Abū Ḥajal Muslim b. ʿAwsaja al-Asadī (Arabic: ابوحَجَل مسلم بن عوسجه الأسدي) was a sahaba (companion) of Prophet Muhammad (s) and a brave soldier among Arab Muslims. He was also a companion of Imam Ali (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a). He was one of the first martyred companions of al-Husayn b. 'Ali (a) in Ashura'. He was the commander of the tribes of Banu Asad and Madhhij in Kufa, at the time that Muslim b. 'Aqil began an uprising in this city. Muslim b. 'Awsaja attended the Battle of Karbala with his family and his son was martyred in the battle, too.

Muslim b. 'Awsaja al-Asadi
Tomb of Martyrs of Karbala in the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a)
Full NameMuslim b. 'Awsaja al-Asadi
Companion ofProphet Muhammad (s), Imam 'Ali (a), and Imam al-Husayn (a)
TeknonymAbu Hajal
Religious AffiliationShi'a
LineageBanu Asad
Death/Martyrdom61/680
Cause of
Death/Martyrdom
Martyrdom in Event of 'Ashura'
Burial PlaceHoly Shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a), Karbala, Iraq

Name and Lineage

Abu Hajal, Muslim b. 'Awsaja b. Sa'd b. Tha'laba b. Dudan b. Asad b. Khuzayma al-Asadi[1] was a companion of Imam Ali (a)[2] and Imam al-Husayn (a). He was from Kufa.[3] Muslim b. 'Awsaja and Habib b. Muzahir both were from the tribe of Banu Asad. Abu Hajal was an honorable man who was famous for worship, fairness, and generosity.[4]

Characteristics

Muslim b. 'Awsaja was a brave warrior among Arab Muslims who fought alongside other Muslims in conquering Azerbaijan and other battles.[5] He was martyred at the beginning of the Battle of Karbala.

Other Standpoint

He was a companion of Prophet Muhammad (s) who met the Prophet in his lifetime and narrated hadith from him.[6] He was a brave warrior whose name is mentioned in the battles and conquests of Muslims.

In Kufa

Timeline of the Battle of Karbala
Year 60/680
Rajab 15
(April 21)
Death of Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan
Rajab 28
(May 4)
Departure of Imam al-Husayn b. 'Ali (a) from Medina.
Sha'ban 3
(May 9)
Arrival of Imam al-Husayn (a) to Mecca.
Ramadan 10
(June 14)
Arrival of Kufiyans' first letter to Imam (a)
Ramadan 12
(June 16)
Arrival of 150 letters from Kufa
Ramadan 14
(June 18)
Arrival of the letter from leaders of Kufa
Ramadan 15
(June 19)
Departure of Muslim b. 'Aqil from Mecca toward Kufa.
Shawwal 5
(July 9)
Arrival of Muslim b. 'Aqil to Kufa.
Dhu l-Hijja 8
(September 9)
Departure of Imam al-Husayn (a) form Mecca and uprising of Muslim b. 'Aqil in Kufa
Dhu l-Hijja 9
(September 10)
Martyrdom of Muslim b. 'Aqil
Year 61/680
Muharram 1
(October 1)
Asking for help of 'Ubayd Allah b. al-Hurr al-Ju'fi and 'Amr b. Qays in Qasr Bani Muqatil
Muharram 2
(October 2)
Arrival of Imam (a) to Karbala
Muharram 3
(October 3)
Arrival of 'Umar b. Sa'd with 4,000 people to Karbala
Muharram 6
(October 6)
Habib b. Muzahir's asking for help of Banu Asad
Muharram 7
(October 7)
Banding of water by 'Umar b. Sa'd and joining Muslim b. 'Awsaja al-Asadi to Imam (a)
Muharram 9
(October 9)
Arrival of Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan to Karbala
Muharram 9
(October 9)
Shimr's Safe conduct for Umm al-Banin's children
Muharram 9
(October 9)
Announcing of the Battle by 'Umar b. Sa'd and Imam's (a) asking for a delay
Muharram 10
(October 10)
Events of Ashura and the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a), his Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) and his companions
Muharram 11
(October 11)
Moving the captives towards Kufa and the burial of martyrs by Banu Asad
Muharram 12
(October 12)
Arrival of captives to Kufa and the burial of the martyrs according to the narration
Muharram 19
(October 19)
Moving the captives from Kufa towards Syria
Safar 1
(October 31)
Arrival of the captives and the head of Imam al-Husayn (a) to Syria
Safar 20
(November 19)
Arba'in and the return of Ahl al-Bayt (a) to Karbala and Medina (in some accounts)


