Musab Bin Umayr: The First Ambassador Of Islam
MUSAB was born into a wealthy family headed by a mother whose strength of personality and dominating character were well-known in Makkah. Musab was given everything a young person could dream of. He wore the most fashionable clothes and shoes, mixed with the most popular and notable people of his area, and was greatly admired by all. Added to this was his natural personality: he was a good communicator; he had a bright intelligent mind; he was quick and alert and so was allowed to attend the most prestigious meetings with intelligent, elderly, and noble people. Musab had everything a young person of his time could ever dream of. So what could ever make him consider giving it all up?
Musab had grown up without fear of anything or anyone. He was sure of himself, kind, confident, and clever but nevertheless he was just a human being. The one thing that Musab feared was his own mother. She was a strong and fierce woman and was well-known as such. After considering his situation for some time Musab decided to keep his acceptance of Islam a secret for a while until the best way showed itself. In the meantime, he continued to visit the house of Al-Arqam where he received knowledge about Islam and learnt the Qur’an.
Makkah was full of spies and informants and so it wasn’t long before Musab’s comings and goings were noted and reported. His mother wanted to beat him and degrade him to compensate herself for the sorrow and humiliation she felt. But then she thought of something better and perhaps more lasting. She ordered her servants to take her son and bind him tightly; keep him a prisoner in his own home.
As usual Musab remained calm but sought the first opportunity to escape. Allah the Almighty opened the way for him and he left with a group of the Muslims who were heading for Abyssinia seeking safety there from the persecution of the Makkans. So Musab left his mother, his home, his wealth, the city of the childhood and headed off to the unknown. His sure and strong faith in Allah made him strong, determined, and peaceful.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions (Allah be pleased with them) stayed in Makkah for another 10 years inviting people to Islam but they remained hostile. The future looked bleak but the Muslims never gave up. Then the opportunity came for the message of Islam to spread in a place called Yathrib which was later called Madina. For the honored task of being the first ambassador of Islam, Musab was chosen, above older people and those who were closely related to the Prophet himself (peace be upon him). Why was this young man chosen? He was chosen for his noble pious character, fine manners, and sharp intelligence. He was also able to recite the Qur’an beautifully and movingly and he had a lot of knowledge of Islam. He was perfect for the job.
Musab knew this was a very sacred mission he was being called to do. He knew that he was inviting people to Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him) and that this city would be the base for the young and struggling Muslim community. Once in Madina, he used to go to the people in their houses and gatherings and speak to them about Islam reciting the Qur’an to them. Many people accepted Islam. Although this pleased Musab, it greatly displeased the leaders of Madina.
Musab stayed in Madina for about a year then returned to Makkah during the season of pilgrimage. He took 75 Muslims from Madina known as Ansar (helpers) because they helped the Muslims from Makkah when they later migrated to Madina. This group made a pledge of allegiance with the Prophet (peace be upon him) that they would defend him at all costs and remain firm in their faith. Shortly after this pledge, the Prophet (peace be upon him) directed his persecuted followers to migrate to Madina. The first of the companions to arrive there were Musab and a blind old man named Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum.
Musab came to be known as Musab Al-Khayr (the Good). At the battle of Uhud the Prophet (peace be upon him) called upon him to carry the Muslim standard (flag). The battle started and at first the Muslims seemed to have the upper hand. However, a group of Muslims disobeyed the order of the Prophet and left their places and this gave the enemy the chance to counter-attack and win the battle.
The enemy forces wanted to kill the Prophet (peace be upon him). Musab understood the danger the Prophet was in so with the flag in one hand and his sword in the other he plunged into the ranks of the enemy. Even when Musab was being struck with enemy swords and his life seemed certain to be over, the words he spoke were those of concern for the Prophet (peace be upon him).
After the battle, the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions went sadly through the battle field bidding farewell to the martyrs. Tears flowed when they saw Musab’s body. Khabbab related that they could not find any cloth with which to shroud Musab’s body, except the garment he was wearing.
When they covered his head, his legs were exposed and when his legs were covered, his head was exposed. So the Prophet told them to place the garment over his head and cover his feet and legs with the leaves of the idhkhir (rue) plant.