The early companions of the prophet


By : Magdy Abd Al-Shafy Abd Al-Gawad

It is only when hearts are enlightened by the light of the true faith that they begin to bear all the hardships of life and sacrifice all the allurements of this transitory life and begin to find sweetness in pains and hardships . Here is the story of an early companion of the prophet the reflects all these meanings

Musab ibn Umayr , was born to a very rich family and brought in the lab of affluence,He wore the most expensive clothes . He was a handsome guy , all the people there admired him for his intelligence and keen mind . Although still young, he had the privilege of attending Quraysh meetings and gatherings. He was thus in a position to know the issues which concerned the Makkans and what their attitudes and strategies were.

On the advent of prophet Mohummed , rumors went every where .This prophet provoked the idolaters . Prophet Mohummed used to warn people asking them to leave the idols and worship God . In the beginning, very a few accepted and the majority rejected and even those idolaters put to torture whoever think to believe ,He warned the Quraysh of terrible chastisement if they did not turn to the worship and obedience of God and he spoke of Divine rewards for the righteous. The whole of Makkah buzzed with talk of these claims.

So many machination were weaved against the prophet , the prophet was ridiculed and when this failed they began to persuade him of leaving the call to Allah in exchange for authority ,money and whatever he wished. the prophet scotched all their attempts by saying to his uncle that he wouldn't leave his call to Allah even if they put the sun on his right hand and the moon on his left ,they embarked on a campaign of harassment and persecution.

Musab, the intelligent man ,thought "what did the man have for which he refused all the wealth offered to him ?"

Whatever on earth could make the man bear toils and pains ?

It was a decisive point in his life , a swift turning point and whatever you could say when he made his way to the place where the prophet and his companions worshipped Allah . What brought him to this place ? the man has a heart that has been in search for the truth . So many people indulge themselves in the allurement of this ephemeral life without racking their minds to think about the vociferous call of their nature. Unmindful of the risks of the road , he went where the prophet and his companion recited the Holy Quran

Let the history , the best witness, tells us .

So face to face ,stood the searcher for the truth before the man who was entitled by the heaven to carry the truth ,the hands stretched to touch each other , it wasn't the hand of Mosusab that was touched , it was his heart . So face to face . he stood before people , already put to torture , already left everything only to quench the thirst for the Absolute Truth . On listening to the Holy verses of the Quran, all the chemistry and physics in the man's body changed at once.

On accepting Islam Musab had one major concern , it is his mother.. She was a woman of extraordinary power. She had a dominant personality and could easily arouse fear and terror. When Musab became a Muslim, the only power on earth he might have feared was his mother. All the powerful nobles of Makkah and their attachment to pagan customs and traditions were of little consequence to him. Having his mother as an opponent, however, could not be taken lightly.

He continued to frequent the House of al-Arqam , the first Islamic university where the first Moslems used to frequent secretly to learn the new religion . Nothing in the world even his companionship and sitting to mother could bring Mpuseb serene and tranquility as sitting to the prophet .

It was difficult during those days to keep anything secret in Makkah for long. The eyes and ears of the Quraysh were on every road. Behind every footstep imprinted in the soft and burning sand was a Quraysh informer. Before long, Musab was seen as he quietly entered the House of al-Arqam, by someone called Uthman ibn Talhah.

As winds in a storm, the devastating news of Musab's acceptance of Islam spread among the Quraysh and eventually reached his mother.

His mother was shocked at this news and his clan's wrath went beyond every limit .

He kept himself steady before them but even recited some verses of the holy Quran for nothing but to guide them to the light they had never seen before , they were verses that cleaned the hearts that once in the quagmire of infidelity.Yet out arrogance and stubbornness they refused to accept the light and so began another stage in the man's life .

As Musab's mother listened to her son on whom she had lavished so much care and affection, she became increasingly incensed. She felt like silencing him with one terrible blow. But the hand which shot out like an arrow staggered and faltered before the light which radiated from Musab's serene face. Perhaps, it was her mother's love which restrained her from actually beating him, but still she felt she had to do something to avenge the gods which her son had forsaken. The solution she decided upon was far worse for Musab than a few blows could ever have been. She had Musab taken to a far corner of the house. There he was firmly bound and tethered. He had become a prisoner in his own home.

For a long time, Musab remained tied and confined under the watchful eyes of guards whom his mother had placed over him to prevent him from any further contact with Muhammad and his faith. Despite his ordeal, Musab did not waver.

What could imprisonment bring to him , nothing could now harm him , the good food that he used to eat was substituted with another , the servants who used to be at his disposal became his masters in the prison ,the man who used to ride his horse and swagger in the streets no longer able to walk in his suffocating cell . what could they do him , his paradise is in his heart .

His real freedom was in his heart , He remained steady but he missed his companions , his missed doing the prayer . So , on hearing that some Moslem received order from the prophet to emigrate where they could worship God freely and to where they could survive torture and death , he decided to escape . Eventually he heard that a group of Muslims were preparing secretly to migrate to Abyssinia to seek refuge and relief.

