Last Updated on 10th February 2022
22 November 2019
Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
In continuation of the accounts of the lives of the Badri companions, today I will mention Hazrat Miqdadra bin Aswad, whose original name is Miqdadra bin Amr. Hazrat Miqdad’sra father’s name was Amr bin Tha‘labah, who belonged to the tribe of Bani Bahra. However, Hazrat Miqdadra was named with reference to Aswad bin Yaghooth because he adopted him when he was a child. Hence, he was more commonly known by the name of Miqdadra bin Aswad. (Sunan Al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Zuhd, Bab Ma Ja‘a Fi Karahiyati al-Midhati Wal Maddahin, Hadith 2393) (Ibn Hisham, p. 151, Bab Dhikr Hijratil Oola Ilaa Ard al-Habshati, Dar Ibn Hazam, 2009)
Hazrat Miqdadra’s father, Amr bin Tha‘labah, belonged to the tribe of Bahraa which is one of the tribes of Khuza‘ah in Yemen. During the Jahiliyyaperiod [era prior to the advent of Islam], Amr, i.e. the father of Hazrat Miqdadra, killed someone due to which he fled to Hadhr-e-Maut which is a coastal area, east of Aden, in Yemen. There he became a confederate of the Kindah tribe due to which he was called Kindi. Amr later married a woman from that area from whom Hazrat Miqdadra was born. When Miqdadra grew older he had an altercation with Abu Shimr bin Hajr Kindi during which he cut off Shimr’s leg with his sword and then fled to Mecca and became a confederate of Aswad bin Abd Yaghooth. Miqdadra then sent a letter to inform his father upon which he also returned to Mecca. Aswad had adopted Miqdadra, hence, he started to be referred to as Miqdadra bin Aswad and was commonly known by this name. However, when the following verse was revealed:
“Call them (the adopted children) by the names of their fathers.” [33:6]
Thereafter, he began to be called Miqdadra bin Amr. However, he was more renowned by the name of Miqdadra bin Aswad. In any case, this is the commandment of Allah the Almighty:
That is, even if they are adopted children, they ought to be called by the names of their actual fathers for the true lineage is considered to be from the father. Hazrat Miqdad’sra title was Abu Ma‘bad but in addition this, Abu Aswad, Abu Umar and Abu Saeed are also reported as his titles.
Once, Hazrat Miqdadra and Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf were sitting together and Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra asked why he was not married yet. Hazrat Miqdadra replied, “Since you are asking me, why don’t you marry your daughter with me?” Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra became angry at that comment and rebuked him. Hazrat Miqdadra complained about this incident to the Holy Prophetsa, upon which the Holy Prophetsa stated that he would arrange for his marriage. After that, the Holy Prophetsa married Dhuba‘ah, the daughter of his uncle, Hazrat Zubair bin Abdul Muttalibra to Hazrat Miqdadra. (Sharh Zurqani, Vol. 5, p. 213, Darul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996) (Mu‘jamul Buldan, Vol. 2, p. 311 Darul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut) (Ibn Hisham, p. 151, Bab Dhikr Hijratil Oola Ilaa Ard al-Habshati, Dar Ibn Hazam, 2009) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 85, Miqdad bin Amr, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 1996) (Al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahabah, Vol. 6, p. 160, Al-Miqdad bin al-Aswad, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2005)
Hazrat Dhuba‘ahra was the daughter of Hazrat Zubairra and Aatiqah bint Wahab. The Holy Prophetsa married her to Hazrat Miqdadra and they had two children named Kareemah and Abdullah. Abdullah was martyred during the Battle of Jamal whilst fighting from Hazrat Aishah’sra side. The Holy Prophetsa once granted Dhuba‘ahra 40 wasq dates from Khayber. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 8, Fi al-Nisaa Dhikr Banaat Umumah Rasulillah, p. 38, Darul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Lebanon, 1990)
This amounts to 250 mann which is around 6,000 kilograms. (Lughaat-ul-Hadith, Vol. 4, p. 487, ‘wasq’, Vol. 2, p. 648, ‘Saa‘’, Vol. 2, p. 648, Saa‘)
One of Hazrat Miqdad’sra son was Ma‘bad. (Al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahabah, Vol. 6, p. 207, Ma‘bad bin Miqdad, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2005)
Hazrat Miqdad’sra daughter, Kareemah, whilst describing his appearance, states that he was tall, of wheat complexion, had a large stomach and had voluminous hair on his head. He used to dye his beard with mehndi which looked extremely beautiful. His beard was neither too long not too short. He had black eyes and thin, long eyebrows. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 87, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Lebanon, 1996)
The account of Hazrat Miqdad’sra acceptance of Islam is as follows:
Hazrat Abdullah bin Masudra narrates that Hazrat Miqdadra was among the first seven companionsra, who professed belief in Islam in Mecca. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 5, p. 243, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2008)
I have previously already mentioned the details of this account in relation to Hazrat Ammar bin Yasirra. With regard to Hazrat Miqdad’sra migration towards Medina, it is stated that Hazrat Miqdadra was among the Muslims, who migrated towards Abyssinia, however a short while later, he returned to Mecca. When the Holy Prophetsa migrated towards Medina, Hazrat Miqdadra was not able to join in the migration. Hence, he remained in Mecca until the Holy Prophetsa dispatched an army under the leadership of Hazrat Ubaidara bin Harith. Hazrat Miqdadra and Hazrat Utbahra bin Ghazwan joined the army under the command of Ikrimah bin Abu Jahl with the intention of joining the Muslims whenever they would find an opportunity to do so. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 5, p. 242, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2008)
I have previously mentioned the details of this incident. However, I will briefly mention the details which Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has recorded in Seerat Khatam-un-Nabiyyeen [The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa]. It is as follows:
“Upon his return from the Ghazwahof Waddan, in the month of Rabi‘ul-Awwal, the Holy Prophetsa dispatched a company of the Muhajirin, comprising of 60 men mounted on camels, in the leadership of a close relative, Ubaidah bin Al-Harith Muttalibira. The objective of this campaign was also to forestall the attacks of the Quraish of Mecca.
