September 8th, 2008
Leaders of Guidance, Lanterns in the Darkness: Zubair bin al-Awwam
The noble Shaikh Muhammad Hassan said:
Peace be with you, and the mercy of Allah, and His blessings. All praise be to Allah, praise that befits His Majesty and His Awesome Authority,
I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, indeed Allah does not sleep, nor does it befit His Majesty to sleep, His covering is Light, if uncovered the creation would burned by it,
And peace and blessings be on the beloved Prophet, who struggled on the thorny path, and encountered great difficulties to spread the light of Iman throughout the earth, like the Sun which spreads its radiance in the early morning hours, peace and blessings be upon him, his family, companions, and those who seek to follow his Sunnah, until the Day of Judgment.
Greetings and salutations to you my dear brothers and sisters, I ask Allah who has gathered us at this blessed hour, on this blessed Channel, Al-Rahma, to join us together in the afterlife, along with the leaders of guidance, those lanterns in the darkness.
My beloved friends, I deliberately repeat, there is no present for those who forget their past, and no future for those who forget their noble characteristics, and if remembering our past was only to cry over lost grandeur, then it only brings hatred and sorrow.
The enemies of Islam try to block our connection to our past, so that this Ummah cannot access that blessed water that gives us life, that the spring for our new generation, so we cannot take from their light to see, or gather a spark to light our way, or witness the blood and energy and sacrifice they gave for the religion, blood that can flow through our arteries to bring us to life anew,
All nations boast about their past, but the most worthy of being honored and proud is the nation of the Mukhtar, the Chosen Prophet, for Allah says: “You are the best Ummah sent forth for mankind, You command to good and forbid evil, and believe in Allah.” These are the qualities we must fulfill in order to be the best Ummah. And our noble Prophet was sent for all of humanity, as Allah says: “We have not sent you except as a Mercy for all of the worlds.”
And this Ummah of Tawheed (establishing God’s oneness), has always begotten noble men and women, whom when we reflect on their righteous biographies, feel proud and honored.
It might be easy to pick a lone flower in a desert, but it is hard to pick a beautiful flower in a garden flourishing with blossoms, each beautiful, and it may be easy to notice the lonely star in the sky, but when the sky is filled with stars, it is impossible to count them.
If the sun of Prophethood shined on the Arabian Peninsula, so then the Sahabah are the brilliant stars that orbit this sun, and they continue to provide us with illumination even to today. But we remain in need of those who bring to life their biographies to our Ummah, in an age when we have been inundated with evil role models, and yet at the same time deprived of good ones.
Come with me tonight to hear the story of a valiant and noble young man, the companion of an unsheathed sword, a person of strong will and determination, a man always trusting in Allah, he made two Hijras, prayed to the 2 Qiblas, who witnessed Badr with the Prophet, and you know the Prophet said: “Perhaps Allah looked at the people of Badr and said: Do what you like, for I have forgiven you.”
Tonight we have an appointment with someone whom Allah was pleased with, by the witness of Allah in the Quran, who was part of the Pledge of Ridwan, Allah says: “Allah is pleased with those who gave you the pledge under the tree.”
Tonight we have an appointment with one of the ten promised Paradise, one of the six Umar chose to make Shura after his death, tonight we are with the nephew of the Prophet, the close helper of the Prophet, the strong upright one, he is Zubair ibn al-Awwam.
What do you know about this man? A question I ask in the beginning of each program, what does the Ummah know about this hawari of the Prophet. What is a hawari? It is a disciple, and helper, a close companion. What did Zubair give? Let our youth learn from Zubair. Let us all learn how to serve the deen through Zubair’s example.
He became Muslim when he was a youth, when he was around 12. Some trustworthy narrators have even stated that he accepted Islam when he was eight years old. I wish you could have a young child with you, who was this age, to sit with you in front of this program, so he could take him as an example.
