Accusation Regarding the Army of Sayyiduna Usamah ibn Zayd

The Accusation of Waging War Against Those who Stopped Paying Zakah
September 11, 2015
Virtues and Outstanding Traits of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq
September 11, 2015

BACK Return to Table of contents

 

Accusation Regarding the Army of Sayyidina Usamah ibn Zaid

 

Those who criticise the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum state that in Safar 11 A.H, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prepared an army to face the Romans, appointing as their leader Sayyidina Usamah ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The Shia scholar Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

انفذوا جيش اسامة لعن الله المتخلف عن جيش اسامة وكانت الثلاثة معه ومنع ابو بكر عمر من ذالك

Send the army of Usamah. May the curse of Allah be upon the one who does not join the army of Usamah. The three (Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman) were with him, then Abu Bakr prevented ‘Umar from going with the army.

 

The objection is that after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu fell short in sending off this army; himself not joining and also preventing Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu from joining them. This was clear opposition to the emphatic command of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam .

 

Answer:

A number of points will be presented in reply to this objection, through which the objection will have no basis.

Scholars have commented on the words in this narration, “May the curse of Allah be upon the one who does not join the army of Usamah”, that these words are not correct and they have been added to the narration.

If this narration is taken to be correct, then there are a number of negative implications. For example, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not join the army of Sayyidina Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu; how will the above mentioned words be correct for him?

Moreover, this point is worthy of note, that during his final moments, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to lead the salah, which he did, in accordance with the command of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam . Thereafter, after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam , he was chosen by the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum for the position of khalifah. In these conditions, how could he radiya Llahu ‘anhu join the army of Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu?

In light of this, the scholars have explained that the words of cursing are not correct. Moreover, it is incorrect that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu went against the command of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in sending out the army of Sayyidina Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is because the reality is that after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam , Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did indeed send the army of Sayyidina Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu out, which is transmitted in a number of narrations. One of these narrations is presented below:

 

ان ابا بكر لما (صمم) على تجهيز جيش اسامة قال بعض الانصار لعمر قل له فليؤمر علينا غير اسامة فذكر له عمر ذالك فيقال : انه اخذ بلحيته وقال ثكلتك امك يا ابن الخطاب اومر غير امير رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم؟ ثم نهض بنفسه الى الجرف فاستعرض جيش اسامة وامر بالمسير وسار معهم واسامة راكبا وعبد الرحمن بن عوف يقود براحله الصديق فقال اسامة يا خليفة رسول الله! اما ان تركب واما ان انزل فقال والله لست بنازل ولست براكب ثم استطلق الصديق من اسامة عمر بن الخطاب وكان مكتتبا في جسشه فاطلقه له فلهذا كان عمر لا يلقاه بعد ذالك الا قال السلام عليك ايها الامير

When Abu Bakr made a firm resolution to prepare the army of Usamah, then some of the Ansar said to ‘Umar: “Tell Abu Bakr that he should appoint someone besides Usamah as the leader over us,” and ‘Umar mentioned this to Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr said: “I shall not appoint a leader other than the leader who Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed.” Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu then personally went to Jurf and walked at the head of the army of Usamah, and commanded them to depart. He walked along with them whilst Usamah was mounted. ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf was pulling the reins of the conveyance of Abu Bakr. Usamah said: “O Khalifah of the Rasul of Allah, either mount the conveyance or shall I dismount.” Abu Bakr said: “Neither will you dismount, nor will I mount.

After this, Abu Bakr asked Usamah for ‘Umar to be returned from the army, whereas ‘Umar was part of the army. So, Usamah permitted ‘Umar to return.

This is why whenever Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu used to meet Sayyidina Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he would say: “Peace be upon you, O Amir.”[1]

 

Note:-

Khalifah ibn Khayyat has also mentioned this narration in his history work (vol. 1 p. 65) that Amir al Mu’minin Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu took permission from the leader of the army, Usamah ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu for ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu to return.

It is clear from the above narration that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not go against the command of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam , and despite the opinion of some to delay this expedition, he order them to march. He did not suspend the departure of the army of Sayyidina Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu at all. Moreover, it is also clear that Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not opposed to the army of Sayyidina Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, but Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu took permission from Sayyidina Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu for him to be left behind. Therefore, the objection that they have raised regarding the army of Sayyidina Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu not being sent out is wrong and contrary to reality.

 

NEXT⇒ Accusation of Confessing to Error and Sin


[1]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 6 p. 305

Back to top