– The Companions of the Prophet

(peace be upon him)

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Narrated Zahdam bin Mudarrab: ‘Imran bin Hussain said, “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘The best of you (people) are my generation, and the second best will be those who will follow them, and then those who will follow the second generation.”

Imran added, “I do not remember whether he mentioned two or three (generations) after his generation.

He (peace be upon him) added, ‘Then will come some people who will make vows but will not fulfill them; and they will be dishonest and will not be trustworthy, and they will give their witness without being asked to give their witness, and fatness will appear among them.’ ”

Sahih Bukhari :: Book 8 Oaths and Vows :: Volume 78 :: Hadith 686

Harming As-Siddiq, The Truthful One, A Forbidden Act

The Prophet (saws) disliked seeing acts of injustice being performed by anyone whether it be through physical action or through the tongue. He especially disliked any such act directed to his closest companion, the one who’s complete and continued unwavering support was declared after the events of the Miraculous Night Journey known as al-’Israa’ wal-Mi‘raaj (Night visit to Jerusalem and Ascension). It was after this event that he was given the name of As-Siddiq, the Truthful One (raa).

One day Umar ibn Al-Khattab (raa) had a disagreement with Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (raa) that resulted in words they both uttered with immediate regret. Abu Bakr (raa) quickly asked to be forgiven from the mighty Umar (raa), but forgiveness was refused.

Abu Bakr (raa) was one who considered even his smallest sins to be a terrible act and would become distraught over such actions. When he would commit any offense he would turn to the Messenger of Allah (saws) for guidance so that he may rectify his deed.

So to hasten his movements the father (Abu) of Bakr (raa) grabbed the sides of his garment and approached the Messenger of Allah (saws) who was sitting with Abu Ad-Dardaa and a number of the other sahaba (companions). The Prophet (saws) knowing As-Siddiq (raa) well could see the trouble on his face so he turned to those present and said, “Your companion has had an argument.”

Abu Bakr (raa) greeted the Prophet (saws) and conveyed the details of the disagreement and refusal of forgiveness from Umar (raa) to which the Prophet (saws) made du’a (supplication) three times, “May Allah forgive you, O Abu Bakr.”

Umar Ibn Al-Khataab (raa) also regretted the incident and quickly turned to make amends, but unfortunately sought Abu Bakr (raa) at his home only to find him away. It was at that moment that realization and fear struck Umar (raa) as to the whereabouts of Abu bakr (raa), the eminent companion of the Prophet (saws). It was at that moment that Umar (raa) realized he had chosen the wrong course. He knew Abu Bakr (raa) would be in the company of the Prophet (saws) and many of the other Sahaba (raa). So Umar (raa), filled with worry and shame turned slowly and walked to the sitting place of Allah’s Messenger (saws).

As Umar (raa) neared the Prophet’s (saws) gathering he saw the intense anger upon the face of the Messenger of Allah (saws), and approached Abu Bakr (raa) and those present in shame. Abu Bakr (raa) looked repeatedly between the Prophet (saws) and Umar (raa) until his guilt finally overwhelmed him. He felt great pity for Umar (raa) along with a feeling of deep regret for being the first to speak harshly, so he moved to make amends. Dropping to his knees before the Prophet (saws), Abu Bakr (raa) twice repeated, “O Allah’s Apostle! By Allah! I was more unjust to him than he to me.”

In his mercy the Prophet (saws) spoke not to Umar (raa), or Abu Bakr (raa), but to those present, “Allah sent me as a Prophet to you, the people, but you said to me, ‘You are telling a lie,’ while Abu Bakr said, ‘He has spoken the truth,’. He consoled and helped me with his self and his wealth. So for my sake, will you not give up harming my companion, will you not give up harming my companion?”

It was from that day on that harm never came to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (raa) from the Sahaba again.

Companions of the Prophet – Bukhari :: Book 5 :: Volume 57 :: Hadith 13

Narrated Abu Ad-Dardaa (raa); While I was sitting with the Prophet (saws), Abu Bakr (raa) came, lifting up one corner of his garment uncovering his knee. The Prophet (saws) said, “Your companion has had a quarrel.”

Abu Bakr (raa) greeted (the Prophet (saws)) and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! There was something (i.e. quarrel) between me and the Son of Al-Khattab (raa). I talked to him harshly and then regretted that, and requested him to forgive me, but he refused. This is why I have come to you.”

The Prophet (saws) said thrice, “O Abu Bakr! May Allah forgive you.”

