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Malik b. Nuwayra

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Sahaba
Malik b. Nuwayra
Personal Information
Full Name Malik b. Nuwayra b. Jamra b. Shaddad b. 'Ubayd b. Tha'laba b. Yarbu' al-Tamimi al-Yarbu'i
Lineage Banu Tamim
Well-Known Relatives Mutammim b. Nuwayra
Death/Martyrdom At the time of Abu Bakr's caliphate
Cause of Death/Martyrdom Killed by Khalid b. Walid
Religious Information
Known for Being killed innocently
Notable Roles The Prophet's (s) representative in collecting alms from his tribe
Other Activities Refusal of giving allegiance to Abu Bakr

Mālik b. Nuwayra (Arabic: مالِك بن نُوَيرَة) was a companion of the Prophet (s) and among noble people before and after Islam.

He was the Prophet's (s) representative to collect alms from his tribe. After the demise of the Prophet (s), Malik refused to give allegiance to Abu Bakr, so Khalid b. Walid went to his tribe and beheaded him even though he did not have any will to wage a battle against him. Then, he enslaved his wife and made intercourse with her. Although some people such as Abu Qutada and 'Umar condemned this act of Khalid and 'Umar called for his stoning, but Abu Bakr did not punish Khalid and said that he had made a mistake and paid the blood money for Malik from the bayt al-mal (public treasury).

Name and Lineage

Malik b. Nuwayra b. Jamra b. Shaddad b. 'Ubayd b. Tha'laba b. Yarbu' al-Tamimi al-Yarbu'i was among the companions of the Prophet (s) and noble people before and after Islam. He was the Prophet's (s) representative in collecting alms from his tribe.

Not Giving Allegiance to Abu Bakr

After the demise of the Prophet (s), Malik refused to give allegiance to Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr sent Khalid b. Walid with an army toward him. When Khalid arrived near Malik's tribe, Bani Yarbu', he prepared his army for battle. When he arrived at Butah, where Malik lived, he found no one to fight with, because Malik had ordered them not to go out of their houses or gather. Khalid sent his solders to people to take to him anyone they found. They took Malik and few others to Khalid.

Abu Bakr had told soldiers, wherever they entered and saw people were calling adhan and say prayers, they should not bother them, but if they did not say prayers, soldiers should attack them. Soldiers of Khalid made contradictory comments about Malik. Abu Qutada made testimony that they called adhan and said prayer. For this contradiction, Khalid ordered to put them in jail and watch them.

Al-Tabari said that when the army of Khalid arrived at the place of the tribe and called for war, the people of Bani Yarbu' armed themselves. Soldiers of Khalid asked them, "we are Muslims, why did you arm yourselves?" They said, "We are Muslims too, why are you armed?" So, people of the tribe put down their arms, but Khalid decided to kill Malik with the excuse that he did not accept Abu Bakr's caliphate. So, he ordered Dirar b. Azur to behead him, as Malik told his beautiful wife, "you made me killed" meaning that Khalid was captivated by you and is going to kill me to seize you."

It happened as he said. Khalid killed him and immediately captured his wife. Abu Qutada and 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar objected to him, but he ignored them. Upon his return to Medina, before Khalid entered the city, Abu Qutada informed the caliph about the story, but when Khalid entered Medina, armed himself to the teeth and decorated his turban with three arrows as a sign of victory. 'Umar saw him on the way, took out the arrows out of his turban, broke them and told him, "how hypocrite you are! You kill a Muslim, make intercourse with his wife and call yourself a Muslim hero?! By God, I will stone you."

Khalid did not say anything and moved on until he met the caliph and reported his story in a way that he liked. When he left Abu Bakr, 'Umar went to the caliph and objected. Abu Bakr answered, "Khalid made a judgement, but he made a mistake in his judgement and for that we will not sheathe the sword of Islam." He then ordered to free the captives and paid the blood money for Malik from the public treasury. It is reported that when Mutammim, Malik's brother went to Abu Bakr and called the revenge for his brother and asked for the captives, Abu Bakr ordered to pay him the blood money and return the captives to him.

Not Considering Malik an Apostate

Ibn Athir (a Sunni scholar of 6th/12th and 7th/13th century) wrote, "According to al-Tabari and other early scholars, Malik was not apostate. That 'Umar told Khalid, 'you killed a Muslim man', that Abu Qutada made a testimony that they [people of Malik's tribe] called adhan and made prayer and that Abu Bakr returned their captives to them and paid Malik's blood money from public treasury, all show that Malik was Muslim.

References