They spent some years there worshipping God , but nothing sadden their hearts but the worry about their prophet , how much they aspired to his companionship but they had to wait as death and torture are lying in ambush there in Mekka .So when a report reached Abyssinia that the conditions of the Muslims in Makkah had improved, Musab was among the first to return to Makkah. The report was in fact false and Musab once again left for Abyssinia

With all this bad treatment , he remained loyal to his mother . Why not , he learnt well the lesson of maintaining good relations with his relatives even if they were unkind to him , he knows well the holy verse "And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear The command), Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal. But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to Me (in love): In the End the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did.

When Musab returned to Makkah again, his mother made a last attempt to gain control of him and threatened to have him tied up again and confined. Musab swore that if she were to do that, he would kill everyone who helped her. She knew very well that he would carry out this threat for she saw the iron determination he had.

Separation was inevitable. When the moment came, it was sad for both mother and son but it revealed a strong Persistence in kufr on the part of the mother and an even greater persistence in iman on the part of the son. As she threw him out of her house and cut him off from all the material comforts she used to lavish on him, she said:"Go to your own business. I am not prepared to be a mother to you."

How much sadness is that he felt on leaving her without converting her , it was not important for him the comfort he used to , he knew well that nothing awaiting but hunger and poverty.

Musab went up close to her and said: "Mother, I advise you sincerely. I am concerned about you, do testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger."

But the woman followed the dark path ,Musab thus left her home and the luxury and comforts he used to enjoy. The elegant, well-dressed youth would henceforth be seen only in the coarsest of attire. He now had more important concerns. He was determined to use his talents and energies in acquiring knowledge and in serving God and His Prophet.

One day, several years later, Musab came upon a gathering of Muslims sitting around the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace. They bowed their heads and lowered their gaze when they saw Musab, and some were even moved to tears. This was because his jalbab was old and in tatters and they were immediately taken back to the days before his acceptance of Islam when he was a model of sartorial elegance. The Prophet looked at Musab, smiled gracefully and said: "I have seen this Musab with his parents in Makkah. They lavished care and attention on him and gave him all comforts. There was no Quraysh youth like him. Then he left all that seeking the pleasure of God and devoting himself to the service of His Prophet.

After about ten years of inviting people to Islam, most of Makkah still remained hostile. The noble Prophet then went to Taif seeking new adherents to the faith. He was repulsed and chased out of the city. The future of Islam looked bleak.

It was just after this that the Prophet chose Musab to be his "ambassador" to Yathrib to teach a small group of believers who had come to pledge allegiance to Islam and prepare Madinah for the day of the great Hijrah. It was his intelligence and ability to recite Quran beautifully and movingly that qualified him to this mission . Moreover and even more , his deep desire to take the lost people to their Creator , nothing could ail his soul more than sighting many people , all the humanity , worshipping and ascribing others with God, it was his infinite love to his Lord that moved him ....why not ...he saw the generous prophet standing in streets of Mekka ,when he was let down by the people , calling people ...saying in a moving voice so filled with tear " who can carry me ( on his camel) to the tribes of so and so , who can carry me to the tribes of so and so ( naming each tribes )

Musab understood his mission well. He knew that he was on a sacred mission to invite people to God and the straight path of Islam and to prepare what was to be the territorial base for the young and struggling Muslim community.

He entered Madinah as a guest of Sad ibn Zurarah of the Khazraj tribe. Together they went to people, to their homes and their gatherings, telling them about the Prophet, explaining Islam to them and reciting the Quran. Through the grace of God, many accepted Islam. This was especially pleasing to Musab but profoundly alarming to many leaders of Yathribite society.

In his call to Allah , he applied the Holy Quran when calling people to Islam " Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from his path, and who receive guidance.

The following situation will show us the effect of applying this verse in calling to Allah ; Once Musab and Sad were sitting near a well in an orchard of the Zafar clan. With them were a number of new Muslims and others who were interested in Islam. A powerful notable of the city, Usayd ibn Khudayr, came up brandishing a spear. He was livid with rage. Sad ibn Zararah saw him and told Musab: "This is a chieftain of his people. May God place truth in his heart." "If he sits down, I will speak to him," replied Musab,

Like the media in the west , the idolaters sent rumors everywhere concerning Islam , The angry Usayd , being affected so much by these rumors , shouted abuse and threatened Musab and his host. "Why have you both come to us to corrupt the weak among us? Keep away from us if you want to stay alive." Musab smiled a warm and friendly smile and said to Usayd: "Won't you sit down and listen? If you are pleased and satisfied with our mission, accept it and if you dislike it we would stop telling you what you dislike and leave."

"That's reasonable," said Usayd and, sticking his spear in the ground, sat down. Musab was not compelling him to do anything. He was not denouncing him. He was merely inviting him to listen. If he was satisfied, well and good. If not, then Musab would leave his district and his clan without any fuss and go to another district.

