Miqdad b. 'Amr
Miqdād b. ʿAmr (Arabic: مقداد بن عمرو), known as Miqdad b. al-Aswad (Arabic: مقداد بن الأسود), is one of the noble companions of the Prophet (s), and one of the first Shi'as of Imam Ali (a). Miqdad converted to Islam early after Bi'that and was one of the first people who revealed his conversion to Islam. He attended all battles in the early years of Islam.
|Miqdad b. 'Amr|
|Full Name||Miqdad b. 'Amr b. Tha'laba|
|Teknonym||Abu Sa'id, Abu l-Aswad|
|Epithet||al-Kindi, al-Hadhrami, and -al-Bahra'i|
|Well Known As||Miqdad b. al-Aswad|
|Birth||37 years before Hijra/586-7|
|Place(s) of Residence||Hadramut • Mecca • Medina|
|Burial Place||Al-Baqi' cemetery, Median|
|Presence at Ghazwas||Presented in All of the ghazwas|
|Migration to||Abyssinia, Medina|
|Known for||One of the first Shi'as of Imam Ali (a)|
|Other Activities||Refusing to pledge allegiance with Abu Bakr and supporting the succession of Imam 'Ali (a)|
Miqdad, Salman al-Farsi, 'Ammar b. Yasir, and Abu Dhar are referred to as the first Shi'as (followers) of Imam Ali (a); they were known as Shi'as even in the period of the Prophet (s). After the demise of the Prophet (s), Miqdad supported Imam Ali's (a) immediate succession of the Prophet (s), and did not pledge his allegiance to Abu Bakr b. Abi Quhafa. He was one of the few people who were present at the funeral of Fatima al-Zahra (a). Miqdad is considered as a serious opponent of 'Uthman b. 'Affan. According to some sources, he was a member of Shurtat al-Khamis. Miqdad is praised in hadiths from Ahl al-Bayt (a) in which he is said to return in Raj'a after the Reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (a). He transmitted hadiths from the Prophet (s).
Lineage, Birth, and Demise
Miqdad b. 'Amr b. Tha'laba, known as Miqdad b. al-Aswad, there is no information about his birth time but as the historian reported his death time in 33/653-54 when he was seventy, probably he was born on sixteen years after 'Am al-fil (b. 24 BH/598-9 - d. 33/653-54). Biographers and historians have mentioned up to twenty of his ancestors.
It is said that Miqdad had a quarrel with a person called "Abu Shimr b. Hajar" in Hadhramaut which led to that person's injury. After that, Miqdad went to Mecca and allied with Aswad b. 'Abd Yaghuth al-Zuhri. Thus, Aswad became Miqdad's father, and he came to be known as Miqdad b. Aswad and sometimes Miqdad al-Zuhri.
Wife: Miqdad's wife was Duba'a, the Prophet's (s) cousin and Zubayr b. 'Abd al-Muttalib's daughter. The Prophet (s) married Duba'a to Miqdad although he considered her as having a great prestige and lineage, saying: "I married my cousin, Duba'a, to Miqdad, so that people can take marriage eai, be encouraged to marry their daughters to every believer, regardless of what lineage and prestige they have."
Children: Miqdad had two children called 'Abd Allah and Karima. 'Abd Allah was a supporter of Aisha in the Battle of Jamal, fought against Imam Ali (a), and was killed in that battle. At the end of the battle when Imam Ali (a) looked at 'Abd Allah's corpse, he told him: "how bad a nephew you have been!" On some accounts, the name of Miqdad's son was "Ma'bad", not "'Abd Allah."
In the Period of the Prophet (s)
Conversion to Islam
Miqdad converted to Islam early after Bi'that (the first revelation of the Prophet (s)) and went under the tortures of Quraysh polytheists. Historians have mentioned him among early Muslims, but there is no discussion of how he converted to Islam. Abd Allah b. Mas'ud reported that there were seven people who revealed their conversion to Islam before anybody else. One of these people was Miqdad.
Miqdad emigrated two times: once to Abyssinia among the third group of Muslim immigrants, and once again to Medina. It is not exactly known when he moved to Medina, but as shown by some evidence, he joined Muslims in 1 AH/622-3 in Shawwal in the Sariyya of Abu 'Ubayda, and then they all moved to Medina.
Presence in Battles
Miqdad attended all the battles of the Prophet (s) and was a champion among the companions. In the Battle of Badr, Miqdad was a member of the cavalry and his horse was known as "Sabha" (floating), perhaps because Miqdad fought with courage and valor.
Miqdad played a crucial role in the Battle of Uhud as well. According to historical sources, at the end of the battle when everyone fled, few people stayed with the Prophet (s), including Ali (a), Talha b. 'Ubayd Allah, Zubayr b. al-'Awam, Abu Dujana, 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud, and Miqdad. In this battle, Miqdad was an archer in the Muslim army.
Supporting the Succession of Imam Ali (a)
After the demise of the Prophet (s) and the election of Abu Bakr b. Abi Quhafa as the caliph and successor of the Prophet (s), a few Muslims stayed loyal to Ali (a) and did not pledge their allegiance to Abu Bakr, including Salman, Abu Dhar, and Miqdad. Miqdad was not present in the Event of Saqifa. According to hadiths, he was one of the few people who were present in the funeral of Fatima al-Zahra (a) and performed Funeral Prayer on her corpse. According to some sources, he was a member of Shurtat al-Khamis.
