16 October 2020
Men of Excellence: Hazrat Muawizra bin Harith and Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
Today, the companion whose accounts I shall narrate first is Hazrat Muawizra bin Harith. Hazrat Muawizra belonged to the Khazraj tribe of the Ansar. Hazrat Muawiz’sra father’s name was Harith bin Rifa‘ah. His mother’s name was Afraa bint Ubaid. Hazrat Muazra and Hazrat Aufra were his brothers. All three of these brothers used to be referred to by the name of their father as well as their mother. Hence, all three were also known as Banu Afraa [the sons of Afraa]. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 5, Muawiz bin Afra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003] 231) (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Muawiz bin Afra (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990), 374.)
Ibn Ishaq is the only one to have reported that Hazrat Muawizra was among the 70 Ansar who participated in the Second Pledge at Aqabah.
Hazrat Muawizra married to Umm Yazid bint Qais. The names of his two daughters from this marriage were Hazrat Rubai‘ bint Muawizra and Hazrat Umairah bint Muawizra. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Muawiz bin Afra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990] 374)
Hazrat Muawizra had the opportunity to participate in the Battle of Badr alongside his two brothers; Hazrat Muazra and Hazrat Aufra. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 5, Muawiz bin Afra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003] 231)
During the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Muazra, Hazrat Aufra and Hazrat Muawizra, who were referred to as the Banu Afraa and their freed slave Abul Hamraa, had one camel between them, and they would take turns to ride on it. (Al-Waqidi, Kitab al-Tarikh wa al-Maghazi, Vol. 1, Badr al-Qital [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah (2013)] 38)
I presented the following narration once before in relation with Hazrat Muazra but it is also important that it is mentioned here in relation to Hazrat Muawizra, hence, I will narrate it here as well. Hazrat Anasra narrates, “On the day of the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Who will go to see what became of Abu Jahl?’ Hazrat Ibn Mas‘udra went and saw that both sons of Afraa had attacked him with their swords to such an extent that he was on the brink of death. Hazrat Ibn Masudra went to him and asked, ‘Are you Abu Jahl?’”
Hazrat Anasra further narrates, “Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra grabbed hold of Abu Jahl by the beard. Abu Jahl said, ‘Have you killed a greater man than this?’ or he said ‘has his tribe had killed a greater man?’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab Qatl Abi Jahl, Hadith 3962)
This is a narration from Sahih Bukhari.
In the commentary to this narration, Hazrat Sayyid Zain-ul-Abideen Waliullah Shah Sahibra states:
“In some narrations, it is mentioned that the two sons of Afraa, Muazra and Muawizra attacked Abu Jahl to the extent that he was on the brink of death and that Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra severed his head later on. Imam Ibn Hajar Asqalani has expressed the possibility of Muawizra bin Afraa having also attacked him [i.e. Abu Jahl] after Muazra bin Amr and Muazra bin Afraa had already done so.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fard al-Khumus, Bab man lam Yakhmus al-Aslab, Hadith 3141, Vol. 5, p. 491, footnote, Urdu translation, published by Nazarat-e-Ishaat Rabwah)
Whilst relating the incident of Abu Jahl’s killing, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra states:
“Sometimes, a person celebrates something and deems it to be useful for him. However, that same thing becomes the cause of his destruction and downfall.
“At the occasion of Badr, when the disbelievers of Mecca arrived at the scene, they thought, ‘We will be rid of these Muslims in no time.’ Abu Jahl said, ‘We will mark this as a joyous occasion and drink wine.’ He thought to himself that he would not return until he killed all the Muslims. However, that same Abu Jahl was killed by two young boys from Medina. The disbelievers of Mecca used to look at the people of Medina with contempt. Abu Jahl had to experience such humiliation that even his final wish was left unfulfilled. It was a custom among the Arabs that if a chief was killed in a battle, they would cut his neck in a manner that it would be prominent so that he can be recognised as one of the chiefs. Abdullah bin Mas‘udra saw him as he was lying there motionless and injured and said to him, ‘Look what has become of you!’ He replied, ‘I do not regret anything but the fact that the children of farmers from Medina have killed me.’ That is, children of people who plant crops and work as farmers; such work was considered inferior in the eyes of the Meccans and they believed that such people from Medina had no knowledge of war and fighting. However, these very people killed him and shattered his arrogance. As a matter of fact, it was not just these people, rather it was their sons, who were not experienced in the slightest. Abdullahra asked Abu Jahl if he had any last wish. He replied that he wanted his neck to be cut off slightly longer. However, Abdullahra said that he would not fulfil this request of his either and severed his neck close to his chin. The day he wanted to be a source of happiness for him became a day to mourn and he was not even able to digest the alcohol he had consumed.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud [Khutbat Eid-ul-Fitr] Vol. 1, p. 11)
