Concepts, Featured, Islamic Culture

Sa’ad ibn Mu’adh … A Hero Amongst Heroes of the Muslims and a Role Model for the Muslim Army Officers of Today

For every nation there are heroes and they are eternally etched in the memory of their nation. They are the ones who undertook great actions that only heroes are capable of. Even those nations that do not have real heroes, such as America, must raise bandits and criminals as their heroes, after they give make-overs to their criminal acts, distorting facts and history regarding them. As for the heroes of the Islamic Ummah, they are unmatched in other nations. Their remembrance is eternal in the memory of their Ummah as well as the nations that oppose their Ummah. These are heroes such as our Master Muhammad ﷺ and his illustrious Companions (ra). And above that and most importantly, they will be eternal in a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, in a seat of honor, near The Sovereign سبحانه وتعالى of Perfect Ability. It is a right for them for they were of excellence, sacrifice, courage and influence.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى said,

وَالسَّابِقُونَ الْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنْصَارِ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي تَحْتَهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

“And the first forerunners (in the faith) among the Muhajireen and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct – Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.”

(Surah at-Tawba 9:100)

Of those heroes who changed the face of history from that of the pre-Islamic situation, which was dominated by the Arabian Peninsula and the Roman and Persian Empires, was the Supporter of RasulAllah ﷺ, Sa’ad ibn Mu’adh (ra), the chief of the Ansaar and their political and military leader. His short life was full of great works and the stance of chivalry and valor. This is abundantly clear from his biography, starting with his acceptance of Islam, at the hands of Mus’ab ibn Umayr (ra), who was sent by the RasulAllah ﷺ to al-Madinah al-Munawarra to spread Islam within it. Once As’ad ibn Zurarah went out with Mus’ab ibn ‘Umayr to the areas of Banu al-Ashhal and of Banu Zafar. Sa’d ibn Mu’adh was from Banu al-Ashhal and As’ad ibn Zurarah’s maternal cousin. Sa’d ibn Mu’adh and Usayd ibn Hudayr were at the time chiefs of their clan, the Banu ‘Abd al-Ashhal, and both followed the polytheism of their tribe. After Usayd bin Hudayr embraced Islam at the hands of Musab upon his conveying to him the word of Islam, Usayd said to him: “There is a man behind me who if he follows you every one of his people will follow suit. I will send him to you at once. It is Sa’d ibn Mu’adh.” Once Usayd departed, Sa’ad bin Mu’adh came out to them both.  Sa’ad bin Mu’adh said to As’ad bin Zararah: “O Abu Umamah, were it not for the relationship between us you would not have treated me thus. Would you behave in our homelands in a way we detest?” Musab said to him: “Won’t you sit down and listen? If you like what you hear you can accept it, and if you don’t like it you can leave it alone.” Sa’ad agreed that was fair and sat down.  Musab (ra) explained Islam to him and read for him the Qur’an. Afterwards they said, according to what has been reported of them, “By Allah, before he spoke we recognized Islam in his face by its peaceful glow.” He said, “What a wonderful and beautiful discourse this is! What does one do if he wants to enter this Deen?” They told him that he must wash and purify himself and his garments, then bear witness to the truth and pray.

The entering of Sa’ad bin Mu’adh into Islam was far removed from blind imitation and impulse, as well as mysticism and carelessness. He became Muslim after he heard the evidence of Musab bin Umayr that Islam is the Deen of Truth from the Creator of man, life and the universe. His entry into Islam was that of a rational man. He judged and discussed the ideas and facts before achieving conviction and believing in it. Thus, Islam became his Deen and ideology, so the Dunya became trivial in his eyes. His sacrifices were great for the sake of his belief and in the path of Support of the Messenger of Islam, Muhammad ﷺ. He did not bat an eyelid until there arose for Islam and the Messenger of Islam ﷺ a state through which people entered the Deen in huge numbers. This was immediately evident in the first work he carried out after his acceptance of Islam. He went to another military leader and commander of the city’s leaders to pave the way for him to enter Islam and he was Usayd bin Hudayr (ra). Sa’ad realized the need of Islam for Nussrah (Support) from the people of power and force. So Sa’ad applied himself to gain people of power and seek their support to become the nucleus of the Ansaar (Supporters) of Islam. Sa’ad neither postponed that work nor delegated it to others.

After the Prophet ﷺ migrated to Medinah, after being reassured by Sa’ad and his Companions from the Ansaar about his victory and the victory of Islam, Sa’ad had the stance of men who have been true to what they have vowed before Allah. It was those positions when the Muslims took to the Battle of Badr to meet the infidels, when the Prophet consulted the Ansaar, Sa’ad said: “We believe in you, we declare your truth, and we witness that what you have brought us is the truth, and we have given you our word and agreement to hear and obey; so go where you wish, we are with you; and by He who sent you, if you were to ask us to cross this sea and you plunged into it, we would plunge into it with you; not a man would stay behind. We do not dislike the idea of meeting our enemy tomorrow. We are experienced in war, capable of fighting. It may well be that Allah will let us show you something which will bring you joy, so take us along with Allah’s blessing.” RasulAllah ﷺ was delighted by his speech and Sa’ad carried the standard of Al-Aws into battle and performed to his utmost. Just as when Sa’ad witnessed the Battle of Uhud with Rasulallah ﷺ, he stood his ground next besides him ﷺ, when others dispersed, and displayed exemplary courage.

