بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah (swt), the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
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The stories of the companions (r) of Muhammad (saws) and their great example and their great sacrifices that eventually lead to OUR submission by the Will of Allah (swt) – there is NO god but He.
- Rabi‘a al-‘Adawiyyah (r) – Griever of the Unseen:
It is related that when the husband of Rabi‘a al-‘Adawiyyah died, al-Hasan al-Basrî and his companions asked for permission to visit her. She gave them permission to come in and let down a curtain and sat behind it.
Al-Hasan and his companions said, “Your husband has died. You should have someone to replace him.”
“All right,” she said, “but which of you has the most knowledge, so that I may marry him?”
“Al-Hasan al-Basrî,” they replied.
“If you can answer me four questions, I am yours,” she said to al-Hasan.
“What do you say to this,” she asked, “when I die and leave this world, will I leave with belief or not?”
“That is a matter of the Unseen and none knows the Unseen except Allâh,” replied al-Hasan.
“What about this, then? When I am put into the grave and Munkar and Nakîr question me, will I be able to answer them or not?”
“That is a matter of the Unseen and none knows the Unseen except Allâh,” replied al-Hasan a second time.
“When people are gathered together on the Day of Rising and the books are distributed, will I be given my book in my right hand or my left hand?”
“That too is a matter of the Unseen and none knows the Unseen except Allâh,” came the reply again.
“When people are called: ‘One group in the Garden and one group in Blaze!’ which of the two groups will I be in?”
“That is a matter of the Unseen and none knows the Unseen except Allâh,” responded al-Hasan for the fourth and last time.
“How is it possible,” she retorted, “for someone who is suffering the grief of ignorance about these four things to think of marriage?”
“O Hasan,” she continued, “in how many parts did Allâh create the intellect?”
“In ten parts,” he replied, “nine for men and one for women.”
“O Hasan, in how many parts did Allâh create appetite?”
“In ten parts: nine for women and one for men.”
“O Hasan,” she concluded, “I am able to contain nine parts of appetite with one part of intellect whereas you cannot even guard one part of appetite with nine parts of intellect!”
Thereupon al-Hasan (r) wept and left her (r).
- Nuayman bin Amr (r) – The Prankster:
In spite of the fact that he fought in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and other major encounters, an-Nuayman remained a light-hearted person who was quick at repartee and who loved to play practical jokes on others.
He belonged to the Banu an-Najjar of Madinah and he was among the early Muslims of the city. He was one of those who pledged allegiance to the Prophet (saws) at the Second Pledge of Aqabah. He established links with the Quraysh when he married the sister of Abdur Rahman ibn Awl and later Umm Kulthum the daughter of Uqbah ibn Mu’ayt. She had obtained a divorce from her husband az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam on account of his harshness and severity.
Unfortunately for a time an-Nuayman became addicted to alcohol. He was caught drinking and the Prophet (saws) had him flogged. He was caught a second time and then he had him flogged again. Because he still did not give up the habit, the Prophet (saws) ordered that he be flogged with shoes. When all this did not persuade him to stop drinking, the Prophet (saws) finally said: “If he goes back (to drinking) then kill him.”
This was a severe Pronouncement and Umayr (r), one of the companions of the Prophet (saws), understood from it that should he return to the drinking of alcohol, an-Nuayman would go outside the pale of Islam and deserve death. Umayr gave vent to his anger and disgust by saying: “La ‘nat Allah alayhi – may Allaah’s curse be on him.”
The Prophet (saws) heard Umayr’s (r) imprecation and said: “No, no, don’t do (such a thing). Indeed he loves Allaah (swt) and His Apostle (saws). The major sin (as this) does not put one outside the community and the mercy of Allaah (swt) is close to the believers.”
While being firm, the Prophet (saws) still held out hope for an-Nuayman’s (r) reform especially on account of his past sacrifices as a veteran of Badr. Because he was not someone who went out of his way to conceal his actions, it was easier for him to acknowledge his crimes and repent and seek forgiveness from Allaah (swt). This he did and he won the favor of the Prophet (saws) and his companions (r) who enjoyed his pleasantries and his infectious laughter.
