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Mus`ab ibn `Umayr: The First Envoy of Islam (1/2)

Mus`ab ibn `Umayr: The First Envoy of Islam (1/2)

By: Khalid Muhammad Khalid

wild flowers

The flower of the Quraysh, the most handsome and youthful, historians and narrators describe him as “The most charming of the Makkans”.

The flower of the Quraysh, the most handsome and youthful, historians and narrators describe him, among the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as “The most charming of the Makkans”.

He was born and brought up in wealth, and he grew up with its luxuries. Perhaps there was no boy in Makkah who was pampered by his parents like Mus`ab ibn `Umayr. This mirthful youth, caressed and pampered, the talk of the ladies of Makkah, the jewel of its clubs and assemblies: is it possible for him to be one of the legends of faith?

By Allah, how interesting a tale, the story of Mus`ab ibn `Umayr or Mus`ab, the Good, as he was nicknamed among the Muslims! He was one of those made by Islam and fostered by the Prophet Muhammad.

But who was he? His story is a pride of all mankind.

The youth heard one day what the people of Makkah had begun to hear about Muhammad, the Truthful, that Allah had sent him as bearer of glad tidings and a warner to call them to the worship of Allah, the One God. When Makkah slept and awoke there was no other talk but the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his religion, and this spoiled boy was one of the most attentive listeners.

That was because, although he was young, the flower of clubs and assemblies, the outward appearance of wisdom and common sense were among the traits of Mus`ab.

He heard that the Prophet and those who believed in him were meeting far away from the dignitaries and great men of the Quraysh at As-Safaa in the house of Al-Arqam lbn Al-Arqam, Dar Al-Arqam.

He wasted no time. He went one night to the Dar Al Arqam, yearning and anxious. There, the Prophet was meeting his Companions, reciting the Qur’an to them and praying with them to Allah, the Most Exalted. Mus`ab had hardly taken his seat and contemplated the verses of Qur’an recited by the Prophet when his heart became the promised heart that night.

The pleasure almost flung him from his seat as he was filled with a wild ecstasy. But the Prophet patted his throbbing heart with his blessed right hand, and the silence of the ocean’s depth filled his heart.

In the twinkling of an eye, the youth who had just become Muslim appeared to have more wisdom than his age and a determination that would change the course of time!

Bravery & Wisdom

Mus`ab’s mother was Khunas bint Malik, and people feared her almost to the point of terror because she possessed a strong personality. When Mus`ab became a Muslim, he was neither careful before nor afraid of anyone on the face of the earth except his mother. Even if Makkah, with all its idols, nobles, and deserts were to challenge him, he would stand up to it.

As for a dispute with his mother, this was an impossible horror, so he thought quickly and decided to keep his Islam secret until Allah willed. He continued to frequent Dar Al-Arqam and take lessons from the Prophet. He was satisfied with his faith and avoided the anger of his mother, who had no knowledge of his embracing Islam.

However, Makkah at that time kept no secret, for the eyes and ears of the Quraysh were everywhere, very alert and checking every footprint in its hot sands. Once, `Uthman ibn Taihah saw him steadily entering alarm’s house, then he saw him a second time praying the prayer like Muhammad. No sooner had he seen him than he ran quickly with the news to Mus`ab’s mother, who was astonished by it.

Mus`ab stood before his mother, the people, and the nobles of Makkah who assembled around him, telling them the irrefutable truth and reciting the Qur’an with which the Prophet cleansed their hearts and filled them with honor, wisdom, justice, and piety.

His mother aimed a heavy blow at him, but the hand which was meant as an arrow soon succumbed to the powerful light which increased the radiance of his face with innocent glory because it demanded respect with its quiet confidence.

However, his mother, under the pressure of her motherliness, spared him the beating and the pain, although it was within her power to avenge her gods whom he had abandoned. Instead she took him to a rough corner of her house and shut him in it. She put shackles on him and imprisoned him there until he heard the news of the emigration (hijrah) of some of the believers to Abyssinia.

He thought to himself and was able to delude his mother and his guards, and so escaped to Abyssinia. There he stayed in Abyssinia with his fellow emigrants and then returned with them to Makkah.

