Hazrat Muslim Bin Aqeel (AS)

"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 favors you have done me." (Bihar al- Anwar, Vol. 44, P. 392)

The people of Kufa called upon Imam Husayn (A) to overthrow the Umayyad dynasty. 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, son of Aqeel, who was a famous warrior, to Kufa to observe the situation. His first finding was that they are all loyal to Imam Husayn (A) and so he sent report to Imam Husayn, who then began his journey to Kufa.

Muslim ibn Aqeel used to lead the prayers in the Great Mosque of Kufa. When he led Salaat-ul-Maghrib, 30,000 people were following him. The support for Muslim ibn Aqeel in Kufa had become a major threat for Yazid and his governor, Ubaydallah 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 Salaat-ul-Maghrib, 30,000 reduced to 18 only. When Hazrat Muslim completed the Isha prayers and turned back, he found the mosque empty except for one person, only Hani Ibn Urwah, at whose house Muslim was staying as a guest.

Muslim ibn Aqeel had only one thing on his mind now, which was to inform his master Imam Husayn (AS) about the treachery and betrayal of the people of Kufa.

With Muslim completely isolated in Kufa, a ferocious battle took place - Muslim on one side, all alone, and over 500 soldiers on the other side, who were fully armed. Kufa had never seen such a battle before - Muslim defeated the army of 500.  More troops were called and it was decided that it would be impossible to capture H. Muslim (AS) unless he is tricked.  A pit was dug and covered with leaves.  While fighting, Muslim fell into the pit and was captured.

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 9thof Dhul 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.

Sources:

www.al-islam.org