“As such, when Ubaidah bin Al-Harithra and his companions covered some ground and arrived close to Thaniyyatul-Murrah, they suddenly noticed that 200 armed young men had set up camp in the command of Ikramah bin Abu Jahl. The two parties encountered one another and a few arrows were exchanged in a confrontation. However, this group of idolaters then stood down from further conflict due to the fear that the Muslims probably had hidden reinforcements at their disposal and consequently, the Muslims did not pursue them. Albeit, two individuals from the army of the idolaters named Miqdadra bin Amr and Utbah bin Ghazwanra fled from the command of Ikramah bin Abi Jahl and joined the Muslims.
“It is written that they set out with the Quraish for this very purpose, so that they could find an opportunity to join the Muslims. The reason being, that they were Muslims at heart, but could not migrate out of fear of the Quraish due to their weakness. Moreover, it is possible that this very occurrence caused them to lose heart and they decided to step back considering this to be an evil omen.
“History has not recorded whether this army of the Quraish, which was definitely not a trade caravan and regarding which Ibni Ishaq has used the words Jamun Azeem (i.e., a grand army), set out in this direction with a specific objective. However, it is definite that their intentions were not favourable.
“It was due to the Grace of God that upon finding the Muslims vigilant and upon witnessing some of their own men joining the Muslims, they lost courage and retreated. Moreover, a practical benefit which the Companions derived from this campaign was that two Muslim souls were delivered from the tyranny of the Quraish.” (Seerat Khatam-un-Nabiyyeen, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 328-329)
At the time of the migration towards Medina, Hazrat Miqdadra stayed at the home of Hazrat Kulthumra bin Hidam. The Holy Prophetsa formed a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Miqdadra and Hazrat Jabbarra bin Sakhr. The Holy Prophetsa granted Hazrat Miqdadra a place to stay in the area belonging to the Banu Hudaila tribe, which is a branch of the Ansar tribe of Khazraj. Hazrat Ubayra bin Kaab invited him to stay in this area. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 86, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Lebanon, 1996)
The incident that is found in the Ahadith in relation to three companions, who would set aside some goat’s milk for the Holy Prophetsa, but one night, one of them ended up drinking it all, is in fact in regard to Hazrat Miqdadra.
Hazrat Miqdadra relates:
“Two companions of mine and I migrated to Medina and our ears and eyes were severely affected due to the difficulties we had to endure. We went to the companions of the Holy Prophetsa in order to stay with one of them, however no one took us in. Hence, we went to the Holy Prophetsa and he took us to his home. The Holy Prophetsa had three goats in his house and permitted us that we could obtain their milk for all of us.”
He further states, “We obtained the milk from the goats and each one of us would drink his share and we would also keep a portion aside for the Holy Prophetsa.” He further narrates, “The Holy Prophetsa would come at night and say Assalamu Alaikum [Islamic greeting of peace] in such a low tone, so that it would not disturb anyone who was asleep, but one who was awake would still be able to hear.” He states, “Following this, the Holy Prophetsa would go to the mosque and pray and after that he would take his share of milk and drink it. One evening, Satan approached me after I had already had my share of milk. (That is, an evil thought entered his heart). Satan stated that the Holy Prophetsa visits the Ansar and they present him with gifts therefore he is not in need of this small amount of drink which had been kept as his share.”
He says, “Following this, I drank the portion of milk I had kept aside for the Holy Prophetsa. Once it had entered my stomach, (the Arabs have their unique manner of expression) I realised that there was no possibility of obtaining it again.” He says, “Satan made me feel ashamed and said that ‘may misfortune befall you. What have you done? You have taken the share of Muhammad[sa]. When he comes and does not find it, he will pray against you and you will be destroyed and your life in this world as well as the hereafter will be ruined.’”