Once an-Nuayman (r) went to the suq (market) and saw some food being sold which appeared to be tasty and delightful. He ordered some and sent it to the Prophet (saws) as if it were a gift from him. The Prophet was delighted with the food and he and his family ate of it. The vendor of the food then came to an-Nuayman (r) to collect the price of it and an-Nuayman (r) said to him: “Go to the Messenger of Allaah it was for him. He and his family ate it.”
The vendor went to the Prophet (saws) who in turn asked an-Nuayman (r): “Didn’t you give it to me?” “Yes,” said an-Nuayman (r). “I thought you would like it and I wanted you to eat some of it so I had it presented to you. But I don’t have any dirhams to pay the vendor for it. So, pay, O Messenger of Allaah!”
The Prophet (saws) had a good laugh and so did his companions (r). The laugh was at his expense, literally, for he had to pay the price of the unsolicited gift. An-Nuayman (r) felt that two benefits came out of the incident: the Prophet (saws) and his family (r) ate food that they enjoyed and the Muslims had a good laugh.
Once Abu Bakr (r) and some companions went on a trading expedition to Busra. Various people on the trip were given fixed duties. Suwaybit ibn Harmalah (r) was made responsible for food and provisions. An-Nuayman (r) was one of the group and on the way he became hungry and asked Suwaybit (r) for some food. Suwaybit (r) refused and an-Nuayman (r) said to him:
“Do you know what I would yet do with you?” and went on to warn and threaten him but still Suwaybit (r) refused. An-Nuayman (r) then went to a group of Arabs in the suq (market) and said to them: “Would you like to have a strong and sturdy slave whom I can sell to you.” They said yes and an-Nuayman (r) went on: “He has got a ready tongue and is very articulate. He would resist you and say: ‘I am free.’ But don’t listen to him.”
The men paid the price of the slave – ten qala’is (pieces of gold) and an-Nuayman (r) accepted it and appeared to complete the transaction with business-like efficiency. The buyers accompanied him to fetch theft purchase. Pointing to Suwaybit (r), he said: “This is the slave whom I sold to you.”
The men took hold of Suwaybit (r) and he shouted for dear life and freedom. “I am free. I am Suwaybit ibn Harmalah…”
But they paid no attention to him and dragged him off by the neck as they would have done with any slave.
All the while, an-Nuayman (r) did not laugh or batter an eyelid. He remained completely calm and serious while Suwaybit (r) continued to protest bitterly. Suwaybit’s (r) fellow travellers, realizing what was happening, rushed to fetch Abu Bakr (r), the leader of the caravan, who came running as fast as he could. He explained to the purchasers what had happened and so they released Suwaybit (r) and had their money returned. Abu Bakr (r) then laughed heartily and so did Suwaybit (r) and an-Nuayman (r). Back in Madinah, when the episode was recounted to the Prophet (saws) and his companions (r), they all laughed even more.
A man once came to the Prophet (saws) on a delegation and tethered his camel at the door of the Masjid. The Sahabah (r) noticed that the camel had a large fat hump and their appetite for succulent tasty meat was stimulated. They turned to Nuayman (r) and asked: “Would you deal with this camel?”
An-Nuayman (r) understood what they meant. He got up and slaughtered the camel. The nomad Arab came out and realized what had happened when he saw people grilling, sharing out and eating meat. He shouted in distress: “Waa ‘aqraah! Waa Naqataah! (O my camel!)”
The Prophet (saws) heard the commotion and came out. He learnt from the Sahabah (r) what had happened and began searching for an-Nuayman (r) but did not find him. Afraid of being blamed and punished, an-Nuayman (r) had fled. The Prophet then followed his footprints. These led to a garden belonging to Danbaah the daughter of az-Zubayr (r), a cousin of the Prophet. He asked the companions (r) where an-Nuayman (r) was. Pointing to a nearby ditch, they said loudly so as not to alert an-Nuayman (r): “We haven’t found him, O Messenger of God.” An-Nuayman (r) was found in the ditch covered with palm branches and leaves and emerged with dirt on his head, beard and face. He stood in the presence of the Prophet (saws) who took him by the head and dusted the dirt from his face while he chuckled with laughter. The companions (r) joined in the mirth. The Prophet (saws) paid the price of the camel to its owner and they all joined in the feast.
