Mus'ab Ibn Umayr
Mus’ab ibn Umayr (radi Allahu ‘anhu) was brought up in luxury by a very very wealthy family. His parents went out of their way to provide the best for him and so he had the best perfume, he wore the most expensive stylish clothes, the most expensive shoes. At that time, shoes from Yemen were perceived to be the most elegant and Mus’ab ibn ‘Umayr had the privilege of owning Yemen’s finest.
Throughout his youth, he was admired by the people of Quraysh, not only because of his good looks and great sense of style but because of his intelligence. His intelligence and sharp mind made him to be one of the youngest members to attend the meetings of Quraysh. This gave him a good understanding of the problems that the Makkans face and what their strategies towards them were.
After the first revelation
After the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) came out and openly called people towards Islam, the Quraysh were hell-bent in looking for ways to silence him. The whole of Makkah was buzzing with the news of the message of Islam and the warning from the Prophet (s) and of the punishment they would receive if they did not obey Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and His messenger (s). The leaders of the Quraysh put all their brains together to come up with different ways to keep the Prophet (s) from calling people to Islam, as even they knew that the words of the Qur’an were powerful and a real threat to the way of their forefathers.
Mus’ab found out about the meetings that the Muslims would have in Daar al Arqam, a house near the hill of as Safa. He was already curious about Islam and about the Prophet (s), thus he went there to find out what it was all about. From this we can tell that he was not as closed minded as some of the leaders of Quraysh, he gave Islam a chance and wanted to discover for himself what it was really about.
When he went to Daar al Arqam, he met the Prophet (s) who welcomed him. Mus’ab saw the Prophet (s) teaching a few companions by reciting to them verses of the Qur’an and he witnessed them perform Salah with complete submission to Allah the Most High.
After this first meeting, Mus’ab was impressed and eager to join the religion of Islam and submit to Allah (swt) without associating any partners to Him. The words of the Qur’an, the words of Allah had a huge impact on him that he almost instantly became a Muslim.
This was Mus’ab ibn ‘Umayr radi Allahu ‘anhu at a time and age when the followers of Islam were few and were the ‘most wanted’ and were painted as being the worst in society. Now, Islam has spread so far and wide, there are millions of Muslims around the world, but, very few of us understand the meaning of a few ayat. The Qur’an and the Prophet (s) were sent to us as a manual; we go back to the Qur’an and Sunnah and live our lives in accordance to it. The importance the sahaba (radi Allahu ‘anhum) gave to Islam, gave to the Qur’an, gave to the Prophet (s) many of us give that importance with lip service only and not in action.
After Mus’ab (ra) had accepted Islam, his first hurdle was his mother, Khunnas bint Malik. She was a woman of power and had a dominant personality which would arouse fear in people. Mus’ab feared his mother finding out about his acceptance of Islam more than he feared the leaders of Quraysh finding out, thus, he kept his Islam a secret until Allah provided him a solution.
He continued to go to Daar al Arqam and learn from the Prophet (s) and be in the company of the rest of the believers. The verses of the Qur’an continued to deepen his faith and his heart was filled with tranquillity.
Out in the open
The Quraysh had their eyes and ears everywhere when it came to Islam. It was inevitable that Mus’ab would be found out sooner or later and it just happened to be sooner. Uthman ibn Talha saw Mus’ab going into Daar al Arqam and on another occasion, Mus’ab was seen praying like the Prophet (s), so it didn’t take long for them to work out that Mus’ab had become a Muslim. This breaking news had reached the mother of Mus’ab.
Mus’ab very calmly and with confidence confirmed that he is indeed upon the religion of Islam and had explained his reasons for doing so and recited some verses of the Qur’an to them. Mus’ab’s mother stared at her son that she had given so much care and affection and felt like smacking him one to make him stop talking, but she didn’t. In fact she did much worse. She bound him in a corner of their house; he had become a prisoner in his own home.
Despite all of this, Mus’ab did not give in and did not compromise Islam, not even a little. For Mus’ab and many of the other sahaba, life had become extremely difficult in Makkah as Muslims were being tortured and prosecuted.
Mus’ab heard that some Muslims were preparing to seek refuge in Abyssinia from the torture they were facing in Makkah. His immediate thoughts were to escape and to join them, so when his mother and the guards were not looking, he slipped away and escaped to Abyssinia.
Although the Muslims were happy that they had peace in Abyssinia and were able to practice Islam without fear of persecution, their hearts still missed Makkah and the company of Rasoolullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. So, when they heard that the situation for Muslims in Makkah had improved, some of them were quick to return to Makkah, only to find that what they heard was false. After this they all returned back to Abyssinia.
Return to Makkah
When Mus’ab finally did return to Makkah, he again faced his mother as a obstacle. She made another attempt to make him leave his religion and she again failed due to the high level of eman that he had. Both mother and son had to separate, as there was a strong persistence of kufr from his mother and even greater eman from the son.
Mus’ab tried again to bring his mother to Islam, to which she told him that she will never do so. Thus, Mus’ab left his home, his family, all the luxury he had once enjoyed and was on a more important mission, which was to learn about Islam and serve the Prophet (s) and Allah (swt).
From luxury to poverty
Many years later, Mus’ab came across a gathering of Muslims and went to them, the Muslims lowered their heads and their eyes were filled with tears when they saw Mus’ab. They remembered how he was the wealthiest young man in Makkah and had the most expensive clothes and owned the best perfumes, there was no youth like him in Makkah. If Mus’ab had gone to the market, hours later the smell of his perfume would still be in the air. Now, Mus’ab’s clothes were tattered and old. The Prophet (s) saw Mus’ab and smiled and said: “I have seen this Mus’ab with his parents in Makkah. They lavished care and attention on him and gave him all the comforts. There was no Quraysh youth like him. Then he left all that seeking the pleasure of God and devoting himself to the service of His Prophet”
This shows us what a great sacrifice Mus’ab had made when he became Muslim. He left the entire materialistic world that he had, everything he could possibly want in this dunya was at his very feet yet he rejected it all for Islam, all for the sake of Allah.