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'Abd Allah b. 'Afif al-Azdi

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Companion of Imam (a)
'Abd Allah b. 'Afif al-Azdi
Full Name 'Abd Allah b. 'Afif al-Azdi
Companion of Imam 'Ali (a), Imam al-Husayn (a)
Wellknown Relatives Safiyya
Place(s) of Residence Kufa
Death/Martyrdom 61/680
Cause of
By 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad
Burial Place Kufa
Activities Participating in Battle of Siffin and Battle of Jamal, Protesting against 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad

ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAfīf al-Azdī (Arabic: عبدالله بن عفیف الأزدي) (d. 61/680) was a companion of Imam 'Ali (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a). He lost both his eyes in the battles of Jamal and Siffin, fighting in Imam 'Ali's army. After the Event of 'Ashura', he protested Ibn Ziyad while he was condemning Ahl al-Bayt (a) on the pulpit in Masjid al-Kufa. Thus, he was arrested and beheaded by the order of Ibn Ziyad. His body was hanged up in the dump site of Kufa. He is the first Shi'a who was martyred after the event of Karbala.


During Imam Ali's Caliphate

He was a companion of Imam 'Ali (a). He participated in the battles of Jamal and Siffin. He lost his right eye in Jamal and the left one in Siffin.

After 'Ashura'

After the Martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a), 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad ascended the pulpit of Masjid al-Kufa and condemned Ahl al-Bayt (a). According to al-Tabari's report, he said: "All praise belongs to God who manifested the truth and its people and helped the commander of faithfuls, Yazid b. Mu'awiya and his party; and killed the liar the son of the liar, al-Husayn b. Ali and his followers."

Before he finishes his words, 'Abd Allah protested and said: "O, the son of Marjana! Indeed the liar the son of the liar is you and your father and who appointed you and your father as governors. O, the son of Marjana! Do you kill descendants of the Prophet and speak like a saint?"[Note 1]

Ibn Ziyad ordered to arrest him, but he called his tribe for protection, and they take him out of the mosque under protection. However, that night Ibn Ziyad's agents surrounded his house to arrest him. When they invaded his house, he took his sword to fight them. As he was blind, his daughter, Safiyya, helped him in fighting by telling the position of the enemies. During the fight, he was reciting this war cry: "By God! if I could see, it would become very difficult for you to harm me."[Note 2]

Eventually, he was arrested and taken to 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad. After a conversation between him and Ibn Ziyad, he was beheaded by Ibn Ziyad's order. His body was hanged up in the dump site of Kufa (in a district named Sabkha.) He is the first Shi'a who was martyred after the Event of Karbala.


It has been said that he had a daughter named Safiyya. When Ibn Ziyad's agents wanted to invade 'Abd Allah's house, she heard the sound of the horses' hooves and informed his father. She, also, helped his father fighting them and protecting himself, by telling him the position of the invaders, as he was blind.


  1. یا بن مرجانة، ان الكذاب ابن الكذاب أنت و ابوك و الذی ولاك و أبوه، یا بن مرجانة، أتقتلون أبناء النبیین، و تكلمون بكلام الصدیقین
  2. والله لو فرج لي عن بصري/ضاق علیکم موردي و مصدري

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