Imagine your child of 8 years, how would he be with the Prophet? There are those from our Ummah who are upright at this age, because the Ummah of the Prophet is blessed, the good will never be taken away from it.
Zubair accepted Islam and he was 8 years old, or according to the Mustadrak, he was 12. There was the Messenger, in House of Arqam, planting seedlings of faith in the bare hard earth of Makkah, calling to Allah in secret. Why? Because the idols have armies who stand guard, so whoever wants to oppose idol worship, they would attack them. Imagine these people would slaughter each other over camels that they held sacred and had devoted to the idols.
So Makkah raised the banner of war against its most honorable son.
Zubair was with those few, who accepted Islam. A false rumor spread through the city, saying that the Messenger was killed. Zubair heard this, and he was younger than 15. He was shocked like everyone, but he was not like anyone in love for the Messenger.
So Zubair got out his sword, I say this with all my heart, because I know what I am saying, he was the first person to raise his sword for Islam, and whoever saw him said, “The boy, he was a sword.”
Then the Prophet saw Zubair, he said “What is wrong?” Zubair replied “I heard you were taken and killed.”
The Prophet said, “What would you have done then?”
He said, “I came to strike with my sword whoever took you.”
Do you feel the beauty of these words, my sons, the youth of our Ummah, he said, “I would strike whoever took you.” So the Prophet raised his hands in Dua, to bless him, and his sword. And what were these blessings? Zubair ibn al-Awwam never missed a battle, during the lifetime of the Prophet, nor afterwards. The Prophet blessed him and his sword.
After the Pledge of Ridwan, the Dawah started openly in Makkah, and you know what happened to the Muslims, of oppression, but few know what happened to Zubair, what he suffered, and he was only 17, from hurt, and punishment. Even the Messenger, they put dirt on the Prophet, and they placed impurities on him, until one of the companions said: “Do you kill a man for saying there is no God but Allah?” this noble man of honor.
A bedouin came to the Prophet, and started trembling, the Prophet said: “Be at ease! I am not an angel. I am only a man whose mother used to eat dried meat in Makkah,” i.e. I am only human.
Can you guess, how did Zubair suffer? I know most people know how Bilal suffered, but not Zubair.
Zubair’s uncle used tie straw all around him, then burn it, and Zubair would choke on the smoke, and his uncle would say, “Disbelieve in Muhammad, and I will remove the fire.” Zubair said, “No! I will never disbelieve in the Prophet.”
“They paid a heavy toll for belief, and we enjoy it for free.
Allah knows who they were, they were the helpers of truth.”
He was a lesson in steadfastness.
“Do you think you will enter the Jannah and you will not be tested with by that which afflicted those before you?”
Many people, our youth and children, think a religious life is cheap, and living this religion is easy. If religion is easy, they follow it, but if there is a slight difficulty, they turn on their heels.
“From the people there those who worship Allah on an edge,”
Yes, Iman, true faith, is not simply a word on the tongue, but what resonates in the heart, is reflect in one’s actions, and is affirmed by the tongue. It is a big responsibility.
Imagine Zubair, not even 20, saying, “No! By Allah, I will never return to Kufr ever.”
Then they increased the punishment, so Zubair was forced to flee for his deen. To where? To Habasha, Ethiopia. Why? Because they had a righteous king. So he could live in a land of justice, with a righteous king, so he went to Habasha.
Then he came back, but they continued to attack him, so he made his second Hijra to Madina.
The days went by, and Zubair ibn al-Awwam took part in the first of all battles. The Battle of Badr. By Allah, if only I hadn’t read the stories of the Sahabah, the young, the children, by Allah, I feel like I am nothing in front of them, those child giants, I feel so insignificant.
