“And foremost to embrace Islam of the
Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah
to Madinah) and the Ansar (the citizens of Madinah) and
those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as
they are well-pleased with Him.” [Soorah
at-Tawbah (9): 100]
The Sahabah (radhi allahu anhum)
(Companions of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) suffered social
boycott and severe tortures for their rejection of Shirk and Kufr, and their
belief in Allah alone. In their arrogance, the Mushriks (those who associate
partners with Allah) believed that people can be restricted from worshiping
their true Lord, by making them fear hunger, loss of livelihood and death.
They would dress the Muslims in armor
of iron and leave them in the scorching heat of the Arabian desert to roast.
Umayyah Ibn Khalf would place Bilal (radhi allahu anhu) on the burning ground in
the midday sun and order a huge rock to be placed on his chest. Then he would
say: 'By Allah! You will stay like this until you die,
unless you disbelieve in Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and you worship al-Laat and al-Uzza.'
But Bilaal in all his pain and
anguish would say: '(He who alone has the right to worship is) One, One.'
[Ibn Hisham (1/318)]
Mujahid, the student of Ibn Abbas
(radhi allahu anhu) said: “The first martyr in Islam was Sumayyah, the mother of
Ammar. Abu Jahl thrust a spear in her abdomen.” [(Saheeh) See at-Tabaqaat of Ibn
The Sahabah suffered a complete
boycott for 3 years at the hands of the Mushriks. The Pagans decided not to have
any business dealing with them. Even verbal and social contacts came to end.
They were deprived of the food supply, to the extent that leaves and animal skin
had to be eaten for survival. Despite all odds, the Sahabah persisted in their
strong faith in Allah and endured all hardships.
This boycott ended after three years
in Muharram in the 10th year of the Prophet's mission. The Sahabah were finally
allowed to return to their homes. The exile had ended, but more hardships and
aggression by the Mushriks was yet to follow. Life in Makkah had become
miserable and the tortures unbearable!! Allah, the Most Merciful, then ordered
Hijrah, the migration from Makkah to Madina. This was both to safeguard their
lives and religion. To reside in a land where one is not free to worship Allah
or is difficult to be steadfast upon the religion, is extremely undesirable.
Materialistically Hijrah was still
not a wise choice, since it meant leaving behind most of one's possessions. It
also meant separation from one's tribe and family. The sense of belonging and
loyalty to the tribe was greatly valued in those times, when people would say:
'Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or an oppressed.” (***)
They would even sacrifice their lives
for the sake of their tribe. Islam however had lifted the Sahabah above craving
after superficial material wealth and tribalism. Hijrah had still more problems.
Firstly, the journey itself was
extremely harsh and the migrants could be robbed or killed on the way.
Secondly, Madinah was not strong
economically and the migrants would become homeless, jobless and penniless.
Yet the Sahabah in their obedience
and Tawakkul (trust in Allah) migrated from Makkah to Madinah And established
the Islamic state upon Tawheed, Ittiba, Ikhlas (sincerity) and brotherhood.
Allah eventually made them victorious over their enemies in this world and
granted them His pleasure in the Hereafter: “Allah is well pleased with them
as they are well pleased with Him.” [Soorah at-Tawbaj (9): 100]
Factors inspiring patience and
perseverance The main purpose behind remembering the struggles, and sacrifices
of the Sahabah is to learn from their examples because their way is a guaranteed
path to success.
Let us reflect upon the factors,
which lead the Sahabah to stand firm in times of severest hardships.
(a) Strong belief in Allah:
Unshakable belief was the first and foremost factor of their strength and
(b) True love for Allah and His
Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): The Sahabah greatly loved Allah and
the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was dearest to them; they
were always ready to defend him and secure his well being even at the risk of
their lives. They had the spirit of selflessness, and sacrifice characterized
their behavior. They were obedient to Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) and followed all his instructions because they completely understood
the criterion of love, which Allah had placed before them: “Say (O Muhammad
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam): If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will
love you.” [Soorah Imran (3): 31]
(c) The sense of responsibility:
The Sahabah were fully aware of the daunting responsibility they were
expected to shoulder. They did not try to escape the responsibilities, even
though they were being mistreated, because they had realized the horrible
consequences humanity would suffer if they backed from their obligations.
(d) Belief in the truth of
Hereafter: This was the cornerstone, which strengthened the sense of
responsibility in the Sahabah - The great certainty that one day they would have
to rise on the Day of Resurrection and account for all worldly deeds, small and
big. They were sure that their future in the other world would depend wholly on
their acts of this world; either Paradise or Hell. Their whole life was divided
between hope for Allah's Mercy and fear of His Punishment. They had already
known that life with all its amenities and pains was worthless when compared
with the Hereafter. Such deep conviction brought about in them great strength
and they fought back all their troubles and hardships that attended their
(e) The Qur'aan: The Qur'aan
was their companion at all stages. It's verses served to excite their feelings,
strengthen their selves on their course of patience and endurance. It introduced
them to the most purposeful examples and suggestive instructions: “And as for
those who emigrated for the cause of Allah, after suffering oppression, We will
certainly give them goodly residence in this world, but indeed the reward of the
Hereafter will be greater, if they but knew.” [Soorah an-Nahl (16): 41]
When the Muslims were forced to
undergo constraints, there would be revealed verses telling identical stories of
past Prophets with their people and the sufferings and pains they had
experienced, like: “Or think that you will enter Paradise without such (trials)
as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe
poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who
believed along with him said: 'When (will come) the help of Allah?' ‘Yes!
Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!’” [(2): 214]
(f) Glad tidings of success:
The Qur'aan also suggested meaningful messages carrying glad tidings of definite
Allah's Mercy leading to victory and eternal success. At the same time, they
were informed about the tragic end of tyrants and disbelievers who would be
brought to Divine Justice and then dragged through the Fire. These factors lead
the Sahabah to great heights of success.
They regarded all toleration and
humiliations as summer clouds that would soon clear away. Such trials, which the
Sahabah faced may also come upon us, and we are required to face them as they
did, with complete faith in Allah, pure-heartedness, spirit of Islam, sense of
responsibility, Qur'aanic wisdom and fearing the Day of Judgment: “Alim,
Laam-Mim. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: 'We
believe', and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before
them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are
true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars,
(although Allah knows all that before putting them to test).” [Soorah
al-Ankaboot (29): 1-3]
Mere lip profession of Faith is not
enough. It must be tried and tested in the real turmoil of life. The test will
be applied to all kinds of circumstances, in individual life and in relation to
the environment around us to see whether we can strive constantly and put Allah
above self. Much pain, sorrow and self-sacrifice may be necessary, not because
they are good in themselves, but because they will purify us.
The discussion about the bravery of
the Sahabah teaches us to be tolerant, overpowering over oneself in order to get
well established in the religion, disdain lust, and devote ourselves to
attaining the Pleasure of Allah, yearn for Paradise, enthusiasm in learning the
religion, calling oneself to account, and finally observing sobriety, patience
and gravity at all rage-provoking incidents.
This lesson was also taught by Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam):
“Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one.” But
see how beautiful and beneficial is his explanation to this statement. When the
Sahabah asked him: "O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)! It is
all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an
oppressor?" He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "By preventing him from
oppressing others." [Saheeh al-Bukhareee, 3/624] [UP]
References: Raheeq al-Makhtoom of
Shaikh Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, Methodology of the Prophets in Calling to
Allah by Shaikh Rabee ibn Hadee al-Madhkhalee and others..