Category Archives: Stories Of The Salaf

Fatima bint Asad

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Fatima bint Asad

Fatimah bint Asad, was the mother of ‘Ali bin Abu Talib, and the mother-in-law of the Prophet’s daughter, Fatimah bint Muhammad. Her grandsons, Hasan and Husain are to be the leaders of the youths of Paradise. Besides ‘Ali, she had two other sons, Ja’far Tayyir who was a famous General. He led the forces of Islam in the battle of Mu’tah and was martyred in the same battle.

When the Prophet(S.A.W) grew up and proclaimed himself to be the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] and Last Messenger of Allah, she still stood by him. All the relentless persecution did not deter her in any way. She was exceptionally fond of her son Ja’far, but for the sake of Islam she bore the separation from him and his wife, Asma bint ‘Omais, when they migrated to Abyssiniah on the Prophet’s orders with the first group of migrant Muslims.

Fatimah bint Asad, being one of the first to swear allegiance to Islam and its concept of the Oneness of Allah, faced the economic and social boycott of the Shi’ab Abi Talib for those three terrible years. She was also a member of the privileged group who migrated to Madinah.

‘Abdul Muttalib, who was a very discriminating man, had assessed her nature, her intelligence and her capabilities from the very beginning and proposed for her for his son, Abu Talib. When the Prophet(S.A.W) was told by Allah to spread the Message of Islam among his kith and kin, it was she who immediately accepted this invitation and swore allegiance and entered the fold of Islam.

When the Prophet’s grandfather, ‘Abdul Muttalib, passed away, the guardianship of the orphan Muhammad(S.A.W) passed on to Abu Talib . His wife, Fatimah bint Asad, looked after him, loving him as if he were her own. He remembered in his later life that she would go hungry to feed him. He respected her so highly that whenever she visited him he would stand up and receive her with great love, addressing her as ‘Mother’.

His uncle, too, loved him deeply. Muhammad (S.A.W) in his childhood was so well mannered and so fastidious about his personal cleanliness that Abu Talib would hold him up as an example to his other children. Normally boys would be dirty and tousled from playing rough games with the other boys, but Muhammad (S.A.W) was always dignified with a neat appearance.

People were impressed when they saw him. Abu Talib liked all the children to eat together because he felt that whenever Muhammad(S.A.W) ate with other children, food would be sufficient, and when the children ate alone, they would remain hungry. Abu Talib often told his nephew that he was specially blessed, as there was plenty when he was around.

Fatimah bint Asad did not spare any pains and looked after the Prophet(S.A.W) in his infancy, boyhood and youth. Once in his childhood he accompanied his uncle on a business trip to Syria. Some very unusual and surprising incidents took place on the journey, and Abu Talib described these to his wife when they came back.

The Prophet(S.A.W) placed the invitation to a religion with a new and rational perspective before the Quraish of Makkah, the worshippers of all the false idols in the Ka’bah were infuriated. They could not dream that the prophet(S.A.W) would dismiss their gods as useless helpless creatures, and they became his bitter enemies for propagating a new faith that did away with their traditional and inherited practices.

They adopted a very antagonistic attitude and swore to crush him and Islam. During this period they resorted to the most cruel and sadistic forms of torture to make the converts give up the new faith and return to their old barbaric practices and rituals. It was only the power and influence of Abu Talib that prevented them from doing any harm to Muhammad. He stood by him with all his love and carried out the responsibilities of a guardian faithfully by giving him his protection. No enemy could dare to do anything to him as long as he was under the mantle of his uncle’s protection.

Fatimah bint Asad cooperated with Abu Talib wholeheartedly and she was a mother, pure and simple, where the safety and well being of Muhammad(S.A.W) was concerned. No wonder he loved and respected her so highly. Considering the dangerous conditions which developed for the Muslims in Makkah, he thought it was better that the Muslims migrate to Abyssiniah where the ruler was known to be tolerant and hospitable. The leader of this first group of migrants was Ja’far bin Abi Talib, the brother of ‘Ali, and the favorite son of Fatimah bint Asad. She loved him more than the others because he resembled Muhammad(S.A.W) very much, and was extremely intelligent.

He seemed to have inherited the family’s mastery over language and was also an eloquent speaker who could win people over to his viewpoint. It was with this same skill that he had won over the king of Abyssiniah when the Quraish appealed to him to surrender the Muslims to them.

The Quraish now decided to restrict the Muslims to one small area, besiege them and boycott them. Social and economic sanctions were imposed, and these three years were perhaps the toughest that the followers of lslam faced. Economically, it was certainly the worst ever. Children could be heard on all sides sobbing with hunger, and the elders looked on helplessly with tears in their eyes. To satisfy their hunger they started eating the leaves of trees and grass; they even sucked on wet skins to slake their thirst.

Fatimah bint Asad passed this terrible period with fortitude and patience, and did not waver in the smallest degree. Ten years after the first revelation to Muhammad(S.A.W) appointing him the Messenger of Allah, this harsh siege was finally lifted. It was in the same year that the Prophet’s wife and most faithful supporter, Khadijah, passed away. The pangs of separation from her were very strong for the Prophet(S.A.W). He had not yet recovered from her loss, when he was dealt another terrible blow – his best ally, Abu Talib, also passed away. This year is known as ‘The Year of Sorrows’ in Islamic history.

The torture and torment, atrocities and cruelties reached such proportions that Allah finally ordered the Prophet(S.A.W) to migrate to Madinah. Fatimah bint Asad was among these migrants.

“So patience is most fitting. And it is Allah Whose help can be sought against that (lie) which you describe.” (12:18)

Anas bin Malik says that when the prophet(S.A.W) got news of the death of Fatimah bint Asad, he immediately went to her house, sat beside her and prayed for her.

“My dear mother, may Allah keep you under His Protection. Many times you went hungry in order to feed me well. You fed me and clothed me on delicacies that you denied yourself. Allah will surely be happy with these actions of yours. And your intentions were surely meant to win the goodwill and pleasure of Allah and success in the Hereafter.”

He gave his shirt to be used as part of her shroud, saying he prayed to Allah to forgive her and give her the dress of Paradise.

‘When the grave was prepared the prophet(S.A.W) himself examined it and with his own hands placed her into the grave.

Thus, she was one of the few blessed people whose graves the Prophet(S.A.W) himself examined.

“Fatimah bint Asad is that great lady for whom he gave the glad tidings that she would be blessed with a place in Paradise. He said that he shrouded her with his shirt, praying that Allah would give her the dress of Paradise.

From: Great Women of Islam

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Fayruz Ad-Daylami

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Fayruz Ad-Daylami

When the Prophet(S.A.W) returned to Madinah from the Farewell Pilgrimage in the tenth year after the Hijrah, he fell ill, News of his illness spread rapidly throughout the Arabian peninsula. Sincere Muslims everywhere were greatly saddened by the news but for others it was a time to disclose hidden hopes and ambitions and reveal their real attitudes to Islam and the noble Prophet.

In al-Yamamah, Musaylamah the Imposter renounced Islam. So too did Tulayhah al-Asadi in the land of the Asad. And in the Yemen, al-Aswad al-Ansi also became an apostate. More than that, these three imposters claimed that they were prophets sent to their respective peoples just as Muhammad the son of Abdullah was sent to the Quraysh.

Al-Aswad al-Ansi was a soothsayer who practised magic arts. But he was no minor magician or fortuneteller who dabbled in his evil arts in obscurity. He was powerful and influential and possessed a strange power of speech that mesmerized the hearts of his listeners and captivated the minds of the masses with his false claims.

With his wealth and power he managed to attract not just the masses but people of status as well. When he appeared before people he normally wore a mask in order to surround himself with an air of mystery, awe and reverence.

In the Yemen at that time, a section of the people who had much prestige and influence were the “Abna”. They were the scions of Persian fathers who ruled Yemen as part of the Sasanian Empire. Their mothers were local Arabs. Fayruz al-Daylami was one of these Yemeni Abna.

At the time of the appearance of Islam, the most powerful of the Abna was Badhan who ruled Yemen on behalf of the Chosroes of Persia. When Badhan became convinced of the truth of the Prophet Muhammad and the Divine nature of his mission he renounced his allegiance to the Chosroes and accepted Islam. His people followed him in tiffs. The Prophet confirmed him in his dominion and he ruled the Yemen until his death shortly before the appearance of al-Aswad al-Ansi.

Al-Aswad’s tribe, the Banu Mudh-hij, were the first to respond positively to his claims to prophethood. With this tribal force he mounted a raid on San’a. He killed the governor, Shahr the son of Badhan and took his wife to himself. From San’a he raided other regions. Through his swift and startling strikes, a vast region from Hadramawt to at-Taif and from al-Ahsa to Aden came under his influence.