What was it that made Hazrat Miqdadra entertain such a thought? In fact, it was Satan who placed in the heart of Hazrat Miqdadra that the Holy Prophetsa would now pray against him, whereas the Holy Prophetsa is Rahmatun lil Aalameen (a mercy for mankind) so why would he have prayed against him over such a trivial matter? Hence, this thought itself was a mere Satanic thought to suggest that the Holy Prophetsa would pray against him. Hazrat Miqdadra then says:
“The thought came to my mind that the Holy Prophetsa would pray against me and I would perish and I would be in ruin in this life and the next. I had a sheet of cloth to cover over me but if I covered my feet with it, my head would remain uncovered, and if I covered my head with it, my feet would remain uncovered and I could not sleep. The other two companions had fallen asleep and hadn’t acted as I had, (i.e. drank the milk). The Holy Prophetsa then arrived and said Assalamu Alaikum, as was his habit. He then entered the mosque and offered his Nawafil (voluntary) prayers. Thereafter, he came towards his drink (i.e. the glass of his which contained milk) and opened its lid but found nothing inside it. The Holy Prophetsa raised his head towards the sky and I was observing this as I lay awake, and I thought to myself that he would now pray against me and I would perish. However, he recited the following:
اَللّٰهُمَّ أَطْعِمْ مَنْ أَطْعَمَنِيْ، وَأَسْقِ مَنْ أَسْقَانِيْ
i.e. ‘O Allah, feed the one who gives me food, and grant drink to one who provides me a drink.’”
Hazrat Miqdadra says, “When I heard this I took my cloth and wrapped it tight over myself. Since I was fully awake, I then went out with a knife where the goats were stood and went towards the healthiest looking one, so that I could slaughter it for the Holy Prophetsa. When I got close to them, I realised that its udders were full of milk, rather all of the goats’ udders were full of milk. I then brought a utensil from the house of the Holy Prophetsa – and they would never have expected that it would be filled to the top with milk. I then milked the goats to the point where the froth had reached the brim and the bowl was completely filled. I then went to the Holy Prophetsa and he asked, ‘Did you all drink your portion of milk tonight?’ I replied, ‘Do not ask this question, O Messengersa of Allah and please take this milk.’ The Holy Prophetsa then drank some of the milk and handed it back to me. I then said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, have more.’ The Holy Prophetsa then drank some more and again handed it to me. When I felt that the Holy Prophetsa was full and had drank the milk to his fill, I sensed that I had also become a recipient of the prayer of the Holy Prophetsa (i.e. the Holy Prophetsa had prayed to God to feed whoever feeds him and to give drink to one who gives him something to drink). Thus, I had received the blessings of the prayer of the Holy Prophetsa and had also some of the milk to drink, and so I began to laugh uncontrollably to the point where I fell to the ground in laughter. The Holy Prophetsa then said, ‘O Miqdadra, is this some kind of light-hearted mischief of yours? (When the Holy Prophetsa saw him laughing in this manner, he said it seemed to him as if he had done something in a light-hearted manner.) I replied, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, this is what happened and this is what I did as a result’, (i.e. he then related the entire incident). The Holy Prophetsa then said, ‘This is a mercy from God Almighty; why did you not inform me of this earlier so that we could wake our two companions to also drink and to partake of this mercy?’ I replied, ‘By He Who has sent you with the truth, after you received this mercy and I partook of it alongside you, I no longer worried as to who else would receive this, I only worried for myself as I was the one who committed this error.’” (Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Ashribah, Bab Ikram al-Daif Wa Fadli Eetharihi, Hadith 2055)
Hazrat Miqdadra participated in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and all other battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Miqdadra is mentioned as one of the archers of the Holy Prophetsa. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 86, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Lebanon, 1996)
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Masud states, “During the Battle of Badr, I witnessed a particular moment in which Hazrat Miqdadra bin Aswad said something and if I was the one who had said this, the blessings of it would be even dearer to me than all the pious deeds I have carried out. It so happened that Hazrat Miqdadra went to the Holy Prophetsa as he was praying against the disbelievers, and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, we shall not utter what the people of Mosesas said to him, that is:
فَاذْھَبْ اَنْتَ وَ رَبُّکَ فَقَاتِلَا۔ وَلٰکِنَّا نُقَاتِلُ عَنْ يَمِيْنِکَ وَعَنْ شِمَالِکَ وَبَيَنْ يَدَيْکَ وَخَلْفَکَ
That is, ‘Go thou and thy Lord and fight. Certainly not! Rather, we shall fight on your right and on your left and in front of you and behind you.’ I saw that the blessed countenance of the Holy Prophetsa began to glow with joy and he was really pleased with what Hazrat Miqdadra had said.” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitabul Maghazi, Qaul Allahi Ta‘ala – Idh Tastaghithun bi Rabbikum…, Hadith 3952)
Some of the details of this account have been mention in Seerat Khatam-ul-Nabiyeen [The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophetssa] with reference to the Battle of Badr. It states,
“When the Holy Prophetsa learnt about the plans of the enemy, he proceeded towards Badr, in order to determine what their intentions were and if it was to attack, then to defend against them. The Holy Prophetsa stopped at a place near Rauha and It was from this very place that the Holy Prophetsa sent two companions named Basees and Adiyy towards Badr, in order to gather intelligence with respect to enemy movements; and instructed that they return swiftly with intelligence.
