The Four False Prophets, Part I: Al-Aswad al-’Ansi

During the 12th year after the Hijrah, Al-Aswad al-’Ansi (الاسود العنسي) from ‘Ans, Yemen claimed to be a prophet. He started his movement slow and secretly, but later grew to engulf all of ‘Ans. At the time, Yemen was ruled by Persian Muslims, notably Shahr bin Badhaan, whose father Badhaan had accepted Islam after receiving a letter from the Prophet Ahmad صلى الله عليه و سلم. But Al-Aswad’s forces attacked the Muslims, killed Shahr, and his forcefully married his Shahr’s wife Azaad.

Azaad is reported to have said, “Allah has not created any human being more hated to me than al-Aswad Al-’Ansi. I never hated anyone in my life than I hated this man. He does not do any good, and all of his actions are evil.” That flies in the face of “Love for All, Hatred for None” slogan, doesn’t it? Maybe she was influenced by the “Mullahs”…? But I digress.

After the victory, Al-Aswad brutally suppressed the Muslims in Yemen. He would force them to accept him as a prophet, or cut them into pieces and let them bleed to death in the desert. He also attempted to form an alliance with the Persian empire, presumably to consolidate his new power in Yemen. He established a man named Qays, an apostate of Islam, as the head of his army, and he trusted his wife’s cousin Fayrooz.

Fayrooz was still a Muslim, and desired to see Yemen ruled by Islam. However, the armies of Al-Aswad were too powerful to fight him in open battle. Knowing that Al-Aswad’s death would mean the end of this fitnah, he devised a plan to assassinate Al-Aswad with Azaad, Qays and two other Muslims.

Azaad informed them that al-Aswad is constantly surrounded by body-guards except when he sleeps with his family in a particular room in his palace. Azaad gave them the directions to the room and arranged to have a torch and weapons placed in an adjacent room to be used by Fayrooz and the two Muslims.

At night, Fayrooz and the two Muslims broke into Al-Aswad’s palace. As Fayrooz went to check on Al-Aswad, Al-Aswad woke up and shouted, “Fayrooz, I know what you want to do!” Terrified, Fayrooz immediately jumped on Al-Aswad, broke his neck, and in a panic, ran out of the room. Azaad stopped him, and then joined by her and the two Muslims, Fayrooz returned to the room. They found that Al-Aswad still alive convulsing on the floor. The two men subdued him and Fayrooz finished the job.

As he was being killed, Al-Aswad screamed. When the guards came to ask what was happening, Azaad replied, “Do not worry, the prophet [Al-Aswad] is receiving revelation.”

The four of them waited in the room all night until Fajr. At Fajr, Fayrooz climbed atop the palace heights and called out the Adhaan, which had not been heard in Yemen in a long time. This was a sign to the secret Muslims in the city that it had been recaptured by Islam, and to the army of Fayrooz just outside to enter.

Thus ended a claimant of prophethood after Ahmad صلى الله عليه و سلم. The affair of Al-Aswad al-’Ansi goes to show that Ahmad صلى الله عليه و سلم and his followers rejected claimants to prophethood after him, for indeed, Ahmad عليه صلاة و سلام was the last person Allah ever made a prophet.

May Allah allow us to follow the way of Fayrooz and reject those who wish to pollute Islam through false prophets. Ameen!


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