Exemplary Youth Nurtured by the Messenger of God (pbuh)-2 The Respected Muadh ibn Jabal

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The twelve Companions from Medina who participated in the First Pledge of Aqaba requested a guide and teacher who would explain Islam and teach them the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Thereupon, the Messenger of God sent the respected Mus’ab ibn Umayr with them. With his sincerity, simplicity, and morality and his beautiful and persuasive style that appealed to both the mind and the heart, Hazrat Mus’ab transferred his knowledge and experience to Muslims in a short time, announced Islam to the people of the city and got the hearts of nearly a hundred people, mostly young people, with God Almighty brought together. The respected Musab won the heart of another individual, the 18-year-old Muadh ibn Jabal, about whom the Messenger of God exclaimed, “What a beautiful person!”1. The respected Muadh’s father, Jabal ibn Amr, belonged to the Banu Uday branch of the Hazraj tribe, while his mother was Hind bint Sahl. Losing his father at a young age, the respected Muadh ibn Jabal became an orphan. After a while, his mother Hind remarried Jad ibn Qays, a prominent figure among the Selim tribe known for his stinginess.2

The respected Muadh Ibn Jamal, Among Those Who Made a Historic Decision

The Ansar had gathered among themselves and decided to rescue the Messenger of God from the oppressive and hostile environment in Mecca. They planned to assess the gathering that had assembled for Hajj, then secretly and collectively meet with him at Akaba. They would extend an invitation to him and the Muslim brethren from Mecca to come to Medina. Seventy-five people, including two women, set out on the journey. One of those present in the caravan was the respected Muadh.3 The respected Muadh ibn Jabal, burning with longing, met the Messenger of God for the first time in Akaba along with his fellow countrymen. He had the opportunity to meet, shake hands, and pledge allegiance to the Prophet. Even though he and his young friends didn’t know it yet, they had made a big decision that alter the trajectory of both Islamic and human history. Just a month after this pledge, the Messenger of God initiated the migration to Medina, and he arrived also in Medina three months later.

The Respected Abdullah ibn Mas’ud: One of the Sources of Knowledge

When the Messenger of God came to Medina, the Muhajirs had settled in the houses of some of the Ansar. The Messenger of God, who did not intervene in this situation for a while, decided to make a new arrangement after getting to know Ansar, whom he met for a few hours in Aqaba. With this project called “Muahat/Brotherhood” the Muhajirs were removed from the houses where they stayed as guests and placed with those whom he designated as their brothers. One of the main goals of this regulation was to distribute the Muhajirs, who had 13 years of knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah, to the houses of Ansar and turn each house into an education center to close the gap as soon as possible. While doing this, the Messenger of God considered the innate characteristics, capabilities, needs, and potentials of the individuals involved.


In this context, he designated the respected Abdullah ibn Masud, one of the eminent scholars and jurists among the Muhajirs, as a brother to the respected Muadh ibn Jabal 4 because the respected Muadh was a very talented, determined, action-packed, and intelligent young man. The Messenger of God needed fully equipped and trained people to guide the nations in the future… This endeavor proved successful, and the respected Muadh quickly became one of the foremost scholars among the Ansar.

The Messenger of God sent him to the people of Mecca after eight years and later, after nine years, to the people of Yemen to convey and teach Islam. Furthermore, when dispatching him to Yemen, he remarked, “May I find you in this condition in the Hereafter!” This indicated that the respected Muadh had attained perfection even before the completion of the religion. Undoubtedly, one of the most significant reasons for this was the Messenger of God, who recognized his potential in placing the respected Abdullah ibn Mas’ud by his side as a kind of private instructor for him.

 The respected Muadh ibn Jabal also served as a scribe for revelations, occasionally transcribing the letters of the Messenger of God. Furthermore, he frequently posed questions to the Messenger of God, and when the Messenger of God intended to convey a message to the people, he often did so through Muadh.

