Taʿziya of Two Sons of Muslim b. 'Aqil (Persian: تعزیه دو طفلان مسلم) is among re-enactments of the first ten days of Muharram. The topic of this show usually performed on the third day of Muharram is the martyrdom of the two sons of Muslim b. 'Aqil who came from Medina to Kufa with their father and were captured. In this re-enactment, the story of captivity and martyrdom of the children of Muslim b. 'Aqil and the fate of their murderer is played.

Two Sons of Muslim b. 'Aqil

Two Sons of Muslim b. 'Aqil named Muhammad and Ibrahim were taken captive and imprisoned in Kufa after the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a). After they escaped from the prison were martyred by a soldier of 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad.

Their shrine is in Musayyib, Iraq where many Shia and lovers of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) visit.

Description of Play

Beginning of re-enactment: In the play, Muslim trusted Shurayh b. al-Harith al-Kindi with the kids. Ta'ziyah begins with the presence of the kids in the house of Shurayh. He then leaves the kids alone in the path out of fear from 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad. The kids see a shepherd on the way who is a lover of the Ahl al-Bayt (a). He takes them to his house and receives them well. But, later a person called Ghulam attacks the shepherd, arrests the kids and takes them to Dar al-'Imara.

Kids in the prison: After they are captured, Ibn Ziyad calls their keeper, Mashkur and gives the kids to him. When Mashkur, among the lovers of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), hears about who the kids are, he takes them to the road between Kufa and Medina, hopeful that a caravan passes by and takes them to Medina. When Ibn Ziyad hears about this, he orders to kill Mashkur.

In the house of al-Harith: Ibn Ziyad sends his agents after the kids and promises reward for anyone who finds them. Greedy for the reward, al-Harith, who is an enemy of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), goes after the kids in the desert and mountain until his horse dies on the way. On the other hand, the kids stay by a river to take some rest. A maidservant finds them and takes them to her lady. The lady who is al-Harith's wife and is a lover of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) receives them warmly as her guests. Then, she takes them to one of the rooms and prepares what they need to rest. Then, al-Harith comes home weary and tired with the saddle of his horse and after showing anger to the maidservant and his wife, goes and takes a rest.

Their martyrdom: One of the kids begins crying and recites some poems. His brother wakes up and asks about the reason. His brother answers that, "I just dreamed our father who informed me of our martyrdom soon". His brother tells him that he also saw the same dream; and, both kids begin crying and reciting poems.

Al-Harith awakes and asks his wife and his maidservant about the story. They calm him down, but he becomes suspicious, so, he takes a lamp and checks out the rooms.

He finally finds the kids and begins lashing them so that they tell their names and where they have come from. His wife and the maidservant try to stop him from lashing them, but they cannot. When he finds out who they are, he decides to kill them. The kids ask him to take them to slave market and sells them, but al-Harith does not accept. They ask him to take them alive to Ibn Ziyad. But, al-Harith does not accept. They ask him to let them perform two rak'as of prayer and al-Harith allows them. They recite a poem about orphanhood in the qunut of their prayers. Then, anyone of them asks to kill him first because they cannot tolerate seeing his brother to be killed in front of his eye.

Al-Harith ties one of them by rope and kills them one after another.

The fate of al-Harith: al-Harith takes the kids' heads to Ibn Ziyad. Out of the expectation of al-Harith when Ibn Ziyad sees the heads becomes so upset and shocked at seeing how cruel al-Harith has been. So, he asks his agents to take al-Harith to where he has killed the kids and kill him. A person called Muqatil takes the job and kills al-Harith there.



  • Muhammad, one of the boys
  • Ibrahim, the other boy
  • Muslim b. 'Aqil (as a ghost in the dream of the kids)
  • Shepherd: a lover of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) who keeps the kids for a little while.
  • Al-Harith's wife
  • Al-Harith's maidservant
  • Mashkur the prison keeper: who frees the kids after he knows them.


  • Ibn Ziyad: rule of Kufa appointed by Yazid
  • Ghulam: the person who takes the kids from the shepherd by force.
  • Al-Harith: Murderer of the kids
  • Muqatil: murderer of Harith
  • Shurayh: The one Muslim b. 'Aqil trusts with the kids, but he leaves them alone in alleys out of fear from Ibn Ziyad.

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