Abdullah Ibn Masood رضى الله عنه was one of the first Sahabas to accept Islam; he is famous for his deep-rooted knowledge in the Quranic sciences such as its recitation, Tafsir as well as in the science of fiqh.
There is so much to learn from this kind-hearted, noble companion of the Prophetﷺ however, my intention for this blog post is to focus on some of the points of benefit we could take from his personality and character إن شاء الله. He was the closest to the Prophetﷺ in his manners and practice and followed himﷺ everywhere to learn from him.
Let us now see what we can take away from this noble hero of Islam.
Honesty and Integrity
When I read about the incident of Ibn Masoodرضى الله عنه’s very first encounter with the Prophetﷺ, the first thing I noticed was his honesty and integrity. He was a young shepherd tending to the flock of his master when he was approached by the Prophetﷺ and his companion exhausted and requesting for some milk from one of the goats, he humbly apologized and informed them that he was not at the liberty to do as he liked with the milk as the goats did not belong to him.
At a later stage in his life, he disagreed with Uthman Ibn Affwan رضى الله عنه on an issue, due to which his salary cut off from the Bait Ul Maal, but he never spoke ill of him, on the contrary, he defended him and spoke well of him.
Abdullah Ibn Masood رضى الله عنه was short, thin, and feeble in his physical appearance, the Prophetﷺ said about his legs when some of the companions laughed looking at them, ‘Are you laughing at Ibn Masood’s legs? On Allah’s scales of justice, they are heavier than the mountain of Uhud.’
After the Prophetﷺ, this weak and feeble looking man was the first to recite the Quran openly to the Quraysh. Being assaulted by the disbelievers for doing so did not deter his resolve, on returning wounded to his friends, they said, “This is what we were afraid would happen to you.” He replied to them, “Those enemies of Allah have never been more worthless to me than this moment, and if you wish I will go back to them and do the same tomorrow.” They said, “No, it is enough for you. You have made them hear what they hated.”
The strength of his eeman compensated for his physical weakness making him stronger and courageous with taqwa.
Humility and Humbleness
He wasn’t a wealthy man, yet he possessed a wealth of knowledge through which he was elevated in his rank. Despite being young he was highly respected and regarded for his intense knowledge by the other older companions of the Prophetﷺ, and yet he was extremely humble and cautious about relating the sayings of the Prophetﷺ fearing that he may miss something.
Eagerness to Learn
Within the incident of his first encounter with the Prophetﷺ, he witnessed a miracle. The Prophetﷺ milked a young goat by reciting a few prayers causing the udders to swell up, letting the milk to flow and then shrinking back into place. Ibn Masood رضى الله عنه immediately showed his eagerness to learn, asking the Prophetﷺ to teach him those words. The Prophetﷺ said about him then that he was already an educated boy. Moving forward, he went on to fulfill the prophecy, becoming one of the most prominent and knowledgeable in the Quranic sciences.
Ibn Masood related that he has taken more than seventy surahs from the Quran directly from the Prophetﷺ, therefore having a better understanding of the text. Allahﷻ blessed him with the talent of recitation and understanding of the Quran to the extent that the Prophetﷺ asked the companions to follow his example in recitation and learning from him.
An Example for the Students of Knowledge
Abdullah Ibn Masood رضى الله عنه said, “I hate a man living in leisure with nothing to do, either for his worldly life or the life to come.” He furthermore said, “The best wealth is the wealth of the soul. The best provision is the right to conduct. The most major of sins is lying, the evilest earning is usury, and the most evil of what can be eaten is eating up the property of orphans. Whoever excuses others, will be excused by Allah, and whoever forgives others will be forgiven by others.”
As a student of knowledge what we can take away from Ibn Masood رضى الله عنه’s statement is to spend our time in the pursuit of seeking beneficial knowledge throughout our lives. We can instill his passion, eagerness, and dedication for learning the deen within ourselves, and as a Muslim learn from his noble character, honesty, integrity, kindness, and courage and live a life in servitude to our Rabb with taqwa إن شاء الله.
Source: Khalid, Khalid Muhammad, Men Around the Messenger, Islamic Book Service, 2004
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Seema Umm Rayyan, is a certified professional life coach, she focuses on spiritual connection and creative journaling in her coaching practice. She assists women and teen girls in their journey, exploring contentment, so they may discover a deeper connection with Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.