Author(s): Muhammad Ali Chanarani
Translator(s): Kelvin Lembani (Muhammad ‘Abd al-‘Aziz)
Compiler(s): Translation Unit Cultural Affairs Department; The Ahlul Bayt (‘a) World Assembly
Publisher(s): ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
Category: Education Companions Miscellaneous information: Exemplary Youths during the Early Days of Islam
Author: Muhammad ‘Ali Chinarani
Translator: Kelvin Lembani (Muhammad ‘Abd al-‘Azīz)
Prepared by: Translation Unit, Cultural Affairs Department; The Ahlul Bayt (‘a) World Assembly
Editor: Sayyidah Iffat Shah
Proofreader: Majid Karimi
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
First Printing: 2010
Printed by: Layla Press
© The Ahlul Bayt (‘a) World Assembly (ABWA)
All rights reserved
Person Tags: Holy Prophet Imam Ali Ibn Abu Talib Companions
Wonderful book discussing the many amazing, and truly faithful companions of Rasul'Allah (saws). Mainly speaking of the youth among the Ansar (The early believers) that have embraced Islam and continued throughout their entire lives until death to remain strong in their faith with utmost pure and sincere actions in the path of Allah (swt), the Prophet (saws) and his holy progeny Ahlu-Bayt (as) after his (saws) demise. The brief yet beautiful biographies and stories herein of these pious individuals among the companions of the holy Prophet Muhammad (saws) are coupled with lovely hadith (narrations), as well as their respective sources.
In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful
The invaluable legacy of the Household [Ahlul Bayt] of the Prophet (may peace be upon them all), as preserved by their followers, is a comprehensive school of thought that embraces all branches of Islamic knowledge.
school has produced many brilliant scholars who have drawn inspiration from this rich and pure resource. It has given many scholars to the Muslim ummah who followed the footsteps of Imāms of the Prophet’s Household (‘a), and have done their best to clear up the doubts raised by various creeds and currents within and outside the Muslim society to answer their questions. Throughout the past centuries, they have given well-reasoned answers and clarifications concerning these questions and doubts.
To meet the responsibilities assigned to it, the Ahlul Bayt World Assembly (ABWA) has embarked on a defense of the sanctity of the Islamic message and its verities, often obscured by the partisans of various sects and creeds as well as by currents hostile to Islam. The Assembly follows the footsteps of the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) and disciples of their school of thought in its readiness to confront these challenges and tries to be on the frontline in consonance with the demands of every age.
The arguments contained in the works of the scholars belonging to the School of the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) are of unique significance, because they are based on genuine scholarship, appeal to reason, and avoid prejudice and bias. These arguments address scholars and thinkers in a manner that appeals to healthy minds and wholesome human nature.
To assist the seekers of truth, the Ahlul Bayt World Assembly has endeavored to present a new phase of these arguments contained in the studies and translations of the works of contemporary Shī‘ah writers and
those who have embraced this sublime school of thought through divine blessings.
The Assembly is also engaged in edition and publication of the valuable works of leading Shī‘ah scholars of earlier ages to assist the seekers of the truth in discovering the truths which the School of the Prophet’s Household (‘a) has offered to the entire world.
The Ahlul Bayt World Assembly looks forward to benefit from the opinions of the readers and their suggestions and constructive criticism in this area.
We also invite scholars, translators and other institutions to assist us in propagating the genuine Islamic teachings as preached by the Prophet Muhammad (S).
We beseech God, the Most High, to accept our humble efforts and to enable us to enhance them under the auspices of Imām al-Mahdī, his vicegerent on the earth (may Allah expedite his advent).
We express our gratitude to Mr. Muhammad ‘Alī Chanārānī (May Allah bless his soul), the author of the present book, and Mr. Kelvin Lembani (Muhammad ‘Abd al-‘Azīz), its translator. We also thank our colleagues who have participated in producing this work, especially the staff of the Translation Office.
Cultural Affairs Department
The Ahlul Bayt (‘a) World Assembly
In the global arena, we have witnessed sagacious and distinguished personalities, endowed with inexhaustible determination, dedication and steadfastness, which reformed the cultures of the societies in which they lived and influenced the lives of people all over the world. They were not different from the rest of mankind as regards their physical appearance, but possessed hearts and souls of
a caliber much higher than their fellowmen.
These people enlightened the world with their wisdom and piety. They waged war against folly, ignorance, and transgression from the path of righteousness. They executed original social welfare plans and improved the texture of their societies. Thus, they laid down the structures of modern civilization and became immortal in the annals of history.
Muslims, especially the Shī‘ahs, pay great respect to these eminent personalities. However, due to political reasons, they have been intentionally ignored by a large percentage of historians of the Muslim world. It is our sacred duty to introduce and inform all the people of the extraordinary services rendered to Islam by them, by identifying them and studying their lives carefully.
Psychological surveys carried out on a large number of the present generation show that eminent figures of the past are being observed, studied and emulated as role models by this generation, especially the youth.
One of the ways of evolving, intellectually and spiritually, is by studying the lives of the great reformers of history, the Divine Prophets (‘a)(1), Allah’s saints, and the torchbearers of knowledge, culture and politics.
It is essential at this stage to guide our youth by providing them with a healthy and beneficial code of ethics based on the principles of Islam which was practiced by these exemplary youths. It is for this reason, that the decision to introduce illustrious role models for the youth was taken so that it might serve to help them develop into morally correct, intelligent and
In this way, no matter how little or insignificant the effort might be, we can still redress and undo the harm that the enemies of Allah have inflicted on Islam and the Islamic Revolution by belittling and humiliating Islamic personalities with the intention of annihilating Islam and spreading their own perverted cultures around the world. By introducing and reviving Islamic ‘role models’, we can nullify the evil intentions of the enemies of Allah.
We all know that the enemies use different methods to pacify the hearts of the Muslims in order to loot their material and spiritual capital. Initially, they try to destroy the self confidence of the Muslims. Having done that, they introduce their own imaginary supermen to serve as role models and symbols of emulation for the Muslims in order to replace Islamic personalities.
For this reason, it is incumbent to have a detailed and accurate knowledge of personalities that were instructed in Islamic values and trained by the Noble Prophet (S)(1) and the Shī‘ite Imāms (‘a) because they actually form the pillars of real Islam.
At the end, I find it binding upon myself to thank all those who helped me prepare this work.
The Islamic Seminary of the Holy City of Mashhad,
Muhammad ‘Alī Chanārānī
The lives of the Prophet’s (S) companions [sahābah] are the finest examples available to the Muslims. When Allah’s Prophet (S) began propagating the divine message and instructing individuals in Islamic precepts, the first outcome and fruit of his undertakings was that a
group of men and women with conviction and devotion believed in him.
It is these early believers who, during and after the lifetime of the Noble Prophet (S), made strenuous efforts to spread and disseminate the divine message of Islam. They sacrificed their lives and properties for the sacred goals of Allah’s Prophet (S).
The Noble Qur’an states about them,
“Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah, and those with him are firm of heart against the disbelievers, compassionate among themselves; you will see them bowing down, prostrating themselves, seeking grace and pleasure from Allah; their marks are in their faces because of the effect of prostration; that is their description in the Tawrāt and their description in the Injīl; like a seed-produce that puts forth its sprout, then strengthens it, so it becomes stout and stands firmly on its stem, delighting the sowers that He may enrage the unbelievers on account of them; Allah has promised those among them who believe and do good, forgiveness and a great reward.”(1)
In another verse, it states,
“Of the believers are men who are true to the covenant which they made with Allah.”(2)
Whenever these people heard the Prophet (S) inviting them to Islam, they readily declared, “Labbayk yā Rasūlullāh” (Here I am, O Prophet of Allah!) and consistently said,
“Our Lord! Surely we have heard a preacher calling to the faith, saying: Believe in your Lord, so we did believe; Our Lord! Forgive us therefore our faults, and conceal our evil deeds and make us die with the righteous.”(3)
Prophet’s (S) companions and comrades are the first people in whose hearts the tree of faith was initially planted. This tree soon matured and after a short period of time, bore very diverse, nutritious and palatable fruit. In the circumstances of their lives, moral attainments and human virtues thrived, until a group among them became living symbols of piety, virtue, self-sacrifice, devotion, patience, endurance, love, affection, high ambition and motivation.
This group of companions possessed an intense longing to meet Allah. The adornment of their hearts was a ‘rejection of attachment to this transient world’. The world was enlightened with their radiant light.
However, we can not overlook the fact that not all of the Prophet’s (S) companions were endowed with the same fine human attributes in the course of their lives. According to the testimony of the Noble Qur’an, there were double-tongued hypocrites amongst them who were inclined to polytheism and had weak faith.
Therefore, merely being one of the Prophet’s (S) companions can never be a sign or proof of attainment of lofty moral values; of being a just person or having a high social status among the Muslims.
We cannot accept everyone’s words, nor approve of their actions just because they happen to be one of the Prophet’s (S) companions. If these people had internalized the training given to them by such a great teacher as Allah’s Prophet (S), they would not have dared be disobedient or commit any unjust act. People who received spiritual instruction possessed high moral values
and valuable attributes.
However, we cannot disregard the destructive effects of the carnal or sensual desires because they strongly neutralize the effects of spiritual training and take man back to the Age of Ignorance [Jāhiliyyah]. It is for this reason that we cannot pass the same verdict on all of the Prophet’s (S) companions [sahābah]. On the contrary, careful attention has to be paid to their words and deeds. Only then can we judge them fairly.
One of the youths who can be introduced as an exemplary youth is ‘Alī (‘a). ‘Alī (‘a) is a good example of an ideal adolescent and one from whom other youths can profit by imitating his ways. From the very beginning up to the end of his life, he was always beside the Noble Prophet (S) and continually rendering valuable services to Islam. The Noble Prophet (S) admired ‘Alī (‘a) because he played a vital and effective role in all the scenes of activity or conflict.
We shall now recount some of the activities of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a).
‘Alī (‘a) was the son of Abū Tālib. Abū Tālib came from the biggest and most famous Arab tribe called the Quraysh. ‘Alī’s (‘a) mother was a great and honorable woman called Fātimah, the daughter of Asad ibn Manāf. She, too, came from the tribe of Quraysh. That is why ‘Alī (‘a) is considered as the first baby from Hashemite father and a Hāshimite mother.(1)
‘Alī was born miraculously in the Ka‘bah. The honor of
being born in the House of Allah (the Ka‘bah) has not been granted to any one else in the entire history of the world save ‘Alī ibn Abū Tālib (‘a). He stayed in the Ka‘bah for three days after birth. After that, held firmly in his mother’s arms, he was brought out of that holy place. There are a lot of sources that prove this assertion.(1)
Abū Tālib, ‘Alī’s (‘a) father, defended and protected Allah’s Prophet (S) during the days when Islam suffered ostracism and at a time when everyone had united against the Noble Prophet (S). He passed away in the tenth year of the prophetic mission.
After a short period of time, the honorable wife of Allah’s Prophet (S) Khadījah also passed away in the same year that Abū Tālib died. That is why the Holy Prophet (S) named that year ‘The Year of Sorrow’. After the death of Abū Tālib, Allah’s Prophet (S) brought ‘Alī (‘a) to his house. It is for this reason that ‘Alī (‘a) was brought up in the Prophet’s (S) house. He grew up, received instruction and developed under the Prophet’s (S) direct supervision.(2)
When the archangel Gabriel (Jibrā’īl) descended from heaven upon Allah’s Prophet (S) in the cave of Hirā’ and that noble man got appointed to the prophetic mission, ‘Alī (‘a) was ten years of age. When he heard about this incident, ‘Alī was the first male to accept the Prophet’s (S) invitation and become a Muslim.(3)
When Allah’s Prophet (S) was appointed to
the prophetic mission, he did not reveal or expose his mission for a period of three years. In the third year, however, he received orders from Allah to publicly invite the people to Islam. The first few people that the Noble Prophet (S) invited to join the religion of Allah were his kindred. He prepared a feast for them. During the banquet, he addressed them,
“O children of ‘Abd al-Mttalib! Allah has appointed me to lead all mankind, especially you, my kinsfolk. He has given me orders first to warn my family and to tell my relatives not to be disobedient to Allah.”(1)
During that feast, the Noble Prophet (S) repeated this three times but no one, save ‘Alī (‘a) responded to his call. ‘Alī ibn Abū Tālib (‘a) at that time was an adolescent, thirteen years of age. The Prophet (S) stated, “O Alī! You are my brother and successor. You will be my inheritor and vizier.”(2)
During the course of his worthy life, ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) always strove for the advancement of Allah’s divine religion. History recounts a lot of instances of ‘Alī (‘a)’s valuable services, but we will cite a few of them here:
In the fourteenth year of the prophetic mission, the chiefs of the tribe of Quraysh decided and planned to kill Allah’s Prophet (S). In order to achieve this plan, they selected a youth from every tribe and planned to attack and martyr the Noble Prophet (S) during the night.
The Prophet (S), who was aware of
their evil intentions, requested ‘Alī (‘a) to sleep in his bed in order to make it possible for Allah’s Prophet (S) to escape out of the city without being noticed by the enemies.
‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) was twenty three years of age when he responded affirmatively (with his life and soul) to the Noble Prophet’s (S) divine call by sleeping in his bed. Allah’s Prophet (S) secretly left the city and went to a cave called Thawr near Mecca. During the last part of the night, forty armed men made an attack on the Noble Prophet’s (S) house but were shocked to find themselves confronted with ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a), who was sleeping in the Prophet’s (S) bed.(1)
The War of Badr was the first battle in the history of Islam between truth and falsehood. This war took place in the year 2 AH(2), between the polytheists and the Muslim army at a place called the Wells of Badr which is located between Mecca and Medina.
The forces of disbelief [kufr] numbered up to more than nine hundred and fifty strongmen, well-armed with enough supplies, whereas, the Noble Prophet’s (S) companions [sahābah] were not more three hundred and thirteen people in all. Three very famous and strong war heroes of the unbelievers by the names of ‘Utbah, his brother Shaybah and his son Walīd were successively killed by ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a), Hamzah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib and ‘Ubaydah ibn Hārith, respectively.
‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) was twenty five
years of age when this war was fought.(1)
One year had passed after the War of Badr when the unbelievers [kuffār] of Mecca rebuilt and restored their forces. Three thousand fighters with enough supplies descended upon the foothills of Mount Uhud, which is about six kilometers in length, under the command of Abū Sufyān. Allah’s Prophet (S) confronted the unbelievers with seven hundred people.
At first he sent fifty highly skilled archers under the command of ‘Abd Allāh ibn Jābir to the narrow passage of Mount Uhud, which was behind the Muslims. The Noble Prophet (S) gave his companions [sahābah] explicit orders not to leave that strait under any circumstances.
War heroes from the army of the unbelievers by the names of Talhah ibn Abī Talhah, Abū Sa‘īd ibn Talhah, Harath ibn Abī Talhah, Abū ‘Azīz ibn Talhah, ‘Abd Allāh ibn Abī Jamīlah, Irtāt ibn Sharhabīl were all killed one by one (in the order mentioned) by ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a).
At that time, ‘Alī (‘a) was twenty six years of age. The Muslim armies were initially victorious, but because the Muslim archers breached the orders of their commander and quit the narrow passage of Mount Uhud, the infidel Khālid ibn Walīd, leading a number of horsemen, attacked the Muslims from behind. As a result of this insubordination, the Muslims lost the war and seventy of them got martyred.
One of the people who got martyred in this war was the Prophet’s (S) uncle Hamzah (r). In this battle, a good number
of the Prophet’s (S) companions [sahābah], including ‘Alī (‘a), were diligently and efficiently guarding the Noble Prophet (S). ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) sustained ninety wounds in this war. It was during this battle that a voice was heard from heaven, “There is no ideal success without ‘Alī, and there is no worthy sword except the Dhū al-Faqār.”(1)
In the month of Dhū al-Qa‘dah in 5 AH, the polytheists of Mecca planned a joint operation with the treacherous Jews, who had remained under the protection of Islam, in Medina, to attack the Muslims and exterminate Islam.
In order to achieve their aims, they secured the cooperation and help of a number of other tribes residing in Medina. Together, the conspirators recruited four thousand fighters. The renowned war champion of the Mecca polytheists, called ‘Amru ibn ‘Abduwadd, also took part in this war.
‘Amru ibn ‘Abduwadd had been wounded during the battle of Badr. For this reason, he held a strong grudge against the Muslims in his heart. He had made a vow to himself not to apply any oil on his body until he exacted his vengeance on Allah’s Prophet (S) and his followers, the Muslims.(2)
When the polytheists of Mecca reached Medina, the traitorous Jewish tribe of Banī Qurayzah, who had made a pact of peace and cooperation with the Noble Prophet (S), broke their pledge and (in a clear act of treachery) got ready to collaborate and work jointly with the infidels of Mecca.
The Muslims, acting on Salmān Fārsī’s suggestion,
dug a ditch, or Khandaq,(1) around the city of Medina with the aim of preventing the attacking infidels from entering or penetrating the inside of the city of Medina. This blockade of the idol-worshippers lasted for twenty seven days.
Finally, the renowned war hero of the unbelievers, ‘Amru ibn ‘Abdu Wadd, managed to jump over the trench or Khandaq and enter the city of Medina. He demanded that a challenger from the Muslims should come forward and fight him. No one save ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) dared to challenge him because ‘Amru ibn ‘Abduwadd was a brave and courageous man. ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) set foot on the battleground and at that very moment, the Noble Prophet (S) said, “All belief is confronting all disbelief.”
After a brief encounter, ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) killed the war champion of the unbelievers and sent him to perdition. ‘Alī (‘a) beheaded ‘Amru ibn ‘Abduwadd and threw his head at the Noble Prophet’s (S) feet. The Noble Prophet (S) said, “Verily ‘Alī’s stroke during the battle of Khandaq is of greater value than seventy years of worship of all the jinn and all mankind.”
‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) provided these valuable services to Islam and the Muslims when he was only twenty seven. After this war, the Noble Prophet (S) dispatched an army under the command of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) to confront the traitorous Jewish tribe of Banī Qurayzah at war because of their deceit and disloyalty.
The elder of the
Jews of Medina by the name of Huyy ibn Akhtab was killed during that war and the danger of further conspiracies and plots by the Jews was completely eliminated. The wealth and property of the Jews fell into the hands of the Muslims and the Noble Prophet (S) and his followers lived in peace, tranquility and comfort thereafter.
This great victory was attained because of the courage and devotion of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a).(1)
In 7 AH, the Jews of Khaybar conspired against the Muslims, and used the seven fortifications of Khaybar, two hundred kilometers north of Medina, as warehouses for different kinds of weapons. Four thousand Jews used to live in these fortifications and were considered a great danger for the Muslims.
In order to eliminate this danger, the Noble Prophet (S) moved towards Khaybar with one thousand and four hundred foot soldiers and two hundred mounted soldiers. He entrusted the banner of the Muslim army to ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a), who was then thirty.
In this war, the First Caliph (Abū Bakr) and the Second Caliph (‘Umar) were the first to be entrusted with launching this attack but they both returned unsuccessful. The Noble Prophet (S) was left with no option but to send ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) to the battlefield. ‘Alī (‘a) struck Marhab, the war champion of the Jews, a deadly blow which sent Marhab crashing to the ground.
When they saw the war hero and leader of the enemies lying dead on the ground, the Muslims
made a wide scale attack on the Jews. ‘Alī (‘a) lifted the heavy iron gate of Khaybar and used it as a shield for himself.
During this war, Marhab, Hārith and Yāsir, three war champions of the enemies of Islam, were all killed by ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a). Also, all the seven fortifications of Khaybar were conquered. At the end of the war, forty people helped each other to lift and return that same iron gate to its former position, which ‘Alī (‘a) had lifted with only one hand.(1)
In the eighth year of the Islamic calendar (Hijrah), Mecca was conquered peacefully, without any blood shedding and war. Allah’s Prophet (S) entered the city of Mecca with twelve thousand people. The Noble Prophet (S) broke and destroyed all the idols that were in Allah’s House, the Ka‘bah, all by himself.
Then, he gave orders to ‘Alī (‘a) to climb upon on his shoulders and destroy all the idols that were placed on top of the Ka‘bah. ‘Alī (‘a) obeyed the orders; he got onto the Prophet’s (S) shoulders, went on top of the Ka‘bah and destroyed all those idols. While coming down, however, ‘Alī (‘a) did not step on the Prophet’s (S) shoulders. Instead, he jumped from the roof of the Ka‘bah directly to the ground. The Noble Prophet (S) asked him, “Why did you not step on my shoulders while coming down?” ‘Alī (‘a) answered, “You ordered me to step on your shoulders to climb up. But when I
intended to come down, you did not say anything. Therefore, I jumped down. I thank Allah that I did not behave with impudence toward His Prophet (S).”(1)
Indeed, what you have just read are some of the valuable services which the prolific youth of history ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) rendered to Islam. He played an active role in all the events which came to pass and all the problems that the Muslims faced. He struggled for the welfare of the Muslims with all his body and soul during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (S) and after his passage to the Hereafter.
There are a lot of graces which ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) enjoyed graces which the other companions [sahābah] of Allah’s Prophet (S) were deprived of. Citing and counting all of them would need an independent book. What we have mentioned suffices to prove what a valuable and prolific youth ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) was. We will provide the documents and evidences available so that reference should be made to them whenever the need arises.(2)
Abān, the son of Sa‘īd ibn ‘Ās, came from the tribe of Banī Umayyah. Although the enmity and hostility of Banī Umayyah towards the tribe of Banī Hāshim is not hidden from anyone, there were still individuals coming from this family who converted to Islam and struggled in the way of religion.
One of these people is Abān. Abān had fallen under the influence of his father’s beliefs and was
scared of him. He could not gather enough courage to study the newly-established religion of Islam. But one event took place that transformed him and opened new avenues in his life.
On one of his business trips to Syria, Abān met a Christian monk who had read books about the former prophets, and was well-versed in the prophecies therein. Abān told the Christian monk, “A person has arisen from among the Quraysh claiming to be a Prophet of Allah. He says that he is a prophet of Allah just like Moses (‘a) and Jesus (‘a) were Allah’s prophets (S).” The monk asked Abān, “What is this man’s name?” Abān answered, “His name is Muhammad (S).” The monk said, “I will mention and cite for you the attributes and signs of the last prophet of Allah. If this man has any one of these signs, then know with certainty that he, indeed, is that same prophet about whom good tidings have been given regarding his coming.” After that, the monk mentioned all the signs of the last prophet of Allah. Abān said, “All the signs and attributes you have mentioned are found in him.” The monk said, “He will be triumphant over all the Arabs. His religion will spread all over the world.” Then, the Christian Monk added, “Convey my greetings to that blessed man when you return to Mecca.”(1)
A soul and spirit that is ready for transformation will need just one spark to set the fire of revolution alight within him.
That is why, no matter how insignificant this meeting might appear, it produced profound effects in Aban’s soul. From thence onwards, Abān was never the same youth that he had been before. On the contrary, he started feeling in himself a mysterious pull towards the forerunner of monotheism, the Noble Prophet Muhammad (S).
His father, the only obstacle in his way, passed away at a place called Zarībah, one of the regions of Tā’if. Abān, now free to do as he wished, immediately stopped vilifying Allah’s Prophet (S) and the Muslims in the poems that he used to compose, and the words that he used to utter.
His brothers named Khālid and ‘Amr, who were among the Muslims that had migrated to Ethiopia, returned to Medina in 6 AH. When they were informed about Abān’s spiritual revolution, they invited him to convert to Islam by means of a letter that they wrote to him. Abān joyously responded to their invitation. He migrated to Medina and managed to join the Muslims before the battle of Khaybar.(1)
Some historians have recorded the year of his conversion to Islam to be 7 AH.(2)
After converting to Islam, Abān soon displayed his vast natural abilities by accepting important responsibilities. When the Noble Prophet (S) was informed about Abān’s tremendous talents, he sent Abān to go and crush a group of people that had settled at a place called Najd and had raised flags that carried detrimental messages against Islam.(3)
Abān was not only a man of war, but was
endowed with intelligence and great sagacity as well. He was gifted with many different talents and abilities; abilities which very few of the Prophet’s (S) companions [sahābah] possessed.
One of Abān’s invaluable talents was the ability to read and write. Literacy was rare and considered very precious in those days. When Allah’s Prophet (S) was raised to the prophetic mission in Mecca, the number of literate people was not more than seventeen. One of them was Abān.(1)
After conversion to Islam, he became one of the Noble Prophet’s (S) writers of the revelation and the scribes of the Holy Qur’an.(2) This mark of distinction added to Abān’s social standing and greatness.(3)
When Islam was flourishing and spreading fast, the Noble Prophet (S) used to send governors to different cities after careful selection. He used to appoint individuals of good character and conduct according to the divine precepts of Islam, so that they may become examples and models for newly-converted Muslims. It is for this reason that a minor transgression from these individuals could not be overlooked and forgiven.
The Prophet had appointed ‘Alā ibn Hadramī to the governorship of Bahrain, an area that had fallen under the fold of Islam. However, after a short duration the Noble Prophet (S) relieved ‘Alā ibn Hadramī of his duties and dispatched Abān to replace him. Abān stayed in the governor’s office up to the time of the Prophet’s (S) departure from this world.
After the Prophet’s (S) death, he left Bahrain without being recalled by
the central government and returned to Medina. In spite of the Caliph’s insistence that he should continue in his post as governor of Bahrain, Abān refused to take orders from anyone the Holy Prophet (S) had not appointed, just for the sake of material benefits.(1)
Yes, Abān was truly a liberated Muslim who had accepted this post when he was appointed by the Noble Prophet (S), because he considered it a service to the Islamic community, and, therefore, a moral and religious duty. He refused to accept any responsibility in a government he considered illegitimate, and did not pay allegiance to them. On the contrary, he publicly and explicitly opposed the usurpers. He looked with hope towards the Banī Hāshim for leadership, and followed their guidance.
Along with his brother Khālid, Abān used to go to the house of Banī Hāshim and say, “You, the Banī Hāshim, are the fertile garden of revelation and the high tree of the prophetic mission; a tree that yields pure fruit on its branches. We will obey your orders and follow your leadership, and consider as best whoever you consider being the best and pledge to follow whomever you prefer.”(2)
A year after the sad demise of Allah’s Prophet (S), Abān continued as an indefatigable struggler [mujāhid] until he passed away in the month of Rajab in 12 AH after being given poisoned juice at a place called Yarmūk, one of the regions of Syria. He was buried right there.(3)
Ubayy ibn Ka‘b belonged to
the Khazraj tribe, that formerly inhabited the Caspian littoral. Before converting to Islam, he was one of the Jewish scholars and intellectuals. He converted to Islam at the age of thirty one. He had complete knowledge of the Tawrāt (the Old Testament) and knew about the glad tidings of the coming of the Noble Prophet (S).
When the first Muslim propagator by the name of Mus‘ab ibn ‘Umayr entered Medina and invited the people to convert to Islam, Ubayy ibn Ka‘b responded with clear foresight and complete awareness to the call before he had even met or seen the Noble Prophet (S). During the second allegiance ceremony at ‘Aqabah, Ubayy ibn Ka‘b was one of the seventy people of Medina who paid allegiance to the Noble Prophet (S).
Before converting to Islam, he was considered as one of the most learned people of Medina. For that reason, it did not take long before he achieved great success among the Muslims. When the Noble Prophet (S) entered Medina, Ubayy ibn Ka‘b was the first person among the Helpers [Ansār] of Medina to record the Divine Revelation, and, hence, become one of the most famous scribes of the Glorious Qur’an.(1)
Aided by his brilliant intellectual abilities, Ubayy soon became one of the most renowned personalities of the Muslim World. He acquired competence and proficiency in recitation of the Glorious Qur’an and made enormous progress in other fields of Islamic sciences.
It is important to note that this honorable position and status was bestowed upon
him by Allah. The Noble Prophet (S) received orders from Allah to recite the Qur’an for Ubayy and teach him how to recite it in a correct manner.
Ubayy had never imagined that some day he could be favored to such a great extent by Allah. When the Noble Prophet (S) informed him about the good news, that Allah had selected him to take up this assignment (recitation of the Glorious Qur’an), he asked in a surprised and eager way, “Did Allah mention me by name?” The Noble Prophet (S) stated, “Yes, he mentioned you by name.” He was so overwhelmed with the honor that he could not restrain the tears from flowing down his cheeks.
In order to bless him with peace, the Noble Prophet (S) recited the following Qur’anic verse [āyah] for him, “Say: In the grace of Allah and in His mercy—it is that they should rejoice; for it is better than that which they gather.”(1)
Ubayy always acted in accordance with the instructions of his teacher, the Noble Prophet (S).
One day, while addressing the Noble Prophet (S), Ubayy said, “O Prophet of Allah! I believed in Allah, and I converted to Islam at your hands, and then learnt the Noble Qur’an from you.”(2)
Indeed, Ubayy was always thankful for the great eminence he was honored with, and ascended to great heights because of reciting the Noble Qur’an. Imām al-Sādiq (‘a) said this in his favor, “We (the Ahlul Bayt) recite the Noble Qur’an according to Ubayy’s way of recitation.”(3)
to what has been mentioned, Ubayy ibn Ka‘b possessed many other special qualities. One of the special qualities which Ubayy possessed was comprehension of the deep and profound meanings of the Glorious Qur’an.
