Seerah episode 36: The Prophet Recruits Talented Young People

— Reaction to Prophet’s message was in 3 categories:

  • Those who opposed him (Abu Lahab & his wife)
  • Those who believed in him (Ali, Khadijah, Abu Bakr)
  • Those in the middle
    • Those who went about their business & were apathetic overall
    • Those who didn’t believe yet supported Prophet (Abu Talib)

— Az-Zubayr ibn Al-Awam (ra)

  • He was one of the first few people to accept Islam under the da’wah of Abu Bakr
  • He was Khadijah’s nephew & Muhammad’s paternal cousin
  • He played a critical role even after the passing of the Prophet (saw)

— Abdur Rahman bin Awf (ra)

  • He was very close to the Prophet. He was a leader of his people & a very successful businessman.
    • He migrated to Medina & was paired with an Ansari. His Ansari brother offered Abdur Rahman some money to get him on his feet, but Abdur Rahman respectfully declined. He just wanted to know where the marketplace was, where he started his business.
  • His mother was a good friend of the Prophet’s mother Aminah bint Wahab, & she was present at the birth of the Prophet
  • He was also known for his taqwa (God-consciousness)
    • Abdur Rahman is one of the 10 Sahaba who is guaranteed Jannah. However, when the Prophet was listing off the names of the 10 Sahaba who will enter Jannah, the Prophet said to Abdur Rahman bin Awf, “You have guaranteed access to Jannah, but you will be lagging behind.”
    • Abdur Rahman asked why, & the Prophet replied, “You will be busy giving accountability & answering for all the wealth you possess.” This weighed heavily on Abdur Rahman
  • During the Khilafa of Uthman (ra), a very huge trade caravan (business delivery) arrived in Medina. The caravan was so huge that it spanned from one end to the other end of the city
    • The whole city was abuzz due to arrival of the giant caravan. Aisha (ra) comes out of her home & asks what’s going on. Someone told her, “These are Abdur Rahman bin Awf’s delivery.”
    • Aisha then sends Abdur Rahman a message, “Congratulations. May Allah bless your wealth. Remember what the Messenger of Allah told you.” Aisha was looking out for Abdur Rahman when she gave him that advice.
    • When he received the message, Abdur Rahman broke down into tears. He remembered what the Prophet had said about him lagging behind. He then gave everything from the first caravan to the last caravan away as sadaqah (charity) to BaitulMal.
  • Abdur Rahman was also a very strategic thinker
    • This was displayed by the confidence both the Prophet & the rest of the Sahaba had in Abdur Rahman
    • Before Umar ibn Al-Khattab  (the 2nd Khalifah) passed away, he appointed a council to oversee the appointment of the next Khalifah. Umar elected 6 Sahaba as candidates for the council. He told them, “You are to lock yourself in a room & not come out until you vote for the next the Khalifa.”
    • There are 6 candidates, so there’s a possibility of being a tie. If there’s a tie, then Umar ibn Al-Khattab offered the tiebreaker: Abdur Rahman’s vote counted as 2 votes. If there’s a tie, whichever side Abdur Rahman was on, then that side gets to be the Khalifah

— Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas (ra)

  • He was the cousin of the Prophet’s mother Amina. He’s also from the first dozen or so people to accept Islam
  • Sa’ad was only 17 years old when he accepted Islam
  • Surat Luqman; 31:14-15
    • “And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.”
    • “But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge [i.e. shirk], do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.”
  • Sa’ad was very close to his mother. When his mother found out about his conversion to Islam, she was devastated. She tried to talk him out of it, but Sa’ad didn’t budge
    • At the time, his mother said, “I’m not going to eat or drink anything until you stop this foolishness.”
    • Sa’ad of course tried to talk her out of it, but she was insistent. Sa’ad’s mother didn’t eat or drink anything for 4 days
    • Sa’ad still didn’t give up his faith, but he stood by his mother holding bread & water crying & urging her to eat & drink, until she finally gave up the pursuit & ate. She later came to terms with his belief
  • Sa’ad is known for his bravery in battles. He was a very good archer. He was the first archer to shoot his arrow for Islam.
  • His life revolves around the theme of family
  • At the time of Hujjat al-wada (the Farewell Hajj), when the Prophet & all the Sahaba performed Hajj, Sa’ad became very sick, to the point he was deathly ill & there was uncertainty of his recovery
    • Sa’ad tells the Prophet, “I have a significant amount of wealth, and I have only a daughter to pass my wealth to. My wealth is more than enough for my daughter, so is it okay if I give 2/3 of my wealth as sadaqah?”
    • The Prophet replied, “No.”
    • Sa’ad asked, “How about half?”
    • The Prophet replied, “No.”
    • Sa’ad asked, “One third?”
    • The Prophet said, “Yes. Allah allows you to give 1/3 of your wealth as sadaqah. However, 1/3 is a lot. Rather than giving your money to sadaqah, it’s more beneficial to leave your family members well off so that they don’t end up on the streets.”
    • He later came out of his illness and continue to live a long life.
  • At battle of Uhud, when the Prophet was under attack, Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas stood in front of Prophet & just launched arrows, defending the Prophet
    • The Prophet said, “Keep shooting, Sa’ad.”
    • The Prophet also told Sa’ad, “May my mother and father be sacrificed for you, Sa’ad.” That was a phrase that the Sahaba would regularly tell the Prophet, but the Prophet rarely said this to any Sahabi but he said that to Sa’ad.

