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Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra)

A Badri Companion of the Holy Prophet(sa)

(Friday Sermon - November 13, 2020 )

Background

Hazrat Simak(ra) bin Kharasha. Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) belonged to the Banu Sa‘idah branch of the Khazraj tribe of the Ansar.

Hazrat Abu Dujana’s(ra) father’s name was Kharasha, whilst it has also been reported that his father’s name was Aus and his grandfather was Kharasha. Hazrat Abu Dujana’s(ra) mother’s name was Hazmah bint Harmalah.

Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) was more commonly known by his title of Abu Dujana than his actual name. Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) had a son whose name was Khalid and whose mother’s name was Aminah bint Amr. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 2, Simak bin Kharashah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2003], 317) (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abu Dujanah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], 419)

Brotherhood pact

When Hazrat Utbah(ra) bin Ghazwan migrated from Mecca to Medina, the Holy Prophet(sa) established a bond of brotherhood between him and Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra). (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abu Dujanah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], 420)

Participation in Battles

Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) took part in all the battles alongside the Holy Prophet(sa), including the battles of Badr and Uhud. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 2, Simak bin Kharashah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2003], 317)

Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) is counted amongst the prominent companions of the Ansar and was well-known for his participation in the battles alongside the Holy Prophet(sa). (Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 2, Simak bin Kharashah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Jil, 2010], 212)

Whenever there was a battle, Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) would display great courage and bravery and he was an extremely skilled horseman. Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) had a red coloured kerchief which he would tie around his head only when in battle. Whenever he would tie the red kerchief around his head, people would know that Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) was now ready for battle. Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) was counted amongst the brave and courageous men. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 5, Abu Dujanah Simak bin Kharashah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2003], 96)

Muhammad bin Ibrahim relates from his father that Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) could easily be recognised in the battles from the red turban and he also wore this on the occasion of the Battle of Badr.

Muhammad bin Umar relates that Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) took part in the Battle of Uhud in the same manner and stood resolutely alongside the Holy Prophet(sa) and had taken an oath that he would be ready to sacrifice his life. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abu Dujana [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], 420)

On the day of the Battle of Uhud, Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) and Hazrat Musab(ra) bin Umair bravely defended the Holy Prophet(sa). Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) was severely wounded that day whilst Hazrat Musab(ra) bin Umair embraced martyrdom. (Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 4, Abu Dujanah Ansari [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Jil, 2010], 209)

Hazrat Anas(ra) relates that on the day of the Battle of Uhud, the Holy Prophet(sa) took hold of a sword and stated:

مَنْ یَاْخُذُ مِنِّیْ ھٰذَا؟

“Who shall take this from me?”

Everyone raised their hands and each one of them requested to have it. The Holy Prophet(sa) then stated:

فَمَنْ یَاْخُذُہٗ بِحَقِّہٖ

“Who shall take this whilst doing justice to it?”

Hazrat Anas(ra) narrates that upon this, some of the people showed hesitance; however, Hazrat Simak bin Kharasha Abu Dujana(ra) submitted, “I shall take it and will indeed do justice to it.”

Hazrat Anas(ra) relates that Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) took hold of the sword and split the heads of the idolaters. This is a hadith from Sahih Muslim. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada‘il al-Sahabah, Bab min Fada‘il Abi Dujanah Simak bin Kharashah, Hadith 6353)

In another tradition, it states that Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) asked how one could do justice to it. Upon this, the Holy Prophet(sa) stated, “Do not kill any Muslim with this and never flee from the disbelievers [in battle] whilst you are in possession of it.” In other words, to fight against them courageously.

Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) then submitted, “I will take this sword and will indeed do justice to it.” When the Holy Prophet(sa) handed over the sword to him, he split the heads of the idolaters and on this occasion recited the following couplets:

أَنَا الَّذِیْ عَاھَدَنِیْ خَلِیْلِیْ

وَنَحْنُ بِالسَّفْحِ لَدَی النَّخِیْلِ

اَنْ لَّا أَقُوْمَ الدَّھْرَ فِی الْکَیُوْلِ

أَضْرِبْ بِسَیْفِ اللّٰہِ وَالرَّسُوْلِ

“I am the one whose friend had taken an oath from me whilst we stood near the date palms of Safaa. I pledged that I shall not stand in the rows at the rear of the army. And I shall fight the enemy with the sword of Allah and His Messenger(sa).”

