Amr Ibn Al-Aas (rta)

Vol 6 - Issue 1 Amr bin Al Aas rtaAmr Ibn Al-Aas (rta) was born in a very rich, high-class family of Makkah. His father, Ibn Wa’al, owned a perfume trade. By joining his father in his trade, Amr (rta) had the opportunity to travel to neighbouring countries and gain experience in dealing with different people. At a young age, he (rta) established friendly relations with many kings and governors both in Arabia and beyond.

Amr (rta) was educated during his childhood and possessed high mental capabilities. He was blessed with insightful, sharp thinking and sound planning skills. Amr (rta) also received excellent military training and was always ready to stand up for the interests of his tribe.

At the time when Muslims were severely persecuted by the Quraish leaders, Amr (rta) was among those who exerted all efforts to stop the spread of Islam. When some of the Muslims migrated to Abyssinia, the Quraish leaders became furious. The delegation they sent to the Abyssinian king Najashi to request him to expel the Muslims was headed by Amr (rta), since he had friendly contacts with the king and was known for his excellent negotiation skills.

However, the efforts of the Quraish were in vain – after listening to what the delegation of Amr (rta) and the fugitive Muslims had to say, Najashi not only refused to the hand over the Muslims but also promised them his protection for as long as he lived. At this point, for the first time, Amr (rta) realized that his excellent negotiation skills were useless.

Amr (rta) and other Quraish leaders tried to stop the migration of Muslims to Madinah as well. They even devised a plot to kill the Prophet (sa); however, thanks to Allah (swt) he (sa) managed to escape and reached Madinah safely.

After the Muslims had settled in Madinah, Amr (rta) convinced other leaders to wage war to stop the spread of Islam. They gathered an army of one thousand fully-armed soldiers. The battle took place at Badr, where with the help of Allah (swt), Muslims were victorious.

Although Amr (rta) was impressed by the victory of Muslims, he was not ready to give up so easily and began preparations for another war, which took place at Uhud. The Muslims were very close to victory even there, but were defeated in an unexpected turn of events. Feeling the approaching victory, the archers whom the Prophet (sa) had asked to protect the backs of the Mujahideen, left their positions and hurried to collect the booty. Amr (rta) together with Khalid Ibn Waleed (rta) took advantage of the situation and immediately attacked the Mujahideen from behind, inflicting heavy losses on the Muslims.

In spite of this setback, the newly established Muslim state continued to flourish. Soon, the Quraish decided to wage yet another war on Muslims. A huge army of ten thousand soldiers set out for Madinah under the leadership of Amr (rta). Upon their arrival, they were surprised to discover a wide trench preventing them from entering the city. Amr (rta) and his soldiers stayed at the outskirts of Madinah for nearly one month, but weren’t able to enter it. Finally, in deep humiliation, they had no other choice but to return to Makkah.

The repeated failures made Amr (rta) realize that Muslims were backed by some higher power. Although impressed by Islam, he (rta) was not ready to become a Muslim – his arrogance and the pride of the Quraish stood in his way. But he knew that eventually Muslims would triumph over their enemies. With this awareness, Amr (rta) decided to leave Makkah before Muslims took over it; he set out for Abyssinia hoping to live under the protection of king Najashi. He figured that if Muslims established a tyranny in Makkah, he would be saved from it and if the Muslim rule was favourable, he would safely return to Makkah.

Amr (rta) and his companions arrived with expensive gifts for softening the king’s heart. As they entered Najashi’s court, they saw the ambassador of the Prophet (sa) leaving. Amr (rta), fired up for revenge, asked the king to let him kill the ambassador. To Amr’s (rta) great astonishment, Najashi not only rebuked him for his anger, but even asked Amr (rta) to obey the Prophet Muhammad (sa), the true Messenger of Allah (swt).

In disbelief, Amr (rta) asked the king if he wholeheartedly believed that Muhammad (sa) was a true prophet. After hearing the king’s confirmation, Amr (rta) finally felt ready to become a Muslim. He immediately pledged allegiance to Islam in at the hands of the Najashi. Having done this, Amr (rta) left for Madinah, so that he could pledge allegiance to the Prophet (sa) himself.

