The First Ambassador of the Prophet (sa)

Rym Aoudia tells us of a companion who sold the pleasures of the world, and bought what Allah had to offer.

Born into a prosperous family, Musab Ibn Umayr (rta) was pampered since childhood. His family, handsome features, and elegant attire further won him a distinguished position among the Makkan community. But that was not all; he was also intelligent.    Musab’s interest in Prophet Muhammad (sa) reached its peak because of Quraysh’s constant conversations about the Prophet (sa). On finding out that the Prophet (sa) was holding secret meetings with the believers at the home of Al-Arqam, he decided to quench his curiosity and personally meet the Prophet (sa). The Prophet’s (sa) recitation of verses from the Quran pierced his heart and he ended up embracing Islam.

Although now a Muslim who frequented Al-Arqam’s home for knowledge, Musab (rta) kept it secret especially from his mother Khunnas bint Malik-a powerful woman feared by many. But one day Uthman Ibn Talha saw Musab (rta) pray in the same way as he had seen the Prophet (sa). He rushed to tell Musab’s mother, who ordered Musab (rta) to proclaim his new faith publicly before the community of Quraysh. Once he did, she ordered his imprisonment. But he escaped to join a group of Makkan Muslims migrating to Abyssinia.

On Musab’s (rta) return from Abyssinia, his mother once again ordered his confinement. But this time he threatened to kill anyone who carried out her orders. He was serious and his mother knew it, so she gave up the idea. Then Musab (rta) tried to guide her to Islam but to no avail. She ended up disowning him and severing all ties between them. It was a painful decision for both of them.

During Musab’s (rta) mission as the Prophet’s (sa) Ambassador in Madinah, he proved himself a man of dignity. His people skills were the finest. One of the incidents worth mentioning was when a man named Usayd Ibn Khudayr approached him while he was introducing and inviting people of Madinah to Islam. Angry and frustrated Usayd scolded Musab for turning his people away from the idols they and their ancestors had worshipped for centuries. Musab (rta) patiently listened to Usayd’s complaint, and then calmly asked him to sit down and listen to the recitation of the Qur’an. Once Musab (rta) had Usayd’s complete attention he explained the Prophet’s (sa) mission. Usayd ended up embracing Islam, as did the rest of Madinah. Musab (rta) became well known as Musab Al-Khayr (the Good).

His death was an achievement in and of itself. During the battle of Uhud, Musab (rta) tried to distract the enemies from approaching the Prophet (sa). But while holding the banner and professing: “Allah is the Greatest” his right hand was cut off. So he carried the banner with his left hand, but that was also cut off. Still determined to carry the banner of Islam, he held on to it with what was left of his arms. However, he did not survive the third blow and was rewarded martyrdom. Allah bless Musab (rta) who endured life’s hardships for the sweet taste of a life in full devotion to Allah. He never hesitated to leave his life of luxury among his prosperous family, or his reputable position among those of Quraysh for the sake of Allah and His Prophet (sa).

Hypocrites Will Be Hit Hard!

Nayyara Rahman observes, as per Quran, hypocrites will be in the lowest pit of hell. How seriously do we take this admonition?

“And in conclusion, respected teachers and fellow students, let me stress once more that speaking ill of others is the most scandalous devilry, the greatest of sins.” With this, the school’s star orator ended her sermon on the vice of spiteful talk, to be followed with a burst of applause and a shield for her ‘sincere, passionate speech’. Later that day, the speaker was discovered deeply indulged in discussion once more. In a voice loud and clear enough to revive even the dead, she was denouncing an unpopular classmate with rumours and lies that could only lightly be described as ‘malicious’.

When the school’s annual magazine finally came out, one of the most praised and highly spoken of articles was one regarding the evils of smoking. Indeed, it was comprehensive, clear and ardent. The catch? A kid, who had been consistently smoking for three years and was responsible for applying much of the peer pressure that caused other classmates to start puffing, had written it.

Do these people sound familiar? Are they the reminders of our own preach-but-do not-practice policy? Maybe, probably, as a matter of fact, and quite definitely. The hypocrisy in our society is just about as common and blatant as the colour yellow during Basant.

As if peers are not enough, some of our role models and mentors have taken it upon themselves to set examples as well. Some teachers tend to rather eloquently state the importance of honesty, hard work and cleanliness. Unfortunately, these are more often than not the same people who encourage students to memorize MCQs, help them cheat during exams and litter the staff-room.

Acquiring knowledge and ethics is easy. Believing in them and applying them is the hard part. And that is where most of us fail. ‘Equality’ seems to be the mantra on every politician’s lips. But look around you: do you find any leader who is honest, fair and considers his servants and subordinates to be on the same footing as himself?

The Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “A hypocrite (Munafiq) is a person who observes the prayer and fast in Ramadan, but when he speaks, he speaks untruth. When he makes a promise, he never keeps it, and when something is entrusted to him, he misuses it.” (Bukhari)

Allah has described these double-faced Munafiqeen in the Quran: “When they meet those who believe, they say: ‘We believe,’ but when they are alone with their Evil Ones, they say: ‘We are really with you. We were only jesting.’” (Al-Baqarah 2:14)

Allah has also explained what lies in store for the hypocrites on the Day of Judgement in comparison to the true followers of Islam: “One day will the hypocrites – men and women – say to the believers: ‘Wait for us! Let us borrow (a light) from your light!’ It will be said: ‘Turn back to your rear! Then seek a light (where you can)!’ So a wall will be put up between them, with a gate therein. Within it will be mercy throughout, and without it, all alongside, will be (wrath) and punishment!’ (Al-Hadid 57:13)

So the choice is simply in our own hands. Would we like to give out sermons and set standards for others while we can get away with murder, or do we have the honesty and courage to tread the same path that we exhort people around us to follow?