Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum

The other would call the adhan to announce the beginning of dawn and the fast. It was Bilal who would awaken the people and Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum who would announce the beginning of dawn.

One of the responsibilities that the Prophet placed on Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum was to put him in charge of Madinah in his absence. This was done more than ten times, one of them being when he left for the liberation of Makkah.

Sasn after the battle of Badr, the Prophet received a revelation from God raising the status of the mujahideen and preferring them over the qa’ideen (those who remain inactive at home). This was in order to encourage the mujahid even further and to spur the qa’id to give up his inactivity. This revelation affected ibn Umm Maktum deeply. It pained him to be thus barred from the higher status and he said:

“O messenger of God. If I could go on jihad, I would certainly do.” He then earnestly asked God to send down a revelation about his particular case and those like him who were prevented because of their disabilities from going on military campaigns.

His prayer was answered. An additional phrase was revealed to the Prophet exempting those with disabilities from the import of the original verse. The full ayah became:

“Not equal are those who remain seated among the believers except those who possess disabilities√Ďand those who strive and fight in the way of God with their wealth and their persons . . .” (Surah an-Nisaa, 4: 95).

In spite of thus being excused from jihad, the soul of Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum refused to be content with staying among those who remained at home when an expedition was in progress. Great souls are not content with remaining detached from affairs of great moment. He determined that no campaign should by-pass him. He fixed a role for himself on the battle field. He would say: “Place me between two rows and give me the standard. I will carry it for you and protect it, for I am blind and cannot run away.”

In the fourteenth year after the hijrah, Umar resolved to mount a major assault against the Persians to bring down their State and open the way for the Muslim forces. So he wrote to his governors:

“Send anyone with a weapon or a horse or who can offer any form of help to me. And make haste.”

Crowds of Muslims from every direction responded to Umar’s call and converged on Madinah. Among all these was the blind mujahid, Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum.

Umar appointed Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas commander over the army, gave him instructions and bade him farewell. When the army reached Qadisiyyah, Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum was prominent, wearing a coat of armour and fully prepared. He had vowed to carry and protect the standard of the Muslims or be killed in the process.

The forces met and engaged in battle for three days. The fighting was among the most fierce and bitter in the history of the Muslim conquests. On the third day, the Muslims achieved a mighty victory as one of the greatest empires in the world collapsed and one of the most secure thrones fell. The standard of Tawhid was raised in an idolatrous land. The price of this clear victory was hundreds of martyrs. Among them was Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum. He was found dead on the battlefield clutching the flag of the Muslims.

Scanned from: “Companions of The Prophet”, Vol.1, By: Abdul Wahid Hamid.

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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