In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
The battle in which the Prophet prevented Zayd from fighting?
Dear brothers, this is lesson No. 45 of the Biography of Sahaba (The Companions of the Prophet PBUH), may Allah be pleased with them all.
Today, we will talk about our Master Zayd bin thabit, may Allah be pleased with him. The story of this companion is impressive, and we are in dire need of it.
Madinah the city of the Prophet PBUH was buzzing with activity as the Muslims were prepared for the long march southwards to Badr.
The believer is always highly motivated and energetic in obeying Allah the Almighty. Furthermore, the believer dedicates all his cognitive, materialistic and mechanic skills to the Cause of Allah. As for the companions, they are entitled for Allah's content, because they ennobled Allah's Order, and their hearts were filled with the Prophet's call to them for Jihad (fighting in the Cause of Allah). Thus, Madinah the city of the Prophet PBUH was buzzing with activity as the Muslims were prepared for the long march southwards to Badr.
This leads us to the fact that people in a certain era usually symbolize something, and they aim at it. The little ones imitate the elders. Hence, if people cherish adornments, this will be the discourse of all people, and they will talk only about how to adorn their houses. Had people cherished money, they would have talked only about how to collect money. If people of an era compete to please Allah, you will see people talking only about that matter. Thus every era adopts a certain matter to be the most important issue for all people. In that sense, the companions in the Prophetic era were concerned only about pleasing Allah, obeying Him, serving others, calling to Allah and fighting in the Cause of Him. This is why in certain occasions the society of the believers buzzes with an activity.
Unfortunately, you may barely find 7 or 8 Muslims praying Fajr in a Masjid of a half million population district, and although there are lots of tall buildings with so many stories, no one offers Fajr in the Masjid, where are they? They spend the night on TV, watching silly programs till after midnight. I meant to say through this comment that people are captured by their concerns.
Tell me what you are concerned about, and I will tell you what you are made of. What are you preoccupied with? Are you preoccupied with mundane matters? If you are concerned about mundane matters, then you belong to the people of the worldly life, but if you are concerned about transcendental matters, then you belong to the heroes. The concept is very critical, and you'd better watch yourself and always ask, "What is the thing that keeps me busy?" Allah the Almighty says:
﴾Successful indeed are the believers* Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness* And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden).﴿
The Noble Prophet PBUH made a final inspection of the first army to be mobilized under his leadership to wage Jihad against those who had been tormenting the Muslims for many years and who were still bent on putting an end to his mission. A lad, not yet thirteen, walked up to the ranks. Before I go on, I would like to address the youngest, the young are as important in the Sight of Allah as the elder, so are women. Unfortunately, the ignorant people see the lad as lad and the woman as a woman and not further. In this respect, when Allah wants to honor someone in the worldly life and in the Hereafter, He elevates his/her rank according to his/her sincerity, sacrifice and efforts.
Zayd was confident and alert. He held a sword which was as long as him, or possibly slightly longer than his own height. He went up to the Prophet, PBUH, and said, "I dedicate myself to you, O Messenger of Allah. Permit me to be with you and to fight the enemies of Allah under your banner." The Noble Prophet PBUH looked at him with admiration and patted his shoulder with loving tenderness. He commended him for his courage but refused to enlist him, because he was still too young. By the way, the higher man's rank is in the Sight of Allah, the more merciful he is towards children, for children are the beloved ones to Allah.
The youngest son of Umar bin al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, came to him in his assembly, so Umar kissed him. At his presence, a man who was one of the candidates to become a governor, saw that, so he said, "O Commander of the Believers, do you kiss your son? I have never kissed any of my children." Umar torn the letter of appointment and said, "You may go, since you do not have mercy towards your children, you will not be merciful to your people." Umar did not appoint him as governor.
