Muslim b. 'Awsaja al-Asadi
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 first martyred companion 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|
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|Full Name||Muslim b. 'Awsaja al-Asadi|
|Companion of||Prophet Muhammad (s), Imam 'Ali (a), and Imam al-Husayn (a)|
|Cause ofDeath/Martyrdom||Martyrdom in Event of 'Ashura'|
|Burial Place||Holy Shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a), Karbala, Iraq|
|Activities||Being one of sahaba and narrating hadith from the Prophet (s), participating in the Battle of Karbala, conquest of Azerbaijan|
Name and Lineage
Abu Hajal, Muslim b. 'Awsaja b. Sa'd b. Tha'laba b. Dudan b. Asad b. Khuzayma al-Asadi was a companion of Imam Ali (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a). 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.
|Timeline of the Battle of Karbala|
|Rajab 15||Death of Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan|
|Rajab 28||Departure of Imam al-Husayn b. 'Ali (a) from Medina.|
|Sha'ban 3||Arrival of Imam al-Husayn (a) to Mecca.|
|Ramadan 10||Arrival of Kufiyans' first letter to Imam (a)|
|Ramadan 12||Arrival of 150 letters from Kufa|
|Ramadan 14||Arrival of the letter from leaders of Kufa|
|Ramadan 15||Departure of Muslim b. 'Aqil from Mecca toward Kufa.|
|Shawwal 5||Arrival of Muslim b. 'Aqil to Kufa.|
|Dhu l-Hijja 8||Departure of Imam al-Husayn (a) form Mecca|
|Dhu l-Hijja 8||Uprising of Muslim b. 'Aqil in Kufa|
|Dhu l-Hijja 9||Martyrdom of Muslim b. 'Aqil|
|Muharram 1||Asking for help of 'Ubayd Allah b. al-Hurr al-Ju'fi and 'Amr b. Qays in Banu Maqatil|
|Muharram 2||Arrival of Imam (a) to Karbala|
|Muharram 3||Arrival of 'Umar b. Sa'd with 4,000 people to Karbala|
|Muharram 6||Habib b. Muzahir's asking for help of Banu Asad|
|Muharram 7||Banding of water by 'Umar b. Sa'd|
|Muharram 7||Muslim b. 'Awsaja al-Asadi joined Imam (a)|
|Muharram 9||Arrival of Shimr b. Dhi l-Jawshan to Karbala|
|Muharram 9||Shimr's Safe conduct for Umm al-Banin's children|
|Muharram 9||Announcing of the Battle by 'Umar b. Sa'd and Imam's (a) asking for a delay|
|Muharram 10||Events of Ashura|
|Muharram 11||Moving the captives towards Kufa|
|Muharram 11||Burial of martyrs by Banu Asad|
|Muharram 12||Burial of a few member of martyrs|
|Muharram 13||Arrival of captives to Kufa|
|Muharram 19||Moving the captives from Kufa towards Syria|
|Safar 1||Arrival of the captives to Syria|
|Safar 20||Return of Ahl al-Bayt (a) to Karbala|
|Safar 20||Moving from Karbala toward Medina (in some accounts)|
According to a number of narrations, when Muslim b. 'Aqil arrived in Kufa at first he went to Muslim b. 'Awsaja's house. People gathered there to take oath of allegiance. 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.
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.
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, were 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.
The Night before 'Ashura'
At the 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 am perished, 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 be perished once. Consequently, eternal prosperity and dignity would be mine.
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 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 Hysayn's permission; however Imam rejected his request and said: I do not want to commence the battle.
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.
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.) Al-Ahzab, verse 23.
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.
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. 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).
The name of Muslim b. 'Awsaja was mentioned in the Ziyara of Imam al-Husayn (a) in 15th of Sha'ban and other ones.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from مسلم بن عوسجه اسدی in Farsi Wikishia.