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Malik al-Ashtar and al-Rabathah

Adopted from the Book : "Malik al-Ashtar" by : "Kamal al-Seyyed"

Al-Rabathah is a desert between Makkah and Madina. It is a barren land. No one inhabits it. But in the year 30 A.H., there was only one tent. In the tent there were an old man, an old woman, and their daughter.

Why did the old man inhabit that distant area in the middle of the desert?

He did not inhabit it of his on accord - the Caliph banished him to die there.

The old man was ill. And his wife was always in tears. So, he said to her:

Dhar's mother; why do you weep?

The old woman said:

Why shouldn't I weep and you're dying in this desert?

The old man said:

One day, my friends and I were sitting with Allah's Apostle [s]. And he said to us:

"One of you will die in the desert. And a group of believers will attend his death."

All my friends passed away in their houses. And no one has remained but I. A person will come to your aid.

The old woman said:

The time of Hajj (Pilgrimage) is over. And no one has passed through this desert.

The old man said:

Don't worry! Go up the hill and look at the road of caravans.

The old woman went up the hill and looked.

A long time passed, in the distance, the old woman saw a caravan coming towards her.

The old woman waved a piece of cloth. The riders wondered and asked each other about that lonely old woman in the desert.

They approached and asked about her condition. She said:

My husband is dying. And no one is beside him.

And who's your husband?

While the old woman was weeping, she said:

Abu Dhar, the companion of Allah's Apostle!

The owners of the caravan were surprised. So, they said:

Abu Dhar! The Prophet's companion! Come on! Let's see him!

The men went to the tent. When they came into it, they saw Abu Dhar sleeping in his bed. They said:

Assalamu Alaik, companion of Allah's Apostle!

Wa Alaikum al-Salam, who are you?

One of them said:

Malik bin al-Haarth al-Ashtar. And there are some men with me from Iraq. We're going to Madina to tell the Caliph about the persecution we suffer from.

Abu Dhar said:

My brothers, be cheerfull! Allah's Apostle [s] has told me that I'll die in the desert and that some believers will attend my death.

Malik and his friends rejoiced at that Prophetic good news. They sat down in Abu Dhar's tent. Malik al-Ashtar felt sorry for him. And he was sad to hear that the Umayyads mistreated the great companion, Abu Dhar.

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