Abdurahman ibn Auf narrates: “When I was standing in the battle formation on the Day of Badr, I looked to my right and left and I saw two small children on each side of me, young kids. I didn’t feel safe.” He wished he could have been between two giant warriors. “Then one of them took out his sword, and he asked, “Uncle, where is Abu Jahl?” I said, “What would you do with him?” He replied, “I heard he cursed the Messenger, I promised Allah if I saw him I would slay him.”
Abdurahman ibn Auf continued: “I was amazed by that.” The other youth said, “Uncle, do you know Abu Jahl? I heard he curses the Messenger of Allah... I promised Allah if I see him, I will kill him, or he will kill me.”
Abdurahman bin Auf then said, “By Allah, I was never happier to be between two people.” “So I looked, and I saw Abu Jahl moving between the people arrogantly. “I said there he is.”
So they descended on him like two eagles. Then they ran to the Messenger, and they said “We killed Abu Jahl!”
One said to the Prophet, “I killed him.” And then the other said, “I killed him oh Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet said, “Did you clean your swords, let me see them.” Then he said, “Both of you did it.”
I feel like I am nothing in front of this young man. Even today, we still see in the Ummah, young brave children like this.
“Our youth, with their fingertips, will touch their history, and it will blossom forth anew.”
“You did not throw, but Allah threw,” so how can one whom Allah is with ever lose?
On the occasion of Badr, there were two horsemen with the Prophet, Zubair, and Miqdad. Zubair got on his horse, and he was wearing a white turban, and then Jibreel came down to the battlefield, in the same form and shape of Zubair, the same turban, to fight with the Prophet, and help the believers.
In another narration, it says the angels came down and they looked exactly like Zubair.
Did you hear this my brothers and sisters. This was the most honorable of battles, truth hurled against falsehood, and the angels were sent down looking exactly like Zubair bin al-Awwam.
In Uhud, which we spoke about yesterday, and victory turned to loss, and the blood of the Prophet flowed profusely, and the rumor of his death spread on the field, and some Sahabah threw down their weapons, remember Anas said, “Stand and die like the Prophet died.”
On this difficult day, 70 Sahabah were killed. And Abu Sufyan wanted to kill the rest of the believers, especially since they gained so much booty, they were greedy for more.
So after the battle, Abu Sufyan came around with his army to attack Madina itself, and the Prophet got the news, and the wounds were still bleeding, but despite that, the Prophet called on the righteous, who answered the call, despite the fact that their wounds were still bleeding, so he chose Zubair and Abu Bakr to lead the defense and meet the enemy in the desert.
Can you imagine the scene, after what they suffered, and the Prophet(s) calls them to go out and fight again, with Zubair and Abu Bakr at the head of 70 of the Sahabah, and check the enemy attack. When Abu Sufyan heard the news of reinforcements coming from Madina, he quickly abandoned the assault and returned to Makkah.
Those pure righteous people under the leadership of Zubair and Abu Bakr, were praised in the eternal lines of the Quran, where Allah says about them, “Those who answered the call of Allah and the Messenger, after what they suffered of hurt,” “Those who when it was said, the people have gathered a huge army against you, they were only increased in Iman.”
And the great status of Zubair with Allah comes out when the Messenger gave him good news on two occasions:
The first, when he gave him the good news of Jannah, as narrated by Tirmidhi and Ahmad: The Prophet said, “Abu Bakr is in Jannah, Umar is in Jannah, Uthman is in Jannah, Ali is in Jannah, Talha is in Jannah, Zubair is in Jannah, Abdurahman is in Jannah, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Said bin Zaid, Abu Ubaidah ibn Jarrah is in Jannah.”
These are in Jannah, by the witness of the one who does not speak from his passions.
But listen to the second occasion when he was given good news, in the battle of the Trench, when the Jews of Madina and the Confederate tribes, the forces of Kufr gathered against the Prophet, 10,000 fighters came to attack Madina, the home of true faith.
Imagine with me, the Messenger hears the news, and makes Mashura with the Sahabah, and they devised a plan to build a trench around the entire city, and new means of defense, which caught the Confederates by surprise.
