Ninth of Dhu al-Hijjah: The martyrdom anniversary of the ambassador of the Hussayni call and its first martyr: Muslim Ibn ‘Aqeel (peace be upon him).

"I do not know companions more loyal and better than my companion, neither do I know a household more honourable and passionate than my household. May the Almighty reward you for the favours you have done me." These were the words of Imam Al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) speaking about his loyal companions from which his faithful cousin Muslim Ibnu Aqeel who, inspires redemption and sacrifice and gives lessons of altruism, he (peace be upon him) was a student in the school of Imam Ali Ibnu abi Taleb (peace be upon them), and deserved the title of Al-Hussayn's confidant as Imam Al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) wrote in his letter to the people of Kufa speaking about Muslim (peace be upon him): "In deed, I sent to you my confidant.." So, peace be upon you O confident of the Imam, the day you were born in the most noble of houses, the day you were martyred oppressed and the day you will raise alive.

The historical sources did not state the exact date of his birth, some say that he (peace be upon him) was born in the year 25 AH, as they state that he was 35 years old when he was martyred in Kufa when others state that he was then 38 years old.

His mother's name was Ulayyah, it was told she was a daughter of Nabati kings that Aqeel Ibnu Abi Taleb (may Allah be pleased with him) got married to, in fact Aqeel Ibnu Abi Taleb had many children from various women, but Muslim (peace be upon him) was the best of them, as he grew up in the confines of his uncle the Commander of the Faithful (peace be upon him) who made from him one of His important faithful men on which he used to rely.

Muslim Ibnu 'Aqeel has participated along with his cousins Imam Al-Hassan, Imam Al-Hussayn (peace be upon them), Mohammed Ibn Al-Hanafiyyah, Abdallah Ibn Ja'far, Abdullah Ibnu Abbas and others in the battle of Jamal, and was one of the leaders in the battle of Siffin, which gave Muslim more self-confidence, strength and composure that is typical in Banu Hashim as they are well known by their courage, determination and the power of faith... After the martyrdom of the Imam Ali (peace be upon him) Muslim followed with devotion Imam Al-Hassan (peace be upon him and then Imam Al-Hussayn (peace be upon him).

When thousands of letters from people of Kufa, inviting Imam Al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) to come to Kufa, to support him, and pledge allegiance to him, Imam Al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) sent his cousin Muslim Ibnu Aqeel (peace be upon him) to report him the news of Kufans, to check their intentions, and to take the pledges of allegiance and their promises of obedience to Imam Al-Hussayn (peace be upon him). He (peace be upon him) wrote them a letter and sent it with him. The most important thing about this letter is the praising of Imam Al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) to him -Muslim ibnu ‘Aqeel-, trusting him, and announce him as the trustee of his family, which is a high status, and a great virtue. No one could have all of this honour but a great man like Muslim Ibnu ‘Aqeel (peace be upon him). Saying: “From Al-Hussayn Ibnu Ali to the followers among the faithful and Muslims etc. I send to you my cousin, my brother and a trustworthy person from among my family Muslim Ibnu ‘Aqeel. And I have instructed him to inquire about your affairs and write to me regarding it. And if he writes to me that your elders, the wise and the learned men hold the same opinion as your messengers have conveyed to me and as written in your letters, then I shall come to you quickly, Allah willing.”

Muslim (peace be upon him) was martyred after the outcome of the change in the political circumstances as Ubaidullah Ibnu Zyad (may Allah curse him) followed the carrot and stick strategies and was able to buy the loyalty of many of tribes heads, clans in Kufa, and their leaders. Those worked on failing people, and scared them from the tyranny of Ibn Zyad, and the risk of standing against him and supporting Muslim Ibnu ‘Aqeel. Thus Ibn Zyad and a result for this drooping, was able to separate Muslim Ibnu ‘Aqeel from people and became alone, which allowed to arrest him –Muslim- after a fierce battle, this heroic champ fought by himself and gave great examples on bravery and heroism. Also Hani Ibn 'Urwa who hidden him inside his house was arrested. Then Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad ordered to hit the neck of Muslim Ibnu ‘Aqeel. He (peace be upon him) was taken to the roof of the palace, was kneeled and was ordered to stretch his head over the edge of the wall of the palace. Then was mercilessly beheaded. When the axe split his neck, Muslim Ibnu 'Aqeel's head fell from the top of the palace to the ground. After this the soldiers were ordered to throw his body to the ground. Later, Ubaidullah ordered to take away Hani Ibn 'Urwa, and ordered to behead him in the market.

Muslim Ibnu 'Aqeel (peace be upon him) was mercilessly killed on 9th of Dhu Al-Hijjah, 60 AH, the day when Muslims were getting ready to celebrate the festivities of Eid al Hajj. Thus he became the first martyr of the epic battle of Karbala. He is buried in Kufa and thousands of people go annually to visit his grave and pay their respect.
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