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Companions of the Prophet (SAW), Part-II
by Shaykh Ahmed Abdul Mujeeb Qasmi Nadvi (translated by Muhammad Owais Jafrey)
Those who grew up under the shadow of Prophet (SAW)’s ideal personality blossomed only because of his sweat, toil and training. They were his (SAW)’s the first audience, and were also the first addressees of the Holy Qur’an. It is Allah (SWT)’s wisdom that certain prophets and messengers were successful in their mission in a short time, while others could succeed only to win a few followers, though they spent their life time in their mission. The Holy Qur’an says about Nuh (AS) in Aayah 14 of Surah Ankabut:
“We sent Nuh out to his people. He lived among them for fifty years short of a thousand but when the Flood overwhelmed them they were still doing evil.”
It should be remembered that the success of prophets and messengers is not to be measured by the number of his followers. It would be disrespecting their status and belittling their efforts. Guidance depends on the will of Allah (SWT). Having said that let me add that it was the miracle of Prophet (SAW) unique personality which mirrored itself in the character of his companions in one and many dimensions. Their unflinching fear for Allah and faith in His words, strength of Iman and their devoted and glowing love for His Messenger (SAW) were exemplary. Their piety, self control, mutual respect and brotherhood, spirit of sacrifice, discipline and the missionary zeal behind their words and actions, all reflect on the academy they graduated from. They were true, upright, straight forward, and iron willed. They were invincible men of steal when they confronted their enemy and they were soft like silk and cool like dew among the faithful.
Just two examples are enough to show the stark difference between the followers of our beloved Prophet (SAW) and other prophets. Musa (AS) was a Prophet of great merit. He worked very hard on Bani Isra’il, but his followers were no match to the companions of Prophet (SAW). When summoned for a dialogue with Allah (SWT), he left behind his brother Harun (AS) as his successor. On his return from the valley of Sina after 40 days, he was shocked to see that his followers had totally deviated from his teachings. Allah (SWT) says in Aayah 142 of Surah Al-A’raf:
“We appointed thirty nights for Musa, and then added ten more; the term set by his Lord was completed in forty nights. Musa said to his brother Harun: “Take my place among my people; act rightly and do not follow the ways of those who spread corruption.”” Aayah 148 of the same Surah says: “In his absence people of Musa took to worshipping a mere shape that made sounds like a cow – a calf made from their jewelry. Could they not see that it did not speak to them or guide them in any way? Yet they took it for worship; they were evil doers.”
When Musa (AS) asked his followers to enter the (Ardh-e-Muqaddas) sacred valley, their answer to him as mentioned in Aayah 24 of Surah Ma’ida was: “They said, Musa, we will never enter while they are still there, so you and your Lord go in and fight, and we will stay here.”
Look at the example of Prophet (SAW) companions. Unprepared and ill equipped, when Prophet (SAW) faced an unexpected attack from an outnumbered and over equipped enemy at the first decisive and historical battle of Badr, he (SAW) sought advice from his companions. Sayyidina Abu Bakr, and Sayyidina Umar (RAn) assured of their whole hearted support. Then stood Miqdaad bin Amr (RA) who eloquently said: “Ya Rasul Allah please do whatever pleases Allah (SWT). We are with you. We swear by Allah, we wouldn’t say what Bani Isra’il said to Musa: “Go you and your Lord and fight and we will stay here.” “We submit to you Ya Rasul Allah that we will fight along with you. By Him, Who has sent you with the righteous Deen, we can go all the way to Bark-al-Ghimad, and we will fight resolutely until victory.””
[Bark-al-Ghimad is located in the farthest southern end of Yemen, and according to another source, it is a town in Ethiopia]. Miqdad bin Amr’s expression indicated that he and his fellow companions were prepared to go to the farthest point to show their obedience and loyalty to Prophet (SAW).]
These statements were from the Emigrants [Muhajireen] Following these stood up Sa’d bin Mu’adh (RA) from the group of Helpers [Ansar]. His face radiant with emotions of love, loyalty, and obedience, he said:
“Ya Rasul Allah, we believe in you and we bear witness to what you have assured us and we declare in unequivocal terms that what you have brought is the Truth. We give you our firm pledge of obedience and sacrifice. We will obey you most willingly in whatever you command us, and by Allah, Who has sent you with Truth, if you were to ask us to plunge into the sea, we will do that most readily and not a man of us will stay behind. We do not grudge the idea of encounter with the enemy. We are experienced in war and we are trustworthy in combat. We hope that Allah will show you through our hands those deeds of valor which will please your eyes. In the name of Allah, kindly lead us to the battle field.
Prophet (SAW) was impressed with the devotion and the spirit of sacrifice which his companions showed at this critical moment. Then he said to them: “Forward and be happy, for Allah has promised me one of the two (capturing of the booty or strife in the cause of Allah against the polytheists), and by Allah it is as if I now saw the enemy lying prostrate.”
