HAZRAT HABIB BIN MAZAHIR (A.S)
Ever since the day Imam Husayn reached Karbala, Bibi Zainab saw soldiers coming to join the enemy camp. On the 4th of Muharram she came to Imam Husayn and said, “Oh my brother, why are all these soldiers coming?” Imam Husayn replied, “My dear sister, they are gathering to kill me.” Bibi Zainab said, “Brother, you have hardly seventy-two men with you, while they are in the thousands.” Bibi Zainab had tears in her eyes as she asked, “Do you not have anyone to come to your help?”
Imam Husayn wrote a letter to his childhood friend Hadhrat Habib ibn Madhahir. Habib is said to have received the letter while he was eating dinner with his wife. After reading the letter, Habib was lost is his thoughts. When his wife inquired, he explained the situation to her.
Habib’s wife said: “Habib! Your childhood friend has called you. Your master needs your help. What are you waiting for? Go Habib, before it is too late!”
Habib instructed his servant to take his horse to a farm outside the city and wait for him there. He told him to say that he took the horse for grazing, should anyone ask.
At Asr time, when most people were in the mosque, Habib slipped out of Kufa to reach the farm where his horse was waiting. He found his slave telling the horse, “Do not fear horse. If my master decides not to come, I will go to the aid of Husayn.” Habib came closer to his slave and said”Go, my friend, Go! I am freeing you from my services.” The slave was shocked at hearing this.
“Master! You are not being fair. I have served you faithfully for years. Now, I have a chance to serve the son of Fatimah Zahra (sa), and you are asking me to go. Why are you denying me a place in Heaven?”
Habib was taken aback by the words of his slave. He was pleased to hear that he had recognized the difference between the truth and falsehood. He wanted to sacrifice his life for truth. Habib asked his slave to mount his horse. Together they moved towards Karbala. Habib reached Karbala late in the evening.
Days and nights of Muharram passed by and the fateful day of Ashura came.
At dawn, Ali Akber (as) gave Adhaan for the last time. Yazid’s soldiers blew the trumpets to start the battle. One-by-one, Imam Husayn’s companions went to the battlefield and gave their lives for Islam.
Between Dhohr and Asr time, Hadhrat Habib ibne Mazahir came to Imam Husayn. He said: “My Master, Husayn, allow me to go to the battlefield. Let me sacrifice my life for Islam.”
“Habib, my childhood friend, stay with me. You give comfort to me, my friend.”
Habib persisted with his request. Eventually Imam Husayn (as) gave his permission. Imam Husayn (as) mounted his friend, Habib, on the horse. Habib rode into the battlefield and fought bravely but was finally over-powered. He fell to the ground.
Imam Husayn rushed towards him. Habib looked at Imam and said “O the grandson of Holy Prophet Muhammad, please forgive this humble servant for not being able to give more than his unworthy life for you and Islam.” Imam Husayn (as) took Habib in his arms and cried, “O my friend! O my friend!” Habib died resting his head on Imam Husayn’s shoulder.