The demise of heroes is not ordinary like the rest of humanity, for they are martyred in the Path of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and the Heavens rejoice at their departure towards them. And so it was with our hero Sa’ad bin Mu’adh (ra) when he was martyred in the Battle of Confederates (Ahzaab), during which he wielded a narrow shield that did not conceal his limbs. Whilst the Muslims and the Confederates engaged into combat by archers, a man from the Mushrikeen called ibn Al Araqah struck Sa’ad bin Mu’adh (ra) with an arrow upon an artery in his arm and his wound started to bleed. RasulAllah ﷺ cauterized the wound but it opened again and so he cauterized it again. Upon seeing this Saad said, “O Allah do not take my soul until I am comforted with the end of Banu Quraydhah.” And his wound did not bleed a drop until Bani Quraydhah were subjected to the decree of Sa’ad. Then, afterwards, Saad said, “O Allah, surely You know that nothing is dearer to me than that I should fight for Your Sake against the people who disbelieved Your Messenger (peace be upon him) and turned him out (from his native place). If anything yet remains to be decided from the war against the Quraysh, spare my life so that I may fight against them in Your Cause. O Lord, I think You have ended the war between us and them. If You have done so, open my wound (so that it may discharge) and cause my death thereby.” Thereupon his wound opened again, until Saad died due to blood loss.

Certainly, the parting of heroes is not like the parting of others. On the authority of ibn Sa’ad from Asim bin Qatadah, who said, “The Prophet ﷺ slept and Jibreel (as) came to him when he awoke and said, “Is there a man from your Ummah who has passed away tonight, for the people of Heaven are rejoicing because of his death?” Prophet ﷺ said, « «لا أعلم إلا أن سعداً أمسى دنفاً (مريضاً)، ما فعل سعد؟» “I do not know except that Sa’ad became ill, so how is Sa’ad?” They replied, “O Prophet of Allah he has passed away, his people came to him and took him to their home.” He then said that RasulAllah ﷺ prayed the morning prayer and set out with the people.”

People rushed to him to the point that their shoes laces were split apart and their robes fell off from their shoulders. A man said to him: O Messenger of Allah, the people are exhausted, he said: «إني أخشى أن تسبقنا إليه الملائكة كما سبقتنا إلى حنظلة» “I am afraid that the Angels may have preceded to him before us, as with Hanzalah before him.” And it was narrated by Imam Bukhari (may Allah سبحانه وتعالى have mercy on him, from Jabir bin Abdullah (ra), that I heard RasulAllah ﷺ say «اهْتَزَّ عَرْشُ الرَّحْمَنِ لِمَوْتِ سَعْدِ بْنِ مُعَاذٍ» “The Throne of the Beneficent shook because of the death of Sa`d bin Mu`adh.” Regarding the shaking of the Throne mentioned here, Ibn Hajar in his book Fatah Al-Baaree interpreted it by saying, “The meaning of shaking means His rejoicing and His pleasure at the receiving of his soul.”

O People of Power and Nussrah (Support)!

The stances of Sa’ad bin Mu’adh have filled the hearts of the Muslims with love. Whenever his name is mentioned all tongues pray for him. Every believer who hears that the Throne of Allah سبحانه وتعالى was shaken would have his eyes overflowed with tears, indeed, is there any way to avoid that?! Indeed the greatness of men is in the sincerity of their stances and the loftiness of their goals. They are patient with their aims, whatever the circumstances. And they insist on achieving them, even if horrors faced them… Indeed you are living in times in which the Dawah of the Muhajireen and the Ansaar is repeated. So be our brothers, this is the gift from Allah سبحانه وتعالى offered to you, so do not turn away from it. O Supporters of Allah, stand for the honor of your Deen, stand for the honor of your Ummah and stand for your honor. Arise to grant Nussrah (Support) for this Deen, hasten to this bountiful task and be of the few who Allah سبحانه وتعالى has mentioned,

وَالسَّابِقُونَ السَّابِقُونَ * أُولَئِكَ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ * فِي جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ * ثُلَّةٌ مِنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ * وَقَلِيلٌ مِنَ الْآخِرِينَ

“And the foremost, the foremost – Those are the ones brought near (to Allah)- In the Gardens of Pleasure – A (large) company of the former peoples – And a few of the later peoples.”

(Surah Al-Waqia 56: 10-14)


Bilal Al-Muhajir – Pakistan