The Companion of the Holy Prophet - Musab al-Khair
By: Kamal al-Syyed
Translated by: Jasim al-Alyawy
Mus'ab wore his best clothes, combed his hair, put perfume on his body, and went out. The perfume spread through the lane. Some women whispered about that rich young man. They hoped that Mus'ab would marry one of their daughters.
Mus'ab amused himself with his friends. One day he heard about a new event happening in Makkah
At that time, our Master Muhammad [s] began inviting people to Islam.
Mus'ab decided to meet our Master Muhammad [s] and to listen to his words. So, he went to al-Arqam's house. He intended to spend only a few minutes with our Master Muhammad [s] because he had promised his friends to go for amusement.
When Mus'ab sat down before our Master Muhammad [s] he realized something new. He realized mercy, true love and good manners. Thus, he listened to Muhammad's words. Immediately, he said: I confess that there's no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his Apostle.
At that moment Mus'ab became a believing man. He began looking at the sky and feeling the pain of the poor. Then who was Mus'ab?
His full name was Mus'ab bin Umair bin Hashim bin Abd Munaf. He belonged to Abduldaar, who belonged to the Quraish. His epithet was Abdullah. He was one of the good companions.
He became a Muslim early. He kept his Islam a secret. When the polytheists knew about his Islam, they imprisoned him in his house. He immigrated to Habasha (Ethiopia) and came back to Makkah after the al-Akaba First Homage.
The Prophet [s] sent him to Madina to teach people the Holy Qur'an. So, he was the first immigrant. Allah's Apostle [s] named him Mus'ab al-Khair.
He took part in the Battle of Badr. He became a martyr in the Battle of Uhud and he was carrying the Prophet's banner.
Mus'ab becomes Muslim
In the evening, Mus'ab went home. He had his supper silently. He ate only one kind of food. His father was looking at him. His mother was astonished at his new behaviour. She asked him about that. "Nothing,"
When it was time to sleep, Mus'ab lay on the bed and began looking at the starry sky. So, he was full of awe for Allah, the Creator of the skies and of the earth, the Lord of the worlds.
All slept. But Mus'ab stayed up. He got up and performed the ritual ablution carefully so as no one would see him. He came into his room and began praying to Allah, the Glorified.
On the following morning, Mus'ab's mother was astonished at his new behaviour. He did not stop before the mirror to comb his hair. He did not put perfume on his body. He did not dress up; he wore normal clothes. Besides, his mother saw him treating his parents politely.
One day, the mother heard about her son's frequent visits to al-Arqam's house. She got crazy. She waited for his return impatiently.
Mus'ab came back in the evening and greeted his mother. But the mother strongly slapped his cheek and shouted at him stormily:
Why have you left your ancestor's religion and followed Muhammad's?
Mother, because it's the best religion!
The mother was about to lose her mind because everyone obeyed her, even her husband. She did not control herself. Thus, she slapped his cheek again.
Mus'ab sadly sat down. The mother sat down, too. She began thinking about a way to return her son to his ancestor's religion.
The mother kindly said to her son:
Don't you see the Muslims suffering from torture? Islam is slaves religion! It suits Bilal, Suhaib and Ammar. You belong to the Quraish.
Mus'ab looked at his mother and said kindly:
No, mother! Islam is people's religion. There's no difference between a Quraishi and non-Quraishi, and between the black and the white. The difference between them is piety. Mother, please follow Allah's religion and leave the idols because they're useless!
The mother kept silent. She thought of another way to drive her son away from Muhammad's religion.
The sun rose in the morning. It filled Makkah's houses and mountains with its rays. The house was empty. Mus'ab said to himself: "Where's my mother gone?"
Mus'ab wanted to go out. He headed for the door, tried to open it but found it locked. Mus'ab was waiting for his mother's return. An hour passed. The door was opened. His mother and a veiled man appeared from behind the door. The man was carrying a sword in one hand and chains in the other.
The mother said to her son: Do you want to go to al-Arqam's house?
Mus'ab kept silent. The mother went on: This room will be your prison till you leave Muhammad's religion.
Mus'ab firmly said: I prefer death to that!
The man chained Mus'ab, and his mother pushed him towards the room that became his prison.
Mus'ab suffered from hunger and loneliness in prison. He was always weeping.
The Prophet [s] and the Muslims heard about Mus'ab's sufferings. They took pity on him. They were filled with admiration because he preferred prison to all his amusements.
Mus'ab was always worshipping Allah in prison. He was pleased with his faith. But, he felt that freedom was the most beautiful thing in life and that faith in Allah was the way to freedom. Mus'ab felt the sufferings of the slaves of Makkah.
