Abdur-Rahman Ibn Awl

“Have you left anything for your family, Abdur-Rahman?” asked the Prophet.

“Yes,” replied Abdur-Rahman. “I have left for them more than what I give and better.” “How much?” enquired the Prophet.

“What God and His Messenger have promised of sustenance, goodness and reward,” replied Abdur-Rahman.

The Muslim army eventually left for Tabuk. There Abdur-Rahman was blessed with an honor which was not conferred on anyone till then. The time of Salat came and the Prophet, peace be on him, was not there at the time. The Muslims chose Abdur-Rahman as the ir imam. The first rakat of the Salat was almost completed when the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, joined the worshippers and performed the Salat behind Abdur-Rahman ibn Awl. Could there be a greater honor conferred on anyone than to have been the imam of the most honored of God’s creation, the imam of the Prophets, the imam of Muhammad, the Messenger of God!

When the Prophet, peace be on him, passed away, Abdur-Rahman took on the responsibility of looking after the needs of his family, the Ummahaat al-Muminin. He would go with them wherever they wanted to and he even performed Hajj with them to ensure that a ll their needs were met. This is a sign of the trust and confidence which he enjoyed on the part of the Prophet’s family.

Abdur-Rahman’s support for the Muslims and the Prophet’s wives in particular was well-known. Once he sold a piece of land for forty thousand dinars and he distributed the entire amount among the Banu Zahrah (the relatives of the Prophet’s mother Aminah), the poor among the Muslims and the Prophet’s wives. When Aishah, may God be pleased with her, received some of this money she asked:

“Who has sent this money?” and was told it was Abdur-Rahman, whereupon she said:

“The Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, said: No one will feel compassion towards you after I die except the sabirin (those who are patient and resolute).”

The prayer of the noble Prophet that Allah should bestow barakah on the wealth of Abdur-Rahman appeared to be with Abdur-Rahman throughout his life. He became the richest man among the companions of the Prophet. His business transactions invariably met with success and his wealth continued to grow. His trading caravans to and from Madinah grew larger and larger bringing to the people of Madinah wheat, flour, butter, cloths, utensils, perfume and whatever else was needed and exporting whatever surplus pr oduce they had.

One day, a loud rumbling sound was heard coming from beyond the boundaries of Madinah normally a calm and peaceful city. The rumbling sound gradually increased in volume. In addition, clouds of dust and sand were stirred up and blown in the wind. The peo ple of Madinah soon realized that a mighty caravan was entering the city. They stood in amazement as seven hundred camels laden with goods moved into the city and crowded the streets. There was much shouting and excitement as people called to one another to come out and witness the sight and see what goods and sustenance the camel caravan had brought.

Aishah, may God be pleased with her, heard the commotion and asked: “What is this that’s happening in Madinah?” and she was told: “It is the caravan of Abdur-Rahman ibn Awl which has come from Syria bearing his merchandise.”

“A caravan making all this commotion?” she asked in disbelief.”

“Yes, O Umm al-Muminin. There are seven hundred camels.”

Aishah shook her head and gazed in the distance as if she was trying to recall some scene or utterance of the past and then she said:

“I have heard the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, say: I have seen Abdur-Rahman ibn Awl entering Paradise creeping.”

Why creeping? Why should he not enter Paradise leaping and at a quick pace with the early companions of the Prophet?

Some friends of his related to Abdur-Rahman the hadith which Aishah had mentioned. He remembered that he had heard the hadith more than once from the Prophet and he hurried to the house of Aishah and said to her: “Yaa Ammah! Have you heard that from the M essenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“You have reminded me of a hadith which I have never forgotten,” he is also reported to have said. He was so over-joyed and added:

“If I could I would certainly like to enter Paradise standing. I swear to you, yaa Ammah, that this entire caravan with all its merchandise, I will giver sabilillah.”

And so he did. In a great festival of charity and righteousness, he distributed all that the massive caravan had brought to the people of Madinah and surrounding areas.

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