Muslim b. 'Aqil traveled to Kufa before the Battle of Karbala. When he arrived in Kufa, Muslim b. 'Awsaja supported him with weaponry and tried to take an oath of allegiance for Imam al-Husayn (a).[7]

According to some narrations, when Muslim b. 'Aqil arrived in Kufa at first he went to Muslim b. 'Awsaja's house.[8] People gathered there to take an oath of allegiance.[9] They swore to Allah they would defend Imam al-Husayn (a) to their last breath. They sent letters to Imam al-Husayn (a) about the allegiance of people. Then Imam al-Husayn (a) began his travel to Kufa. Muslim b. 'Awsaja played a crucial role in all these events.

The spy of 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad, Ma'qil, found the safe house of Muslim b. 'Aqil through Muslim b. 'Awsaja.[10]

After Hani b. 'Urwa was arrested, Muslim b. 'Aqil chose commanders for his army to organize the soldiers; he assigned Muslim b. 'Awsaja as the commander of Banu Asad and Madhhij.[11]

Following the arrest and martyrdom of Hani b. 'Urwa and Muslim b. 'Aqil, Muslim b. 'Awsaja decided to hide in a safe house. Then after the arrival of Imam al-Husayn (a), he joined Imam's army with his family in Karbala.[12]

In Karbala

According to some narrations Muslim b. 'Awsaja's wife and children attended the Battle of Karbala. As historians said: "Khalaf b. Muslim b. 'Awsaja, his brave son, was fighting alongside his father in the Battle of Karbala until finally he was martyred in the battle. According to some reports: a young boy came out of the tents while his mother was after him; the boy was Muslim b. 'Awsaja's son.[13]

The Night before 'Ashura

At night before 'Ashura', when Imam al-Husayn (a) told his soldiers: you are allowed to leave Karbala, and your promises and oath of allegiance have served well so far, you are not obligated to stay for the battle. Then, some companions declared their loyalty to Imam al-Husayn (a) over again. After the descendants of Banu Hashim, Muslim b. 'Awsaja was the first one who said:

Oh, Abu 'Abd Allah! We would never leave you alone. How is it possible to bring excuses to Allah? O, by Allah, never! We will never leave you alone; I will never give up; I will slay the enemies with my spear and sword until it drops on the ground; then I stone them. By Allah, I would never leave you alone until I fulfill my duties to Allah and defend the descendants of Prophet Muhammad (s). O, by Allah, if I perish, I would reborn, and then if I am burnt and turned into ashes, I would reborn; and if it happens seventy times I would reborn and fight for you until I am martyred for you. I would never leave you as I know I will perish once. Consequently, eternal prosperity and dignity would be mine.[14]

Imam al-Husayn (a) expressed gratitude to each one of them and returned his tent.

