The Fortunate Ashaab: Hadhrat Abdur Rahman Ibn Awf رضي الله عنه

His name was actually Abdul Amr – the slave of Amr – before Islam. He was Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) who embraced Islam at the hands of Abu Bakr (radiallahu anhu). He accepted Islam at a very young age, at the age of 21. He already had a connection to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) because his mother As Shifa was the woman who delivered Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) did not have a hard time accepting Islam. He was a person who was known for his purity, generosity, for always smiling, coming down to the level of the people and for enjoying a good relationship with everyone in the community.

Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) was well known amongst the Muslims for being rich but there comes responsibility with that. Being born into a poor family, Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) did not get rich by chance. When he went with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) for the Hijrah to Madinah, and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) paired the Ansar with the Muhajireen, Abdur Rahman (radiallahu anhu) was paired with a man by the name of Sa’ad ibn Rabia.

Sa’ad ibn Rabia was a very generous Ansari. He told Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) that he was the richest man amongst the Ansar and that he (Abdur Rahman ubn Awf) could take half of his money, half of his house and half of his property. But Abdur Rahman ibn was an earner. He told Sa’ad, “May Allah SWT bless your family and bless your wealth, I don’t need any of that. Just show me to the market place.” In Madina it wasn’t easy to go to the market place and make things happen because the souk (market place) at that time was dominated by the Banu Quraidah tribe and they weren’t going to let a foreigner come and make a profit. But Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) made his way into the souk and became a successful businessman, not in a matter of years or months but in a matter of days. He was known as the man who could turn a stone over and find gold.

A few days after the market place, Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) went to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He is neatly groomed and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) looks at him and says, “Nahyam ” (like the expression “wow”) and asks him what happened. And Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu), who has just left everything behind in Makkah and has only been a few days in Madinah making the money he was able to make, says, “Oh Rasulullah, I got married.” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) asked him how, with what. Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) said he gave a brick of gold for his mehr. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was shocked that Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) made his money that fast and tells him that he should have a feast, a walima, and within days of the Muslims migrating to Madina they were having a feast because Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) was already able to get himself settled.
When looking at Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) comes to mind, “The upper hand (the giving hand) is always better than the lower hand (the receiving hand).”

Despite making wealth Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) served in every battle. There were times when he gave a lot of money and that was what was recognised from him in battle. In Tabook he was known as the one who came forth with 20 pounds of gold for example. But there were also times that he suffered wounds. In the battle of Uhud he was one of the people who did not flea from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and who received 20 wounds which resulted in him having a limp for the rest of his life.

Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) was someone who was looked at highly by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He has the distinctionas the only other person, aside from Abu Bakr (radiallahu anhu), who led Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in salaah. Once Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) returned from a journey and he prayed behind Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) and the sahabah were shocked. They didn’t know what to do. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) praised their action by continuing the salaah. Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) had not been aware of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alahi wasallam) arrival.
After Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) passed away, Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) took it upon himself to be the sponsor of the wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) continued his generosity throughout and would continue to earn and give and earn and give. Sadaqah is what he was known for. Any time Rasulullah (sallallahu alahi wasallam) asked for any money, Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) came forth. When Abu Bakr (radiallahu anhu) or Umar (radiallahu anhu) asked for money, Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) came forth.

Talhah (radiallahu anhu) once said that the Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) was sponsoring the people of Madinah. One third of the people took sadaqah from him, one third had taken loans from him that he had not asked for and another third had debts which Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) paid. Towards the end of his life Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) fell unconscious and he had a dream. In the dream he saw that the entire Ummah was behind him. He woke up and the next day he passed away. Ali (radiallahu anhu) described the sight of Janazah of Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) floods of people had come to pray for him because of how he benefited them.

When he passed away, Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) had 46 shares of inheritance. Each one equalled 80 000 dirhams. Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (radiallahu anhu) earned a halaal income and constantly gave of it in the path of Allah.



She Was Afraid…And Afraid She Was.

This is something really different compared to my usual posts.

Anyways, here goes…

She sat her petite body in the shadow of an upright wall,
Holding her breath in as she clutched her stomach,
Her heart had anchored her to the ground,
Whilst her mind had embarked on a tiresome journey.
It had completely immersed her into a world of darkness,
Her desire was only one thing; to see the shore.
Yet each time she tried to escape the waters,
She was plummeted into a dungeon so deep that she couldn’t escape.
She could feel the coldness of the water surrounding her, encompassing her,
But the little warmth her heart held decreased her chance of transforming into ice.
She was afraid,
And afraid she was.
Of becoming soulless, of creating a life bereft of happiness.
Perhaps that was the dilemma,
She was afraid of that,
So she became a sad soulless girl.
But one fervour which remained with her always,
Was her desire to see the shore….

Du’aa For Grief

Commentary by Ibn Al-Qayyim

It is recorded in Musnad Ahmad and Sahih Abu Hatim on the authority of ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

“Whoever was afflicted with grief and distress and says (see the following Dua), Allah, the Exalted and Ever-Majestic, will remove his grief and will change his sorrow into happiness.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah! (Do) we have to learn these words?” He said, “Yes, whoever hears them should learn them.”,

“O Allah, I am your slave, the son of your slave. My forelock is in Your Hand. Your judgment of me is inescapable. Your trial of me is just. I am invoking You by all the names that You call Yourself, that You have taught to anyone in Your creation, that You have mentioned in Your Book, or that You have kept unknown. Let the Qur’an be delight of my heart, the light of my chest, the remover of my sadness and the pacifier of my worries.” (Source: Musnad Ahmad # 1/391)

Ibn Al-Qayyim provided the following commentary about this hadith and Dua in his book Al-Fawwaid .

The commentary below focuses on the following sentences of the supplication (Dua):

“O Allah! I am Your Slave”
“You have control over me.”
“Your Judgment is executed on me. Your Decree on me is just.”
“I ask You by each Name of Yours.”
“Make the Quran the spring (delight) of my heart.”

This great prophetic tradition implies certain matters of knowledge, monotheism and submission (as stated below):

  • O Allah! I am Your Slave” (Submission to Allah)

The correct meaning of, “I am Your slave”
indicates the following:
The start of the supplication ( “I am Your slave, the son of Your servant, and the son of Your maid servant”) indicates submission and full compliance to Allah, besides the confession of being His servant along with his forefathers (includes the forefathers of the supplicant until we reach Adam and Eve.)
The confession shows dire need of Allah and infers that the supplicant is submissive, obedient, and forbearing. He acts according to his submission to Allah, not according to his feelings of self-sufficiency. Allah, the Almighty says, which means, “And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness…” (Quran, Surah AI-Furqan:63)
It indicates full submission, compliance, and repentance to Allah, as well as being obedient to one’s Lord and avoiding His prohibitions, depending on Him, seeking His help and support, seeking refuge in Him from evil, and finally being related to Him with feelings of love, fear and hope.
It also indicates, “I am Your slave in all cases, whether young or grown up, living or dead, obedient or disobedient, in a good condition or otherwise (i.e. being afflicted in the soul, heart, tongue or bodily organs).”
It means, “I am all Yours, both my money and myself,” for the servant and all that which he possesses belong to his master.
It also means, “You are the one who bestowed all those blessings upon me, so those blessings are really Yours.”
It also includes, “I can’t act freely in that which You granted me, either my money or myself, except by Your orders. This is because no servant can behave freely except with his master’s permission. I can neither hurt nor benefit myself, and I possess no power (of causing) death, nor (of giving) life, nor of raising the dead.”
So, if he really believes in all that which was previously mentioned, then he has confessed his full submission to Allah.
“You have control over me.” (Allah Controls Our Souls)

  • The sentence (in the Dua), “My forelock is in Your hands,” means, “I cannot act freely as far as my soul is concerned,” for how can he act freely when his soul is possessed by his Lord, his forelock is in His hands, his heart is between two of His fingers, and moreover, his death, life, happiness, misery, good-condition, and affliction are in the charge of his Lord, the Exalted? By no means is the servant in charge of himself. The master owns him, and his forelock is in the grasp of a powerful and mighty ruler.

Whenever the servant of Allah confesses the fact that his forelock and the forelock of all other servants are in the grasp of Allah (i.e. under His control), he will neither fear nor aspire to any worldly sovereign nor will he overestimate them, because he knows quite well that they are but subdued servants, whose destiny is controlled by Allah. Whoever confesses this fact, surely will stand in need of Allah and whenever he witnesses the reality of other people, he will neither overestimate them nor exaggerate in seeking their support. In this way, his belief, trust and submission will be turned to Allah alone.
This is the reason behind Prophet’s Hud’s speech to his people when he said in the Quranic verse:
“I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving (living) creature but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the Straight Path (the truth)” Quran (Surah Hud: 56).

