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Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh

A Badri Companion of the Holy Prophet(sa)

(Friday Sermon - May 11, 2018 )

Familial relation to the Prophet(sa) and acceptance of Islam

His mother, Umaimah bint Abdul Muttalib, was one of the paternal aunts of the Holy Prophet(sa). Thus, he was a cousin of the Holy Prophet(sa). He had accepted Islam prior to the Holy Prophet(sa) going into Darul Arqam. (Usdul Ghaaba, Vol. 3, p.89, Abdullah bin Jahsh, Darul-Fikr, 2003, Beirut).

Darul Arqam was a house that belonged to Arqam bin Arqam, who had newly accepted Islam and was situated at the outskirts of Mecca. It served as a centre where Muslims would gather, learn about their faith and worship. Owing to this recognition, it was also known by the name of Darus Salam [The Abode of Peace]. This served as the centre [for Muslims] in Mecca for three years wherein they would discreetly worship and also where the Holy Prophet(sa) held gatherings.

Later, when Hazrat Umar(ra) accepted Islam, they began openly professing their faith. According to the traditions, Hazrat Umar(ra) was the last person to accept Islam at that centre. (Sirat Khatam-un-Nabiyyeen, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib M.A., p. 129).

Nevertheless, Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh had accepted Islam prior to the establishment of this centre. It is narrated that his family was also subjected to the oppression at the hands of the idolaters of Quraish. He migrated to Abyssinia twice, along with his two brothers Hazrat Abu Ahmad and Ubaidullah and his sisters Hazrat Zainab bint Jahsh, Hazrat Umme Habibah and Hazrat Himnah bint Jahsh. His brother, Ubaidullah, upon arrival in Abyssinia, had converted to Christianity and died there as a Christian. His wife Umme Habibah bint Abu Sufyan was still in Abyssinia at the time when her marriage to the Holy Prophet(ra) took place. (Usdul Ghaaba, Vol. 3, p.89, Abdullah bin Jahsh, Darul-Fikr, 2003, Beirut).

Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh(ra), prior to his migration to Medina, came to Mecca and he took along all the members of the Dudan family from among his tribe of Banu Ghanam to Medina (who had all accepted Islam). These families left Mecca in such vast numbers that entire neighbourhoods were left deserted and many houses were sealed shut. (At-Tabaqat Al-Kubra Li Ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p.49, Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh, Dar Ihya At-turath Al-Arabi, 1996, Beirut).

Presently, Ahmadis in various places of Pakistan are experiencing similar circumstances where certain villages have been completely deserted.

A house in paradise

Ibn Ishaq states that when Banu Jahsh bin Rayab emigrated from Mecca, Abu Sufyan bin Harb sold his house to Amr bin Alqamah. When this news reached Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh at Medina, he related it to the Holy Prophet(sa). Upon hearing that, the Holy Prophet(sa) said:

“O Abdullah! Are you not content with the fact that God will grant you a palace in Paradise in its place?”

Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh(ra) replied:

“Yes indeed, O Messenger Of Allah(sa)! I am content.”

Upon this, the Holy Prophet(sa) said,

“Then, those palaces will be granted to you.” (Sirat Ibn-e-Hisham, p. 352, Bab Hijratul Rasool, Darul Kutb-ul-Ilmiyah, 2001, Beirut)

By this the Holy Prophet(sa) meant that in place of the houses which he had left behind, he will be granted a station in the Heavens where palaces will be prepared for him.

An expedition and title of “Amir-ul-Momineen”

The Holy Prophet(sa) sent Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh on an expedition to the Valley of Nakhlah. The following account is recorded in the [Islamic] literature:

“One day, after performing the Ishaa prayer, the Holy Prophet(sa)  said to Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh, “Come armed in the morning as I wish to send you somewhere.”

Hence, when the Holy Prophet(sa) completed the Fajr [dawn] prayer, he found Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh waiting at his door equipped with his bow and arrow and also a spear and shield.

The Holy Prophet(sa) called for Hazrat Ubai bin Ka’b(ra) and instructed him to write a letter. After the letter had been written, he called for Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh and whilst giving him the letter, the Holy Prophet(sa) told him that he was appointing him as the leader of the expedition.

From historical accounts we find that initially the Holy Prophet(sa) appointed Hazrat Ubaida bin Harith(ra) as the leader of this expedition. However, when he returned home in order to prepare himself, his children came to the Holy Prophet(sa) and began to cry. Upon this, the Holy Prophet(sa) sent Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh in his place as their leader. At the time of his departure, the Holy Prophet(sa) gave him the title of Amir-ul-Mu’mineen [leader of the faithful]. In Sirat-ul-Halbiya it is written that Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh was thus the first fortunate companion to have received the title of Amir-ul-Mu’mineen in the Islamic era. (Al-Sirat-ul-Halbiya, Vol.3, pg.217, Sariyyat-ul-Abdullah bin Jahsh ilan Batne Nakhla, Darul Kutb-ul-Ilmiyah, 2002, Beirut.)

