The miracles of the friends of Allah and their excellence

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

253. Chapter: The miracles of the friends of Allah and their excellence

Allah says, "Yes, the friends of Allah will feel no fear and will know no sorrow: those who believe and are godfearing, there is good news for them in the life of this world and in the Next World. There is no changing the words of Allah. That is the great victory!" (10:62-64)

The Almighty says, "'Shake the trunk of the palm towards you and fresh, ripe dates will drop down onto you. Eat and drink.'" (W19:24-25; H19:25-26)

and He says, "Every time Zakariyya visited her in the Upper Room, he found food with her. He said, 'Maryam, how did you get this?' She said, 'It is from Allah. Allah provides for whoever He wills without reckoning.'" (3:37)

The Almighty says, "'When you have separated yourselves from them and everything they worship except Allah, take refuge in the cave and your Lord will unfold His mercy to you and bring about the best for you in your affair.' You would have seen the sun, when it rose, inclining away from their cave towards the right, and, when it set, leaving them behind on the left." (18:16-17)

1503. Abu Muhammad 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr as-Siddiq stated that the People of the Suffa were poor people and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Whoever has food for two should invite a third. If he has enough for four, he should invite a fifth or a sixth,' or as he said. Abu Bakr took three and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took ten. Abu Bakr went to eat with the Prophet and stayed until after 'Isha' had been prayed and then went back again and stayed until the Prophet had eaten. Then Abu Bakr returned home after as much of the night had passed as Allah willed and his wife said to him, 'What kept you from your guests?' He said, 'Haven't you given them their meal?' She said, 'They refused to eat until you came. They were offered food and they refused it.' I went away and hid. Abu Bakr called out, 'O Ghunthar!' and derided me and abused me. Then he said, 'Eat and may you have no welcome,' adding, 'By Allah, I will never eat it!' By Allah, with every mouthful of it we took, more appeared underneath - until they were full and there was more food than there had been in the first place. Abu Bakr looked at it and there was as much as there had been or more and he said to his wife, 'Sister of the Banu Firas! What is this?' She said, 'No, apple of my eye, there is now three times as much as there was before.' So Abu Bakr ate from it and said, 'That was from Shaytan,' meaning his oath. Then he ate a mouthful of it and took the dish to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and it remained with him until the morning. There had been a treaty between us and some people and it had come to an end, so he divided us up into twelve men, each of whom had a group with him - only Allah knows how many there were with each man - and everyone of them ate from it!"

In one variant, "Abu Bakr swore that he would not eat and his wife swore that she would not eat and the guest - or guests - swore that he - or they - would not eat until he ate. Abu Bakr said, 'This was from Shaytan' and he called for food. He ate and they ate. Every time they lifted a morsel more than it appeared underneath. He said, 'Sister of the Banu Firas! What is this?' She said, 'Apple of my eye, there is more than there was before we started eating.' They ate and he sent it to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and mentioned that he ate from it."

In one variant, "Abu Bakr said to 'Abdu'r-Rahman, 'Look after your guests. I am going to the Prophet. Make sure they have been served before I come back.' 'Abdu'r-Rahman went and brought them what they had. He said, 'Eat.' They said, 'Where is the master of the house?' He said, 'Eat.' They said, 'We will not eat until the master of the house comes.' He said, 'Accept our hospitality. If he comes and you have not eaten, he will think it terrible.' They refused." 'Abdu'r-Rahman said, "I knew that he would be angry with me, so when he came, I got out of the way. He said, 'What have you done?' They told him and he said, ''Abdu'r-Rahman!' I was silent. He said, ''Abdu'r-Rahman!' I was still silent. He said, 'O Ghunthar! I swear to you if you hear my voice you had better come!' I came out and I said, 'Ask your guests.' They said, 'He spoke the truth. He brought it to us.' He said, 'You waited for me! By Allah, I will not eat it tonight!' The others said, 'By Allah, we will not eat it until you eat it!' He said, 'Bother you! Why don't you accept our hospitality from us? Bring the food!' It was brought and he put his hand down and said, 'In the name of Allah. The first was from Shaytan.' He ate and they ate." [Agreed upon]

1504. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "In the nations before you there were people who were spoken to (by Allah). If there was to be such a man among my community, it would be 'Umar." [al-Bukhari. Muslim transmits it from 'A'isha.]

1505. Jabir ibn Samura said, "The people of Kufa complained about Sa'd, i.e. ibn Abi Waqqas to 'Umar ibn al-Khattab and he dismissed him and appointed 'Ammar over them. One of their complaints was that he did not do the prayer correctly. 'Umar sent to him and said, 'Abu Ishaq! These people claim that you do not do the prayer correctly.' Abu Ishaq said, 'By Allah, I prayed with them the prayer of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, without diminishing it. When I prayed 'Isha' I made the first two rak'ats long and the last two short.' 'Umar said, 'That is what one would have expected of you, Abu Ishaq.' He sent a couple of men with him to Kufa to ask the people of Kufa about him and they asked about him in every mosque they visited. Everyone praised his correctness until they came to the mosque of the Banu 'Abs. One of their men called Usama ibn Qatada with the kunya of Abu Sa'da, stood up and said, 'Since you ask us under oath, Sa'd did not himself go out on military expeditions, he did not divide the booty equally nor was he just in giving judgement.' Sa'd said, 'By Allah, I pray for three things. O Allah, if this slave of Yours is a liar, and has got up just to show off, then make him live long, be poor long and expose him to trials.' After that whenever he was asked, the man would say, 'I am an old man tested and afflicted by the prayer of Sa'd.'"

