10 January 2020
Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
In the previous Friday Sermon, as I announced the new year of Waqf-e-Jadid, I mentioned the positions of the jamaats of various countries. In that sermon I stated that among the jamaats of UK, in terms of total collection of chanda Waqf-e-Jadid, Islamabad Jamaat stood first. However, later on, it came to light that this report was incorrect. In fact, Aldershot Jamaat had attained the first position and Islamabad Jamaat was second.
I do not wish to dwell on why and how it happened. Nevertheless, this correction was important to highlight. Hence, I wished to mention this at the outset. Aldershot Jamaat is, Masha-Allah, offering great sacrifices. The president of Lajna Jamaat of Aldershot specially wrote to me stating how some of the ladies had offered exceptional sacrifices. Their passion for sacrifice is exemplary. May Allah the Almighty bless their wealth and their families.
In the previous sermon, I generally mentioned incidents of sacrifice made by poorer people from the developing countries so that it may instil the same passion among the affluent people and they may understand the spirit of sacrifice. Otherwise, by the grace of Allah, there are also many such people in these developed countries who offer sacrifices whilst ignoring their own worldly needs. In any case, as I mentioned, among the jamaats of UK, Aldershot stood first in Waqf-e-Jadid collection.
Now, I will turn to the topic of today’s sermon, which is the accounts of the Badri Companionsra. In the sermon two weeks ago, I was relating the accounts of Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah. Some of the narrations were still remaining and so today I will relate some further accounts from his life.
However, a reference that I mentioned in the last sermon needs to be corrected. Although I realised at the time that perhaps there was something incorrect in relation to the reference, but I did not mention it at the time to those who send the references. However, our team at the Research Cell themselves realised the error and sent in the correction. As a result, my misunderstanding was also removed. Masha-Allah, they work extremely diligently in searching and collating these references, but sometimes, they hastily go through such references whereby similar accounts of two different companions become mixed up. Likewise, sometimes, the reality of the account is not conveyed properly due to not choosing the most befitting words whilst translating from the original Arabic references. In any case, now they have themselves sent in a correction in this regard, which I will mention first. Thereafter, the remaining accounts will be related.
In the Friday Sermon of 27 December, whilst introducing Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah, it was said that the Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Saadra and Tulaib bin Umair, who had migrated from Mecca to Medina. According to Ibn Ishaq, the bond of brotherhood established by the Holy Prophetsa was between Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah and Hazrat Abu Dharra Ghaffari. However, some disagree with this and Waqidi has rejected this suggestion because, according to him, the Holy Prophetsa established this bond of brotherhood between the companions before the Battle of Badr and Hazrat Abu Dhar Ghaffarira was not present in Medina at the time. He did not participate in the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. He presented himself to the Holy Prophetsa after these battles. In any case, I mentioned that this was the argument given by Waqidi.
However, this is not the case, the narration about the bond of brotherhood was with reference to Hazrat Mundhirra bin Amr bin Khunais. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 5, p. 258, Mundhir bin Amrra, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)
The Rabwah Research Cell wrote that the book from which they took this particular reference from also had the name of Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah and they mistakenly placed this account with Hazrat Saad bin Ubadahra. The actual reference in regard to establishing the bond of brotherhood is with reference to Hazrat Mundhirra bin Amr, the details of which I have already mentioned in the previous sermon on 25 January of last year. Nonetheless, this was the clarification and now I shall continue to narrate the accounts.
When the Battle of the Ditch had taken place, the Holy Prophetsa contemplated sending Uyainah bin Hisn a third of the dates of Medina, on the condition that the people of the Ghatfan tribe travelling with him would go back. With the exception of all else, the Holy Prophetsa took counsel from only Hazrat Saadra bin Muadh and Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah. Both of them replied, “O Messengersa of Allah, if you have been commanded by God Almighty to do so then by all means proceed in doing so. However, if this is not the case, then by God we shall give them nothing but the sword” (i.e. we will take what is our right, or they shall receive whatever punishment was due as a result of this hypocrisy or breaking of their oath). Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa stated, “I have not been instructed in this regard, rather it was my personal opinion which I shared with both of you.” They both then answered, “O Messengersa of Allah, these people did not even expect such treatment from us in the jahiliyyah (period of ignorance prior to Islam), so why now, after God Almighty has guided us through you?” (In other words, the rules and customs which were in place before should still apply to them now.) The Holy Prophetsa was pleased with their answer. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 2, p. 442, Saad bin Ubadahra, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has mentioned the details of this, with regard to the conditions during the Battle of the Ditch, as follows:
“These days were ones of grave pain, apprehension and danger. As the siege grew longer and longer, the Muslims naturally began to lose their strength to fight and although they were full of faith and sincerity, their bodies, which of course functioned according to the material law of nature, began to fall weak.” In other words, the body has certain physical needs, such as comfort and the need of nourishment. However, since the siege had prolonged, therefore they had to endure extremely difficult circumstances and could neither get proper rest, nor proper food and were consequently losing their strength. This impact on their bodies was owing to the natural laws. “Thus, when the Holy Prophetsa witnessed this state of affairs, he called upon the two chieftains of the Ansar, Saadra bin Muadh and Saadra bin Ubadah and recalling to them all of the circumstances at hand sought their counsel” in light of the conditions of the Muslims. “The Holy Prophetsa even proposed, ‘If you are in agreement, it is also possible that we may give the Ghatan tribe a portion of our wealth, so that this war may be averted.’ Saadra bin Muadh and Saadra bin Ubadah resonated the same words, and submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! If you have received divine revelation in this respect, then we submit to you in obedience. In this case, most definitely, let us act upon this proposition gladly.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Nay, nay, I have not received any revelation in this matter. I only present this suggestion out of my consideration for the hardship you are being made to bear.’ The two Saads responded, ‘Then our suggestion is that if we have never given anything to an enemy while we were idolaters, why then should we do so as Muslims?” i.e. they will continue to follow the rules that were a custom of the time. “By God! We shall give them nothing but the strikes of our swords.’
“The Holy Prophetsa was worried on account of the Ansar, who were the native residents of Medina” and so the Holy Prophetsa was particularly concerned about them in regard to the prolonged siege, whether they had any reservations or were in discomfort from it. “Furthermore, in seeking this counsel, the only intent of the Holy Prophetsa was to perhaps gather insight into the mental state of the Ansar, as to whether they were worried about these hardships or not, and if they were, then to console them. Thus, when this proposal was put forth, the Holy Prophetsa happily accepted and war continued.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 589-590)
In reference to the Banu Quraizah and their treacherous actions during the Battle of Khandaq, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahibra has written in Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin:
“In addition to this, another tactic which Abu Sufyan employed was that he instructed Huyayy bin Akhtab, the Jewish chief of Banu Nadir, to go to the fortresses of Banu Quraizah in the veils of the darkness of night and attempt to bring over the Banu Quraizah with the aid of their chief, Kaab bin Asad. Therefore, Huyayy bin Akhtab found an opportunity and arrived at the home of Kaab. Initially, Kaab refused and said that ‘We have settled a covenant and agreement with Muhammadsa, and he has always loyally fulfilled his covenants and agreements, therefore, I cannot act treacherously towards him.’
“However, Huyayy painted a picture of lush green gardens to him and gave him such confidence in the imminent destruction of Islam; and presented their own resolve with such force and emphasis that they would not return from Medina until they had obliterated Islam, that ultimately, he agreed. In this manner, the strength of the Banu Quraizah also added to the weight on a scale which was already heavily weighed to one side (i.e., they were already strong materially). When the Holy Prophetsa received news of this dangerous treachery of the Banu Quraizah, initially, the Holy Prophetsa dispatched Zubairra bin Al-Awwam to obtain intelligence in secret two or three times. Then, after this, the Holy Prophetsa formally sent Saadra bin Muadh and Saadra bin Ubadah, who were chieftains of the Aus and Khazraj tribes along with a few other influential Companions in the form of a delegation towards the Banu Quraizah, and strictly instructed that if there was troubling news, it should not be publicly disclosed when they returned, rather, secrecy should be maintained so that people were not made apprehensive. When these people reached the dwellings of Banu Quraizah and approached Kaab bin Asad, this evil man confronted them in a very arrogant manner. When the two Saads spoke of the treaty, Kaab and the people of his tribe turned wicked and said, ‘Be gone! There is no treaty between Muhammadsa and us.’ Upon hearing these words, this delegation of Companions set off. Saadra bin Muadh and Saadra bin Ubadah then presented themselves before the Holy Prophetsa and informed him of the state of affairs in an appropriate manner.” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, pp. 584-585)
And so, their punishment, or the fight against them continued. During the Battle of Banu Quraizah, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah loaded dates upon several camels to send as food for the Holy Prophetsa and the Muslims. On that occasion, the Holy Prophetsa stated, “What an excellent form of nourishment the date is!” (Subul al-Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 5, p. 6, Fi Ghazwah Bani Quraizah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)
During the Battle of Mu‘ta, which took place in Jamadi al-Ula 8 AH, Hazrat Zaidra was martyred, and the Holy Prophetsa went to his home to pay his condolences. Thereupon, his daughter came to the Holy Prophetsa whilst weeping constantly, due to the agony and distress. As a result, the Holy Prophetsa also began to cry. Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah then asked, “What is the reason for this?”, to which the Holy Prophetsa replied:
ھٰذَا شَوْقُ الْحَبِيْبِ اِلٰي حَبِيْبِہٖ
“This is one’s affection towards his beloved”. (Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 34, Zaid Al-Hubb bin Harithah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
There is another narration from Sahih al-Bukhari – in fact, the previous narration was not from Sahih al-Bukhari – however, the following narration is from Bukhari and is relating to a different account.
