Section 1 – Discussion 1: The biography of Abu Dharr al Ghifari according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.

The Rank of the Sahabah in the Sight of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah
February 29, 2024
Discussion 2 – Merits of Abu Dharr al Ghifari according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah
February 29, 2024

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Section 1

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

 

This contains three discussions:

Discussion 1: The biography of Abu Dharr al Ghifari according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.

Discussion 2: The merits of Abu Dharr al Ghifari according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah. This contains two points.

Point 1: The ahadith on his merits.

Point 2: The statements of the Sahabah and the Pious Predecessors of the Ummah about him.

Discussion 3: The relationship between Abu Dharr al Ghifari and the remaining Sahabah.

 

Discussion 1

The Biography of Abu Dharr al Ghifari according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.

 

Name and Lineage

There are a few views regarding his name:

  • Jundub ibn Junadah,
  • Yazid ibn Junadah,
  • Barir ibn Junadah,
  • Barir ibn ‘Abdullah,
  • Jund ibn al Sakan, etc.[1]

The most accurate view is that his name is Jundub ibn Junadah.[2] Ibn ‘Abdul Barr rahimahu Llah writes:

 

وأصح ما فيه جندب بن جنادة بن قيس بن عمرو بن مليل بن صعير بن غفار بن مليل بن ضمرة بن كنانة بن خزيمة

The most correct opinion in this regard: [He is] Jundub ibn Junadah ibn Qais ibn ‘Amr ibn Mulayl ibn Su’ayr ibn Ghifar ibn Mulayl ibn Damrah ibn Kinanah ibn Khuzaimah.[3]

 

Ibn Majah documents that Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports:

 

مر بي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وأنا مضطجع على بطني فركضني برجله وقال يا جنيدب إنما هذه الضجعة ضجعة أهل النار

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed by me while I was lying on my stomach. He nudged me with his foot and cautioned, “O Junaidib! This is how the people of Hell lie.”[4]

 

Hafiz Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah writes:

 

فإن صح إسناده فهو صريح في أن اسمه جندب

If the chain is sound, it is definite that his name is Jundub.[5]

 

Sayyidina Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is from the Ghifar tribe. Ghifar is from the sons of Kinanah, al Makhzumi, al Mudari. It is one of the tribes which enjoyed prestige and power during the Ignorance. When Islam came, they were from the quickest of all tribes to enter it.[6]

There are a few ahadith on the excellences of this tribe. One is documented by al Bukhari and Muslim from Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam announced:

 

أسلم سلمها الله وغفار غفر الله لها

Allah saved Aslam and forgave Ghifar.[7]

 

A narration of Muslim reads:

 

أسلم سلمها الله وغفار غفر الله لها أما إني لم أقلها ولكن قالها الله عز وجل

Allah saved Aslam and forgave Ghifar. Harken, I did not declare this. Rather, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala declared this.[8]

 

Sayyidina Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu was brown in complexion, robust, tough, and had a dense beard. He was a brave man; a leader in asceticism, truthfulness, knowledge, and practice; an articulator of the truth, without the critic’s criticism affecting him. He is one of the forerunners to Islam.[9] More details on his merits and internal qualities will come in the upcoming discussion, Allah willing.

 

The Incident of his Islam and Hijrah to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

Sayyidina Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu is from the forerunners to Islam. It is reported that he was the fourth or fifth individual to enter Islam. He states:

 

كنت ربع الإسلام أسلم قبلي ثلاثة وأنا الرابع أتيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقلت السلام عليك يا رسول الله أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أن محمدا رسول الله فقال من أنت فقلت إني جندب رجل من غفار

I was a quarter of Islam. Three people embraced Islam before me and I was the fourth. I approached the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and submitted, “Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah. I testify that there is no deity save Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.”

He enquired, “Who are you?”

“I am Jundub, a man from Ghifar,” was my reply.”[10]

 

Ibn al Athir[11] rahimahu Llah writes:

 

أسلم والنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بمكة أول الإسلام فكان رابع أربعة وقيل خامس خمسة

He embraced Islam in the initial stages while the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was in Makkah. He was thus the fourth. It is said: the fifth.”[12]

 

The purport of this—and Allah knows best—is that Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the fourth of fifth to embrace Islam according to his knowledge. This is similar to Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu statement:

 

ما أسلم أحد إلا في اليوم الذي أسلمت فيه ولقد مكثت سبعة أيام وإني لثلث الإسلام

No one embraced Islam save on the very day I embraced Islam. I remained a third of Islam for seven days.[13]

 

Hafiz Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah explains:

 

قال ذلك بحسب اطلاعه … لأنه أسلم قبله جماعة ولكن يحمل ذلك على مقتضى ما كان اتصل بعلمه

He said this according to his awareness … as a group embraced Islam before him. Nonetheless, this will be applied to the demand of what reached his knowledge.[14]

 

What was reported from Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu of him being the fourth or fifth individual to embrace Islam will be understood likewise. Hafiz Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah clarifies that Abu Dharr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Islam was a long time after the appointment [of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as Nabi]. He writes:

 

وهذا يدل على أن قصة أبي ذر وقعت بعد المبعث بأكثر من سنتين بحيث يتهيأ لعلي أن يستقل بمخاطبة الغريب ويضيفه فإن الأصح في سن علي حين المبعث كان عشر سنين وقيل أقل من ذلك وهذا الخبر يقوي القول الصحيح في سنه

This indicates that the incident of Abu Dharr occurred more than two years after the appointment, making it possible for ‘Ali to individually address and host a stranger, as the most accurate view is that ‘Ali’s age at the time of appointment was ten years, although a weaker view suggests he was younger. This incident strengthens the sound view regarding his age.[15]

 

Hafiz Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah also explains:

 

وفي الحديث دلالة على تقدم إسلام أبي ذر لكن الظاهر أن ذلك كان بعد المبعث بمدة طويلة لما فيه من الحكاية عن علي كما قدمناه وفي قوله في رواية عبد الله بن الصامت إني وجهت لي أرض ذات نخل فإن ذلك يشعر بأن وقوع ذلك كان قرب الهجرة والله أعلم

The hadith suggests the precedence of Abu Dharr’s Islam. Nevertheless, it is apparent that this was a long while after the appointment, due to the incident from ‘Ali as we stated earlier.[16] Moreover, the Messenger’s statement in ‘Abdullah ibn al Samit’s narration, “I have been shown a land abounding in date palms.” This implies that the incident took place close to the Hijrah. And Allah knows best.[17]

 

Another way to explain it is he was the fourth or fifth to embrace Islam from his tribe. Ibn Hibban rahimahu Llah states:

 

قول أبي ذر رضي الله عنه كنت رابع الإسلام أراد من قومه لأن في ذلك الوقت أسلم الخلق من قريش وغيرهم

Abu Dharr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu statement, “I was the fourth of Islam,” i.e., from his tribe, as at the time, a large number of people from the Quraysh and other [tribes] had already embraced Islam.[18]

 

As regards the incident of his Islam, there are many reports with vast disparity. I will now quote two narrations. The first is documented by al Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. The second is documented by Muslim on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn al Samit radiya Llahu ‘anhu. I will highlight the areas of difference between the two narrations and attempt to reconcile them.

 

The First Narration:

 

عن ابن عباس رضى الله عنهما قال لما بلغ أبا ذر مبعث النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال لأخيه اركب إلى هذا الوادي فاعلم لي علم هذا الرجل الذي يزعم أنه نبي يأتيه الخبر من السماء واسمع من قوله ثم ائتني‏‏ فانطلق الأخ حتى قدمه وسمع من قوله ثم رجع إلى أبي ذر فقال له رأيته يأمر بمكارم الأخلاق وكلاما ما هو بالشعر‏‏ فقال ما شفيتني مما أردت فتزود وحمل شنة له فيها ماء حتى قدم مكة فأتى المسجد فالتمس النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا يعرفه وكره أن يسأل عنه حتى أدركه بعض الليل فرآه علي فعرف أنه غريب‏‏ فلما رآه تبعه فلم يسأل واحد منهما صاحبه عن شىء حتى أصبح ثم احتمل قربته وزاده إلى المسجد وظل ذلك اليوم ولا يراه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى أمسى فعاد إلى مضجعه فمر به علي فقال أما نال للرجل أن يعلم منزله فأقامه فذهب به معه لا يسأل واحد منهما صاحبه عن شىء حتى إذا كان يوم الثالث فعاد علي مثل ذلك فأقام معه ثم قال ألا تحدثني ما الذي أقدمك قال إن أعطيتني عهدا وميثاقا لترشدنني فعلت ففعل فأخبره‏‏ قال فإنه حق وهو رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فإذا أصبحت فاتبعني فإني إن رأيت شيئا أخاف عليك قمت كأني أريق الماء فإن مضيت فاتبعني حتى تدخل مدخلي‏‏ ففعل فانطلق يقفوه حتى دخل على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ودخل معه فسمع من قوله وأسلم مكانه فقال له النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ارجع إلى قومك فأخبرهم حتى يأتيك أمري ‏‏‏‏قال 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

Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma narrates: When Abu Dharr received the news of the appointment of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he said to his brother, “Ride to this valley and find out the truth of the person who claims to be a prophet, who is informed of the news of the Heaven. Listen to what he says and come back to me.” Accordingly, his brother set out until he arrived in Makkah and listened to some of his talks. He then returned to Abu Dharr and said to him. “I have seen him enjoining virtuous behaviour and [reciting] a speech which is not poetry.”

Abu Dharr said, “You have not satisfied me as to what I wanted.”

He then took his provisions and carried a water-skin[19] of his, containing some water [and journeyed] till he reached Makkah. He went to the Masjid and searched for the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and though he did not know him, he disliked asking anybody about him. When a part of the night had passed, ‘Ali saw him and knew that he was a stranger. When Abu Dharr saw ‘Ali, he followed him and none of them asked his companion about anything. At dawn, Abu Dharr took his provisions and his water-skin to the Masjid and stayed there all day long without being perceived by the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. When it was evening, he came back to his resting place. ‘Ali passed by him and said [to himself], “Has the man not arrived[20] at his dwelling place yet?” ‘Ali awakened him and took him with him and none of them spoke to the other about anything. On the third day. ‘Ali did the same and Abu Dharr stayed with him.

Then ‘Ali said “Will you tell me what brought you here?”

Abu Dharr said, “If you give me a firm promise that you will guide me, then I will tell you.” ‘Ali promised him, and he informed ‘Ali about the matter.

Ali said, “It is true; and he is the Messenger of Allah. Next morning when you get up, accompany me, and if I see any danger for you, I will stop as if to pass water, but if I go on, follow me and enter the place I enter.”

Abu Dharr did so and followed ‘Ali till he entered the place of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Dharr went in with him. Abu Dharr listened to some of his [the Messenger’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] talks and embraced Islam on the spot.

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him, “Go back to your people and inform them (about it) till you receive my order.”

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. ‘Abbas came and knelt over him and shouted, “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).[21]

 

The Second Narration:

 

عن عبد الله بن الصامت رحمه الله قال قال أبو ذر رضي الله عنه خرجنا من قومنا غفار وكانوا يحلون الشهر الحرام فخرجت أنا وأخي أنيس وأمنا فنزلنا على خال لنا فأكرمنا خالنا وأحسن إلينا فحسدنا قومه فقالوا إنك إذا خرجت عن أهلك خالف إليهم أنيس فجاء خالنا فنثا علينا الذي قيل له فقلت له أما ما مضى من معروفك فقد كدرته ولا جماع لك فيما بعد فقربنا صرمتنا فاحتملنا عليها وتغطى خالنا ثوبه فجعل يبكي فانطلقنا حتى نزلنا بحضرة مكة فنافر أنيس عن صرمتنا وعن مثلها فأتيا الكاهن فخير أنيسا فأتانا أنيس بصرمتنا ومثلها معها قال وقد 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 أصلي عشاء حتى إذا كان من آخر الليل ألقيت كأني خفاء حتى تعلوني الشمس 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 علي 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 قال 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 قال فاستقبلهما رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأبو بكر وهما هابطان قال ما لكما ‏‏ قالتا الصابئ بين الكعبة وأستارها قال ما قال لكما ‏‏ قالتا إنه قال لنا كلمة تملأ الفم 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 ‏‏ثم قال من أنت ‏‏ قال قلت من غفار قال فأهوى بيده فوضع أصابعه على جبهته فقلت في نفسي كره أن انتميت إلى غفار فذهبت آخذ بيده فقدعني صاحبه وكان أعلم به مني ثم رفع رأسه ثم قال متى كنت ها هنا‏‏ قال قلت قد كنت ها هنا منذ ثلاثين بين ليلة ويوم قال فمن كان يطعمك ‏‏ قال قلت ما كان لي طعام إلا ماء زمزم فسمنت حتى تكسرت عكن بطني وما أجد على كبدي سخفة جوع قال إنها مباركة إنها طعام طعم ‏فقال أبو بكر يا رسول الله ائذن لي في طعامه الليلة فانطلق رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأبو بكر وانطلقت معهما ففتح أبو بكر بابا فجعل يقبض لنا من زبيب الطائف وكان ذلك أول طعام أكلته بها ثم غبرت ما غبرت ثم أتيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال إنه قد وجهت لي أرض ذات نخل لا أراها إلا يثرب فهل أنت مبلغ عني قومك عسى الله أن ينفعهم بك ويأجرك فيهم ‏‏فأتيت أنيسا فقال ما صنعت قلت صنعت أني قد أسلمت وصدقت قال ما بي رغبة عن دينك فإني قد أسلمت وصدقت فأتينا أمنا فقالت ما بي رغبة عن دينكما فإني قد أسلمت وصدقت 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 ‏‏

‘Abdullah ibn al Samit[22] rahimahu Llah reported that Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu recalls:

We left our tribe, the Ghifar, who violated the prohibited months. I, my brother—Unays—and our mother stayed with our maternal uncle who treated us well and showed kindness to us. The men of his tribe developed jealousy towards us and submitted, “When you are away from your family, Unays commits adultery with your wife.”

Our maternal uncle came and expressed[23] to us what was conveyed to him.

I said, “You have undone the good you did to us. We cannot stay with you after this.”

We came to our camels[24] and loaded (our) luggage. Our maternal uncle began to weep, covering himself with a cloth. We proceeded on until we encamped at the side of Makkah.

Unays bet[25] on our camels and an equal number (above that). We went to a sorcerer and he declared Unays superior. Unays thus returned with our camels and an equal number along with them.

He continues, “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. I would observe the night prayer. At the end of night I would fall into prostration like a mantle[26] until the sun rose over me.”

Unays said, “I have some work in Makkah, so you better stay here.”

Unays went to Makkah, stayed a long while[27], 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[28] 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[29] 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[30] 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[31]. 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[32], and I did not feel any hunger[33] in my stomach.