He also emigrated to Abyssinia for the second time with the Companions whom the Prophet advised to emigrate and they obeyed. But

whether Mus`ab was in Abyssinia or Makkah, the experience of his faith proclaimed itself in all places and at all times.

sunlight-nature

Mus`ab became confident that his life had become good enough to be offered as a sacrifice to the Supreme Originator and Great Creator.

The Power of Belief

Mus`ab became confident that his life had become good enough to be offered as a sacrifice to the Supreme Originator and Great Creator. He went out one day to some Muslims while they were sitting around the Prophet (peace be upon him), and no sooner did they see him than they lowered their heads and shed some tears because they saw him wearing worn out garments. They were accustomed to his former appearance before he had become a Muslim, when his clothes had been like garden flowers, elegant and fragrant.

The Prophet saw him with the eyes of wisdom, thankful and loving, and his lips smiled gracefully as he said, “I saw Mus`ab here, and there was no youth in Makkah more petted by his parents than he. Then he abandoned all that for the love of Allah and His Prophet!”

His mother had withheld from him all the luxury he had been overwhelmed by, when she could not return him to her religion. She refused to let anyone who had abandoned their gods eat of her food, even if he was her son.

Her last connection with him was when she tried to imprison him for a second time after his return from Abyssinia, and he swore that if she did that, he would kill all those who came to her aid to lock him up. She knew the truth of his determination when he was intent and decided to do something, and so she bade him good bye weeping.

The parting moment revealed a strange adherence to infidelity on the part of his mother, and the greater adherence to faith on the part of her son. When she said to him, while turning him out of her house, “Go away, I am no longer your mother,” he went close to her and said, “O mother, I am advising you and my heart is with you, please bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.”

She replied to him, angrily raging, “By the stars, I will never enter your religion, to degrade my status and weaken my senses!”

To be continued…

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The article is excerpted from the book “Men Around the Messenger”, which is translation based on Khalid Muhammad Khalid’s celebrated work in Arabic “Rijal Hawla Ar-Rasul” which represents the real inspirational stories of sixty-four Companions of the Prophet.

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Mus`ab ibn `Umayr: The First Envoy of Islam (2/2)

Mus`ab ibn `Umayr: The First Envoy of Islam (2/2)

By: Khalid Muhammad Khalid

So Mus`ab, as mentioned in part 1, left the great luxury in which he had been living. He became satisfied with a hard life he had never seen before, wearing the roughest clothes, eating one day and going hungry another. This spirit, which was grounded in the strongest faith, adorned with the light of Allah, made him another man, one who appeals to the eyes of other great souls.

Great Mission

While he was in this state, the Prophet (peace be upon him) commissioned him with the greatest mission of his life, which was to be his envoy to Al-Madinah. His mission was to instruct the Ansar (Muslims of Madinah) who believed in the Prophet and had pledged their allegiance to him at (the Pledge of) `Aqabah, to call others to Islam, and to prepare Al-Madinah for the day of the great Hijrah.

There were among the Companions of the Prophet at that time others who were older than Mus`ab and more prominent and nearer to the Prophet by family relations. But the Prophet chose Mus`ab, the Good, knowing that he was entrusting to him the most important task of that time, putting into his hands the destiny of Islam at Al-Madinah.

The radiant city of Al-Madinah was destined to be the home of Hijrah, the springboard of Islamic preachers and the liberators of the future. Mus`ab was equal to the task and trust which Allah had given him and he was equipped with an excellent mind and noble character. He won the hearts of the Madinites with his piety, uprightness and sincerity. And so they embraced the religion of Allah in flocks.

At the time the Prophet sent him there, only twelve Muslims had pledged allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) at the Pledge of `Aqabah. He had hardly completed a few months when they answered to the call of Allah and the Prophet. During the next pilgrimage season, the Madinite Muslims sent a delegation of 70 believing men and women to Makkah to meet the Prophet.

They came with their teacher and their Prophet’s envoy, Mus`ab ibn `Umair. Mus`ab had proven, by his good sense and excellence, that the Prophet knew well how to choose his envoys and teachers. Mus`ab had understood his mission well. He knew that he was a caller to Allah and preacher of His religion, which calls people to right guidance and the straight path.

The Right Man

Like the Prophet in whom he believed, he was no more than a deliverer of the message. There he stood fast, with As`ad ibn Zorarah as host, and both of them used to visit the tribes, dwellings, and assemblies, reciting to the people what he had of the Book of Allah, instilling in them that Allah is no more than One God.