Hisham bin Urwah relates from his father that when the Holy Prophetsa departed for the Conquest of Mecca, the Quraish had received news of this. Consequently, Abu Sufyan bin Harb, Hakim bin Hizam and Budail bin Waraqah went out to seek information about the Holy Prophetsa until they reached a placed called Marruz Zahran. Marruz Zahran is a place 5 miles from Mecca, wherein are plentiful springs and gardens of dates. When they reached this place, they saw countless fires lit, just as there are at Arafat during the pilgrimage. Abu Sufyan then said, “What is this? It seems as though these are the fires of Arafat”. Budail bin Waraqah then said, “These seem to be the fires of Banu Amr, (i.e. of the Khuza’ah tribe).” Abu Sufyan said, “The Banu Amr tribe are much fewer in numbers.” Thereafter, some guards of the Holy Prophetsa saw them and seized the three of them. They were then brought to the Holy Prophetsa and Abu Sufyan accepted Islam. When the Holy Prophetsa left towards Mecca, he told Hazrat Abbasra, “Keep Abu Sufyan at the mountain-pass, so that he may see the Muslims.” Therefore, Hazrat Abbasra kept him there. Numerous tribes passed by, alongside the Holy Prophetsa, and each division of the army passed in front of Abu Sufyan. When one group was passing by, Abu Sufyan asked, “Abbas, who are these people?” Hazrat Abbasra replied, “These are the people of the Ghiffar tribe”, to which Abu Sufyan said, “I have no concern for the Ghiffar tribe.” Then the people of the Juhainah tribe passed by and Abu Sufyan posed the same question. Then the people of the Saad bin Huzaim tribe passed by and he asked the same question, then the people of the Sulaim tribe passed by and he asked the same question, up to the point where the last division of the army passed by, which he had not seen before. Abu Sufyan asked, “Who are these people?” Hazrat Abbasra said, “These are the Ansar and their chief is Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah, who is holding the flag. Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah exclaimed, “O Abu Sufyan, today is the day of a fierce battle, and in which fighting shall be permissible in the precinct of the Ka‘bah”. Having heard this, Abu Sufyan then said, “Abbas, what a great day of destruction this would be if I were to contest you” (i.e. if he was on the opposing side and had the opportunity to [to fight them], but he was on the side of the Muslims due to having accepted Islam). Then another division of the army arrived which was the smallest of all the battalions. Among them was the Holy Prophetsa and the Muhajireen and the flag of the Holy Prophetsa was being carried by Hazrat Zubairra bin Al-Awwam. When the Holy Prophetsa passed by Abu Sufyan, he said, “Are you not aware of what Saadra bin Ubadah has just said?” The Holy Prophetsa asked, “What did he say?” He then told him whatever Hazrat Saad bin Ubadahra uttered. The Holy Prophetsa then replied, “Saad has erred, in fact, today is the day that God Almighty shall restore the honour of the Ka‘bah and it shall be covered with a sacred cloth [Ghilaf]. There shall be no fighting on this day.”(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Bab Aina Rakaza an-Nabi ar-Ra’ya Yaumal Fath, Hadith 4280) (Mu’jamul Buldan, Vol. 4, p. 247)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has mentioned this incident in more detail and is as follows:“While the Muslims marched towards Mecca, the Holy Prophetsa had ordered Hazrat Abbasra to take Abu Sufyan and his friends to a spot from where they could easily view the Muslim army, and its loyalty and devotion. Hazrat Abbasra did so and from a vantage point Abu Sufyan and his friends watched the Arab tribes go past on whose power the Meccans had banked all these years for their plots against Islam. (The people of Mecca thought that they will be able to receive help from them but now they were all stood in support alongside the Holy Prophetsa.) They marched that day not as soldiers of disbelief but as soldiers of belief. They raised now the slogans of Islam, not the slogans of their pagan days. They marched in formation, not to put an end to the Prophet’s life (as the Meccans desired), but rather to lay down their lives to save his; not to shed his blood, but their own for his sake. Their ambition that day was not to resist the Prophet’s message and save the superficial solidarity of their own people. It was to carry to all parts of the world the very message they had so far resisted. It was to establish the unity and solidarity of man. Column after column marched past until the Ashja‘ tribe came in Abu Sufyan’s view. Their devotion to Islam and their self-sacrificing zeal could be seen in their faces, and heard in their songs and slogans.
