Men of Excellence
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’wwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated: Hazrat Asim bin Sabit was a sahabi (companion) of the Holy Prophet (sa). His father was Sabit bin Qais and his mother’s name was Shamoos bint Abu Aamir. The Holy Prophet (sa) established a bond of brotherhood between him and Abdullah bin Jahash. At the occasion of Battle of Uhud, when the disbelievers of Mecca launched a sudden attack, which caused a panic among the Muslims, Hazrat Asim remained fixed in his position next to the Holy Prophet (sa). He pledged allegiance to the Holy Prophet (sa) upon death. He was among the archers appointed by the Holy Prophet (sa). He belonged to the Aus tribe and participated in the Battle of Badr.
On the day of the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet (sa) asked the Companions as to how they would fight when confronted by the enemy. Hazrat Asim replied, “O Messenger of Allah (sa), when they are in range of our arrows, we will use our arrows. When they come close enough that our stones can reach them, we will use stones.’ He then lifted three stones in one hand and placed two in the other hand. He then stated, “When they come close enough to attack with our spears, we will fight them with spears. When our spears break, we will fight them with our swords.” Upon this the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Indeed, this is the correct way to fight in a battle,” he further said, “whoever wishes to fight should fight according to the instructions of Asim.’
It was not like nowadays where they kill even innocent people and children by shelling at them. Unfortunately, today Muslims are killing fellow Muslims without any distinction. Instead of using that method, that when the enemy attacks one, one should employ different ways of fighting, they are initiating attacks themselves and thereby killing innocent people.
It is mentioned in another narration that Hazrat Ali (ra) returned with his sword in the day of the Battle of Uhud which had bent due to the intense fighting. Hazrat Ali (ra) said to Hazrat Fatima, “Keep this commendable sword. It will prove useful in the battlefield.” The Messenger of Allah (sa) heard what he had said. Thus, he said, “If you have shown excellence with the sword today, then Sahl Bin Hunaif, Abu Dujanah, Asim Bin Sabit and Haris Bin Sama have also shown excellent swordsmanship.
In a narration it is mentioned that the Holy Prophet conferred a favour to one of the prisoners of Badr, Abu ‘Uzza ‘Amr bin Abdillah – who was a poet – by setting him free. The reason for this was that he said, “O Muhammad, I have five daughters and I am their only guardian. Hence, please set me free for them as an act of charity.” Subsequently, the Holy Prophet (sa) set him free. Upon this, Abu ‘Uzza said, “I make a solemn pledge to you that I will never fight you in the future, nor will I assist anyone in their wars against you”. Hearing this, the Holy Prophet (sa) sent him back and freed him without receiving anything in return. However, he broke his promise and was tempted back to the war by a war lord. During the fight, he was once again captured. When asked about his oath, he replied, “O Muhammad (sa)! I was compelled to fight as I have daughters to look after. Please be kind towards me.” A favour had previously been conferred upon him and he was set free. However, he came out to fight again. Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Absolutely Not! Now it can never be done. By God! You will not be permitted to roam around Mecca saying that you deceived and fooled Muhammad (sa) twice, (God forbid). According to another narration, the Holy Prophet (sa) said that certainly, a believer cannot be bitten twice from the same hole. He then commanded Asim bin Thabit to kill him. He was only punished for treason and war, after he brokr his promise of peace. These days (Geert) Wilders, a Politician in Holland, is exceeding all bounds in attacking the character of the Holy Prophet (sa). If he can show examples of the aforementioned forgiveness to the world or even in his own country, then his allegations can be justified to a certain extent. However, he will never be able to show such examples.
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib has made a mention of the incident of Raji’ where ten Muslim men were sent by the Holy Prophet (sa), at the request of the tribes of ‘Aḍal and Qarah, to teach them Islam under the leadership of ‘Aṣim bin Thabitra. However, in actuality, as was later discovered, these people were liars and had come to Madinah upon the incitement of the Banu Laḥyan, who sought revenge for the execution of their chief, Sufyān bin Khālid. They have contrived the plan to kill Muslims. This party of Muslims was attached by 200 young men from the Banū Laḥyān, 100 of whom were archers. But how could 10 Muslims compete against 200 warriors? The Muslims, however, had not been taught to throw in their arms. The Companions immediately ascended to a nearby hillock and prepared for battle. ‘Asim (ra) raised his head towards the heaven and said, “O God! You are witnessing our state. Do convey knowledge of our condition to Your Messenger.” Hence, ‘Asim (ra) and his Companions stood and fought and were eventually martyred in battle.” His body was protected from the ill intention of disbelievers who wanted to drink wine in his skull, as a swarm of bees covered his body and then the body was sept away beyond the reach of idolaters. Hazrat ‘Asim, (ra), is also known as Hami-ud-Dabar i.e. the person who was saved by wasps or bees.