'Abdu'l-Malik ibn 'Umayr ar-Rawi said from Jabir ibn Samura, "I saw him later and his eyebrows were hanging down over his eyes due to old age. He would accost young girls in the streets and pinch them." [Agreed upon]

1506. 'Urwa ibn az-Zubayr reported that Sa'id ibn Zayd ibn 'Umar ibn Nufayl had litigation instigated against him by Arwa bint Aws before Marwan ibn al-Hakam. She claimed that he had taken some of her land. Sa'id said, "Would I take any of her land after what I heard from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace?" He said, "What did you hear from the Messenger of Allah?" He said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Anyone who wrongfully takes a hand's width of land will wear it round his neck down through seven earths.'" Marwan said to him, "I will not ask you for evidence after this." Sa'id said, "O Allah, if she is lying, make her lose her eyesight and kill her in her land!" He said, "She did not die before her eyesight had gone, and while she was walking in her land, she fell into a pit and died." [Agreed upon]

A variant of Muslim from Muhammad ibn Zayd ibn 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar has something to the same effect and says that he saw her blind, groping for the wall, saying, "The invocation of Sa'id has struck me." She passed by a well in the house regarding which she had litigated and fell into it and it became her grave.

1507. Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, "When Uhud was near, my father called me in the night and said, 'I think that I will be among the first of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to be slain. I do not leave after me anyone dearer to me than you except for the soul of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. I have debts, so repay them and treat your sisters well.' In the morning, he was the first to be killed and was buried together with someone else in a grave. I was not happy to leave him with the other person, so six months later I took him out and he was as he had been on the day I put him in, except for a small place on his ear." [al-Bukhari]

1508. Anas stated that two of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, left the Prophet on a dark night with something like two lamps in front of them. When they parted, one of these things accompanied each of them until he reached his home." [al-Bukhari]

In some variants the two men were Usayd ibn Hudayr and 'Abbad ibn Bishr.

1509. Abu Hurayra said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent out ten men on a scouting expedition and put 'Asim ibn Thabit al-Ansari in command of them. They proceeded until they reached Had'a, which is between 'Usfan and Makka. Their presence was reported to a branch of Hudhayl called the Banu Lihyan. About a hundred men, who were all archers, set out after them. They followed their tracks. When 'Asim and his companions perceived them, they took cover. The people surrounded them and said, 'Come down and give yourselves up! You have protection and assurance that we will not kill any of you!' 'Asim ibn Thabit said, 'O people! As for me, I will not come down into the protection of an unbeliever! O Allah, inform Your Prophet about us!' They shot at them with arrows and killed 'Asim. A group of three came down, accepting the offer of protection and security. They included Khubayb al-Ansari, Zayd ibn Dathina, and another man. When they had them in their power, they undid their bow-strings and tied them up. Then the third man said, 'This is the beginning of treachery! By Allah, I will not accompany you! There is a good example in these!' i.e. those who had been killed. They dragged him and tried to persuade him to accompany them. He refused, so they killed him. They took Khubayb and Zayd ibn Dathina and sold them in Makka after the Battle of Badr. The sons of al-Harith ibn 'Amir ibn Nawfal ibn 'Abdu Manaf bought Khubayb. Khubayb was the man who had killed al-Harith in the Battle of Badr. So Khubayb remained a prisoner with them until they agreed on killing him. He asked to borrow a razor from one of the daughters of al-Harith with which to shave his private parts and she lent it to him. A son of hers went right up to him when she was not paying attention. She found him sitting on his knee and the razor was in his hand. She was so alarmed that Khubayb noticed it and said, 'Are you afraid that I will kill him? I would never do that.' She said, 'By Allah, I never saw a better prisoner than Khubayb. By Allah, one day I found him eating from a bunch of grapes he had in his hand, when he was shackled in irons and there was no fruit in Makka.' She used to say, 'It was provision from Allah which He gave to Khubayb.' When they brought him out of the Haram to kill him in profane land, Khubayb said to them, 'Let me pray two rak'ats.' They let him pray two rak'ats. Then he said, 'By Allah, were it not that you might think that I was afraid, I would have made them longer. O Allah, reckon them one by one, every one of them and kill them one by one and do not spare any of them!' He then said:

'I do not care what manner death I die

        if I am slain as a Muslim!

That is for the sake of Allah, and if He wills,

       He can bless the joints of a torn limb!'"

"It was Khubayb who made the sunna for every Muslim man who is killed in detention to pray two rak'ats. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, informed his Companions about them on the day they fell. When they were informed that 'Asim ibn Thabit had been killed, some of the unbelievers of Quraysh were sent to bring part of him that could be recognised. He had killed one of their great men on the Day of Badr. Allah sent over 'Asim a swarm of bees like a cloud and it protected him from their messengers and they could not cut off any part of him." [al-Bukhari]

1510. Ibn 'Umar said, "I never heard 'Umar say about anything, 'I think it is like such-and-such,' without the thing being as he had thought it was." [al-Bukhari]