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Innal-Hamdulillah was-Salaatu was-Salaam `alaa Rasoolillaah

 

Asalaamu’alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuhu

 

A story of one of the many great companions of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad sallallahu’alayhi wasallam, a man named:

 

Abu-d Darda

(may Allah be pleased with him)

 

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Introduction

 

Just like all the companions, Abu-d Darda sacrificed everything for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (sa); he knew what it meant to believe and worship Allah in His Oneness. He did not take Islaam for granted, like many of us do today, he took Islaam as his complete and best way of life and strived hard in the path of Allah, never giving up in times of hardship, never intentionally disobeying Allah and keeping Allah as his no one priority; understanding that:

 

“Indeed we come from Allah and to Him is our returnâ€. [surah Al-Baqarah, 2:156].

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Abu-d Darda Before Islaam

 

Early one morning, Abu-d Darda woke up and just like many mornings his normal routine was to go straight to his idol which was kept in the best part of his house. He would greet it, bow down to it, apply the best perfume to it and decorate it with the most beautiful silk brought from Yemen.

 

As the sun was high, he left for work. On his way on the streets of Yathrib (Medina) crowds of people were gathered, they were the followers of Prophet Muhammad (sa) returning from the battle of Badr.

 

Abu-d Darda anxiously searched through the crowd, then approached a Khazraji youth (belonging to the Khazraj tribe) and asked about Abdullah ibn Rawahah (may Allah be pleased with him), the youth replied:

 

He was put through the severest tests in the battle, but he has returned safely..

 

Now you may ask why is this Mushrik (one who commits shirk) so worriedly enquiring about one of the companions of our Prophet (sa)?

 

Well everyone in Yathrib knew about the bond of brotherhood which existed between Abu-d Darda and Abdullah ibn Rawahah in the days of Jahiliyah (ignorance). Then when Islaam came into their city, Abdullah ibn Rawahah embraced it while Abu-d Darda rejected it.

 

However, Abdullah kept on visiting Abu-d Darda in hope to make him see the beauty and virtues of this religion Islaam, and that salvation is only through the worship of the one God for the whole of mankind – Allah subhaana hu wa ta ala.

 

But many days, months and years passed and Abu-d Darda remained in his ignorance.

 

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The destruction of Abu-d Darda’s Idol

 

As Abu-d Darda arrived to his shop, he began buying and selling totally unaware of what was about to occur at his house. For at that very moment, Abdullah ibn Rawahah had made his way to his house determined on a course of action.

 

The main gate was open, and inside the courtyard was Umm ad-Darda (the wife of Abu-d Darda). Abdullah said to her:

 

Asalaamu ‘alayki (peace be upon you, servant of Allah)

 

She replied:

 

Wa alayka-s salaam (and unto you be peace) Oh brother of Abu-d Darda

 

He asked where Abu-d Darda was, she informed him her husband was at work and will return shortly. He asked whether he could come in and wait, she welcomed him and said make yourself at home, while she returned back to her household chores and looking after her children.

 

Abdullah ibn Rawahah made his way to the room where Abu-d Darda kept his idol; he took out his adz (sharp edged wood cutting tool) and began destroying the idol while saying:

 

Isn’t everything falsehood which is worshipped besides Allah?

 

He completely smashed the idol into pieces, and left.

 

Shortly after Umm ad-Darda entered the room and was horrified at what she saw and said in anguish:

 

You have brought ruin to me, ibn Rawahah

 

When Abu-d Darda came home, he found his wife looking terrified sat outside the room of his idol. He asked:

 

What is wrong with you?

 

She nervously replied:

 

Your brother Abdullah ibn Rawahah visited us in your absence, and look what he has done to your idols.

 

Abu-d Darda could not believe his eyes, his idols were broken in front of him, and he became raged with anger and was determined to take revenge. Time passed, and his anger had subsided, and the very idea of getting revenge for his idol had totally disappeared.

 

He pondered over what had happened, and thought:

 

If there was any good in this idol, he would have defended himself against any injury.

 

The whole concept of worshipping something that can neither bring any benefit or harm emerged in his heart, how could he worship any thing or anyone other than Allah, he understood that only Allah is worthy of worship and that he wanted to embrace Islaam.

 

He rushed straight to Abdullah and together they went to the Prophet of Allah (sa) and it is here when he announced:

 

Ash-had an laa ilaha illa-llah, wa Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah

 

Abu-d Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) had now devoted himself and given his complete allegiance to Allah and His Prophet (sa).