Under the commentary of the verse:

یَسۡـَٔلُوۡنَکَ عَنِ الشَّہۡرِ الۡحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِیۡہِ

[They ask thee about fighting in the Sacred Month…Ch.2, V.218]

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) has mentioned this incident in these words that even after the Holy Prophet(sa) had migrated from Mecca to Medina, the severity of the hostility from the Meccans did not subside. They began to threaten the people of Medina that since they had given refuge to their people, there was only one option; either kill all of them or expel them from Medina. Otherwise, they would vow to attack Medina and kill all of them and also capture their women. Moreover, this was not limited to mere threats, in fact they began to make preparations in order to attack Medina.

In those days, the circumstances were such that the Holy Prophet(sa) would at times stay awake the entire night. Similarly, the companions would sleep equipped with their weapons, lest the enemy would suddenly launch an attack on them in the darkness of the night. In these circumstances, on the one hand, the Holy Prophet(sa) started to make treaties with the tribes living in the surroundings of Medina so that they would support Muslims if such circumstances arose.

On the other hand, as a result of the news that the Quraish were making preparations for an attack, the Holy Prophet(sa) sent Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh to Nakhla with twelve men. He gave him a letter and instructed him to open it after two days. Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh opened it after two days and it stated that they should remain in Nakhla and gather information about the circumstances of the Quraish and report back. Incidentally, during that same period a small caravan of the Quraish passed by, which was returning from trade in Syria. Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh through a personal initiative attacked them, as a result of which one person from among the disbelievers, Amr bin Al-Hazrami was killed, and two people were taken as captives and the Muslims also seized their possessions. When they returned to Medina and informed the Holy Prophet(sa) of this incident, he expressed great displeasure and said that he had not permitted them to fight and he also refused to accept any of the items they had captured from them.

Ibn Jarir has taken the narration of Hazrat Ibn Abbas(ra) and written, “The mistake Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh and his companions made was that they believed that the month of Rajab had not yet commenced, even though it had already begun. They believed that it was the thirtieth of Jumada Al-Thani and that the month of Rajab had not yet started. In any case, the idolaters started to raise a hue and cry at the fact that Amr bin Al-Hazrami was killed at the hands of Muslims and that Muslims no longer respected the sanctity of the sacred months, in which all forms of war were forbidden.”

Hence, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:

“God Almighty addresses this allegation in this very verse by stating that although God Almighty is most displeased by fighting in these months and is a sin in the sight of God Almighty, however it is even more displeasing to Him that people are hindered from the path of God Almighty; to stop them from professing the unity of God Almighty; to disregard the sanctity of the Al-Haram Mosque and to expel people from their homes simply because they believe in the One God. They may have thought of this one aspect. However, they have not reflected on the severity of their own sins and the displeasing deeds they have committed by rejecting God and His Messenger(sa), disregarding the sanctity of the Al-Haram Mosque and by expelling the people from their homes. When they themselves are guilty of such abhorrent acts, how can they then raise allegations against Muslims? They have merely committed an inadvertent mistake, whereas the Meccans have been actively and intentionally committing these acts.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol.2, pp. 474-47 – Ch.2, V.218).

Elaborating on a Hadith [tradition of the Holy Prophet(sa)] of Bukhari, Hazrat Sayyid Zain-ul-Abideen Waliullah Shah Sahib(ra) has mentioned the positive outcome of the expedition of Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh. Elaborating on this, he has written:

“The accounts inform us that this expedition was completely successful with regards to the purpose it had been sent out for. By taking captives, they gained concrete and precise information of the schemes and movement of the Quraish of Mecca. The incident related to the caravan of Hazrami was something that was unintentional and incidental. The opinion of some historians, who have mentioned that some members of this expedition thought of avenging and returning the captured possessions of the Muhajireen [Muslims who migrated from Mecca to Medina] is incorrect. Rather, the primary objective of this expedition was merely to obtain, through this delegation of Hazrami, sound and precise information of the real purpose of the caravan under the leadership of Abu Sufyan bin Harb and the schemes of war made by the Quraish of Mecca. This was precisely what had been conveyed to them in secrecy and therefore, they did not let this opportunity of capturing this small caravan go to waste. It is a far-fetched idea to believe that they were actually sent in order to obtain information about the schemes of war made by the Quraish of Mecca, however they sufficed with simply looting this caravan and returning to the Holy Prophet(sa).”

“Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh(ra) was a companion of a very lofty status. He was also the paternal cousin of the Holy Prophet(sa). The Holy Prophet(sa) had appointed an extremely reliable and trustworthy person for this expedition. When the Holy Prophet(sa) learnt of the plans of war being made by the Quraish of Mecca, he also started making preparations and he did so in a most discreet manner.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari Tarjuma Wa Sharah, Hazrat Sayyid Zain-ul-Abideen Waliullah Shah Sahib, Vol.8, pg. 15, Kitabul Maghazi, Baab Qisa Ghazwa Badr, Zia-ul-Islam Press, Rabwah).   

He further writes:

“Even though in the narrations related to war we find that the Holy Prophet(sa) expressed displeasure towards Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh and his companions, however this admonishment was appropriate and justified as their expedition created circumstances which could have been the cause of discord. Nonetheless, at times certain actions which apparently seem to be mistakes, are in fact carried out in accordance with Divine will and some insignificant incidents bear magnificent results. Thus, it was quite possible that the expedition led by Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh would have never been sent and the events would not have unfolded in the manner they did. Similarly, the caravan led by Abu Sufyan would have reached Mecca without any hindrance and the Quraish would have attacked the Muslims with full preparation, which would have been really difficult for the ill-equipped companions of the Holy Prophet(sa). However, the incident caused by Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh enraged the arrogant Quraish leaders. They hastily assembled an army of a thousand soldiers and arrived at Badr in a state of conceited rage to save their convoy. Little did they know that their fates had been sealed at that very place. On the other hand, it was equally possible that if the companions had known they would be facing a fully equipped army, some of them may have shown hesitation. Thus, this act of secrecy served as a disguise, known as camouflage today.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari Tarjuma Wa Sharah, Hazrat Sayyid Zain-ul-Abideen Waliullah Shah Sahib, Vol.8, pg. 17, Kitabul Maghazi, Baab Qisa Ghazwa Badr, Zia-ul-Islam Press, Rabwah).   

His character and love for the Prophet(sa)

According to the historical accounts, “love of God and His Prophet(sa) had made the companions oblivious to all material desires. Their only wish was to sacrifice their lives in God’s cause. Their desire was indeed fulfilled and they became distinguished as ‘Al-Mujjadu Fillah’ (the one who lost his ear in God’s cause). (Usdul Ghaaba, Vol. 3, p.90, Abdullah bin Jahsh, Darul-Fikr, 2003, Beirut). 

In relation to more details about his character, there is a well-known account of how Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh’s prayers were accepted before he was martyred. Ishaq bin Sa’d(ra) bin Abi Waqas narrates with reference to his father:

“On the day the Battle of Uhud, his father i.e. Sa’d requested Abdullah bin Jahsh to come to one side in order to pray together. They retreated to one side and Sa’d prayed first that ‘O Allah! When I meet the enemy tomorrow, let me face someone who is the most fearsome in battle and commands great aura. Let me fight him and let me kill him for Your sake. Let me seize his weapons.’ Upon this Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh said Ameen. After this Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh prayed: ‘O Allah! When I meet the enemy tomorrow, let me face someone who is most fearsome in battle and commands great aura. Let me kill him, and let him overcome me and kill me and take hold of me and cut off my ears and nose. When I come before You, that You ask me, “O Abdullah! Why have your nose and ears been cut off?” and I should answer: “O Allah, they were severed in Your way and in the way of Your Prophet(sa)”, and you reply, “You indeed speak the truth.”’” Hazrat Sa’d says, “Abdullah bin Jahsh’s prayer was better than mine, because towards the end of the day I saw that his nose and ears were hanging on a thread, meaning that a thread had been through them.” (Usdul Ghaaba, Vol. 3, p.90, Abdullah bin Jahsh, Darul-Fikr, 2003, Beirut).

This was a cruel practice used by the disbelievers. Even today, some extremist Muslims are indulging in this practice in Islam’s name. Hazrat Muttalib bin Abdullah bin Hantab narrates:

“On the way to Uhad, the Holy Prophet(sa) stayed in a place near Medina called Shaikhain. Hazrat Umme Salma(ra) presented roasted shoulder meat which the Holy Prophet(sa) ate. Then she brought Nabiz, the Holy Prophet(sa) drank from it (I believe it is something similar to a milk-based drink). Someone then took the cup of Nabiz and drank from it and then Abdullah bin Jahsh took the cup and finished it. Another person then said, ‘give me some to drink also, for you know where you are going tomorrow.’ Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh replied, ‘Yes, I would like to meet my Lord in a quenched state rather than that of thirst.’” (At-Tabaqat Al-Kubra Li Ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 3, p.50, Dar Ihya At-Turath Al-Arabi, 1996, Beirut).

What wonderful ways the companions had of demonstrating their love for God Almighty and what wonderful preparation they undertook to meet Him.

