This post summarizes the slander that the hypocrites during Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) levied against mother of the believers, Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her). This was an important event in Islamic history that also led the revelation of important verses in Surah Nour in which Allah vindicated her.

Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her – RadiaAllahu Anha (RA)) once accompanied the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) on a campaign and was travelling with a caravan. She accidentally got separated from the caravan during the journey and was stranded in the desert. Safwan bin Mu`attal, who was travelling separately happened to get to the same place where she was and seeing her stranded, brought his camel and made it kneel so that she could ride upon it. Then he set out leading the camel until they caught up with the army. This gave rise not just to suspicion, but allegations against them, with Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, the leader of the hypocrites, being the foremost in spreading them. He fabricated the lie and whispered it to others, until some of the Muslims started to believe it, and began to talk about their suspicions. As for Ayesha (RA), as she was ill during those days, she did not know about the slander that the people were indulging in. What upset her when she was ill was that she observed the Prophet’s behavior to have changed toward her. On inquiry, when she finally came to know about the slander from another lady, she sought the Prophet’s permission and went to her parents’ home. She said: “Rumours about this slander went on spreading in the city for about a month, which caused a great distress and anguish to the Holy Prophet. I cried due to helplessness and my parents were sick with mental agony.”

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) remained in great anxiety with regard to Aisha (RA) for one whole month. At last one day he (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) visited her and her parents. He sat near her (which she says he had not done since the slander had started). Feeling that something decisive was going to happen that day, Abu Bakr and Umm Ruman (Ayesha (RA)’s parents) also sat near them. The Holy Prophet gently said: “Ayesha, I have heard this about you. If you are innocent, I expect that Allah will declare your innocence. But if you have committed the sin, you should offer repentance, and ask for Allah’s forgiveness; when a servant (of Allah) confesses his guilt and repents, Allah forgives him.”

Hearing these words, tears dried in her eyes, as Ayesha (RA) reported. She looked up to her father expecting that he would say something in her defense, but he said, `Daughter, I do not know what I should say.’ Then she turned to her mother, but she also did not know what to say. At last Ayesha (RA) replied, “You have all heard something about me and believed it. Now if I say that I am innocent – and Allah is my witness that I am innocent – you will not believe me; and if I confess something which I never did – and Allah knows that I never did it – you will believe me. I cannot but repeat the words which the father of Prophet Yousuf (Joseph) had spoken: ‘fa-sabrun jamil’: I will bear this patiently with good grace.”

Saying this she lay down thinking that Allah was aware of her innocence, and He would certainly reveal the truth. At that moment, suddenly the state of receiving the Divine Revelation appeared on the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), when pearl-like drops of perspiration used to gather on his face even in severe winter. The revelation vindicated her stand and proved her innocence. When it was over, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was overjoyed. The first words he spoke were: “Congratulations, Ayesha (RA), Allah has sent down proof of your innocence”, and then he recited the following ten verses of Sura An-Noor that had her vindication:

Verily those who brought forth the slander (against ‘Aishah) are a group among you. Consider it not a bad thing for you. Nay, it is good for you. Unto every man among them will be paid that which he had earned of the sin, and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be a great torment. (11).
Why then, did not the believers, men and women, when you heard it (the slander), think good of their own people and say: “This (charge) is an obvious lie ?” (12)

Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they (the slanderers) have not produced witnesses! Then with Allah they are the liars. (13)

Had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy unto you in this world and in the Hereafter, a great torment would have touched you for that whereof you had spoken. (14)

When you were propagating it with your tongues, and uttering with your mouths that whereof you had no knowledge, you counted it a little thing, while with Allah it was very great. (15)

And why did you not, when you heard it, say: “It is not right for us to speak of this. Glory be to You (O Allah)! This is a great lie.” (16)

Allah forbids you from it and warns you not to repeat the like of it forever, if you are believers. (17)

And Allah makes the Ayat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) plain to you, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (18)

Verily, those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you know not. (19)

And had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, (Allah would have hastened the punishment upon you). And that Allah is full of Kindness, Most Merciful. (20)

O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan). And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan), then, verily he commands Al-Fahsha’ [i.e. to commit indecency (illegal sexual intercourse)], and Al-Munkar [disbelief and polytheism (i.e. to do evil and wicked deeds; and to speak or to do what is forbidden in Islam)]. And had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins. But Allah purifies (guides to Islam) whom He wills, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. (21)
islam on The Slander against Ayesha (RA) (Mother of the Believers) and her Vindication by Allah

(Quran, Sura An-Noor:11-21).

Lessons that we can learn

This event provided many key lessons. Let’s review some of them below.

The Prophet’s ordeal and challenge until the verses were revealed

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)’s conduct and attitude proved beyond any doubt his moral purity, nobility, fairness, tolerance and forbearance. If he had wished, he could have punished the people responsible for the attack severely. But he bore everything with patience until the Divine injunction came down from Allah. Later, he enforced the punishment only on those three Muslims whose guilt was established, and spared the hypocrites who were responsible for spreading the mischief.

Perseverance of Ayesha (RA) and her reaction after the fact was known

The incident also highlights Ayesha (RA)’s magnanimity. She did not allow the slander against her to color her judgment of the people circulating it. Hassan bin Thabit had played a prominent role in the campaign of slander against her, yet she continued to treat him with due honor and esteem. When people reminded her that he was the man who had slandered her, she replied, `…he it was who used to rebut the anti-Islamic poets on behalf of the Holy Prophet and Islam’, and thus she acknowledged his service to Islam more than his role in her slander. Thus, she didn’t allow the dictates of her ego to supersede her objective judgment.

Ayesha (RA)’s family’s response

Abu Bakr and his family responded to the slander against their daughter with dignified silence in spite of being convinced of their daughter’s moral character and the falsity of the accusation. Abu Bakr’s own relative, Mistah bin Uthatha, whose whole family he had supported all along, continued heaping disgrace on Abu Bakr (RA) publicly, yet Abu Bakr (RA) neither severed his family relations with him nor stopped monetary help to him and his family.

After the revelation of verses 11-21 of Surah Nour absolving her from the accusation, Abu Bakr swore that he would no longer support Mistah bin Uthatha. This was because the man had shown no regard for the relationship nor for the favors that Abu Bakr had all along been showing him and his family. At this verse 22 of Surah Noor was revealed:

And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give (any sort of help) to their kinsmen, Al-Masakin (the poor), and those who left their homes for Allah’s Cause. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. islam on The Slander against Ayesha (RA) (Mother of the Believers) and her Vindication by Allah

(Quran, Sura An-Noor:11-22).

On hearing this verse, Abu Bakr immediately said: “By God! We do want that Allah should forgive us.” And he again started helping Mistah in a more liberal manner than before. His example was followed by some other companions who had also sworn that they would discontinue helping those who had taken an active part in the slander. All of them revoked their oaths, wiping out the ill-will that had been created by the mischief.

The response of the other wives of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)

Despite the jealousy that existed in the  hearts of some of the other wives of the prophet, none of them took the least part in the slander nor even expressed the slightest approval of it. Even Zainab, for whose sake her real sister, Hamnah bint Jahsh, was taking part in the slander, did not utter anything about her rival (Ayesha (RA)) except good words. According to Ayesha (RA) herself: “Zainab among the wives of the Holy Prophet was my strongest rival, but when in connection with the incident of the slander, the Holy Prophet asked her opinion of me, she said, `O Messenger of Allah, I swear by God that I have perceived nothing in her except piety’.”

Zainab (RA) depicted an admirable quality in adhering to the truth about Ayesha (RA), refuting the false charge by declaring that she’d seen nothing except good in Ayesha (RA). She did not allow any feelings of jealousy to cloud the truth. By declaring the truth and not staying silent, she prevented any doubts to surface about Ayesha (RA).

The evils of slandering

The incident became the cause of some very important additions to the social law and injunctions of Islam. Through these, the Muslims received Commandments from Allah which ensured that the Muslim society could be kept clean and protected against the creation and propagation of moral evils.

“Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they (the slanderers) have not produced witnesses! Then with Allah they are the liars.” (Quran, Sura An-Noor:13).

This verse draws our attention to the fact that none of the accusers had actually witnessed what they were accusing the innocent about. The only basis of the accusation was that Ayesha (RA) had been left behind and Safwan bin Mu`attal had brought her to the camp on his camel.

The general principle laid down was that all dealings in the Islamic society must be based on `good faith’. The question of a bad opinion should arise only when there is definite and concrete basis for it. Every person should, as a matter of principle, be considered innocent unless there are sound reasons to hold him guilty or suspect. Every person should be considered as truthful unless there are strong grounds for holding him unreliable.

And why did you not, when you heard it, say: “It is not right for us to speak of this. Glory be to You (O Allah)! This is a great lie.” (24:16).

Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) admonishes people regarding their response to the slander. The lady being accused was no other than the wife of the Holy Prophet of Allah, whom every Muslim esteemed higher than his own mother, and whom Allah Himself had forbidden for every Muslim just like his own mother. The man being accused was not only a follower of the same caravan, a soldier of the same army, and an inhabitant of the same city, but also a Muslim, who believed in the lady’s husband to be the Messenger of Allah and his religious leader and guide. He had even followed him and fought in the most dangerous battle at Badr. As such, the slander was an even greater sin.

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) had no knowledge of the unseen

The Muslims came to understand that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) had no absolute knowledge of the unseen. He knew from the unseen and other knowledge only that which Allah had taught him. For a month he was upset and would make inquiries from the maid-servant, from his other wives, and sometimes from Ali and Usamah. Had he possessed any knowledge of the unseen, he wouldn’t have felt so upset, or made inquiries, nor counseled repentance. However, when the Divine Message revealed the truth, he happily received that knowledge and made it known to all. Thus Allah arranged to safeguard the Muslims, through direct experience and observation, against exaggerated notions which people tend to entertain regarding their religious leaders. Perhaps this was the reason why Allah withheld revelation for a month and Allah knows best.

Trust in Allah and obedience leads to receiving Blessings from Allah

The hypocrites had planned to inflict a defeat on the Muslims on the moral front. But Allah turned this mischief into a means of strength for the Muslims. The incident brought out the best in the conduct and attitude of the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr and his family, and even other Muslims. Nobility and forbearance stood out as their forte. For example, when Abu Ayyub Ansari’s wife mentioned before him the rumors of the slander, he said, “Mother of Ayyub, if you had been there in place of Aayesha (RA), would you have done that?” She replied, “By God, I would never have done it.” Ayyub then said, “Well, Aayesha (RA) is a much better woman than you. As for myself if I had been in place of Safwan, I could never have entertained such an evil thought and Safwan is a better Muslim than I.”

Thus, the result of the mischief engineered by the hypocrites was contrary to what they had planned to achieve, and the Muslims emerged out of this test morally stronger than before.

Eventually we should never forget that truth always prevails and shows itself when Allah’s Help is sought and His way is adopted. Anger and vindictiveness rarely leads to any good, which can only be achieved through patience and adherence to the straight path.

References: (1) Quran interpretation (Tafsir) by Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi, (2) Tafsir Ibn Kathir

– End

Abdur Rahman ibn Awf reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Abu Bakr is in Paradise, Umar is in Paradise, Uthman is in Paradise, Ali is in Paradise, Talha is in Paradise, Az-Zubair is in Paradise, Abdur Rahman ibn Awf is in Paradise, Sa’d is in Paradise, Sa’eed is in Paradise, and Abu Ubaida is in Paradise.”

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 3747

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to As-Suyuti

عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عَوْفٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَعُمَرُ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَعُثْمَانُ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَعَلِيٌّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَطَلْحَةُ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَالزُّبَيْرُ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَعَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ عَوْفٍ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَسَعْدٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَسَعِيدٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَأَبُو عُبَيْدَةَ بْنُ الْجَرَّاحِ فِي الْجَنَّةِ

3747 سنن الترمذي كِتَاب الْمَنَاقِبِ بَاب مَنَاقِبِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عَوْفٍ الزُّهْرِيِّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ

المحدث السيوطي خلاصة حكم المحدث صحيح

Librator of Egypt -:- (d. 43 A.H.)

It is reported that when the Muslim armies were preparing to meet with the Eastern Roman armies in the Syrian region (the Battle Of Al-Yarmuk), some people informed Caliph ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab Radi Allaho Ta’ala, “The Roman soldiers are under the command of Artiboon (a man of great cunning and courage).” The Caliph answered, “We have appointed our own Arab Artiboon to face the Roman Artiboon. Let us see how things turn out”

The man ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab referred to was no other than our today’s hero and brother, Amr Ibn Al-As. For he was a real genius on matters of war and politics as well. Stories of our hero’s resourcefulness fill the books of history of the era. We will read about a couple of them in a few minutes.