On the occasion of the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Muawizra was martyred during combat by Abu Musafi‘. (Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 4, Muawiz bin Afra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Jil, 1992] 1442)
The next companion to be mentioned is Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab. Hazrat Ubayyra belonged to the Banu Muawiyah branch of the Khazraj tribe of the Ansar. His father’s name was Kaab bin Qais and his mother’s name was Suhaila bint Aswad. Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab had two titles; one was Abu Munzir, as given by the Holy Prophetsa and the second was Abu Tufail, given by Hazrat Umarra because of his son, Tufail. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 1 [Beirut, Lebanon: Maktabat Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2016] 168-169)
Hazrat Ubayyra was of moderate height. The colour of his hair and beard was white and he did not dye them in order to conceal his grey hair. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2017) 378)
He did not dye his beard nor his hair. Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab participated in the second pledge at Aqabah along with seventy other individuals. Hazrat Ubayyra knew how to read and write even before he accepted Islam and once he became a Muslim, he received the honour of writing the revelations received by the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa formed a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Ubayyra and Hazrat Talha bin Ubaidillahra. According to another narration, the Holy Prophetsa established a bond of brotherhood between Hazrat Ubayyra and Hazrat Saeed bin Zaidra. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2017) 378]
With regard to Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab, it is mentioned that Allah the Exalted commanded the Holy Prophetsa to recite the Quran to Ubayyra. Furthermore, the Holy Prophetsa said that Ubayyra was the best qari [who recites the Quran according to the rules of recitation] among his people. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2017] 378)
It is mentioned in regard to him that he had great knowledge of the Holy Quran due to this very reason. Other narrations about this will be mentioned later.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab was among those four individuals with regard to whom the Holy Prophetsa said that they are the qurra-e-ummat [reciters of the Holy Quran] of this ummah.” That is, if anyone wished to learn to read the Quran, they should learn from them. (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 10, p. 84)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states:
“The following 15 names of scribes are those to whom the Holy Prophetsa dictated the Holy Quran and are proven from history. They are, Zaid bin Thabitra, Ubayyra bin Kaab, Abdullah bin Saad bin Abi Sarahra, Zubair bin al-Awamra, Khalid bin Saeed bin al-Aasra, Aban bin Saeed al-Aasra, Hanzala bin al-Rabi al-Asadira, Mu‘ayqib bin Abi Fatimara, Abdullah bin Arqam Zuhrira, Shurahbil bin Hasanahra, Abdullah bin Rawahara, Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Uthmanra and Hazrat Alira. When [a portion] of the Holy Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophetsa, he would call one of these individuals and dictate the revelation to him.” (Dibachah Tafsir al-Quran, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 425-426)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states in one instance that the Holy Prophetsa appointed a group of teachers who taught the Holy Quran; they learned and memorised the entire Holy Quran from the Holy Prophetsa and taught it to others. There were four esteemed teachers who were responsible for learning the Holy Quran from the Holy Prophetsa and teaching it to others, and there were many companions under them who would also teach the Holy Quran to others. The names of these four esteemed teachers are Abdullah bin Mas‘udra, Salim, the freed salve of Abu Hudaifahra, Muaz bin Jabalra and Ubayyra bin Kaab. The first two were Muhajireen and the latter two were Ansar. With regard to their work, Abdullah bin Mas‘udra was a labourer, Salimra was a freed slave, while Muaz bin Jabalra and Ubayyra bin Kaab were chieftains of Medina. Thus, keeping in view every member of society, the Holy Prophetsa appointed qaris from each rank.
It is narrated in a hadith that the Holy Prophetsa used to say:
خُذُوا الْقُرْاٰنَ مِنْ اَرْبَعَةٍ (مِنْ) عَبْدِ اللّٰهِ بْنِ مَسْعُوْدٍ وَ سَالِمٍ وَ مُعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ وَ اُبَيِّ بِنْ كَعْبٍ
“Anyone who desires to read the Quran should learn from the following four individuals: Abdullah bin Mas‘ud, Salim, Muaz bin Jabal and Ubayy bin Kaab.”
These were the four people who either learned the entire Quran from the Holy Prophetsa or would recite it before him to ensure they did not make any mistakes. Aside from them, there were also many other companions who learned various portions of the Holy Qur’an directly from the Holy Prophetsa. (Dibachah Tafsir al-Quran, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 427-428)
Hazrat Anas bin Malikra narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said to Ubayyra, “Allah has commanded me to recite to you the chapterلَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا مِنْ اَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ [i.e. Surah al-Bayyinah].”
Hazrat Ubayyra enquired whether God had specifically mentioned his name to which the Holy Prophetsa replied “Yes.” Upon hearing this, Hazrat Ubayyra began to cry.