Hazrat Abu Dujana(ra) began to proudly walk amongst the army rows and observing this the Holy Prophet(sa) stated:

اِنَّ ھٰذِہٖ مِشْیَۃٌ یُبْغِضُھَا اللّٰہُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ اِلَّا فِیْ ھٰذَا الْمُقَامِ

“The manner in which he is walking is one that Allah is displeased with except for occasions like this,” i.e. during battle. (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 7, Abu Dujanah al-Ansari [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], 100) (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 2, Simak bin Kharashah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], 317)

Hazrat Zubair(ra) bin al-Awam relates that on the day of the Battle of Uhud, the Holy Prophet(sa) presented a sword and said:

مَنْ یَاْخُذُ ھٰذَا السَّیْفَ بِحَقِّہٖ

“Who shall take this sword and do justice to it?”

Hazrat Zubair(ra) narrates, “I stood up and submitted, ‘O Messenger(sa) of Allah, I shall take it.’ The Holy Prophet(sa) turned away and again stated, ‘Who shall take this sword and do justice to it?’ Again, I submitted, ‘O Messenger(sa) of Allah, I shall take it.’ And again the Holy Prophet(sa) turned away. The Holy Prophet(sa) once again stated, ‘Who shall take this sword and do justice to it?’ Thereafter, Hazrat Abu Dujana Simak bin Kharasha(ra) stood up and submitted, ‘O Messenger(sa) of Allah, I shall take this sword and will indeed do justice to it; but how exactly am I to do justice to it?’ The Holy Prophet(sa) stated, ‘Do not kill any Muslim with it and never flee from the disbelievers [in battle] whilst you are in possession of it, courageously fight against them.’”

Hazrat Zubair(ra) further narrates, “After this, the Holy Prophet(sa) gave the sword to Abu Dujana. It was the habit of Abu Dujana that whenever he went forth for any battle, he would tie a piece of red cloth around his head. At the time, I said to myself that I shall see how Abu Dujana does justice to the sword.”

Hazrat Zubair(ra) narrates, “Whoever came up against Abu Dujana would be killed by him and cutting through the enemy ranks he went ahead to the extent that he went right through the enemy rows and reached the point where the women were, who were beating the drums near the side of the mountain. At the time, one of the women was reciting the following couplet, the translation of which is:

“‘We are the daughters of the morning star of Tariq, who soar above the clouds; if you advance boldly, we will embrace you and lay down cushions for your comfort, but if you show cowardice and retreat, we will abandon you, in a manner whereby not a grain of love between us shall remain.’”

Hazrat Zubair(ra) says:

“I saw Abu Dujanah raise a sword against a woman and then lower it. When the battle finished, I said to him, ‘I watched you throughout the battle; you raised your sword to a woman and then lowered it. What was the reason for this?’ He replied, ‘By Allah! It was out of honour for the sword of the Holy Prophet(sa) lest it be used to slay a woman. It was not possible for me to kill a women using the sword of the Holy Prophet(sa) and for this reason, I stopped myself.’”

In another narration, it is stated that this woman was Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, who was singing along with the other women. When Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) raised his sword to Hind, she cried out for help; however, no one came to her aid. Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) lowered his sword and then returned. Upon the enquiry by Hazrat Zubair(ra), he said, “I did not like to kill a helpless woman with the sword of the Holy Prophet(sa).” (Al-Mustadrak ala al-Sahihain, Vol. 3, p. 440, 441, Kitab Marifat al-Sahabah, Dhikr Manaqib Abi Dujanah, Riwayah No. 5088, Dar al-Kutub al-Fikr, Beirut, 2002) (Sharh Allamah Zurqani ala al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Vol. 2, p. 406, 407, Kirab al-Maghazi, Bab Ghazwat Uhud, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996)

Mentioning this incident of Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra), Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib(ra) writes in Sirat Khataman Nabiyyin:

“The disbelievers of the Quraish suffered a crushing defeat in the duels. Upon witnessing this sight, the disbelievers became furious and launched an all-out attack. Calling out slogans of God’s Greatness, the Muslims also marched forward, and both armies fiercely collided with one another.

