Habib ibn Muzahir

Habib ibn Muzahir

Habīb ibn Madhāhir al-Asadi (حبيب بن مظاهر الأسدي‎) was of the Banu Asad clan and was a martyr in Karbala.

Battle of Karbala

Habib heavily contributed in the Battle of Karbala. He fought with the third Shia Imam, Husayn ibn Ali against the forces of Yazid, led by Umar ibn Sa'ad. Umar ibn Sa'ad was the son of Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas, who introduced Islam in China during the caliphate of Uthman ibn Affan. Husayn's forces were heavily outnumbered. Husayn had a grand total of grand total of 73 or more soldiers, as some soldiers from the opposition had joined his side through his influence. The most famous example of a person who joined Husayn's side through influence was a former soldier of Yazid called Hurr. Husayn's forces fought at least 40 000, of the enemy forces led by Umar ibn Sa'ad. Although, Husayn was given a chance to surrender himself and swear loyalty to Yazid, he always refused saying: "Yazid is a drunkard womanizer, who is unfit for leadership. I am the grandson of the messenger of Allah. A person like me does not surrender himself to a person like him. I am the heir of the messenger of Allah, and I deserve leadership more than anyone else".

Husayn's army was split into 3 sections, the left flank, the right flank and the Ahl al-bayt. The Ahl al-bayt section consisted of the Banu Hashim, i.e, the clan of Hashim. The Ahl al-Bayt, in that context, referred to anyone who was a descendent of Muhammad, the last Prophet of Islam. Ahl al-Bayt means People of the House in Arabic. Habib was given the duty of being in charge of the left flank of Husayn's army, despite the fact that he was 70 years old. It is said in the book 'Karbala and Ashura', by Ali Husayn Jalali, that Habib killed 62 of the enemy soldiers before being taken as captive by enemy forces and later on decapitated by a commander in the enemy forces called Shimr ibn Dhil-Jawshan. The Shia hold the belief that: it is not unusual for a man of who is 70 years old to kill 62 soldiers, if his faith (Iman) mounts to a very high level. It is apparent that an anti-Islamic website states that Husayn sacrificed his family and companions as well as himself in the pursuit of power. This is obviously not true, because if it was power he was after he would have surrendered himself to Yazid, in exchange for many estates, a lot of promised wealth and high status. A reasonable question that arises from the statement that Husayn wanted power is, if Husayn was looking for power, why did he bring women and children with him? This proves that Husayn was never looking for power but wanted the women, children and his son Ali ibn Husayn, the only male survivor of the battle, to be witnesses to his sacrifice in order to convey the message of Islam by showing the great sacrifice of Husayn. Husayn is greatly known for his loyalty to Islam, his great sacrifice and his little concern for power by most Muslims, most notably by Shias, as well as many non-Muslims.

The Purpose of military Loss

In accordance to Shia tradition, Husayn ibn Ali was offered help from the Jinn, who could have destroyed the forces of Yazid with ease. Husayn refused this offer saying: 'our aim is to sacrifice ourselves to save Islam and to influence the people to alter their own destinies by following true-Islam'. The Shia belief strongly states that Husayn's sacrifice was not a defeat but a victory. They define victory as achieving something that you aim for, rather than achieving a victory by defeating your opponent. Husayn aimed for sacrificing himself for Islam and to influence as many people as possible to alter their own destinies by following the true-path of Islam, thus making his sacrifice a victory and not a defeat.

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