Lecture 6 delivered by Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider on 26 September 2017 in the Muharram 1439 series titled “UNVEILING THE LESSER KNOWN COMPANIONS OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAWA)” at the Ahlul Bait (a.s) Islamic Centre, Ottery, Cape Town

Over the recent nights we have delved into the biographies of the pioneers of Islam. By continuingwith this theme, we reinforce our stance that numerous sahabah remained dedicated to the true Islamic message after the passing of the Prophet (SAWA). 

Furthermore, when we mention the path of the Ahlulbait (AS), this does not necessarily contradict the path of the companions. Instead, the fundamental division which exists in the house of Islam is between the Ahlulbait (AS) and the rulers of their time, rather than the compatriots of the Prophet (SAWA).

ABDULLAH IBN MASOOD – THE COMPILER OF THE QURAN 

Abdullah, like other previous companions discussed, was a member of the of the early vanguards of Islam. Amongst his virtues is that he was among the migrants to Abyssinia as well as the first individual to recite the Quran loudly amongst the Quraysh. 

The Prophet (SAWA) loved him, and used to say: “I have never seen someone more passionate in the teaching of the Quran than Abdullah ibn Masood.” 

In addition to this, he had enjoyed an intimate relationship to the Prophet (SAWA) so much so that he would be entrusted with the Prophet’s personal belongings. 

Abdullah is a man revered in the traditions of the Ahlulbait (AS), as Imam Ali (AS) has said: “I have not seen a man better in Akhlaaq than Abdullah ibn Masood.”

Apart from his great achievements in the time of Nabi Muhammad (SAWA), Abdullah Ibn Masood displayed his loyalty when he refused to pay allegiance to the newly established caliphate. 

His dedication to the Ahlulbait (AS) was not only shown through the poetry he composed about the event of Ghadir, but he was also present at the janazah of Bibi Fatimah (AS). This event had taken place in secret, and only exclusive followers of Imam Ali (AS) could attend. 

Despite these virtues, it appears from the narrations that Abdullah ibn Masood had a difference in opinion with Ameerul Momineen (AS) on certain issues. 

In his own compilation of the Quran, the last two surahs (Surah Falaq and Surah Naas) of the Quran were not included. According to traditions attributed to the Sunni school of thought, he would claim that these two surahs do not form part of the Quran.

In today’s time, it is often found that the Shia that are accused of believing in a different Quran…yet such narrations are never spoken about! 

Although this does not categorically mean Abdullah ibn Masood denied the presence of these surahs, it is a historical point that cannot be shied away from. 

QAYS IBN SA’AD IBN IBADAH AL-ANSARI – THE DEVOTEE 

Qays ibn Sa’ad was a man that came from an incredibly wealthy family, and was known for his excellence in physical appearance. 

He was famous for his generosity and benevolence towards the people. This companion – like Abdullah ibn Masood – enjoyed a very close relationship with the Prophet (SAWA). 

During the lifetime of Rasulullah (SAWA), Qays was responsible for the security of the Islamic state.

Before the advent of Islam, he was an example of an individual that was known to help the needy present in the community. 

The Prophet of Islam (SAWA) used to say: “The best of you in Islam is those who were the best in Jahiliyyah if they have the vision of this religion.” 

Qays was truly the personification of such sentiments, as his pure nature in the pre-Islamic era reached its peak through the message of the Prophet (SAWA).

In one of the battles, the Muslim army had come under great strain and was suffering from starvation. When Qays had arrived, he had attempted to gather supplies from a nearby town. 

These traders – unknowing of who they were interacting with – questioned Qays’ ability to pay for these goods. When he revealed to them who he was, they agreed. This goes to show how Qays’ generosity was well known amongst the people of Arabia.

Qays was incredibly astute in his dealings with the people, and despite this unique favour he had been bestowed with, he refused to use it in the form of deception.

QAYS IN SAQIFAH 

After the demise of the Prophet (SAWA), he was present at the event of Saqifah. Initially he was not present on the side of Imam (AS), but soon thereafter became one of the closest allies to Imam Ali (AS). During the reign of Imam Ali (AS), he was appointed the governor of Egypt. 

Mu’awiyah had realised the political value that Qays brought to the establishment of Imam (AS), and therefore fabricated a letter saying that Qays has aligned himself to Bani Ummaya. 

This fabrication created an incredibly tense situation, and placed a question mark on Imam Ali’s (AS) rule as one of his most recognised followers had apparently left him for Mu’awiyah. 

Bani Ummaya’s deception was so effective that it had forced Imam Ali (AS) to suspend Qays as governor to maintain the political stability. 

Despite this, he remained loyal to the Imam (AS)!!

The real excellence of Qays was that he remained dedicated to Imam Hassan (AS) after the passing of Imam Ali (AS). The political climate of Imam Hassan (AS) was intensely confusing, yet Qays remained an obedient follower.

HUZAYM BIN THAABIT – THU SHAHADATAYN

Huzaym had the title of Thu-Shahadatayn – the man of two witnesses. 

Once the Prophet (SAWA) had purchased a horse from a Bedouin Arab, and the Bedouin had disputed over the payment of the Prophet (SAWA). 

Huzaym then came forward to say that he was the witness to the purchase. The Prophet (SAWA) then asked him why is he testifying for something he was not present? 

Huzaym then replied: “I have testified about your truthfulness in something far greater than this mere transaction! So then how is it then possible for you to lie about this purchase? My entire existence is a witness to your honesty.”

The Prophet (SAWA) then accepted him as witness, and even though two witnesses are required to prove something, the Prophet (sawa) accepted Huzaym’s single testimony as being equivalent to two.

HUZAYM IN SAQIFAH

When he came to Saqifah and the right of Imam Ali (AS) was ignored, he asked the people as to whether or not Rasulullah (SAWA) accepted him as a witness. 

When all had replied affirmatively, he questioned them as to why they doubted his witnessing that the Prophet (SAWA) said that the Ahlulbait (AS) are the most suited to lead this Ummah. 

Huzaym was a companion that showed unmatched dedication towards Imam Ali (as) throughout the battles of Jamal and Seffein. 

He, like Qays, was a poet and had composed poetry about the event of Ghadir. From amongst his famous lines about Imam Ali (as), was: 

“He is the Successor of the Rasuul,
And the husband of Batool,
And the Imam of Bariyyah (Best of creatures),
And the Shams Duha (Shining Sun )”.

He was present in the event of Battle of Seffein in which the great pillar of Imam (as), Ammar ibn Yasir was killed. Huzaym similarly, after defending the Imam (as), had also been martyred.

On performing his janazah, Imam Ali (as) remarked: “Where are my brothers who travelled on the path of truth, and looked towards the hereafter? Where is Ammar? Where is Ibn Abu Tilhaan? Where is the man of two witnesses? Where are their compatriots who had pledged together to die, and dedicated their heads against the oppressors?”

Thereafter the Imam Ali (as) held his beard and cried, and said: “ Oh my brothers! Those who recited the Quran, and commanded according to the Quran, and understood what was compulsory and acted upon it, revived the sunnah, rejected innovation and fought in jihad, relied on their leader and followed him.”

These are the gems that the Prophet (SAWA) trained, and the Ahlulbait (AS) groomed… 

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