Zaid ibn Harithah radiya Llahu ‘anhu

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Zaid ibn Harithah

 

He is Sayyidina Zaid ibn Harithah ibn Sharahil al Kalbi, Abu Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the emancipated slave of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. A distinguished and famous Sahabi. From the first ones to accept Islam. Ibn Sa’d says, “His mother is Su’da bint Tha’labah from Tayyi’. Ibn ‘Umar says:

 

ما كنا ندعو زيد بن حارثة إلا زيد بن محمد حتى نزلت ادْعُوْهُمْ لِآبَائِهِمْ

We used to call Zaid ibn Harithah Zaid ibn Muhammad until the verse: Call them by [the names of] their fathers[1] was revealed.[2]

 

و عن الكلبي و جميل بن مرثد الطائي و غيرهما قالوا زارت سعدى أم زيد بن حارثة قومها و زيد معها فأغارت خيل لبني القين بن جسر في الجاهلية على أبيات بني معن فاحتملوا زيد و هو غلام يفعة فأتوا به في سوق عكاظ فعرضوه للبيع فاشتراه حكيم بن حزام لعمته خديجة بأربعمائة درهم فلما تزوجها رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم وهبته له قال فحج ناس من كلب فرأوا زيدا فعرفهم و عرفوه … فانطلقوا فأعلموا أباه و وصفوا له موضعه فخرج حارثة و كعب أخوه بفدائه فقدما مكة فسألا عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فقيل هو في المسجد فدخلا عليه فقالا يا بن عبد المطلب با ابن سيد قومه أنتم أهل حرم الله تفكون العاني و تطعمون الأسير جئناك في ولدنا عبدك فامنن علينا و أحسن في فدائه فإنا سنرفع لك قال و ما ذاك قالوا زيد بن حارثة فقال أو غير ذلك ادعوه فخيروه فإن اختاركم فهو لكم بغير فداء و إن اختارني فوالله ما أنا بالذي أختار على من اختارني فداء قالوا زدتنا على النصف فدعاه فقال هل تعرف هؤلاء قال نعم هذا أبي و هذا عمي قال فأنا من قد علمت و قد رأيت صحبتي لك فاخترني أو اخترهما فقال زيد ما أنا بالذي أختار عليك أحدا أنت مني بمكان الأب و العم فقالا ويحك يا زيد أتختار العبودية على الحرية و على أبيك و عمك و أهل بيتك قال نعم إني قد رأيت من هذا الرجل شيئا ما أنا بالذي أختار عليه أحدا فلما رأى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ذلك أخرجه إلى الحجر فقال اشهدوا أن زيدا ابني يرثني و أرثه فلما رأى ذلك أبوه و عمه طابت أنفسهما و انصرفا فدعي زيد ابن محمد حتى جاء الله بالإسلام

Al Kalbi, Jamil ibn Marthad al Ta’i, and others narrate:

Su’da the mother of Zaid ibn Harithah visited her tribe and Zaid was with her. The horsemen of Banu al Qayn ibn Jisr during the jahiliyyah attacked the dwellings of the Banu Ma’n and kidnapped Zaid who was young lad in adolescence and brought him to the market of ‘Ikaz. They presented him for sale, so Hakim ibn Hizam purchased him for his paternal aunt Khadijah in lieu of 400 dirhams. When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married her, she gifted him to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Some people from the Kalb perfumed Hajj and saw Zaid. He recognised them and vice versa … They left and informed his father describing to him his residence. Hearing this, Harithah and his brother Ka’b left with his ransom. They came to Makkah and asked about the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and were told that he was in the Masjid.

They came to him and submitted, “O son of ‘Abdul Muttalib, O son of the leader of his people. You are the inhabitants of Allah’s sanctuary, you emancipate slaves and feed prisoners. We have come to you regarding our child, your slave. So favour us and show generosity by ransoming him, for indeed we will increase for you.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked, “And who is that?”

They replied, “Zaid ibn Harithah.”

He said, “Or someone else? Call him and let him choose. If he chooses you, then you may have him without ransom. But if he chooses me, then by Allah, I will not prefer ransom over one who chooses me.”

They said, “You have increased way above (our expectations).”

So Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam called him. He then asked, “Do you know these men?”

He replied, “Yes, this is my father and this is my uncle.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “You know me and have witnessed how I treated you. So either choose me or them.”

Zaid said, “I will not prefer anyone over you. You are to me in the place of my father and uncle.”

They yelled, “Woe to you, Zaid! Are you opting for slavery over freedom and your father, uncle, and family?”

