Chapter 13: Report of Saif bin Zi Yazan
Saif bin Zi Yazan was also having recognition of the prophethood of the Messenger of Allah (S) and he had given the glad tidings of the advent of the Prophet to Abdul Muttalib when the latter had come to meet him with a delegation.
1 - Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ali Majilaway (r.a.) that he said: Narrated to me my uncle, Muhammad bin Abil Qasim from Muhammad bin Ali Kufi from Ali bin Hakim from Amr bin Bakkar Abasi from Muhammad bin Saib from Abi Salih from Ibne Abbas; and narrated to us Muhammad bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Hatim Bufakki that he said: Narrated to us Abu Mansur Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Azhar Bahara that he said: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ishaq as-Basri that he said: Informed us Ali bin Harb: Narrated to me Ahmad bin Uthman bin Hakim: Narrated to us Amr bin Bakr from Ahmad bin Qasim from Muhammad bin Saib from Abi Salih from Ibne Abbas that he said:
“Two years after the birth of the Holy Prophet (S) Saif bin Zi Yazan (king of Yemen) annexed Ethiopia. Abdul Muttalib went to him in a delegation consisting of Umayyah bin Abde Shams, Abdullah bin Jazan, Asad bin Khuwailid bin Abdul Uzza, Wahab bin Abde Manaf, to Yemen to congratulate him (Said) on his victory and urge him for compassion for the people of Mecca. They went to meet him at his palace in Sanaa which was called Ghumdan. It was the most beautiful palace regarding which Umayyah bin Abi Salt has said:
Drink it, may it be nice for you. May you have the crown of joy on your head.
Your palace glitters on the roof of Ghumdan.
A man was sent to seek permission on their behalf who informed about their social position and the ruler accorded the permission. When they entered Abdul Muttalib went to him asked for permission to speak to him. He said: If you are from those who are eligible to speak to kings I will also permit you to talk. The narrator (Ibne Abbas) says that Abdul Muttalib said in reply: O king, Allah has certainly given you a high but difficult and lofty position and made you the owner of a garden the roots of whose trees are pure.
And its fruits are sweet, its base is firm and its branches are high. You are bestowed with a position of greatness and the best of the mines. And you, O king of Arabs and its spring through which is greenery and vegetation, are immune from the acts that may become a cause of ridicule. O king, you are the leader of Arabs that is followed and its tranquil base on which all rely and a refuge with whom people take shelter.
You had the best of ancestors and you are the best of successors. Honorable are those who are from your progeny and safe from destruction are those whose vicegerent you are. We are the inhabitants of the sanctuary of Allah and the caretakers of His House. We have come to you with hope that it is the end of our troubles. Thus we have come to congratulate you and not to grumble about our afflictions.
He (the king) asked: Who are you, speaker? He replied: I am Abdul Muttalib Ibne Hashim. He said: You are our sister’s son. Abdul Muttalib said: Yes. The king asked him to come near. At that moment he addressed the delegation and said: Welcome to all of you. The king has heard your words, known your relationship and accepted the one you took as your medium. Thus we shall be your neighbors, day and night and you are our guests till the time you are here. When you decide to leave you shall be deserving of gifts.
Then he said: Now you may move to the guest house. They stayed for a month but during this neither they had access to the king nor did he permit them to take leave. Suddenly one day he called Abdul Muttalib and arranged for a confidential meeting. He said: O Abdul Muttalib, I am entrusting you with a secret from my knowledge. If anyone other than you had come I would not have said a word about it. But I want you to keep it confidential till the time Allah wills and till His aim is not fulfilled. In the hidden book and the treasured knowledge that we have acquired for ourselves and through which we argue against our opponents,
I find a great prophecy in which there is nobility of the life and excellence of death for all the people and especially for your family members; for you in particular, O Abdul Muttalib. Abdul Muttalib said: O king, I am also like you in maintaining secrets and in performing good deeds. So what is that prophecy, may I be sacrificed on you? We are dwellers of the desert since generations. The king said: If a young man takes birth in Tahama (Mecca) having a mole between his shoulders he would get leadership and you will get mastership till Judgment Day. Abdul Muttalib said:
May God bless you O king, you have given us such a glad tidings that no delegation has ever received. If I don’t seem audacious, can you tell me what the time period is between me and him so that I may get increase in my pleasure? Ibne Yazan said: The brilliant-faced child will be born in this present age only. His name shall be Muhammad and both his parents will die. His grandfather and uncle will be his guardians. He shall be born anonymous and the Almighty Allah will raise him openly. Allah will appoint from among us helpers and supporters for him in order to strengthen his friends and weaken his enemies.
He shall destroy his deniers through his supporters and with their help conquer great kingdoms. He will break up the idols and the fire-temples will be extinguished. Allah will be worshipped and the plots of the Satan will weaken. His speech shall be based on truth and his decision based on justice. He will enjoin good and himself act upon it. And he will forbid evil and eradicate it.
Abdul Muttalib said: May Allah enhance your glory and elevate your status. May your kingdom endure and your life prolong. O king, can you explain further? Ibne Zi Yazan said: I swear by the house that is covered in a veil and I swear by the signs on the pillars of the sanctuary, indeed O Abdul Muttalib, you are his grandfather and it is not a lie. Abdul Muttalib fell down in prostration on hearing this and thanked the Almighty. The king said: Arise, may Allah enhance your honor.
Tell me if you find it like I have said? Abdul Muttalib said: Yes, I had a son that I was much proud of. I was very affectionate to him and then I married him to a noble lady named Amina binte Wahab who gave birth to a male child who is named Muhammad. Both his parents passed away. I and his uncle have taken up the responsibility to bring him up. Ibne Zi Yazan said: You are saying the same things that I told you.
Thus you take care of him as he has many enemies, especially the Jews whose enmity is most severe. And Allah will not allow his enemies to dominate him. Keep all that I have told you confidential and don’t even tell those who have accompanied you here. Also beware of your people because they will be jealous of him and they shall subject him to great trouble. They will commit it themselves or their descendants shall do it. Alas, if I had been present in his age I would have sacrificed my life in his way. But I have read that he will migrate from Mecca to Yathrib and his ministry shall be established there.
He will pass away there and shall also be buried there. If I had not dreaded troubles for him I would have openly announced this sometimes who that young man is and I would have compelled the Arab chiefs to submit to him. But without any shortcoming in rewarding your companions I say farewell to you.
Each person of the delegation received by way of presents ten male slaves, ten slave girls, two robes, a hundred camels, five ratals (cupfuls) of gold and ten cupfuls of silver, musk and amber. Abdul Muttalib was given ten times that. Ibne Zi Yazan died before the advent of the Holy Prophet (S). Abdul Muttalib used to remember this incident and often said: O people of Quraish, I am not as much pleased with the gifts that I received as it is all perishable as I am with the eternal honor that I and my descendants got. And very soon you shall know about it. Umayyah bin Shams composed the following couplets regarding their journey to meet Ibne Abi Zi Yazan:
You took the whole army with you on camels and camel litters.
Moving in full speed, you headed for Sanaa on the deep wide road that lies between two mountains.
Ibne Abi Yazan was leading us and taking us on fast moving vehicles through the highways.
We found it difficult to make them move due to rain and lightning and the lightning flashed along with it.
When we reached Sanaa we entered the house of the generous emperor.
A regent who showered us all with his generosity while his cheerfulness was obvious on his countenance.”