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Musaylama al-Kadhdhab

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Musaylama al-Kadhdhab
Full Name Musaylama b. Thumama b. Kabir
Teknonym Abu Thumama
Epithet Rahman
Well-known As Musaylama al-Kadhdhab (Musaylama the Liar)
Religious Affiliation Disbliever
Lineage From the Banu Hanifa Tribe in al-Yamama
Place of Residence Al-Yamama
Death Rabi' al-Thani 12/June 633
Cause of Death Battle of al-Yamama
Notable roles Claim of prophethood
Activities Reverse miracles like making someone's eye blind, permitting wine and adultery.

Musaylama b. Thumāma al-Ḥanafī al-Wā'ilī (Arabic: مُسَیْلَمَة بن ثُمامَة الحَنَفی الوائِلی), known as "Musaylama al-Kadhdhāb" (Arabic: مُسَیْلَمَة الکَذّاب, literally: Musaylama the Liar) (d. 12/633), was a person who claimed prophethood in 10/631. He was killed in the Battle of al-Yamama under the commandership of Khalid b. al-Walid in 12/633.

Musaylama had accepted the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad (s), but he claimed that he shared the prophethood with him. He permitted adultery and wine for his followers and removed the obligation of daily prayers. He also tried to repeat certain miracles of the Prophet (s), but the outcomes were the reverse of what he intended.

Name, Lineage, and Title

Musaylama was from the Banu Hanifa Tribe in al-Yamama. His name was Musaylama b. Thumama b. Kabir b. Habib al-Hanafi al-Wa'ili,[1] and his kunya was Abu Thumama.[2] His title was "Rahman", and in the period of Jahiliyya (Ignorance), he was known as Rahman al-Yamama.[3] In Sanat al-Wufud (Year of Delegates) in 9/630, he and senior figures of his tribe went from al-Yamama to Medina. There are two accounts of their meeting with the Prophet (s):

  • Musaylama and his companions went to the Prophet (s). He said: "If Muhammad appoints me as his successor, I will follow him". The Prophet (s) said while holding a branch of a palm tree in his hand, "If you ask me to give you what I am holding in my hand, I will not give it to you. Do not be hostile to what God has planned for you, and if you turn away, God will cut off your generation".[4]
  • In Medina, Musaylama was a watchman of provisions and equipment of his fellows and so he did not go to the Prophet (s).[5] When they converted to Islam, they told the Prophet (s) that they had appointed one of their fellows as a watchman for their stuff. The Prophet (s) ordered that Musaylama be given whatever is given to the delegates.[6]

Upon his return, Musaylama claimed prophethood,[7] and the Prophet Muhammad (s) called him "al-Kadhdhab" (the Liar).[8] On other accounts, his name was Harun or Maslama. Some people believe that his name was Maslama, but after his claim of prophethood, Muslims humiliated him by using the diminutive form of his name, Musaylama (the little Maslama).[9]

Claim of Prophethood

In a letter he wrote to the Prophet (s) in 11/632, Musaylama claimed that he shared prophethood with Muhammad (s). In response, the Prophet (s) called him "Musaylama al-Kadhdhab" (Musaylama the Liar) and sent Habib b. Zayd b. 'Asim to him, but Habib was martyred by Musaylama because he did not confirm his prophethood.[10] After the demise of the Prophet (s), the circumstances were right for Musaylama. He gathered some people around him, and imitating the Qur'an, he composed rhythmic prose and presented it to his followers.[11] Musaylama married Sijah, the daughter of al-Harith al-Tamimi. She had also claimed prophethood.[12] As a mahr for her, Musaylama excused his followers from the obligation of saying fajr and 'isha' prayers.[13]

He permitted wine and adultery for his followers and exempted his followers from the obligation of the prayer, although he confirmed the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad (s).[14]

Reverse Miracles

On some accounts, Musaylama tried to repeat some miracles of the Prophet (s), but with reverse outcomes. He threw his saliva in a water well, but the well dried, instead of springing. A child was taken to him so that he prays for him, but when he patted his head, the child became bald. When the remnants of the water with which he practiced wudu was thrown in a garden, no plant grew there anymore, and when he patted a person's eye, the person went blind.[15]


In 12/633,[16] Abu Bakr sent an army to al-Yamama under the commandership of Khalid b. al-Walid.[17] Khalid fought Musaylama and his companions in the area of 'Aqraba'. Musaylama was killed in Rabi' al-Thani 12/June 633.[18] Wahshi b. Harb (the killer of Hamza), 'Abd Allah b. Zayd b. 'Asim, and Abu Dujana had a role in his murder.[19] On other accounts, Wahshi b. Harb[20] or 'Abd Allah b. Zayd b. 'Asim[21] are said to have individually killed Musaylama.


  1. Ziriklī, al-Aʿlām, vol. 7, p. 226.
  2. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol. 2, p. 576.
  3. Balādhurī, Futūḥ al-buldān, p. 109.
  4. Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, vol. 4, p. 203.
  5. Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 130; Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol. 2, p. 576.
  6. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol. 2, p. 576-577.
  7. Ziriklī, al-Aʿlām, vol. 7, p. 226.
  8. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 3, p. 146.
  9. Ziriklī, al-Aʿlām, vol. 7, p. 226.
  10. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 1, p. 320; Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 1, p. 443.
  11. Ziriklī, al-Aʿlām, vol. 7, p. 226.
  12. Ibn Ḥajar, al-Iṣāba, vol. 7, p. 344.
  13. Ibn Aʿtham, al-Futūḥ, vol. 1, p. 22.
  14. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol. 2, p. 577.
  15. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 6, p. 327.
  16. Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 3, p. 194.
  17. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 2, p. 429.
  18. Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 131.
  19. Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 5, p. 96.
  20. Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 4, p. 662.
  21. Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 3, p. 147.


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  • Bukhārī, Muḥammad b. Ismāʿīl al-. Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī. Edited by Muḥammad Zahīr b. Nāṣir. Damascus: Dār Ṭawq al-najā, 1422 AH.
  • Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, Yūsuf b. ʿAbd Allāh. Al-Istīʿāb fī maʿrifat al-aṣḥāb. Edited by ʿAlī Muḥammad al-Bajāwī. Beirut: Dār al-Jail, 1412 H.
  • Ibn Aʿtham, Aḥmad al-Kūfī. Al-Futūḥ. Edited by ʿAlī Shīrī. Beirut: Dār al-Aḍwāʾ, 1411 AH.
  • Ibn Athīr, ʿAlī b. Muḥammad. Usd al-ghāba fī maʿrifat al-ṣaḥāba. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1409 AH.
  • Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Aḥmad b. ʿAlī. Al-Iṣāba fī tamyīz al-ṣaḥāba. Edited by ʿĀdil Aḥmad ʿAbd al-Mawjūd & ʿAlī Muḥammad Muʿawwaḍ. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1415 AH.
  • Ibn Hishām, ʿAbd al-Malik. Al-Sīra al-nabawīyya. Edited by Muṣṭafā al-Saqā & Ibrāhīm al-Abyārī. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, [n.d].
  • Ibn Kathīr, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1407 AH.
  • Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-. Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk. Edited by Muḥammad Abū l-Faḍl Ibrāhīm. Beirut: Dār al-Turāth, 1387 AH.
  • Yaʿqūbī, Aḥmad b. Yaʿqūb. Tārīkh al-yaʿqūbī. Beirut: Dār al-Ṣādir, [n.d].
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