“‘Who are they?’ asked Abu Sufyan.
‘They are the Ashja‘ tribe’, replied Hazrat Abbasra.
“Abu Sufyan looked astonished and said, ‘In all Arabia, no one bore greater enmity to Muhammadsa than them.’
“Hazrat Abbasra replied, ‘We owe it to the grace of God. He changed the hearts of the enemy of Islam as soon as He deemed fit.’
“Last of all came the Holy Prophetsa, surrounded by the armies of Ansar and Muhajirin.
“They must have been about 2,000 strong, dressed in suits of armour. Hazrat Umarra directed their marching and would continuously tell them to be mindful of their steps so that the rows remained intact.
“The sight proved the most impressive of all. The devotion of these Muslims, their determination and their zeal seemed overflowing. When Abu Sufyan’s eyes fell on them, he was completely overpowered. ‘Who are they?’ he asked. ‘They are the Ansar and the Muhajirin surrounding the Prophetsa,’ replied Abbasra.
“‘No power on earth could resist this army,’ said Abu Sufyan, and then, addressing Hazrat Abbasra more specifically, ‘Abbas, your nephew has become the most powerful king in the world.’
“‘You are still far from the truth, Abu Sufyan. He is no king; he is a Prophet, a Messenger of God,’ replied Hazrat Abbasra.
‘Yes, yes, let it be as you say, a Prophet.’ added Abu Sufyan
“As the Muslim army marched past Abu Sufyan, the commander of the Ansar, Saadra bin Ubadah happened to eye Abu Sufyan and could not resist saying that God that day had made it lawful for them to enter Mecca by force and that the Quraish would be humiliated.
“As the Holy Prophetsa was passing, Abu Sufyan raised his voice and addressing the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! Have you allowed the massacre of your own kith and kin? I heard the commander of the Ansar, Saad and his companions say so. They said it was a day of slaughter. The sacredness of Mecca will not avert bloodshed and the Quraish will be humiliated. Prophetsa of God, you are the best, the most forgiving, the most considerate of men. Will you not forgive and forget whatever was done by your own people?’
“Upon hearing this plea from Abu Sufyan, those very Muslims who used to be insulted and beaten in the streets of Mecca, who had been dispossessed and driven out of their homes, began to entertain feelings of mercy for their old persecutors. ‘O Prophet of God,’ they said, ‘the accounts which the Ansar have heard of the excesses and cruelties committed by Meccans against us, may lead them to seek revenge. We know not what they may do.’
“The Holy Prophetsa understood this. Turning to Abu Sufyan, he said, ‘What Saad has said is incorrect. It is the day of forgiveness. The Quraish and the Ka‘bah will be honoured by God.’
“Then he sent for Saad and ordered him to hand over the Ansar flag to his son, Qais, for he would now be the commander of the Ansar’s army. In this way, it placated the Meccans and saved the Ansar’s disappointment. Qais, a pious young man, was fully trusted by the Holy Prophetsa.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, in relation to Qais’ra level of piety, states:“An incident of his last days illustrates the piety of his character. Lying on his deathbed, Qais received his friends. Some came and some did not. He could not understand this and asked why some of his friends had not come to see him. ‘Your charity is abundant,’ explained one. (Qais was extremely generous and would help people).
“‘You have been helping the needy by your loans. There are many in the town who are in debt to you. Some may have hesitated to come lest you should ask them for the return of the loans.’