The second companion I will mention is Hazrat Sahl Bin Hunaif Ansari. Hunaif was the name of his father and the name of his mother was Hind bint Raafe’. He had two brothers from his mother’s side, Abdullah and Nauman and his children were, Asad, Uthman and Sa’ad. The children remained in Medina and Baghdad. The Holy Prophet formed a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Ali. He accompanied the Holy Prophet (sa) in all battles including the Battle of Badr. Hazrat Sahl Bin Hunaif had a lofty status but did not have a strong financial position. Hazrat Sahl bin Hunaif was among those great companions who remained steadfast during the Battle of Uhud and took the pledge of allegiance upon death at the hand of the Holy Prophet (sa). He stood like a shield in front of the Holy Prophet (sa) at a time when the severe attack of the opponents caused the Muslims to disperse. That day he shot arrows on behalf of the Holy Prophet (sa). The Holy Prophet stated: (Arabic) Meaning ‘give arrows to Sahl as it is easy for him to shoot arrows’. Hazrat Sahl Bin Hunaif Ansari was also part of a group who followed and killed a person, attempting to kill Muslims with a group of spear-holding warriors. In those days, there was no single day that would pass by in peace. The enemy were waiting to strike at every moment. Thus, such enemies should have been punished in the same manner of that killing.
After the victory at Khaybar, the Holy Prophet headed towards Wadi-ul-Qara. When the army of the Holy Prophet reached Wadi-ul-Qurra, the Jews were already prepared for war. They welcomed the Muslim army with a flurry of arrows. A servant of the Holy Prophet (sa) named Midam was taking off the saddle of the camel of the Holy Prophet (sa) when a stray arrow hit him, killing him instantly. The Holy Prophet (sa) immediately instructed to form rows for battle. He granted the flag to Hazrat Sa’ad Bin Abadah and gave one flag to Hazrat Khubaab bin Munzir, the second to Hazrat Sahl Bin Hunaif and the third to Hazrat Abbad Bin Bishr. In result of this expedition the whole area came under the Muslims and God granted victory to the Muslims along with an abundance of spoils of war. In spite of the victory, he left the land and orchards with those people, but appointed a collector. This is a prime example of the kind treatment, even with the enemy that the possession of land remained with them and some tax was gathered from it. In accordance with the customs of that time if one forcefully took over possessions and land then there was nothing wrong; however, the Holy Prophet demonstrated virtuousness.
When the land of Syria was conquered and the Christian population that lived there came under the Islamic State. One day it so happened that two Companions of the Holy Prophet (sa), Sahl bin Ḥunaif (ra) and Qais bin Sa‘dra were sitting somewhere in the city of Qādsiyyah when a Christian funeral procession happened to pass by. Upon witnessing this, both Companions stood up in reverence. Another Muslim who had not remained in the company of the Holy Prophet (sa) and was unaware of the moral qualities taught by Islām, became very amazed and addressed Sahl (ra) and Qais (ra) in astonishment saying, “This is the funeral procession of a Dhimmī (a non-Muslim, living in an Islamic State) Christian.” They responded “Indeed! We are aware, but the practice of the Holy Prophet (sa) was that he would stand up even for the funeral procession of a non-Muslim, and he would say, ‘Do they not possess a soul created by God?” Thus, this is one way for honouring humanity and ending hatred between religions.
Hazrat Sahl bin Hunaif was a great proponent of peace and showed by his example that a believer should always think positively, and one should make every effort to to form a treaty for the sake of God Almighty – to oversee all aspects of it is the true hallmark of a believer. Having said that, one should not allow themselves to be betrayed the second time.
Hazrat Sahl bin Hunaif relates, “The Holy Prophet (sa) said to me, ‘You are my envoy being sent to Mecca. Go to them and convey my greetings of Salaam. Tell them that the Holy Prophet (sa) instructs them about three things. Not take oath in the name of their forefathers for that is forbidden and a sin. When they sit to relieve themselves, they should not turn their backs in the direction of the Qibla, (they should face north and south). Thirdly, after relieving oneself, one should not use bones or dung.” There is great wisdom in this for they carry various kinds of bacteria which can cause a risk for infection. In this day and age tissue and water is commonly used but in those days stones and bones were used from the jungle and the Holy Prophet (sa) forbid them from this practise. Hazrat Sahl bin Hunaif passed away in Kufa in 38 AH, whilst returning from the Battle of Siffin. Hazrat Ali led his funeral prayer.
