The Ninth Narration

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The Ninth Narration

 

‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu related:

 

ما سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يفدي أحدا بأبويه إلا لسعد فإني سمعته يوم أحد يقول : ارم سعد فداك أبي وأمي

I never heard the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioning both of his parents being ransomed for anyone except for Sa’d. On the Day of Uhud, I heard him saying, “Shoot Sa’d, may my father and mother be ransomed for you.”

 

Imam al Tirmidhi has recorded this narration. Imam al Bukhari and Muslim have narrated it by way of Sa’d ibn Ibrahim.

 

Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:

1. There is great virtue for Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this narration with the statement of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “May my parents be sacrificed for you.”

 

2. The great Companion and eminent personality of the Ahlul Bayt, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu, bears witness to the virtue of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this narration. He further goes on to say he has never witnessed Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “May my parents be sacrificed for you” to anyone else.

 

3. Another virtue in favour of Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu is his shielding and protecting Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He would shoot arrow after arrow on the Day of Uhud whilst shielding the Prophet of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Imam al Bukhari has indicated towards this by establishing the chapter, ‘The shield and shielding oneself with the shield of his companion.’[1] Ibn al Hajar has commented on this chapter heading by saying, “The placement of this narration here is not clear as the narration does not conform to the chapter heading.” However, this comment of Ibn al Hajar is perhaps unfounded as Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did shield himself on the Day of Uhud with the archers as is clear from the narration of Abu Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

وكان أبو طلحة رجلا راميا شديد القد يكسر يومئذ قوسين أو ثلاثا وكان الرجل يمر معه الجعبة من النبل فيقول انشرهالأبي طلحة فأشرف النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ينظر إلى القوم فيقول أبو طلحة يا نبي الله بأبي أنت وأمي لا تشرف يصيبك سهم من سهام القوم نحري دون نحرك

Abu Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a strong, experienced archer who used to keep his arrow bow strong and well stretched. On that day he broke two or three arrow bows. If any man passed by carrying a quiver full of arrows, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would say to him, “Empty it in front of Abu Talhah.” When the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stated looking at the enemy by raising his head, Abu Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “O Allah’s Prophet! May my parents be sacrificed for you. Please don’t raise your head and make it visible, lest an arrow of the enemy should hit you. Let my neck and chest be wounded instead of yours.”[2]

 

4. Exerting one’s efforts in defending the faith is of the greatest characteristics of a man. It guarantees the love of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and his Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

5. The use of the bow and arrow was of the strongest weapons, and many archers were deployed by the enemies of Islam thereby increasing their ability to cause wide spread damage. Mastering this skill was therefore a means of great assistance to the cause of Islam. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is reported to have said:

 

ألا إن القوة الرمي ألا إن القوة الرمي ألا إن القوة الرمي

Know well, strength lies in archery. Know well, strength lies in archery. Know well, strength lies in archery.[3]

 

It was perhaps for this reason – and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best – that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam honoured Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying to him, “May my parents be sacrificed for you.”

 

6. Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates regarding himself as reported by Imam Bukhari:

 

نثل لي النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – كنانته يوم أحد فقال : ارم فداك أبي وأمي

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took out a quiver (of arrows) for me on the day of Uhud and said, “Shoot; may my father and mother be sacrificed for you.”[4]

 

7. One who reviles or speaks ill of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu has done so to a man whom Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam revered enough to say, “May my parents be sacrificed for you.” How wretched would one be to insult this august Companion?

 

8. The traditions are many and successive which encourage mastering the skill of archery and using it on the battlefield. Some of the scholars have even dedicated entire books to the subject. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said:

 

من رمى بسهم في سبيل الله تعالى بلغ العدو أو لم يبلغ كان له كعتق رقبة

Whoever shoots an arrow in the path of Allah, whether it reaches the enemy or not, will receive the reward of freeing a slave.[5]

 

Another narration states:

من رمى بسهم في سبيل الله فبلغه فله درجة في الجنة

Whoever shoots an arrow in the path of Allah and it reaches the enemy, his stage in Jannat will be raised.[6]

 

Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu holds a great position in the history of archery in this ummah. The narrations of both Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim:

إني لأول العرب رمى بسهم في سبيل الله

I was the first amongst the Arabs who shot an arrow in the path of Allah.[7]

 

An honour that can be surpassed by no one.

 

9. Some scholars have deduced from the following statement of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu: “I never heard the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioning both of his parents being ransomed for anyone except for Sa’d,” that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has only been recorded to have said this for Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

However, the statement of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu does not necessitate this. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu says “I have never heard”, thus negating him hearing Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying this for someone else, not the existence of it. This narration is an example of the deep understanding of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he did not negate it entirely as there have been others.

Yes, another narration from him goes thus, “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not mention both his parents being ransomed for anyone besides Sa’d.” This narration should not be taken on its face value though as the narrator has most probably narrated the general meaning without using the exact wording, which resulted in the ‘I have never heard’ being omitted. The narrations which explicitly mention ‘I have never heard’ is recorded by the scholars of hadith (huffaz).

Even if the wording, ‘Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not mention both his parents being ransomed for anyone besides Sa’d’, was deemed as mahfuz, then too it would not be contradictory as the meaning would be, ‘He did not mention both his parents being ransomed for anyone besides Sa’d’ on that day.

All the above contentions have been mentioned by the various scholars, however a more suited answer – and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best – to the narration is as follows:

The following narration has been recorded in Musnad Abu Ya’la on the authority of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu himself:

 

ما جمع رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – أبويه لأحد قبلي

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not mention both his parents being ransomed for anyone before me.[8]

 

Therefore, the narration of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioning his parents being ransomed for Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam radiya Llahu ‘anhu at the Battle of Khandaq remains sound. The intent of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would then be to establish Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the first recipient of this honour and not the only one. This too proves a great virtue in favour of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

10. Statements recorded of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Hassan Basri rahimahu Llah show the impermissibility of mentioning others being ransomed. However, these statements are not authentic as opined by Imam Abu Jafar ibn Jarir in Tahdhib al Athar. Even if it were said to be authentic, it would simply mean that the narrations wherein Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had done so did not reach them.

 

11. This narration depicts the sincerity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in defending the Islamic faith.

 

12. There is indication in this narration that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum enjoy different stages. However, that being said no one can reach their status even if they live the lifespan of Nuh ‘alayh al Salam and do countless good deeds.

 

13. Ibn al Battal writes:

 

وفيه دليل أن الرجل إذا كان له أبوان وإن كانا على غير دينه فلهما عليه حرمة وحق؛ لأنه لا يفدى إلا بذى حرمة ومنزلة، وإلا لم يكن يفديه، ولا فضيلة للمفدي. فمن هاهنا قال مالك: إنه من آذى مسلمًا فى أبويه الكافرين عوقب وأدب لحرمتهما عليه

This narration proves that parents inherently have rights which also commands their respect even if they are of a different religion. This is proven from this narration as a man only mentions being ransomed by one he reveres. Imam Malik has therefore said, “One who hurts the feelings of a Muslim with regards to his non-Muslim parents will be punished as they enjoy inherent rights over him.[9]

 

NEXT⇒ The Tenth Narration


[1] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 2902.

[2] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3600.

[3] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1917.

[4] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3829.

[5] Al Nasa’i, Hadith: 3142.

[6] Musnad Imam Ahmed, Hadith: 19321.

[7] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3728; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2966.

[8] See also, Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, pg. 98.

[9] Sharh Sahih al Bukhari li Ibn Battal, vol. 5 pg. 97.