In the meanwhile, ‘Umar (raa) regretted (his refusal of Abu Bakr’s excuse) and went to Abu Bakr’s (raa) house and asked if Abu Bakr (raa) was there. They replied in the negative. So he came to the Prophet (saws) and greeted him, but signs of displeasure appeared on the face of the Prophet (saws) till Abu Bakr (raa) pitied (‘Umar), so he knelt and said twice, “O Allah’s Apostle! By Allah! I was more unjust to him (than he to me).”

The Prophet (saws) said, “Allah sent me (as a Prophet) to you (people) but you said (to me), ‘You are telling a lie,’ while Abu Bakr (raa) said, ‘He has said the truth,’ and consoled me with himself and his money.”

He (saws) then said twice, “Won’t you then give up harming my companion?” After that nobody harmed Abu Bakr (raa).

The Prophet and Abu Bakr, At the Feet of the Polytheists, A Trusted Friend

Anas ibn Malik (raa) reported that Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (raa) reported: I saw the feet of the polytheists very close to us as we were in the cave.

I said: Allah’s Messenger (saws), if one amongst them were to see at his feet he would have surely seen us.

There upon he said: Abu Bakr (raa), what can befall two who have Allah as the third One with them.

The Book Pertaining to the Merits of the Companions (Allah Be Pleased With Them) of the Holy Prophet (May Peace Be Upon Him) (Kitab Al-Fada’il Al-Sahabah)

Muslim :: Book 31 : Hadith 5868

Bilal Ibn Rabah (Al-Habashi) Carries The Sutra Of The Prophet

In the 2nd year (624 AD) after Hijra (migration) the Prophet (saws) received some gifts of homage from the Negus, King of Abyssinia. A signet ring, a pair of shoes and an ‘anaza (a short spear), and Bilal ibn Rabah (raa) was given the honour to walk infront of the Prophet (saws) on his way to Salat al-Eid and Salat-Istisqa (prayer for rain) carrying the spear.

Upon reaching the Musalla, Bilal Al-Habashi (the Abyssinia) (raa) would pitch the spear in the ground one or two yards infront of the Prophet (saws) saws.

The Two Festivals (Eids)

Bukhari :: Book 2 :: Volume 15 :: Hadith 89

Narrated Ibn Umar (raa): On the day of ‘Id-ul-Fitr and ‘Id-ul-Adha a spear used to be planted in front of the Prophet (saws) (as a Sutra for the prayer) and then he would pray.

Thus Bilal (raa), along with being the first muazzin of Islam had the honor of keeping the Prophets spear throughout his lifetime. 

Call to Prayers (Adhaan)

Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 11 :: Hadith 606

Narrated ‘Aun bin Abi Juhaifa:

My father said, "I saw Allah’s Apostle (saws) at a place called Al-Abtah. Bilal (raa) came and informed him about the prayer and then came out with an Anza and planted it in front of Allah’s Apostle (saws) at Al-Abtah and pronounced the Iqama."

The Manumission Of Bilal ibn Rabah

Companions of the Prophet

Sahih Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 57, Number 98

Narrated Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (raa): Whenever Umar lbn Al-Khattab (raa) mentioned Abu Bakr (raa) he would say, “Abu Bakr (raa) is our master and the emancipator of our master.” That is to say, Bilaal (raa).

By enduring all sorts of atrocities and humiliations in the path of love for Allah (swt) and His Prophet (saws), Bilal (raa) set an example and a beacon of light till the end of this world, for the seekers after Truth and Righteousness. He knew well the consequences of renouncing idol-worship and offering devotion to One God, Allah, yet so deep was the imprint of the righteous life and the unparalleled good morals of the Holy Prophet (raa) upon his heart that no degree of savage oppression and violence could blot it out.

One day Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (The Truthful) (raa) saw the heart touching plight of Bilal (raa) and he came to his rescue. “How long will you oppress this poor fellow?” said Abu Bakr (raa) to Bilals (raa) tormentor, Umaiya Bin Khalaf of the tribe of Banu Jamah.

Umaiya said, “If you feel for him, why don’t you buy him?”

So Abu Bakr (raa) bought Bilal (raa), paying ten Uqia (about 23 grams of Gold). Umaiya then said “Take him, for by Al-Laat and Al-Uzza, if you had refused to buy him except for one ounce of gold I would have sold him to you.”

Abu Bakr (raa) answered by saying, “By Allah (Subhanahu wa-ta’ala – swt. Translation: may He be glorified and exalted) if you had refused to sell him except for a hundred ounces, I would have paid it.”

Abu Bakr Siddiq (raa) then declared Bilal (raa) a free man.