‘Amr ibn Al-As was born about 47 years before the Hijra (577 G.) Due to his family’s place in the Makkan community, his father and he himself were among the active antagonists of Islam and its Prophet. For this, along with his shrewdness and his relations with Abyssinia, ‘Amr was chosen one of the delegates to its Emperor in order to convince him to send back the Muslim refugees, who had gone to Abyssinia for safety. But the words and actions of those refugees and the message they had accepted were more convincing to the Emperor than our hero and his friends’ gifts (attempted bribes).

However, a reader of early Islamic history finds many interesting cases of fierce enemies of the faith who later converted only to become its most loyal and active followers. We meet with cases of people who wanted to kill the Prophet and yet loved him and accepted his message upon their encounter with him. Our hero was a typical example of those cases. For after many years of hostility of Islam and the Muslims, our hero came on his own to Madinah to announce his conversion to Islam. He joined the fold of Islam in the eighth year of the Hijra, a short while before the Prophet’s victorious re-entry into Makkah. Like his dear close friend, the Military genius Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed, our hero was very sorry and worried for the atrocities he had committed against Islam and its followers. So he was assured by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that conversion to Islam meant a new leaf in his life. For Islam absolves the convert from all past sins.

Due to our hero’s intelligence, loyalty to the faith, along with many other qualities, he was chosen by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to his emissary to the ruler of Oman (in the extreme east of Arabia) where he was appointed governor by the Prophet upon the acceptance of Islam by its people. After the death of the Prophet (pbuh), ‘Amr ibn Al-As actively participated in the war against the waves of apostasy in Arabia. He was later appointed on of the four commanders of the Muslim armies that were directed to fight the Romans in the Syrian Region, (the other three where, Khalid bin Al-Waleed, Abu ‘Obaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah and Yazeed ibn Abi Sufyan,) And he was one of the commanders responsible for the defeat of the Byzantines in the region; hence he had the honor to participate in the liberation of Jerusalem during the time or Caliph ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (ra), who himself left Madinah for Jerusalem to receive the keys of the City from its Patriarch. It was during those battles in the region that our hero had his first encounter with the Roman Artiboon about whom reference was made earlier. The Story runs as follows:

The battles in the Palestine region between the Muslim army and the Roman army were very fierce and the Roman commander-in-chief was a very shrewd and clever man. Our hero (who was in charge of the Muslim Armies) needed some information, which his scouts were unable to bring him. So he dicided to do it himself, risking his own life to get the necessary information. So he went to the enemy camp in the guise of an emissary from the Muslim commander. Thus, he had the opportunity to study in detail the capabilities of the enemy and its leadership. However, his discussions with the Roman commander gave the Roman the feeling that the man (our hero) must have been a man of great importance to the Muslim army. So he decided to have him assassinated by some soldiers, who would attack him on his way out. Our clever hero noticed some commotion on his way out, and immediately realized the trick.

What would one person do alone in the enemy camp surrounded by literally thousands of fighters? But hence, our hero was no ordinary man; he was Ghazi, Worrier of the Faith, A Military genius. ‘Amr ibn Al-As quickly got his ingenious mentality to work. He very innocently went back to the Roman commander and informed him that he liked what he had heard from him, and suggested that he go back to the Muslim camp to bring then leaders of along with him to listen to the Roman point of view. The Roman commander was deceived, and he thought, “Better kill Ten Muslim leaders than this one alone.” So he signaled to his men to postpone the attack on our hero, with the hope that he would bring the others along to the Roman Trap. Thus, our hero safely left the enemy camp.

After the surrender of Ilya(Jerusalem) to the Muslims (in 638 G) and the conquest of the Syrian region, Many Romans fled to the neighboring Roman colony, Egypt. But our hero was after them. For he received a latter from the Caliph before they entered Egyptian territory. ‘Amr ibn Al-As quickly led his army towards Egypt. While on the borders, he received a messenger from the Caliph. But, because of the instructions he had earlier, he was afraid the message might mean canceling the plans for the conquest of Egypt. He kept stalling until he entered Egypt. Then he asked for the Caliph’s Message.

In the 18th year of the Hijra (638 G.) during the reign of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, Egypt was liberated by the Muslim armies, under the Leadership of our hero (who was 60 years old then) from the Roman control, after six centuries of colonization. Thus, Egypt came under the dominion of Islam only to become one of its fortresses and a tomb for its enemies.

In the Year 43 A.H. (668 g.) our hero died in Egypt, whose gate he had opened very wide for Islam, thus also paving the way for Islam to reach the whole North Africa. May Allah reward him for the great services and sacrifices he rendered for Islam and the Muslims!


Sa’īd  ibn Zayd (RadhiAllahu Anhu)

Sa’īd  ibn Zayd (R.A)  was in the forefront of those who believed in the oneness of Allah and who affirmed their faith in the prophethood of Muhammad(SallAllahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) .He was one of those ‘Ashratun-Mubashshirah(i.e. those ten Companions who had been given the glad tidings of belonging to Paradise.).  Sa’īd’s father, Zayd bin Amr was a hanif, a follower of the monotheistic tradition of Abraham, and hence never worshipped idols nor ate meat slaughtered in the name of idols. The Quraysh harassed him for this, and his uncle Khattab bin Nufayl became one of his main tormentors.

He was a great man and is also the one of the best role models in Islam. This is not strange for Said(R.A) grew up in a household which repudiated the idolatrous ways of the Quraysh and he was instructed by a father Zayd (R.A) who spent his life searching for Truth and who died in its pursuit.

In his early career, he served as the secretary of the Prophet (SAWS) and recorded the verses of the Qur’an which were revealed to the Prophet. Sa’īd bin Zayd was a pious man and he never did anything throughout his life against the teachings of Muhammad(SAWS). It is a Said  that ‘Sa’īd always covered Muhammad(SAWS) keeping himself ahead and in front of him in battle and always stood behind him in prayers. He took part in a number of battles, even after the death of Muhammad(SAWS), for the sake of Islam, and fought very bravely.

He participated in all of the battles in which Muhammad participated personally with the exception of the battle of Badr.Muhammad had sent Talha and Sa’īd bin Zayd to get information on the movement of the Quraysh army. They missed the Quraysh army and by the time they returned, the battle had been won by the Muslims. However, both of them were given their share of the war trophies of the battle.

Sa’īd  (R A) was not yet twenty when he embraced Islam. His young and steadfast wife Fatimah, daughter of al-Khattab and sister of Umar(R A), also accepted Islam early. Evidently both Sa’īd  (R A)and Fatimah bint Al khattab (R Anha) managed to conceal their acceptance of Islam from the Quraysh and especially from Fatimah’s family for some time. She had cause to fear not only her father but her brother Umar(R A) who was brought up to venerate the Kabah and to cherish the unity of the Quraysh and their religion.

Umar (R A) was a headstrong young man of great determination. He saw Islam as a threat to the Quraysh and became most violent and unrestrained in his attacks on Muslims. He finally decided that the only way to put an end to the trouble was to eliminate the man who was its cause. Goaded on by blind fury he took up his sword and headed for the Prophet’s (SAWS) house. On his way he came face to face with Sa’īd  ibn Abi Waqqas (R A), who found Umar’s grim expression and  asked him where he was going. “I am going to kill Muhammad…”

There was no mistaking his bitterness and murderous resolve. Sa’īd  ibn abi waqqas (R A) sought to dissuade him from his intent but Umar (R A)was deaf to any arguments. He then thought of diverting Umar (R A) in order to at least warn the Prophet of his intentions.

“O Umar,” he said, “Why not first go back to the people of your own house and set them to rights?” “What people of my house?” asked Umar(R A).

“Your sister Fatimah and your brother-in-law Said(R A). They have both forsaken your religion and are followers of Muhammad in his religion…”

Umar(R A) turned and made straight for his sister’s house. There he called out to her angrily as he approached. Khabbab ibn al-Aratt (R A) who often came to recite the Qur’an to Sa’īd  and Fatimah was with them then. When they heard Umar’s voice, Khabbab(R A) hid in a corner of the house and Fatimah(R Anha)  concealed the manuscript. But ‘Umar (R A) had heard the sound of their reading and when he came in, he Said  to them: “What is this haynamah (gibbering) I heard?”

They tried to assure him that it was only normal conversation that he had heard but he insisted: “Hear it I did,” he said, “and it is possible that you have both become renegades.”

“Have you not considered whether the Truth is not to be found in your religion?” Said  Sa’īd(R A) to Umar (R A) trying to reason with him. Instead, Umar set upon his brother-in-law hitting and kicking him as hard as he could and when Fatimah went to the defence of her husband, Umar struck her a blow on her face which drew blood.

“O Umar,” Said  Fatimah(R Anha), and she was angry. “What if the Truth is not in your religion! I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

Fatimah’s wound was bleeding, and when Umar (R A) saw the blood he was sorry for what he had done. A change came over him and he Said  to his sister:

“Give me that script which you have that I may read it.” Like them Umar (R A) could read, but when he asked for the script, Fatimah Said  to him:

“You are impure and only the pure may touch it. Go and wash yourself or make ablutions.”

Thereupon Umar (R A) went and washed himself, and she gave him the page on which was written the opening verses of Surah Ta-Ha. He began to read it and when he reached the verse, ‘Verily, I alone am God, there no deity but me. So, worship Me alone, and be constant in Prayer so as to remember Me, ‘he said: “Show me where Muhammad is.”

Umar (R A) then made his way to the house of al-Arqam and declared his acceptance of Islam and the Prophet(SAWS)  and all his companions rejoiced.

Sa’īd  (R A) and his wife Fatimah(R Anha)  were thus the immediate cause which led to the conversion of the strong and determined Umar and this added substantially to the power and prestige of the emerging faith.

Sa’īd  ibn Zayd (R A) was totally devoted to the Prophet (SAWS) and the service of Islam. He witnessed all the major campaigns and encounters in which the Prophet (SAWS) engaged with the exception of Badr. Before Badr, he and Talhah(R A) were sent by the Prophet as scouts to Hawra on the Red Sea coast due west of Madinah to bring him news of a Quraysh caravan returning from Syria. When Talhah (R A) and Sa’īd  (R A) returned to Madinah the Prophet(SAWS)  had already set out for Badr with the first Muslim army of just over three hundred men.

After the passing away of the Prophet(SallAllahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam), Sa’īd  (R A)continued to play a major role in the Muslim community. He was one of those whom Abu Bakr (R A)consulted on his succession and his name is often linked with such companions as Uthman, Abu Ubaydah and Sad ibn Abi Waqqas (RadhiAllahu Anhum) in the campaigns that were waged. He was known for his courage and heroism, a glimpse of which we can get from his account of the Battle of Yarmuk. He (R A) said:

“For the Battle of Yarmuk, we were twenty four thousand or thereabout. Against us, the Byzantines mobilized one hundred and twenty thousand men. They advanced towards us with a heavy and thunderous movement as if mountains were being moved. Bishops and priests strode before them bearing crosses and chanting litanies which were repeated by the soldiers behind them.

When the Muslims saw them mobilized thus, they became worried by their vast numbers and something of anxiety and fear entered theft hearts. Thereupon,

Abu Ubaydah (R A) stood before the Muslims and urged them to fight. “Worshippers of Allah” he said, “help Allah and Allah will help you and make your feet firm.”

“Worshippers of Allah, be patient and steadfast for indeed patience and steadfastness (sabr) is a salvation from unbelief, a means of attaining the pleasure of Allah and a defence against ignominy and disgrace.”

“Draw out your spears and protect yourselves with your shields. Don’t utter anything among yourselves but the remembrance of Allah Almighty until I give you the command, if Allah wills.”

“Thereupon a man emerged from the ranks of the Muslims and said: “I have resolved to die this very hour. Have you a message to send to the Messenger of Allah(SAWS)?”

“Yes” replied Abu Ubaydah(R A), “convey salaam to him from me and from the Muslims and say to him: O Messenger of Allah, we have found true what our Lord has promised us.”

“As soon as I heard the man speak and saw him unsheathe his sword and go out to meet the enemy, I threw myself on the ground and crept on all fours and with my spear I felled the first enemy horseman racing towards us. Then I fell upon the enemy and Allah removed from my heart all traces of fear. The Muslims engaged the advancing Byzantines and continued fighting until they were blessed with victory.”

Sa’īd  (R A) was ranked by the Prophet as one of the outstanding members of his generation. He was among ten of the companions whom the Prophet visited one day and promised Paradise. These were Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf, Abu Ubaydah, Talhah, Az-Zubayr, Sa’ad of Zuhrah(Sa’ad ibn abi Waqqas), and Sa’īd  the son of Zayd the Hanif(RadhiAllahu Anhum). The books of the Prophet’s sayings have recorded his great praises of the Promised Ten (al-‘asharatu-l mubashshirun) and indeed of others whom on other occasions he also gave good tidings of Paradise.

Sa’īd  (R A) died aged seventy nine in 673 AD (51 AH) during the reign of Muawiyah I and was buried by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas (R A) and the son of Umar(R A).


ZAYD IBN HARITHAH (RadhiAllahu Anhu)

Zayd ibn Harithah (R A) (c. 581-629 CE) was a companion of Muhammad (SAWS) who was at one stage regarded as his son. He is the only companion whose name appears in the Qur’an (33:37).

Narrators and historians described his appearance as short, dark swarthy, and snub-nosed. As for his reality, he was truly a great Muslim. He was one of the great commanders of the Prophet (SAWS). Zayd (R A)had three children.  Usama(R A), son of Baraka(Umm Ayman),  Zayd, son of Umm Kulthum, who died in infancy. Ruqayya, daughter of Umm Kulthum, who died while under the care of Uthman(R A). He was killed at the Battle of Mu’tah.

Haarithah, Zayd ‘s father, just putting the luggage on the camel that was to carry his wife, Su`dah, to her family. Haarithah paid his farewell to his wife who carried Zayd – at that time a young child – in her arms. But every time he was about to leave his wife and child who were going with a caravan, to return to his house and work, he was driven by a mysterious and inexplicable urge to keep his wife and son in sight; yet it was time for them to set out on their way and Haarithah had to pay his last farewell to his wife and head back home. His tears flowed as he said goodbye and stood as if pinned to the ground until he lost sight of them. At that moment he felt broken-hearted.

Su’dah stayed with her family for a while. One day, suddenly her neighborhood was attacked by one of its opposing tribes. Taken by surprise, Bani Ma`n were defeated and Zai lbn Haarithah was captured along with other war prisoners. His mother returned home alone. When Haarithah heard the sad news, he was thunderstruck. He traveled everywhere and asked everyone about his beloved Zayd . He recited these lines of poetry on the spur of the moment to lament the loss of his son:

My heart was broken when I lost Zayd . I don’t know if he is alive or dead or if I will ever see him again. By Allah , I still do not know if he was killed on the plain or slain on the mountain. His picture comes to the mind’s eye whenever the sun rises or sets. Even when the wind blows, it brings along his memory. Alas, I am shrouded by my sadness, grief, and fear for him.

At that time, slavery was a recognized and established social fact that turned into a necessity. This was the case in Athens, which had long enjoyed a flourishing civilization, in Rome, and in the entire ancient world, including the Arab Peninsula. When the opposing tribe attacked the Bani Ma’n, it headed to the market of `Ukaadh, held at that time, to sell its prisoners of war. The child Zayd , was sold to Hakiim Ibn Huzaam, who gave him to his aunt Khadiijah (R Anha) as a gift. At that time, khadiijah(R Anha) was married to Muhammad Ibn `Abd Allah (SAWS) but the revelation had not yet descended on him. However, he enjoyed all the promising great qualities of prophets (SAWS) . Khadiijah(R Anha), on her part, gave her servant Zayd as a gift to her husband, Allah’s Prophet(SAWS). He was very pleased with Zayd (R A) and manumitted him at once. His great and compassionate heart overflowed with care and love towards the boy.

Later on, during one of the Hajj seasons, a group of Haarithah’s tribe ran into Zayd in Makkah and told him about his parents anguish and grief ever since they had lost him. Zayd (R A) asked them to convey his love and longing to his parents. He told them, “Tell my father that I live here with the most generous and loving father.” No sooner did his father know his son’s whereabouts than he hastened on his way to him, accompanied by his brother.

As soon as they reached Makkah, he asked about the trustworthy Muhammad(SAWS). When he met him, he said, “O son of lbn Abd Al-Muttalib! O son of the master of his tribe! Your land is one of security and sanctuary and you are famous for helping the distressed and sheltering the captive. We have come here to ask you to give us back our son. So please confer a favor on us and set a reasonable ransom for him.” The Prophet (SAWS) knew the great love and attachment Zayd carried in his heart for him, yet at the same time, he respected Haarithah’s parental right. Therefore, he told Haarithah, “Ask Zayd to come here and make him choose between you and me. If he chooses you, he is free to go with you, but if he chooses me then, by Allah, I will not leave him for anything in the world.” Haarithah’s face brightened, for he did not expect such magnanimity; therefore, he said, “You are far more generous than us.” Then the Prophet (SAWS) summoned Zayd . When he came he asked him, “Do you recognize these people?” Zayd (R A) said, “Yes, this is my father and this is my uncle.”

The Prophet (SAWS) told him what he had told Haarithah. Zayd(R A)  replied, “I will not choose anyone but you, for you are a father and an uncle to me.” The Prophet’s eyes were full of thankful and compassionate tears. He held Zayd ‘s hand and walked to the Ka’bah, where the Quraish were holding a meeting, and cried out, “I bear witness that Zayd is my son, and in case I die first, he will inherit from me, and in case he dies first, I will inherit from him.” Hiaarithah was overjoyed, for not only had his son been manumitted but he had also become the son of the man who was known by the Quraish as “The Honest and Trustworthy”. Moreover, he was a descendant of Bani Haashim and was raised to a high station among his people.

Zayd ‘s father and uncle returned back home leaving their son safe and sound after he had become master of himself and after the Prophet (SAWS) had set to rest their fears concerning his fate.

The Prophet (SAWS) adopted Zayd (R A) and from that moment on he was known as Zayd Ibn Muhammad.

Suddenly, on a bright morning whose brightness has never been seen before or since, the revelation descended on Muhammad: “read! In the name of your Lord who created – created mankind from something which clings; read! And your Lord is the Most Noble; who taught by the pen; taught mankind what he did not know ” (96:1-5). Then the revelation continued: “O you encovered— Arise and warn! And magnify your Lord” (74:1-3). “O Messenger! Proclaim the message which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. Allah  will protect you from mankind. Verily, Allah  guides not the people who disbelieve” (5 : 61).

As soon as the Prophet (SAWS) had shouldered the responsibility of his message, Zayd submitted himself to Islam. Narrators said that he was the second man after Ali (R A) to embrace Islam.

The Prophet (SAWS) loved Zayd so dearly due to his singular loyalty, greatness of spirit, conscientiousness, honesty, and trust worthiness. All this and more, made Zayd Ibn Haarithah or Zayd the Beloved One, as the Companions used to call him, hold a distinguished place in the Prophet’s heart (SAWS) . `Aa’ishah (R Anha) said, “The Prophet (SAWS) never sent Zayd on an expedition but as a commander and if his life had not been so short, he would have made him his successor.

Was it possible for anyone to be held in such great esteem by the Prophet? What was Zayd really like?

As we have mentioned, he was that boy who had been kidnapped, sold, and manumitted by the Prophet (SAWS) . He was this short, swarthy, snub-nosed man. Above all, he had a compassionate heart and a free soul. Therefore, he was raised to the highest position by his Islam and the Prophet’s love for him, for neither Islam nor the Prophet (SAWS) took notice of descent or prestige. Muslims like Bilaal , Suhaib, Khabbaab, `Ammaar, Usaamah and Zayd were all alike according to this great religion. Each one of them played an important and distinctive role in gizing impetus to the rapidly spreading religion. These saintly ones and commanders were the sparkling stars of Islam. Islam rectified life values when the glorious Qur’aan said: “Surely, the most honorable among you in the sight of Allah  are the most pious of you ” (49:13). Moreover, it encouraged all promising talents and all pure, trustworthy, and productive potentialities.

The Prophet (SAWS) married his cousin Zainab to Zayd . It seems that Zainab (R Anah) accepted that marriage, shyness prevented her from turning down the Prophet’s intercession. Unfortunately, the gap between them widened every day, and finally their marriage collapsed. The Prophet (SAWS) felt that he was , in a way, responsible for this marriage which ended up in divorce; therefore, he married his cousin and chose a new wife, Umm Kulthuum Bint `Uqbah for Zayd . The slanderers and the enemies of the Prophet(SAWS)  spread doubt concerning the legality of Muhammad’s marriage to his son’s ex-wife. The Qur’aan refuted their claims by striking a distinction between sons and adopted sons. It abrogated adoption altogether saying: “Mohammed is not a father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah  and the last of the Prophets ” (33:90). Hence, Zayd was called after his father’s name once again, namely, Zayd Ibn Haarithah.

At last, the Battle of Mu’tah took place. It seems that the Romans and their senescent empire were filled with apprehensions and forebodings about the rapid spread of Islam. They saw it as a genuine and fatal threat to their very existence, especially in Syria, which bordered the center of the new, sweeping religion. Therefore, they used Syria as a springboard to the Arab Peninsula and the Muslim nation.

The Prophet (SAWS) realized that the aim of the Roman skirmishes was to test the Muslim combat readiness. Therefore, he decided to take the initiative and exhibit in action Islam’s determination to resist and to gain ultimate victory. On 1 Jumaadii A.H. 8, the Muslim army marched towards Al-Balqaa’ in Syria until they reached its borders where Heraclius’s armies of the Romans and Arabicized tribes residing at the borders were. The Roman army pitched camp at a place called Mashaarif, whereas the Muslim army pitched camp near a town called Mu’tah. Hence, the battle was named Mu’tah.

The Prophet (SAWS) knew how important and crucial this battle was; therefore he chose for its command three of those who were worshippers by night and fighters by day. Those three fighters sold their lives and property to Allah  and renounced their needs and desires for the sake of great martyrdom which would pave their way to win Allah ‘s pleasure and to see Allah , the Generous. These three commanders were in succession: Zayd Ibn Haarithah, Ja’far Ibn Abi Taalib and Abd Allah  Ibn Rawaahah. (May Allah  be pleased with them and they with Him, and may Allah  be pleased with all the Companions.) Thus, the Prophet (SAWS) stood to bid farewell to his army and gave them his order saying, “Zayd Ibn Haarithah is your first commander, but in case he is wounded, Ja`far lbn Abi Taalib will take over the command, and if he is also wounded, `Abd Allah  Ibn Rawaahah will take it over.

Although Ja’far lbn Abi Taalib(R A)  was one of the Prophet’s closest friends who had valor, fearlessness, and good lineage, yet the Prophet chose him as the second commander after Zayd(R A)  . Thus, the Prophet (SAWS) stressed the fact that the new religion of Islam came to abolish corrupt human relationships based on false and superficial discrimination. It established new, rational human relationships instead.

It was as if the Prophet (SAWS) foresaw the proceedings of the imminent battle, for he assigned the command of the army to Zayd , Ja’far, and then `Abd Allah  and strangely enough, all of them were raised to Allah  in the same order set by him. When the Muslims saw the vanguard of the Roman army, which they had estimated at 200,000 warriors, they were stunned by its enormity that surpassed all expectation. But since when did the battles of faith depend on number?

At that moment, the Muslims flung themselves into the battlefield regardless of the consequences or jeopardy. Their commander, Zayd(R A)  , carried the Prophet’s standard and fought his way through the enemy’s spears, arrows, and swords. He was not so much searching for victory as for concluding his deal with Allah , Who has purchased the lives and properties of Muslims in exchange for Paradise.

Zayd (R A) saw neither the sand of Al-Balqaa’ nor the Roman forces. The only things that he saw were the hills of Paradise and its green cushions. These images flickered through his mind like the fluttering flags that had announced his wedding day. When he thrust and struck, he not only smote at the necks of his enemies, but also flung the doors open that stood in his way to the vast door through which he would reach the home of peace, the eternal Paradise and Allah ‘s company. Zayd clung to his destiny. His spirit, on its way up to heaven, was overjoyed as it took its last glance at the body of its master that was not covered with soft silk but rather with pure blood shed in the way of Allah . His serene smile widened when he saw the second commander, Ja’far(R A), dart towards the standard and hold it high before it touched the ground.


SA`AD IBN ABI WAQQAS (RadhiAllaahu Anhu)

Sa` ad Ibn Abi Waqqas(RadhiAllaahu Anhu), one of the companions of Prophet Mohammad (SallAllaahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) . He was one of those ten Companions who had been given the glad tidings of belonging to Paradise. He was the last of them to die. He died away from Medina in the land to which he retired away from the sedition between Ali & Mo’aweya(R Anhum). After his death, he was carried to Medina where he was buried. The most agreed upon date of his death was the year 55 after Hijra. Sa’ad was the first one to throw an arrow for the sake of Islam; he was the first to spill blood for the faith. He was one of the six persons that Umar ibn Al-Khattab(R A) appointed to choose a Caliph to succeed him from among them. Sa’ad was renowned for being of responded invocations. Whenever he asked Allaah for anything, he was answered. (due to the Prophet’s Special supplication for him).

