As’ad bin Zurara (r.a.)
Makkan polytheists insisted on denying the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) though they saw several miracles from him. In addition, they inflicted severe torture on the Muslims. The Prophet continued conveying the message of Islam despite those inflictions and tortures. He invited people to believe in Allah’s existence and oneness.
The Prophet (pbuh) told the people who came to Makkah from other cities for hajj about Islam in hajj season every year and invited them to be Muslims. Most of them rejected and did not agree to believe. However, the Prophet continued conveying the message of Islam to people without losing hope and without stopping. For, he was a prophet. His duty was to convey the message. Guidance belonged to Allah.
In a hajj season, the Prophet was walking around the tribes and conveying the message of Islam to the people there. He approached a group of six people. After talking to them a bit, he invited them to Islam. They were from Madinah. They were conscientious people. They said to one another, “By Allah, this is probably the prophet that Jews tell us about and frighten us. Do not allow Jews to act before us and believe in this prophet before us.” They became Muslims at once. One those six fortunate people was As’ad bin Zurara from Sons of Najjar.
Those fortunate people addressed the Prophet as follows when they left:
“Our tribe act hostilely toward one another and other tribes. We hope Allah will bring them together thanks to you. When we return, we will invite them to Islam and tell them about the things that we accepted. If Allah unites them under this religion, there will be nobody more powerful and honorable than you.”
Then, they left by the getting permission from the Messenger of Allah. Those blessed Companions conveyed the message of Islam to the people of Madinah and caused many people to become Muslims. In hajj season the next year, they met the Prophet in Aqabah with a delegate of 12 people. Upon the request of the Prophet, they promised that they would not associate any partners with Allah, they would not steal, they would not kill their children, they would not slander and they would not oppose any good deeds. After talking to the Messenger of Allah for a while, they left by the getting permission from the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet sent Mus’ab bin Umayr to Madinah with them to teach them Islam.
Mus’ab was a very good orator. He was patient. His ability to persuade was strong. He stayed in As’ad bin Zurara’s house as a guest in Madinah. They conveyed the message of Islam together. Great Companions like Sa’d bin Muadh and Usayd bin Khudayr became Muslims thanks to those two people.
The next year in hajj season, they came to Aqabah with a group of 75 people: 73 men and 2 women. They met the Messenger of Allah and talked to him. The Prophet chose 12 representatives among them. He appointed As’ad bin Zurara as the representative of those 12 people. The representatives talked to the groups they represented. They told them about the importance of the allegiance they would pay to the Messenger of Allah. Then, they paid allegiance to the Messenger of Allah in front of the group they represented. Hz. As’ad stated the following when he paid allegiance:
“I pay allegiance to complete and fulfill the promise I made to Allah and His Messenger about help and to put my words into practice.”
When the allegiance was completed, the Muslims of Madinah left. They set off to go to Madinah. They started the activity of belief. They paved the way for the Messenger of Allah to migrate to Madinah.
As’ad bin Zurara started a nice custom by putting into practice the following hadith: “A person who revives a sunnah will attain the thawab of that sunnah and the thawabs gained by the people who act in accordance with that sunnah up to the Day of Judgment.” He prepared a place as a mosque in Madinah and led the daily prayers and Friday prayer there to the Muslims in Madinah.
Hz. As’ad became ill after a short while following the Migration of the Prophet. The Prophet visited this Companion and prayed for him. As’ad died due to the illness that he caught. The Prophet (pbuh) himself washed his dead body and led his janazah prayer. He buried him in the Baqi Cemetery. Thus, As’ad became the first Companion from Ansar that was buried in this cemetery.
The Jews and munafiqs who became disturbed by the arrival of the Prophet in Madinah and the spread of Islam day by day used the death of As’ad as a means of rumor. They said,
“If he were a prophet, his friend would not have died.”
Thereupon, the Prophet said,
“I have no power to drive away anything that comes from Allah from me or from my friend”
Upon the death of As’ad bin Zurara, Sons of Najjar gathered and went to the Messenger of Allah. They said, “O Messenger of Allah! You know that he was our representative. Appoint somebody to replace him.” The Prophet said, “You are my maternal uncles. I am your representative.” They regarded this as a great means of fortune and left happily. 
Sirah, 2: 70, 73, 81-90, 153; Musnad, 4: 138; Tabaqat, 1: 217, 219, 221-223.
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- Mus’ab bin Umayr (r.a.)
- Will you give information about the First Pledge of Aqaba and the names of the Companions that took part in it?
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- Jarir bin Abdullah (r.a.)