On the way to Madinah, Amr (rta) met Khalid Ibn Waleed (rta) and Uthman Ibn Talhah (rta), who were also traveling in the same direction and for the same purpose. After all the efforts he had done to extinguish the light of Islam, Amr (rta) was embarrassed to enter into the presence of the Prophet (sa). Having said the Kalimah, Amr (rta) asked the Prophet (sa) to ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness of his past sins. The Prophet (sa) replied that such prayers were not necessary, as Amr’s (rta) embracing of Islam had already expiated all his previous sins.

The warm welcome of Muslims filled Amr’s heart (rta) with a great love for the Prophet (sa) and his companions. From that day onwards, he wholeheartedly devoted all his efforts to the cause of Islam. After being selected by the Prophet (sa) to destroy idol Sawa, Amr (rta) went to its temple and crushed the idol into pieces. Thanks to his excellent diplomacy skills, Amr (rta) successfully convinced Abd and Jeefer, the two brothers who ruled Oman at the time, to enter Islam, thus bringing it under the rule of Muslims.

During the time of the Prophet (sa), Amr (rta) was sent to conquer Egypt and introduce its inhabitants to Islam. Upon entering Egypt, he (rta) decided to avoid open battlefields. Instead, his strategy was to siege the key places of the country, advancing city by city throughout Egypt. His conquest of Egypt concluded in the 20th year A.H.

After this conquest, Amr (rta) was appointed as its ruler. The year he arrived there, the waters of the river Nile did not rise during the season as it used to every year. Egyptians believed that the Nile had a will of its own. This is why every year they threw a beautiful girl wearing rich attire and jewellery into the Nile, hoping to please the river. Right after sacrificing the girl, the Nile used to fill with waters.

This cruel tradition angered Amr (rta). He asked the Caliph Umar (rta) for advice in this situation. The Caliph sent a letter addressed to the river Nile, in which he requested the river to fill with waters, if it was flowing by the will of Allah (swt). Amr (rta) threw this letter into the Nile, and during that same night, the Nile flooded twice the level of previous floods.

Amr (rta) ruled as the governor of Egypt till the 43rd year A.H. He made Egypt into a strong country, known for its justice, freedom and equality. Amr (rta) passed away on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and was buried in Egypt.

Khalid Ibn Waleed (rta)

Vol 5 - Issue 4 Khalid Ibn Walid rtaBorn into a noble family of Quraish, Khalid Ibn Waleed (rta) was a lively, courageous and bright child. As the son of the Banu Makhzoom chief Waleed Ibn Mughairah, Khalid (rta) was brought up to be a warrior ready to defend his people. In his youth, Khalid (rta) stood out from among his peers with his unique gift of foresight and planning. Having mastered horseback riding, sword fighting and other military arts, he became known in Arabia as one of the best military leaders of his time.

Before accepting Islam, Khalid (rta) actively took part in battles against Muslims. He saw the Prophet’s (sa) call to Islam and worship of one Allah (swt) as a threat to the heritage and religion of his forefathers.

After migrating to Madinah, Muslims had to fight numerous battles to defend their faith. Khalid (rta) was in the rows of the Quraish chiefs during the battle of Badr and Uhud. In the battle of Uhud, Khalid (rta) dealt a crucial blow to the Muslim army from the rear, thus winning the battle for the Quraish. After this battle, Khalid (rta) was selected to be the commander general of the Quraish army.

When the Quraish arrived at the borders of Madinah for the third time, they were faced with an unexpected problem – a deep and wide trench surrounded the city preventing them from entering it. Khalid (rta) felt helpless against such a wise self-defense. His army spent one month on the borders of the city. Finally, Khalid (rta) was forced to withdraw his army and head back for Makkah with humiliation.

Soon after this victory, the Prophet (sa) and his companions set out for Makkah for Umrah barely armed, hoping that this would indicate their peaceful intentions to the Quraish. When Khalid (rta) heard about their approach, he led some of his men to a place called Hudaibiyah, intending to provoke Muslims to fight. No matter how hard he tried, Muslims remained peaceful. Finally, the Prophet (sa) ended up signing a ten-year peace treaty with Quraish – the treaty of Hudaibiyah.

