Muslim Ibn Aqeel
Muslim Ibn Aqeel imam Hussain’s cousin known as “The Ambassador of Imam Hussain” and “The Trust of Islam”,was born on the third year after Hijra.The same year of birth as imam Hassan and a year older than imam Hussain making them very close friends. Muslim’s mother was of Persian origin and was called either Alya’a or Alya. He married the sister of Imam Hussain Ruqayyah and had a number of sons: Abdullah, Abdulrahman, two young sons Mohammed and Ibrahim, and a daughter that he loved, Hameeda. Muslim was praised by the prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon his and his Progeny), Imam Ali, Imam Hassan, and was given the ultimate praise from Imam Hussain by giving him the mission to go to Karbala. The Prophet praised Muslim from the day he was born with a famous narrative ( addressing Muslim’s father, Aqeel): “O’ Aqeel I love you two loves, I love you for who you are and I love you because my uncle Abu-Talib loved you and that your son will be martyred by giving support to my son Hussain and the highest of the angels will pray on his corpse.”
Muslim was a ferocious solider on the battlefield, he was on the same level of Hassan, Hussain and Abbas; proving so, he was a commander of the armed forces in the Othman empire at just 17 years of age. He was also very trustworthy with taxes, when Imam Ali employed him to collect Zakat, not a penny would be lost and everything would be documented, in other words, he had the combination of bravery and trustworthiness.
Thousands of the people of Kufa called upon Imam Hussain with letters saying that they will battle alongside him to overthrow the Umayyads. He was on his way to Mecca for his Hajj pilgrimage and wanted to confirm the loyalty of the people of Kufa, so he sent Muslim Ibn Aqeel, who was a famous warrior, to observe the situation. His first finding was that they are all loyal to Imam Hussain, and so he sent a report to Imam Hussain, who then began his journey to Kufa.
Muslim Ibn Aqeel used to lead the prayers in the great Mosque of Kufa. When he led the prayer of Maghraib ( the 4th prayer out of the mandatory 5), 30,000 people were following him they were also the same ones who wrote thousands of letters to imam Hussain. The support of Muslim Ibn Aqeel in Kufa had become a major threat for Yazid and his governor, Ubayadallah Ibn Ziyad. During evening prayers, people were sent from the court of the governor publicly announcing that anyone found supporting Muslim Ibn Aqeel will be tortured and put to death. When Muslim Ibn Aqeel finished the prayer of Mugharib, 30,000 reduced to 18.
When Muslim completed the Isha prayer and turned back, he found the mosque was abandoned with only one person left, Hani Ibn Urwah, at whose house Muslim was staying as a guest. Those people who left Muslim during prayer not only betrayed muslim but betrayed imam Hussain and God. The same people ended up fighting Imam Hussain in the battle of Karbala.
Ubayyedallah ibn Ziyad executed (beheaded) 10,000 people who have written letters to Imam Hussian in Kanasa square in Kufa; as for the second group, they were imprisoned, like Maitham AlTamar and AlMokhtar. The last group were paid off. Muslim was ordered to be taken to the roof of the palace to be executed and his body thrown to the ground. He was mercilessly killed on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, 60 A.H.; the day Muslims were getting ready to celebrate the festivities of Eid ALAdh’ha.
Thus he became the first martyr of the battle of Karbala. He is buried in Kufa and thousands of people go annually to visit his grave and pay their respect.
- Sayyed Ammar Nashqwani- Biography of Muslim Ibn Aqeel; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJrXTTCQ3ZY
- image2: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/63754150958104310/