He had confronted certain instances which could have put an end to his life and that of those with him but for his active, intelligent, great mind. One day, he was taken by surprise while preaching to the people to find Usaid ibn Hudair, leader of the `Abd Al-Ashhal tribe, at Al-Madinah confronting him with a drawn arrow.

He was raging with anger and animosity against the one who had come to corrupt the religion of his people by telling them to abandon their gods and talking to them about the idea of only One God Whom they did not know before and had never heard of. Their gods were to them the center of their worship.

Whenever any of them needed them, he knew their places. They would invoke them for help. That was how they thought and imagined!

As for the God of Muhammad, to whom this envoy was calling, nobody knew His place, nor could anybody see Him! When the Muslims who were sitting around Mus`ab, saw Usaid ibn Hudair advancing in his unbridled anger, they were frightened, but Mus`ab, the Good, stood firm. Usaid stood before him and As`ad ibn Zorarah shouting, “What brought you here? Are you coming to corrupt our faith? Go away if you wish to be saved!”

And like the calmness of the sea and its force, Mus`ab started his fine speech saying, “Won’t you sit down and listen? If you like our cause, you can accept; and if you dislike it, we will spare you of what you hate.”

Allah is the Greatest! How grand an opening whose ending would be pleasant! Usaid was a thoughtful and clever man, and here he saw Mus`ab inviting him to listen and no more. If he was convinced he would accept it, and if he was not convinced, then Mus`ab would leave his neighborhood and his clan, and move to another neighborhood without harm, nor being harmed.

There and then Usaid answered him saying, “Well, that is fair,” and he dropped his arrow to the ground and sat down listening. Mus`ab had hardly read the Qur’an, explaining the mission with which Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah came, when the conscience of Usaid began to dear and brighten and change with the effectiveness of the words. He became overwhelmed by its beauty.

When Mus`ab finished speaking, Usaid ibn Hudair exclaimed to him and those with him, “How beautiful is this speech, and how true! How can one enter this religion?” Mus`ab told him to purify his body and clothes and say, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah.” Usaid retired for some time and then returned pouring clean water on his head and standing there proclaiming, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

The news spread like lightning and then Sa`d ibn Mu`adh came and listened to Mus`ab, and he was convinced and embraced Islam. Then came Sa`d ibn `Ubadah.

There and then blessings came with their entering Islam. The people of Al-Madinah came together asking one another, “If Usaid lbn Hudair, Sa`d ibn Mu`adh and Sa`d ibn `Ubadah have embraced Islam, what are we waiting for? Go straight to Mus`ab and believe. By Allah, he is calling us to the truth and the straight path!”

The first envoy of the Prophet succeeded without comparison. It was a success which he deserved and to which he was equal.

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The article is excerpted from the book “Men Around the Messenger”, which is translation based on Khalid Muhammad Khalid’s celebrated work in Arabic “Rijal Hawla Ar-Rasul” which represents the real inspirational stories of sixty-four Companions of the Prophet. 

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Salman Al-Farisi: A Journey of Truth and Existence (2/3)

Salman Al-Farisi: A Journey of Truth and Existence (2/3)

Part 1

moon-nature

He moved from land to land, town to town, seeking acquaintances, persevering, worshiping and searching for his destiny.

I come from Isfahan, from a place called Jai, and I was the most beloved son of my father, who was a figure of high esteem among his people. We used to worship fire. I devoted myself to fire worship until I became custodian of the fire which we lit and never allowed to be extinguished.

My father had an estate. One day, he sent me there. I passed by a Christian church and heard them praying. I went in and saw what they were doing. I was impressed by what I saw in their prayers. I said, ”This is better than our religion.” I did not leave them until sunset, nor did I go to my father’s estate, nor did I return to my father until he sent people to search for me.

I asked the Christians about their affair and prayers which impressed me, and about the origin of their religion. They answered, ”In Syria.” I said to my father when I returned to him, ”I passed by people praying in a church of theirs, and I was impressed by their prayer, and I could see that their religion is better than ours.” He questioned me and I questioned him, and then he put fetters on my feet and locked me up.

Then I sent to the Christians saying I had entered their religion, and I requested that whenever a caravan came from Syria, they should tell me before its return in order for me to travel with them, and so they did.

