(Friday Sermon - November 20, 2020 )
According to various narrations, his name has been recorded as Auf bin Harith and Auf bin Afra. Afra was the name of his mother. Hazrat Auf(ra) bin Harith bin Rifa‘ah Ansari belonged to the Banu Najjar tribe of the Ansar. Hazrat Muaz(ra) and Hazrat Muawwiz(ra) were the brothers of Hazrat Auf(ra).
Hazrat Auf(ra) was among those six men from among the Ansar, who were the first to come to Mecca and do the Bai‘at [pledge initiation]. He also partook in the Bai‘at at Aqabah. After he accepted Islam, he broke the idols of Banu Malik bin Najjar along with Hazrat Asad(ra) bin Zurarah and Hazrat Umarah bin Hazm(ra).
On the day of the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Auf(ra) bin Afra asked the Holy Prophet(sa) in the midst of the battle, “O Messenger of Allah(sa)! At which deed of His servant is Allah the Almighty most delighted?” The Holy Prophet(sa) replied, “When His servant is engaged in battle and fights fearlessly without his armour.” In other words, if he is in battle, he should fight fearlessly. Upon this, Hazrat Auf(ra) bin Afra took off his armour, went forth and started fighting until he was martyred. Abu Jahl martyred Auf(ra) bin Harith and his brother, Hazrat Muawwiz(ra), during the Battle of Badr.
In the books of Ahadith and in the biographies of the Holy Prophet(sa), various names of Companions have been mentioned who attacked Abu Jahl during the Battle of Badr among whom(ra) Auf bin Afra is also mentioned. This has been previously mentioned as well. In Sunan Abi Dawud it is mentioned that his name was Auf(ra) bin Harith. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], 373-375, 370) (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 4 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1995], 614-615) (Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 3, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Jil, 1992], 1225-1226) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab Fadl man Shahida Badran, Hadith 3988) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fard al-Khumus, Bab Man lam Yakhmus al-Aslab, Hadith 3141) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab Qatl Abi Jahl, Hadith 3963) (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Jihad, Bab fi al-Asir Yuthaq, Hadith 2680)
He was commonly known by these two names. Nevertheless, he was among those who killed Abu Jahl and he also attained martyrdom during the Battle of Badr.