Al-Miqdad b. Al-Aswad
- :Kamal al-Syyed
Al-Miqdad b. Al-Aswad
Author : Kamal al-Syyed
In Ramadan, 2 A.H., 313 Muslim fighters went outside Madina to attack a Quraishi trade caravan coming from Shaam. The caravan was very big. It had one thousand camels. Abu Sufyan, the enemy of Islam, led it.
When the Muslims immigrated from Makkah to Madina, the polytheists attacked and robbed their houses.
For this reason, the Prophet [s] wanted to bring back the Muslims' money. Besides he wanted to punish the Quraish. So, he began threatening their trade caravans.
The Muslims camped near Badr wells. They were waiting for the arrival of the caravan. After a period of time, they heard bad news. The news was that Abu Sufyan changed the course of the caravan.
Meanwhile, the Quraish were preparing a big army with good weapons to save the caravan from the Muslims.
The Muslims went out to control the trade caravan. They were not thinking about facing the big army.
Our Master Muhammad [s] asked his companions' opinions.
Umar bin al-Khattab stood up and said:
It's Quraish and its disloyalty (i.e. the Quraish are always disloyal). By Allah! It (the Quraish) has not become abase since it became strong. And it has not believed (in Allah) since it disbelieved (in him).
The Muslims were very worried when they heard Umar's words. Moreover, some of them thought about coming back to Madina.
During those sensitive moments, al-Miqdad bin al-Aswad al-Kindy stood up and said with enthusiasm:
Allah's Apostle, go on obeying Allah's order! We'll support you! By Allah, we won't say as the Jews had said to their prophet: You and your lord, go and fight! We'll stay here! We say: You and your lord, go and fight! We'll fight with you.
Happy expression appeared on our Master Muhammad's face. Then the Prophet [s] said to al-Ansar:
What shall I do?
Saad bin Maadh answered:
Allah's Apostle, we've believed in you, we've believed you. We've confessed that which you you've brought is true. We've promised to hear and obey! Then, Allah's Apostle, go on what you've wanted! By Allah! If you asked us to cross the Red Sea, we would do!
The Muslims were full of enthusiasm. They got ready to face the polytheists with hearts filled with faith.
The fight started. The Muslims won it. Then they came back and remembered al-Miqdad's words.
Al-Miqdad belonged to Kunda's tribe. He escaped from his tribe and inhabited Makkah.
There he belonged to a man called al-Aswad bin Abid Yaqut al-Zuhry. So, people called him al-Miqdad bin al-Aswad. In connection with al-Miqdad, this verse came down from the sky:
Call them with their fathers' names
For this reason, people called him al-Miqdad bin al-Aswad.
Islam rose from the top of the Hiraa Mount.
Al-Miqdad became twenty-four years old. He heard about our Master Muhammad's mission. He hurried to believe in the new religion.
He kept his Islam a secret. He met our Master Muhammad [s] secretly. Thus, he was among the earlier Muslims. He always felt the Muslims' sufferings.
Our Master Muhammad [s] ordered his companions to immigrate to Madina. They immigrated one by one or group by group.
Then Allah, the Glorified, ordered His Apostle to immigrate to Madina.
Al-Miqdad rejoiced at the safety of Allah's Apostle. He admired the Muslim young man Ali bin Abu-Talib [a] who sacrificed his life to save our Master Muhammad [s] from polytheists' swords.
When our Master Muhammad [s] immigrated to Madina, the polytheists attacked and robbed the Muslims' houses. So, our Master Muhammad [s] thought about threatening the Quraishi trade caravan as a punishment.
Hamza bin Abdul-Muttalib headed the first company and went towards al-Ays area near the Red Sea. There he met the polytheistic troops headed by Abu Jahal.
No fight took place because some Arab leaders mediated between the two parties.
In Shawwal, 1 A.H., another company went out. The number of the company was sixty fighters. Its aim was to get to Rabgh Valley to threaten the Quraishi trade road between Makkah and Shaam.
Al Miqdad decided to join the polytheistic troops. He took advantage of the condition to immigrate to Madina.
Utbah bin Ghazwan became Muslim secretly. Al-Miqdad headed for him. They agreed on joining the polytheistic troops.
Abu Sufyan led two hundred fighters and headed for Rabgh Valley. There, the polytheists met the Muslim company. The two sides reciprocated arrows.
In the meantime, the polytheists were surprised to see two of their fighters running towards the Muslim company. Besides, they heard the Muslims' yells sounding in the desert:
Allah is great! Allah is great!
Then Abu-Sufyan knew the runaways' names. They were al-Miqdad and Utbah bin Ghazwan.
Abu-Sufyan was full of spite. He ordered his fighters to come back to Makkah. He was afraid that there might be secret Muslims among his fighters.
Al-Miqdad lived happily in Madina The Muslims were full of faith, for the Prophet [s] treated them all kindly.
Our Master Muhammad [s] was very careful of the Muslims. He was always thinking about their security and future in here and hereafter.
Al-Miqdad was deeply believing. He loved Allah's Apostle. He was always going with him to wage holy war against the polytheists.
One day, the polytheists attacked Madina pastures and robbed them of their cattle. So, our Master Muhammad [s] asked the Muslims to chase them.
Al-Miqdad was among the first Muslims who obeyed the order of Allah's Apostle. Our Master Muhammad [s] led two hundred horsemen to chase the attackers, but they ran away.
After the Prophet [s] had dismayed the polytheists, he came back to Madina. That raid was named Badr Minor Battle.
Near Badr wells, the Muslims heard that the polytheists would form an army. Besides Abu Jahal led the army.
Our Master Muhammad [s] asked his companions' opinions. Some companions advised him to come back to Madina. Meanwhile the Muslims were very worried.
During those moments, al-Miqdad stood up and said enthusiastic words. The words made the Muslims full of faith.
When the fight broke out, the Muslims fought bravely. In the meantime, our Master Muhammad [s] asked Allah to grant His believing slaves a victory. After only a few hours, the Muslims could defeat the polytheists.
Allah took revenge on Abu Jahal and Umayyah bin Khulaif, for they had tortured the Muslims. Besides, the Muslims captured some polytheists, such as al-Nadhar bin al-Harith, Akabah bin Abu-Myad, and others.
Al-Miqdad captured al-Nadhar bin al-Harith.
The Muslims took the prisoners of war and headed for Madina. When they reached al-Atheel area, the Prophet [s] ordered a Muslim to kill al-Nadhar bin al-Harith.
Al-Nadhar bin al-Harith had tortured the Muslims in Makkah. So, the Muslims prayed for Allah to save them from him.
For this reason, Allah's Apostle ordered Ali bin Abu Talib [a], the hero of Islam, to kill al-Nadhar bin al-Harith to save the deprived Muslims from his torture.
Allah's Apostle, he's my prisoner!
The Prophet [s] knew that al-Miqdad wanted ransom. So, he raised his hands towards the sky and said:
Allah make al-Miqdad rich with your favour!
Al-Miqdad became satisfied with the prophet's prayers. So, he handed the enemy of Islam and of humanity to the Muslims to punish him.
The Prophet [s] asked his companions to treat the prisoners of war kindly. Besides he released some prisoners without ransom because they were poor. And he asked the prisoners who could read and write to teach the Muslims' children as ransom.
After their defeat at the Battle of Badr, the polytheists decided to take revenge on the Muslims. So, they formed a big army. The number of the army was three thousand fighters.
The polytheists advanced towards Madina. When they reached it, they left their camels and horses to graze on its pastures. They did that to challenge the Muslims.
The Prophet [s] asked the advice of his companions. Some companions advised him to stay at Madina, and some advised him to go out of it. The Muslim young men were eager to start the battle outside Madina. So, the Prophet [s] decided to go out of Madina.
The Muslim army got to Uhud Mount. There, the Prophet [s] prepared his troops to start the battle.
The Prophet [s] ordered the best fifty bow men to stay on al-Ainain Mount, a small mountain, to guard the Muslims from the back.
When the battle broke out, the polytheists horsemen tried to attack the Muslims from the back. So, the bow men faced them, stopped their attack, and forced them to withdraw. The polytheists tried three times, but they failed because the Muslim horsemen headed by al-Miqdad faced their attack and fought them bravely.
The polytheists headed by Khalid bin al-Waleed came back to their positions.
During those moments, the Prophet [s] ordered the Muslims to launch an opposite attack to drop the polytheists' banner to weaken their spirits.
Strong fights took place around the banner. When the banner dropped from a fighter's hand, another raised it.
Finally, the banner dropped. So, the Muslims defeated the polytheists. The polytheists ran away. Their idol fell off the camel. The bow men saw the polytheists running away. And they saw their Muslim brothers chasing them and collecting booty. They came down the mountain. Their leader reminded them of our Master Muhammad's advice, but they said:
The polytheists have run away There's no need to stay
During that moment Khalid bin al-Waleed and his horsemen launched a severe attack. So, the remaining bow men could not resist the attack.
The polytheist horsemen took the Muslims by surprise. Hence, the Muslims were in chaos. In the meantime, some Muslims were killed and others were wounded.
When the polytheists saw the Muslims' chaotic condition, they came back and carried their banner. So, the Muslim Army was between two forces. The horsemen were at their back, and the infantry were in front of them.
The polytheists tried to kill our Master Muhammad [s] to destroy Islam totally. But the sincere companions such as Ali bin Abu-Talib [a], al-Miqdad, alZubair, Mus'ab bin Umair, Abu-Dujana al-Ansary, Sahal bin Hunaif and others resisted the polytheists bravely. They defended the Prophet [s] against them.
Our Master Muhammad [s] decided to withdraw his troops to Uhud Mount to defend themselves against the polytheists easily. While the Prophet [s] and his troops were withdrawing, they fought the polytheists till they reached Uhud heights. So, after a while, the polytheists stopped their attacks.
The Battle of Uhud was a lesson for the Muslims. They learnt a lot from it.
They learnt how to obey the Prophet [s] at any rate, for obedience to him meant victory, and disobedience meant defeat.
Our Master Muhammad [s] was badly wounded. The reason was that he ordered the bow men not to leave their place on al-Ainain Mount at any rate, but they forgot his order.
The Arab tribes scorned the Muslims' shaken reputation. Meanwhile, the hypocrites and the Jews rejoiced at their misfortune.
For this reason, our Master Muhammad [s] wanted to restore Islam to its reputation. So, he reorganized his troops to chase the polytheists.
Though wounded, the Muslims obeyed and supported the great Prophet [s]. So, he took them and headed for a place called Hamraa al-Asad.
The Jews were surprised to see the Muslims going with enthusiasm to face the polytheists army a day after the battle of Uhud.
The polytheists thought about attacking Madina again to destroy Islam completely. So, Abu-Sufyan had camped at al- Rouhaa.
Abu-Sufyan heard about the Muslim Army's coming. He was worried, for he knew that the Muslims' defeat was because of the bow men's neglect. So, he withdrew his fighters to Makkah. He tried to frighten the Muslims. Thus, he sent them his threats to Hamraa al-Asad.
The Muslims did not pay attention to his threats. They went on camping at Hamraa al-Asad for three days. They were burning fire at night to challenge the polytheists.
Abu-Sufyan was afraid. So, he ordered his troops to withdraw to Makkah.
Thus, our Master Muhammad [a] could restore Islam to its former reputation in the Arab Peninsula.
Al Miqdad deeply believed in Allah and His Apostle. So, our Master Muhammad [s] said about him and about some of his companions:
Allah has ordered me to love four (persons), and He has told me that He loves them. The persons are Ali, al-Miqdad, Abu-Dhar and Salman.
Our Master Muhammad [s] passed away. Some companions were certain that his successor would be Ali bin Abu-Talib [a].
Still some Muhajireen and Ansar held a meeting in Bani Saaida's Saqifa (Shelter). There was a serious competition for the Caliphate. Finally, Abu-Bakr was appointed caliph.
Al-Miqdad, Salman, Ammar, Abu-Dhar, Abu-Ayoob al-Ansary, al-Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib, and others were surprised at that appointment. So, they stood by Imam Ali bin Abu Talib [a].
The Imam insisted on his attitude. His wife Fatima al-Zahra, our Master Muhammad's daughter, supported him.
Fatima al-Zahra was displeased with what had happened after her great father's passing away. She passed away six months after Abu-Bakr's Caliphate.
Imam Ali [a] was forced to acknowledge Abu Bakr to avoid disunity Then the other companions acknowledged him, too.
Al-Miqdad paid homage and began waging holy war. He taught people the Qur'an. His reading became famous all over Shaam.
Al-Miqdad stayed loyal to Allah and His Apostle. He did not change his opinion.
The Second Caliph appointed six persons. They were Ali bin Abu-Talib [a] Uthman bin Affan, Abdul-Rahman bin Auf, Saad bin Abi-Wakkas, al-Zubair bin al-Awam, and Talha bin Abdullah. The appointed persons held a meeting to elect one of them caliph.
Some Companions hoped that Imam Ali [a] would be elected. Thus al-Miqdad shouted to make the appointed person hear:
If you appoint Ali caliph, we'll hear and obey.
Ammar bin Yasir supported al-Miqdad. But the ambitious persons played an important role. So, Uthman was appointed caliph.
Al-Miqdad saw Uthman deviating from the Prophet's behaviour. However, he stayed loyal to his religion. He became ninety years old. Then he passed away.
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