After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated: Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh (ra) is the first of the sahabah [companion of the Holy Prophet (sa)], that I will speak on today. 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 in its really early days. It is narrated that his family was also subjected to the oppression at the hands of the polytheists 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 Umm Habibah and Hazrat Hamnah bint Jahsh. His brother, Ubaidullah, upon arrival in Abyssinia, had converted to Christianity and died there as a Christian. While his wife Umm Habibah bint Abu Sufyan was still in Abyssinia, the Holy Prophet (sa) performed his own Nikah [marriage announcement] with her.
following bitter persecution, masses of Muslims had to migrate out of Medinah, leaving empty neighbourhoods. Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh (ra) at Madinah, 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 accord you a palace in Paradise in its place?’ He meant that that those houses, which you vacated, you will be given a station in the Heavens as their substitute. There, palaces will be prepared for you.
The Holy Prophet (sa) sent Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh (ra) on the expedition to the Valley of Nakhlah, an account of which is given in books as follows:
One day, the Holy Prophet (sa) called for Hazrat Ubai bin Ka’b and instructed him to write a letter. After the letter had been written, he called for Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh and whilst giving him the letter, the Holy Prophet (sa) said that I appoint you as the leader of this expedition (the delegation and expedition, which had been formed and sent in his leadership). At the time of his departure, the Holy Prophet (sa) gave him the title of Amir-ul-Mu’mineen [chief of the believers]. In Seerat-ul-Halbiya it is written that Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh was thus the first fortunate companion to have received the title of Amir-ul-Mu’mineen [chief of the believers] in the Islamic era.
Even after the Holy Prophet (sa) had migrated from Makkah to Madinah, the severity of the enmity of the people of Makkah did not subside. In those days, the state of the Holy Prophet (sa) was such that at times he would stay awake the entire night and the companions would sleep fully armed, lest the enemy suddenly ambush 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 near and in the surroundings of Madinah so that they would support Muslims if such circumstances arose. On the other hand, as a result of the reports that the Quraish were making preparations for an attack, the Holy Prophet (sa) sent Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh to Nakhla with twelve men. He gave him a letter and instructed him to open it after two days. Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh opened it after two days. It was written therein that you should stay in Nakhla, gather information about the circumstances of the Quraish and inform us thereof. Coincidentally, in those days a small delegation of the Quraish, which was returning from some trade in Syria, passed by. Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh took a personal initiative and attacked them, as a result of which one person from among the disbelievers, ‘Amr bin Al-Hazrami was killed, two people were taken as captives and the Muslims also seized the spoils of war. When they returned to Madinah and informed the Holy Prophet (sa) of this incident, he expressed great displeasure and said that I did not give you permission to fight and he also refused to accept the spoils of war. The mistake Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh and his companions made was that they believed that the [month of] Rajab had not yet commenced, even though the month of Rajab had already commenced. Nevertheless, the idolaters started to raise a hue and cry that Muslims no longer respected the sanctity of the holy months, in which all forms of war were seized. In commentary of the verse (2:218) یَسْـَٔلُوۡنَکَ عَنِ الشَّہۡرِ الْحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِیۡہِ they ask thee about fighting in the Sacred Month, Allah the Exalted states in this verse that even though it is most despised to fight in these months and a sin in the sight of Allah the Exalted, it is despised to an even greater extent to stop people from treading on the path of Allah the Exalted, to stop them from professing the Unity of God the Exalted, to disregard the sanctity of the Al-Haram Mosque and to expel people from their homes without any reason, merely for the fact that they believe in the One God.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh was a companion of a very lofty status. The Holy Prophet (sa) had appointed a reliable and trustworthy person for this expedition. When the Holy Prophet (sa) became aware of the schemes of war made by the Quraish of Makkah, he also started making preparations and he did so with utmost secrecy. According to the history, love of God and His prophet had made the companions oblivious to all material desires. Their only wish was to sacrifice their lives in Allah’s cause. His desire was fulfilled and he became distinguished as ‘Almajdo Fillah’ ( the one who lost his ear in Allah’s cause). Before setting for the battlefeld, Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh prayed: “O Allah, when I meet the enemy tomorrow, let me face someone who is fierce in attack and commands great aura. Let me kill him and let him overcome 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 your Prophet’s way, and you say that I speak the truth.” Hazrat Saad says that Abdullah bin Jahash’s prayer was better than mine, because towards the end of the day I saw that his nose and ears were hanging by a thread, meaning they had been severed and were sown together. This was a cruel practice used by the infidels.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh and Hazrat Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib were both buried together. Hazrat Hamza was the uncle of Hazrat Abdullah 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 so the Holy Prophet (sa) bought goods at Khaibar and gave them to his son. Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh was also renowned as an authority with sound opinions and advice. At the time of the Battle of Badr Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh was among those Companions from whom the Holy Prophet (sa) took counsel. He was a warm and caring father. 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.