They laid siege to the city, and it was a long siege, and then the Jews betrayed the Prophet. The Muslims had left their women and children in the middle of the city, and they were now suddenly vulnerable.
The hypocrites began to spread their wicked words: “Muhammad promises us the treasures of Persia and Byzantine, but we cannot even go out to answer the call of nature without fear of being attacked!” So the hypocrites began to spread their poison amongst the people, to cause the weak to falter.
The Quran records this terrible, fearful state of affairs:”And they came from above and below, and the eyes were bedazzled, and the heart reached the throats, and they had ill thoughts about Allah.”
Can you imagine the state of fear? The believers were in a great tribulation, they were shaken with a mighty quake.
And the hypocrites said, “The Prophet has only promised us pipe dreams. He promises us the riches of Persia and Byzantine, and we are not even safe enough to answer the call of nature.”
Can you imagine the scene? And at this time, the Banu Quraidha betrayed the Muslims.
Fear, despair. And the Prophet said, as narrated in the Saheehain “Who will bring the news of Bani Quraidha?”
This is a difficult task, one should know that he may never come back. The Jews had betrayed their covenant, the safety of the women and children were compromised, and the Prophet feared for them.
So the beloved Messenger said, who will come with the news? Zubair stood up, the noble horseman, the companion of the unsheathed sword, and valiant warrior. The Prophet indicated him to sit down. The Prophet said again, who will come to me with the news of Banu Quraidha…no one stood up except Zubair, he indicated for him to sit, then he asked a third time.
Zubair jumped up, “I will, oh Messenger of Allah!”
Zubair went out with his horse, and came back, so the Prophet awaited him anxiously. And he said something, if Zubair left the dunya with nothing except it, it would be sufficient for him.
The Prophet said: “Indeed, every messenger has Hawari, close disciples, and my Hawari is Zubair.”
One second Maulana, say that again.
“Zubair is my Hawari.”
The Hawari were like the disciples of Jesus, those pure, special, close, intimate companions and helpers of the Prophets.
“Every Prophet has a Hawari, and my Hawari is Zubair.”
What’s more than this? Zubair’s son, Abdullah ibn Zubair, narrates in the Saheehain: “My father said: When I came back from the Banu Quraidha, the Prophet said to me: May my mother and father be sacrificed for you.” which means great love for a person.
Oh Allah, he didn’t say that except to a few special Sahabah.
By Allah, my heart wants to jump, the best of Creation said, “May my mother and father be sacrificed for you.”
We say, oh Zubair bin al-Awwam, may our parents be sacrificed for you.
You kept your promise; you gave your life for the truth, for Islam.
The time is up, but let me say:
In Bukhari, Abdullah in Zubair said that before the Battle of the Camel, my father said: “Oh my son, no one will die today except wronging or being wronged, and I will die being wronged.” He continued, “My son, my greatest worry is my debt, so sell our property, and pay off my debt. If you are not able to, than seek help from my Maula (protector).” Abdullah said, I didn’t know who that was, so I asked, “Who is your Maula?” Zubair replied, “Allah. Allah is my Maula.”
Abdullah said: “We never had a debt except that I said, “Oh Maula of Zubair, pay off this debt,” and He paid it off.
This is the true practice of Trust in Allah, Tawakkul, “Is not Allah sufficient for His Slaves.”
So let us learn the lessons of Trust, bravery, and nobility from this honorable companion.
And after a few hours, the battle began, and Zubair died with Talha, to meet his Lord in the highest gardens, with the righteous.
“Zubair is in Jannah.”
My Allah bless Zubair bin al-Awwam, and his teacher, and join us with him in the afterlife.
And may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, and companions.
Peace be with you, and the Mercy of Allah, and His blessings.
Lecture via Al-Rahma Channel satellite broadcast. Translation by Faisal Shaikh. Any mistakes in translation are mine.