He and his steed continued on the difficult route. He reached a point where he saw an oasis. Delighted by the sight, he rushed towards the water. He and his horse immersed themselves in the pond to cool themselves. And then he lay down to rest under the shady palm and the peaceful silence lulled him to sleep.
He had travelled a long way from Kufa, carrying a valuable document for Imam Husayn (pbuh).
As his horse neighed, he woke up with a start. An hour had passed. He jumped to his feet looked around, and quickly reached for the secret letter hidden away in his armour. He was relieved to find it safe. He kissed the letter and hid it again. Refreshed, he mounted his horse and started off again through the hot desert. Finally, at midday, he saw the caravan of Imam Husayn (pbuh).
Saeed bin Abdullah Hanafi was overjoyed to see his Imam. After his respectful greetings, he handed over Muslim bin Aqeel’s letter to him. The letter contained the latest news from Kufa. With the Imam’s permission he joined the caravan.
Saeed bin Abdullah Hanafi never parted with the caravan. He always stayed close to his Imam. As time passed, the situation began to change and soon Saeed found his caravan surrounded by the enemy in the desert of Karbala. On the night of Ashura, the Imam well aware of the enemy’s evil intentions gathered his companion and addressed them.
“O people! We the Household of the Prophet (pbuh) do not deceive or trick. Those people have decided to take my life and will not spare me until they kill me. Take advantage of the darkness of the night and leave for if you decide to stay you will surely be killed tomorrow.”
Saeed bin Abdullah tearfully expressed himself saying, “By God! I will not abandon you until I prove that I have preserved and protect ted the sanctity of the Prophet (pbuh) in his absence. By God! If I am killed and resurrected seventy times, each time being burnt into ashes and scattered into thin air I will still not abandon you until I die in your service.”
Saeed bin Abdullah spent his night in worship and prayers. On the day of ‘Ashura at Zhuhr as Imam prayed, the enemy archers aimed their arrows and spears at him. Saeed, who was worried for his Imam’s life stepped forward and defended his Imam using his body as a shield.
He followed each arrow that came towards his Imam and took it on his own body. He continued to do so until the prayers were finished. He then fell down before his Imam. He had succeeded in defending his Imam. Imam Husayn (pbuh) was safe and sound.
In his last moments he whispered the following, “O my Lord! Curse the enemies of Imam Husayn (pbuh) in the same way as You cursed the nations of Aad and Samood. O my Lord! Send my greetings to Your Prophet (pbuh), and inform him of the wounds that I have been subjected to, for indeed I have served Your Prophet’s (pbuh) son anticipating Your divine reward.”
He then turned towards Imam Husayn (pbuh) and asked, “O son of the Prophet (pbuh) of Allah! Have I fulfilled my promise?”
“Yes! You have,” the Imam replied. Saeed bin Abdullah smiled and left this world smiling.