Men of Excellence

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Friday Sermon

Men of Excellence

27 December 2019

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After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated: 

I was relating the accounts of Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah in the last sermon. Today, I will continue to narrate some further details about him. Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah was one of the twelve leaders appointed on the occasion of the second Bai‘at at Aqabah. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 461, Saad bin Ubadah, Dar-ul-Kutub al Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes the following about him in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:

“He was from the Banu Sa‘idah dynasty of the Khazraj tribe and was the chieftain of the entire Khazraj tribe. In the blessed era of the Holy Prophetsa, he was counted among the most eminent of the Ansar. So much so that after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, some of the Ansar held him worthy of caliphate (i.e. his name was proposed from among the Ansar) … He passed away during the caliphate of Hazrat Umarra.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 230)

Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah, Munzirra bin Amr and Abu Dujanahra accepted Islam, all of them broke the idols of their tribe Banu Sa‘idah. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 461, Saad bin Ubadah, Darul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

At the time of his migration towards Medina, as the Holy Prophetsa was passing by the houses of Banu Sa‘idah, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah, Hazrat Munzirra bin Amr and Hazrat Abu Dujanahra submitted to the Holy Prophetsa, “O Messengersa of Allah! Please come to us. We have honour, wealth, strength and power.”

Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah also said, “O Messengersa of Allah! There is nobody in my nation who would have more date orchards or more wells than me along with wealth, power and large numbers.”

Upon hearing this, the Holy Prophetsa replied, “O Abu Thabit! Make way for the camel. It has been ordered to follow a certain path. Thus, it will go where it pleases.” (Subul al-Hudaa Wa al Rashaad, Vol. 3, Ch. 6, Fi Qudumuhi Batin al-Madinah…, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)

It is said that there was no house in the tribe of Aus and Khazraj where four consecutive generations of their men had displayed such high levels of generosity and openheartedness, except for Dulaim, then his son Ubadah, then his son Saad, then his son Qais. There were many famous accounts about the generosity of Dulaim and his family. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 2, p. 441, Saad bin Ubadahra, Dar-ul-Kutub al Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)

When the Holy Prophetsa came to Medina, Saadra used to send a big bowl daily for the Holy Prophetsa of either meat or thareed. The thareed which would consist of pieces of bread cooked in meat. The thareed would also be made of milk or from vinegar and olives. Hazrat Saadra also used to send a bowl of fat/tallow, but most often the bowl would consist of meat. Hazrat Saadra would also send the bowl of food to the houses of the wives of the Holy Prophetsa. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 461, Saad bin Ubadah, Darul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

According to some narrations, there were some days where there would be no food in the household of the Holy Prophetsa. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Hibati wa Fadliha…, Bab Fadlul Hibati, Hadith 2567)

Thus, it may well be that Hazrat Saadra would send food majority of the time rather than on a daily basis, or that he used to send the food in the early days, or that perhaps, out of his generosity and concern for the poor, the Holy Prophetsa would distribute the food amongst the less-privileged or offer it to his guests, which is why no food would remain in his home. In any case, there is another narration in which Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit states:

“When the Holy Prophetsa stayed at the home of Hazrat Abu Ayyub Ansarira, he had nothing to offer. So the first thing I presented from myself to the Holy Prophetsa was a bowl of thareed, consisting of wheat-bread, meat and milk. I presented it to the Holy Prophetsa and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, my mother has sent this bowl for you’. The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘May Allah grant His blessings upon it’. The Holy Prophetsa then called his Companionsra and they also ate from it. I had only just reached the door when Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah also came with a bowl, which was being carried upon the head of one of his servants, as it was large bowl. I stood at the door of Hazrat Aby Ayyubra and I lifted the cloth from the bowl to see what was inside. I saw a bowl of thareed which also contained bones, which the servant then presented before the Holy Prophetsa.”

Hazrat Zaidra further narrates:

“We lived in the neighbourhood of Banu Malik bin Najjar and three or four of us would take turns to bring food every evening to the Holy Prophetsa during the seven months that the Holy Prophetsa resided in the house of Hazrat Abu Ayyub Ansarira. In that period, food would arrive to the Holy Prophetsa on a daily basis without fail from Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah and from Hazrat Asadra bin Zurarah.”

