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Allah says in the Majestic Qur'an, "The Compassionate has rose over the 'Arsh."

Allah says, "Believe in Allah and His Messenger and the light which He sent down."

Every Muslim knows that the key to Paradise is the statement, "There is none worthy of worship except Allah." Yet too many Muslims simply rely upon this statement and believe that as long as they have made this statement, nothing will harm them. They think they will be granted Paradise because of this mere verbal statement of the Shahadah.

Astrology is the study of the relationship between the movements of the stars and their influence on people and events. From an Islamic perspective, Astrology is divided into two branches - polytheistic and lawful.

The Prophet said, "I called people to Islam, everybody thought over it, at least for a while, but this was not the case with Abu Bakr, the moment I put Islam before him, he accepted it without any hesitation."

'Anas said: "I have never witnessed a day better or brighter than that day on which the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam came to us; and I have never witnessed a more awful or darker day than that one on which the Messenger of Allah died on."

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On their way back to Madinah, at a large sand hill, the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam divided the spoils equally among the fighters after he had taken al-khums (one-fifth). When they reached as-Safra', he ordered that two of the prisoners should be killed. They were an-Nadr ibn al-Harith and 'Uqbah ibn Abi Mu'ayt, because they had persecuted the Muslims in Makkah, and harboured deep hatred towards Allah and His Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. In a nutshell, they were criminals of war in modern terminology, and their execution was an awesome lesson to oppressors. 'Uqbah forgot his pride and cried out, "Who will look after my children O Messenger of Allah?" The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam answered, "The Fire (of Hell)." Did 'Uqbah not remember the day when he had thrown the entrails of a sheep onto the head of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam while he was prostrating himself in prayer, and Fatimah had come and washed it off him? He had also strangled the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam with his cloak if it had not been for Abu Bakr to intervene and release the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. The heads of both criminals were struck off by 'Ali ibn Abi Talib.

The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam exhorted the Muslims to treat the prisoners so well to such an extent that the captors used to give the captives their bread (the more valued part of the meal) and keep the dates for themselves.

Prisoners of war constituted a problem awaiting resolution because it was a new phenomenon in the history of Islam. The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam consulted Abu Bakr and 'Umar ibn al-Khattab as to what he should do with the prisoners. Abu Bakr suggested that he should ransom them, explaining this by saying: "They are after all our relatives, and this money would give us strength against the disbelievers, moreover, Allah could guide them to Islam." 'Umar advised killing them, saying, "They are the leaders of kufr (disbelief)." The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam preferred Abu Bakr's suggestion to that of 'Umar's. The following day, 'Umar called on the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr to see them weeping. He showed extreme astonishment and inquired about the situation so that he might weep if it was worth weeping for, or else he would feign weeping.

"It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land. You desire the good of this world (i.e. the money of ransom for freeing the captives), but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe torment would have touched you for what you took." [Al-Qur'an 8:67-68]

The previous Divine ordainment went as follows:

"Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom) or ransom." [Al-Qur'an 47:4]]

Which included an area providing permission to take ransom, that is why no penalty was imposed. They were rebuked only for taking prisoners before subduing all the land of disbelief. Apart from this, the polytheists taken to Madinah were not only prisoners of war but rather archcriminals of war whom modern war penal law brings to justice to receive their due sentence of death or prison for life.

The ransom for the prisoners ranged between 4000 and 1000 dirhams in accordance with the captive's financial situation. Another form of ransom assumed an educational dimension; most of the Makkans, unlike the Madinese, were literate and so each prisoner who could not afford the ransom was entrusted with ten children to teach them the art of writing and reading. Once the child had been proficient enough, the instructor would be set free. Another clan of prisoners were released unransomed on grounds of being hard up. Zaynab, the daughter of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, paid the ransom of her husband Abul-'As with a necklace. The Muslims released her prisoner and returned the necklace in deference to the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam but on condition that Abul-'As allow Zaynab to migrate to Madinah, which he actually did.

In captivity, there was also an eloquent orator called Suhayl ibn 'Amr. 'Umar suggested that they pull out his front teeth to disable him from speaking, but the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam turned down his suggestion for fear Quraysh should retaliate in the same manner on one hand, and on the other for fear of Allah's Wrath on the Day of Resurrection.

Sa'd ibn an-Nu'man, a lesser pilgrim detained in Makkah, was released in return for setting Abu Sufyan's son, a captive, free.

The Story of the 600-700 Jews Beheaded by the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam at Banu Qurayzah in 5H

The Banu Qurayzah was a tribe of Jews in a district of Madinah that betrayed the Muslims and sided with the enemy during the Battle of Ahzab (also known as the Battle of the Confederates and the Battle of the Trench). The Sealed Nectar describes what happened to them immediately after the Battle of Ahzab:

Archangel Gabriel, on the very day the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam came back to Madinah after the previous battle, and while he was washing in 'Umm Salamah's house, visited him asking that he should unsheathe his sword and head for the habitation of the seditious Banu Qurayzah nd fight them. Gabriel noted that he with a procession of angels would go ahead to shake their forts and cast fear in their hearts.

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, immediately summoned the prayer caller and ordered him to announce fresh hostilities against Banu Qurazyah, institued Ibn 'Umm Makhtum as a ruler of Madinah, and entrusted the banner of war to 'Ali ibn Abi Talib who marched towards the appointed target and came close enough to hear the Jews abusing the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, who on his part set out at the head of three thousand infantry men and thirty horsemen of Ansar (Helpers) and Muhajirin (Emigrants). On their way to encounter the enemy, the afternoon prayer was due. Some Muslims refused to observe it until they had defeated the enemy, while others offered it in its proper time, as usual. The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam objected to neither. When they reached the habitations of Banu Qurayzah, they laid tight siege to their forts. Seeing this terrible situation they were in, the chief of the Jews Ka'b bin Asad offered them three alternatives: to embrace Islam, and consequently their life, wealth, women and children would be in full security, and reminded them that such behaviour would not be incongruous with what they had read in their books about the veracity of Muhammad's Prophethood; to kill their children and women and then challenge the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam and his followers to the sword to either exterminate the Muslims or be exterminated, or as a third possibility to take Muhammad sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam and his people by surprise on Saturday - a day mutually understood to witness no fighting.

None of those alternatives appealed them, so their chief, angrily and indignantly, turned to them saying: "You have never been decisive in decision-making since you were born." The gloomy future already visible, they made contacts with some Muslims, who had maintained good relation with them, in order to learn about their fate in the light of the current circumstances. They requested that Abu Lubaba be despatched to them for advice. On his arrival, the men began to implore, women and children to cry desperately. In answer to their demand for advice he pointed to his throat saying it was homicide awaiting them. He then immediately realized that he had betrayed the Prophet's trust, so he headed directly for the mosque in Madinah and tied himself to a wooden tall pole swearing that no one would untie him save the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and added that he would never enter the habitation of Banu Qurayzah in recompense for the deadly mistake he made. When the Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam was informed of this incident, he said, "I would have begged Allah to forgive him if he had asked me, but since he had tied himself out of his own free will, then it was Allah Who would turn to him in forgiveness."

The Jews of Banu Qurayzah could have endured the siege much longer because food and water were plentifully available and their strongholds were greatly fortified, whereas the Muslims were in the wild bare land suffering a lot from cold and hunger, let alone too much fatigue consequent on endless warfare operations that had started even before the battle of Confederates. Nevertheless, this was a battle of nerves, for Allah had cast fear in the the Jews' hearts, and their morale had almost collapsed especially when two Muslim heroes, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib and az-Zubayr ibn a'-'Awwam proceeded with 'Ali swearing that he would never stop until he had either stormed their garrisons or been martyred like Hamzah (a former Muslim martyr).

In the light of this reluctance, they had nothing except to comply with the Messenger's judgement. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam ordered that the men should be handcuffed, and this was done under the supervision of Muhammad ibn Salamah al-Ansari while the women and children were isolated in confinement. Thereupon al-Aws tribe interceded begging the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam to be lenient toward them. He suggested that Sa'd ibn Mu'adh, a former ally, be deputed to give verdict about them, and they agreed.

Sa'd meanwhile stayed behind in Madinah due to a serious wound he sustained in the Confederates Battle. He was summoned and brought on a donkey. On his way to the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, the Jews used to exhort him to be lenient in his judgement on account of former friendship. Sa'd remained silent but when they persisted he uttered: "It is time for Sa'd not to be afraid of the blame of the blamers." On hearing this decisive attitude, some of them returned to Madinah waiting for a desperate doom.

On arrival, he alighted with the help of some men. He was informed that the Jews had agreed to accept his verdict about them. He immediately wondered if his judgement would pass on all the people present, the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam included, turning his face away in honour of him. The reply was positive.

He decided that all the able-bodied male persons belonging to the tribe should be killed, women and children taken prisoners and their wealth divided among the Muslim fighters. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam accepted his judgement saying that Sa'd had adjudged by the Command of Allah. In fact, the Jews deserved that severe punitive action for the ugly treachery they had harboured against Islam, and the large arsenal they have amassed and which consisted of one thousand and five hundred swords, two thousand spears, three hundred armours and five hundred shields, all of which went into the hands of the Muslims. Trenches were dug in the bazar of Madinah and a number of Jews between six and seven hundred were beheaded therein. Hot beds of intrigue and treachery were thus exterminated once and for all..

Huyai, a chief criminal of war, a devil of Bani Nadir and Safiyah's father, had joined the ranks of Banu Qurayzah when Quraysh and Ghatfan defected, was admitted into the audience of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam with his hands tied to his neck with a rope. In audacious defiance, he declared obstinate enmity to the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam but admitted that Allah's Will was to be fulfilled and added that he was resigned to his fate. He was ordered to sit down, and was beheaded on the spot.

Only one woman of the Jews was killed because she had killed a Muslim warrior by flinging a grinding stone upon him. A few elements of the enemy embraced Islam and their lives, wealth and children were spared. As for the spoils of the war, the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam divided them, after putting a fifth aside, in accordance with Allah's injunctions. Three shares went to the horseman and one to the infantry fighter. Women captives were sent to Najd to be bartered with horses and weaponry.

After the war with Banu Qurayzah had been settled and they had been defeated, Sa'd ibn Mu'adh's wish was gratified and he gave his last breath. In response to his supplication 'A'ishah narrated, Sa'd's wounds began to bleed from the front part of his neck while he was in his tent which the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam had pitched for him in the mosque so that he would be in close proximity in order to inquire about and watch his well-being closely. The people were not scared except when the blood flowed towards them, and in the mosque along with Sa'd's tent, there was the tent of Banu Ghifar. They said: O people of the tent, what is it that is coming to us from you? Lo! it was Sa'd's wound that was bleeding and he died thereon.

Jabir narrated that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam had said: "The Throne of the Compassionate shook for the death of Sa'd ibn Mu'adh." When his bier was carried, at-Tirmidhi said: The hypocrites alleged it was too light. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam retorted: "The angels are carrying him."

In the process of the sieze laid to Banu Qurayzah, one man of the Muslims, Khalid ibn Suwayd was killed when a women of the Jews dropped the grinding stone on him, and another, Abu Sinan ibn Mihsan, the brother of 'Ukashah, died.

Abu Lubaba stayed tied for six nights. His wife used to untie him at prayer times and then he tied himself again to the pole. One early morning, Allah the All-Forgiving revealed a verse to the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam to the effect that Allah had turned to Abu Lubaba with forgiveness. The Muslims rushed to release him but he insisted that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam himself do it. And this was done shortly before the morning prayer.

This military expedition took place in the month of Dhul-Qa'dah in the year five hijri (5H), and the siege of Banu Qurayzah lasted for 25 days. The Chapter of Confederates (Al-Qur'an, Surah 33) was revealed containing Allah's Words concerning the basic issues relating to the believers and hypocrites during the battle of the Confederates, and the consequences of the treachery and breaching of covenants by the Jews.

(s) Excerpt from Ar-Rahiq al-Makhtum

Bilal was a black slave belonging to 'Umayyah ibn Khalaf. He was tall, thin and slightly hump-backed. Thick grayish hair crowned his head. He moved about silently - speaking only in reply. He was born to two slave parents, making him a slave. He used to travel to ash-Sham for 'Umayyah's trading caravan, braving the bitter cold of winter and the extreme heat of summer. His only recompense was a handful of dates each day that he ate to strengthen his body. At his master's house he would serve the guests while going hungry. He was overworked and mistreated as were 'Umayyah's other slaves.

Bilal would often hear about Muhammad sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and Islam, through the alarming dicussions between his master and guests. Soon he felt drawn to this religion. He would listen to Abu Bakr calling to Islam, and slowly his heart was filled with 'iman. He went with Abu Bakr to the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam and declared his submission to Islam. This was a daring move from a slave who belonged to a staunch enemy of Muhammad. He was the seventh person to accept Islam. Abu Bakr and others of the same tribal status, were spared from harm by the Quraysh. However, the wrath of the disbelievers fell upon the Muslims who had no tribe to defend them. 'Umayyah ibn Khalaf used to force Bilal to go outside during the hottest part of the day wearing a suit of armour where he would then be thrown face down in the sand and leave him to bake in the sun. He would not return except to turn him on his back. He owuld have a gigantic rock placed on his chest and then say, "You will stay here until you die or deny Muhammad and worship al-Lat and al-'Uzzah." Bilal used to endure this only by saying, "One, One." Abu Bakr passed by one day while they were torturing him. He said to 'Umayyah, "Have you no fear of Allah that you treat this poor man like this?" 'Umayyah replied, "You are the one who corrupted him, so you save him from his plight!" Abu Bakr replied, "Then sell him to me, you can state your price." 'Umayyah who was not to let a good deal pass by, sold Bilal, he added, "I would have sold him to you even if you had offered me but an ounce of gold." Abu Bakr answered, "I would have bought him even if you asked a hundred ounces." Abu Bakr and Bilal went to the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam with the good news. There he announed, "I am setting Bilal free, O Messenger of Allah." This greatly pleased the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam not to mention Bilal himself.

When the Muslims were settled in Madinah, Islam became firmly established - salah, zak'at and fasting were instituted. In the beginning, Muslims gathered for salah at the appointed times without being summoned. Later the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam thought about using a trunpet like that the Jews used to summon to salah. He disliked the idea and ordered a clapper to be made to be beaten at salah times.

Then 'Abdullah ibn Zayd came to him and said, "O Messenger of Allah, I had a dream last night. A man wearing two green garments came to me holding a bell, so I offered to buy it. When he asked me what I wanted it for, I told him that it was to summon people to salah, whereupon he offered to show me a better way. It was to say four times, 'Allahu Akbar', then to say twice, 'ash-shadu alla ilaha illa Allah', then twice, 'ash-hadu anna Muhammad ur-rasulullah', then twice, 'hayyah 'alas-salah', then twice, 'hayyah 'alal-falah', then 'Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, laa ilaha illa Allah.' "

"It is a true vision insha'Allah," said the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam adding, "Go and teach it to Bilal for he has a more beautiful and far reaching voice." For the first time Madinah resonated with the adhan as Bilal was saying it. It was only fitting that the one who uttered the word of Tawhid under the harshest of torture should utter it during the adhan. When 'Umar heard the adhan he rushed to the Prophet and said, "By the One Who has sent you with the Truth I had the same dream about it!" "Revelation has already preceded you," replied the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam.

Badr was a day etched in Bilal's memory. Quraysh was inflicted a heavy defeat and many were taken prisoner. Among them was 'Umayyah. When Bilal saw him, the memories of what he, and other Muslims, has endured in Makkah came rushing back to him. He exclaimed, "The arch-enemy of Allah - 'Umayyah ibn Khalaf! May I not live if he lives!" Now 'Umayyah was 'Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf's prisoner, and this fact dissuaded Bilal from attacking 'Umayyah himself. But, because Bilal kept crying these words, one of the Sahabah killed Umayyah with his sword.

The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam entered the conquest of Makkah not as a proud conquerer, but as a humble servant of Allah. He bowed his so low that it almost touched his mount. After he ordered that all idols be destroyed, he stood at the door of the Ka'bah and said, "There is no god but Allah alone. He has no associate ... O Quraysh, Allah has taken you from the haughtiness of jahiliyyah and its veneration of ancestors. Man springs from Adam and Adam sprang from dust," then he recited verses from the Qur'an until he said, "Verily the most noble of you in Allah's sight is the most pious." [Al-Qur'an 49:13] He ordered Bilal to make the adhan on the rooftop of the Kab'ah. Hearing his voice, a disbeliever exclaimed, "Look at this black man!" His friend replied, "When Allah hates someone he turns him to the worst." Histroy however attests that Bilal occupied a distinguised position among the Prophet's Companions. 'Umar would often say, "Abu Bakr is our master and he freed our master." Meaning Bilal. But Bilal would say, "I am only a man who used to be a slave."

Bilal was mu'adhin (the caller to salah) during the time of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. After he would make adhan, he would stand at the Prophet's door and say, "Hayyah 'alas-salah, hayyah 'alal-falah, the salah O Messenger of Allah." The sweet days with the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam soon came to an end. Everyone in Madinah wept over the death of the dearest man ever on the earth. Bilal was aked to make adhan before the burial of the Prophet. He started the call, "Allahu Akbar ... ", but when he came to the name of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam he was sobbing so heavily, he could not continue. He said, "By Allah I will not say the adhan anymore."

Bilal asked the Khalifah, Abu Bakr, to allow him to go to ash-Sham for jihad, he spent the rest of his life there. He made adhan only twice since then. The first was when 'Umar came to ash-Sham. The second was when he visited the tomb of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam in Madinah. Upon hearing his voice, people started to cry for it reminded them of the days of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam.

On his death bed, Bilal's last words were, "Tomorrow you will meet you loved ones, Muhammad and his Companions." He died in Aleppo at the age of sixty four. His memory is still alive with us today whenever we hear the adhan.

(s) Al-Jumu'ah magazine

"An Abi Hurayrata, radiallahu 'anhu, qal qala rasulallahi, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam ... "

Through this phrase millions of Muslims from the early history of Islam to the present have come to be familiar with the name Abu Hurayrah. In speeches and lectures, in Friday khutbahs and seminars, in the books of hadith and sirah, fiqh and 'ibadah, the name Abu Hurayrah is mentioned in this fashion:

"On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him who said: The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said ... "

Through his prodigious efforts, hundreds of ahadith or sayings of the Prophet were transmitted to later generations. His is the foremost name in the roll of hadith transmitters. Next to him comes the names of such companions as 'Abdullah the son of 'Umar, 'Anas the son of Malik, 'Umm al-Mu'minin 'A'aishah, Jabir ibn 'Abdullah and Abu Sa'id al-Khudri all of whom transmitted over a thousand sayings of the Prophet.

Abu Hurayrah became a Muslim at the hands of at-Tufayl ibn 'Amr the chieftain of the Daws tribe to which he belonged. The Daws lived in the region of Tihamah which stretches along the coast of the Red Sea in southern Arabia. When at-Tufayl returned to his village after meeting the Prophet and becoming a Muslim in the early years of his mission, Abu Hurayrah was one of the first to respond to his call. He was unlike the majority of the Daws who remained stubborn in their old beliefs for a long time.

When at-Tufayl visited Makkah again, Abu Hurayrah accompanied him. There he had the honor and privilege of meeting the noble Prophet who asked him: "What is your name?"

"'Abdus-Shams - Servant of a Sun," he replied.

"Instead, let it be 'Abdur-Rahman - the Servant of the Beneficent Lord," said the Prophet.

"Yes, 'Abdur-Rahman (it shall be) O Messenger of Allah," he replied. However, he continued to be known as Abu Hurayrah, "the kitten man", literally "the father of a kitten" because like the Prophet he was fond of cats and since his childhood often had a cat to play with.

Abu Hurayrah stayed in Tihamah for several years and it was only at the beginning of the seventh year of the Hijrah that he arrived in Madinah with others of his tribe. The Prophet had gone on a campaign to Khaybar. Being destitute, Abu Hurayrah took up his place in the Masjid with other of the Ahlus-Suffah. He was single, without wife or child. With him however was his mother who was still a mushrik. He longed, and prayed, for her to become a Muslim but she adamantly refused. One day, he invited her to have faith in Allah alone and follow His Prophet but she uttered some words about the Prophet which saddened him greatly. With tears in his eyes, he went to the noble Prophet who said to him:

"What makes you cry, O Abu Hurayrah?"

"I have not let up in inviting my mother to Islam but she has always rebuffed me. Today, I invited her again and I heard words from her which I do not like. Do make supplication to Allah Almighty to make the heart of Abu Hurayrah's mother incline to Islam."

The Prophet responded to Abu Hurayrah's request and prayed for his mother. Abu Hurayrah said:

"I went home and found the door closed. I heard the splashing of water and when I tried to enter my mother said, 'Stay where you are, O Abu Hurayrah.' And after putting on her clothes, she said, 'Enter!' I entered and she said, 'I testify that there is no Allah but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger.'

"I returned to the Prophet, peace be on him, weeping with joy just as an hour before I had gone weeping from sadness and said, 'I have good news, O Messenger of Allah. Allah has responded to your prayer and guided the mother of Abu Hurayrah to Islam.' "

Abu Hurayrah loved the Prophet a great deal and found favor with him. He was never tired of looking at the Prophet whose face appeared to him as having all the radiance of the sun and he was never tired of listening to him. Often he would praise Allah for his good fortune and say:

"Praise be to Allah Who has guided Abu Hurayrah to Islam."

"Praise be to Allah Who has taught Abu Hurayrah the Qur'an."

"Praise be to Allah who has bestowed on Abu Hurayrah the companionship of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace."

On reaching Madinah, Abu Hurayrah set his heart on attaining knowledge. Zayd ibn Thabit the notable companion of the Prophet reported:

"While Abu Hurayrah and I and another friend of mine were in the Masjid praying to Allah Almighty and performing dhikr to Him, the Messenger of Allah appeared. He came towards us and sat among us. We became silent and he said: "Carry on with what you were doing."

"So my friend and I made a supplication to Allah before Abu Hurayrah did and the Prophet began to say amin to our du'a.

"Then Abu Hurayrah made a supplication saying, 'O Lord, I ask You for what my two companions have asked and I ask You for knowledge which will not be forgotten.'

"The Prophet, peace be on him, said, 'Amin.' We then said, 'And we ask Allah for knowledge which will not be forgotten,' and the Prophet replied, 'The Dawsi youth has asked for this before you.' "

With his formidable memory, Abu Hurayrah set out to memorize in the four years that he spent with the Prophet, the gems of wisdom that emanated from his lips. He realized that he had a great gift and he set about to use it to the full in the service of Islam.

He had free time at his disposal. Unlike many of the Muhajirin he did not busy himself in the market-places, with buying and selling. Unlike many of the Ansar, he had no land to cultivate nor crops to tend. He stayed with the Prophet in Madinah and went with him on journeys and expeditions.

Many companions were amazed at the number of hadith he had memorized and often questioned him on when he had heard a certain hadith and under what circumstances.

Once Marwan ibn al-Hakam wanted to test Abu Hurayrah's power of memory. He sat with him in one room and behind a curtain he placed a scribe, unknown to Abu Hurayrah, and ordered him to write down whatever Abu Hurayrah said. A year later, Marwan called Abu Hurayrah again and asked him to recall the same ahadith which the scribe had recorded. It was found that he had forgotten not a single word.

Abu Hurayrah was concerned to teach and transmit the ahadith he had memorized and knowledge of Islam in general. It is reported that one day he passed through the suq of Madinah and naturally saw people engrossed in the business of buying and selling.

"How feeble are you, O people of Madinah!" he said.

"What do you see that is feeble in us, Abu Hurayrah?" they asked.

"The inheritance of the Messenger of Allah, peace be on him, is being distributed and you remain here! Won't you go and take your portion?"

"Where is this, O Abu Hurayrah?" they asked.

"In the Masjid," he replied.

Quickly they left. Abu Hurayrah waited until they returned. When they saw him, they said: "O Abu Hurayrah, we went to the Masjid and entered and we did not see anything being distributed."

"Didn't you see anyone in the Masjid?" he asked.

"O yes, we saw some people performing Salat, some people reading the Qur'an and some people discussing about what is halal and what is haram."

"Woe unto you," replied Abu Hurayrah,"that is the inheritance of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace."

Abu Hurayrah underwent much hardship and difficulties as a result of his dedicated search for knowledge. He was often hungry and destitute. He said about himself:

"When I was afflicted with severe hunger, I would go to a companion of the Prophet and asked him about an ayah of the Qur'an and (stay with him) learning it so that he would take me with him to his house and give food.

"One day, my hunger became so severe that I placed a stone on my stomach. I then sat down in the path of the companions. Abu Bakr passed by and I asked him about an ayah of the Book of Allah. I only asked him so that he would invite me but he didn't.

"Then 'Umar ibn al-Khattab passed by me and I asked him about an ayah but he also did not invite me. Then the Messenger of Allah, peace be on him, passed by and realized that I was hungry and said,

'Abu Hurayrah!'

"'At your command,' I replied and followed him until we entered his house. He found a bowl of milk and asked his family:

'From where did you get this?'

"'Someone sent it to you,' they replied. He then said to me:

'O Abu Hurayrah, go to the Ahlus-Suffah and invite them.'

"I did as I was told and they all drank from the milk."

The time came of course when the Muslims were blessed with great wealth and material goodness of every description. Abu Hurayrah eventually got his share of wealth. He had a comfortable home, a wife and child. But this turn of fortune did not change his personality. Neither did he forget his days of destitution. He would say, "I grew up as an orphan and I emigrated as a poor and indigent person. I used to take food for my stomach from Busrah bint Ghazwan. I served people when they returned from journeys and led their camels when they set out. Then Allah caused me to marry her (Busrah). So praise be to Allah who has strengthened his religion and made Abu Hurayrah an Imam." (This last statement is a reference to the time when he became governor of Madinah)

Much of Abu Hurayrah's time would be spent in spiritual exercises and devotion to Allah. Qiyam al-Layl staying up for the night in prayer and devotion - was a regular practice of his family including his wife and his daughter. He would stay up for a third of the night, his wife for another third and his daughter for a third. In this way, in the house of Abu Hurayrah no hour of the night would pass without 'ibadah, dhikr and Salat.

During the caliphate of 'Umar, 'Umar appointed him as governor of Bahrain. 'Umar was very scrupulous about the type of persons whom he appointed as governors. He was always concerned that his governors should live simply and frugally and not acquire much wealth even though this was through lawful means.

In Bahrain, Abu Hurayrah became quite rich. 'Umar heard of this and recalled him to Madinah. 'Umar thought he had acquired his wealth through unlawful means and questioned him about where and how he had acquired such a fortune. Abu Hurayrah replied: "From breeding horses and gifts which I received."

"Hand it over to the treasury of the Muslims," ordered 'Umar.

Abu Hurayrah did as he was told and raised his hands to the heavens and prayed: "O Lord, forgive the Amir al-Mu'minin." Subsequently, 'Umar asked him to become governor once again but he declined. 'Umar asked him why he refused and he said:

"So that my honor would not be besmirched, my wealth taken and my back beaten."

And he added: "And I fear to judge without knowledge and speak without wisdom."

Throughout his life Abu Hurayrah remained kind and courteous to his mother. Whenever he wanted to leave home, he would stand at the door of her room and say: "As-salamu alaykum, yaa ummatah, wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu, peace be on you, mother, and the mercy and blessings of Allah." She would reply: "Wa alayka as-salam, yaa bunayya, wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu - And on you be peace, my son, and the mercy and blessings of Allah." Often, he would also say: "May Allah have mercy on you as you cared for me when I was small," and she would reply: "May Allah have mercy on you as you delivered me from error when I was old." Abu Hurayrah always encouraged other people to be kind and good to their parents.

One day he saw two men walking together, one older than the other. He asked the younger one: "What is this man to you?"

"My father," the person replied.

"Don't call him by his name. Don't walk in front of him and don't sit before him," advised Abu Hurayrah.

Muslims owe a debt of gratitude to Abu Hurayrah for helping to preserve and transmit the valuable legacy of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He died in the year 59H when he was seventy-eight years old.


Undoubtedly the family of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) enjoy a high status and level of respect from Ahlus-Sunnah wa'l-Jama'ah, who honour the rights which Allah has prescribed for Ahlul-Bayt (the family of the last Prophet). They love them and regard them as friends, and they the recommendations of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam), which he spoke of on the day of Ghadir Khum:

"I remind you of Allah concerning the members of my household."
[Muslim, Kitab Fada'il as-Sahabah, hadith no. 2408]

They are the happiest of people to take this advice and follow it; they reject the way of the Rawafid who go to extremes concerning members of the Prophet's family, and the way of the Nawasib who insult them and hate them. Ahlus-Sunnah are unaminously agreed that it is obligatory to love Ahlul-Bayt and it is haram to offend them or mistreat them in word or deed. {qluetip title=[1]}Al-'Aqidah fi Ahlul-Bayt bayna al-Ifrat wa't-Tafrit, p. 59{/qluetip} 'Umar (radhiallahu 'anhu) demonstrated and explained to us the belief of Ahlus-Sunnah concerning Ahlul-Bayt in the way in which he dealt and interacted with them.