Ubayy ibn Ka‘b possessed an enquiring mind, an open attitude and positive thinking regarding Qur’anic studies. It is for this reason that he was always involved in academic research. He used to carefully examine the details expounded in the verses of the Glorious Qur’an. That is why the Noble Prophet (S) always used to encourage him to strive hard at acquiring divine knowledge.(1)
A person asked Ubayy ibn Ka‘b for advice. He said, “Your guide, example and judge should be the Glorious Qur’an, because it is a remembrance from Allah’s Prophet (S) and an interceder in the presence of Allah. It is a program for the daily activities of the Muslims and is far from accusation and incrimination. The lives of the past peoples have been narrated therein and the right way of life for the Muslims has been shown therein. News about the future of the present Muslims and the generations that will come after has been foretold in the Glorious Qur’an.”(2)
After the sad demise of the Noble Prophet (S) of Islam, the managers of the Assembly of Saqīfah succeeded at executing their pre-planned conspiracy to usurp the caliphate and gain the reigns of power. As a result of this, they disregarded ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a), the real Imām of the Islamic community unparalleled in every
way from temporal or apparent leadership.(1)
Ubayy, who had painfully witnessed this chaotic state of affairs, used to say, “As long as the Noble Prophet (S) was alive, all eyes were fixed on one point. After his sad demise, however, eyes and faces started deviating from right to left.”(2)
In the afternoon of the day of the Saqīfah, Ubayy ibn Ka‘b was passing by a group of the Ansār. One of the Ansār asked him, “Where are you coming from, Ubayy?” He answered, “From the house of the Prophet’s family.” They asked him, “How are the Prophet’s family faring?” He responded, “How can one describe the state of those whose house is now devoid of the presence of one on whom Allah’s angels descended with His Messages?” While saying this he broke down, the tears choking his throat. On witnessing this, the people who had asked him this question started crying too.(3)
Ubayy never paid allegiance to the First Caliph, and believed that the Saqīfah was an illegitimate assembly which possessed no legality and no value at all.(4)
Ubayy was one of the first twelve people who raised their voices of protest against the First Caliph in the Prophet’s (S) Mosque, and openly declared their support of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a).(5)
He was constantly protesting against the rulers of his time, and during the rule of ‘Uthmān, said, “The rulers of this community have gone astray and destroyed their Hereafter. My heart does not feel pain for them, but breaks for those who have
followed these lost leaders. If I stay alive till this Friday, I will reveal the truth as I know it even if I am killed.”(1)
But it is very sad that he died on Thursday, the day before Friday of that same week! He passed away in 30 or 32 AH at the age of fifty. Ubayy spent his life as a Muslim struggling to support and uphold the principles of Islam that he had learnt from the Holy Prophet (S) but died of a broken heart filled with sorrow for the direction it was moving in at the hands of the self-appointed rulers. May his soul rest in peace.(2)
Abū Qutādah Ansārī’s complete name is Hārith ibn Rib‘ī Ansārī. In Islamic history, he is popularly known by the pseudonym of Abū Qutādah. According to the scholars of history, Abū Qutādah is one of the most renowned and prominent companions [sahābah] of the Prophet (S). He always risked his life courageously for the sake of Allah and the advancement of Islam.
Abū Qutādah Ansārī was a very brave horseman; he participated in the war of Uhud, and was always seen fighting next to the Noble Prophet (S) in the other wars that came to pass during the time of Allah’s Prophet (S), to such an extent that he was famously known as the commander of the Prophet’s (S) artillery. He was such a famous warrior that whenever a duty was entrusted to him, he used to perform it to perfection
and return to Medina victorious.
One of the wars in which Abū Qutādah participated was the Battle of Dhī Qard, at a place adjacent to the residential village of Banī Qatfān near Medina. This confrontation occurred in the month of Jumādī al-Awwal in 6 AH. Abū Qutādah Ansārī came to Allah’s Prophet (S) and volunteered to enlist for this battle. Abū Qutādah Ansārī was twenty four years of age at that time, being born eighteen years before the migration.
Abū Qutādah, a brave warrior, though young, killed Ibn ‘Uyaynah, the leader of the opponents. Abū Qutādah Ansārī then covered the infidel’s dead body with his own clothes. When the Muslim soldiers who were returning saw this scene, they mistakenly thought that Abū Qutādah had been killed, but the Noble Prophet (S) told them what Abū Qutādah had done.
In this war, and after the martyrdom of two people, the Muslims managed to defeat the infidel tribe of Qatfān and returned to Medina with victory.
In addition to the other worthy services which Abū Qutādah rendered to Islam, he was present during the conquest of Khaybar. Like every other true Muslim, he possessed special love and affection for the Noble Prophet (S) of Islam. It is for this reason that he used to make the most of every possible opportunity to show his appreciation of the Holy Prophet (S), and behave respectfully towards him.
The Noble Prophet (S), too, loved Abū Qutādah very much. It is for this reason that the Noble Prophet (S) made this
supplication for him, “May Allah protect you in the same way that you protected his Prophet (S) from danger”(1)
After the sad demise of the Noble Prophet (S), Abū Qutādah followed ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a), as the rightful successor of Allah’s Prophet (S). He did not deviate from the right path because he knew and could perceive the original axis or pivot of the government and Islamic leadership. He could easily distinguish which people had the right and capability of leading the Islamic community after the sad demise of Allah’s Prophet (S). It was for this reason that after the Noble Prophet’s (S) death, he was always by ‘Alī’s side.
During the apparent leadership of ‘Alī (‘a), neither the negative and misleading propagation against Imam ‘Alī (‘a) by Mu‘āwiyah, nor the wars of Siffīn, Nahrawān and Jamal managed to shake his faith. On the contrary, he courageously stood by ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) like a strong and firm mountain in all the wars that the enemies of Islam imposed on the Imām (‘a) during his reign.
Abū Qutādah Ansārī was not only a warrior but a loyal and trustworthy Muslim, who possessed managerial and organizational skills as well. It was for this very reason that during the caliphate of Imām ‘Alī (‘a), he was appointed as the governor of Medina by the Imām.
He not only protected ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) on the battlefield, but also defended ‘Alī (‘a) through wise discourses and always sided with him at public discussions.
He used to dispute with ‘Alī’s (‘a) opponents logically and forcefully till they were convinced of the truth of his words. Some of these conversations took place between him and ‘Ā’ishah, the Khawārij, Khālid ibn Walīd and Abū Bakr. All these discourses are a proclamation of the high and revered personality of this great struggler [mujāhid].
Abū Qutādah Ansārī died in 54 AH after long years of struggle and devotion to Islam and the Muslims.
Some historians have stated that Abū Qutādah Ansārī died during the caliphate of Imām ‘Alī (‘a), and that it was actually Imām ‘Alī (‘a) who performed his last rites and laid him to rest.(1)
The pseudonym of Bilāl ibn Ribāh, the Ethiopian [Habashī(2)], is Abū ‘Abd Allāh. He was one of the slaves who lived in Mecca at the time of Prophet Muhammad’s (S) commencement of the prophetic mission. His mother’s name was Hamāmah and he used to live in the village of the tribe of Banī Jumh.
Bilāl, who had responded affirmatively to the divine call of Islam, used to resist the tortures of the infidels of Mecca resiliently and withstand the torments of the polytheists with constancy. According to popular belief, Bilāl, who was Umayyah ibn Khalaf’s slave, came from that same tribe and used to live in Umayyah’s house.
Umayyah used to bring Bilāl out during the afternoon on very hot days and make him lie down on the hot pebbles of Mecca. After that, he would put a big hot stone on
Bilāl’s chest. Then, he would say, “I swear by God that you will stay in this state until you die, unless you renounce the God of Muhammad (S) and worship the idols Lot and ‘Uzzā.” But whenever this ‘model’ of resistance and perseverance was under this kind of torture, he always used to defiantly shout out, ‘One! One!’ He implied that his God, Allah, is one, the One and Only God.
One day, Warqah ibn Nawfil, the cousin of Khadījah (the Noble Prophet’s (S) honorable wife), was passing by and saw Bilāl undergoing this same kind of torture. Bilāl was defiantly shouting out as usual, ‘One! One!’ Warqah also said, ‘One! One!’ Then, he turned towards Umayyah and the others around him and said, “I swear upon Allah that if Bilāl dies while undergoing this inhuman torture, I will be one of those who will consider his grave a holy place of pilgrimage and I will start seeking divine gifts and graces therefrom.”
Some historians have narrated that the man who used to torture Bilāl was Abū Jahl. Bilāl continued to live under these unbearably difficult and hard conditions, until the Noble Prophet (S) bought him and then set him free from servitude for the sake and pleasure of Allah!
They say that one day the Noble Prophet (S) said to Abū Bakr, “If I had something with which to buy Bilāl, I would do so.” Upon hearing this, Abū Bakr went to ‘Abbās ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib and recounted the Prophet’s (S) words
to him. ‘Abbās, the Prophet’s (S) uncle, prepared the ground for Bilāl’s freedom by buying him from his owner, the woman belonging to the tribe of Banī Jumh.
Bilāl was the Prophet’s (S) Caller of Adhān [mu’adhdhin]. That is why after the Prophet’s (S) sad demise, he always held Imām ‘Alī (‘a) in high esteem and never paid allegiance to any one else save ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a). He said, “I will never pay allegiance to anyone who was not named or suggested by Allah’s Prophet (S). Up to the day of resurrection, I will always owe my allegiance to only him who was introduced by Allah’s Prophet.” ‘Umar told him, “Then, you do not have any right to stay in these territories.” Upon hearing these words, Bilāl and a group of other people left Medina and went to Syria where he died in 20 AH.
Bilāl was a prolific youth who patiently bore all the hardships that came his way but did not surrender his faith. He endured all trials and resisted all oppression up to the last moments of his life.
Bilāl was one of the Noble Prophet’s (S) loyal and faithful companions [sahābah] who participated in all the wars that Allah’s Prophet (S) fought.(1)
Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib, a very honorable companion of the Noble Prophet (S), a dignified narrator of traditions [hadīth], a great warrior, and an Ansār and resident of Medina was only thirteen years old when he converted to Islam. His father, too, was one
of the Noble Prophet’s (S) companions [sahābah].
Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib was born in the second year of the prophetic mission and responded affirmatively to the divine call of Islam at the age of thirteen. After the Noble Prophet (S) migrated to Medina, Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib was often seen in the presence of Allah’s Prophet (S).
Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib had memorized some of the long chapters [sūrahs] of the Glorious Qur’an, and was considered as one of the most renowned companions [sahābah] of the Noble Prophet (S).(1)
Since his adolescence, Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib was nurtured in the cradle of Islam and thus blossomed into a spiritually motivated young man. He was so deeply influenced by Islam that he volunteered to enlist and fight in the Battle of Badr in spite of being only fifteen years of age. However, the Noble Prophet (S) did not permit him and his group to take part in the war because of their age.(2)
Even if Barā’ was deprived of the chance to fight in the Battle of Badr, he still took part in fourteen wars and eighteen of the Noble Prophet’s (S) journeys.
He spared no pains to defend the faith, beliefs and sanctuaries of Islam.(3) After the sad demise of the Noble Prophet (S), he participated in the conquest of Rey, Abhar and Qazvīn. This fact has also been recorded in a lot of historical documents. (4)
Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib sincerely loved ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a). It was for this very reason that when Imam ‘Alī (‘a) migrated
from Medina to Iraq; he too followed suit and settled in Kūfah next to his Imām.(1) He took part and fought on the side of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) in the wars of Jamal, Siffīn and Nahrawān; wars which the enemies of Allah and Islam had imposed on Imām ‘Alī (‘a).(2)
Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib narrates his love and affection for the Noble Prophet (S) and his Household in this way: “I always loved the Banī Hāshim. After the sad demise of the Noble Prophet (S), I feared that the government and caliphate would be usurped from them. When my fears came true and the caliphate was usurped, I was overcome with grief, but the anguish of losing Allah’s Prophet (S) was more intense.
So, I used to go and visit the Banī Hāshim whenever they gathered in the house specially reserved for the Noble Prophet (S). Sometimes, I used to go visiting the elders of the Quraysh. By doing this, I managed to keep their activities under careful observation and follow up on every event that occurred.
After the earthly departure of the Holy Prophet (S) was announced, I noticed that it did not take long for Abū Bakr and ‘Umar to disappear, and all of a sudden, news reached us that they had met with a certain other group and held secret discussions at the Saqīfah of Banī Sā‘idah. After a short while, further news reached us that some of them had paid allegiance to Abū Bakr. After hearing
this sad news, I came out of my house without delay.
I saw Abū Bakr surrounded by ‘Umar and Abū ‘Ubaydah Jarrāh along with another group of people. This gang was taking Abū Bakr round the streets of Medina. Wherever they met a person passing by, they would stop him and forcibly take hold of his hands and put them into Abū Bakr’s hand, saying, ‘You must pay allegiance to the Noble Prophet’s (S) successor.’ I got very disgusted by this kind of forced allegiance and rushed to the house of Banī Hāshim as fast as I could. I knocked the door of their house frantically, and insisted on seeing them. I said, ‘There is no hope left for this community because the people have paid allegiance to Abū Bakr’.”(1)
We can deduce from this historical narrative that Barā’ loved the Noble Prophet’s (S) family very much and that he firmly supported ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a), who was busy with the burial rites of the Holy Prophet, while his absence was cashed upon by the politically motivated companions [sahābah] of the Holy Prophet (S).
In addition to being a supporter and follower of the noble Prophet’s (S) Household, the other grace that Barā’ enjoyed was transmitting the event of Ghadīr-e Khumm, when ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) was appointed by Allah’s Prophet (S) as the Commander of the Faithful.
Ibn Jawzī says, “Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib recounts that on the day of Ghadīr, the call to afternoon congregational prayers was made. The Noble
Prophet (S) led the congregational prayers. After the prayers, he took ‘Alī’s (‘a) hand into his own and said, ‘for whomsoever I am a leader and guide, this ‘Alī (‘a), is his leader and guide’.
Instantly after this divine appointment, ‘Umar came forward to congratulate ‘Alī (‘a) and said, ‘I compliment you, O son of Abū Tālib. From today onwards, you are the leader and Imām of all Muslim men and women’.”(1)
Thus, Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib is one of the narrators of the Hadīth Ghadīr-e Khumm. It is possibly because of this very fact that after the sad demise of the Noble Prophet (S), Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib was in a different state from the rest of the Muslims.
He had witnessed the events of Ghadīr-e Khumm and the appointment of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) to the leadership and Imamate of the Muslims by Allah’s Prophet (S). That is why after the death of the Noble Prophet (S), he was always sad and could not be consoled.
Anyhow, Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib migrated to Kūfah along with ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) because of his belief in his divine guardianship, and took part in all the three wars that took place during the time of Imām ‘Alī (‘a).
Finally, while he was more than eighty years of age, he died in 72 AH in Kūfah where he was buried.(2)
Khālid ibn Sa‘īd ibn ‘Ās came from the Household of Banī Umayyah. In the Glorious Qur’an, this wicked family has been called ‘the
evil tree’.(1) Sa‘īd ibn ‘Ās, one of the elders of this Household, was considered as one of most headstrong and influential enemies of Islam, and one of the most obstinate polytheists of Mecca.
Sa‘īd ibn ‘Ās did not respond positively to the call of Islam up to the end of his life. He died in a state of disbelief and infidelity.
Sa‘īd had three sons by the names of Abān, Khālid and ‘Amr. He did not at all imagine that one day his sons might convert to Islam, but contrary to his expectations, all his three children responded affirmatively to the divine call of Islam, and the first of them to become a Muslim was Khālid.
Khālid was one of the earliest people to convert to Islam. Some historians assert that he was the third person to become a Muslim, while others say he was the fourth, or perhaps the fifth. It is here that we have to say that a colocynth tree that bears very bitter fruit is sometimes capable of bearing sweet fruit.