It is stated that Abu Bakr (raa) bought Bilal (raa) at the advice of Allahs Messenger (saws). The Prophet (saws) also offered him half of the price in order to mitigate the burden of Abu Bakr, but Abu Bakr As-Siddiq begged pardon from the Prophet (saws) for not accepting this offer and he himself emancipated Bilal (raa).

The Torture Of Bilal ibn Rabah

It is an established fact that Bilal Habashi (raa) had not embraced Islam with any worldly motive or to secure relief from the torments of slave life. On the contrary by accepting Islam as a slave, he had invited upon himself torment of double even treble intensity. He endured all kinds of atrocities with remarkable patience and fortitude and remained true to Islam his entire life.

Al-Mu’minun (the believers) who accepted Islam in the beginning were, except a few, generally weak and helpless. They had no supporters or sympathizers. Bilal (raa), like many of the early believers were subject to endless inhuman acts of torture by the unbelievers. Some Muslims had ropes tied to the legs and were dragged on the stony ground of the desert. Others where stripped and thrown on the burning sand and often on red embers, and some, like Bilal (raa) were tied to the ground in the blazing sun and had heavy stones placed on their bodies.

There was no threat or cruel torture which the unbelievers did not execute on Bilal (raa) in an attempt to divert him from the True Faith and to coerce a statement which suited their purpose. Bilal (raa) displayed unflinching self-control, patience and perseverance. He held firm to his faith and uttered in reply to the torment, “There is none to be worshiped but Allah”.

According to historical records, Bilals (raa) greatest tormentor, Umaiya Bin Khalaf often tied him down and flung a stone and cow hide over him. Umaiya would say “Your gods are Lat and Uzza so testify your faith in them.” Uttering, Ahad, Ahad (Allah is One, Allah is One), the tormentors demanded Bilal (raa) to respect what they said, but he would reply, “No, my tongue is not supposed to utter what you say.”

Continuing to say “Ahad, Ahad” the unbelievers tied a rope round his neck and allowed the street urchins to drag him between the two hills of Mecca. Even, under this severe torment, Bilal (raa) held firm to his faith and repeated “Ahad, Ahad.” Thereupon, the unbelievers gave him a severe beating and again stretching him on the burning sand they placed the heavy stone over his body making breathing difficult for him. Occasionally a heavy person was to jump on the stone, but all the while Bilal (raa) persevered and uttered “Ahad, Ahad.”

This defiance against his slave master, who may have owned his body, proved ultimately that nobody could own ones mind or ones thought.

Tabarruk (Seek Blessings) From the Prophet’s Blessed Skin

Battle of Badr, Friday morning the 17th of Ramadan

Habban ibn Wasi ibn Habban (raa) told me on the Authority of some elders of his tribe that on the day of Badr the apostle dressed the ranks of his companion wth an arrow which he held in his hand.

As he passed by Sawad ibn Ghaziya (raa), an ally of Ibn’Adiy ibn al-Najjar (raa), who was mustansil (standing out of line) he pricked him in his belly with the arrow, saying, “Stand in line, O Sawad!” [1]

“You have hurt me, O apostle of Allah,” he cried, “and Allah has sent you with right and justice so let me retaliate.”

The apostle uncovered his belly and said “Take your retaliation.”

Sawad (raa) embraced him and kissed his belly. He asked what had made him do this and he replied, “O apostle of Allah, you see what is before us and I may not survive the battle and as this is my last time with you I want my skin to touch yours”.

The apostle blessed him.

Lessons to be learnt:

  1. Humility of Prophet (saws): He did not tell other soldiers to take him away and got tortured for what he said like leaders of our times would
  2. Justice of Prophet (saws) when he allowed the companion to retaliate
  3. The love the Sahaba (Companions) (raa) for Prophet (saws)

From the Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad)

Note: I’ve included the following as a historical reference but because of the nature of Ibn Ishaq’s compilation, lack of isnad (chain of transmission), caution is advised when sharing such stories.

Ibn Hishams Notes from A. Guillaume’s translation

  1. According to some Sawwad. Sawad of the Ansar was another man

Authenticity – Current Status: Unknown

The First Muazzin Of Islam, Bilal Habashi

During all the Prophets (saws) journeys, Bilal ibn Rabah (raa) was by his side and because of his precedence in embracing Islam, his rich melodious voice and excellent utterance of Quran he was appointed the first Muazzin of Islam. He was the most preferred over all other Muazzins during the Prophets (saws) lifetime and remained in this post at Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Mosque of the Prophet) until the Messangers (saws) Death in 10 A.H. (632 A.D.) (Anno Hegirae – year of Hijra).