The Prophet (saws) obviously regarded an-Nuayman’s (r) pranks for what they were light-hearted sallies that were meant to create some relief and laughter. The religion of Islam does not require people to disdain seemly laughter and levity and remain perpetually gloomy. An appropriate sense of humor is often a saving grace.
An-Nuayman (r) lived on after the Prophet (saws) and continued to enjoy the affection of Muslims. But did he put an end to his laughter? During the caliphate of Uthman (r), a group of Sahabah (r) were sitting in the Masjid. They saw Makhramah ibn Nawfal, an old man who was about one hundred and fifteen years old and obviously rather senile. He was related to the sister of Abdur-Rahman ibn Awl, who was a wife of an-Nuayman (r).
Makhramah was blind. He was so weak that he could hardly move from his place in the Masjid. He got up to urinate and might have done so in the Masjid. But the companions (r) shouted at him to prevent him from doing so.. An-Nuayman (r) got up and went to take him to another place, as he was instructed. What is this other place that an-Nuayman (r) took him to? In fact he took him only a short distance away from where he was sitting at first and sat him down.
The place was still in the Masjid!
People shouted at Makhramah and made him get up again all in a frenzy. The poor old man was distressed and said: “Who has done this?” “An-Nuayman ibn Amr (r),” he was told.
The old man swore and announced that he would bash an-Nuayman (r) on the head with his stick if he should meet him.
An-Nuayman (r) left and returned. He was up to some prank of his again. He saw Uthman ibn Affan (r), the Amir al-Muminim, performing Salat in the Masjid. Uthman (r) was never distracted when he stood for Prayer. An-Nuayman (r) also saw Makhramah. He went up to him and in a changed voice said: “Do you want to get at an-Nuayman?”
The old man remembered what an-Nuayman (r) had done. He remembered his vow and shouted: “Yes, where is he?” An-Nuayman (r) took him by the hand and led him to the place where the Khalifah Uthman (r) stood and said to him: “Here he is!”
The old man raised his staff and bashed the head of Uthman (r). Blood flowed and the people shouted: “It’s the Amir al-Muminin!”
The dragged Makhramah away and some people set out to get an-Nuayman (r) but Uthman (r) restrained them and asked them to leave him alone. In spite of the blows he had suffered, he was still able to laugh at the deeds of an-Nuayman (r).
An-Nuayman (r) lived up to the time of Muawiyah (r) when fitnah saddened him and discord filled him with anguish. He lost his levity and laughed no more.
- Suhayb ar-Rumi (r) – The Blonde Haired Companion:
About twenty years before the start of the Prophet’s mission, that is about the middle of the sixth century CE, an Arab named Sinan ibn Malik governed the city of al-Uballah on behalf of the Persian emperor. The city, which is now part of Basrah, lay on t he banks of the Euphrates River. Sinan lived in a luxurious palace on the banks of the river. He had several children and was particularly fond of one of them who was then barely five years old. His name was Suhayb. He was blond and fair-complexioned. He was active and alert and gave much pleasure to his father.
One day Suhayb’s mother took him and some members of her household to a village called ath-Thani for a picnic. What was to be a relaxing and enjoyable day turned out to be a terrifying experience that was to change the course of young Suhayb’s life forever.
That day, the village of ath-Thani was attacked, by a raiding party of Byzantine soldiers. The guards accompanying the picnic party were overwhelmed and killed. All possessions were seized and a large number of persons were taken prisoner. Among these was Suhayb ibn Sinan.
Suhayb was taken to one of the slave markets of the Byzantine Empire, the capital of which was Constantinople, there to be sold. Thereafter he passed from the hands of one slave master to another. His fate was no different from thousands of other slaves w ho filled the houses, the palaces and castles of Byzantine rulers and aristocrats.
Suhayb spent his boyhood and his youth as a slave. For about twenty years he stayed in Byzantine lands. This gave him the opportunity to get a rare knowledge and understanding of Byzantine/ire and society. In the palaces of the aristocracy, he saw with his own eyes the injustices and the corruption of Byzantine life. He detested that society and later would say to himself:
“A society like this can only be purified by a deluge.” Suhayb of course grew up speaking Greek, the language of the Byzantine Empire. He practically forgot Arabic. But he never forgot that he was a son of the desert. He longed for the day when he would be free again to join his people’s folk. At the first opportunity Suhayb escaped from bondage and headed straight for Makkah which was a place of refuge or asylum. There people called him Suhayb “ar-Rumi” or “the Byzantine” because of his peculiarly heavy speech and his blond hair. He became the halif of one of the aristocrats of Makkah, Abdullah ibn Judan. He engaged in trade and prospered. In fact, he became quite rich.
