Discussion 2 – Merits of Abu Dharr al Ghifari according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah

Section 1 – Discussion 1: The biography of Abu Dharr al Ghifari according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.
February 29, 2024
Discussion 3 – Relationship between Abu Dharr al Ghifari and the remaining Sahabah
February 29, 2024

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Discussion 2

Merits of Abu Dharr al Ghifari according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah

 

Sayyidina Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu is from the galaxy of Sahabah who were forerunners to Islam. He thus obtained the nobility of companionship and precedence. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has listed the merits of the first forerunners in His statement:

 

وَٱلسَّٰبِقُونَ ٱلۡأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُهَٰجِرِينَ وَٱلۡأَنصَارِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحۡسَٰنٖ رَّضِيَ ٱللَّهُ عَنۡهُمۡ وَرَضُواْ عَنۡهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمۡ جَنَّٰتٖ تَجۡرِي تَحۡتَهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَٰرُ خَٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَدٗاۚ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلۡفَوۡزُ ٱلۡعَظِيمُ

And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajirin and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.[1]

 

He is among the Companions who are honoured with Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala praise for them as in His statement:

 

مُّحَمَّدٞ رَّسُولُ ٱللَّهِۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ مَعَهُۥٓ أَشِدَّآءُ عَلَى ٱلۡكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآءُ بَيۡنَهُمۡۖ تَرَىٰهُمۡ رُكَّعٗا سُجَّدٗا يَبۡتَغُونَ فَضۡلٗا مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضۡوَٰنٗاۖ سِيمَاهُمۡ فِي وُجُوهِهِم مِّنۡ أَثَرِ ٱلسُّجُودِۚ ذَٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمۡ فِي ٱلتَّوۡرَىٰةِۚ وَمَثَلُهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡإِنجِيلِ كَزَرۡعٍ أَخۡرَجَ شَطۡـَٔهُۥ فَـَٔازَرَهُۥ فَٱسۡتَغۡلَظَ فَٱسۡتَوَىٰ عَلَىٰ سُوقِهِۦ يُعۡجِبُ ٱلزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ ٱلۡكُفَّارَۗ وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ مِنۡهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٗ وَأَجۡرًا عَظِيمَۢ

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their sign is in their faces from the effect of prostration [i.e., prayer]. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers, so that He [i.e., Allah] may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.[2]

 

He is among the Sahabah who obtained the nobility of accompanying the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the Battle of Tabuk which took place in a difficult and constrained time, which is dubbed the Army of Difficulty. Allah revealed glad tidings for those who followed the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and participated in this battle. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala announces:

 

لَّقَد تَّابَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِيِّ وَٱلۡمُهَٰجِرِينَ وَٱلۡأَنصَارِ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوهُ فِي سَاعَةِ ٱلۡعُسۡرَةِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا كَادَ يَزِيغُ قُلُوبُ فَرِيقٖ مِّنۡهُمۡ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيۡهِمۡۚ إِنَّهُۥ بِهِمۡ رَءُوفٞ رَّحِيمٞ

Allah has already forgiven the Prophet and the Muhajirin and the Ansar who followed him in the hour of difficulty after the hearts of a party of them had almost inclined [to doubt], and then He forgave them. Indeed, He was to them Kind and Merciful.[3]

 

He is from the portion of this Ummah who attained goodness:

 

عن عمران بن حصين رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال خير أمتي قرني ثم الذين يلونهم ثم الذين يلونهم قال عمران فلا أدري أذكر بعد قرنه قرنين أو ثلاثة ثم إن بعدكم قوما يشهدون ولا يستشهدون ويخونون ولا يؤتمنون وينذرون ولا يوفون ويظهر فيهم السمن

‘Imran ibn Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The best nation is that of my era, then the subsequent era, and then the subsequent era.”

‘Imran clarifies: I do not know whether he mentioned one or two eras after his era.

“Thereafter, after you will be a people who give testimony despite not been requested for the same, who breach and are not trustable, who vow yet do not fulfil, and obesity will become common among them.”[4]

 

Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu is from the Companions of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who were truthful, sincere in their Islam; men of lofty rank and position, men of integrity, men of credibility, regarding whom the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam affirmed:

 

لا تسبوا أحدا من أصحابي فلو أن أحدكم أنفق مثل أحد ذهبا ما أدرك مد أحدهم و لا نصيفه

Do not revile any of my Companions. If any of you were to spend gold equivalent [in weight] to mount Uhud, you will not reach [the reward] of their mudd, not even half of it.[5]

 

He is among those Companions whom the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed as protectors for this Ummah from deviations, innovations, and all fitnahs (trials) as appears in the hadith of Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu who reports that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam affirmed:

 

النجوم أمنة للسماء فأذا ذهبت النجوم أتى السماء ما توعد و أنا أمنة لأصحابي فأذا ذهبت أتى أصحابي ما يوعدون وأصحابي أمنة لأمتي فإذا ذهب أصحابي أتى أمتي ما يوعدون

The stars are a protection[6] for the sky. When the stars disappear, what the sky was promised will approach. I am a protection for my Companions. When I leave, what my Companions were promised will come. And my Companions are a protection for my Ummah. When my Companions leave, what my Ummah was promised will come.[7]

 

One who studies the biography of the eminent Sahabi, Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu, will find plenty merits and excellent qualities which appear in the prophetic Sunnah or those observed by his contemporaries among the Sahabah and Tabi’in, the pious predecessors, and those who followed them with goodness until the Day of Recompense, including truthfulness, sincerity, generosity, bravery, charity, humility, asceticism, and others with which he is distinguished. I will list these merits and special qualities under two headings:

  1. Ahadith listing his merits.
  2. Statements of the Sahabah and Pious Predecessors of the Ummah about him.

 

1. Ahadith listing his merits

Sayyidina Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was truthful in speech. No lie is discernible from him. He spoke the truth and did not fear the critic’s criticism for Allah. Al Tirmidhi documents on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam affirm:

 

ما أظلت الخضراء ولا أقلت الغبراء أصدق من أبي ذر

The sky has not shaded and the earth has not carried anyone more truthful than Abu Dharr.[8]

 

Al Tirmidhi also reports from Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stated:

 

ما أظلت الخضراء ولا أقلت الغبراء من ذي لهجة أصدق ولا أوفى من أبي ذر شبه عيسى ابن مريم عليه السلام

There is no one more truthful in speech or in fulfilling promises, that the sky has covered and the earth has carried, than Abu Dharr, the likeness of ‘Isa ibn Maryam.[9]

 

Al Mubarakfuri rahimahu Llah comments in al Tuhfah:

 

والمراد بهذا الحصر التأكيد والمبالغة في صدقه أي هو منتهاه في الصدق لا أنه أصدق من غيره مطلقا إذ لا يصح أن يقال أبو ذر أصدق من أبي بكر رضي الله عنه وهو صديق هذه الأمة وخيرها بعد نبيها وقد كان رضي الله عنه أصدق من أبي ذر

The implication of this confinement is emphasising and accenting his truthfulness, i.e. he is the limit in truthfulness, not that he is more truthful than others unrestrictedly as it is incorrect to assert that Abu Dharr is more truthful than Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu since the latter is the Siddiq of this Ummah and the most superior after its Nabi. He was more truthful than Abu Dharr.[10]

 

Ibn Hibban rahimahu Llah remarks:

 

يشبه أن يكون هذا خطابا خرج على حسب الحال في شيء بعينه إذ محال أن يكون هذا الخطاب على عمومه وتحت الخضراء المصطفى صلى الله عليه وسلم والصديق والفاروق رضي الله عنهما

Probably this address is according to the situation on something specific, as it is impossible for this address to be general when under the sky is the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Siddiq, and Faruq radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[11]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah explains:

 

وأما كون أبي ذر أصدق الناس فذاك لا يوجب أنه أفضل من غيره بل كان أبو ذر مؤمنا ضعيفا كما ثبت في الصحيح عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال له يا أبا ذر إني أراك ضعيفا وإني أحب لك ما أحب لنفسي لا تأمرن على اثنين ولا تولين مال اليتيم وقد ثبت في الصحيح أنه قال المؤمن القوي خير وأحب إلى الله من المؤمن الضعيف وفي كل خير

As regards Abu Dharr being the most truthful of all people, this does not necessitate him being superior to others. Rather, Abu Dharr was a believer who was weak [physically] as established in al Sahih that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told him, “O Abu Dharr, I find you to be weak and I like for you what I like for myself. Do not rule over (even) two persons and do not manage the property of an orphan.”[12] It also affirmed in al Sahih that he declared, “A believer who is strong [physically] is superior and more beloved to Allah than a believer who is weak [physically]. And there is goodness in each.”[13][14]

 

Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was at the apex of sincerity towards his din. He applied what he heard from the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, without deviation or inclining away. Malik ibn Dinar’s[15] report supports this, that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

أيكم يلقاني على الحال التي أفارقه عليها فقال أبو ذر أنا فقال صلى الله عليه وسلم صدقت

“Who will meet me in the condition I left him.”