 

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Abu-d Darda’s pursuit of Allahs Pleasure

 

Abu-d Darda felt deep regret for every moment he spent in disbelief and the time he had lost; compared to his friends who had learnt much of the Qur’an, and had many opportunities to service themselves to Allah and His Prophet earning great reward– however this regret made him even more determined to spend every effort, day and night in Ibadah (worship) to make up for what he missed.

 

He spent his time seeking knowledge of Islaam, memorising the Qur’an and trying to understand the wisdom of its message.

 

When he saw that his business disturbed his pursuit in getting closer to Allah, and the sweetness of his ibadah, also keeping him away from attending circles of knowledge, he reduced his involvement with his business with no hesitation.

 

Subhaanallah, look at this as soon as he felt an aspect of duniya was taking him away from the worship of Allah, he put himself in check and re-arranged his timetable to ensure he kept Allah as his priority no.1.

 

He did not fit Islaam into his life rather he fit his life into Islaam.

 

Someone asked him why he did this and he replied:

 

"I was a merchant before my pledge to the Messenger of Allah (sa). When I became a Muslim, I wanted to combine trade and worship but I did not achieve what I desired. So I abandoned trade and inclined towards ibadah.

 

By Him in whose hand is the soul of Abu-d Dardaa, what I want to have is a shop near the door of the masjid so that I would not miss any Salaah with the congregation. Then I shall sell and buy and make a modest profit every day.

 

I am not saying that Allah The Great has prohibited trade, but I want to be among those whom neither trade nor selling distracts form the remembrance of Allahâ€

 

Allahu akbar, what emaan (faith), what dedication, what allegiance this man had to Allah. Abu-d Darda did not allow the life of this world to come in-between him and his lord, and he did not allow the materialistic things of this world take him away from gaining the rewards from Allah. He was happy and content from living a simple life, and was not running after the pleasures of this world rather he was in hope of the pleasures of the hereafter…

 

How many of us can honestly say we have done the same? Where do we want our success in this world alone, or do we want the success of the hereafter, to be able to live in eternal bliss and harmony in Jannah? Well if we want that success we have to work hard for it, and sacrifice for Allah in the same way the companions did, the same way Abu-d Darda did (may Allah be pleased with them all) – if we want salvation.

 

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Your Lord has a right on you

 

You may be familiar with the Hadith: "Your Lord has a right on you, your soul has a right on you, and your family has a right on you; so you should give the rights of all those who have a right on you."

 

Well masha’Allah the story behind this Hadith involves none other than Abu-d Darda (may Allah be pleased with him). To show you how much Abu-d Darda was so much in love with Islaam, Allah and His Messenger – the following is the full hadith:

 

Narrated Abu Juhaifa:

 

The Prophet made a bond of brotherhood between Salmaan al-Farsi and Abu Ad-Darda'.

 

Salmaan paid a visit to Abu Ad-Darda' and found Umm Ad-Darda' [meaning his wife] dressed in shabby clothes and asked her why she was in that state. She replied:

 

"Your brother Abu Ad-Darda' is not interested in (the luxuries of) this world."

 

In the meantime Abu Ad-Darda' came and prepared a meal for Salman. Salman requested Abu Ad-Darda' to eat (with him), but Abu Ad-Darda' said: "I am fasting."

 

Salman said, "I am not going to eat unless you eat." So, Abu Ad-Darda' ate (with Salman).

 

When it was night and (a part of the night passed), Abu Ad-Darda' got up (to offer the night prayer), but Salman told him to sleep and Abu Ad-Darda' slept. After sometime Abu Ad-Darda' again got up but Salman told him to sleep. When it was the last hours of the night, Salman told him to get up then, and both of them offered the prayer.

 

Salman told Abu Ad-Darda':

 

"Your Lord has a right on you, your soul has a right on you, and your family has a right on you; so you should give the rights of all those who has a right on you."

 

Abu Ad-Darda' came to the Prophet and narrated the whole story. The Prophet (sa) said, "Salman has spoken the truth.†(Bukhari)

 

Alhamdulilah! Masha’Allah, beautifully said brother Ahmed Ali.

 

Well we can take many lessons from this Hadith, one being Abu-d Darda loved Allah so much that he wanted to spend his whole life in obedience to Allah with no attachment to this world, however Islaam is a complete way of life and allows us well actually demands us to fulfil our rights not only to Allah but to our body and soul, our family and all other who have rights over us – this is the beauty of Islaam, and one gets reward in doing so.

