Musab Ibn Umair

The Youthful Missionary Of The Holy Prophet In Medina

Among the youthful faces of Islam is the name of Musab Ibn Umair. When the sun of Islam arose, Musab who was a young man accepted the Islamic faith through his intelligence, capability, merit and incomparable ability. From that time he engrossed himself in defending the faith of Islam.

Musab Ibn Umair belonged to a prosperous and well-established family. His parents loved him deeply and used to be very affectionate towards him. His mother desired that her son should always be dressed in the best clothes. So she used to purchase expensive raiments for her dear son and had him dressed to her satisfaction. Musab was a youth whose elegance, fair looks and black tresses were objects of attention among the Meccans. He was passing his life in the best and luxurious environment. None in Mecca used the type of perfume he wore.[1]

Musab Ibn Umair used to meet the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) secretly and benefit from the teachings of Islam. He tried his utmost that his parents do not learn about his


[1] History, of Waqidi, 2, Usud al-Ghaba

association with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). But one day Uthman ibn Talha saw Musab praying the Islamic ritual prayer. He at once informed Musab’s mother and his other relatives that Musab was following the religion of Muhammad and he recited the Muslim ritual prayer. The whole clan was shocked to know this. At last the parents had their righteous son arrested on the charge of following Islam and kept him within the confines of their house.

Musab was spending a life of imprisonment when at last he got an opportunity to escape. He joined the group of Muslims, which was leaving for Abyssinia . Then he returned to Mecca after some time with a group of Muslims.

During the period of ignorance everyone had the freedom of speech in the Hajj season. Every year, on the occasion of Hajj, in addition to the polytheists of Mecca , people from other cities and villages used to congregate at the place called Mina. Taking advantage of this opportunity, every year the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) used to go among the tribes and discuss Islam with them and inform them about its teachings. During this period the different communities of Medina gathered around the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) at Mina and when they returned to Medina they conveyed the Prophet’s words to other people. As a result of this no house in Medina remained uninformed about Islam.

After a year it so happened that when evening fell on the land of Mina and the moonlight had illuminated the surroundings, a group of twelve Hajj pilgrims came to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.). The members of this community were inhabitants of Medina . These people recited the words of Islamic faith in the presence of the

Prophet and accepted the religion of Islam. These persons opened a new chapter in the history of Islam and they helped a great deal in removing great difficulties from the path of Islam that were to come in the future.

When this group of new converts was about to depart for Medina, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) sent Musab Ibn Umair also with them, with the instructions that he should recite the Quranic verses among them and teach them about Islam and Islamic law. At that time Musab was very famous. Along with the ascending youth he had modesty, shame, maturity and a stable disposition. All these perfections had added embellishments to his personality.

When Musab arrived in Medina he resided with Asad ibn Zurarah, one of those twelve persons and also a senior leader of the Khazraj tribe. One day Musab went to Saad ibn Mu’az along with his host, Asad ibn Zurarah, to invite Saad towards Islam. We should remember that Saad ibn Mu’az was the chief of the Aws tribe. The other members of that group of new converts also accompanied Musab and Asad when they went to Saad’s place. They all seated themselves around Musab and his host. When all had settled down Musab began to recite the Holy Quran among the people of Aws tribe in an extremely nice manner.

The people of Bani Aws used to speak eloquent Arabic. Since Arabic was their mother tongue some of them began to listen attentively to the Quran being recited by Musab and they did not feel any bigotry towards it. So much so that the beautiful words and lovely verses of the Holy Quran mesmerized their hearts. When Saad ibn Mu’az heard Musab’s recitation he told Usaid ibn Hafeer another

polytheist and a leader of Aws tribe, “Before these two make the weak-minded people of our tribe deviated, send them away from my house with a strict warning. If Asad ibn Zurarah had not been the son of my maternal aunt I would have accomplished this task myself. Since he belongs to my relations I do not want to take such a step.”

Usaid ibn Hafeer picked up a weapon and moved towards them. When he came to them, Asad ibn Zurarah said to Musab, “This is the senior-most member of our community. If possible, convert him to Islam.” Musab said, “If he gives me some respite and listens to me, hopefully he would become a Muslim.”

Meanwhile Usaid ibn Hafeer had reached near them and he began to mouth whatever abuses came to his mind. He told them, “You have come to deviate the simple minded people of this tribe. For the sake of your life, get up at once and begone.” Musab said with utmost dignity and demeanor, “I have a request to you that you please sit down for a moment and listen to what I have to say. If you find my words acceptable, do accept them otherwise there is no problem if you choose otherwise.” No one knows what Usaid thought; he kept his weapon aside and sat down besides Musab.