Days and weeks passed. Mus'ab was still in prison. Allah wished to save him from those sufferings.
There was a just king in al-Habasha. The Prophet [s] told the Muslims to immigrate there.
A Muslim secretly came into Mus'ab's prison. He told him about the Muslims immigration.
Mus'ab became happy and was full of hope. The Muslim released him. He was pleased to go with them. They covered the desert towards the Red Sea.
The caravan reached Jeddah port. They were fifteen Muslims. They escaped from the polytheists to save their religion. A ship anchored at the port. The ship was heading for al-Habasha.
The immigrants went abroad. They were thanking Allah for faith and safety.
The wind was soft and seat was calm. The ship began heading for Habasha. After some days and nights, the ship reached Habasha.
Al-Najashy, the emperor of Habasha was a just man. He welcomed the Muslims to his country.
Among the immigrants were Abd al-Rahman bin Auf, al-Zubair bin al-Awam, Uthman bin Mazun, Abdullah bin Masoud, Uthman bin Affan and his wife Rukkayah (the Prophet's step-daughter), Um Ayman, Abu Salama and his wife Um Salama and Mus'ab bin Umair.
The immigrants worshipped Allah safely. They were looking forward to hearing news about the Prophet [s] and about those who believed in him. They asked Allah to grant them a victory over the polytheists.
The polytheists planned to bring back the Muslims by force. They went to Jeddah port. They did not find the ship, for it had left for al-Habasha. So, they thought of another way to bring back the Muslims.
The polytheists wanted to make peace with our Master Muhammad [s], for Islam spread quickly.
For example, Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib became Muslim because Abu Jahal mistreated the Prophet [s]. Then Umar bin al-Khattab, the bitter enemy of Islam, became Muslim, too. For this reason, the Muslims were certain of their big power.
During that time, the Emperor welcomed the Muslim immigrants to his country. So, his people revolted against him.
The Muslims thought of coming back to Makkah so as not to put al-Najashy in a critical situation. In the meantime, they heard about the truce between the Muslims and the polytheists.
After three months in Habasha, the Muslims decided to come back to Makkah. The Muslims were seen off by the Habashian people. They were pleased with the emperor. So, they wished him victory over his enemies.
Before the Muslims reached Makkah, they had heard bad news. The news was that the Quraish were still unjust. They went on persecuting and torturing the Muslims.
Thus, the immigrants had two choices - either going back to al-Habasha or entering Makkah and suffering torture. Some immigrants preferred going to al-Habasha, and some preferred entering Makkah.
Mus'ab preferred entering Makkah and suffering torture.
Mus'ab went home to know his mother's opinion. His mother was still stubborn. She tried to imprison him again, but he left the house. His eyes were filled with tears.
Mus'ab wanted his mother to become a Muslim. He wanted her to open her eyes to see the light of faith. But her final answer was: I don't want the people to say that I've preferred my son's religion to my father's one.
A Meeting in Makkah
Our Master Muhammad [s] was waiting for the time of Hajj (pilgrimage) to invite the pilgrims to Islam. Six persons from Yathrib came to Makkah. The Prophet [s] asked them: Where are you from?
They answered: We're from Yathrib. We belong to al-Khazraj tribe.
Our Master Muhammad [s] said to them: Are you supporters of the Jew?
The Prophet [s] sat down with them. He read them some verses of the Qur'an and invited them to Islam.
The people of Yathrib heard from the Jews that a prophet would appear very soon. For this reason, they said to each other: By Allah, he's the Prophet whom the Jews have given good news about.
Immediately, they became Muslims and said: The enmity between the tribe of al-Aws and the tribe of al-Khazraj is very intense - may Allah bring them together through you!
They went to Yathrib and began inviting its people to Muhammad's religion.
Al-Akaba First Homage
When the time of Hajj started, twelve persons from Yathrib came and met the Prophet [s] in a place called al-Akaba.
The twelve persons promised him that they would not be polytheists, not steal, not fornicate, not kill their daughters and not tell lies.
The First Immigrant
The Muslims in Habasha asked our Master Muhammad [s] to send them a man to teach Islam.
Our Master Muhammad [s] found Mus'ab the best man to carry out that task. Therefore, he ordered him to get ready to immigrate to al-Habasha.
Mus'ab bin Umair obeyed the Prophet [s] and went with his Muslim brothers to al-Habasha.
Thus, Mus'ab was the first to immigrate to Habasha for Allah. He stayed with Saad bin Zarara, who was among the earlier Muslims.