This particular narration has also clarified somewhat that food was brought to the Holy Prophetsa every day for the first seven months. It was no doubt also sent after that period, but perhaps without the same regularity. Hazrat Zaidra then further states:

“Seeing as the Holy Prophetsa had stayed at the house of Umm-e-Ayyub for seven months, when asked with regard to which of the food was the favourite of the Holy Prophetsa, she answered, ‘I never witnessed the Holy Prophetsa ever requesting for something specific to be prepared for him. Similarly, I never saw the Holy Prophetsa criticise the food that was brought to him.’ Hazrat Ayyubra told me that one night, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah sent a bowl for the Holy Prophetsa which contained tafaishal (a type of broth) which he drank to his fill. Apart from that occasion, I never once saw the Holy Prophetsa eating to his fill. Following this, we would also prepare the same dish for the Holy Prophetsa.”

If food was ever brought to the Holy Prophetsa, he would never request for anything, or ask for anything specific to be prepared or criticise the food in any way, nevertheless, he really liked this particular dish that was sent and enjoyed eating it. Thereafter, when the Companionsra learnt that the Holy Prophetsa enjoyed this meal, they would prepare their food accordingly. Hazrat Zaidra then states:

“We would also prepare harees, a well-known dish made from wheat and meat, which the Holy Prophetsa also enjoyed. For the evening meal, there would always be between five to sixteen Companionsra with the Holy Prophetsa, depending on the amount of food prepared.” (Subul al Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 3, p. 275, Fi Qudumuhi Batin al-Madinah…, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993) (Subul al-Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 3, p. 279, Fi Qudumuhi Batin al-Madinah…, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993) (Lughaatul-Hadith, Vol. 1, p. 82, Awqiyah, Vol. 4, p. 572, Ali Asif Printers, Lahore, 2005)

Whilst mentioning the time the Holy Prophetsa resided at the home of Hazrat Abu Ayyub Ansarira, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:

“The Holy Prophetsa stayed in this home for seven months, or according to Ibni Ishaq, he remained here until the month of Safar 2 AH. In other words, the Holy Prophetsa remained here until the construction of Masjid-e-Nabawi, and the adjacent living-quarters of the Holy Prophetsa. Abu Ayyubra would present food to the Holy Prophetsa, and then, whatever would remain of it, he would eat himself. Due to his love and sincerity, he would eat from where the Holy Prophetsa had taken his food. Other Companionsra would also present food to the Holy Prophetsa. As such, among these people the name of Saadra bin Ubadah, chieftain of the Khazraj tribe, has been mentioned particularly in history.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 268)

Hazrat Anasra relates that Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah said to the Holy Prophetsa, “O Messengersa of Allah, come and visit our home”.

So the Holy Prophetsa went with Hazrat Saadra to his house. Hazrat Saadra brought dates and sesame seeds for the Holy Prophetsa, then a bowl of milk, which the Holy Prophetsa drank.” (Subul al Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 7, p. 200, Ch. 4, Fi Aklihi At‘imah Mukhtalifah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)

Qais bin Saadra, the son of Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah, relates, “When the Holy Prophetsa came to meet us at our home, he greeted them, saying ‘Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah’ (peace and blessings of Allah be upon you)”, i.e. the Holy Prophetsa conveyed his peace to them. Qaisra then further narrates, “My father, Saadra replied in a low voice. So I asked him, ‘Will you not call the Holy Prophetsa inside?’ Hazrat Saadra answered his son, saying ‘Allow the Holy Prophetsa to send down further blessings upon us.’ The Holy Prophetsa then greeted them once more before departing.”

That is to say when the Holy Prophetsa conveyed his peace, he answered in a low tone so that the Holy Prophetsa would once again convey his greetings, and in turn, their home would be blessed again. In any case, he narrates, “The Holy Prophetsa departed after saying Salaam once more, so Saadra followed behind and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, I heard your greetings and answered in a low voice so that you may send down further blessings upon us.’ Hence, the Holy Prophetsa returned with Hazrat Saadra. Hazrat Saadra then asked the Holy Prophetsa if he would like some water to wash, and so he did. Hazrat Saadra then presented the Holy Prophetsa with a cloth dyed with saffron or wars, a yellow plant which grows in Yemen, which is used to dye clothes. The Holy Prophetsa wrapped it around himself, then raised his hands and prayed, ‘O Allah, send down your blessings and mercy upon the progeny of Saadra bin Ubadah.’” (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 2, pp. 441- 442, Saad bin Ubadahra, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003) (Umdatul Qari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 2, p. 222, Daul Fikr, Beirut)

