The Thirty Second Narration
Abu Sa’id Al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports:
لما أعطى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما أعطى من تلك العطايا في قريش وقبائل العرب ولم يكن في الأنصار منها شيء وجد هذا الحي من الأنصار في أنفسهم حتى كثرت فيهم القالة حتى قال قائلهم لقي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قومه فدخل عليه سعد بن عبادة فقال يا رسول الله إن هذا الحي قد وجدوا عليك في أنفسهم لما صنعت في هذا الفيء الذي أصبت قسمت في قومك وأعطيت عطايا عظاما في قبائل العرب ولم يكن في هذا الحي من الأنصار شيء قال فأين أنت من ذلك يا سعد قال يا رسول الله ما أنا إلا امرؤ من قومي وما أنا قال فاجمع لي قومك في هذه الحظيرة قال فخرج سعد فجمع الناس في تلك الحظيرة قال فجاء رجال من المهاجرين فتركهم فدخلوا وجاء آخرون فردهم فلما اجتمعوا أتاه سعد فقال قد اجتمع لك هذا الحي من الأنصار قال فأتاهم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فحمد الله وأثنى عليه بالذي هو له أهل ثم قال يا معشر الأنصار ما قالة بلغتني عنكم وجدة وجدتموها في أنفسكم ألم آتكم ضلالا فهداكم الله وعالة فأغناكم الله وأعداء فألف الله بين قلوبكم قالوا بل الله ورسوله أمن وأفضل قال ألا تجيبونني يا معشر الأنصار قالوا وبماذا نجيبك يا رسول الله ولله ولرسوله المن والفضل قال أما والله لو شئتم لقلتم فلصدقتم وصدقتم أتيتنا مكذبا فصدقناك ومخذولا فنصرناك وطريدا فآويناك وعائلا فأغنيناك أوجدتم في أنفسكم يا معشر الأنصار في لعاعة من الدنيا تألفت بها قوما ليسلموا ووكلتكم إلى إسلامكم أفلا ترضون يا معشر الأنصار أن يذهب الناس بالشاة والبعير وترجعون برسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في رحالكم فوالذي نفس محمد بيده لولا الهجرة لكنت امرأ من الأنصار ولو سلك الناس شعبا وسلكت الأنصار شعبا لسلكت شعب الأنصار اللهم ارحم الأنصار وأبناء الأنصار وأبناء أبناء الأنصار قال فبكى القوم حتى أخضلوا لحاهم وقالوا رضينا برسول الله قسما وحظا ثم انصرف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وتفرقنا
When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam distributed the spoils of war to the Quraysh and the Arab tribes without giving anything to the Ansar, the Ansar were upset.
Much was said, till one person said, “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has now gone back to his people.”
The leader of the Ansar, Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah radiya Llahu ‘anhu went immediately to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said, “O Messenger of Allah, this group of the Ansar are displeased with what you did with the spoils of war. You have distributed war booty among your people, and have given generous portions to the Arab tribes, but you did not give the Ansar anything.”
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam him, “What is your opinion about it?”
Sa’d answered, “I am but one of my people.”
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked him to gather the Ansar.
The Ansar were gathered, and no one else but them was allowed in the meeting.
The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O Ansar, I heard that an incident that happened recently made you feel ill at ease… Now, did I not find you ignorant and guided you to the way of Allah? Did I not find you poor and Allah enriched you of His bounty? Did I not find you enemies and Allah joined your hearts together?”
They answered, “Indeed, Allah and His Prophet are far more generous and better.”
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said, “Don’t you have anything to say, O Ansar?”
They answered, “There is nothing to be said but that Allah and His Prophet have the grace and bounty.”
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said, “By Allah, you could have said—and if you did, you would have been truthful and acknowledged—We believed in you at a time when all called you a liar. We supported you at a time when you were frustrated. We gave you our money at a time when you were poor and we even sheltered you at a time when you were homeless. O Ansar, are you upset for a thing so trivial and worldly that I gave to some people so as to join their hearts to Islam and left you out of it, believing that your Islam sufficed you? Is it not enough for you that the rest of the people will go home with a sheep or a camel, whereas you will return with the Messenger of Allah? By Allah in Whose Hands is Muhammad’s soul, you return with a better thing than they went home with. If not for the migration, I would rather have been one of the Ansar. If the people moved in one way, and the Ansar moved the other way, I would choose the way of the Ansar. O Allah, have mercy on the Ansar, their children, and their children’s children.”
By the time the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam concluded his words, their beards were wet with tears. All of them cried out, “It is enough for us to have the Messenger of Allah as our reward!” Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then left and they did too.
The chain of narration is strong.
Imam al Bukhari and Muslim have narrated the same.
The wording of Sahih Muslim alludes to the prayer for mercy for the children and freed slaves of the Ansar.