Abu Dharr replied, “I will.”

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commented, “You have spoken the truth.”[16]

 

What affirms his superiority is his steadfastness on what he was upon during the lifetime of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is reported that he stated:

 

إني لأقربكم مجلسا من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يوم القيامة وذلك أني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول إن أقربكم مني يوم القيامة من خرج من الدنيا كهيئته يوم تركته عليه وإنه والله ما منكم من أحد إلا وقد تشبث منها بشيء غيري

I will be the closest in position to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the Day of Qiyamah. This is because I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “Certainly, the closest to me on the Day of Qiyamah will be the one who left the world in the condition I left him in.” By Allah, each one of you has been affected slightly by it besides me.[17]

 

Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu, before embracing Islam, boasted of his Arabism and affiliation to his tribe and regarded superiority being in lineage and pedigree only. His behaviour was like the behaviour of the Arabs. What points to this is a report documented by al Bukhari and Muslim from Ma’rur ibn Suwaid[18] who relates:

 

عن المعرور بن سويد قال مررنا بأبي ذر بالربذة وعليه برد وعلى غلامه مثله فقلنا يا أبا ذر لو جمعت بينهما كانت حلة فقال إنه كان بيني وبين رجل من إخواني كلام وكانت أمه أعجمية فعيرته بأمه فشكاني إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فلقيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا أبا ذر إنك امرؤ فيك جاهلية ‏‏ قلت يا رسول الله من سب الرجال سبوا أباه وأمه قال يا أبا ذر إنك امرؤ فيك جاهلية هم إخوانكم جعلهم الله تحت أيديكم فأطعموهم مما تأكلون وألبسوهم مما تلبسون ولا تكلفوهم ما يغلبهم فإن كلفتموهم فأعينوهم ‏‏

We visited Abu Dharr in Rabadhah. He had a mantle over him and his slave had one like it. We said, “O Abu Dharr, had you joined them together, it would have been a complete garment.”

Thereupon he recalled, “There was an argument between me and one of the persons among my brothers. His mother was a non-Arab so I reproached him with his mother. He complained against me to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. As I met the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he remarked, ‘Abu Dharr, you are a person who still has in him remnants of the Age of Ignorance.’

I submitted, ‘O Messenger of Allah, he who abuses (other) persons, they abuse (in return) his father and mother.’

He emphasised, ‘Abu Dharr, you are a person who still has the remnants of the Age of Ignorance. They (your servants and slaves) are your brothers. Allah has put them in your care, so feed them what you eat, clothe them with what you wear. And do not burden them beyond their capacities. If you burden them (with an unbearable burden), then assist them.’”[19]

 

When iman settled in his heart, he became proverbial in humility. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam likened Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his humility to ‘Isa ibn Maryam rahimahu Llah saying:

 

من سره أن ينظر إلى تواضع عيسى ابن مريم فلينظر إلى أبي ذر

Whoever desires to look at the humility of ‘Isa ibn Maryam should look at Abu Dharr.[20]

 

After Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu embraced Islam, the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed him to invite his tribe to Islam. It appears in the narration of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:

 

ارجع إلى قومك فأخبرهم حتى يأتيك أمري

Go back to your people and inform them (about it) till you receive my order.[21]

 

While it appears in the narration of ‘Abdullah ibn al Samit:

 

إنه قد وجهت لي أرض ذات نخل لا أراها إلا يثرب فهل أنت مبلغ عني قومك عسى الله أن ينفعهم بك ويأجرك فيهم ‏‏

I have been shown a land abounding in date palms and I think it cannot be but Yathrib. Will you not be a preacher to your people on my behalf? I hope Allah would benefit them through you and reward you.[22]

 

Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu went to his nation inviting them [to Islam] and conveying to them the din of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, persevering the harm in this path, until Ghifar came submissive, repentful, and obedient. It appears in the narration of ‘Abdullah ibn al Samit radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

 

فاحتملنا حتى أتينا قومنا غفارا فأسلم نصفهم وكان يؤمهم إيماء بن رحضة الغفاري وكان سيدهم وقال نصفهم إذا قدم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المدينة أسلمنا فقدم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المدينة فأسلم نصفهم الباقي وجاءت أسلم فقالوا يا رسول الله إخوتنا نسلم على الذي أسلموا عليه فأسلموا فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم غفار غفر الله لها وأسلم سالمها الله ‏‏

We then loaded our camels and came to our tribe Ghifar. Half of them embraced Islam. Their chief was Ima’ ibn Rahadah al Ghifari who led them in prayer. The other half of the tribe said, “We will embrace Islam when the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam arrives in Madinah.” When the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to Madinah, the remaining half also embraced Islam. Then the Aslam tribe came to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said, “O Messenger of Allah, we also submit to what our brothers submitted.” Thus, they embraced Islam.

Thereupon the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Allah granted pardon to the Ghifar and Allah saved the Aslam.”[23]

 

Sayyidina Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first to greet the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with the greeting of Islam when he approached him while the latter was circumambulating the House. The narration of Sahih Muslim relates:

‏‏

وجاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى استلم الحجر وطاف بالبيت هو وصاحبه ثم صلى فلما قضى صلاته قال أبو ذر فكنت أنا أول من حياه بتحية الإسلام قال فقلت السلام عليك يا رسول الله فقال وعليك ورحمة الله

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came and kissed the Black Stone and circumambulated the House along with his Companion and then observed prayer. When he finished his prayer, I was the first to greet him with the salutation of peace and uttered, “May there be peace upon you, Allah’s Messenger,” whereupon he said, “It may be upon you too and the mercy of Allah.”[24]

 

Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu believed in the oneness of Allah during his Ignorance. He did not worship idols; he rather mocked them and their worshippers. ‘Abdullah ibn al Samit radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

 

صليت يا ابن أخي قبل أن ألقى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بثلاث سنين قلت لمن قال لله قلت فأين توجه قال أتوجه حيث يوجهني ربي

“O nephew, I used to observe prayer three years before my meeting with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

I asked, “To whom did you pray?”

He said, “To Allah.”

I said, “Which direction did you face?”

He explained, “I used to face wherever Allah directed me to face.”[25]

 

He did not accept worship of idols. What substantiates this is that when he saw the two women calling upon the idols, he prevented them. When they did not desist, he uttered profanity, intending thereby to belittle the deities of the disbelievers and enrage their hearts. It appears in the incident of his Islam documented by Muslim in the narration of ‘Abdullah ibn al Samit radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

فبينا أهل مكة في ليلة قمراء إضحيان إذ ضرب على أسمختهم فما يطوف بالبيت أحد وامرأتين منهم تدعوان إسافا ونائلة قال فأتتا علي في طوافهما فقلت أنكحا أحدهما الأخرى قال فما تناهتا عن قولهما قال فأتتا علي فقلت هن مثل الخشبة غير أني لا أكني فانطلقتا تولولان وتقولان لو كان ها هنا أحد من أنفارنا

It was during this time that the people of Makkah slept in the moonlit night and none was there to circumambulate the House but two women who had been invoking Isaf and Na’ilah.