Burial

Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh and Hazrat Hamza(ra) bin Abdul Muttalib were both buried together in one grave. Hazrat Hamza(ra) was the uncle of Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh and at the time of his martyrdom he was a little over 40 years old. The Holy Prophet(sa) was the custodian to his inheritance, and so the Holy Prophet(sa) purchased goods during the Battle of Khaibar and gave them to his son. (Usdul Ghaaba, Vol. 3, p.90, Abdullah bin Jahsh, Darul-Fikr, 2003, Beirut).

A renowned authority

Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh(ra) was also renowned as an authority with sound opinions and advice. At the time of the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh(ra) was among those Companions from whom the Holy Prophet(sa) took counsel. (Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma’rifatil Ashaab, Vol. 3, p.16, Abdullah bin Jahsh, Darul Kutub-ul-Ilmiya, 2002, Beirut). 

His sister, Hazrat Himna bint Abi Jahsh

Hazrat Musleh Maud(ra) narrates the incident of the Holy Prophet(sa) regarding the sister of Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh(ra) whilst they were returning from the Battle of Uhud. He states that this has been recorded in history, or he has narrated it in his own words, that in the Battle of Uhud, it can be witnessed just how the Holy Prophet(sa) displayed great courage and his high morals and how he was compassionate to the people and won their hearts.

From the state of affairs of this battle, one can begin to understand the heights of his moral condition and appreciate the unrivalled sacrifices of his Companions. Hazrat Musleh Maud(ra) writes:

“I speak of that time when the Holy Prophet(sa) was returning to Medina after the battle had ended. When the women of Medina had heard news of the martyrdom of Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh, they became extremely anxious and when they heard the Holy Prophet(sa) was returning, they waited at a short distance outside of Medina to welcome him. Among them was his sister-in-law, Himna(ra) bint Abi Jahsh three of whose close relatives had been martyred during the battle. When the Holy Prophet(sa) saw her, he told her to grieve over her loss. This is an Arabic idiom which means that I am informing you of the death of your relative.

“Himna(ra) bint Jahsh replied, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Who shall I grieve over?’ The Holy Prophet(sa) answered, ‘Your uncle Hamza(ra) has been martyred.’ Upon hearing this Hazrat Himna said, ‘Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return’ and then said ‘May God elevate his status, he was met with a prosperous end.’

“Then the Holy Prophet(sa) said, ‘Himna! Now grieve over another loss’. Hazrat Himna(ra) replied ‘O Messenger of Allah(sa)! Whom shall I grieve over?’ He answered, ‘your brother Abdullah(ra) bin Jahsh has been martyred.’ Himna again said, ‘Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return, all praise is due to God, he was met with a prosperous end.’

“The Holy Prophet(sa) then said, ‘Now grieve over another loss’. Hazrat Himna(ra) replied, ‘O Messenger of Allah(sa)! Whom shall I grieve over?’ The Holy Prophet(sa) replied, ‘Your husband was also martyred.’ When she heard this, tears fell from Hazrat Himna’s eyes and she replied, ‘Woe unto me’ The Holy Prophet(sa) then said, ‘Look how strong the bond is between a woman and her husband. When I informed Himna of the death of her uncle she said ‘Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return’; when I informed her of the death of her brother she again said, ‘Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return’, but when I informed her of the death of her husband, she heaved a sigh and said, ‘Woe unto me’ and was unable to hold back her tears with all the grief.’

“The Holy Prophet(sa) then said, ‘In such circumstances women forget all their close relatives and blood-relations and she remembers her loving husband.’ Thereafter he asked Hazrat Himna(ra), ‘Why did you say woe unto me?’ She replied, ‘O Messenger of Allah! His son came to my mind as to who would now take care of him.’”

(Aside from the love for her husband – if a husband is loving only then will a wife fondly remember him – however, she showed great concern for their children. This is a lesson for men and women today that you should become loving husbands and women should become such mothers who care about their children. Furthermore, to become such loving husbands you must fulfil the rights of your wives and children and many complaints are received in this regard nowadays that rights are not being upheld.)

“How beautiful is the statement of the Holy Prophet(sa). He said to Himna(ra), ‘I pray to God Almighty that He brings forth someone who takes even better care than your husband (i.e. taking care of the children in an even better manner).’ It was a result of this prayer that Himna(ra) was married to Hazrat Talha(ra) and they had a son, Muhammad bin Talha. However history tells us that Hazrat Talha(ra) did not show as much love and compassion to Muhammad bin Talha as he did to the previous children of Himna(ra). People would say that no one could love their step-children as much as Talha(ra) did. All of this was a result of the prayers of the Holy Prophet(sa). (Masaib Ke Neeche Barkatoun Ke Khazane Makhfi Hote Hain, Anwar-ul-Uloom, Vol.19, pp. 56-57).