Bilal (raa) use to announce the Athan (Call to Prayer) especially for the Messanger of Allah (saws) whom he cherished with such deep love by standing next to the door of the Prophets (saws) room shouting "Hasten to the prayer, Hasten to well-being. O Messenger of Allah, prayer.", in response to which the Prophet (saws) would arrive for prayer and Bilal (raa) would announce the Iqama (second call to prayer) before the prayers commenced. It’s because of this personal connection and honour that at the time of the Prophets (saws) passing Bilal (raa) could no longer bear the thought of announcing the call, so he decided to give up announcing the Athan a few days after the demise of Allah’s Apostle (saws) by requesting that Abu Bakr Siddiq (saws) the Caliph release him from his duty of Muazzin and allow him to join the Muhjahideen (strugglers) in Syria.

Bilal Habashi (Bilal the one from Abyssinia) (raa) declined all future requests to announce the Call to Prayer (Athan) except for once, which sadly was the last Call that, he delivered in his lifetime.

To the present day, some scholars are of the opinion that the Athans rhythmical form of recital in the Muslim world is the same as was originated by Bilal (raa). However, it must be clarified that the Messanger of Allah (saws) had not appointed Bilal (raa) as the Muazzin solely because of his masterly rhythm or melody of the rules but it was his exceeding piety, devotion to worship and regular attendance in the Masjid (place of prostration) that the choice of the Prophet (saws) fell on Bilal Habisha (raa) for the performance of this honourable and important duty.

Umm Aiman, A Pious Virtuous Woman

Anas bin Malik (raa) reported: After the death of Messenger of Allah (saws), Abu Bakr said to ‘Umar (raa) : “Let us visit Umm Aiman (raa) as Messenger of Allah (saws) used to visit her”.

As we came to her, she wept. They (Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (raa)) said to her, “What makes you weep? Do you not know that what Allah has in store for His Messenger (saws) is better than (this worldly life)?”

She said, “I weep not because I am ignorant of the fact that what is in store for Messenger of Allah (saws) (in the Hereafter) is better than this world, but I weep because the Revelation has ceased to come”.

This moved both of them to tears and they began to weep along with her.

The Book Pertaining to the Merits of the Companions (raa) of the Holy Prophet (saws) (Kitab Al-Fada’il Al-Sahabah) – Muslim: Book 31, Hadith 6009

Commentary: The Book of Miscellany

Visiting The Pious Person – Loving Them And Adoption Of Their Company

Riyadh as-Saaliheen (The Gardens of the Righteous), by Imam an-Nawawi

Umm Aiman (raa) belonged to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and was a slave-girl of the Prophet’s father (‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib). After the death of ‘Abdullah, Umm Aiman (raa) remained with the Prophet’s mother, Aminah, and took great care in his upbringing. Subsequently, the Prophet (saws) set her free and she was married to Zaid bin Harithah (raa)

This Hadith holds justification for weeping over the death of the pious and also shows that it is desirable to visit such persons to whom one’s friends go to pay respect.

The incident mentioned in this Hadith also shows the love that the Companions (raa) of the Prophet (saws) had for him.

Death of The Prophet, Fatima’s Dua’ For Her Father

Narrated Anas (raa): When the ailment of the Prophet (saws) got aggravated, he became unconscious whereupon Fatima (raa) said, “Oh, how distressed my father is!”

He said, “Your father will have no more distress after today.”

When he expired, she said, “O Father (saws)! Who has responded to the call of the Lord Who has invited him! O Father (saws), whose dwelling place is the Garden of Paradise (i.e. Al-Firdaus)! O Father! We convey this news (of your death) to Gabriel.”

When he was buried, Fatima (raa) said, “O Anas (raa)! Do you feel pleased to throw earth over Allah’s Apostle (saws)?”

Military Expeditions led by the Prophet (saws) (Al-Maghaazi) – Sahih Bukhari: Book 5, Volume 5, Hadith 739

Commentary: The Book of Miscellany

Patience & Perseverance

Riyadh as-Saaliheen (The Gardens of the Righteous), by Imam an-Nawawi

This Hadith shows that it is permissible to express the trouble and restlessness which one feels at the time of death. Similarly, expression of pain and grief in a natural way in the event of someone’s death is also permissible.

To remember the virtues of the deceased is also permitted but it is to be free from wailing and moaning, lamentation and crying, and tearing off clothes, etc. The last words of Fatimah (raa) are also a way of expressing grief and sadness and not a criticism on the burial of the Prophet (saws) because such criticism is prohibited by Shari’ah and no one is exempted from it.