The wording of another narration of Musnad Imam Ahmed records the same supplication for the spouses of the Ansar.
Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:
1. The great virtue of the Ansar in this narration:
a. “If not for the migration, I would rather have been one of the Ansar”. This is an honour only enjoyed by them.
b. The supplication of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for the Ansar, their children, grandchildren, spouses, and freed slaves. A virtue unsurpassed.
c. Their immense love and respect for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam can be understood from their answer; “Indeed, Allah and His Prophet are far more generous and better.” An answer of sincere believers.
d. Their patience in what was perceived to be others receiving preferential treatment, together with being pleased by having Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in their share.
e. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam approved their faith as true by informing them of their guidance and Islam; “Did I not find you ignorant and guided you to the way of Allah?”
f. The Ansar were true to their faith by listening and obeying Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam even at a time wherein they perceived themselves to be side-lined. They did not revolt nor see it as a right of theirs being taken away.
2. This narration is a clear refutation against the Batiniyyah Shia who claim the Ansar to have turned renegade after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. If their faith was not true, this was the opportune moment for them to leave the fold of Islam. They however, remained firm on Islam till they reached their Lord.
3. The forbearance, clear headedness, and soft nature of the Ansar becomes evident here. Though many of their own were martyred at Hunayn, they continued to remain firm as one; Muslims.
4. If the Imam or scholar perceives negativity from his people he should remind them of his status and virtue, a reminder to those who have forgotten and a proof against the ignorant.
5. Open lines of communication and clarity in matters is of utmost importance between the leaders and masses, more so in times of tribulation.
6. Containing errors by making sure the effects don’t spiral out of control is part and parcel of the prophetic teachings. On the other hand, carrying tales, backbiting, and spreading the mistakes of others is the character of the hypocrites.
7. Differences between the scholars and those that call towards Islam will forever remain. It was there in the best of times and so it will remain. These differences do not constitute hatred or the likes of it. Yes, the other side remains true as well, when it leads one to consider others disbelievers or sinners due to them not concurring with one’s view. This latter approach is totally against prophetic teachings. The concern should be that of unity.
8. When the Imam or scholar wishes to correct a particular group, he should do it in private with them; a token of respect.
9. No one, especially those in positions of leadership should make a judgment or decision without verifying the veracity of what is circulating. Information obtained by one generally reliable person is not enough to decide on a matter that will affect others, especially when it is something that goes against the norm. Due to this Islamic principle being shunned, many evils today creep up with no end in sight. Misinformation is the devil in ruining social, professional, and personal relationships.
10. This narration serves as a proof for those that hold the opinion that the Imam has the right to distribute the spoils of war as he pleases if need be.
Imam Abu ‘Ubaid has indicated to this in Kitab al Amwal. Similarly, Taj al Din al Fazari has written a treatise on this titled Mas’alah al Ghana’im, though he has, in his treatise, given the Imam carte blanche to distribute the wealth. Imam al Nawawi has refuted this stance by citing consensus upon definitive shares. Others such as Ibn al Taymiyyah and Ibn al Qayyim have preferred a different opinion.
Ibn al Qayyim writes in Zad al Ma’ad:
الإمام نائب عن المسلمين يتصرف لمصالحهم، وقيام الدين، فإن تعين ذلك للدفع عن الإسلام، والذب عن حوزته، واستجلاب رؤوس أعدائه إليه ليأمن المسلمون شرهم، ساغ له ذلك، بل تعين عليه، وهل تجوز الشريعة غير هذا، فإنه وإن كان في الحرمان مفسدة، فالمفسدة المتوقعة من فوات تأليف هذا العدو أعظم، ومبنى الشريعة على دفع أعلى المفسدتين باحتمال أدناهما،
The Imam is the representative of the Muslims and he acts in accordance with what is best for them and with what helps to establish the Religion so if that was set aside in order to attract the enemies of Islam to it, to protect against their evil, it is permissible to do so — indeed it is obligatory to do so, for it is a basic principle of Islamic Law that one permit the lesser of two evils in order to repel the greater of them and in order to attain the greater of two benefits by letting pass the lesser of them.
11. Conflict resolution is best done through calm and constructive dialogue.
12. A pious and intelligent leader is one who takes into consideration all angles before deciding on a matter. He further ponders over the far reaching effects of his decision before enacting it as law. This results in a mutually agreeable resolution for all those involved. As for an idiotic leader, he only looks at what will benefit him and passes judgments accordingly.
13. The great erudite scholars are not infallible, and even their understanding does not encompass all the intricacies of Shari’ah. This rings true to a much greater extent for those that aren’t giants in knowledge.
 Musnad Imam Ahmed, Hadith: 11322.
 Zad al Ma’ad, pg. 460.