Mughira bin Shu’ba (r.a.)

One of the four people who were called “genius” by Arabs due to their minds, intelligence, reasoning and superior talents was Mughira bin Shu’ba. [1] Mughira was very skilled to settle big issues. No matter how complicated an issue was, he would definitely find a way to settle it. He would not be astonished even by the most terrifying issues and would find a solution in cold blood. He would act solemnly and calmly in international issues. Besides, his genius emerged from this virtue of his

Mughira bin Shu’ba was a well-built man like a wrestler. He became a Muslim in the 5th year of the Migration and migrated to Madinah.

Hz. Mughira was among the 1400 people of the caravan of the Companions that set off to perform umrah in the 6th year of the Migration with the Prophet.

When the polytheists found out that the Prophet was coming to the Kaaba with a crowded group of Companions, they made a decision: “Muhammad and those with him will not be allowed to enter Makkah. When the Prophet was informed about their decision, he sent a message to Makkans stating that their intention was only to visit the Kaaba. The polytheists sent Urwa bin Mas’ud as their envoy to talk to the Prophet. Meanwhile, Mughira bin Shu’ba was keeping guard next to the Messenger of Allah. Urwa bin Mas’ud, who entered into the presence of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), was both talking and touching the beard of the Messenger of Allah. Mughira could not put up with a polytheist’s touching the beard of the Prophet. Urwa bin Mas’ud was his paternal uncle but he was still a polytheist. He did not give importance to kinship. He said to his uncle, who touched the beard of the Messenger of Allah,

“Remove your hand from the beard of the Messenger of Allah before I cut your hand off. The hand of a polytheist cannot touch him.”

Upon this warning from his nephew, Urwa was shocked and removed his hand. [2]

After the Treaty of Hudaybiyya, Mughira bin Shu’ba took part in the Conquest of Makkah, the Expedition of Tabuk and the other battles. He was the nightmare of the polytheists. Nobody could resist against him. It was inevitable for the polytheists to fail when he drew his sword for Allah.  

Hz. Mughira was so hostile to polytheism and idols that his belief could not put up with the existence of the idols. He could not understand worshipping the poor beings other than Allah. The Messenger of Allah knew about this severity of his Companion about the idols; therefore, he sent him with Abu Sufyan bin Harb to demolish the idols of the tribe of Sons of Thaqif. [3]

On the other hand, it was a twist of the fate that Abu Sufyan, who was the commander of the army of the polytheists before, challenged unbelief after becoming a believer.  

Hz. Mughira was together with the Prophet until his death. When he learned that the Messenger of Allah passed away, he was shocked. However, he was also a human being; he was not immortal. He wanted to take active role in his burial very much. However, this duty was given to the relatives of the Prophet. Therefore, this duty was fulfilled by Hz. Ali, Hz. Abbas and Fadl bin Abbas. When the dead body of the Prophet (pbuh) was placed in the grave, Mughira bin Shu’ba was waiting next to the grave. However, he wanted to touch the body of the Prophet. His genius helped him in this issue. He threw his ring into the grave secretly and told Hz. Ali that he dropped his ring. Hz. Ali allowed him to take it. Mughira entered the grave and while taking his ring, he touched the blessed feet of the Prophet. Thus, he became the last Companion who touched the blessed dead body of the Messenger of Allah. [4]

Mughira was also in the army that was prepared during the caliphate of Hz. Abu Bakr in order to suppress the people of Yamama that exited the religion of Islam.

Conquests increased a lot during the caliphate of Hz. Umar. He joined the army under the command of Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas established for the conquest of Iran. When the Islamic army proceeded to Qadisiyya, Rustam, the Iranian commander-in-chief, asked Sa’d to send him an envoy to negotiate. Sa’d sent a delegation headed by Mughira to him.

