(Friday Sermon - October 30, 2020 )
Hazrat Abdullah(ra) belonged to the Banu Salamah clan of the Khazraj tribe of the Ansar. His father’s name was Amr bin Haram and his mother’s name was Rubab bint Qais. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abd-Allah bin Amr [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], 423)
Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Amr was born approximately 40 years before the migration. (Sahabah al-Kiram Encyclopaedia, Dr Dhulfiqar Kazim, p. 486, Abd-Allah bin Amr, Bait al-Ulum, Purani Anarkli, Lahore)
In other words, at the time of the migration to Medina, he was 40 years old. Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr(ra) was the father of the renowned companion, Hazrat Jabir(ra) bin Abdillah. (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Abd-Allah bin Amr [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], 162)
Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Amr was the brother in law of Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Jamuh. (Khutbat-e-Tahir, Taqarir Jalsa Salana Qabl az Khilafat, Taqrir Jalsah Salanah 1979, p. 349)
Acceptance of Islam and Pledge at Aqabah
Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Amr took part in the Second Pledge at Aqabah and he was among the 12 chiefs appointed by the Holy Prophet(sa). He took part in the Battles of Badr and Uhud and was martyred in the latter. According to some narrations, Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Amr was the first Muslim to be martyred during the Battle of Uhud. (Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 3, Ab-Allah bin Amr [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Jil, 1992], 84)
With regards to how he accepted Islam, Hazrat Kaab bin Malik(ra) narrates:
“We had agreed to meet with the Holy Prophet(sa) at Aqabah in the middle day of Ayyam-e-Tashreeq…” which is the last three days of Hajj, from the 11 up to 13 Dhul-Hijjah. As mentioned before, Aqabah is situated between Mecca and Mina. “… when we completed the Hajj, the appointed night approached in which we had promised to meet with the Holy Prophet(sa). We went with Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr(ra), who was one of the leaders and recognised chiefs of our tribe. We had concealed our plan from the idolaters who were with us. We said to him, ‘O Abu Jabir! You are our noble chief and among the leaders from us.’” He was known by his title of Abu Jabir. He further narrates, “We said to him, ‘O Abu Jabir! You are our noble chief and among the leaders from us. We do not wish for you to become the fuel of the hellfire.’ We then invited him to accept Islam and informed him about the plan to meet with the Holy Prophet(sa) at Aqabah. He accepted Islam and took part in the Pledge at Aqabah. He was also appointed as one of the [twelve] chiefs [during the pledge at Aqabah].” (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Amr al-‘Aqabah al-Thaniyah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ibn Hazam, 2009], 236) (Urdu Da‘irah Ma‘arif Islamiyyah, Vol. 6, p. 413, Shu‘bah Urdu Da‘irah Ma‘arif, Lahore)
Hazrat Jabir(ra) bin Abdillah narrates that he along with his father and two maternal uncles were all part of those who pledged allegiance at Aqabah. A narrator, Ibn Uayyinah states that one of them [i.e. the two uncles] was Hazrat Bara(ra) bin Ma‘rur(ra). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib al-Ansar, Bab Wufud al-Nabi bi Makkah wa Bai‘at al-Aqabah, Hadith 3890-3891)
I will mention some parts about the Pledge at Aqabah from Sirat Khatam-un-Nabiyyin which are related with Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Amr:
“In Dhul-Hijjah of 13 Nabawi, on the occasion of Hajj, many hundreds of people from the Aus and the Khazraj came to Mecca. Among them, there were 70 such people who had either become Muslim or now desired to become Muslims, and came to Mecca in order to meet the Holy Prophet(sa).
“On this occasion, since a collective and private meeting was necessary, after the rites of Hajj, the middle dates of the month of Dhul-Hijjah were set for this purpose. On that day near the middle of the night, all these people were to come and meet the Holy Prophet(sa) in the same valley as last year, so that a private meeting could be held in peace and complete attention. The Holy Prophet(sa) ordered the Ansar, ‘Do not come as a group, but arrive in pairs of one or two to the valley at the appointed time. Do not wake the sleeping and do not wait for the absent.’ Therefore, when the appointed date arrived, during the night, when about a third of the night had passed, the Holy Prophet(sa) left his home. He took his uncle Abbas along with him, who was still an idolater, but loved the Holy Prophet(sa) and was a chieftain of the Hashim dynasty. Both of them reached this valley and it was not long before the Ansar began to arrive in pairs of one and two. These were 70 souls from the Aus and the Khazraj.
“In the very beginning, Abbas began the discourse saying, ‘O party of the Khazraj! Muhammad[sa] is revered and beloved within his dynasty. To this day, his dynasty has always remained responsible for his protection, and in times of danger has always come forward. But now, Muhammad[sa] intends to leave his homeland and reside with you. As such, if you wish to take him, you must protect him in every way, and will have to face every enemy. If you are prepared for this, then well and good, otherwise give a forthright answer, for true speech is good.’
“Al-Bara bin Ma‘rur(ra), an aged and influential man from the tribe of the Ansar, said, ‘Abbas, we have heard your address, but we would like to hear the Holy Prophet(sa) from his own blessed tongue, that he may expound the responsibility which he wishes to put upon us.’
“Upon this, the Holy Prophet(sa) recited a few verses from the Holy Quran and described the teachings of Islam in a brief address. Whilst alluding to huququllah [the rights due to Allah] and huququl-ibad [the rights due to God’s creation] the Holy Prophet(sa) said, ‘With regard to myself, all I desire is that, just as you protect your dear ones and your kindred, if need be, you deal with me in the same manner.’
“When the Holy Prophet(sa) had completed his address, as per the custom of Arabia, Al-Bara bin Ma‘rur(ra) took the hand of the Holy Prophet(sa) into his own, and said, ‘O Messenger(sa) of Allah! We swear by the God Who has sent you with the truth that we shall protect you with our lives…’”
They pledged to do this, but one person asked the Holy Prophet(sa), “When he will be granted victory, will he leave them?”
“The Holy Prophet(sa) laughed and said, ‘… your blood shall be mine, your friends shall be my friends and your enemies shall be my enemies.’ Upon this, Abbas(ra) bin Ubadah Ansari looked to his companions and said, ‘O People! Do you understand the purpose of this treaty and pledge? This means that you should prepare yourselves to confront everyone, no matter who they may be and irrespective of their background, and should be ready to offer any sacrifice.’ The people said, ‘Yes, we understand, but O Messenger(sa) of Allah! What shall we receive in exchange for this?’ The Holy Prophet(sa) said, ‘You will receive the paradise of Allah, which is the greatest of all His rewards.’ Everyone said, ‘We agree to this bargain. O Messenger(sa) of Allah, extend your hand.’
“The Holy Prophet(sa) brought forth his blessed hand and this group of 70 devotees were sold at the hand of the Holy Prophet(sa) in a defensive pact. The name of this Bai‘at is ‘The Second Bai‘at at ‘Aqabah’. When the Bai‘at had taken place, the Holy Prophet(sa) said, ‘Moses(as) appointed 12 chiefs among his people who served as their supervisors and protectors. I also wish to appoint 12 chiefs from among you who shall be your supervisors and your protectors. They shall be like the disciples of Jesus(as) unto me and they shall be answerable to me regarding the people. As such, propose the names of worthy men before me.’
“Therefore, 12 men were proposed, who the Holy Prophet(sa) approved, and appointing each as a supervisor to one tribe, he explained to them their duties. For some tribes, the Holy Prophet(sa) appointed two chiefs.”
In any case, Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Amr(ra) was also appointed as one of these twelve chiefs. (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra), p. 227-231)
Participation in Battle of Uhud and Martyrdom of Family members
According to one narration, during the Battle of Uhud, when Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, who was the leader of the hypocrites in Medina, rebelled, Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Amr tried to advise him and those with him. (Ghazwat Uhud, Allamah Muhammad Ahmad Bashmil, p. 215, Nafees Academy Urdu Bazar, Karachi, 1989)
Hazrat Jabir(ra) bin Abdillah(ra) narrates:
“My father, Abdullah bin Amr and my maternal uncle were martyred during the Battle of Uhud. My mother (according to other narrations it was his aunt, who was the wife of Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Jamuh) was taking their bodies back to Medina on a camel when a messenger from the Holy Prophet(sa) announced that the deceased should be buried where they were slain. Subsequently both of them were taken back and buried where they fought [and were killed].” (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abd-Allah bin Amr [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], 423) (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 2, Abd-Allah bin Amr [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1995], 287)
In another narration, Hazrat Anas(ra) bin Malik states:
“During the Battle of Uhud, [false] news reached the people of Medina that the Holy Prophet(sa) had been martyred. Upon hearing this news, the people became anxious and restless. One Ansari woman made her way towards Uhud and on the way, she saw the bodies of her father, son, husband and brother laying on the floor.” The narrator continues, “I do not know whose body she came across first. She asked who are these people? She was informed that they were the bodies of her father, her brother, her husband and her son. She asked, ‘How is the Messenger of Allah?’ The people informed her that the Holy Prophet was standing before her. She went to the Holy Prophet(sa) and held on to his mantle, saying: ‘O Messenger of Allah(sa)! May my parents be sacrificed for your sake. Seeing you alive and well, I have no worry for any departed one.’” (Majma al-Zawa‘id wa Manba al-Fawa‘id, Vol. 6, p. 120, Kitab al-Maghazi wa al-Siyar, Bab fi man astasghara Yauma Uhud, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)
Two or three years prior to his Khilafat, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV(rh) would deliver speeches during Jalsa Salana on the topic of the life and character of the Holy Prophet(sa) and also about expeditions. He related an incident about Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Amr, which I will narrate here. He stated:
“The sister of Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Amr (i.e. the wife of Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Jamuh), like her brother, had immense love for the Holy Prophet(sa). Her husband was martyred in this battle, her brother was martyred in this battle and also her son was martyred in this battle. However, the joy of learning about the well-being of the Holy Prophet(sa) overpowered any grief of her departed ones. Hazrat Aisha Siddiqa(ra) narrates, ‘I was going towards the battlefield to enquire about the situation. On the way I met Hind, the wife of Amr(ra) bin Jamuh, holding the reins to a camel which she was taking towards Medina. I asked her about the situation in the battlefield. She replied, “Alhamdolilah [all praise belongs to Allah] all is well. The Holy Prophet(sa) is alive and well.” In the meantime, I noticed the camel was loaded with something. I enquired what was loaded on the camel to which she replied, “It is the bodies of my husband, Amr bin Jamuh, my brother Abdullah bin Amr and my son, Khallad.” Saying this she tried to return towards Medina, however the camel sat down and refused to move. When it eventually stood up, it refused to go in the direction of Medina. She then moved the reins in the direction of Uhud, to which the camel began moving without any reluctance.’”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV(rh) then says:
“This was the condition of this woman and her love for the Holy Prophet(sa). At the same time the Holy Prophet(sa) ordered the companions to search for the bodies of Amr(ra) bin Jamuh and Abdullah(ra) bin Amr and for them to be buried in the same grave, as they had love for each other in this world also.” (Khutbat-e-Tahir, Taqarir Jalsa Salana qabl az Khilafat, Taqrir Jalsa Salana 1979, p. 350-351)
The Holy Prophet(sa) held both of them in high regard.
In one narration it is stated that when Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Amr was about to depart for the Battle of Uhud, he called his son Hazrat Jabir(ra) and said, “O my son! I believe I will be among the foremost martyrs. By Allah! Aside from the Messenger of Allah(sa), there is no one dearer to me from among those I leave behind than you. I have some debt, repay that debt for me. I also command you to show kindness and benevolence to your sisters.” Hazrat Jabir(ra) relates: “The next morning, my father was the first to be martyred and the enemy cut off his nose and ears.” (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Abd-Allah bin Amr [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], 344)
Hazrat Jabir(ra) narrates:
“When the Holy Prophet(sa) came for the burial of the martyrs of Uhud, he said, ‘Vury them in the state they are in as I am a witness over them. No Muslim who was injured in the way of Allah will come before Allah on the Day of Judgement except with blood flowing from their wounds. The colour of the blood will be saffron but will smell like musk.’”
In other words, they would be among the chosen ones of Allah the Almighty. There is no need to bathe them or bury them in special clothes, as they ought to be buried in the way they were martyred.
Hazrat Jabir(ra) states that his father was wrapped in a single sheet. The Holy Prophet(sa) would ask who knew the most Quran [from memory]? Whilst the martyrs of Uhud were being buried, the Holy Prophet(sa) would enquire who knew the most Quran from those being buried. When they would indicate towards someone, the Holy Prophet(sa) would instruct to lower him into the grave before his compatriots. In other words, those who knew more of the Quran were buried first and about Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Amr, the people would say that he was the first to be martyred on the day of Uhud. At the time, the people were discussing that Abdullah(ra) bin Amr was the first to be martyred. Sufyan bin Abd Shams was the one who martyred him. The Holy Prophet(sa) had led his funeral prayers before the second attack and instructed for Abdullah(ra) bin Amr and Amr(ra) bin Jamuh to be buried in the same grave as they had love and respect for each other. The Holy Prophet(sa) instructed that those who had a close bond in this world ought to be buried in the same grave.
It is said that Abdullah(ra) bin Amr had a reddish complexion and did not have hair towards the front [of his head]. He was not very tall, whereas Amr(ra) bin Jamuh was tall and for this reason both were easily recognisable and were buried in the same grave. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abd-Allah bin Amr [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2012], 424)