Sa` ad comes from a rich and noble family. And was so much attached to his family, specially his mother.

He was known for being serious and intelligent. Before embracing Islam he used to feel that he doesn t fit in the lifestyle of his people, also he was never satisfied with their religious beliefs.

On day Abu Bakr(RadhiAllaahu Anhu) came up and spoke softly to Sa`d (R A) , and explained to him what Islam is about. Then took him to Prophet Mohammad (SallAllaahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) . It was late afternoon by this time and the Prophet had just prayed Salat al-Asr. Sa` ad (R A) was excited and overwhelmed and responded very quickly to the invitation to truth and the religion of Allaah . The fact that he was among the first people to embrace accept Islam was something that gave him great satisfaction.

The Prophet (SallAllaahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) was also greatly pleased with the fact that Sa` ad (R A) has become a Muslim. The Prophet (SallAllaahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) saw in Sa` ad signs of brilliance. The fact that he was still in his youth promised great things to come.

The Prophet (SallAllaahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) was happy with his family relationship to Sa` ad . Once as he was sitting with his companions, he saw Sa `d coming and he said to them:

“This is my maternal uncle. Let a man see his maternal uncle!”

Indeed Prophet Mohammad (SallAllaahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) was delighted with Sad’s acceptance of Islam, but Sa`d’ s mother was not. Sa` ad narrates:

“When my mother knew that I became a Muslim, she flew into a rage. She came up to me and said:

“O Sad! What is this religion that you have joined which has taken you away from the religion of your mother and father…? Either you abandon this new religion or I would not eat or drink until I die. Your heart would be broken with grief for me and remorse would consume you on account of the deed which you have done and people would censure you forever more.’

‘Don’t do this to me mother,’ I said, ‘for I would not give up my religion for anything in the world.’

Sa` ad s mother carried out her threat… For days she neither ate nor drank. And thus her health has majorly deteriorated. Once Sa` ad went to visit his mother trying to convince her to eat, he narrates:

‘Mother! In spite of my strong love for you, my love for Allaah and His Messenger is way stronger. By Allaah , if you had a thousand souls and one soul after another were to depart, I would not abandon Islam for anything.’ When she saw that I was determined she relented unwillingly and ate and drank.”

It was concerning Sad’s relationship with his mother and her attempt to forsake Islam that the words of the Qur an were revealed:

“And we enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents. In pain upon pain did his mother bear him and his weaning took two years. So show gratitude to Me and to your parents. To Me is the final destiny.

“But if they strive to make you join in worship with Me things of which you have no knowledge, obey them not. Yet bear them company in this life with justice and consideration and follow the way of those who turn to Me. In the end, the return of you all i s to Me and I shall tell you (the truth and meaning of) all that you used to do.” Qur an (31: 14-15).

Sa` ad ibn Abi Waqqas (R A) had distinguished role in many of the battles that took place both during the time of the Prophet (SallAllaahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) and after. He fought at the battle of Badr together with his young brother Umayr (R A) who had cried to be allowed to join the Muslim army for he was only in his early teens. Sa` ad returned to Madinah alone for Umayr was killed in the battle.

At the Battle of Uhud, Sa`d(R A) was chosen as one of the best warriors together with Zayd, Saib the son of Uthman ibn Mazun and others(R Anhum). Sa` ad was one of those who fought strongly in defence of the Prophet (SallAllaahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) after some Muslims had deserted their positions. To urge him on, the Prophet (SallAllaahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) , said:

” Shoot, Sa` ad …may my mother and father be your ransom.”

Sa`d (R A) is also known as the first companion to have shot an arrow in defence of Islam. And the Prophet once prayed for him saying:

“O Lord, direct his shooting and respond to his prayer.”

Sa` ad was one of the companions of the Prophet who enjoyed great wealth. Just as he was known for his bravery, so he was known for his generosity. During the Farewell Pilgrimage with Prophet Mohammad (SallAllaahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) , he fell ill. The Prophet came to visit him and said:

“O Messenger of Allaah . I have wealth and I only have one daughter to inherit from me. Shall I give two thirds of my wealth in charity?”

“No,” replied the Prophet.

“Then, (shall I give) a half?” asked Sad and the Prophet again said ‘no’.

“Then, (shall I give) a third?’ asked Sa` ad .

“Yes,” said the Prophet. “The third is much. Indeed to leave your heirs well-off’ is better than that you should leave them dependent on others and to beg from people. If you spend anything seeking to gain thereby the pleasure of Allaah , you will be rewarded for it even if it is a morsel which you place in your wife’s mouth.”

Sa` ad did not remain the father of just one child but was blessed thereafter with many children.

Sa` ad is mainly renowned as the commander-in-chief of the strong Muslim army which Umar dispatched to fight the Persians at the Battle of Qadisiyyah.

It wasn t an easy task to fight the very strong army of Persia. The most powerful force had to be mustered. Umar(R A) sent dispatches to Muslim governors throughout the state to gather all strong men who had weapons or mounts, or who had talents of oratory and other skills to join the Muslims in the battle.

When they had all gathered, Umar (R A) consulted the Muslims leaders about the appointment of a commander-in-chief over the mighty army. Umar (R A) himself thought of leading the army but Ali suggested that the Muslims were in great need of him. So Sa` ad was then chosen as commander and Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf(R A) , one of the veterans among the Prophet s companions said:

“You have chosen well! Who is there like Sa` ad ?” Umar (R A) stood before the army and bade farewell to them. To the commander-in-chief he said:

“O Sad! Let not any statement that you are the uncle of the Messenger of Allaah or that you are the companion of the Messenger of Allaah distract you from God. Allaah Almighty does not obliterate evil with evil but he wipes out evil with good.

“O Sa`ad ! There is no connection between God and anyone except obeying Him. In the sight of Allaah all people whether nobleman or commoner are the same. Allaah is their Lord and they are His worshipers seeking elevation through taqwa (fear of God) and seeking to obtain what is with God through obedience. Consider how the Messenger of Allaah used to act with the Muslims and act accordingly…”

Sa` ad was fully aware of the gravity of the impending battle and kept in close contact with the military high command in Madinah. Although commander-in-chief, he understood the importance of shura (counseling).

Sa`ad (R A) followed Umar’ s (R A) instructions.

The Battle of Qadisiyyah is one of the most important battles of world history.

Two years after Qadisiyyah, Sa` ad went on to take the Sasanian capital. The taking of Ctesiphon was accomplished after a brilliant crossing of the Tigris river (In Iraq) while it was in flood. Sa` ad (R A) has thus gone down in the annals of history as the Hero of Qadisiyyah and the Conqueror of Ctesiphon.

Sa` ad was blessed with much influence and wealth but as the time of death approached in the year 54 AH, he asked his son to open a box in which he had kept a course woolen jubbah and said:

“Shroud me in this, for in this (jubbah) I fought against the atheists on the day of Badr and in it I desire to meet Allaah Almighty.”

Virtues of Sa` ad Ibn Abi Waqqas(RadhiAllaahu Anhu)

Sa’ad was the one who built the city of Kufa in Iraq during the reign Umar ibn al-Khattab(R A). He was appointed by Umar as its Amir. Later Umar (R A) removed him from that post but he was re-assigned during the caliphate of Othman(R A). Muslim mentions that the people of Kufa filed a complaint against Sa’ad to the Caliph Umar . Umar (R A) was known to be meticulous in his rulings & verdicts. He sent a committee to Kufa to investigate the matter. They passed by all mosques of the city asking about Sa’ad & got loads of praise on his behalf. In just one masjid, that of the clan of Bani Abd, one single man (Abu Sa’adah) criticized Sa’ad saying: Sa’ad never leads his troops, never rules fairly, & never divides profits evenly. When this reached Sa’ad, he said: As he accused me of three, likewise I’ll ask God for three to befall him if he lied: to extend his life, to deepen his poverty & to make fall for temptations. The narrators Abdul Malak ibn Omair after Jaber ibn Thamarah testify that they saw such a man who falsely charged Sa’ad cursed by Sa’ad’s invocation: old, poor & chasing women in the streets! If the accusations were false & Sa’ad acquitted, why then did Umar remove Sa’ad from his post as Emir of Koufa? This resolution from Umar was not for something wrong that Sa’ad did. This is proved by the fact that Umar chose Sa’ad as one of his possible successors. Moreover, Umar specified Sa’ad in his will: “If Sa’ad was chosen as my successor well & good, if not he should be consulted. I did not remove him for being defective or dishonest”. Umar dismissed Sa’ad as a part of his policy of legitimacy. He would not leave someone in office who has been accused by people, even if the charges were proved to be false. He would not let doubts propagate in the hearts of lay people. When Umar was dying, he confirmed the honest status of Sa’ad admitting that he did not dismiss him for any defects or dishonesty on his side. And he appointed Sa’ad as one of his possible successors.

• Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas (R A) was among those who stayed away from the big dispute between Ali & Mo’aweyah refusing to take sides. His nephew Hashem ibn Otbah came to him saying: 100,000 swords are waiting for you to lead them. They believe that you deserve to be their master. Sa’ad replied: I just want one single sword out of those 100,000; a sword that when I use to hit a believer it would not harm him, yet when I strike with it an infidel it would cut him. In another version Sa’ad said: Give me a sword that when I want to strike a believer, it denies me & says: Do not hit, this is a believer. But when I want to strike an infidel, it cuts him. Sa’ad was wise to retire this whole sedition & refused to have any part in it. He had some nice words on that issue: We & our companions are like some people who were travelling on the road, when suddenly it all turned dark around them. Some of them said that the road was going right & they walked right. Others said that it went left & they turned left. But we said that we do not see to which way the road goes & we decided to stay where we were standing till the darkness clears. When it cleared, we carried on taking the original road.

• Imam Muslim mentions that Aisha (R Anha) said that one night the Prophet (SAWS) woke up from his sleep & said: I wish some good man from among my companions would keep an eye on me for the night. Just as he said that we heard the rattle of a weapon outside. The Prophet(SAWS) asked: Who is there? Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqas replied: It is me Messenger of Allaah. The Prophet asked again: And what brought you? Sa’ad(R A) replied: I felt some concern for you Messenger of Allaah, so I decided to come & stand guard for you for the night. The Prophet felt safe. He gave an invocation for Sa’ad then went into sound sleep. The hadeeth points to some virtues of Sa’ad: (a) “I wish a good man from among my companions would keep an eye on me for the night”. So we know that Sa’ad is “a good man” & that he is “from among the friends of the Prophet” who are all righteous. (b) “The Prophet gave an invocation for Sa’ad”. This means that the Prophet prayed for the man asking God to forgive him & to let him prosper. It is known that Allaah accepts the Prophet’s prayers & fulfills them.

• Muslim mentions a hadeeth in which Ali (R A) said: The Prophet (SAWS) never swore by both his father & mother together except for Sa’ad. He was telling him in the battle of uhud: Throw, by my father & mother. In another version of the hadeeth mentioned byMuslim, the narrator is Sa’ad himself who said: The Messenger of Allaah (SAWS) has united both his parents for me on the day of uhud. There was this infidel who was hitting Muslims hard with his sword. So the Prophet told me: By my father & mother throw an arrow on him. So I threw him with a blunt-headed arrow which hit his side (some narrators said that the arrow hit the man’s heart). He fell down. The Prophet(SAWS) was content that the man who was frightening Muslims has been killed.

• Muslim mentions a hadeeth by Mus’ab (the son of Sa’ad) who said: Four verses of the Qur’an were revealed on behalf of Sa’ad. His mother swore that she would not talk to him at all until he goes back on his faith. She refused to eat or drink & told him: You claim that your religion commands you to honor your parents. I am your mother & I command you to go back on that faith of yours. She spent 3 days on that food strike till she was extremely weary. Another son of hers (Umair ) gave her to drink. They forced her to eat by opening her mouth by force. But once she regained composure, she kept cursing Sa’ad. He told her: Even if you had 100 lives (or 100 breaths left in you), & these kept on leaving your body one by one, still I’d never abandon my faith. Then a verse of the Quran was revealed blaming Sa’ad for being rude to his mother but corroborated his stand with her regarding the matter of faith [“And should they try to force you to adopt or accept polytheism and to incorporate with Me other deities of whom or (of which) you have empty knowledge, then refuse to accept and disobey them in this respect. But keep friends with them in life and maintain the friendly feeling and disposition and let it be felt in equity” (31: 15)]. The verses told Sa’ad to hold on to his faith, but to be kind to his mother & not to talk to her in such harsh words.

