al-Yaman al-Aswad

He is Abu Mu’awiyah bin al-Aswad, from the greatest of the awliya’ (allies) of Allah. He was a companion of the great scholars Sufyan ath-Thawri, Ibrahim al-Adham, and others.

Ahmad bin Wadi’ said:

“I heard Abu Mu’awiyah al-Aswad say: “My brothers are all better than me.” So, it was said to him: “And how is this, Abu Mu’awiyah?” He replied: “They all see me as being better than them, and whoever sees me as being better than him, then, in reality, he is better than me.””

Ahmad bin Fudayl narrated:

“Abu Mu’awiyah went out for Jihad and took part in a battle in which the Muslims had surrounded a fortress on top of which a ‘ilj (Roman disbeliever) was standing who would not throw an arrow or a stone except that he would strike his target. The Muslims complained about this to Abu Mu’awiyah, so he recited: {“And it was not you who threw when you threw. Rather, it was Allah who threw…”} [al-Anfal; 17] Then, he said: “Shield me from him.”

Then he got up and said: “Where do you wish for me to strike him?”

They said: “In his private parts.”

Abu Mu’awiyah said: “O Allah! You have heard what they have asked of me, so grant me what they ask of me!” Then he said ‘bismillah’ and shot the arrow. The arrow went straight for the wall of the fortress, seemingly about to miss the disbeliever. Then, right when it was about to hit the wall, it changed course and shot straight up, striking the ‘ilj in his private parts.

Abu Mu’awiyah then said: “Your problem with him is over.”

Abu az-Zahiriyyah narrated:

I went to Tarsus, so I entered upon Abu Mu’awiyah al-Aswad after he had become blind. In his house, I saw a Mushaf hanging from the wall, so said to him: “May Allah have Mercy upon you! A Mushaf while you cannot even see?”

He replied: “My brother, will you keep a secret for me until the day I die?”

I said: “Yes.” Then, he said to me: “Verily, when I want to read from the Qur’an, my eyesight comes back to me.”

Abu Hamzah Nasir bin al-Faraj al-Aslami – and he was a servant of Abu Mu’awiyah al-Aswad – narrates something similar:

“Abu Mu’awiyah had lost his eyesight. So, if he wished to read from the Qur’an, he would grab around the room for the Mushaf until he would find it. As soon as he would open it, Allah would return his eyesight to him. As soon as he closed it, his eyesight would leave him.”

It is not known who Abu Mu’awiyah narrated hadith from.

[‘Sifat as-Safwah’; 2/413-414]

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