8 July 2022
Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakrra
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
Accounts were being narrated in relation to the expeditions against the rebels during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. In this regard, the following is recorded with regard to the 11th expedition; this expedition was led by Muhajir bin Abi Umayyahra against the rebellious apostates of Yemen. Hazrat Abu Bakrra handed a flag to Hazrat Muhajir bin Umayyahra and instructed him to confront the army of Aswad ‘Ansi and to aid the Abna’, who were under attack from Qais bin Maqshuh and other residents of Yemen.
At that time, there were two prominent settlers in Yemen; firstly, there were native people who belonged to the tribes of Sabah and Himyar and secondly, those people of Persian descent who were called Abna’. In those days, the Abna’ were the most powerful minority in Yemen. For some time, the ruler of Yemen was subject to the kingdom of the Chosroes and as such, most government offices were occupied by the Abna’.
Nevertheless, it is recorded that Hazrat Abu Bakrra instructed Hazrat Muhajirra to advance towards Hadhramaut once he had completed his task and to confront the tribe of Kindah. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 257) (Khurshid Ahmad Fariq, Hazrat Abu Bakrra ke Sarkari Khutut, [Javed Printing Press], p. 59)
Hadhramaut is a vast region in the east of Yemen, which consists of dozens of townships. The distance between Hadhramaut and Sana was 216 miles. (Yaqut Ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu’jam al-Buldan, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-’Arabi], 311.) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-e-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], p. 226)
Kindah is the name of a Yemeni tribe. (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-e-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], p. 248)
Further details about Hazrat Muhajirra are as follows. It is recorded that his name was Muhajir bin Abi Umayyah bin Mughira bin ‘Abdillah. Hazrat Muhajir bin Abi Umayyahra was the brother of Umm Salamara, Mother of the Believers [wife of the Holy Prophetsa]. He participated in the Battle of Badr but was fighting on the side of the idolaters. That day, two of his brothers, Hisham and Mas’ud, were killed. His actual name was Waleed but was changed by the Holy Prophetsa. (‘Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma’rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 5, Atiyyah bin Nuwairahra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 265) (Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 6 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 180)
According to one narration, Hazrat Muhajirra stayed behind during the Battle of Tabuk. When the Holy Prophetsa returned from battle, he was displeased with him. One day, Hazrat Umm Salamara was washing the head of the Holy Prophetsa and said, “How can anything benefit me while you are displeased with my brother?” As soon as Hazrat Umm Salamara noticed signs of gentleness and kindness in the disposition of the Holy Prophetsa [after his anger had subsided], she gestured to the maid, who then brought Muhajirra in. Muhajirra continued to offer his explanation, so much so that the Holy Prophetsa accepted it and became pleased with him and appointed him as the governor of Kindah. However, he fell ill and could not go there immediately. Hence, he wrote to Ziyad to carry out his duties as well. When Muhajirra recovered, Hazrat Abu Bakrra went ahead with his appointment as the governor and made him the governor of the area ranging from Najran all the way to the far borders of Yemen and he also ordered him to fight. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 300)
Dahhak bin Feroz relates, “During the time of Holy Prophetsa, Yemen was the first place where [the rebellion and] the wave of apostasy started. This was led by Dhul Khimar Abhala bin Ka’b, who became known by the name of Aswad ‘Ansi. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 224)
Aswad ‘Ansi was the chief of the Yemeni tribe of ‘Ans. He was called Aswad because he had a dark complexion. (Abu al-Nasr, Sayyiduna Siddiq Abu Bakrra – translated [Lahore, Pakistan: Mushtaq Book Corner], p. 570)
In another narration, his name is recorded as ‘Ayhala bin Ka’b bin ‘Auf instead of ‘Abhala bin Ka’b. Aswad ‘Ansi’s appellation was Dhu al-Khimar, as he was always covered with a cloak. (al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2, p. 201, Dhikr Akhbar al-Aswad al-‘Ansi bi al-Yemen, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2006)
According to some, his appellation can also be found as Dhu al-Khumar, which is someone who is always intoxicated. (Abu al-Nasr, Sayyiduna Siddiq Abu Bakrra – translated [Lahore, Pakistan: Mushtaq Book Corner], p. 570)
It is stated in some narrations that his title was Dhu al-Himar, one reason mentioned is due to the fact that Aswad had a domesticated donkey; when he would tell it to bow to its master, it would bow, when he told it to sit, it would sit, and when he would tell it to stand, it would stand. (‘Alama Abu al-Mundhir al-Sahari, Al-Ansab, Vol. 1 , p. 387)
Some are of the view that he was named Dhu al-Himar because he would claim that whoever came to see him would do so whilst riding a donkey. (Madarij al-Nubuwwah, Vol. 2 – translated [Lahore, Pakistan: Diya al-Quran Publications], p. 481)
Nevertheless, Aswad adopted the title of Rahman al-Yemen just as Musailimah adopted the title of Rahman al-Yamama. He also claimed that he received revelation and was informed in advance of all the ploys of his enemy. (Abu al-Nasr, Sayyiduna Siddiq Abu Bakrra – translated [Lahore, Pakistan: Mushtaq Book Corner], p. 571)
Aswad was an illusionist and would show all kinds of peculiar magic to the people. (al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2, p. 201, Dhikr Akhbar al-Aswad al-‘Ansi bi al-Yemen, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2006)
According to a narration of Sahih al-Bukhari, the Holy Prophetsa was informed in advance through a dream that two false claimants to prophethood would emerge. Hazrat Abu Hurairahra relates in a hadith:
قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰهِ بَيْنَا أَنَا نَائِمٌ أُتِيْتُ بِخَزَائِنِ الْأَرْضِ، فَوُضِعَ فِيْ كَفِّيْ سِوَارَانِ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ، فَكَبُرَا عَلَيَّ، فَأَوْحَى اللّٰهُ إِلَيَّ أَنِ انْفُخْهُمَا، فَنَفَخْتُهُمَا فَذَهَبَا، فَأَوَّلْتُهُمَا الْكَذَّابَيْنِ اللَّذَيْنِ أَنَا بَيْنَهُمَا، صَاحِبَ صَنْعَاءَ، وَصَاحِبَ الْيَمَامَةِ
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab Wafad Bani Hanifah, Hadith 3727)
The Holy Prophetsa said, “While I was asleep I was brought the treasures of the earth, and two bracelets of gold were placed in my hands, which displeased me greatly. Then it was revealed to me by Allah that I should blow on them, and when I did so they disappeared. I interpreted them as representing the two liars between who are around me, Aswad Ansi of Sana, and Musailimah Kazzab of Yamama.”
In Sahih al-Bukhari there is another narration in which Hazrat Ibn Abbasra relates, “The dream of the Holy Prophetra was related to me. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘While sleeping I saw in a dream that two gold bracelets were placed in my hands which troubled me greatly. So it was revealed to me to blow on them and when I did so they flew away (i.e. when Allah Almighty told him so). I interpreted them to be two liars who would emerge in opposition to me.’” The narrator Ubaidullah said, “One of them was Ansi, who was killed by Feroz in Yemen, and the other was Musailimah Kazzab.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi al-Nabi, Bab Qissah al-Aswad al-‘Ansi, Hadith 3727)
When the Holy Prophetsa wrote a letter to the Persian Emperor, Chosroes, inviting him to Islam, he became enraged and instructed his subordinate governor of Yemen Badhan – some have recorded his name as Bad-han – that he should sever this person’s head with a sword (i.e. the Holy Prophetsa). Badhan sent two people to the Holy Prophetsa, but he stated, “My Allah has informed me that your king has been killed by his son Shirawaih and he has ascended the throne as the king.” At the same time, he invited Badhan to Islam, saying that if he accepts Islam then as is custom, he shall remain governor of Yemen. Hearing this, the two people returned. Badhan was told all this and in that time, he was informed that this actually came to pass, whereby Chosroes’ son Shirawaih had killed him and taken to the throne as king.
When Badhan witnessed the fulfilment of this, he accepted the Holy Prophet’ssa invitation to Islam, and the Holy Prophetsa instructed him to remain as the governor of Yemen. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (translated) [Lahore, Pakistan: Islami Kutub Khana], pp. 117-118)
In regard to this letter and invitation to Islam, and what Chosroes said, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has written, “Abdullah bin Hudhafahra narrates, ‘When I arrived at the royal court of Chosroes, I asked for permission to enter and was granted it. When I stepped forward to hand over the letter from the Holy Prophetsa to Chosroes, he ordered an interpreter to read it to him. After the interpreter had finished translating and reading the letter to him, Chosroes tore the letter apart in rage. ‘Abdullah bin Hudhafahra reported the incident to the Holy Prophetsa. On hearing the report, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘What the Chosroes has done to my letter is precisely what God Almighty will do to his kingdom.’
Chosroes’ behaviour on this occasion was the result of the pernicious propaganda carried out against Islam by Jews who had migrated from the Byzantine territory to Iran. These Jewish refugees supported Chosroes in anti-Byzantine intrigues in Iran, and had, therefore, become his close associates. The Chosroes was made to be infuriated against the Holy Prophetsa. The propaganda the Jews had brought, it seemed to him, was confirmed by this letter. He thought the Holy Prophetsa wanted to take over his kingdom (in other words, he thought that the Holy Prophetsa wanted his kingdom for himself). Soon after receiving this letter, the Chosroes wrote a letter to the Governor of Yemen appointed by him, in which he stated, ‘A man among the Quraish has declared himself a prophet and has exceeded all bounds in his claims. Send two soldiers to him immediately to capture him and bring him to my court.’
Badhan who, at the time, was Governor of Yemen under the Chosroes, sent an army chief along with an official on a mount towards the Holy Prophetsa. He also gave them a letter addressed to the Holy Prophetsa, stating that on receipt of the letter the Holy Prophetsa should at once accompany the two messengers to the court of Chosroes. The two embarked toward Mecca. Somewhere near Ta‘if, they were informed that the Holy Prophetsa lived in Medina, upon which they set off towards Medina. On arrival, this army chief told the Holy Prophetsa that Badhan, the Governor of Yemen, had been ordered by the Chosroes to arrest the prophet and escort him back to Chosroes. If the Prophet refused to obey, the Chosroes would destroy him and his people were to be destroyed and their country would be left in ruins. Thus, they insisted that the Holy Prophetsa come back with them. Having listened to what they had to say, the Holy Prophetsa suggested that the delegates should see him again the following day.
Overnight, the Holy Prophetsa prayed to Allah the Almighty Who informed him that the punishment for Chosroes’ misdemeanour is that his own son would be set against him and would murder him on Monday, 10 Jumada al-Ula of that very year. According to some narrations, the revelation said, ‘The son has murdered the father this very night.’ (It is possible that that very night was 10 Jumada al-Ula.) In the morning, the Holy Prophetsa sent for the Yemeni delegates and told them of what had been revealed to him overnight. Then, he prepared a letter for Badhan, saying that God Almighty had informed him that the Chosroes was due to be murdered on a certain day of a certain month. When the Governor of Yemen received the letter he said, ‘If this man is a true Prophet, the events will come to pass as he says. If, however, he is not true, then he and his people are no longer safe.’ Soon after, a boat from Iran anchored at the port of Yemen. It brought a letter from the Emperor of Iran to the Governor of Yemen. Upon seeing the seal on the letter, the Governor concluded that the prophecy made by the prophet from Medina has proved to be true. Iran was under the rule of a new king because the letter bore the seal of a different king. He opened the letter, which read, ‘From Chosroes Shirawaih to Badhan, the Governor of Yemen. I have murdered my father, the late king because he was causing bloodshed in the country. He murdered the nobles and treated his subjects with cruelty. As soon as you receive this letter, collect all officers and ask them to affirm their loyalty to me. As for my father’s orders for the arrest of a Prophet in Arabia, those orders are revoked.’ Upon reading this letter, Badhan was so impressed by these events that he and his companions accepted Islam there and then informed the Holy Prophetsa accordingly.” (Dibachah Tafsir al-Quran, Anwar al-‘Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 317-319)
This was mentioned by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra in “Introduction to the Study of the Holy Quran”.