The third Companion who I shall mention is Hazrat Jabbar bin Sakkhar. He was the son of Sakkhar bin Ummaiya. Hazrat Jabbar along with 70 Ansar (inhabitants of Medina) took the Bait at Aqbah Sania. The Holy Prophet (sa) established a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Miqdad bin Amr. At the time of the Battle of Badr he was 32 years of age and he would be sent Khaybar and other places in order to assess the produce from the date trees. He passed away in Medina during the era of Hazrat Usman’s Khilafat in 30 AH. He was 62 years of age at the time of his demise. Hazrat Jabbar took part in the Battle of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and all other battles alongside the Holy Prophet (sa).
Hazrat Jabbar bin Sakkhar (ra) helped prepared a well for the Holy Prophet (sa) whilst travellng towards Mecca. When the Holy then Prophet (sa) arrived at the well, he performed ablution and performed ablution. The Holy Prophet (sa) then stood for prayer and I stood to his left. (The first thing the Holy Prophet (sa) did upon reaching was perform ablution and offer prayer). When I stood on the left of the Holy Prophet (sa), he held my hand and stood me to his right side.” On the day of the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet (sa) offered the prayer: Arabic Text O Allah! Become sufficient enough for me against Naufal bin Khwailid.” He was a leader from among the idolaters of Mecca.Hazrat Jabbar bin Sakkhar captured him and Hazrat Ali killed him. The Holy Prophet later enquired as to if anyone had any news about Naufal and Hazrat Ali replied that he had killed him. Upon this the Holy Prophet (sa) prayed, “All praise is due to Allah, Who accepted my prayer.” He was an extremely bitter opponent, hence the Holy Prophet (sa) prayed to God Almighty to be sufficient for him against him. God Almighty then made the provisions for his death.
Shaath bin Qais was an elderly man who was a staunch disbeliever and held a lot of malice and hatred in his heart for the Muslims. He once passed by a group of Muslims who were sat speaking to one another. When he witnessed their mutual bond of love and unity and the peacefulness, he became infuriated. He reminded them of the older days if bitter fighting by recalling the chants which they used to sing against each other. This rekindled a fire in their hearts bringing back the days of ignorance to them. It got to the stage where out of anger both parties designated the place of battle and started making claims as they did in the days of ignorance. This news reached the Holy Prophet (sa) so he went to the Aus and Khazraj tribes, accompanied by the Muhajireen Companions. The Holy Prophet (sa) stated “O Muslim, fear Allah, fear Allah, do you all makes claims like in the time of ignorant while I am among you, whilst God Almighty has guided you to Islam, honoured you through it, put an end to your days of ignorance, saved you from disbelief and established love between you? Do you then turn to disbelief once again like in the past? The Companions came to the realisation that this was Satanic mischief-making and a plot to turn them against one another. Therefore, they put down their weapons, renounced any fight and submitted to the Holy Prophet (sa) pledging their obedience to him once again. God Almighty revealed this verse: (Arabic) Say, ‘O People of the Book! why deny ye the Signs of Allah, while Allah is Watchful of what you do?’ (3:99)
Say, ‘O People of the Book! why hinder ye the believers from the path of Allah, seeking to make it crooked, while you are witnesses thereof? And Allah is not unmindful of what you do.’ (3:100)
“O ye who believe! if you obey any party of those who have been given the Book, they will turn you again into disbelievers after you have believed. How would you disbelieve, while to you are rehearsed the Signs of Allah, and His Messenger is present among you? And he who holds fast to Allah is indeed guided to the right path.” (3:101-012)
Such were there examples that serve as a model for people who get entangled these days due to false sense of honour and ego over petty issues. If those who were thirsty for each other’s blood and those who were at war with each other became brothers then how come those who recite the same kalimah now and those who were born into one Jama’at cannot efface their egos? There are many issues that come to light which are caused by false egos and strained relations are established because of this. Sometimes, such issues last months or even years. Some youngsters write: “Our familial relations have been strained but the new generation has the desire to re-establish these relations but because of our adults this does not happen.” Such people should take heed that the teaching of Allah Almighty is that of love, affection, unity and He has made us one nation. We should live together as one nation and should not become engrossed in our false egos. May Allah Almighty guide everyone.