The Lion of Allah and the Lion of His Messenger.
Here, we will be introduced to one of the great men whose mentioning brings life to the hearts.
Who Was He?
He was Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim bin Abdul Manaf, a brave leader of men, the lion of Allah and the leader of the martyrs. He was an uncle of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and his foster brother. He became a Muslim and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and the entire Muslims were strengthened by his acceptance of Islam in the sixth year of Prophethood after the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had begun his teaching at the House of Arqam.
On the authority of Jabir bin ‘Abdullah, Allah be pleased with him, who reported that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib is the leader of the martyrs.”
On the authority of Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas who said: “Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib was fighting in the Battle of Uhud right in front of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ while he was saying: “I am the Lion of Allah.”‘
The Onset of His Acceptance of Islam
Abu Jahl remonstrated the Messenger of Allah ﷺ at Safa and attacked him. Hamzah used to be a sharpshooter and a hunter. On his return from his hunting expedition, his wife, who had seen all that Abu Jahl did to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, met him on the way and said to him: “0 Abu Amarat, were you to see what they did (i.e. Abu Jahl) to your nephew!” Hamzah became furious. He headed straight to the Masjid Al-Haram his bow hung on his neck, as he would customarily do, before he entered his house. He found Abu Jahl seated in the assembly of the Quraish. He did not speak until he struck Abu Jahl’s head with his bow, fracturing it.
People rushed to Hamzah restraining him from doing further damage to Abu Jahl. Then he said: “My religion is the religion of Muhammad and I bear witness that he is the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and I will not turn away from it. Let anyone try to stop me if indeed you are truthful.”
When Hamzah accepted Islam, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and the Muslims were strengthened and some of their affairs became firmer. The Quraish for the moment became dim witted because they knew that Hamzah would prevent them (from transgressing against a Muslim).
Hamzah himself related this statement. By a token of His mercy, Allah opened his heart to Islam. He spent the remainder of his life on truth till he became an exemplary figure for all times and places. His Islam began strongly and proved to be a big blow to the Quraish. The new religion became on the path of spreading wide and far as against their hope that it will be impeded in its tracks.
After the passage of time, the Prophet ﷺ and the Muslims migrated to Madinah. There, the Prophet ﷺ continued to solidify the fow1dalion of the nascent Islamic state. It was no more than a little while before the Battle of Badr broke out and Hamzah was the hero of this battle.
Shining Aspects from His Valor
The standard ever raised by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ since his arrival at Madinah was that of Hamzah.
Hamzah killed a great number of the polytheists in Badr. He was adorned with an ostrich plume.
‘Abdur Rahman bin Auf related: “Umayyah bin Khalaf said to me: ‘Who was that person who was marked by the plume of ostrich on his chest at the battle of Badr?’ I said to him: ‘That was Hamzah bin ‘Abdul Muttalib, the uncle of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.’ He said: ‘That was the man who dealt us many blows.”‘
He Fought With Two Swords at the Battle of Uhud
On the authority of Umayr bin Ishaq who said: “HamZah bin ‘Abdul Muttalib was fighting in front of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ with two swords while he was saying: ‘I am the Lion of Allah and the Lion of His Messenger.”‘
In the Battle of Uhud he killed 30+ polytheists before being shot by an arrow by Wahshi bin Harb. Hamzah let out a muffled cry. He looked at the direction from where the spear came and there, he saw Wahshi behind the tree. He made an attempt to reach him so that he may kill the Ethiopian slave who had speared him but had extreme difficulty in moving and then he fell to the ground. He raised his gaze and there was the mountain of Uhud encircling the vast open space. He looked at the horizon of Madinah in the distance as it is overcast. by gloom. He heard the voice of the Muslims resonating on the battlefield like thunder.
Then he remembered the first day in which he announced his Islam. That was the day he had beaten Abu Jahl while he was seated in the assembly of the Quraish when he heard that he had harmed his nephew. He recalled the spectacle of Badr when the leaders of Quraish were felled lifeless like uprooted trees by the stroke of his sword.
Here he is, departing from this world while a pleasant whisperer whispers in his ears the glad tidings of gardens the size of which is like the heaven and the Earth. His forehead lines spread out and his soul returned to its Lord in peace and Tranquillity.
After the conquest of Makkah, Wahshi accepted Islam and became a very good Muslim.