I broke loose from the iron fetters and went away. I set out with them for Syria. While I was there, I asked about their learned man, and I was told that he was the bishop, leader of the church. I went to him and told him my story. I lived with him, serving, praying, and learning.

But this bishop was not faithful in his religion, because he used to gather money from the people to distribute it, but he would keep it for himself. Then he died.

They appointed a new leader in his place. I have never seen a man more godly than he in his religion, nor more active in his bid for the Hereafter, nor more pious in the world, nor more punctual at worship. I loved him more than I had ever loved any other person before.

When his fate came, I asked him, ”To whom would you recommend me? And to whom would you leave me?” He said, ”O my son, I do not know anyone who is on the path I am and who leads the kind of life I lead, except a certain man in Mosul.”

When he died, I went to that man in Mosul, and told him the story, and I stayed with him as long as Allah wished me to stay. Then death approached him. So I asked him, ”To whom would you advise me to go to?” He directed me to a pious man in Nisibin.

So I went to him and told him my story. I stayed with him as long as Allah wished me to stay. When death overtook him, I asked him as before. He told me to meet a person at `Amuriah in Byzantium. So, to Byzantium I went and stayed with that man, earning my living there by rearing cattle and sheep.

Then death approached him, and I asked him, ”To whom should I go?” He said, “O my son, I know no one anywhere who is on the path we have been on so that I can tell you to go to him. But you have been overtaken by an epoch in which there will appear a prophet in the pure creed of lbrahim (Abraham). He will migrate to the place of palm trees. If you can be sincere to him, then do so. He has signs which will be manifested: he does not eat of charity, yet he accepts gifts, and between his shoulders is the seal of prophethood. When you see him, you will know him.”

A caravan passed by me on that day. I asked them where they had come from and learned that they were from the Arabian Peninsula. So I told them, ”I give you these cattle and sheep of mine in return for your taking me to your land.” They agreed.

So they took me in their company until they brought me to Wadi Al-Quraa and there they wronged to me. They sold me to a Jew. I saw many palm trees and cherished the hope that it was the land that had been described to me and which would be the future place of the advent of the prophet, but it was not.

I stayed with this Jew who bought me until another from Bani Quraidhah came to him one day and bought me from him. I stayed with him until we came to Madinah. By Allah, I had hardly seen it when I knew that it was the land described to me.

I stayed with the Jew, working for him on his plantation in Bani Quraidhah until Allah sent His Prophet (peace be upon him), who later emigrated to Madinah and dismounted at Quba’ among the Bani `Amr ibn `Awf.

The Sign

Indeed, one day, I was at the top of a palm tree with my master sitting below it when a Jewish man came.

He was a cousin of his and said to him, ”May Allah destroy Bani Qubaa”. They are spreading a rumor about a man at Quba’ who came from Makkah claiming that he is a prophet.” By Allah, he had hardly said it, when I was seized by a tremor, and the palm tree shook until I almost fell on my master.

I climbed down quickly saying, ”What are you saying? What news?” My master gave me a nasty slap and said, ”What have you got to do with this? Return to your work!”

So, I returned to work. At nightfall I gathered what I had and went out until I came to the Prophet at Quba’. I entered and found him sitting with some of his Companions. Then I said, ”You are in need and a stranger. I have some food which I intend to give out as charity. When they showed me your lodgings, I thought you most deserve it, so I have come to you with it.” I put the food down. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to his Companions, ”Eat in the name of Allah.” He abstained and never took of it. I said to myself, ”This, by Allah, is one sign. He does not eat of charity!”

I returned to meet the Prophet again the next day, carrying some food, and said to him, “I can see that you do not partake of charity. I have something which I want to give to you as a present.” I placed it before him. He said to his Companions ”Eat in the name of Allah“ and he ate with them. So I said to myself, ”This indeed is the second sign. He eats of presents.”

I returned and stayed away for a while. Then I came to him, and I saw him sitting, having returned from a burial, and surrounded by his Companions. He had two garments, carrying one on his shoulder and wearing the other. I greeted him, then bent to see the upper part of his back. He knew what I was looking for, so he threw aside his garment off his shoulder and, behold, the sign between his shoulders, the seal of Prophethood, was clear just as the Christian monk had described.”

At once, I staggered towards him, kissing him and weeping. He called to me to come forward and I sat before him. I told him my story as you have already heard me describe the events.