Musab began telling him about Islam and recited the Quran to him. Even before Usayd spoke, it was clear from his face, now radiant and expectant, that faith had entered his heart. Here the Holy Quran verses found their way to the man's heart , sometimes these words works miracles in the heart that used to be deaf , sometimes they works miracles at hearts of stones , but what we are sure of is that it is only when you are unbiased that these words can affect , the worst thing is to listen to the Holy Quran words with arrogance , as nothing brings God's wrath as arrogance, it was the first sin committed when Satan , out of arrogance , refused to obey God when He ordered him to prostrate himself to Adam. Now let's see the reaction of the man that was only few minutes unbeliever .

He said: "How beautiful are these words and how true! What does a person do if he wants to enter this religion?"

"Have a bath, purify yourself and your clothes. Then utter the testimony of Truth (Shahadah), and perform Salat. Usayd left the gathering and was absent for only a short while. He returned and testified that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. He then prayed two rakats and said:

"After me, there is a man who if he follows you, everyone of his people will follow him. I shall send him to you now. He is 'Sad ibn Muadh."

Sad ibn Muadh came and listened to Musab. He was convinced and satisfied and declared his submission to God. He was followed by another important Yathribite, Sad ibn Ubadah. Before long, the people of Yathrib were all in a flurry, asking one another.

"If Usayd ibn Khudayr, Sad ibn Muadh and Sad ibn Ubadah have accepted the new religion, how can we not follow? Let's go to Musab and believe with him. They say that truth emanates from his lips."

To those who commit follies against Islam thinking that they represent Islam we say , learn and teach this lesson . how many people followed Islam because Musab carried out the Holy Quran methodology in calling to Allah .

The first ambassador of the Prophet, peace be on him, was thus supremely successful. The Prophet had chosen well. Men and women, the young and the old, the powerful and the weak accepted Islam at his hands. The course of Yathribite history had been changed forever. The way was being prepared for the great Hijrah. Yathrib was soon to become the center and the base for the Islamic state.

Islam built inside the human psyche what can not be imagined , it creates a kind of brotherhood completely different from that we know . The following momentous situation will show us how Musab understood the meaning of brotherhood in Allah .

After the battle of Bader was over, the Quraysh prisoners of war were brought to the Prophet who assigned them to the custody of individual Muslims. "Treat them well," he instructed.

Among the prisoners was Abu Aziz ibn Umayr, the brother of Musab. Abu Aziz related what happened: "I was among a group of Ansar...Whenever they had lunch or dinner they would give me bread and dates to eat in obedience to the Prophet's instructions to them to treat us well.

"My brother, Musab ibn Umayr, passed by me and said to the man from the Ansar who was holding me prisoner:

'Tie him firmly... His mother is a woman of great wealth and maybe she would ransom him for you.'" Abu Aziz could not believe his ears. Astonished, he turned to Musab and asked: "My brother, is this your instruction concerning me?" "He is my brother, not you," replied Musab thus affirming that in the battle between iman and kufr, the bonds of faith were stronger than the ties of kinship.

At the Battle of Uhud, the Prophet called upon Musab, now well-known as Musab al-Khayr (the Good), to carry the Muslim standard. At the beginning of the battle, the Muslims seemed to be gaining the upper hand. A group of Muslims then went against the orders of the Prophet and deserted their positions. The mushrikin forces rallied again and launched a counterattack. Their main objective, as they cut through the Muslim forces, was to get to the noble Prophet.

Musab realized the great danger facing the Prophet. He raised the standard high and shouted the takbir. With the standard in one hand and his sword in the other, he plunged into the Quraysh forces. The odds were against him. A Quraysh horseman moved in close and severed his right hand. Musab was heard to repeat the words:

"Muhammad is only a Messenger. Messengers have passed away before him," showing that however great his attachment was to the Prophet himself, his struggle above all was for the sake of God and for making His word supreme. His left hand was then severed also and as he held the standard between the stumps of his arms, to console himself he repeated: "Muhammad is only a Messenger of God. Messengers have passed away before him." Musab was then hit by a spear. He fell and the standard fell. The words he repeated, every time he was struck were later revealed to the Prophet and completed, and became part of the Quran.

After the battle, the Prophet and his companions went through the battlefield, bidding farewell to the martyrs. When they came to Musab's body, tears flowed. Khabbah related that they could not find any cloth with which to shroud Musab's body, except his own garment. When they covered his head with it, his legs showed and when his legs were covered, his head was exposed and the Prophet instructed:

"Place the garment over his head and cover his feet and legs with the leaves of the idhkhir (rue) plant."

The Prophet felt deep pain and sorrow at the number of his companions who were killed at the Battle of Uhud. These included his uncle Hamzah ,whose body was horribly mutilated. But it was over the body of Musab that the Prophet stood, with great emotion. He remembered Musab as he first saw him in Makkah, stylish and elegant, and then looked at the short burdah which was now the only garment he possessed and he recited the verse of the Quran:

"Among the believers are men who have been true to what they have pledged to God."

The Prophet then cast his tender eyes over the battle field on which lay the dead companions of Musab and said: "The Messenger of God testifies that you are martyrs in the sight of God on the day of Qiyamah."

Then turning to the living companions around him he said: "O People! Visit them, send peace on them for, by Him in whose hand is my soul, any Muslim who sends peace on them until the day of Qiyamah, they would return the salutation of peace."