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Abu-d Darda in Syria - Damascus

 

During the caliphate of Umar ibn Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), Umar appointed Abu-d Dardaa as a governor in Syria.

 

I will now give you three beautiful scenarios where Abu-d Darda beyond any doubt displayed true Daw’aa (calling others to Islaam) through his actions and his speech:

 

(1)

 

Abu-d Darda passed a group of people who were crowding around a man. They suddenly began insulting and beating up the man. Abu-d Darda came up to and questioned them:

 

"What is the matter?"

 

"This is a man who has committed a grave sin" they replied.

 

"What do you think you would do if he had fallen into a well?" asked Abu-d Darda. "Wouldn't you try to get him out?"

 

"Certainly" they said.

 

"Well, don't insult him and don't beat him. Instead warn him and make him aware of the consequences of what he had done. Then give praise to Allah who has saved YOU from falling into such a sin."

 

"Don't you hate him?" they asked Abu-d Darda.

 

"I only detest what he had done and if he abandons such practice, he is my brother."

 

These wise words, hit both the sinful man and those who were abusing him. The sinful man began to cry and publicly announced his repentance.

Masha’Allah, you see this is Daw’aa – As Muslims we should not be so quick to jump on our brothers and sisters in Islaam, majority of the time people who fall into sin do so through ignorance, if we keep this in mind that maybe they are trying to seek knowledge but just don’t know where to go, may be they are in need of help, so we should explain to them kindly and not be so quick to judge them or embarrass them, as none of us are perfect.

If we truly love them and want best for them for the sake of Allah, we would advice them as they still have an opportunity to repent and change their ways – as Abu-d Darda did, may Allah be pleased with him.

 

(2)

 

On another occasion, a youth once came up to Abu-d Darda and said:

 

"Give me advice, O companion of the Messenger of Allah (sa),"

 

And Abu-d Dardaa eloquently said to him:

 

"My son, remember Allah in good times and He will remember you in times of misfortune.

 

My son, be knowledgeable, seek knowledge, be a good listener and do not be ignorant for you will be ruined.

 

My son, let the masjid be your house for indeed I heard the Messenger of Allah (sa) say:

 

“The masjid is the house of every God-conscious person and Allah has guaranteed serenity, comfort, mercy and staying on the path leading to His pleasure, to those for whom masjids are their houses."

 

A short lesson that can be learnt from here, is that whenever we give advice or face any situation in life we must take it back to Allah and His Messenger (sa) if we want to be among the successful – for our Prophet Muhammad was sent as a mercy to mankind, the best example for us follow, no one could advice us better than he did, for everything we said and everything he did was from Allah, and one who obeys the prophet has obeyed Allah.

As Allah says in the interpretation of the meaning:

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah, you have an excellent example to follow for him, who hopes in (the meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much†[33:21]

"And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it. And whatever he forbids, abstain from it. And keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is severe in punishment." [sûrah al-Hashr: 7]

"Say (O Muhammad): ‘if you (truly) love Allah, follow me! Allah will then love you and forgive your sins.’ And Allah is All Forgiving, All Merciful." [3:31]

"And whosoever contends with the Messenger after guidance has been made clear to him, and follows a way other than the way of the believers, We shall leave in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell, what an evil destination!" [4:115]

Lets not ignore the severe warnings Allah has mentioned in the Quran, if we truly Allah we would not follow anyone blindly except His Final and Seal of all Prophets Muhammad (sa).

 

(3)

 

While Abu-d Darda was in Damascus, Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, its governor, had asked Abu-d Darda to give his daughter ad-Darda in marriage to his son Yazid. Abu-d Darda declined his proposal. Instead he gave his daughter in marriage to a young man from among the poor whose character and attachment to Islam pleased him immensely.

 

People heard about this and began talking and asking: Why did Abu-d Darda refuse to let his daughter marry Yazid, the son of Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, the governor of Damascus?

 

The question was put to Abu-d Darda himself and he assertively said:

 

"I have only sought to do what is good for ad-Darda."

 

"How?" enquired the person.

 

"What would you think of ad-Darda if servants were to stand in her presence serving her and if she were to find herself in palaces of which its glamour dazzled the eyes? What would become of her religion then?"