What helped al-Aswad in deceiving the people and drawing them to him was his guile and cunning which knew no bounds. To his followers he alleged that an angel visited him, disclosed revelations to him and gave him intelligence of people and their affairs . What allowed him to appear to bear out these claims were the spies he employed and despatched everywhere, to bring him news of people and their circumstances, their secrets and their problems, their hopes and their fears.

Reports were brought back in secrecy to him and when he met anyone, especially those in need, he could give the impression that he had prior knowledge of their needs and problems. In this way he astonished people and confounded their thoughts. He acquired a large following and his mission spread like wildfire.

When news of al-Aswad’s apostasy and his activities throughout the Yemen reached the Prophet(S.A.W) he despatched about ten of his companions with letters to those of his companions in the Yemen whom he felt he could trust. He urged them to confront the blind fitnah with faith and resolve, and he ordered them to get rid of al-Aswad by any means possible.

All who received the Prophet’s missives set about to carry out his orders implicitly. In the forefront of these was Fayruz ad-Daylami and those of the Abna who were with him. Let us leave Fayruz to relate his extraordinary story:

“I and those of the Abna who were with me never for one moment had any doubt about the religion of God. No belief in the enemy of God entered the heart of any one of us. (In fact) we waited for opportunities to get hold of al-Aswad and eliminate him by any means.

When we received the letters of the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, we felt strengthened in our mutual resolve and each one determined to do what he could.

Because of his considerable success, pride and vanity took hold of al-Aswad al-Ansi. He bragged to the commander of his army, Qays ibn Abd Yaghuth, saying how powerful he was. His attitude and relationship towards his commander changed so much so that Qays felt that he was not safe from his violence and oppression.

My cousin, Dadhawayh, and I went to Qays and informed him of what the Prophet(S.A.W) had told us and we invited him to “make lunch” out of the man (al-Aswad) before he could “make supper” out of him. He was receptive to our proposal and regarded us as a Godsend. He disclosed to us some of the secrets of al-Aswad.

The three of us vowed to confront the apostate from within (his castle) while our other brothers would confront him from without. We were all of the view that our cousin Dadha, whom al-Aswad had taken to himself after the killing of her husband, should join us. We went to al-Aswad’s castle and met her. I said to her:

‘O cousin, you know what harm and evil this man has visited upon you and us. He has killed your husband and dishonored the women of your people. He has massacred their husbands and wrested political authority from their hands.

‘This is a letter from the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, to us in particular and to the people of Yemen in general in which he asks us to put an end to this fitnah.

Would you help us in this matter?’ ‘On what can I help you? she asked. ‘On his expulsion…’ I said. ‘Rather on his assassination,’ she suggested. ‘By God, I had nothing else in mind,’ I said, ‘but I was afraid to suggest this to you.’ ‘By Him Who has sent Muhammad with the Truth as a bringer of’ good tidings and as a warner, I have not doubted in my religion for a moment. God has not created a man more detestable to me than the devil (al-Aswad). By God, from the time I saw him, I have only known him to be a corrupt and sinful person who does not promote any truth and does not stop from committing any abominable deed.’ “How can we go about eliminating him?’ I asked.

‘He is well-guarded and protected. There is not a place in his castle which is not surrounded by guards. There is one broken down and abandoned room though which opens out into open land. In the evening during the first third of the night, go there. You will find inside weapons and a light. You will find me waiting for you…’ she said.

But getting through to a room in a castle such as this is no easy task. Someone might pass and alert the guards and that will be the end of us’ I said. ‘You are not far from the truth. But I have a suggestion.’ ‘What is it?’ I asked.

‘Send a man tomorrow whom you trust as one of the workers. I shall tell him to make an opening in the room from the inside so that it should be easy to enter.’ ‘That’s a brilliant suggestion you have,’ I said.

I then left her and told the two others what we had decided and they gave their blessings to the plan. We left straightaway to get ourselves prepared. We informed a select group of believers who were assisting us to prepare themselves and gave them the password (to signal the time they could storm the castle). The time was to be dawn of the following day.

When night fell and the appointed time came, I went with my two companions to the opening in the room and uncovered it. We entered the room and put on the lamp. We found the weapons and proceeded to the apartment of God’s enemy. There was our cousin standing at his door. She pointed out where he was and we entered. He was asleep and snoring. I plunged the blade in his neck and he bellowed like a bull being slaughtered. When the guards heard this, they ran quickly to his apartment and asked: ‘What is this ?’

‘Don’t worry. You can go. The prophet of God is receiving revelation,’ she said, and they left. We stayed in the castle until the break of dawn. Then I stood on a wall of the castle and shouted:

‘Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!’ and went on with the adhan until I reached’: ‘Ashhadu anna Muhammadur Rasulullah ! (Then I added) ‘Wa ashhadu anna al Aswad al-Ansi kadh-dhab ! I testify that al-Aswad is an imposter.’

That was the password, Muslims then converged on the castle from every direction. The guards took fright when they heard the adhan and were confronted by the Muslims shouting Allahu Akbar.

By sunrise, the mission was accomplished. When it was full light, we sent a letter to the Messenger of God giving him the good news of the death of God’s enemy.

When the messengers reached Madinah they found that the Prophet, may the blessings of God be on him, had passed away that very night. They learned however that Revelation had been communicated to the Prophet informing him of the death of al-Aswad al-Ansi the night it took place.”

Years later, the Khalifah Umar ibn al-Khattab wrote to Fayruz ad-Daylami, may God be pleased with them both, saying:

“I have heard that you are busy eating white bread and honey (meaning no doubt that he was leading an easy life). When this my letter reaches you, come to me with the blessings of God so that you may campaign in the path of God.”

Fayruz did as he was commanded. He went to Madinah and sought an audience with Umar. Umar granted him permission. Evidently there was a crowd waiting to see Umar and a Quraysh youth pushed Fayruz. Fayruz raised his hand and hit the Quraysh youth on the nose.

The youth went to Umar who asked: “Who did that to you?”

“Fayruz. He is at the door,” said the youth. Fayruz entered and Umar asked: “What is this, O Fayruz?”

“O Amir al-Muminin,” said Fayruz. “You wrote to me. You didn’t write to him. You gave me permission to enter and you didn’t give him permission. He wanted to enter in my turn before me. Then I did what you have been told.”

“Al-Qisas,” pronounced Umar in judgment, meaning that Fayruz had to receive the same blow from the youth in retaliation. “Must it be so?” asked Fayruz. “It must be so,” insisted Umar.

Fayruz then got down on his knees and the youth stood up to exact his retaliation. Umar said to him then: “Wait a moment, young man, so that I can tell you something which I heard from the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace. I heard the Messenger of God say one evening: ‘This night, al-Aswad al-Ansi the Imposter has been killed. The righteous servant Fayruz ad-Daylami has killed him’ Umar then asked the youth:

“Do you see yourself taking retribution on him after you have heard this from the Messenger of God?” “I forgive him,” said the youth, “after you have told me this from the Prophet.”

“Do you think,” said Fayruz to Umar, “that my escape from what I have done is a confession to him and that his forgiveness is not given under duress?” “Yes,” replied Umar and Fayruz then declared: “I testify to you that my sword, my horse and thirty thousand of my money is a gift to him.”

“Your forgiveness has paid off, O brother Quraysh and you have become rich,” said Umar no doubt impressed by the sense of remorse and the spontaneous generosity of Fayruz, the righteous.

From Alim® Online

At-Tufayl Ibn Amr ad-Dawsi

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At-Tufayl Ibn Amr ad-Dawsi

At-Tufayl ibn Amr was the chief of the Daws tribe in preQuranic times and a distinguished Arab notable known for his manly virtues and good works.

He fed the hungry, comforted those in distress and granted asylum to refugees. He was also keenly interested in literature and was himself a sharp and sensitive poet capable of expressing the most delicate emotions.

Tufayl left the hearths of his village in Tihama in the south of the Arabian peninsula and set out for Makkah. The struggle between the noble Prophet and the disbelieving Quraysh was already at its height. Each wanted to gain support for his cause and recruit helpers. The Prophet, peace and blessings of God be on him, sought help from his Lord. His weapons were faith and truth. 
The disbelieving Quraysh resisted his message with every weapon, and attempted to keep people away from it by all the means at their disposal.

Tufayl found himself entering this battle without any preparation or warning. He did not come to Makkah to get involved in it. Indeed he was not aware of the struggle that was taking place.

Let Tufayl himself take up the story from this point:

I approached Makkah. As soon as the Quraysh leaders saw me, they came up to me and gave me a most hearty welcome and accommodated me in a grand house. Their leaders and notables then gathered and said:

“O Tufayl, you have come to our town. This man who claims that he is a Prophet has ruined our authority and shattered our community. We are afraid that he would succeed in undermining you and your authority among your people just as he has done with us. Don’t speak to the man. On no account listen to anything he has to say. He has the speech of a wizard, causing division between father and son, between brother and brother and between husband and wife.”

They went on telling me the most fantastic stories and scared me by recounting tales of his incredible deeds. I made up my mind then not to approach this man, or speak to him or listen to anything he had to say.

The following morning I went to the Sacred Mosque to make tawaf around the Kabah as an act of worship to the idols that we made pilgrimage to and glorified. I inserted a piece of cotton in my ears out of fear that something of the speech of Muhammad would reach my hearing. As soon as I entered the Mosque, I saw him standing near the Kabah. He was praying in a fashion which was different from our prayer. His whole manner of worship was different. The scene captivated me. 
His worship made me tremble and I felt drawn to him, despite myself, until I was quite close to him.

Not withstanding the precaution I had taken, God willed that some of what he was saying should reach my hearing and I heard a speech that was so beautiful that I said to myself, “What are you doing, Tufayl? You are a perceptive poet. You can distinguish between the good and the bad in poetry. What prevents you from listening to what this man is saying? If what comes from him is good, accept it, and if it is bad, reject it.”

I remained there until the Prophet left for his home. I followed him as he entered his house, and I entered also and said, “O Muhammad, your people have said certain things to me about you. By God, they kept on frightening me away from your message so that I even blocked my ears to keep out your words. Despite this, God caused me to hear something of it and I found it good. So tell me more about your mission.”

The Prophet, peace be upon him, did and recited to me Surah Al-Iklaas and Surah Al-Falaq. I swear by God, I had never heard such beautiful words before. Neither was a more noble or just mission ever described to me. Thereupon, I stretched out my hand to him in allegiance and testified that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. This is how I entered Islam.

I stayed on for some time in Makkah learning the teachings of Islam memorizing parts of the Quran. When I decided to return to my people, I said, “O Rasulullah. I am a man who is obeyed in his tribe. I am going back to them and I shall invite them to Islam . . .”

When I returned to my people, my father, who was quite old then, came up to me and I said, ‘O Father, let me relate my news to you. I am no longer from you and you are not of me.”

“Why so, my son?” he asked.

“I have accepted Islam and now follow the religion of Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him,” I replied.

“My son,” he said, “your religion is my religion.”

”Go and wash your self and cleanse your clothes,” I said. “Then come that I may teach you what I have learnt.”

This the old man did and I explained Islam to him and he became a Muslim.

“Then came my wife and I said, “Let me relate my news to you. I am no longer of you and you are not of me.”

“Good heavens! Why so?” she exclaimed.

“Islam has separated us,” I explained. “I have become a Muslim and follow the religion of Muhammad.”

“Your religion is my religion,” she replied.

‘Then go and purify yourself, not with the water of Dhu Shara, the idol of the Daws, but with pure water from the mountain. ”

“Good gracious! Do you fear anything from Dhu Shara?”

“Damn Dhu Shari. I told you, go and wash there, far away from people. I guarantee you that this dumb stone won’t do a thing to you.”
She went and washed and I explained Islam to her and she became a Muslim. I then invited the Daws as a whole to become Muslims. They were all slow in responding, except Abu Hurayrah. He was the quickest to respond to the invitation of Islam.

The next time I went to Makkah, Abu Hurayrah was with me. “What have you left behind?’ the Prophet asked me.

“Hearts with veils over them obscuring the Truth, and firm disbelief. Sin and disobedience have won over the Daws.”

The Prophet thereupon stood up, made wudu and prayed with his hands raised to the heavens. Abu Hurayrah remarked, “When I saw the Prophet like this, I was afraid that he was praying against my people and that they would be destroyed.”

But the Prophet, upon whom be peace, prayed, “O Lord, guide the Daws, guide the Daws, guide the Daws.” Then he turned to me and said:

“Go back to your people, befriend them, treat them gently and invite them to Islam.”

I stayed in the land of the Daws inviting them to Islam until after the hijrah of the Prophet to Madinah and after the battle of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq had taken place. Then I went to the Prophet. With me were eighty families who had become Muslims and who were strong in their faith. The Prophet was pleased with us and he gave us a portion of the booty after the battle of Khaybar. We said to him, “O Rasulullah, make us the right wing of your army in every battle and make our efforts acceptable.”

Tufayl stayed with the Prophet until the liberation of Makkah. After the destruction of the idols there, Tufayl asked the Prophet to send him to put an end to the worship of Dhu-l Kafayn, the chief idol of his people. The Prophet gave him permission.

Back in Tihama among the Daws, men, women and children of the tribe had gathered and were agitated that the idol was going to be burnt. They were waiting to see if any evil would befall Tufayl should he harm Dhu-l Kafayn. Tufayl approached the idols with the worshipers around it. As he set fire to it, he proclaimed:

“O Dhu-l Kafayn, of your worshipers I certainly am not. Fire have I inserted into your heart.”

Whatever shirk remained in the Daws tribe went up in the flames that burnt the idol. The whole tribe became Muslims.

Tufayl remained a lieutenant of the Prophet until the noble messenger passed away. Tufayl then placed himself in the service of the Khalifah Abu Bakr, the successor of the Prophet. During the Riddah wars, he led a contingent of his people against the impostor Musaylamah.

In the battle of al-Yamamah that followed, the dear companion of the Prophet, Tufayl ibn Amr fought hard but eventually fell as a martyr on the battlefield.
Courtesy of ISL Software, makers of the WinAlim Islamic database. List of the Sahaabah’s Biographies

An-Numan Ibn Muqarrin

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An-Numan Ibn Muqarrin

The tribe of Muzaynah had their habitations some distance from Yathrib on the caravan route which linked the city to Makkah. News of the Prophet’s arrival in Yathrib spread rapidly and soon reached the Muzaynah through members of the tribe who had left and returned.

One evening the chieftain of the tribe, an-Numan ibn Maqarrin, sat among the elders and other members of the tribe and addressed them:

“O my people, by God, we have learnt only good about Muhammad, and of His mission we have heard nothing but mercy, kindness and justice. What’s wrong with us? Why do we tarry while people are hastening to him?”

“As for myself,” he continued, “I have made up my mind to leave early in the morning to join him. Whoever of you wishes to go with me, let him get ready.”

An-Numan must have been a persuasive chieftain. His words had a wondrous effect on the ears of his people. The following morning an-Numan’s ten brothers and four hundred horsemen of the Muzaynah were all ready and prepared to go with him to Yathrib to meet the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, and enter the religion of Islam.

An-Numan however felt embarrassed to go to the Prophet with such a numerous following without carrying any presents for him and the Muslims. There wasn’t much he could carry anyway. That year was a year of drought and famine for the Muzaynah and much of their livestock and crops had perished.
Still, an-Numan went around the dwellings of his fellow tribesmen and gathered up whatever sheep and goats were left. These he drove before him and made his way to Madinah. There in the presence of the Prophet, he and his fellow tribesmen announced their acceptance of Islam.

The whole of Madinah was agog with excitement with the coming of an-Numan and his companions. Never before had there been a single family with all eleven brothers accepting Islam at the same time together with four hundred horsemen. The noble Prophet was exceedingly glad and rejoiced greatly. Indeed the sincerity of their effort was accepted and commended by God Almighty when He revealed the following words of the Quran to the Prophet:

“And among the nomad Arabs are such as believe in God and the Last Day, and regard all that they spend in God’s cause as a means of drawing them nearer to God and of (their being remembered in) the Apostle’s prayers. Oh, verily, it shall (indeed) be a means of (God’s) nearness to them, (for) God will admit them into His grace. Verily God is much-Forgiving, most Merciful.”

(The Quran, Surah at-Tawbah, 9:99).

An-Numan lived under the guidance of the Prophet and participated in all the campaigns he waged with valor and dedication. In the time of Abu Bakr, he and the people of Muzaynah played a major and commendable role in putting an end to the fitnah of apostasy. During the caliphate of Umar al-Faruq, an-Numan distinguished himself, in particular, in the encounters with the Sasananian Empire.

Shortly before the Battle of Qadisiyyah, the commander of the Muslim forces Sad ibn Abi Waqqas sent a delegation to the Sasanian Emperor, Yazdagird. The delegation was headed by an-Numan ibn Muqarrin and its main purpose was to invite the emperor to Islam . 
When an-Numan and his delegation reached Ctesiphon, the Sasanian capital, the people of the city looked upon them with curiosity and some disdain. They remarked on their simple appearance, their rough clothes and shoes and their weak looking horses. The Muslims were in no way overwhelmed and sought an audience with Yazdagird. He granted them permission, summoned an interpreter and said to him:

“Say to them (the Muslims): why have you come to our dominions and why do you want to invade us? Perhaps, you have designs on us… and seek to venture against us because we are preoccupied with you. But we do not wish to inflict punishment on you.” An-Numan turned to his men and said:

“If you wish, I shall reply to him on your behalf. But if any one of you wants to speak let him do so first.” The Muslims told an-Numan to speak and turning to the Emperor, said: “This man speaks with our tongue so do listen to what he says.” An-Numan began by praising and glorifying God and invoking peace and blessings on His Prophet. Then he said:

“Indeed God has been Kind and Merciful to us and has sent to us a Messenger to show us the good and command us to follow it; to make us realize what is evil and forbade us from it.

“The Messenger promised us if we were to respond to what he summoned us, God would bestow on us the good of this world and the good of the hereafter.

“Not much time has elapsed but God has given us abundance in place of hardship, honor in place of humiliation and mercy and brotherhood in place of our former enmity.

“The Messenger has commanded us to summon mankind to what is best for them and to begin with those who are our neighbors.

“We therefore invite you to enter into our religion. It is a religion which beautifies and promotes all good and which detests and discourages all that is ugly and reprehensible. It is a religion which leads its adherents from the darkness of tyranny and unbelief to the light and justice of faith.”

“Should you respond positively to us and come to Islam, it would be our duty to introduce the Book of God in your midst and help you to live according to it and rule according to its laws. We would then return and leave you to conduct your own affairs.

“Should you refuse, however, to enter the religion of God, we would take the jizyah from you and give you protection in return. If you refuse to give the jizyah, we shall declare war on you.”

Yazdagird was angry and furious at what he had heard and said in ridicule: “Certainly I do not know of a nation on earth who is more wretched than you and whose numbers are so few, who are more divided and whose condition is more evil.”

“We have been used to delegate your affairs to our provincial governors and they exacted obedience from you on our behalf.” Then softening his tone somewhat, he continued, but with greater sarcasm: “If there is any need which has pushed you to come to us, we would enlist forces to help you make your lands fertile. We would clothe your leaders and the notables of your people and place a king from among ourselves over you who would be gentle to you.”

One of an-Numan’s delegation responded sharply to this and Yazdagird flew into a rage once more and shouted: “Were it for the fact that ambassadors are not killed, I would kill you all. “Get up. You shall have nothing from me. And tell your commander that I am sending Rustum against him to bury him and you together in the ditch of al Qadisiyyah.”

Yazdagird then called for a basketful of earth and ordered that it should be borne outside the city gates by the one whom the Muslims considered to be the most noble among them as a sign of humiliation. Asim the son of Umar accepted the load as a happy augury and took it to the commander-in-chief, Sad ibn Abi Waqqas, and said to him:

“Accept our congratulations for the victory. The enemy has voluntarily surrendered his territory to us.” The Battle of Qadisiyyah ensued and after four days of bitter fighting, the Muslim forces emerged victorious. The victory paved the way for the Muslim advance into the plains of the Euphrates and the Tigris. The Persian capital, Ctesiphon, fell and this was followed by a number of engagements as the Persians withdrew northwards.

Despite other defeats and setbacks, Yazdagird refused to yield and constantly organized new levies to attack the Muslims and foment insurrection in the provinces which had come under Muslim control.

Umar had counselled moderation on his generals and ordered them not to press too far eastwards. However he received news of a massive Persian mobilization of about 15O,OOO warriors against the Muslims. He thought of leaving Madinah and facing the massive threat himself. He was advised against this by prominent Muslims in Madinah who suggested instead that he should appoint a military commander to confront the grave situation.

“Show me a man whom I can appoint for this task.” said. “You know your army best, O Amir al- Muminin,” they replied and after some thought Umar exclaimed:

“By God, I shall appoint as commander-in-chief of the Muslim army a man who, when the two armies meet, will be the most active. He is an-Numan ibn Muqarrin al-Muzani.” To him, Umar despatched a letter: “From the servant of God, Umar ibn al-Khattab, to an-Numan ibn Muqarrin:

“I have received news that large numbers of Persians have gathered to fight you in the city of Nihawand. When this my letter reaches you go forward (to confront them) with the help of God, with whoever of the Muslims are with you. Don’t take the Muslims over too difficult terrain lest they may be hurt, for one Muslim person is dearer to me than a hundred thousand dinars. And Peace be unto you.”

An-Numan responded to the orders of the Amir al-Muminin and mobilized the Muslim forces. He despatched an advanced detachment of cavalry to reconnoiter the approaches of the city. Just outside Nihawand, the horses stopped and despite prodding would go no further. The riders dismounted and discovered iron nails in the horses’ hooves. They looked around and found that all approaches to the city were strewn with these iron spikes to halt the advance of the Muslim army. 
On being informed of this, an-Numan ordered the

horsemen to remain where they were and at nightfall to light fires for the enemy to see them. They were also to feign fear and defeat in order to entice the enemy to come out to them and in the process clear the approaches of the iron spikes. The ruse worked. When the Persians saw the vanguard of the Muslim army appearing dejected and defeated before them, they sent workers to clear the area of the spikes. These workers were captured by the Muslim cavalry who gained control of the approaches to the city .

An-Numan pitched camp on the outskirts of the city and decided to make a determined assault on the city. He addressed his soldiers:

“I shall say Allahu Akbar three times. At the first time, get Yourselves ready (by performing your toilet and making wudu). At the second time, let every man of you get ready his weapons and gird them on. And the third time, I shall move against the enemies of God and you must join in the attack with me.” He went on:

“And if an-Numan is killed, let no one tarry over him. For I shall (now) make a supplication to God Almighty and I want everyone of you to say ‘Ameen’. ”

He then prayed: “May God grant martyrdom to an-Numan this day and may He grant victory to the Muslims.”

Three times an-Numan shouted Allahu Akbar. On the third time, he plunged into the ranks of the enemies and the Muslims rushed on behind him. They were outnumbered six to one but inflicted terrible losses on the Persians.

An-Numan received a mortal blow during the battle. His brother took the standard from his hand, and covered him with a burdah and concealed his death from the others. The Muslim forces emerged victorious. The Persians never recovered themselves after this battle which Muslim historians have called “the Victory of Victories”.

The battle over, the victorious soldiers asked for their valiant commander. His brother lifted the burdab and said: “This is your Amir. God has shown him victory and blessed him with martyrdom.”

When the news was brought to Umar in Madinah, a companion who was with him said: “I saw Umar, may God be pleased with him. When he heard of the death of an-Numan ibn Muqarrin, he placed his head in his hands and began to cry.”

From Alim® Online

Fatimah Bint Muhammad

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Fatimah Bint Muhammad

Fatimah was the fifth child of Muhammad and Khadijah. She was born at a time when her noble father had begun to spend long periods in the solitude of mountains around Makkah, meditating and reflecting on the great mysteries of creation.
This was the time, before the Bithah, when her eldest sister Zaynab was married to her cousin, al-Aas ibn ar Rabiah. Then followed the marriage of her two other sisters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum, to the sons of Abu Lahab, a paternal uncle of the Prophet. Both Abu Lahab and his wife Umm Jamil turned out to be flaming enemies of the Prophet from the very beginning of his public mission.

The little Fatimah thus saw her sisters leave home one after the other to live with their husbands. She was too young to understand the meaning of marriage and the reasons why her sisters had to leave home. She loved them dearly and was sad and lonely when they left. It is said that a certain silence and painful sadness came over her then.

Of course, even after the marriage of her sisters, she was not alone in the house of her parents. Barakah, the maid-servant of Aminah, the Prophet’s mother, who had been with the Prophet since his birth, Zayd ibn Harithah, and Ali, the young son of Abu Talib were all part of Muhammad’s household at this time. And of course there was her loving mother, the lady Khadijah.

In her mother and in Barakah, Fatimah found a great deal of solace and comfort. in Ali, who was about two years older than she, she found a “brother” and a friend who somehow took the place of her own brother al-Qasim who had died in his infancy. Her other brother Abdullah, known as the Good and the Pure, who was born after her, also died in his infancy. However in none of the people in her father’s household did Fatimah find the carefree joy and happiness which she enjoyed with her sisters. She was an unusually sensitive child for her age.

When she was five, she heard that her father had become Rasul Allah, the Messenger of God. His first task was to convey the good news of Islam to his family and close relations. They were to worship God Almighty alone. Her mother, who was a tower of strength and support, explained to Fatimah what her father had to do. From this time on, she became more closely attached to him and felt a deep and abiding love for him. Often she would be at hisside walking through the narrow streets and alleys of Makkah, visiting the Kabah or attending secret gatherings of the early Muslims who had accepted Islam and pledged allegiance to the Prophet.

One day, when she was not yet ten, she accompanied her father to the Masjid al-Haram. He stood in the place known as al-Hijr facing the Kabah and began to pray. Fatimah stood at his side. A group of Quraysh, by no means well-disposed to the Prophet, gathered about him. They included Abu Jahl ibn Hisham, the Prophet’s uncle, Uqbah ibn Abi Muayt, Umayyah ibn Khalaf, and Shaybah and Utbah, sons of Rabi’ah. Menacingly, the group went up to the Prophet and Abu Jahl, the ringleader, asked:

“Which of you can bring the entrails of a slaughtered animal and throw it on Muhammad?”
Uqbah ibn Abi Muayt, one of the vilest of the lot, volunteered and hurried off. He returned with the obnoxious filth and threw it on the shoulders of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, while he was still prostrating. Abdullah ibn Masud, a companion of the Prophet, was present but he was powerless to do or say anything.

Imagine the feelings of Fatimah as she saw her father being treated in this fashion. What could she, a girl not ten years old, do? She went up to her father and removed the offensive matter and then stood firmly and angrily before the group of Quraysh thugs and lashed out against them. Not a single word did they say to her. The noble Prophet raised his head on completion of the prostration and went on to complete the Salat. He then said: “O Lord, may you punish the Quraysh!” and repeated this imprecation three times. Then he continued:

“May You punish Utbah, Uqbah, Abu Jahl and Shaybah.” (These whom he named were all killed many years later at the Battle of Badr)
On another occasion, Fatimah was with the Prophet as he made; tawaf around the Kabah. A Quraysh mob gathered around him. They seized him and tried to strangle him with his own clothes. Fatimah screamed and shouted for help. Abu Bakr rushed to the scene and managed to free the Prophet. While he was doing so, he pleaded:

“Would you kill a man who says, ‘My Lord is God?'” Far from giving up, the mob turned on Abu Bakr and began beating him until blood flowed from his head and face.

Such scenes of vicious opposition and harassment against her father and the early Muslims were witnessed by the young Fatimah. She did not meekly stand aside but joined in the struggle in defence of her father and his noble mission. She was still a young girl and instead of the cheerful romping, the gaiety and liveliness which children of her age are and should normally be accustomed to, Fatimah had to witness and participate in such ordeals.

Of course, she was not alone in this. The whole of the Prophet’s family suffered from the violent and mindless Quraysh. Her sisters, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum also suffered. They were living at this time in the very nest of hatred and intrigue against the Prophet. Their husbands were Utbah and Utaybah, sons of Abu Lahab and Umm Jamil. 
Umm Jamil was known to be a hard and harsh woman who had a sharp and evil tongue. It was mainly because of her that Khadijah was not pleased with the marriages of her daughters to Umm Jamil’s sons in the first place. It must have been painful for Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum to be living in the household of such inveterate enemies who not only joined but led the campaign against their father.

As a mark of disgrace to Muhammad and his family, Utbah and Utaybah were prevailed upon by their parents to divorce their wives. This was part of the process of ostracizing the Prophet totally. The Prophet in fact welcomed his daughters back to his home with joy, happiness and relief.

Fatimah, no doubt, must have been happy to be with her sisters once again. They all wished that their eldest sister, Zaynab, would also be divorced by her husband. In fact, the Quraysh brought pressure on Abu-l Aas to do so but he refused. When the Quraysh leaders came up to him and promised him the richest and most beautiful woman as a wife should he divorce Zaynab, he replied:

“I love my wife deeply and passionately and I have a great and high esteem for her father even though I have not entered the religion of Islam.”
Both Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum were happy to be back with their loving parents and to be rid of the unbearable mental torture to which they had been subjected in the house of Umm Jamil. Shortly afterwards, Ruqayyah married again, to the young and shy Uthman ibn Affan who was among the first to have accepted Islam. They both left for Abyssinia among the first muhajirin who sought refuge in that land and stayed there for several years. 
Fatimah was not to see Ruqayyah again until after their mother had died. The persecution of the Prophet, his family and his followers continued and even became worse after the migration of the first Muslims to Abyssinia. In about the seventh year of his mission, the Prophet and his family were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in a rugged little valley enclosed by hills on all sides and defile, which could only be entered from Makkah by a narrow path.

To this arid valley, Muhammad and the clans of Banu Hashim and al-Muttalib were forced to retire with limited supplies of food. Fatimah was one of the youngest members of the clans -just about twelve years old – and had to undergo months of hardship and suffering. The wailing of hungry children and women in the valley could be heard from Makkah. The Quraysh allowed no food and contact with the Muslims whose hardship was only relieved somewhat during the season of pilgrimage. 
The boycott lasted for three years. When it was lifted, the Prophet had to face even more trials and difficulties. Khadijah, the faithful and loving, died shortly afterwards. With her death, the Prophet and his family lost one of the greatest sources of comfort and strength which had sustained them through the difficult period. The year in which the noble Khadijah, and later Abu Talib, died is known as the Year of Sadness. Fatimah, now a young lady, was greatly distressed by her mother’s death. She wept bitterly and for some time was so grief-striken that her health deteriorated. It was even feared she might die of grief.

Although her older sister, Umm Kulthum, stayed in the same household, Fatimah realized that she now had a greater responsibility with the passing away of her mother. She felt that she had to give even greater support to her father. With loving tenderness, she devoted herself to looking after his needs. So concerned was she for his welfare that she came to be called “Umm Abi-ha the mother of her father”. She also provided him with solace and comfort during times of trial, difficulty and crisis.

Often the trials were too much for her. Once, about this time, an insolent mob heaped dust and earth upon his gracious head. As he entered his home, Fatimah wept profusely as she wiped the dust from her father’s head.

“Do not cry, my daughter,” he said, “for God shall protect your father.”

The Prophet had a special love for Fatimah. He once said: “Whoever pleased Fatimah has indeed pleased God and whoever has caused her to be angry has indeed angered God. Fatimah is a part of me. Whatever pleases her pleases me and whatever angers her angers me.”

He also said: “The best women in all the world are four: the Virgin Mary, Aasiyaa the wife of Pharoah, Khadijah Mother of the Believers, and Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad.” Fatimah thus acquired a place of love and esteem in the Prophet’s heart that was only occupied by his wife Khadijah.

Fatimah, may God be pleased with her, was given the title of “az-Zahraa” which means “the Resplendent One”. That was because of her beaming face which seemed to radiate light. It is said that when she stood for Prayer, the mihrab would reflect the light of her countenance. She was also called “al-Batul” because of her asceticism. Instead of spending her time in the company of women, much of her time would be spent in Salat, in reading the Quran and in other acts of ibadah.

Fatimah had a strong resemblance to her father, the Messenger of God. Aishah. the wife of the Prophet, said of her: “I have not seen any one of God’s creation resemble the Messenger of God more in speech, conversation and manner of sitting than Fatimah, may God be pleased with her. When the Prophet saw her approaching, he would welcome her, stand up and kiss her, take her by the hand and sit her down in the place where he was sitting.” She would do the same when the Prophet came to her. She would stand up and welcome him with joy and kiss him.

Fatimah’s fine manners and gentle speech were part of her lovely and endearing personality. She was especially kind to poor and indigent folk and would often give all the food she had to those in need even if she herself remained hungry. She had no craving for the ornaments of this world nor the luxury and comforts of life. She lived simply, although on occasion as we shall see circumstances seemed to be too much and too difficult for her.

She inherited from her father a persuasive eloquence that was rooted in wisdom. When she spoke, people would often be moved to tears. She had the ability and the sincerity to stir the emotions, move people to tears and fill their hearts with praise and gratitude to God for His grace and His inestimable bounties.

Fatimah migrated to Madinah a few weeks after the Prophet did. She went with Zayd ibn Harithah who was sent by the Prophet back to Makkah to bring the rest of his family. The party included Fatimah and Umm Kulthum, Sawdah, the Prophet’s wife, Zayd’s wife Barakah and her son Usamah. Travelling with the group also were Abdullah the son of Abu Bakr who accompanied his mother and his sisters, Aishah and Asma.

In Madinah, Fatimah lived with her father in the simple dwelling he had built adjoining the mosque. In the second year after the Hijrah, she received proposals of marriage through her father, two of which were turned down. Then Ali, the son of Abu Talib, plucked up courage and went to the Prophet to ask for her hand in marriage. In the presence of the Prophet, however, Ali became over-awed and tongue-tied. He stared at the ground and could not say anything. The Prophet then asked: “Why have you come? Do you need something?” Ali still could not speak and then the Prophet suggested: “Perhaps you have come to propose marriage to Fatimah.”

“Yes,” replied Ali. At this, according to one report, the Prophet said simply: “Marhaban wa ahlan – Welcome into the family,” and this was taken by Ali and a group of Ansar who were waiting outside for him as indicating the Prophet’s approval. Another report indicated that the Prophet approved and went on to ask Ali if he had anything to give as mahr. Ali replied that he didn’t. The Prophet reminded him that he had a shield which could be sold.

Ali sold the shield to Uthman for four hundred dirhams and as he was hurrying back to the Prophet to hand over the sum as mahr, Uthman stopped him and said:

“I am returning your shield to you as a present from me on your marriage to Fatimah.” Fatimah and Ali were thus married most probably at the beginning of the second year after the Hijrah. She was about nineteen years old at the time and Ali was about twenty one. The Prophet himself performed the marriage ceremony. At the walimah. the guests were served with dates, figs and hais ( a mixture of dates and butter fat). A leading member of the Ansar donated a ram and others made offerings of grain. All Madinah rejoiced.

On her marriage. the Prophet is said to have presented Fatimah and Ali with a wooden bed intertwined with palm leaves, a velvet coverlet. a leather cushion filled with palm fibre, a sheepskin, a pot, a waterskin and a quern for grinding grain.
Fatimah left the home of her beloved father for the first time to begin life with her husband. The Prophet was clearly anxious on her account and sent Barakah with her should she be in need of any help. And no doubt Barakah was a source of comfort and solace to her. The Prophet prayed for them:

“O Lord, bless them both, bless their house and bless their offspring.” In Ali’s humble dwelling, there was only a sheepskin for a bed. In the morning after the wedding night, the Prophet went to Ali’s house and knocked on the door.

Barakah came out and the Prophet said to her: “O Umm Ayman, call my brother for me.”

“Your brother? That’s the one who married your daughter?” asked Barakah somewhat incredulously as if to say: Why should the Prophet call Ali his “brother”? (He referred to Ali as his brother because just as pairs of Muslims were joined in brotherhood after the Hijrah, so the Prophet and Ali were linked as “brothers”.)

The Prophet repeated what he had said in a louder voice. Ali came and the Prophet made a du’a, invoking the blessings of God on him. Then he asked for Fatimah. She came almost cringing with a mixture of awe and shyness and the Prophet said to her:

“I have married you to the dearest of my family to me.” In this way, he sought to reassure her. She was not starting life with a complete stranger but with one who had grown up in the same household, who was among the first to become a Muslim at a tender age, who was known for his courage, bravery and virtue, and whom the Prophet described as his “brother in this world and the hereafter”.

Fatimah’s life with Ali was as simple and frugal as it was in her father’s household. In fact, so far as material comforts were concerned, it was a life of hardship and deprivation. Throughout their life together, Ali remained poor because he did not set great store by material wealth. Fatimah was the only one of her sisters who was not married to a wealthy man.

In fact, it could be said that Fatimah’s life with Ali was even more rigorous than life in her father’s home. At least before marriage, there were always a number of ready helping hands in the Prophet’s household. But now she had to cope virtually on her own. To relieve their extreme poverty, Ali worked as a drawer and carrier of water and she as a grinder of corn. One day she said to Ali: “I have ground until my hands are blistered.”

“I have drawn water until I have pains in my chest,” said Ali and went on to suggest to Fatimah: “God has given your father some captives of war, so go and ask him to give you a servant.”

Reluctantly, she went to the Prophet who said: “What has brought you here, my little daughter?” “I came to give you greetings of peace,” she said, for in awe of him she could not bring herself to ask what she had intended.

“What did you do?” asked Ali when she returned alone.

“I was ashamed to ask him,” she said. So the two of them went together but the Prophet felt they were less in need than others.

“I will not give to you,” he said, “and let the Ahl as-Suffah (poor Muslims who stayed in the mosque) be tormented with hunger. I have not enough for their keep…”
Ali and Fatimah returned home feeling somewhat dejected but that night, after they had gone to bed, they heard the voice of the Prophet asking permission to enter. Welcoming him, they both rose to their feet, but he told them:

“Stay where you are,” and sat down beside them. “Shall I not tell you of something better than that which you asked of me?” he asked and when they said yes he said: “Words which Jibril taught me, that you should say “Subhaan Allah- Glory be to God” ten times after every Prayer, and ten times “ALhamdulillah – Praise be to God,” and ten times “Allahu Akbar – God is Great.” And that when you go to bed you should say them thirty-three times each.”

Ali used to say in later years: “I have never once failed to say them since the Messenger of God taught them to us.”

There are many reports of the hard and difficult times which Fatimah had to face. Often there was no food in her house. Once the Prophet was hungry. He went to one after another of his wives’ apartments but there was no food. He then went to Fatimah’s house and she had no food either. When he eventually got some food, he sent two loaves and a piece of meat to Fatimah. 
At another time, he went to the house of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari and from the food he was given, he saved some for her. Fatimah also knew that the Prophet was without food for long periods and she in turn would take food to him when she could. Once she took a piece of barley bread and he, said to her: “This is the first food your father has eaten for three days.”

Through these acts of kindness she showed how much she loved her father; and he loved her, really loved her in return.

Once he returned from a journey outside Madinah. He went to the mosque first of all and prayed two rakats as was his custom. Then, as he often did, he went to Fatimah’s house before going to his wives. Fatimah welcomed him and kissed his face, his mouth and his eyes and cried.

“Why do you cry?” the Prophet asked.

“I see you, O Rasul Allah,” she said, “Your color is pale and sallow and your clothes have become worn and shabby.” ,.”O Fatimah,” the Prophet replied tenderly, “don’t cry for Allah has sent your father with a mission which He would cause to affect every house on the face of the earth whether it be in towns, villages or tents (in the desert) bringing either glory or humiliation until this mission is fulfilled just as night (inevitably) comes.”

With such comments Fatimah was often taken from the harsh realities of daily life to get a glimpse of the vast and far-reaching vistas opened up by the mission entrusted to her noble father.

Fatimah eventually returned to live in a house close to that of the Prophet. The place was donated by an Ansari who knew that the Prophet would rejoice in having his daughter as his neighbor. Together they shared in the joys and the triumphs, the sorrows and the hardships of the crowded and momentous Madinah days and years.

In the middle of the second year after the Hijrah, her sister Ruqayyah fell ill with fever and measles. This was shortly before the great campaign of Badr. Uthman, her husband, stayed by her bedside and missed the campaign. Ruqayyah died just before her father returned. On his return to Madinah, one of the first acts of the Prophet was to visit her grave.
Fatimah went with him. This was the first bereavement they had suffered within their closest family since the death of Khadijah. Fatimah was greatly distressed by the loss of her sister. The tears poured from her eyes as she sat beside her father at the edge of the grave, and he comforted her and sought to dry her tears with the corner of his cloak.

The Prophet had previously spoken against lamentations for the dead, but this had lead to a misunderstanding, and when they returned from the cemetery the voice of Umar was heard raised in anger against the women who were weeping for the martyrs of Badr and for Ruqayyah.

“Umar, let them weep,” he said and then added: “What comes from the heart and from the eye, that is from God and His mercy, but what comes from the hand and from the tongue, that is from Satan.” By the hand he meant the beating of breasts and the smiting of cheeks, and by the tongue he meant the loud clamor in which women often joined as a mark of public sympathy.

Uthman later married the other daughter of the Prophet, Umm Kulthum, and on this account came to be known as Dhu-n Nurayn – Possessor of the Two Lights.

The bereavement which the family suffered by the death of Ruqayyah was followed by happiness when to the great joy of all the believers Fatimah gave birth to a boy in Ramadan of the third year after the Hijrah. The Prophet spoke the words of the Adhan into the ear of the new-born babe and called him al- Hasan which means the Beautiful One.

One year later, she gave birth to another son who was called al-Husayn, which means “little Hasan” or the little beautiful one. Fatimah would often bring her two sons to see their grandfather who was exceedingly fond of them. Later he would take them to the Mosque and they would climb onto his back when he prostrated. He did the same with his little granddaughter Umamah, the daughter of Zaynab.

In the eighth year after the Hijrah, Fatimah gave birth to a third child, a girl whom she named after her eldest sister Zaynab who had died shortly before her birth. This Zaynab was to grow up and become famous as the “Heroine of Karbala”. Fatimah’s fourth child was born in the year after the Hijrah. The child was also a girl and Fatimah named her Umm Kulthum after her sister who had died the year before after an illness.

It was only through Fatimah that the progeny of the Prophet was perpetuated. All the Prophet’s male children had died in their infancy and the two children of Zaynab named Ali and Umamah died young. Ruqayyah’s child Abdullah also died when he was not yet two years old. This is an added reason for the reverence which is accorded to Fatimah.

Although Fatimah was so often busy with pregnancies and giving birth and rearing children, she took as much part as she could in the affairs of the growing Muslim community of Madinah. Before her marriage, she acted as a sort of hostess to the poor and destitute Ahl as-Suffah. As soon as the Battle of Uhud was over, she went with other women to the battlefield and wept over the dead martyrs and took time to dress her father’s wounds.
 At the Battle of the Ditch, she played a major supportive role together with other women in preparing food during the long and difficult siege. In her camp, she led the Muslim women in prayer and on that place there stands a mosque named Masjid Fatimah, one of seven mosques where the Muslims stood guard and performed their devotions.

Fatimah also accompanied the Prophet when he made Umrah in the sixth year after the Hijrah after the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. In the following year, she and her sister Umm Kulthum, were among the mighty throng of Muslims who took part with the Prophet in the liberation of Makkah. It is said that on this occasion, both Fatimah and Umm Kulthum visited the home of their mother Khadijah and recalled memories of their childhood and memories of jihad, of long struggles in the early years of the Prophet’s mission.

In Ramadan of the tenth year just before he went on his Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet confided to Fatimah, as a secret not yet to be told to others:

“Jibril recited the Quran to me and I to him once every year, but this year he has recited it with me twice. I cannot but think that my time has come.”

On his return from the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet did become seriously ill. His final days were spent in the apartment of his wife Aishah. When Fatimah came to visit him, Aishah would leave father and daughter together.

One day he summoned Fatimah. When she came, he kissed her and whispered some words in her ear. She wept. Then again he whispered in her ear and she smiled. Aishah saw and asked:

“You cry and you laugh at the same time, Fatimah? What did the Messenger of God say to you?” Fatimah replied:

“He first told me that he would meet his Lord after a short while and so I cried. Then he said to me: ‘Don’t cry for you will be the first of my household to join me.’ So I laughed.”

Not long afterwards the noble Prophet passed away. Fatimah was grief-striken and she would often be seen weeping profusely. One of the companions noted that he did not see Fatimah, may God be pleased with her, laugh after the death of her father.

One morning, early in the month of Ramadan, just less than five month after her noble father had passed away, Fatimah woke up looking unusually happy and full of mirth. In the afternoon of that day, it is said that she called Salma bint Umays who was looking after her. She asked for some water and had a bath. She then put on new clothes and perfumed herself. She then asked Salma to put her bed in the courtyard of the house. With her face looking to the heavens above, she asked for her husband Ali.

He was taken aback when he saw her lying in the middle of the courtyard and asked her what was wrong. She smiled and said: “I have an appointment today with the Messenger of God.”

Ali cried and she tried to console him. She told him to look after their sons al-Hasan and al-Husayn and advised that she should be buried without ceremony. She gazed upwards again, then closed her eyes and surrendered her soul to the Mighty Creator.

She, Fatimah the Resplendent One, was just twenty nine years old. 
From Alim® Online

An-Nuayman Ibn Amr

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An-Nuayman Ibn Amr

In spite of the fact that he fought in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and other major encounters, an-Nuayman remained a light-hearted person who was quick at repartee and who loved to play practical jokes on others.

He belonged to the Banu an-Najjar of Madinah and he was among the early Muslims of the city. He was one of those who pledged allegiance to the Prophet at the Second Pledge of Aqabah. He established links with the Quraysh when he married the sister of Abdur-Rahman ibn Awl and later Umm Kulthum the daughter of Uqbah ibn Mu’ayt. She had obtained a divorce from her husband az-Zubayr ibn al- Awwam on account of his harshness and severity.

Unfortunately for a time an-Nuayman became addicted to alcohol. He was caught drinking and the Prophet had him flogged. He was caught a second time and then he had him flogged again. Because he still did not give up the habit, the Prophet ordered that he be flogged with shoes. When all this did not persuade him to stop drinking, the Prophet finally said: “If he goes back (to drinking) then kill him.”
This was a severe Pronouncement and Umayr, one of the companions of the Prophet, understood from it that should he return to the drinking of alcohol, an-Nuayman would go outside the pale of Islam and deserve death. Umayr gave vent to his anger and disgust by saying: “La ‘nat Allah alayhi – may God’s curse be on him.”

The Prophet heard Umayr’s imprecation and said: “No, no, don’t do (such a thing). Indeed he loves God and His Apostle. The major sin (as this) does not put one outside the community and the mercy of God is close to the believers.”

While being firm, the Prophet still held out hope for an-Nuayman’s reform especially on account of his past sacrifices as a veteran of Badr. Because he was not someone who went out of his way to conceal his actions, it was easier for him to acknowledge his crimes and repent and seek forgiveness from God. This he did and he won the favor of the Prophet and his companions who enjoyed his pleasantries and his infectious laughter.

Once an-Nuayman went to the suq and saw some food being sold which appeared to be tasty and delightful. He ordered some and sent it to the Prophet as if it were a gift from him. The Prophet was delighted with the food and he and his family ate of it. The vendor of the food then came to an-Nuayman to collect the price of it and an-Nuayman said to him: “Go to the Messenger of God it was for him. He and his family ate it.”

The vendor went to the Prophet who in turn asked an-Nuayman: “Didn’t you give it to me?” “Yes,” said an-Nuayman. “I thought you would like it and I wanted you to eat some of it so I had it presented to you. But I don’t have any dirhams to pay the vendor for it. So, pay, O Messenger of God!”

The Prophet had a good laugh and so did his companions. The laugh was at his expense, literally, for he had to pay the price of the unsolicited gift. An-Nuayman felt that two benefits came out of the incident: the Prophet and his family ate food that they enjoyed and the Muslims had a good laugh.

Once Abu Bakr and some companions went on a trading expedition to Busra. Various people on the trip were given fixed duties. Suwaybit ibn Harmalah was made responsible for food and provisions. An-Nuayman was one of the group and on the way he became hungry and asked Suwaybit for some food. Suwaybit refused and an-Nuayman said to him:

“Do you know what I would yet do with you?” and went on to warn and threaten him but still Suwaybit refused. An-Nuayman then went to a group of Arabs in the suq and said to them: “Would you like to have a strong and sturdy slave whom I can sell to you.” They said yes and an-Nuayman went on: “He has got a ready tongue and is very articulate. He would resist you and say: ‘I am free.’ But don’t listen to him”

The men paid the price of the slave – ten qala’is (pieces of gold) and an-Nuayman accepted it and appeared to complete the transaction with business-like efficiency. The buyers accompanied him to fetch theft purchase. Pointing to Suwaybit, he said: “This is the slave whom I sold to you.”

The men took hold of Suwaybit and he shouted for dear life and freedom. “I am free. I am Suwaybit ibn Harmalah…”

But they paid no attention to him and dragged him off by the neck as they would have done with any slave.

All the while, an-Nuayman did not laugh or batter an eyelid. He remained completely calm and serious while Suwaybit continued to protest bitterly. Suwaybit’s fellow travellers, realizing what was happening, rushed to fetch Abu Bakr, the leader of the caravan, who came running as fast as he could. 
He explained to the purchasers what had happened and so they released Suwaybit and had their money returned. Abu Bakr then laughed heartily and so did Suwaybit and an-Nuayman. Back in Madinah, when the episode was recounted to the Prophet and his companions, they all laughed even more.

A man once came to the Prophet on a delegation and tethered his camel at the door of the Masjid. The Sahabah noticed that the camel had a large fat hump and their appetite for succulent tasty meat was stimulated. They turned to Nuayman and asked: “Would you deal with this camel?”

An-Nuayman understood what they meant. He got up and slaughtered the camel. The nomad Arab came out and realized what had happened when he saw people grilling, sharing out and eating meat. He shouted in distress: “Waa ‘aqraah! Waa Naqataah! (O my camel!)”

The Prophet heard the commotion and came out. He learnt from the Sahabah what had happened and began searching for an-Nuayman but did not find him. Afraid of being blamed and punished, an- Nuayman had fled. The Prophet then followed his footprints. These led to a garden belonging to Danbaah the daughter of az-Zubayr, a cousin of the Prophet.
He asked the companions where an-Nuayman was. Pointing to a nearby ditch, they said loudly so as not to alert an-Nuayman: “We haven’t found him, O Messenger of God .” An-Nuayman was found in the ditch covered with palm branches and leaves and emerged with dirt on his head, beard and face. He stood in the presence of the Prophet who took him by the head and dusted the dirt from his face while he chuckled with laughter. The companions joined in the mirth.The Prophet paid the price of the camel to its owner and they all joined in the feast.
The Prophet obviously regarded an-Nuayman’s pranks for what they were light-hearted sallies that were meant to create some relief and laughter. The religion of Islam does not require people to disdain seemly laughter and levity and remain perpetually gloomy. An appropriate sense of humor is often a saving grace.

An-Nuayman lived on after the Prophet and continued to enjoy the affection of Muslims. But did he put an end to his laughter? During the caliphate of Uthman, a group of Sahabah were sitting in the Masjid. They saw Makhramah ibn Nawfal, an old man who was about one hundred and fifteen years old and obviously rather senile. He was related to the sister of Abdur-Rahman ibn Awl, who was a wife of an- Nuayman.

Makhramah was blind. He was so weak that he could hardly move from his place in the Masjid. He got up to urinate and might have done so in the Masjid. But the companions shouted at him to prevent him from doing so.. An-Nuayman got up and went to take him to another place, as he was instructed. What is this other place that an-Nuayman took him to? In fact he took him only a short distance away from where he was sitting at first and sat him down.

The place was still in the Masjid!

People shouted at Makhramah and made him get up again all in a frenzy. The poor old man was distressed and said: “Who has done this?” “An-Nuayman ibn Amr,” he was told.

The old man swore and announced that he would bash an-Nuayman on the head with his stick if he should meet him.

An-Nuayman left and returned. He was up to some prank of his again. He saw Uthman ibn Affan, the Amir al-Muminim, performing Salat in the Masjid. Uthman was never distracted when he stood for Prayer. An-Nuayman also saw Makhramah. He went up to him and in a changed voice said: “Do you want to get at an-Nuayman?”

The old man remembered what an-Nuayman had done. He remembered his vow and shouted: “Yes, where is he?” An-Nuayman took him by the hand and led him to the place where the Khalifah Uthman stood and said to him: “Here he is!”

The old man raised his staff and bashed the head of Uthman. Blood flowed and the people shouted: “It’s the Amir al-Muminin!”

The dragged Makhramah away and some people set out to get an-Nuayman but Uthman restrained them and asked them to leave him alone. In spite of the blows he had suffered, he was still able to laugh at the deeds of an-Nuayman.

An-Nuayman lived up to the time of Muawiyah when fitnah saddened him and discord filled him with anguish. He lost his levity and laughed no more.

From Alim® Online

Amr Ibn Al-Jamuh

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Amr Ibn Al-Jamuh

Amr ibn al-Jamuh was one of the leading men in Yathrib in the days of Jahiliyyah. He was the chief of the Banu Salamah and was known to be one of the most generous and valiant persons in the city.
One of the privileges of the city’s leaders was having an idol to himself in his house. It was hoped that this idol would bless the leader in whatever he did. He was expected to offer sacrifices to it on special occasions and seek its help at times of distress. 
The idol of Amr was called Manat. He had made it from the most priceless wood. He spent a great deal of time, money and attention looking after it and he anointed it with the most exquisite perfumes.

Amr was almost sixty years old when the first rays of the light of Islam began to penetrate the houses of Yathrib. House after house was introduced to the new faith at the hands of Mus’ab ibn Umayr, the first missionary sent out to Yathrib before the hijrah. It was through him that Amr’s three sons Muawwadh, Muadh and Khallad became Muslims. One of their contemporaries was the famous Muadh ibn Jabal. Amr’s wife, Hind, also accepted Islam with her three sons but Amr himself knew nothing of all this.

Hind saw that the people of Yathrib were being won over to Islam and that not one of the leaders of the city remained in shirk except her husband and a few individuals. She loved her husband dearly and was proud of him but she was concerned that he should die in a state of kufr and end up in hell-fire.

During this time, Amr himself began to feel uneasy. He was afraid that his sons would give up the religion of their forefathers and follow the teaching of Mus’ab ibn Umayr who, within a short space of time, had caused many to turn away from idolatory and enter the religion of Muhammad. To his wife, Amr therefore said:

“Be careful that your children do not come into contact with this man (meaning Mus’ab ibn Umayr) before we pronounce an opinion on him.”

“To hear is to obey,” she replied. “But would you like to hear from your son Muadh what he relates from this man?”

“Woe to you! Has Muadh turned away from his religion without my knowing?” The good woman felt pity for the old man and said:

“Not at all. But he has attended some of the meetings of this missionary and memorized some of the things he teaches.”

“Tell him to come here,” he said. When Muadh came, he ordered:

“Let me hear an example of what this man preaches.” Muadh recited the Fatihah (the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an):”
“In the name of God, the most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace. All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds, The most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace. Lord of the Day of Judgment! You alone do we worship and to You alone do we turn for help. Guide us on the straight way, the way of those upon whom you have bestowed Your blessings, not of those who have been condemned by You, nor of those who go astray.”

“How perfect are these words, and how beautiful!” exclaimed the father. “Is everything he says like this?”

“Yes indeed, father. Do you wish to swear allegiance to him? All your people have already done so” urged Muadh.

The old man remained silent for a while and then said, “I shall not do so until I consult Manat and see what he says.”

“What indeed would Manat say, Father? It is only a piece of wood. It can neither think nor speak.”

The old man retorted sharply, “I told you, I shall not do anything without him.”

Later that day, Amr went before Manat. It was the custom of the idolators then to place an old woman behind the idol when they wished to speak to it. She would reply on behalf of the idol, articulating, so they thought, what the idol had inspired her to say. Amr stood before the idol in great awe and addressed profuse praises to it. Then he said:

“O Manat, no doubt you know that this propagandist who was delegated to come to us from Makkah does not wish evil on anyone but you. He has come only to stop us worshipping you. I do not want to swear allegiance to him in spite of the beautiful words I have heard from him. I have thus come to get your advice. So please advise me.”

There was no reply from Manat. Amr continued:

“Perhaps you are angry. But up till now, I have done nothing to harm you . . . Never mind, I shall leave you for a few days to let your anger go away.”

Amr’s sons knew the extent of their father’s dependence on Manat and how with time he had become almost a part of it. They realised however that the idol’s place in his heart was being shaken and that they had to help him get rid of Manat. That must be his path to faith in God.

One night Amr’s sons went with their friend Muadh ibn Jabal to Manat, took the idol from its place and threw it in a cess pit belonging to the Banu Salamah. They returned to their homes with no one knowing anything about what they had done. When Amr woke up the following morning, he went in quiet reverence to pay his respects to his idol but did not find it.

“Woe to you all,” he shouted. “Who has attacked our god last night?”

There was no reply from anyone. He began to search for the idol, fuming with rage and threatening the perpetrators of the crime. Eventually he found the idol turned upside down on its head in the pit. He washed and perfumed it and returned it to its usual place saying. “If I find out who did this to you, I will humiliate him.”
The following night the boys did the same to the idol. The old man recovered it, washed and perfumed it as he had done before and returned it to its place. This happened several times until one night Amr put a sword around the idol’s neck and said to it:

“O Manat, I don’t know who is doing this to you. If you have any power of good in you, defend yourself against this evil. Here is a sword for you.”

The youths waited until Amr was fast asleep. They took the sword from the idol’s neck and threw it into the pit. Amr found the idol lying face down in the pit with the sword nowhere in sight. At last he was convinced that the idol had no power at all and did not deserve to be worshipped. 

It was not long before he entered the religion of Islam.

Amr soon tasted the sweetness of iman or faith in the One True God. At the same time he felt great pain and anguish within himself at the thought of every moment he had spent in shirk. His acceptance of the new religion was total and he placed himself, his wealth and his children in the service of God and His Prophet.

The extent of his devotion was shown during the time of the battle of Uhud. Amr saw his three sons preparing for the battle. He looked at the three determined young men fired by the desire to gain martyrdom, success and the pleasure of God. The scene had a great effect on him and he resolved to go out with them to wage jihad under the banner of the messenger of God. 
The youths, however, were all against their father carrying out his resolve. He was already quite old and was extremely weak.

“Father,” they said, “surely God has excused you. So why do you take this burden on yourself?” The old man became quite angry and went straight away to the Prophet to complain about his sons:

“O Rasulullah! My sons here want to keep me away from this source of goodness arguing that I am old and decrepit. By God, I long to attain Paradise this way even though I am old and infirm.”

“Let him,” said the Prophet to his sons. “Perhaps God, the Mighty and the Great, will grant him martyrdom.’

Soon it was time to go out to battle. Amr bade farewell to his wife, turned to the qiblah and prayed:

“O Lord, grant me martyrdom and don’t send me back to my family with my hopes dashed.”

He set out in the company of his three sons and a large contingent from his tribe, the Banu Salamah.

As the battle raged, Amr could be seen moving in the front ranks, jumping on his good leg (his other leg was partially lame), and shouting,

“I desire Paradise, I desire Paradise.”

His son Khallad remained closely behind him and they both fought courageously in defence of the Prophet while many other Muslims deserted in pursuit of booty. Father and son fell on the battlefield and died within moments of each other.
Scanned from: “Companions of The Prophet”, Vol.1, By: Abdul Wahid Hamid.