The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 14: False Lords and Ladies

 Part II: The Campaign of the Apostasy

 

Page: 4

In reply the Holy Prophet wrote to Musailima:

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. From Muhammad, Messenger of Allah, to Musailima the Liar. Salutations to whosoever follows the Guidance. Lo! The earth belongs to Allah. He gives it to whomsoever He chooses from among His servants. And the Hereafter is for the virtuous." 1

The impostor was henceforth known as Musailima the Liar!

Now Nahar Ar-Rajjal, whom we have mentioned earlier as a member of the Bani Hanifa delegation, came into action. This man had stayed behind at Madinah when the rest of the delegation returned home; and had attached himself to the Holy Prophet, from whom he acquired a great deal of knowledge about Islam. He learnt the Quran and rose in stature as a close and respected Companion of the Prophet. In a few months he had built up an enviable reputation as a devout and virtuous Muslim, and so he became known over most of Arabia.

When reports of the spread of Musailima's mischief became more alarming, the Holy Prophet began to consider ways and means of countering the influence of the Liar. Yamamah was too far away for a military operation, so he decided to send a man to work against Musailima amongst the people. And who could be better suited to this task than Rajjal? He was a chief of the Bani Hanifa, he had learnt the Quran; he had acquired wisdom and grace at the feet of the Prophet. And so Rajjal was sent by the Prophet to undo the mischief that Musailima had wrought at Yamamah.

As soon as he arrived at Yamamah, the rascal declared that Musailima was indeed a prophet. "I have heard Muhammad say so", he lied 2 and who could doubt the words of this respected Companion! The arrival of the renegade proved a windfall for Musailima, and the Bani Hanifa came in even larger numbers to swear allegiance to 'Musailima, Messenger of Allah!'

Musailima and Rajjal now formed an evil and accursed partnership. Rajjal became the right hand man of Musailima, and the impostor made no important decision without consulting him.

With the death of the Holy Prophet, Musailima's hold over the Bani Hanifa became total. People flocked to him, and Musailima began making his own rules in matters of moral and religious conduct. He made alcohol lawful. He also ordered that once a man had fathered a son he would live in celibacy unless the son died, in which case women were permitted to him until he got another son.

His people began to believe that Musailima had miraculous powers, and Rajjal helped foster this image. Once Rajjal suggested that he stroke the head of every newborn babe, as Prophet Muhammad used to do as a form of blessing. Orders were issued accordingly. Thereafter every newborn babe in Yamamah was brought to Musailima to have its head stroked. Historians narrate that when these infants had grown to full manhood or womanhood, they did not have a single hair on their heads! But it this was not, of course, known till after Musailima's death. Many are the instances of Musailima emulating the acts of Muhammad with opposite and disastrous results.

Though all the Bani Hanifa followed him, not all believed in his divine mission, certainly not the intelligent ones. Some accepted him for political convenience or for reasons of personal advancement while many were motivated by feelings of tribal loyalty. One day Musailima appointed a new man as Muazzin, to call the men to prayer. This man, Jubair bin Umair, was a doubter. Instead of the words "I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah", in which the name of Musailima had to be substituted for that of Muhammad, this new muazzin 3 called, at the top of his voice: "I bear witness that Musailima thinks he is the messenger of Allah." 4

Once a man-a clear headed fellow-who had never seen Musailima before came to visit the impostor. When he got to the door of Musailima's house, he asked the guard "Where is Musailima?" "Silence!" replied the guard. "He is the messenger of Allah." "I shall not accept him as such until I have seen him", asserted the visitor, whose name was Talha.

1. Ibn Hisham: Vol. 2, pp. 600-1
2. Tabari: Vol. 2, p. 505.
3. One who calls the Adhan - the call to prayer
4. Balazuri: p. 100.