They passed me while in their circuit and I said, “Marry one with the other,” but they did not dissuade from their invoking. They passed me [again] and I said to them, “Shove a wooden stake (into your idol’s private part),” only I did not express it in metaphorical terms. These women went away crying and screaming, “If only there had been one amongst our people here.”[26]

 

Sayyidina Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu was brave, courageous, and resolute. He was qualified such before his Islam. He would waylay caravans by himself and attack Arab tribes like a beast, snatching what he could. Khifaf ibn Ima’[27] rahimahu Llah reports:

 

كان أبو ذر رجلا يصيب وكان شجاعا ينفرد وحده يقطع الطريق ويغير على الصرم في عماية الصبح على ظهر فرسه أو قدميه كأنه السبع فيطرق الحي ويأخذ ما أخذ ثم إن الله قذف في قلبه الإسلام وسمع مقالة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو يومئذ يدعو مختفيا فأقبل يسأل عنه

Abu Dharr was a highway robber. He was brave. He would rob all alone. He attacked the caravans[28] at the break of dawn[29] on his horse or on foot as if he was a predatory beast. He attacked a tribe and took what he wanted. Allah then placed Islam in his heart and he heard of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. At the time, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was in Makkah preaching secretly. He came and enquired of him.[30]

 

When he embraced Islam and iman settled in his heart, this bravery became apparent in a few aspects some of which are:

  1. After his reversion, he went to the bottom of Thaniyyat Ghazal. He would intercept the caravans of Quraysh and rob them saying, “I will not return to you anything until you testify that there is no deity but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”If they complied, he returned to them what he took and if they refused, he would not.[31]
  2. When Unays informed him of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he was not content. Instead, he went himself to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and endured harm and hunger in the process, until he met the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, listened to him, and embraced Islam at his hands. It appears in Muslim’s narration on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn al Samit radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Abu Dharr al Ghifari said:

 

فقال أنيس إن لي حاجة بمكة فاكفني فانطلق أنيس حتى أتى مكة فراث علي ثم جاء فقلت ما صنعت قال لقيت رجلا بمكة على دينك يزعم أن الله أرسله قلت فما يقول الناس قال يقولون شاعر كاهن ساحر وكان أنيس أحد الشعراء قال أنيس لقد سمعت قول الكهنة فما هو بقولهم ولقد وضعت قوله على أقراء الشعر فما يلتئم على لسان أحد بعدي أنه شعر والله إنه لصادق وإنهم لكاذبون قال قلت فاكفني حتى أذهب فأنظر قال فأتيت مكة فتضعفت رجلا منهم فقلت أين هذا الذي تدعونه الصابئ فأشار إلي فقال الصابئ فمال على أهل الوادي بكل مدرة وعظم حتى خررت مغشيا علي قال فارتفعت حين ارتفعت كأني نصب أحمر قال فأتيت زمزم فغسلت عني الدماء وشربت من مائها ولقد لبثت يا ابن أخي ثلاثين بين ليلة ويوم ما كان لي طعام إلا ماء زمزم فسمنت حتى تكسرت عكن بطني وما وجدت على كبدي سخفة جوع

Unays said, “I have some work in Makkah, so you better stay here.” Unays went to Makkah, stayed a long while, and returned later to me.

I asked, “What happened?”

He explained, “I met a person in Makkah who is on your religion and he claims that verily it is Allah Who appointed him.”

I asked, “What do the people say about him?”

He said, “They say that he is a poet or a sorcerer or a magician.”

Unays, who was a poet, said, “I have heard the words of sorcerers, but his words in no way resemble theirs. And I also compared his words to the verses of poetry but such words cannot be uttered by any poet. By Allah, he is truthful and they are liars.”

I said, “You stay here. Let me go and see him.”

I came to Makkah and selected an insignificant person from amongst them and said to him, “Where is the one whom you call al Sabi’?”

He pointed towards me shouting, “Al Sabi’.” Thereupon the people of the valley [Makkah] attacked me with sods and bones until I fell down unconscious. I stood up after having regained my consciousness and I found as if I was a red idol. I came to Zamzam and washed the blood off me and drank water from it. Listen, O nephew, I stayed there for thirty nights and days and there was no food for me but the water of Zamzam. Yet, I became so bulky that there appeared wrinkles upon my stomach, and I did not feel any hunger in my stomach.[32]

 

  1. After announcing the testimony of faith publicly in front of the Quraysh, they beat him mercilessly and almost to death. It appears in the narration of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:

 

والذي نفسي بيده لأصرخن بها بين ظهرانيهم فخرج حتى أتى المسجد فنادى بأعلى صوته أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله‏‏ ثم قام القوم فضربوه حتى أضجعوه وأتى العباس فأكب عليه قال ويلكم ألستم تعلمون أنه من غفار وأن طريق تجاركم إلى الشأم فأنقذه منهم ثم عاد من الغد لمثلها فضربوه وثاروا إليه فأكب العباس عليه‏‏

Abu Dharr said, “By Him in Whose Hand my life is, I will proclaim my conversion loudly amongst them.”

He then went out, and when he reached the Masjid, he shouted as loudly as possible, “I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” The people got up and beat him painfully. Then ‘Abbas came and knelt over him and shouted (to the people), “Woe to you! Don’t you know that this man belongs to the tribe of Ghifar and your trade to Greater Syria is through their way?” So he rescued him from them. Abu Dharr did the same the next day. They beat him and took vengeance on him and again ‘Abbas knelt over him (to protect him).[33]

 

Hafiz Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah elucidates:

 

وكأنه أبو ذر الغفاري فهم أن أمر الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم له بالكتمان ليس على الإيجاب بل على سبيل الشفقة عليه فأعلمه أن به قوة على ذلك ولهذا أقره النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم على ذلك ويؤخذ منه جواز قول الحق عند من يخشى من الأذية لمن قاله وإن كان السكوت جائزا والتحقيق أن ذلك مختلف باختلاف الأحوال والمقاصد بحسب ذلك يترتب وجود الأجر وعدمه

It is as if he—Abu Dharr al Ghifari—understood that the Messenger’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instruction of concealment was not obligatory, but rather out of compassion for him. He thus informed him that he has the strength to bear it and accordingly the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam approved. The permissibility of speaking the truth by one from whom harm is feared when told is deduced from here, although silence is permissible. The research is that it differs with the diversity of situations and objectives. The presence or absence of reward is subject to this.[34]

 

  1. His determination is testimony to his bravery and perseverance. This is confirmed by the hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the Tabuk Expedition when his camel lagged behind, and he took his luggage and placed it on his back, and then walked until he met up with the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.[35]

Another proof of Abu Dharr al Ghifari’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu excellence is the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam concern for him. One report concerning this is on the authority of Abu al Darda’ radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

والله إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ليدني أبا ذر إذا حضر ويتفقده إذا غاب

By Allah, certainly, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would keep Abu Dharr close when present and search for him when absent.[36]

 

Another evidence to his excellence is that he served the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Sufficient is this an honour and privilege. Imam Ahmed rahimahu Llah narrates from Asma’ bint Yazid:

 

أن أبا ذر رضي الله عنه كان يخدم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فإذا فرغ من خدمته أوى إلى المسجد فكان هو بيته يضطجع فيه

Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu would serve the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. After completing his service, he would retire to the Masjid which served as his house where he would rest.[37]

 

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam listing him among the Nujaba’[38] is yet another proof of his excellence. Imam Ahmed and al Tirmidhi document the hadith on the authority of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu who reports that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam pronounced:

 

إنه لم يكن قبلي نبي إلا قد أعطي سبعة رفقاء نجباء وزراء وإني أعطيت أربعة عشر حمزة وجعفر وعلي وحسن وحسين وأبو بكر وعمر والمقداد وعبد الله بن مسعود وأبو ذر وحذيفة وسلمان وعمار وبلال‏

There has not been any Nabi before me except that he was given seven companions, attendants—or he said: chiefs[39] and I have been favoured with fourteen.

