Mus‘ab was a child of a very rich family. From his childhood, he lived in luxuries of life. Especially as a handsome young man, he was lavished with special love and attention. In fact, he was unique in his luxurious tastes. He wore the most costly clothes and changed them twice a day. His shoes used to be the costliest available at that time. He was also fond of wearing fragrance. A whiff of his fragrance was enough for the people to know that Mus‘ab is passing by. With all that luxurious lifestyle, he was very intelligent and had an elegant personality with keen mind and mastery in eloquent speech. Because of these qualities, he was moving about among the influential circles of chiefs of Quraish at a young age.
When Prophet Muhammad ŝall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam started inviting people to the Islamic message of peace and submission to Allaah Subĥaanahu Wa Ta‘aala, Mus‘ab heard about it and noticed the violent reaction of Makkans. He also witnessed the persecution and abuse to which the Muslims were subjected. However, he wanted to find out on his own what Islam was all about. He ventured to meet Prophet ŜA‘WS in the house of Arqam where Muslims used to privately gather, learn from the prophet, and pray. When he met the Prophet and listened to the Holy Qur-aan, he was touched by its beauty and truth. The Prophet ŜA‘WS put his hand on his chest and Mus‘ab felt a strange peace and tranquility deep in his soul. He immediately accepted Islam.
Mus‘ab was well aware of the dangers to which he was exposing himself by becoming a Muslim. But he was not scared or worried about the persecution from the chiefs of Quraish. He loved his mother very much who was a very tough, domineering and hard willed lady. He was scared to confront his mother, so he decided to keep his Islam secret.
The secret did not last long. His eagerness to learn Qur-aan and wisdom from the prophet and his devotional prayers to Allaah were noticed and his Islam was known. When confronted by mom and the elders of the family, he bravely confessed the faith and even invited them to accept it. The reaction was as expected. He was tied up and imprisoned in a corner at home – well guarded so that he would not get a chance to escape or to visit the Prophet ŜA‘WS. When some Muslims were ready to emigrate to Abyssinia, he was able to escape and join the emigrants. As the first emigration to Abyssinia did not last long, he came back with the rest of the Muslims. When in Makkah, his mother tried to imprison him again, but he was able to resist. His mother disowned him. Before parting company, Mus‘ab lovingly invited his mother to Islam once again, but she would not budge.
Mus‘ab had to sacrifice his life of luxury for the sake of the truth of Islam. For his love for Islam, he was deprived of all his wealth, every penny of it. After losing everything he had, he himself devoted all his time and energies in acquiring Islamic knowledge and in the service of Allaah. Neither he had time or energy to venture any viable economic activity nor did Makkan hostility and persecution afford any chance for Muslims to do so. This resulted in abject poverty. So much so that the young man who was famous for elegant dresses, costly shoes and the best fragrance was seen in the same streets of Makkah in tattered coarse clothes. But he did not even complain. He had found the greatest wealth of all, the love of Allaah and the truth of Islam. He knew that the temporary life of the world would quickly pass, then, he would have all the wealth, better luxuries and everything he would desire forever in the eternal life of the Hereafter. His keen, intelligent mind had spotted and sealed a real deal by trading in the temporary pleasures of this world for the permanent luxuries of the Hereafter. And the greatest luxury of all, he will enjoy the Pleasure of Allaah, His Lord and Master.
Although his attire had deteriorated, the beauty of his personality became more polished and shining. The elegance of his personality matured with his knowledge of Islam, his eloquence was enhanced with the beauty of the Qur-aan, and his service to Allaah bestowed him with serenity and collected calmness regardless of circumstances. These qualities were especially demonstrated when the Prophet ŜA‘WS selected this young man over many of the elder Muslims to send him to Madeenah to call those people to Islam and to educate them in Islamic behaviour and Qur-aan. The way he handled the situation there and the way his mission succeeded is a prime example of how Islamic message was given and Islam was spread.
When he reached Madeenah, many people listened to his call and became Muslim. This created some concern among the leaders of that area. One of the leaders, Usayd bin Hudhayr, came fuming upset with a spear in his hand and shouted, “Why have you come to us to corrupt our young and weak? Keep away from us if you want to stay alive!” Mus‘ab kept his cool and replied to him in a calm, collected manner with a warm smile, “Please have a seat and listen to our point of view. You are a wise man. If you like what you hear from us, accept it. If you dislike it, we will stop and leave your neighbourhood.” Finding the proposition reasonable, Usayd sat down to listen. Mus‘ab told him about Islam and recited Qur-aan to him. Usayed was impressed with the teachings and touched by the Qur-aan. He accepted Islam. Within short period of time, other leaders also came, listened to Mus‘ab and accepted Islam. Through Mus‘ab’s positive attitude, calm responses and eloquent speech, Islam spread quickly in Madeenah.
Islam was always spread by winning hearts and minds of people through selfless sacrifices and shining characters of the Muslims, superb behaviour, logical approach, appealing message and beauty of the Qur-aan.
June 10, 2000