بسم الله الحد لله و صلاة و سلام على رسول الله و على آله و سلم
|The Four False Prophets|
|Al-Aswad Al-‘Ansi||Tulayhah al-Azdi||Sajjah bint al-Harith||Musaylimah al-Kaddhab|
This is the second installment in a series of articles on four of the early false prophets from the time of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم and Abu Bakr رضى الله عنه. In it, we will discuss their rise, opposition by the Muslims, and eventual defeat.
The next false prophet was Tulayhah al-Azdi from the tribe of Banu Assad near Iraq. Earlier in his life, he had accepted Islam without being called to do so, so he would brag to the Prophet Ahmad صلى الله عليه و سلم, as if he was doing Allah a favor. In response to this, Allah revealed:
يَمُنُّونَ عَلَيْكَ أَنْ أَسْلَمُوا ۖ قُل لَّا تَمُنُّوا عَلَيَّ إِسْلَامَكُم ۖ بَلِ اللَّهُ يَمُنُّ عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْ هَدَاكُمْ لِلْإِيمَانِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
They consider it a favor to you that they have accepted Islam. Say, “Do not consider your Islam a favor to me. Rather, Allah has conferred favor upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if you should be truthful.”
– Surah al-Hujurat, Verse 17
Later he returned to his people. One day they were in the desert and could not find any water. In that desperate state, a man riding Tulayhah’s camel was able to find water, and the people attributed that to Tulayha’s barakah (blessings). Tulayhah used this as a springboard to promote himself and self-aggrandize. This gradually continued over time until he eventually claimed prophethood. (This is similar to Mirza Ghulam’s gradual self-aggrandization until he too claimed prophethood in 1900.) Seeing his tribesmen defeated, Tulayhah also harbored ill-feelings against Islam and the Muslims.
Continuing, to support his false prophethood, Tulayhah’s managed convince his tribe Ast to join him, he formed an alliance with the tribe Ghatafan, and used the tribes ‘Abs and Dhubyan for support. Many of these tribes were former Christians who accepted Islam but as the movement grew, Tulayhah was able to convince a large number of Muslims that he was a prophet after Ahmad صلى الله عليه و سلم, thus causing them to Islam.
Abu Bakr reacted to this movement with two strategies. First, he went sent emissaries bring back some of the tribes to Islam. In particular, he sent ‘Adi ibn Hatim, a former Christian, with convince his tribe Tayy to leave the false prophet. If that did not work, Abu Bakr would send Khalid bin Waleed with an army to attack them.
‘Adi was successful in convincing his tribe Tayy to return to Islam. Ibn Katheer opines that ‘Adi was the most blessed man to his people, because he saved them from Hellfire for accepting a false prophet. Unfortunately, many other tribes remained with Tulayhah. Therefore, Khalid’s army of 6,000 attacked Tulayhah’s army of 15,000 in the Battle of Buzakha. Despite being outnumbered, Khalid’s army was able to defeat Tulayhah, pushing his army north.
Shortly afterwards, Tulayhah’s alliance with the other surrounding tribes failed and he fled with his family to Syria and Iraq.
When Abu Bakr heard the good news that Tulayhah was defeated, he wrote Khalid bin Waleed which read, “May that which Allah has granted to you by way of blessings increase for you. Fear Allah in your affairs for verily Allah is with those who are pious and do good works. Take seriously the command of Allah and do not be lenient. And whoever you lay your hands over from the disbelievers who fought the Muslims, then severely punish them.”
Per Abu Bakr’s orders, Khalid bin Waleed stayed for a month in the area severely punishing those who had accepted a prophet after Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم.
Interestingly, years later Tulayhah returned to Islam and even made ‘Umrah! However, Abu Bakr banned him and his former followers from fighting in any of the future battles. The second Khalifah (no, not Mirza Bashir-ud-Deen) ‘Umar bin al-Khattab رضى الله عنه later allowed Tulayhah to participate in battles, including the Battle of Qadisiyyah against the Persian Sassanid Empire, in which he was killed. Because of Tulayhah’s claim to prophethood after Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, thousands left Islam, yet he himself died as a Muslim and martyr. Hopefully the leadership of Ahmadiyya will take heed and embrace Islam as Tulayhah did.
May Allah cause the Ahmadis reject Mirza Ghulam as he made Tayy reject Tulayhah al-Azdi. Ameen!