Chapter 43: Nauman Bin Bashir
Nuaman bin Bashir was ordered to make arrangements for the return of Ahlul Bayt and to send a reliable and honest person with them. According to Shaykh Mufid Nuaman himself was ordered to go with them. It is written in Akhbiirud Duwal that Nuaman bin Bashir accompanied Ahlul Bayt from Syria to Madina along with thirty other men and served them throughout the journey.
Nuaman treated them so respectfully that Fatima, the daughter of Imam Ali who was one of the ladies who had been made prisoners said to her sister lady Zaynab: "This man has behaved towards us very gently and it is proper that we may give him a reward". However, Nuaman did not accept the reward and said: "If I have rendered any service it has been for the sake of Allah and on account of your relationship with the Prophet of Allah".
Nuaman bin Bashir and his father both were the companions of the Holy Prophet. His father Bashir bin Sad Khazraji was the first person who took the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr in Saqifa bani Sa'idah. It has been written that his object in taking this oath was not to please Allah, but he took it lest Sad bin Ubada Khazraji should attain to the caliphate. As he envied Sad and did not wish that any Khazraji except him should become caliph he made haste in taking the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr and took it even before the distinguished Muhajirs did so.
Nuaman himself was one of those persons who did not take the oath of allegiance to Imam Ali. He was a supporter of Mu'awiya and was inimical towards the people of Kufa on account of their friendship for Ali. After Uthman was killed and Imam Ali became caliph he (Nuaman) went away to Syria and in the Battle of Siffin none from amongst the Ansar (i.e. the Muslims who were the companions of the Holy Prophet and belonged to Madina) except Nuaman and Salma bin Mukhlad accompanied Mu'awiya. Nuaman was alive till 65 A.H. In that year he thought of becoming the caliph and some persons gathered round him. However, he was defeated by Marwan bin Hakam and killed. In any case, during the journey of Ahlul Bayt from Syria to Madina Nuamitn behaved towards them with great respect, and every Muslim appreciates his good behavior.
The Ahlul Bayt, however, reached near Madina. It was the same Madina which had been inhabited by the Holy Prophet and his descendants and for which they had great attachment. From the time of the Holy Prophet's migration i.e. from 1 A.H. the people of Madina i.e. the Ansar and the Muslims of the tribes of Aws and Khazraj had made extreme sacrifices for the sake of the Holy Prophet. It was the same city which received the Prophet of Islam with devotion and sincerity and opened its gates before him when all other gates were closed for him, and also provided quarters to the Muhajirs and homeless Muslims who migrated from Makkah and the regions of the Hijaz.
The Prophet, too, who had at one time migrated to this place only to comply with the Command of Allah, developed so much love for it that even after the conquest of Makkah in 8 A.H. he did not choose to reside in Makkah and returned to Madina after the Battles of Hunayn and Taif were over, and spent the remaining part of his life there. He went to Makkah only in 10 A.H. to perform Haj and to teach the Muslims the ceremonies connected therewith and even then he returned to Madina after performing Haj.
Madina was the birth-place of Imam Husayn and most of his brothers and sisters. Fifty seven years of his life had been spent in Madina excluding the period of four years and four months of the caliphate of his father and his brother Imam Hasan when he remained in Iraq. Madina was the city which provided favorable atmosphere for the Prophet's call to Islam and at a time when Makkah had virtually become a prison for him it was this city which made his message reach the people of the world.
Imam Ali hints in one of his sermons at the facilities which Madina provided for the spread of Islam. He says: "The Prophet of Allah was born in Makkah but migrated to Madina. It was from there that he communicated the message of Islam to different parts of the world".1 The near relations of the Prophet of Allah were hostile to him. They fought against him and made him leave his home.
However, the two tribes of Aws and Khazraj accepted him, brought him to their city and sacrificed their lives and wealth to spread his call. This is the fact which Ali has mentioned in one of his aphorisms; he says: "When the relatives and near ones of a person desert him and do not render him assistance, others come forward to help him and Allah prepares them to take the place of his near relations". The same thing happened in the case of the Prophet of Allah. There were twenty five families of Quraysh, who were all related to the Holy Prophet and were the descendants of Prophet Ibrahim, Adnan and Nazar bin Kanana were the honorable fore-fathers of the Holy Prophet. All these families who were Isamaili and Adnani Arabas rose in opposition to the Prophet of Allah and, so long as he was in Makkah, prevented the expansion of Islam by all possible means.
They tortured the followers of the Holy Prophet and killed some of them in a most tragic manner. They used abusive and unbecoming language for the Holy Prophet till he was obliged to migrate from Makkah. And even when he went to another city they did not leave him alone but started hostilities, created trouble, killed his supporters as and when it was possible and instigated the Jews of Madina to fight against him and violate the pacts made with him. They sent their eloquent poets to the Bedouin Arabs and instigated them also to rise against the Prophet of Allah till in 5 A.H. they were able to gather together about 12,000 persons against the Muslims from amongst the polytheists of Makkah, the Bedouins and the Jews. All this was done by the near relations of the Prophet of Allah. These ungrateful Quraysh remained inimical towards him before as well as after migration and did not change their attitude till Makkah was conquered and they were no longer in a position to oppose him.
Imam Ali wrote to Muawiya: "Our people i.e. our relatives and the families of Quraysh, all of whom were our uncles and cousins determined to kill our Prophet and annihilate us. They took decisions and also acted to destroy us. They deprived us of the amenities of life and subjected us to all inconveniences and fear. They made us so helpless that we had to take refuge in an uneven mountain i.e. for three years and a few months we were besieged in one of the valleys of Makkah called Shib Abi Talib and spent our lives there in constant fear.
Apart from what they did in Makkah, when we abandoned our home and went to other cities, they did not let us live in peace there also, but sparked off war and created mischief".2 In these few sentences Imam Ali has referred to the activities of the relatives of the Holy Prophet against the Prophet. He briefly mentions every stage at which he was opposed by them and refers to Quraysh all the difficulties and impediments that he had to surmount. Such was the behavior of the relatives of the Holy Prophet towards him and this is a specimen of their enmity and unkindness towards a man whose fame, and the spread of whose call, and whose recognition by the people as their chief, would have been more than anything else a means of their own honor and pride.
However, as against these unkind and ungrateful people of Quraysh, who, it might be said, were opposed to their own dignity and honor, two groups, who were the descendants of the Qahtani tribes of Yemen, got ready to accept and support the Prophet of Allah and made more sacrifices for the advancement of the Prophet's call than could be expected of the near ones. They were not Adnani or Ismaili Arabs and had no relationship with Quraysh or the families of Hashim and Abdul Muttalib. However, with the preliminaries which Allah provided hundreds of years before the birth of the Prophet of Islam, he made them migrate from South Arabia and Yemen to North Arabia and the Wadiul Qura in the Hijaz and the city of Yathrib.