In relation to this account, the narration of Hazrat Anasra states that once the Holy Prophetsa wished to enter the house of Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah and said, “Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah”. Hazrat Saadra replied, “Wa Alaikumus Salam Wa Rahmatullah” in a low voice, which the Holy Prophetsa did not hear. The Holy Prophetsa then conveyed his Salaam three times and each time Hazrat Saadra answered in the same manner, whereby the Holy Prophetsa could not hear him. Therefore, the Holy Prophetsa returned. Hazrat Saadra then went after the Holy Prophetsa and said, “O Messengersa of Allah, may my parents be sacrificed for you, every time you said Salaam, I heard it with my own ears and answered in a way whereby you could not hear my voice. My only desire was to receive as much of your prayers and blessings as possible.”

He then brought the Holy Prophetsa to his home and presented raisins before him. The Holy Prophetsa ate them and said, “May the pious people continue to eat from your home, may the angels send down their merciful prayers and may those observing the fast open their fasts in your home.” i.e. the Holy Prophetsa prayed for him. (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 4, pp. 356-357, Musnad Anas bin Malik, Hadith 12433, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998)

Allama ibn Sireen states, “When night would descend, the Companionsra would take one or two people from the Ashaab-e-Suffa to their homes and give them food. Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah would take 80 companions home and feed them.” (Al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez Al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, p. 56, Saad bin Ubadah, Dar-ul-Kutub al Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)

In other words, this would be the case on many occasions, however, there are narrations in which it is recorded that there were days in which the Ashab-e-Suffa Companionsra would remain without food. Nonetheless, the Companionsra would look after these poorer companions, who would sit near the home of the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah would especially take care of these Companionsra. A year after migrating to Medina, in the month of Safar, the Holy Prophetsa set out for Abwah, which is located 23 miles from Juhfa, in the direction of Mecca from Medina. This was also the place where the grave of Hazrat Amina, the mother of the Holy Prophetsa, was situated. The colour of the Holy Prophet’ssa flag was white. On this occasion, the Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah as his amir [representative] in Medina. (Al-Tabaqaatul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 2, p. 5, Ghazwatul Abwaa, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Atlas Sirat Nabwisa, p. 84, Darul Islam, 1424A.H.)

Another name for Ghazwah Abwah is Ghazwah Waddan. Whilst mentioning Ghazwah Waddan, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:

“At times, it was a custom of the Holy Prophetsa to set out with the Companionsra himself and on some occasions, he would dispatch a company in the leadership of a Companion. Historians have given separate names to each one of these two types of campaigns. As such, a campaign in which the Holy Prophetsa personally took part has been termed a ghazwah by historians. A campaign in which the Holy Prophetsa did not personally take part is referred to as a sariyyah or ba‘ath. However, it should be remembered that in a ghazwah or sariyyah, it is not necessary to set out specifically for the purpose of Jihad by the sword. Rather, every such journey in which the Holy Prophetsa personally participated, whilst in a state of war is known as a ghazwah, even if it was not specifically for the purpose of fighting. In the same manner, every such journey which was undertaken by a community as per the command of the Holy Prophetsa is known as a sariyyah or ba‘ath in the terminology of historians, even if its fundamental purpose was not of battle. However, out of ignorance, some people consider every ghazwah and sariyyah to be a battle campaign, which is incorrect. (It has already been mentioned in the previous sermons) that divine permission of Jihad by the sword was granted in the month of Safar, during the second year of migration. Since immediate action was required to protect the Muslims from the dangerous intentions and threatening schemes of the Quraish, the Holy Prophetsa set out from Medina with a community of the Muhajireen, in the name of Allah the Exalted. Prior to departure, the Holy Prophetsa appointed Saadra bin Ubadah, Chief of the Khazraj, as the Amir of Medina in his absence, and set out towards the south-west of Medina on the road to Mecca until he finally reached Waddan (the details of this account have previously been mentioned as well). The people of the Banu Damrah resided here. This tribe was a branch of the Banu Kinanah and in this manner these people were the paternal cousins of the Quraish. Upon reaching here, the Holy Prophetsa engaged in discussions with the chieftain of the Banu Damrah, and settled a treaty by mutual agreement. The conditions of this treaty were that the Banu Damrah would maintain friendly relations with the Muslims and would not aid an enemy against the Muslims. Furthermore, when the Holy Prophetsa called upon them (i.e. the Banu Damrah) in support of the Muslims, they would come immediately. On the other hand, on behalf of the Muslims, the Holy Prophetsa agreed that the Muslims would maintain friendly relations with the Banu Damrah and would aid them whenever it was required. This treaty was formally written and signed by both parties. After an absence of fifteen days, the Holy Prophetsa returned. Another name for the Ghazwah of Waddan is also the Ghazwah of Abwah. This is because the village of Abwah is closely situated to Waddan and this was the same place where the noble mother of the Holy Prophetsa passed away. Historians write that in this Ghazwah, along with the Banu Damrah, the Holy Prophetsa was conscious of the Quraish as well. This means that in actuality, this campaign of the Holy Prophetsa was to put down the threatening schemes of the Quraish. Furthermore, its objective was to dispel that poisonous and threatening influence, which the caravans of the Quraish, etc., had created against the Muslims amongst the tribes of Arabia (the Quraish would spread false propaganda against the Muslims among other tribes) and due to which the state of the Muslims was extremely vulnerable during these days.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 327-328)