 

Subhaanallah, such beautiful words from Abu-d Darda (may Allah be pleased with him). These words of wisdom every parent should implement for their children when seeking marriage for them. This father knew very well the importance of seeking a righteous, God fearing man for his daughter and a man with all the wealth and status in the world could never have a chance to marry his daughter, as Abu-d Darda the father of ad-Darda knew the responsibility he had as a wali (guardian) to marry his daughter not for any worldly material gain, but keeping her Islaam as priority.

 

We need to fear Allah, and stop making it hard for our daughters and sons when it comes to marriage, stop putting so many conditions on the prospective husband or wife, the number one factor should be their religion, are they making their salaah, is she wearing Hijab, is he wearing his beard, are they fulfilling their obligations to Allah, are they living their life according to the Sunnah of our Prophet (sa) etc. – these are questions every parent needs to ask, not how much they are earning a year, or how many college degrees they have. Yes a husband needs a good stable job, as it is his responsibility to provide and maintain his wife, however it should never be taken as priority over the practice of his Islaam.

 

This is the advice given to us from our Prophet (sa):

 

"A woman may be married for four reasons [her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser. (Bukhari, Muslim)

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Conclusion

 

I will now conclude with the conversation the Caliphate Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) had with Abu-d Darda in Syria, when he came on an inspection tour of the region.

 

One night he went to visit Abu-d Darda at his home. There was no light in the house. Abu-d Darda welcomed Umar and sat him down. The two men talked in the darkness. As they did so, Umar felt Abu-d Darda's "pillow" and realised it was an animal's saddle. He touched the place where Abu-d Darda lay and felt just small pebbles. He also felt the sheet with which he covered himself and was astonished to find it so flimsy that it couldn't possibly protect him from the cold of Damascus.

 

Umar then asked him:

 

"Shouldn't I make things more comfortable for you? Shouldn't I send something for you?"

 

"Do you remember, Umar," said Abu-d Dardaa, "a hadith which the Prophet (sa) told us?"

 

"What is it?" asked Umar.

 

"Did he not say: Let what is sufficient for anyone of you in this world be like the provisions of a rider?"

 

"Yes," said Umar while remembering the times when their noble prophet Muhammad (sa) was alive.

 

Abu-d Darda then asked in sadness and disappointment "And what have we (the muslism) done after this, O Umar?"

 

Abu-d Darda was referring to the state of their Ummah, and the vast riches that had come their way through the expansion of Islam, and how their preoccupation with piling up wealth and worldly possessions had over come them. Both companions wept with deep sorrow; continued to reflect on this situation until the break of dawn.

 

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Ya Allah, if that was the situation back then what about our situation today?

 

Yes I agree with Abu-d Darda and Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) what have we done since the departure of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa), can we truly say his Ummah have continued their allegiance to him? By living by his Sunnah (his example) like his companions did?

 

Do we obey him with obedience and sincerity?

 

Are we truly among those who say We Hear and We Obey?

 

Or have we strayed away from they straight path and become too occupied in the life of this world? Do we love this duniya more than the akhirah?

 

We need to put ourselves in check now, before it is too late and the angel of death takes our soul and live like those from the first three generations of Muslims, because they were the best of the best.

 

Those who gave up everything for the sake of Allah and his religion, they are the ones who gave us the Islaam we have today, those whose belief in Allah was so strongly rooted, no one could break them, those who never gave up after all the torture and persecution they faced.

 

How do we show our gratitude to them, many of us don’t even know their names. We need to seek knowledge of this religion, because it is knowledge of this religion and how we implement it that will save us from the hellfire.

I leave you with three beautiful hadiths, the messenger of Allah (sa) has informed us of:

"The best generation of all is the one in which I was sent. This is followed by the one after that, and then the one after that."

"and you will live to see great differences, so cling to my sunnah and the sunnah of the four rightly guided caliphs after me (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali), even if it be with your teeth" (Bukhari)

"I have left behind me two things, if you cling to them you will never go astray. They are the Book of Allaah and my Sunnah" (al-Haakim)

I pray this has been some benefit to you insha’Allah, because it has surely been a benefit to me.

 

Jazaak’Allahu khair for your time and patience

 

Everything good was from Allah, and everything bad was from myself and I ask Allah to forgive me.

 

Asalaamualaykum warahmatullah

 

sisterQamar

 

Source:Book, companions of prophet (sa), by AbdulWahid Hamid

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