Aban b. Sa'id
|Aban b. Sa'id|
|Full Name||Aban b. Sa'id b. Umayya b. Abd Shamas b. Abd Manaf|
|Place(s) of Residence||Mecca • Medina|
|Notable Roles||the Prophet's (s) agent in Bahrain|
|Other Activities||Not pledge allegiance with Abu Bakr|
Abān b. Saʿīd (Arabic: أبان بن سعید) (d. 13?/634-5?) was one of the Prophet's (s) Sahaba, who converted to Islam in about 7/628-9. The Prophet (s) appointed him as the commander of some Sariyyas (or military expeditions where the Prophet (s) was not present) as well as an agent for the collection of jizyas (taxes on non-Muslims) and other sorts of taxes in Bahrain. After the demise of the Prophet (s), he first refused to pledge his allegiance to Abu Bakr, but after Ali b. Abi Talib (a) pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr, he did so as well. According to a different account, he died in 27/647-8 during Uthman's caliphate by natural death.
Here is his complete parentage: Aban b. Sa'id b. Umayya b. 'Abd Shams b. 'Abd Manaf. Since his fifth ancestor is Abd Manaf, he is of the same parentage as the Prophet (s). His mother, Safiyya or Hind, was the daughter of Mughira b. 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar b. Makhzum.
Conversion to Islam
He was at first a tough enemy of the Prophet (s), and when his two brothers, 'Āṣ and Ubayda, were killed by Ali b. Abi Talib (a) and al-Zubayr in the Battle of Badr, he departed from Mecca to Syria for commercial purposes. There are some accounts of his encounter with a Christian monk, which significantly influenced him. It was the reason why he warmly welcomed Uthman when he was commissioned by the Prophet (s) to go to Mecca and give a message to the people of Quraysh. He seated 'Uthman on his horse, took him inside the city, and under his patronage was 'Uthman able to accomplish his mission and go back to the Prophet (s). Aban converted to Islam before the Conquest of Mecca and between Hudaybiyya Peace Treaty (6/627-8) and the Battle of Khaybar (7/July 628).
Commissions from the Prophet (s)
After his conversion to Islam, Aban was commissioned by the Prophet (s) to command a military expedition from Medina—he brought the booties gained by this military expedition to the Prophet (s). After the Battle of Khaybar, he and his companions went to the Prophet (s), and he then commissioned them to the military expedition of Najd. In 9/630-1 when the Prophet (s) dismissed Ala' b. Hadrami from his position as the Prophet's (s) agent in Bahrain, Aban was appointed in his place. He asked the Prophet (s) about how to receive zakat, jizya and a part of commercial profits from people. The Prophet (s) ordered him to receive one dinar from every Jewish, Christian, and Magus mature man and woman. He also wrote to Aban to introduce Islam to the Magus, and if they do not accept it, he should receive jizya from them. The Prophet's (s) order to receive jizya from Magus in Bahrain led to objections by some Arabs, whom al-Baladhuri has called Arab hypocrites (or munafiqs). Aban was on his mission until after the Prophet's (s) death when some Arabs of Bahrain (including people of Hijr) rioted in the land and refused to accept Islam. Aban decided to go back to Medina; he entered there with hundred thousand dirhams and told Abu Bakr that after the Prophet (s), he will not be anyone's agent.
Refusing to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr
He first refused to pledge his allegiance to Abu Bakr, but he did so after Ali b. Abi Talib (a) pledged his allegiance to Abu Bakr. This is why some scholars doubt the account according to which Abu Bakr appointed him as his agent in Yemen.
The Prophet's (s) Scriber
According to a not much clear report made by al-Baladhuri, he was one of the 17 people of Quraysh who were literates when they converted to Islam. He has been mentioned among the Prophet's (s) scribers. To him is attributed the recitation of the Qur'an to be written by Zayad b. Thabit at the command of Uthman, but this story seems ill-founded since, according to most accounts, Aban died during the rule of Abu Bakr or 'Umar.
There are different accounts of the date of his death: according to some of these accounts, he was killed in the battle of Ajnadayn (13/634-5), or in Marj al-Safar (14/635-6) or the Battle of Yarmuk (15/636-7). But according to other accounts, he was not killed; rather he died by natural death during the rule of 'Uthman in 27/647-8.
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- Ibn ʿAsākir, al-Tārīkh al-kabīr, vol. 2, p. 127-128.
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- Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 1, p. 36; Mamaqānī, Tanqīḥ al-maqāl, vol. 1, p. 5; Khoeī, Muʿjam rijāl al-ḥadīth, vol. 1, p. 154.
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- Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 1, p. 37.
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