Thabit ibn Qays [radiallaahu `anhu] (Hadith No. 2493)
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 98 :
Narrated by Ibn Aun
Once Musa bin Anas while describing the battle of Yamama, said, “Anas bin Malik (radiallaahu `anhu) went to Thabit bin Qais (radiallaahu `anhu), who had lifted his clothes from his thighs and was applying Hunut to his body. Anas asked, ‘O Uncle! What is holding you back (from the battle)?’ He replied, ‘O my nephew! I am coming just now,’ and went on perfuming himself with Hunut, then he came and sat (in the row). Anas then mentioned that the people fled from the battle-field. On that Thabit (radiallaahu `anhu) said, ‘Clear the way for me to fight the enemy. We would never do so (i.e. flee) in the company of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). How bad the habits you have acquired from your enemies!”
Applying Hunut = putting on perfume. It’s done in order to prepare oneself for the meeting with angels. Only a person eager for martyrdom, also sure of it, would care for such detail when putting on his armor in preparation for battle.
We see this eagerness again when Thabit (radiallaahu `anhu) marches towards the enemy while others were fleeing/backing away. As we get to know from the reports of the Battle of Yamama, Musaylamah’s army wasn’t easy to defeat. It took a lot of strategizing and and toil to corner the enemy. Being brave and enthusiastic in such circumstances isn’t an easy thing to do. When everyone around you is being negative, losing hope, it’s close to impossible to remain firm on your ground. Such was the character of this sahabi.
More on Thabit bin Qays (radiallaahu `anhu):
His full name was Thâbit bin Qays bin Shammas bin Zahîr al-Ansâri. He is also referred to as Abu Muhammad or Abu Abdul Rahmân, meaning the father of Muhammad or the father of Abdul Rahmân. Both his sons were killed in the battle of Harra while defending Madina. Thâbit bin Qays was known as the Speaker of the Ansâr (Khatîb al- Ansâr) as he would eloquently address the Ansâr on behalf of the Messenger, upon him be peace. He was also known as Khatib al-Rasûl, the one who gave the sermon for the Messenger, upon him be peace.
There were several verses of Qurân revealed about him. One of the verses related to divorce was revealed after his wife complained to the Messenger that ‘although she did not complain about his character or religion’, she did not want to remain married to him. The Messenger, upon him be peace, then asked her if she were willing to return the garden that he had given her in dowry. She agreed and the Messenger, upon him be peace, instructed him to ‘accept the garden and pronounce the divorce’.
Another verse was revealed with regard his generosity. When his fruit was ripe he decided he would give anyone that came to him that day some dates as a gift. By the end of the day he had no dates left for himself or his family and Allah revealed the verse, “It is He Who produces gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah loves not the wasters” (6:141).
There were two verses that were revealed about other people that he feared were about him. The first was where some companions were told ‘O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as you may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and you perceive not (49:2). He had a loud voice and was fearful that the verse was a direct rebuke to him. He hid away for some days until the Messenger; himself went to see what was wrong with him. Thâbit explained that he has a loud voice and was afraid that he would be one whose ‘deeds become vain’. The Messenger, upon him be peace, comforted him saying ‘you live well and you will die well’.
He also went into hiding after Allah revealed that He ‘loves not any arrogant boaster’ (39:18). On this occasion, the Messenger, upon him be peace, told him ‘you are not one of them, you live a praised life and you will die a martyr and enter the Garden.’ He was killed in the battle of Yamâma during the period of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq.
He was a man of great character and worship. On one occasion, the Messenger, upon him be peace saw a light emanating from a house and said ‘perhaps someone is reading Surat al-Baqara (the second chapter of the Quran)’. The next morning some of the companions went to the house and asked Thâbit what he was doing that night and he confirmed that he was indeed reading Surat al-Baqara.
Taken from Kitaba