Aswad al Habashi

Wahshi ibn Harb al Habashi
May 20, 2019
Mihja’
May 20, 2019

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Aswad al Habashi

 

Sayyidina Aswad radiya Llahu ‘anhu approached the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and enquired, “O Messenger of Allah, you have been preferred over us by form, colour, and Nubuwwah. If I believe in what you believe and practice like you practice, will I be with you in Jannat?” Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied in the affirmative and then added, “By the being who controls my life, the brilliance of the dark-skinned will be seen in Jannat from a journey of a thousand years.”[1]

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam further stated, “Whoever proclaims: la ilaha illallahu (there is no deity besides Allah), he will have a covenant by Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, in lieu of it. And whoever says: subhanallahu wa bihamdihi (glory be to Allah with His praise), will receive 124 000 virtues.”[2]

Elated with these enormous virtues, the man wondered as to how man can be destroyed. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam explained to him that people will come on the Day of Qiyamah with actions enough to burden a mountain if placed upon it, yet one blessing from the blessings of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will appear and almost eclipse all the actions, adding, “Except if Allah showers His mercy.”

Thereafter, the first 20 verses of Surah al Dahr were revealed:

 

هَلْ أَتىٰ عَلَى الْإِنْسَانِ حِيْنٌ مِّنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُنْ شَيْئًا مَّذْكُوْرًا إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ مِنْ نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ نَّبْتَلِيْهِ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ سَمِيْعًا ۢ بَصِيْرًا إِنَّا هَدَيْنَاهُ السَّبِيْلَ إِمَّا شَاكِرًا وَّإِمَّا كَفُوْرًا إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِيْنَ سَلَاسِلَ وَأَغْلَالًا وَّسَعِيْرًا إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ يَشْرَبُوْنَ مِنْ كَأْسٍ كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا كَافُوْرًا عَيْنًا يَّشْرَبُ بِهَا عِبَادُ اللّٰهِ يُفَجِّرُوْنَهَا تَفْجِيْرًا  يُوْفُوْنَ بِالنَّذْرِ وَيَخَافُوْنَ يَوْمًا كَانَ شَرُّهُ مُسْتَطِيْرًا وَيُطْعِمُوْنَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهٖ مِسْكِيْنًا وَّيَتِيْمًا وَّأَسِيْرًا إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللّٰهِ لَا نُرِيْدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَآءً وَّلَا شُكُوْرًا إِنَّا نَخَافُ مِن رَّبِّنَا يَوْمًا عَبُوْسًا قَمْطَرِيْرًا فَوَقَاهُمُ اللّٰهُ شَرَّ ذٰلِكَ الْيَوْمِ وَلَقَّاهُمْ نَضْرَةً وَّسُرُوْرًا وَجَزَاهُمْ بِمَا صَبَرُوْا جَنَّةً وَحَرِيْرًا مُّتَّكِئِيْنَ فِيْهَا عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ لَا يَرَوْنَ فِيْهَا شَمْسًا وَّلَا زَمْهَرِيْرًا وَدَانِيَةً عَلَيْهِمْ ظِلَالُهَا وَذُلِّلَتْ قُطُوْفُهَا تَذْلِيْلًا وَيُطَافُ عَلَيْهِمْ بِأٰنِيَةٍ مِّنْ فِضَّةٍ وَّأَكْوَابٍ كَانَتْ قَوَارِيْرَا قَوَارِيرَ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ قَدَّرُوْهَا تَقْدِيْرًا وَيُسْقَوْنَ فِيْهَا كَأْسًا كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا زَنْجَبِيْلًا عَيْنًا فِيهَا تُسَمّٰى سَلْسَبِيْلًا وَيَطُوْفُ عَلَيْهِمْ وِلْدَانٌ مُّخَلَّدُوْنَ إِذَا رَأَيْتَهُمْ حَسِبْتَهُمْ لُؤْلُؤًا مَّنْثُوْرًا وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ ثَمَّ رَأَيْتَ نَعِيْمًا وَّمُلْكًا كَبِيرًا

Has there [not] come upon man a period of time when he was not a thing [even] mentioned? Indeed, We created man from a sperm-drop mixture that We may try him; and We made him hearing and seeing. Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful. Indeed, We have prepared for the disbelievers chains and shackles and a blaze. Indeed, the righteous will drink from a cup [of wine] whose mixture is of camphor, a spring of which the [righteous] servants of Allah will drink; they will make it gush forth in force [and abundance]. They [are those who] fulfil [their] vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread. And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, [Saying], “We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude. Indeed, We fear from our Lord a Day austere and distressful.” So Allah will protect them from the evil of that Day and give them radiance and happiness and will reward them for what they patiently endured [with] a garden [in Paradise] and silk [garments]. [They will be] reclining therein on adorned couches. They will not see therein any [burning] sun or [freezing] cold. And near above them are its shades, and its [fruit] to be picked will be lowered in compliance. And there will be circulated among them vessels of silver and cups having been [created] clear [as glass], Clear glasses [made] from silver of which they have determined the measure. And they will be given to drink a cup [of wine] whose mixture is of ginger [From] a fountain within Paradise named Salsabil. There will circulate among them young boys made eternal. When you see them, you would think them [as beautiful as] scattered pearls. And when you look there [in Paradise], you will see pleasure and great dominion.[3]

 

Totally entranced by the beautiful description of Jannat, the Abyssinian asked enthusiastically, “Will my eyes behold what your eyes will behold in Jannat.” “Yes,” Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied. The ecstasy that overcame his heart hearing this is unexplainable. Tears of joy and excitement began to travel down his cheeks. The Qur’anic narrative of the bounties of Jannat had captivated his mind, soul, and body. His heart could not control the joy, so his soul departed from his body.

Aspiration of Jannat had been the cause of his death. What an enviable way to pass away! Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lowered him into his grave with his own hands.[4]

 

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[1]Al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 12 pg. 436; Majma’ al Zawa’id, Hadith: 18768, referenced to al Tabarani; Hilyat al Auliya’, Hadith: 4401.

[2]  Ibid.

[3]  Surah al Dahr: 1 – 20.

[4]Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah 76, verse 20, Abu Nuaim: Ma’rifat al Sahabah, pg. 277; Usd al Ghabah, pg. 42, Biography: 136; Tanwir al Ghabash, pg. 145; Raf’ Sha’n al Hubshan, pg. 300.

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