The lad, Zayd ibn Thabit, turned and walked away, dejected and sad. As he walked, in slow and measured paces, he stuck his sword in the ground as a sign of his disappointment. He was denied the honor of accompanying the Prophet PBUH on his first campaign. Behind him was his mother, An-Nawar bint Malik. She felt equally dejected and sad. She had dearly wished to see her young son go with the army of Mujahideen (fighters in Allah's Cause) and to be with the Prophet PBUH at this most critical time.
Women were heroes, for the mother would wish nothing more than having her son joining the army of Mujahideen (fighters), and she would be proud if she is informed that her son is killed in the Cause of Allah. The mother of Zayd wished nothing more than seeing her son as one of the fighters under the banner of the Prophet PBUH, and had longed for him to acquire the same rank his father would have had in the sight of the Prophet PBUH if he had been alive.
What was the idea that flashed in the mind of Zayd bin Thabit, and what was his mother's opinion about it?
Dear brothers, after being rejected for Badr campaign, Zayd accepted the fact then that he was too young to fight in major battles. His alert mind turned to other fields of service. If you could not offer Jihad in an era, you should find another field where you may offer Jihad. Allah the Almighty says:
﴾So obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them (by preaching) with the utmost endeavour, with it (the Quran).﴿
The sincere believer will always find a way, and if the path of military Jihad is blocked, and he lacks the means to fight the enemies due to some circumstance, conditions and considerations, he may offer Jihad by fighting against his own desires, by acquiring knowledge, by calling to Allah, by enjoining Ma'ruf and forbidding Munkar, by cultivating his own self, by donating to the needy and by paying money which is endeared to man just as his own soul is endeared to him. Thus, there are so many sorts of Jihad.
His alert mind turned to other fields of service, which had no connection with age and which could bring him closer to the Prophet PBUH. What was it then? He considered the field of knowledge, in particular memorizing the Quran. These priceless fields of Jihad are available to all of you.
('Uthman bin 'Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The best amongst you is the one who learns the Quran and teaches it.")
He is the best ever. Attending this religious session in Masjid, waiting, listening, comprehending, revising, studying, memorizing and writing down ideas is a kind of Jihad that is not less important than any other Jihad. Allah the Almighty mentions this fact in the Noble Quran; He says:
﴾So obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them (by preaching) with the utmost endeavour, with it (the Quran).﴿
Since he was not allowed to participate in Badr campaign, he accepted the fact then that he was too young to fight in major battles. Furthermore, his alert mind turned to other fields of service, which had no connection with age and which could bring him closer to the Prophet, PBUH. He considered the field of knowledge, particularly memorizing the Noble Quran. He mentioned the idea to his mother, and he was delighted and immediately made attempts to have his ambition realized.
Was the Prophet PBUH happy with the recitation of the Quran by Zayd?
An-Nawar spoke to some men of the Ansar about her young son's desire, and they in turn broached the matter with the Prophet, saying, "O Messenger of Allah, our son Zayd Ibn Thabit has memorized seventeen chapters of the Book of Allah and recites them as correctly as they were revealed to you. In addition to that he is good at reading and writing. It is in this field of service that he desires to be close to you. Listen to him if you will."
Dear noble brothers, the father who looks after his son until the latter learns Quran, Hadith and Fiqh, and then he obliges him to obey Allah, to offer Salah and to draw close to Allah by offering acts of worship will be happy about the outcome and his heart will be filled with indescribable joy. Although his financial means might be limited, his life might be tough or his house might be small, this father will be extremely happy.
A week ago, we celebrated the graduates of the summer class of Quran Hifz (Memorization). Speeches were delivered by the young graduates and some of them recited the Quran, and believe me my heart was filled with joy. Similarly, the father's heart will be filled with joy upon seeing the outcome of bringing up his son according to Islamic teachings. Be aware that the father who teaches his son the Quran will have a special rank in the Sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection.
The Prophet, PBUH, listened to Zayd while reciting some chapters he had memorized. His recitation was clear and beautiful and his stops and pauses indicated clearly that he understood well what he recited.