• A second verse of the Quran was revealed in Sa’ad. He narrates: In this battle the Prophet (SAWS) gained a lot of spoils. Among these was a great sword (of Sa’eed ibn Al-Aas). I was the one who gained it & took it to the Prophet (SAWS) & asked him to give it to me as I was the one who deserved it (being the one who killed the owner & brought the sword, & being a brave skilled fighter with swords). The Prophet said: Put it back from where you took it. I went to put it where spoils are collected, but my soul was blaming me (you are the one who got it, so you should take it & not leave it to someone else). So, I returned back to the Prophet & asked him again. He raised his voice blaming me for not obeying him on the first time & repeated: Put it back from where you took it. And God revealed [“They ask you O Muhammad about the spoils of war what to do with them, to whom do they belong and how are they going to be divided among the victors! Say to them: «They belong to Allaah and His cause and to the Messenger who administers Allaah ‘s affairs according to divine instructions. The main thing is that you people entertain the profound reverence dutiful to Allaah and to stand firm to Allaah ‘s principles and purpose, to concert all matters in difference and to obey Allaah and His Messenger if indeed are true believers»” (8:1)].

• Sa’ad narrates the story surrounding the revealing of the 3rd verse on his behalf: I was roaming around when I came across a group of Ansar (original inhabitants of Medina who supported the Prophet) & Muhajereen (inhabitants of Mecca who migrated to Medina fleeing with their faith). They said: O Sa’ad, come & have some food & wine with us. This was before alcohol was prohibited. I accepted their invitation & we sat together eating & drinking. There was this grilled head of a camel & big container of wine. I said (apparently after getting drunk) that Muhajereen are better than Ansar. One of the Ansar (who was also drunk) took the bony skull of the camel & hit me with it in the face. My nose was injured (slit opened) & bleeding. I went to the Prophet (SAWS) & told him of what happened. Allaah revealed to him the verse of the Quran that prohibited alcohol [“O you who have conformed to Islam You had better realize that Intoxicants (alcohol & the like), gambling, the stone altars on which oil is poured for consecration or on which meat is sacrificed for idols (idolatrous/superstitious practices), & divination & raffling by arrows or any other means; all these are indeed an atrocity of Satan who is your avowed enemy. Therefore, avoid such horrible wickedness so that Heaven may hopefully prosper you. The fact is that Satan wishes to use intoxicants and gambling as the instrument to implant enmity and hatred among you and to alienate you from keeping Allaah in mind and from the act of worship” (5:90-91)].

• Muslim mentions a hadeeth in which Sa’ad said: This verse of the Quran was revealed on behalf of me among six others [“And do not oblige the rich infidels who suffer from inordinate self-esteem, by dismissing those who are humble in rank or station before they listen to your discourse on Islam. Poor as they are, they uplift their hands and their inward sight to Allaah in their devotional exercise morning and evening seeking only the illumination proceeding from Him” (6:52)]. There was ibn Mas’ood, Bilal, one man from Hudthail, myself & two others whom I don’t recall. The rich infidels asked the Prophet to throw us out while he was preaching them about Islam lest we may get daring towards them. The Prophet must have thought of something within himself. And Allaah revealed to him (verse 6:52). Most probably the Prophet may have thought of letting those 6 pious Muslims out in response to those infidels in an attempt to gain them into Islam. The Prophet (SAWS) was known to have said: I may skip a man that I love from donations, & give someone else in order to make him blend. It is normal that one may trust the faith of pious righteous ones, & not fear any retreat of their faith. But for someone who has just embraced the religion (or is hoped to) & whose faith is still on the edge, you must treat that one very gently & be generous with him; much more than you are with the pious ones. One may think that the Prophet was favoring the infidel over the pious believer. Aiming at gaining more people into the faith, the thought of pleasing the infidels being preached by getting those 6 believers out; that thought may have crossed his mind. Allaah did not approve of such thought of the Prophet & the verse was revealed redirecting his aims.

• Sa’ad was sick during the Prophet’s (SAWS) farewell pilgrimage. He was afraid that he would die in Mecca as Sa’ad ibn Khawla had died. The Prophet called ibn Khawla “the distressed” for not dying in Medina. He narrates: I was sick, so I sent to the Prophet & he came to visit. I said to him that I’ll divide my heritage the way I fancy. He denied that. So I said: I’ll divide half of it. Again he denied that. So I said: I’ll divide one third of it. This time he remained silent. A rule of jurisprudence was thus established. A person is given the right to divide only 1/3 or less of his heritage. He has no control over the rest which is divided between his heirs according to the rules revealed in the Quran (4:11-12)

Golden Words Hazrat Umar Farooq RadiAllahAnho

Gems of Wisdom by Ameer al-Mu’mineen
Sayyiduna ‘Umar al-Farooq Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho
  • To eat less is healthy, to speak less is wisdom, and to sleep less is worship.
  • To speak less is wisdom, to eat less is healthy and to mingle less with the people is safe and serene.
  • The one who steps back will not progress.
  • Nothing is worst than avarice that destroys the mind, not even Alcohol.
  • It is unbecoming of that person who sits with his hands folded and prays to ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala for sustenance. ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala does not rain down gold and silver from the heavens.
  • To earn a suspicious living is worse than begging.
  • The biggest gift after Iman (Faith) is your wives.
  • Attain knowledge before old age settles in.
  • Extravagance is also when a person eats whatever he wishes.
  • Whosoever hides his secret keeps his safety, safeguarded with himself.
  • The person who calls himself learned, indeed he is ignorant, and the one who calls himself from the dwellers of Paradise surely he is from the dwellers of Hell.
  • Tawbatun-NasooHa (Accepted forgiveness) is the name of that forgiveness that is asked for a bad deed committed, in such a manner that he never returns to or commits that bad deed again.
  • The Strength in action is, never to put of what you can do today for tomorrow.
  • It is not becoming of a Muslim to sit down and start praying for sustenance without attempting to earn it, he is well aware that gold and silver does not rain from the skies.
  • If it wasn’t for the claim of knowledge of the unknown then I would say five people are from the dwellers of Paradise:
  1. That family man who is poverty stricken but is patient
  2. That women with whom her husband is happy and accepting.
  3. That woman who forgives he husband’s duty of Mehr (Dowry approved by Muslim law)
  4. That person with whom his parents are Happy
  5. And that person who honestly repents from his sins
  • Once a sheep was slaughtered and Syeduna ‘Umar al-Farooq Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho persistently asked his servant if he had first sent meat to his neighbor who was a Jew. The slave asked why you are asking the same question persistently. He answered that ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala and his Rasūl Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam had constantly stressed the importance of neighbors therefore I too am persistent in stressing the same.
  • Three things build love:
  1. To make Salam (greeting)
  2. To make space for a person in a gathering
  3. To address a person in a respectable and good manner
  •  There are four types of Regrets:
  1. Regret that spans over a day e.g. When a person leaves his home without eating.
  2. Regret that spans over a year, just like the negligence shown when cultivating.
  3. Regret that spans over a lifetime, when a man and his wife are unsuited to each other.
  4. Regret that is eternal, which is when your Creator is unhappy with you.
  • There are three types of people:
  1. Successful: he who listens to the advice of people and ponders over it.
  2. Lazy or Lethargic: he who does what he wants without consultation or advice of people.
  3. Corpse: who neither gives nor listens to advice and consolation.
  • Sayyiduna ‘Umar Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho on many an occasion asked this du’a (supplication) to ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala so that certain situations should always remain with him and some things should be removed, the Du’a is: “O ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala! Make me such that I may speak with intellect or reap tolerance with silent. O! ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala do not bestow upon me too many favours, so that I may not be confused by it, not too little that I may forget You. Hence, little yet sufficient in comparison to having plenty thereby becoming indulgent and committing sin.”
  • If ever you see a learned person (‘Aalim) leaning towards this World, then know this he is blameworthy for his Religion, because the universal harm is that if a person desires something then he is constantly engrossed in its quest.
  • Faith (Iman) is to regard the Oneness of ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala in ones heart proclaim it with your tongue and to obey the fundamental Islamic Instructions.
  • The relationship of true humility and genuine fear of ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala is with the heart and not by a show of outward actions.
  • Why have you made slaves of those whose mothers had given birth to them free?
  • Judgments or Settlements in any cases should be done quickly, so that the accused, due to a prolonged period of time are not compelled to withdraw their accusation.
  • It is absolutely necessary not to associate with a beast for though he wishes or means well, yet he would still be accused of committing a crime.
  • ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala, shower your Blessings of Mercy on that person who informs me of my faults.
  • When a learned man takes a false step then he ensnares himself in a World of wrongdoings.
  • One day a man was praising Hadrat ‘Umar Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho, he replied by saying why are you destroying me even more with my desires (Nafs).
  • I am not a fool, but I pretend to be a fool, in order to fool the fool. And just when the fool thinks I am a fool, I will expose the fool and show to him that he is the fool.
  • I do not look at anything, except, that I see everything with ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala.
  • If I die in this condition that I have strived to earn an honest living then it is more beloved to me than even dying as a Martyr.
  • Good behavior towards people is equivalent to wisdom, to request politely is half of knowledge, and to ascribe to sound policies is half of one’s livelihood.
  • To educate a material person is like placing a sword in the hands of a robber.
  • Do not have Faith in a person’s compassion and politeness when he cannot keep his anger under control.
  • Do not have Faith in a religious person who is not tested during temptation.
  • He is a friend who brings to your attention your faults and to sing praises of a person in his presence is similar to slaughtering him.
  • Laughing decreases ones age, while politeness, glamor, pomp and show which ease living standards are indications of people who are unaware of death.
  • To show greed and avarice is impoverishing, to be unselfish is enriching and to wish compensation in patience.
  • Good deeds are the fulfillment of one’s rights and to do good deeds is a substitute for bad deeds.
  • To speak less is wisdom, to eat less is healthy, to sleep less is a prayer and there is peace in solitude.
  • Youth before old age and old age before death is a blessing of life.
  • A generous person is the beloved of Almighty ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala even though he is a transgressor. A miser is the enemy of Almighty ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala although he may pray and remember Almighty ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala excessively.
  • To forgive an oppressor is oppression upon the oppressed.
  • When you combine lawful with unlawful gains then the unlawful contaminates the lawful gains though it may be little.
  • A Mu’min does not keep as his friend one who is opposed to Almighty ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala and his Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam even though that person may be his mother or father.
  • The sound of music and that of a mourner are two of the worst sounds.
  • There is tranquility and peace in anonymity and confidentiality.
  • We should leave the other nine portions out for the fear of Haram (unlawful). (i.e. if in ten portions one is Haram a Muslim would leave the other nine portions out meaning anything unlawful would be completely left out).
  • Desire is never achieved without fear, nor manners and etiquette without formality, or happiness without peace or wealth without gifts or poverty without contentment, or dignity without politeness or Jihad (holy war) without diving guidance and assistance.
  • Respite before preoccupation and old age before death is a blessing of life.
  • Honour and dignity in this World is measured by wealth while honour and dignity in the Hereafter is measured by good deeds.
  • Save yourself from the Fires of Hell even if it means by doing a favour with half a date (fruit). If this too is not possible then with sweet words.
  • After Iman (Faith), there is no greater gift than a pious wife.
  • Not to postpone is strength in action.
  • Whosoever shows you your faults, he is your friend. Those that pay you lip service in praise are your executioners.
  • One who guards his secrets is surely safe.
  • The person who constantly discloses my faults to me is dearest to me.
  • Fear that person who you dislike.
  • When Sayyiduna ‘Umar Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anho camped on the outskirts of Jerusalem to conquer Bait al-Maqdas, the Christian Crusaders were terrified of his presence and requested a meeting with him before handing over the keys of the city. The Crusaders met him whilst he wore a patched garb. They asked him the reason as to why his name generated such immense awe and fear that captured the hearts of his enemies. He replied; “Your kings taught you to love the World (Duniyah) and its wealth and our Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam taught us to fear ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala and love death.
  • He is an intelligent person who can translate his actions into good.
  • Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today.
  • There is never a chance of pain in the neck if one does not raise his head too high in the air.
  • Do not forget about yourself whilst being concerned for others.
  • To stop sinning is easier than to bear the burden of seeking repentance.
  • Remove your gaze from the splendor of the World. Do not let the love of this World enter your heart. Beware! The love of this World does not perhaps destroy you, just as it had destroyed previous nations.
  • Victory is gained through strategy and trust in ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala, not by wishful thinking.
  • The most intelligent amongst you is he who fears ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala the most.
  • Be sympathetic towards the poor so that they may be able to speak and build courage.
  • Extend a hand of friendship to a foreigner because if his stay is extended then he would leave his valuable possessions to return to his own country and leave that person responsible for his valuables who had been most worthy of his attention
  • Do not taunt and curse anyone for this gives rise to collective evils in a person.
  • One should not judge a person by the number of Salaat (prayer) or Roza (fasting) but by his wisdom and honesty.
  • To die for the right is better than to live for falsehood. Courage is recommend, cowardice is detestable, and falsehood is vulnerable to vanish!
  • Prayer is connected to the heart not by mere apparent actions.
  • To educate a seeker of materialism is to place a sword in the hands of a highway robber.
  • Do not trust the character of one who cannot control his temper.
  • To laugh excessively is a sign of no remorse for death.
  • To side with the oppressor is oppression on the oppressed.
  • Death is the best teacher.
  • The dearest of you as long as you have not met us are the best in names. But after we had seen you, the best of you to us are the best of you in character. When we scrutinize you, the dearest of you to us are the most truthful of you in speech.
  • People were (sometimes) judged by the revealing of a Divine Inspiration during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle (SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) but now there are no longer any new revelations. Now we judge you by the deeds you practice publicly, so we will trust and favor the one who does good deeds in front of us, and we will not call him to account about what he is really doing in secret, for Allah will judge him for that; but we will not trust or believe the one who presents to us with an evil deed even if he claims that his intentions were good.
  • The best days we ever lived were by virtue of patience, and if patience were to take the shape of a man, he would be a noble and generous man.
  • Take yourself to account before you are taken to account, weigh your actions before they are weighed, and beautify yourself for the ultimate presentation. On that day not the slightest secret will be hidden.
  • It was Sayyiduna Umar’s daily routine to visit the homes of soldiers who were on the battlefield and ask their womenfolk if they had to make any purchases from the market, and he would do it for them. They would send their maids and Sayyiduna Umar would make the purchases and hand over to them. When a messenger came from the battlefield, bringing letters from soldiers, the Caliph would himself deliver them at their homes and tell them the messenger would return on such and such date, and they should keep their letters ready by that time, He would himself supply paper, pen, and ink, and when there was no literate person in a family, he would himself sit outside the door and write to their dictation.
  • There is no goodness in you if you do not say ‘Fear Allah’ and there is no goodness in us if we do not listen.
  • When Sayyiduna Umar appointed anyone as a governor, he wrote down for him a covenant to which a group of muhajirs (up to ten in number) bore witness. The conditions and terms were: He would not ride a workhorse, not eat luxurious food, not wear fine garment and not shut his door to the needy. If he did any of these things then he was liable to punishment.
  • Lower your gaze from the world and turn your heart away from it.
  • I will inform you about what is lawful for me from the wealth of Allah: An outfit for the winter, an outfit for the summer, mount that I can ride upon for Hajj and Umrah, and food for my family, such as given to a man from the Quraish who is neither the richest nor the poorest among them. I am simply a man among the Muslim; I go through what they go through.
  • Allah never obliterates evil with evil, but He erases evil with goodness.
  • O Allah, you indeed know that I eat only my food, that I wear only my own clothing, and that I take only what is rightfully mine.
  • The death of a thousand worshipers is easier to bear than the death of a scholar who has knowledge of what Allah has permitted and forbidden.
  • Lo! By Allah, if I remain alive to help the widows from the people of Iraq, I will leave so much for them that they will never need to ask for help from any ruler who comes after me.
  • Beware of bribery, and of ruling based on your desires.
  • Do not be fooled by one who recites the Qur’an. His recitation is but speech, but look to those who act according to it.
  • Once Sayyiduna Umar was in his garden, when coming back, he found that the people had performed the Asr Prayer. Thereby, he said, ‘We will surely return to Allah! I missed the Asr Prayer in congregation. May you witness that I gave my garden in charity to the needy so as to expiate what Umar had done.
  • The most beloved of people to me is he that points out my flaws to me.
  • Learn knowledge and teach it to the people. Learn how to have yourselves an aura of dignity and peace. Be humble to those that have taught you knowledge, and be humble to those that you have taught knowledge. And do not be haughty scholars; otherwise, your knowledge will not rise due to your ignorance.
  • O Allah, if You have written me down as being someone who is miserable, then erase that for me; and instead write me down as being happy. For indeed, You erase whatever You wish, and You write down and uphold .
  • The Islam of Sayyiduna Umar was a victory , his migration [to Madinah] was a triumph, and his caliphate was a mercy . I remember the time when we were not able to pray or perform tawaf around the Ka’bah. That was before Sayyiduna Umar embraced Islam. After he embraced Islam, we fought against them until they left us alone; and thus we began to be able to pray .
  • Know that every habit comes by getting used to it. Get used to being patient and doing good. Be patient against whatever befalls you. It will make you fear Allah.
  • Never think ill of the word that comes out of your believing brother’s mouth, as long as you can find a good excuse for it.
  • Dedicate yourself to remembering Allah, for remembering Allah is a cure. And beware of remembering people, for the act of remembering people is a disease.
  • By Allah! If I had gold equal to the earth, I would have ransomed myself with it from the punishment of Allah.
  • Each day is proclaimed, ‘So and so has died!’ And with no doubt it will be said one day, ‘Umar died.’
  • The one who laughs too much loses dignity; one who jokes too much loses respect; whoever does something a great deal, becomes known for it; one who speaks a great deal makes mistakes; one who makes many mistakes loses his sense of dignity. Whoever loses his sense of dignity loses his God-fearing and whoever loses his God-fearing is spiritually dead.
  • Beware of filling your stomachs with food and drink, for it is harmful to the body and causes sickness and laziness in performing prayers. Be moderate in both food and drink, for that is healthier for your bodies and furthest removed from extravagance. Allah will hate the fat man (one who revels in a life of luxury), and a man will not be condemned until he favours his desires over his religion.
  • During the year of the Ashes (drought and famine), Sayyiduna Umar ibn Al-Khattab’s stomach would make rumbling sound. He forbade himself from eating Ghee, and so he would eat olive oil. And he would poke his stomach with his fingers and say, ‘Rumble as much as you want, for indeed, I will feed you nothing other than this until the situation of the people improves.
  • Strive to listen to what comes out of the mouth of people who are obedient to Allah. Listen to what they have to say, for indeed, truth things are made manifest to them.
  • On one particular Friday, Sayyiduna Umar did not come out to Friday prayer on time; and since he was to deliver the Friday sermon the people had to wait until he came out to them. When Sayyiduna Umar finally did come out to them, he came out to them, he apologized, explaining that, ‘I was prevented from coming out because this garment I am wearing was being washed; and I own no other outfit.’
  • After Sayyiduna Umar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu became Khalifah of the Muslim Nation, he was once seen delivering a sermon while wearing a lower garden that was patched in 12 different places.
  • Help me against myself by enjoining good, forbidding evil, and sincerely advising me.
  • O Allah, I am indeed harsh, so make me gentle; I am weak, so make me strong; and I am miserly, so make me generous.