The second Companion is Hazrat Ka’b bin Zaid. His name was K’ab bin Zaid bin Qais bin Malik and he was from the Banu Najjar tribe. He was part of the Battle of Badr and was martyred in the Battle of Khandaq (Ditch). He was the sole survivor of Bir Maona. Bir Maona is where the Holy Prophet – on the request of a tribe – sent 70 of his companions a large party of whom were Huffaz (had memorized the entire Quran) and were Qaris (those recite the Quran properly). They had been deceived and all of them were martyred with the exception of Hazrat Ka’b. Hazrat K’ab survived because he had climbed on a mountain. According to some narrations the disbelievers attacked and injured him severely. Thinking him dead, the disbelievers left him whereas he was actually alive. He soon returned to Madinah and eventually his health and life returned to normal.
The third Companion is Hazrat Saleh Shukraan. His name was Saleh and his title was Shukraan and he was known by this appellation. Hazrat Saleh Shukraan was a Habshi (Abyssinian) slave of Hazrat Abdullah bin Auf. The Holy Prophet preferred him to help serve and purchased him from Hazrat Abdullah. Other narrations say that Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf handed him over without recompense. Hazrat Saleh Shukraan participated in the Battle of Badr. After the Battle of Badr the Holy Prophet (sa) set him free. Hazrat Shukraan was from among the Ahl Sufa, those who were always at the door of the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Shukran had the honour of taking part in the Ghusl (washing ritual of deceased body in Islam) and burial of the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Ibn Abbas (ra) says that the Holy Prophet was given Ghusl with his clothes on. At the Battle of Muraysi the wealth, weapons, livestock etc. that were obtained from the camps, Hazrat Shukran was made overseer of all of this. He was very trustworthy and dependable. One narration mentions that Hazrat Shukraan took residence in Madinah and he also had a home in Basra. He passed away during the era of the Khilafat of Hazrat Umar (ra).
Next is mention of Hazrat Malik bin Duhsham. He was from the Khizraj tribe and the family of Banu Ghanam Bin Auf. He had a daughter named Furiya. Hazrat Malik took part in the Battle of Badr and Khandaak and all other battles after along with the Holy Prophet (sa). Suhail bin Amr was amongst the senior and respected leaders of the Quraish. He was part of the Battle of Badr on the side of the idolaters.
On the way back from the Battle of Tabuk, the Holy Prophet (sa) stopped near Madinah at a place called Zawawan. During this stay the Holy Prophet (sa) was informed about Masjid Al-Zarar through revelation. The Holy Prophet (sa) called for Hazrat Malik bin Dhuhshum and Hazrat Ma’an bin Adi and ordered them to go towards Masjid Al-Zarar. Hazrat Malik bin Dhuhshum and Hazrat Ma’an bin Adi went to the Banu Salam tribe, which was the tribe of Hazrat Malik bin Dahsham. Hazrat Malik bin Dahsham said to Hazrat Ma’an to wait for him to bring something with which he can light a fire. He went home and brought a dried date palm branch lit on fire. They then went towards Masjid Al-Zarar and according to narrations they arrived between Maghrib and Ishaa prayers. They set it alight and it burned to the ground.
Thus, we should not make assertions about companions based on ill suspicion. It was assumed that perhaps he deviated from the right path to the extent that he was accused of being a hypocrite. However, later he became the one who destroyed the centre of the hypocrites under the instructions of God Almighty.
May Allah the Almighty continue to elevate the status of the companions. May He enable us to analyse ourselves as to whether or not we are acting on the instructions of God Almighty.