“Proceeding forth from Rauha, when the companions reached Zafran, passing through one side of the Valley of Safra, which is only one manzil short of Badr, news was received that a powerful army of the Quraish was advancing from Mecca. The Holy Prophetsa gathered all of the companionsra and informed them of this news. Then he sought their council as to what should be done. Some companionsra submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! Taking into consideration our apparent means, it seems more appropriate to not confront the caravan, because we have not yet fully prepared ourselves to fight the army.’”
They wanted to determine the intentions of the caravan because if they were coming to battle then they were not ready to face them yet. However, the Holy Prophetsa did not approve of this suggestion.
When the Holy Prophetsa left from Medina, many of the companions had no idea that this could even result in battle. In fact, all they knew was that there was a caravan approaching and they had set out to determine its intentions and if this caravan sought to attack against them then they would fight back as it would only be a small caravan. Hence, when the companions left Medina, none of them thought that they were leaving to engage in a full battle with an army. In any case, when the Holy Prophetsa asked them about their opinion, some of them stated that since they cannot fight against the army therefore it was better not to engage in battle with army.
“However, the Holy Prophetsa did not approve of this suggestion. On the other hand, when the most eminent from among the Companions heard this suggestion, they would stand up and deliver passionate addresses and submitted that, ‘Our lives and our wealth belong to God. We offer ourselves to serve on any front.’As such, Miqdadra bin Aswad, who was also known as Miqdadra bin Amr said:
‘O Messengersa of Allah! We are not like the disciples of Mosesas so that we should tell you, ‘Go thou and thy Lord and fight, and here we sit’, rather we affirm that you may go wherever you wish, we are with you, and shall fight to your right, and to your left, and in front of you and behind you.’
When the Holy Prophetsa heard this address, his blessed countenance began to glow with joy. Yet, despite this, the Holy Prophetsa waited for a comment from the Ansar, and desired that they should also say something. This was because the Holy Prophetsa thought that the Ansarperhaps believed that according to the Bai‘atat Aqabah, their obligation was to stand up in defence only, in the case that Medina was attacked. Hence, despite such passionate addresses, the Holy Prophetsa would continue to seek counsel as to what should be done. Sa‘d bin Muadhra, chieftain of the Aus, understood this desire of the Holy Prophetsa and submitted on behalf of the Ansar:
‘O Messenger of Allah! Perhaps it is our counsel that you seek. By God! when we have believed in you as being truthful, and have placed our hands in your hand, then go forth wherever you desire, we are with you. We swear by that Being, Who has sent you with the truth, that if you order us to dive into the sea, we shall dive into it, and not a single one of us shall hold back. God-willing, you shall find us steadfast in battle and shall witness from us that which shall be the delight of your eyes.’
When the Holy Prophetsa heard this address, he was overjoyed and said:
سِيْرُوْا وَابْشِرُوْا فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ قَدْ وَعَدَنِي اِحْدَي الطَّائِفَتَيْنِ وَاللّٰہِ لَکَاَنِّيْ اَنْظُرُ اِلٰي مَصَارِعِ الْقَوْمِ
‘Go forth then in the name of Allah, because Allah has promised me that He shall definitely grant us victory over one of these two parties (i.e., the army and the caravan). I swear by God that at this very time I am witnessing the places where the enemy men shall fall after being slain.’” (Seerat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 354-355)
In another narration regarding the Battle of Badr it is stated that Hazrat Miqdadra was the first person who fought whilst on horseback and the name of his horse was Sabhah. In one narration it is stated that during the Battle of Badr, the Muslims had two horses. Hazrat Alira relates, “During the Battle of Badr we had two horses; one belonged to Hazrat Zubairra bin Awam and the second belonged to Hazrat Miqdadra bin Aswad.
According to Ibn-e-Hisham, in the Battle of Badr, the Muslims had three horses; one belonged to Hazrat Marsadra bin Abu Marsad, whose name was Sabal, one belonged to Hazrat Miqdadra bin Aswad and it was called Ba‘zajah and one belonged to Hazrat Zubairra bin A’wam, whose name was Ya‘soob. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 86, Dar-e-Ihyaa Al-Turath, Beirut, Lebanon, 1996) (Dalail-ul-Nabuwwat Li Al-Behqi, Vol. 3, p. 39, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2002) (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, p. 452, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2001)
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has analysed various historical sources and written in Sirat Khataman-Nabiyyin that during the Battle of Badr, the Muslims only had two horses. In some books, as mentioned previously, it is recorded that the Muslims had three horses and there are others which state there were five horses. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 353) (Sharh Zurqani Alaa al-Mawahib al-Deeniyyah, Vol. 2, p. 260, Darul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996) (Al-Sirat al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, p. 205, Bab Dhikr Maghaziyah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)
Nonetheless, whether there were two, three or five horses, it is a proven fact that there was no comparison between the arms owned by the Muslims when compared to that of the disbelievers. When compared with the equipment owned by the disbelievers, it could be said that the Muslims were unarmed in contrast. However, despite all of this, when they stood up against their enemy, the Muhajireen and the Ansar fulfilled the pledge they had made with the Holy Prophetsa.
