Abdullah B Masud (d. 32 H) عبدالله بن مسعود
A former shepherd in Makkah, the sixth convert, and one of the ten Companions of the Prophet (saws) to be given the glad tidings of Paradise even while alive. He emigrated twice: both to Habasha as well as Madinah. In the early days of Islam, when the opposition was severe, he decided one day that he would make the Quraysh hear the Qur’an. He recited it in the haram and was severely beaten up for that. He took part in all the major battles of early Islam, and was one of those that wrote down the revelations (kitabatu al wahiyy). It was he who had beheaded Abu Jahal (struck by others) at Badr.
He was the Prophet's self-appointed special servant helping him put on the shoes, providing cover when he bathed, walking ahead of him in campaigns etc. The Prophet had told him that he had his permission to enter his house any time of the day or night. The close companionship led some people to assume that he was one of the Prophet's household.
A scholar of the Qur’an, Sunnah and Fiqh , specializing in Qur’anic commentary, he was also a poet. Once the Prophet (saws) ordered him to recite the Qur’an to him. He was deputed by `Umar to take charge of the triple responsibilities of instructor, Qadi and Treasurer for the highly developed and cultured territories of Iraq basing him in Kufa. `Umar wrote to the Kufans, “By sending Ibn Mas`ud to you, I have given you preference over myself.” The city soon developed into the third most important center of learning after Makkah and Madinah. The Hanafiyyah were heavily influenced in their Fiqh by Ibn Mas`ud. ( Imam Abu Hanifah and his masters were Kufi). He also had the distinction of instructing the famous fifth Khulafa Al Rashidah, `Umar ibn `Abd ‘l `Aziz.
He was short and weak. His height equaled the height of a tall man sitting. A man of thin legs, once in a campaign, he climbed a tree to cut wood. Some people laughed at his legs. The Prophet (saws) reproached them, “Do you laugh at those thin legs? They will weigh heavier than mount Uhud in the Scales of the Hereafter.”
When the verse (4: 66), “Had we decreed for them: ‘Slay your selves,’ or, ‘Flee your homes,’ surely they would not have done that, save a few of them” was revealed, the Prophet remarked, “Had Allah ordered that, Ibn Umm Ma`bad (Ibn Mas`ud) would have done it.”
Once, when someone disagreed with Ibn Mas`ud over the meaning of a Qur’anic term, he reminded them, “By Allah, I have taken 70 chapters of the Qur’an directly from the Prophet . There is not a verse of the Qur’an but I know when, in what context it was revealed and what it means.”
`Awf ibn Hatib reports from his father that once he heard a man supplicating in the early hours of the morning, in the corner of a mosque. He was saying: “O My Lord! You ordered and I obeyed. Now this is the dawn. Therefore, forgive me.” I looked at him. It was `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud. After the martyrdom of `Uthman he returned to Madinah and died there in 32 H.
The Musnad of Ahmad has 900 reports transmitted by him.