The First `Aqabah Pledge

We have already spoken about the six people from Madinah who embraced Islam in the pilgrimage season in the eleventh year of Prophethood. They promised to communicate the Message of Islam to their townsfolk.

The following year, on the occasion of the pilgrimage, there came a group of twelve people ready to acknowledge Muhammad as their Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The group of men comprised five of the six who had met the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) the previous year, the sixth who stayed away was Jabir bin `Abdullah bin Ri’ab, the other seven were:

  1. Mu`adh bin Al-Harith, Ibn `Afra, from Khazraj.
  2. Dhakwan bin `Abdul-Qais, from Khazraj.
  3. `Ubadah bin As-Samit, from Khazraj.
  4. Yazeed bin Tha’labah, from Khazraj.
  5. Al-`Abbas bin `Ubadah bin Nadlah, from Khazraj.
  6. Abul-Haitham bin At-Taihan, from Aws.
  7. `Uwaim bin Sa`idah, from Aws.

They affirmed their faith in Muhammad as a Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and pledged allegiance to him. Al-Bukhari recorded that `Ubadah bin As-Samit narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

“Come here and pledge that you will not associate any with Allah, that you will not steal, nor commit unlawful sexual intercourse, nor kill your children, nor utter slander intentionally forging falsehood, nor disobey me in any good. He who fulfils this, Allah SWT will reward him and who neglects anything and is afflicted in this world, it may prove redemption for him in the Hereafter; and if the sin remains hidden from the eyes of the men and no grief comes to him, then his affair is with Allah SWT. He may forgive him, or He may not.”

The Muslim Envoy in Madinah

After the pledge had been taken (in the form of an oath) the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent to Yathrib (Madinah) Mus`ab bin `Umair Al-`Abdari, the first Muslim `ambassador’ to teach the people there the doctrines of Islam, give them practical guidance and make attempts at propagating Islam among those who still professed polytheism. As`ad bin Zurarah hosted him in Madinah. So well-prepared was the ground, and so zealous the propagation that Islam spread rapidly from house to house and from tribe to tribe. There were various promising aspects of success that characterized Mus`ab’s task. One day Mus`ab and As`ad were on their way to the locality of Bani `Abdul-Ashhal and Bani Zafar, when they went into the premises of the latter clan. There they sat near a well conversing with some new converts. Sa`d bin Mu`adh and Usaid bin Hudair, chiefs of the two clans heard of this meeting, so Usaid approached the Muslims armed with his spear while the other Sa`d excused himself on grounds that As`ad was his maternal cousin. Usaid came closer cursing and swearing and accused the two men of fooling people weak of heart, and ordered that they stop it altogether.

Mus`ab calmly invited him to sit saying, “If you are pleased with our speech, you can accept it; should you hold it as objectionable, you are free to immunize yourself against what you hate.’’ “That’s fair,’’ said Usaid, pierced his lance in the sand, listened to Mus`ab and then heard some Verses of the Noble Qur’an. His face beamed with satisfaction and pleasure before uttering any words of approval. He asked the two men about the procedures related to embracing Islam. They asked him to wash, cleanse his garment, bear witness to the Truth and then perform a prayer of two Rak`ah. He responded and did exactly what he was asked to do, and then said that there was a man (Sa`d bin Mu`adh) whose people would never hang back if he followed Islam.

He then left to see Sa`d and his people. Sa`d immediately understood from his demeanor that Usaid had changed. To a question posed by Sa`d, Usaid said that two men were ready to comply with whatever orders they received. He then arranged a meeting that provided the two men with a chance to talk with Sa`d privately. The previous scene with Usaid repeated itself and Sa`d embraced Islam, and directly turned to his people swearing that he would never talk with them until they believed in Allah, and in His Messenger. Hardly had the evening of that day arrived when all the men and women of that group of Arabs embraced Islam with the exception of one, Al-Usairim, who hung back until the Day of Uhud. On that day he embraced Islam and fought the polytheists but was eventually killed before observing any prostration in the way of prayer. The Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commented saying:

“He has done a little but his reward is great.’’

Mus`ab stayed in Madinah carrying out his mission steadily and successfully until all the houses of Al-Ansar (the future Helpers) had Muslim members, men and women. One family only refused the Islamic Da`wah (Call). They were under the influence of the poet Qais bin As-Salt, who managed to deter them from accepting the Call of Islam until the year 5 A.H.

Shortly before the approach of the following pilgrimage season, i.e., the thirteenth year of Prophethood, Mus`ab bin `Umair returned to Makkah carrying glad tidings to the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) about the new fertile soil of Islam in Madinah, and its environment rich in the prospects of general goodness, and the power and immunity that that city was bound to provide to the cause of Islam.

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