After the death of Badhan, the Holy Prophetsa appointed Muslim leaders as governors in different parts of Yemen. Mu’adh bin Jabalra was appointed as the designated teacher of all the regions of Yemen and Hadhramaut and thus visited those areas regularly. Aswad, who was a soothsayer and lived in the southern part of Yemen, was quickly able to influence many people toward himself through his illusions, deceit and poetic rhymes, and later he claimed to be a prophet. He portrayed himself to the people as though an angel would visit him and inform him of everything, and also expose the secret plans of his enemies. Owing to this, many simple-minded and ignorant people joined his ranks. As a matter of fact, Aswad ‘Ansi also announced that Yemen rightfully belonged to the Yemeni people, and so many natives of Yemen rallied around this cry of nationalism. This is an age-old tactic and is used even today; the discord and conflict we see spread across the world are owing to this.
Nevertheless, because Islam had not yet firmly established itself in Yemen, the people of Yemen joined ranks with Aswad to gain sovereignty from a foreign ruler [i.e., Islam] in the name of nationalism. At the time that news of these worrisome developments reached Medina, the Holy Prophetsa was occupied with avenging the martyrs of the Battle of Mutah and preparing the army of Hazrat Usama bin Zaidra to resist attacks from the north. The Holy Prophetsa sent a message to the chieftains of [the tribes in] Yemen to continue in their efforts to combat Aswad, and as soon as the army of Usamara returned victoriously, he would send them toward Yemen. (al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2, p. 201, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2006) (Abu al-Nasr, Sayyiduna Siddiq Abu Bakrra – translated [Lahore, Pakistan: Mushtaq Book Corner], p. 571)
Aswad Ansi’s army comprised a cavalry of 700. He had formed a large army and this was not including those who were riding camels. Over time, his strength gradually increased. His representative in the Muzhij tribe was Amr bin Mahdi Karib. He was a renowned horse rider, poet and orator in Yemen. His appellation was Abu Thaur. In 10 AH, he was part of a delegation from his tribe Banu Zabid which went to the Holy Prophetsa and accepted Islam.
Then, after the Holy Prophet’ssa demise, he became an apostate but would later return to the truth and go on to participate in the Battle of Qadisiyyah in which he rendered extraordinary service. He passed away in the final few days of Hazrat Umar’sra Khilafat. (al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2, pp. 166, 201, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2006) (Tarikh Adab Arabi – translated [Lahore, Pakistan: Ghulam Ali Printers], pp. 67-68)
It is written that Aswad Ansi first attacked the people of Najran and expelled Hazrat Amr bin Hazmra and Khalid bin Saeedra. Then he attacked Sana where Hazrat Shahar bin Badhanra stood up against him but was martyred. Hazrat Mu’az bin Jabalra was in Sana during those days but in light of what had transpired, he went to Hazrat Abu Musara in Ma’arib from where they both went to Hadhramaut. In this way, Aswad Ansi took hold of all parts of Yemen.