Is it better to fast on Mondays and Thursdays or on three days of each month?

Which is better in fasting – fasting three days of each month or fasting on Mondays and Thursdays? What are the ahaadeeth which have been narrated concerning these fasts? When are the three days of each month – is it the 13th, 14th and 15th of each month? What is the hadeeth?.


Praise be to Allaah.If we want to discover which is better, fasting on Mondays and Thursdays or fasting three days of each month, we find that fasting on Mondays and Thursdays is better than fasting on three days of each month, because if a person fasts on Mondays and Thursdays each week, that means that he is fasting eight days each month, so he will have done both: fasted on Mondays and Thursdays and fasted three days of the month.

The three days of each month may be fasted at the beginning of the month, in the middle or at the end, and may be done separately or consecutively, but it is better to fast on the ayaam al-beed, which are the days on which the moon is full, namely the 13th, 14th and 15th of each lunar month.

There follow a number of ahaadeeth which encourage fasting on Mondays and Thursdays:

1 – It was narrated from Abu Qataadah al-Ansaari that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about fasting on Mondays. He said: “On that day I was born, and on it the Revelation came to me.” Narrated by Muslim, 1162.

2 – It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was keen to fast on Mondays and Thursdays. Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 745; al-Nasaa’i, 2361; Ibn Maajah, 1739; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1044.

3 – It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Deeds are shown (to Allaah) on Mondays and Thursdays, and I like my deeds to be shown when I am fasting.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 747; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1041.

The following ahaadeeth encourage fasting on three days of each month:

1 – It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “My close friend [the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] advised me to do three things which I will not give up until I die: fasting three days of each month, praying Duha, and sleeping after Witr. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1124; Muslim, 721.

2 – It was narrated from Mu’aadhah al-‘Adawiyyah that she asked ‘Aa’ishah, the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Did the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fast three days of every month?” She said, “Yes.” She said to her: “Which days of the month did he fast?” She said, “He did not mind which days of the month he would fast.” Narrated by Muslim, 1160.

3 – It was narrated from Jareer ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fasting three days of each month is fasting for a lifetime, and ayaam al-beed are the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 2420; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1040.

4 – It was narrated that Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “If you fast any part of the month, then fast the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.”  Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 761; al-Nasaa’i, 2424; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1038.

There is broad scope in the command to fast three days, as it says in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), but the best days of the month for fasting are the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth, as it says in the other saheeh ahaadeeth.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: When fasting three days of every month, is it essential that it be only on the ayyaam al-beed? Or is it permissible to fast any three days of the month?

He replied:

It is permissible to fast at the beginning of the month, in the middle or at the end, on consecutive days or separately. But it is better if it is done on the three ayyaam al-beed, which are the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on three days of every month, and he did not mind whether he fasted at the beginning or at the end of the month. End quote.

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 20/question no. 376

And Allaah knows best.


-Father of the Poor

Jafar ibn Abi Talib (R A) also known as Ja‘far at-Tayyār, was the son of Abu Talib ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib (the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad(SAWS), and the elder brother Ali ibn Abi Talib(R A). Jafar was raised by his uncle, Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib, for his father was a poor man and had to support a big family. He embraced Islam in around 613.

Jafar(R A) left his uncle Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib’s house when he became a young man and got married to Asma bint Umays. They were among the very first persons to embrace Islam, and as a result suffered greatly at the hands of the Quraish. The Quraish restricted their movements and freedom until they could not bear it anymore. That is why Jafar went to Muhammed(SAWS) and took his permission to immigrate to Ethiopia along with a small group of Sahabas.
In spite of his noble standing among the Quraysh, Abu Talib, an uncle of the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS), was quite poor. He had a large family and did not have enough means to support them adequately. His poverty-stricken situation became much worse when a severe drought hit the Arabian peninsula. The drought destroyed vegetation and livestock and, it is said, people were driven to eat bones in the struggle for survival.

It was during this time of drought, before his call to Prophethood, that Muhammad (SAWS) said to his uncle, al Abbas(R A): “Your brother, Abu Talib, has a large family. People as you see have been afflicted by this severe drought and are facing starvation. Let us go to Abu Talib and take over responsibility for some of his family. It will take one of his sons and you can taken another and we will look after them.”

“What you suggest is certainly righteous and commendable,” replied al-Abbas(R A), and together they went to Abu Talib and said to him: “We want to ease some of the burden of your family until such time as this distressing period has gone.” Abu Talib agreed.

“If you allow me to keep Aqeel (one of his sons older than Ali), then you may do whatever you like ,” he said.

It was in this way that Muhammad(SAWS) took Ali(R A) into his household and al-Abbas took Jafar(R A) into his. Jafar had a very close resemblance to the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) . It is said there were five men from the Hashim clan who resembled the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) so much, they were often mistaken for him. They were: Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith (R A) and Qutham ibn al-Abbas (R A) both of whom were cousins of his. As-Saib ibn Ubayd(R A) , the grandfather of Imam ash Shafi: al-Hasan ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) , who resembled him most of all; and Jafar ibn Abi Talib(R A).

Jafar (R A) stayed with his uncle, al-Abbas, until he was a young man. Then he married Asma bint Umays(R Anha) , a sister of Maymunah (R Anha) who was later to become a wife of the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) . After his marriage, Jafar went to live on his own. He and his wife were among the first persons to accept Islam. He became a Muslim at the hands of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq(R A).

The young Jafar(R A) and his wife were devoted followers of Islam. They bore the harsh treatment and the persecution of the Quraysh with patience and steadfastness because they both realized that the road to Paradise was strewn with. thorns and paved with pain and hardship.

The Quraysh made life intolerable for them both and for their brethren in faith. They tried to obstruct them from observing or performing the duties and rites of Islam. They prevented them from tasting the full sweetness of worship undisturbed. The Quraysh waylaid them at every turn and severely restricted their freedom of movement.