Days passed. Mus'ab was with his Muslim brothers teaching them Islam and reading them the Qur'an.
The Spread of Islam
Saad bin Zarara wanted to spread Islam all over Makkah. He asked Mus'ab to go with him to Bani al-Ashal's and Bani Zafar's houses.
Saad bin Maadh and Usaid bin Khuzair were Bani al-Ashal's leaders. They were polytheists.
Saad bin Maadh said to Uzair bin Khuzair: Go and scold those two men! Then dismiss them from our houses. Saad bin Zarara is my cousin. I'm shy of him.
Usaid bin Khuzair took his sword and headed for them. There were a group of people from Yathrib around them. They were listening to the verses of the Qur'an.
Saad bin Zarara saw Usaid coming towards them. He said to Mus'ab: This is Usaid. He's the chief of the tribe. If he becomes Muslim, his tribe will become Muslim, too.
Usaid stopped near them. He said threateningly: If you like life, then go away!
Mus'ab politely answered: Please sit down for only a few minutes. Do listen to what we're reading. If you don't accept it, we'll go away.
Usaid said: You have treated me with justice.
Usaid rammed his sword into the ground and sat down.
Mus'ab began reading some verses of the Holy Qur'an. Usaid felt faith began entering his heart.
His expression changed quickly. His anger disappeared. So, he said with a smile: How sweet this is!
Mus'ab said: It's the best religion. The truthful, trustworthy Prophet has brought it.
Usaid said: What shall I do if I want to be a Muslim.
Mus'ab said: Wash your body, perform the ritual ablution, say I confess that there's no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Apostle and His slave. Then pray two Raka'as.
Usaid got up and went home. He washed his body, performed the ritual ablution, came back to them and became Muslim. Then he said: There's a man, who is my friend. If he becomes a Muslim, all his tribe will become Muslims, too. I'll send him to you.
Saad bin Maadh becomes Muslim
Usaid came back to his friend Saad. When Saad bin Maadh saw him in the distance, he said to his friends: By Allah, Usaid has come to you with another face.
Namely, Usaid has changed.
Saad said to Usaid: What have you done?
Usaid said: I ordered them to go away.
They said: "We'll do what you like."
Saad said Where are they now?
Usaid said: At their place.
Saad said angrily: You haven't done anything!
Saad stood up, took the sword from Usaid and headed for Mus'ab bin Umair.
When he arrived there, he cried stormily: By whose permission have you come here?
Mus'ab smiled. He asked him to sit down and to listen. Then he said: If our words annoy you, then we'll leave!
After Saad had rammed the sword into the ground, he sat down.
Mus'ab read him some verses of the Qur'an. Then, he told him about the Islamic good manners, friendship and brotherhood.
Saad felt that his heart inclined to Islam. So he said: I confess that there's no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Apostle and His slave.
Saad kept his Islam a secret for he intended to do something.
Saad was Bani al-Ashal's chief and leader. They were waiting for his return. He and Mus'ab bin Umair came back to them. When Saad approached them, he stopped and said: Bani al-Ashal, what am I?
They all answered: Our leader and master!
Saad bin Maadh said: I ask you to believe in Allah and His Apostle.
All Bani al-Ashal believed in Islam. Therefore, Mus'ab bin Umair began teaching them the principals of Islam.
Al-Akaba Second Homage
The time of the new pilgrimage started. Mus'ab bin Umair and a group of the Muslims went to Makkah. A group of the polytheists went there, too. The polytheists visited Makkah and had special ceremonies.
Mus'ab wanted to meet the Prophet [s] and tell him about spreading Islam in Yathrib.
A group of Muslims secretly visited our Master Muhammad [s]. They asked him to meet them at al-Akaba valley at night. They did not want the Quraish to know about their meeting.
When the polytheists slept, the Muslims went secretly to al-Akaba valley. The Muslims were seventy-three. Two of them were women. The first was Naseeba bint Kaab. She belonged to Bani al-Najjar. The second was Asmaa bint Amru. She belonged to Bani Salama.
Our Master Muhammad [s] came. His uncle al-Abbas, who kept his Islam a secret because he was afraid of the Quraish, came with him, too.
The Muslims paid homage to our Master Muhammad [s]. They assured him that they would defend Islam.
Besides they showed him their stand against all his enemies. The Muslims said to Allah's Apostle [s]: We've paid our homage! We'll be loyal to you. Then what will be our reward?
Our Master Muhammad [s] said: The Paradise!
Munat, the Idol
The delegation came back to Madina. Mus'ab bin Umair came back, too. He was glad at the victory of Islam.
