Usama ibn Zayd

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Usama ibn Zayd
Parent(s)Zayd ibn Harithah (father), Umm Ayman (mother)
RelativesAyman ibn Ubayd (half-brother)

Usama ibn Zayd (Arabic: أسامة بن زيد‎) was an early Muslim and companion of the Prophet Muhammad.

He was the son of Zayd ibn Harithah, Muhammad's freed slave and adopted son, and Umm Ayman (Barakah), a servant of the Prophet Muhammad.[1]

The Prophet Muhammad appointed Usama ibn Zayd as the commander of an expeditionary force which was to invade the region of Balqa in the Byzantine Empire to avenge the Muslim defeat at the Battle of Mu'tah, in which Usama's father and Muhammad's adopted son, Zayd ibn Harithah, had been killed.[2] This campaign was known as the Expedition of Usama bin Zayd. Usama's campaign was successful and his army was the first Muslim force to successfully invade and raid Byzantine territory, thus paving the way for the subsequent Muslim conquest of the Levant and Muslim conquest of Egypt.

Background and early life[edit]

Usama was the son of Barakah (Umm Ayman), an Abyssinian, and her second husband, Zayd ibn Haritha. His parents were married "after Islam"[3] and Usama was born in 612.[4]

Usama's mother, Umm Ayman served as a slave in the household of the Prophet's parents, Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib and Aminah bint Wahb. She became Muhammad's slave after the death of Aminah.[5] Following Aminah's death in Al-Abwa, Barakah looked after Muhammad, and moved with him to the household of his grandfather Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim in Mecca, where she served him during his childhood[6] and afterwards,[7] in his adulthood.[8] When Muhammad married Khadija, he arranged for Barakah's freedom and marriage to a Khazrajite companion named Ubayd ibn Zayd, who was her first husband. Through this marriage, Usama's half brother, Ayman ibn Ubayd was born, and thus she was known as "Umm Ayman" ("Mother of Ayman").[9]

Usama's father, Zayd ibn Haritha, was a companion and adopted son of the Prophet Muhammad. He is commonly regarded as the third person to have accepted Islam, after Muhammad's wife Khadija bint Khuwaylid, and Muhammad's cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib.[10] He was an Arab of the Udhra branch of the Kalb tribe of Najd, central Arabia[11][12] Zayd's mother, Suda bint Thaalaba, was from the Maan branch of the Tayy tribe.[11][13]

As such, Usama was born into a family with strong connections to the Prophet Muhammad and both his parents were prominent in the early Muslim community. His family migrated to Medina with Muhammad to escape the religious persecution of the Quraysh in Mecca.

Usama had a close relationship with the Prophet Muhammad and he fought with the Prophet in the Battle of Hunayn.[14] Ibn Kathir writes that according to Ibn Ishaq, Jabir ibn Abd Allah, who witnessed the battle, reported that the Muslim army were panicked by a surprise attack from the enemy and many men fled the battlefield. However, a group of Muhajirun stood firmly and defended the Prophet on the battlefield. These men were Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali, Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith, Fadl ibn Abbas, Rabi'ah ibn al-Harith, Usama ibn Zayd and Ayman ibn Ubayd. Usama's half-brother Ayman ibn Ubayd was killed that day whilst defending the Prophet Muhammad.[15]

Expedition of Usama ibn Zayd[edit]

The Expedition of Usama bin Zayd was a military expedition of the early Muslim Caliphate led by Usama ibn Zayd that took place in June 632, in which Muslim forces raided Byzantine Syria.[16][17]

After the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet Muhammad appointed Usama ibn Zayd as the commander of an expeditionary force which was to invade the region of Balqa in the Byzantine Empire. Muhammad commanded all the sahaba, except for his family, to go with Usama to Syria to avenge the Muslims’ defeat at the Battle of Mu'tah, in which Usama's father and Muhammad's adopted son, Zayd ibn Harithah, had been killed.[18] Usama's leadership was initially rejected by some because of his young age at the time, however the Prophet Muhammad dismissed these concerns.[17][19]

In reference to this event, the Sahih al-Bukhari states that:

The Prophet appointed Usama as the commander of the troops (to be sent to Syria). The Muslims spoke about Usama (unfavorably). The Prophet said, "I have been informed that you spoke about Usama. (Let it be known that) he is the most beloved of all people to me" Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:744

However, soon after the expedition was dispatched, news was received of Muhammad's death, forcing the army to return to Medina.[20] The campaign was not reengaged until leadership of the community passed to Abu Bakr, who chose to honour Muhammad's wishes and reaffirmed Usama's command.[21] Usama's campaign was successful and his army was the first Muslim force to successfully invade and raid Byzantine territory, thus paving the way for the subsequent Muslim conquest of the Levant and Muslim conquest of Egypt, both of which took place during Usama's lifetime.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baladhuri, vol.1, p.96
  2. ^ Razwy, Sayed Ali Asgher. A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims. p. 283.
  3. ^ Bewley/Saad vol. 8 p. 157.
  4. ^ Landau-Tasseron/Tabari p. 65.
  5. ^ Ibn Sa`d, vol. 8, p. 223; Baladhuri, vol.1, p. 96
  6. ^ Ibn Qutaybah, p. 150
  7. ^ Baladhuri, vol.1, p.472
  8. ^ Ibn Hajar, al-Ithaba, vol.8, p. 380
  9. ^ Ibn Sa`d, vol. 8, p. 223; Ibn Sa`d, vol. 4, p. 61
  10. ^ Razwy, Sayed Ali Asgher. A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims. p. 53.
  11. ^ a b Landau-Tasseron/Tabari p. 6.
  12. ^ Lecker, p. 773.
  13. ^ Zuhri, p 177; al-Tabarani, vol. 25, p. 86
  14. ^ mahallati, vol.2, p. 26
  15. ^ Ibn Kathir, The Battles of the Prophet, p. 175-176
  16. ^ Abu Khalil, Shawqi (1 March 2004). Atlas of the Prophet's biography: places, nations, landmarks. Dar-us-Salam. p. 249. ISBN 978-9960897714.
  17. ^ a b Gil, A history of Palestine, 634-1099, p. 31.
  18. ^ Razwy, Sayed Ali Asgher. A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims. p. 283.
  19. ^ Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar (Free Version), p. 303
  20. ^ Powers, David S. (2011). Muhammad Is Not the Father of Any of Your Men: The Making of the Last Prophet. p. 27.
  21. ^ Ahmed, Nazeer (2000). Islam in Global History: Volume One: From the Death of Prophet Muhammed to the First World War. p. 27.