Let us see yet another example. Isa (AS) spent his entire life to instill love, kindness, mercy, compassion, trust and faith among his companions, but they never valued his teachings and demanded a miracle from him as a proof of his Prophet Hood.
Allah (SWT) has mentioned their demand in Aayah 112-113 in Surah Ma’ida:
“When the disciples said: “Isa, son of Maryam, can your Lord send down a feast to us from heaven? He [Isa] said, “Beware of Allah if you are true believers. They said: “We wish to eat from it; to have our hearts reassured; to know that you have told us the truth, and to be witness to it.”
Companions of Prophet (SAW) never demanded any proof, or miracle from him. Such a demand indicates shallowness, disloyalty, and lack of trust and faith. Prophet (SAW) was the greatest leader and his movement revolutionized the entire society. Each of his companions was at guard over his own self. Being human if any one committed a mistake, he or she presented himself or herself to Prophet (SAW) for the rightful punishment. Human history is devoid of such examples. Ma’ez bin Malik Aslami having committed a sin reported to Prophet (SAW) in person. Similarly a lady named Ghamidiyah went directly to Prophet (SAW) and acknowledged her sin. Both demanded punishment for the sins they had committed.
Free from ostentation and hypocrisy, firm belief in Allah and His Messenger, companions of Prophet (SAW) competed with each other to show their commitment and was always ready to sacrifice their life and wealth in the path of Allah.
Some people from Quresh were after the life of Suhaib-e-Rumi as he was migrating to Madinah. They taunted him and said: “You were a worthless pauper when you came to our city, now after making lot of money; you are escaping to Madinah with all your wealth.” Suhaib-e-Rumi dismounted his ride, took an arrow from his quiver and replied: “People of Quresh, you know for sure that I am an ace marksman. By Allah as long as I have arrow, you can not come close, and when I will run out, I have my sword to teach you a lesson. I can tell you the location of my wealth on the condition that you let me go to Madinah. Awe stricken but happy with the deal, the Quresh let him go. When Suhaib reached Madinah, Prophet (SAW) told him: “Abu Yahya, you made a very good bargain. Aayah 207 of the Surah Baqarah says:
“But there is also a kind of man who gives away his life away to please Allah, and Allah is most compassionate to His servants.” For Prophet (SAW)’s companions death was sweater than life and they didn’t care for wealth or glory. Their only preference was Allah’s and His Messenger’s pleasure. They acted as though they had seen the Paradise with their own eyes.
On the eve of the Battle of Badr, Prophet (SAW) addressing his companions said: “Get up and get ready for Paradise, which is equal to the width of earth and skies. Umair bin Hamam Ansari said Subhan Allah and repeated what Prophet (SAW) had said. Prophet (SAW) affirmed and questioned: “Why did you ask?” Umair submitted: “Nothing Ya Rasul Allah, I only aspire to be among those who are destined for Paradise.” Prophet (SAW) gave him the good news saying that he was from among those. Taking some dates from his pouch to eat, Umair said: “Life will be too long if I live to finish these dates.” He threw the dates and engaged the enemy and having killed many achieved martyrdom.
Ibne Hisham writes with regards to the battle of Uhad. It was rumored that Na’uzu-bilLah Prophet (SAW) was martyred. The uncle of Anas bin Malik, Anas bin Nazr (RA) came to Umar bin Khattab (RA) and Talha bin Ubaidullah (RA) who were sitting idle and depressed on the news about Prophet (SAW). Anas bin Nazr asked them: “Why are you sitting idle?” Sad and lost in thoughts, they lamented the loss of Prophet (SAW). Anas replied: “What is the purpose of life then, get up and sacrifice your self for which, Prophet (SAW) achieved martyrdom.” Fired by love of Prophet (SAW), he burst into the ranks of the enemy and valiantly fought until he achieved martyrdom. (Biography of Prophet (SAW), by Ibne Hisham).
In the same battle, when the Muslims were in state of dispersion, Anas bin Nazr (RA) was challenging the enemy and while advancing, he met Sa’d bin Mu’adh (RA). He said to him: “Sa’d, By the Rub of Kabah, I smell the fragrance of Paradise coming from the direction of mount of Uhad. After martyrdom, people counted 80 wounds on his person inflicted by enemy’s arrows and lances. His sister had recognized him by looking at his fingers as the rest of the body was unrecognizable. [Bukhari & Muslim]
Each one is in the galaxy of Prophet (SAW)’s peace loving companions is a bright star to lead light, please read their biographies. May Allah (SWT) enable us to follow in their foot steps and guide us to lead a life worth living! Aamin!
The Friday Khutbahs are published to enhance your knowledge of Islam. The references of Quran and Hadith are the approximate translation of the Arabic text. The editors have not verified the accuracy of the the English translation. The scholarly reader is encouraged to refer to the original Arabic script if there is any doubt. Kindly notify us if the translation can be enhanced.