One day he returned to Makkah from one of his trading journeys. He was told that Muhammad the son of Abdullah had begun calling people to believe in God alone, commanding them to be just and to do good works and prohibiting them from shameful and reprehensible deeds. He immediately enquired who Muhammad was and where he stayed. He was told.
“(He stays) in the house or’ al-Arqam ibn Abi al-Arqam. Be careful however that no Quraysh sees you. If they see you they would do (the most terrible things to you). You are a stranger here and there is no bond of asabiyyahi to protect you, neither have you any clan to help you.”
Suhayb went cautiously to the house of al-Arqam. At the door he found Ammar ibn Yasir the young son of a Yemeni father who was known to him. He hesitated for a moment then went up to Ammar and said:
“What do you want (here), Ammar?”
“Rather, what do you want here’?” countered Ammar.
“I want to go to this man and hear directly from him what he is saying.”
“I also want to do that.” “Then let us enter together, ala barakatillah (with the blessings of God).”
Suhayb and Ammar entered and listened to what Muhammad was saying. They were both readily convinced of the truth of his message. The light of faith entered their hearts. At this meeting, they pledged fealty to the Prophet. declaring that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. They spent the entire day in the company of the noble Prophet. At night, under cover of darkness, they left the house of al-Arqam, their hearts aglow with the light of faith and their faces beaming with happiness.
Then the familiar pattern of events followed. The idolatrous Quraysh learnt about Suhayb’s acceptance of Islam and began harassing and persecuting him. Suhayb bore his share of the persecution in the same way as Bilal, Ammar and his mother Sumayyah, Khabbab and many others who professed Islam. The punishment was inhuman and severe but Suhayb bore it all with a patient and courageous heart because he knew that the path to Jannah is paved with thorns and difficulties. The teachings of the noble Prophet had instilled in him and other companions a rare strength and courage.
When the Prophet gave permission for his followers to migrate to Madinah, Suhayb resolved to go in the company of the Prophet and Abu Bakr. The Quraysh however found out about his intentions and foiled his plans. They placed guards over him to prevent him from leaving and taking with him the wealth, the gold and the silver, which he had acquired through trade.
After the departure of the Prophet and Abu Bakr, Suhayb continued to bide his time, waiting for an opportunity to join them. He remained unsuccessful. The eyes of his guards were ever alert and watchful. The only way out was to resort to a stratagem.
One cold night, Suhayb pretended he had some stomach problems and went out repeatedly as if responding to calls of nature. His pagan captors said one to another:
“Don’t worry. Al-Laat and al-Uzza are keeping him busy with his stomach.”
They became relaxed and sleep got the better of them. Suhayb quietly slipped out as if he was going to the toilet. He armed himself, got ready a mount and headed in the direction of Madinah.
When his captors awoke, they realized with a start that Suhayb was gone. They got horses ready and set out in hot pursuit and eventually caught up with him. Seeing them approach, Suhayb clambered up a hill. Holding his bow and arrow at the ready, he shou ted:
“Men of Quraysh! You know, by God, that I am one of the best archers and my aim is unerring. By God, if you come near me, with each arrow I have, I shall kill one of you. Then I shall strike with my sword.”
A Quraysh spokesman responded: By God , we shall not let you escape from us with your life and money. You came to Makkah weak and poor and you have acquired what you have acquired..”
“What would you say if I leave you my wealth?” interrupted Suhayb. “Would you get out of my way?”
“Yes,” they agreed.
Suhayb described the place in his house in Makkah where he had left the money, and they allowed him to go.
He set off as quickly as he could for Madinah cherishing the prospect of being with the Prophet and of having the freedom to worship God in peace. On his way to Madinah, whenever he felt tired, the thought of meeting the Prophet sustained him and he proceeded with increased determination. When Suhayb reached Quba, just outside Madinah where the Prophet himself alighted after his Hijrah, the Prophet saw him approaching. He was overjoyed and greeted Suhayb with beaming smiles.