After the martyrdom of Hazrat Shahar bin Badhanra, Aswad Ansi forcefully married his widow whose name was Marzubanah, or according to some other books, it was Azad. At the same time, a letter from the Holy Prophetsa arrived addressed to the Muslims of Hadhramaut and Yemen, in which he ordered them to fight against Aswad Ansi. As a result, Hazrat Mu’az bin Jabalra took up this task which gave confidence to the Muslims. Jishanas Deylmi says, “Wabar bin Yuhannis came to us with a letter from the Holy Prophetsa.” In some instances, Jishanas Deylmi’s name has also been recorded as Jushaish Deylmi. In any case, he was among those in Yemen to whom the Holy Prophetsa sent a letter with instructions to kill Aswad Ansi, which he did alongside Feroz and Dazoweh. (al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2, pp. 201-202, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2006)
(‘Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma’rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 1 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 535) (‘Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma’rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 643) (Madarij al-Nubuwwah, Vol. 2 – translated [Lahore, Pakistan: Diya al-Quran Publications], p. 474)
Wabar bin Yuhannis’ name has also been recorded as Wabarah. He was among the Abna’ [Yemeni settlers of Persian origin] of Yemen and went to the Holy Prophetsa in 10 AH to accept Islam.
He says, “In that letter, the Holy Prophetsa instructed that we remain firm upon our faith and to combat Aswad Ansi through battle or some other strategy. Furthermore, we were instructed to convey this message of the Holy Prophetsa to others who were firmly established upon Islam and were prepared to defend the faith. We acted upon these instructions, however, we realised that defeating Aswad would be a very difficult task.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 248) (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 6 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], pp. 62-63) (‘Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma’rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2016], p. 408)
Jishanas Deylmi states, “We came to learn that a dispute had arisen between Aswad and Qais bin Abd Yaghuth. They were at odds (or there was at least some resentment that had developed between them) and so it occurred to us that Qais feared for his life.” There are disputing opinions as to Qais bin Abd Yaghuth’s name and lineage. According to one statement, his name was Hubairah bin Abd Yaghuth and it is also said that it was Abd Yaghuth bin Hubairah. In any case, Abu Musa states that he was [called] Qais bin Abd Yaghuth bin Maqshuh. According to one statement, he was not a companion whereas according to others he had the honour of meeting the Holy Prophetsa and even narrated something from him. He was among those who killed Aswad Ansi and was the nephew of Amr bin Ma’di Karib. He was one of the people in Yemen who became an apostate, however, he later returned to Islam and his name is specially mentioned with reference to the conquest of Iraq and the Battle of Qadisiyyah. He was part of the Battle of Nihawand and was alongside Hazrat Alira in the Battle of Siffin, and was martyred in this battle.
Jishanas Deylmi says, “We invited Qais to Islam and conveyed to him the message of the Holy Prophetsa. His reaction made it seem as if we had descended from the heavens and he immediately accepted what we had conveyed. Similarly, we also communicated in writing with others. Many tribal chieftains were also ready to fight against Aswad and they wrote letters to us pledging their assistance. We responded by writing letters to them saying that until we had made a final decision, they should not leave their stations because having received a message from the Holy Prophetsa it had become necessary to take action against Aswad. Similarly, the Holy Prophetsa had also written to all the residents of Najran regarding the matter of Aswad, and they accepted what he had said. When Aswad learned of this, he realised that his end was in sight.”
Jishanas Deylmi says, “An idea occurred to me – I went to Aswad’s wife Azad who was the widow of Shahar bin Badhanra. Aswad married her after killing Shahar bin Badhanra. I reminded her of her first husband, Hazrat Shahar bin Badhan’sra martyrdom at the hands of Aswad, other members of her family who were killed by him and the many humiliation and injustices he made her family face and asked her to help us against Aswad. She gladly agreed, saying, ‘By God, I find Aswad to be the worst of Allah’s creation. He does not honour any of the rights due to God nor does he abstain from any of the things prohibited by Allah. Therefore, inform me whenever you are ready and I will assist in devising a ploy,’” Eventually a full plan was formed and with the help of Aswad Ansi’s wife, one night, Aswad Ansi’s fortress was breached and he was killed. In the morning, a loud and distinct voice called out from atop one of the fortress’ walls that the rebel apostate Aswad Ansi had met his end, upon which both Muslims and disbelievers gathered around the fortress.