With regard to Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah participating in the Battle of Badr, there are two varying opinions. Waqidi, Madayini and ibn Kalbi are of the opinion that Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah participated in the Battle of Badr, however, according to Ibn Ishaaq, Ibn Uqbah and Ibn Saad, he did not participate in the Battle of Badr. Nonetheless, a narration of At-Tabaqat Al-Kubra sheds further light on this incident. It states that Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah was not present in the Battle of Badr. He was making preparations for the battle and would visit various houses of the Ansar to ensure they were prepared for the battle. However, before the army left for Badr, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah was bitten by a dog and as a result of this he was not able to participate in the battle. The Holy Prophetsa stated that although Saadra did not participate in the battle, he desired fully to partake and thus granted him a share from the spoils of the battle. Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah participated in all the battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa including the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. (Al-Isti’ab, Vol. 2, p. 594, Saad bin Ubadah, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut, 1992) (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 461, Saad bin Ubadah, Dar-ul-Kutub al Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990) (Siyar as-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 377, Saad bin Ubadah, Darul Isha‘at, Karachi, 2004)

A narration of Al-Mustadrak has recorded that during the Battle of Badr, the flag of the Ansar was carried by Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah. (Al-Mustadrak Ala Al Sahihain, Vol. 3, p. 574, Kitab Marifatu Al-Sahaba, Bab Dhikri Manaqib Saad bin Ubadah, Hadith 5096, Dar-ul-Kutub Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)

When departing for the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah gifted a sword called adhab to the Holy Prophetsa, which the Holy Prophetsa then used during this battle. (Subul al-Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 4, p. 24, Ghazwah Badr al-Kubraa, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)

Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah also presented the Holy Prophetsa with a donkey as a gift. (Subul al-Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 7, p. 406, Fi Bighhalihi wa Hameerihi, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)

The Holy Prophetsa had seven chain armours, one of which was named “Zaatul-Fudhool” owing to its length. Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah gave this chain armour to the Holy Prophetsa when he had departed for the Battle of Badr. This chain armour was made of iron and it was the same chain armour that the Holy Prophetsa gave to Abu Shaham, a Jew, as assurance, in exchange for barley weighing 30 saa‘ [a unit of measure equal to approximately 2.5 kilograms]. This chain armour was kept as assurance with him for one year. (Subul al-Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 7, p. 368, Fi Duru’ihi wa Mighfarihi wa Baidatihi, Darul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra narrates, “During battles, the flag of the Holy Prophetsa would be carried by Hazrat Alira and the flag of the Ansar would be carried by Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah. When the battles would intensify, the Holy Prophetsa would be near the flag of the Ansar.” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 1, p. 917, Musnad Abdullah bin Abbas, Hadith 3486, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998)

In other words, the enemy would concentrate their efforts towards the flag of the Ansar because the Holy Prophetsa would position himself near their flag. Hazrat Usama bin Zaidra narrates that on one occasion, the Holy Prophetsa was riding a donkey and underneath him was a blanket that was made in Fadak. The Holy Prophetsa placed Hazrat Usama bin Zaidra behind him and they made their way to enquire about Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah, who was ill at the time. During those days, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah was in the compound of Banu Harith bin Khazraj. The incident being narrated took place prior to the Battle of Badr. Hazrat Usama bin Zaidra relates that whilst travelling they went past a gathering in which Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool was also sat – at the time he had not become a Muslim. This is the very incident in, which Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool was discourteous towards the Holy Prophetsa.

