Aqeel ibn Abi Talib

Grave Abdullah bin Jafar(left)and Aqeel bin abi Talib, Jannat-ul-Baqi,Medina
Location of grave of Aqeel (left most square amongst three together) and others at J.Baqi,Medina

Aqeel ibn Abi Talib (Arabic: عقيل بن أبي طالب) was a companion and first cousin of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was known by the kunyas Abu Aqeel and Abu Yazid.[1]

Early life

He was born c.581, the second son of Abu Talib and Fatimah bint Asad; hence he was a brother of the fourth caliph Ali.[2] He was said to be an expert in genealogy.[3]

He married Fatima bint Al-Walid from the Abdshams clan of the Quraysh.[4] He had six sons: Muslim, Ja'far, Musa, Abdul Rahman, Abdullah and Abu Saeed; and a daughter, Ramla.

Opposition to Islam

After Muhammad departed from Mecca, Aqeel sold the houses of his Muslim relatives among the inhabitants of the city.[5]

He fought on the side of the polytheists at the Battle of Badr, where he was taken prisoner.[6] Umar said that he should be handed over to Ali to have his head cut off; but Muhammad approved of Abu Bakr's opinion that he should be released on ransom.[7] Since Aqeel had no money, he had to be redeemed by his uncle Abbas for 500 dinars or 40 ounces of gold.[8][9] When Muhammad told him that Abu Jahl had been killed, Aqeel conceded that nobody would now challenge Muhammad's authority: "Either people will be affected by your words, or you will dominate them by force."[10]

Conversion to Islam

Aqeel emigrated to Medina in mid-629, a year after Khaybar.[11] Nevertheless, Muhammad granted him a pension of 140 wasqs from Khaybar.[12] Aqeel and his children, due to their close relationship with Muhammad, were forbidden to receive anything from the alms tax.[13]

He fought in the Battle of Mu'tah.[14] It is said that soon after this, he fell ill and "was not mentioned at" the conquest of Mecca, the ambush at Hunayn or the siege of Ta'if.[15] However, an alternative tradition indicates that he did in fact fight at Hunayn. When his wife asked him what plunder he had brought back from this battle, he replied: "This needle. You can sew your garments with it," and he gave her his bloodstained sword. Later Muhammad ordered anyone who had taken anything from the plunder to return it. Aqeel told Fatima, "By Allah, I think your needle is gone!" and threw his sword into the plunder.[16]

After Muhammad

Later Aqeel married a woman from the Jusham clan. When he was wished the traditional Arab wedding congratulation, "May you live in harmony and have many sons," he responded, "Say rather what Allah's Messenger said: 'May Allah bless you and bestow blessings upon you.'"[17][18]

Aqeel donated a carpet to the mosque in Medina. On Fridays it was spread out up the west wall. When the shadow of the wall covered the whole carpet, Umar knew it was time to come out for the midday prayer.[19]

Aqeel was the fourth husband of Fatima, a sister of Hind bint Utbah. She was a wealthy woman who paid Aqeel to manage her property. She was said to be "recalcitrant" towards him; she often asked him about her father and uncle,[20] who had been killed by the Muslim army.[21] Aqeel once told her that they were in Hell, and their quarrel was so severe that Uthman assigned Muawiyah and Abd Allah ibn Abbas to mediate between them.[22]

Aqeel was the man who found Umm ul-Banin to marry Ali.

In old age he became blind. He died in the caliphate of Muawiyah I,[23] at the age of 96.


Descendants of Aqeel are numerous and spread out Yemen and parts of Oman, and Somalia.

See also


  1. Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir. Translated by Haq, S. M. (1967). Ibn Sa'd's Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Volume I Parts I & II, p. 135. Delhi: Kitab Bhavan.
  2. Ibn Saad/Haq p. 135.
  3. Ibn Saad/Haq p. 135.
  4. Muhammad ibn Umar al-Waqidi. Kitab al-Maghazi. Translated by Faizer, R. (2011). The Life of Muhammad, p. 450. London & New York: Routledge.
  5. Waqidi/Faizer p. 408.
  6. Muhammad ibn Ishaq. Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by Guillaume, A. (1955). The Life of Muhammad, p. 338. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  7. Muslim 19:4360.
  8. Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume pp. 312-313.
  9. Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari. Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk. Translated by Landau-Tasseron, E. (1998). Volume 39: Biographies of the Prophet's Companions and Their Successors, p. 60. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  10. Tabari/Landau-Tasseron p. 60.
  11. Tabari/Landau Tasseron p. 60.
  12. Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume p. 522.
  13. Muslim 31:5920.
  14. Tabari/Landau Tasseron p. 60.
  15. Tabari/Landau Tasseron pp. 60-61.
  16. Waqidi/Faizer p. 450.
  17. Nasa'i 4:26:3373.
  18. Ibn Maja 3:9:1906.
  19. Malik ibn Anas. Al-Muwatta 1:13.
  20. Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 8. Translated by Bewley, A. (1995). The Women of Madina, p. 168. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  21. Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume p. 337.
  22. Ibn Saad/Bewley p. 168.
  23. Tabari/Landau Tasseron p. 61.

External links

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