It was during this time that the people of Makkah slept in the moonlit night[34] and none was there to circumambulate the House but two women who had been invoking Isaf and Na’ilah[35].

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)[36],” 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.”

These women met the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr who were coming down the hill. He asked them, “What has happened to you?”

They said, “There is al Sabi’[37], who has hidden himself between the Ka’bah and its curtain.”

He asked, “What did he say to you?”

They said, “He uttered such words to us which we cannot express.”

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.”

He then asked, “Who are you?”

I said, “From the Ghifar.”

He leaned his hand and placed his finger on his forehead. I said to myself, “Perhaps he has not liked that I belong to the Ghifar.” I attempted to catch hold of his hand but his friend, who knew about him more than I, dissuaded me from doing so.

He then lifted his head and asked, “Since how long have you been here?”

I said, “I have been here for the last thirty nights and days.”

He asked, “Who has been feeding you?”

I said, “There has been no food for me but the water of Zamzam. I have grown so bulky that there appear wrinkles upon my stomach and I do not feel any hunger.”

He remarked, “It is blessed (water) and it serves as food.”[38]

Thereupon Abu Bakr said, “O Messenger of Allah, let me host him for tonight.”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam proceeded forth and so did Abu Bakr and I went along with them. Abu Bakr opened the door and then brought for us the raisins of Ta’if and that was the first food I ate there. I stayed as long as I had to stay[39].

I then came to Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he said, “I have been shown a land abounding in date palms and I consider it to be Yathrib. Will you not be a preacher to your people on my behalf? I hope Allah would benefit them through you and reward you.”

I came to Unays and he asked, “What have you done?”

I said, “I have embraced Islam and testified (to the Prophethood of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).”

He said, “I have no aversion for your religion and I also embrace Islam and testify.”

Then both of us came to our mother and she said, “I have no aversion for your religion and I also embrace Islam and testify.”

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 would lead 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 tribe of Aslam 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 (from destruction).”[40]

 

Reconciling both Narrations:

There is obvious inconsistency between the two narrations. Hafiz Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah writes:

 

فقد أخرج مسلم قصة إسلام أبي ذر من طريق عبد الله بن الصامت عنه وفيها مغايرة كثيرة لسياق ابن عباس ولكن الجمع بينهما ممكن

Muslim has documented the incident of Abu Dharr’s Islam on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn al Samit from him. It contains much difference to the sequence of Ibn ‘Abbas. Combining them, however, is possible.[41]

 

He then attempts to reconcile both narrations. Among the aspects:

  1. It appears in Muslim’s narration that Unays brought proper information on the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, whereas the agreed upon narration says that he was concise, hence, Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu told him, “You have not satisfied me.”

The manner to reconcile: He wanted him to bring details of his speech and reports, but he only brought a summary.

  1. It appears in Muslim’s narration that Abu Dharr met the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during Tawaf while the agreed upon narration states that when he met him, he was with ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

The manner to reconcile: His first meeting was with ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his second was during Tawaf, or the other way around. Each narrator retained what the other did not.

  1. It appears in Muslim’s narration that Abu Dharr stayed thirty days without provisions while the agreed upon narration mentioned that he had provisions and a water-skin.

The manner to reconcile: The purport of provisions in the agreed upon narration is what he took as provisions when leaving his tribe which got depleted when he stayed in Makkah. The water-skin with him was during the journey. When he stayed in Makkah, he was not in need of filling it.

  1. It appears in Muslim’s narration that when the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked Abu Dharr, “Since how long have you been here?” He replied, “I have been here for the last thirty nights and days.” In another narration of Muslim[42], he says, “For fifteen days.”

The manner to reconcile: There is no disagreement as fifteen days is thirty mornings and nights. The Arabs use the word al yawm (day) synonymously with al nahar (morning) at times. Thus his words: thirty days and nights means thirty mornings and nights.[43]

 

Jihad

Before embracing Islam, Sayyidina Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a highway robber who stole wealth from its owners and attacked the Arab tribes.[44] After he embraced Islam and faith embedded firmly in his heart, he became one of the swords and heroes of Islam. It is possible to determine the beginning of his Jihad the announcement he made as soon as he embraced Islam and the beating and harm he sustained from the polytheists on account of it.

After his Islam, he went out to the bottom of Thaniyyat Ghazal[45]. Here, he would intercept the caravans of Quraysh saying:

 

لا أرد إليكم شيئا حتى تدخلوا في الإسلام

I will not return to you anything until you enter Islam.

 

If they complied, he returned to them what he took and if they refused, he would not.[46]

After emigrating to Madinah, he entered the corps of the Muhajirin and began waging Jihad alongside the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Historians affirm that he never missed a single battle after arriving in Madinah, except at the instruction of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He remained behind the Battles of Dhat al Riqa’ and Banu al  Mustaliq as he was appointed leader over Madinah by the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[47]

In fact, the Battle of Tabuk—which took place during extreme heat, coupled with the difficulty and hardship upon the Muslims—was not forsaken by Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu. ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports:

 

لما سار رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى تبوك جعل لا يزال يتخلف الرجل فيقول يا رسول الله تخلف فلان فيقول دعوه إن يك فيه خير فسيلحقه الله بكم وإن يك غير ذلك فقد أراحكم الله منه حتى قيل يا رسول الله تخلف أبو ذر وأبطأ به بعيره فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم دعوه إن يك فيه خير فسيلحقه الله بكم وإن يك غير ذلك أراحكم الله منه فتلوم أبو ذر رضي الله عنه على بعيره فأبطأ عليه فأخذ متاعه فجعله على ظهره فخرج يتبع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ماشيا ونزل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في بعض منازله ونظر ناظر من المسلمين فقال يا رسول الله هذا رجل يمشي وحده فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كن أبا ذر فلما تأمله القوم قالوا يا رسول الله هو والله أبو ذر فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم رحم الله أبا ذر يمشي وحده ويموت وحده ويبعث وحده

When the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was on his way to Tabuk, whenever someone lagged behind, people would say, “O Messenger of Allah, so and so lagged behind.”

He would say, “Leave him. If there is goodness in him, Allah will join him with you, and if other than this is present in him, Allah has relieved you of him.”

It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, Abu Dharr has lagged behind and his camel kept him slow.”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commented, “Leave him. If there is goodness in him, Allah will join him with you, and if other than this is present in him, Allah has relieved you of him.”

Abu Dharr waited[48] on his camel and it kept him behind. He then took his belongings, placed it on his back, and left, following the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on foot. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam alighted at one station. One of the Muslims spotted him and observed, “O Messenger of Allah, this man is walking alone.”

“Be Abu Dharr,” exclaimed the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The people looked intently and remarked, “O Messenger of Allah, it is, by Allah, Abu Dharr.”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam remarked, “May Allah have mercy on Abu Dharr. He will live alone, pass away alone, and be resurrected alone.”[49]

 

He held the Ghifar’s banner on the Day of Hunayn. After the demise of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he went out with the armies of the Rightly Guided Khalifas. He was present at the Conquest of Bayt al Maqdis alongside ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He participated in the Conquest of Egypt alongside ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He was zealous and passionate about Jihad in the path of Allah. For this purpose, he possessed thirty horses upon which he would load. He would load fifteen of them and wage war with them while repairing the equipment of the rest. When these returned, he would repair their equipment and load on the others.[50]

 

Worship and Advices

Sayyidina Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was abstinent to the world, with Akhirah being his primary concern. He thus dedicated majority of his time to worship: Salah, fasting, charity, maintaining family ties, enjoining good, forbidding evil, remembering Allah, and pondering over Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala grandeur. He held firmly to the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam bequest; he narrates:

 

أمرني خليلي صلى الله عليه وسلم بسبع أمرني بحب المساكين والدنو منهم وأمرني أن أنظر إلى من هو دوني ولا أنظر إلى من هو فوقي وأمرني أن أصل الرحم وإن أدبرت وأمرني ألا أسأل أحدا شيئا وأمرني أن أقول بالحق وإن كان مرا وأمرني ألا أخاف في الله لومة لائم وأمرني أن أكثر من قول لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله فإنهن من كنز تحت العرش

My Khalil (bosom friend) salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam advised me with seven: He commanded me to love the poor and draw close to them. He instructed me to look at those below me and not those above me. He commanded me to maintain family ties even if they are severed. He instructed me not to ask anyone for anything. He instructed me to speak the truth even if it is bitter. He instructed me not to fear the critic’s criticism. He advised me to recite in abundance la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (there is not strength nor power except with Allah) for it is a treasure beneath the Throne.[51]

 

It is related that a man from Basrah rode to Umm Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anha after Abu Dharr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu demise to find out about his worship. She told him:

 

كان النهار أجمع خاليا يتفكر

He spent the entire day free, pondering.[52]

 

Meaning: He spent his day pondering over the greatness of Allah around him. He is thus from the men of intelligence, for whom it is hoped that what appears in Allah’s description is applicable to them:

 

إِنَّ فِي خَلۡقِ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَٱخۡتِلَٰفِ ٱلَّيۡلِ وَٱلنَّهَارِ لَأٓيَٰتٖ لِّأُوْلِي ٱلۡأَلۡبَٰبِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَذۡكُرُونَ ٱللَّهَ قِيَٰمٗا وَقُعُودٗا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمۡ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلۡقِ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقۡتَ هَٰذَا بَٰطِلٗا سُبۡحَٰنَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ

Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding. Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”[53]

 

He was in constant worship. Abu ‘Uthman al Nahdi[54] rahimahu Llah reports:

 

رأيت أبا ذر على راحلته وهو مستقبل مطلع الشمس فظننته نائما فدنوت منه فقلت أنائم يا أبا ذر فقال لا بل كنت أصلي

I saw Abu Dharr upon his conveyance facing the sunrise. I thought him to be asleep. I drew close and said, “Are you sleeping, O Abu Dharr?”

“No,” he replied. “I was engaged in Salah.”[55]

 

Ahnaf ibn Qais[56] rahimahu Llah reports:

 

دخلت بيت المقدس فوجدت فيه رجلا يكثر السجود فوجدت في نفسي من ذلك فلما انصرف قلت أتدري على شفع انصرفت أم على وتر قال إن كنت لا تدري فإن الله عز وجل يدري ثم قال أخبرني حبي أبو القاسم صلى الله عليه وسلم ثم بكى ثم قال أخبرني حبي أبو القاسم صلى الله عليه وسلم ثم بكى ثم قال أخبرني حبي أبو القاسم صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال ما من عبد يسجد لله سجدة إلا رفعه الله بها درجة وحط عنه بها خطيئة وكتب له بها حسنة قال قلت أخبرني من أنت يرحمك الله قال أنا أبو ذر صاحب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فتقاصرت نفسي

I entered Bayt al Maqdis and found therein a man who prostrated in abundance. I found in myself aversion to this. When he completed, I asked, “Do you know whether you completed an odd or even number of prostrations?”

He replied, “If you do not know, then Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows.”

He added, “My beloved, Abu al Qasim salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, informed me.” And broke down into tears. He said, “My beloved, Abu al Qasim salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, informed me.” And broke down a second time. He then said, “My beloved, Abu al Qasim salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, informed me that no servant prostrates to Allah a single prostration, except Allah raises him a stage, forgives a sin from him, and records a good deed in exchange of it.”[57]

I said, “Tell me who you are, may Allah have mercy upon you.”

He said, “I am Abu Dharr, the Companion of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

This made me regard myself insignificant.[58]

 

He is thus from the men concerning whom it is hoped they will have a share of Allah’s description of His believing servants:

 

فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ ٱللَّهُ أَن تُرۡفَعَ وَيُذۡكَرَ فِيهَا ٱسۡمُهُۥ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُۥ فِيهَا بِٱلۡغُدُوِّ وَٱلۡأٓصَالِ  رِجَالٞ لَّا تُلۡهِيهِمۡ تِجَٰرَةٞ وَلَا بَيۡعٌ عَن ذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَإِيتَآءِ ٱلزَّكَوٰةِ يَخَافُونَ يَوۡمٗا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ ٱلۡقُلُوبُ وَٱلۡأَبۡصَٰرُ

In Masjids which Allah has ordered to be raised and that His name be mentioned therein; exalting Him within them in the morning and the evenings [are] men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of Allah and performance of prayer and giving of Zakat. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about.[59]

 

He was a learning institution from the institutions of advice and guidance. He has famous advices. One is his declaration by the Ka’bah:

 

أيها الناس أنا جندب الغفاري هلموا إلى الأخ الناصح الشفيق فاكتنفه الناس فقال أرأيتم لو أن أحدكم أراد سفرا أليس يتخذ من الزاد ما يصلحه ويبلغه قالوا بلى قال فسفر طريق القيامة أبعد ما تريدون فخذوا منه ما يصلحكم قالوا وما يصلحنا قال حجوا حجة لعظام الأمور صوموا يوما شديدا حره لطول النشور صلوا ركعتين في سواد الليل لوحشة القبور كلمة خير تقولها أو كلمة سوء تسكت عنها لوقوف يوم عظيم تصدق بمالك لعلك تنجو من عسيرها اجعل الدنيا مجلسين مجلسا في طلب الآخرة ومجلسا في طلب الحلال والثالث يضرك ولا ينفعك لا تريده اجعل المال درهمين درهما تنفقه على عيالك من حله ودرهما تقدمه لآخرتك والثالث يضرك ولا ينفعك لا تريده ثم نادى بأعلى صوته يا أيها الناس قد قتلكم حرص لا تدركونه أبدا

“O people, I am Jundub al Ghifari. Come to a well-wishing compassionate brother.” People thus crowded around him.

He said, “Tell me, if one of you intends a journey, will he not take provisions beneficial to him and sufficient for him?”

“Definitely,” they replied.

He explained, “The journey on the road of Qiyamah is longer than you wish. Take what will be beneficial for you.”

“What will be beneficial to us,” they asked.

He said, “Perform Hajj for the major events. Fast on a day of extreme heat for the length of resurrection. Perform two rak’at in the darkness of night for the loneliness of the graves. Speak a good word or refrain from speaking a bad word for the standing on the Great Day. Be truthful with your wealth; probably you will be saved from its difficulty. Make the world two gatherings: a gathering to seek Akhirah and a gathering to seek lawful [sustenance]. Do not seek the third which harms you and does not benefit you. Divide your wealth into two coins: a coin you spend on your family from the permissible and a coin you send forth for your Afterlife. Do not seek the third which harms you and does not benefit you.”