Nonetheless, whilst the Holy Prophetsa was riding past, the dust from his mount fell on the gathering that was seated beside the road, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool covered his nose and said “Do not cast dust upon us!” The Holy Prophetsa offered greetings of Salaam [peace] and stopped and dismounted. The Holy Prophetsa then invited them towards Allah and recited the Holy Quran. Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool replied, “Is there nothing better than what you say. Even if this were true, do not come to our gathering and disrupt it. There is no need to say these things in our gathering, (I have narrated this incident before as well) rather go back to where you came from and inform those who come to you.” Upon hearing this, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Rawaha, who had accepted Islam and was a companion, stated, “Nay, O Prophetsa of Allah! You should come to our gatherings and recite this to us as we greatly enjoy this.”

Consequently, the Muslims, idolaters and Jews began to quarrel with one another and were almost about to attack one another, however the Holy Prophetsa continued to calm them down. Eventually, they stopped and the Holy Prophetsa mounted his animal and set off and reached Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah. The Holy Prophetsa asked Hazrat Saad bin Ubadahra, “O Saad! Have you heard what Abu Hubaab said to me today?” The Holy Prophetsa was referring to Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool. The Holy Prophetsa then related to him the entire incident. Hazrat Saad  bin Ubadahra replied, “O Messengersa of Allah! Forgive him and overlook [this act of his]. I swear by Him, Who has revealed the Holy Quran to you that God Almighty has now established the truth which He has bestowed upon you. The people of this town had previously decided to appoint him, i.e. Abdullah bin Ubayy, as their leader and to place the crown of leadership upon his head. However, when Allah the Almighty did not allow this to happen owing to the truth which God Almighty has revealed to you, he began to burn in his fire of jealousy. This is the reason why he uttered this.” i.e. he was about to be appointed as the leader, however, with the arrival of the Holy Prophetsa, this was taken away from him. That is why he was jealous of the Holy Prophetsa and said the aforementioned. Upon hearing this, the Holy Prophetsa forgave him. When the idolaters and the People of Book would cause affliction to the Holy Prophetsa  and his Companionsra, they would in turn forgive them as per the commandment of God Almighty:

لَتُبۡلَوُنَّ فِیۡۤ اَمۡوَالِکُمۡ وَ اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ ۟ وَ لَتَسۡمَعُنَّ مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الۡکِتٰبَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِکُمۡ وَ مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَشۡرَکُوۡۤا اَذًی کَثِیۡرًا ؕ وَ اِنۡ تَصۡبِرُوۡا وَ تَتَّقُوۡا فَاِنَّ ذٰلِکَ مِنۡ عَزۡمِ الۡاُمُوۡرِ

“You shall surely be tried in your possessions and in your persons and you shall surely hear many hurtful things from those who were given the Book before you and from those who set up equals to God. But if you show fortitude and act righteously, that indeed is  a matter  of strong determination.” [Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.187]

God Almighty then stated:

وَدَّ کَثِیۡرٌ مِّنۡ اَہۡلِ الۡکِتٰبِ لَوۡ یَرُدُّوۡنَکُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ اِیۡمَانِکُمۡ کُفَّارًا ۚۖ حَسَدًا مِّنۡ عِنۡدِ اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا تَبَیَّنَ لَہُمُ الۡحَقُّ ۚ فَاعۡفُوۡا وَ اصۡفَحُوۡا حَتّٰی یَاۡتِیَ اللّٰہُ بِاَمۡرِہٖ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ

“Many of the People of the Book wish out of  sheer  envy from their own selves that, after you have believed, they could turn you again into disbelievers. But forgive and turn away from them, till Allah brings about His decree. Surely, Allah has the power to do all that He wills.” [Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.110]

The Holy Prophetsa would always prefer to forgive, just as God Almighty had commanded him to do so. Eventually, God Almighty granted them permission to confront the disbelievers in the Battle of Badr and through this battle, God Almighty brought an end to the leaders of the Quraish. Consequently, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salool and other idolaters said that this community [i.e. the Muslims] was now beginning to succeed. Upon witnessing the defeat of the disbelievers, they affirmed belief in the Holy Prophetsa and pledged allegiance to him, thereby became Muslims. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabut Tafsir, Tafsir Aal-e-‘Imran, Hadith 4566)

In a narration by Hazrat Anasra, the Holy Prophetsa sought counsel from the Companionsra about the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah also gave his advice. When the Holy Prophetsa was informed that Abu Sufyan was heading towards them, he sought advice from the Companionsra. The narrator states, “Hazrat Abu Bakrra gave his advice, but the Holy Prophetsa did not agree.

Similarly, Hazrat Umarra wished to give his advice, but again the Holy Prophetsa did not accept it. Then, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah stood up and said: ‘O Messengersa of Allah! You seek counsel from us. I swear by Him in Whose hand is my life, if you command us to jump into the sea with our horses, we will do so. If you command us to chase the enemy all the way to Barkul Ghimaad, we will do so.’” (This is a coastal city of Yemen, which is situated at a distance of five days travel from Mecca). The narrator then says, “The Holy Prophetsa gathered the people and they began the journey until they reached Badr.”

Having heard Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah’s submission, the Holy Prophetsa began the journey along with his Companionsra until they reached the plains of Badr. When they reached there, the people assigned to collect water for the Quraish were also there. Among those assigned was a boy with dark complexion from the Banu Hajjaj. The Muslims captured him and enquired about Abu Sufyan and his army. Initially they had heard that Abu Sufyan was travelling with a large army or group. Nonetheless, they enquired about Abu Sufyan from him. He said that he had no knowledge about Abu Sufyan, however, Abu Jahl, Utbah, Shaibah and Umayyah bin Khalf were certainly present in the army. When he said this, they began to hit him and so he said, “Alright, I will tell you about him. Abu Sufyan is also among them.”

However, when they let go of him and again enquired where Abu Sufyan was, he replied with the same response that he had no knowledge where Abu Sufyan was, although Abu Jahl, Utbah, Shaibah and Umaiyyah bin Khalf were among the army which had camped near Badr but Abu Sufyan was not with them. And so, when he repeated this statement of his, they again began to hit him. The Holy Prophetsa was offering his prayers at the time and when he became aware of this situation, he concluded his prayers and stated, “I swear by Him, in Whose hands is my life, when he speaks the truth, you beat him and when he utters falsehood, you let him go.” The narrator [of this tradition] states that the Holy Prophetsa then stated, “Whatever this young man is saying, is the truth.”

The Holy Prophetsa then pointed towards the exact spot with his hands where certain individuals from the enemy were going to fall in the battlefield of Badr. The narrator states that every single one of them was killed and fell in the exact spot where the Holy Prophetsa had already pointed out from before where they were going to die. (Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Jihad wa al Siyar, Bab Ghazwah Badr, Hadith 1779) (Farhang Sirat, p. 57, Zawwar Academy Publications, Karachi, 2003)

Prior to the Battle of Uhud, on a Friday evening, Hazrat Saadra bin Muaz, Hazrat Usaidra bin Huzair and Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah stood guard outside the door of the Holy Prophetsa in Masjid Nabwi until Fajr. When the Holy Prophetsa was about to leave from Medina, he mounted his horse, placed his bow on his shoulder and grabbed hold of his spear. Hazrat Saadra bin Muaz and Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah began to ride ahead of the Holy Prophetsa. Both of these companions were wearing their armour, while the rest of the people were on the right and left of the Holy Prophetsa. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 2, pp. 28-30, Ghazwah Rasulillahsa Uhud, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

Whilst describing the conditions at the time of the Battle of Uhud, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra writes:

“After observing the Asr Salat, the Holy Prophetsa set out from Medina with a large community of the Companionsra. The chieftains of the Aus and Khazraj tribe, Saadra bin Muaz and Saadra bin Ubadah proceeded along, running slowly, just ahead of the mount of the Holy Prophetsa, and the rest of the Companionsra moved forward-positioned to the right, left and behind the Holy Prophetsa.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 486)

Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah was among those Companionsra who stood resolutely with the Holy Prophetsa during the Battle of Uhud. (Subul al-Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 4, p. 197, Dhikri Thubaat Rasulillahsa, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)

When the Holy Prophetsa returned to Medina from the Battle of Uhud and dismounted his horse, he was supported by Hazrat Saadra bin Muaz and Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah to his house. (Subul al-Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 4, p. 229, Bab Ghazwah Uhud, Dhikri Raheel Rasulillahsa ilaa al-Madinah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)

The Holy Prophetsa had sustained injuries, therefore when he dismounted his horse, he took the support of these two companions. Hazrat Jabirra bin Abdullah relates that during the Ghazwah of Hamra-ul-Asad, their main provisions for food were dates. The Ghazwah of Hamra-ul-Asad took place in Shawwal, 3 AH. When the Holy Prophetsa returned from the Battle of Uhud, the Quraish stopped at Rauha, which is situated approximately 36 miles from Medina. Whilst here, the Quraish thought that since the Muslims had suffered greatly, therefore they should return and launch a sudden attack on Medina. Owing to the loss suffered by the Muslims, they would not be able to fight back. Subsequently, when the Holy Prophetsa learnt about their intentions, he decided to set out and pursue the Quraish and reached Hamra-ul-Asad. Hamra-ul-Asad is approximately eight miles from Medina towards the direction of Dhul-Hulaifah. When the army of Quraish learnt that the Holy Prophetsa was approaching, they quickly ran towards Mecca. When they found out that instead of showing weakness, the Muslims were in fact coming to attack them, they ran away. The narrator of this tradition states that Hazat Saadra bin Ubadah brought 30 camels and dates to Hamra-ul-Asad, which was more than sufficient for their needs. Among the camels he brought, two or sometimes three camels would be slaughtered daily which they would all eat from. (Subul al-Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 4, p. 310, Bab 14, Fi Ghazwah Hamra al-Asad, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993) (Farhang Sirat, p. 106, Zawwar Academy Publications, Karachi, 2003) (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, p. 354) (Sharh Zurqani Alaa al-Mawahib al-Deeniyyah, Vol. 2, p. 464, Ghazwah Hamra al-Asad, Darul Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996)

The Ghazwah of Banu Nazir took place in Rabi-ul-Awal, 4 AH in which the Holy Prophetsa besieged the fortresses of the Banu Nazir for 15 days. The Holy Prophetsa expelled them [from Medina] and sent to Khayber. When the Holy Prophetsa received the spoils on this occasion, he called for Hazrat Thabitra bin Qais and told him to bring his people. Hazrat Thabitra bin Qais submitted, “O Prophetsa of Allah! Do you mean the people of Khazraj?” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “No, bring all the people of Ansar.”

Hence, he went and called the people of Aus and Khazraj. The Holy Prophetsa praised Allah the Almighty which He is most worthy of and then recounted the favours of the Ansar which they conferred upon the Muhajireen whereby they allowed them to stay in their houses and gave the Muhajireen precedence over themselves. Thereafter, the Holy Prophetsa stated that if they wished, he would evenly distribute the spoils from the Banu Nazir, which the Muslims acquired without engaging in any actual battle against them, between the Ansar and Muhajireen. The Holy Prophetsa further stated that if he distributed this wealth equally between the Ansar and Muhajireen then in such a case, the Muhajireen would continue to live in their houses and partake of their wealth and will be afforded their rights which had been established owing to the bond of brotherhood that was formed between them. However, if they wished, he could distribute all the wealth among the Muhajireen as a result of which they would leave their houses.

In other words, they would receive the entire share of the wealth but would then leave the houses of the Ansar and will no longer have any of the rights they previously had as a result of the bond of brotherhood that was established between them. Upon this Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah and Hazrat Saadra bin Muaz submitted to the Holy Prophetsa that the Holy Prophetsa could distribute the entire wealth among the Muhajireen and not give anything to the Ansar, but even then they could still continue to live in their houses as they were living before and the rights which were established for them as a result of the bond of brotherhood that was formed between them would also remain, i.e. they could continue to live freely in their houses. All of the Ansar unanimously agreed to this. Upon this the Holy Prophetsa stated, “O Allah! Grant Your mercy to the Ansar and their sons.”

Hence, the spoils granted to the Holy Prophetsa on this occasion were distributed among the Muhajireen. Apart from two companions from among the Ansar, nothing was given to the Ansar. The two companions were Hazrat Sahlra bin Hunaif and Hazrat Abu Dujanara who were in need of it. Hazrat Saadra bin Mauz however was granted the sword of Abu Huqaiq. (Subul al-Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 4, p. 325, Dhikri Khuruj Bani Nadheer min Ardihim, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993) (Atlas Sirat Nabwisa, pp. 264-265, Darul Islam, 1424A.H.) (Umdatul Qari, Vol. 12, p. 204, Kitabul Wakalah, Dar Ihyaa al Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 2003)

Hazrat Saad’sra mother, Hazrat Hamrahra bint Masud was from among the female companions. She passed away when the Holy Prophetsa had left for the Ghazwah of Domat-ul-Jandal. Th is Ghazwah took place in Rabi-ul-Awal, 5 AH. Hazrat Saadra accompanied the Holy Prophetsa in this Ghazwah. Saeed bin Musayyab relates that Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah’s mother passed away when the Holy Prophetsa was not in Medina. Hazrat Saadra received the news almost a month later. When he leant of the news of his mother’s demise, he requested Holy Prophetsa to lead her funeral prayer and the Holy Prophetsa led her funeral prayer. Hazrat Ibn Abbasra relates that Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah sought guidance from the Holy Prophetsa in regard to an oath his mother had pledged but passed away before she could fulfil it. The Holy Prophetsa stated that he should fulfil it for her. Hazrat Saeed bin Musayyab relates that Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and submitted, “My mother has passed away but she did not leave any inheritance. If I were to off er some Sadaqah [charity/alms] on her behalf, will that grant any benefit to her?” The Holy Prophetsa replied in the affirmative. He then submitted, “Which type of Sadaqah do you prefer most?” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “to provide water”. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, pp. 461-462, Saad bin Ubadah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)

It seems that at the time, there was an extreme shortage of water and there was a great need for it. According to another narration, it is reported that Hazrat Saadra dug a well and stated that this well was on behalf of Umme Saad. Allama Abu Tayyab Shams-ul-Haq Azeem Abadi has written in the commentary of Abu Daud that when the Holy Prophetsa mentioned to Hazrat Saadra that the greatest form of Sadaqah is to provide water it was because there was a great shortage of water at the time. Also, it could be because out of all things, the need for water is generally required more. He further writes that the reason why the Holy Prophetsa considered providing water as the greatest form of Sadaqah was because water is most beneficial in religious as well as worldly needs, and particular in countries where the climate is hot. It is for this reason that Allah the Almighty has mentioned this favour of His in the following verse:

وَ اَنۡزَلۡنَا مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً طَہُوۡرًا

“and We send down pure water from the sky” [Surah al-Furqan, Ch.25: V.49]

Due to its general need, extreme heat and shortage of supply, water was greatly valued in Medina. (Aun al-Ma’bud Sharh Sunan Abi Daud, Vol. 3, pp. 65-66, Kitab al-Zakaat, Fi Fadli Siqal Maa, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)

In fact, even today water is greatly valued and governments are always urging to take care of it. However, Hazrat Saadra did not just simply dig a well but in fact Hazrat Ibn Abbasra states that Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah was from among the Banu Saidah and when his mother passed away, he was not present at the time. He went to the Holy Prophetsa and said, “O Messengersa of Allah! My mother has passed away and at the time I was not with her…” (He learnt of her demise upon his return – earlier perhaps I said that he learnt of this news whilst he was still travelling, but in any case, he was not present at the time of her demise). He came to the Holy Prophetsa and said, “I was not present at the time of her demise. If I offer some Sadaqah on her behalf will this grant her any benefit?” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “Yes.” Hazrat Saadra then stated, “O Messengersa of Allah! I call you to witness that I will donate my orchard, Mikhraf, on her behalf.” (Sahih al Bukhari, Kitabul Wisaya, Bab al-Ashaad Fi al-Waqf wa al-Sadaqah, Hadith 2762)

Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah spent very generously and openheartedly in charity and for the needy. I will continue to relate his account in the future sermon, God-willing.

(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International, 17 January 2020, pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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