Meanwhile, Allah (swt) was softening Khalid’s (rta) heart towards Islam. Seeing how well Muslims treated each other, and how dedicated they were to promote Islam, Khalid (rta) felt attracted towards the religion they were spreading. At Hudaibiyah, he had planned to attack Muslims during Zuhr prayer. However, Khalid (rta) felt that some strange force held him back. During Asr prayer, he made his second attempt, but again unsuccessfully. Khalid (rta) then realized that some unseen power was protecting the Prophet (sa) and his companions.

However, it was quite some time, before Khalid (rta) fully opened his heart to Islam. The following year when the Prophet (sa) and his companions came to Makkah for Umrah, Khalid (rta) left the city and came back only when Muslims had left. Upon his return, he found a letter from his brother Al-Waleed (rta). Al-Waleed (rta) had embraced Islam and encouraged Khalid (rta) to do the same. Khalid (rta) decided to go and meet the Prophet (sa). Upon his arrival in Madinah, he took the pledge of allegiance to Islam by swearing on the palm of the Prophet (sa).

The first battle Khalid (rta) participated in as a Muslim took place in Mutah, Jordan, where the Mujahideen fought against the Roman army. Khalid (rta) went to Mutah as an ordinary soldier. However, due to very severe battlefield conditions in which three Muslim generals lost their lives one after another, Khalid (rta) was selected to be the fourth commander. He accepted this honorable position and fought so fiercely that he broke nine swords on the very first day. Thanks to his excellent military skills and experience, Khalid (rta) managed to avoid total defeat and found a way to bring the army back to Madinah with minimum losses. It was after this battle that the Prophet (sa) gave to Khalid (rta) the name of Saifullah (the sword of Allah).


After the conquest of Makkah, Khalid (rta) kept very close to the Prophet (sa) and fought many battles against the enemies of Islam. Khalid (rta) was also among those one hundred thousand Muslims, who went on the farewell pilgrimage with the Prophet (sa).

After the Prophet’s (sa) death, many Arab tribes rebelled against the Islamic State. Seeing this, Khalid (rta) led eleven brigades to subdue the rebels. His most fierce fight was against Musaylimah Al-Kadhab (the liar) – a false prophet. Khalid’s (rta) battle against Musaylimah was especially important, because this false prophet had already defeated Muslims in two battles. However, under the wise command of Khalid (rta), the Mujahideen won the decisive battle.

When the rebels of Arabia were controlled, Khalid (rta) received orders from Abu Bakr (rta) to spread Islam to the neighboring areas. Khalid’s (rta) first direction was towards the Persian Empire. Upon arriving at the Persian Gulf, Khalid (rta) sent a message to a Persian ruler Hurmuz, asking him to accept the religion of Allah (swt) or to pay taxes to the Islamic State. After receiving Hurmuz’s refusal, Khalid (rta) once again showed his excellent skills of mastering the battlefield – he killed Hurmuz in a duel fight, which disheartened his soldiers and inspired the Mujahideen, leading them to a glorious victory.

Khalid’s (rta) next mission was to take his army from the Persian Gulf to Yarmuk on the northern border of the Islamic State, where Abu Bakr (rta) requested him to help the other Mujahideen in the war against Romans. In Yarmuk, Khalid (rta) studied the situation and asked the other commanders to permit him to lead the whole Muslim army on the first day of the battle. Before the battle, the Roman commander came to Khalid (rta) with an offer of money, clothes and food for the whole army, if they left the battlefield. Khalid’s (rta) response to this humiliating offer was that it was not poverty that had brought them to the battlefield but their wish to drink the delicious blood of Romans. Fired by the spirit of Jihad, Khalid (rta) led the Mujahideen into the battle, making Romans suffer losses of one hundred and twenty thousand men on the first day of fighting.