“Afterwards, when the Muslims went out to fight Musailimah the Liar, I went with them. I took with me the same spear with which I had killed Hamzah. When the armies met, I saw Musailimah standing with his sword in his hand. By Allah I did not recognize him. Just then one Ansari targeted him from another angle. Both of us were prepared for him. When he fell in my full range, I shook my spear till I had full control over it, threw it, and it went into his body. Then the Ansari swooped on him and cut him with his sword. Allah knows where I killed him for I was the one who killed him. I killed the best of people after the Messenger of Allah ﷺ (Hamzah) and now I have killed the worst of people (Musailimah).”
Miracle After His Death
On the authority of Jabir R.A. who said: Mu’awiyah ~’wanted to divert the spring at Uhud but was not able to except over the graves of the martyrs. So he wrote that their bodies be exhumed and be reburied at another location.” Jabir R.A. said: “I saw them being carried on the necks of men as if they were just asleep. An implement cut a part of the leg of Hamzah R.A., and blood oozed out.”
AMMAR BIN YASIR
Anyone who is Hostile to Ammar, Allah will be hostile to him
Who Was He?
He was Ammar bin Yasir bin Amir, the great leader, Abu Al-Hawazan Al-Anasi Al-Makki, one of the fore-runners in Islam and one of the distinguished warriors of the Battle of Badr. His mother Sumayyah bint Khubat was the first martyr in Islam.
It is reported that Mujahid said: “The first martyrdom ever to occur in Islam was that of Sumayyah binl Khubat. Abu Jahl pierced her heart with a spear.”
Ammar used to be tortured in Makkah so much that he did not know what he was saying. This was the fate of Suhayb as well. It was regarding them that the following verse was revealed:
“And as for those who emigrated for the Cause of Allah, after suffering oppression, We willcertainly give them goodly residence in this world, but indeed the reward of the Hereafter will be greater, if they but knew.” (An-Nahl:41)
Anas narrated that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “Paradise is eager for three people: ‘Ali , Salman and Ammar.”
It is also reported that ‘Ali said: Ammar once asked permission to come in to see the Prophet ﷺ: “Who is there?” He (the Prophet ﷺ) asked. “Ammar.’ He responded. Then the Prophet ﷺ said, “Welcome to the pleasant good man!”
Amr’ bin Shurahbil reported that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: “Ammar is filled with lman(faith) right into his marrow.”
Khalid bin Waleed said: There was some disagreement between me and Ammar bin Yasir and I spoke roughly to him. He went to complain to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and he said, “He who is hostile to Ammar, Allah will be hostile to him and he who detests Ammar is detested by Allah.”
Torture in the Path of Allah
Amr- bin Maymoon said: “The polytheists tortured Ammar with fire. The Prophet ﷺ would pass by and would pass his hand over his head and he would pray: “0 fire! Be you coolness and safety‘ (Al-Anbiya:69) on Ammar as you were on Ibrahim.”
The Prophet ﷺ once passed by the family of Ammar being tortured and he said to them: “Glad tidings for you, family of Ammar, for your destination is Paradise.”
‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar reported: “I saw Ammar at the Battle of Yamamah stranding on a rock and calling out at the top of his voice: ‘0 Muslims, is it Paradise you running away from? I am Ammar bin Yasir, come to me. I saw his severed ear dangling while he engaged the enemy in a grievous battle.”
Ammar Fought With Men and Jinn
Ammar bin Yasir said: “I fought alongside Allah’s Messenger against men and jinn.” The people present asked astonishingly: “How is that?” “We were with the Prophet ﷺ when we arrived at a place and I took my water jar so as to fetch water. The Prophet ﷺ told me: ‘Someone will come to prevent you from fetching water.’ When I got to the well, I found a very black man standing by the well and he said: ‘By Allah, you will not fetch water here today.’ He seized me and I also pulled him and threw him down. I took a piece of rock and shattered his face and nose. Thereafter, I filled my bucket and headed back to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ who said: ‘Did you meet anyone at the well?’ ‘I said Yes’ and I narrated my encounter at the well to him. ‘Do you know who that was?’ the Prophet ﷺ asked? ‘No,’ I said. ‘That was Shaitan,’ the Prophet ﷺ revealed.
Ammar bin Yasir participated in the Battle of Siffeen. He fought on the side of’ Ali bin Abi Ta lib and he was killed in that battle.
Aim bin Al-As narrated that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said:
“His killer (i.e. Ammar’s killer) will be in the Hellfire.” May Allah be pleased with Ammar.