They then called the Adhan [call to prayer] for the morning prayer and said:
اَشْهَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰهِ
i.e. that they bear witness that Muhammadsa is Allah’s messenger; Aswad Ansi was a liar. They then threw his head before the people.
In this manner, this rebellion rose up and was crushed in a span of three months, or according to another narration, it lasted four months. All the governors and leaders of their respective areas became engaged in their work as per their usual routine. Hazrat Muaz bin Jabalra would lead them in prayer. By the time news of Aswad Ansi’s death, the defeat of his forces and the end of the rebellion was sent for the Holy Prophetsa, he had passed away.
According to one narration, before the Holy Prophetsa passed away, he received news of Aswad Ansi’s death through revelation on the night he was killed. Thus, the Holy Prophetsa informed his companions of this and also told them that Feroz had killed him. After Hazrat Abu Bakrra was elected as the Khalifa, the first good news he received was the death of Aswad Ansi. The night the Holy Prophetsa received news of Ansi’s death, the Holy Prophetsa passed away the following morning.
According to another narration, news of Ansi’s death was received when the burial of the Holy Prophetsa was taking place. In one narration, news of Aswad Ansi’s death reached Medina approximately ten or 12 days after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, by which time Hazrat Abu Bakrra had been appointed as the Khalifa. There are varying narrations, nevertheless, this incident took place during these days, eight or ten days before or after [the demise of the Holy Prophetsa].
After the killing of Aswad, Muslim rule was re-established in Sana. (Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2005], pp. 404-405) (Khurshid Ahmad Fariq, Hazrat Abu Bakrra ke Sarkari Khutut, [Javed Printing Press], p. 60) (Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2, pp. 201-204, Dhikr Akhbar al-Aswad al-‘Ansi bi al-Yemen, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2006) (Dr Ali Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiqra – translated by Shamim Ahmad Khalil Salafi, p. 301)
However, a wave of rebellion rose up in Yemen once more. When news spread throughout Yemen about the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, the situation that was improving worsened. Qais bin Abd Yaguth, who joined with Feroz and Dhazuwaih, and defected from Aswad, eventually killing Aswad with their help, once again wavered in his loyalty to Islam. He was an intelligent and determined individual, who was driven by national prejudice. The Persian rule in Yemen would always infuriate him. He wished to destroy the affluence and collective and economic superiority of the Abna’. He was already a successful army commander, he plotted with the army commanders of Aswad’s army to remove the Abna’ [people] from the country. His relationship with Feroz and Dhazuwaih broke down; having deceived him, he had Dhazuwaih killed but Feroz managed to escape. Feroz informed Hazrat Abu Bakrra of his loyalty and the loyalty of the Abna’; and also requested him for help, saying that they were prepared to offer every sacrifice for the sake of Islam. (Khurshid Ahmad Fariq, Hazrat Abu Bakrra ke Sarkari Khutut, [Javed Printing Press], pp. 60-61)
It is mentioned [in a narration] that when the Holy Prophetsa passed away, the governor of Hadhramaut was Ziyad bin Labidra. Hazrat Ziyad bin Labidra was a companion of the Holy Prophetsa. His son’s name was Abdullah. Hazrat Ziyadra came to see the Holy Prophetsa with 70 companions during the Second Pledge at Aqabah and accepted Islam. When he returned to Medina, he broke the idols of his tribe, the Banu Bayadah, which they used to worship. He then migrated to be with the Holy Prophetsa in Mecca and stayed there until the Holy Prophetsa migrated to Medina, after which he also migrated [to Medina]. For this reason, Hazrat Ziyadra was known as a Muhajir Ansari, as he was a Muhajir [migrant from Mecca] and also part of the Ansar [Muslim native to Medina]. Hazrat Ziyadra participated in the Battle of Badr and Uhud and all other battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa.