This narration is from Sahih al-Bukhari. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar, Bab Manaqib Ubayy bin Kaab, Hadith 3809)
There is another narration in which Hazrat Anas bin Malikra relates that the Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab, “Allah the Almighty has commanded me to recite the Quran to you.” Hazrat Ubayyra enquired, “Did Allah mention my name to you?” to which the Holy Prophetsa replied, “Yes.” Hazrat Ubayyra asked, “Did the Lord of this world and the Hereafter mention me?” to which the Holy Prophetsa replied, “Yes.” Upon this, Hazrat Ubayy’sra eyes filled with tears. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Tafsir, Bab Surah “Lam yakun…”, Hadith 4961)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also explained this incident in his own words. He states:
“It is narrated by Abu Hayyah Badri that Surah al-Bayyinah was revealed in its entirety, i.e. all in one go; and then Gabriel informed the Holy Prophetsa that Allah the Almighty had commanded him to ensure Ubayy bin Kabra memorised this chapter. The Holy Prophetsa said to Ubayyra bin Kaab, ‘Gabriel has informed me that God Almighty has commanded that I should ensure you memorise this chapter.’ Ubayyra bin Kaab said, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, did God Almighty mention my name?’ The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘Yes.’ Hearing this, Ubayy bin Kaab began to cry out of happiness. (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 8, p. 342)
After the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Umar Farooqra often recounted this incident. Once, while standing at the pulpit in Masjid al-Nabawi [the Prophet’s Mosque], he said that the greatest qari was Ubayyra. Once, during his expedition to Syria, whilst in Jabiyah – which is a settlement near Damascus – he delivered a sermon wherein he said:
مَنْ اَرَادَ الْقُرْآنَ فَلْيَاْتِ اُبَيًّا
Meaning, “Whoever has a desire to learn the Holy Quran should go to Ubayy.” (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 149) (Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu‘jam al-Buldan, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi] 91)
Hazrat Anasra narrates that there were four people during the time of the Holy Prophetsa who committed the entire Quran to memory, all of whom were from the Ansar; Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab, Hazrat Muaz bin Jabalra, Hazrat Abu Zaidra and Hazrat Zaid bin Thabitra. This narration is from Sahih al-Bukhari. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar, Bab Manaqib Zaid bin Thabit, Hadith 3810, translated version, Vol. 7, p. 290, Nazarat-e-Ishaat Rabwah)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states that the names of prominent huffaz [those who have memorised the entire Quran] from the Ansar were Ubadah bin Samitra, Muaz, Mujama bin Harithahra, Fuzalah bin Ubaidra, Maslamah bin Mukhalladra, Abu Dardara, Abu Zaidra, Zaid bin Thabitra, Ubayyra bin Kaab, Saad bin Ubadahra and Umm Waraqahra. (Dibachah Tafsir al-Quran, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 20, p. 430)
The Holy Prophetsa once said that the most benevolent upon his people was Hazrat Abu Bakrra. The strictest with regard to God’s religion was Hazrat Umarra, meaning he was very strict in adhering to religious principles. The most modest was Hazrat Uthmanra, as in he had achieved the greatest levels of modesty. The person with the greatest understanding of what is lawful and unlawful was Hazrat Muaz bin Jabalra. The person with the greatest awareness of his obligations was Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit. The person with the highest knowledge in recitations of the Holy Quran was Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab. And every ummah has a Custodian; and the Custodian of this Ummah was Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrahra – whose accounts have been narrated previously. (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab Manaqib Muaz bin Jabal … Hadith 3790)
The first scribe to write a revelation of the Holy Prophetsa after his migration to Medina was Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab. At the time, it was not common for the scribe’s name to be written at the end of a Quranic inscription; however, Hazrat Ubayyra initiated this practice and the other companions also adopted this practice. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 1 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2016] 170) (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 158)
Meaning, the name of the person who had inscribed the text would not be written, rather the text would simply be written out [without any indication of who transcribed it]. Hazrat Ubayyra began signing his name at the end of an inscription to make it known that it had been written by him, and thus, it became common practice.
Hazrat Ubayyra memorised the Holy Quran after hearing every single word from the Holy Prophetsa himself. The Holy Prophetsa noticed his passion for learning and as a result paid special attention towards his education. The lofty rank and awe of prophethood would make even the most senior companions to abstain from asking [many] questions; however, Hazrat Ubayyra would ask questions without hesitation. He would not ask questions unnecessarily; he paid due regard to the esteemed rank of prophethood and asked questions in a respectable manner, but he did not hesitate in doing so. Due to Hazrat Ubayy’sra passion, sometimes the Holy Prophetsa would initiate the conversation himself without being prompted by a question. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 148)
Once, the Holy Prophetsa was leading the Fajr [pre-dawn] prayer, during which he forgot to recite a verse in his recitation [of the Holy Quran]. Hazrat Ubayyra was not able to join the congregation from the beginning of the prayer, instead he joined in the middle [of the prayer]. Upon completing the prayer, the Holy Prophetsa enquired if anyone in the congregation had noticed anything different in his recitation. Everyone remained silent. Then, the Holy Prophetsa asked whether Ubayyra bin Kaab was present. By this time, Hazrat Ubayyra had completed offering his Salat. Despite joining the congregation late, he must have joined by the second rak‘ah [unit of prayer] to have been able to hear the mistake that was made or notice the verse which had been forgotten.
In any case, Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab had completed offering his Salat and informed the Holy Prophetsa that he had not recited such and such verse. He said, “O Messengersa of Allah, you did not recite such and such verse during your recitation; has it been abrogated or did you simply forget to recite it?” The Holy Prophetsa replied that he had merely forgotten to recite it. Then, the Holy Prophetsa said to Ubayyra, “I knew you would be the only one to notice this.” (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 148)
Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab narrates, “Once, I was in the mosque when a man entered and began offering Salat. He recited the Quran in such a manner which seemed very unusual to me. Then another man entered the mosque and started reciting [the Holy Quran] with a different qir‘ah [reading]. When we had all offered our Salat, we went to the Holy Prophetsa.
“I informed the Holy Prophetsa that this person has recited the Holy Qur’an in such a qir‘ah [reading] which seems strange to me. Then another person came who recited it in a different reading to the first person. So the Holy Prophetsa asked both of them to recite their qir‘aat of the Holy Quran, to which they recited. The Holy Prophetsa then declared both their qir‘aat to be correct and told them both they had recited correctly.”