Islam spread. Its light illuminated Yathrib city. Most people of Yathrib became Muslims, but only a few persons insisted on polytheism and worshipping idols.
Amru bin al-Jumah made an idol of wood. He named it Munat. He put it in the house yard. He worshipped it everyday.
Maadh thought about a way to convince his father about the uselessness of the idols. He agreed with his Muslim brothers about taking the idols.
It was time to sleep. Amru in al-Jamuh went to bed. His son stayed up waiting for his friends.
At the fixed hour, the friends came. Maadh opened the door carefully. His friends came into the house. They tied the idols with ropes and drew it outside the house. They went outside the city. They threw the idol into a rubbish pit. Maadh came back home calmly. He went to bed.
In the morning, Amru bin al-Jamuh woke. He did not find Munat. He began looking for his idol through the lanes. He was shouting: Who has stolen my god?
Amru bin al-Jamuh searched everywhere for the idol. Finally he found it in the rubbish pit. He took it out of the pit and brought it home again. He gave it a good clean and perfumed it. Then he kneeled and apologised to it.
At the following night, Maadh's friends came. They drew the idol, took it outside the city and threw it into the same pit.
Amru bin al-Jamuh woke. He did not find the idol. So, he went outside the city. He brought it home and gave it a good clean. That time, he was annoyed. Thus he tied a sword to the neck of Munat. He said to it: If you're a real god, then defend yourself!
It got dark. Maadh's friends came. They took the idol to another place. They tied it to a dead dog and threw it into a pit.
On the following day, Amru bin al-Jamuh looked for his idol everywhere. Then he found it tied to the dead dog. So, he took his sword and kicked the idol with his leg. He said: What a bad god you are!
At that moment, Amru bin al-Jamuh believed in the Muslim Mission. Maadh was happy when his father became Muslim.
The Prophet's Migration
The polytheists harmed the Muslims intensely. So, the Prophet [s] ordered his companions to immigrate to Madina.
The Muslims began leaving Makkah secretly. They went there one by one or group by group. The Quraish knew about the Muslims immigration. Thus, they began capturing and torturing some of them.
Thirteen years passed after the Prophetic Mission. Abu Jahal urged the Quraish to kill our Master Muhammad [s]. Jibreel came down from the sky to tell Allah's Apostle [s] about the Quraishi plot. He ordered him to immigrate to Madina.
The Prophet [s] decided to leave Madina secretly. Therefore, he asked his cousin Ali to sleep in his bed. Ali accepted the Prophet's request with pleasure.
The polytheists broke into the Prophet's house. They saw Ali sleeping in his bed. They admired Ali's bravery and sacrifice.
Our Master Muhammad [s] arrived in Madina. It's people received him with songs. On that day, Yathrib was named al-Madina al-Munawarra.
Our Master Muhammad [s] began building a new society.
First, our Master Muhammad [s] built a mosque. The mosque was a symbol for monotheism. Then, he made brotherhood between Muhajireen and Ansar.
The Battle of Badr
The polytheists in Makkah attacked and robbed the Muslim's houses.
Our Master Muhammad [s] wanted to punish the Quraish. He heard about their trade caravan coming from Sham. He ordered the Muslims to get ready to attack the caravan.
Abu Sufyan, the leader of the caravan, heard about the Muslim's plan. So, he sent a man to the Quraishi leaders to send him urgent supplies. In the meantime, he changed the direction of the caravan.
The polytheists got ready to face the Muslims. They called up 950 fighters and headed for Madina.
The Prophet [s] formed an army. The number of the army was 313 fighters. He gave Mus'ab bin Umair the Muhajireen's banner. He gave Saad bin Maadh the Ansar's banner. And he gave his banner, called al-Ikaab, to Ali bin Abu Talib [a].
The two armies met near Badr wells.
The battle took place. The Muslims fought bravely. Allah granted them a victory. The Muslims killed many polytheists. They killed Abu Sufyan and Umayyah bin Khulaif. Besides, they captured many polytheists such as al-Nadhar bin al-Harith.
Al-Nadhar bin al-Harith said to Mus'ab bin Umair: Tell your friend (our Master Muhammad [s] ) to regard me as a prisoner of war!
Mus'ab said to him: You tortured his companions.
Al-Nadhar bin al-Harith tried to remind him of the pre-Islamic fanaticism, he said to him: If the Quraish captured you, I would prevent them from killing you.
Mus'ab said: I'm against your opinion. Islam is against fanaticism.
Mus'ab thought of nothing but Islam and obeyed none but Allah and his Messenger [s].