He replied, “Yes. I have seen something remarkable in this individual owing to which I will not prefer anyone over him.”

When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saw this, he took him to the Hijr and announced, “Bear witness that Zaid is my son, who will inherit from me and I will from him.”

When his father and uncle saw this, they were pleased and departed. From that day, he was called Zaid ibn Muhammad until Allah brought Islam.[3]

 

و عن سلمة بن الأكوع قال غزوت مع النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم سبع غزوات و مع زيد بن حارثة سبع غزوات يؤمره علينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم

Salamah ibn al Akwa’ reports, “I participated in seven battles alongside the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and seven battles alongside ‍Zaid ibn Harithah. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would appoint him as our leader.”[4]

 

Muhammad ibn Usamah ibn Zaid reports from his father who reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told Sayyidina Zaid ibn Harithah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

يا زيد أنت مولاي و مني و إلي و أحب الناس إلي

O Zaid, you are my freed slave and from me and to me. And you are the most beloved of people to me.[5]

 

Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma relates that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam announced:

 

و أيم الله إن كان لخليقا للإمارة يعني زيد بن حارثة و إن كان لمن أحب الناس إلي

By Allah’s oath, he is deserving of leadership (i.e. Zaid ibn Harithah) and he is one of the most beloved of people to me.[6]

 

Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma also recounts:

 

فرض عمر لأسامة أكثر مما فرض لي فسألته فقال إنه كان أحب إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم منك و إن أباه كان أحب إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من أبيك

‘Umar stipulated for Usamah more than he stipulated for me so I asked him about this. He explained, “Certainly, he was more beloved to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam than you and his father was more loved to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam than your father.”[7]

 

He was martyred in the Battle of Mu’tah during Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lifetime in the year 8 A.H. at the age of 55.

His assurance of Jannat has been found in the hadith of Sayyidina Abu Qatadah, Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas, Sayyidina Buraydah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and the mursal report of Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali. I will just quote Sayyidina Abu Qatadah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu hadith:

 

فعن عبد الله بن رباح قال حدثنا أبو قتادة فارس رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال بعث رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم جيش الأمراء و قال عليكم زيد بن حارثة فإن أصيب زيد فجعفر فإن أصيب جعفر فعبد الله بن رواحة الأنصاري فوثب جعفر فقال بأبي أنت يا نبي الله و أمي ما كنت أرهب أن تستعمل علي زيدا قال امضوا فإنك لا تدري أي ذلك خير قال فانطلق الجيش فلبثوا ما شاء الله ثم إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم صعد المنبر و أمر أن ينادى الصلوة جامعة فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ناب خير أو ثاب خير شك عبد الرحمن ألا أخبركم عن جيشكم هذا الغازي إنهم انطلقوا حتى لقوا العدو فأصيب زيد شهيدا فاستغفروا له فاستغفر له الناس ثم أخذ اللواء جعفر بن أبي طالب فشد على القوم حتى قتل شهيدا أشهد له بالشهادة فاستغفروا له ثم أخذ اللواء عبد الله بن رواحة فأثبت قدميه حتى أصيب شهيدا فاستغفروا له ثم أخذ اللواء خالد بن الوليد و لم يكن من الأمراء هو أمر نفسه فرفع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إصبعيه و قال اللهم هو سيف من سيوفك فانصره و قال عبد الرحمن مرة فانتصر به فيومئذ سمي خالد سيف الله ثم قال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم انفروا فأمدوا إخوانكم و لا يتخلفن أحد فنفر الناس في حر شديد مشاة و ركبانا

‘Abdullah ibn Rabah reports that Abu Qatadah, the horseman of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, narrated to them:

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam dispatched Jaysh al ’Umara’ [the army of leaders] with the following instructions, “Zaid ibn Harithah will be your leader. If Zaid is martyred, then Jafar. If Jafar is martyred then ‘Abdullah ibn Rawahah al Ansari.”

Upon this, Jafar jumped up and said, “May my parents be sacrificed for you, O Nabi of Allah, I was never afraid that you would appoint Zaid over me.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Advance, as you do not know which of this is better for you.”

The army thus advanced and stayed as long as Allah willed. Thereafter Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ascended the pulpit and commanded that an announcement be made, “Salah is gathered.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Goodness has occurred—or he said goodness has returned. Should I not inform you of your army that has carried out this expedition? They advanced until they met the enemy. Zaid was martyred so seek forgiveness on his behalf,” and the crowd sought forgiveness.