When the Holy Prophetsa was migrating to Medina, he passed through the neighbourhood of the Banu Bayadah; Hazrat Ziyadra said:
اهلًا و سهلًا
and offered his home for the Holy Prophetsa to stay; the Holy Prophetsa said to leave his camel free, as it would find its own way. In Muharram of 9 AH, the Holy Prophetsa appointed separate collectors [in different areas] for Alms and Zakat. Thus he appointed Hazrat Ziyadra as the collector for the area of Hadhramaut. He remained in this office until the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra. After being relieved of this office, he settled in Kufa and passed away there in 41 AH. (Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ahya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 302) (Talib Hashmi, Pachas Sahabara, [Lahore, Pakistan: Al-Badr Publications], p. 302)
With regard to Hazrat Muhajir’sra expedition towards Najran, it is written that out of the 11 flags that were prepared by Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Muhajir bin Abi Umayyah’sra army was the last to leave Medina for Yemen. With Muhajir there was a contingent comprising of the Muhajirin and the Ansar. When this contingent passed by Mecca, the Amir of Mecca, Khalid bin Usaid – who was the brother of Attab bin Usaid – also joined them. When this army passed by Taif, Abdur Rahman bin Abi al-Aas joined this army along with his own army. Similarly, various tribes joined with Hazrat Muhajirra along the way, as a result of which it became a vast army. (Dr Ali Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiqra – translated by Shamim Ahmad Khalil Salafi, p. 305)
With regard to the capture of Amr bin Ma’di Karib and Qais bin Maqshuh, it is written – which has been mentioned previously – that owing to his false sense of courage and strength, Amr bin Ma’di Karib rebelled against the Muslim government and also included Qais bin Abd Yaghuth with him. Both of them visited each tribe and incited them against the Muslims. In this way, they raised the flag of rebellion aloft. As a result, all of the tribes supported Amr bin Ma’di Karib and rose against the Muslims, except for the Christians of Najran who had pledged to establish a bond of friendship with the Holy Prophetsa and, as per the customs of the time, they continued to remain loyal to their pledge in the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra as well. All other tribes supported Amr bin Ma’di Karib and rose up against the Muslims. Allah’s power manifested in such a way that when the people of Yemen began to receive news of Hazrat Muhajir’sra arrival along with a large army, they became extremely anxious as to how they could face the army of Hazrat Muhajirra. They were still engulfed in this state that a dispute broke out between their leaders; Qais and Amr bin Ma’di Karib. And despite the fact that they both had vowed to fight against Hazrat Muhajirra, they both began to inflict harm upon one another. In the end, Amr bin Ma’di Karib decided to join forces with the Muslims, and so along with his men, he launched an attack on the residence of Qais. He took him as a prisoner and presented Qais before Hazrat Muhajirra. However, Hazrat Muhajirra did not just take Qais as a prisoner, but also arrested Amr bin Ma’di Karib and wrote to Hazrat Abu Bakrra with regard to them and sent them both to him. And so, Qais and Amr bin Ma’di Karib were taken to Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated to Qais, “You have killed the people of God whilst perpetrating cruelty and oppression. You also left the believers and befriended the idolaters and the rebellious apostates.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra had decided to kill him if any crime of his could be categorically established. However, Qais completely denied any involvement in the conspiracy of Dhazuwaih’s killing. Since this operation was carried out very discreetly, therefore no clear proof could be found against Qais. Since no clear proof could be found, therefore Hazrat Abu Bakrra abstained from killing him.
Then, with regard to Amr bin Ma’di Karib, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated, “Do you not feel the humiliation of facing defeat day after day and that the noose around your neck, as it were, continues to tighten? If you support this religion [i.e Islam], then Allah shall grant you a lofty station.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra also freed him and both individuals, i.e. Amr and Qais were allowed to return to their tribes. Upon this, Amr stated, “I will certainly accept the directive of Amir-ul-Momineen [Leader of the Faithful] and will never commit such an error again.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 299) (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (translated) [Lahore, Pakistan: Islami Kutub Khana], pp. 253-254)
Since there was no clear proof found against either of them and also owing to their knowledge and position of leadership, they were both forgiven.
