Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Sahabah and Wealth

Assalamu alaikum,

Below are my notes from Lesson 169 (Hadeeth 647, al Tajrid al Sarih) from the Book of Funerals which was delivered on Friday 19th October 2007. Please pray for the Shaykh, Al Kawthar Academy and also please consider me in your du'as.

The full audio lesson is available from the following sources:


. عَنْ خَبّاب رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: هَاجَرْنَا مَعَ النّبِيّ (صلى الله عليه وسلم) نَلْتَمِسُ وَجْهَ اللهِ, فَوَقَعَ أَجْرُنَا عَلَى اللهِ, فَمِنّا مَنْ مَاتَ لَمْ يَأْكُلْ مِنْ أَجْرِهِ شَيْئًا, مِنْهُمْ مُصْعَبُ بْنُ عُمَيْرٍ, وَمِنّا مَنْ أَيْنَعَتْ لَهُ ثَمَرَتُهُ, فَهُوَ يَهْدِبُها, قُتِل يَوْمَ أُحُدٍ, فَلَمَ نَجِدْ ما نُكَفّنُهُ به إِلاّ بُرْدَةً, إِذَا غَطّيْنَا بِهَا رَأْسَهُ خَرَجَتْ رِجْلاهُ, وَإِذَا غَطّيْنَا رِجْلَيْهِ خَرَجَ رَأْسُهُ, فَأَمَرَ النّبِيّ (صلى الله عليه وسلم) أَنْ نُغَطّيَ رَأْسَهُ, وَأَنْ نَجْعَلَ عَلَى رِجْلَيْهِ مِنَ الإِذْخِرِ. رواه البخاري: 1276

647. Narrated Khabbâb (رضى الله عنه): We emigrated with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in Allâh's Cause, and so our reward was then surely incumbent on Allâh. Some of us died and they did not take anything from their rewards in this world, and amongst them was Mus'ab bin 'Umair; and the others were those who got their rewards. Mus'ab bin 'Umair was martyred on the day of the battle of Uhud and we found nothing to shroud him in except his Burda. And when we covered his head his feet became bare and vice versa. So the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) ordered us to cover his head only and to put Idhkhir (a kind of shrub) over his feet. (2:366O.B.)

Chapter – if he does not find a shroud except that which covers head or feet, he should cover his head with it.

Imam Bukhari رحمة الله عليه is saying with this chapter heading that if a large enough shroud cannot be found for the deceased, then the head should be concealed. This is the view of all the scholars; the upperpart should be covered first – i.e. head to the loin etc rather than covering below the knees.

The narrator Khabbab ibn Al-Arat (رضى الله عنه) is saying in this hadeeth that they did hijrah (the main emigration from Makkah to Madinah) only for the pleasure of Allah, and so he says their reward became binding upon Allah. This is because of Allah’s promise in the Qur’an for those who performed this main hijrah. He says there were those amongst them that died and did not consume any part of their reward e.g. Mus'ab bin 'Umair (رضى الله عنه) whereas for others their fruit ripened and they and plucking their fruit.

Mus'ab bin 'Umair (رضى الله عنه) died in the battle of Uhud. All those that died in the battle of Uhud were buried in the clothes they were wearing. But the clothes that Mus'ab bin 'Umair (رضى الله عنه) was wearing on that day were too short even to cover his whole body; his clothes stretched from his shoulders to his knees. Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) instructed that his garment should be used as it is but it should cover his head and his feet should be covered with Idhkhir (a grassy-like shrub). Idhkhir is very fragrant and very versatile in its use e.g. it was used in Arabia for medicinal and cleaning purposes. They did the same with Hamza (رضى الله عنه) because his shroud was also too short.

According to all the ulema, all the body should be covered except if no cloth is available. Imam Shafi رحمة الله عليه says the awrah should be covered, not necessarily the full body.