Upon the reversal of his own opinion, Hazrat Ubayyra says, “When I had formed an opinion that such and such person recited incorrectly and the Holy Prophetsa corrected my view declaring both readings to be correct, I became extremely embarrassed in a manner I had not even experienced in the era of ignorance when I knew little. The embarrassment I felt at that point was like none other I had felt in my entire life.
“When the Holy Prophetsa saw me overcome in this state and the embarrassment was plain to see on my face, he placed his hand on my chest. I was covered in sweat as if I was beholding God Almighty in this state of fear. Then the Holy Prophetsa said to me, ‘O Ubayy, I was instructed that I should recite the Holy Quran in one qir‘ah. I replied by requesting ease for my people. I was then instructed that I should recite it, i.e. the Holy Quran in two qir‘aat, to which I again replied asking ease for my people. On the third try, he instructed that I should recite it in seven qir‘aat. Thus, in response to each one of my requests I was told by the angel that I have been given the right to seek whatever I wish from God,’ i.e. the angel Gabriel said, ‘For each response [to your request], Allah the Almighty has granted you the right to seek from Him whatever you desire of Him.’ ‘I then said (i.e. the Holy Prophetsa states), “O Allah, forgive my people, O Allah, forgive my people. And I deferred the third prayer for the day in which all of creation will turn to me [for intercession], including Prophet Abrahamas.”’” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Salat al-Musafirin wa Qasriha, Bab Bayan anna al-Quran…, Translation of Nur Foundation, Vol. 3, pp. 308-309)
One can gauge an understanding of Hazrat Ubayy bin Kaab’sra mastery over the qir‘aat [readings of the Holy Quran] that the Holy Prophetsa himself would recite the entire Holy Quran to him. Thus, the year in which the Holy Prophetsa passed away, he recited the Quran to Hazrat Ubayyra and stated, “Gabriel has told me that I should recite the Quran to Ubayy.” (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 149)
And so, the Holy Prophetsa recited the Holy Quran to Hazrat Ubayyra.
Hazrat Ubayyra would teach the Holy Quran to an Iranian in the blessed era of the Holy Prophetsa. When he taught him the verse,
إِنَّ شَجَرَةَ الزَّقُّوْمِ طَعَامُ الْأَثِيْمِ
The Iranian was not able to properly pronounce the word “atheem” [sinners] and whenever he would recite the word atheem, he would recite it as yateem. Hazrat Ubayyra was very concerned as to how he could teach him. The Holy Prophetsa happened to be passing by and seeing the concern on the face of Hazrat Ubayyra, he stopped. When he heard the discussion he said in Persian, “Try saying it as طَعَامُ الظَّاثِمْ [ta‘amun zathim] this is with a ظ [zaa]. When he tried reciting it in this manner he very clearly said اثيم [atheem]. Thus, when Hazrat Ubayyra read out ظَاثِمْ [zathim] and the Iranian replied saying اثيم [atheem] and was able to pronounce it correctly.
Thereupon, the Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Ubayyra, “Correct his speech according to his own language so that he may learn to recite the Holy Quran correctly, and ensure he pronounces the letters fully, God Almighty will reward you for this.” (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 152)
On one occasion, the Holy Prophetsa was delivering the Friday Sermon and recited Surah Bara‘at. Hazrat Abu Dardara and Hazrat Abu Dharrra did not yet know of this chapter. So during the sermon, they indicated through a gesture to Hazrat Ubayyra in order to ask when this chapter was revealed as they had not yet heard it. Hazrat Ubayyra indicated that they should remain silent.
Upon the completion of prayer, when Hazrat Ubayyra stood up to go home, both of these noble men asked Hazrat Ubayyra why he had not answered their question. Hazrat Ubayyra replied that their prayer that day had become invalidated owing to a vain act. Hearing this, they both went to the Holy Prophetsa and related to him what Hazrat Ubayyra had said. The Holy Prophetsa stated that indeed Hazrat Ubayyra had spoken the truth; in other words, they should not have spoken whilst the [Friday] sermon was being delivered. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 157)
Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab relates:
“The Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘O Abu Munzir, do you know which verse in Allah’s book that has been granted to you is the greatest of all?’ I submitted, ‘Allah and His Messengersa know better.’ The Holy Prophetsa again asked, ‘O Abu Munzir, do you know which verse in Allah’s book that has been granted to you is the greatest of all?’ I gave the same response, but when the Holy Prophetsa asked again, I stated:
اَللّٰهُ لَآ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّوْمُ
[Allah – there is no God but He, the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. (Ch.2: V.256)]
Hazrat Ubayyra states, “The Holy Prophetsa placed his hand upon my chest and stated, ‘By God, O Abu Munzir, may your knowledge be a source of blessing for you.’” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Salat al-Musafirin wa Qasriha, Bab Fadl Surat al-Kahf wa Ayat al-Kursi, Translation of Nur Foundation, Vol. 3, p. 300.)
In other words, the Holy Prophetsa expressed his approval to his answer.