Jafar (R A) eventually went to the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) and sought permission for himself and a small group of the Sahabah, including his wife, to make hijrah to the land of Abyssinia. With great sadness, the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) gave him, his permission. It pained him that these pure and righteous souls should be forced to leave their homes and the familiar and cherished scenes and memories of their childhood and youth, not for any crime but only because they said, “Our Lord is One. Allaah is our Lord.”

The group of Muhajirin left Makkah bound for the land of Abyssinia. Leading them was Jafar ibn Abi Talib(R A) . Soon they settled down in this new land under the care and protection of the Negus, the just and righteous ruler of Abyssinia. For the first time since they became Muslims, they savoured the taste of freedom and security and enjoyed the sweetness of worship undisturbed.

When the Quraysh learnt of the departure of the small group of Muslims and the peaceful life they enjoyed under the protection of the Negus, they made plans to secure their extradition and their return to the great prison that was Makkah. They sent two of their most formidable men, Amr ibn al-Aas (R A) and Abdullah ibn Abi Rabiah(R A) , to accomplish this task and loaded them with valuable and much sought after presents for the Negus and his bishops.

In Abyssinia, the two Quraysh emissaries first presented their girls to the bishops and to each of them they said: “There are some wicked young people moving about freely in the King’s land. They have attacked the religion of their forefathers and caused disunity among their people. When we speak to the King about them, advise him to surrender them to us without his asking them about their religion. The respected leaders of their own people are more aware of them and know better what they believe.”

The bishops agreed.

Amr and Abdullah (R A) then went to the Negus himself and presented him with gifts which he greatly admired. They said to him: “O King, there is a group of evil persons from among our youth who have escaped to your kingdom. They practice a religion which neither we nor you know. They have forsaken our religion and have not entered into your religion. The respected leaders of their people – from among their own parents and uncles. and from their own clans – have sent us to you to request you to return them. They know best what trouble they have caused.”

The Negus looked towards his bishops who said: “They speak the truth, O King. Their own people know them better and are better acquainted with what they have done. Send them back so that they themselves might judge them.”

The Negus was quite angry with this suggestion and said: “No. By God, I won’t surrender them to anyone until I myself call them and question them about what they have been accused. If what these two men have said is true, then I will hand them over to you. If however it is not so, then I shall protect them so long as they desire to remain under my protection.”

The Negus then summoned the Muslims to meet him. Before going, they consulted with one another as a group and agreed that Jafar ibn Abi Talib (R A) and no one else should speak on their behalf.

In the court of the Negus, the bishops, dressed in green surplises and impressive headgear, were seated on his right and on his left. The Qurayshite emissaries were also seated when the Muslims entered and took their seats. The Negus turned to them and asked:

“What is this religion which you have introduced for yourself and which has served to cut you off from the religion of your people? You also did not enter my religion nor the religion of any other community.”

Jafar ibn Abi Talib(R A) then advanced and made a speech that was moving and eloquent and which is still one of the most compelling descriptions of Islam. the appeal of the noble Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) and the condition of Makkan society at the time. He said: “O King, we were a people in a state of ignorance and immorality, worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals, committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds. breaking the ties of kinship, treating guests badly and the strong among us exploited the weak. “We remained in this state until Allaah sent us a Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) , one of our own people whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness and integrity were well-known to us. “He called us to worship Allaah alone and to renounce the stones and the idols which we and our ancestors used to worship besides Allaah”.

“He commanded us to speak the truth, to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbors, to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed. to avoid obscenities and false witness, not to appropriate an orphan’s property nor slander chaste women.

“He ordered us to worship Allaah alone and not to associate anything with him, to uphold Salat, to give Zakat and fast in the month of Ramadan.

“We believed in him and what he brought to us from Allaah and we follow him in what he has asked us to do and we keep away from what he forbade us from doing.

“Thereupon, O King, our people attacked us, visited the severest punishment on us to make us renounce our religion and take us back to the old immorality and the worship of idols.

“They oppressed us, made life intolerable for us and obstructed us from observing our religion. So we left for your country, choosing you before anyone else, desiring your protection and hoping to live in Justice and in peace from your midst.”

The Negus was impressed and was eager to hear more. He asked Jafar: “Do you have with you something of what your Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) brought concerning God?” “Yes,” replied Jafar.

“Then read it to me,” requested the Negus. Jafar, in his rich, melodious voice recited for him the first portion of Surah Maryam which deals with the story of Jesus and his mother Mary.

On hearing the words of the Qur’an, the Negus was moved to tears. To the Muslims, he said: “The message of your Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) and that of Jesus came from the same source…” To Amr and his companion, he said:” Go. For, by God, I will never surrender them to you.” That, however, was not the end of the matter. The wily Amr made up his mind to go to the King the following day “to mention something about the Muslims belief which will certainly fill his heart with anger and make him detest them” On the morrow, Amr went to the Negus and said:

“O King. these people to whom you have given refuge and whom you protect say something terrible about Jesus the son of Maryam (that he is a slave). Send for them and ask them what they say about him.”

The Negus summoned the Muslims once more and Jafar acted as their spokesman. The Negus put the question: “What do you say about Jesus, the son of Mary?”

“Regarding him, we only say what has been revealed to our Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) ,” replied Jaffar. “And what is that?” enquired the Negus.

“Our Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) says that Jesus is the servant of Allaah and His Prophet . His spirit and His word which He cast into Maryam the Virgin.”

The Negus was obviously excited by this reply and exclaimed: “By God, Jesus the son of Maryam was exactly as your Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) has described him”

The bishops around the Negus grunted in disgust at what they had heard and were reprimanded by the Negus. He turned to the Muslims and said:

“Go, for you are safe and secure. Whoever obstructs you will pay for it and whoever opposes you will be punished. For, by God, I would rather not have a mountain of gold than that anyone of you should come to any harm.”

Turning to Amr and his companion, he instructed his attendants: “Return their gifts to these two men. I have no need of them.” Amr and his companion left broken and frustrated. The Muslims stayed on in the land of the Negus who proved to be most generous and kind to his guests.

Jafar (R A) and his wife Asma (R Anha) spent about ten years in Abyssinia which became a second home for them. There, Asma gave birth to three children whom they named Abdullah, Muhammad and Awn. Their second child was possibly the first child in the history of the Muslim Ummah to be given the name Muhammad after the noble Prophet Muhammed (SAWS).

In the seventh year of the hijrah, Jafar and his family left Abyssinia with a group of Muslims and headed for Madinah. When they arrived the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) was just returning from the successful conquest of Khaybar. He was so overjoyed at meeting Jafar (R A) that he said: “I do not know what fills me with more happiness, the conquest of Khaybar or the coming of Jafar.”

Muslims in general and the poor among them especially were just as happy with the return of Jafar(R A) as the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) was. Jafar quickly became known as a person who was much concerned for the welfare of the poor and indigent. For this he was nicknamed, the “Father of the Poor”. Abu Hurayrah (R A) said of him: “The best of men towards us indigent folk was Jafar ibn Abi Talib(R A) . He would pass by us on his way home and give us whatever food he had. Even if his own food had run out, he would send us a pot in which he had placed some butterfat and nothing more. We would open it and lick it clean…”

Jafar’s stay in Madinah was not long. At the beginning of the eighth year of the hijrah, the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) mobilized an army to confront Byzantine forces in Syria because one of his emissaries who had gone in peace had been treacherously killed by a Byzantine governor. He appointed Zayd ibn Harithah (R A) as commander of the army and gave the following instructions: “If Zayd is wounded or killed, Jafar ibn Abi Talib (R A) would take over the command. If Jafar (R A) is killed or wounded, then your commander would be Abdullah ibn Rawahah(R A) . If Abdullah ibn Rawahah (R A) is killed, then let the Muslims choose for themselves a commander.”

The Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) had never given such instructions to an army before and the Muslims took this as an indication that he expected the battle to be tough and that they would even suffer major losses.

When the Muslim army reached Mutah, a small village situated among hills in Jordan, they discovered that the Byzantines had amassed a hundred thousand men backed up by a massive number of Christian Arabs from the tribes of Lakhm, Judham, Qudaah and others. The Muslim army only numbered three thousand.

Despite the great odds against them, the Muslim forces engaged the Byzantines in battle. Zayd ibn al-Harithah(R A) , the beloved companion of the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) , was among the first to fall. Jafar ibn Abi Talib (R A) then assumed command. Mounted on his ruddy-complexioned horse, he penetrated deep into the Byzantine ranks. As he spurred his horse on, he called out: “How wonderful is Paradise as it draws near! How pleasant and cool is its drink! Punishment for the Byzantines is not far away!” Jafar (R A) continued to fight vigorously but was eventually slain. The third in command, Abdullah ibn Rawahah(R A) , also fell. Khalid ibn al-Walid(R A) , the inveterate fighter who had recently accepted Islam, was then chosen as the commander. He made a tactical withdrawal, redeployed the Muslims and renewed the attack from several directions. Eventually, the bulk of the Byzantine forces fled in disarray.

The news of the death of his three commanders reached the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) in Madinah. The pain and grief he felt was intense. He went to Jafar’s house and met his wife Asma. She was getting ready to receive her absent husband. She had prepared dough and bathed and clothed the children. Asma (R Anha) said: “When the Messenger of Allaah approached us, I saw a veil of sadness shrouding his noble face and I became very apprehensive. But I did not dare ask him about Jafar for fear that I would hear some unpleasant news. He greeted and asked, ‘Where are Jaffar’s children?’ I called them for him and they came and crowded around him happily, each one wanting to claim him for himself. He leaned over and hugged them while tears flowed from his eyes.

‘O Messenger of Allaah,’ I asked, ‘why do you cry? Have you heard anything about Jafar and his two companions?’

‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘They have attained martyrdom.’ The smiles and the laughter vanished from the faces of the little children when they heard their mother crying and weeping. Women came and gathered around Asma.

“O Asma,” said the Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) , “don’t say anything objectionable and don’t beat your breast.” He then prayed to God to protect and sustain the family of Jafar and assured them that he had attained Paradise.

The Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) left Asma’s house and went to his daughter Fatimah (R Anha) who was also weeping. To her, he said: “For such as Jafar, you can (easily) cry yourself to death. Prepare food for Jafar’s family for today they are beside themselves with grief”.


ALI IBN ABI TALIB ( RadhiAllaahu Anhu)

`Ali ibn Abi Talib (R A) was Cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad(SAWS). In 656 he became the last of the “rightly guided” caliphs. The fourth of the caliphs or successors of Muhammad(SAWS) , was born in Mecca. His father, Abu Talib, was an uncle of the Prophet (SAWS) , and Ali himself was adopted by Muhammad(SAWS) and educated under his care.

While a boy, he distinguished himself by being one of the first to declare his adherence to the cause of Muhammad(SAWS). Some years afterwards he married the Prophet (SAWS) ‘s daughter Fatima Zahra. Ali (R A) proved himself to be a brave and faithful soldier, and when Muhammad(SAWS) died without a male heir, some thought Ali (R A) to have the best claim to succeed Muhammad(SAWS) . Not until 656, after the murder of Uthman, the third caliph.

`Ali ibn Abi Talib ( Amîr al-Mu’minîn), the first male believer in Islam, the Prophet (SAWS) ’s standard-bearer in battle, the Door of the City of Knowledge, the most judicious of the Companions, and the “Possessor of a wise heart and enquiring tongue.” The Prophet (SAWS) nicknamed him Abu Turâb or Father of Dust. His mother was Fatima bint Asad, whom the Prophet (SAWS) called his own mother and at whose grave he made a remarkable intercession. He accepted Islam when he was eight, or nine, or fourteen, depending on the narrations, but it is established from Ibn `Abbas that he was the first male Muslim after the Prophet (SAWS) , Khadija(R Anha) being the first Muslim. He was killed at age fifty-eight.

From him narrated Abu Bakr, `Umar, his sons al-Hasan and al-Husayn, Ibn `Abbas, `Abd Allaah ibn al-Zubayr, and countless others(RadhiAllaahu Anhum):
`Ali was a skilled and fearless fighter, and the Prophet (SAWS) gave him his standard to carry on the day of Badr and in subsequent battles. At the same time he was the repository of Prophet (SAWS) in wisdom among the Companions. The latter, when asked about difficult legal rulings, deferred to others the responsibility of answering, while `Ali, alone among them, used to say: “Ask me.” `Umar (R A) said: “I seek refuge in Allaah from a problem which Abu al-Hasan (R A) cannot solve.” Similarly `A’isha (R Anha) said: “He is the most knowledgeable about the Sunna among those who remain,” and Ibn `Abbas(R A) : “If a trustworthy source tells us of a fatwa by `Ali, we do not seek any further concerning it.” Sulayman al-Ahmusi narrated from his father that `Ali (R A) said: “By Allaah ! No verse was ever revealed except I knew the reason for which it was revealed and in what place and concerning whom. Verily my Lord has bestowed upon me a wise heart and a speaking tongue.” At the same time `Ali (R A) humbly declared: “What cools my liver most, if I am asked something I know not, is to say: ‘Allaah knows best’.”