Within Islam

When I became a Muslim, slavery prevented me from taking part in the battles of Badr and Uhud. Therefore the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised me, ”Go into terms with your master for him to free you,” and so I did. The Prophet told the Companions to assist me, and Allah freed me from bondage. I became a free Muslim, taking part with the Prophet in the Battle of Al-khandaq and others.

With these simple clear words, Salman spoke of his great, noble, and sacrificial adventure for the sake of Allah, seeking after the reality of religion that led him to Allah and helped him to find his role in this life. What kind of a noble person was this man? What great superiority was achieved by his aspiring spirit, that restless spirit that withstood difficulties and defeated them, confronted the impossible and it gave way!

What devotion to the truth, and what sincerity that led its owner voluntarily away from the estate of his father, with all its wealth and luxury, to the wilderness, with all its difficulties and suffering. He moved from land to land, town to town, seeking acquaintances, persevering, worshiping and searching for his destiny among people, sects, and different ways of life.

And adhering all the way to the truth with all its noble sacrifices, for the sake of guidance until he was sold into slavery. He was then rewarded by Allah the best of rewards, making him reach the truth and come into the presence of His Prophet.

And then He granted him longevity, enough for him to see the banner of Islam fluttering in all parts of the world and His Muslim worshippers filling its space and corners with guidance, progress and justice!

What do you expect of the Islam of a man with such a noble character but to be a man of such truth!
It was an Islam of the God- fearing and innocent. In his devotion he was intelligent, pious, and the person nearest to `Umar ibn Al-khattab.

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The article is excerpted from the book “Men Around the Messenger”, which is a translation based on Khalid Muhammad Khalid’s celebrated work in Arabic “Rijal Hawla Ar-Rasul” which represents the real inspirational stories of sixty-four Companions of the Prophet. 

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Zayd ibn Harithah: From Bondage to the Prophet’s Home

Zayd ibn Harithah: From Bondage to the Prophet’s Home

In the Battle of Mu’tah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) stood to pay his farewell to the departing Muslim army on its way to fight the Romans and to announce the name of the three successive commanders of the army:

“Zayd ibn Harithah is your first commander, but in case he is wounded, Ja`far ibn Abi Talib will take over the command, and if the latter is wounded then `AbduAllah ibn Rawahah will replace him.”

But who was Zayd ibn Harithah? Who was the beloved one of the Prophet?

Narrators and historians described his appearance as short, dark swarthy, and snub-nosed. As for his reality, he was truly a great Muslim.

In Bondage

If we go back in time, we will see Harithah, Zayd’s father, just putting the luggage on the camel that was t

Zayd’s father and uncle returned back home leaving their son safe and sound after he had become master of himself.

Zayd’s father and uncle returned back home leaving their son safe and sound after he had become master of himself.

o carry his wife, Su`dah, to her family. Harithah paid his farewell to his wife who carried Zayd – at that time a young child – in her arms.

But every time he was about to leave his wife and child who were going with a caravan, to return to his house and work, he was driven by a mysterious and inexplicable urge to keep his wife and son in sight; yet it was time for them to set out on their way and Harithah had to pay his last farewell to his wife and head back home. His tears flowed as he said goodbye and stood as if pinned to the ground until he lost sight of them. At that moment he felt broken-hearted.

Su`dah stayed with her family for a while. One day, suddenly her neighborhood was attacked by one of its opposing tribes. Taken by surprise, Bani Ma`n were defeated and Zayd ibn Harithah was captured along with other war prisoners. His mother returned home alone.

When Harithah heard the sad news, he was thunderstruck. He traveled everywhere and asked everyone about his beloved Zayd. He recited these lines of poetry on the spur of the moment to lament the loss of his son:

My heart was broken when I lost Zayd. I don’t know if he is alive or dead or if I will ever see him again. By Allah, I still do not know if he was killed on the plain or slain on the mountain. His picture comes to the mind’s eye whenever the sun rises or sets. Even when the wind blows, it brings along his memory.

Alas, I am shrouded by my sadness, grief, and fear for him.

At that time, slavery was a recognized and established social fact that turned into a necessity. This was the case in Athens, which had long enjoyed a flourishing civilization, in Rome, and in the entire ancient world, including the Arab Peninsula.

