Hassan Ibn Thabit (rta), a poet of Islam, said about him: “He looked like a falcon among the Ansar. Allah (swt) endowed him with noble character and good morals.”
He is Khubaib Ibn Adiy (rta), one of the companions of the Prophet (sa) from the Aws tribe of Madinah. He loved the Prophet (sa) and obeyed him.
During the battle of Badr, he killed the Makkan Al-Harith Ibn Amir Ibn Nawfal. Since then, the sons of Al-Harith swore to take revenge.
Once, the Prophet (sa) sent a group of ten Muslims under Asim Ibn Thabit (rta) to learn about the plans of Makkah. When they reached Hada, a tribe called Bani Lihyan found out about them and sent a hundred men to attack them.
As the enemy approached, Asim (rta) and his companions climbed up a mountain. When they surrounded its base, Asim (rta) refused to surrender and was martyred along with the other six.
The remaining three, Khubaib (rta), Zaid Ibn Ad-Dithinnah (rta), and another companion, came down, when promised safety. But the enemy went back on their word and began tying up Khubaib and Ad-Dithinnah (rta). The third refused to be tied up and was killed.
Khubaib and Ad-Dithinnah (rta) were taken to Makkah. Ad-Dithinnah (rta) was imprisoned, tortured and later on killed.
When Khubaib (rta) sensed his captors were about to kill him, he borrowed a razor from a daughter of Al-Harith (rta) to shave his pubic hair, which is one of the Sunnah practices the Prophet (sa) had taught his compnions to do. Once, her son wandered towards Khubaib (rta) and she reported: “I saw him placing my son on his thigh and the razor was in his hand. I got scared so much that Khubaib (rta) noticed the agitation on my face and said: ‘Are you afraid that I will kill him? No, I will never do so.’ By Allah (swt), I never saw a prisoner better than Khubaib.” (Bukhari)
One day, she went to Al-Harith’s house, where Khubaib (rta) was held and said: “By Allah (swt), one day I saw him eating of a bunch of grapes in his hand, while he was chained in irons, and there was no fruit at that time in Makkah. It was a favour Allah (swt) bestowed upon Khubaib.” (Bukhari)
Finally, they took him to At-Tan’iim to be killed.
Here, he prayed two Rakahs and said to the Kuffar: “By Allah (swt), were it not for you thinking that I’m afraid of death, I would have continued praying.” Then, he lifted his hands towards the sky and said: “O Allah (swt)! Count them one by one and then perish them all!”
He then recited: “I am being martyred as a Muslim, do not mind, how I am killed in Allah (swt)’s cause, for my killing is for Allah (swt)’s sake, and if Allah (swt) wishes, He will bless the amputated parts of a torn body.” (Bukhari)
After tying him to a cross, the leader asked him: “Would you like Muhammad (sa) to be in your place, and you be healthy and secure among your kin?”
Khubaib (rta) shouted: “By Allah (swt), I would not like to be among my relatives and sons enjoying all the world’s health and well-being, while even a tiny thorn hurts the Prophet (sa).”
Then, Al-Harith’s son killed him. Khubaib (rta) thus laid the practice for Muslims to offer two Rakahs before being executed. He showed us that hard times could be changed into a golden opportunity, if we are steadfast in our faith and perfect in our actions.