Imam Ahmad (R) said: “There is no Companion concerning whom are reported as many merits as `Ali ibn Abi Talib.” Following are some of the hadiths to that effect.

On the eve of the campaign of Khaybar, the Prophet (SAWS) said: “I shall give the standard to a man who loves Allaah and His Messenger, and whom Allaah loves and also His Messenger.” `Umar(R A) said: “I never liked to be entrusted leadership before that day.” The next day the Prophet (SAWS) summoned `Ali (R A) and gave him the flag.

Salama ibn `Amr (R A) narrated that the day of Khaybar, the Prophet (SAWS) summoned `Ali who came led by the hand, as he was suffering from inflammation of the eyes. The Prophet (SAWS) then blew on his eyes and gave him the flag. Another version states that Ibn Abi Layla told his father to ask `Ali why he wore summer clothes in winter and winter clothes in summer. `Ali said: “The day of Khaybar the Prophet (SAWS) summoned me when my eyes were sore. I said to him: ‘O Messenger of Allaah ! I have ophtalmia.’ He blew on my eyes and said: ‘O Allaah ! remove from him hot and cold.’ I never felt hot nor cold after that day.”

The Prophet (SAWS) left `Ali behind in the campaign of Tabuk. The latter said: “O Messenger of Allaah! Are you leaving me behind with the women and children?” The Prophet (SAWS) replied: “Are you not happy to stand next to me like Harun next to Musa, save that there is no Prophet (SAWS) after me?”

The Prophet (SAWS) said: “I am the city of knowledge and `Ali is its gate.” Another version states: “I am the house of wisdom and `Ali is its gate.”

When Allaah revealed the verse: “Come! We will summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves, then we will pray humbly and invoke the curse of Allaah upon those who lie” (3:61), the Prophet (SAWS) summoned `Ali(R A) , Fatima(R Anha) , Hasan(R A) , and Husayn(R A) , and said: “O Allaah ! These are my Family.”

The Prophet (SAWS) said: “Anyone whose protecting friend (mawla) I am, `Ali is his protecting friend.” `Umar (R A) said: “Congratulations, O `Ali! You have become the protecting friend of every single believer.”

The Prophet (SAWS) said: “`Ali is part of me and I am part of `Ali! No-one conveys something on my behalf except I or he.”

Some people complained to the Prophet (SAWS) about `Ali, whereupon he stood and said: “Do not accuse `Ali of anything! By Allaah, he is truly a little rough (la’ukhayshan) in Allaah’s cause.”

When the Prophet (SAWS) sent `Ali (R A) to Yemen the latter said: “O Messenger of Allaah , you are sending me to people who are older than me so that I judge between them!” The Prophet (SAWS) said: “Go, for verily Allaah shall empower your tongue and guide your heart.” `Ali(R A) said: “After that I never felt doubt as to what judgment I should pass between two parties.”

The Prophet (SAWS) said: “The most compassionate of my Community towards my Community is Abu Bakr; the staunchest in Allaah ’s Religion is `Umar; the most truthful in his modesty is `Uthman, and the best in judgment is `Ali.” `Umar said: “`Ali is the best in judgment among us, and Ubayy is the most proficient at the Qur’anic readings.” Ibn Mas`ud similarly said: “We used to say that the best in judgment among the people of Madina was `Ali.” It is a measure of al-Hasan al-Basri’s greatness that `Ali once followed his recommendation in a judicial case.

`Amr ibn Sha’s al-Aslami (R A) complained about `Ali(R A) upon returning from Yemen where he had accompanied him. News of it reached the Prophet (SAWS) who said: “O `Amr! By Allaah , you have done me harm.” `Amr (R A) said: “I seek refuge in Allaah from harming you, O Messenger of Allaah !” He said: “But you did. Whoever harms `Ali harms me.” The Prophet (SAWS) also used the terms “Whoever harms Ali (R A) has harmed me” about his uncle al-`Abbas(R A) .

Umm Salama (R Anha) said to Abu `Abd Allaah al-Jadali(R A) : “Is Allaah ’s Messenger (SAWS) being insulted among you?! [in Kufa]” He said: “Allaah forbid!” She said: “I heard Allaah ’s Messenger(SAWS) say: ‘Whoso insults `Ali, insults me.’”

`Ali (R A) said: “In truth the Prophet (SAWS) has made a covenant with me saying: ‘None loves you except a believer, and none hates you except a hypocrite.” Abu Sa`id al-Khudri subsequently said: “In truth we recognized the hypocrites by their hatred for `Ali.” Jabir said: “We did not know the hypocrites of this Community except by their hatred for `Ali.”

The innovations of those who bore excessive love and admiration for `Ali appeared in his own lifetime and he himself fought them in word and deed. To those that claimed that the Prophet (SAWS) had appointed him as successor after him he said: “In truth, Allaah ’s Messenger did not appoint any successor” and: “The Prophet (SAWS) was taken from us, then Abu Bakr (R A) was made the successor, so he did as the Prophet (SAWS) had done and according to his path until Allaah took him from us; then `Umar was made the successor, so he did as the Prophet (SAWS) had done and according to his path until Allaah took him from us.” To those that claimed that he deserved the Caliphate better than Abu Bakr (R A) and `Umar (R A) he said: “The best of this Community after its Prophet (SAWS) are Abu Bakr and `Umar.” To those that either hated him or overly loved him `Ali (R A) said: “Two types of people shall perish concerning me: a hater who forges lies about me, and a lover who over-praises me.” To those that claimed that he or his family possessed other than the Qur’an which all Muslims had he said: “Whoever claims that we have something which we read other than the Qur’an has lied.” Finally, when a group of people came to him saying: “You are He, you are our Lord! (anta Hû anta Rabbuna)” he had them executed and then ordered the bodies burnt.
His Contributions :

Ali (R A) was the victor of the battle of Badr. He alone killed half the number of all the Makkans who were killed in that battle.

In the battle of Uhud, most of the Muslims fled from the battlefield. One who did not flee, was Ali(R A) . He saved the life of his master, Muhammad(SAWS), that day.

At the siege of Medina, Ali (R A) killed Amr bin Abd Wudd, and thereby saved Medina from being overrun, and its people from being massacred.

Ali (R A) captured Khyber. With Khyber’s conquest, Islam became a state with territory. Until the conquest of Khyber, Islam was only a city-state, confined to the walls of Medina.

Ali (R A) was the secretary who indicted the Treaty of Hudaybiyya.

When Makkah capitulated to the Prophet(SAWS), Ali (R A) rode his shoulders, and smashed the idols in the Kaaba. He and his master, Muhammad(SAWS), purified the House of Allaah for all time by removing all vestiges of idolatry and polytheism from it. In this manner, Ali (R A) collaborated with Muhammad(SAWS), the Messenger of Allaah, from beginning to end, in constructing the framework of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

In the battle of Hunayn, the Muslims fled once again. Ali(R A) put himself between the Apostle (SAWS) and the pagan warriors who wanted to kill him. He fought against them until the Muslims rallied.

In October 630 (9 A.H.) the Apostle led an expedition to Tabuk, and he appointed Ali (R A) his viceroy in Medina.

Among all the companions of the Prophet(SAWS) , Ali(R A) was the most knowledgeable. He had thorough knowledge of the Qur’an, and its interpretation. He was the best of all judges, and he was the most eloquent orator of the Arabs.

Just before his death, the Prophet(SAWS) equipped and organized an expedition to Syria, and he appointed Usama bin Zayd bin Haritha(R A) , its general. With the exception of Ali(R A) , he ordered all the Muhajireen to serve under Usama(R A) . Ali (R A) was to stay with him in Medina.

In the defence of Islam, it was Ali’s (R A) family which offered the greatest sacrifices. Obaidullah ibn al-Harith (R A) who was killed in the battle of Badr, and was the first martyr of Islam in the battlefield, was his first cousin. Mus’ab ibn Umayr(R A) and Hamza (R A) were killed in the battle of Uhud, and both of them were his uncles. Jafar Tayyar (R A) who was killed in the battle of Mootah was his elder brother.

When Muhammad Mustafa (SAWSS) died, Ali (R A) performed his obsequies, and gave him burial. He knew what the other companions were doing when he was busy with these duties but he did not allow anything to distract him. He kept his duty ahead of his interests, and his principles ahead of politics.
After the murder of Uthman, fear and panic seized the companions of the Prophet(SAWS). The members of Umar’s (R A)electoral committee retreated into the safety of anonymity. The fate of Uthman (R A) had struck terror into their hearts. The whole country was seething with agitation, and no one, no matter how daring and ambitious, was willing to put his neck into the loop by accepting the responsibility of running the government. It was a responsibility fraught with the gravest perils.

As soon as Uthman died, all eyes turned to Ali(R A) . The companions of the Prophet (SAWS) could not think of anyone else who had the ability and the grit to put an end to graft in the government and to anarchy in the land, and to restore peace, and law and order to the Dar-ul-Islam which was battered by economic and social conflict, and was buffeted by a rapid succession of traumas.

All the leading Muhajireen and Ansar, therefore, gathered in the Mosque of the Prophet(SAWS) , and agreed, at a caucus, to ask Ali(R A) to take charge of the government, and to steer the ship of state to safety. A delegation then called on Ali(R A) , and requested him to accept this responsibility.

Ali, however, did not accept the offer of the companions, and said that he preferred to be an adviser rather than the caliph.
But the companions also did not accept Ali’s (R A) refusal, and said:

“No man has given more distinguished service to Islam, nor is anyone closer to Muhammad(SAWS) than you. We consider you to be the worthiest of all men to be our Khalifa.” (Tarikh Kamil, Vol. III, p. 98, Ibn Atheer)

Ali still did not agree, and the companions still persisted, and said:
“We appeal to you in the name of Allaah to accept the caliphate. Don’t you see the state of the umma? Don’t you see new perils rising everywhere in the lands of Islam? Who will check them if not you?” (Tarikh Kamil, Vol. III, p. 99, Ibn Atheer)

The institution of khilafat which was the legacy of Muhammad(SAWS), the Messenger of Allaah, and which, therefore, ought to have been the symbol of the moral and spiritual authority of Islam to the rest of the world, had become, instead, in the course of the quarter-century since his death, the symbol of undiluted materialism and naked imperialism. Profound changes had taken place in the lifestyle of the Muslims. Instead of imitating the pure and austere life of Muhammad(SAWS) , most of them imitated alien lifestyles. What propelled them now, was not the ideals of Islam but the lust to become rich and powerful at any cost. The pristine simplicity and the egalitarianism of the times of the Prophet of Islam, had become demoted. The quality of the life of the umma had visibly declined.

Ali knew all this better than anyone else. He had kept his finger on the pulse of the Muslim umma, and he had monitored its progress or its lack of progress in all directions.

Ali also knew that the caliphate was no longer something that one could take with “its roses and its thorns.” The roses were all gone; and all that was left, were the thorns. Accepting the caliphate now would only mean wearing a crown of those thorns.

In 656 the caliphate was little more than a legacy of turbulence and deficits.

On Friday, 18th of Dhil-Hajj, 35 A.H. (June 17, 656), Ali ibn Abi Talib (R A) entered the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina, and walked to the pulpit through the crowd of the Muslims. The crowd sat in an expectant mood, the currents of excitement flashing through it, and it appeared to heave convulsively. There was an almost palpable sense of tension and renewal in the “national” spirit of the Muslims.

Ali held a bow in his hand, and he leaned against the pulpit as the Muslims began to take the oath of allegiance to him. Between him and them, it was “an open covenant openly arrived at,” and there was nothing clandestine about it. Most of the Muhajireen and the Ansar who were in Medina, gave him their pledge of loyalty.
“The veterans of Badr said (to Ali):’No one is more worthy of khilafat than you. Put out your hand so that we may give you our pledge of loyalty.’ And they gave him the pledge of their loyalty.”

It was the first time, and the last time, in the history of Islam, that a ruler was not foisted upon the Muslims. They chose their own ruler, and their choice was spontaneous. Neither force, nor the threat of the use of force, nor pressure nor bribes, nor double talk, were employed in his election. There was no hysteria to grab power. Everyone was free to give or to withhold his pledge. Ali (R A) himself was accepting the pledges almost mechanically, lost as he was in the reverie of the times of his master, Muhammad(SAWS) , when he was accepting the pledges of the Quraysh just after the conquest of Makkah in 630.

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