Muadh ibn Jabal was a young man growing up in Yathrib as the light of guidance and truth began to spread over the Arabian Peninsula. He was a handsome and imposing character with black eyes and curly hair and immediately impressed whoever he met. He was already distinguished for the sharpness of his intelligence among young men of his own age. The young Muadh became a Muslim at the hands of Musab ibn Umayr, the da'i (caller to Islam) whom the Prophet (S) had sent to Yathrib before the hijrah.
Muadh was among the seventy-two Yathribites who journeyed to Makkah, one year before the hijrah, and met the Prophet (S) at his house and later again in the valley of Mina, outside Makkah, at Aqabah. Here the famous second Aqabah Pledge was made at which the new Muslims of Yathrib vowed to support and defend the Prophet (S) at any cost. Muadh was among those who clasped the hands of the Prophet (S) and pledged allegiance to him.
As soon as Muadh returned to Madinah from Makkah, he and a few others of his age formed a group to remove and destroy idols from the houses of the mushrikeen in Yathrib. One of the effects of this campaign was that a prominent man of the city, Amr ibn al-Jumuh, became a Muslim.
When the noble Prophet (S) reached Madinah, Muadh ibn Jabal stayed in his company as much as possible. He studied the Quran and the laws of Islam until he became one of the most well-versed of all the companions in the religion of Islam. Wherever Muadh went, people would refer to him for legal judgments on matters over which they differed. This is not strange since he was brought up in the school of the Prophet (S) himself and learnt as much as he could from him. His knowledge bore the stamp of authenticity.
One of the greatest of Muadh's contributions to the ummah of Muhammad was that he was one of the group of six who collected the Quran during the lifetime of the Prophet (S). Whenever a group of companions met and Muadh was among them, they would look at him with awe and respect on account of his knowledge.
After the liberation of Makkah, the Quraysh became Muslims en masse. The Prophet (S) immediately saw the need of the new Muslims for teachers to instruct them in the fundamentals of Islam and to make them truly understand the spirit and letter of its laws. He appointed Attab ibn Usay as his deputy in Makkah and he asked Muadh ibn Jabal to stay with him and teach people the Quran and instruct them in the religion.
Sometime after the Prophet (S) had returned to Madinah, messengers of the kings of Yemen came to him announcing that they and the people of Yemen had become Muslims. They requested that some teachers should be with them to teach Islam to the people. For this task the Prophet (S) commissioned a group and made Muadh ibn Jabal their leader.
When the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu 'Alayhi Wa Sallam) sent Muadh to Yemen, he (S) said: Verily you are going to a people from the People of the Book. So let the first of what you call them to be the testimony that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. [the singling out of Allah] So if they obey you in that, then inform them that Allah has obligated upon them five prayers in every day and night. So if they obey you in that, then inform them that Allah has obligated upon them charity to be taken from their rich, and given to their poor. So if they obey you in that, then beware of the luxuries of their money, and fear the supplication of the oppressed, for verily there is not between him and [Allah] a veil.
This laid the groundwork for giving dawah for all future Muslims.
The Prophet (S) personally bade farewell to this mission of guidance and light and walked for some distance alongside Muadh as he rode out of the city. Finally he said to him:
"O Muadh, perhaps you shall not meet me again after this year. Perhaps when you return you shall see only my mosque and my grave." Muadh wept. Those with him wept too. A feeling of sadness and desolation overtook him as he parted from his beloved Prophet (S). The Prophet (S)'s premonition was correct. The eyes of Muadh never beheld the Prophet (S) after that moment. The Prophet (S) died before Muadh returned from the Yemen.
During the caliphate of Umar, the governor of Syria, Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan sent a message saying: "O Amir al-Mumineen! The people of Syria are many. They fill the towns. They need people to teach them the Quran and instruct them in the religion." Umar thereupon summoned five persons who had collected the Quran in the lifetime of the Prophet (S), S. They were Muadh ibn Jabal, Ubadah ibn asSamit, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Ubayy ibn Kab and Abu ad-Dardaa. He said to them: "Your brothers in Syria have asked me to help them by sending those who can teach them the Quran and instruct them in the religion. Please appoint three among you for this task and may Allah bless you. I can select three of you myself if you do not want to put the matter to the vote." "Why should we vote?" they asked. "Abu Ayyub is quite old and Ubayy is a sick man. That leaves three of us." "All three of you go. If you are satisfied with the condition of the people there, one of you should stay there, another should go to Damascus and the other to Palestine." So it was that Ubadah ibn as-Samit was left, Abu ad-Dardaa went to Damascus and Muadh went to Palestine. There Muadh fell ill with an infectious disease. As he was near to death, he turned in the direction of the Kabah and repeated this refrain: "Welcome Death, Welcome. A visitor has come after a long absence . . ." And looking up to heaven, he said: "O Lord, You know that I did not desire the world and to prolong my stay in it . . . O Lord, accept my soul with goodness as you would accept a believing soul..."
He then passed away, far from his family and his clan, a
caller to Allah.
Back to Stories of the Companions