Musab told him about the religion of Islam in brief and after that recited a few verses of Quran. The attractive statements about the principles of Islam and the eloquent words of Quran and that too from the tongue of a handsome youth of Mecca had such an effect on Usaid that he suddenly exclaimed, “What a beautiful and spiritual discourse it is!” Sparks of joy flickered in the eyes of Usaid. There was a complete transformation in his personality and

his thoughts also underwent a change. He asked, “What should one who desires to accept this religion do?” Musab replied, “He should perform a ritual bath, wear clean clothes, recite the testimony of faith and perform two units (rakats) of prayer.”

Usaid ibn Hafeer did as directed and then said, “There are two persons behind me. If they accept faith none in the Aws tribe would turn away from Islam. I am going and I would send Saad ibn Mu’az to you.”

When Usaid returned to his tribesmen Saad ibn Mu’az looked at him and said, “Though Usaid has returned, his thinking is not the same as what it was when he had gone from here. He is looking completely transformed.” Then he asked Usaid what feat he had performed. Usaid replied, “I have warned them sternly and there is no danger from them anymore. Because I have threatened them so much about their mission that now they would do only as you say.”

After that Usaid said, “O Saad! When I was returning, I heard that a group of men from Bani Haritha are coming to murder Asad ibn Zurarah and break the treaty of peace.”

Saad ibn Mu’az got up at once, picked up his sword and rushed out thinking that Bani Haritha men may attack Asad ibn Zurarah before he could reach there. But when he reached the place where Musab and Asad were seated he found them safe and sound and no men from Bani Haritha were in sight. He at once realized the ruse of Usaid and spoke caustically to Asad, “If you had not been related to me, being my maternal aunt’s son, you would not have dared to perform that dangerous task which I dislike, in my own house.”

Again Musab resorted to the same mode of action that he had used with Usaid. Saad was also deeply affected. Therefore he also liked the simplicity of Islamic laws and the magnetic verses of Quran. Musab’s statements transformed his heart. He became a Muslim at that very moment. When Saad’s tribesmen saw him they remarked, “By Allah! Saad is not what he was before. He has changed completely.”

Saad came to his people and said, “O people of Bani Abdul Ashmal (another name of Bani Aws)! What is your opinion about me? What position do you accord me amongst yourself?” All replied in unison, “You are the senior-most person among us. You are better than us in intelligence, integrity and purity.” After that Mu’az said, “Now I have the right to say that no man or woman from among you can speak to me till he or she has not accepted the religion of Islam.”

Asad ibn Zurarah and Musab says that it was such an auspicious day that before the sun set all the people of Aws and Khazraj tribes became Muslims. These two clans were the most powerful, influential and famous tribes of the Arabs. Thus their conversion to Islam meant that Islam became the dominant faith of Medina .

Musab and Asad returned from Saad’s residence and upon reaching home became engrossed in the propagation of religion. It is sufficient matter of pride for Musab that with the help of Asad ibn Zurarah he succeeded in converting the two most influential personalities of Medina , Usaid ibn Hafeer and Saad ibn Mu’az.

When Musab stood up to pray the people of Medina accepted his leadership and the congregational prayers were performed in Medina for the first time. Musab ordered that the call for prayer (Azan) be recited aloud so that other people of Medina may also participate in the congregational prayers. Since the Aws and Khazraj were old enemies of each other all would not have agreed to the leadership of one person but since Musab was from Mecca none had any objection in praying behind him. When the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) migrated from Mecca and arrived in Medina , the two tribes buried their mutual enmity after some time.

In this way, much before the migration of the Prophet to Medina , Musab had converted the majority of the people of Medina to Islam with his foresight, intelligence and meritorious qualities. Musab had actually prepared the ground for the Prophet’s arrival in Medina , and that is the reason that when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) fled the dangerous situation of Mecca and reached Medina he received a hearty welcome. Upon his arrival at Medina he heaved a sigh of relief. Because it was a time when except for Medina every area of the Arabian Peninsula was aflame with the fire of polytheism and infidelity. It was due to the efforts of Musab Ibn Umair that Medina proved to be a refuge for the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.).

Musab participated in the Battles of Badr and Uhad under the command of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). He attained martyrdom during the Battle of Uhad and was buried near Hamzah, the Prophet’s uncle.[1]


[1] Al-Isabah Fi Tamiz as-Sahaba Vol. 3, Pg.40, Sirah, Ibn Hisham Vol. 2, Pg. 284, Usud as-Ghaba, Vol. 2, Pg.369

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