“It was perhaps on this occasion that the Holy Prophet(sa) took his sword in hand and said, ‘Who shall take this sword and do justice to it?’ Many Companions extended their hands in the desire of this honour, which included Hazrat Umar(ra) and Zubair(ra), and in light of various narrations, even Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and Hazrat Ali(ra). The Holy Prophet(sa), however, restrained his hand and continued to say, ‘Is there anyone who will do justice to this sword?’ Finally, Abu Dujanah Ansari(ra) extended his hand and submitted, ‘O Messenger(sa) of Allah! Grant me this honour.’ The Holy Prophet(sa) endowed the sword upon him and with this sword in hand, Abu Dujanah(ra) strutted forward, marching proudly towards the disbelievers. The Holy Prophet(sa) addressed the Companions saying, ‘Allah greatly abhors this gait, but not on an occasion like this.’

“Zubair(ra), who was most desirous of receiving the sword of the Holy Prophet(sa) and who felt that he was more deserving due to his being a close relative of the Holy Prophet(sa), began to toss and turn in anxiety. He thought to himself why the Holy Prophet(sa) had not entrusted this sword to him but endowed it to Abu Dujanah(ra) instead. In order to alleviate his own distress, in his heart, he vowed to remain close to Abu Dujanah(ra) in the field of battle so that he could witness how this sword was put to use. As such, he relates:

“‘Abu Dujanah(ra) tied a red cloth on his head and taking this sword in hand, whilst softly humming songs of God’s praise, he penetrated the idolatrous ranks. I saw that wherever he would turn, it was as if he would go about scattering death and I did not see a single man who came before him and was then spared. This was to such an extent that cutting his way through the army of the Quraish, he emerged from the opposite corner of the army, where the women of the Quraish were standing. Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, who was encouraging her men with great zeal and commotion came before him. Abu Dujanah(ra) raised his sword upon her and Hind shrieked in a loud voice, appealing to her men for assistance, but no one came to her aid.’

“Hazrat Zubair(ra) states, ‘However, then I saw that Abu Dujanah(ra) lowered his sword on his own accord and moved away from that place.’

“Zubair(ra) relates, ‘On this occasion, I enquired of Abu Dujanah(ra), “What had happened? First you raised your sword, but then lowered it.” He responded, “My heart could not come to terms with the fact that I should use the sword of the Holy Prophet(sa) against a woman; and then such a woman who, at the time, had no male protector.”’ Zubair(ra) relates, ‘It was then that I understood how Abu Dujanah(ra) in fact did justice to the sword of the Holy Prophet(sa) and that I could perhaps not have done the same and thus, the misgiving in my heart was dispelled.’” (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra), p. 489-490)

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) has narrated this incident in the following manner:

“During the Battle of Uhud, the Holy Prophet(sa) held up a sword and said, ‘I shall give this sword to the one who pledges to do justice to it.’ Many people stood up to take this sword, but the Holy Prophet(sa) granted it to Hazrat Abu Dujanah Ansari(ra). During the course of the battle, a few Meccan fighters launched an attack on Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra). During the skirmish, he noticed that one of the fighters was fighting against him with particular aggression and zeal. Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) raised his sword and went to attack him, but he suddenly stopped and then returned”, meaning that Hazart Abu Dujanah(ra) raised his sword and went to attack him, but then left him and returned.

“One of his friends asked him as to why he left him, to which he replied, ‘When I launched my attack, he said something from which I realised that it was a woman and not a man.’ His friend asked, ‘Regardless, she was fighting as part of the army, so why did you spare her?’ Abu Dujanah(ra) replied, ‘My heart did not permit me to use the sword given to me by the Holy Prophet(sa) against a helpless woman.’”

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) then further states, “In short, the Holy Prophet(sa) would always exhort to honour and respect women. It was due to this that the women of the disbelievers became even more daring in their ploys to attack the Muslims, yet the Muslims continued to patiently endure all of this.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 2, p. 421, 422)

With regard to Abu Dujanah(ra), the famous orientalist, Sir William Muir writes:

“At the commencement of the action Mahomet [sic] held up his sword and said, ‘Who will take this sword, and give to it its due?’ Omar, Zobeir &c. one after another, came forward and were rejected; last Abu Dujana offered, and Mahomet [sic] gave it to him; And he clave therewith the heads of the Unbelievers.” (Life of Mahomet, Sir William Muir, Vol. 3, p. 169 [footnote], Smith Elder & Co, Waterloo, 1861)

Sir William Muir further writes:

“Pressed by the fierce ardour of the Mussulmans [Muslims], the Meccan began to waver. Their horse sought repeatedly to turn the left flank of Mahomet [sic]; but they were each time forced back by the galling archery of the little band posted on the neighbouring height. The same daring contempt of danger was displayed as at Badr. The Meccan ranks might be seen to quiver as Abu Dujanah, distinguished by the red kerchief wound round his helmet, swept along, and, with a sword given to him by Mahomet [sic], dealt death on every side. Hamza, conspicuous from his waving ostrich feather; Ali, marked by his long white plume; and Zobeir, known by his bright yellow turban – like heroes in the battles of the Iliad – carried confusion wherever they appeared. Such were the scenes in which were reared the great leaders of the Muslim conquests.” (Original quote – Life of Mahomet, Sir William Muir, Vol. 3, p. 169, Smith Elder & Co, Waterloo, 1861) (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra), p. 490)

What I read earlier was taken from Sirat Khataman Nabiyyin.

Hazrat Ibn Abbas(ra) narrates, “When the Holy Prophet(sa) returned from the Battle of Uhud, he gave his sword to his daughter Fatimah(ra) and asked her to wash the blood from his sword. Hazrat Ali(ra) also handed his sword to her and said, ‘Wash the blood from this sword; by Allah, it assisted me greatly today!’ Upon this the Holy Prophet(sa) said, ‘If you have done justice in the battle today, then certainly Sahl bin Hunaif and Abu Dujanah did justice also.’”

In one narration, instead of Sahl bin Hunaif, the name of Harith bin Simmah is mentioned. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Simak bin Kharashah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2003], 317) (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abu Dujanah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], 420)

Zaid bin Aslam narrates that people came to see Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) when he was unwell, yet his face was glowing. Someone asked him why his face was glowing, to which Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) replied, “From among my actions, there are two things which I adhere to strictly and are significant; firstly, I never involve myself in matters which do not concern me. Secondly, I have nothing but kindness in my heart for my fellow Muslims.” (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abu Dujanah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], 420)

Final Battle and Martyrdom

Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) was martyred in 12 AH in the Battle of Yamamah. After the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), Musailamah Kazzab [the Liar], falsely claimed to be a prophet and planned to attack Medina. In order to confront them, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) sent an army in 12 AH and Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) was also part of this army. Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) fought fiercely during this battle of Yamamah and attained the station of martyrdom.

A large part of Musailamah Kazzab’s army who had rebelled against Medina were the Banu Hunaifah. They were an ancient Arab tribe and had an orchard in Yamamah in which they had set up camp and were fighting from there. The Muslims were unable to enter the orchard. Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) said to throw him inside the orchard and the Muslims did as he requested; however, his fall broke his leg. Despite this, he battled with the idolaters at the door of the orchard and pushing them aside, the Muslims were able to enter.

Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) was with Abdullah bin Zaid and Wahshi bin Harb in the killing of Musailamah Kazzab. Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) attained martyrdom on the day of Yamamah. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Simak bin Kharashah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2003], 318) (Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 4, Abu Dujanah al-Ansari [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2010], 209) (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abu Dujanah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], 420) (Urdu Da‘irah Ma‘arif Islamiyyah, Vol. 8, p. 695, Shu‘bah Urdu Da‘irah Ma‘arif, Lahore)

According to one narration, it is stated that Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) passed away in the Battle of Siffin fighting on the side of Hazrat Ali(ra); however, this narration seems less reliable. The earlier narration is more authentic and is widely cited. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Simak bin Kharashah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2003], 318)

Summary of Biography

I have narrated this previously, but I will mention the part here which is related to Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra). Abu Dujanah(ra) was a resident of Medina and from among the Ansar. He accepted Islam before the migration to Medina. He had the honour of participating in the Battle of Badr alongside the Holy Prophet(sa) and displayed immense bravery. Similarly, he took part in the Battle of Uhud. When the momentum of the battle shifted, i.e. initially the Muslims had the upper hand and were winning, but owing to leaving one area exposed, the disbelievers attacked again and the momentum of the battle turned against the Muslims. Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra) was among the group of companions who were near the Holy Prophet(sa) at this time. Whilst defending the Holy Prophet(sa), he became severely injured; however, despite those injuries, he never moved from his place. Once during a time of illness, he said to his friend, “Perhaps Allah the Almighty will accept two of my deeds; firstly, I never involve myself in any vain pursuits, nor do I backbite and talk about people behind their backs. Secondly, I never hold any malice or rancour in my heart against any of my fellow Muslims.” (Friday Sermon, 16 March 2018, Al Fazl International, 6-12 April 2018, Vol. 25, Issue 14, p. 5)