At the Prophet’s Home

When the opposing tribe attacked the Bani Ma`n, it headed to the market of `Ukazh, held at that time, to sell its prisoners of war. The child Zayd, was sold to Hakeem ibn Huzam, who gave him to his aunt Khadijah as a gift. At that time, Khadijah was married to Muhammad ibn `Abdullah but the revelation had not yet descended on him. However, he enjoyed all the promising great qualities of prophets.

Khadijah, on her part, gave her servant Zayd as a gift to her husband, Allah’s Prophet (peace be upon him). He was very pleased with Zayd and manumitted him at once. His great and compassionate heart overflowed with care and love towards the boy.

Later on, during one of the Hajj seasons, a group of Harithah’s tribe ran into Zayd in Makkah and told him about his parents anguish and grief ever since they had lost him. Zayd asked them to convey his love and longing to his parents. He told them, “Tell my father that I live here with the most generous and loving father.”

No sooner did his father know his son’s whereabouts than he hastened on his way to him, accompanied by his brother.

As soon as they reached Makkah, he asked about the trustworthy Muhammad. When he met him, he said, “O son of ibn `Abdul-Muttalib! O son of the master of his tribe! Your land is one of security and sanctuary and you are famous for helping the distressed and sheltering the captive. We have come here to ask you to give us back our son. So please confer a favor on us and set a reasonable ransom for him.”

Thicker Than Blood…

The Prophet knew the great love and attachment Zayd carried in his heart for him, yet at the same time, he respected Harithah’s parental right. Therefore, he told Harithah, “Ask Zayd to come here and make him choose between you and me. If he chooses you, he is free to go with you, but if he chooses me then, by Allah, I will not leave him for anything in the world.”

Harithah’s face brightened, for he did not expect such magnanimity; therefore, he said, “You are far more generous than us.” Then the Prophet summoned Zayd. When he came he asked him, “Do you recognize these people?” Zayd said, “Yes, this is my father and this is my uncle.”

The Prophet told him what he had told Harithah. Zayd replied, “I will not choose anyone but you, for you are a father and an uncle to me.” The Prophet’s eyes were full of thankful and compassionate tears. He held Zayd’s hand and walked to the Ka`bah, where the Quraish were holding a meeting, and cried out, “I bear witness that Zayd is my son, and in case I die first, he will inherit from me, and in case he dies first, I will inherit from him.”

Hiarithah was overjoyed, for not only had his son been manumitted but he had also become the son of the man who was known by the Quraish as “The Honest and Trustworthy”.

Moreover, he was a descendant of Bani Hashim and was raised to a high station among his people. Zayd’s father and uncle returned back home leaving their son safe and sound after he had become master of himself and after the Prophet had set to rest their fears concerning his fate.

Zayd ibn Muhammad

The Prophet (peace be upon him) adopted Zayd and from that moment on he was known as Zayd ibn Muhammad.

Suddenly, on a bright morning whose brightness has never been seen before or since, the revelation descended on Muhammad:

Read! In the name of your Lord who created – created mankind from something which clings; read! And your Lord is the Most Noble; Who taught by the pen; taught mankind what he did not know. (Al-`Alaq 96:1-5)

Then the revelation continued:

O you cloaked! Arise and warn! And magnify your Lord. (Al-Muddaththir 74:1-3)

O Messenger! Proclaim the message which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. Allah will protect you from mankind. Verily, Allah guides not the people who disbelieve. (Al-Ma’idah 5:61)

As soon as the Prophet had shouldered the responsibility of his message, Zayd submitted himself to Islam. Narrators said that he was the second man and more probably the first man to embrace Islam.

To be continued…

_________________________

The article is excerpted from the book “Men Around the Messenger”, which is a translation based on Khalid Muhammad Khalid’s celebrated work in Arabic “Rijal Hawla Ar-Rasul” which represents the real inspirational stories of sixty-four Companions of the Prophet.

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In the Light of the Companions: The Story of Um Salamah

In the Light of the Companions: The Story of Um Salamah

Transcribed by Editorial Staff

As-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, my dear brothers and sisters!

And welcome to a new episode of “In the Light of the Sahabah” the Companions whom Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) chose and blessed to have the companionship and to be in the presence of our beloved Nabi (Prophet) (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Every single one of the Companions has a tale to tell and every single one of them has a story that we can extract benefits from (in sha’a Allah-u ta’ala).

In this episode we will go through the beautiful story of Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) whose name was Hind bint Abi Umayyah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha).

