Musaylimah al-Kadhab (Musaylimah the Liar) claimed prophethood during the time of the Prophet, sallalahu alayhi wa sallam. He sent a letter to the prophet saying “Good news, I’m a prophet too! So you be the prophet of the Hijaz area (very hilly area near the sea where the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) resided) and I’ll be the prophet of the Najd area.”
The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) replied with “From Muhammad the Messenger of Allah to Musaylimah the liar. To proceed. Verily, the land belongs to Allah, and He inherits it to whom he wishes. And the outcome will always be for the believers.”
Subhanallah. Notice that, with the first line, he totally destroyed Musaylimah’s claim.
Musaylimah resurfaced in the time of Abu Bakr as-Siddique. Narrations on his army size range from 20k to 60k. Youth loved him.
Even his people knew him as a liar. How, then, did he achieve such an army?
He possessed these qualities:
- He was among the people. He was part of their tribe, and they respected and upheld tribal ties over truth.
- Eloquance. He spoke extremely eloquently. He could mesmerize with his speech. (If there was ever like a conference in his time, they’d have definitely invited him.)
- Handsome. He was outstandingly handsome and strong.
- Wealth. He had some serious cash at his disposal.
These qualities allowed him to sway and mislead thousands. Subhanallah.
Similarly, about the munafiqin (hypocrites), Allah says in the Qur’an: “If you see them, you’ll be impressed by their bodies. But in reality …” and “And if they speak, you’d listen.” But they’re still munafiqin, regardless.