By: Khalid Muhammad Khalid
So Mus`ab, as mentioned in part 1, left the great luxury in which he had been living. He became satisfied with a hard life he had never seen before, wearing the roughest clothes, eating one day and going hungry another. This spirit, which was grounded in the strongest faith, adorned with the light of Allah, made him another man, one who appeals to the eyes of other great souls.
While he was in this state, the Prophet (peace be upon him) commissioned him with the greatest mission of his life, which was to be his envoy to Al-Madinah. His mission was to instruct the Ansar (Muslims of Madinah) who believed in the Prophet and had pledged their allegiance to him at (the Pledge of) `Aqabah, to call others to Islam, and to prepare Al-Madinah for the day of the great Hijrah.
There were among the Companions of the Prophet at that time others who were older than Mus`ab and more prominent and nearer to the Prophet by family relations. But the Prophet chose Mus`ab, the Good, knowing that he was entrusting to him the most important task of that time, putting into his hands the destiny of Islam at Al-Madinah.
The radiant city of Al-Madinah was destined to be the home of Hijrah, the springboard of Islamic preachers and the liberators of the future. Mus`ab was equal to the task and trust which Allah had given him and he was equipped with an excellent mind and noble character. He won the hearts of the Madinites with his piety, uprightness and sincerity. And so they embraced the religion of Allah in flocks.
At the time the Prophet sent him there, only twelve Muslims had pledged allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) at the Pledge of `Aqabah. He had hardly completed a few months when they answered to the call of Allah and the Prophet. During the next pilgrimage season, the Madinite Muslims sent a delegation of 70 believing men and women to Makkah to meet the Prophet.
They came with their teacher and their Prophet’s envoy, Mus`ab ibn `Umair. Mus`ab had proven, by his good sense and excellence, that the Prophet knew well how to choose his envoys and teachers. Mus`ab had understood his mission well. He knew that he was a caller to Allah and preacher of His religion, which calls people to right guidance and the straight path.
The Right Man
Like the Prophet in whom he believed, he was no more than a deliverer of the message. There he stood fast, with As`ad ibn Zorarah as host, and both of them used to visit the tribes, dwellings, and assemblies, reciting to the people what he had of the Book of Allah, instilling in them that Allah is no more than One God.
He had confronted certain instances which could have put an end to his life and that of those with him but for his active, intelligent, great mind. One day, he was taken by surprise while preaching to the people to find Usaid ibn Hudair, leader of the `Abd Al-Ashhal tribe, at Al-Madinah confronting him with a drawn arrow.
He was raging with anger and animosity against the one who had come to corrupt the religion of his people by telling them to abandon their gods and talking to them about the idea of only One God Whom they did not know before and had never heard of. Their gods were to them the center of their worship.
Whenever any of them needed them, he knew their places. They would invoke them for help. That was how they thought and imagined!
As for the God of Muhammad, to whom this envoy was calling, nobody knew His place, nor could anybody see Him! When the Muslims who were sitting around Mus`ab, saw Usaid ibn Hudair advancing in his unbridled anger, they were frightened, but Mus`ab, the Good, stood firm. Usaid stood before him and As`ad ibn Zorarah shouting, “What brought you here? Are you coming to corrupt our faith? Go away if you wish to be saved!”
And like the calmness of the sea and its force, Mus`ab started his fine speech saying, “Won’t you sit down and listen? If you like our cause, you can accept; and if you dislike it, we will spare you of what you hate.”
Allah is the Greatest! How grand an opening whose ending would be pleasant! Usaid was a thoughtful and clever man, and here he saw Mus`ab inviting him to listen and no more. If he was convinced he would accept it, and if he was not convinced, then Mus`ab would leave his neighborhood and his clan, and move to another neighborhood without harm, nor being harmed.
There and then Usaid answered him saying, “Well, that is fair,” and he dropped his arrow to the ground and sat down listening. Mus`ab had hardly read the Qur’an, explaining the mission with which Muhammad ibn `Abd Allah came, when the conscience of Usaid began to dear and brighten and change with the effectiveness of the words. He became overwhelmed by its beauty.
When Mus`ab finished speaking, Usaid ibn Hudair exclaimed to him and those with him, “How beautiful is this speech, and how true! How can one enter this religion?” Mus`ab told him to purify his body and clothes and say, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah.” Usaid retired for some time and then returned pouring clean water on his head and standing there proclaiming, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
The news spread like lightning and then Sa`d ibn Mu`adh came and listened to Mus`ab, and he was convinced and embraced Islam. Then came Sa`d ibn `Ubadah.
There and then blessings came with their entering Islam. The people of Al-Madinah came together asking one another, “If Usaid lbn Hudair, Sa`d ibn Mu`adh and Sa`d ibn `Ubadah have embraced Islam, what are we waiting for? Go straight to Mus`ab and believe. By Allah, he is calling us to the truth and the straight path!”
The first envoy of the Prophet succeeded without comparison. It was a success which he deserved and to which he was equal.
The article is excerpted from the book “Men Around the Messenger”, which is translation based on Khalid Muhammad Khalid’s celebrated work in Arabic “Rijal Hawla Ar-Rasul” which represents the real inspirational stories of sixty-four Companions of the Prophet.