“He replied, ‘Then I have been the cause of keeping my friends away. Please announce that no one now owes anything to Qais.’ After this announcement, Qais had so many visitors during his last days that the steps to his house gave way.”
(Dibacha Tafsir-ul-Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 341-343)
Another name for the Battle of Hunayn is the Battle of Hawazin. Hunayn is the name of a valley 30 miles from Mecca and is situated between Mecca and Taif. The Battle of Hunayn took place after the Conquest of Mecca in Shawal 8 AH. The Holy Prophetsa distributed the spoils gained from this war among the Muhajireen. The Ansar felt this in their hearts. Regarding this, there is a detailed narration found in Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, which states:“Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudrira relates that when the Holy Prophetsa distributed the spoils among the Quraish and other Arab tribes, there was nothing left to give to the Ansar. They felt aggrieved at this and would speak amongst themselves regarding this, to the extent that someone even said that the Holy Prophetsa would soon return to his tribe and that he has forgotten the Ansar and only granted [the spoils of war] to the Muhajireen. Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! The Ansar feel something in their hearts about this…’” i.e. with regard to the spoils of war that were distributed amongst the various Arab tribes and the Ansar did not receive anything therefrom.
“The Holy Prophetsa asked him, ‘O Saadra! With regard to this, which side are you on; clarify your position on the matter?’ He replied, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I am merely an ordinary member of my tribe. I have no status or rank.’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Gather your tribe in such and such area’ (i.e. he was instructed to gather his people in an open plain). Thus, Hazrat Saadra left and gathered the Ansar in the specified location. Some Muhajireen also joined them and Hazrat Saadra permitted them to come, but some other individuals wished to enter, however Hazrat Saadra stopped them from entering. When everyone had gathered together, Hazrat Saadra went to the Holy Prophetsa and informed him that the Ansar had all gathered together.”
The narrator further says:“The Holy Prophetsa came and after praising God Almighty, he said, ‘O ye Ansar, whatever is the matter? I am receiving reports that you are aggrieved at not receiving anything from the spoils of war. Before I came to you, were you not in a state of misguidance? God Almighty bestowed guidance upon you. Were you not destitute before God Almighty granted you affluence? Were you not enemies of each other until the time God Almighty instilled love for one another in your hearts?’ They replied, ‘Indeed, for God and His Messengersa are greater and more benevolent.’ The Holy Prophetsa then said, ‘O ye Ansar! Why do you not answer the questions I presented before you?’ The Ansar replied, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! How can we reply when all benevolence and blessings are from God Almighty and His Messengersa?’ The Holy Prophetsa then said, ‘By God! You could have said – and you would have been truthful in your statement if you had said – that I came to you when I had been rejected by all others and then you accepted me; and that all of my own people had abandoned me, but you all assisted me. I came to you since my people had abandoned me and then you granted me protection. Since you were a large tribe, I entered into an agreement with you.’ The Holy Prophetsa then stated, ‘O ye Ansar! Did you feel dismay over an insignificant piece of worldly wealth that I granted to others but not to you? I granted to them in order to comfort their hearts, so that they may accept Islam and so they can become firm in their faith, but I entrusted you with your faith in Islam. O ye Ansar! Does it not please you that other people will return to their homes having acquired sheep, goats and camels, yet you will return home alongside the Messengersa of Allah?’ The Holy Prophetsa further said, ‘I swear by the One Who holds the life of Muhammad in His Mighty Hand! Were it not for the migration, I would have been one of the Ansar. If all the people choose one valley in which to pass by, and the Ansar choose another, I would always adopt the one chosen by the Ansar. O Allah! Have mercy on the Ansar, and upon the sons of the Ansar and also the grandsons of the Ansar.’”