He listed, “Hamzah, Jafar, ‘Ali, Hassan, Hussain, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Miqdad, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, Abu Dharr, Hudhayfah, Salman, ‘Ammar, and Bilal.”[40]

 

 

2. The Statements of the Sahabah and the Pious Predecessors of the Ummah

The Sahabah and pious predecessors of the Ummah expounded on some of the merits of Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu was asked about Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he replied:

 

وعى علما عجز عنه وكان شحيحا على دينه حريصا على العلم وكان يكثر السؤال فيعطى ويمنع

He secured knowledge, he was incapable of (disseminating). He was covetous over his din and zealous for knowledge. He asked plenty questions; sometimes he would be given and sometimes deprived.[41]

 

In another narration from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he was asked:

 

حدثنا عن أبي ذر قال علم ثم أوكى فربط عليه رباطا شديدا

“Tell us about Abu Dharr.”

He explained, “He learnt. Then it was tied[42] and fastened tightly.”[43]

 

Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu points out the strong memory and vast knowledge of Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He stored and memorised all the knowledge that reached him. The abundance of transmitters from the Sahabah and Tabi’in[44] from him are evidence to this. Imam al Dhahabi states:

 

كان رأسا في العلم … وكان يوازي ابن مسعود رضي الله عنه في العلم

He was an authority in knowledge. He is equal to Ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu in knowledge.[45]

 

However, Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu is not very famous for knowledge, as Ibn Mas’ud was and other Sahabah. Probably, two factors have contributed to this:

  • Isolation in Rabadhah and keeping away from mixing with people. Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma reports:

 

كان أبو ذر يختلف من الربذة إلى المدينة مخافة الأعرابية فكان يحب الوحدة

Abu Dharr would frequently come from Rabadhah to Madinah, fearing the Bedouin lifestyle[46]. He loved solitude.[47]

 

  • Prohibition from passing verdicts. Al Awza’i[48] reports from Abu Kathir[49] from his father who said:

 

أتيت أبا ذر وهو جالس عند الجمرة الوسطى وقد اجتمع الناس عليه يستفتونه فأتاه رجل فوقف عليه ثم قال ألم تنه عن الفتيا فرفع رأسه إليه فقال أرقيب أنت علي لو وضعتم الصمصامة على هذا وأشار إلى قفاه ثم ظننت أني أنفذ كلمة سمعتها من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قبل أن تجيزوا علي لأنفذتها

I came to Abu Dharr who was seated at the middle Jamarah. People were gathered around him seeking verdicts from him. A man approached, stood by him, and then said, “Have you not been prohibited from [issuing] verdicts?”

He lifted his head to the person and shouted, “Are you a warden over me? Had you placed the sword[50] here (and he pointed to his nape), and I thought of speaking something I heard from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam before you execute me, I would speak it.”[51]

 

Probably, this is the purport intended by ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he described Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as:

 

ذلك رجل وعي علما أوكي عليه فلم يخرج منه شيء حتى قبض

That is a man who stored knowledge which was sealed; nothing escaped until he passed on.[52]

 

I.e. disseminating knowledge was not easy for him because of his isolation in Rabadhah and not mixing with people, and him being prevented from passing verdicts due to his stance on the issue of the treasure.

Hence, Ibn Hazm and Ibn al Qayyim mentioned that Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu is considered among the group of Sahabah who passed a few verdicts, i.e. those from whom only one or two verdicts are reported. It is possible to compile a small booklet on the verdicts of all such individuals, after thorough research and study.[53]

Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu was an ascetic man from the world, not awarding worth to his worldly possessions. He passed away with a very little of this world in his possession. He refused to acquire more sustenance over what he had during the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lifetime until he meets Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, as he feared that this would be one of the doors of attachment to the world and its adornment.[54] He hoped that this would ease his reckoning. He thus reached a lofty station and high position in this regard. He submitted:

 

ذو الدرهمين أشد حسابا يوم القيامة من ذي الدرهم

The possessor of two silver coins will have a severer reckoning on the Day of Qiyamah than the possessor of a single silver coin.[55]

 

Habib ibn Maslamah[56] sent to Abu Dharr—while he was in Syria—three hundred gold coins with the message:

 

استعن بها على حاجتك

Use these for your needs.

 

Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu responded:

 

ارجع بها إليه ما أحد أغنى بالله منا ما لنا إلا ظل يتوارى به وتلة من غنم تروح علينا ومولاة لنا تصدقت علينا بخدمتها ثم إني لأتخوف الفصل

Take it back to him. There is none more independent than us. We possess nothing but a shelter to live under, a few[57] sheep coming to us, and our slave-girl who is charitable towards us with her service. Moreover, indeed I fear separation.[58]

 

A man from Syria reports that he entered Abu Dharr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu presence and submitted:

 

يا أبا ذر لو اتخذت في بيتك عيشا

O Abu Dharr. Why don’t you live comfortably at home?

 

He responded:

 

عباد الله أتريدون لي من الحساب أكثرمن هذا العيش هذا مثال نرقد عليه وعباءة نبسطها وكساء نلبسه وبرمة نطبخ فيها وصحفة نأكل فيها وربطة فيها زيت وغرارة فيها دقيق أتريدون لي من الحساب أكثر من هذا

Servants of Allah, do you desire more reckoning for me than these possessions? This is a bed[59] we sleep upon, a woolen wrap we spread, a shawl we wear, a pot[60] we cook in, a plate we eat in, a container[61] with olive oil, and a jar with flour. Do you desire greater reckoning for me than this?[62]

 

One report of his asceticism is from Umm Talq[63] who says:

 

دخلت على أبي ذر فرأيته شعثا شحبا بيده صوف قد جعل عودين وهو يغزل بهما فلم أر في بيته شيئا فناولته شيئا من دقيق وسويق فقال لي أما ثوابك على الله

I entered Abu Dharr’s presence. I saw him disheveled and emaciated, with wool in his hands. He placed two pieces of wood with which he was spinning. I did not see anything in his house. I gave him some flour and mush (of wheat or barley). He told me, “Your reward is upon Allah.”[64]

 

Abu Marwan[65] narrates from his father about Abu Dharr:

 

I saw him wearing a striped cloak[66] as a lower garment and performing Salah, so I asked, “O Abu Dharr, do you have any other clothes besides this cloak?”

He replied, “Had I possessed, you would see it on me.”

I said, “I saw two pieces of cloth on you for a few days.”

He explained, “O nephew, I gave them to someone needier than me.”

I said, “By Allah, you are in need of it.”

He sighed, “O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness. You give greatness to the world. Do you not see this shawl on me, and I have another for the Masjid. I own a few goats which I milk; I possess a few donkeys on which we place our belongings[67]; and I have a servant who serves us and takes care of the burden of our food. Which favour is superior to the one we are currently enjoying?”[68]

 

Ibrahim al Taymi[69] reports from his father that Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was asked:

 

ألا تتخذ ضيعة كما اتخذ فلان وفلان قال ما أصنع بأن أكون أميرا إنما يكفيني في كل يوم شربة ماء أو لبن وفي الجمعة قفيز من قمح

“Why don’t you build a hamlet like others built?”

He replied, “What do I do if I am a leader? Sufficient for me daily is a drink of water or milk, and a qafiz[70] of wheat on a Friday.”[71]

 

He passed by Abu al Darda’ radiya Llahu ‘anhu who had built a house. Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu told him:

 

ما هذا تعمر دارا أذن الله بخرابها لأن أكون رأيتك تتمرغ في عذرة أحب إلي من أن أكون رأيتك فيما رأيتك فيه

What is this? You erecting a house which Allah allowed to be ruined. Had I seen you rolling in the courtyard with pain, it would be more beloved to me than seeing you in this condition.[72]

 

One of the reports on his asceticism is on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn Khirash[73] who says:

 

رأيت أبا ذر بالربذة في ظلة سوداء وتحته امرأة له سحماء وهو جالس على قطعة جوالق فقيل له إنك امرؤ ما يبقى لك ولد فقال الحمد لله الذي يأخذهم في دار الفناء ويدخرهم في دار البقاء قالوا يا أبا ذر لو اتخذت امرأة غير هذه قال لأن أتزوج امرأة تضعني أحب إلي من امرأة ترفعني فقالوا له لو اتخذت بساطا ألين من هذا قال اللهم اغفر خذ مما خولت ما بدا لك

I saw Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Rabadhah in a black shade[74], under which was his African[75] wife. He was seated on a piece of a container[76]. He was told, “You are a person whose children do not survive.”

He remarked, “All praise belongs to Allah who takes them in the temporary abode and stores them in the everlasting abode.”

They suggested, “O Abu Dharr, why do you not take another wife?”

He said, “Marrying a woman who humbles me is more beloved to me than a woman who elevates me.”

They told him, “Why do you not take a bedding softer than this?”

He said, “O Allah, forgive. Take from what you are given what you like.”[77]

 

Abu Asma’[78] says that he entered Abu Dharr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu presence in Rabadhah while a satiated African lady was by him with no sign of dye[79] or henna[80]. He said, “Do you not see what this African lady instructs me? She instructs me to go Iraq. When I go to Iraq, they will pounce upon me with their world, whereas my friend had taken a covenant from me:

 

أن دون جسر جهنم طريقا ذا دحض ومزلة وإنا نأتي عليه وفي أحمالنا اقتدار … أحرى أن ننجو من أن نأتي عليه ونحن مواقير

Before the bridge of Jahannam is a slippery[81] path. We are going to advance upon it while there is capacity in our burdens… It is more befitting for us to be safe rather than coming upon it while we are overburdened[82].[83]

 

Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu passed away leaving behind a small amount of worldly amenities.

Ibn Sirin[84] states:

 

سألت ابن أخت لأبي ذر ما ترك أبو ذر قال ترك أتانين وحمارا وأعنزا وركائب

I asked Abu Dharr’s nephew, “What did Abu Dharr leave behind.”

He explained, “He left behind two female donkeys, a male donkey, a few goats, and a few conveyances.”[85]

 

Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a generous individual. He would present to his guests whatever he had and could afford. He would entertain his neighbours, beginning with them before himself and his family. The words of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala apply to him:

 

وَيُؤۡثِرُونَ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمۡ وَلَوۡ كَانَ بِهِمۡ خَصَاصَةٞۚ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفۡسِهِۦ فَأُوْلَٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحُونَ

And give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul, it is those who will be the successful.[86]

 

Even in his last sickness before death, he did not abandon this generosity. Muhammad ibn Ka’b[87] reports:

 

لما حضرت أبا ذر الوفاة وذلك في سنة ثمان في ذي الحجة من إمارة عثمان نزل بأبي ذر فلما أشرف قال لابنته اشتشرفي يا بنية فانظري هل ترين أحدا قالت لا قال فما جاءت ساعتي بعد ثم أمرها فذبحت شاة ثم قصبتها ثم قال لها إذا جاءك الذين يدفنوني فقولي لهم إن أبا ذر يقسم عليكم ألا تركبوا حتى تأكلوا منه

As death approached Abu Dharr, and this was in Dhu al Hijjah of the eighth year of ‘Uthman’s rule, he realised this and told his daughter, “Check, O daughter, and ascertain whether you see anyone.”

She said, “No.”

He said, “My time is very close.”

He instructed her to slaughter a sheep and then slice it after which he told her, “When those who bury me come, tell them that Abu Dharr takes an oath upon you that you will not leave until you partake of it.”[88]

 

Another example of his generosity is the report of ‘Isa ibn ‘Umaylah[89]:

 

أخبرني من رأى أبا ذر يحلب غنيمة له فيبدأ بجيرانه وأضيافه قبل نفسه ولقد رأيته ليلة حلب حتى ما بقي في ضروع غنمه شيء إلا مصرة وقرب إليهم تمرا وهو يسير ثم تعذر إليهم وقال لو كان عندنا ما هو أفضل من هذا لجئنا به قال وما رأيته ذاق تلك الليلة شيئا

Someone who saw Abu Dharr milking his small flock of sheep informed me that he would begin with his neighbours and guests before himself. I saw him one night continue milking until no milk remained in the teats of his sheep[90]. He then presented to them dates, which were a few. He then apologised to them saying, “Had I had anything superior to this, I would have presented it.”

The narrator comments: I did not see him taste a thing that night.[91]

 

Ibn Sa’d documents in al Tabaqat: Muslim ibn Ibrahim[92] informed us—Qurrah ibn Khalid[93] narrated to us—’Awn ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Utbah ibn Mas’ud[94] narrated to us saying:

 

كسى أبو ذر بردين فأتزر بأحدهما وارتدى بشملة وكسا أحدهما غلامه ثم خرج على القوم فقالوا له لو كنت لبستها جميعا كان أجمل قال أجل ولكني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول أطعموهم مما تأكلون وألبسوهم مما تكسون

Abu Dharr was given two shawls. He tied one as a lower garment and wore a cloak as an upper garment; and clothed his slave with a shawl. He then went to the people who said to him, “Had you worn both, it would have looked best.”

“Yes,” he responded. “However, I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘Feed them from what you eat and clothe them from what you wear.’”[95]

 

This is supported by the report of al Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Ma’rur ibn Suwaid who says:

 

مررنا بأبي ذر بالربذة وعليه برد وعلى غلامه مثله فقلنا يا أبا ذر لو جمعت بينهما كانت حلة فقال إنه كان بيني وبين رجل من إخواني كلام وكانت أمه أعجمية فعيرته بأمه فشكاني إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فلقيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا أبا ذر إنك امرؤ فيك جاهلية ‏‏ قلت يا رسول الله من سب الرجال سبوا أباه وأمه قال يا أبا ذر إنك امرؤ فيك جاهلية هم إخوانكم جعلهم الله تحت أيديكم فأطعموهم مما تأكلون وألبسوهم مما تلبسون ولا تكلفوهم ما يغلبهم فإن كلفتموهم فأعينوهم ‏‏

We visited Abu Dharr in Rabadhah. He had a mantle over him and his slave had one like it. We said, “O Abu Dharr, had you joined them together, it would have been a complete garment.”

Thereupon he recalled, “There was an argument between me and one of my brothers. His mother was a non-Arab so I reproached him with his mother. He complained against me to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. As I met the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he remarked, ‘Abu Dharr, you are a person who still has in him remnants of the Ignorance.’

I submitted, ‘O Messenger of Allah, he who abuses (other) persons, they abuse (in return) his father and mother.’

He emphasised, ‘Abu Dharr, you are a person who still has the remnants of Ignorance. They (your servants and slaves) are your brothers. Allah has put them in your care, so feed them what you eat, clothe them with what you wear, and do not burden them beyond their capacities. If you burden them (with an unbearable burden), then assist them.’”[96]

 

He was charitable with his wealth, spending it in good avenues. He adhered to this until his demise. He forbade those who hoarded wealth and did not spend it in Allah’s path. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu tested him to ascertain the truthfulness of his claim of spending by sending to him one thousand gold coins one night which Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu spent that very night. When Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu arrived for the Salat al Fajr, he called his messenger and told him, “Go to Abu Dharr and say, ‘Save my body from Muawiyah’s chastisement as I have erred.’ Go tell him, my boy. Abu Dharr will tell you, ‘By Allah, not a single coin remains with me this morning. However, give me three days respite so that I may gather your gold coins.’” Muawiyah realised that his action endorsed his statement.[97]

Sa’id ibn Abi al Hassan[98] reports: Abu Dharr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu stipend was four thousand [silver coins]. When he would take his stipend, he would call his servant and ask him what would suffice him for the year and buy that. He would then have the remainder converted to some coins and state:

 

إنه ليس من وعاء ذهب ولا فضة يوكى عليه إلا وهو يتلظى على صاحبه

Indeed, there is no container with gold or silver which is closed, except that it will burn its owner.[99]

 

Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu highlighted an aspect of Abu Dharr al Ghifari’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu bravery and strength in telling the truth affirming:

 

لم يبق أحد يبالي في الله لومة لائم غير أبي ذر ولا نفسي ثم ضرب بيده إلى صدره

“No one remains, who does not care of the critic’s criticism for Allah’s sake, except Abu Dharr and myself.” He then patted his hand on his chest.[100]

 

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu cried at his demise before remarking:

 

صدق رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم تمشي وحدك وتموت وحدك وتبعث وحدك

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was right when he said that you walk alone, will die alone, and will be resurrected alone.[101]

 

Abu Nuaim[102] elucidates on some of the merits of Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

ومنهم العابد الزهيد القانت الوحيد رابع الإسلام ورافض الأزلام قبل نزول الشرع والأحكام تعبد قبل الدعوة بالشهور والأعوام وأول من حيا الرسول بتحية الإسلام لم يكن تأخذه في الحق لائمة اللوام ولا تفزعه سطوة الولاة أول من تكلم في علم البقاء والفناء وثبت على المشقة والعناء وحفظ العهود والوصايا وصبر على المحن والرزايا واعتزل مخالطة البرايا إلى أن حل بساحة المنايا أبو ذر الغفاري خدم الرسول وتعلم الأصول ونبذ الفضول

Among them is the worshipper, the ascetic, the obedient, the unique, the fourth in Islam, and the rejecter of divination arrows before the revelation of the Shari’ah and laws. He worshipped months and years before the call and is the first to greet the Messenger with the Islamic greeting. He was not affected with the criticism of the critics regarding the truth and the whip of the rulers did not scare him. He is the first to speak on the knowledge of eternity and annihilation. He remained steadfast on difficulties and hardship, protected the covenants and bequests, bore patiently the tests and disasters, and remained isolated from mixing with the creation until he ended up in the courtyard of death; Abu Dharr al Ghifari—he served the Messenger, learnt the fundamentals, and spent the surplus.[103]

 

He says at once place:

 

كان للرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم ملازما وجليسا وعلى مساءلته والاقتباس منه حريصا وللقيام على ما استفاده منه أنيسا سأله عن الأصول والفروع وسأله عن الإيمان والإحسان وسأله عن رؤية ربه تعالى وسأله عن أحب الكلام إلى الله تعالى وسأله عن ليلة القدر أترفع مع الأنبياء أم تبقى وسأله عن كل شيء حتى مس الحصى في الصلاة

He was an attendant and student of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, eager to enquire and acquire from him, desirous to adhere to what he learnt from him. He enquired from him of the fundamentals and secondary issues, about faith and excellence, about seeing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, about the most beloved words to Allah, about the Night of Decree whether it goes away with the Prophets or remains, and about everything else, even moving stones during Salah.[104]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir[105] writes in his history book:

 

بايع النبي على ألا تأخذه في الله لومة لائم ثم كان يشبه بعيسى بن مريم عبادة ونسكا لم يتلوث بشيء من فضول الدنيا حتى فارقها ثبت على العهد الذين بايع عليه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم من التخلي عن فضول الدنيا والتبري منها كان يرى إقبالها محنة وهوانا وإدبارها نعمة وامتنانا حافظ على وصية الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم في محبة المساكين ومجالستهم ومباينة المكثرين في مفارقتها

He pledged allegiance to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that the critic’s criticism will not affect him. He was also compared to ‘Isa ibn Maryam in worship and rituals. He was not negatively affected with the surplus of the world until he separated from it. He remained steadfast on the covenant upon which he pledged allegiance to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, i.e. relinquishing the surplus of the world and dissociating from it. He considered advancing to it a trial and dishonour and deserting it a favour and blessing. He adhered to the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam bequest in loving and sitting with the poor and remaining away from the affluent.[106]

 

NEXT⇒ Discussion 3 – Relationship between Abu Dharr al Ghifari and the remaining Sahabah


[1] Surah al Tawbah: 100.

[2] Surah al Fath: 29.

[3] Surah al Tawbah: 117.

[4] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3650; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2535.

[5] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3673; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2541.

[6] Amanah – from al amn and al aman: Giving security. Al amanah (trust) is the opposite of al khiyanah (violation). (Mujam Maqayis al Lughah, vol. 1 pg. 133.) The meaning of the hadith is: As long as the stars remain, the sky remains. When the stars fall and drop at Qiyamah, the sky will weaken, split, and be destroyed. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is a protection for his Companions from trials, wars, and the diversity of hearts. His Companions were protection for his Ummah from the appearance of innovations, conditions, and trials in Din. (Sharh al Nawawi li Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 123-125.)

[7] Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 124-125, book on the virtues of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, chapter on the fact that the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam subsistence is protection for his Companions and the subsistence of his Companions are protection for the Ummah, Hadith: 2531.

[8] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, vol. 5 pg. 628, book on merits, Hadith: 3801; Musnad Ahmed, vol. 2 pg. 163, 175, 223; Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 1 pg. 55, Hadith: 156, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 6 pg. 387, Hadith: 32265; al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 418. Al Tirmidhi comments, “Hadith is hassan.” Al Albani also classified it hassan in his footnotes on al Mishkat, vol. 3 pg. 1757.

[9] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, vol. 5 pg. 628, book on merits, Hadith: 3802; Sahih Ibn Hibban, vol. 16 pg. 84, Hadith: 7135; al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 418, Hadith: 5528. Al Tirmidhi comments, “Hadith is hassan, gharib from this chain.” Al Albani also classified it hassan in his footnotes on al Mishkat, vol. 3 pg. 1757. Al Hakim classified it sahih on the standard of Muslim and al Dhahabi concurs.

[10] Tuhfat al Ahwadhi bi Sharh Jami’ al Tirmidhi, vol. 10 pg. 205.

[11] Al Ihsan fi Taqrib Sahih Ibn Hibban, vol. 16 pg. 77.

[12] Sahih Muslim, vol. 12 pg. 290, book on leadership, chapter on the reprehensibility of leadership without need, Hadith: 1826; Musnad Ahmed, vol. 5 pg. 180, al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 117.

[13] Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 329, book on Destiny, chapter on the command towards strength and quitting inability, Hadith: 2664.

[14] Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 6 pg. 275.

[15] Malik ibn Dinar, the august, the saviour, their master, Abu Yahya al Basri, the worshipper, the ascetic, from the reliable Tabi’in. Al Nasa’i awarded him credibility. Al Bukhari cited him as evidence. His hadith is on the level of hassan. He was born in the days of ‘Abbas. He learnt from Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu while Ahnaf ibn Qais, Sa’id ibn Jubayr, and Hassan al Basri narrated from him. He passed away in 127 AH, or 130 AH. (Tarikh Khalifah ibn Khayyat, vol. 1 pg. 395; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 5 pg. 362-364; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 356-357.)

[16] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 228; Musnad al Bazzar, vol. 9 pg. 334-335; al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 2 pg. 158, Hadith: 1628, 3889; Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 161-162. Al Arna’ut stated in his footnotes on al Siyar, vol. 2 pg. 59, “The narrators are reliable, except that it has a missing link.”

[17] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 5 pg. 165; Kitab al Zuhd, pg. 274; al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 214-215; Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 162. Al Arna’ut comments in his footnotes on al Musnad, Hadith: 21495, “The hadith is sahih. This isnad is hassan.”

[18] He is Ma’rur ibn Suwaid, Abu Umayyah al Asadi al Kufi, the Imam who lived a long life. He is a Tabi’i from the students of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud. Yahya ibn Ma’in affirmed his credibility. He passed away after 80 AH. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 174; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 492.)

[19] Sahih Muslim, vol. 11 pg. 190, book on faith, chapter on feeding the slave from what one eats and clothing him with what he wears, Hadith: 166; Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 1 pg. 106, book on faith, chapter on sins being from the matter of Ignorance, Hadith: 30. The wording is Muslim’s.

[20] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 228; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 6 pg. 388, Abu Hurairah’s narration. Al Albani labels it sahih in al Silsilah al Sahihah, vol. 5 pg. 453-454, Hadith: 2343 and Sahih al Jami’, vol. 2 pg. 1079, Hadith: 6292.

[21] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3861; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2474.

[22] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2473.

[23] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2473.

[24] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2473.

[25] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2473.

[26] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2473.

[27] He is Khifaf ibn Ima’ ibn Rahadah al Ghifari, the Imam of the Banu Ghifar. He reports from the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Al Bukhari reports that a woman met ‘Umar and said, “O Amir al Mu’minin, I am the daughter of Khifaf ibn Ima’. My father attended Hudaybiyyah.” He passed away in Madinah during the Caliphate of ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu. (Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 2 pg. 89.)

[28] Al sirm: A group of people alighted with their camels at the side of water. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 515.)

[29] Fi ‘imayat al subh: In the remnants of the darkness of night. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 644.)