“Thereafter Jafar ibn Abi Talib took the flag and attacked the enemy until he was martyred. I gave testimony to his martyrdom so seek forgiveness for him. Then ‘Abdullah ibn Rawahah took the flag and remained steadfast until he was martyred so seek forgiveness for him. Thereafter Khalid ibn al Walid took the flag. He was not one of the leaders. He took the lead on his own.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then lifted two of his fingers and supplicated, “O Allah! He is one of Your swords so assist him.” On that day was Khalid named the sword of Allah.

Thereafter Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed, “Proceed and reinforce your brothers. None should remain behind.”

The people proceeded on foot and on horseback in the severe heat.”[8]

 

Reported by Ahmed, al Nasa’i, Ibn Abi Shaybah, al Darimi, Ibn Hibban, and others from the chains of al Aswad ibn Shayban from―Khalid ibn Samir who said, “‘Abdullah ibn Rabah came to us and narrated it.”

Al Haythami comments, “Its narrators are the narrators of al Sahih besides Khalid ibn Samir who is reliable.”[9]

 

Khalid ibn Samir

  • Al Nasa’i classified him reliable.[10] Ibn Hibban listed him among the reliable narrators.[11]
 

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[1] Surah al Ahzab: 5.

[2] Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 5479; Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4504; Sahih Muslim, vol. 7 pg. 130; Sunan al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3209, 3814.

[3] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 42. Ibn Sa’d says, “All this was narrated to us by Hisham ibn Muhammad ibn al Sa’ib al Kalbi from―his father, Jamil ibn Marthad al Ta’i, and others. He mentioned part of this hadith from―his father from―Abu Salih from―Ibn ‘Abbas. He then mentioned at the end of the incident Zaid ibn Harithah’s marriage to Zainab bint Jahsh radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.”

[4] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 4272 from Salamah ibn al Akwa’ who said:

غزوت مع النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم سبع غزوات و غزوت مع ابن حارثة استعمله علينا

I participated in seven battles alongside the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and I fought alongside ‍Ibn Harithah, who Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed over us.

Although Hafiz rahimahu Llah has attributed it unconditionally to al Bukhari in this instance, but in Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 498 he detailed this saying in the footnotes on al Bukhari’s cited narration:

This is how he mentioned it ambiguously. Abu Muslim al Kajji narrated it from Abu ‘Asim with the wording:

و غزوت مع زيد ابن حارثة سبع غزوات يؤمره علينا

I fought alongside Zaid ibn Harithah in seven battles, he appointed him leader over us.

Al Tabarani documented it from Abu Muslim with this wording. Abu Nuaim documented it in al Mustakhraj from―Abu Shu’ayb al Harrani from―Abu ‘Asim like this. Similarly, al Ismaili documented it from few chains from Abu ‘Asim. I have searched for the reports of the writers of al Maghazi of the expeditions of Zaid ibn Harithah and counted seven just as Salamah said.

Al Tabarani’s narration which Hafiz indicated to is documented by him in al Mu’jam al Kabir, vol. 7 pg. 30, Hadith: 6282.

[5] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 44. Ibn Hajar commented, “Ibn Sa’d documented it with a hassan isnad.” (al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 601)

[6] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3524; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2426.

[7] Sunan al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3813. Al Tirmidhi remarked, “This is a hassan gharib hadith.” The wording is:

عن زيد بن أسلم عن أبيه عن عمر أنه فرض لأسامة بن زيد في ثلاثة آلاف و خمسمئة و فرض لعبد الله بن عمر في ثلاثة آلاف قال عبد الله بن عمر لأبيه لم فضلت أسامة علي فوالله ما سبقني إلى مشهد قال لأن زيدا كان أحب إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من أبيك و كان أسامة أحب إلى رسول الله منك فآثرت حب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم على حبي

From Zaid ibn Aslam from―his father:

‘Umar stipulated for Usamah ibn Zaid 3500 and stipulated for ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar 3000. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar asked his father, “Why did you favour Usamah over me? By Allah, he did not beat me to any significant battle.”

‘Umar replied, “Since Zaid was more beloved to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam than your father and Usamah was more beloved to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam than you. So I gave precedence to Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam love over my own.”

Hafiz classified it sahih. (Al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 601.)

[8]Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 22604, 22619; al Sunan al Kubra, Hadith: 8249; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 36966; Sunan al Darimi, Hadith: 2448 briefly; Sahih Ibn Hibban, Hadith: 7048.

[9] Majma’ al Zawa’id, vol. 6 pg. 150.

[10] Al Kashif, Biography: 1328.

[11] Al Thiqat, vol. 8 pg. 129.