During the heat of the battle against the Romans, Abu Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah (rta) received news from Madinah about Abu Bakr’s (rta) death. Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (rta), the second Caliph, had given the command of the Muslim army to Abu Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah (rta). Upon hearing this, without any hesitation, Khalid (rta) handed over the command into the hands of Abu Ubaidah (rta) and continued to fight under him, bringing the message of Islam to all parts of Syria, Palestine and Jordan.

It had always been the most earnest wish of Khalid (rta) to face his death in the battlefield as a true soldier of Islam. However, it was the will of Allah (swt) that he spent his last days in his own bed. Before death, Khalid (rta) requested that all his property go to the Islamic State which turned out to be only his horse and weapons. Khalid Ibn Waleed (rta) died in the 21st year AH in Homs, where he was also buried.

Sad Ibn Abi Waqqas (rta)

Vol 5 - Issue 3 Sad bin Abi Waqqas rtaSad Ibn Abi Waqqas (rta) was the cousin brother of the Prophet’s (sa) mother Aminah. On one occasion, the Prophet (sa) himself very proudly mentioned their kinship to everybody and called Sad (rta) the best uncle one can have. Sad (rta) was also among the ten notable companions, to whom the Prophet (sa) promised Paradise.

By birth, Sad (rta) belonged to a noble family of the Quraish. Despite his noble birth, he felt unfit in this society that uplifted the customs of idol worship and enjoyed filthy pleasures. While thinking about the forces behind the creation of this universe, Sad (rta) had realized that the gods worshipped by his people were false. Could these stone gods protect people, if they were unable to save even themselves? Sad (rta) was convinced that this universe must have a much greater Creator and Sustainer.

Once, Sad (rta) happened to listen to some people sitting by the Kabah – they were talking about Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, who had began spreading a new religion, dedicated to the worship of one Allah (swt). Upon learning that his close friend Abu Bakr (rta) had accepted this new religion, Sad (rta) asked Abu Bakr (rta) to take him to the house of Muhammad (sa). He wished to learn more about this new religion, which seemed to be so close to his own way of thinking.

When they entered Muhammad’s (saw) house, the Prophet (sa) was reciting the Quranic verses about the creation of this world. As Sad (rta) listened to the Prophet (sa), he became sure that this religion had come to save his people from their ignorant and evil ways. Without waiting any longer, he embraced Islam. At the time, Sad (rta) was seventeen years old.

At the time, Muslims faced much oppression in Makkah, and so Sad (rta) kept his conversion secret from his family. However, when the news reached his mother, she was determined to do anything it would take to bring her son back to the religion of their forefathers. She begged him, threatened him, but when nothing seemed to work, she announced a hunger strike. However, Sad (rta) refused to give in to her stubbornness and said that even if his mother would have hundred souls, which one by one would leave her body in front of his eyes, he would not leave Islam. Seeing her son’s firm determination, Sad’s mother stopped her hunger strike.

Sad (rta) was also among the fortunate companions, whom the Prophet (sa) mentioned in his supplications. The Prophet (sa) prayed to Allah (swt) that the entreaties of Sad (rta) would always be granted. Ever since then, Sad (rta) was blessed with the wonderful gift to pray to Allah (swt) and have his prayers answered.

Once, Sad (rta) happened to hear a man, who was abusing three of the Prophet’s companions. Sad (rta) immediately asked the man to stop, but he did not listen. Sad (rta) became very angry and said that if the man would not stop, he would put a curse on him. This did not make the man listen. Without saying anything more, Sad (rta) performed two supererogatory units of prayer and asked Allah (swt) to let this ill-mannered man become a lesson to the rest of the world. Just as he completed his supplication, a mad she-camel broke loose from her leash and ran into the crowd, as if she was looking for somebody. Suddenly, the she-camel caught in her jaws the head of the ill-mannered man and began shaking him so violently that his neck broke. The crowd was stunned by the bloody scene. Truly, through the prayer of Sad (rta), the ill-mannered man’s fate became a valuable lesson for the rest of the world.

