New Men – A New Ummah

New Men – A New Ummah

Thus it was that the most stupendous change in human history was brought about. The Prophet ﷺ had uncovered rich treasures of human material that had been lying dormant under the mass of Ignorance since the beginning of creation and imparted to them the light of genius which was to hold the world spellbound through ages to come. He had made into men what until then were mere herds of dumb-driven cattle. He had aroused their innate possibilities; he had released the fountains of their real life and elevated them to be the standard-bearers of light, learning, Faith and culture in the world. Within a short span of time the desert of Arabia threw up mighty personalities whose names illuminate the pages of history to this day. 

Umar, who used to graze his father’s camels, suddenly rose to dazzle the world with the sublimity of his character and grandeur of his achievements. He humbled the empires of Caesar and Chosroes and perfected the foundations of a dominion which spread over both and was vastly superior to them in governance and organisation. Nothing need be said of his widely-known moral sense, justice and righteousness. 

Another example is Khalid ibn al-Walid. He was an enterprising young Qurayshite who, having earned some renown in local feuds, was held in high esteem by the tribal warlords but enjoyed no distinction in the peninsula, for he had no great achievements to his credit. But after embracing Islam he shone in the world as the Sword of Allah. This Sword fell upon Rome like lightning and his brilliant conquests are recorded in history. 

Abu ‘Ubaidah commanded small detachments of Muslims in the early wars. He then assumed supreme command of the Islamic forces and ejected Heraclius forever from the land of Syria. Heraclius cast a parting glance at it and said, “Adieu, Syria, we shall not meet again.” 

‘Amr ibn al-‘As was noted among the Quraysh for his sagacity – he travelled to Abyssinia to plead with the Negus to hand back the Muslim emigrants to their tormentors. He is known as the conqueror of Egypt. 

Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas was unknown as a soldier before he became Muslim. He then captured the keys of Mada’in, annexed Iran and Iraq to the Islamic Dominion and is recorded in history as the conqueror of Ajam [Persia].

Salman the Persian, the son of a village priest, left his borne and suffered many trials and tribulations until he reached Madinah and embraced Islam. He then returned to the country of his birth as its Governor. But this high honour made no difference to the simplicity of his nature. He still lived in a modest cottage and was often seen carrying loads on his head. 

Bilal, the Abyssinian slave, acquired such eminence that even Caliph ‘Umar addressed him as his Master. 

Zayd ibn Harithah commanded the Muslim army in the Battle of Mutah. The army included men of the merit and valour of Ja’far ibn Abi Talib and Khalid ibn al-Walid. His son led another army which had in it such outstanding men as Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. 

Abu Dharr, Miqdad, Abu Darda’, ‘Ammar ibn Yasir, Mu’adh ibn Jabal and Ubayy ibn Ka’b, after embracing Islam, became renowned ascetics and excellent scholars. 

‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, ‘A’ishah, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, Zayd ibn Thabit and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas ascended to the highest pinnacle in the world of learning through sitting at the feet of the Prophet ﷺ, a man who had not been tutored by any mortal. They became fountainheads of knowledge and wisdom. The world now listens to these “sons of the desert”. 

[Islam and the World by Shaykh Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, p.59-60]

Previous articleDifferent Categories of Hindu Deities
Next articleHumility of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA)