Muadh bin Jabal (r.a.)

Muadh bin Jabal became a Muslim in the Pledge of Aqaba when he was 18 years old. He was from Madinah and belonged to Sons of Salama clan of the tribe of Khazraj.

As the Messenger of Allah put it, the most merciful one to the ummah was Abu Bakr, the most severe of them concerning the order of Allah was Umar, the most truly modest of them was Hz. Uthman, the most knowledgeable of them concerning the laws of inheritance was Zayd bin Thabit, the best reciter of the Qur'an among them was Ubayy bin Ka'b and the most knowledgeable of them concerning haram and halal was Muadh bin Jabal. [1]

He was one of the three people that became distinguished among Ansar related to issuing fatwas. The other two were Ubayy bin Ka'b and Zayd bin Thabit.

He was also specialized in the Quran As a matter of fact, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Learn the Quran from four people: Abdullah bin Mas’ud, Ubayy bin Ka'b, Muadh bin Jabal and Abu Hudhayfa.” [2]

After the Migration, the Messenger of Allah established brotherhood between Muadh and Abdullah bin Mas’ud. He took part in all battles and wars including the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq, and struggled in the first ranks. When the Prophet set off for the Expedition of Hunayn, he appointed him as his deputy in Madinah. He ordered him to teach people the Quran and tell them about religious issues.  

One of the people who witnessed a bright miracle of the Messenger of Allah during the Expedition of Tabuk was Hz. Muadh.

They came across with a fountain with the army. Very little water was flowing from it. It was impossible for it to be enough for the whole army. The Messenger of Allah ordered them to get a little water from it. He washed his face and hands with that water. Then, he put that water into the fountain. The outlet of the fountain opened at once and water poured plentifully with a sound like thunder coming under the ground. The Messenger of Allah said to Muadh, who was near him,

“If you live long enough you will see that this water will flow like that and there will be orchards and vineyards here.”

In fact, Muadh saw that place years later and approved the blessed miracle of the Messenger of Allah related to water. [3]

Once, Muadh said, “O Messenger of Allah! Inform me about an act that will take me to Paradise and will keep me away from Hell.” The Prophet said, "You have asked me about an important and major matter. However, it is easy for whomever Allah makes it easy. Worship Allah, do not associate any partners with Him, perform prayers properly, give zakah, fast Ramadan and perform hajj.

Shall I show you the gates of goodness? Fasting is a shield; charity extinguishes sins as water extinguishes fire; praying in depths of the night is a sign of righteous slaves.” [4]

Once, the Prophet held Hz. Muadh’s hand and said,

“O Muadh! By Allah, I love you very much. I advise you this: Never abandon saying, "O Allah, help me in remembering You, in giving You thanks, and worshipping You well after prayers.’”[5]

The Prophet (pbuh) wanted to send someone to Yemen to guide the people there and to teach the Muslims their religion. One day, after leading the morning prayer, he addressed the congregation: “Who wants to go to Yemen?” Hz. Abu Bakr said, “O Messenger of Allah! I do.” The Prophet kept silent. Hz. Umar wanted to go but the Prophet kept silent again. Thereupon, Muadh said, “O Messenger of Allah! I will go.” The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “O Muadh! This is your duty.” Then, he wrapped his turban around Muadh’s head.

Hz. Muadh would be the judge in Yemen, teach people Islam and the Quran and receive zakah from zakah officials. His duty was hard. Therefore, the Prophet gave him some advice related to some basic issues: “You are going to a nation from the people of the book. When you arrive there, invite them to testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. If they accept it, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them, five prayers to be offered every day.  And if they do it, tell them that Allah has enjoined zakah to be taken from the rich among them and given to the poor. And if they agree to do it, take from them zakah but avoid the best possessions of the people. Avoid the curse of an oppressed person because there is no veil between his prayer and Allah.”

Then, he asked Muadh, “When a case is brought to you to settle, based on what will you make your judgment?” Muadh said, “The book of Allah.” The Messenger of Allah asked, “If you cannot find it in the book of Allah, based on what will you make your judgment?” Muadh said, “The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah.” The Messenger of Allah asked, “What if you cannot find it in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah?” Thereupon, Muadh gave the following answer:

“Then, I will make ijtihad based on my view and make a judgment.”

This answer pleased the Prophet. He said, "Praise be to Allah Who has guided the messenger of the Prophet to that which pleases the Prophet."

Before setting off, Muadh wanted to learn some more things from the Prophet. He said, “O Messenger of Allah! Give me some advice.” The Prophet gave him the following advice:

“Fear Allah no matter where you are. If you commit a sin, do a good deed immediately after it so that it will eliminate the sin. Treat people in the best way.”

Before Muadh left, the Prophet gave him some news that distressed him a lot: “O Muadh! You will not be able to meet from now on. Maybe, you will visit this mosque and my grave when you return.” Thereupon, Muadh started to shed tears. The Prophet asked him not to weep. Then, they parted.

