Updated on 12 March 2018
NEVER TOO LATE
Name: Hafhaf ibn Muhammad
Date & Place of Martyrdom: 11th Muharram 61 AH, Karbala.
Of the many lessons that Karbala holds for us, one of the most important is that loyalty is a principle that is not bound by circumstance or time. Although the battle of Karbala ended on the evening of Ashura, it is possible to be part of the Cause of Imam Husayn (a) in any day and age, as long as one's intentions are sincere.
A prime example is that of Hafhaf ibn Muhammad. He was from Basra and well-known as a staunch Shia of Imam Ali (a). Due to his bravery, Imam (a) made him the standard bearer of Azd (a tribe in Basra) in the battle of Siffin.
After the martyrdom of Imam Ali (a), Hafhaf maintained his allegiance to the Ahlul Bayt (a) serving Imams al-Hasan (a) and then Imam al-Husayn (a). When he heard of Imam al-Husayn (a)'s departure from Makkah, he set out on foot from Basra to join him. However, he did not reach Karbala until the 11th of Muharram, after Imam (a) had already been martyred.
Upon arrival, he went to the army of 'Umar ibn Sa'd and demanded to know where the Imam (a) was. When they asked him who he was, he replied, "I am Hafhaf Basri. I have come to help al-Husayn. I heard that he was compelled to come to Karbala alone and estranged."
They told him: "We have killed al-Husayn and all who were with him. No one remains from them except the women, children and al-Husayn's ailing son. Can you not see his looted tents?"
When Hafhaf heard this, he drew his sword and attacked the enemy ferociously. The army scattered in all directions and Hafhaf followed them like a raging lion until, on the orders of 'Umar ibn Sa'd, he was surrounded.
Imam 'Ali ibn al-Husayn (a) later said: "On that day the Kufians had not seen such a gallant swordsman as Hafhaf, except for the Household of the Prophet (s). Fifteen renowned warriors among the enemy surrounded him and killed him. May Allah's mercy be with him!"
Lamentations (Shaykh Muhammad Ishtihardi)
THE ETERNAL WOUND
IN LIFE AND DEATH