Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari

Abu Bakr, may God be pleased with him, once left his house in the burning heat of the midday sun and went to the mosque. Umar saw him and asked, “Abu Bakr, what has brought you out at this hour? Abu Bakr said he had left his house because he was terribly hungry and Umar said that he had left his house for the same reason. The Prophet came up to them and asked, “What has brought the two of you out at this hour?” They told him and he said, “By Him in Whose hands is my soul, only hunger has caused me to com e out also. But come with me.”

They went to the house of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. His wife opened the door and said, “Welcome to the Prophet and whoever is with him.”

“Where is Abu Ayyub?” asked the Prophet. Abu Ayyub, who was working in a nearby palm grove, heard the Prophet’s voice and came hurriedly.

“Welcome to the Prophet and whoever is with him,” he said and went on, “O Prophet of God, this is not the time that you usually come.” (Abu Ayyub used to keep some food for the Prophet every day. When the Prophet did not come for it by a certain time, Abu Ayyub would give it to his family.) “You are right,” the Prophet agreed.

Abu Ayyub went out and cut a cluster of dates in which there were ripe and half-ripe dates.

“I did not want you to cut this,” said the Prophet. “Could you not have brought only the ripe dates?”

“O Rasulullah, please eat from both the ripe dates (rutb) and the half ripe (busr). I shall slaughter an animal for you also.”

“If you are going to, then do not kill one that gives milk,” cautioned the Prophet.

Abu Ayyub killed a young goat, cooked half and grilled the other half. He also asked his wife to bake, because she baked better, he said.

When the food was ready, it was placed before the Prophet and his two companions. The Prophet took a piece of meat and placed it in a loaf and said, “Abu Ayyub, take this to Fatimah. She has not tasted the like of this for days.”

When they had eaten and were satisfied, the Prophet said reflectively:

“Bread and meat and busr and rutb!” Tears began to flow from his eyes as he continued:

“This is a bountiful blessing about which you will be asked on the Day of Judgment. If such comes your way, put your hands to it and say, ‘Bismillah’ (In the name of God) and when you have finished say, ‘Al hamdu lillah alladhee huwa ashba’na wa an’ama a layna (Praise be to God Who has given us enough and Who has bestowed his bounty on us). This is best.”

These are glimpses of Abu Ayyub’s life during peace time. He also had a distinguished military career. Much of his time was spent as a warrior until it was said of him, “He did not stay away from any battle the Muslims fought from the time of the Prophet to the time of Mu’awiyah unless he;: was engaged at the same time in another.”

The last campaign he took part in was the one prepared by Mu’awiyah and led by his son Yazid against Constantinople. Abu Ayyub at that time was a very old man, almost eighty years old. But that did not prevent him from joining the army and crossing the seas as a graze in the path of God. After only a short time engaged in the battle, Abu Ayyub fell ill and had to withdraw from fighting. Yazid came to him and asked:

“Do you need anything, Abu Ayyub?”

“Convey my salaams to the Muslim armies and say to them:

‘Abu Ayyub urges you to penetrate deeply into the territory of the enemy as far as you can go, that you should carry him with you and that you should bury him under your feet at the walls of Constantinople.”‘ Then he breathed his last.

The Muslim army fulfilled the desire of the companion of the Messenger of God. They pushed back the enemy’s forces in attack after attack until they reached the walls of Constantinople. There they buried him.

(The Muslims beseiged the city for four years but eventually had to withdraw after suffering heavy losses.)

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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