He then announced at the top of his voice, “O people! Greed for what you will never attain has killed you.”[60]

 

Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu stated:

 

لو تعلمون ما أعلم ما انبسطتم إلى نسائكم ولا تقاررتم على فرشكم والله لوددت أن الله عز وجل خلقني يوم خلقني شجرة تعضد ويؤكل ثمرها

Had you known what I know, you would not have enjoyed your wives and would not have found peace on your beds. By Allah, I wish that when Allah created me, He created me a tree that is chopped and its fruits are eaten.[61]

 

He also said:

 

يولدون للموت ويعمرون للخراب ويحرصون على ما يفني ويتركون ما يبقى ألا حبذا المكروهات الموت والفقر

You are born for death. You live for ruin. You crave for what is to perish and leave that which subsists. Harken! How excellent are the undesirables: death and poverty.[62]

 

He advised:

 

يا أيها الناس إني لكم ناصح إني عليكم مشفق صلوا في ظلمة الليل لوحشة القبور وصوموا الدنيا لحر يوم النشور وتصدقوا مخافة يوم عسير يا أيها الناس إني لكم ناصح إني عليكم مشفق

O people, I am your well-wisher and compassionate towards you. Perform Salah in the darkness of the night for the loneliness of the grave. Fast in the world for the heat of the Day of Resurrection. Give alms, for fear for the Difficult Day. O people, I am your well-wisher and compassionate towards you.[63]

 

He would utter, taking himself to account and advising others to spend wealth:

 

ذو الدرهمين أشد حسابا يوم القيامة من ذي الدرهم

One who possesses two silver coins will endure severer reckoning on the Day of Qiyamah than one who possesses a single silver coin.[64]

 

These advices would deeply affect the hearts of the listeners. These are advices forthcoming from a sincere heart which practices what it preaches. May Allah have mercy on Abu Dharr. How truthful are his words! How sincere is his intention![65]

 

Departure from Madinah to Greater Syria

There is a clash in the views of the scholars concerning the exact time of Abu Dharr al Ghifari’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu departure from Madinah to Greater Syria. Some suggest that he left after the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu demise. He settled there and remained there until ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Caliphate. When he had a disagreement with Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he returned to Madinah; and from there he moved to Rabadhah[66].[67]

Others suggest that he left during ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu era. Al Hakim’s report on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn al Samit indicates to this. He says:

 

قالت أم ذر رضي الله عنها والله ما سير عثمان أبا ذر ولكن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال إذا بلغ سلعا فاخرج منها قالت أم ذر رضي الله عنها فلما بلغ البنيان سلعا وجاوز خرج أبو ذر إلى الشام

Umm Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anha clarifies, “By Allah, ‘Uthman did not exile Abu Dharr. Rather, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘When it reaches Sil’[68], then leave.’”

Umm Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu continues, “Thus, when the buildings reached and passed Sil’, Abu Dharr left to Greater Syria.”[69]

 

This indicates that Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu left Madinah in compliance to the Messenger’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam bequest which appears in the above hadith.

Another view is that ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent him to Greater Syria; he did not leave on his own accord. It was due to his stance on the issue of the treasure[70]. Imam Ahmed’s report from Asma’ bint Yazid radiya Llahu ‘anha indicates to this:

 

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 فدخل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المسجد ليلة فوجد أبا ذر نائما منجدلا في المسجد فنكته رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم برجله حتى استوى جالسا فقال له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ألا أراك نائما قال أبو ذر يا رسول الله فأين أنام هل لي من بيت غيره فجلس إليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال له كيف أنت إذا أخرجوك منه قال إذن ألحق بالشام فإن الشام أرض الهجرة وأرض المحشر وأرض الأنبياء فأكون رجلا من أهلها قال له كيف أنت إذا أخرجوك من الشام قال إذن أرجع إليه فيكون هو بيتي ومنزلي قال فكيف أنت إذا أخرجوك منه الثانية قال إذن آخذ سيفي فأقاتل عني حتى أموت قال فكشر إليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأثبته بيده قال أدلك على خير من ذلك قال بلى بأبي أنت وأمي يا نبي الله قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم تنقاد لهم حيث قادوك وتنساق لهم حيث ساقوك حتى تلقاني وأنت على ذلك

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. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam entered the Masjid one night and found Abu Dharr sleeping on the ground in the Masjid. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam nudged him with his foot until he sat up straight.

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked him, “Why do I see you sleeping [here]?”

Abu Dharr submitted, “O Messenger of Allah, where should I sleep? Do I have a house besides it?”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sat down and enquired, “What will you do when they exile you from it [Madinah]?”

“Then I will go to Greater Syria as Greater Syria is the land of Hijrah and the land of congregation, and the land of the Prophets. I will be one of its residents.”

He asked him, “What will you do when they expel you from Greater Syria?”

He answered, “I will return to it [Madinah] then; it will be my house and residence.”

“And what will you do when you are expelled a second time?”

“Then, I will take my sword and defend myself until I die.”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam grinned at him and held him with his hand before suggesting, “Let me direct you to something better?”

“Definitely, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you, O Prophet of Allah.”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed him, “Yield to wherever they direct you and tread as they instruct you until you meet me while you maintain this.”[71]

 

His return from Greater Syria to Madinah

Sayyidina Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu went to Greater Syria and held firmly to his opinion on the issue of spending wealth and not hoarding or storing the same. A strong dispute broke out between him and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu over the verse of al Kanz (the treasure). Muawiyah thus wrote to ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma complaining about him and seeking him to be summoned to Madinah. Accordingly, ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu summoned him.[72]

It appears in Sahih al Bukhari from Zaid ibn Wahb[73] who relates:

 

مررت بالربذة فإذا أنا بأبي ذر فقلت له ما أنزلك منزلك هذا قال كنت بالشام فاختلفت أنا ومعاوية في وَالَّذِيْنَ يَكْنِزُوْنَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنْفِقُوْنَهَا فِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللهِ فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيْمٍ قال معاوية نزلت في أهل الكتاب فقلت نزلت فينا وفيهم فكان بيني وبينه في ذلك وكتب إلى عثمان رضي الله عنه يشكوني فكتب إلي عثمان أن اقدم المدينة فقدمتها

I passed by Rabadhah and met Abu Dharr. I asked him, “What brought you to this place?”

He answered, “I was in Greater Syria. I disputed with Muawiyah over: As for those who store gold and silver as a treasure and they do not spend it in the path of Allah, give them glad tidings of a painful punishment.[74] Muawiyah suggested, ‘It was revealed about the people of the book,’ whereas I affirmed, ‘It was revealed about us and them.’ We thus had an altercation over this. He wrote to ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu complaining of me. ‘Uthman thus wrote to me to come to Madinah, and I complied.”[75]

 

This clarifies the reason behind Abu Dharr al Ghifari’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu leaving Greater Syria for Madinah, i.e. the dispute that arose between him and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu over the treasure. Each of them is a mujtahid, rewarded for his ijtihad.

Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu thus returned to Madinah. When he saw the buildings have changed, he hastened to fulfil the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam bequest, “When the buildings reach Sil’, then leave,” and left to Rabadhah.

More details on this issue will appear—Allah willing—when refuting the Rafidah’s objection that ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu forced Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu to move to Rabadhah.

 

Demise

Imam Ahmed reports from Ibrahim i.e. Ibn al Ashtar[76]:

 

أن أبا ذر حضره الموت وهو بالربذة فبكت امرأته فقال ما يبكيك قالت أبكي أنه لا يد لي بنفسك وليس عندي ثوب يسعك كفنا فقال لا تبكي فإني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ذات يوم وأنا عنده في نفر يقول ليموتن رجل منكم بفلاة من الأرض يشهده عصابة المؤمنين قال فكل من كان معي في ذلك المجلس مات في جماعة وفرقة فلم يبق منهم غيري وقد أصبحت بالفلاة أموت فراقبي الطريق فإنك سوف ترين ما أقول فإني والله ما كذبت ولا كذبت قالت وأنى ذلك وقد انقطع الحاج قال راقبي الطريق فبينا هي كذلك إذ هي بالقوم تخد بهم رواحلهم كأنهم الرخم فأقبل القوم حتى وقفوا عليها فقالوا ما لك فقالت امرؤ من المسلمين تكفنونه وتؤجرون فيه قالوا ومن هو قالت أبو ذر ففدوه بآبائهم وأمهاتهم ووضعوا سياطهم في نحورها يبتدرونه فقال أبشروا أنتم النفر الذين قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما قال أبشروا سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول ما من امرأين مسلمين هلك بينهما ولدان أو ثلاثة فاحتسبها وصبرا فيريان النار أبدا ثم قد أصبحت اليوم حيث ترون ولو أن ثوبا من ثيابي يسعني لم أكفن إلا فيه فأنشدكم الله ألا يكفنني رجل منكم كان أميرا أو عريفا أو بريدا فكل القوم كان قد نال من ذلك شيئا إلا فتى من الأنصار كان مع القوم قال أنا صاحبك ثوبان في عيبتي من غزل أمي وأحد ثوبي هذين الذين علي قال أنت صاحبي فكفني

Death approached Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu while he was in Rabadhah. His wife cried. “What makes you cry,” he enquired.

She replied, “I cry because I need to shroud you whereas I do not possess cloth suitable as a shroud for you.”

He said, “Do not cry as I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying one day while I was in his presence with a group of people, ‘A man from among you will certainly die in a barren land. A group of believers will be present by him.’ All those who were with me in that gathering passed away in a group or a town. Only I remain. And here I am, dying in a barren land. So check the road. Soon, you will see what I inform you of. Certainly I, by Allah, have not lied, or been refuted.”

“How will that happen whereas the Hujjaj have departed.”

“Go check the road.”

In this condition, she sees people whose conveyances are trotting as though they are Egyptian vultures[77].

They asked, “What is the matter?”

She said, “A Muslim man, will you shroud him and be rewarded?”

“Who is he?”

“Abu Dharr.”

“May our parents be sacrificed for him,” they exclaimed.

They placed their whips on the animals’ necks and prodded them quickly.

He [Abu Dharr] said, “You are the group regarding whom the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘A man from among you will die in a barren land. A group of believers will be present by him.’”

He added, “You see where I am today. Had any of my clothes sufficed me, I would have been shrouded only in it. I implore you in the name of Allah that no man who was a leader, authority, or messenger will shroud me.”

Each of those man had served in one of the positions he mentioned except an Ansari youngster. He exclaimed, “I am the one. Two cloths belonging to me in my suitcase[78] from my mother’s yarn and one cloth from the two on me.”

He said, “You are the one; shroud me.”[79]

 

Some Historians write that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his group attended his death. Abu Dharr told them what to do with him. A weaker report suggests that they arrived after his death and took care of his washing and burial.[80]

Al Dhahabi rahimahu Llah adds:

 

ويقال إن ابن مسعود الذي دفنه عاش بعده نحوا من عشرة أيام رضي الله عنهما

It is said that Ibn Mas’ud—who buried him—lived for approximately ten days after him. May Allah be pleased with them both.[81]

 

He passed away in Rabadhah in Dhu al Hijjah 32 AH, or 31 AH in a weaker report.[82] May Allah be pleased with Abu Dharr al Ghifari. The Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement aptly applied to him:

 

يمشي وحده ويموت وحده ويبعث وحده

He walks alone, will die alone, and will be resurrected alone.[83]

 

 

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


[1] Abu Nuaim al Asbahani: Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 557; al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 156; Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 176; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 6 pg. 96; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 46; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 10 pg. 256; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 6 pg. 250; al Isabah, vol. 7 pg. 105.

[2] Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 219; ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Abdullah al Misri: Futuh Misr wa al Maghrib, vol. 1 pg. 118; Ibn Qutaybah: Al Ma’arif, vol. 1 pg. 252; Ibn al Jawzi: Talqih Fuhum Ahl al Athar fi ‘Uyun al Tarikh wa al Siyar, vol. 1 pg. 125; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 10 pg. 256; Jalal al Din al Suyuti: Husn al Muhadarah fi Tarikh Misr wa al Qahirah, vol. 1 pg. 245.

[3] Al Istighna’ fi Ma’rifat al Mashhurin min Hamalat al ‘Ilm bi al Kuna, vol. 1 pg. 89.

[4] Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 2 pg. 1227, book on etiquette, Hadith: 3724. Al Albani labelled it sahih in Sahih Ibn Majah, vol. 8 pg. 224. Musnad Ahmed, vol. 2 pg. 287—the wording is his; Sunan al Tirmidhi, vol. 5 pg. 90, book on etiquette, chapter on the reprehensibility of lying on the stomach, Hadith: 2768; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 9 pg. 115; al Hakim: Al Mustadrak, vol. 4 pg. 406. The narration of Abu Hurairah who said:

 

مر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم برجل مضطجع على بطنه فقال إن هذه لضجعة ما يجبه الله عز وجل

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed by a man lying on his stomach and commented, “This is a lying which is not approved by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.”

 

Al Hakim comments, “This is a sahih hadith on the standard of Muslim, but they have not documented it.” Al Albani labelled it sahih in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi, vol. 3 pg. 104-105; al Mishkat, vol. 2 pg. 1335-1336, Hadith: 4718; Sahih al Targhib wa al Tarhib, vol. 3 pg. 1121, Hadith: 3079. There are other ahadith on the topic, but they are weak.

[5] Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 6 pg. 351.

[6] Al Sam’ani: Al Ansab, vol. 10 pg. 64; Ibn al Athir: Al Lubab fi Tahdhib al Ansab, vol. 2 pg. 387; Fath al Bari, vol. 6 pg. 627.

[7] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 6 pg. 627, book on virtues, chapter on mention of Aslam, Ghifar, Muzaynah, Juhaynah, and Ashja’, Hadith: 3514; Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 107, book on the excellence of the Companions, chapter on the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam supplication for Ghifar and Aslam, Hadith: 2515.

[8] Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 107, book on the excellence of the Companions, chapter on the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam supplication for Ghifar and Aslam, Hadith: 2516.

[9] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 176; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 6 pg. 96; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 46-47; al Isabah, vol. 7 pg. 107.

[10] Al Tabarani: Al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 2 pg. 147, Hadith: 1617; Sahih Ibn Hibban, vol. 16 pg. 83, Hadith: 7134; al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 417-418, Hadith: 5527. Al Dhahabi did not comment on it. Muqbil al Wadi’i said in his footnotes on al Mustadrak, “Malik ibn Mirthad ibn ‘Abdullah and his father are majhul (unknown). Al ‘Uqayli said about Mirthad, ‘His hadith are not sought,’ as appears in Tahdhib al Tahdhib.” Al Arna’ut commented in his footnotes on al Ihsan, vol. 16 pg. 83, “Malik ibn Mirthad and his father have not been given credibility except by Ibn Hibban and al ‘Ijli. The remainder of the narrators are the narrators of Muslim.”