Khālid can be considered as an example of the above because such a worthy, wonderful and amazing son was born to an unbelieving and polytheistic father. It is for this reason that historians write, “Khālid ibn Sa‘īd was a noble of Banī Umayyah and one of the earliest people to convert to Islam.”(2)
Every person’s life consists of hidden hopes and aspirations which, if acted upon, will produce profitable and desirable results. Sometimes these motives get manifested in
the form of a sincere dream or truthful intuition. At other occasions, they get manifested in the form of a physically apparent event. What is important is that man should not ignore and overlook these intuitive signs, because they play an important part in guiding and leading people to their destinies.
The dream that Khālid ibn Sa‘īd saw was of this nature because it led him towards worldly and everlasting prosperity. During the days when the Noble Prophet (S) was privately inviting people to Islam and not so many people had yet responded positively to the divine call, Khālid dreamt one night that he was standing at the edge of a very big and dangerous precipice. Flames of fire were rising from below, and his father Sa‘īd was trying to throw him in the fire. The Noble Prophet (S) was present, firmly holding Khālid and not letting him fall into the fire.
Khālid woke up with a start, frightened, and said, “I swear by Allah that this dream is true and correct.” The following morning, Khālid ibn Sa‘īd met Abū Bakr and recounted the dream to him. Abū Bakr said, “Your dream foretells good news. The interpretation of your dream is that the Noble Prophet (S) was preventing you from falling into the fire because you are going to respond affirmatively to his divine call and follow him, while your father will remain in a state of unbelief and polytheism.”
After this conversation, Khālid hurried up to meet Allah’s Prophet (S), and
after entering the Prophet’s (S) house, said, “O Muhammad (S), what are you inviting people to, and what is your religion?” The Noble Prophet (S) answered, “I call people to the worship of the One God who has no partner. I invite people to accept my prophetic mission and prevent them from worshiping idols because they cannot hear or see, benefit or harm people.”
Khālid was convinced and persuaded by the strong and firm logic of Allah’s Prophet (S) because of the previous dream he had had and converted to Islam with his body, heart and soul. The Noble Prophet (S) was pleased that one of the elders of Banī Umayyah had entered into the fold of Islam.
When Khālid’s father was informed about this, Sa‘īd called all his other children and his slave. Grinding his teeth with anger and spite, he ordered them to go out and find Khālid wherever he might be and bring him back home. They went out, found Khālid and brought him home.
The scene of confrontation between Khālid and his father was very interesting. When Khālid’s father saw his son, he started reproaching him. He struck his head and face with a wooden stick, so much so that the wooden stick broke. Then, he shouted in anger, “Have you started following Muhammad, while you see that he has risen in opposition to his tribe, the Quraysh, with the new religion that he has brought and talks ill of their gods and forefathers?”
Khālid, who was overflowing with faith,
answered without fear or doubt, “I swear by Allah that Muhammad (S) is right in his invitation and that is why I followed him.” Khālid’s father, in a fit of rage, cursed Khālid and said, “You can go wherever you want, I disown you from today onwards. You will not receive anything from me.” Khālid said, “I will not be harmed if you withhold your food and water because Allah will give me sustenance and subsistence.”
After this conversation, his father ordered his brothers to imprison him. He was held in prison for three days, in the hot weather of Mecca without food or water until he escaped. His father warned his other children, “Whoever dares to speak to Khālid will be treated likewise.” It was for this reason that Khālid broke ties with his family and attached himself to Allah’s Prophet (S). Henceforth, he was always seen in the company of the Noble Prophet (S).
After the news of Khālid’s conversion to Islam spread around Mecca, it was not only his father who threatened him and behaved ruthlessly toward him, but the leaders of the tribe of Quraysh also intimidated him with retribution. But Khālid firmly withstood all pressure and resisted the enemies of Islam.
One day Abū Sufyān saw Khālid and said, “O Khālid! By becoming a Muslim, you have made your family lose their honor and prestige.” Khālid answered him, “You are wrong. By becoming a Muslim, I have strengthened and completed the foundations of my family’s dignity.” Abū
Sufyān, who was not expecting such a sharp and witty answer, threatened Khālid, “You are a young and unripe youth. I know that if you are made to undergo a small amount of physical and mental torture, you will renounce your new beliefs.”(1)
From the time of his conversion, he played an active role in all the events that came to pass. We will mention some of those events.
When the polytheists and the idol-worshipers increased their oppression of the Muslims, Allah’s Prophet (S) gave orders that the Muslims should migrate to Ethiopia(2) in order to seek refuge there under Negus, the just king of Ethiopia.
Following this order, a group of Muslims migrated to Ethiopia. After a short period of time a false rumor was spread among the immigrants in Ethiopia; a rumor that caused them to return to Mecca immaturely. But when they entered Mecca, they found out that there was no truth in it. They immediately returned to Ethiopia.
This emigration is called the Second Migration in the history of Islam. Together with his wife and his brother, he went to Habashah (Ethiopia). They stayed in Habashah for ten years and returned after the conquest of Khaybar.(3)
Khālid ibn Sa‘īd was one of the Noble Prophet’s (S) scribes and secretaries. A lot of the Noble Prophet’s (S) letters, sent to the different tribes and clans and to the distinguished personalities of that time, were dictated by the Noble Prophet (S) himself to Khālid, who wrote them in his own handwriting. This,
in itself, is enough to assess the greatness of Khālid’s personality.
Numerous accounts have been recorded in history to the effect that a lot of tribes converted to Islam as a result of the letters sent to them in Khālid’s handwriting. One tribe that might serve as an example was the tribe of Thaqīf.(1)
Khālid was appointed as the tax-collector of Yemen by the Noble Prophet (S). When he sent him to Yemen, the Noble Prophet (S) ordered him, “Whenever you come across a group of Arabs and hear them reciting the adhān (Islamic call to prayer), do not oppress them. On the contrary, whenever you come across a group of people that do not recite the adhān, invite them to Islam (and teach them to recite the adhān).”
Khālid held this responsibility up to the time of the Noble Prophet’s (S) sad demise.(2)
Because Khālid ibn Sa‘īd was one of the lovers of the Noble Prophet (S) and his honorable Household, he did not at all compromise with ‘Alī’s (‘a) opponents. On the contrary, he always supported ‘Alī (‘a). A lot of effective sayings attributed to Khālid ibn Sa‘īd in support of ‘Alī (‘a) and the Ahlul Bayt (‘a)(3) have been recorded in books of history.(4)
Khālid ibn Sa‘īd was one of those people who could not be content with staying or being confined at home. On the contrary, he was always actively striving for the progress of Islam. He was active with his heart and soul in all the scenes of war and
always ready to sacrifice his life, which he finally did in the one, fought at a place called, “Marj al-Suffar”.
The night before this war, Khālid saw a dream in which it was foretold that he was going to be martyred. He narrated the dream to the others. True to the prediction in the dream, Khālid was the second man to be martyred in the battlefield. This war took place between the Romans and the Muslims.(1)
The pseudonym of Khabbāb ibn Aratt was Abū Yahyā or Abā ‘Abd Allāh. He was one of the Noble Prophet’s (S) companions [sahābah] and one of the earliest people to become a Muslim. Khabbāb ibn Aratt was a youth living in Mecca, in a state of servitude, in the house of a woman from the tribe of Khuzā‘ah or Banī Zuhrah.
Khabbāb’s job was repairing and making swords. Allah’s Prophet (S) was acquainted with him and had great affection for him. Khabbāb, too, became a believer, right at the beginning of the prophetic mission, because of the serenity and purity of his soul.
Some historians say that Khabbāb was the sixth man to become a Muslim. His faith was so strong and firm that no matter how cruelly the infidels tortured him, he did not renounce his beliefs.
The polytheists of Mecca used to pick him up just like the other slaves, put a steel armor on his body, and make him lie on hot stones with the intention of forcing him to renounce
his religion. When they noticed that this kind of torture was not having any effect on Khabbāb, they started branding his skin with burning pieces of wood.
Khabbāb narrates, “During one of these torture sessions, a man from the tribe of Quraysh came forward and put a piece of burning wood on my chest; then he put his foot on top of the fire and pressed his foot so hard that the fire of the burning wood was extinguished by my skin.” The mark of this burn was always visible on Khabbāb’s body until the end of his life.
When ‘Umar ascended to the caliphate, he met Khabbāb one day and asked him about the remaining marks of torture that he had sustained on his body during the early days of Islam. Khabbāb answered him, “Take a look at my back.” When ‘Umar saw those marks, he said, “I have never seen anything like this before.”
Sha‘bī recounts, “Khabbāb was one of the people who bore the torture of the polytheists with patience and was never ready to renounce his faith. The polytheists, who had seen this, used to press hot stones on his body until his flesh became water.”
As has already been recounted, Khabbāb used to be a slave of one of the women by the name of Umm Anmār. When the news of his becoming a Muslim was narrated to her, she started torturing him daily. She used to heat a piece of iron and put it on Khabbāb’s head to
force him to renounce the Noble Prophet (S) and his religion.
Khabbāb complained to the Noble Prophet about this kind of torture. Allah’s Prophet (S) made a supplication in favor of Khabbāb. After this supplication, that woman became afflicted with a severe headache. The headache was so intense that the woman started wailing in a manner similar to that of dogs. They told her that in order for her to get relieved of this headache; someone had to hit her hard on the head with a very hot iron! The woman ordered Khabbāb to heat a piece of iron and hit her hard on the head.
Khabbāb was sick when ‘Alī (‘a) went to fight the war of Siffīn. This was why he did not participate in that war and why ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) was not present in Kūfah when Khabbāb died.
When Imām ‘Alī (‘a) returned from the battle of Siffīn and learnt that Khabbāb had died, he said, “May Allah reward Khabbāb ibn Aratt graciously because he accepted the divine call of Islam of his own inclination, and then obediently migrated. May Allah reward Khabbāb graciously because he was thankful with only what was enough for sustenance.”
According to popular narratives, Khabbāb died in 37 AH and, according to his stated will and wish, he was buried outside the city of Kūfah.
It is said that he was the first person to be buried outside the city, because before then, every one of the Muslims who died used to
be buried either in their houses or on the street next to their houses. After the death of Khabbāb, the other Muslims imitated his way and started burying their dead outside the city.(1)
Zayd ibn Hārithah ibn Sharhabīl Kalbī was one of the noble Prophet’s (S) honorable companions [sahābah] and the second man to convert to Islam after ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a). Hakīm ibn Hizām, Khadījah’s nephew, had bought him along with the others to Mecca as slaves when he returned from a trip to Syria.
Zayd was a young child at that time. Khadījah, the Noble Prophet’s (S) wife, went to visit Hakīm at his house one day. Hakīm said to her, “Beloved aunt, you are free to take any one of these boys to serve you.” Khadījah got Zayd and brought him home.
When Allah’s Prophet (S) saw Zayd, he requested Khadījah to give Zayd to him as a gift. Khadījah gave Zayd to the Noble Prophet (S) who set him free for the sake and good pleasure of Allah. This event took place long before the prophetic mission began.
Hārithah, Zayd’s father, used to cry with grief on being separated from his son. He even complained through the verses he composed and recited publicly. When he heard that his son was in Mecca living with the Noble Prophet (S), he went to see Allah’s Prophet (S). When he met the Noble Prophet (S), he requested him to return his beloved son to him.
Allah’s Prophet (S) said
to Zayd, “You can do as you wish; you are welcome to stay with us as long as you like or you can return to your father.” Zayd said, “I will remain here and stay with you.” Zayd stayed with the Noble Prophet (S) until 6 AH when he attained martyrdom during the Battle of Mu’tah. Actually, he was one of the commanders of the Islamic army during this battle.(1)
‘Abbād ibn Bishr Ashhalī Khazrajī was one of the Helpers [Ansār] of Medina, and the Noble Prophet’s (S) companions [sahābah]. He took part in all the wars that took place and was often seen fighting next to the Noble Prophet (S).
He was responsible for collecting zakāt and sadaqah from the tribes that had come under the fold of Islam. During the war of Tabūk, he was one of the guards for the Muslims. He attained martyrdom in 12 AH.(2)
Jābir ibn ‘Abd Allāh Ansārī says, “When we arrived at a place called Nakhl, we made it our camping station for the war against the infidels of “Dhāt al-Raqā‘”. There, a Muslim man captured an infidel woman. When that woman’s husband returned and found his wife missing, he started searching for her. On learning that she had been captured, he swore that he would not return to his house until he had killed one of the Muslims or the Prophet’s (S) close companions [sahābah]. With this decision in mind, he set out and lay in ambush for the Muslim
The Noble Prophet (S) came to one of the camping houses and said, ‘Who will be our guard tonight?’ ‘Ammār Yāsir (from the Immigrants) and ‘Abbād ibn Bishr from the Helpers [Ansār] volunteered to take up this responsibility.
Then, they went to the opening or mouth of the valley and took their guarding positions. ‘Abbād ibn Bishr decided to guard the place till midnight, after which ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir would take over till dawn. For this reason, ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir was the first to sleep and ‘Abbād ibn Bishr started offering his night prayers in order to spend the hours of the night in worship, not idle speculation.
It was at this very moment that the infidel arrived and looked closely at ‘Abbād ibn Bishr. When he was sure that the man who was praying (‘Abbād) was one of the Muslims, he shot a spear at him. This spear inflicted a deep wound on him but he removed it and continued to recite his prayers. That man shot another spear at ‘Abbād which inflicted another wound. He shot yet another while ‘Abbād was performing the rukū‘(the bowing down position in salāt).
He finally managed to finish his prayers woke ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir up and said, ‘Wake up! I do not have any more strength to stand on my feet.’ ‘Ammār woke up and the infidel, realizing that the guards were two not one, ran away and escaped. When ‘Ammār saw ‘Abbād bleeding profusely, he exclaimed, ‘Glory be to Allah! Why
did you not wake me up when the first spear hit you?’ ‘Abbād answered, ‘I was reciting a chapter of the Glorious Qur’an [Sūrat al-Kahf] and found it unbefitting to cut it short.
My heart could not let me stop reciting the chapter. But when I realized that the spears were coming continuously one after another, I woke you up. I swear by Allah that if I did not fear that I would be neglecting my duties, I would not have woken you up, but continued to recite the blessed chapter to my very last breath’.”(1)
Jābir was the son of ‘Abd Allāh, one of the Helpers [Ansār] of Medina. He came from the tribe of Khazraj. His pseudonyms were Abū ‘Abd Allāh and Abī ‘Abd al-Rahmān. Jābir ibn ‘Abd Allāh was one of the most renowned companions and helpers of the Noble Prophet (S). He was born in Medina sixteen years before the Migration (Hijrah).(2)
After the Noble Prophet (S) sent Mus‘ab ibn ‘Āmir to teach and propagate Islam to the residents of Medina, a new chapter was opened in the history of Islam which generated great interest and inclination towards Islam.