Hazrat Miqdadra bin Amr Kindi was a confederate of the Banu Zuhra tribe and he participated in the Battle of Badr alongside the Holy Prophetsa. On one occasion, he asked the Holy Prophetsa, “O Messengersa of Allah! If I come up against one of the disbelievers and a fight ensues between us in which he manages to cut one of my hands, but then that disbeliever runs away and seeks shelter behind a tree saying that he accepts Islam for the sake of God, should I kill him then?” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “You must not kill him.” Hazrat Miqdadra said, “O Messengersa of Allah! Even if he has cut off one of my hands and then claimed to be a Muslim?” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “You must not kill him, for if you do, he would attain that rank which you were given prior to the time you killed him” i.e. the disbeliever who was killed would be granted the rank the Muslim enjoyed after professing belief and the Muslim would in turn be given the rank of the disbeliever prior to him reciting the Kalima [declaration of faith]. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Hadith no. 4019)
Thus, the Holy Prophetsa was presented with a hypothetical scenario in which a disbeliever cuts the hand of a Muslim, then seeks shelter behind a tree and recites the Kalimah [Islamic declaration of faith], saying that he accepts Islam for the sake of God, and asked if one should still go after him. To this the Holy Propehtsa replied in the negative and said that if he still killed him, then the disbeliever would become a believer and the believer – despite professing belief [in Islam and the Holy Prophetsa] would be in the place of that disbeliever.
This is the status of a person who recites the Kalima and this right has been established by the Holy Prophetsa. In contrast, ponder over the actions of the so-called scholars and Islamic Governments. If only they would analyse their own conditions and see in light of this hadith, whether they are believers or disbelievers?
The camels belonging to the Holy Prophetsa were being grazed outside of Medina by a shepherd and his wife, who were of the Banu Ghaffar tribe. Uyainah bin Hissan from the Banu Fuzarah tribe, along with some men on horseback from the Banu Ghatfan tribe attacked the shepherd. They killed the shepherd and took his wife and the camels with them. Hazrat Salamahra bin Akwa was the first to learn about them and the slave of Hazrat Talha bin Ubaidallah also went behind them on horseback. They reached Thaniyatul Wida‘a, which is the name of a valley. There are varying opinions regarding this valley; some are of the opinion that it is an area outside of Medina, and this is where the people would go to bid farewell to those travelling towards Mecca. According to another narration, this was an area outside of Medina in the direction of Syria and on the return from the Battle of Tabuk, the people of Medina came to receive the Holy Prophetsa here. Similarly, [it is said that] the Holy Prophetsa accompanied some armies up to this point before sending them off to their expedition.
Nonetheless, when Salamahra bin Akwa arrived there, he saw Uyainah and his fellow accomplices. He climbed a hillock near Medina called Sil‘ah and raised the slogan, “Ya Sabahah”, which was a call for help. Then Hazrat Salamahra let a burst of arrows and gave chase after them. He managed to divert the direction they were heading. Upon hearing the call of Hazrat Salamahra, the Holy Prophetsa made an announcement to leave and confront the enemy immediately. The cavalry responded to the call of the Holy Prophetsa and the first from among them was Hazrat Miqdadra. (Sharh Zurqani Alaa al-Mawahib al-Deeniyyah, Vol. 2, pp. 166-169, Darul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996) (Al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, pt. 3-4, pp. 174-175, Dar-ul-Kitab al-Arabi, Beirut, 2008) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 2, p. 63, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
When the Holy Prophetsa planned for the conquest of Mecca, he decided to keep the entire plan a secret. Even though the Companionsra were making all the preparations to depart, however, it was not common knowledge that the intended direction was Mecca. During this time, a Badri Companion, Hazrat Hatimra bin Balta‘, out of his simplicity and innocence, secretly wrote a letter which outlined the plan and gave it to a woman who was from Mecca. The woman took the letter, but the Holy Prophetsa received news of this and sent Hazrat Alira along with a few companionsra, one of whom was Hazrat Miqdadra, to go after the woman and retrieve the letter. Hazrat Alira narrates, “The Holy Prophetsa sent Zubairra, Miqdadra and I, and said, ‘Go to Raudhatu Khaakh. There will be a woman travelling on a camel and will have a letter which you must retrieve.’ Hence, we travelled swiftly on horseback and reached the woman. We asked her to hand over the letter, however, she replied that she did not have any letter. We then said that she would have to produce the letter, otherwise we would have to remove her clothes [to search for it]. She then removed the letter from the ties within her hair, which we took back to the Holy Prophetsa. The [aforementioned] companion had written this letter to the disbelievers out of his simplicity. Since the entire plan was kept a secret, this would have disclosed all the plans. Nonetheless, God Almighty informed the Holy Prophetsa about the letter, which was then retrieved. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fazail-ul-Sahaba, Hadith no. 2494)
Musa bin Yaqoob narrates from his paternal aunt, who in turn narrated from her mother that the Holy Prophetsa would give Hazrat Miqdadra 15 wasq of barley from the produce of Khayber on a yearly basis – this is equal to approximately 56.25 mann [ancient unit of measure] annually – and we sold this through Muawiyya bin Abi Sufyan for 100,000 dirhams. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 86, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996)
This was an annual income. Perhaps this amount was a few years of produce, or it was regular produce that was sold because 56 mann alone could not be of that value.
