Sunday, 29 August 2010

Hadhrat Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari's (r.a) Accepts Islam

 Hadhrat Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari (r.a) is very famous among the Sahabah for his piety and knowledge. Hadhrat Ali (r.a) used to say: "Abu Dhar is the custodian of such knowledge as other people are incapable of acquiring."

 When he first got news of the Prophet's (s.a.w) mission, he deputed his brother to go to Mecca and make investigations regarding 'the person' who claimed to be the recipient of Divine revelation. His brother returned after necessary enquiries, and informed him that he found Muhammad (s.a.w) to be a man of good habits and excellent conduct, and that his wonderful revelations were neither poetry nor sooth-sayings.

 This report did not satisfy him, and he decided to set out for Mecca and find out the facts for himself. On reaching Mecca, he went straight to the Haram. He did not know the Prophet (s.a.w) and he did not consider it advisable (under the circumstances prevailing at that time) to enquire about him from anybody.

 When it became dark, Hadhrat Ali (r.a) noticed him and seeing in him a stranger, could not ignore him, as hospitality and care for the travellers, the poor and the strangers, were the Sahabah's second nature. He, therefore, took him to his place. He did not ask him about the purpose of his visit to Mecca, nor did Abu Dhar (r.a) himself disclose it. Next day, he again went to the Haram and stayed there till nightfall without being able to learn who the Prophet (s.a.w) was. In fact everybody knew that the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his companions were being persecuted in Mecca, and Abu Dhar (r.a.) might have had misgivings about the result of his quest for the Prophet (s.a.w.). Hadhrat Ali (r.a.) again took him home for the night, but again did not have any talk with him about the purpose of his visit to the city. On the third night, however, after Hadhrat Ali (r.a.) had entertained him as on the two previous nights, he asked him:

"Brother, what brings you to this town?"

 Before replying, Hadhrat Abu Dhar (r.a.) took an undertaking from Hadhrat Ali (r.a.) that he would speak the truth, and then he enquired from him about Muhammad (s.a.w.). Hadhrat Ali (r.a.) replied:

 "He is verily the Prophet of Allah. You accompany me tomorrow and I shall take you to him. But you have to be very careful, lest people come to know of your association with me, and you get into trouble. When on our way if I apprehend some trouble, I shall get aside pretending some necessity or adjusting my shoes, and you will proceed ahead without stopping so that the people may not connect us."

 The next day, he followed Hadhrat Ali (r.a,), who took him before the Prophet (s.a.w). In the very first meeting, he embraced Islam.

 The Prophet (s.a.w), fearing that the Qureysh might harm him, enjoined upon him not to make an open declaration of his Islam, and bade him to go back to his clan and return when Muslims had gained the upper hand. Hadhrat Abu Dhar (r.a) replied:

"0, Prophet of Allah! By Him who is the master of my soul, I must go and recite the Kalimah in the midst of these unbelievers."

 True to his word, he went straight to the Haram and, right in the midst of the crowd and at the pitch of his voice, recited Shahadah:

 "I bear witness that there is no god save Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the Prophet of Allah."

 People fell upon him from all sides, and would have beaten him to death if Abbas (r.a) (the Prophet's uncle, who had not till then embraced Islam) had not shielded him and saved him from death. Abbas said to the mob:

 "Do you know who he is? He belongs to the Ghifar clan, who live on the way of our caravans to Syria. If he is killed, they will waylay us and we shall not be able to trade with that country." This appealed to their prudence and they left him alone.

 The next day. Hadhrat Abu Dhar (r.a.) repeated his perilous confession of Imaan and would have surely been beaten to death by the crowd, had not Abbas intervened once again and saved him for the second time.

 The action of Hadhrat Abu Dhar (r.a.) was due to his extraordinary zeal for proclaiming Kalimah
among the disbelievers, and the prohibition by the Prophet (s.a.w.) was due to the soft corner in his heart for Hadhrat Abu Dhar (r.a), lest he be put to hardships that might prove too much for him. There is not the least shadow of disobedience in this episode. Since the Prophet (s.a.w) himself was undergoing all sorts of hardships in spreading the message of Islam,

Abu Dhar (r.a.) also thought it fit to follow his example rather than to avail of his permission to avoid danger. It was this spirit of Sahabah that took them to the heights of material and spiritual progress. When a person once recited the Kalimah and entered the fold of Islam, no power on earth could turn him back and no oppression or tyranny could stop him from Tabligh.

(From the book 'Stories of Sahaba' by Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kaandhlawi)