Whilst making mention of their forgiveness, another historian has written with regard to Hazrat Abu Bakrra that, “he possessed great foresight, wisdom and the full knowledge of the affairs. Where there was a need to show strictness, he would do so and where there was a need to show forgiveness and pardon, he would do so. Hazrat Abu Bakrra had an ardent desire to gather all the people of the various tribes who had become scattered to unite under the flag of Islam. Owing to his political acumen, he wanted to forgive the leaders of the various tribes who had reverted back to the truth. When the apostate tribes of Yemen were subdued and were made to witness the power and authority of the Islamic government and also the honour, might and grandeur of the Muslims, all of these tribes accepted the authority of the Islamic government and also pledged their obedience to the Khalifa of the Messengersa. Abu Bakrra felt it appropriate to establish friendly relations with the leaders of these various tribes and instead of taking any strict measures against them, he would show them kindness and compassion. Subsequently, their punishments were revoked and he spoke to them in a gentle manner and used the influence wielded by these tribes for the betterment of the Muslims. Hazrat Abu Bakrra forgave them of their mistakes and treated them with kindness. Qais bin Abd Yaghuth and Amr bin Ma’di Karib were treated as such. Both of these individuals were among the bravest and most intelligent people of Arabia and Hazrat Abu Bakrra did not wish for them to go to waste. Hazrat Abu Bakrra tried to make them enter the fold of Islam and to take them out from their apostasy of Islam. And so, Abu Bakrra freed Amr bin Ma’di Karib and after that day he never apostatised, and in fact, he accepted Islam and lived his life as a good Muslim. Allah granted him His support and he was able to play an important role in the Islamic conquests. Similarly, Qais was also remorseful over his past actions and Abu Bakrra also forgave him. Forgiving these two great Arab warriors had a deeply profound impact. Through this, Abu Bakrra united the hearts of those apostates who reverted to Islam either out of fear or out of greed for something. Hazrat Abu Bakrra also forgave Ash’ath bin Qais. In this way, [Abu Bakr] Siddiqra won their hearts and these people became a means of support and a source of strength for the Muslims.” (Dr Ali Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiqra – translated, pp. 313-314)
In other words, they were not forced in any way, in fact they willingly accepted Islam and pledged their obedience to Hazrat Abu Bakrra.
Hazrat Muhajirra went towards Lahjiya from Najran and when their cavalry surrounded the people of that area, they requested for a peace treaty, but Muhajirra refused to offer them a peace treaty. Following this, they split into two groups. One of the groups was with Hazrat Muhajirra and they fought in Ajeeb. Ajeeb is situated in Yemen. The other cavalry fought in Akhabith under the command of Hazrat Abdullahra. The enemy was killed upon every path they fled from. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 299.) (Yaqut Ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu’jam al-Buldan, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-’Arabi], p. 99)
When the Banu Ak rebelled in Aalab, which is an area in Yemen, they were given the name Akhabith and the path upon which the battle was fought against these wicked and evil-natured people was known as Tariq al-Akhabith. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], pp. 294-295)
With regard to Hazrat Muhajirra reaching Sana’, it is written that he departed from Ajeeb and upon reaching Sana’, he ordered that the various tribes which had fled should be pursued. The Muslims killed all those they captured and did not forgive a single person who had perpetrated evil. However, aside from them, anyone else who repented, their repentance was accepted. Those who engaged in warfare and perpetrated cruelty were not forgiven, but the others were forgiven and they were treated based on their earlier circumstances and there was hope that they could reform themselves once again. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 299)
The next aspect is quite detailed, so I shall conclude the sermon here and God willing, narrate that part in the future.
(Official Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 26 July to 8 August 2022 [Jalsa Salana Special Edition], pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions)