Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari

After that I stayed with the Prophet in Makkah and he taught me Islam and taught me to read the Qur’an. Then he said to me, “Don’t tell anyone in Makkah about your acceptance of Islam. I fear that they will kill you.”

“By Him in whose hands is my soul, I shall not leave Makkah until I go to the Sacred Mosque and proclaim the call of Truth in the midst of the Quraysh,” vowed Abu Dharr.

The Prophet remained silent. I went to the Mosque. The Quraysh were sitting and talking. I went in their midst and called out at the top of my voice, “O people of Quraysh, I testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

My words had an immediate effect on them. They jumped up and said, “Get this one who has left his religion.” They pounced on me and began to beat me mercilessly. They clearly meant to kill me. But Abbas ibn Abdulmuttalib, the uncle of the Prophet, recognised me. He bent over and protected me from them. He told them:

“Woe to you! Would you kill a man from the Ghifar tribe and your caravans must pass through their territory?”

They then released me. I went back to the Prophet, upon whom be peace, and when he saw my condition, he said, “Didn’t I tell you not to announce your acceptance of Islam?”

“O Messenger of God,” I said, “It was a need I felt in my soul and I fulfilled it.”

“Go to your people,” he commanded, “and tell them what you have seen and heard. Invite them to God. Maybe God will bring them good through you and reward you through them. And when you hear that I have come out in the open, then come to me.”

I left and went back to my people. My brother came up to me and asked, “What have you done?” I told him that I had become a Muslim and that I believed in the truth of Muhammad’s teachings.

“I am not averse to your religion. In fact, I am also now a Muslim and a believer,” he said.

We both went to our mother then and invited her to Islam.

“I do not have any dislike for your religion. I accept Islam also,” she said.

From that day this family of believers went out tirelessly inviting the Ghifar to God and did not flinch from their purpose. Eventually a large number became Muslims and the congregational Prayer was instituted among them.

Abu Dharr remained in his desert abode until after the Prophet had gone to Madinah and the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq had been fought. At Madinah at last, he asked the Prophet to be in his personal service. The Prophet agreed and was pleased with his companionship and service. He sometimes showed preference to Abu Dharr above others and whenever he met him he would pat him and smile and show his happiness.

After the death of the Prophet, Abu Dharr could not bear to stay in Madinah because of grief and the knowledge that there was to be no more of his guiding company. So he left for the Syrian desert and stayed there during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar.

During the caliphate of Uthman, he stayed in Damascus and saw the Muslims’ concern for the world and their consuming desire for luxury. He was saddened and repelled by this. So Uthman asked him to come to Madinah. At Madinah he was also critical of the people’s pursuit of worldly goods and pleasures and they were critical in turn of his reviling them. Uthman therefore ordered that he should go to Rubdhah, a small village near Madinah. There he stayed far away from people, renouncing their preoccupation with worldly goods and holding on to the legacy of the Prophet and his companions in seeking the everlasting abode of the Hereafter in preference to this transitory world.

Once a man visited him and began looking at the contents of his house but found it quite bare. He asked Abu Dharr:

“Where are your possessions?”

“We have a house yonder (meaning the Hereafter),” said Abu Dharr, “to which we send the best of our possessions.”

The man understood what he meant and said:

“But you must have some possessions so long as you are in this abode.”

“The owner of this abode will not leave us in it,” replied Abu Dharr.

Abu Dharr persisted in his simple and frugal life to the end. Once the amir of Syria sent three hundred dinars to Abu Dharr to meet his needs. He returned the money saying, “Does not the amir of Syria find a servant more deserving of it than I?”

In the year 32 AH, the self-denying Abu Dharr passed away. The Prophet, peace be upon him, had said of him:

“The earth does not carry nor the heavens cover a man more true and faithful than Abu Dharr.”

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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