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Shimr (l.a.) was the son of Shurahbil. He was a Kharijite. Different explanations are given as to why he was called “Zil-Juashan” including that he was the first Arab to wear an armor. He belonged to the tribe of Bani Kilab. He converted to Islam on the eve of “The Victory of Makkah” when polytheists surrendered to the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.). He (l.a.) was one of the “Ta’be’in” – one who had seen a companion of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.).

In the Battle of Siffin, he fought with the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali al-Murtaza (a.s.) but later became a Kharijite. When Hujr bin Adi (r.a.), one of the companions of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) and Imam Ali (a.s.), was arrested by Muawiya, Shimr (l.a.) was one of the people who falsely testified that Hujr had become an apostate and a rebel.

When Hazrat Muslim bin Aqil (a.s.) went to Kufa in the year 60 A.H., Shimr (l.a.) gave a speech saying that Hazrat Muslim (a.s.) was a rebel and warned the Kufans of Yazid’s army. He (l.a.) also encouraged Ubaididullah ibne Ziyad to be violent towards the grandson of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.), Imam Husayn (a.s.).

Shimr (l.a.) arrived in Karbala on the 9th of Muharram 61 A.H. with 4,000 soldiers. He tried to influence the Commander of Imam Husayn (a.s.)’s forces, Hazrat Abbas (a.s.) with an amnesty for him and his brothers, but he rejected it.

On the Day of Ashura (10th Muharram), he (l.a.) was the commander of the left wing of Umar ibne Saad’s forces. He (l.a.) tried to approach the Imam (a.s.)’s camps but he was faced with fire-wood around it. Shimr (l.a.) said, “O Husayn! You seem impatient to enter the fire and could not wait for Qiyamat” (Tabari v.4 pages 250-251) When Zuhair bin Qayn was addressing the Kufans inviting them to support Imam Husayn (a.s.), Shimr (l.a.) threw an arrow towards him and insulted him. When Abdallah bin Umayr Kalbi was martyred, Shimr (l.a.) ordered his slave to murder his wife who was sitting next to her husband’s body. When most of the companions of imam Husayn (a.s.) were martyred, the Kufans attacked the camps and Shimr (l.a.) called for fire to burn the tents.

Sibt ibne Jauzi relates in his “Tazkirah” from Hisham bin Muhammad Kalbi that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) saw them persistent on killing him, he brought the Glorious Qur’an and opening placed on his head and called out, “The Qur’an and my grandfather, the Prophet of Allah, are the judge between yourselves and me. O people how do you consider the shedding of my blood lawful? Am I not the grandson of your Prophet? Has not the tradition of my grandfather reached you regarding me and my brother that we are the Masters of the youth of Paradise? Then ask Jabir (ibne Abdullah Ansari), Zaid bin Arqam, and Abu Saeed Khudri. Is not Ja’far at Tayyar my uncle?” Shimr (l.a.) replied, “You shall shortly hasten towards ‘the raging fire (of Hell) (Allah’s refuge).” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Allah is great! My grandfather the Prophet of Allah informed me, that he saw a dog filling his throat with blood of his Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and I perceive that it is none other than you.”   

Shimr (l.a.) commanded his soldiers to shoot the Imam (a.s.)’s body with arrows, and then attack him. According to al-Waqidi, Shimr (l.a.) stood on the sacred body of Imam Husayn (a.s.) with his horse. According to some reports, Shimr (l.a.) sat on his sacred chest and then cut his holy head from behind. He (l.a.) wanted to murder Imam Sajjad (a.s.) also.

Shimr (l.a.) took the daughters of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.a.s.) and other women of his companions from Karbala to Kufa then to Damascus where he (l.a.) delivered an insulting speech about Imam Husayn (a.s.) and his companions. 

Sources used: Tabari, WIKIPEDIA, Nafs al-Muhimma by Shaikh Abbas Qummi, Tazkirah by Sibt ibn Jauzi,, 



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