The Respected Muadh ibn Jabal Was in the Entourage of the Messenger of God

One of the educational settings where the Messenger of God nurtured young individuals was on the back of his mount. When he goes on a journey, he always takes a gifted young man with him; He was explaining and teaching things along the way. This closeness not only motivated them, but also offered them the opportunity to witness many historical events. The respected Muadh was one of them. He asked the respected Muadh ibn Jabal, whom he took on his mount, “Are you aware of the rights of God has over His servants?” He responded, “God and His Messenger know better.” Upon which, the Messenger of God stated, “The established right of God over His servants is that they worship Him and associate nothing with Him in worship.” After advancing for a while, the Messenger of God turned back to the respected Muadh and asked, “Do you know the established rights of servants over God when they fulfill these duties?” When the respected Muadh gave the same response, the Messenger of God stated, “The established rights of servants over God when they fulfill these duties is that God does not punish them.”5

Oh Muadh! I Absolutely Love You

Believers expressing love for each other for the sake of God and forming a society built on love are vital aspects highlighted by the Messenger of God. In a hadith where the respected Muadh ibn Jabal is also among the narrators, the Messenger of God says the following: “God says: My pleasure is obligated for those who love each other for My sake, for those who spend their wealth and strength for My sake, for those who sit together and converse for My sake, and for those who visit each other for My sake.” “On the day when there is no shade except for the Throne, they will be under the shade of my Throne on pulpits of light.”6

The Messenger of God, described in the Qur’an with profound compassion and mercy towards the believers, also deeply loved his Companions for God’s sake. When the occasion arose, he would express this love. One day, he said to the respected Muadh, “O Muadh! I truly love you for the sake of God.” The respected Muadh responded, “O Messenger of God! My mother and father be your ransom! I love you too.” Upon this, the Messenger of God advised, “Then, I recommend that you say the following at the end of every prayer:” “O God! Assist me in remembering You, expressing gratitude to You, and worshiping You in the best way!”7 The one who loves contemplates the Hereafter of their beloved, guiding towards attaining divine approval and eternal companionship with their loved ones…

Taking One’s Place on the Fronts

One of the training methods that the Messenger of God used while training his Companions was taking a shovel, a pickaxe, a mallet, and a sword when necessary and carrying soil, stones, mud bricks, and armor on his back. Despite being the last and universal prophet, holding a position with God, and serving as the head of state and commander-in-chief, he did not hesitate to engage in necessary tasks alongside his Companions. In fact, he took great joy in doing so. In this manner, the Companions, who emulated him as an example, would also rush to handle any task when the need arose.

In this context, when the obligation to go to the frontlines arose, everyone, from the youngest to the eldest, from the sickest to the healthiest, from the most knowledgeable to the garden laborer or shepherd, would immediately don their swords and rush to the gathering point of the army.

The respected Muadh ibn Jabal, who stood out with his scholarly personality, would also set aside his pen and don his sword in such times. He took his place in the most challenging fronts such as Badr, Uhud, the Trench, Banu Qurayza, Khaybar, and Tabuk. When heading to Tabuk, he was entrusted with the duty of carrying the flag within his tribe as he was known to have the best knowledge of the Qur’an among them. He was only unable to participate in the battles of Hunayn and Taif. Indeed, the Messenger of God had left him in Mecca to convey and teach Islam to the people.

muadh ibn jabal

The Respected Mus’ab in Exchange for the Respected Muadh ibn Jabal

As mentioned above, after the conquest, the Messenger of God left the respected Muadh in Mecca to convey Islam and instruct the Qur’an to the people of Mecca. The Messenger of God sending the respected Mus’ab to Medina and choosing the respected Muadh was not a random decision. Yesterday, he taught Islam to the people of Medina through a Meccan. Now, he was teaching the people of Mecca through a Medinan. Thus, the task of conveying and teaching Islam to the honored and esteemed Quraysh was entrusted to a 27-year-old young man from the Ansar. Including Suhayl ibn Amr, the Meccans learned the Qur’an and Islam from him.

