Habib Ibn Zayd Al-Ansari

Musaylamah was convulsed with bitter rage. His face was terrible to behold. He ordered Habib to be put in chains and to be brought back before him the following day.

On the following day, Musaylamah presided over his assembly. On his right and on his left were his senior advisers, there to further his evil cause. The common people were allowed to enter. He then ordered Habib, shackled in his chains, to be brought befo re him.

Habib stood in the midst of this crowded, hate-filled gathering. He remained upright, dignified and proud like a sturdy spear firmly implanted in the ground, unyielding.

Musaylamah turned to him and asked: “Do you testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God?” “Yes,” Habib replied. “I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”

Musaylamah was visibly angry. “And do you testify that I am the Messenger of God?” He was almost insisting, rather than questioning. “My ears have been blocked against hearing what you claim,” replied Habib.

Musaylamah’s face changed color, his lips trembled in anger and he shouted to his executioner, “Cut off a piece of his body.”

With sword in hand, the menacing executioner advanced towards Habib and severed one of his limbs.

Musaylamah then put the same question to him once more and Habib’s answers were the same. He affirmed his belief in Muhammad as the Messenger of God and at the expense of his own life he refused to acknowledge the messengership of any other. Musaylamah th ereupon ordered his henchman to cut off another part of Habib’s body. This fell to the ground beside the other severed limb. The people looked on in amazement at Habib’s composure and steadfastness.

Faced with Musaylamah’s persistent questioning and the terrible blows of his henchman, Habib kept on repeating:

“I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” Habib could not survive this torture and these inhuman atrocities much longer and he soon passed away. On his pure lips, as his life-blood ebbed away, was the name of the blessed Prophet to whom he had pl edged loyalty on the night of Aqabah, the name of Muhammad, the Messenger of God.

News of Habib’s fate reached his mother and her reaction was simply to say: “It was for such a situation that I prepared him… He pledged allegiance to the Prophet on the night of Aqabah as a small child and today as an adult he has given his life for th e Prophet. If God were to allow me to get near to Musaylamah, I would certainly make his daughters smite their cheeks and lament over him.”

The day that she wished for was not long in coming. After the death of the Prophet, peace be on him, Abu Bakr declared war on the imposter. With the Muslim army that went out to confront the forces of Musaylamah were Habib’s mother, Nusaybah, and another of her courageous sons, Abdullah ibn Zayd.

At the Battle of Yamamah which ensued, Nusaybah was seen cutting through the ranks of fighting men like a lioness and calling out: “Where is the enemy of God? Show me the enemy of God ?” When she eventually reached Musaylamah, he had already perished. She looked at the body of the vain imposter and cruel tyrant and felt serene. A grave threat to the Muslims had been removed and the death of her beloved son, Habib, had been avenged.

At Habib’s death, the noble Prophet had commended him and his entire family and had prayed: “May God bless this household. May God have mercy on this household.”

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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