  • “Your Judgment is executed on me. Your Decree on me is just.”

The sentence, “Your Judgment is executed on me. Your Decree on me is just,” implies two themes. The first theme refers to the execution of His judgment on His servant. The second theme on the other hand implies praising Him that His Decree is just, in addition to the fact that Allah, the Exalted, is the Dominion, and that to Him belong all praise and thanks. This is also what Prophet Hud referred to in the verse above: “There is not a moving (living) creature but He has grasp of its forelock,” and also his words,
“Verily, my Lord is on the Straight Path (the truth).”
In other words, despite the fact that Allah is the Dominion, the Almighty and the Controller of the destiny of His servants as their forelocks are in His grasp, yet He is on the straight path. He is the Just One, Who oversees His servants’ affairs justly. He is on the straight path in His words, His actions, His judgment, His destiny, His commandments, His prohibitions, His rewards and His punishment. His verses are truthful, His Judgment is correct, and His commandments are beneficial. He prohibited all that which is evil and mischievous. His reward descends upon those who deserve His mercy and grace. His punishment descends upon those who deserve torment by means of His Justice and wisdom.

  • “I ask you by each Name of Yours …” (Invocation using the Names of Allah)

This expression is an invocation with all the Names of Allah whether they are known or unknown. It is allowable in the Sight of Allah, as it is an invocation with the Attributes of Allah, which refer to the connotations of His Names.

  • “Make Quran the Spring (delight) of my heart, the light of my chest, the eliminator of my sorrow, and the remover of my worries)”

In this expression, the word ‘spring’ means “rain”, which brings life to earth. The Quran is compared to rain because it revives the hearts. The slave when making this Dua, makes a similarity between water, which is the cause of life , and between light, which is the cause of brightness . So the supplication implies that the heart is revived (elimination of worries and sorrow) by the spring of the Quran, for it is the light of the chest, a concept, which combines life and light. Allah, the Almighty says:
“Is he who was dead (without Faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and Faith) and set for him a light (of Belief) whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness (of disbelief, polytheism and hypocrisy) from which he can never come out?…” Quran (Surah Al-Anaam: 122).
– End Commentary

As the prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam ) instructed, everyone should memorize and learn this hadith and say it by understanding it’s meanings as explained by ibn al-Qayyim above.

This also shows that we should make Quran recitation and learning part of our daily lives so Quran can bring the life and light in our hearts.


The Importance of Purda

The Importance of Purdah
In the light of Qur’aan and Hadith

○ Hazrat Jabir رضي الله عنه reports that Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “A woman comes in the form of shaytaan and she returns in the form of shaytaan.” (Saheeh Muslim # 1403)

This hadith is informing us that when a woman comes out of her house without purdah, naturally, she becomes the cause of fitnah. Hence, Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم mentions that she comes in the form of shaytaan i.e leading men astray.

○ Hazrat Ayesha رضي الله عنها said that a woman came to give Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم a letter and she extended her hand from behind the purdah. (Saheeh Abu Dawood # 4166)

From this hadith, we clearly come to know that the women in the time of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم used to make purdah from Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم himself.

○ Hazrat Anas رضي الله عنه said that Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم stayed between Khaybar and Madinah for 3 days.

Hazrat Safiyyah رضي الله عنها was with him during these 3 days. The waleemah (wedding feast) was held there (in the wilderness). I then invited the people to the waleemah. There was no bread or meat in the feast.

Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم asked Bilaal رضي الله عنه for a leather dining cloth to be spread on the ground. Dates, cheese and butter were placed on it.

People were unsure whether Rasulullah صلى الله عليه و سلم had married Hazrat Safiyyah رضي الله عنها or taken her as a slave girl. They agreed that if she was asked to remain behind the veil, she was indeed his wife; otherwise, she was a slave girl.

Thus, when Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم began his journey, she was accommodated with Rasulullah صلى الله عليه و سلم on his animal and she was made to wear the veil. (Hence, it was apparent that she was one of his wives). (Saheeh Bukhaari # 4213)

[Prepared and published by Madrasah Taleem-un-Niswaan]