Instances From the History of Islam

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In the history of Islam, we come across notable and unprecedented events of intense love and devotion of the Muslims with the personality of the Prophet, and. virtually this is the difference between the School of Prophets and the School of Philosophers: The pupils of philosophers are only their students and the philosophers do not impress them more than a teacher does; but the Prophets: their impression is that of a beloved, such a beloved who has found way unto the depths of lover's heart and has gripped all the veins of his life.

From amongst those dedicated to the Prophet, one is Abu Zar Ghifari. When the Prophet ordered an advance towards Tabook (about 450 miles to the north of Madina in the vicinity of Syria), some of the Muslims became reluctant and the hypocrites created mischief. Ultimately, the invigorated army moved ahead. They did not have arsenal of the warriors. They were facing scarcity and shortage of provisions too. Sometimes a few soldiers would live on a single date. But all of them were happy and jubilant. Love had invigorated them and the Prophet's attraction had graced them with strength. Abu Zar also was amongst the army moving towards Tabook. Midway, three persons, one after the other, lagged behind. Whenever any one would lag behind the Prophet was informed of him, and every time he would say, "If there is any good for us in him. God may revert him to us and if there is no good in him, it is better that he has gone".

The weak and thin camel of Abu Zar could no longer walk. They saw Abu Zar was also lagging behind. They said, "Oh Prophet of Allah! Abu Zar has also gone". The Prophet again said, "If he is good for us, Allah will reunite him with us, and if there is no good in him, it is better that he has gone". The army moved along and Abu Zar stranded behind, but not out of treachery, his animal had betrayed him. He did all that he could with it but it would not move. He was a few miles behind the army. He released the camel and carried the load on his shoulders. In the hot summer and in scorching heat of the desert, he moved ahead. He got thirsty, reaching the verge of death. He searched a rock and found rainy water having collected there. He tasted it. It was cold and sweet. He said unto himself, "I will not drink it as long as my beloved, the Prophet, has not tasted it". He filled his water-skin, carried it also on his shoulders and hastened towards the Muslims.

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They saw a figure from a distance and said, "Oh Prophet of Allah! we see a figure marching towards us". The Prophet said, "May be he is Abu Zar". He went closer. Oh! he was Abu Zar. But fatigue and thirst had humbled him; when he reached near them he fell to the ground. The Prophet said, "Hurry, take water to him". In a low whisper he said, "I have water with me". "You had the water and even then you have reached verge of death due to thirst". He said, "Yes, O Prophet of Allah! when I tasted the water, it struck me not to drink of it before my beloved, the Prophet of God has done so".

Honestly, where is a school from amongst the ideologies of the world to have produced such instances of devotion, curiosities and dedication? The other instance from amongst the curious devotees of the Prophet is Hazrat Bilal Habashi. The Qureish of Mecca would put him in unbearable chains. They would chastise him by throwing him in the scorching heat on burning stones. Then they would ask him to mention the idols and to proclaim allegiance to them. They would bid him to renounce affiliation with Muhammad and declare severance from him. Maulvi, in the sixth volume of Masnavi, has described this story of victimization and the fact is that Maulvi has made marvel. He says: Abu Bakr asked him to conceal his faith. But he did not have the capacity to suppress, because "love to begin with is rebellious and ferocious":

Bilal sacrificed his body on thorns,

His master would beat him in admonition in the sun with a thorny club.

Being my slave you refute my faith!

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But he would proudly say "One!"

Siddique passed that side,

And the word 'ONE' reached his ears too;

Thereafter in solitude he advised him:

Keep your faith secret from the Jews,

He is the knower of secrets, keep your purpose hidden

He said Oh Gracious! I repented prior to you (your advice),

My repentance has thus become abundant,

Ultimately repentance has become fatal,

Now I have exposed myself to all miseries,

Oh Muhammad! the enemy of the resiled repentance,

This body of mine, the veins herein, are full of thee,

Where the repentance to accommodate!

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I have ousted repentance from my soul,

Why should I repent the perpetual bliss;

Love is dominant and I am dominated by love,

Llike moon I have been enlightened with the sublimity of love,

Oh stormy wind! I am a petal of grass in thy hands,

What do I know where will I fall;

Whether I am Hilal (moon) or Bilal,

I am fan of thy sun;

Why should moon worry about sorrow and grief,

It runs after the sun like its shadow;

Rivers have emerged into ferocious flood,

They have left themselves to the mercy of love,

Ever rotating like the stone of the grinding mill,

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Night and day they are rotating and wailing anxiously,

Another instance: -

Islamic historians describe a famous tragedy in the early days of Islam as Ghuzwa-i-Raji, and the day of that tragedy has been named as 'Day of Raji". It is an inspiring story: Some people of the tribe of 'Azal and Qara, who were obviously in league with Qureish and had settled near Mecca, in the third year of Hijra came to the Prophet and said, "A section of our tribe has embraced Islam. Kindly send a deputation of Muslims so as to teach us the meanings of the faith and instruct us in the Quran, the rules and the fundamentals of Islam". The Prophet sent six of his companions for this purpose along with them. He appointed Mursad bin Abi Mursad or 'Asim bin Sabit as the leader of the deputation. The deputies of the Prophet accompanied that band who had arrived in Medina, and left for their abode. When they reached near the habitation of the tribe of Hozail, they encamped. The companions of the Prophet were taking rest that all of a sudden a group of the tribe of Hozail, with swords in their hands, emerged like lightning and attacked them. It transpired that the band, which had come to Medina, had initially evil designs and that when they reached this point they changed their mind and out of greed they conspired with the tribe of Hozail. They gave these six persons in captivity to the tribe of Hozail. When the companions of the Prophet got aware of this conspiracy, they rushed to their arms and prepared themselves for defence. But the people of Hozail swore that they did not want to kill them and that their object was to sell them to Meccans so as to get money from them. They said that even now they would promise not to kill them. Three persons from amongst the captives, including 'Asim bin Sabit, said, "We will never accept the promise of the infidels". They fought to death. But the other three persons, namely, Zaid bin Dosna, Khobaib bin 'Adi and Abudllah bin Tariq showed weakness and surrendered. The people of Hozail tied them fast in strong ropes and left towards Mecca. Near Mecca, Abdullah bin Tariq got his hands released from the rope and pulled out his sword. But the enemy did not give him time and killed him with a blow of a stone. Zaid and Khobaib were taken to Mecca. They exchanged them with two captives of the tribe of Hozail and left Mecca.

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Safwan bin Omeyya purchased Zaid from the vendee. To avenge the slaughter of his father in Ohod, he wanted to kill Zaid. He took Zaid to the outskirts of Mecca for killing him. The people of Qureish collected there to see the event. Zaid was brought to the altar. He bravely walked up to the altar and displayed no signs of fear. Abu Sufyan was amongst the spectators. He wanted to exploit the last moments of Zaid's life. Hoping that he may be repentant, or sorry, or may express indignation towards the Prophet, Abu Sufian went to Zaid and said "I ask you to solemnly affirm, would you like that at this moment Muhammad may be available in your stead and we may chop off his neck and may send you hale and hearty to your kith and kin"? Zaid said, "By God, I will not like that a thorn may prick Muhammad's feet and I may be idling in my home with my wife and children". Abu Sufian's mouth remained agap. Turning towards Qureishites, he said, "By God, I have not seen any one's friends to be so fond of him as the friends of Muhammad are".

After some moments it was Khobaib bin Adi's turn. They took him out of Mecca for execution, he asked the assembly to let him offer a prayer with two genuflection. They allowed him. He offered two-unit prayer with complete humility, submission, and delight. Then he addressed the assembly, "By God, but for your insinuations attributing me having feared death, I would have prolonged my prayers".

Khobaib was tied fast to the altar. In those very moments Khobaib was heard singing the last supplication melodiously and with such an ecstasy which captivated all present, and some of them out of Divine fear threw dust on their faces: "Oh God! I have discharged our mission assigned by the Prophet. I pray thee to apprise Thy Prophet of it just this early morning. Oh God! be wrathful to all here, cut them into pieces and let none of them survive".