SALMAN AL FARISI
The Son of Al-Islam
Al-Hafidh Abul Qasim bin Asakir said regarding his pedigree: He is Salman the son of Al-Islam, the Companion of the Prophetﷺ and his servant. He narrated from the Prophet ﷺ · He was extremely intelligent and tenacious. He belonged to the crème of the intellectuals, the devoted worshippers and nobles.
Abu Hurayrah narrated: We were sitting with the Prophet ﷺ when this verse was revealed to him: “And He has sent him (Prophet Muhammad ﷺ) also to others among them (Muslims) who have not yet joined them (but they will come).” (Al-Jum’ah:3) So I said: “
Who are they, 0 Allah’s Messenger?” The Prophet ﷺ did not respond till I repeated my question three times. At that time, Salman Al-Farisi was with us. So Allah’s Messenger ﷺ put his hand on Salman, saying: “If Iman (Faith) were at (the place of) Ath-Thmaiya (the highest star), even then (some men or man from these people (i.e. Salman’s folk) would attain it.”
Kathir bin ‘Abdullah Al-Muzani reported from his grandfather that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ divided the portions of the trench (to be dug). He apportioned to every group of ten persons a portion of forty arms length. The Ansar requested that Salman be counted amongst them while the Muhajirun also wished for the same. Salman was an extremely strong man. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ dismissed each group’s claim, he said, “Rather, Salman is from the Ahl Al-Bait (the household of the Messenger).”
The Story of His Conversion to Islam
Ibn Abbas reported that Salman narrated to him: (Brief version)
“I am a Persian from the town of Isfahan. I grew up there in the village called Jayyan. My father was the Dihqan (or chief) of the village.
“My father loved me more than he loved anyone else. His love and affection for me was so strong that he kept me at home like young girls were kept.
“I became devoted to the Magian religion so much that I attained the position of custodian of the fire which we worshiped. My duty was to ensure that the flames of the fire remained burning and that they did not go out for a single how.
“My father had a vast estate which he himself managed. One day he was very busy with his duties as the chief of the village. So he said to me: ‘My son, as you see, I am too busy to go out to the estate now. Go and look after matters there for me today.’ He also gave me some other instructions regarding other things he wanted done.
“While I was on my way out, he said, ‘Do not keep me here (waiting for you for a long time), you know that you are far more important to me than my estate and you are the subject of my entire devotion.’
“On my way to the estate, I passed by a Christian church and the voices at prayer attracted my attention. I did not know anything about Christianity or about the followers of any other religion throughout the time my father kept me in the house away from people. When I heard the voices of the Christians I entered the church to see what they were doing. I was impressed by their manner of praying and felt drawn to their religion. ‘By Allah,’ I said, ‘this is better than ours.’ By Allah, I did not leave them until the sun set and I abru1doned my father’s estate and the errrand he assigned to me. I asked and was told that the Christian religion originated in Ash-Sham (Syria).
“I returned to my father while he had already sent out scouts to search for me. ‘My son where have you been, didn’t I warn you before you left home?’ my father asked. I told him: ‘0 my father, I met some people praying in their church and I was impressed by what I saw of their religion. I did not leave their midst until night fall.’
“He was disappointed and said: ‘My son, there is nothing good in that religion. Your religion and the religion of your forefathers is better.’ ‘No, their religion is better than ours,’ I insisted. “My father became upset and afraid that I would leave our religion. So he kept me locked up in the house and put a chain on my feet. I managed, however, to send a message to the Christians asking them to inform me of the arrival of any caravan on a trade mission from Syria. Before long they informed me that a caravan had arrived from Syria. I sent words back requesting them to inform me when the caravan concluded its mission and was ready to go back.
“When they eventually brought the news I needed, I managed to unfetter myself and accompanied the caravan to Syria. There, I asked for the leading person in the Christian religion and I was directed to the bishop of the church. I went up to him and said: ‘I want to become a Christian and would like to attach myself to your service in the church, as well as learn from you and pray with you.’
“The bishop agreed and I entered the church in his service. I soon found out, however, that the man was corrupt. He amassed a vast quantity of gold. I hated him extremely when I saw what he was doing. “When the bishop died and the Christians gathered to bury him, I told them: ‘He was a very corrupt man.’ And I informed them of his corrupt practices. I showed them where he kept their donations. When they saw the seven large jars filled with money, they said: ‘By Allah, we shall not bury him.’ They nailed him on a cross and pelted him with stones. “So they appointed another man in his place. I continued in the service of the new bishop. He was an ascetic who longed for the Hereafter and engaged in worship day and night. I was greatly devoted to him and spent a long time in his company.
