Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fairuz Ad-Dailami

In the Name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
All praise and thanks is due to Allāh, May Allāh blessings and peace be upon His Messenger.

When the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) returned from Makkah to Madinah after performed what was known the Farewell Pilgrimage in the tenth Hijrah, he fell ill. News of his illness spread swiftly throughout the Arabian Peninsula. The true Muslims all over Arabia were greatly saddened by the news but for others it was a time to disclose hidden hopes and ambitions and reveal their real attitudes to Islam and the noble Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam).

In Al-Yamamah, Musailamah the Imposter renounced Islam. So too did Tulaihah Al-As’adi in Asad. And in the Yemen, Al-Aswad Al-Ansi also became an apostate. More than that, these three imposters claimed that they were prophets sent to their respective peoples just as Muhammad Ibn Abdullah was sent to the Quraish.

Al-Aswad Al-Ansi was a soothsayer who practiced magic arts. But he was no minor magician or fortuneteller who dabbled in his evil arts in obscurity. He was powerful and influential and possessed a strange power of speech that mesmerized the hearts of his listeners and captivated the minds of the masses with his false claims. With his wealth and power he managed to attract not just the masses but people of status as well. When he appeared before people he normally wore a mask in order to surround himself with an air of mystery, awe and reverence.

In Yemen a section of the people who had much prestige and influence were the "Abna". They were the scions of Persian fathers who ruled Yemen as part of the Sasanian Empire. Their mothers were local Arabs. Fairuz Al-Dailami was one of this Yemeni Abna.

At the time of the emergence of Islam, the most powerful of the Abna was Badhan who ruled Yemen on behalf of the Chosroes of Persia. When Badhan became convinced of the truth of the Prophet Muhammad and the Divine nature of his mission he renounced his allegiance to the Chosroes and accepted Islam. His people followed him in tiffs. The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam)
confirmed him in his dominion and he ruled the Yemen until his death shortly before the emergence of Al-Aswad Al-Ansi.

Al-Aswad Al-Ansi from the tribe of Banu Mudzhij was the first to respond positively to his claims to prophethood. It was with this tribal force he mounted an attack on San'a. He killed the governor, Shahar Ibn Badhan and took his wife, Dadha to himself. From San'a he attacked other regions. Through his swift and startling strikes, a vast region from Hadramaut to At-Taif and from Al-Ahsa to Aden came under his influence.

What helped Al-Aswad in deceiving the people and drawing them to him was his guile and cunning which knew no bounds. To his followers he alleged that an angel visited him, disclosed revelations to him and gave him intelligence of people and their affairs. What allowed him to appear to bear out these claims were the spies he employed and dispatched everywhere, to bring him news of people and their circumstances, their secrets and their problems, their hopes and their fears. Reports were brought back in secrecy to him and when he met anyone, especially those in need, he could give the impression that he had prior knowledge of their needs and problems. In this way he astonished people and confounded their thoughts. He acquired a large following and his mission spread like wildfire.

When news of Al-Aswad's apostasy and his activities throughout the Yemen reached the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam), he dispatched about ten of his companions with letters to those of his companions in the Yemen whom he felt he could trust. He urged them to confront the blind fitnah with faith and resolve, and he ordered them to get rid of Al-Aswad by any means possible. All who received the Prophet's missives set about to carry out his orders implicitly. In the forefront of these was Fairuz Ad-Dailami and those of the Abna who were with him.

Fairuz Ad-Dailami to relate his extraordinary story: "I and those of the Abna who were with me never for one moment had any doubt about the religion of God. No belief in the enemy of God entered the heart of any one of us. (In fact) we waited for opportunities to get hold of al-Aswad and eliminate him by any means.

When we received the letters of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam), we felt strengthened in our mutual resolve and each one determined to do what he could. Because of his considerable success, pride and vanity took hold of Al-Aswad Al-Ansi. He bragged to the commander of his army, Qais Ibn Abd Yaghuth, saying how powerful he was. His attitude and relationship towards his commander changed so much so that Qais felt that he was not safe from his violence and oppression. My cousin, Dadhawaih, and I went to Qais and informed him of what the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam), had told us and we invited him to "make lunch" out of the man (al-Aswad) before he could "make supper" out of him. He was receptive to our proposal and regarded us as a blessing. He disclosed to us some of the secrets of Al-Aswad.

The three of us vowed to confront the apostate from within (his castle) while our other brothers would confront him from outside. We were all of the view that our cousin Dadha, whom Al-Aswad had taken to himself after the killing of her husband, should join us.

We went to Al-Aswad's castle and met her. I said to her: 'O cousin, you know what harm and evil this man has done upon you and us. He has killed your husband and dishonored the women of your people. He has massacred their husbands and wrested political authority from their hands. 'This is a letter from the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) to us in particular and to the people of Yemen in general in which he asks us to put an end to this fitnah. Would you help us in this matter?' 'On what can I help you? She asked. 'On his expulsion...' I said. 'Rather on his assassination,' she suggested. 'By God, I had nothing else in mind,' I said, 'but I was afraid to suggest this to you.' 'By Him Who has sent Muhammad with the Truth as a bringer or' good tidings and as a warner, I have not doubted in my religion for a moment. God has not created a man more detestable to me than the devil (al-Aswad). By God, from the time I saw him, I have only known him to be a corrupt and sinful person who does not promote any truth and does not stop from committing any abominable deed.' "How can we go about eliminating him?' I asked.

'He is well-guarded and protected. There is not a place in his castle which is not surrounded by guards. There is one broken down and abandoned room though which opens out into open land. In the evening during the first third of the night, go there. You will find inside weapons and a light. You will find me waiting for you...' she said. 'But getting through to a room in a castle such as this is no easy task. Someone might pass and alert the guards and that will be the end of us' I said. 'You are not far from the truth. But I have a suggestion.' 'What is it?' I asked. 'Send a man tomorrow whom you trust as one of the workers. I shall tell him to make an opening in the room from the inside so that it should be easy to enter.' 'That's a brilliant suggestion you have,' I said. I then left her and told the two others what we had decided and they gave their blessings to the plan. We left straightaway to get ourselves prepared. We informed a selected group of believers who were assisting us to prepare themselves and gave them the password (to signal the time they could storm the castle). The time was to be dawn of the following day. When night fell and the appointed time came, I went with my two companions to the opening in the room and uncovered it. We entered the room and put on the lamp. We found the weapons and proceeded to the apartment of God's enemy. There was our cousin [Dadha] standing at his door. She pointed out where he was and we entered. He was asleep and snoring. I plunged the blade in his neck and he bellowed like a bull being slaughtered. When the guards heard this, they ran quickly to his apartment and asked: 'What is this?' 'Don't worry. You can go. The Prophet of God
(Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) is receiving revelation,' she said, and they left. We stayed in the castle until the break of dawn. Then I stood on a wall of the castle and shouted: 'Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!' and went on with the adzan until I reached': 'Ashhadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah! (Then I added) 'Wa Ashhadu Anna Al Aswad Al-Ansi Kadh-Dhab! - I testify that al-Aswad is an imposter.'

That was the password, Muslims then converged on the castle from every direction. The guards took fright when they heard the adzan and were confronted by the Muslims shouting Allahu Akbar. By sunrise, the mission was accomplished. When it was full light, we sent a letter to the Messenger of God (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) giving him the good news of the death of God's enemy. When the messengers reached Madinah they found that the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) had passed away that very night. They learned however that Revelation had been communicated to the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam)
informing him of the death of Al-Aswad Al-Ansi the night it took place."Years later, the Khalifah Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (radiallāhu`anhu) wrote to Fairuz ad-Dailami, saying: "I have heard that you are busy eating white bread and honey (meaning no doubt that he was leading an easy life). When this letter reaches you, come to me with the blessings of God so that you may campaign in the path of God."

Fairuz did as he was commanded. He went to Madinah and sought an audience with Umar. Umar granted him permission. Evidently there was a crowd waiting to see Umar and a Quraish youth pushed Fairuz. Fairuz raised his hand and hit the Quraish youth on the nose. The youth went to Umar who asked: "Who did that to you?" "Fairuz. He is at the door," said the youth. Fairuz entered and Umar asked: "What is this, O Fairuz?" Fairuz said. "O Amirul Mu’minin, You wrote to me. You didn't write to him. You gave me permission to enter and you didn't give him permission. He wanted to enter in at my turn before me. Then I did what you have been told."

"Al-Qisas," pronounced Umar in judgment, meaning that Fairuz had to receive the same blow from the youth in retaliation. "Must it be so?" asked Fairuz. "It must be so," insisted Umar. Fairuz then got down on his knees and the youth stood up to exact his retaliation.

Umar Al-Khattab
(radiallāhu`anhu) said to him then: "Wait a moment, young man, so that I can tell you something which I heard from the Messenger of God, (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam). I heard the Messenger of God say one evening: “This is the night, Al-Aswad Al-Ansi the Imposter has been killed. The righteous servant Fairuz ad-Dailami has killed him “Umar then asked the youth: "Do you see yourself taking retribution on him after you have heard this from the Messenger of God?" The youth said, "I forgive him, after you have told me this [story] from the Prophet.” Fairuz to Umar said "Do you think that could relieve from what I have done is a confession to him and that his forgiveness is not given under duress?" Umar replied, "Yes," Fairuz then declared: "I testily to you that my sword, my horse and thirty thousand of my money is a gift to him."

"Your forgiveness has paid off, O brother Quraish and you have become rich," said Umar Al-Khattab
(radiallāhu`anhu)  no doubt impressed by the sense of remorse and the spontaneous generosity of Fairuz, the righteous.
[ Via Ummnurah]

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