the Night of Ashura, Hur was very restless. He could hear the children from Imam Husayn (A.S.)'s camp crying for water. His conscience whispered to him: “What have you done Hur? Why did you put the son of
in this position? Will Allah ever forgive you?” This was the rising of his
dormant pure conscience. This career soldier could not sleep the whole night because of this tussle in his
heart. Within him there was a struggle between his duty as a soldier and his pure
conscience. He had been a professional soldier the whole life. He believed in
his obedience to his superiors and the military discipline. Now the issues were moral and touched the very core of Islam. Hur’s
conscience compelled him to consider these issues.
Before dawn he made up his mind. Hur, his slave, and his son, rode over to Imam Husayn (A.S.)’ camp. The Imam was sitting outside his tent. When he saw this small band of people who had deserted the enemy’s ranks and seen the light of Iemaan and followed their conscience, the Imam called Hazrat Abbas (A.S.), Hazrat Ali Akbar, and Hazrat Qasim and asked them to go and welcome the visitors. It is reported that Hur had asked his son to fasten his hands like a criminal. Hur came and fell on the feet of the Imam and pleaded for his forgiveness. Imam Husayn (A.S.) took Hur in his arms and said: “Hur I forgive you. I assure you that my grandfather also forgives you. You are Hur in this world and the Hereafter!”
Ahlul-Bayt (A.S.) are always ready to forgive the true sentiments of regret. From 7th Muharrum onwards, when thousands of enemy forces were arriving and no one came to help Imam Husayn ( A.S.), one can imagine the state of affair in the minds of everyone in the Imam’s camp .
The defection of a commander of 1000 troops from the side of falsehood to the side of truth and righteousness is a momentous event in the history of
He chose to move from, a side which in a few hours would be apparently victorious
and shower worldly compensation from his superiors, to the side of a few hungry
and thirsty men. This marks a great
victory for Imam Husayn (A.S.) and Islam at that time only. One can capture the
body but not the heart or soul. Over the centuries, Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) had
touched and captured the hearts of Millions of human beings, whether Muslim or