Habib bin Zayd (r.a.)

During the Era of Bliss, a lovely child was born in a luminous family: Habib bin Zayd. His father, Asim al-Ansari, was among the first adults that paid allegiance to the Messenger of Allah in Aqabah. His mother, Nasiba bint Ka’b was the first woman to use a weapon against the polytheists for Islam. Habib bin Zayd was brought up by such a mother in such a house. Belief, Islam and light of truth arose from that house. This light encompassed Habib bin Zayd when he was very young. He was born based on that belief and grew up like that. He took part in all battles except Badr and Uhud, in which he could not take part due to being very young. He gave no respite to the enemies of Islam in the battles that he joined. His steadiness and perseverance in his religion was very famous. [1]

Some incidents took place in 9 H in the south of Arabian Peninsula. Fake prophets emerged and disturbed Muslims. They led people to perverted and aberrant ways. One of them was Aswad al-Ansi in San’a and the other was Musaylimatul-Kadhdhab in Yamama. Musaylima, the fake prophet, sent an envoy to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and claimed to be a prophet. He wanted to the world to be divided into two; he offered the Messenger of Allah to give half of the world to him and the other half to Quraysh. The Messenger of Allah sent him an answer and told him that the whole earth belonged to Allah.

The evil deeds of Musaylima increased day by day. He spread his evil thoughts among people. Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) wanted to send a letter of warning to Musaylima. Who was going to take the letter to him? For, to take such a letter to Musaylima, who was an oppressor, meant to risk death. The Prophet was looking for somebody among his Companions who would undertake this duty. His eyes were fixed on Habib bin Zayd, who was known for his steadiness and perseverance. Habib Bin Zayd could do it. The Companions regarded him appropriate.

Hz. Habib bin Zayd set off to convey the sacred message of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). It was the greatest happiness in the world for him to fulfil the order of the Messenger of Allah.  He went to Yamama. He gave Musaylima the warning letter of the Messenger of Allah. After reading the letter, Musaylima became furious. His face turned red. Hatred and grudge seemed in his eyes. He wanted to take its revenge from Habib bin Zayd.

He ordered his soldiers to tie Habib bin Zayd’s hands and feet and to bring him to his presence. He gathered all of his tribe. Habib bin Zayd, the heroic envoy of the Messenger of Allah was brought. There were traces of torture on his body and face.   Habib was chained. However, there was no trace of worry or hesitation on him. They brought Habib in the middle of the crowd. He held his head high and he looked dignified. Since he believed in Allah, the apparent power of the polytheists was of no importance.

Musaylima tried to question him. He asked, “Do you believe that Muhammad is a prophet?” On the one hand, they were torturing him and on the other hand they were trying to make him give up his believe. [2] However, he declared that he believed in the Messenger of Allah. This time, Musaylima asked “Do you believe that I am a prophet?” Habib bin Zayd rejected this question. He did not heed Musaylima’s threats. When Musaylima asked the same question again, Habib said mockingly, “I am a bit deaf; I cannot hear you.” Musaylima got more furious. He ordered his men to cut Habib into pieces. He called his executioner. While Habib’s body was bleeding, his tongue uttered kalima ash-shahada. When he died, he was uttering the blessed name of the Messenger of Allah. [3]

When this news reached Nasiba, his mother, his heroic mother said,

“I brought up my son for such a day. I believe that my son is among martyrs in the presence of Allah.”

Afterwards, Hz. Abu Bakr established an army to eliminate the mischief of Musaylima. Nasiba, Habib’s mother, took part in the army. She saw Musaylima, the killer of Habib, being killed by the swords of the Muslims with her own eyes.

May Allah be pleased with them!

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[1]Usdul-Ghaba, 1: 370.
[2]al-Isaba, 1: 306.
[3]Tabaqat, 4: 316.

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