Hazrat Miqdadra also participated in the Battle of Yarmuk and in this battle, he was the Qari [reciter of the Quran]. After the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophetsa established the practice that during the battle, Surah al-Anfal ought to be recited. Even after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, this practice was upheld. (Tarikh Al-Tabari, Vol. 4, p. 59, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon, 2002)
During one expedition, the Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Miqdadra as the leader of the army for that expedition. When he returned, the Holy Prophetsa asked, “O Abu Ma‘badra! How was your experience as leader of the army?” He replied, “O Messengersa of Allah! When I departed, I began to feel as if everyone was a servant of mine.” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “O Abu Ma‘bad! This indeed is the case, except for the one whom Allah the Almighty safeguards from the evils of this position.” Miqdadra stated, “There is no doubt in this. I swear by the One Who sent you as a Prophet, I do not even wish to be appointed leader over two people.” (Al-Asaaba Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 6, pp. 207-208, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2005)
He stated that this was an experience in which he felt as if everyone became his servant, therefore he had come to the conclusion that he would not even wish to be appointed a leader over two people. This was the level of righteousness, in that if he was appointed to an office, it could develop a sense of arrogance within him, therefore he did not even wish to be appointed as a leader over two men. Thus, everyone from among us who is appointed as an office-bearer should be mindful of this. Firstly, one should never desire [to be given an office], but then when one is appointed in a position of authority, they ought to pray to God Almighty to safeguard them from the evils of their position, that may God never allow arrogance to develop within them and they should always seek the blessings of God.
Hazrat Miqdadra was with Hazrat Ubaidahra bin Jarrah during the siege of Homs. (Tarikh Al-Tabari, Vol. 4, p. 185, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon, 2002)
Hazrat Miqdadra also participated in the conquest of Egypt. (Al-Isaba Fi Ma‘rifat Al-Sahaba, Vol. 4, p. 43, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)
In 20 AH, when the leader of the Muslim Army, Hazrat Amrra bin Aas requested the Khalifa for reinforcements, Hazrat Umarra dispatched an army of 10,000 soldiers and four officers, one of whom was Hazrat Miqdadra – to help the Muslim army. Hazrat Umarra wrote to them saying, “Each one of these officers is equal to 1,000 men of the enemy.” In fact, as soon as the reinforcements arrived, the battle shifted in favour of the Muslims and in a short space of time, the land that once belonged to the Pharaoh’s, began to proclaim the Oneness of God. (Sair Al-Sahaba, Vol. 2, p. 286, Dar-ul-Isha’at, Karachi, 2004)
Jubair bin Nufair relates, “Hazrat Miqdadra bin Aswad once came to see us regarding a matter. We said to him, ‘May Allah grant you peace and a healthy life. Please do sit with us until we have finished attending to the matter you requested of us.’ He said, ‘I am astonished at the condition of the people. I have just passed by a people who are desiring to be put through a trial. They thought that God Almighty would put them into trial in the same manner in which He tried the Holy Prophetsa and his companionsra.’ Hazrat Miqdadra further said, ‘I have heard the Holy Prophetsa say that fortunate is the one who is safeguarded from all discord. The Holy Prophetra repeated this three times and then said that if one experiences hardship, then they ought to show patience.’” (Al-Mu‘jam Al-Kabir Li Al-Tabarani, Vol. 20, pp. 252-253, Dar Ihyaa Al-Turath Al-Arabi, Beirut)
Thus, one should not pray for any hardship or to be put in a trial. However, if they experience any hardship then they ought to demonstrate patience and remain steadfast as opposed to showing cowardice.
Hazrat Miqdadra was of a heavy stature but would still take part in Jihad. Once Hazrat Miqdadra was sitting next to a goldsmith’s jewellery chest and appeared to be even larger than the chest. Someone once said to him that God Almighty had granted him exemption from participating in the Jihad as he was of an extremely heavy build – as mentioned earlier that his daughter also stated that he had a very large stomach – however, Hazrat Miqdadra replied that the following command in Surah Bahus (which is another name for Surah al-Taubah as it mentions the hypocrites and exposes their secret ploys) has made it obligatory upon him, which is:
اِنۡفِرُوۡا خِفَافًا وَّ ثِقَالًا
Meaning, “Go forth, light and heavy.” [9:41] (Ihkaam-ul-Quran Li Ibn Arabi, Vol. 2, p. 444, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2003) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 87, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has explained the term khifafan [light] and thiqalan [heavy] and stated that in this verse, the Muslims have been instructed to go forth for Jihad in the way of God Almighty and not allow any hindrance to come in their way. The terms, khifafan [light] and thiqalan [heavy] have multiple meanings; it could mean whether one is old or young, alone or in a group, on foot or on a mount, armed or unarmed or whether or not one possesses adequate provisions. (Durus Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, Register 36, p. 1,006)
In light of the multiple connotations of the words, Hazrat Miqdadra interpreted this verse in terms of being light or heavy in build and thus fulfilled his desire of participating in the Jihad.
