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The Millionaire Sahaabi Who Died in Debt (Hadith No. 2755)


Ahadith 2751 – 2754 (below) are repeats. See linked text for related posts.

Volume 4, Book 53, Number 354 :
Narrated by Aslam
‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “Were it not for those Muslims who have not come to existence yet, I would have distributed (the land of) every town I conquer among the fighters as the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) distributed the land of Khaibar.”

Volume 4, Book 53, Number 355 :
Narrated by Abu Musa Al-Ashari (radiallaahu `anhu)
A bedouin asked the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), “A man may fight for the sake of booty, and another may fight so that he may be mentioned by the people, and a third may fight to show his position (i.e. bravery); which of these regarded as fighting in Allah’s Cause?” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “He who fights so that Allah’s Word (i.e. Islam) should be superior, fights for Allah’s Cause.”

Volume 4, Book 53, Number 356 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin Abu Mulaika (radiallaahu `anhu)
Some silken cloaks with golden buttons were presented to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). He distributed them amongst his companions and kept one for Makhrama, bin Naufal. Later on Makhrama came along with his son Al-Miswar bin Makhrama (radiallaahu `anhumaa), and stood up at the gate and said (to his son). “Call him (i.e. the Prophet) to me.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) heard his voice, took a silken cloak and brought it to him, placing those golden buttons in front of him saying, “O Abu-al-Miswar! I have kept this aside for you! O Abu-al Miswar! I have kept this aside for you!” Makhrama was a bad-tempered man.

Volume 4, Book 53, Number 357 :
Narrated by Anas bin Malik (radiallaahu `anhu)
People used to give some of their datepalms to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) (as a gift), till he conquered Bani Quraiza and Bani An-Nadir, whereupon he started returning their favors.

Today’s Hadith:

This hadith talks about Zubair ibn al-Awwam (radiallaahu `anhu), one of the earliest converts to Islam, how he owed a lot of debt to people when he died and how his son, Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr (radiallaahu `anhu), paid it all off within a short period of time by selling Zubair’s highly-valued properties. It’s just an interesting account that kept surprising me.. if millionaires are considered rich today, what would be their rank in society in those days? Yet, the Sahaaba were not afraid to give everything up for Allah, treat the poor and rich, slave and free, dark and fair alike. Is it humility that we’re missing today, or Imaan?