When he was going to die, I approached him and said: ‘0 bishop, as you have seen, the command of Allah (death) has finally arrived and I have never loved and been devoted to anyone like I have been to you, what do you command that I should do and whom would you recommend to me so that I may attach myself to him?’ He said: ‘My son! I do not know anyone who is upon what I am upon except a man in Mosul, I recommend him to you.’
“After his death, I headed for the church in Mosul and went straight to the bishop. I found him exactly as he was described to me.
“When he too was about to die, I put to him the same question and he recommended to me a man in Nisibis. There also, I attached myself to him (the Bishop of Nisibis). I devoted my energies in serving him till the time of his death and again he recommended me to yet another person at Ammuriyah (in Rome). Here also, I found the bishop’s devotion and asceticism similar to my previous teachers. When he approached his end I asked him to recommend another person to me. He said: ‘My son, I do not know anyone upon this path to whom I may recommend you. However, the time has come for the appearance of a Prophet who would come from the sacred precinct (Haram).
He will migrate to a swampy land suffused with palm trees. He will bear some clear signs. In the space between his shoulders, there is a seal of prophethood. He would accept a gift butwould never consume charity (sadaqah) for himself.”‘
(Salman continues his story): “I continued to stay in his service until a group of Arab traders from the Kalb tribe passed through and I asked them to take me with them to the land of the Arabs in return for whatever money I had. They agreed and I paid them. When we reached Wadi Al-Qura (a place between Madinah and Syria), they betrayed me and sold me to a Jew (as a slave). I worked as a servant for him on his date-palm farm. When I saw date palms I thought it was the land described to me by my former teacher. I continued to serve the Jew until a man from Banu Quraydah came and bought me from him.
“My new master took me to Madinah. The moment I saw it, I knew I had arrived at the city of palm groves.
“At that time the Prophet ﷺ was inviting his people in Makkah to Islam but I did not hear anything about him at that time because of the harsh duties which slavery imposed upon me.
The Prophet ﷺ reached Quba after his Hijrahfrom Makkah.
“When it was evening, I took some food that I had with me and went to the place where the Prophet ﷺ had alighted at Quba. I went up to him and said: ‘I have been informed that you are a righteous man and that you have companions with you who are strangers and are in need. Here is something from me as sadaqah. I see that you are more deserving of it than others. So eat.’
“The Prophet ﷺ ordered his companions to eat but he himself refrained from eating of it. This was the first sign.
“I gathered some more food and when the Prophet ﷺ left Quba for Madinah I went to him and said: ‘I noticed that you do not eat sadaqah. This is a gift for you.’ He ate and his Companions also ate with him. This is the second· sign.
“Thereafter I came to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ while he was following a Janazah. I was wearing two shamlahs (cloaks) of mine. He was in the midst of his Companions. I tried to look at his back so that perhaps I could see the seal (of prophethood) that had been described to me. When he saw me, I quickly turned away but he knew I was searching to confirm the seal. The Prophet ﷺ raised the clothing from his back so that I could see what I was looking for. I saw the seal and immediately recognized it as described. I rushed to embrace him, kissed him and wept. He said to me: ‘Convert (to Islam),’ and I converted. Then I narrated to him my story just as I have narrated to you, O Ibn Abbas.”
Allah’s Messenger ﷺ helped buy Salman buy his freedom and then he participated in the Battle of Khandaq with Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and never missed any of the battles he fought, thereafter.”
From the peculiarity of his story, the extent of his knowledge becomes quite evident. Abu Bakhataree said: “Some people asked ‘Ali: ‘Inform us about the Companions of Muhammad.’
‘Ali said: ‘About whom are you asking specifically?’ they asked about many and then asked about Salman and Ali said: the first and the last knowledge. An ocean (of knowledge) the depth of which is not fathomed and he belongs to us, the Ahl At-Bait.”‘
A Humble Leader
The righteous considers position of authority a burden rather than ru1 honor. When they are given authority, they become embodiments of asceticism, humility, justice, and fear of Allah. Ubaydah Al Salmani reported that Salman approached the settlements of Midian in a military campaign against the town.