The Day of 'Ashura

As Al-Shaykh al-Mufid said: Imam al-Husayn (a) and his soldiers dug a trench around the rear part of their tent and set a fire inside it. After seeing the flaming fire, Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan shouted: O Husayn! You are preparing fire of this world for yourself before the judgment day?! Imam al-Husayn (a) replied: Who is that man? Is he Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan? Then Imam (a) referred to Sura Maryam, verse 70, and said: O goatherd boy! You deserve flames of Hell! Then Muslim b. 'Awsaja was ready to kill Shimr with an arrow and asked for Imam Husayn's permission; however, Imam rejected his request and said: I do not want to commence the battle.[15]

His Motto in the Battle

The mystical and knowledgeable mottos of Muslim b. 'Awsaja should be highly regarded, which represent his deep understanding of the principles of Ahl al-Bayt (a). He repeatedly uttered this motto in the battles:

If you desire to know me, I am brave as a lion; my lineage goes back to Banu Asad. If you treat me with tyranny, you are strayed from the right path, and you are guilty of ingratitude toward Allah.

Martyrdom

After fighting the enemy soldiers in the Battle of Karbala, Muslim b. 'Awsaja had numerous injuries and he was bleeding heavily, then he fell on the ground. Imam al-Husayn (a) and Habib b. Muzahir came by his side. Imam said: May God have mercy on your soul. Then he recited the verse:

Faminhum man qaza nahbahu wa minhum man yantaziru wa ma baddalu tabdila (Of them (believers) some have completed their vow to (the extreme) and some still wait, but they have never changed (their determination) in the past.)[16]

Then Habib b. Muzahir said to him: "your loss is hardly tolerable to me, but I give glad tidings to you on Paradise". Muslim b. 'Awsaja replied with difficulties: May God send his blessing on you. Habib replied: I wish I could carry out what you desire as your will. Muslim replied: "I advise you to defend him (Imam al-Husayn (a)) to your last breath and never give up trying". And Habib replied: I accomplish what you desire and I will make you delighted.[17]

Muslim b. 'Abd Allah al-Dabai and 'Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Khushkara have perished Muslim b. 'Awsaja in the Battle of Karbala.

According to Ziyarat al-Shuhada', Muslim b. 'Awsaja was the first one who was martyred in the Battle of Karbala.[18] And Imam al-Husayn (a) promised him salvation by the name of Allah. While those who participated in the martyrdom of Muslim b. 'Awsaja are cursed by Imam al-Husayn (a).[19]

Ziyara

The name of Muslim b. 'Awsaja was mentioned in the Ziyara of Imam al-Husayn (a) in 15th of Sha'ban and other ones.[20]

Notes

  1. Samāwī, Ibṣār al-ʿayn, p. 135.
  2. Maḥallātī, Fursān al-hayjāʾ, vol. 2, p. 155.
  3. Ḥusaynī Tehrānī, Maʿādshināsī, vol. 2, p. 319.
  4. Ṭūsī, al-Rijāl, p. 80.
  5. Ziriklī, al-Aʿlām, vol. 7, p. 222.
  6. Abī Mikhnaf, Maqtal al-Ḥusayn, p. 136-138.
  7. Qummī, Nafas al-mahmūm, p. 120.
  8. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 8, p. 152.
  9. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 8, p. 163.
  10. Abī Mikhnaf, Waqʿat al-Ṭaff, p. 225.
  11. Qarashī, Mawsūʿat sīrat Ahl al-Bayt, vol. 13, p. 380.
  12. Samāwī, Ibṣār al-ʿayn, p. 137.
  13. Ḥāʾirī, Shajara-yi ṭūbā, vol. 1, p. 48.
  14. Muḥammadī Rayshahrī, Dānishnāma-yi Imām Ḥusayn bar pāya-yi Qurʾān wa ḥadīth, vol. 6, p. 20.
  15. Mufīd, al-Irshād, p. 449.
  16. Qurʾan 33:23.
  17. Sayyid b. Ṭāwūs, al-Luhūf fī qatlā l-ṭufūf, p. 133.
  18. Abī Mikhnaf, Waqʿat al-Ṭaff, p. 225.
  19. Ibn Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, p. 50.
  20. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 98, p. 271-272, 340; Ibn Ṭāwūs, Iqbāl al-aʿmāl, p. 229.

References

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