“Your transaction has been fruitful, O Abu Yahya. Your transaction has been fruitful.” He repeated this three times. Suhayb’s face beamed with happiness as he said: “By God, no one has come before me to you, Messenger of God, and only Jibril could have t old you about this.” Yes indeed! Suhayb’s transaction was fruitful. Revelation from on high affirmed the truth of this:
“And there is a type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of God. And God is full of kindness to His servants.”
(The Quran, Surah al-Baqarah, 2:2O7).
What is money and what is gold and what is the entire world so long as faith remains! The Prophet loved Suhayb a great deal. He was commended by the Prophet and described as preceding the Byzantines to Islam. In addition to his piety and sobriety, Suhayb was also light-hearted at times and had a good sense of humor. One day the Prophet saw him eating dates. He noticed that Suhayb had an infection in one eye. The Prophet said to him laughingly: “Do you eat ripe dates while you have an infection in one eye ?”
“What’s wrong?” replied Suhayb, “I am eating it with the other eye.”
Suhayb was also known for his generosity. He used to give all his stipend from the public treasury fisabilillah, to help the poor and those in distress. He was a good example of the Quranic verse: “He gives food for the love of God to the needy, the orphan and the captive.” So generous was he that Umar once remarked:
“I have seen you giving out so much food that you appear to be too extravagant.” Suhayb replied: “I have heard the Messenger of God say: ‘The best of you is the one who gives out food.'”
Suhayb’s piety and his standing among MusIims was so high that he was selected by Umar ibn al-Khattab to lead the Muslims in the period between his death and the choosing of his successor.
As Umar lay dying after he was stabbed by a Magian, Abu Lulu, while leading the Fajr Salat, Umar summoned six of the companions: Uthman, Ali, Talhah, Zubayr, Abdur Rahman ibn Awl, and Sad ibn Abi Waqqas. He did not appoint anyone of them as his successor , because if he had done so according to one report “there would have been for a short time two Khalifahs looking at each other”. He instructed the six to consult among themselves and with the Muslims for three days and choose a successor, and then he said:
“Wa-l yusalli bi-n nas Suhayb – Let Suhayb lead the people in Salat.”
In the period when there was no Khalifah, Suhayb was given the responsibility and the honor of leading the Salat and of being, in other words, the head of the Muslim community.
Suhayb’s appointment by Umar showed how well people from a wide variety of backgrounds were integrated and honoured in the community of Islam. Once during the time of the Prophet, a hypocrite named Qays ibn Mutatiyah tried to pour scorn and disgrace on sections of the community. Qays had come upon a study circle (halqah) in which were Salman al-Farsi, Suhayb ar-Rumi and Bilal al-Habashi, may God be pleased with them, and remarked:
“The Aws and the Khazraj have stood up in defence of this man (Muhammad). And what are these people doing with him’?” Muadh was furious and informed the Prophet of what Qays had said. The Prophet was very angry. He entered the mosque and the Call to Prayer was given, for this was the method of summoning the Muslims for an important announcement. Then he stood up, praised and glorified God and said:
“Your Lord is One. Your ancestor is one. Your religion is one. Take heed. Arabism is not conferred on you through your mother or father. It is through the tongue (i.e. the language of Arabic), so whoever speaks Arabic, he is an Arab.”
- Abdullah ibn Atiq (r) – The Humorous “Assassin”:
- Khalid bin al-Waleed (r) – The Last Moments of this Mighty Warrior:
Some time in 642 (21 Hijri), at the age of 58, Khalid was taken ill. We do not know the nature of his illness, but it was a prolonged one and took the strength out of him. As with all vigorous, active men upon whom an inactive retirement is suddenly thrust, Khalid’s health and physique had declined rapidly. This last illness proved too much for him; and Khalid’s sick bed became his death bed. He lay in bed, impatient and rebellious against a fate which had robbed him of a glorious, violent death in battle. Knowing that he had not long to live, it irked him to await death in bed.