Hazrat Miqdadra had a very large stomach and a Christian slave of his once stated that he would make an incision into his abdominal area and remove all the fat (they also had a procedure in those days to remove the fat just as it is done nowadays as well). In any case, he cut his stomach and removed the fat and then re-stitched his stomach back together. However, this procedure resulted in Hazrat Miqdad’sra demise. He perhaps contracted an infection and could not recover. Upon this, the slave ran away. (Al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahabah, Vol. 6, p. 161, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2005)
However, according to another narration from Abu Faid, Hazrat Miqdadra passed away owing to دُهْنُ الْخِرْوَعْ i.e. due to drinking castor oil. Karima, the daughter of Hazrat Miqdadra stated that Hazrat Miqdadra passed away in Juruf, which is situated three miles from Medina and people carried his body on their shoulders and brought it back to Medina. Hazrat Uthmanra led his funeral prayer and he was then buried in Jannat-ul-Baqi. Hazrat Miqdadra passed away in 33 AH at the age of approximately 70. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p. 87, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 1996)
Ibn Buraida relates from his father that the Holy Prophetsa stated that God Almighty commanded him to love four people and that He also loves these four individuals. The Holy Prophetsa was asked about who these four individuals were, and he replied that it was Alira, which he repeated three times, and then stated that the names of Abu Zurra, Salmanra and Miqdadra. This narration is from Ibn Majah and there are varying narrations found regarding this, however this particular narration mentions the aforementioned names. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Muqaddamah al-Muallif, Bab Fadl Salman Wa Abi Dhar wa al-Miqdad, Hadith no. 149)
Hazrat Alira narrates that the Holy Prophetsa stated that every prophet has been granted seven noble companions. The narrator states that perhaps the word used was guardians instead of companions. However, the Holy Prophetsa stated that he was granted 14 such individuals. He states that they asked who these individuals were and the Holy Prophetsa stated that it was Hazrat Alira, his two sons Hassanra and Hussainra, Jaffarra, Hamzara, Abu Bkarra, Umarra, Musab bin Umairra, Bilalra, Salmanra, Ammarra, Miqdadra, Hudhaifahra, Abu Dhurra and Abdullah bin Masudra. This narration is from Sunan Tirmidhi. (Sunan Al-Tirmidhi, Kitab-ul-Manaqib, Bab Anna Hasan Wal Hussain Sayyidaa Shabaab Ahlil Jannah, Hadith no. 3785)
One of the verses of Surah Al-Anam in the Holy Quran is as follows:
وَ لَا تَطۡرُدِ الَّذِیۡنَ یَدۡعُوۡنَ رَبَّہُمۡ بِالۡغَدٰوۃِ وَ الۡعَشِیِّ یُرِیۡدُوۡنَ وَجۡہَہٗ ؕ مَا عَلَیۡکَ مِنۡ حِسَابِہِمۡ مِّنۡ شَیۡءٍ وَّ مَا مِنۡ حِسَابِکَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ مِّنۡ شَیۡءٍ فَتَطۡرُدَہُمۡ فَتَکُوۡنَ مِنَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ
“And drive not away those who call upon their Lord morning and evening, seeking His countenance. Thou art not at all accountable for them nor are they at all accountable for thee, that thou shouldst drive them away and be of the unjust.” [Ch.6: V.53]
This narration is also recorded in Ibn Majah and Hazrat Sa‘dra states that this verse was revealed regarding six individuals, one of them was him (i.e. Hazrat Sa‘dra himself), Ibn Masudra, Suhaibra, Ammarra, Miqdadra and Bilalra. Hazrat Sa‘dra states that the reason for this was that the Quraish said to the Holy Prophetsa that they could not allow themselves to be subordinate to these individuals, therefore he should drive them away. The narrator further states that God Almighty revealed to the Holy Prophetsa what He desired for him, which was:
وَ لَا تَطۡرُدِ الَّذِیۡنَ یَدۡعُوۡنَ رَبَّہُمۡ بِالۡغَدٰوۃِ وَ الۡعَشِیِّ یُرِیۡدُوۡنَ وَجۡہَہٗ
“And drive not away those who call upon their Lord, morning and evening, seeking His countenance.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Zuhd, Bab Majalis al-Fuqaraa, Hadith no. 4128)
In any case, whatever the context was behind the revelation of this verse, this was the response that the Holy Prophetsa gave to them. According to a narration, Hazrat Miqdadra was the first companion who took part in battle on horseback in the way of God Almighty. (Al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahabah, Vol. 6, p. 160, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2005)
This has briefly been mentioned before as well.
Once, Hazrat Miqdadra went towards Baqi, which was a graveyard, to answer the call of nature and entered a wilderness. In those days, they would tend to the call of nature after 2-3 days as they had very little food available and their stool would be like the small droppings of a camel.
Whilst sitting, Hazrat Miqdadra noticed a mouse. The mouse took out a dinar from a small hole and then went back into the hole and took out another dinar and continued to take out the dinar until there were 17 dinar. Thereafter, he took out a piece of red cloth. Hazrat Miqdadra states that he pulled the piece of cloth and found another dinar, and thus there were now 18 dinar in total. He took these coins and went to the Holy Prophetsa and related the entire incident and submitted, “O Prophetsa of Allah! Please accept this as Sadaqah [charity].” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “This is not Sadaqah; you can keep it and God Almighty shall grant blessings to this wealth for you.” The Holy Prophetsa then stated that perhaps he had put his hand into the hole, however Hazrat Miqdadra submitted, “By God, Who has granted you honour by bestowing the truth upon you, I did not put my hand inside the hole, in fact God Almighty provided this for me just as I mentioned.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Laqtah, Bab Inqitaa’ Maa Akhraja al-Juradh, Hadith 2508)
Jubair bin Nufair relates that they were once sat in a gathering along with Hazrat Miqdadra and someone walked by and said, “How blessed are those eyes, which have beheld the Holy Prophetsa. By God, it is an ardent desire of my heart that we also be granted the opportunity to witness what you did.” He was referring to the Companionsra and wished that he also was able to witness what they did. Upon hearing this, Hazrat Miqdadra became angry.
The narrator states that with great astonishment, he said to Hazrat Miqdadra that the individual had spoken with good intention. Hazrat Miqdadra turned to him and said, “What exactly is it from that era which has instilled this desire in this individual that he too be part of it which God Almighty had kept him away from.” He then further states, “Who knows that if he were granted the opportunity to be in that era, what his condition would have been! By God, there were also those who witnessed the era of the Holy Prophetsa and yet were cast into hell by God Almighty because they failed to accept the truthfulness of the Holy Prophetsa. Thus, who knows what would have been the condition of this individual because had he not accepted the truth, he would have been thrown into the hell-fire.” He then further states, “Why do you not praise Allah the Almighty for He granted you life in an age where you recognise your Lord Alone and do not commit any Shirk; you affirm your belief in the Holy Prophetsa and accept the truthfulness of the Shariah [religious law] he has brought and God Almighty has saved you from trial through others.”
The people of that era had to endure great trials, however God Almighty had saved them from such trials and thus they ought to be grateful to God Almighty. Then he stated, “By God, the Holy Prophetsa was sent by God Almighty during the era of ignorance and during the era of Fatrat-e-Wahi, which was one of the most difficult periods after the period of any other prophet.” Fatrah refers to the prolonged period between one prophet and the next in which the revelation that is specifically granted to a prophet is not revealed. And so, he stated that in this period where there was no revelation and the Holy Prophet’s advent had not taken place was a very prolonged period and Shirk had become widespread. He stated, “This was a very difficult period; people would worship idols and would not grant superiority to anything else above them. The Holy Prophetsa then came with a clear sign which distinguished between truth and falsehood. Likewise, it drew distinctions between even a father and son, that is, one would consider their father, son or brother as a disbeliever, until God Almighty did not open their hearts to accept the truth. Such a person would remain anxious over their loved ones, for they would know that unless they did not accept the truth, they will enter hell. (i.e. those who accepted Islam would then be concerned about their relatives because they knew that if they did not accept and instead opposed the truth then they will be cast to hell.) It was for this reason that God Almighty stated:
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ رَبَّنَا ہَبۡ لَنَا مِنۡ اَزۡوَاجِنَا وَ ذُرِّیّٰتِنَا قُرَّۃَ اَعۡیُنٍ
‘And those who say, ‘Our Lord, grant us of our wives and children the delight of our eyes…’” [Ch.25: V.75] (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 7, p. 890, hadith Miqdad bin al-Aswad, Hadith 24311, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998)
Thus, one should always offer this prayer so that the future progenies also remain firm on faith and be thankful to Allah the Almighty for the blessings He has granted them.
Hazrat Anasra relates that the Holy Prophetsa once heard someone reciting the Holy Quran aloud and stated, “This individual has the fear of Allah within him”. This individual was in fact Hazrat Miqdadra bin Amr. (Al-Isti‘ab, Vol. 4, p. 44, Dar-ul-Kutub-al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2002)
May God Almighty also grant us the true understanding of Islam and enable us to do true justice of being among the Ummah of the Holy Prophetsa and instil the fear of God Almighty within us.
(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International, 13 December 2019, pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions.)