[30] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 222; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 184; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 55; al Bad’ wa al Tarikh, vol. 5 pg. 93.

[31] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 224; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 184.

[32] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2473.

[33] Sahih al Bukhari, 3861; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2474.

[34] Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 213.

[35] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 234-235; al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 56.

[36] Al Tabarani: Musnad al Shamiyyin, vol. 2 pg. 344; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 186-187; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 58; al Isabah, vol. 7 pg. 107. Al Haythami comments on it in al Majma’, vol. 9 pg. 330, “Abu Bakr ibn Abi Maryam is present therein. And he mixes up.”

[37] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 6 pg. 457; al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 2 pg. 148, Hadith: 1623.

[38] Al najib: The eminent among every living creature. Najaba yanjabu najabah, when he is eminent, special of his type. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 900.)

[39] Al nuqaba’ – plural of naqib: It is like an authority over people, supervisor over them who checks on their affairs and ascertains their conditions. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had appointed each of the group who pledged allegiance to him on the Night of al ‘Aqabah a chief over his nation and tribe, to take Islam from them and inform them of its regulations. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 935.) The Sufiyyah have appointed these titles (al nujaba’, al nuqaba’) as levels of friendship according to them. Ibn ‘Arabi says, “Consensus from the people of the path is that they are on six primary levels: aqtab, a’immah, awtad, abdal, nuqaba’ and nujaba’.” (Al Futuhat al Makkiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 40.) Al nujaba’ are forty individuals appointed to rectify people’s affairs, carry their burdens, and deal with the creation’s rights. The nuqaba’ are those who have ascertained the internal. They observe the people’s internal and deduce the secrets of the hearts, to open the veils from them to the reality of secrets. They are three hundred in number. (‘Abdur Razzaq al Kashani: Mujam Istilahat al Sufiyyah, pg. 114-116.)

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah writes:

وأما الأسماء الدائرة على ألسنة كثير من النساك والعامة مثل الغوث الذي يكون بمكة والأوتاد الأربعة والأقطاب السبعة والأبدال الأربعين والنجباء الثلاثمائة فهذه الأسماء ليست موجودة في كتاب الله ولا هي أيضا مأثورة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بإسناد صحيح ولا ضعيف بحمل

As regards the names on the tongues of many who tread the path and masses like al ghawth who is in Makkah, the four awtad, the seven aqtab, the forty abdal, and the three-hundred nujaba’ – these names are not present in the Book of Allah, nor are they transmitted from the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam through a sound chain, or weak acceptable one. (Majmu’ al Fatawa, vol. 6 pg. 237.)

[40] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 1 pg. 148; Sunan al Tirmidhi, vol. 5 pg. 620, book on merits, chapter on the merits of the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam household, Hadith: 3785. Al Tirmidhi comments, “The hadith is hassan gharib.” Al Albani classifies it da’if in Da’if al Tirmidhi, pg. 433, Hadith: 3785 and his footnotes on al Mishkat, vol. 3 pg. 1760, Hadith: 6246. [The version quoted above is from Ahmed, while the version reported by al Tirmidhi has the name of Mus’ab ibn Umair radiya Llahu ‘anhu and not Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. – Translator’s note]

[41] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 354; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 188; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 6 pg. 96.

[42] Al wika’: It is every belt or thread used to tie the mouth of the waterskin or container. The Arabs say: ukiya ‘ala ma fi siqa’ihi (the contents of the waterskin were tied) when tied with a thread. (Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 6 pg. 4911.) The meaning will thus be: He fastened it tightly, indicating to Abu Dharr’s strong and brilliant memory.

[43] Abu Nuaim al Asbahani: Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 563; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 188; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 60.

[44] To determine the number of narrators from him, study Usd al Ghabah, vol. 1 pg. 562; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 68; and Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 6 pg. 350-351.

[45] Tadhkirat al Huffaz, vol. 1 pg. 17; al Isabah fi Tamyiz al Sahabah, vol. 6 pg. 109.

[46] Al a’rabiyyah: Living with the Bedouins. It refers to returning to the outskirts and staying with the Bedouins after being an emigrant without any excuse. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 601.) A prohibition is reported on this matter. Al Tabarani documents in al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 6 pg. 103, Hadith: 5636, from Sahl ibn Abi Hathmah from his father how said that he heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the pulpit saying:

اجتنبوا الكبائر السبع فسكت الناس فلم يتكلم أحد فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ألا تسألوني عنهن الشرك بالله والفرار من الزحف وأكل مال اليتيم وأكل الربا وقذف المحصنات والتعريب بعد الهجرة

“Desist from the seven major sins.” People remained silent and no one spoke. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Will you not ask me about them? Ascribing partners with Allah, fleeing from the battlefield, devouring the orphan’s wealth, consuming interest, slandering chaste women, and the Bedouin lifestyle after Hijrah.”

Al Albani labelled it sahih in al Silsilah al Sahihah, vol. 5 pg. 293, Hadith: 2244. Owing to this, Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu would frequent Madinah from Rabadhah. He is thus from the Sahabah who adhered to determined matters. ‘Uthman had advised him such when he sent him there, “Frequent Madinah so that you do not end up a Bedouin.” Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 4 pg. 284.

[47] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 198; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 68.

[48] He is ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Amr ibn Yuhmad, the Sheikh of Islam, the scholar of the residents of Greater Syria, Abu ‘Amr al Awza’i. He was born during the life of the Sahabah in 88 AH. He worshipped abundantly and performed Salah with excellence. The Muslims are unanimous on his integrity and leadership. He narrated from senior Tabi’in like Anas, al Thawri, and al Zuhri. He passed away in 157 AH. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 7 pg. 107; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 13 pg. 44-456.)

[49] He is Mirthad ibn ‘Abdullah al Zamani, or al Dhamari, a reliable Tabi’i. He narrates from Abu Dharr al Ghifari, including this report and one which al Bukhari brings in the footnotes of the book on knowledge. (Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 398.)

[50] Al Samsamah: The unsheathed sword which does not turn away from imposition. (Mujam Diwan al ‘Arab, vol. 2 pg. 112; al Sihah Taj al Lughah wa Sihah al ‘Arabiyyah, vol. 5 pg. 1968; Mukhtar al Sihah, vol. 1 pg. 179; Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 12 pg. 387-388.)

[51] Sunan al Darimi, chapter on conveying from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and teaching the Sunan, vol. 1 pg. 456, Hadith: 562; Sahih al Bukhari, book on knowledge, chapter on knowledge before speaking and practicing, vol. 1 pg. 192, the last part.

[52] Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 157; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 6 pg. 96; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 188; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 60.

[53] Al Ihkam fi Usul al Ahkam, vol. 5 pg. 93; I’lam al Muqi’in, vol. 1 pg. 21.

[54] Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 162; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 203.

[55] Imam Ahmed: al Zuhd, vol. 1 pg. 257; Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 164.

[56] He is Habib ibn Maslamah ibn Malik ibn Wahb al Qurashi al Fihri, Abu ‘Abdur Rahman or Abu Maslamah. There is disagreement on his companionship. He reports from the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Sa’id ibn Zaid, and Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhum. He waged Jihad during Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Caliphate and participated in Yarmuk. He was called Habib of the Romans. This is due to his battling against them abundantly. He served as governor of Armenia for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in 42 AH. It is believed that he passed away in Damascus. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 33 pg. 188-189; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 1 pg. 437-438.)

[57] A remainder of sheep in his possession. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 111.)

[58] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 208.

[59] Al mithal: A bed. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 856.)

[60] Al burmah: A pot of any kind. The plural is biram. Originally, it is made of stone, common in Hijaz and Yemen. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 74.)

[61] Al ribat: The name given to something used to tie with. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 341.)

[62] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 207; ‘Abdullah ibn al Mubarak: al Zuhd wa al Raqa’iq, pg. 208-209, Hadith: 589.

[63] She met the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. ‘Abdullah al Rumi narrates from her. Ibn Sa’d documents from her and her statement: ‘Umar wrote to his governors, “Take them away from me, you are extending your buildings. Indeed, the worst of your days is the day you extend your buildings.” (Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 6 pg. 629; al Isabah fi Tamyiz al Sahabah, vol. 8 pg. 424.)