The Setting of the Story

Now the story goes right back to the beginning of the Call of the Prophet (‘alaihi as-salatu was-salam) when he first received the revelation from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that there were only a few companions who actually accepted Islam.

From those few individuals was Um Salamah and her husband Abu Salamah and their one son. Now, through the time that they lived in Makkah they went through a very, very difficult time where they were persecuted and they were oppressed just for saying (La Ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah). But (al hamdu lillah) Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) blessed them with Iman (faith) and they persevered and struggled and strived with their Islam in Makkah.

The First Hijrah

After a short while, it became very difficult for the Muslims to live in Makkah. Therefore, the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) permitted them or some of the Companions to make Hijrah, that they would leave Makkah and that they would go to a land called “Habashah” which is modern-day Abyssinia.

Abu Salamah and Um Salamah with their son, they made that great journey (subhana Allah) to leave Makkah, to leave their home and to reside in the new land, Abyssinia, whose leader was known to be just and fair.  An-Najashi who, later on, embraced Islam and became a great Muslim (al hamdu lillah).

Back in Makkah

So, Abu Salamah and Um Salamah they lived there in Al-Habashah for a while. After a short while they heard that the situation in Makkah had somewhat improved and that the Muslims were then able to practise their Islam more freely. So, Abu Salamah and Um Salamah with their young child, they returned to Makkah, however, only to find that (subhana Allah) the situation was even worse than it was before.

Abu Salamah and Um Salamah were from a very famous family and they were known to be a very strong family. In fact, Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) was known to be a very noble husband. And that they had very, very good etiquettes with one another.

The family of Um Salamah and Abu Salamah are our beautiful example for us as Muslims to look up to that we should try to emulate their example in being strong Muslims and compassionate  and loving and merciful to one another.

The Great Hijrah to Medina

So, while in Makkah, they were unable to persist and to practise their Islam freely. So, again the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) permitted the Muslims, on a whole, to make the Great Hijrah from Makkah all the way to al-Madinah.  So, the Muslims, one by one, began gathering their belongings, gathering their possessions to leave their home to go and live in a new land.

Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) they had one ride, began filling his ride with their belongings their clothes and possessions. And then, they were going to leave Makkah to go to al-Madinah. Upon leaving, the tribe which Um Salamah belonged to, they saw her leaving. And they stopped them all and said,

“Where are you all going? This woman belongs to our tribe and we will not let her go. She is one of our daughters. You can go with your son but she stays here.”

And they said this forcibly without no choice or discussion in the matter. Then, another tribe which belonged or Abu Salamah belonged to, they said,

“You will not take this young boy. This young boy, Salamah, he belongs to our tribe. Abu Salamah, you’re an old man. You can leave!”

The Family were Split up

Abu Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anhu) had no choice but to leave Makkah and make the Hijrah on his own. And in just a few moments, after the family all being together with all of their possessions, (subhana Allah) they were all split up and they were all in different places.

Um Salamah was kept almost as a prisoner by her tribe, Banu Makhzum. And the child, Salamah, who was kept by the tribe of ‘Abd al-Asad and, of course Abu Salamah was alone in Madinah.

Um Salamah (subhana Allah) (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) every day, she used to go to the spot where they were all spit up. And this went on for a very, very long time (subhana Allah) until one of the people who belonged to another sub-tribes of the Makhzumi tribe saw Um Salamah in a very bad way. So, he said to the tribe, this individual,

“Why don’t you just let her go to her husband? You can see that she’s right poorly. She’s very depressed, she’s right down. What do you gain from this? Just let her go!” Until Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) softened their hearts. And eventually, they agreed that Um Salamah could leave Makkah and go to al-Madinah.

But then, the question is: how could Um Salamah leave her son who was with the other tribe of ‘Abd al-Asad and leave her son. Yes, she can go to her husband, but leaving her son was not an option. So, they went to the tribe and spoke to them as well and said,

“Would you not leave this young boy? Let him go with his mother and go on this journey. What do you benefit from keeping him here away from his father and splitting up the family?”

Again (al hamdu lillah), Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) softened their hearts, opened their hearts until they gave permission. So, Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) took her son and whatever belongings they had and they left Makkah.

The Hijrah of Um Salamah and her Son

Just as they left, on the outskirts of Makkah, they bumped into an individual in an area called “At-Tan’im” and his name was ‘Uthman ibn Talhah.