On different occasions, Miqdad reminded Abu Bakr and his companions of the issues of Imam Ali's (a) succession of the Prophet (s) and took actions to clarify the matter. Here are some examples of Miqdad's activities in defense of Ali's (a) right to the caliphate:
- When people pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr, a group of Muhajirun and Ansar, including Miqdad, refused to pledge their allegiance to him and joined Ali b. Abi Talib (a).
- Forty men went to Imam Ali (a) and said: "we are ready to defend and support you." The Imam (a) told them: "if you are steadfast in your pledge, then shave your heads and come back to me tomorrow." The next day it was only Salman, Miqdad, and Abu Dhar who had shaved their heads and gone to Imam Ali (a).
- In the story of the Six-Member Council for the selection of the caliph after 'Umar b. al-Khattab, 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf told Ali (a): "I will pledge my allegiance to you if you follow the Book of God [i.e. the Qur'an], the Prophet's (s) tradition, and the practice of Abu Bakr" but Ali (a) accepted only the first two conditions. Miqdad objected to 'Abd al-Rahman: "I swear to God, you have left Ali (a) who adjudicated on the basis of truth and justice". He went on: "I saw no household so oppressed as Ahl al-Bayt (a) after the demise of the Prophet (s)".
Al-Ya'qubi has reported (through some people) that in the night in which people pledged their allegiance to 'Uthman, he went out for the 'Isha' prayer while a candle was lit ahead of him. Miqdad b. 'Amr told him: "what is this heresy?" According to al-Ya'qubi, Miqdad was among people who criticized 'Uthman and joined Ali b. Abi Talib (a).
In the Hadiths of Ahl al-Bayt (a)
- The Prophet's (s) affection for Miqdad: the Prophet (s) said: "God has ordered me to love four people." A person asked him to introduce those people. The Prophet (s) replied: "Ali, Salman, Miqdad, and Abu Dhar".
- Miqdad in the Heaven: according to a hadith from Anas b. Malik, one day the Prophet (s) said: "the Heaven aspires to four of my people. When Ali (a) asked him about those people, the Prophet said: "I swear to God that you are the first of those people. The rest are Miqdad, Salman, and Abu Dhar." Also in an exegesis of the Quranic verse, "Surely (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, their place of entertainment shall be the gardens of paradise" (Qur'an 18:107), Imam al-Sadiq (a) said: "this verse was revealed about Abu Dhar, Miqdad, Salman, and 'Ammar".
- Miqdad's faith: according to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a): "the faith (iman) has ten degrees: Miqdad is at the eighth degree, Abu Dhar is at the ninth, and Salman is at the tenth".
- Acting upon al-Mawadda Verse: Imam al-Sadiq (a) said about al-Mawadda Verse ("I ask of you no wage except the love of near relatives"): "I swear to God that nobody acted upon the verse except seven people, including Miqdad."
- Miqdad is from Ahl al-Bayt (a): one day Jabir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari asked the Prophet (s) about Salman, Miqdad, and Abu Dhar. The Prophet (s) talked about them individually. He said about Miqdad: "Miqdad is from us. God is the enemy of his enemies and friend with his friends. O Jabir! Whenever you pray for something and you want God to answer your prayer, ask Him with their names, because these are the best names for God".
- Loyalty to Imam Ali (a): Imam al-Baqir (a) said: "after the demise of the Prophet (s) people deviated from the Prophet's (s) path except three people: Salman, Abu Dhar, and Miqdad. According to some hadiths, Miqdad was the most obedient companion of Amir al-Mu'minin (a).
- Miqdad's Raj'a: according to some hadiths, Miqdad will return to the world after the Reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (a) and will be a companion and commander of the Imam's (a) government."
- Obligation to love Miqdad: Imam al-Sadiq (a) said: "it is an obligation to love people who did not deviate from the right path after the Prophet (s)." These people include Salman, Abu Dhar, and Miqdad.
Transmission of Hadiths
Miqdad transmitted hadiths from the Prophet (s). Some people have transmitted his hadiths; for example: Sulaym b. Qays, Anas b. Malik, 'Abd Allah b. 'Abbas, 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud, 'Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Layla, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Duba'a bt. Zubayr b. 'Abd al-Muttalib (his wife), and his daughter Karima.
Death and Burial Place
Late in his life, Miqdad resided in "Jurf" (an area one parasang away from Medina towards Syria), and died in 33/654 at the age of seventy. The Muslims took his corpse to Medina, 'Uthman b. 'Affan said the Funeral Prayer for him, and he was buried in al-Baqi' cemetery. There is a grave attributed to Miqdad in Van in Turkey. On one account, Miqdad was rich and willed that 36000 dirhams of his possessions be given to Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a).
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- Ibn Ḥazm al-Andulusī, Jamhart ansāb al-ʿarab, p. 441.
- Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, al-Iṣāba, vol. 6, p. 160.
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