During the blessed lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Ubayyra taught the Holy Quran to Hazrat Tufail bin Amr Dausi, who in return presented him with a bow as a gift. Hazrat Ubayyra took hold of the bow and presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa enquired where he got the bow from and Hazrat Ubayyra submitted that it was a gift from one of his students. The Holy Prophetsa instructed him to return it and to refrain from such gifts. Similarly, another student gifted him a piece of cloth and the Holy Prophetsa gave the same instruction. Thereafter, Hazrat Ubayyra completely abstained from taking anything in return of teaching the Holy Quran.
The people of Syria would learn the Holy Quran from Hazrat Ubayyra and would also get the scribes of Medina to produce copies of the Holy Quran. In return of their services for transcribing the copies of the Quran, they would invite the scribes to eat with them. However, Hazrat Ubayyra would never accept their invitation. Once, Hazrat Umarra enquired from Hazrat Ubayyra regarding the kind of foods eaten in Syria and he replied that he never ate with them and would always eat his own food. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 151-152)
Hazrat Ubayyra participated in all the battles alongside the Holy Prophetsa including the battle of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq [the Ditch]. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2017] 378)
During the Battle of Uhud, Hazrat Ubayyra was struck by an arrow which pierced into his median vein, which carries blood to the head, chest, back and to the hands and feet. Subsequently, the Holy Prophetsa sent a physician to treat him, who then cut the vein and then branded it with his own hand. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 141, 142) (Urdu Lughat, Vol. 22, p. 29, Urdu Lughat Board, Karachi)
There is an incident which took place during the Battle of Uhud, which, although it has been previously narrated, I will briefly mention it again.
After the battle, the Holy Prophetsa instructed Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab to go and assess the conditions of those injured. As he went searching, he came across Hazrat Saad bin Rabira who had been fatally wounded and was breathing his last. Hazrat Ubayyra asked him if he wished for him to convey any message to his relatives and loved ones. Hazrat Saadra smiled and replied that he was hoping a Muslim would walk by so that he could pass onto him his message. He then stated, “Place your hand in mine and promise me that you will certainly convey my message.”
His message was, “Convey my greetings of peace [salam] to my fellow Muslim brethren and tell my people and relatives that the Holy Prophetsa is the most excellent trust which Allah the Almighty has granted to us and we protected this trust with our very lives. Now I depart, but I hand over the responsibility of protecting this trust over to you. Let it not be the case that you show negligence in its protection.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 7, p. 338)
In 9 AH, when Zakat had become obligatory, the Holy Prophetsa appointed various people to different parts of Arabia for its collection. Hazrat Ubayyra was appointed to collect the Zakat from the tribes of Banu Bali, Banu Azar and Banu Saad. One day, Hazrat Ubayyra visited a village and one of the villagers brought out all his animals before Hazrat Ubayyra and stated that he could take any one of them as part of his Zakat. From among the camels, Hazrat Ubayyra selected a two-year old young camel. The individual who was presenting his donation stated that this camel was of no benefit for it could neither produce milk nor be used as a mount. He recommended a different camel to Hazrat Ubayyra which was much healthier and not too aged. Hazrat Ubayyra replied that this was not possible as he could not go against the teachings of the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Ubayyra then advised that it was better for them that they both go to Medina, which was not far from there, and present the matter before the Holy Prophetsa and whatever the Holy Prophetsa instructed, he should do accordingly. Agreeing with the suggestion of Hazrat Ubayyra, they both travelled to Medina with the camel and presented the entire matter before the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa stated that if he wished to donate the bigger camel, he could do so and it would be accepted [as Zakat] and God Almighty would grant him its reward. Thus, he presented the camel to the Holy Prophetsa and left.
During the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, the compilation of the Holy Quran [into book form] was initiated. A committee consisting of [several] companions was formed for this task of which Hazrat Ubayyra was its supervisor. Hazrat Ubayyra would recite the Holy Quran and the companions would write it down. Since this committee comprised of those who were very learned and possessed deep knowledge, occasionally they would have discussion and discourse on certain verses. When the following verse of Surah al-Taubah was being written down:
ثُمَّ انْصَرَفُوْا صَرَفَ اللّٰهُ قُلُوْبَهُمْ بِاَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُوْنَ
[Then they turn away. Allah has turned away their hearts because they are a people who would not understand. (Ch.9: V.127)]
It was mentioned that this was the final verse to be revealed. Hazrat Ubayyra stated that in fact there were two more verses that the Holy Prophetsa taught him after this. Therefore this was not the last verse, rather there were two verses revealed after that as well. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 142)
Hazrat Umarra introduced many beneficial initiatives during his Khilafat, one of which was the formation of a consultative body [Majlis-e-Shura]. The system of Majlis-e-Shura was established during the era of Hazrat Umarra. This consultative body was formed of prominent companions from among the Muhajireen and Ansar and Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab was also its member in representation of the Khazraj tribe. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Isha‘ah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 142-143)
An individual by the name of Jabir or Juwabir states that during the era of Hazrat Umar’sra Khilafat, he went to see Hazrat Umarra in relation to some matter. He states that there was a person who was stood next to Hazrat Umarra who had white hair and was wearing white clothes. The aforementioned individual said, “Verily, the means to attain our objective and the provisions for the hereafter are present in this very world and our deeds in this world shall be rewarded in the hereafter.” Jabir states that he asked, “O Leader of the Faithful, who is this person?” Hazrat Umarra replied, “Ubayyra bin Kaab, the leader of the Muslims.” (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2017] 378, 379)
Abdur Rahman bin Abd Qari narrates that one night, during the month of Ramadan, he went with Hazrat Umarra to the mosque and saw that people were scattered in various groups whilst offering their prayers. Some were offering the prayer on their own, whilst others were offering prayers with a small congregation behind them. Upon seeing this, Hazrat Umarra stated that he deemed it better if everyone was brought together as one congregation behind a single qari [Imam]. Upon making this decision, Hazrat Umarra appointed Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab to lead the congregation. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Salat al-Tarawih, Bab Fadl man Qam Ramadan, Hadith 2010, Translated version, Vol. 3, 680-681, Nazarat-e-Ishaat Rabwah)
In other words, the Muslims were offering their nawafil [voluntary] prayers at night.
Hazrat Ubayyra is among those esteemed companions who had heard a large part of the ahadith [oral traditions] directly from the Holy Prophetsa. Many companions studied ahadith from him and in fact, the majority of his students would comprise of companions. (Even the companions would listen to the ahadith from him.) Hazrat Umarra bin Khattab, Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansarira, Hazrat Ubadah bin Samitra, Hazrat Abu Hurairahra, Hazrat Abu Musa Ash‘arira, Hazrat Anas bin Malikra, Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbasra, Hazrat Sahl bin Saadra and Hazrat Suleman bin Sardra were among those who benefited from Hazrat Ubayy’sra knowledge of ahadith. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 153)
Hazrat Qais bin Ubadahra once came to Medina to meet the companions and states that he found Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab to be of a lofty rank. He states that it was the time for prayer and people had all gathered and Hazrat Umarra was also present. There was a certain matter for which people needed to be given guidance and so after the completion of the prayer, Hazrat Ubayyra stood up and related sayings of the Holy Prophetsa to the people. Their passion and zeal to listen to what he was saying was evident from the way they were all attentively listening to him. Hazrat Ubayy’sra extraordinary status had a left deep impact on Qais. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 154.)
Hazrat Ubayyra would also provide guidance from the Holy Quran in relation to jurisprudential matters. Once, a lady came to the Hazrat Umarra and stated that her husband had passed away while she was expecting and had now given birth.
At the time of his demise, she was expecting but now she had given birth but the period of her iddat had not been completed yet. Iddat is a period of four months and 10 days, which a wife must observe after the demise of her husband.
She was still observing this period when she gave birth. Therefore, she asked whether she should still complete the full period of the iddat or was that enough.
Hazrat Umarra instructed that she should continue to observe the full period of the iddat that had been prescribed for a widow.
Shen then went to Hazrat Ubayyra and enquired about the matter from him as well. She told him about the matter she had presented before Hazrat Umarra and also the verdict he had given.
Hazrat Ubayyra told her to go to Hazrat Umarra and tell him that Ubayy states that she no longer needed to observe the remaining period of the iddat. He also told her that if Hazrat Umarra enquired about him, she should tell him where he was and should come and call for him. The lady went to Hazrat Umarra and so he asked her to call Hazrat Ubayyra. Hazrat Ubayyra came and Hazrat Umarra asked how he had come to this verdict. Hazrat Ubayyra replied that he based it on the Holy Quran and then quoted the following verse:
وَاُولَاتُ الْاَحْمَالِ اَجَلُهُنَّ اَنْ يَّضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ
“And [as for those] who are with child, their period shall be until they are delivered of their burden.”
Hazrat Ubayyra then stated that any lady who was expecting and was widowed would also be counted among them. Hazrat Ubayyra stated that he had also heard a hadith of the Holy Prophetsa regarding this matter as well. Hazrat Umarra then told the lady that she should act in accordance to what Hazrat Ubayyra had said, in other words what he had said was correct.
The house belonging to the Holy Prophet’ssa paternal uncle, Hazrat Abbasra was attached to one side of Masjid-e-Nabwi. Hazrat Umarra wanted to extend the area of the mosque and asked Hazrat Abbasra if he would sell his house so that he could include that area as part of the mosque. Hazrat Abbasra stated that this was not possible.
Hazrat Umarra then asked if he could gift it and again Hazrat Abbasra refused to do so as he was would usually do things in his own way. Hazrat Umarra then asked if he himself would then extend the mosque and this would be a great act for the benefit of the ummah if he was to extend the mosque and include his house as part of it. Hazrat Abbasra replied that this was also not possible. He did not agree to this either.
Hazrat Umarra said, “You will have to accept one of these three options.” Hazrat Abbasra replied, “I agree to none of these options.”
Thus, as the matter remained unresolved, both of them appointed Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab as an arbitrator. Hazrat Ubayyra said to Hazrat Umarra, “What right do you have to take something that he is not content on giving?” and then said, “You cannot take it from him.”
Hazrat Umarra asked Hazrat Ubayyra whether he based his decision on the Holy Quran or a Hadith. Hazrat Ubayyra stated that he based it on a hadith and then stated that when Prophet Solomanas constructed [the temple] in Jerusalem, one of the walls that was built on someone else’s land fell down. Prophet Solomonas received a revelation stating that he should seek permission from the owner before constructing on the land.
Upon hearing this, Hazrat Umarra fell silent. However, Hazrat Abbasra was loyal and sincere and had pledged allegiance to Khilafat and he was overcome with this passion. Although he initially refused, he had, however, a pious and virtuous disposition. He had great honour for the faith and respect for Khilafat which he demonstrated. When Hazrat Umarra agreed to the decision and fell silent, Hazrat Abbasra then said to Hazrat Umarra, “Very well, I will include my home as part of the mosque.” (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 155)
On one occasion, Hazrat Umarra decided to prohibit people from performing Hajj Tamattau‘.
There are three types of Hajj, some youths may not be aware of this: Hajj Tamattau‘ is where one enters into a state of ihram for Umrah before arriving in Mecca. They first perform the Umrah and then come out of the state of ihram. Then on 8 Dhul Hijjah, they will enter into a new state of ihram and perform the Hajj. This is known as Hajj Tamattau‘. The more commonly known form of Hajj is Hajj Mufrid and Hajj Qiran is when one performs the Umrah and Hajj in the same state of Ihram.
Nonetheless, Hazrat Umarra decided to prohibit people from performing Hajj Tamattau‘. Hazrat Ubayyra said, “You have no right to stop people from this.” He subsequently stopped Hazrat Umarra from carrying this out saying that it was wrong to stop them. Thus, Hazrat Umarra abandoned his idea.
On one occasion, Hazrat Umarra decided to prohibit people from wearing cloaks from Heera, which was an area three miles from Kufa towards Najaf. The reason was that urine was added in order to dye the cloth or perhaps they would add animal urine in order to fade the cloth. Hazrat Ubayyra said, “You are not authorised to sanction this because the Holy Prophetsa himself wore clothes of this colour and wore cloaks from there, thus we also wore it during the life of the Holy Prophetsa and there were no issues.” Upon hearing this, Hazrat Umarra remained silent and said that Hazrat Ubayyra was correct. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 156) (Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Mu‘jam al-Buldan, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi] 328) (Fiqh-e-Ahmadiyyah, Vol. 1, pp. 335-336)
During the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra, on one occasion, a disagreement arose between Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Ubayyra over an orchard. Hazrat Ubayyra began to weep and said, “Am I to witness all this in your era?” Hazrat Umarra said, “This was not my intention. You are free to obtain a verdict from any Muslim. As there is a disagreement between us, I will not pass the verdict. You are free to obtain a verdict from anyone else, as I believe that I am in the right.”
Hazrat Ubayyra appointed Zaid bin Thabit as the arbitrator to which Hazrat Umarra agreed. The matter was presented before Hazrat Zaidra. Although Hazrat Umarra was the Islamic Khalifa, yet he came before Hazrat Zaidra as one of the two parties.
Hazrat Umarra rejected the view held by Hazrat Ubayyra [in regard to the orchard]. Hazrat Umarra said, “You seem to have forgotten. Think about it and try to recall.” Hazrat Ubayyra thought about it for a short while and said that he could not recall anything.
Hazrat Umarra then gave details about the entire incident saying that such and such took place. Hazrat Zaidra asked Hazrat Ubayyra what proof he had about his demand. He replied that he did not have any proof.
He said, “I do not have any proof at this point, but do not take an oath from Amir-ul-Momineen.” He said that he did not have any proof but he should not take an oath from Amir-ul-Momineen. Hazrat Umarra stated, “If it is necessary for me to take an oath then I have no hesitation in taking an oath.” Nevertheless, a decision was made regarding the matter. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 145-146)
Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan selected 12 people from among the Quraish and Ansar for the codification [standardisation into a single codex or consonantal text] of the Quran, including Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab and Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2017] 381)
During the era of Hazrat Uthmanra, differences in pronunciation and dialect of the Quran became widespread throughout the Islamic lands. In order to eliminate these differences, Hazrat Uthmanra summoned the companions who recited variant readings and heard all these variants individually. Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab, Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbasra and Hazrat Muaz bin Jabalra all had different dialects. In observing this, Hazrat Uthmanra wished to unite all Muslims upon a single mode of recitation of the Quran. There were twelve people from among the Quraish and Ansar who were extremely proficient in the Quran.
Hazrat Uthmanra assigned this important task to them and appointed Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab as the head of this committee. Hazrat Ubayyra would recite the words of the Quran and Hazrat Zaidra would write them down. All the various codices [manuscripts] of the Quran that are present today are in accordance with the reading of Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 143)
Utai bin Damrah states that he said to Ubayyra bin Kaab:
“What is the matter with the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa; we come from far off places so we can listen to incidents and accounts from you and so we can learn. However, when we come to you, you brush us aside as if we have no standing in your eyes.” Upon this, Ubayyra bin Kaab said, ‘By God! If I am alive until next Friday, I will reveal something to you and I care not whether after listening to what I have to say, you then wish to kill me or let me live.’”
The narrator states, “On the following Friday, I went to Medina and to my surprise, I saw huge crowds of people walking through the streets. I asked the people what was going on, to which one person said, ‘Are you not from this city?’ I replied in the negative. He then said, ‘Today, one of the leaders of the Muslims, Ubayyra bin Kaab has passed away.’”
The narrator then said, “By God! I have not witnessed the manifestation of God’s attribute of Al-Sattar [covering one’s shortcomings] as much as I did for him.” I.e. referring to Ubayyra bin Kaab. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2017] 380)
As he had vowed on oath that he would say something after which he was unsure as to how he would be treated in return for saying that. From what the narrator stated, it seems as though Allah the Almighty saved Hazrat Ubayyra from saying something which, deep down, he did not want to say. Aside from this Allah knows best what is meant by this statement.
