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Tribe of Banu Zafar

Location of the tribe of Banu Zafar
Location of the tribe of Banu Zafar

This locality, situated behind Jannatul Baqi is where the tribe of Banu Zafar resided. Their village was the centre of Islamic propagation (da’wah) in Madinah, principally led by Musaib bin Umair (رضي الله عنه) prior to the migration of the Prophet (ﷺ).

  • When the first group of people from Madinah embraced Islam in Mina, the Prophet (ﷺ) deputed Musaib bin Umair (رضي الله عنه) to go with them to teach Islam and preach to others. He remained busy all the time in teaching the Qur’an and other Islamic practices to the people. He stayed with As’ad bin Zararah (رضي الله عنه) and was known as ‘Muqree’ (the teacher).
  • Sa’d bin Ma’az (the chief of the Banu Ash-hal clan) and Usaid bin Hudhairiyah (the chief of Banu Zafar clan) did not like Musaib’s activities. Sa’d said to Usaid, “You go to As’ad and tell that we do not like his having brought a stranger with him to Madinah, who misleads the poor and simple folk of the town.” Usaid went to As’ad (رضي الله عنه) and talked to him very harshly. As’ad (رضي الله عنه) said to him, “You first listen to him; if you like his teachings, you may accept them; if not, you have every right to denounce and stop him.” Usaid agreed to it. Musaib (رضي الله عنه) explained the virtues of Islam and recited a few verses of the Qur’an before him. Usaid said, “These teachings are very fine and these verses are simply beautiful. How do you admit a person to your faith?” He said: “You take a bath, put on clean clothes and recite the Kalimah.”
  • Usaid immediately complied with all these formalities and embraced Islam. He then went to Sa’d and brought him to Musaib (رضي الله عنه) to listen to his preaching. Sa’d also embraced Islam. No sooner had Sa’d accepted Islam than he went to people of his clan (Banu Ash-hal) and said to them,“What type of person do you think I am?” They replied: “You are the best and the noblest of the clan.” He then said: “I have vowed not to talk to your men and women until you all embrace Islam and believe in Muhammad (ﷺ).” All the men and women of Banu Ash-hal embraced Islam then and there. Musaib (رضي الله عنه) began to teach them and train them in Islam.
  • Once the Prophet (ﷺ) came to the locality of Banu Zafar with some of his Companions. It is reported by Abdullah bin Mas’ood (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said to him, “Recite (the Qur’an) for me.” I said, “Shall I recite it to you although it has been revealed to you?” He said, “I like to hear (the Qur’an) from someone other than myself.” So I recited Surah an-Nisa till I reached:“But how (will it be) then when We bring from each nation a witness, and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people?” [4:41] Then he said, “Behold (stop)” and his eyes were overflowing with tears. [Sahih Bukhari]
  • There is a Masjid preserved within the wall enclosure above, situated on the right hand side of King Abdul Aziz road.

References:  History of Madinah Munawwarah – Dr. Muhammad Ilyas Abdul Ghani, Fazail-e-Aamal – Sheikh Zakariyya Kandhalvi (رضي الله عنه), The History of Islam – Akbar Shah Najeebabadi