21th Zilhajj:Shahadat of Sons of Muslim Ibne Aqeel Ibne Abi Talib(A.S)
Before the great tragedy of Karbala, Imam Hussain (A.S) sent Muslim ibn Aqeel as his emissary to Kufa. Muslim was given the task to assess the situation in Kufa, since Kufiyaan (denizens of Kufa) had sent hundreds of letters to the Imam inviting him to their city. Muslim was to report back the situation in Kufa and assess the apparent loyalty of the people. Muslim left Mecca on 15th Ramadan 60 Hijri, but he was not alone. His two sons - Muhammad (age 8) and Ibrahim (age 10) went with him. On his departure from Imams caravan, Imam told Muslim: "Muslim, the whole world knows that you are one of the bravest warriors. It is 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." Following the tragic events of 9th Zilhaj 60 Hijri when Muslim ibn Aqeel embraced Shahadat, his two sons were also arrested and put in Kufas dungeon. Kufas dungeon was filled with all sorts of filth and infested with rats and cockroaches. The two innocent sons of Muslim spent several days there. Their faces, which used to shine like mirrors, were now fully covered with dirt. They got very little food to eat - and that too, just dry bread and some water in the evenings. On the evening of 20th Zilhaj, Ibrahim started crying having gotten weary of their plight. Muhammad wiped his brothers tears and soothed him. That evening when the jailer came to give the children their evening meal, he overheard their conversation. He implored and insisted on knowing what the boys were talking about. Seeing that the jailer was getting angry, Ibrahim opened his mouth and said "Do you know Muhammad ibn Abdullah?". The jailer asked back, "What kind of a question is this? I know him very well. Without knowing our Prophet (S.A.W.W), my faith would not be complete." Now Muhammad asked, "Do you know Jaffar e Tayyar?". The jailer replied, "I know him too. What Muslim doesnt know him." The boys continued asking him about Ali ibn Abi Talib, Aqeel ibn Abi Talib, and finally Muslim ibn Aqeel. The jailer replied he know all these well-known personalities of the Prophets household, and asked the boys how they knew all these famous people at such a tender age. To this, Ibrahim said "How can we not know these people when we are the children of Muslim ibn Aqeel, and descendants of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W)!". Upon hearing this, the jailer started beating himself and was extremely remorseful. Having learned of their true identity, the jailer begged them for forgiveness and ultimately let them go. The boys, like their father, were complete strangers in Kufa. Although the jailer had given them directions, they got lost. Ibn Ziyads soldiers had blocked all roads, and were guarding all exits and intersections of the city. They were tired and exhausted and had no place to go in Kufa. They eventually ended up by the side of the river Euphrates. They drank some water, and wanted to hide near a tree when a woman saw them, and asked who they were. Upon learing of their true identity, she offered them shelter for the night, but warned them about her son-in-law, Harith, who was a supporter of Ibn Ziyad. Harith was not home at the time, and the kind lady warned the children not to make any noise, or they would be discovered by Harith once he came back. The children said their prayers and went to sleep. In the evening Muhammad woke up and started crying. Ibrahim asked him why he was crying. Muhammad said "I saw our father in a dream. He was calling out for us". Ibrahim said, "Brother, be patient. I also saw our father in a dream beckoning us to him". They both started weeping. Harith, who had come back, heard the children crying. He opened the door and asked the children who they were. On learning they were the sons of Muslim ibn Aqeel, he tied both the boys to a pillar. Hariths wife tried to stop him, but she couldnt. The desire to collect Ibn Ziyads reward for the capture of these children had blinded Harith to any humanity and mercy. The children spent the whole night tied to the pillar. In the morning Harith dragged them to the river-bank. He took out his sword. Ibrahim asked him, "Harith, are you going to kill us?" Harith said "Yes!" Ibrahim said, "In that case give us time to finish our morning prayers". The two boys said their prayers. They raised their hands and cried out "Inna Lillaah wa Inna Ilay-hi Rajeeoon! O Allah we are coming to you. Give our mother courage when she hears of our death and judge between us and our killers!" The sword came down! There were splashes in the water. Two young bodies were seen floating away in the waters of the river Euphrates. It is said that Harith ended up being beheaded at the same spot where he beheaded these innocent young children of Muslim. Ibn Ziyad had ordered his execution because he wanted the children to be captured alive. May Gods curse be on the enemies of Ahl ul Bayt. Ameen.