There was great pomp in the tent of the headquarters of the Iranians. There was carpet on the ground; everywhere was embellished. People were wearing ornamented silk clothes. They showed off. They aimed to discourage the Muslims by doing so. Mughira bin Shu’ba proceeded without heeding this pomp of the Iranians. The clothes he was wearing were plain and simple. He ignored the pomp and display. He even pricked the carpets with his spear while walking. Finally, he reached Rustam and sat next to him. The people of the palace got very angry with it. How could an envoy sit next to the commander of the army? They wanted to remove him from there but Rustam did not allow. He let Mughira sit next to him. The Iranians showed great respect to Rustam as if they were worshipping him. Thereupon, Mughira bin Shu’ba said,

“We heard that you were a sagacious people but now I see that none is more block-headed than you. We Arabs do not treat one another as slaves. There is no difference among us. We are equal. I presumed that you did not treat one another as slaves. However, I have understood now that your domination will not continue and that you will be defeated in the end. For, a nation that is based on such an unjust foundation cannot live.” [5]

Upon this talk of Mughira, Rustam said, “You are our neighbors. We have always treated you well and have not oppressed or wronged you. Go back to your country. Our gates are always open to you. You can come to our country whenever you want to do business and trade.”

Upon this talk of Rustam, Mughira said they had not come for worldly affairs but to spread the name of God Almighty. He explained in a nice way that God Almighty would make them victorious as they continued in this religion and that He would humiliate their enemies. When Rustam asked him to give information about Islam, he summarized Islam as follows:

“The most important pillar of this religion is to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is His messenger and that whatever he brought is true and right. One of the purposes of this religion is to make people worship Allah instead of other people. According to this religion all human beings are brothers.” [6]

No result was obtained from this talk between Mughira bin Shu’ba and Rustam.  Mughira returned to the headquarters. Hz. Sa’d sent Ribi bin Amr the next day. On the third day, the Iranians wanted another envoy. Sa’d appointed Mughira again. Rustam told Mughira that Arabs were a very bad nation, that they did not get on well even with one another and that they did not even wanted deal with them. He said, “If you have come here due to hunger, we will give you a lot of food and treat you a lot of things.”

Mughira listened to Rustam calmly. When he finished speaking, he spoke as follows:

“We were in such a bad state before Islam that there were no people worse than us. We were hungry. Our religion was to kill one another, to oppress and wrong one another. Some of us buried our daughters alive so that she would not share our food. However, God Almighty sent a person among us whose lineage was known and who belonged to the noblest family among us as a prophet. He invited us to a religion. He told us the truth but we denied him. He got stronger and we decreased. Whatever he told us came out to be true. Finally, God Almighty softened our hearts and we confirmed him and became subject to him. We did not come here for food. We came here to fight those who act as enemies of our religion” [7]

After this talk, Mughira laid three conditions for Rustam: “You will either be Muslims or bow down and pay jizyah; otherwise you will fight us.”

When Rustam heard this proposal, he could not sit due to his rage and his face turned red. He stood up from his throne adorned with pearls and ruby and said, “I swear by the sun that I will destroy your armies before the sun rises.” Despite Rustam’s fury, Mughira gave him the following answer without losing his temper:

“Then, he who dies from us will go to Paradise and the ones that we kill from among you will go to Hell. The ones who survive among us will conquer your land.” [8]

Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas appointed Mughira, who returned to the headquarters of the army as the commander of the left wing of the army. As a result of this war, the sultanate of Iran collapsed.  

After the Conquest of Iran, Hz. Umar appointed Mughira bin Shu’ba as the governor of Basra. Mughira served as an administrator in a very nice way.

Mughira was among the Companions that were good in terms of hadiths. He reported 133 hadiths from the Prophet. The hadiths he narrated are included in Bukhari, Musnad and other hadith books. One of those hadiths is as follows:

“The Prophet performed prayers until his feet swelled. Somebody said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Did God Almighty not forgive your past and future sins?’ The Messenger of Allah gave the following answer: ‘Should I not be a slave who thanks Allah?’”[9]

Another hadith is as follows:

“There is nobody who loves his slaves as much as God Almighty does; therefore, He sent prophets that warn people and give them glad tidings. There is nobody who praises his slaves as much as God Almighty does; therefore, He promised them Paradise.” [10]

Mughira bin Shu’ba died when he was the governor of Kufa during the caliphate of Muawiya.

May Allah be pleased with him!

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[1]Tabaqat, 2: 351.
[2]Sirah, 3: 327, Fathur-Rabbani, 21: 98.
[3]Hayatus-Sahaba, 3: 224.
[4]Tabaqat, 2: 300-301.
[5]Taberi, 2: 108-109; Hayatus-Sahaba, 3: 507-509.
[6]Hayatus-Sahaba, 1: 155.
[7]ibid, 1; 280.
[8]Tabari, 2: 110.
[9]Musnad, 4: 251.
[10]ibid, 248.

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