The Battle of Uhud
The Quraish were getting ready to take revenge on the Muslims. A year passed after the Battle of Badr.
The polytheists formed a big army. The number of the army was three thousand fighters. Abu Sufyan headed it.
The polytheist army advanced towards Madina.
The Jews in Madina were worried, for the Muslims won victory at the Battle of Badr. So, they were full of spite. Kaad bin al-Ashraf, a Jew belonging to Bani al-Nadheer, went to Makkah. He urged the polytheists to take revenge on the Muslims.
Abu Sufyan said to Kaab: Which religion is better - Muhammad's or ours?
Kaab said with a smile: Yours!
Thus, the Jews succeeded in urging the polytheists. For this reason, the polytheist army headed for al-Madina al-Munawwara.
After many talks in the Prophet's Mosque, the Muslims were agreed on facing the polytheists near Uhud Mount outside Madina. Our Master Muhammad [s] formed an army. The number of the army was seven hundred fighters. The Prophet [s] gave the banner to the brave companion Mus'ab bin Umair.
Our Master Muhammad [s] ordered the best fifty bow men to stay on al-Ainain Mount. Their duty was to defend the Muslims against any surprising attack. Thus, the Prophet [s] ordered them not to leave their places at any rate - he said to them:
Protect us from the back. Don't leave your places when you see us collecting booty or when we are killed.
When the fight started, the Muslims won great victory. They began chasing the polytheists. The bow men on the mountain forgot the Prophet's order. They saw their Muslim brothers collecting booty. So, they left their places.
Khalid bin al-Waleed headed the polytheist army. He launches a surprising attack. The bow men on the mountain could not resist the attack. So, some of them became martyrs. The attack left the Muslims in chaos.
Our Master Muhammad [s] and some of his companions such as Ali bin Abu Talib [a], Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib, and Mus'ab bin Umair faced the attack.
Mus'ab was carrying the Muslims' banner. He was among those who fought bravely to protect Allah's Apostle [s].
The polytheists attacked Mus'ab strongly to drop banner, for dropping the banner meant defeat. For this reason, Mus'ab bin Umair was fighting bravely. After heroic resistance, he fell to the ground and was martyred.
Our Master Muhammad [s] ordered Ali bin Abu Talib [a] to raise the banner high. The fight continued. Then Hamza became a martyr. Some companions fought bravely. Abu Dajana al-Ansary and Sahal bin Hunaifa were two of them.
Our Master Muhammad [s] was badly wounded. The polytheists launched intense attacks against him. Each time, the Prophet [s] said to Ali [a]: Fight these polytheists!
Ali was fighting with his sword called Dhul Fiqar. He did not pay attention to his wounds. Jibreel came down from the sky. He said to our Master Muhammad [s]: Muhammad, the angels of the sky have admired your resistance.
Some companions heard an angel calling the sky: There's no sword but Dhul Fiqar and no youth like Ali.
Although the situation was critical, our Master Muhammad [s] decided to withdraw his troops to refresh them. He called: I'm Allah's Apostle [s]. come near to me!
The Prophet [s] took his companions to Uhud Mount.
Abu Sufyan stood at the foot of the mountain and said: A day for a day!
Then he said: Hubal is great!
The Prophet [s] ordered a companion of his to say: Allah is greater!
Abu Sufyan said: The supporter is for us, but you've no supporter!
The Prophet [s] said: Allah is our supporter, but you've no supporter!
The battle was over. The Muslims took an unforgettable lesson from it. The lesson was about obeying our Master Muhammad [s] at any rate.
The Muslims lost seventy fighters. The polytheists lost twenty eight fighters.
Our Master Muhammad [s] arrived in Madina. The Muslims rejoiced at his return.
Our Master Muhammad [s] condoled Hamna bint Jahash on her uncle's martyrdom. She said: We belong to Allah and we shall come back to Him! May Allah forgive and have mercy on him!
He condoled her on her brother Abdullah's martyrdom.
She said: We belong to Allah and we shall come back to Him! May Allah forgive and have mercy on him!
Then he condoled her on her husband Mus'ab's martyrdom. She burst into tears and said: What great sadness!
She wept bitter tears. Our Master Muhammad [s] knew that Hamna loved her brave husband very much. So, he did not tell her directly.
That believing woman went home weeping. For this reason our Master Muhammad [s] said: The woman loves her husband more than others.
Thus the bright page of jihad was folded. Mus'ab's name was on its first lines.
The Muslims always remember this brave hero, who suffered persecution for Islam. Mus'ab al-Khair's name has been in the generations memory!