It was for this reason that the people who had converted to Islam were impatiently counting the days and waiting for the Hajj season to arrive, so that they might have the chance of seeing the Noble Prophet (S) from up close. This period of anxious waiting finally ended and the caravan from Medina started off towards
There were seventy three new and eager Muslims among them looking forward to seeing the Noble Prophet (S) for the first time. On the 13th night of Dhū al-Hijjah, thirteen years before the Migration, the newly converted Muslims arrived at the bottom of ‘Aqabah, and after several rounds of conversations with the Noble Prophet (S), paid allegiance to Allah’s Prophet (S) and promised to defend, protect and support him under all circumstances. After this session, the Noble Prophet (S) selected and appointed twelve people to serve as his representatives and heads of the people of Medina in his absence.(1)
Among the people who paid allegiance to the Noble Prophet (S) that night was a thirteen year old, named Jābir.(2)
Just like his father, he was one of the earliest people to become a Muslim. He took part in eighteen of the Islamic wars. He was often seen fighting close or next to the Noble Prophet (S). Jābir himself narrates that he took part in all the Islamic wars except the battles of Badr and Uhud.(3)
Jābir was not only a warrior and a struggler [mujāhid] but was (‘a) renowned and distinguished in the different fields of Islamic knowledge, having benefited a lot from the Household of the Noble Prophet (S), and amassed treasures of wisdom and knowledge in his heart from them. Some historians assert that Jābir has narrated and recounted the largest number of hadīths (Islamic traditions).(4)
Jābir was one of those distinguished scholars whom the people referred to for scholarly opinion.(5)
He used to hold sessions in the Noble Prophet’s (S) Mosque and quench the thirst of those seeking knowledge.(1)
Among the Noble Prophet’s (S) companions and helpers, there are some people who are especially beloved and very famous in the history of Islam. One of these people is Jābir. The reason why Jābir is a beloved figure is because he had a deep spiritual union and solidarity with the Noble Prophet’s (S) Household, due to a constant association with them. He proved his love for the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) under extremely sensitive and difficult circumstances.
It is for this very reason that Imām al-Sādiq (‘a) said about him, “Jābir was very loyal and intimately attached to our Household.”(2)
After the Noble Prophet’s (S) sad demise, Jābir always accompanied the Household of the Noble Prophet (S). During ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib’s (S) wars against Mu‘āwiyah, the rebel and his depraved partisans, Jābir was one of Imām ‘Alī’s (‘a) supporters, and during the Battle of Siffīn, he was one of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib’s (‘a) companions.(3)
In addition to being present in the battlefields, Jābir did not stop at anything to serve ‘Alī (‘a). Scholars of history narrate that Jābir used to lean on a walking stick and walk in the streets of Medina to attend the discussion sessions of the Heleprs [Ansār]. In these public discussions, he used to say, “‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) is the best person on earth. Anyone who denies this truth has acted with partiality and has deliberately disregarded what
is right. O group of the Ansār! Train your children to love ‘Alī (‘a) and bring them up according to ‘Alī’s (‘a) instructions…”(1)
Abū Zubayr says, “I asked Jābir what kind of person ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) was?” Jābir raised his eyebrows and said, “‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) was the best person on the surface of the earth. When the Noble Prophet (S) was alive, we used to recognize the hypocrites by knowing who hated ‘Alī (‘a).”(2)
Some people asked Jābir why it was unlawful [harām] to oppose ‘Alī (‘a). He answered, “Everyone knew about the illegality of fighting against ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) save the infidels and unbelievers.”(3) There have been a lot of other traditions [hadīths] recounted from Jābir confirming this issue.(4)
A lot of people are mistaken about the meaning of Ulu’l-Amr (those endowed with authority or leadership in the Islamic community). For this reason, they believe that every head of government is one of the Ulu’l-Amr, even if he is an oppressor and tyrant. Some people have even asserted that following and obeying this kind of ruler is obligatory [wājib].
In this way, they have strengthened obstinate and tyrannical rulers and, as a result of this, created many problems for the Muslims. The Shī‘ites believe that not every ruler is one of the Ulu’l-Amr. On the contrary, the Ulu’l-Amr are twelve people who are the rightful successors of Allah’s Prophet (S), and have been named and introduced to us by the Noble Prophet (S) himself. Following and
obeying them has been compared and likened to following and obeying Allah and the Noble Prophet (S).
Jābir recounts a tradition [hadīth] from the Noble Prophet (S) which explains this issue clearly and makes everything about the Ulu’l-Amr transparent. He says, “When this Qur’anic verse [āyah] was revealed,
‘O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the apostle and those in authority (Ulu’l-Amr) from among you’.”(1)
Jābir says, “I asked Allah’s Prophet, ‘We know who Allah and the Prophet (S) are and hence we follow them, but we do not know who the Ulu’l-Amr are, whose following Allah has mentioned in the same order or rank as following Him and obeying you?’ The Noble Prophet (S) stated, ‘The Ulu’l-Amr are my successors and are the leaders [Imāms] after me.
The first of them is ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) and after him, Hasan ibn ‘Alī (‘a), and Husayn ibn ‘Alī (‘a), ‘Alī ibn Husayn (‘a), and Muhammad ibn ‘Alī (‘a) who is famously known as Bāqir in the Tawrāt. O Jābir! You will meet and see him with your own eyes. Pass my greetings [salām] to him when you meet him.
After him will come Ja‘far ibn Muhammad (‘a), and after him Mūsā ibn Ja‘far (‘a) and after him Muhammad ibn ‘Alī (‘a) and after him ‘Alī ibn Muhammad (‘a) and then Hasan ibn ‘Alī (‘a) and after him his child whose name and pseudonym is the same as mine. The East and the West of the earth shall be conquered by him.
He will be hidden from the eyes of men and will live in a long occultation. It is for this reason that some people with weak faith will doubt his Imamate, except those whose hearts Allah has purified and blessed with faith’.”(1)
There have been numerous hadīths recounted from Jābir regarding the names of the honorable Shī‘ite Imāms who are the real Ulu’l-Amr, and the most famous of these hadīths is the Hadīth of “Lawh”. And there are many other documents recorded regarding this issue.(2)
As has already been mentioned, Jābir was very fond of the Noble Prophet (S) and his pure Household. It was because of this love and fondness that he never ever compromised with their enemies and opponents.
One day Jābir went to Syria in order to perform a duty. When he arrived there, Jābir requested to see Mu‘āwiyah. Mu‘āwiyah, who was aware about Jābir’s love and affection regarding the Noble Prophet’s (S) Household, deliberately delayed the meeting for a number of days to humiliate him.
When Jābir finally met Mu‘āwiyah in the palace of Syria, he addressed Mu‘āwiyah thus, “Have you not heard Allah’s Prophet (S) say, ‘On the day of need and distress (the Day of Judgement), Allah will remove from his mercy every leader who does not give the needy and distressed people the permission to meet him so that they may present their problems to him, and Allah will drive away from his forgiveness any leader who does not alleviate the sufferings of the needy.’
heard this, he became angry and said, ‘I heard from Allah’s Prophet (S) that after him, the people will be confronted with oppressive rulers and governments. Their duty is to be patient and obedient to the rulers.’
Jābir said, ‘You have said the truth and reminded me about the truth that I had forgotten.’ After saying this, he left the palace, mounted his horse and rode out of Syria. Mu‘āwiyah later realized his mistake. In order to make up for his folly, he sent six hundred dīnārs as a gift to Jābir which he rejected outright. He told the messenger, ‘Tell Mu‘āwiyah, ‘O son of the liver eating woman! I will never be a means for you to record good works for yourself’.’”(1)
One of Jābir’s glories is that he was charged with and carried out the duty of conveying the Noble Prophet’s (S) greetings [salām] to Imām al-Bāqir (‘a), the fifth Shī‘ite Imām, and he delivered this message many years after the Noble Prophet’s (S) sad demise.
Imām al-Bāqir (‘a) stated, “One day I visited Jābir, who had become blind because of old age. I greeted him and offered him my salām (peace). He answered me and asked, ‘Who are you?’ I said, ‘I am Muhammad ibn ‘Alī (‘a).’ He said, ‘Come nearer my child.’ I went near him. Jābir got my hands and kissed them, then he bent down with the intention of kissing my feet but I pulled myself aside. Then, Jābir said, ‘The Noble Prophet (S) told me to
deliver his greetings and salām to you.’ I said, ‘May Allah’s graces and favors be upon the Noble Prophet (S). How did the Noble Prophet (S) deliver his salām and greetings?’”
Jābir said, “One day I was in the presence of the Noble Prophet (S). He said to me, ‘O Jābir! You will live long enough to meet one of my great grandchildren by the name of Muhammad ibn ‘Alī ibn al-Husayn (‘a). Allah will endow him with light and wisdom. Whenever you meet him, convey my peace and greetings [salām] to him’.”(1)
There are innumerable traditions [hadīths] recounted regarding this issue.(2)
After the martyrdom of Imām al-Husayn (‘a) and his precious companions, the Islamic community was scared of the ruthlessness and cruelty of Yazīd ibn Mu‘āwiyah. But Jābir was not a person to be intimidated by the blood-sucking tyrants and their apparent power.
On the contrary, Jābir made strenuous efforts to disseminate the power and might of the revolution which took place at Kerbalā, and to propagate the holy cause of Imām al-Husayn’s (‘a) sacrifice. He left the holy city of Medina and set off towards the holy land of Kerbalā with the intention of kissing the purified clay of the martyrs who got killed while trudging the straight path of monotheism, and in this way express his disgust, aversion and indignation against the oppressors. Making a pilgrimage to Kerbalā was a way of disgracing and defaming the enemies and opponents of Imām al-Husayn (‘a).
Jābir’s way of expressing his abomination is of
great importance, because:
Firstly, up to that time, the people were still terrified and mortally scared of Yazīd’s power. No one dared to openly go on a pilgrimage to the holy burial ground of Imām al-Husayn (‘a) in Kerbalā.
Secondly, Jābir was not an ordinary person. On the contrary, he was one of the greatest companions and one of the most renowned Helpers of the Noble Prophet (S). Jābir was highly respected by the people in the Islamic community for his bravery in the face of dire consequences from the Yazīdīs.
Therefore, when Jābir left the city of Medina and set off on pilgrimage towards Kerbalā to visit Imām al-Husayn (‘a), he delivered a very deadly blow against the government of Yazīd ibn Mu‘āwiyah.
Jābir reached Kerbalā on the 20th of Safar in 61 AH with ‘Atiyyah, the son of Sa‘d Kūfī. ‘Atiyyah was one of the Tābi‘īn(1) and one of the the greatest transmitters of Shī‘ite traditions [hadīths]. He is considered a highly esteemed scholar of hadīth. He arrived for pilgrimage at the Holy Shrine of Imām al-Husayn (‘a) on the fortieth day after the martyrdom of Husayn ibn ‘Alī (‘a). Coincidentally, the caravan of the Ahlul Bayt (‘a), which had been taken into captivity by the shameless tyrants, was returning from Syria and arrived at Kerbalā on the same day that Jābir and ‘Atiyyah arrived. The captives, together with Jābir and the tribes living in the vicinity of Kerbalā, started mourning and wailing for Imām al-Husayn (‘a).
Jābir’s pilgrimage was not an
ordinary pilgrimage at all. On the contrary, it was a heroic movement accompanied by tears and pain by means of which he taught future generations the great lesson of love for the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) and the high position of Divine Guardianship [wilāyat].
Atih says, “We set off for the pilgrimage of Imām al-Husayn’s (‘a) holy grave with Jābir ibn ‘Abd Allāh. When we came close to the holy land of Kerbalā, Jābir performed the ritual ablution [ghusl] in the Euphrates River and wore clean clothes. He opened a bottle of perfume and applied an amount of the perfume in it on his body and thus made himself smell pleasant. After that, whatever step he made towards Kerbalā was accompanied by remembrance and supplication of Allah on his tongue.
When we arrived close to the holy place, Jābir said, ‘O ‘Atiyyah! Take my hand and help me touch the holy ground.’ I took his hand and helped him touch the holy tomb of Imām al-Husayn (‘a). Because of the high intensity of his sorrow and pain, Jābir passed out and fell on the holy tomb. I poured some water on his face and head and he regained consciousness.
He shouted out three times, ‘O al-Husayn (‘a)! O al-Husayn (‘a)! O al-Husayn (‘a)! What kind of a friend are you; a friend who does not respond to the calls of your friend?’ Then, Jābir answered his own question, ‘O al-Husayn! How can you respond when they cut the veins of your neck,
shed your innocent blood, and beheaded you? I bear witness that you are the grandchild of the best of Allah’s Prophets (‘a); the son of the Commander of the Faithful; born with piety from the generation of guidance; and the fifth member of the People of the Kisā’; the child of ‘Alī (‘a), the leader of Allah’s great men and Fātimah (‘a), the leader of the women both in this world and in the hereafter.
How can it not be so, when you ate food from the Noble Prophet’s (S) hands; you were nurtured in the laps of the pious; you were fed on the milk that was full of the light of Islam. Whether alive or dead, you have been and will continue to be pure. The hearts of the believers have been hurt and tormented because of being separated from you, but you will live on for all eternity! May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon you! I bear witness that you took the path of your brother Yahyā ibn Zakariyā (John the Baptist) and attained martyrdom just like him!’
Thereafter, Jābir turned his face towards the whole cemetery of the martyrs of Kerbalā and said, ‘Peace be upon you! O pure souls that are lying dead in the presence of al-Husayn (‘a) and resting in his courtyard. I bear witness that you performed the prayers, paid the zakāt (Islamic tax for the poor), enjoined the right and forbade the wrong, fought against those deprived of faith, worshipped Allah until,
finally, you willingly embraced martyrdom. I swear by Allah, He who raised Muhammad to the prophetic mission, that we, too, are associates in your reward.’
‘Atiyyah says, ‘I asked Jābir, ‘How are we their associates in the reward given to them when we did not trudge the path of martyrdom and did not strike with the sword against the enemies of Allah? How can we share in the reward that will be given to them because their heads got separated from their bodies while fighting in the way of Allah, as a result of which their children became orphans and their women (wives) became widows’?’
Jābir answered me, ‘O ‘Atiyyah! I heard the Holy Prophet (S) repeatedly state, ‘Anyone who loves a group of people will be raised together with that group on the Day of Resurrection and will be gathered together with the people that he loved in the same place. Everyone who loves the conduct of a group of people will be associated with that group on the Day of Recompense. I swear by Allah, who raised Muhammad (S) to the prophetic mission, that my intentions and my beliefs are the same as the intentions and beliefs of al-Husayn (‘a) and his companions’.’
‘Atiyyah says, ‘At this moment, a shadow of a caravan was seen coming from Syria. I told Jābir, ‘I see a shadow of a caravan coming from Syria.’ Jābir said, ‘Go and get some news from the people of this approaching caravan. If they are the people of
‘Umar ibn Sa‘d, return quickly and inform me.’
‘Atiyyah went and did not take long before he returned with uncontrollable amazement ‘O Jābir! Arise and hurry up to welcome the honorable Household of Allah’s Prophet! That is Zayn al-‘Ābidīn (‘a) coming along with the women of the Prophet’s (S) Household!’