[11] He is ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Karim al Jazari al Shaybani, famous as Ibn al Athir al Jazari. He was born in Jazirah Ibn ‘Umar in 555 AH and then moved to Mosul. He was an Imam in Hadith, a Hafiz of early and later history, and well acquainted with the ancestry, history, and major events of the Arabs. He passed away in 630 AH. He authored al Tarikh al Kabir named al Kamil and Usd al Ghabah fi Ma’rifat al Sahabah. (Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 3 pg. 348; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 22 pg. 354-356.)

[12] Usd al Ghabah, vol. 1 pg. 562; Abu Nuaim: Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 156-175; al Istighna’, vol. 1 pg. 89; al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 155; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 175-176; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 4 pg. 85.

[13] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 7 pg. 170, book on virtues, chapter on the Islam of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Hadith: 3858.

[14] Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 105.

[15] Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 212.

[16] He is referring to ‘Ali’s age which appeared in his previous quote.

[17] Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 214.

[18] Al Ihsan fi Taqrib Sahih Ibn Hibban, vol. 16 pg. 84.

[19] Al shinan: Old water-skins. The singular is shann and shannah. It keeps water better cooled than al judud. (Ibn al Athir: Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 394.)

[20] Nala: Means hana (came) and dana (approached). (Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 6 pg. 4594.)

[21] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 7 pg. 210, book on the virtues of the Ansar, chapter on Abu Dharr’s Islam, Hadith: 3861; Sahih Muslim, vol. 4 pg. 6, book on the virtues of the Sahabah, chapter on the merits of Abu Dharr, Hadith: 2474.

[22] He is ‘Abdullah ibn al Samit al Ghifari al Basri, with the agnomen Abu al Nadr. He is a reliable Tabi’i. He reports from his uncle Abu Dharr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, Aisha, and others. Ibn Hibban lists him among the trustworthy narrators. He passed away between 70 and 80 AH. (Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 3 pg. 172.)

[23] Al nath: To publicise speech i.e. he disclosed it to us and informed us of it. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 899; Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 6 pg. 4337.)

[24] Al sirmah: A caravan of camels and a flock of sheep. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 515.)

[25] Al munafarah: It is to boast and trial. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 931.) The meaning is: he bet them whether he or his rival is superior. They thus appointed a sorcerer as arbitrator who judged that Unays is superior to him. This is the meaning of fakhayyara unays i.e. he declared Unays superior and better. (Sharh al Nawawi li Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 27.)

[26] Al khifa’: A mantle. Everything you use to cover something is a khifa’. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 275.)

[27] Faratha ‘alayya: He delayed in returning to me. (Sharh al Nawawi li Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 42.)

[28] Aqra’ al shi’r: I know the meters and categories. (Sharh al Nawawi li Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 42-43.)

[29] Fatada’’aftu rajulan: I regarded a man insignificant. (Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, pg. 545.) The meaning is: I looked at the weakest man from them and asked him as he is trusty. (Sharh al Nawawi li Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 43.)

[30] Al madarah: Piece of dry earth. (Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 6 pg. 4159.)

[31] Al nusub: with a dammah or sukun on the sad. The plural is ansab. Allah’s words portrays this meaning:

وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ

What is slaughtered for idols. (Surah al Ma’idah: 3.)

It refers to idols which Ignorance stationed and by which it slaughtered, thus colouring them red with blood. The meaning of nusub ahmar i.e., from the profuse blood which flowed upon it. (Sharh al Nawawi li Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 43)

[32] ‘Ukan batnial ‘ukan – plural of ‘akanah: The stomach fold from fatness. (Al Sihah, vol. 6 pg. 2165.) The meaning is: It developed folds on account of excessive fat. (Sharh al Nawawi li Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 43.)

[33] Sakhfat ju’: Thinness, weakness, and emaciation of hunger. (Sharh al Nawawi li Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 43.)

[34] Asmikhanatuhum – plural of simakh: The tear in the ear that reaches the head. The purport here is ears. The meaning: Allah made them sleep, as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala states:

 

فَضَرَبْنَا عَلى آذَانِهِمْ

So We cast [a cover of sleep] over their ears. Surah al Kahf: 11. (Sharh al Nawawi li Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 44.)

 

[35] These are two idols from the idols of Ignorance. One is ascribed to a man called Isaf ibn Baghi and the other to a woman named Na’ilah bint Dik. They met in the Ka’bah and committed the immoral act. Allah transformed them into stone. People erected them at Safa and Marwah. After some time, ‘Amr ibn Luhayy moved them and placed them by Zamzam, hence they were worshipped besides Allah. (Ibn Hisham: Al Sirah al Nabawiyyah, vol. 1 pg. 99-100; Abu al Qasim al Khath’ami al Suhayli: Al Rawd al Unf, vol. 1 pg. 172; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 3 pg. 196-197.)

[36] Al hann: An allusion to everything. The female and male genitals are alluded to when used majority of the time. The meaning is: These idols resemble a log with a female private organ. He intended to curse Isaf and Na’ilah, and thus enrage the disbelievers. (Sharh al Nawawi li Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 44.)

[37] Al Sabi’: One who forsakes a religion for another. From their statement: Saba’a nab al ba’ir: the camel’s canine appeared. Saba’at al nujum: the stars appeared. The Arabs would call the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam al Sabi’ as he left the religion of the Quraysh for the din of Islam. (Qasim ibn Salam: Gharib al Hadith, vol. 1 pg. 244; al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith wa al Athar, vol. 3 pg. 3; Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 1 pg. 108.)

[38] Ta’am tu’m: It satiates one who drinks the water just as food satiates. (Sharh al Nawawi li Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 46.)

[39] Ghabartu ma ghabartughabara al shay’ yaghburu ghuburan: To stay and leave. (Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 5 pg. 3205.) The meaning: I stayed as long as I had to stay. (Sharh al Nawawi li Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 46.)

[40] Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 41, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the merits of Abu Dharr, Hadith: 2473.

[41] Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 211.

[42] Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 48, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the virtues of Abu Dharr al Ghifari, Hadith: 2473.

[43] Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 211-213.

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

[45] Thaniyyat Ghazal: It is called Qarn Ghazal. It is on the path of Thaniyyat Harsha; between it and al Juhfah are three valleys, one of which is Ghazal. It belongs to Khuza’ah and they reside there. (Yaqut al Hamawi: Mujam al Buldan, vol. 4 pg. 201; ‘Abdul Mu’min al Baghdadi: Marsad al Itila’ ‘ala Asma’ al Amkinah wa al Biqa’, vol. 2 pg. 992.)

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

[47] Ibn Hisham: Al Sirah al Nabawiyyah, vol. 3 pg. 155, 235; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 46; ‘Abdul Karim al Tuwayjiri: Abu Dharr al Ghifari wa Ara’uhu al Fiqhiyyah fi al ‘Ibadat, pg. 26, 27.

[48] Al Talawwum: To wait and anticipate. (Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 5 pg. 4101.)

[49] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 234-235; Ibn Hibban: Al Sirah al Nabawiyyah wa Akhbar al Khulafa’, vol. 1 pg. 368; al Bayhaqi: Dala’il al Nubuwwah, vol. 5 pg. 221-222; al Hakim: Al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 56. Al Hakim comments, “This is a hadith with a sahih chain, but they have not documented it.” Al Dhahabi corrects him, “There is irsal (missing links) in the isnad. Ibn Kathir comments in al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 159, “The isnad is hassan, but they have not documented it.” Al Albani labelled it da’if in al Silsilah al Da’ifah, vol. 12 pg. 40. Many Historians have documented this incident including: Al Tabari: Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 3 pg. 107; ‘Abdul Malik al Naysaburi: Sharaf al Mustafa, vol. 4 pg. 89; Ibn Hazm al Andalusi: Jawami’ al Sirah, vol. 1 pg. 201; al Khath’ami: Al Rawd al Unf, vol. 7 pg. 393; Ibn al Athir: Al Kamil, vol. 2 pg. 148; Muhammad ibn Sayed al Nas al Basri: ‘Uyun al Athar fi Funun al Maghazi wa al Shama’il wa al Siyar, vol. 2 pg. 270; al Dhahabi: Tarikh al Islam, vol. 2 pg. 632; Ibn Kathir: al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 159; Ibn al ‘Imad: Shadharat al Dhahab fi Akhbar man Dhahab, vol. 7 pg. 255; ‘Abdul Malik ibn Hussain al Maliki: Simt al Nujum al ‘Awali fi Anba’ al Awa’il wa al Tawali, vol. 2 pg. 293; Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab: Mukhtasar Sirat al Rasul, vol. 1 pg. 230; and Mukhtasar Zad al Ma’ad, vol. 1 pg. 173.

[50] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 174, 176, 186, 209; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 47, 57, 74.

[51] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 5 pg. 259—the wording is his; al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 229; Musnad al Bazzar, vol. 9 pg. 383, Hadith: 3966; Sahih Ibn Hibban, vol. 2 pg. 194, Hadith: 449; al Tabarani: Al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 2 pg. 156, Hadith: 1648; Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 159-160. Al Albani classified it sahih as appears in al Targhib wa al Tarhib, vol. 3 pg. 954.

[52] Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 164.

[53] Surah Al ‘Imran: 190-191.

[54] He is ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Mull ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Adi ibn Wahb ibn Rabi’ah ibn Sa’d ibn Khuzaimah, Abu ‘Uthman al Nahdi. He resided in Kufah and relocated to Basrah after Hussain’s martyrdom. He lived in the era of Ignorance and Islam. He met Ubayy ibn Ka’b and Abu Dharr. He passed away in 100 AH. There are other views regarding the year of his demise. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 175-178; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 3 pg. 423-424.)

[55] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 236; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 219; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 78.

[56] He is Ahnaf ibn Qais ibn Muawiyah ibn Mihsan—his name is al Dahhak or Sakhr, Abu Bahr. He is from the leading Tabi’in. He embraced Islam during Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lifetime and came as a delegate to ‘Umar. There is dispute over the year of his demise. Some suggest 67 AH while others suggest 72 AH. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 86; al Shadharat, vol. 1 pg. 302-303.)

[57] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 5 pg. 164; Sunan al Darimi, vol. 1 pg. 405, book on Salah, chapter on the virtue of one who prostates once to Allah, Hadith: 1416; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 175. Al Albani comments in Irwa’ al Ghalil, vol. 2 pg. 209-210, “Its isnad is sahih on the standard of Muslim.”

[58] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 175.

[59] Surah al Nur: 36-37.

[60] Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 165.

[61] Imam Ahmed: Al Zuhd, pg. 275; Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 164; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 214; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 1 pg. 95.

[62] Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 163.

[63] Imam Ahmed: Al Zuhd, pg. 276; Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 165; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 214.

[64] Imam Ahmed: Al Zuhd, pg. 275; Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 164.

[65] Abu Dharr al Ghifari wa Ara’uhu al Fiqhiyyah fi al ‘Ibadat, pg. 47.

[66] Al Rabadhah: One of the villages of Madinah at a distance of three days. It is close to Dhat ‘Irq on the pathway of Hijaz. It houses the grave of the eminent Sahabi, Abu Dharr al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Mujam al Buldan, vol. 3 pg. 24.

[67] Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 156; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 1 pg. 562; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 10 pg. 257.

[68] Sil’: a mountain close to Madinah. Al Sihah, vol. 3 pg. 1231.

[69] Al Mustadrak ‘ala al Sahihayn, book on recognising the Sahabah, vol. 3 pg. 420, Hadith: 5535, concerning Abu Dharr’s struggles; Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 269-271; Ibn Shabbah: Tarikh al Madinah, pg. 1037, from the chain of Ibn Sirin from Abu Dharr; al Dhahabi: Al Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 70, from Zaid ibn Khalid al Juhani from Abu Dharr. Al Hakim comments, “This is a hadith with a sahih chain on the standards of al Sheikhayn but they did not document it.” Al Dhahabi does not comment.

[70] The treasure issue: Abu Dharr radiya Llahu ‘anhu believed that all surplus wealth (gold and silver) is a treasure which must necessarily be spent in charity implied in Allah’s statement: As for those who store gold and silver as a treasure and they do not spend it in the path of Allah, give them glad tidings of a painful punishment. The remaining Companions believed that the wealth from which Zakat is paid is not a treasure, hence permissible to keep.

[71] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 6 pg. 457; al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 2 pg. 148, Hadith: 1623 (first part). The researcher of al Musnad remarks, vol. 45 pg. 569, “Its isnad is da’if due to the weakness of Shahr ibn Hawshab. The remaining narrators are reliable.” (Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 2 pg. 519.)

[72] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 4 pg. 183; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 192; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 63; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 10 pg. 134.

[73] He is Zaid ibn Wahb al Juhani al Kufi, Abu Sulaiman, the senior Mukhadram. He departed to meet the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and benefit from his company. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away while Zaid was en route. He learnt from ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Ibn Mas’ud, Abu Dharr al Ghifari, and Hudhayfah ibn al Yaman radiya Llahu ‘anhum and recited the Qur’an to Ibn Mas’ud. He passed away during Hajjaj’s rule after the Battle of Jamajim during 83 AH. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 196; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 2 pg. 249.)

[74] Surah al Tawbah: 34.

[75] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 3 pg. 319, book on Zakat, chapter on the wealth from which Zakat is paid is not a treasure, Hadith: 1406.

[76] Al Ashtar: He is Malik ibn al Harith ibn ‘Abd Baghuth ibn Maslamah ibn Rabi’ah ibn al Harith al Nakha’i al Kufi. He lived in Ignorance as well. He reports from ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Khalid, Abu Dharr, and Umm Dharr. He is a reliable Tabi’i, from the students of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He participated in Jamal and Siffin alongside him. He was eloquent, brave, and articulate. He died from poison in 37 AH. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 34; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 354-355.)

[77] Al rakhm: A type of bird, very similar to an eagle. (Al Sihah, vol. 5 pg. 1929; al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith, pg. 353.)

[78] Al ‘aybah: That in which a person safely stores his valuable items and clothes. (Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 152; Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 4 pg. 3184.)

[79] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 5 pg. 155, 166; al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 232, 233. Al Arna’ut comments in his footnotes on al Siyar, vol. 2 pg. 77, “The narrators are reliable except there is a missing link in the chain.”

[80] Al Waqidi: Al Maghazi, vol. 3 pg. 101; Tarikh Khalifah Ibn Khayyat, vol. 1 pg. 167; Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 4 pg. 309; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 2016; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 77; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 159, vol. 10 pg. 257.

[81] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 2 pg. 74; Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 558; al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 155; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 66 pg. 176; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 6 pg. 96; al Isabah, vol. 7 pg. 10.

[82] Tarikh Khalifah Ibn Khayyat, vol. 1 pg. 166; Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 4 pg. 308-309; Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 558; al Istighna’, vol. 1 pg. 90; al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 156; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 6 pg. 69; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 10 pg. 257; al Isabah, vol. 7 pg. 109.

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