The Thirty First Narration
Ka’b ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrated:
ثم خرجنا إلى الحج ، وواعدنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بالعقبة من أوسط أيام التشريق . قال : فلما فرغنا من الحج ، وكانت الليلة التي واعدنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لها ، ومعنا عبد الله بن عمرو بن حرام أبو جابر ، سيد من ساداتنا ، وشريف من أشرافنا ، أخذناه معنا ، وكنا نكتم من معنا من قومنا من المشركين أمرنا ، فكلمناه وقلنا له : يا أبا جابر ، إنك سيد من ساداتنا ، وشريف من أشرافنا ، وإنا نرغب بك عما أنت فيه أن تكون حطبا للنار غدا ، ثم دعوناه إلى الإسلام ، وأخبرناه بميعاد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إيانا العقبة . قال : فأسلم وشهد معنا العقبة ، وكان نقيبا .
قال : فنمنا تلك الليلة مع قومنا في رحالنا ، حتى إذا مضى ثلث الليل خرجنا من رحالنا لمعاد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، نتسلل تسلل القطا مستخفين ، حتى اجتمعنا في الشعب عند العقبة ، ونحن ثلاثة وسبعون رجلا ، ومعنا امرأتان من نسائنا : نسيبة بنت كعب ، أم عمارة ، إحدى نساء بني مازن بن النجار ، وأسماء بنت عمرو بن عدي بن نابي ، إحدى نساء بني سلمة فاجتمعنا في الشعب ننتظر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى جاءنا، ومعه (عمه) العباس بن عبد المطلب- وهو يومئذ على دين قومه- إلا أنه أحب أن يحضر أمر ابن أخيه، وتوثق له، وكان أول متكلم فقال يا معشر الخزرج- وكان العرب يسمون الأنصار خزرجا، خزرجها وأوسها كليهما- إن محمدا منا حيث قد علمتم، وقد منعناه من قومنا ممن هو على مثل رأينا فيه، فهو في عز من قومه، ومنعة في بلده، وإنه قد أبى إلا الإنحياز إليكم واللحوق بكم، فإن كنتم ترون أنكم وافون له بما دعوتموه إليه، ومانعوه ممن خالفه، فأنتم وما تحملتم من ذلك، وإن كنتم ترون أنكم مسلموه وخاذلوه بعد الخروج به إليكم فمن الآن فدعوه، فإنه في عز ومنعة من قومه وبلده قال: فقلنا له: قد سمعنا ما قلت، فتكلم يا رسول الله، فخذ لنفسك ولربك ما أحببت قال كعب: فتكلم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فتلا القرآن، ودعا إلى الله، ورغب في الإسلام، ثم قال: «أبايعكم على أن تمنعوني مما تمنعون منه نساءكم وأبناءكم» . فأخذ البراء بن معرور بيده ثم قال: نعم، والذي بعثك بالحق (نبيا) لنمنعنك مما نمنع أزرنا منه، فبايعنا يا رسول الله، فنحن والله أبناء الحرب وأهل الحلقة، ورثناها كابرا عن كابر قال: فاعترض القول- والبراء يكلم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم- أبو الهيثم بن التيهان فقال يا رسول الله إن بيننا وبين الرجال حبالا، وإنا قاطعوها- يعني اليهود- فهل عسيت إن نحن فعلنا ذلك، ثم أظهرك الله أن ترجع إلى قومك وتدعنا؟ قال: فتبسم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، ثم قال: بل الدم الدم، والهدم الهدم، أنا منكم وأنتم مني، أحارب من حاربتم، وأسالم من سالمتم
We set out for pilgrimage and promised to meet the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during the days of Tashriq. We were accompanied by a notable man of ours called ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr bin Haram, who was still a polytheist. We disclosed to him our intention of meeting Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and exhorted him to join our ranks and give up polytheism, lest he should serve as wood for Hell in the Hereafter. He promptly embraced Islam and witnessed the meeting at al ‘Aqabah.
That very night we slept with our people in our camps. After a third of the night had elapsed, we began to leave stealthily and met in a hillock nearby. We were seventy-three men and two women; Nusaybah bint Ka’b from the Najjar tribe and Asma’ bint ‘Amr from Salamah tribe.
We waited for the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam until he came in the company of his uncle -’Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib who though himself not a Muslim, adjured us not to draw his nephew away from the protection of his own kindred unless we were fully prepared to defend him even at the risk of our lives.