After the death of the Prophet (sa), Sad (rta) joined hands with the first Caliph Abu Bakr (rta) in spreading the light of Islam throughout the Arabian Peninsula. The next Caliph, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (rta), continued Abu Bakr’s (rta) policies for protecting the safety of the Islamic State. He turned in the direction of the Persian Empire, which had once already refused to accept the message of Islam. Not wishing to wait for attack from the Persians, Umar (rta) took the initiative by sending Muslim forces to conquer the Persian Empire. He entrusted this mission to the lion-hearted youth Sad Ibn Abi Waqqas (rta).

Meanwhile, Iran gathered a strong and well-equipped force, which arrived to Qadisiyah under the command of a very famous general – Rustam. The distinction of Rustam’s army was a large number of gigantic elephants.

Since Islam guides Muslims not to fight any nation before introducing them to the message of Allah (swt), Sad (rta) sent a delegation to the Persian King asking him either to accept Islam, to pay protection tax (Jizyah) to the Islamic State, or to get ready for a fierce fight.

The Muslim delegation of the most intelligent and experienced Mujahideen arrived to the Persian court and presented to the King the message of Islam in the most beautiful words. The King felt that each word was directly touching his heart. Yet, instead of embracing Islam, he asked his servant to bring a basket of soil, which he then angrily and disrespectfully began throwing at Muslims. The Mujahideen picked up the basket, brought it to Sad (rta) and reported that the Persian King himself had given to them his land. Now, after the King’s refusal, the only solution was war.

When both armies met, intense fighting broke out. Seeing the gigantic elephants, the horses of Mujahideen panicked. Realizing the situation, Sad (rta) sent young men from the tribe of Asad to attack the elephants. First, a rain of arrows threw the riders of the elephants down. Then, the courageous youth of Asad tribe cut off the trunks of some elephants. Seeing this, other elephants panicked and began crushing under their feet the soldiers of their own army.

The fighting continued the second and the third day. Finally, one of the Mujahideen successfully reached the Iranian general Rustam and cut off his head. When the Iranian warriors got the news about the death of Rustam, their courage vanished and they fled from the battlefield. Thus, the final victory in the war of Qadisiyah was in the hands of the brave Mujahideen.

However, it was the battle of Madyan that brought the Persian Empire under the complete control of Muslim forces. The problem for Muslims this time was the river Dajlah, which lay between both armies. The Iranians had established themselves on the bank of the river and destroyed all the bridges. Realizing that the Mujahideen would be under direct attack of the enemy even before they would reach the other bank, Sad (rta) came up with one of the most excellent plans in military history. He divided his army into two parts. One part began crossing the river right away and kept the enemy busy. The other part set out a bit later, and upon reaching the shore brought a deadly attack on the enemy army. This Sad’s (rta) strategy proved to be so successful that the battle was won on the very first day, and Madyan came under the control of Mujahideen. Later, Caliph Umar (rta) appointed Sad (rta) to be the governor of Iraq.

In the 54th year AH, at the age of eighty, Sad (rta) breathed his last. His son cried seeing his father’s last hours. Sad (rta) comforted his son by saying that Allah (swt) will not give him any punishments in the Hereafter – the Prophet (sa) himself had promised Sad (rta) a place in Paradise.

Adapted from “Commanders of the Muslim Army (Among the companions of the Prophet (sa))” by Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar.

Abdur-Rahman Ibn Awf (rta)

Vol 5 - Issue 2 Abdur Rahman bin AufAbdur-Rahman Ibn Awf (rta) was among those ten fortunate Companions of the Prophet (sa), who were given the good news of being accepted in Paradise after their death. He was known for his truthfulness, sincerity and good knowledge of religious matters. Abdur-Rahman (rta) embraced Islam at the age of thirty, after being invited to do so by Abu Bakr (rta). Before becoming Muslim, his name was Abd Amr, and it was the Prophet (sa) himself who changed his name to Abdur-Rahman (rta).