With his head and feet bare, Jābir arose and hurried towards the approaching caravan. When he came close to Imām ‘Alī ibn al-Husayn (‘a), the Imām asked him, ‘Are you Jābir?’ He answered, ‘Yes I am!’ Imām ‘Alī ibn al-Husayn (‘a) stated, ‘O Jābir! It was at this place that they killed our men, beheaded our babies, took our women into captivity, and burnt our camping tents’”(1)
Yes, Jābir was the last man living from amongst those who had paid allegiance to the Noble Prophet (S) at ‘Aqabah.(2) He died when he was over ninety years of age in 78 AH after long years of indomitable struggle and jihād in the way of Allah. He was buried in Medina to rest in peace.(3)
Ja‘far, the son of Abū Tālib was one the Noble Prophet’s (S) loyal Companions and faithful Helpers. Ja‘far ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) was also a highly esteemed brother of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a). He was ten years older than Imām ‘Alī (‘a). Ja‘far Tayyār was one of the earliest people to respond affirmatively to the divine call of the Noble Prophet (S) and convert to Islam. It was for this reason that the Noble Prophet stated, “O
Ja‘far! You are similar to me with respect to natural disposition and moral qualities.”(1)
When the first group of the Muslim emigrants [muhājirīn] went to Ethiopia [Habashah] in the month of Rajab, in the fifth year of the prophetic mission, their leader was ‘Uthmān ibn Maz‘ūn. But the leader of the second group of emigrants that went to Ethiopia was Ja‘far Tayyār, a youth of twenty five. His young wife called “Asmā’ bint ‘Umays”, too, emigrated with him.
Notwithstanding that there were a lot of highly respected people among the emigrants and other worthy, capable youths among them, no one got more attention and favors than J‘afar from the Noble Prophet (S). When the emigrants arrived in Habashah (present Ethiopia), Ja‘far was elected to be the spokesman for the emigrants. He performed his duties, as a spokesman, with excellence. We will now recount what has been recorded in history concerning this:
After the polytheists of Mecca became aware of the emigration of the Muslims from Mecca to Ethiopia, they sent a mission under the leadership of ‘Amru ibn ‘Ās, an idol-worshipping youth, who was very eloquent in speech to the court of Negus, the King of Ethiopia, with lots of presents. They requested Negus, the King of Ethiopia, to return the Muslims back to Mecca so that they may face their punishment.
Before meeting the King at his court, the idol-worshippers from Mecca distributed a lot of presents and gifts to the courtiers in order to attract their attention and buy their support. The
courtiers promised to cooperate with the polytheists of Mecca in the best possible manner, and arranged a meeting of the polytheists and the King in his court.
When the representatives of the infidels of the Quraysh met the King at his court, they fell on their knees and addressed the King of Ethiopia, “O King! A group of ignorant youths has emigrated from Mecca to your country. They have renounced the beliefs and religion of their forefathers and do not recognize the right of Christianity either; on the contrary, they have invented a new religion which neither you nor we have ever heard about.
Their fathers, uncles, families and households have sent us as representatives so that we may persuade you to entrust these Muslims to us. When you have entrusted these Muslims to us, we will return them to their country because their near ones are duty bound to watch over them and control their activities. The Muslims themselves know very well what kind of disgrace and discredit they have caused their families.”
The King got very offended and annoyed by the words of ‘Amru ibn ‘Ās and angrily said, “I swear by Allah that I will not be moved by your words and will not surrender the Muslims to you; on the contrary, I will call the Muslims so that they may explain for themselves why they sought asylum in my country and preferred my protection to the protection of other kings. I will ask the Muslims themselves to
tell me the reality of the matter. I will not surrender and hand them over to you if what they say is logical and contrary to your words. On the contrary, they will find an increase in my favors and attention!” It was in this way that Negus, the King of Ethiopia, summoned the Muslims so that they may inform him more about their beliefs and religion.
The Muslims held a meeting and consulted one another about what they ought to do. They decided to explain the reality of Islam and the laws and orders of the Noble Prophet (S) even though the result would not be in their favor. With this intention, they entered the court of Negus, the King of Ethiopia.
The meeting room was well decorated. The high priests of Ethiopia sat around the King with bibles open in front of them. After the emigrants had occupied the place that had been reserved for them, the King faced them and asked, “What religion is this that you follow and adhere to; a religion which is neither that of your fellow tribesmen nor that of mine, nor that of any other people on earth?”
Ja‘far ibn Abī Tālib (‘a), who was a very eloquent youth, stood up to represent the emigrants. He said, “O King! We were once an ignorant and idol-worshipping people; we used to eat the flesh of dead animals, to commit ugly sins and shameful deeds, to withhold our help from our near ones and behave badly
with our neighbors, and the strong among us used to oppress the weak and downtrodden.
Indeed, we continued to live like this until Allah raised a prophet from among ourselves; a person whose parentage and genealogy we know, a trustworthy man, whose chastity is confirmed and acknowledged by all of us. This Noble Prophet (S) invited us to the worship of One God.
He ordered us to stop worshiping stone idols and that which our ancestors used to worship, and ordered us to tell the truth, be trustworthy, observe the bonds of relationship, be kind and good to our neighbors. He prevented us from performing unlawful [harām] acts, committing obscene acts, making illogical remarks or unreasonable demands, bullying, devouring the property of the orphans or adding it as an addition to our own property and falsely accusing women of faith.
He also ordered us to worship One God and not to associate anyone or anything with Him, to enjoin and perform the prayers, to give zakāt (Islamic tax for the poor and the needy), and to fast.
We confirmed and acknowledged his prophetic mission and accepted what was revealed to him from Allah in the form of revelation. Therefore, we the Muslims worship One God and do not recognize anyone or anything to be His equal. We consider as unlawful [harām] whatever He has ordered to be [harām] and consider as lawful [halāl] whatever He has ordered to be halāl.
But our tribes opposed Allah’s Prophet (S) and tortured us brutally for following his
divine guidance. When we faced harsh treatment, severity, compulsion, coercion, and oppression, and realized that they were becoming a hindrance to our practicing our religious duties, we migrated to your country. We preferred you to all the other kings of the world and sought asylum in your justice. We hope that in the vicinity of your justice and fairness, no one will be permitted to commit any sort of injustice.”
After this brilliant discourse, Ja‘far did not say anything anymore. Negus, the King of Ethiopia, asked, “Do you know anything or have you memorized anything concerning that which was inspired and revealed to the former prophets?”
Ja‘far answered, “Yes.” Negus said, “Recite it.” Ja‘far, who knew that the King and his associates were devout Christians and were loyal to their religion, and that they believed in ‘Īsā ibn Maryam (Jesus the Christ), recited the opening verses of Sūrat Maryam of the Glorious Qur’an in an extremely touching manner. When he started reciting the verses which recount the birth of Jesus Christ, (and recited the story of Jesus’ birth according to the account and description given in the glorious Qur’an, Negus, the King of Ethiopia, could not control the tears which ran down his cheeks. The King’s associates, who were all bishops, episcopates and high priests, also cried so much that all the bibles in front of them became wet with tears.
Then, Negus, the just King of Ethiopia, said, “There is no doubt that these words and that which was revealed to Jesus
Christ come from the same source. Do not worry and do not lose your peace or tranquility, I swear by Allah that I will not surrender you to these two people at all. Then, he addressed the representatives of the Quraysh and said, ‘Return to where you have come from; under no circumstances will I surrender the Muslims to you’.”
Then, he told his associates, “Return all the presents and gifts that these two people have distributed among you because we do not need their gifts at all. Allah did not receive bribes to offer me the sultanate; therefore, I too will not receive any bribes in Allah’s way.” It was in this way that the representatives of the Quraysh faced humiliation and returned, defeated, to Mecca. They returned the gifts (bribes) that they had brought from the Quraysh.(1)
Ja‘far ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) and the other Muslims stayed in Habashah (Ethiopia) up to 7 AH and returned to Medina after twelve years of residing in Africa. When they arrived in Medina, the Noble Prophet (S) had just returned victoriously from the Battle of Khaybar.
When he heard that Ja‘far had returned from Ethiopia, Allah’s Prophet (S) went to see him and welcome him back. When he met Ja‘far, the Noble Prophet (S) embraced him and kissed him on the forehead. The Noble Prophet (S) was doing this while tears of joy were flowing down his cheeks. Then he said, “I do not know for what I should be happier; the return
of Ja‘far or the conquest of Khaybar.”(1)
One year after returning to Medina, Ja‘far ibn Abī Tālib was appointed as commander of an army that was dispatched for Jordan. Ja‘far Tayyār was entrusted with an army of three thousand soldiers and was sent to fight the Romans.
Allah’s Prophet (S) escorted the soldiers and bade them farewell before returning to Medina. While bidding them farewell, he said, “In the event that Ja‘far gets martyred, the next commander should be Zayd ibn Hārithah, and after him the next commander should be ‘Abd Allāh ibn Rawāhah. In case he too should get martyred, the Muslims should choose whomever they wish to be their commander.”
The Muslim soldiers encountered the Romans at a place called “Mu’tah” in Jordan. A tiny army of three thousand Muslim soldiers was confronted by a huge army of one hundred thousand Roman soldiers. Ja‘far Tayyār displayed a lot of courage and devotion in this war until he finally attained martyrdom. All the commanders of the Muslim army attained martyrdom one after another until Khālid ibn Walīd freed the Muslims from the siege (or blockade) of their infidel enemies and they returned to Medina.
When news was brought to the Noble Prophet (S) that Ja‘far had been martyred, first he cried and then said, “We ought to cry for the likes of Ja‘far, Allah has replaced his two hands, that were cut during the war, with two wings so that he may fly with the angels in heaven.”
That is why he has
Ja‘far was one of those people who, even before the advent of Islam, enjoyed a good reputation among the people. During the ascent of Islam, he became one of the most outstanding faces in the Muslim World because of the purity of his natural disposition and abundant mental alertness.
Imām al-Sādiq (‘a) stated, “Allah revealed to His Prophet (S) four qualities of Ja‘far that He had accepted.” The Noble Prophet (S) asked Ja‘far what those four qualities were. Ja‘far answered, “O Prophet of Allah! If Allah had not revealed my qualities, I would not have told you. The four qualities are: I have never consumed alcohol, because I have always known that taking alcohol would reduce my intellect; I have never lied, because lying reduces the manliness and humanity of man. I have never committed adultery or fornication, owing to the fact that I always knew that if I committed adultery or fornication with another woman, someone else will commit adultery or fornication with my wife. I have never worshipped an idol, in view of the fact that I knew that the benefit and harm of idol-worshipping cannot be trusted.”(3)
Ishāq ibn ‘Ammār says, “One morning, Allah’s Prophet (S) had finished praying, along with a number of his companions, when he turned around and looked at a
youth who was dosing in the Mosque with his head bent on his chest as though he was in deep thought.
The Noble Prophet (S) addressed him, ‘O young man! How did you sleep last night and how did you wake up this morning?’ The youth answered, ‘I stayed awake all night and saw it turn into morning while I was in a state of certainty.’
The Noble Prophet (S) was amazed by the youth’s answer because it was full of deep meaning. He enquired, ‘There is a sign for every certainty. What is the sign of your certainty?’ The youth answered, ‘O Prophet of Allah, It is because of this certainty that I have become sorrowful and my nights have become sleepless. It is as a result of this certainty that I bear hunger and thirst with fortitude during the heat of the day as I fast, and my soul has become detached from the world and all that is in it. It seems as if I can see the Throne of Allah and the Day of Resurrection with all the people raised to receive their reward and punishment, I being one of them.
I see the dwellers of paradise reclining therein, and enjoying the blessings therein, and courteously conversing with each other, reclining on soft cushions.
I see the dwellers of hell being tortured therein, and hear their loud screams. And, I hear the clamor of the fire of hell ringing in my ears.’
Allah’s Prophet (S) turned and addressed his companions,
‘This youth is one of Allah’s slaves. Allah has enlightened his heart with the light of faith.’ Then, he told the youth, ‘Continue to believe what you now believe.’ The youth said, ‘Make a prayer for me so that I may get martyred while beside you.’ The Noble Prophet (S) made the supplication for him. Soon after this incident he participated in one of the wars. After nine Muslim soldiers, he was the tenth to get martyred.”
While explaining this tradition [hadīth], the late ‘Allāmah Majlisī writes, “There are dark and opaque curtains in the inner souls of people. These dark and opaque curtains do not allow the light of reality and truth to shine therein. When they abstain from idle or nonsensical talk, excessive sleep, food and water, and practice continuous self-control, these curtains get ripped apart and the light of truth appears in them.”(1)
Ibn Hishām writes, “The people who paid allegiance to the Noble Prophet (S) at ‘Aqabah were mainly youths. Most of the elderly people of the tribes of Arabia continued to worship idols. There was a man among the elderly people of the tribe of Banī Salmah named “‘Amru ibn Jumūh” who, like everyone else, had bought an idol for himself. The name of his idol was “Manāt”.
He had placed this idol in a special place inside his house. One of the youths who had newly converted to Islam was “Ma‘ādh”, the son of ‘Amru ibn Jumūh. Ma‘ādh had just returned from Mecca and
paid his allegiance to the Noble Prophet (S). He conspired with the other youths (his friends) from the tribe of Banī Salmah to dislodge ‘Amru ibn Jumūh’s idol and throw it in a pile of rubbish.
They were successful in their courageous act, and they managed to throw Manāt (the idol) into a pile of rubbish. Every morning, ‘Amru ibn Jumūh would set out searching and looking for his lost idol. Upon finding it, he would wash it and place it in its usual special place. He used to say, ‘I swear by Allah that if I ever find out who is showing this disrespect to my idol, I will punish him severely.’
When he noticed that this action was continuing nonstop on a daily basis, he got a sword and placed it on the idol’s neck and said, ‘I do not know who comes and acts in this disrespectful and insolent manner with you. I, therefore, hang this sword around your neck so that you may defend yourself with it, if there is any power in you.’
That night, the youths of Banī Salmah came to carry out their daily duty. They carried the idol Manāt together with the sword that was hung in his neck. When they reached the usual pile of rubbish where they had always dropped him, they removed the sword that was hung around his neck and instead, placed a clay puppy dog in its place. The puppy dog was placed in the same way that the
sword had been hung. Finally, they dropped the idol in the rubbish pit as done on the previous days.
‘Amru ibn Jumūh went looking for his idol in the rubbish pit. He was taken aback by what he saw and sank down in deep thought. Some of the youths from the tribe of Banī Salmah pretended to loiter around walked lazily by. Their actual intention was to see how ‘Amru ibn Jumūh would react upon finding his idol in its humiliating condition, and whether it was going to wake ‘Amru ibn Jumūh from his deep sleep of ignorance and make him accept the truth.
When ‘Amru ibn Jumūh saw the state in which the idol had been in the pile of rubbish, he was extremely disappointed. He came near it and tried to make it move wondering how it could help him when it couldn’t help itself. The youth of Banī Salmah approached him after some time and invited him to accept the divine truth.
The words of the youth had such a deep effect on him that, finally, he converted to Islam. Afterwards, he composed and recited poems reproaching and castigating the idol-worshipers and thanking Allah for the great gift of Islam. He remained a Muslim up to the end of his life and attained martyrdom in the Battle of Uhud and was buried right there in that holy place.”(1)
Hanzalah was a youth, with a determination of steel, who changed his bridal chamber into the lap of martyrdom.
He was considered one of the Helpers [Ansār] of Medina, even though his father, Abū ‘Āmir, was one of Islam’s most hostile enemies and remained an infidel [kāfar] up to the end of his life.
