Muslim bin Aqeel (a.s) the messenger of Imam Hussain (a.s)
Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel bin Abi Talib (as) was martyred on Zilhajj 9 in the year 60 AH in the city of Kufa where he was sent by Chief of Martyrs, Grandson of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (saw), Hazrat Imam Hussain (as) as his envoy to look closely the situation before Imam’s arrival there.
Imam Hussain (as) received a letter from people of Kufa with these words: “We invite you to come to Kufa as we have no Imam to guide us. Through you Allah will unite us on the path of truth.” A few days later the people of Kufa sent an emissary, a special messenger, to Imam (as) to persuade him to go to Kufa. There followed hundreds of other letters and many special emissaries from the people of Kufa to Imam Hussain (as).
Receiving so many petitions and messages from Kufa, Imam Hussain (as) decided to send Hazrat Muslim (as), who was a famous warrior, as his emissary to Kufa to study the situation there and report to Imam.
He wrote a letter to the people of Kufa and gave it to Hazrat Muslim. In this letter Imam said, “I am sending my cousin and one of the most trusted ones from my family, Muslim bin Aqeel, to report to me about your affairs. If his report agrees with what you have written I will soon be with you. You must be clear of the fact that the Imam is only one who follows the book of Allah, and serves Allah in all matters and affairs with justice, honesty and truth.”
Imam also said to Muslim bin Aqeel (as): “Muslim, the whole world knows that you are one of the bravest warriors. It is just possible that seeing you in Kufa some people may think that our intention is to fight Yazid. Take your two sons Muhammad and Ibrahim with you. When they see you with such young children, they will know that our intentions are peaceful.”
According to reports Hazrat Muslim (as)’s sons were too young that they could not even tie up the buttons of their shirts.
On reaching Kufa, more than eighteen thousand people appeared before Hazrat Muslim (as) and pledged their allegiance to Imam Hussain (as) as their Imam. Seeing this Hazrat Muslim (as) reported to Imam Hussain (as) that he should proceed to Kufa as situation is ok.
Amongst the people of Kufa there were many spies employed by Yazid to report to him direct. When Yazid heard from them of the invitations to Imam Hussain (as) and the arrival in Kufa of Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel (as) he was filled with fury. He sent a message to his Governor in Basrah Ubaydullah bin Ziyad to go to Kufa and take over the position of Nu'amaan ibne Basheer, the governor of Kufa. Ibne Ziyad was also told to arrest Muslim and kill him.
Arriving in Kufa on 2nd zilhajj, he addressed the people of Kufa announcing his appointment as Yazid's governor. He then ordered them to surrender Hazrat Muslim (as) to him. Ibne Ziyad sealed Kufa.
At this time Hazrat Muslim (as) was staying with Hazrat Mukhtar (ra). Then he moved to Hani bin Urwah’s house secretly, but Ibne Ziyad found out where Hazrat Muslim was. Hani was arrested and thrown into prison. Hazrat Muslim and his two sons left Hani's house leaving the children with Qadhi Shurayb, a judge, and went into the desert to try and get back to Imam Hussain (as) to warn him not to come to Kufa. This was the seventh of zilhajj.
On the eighth (the day when Imam Hussain (a) converted his pilgrimage (Hajj) into off-seasonal Pilgrimage (Umra) and started his journey from Mecca towards Iraq so to save the sanctity and honor of this sacred place (ka’aba)), tired, hungry and exhausted Hazrat Muslim knocked at the door of a house on the outskirts of the city. A lady opened the door. Hazrat Muslim requested for a little water to quench his thirst. The lady when she learnt who he was, invited him in and offered him shelter for the night as she was a lover of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (saw)’s progeny (as). But when her son learnt that the man Ibne Ziyad was looking for was in his mother's house, he in greed of reward gave the information to a captain in ibne Ziyad army. Early the next morning, five hundred soldiers surrounded the house and demanded Hazrat Muslim's surrender. Hazrat Muslim came out holding his sword. Three times he drove the enemy away. Twice Ibne Ziyad had to send in reinforcements.
After his arrest, Ibne Ziyad told Hazrat Muslim (as) that he would be killed and asked him if he had any last wishes. Hazrat Muslim said: “I owe a debt which should be discharged by selling off my sword and armor. Secondly I want my body to be given a proper burial. Thirdly I want a message sent to Imam Hussain (as) advising him not to come to Kufa.” Ibne Ziyad agreed to the first request refusing the last two. He then ordered Hazrat Muslim (as) to be taken to the roof of the palace to be executed and his body thrown to the ground.
Immediately after Hazrat Muslim (as) was martyred Hani bin Urwah was dragged to the rooftop and executed