'Aqil b. Abi Talib
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|'Aqil b. Abi Talib|
|Full Name||'Aqil b. Abi Talib b. 'Abd al-Muttalib|
|Well-Known Relatives||The Prophet (s) (cousin), Imam Ali (a) (brother), Abu Talib (Father)|
|Birth||10 years after 'Am al-Fil|
|Place(s) of Residence||Mecca, Medina, Kufa, Syria|
|Presence at Ghazwas||Battle of Muta, Battle of Hunayn|
|Known for||Being one of Sahaba, Brother of Imam Ali (a)|
ʿAqīl b. Abī Ṭālib (Arabic: عقیل بن أبي طالب) was one of the Prophet's (s) companions (sahaba), Imam Ali's (a) brother, and Muslim's father. He was a great genealogist of Quraysh, and was quick at repartees.
'Aqil was a son of Abu Talib b. 'Abd al-Muttalib. According to one of his offspring's names, his kunya was Abu Yazid. Based on reports, he was 20 years older than Imam Ali (a). Therefore, his birth had been 10 years after 'Am al-Fil. He was a genealogist of Quraysh. 'Aqil was quick at repartees and talked back to his interlocutors whoever they were.
|Family tree of the Prophet (s)|
There are different narrations about the time at which he became Muslim. According to what Ibn Qutayba believes 'Aqil became Muslim right after his freedom. On the basis of Ibn Hajar's statements, he converted to Islam when Muslims conquered Mecca. Yet Ibn Hajar states in the following: Some have said he became Muslim after Hudaybiyya peace treaty was made, and he migrated to Medina at the beginning of 8th year of Hijra.
After the Prophet (s)
To share the government treasure (bayt al-mal) among people, he was invited along with two other people to write down people's names based on their status in 'Umar b. al-Khattab age.
During Imam Ali's (a) Government
According to Ibn Abi l-Hadid, 'Aqil went to Iraq, then to Syria, and after that came back to Medina, not having participated in any battles of Imam Ali (a). Even though he told Imam Ali (a) his sons and he were ready to assist him in wars, Imam (a) did not oblige him to take part in the wars.
'Aqil and Requesting for Money from Bayt al-Mal
At the time Imam Ali (a) was governing the Islamic territory and all the Islamic lands treasure was under his control, 'Aqil met him and asked him to pay his debts, stating that he himself was not able to pay them. When Imam Ali (a) learned his debt was 100 thousand dirhams, he said: "I take oath to God that I cannot afford this much now, wait until I receive my salary, then I will help you as much as I can". 'Aqil asked Imam (a) to lend the money from the government treasure, but Imam Ali (a) refused to do so. Imagining it was money, 'Aqil who was blind, touched the cauterizing-iron which Imam Ali (a) had brought near his hand. Imam Ali (a) replied to his protesting reaction by stating: "You are not able to endure the heat of this peace of iron, so how can I tolerate the burning fire of the hell which is the consequence of violating people's right?"
Some think this visit took place when Imam Ali (a) was alive. Their reason is this narration: Once when 'Aqil was beside Mu'awiya, Mu'awiya said: "If Abu Yazid (Aqil's kunya) had not learned that I am more beneficial to him than his brother, he would not have come to me." 'Aqil replied: "My brother is more blessing to me when it comes to religion, and you are more beneficial when it comes to the mundane life. I have chosen mundane life, and I ask God to bless my destiny and end."
Some others believe his meeting with Mu'awiya was after Imam Ali (a)'s death. This idea is preferred by Ibn Abi l-Hadid. The reason of this side is the letter which 'Aqil wrote at the end of Imam Ali (a)'s government and the answer to this letter.
Among all his offspring, only Ja'far al-Akbar, Muslim, 'Abd Allah al-Akbar, 'Abd al-Rahman, and Muhammad are martyrs of Karbala. Some believe that six of 'Aqil's offspring were martyrs beside Imam al-Husayn (a).
'Aqil's letter to Imam 'Ali (a)
After event of Hakamiyya and consequently the separation among Imam Ali (a)'s friends, Dahhak b. Qays al-Fihri, by Mu'awiya's order and along with an army consisting of 3 or 4 thousands soldiers, plundered and killed people and their properties in towns and villages, and confiscated Ka'ba pilgrims (haji) and killed some of them. Kufans hesitated in defending the innocent people and confronting the enemy despite Imam Ali (a)'s order. Having being notified of this happening, 'Aqil wrote a letter to his brother (Imam Ali (a)) which some of it has been brought in the following:
"Damn this age when Dahhak attacked you. Dahhak is an unfortunate mean person. When I learned about these things (pointing to Dahhak's attack and disloyalty of Kufans), I supposed your followers have abandoned you. My mother's son! Write your opinion for me. If you would rather death, I will bring all your brothers and nephews to you. Since we live until you live, and die when you die. I take oath to God that I do not wish to live even a second after you. I take oath to God that our life is unpleasant after you. God bless you."
- The material for this article is mainly taken from عقیل بن ابیطالب in Farsi Wikishia.