Hanzalah married Jamīlah, the daughter ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ubayy, one of the leaders of the hypocrites of Medina. Hanzalah’s wedding night coincided with the day when the Muslims were busy preparing for the Battle of Uhud. For this reason, Hanzalah went to see the Noble Prophet (S) and seek his advice whether to go to the battle front or marry that night? The Noble Prophet (S) advised and permitted Hanzalah to stay in Medina and marry that night.
Therefore, Hanzalah stayed in Medina that night and married. The following day, because of the faith and love that he had for the holy jihād, his supreme and great leader, the Noble Prophet (S), Hanzalah left Medina and set out towards Uhud in the early hours of the morning.
When Hanzalah was setting out towards Uhud, his wife, Jamīlah bint Ubayy, came forward and tried to prevent him from leaving. When he refused, she held him by the hand and took him to four witnesses, and said to Hanzalah, “Testify in the presence of these people that you married me last night.” Hanzalah testified and left for Uhud.
When Hanzalah had left for the battlefield, the witnesses asked his wife, “Why did you do this?” She answered, “Last night in my dreams I saw the sky opening and Hanzalah
entering the heavens. After he had entered, the gates of heaven closed. I understood and deduced from this dream that Hanzalah was going to get martyred at Uhud. Therefore, I wanted you to stand witness to the fact that he married me last night, so that I may not be the object of slander or exposed to false accusation.”
The fruit of this marriage was a son named ‘Abd Allāh ibn Hanzalah, who later led an uprising in Medina after the martyrdom of Imām al-Husayn (‘a) on 28th Dhū al-Hijjah in 63 AH. He mobilized the people of Medina against Yazīd and finally after three days of fighting and resilient resistance, he got martyred, together with his companions, in an event that is well known in the history of Islam as the Event of “Harrah”.
We have narrated this event in detail in a different book called “The Effects of the Revolution of ‘Āshūrā”. Those interested in reading more about this event can refer to this book.
When Hanzalah set out towards the battlefield, he was worried about how and where to find water in order to perform his ritual ablution [ghusl]. Hanzalah was also sad because of his father, who was one of the most obstinate enemies of Islam and one of the hostile foes of the Noble Prophet (S) of Allah.
Hanzalah ibn Āmir displayed a lot of courage and bravery on the battlefield. He drove deep into the enemy ground and managed to find Abū Sufyān. He tracked and followed Abū
Sufyān’s horse. Hanzalah ibn Āmir was very close to killing him when Abū Sufyān called out to the polytheists to come to his help and save him from perdition. The polytheists responded to his call and hurried up to save their master.
One of the infidels by the name of Shaddād ibn Aws intercepted Hanzalah and confronted him. Abū Sufyān found the chance to throw a spear at Hanzalah from behind. The spear struck Hanzalah in the back. He turned with the intention of going forward to kill Abū Sufyān, but the spear had already taken its toll and done its job. Hanzalah fell on the ground and joined the other honorable martyrs of this war such as Hamzah, the Noble Prophet’s (S) uncle, ‘Abd Allāh ibn Hazām and the others.
When the war of Uhud came to an end, the Noble Prophet (S) stated in very beautiful sentences, ‘“I saw the angels washing Hanzalah and performing the ritual ablution [ghusl] on him in clean and pure water.”
It was after this statement that Hanzalah, the prolific youth of Islam, acquired the title, “Hanzalah Ghasīl al-Malā’ikah” (Hanzalah the one who was washed by the angels).(1)
This prolific youth from the household of Abū Āmir Rāhib, preferred fighting in the way of Allah to remaining next to his wife. He freed himself from the momentary pleasures of this world and even though he did not find water for the ritual ablution [ghusl], it is a cause of great pride for him that the angels
performed the ritual ablution [ghusl] on him with the pure and eternal water of paradise.
Thawbān was the son of Yajdud. He originated from the family of “Sarāt”, a tribe which had settled between Mecca and Yemen. His pseudonym (nickname) was Abū ‘Abd Allāh. The Noble Prophet (S) had bought him and then set him free for the sake and good pleasure of Allah, the Almighty. He, however, preferred to stay with the Noble Prophet (S) and was in his service up to the end of his life.
He had always been overwhelmed by the Noble Prophet’s (S) character and personality. One day, when he came to see the Noble Prophet (S), his whole demeanor had changed. He looked extremely thin, pale and sorrowful. The Noble Prophet (S), considering his condition, asked him how he was feeling.
Thawbān replied, “I have no pain whatsoever, but I am terrified of the Day of Resurrection whenever I get separated from you. I fear that on that fateful day, I will get separated from you and not see you again. Even if I happen to be one of those people who enter paradise, your level and position in heaven will still be higher than mine, considering the positions of some prophets are higher than the positions of other prophets.”
At this very moment, the Archangel Gabriel (Jibrā’īl) descended from heaven and revealed this Quranic verse,
“And whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle, these are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favors from among
the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a goodly company are they.”(1)
Then, the Noble Prophet (S) addressed Thawbān, “I swear by Allah, He, in whose hands my life rests, that no one will enjoy safety on the Day of Resurrection, unless he loves me more than himself, his father, his mother, his wife, his children and more than all the people.”
‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (‘a) always used to state, “I love the Noble Prophet more than I love wealth, my children, my father and my mother. I love him (S) more than sweet cold water is loved by one who is thirsty in the hot desert.”(2)
The reason why we all ought to love the Noble Prophet (S) more than anyone or anything is that he freed us from ignorance and useless idol-worship and was the best creation of Allah in all respects.
The War of “Banī Mustalaq” took place in the month of Sha‘bān in 6 AH. The Noble Prophet (S) went to the battlefield with his companions to defend Islam. ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ubayy, who was one of the leading hypocrites of Medina, had come together with his adherents as volunteers in the Muslim army because they were covetous of the booty and spoils of war.
As a result of the differences between two people, “Jahjāh”, a Muhājir, and “Nisān ibn Wabar”, an Ansār, an internal conflict was about to erupt in Medina. These two people had quarreled over drawing water from
a nearby well. ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ubayy got very angry and addressed the Ansār, “Do these people (the migrants from Mecca) really have the courage to fight us? They have driven us from our homes and behave with pomposity in our land. I swear by Allah, that when I return to Medina, those who are loved and respected (he meant the Jews and the hypocrites of Medina) will drive out those who are abject and contemptible (he meant the Noble Prophet (S) and the Muslims).”
Zayd ibn Arqam rose up and went to inform the Noble Prophet (S) about the plan of the hypocrites. Some of the Noble Prophet’s (S) companions [sahābah] suggested killing ‘Abd Allāh, but Allah’s Prophet (S) rejected this suggestion. Instead, he commanded that an army should march to the area of confrontation to handle the situation.
When ‘Abd Allāh heard the news that an army was marching towards them in order to handle the volatile situation, he forgot his tall claims and hurriedly rushed to meet the Noble Prophet (S) in order to ask for forgiveness. It was after this incident that the sūrat (Chapter) called Munāfiqīn (the Hypocrites) was revealed. This sūrat was meant for ‘Abd Allāh.
On the other hand, ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ubayy had a son by the name of ‘Abd Allāh, whose previous name had been Habbāb. When he heard about his father’s words and plans, he went to see the Noble Prophet (S) and said, “I have heard that you intend to kill
my father because of his hypocrisy. If that is true, entrust the duty of killing him to me. I myself will make sure that I have brought his head for you.
I swear by Allah that everyone in the tribe of Banī Khazraj knows that no one loves their father more than I do, but I fear that you may entrust the duty of killing him to someone else. If you do so, I may not be able to bear seeing my father’s killer alive! The feeling of vengeance may compel me to take vengeance on my father’s killer and, as a result, I may be condemned to the hell fire because of killing a Muslim.”
The Noble Prophet (S) stated, “No. We do not intend to kill your father. We will always behave with friendliness and amicability towards your father.”
As a result of this, ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ubayy was reproached and castigated by his own tribe. ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ubayy died in 9 AH.(1)
‘Abd Allāh ibn Mas‘ūd belonged to the tribe of Hudhayl of Mecca and was the sixth person to convert to Islam. He migrated twice in his life; first from Mecca to Ethiopia, and, in the thirteenth year of the prophetic mission, from Mecca to Medina. He took part in all the confrontations, wars and battles with the other Muslims and the Noble Prophet (S).
Ibn Mas‘ūd was one of those people who had been promised paradise in the afterlife. He had memorized the whole of
the Glorious Qur’an during the lifetime of the Noble Prophet (S). After the death of Allah’s Prophet (S), people used to refer to him in order to learn the correct and proper way of reciting the Glorious Qur’an.
His occupation was teaching the Qur’anic sciences, propagating the Noble Prophet’s (S) way of life and sayings [hadīths], educating the ignorant, informing those who lacked knowledge, making the hearts of men firm and steadfast and strengthening the foundations of faith and religion. He was one of the twelve people who did not recognize the caliphate of Abū Bakr and declared his leadership illegal according to Islamic tenets.
It is for this reason that he used to gather people in the Prophet’s (S) Mosque and tell them about the usurpation of the caliphate by the enemies of the Ahlul Bayt (‘a). His constant protest against the illegal usurpation of the caliphate led to manifold hardships and physical injury which eventually caused his death. In his will to ‘Ammār Yāsir, he stated that ‘Uthmān (the Third Caliph) must not participate in his funeral rites or mourning ceremonies.
While still young, he learnt about the Noble Prophet’s (S) divine call to Islam and the revelation of the Holy Qur’an upon Muhammad (S) from Allah. Eager to know, he went to see the Noble Prophet (S) and said, “O Prophet of Allah! Teach me some of the revelation that is inspired to you.”
When ‘Abd Allāh ibn Mas‘ūd met the Noble Prophet (S) of Allah, he had
just attained the age of puberty and hence the performance of religious obligations had become incumbent upon him. The Noble Prophet (S) placed his hand on Ibn Mas‘ūd’s head and stated, “You are the son of Ibn Mas‘ūd used to recall, ‘From then on, I learnt and memorized seventy chapters of the Glorious Qur’an directly from the Noble Prophet (S). I learnt these seventy chapters so well that no one, not even the ill-wishers and fault-finders, could criticise my recitation of the Glorious Qur’an’.”
‘Abd Allāh ibn Mas‘ūd was the first Muslim who daringly recited the Glorious Qur’an aloud in the midst of the polytheists of Mecca. One day a group of new Muslim converts gathered together and said, “Up to now the polytheists of Mecca have not heard anyone of us recite the Glorious Qur’an. Who among us will volunteer to carry out this duty?”
‘Abd Allāh ibn Mas‘ūd, a lover of divine revelation, enthusiastically said, “I volunteer.” The other youths present said, “No. Not you. The one who volunteers to carry out this dangerous duty should have relatives in Mecca so that if the polytheists intend to harm him, his kith and kin will protect him from the fury of the infidels. But you, ‘Abd Allāh, do not have any family members in Mecca. Therefore, this duty is too dangerous to be entrusted to you.”
‘Abd Allāh ibn Mas‘ūd insisted, “Let me carry out this task and do not fear for me because Allah is my supporter and protector.” Early
next morning, Ibn Mas‘ūd went and stood where the Prophet Abraham [Ibrāhīm] (S) stood and prayed after making the Ka‘bah. As soon as the elders of Quraysh gathered together around the Ka‘bah after sunrise, ‘Abd Allāh ibn Mas‘ūd started reciting the Noble Qur’an loudly.
He had memorized just a few verses of the Sūrat al-Rahmān, which he courageously recited among the polytheists for the first time, and made them hear the word of Allah with their own ears. The polytheists noticed him, and were curious to know who he was and what he was reciting. Some of them said, “He is reciting a (small) part of what Muhammad (S) has brought.”
When the polytheists realized that Ibn Mas‘ūd was not a well-connected youth, but had gathered courage and dared to recite the Glorious Qur’an in their midst, they surrounded him to intimidate him, but failed to do so. Unperturbed, he continued to recite the Holy Qur’an.
The idol-worshippers felt belittled by his unconcern and started manhandling him. ‘Abd Allāh ibn Mas‘ūd resisted them with astounding resilience. After a while, he freed himself from their clasp and returned to his comrades, the Muslims.
When they saw him badly beaten, with his head and face covered in blood, they said, “This is exactly what we were afraid of.” ‘Abd Allāh ibn Mas‘ūd said, “This is exactly not anything to worry about. If need be, I will go again and recite the Glorious Qur’an in their midst tomorrow morning.” The Muslims said, “It is not necessary
anymore. The important thing was to make them hear the holy word, even if just once.”
Ibn Mas‘ūd is one of the greatest Muslim memorizers, reciters and commentators of the Noble Qur’an. Very few scholars of his calibre can be found in the history of Islam.
He is one of those people regarding whom the following verses of the Glorious Qur’an were revealed,
“As for those who responded to the call of Allah and the Apostle after the wound had befallen them, those among them who do good to others and guard against evil shall have a great reward.”(1)
“And do not drive away those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, they desire only His favor; neither are you answerable for any reckoning of theirs, nor are they answerable for any reckoning of yours, so do not drive them away and thus be one of the unjust.”(2)
We will conclude this story by quoting Ibn Mas‘ūd himself, “The basis and proof of good actions is visible at the end of the road and the noblest end is annihilation in the way of Allah.”(3)
‘Abd Allāh belonged to the Tribe of “Muzaynah” and lived in Mecca. He was orphaned in early childhood, and, hence, grew up under the care of his uncle. As a result of strenuous effort and active struggle, he acquired a lot of wealth, consisting of camels, herds of sheep and slaves. Following in the footsteps of his uncle, ‘Abd Allāh Muznī had initially been an
But after realizing that the idols were nothing but soulless statues, he got disgusted with idol-worshiping and developed interest in Islam. However, out of respect for his uncle, he could not openly declare his interest publicly. He kept hoping that one day his uncle would convert to Islam and pave the way for him to convert to Islam, too.
After the conquest of Mecca, ‘Abd Allāh Muznī hoped that like the other polytheists, his uncle, too, would eventually convert to Islam. But ‘Abd Allāh’s uncle did not convert to Islam. On the contrary, he intended to remain an infidel.
‘Abd Allāh, whose name at that time was, in accordance the custom of the idol-worshippers, ‘Abd al-‘Uzzā(1), could not continue in the state of disbelief and infidelity anymore and finally lost his patience.
He gathered courage and said, “O Uncle! I have been waiting for you to become a Muslim so that I, too, might find it easy to become a Muslim. Since you persist in your idol worship, I can no longer continue with you in this state of ignorance and infidelity. Therefore, give me permission to convert to the religion of Islam.” Upon hearing this, ‘Abd al-‘Uzzā’s uncle flew into a rage and said, “I will never give you such permission.” ‘Abd al-‘Uzzā said, “I have decided to convert to Islam no matter what it costs.” His uncle warned him angrily, “If you become a Muslim, I will confiscate all your wealth; I will seize all your camels, herds of
sheep, slaves and clothes.”
‘Abd al-‘Uzzā said, “I, voluntarily, give you whatever I own.” After saying this, he immediately removed his clothes and threw them in front of his uncle. Then, with words that showed inner peace and joy, enthusiasm in the worship of Truth.