The narrator of this hadeeth, Khabbab ibn Al-Art (رضى الله عنه) was the 20th person to embrace Islam. He was a blacksmith and used to make swords in Makkah. He was a humble, meek person and had no one to protect him. He was persecuted brutally by the pagan Arabs. There was always a quartet; Khabbab ibn al-Arat (رضى الله عنه), Ammar ibn Yasir (رضى الله عنه), Bilal ibn Rabah (رضى الله عنه) and Suhaib al Rumi (رضى الله عنه) who were persecuted by the pagan Arabs. Khabbab ibn Al-Art (رضى الله عنه) was particularly badly tortured and they would torture him with fire since he was a blacksmith. Khabbab (رضى الله عنه) said to Umar (رضى الله عنه) when Umar (رضى الله عنه) was Ameer-ul-Mumineen in Madinah that he (Khabbab) was tortured more than Bilal (رضى الله عنه), as Bilal (رضى الله عنه) had a few friends amongst the mushrikeen who would try and help him, whereas Khabbab ibn Al-Art (رضى الله عنه) said he had no one. Once Khabbab ibn Al-Art (رضى الله عنه) showed his back to Umar (رضى الله عنه) which was covered in marks from the torture. Umar (رضى الله عنه) wept when he saw Khabbab’s (رضى الله عنه) back.

Khabbab (رضى الله عنه) narrates that once during the heat of the persecution they went to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was seated in the shade of the Ka'abah, leaning against the Ka’abah. We went to him and pleaded with him, '0 Messenger of Allah, now persecution has gone to its extreme; why do you not pray to Allah (for relief)?' The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, 'The believers before you were persecuted much more than you. Their flesh was scraped from their bones with combs of iron and their heads were cut with saws, but even this did not deter them from their religion. I assure you that Allah will bring this affair of his, this religion to a completion so much so there will be peace and security, so that a woman will be able to travel from Sanna to Hadramaut, across the desert, safely and all alone, and a man will be able to travel the same journey fearing no one except the occasional wolf that may devour his sheep. But you are a people that are hasty”.

After hijrah, there were the battles e.g. Uhud, Badr, Battle of the Trench and other expeditions. Only after conquest of Khaybar (7th year of Hijrah), the Muslims saw some wealth come in although they did not become extremely rich. Some sahabah passed away before 7th year of Hijrah (and conquest of Khaybar) and the 8th year of Hijrah (when Makkah was conquered). Other sahabah that survived when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) passed away saw a time when Allah opened up the world to them. They saw the great empires of Rome and Persia being conquered. The wealth of these civilisations was opened up for the Muslims. Those that survived till this time included the Muhajiroon, and they saw the Muslim empire expand. Khabbab Ibn Al-Arat (رضى الله عنه) lived till the age of 73 and died in Kufa. His was the first grave in the centre of Kufa. Ali (رضى الله عنه) prayed jinazah over him and said ‘May Allah have mercy on Khabbab for he embraced salah willingly as a devotee, he did Hijrah with Rasul as an obedient servant of Allah, and he lived his life as a Mujahid’ – he took part in every battle with Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

So, there were categories of sahabah:

  1. Those that saw no wealth e.g. Mus'ab bin 'Umair (رضى الله عنه).
  2. Those that survived but did not touch the wealth of the dunya e.g. Abu Dar al-Ghifari (رضى الله عنه) (who practiced ascetism and were not willing to consume even that which was halal for them).
  3. Those that survived and consumed that which was halal for them, and they had plenty in their hands but had no love for the wealth their hearts e.g. Abdul Rahman ibn Auf (رضى الله عنه), Abdullah ibn Umar (رضى الله عنه) and Khabbab ibn al-Art (رضى الله عنه).

It is these categories that Khabbab ibn al-Art (رضى الله عنه) is referring to in this hadeeth – he is also referring to himself (he was in 3rd category). Even those that made use of the wealth that Allah had given them were very fearful of Allah in the wealth that they had. Abdul Rahman ibn Auf (رضى الله عنه), for example, once began weeping after seeing the food for iftar after a day of fasting – he said he remembered the days when Mus'ab bin 'Umair (رضى الله عنه) and Hamza (رضى الله عنه) died and there was not enough cloth to fully shroud their bodies. Thus, even those sahabah that were rich, did not have the love of this wealth in their hearts.

Khabbab ibn al-Art (رضى الله عنه) lamented his wealth. He said what are we doing with this wealth? We are depositing it in the dust of the earth (i.e. constructing walls and buildings).

Despite having wealth, how did Khabbab ibn al-Art (رضى الله عنه) live his life? We only need to look at the words of Ameer-ul-Mumineen, Ali (رضى الله عنه) who said ‘May Allah have mercy on Khabbab for he embraced salah willingly as a devotee, he did Hijrah with Rasul as an obedient servant of Allah, and he lived his life as a Mujahid’

- and that was his testimony for one of those sahabah that were plucking the fruits.

When Khabbab ibn Al-Art (رضى الله عنه) was ill on his bed, he said he would have prayed for death if Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) had not forbidden it. He said on that occasion that he feared that the wealth that had been bestowed upon them, was their reward in the dunya.

There is a hadeeth that if someone enjoys something in the dunya, this reduces or lowers the persons grade in the hereafter. This is why Khabbah ibn al-Art (رضى الله عنه) says this of Mus'ab bin 'Umair (رضى الله عنه), although Khabbab (رضى الله عنه) was a humble blacksmith although Mus'ab bin 'Umair (رضى الله عنه) was from a rich family and grew up in comfort. He was the most handsome and fashionable young man in Makkah. On more than one occasion, Rasul ((صلى الله عليه وسلم) said Mus'ab bin 'Umair (رضى الله عنه) was known in Makkah as being the one with the best clothing and perfume. When he would pass by a street of Makkah, people would know that Mus'ab bin 'Umair (رضى الله عنه) had been passed by, just by the fragrance in the air. When Mus'ab bin 'Umair (رضى الله عنه) heard, Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was inviting people to Islam, he embraced Islam when hearing the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He kept his faith secret from his mother but someone saw him praying salah and told his mother. He was imprisoned when his mother learnt of his Islam. When the muslims did hijrah to Abyssinia, he managed to escape and also did Hijrah. He did the second hijrah to Madinah. He, alongside Abdullah ibn Maktoum (رضى الله عنه) was the first to emigrate to Madinah.

They would both teach people the Qur’an in Madinah and invite people to Islam. Many people became Muslim at his hands. He came back to Makkah even before Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) had done hijrah to Madinah. The first thing he did when he came back was to see Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) straight away. His mother sent word to him ‘Oh disobedient one. You arrive in Makkah after such a long absence and you go to see someone else before your mother’. He sent a message back saying he will never give preference to anyone over Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He then went to see his mother after having reported the situation in Madinah to Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم). His mother threatened to imprison him once more. She asked him to renounce his religion, and he invited her to Islam. She refused and he refused to give up Islam. He then bid his mother farewell for the final time and returned to Madinah. He lived a life of poverty in Madinah for the rest of his life.

In the battle of Badr, Mus'ab bin 'Umair’s (رضى الله عنه) brother was captured. Mus'ab bin 'Umair (رضى الله عنه) said to the guard ‘Fasten his chains well and guard him well. His mother is a rich woman and she shall pay a good ransom for him’. Mus'ab bin 'Umair’s (رضى الله عنه) brother said to him ‘Oh son of my mother. Am I not your brother?’ Mus'ab bin 'Umair (رضى الله عنه) said ‘You are not my brother. He is my brother’ pointing to the guard. This is why Allah says in the Qur’an (Verse 22, Surah Mujaadilah سورة المجادلة)

“Thou shalt not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day befriending those who oppose Allah and His apostle, even though they be their fathers or their sons or their brethren or their kindred. These! He hath inscribed faith on their hearts and hath strengthened them with a spirit from Him: and He shall make them enter Gardens whereunder rivers flow as abiders therein. Allah is well pleased with them, and they are well pleased with Him. These are Allah's band. Lo! verily it is the Allah's band that are the blissful”.

When Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) stood over Mus'ab bin 'Umair’s (رضى الله عنه) body at his burial in Uhud, he said ‘Oh Musab, in Makkah you wore the best of clothes and fragrance. You were the wealthiest of the young men of Makkah. Remember your condition in Makkah and today you die and you don’t even have a single piece of cloth beneath which you can be buried’

It is sunnah to go to the mount of Uhud as Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that the sahabah should give salaam to the shuhadah of Uhud as they will all return the salaam.

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