[64] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 212; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 74.

[65] He is Abu Marwan al Aslami. There is disagreement on his companionship. It is said that his name is Sa’id, Mughith, or ‘Abdullah ibn Mus’ab. He reports from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and Ka’b al Ahbar. Ibn Hibban and al ‘Ijli record him among the reliable Tabi’in. (Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 6 pg. 455.)

[66] Al namirah: It is a woollen cloak striped with black and white, as if it was taken from a tiger. It is one of the garments of the Bedouins. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 942.)

[67] Al mirah: Food and its like. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 890.)

[68] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 235; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 204.

[69] He is Ibrahim ibn Yazid ibn Sharik al Taymi al Kufi. He was one of the worshippers. He reports from Anas and his father and indirectly from Aisha. It is said that Hajjaj killed him. Another opinion is that he died in 92 AH or 94 AH. Abu Dawood comments, “He died and had not reached forty years.” Ibn Ma’in declared him reliable. Abu Zur’ah called him a reliable Murji’. Abu Hatim said, “Sound in hadith.” (Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 1 pg. 115.)

[70] A measure of weight eual to approximately 38 kilograms.

[71] Al Zuhd, pg. 276; Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 162; Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 562; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 203.

[72] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 210; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 84.

[73] He is ‘Abdullah ibn Khirash ibn Hurayth al Shaybani al Hawshabi, Abu Jafar al Kufi. Abu Zur’ah comments, “He is worthless, weak.” Abu Hatim labels him munkar al hadith (unacceptable in hadith). Al Nasa’i declared him unreliable while al Daraqutni labelled him weak. (Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 3 pg. 130-131.)

[74] Al zullah: The thing used to take shade under from the heat and cold. (Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 4 pg. 2754-2755.)

[75] Al sahmah: Black. Al asham (masculine): Black. The meaning is that she was an African lady. (Al Sihah, vol. 5 pg. 1947.)

[76] Al jiwaliq—with a kasrah on the jim and lam, al juwaliq—with a dammah on the jim and fathah or kasrah on the lam: A container in which food is placed. Al Rajiz says:

يا حبذا ما في الجوالق السود من خشكنان وسويق مقنود

How wonderful is what is in the black containers, the khushkunan and sweetened mush. (Al Sihah, vol. 4 pg. 1454.)

[77] Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 160-161; Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 562; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 205.

[78] He is ‘Umar ibn Mirthad, Abu Asma’, al Rahabi al Dimashqi. He was from the senior Tabi’in and leading scholars of Greater Syria. He reports from Thawban, Abu Dharr, Shaddad ibn Aws, Abu Hurairah, Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, and other illustrious Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. He passed away during the Caliphate of ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan or Walid ibn ‘Abdul Malik. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 429; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 4 pg. 479-480.)

[79] Al majasid—plural of mujsad: It is a fully dyed body and it is saffron and safflower. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 153.)

[80] Al khaluq: It is a type of common perfume made from saffron, which is covered with redness and yellow. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 282.)

[81] Al dahad: Slip. It is said: dahadat al shams i.e. the sun moved away from the middle of the sky towards the West as if it slipped. The meaning is: a slippery path. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 299.)

[82] Al waqr: Burden in something. From it is a burden in the ear. Al waqr: pregnancy. It is said: nakhlah muqirah wa muqarah i.e. a laden date-palm. The meaning here is: they will carry burdens on the Day of Qiyamah. (Mujam Maqayis al Lughah, vol. 6 pg. 132.)

[83] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 5 pg. 159; al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 236; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 204. Al Arna’ut comments in his footnotes on al Musnad, Hadith: 21454, “The isnad is sahih on the standard of Muslim. His narrators are reliable, the narrators of al Bukhari and Muslim, besides Abu Asma’ who is a narrator of Muslim.”

[84] He is Muhammad ibn Sirin, Abu Bakr ibn Abi ‘Amrah al Anasi al Basri, the freed slave of Anas ibn Malik. He was born two years prior to ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan’s demise. He learnt from Abu Hurairah, ‘Imran ibn Hussain, Ibn ‘Abbas, Anas ibn Malik, and others. He passed away in 110 AH. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 604-622; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 13 pg. 56-58.)

[85] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 231; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 57.

[86] Surah al Hashr: 9.

[87] He is Muhammad ibn Ka’b ibn Sulaim ibn Asad al Qurazi al Madani, Abu Hamzah. He lived in Kufah and then Madinah. He reports from Abu Ayub al Ansari, Abu Hurairah, Muawiyah, Zaid ibn Arqam, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, Abu Dharr, Abu al Darda’, and others radiya Llahu ‘anhum. He passed away in 108 AH. There are other weak reports in this regard. He was 78 years of age. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 5 pg. 65-68; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 269-270.)

[88] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 2 pg. 62; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 217.

[89] I did not find a biography with this name. Probably, it is ‘Isa ibn Numaylah al Fazari al Hijazi who reports from Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurairah and whom Ibn Hibban records in Kitab al Thiqat (book on reliable narrators). (Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 23 pg. 52.)

[90] Al Musirr: It is milking with three fingers. It is also used for milking everything in the teat. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 272; Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 6 pg. 4215.)

[91] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 235; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 212, 113; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 78.

[92] He is Muslim ibn Ibrahim al Azdi al Farahidi. Ibn Abi Hatim labels him reliable, truthful. Ibn Hibban comments on him in al Thiqat, “He was from among the experts.” He passed away in Basrah in 22 AH. (Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 423-424.)

[93] He is Qurrah ibn Khalid al Sadusi, Abu Khalid or Abu Muhammad al Basri. ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed reports: I asked my father about Qurrah and ‘Imran ibn Hudayr. He commented, “There is nothing in them but reliability.” Al Nasa’i and Ibn Ma’in labelled him reliable and Ibn Hibban listed him in al Thiqat. He passed away in 55 AH. (Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 4 pg. 552.)

[94] He is ‘Awn ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Utbah ibn Mas’ud al Hudhali. Ahmed, Ibn Ma’in, al ‘Ijli, and al Nasa’i labelled him reliable. Ibn Hibban lists him among the reliable Tabi’in. Al Daraqutni mentions that his reports from Ibn Mas’ud are mursal (missing a link). He passed away between 110 AH and 120 AH. (Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 4 pg. 426-427.)

[95] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 236.

[96] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 166; Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 30. The wording is Muslim’s.

[97] Ahmed: al Zuhd, pg. 274; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 199; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 69-71.

[98] He is Sa’id ibn Abi al Hassan Yasar al Basri, the brother of al Hassan al Basri. He is among the reliable Tabi’in endorsed by al Nasa’i and others. He reports from ‘Ali, ibn ‘Abbas, and Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. He passed away in 100 AH, or 108 AH in Persia. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 586-588; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 2 pg. 295.)

[99] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 230; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 206. Al Arna’ut comments in his footnotes on Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 73, “His narrators are reliable but it is munqati’ (missing links). Ahmed documents a continuous chain from Hammam—from Qatadah—from Sa’id ibn Abi al Hassan—from ‘Abdullah ibn al Samit and his narrators are reliable in Musnad Ahmed, vol. 5 pg. 156, 165, 175, 176.”

[100] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 231; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 194.

[101] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 4 pg. 308; al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 155-156; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 216; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 77-78.

[102] He is Ahmed ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed al Asfahani al Shafi’i, Abu Nuaim, the Hafiz and Historian. He was born in Asbahan in 336 AH and passed away there in 430 AH. He authored Hilyat al Auliya’. (Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 1 pg. 19; al Shadharat, vol. 5 pg. 149.)

[103] Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 156-157.

[104] Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 169.

[105] He is ‘Ali ibn al Sheikh Abu Muhammad al Hassan ibn Hibat Allah ibn ‘Abdullah al Hussain, Abu al Qasim al Dimashqi al Shafi’i, the Muhaddith of Greater Syria. He was born in Muharram in 499 AH and passed away in Damascus in Rajab in 571 AH. He left behind many books including Tarikh Dimashq and Fada’il Ashab al Hadith. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 20 pg. 554-571; Mujam al Mu’allifin, vol. 2 pg. 427.)

[106] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 176; Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 557.