Nonetheless, upon hearing of his demise, the narrator stated, “I have not witnessed the manifestation of Gods attribute of Al-Sattar as much as for him (i.e. referring to Ubayyra bin Kaab).”
Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab states in one narration that he completes one reading of the Holy Quran in eight nights. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2017] 379.)
Hazrat Ubayy bin Kaab’sra love for the Holy Prophetsa can be gauged from the following incident.
In Masjid al-Nabawi, the Holy Prophetsa used to deliver the sermon whilst leaning against the trunk of a date-palm tree that was used a pillar. Later, a pulpit was constructed and when the Holy Prophetsa sat on the pulpit to deliver the Friday sermon, a weeping sound resounded from that trunk which was heard by all those that were in the mosque.
The Holy Prophetsa went to that trunk and placing his hand over it, he embraced the trunk. The trunk began to weep profusely, just like an innocent child that needs to be consoled and after a while it became content and the noise coming from it stopped. Subsequently when [part of the] mosque was demolished for reconstruction, Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab took the trunk home, only because the Holy Prophetsa would lean against it. He took the trunk home but later it became withered and was reduced to [wood] dust as termites consumed it. However, he kept the trunk with him owing to his love for the Holy Prophetsa. This is a narration of Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal and some parts of it are from Sahih al-Bukhari. (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad al-Mukathirin min al-Sahabah, Musnad Jabir Abd-Allah Hadith 14075) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Buyu‘, Bab al-Najjar, Hadith 2095) (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab Iqamat al-Salah wa al-Sunnah fiha, Bab ma ja‘a fi Bad’ Sha‘n al-Minbar, Hadith 1414) (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 158)
From among the companions of the Holy Prophetsa, there were six arbitrators [qazis]: Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘udra, Hazrat Zaid bin Thabitra, Hazrat Abu Musa Asharira and Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 1 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2016] 170)
Samurah bin Jundubra was an eminent companion of the Holy Prophetsa. After reciting the takbir [“Allahu Akbar” at the start of prayer] he would pause for a while before reciting a portion [of the Quran]. After reciting “Allahu Akbar”, he would remain silent for a period of time before reciting Surah al-Fatihah. Some people complained about this.
He wrote to Hazrat Ubayyra bin Kaab for him to shed light on this matter. Hazrat Ubayyra wrote a concise reply saying, “Your conduct is in line with the Shariah, therefore there is no harm if you pause. Those who raise allegations against this are in the wrong.” (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 154.)
Hazrat Suwaid bin Ghafalah, Zaid bin Saujan and Sulaiman bin Rabia once travelled for an expedition. When they reached Uzaib, they came across a whip on the ground. Uzaib was the Valley of Banu Tamim where water was found. It was situated between Qadsiyya and Mughithah at a distance of four miles from Qadisiyya.
Nonetheless, Suwaid picked up the whip. The others said to him to leave it as it could belong to another Muslim. Suwaid said he would certainly not leave it as if it remained there it would be eaten by wolves or consumed [by something else], therefore it was better he made use of it.
A few days later, Suwaid left with the intention of performing Hajj. As Medina was en route, he went to see Hazrat Ubayyra and narrated the incident of the whip. Hazrat Ubayyra said, “I was also faced with a similar incident during the life of the Holy Prophetsa. During the time of the Holy Prophetsa, I found 100 dinars.”
Whether it is 100 dinars or a whip, everything found in this manner has its own value as it is a trust [belonging to someone else]. Let us see what the Holy Prophetsa stated in this regard. Hazrat Ubayyra then continued, “The Holy Prophetsa instructed, ‘You ought to continuously make announcements to the people regarding it for one entire year.’ When that year had passed he said, ‘You ought to remember any markings and the amount of money and wait for one more year. If someone comes to collect it and gives the correct identification for it, you ought to hand it over to them, otherwise it will become yours.’” (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 156) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-i-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003] 197)
This means that when one finds something, they ought to wait two years; they ought to continuously make announcements about it for one year and remember its markings or identifications for one more year. If someone comes to collect it giving the correct identification, it should be given to them.
A person was causing a commotion in the mosque stating that he had lost such and such thing. When Hazrat Ubayyra saw this he was displeased. The person said, “I have not uttered anything vile in the mosque.” Hazrat Ubayyra replied, “Indeed that is true; however, it is against the etiquette of a mosque to announce any worldly possession.” (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 157)
There are various narrations with regard to Hazrat Ubayy’sra demise.
According to one narration Hazrat Ubayyra passed away in 22 AH during the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra, whereas according to another narration, he passed away in 30 AH during the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthmanra – this [latter] narration seems more accurate because Hazrat Uthmanra appointed Hazrat Ubayyra for the standardisation of the readings of the Quran. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2017] 381) (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 1 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2001] 35-36)
The names of Hazrat Ubayy’sra children were Tufail and Muhammad and their mother’s name was Umm Tufail bint Tufail, who belonged to the Daus tribe. It is stated that one of Hazrat Ubayy’sra daughters’ name was Umm Amr. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2017] 378)
This concludes the accounts relating to Hazrat Ubayyra.
(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 3 to 9 November 2020, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions)