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The Great Companion of the Prophet (s): Abu Dharr

The Great Companion of the Prophet (s): Abu Dharr

Author:
Publisher: Islamic Seminary Publications
English

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Alhassanain (p) Network for Islamic Heritage and Thought

The Great Companion of the Prophet (s): Abu Dharr (ra)

Publisher(s): Islamic Seminary Publications

www.alhassanain.org/english

Table of Contents

About Ourselves 3

Islamic Seminary Publications 3

Preface 4

Chapter 1 6

Note 10

Chapter 2 11

Note 13

Chapter 3 14

Chapter 4 21

Notes 26

Chapter 5 27

Notes 34

Chapter 6 35

Notes 40

Chapter 7 41

Notes 48

Chapter 8 49

Notes 52

Chapter 9 53

Notes 57

Chapter 10 59

Notes 64

Chapter 11 65

Notes 73

Chapter 12 74

Chapter 13 77

Notes 85

Chapter 14 86

Notes 88

Chapter 15 89

Notes 91

Chapter 16 92

Notes 97

Chapter 17 99

Notes 101

Chapter 18 102

Notes 104

Chapter 19 105

Notes 110

Chapter 20 111

Notes 119

Chapter 21 121

Chapter 22 131

Notes 132

Bibliography 133

About Ourselves

An alert mind today notices a change in the intellectual life of man. Science and technology with their wondrous achievements seem to have reached their zenith. Material needs together with the passion for authority and supremacy, have led man towards an apparent bankruptcy of the moral values. In this desperate situation one is forced to pause and reassess the potential dangers threatening mankind as a whole. Man, has once again set his eyes on Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful as he has now realized that the solution to his problems and his ultimate salvation lies in following the Divine commandments.

This shift from the material to the spiritual thinking is fully in keeping with the aims and objects of the Islamic Seminary. Religious precepts, abreast with the developments of our time, provide the much-needed sanctuary for the troubled and anxious mind. It is a result of increasing awareness, that it is being realized that the secret of living a virtuous life in this world leads to the eternal bliss of life in the Hereafter. This is the universal message of Islam.

The Islamic Seminary seeks to hold aloft the torch of spiritual guidance and to help in all earnest to promote mankind's spiritual heritage. It presents Qur'anic way of life in its pristine glory. It presents only that which is authoritative and authentic. Its publications are designed to meet the spiritual need of our times. It will serve as a perennial spring to those who are thirsty of knowledge.

The Islamic Seminary is a world organization endeavouring for Islamic fraternity. It enjoys the contributions of the best brains, in addition to having an international support for the fulfilment of its great objective. It has centres in Asia, Africa, Europe, America, Canada and Far East.

A list of addresses appears in the closing pages of this book. Readers can write to any of these centres for our publications.

Islamic Seminary Publications

This book is all Islamic Seminary publication. Its publications are designed to cater for the spiritual needs of the age with a particular emphasis on grooming Muslim mind and thinking; Utmost efforts have been made by the Seminary to put forth in its publications what is really authoritative and authentic in Islam.

You are requested to kindly go through this book in the spirit in which it is intended. You are also requested to communicate to us your free comments on our publication, which will be highly appreciated.

Propagating the message of Islam is a task which calls for the co-operation of all. The Seminary invites you to join it in this task complying cordially with the verse of the holy Qur'an:

“Say: I give you but one admonition, that you stand for Allah's sake jointly and singly”. (34:46)

May Allah bless you!

Yours in Islam,

Publication Secretary.

Preface

When, after thirteen years of continuous suffering and struggle, the Prophet of Islam left Mecca for Medina, he felt that the period of the violability of Islam and its being practised secretly had come to an end and with the assistance of his faithful and brave companions he should build the grand edifice of Islamic polity and lay the foundation of his political regime in the manner desired by Allah.

Immediately after his arrival in Medina the Holy Prophet built a masjid there. He built for himself a house adjacent to it, and made its door open into the masjid. There was no change in his life from the beginning to the end. His behaviour, manners, and conduct remained the same even after the establishment of the Islamic Government throughout Arabia.

A new regime and a new State came into existence in the midst of the two great super powers of that time. In this Islamic State there was no ruler and subject, no officer and subordinate, and no master and slave. All were equal before Allah.

The founder of this regime breathed his last and with the deprivation of Ali and the formation of political factions. The first deviation which rocked the Islamic foundation took place in the matter of Caliphate.

One of the most sincere and brave companions of the Holy Prophet (s) was Abu Dharr. He was the fifth person to embrace Islam and his sword had been very effective for the advancement of the Islamic movement. He now saw all these deviations. Ali, who was the embodiment of virtue and truth, had to go into seclusion and the enemies of Islam had penetrated into the organization of the Caliphate and were destroying Islam like termite.

Abu Dharr was immensely disturbed and alarmed and saw that the future of Islam was dark and dreadful. However, he also saw that in any case the caravan of Islam was proceeding on its path and, although a great right had been violated, the Islamic system had not completely broken down. Hence, though he was extremely grieved and agitated, yet he remained silent.

When Uthman's regime acquired mastery of Islam the rights of workers and the helpless Muslims were violated by the usurers, the dealers in slaves, the rich and the aristocrats, who frequented the courts of Uthman and Mu'awiyah. Class distinctions and hoarding of wealth were revived and Islam was threatened by a great danger.

The ways and manners of the Holy Prophet were abandoned. Thousands of dinars were spent on the construction of the Green Palace of the Islamic Ruler (Mu'awiyah) and an organization like the imperial courts was set up. Umar led his life like an ordinary man and Abu Bakr, in order to earn his livelihood, used to milk the she-goats of a Jew, whereas the necklace of the wife of Uthman, the third Caliph, cost as much as one third of the revenue received from Africa.

Taking undue advantage of the position of his father, the son of one of the highest officers of Umar took the horse of a man by force and Umar prosecuted both the father and the son. On the other hand Uthman appointed Marwan bin Hakam as his adviser, the man who had been exiled by the Holy Prophet and gifted him the estate of Khayber as well as the revenue received from Africa!

When Abu Dharr observed these shameful activities he could no longer tolerate all this, he rose against that tyrannical regime. It was a courageous and bold rising which made all the Islamic territories revolt against Uthman; its roaring waves can still be seen in the human societies.

Abu Dharr was anxious to establish the abandoned Islamic values, whereas Uthman's administration was violating it by reviving aristocracy. Abu Dharr considered Islam to be the refuge of those, who were helpless, oppressed and deprived, and Uthman had made it the means of support for the aristocrats and the usurers.

This rift between Abu Dharr and Uthman continued, and eventually Abu Dharr lost his life on this account.

Abu Dharr recognized the Almighty Allah; hence he never became lax in His path even for a moment. He turned up to be a 'perfect man' in the school of Islam and this very thing should be sufficient to show his greatness.

Abu Dharr is one of those leaders and saviours of freedom whom humanity needs today. Especially since the time machinery has created a serious crisis in the world of economy, and the economic problems have been treated to be the most basic problems of life, his views have gained greater importance.

The same situation, which he created in Syria and Medina by collecting the needy and helpless persons around him and instigating them to rise against the usurers and the hoarders of wealth, has also been created in these days.

The Muslims of the world recall his fascinating words, correct views and fiery speeches. It may be said that they can see in the remote parts of history that he has collected the oppressed and the helpless in the masjid and is stirring their feelings against the inmates of Green Palaces and the dirty organization of Uthman and announcing in public.

Those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it for the cause of Allah, should know that their recompense will be a painful torment. (Surah al-Tawbah, 9: 34)

“O Mu 'awiyah! If you are constructing this palace with your own money it is extravagance, and, if you are constructing it with the public funds, it is misappropriation” .

“O Uthman! The poor have been made poorer by you and the rich have been made richer by you” .

Publishers

Chapter 1

Abu Dharr was one of those companions of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (s), who were pious and freedom-loving and possessed a lofty character, and according to the remark of the Holy Prophet (s), ardently desired by Heaven and the residents of Heaven. He was benefited by the company of the Prophet in the real sense of the word.

Abu Dharr himself says,“My real name is Jundab bin Junadah, but after my embracing Islam the Prophet (s) gave me the name “ Abdullah” and this is the name I like most” .

Abu Dharr was his kuniyyah (patronymic appellation) after his eldest son Dharr.

Scholars agree that Abu Dharr was the son of Junadah bin Qays bin Saghir bin Hazam bin Ghifar and his mother was Ramlah daughter of Waqi'ah Ghifariah. He was an Arab by race and belonged to the tribe of Ghifar. That is why the word“Ghifari” is written with his name.

Abdullah al-Subaiti writes,“When we look at Abu Dharr's biography it seems that he was a light personified. He was the embodiment of qualities of a great man. He had a rare distinction of being endowed with intelligence, understanding, sagacity and wit” . In the words of Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a):“He was always immersed in thought and his prayers were based on his reflections about God” .1

The famous Egyptian author Abdul Hamid Jaudatus Sahar, in his book“Al-Ishtiraki az-Zahid” , writes.“Once there occurred a severe famine. The chiefs of Ghifar tribe assembled for consultation as to what they should do, because it had not rained since long, Hence, it was a time of great suffering. The animals had become lean and thin and the stores and stocks were all exhausted.”

They said to each other,“We do not know why our god (Idol Manat) got offended with us, although we prayed for rain, sacrificed camels in offering and did everything possible to win its favour. The rainy season has now come to a close. There is not a trace of cloud in the sky. There has been no thunder and no shower this time, not even a drop of rain or a drizzle. What do you think? Have we turned perverts that the wrath of our god has befallen us? Why should it feel offended with us when we have made so many sacrifices for its pleasure” ?

People began to ponder over the matter and exchanged views. They thought to themselves:“Man cannot interfere with heavenly arrangement. No one can bring clouds and rains from the sky.

This can only be done by “Manat”. Hence we do not have any other alternative except that we, men and women, come out for pilgrimage, wailing and praying and beg Manat's forgiveness. It may, perhaps, forgive us and pour down rain to make the earth green after barrenness, so that our poverty is changed to prosperity, pain to pleasure and hardship to ease and comfort”.

The whole tribe, therefore, started making preparations for a journey to reach Manat. Those who were sleeping got up, and began to put litters on their camels. Unais (Abu Dharr's brother) also rode his camel and drove her, in order to join the caravan, towards the sea coast, the Mushalsal and Qadid which lie between Mecca and Medina, and where Manat is set up. Unais looked around but could not see his brother. He made the camel sit, ran towards the house. He entered the house calling“Jundab” !“Jundab” ! When he saw that Jundab was lying in his bed comfortably, he said;

Unais: Did you not hear the“call” to come out for the journey?

Abu Dharr: Yes, I did. But what should I do when I feel weary, and also I do not want to go on a pilgrimage to Manat either.

Unais: Shut up! Ask the god for mercy. Do you not fear lest the god should hear you and send torment on you?

Jundab: Are you convinced that (Manat) hears our voice and sees us?

Unais: What has happened to you today? Has any genie overpowered you, or have you contracted a disease? Come, feel sorry. It may, perhaps, accept your remorse.

When Abu Dharr started rolling in his bed, his brother said,“Rise! The caravan has moved, and off goes the tribe” .

The brothers were busy talking when their mother dropped in and they kept quiet.

Mother: My sons! What is your opinion?

Unais: About what, mother?

Mother: About the rain.

Unais: We agree to your proposal.

Mother: I propose to go to your maternal uncle who is a rich man.

Unais: All right! As you please. May god improve our condition.

Abu Dharr and Unais along with their mother came to their uncle's house. Their uncle entertained them with great hospitality. They stayed there for a long time. Their hardship had now changed to comfort and their pain to pleasure.

When their tribesmen saw that their uncle was very kind to Abu Dharr and Unais and loved them like his own children, they felt jealous of them and started to think out plans by which he may despise them. They kept on thinking and consulting one another, till at last, they decided upon a device and selected a man for their conspiracy.

That man came to the uncle of Abu Dharr and sat down, quiet and downcast. Abu Dharr's uncle asked him,“Yes, how do you do?” That man assumed a sorrowful look and said,“I have come to you for an important business! Had it not been for my affection towards you or out of respect for you, I would not have told you anything. But my loyalty has forced me to do so. I want to unfold what is hidden to .you, so that you may see what is happening because I see that favour is rewarded with ingratitude” .

Abu Dharr's uncle felt that there was something definitely amiss. He felt much aggrieved and said,“Speak out frankly” . The man said,“How should I tell you that when you go out Unais, your nephew sits with your wife and talks to her secretly. I do not know what he talks about” .

Unais's uncle said,“This is a false accusation against him, and I cannot believe it in any case” . He replied,“We also wished it to be false and a calumny. But I regret to say that it is a fact” .

He asked him for a proof of it. The man replied,“The whole tribe can bear witness to it. All have seen him and have the same feeling. If you so desire I can produce countless witnesses from my tribe” .

Hearing this, the poor fellow began to think of his honour and prestige. He felt his self-respect injured. That man went out of the house after having bitten him like a serpent. Unais's uncle felt convinced about it. He made constant efforts to regain his peace of mind, but he could not do so. He was very sad and felt anguish and agony day and night. Whenever his nephews happened to come before him he turned his face away. Stillness pervaded the whole house.

When Abu Dharr saw signs of grief on the face of his uncle he asked,“Dear uncle! What has happened to you? I have been observing your changed state for some days. You talk to us very little unusually and remain very thoughtful and depressed” .

The uncle answered,“There is nothing unusual” .

Abu Dharr said,“No, there is certainly some reason behind it. Please tell me. Perhaps, I may relieve you of your worries or I may share some of your troubles” .

He said,“I cannot describe what my tribesmen have told me” .

Abu Dharr said,“Please let me know. What have the tribesmen told you?”

His uncle replied.“They say that Unais goes to my wife when I am away from home” .

Hearing this Abu Dharr flushed crimson with anger and said,“You have spoiled the favours that you have done us. Now we leave, and will not see you again” .

At last they set off from there and took their dwelling at“Batn Marv” which was situated near Mecca. Here, Abu Dharr came to know that a prophet had appeared at Mecca. He became anxious to know about it. He, at once, called his brother Unais and asked him to go to Mecca and find out the particulars of the Prophet.

Unais had not yet set out for Mecca when a man was seen coming from there and he went straight away to join the company at Abu Dharr's house. Abu Dharr asked him,“Where are you coming from?” He answered,“I am coming from Mecca” .

Abu Dharr asked,“What is the situation over there? He replied: “A man says that he is a prophet and he gets revelation from the heavens” .

Abu Dharr said:“What did the Meccans do with him?” The man said:“They falsified him, tortured him, and prevented the people from going to him. They frighten and threaten everyone who goes to him” .

Abu Dharr asked:“Why do the people not believe him?” “How can they believe him” , he said,“who vilifies their gods, calls them foolish and their forefathers perverts” .

Abu Dharr said:“Does he really say so?”

“Yes, he says that God is one. Just see! What a strange thing it is!” said he.

Abu Dharr started thinking about the man who said that God is One. He kept on thinking quietly for quite some time. The new comer looked at him and found him thoughtful. He begged leave of him and departed.

After his departure Abu Dharr addressing his brother Unais, said,“Just go to Mecca and find out who this man is. He says that he receives revelation from the heavens. What is the mode of his conversation? See if there is any sincerity in his talk or not” .

Unais set off on the journey. After crossing different stations he reached Mecca and went to Ka 'bah for circumambulation. When he came out from there, he saw a crowd of people. He asked a man who was coming towards him,“What is going on here?” He replied,“An apostate is inviting the people to a new faith” .

As soon as Unais heard it, he ran to that place. On reaching there he saw that a man was saying,“Praise belongs to Allah. I praise Him and seek help from Him. I believe in Him, depend on Him and testify that there is no God except He and He has no partner” .

To quote Subaiti, Unais heard that man proclaiming,“O people! I have brought for you the blessings of the world and the hereafter. Say that there is no god except Allah, so that you may get deliverance. I am a messenger of Allah and have come to you. I warn you of the punishment of the Day of Judgment.

Remember that nobody will get deliverance except the one who comes to the presence of Allah with a humble heart. Neither the riches will be of any use to you, nor will your children help you. Fear Allah, Allah will be kind to you. O people! Listen to me! I say clearly that your forefathers had deviated from the right path in worshipping these idols and you are also following in their footsteps. Remember that these idols can neither harm you, nor can they benefit you. They can neither stop you, nor guide you” .

When Unais listened to this eloquent address he got astonished. But in his astonishment he saw that people were talking different things against him.

Hearing this, the Prophet said,“Prophets do not tell lies. I swear by Allah other than whom there is no god that I have been sent to you as a messenger. By Allah you will die as you sleep and will rise as you wake up. You will be called to account for your deeds. Then you will get eternal Heaven or Hell” .

On saying this people asked the Prophet, how they would rise after becoming dust. At that time Allah revealed the following verses:

“Muhammad, say: Yes, even if you become rocks, iron or anything that you think is harder to be brought to life. They will soon ask: Who will bring us back to life? Say: The One who created you for the first time: They will shake their heads and say: When will He bring us back to life? Say: Perhaps very soon”. (Surah Isra, 17:50- 51)

As soon as the Prophet finished his speech people got up. While they were dispersing from there, one of them said,“He is a soothsayer” . Another said,“No, he is a poet” . The third one remarked,“He is a magician” .

Unais listened to the Prophet and the people. He kept his head down for some time and murmured;“By Allah, his words are sweet. What he has said is true and those people are undoubtedly foolish” .

Then he rode his camel and set off. He kept on thinking about Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah, throughout the journey, and was wondering at his talk, till he joined Abu Dharr.

As soon as Abu Dharr looked at Unais, he asked him eagerly,“What is the news? What did you see at Mecca?”

Unais; I am coming after seeing a man who says that God is One. I saw that he orders the people to do good and refrain from evil.

Abu Dharr: What do people say about him?

Unais: They say that he is a poet, a magician and a soothsayer. But when I examined his talk from the point of view of poetry I found that it is not poetry. He is neither a magician because I have seen magicians, nor is he a soothsayer as I have met many soothsayers, and his talk is not like that of the soothsayers.

Abu Dharr: What does he do and what does he say?

Unais: He says wonderful things.

Abu Dharr: Can you not recall anything which he talked of?

Unais: By Allah! His speech was very sweet, but I do not remember anything more than that which I told you, but I have seen him offering prayers near the Ka'bah, and have also seen a handsome boy who is of a preadolescent age, offering prayers beside him. People say that he is his cousin Ali. I also saw a woman offering prayers behind him. People told me that she is his wife, Khadijah.

Note

1. Sahih Muslim

Chapter 2

After listening to his brother Abu Dharr said,“I am not satisfied with your report. I shall go there myself, see him and listen to him personally” .

Abu Dharr reached Mecca, entered the vicinity of Ka'bah and started looking for the Prophet, but neither he found him there, nor did he hear any mention of him. He stayed there till sunset. Ali came and passed by Abu Dharr, who was sitting. Ali asked him,“You look to be a traveller. Isn't it?”

Abu Dharr: Yes!

Ali: Come on with me. Ali took him to his house. Both of them were going silently. Abu Dharr did not ask him anything till they reached the house. Ali made arrangements for his stay and Abu Dharr went to sleep. Next morning he again went to Ka'bah in search of the Prophet. Neither he asked anybody of him, nor did anybody tell him anything. He kept waiting anxiously till the day came to an end. Ali came round again as usual and passed in front of him. As soon as he saw Abu Dharr, he asked,“Could you not go back home up till now?”

Abu Dharr: No!

Ali: All right! Then, come along with me. Both of them were going silently when Ali asked,“Why! What is the reason of your coming over here?”

Abu Dharr: I can tell you the reason if you do not disclose it.

Ali:“Speak out frankly whatever you want to say. I will not tell it to anybody” .

Abu Dharr: I have come to know that a man has appeared and he calls himself a prophet. I had sent my brother to talk to him. He returned and could not give me any satisfactory information. Now, I am determined to see him myself.

Ali: You have come upto the right man. I am going towards him. Just follow me. Enter wherever I enter. If I feel any danger I shall be setting my shoe right, standing near a wall, and when I start doing so you should go back.

Abu Dharr says,“Ali took me into a house. I saw that a light personified was manifest there. As soon as I saw him I was attracted towards him and felt like kissing his feet. Hence I saluted him saying Assalamu Alaykum” . (He was the first man who saluted the Prophet of Islam in an Islamic way, before embracing Islam).

Returning the salute he said, wa Alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahe wa barakatoh.“Yes, what do you want?”

I replied,“I have come to you in a spirit of faith” . He instructed me about necessary matters and asked me to recite the Kalimah (La ilaha illallah Muhammadun Rasulullah) I recited it to him and thus entered the fold of Islam.

Thereafter he took leave of the Prophet and started for the Ka'bah. Upon reaching there, when he saw a big gathering of Qurayshite infidels, he shouted in a loud voice,“Hear O Quraysh, I stand witness that Allah is One and Muhammad is His Prophet” .

This voice frightened the audition of Quraysh and demolished the image of their Laat and Uzza. The feeling of the Quraysh that the dignity of their idols had been pulled down made them extremely perturbed.

At last people in unison encircled Abu Dharr. They started beating him so severely that he fainted. He would have nearly died but for the sudden arrival of Abbas bin Abd al-Muttalib. When he saw that the devotee of Muhammad was about to die, he could not help laying himself down on Abu Dharr.

He said,“O people! What has happened to you? You are killing a great man of Bani Ghifar. Why have you forgotten that you carry on trade with Bani Ghifar and visit them off and on. Don't you fear his tribe at all” . At this those people left Abu Dharr and went away.

After they had left, Abu Dharr who was bleeding, got up from there and. went to the well of Zamzam.

He felt extremely thirsty on account of severe wounds and profuse bleeding. Hence he drank water first and then cleansed his body. After that he came groaning to the Holy Prophet. As soon as the Prophet saw him in this condition he felt very sorry for him and said, Abu Dharr! Have you eaten or drunk something?”

Abu Dharr: My master! I have felt some relief after drinking the water of Zamzam.

Prophet: No doubt it gives relief.

After that he consoled Abu Dharr and provided him with food.

Though Abu Dharr had suffered much because of his speech, yet his religious fervour did not allow him to return to his country calmly. His firm belief demanded to make Quraysh believe that human intelligence despises the superstition of idolatry.

He took leave of the Prophet and came to the precincts of Ka'bah again. He stood upon a raised spot and called out with a firm determination.“O people of Quraysh! Listen to me. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” .

Hearing this, those perverts who saw the foundations of their gods being shaken and who had been so much agitated by his earlier speech were once again startled and in a state of confusion turned towards his voice and hurriedly gathered around him. They were shouting.“Kill this Ghifari as soon as possible as he is bent upon insulting our gods” .

The whole assembly cried with one voice“Kill Abu Dharr” . Consequently they beat Abu Dharr so severely that he fainted.

Seeing this Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib came forward and laid himself down on him as he did the day before, and said,“O Quraysh! What has happened to you that you are killing a Ghifari although you have good relations with his tribe and your trade is flourishing with the help of his tribe. Get aside. Do not beat him any more” .

Upon hearing this all of them went away leaving Abu Dharr in a state of unconsciousness. When Abu Dharr came to his senses, he went to the well of Zamzam and after drinking its water cleaned his body of blood.

Abdullah Subaiti writes that though Abu Dharr had suffered wounds yet he forced the Quraysh to form an opinion through his speeches that Islam had spread around the people and they had been deeply impressed by it.

In short Abu Dharr got up from the well of Zamzam and reached the Holy Prophet. When the Prophet saw Abu Dharr in this condition he said,“O Abu Dharr! Where have you been and why are you in this condition?” Abu Dharr replied,“I had gone to Ka'bah again. I delivered a speech there and took a blood bath. Now I have come to you after cleaning my body with the water of Zamzam.”

The Prophet said,“O Abu Dharr! Now I order you to go back to your country at once. Listen! When you reach your home, your uncle will have died. Since he has no heir but you, you will be his sole successor and owner of his property. Go and spend the property for the propagation of Islam. I shall shortly migrate from Mecca to the town of date-palms. You should continue working there till I migrate” . Abu Dharr said, “Yes! My master it is all the good. I shall leave very soon and keep on propagating Islam”.1

Note

1.Sahih Bukhari vol. p. 47 chapter Islam and Abu Dharr, printed in Egypt, 1312 Hijra