— Talhah ibn Obaidullah (ra)

  • He’s the cousin of Abu Bakr, who shared the message with Talhah. Talhah was a successful businessman & a man of great character
  • Talhah was also one of the 10 Companions of Paradise
  • He was a strong consultant to all the Khalifahs after the Prophet’s death
  • Talhah was the brother-in-law of the Prophet. Talhah’s wife Hamna bint Jahsh & the Prophet’s wife Zaynab bint Jahsh were sisters
  • He narrated many Hadith from the Prophet
  • On the day of Uhud, Talhah defended the Prophet very bravely. The Prophet later remarked, “Whoever wants to see a living shahid, should look at Talhah.” He earned the status of shahid without dying because of his devotion to the Prophet. He was a ‘living shahid’.

— Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah (ra)

  • The Prophet referred to Abu Ubaidah as the Most Trustworthy Person in the Ummah
  • He was well-known for his character even before Islam
    • The Sahaba said that there were 3 people in the Pre-Islamic era who were known throughout Makkah for their honesty, trustworthiness, & their character. They were not people who indulged in any illicit behavior even though it was the norm during Jahiliya, such as drinking, adultery, or fornication
    • Those 3 people were: Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, Uthman ibn Affan, & Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah (ra). It is not a coincidence then that both three ended up as early muslims.
  • Abu Ubaidah was put in charge of the Bayt al-Mal (royal treasury that managed government expenditures) by the Khulifah
  • He was an ethical businessman
  • He accepted Islam the day after Abu Bakr did
    • He was from Banu Taym, but from a different family in Banu Taym. He was the only one to accept Islam from that family, & because of that, he suffered a lot of persecution from his family
    • He joined the second group of Muslims that migrated to Abyssinia. He also joined the Prophet in his Hijra
  • Abu Ubaidah would reject government positions
    • He was appointed as governor of Syria without his consent. The people just appointed him, & then let him know, “Oh, by the way, you’re in charge of Syria now.”
    • He was so uncomfortable that he said, “I’m here to serve the people, but I can’t accept this position.”

— Sa’id bin Zayd (ra)

  • He’s Makkan by origin. His nickname is Abul Aawar
  • He was from Banu ‘Amir. Sa’id was married to Fatima bint Khattab, the sister of Umar ibn al-Khattab. When Umar wanted to kill the Prophet, someone said that even his sister had embraced Islam. So Umar went over their house and beat his sister and Sa’id.
    • Sa’id & his wife Fatima married in their teens. They were around 20 years old when they accepted Islam
  • Some of the Sahaba say that Sa’id was one of the first scribes of divine revelation
  • Before there was divine revelation, there were people of Hunafa, who practiced monotheism & didn’t worship any idols
    • Sa’id’s father, Zayd bin Amr bin Nufail, was a staunch Wahid (monotheist). When his family & tribespeople would have a feast where they would sacrifice an animal for one of their deities, Zayd would not partake in that food. He would not eat meat that was slaughtered in the name of the idols. He’d bring his own food
    • Because of this, Zayd would get persecuted by his family & tribesmen
    • Zayd represented tawhid during a time period where there was no tawhid in the world. Years later, the Prophet would praise him: “On the Day of Judgment, Zayd bin Amr bin Nufai will be raised as an Ummah by himself.”
  • Sa’id was always by the side of the Prophet. He was one of the men who stood in front & defended the Prophet in the Battle of Uhud
    • He died in year 51 after Hijra (79 years old).  Sa’ad bin Waqas (ra) & Abdullah bin Amr (ra) oversaw Sa’id’s janaza

— The Sahaba mentioned above were some of the first people to congregate in Darul Arqam (House of Arqam), which was considered a safe place for the early Muslims to worship during a time when they were facing persecution. There were more Sahaba who would meet in Darul Arqam:

  • Abu Salama
  • Abdullah bin Abdul Asad
  • Al-Arqam bin abil-Arqam
  • Uthman bin Madhoon & his two sons, Qudama and Abdullah
  • Ubaidah bin al-Harith
  • Asma & Aisha, the daughters of Abu Bakr
  • Khabbab bin al-Aratt (Read his Wiki page)
    • He was a slave of Umm Anmar & he was tortured relentlessly when he accepted Islam. He would be dragged on his back on burning coals
    • During the Khilafah of Umar ibn al-Khattab, whenever he would feel drained by the weight of his duties, Umar would sit with Khabbab & ask him about the latter’s sacrifices. Umar would ask to see Khabbab’s back, which was scarred from those burning coals. Umar would say, “When I would look at Khabbab’s back, it would make me realize that that is what you would call sacrifice.”
  • Umair bin Abi Waqas
    • He was one of the 14 shuhada (martyrs) in Battle of Badr
  • Abdullah bin Mas’ood
    • He was the young shepherd outside Makkah who accepted Islam at the hands of Muhammad & Abu Bakr
    • He was one of the most knowledgeable Sahaba. He was called Muallim (teacher) by the other Sahaba
  • Mas’ud ibn al-Qari
  • Salit bin Amr
  • Ayash bin abi-Rabi’a & his wife Asma bint Salima
  • Khulays bin Hudafa
  • Amir bin Abi-Rabi’a
  • Abdullah  & Abu Ahmad, the sons Jhash ibn Riyah (ra), who was a major leader of his tribe
  • Ja’afar bin Abi Talib, the brother of Ali bin Abi Talib
    • Ali was raised by his cousin Muhammad, while his brother Ja’afar was raised by Abbas, another uncle of Muhammad
    • Ja’afar accepted Islam at the age of 22, at the da’wah of his brother Ali
  • Ja’afar’s wife Asma bint Umays
  • Hatim bin al-Hadith & his brothers Khattab & Mu’ammar, and their wives
  • As Sai’d bin Uthman bin Madhun
  • Al Mutallib ibn Azhar & his wife Ramlah bint Abu Sufyan
    • The couple were early converts to Islam despite Ramlah’s father initially being in opposition to Islam
    • The couple migrated to Abyssinia to escape persecution. Al Mutallib became an alcoholic there, & he drank himself to death, leaving behind his pregnant wife. Ramlah eventually gave birth to a daughter Habiba
    • The Prophet heard the news that the daughter of Abu Sufyan is alone in Abyssinia as a widow & a single mother. Of course, there were about a dozen other Muslims there with her, but she was still a widow, so the Prophet sent a marriage proposal to her. The King of Abyssinia, an-Najashi himself facilitated this marriage & provided the wedding feast
    • So Ramlah became a Mother of the Believers
  • Na’im bin Abdullah
  • Amar bin Fuhaira, who was a servant of Abu Bakr
  • Khalid bin Sa’id & his wife Amina bint Khalif
  • Hatib bin Amr
  • Abu Hudaifa
  • Waqid ibn Abdullah
  • Khalid ibn al-Bakir ibn Abdul Yalil & his 3 brothers, Amir, Aqeel, & Eias
  • Amr bin Yasir, & his parents Yasir & Sumaiyya
  • Suhaib bin Sinan

— The above are the first 40 to accept Islam. Arqam bin Abil Arqam’s house was the first place that these Muslims would congregate in. This was the first community of the Prophet, a small congregation of 40 people

The Prophet was the ultimate talent scout

  • He specifically reached out to the talents who were available in the early days of Islam. The Prophet was cultivating these talented individuals & building the All Star Cast & dream team
  • Part of the Prophet’s strategy & developing the All-Star Cast was targeting the younger people. Shaykh Abdul made a point to mention that our attitude toward the youth of today is very patronizing. Our concern for the youth is judgmental. We don’t talk about what the youth have to bring to the table, but rather, we talk about them as they are a problem, as though they are a spiritual charity case
    • The Prophet was different. He went after them & sought out the youth, “You are the right man for the job.”

— The early Sahaba who became notable leaders later in history accepted Islam when they were very young

  • Age 10 – Ali bin Abi Talib
  • Age 13 – Abdullah bin Umair and Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
  • Age 14 – Uqbah bin Amir
  • Age 15 – Jabir bin Abdullah and Zayd bin Harithah
  • Age 16 – Abdullah bin Mas’ood, Khabbab bin al-Aratt, and Az-Zubayr ibn Al-Awam
  • Age 17 – Talha ibn Obaidullah, Abdur Rahman bin Awf, Al-Arqam bin Abil Arqam, Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas, Asma bint Abi Bakr
  • Age 18 – Mu’adh bin Jabal and Mus’ab bin Umair
  • Age 19 – Abu Musa al Ashaari
  • Age 22 – Ja’afar bin Abi Talib
  • Ages 25-31 – Uthman bin Khuwaylid, Uthman bin Affan, Abu Huraira, Umar ibn Al-Khattab (all were the cream of the crop)

So, do not undermined the young ones.