He was the first to speak: “O you people of the Khazraj — the Arabs used to call the Ansar (Helpers) Khazraj, whether from Khazraj or Aws — you all know the position that Muhammad holds among us. We have protected him from our people as much as we could. He is honoured and respected among his people. He refuses to join any party except you. So if you think you can carry out what you promise while inviting him to your town, and if you can defend him against the enemies, then assume the burden that you have taken. But if you are going to surrender him and betray him after having taken him away with you, you had better leave him now because he is respected and well defended in his own place.”
Ka’b replied: “We have heard your words, and now O Messenger of Allah, it is for you to speak and take from us any pledge that you want regarding your Lord and yourself.”
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam began to speak, recited some verses of the Qur’an, called people unto Allah, exhorted them to enter the fold of Islam, and concluded saying: “I give you my pledge that you debar me from whatever you debar your women and children from.”
Here al Bara’ ibn Ma’rur caught him by his hand, and said: “Oh yes, we swear by Allah, who sent you as a Prophet in Truth, that we will debar you from whatever we debar our women from. Have confidence in us, O Messenger of Allah. By Allah, we are genuine fighters and quite reliable in war, it is a trait passed down to us from our ancestors.”
Then Abu al Haytham al Tayyihan interrupted and said: “O Prophet of Allah! Between us and the Jews, there are agreements which we would then sever. If Allah grants you power and victory, should we expect that you would not leave us, and join the ranks of your people (meaning Quraysh)?”
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) smiled and replied: “Nay, it would never be; your blood will be my blood. In life and death, I am with you and you with me. I will fight whom you fight and I will make peace with those with whom you make peace.”
This chain of narration is sound as recorded by Ibn Ishaq in his Sirah. Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn Hibban have deemed it as authentic.
Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:
1. The virtue of the Ansar through the following:
a. The great virtue held by those that took the pledge of ‘Aqabah.
b. Their strength and determination to protect Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to the extent that they were ready to lay their lives down for him.
c. The statement of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “I am with you and you with me.”
d. The acceptance of their pledge by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and him vouching for their word.
e. The immense love and reverence they carried for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. After becoming victorious they wanted him to remain with them.
f. The books of history are replete with the Ansar fulfilling their promises to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam right till the end of his life, and after. Their patience in the face of hardships and hope for reward cannot be replicated.
2. The virtue of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu even before his conversion to Islam. He protected Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and was given the opportunity to address the crowd before him.
3. Those that fight the Ansar and regard them as renegade are in fact challenging the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “I will fight whom you fight.”
4. The Ahlus Sunnah hold a high station based on this narration. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was clear, “I will make peace with those who make peace with you”. The Ahlus Sunnah have loved and revered the Ansar through the annals of history. They have achieved through this, the love of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
5. This narration is a blow to the false theories of the Batiniyyah Shia who regard the Ansar to have turned apostate. The Ansar were courageous and daring in their endeavours, together with being men of honour. If they had felt otherwise they would have publicly denounced their pledge and Islam. They, however, were custodians of the faith in private and public. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala chose them as the helpers of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and His religion knowing full well their deep rooted faith. He is All-Knowing, All-Wise. Those that accuse the Ansar are born from the hypocrites that opposed Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Islam!
6. This narration gives honour to ‘Abdullah ibn Haram radiya Llahu ‘anhu; the father of Jabir radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He accepted the faith without much delay, a sign of his true intellect.
7. The two female companions; Nusaybah bint Ka’b and Asma’ bint ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhuma will forever be remembered for their contribution and pledge in the early stages of Islam.
8. The wisdom and acumen of the Ansar shines through in this narration. They were not hasty to speak or comment. They allowed ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu to speak first and requested Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to speak after him, laying down conditions as he pleased. Only after that did they begin speaking.
9. Part of succeeding is by seeking help through the medium of silence. When one advertises their plans the likelihood of success falls dramatically.
10. The best way to call towards Islam is through the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. When one calls another towards this pure faith he should begin by reciting some verses of the Qur’an which will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression upon the heart of the listener. The word of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala holds untold goodness and blessings.
11. Glad tidings are more effective when calling towards Islam than merely warning.
12. This narration establishes the desirability to love and respect those that assist the faith. This love and reverence forms part of the pristine teachings of Islam. Every individual who has sincerely assisted the faith will be respected for their contribution. The good they had done will be preserved and their mistakes overlooked.
 Sirah Ibn Hisham pg. 441.