Muadh bin Jabal stayed in Yemen until the death of the Messenger of Allah and served Islam there. When he was there, the number of the Muslims increased day by day. New Muslims first paid allegiance to him and then went to Madinah to visit the Messenger of Allah. 100 people from the tribe of Naha became Muslims thanks to him and then went to Madinah to visit the Messenger of Allah. [6]

Muadh intended to go to Damascus in order to make jihad during the caliphate of Hz. Abu Bakr. Hz. Umar knew that the Muslims in Madinah needed him and asked Hz. Abu Bakr not to send him. Hz. Abu Bakr said to Hz. Umar,

“How can I prevent a person who wants to be a martyr?” [7]

According to Jabir bin Abdullah, Muadh had a beautiful face and high ethics, and he was very generous.

He gave great importance to ilm (knowledge). This enabled him to gain the title “the person who knew harams and halals best in the ummah”. Some of his statements related to ilm are as follows:

“Learn ilm because it will increase your fear of Allah. To demand ilm is regarded as worshipping. To attend ilm negotiations is regarded as glorifying Allah. To mention ilm is regarded as jihad. To teach ilm to those who do not know is regarded as sadaqah. To teach ilm to those who deserve it will make a person approach Allah because ilm gives man the criteria about what is haram and halal.”

“Ilm is a candle in the way of the people of Paradise, a friend during loneliness and abroad, a companion in desolate places, a guide in happy and sad days, a weapon against the enemy and a virtue in the presence of friends.”

“Ilm enlightens the hearts that become black due to ignorance and becomes a candle for the eyes that do not see in the dark.”

“Fortunate people take inspiration from ilm and unfortunate people become deprived of it.” [8]

Muadh sometimes gave people advice. Once, somebody asked some advice from him. He said,  

“I will advise you two things. Know that your share from the world will find you no matter where you are. In that case, you need your share in the hereafter more than your share in the world. Then, prefer your share in the hereafter to your share in the world.”

Once, he said to his son,

“O my son! When you perform a prayer, perform it like a person who is bidding farewell (to go to the hereafter).”

When somebody asked some advice from him, he said,

“Fast, but not every day. Pray during the night but you must get some sleep. Work for your sustenance but do not abandon honesty when you work.  Try to die as a true Muslim. Avoid the supplication of those who have been wronged or oppressed.”

Hz. Muadh was a very pious man. He would get up for tahajjud prayer and pray as follows:

“O Lord! The eyes have been closed; the stars have disappeared. However, You are Hayy (the Ever Living One) and Qayyum (the Self-Existing One). Spare a gift for me to be given to me on the Day of Judgment. O Lord! You never break your promise.”

Hz. Muadh went to Damascus. He died there of plague in 18 H, when he was 38 years old. When he felt that his death was near, he said,

“Welcome O Death! Welcome my beloved visitor coming from my period of poverty.  

O Lord, You know that I fear you. I did not desire the world and to satisfy my endless desires. The flow of the rivers and the swishing of the leaves of trees did not appeal to me. O Lord! You know them.”

Muadh started to weep after his words. The people around him said, “You are a Companion of the Messenger of Allah. You have so many virtues. Why do you weep like that?” He answered them as follows:

“Do you think I am weeping because I fear death or because I am leaving the world? I am weeping because I cannot be sure which direction (Paradise or Hell) I will go after death.” [9]

After those words, Muadh passed away. He had a separate place in the eye of Hz. Umar. When Hz. Umar was about to die, he was asked, “Who did you appoint as your caliph?” He said,

“If Muadh ibn Jabal were alive and I would make him my successor to the caliphate. When I joined my Lord if my Lord asked me, 'Whom did you assign as the caliph?', I would answer, 'I assigned Muadh ibn Jabal for whom your slave and Messenger said, ‘Muadh is a congregation on his own in front of scholars on the Day of Judgment.’”[10]

Muadh narrated many hadiths from the Prophet. Some of them are as follows:

The Messenger of Allah asked me, “Do you know what the rights of God Almighty on His slaves are? I said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “To worship Allah without associating anything with Him.” Then, he asked, “Do you know what God Almighty promise them when they fulfill this duty.  I said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “Not to punish them.” [11]

“If a person clashes the enemy on his camel, Paradise becomes wajib for him. If a person wants to be a martyr sincerely and then dies or is killed, he will get the reward of a martyr. If a person is wounded in the way of Allah or suffers, he will come on the Day of Judgment in saffron color and smelling musk.” [12]

May Allah be pleased with him!

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[1]Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 33.
[2]Usdul-Ghaba, 4: 377-378.
[3]Mektubat, p. 112.
[4]Musnad, 5: 231; Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 8.
[5]Abu Davud, Witr: 36.
[6]Tabaqat, 3: 584; Hilya, 1: 346; Hz. Muhammed ve İslamiyet, 10: 35-40.
[7]Tabaqat, 1: 346.
[8]Tabaqat, 2: 347.
[9]Usdul-Ghaba, 4: 377-378.
[10]Tabaqat, 3: 590.
[11]Musnad, 5: 228.
[12]ibid, 5: 231.

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