The eminent Sahaba behind the title ‘Dhun Noorayn’ was Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah have mercy upon him) who was the third Caliph (leader) after our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) passed away. He was given this title because he married two daughters of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), Ruqayyah and Umm Kalthoom (may Allah have mercy upon them) emphasising the trust the Last Messenger had in his prominent friend, Uthman ibn Affan.
During his rule between 644 CE and C56 it consisted of a blend of serenity, contention and patience. He lost several of his children at infancy but was able to cope and perform his role as Caliph to the best of his abilities.
Tracing back to the early years of the life of Uthman bin Affan, he was born into a wealthy family from the Quraish tribe and was well-respected for his modesty, shyness, literate and generosity. He converted to Islam at the age of 34 with certainty and confidence because he analysed Islam as a virtue and a way of portraying his own morality that reflect the religions’ principles. However, this led to torture by his family and had to seek refuge in Abyssinia with Ruqayyah (may Allah have mercy upon her) which was their first hijrah. He later returned to Mecca to help our Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and 146 hadiths were narrated by him.
Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Shall not I be shy of a man from whom angels are shy." "Give him glad tidings of Paradise for an affliction to hit him."
[Sahih Al Bukhari p. 705, No. 3693, Muslim p. 978, No. 2403]
His love for his wife was indescribable and during her illness, rather than attending the first battle of Badr, he looked after his wife until her death. He was saddened and Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) then married him to his other daughter Umm Kulthum (may Allah have mercy upon her). This emphasises the level of trust Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had in Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah have mercy upon him) and the upstanding personality traits, high qualities and values in which his eminent companion possessed.
Aishah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was lying down in my room with his thigh uncovered when Abu Bakr asked for permission to enter. He gave him permission to enter, remaining as he was. Then `Umar asked for permission to come in and he gave him permission, remaining as he was. Then `Uthman asked for permission to enter and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sat up and arranged his garment and then came in and spoke. When he left, I said: O Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr came in and you did not exert yourself nor concern yourself with him. Then `Umar came in and you did not exert yourself nor concern yourself with him. Then `Umar came in and you sat up and arranged your garment. He said: Should I not be modest before a man before whom the angels are modest? [Muslim, 977, No. 2401]
Amongst his work in the Ummah was freeing ‘slaves’ by buying them every Friday. He supported the battles by providing camels and money. He even supported the two Caliph’s prior to his status with advice and allegiance to Abu Bakr Assidiq and Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah have mercy upon them). Even after the appointed position, he remained consistent in providing a just rule.
Al-Tirmidhi narrated the following:
I was present in the house when `Uthman approached them and said: Bring me your two friends who stirred you against me. He said: They were brought to him as if they were two camels or two donkeys. He said: `Uthman approached them and said: I ask you by the name of Allah and Islam, do you know that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to Medina while there was no fresh water therein but Rumah Well? Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Who would buy the Rumah Well and give water to Muslims for a better well in Paradise? Thereupon, I bought it from my money, but today you prevent me from drinking therefrom until I drink from sea water? They said: By Allah, this is true. He said: I ask you by the name of Allah and Islam, do you know that the Masjid did not encompass the people who were offering Salah therein, thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Who would buy the land of so and so to expand the Masjid for a better land in Paradise? Thereupon, I bought it from my money, but today you prevent me to offer two Rak`ahs therein? They said: By Allah, this is true.
He said: I ask you by the name of Allah and Islam, do you know that I equipped the army of hardship from my money? They said: By Allah, this is true. Then he said: I ask you by the name of Allah and Islam, do you know that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was on Thabir (a mountain between Makkah and `Arafah) with Abu Bakr, `Umar, and me, so, the mountain moved until its rocks fell down. He said: He (the Messenger of Allah) kicked it with his leg and said: "O Thabir, calm down, for there is a Prophet, a truthful person, and a martyr on you." They said: By Allah, this is true. He said: Allahu Akbar, by the Lord of Kaabah, they bear witness that I am a martyr (three times).
[Al-Tirmidhi in his hadith Thumamah ibn Hazn al Qushayry, p 579, no 3703]
Subhanallah, what an incredible personality in which we can all learn from, how he was patient due to the loss of his wife and child, the treatment of his family when he made a spiritual choice of converting to Islam, how he looked after his wife rather than attending battles and how he offered support to his companions during their rule. This article wraps up the Sahaba article series titled ‘The Parables of the eminent companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). I hope you benefitted from the lessons over the 6 months, keep me in your duas, and I’ll keep you in mine.
The beauty and content of our hearts is what reflects us as a person. Our morals. Our knowledge. Our manners. What is colour? Colour is nothing but a shade but this shade has caused a lot of friction in humanity since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) until the present. Broken hearts. Lack of confidence. Indirect and direct discrimination. This is the reality. No matter how you try to justify these acts. Racism does exist despite many are aware of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) last sermon where he puts an emphasis on the rights humanity has on each other and our relationship with Allah (The Most High). However, I will extract where he puts an emphasis on unity between all:
‘……All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; a white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over a white; [none have superiority over another] except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves…..’
[Sahih Al-Bukhari 1623, 1626, 6361]
[Sahih Muslim 98]
[Sahih Al-Tirmidhi 1628, 2046, 2085]
[Ibn Hanbal 's Musnad 19774]
One of the closest companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was Bilal (may Allah have mercy upon him). His goal in life was to please Allah and His Prophet no matter how difficult his situation was. Sacrifice. Commitment. Sincerity. No Riyaah (Pride). He was chosen amongst all of the Sahaba to conduct the Adhaan (Call to Prayer) upon Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) discovering his beautiful and heart-warming voice which summoned many to prayer. His faith and voice inspired generations upon generations even until today.
Prophet Muhammad said
“…Get Bilal and tell him what you have seen, teach him the words so that he can give the call, because he has a beautiful voice…”
[Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah]
Bilal ibn Rabah (May Allah have mercy upon him) originated from Ethiopia. He was loyal and hardworking even before his conversion to Islam. I dislike to use the term ‘slave’ for a true slave is the one who is attracted to this deceptive, temporary world rather than being a servant of Allah (The Most High) who created me and you. He worked for one of the leaders of the Quraish tribe, Umayyah ibn Khalaf who worshipped idols and tortured the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the Sahabah for spreading the message of light, hope and mercy in Makkah. Bilal was attracted to the concept of ‘Ahad’ meaning One God and it was this belief that ultimately saved his life where Abu Bakr bought him by freeing him.
Following his conversion, Bilal (may Allah have mercy upon him) remained close to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). He accompanied him in his military expeditions. Success to success. Triumph to triumph. After the death of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), he was saddened and had an effect on him which emphasises the close and pure relationship the eminent companion, Bilal ibn Rabah (may Allah have mercy upon him) had with Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). He continued to live his life with faith, loyalty, truthfulness and self-sacrifice without the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) with agony due to missing his mentor, teacher and friend. Some sources suggest he passed away in Medina whereas other sources suggest he died in Syria. May Allah have mercy upon him.
My dear brothers and sisters, we can extract a variety of lessons from the life of Bilal ibn Rabah for the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) referred him as
“The Man of Paradise”
He was not discriminated by his facial complexion. His position. His lineage. It was the purity of his character that stood and germinated respect for him. Hug your brother/sister, for a shade(s) lighter or darker does not make you any better. Do not lose hope. Do not let the words of man shake your faith.
This is where I will post my articles. I will do an article each month in sha Allah