In the eighth year AH, ‘Uthman ibn Talhah, he embraced Islam. And in fact, it is his tribe who were the custodians of the key to the Kaaba.

‘Uthman ibn Talhah said to Um Salamah and her son,

“Where are you going?”

She replied, “We are making the Hijrah and we are going to live in al-Madinah.”

He replied to her and said, “I will not allow you to travel alone. it is a two-week journey in the hot desert for you to go alone. I will take you and when I will drop you off at al-Madinah, I will return”.

Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha), she said that ‘Uthman ibn Talha, even though he was a non-Muslim at this time was a very noble man.  

And (al hamdu lillah) Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) guided him later to the Deen (religion) of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

The Family Reunited Again

So, upon arrival in al-Madinah, ‘Uthman ibn Talhah, he left Um Salamah to go and meet with her family (al hamdu lillah). After years being apart, Um Salamah and Abu Salamah and their son were reunited (al hamdu lillah). And through the next couple of years, they had more children (wa lillahi al-hamd).

As we know, during the seerah of the life of Prophet Muhammad (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam), there were a number of battles. And Abu Salamah participated in the Battle of Badr, as he did participate in the Battle of or Uhud. However, during the Battle of Uhud, he was injured and (Subhan Allah), he was quite severely injured and was unable to leave the home.

Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) went to visit her own husband and was with him all the time. One of the Companions came to Um Salamah and said,

“Ya (O), Um Salamah, I’m going to teach you a du’a’ (supplication) that you should say.

“Allah-umma ajirni fi musibati wa-khluf li khairan minha”

“O Allah! Give me a reward during this calamity!”

(Subhan Allah), her husband is in a very bad state.

“And grant me something which is better in the future!”

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) decreed that Abu Salamah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) would pass away due to his injuries. The prophet ((salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) came and made a du’a’ for Abu Salamah by saying,

(Allah-umma ighfir li Abi Salamah) “O, Allah! Forgive Abu Salamah!

(Subhan Allah) Um Salamah with four children was all alone in al-Madinah what a sacrifice so she had made! And Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) was severely testing her.

Um Salam’s Second Marriage

It was the known custom not to leave a woman alone. Therefore, Abu bakr As-siddiq (radiya Allahu ‘anhu), he came and he proposed to Um Salamah, but she refused. And then, ‘Umar (radiya Allah-u ‘anhu) proposed and likewise, she said no. Then, the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) proposed to Um Salamah.

Um Salamah (radiya Allah-u ‘anha) said,

“O, Messenger of Allah! I have three things that I want to mention to you.  

Number one is that I am a very jealous person.

And number two is that I am very old in age.

And number three is that I have many children.”

The Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,

“As for the first one: concerning your jealousy, then I will make du’a’ to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that he removes that. As for your age, then I am older than you. And as for your children, then they are children that belong to Allah and his messenger (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).”

Upon this, they married (wa lillahi al-hamd). And the title that she was given, Um Salamah, she was now called ‘Um Al-Mu’mineen’ (The Mother of The Believers). (Subhan Allah) what a great title that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) gave to her!

And if we look back, the du’a’ that she made, “O Allah! Grant me a reward during this musibah (calamity) and grant me something which is better than in the future. When she said,

“And who is better than Abu Salamah? How can I possibly remarry somebody who is better than Abu Salamah?”

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) granted that she would have a husband better than Abu Salamah. And that was our dear beloved Muhammad (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Now, Um Salamah, as we know, she was the last of the wives to pass away. She passed away in the year 61 after Hijrah and has a number of famous advices that were given to the Prophet (salla Allah-u ‘alayhi wa sallam) throughout his life.

A Lesson to be Learned

So, whatever matters, my dear brothers and sisters, that we may be afflicted with a trial or calamity, we make this du’a’ to Allah (Subhanhu wa ta’ala).

“That we belong to Allah and to Him we will return.” (inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un) (Quran 2:155)

And we ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala ) to be rewarded for that test. And that we ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that He grants us something better in the future.

(wa Allah-u ya’ lam-u wa antum la ta’lamun) that “Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) knows and that you do not know.” (Quran 2:216)

I ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that He allows us to be steadfast during all tests and that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) grants us something (which) is better in the future!

Allah-umma Ameen!

Baraka Allah-u fikum (Allah bless you!)

Was-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

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