Who is Abu Mahdhura? How did he become a Muslim?

Details of the Question

- Will you give information about Abu Mahdhura? What caused him to become a Muslim?
- Were Abu Mahdhura’s grandsons muezzins of Masjid al-Haram for many years?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Abu Mahdhura Aws b. Mi'yar b. Lawzan al-Jumahi (d. 59/678-79) is a Companion and one of the muezzins of Masjid al-Haram.

He belongs to Jumah clan of Quraysh. Since he was known with the nickname Abu Mahdhura, it is debatable what his name and his father’s name were. It is claimed that his name was Salman, Samura, Sumayr or Salama and that his father’s name was Umayr.

Abu Mahdhura became a Muslim in the year when Makkah was conquered after he met the Prophet (pbuh) in Jirana.  

The incident that caused Abu Mahdhura to become a Muslim took place as follows:

The Messenger of Allah was returning from the Siege of Taif to Jirana. When it was time to pray, the muezzin started to call adhan. Abu Mahdhura and ten youths of Qurayshis, who nursed a grudge and enmity against the Messenger of Allah, hid somewhere when they heard the adhan and started to call adhan aloud by imitating the sound of the muezzin and mocking him. The Prophet (pbuh) noticed that one of them had a very nice voice and called them; he made them call adhan again.   

The Prophet liked the sound of Abu Mahdhura, who called adhan last, and taught him how to call adhan; then, when it was time for the next prayer, the Prophet patted his head and ordered him to call adhan.

Abu Mahdhura fulfilled this order unwillingly; the Prophet (pbuh) gave him some silver coins and prayed for him. Abu Mahdhura, whose heart warmed toward Islam, became a Muslim there. He asked to Prophet (pbuh) to appoint him as the muezzin of Masjid al-Haram. The Prophet accepted his request and told him to go to Attab b. Asid, the governor of Makkah, and tell him about his new duty. (Musnad, 3/408-409; Abdurrazzaq, Musannaf, 1/458)

Abu Mahdhura called adhan in the Kaaba with Bilal al-Habashi until the Messenger of Allah left Makkah.

He never cut the part of his hair, which the Messenger of Allah patted, over his forehead due to his respect. (Abdurrazzaq, Musannaf, 1/458-459; Ahmad b. Hanbal. Musnad, III/408)

Abu Mahdhura continued calling adhan in Makkah until he died in 59 H (678-79 AD). After his death, his sons and grandsons called adhan in Makkah for centuries. (Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, 5/450; Dhahabi, Siyaru A'lamin-Nubala, 3/78)

Abu Mahdhura knew the names of the ancestors of Qurayshis very well. His wife den Umm Abdulmalik, his son Abdulmalik, Aswad b. Yazid an-Nahai, Abdullah b. Muhayriz, Ibn Abu Mulayka and others reported hadiths from him. Eight narrations of his, all of which are related to the Prophet’s teaching him adhan, are included in Ahmad b. Hanbal's Musnad. (see Musnad, 3/408-409; 4/401)

One of those narrations is included in Sahihu Muslim and the others in the four Sunans of Kutub as-Sitta.

References:

- TDV. İslam Ansiklopedisi, Abu Mahdhura item.
- M. Asım Köksal, İslam Tarihi, Köksal Yayıncılık: 7/117-119.

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