Hazrat Muadh ibn Jabal was a conscious choice. The Messenger of God knew both the people of Mecca and the respected Muadh very well. About him, the Prophet said, “The one who knows best the permissible and the forbidden for my Ummah is Muadh ibn Jabal!”8 and “Learn the Qur’an from four people: Abdullah ibn Masud, the freed slave of Abu Hudhayfah, Salim, Muadh ibn Jabal, and Ubay ibn Ka’b!” 9 He declared the respected Muadh an authority both in the Qur’an and Islamic jurisprudence. The respected Muadh, who memorized the Qur’an in a short time, was also among the foremost in recitation. For the Quraysh, who had a high sense of language aesthetics, this meant a lot.

Being appointed as the General Governor, Judge, Tax Collector, and Educator to Yemen

Having successfully completed his duty in Mecca, the respected Muadh ibn Jabal had returned to Medina. Meanwhile, the governor of Yemen under the Sassanids, Bazan, embraced Islam, and other rulers from Yemen sent delegations to Medina, informing that they had also embraced Islam.
They desired that their people also embrace Islam. For this, they had requested a guide and educator from him who would lead this societal change. The Messenger of God knew the people of Yemen very well. He had read and analyzed them very well when he invited them to the trade fairs in Yemen, which he attended for commercial purposes at a young age, and the fairs held around Mecca. When their delegations arrived in Medina, he turned to his Companions and said, “The people of Yemen have come to you. They are gentle-spirited and soft-hearted individuals. Faith and wisdom are also from the people of Yemen.”10

Although the Companions suggested that either the respected Abu Bakr or the respected Umar would be more suitable to go, and they expressed their willingness, the Messenger of God stated that they were like his eyes and ears, and he could not be separated from them. He requested the respected Muadh ibn Jabal to prepare for the mission. For this significant task, he chose the twenty-nine-year-old respected Muadh and appointed him as the governor of the largest region in Yemen, the general governor of Yemen 11, the judge of Yemen, the chief collector of alms, and the educator of Yemen.

Not only did he appoint him, but he also sent letters to the tribal leaders in the region, informing them of the respected Muadh’s duties, asking for their assistance, and adding the following sentence:
“I am sending to you the best of my kin, the most knowledgeable and authoritative in matters of both knowledge and religion!”12

Universal Advice Given to the Respected Muadh ibn Jabal

One of the educational methods that the Messenger of God employed in nurturing the youth was giving them responsibilities in the field. By selecting and assigning tasks that matched their nature and abilities, he demonstrated, through action, his trust in them or the trustworthiness that should be placed in them. Being chosen over prominent Companions honored them and encouraged them to carry out their duties more conscientiously, despite the presence of other distinguished Companions.

Moreover, the Messenger of God not only entrusted them with responsibilities but also provided explanations, warnings, and advice to ensure that they carried out their duties properly when sending them on a mission. Most of the time, he escorted them even outside Medina and continued to give them advice during these moments. Upon their return from the mission, he would receive a report, congratulate them on their successes, and if there were any mistakes, he would admonish them to be more cautious in the future.

In this context, when sending the respected Muadh to Yemen, he acted in the same way. He mounted him on a horse at the gate of the Prophet’s Mosque and walked with him for more than a mile. While holding the reins of the respected Muadh’s horse and pulling it on one side, he gave him the following orders and advice on the other:


“You will encounter a people from the People of the Book. When you reach them, invite them to testify that there is no deity but God and that I am the Messenger of God. If they accept this, inform them that God has made the five daily prayers obligatory for them. If they accept that too, be careful not to select only the best of their possessions when collecting Zakat! Fear the curse of the oppressed. Because there is no barrier between the prayer of the oppressed and God’s response.”13


“O Muadh! I advise you to have God-consciousness, to speak the truth, to be loyal to your commitments, to fulfill the trust completely, to never betray, to act with humility, to fulfill the rights of neighbors, to be gentle and kind in speech, to show compassion to orphans, to control and overcome anger, to keep your aspirations modest, to spread greetings, to obey a just leader, to have a deep understanding of the intricacies of religion and the Qur’an, to live with the fear of being held accountable for your actions, to perform good deeds, to love the Hereafter. O Muadh! Do not spread mischief on the earth! Do not insult a Muslim! Do not affirm the liar! Do not deny the truthful ones! O Muadh! I advise you to remember God at all times and in all places, and to repent for hidden sins in private and open sins openly! O Muadh! I love you not for my sake but for the sake of God. What I do not find pleasing for myself, I do not find pleasing for you either. O Muadh! The dearest among you to me and the closest to me on the Day of Judgment is the one who meets me with the same state we parted ways…”14

 Now it was time for farewell, and the respected Muadh ibn Jabal asked the Messenger of God (peace be upon him) for one last piece of advice. Upon this, the Messenger of God said: “Fear God wherever you are, and follow up a bad deed with a good deed so that it will wipe it out. Treat people with good manners.”15 When the respected Muadh took his first steps towards Yemen, the pleas of God’s Messenger echoed in his ears: “May Almighty God protect you from afflictions that may come from before you, behind you, from your right, left, above, and below. May He keep away the harm of humans and jinn from you.”16

The respected Muadh had walked a little further when someone caught up with him from behind and informed him that the Messenger of God was calling him back. When the respected Muadh returned, the Messenger of God had said: “Do you know why I called you back? Do not take anything (bribe) without right, as it is an act of treachery. Whoever commits treachery in this world will be brought before God on the Day of Judgment with the treachery they have committed. That’s why I called you; now you can go to your duty.”17

The Pleasing and Delighting of the Messenger of God by the Respected Muadh

While the Messenger of God sent the respected Muadh ibn Jabal to Yemen, a significant dialogue took place between them that left its mark on Islamic Legal History and paved the way for interpretations:

  • When a matter is presented to you, how do you give judgment?”
  • I give judgment based on the Book of God.
  • If the answer to this matter is not found in the Book of God, what will you do?
  • Then I will judge based on the Sunnah of the Messenger of God.
  • If the answer to this matter is not found in the Sunnah of the Messenger of God either, what will you do?
  • I will use my reasoning and make an independent judgment.

The answers the respected Muadh gave had pleased and delighted the Messenger of God. He touched his chest with his hand and said:

“Praise be to God who grants success to the messenger of His Messenger in what pleases the Messenger.”18

Then he said to the respected Muadh ibn Jabal:

“Be humble for the sake of God, so that God may elevate you. Do not pass judgment on a matter until you have fully understood it in all its aspects! If you find a task difficult and complicated, ask the one skilled in it, consult others, and don’t hesitate! Make your own judgment in the end! Indeed, God will grant you success according to your sincerity. If things seem confusing to you, wait until the truth becomes clear, or write to me! Avoid acting according to your whims in this matter! I also advise you to be gentle!”19

His Activities in Yemen

Upon reaching Yemen and settling in the location described by the Messenger of God, the respected Muadh immediately began his activities. He administered the region within the framework outlined by the Messenger of God, conveyed Islam, and educated and trained the students. While Islam was rapidly spreading in Yemen, the respected Muadh ibn Jabal engaged in close dialogue with people and sent them to Medina in groups to meet with the Messenger of God. The last group he sent consisted of 200 people. When they arrived in Medina, they settled in the house of Ramlah bint al-Harith, one of the largest houses closest to the Prophet’s Mosque. Later, they met with the Messenger of God and informed him that they had embraced Islam.

As part of his duty, the respected Muadh frequently visited other governors and worked in harmony with them. While everything in the Yemen region was going as planned, a false claimant to prophethood, Aswad al-Ansi, emerged and quickly became a significant threat and danger to the Muslims. When the situation was reported to the Messenger of God, he ordered them to take the necessary actions to solve the problem, and under the leadership of the respected Muadh, they successfully resolved this major issue.

Conclusion

When the Messenger of God bid farewell to the respected Muadh for Yemen, he said, ‘Muadh, perhaps you will not see me after this year. You will likely come and visit my grave and mosque.’” “Upon hearing this sad news, Hz. Muadh was overwhelmed with tears.20 The Messenger of God, comforting him, looked towards Medina and stated that truth: “Indeed, those closest to me, whoever they may be, are the ones who possess piety!”

With a heavy heart, the respected Muadh set out on the journey to Yemen fulfilled the given responsibilities diligently, and returned to Medina. However, by that time, the Messenger of God had passed away, and the respected Abu Bakr had been elected as the head of the state. At the age of thirty-one, the respected Muadh visited the grave of the Messenger of God and began to weep. Seeing him in this state, the respected Umar asked why he was crying. Upon this, the respected Muadh ibn Jabal mentioned that he remembered the following words from the Messenger of God, and that was why he was crying:

 “Verily, the smallest amount of showing off is considered polytheism. Whoever shows enmity to a friend of God has surely declared war against God. God truly loves obedient, pious servants who avoid fame, as they are not sought when they are not seen. They are not called upon or recognized when they are present. But their hearts are radiant beacons of guidance!”21

Autor: Yücel Men

Footnotes

  1. Tirmidhi, Manaqib 32; Nasai, As-Sunanu’l-Kubra 8243; Bukhari, Al-Adabu’l-Mufrad 337
  2. Muadh’s stepfather, Jad, under whose shade he grew up, was also one of the chief hypocrites during the Medina period. Jad participated in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah but hid behind a bush to avoid pledging allegiance to the Messenger of God. When the time came to go to Tabuk, he said, ‘Everyone knows my passionate weaknesses! If I see Roman women, I may fall into sin. Do not lead me into temptation! Allow me to stay here.” When the Messenger of God permitted him, some among them said, ‘Allow me; do not lead me into temptation, do not put me in trouble! “Know that they have already fallen into temptation. Hell will indeed surround the disbelievers from all sides.” This verse was revealed in Surah At-Tawbah (9:49). See Ibn Hisham, Biography, 597.” Despite his stepfather’s stinginess and hypocrisy, the respected Muadh was known in Medina for his generosity and depth of faith. His friends used to liken the respected Muadh to the respected Ibrahim. His stepbrother, also a Companion of Badr, along with the respected Abdullah, upheld their rights in the house and protected themselves from Jad’s behavior.
  3. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat 3/435
  4. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat 3/435
  5. Bukhari, Jihad 46, Libas 101, Riqaq 37
  6. Tirmidhi, Zuhd 53; Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad 7/236 (22064; 22080)
  7. Ebu Dawud, Vitr 25; Nasai, Sahv 60; Ibn Hibban, Sahih 2021
  8. Tirmidhi, Manaqib 32; Ibn Majah, Muqaddima 11
  9. Bukhari, Manaqibu’l-Ansar 14, 16
  10. Tirmidhi, Manaqib 71
  11. Yemen, being a vast region, was divided into five provinces by the Messenger of God, and a governor was appointed to each: The respected Khalid ibn al-Walid to San’a, the respected Muhajir Ibn Umayya to Kindah, the respected Ziyad ibn Labid to Hadramaut, Abu Musa al-Ash’ari to Zabid, and the respected Muadh to the largest province, Jund. He also appointed the respected Muadh as the general governor over all the governors.
  12. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat 3/436
  13. Bukhari, Zakah 1, 41, 63, Mazalim 9; Muslim, Iman 7 (29/19); Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad 3/498 (2071); Nasai, As-Sunanu’l-Kubra 3/45 (2313)
  14. Ibn Asakir, Tarikh 18/194, 195, 58/408
  15. Tabarani, Mu’jamu’l-Kabir 20/144 (295, 296, 297, 298); Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat 3/439
  16. Ibn Hajar, Isaba 3/1847; Ibn Asakir, Tarikh 58/413
  17. Tirmidhi, Ahkam 8
  18. Abu Dawud, Aqdiyya 11; Tirmidhi, Ahkam 3
  19. Diyarbakri, Tarikhu’l-Khamis 3/49
  20. Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad 22054
  21. Ibn Majah, Fitan 16
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