The Martyrdom of Children of Hazrat Moslim bin Aqeel
The Noble Prophet of Islam had succeeded in creating a society based upon the values he preached which gave mankind a new vision, a new sense of purpose - it was the message of peace and goodwill, of love and tolerance.
But alas! Within a brief period of less than half a century after his death, the society, he had conceived, crumbled. By careful manipulation and shrewd planning, those who opposed him during his life soon managed to gain power. Their rule was a reign of terror. Those who professed faithfulness to the House of the Prophet, that is, the Shi"as of Imam Ali were persecuted, oppressed and brutally murdered.
When no apostle was to come following the Seal of Prophethood, the only one to play the role of a savior was Imam Hosein who was the vicegerent of Allah the Almighty on earth. No doubt it was for this occasion of the imperative demand for the rescue of the True Faith that the All-Knowing Lord had reserved the `Zibhe Azeem".
Letters inviting Imam Hosein to handle the situation began to pour in from all parts of the country, particularly from Kufa imploring him to come to the rescue of the faith and the faithful. Imam Hosein could not blindly accept the calls from Kufa, for the Kufians were known for the unstable character and unreliable conduct, and if they later turned treacherous, the world would question Imam Hosein"s ready response to their call without the necessary caution. Therefore, Imam Hosein decided to send his cousin Moslim ibn Aqeel to proceed to Kufa and to report from there, after studying the urgency of the call of the Kufians. (See "Tarikh Abul-Fida")
It is written in "Rauzat al-Shohada" that on Ramadan 14, 60 A.H., Moslim bin Aqeel left Mecca for Medina where he first went to the Holy Shrine of the Noble Prophet for Ziyarat. Then he went to his home to bid farewell to the members of his family. Moslim bin Aqeel took along with him, his two young sons who he loved so much that he normally never let them go far away from his sight. In the company of two guides of the route, he left for Kufa. Unfortunately, the party lost their way and both the guides perished in the desert.
However, with great hardships, Moslim bin Aqeel reached Kufa along with his two sons and stayed at Mukhtar"s house. When the Kufians heard about his arrival they gave him a very warm reception and thousands of them paid their allegiance (bay"at) to the Holy Imam at his hands.
In this account we will not be dealing with the details of Moslim’s martyrdom at the hands of Bin Ziyad since we are going to give a detailed description about his two sons named Muhammad and Ibrahim.
There is difference of opinion amongst the historians as to how these two young sons of Moslim reached Kufa and were murdered by Bin Ziyad.
Sheikh Saduq on his authenticity, quoting the narration of one of the Sheikhs of Kufa, reports that after the martyrdom of Imam Hossein and his companions, the two young sons of Moslim bin Aqeel were caught and were sent to Bin Ziyad. Bin Ziyad ordered for them to be sent to prison. The wretched guard of the prison tortured them and inflicted all sorts of hardships on them, depriving them of decent food and sufficient drinking water. This accursed guard did the same for about one year.
Both the sons of Moslim would observe fast during the day and break it in the evening with two barley breads and a little water provided to them. When they passed about a year in such a miserable condition in the narrow prison, one of them told the other one that it seemed that their entire lives would pass in this manner. So they finally decided to tell the guard about their relation with the progeny of the Noble Prophet.
At last when the guard came, the younger brother asked him, "Do you know Prophet Mohammad?" The guard replied, "Why not, he is my Prophet." Then he again asked him, "Do you know Ja"far bin Abi Talib?" He said, "Ja"far is he to whom the Almighty Allah has awarded two wings so that he could fly in Paradise along with the angels." Then the young child asked, "Do you also know Ali bin Abi Talib? He said, "Why not, he is the cousin of the Noble Prophet." At this moment the child said, "O Sheikh! We belong to the progeny of the Holy Prophet and both of us are the sons of Moslim bin Aqeel. We are trapped here and are suffering the hardships of the prison inflicted by you. You must consider the sanctity of the family of the Noble Prophet."
When the guard heard all about the relationship of these children with the Holy Prophet he was very ashamed and threw himself at the feet of those children and urged them saying: "Please excuse me, I have committed a great sin but I did not know about your noble background. The door of the prison is open and now you are free to go anywhere you like."
However, in the darkness of the night, the guard gave them some barley breads and water and leading them on to a road, instructed them to flee and to travel only in the night.
The two innocent ones of the House of the Noble Prophet, with the divine gift of bravery and courage against all odds and miseries in the way of the Lord, walked through the desert during the nights, hiding themselves during the day-time behind bushes - hungry and thirsty. Whenever they happened to meet anyone, they would disclose their identity. They contented themselves with their lot but were always mindful of their Lord and prayerful to Him.
Unfortunately, the two young souls in their concealed march from Kufa, travelling during the nights, lost their way in the desert and reached the house of a good-hearted lady who was faithful to the House of the Noble Prophet. When the children disclosed their identity to her, she felt pity upon them and hid them in her house.
This kind-hearted lady was the wife of Hares bin Urwah (according to another version she was his mother-in-law) who was a servant of Bin Ziyad and was already in search of these innocent children to win the rich award from his master.
Late in the night, Hares returned to his house complaining to his wife, saying that day and night he was in search of the children of Moslim bin Aqeel but could not find them. The kind-hearted lady asked Hares, "What will you gain after shedding the blood of the innocents of the House of the Noble Prophet?
Hares replied, "Why do you ask me, you must know that I shall get a rich reward from the Amir."
The lady kept quiet and Hares went to bed but at midnight the innocents saw their father in a dream telling them, "Worry not my dear ones! Verily, soon you will meet me."
Both the children awoke crying, "Father, dear father! Where are you? We are wandering as helpless fugitives!"
Hearing the cry of the innocents, Hares woke up from his sleep and enquired from his wife regarding what he had apparently heard from one of the rooms of his house. The kind-hearted lady could no longer conceal the fact and the moment Hares came to know of the presence of the innocent ones in his very house, he dragged the children out of their beds saying, "I killed myself in your search for the whole day and you are here in my very own house!"
The brute kept the innocents tied to a post for the entire night and at dawn he took them to the bank of the River Euphrates and the kind-heated lady accompanied them pleading for them and imploring the brute of her husband not to lay his hands on the helpless innocents. But the heartless brute would not listen. When Hares raised his sword, the lady ran to intervene and to stop the stroke, and got her two hands severed.
It is reported that the innocents urged the brute to allow them to offer their last prayers to which the brute consented and no sooner had they finished their payers to the Lord, then Hares wanted to behead them. The elder brother implored saying, "O man! Listen to me, behead not my younger brother before me for my mother when we parted from her last, handed him over to me. Oblige me by beheading me first."
With a stroke of the sword on the head, the elder one of the two innocents fell and Hares threw his body into the river, and then turning to the younger one, he did the same. It is said that when the first body was thrown into the river, the younger one said, "Dear brother! Tarry you a little, I also come with you."
It is said that the body of the first one floated stationary on the waves of the river until the body of the second one joined in and the both floated away together.
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