Abu Dhar al-Ghifari - Part 3
The Prophet's Traditions
Our Master Muhammad [s] died. The Muslims were sad. But Abu Dhar was sadder then them. He was loyal to Allah's Apostle. So, he memorized his traditions and made them a lamp to lighten his way.
Abu Dhar deeply believed in Caliphate as he believed in Prophecy. He regarded it as a Divine right.
Allah, the Glorified, chose the most worthy ones of his righteous slaves. In the meantime he heard the Prophet [s] saying to Ali: Ali, don't you accept to be my brother as Harun was Musa's brother, but there will be no prophet after me.
At Ghadeer Khum, Abu Dhar heard the Prophet [s] saying to all Muslims: He whose leader is I, so Ali is his leader. Allah support him who supports Ali...
And he heard the prophet saying: Ali is with justice and justice is with Ali.
We regret that some Muslims had forgotten such traditions when the prophet [s] the Prophet [s] died.
While his cousin and regent Ali bin Abu Talib [a] was busy with that disaster, the Muslims held a meeting and elected Abu Bakr.
Many companions opposed that. Salman al-Farsi, about whom the Prophet [s] said: Salman is one of us Ahlul Bait, was one of them.
Abadah bin al-Saamit, Abu al-Haitham al Taihan, Huthaifa, Ammar bin Yasir were of them, too. Fatima al-Zahra, the mistress of all women of the world, was dissatisfied with that. She was angry.
After only few months, Imam Ali [a] was forced to accept Abu Bakr as caliph in the interest of Islam. So, Abu Dhar, the companion, accepted him too.
Abu Dhar was always thinking about the interest of Islam and Muslims. So, he went to the fields of jihad to defend the Muslim government.
In the meantime, the Romans were launching military attacks against the borders of the Muslim State. So Abu Dhar went with many companions to the war fronts to strive for Allah.
The first Caliph was Abu Bakr. The Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab succeeded him. Abu Dhar was in Shaam (Syria). He and his Muslim brothers were striving there.
Umar bin al-Khattab died. The Caliph Uthman succeeded him.
But the third Caliph did not follow the Prophet's and the companions manners. He brought his relatives and appointed them in offices of the government. He began filling their pockets with the Muslims' money. He brought Marwan bin al-Hakam, whom our Master Muhammad [s] dismissed and made him real ruler for the state.
People complained of Uthman's policy. A delegation from Kufa went to the Caliph. They told him that their ruler was always drinking alcohol and that he was always going to the mosque drunk and vomiting in the prayer niche.
But the Caliph did not do anything. Rather, Marwan abused the delegation and dismissed them. Some of the Prophet's companions were with them.
One day Abu Dhar advised Uthman: At least follow your predecessors' way. So, no one will speak against you.
But Uthman scolded Abu Dhar and said in the presence of the attendees: Advise me! What shall I do for this lying Shaikh? Shall I hit, imprison, kill or banish him from the land of Islam?
Abu Dhar and the Muslims felt pain. They remembered our Master Muhammad's tradition: There's no one under the sky or in the earth more truthful than Abu Dhar.
But the Caliph accused Abu Dhar of lying and said: The lying Shaikh!
Abu Dhar sadly went out of the Caliph's meeting. He remembered what had happened to him for over twenty years. He remembered the day when Allah's Apostle entered the mosque and found him sleeping. He woke him and said: Never sleep in the mosque again.
Then he said to him: What will you do if they send you out of the mosque one day?
Abu Dhar said: I'll go to Shaam, the land of Jihad.
The Prophet [s] said: If they dismiss you from it?
Abu Dhar said: I'll come back to the mosque.
Then the Prophet [s] said: If they send you out of it?
Abu Dhar said: I'll take my sword and hit them with it.
The Prophet [s] said: Shall I direct you to a better thing?
Yes, Allah's Apostle.
The Prophet [s] said: Listen and obey.
To Shaam (Syria)
The third Caliph decided to banish Abu Dhar to Shaam. Abu Dhar arrived in Shaam. Mu'awiyah ordered his soldiers to banish him to an area in the southern part of Lebanon, now called Jabal Amil.
Abu Dhar began teaching people the Prophet's traditions and his behaviour. He condemned the rulers' corruption, their oppression towards people, their luxury.
He was always reading Allah's words: And as for those who hoard gold and silver and so not spend it in Allah's way, announce to them a painful punishment.
Mu'awiyah wanted to tempt Abu Dhar with money to make him keep silent. So, he ordered his soldiers to bring him to Damascus. In the meantime, he sent him a lot of gifts. But the great companion gave them to the poor. Then he was always passing by Mu'awiyah palace and saying:
Allah curse those who enjoy good, but don't apply it. Allah curse those who prevent people from committing abominable actions, but they commit them.
So, Mu'awiyah ordered his guards to arrest Abu Dhar. The guards brought him chained before Mu'awiyah. Mu'awiyah said to him with spite: Allah's enemy, and enemy of Allah's Apostle, everyday you pass by our palace and shout. I'll ask Amirul Mumineen, Uthman for permission to kill you.
Then Mu'awiyah turned to his guards and said: Take him to prison.
Mu'awiyah send the Caliph a letter. In the letter, he told him about Abu Dhar's action and about the gathering of the people around him.
The Caliph ordered Mu'awiyah to send back Abu Dhar to Madina and to mistreat him.
The Muslims heard the news. So, they crowded to see of the companion of Allah's Apostle.
Abu Dhar rode his she-camel. Some rude persons were leading the she-camel. They were not respecting his old age and weakness and this made him tired during his travel.
Abu Dhar arrived in Madina in a bad condition. He went to the Caliph. He was about to fall over the ground because of intense weakness and tiredness.
Abu Dhar said: Woe unto you! Haven't you seen Allah's Apostle? Are your actions like his? You attack me violently as tyrants do!
Uthman intensely said: Get out of our homeland.
So, Abu Dhar sadly said: Where?
The Caliph said: Wherever you want.
Abu Dhar said: Shall I go to Shaam, the land of Jihad?
Uthman cried: No! I won't return you to Shaam!
Abu Dhar said: Shall I go to Iraq?
Shall I go to Egypt?
Abu Dhar said sadly: So, where shall I go?
To the desert!
Shall I go to Najd desert?
No! to the far-east, to al-Rabathah!
Abu Dhar shouted: Allah is great! Allah's Apostle was truthful when he told me about that!
Uthman asked: What did he say to you?
The old companion answered: He told me that I would be prevented from staying in Makkah and Madina and that I would die in al-Rabathah and that some Iraqis, on their way to al-Hejaz, would bury me.
Al-Rabathah is an area at the eastern part of al-Madina al Munawarra.
Abu Dhar disliked al-Rabathah because he worshipped the idols there during the pre-Islamic period.
Abu Dhar liked Madina because the Prophet's Holy Shrine and Mosque were there. He liked Makkah because Allah's Holy House was there. He liked Shaam because it was the land of Jihad.
Abu Dhar disliked al-Rabathah because it would remind him of worshipping the idols. But the Caliph banished him to that area. In the meantime, the Caliph ordered Marwan to take him and prevent the Muslims from seeing him off.
The Muslims were afraid of the Caliph's power. So, only a few companions saw him off. They were Ali bin Abu Talib [a], his brother Aqeel, al-Hasan and al-Husain (the Prophet's grandsons), and the great companion Ammar bin Yasir.
Imam Ali [a] advanced to see him off. He said: Abu Dhar, you've become very angry for Allah. The people are worried about their religion, and you are worried about your religion. So, leave what they are worried about in your hands and escape from them with what you're worried about. They're in need of what you've prevented them from. And you're in no need of what they've prevented you from. Tomorrow you'll know who will be the winner. Abu Dhar, nothing amuses you but the truth and nothing annoys you but the untruth.
Aqeel advanced and said: You know we like you, and you like us. Fear Allah because the fear of Allah is salvation. And be patient because patience is generosity.
The Prophet's grandson, al-Hasan bin Ali advanced and said: Uncle, be patient till you meet your Prophet [s]. He will be pleased with you.
Al-Husain advanced and said: Uncle, ask Allah to grant you patience and victory.
While Ammar bin Yasir was in tears, he advanced and said: May not Allah amuse those who annoy you. And He may not make safe those who have dismayed you. By Allah! If you want their world, they'll make you safe. And if you're pleased with their actions, they'll love you.
Abu Dhar wept and said: People of the House of Mercy, may Allah have mercy upon you all. When I see you, I remember Allah's Apostle.
Abu Dhar, his wife and his daughter went to al-Rabathah Desert. He was recalling our Master Muhammad's words: Abu Dhar, may Allah have mercy upon you. You'll live alone, die alone, rise from the dead alone and enter Paradise alone.
Adapted from the book: "The Companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w)"
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