Abdur-Rahman (rta) had the wonderful opportunity of migrating twice in the cause of Islam – to Abyssinia and to Madinah. When Abdur-Rahman (rta) arrived in Madinah, he had no money and no property. To make his adjustment in Madinah easier, the Prophet (sa) asked one of the richest men of Madinah, Sad Ibn Rabee Ansari (rta) to help Abdur-Rahman (rta). Sad Ibn Rabee Ansari (rta) was ready to give to Abdur-Rahman (rta) one of his two wives and one of his two big orchards; however, Abdur-Rahman’s (rta) self-respect did not allow him to accept this generous offer. He thanked Sad Ibn Rabee Ansari for his kindness, prayed to Allah (swt) to increase Sad’s wealth and simply asked him to show the way to the market, where he would earn his own living. He did not wish to be a burden on anyone – he knew that Allah (swt) would provide for him.

Ever since Abdur-Rahman (rta) began his own business in the market of Madinah, Allah (swt) blessed him with bounty beyond his most daring expectations. Whatever he touched seemed to bring him instant success.

Soon, Abdur-Rahman (rta) extended his activities also to agriculture. Once, the Prophet’s wife Aisha (rta) heard an unusual vibrating sound traveling through the city. Upon learning that the cause of this vibration was Abdur-Rahman’s (rta) seven hundred camels loaded with grains, Aisha (rta) recalled the Prophet (sa) saying that Abdur-Rahman (rta) would enter Paradise ‘leaping and jumping’ – with much ease. When somebody conveyed these words to Abdur-Rahman (rta), he overflowed with joy and dedicated his camels, his goods and his wealth to the welfare of the Muslim Ummah! Just like Allah (swt) gave to Abdur-Rahman (rta) out of His bounty, he also spent abundantly in charity for the sake of Allah (swt). Yet, despite all the prosperity and wealth that Abdur-Rahman (rta) gained, his heart was not at ease. He often used to weep out of fear that he would be deprived of blessings in the Hereafter because of the bounties Allah (swt) bestowed on him in this world.

Business and agriculture kept Abdur-Rahman (rta) busy; yet, he eagerly participated in the great battles for the cause of Allah (swt). After taking part in the battle of Badr, Abdur-Rahman (rta) went on in a mission sent to Doamatul Jandal area to conquer the tribe of Banu Kalb. Abdur-Rahman (rta) was appointed to lead the Muslim army. The Prophet (sa) himself placed on his head the turban of the general and gave him the flag of the Mujahideen. He ordered Abdur-Rahman (rta) to invite the tribe to follow the teachings of Islam. Only if they would refuse to do so, the Muslim army was to attack and fight them. The Prophet (sa) also strictly forbade harming women, children and the elderly of the tribe.

After arriving to Domatul Jandal, Abdur-Rahman (rta) spent three days explaining to the people of Banu Kalb the teachings of Islam. The chief of the tribe was very much impressed by the message of Allah (swt) and decided to enter the fold of Islam. Upon seeing the conversion of their leader, most of the tribes-people also became Muslims. Those, who did not want to accept Islam, could continue to live peacefully on condition that they would pay Jazyah tax to the Islamic government. Thus, Islam spread in this area in a peaceful manner. The chief of the tribe even gave his daughter to Abdur-Rahman (rta) in marriage.

Abdur-Rahman (rta) not only participated in the battles for the glory of Islam, but also generously supported the Mujahideen. Once, he gave to Mujahideen five hundred horses trained for military combat. On another occasion, his gift was fifteen hundred pure-bred Arab steeds. Just before his death, Abdur-Rahman (rta) bequeathed in his will four hundred Dinars to each survivor of the battle of Badr.

Abdur-Rahman (rta) also supported the Mujahideen for the battle of Tabook. The Muslim army was so poorly equipped for this battle that it became known as the penniless army. This time, Abdur-Rahman’s (rta) help consisted of bags full of silver – the most generous contribution made for this war. When the army set out for Tabook, Abdur-Rahman (rta) also himself was among the Mujahideen. Once, the Prophet (sa) was not present at the beginning of the prayer, so Abdur-Rahman (rta) began leading the prayer. When the Prophet (sa) arrived in the middle of the prayer, he joined the rows and prayed behind Abdur-Rahman (rta). What an honor it was for Abdur-Rahman (rta) to have the Prophet (sa) pray behind him!

