The Known Tribe
"I can tell the house of each and every person from the tribe of Al-Ashariyeen. I recognize them by the beautiful recitation coming from their homes at night." Rasulullah, (saw) gave this compliment to the tribe of Abu Musa Al-Ashari.
Abu Musa Al-Ashari's real name was Abdullah bin Qais and he was from this blessed Yemeni tribe. His conversion to Islam was due to a series of rumors he heard. People from far would narrate stories about a man in Makkah that claims to be a Prophet. After hearing so many stories, Abu Musa (ra) decided to travel to Makkah and see for himself who this person is.
It didn't take him long to realize that indeed, Rasulullah (saw) was the true Messenger of Allah. Without delay, he declared his Islam, and sought guidance from Rasulullah (saw). Rasulullah (saw) instructed him to go back to his people and tell them about Islam. "And when you hear I have migrated to Madinah, then migrate to Madinah as well," added Rasulullah (saw).
Suppressing his love and emotions, Abu Musa (ra) went back to Yemen and taught the people about Islam. A few years later, news reached him that Rasulullah (saw) had migrated to Madinah. Rejoicing, he too packed up his bags and headed for Madinah to be with his beloved Prophet (saw). But this time, he would not travel alone to the Prophet (saw). He took with him the fifty new Muslims who accepted Islam through his Dawah.
Blown Off Course
All of them wound up their businesses, packed their belongings, and traveled by sea to the new Islamic city of Madinah. However, just because one travels for the sake of Allah (swt) doesn't mean that he is not to endure further difficulties. As destiny would have it, heavy winds blew them off course and they ended up in Habasha (Ethiopia).
In Habasha, they found several Sahabah (ra) and Sahabiyaat who were also waiting to migrate to Madinah. Amongst them was the beloved Sahabi of Rasulullah (saw), Jafar bin Abi Talib. Together, they all boarded the ship, set sail for Madinah Munawarrah.
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal narrates in his Musnad that soon before their arrival in Madinah, Rasulullah (saw) informed the people, "Soon a group of people will be arriving here who are very soft hearted and they cry for Allah's sake." This news about the tribe and its nearing arrival was brought to Rasulullah (saw) by none other than Angel Jibreel (as). And it wasn't before long that at last, they were all united with the Messenger of Allah (swt) in the blessed city of Madinah Munawarrah.
He was known amongst the Sahabah (ra) for his beautiful recitation of the Qur'an. He was so prolific in reciting that it can be said his favorite hobby was to recite the Qur'an day and night.
Even the one upon whom the Qur'an was revealed (Rasulullah (saw)) would stand for a long time listening to this Sahabi offering his Salahtul Tahajjud. It happened one late night that Rasulullah (saw) was standing quietly by the door of his house. Aisha radhiallahu anhaa asked him, "Ya Rasulullah, what are you doing?" He said, "Come here and listen!" When she went over there, she heard "the beautiful recitation of the Qur'an by Abu Musa Al Ashari."
What To Do While Travelling
Sahabah (ra) say that Abu Musa (ra) loved reciting Qur'an so much that even after long arduous journeys he would still recite the Qur'an at night while most of us rested. During these times of fatigue we would feel refreshed with his melodious recitation.
The Sahabah (ra) appreciated his constant utilization of time. They say, "As the journey continued, some of us would talk about various things just to pass the time. Abu Musa (ra) would remind us, ‘Why don't we talk about something of our faith and Imaan? Why don't we talk about Jannah and Jahannam?' And before we knew, the topic was changed to something more beneficial and enjoyable."
Allah (swt) Professes His Love for Them
Once, Rasulullah (saw) said to Abu Musa (ra), "Did you know that there is any ayah in the Qur'an regarding your tribe?" Abu Musa (ra) surprisingly asked, "Ya Rasulullah, which ayah is that?!" Rasulullah (saw) recited the following:
وَإِن تَتَوَلَّوْا يَسْتَبْدِلْ قَوْمًا غَيْرَكُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَكُونُواْ أَمْثَلَكُم
"And if you turn away (from Islam and the obedience to Allah), He will exchange you for some other people and they will not be your likes". (47:38)
Subhanallah, what an incredible guarantee they received from Allah (swt)!! Millions of people profess their love for God, but can there be anything greater than Allah (swt) professing His love for someone? And if Allah loves them, then surely, we know what their status will be in this world and in the Hereafter.
Rasulullah's (saw) Advice to a Governor
Rasulullah (saw) assigned Abu Musa (ra) as governor in Yemen. Before sending him off, he (saw) instructed him, "Abu Musa, when you arrive in Yemen, keep on teaching the people the Qur'an." (Musnad Ahmad)
What unusual instructions for his newly appointed governor!! In today's world, this is unheard of; however, our pious predecessors were only concerned about the Deen of Allah (swt) and everything they did was to establish the Word of Allah (swt) and Deen in people's lives.
During the khilafaath of Umar bin Khattab (ra), Abu Musa (ra) was assigned as governor of Basra. Umar (ra) included in his will that all the governors he appointed should serve a maximum term of one year after his death. After that, they should be removed and someone else can be appointed. He did this because he did not want to be held accountable in front of Allah (swt) for the mistakes of any governor he appointed because during his khilafaath, he could maintain a check on them, but after his death he didn't want accountability.
However, he specially requested that Abu Musa (ra) be kept for four more years. What confidence Ameer ul Mumineen had in this Sahabi that he is willing to take a personal guarantee for him!!
Dedicated Hifz Teacher
Abu Musa (ra) never let go of the instructions given to him by his Shaikh, Rasulullah (saw). He was an exceptionally dedicated teacher of the Qur'an throughout his life. After Rasulullah (saw) passed away, he would go the Masjid for Zhur Salah. After prayer, he would turn around and say to the people, "Brothers, please stay with me and let me teach you the Qur'an the way I have learned it from Rasulullah"
He would stay there from Zhur till ‘Asr teaching anyone that wanted to learn. After ‘Asr prayer, he would turn around again and say, "Is there anyone else that wants to learn the Qur'an or more of it?" If anyone volunteered, he would sit with them till Maghrib prayer. After Maghrib prayer, he would repeat the same question! He would continue teaching as long as the people were interested.
His life was the Qur'an, the final word of Allah. Abu Musa (ra) dedicated his life to following the instruction given to him by Rasulullah (saw). Even at the time of his death, he was exactly the same age as Rasulullah (saw) when he passed away. May Allah (swt) grant us the honor of making our life the recitation and instruction of His book. Ameen!!!!