Download PDF: [S] The Apostate Aswad Ansi
Aswad Ansi was considered as one of the greatest magicians of Yemen. He was black in complexion, fat and obese. As much as he was black outside, he had the same blackness inside. His name was Abhalah bin Ka’ab but he is famously known to the world as Aswad Ansi. He was also considered as a fraudster and used to deceive people through his evil plans and plots.
When we look at the history of the early Arabs most of them were illiterate. Even though Islam spread slowly in Yemen, yet, large parts of the population still remained ignorant. In those days in Yemen there were two famous fortune tellers or magicians. People used to also narrate the tales of this magicians in their every day’s events. One was said to be half human and he was said to stay in one place. The first was known as Shakaa and the second was known as Sateeha. Obviously, when the heretic Aswad saw the Jahaalat of people, he also started to use this to his advantage.
He started to use this evil with the intention of taking control over Yemen. The bad part was that many people in their ignorance also joined him in this mission. He began to claim that he was a special servant of Allah Almighty and this further made people to join him. At that time in history, Yemen was ruled by the Persians and the Governor of the region was someone called Bazaan. How this country came under Persian rule is something which we need to study.
Once, in history, this country was ruled by the tribe of Humair. The King was Tab’a. However, the King of Abyssinia then sent his two generals named Ashram and Iryaat to invade this country. Obviously, through their superior numbers, they took control of this country.
After some time, there was a dispute between Ashram and Iryaat with the result that Iryaat was killed. Ashram was the same idiot everyone knows as Abraha. He was the person who tried to destroy the Ka’ba with his army of elephants. However, we all know that his entire army was destroyed by a small flock of birds. This story is mentioned in the Surah Feel in the Qur’an. On the way back, Abraha also suffered from a terrible disease where his body parts began to fall off. When he reached Sana, he died. After him, his son became the King. After him, his other son became the King. His name was a Masruq bin Abaraha.
This lasted for nearly seventy years. Then Saif bin Zi Yazan Humairi went to the Romans to help him get rid of the Abyssinian but they refused to help because they were also Christians like the Abyssinian. He then went for help to the Persians. These people agreed to help him and through the help of Khusroe, the Abyssinian control in Yemen came to an end.
After the death of Masruq bin Abraha, the person put in charge of the country by the Persians was Saif bin Zi Yazam. This continued until the arrival of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and the appearance of Islam. When the letter of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – reached Persia and this letter was torn by Khusroe Perwez, this same Khusro also sent a message to Yemen to Bazaan to send two generals to Madina Shareef to find out who this new Prophet was. He was also instructed to capture this new Prophet and have him sent to Persia.
When these two generals reached Madina Shareef, they were convinced that he was a real Prophet. In fact, they stayed in Madina Shareef for nearly a month. They then presented him with the message of Bazaan. The Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – informed them that their supreme leader in Persia had been killed. When they sent this message to Bazaan, he said that he would investigate and if the message was true, then certainly this was a true Prophet. A few days later a message was sent by the son of Khusroe that he had killed his father and taken control of the country.
The Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – also informed Bazaan that if he accepted Islam, control would still remain in his hands. Later, Bazaan and his group of supporters all accepted Islam.
Eminent Ashaab such as Hadrat Sayyiduna Ma’az bin Jabal and Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Moosa Ash’ari – may Allah be pleased with them – were also sent to Yemen from time to time to educate people on Islam.
After Bazaan died, his son, Shehr, took control over Sana and a few other cities. He also went from town to town spreading Islam. This was also happening in the 10th year of Hijrah. At the same time, Aswad Ansi also began to rise and started his Murtad movement. He also wrote a letter to the representatives of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – demanding that all riches which were taken from his country be returned.
Aswad Ansi then attacked Najran and Sana and in this battle, Shehr bin Bazaam – may Allah be pleased with him – were martyred. He then forcefully married the widow of Shehr and continued to claim that he was a Prophet. However, a plan was hatched between this lady a person named Feroz and during the night, they had Aswad Ansi killed.
After they had killed him, Feroz then hung his head over the walls of the palace and he read the Kalimah. Those people who had hidden their faith then arose against these apostates and many of them were killed in the ensuing battle.
All of this occurred three days before the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – passed away. The Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – also informed the blessed Ashaab in Madina Shareef of the death of this apostate after Divine Revelation was sent to him.