When Caliph Umar Farooq (rta) was stabbed while leading the prayer, it was Abdur-Rahman (rta) who finished leading that prayer. Before his death, Caliph Umar (rta) selected a board of six honourable men, who were to continue running the affairs of the Muslim state and to select the next Caliph. Abdur-Rahman (rta) had the honour to be among these six noble Companions. When discussions arose about nominating the next Caliph, Abdur-Rahman (rta) suggested that the board of six should be narrowed down to three members to make the selection easier. Further in the selection process, Abdur-Rahman (rta) withdrew his name from the list of candidates and voted in favor of Uthman Ibn Affan (rta), who then became the next Caliph. He was the first one to swear his loyalty to the new Caliph.

Many people used to pray to Allah (swt) for Abdur-Rahman (rta). The Prophet (sa) himself prayed for the prosperity of Abdur-Rahman (rta) and gave him the wonderful news of being accepted in Paradise. The Prophet’s (sa) wife Aisha (rta) often used to ask Allah (swt) to give him to drink from the sweet waters of the stream of Salsabil in Paradise. He also received supplications from the other wives of the Prophet (sa), as he was the one who used to provide for their needs during Hajj.

Abdur-Rahman Ibn Awf (rta) passed away during the caliphate of Uthman Ibn Affan. He was buried in Jannatul-Baqahi.

Adapted from “Commanders of the Muslim Army (Among the Companions of the Prophet (sa)” by Mahmood Ahmad Ghandafar.

Abu Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah (rta)

Abu Ubaidah (rta) is one of the ten companions, to whom the Prophet (sa) publicly promised Paradise. Born in the tribe of Quraish, he was known for his modesty, humbleness and noble character. His real name was Amir Ibn Abdullah Ibn Al-Jarrah, but he became famous as Abu Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah (rta).

Although always soft and gentle among his friends, Abu Ubaidah (rta) would become as hard as iron when it came to deciding right from wrong. Already before the advent of Islam, Abu Ubaidah (rta) felt that his people were on the wrong path. Islam was so close to Abu Ubaidah’s (rta) heart that when he learned about it from his friend Abu Bakr (rta), he embraced it without any hesitation. Abu Ubaidah (rta) was the eighth person to accept Islam. Because of his unparalleled integrity and honesty, the Prophet (sa) named him ‘the nation’s trustworthy’ (Amin-ul-Ummah).

After migration to Madinah, Muslims had to fight numerous battles to defend their faith. In the Battle of Badr, Quraish chiefs from Makkah came to attack Muslims. Abu Ubaidah (rta) also took part in this battle. While fighting, he noticed his father among the rows of the enemy. He did all he could to avoid facing his father, but there came a point when both of them stood in front of each other – Abu Ubaidah (rta) had no other choice but to defend his life and faith. They exchanged blows, and Abu Ubaidah’s (rta) father fell down dead at his son’s feet. Abu Ubaidah (rta) was very sad to see this happen. However, soon Allah (swt) lifted heaviness from his heart – due to this incident, a revelation came:

“You (O Muhammad (sa)) will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad (sa)), even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred (people). For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Ruh (proofs, light and true guidance) from Himself.” (Al-Mujadilah 58:22)

This act of Abu Ubaidah (rta) proved his undivided love for Allah (swt). What more can a Muslim wish for than being praised for his deed in the Quran?

After the victory in the Battle of Badr, the Battle of Uhud brought new trials of faith for Muslims – this time the enemy army exceeded the numbers of Mujahideen about three times. The retreating Quraish gained an upper hand when a group of Mujahideen rushed after the booty, leaving their hill unmanned. The situation grew worse as misleading news about the Prophet’s (sa) death began to spread – many Muslims fled from the battlefield. Abu Ubaidah (rta), however, remained among the soldiers who decided to fight till the end.