‘Abd al-‘Uzzā said, “All these things are yours. Property and worldly wealth mean a lot to you, but they are worthless for me. In my opinion, they cannot be compared to real success and everlasting life in the hereafter.” Having said this, ‘Abd al-‘Uzzā went to see his mother empty-handed, without any clothes on his body and told her, “I have decided to become a Muslim. I need a piece of cloth just enough to cover my body with.”
His mother brought a length of linen cloth sufficient for a garment. ‘Abd al-‘Uzzā tore the piece of cloth into two parts to cover his body. With spiritual joy, he left for Medina. His horse was unshod with nothing to eat or drink but the grass of the desert and the water which had settled in its sandy potholes, but overflowing with the love for Islam and the Noble Prophet (S), ‘Abd al-‘Uzzā did not worry about any of these encumbrances at all. Driven by his intense love for Islam he crossed all the hills and deserts with speed and haste until he reached Medina.
The Noble Prophet (S) and his companions had just finished the Morning Prayers when this youth, who was in search of Truth, entered the Mosque.
He went in front of the Noble Prophet (S) and greeted him respectfully.
His unfamiliar face, disturbed state and unbecoming clothes attracted the attention of everyone in the Mosque. The Noble Prophet (S) asked affectionately, “Who are you?” The youth said, “My name is ‘Abd al-‘Uzzā. I have come from Mecca with the desire to embrace Islam. My uncle has confiscated all my property, even my clothes, because of my intentions.”
‘Abd al-‘Uzzā recited the the profession of the faith [shihādah] and became a Muslim.
The Noble Prophet (S) smiled and said, “From today onwards, your name shall be ‘Abd Allāh.” Because he had even denounced his clothes in the way of Allah, he became popularly known as ‘Abd Allāh Dhū al-Bajādayn (viz. ‘Abd Allāh of two pieces of cloth).
The Noble Prophet (S) ordered him, “Build your house next to mine and become one of my neighbors.”
‘Abd Allāh quickly learnt the principles of Islam because of his keen interest in the religion. He always recited the Noble Qur’an and the prayers aloud in the Mosque. ‘Umar intended to stop ‘Abd Allāh from doing this.
The Noble Prophet (S), who knew that ‘Abd Allāh was doing this as a result of his deep love for Allah, restrained him, “Do not stop him from reciting the Glorious Qur’an and his prayers aloud because he has migrated for the sake of Allah and his Prophet (S).”
What did this youth, who had denounced everything, actually desire? The answer is that he desired only one thing, in
spite of having many material needs, and that was martyrdom, dying in the way of Allah the Most High.
The war of Uhud was fought in 3 AH and the Muslim army prepared for the confrontation. ‘Abd Allāh went to see the Noble Prophet (S) and said, “O Prophet (S) of Allah! I request you to ask Allah to grant me the honor of martyrdom by being killed in the way of truth.” The Noble Prophet (S) stated, “Bring the bark of a tree.” ‘Abd Allāh hurried to find the bark of a tree and brought it to Allah’s Prophet (S). The Noble Prophet (S) scribbled something on the bark: “Allah has forbidden the unbelievers from shedding the blood of the Muslims.”
‘Abd Allāh thought his wish had been refused and got worried and said, “O Prophet of Allah! I had requested for something other than what you have written!” The Noble Prophet (S) said, “You will be considered a martyr even if you die of a headache because you have migrated in the way of Allah.”
When the Muslim army reached the area of Tabūk, ‘Abd Allāh got a headache and died. He was buried in Tabūk.(1)
Yes, ‘Abd Allāh struggled very hard in the way of religion. He did so with a heart full of spiritual faith and love. He denounced the world and all that was in it in order to attain everlasting success and glory.
‘Ammārah ibn Ziyād belonged to the Tribe of Aws and was one of
the Helpers [Ansār] of Medina. When the Noble Prophet (S) was encircled by the enemy, in the Battle of Uhud, Mus‘ab ibn ‘Umayr and Abū Dujānah protected and defended him with all their might and strength.
Five youths of the Ansār of Medina hurried up to help defend the Noble Prophet (S). One of those youths was ‘Ammārah ibn Ziyād. ‘Ammārah ibn Ziyād fought bravely with all his might till he was seriously wounded.
A group of Muslims returned from the battlefront and drove the enemies of Allah away from the Noble Prophet (S). The Noble Prophet (S) looked at ‘Ammārah ibn Ziyād, who had sustained fourteen fatal wounds, and stated, “Come close to me.” ‘Ammārah dragged himself close to the Noble Prophet (S), placed his forehead at his feet and died.(1)
Mus‘ab ibn ‘Umayr ibn Hāshim ibn ‘Abd al-Manāf was one of those youths who were full of enthusiasm and religious zeal. When the Noble Prophet (S) publicly invited everyone to the divine religion,Islam, Mus‘ab ibn ‘Umayr responded positively to the call and converted to Islam.
From then on, he started defending Islam. Mus‘ab ibn ‘Umayr was the beloved offspring of an aristocratic family. They had provided him with all the comforts and luxuries that the world could offer, but Mus‘ab’s soul was in search of the eternal spring of life offered by Islam.
In spite of being very handsome, dressed in fine clothes and ornaments, he was extremely courteous to one and all. Everyone spoke well of
him and remembered him with affection. Affluence and the deception of luxury were not enough for him. He was in search of something higher. Finally, in order to quench his thirst, he went to see the Noble Prophet (S) and devotedly learnt the teachings of Islam. He strove hard to keep his conversion a secret from his family.
One day, ‘Uthmān ibn Talhah saw Mus‘ab praying and went to inform his mother and other family members about it. They angrily confronted him and charged him with the crime of becoming a Muslim and following the instructions of the Noble Prophet (S) and, consequently, imprisoned him in the house. He stayed in prison for some time until he found an opportunity to escape. He then migrated to Ethiopia with the other oppressed Muslims. After staying in Ethiopia for some time, he returned to Mecca with the other emigrants.
When a group of people from Medina came for the Hajj in the month of Dhū al-Hijjah in the twelfth year of the prophetic mission, they met the Noble Prophet (S), one moonlit night, at ‘Aqabah and converted to Islam and requested him to send a preacher to them. The Noble Prophet (S) sent Mus‘ab to accompany them back to Medina, so that he may recite the verses of the Glorious Qur’an among them and teach them the principles and laws of Islam.
After entering Medina, Mus‘ab resided in the house of As‘ad ibn Zarārah, one of the elders of the tribe of Khazraj. One day
he and As‘ad went together to the house of Sa‘d ibn Ma‘ādh, one of the elders of the tribe of Aws and As‘ad’s cousin, with the intention of inviting him to convert to the religion of Islam.
Muslims gathered at the house of Sa‘d desirous of listening to the verses of the Glorious Qur’an. Sa‘d turned to Asīd ibn Hudayr, one of the elders of the tribe of Aws, pointed at them and said, “These two people have come to misguide those whose faith is weak. Drive them out of my house immediately. If As‘ad had not been my cousin, I would have confronted him myself.”
Asīd ibn Hudayr got a weapon and went to confront them. When Asīd got close to them, As‘ad said to Mus‘ab, “This man (Asīd) is one of the elders of his tribe. Is it possible to make him become a Muslim?” Mus‘ab said, “If he will sit down for a while and listen to a few sentences of what I have to say, there is hope that he will convert to Islam.”
Asīd refused to sit down and started abusing Mus‘ab ibn ‘Umayr and As‘ad. He said, “Have you come here to misguide the ignorant people among us? Arise and leave the vicinity of our house if you wish to return alive.”
Mus‘ab ibn ‘Umayr, absolutely unruffled, answered him very calmly, “I request you to sit down and listen to what I have to say. If what I say is pleasing to you, then accept it. If
it is not pleasing to you, you are at liberty to reject my words.”
Mus‘ab ibn ‘Umayr was both brave and eloquent. He could, in a few words, effectively explain the truth of Islam. After doing so, he recited a few verses of the Glorious Qur’an. These few verses of the Glorious Qur’an had such a deep effect on Asīd that, without further delay, he told Asīd, “What beautiful and good words you recite! What has one got to do in order to join this religion?”
The two Muslim propagators said, “First you have to purify yourself by performing the ritual ablution [ghusl] and washing your clothes. After that, you have to testify to the oneness of Allah, and then offer two rak‘ats of prayers.”
Asīd did exactly as he was told. He recounted what had taken place to Sa‘d ibn Ma‘ādh. Upon hearing that Asīd had converted to Islam, Sa‘d ibn Ma‘ādh got so angry that he drew his sword from its sheath and confronted the two Muslim propogaters with curses and abuses. Mus‘ab used the same method to prevail over Sa‘d ibn Ma‘ādh that he had used to influence and prevail over Asīd.
Sa‘d ibn Ma‘ādh, after being subdued, was greatly impressed by the words of Mus‘ab. The verses of the Glorious Qur’an had such a deep effect on him that he converted to Islam there and then. After that, Sa‘d left the two Muslim preachers and went to his tribe and addressed them, “O children of ‘Abd al-Ashhal, What do you
think about me?” They answered, “You are an elder of our clan! Your opinions, management, cleanliness and purity are higher than those of any of us!”
Sa‘d said, “Then you must know that from today onwards, none of you has any right to talk to me until he or she has not become a Muslim, a believing man and a believing woman.” The day had not yet ended before the entire clan of Banī Ashhal converted to Islam. They were one of the biggest clans of the tribe of Banī Aws. The most renowned and prominent people of the tribe of Banī Khazraj also converted to Islam.
Mus‘ab ibn ‘Umayr took part in the wars of Badr and Uhud. He was the standard-bearer for the Muslims during the Battle of Uhud when he attained martyrdom. He was buried next to Hamzah, the Noble Prophet’s (S) uncle.(1)
Ma‘ādh ibn ‘Amru ibn Jumūh belonged to the tribe of Banī Salmah and was one of the Helpers [Ansār] of Medina. He was present at ‘Aqabah and during the Battle of Uhud.
Ma‘ādh himself says, “During the Battle of Uhud, the polytheists had surrounded Abū Jahl and were teasingly saying, ‘Today, no one can dare to attack Abū Jahl.’ Hearing this, I started planning to attack Abū Jahl in order to shame the infidels.
Finally, I found a suitable opportunity and hit him so hard that his foreleg was cut into two. Instantly, his son, Akramah, struck my shoulder with his sword with the
intention of separating my arm from my body altogether, but it remained stuck to the skin on my shoulders. The intensity of the war did not give me the opportunity to think about my arm. So I continued fighting in this state. Finally, I realized that it was disturbing me, so I decided to remove it myself. I plucked it off and continued to fight.”
Ma‘ādh remained alive up to the time of the caliphate of ‘Uthmān and died in 25 AH.(1)
One of the Muslim youths who took part in the Battle of Uhud was Yazīd ibn Hātib. While fighting, Yazīd ibn Hātib was badly wounded, so he was removed from the battlefield to the village of Banī Zafar, to his father’s house.
His relatives came to see him, and noticed that his condition was very grave. Realizing that he was going to die, they gave him the good news of heaven and said, “How fortunate you are that you are going to heaven.”
But his father, who was one of the hypocrites, could not hide his hypocrisy. He shouted, “What good news are you giving my son? Heaven is nothing but Island of trees!(2) I swear by Allah that you deceived my son into battle.”(3)
‘Abāyah ibn Rib‘ī says, “A youth from among the Helpers [Ansār] of Medina went to see ‘Abd Allāh ibn ‘Abbās. After that, he started visiting ‘Abbās frequently, who held him in high esteem. Some people told Ibn ‘Abbās, ‘This youth that
you have made close to yourself is only nine years old with excessively bad habits.
Every night he opens graves in the cemetery.’ Ibn ‘Abbās, surprised, said, ‘Inform me when you see him going to the graveyard.’ One night, when they saw that youth going to the cemetery, they informed Ibn ‘Abbās. He went and hid in a place where the youth could not see him. The youth hit his fist on a grave and said, ‘Woe on me! When I am alone in the tomb and the earth has become my bed it will tell me, ‘You are not welcome. You should not be here.’
Woe on that which came out of my heart! Woe upon me when I see the prophets and the angels in a queue! Who will save me from the justice of Allah on the Day of Resurrection? Who will save me from those charged with punishing and torturing the sinners? Who will save me from the punishment of hell? I have disobeyed Him who is not supposed to be disobeyed! I have broken my promise every time I made one! I have been unfaithful in my covenant with Him!’
The youth wailed bitterly while repeating these words. When he came out of the cemetery, Ibn ‘Abbās came forward and embraced the youth. He told him, ‘How wise of you to reveal your sins to graves!’”(1)
In the name of Allah
Are those who know equal to those who do not know?
Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan, from 2007, under the authority of Ayatollah Haj SayyedHasanFaqihImami (God blesses his soul), by sincere and daily efforts of university and seminary elites and sophisticated groups began its activities in religious, cultural and scientific fields.
Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan in order to facilitate and accelerate the accessibility of researchers to the books and tools of research, in the field of Islamic science, and regarding the multiplicity and dispersion of active centers in this field
and numerous and inaccessible sources by a mere scientific intention and far from any kind of social, political, tribal and personal prejudices and currents, based on performing a project in the shape of (management of produced and published works from all Shia centers) tries to provide a rich and free collection of books and research papers for the experts, and helpful contents and discussions for the educated generation and all classes of people interested in reading, with various formats in the cyberspace.
Our Goals are:
-propagating the culture and teachings of Thaqalayn (Quran and Ahlulbayt p.b.u.t)
-encouraging the populace particularly the youth in investigating the religious issues
-replacing useful contents with useless ones in the cellphones, tablets and computers
-providing services for seminary and university researchers
-spreading culture study in the publich
-paving the way for the publications and authors to digitize their works
-acting according to the legal licenses
-relationship with similar centers
-avoiding parallel working
-merely presenting scientific contents
-mentioning the sources
It’s obvious that all the responsibilities are due to the author.
Other activities of the institute:
-Publication of books, booklets and other editions
-Holding book reading competitions
-Producing virtual, three dimensional exhibitions, panoramas of religious and tourism places
-Producing animations, computer games and etc.
-Launching the website with this address: www.ghaemiyeh.com
-Fabricatingdramatic and speech works
-Launching the system of answering religious, ethical and doctrinal questions
-Designing systems of accounting, media and mobile, automatic and handy systems, web kiosks
-Holding virtual educational courses for the public
-Holding virtual teacher-training courses
-Producing thousands of research software in three languages (Persian, Arabic and English) which can be performed in computers, tablets and cellphones and available and downloadable with eight international formats: JAVA, ANDROID, EPUB, CHM, PDF, HTML, CHM, GHB on the website
-Also producing four markets named “Ghaemiyeh Book Market” with Android, IOS, WINDOWS PHONE and WINDOWS editions
We would appreciate the centers, institutes, publications, authors and all honorable friends who contributed their help and data to us to reach the holy goal we follow.
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Isfahan, Abdorazaq St, Haj Mohammad JafarAbadei Alley, Shahid Mohammad HasanTavakkoly Alley, Number plate 129, first floor
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Introduction of the Center – Ghaemiyeh Digital Library