MUS'AB IBN `UMAIR
The First Envoy of Islam
This man among the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad
, how good it is for us to start with him. He was the flower of the Quraish, the most handsome and youthful! Historians and narrators describe 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 lbn `Umair
. 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 `Umair
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
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 Quraish at As-safaa in the house of Al-Arqam lbn Al-Arqam daar Al-Arqam. He wasted no time. He went one night to the Daar 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!
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Mus`ab's mother was Khunaas Bint Maalik, 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 Daar 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 Quraish were everywhere, very alert and checking every footprint in its hot sands. Once, `Uthmaan Ibn Taihah saw him steadily entering Arqam'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.
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
, 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.
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!"
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.
While he was in this state, the Prophet
commissioned him with the greatest mission of his life, which was to be his envoy to Al-Madiinah. His mission was to instruct the Ansar who believed in the Prophet
and had pledged their allegiance to him at `Aqabah, to call others to Islam, and to prepare Al-Madiinah 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-Madiinah. The radiant city of Al-Madiinah 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
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.
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. 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 Zoraarah 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 lbn Hudair, leader of the `Abd Al-Ashhal tribe, at Al-Madiinah 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 lbn Hudair advancing in his unbridled anger, they were frightened, but Mus'ab the Good stood firm. Usaid stood before him and As`ad lbn Zoraarah 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 lbn `Abdullah
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 lbn 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'aadh came and listened to Mus'ab, and he was convinced and embraced Islam. Then came Sa`d lbn `Ubaadah. (Radhi Allahu Anhum)
There and then blessings came with their entering Islam. The people of Al-Madiinah came together asking one another, "If Usaid lbn Hudair, Sa`d Ibn Mu`aadh and Sa`d Ibn `Ubaadah have embraced Islam, what are we waiting for? Go straight to Mu'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.
* * * To continue Insha Allah