Volume 4, Book 53, Number 358 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu)
When Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) got up during the battle of Al-Jamal, he called me and I stood up beside him, and he said to me, “O my son! Today one will be killed either as an oppressor or as an oppressed one. I see that I will be killed as an oppressed one. My biggest worry is my debts. Do you think, if we pay the debts, there will be something left for us from our money?” Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) added, “O my son! Sell our property and pay my debts.” Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) then willed one-third of his property and willed one-third of that portion to his sons; namely, ‘Abdullah’s sons. He said, “One-third of the one third. If any property is left after the payment of the debts, one-third (of the one-third of what is left) is to be given to your sons.” (Hisham, a sub-narrator added, “Some of the sons of ‘Abdullah were equal in age to the sons of Az-Zubair e.g. Khubaib and ‘Abbas. ‘Abdullah had nine sons and nine daughters at that time.” (The narrator ‘Abdullah added:) My father (Az-Zubair) went on drawing my attention to his debts saying, “If you should fail to pay part of the debts, appeal to my Master to help you.” By Allah! I could not understand what he meant till I asked, “O father! Who is your Master?” He replied, “Allah (is my Master).” By Allah, whenever I had any difficulty regarding his debts, I would say, “Master of Az-Zubair! Pay his debts on his behalf .” and Allah would (help me to) pay it. Az-Zubair was martyred leaving no Dinar or Dirham but two pieces of land, one of which was (called) Al-Ghaba, and eleven houses in Medina, two in Basra, one in Kufa and one in Egypt. In fact, the source of the debt which he owed was, that if somebody brought some money to deposit with him. Az Zubair would say, “No, (i won’t keep it as a trust), but I take it as a debt, for I am afraid it might be lost.” Az-Zubair was never appointed governor or collector of the tax of Kharaj or any other similar thing, but he collected his wealth (from the war booty he gained) during the holy battles he took part in, in the company of the Prophet, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman. (‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair added:) When I counted his debt, it turned to be two million and two hundred thousand. (The sub-narrator added:) Hakim bin Hizam met Abdullah bin Zubair and asked, “O my nephew! How much is the debt of my brother?” ‘Abdullah kept it as a secret and said, “One hundred thousand,” Hakim said, “By Allah! I don’t think your property will cover it.” On that ‘Abdullah said to him, “What if it is two million and two hundred thousand?” Hakim said, “I don’t think you can pay it; so if you are unable to pay all of it, I will help you.” Az-Zubair had already bought Al-Ghaba for one hundred and seventy thousand. ‘Abdullah sold it for one million and six hundred thousand. Then he called the people saying, “Any person who has any money claim on Az-Zubair should come to us in Al-Ghaba.” There came to him ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far whom Az-Zubair owed four hundred thousand. He said to ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, “If you wish I will forgive you the debt.” ‘Abdullah (bin Az-Zubair) said, “No.” Then Ibn Ja’far said, “If you wish you can defer the payment if you should defer the payment of any debt.” Ibn Az-Zubair said, “No.” ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far said, “Give me a piece of the land.” ‘Abdullah bin AzZubair said (to him), “Yours is the land extending from this place to this place.” So, ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair sold some of the property (including the houses) and paid his debt perfectly, retaining four and a half shares from the land (i.e. Al-Ghaba). He then went to Mu’awlya while ‘Amr bin ‘Uthman, Al-Mundhir bin Az-Zubair and Ibn Zam’a were sitting with him. Mu’awiya asked, “At what price have you appraised Al-Ghaba?” He said, “One hundred thousand for each share,” Muawiya asked, “How many shares have been left?” ‘Abdullah replied, “Four and a half shares.” Al-Mundhir bin Az-Zubair said, “I would like to buy one share for one hundred thousand.” ‘Amr bin ‘Uthman said, “I would like to buy one share for one hundred thousand.” Ibn Zam’a said, “I would like to buy one share for one hundred thousand.” Muawiya said, “How much is left now?” ‘Abdullah replied, “One share and a half.” Muawiya said, “I would like to buy it for one hundred and fifty thousand.” ‘Abdullah also sold his part to Muawiya six hundred thousand. When Ibn AzZubair had paid all the debts. Az-Zubair’s sons said to him, “Distribute our inheritance among us.” He said, “No, by Allah, I will not distribute it among you till I announce in four successive Hajj seasons, ‘Would those who have money claims on Az-Zubair come so that we may pay them their debt.” So, he started to announce that in public in every Hajj season, and when four years had elapsed, he distributed the inheritance among the inheritors. Az-Zubair had four wives, and after the one-third of his property was excluded (according to the will), each of his wives received one million and two hundred thousand. So the total amount of his property was fifty million and two hundred thousand.

Read this hadith in Arabic here.

Before anybody gets ideas as to how he acquired all this wealth, it must be noted that he was alive till the Battle of the Camel and he participated in most of the battles fought from Badr till Camel, if not all. Fighters had shares in war booty and wealth was pouring in from all sides after Conquest of Makkah. So it does seem very likely that a fighter of the Muslim army, and a commander at that, would accumulate this much with the passage of time. Even property worth 50 million plus? Yup!



The Knowledge and Wisdom of Ibn Mas`ud [radiallaahu `anhu] (Hadith No. 2604)


Volume 4, Book 52, Number 209 :
Narrated by Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
Today a man came to me and asked me a question which I did not know how to answer. He said, “Tell me, if a wealthy active man, well-equipped with arms, goes out on military expeditions with our chiefs, and orders us to do such things as we cannot do (should we obey him?)” I replied, “By Allah, I do not know what to reply you, except that we were in the company of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and he used to order us to do a thing once only till we finished it. And no doubt, everyone among you will remain in a good state as long as he obeys Allah. If one is in doubt as to the legality of something, he should ask somebody who would satisfy him, but soon will come a time when you will not find such a man. By Him, except Whom none has the right to be worshipped, I see that the example of what has passed of this life (to what remains thereof) is like a pond whose fresh water has been used up and nothing remains but muddy water.”

The narrator of this hadith, Abdullah, is none other than the famous Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (radiallaahu `anhu), about whom `Allaamah adh-Dhahabi writes:

“‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (ra), the learned leader (al-imam al-rabbani), Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Abdullah Ibn Ummi ‘Abd al-Hudhali; Companion and personal servant of the Messenger (saw); among the first to embrace Islam; among the veterans of the battle of Badr; among the expert jurists and teachers of the Qur’an; among those who strove to convey (the words of the Messenger – saw) very accurately; extremely scrupulous in (his) narrations; and one who would admonish his students upon their negligence in recording the exact words (of the Messenger – saw)…(Due to extreme caution) he would narrate very little (himself)… His students would not give preference to any Companion over him…. Surely he was from among the leading Companions, the bearers of sacred knowledge, and the exemplars (a’imma) of guidance.” (Tadhkirat al-Huffaz 1:13-16)

Abdullah ibn Mas`ud

Hudhayfa (radiallaahu `anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said:

“Whatever ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radiallaahu `anhu) narrates to you, accept it.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

Going back to the hadith, his reply to the questioner is basically in affirmative when he says that we used to do whatever the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said to us. And that you would prosper as long as you obey Allah (by obeying the leader). Now we know from yesterday’s post that one must obey the appointed ruler as much as he can and as long as he doesn’t order you to do acts of kufr (disbelief) etc. Ibn Mas`ud (radiallaahu `anhu) did not say yes explicitly to not make it hard for the person to follow his fatwa. So he said when such things happen (I’m supposing this was a hypothetical question), ask someone who can satisfy you – meaning a scholar, who will be rare to find. And his parable of the life already lived as compared to the remaining portion adds weight to his point in my opinion – that the days are only getting worse. So it will definitely happen that rulers will ask of subjects what they cannot do resulting in disobedience of the subjects.

Jabir (RA)’s Father (Ahadith 1133 – 1135)


Volume 2, Book 23, Number 432:

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

The Prophet said, “Allah has made Mecca a sanctuary (sacred place) and it was a sanctuary before me and will be so after me. It was made legal for me (to fight in it) for a few hours of the day. None is allowed to uproot its thorny shrubs or to cut its trees or to chase its game or to pick up its fallen things except by a person who announces it publicly.” On that Al-Abbas said (to the Prophet), “Except Al-Idhkhir for our goldsmiths and for our graves.” And so the Prophet added, “Except Al-Idhkhir. ” And Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said, “Except Al-Idhkhir for our graves and houses.” And Ibn Abbas said, “For their goldsmiths and houses.”

Hadith no. 1131 (above) is a repeat. Read it here.

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 433:

Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah:

Allah’s Apostle came to Abdullah bin Ubai (a hypocrite) after his death and he has been laid in his pit (grave). He ordered (that he be taken out of the grave) and he was taken out. Then he placed him on his knees and threw some of his saliva on him and clothed him in his (the Prophet’s) own shirt. Allah knows better (why he did so). ‘Abdullah bin Ubai had given his shirt to Al-Abbas to wear. Abu Harun said, “Allah’s Apostle at that time had two shirts and the son of ‘Abdullah bin Ubai said to him, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! Clothe my father in your shirt which has been in contact with your skin.’ ‘ Sufyan added, “Thus people think that the Prophet clothed ‘Abdullah bin Tubal in his shirt in lieu of what he (Abdullah) had done (for Al Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle.)”

Hadith no. 1132 (above) is also a repeat. Read it here.

About Jabir (RA)’s father..

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 434:

Narrated Jabir:

When the time of the Battle of Uhud approached, my father called me at night and said, “I think that I will be the first amongst the companions of the Prophet to be martyred. I do not leave anyone after me dearer to me than you, except Allah’s Apostle’s soul and I owe some debt and you should repay it and treat your sisters favorably (nicely and politely).” So in the morning he was the first to be martyred and was buried along with another (martyr). I did not like to leave him with the other (martyr) so I took him out of the grave after six months of his burial and he was in the same condition as he was on the day of burial, except a slight change near his ear.

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 435:

Narrated Jabir:

A man was buried along with my father and I did not like it till I took him (i.e. my father) out and buried him in a separate grave.

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 436:

Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah:

The Prophet collected every two martyrs of Uhud (in one grave) and then he would ask, “Which of them knew the Quran more?” And if one of them was pointed out for him as having more knowledge, he would put him first in the Lahd. The Prophet said, “I will be a witness on these on the Day of Resurrection.” Then he ordered them to be buried with their blood on their bodies and he did not have them washed.

  • Digging up the grave of a deceased person – not allowed. There are certain conditions in this matter. Read this for details.
  • Burying two persons in the same grave – not allowed, unless it’s a necessity (as was after Uhud). Details to be found in the link above.
  • Does the Earth disintegrate the bodies of martyrs? Some say yes, some say it was exclusive to the martyrs of Uhud only. And Allah knows best.
  • How to advise your son about dealing with affairs after your death? Learn it from Abdullah (RA) [Jabir (RA)’s father]:
    “I do not leave anyone after me dearer to me than you, except Allah’s Apostle’s soul and I owe some debt and you should repay it and treat your sisters favorably (nicely and politely).”

    • He was leaving behind his whole family, but he asked Jabir (RA) to take care of his most beloved person – Prophet (SAW). <3
    • He was worried about the debts that he hadn’t paid yet. Seems like he was way too eager to meet Allah, and that too, after finishing all worldly matters.
    • He admonishes Jabir (RA) to take care of his sisters afterwards.
      Note that Jabir (RA) was about seventeen years old at that time. Respecting his father’s wishes, he married an older woman, hoping that she’ll be like a mother to his sisters. He was young, he could’ve married someone his own age, to enjoy his life. And that’s exactly what Prophet (SAW) said to him..
      Jabir b. Abdillah reported that once he was on an expedition with the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and when they were close to the city of Madinah, he sped on his mount. The Prophetsalla Allahu alayhi wa sallam asked him why he was in such a hurry to return home. Jabir replied, “I am recently married!” The Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam asked, “To an older lady or a younger one?” [the Arabic could also read: “To a widow or a virgin?”], to which he replied, “A widow.” The Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “But why didn’t you marry a younger girl, so that you could play with her, and she could play with you, and you could make her laugh, and she could make you laugh?” He said, “O Messenger of Allah! My father died a martyr at Uhud, leaving behind daughters, so I did not wish to marry a young girl like them, but rather an older one who could take care of them and look after them.” The Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa salam replied, “You have made the correct choice…  Jabir said, “So when we were about to enter the city, the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallamsaid to me, ‘Slow down, and enter at night, so that she who has not combed may comb her hair, and she who has not shaved may shave her private area.’ Then he said to me, ‘When you enter upon her, then be wise and gentle.'”
      [Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim]


Death of a Hypocrite (Ahadith 1058 -1059)


I want you to recall who Abdullah ibn Ubayy was. I want you to read up on him a bit. Here’s a few words about him:

Abdullah bin Ubayy was an Ansar chief of Madina. Abdullah bin Ubayy had the ambition to wear the crown of Madina. When the people of Madina invited the Holy Prophet and the Muslims to migrate to Madina and accepted the Holy Prophet as their ruler the designs of Abdullah bin Ubayy were frustrated. As all the Arabs of Madina accepted Islam, Abdullah also became a Muslim as a measure of expediency. Islam, however, sat lightly on him, and he often indulged in activities hostile to Islam.

In the battle of Uhud, he betrayed the Muslim trust and withdrew his contingent at the last moment. On the occasion of the raid of Al-Mustaliq he said unbecoming things against the Muhajreen including the Holy Prophet. In the sad episode of False Allegation he was responsible for calumny against Ayesha. Umar sought the permission of the Holy Prophet to kill Abdullah bin Ubayy, but the Holy Prophet, kind-hearted as he was, did not give the permission.

Even Allah had taken notice of the hypocrisy of Abdullah bin Ubayy, and in a revelation to the Holy Prophet it was said that even if he prayed for the hypocrites seventy times his prayer would not be accepted.

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 359:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

When ‘Abdullah bin Ubai (the chief of hypocrites) died, his son came to the Prophet and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Please give me your shirt to shroud him in it, offer his funeral prayer and ask for Allah’s forgiveness for him.” So Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) gave his shirt to him and said, “Inform me (When the funeral is ready) so that I may offer the funeral prayer.” So, he informed him and when the Prophet intended to offer the funeral prayer, ‘Umar took hold of his hand and said, “Has Allah not forbidden you to offer the funeral prayer for the hypocrites? The Prophet said, “I have been given the choice for Allah says: ‘(It does not avail) Whether you (O Muhammad) ask forgiveness for them (hypocrites), or do not ask for forgiveness for them. Even though you ask for their forgiveness seventy times, Allah will not forgive them. (9.80)” So the Prophet offered the funeral prayer and on that the revelation came: “And never (O Muhammad) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (i.e. hypocrites) that dies.” (9. 84)

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 360:

Narrated Jabir:

The Prophet came to (the grave of) ‘Abdullah bin Ubai after his body was buried. The body was brought out and then the Prophet put his saliva over the body and clothed it in his shirt.

An interesting commentary on this Hadith here.

There were many reasons behind the Prophet’s leading the janazah prayer of a man who worked hard to divide the Islamic community throughout his life.

The most important reason was to make people who had gathered around him have belief. As a matter of fact, when the Messenger of God was asked why he gave his shirt and why he led the janazah prayer of Abdullah b. Ubay b. Salul, he gave the following answer:

“My shirt and the janazah prayer I performed will not save him from the torture of my Lord. However, I hope that one thousand people from his tribe will become sincere Muslims thanks to them.”

Indeed, one thousand people became Muslims when they saw that the Messenger of God treated Abdullah b. Ubay so graciously.

Read more on his death and the way Prophet (SAW) treated him here.

And for you and me, here’s the lesson we must learn from this story:

Won’t you agree?


The Blind Mu’adhin: Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum (Hadith No. 591)


Volume 1, Book 11, Number 591:

Narrated Salim bin Abdullah:

My father said that Allah’s Apostle said, “Bilal pronounces Adhaan at night, so keep on eating and drinking (Suhur) till Ibn Umm Maktum pronounces Adhaan.” Salim added, “He was a blind man who would not pronounce the Adhaan unless he was told that the day had dawned.”

Yes, a blind man. He only needed to be told of the time. Pronouncing the Adhaan does not require sight, does it? :)

Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum was among the first converts to Islam. Muhammad (SAW) sent him and Mus`ab ibn `Umair to Medina for teaching Qur’an to the inhabitants before the Hijrah took place. He and Bilal ibn Rabah were chosen as mu’adhins in Medina by Muhammad (SAW). When Muhammad (SAW) left Medina for participating in battles, he was given the responsibility of leading the prayers. (Islam surely does NOT discriminate.)

Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum requested Umar, the second Caliph of Islam, to let him take part in Jihad in spite of his blindness. Umar allowed him to take part in the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah in 636 C.E. He served in the battle as the standard bearer for the Muslim side, and he was killed in the fighting.

Allah (SWT) revealed a few verses about this awesome Sahabi (companion) as well. The story goes as follows:

Muhammad (SAW) was preaching Islam to Walid ibn al-Mughira and other Quraysh chieftains in Mecca. Abd-Allah ibn Umm Maktum came along and asked Muhammad (SAW) about something. Muhammad (SAW) did not want to turn his attention away from the chieftains and frowned at ibn Umm Maktum. Allah admonished Muhammad (SAW) for this action via the first ten verses of ‘Abasa:

He (Prophet s.a.w) frowned and turned (his) back,
Because there came to him the blind man.
And what would make you know that he would purify himself,
Or become reminded so that the reminder should profit him?
As for him who considers himself free from need (of you),
To him do you address yourself.
And no blame is on you if he would not purify himself
And as to him who comes to you striving hard,
And he fears,
From him will you divert yourself?

Another verse based on an incident involving ibn Umm-Maktum is the 95th verse of An-Nisa. As related by Ibn Kathir in his exegesis of the Qur’an, Al-Bukhari recorded that Sahl bin Sa`d As-Sa`di said, “I saw Marwan bin Al-Hakam sitting in the Masjid. I came and sat by his side. He told us that Zayd bin Thabit told him that Allah’s Messenger dictated this Ayah to him, Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and those who strive and fight in the Cause of Allah. Ibn Umm Maktum came to the Prophet as he was dictating that very Ayah to me. Ibn Umm Maktum said, `O Allah’s Messenger! By Allah, if I had power, I would surely take part in Jihad.’ He was a blind man. So Allah sent down revelation to His Messenger while his thigh was on mine and it became so heavy for me that I feared that my thigh would be broken. That ended after Allah revealed, … except those who are disabled and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah. [Qur’an, 4:95]

So that was Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum, the awesome Sahabi who did not let his blindness be his weakness. He did more than most ‘seeing’ men could ever do. May Allah be pleased with him. :)


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