Musa Al-Jawn: Pious & Knowledgeable Revolutionary

Musa  Al-Jawn (RA) was a transmitter of Islamic knowledge and a mujahid in the early generations of the Ummah.

Musa  Al-Jawn was a Hashimite and the son of Imam Abdullah bin Al-Hasan bin Al-Hasan bin Ali bin Abi Talib (AS).  He was described as having black/aswad skin.

Regarding his character, Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal stated that Musa Al-Jawn was a righteous man.  Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi and Adh-Dhahabi stated that Yahya bin Ma’in viewed him as trustworthy pertaining to his narrations of ahadith.

Ibn Khaldun states that Musa Al-Jawn participated with his brother Imam An-Nafs Az-Zakiyyah Muhammad bin Abdillah (AS) in an uprising against the first Abbasi khalifah Abu Ja’far Al-Mansur.  It is also narrated that by Al-Bayhaqi that he was imprisoned, beaten and martyred in prison in the uprising; An-Nafs Az-Zakiyyah was also martyred in the process.  Malik bin Anas (RA) supported the uprising of An-Nafs Zakiyyah as well as a later one by his brother Imam Ibrahim bin Abdillah (AS), which led to Imam Ibrahim being martyred like his brothers; Malik was subsequently imprisoned and beaten for his support of the Hashimites.

Shaykh Abdul-Qadir Al-Jilani (RH), Hanbali jurist and father of the Al-Qadiriyyah order, has Musa Al-Jawn in his family tree.

Qanbar: Emancipation to Martyrdom

One of the early Muslims from the righteous followers of the Sunnah was Qanbar (RA).

Qanbar was a young black male, who was freed from slavery by Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (KW). Qanbar is written about in several books relating to his person to narrations with him mentioned them; some of those who mentioned him are Abdur-Razzaq As-San’ani, Abu Ya’la Al-Musuli, At-Tusi, Al-Mizzi and ibn Hajr Al-Asqalani. Moreover, he is referenced as being one of the closest followers of Imam Ali (KW) during his government. He was in Al-Kufah, Iraq during the khilafah of Imam Ali (KW) when Imam Ali (KW) was martyred.

Qanbar was a man who stuck closely to the truth and spoke out against oppression. Due to his noncompliance with the oppression of Bani Umayyah after the martyrdom of Imam Al-Husayn (AS), Qanbar was martyred by the brute governor of Iraq named Al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf, a man who was also responsible for the martyrdom of the great black tabi’i named Sa’id bin Jubayr (RH).

Mamtur Al-Aswad: Student of the Companions in Bilad Ash-Sham

Mamtur Al-Aswad was from the 2nd generation or Tabi’in. He was also referred to as Abu Salam Al-Habashi (the Abyssinian) even though his roots are from the Himyar tribe in Yemen. In earlier generations, sometimes Arabs with light skin would be referred to anyone with darker skin as Habashi as Abu Salam was described. Perhaps Abu Salam contained maternal Habashi roots given that Yemen had been occupied by Abyssinians for years prior to the birth of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS).

Abu Salam was a student of learned companions of the Prophet (SAWS) including ‘Ubada bin As-Samit (RA), who was also black. He resided in Bilad Ash-Sham (Greater Syria) and relayed ahadith that he learned.

During the khilafah of Bani Umayyah under Mu’awiyah bin Abi Sufyan, Muslims began to return back to tribal attachments in a strong way in which non-Arabs were seen as needing to be attached to an Arab tribe. In Tadhhib Al-Kamal by Al-Mizzi, it is stated that Mu’awiyah confronted the grandson of Abu Salam in Damascus, who was black in appearance, asking him who was his grandfather. He replied that it was Mamtur meaning Abu Salam. Mu’awiyah then asked him to who he was attached as if he was not an Arab. He then got angry with Mu’awiyah because he was an Arab.

Hamamah: One of the Early Female Companions

One of the early companions who sacrificed for the sake of Allah (SWT) was Hamamah Al-Habashiyyah (RA).

Hamamah was born in Abyssinia as a free person but was later enslaved by a man from Quraysh. While enslaved, she was able to marry Rabah, who was an Arab.

It is narrated that Abu ‘Umar stated in Al-Isbah by ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani that Hamamah was torture because of her belief in Allah (SWT), thus is a testimony that she was recognized as being Muslim. She was freed from slavery by Abu Bakr.

Abu Ali Al-Ghassani stated that this woman of honor was the mother of Bilal the Prayer Caller (RA), who the Prophet (SAWS) gave the title Master of the Prayer Callers (Sayyid Al-Mu’adhdhinin).

Hamidah: Virtuous Woman Attached to Ahl al-Bayt

Hamidah bint Sa’id (RA) was from the early generations of Muslims.  She was a black woman who was born from a mother who was enslaved.  Her ethnic background was Berber though there are conflicting narrations of whether she was born in North Africa or Muslim Spain.

Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq bin Muhammad Al-Baqir bin Ali As-Sajjad bin Al-Husayn As-Sibt bin Ali Al-Murtada bin Abi Talib (SA) proposed to Hamidah due to her intellect, manners and chastity.  It is reported that Imam As-Sadiq said to her, “You are praiseworthy in the world, and should be worthy of praise in the next-life.”

Hamidah gave birth to 4 children, with Imam As-Sadiq; those children were Imam Musa Al-Kathim (SA), Ishaq (SA), Muhammad Ad-Dibaj (SA) and Fatimah (SA).

It is reported that Hamidah was visited in a dream by the Prophet (SAWS) in which he (SAWS) told her to marry her son Musa Al-Kathim to Najmah Khatun, an enslaved lady who was Nubian.  Hamidah later emancipated Najmah from slavery, and her son Musa Al-Kathim then married Najmah.  Najmah later gave birth to Imam Ali Ar-Rida (SA).

Eight Abyssinians Who Migrated With Ja’far bin Abi Talib

There were two delegations of Muslims who fled Makkah to Abyssinia due to the persecution of Quraysh. After Muslims were given protection in Abyssinia, there were eight Abyssinians who accepted Islam, then left Abyssinia to Al-Madinah with Ja’far bin Abi Talib (RA).

Those men were Abrahah, Idris, Ashraf, Ayman, Bahir, Tammam, Tamim and Nafi’.

Al-Isbah by ibn Hajr Al-Asqalani states that Tammam was a Jewish rabbi before accepting Islam.

Relating to Surah Al-Qasas, ayah 52 which states, “Those to whom We gave the scripture before, they believe in it [Al-Qur’an],” Al-Mawardi in his tafsir stated that one opinion is that this ayah is related to those eight Abyssinians who were from the People of the Book that accepted Islam.
May Allah (SWT) be pleased with them.

Imam Ali bin Abi Talib: Brother of the Prophet

A man of faith, courage, austerity and knowledge in the way of the Prophet (SAWS) was Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (KW).

Imam Ali was born in Makkah in the Ka’bah during the Era of Ignorance.  His father was Abu Talib, the protector of the Prophet (SAWS) in Makkah, and his mother was Fatimah bint Asad (RA), the woman who also raised the Prophet (SAWS) like a son. He was described by one of his descendants, Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (SA), as being very dark (adam shahid al-udmah), which is the same description given about him in Tarikh Al-Khulafa by As-Suyuti.  Other sources such as Al-Masabih Fi As-Sirah by Imam Abu Al-Abbas Ahmad bin Ibrahim (SA) described him as brown (samrah).

 

Ahmad bin Hanbal stated that there were no more virtues narrated about any from among the companions than Imam Ali.  He is an imam of Sunni and Shi’i muslims alike, and his opinions and sayings are even quoted in madhhab Ibadi, a school of thought practiced in Oman, Tanzania and parts of North Africa that is mistakenly referred to as modern day Khawarij.  Moreover, every spiritual order (At-Tijaniyyah, Al-Ba’Alawiyyah, An-Naqshabandi, etc) traces its knowledge through the chain of Imam Ali.

A few aspects from the life of Imam Ali are:

  • He was raised in the household of the Prophet (SAWS), which includes before and after the revealing of the Qur’an.
  • He was the first male to accept Islam and the first to pray with the Prophet (SAWS).
  • He lied in the bed of the Prophet (SAWS) the night that the Prophet (SAWS) left Makkah to Al-Madinah. Quraysh then beat him up because he spoiled their plot to murder the Prophet (SAWS).
  • When the Prophet (SAWS) paired off companions in Al-Madinah to be best friends, he left Imam Ali for himself and said, “You are my brother in the dunya and the next-life.”
  • When the Prophet (SAWS) left Imam Ali in charge of the affairs of Al-Madinah before heading off to Ghazwah Tabuk, he told him, “You are to me in the position of Harun to Musa though there is no prophet after me.”
  • Upon the passing of the Prophet (SAWS), Imam Ali performed the ghusl as well as the funeral prayer.
  • During the governments of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, Ali gave them the wisest of council. Umar famously said, “’Umar would have been ruined if it were not for Ali.”
  • During the revolt against ‘Uthman while he was the khalifah, Imam Ali sent his sons to his home to protect him. During a siege, ‘Uthman was later killed.
  • Imam Ali was the fourth khalifah and given allegiance by the majority of the Ummah including the People of the Hijaz, Yemen and Iraq.
  • He is credited with being the first to systematize the grammar of the Arabic language and was the teacher of the top scholars of the second generation of Muslims including Abu Al-Aswad Ad-Duwali, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Mujahid bin Jabr.
  • He was martyred during Ramadan at the time of fajr prayer in Al-Kufah, Iraq by the khariji takfiri named Abdur Rahman bin Muljam.