Converting to Shia of the “Jabur” tribe by Dr. Yassin Al-Jubouri


I am telling the story of the conversion of my own tribe, Jabur, to Shiism. About 150 years ago, something strange happened to the head of our tribe, Jabur, in Kazemin. Our tribe at that time were nomads living in the areas around Kazemin, and our family lived in the A’azamiye (اعظمیه) Baghdad area. At that time, tribal chiefs and farmers went to the city of Kazemin for fun and change their environmental. Kazemini blacksmiths were very famous at that time, so farmers took agricultural tools such as knives, sickles, etc. to sharpen Kazemin blacksmiths. Tribal leaders at the time were escorted by several bodyguards. When the elder of our tribe wanted to go to Kazemin, he said, “I do not want a bodyguard and I only go to the city.”

In Kazemin, near the shrines of Imam Kazem and Imam Javad (as), there was a bridge under which a river flowed, and women went under the river to wash dishes and clothes.

When the chief of the Jabur tribe approached the bridge, he suddenly saw the soldiers who came and grabbed and beheaded the people under the bridge, most of whom were women and children.

When the sheikh saw this tragic scene, he was upset and went to a prominent cleric in the city of Kazemin, who at that time, Ayatollah Abul Hassan Astarabadi, to ask him the reason for this incident. Astarabadi told him the answer is one thing: they were killed for being Shiites.

When Ayatollah Astarabadi explained the reason for the massacre to the Sheikh of the tribe, who did not know Shiism until then, he asked many questions about this religion and Ayatollah explained Shiism to the Sheikh. As a result, the chief of the tribe decided to stay in Kazemin to get more acquainted with the Shiites.

He used to go to Ayatollah Astarabadi every day and ask him questions about the Shiite religion. Until he became a Shiite after much research.

During this time, the tribesmen, who were worried about the sheikh, sent two people to find out about his condition. When the two men learned of the sheikh’s condition, they joined the sheikh themselves.

When they returned to the tribe and told the story to the tribe, the others were impressed and all became Shiites. There were members of other tribes in the Jibor tribe, and this caused some members of several other tribes to become Shiites.

When this happened, the Shiite enemies asked the chiefs of those tribes to expel these Shiite Muslims from the tribe, so the Shiites were expelled from the tribes and from the A’azamiye (اعظمیه) region.

The interesting thing was that when the Shiites were expelled from the tribe, other tribes said that we would not have any kind of cooperation or relationship with any of the Shiites. So, the Shiites found themselves in conditions like the She’b-e-Abi Talib (شعب أبیطالب) and were encircled in small areas near Baghdad.

The enemies also asked on the government to control and monitor the Shiite tribes. So, the Shiites became more restricted to the point that they were not even allowed to go to Samarra and Kazemin for pilgrimage.

This situation continued until the time of Prime Minister Nouri Saeed. Nouri Saeed had a son named Sabah who was not hostile to the Shiites. A group of these besieged Shiites went to Sabah and said, “We want to travel to other parts of the country and we have no problem with anyone.”

Sabah consulted with his father, who was the then Prime Minister of Iraq, and convinced him that after this, the Shiites would be freed from the monopoly and move freely in the country. But the government set a condition for Shiites: that they have no right to travel to Shiite cities such as Karbala, Najaf, Kazemin and Samarra. They can only travel in non-Shiite areas and cities.

Years passed with these conditions, sometimes we were even attacked and our children were killed. The Shiites had no other choice.

Instead, they became active in agriculture and tried to cultivate the land. When they became skilled and powerful, they were able to get a lawyer. Sabah helped our lawyers regain our freedom, and the Shiites were able to return to their area in Azamiyah and buy land and houses.