A few days before his end, an old friend called to see him and sat at his bedside. Khalid raised the cover from his right leg and said to his visitor, “Do you see a space of the span of a hand on my leg which is not covered by some scar of the wound of a sword or an arrow or a lance?”
The friend examined Khalid’s leg and confessed that he did not. Khalid raised the cover from his left leg and repeated his question. Again the friend agreed that between the wounds farthest apart the space was less than a hand’s span.
Khalid raised his right arm and then his left, for a similar examination and with a similar result. Next he bared his great chest, now devoid of most of its mighty sinews, and here again the friend was met with a sight which made him wonder how a man wounded in so many places could survive The friend again admitted that he could not see the space of one hand span of unmarked skin.
Khalid had made his point. “Do you not see?” he asked impatiently. “I have sought martyrdom in a hundred battles. Why could I not have died in battle?”
“You could not die in battle”, replied the friend.
“You must understand, O Khalid,” the friend explained, “that when the Messenger of Allah, on whom be the blessings of Allah and peace, named you ‘Sword of Allah’, he predetermined that you would not fall in battle. If you had been killed by an unbeliever it would have meant that Allah’s sword had been broken by an enemy of Allah; and that could never be.”
Khalid remained silent, and a few minutes later the friend took his leave. Khalid’s head could see the logic of what his visitor had said, but his heart still yearned for a glorious death in combat. Why, oh why could he not have died a martyr in the way of Allah!
On the day of his death, Khalid’s possessions consisted of nothing more than his armour and weapons, his horse and one slave-the faithful Hamam. On his last day of life he lay alone in bed with Hamam sitting in patient sorrow beside his illustrious master. As the shadows gathered, Khalid put all the torment of his soul into one last, anguished sentence: “I die even as a camel dies. I die in bed, in shame. The eyes of cowards do not close even in sleep.”
Thus died Khalid, son of Al Waleed, the Sword of Allah. May Allah be pleased with him!
The news of Khalid’s death broke like a storm over Madinah. The women took to the streets, led by the women of the Bani Makhzum, wailing and beating their breasts. Umar (r) had heard the sad news and now heard the sounds of wailing. He was deeply angered. On his very first day as Caliph, he had given orders that here would be no wailing for departed Muslims. And there was logic in Umar’s (r) point of view. Why should we weep for those who have gone to paradise? the blissful abode promised by Allah (swt) to the Faithful! Umar (r) had enforced the order, at times using his whip.
Umar (r) now heard sounds of wailing. He stood up from the floor of his room, took his whip and made for the door. He would not permit disobedience of his orders; the wailing must be stopped at once! He got to the door, but there he paused. For a few silent moments the Caliph stood in the doorway, lost in thought. This was, after all, no ordinary death; this was the passing away of Khalid bin Al Waleed (r). Then he heard the sounds of mourning from the next house-his own daughter, Hafsa (r), widow of the Holy Prophet (saws), was weeping for the departed warrior.
Umar (r) turned back. He hung up his whip and sat down again. In this one case he would make an exception. “Let the women of the Bani Makhzum say what they will about Abu Sulaiman, for they do not lie”, said the Caliph. “Over the likes of Abu Sulaiman weep those who weep.”
In Emessa, to the right of the Hama Road, stretches a large, well-tended garden which has lawns studded with ornamental trees and flower beds and is traversed by footpaths. At the top end of the garden stands the Mosque of Khalid bin Al Waleed (r). It is an imposing mosque, with two tall minarets rising from its north-western and north-eastern corners. The inside of the mosque is spacious, about 50 yards square, its floor covered with carpets and the ceiling upheld by four massive columns. Each of the four corners of the ceiling is formed as a dome, but the highest dome is in the centre, at a considerable height, and from this dome several chandeliers are suspended by long metal chains. In the north-west corner of the mosque stands Khalid’s shrine – the last resting place of Abu Sulaiman.
The visitor walks up the garden, crosses the courtyard of the mosque, takes off his shoes and enters the portals. As he enters, he sees to his right the shrine of Khalid. The actual grave is enveloped by an attractive domed marble structure which gives the impression of a little mosque within the larger one. The visitor, if so inclined, says a prayer and then loses himself in contemplation of the only man who ever carried the title of the ‘Sword of Allah’.
