Usayd Ibn Hudhayr Radhiallaahu Anhu

Oleh Zindagi Ekk Safar(bo
31-Jul-2002 09:53

USAYD IBN HUDHAYR [radhiallaahu anhu]
A man who strove to be complete in his actions

Mus'ab ibn Umayr arrived to Yathrib with the great mission to teach Islam to its Muslim inhabitants who had pledged allegiance to the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam in the 'Aqabah, and to call the others to Islam. He lodged with As'ad ibn Zurarah, a noble from al Khazraj tribe.

A trickle of men showed up in the beginning then the group grew larger and larger, attracted by the eloquent speech of the young man, his fine character, and the clear proofs of the Message he had brought. What they enjoyed most was listening to him read the Qur'an with his melodious, moving voice. As'ad ibn Zurarah went out with Mus'ab one day to meet a group of men from Bani Abdul-Ashhal. They entered one of their gardens and sat by the well under the shade of the trees, joined by few men who had accepted Islam, and others who came to listen. Two of the leaders of Banu 'Abdul-Ashhal, Sa'd ibn Mu'ath and Usayd ibn Hudhayr were chatting when they got news of the gathering. It greatly displeased them to see the Muslims calling their tribesmen on their own land. Sa'd said to Usayd: "Go to this Makkan fellow who has entered our quarters to deceive our weak comrades, and discredit our idols. Drive him out, and forbid him to come again. If it were not that he is As'ad ibn Zurarah!
's guest, I would save you the trouble. But as you know As'ad is my cousin and I can do nothing to him."

Usayd took his lance and went to them. When As'ad saw him coming, he said to Mus'ab ibn 'Umayr: "This is the chief of his tribe, a man of sound mind and perfect character; Usayd ibn Hudhayr. If he accepts Islam, a great number of people will follow suite, so be true to Allah with him, and expose the matter to him skillfully." He stood over them, looking furiously, and asked: "What had brought you here to our quarters, to make fool out of our weaker comrades? Leave at once if you value your lives." Mus'ab looked at the newcomer with a radiant face, and replied with a calm voice: "Won't you sit down and listen to what I have to say. If you like it and accept it then join us, if not, I will abide by what you say." "Fair enough," said Usayd. He struck his lance in the ground and sat down. Mus'ab explained Islam to him and read him the Qur'an. As he listened, Usayd's facial expressions changed from anger to calmness then to pure enjoyment. Before he spoke people recognized Islam !
in his face by its peaceful glow. He said: "What a wonderful and beautiful talk this is! What does one do if he wanted to enter Islam?" Mus'ab said: "You make ghusl and purify your clothes, you testify that there is none worth of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, and then you pray two rak'a." He went to the well, cleaned himself, and did as he was told. Thus a great leader joined the ranks of the Muslims that day. Usayd was nicknamed 'the complete' because of his sound mind, and noble descent and because he was among the very few who mastered horsemanship, and swordmanship, in addition to his skillfulness in writing prose and poetry in a society where were rare those who could read and write. His Islam marked a turning point for the people of Yathrib (later named Madinah); many of the Aws tribe reverted to Islam starting with Sa'd ibn Mu'ath, and therefore Madinah became a refuge for the Muslims migrating from Makkah.

Usayd became passionate with listening and reciting Qur'an, since the day he heard Mus'ab recite it. He liked to recite mostly when night fell and all was silent. His melodious and clear voice would travel through the silent town, reaching the ears of the companions who would savor it, as if they heard it for the first time. He sat one peaceful night in his backyard, his son was sleeping next to him, and his horse was tied not far from him. It was a perfect time to recite the Qur'an he thought. "Alif, laam, meem," his beautiful articulate voice filled the air like a fragrance. He went on with his recitation, when he saw his horse jumping and turning with such a force that it almost broke its reins. He stopped and so did the horse. He resumed his recitation, and again the horse jumped and turned, only stronger this time. When he stopped it calmed down. He repeated this many times and each time the same thing would happen. He feared that the horse would trample on his son so !
he went to him to wake him up, when he noticed a cloud like an umbrella, from which lights like lanterns were hanging. He never saw a more beautiful sight! It filled the place with a radiant glow, and it was ascending in the sky until it disappeared. He related this event to the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam the next morning. "That was the angels listening to you, Usayd. Had you continued reciting, they would not be concealed from people and everyone would have seen them."!

Usayd loved the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam more than he loved anyone. He was among the few men who withstood the enemy in the battle of Uhud, protecting the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam until he was wounded seven deep wounds. The Prophet reciprocated his love and respected his position among his people. Usayd was one day entertaining people with his jokes when the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam touched him at his side as if he was approving. "You've hurt me O Messenger of Allah," he said. The Prophet pulled up his shirt uncovering his chest: "Hurt me as I have hurt you," he replied. Usayd got up and instead, he hugged him and kissed his chest: "It was only a wish that I had to touch you O Messenger of Allah and today it has been granted!"

Though he was a leader of his tribe and held a high position in Madinah, Usayd always gave preference to the Prophet and the Muhajireen over himself and his people. This became apparent when two parties of the Muslims got into an argument over taking turns at a well on their way back from the Battle of al Mustaliq. A man called "O men of al-Ansar" another called "O men of al-Muhajiroon". Now Abdullah ibn Ubay ibn Salul, a leader from Yathrib, was enraged. He went to his people and said: "These vagabonds of Quraysh dispute our priority, they outnumber us in our own country. By Allah when we return to Madinah, the stronger will drive out the weaker!" One of the men went to the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam and told him what had happened. He did not say a thing but gave orders to set off. Later Abdullah ibn Ubay came to the Prophet and swore that he had not said what he did say, and some of the Ansar tried to find excuses for him and sympathized with him, for he was a lead!
er among his people. Usayd met the Prophet on his way and as he greeted him, the Prophet said: "Have you not heard of what your friend said? He swore that if he returned to Madinah, the stronger will drive out the weaker." Usayd replied: "But you will drive him out if you want to; he is the weak and you are the strong." Then he added: "O Messenger of Allah, treat him kindly, for Allah brought you to us when his people were stringing beads to make him a crown, and he thinks that Islam has deprived him of a kingdom."

Usayd was greatly respected both by the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam and by the Khalifah Abu Bakr and later 'Umar. When he died, it was discovered that he had a debt of four thousand Dirhams. His inheritors decided to sell their small land to pay off his debt, but 'Umar who got news of it, prevented them to do it, saying: "I will not let my brother's children be a burden on other people." Then he talked to his debtors asking them to buy the produce of the land for four years as a way to pay the debt which they accepted.

Alia Amer

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