The narrator then states:
“Upon hearing this, all the Ansar that were present began to weep, to the extent that their beards became wet from their tears. They then said that they were content with how the Messengersa of Allah distributed the spoils of war, i.e. they were happy, however the Holy Prophetsa had distributed the wealth and that the Holy Prophetsa was sufficient enough for them. The Holy Prophetsa then left and the people also dispersed.” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 4, pp. 192-193, Musnad Abi Saeed al-Khudri, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998) (Atlas Sirat Nabwisa, pp. 408-409, Darul Islam, al-Riyad 1424A.H.) (Al-Sirat al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, p. 163, 175, Bab Ghazwah al-Ta’if, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)
On the occasion of Hajjatul Wida, the Holy Prophetsa travelled from Medina to perform the Hajj. When he arrived at the place of Hajj, his mount went missing. The Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakrra used the same mount, which was in the care of the servant of Hazrat Abu Bakrra when it went missing. Hazrat Safwanra bin Muattal travelled behind the main caravan and managed to find the missing camel. He brought the missing camel along with him, which still had the all the provisions loaded on top of it. When Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah heard of this incident, he came to the Holy Prophetsa along with his son, Qaisra, and also brought a camel loaded with provisions to take along on a journey. When they met the Holy Prophetsa, he was standing beside the entrance to his home. At that time, God Almighty had returned his camel to him, i.e. the camel that was lost and had been recovered by the time Saadra came to the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Saadra said, “O Messengersa of Allah! We have heard that your camel along with all your provisions has been misplaced. Please take our mount instead.” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “God Almighty has brought our mount back to us” i.e. he had found the mount that went missing. “Both of you can take back the mount you have brought; may God Almighty bless both of you.” (Subul al-Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 8, p. 460, Dhikr Nuzulihi bil Araj, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993) (Kitabul Maghazi Lil Waqidi, p. 1093, Bab Hujjatul Wadaa, Alam al-Kutub, Beirut, 1984)
Hazrat Usama bin Zaidra states:
“One of the daughters of the Holy Prophetsa said to me that her son was on his deathbed and that the Holy Prophetsa should come to see them. The Holy Prophetsa sent word back saying, ‘He belongs to Allah, Who bestows and can call him back at any moment. God Almighty has fixed a term for everything, therefore you ought to be steadfast and seek the pleasure of God Almighty.’ She then sent for the Holy Prophetsa again and this time swore by God for him to come to see them. The Holy Prophetsa stood up and at the time, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah, Hazrat Muadhra bin Jabal, Hazrat Ubayra bin Kaab, Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit and many other companions were seated around him. When the Holy Prophetsa went to see them, the child was brought before him and from the sound he was making, it became evident that he was breathing his last breaths.” Hazrat Usmanra stated (however I believe it was Hazrat Usamara who stated) that “the sound was like that of two old water skins rubbing against one another. Upon seeing the child in such condition, the Holy Prophetsa was moved to tears. Hazrat Saadra said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! What is this?’ to which the Holy Prophetsa replied, “This is owing to the mercy God Almighty has placed in the hearts of people, and God Almighty only bestows His mercy to those people who show mercy to others.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Janaiz, Bab Qaul an-Nabi Yu’adhabul Mayyitu bi Buka Ahlihi…, Hadith 1284)
This emotional state is not something out of the ordinary, it is simply due to the grace of Allah the Almighty.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra narrates:
“When Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah fell ill, the Holy Prophetsa went to visit him along with Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Aufra, Hazrat Saad bin Abi Waqasra and Hazrat Abdullah bin Masoodra. When he arrived there, he saw Hazrat Saadra was surrounded by his family members. The Holy Prophetsa enquired if he had passed away? Since he saw his family members crowding around and he was suffering from a severe ailment. The family members replied, ‘No, O Messengersa of Allah! He is alive.’ Nonetheless, the Holy Prophetsa went close to him and upon seeing his condition, he began to cry. When the people saw the Holy Prophetsa in this state, they also began to cry. The Holy Prophetsa then said, ‘Hear my words! God Almighty never punishes for any tears that are shed, nor if the heart feels anguish, rather he will punish or show mercy owing to this,’ and the Holy Prophetsa pointed to his tongue. The Holy Prophetsa then said, ‘The deceased receives punishment if one’s family members lament and wail over a departed one.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jana’iz, Bab al-Bukaa ‘indal Mareed, Hadith 1304)
It is incorrect to lament and wail. Perhaps the condition of the Holy Prophetsa was brought about upon seeing Hazrat Saadra or that a special state descended upon the Holy Prophetsa for the acceptance of prayer and as a result of this, he became emotional. However, the other people thought that Hazrat Saad’sra end was near and hence, began to cry. The Holy Prophetsa explained to them that they ought to refrain from lamenting and wailing as it was a harmful deed for one to be displeased at the Decree of God Almighty.
Hence, if tears flow from the eyes in order to seek the pleasure of God Almighty, they attract the mercy of God Almighty, but if it is owing to lamentation and wailing, then one incurs punishment for such an act. In any case, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah did not pass away during this intense period of illness.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra relates:
“We were in the company of the Holy Prophetsa when someone from among the Ansar came to the Holy Prophetsa and offered his greeting of Salam. As he turned away to go back, the Holy Prophetsa enquired, ‘O our brother from the Ansar! How is the health of my brother Saadra bin Ubadah?’ He replied that he was better now. The Holy Prophetsa then asked who among us would go to visit him. We all stood up to accompany the Holy Prophetsa and we were more than ten people. At the time, we were neither wearing any shoes nor any cap on our heads, or even our upper garments. In other words, we all quickly set off with the Holy Prophetsa and we continued to walk until we reached Saadra bin Ubadah. People had gathered around him and they all moved aside and the Holy Prophetsa and his companions stood near him.”
This narration is from Sahih Muslim and is relating the same incident which was mentioned earlier. (Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Jana’iz, Bab fi Iyaadatil Mardaa, Hadith 2138)
Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah bin Amr bin Haramra relates, “My father once instructed me to prepare some Harira and I did so.”
Harira is a famous dish which is prepared from flour, butter and water. However, according to the lexicon of Hadith, Harira is prepared from flour and milk. In any case, he relates:“Upon my father’s instruction I took the Harira and presented it before the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa was in his residence at the time and asked, ‘O Jabir, is this meat?’ I submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, no, it is Harira. I prepared this upon the instructions of my father, who then told me to present this before you, and so I have come.’ After this, I returned to my father and he asked whether I saw the Holy Prophetsa. I replied that I did and my father then enquired whether the Holy Prophetsa said anything to me. I told my father that the Holy Prophetsa asked me whether it was meat that I had brought. Upon hearing this, my father thought that perhaps the Holy Prophetsa desired to eat meat and so slaughtered a goat and then cooked its meat and told me to take it and present it before the Holy Prophetsa.”
Hazrat Jabirra continues to relate:“I presented the goat meat before the Holy Prophetsa and the Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘O Allah! Grant reward to the Ansar from me, particularly Abdullahra bin Amr bin Haram and Saadra bin Ubadah.’” (Al-Mustadrak Ala Al-Sahihain, Vol. 5, pp. 39-40, Kitabul At’imah, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, 2001) (Fath-ul-Bari, Kitabul At‘imah Vol. 9, p. 678, Qadimi Kutub Khana, Karachi) (Jahangeer Urdu Lughat, p. 649, Jahangeer Books, Lahore) (Lexicon, part 2 p. 539 London 1865)
Hazrat Abu Usaidra relates that the Holy Prophetsa once stated that the best households among the Ansar were from the tribes of the Banu Najjar, Banu Abd Ash‘al, Banu Harith bin Khazraj and then Banu Saidah and that every house of the Ansar was full of goodness. (This tradition is from Sahih al-Bukhari). Upon hearing this, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah, who was from among the prominent Companionsra in Islam, stated that it seemed as if the Holy Prophetsa held the other households of the other tribes superior to them. However, he was told that the Holy Prophetsa had also established his rank higher than many other people.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar, Bab Manqabah Saad bin Ubadah, Hadith 3807)
Hazrat Abu Usaidra testified that the Holy Prophetsa stated that the best households among the Ansar were the Banu Najjar, Banu Abd Ahsh‘al, Banu Harith bin Khazraj and then Banu Saidah and that every house of the Ansar was filled with goodness. The narrator of this tradition, Abu Salma, states that Hazrat Abu Usaidra stated, “I am accused of fabricating this tradition, however if that was the case, then I would have mentioned the name of my tribe first, i.e. the Banu Saidah.”
When Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah heard this, he also felt this in his heart. (In the previous narration it also mentioned that he expressed that the Holy Prophetsa had listed them last among the four.) And so, he asked for the saddle to be fastened on his donkey and so he could present himself before the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah’s nephew, Sahl, said to him, “Are you going to the Holy Prophetsa to challenge the statement of his and enquire about the order [of the tribes] the Holy Prophetsa mentioned, when the truth is that that the Holy Prophetsa knows better? Is it not sufficient enough for you that you are also one of the four?” And so, Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah abandoned his plan and stated that Allah and His Messengersa know better. He then instructed his saddle to be loosened from the donkey. This narration is also from Sahih Muslim. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada‘il al-Ansar, Bab fi Khair Daur al-Ansar, Hadith 6425)
Hisham bin Urwah relates from his father that Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah used to offer the following supplication:
“O Allah! Make me worthy of praise, grant me honour and nobility. One cannot attain honour and nobility without pious deeds.” If one does not have good deeds, they cannot attain honour, nor nobility. “And good deeds cannot be attained without wealth, therefore, O Allah, little amount of wealth is not sufficient for me and nor will it allow me to remain in this state.”
(Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 461, Saad bin Ubadah, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
In any case, this was his own unique manner of supplicating before Allah the Almighty.
In another narration from Sahih Muslim, Abu Hurairahra states that Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah asked the Holy Prophetsa, “If I see someone with my wife, should I not do anything to him until I find four witnesses who actually saw them committing the ill deed?” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “Yes”. Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah submitted, “Certainly not, I swear by Him, Who has sent you with the truth that if this happened to me, I would immediately settle the matter with my sword” i.e. I would not search for a witness but would instead kill him. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said to the people [present], “Listen to what your leader is saying? [i.e. referring to Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah]. He is filled with honour, but I possess even greater sense of honour than him and Allah the Almighty has even greater honour.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Li‘an, Hadith 3763)
Then, in relation to this account, there is another hadith from Sahih Muslim. Hazrat Mughairara bin Sha‘ba relates that Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah stated, “If I were to find anyone with my wife, I would kill them immediately. I would not kill him with the lower end of the blade but from the sharpened edge of the sword.” When the Holy Prophetsa heard this, he stated, “Are you amazed at the level of honour Saad has? By God, I possess a greater sense of honour than him and God Almighty possesses an even greater honour. It is in fact owing to God’s great honour that He has forbidden immoralities and acts of indecency, whether committed in secret or openly. There is no one who possesses a greater sense of honour than God Almighty and there is no one who is more pleased than God in accepting repentance.” In other words, no one possesses a greater sense of honour than God Almighty and nor is anyone more pleased than Allah the Almighty in accepting repentance. The Holy Prophetsa further stated, “It is for this reason that God Almighty has declared His prophets as bearers of glad-tidings and as a warner.” They give glad-tidings and warn people as well. “Moreover, there is no one who appreciates praise more than Allah the Almighty, it is for this reason that Allah the Almighty has promised heaven as a reward.”
(Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Li‘an, Hadith 3764)
To abstain from sins is in fact to praise God Almighty and it is for this reason that God Almighty has granted the promise of heaven. Thus, even though Allah the Almighty punishes but He does not do so immediately, however man may display haste in his meting out punishment, owing to his sense of honour. Allah the Almighty forgives one who seeks repentance and also rewards them. Thus, God Almighty not only forgives but then also rewards as well. Hence, the Holy Prophetsa stated that one should not exceed in their actions beyond the commandments of Allah the Almighty.
There is a tradition in the hadith from Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal in which it states that Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah relates that the Holy Prophetsa appointed him to supervise the funds of Sadaqat [charity] belonging to a particular tribe. The Holy Prophetsa advised him [to always fear Allah the Almighty] lest on the Day of Judgment, he appeared in a state laden with a camel which was bleating. Hazrat Saadra replied, “O Prophetsa of Allah, then entrust this responsibility to someone else.” And so, the Holy Prophetsa did not assign this duty to him.
(Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 7, p. 473, Musnad Saad bin Ubadah, Hadith 22828, Alamul Kutub, Beirut, 1998)
Thus, one who is entrusted with the supervision of something has to ensure that they grant the due rights to everyone, establish justice and not display even a hint of dishonesty. Failing to do this is a grave sin and one will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment.
During the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa, six companions collated the entire Holy Quran into a single volume and Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah was one of them. (Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 1, p. 503, Jariyah bin Majma’, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, in regard to this, states that among the Ansar, the following names are of the well-known Huffaz [those who had committed the Holy Quran to memory]:
Ubadah bin Samit, Muadh, Mujamma bin Haritha, Fuzala bin Ubaid, Maslama bin Mukhallad, Abu Darda, Abu Zaid, Zaid bin Thabit, Ubbay bin Kaab and Saad bin Ubadah, Umm-e-Waraqah.
It is proven from historical sources that there were many Companionsra who had memorised the Holy Quran. (Dibacha Tafsir-ul-Quran, Anwarul Ulum, Vol. 20, p. 430)
There are a few accounts that remain of Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah which I will Insha-Allah relate in the future sermons.
(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International on 31 January 2020, pp. 5-9.Translated by The Review of Religions.)