And if the visitor knows something about Khalid and his military achievements, he lets his imagination wander and pictures of an attack by Khalid flicker through his mind. He sees a long, dark line of horsemen emerge from behind a rise in the ground and charge galloping at a body of Roman troops. The cloaks of the warriors fly behind them and the hooves of their horses pound the earth pitilessly. Some carry lances; others brandish swords; and the Romans standing in the path of the charge tremble at the sight of the oncoming terror, for they are standing in the way of the Mobile Guard, whom none may resist and survive to tell the tale. The line of charging horsemen is not straight, for it is impossible to keep it straight at such a mad, reckless pace. Every man strives to get ahead of his comrades and be the first to clash with the infidel; strives to get ahead of all but the Leader, for no one may, or possibly could, overtake the Leader.
The Leader gallops ahead of the Muslims. A large, broad-shouldered, powerfully-built man, he is mounted on a magnificent Arab stallion and rides it as if he were part of the horse. The loose end of his turban and his cloak flutter behind him and his large, full beard is pressed against his chest by the wind. His fierce eyes shine with excitement-with the promise of battle and blood and glory- the glory of victory or martyrdom. His coat of mail and the iron tip of his long lance glint in the clear sunlight, and the earth trembles under the thundering hooves of his fiery charger. Perhaps beside him rides a slim young warrior, naked above the waist.
The visitor sees all this with the eyes of his mind. And with the ears of his mind he hears, just before the Mobile Guard hurls itself at the Romans in a shattering clash of steel and sinew, the roar of Allah-o-Akbar as it issues from the throats of the Faithful and rends the air. And rising out of this roar, he hears the piercing cry of the Leader:
I am the noble warrior;
I am the Sword of Allah
Khalid bin Al Waleed!
- Salamah ibn al Akwa (r) – One Man Soldier:
- Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (r) – Encounter Against the Innovators:
Amr ibn Salamah narrated:
We used to sit at the door of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood before the morning Prayer, so that when he would come out we would walk with him to the mosque.
One day Abu Moosaa al-Ash’aree came to us and said: Has Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan (i.e. Ibn Mas’ood) come out yet?
We replied: No!
So he sat down with us until he came out.
When he came out we all stood along with him, so Abu Moosaa said to him: O Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan! I have just seen something in the mosque which I deemed to be evil, but – and all praise is for Allaah – I did not see anything except good.
Ibn Mas’ood inquired: “What did you see?”
Abu Moosaa replied: If you live, you too will see it. In the mosque I saw people sitting in circles awaiting the Prayer. In each circle they had pebbles in their hands and a man would say: repeat Allanhu Akhar a hundred times. So they would repeat it a hundred times. Then he would say: repeat Laa ilaaha illallaah a hundred times. So they would repeat it a hundred times. Then he would say: repeat Subhaanallaah a hundred times. So they would say it a hundred times.
Ibn Mas’ood then asked: “What did you say to them?”
Abu Moosaa said: I did not say anything to them. Instead I waited to hear your view, or what you declared.
Then we went along with him, until he came to one of these circles and stood up and said: “What is this I see you doing?”
They replied: O Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan! These are pebbles upon which we are counting takbeer, tahleel and tasbeeh.
He said to them: “Rather, count up your evil deeds. For I assure you that none of your good deeds will be lost. Woe be to you O Ummah of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! How quickly you head into destruction! These are the Companions of your Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and who are widespread. There are his clothes which have not yet decayed, and his bowl which is unbroken. By Him in whose Hand is my soul! Either you are upon a religion better guided than the Religion of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or you are opening the doors of misguidance.”
They said: O Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan! By Allaah! We only intend good.
He said to them: “How many there are who intend good, but do not achieve it. Indeed Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to us: “A people will recite the Qur’aan, but it will not pass beyond their throats.” By Allaah I do not know, but perhaps most of them are from you.”
Then he left.
Amr ibn Salamah said: We saw most of those people fighting against us on the day of Nahrawaan, alongside the Khawaarij.
[This is related by ad-Daarimee in his Sunan (1/79), at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer (9/126) and Abu Nu’aym in Hilyatul-Awliyaa (4/381). It was authenticated by al-Haythamee in Majma’uz-Zawaa’id (1/181).]
- Salman al-Farsi (r) – Estounding Journey To the Truth: