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The Lives of the Sahabah

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The Weeping of the Sahabah


These narrations relate instances of the Sahabah weeping when in Salat; in recitation of Qur’an as well as when contemplating matters of the Aakhira. This is in stark contrast to our hardened hearts. The hearts of the Sahabah were as described in the following verse of Surah Al-Anfal.




The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely {Surah Al-Anfal, verse 2).

The Weeping of Umar (RA)


Hasan bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Abi Taalib (RA) states that during the Friday sermon, Umar (RA) used to recite the Surah Takweer until he reached the verse:


A soul will [then] know what it has brought [with it]. {Surah Takweer, verse 14}


At this point, his voice would stop (because of his excessive weeping).


Ubayd bin umayr (RA) reports that Umar (RA) once led them in the Fajr salaah and started reciting Surah Yusuf. However, he started weeping and had to stop when he reached the verse:


(Referring to Ya'qoob AS, Allaah says): And he turned away from them and said, "Oh, my sorrow over Joseph," and his eyes became white from grief, for he was [of that] a suppressor. {Surah Yusuf, verse 84}


Abdullah bin Shaddaad bin Haad narrates that even while standing in the last rows of the congregation he could hear the sobbing of Umar (RA) during the Fajr salaah. Umar (RA) was reciting Surah Yusuf and (because of his excessive weeping, he had to stop when he) reached the verse:


He said, "I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you do not know.{Surah Yusuf, verse 86}


The Weeping of Mu'aadh (RA)


Abdullaah bin Umar (RA) narrates that Umar (RA) once passed by Mu'aadh bin Jabal (RA) who was weeping. 'What makes you weep?" Umar (RA) enquired. Mu'aadh (RA) replied, A Hadith that I heard from Rasululaah SCW (which states that); 'Indeed the tiniest amount of ostentation is tantamount to Shirk and the people most beloved to Allaah are those with Taqwa who are anonymous. They are those who will not be missed if they are not there and will not be recognised when they are present. These people are the torchbearers of guidance and the beacons of knowledge."


The Weeping of Abdullaah bin Umar


Naafi reports that there was not a single occasion when Abdullaah bin Umar (RA) did not weep when reciting the following verses of Surah Baqarah:


Whether you show what is within yourselves or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it. Then He will forgive whom He wills and punish whom He wills, and Allah is over all things competent. {Surah Baqarah, verse 284}


He would then say, ''Verily, this accountability is a grave matter.


Naafi also reports that Abdullaah bin Umar (RA) would cry uncontrollably whenever he recited the verse:


Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? {Surah Hadeed, verse 16}


The Weeping of Abdullaah bin Abbaas RA


Abdullaah bin Abu Mulaykah says, "I accompanied Abdullaah bin Abbaas ~ from Makkah to Madinah and wherever he set up camp,he stood in salaah for half the night." When Ayyoob asked him what Abdullaah bin Abbaas' recitation of the Qur'aan was like, he replied, "He once cried painfully as he continuously recited the following verse with slow intonation;



And the intoxication of death will bring the truth; that is what you were trying to avoid.{Surah Qaaf, verse 19}


Abu Rajaa (RA) says, ''The lines on the face of Abdullaah bin Abbaas (RA) where his tears ran resembled two old shoe straps."


The Weeping of Abu Hurayrah (RA)


Muslim bin Bishr reports that when Abu Hurayrah (RA) was weeping during his illness (before his death), someone asked him what it was that made him weep. He replied, "Take note that it is not for this world of yours that I am weeping. I am weeping because of the long journey ahead and the deficiency of my provisions. I have now climbed a rise that leads down either to ]annah or to Jahannam and I know not towards which of the two I shall be heading."

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Tawakkul (Trust in Allaah) of the Sahabah RA


These narrations relate the complete trust and reliance the Sahabah had in Allaah SWT. Tawakkul is such an importance concept in Islam which we should all strive to achieve. As Allaah SWT says: ‘And upon Allah let those who would rely [indeed] rely’(Surah Ibrahim, verse 12).


The Tawakkul of Ameerul Mu'mineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (RA)


Yahya bin Murrah narrates, "When Ali (RA) used to go to the Masjid at night to perform Nafl salaah, we would also go with him to guard him. After completing his salaah, he would ask us, 'What are you sitting here for?' When we informed him that we were there to guard him, he asked, 'Is it against the inhabitants of the heavens that you are guarding me or against the inhabitants of the earth?' 'Only from the inhabitants of the earth,' we submitted. He then said, 'Nothing happens on earth until it is decided in the heavens. There are two angels assigned to every person who protect and guard him. However, when a predestined matter arrives, they leave him to it. I therefore have a fortified shield from Allaah which will leave me only when death arrives. No person can taste the sweetness of Imaan until he is convinced that whatever (difficulty) afflicts him would never have passed him by and whatever (good) passes him by would never have come to him in the first place. (Abu Dawood and Ibn Asaakir)


The Tawakkul of Abdullaah bin Mas'ood (RA)


Abu Dhabiyya reports that when Abdullaah bin Mas'ood (RA) was on his deathbed, Uthmaan bin Afaan (RA) visited him. ''What is the problem?" Uthmaan (RA) asked. "My problem is my sins," Abdullah bin Mas'ood (RA) replied. Uthmaan (RA) asked further, "What do you wish for?" Abdullaah bin Mas'ood (RA) replied, "For the mercy of my Rabb." Uthmaan (RA) then asked, "Should I not have a physician see you?" (Referring to the fact that Allaah Is the greatest of curers,) Abdullaah bin Mas'ood (RA) said, "It was the physician (Allaah) Who gave me the illness." Uthmaan (RA) further asked, "Should I then not have an allowance fixed." "I have no need for an allowance," Abdullaah bin Mas'ood (RA) assured him. "But it would belong to your daughters after your demise," Uthmaan (RA) explained. "Do you fear that my daughters would suffer poverty after my death?" Abdullaah bin Mas'ood (RA) asked in surprise. He then continued, "I have instructed my daughters to recite Surah waaqi'ah every night because I have heard Rasulullaah SCW say that poverty shall never ever afflict the person who recites Surah waaqi'ah every night. (Ibn Asaakir, as quoted in the Tafseer of lbn Katheer (VolA Pg.281).

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Imaan (Belief) In Allaah SWT and His Attributes


A Sahabi Recites Surah Ikhlaas in Abundance


Aa'isha (RA) narrates that a Sahabi whom Rasulullaah SCW dispatched as commander of an expedition used to lead his companions in Salaah but would always conclude (the Rakaah) by reciting Surah Ikhlaas. When they returned and reported this to Rasulullaah SCW, he told them to ask him why he did this. When they asked him, he replied, "(I recite it so often) Because it discusses the attributes of Ar Rahmaan. I therefore love to recite it." Rasulullaah then told the Sahabah, "Inform him that Allaah loves him as well." (Bayhaqi in his Asmaa was Sifaat (Pg.208), as quoted by Bukhaari and Muslim as well)


The Narration of Hadhrat Aa'isha RA concerning the Lady who Debated


Aa'isha RA said, "All praise belongs to Allaah Who hears everything. The Mujaadalah (the lady who debated) came to speak with Rasulullaah SCW and although I was in the corner of the room, I heard nothing. Allaah then revealed the verse:



Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah . And Allah hears your dialogue; indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing. (Surah Mujadila, verse 1)


Aa'isha RA said, "Blessed is that Allaah Whose hearing captures everything. As I was listening to Khowla bint Tha'laba complain to Rasulullaah SCW about her husband, there were words that I could not hear. '0 Rasulullaah she said, 'He has consumed my wealth, finished my youth and my womb has even borne him children. Eventually, when I have grown old and I can no longer bear children, he has practiced Zihaar (a form of divorce during the time) with me’. She then prayed, '0 Allaah! To You do I place my complaint.' She had not yet stood up when Jibra'eel Alaihissalam arrived with the verse:


Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah . And Allah hears your dialogue; indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing. (Surah Mujadila, verse 1)


Her husband was Aws bin Saamit (Ibn Abi Haatim, as quoted in the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer (Vo1.4 Pg.318).

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The Hijrah (Migration) of the Sahabah


These incidents highlight how the Sahabah (RA) left their beloved homeland of Makkah, an act which was extremely difficult for them. The incidents also highlight how making Hijrah was more beloved to them than the world and all its pleasures and that they gave preference to the Deen above mundane pleasures. Their Hijrah did not only take them to Madinah but they travelled from place to place seeking the freedom to practice and protect the Deen which they valued more than anything else in this world.


The First Person to Migrate from Makkah to Madinah


Baraa bin Aazib (RA) said, "The first from amongst the Muhaajireen to come to us was Mus'ab bin Umayr (RA) who belonged to the Banu Abdid Daar tribe. Then came Ibn Ummu Maktoom (RA) who was a blind man belonging to the Banu Fihr tribe. Thereafter, Umar bin Khattaab arrived with twenty mounted men. When we asked him what had happened to Rasulullaah SCW, he said that Rasulullaah SCW was coming after him. Rasulullaah SCW and Abu Bakr (RA) arrived afterwards. By the time Rasulullaah SCW arrived, I had already learnt several Surahs from the Mufassal Surahs." (Bukhari)


The Hijrah of Uthmaan Bin Affaan


Qataadah (RA) says, "I heard Nadhar bin Anas say that he heard Abu Hamza viz. Anas (RA) say, ' Uthmaan (RA), left for Abyssinia with his wife Ruqayya (RA) who was the daughter of Rasulullaah SCW. News about them was slow in reaching Rasulullaah SCW until a woman from the Quraysh came to him and said, '0 Muhammad! I have seen your son-in-law with his wife.' 'How were they?' asked Rasulullaah SCW. She said, 'I saw him mount his wife on a very weak donkey as he drove it along from the rear.' Rasulullaah SCW commented, 'May Allaah go with them. Uthmaan is the first person to migrate (with his family) after Lut Alaihisalam.'"(Bayhaqi, as quoted in Al Bidaaya wan Nihaaya (Vo1.3 Pg.66).


The Virtues of those Sahabah RA who Migrated to Abyssinia and then to Madinah


Khaalid bin Sa'eed bin Al Aas (RA) and his brother Amr (RA) were amongst those who migrated to Abyssinia. He narrates that it was a year after the Battle of Badr that they returned from Abyssinia and Rasulullaah SCW met them when they arrived. Because they were sad that they were unable to be participate in the Battle of Badr, Rasulullaah SCW said to them, "Why should you be sad? Whereas other people have undertaken only one Hijrah, you have undertaken two. You made Hijrah when you went to the king of Abyssinia and after returning from him, you made Hijrah to me." (Ibn Asaakir)


Suhayb (RA) Arrives in Quba Where Rasulullaah Gives him the Glad Tidings of a Verse of the Qur'aan that Allaah had Revealed about him


Suhayb (RA) narrates that when he decided to migrate from Makkah to Rasululaah SCW, the Quraysh said to him, "0 Suhayb! When you came to us, you had no wealth. You are now leaving as a wealthy man. By Allaah! We can never allow this!" Suhayb (RA) proposed to them, 'Will you let me go if I give you all my wealth?" When they agreed, he gave his wealth to them and they let him go. By the time Suhayb (RA) reached Madinah, Rasulullaah was already aware of the incident and said, "You've earned a grand profit, O Suhayb! You've earned a grand profit, 0 Suhayb!" (Ibn Katheer in his Tafseer (Vol.1 Pg.247)


Anas (RA) has narrated a similar report with the addition that it was on that occasion that Allaah revealed the following verse of the Qur'aan:



From mankind is he who would sell himself seeking Allaah's pleasure and Allaah is Most Compassionate towards His bondsmen. {Surah Baqarah, verse 207)


The Hijrah of Abdullaah bin Umar


Muhammad bin Zaid narrates that whenever Abdullaah bin Umar (RA) passed by his house (in Makkah) from which he migrated, he would close his eyes and would not even look at it or stop there. Another narration states that whenever Abdullaah bin Umar (RA) spoke about Rasulullaah SCW, he would cry and whenever he passed his house (in Makkah), he would close his eyes. (Bayhaqi)

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Abu Dhar Al-Ghifaariy


Abu Dhar Al-Ghifaariy's story - even before he knew of Rasulullah’s SCW message – is one of the most noble endeavors in search of the Truth. His ardent search of the Truth led him to travel to Mecca as soon as he heard of Nabi Muhammad’s call to Islam. He converted instantly upon meeting Rasulullah SCW and hearing him speak about the Deen he was proclaiming. Despite the present dangers from the Quraysh, he immediately rose to declare his new faith in front of the Ka’bah.


The following are a couple of short narrations regarding his early conversion to Islam. I would encourage you to read a more detailed account of his life – which is full of lessons for all of us. He is specially remembered as an outspoken and prominent critic of the improper use of public funds and the hoarders of wealth in general.


Rasulullah SCW would later say about him: ‘Neither has the sky shaded one more truthful and honest than Abu Dhar nor has the earth had anyone walk over it like him’ (Tirmidhi) .


Abu Dharr (RA) Dispatches His Brother when he Hears about the Nabuwaat of Rasulullaah SCW


Abdullaah bin Abbaas (RA) narrates that when Abu Dharr (RA) heard that Rasulullaah was sent as a Rasul, he said to his brother, "Ride to that valley (of Makkah) and find out for me about the man who claims that he is a Rasul and that revelation comes to him from the heavens. Hear what he has to say and then report back to me." His brother arrived in Makkah, heard what Rasulullaah w said and then reported back to Abu Dharr (RA) saying, "I saw him teaching sterling character and reciting words that are not poetry." Abu Dharr (RA) said, "Your report has not informed me what I needed to know."


Abu Dharr (RA) Arrives in Makkah, Accepts Islaam and is then made to Suffer for the sake of Allaah


Abu Dharr (RA) took some provisions and a filled waterbag along with him and rode off to Makkah. When he entered the Masjidul Haraam, he searched for Rasulullaah SCW but did not recognise him. He did not want to ask anyone about Rasulullaah either and when night fell, he lay down to sleep. Ali (RA) saw him and realised that he was a stranger. Ali (RA) offered to be his host for the night and Abu Dharr (RA) went with Ali (RA) with either person asked the other any questions until morning.


Abu Dharr (RA) took his waterbag and provisions along with him to the Masjidul Haraam and spent the day there. However, when evening arrived, he had not yet seen Rasulullaah SCW. He had returned to the place where he intended to lie down when Hadhra Ali (RA) passed by and said, "Has the man not yet found his destination?" Ali (RA) then helped him up and took him home without any of them exchanging questions. When things turned out the same on the third day and Abu Dharr (RA) again stayed with Ali (RA), Ali (RA) asked, "Will you not tell me what brings you here?" .Abu Dharr (RA) replied, "I shall inform you if you give me your word that you would give me proper direction." When Ali (RA) agreed, Abu Dharr (RA) informed him. Ali (RA) said, "It is true that he is the Rasul of Allaah. Follow me closely tomorrow morning. If I see anything that may jeopardise your safety, I shall stop I shall stop with the pretence of needing to relieve myself (but you should proceed). When I continue walking, you should follow me once more and enter the place I enter. Abu Dharr (RA) did this and followed in the footsteps of Ali until Ali (RA) came to Rasulullaah and Abu Dharr (RA) entered with him.


Abu Dharr (RA) listened to Rasulullaah SCW and accepted Islaam on the spot. Rasulullaah said to him, "Return to your people and convey the message to them until I send further instructions." .Abu Dharr (RA) said, "I swear by the Being Who controls my life that I shall shout it aloud amongst them all!" He then proceeded to the Masjidul Haraam where he called out at the top of his voice:


"I testify that there is none worthy of worship but Allaah and that Muhammad is Allaah's Rasul."


The Mushrikeen then beat him to the ground. Abbaas (RA) arrived and threw himself over Abu Dharr (RA) (to shield him) saying 'Fools! Don't you realise that he belongs to the Ghifaar tribe and that your traders have to pass them on the route they use to Shaam?!" In this manner, Abbaas (RA) saved him. The following day, Abu Dharr (RA) repeated himself and the Mushrikeen again assaulted him and Abbaas (RA) had to throw himself over him (to save him). - Bukhari (Vol.1 Pg.544).


Abu Dharr (RA) narrates further, "The following day I returned and repeated what I had said the previous day. The people again called out 'Grab that heretic' and they did what they had done the previous day. Abbaas (RA) found me there and threw himself over me and again told the people what he had told them the previous day. - Bukhari (vol.1 Pg.500).

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As we enter the final days of the blessed month of Ramadhan, we can all appreciate the feeling of thirst and hunger which come with fasting. This is more apparent for those in hotter climates and longer fasting periods. With this in mind, we should reflect upon the intense thirst and hunger which the Sahabah experienced due to the immense sacrifices they made for the propagation of the Deen.


The Intense Thirst that the Sahabah RA Suffered During the Expedition to Tabook


Abdullaah bin Abbaas (RA) narrates that Umar (RA) was once asked to give an account of "The Hour of Difficulty" (the expedition to Tabook). Umar (RA) said, 'When we left for Tabook, the heat was intense and when we stopped over at a place, we were so thirsty that we thought our necks would fall off (that we would die). In fact, when any of us went out in search of his mount, he really thought that he would die by the time he returned. The situation was so severe that when one of us slaughtered a camel, he would extract the liquids from its entrails to drink and then rub the remainder on his stomach (so that the coolness could penetrate his stomach)." Abu Bakr (RA) then said, 'O Rasulullaah SCW, Allaah is always good to you so make du'aa to Allaah on our behalf.' 'Do you really want me to do so?' asked Rasulullaah SCW. 'Please do,' entreated Abu Bakr (RA). Rasulullaah SCW then raised his hands to the heavens (to make du'aa) and had not yet dropped his hands when clouds started gathering in the sky. First a drizzle fell and then the rains came pouring down. The Sahaba (RA) filled whatever containers they had and when we left the place, we discovered that the rain had not fallen further than the area where the army was camped." (Tafseer Ibn katheer (Vol.2 Pg.396).


Abu Ubaydah RA and his Companions Experience Severe Hunger on a Journey


Jaabir (RA) says, "Rasulullaah appointed Abu Ubaydah (RA) as our commander and sent us to intercept a caravan of the Quraysh. Unable to find anything else, we took a bag of dates with us for our provisions. From there, Abu Ubaydah (RA) used to give us each a single date." The narrator asked Jaabir (RA), "What would you do with just a single date?" He replied, "We would suck on it as a child suckles and then drink water. This would meet our requirements for the day until the night. We also used our staffs to bring leaves down from the trees, which we soaked in water to eat." (Bayhaqi as quoted in A1 Bidaaya wan Nihaaya (Vo1.4 Pg.276)


A narration of Imaam Maalik states that a student of Jaabir (RA) asked him, "Of what use was the one date?" He replied, "When all the dates were finished, we missed even that one date."


Some Sahabah RA Collapse in Salaah because of extreme Hunger and Weakness


Fudhaala bin Ubayd (RA) narrates that when Rasulullaah SCW used to lead the salaah, many men used to collapse in the salaah because of starvation. They were the men of Suffa. (Seeing them) Some Bedouins would comment that they were insane. After completing the salaah, Rasulullaah would turn to them and say, "If you knew what Allaah has for you as reward for your suffering, you would wish that your hunger and poverty should increase." (Tirmidhi)


The Extreme Hunger that Abu Hurayra RA Suffered


Abdullaah bin Shaqeeq narrates that he stayed in the company of Abu Hurayra (RA) for a year in Madinah. One day, they were near the room of A'isha (RA), when Abu Hurayra said to him, "I saw the time when we had nothing to wear besides coarse cloths and days would pass when we would not have anything to eat that could keep our backs straight. Eventually, we had to tie stones to our stomachs and then wrap our clothes around so that we could keep our backs straight. (Ahmad as quoted in Targheeb wat Tarheeb (Vo1.5 Pg.177)

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Brothers and Sisters, Inshaa Allaah this will be my last post on this topic. I hope those who have read the posted incidents from the lives of the Sahabah (R.A) have found them beneficial.


As a quick reminder, the aim of this thread was to discuss the lives of the Sahabah (R.A.) with an emphasis on the qualities they possessed as a group and as individuals. Although there were some references relating to their impressive triumph over the ancient empires of their time in a short period of time, this was not the aim behind this thread. The objective was for us to ponder over the various incidents about the noble lives of the Sahabah (R.A.) which were posted and draw lessons from them for our own lives Inshaa Allaah.


You'll find every possible noble trait and virtue in the lives of the Sahabah (R.A.). If you desire to be of those who persistently repent to Allah SWT, then there is an example for you in the life of ‘Abdullah Ibn `Umar; if you believe seeking the truth for its own sake is honorable, then you'll be amazed by Salmaan Al-Faarisy and his quest in seeking the truth; and if avoiding hypocrisy is your aim, derive lessons from the life of Hudhaifah Ibn Al-Yammaan.


The Sahabah (R.A) were an embodiment of righteousness and greatness. Some of the incidents of their lives and traits we covered (all of which contain lessons for us) in this thread included:


- Their Iman, loyalty to Allaah SWT and his Messenger SCW

- Quality of their Salaah

- Fervour for knowledge

- Gratitude, Kindness and Generosity

- Sympathy and Self-sacrifice

- Humility, foresight, understanding of leadership and wisdom

- Abstinence, hardships they faced among other matters...


As stated from the outset, learning about the lives of the Sahabah (R.A.) and following their example allows us to refine our character, increase in virtue, and perfect our Iman. This is because their teacher and example was none other than our beloved Rasulullah SCW.


I’ll conclude by requoting the Hadith from Rasulullah SCW we started off with and what Abdullah bin Mas’ood (R.A.) had to say about the Sahabah (R.A.).


It is related from 'Abdullah that the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The best of people are my generation and then those who follow them and then those who follow them. Then there will come people whose testimony will precede their oaths and whose oaths will precede their testimony." (Sahih Bukhari)

Abdullaah bin Mas'ood (R.A) said, "Whoever wishes to follow anyone should follow the companions of Muhammad because from amongst the entire Ummah, their hearts are most righteous, their knowledge is deepest, they are the least pretentious, they are most unswerving in example and their (religious) condition is best. Allaah had selected them to be the companions of His Nabi SCW and to establish His Deen. You should therefore acknowledge their worth and follow in their footsteps because they had been fixed on upright guidance."( Ibn Abdul Birr in his Jaami (Vol.2 Pg.97).

May Allah Subḥānahu wa ta'āla grant us the tawfiq to follow in the footsteps of our beloved Prophet SCW and his Companions.


Allahumma salli ‘ala sayyidina Muhammad wa ‘ala aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallimu tasleema. Allahumma ameen.

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