Mihja’: One of the Best of the Blacks

One of the famed companions of the Prophet (SAWS) is Mihja’ bin Salih (RA). Mihja’ (RA) was one of the early adherents of Islam in Makkah, and one of those who migrated for the sake of Allah (SWT) to Al-Madinah.

According to At-Tabaqat Al-Kubra of ibn Sa’ad, Mihja’s (RA) lineage traces back to Yemen. He’s described as has having black skin (aswad al-lawn) and Arab. He was enslaved in the Hijaz and suffered as other enslaved (wo)men did. He was later emancipated by Umar bin al-Khattab.

In Makkah, Quraysh used to mock the Prophet (SAWS) because he used to sit and keep company with his poor followers who were formerly enslaved. Allah (SWT) told the Prophet (SAWS) in surah 6, ayah 52, “Do not repel those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening seeking His face.” According to Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) in Zad Al-Masir fi ‘ilm At-Tafsir by ibn Al-Jawzi, those people that Allah (SWT) was referring to were Bilal, Suhayb, Khabbab, ‘Ammar, Mihja’, Salman, ‘Amir bin Quhayrah and Salim, who was freed by Abu Hudhayfah.

After migration according to At-Tabari and others, Mihja’ (RA) was the first to be martyred at Ghazwah Badr.

It is narrated by Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak ‘ala As-Sahihayn and authenticated as sahih by As-Suyuti in Al-Jami’ As-Saghir that the Prophet (SAWS) said, “The best of the blacks are three: Bilal, Luqman [who is mentioned in the Qur’an] and Mihja’.”

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