In the heat of the battle, Abu Ubaidah (rta) saw an arrow strike the Prophet (sa), who then fell to the ground. Abu Ubaidah (rta) rushed towards him and saw that two chains of the Prophet’s (sa) armour had gone through his cheeks, causing serious injury and heavy bleeding. Understanding the gravity of the situation, Abu Ubaidah (rta) took out these chains from the Prophet’s (sa) face, using his own teeth, two of which broke in the process. Later, other companions looked at Abu Ubaidah (rta) with envy because they wished they had had this opportunity to sacrifice their teeth in order to show their love for the Prophet (sa).

Abu Ubaidah (rta) was a successful and exceptionally loyal military commander. Under his command, Muslims controlled the Arab tribes around Madinah and participated in military efforts to spread Islam. He joined his forces with the Mujahideen army at Mutah in Jordan for a battle against the Roman army. He led a faction of Muslims when the Mujahideen proceeded to conquer Makkah. The qualities that Abu Ubaidah (rta) was admired for were his humility and purity of intentions when it came to struggling in the cause of Allah (swt). Although a great military leader, Abu Ubaidah (rta) never hesitated to surrender his leadership because he knew he was fighting for a greater cause than just worldly power and authority.

The Prophet’s (sa) death brought a new challenge to the Muslim community – the selection of the next head of the Islamic state. To settle the arising differences, Abu Bakr (rta) offered two candidates for the post of the first Caliph: Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (rta) and Abu Ubaidah (rta) Ibn Al-Jarrah. Upon hearing this, both Umar (rta) and Abu Ubaidah (rta) immediately pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr (rta), as they felt there was no other more worthy of this position. Upon seeing this, others also pledged their allegiance to the new Caliph Abu Bakr (rta). Thus, these sincere acts of self-denial by both Abu Ubaidah (rta) and Umar (rta) smoothly solved the situation, which could have become critical for the future of the Muslim community.

Selecting the first Caliph was not the only instance that proved the exceptional humbleness and self-denial of Abu Ubaidah (rta). Abu Bakr (rta) sent Abu Ubaidah (rta) to Syria to fight the Romans, selecting him to be the general commander of the Muslim forces. When thirty-six thousand Mujahideen reached their destination at Yarmuk, they were met by the Roman army of two hundred thousands. Seeing the uneven division of forces, Muslims sent a message to the Caliph, inquiring what to do next. Abu Bakr (rta) sent in support forces with Khalid Ibn Waleed (rta), whom he selected to be the commander general of the whole joint Muslim army. Upon hearing this, Abu Ubaidah (rta) gave his post to Khalid (rta) without any hesitation and continued to fight under him as an ordinary soldier.

Later during the same battle, the news came about the death of Abu Bakr (rta). The next Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khattab had once again given the command of the joint Muslim forces to Abu Ubaidah (rta). Abu Ubaidah (rta), however, did not rush to deliver this news to Khalid (rta). Only when the battle ended with a great victory by Mujahideen, he handed to Khalid (rta) the message from the Caliph. Khalid was deeply moved by such an act of self-denial on Abu Ubaidah’s (rta) part. This humble man did not wish to reap the worldly glory of a victorious commander – he preferred to be loyal to the higher aim of spreading the message of Islam.

Abu Ubaidah (rta) remained loyal to Umar all his life, except on one occasion. When the fatal disease of plague spread in the Syrian city where the Muslim forces were stationed, Umar (rta) sent an urgent message to Abu Ubaidah (rta), requesting him to return to Madinah immediately. The Caliph feared for the life of his most trustworthy warrior. Abu Ubaidah (rta) guessed this and sent a return message to Umar (rta), asking permission to stay with his soldiers, who were in much need of him. Abu Ubaidah (rta) wrote that there was no need to keep alive a man who was not born to live in this world forever.

Umar’s (rta) guess proved to be right – Abu Ubaidah (rta) contracted the deadly disease. Before passing away, Abu Ubaidah (rta) addressed his Mujahideen with a special speech, instructing them to keep steadfast in their Islamic duties, to practice good morals, to obey the rulers and, above all, to remember that no one can escape death.

Abu Ubaidah (rta) Ibn Al-Jarrah, ‘the nation’s trustworthy,’ died and was buried in Jordan.