Even though he was the commander of the entire army, he rode behind ordinary man from Kindah on the same mule. His companions said to him: “Give us the flag so that we may hold it for you.” He objected to their request and held it until the conclusion of the campaign and he returned still riding behind the man on the same mule.
It is reported that Salman’s wife said: “When Salman was in the moment of his death, he called me from the upper room in which he was. The room had four doors. So he said: ‘Open all the doors for I am expecting visitors today and I do not know through which doors they will enter.’ Then he requested perfume and said: ‘Mix it in water and spread it round my bed.’ When I came back to him, his soul had been taken. He lay on his bed as if he was asleep.”
‘ABDULLAH BIN SALAM
The Prelate for whom Allah’s Messenger Testified will be in Paradise
Who Was He?
He was ‘Abdullah bin Salam bin Al-Harith, a leader of the rabbis and the one for whom Allah’s Messenger testified Paradise. He was also known as Abu Al-Harith Al-Isra’ili, an ally of Ansar from the eminent Companions of the Prophet.
He accepted Islam at the time of the migration of the Prophet ﷺ and on his arrival (at Madinah).
Ibn Sa’d said: “He is from the descendants of Yusuf bin Ya’qub (peace be upon them both). He was one of the Jewish rabbis.”
‘Abdullah bin Salam narrated: “When the Prophet arrived in Madinah, the people rushed to him and I was among those who rushed to him. When I saw him I immediately knew that his face was not that of a liar. The first thing I heard him say was: ‘0 people, spread the greetings of peace (amongst yourselves), feed the people, join the ties of kinship and stand in prayer in the night, while the (rest of the) people are asleep, you will enter Paradise in peace.“‘
After asking three questions and getting the answers ‘Abdullah said: “I bear witness that you are a Messenger of Allah.” He further said; “0 Allah’s Messenger, the Jews are a slanderous lot. If they come to know of my acceptance of Islam, they will slander me. Invite them and ask them about my status amongst them.” The Prophet ﷺ sent for them. When they came, he asked: “What kind of person is ‘Abdullah bin Salam amongst you?” They responded: “The best of us and the son of the best amongst us. The most knowledgeable and son of the most knowledgeable amongst us.” “Would you then accept Islam if you learn that he had accepted Islam?” The Prophet ﷺ asked. They responded: “We seek refuge of Allah from that!”
Then ‘Abdullah came out and said: “I bear witness that none deserves to be worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
Immediately they said: “The worst of us and son of the worst of us. The most ignorant and son of the most ignorant of us.” ‘Abdullah said: “Didn’t I inform you that the Jews are slanderous lots.”
Imam Ahmad reported: “A bowl of tharid was brought to the Prophet. He ate out of it and there was some leftover and he said: ‘From this valley will emerge a man from the people of Paradise who will eat this leftover. Then ‘Abdullah bin Salam came and ate it.”‘
Qays bin Ubayd also said: “I was in the Mosque of Madinah when a man came who showed signs of humbleness. The people present said: ‘This is a man from the people of Paradise.’ He offered two units of prayer and he was brief in offering them. When he went out, I followed him until he entered his apartment and I entered along with him. Then I said to him: ‘When you entered the mosque, they said such and such (about you).’ He responded: ‘Glory be to Allah, it is not fitting for anyone to say about what he has no knowledge of. However, I shall narrate something to you: I saw a dream and I related it to the Prophet. I saw that I was in a green garden. In its middle was a pole, the bottom of which went to the earth and its top towered into the heavens. At its top was a handhold. I was told: Climb it. Then I climbed till I got hold of the hand-hold. I was told: “Hold the handhold tightly.
‘Then I woke up and the hand-hold was in my hand. In the morning, I went to the Allah’s Messenger and narrated it to him and he said: “As for the garden, it is the garden of Islam. The pole is the pole of Islam and the hand-hold is the Most Truthworthy Hand-Hold. You will remain upon Islam till you die.”‘ The narrator added: “The man was ‘Abdullah bin Salam.”
‘Abdullah bin Hanzalah narrated: ‘Abdullah was once walking by in the market. On his head was a bunch of firewood. It was said to him: “Haven’t you been enriched by Allah?” He responded, “Yes (it is so) but I want to tame arrogance. I heard Allah’s Messenger say: ‘Whoever has a mustard seed of arrogance will not enter Paradise.”‘
Adh-Dhahabi, ~, said: “It is agreed upon that’ Abdullah bin Salam died in the year 43 AH. Allah be pleased with him and may he pleased.