A student once was reading a literary text in which the author is describing a free bird, "The bird flew freely with untied feet and unbound wings." The Arabic word of "unbound" is "Bigull", but the student read it "Baghl" which means "mule" in English, and he kept reading the text. Is it reasonable that the bird is flying with a mule attached to his wing? This student read the text without comprehending what he read, so his mistake was unacceptable, and it proved that he did not understand what he read.
The errors of stopping and restarting the recitation of the Quran represent how much the reciter comprehends what he reads. The reciter might give special tone while reading the Ayat of Divine Menaces, another tone while reading the Ayat of Divine Promises, a third tone while reading the Ayat of mercy, a fourth tone while reading the Ayat of torment, a fifth tone while reading the Ayat about the universe, and a special tone while reading the Ayat which were descended in Madinah. Accordingly, the more diversity the reciter shows in his reciting, the more knowledgeable he is in the Quran.
Zayd's recitation was clear and beautiful and his stops and pauses indicated clearly that he understood well what he recited. The Prophet PBUH was pleased. Indeed, he found that Zayd's ability exceeded the commendation he had been given by his relatives.
The majority of people exaggerate in describing someone, a child, a husband or a wife, and these exaggerations are the reason of most harm done in the society. When someone proposes to a woman, her family elevates him to the highest rank, and they exaggerate in describing his religious commitment, his piety and his traits, but upon any hassle between him and their daughter, they will describe him as the most wicked and ignorant person. Better yet, they will consider him the worst person on earth. Unfortunately, this is the way of people, for they do not deal with matters moderately. The Prophet PBUH said:
(Love your friend moderately, as he might become your enemy one day, and hate your enemy moderately, as he might become someone you like one day.)
(Zayd ibn Thabit narrated : The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) ordered me (to learn the writing of the Jews), so I learnt for him the writing of the Jews. He said: I swear by Allah, I do not trust Jews in respect of writing for me. So I learnt it, and only a fortnight passed before I mastered it. I would write for him when he wrote (to them), and read to him when something was written to him.)
It is narrated in relic:
(Whoever learns other people's language shall be safe from their plots.)
The society of Muslims is morally classy and wise enough to teach some of their members the language of other countries. This is important in order to be able to communicate with those who want to embrace Islam from other countries, and they do not know Arabic. How wonderful that will be.
Learning a foreign language is very important in case we need to translate official papers. It is also important to translate the Noble Quran correctly into other languages. A translated book of the meanings of the Noble Quran was rejected in a country once. I thought the reason was due to opinionatedness, so I gave that translated book to someone who knows the language, and to my surprise, I was told that the book was full of distortion of the truth, false facts and misinterpretations which may negatively affect Islam. Thus, "Whoever learns other people's language shall be safe from their plots"
What did the Jews say to Moses? Allah the Almighty narrates what they said:
﴾ They said: "O Musa (Moses)! We shall never enter it as long as they are there. So go you and your Lord and fight you two, we are sitting right here." ﴿
(It has been narrated on the authority of Anas that when (the news of) the advance of Abu Sufyan (at the head of a force) reached him. the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) held consultations with his Companions. The narrator said: Abu Bakr spoke (expressing his own views), but he (the Holy Prophet) did not pay heed to him. Then spoke 'Umar (expressing his views), but he (the Holy Prophet) did not pay heed to him (too). Then Sa'd b. 'Ubada stood up and said: Messenger of Allah, you want us (to speak). By God in Whose control is my life, if you order us to plunge our horses into the sea, we would do so. If you order us to goad our horses to the most distant place like Bark al-Ghimad, we would do so…")
"Zayd, learn the writing of the Jews for me", instructed the Prophet PBUH. "At your command, Messenger of Allah," replied Zayd who set about learning Hebrew with enthusiasm. He became quite proficient in the language and wrote it for the Prophet PBUH whenever he wanted to communicate with the Jews. Zayd also read and translated from Hebrew when the Jews wrote to the Prophet PBUH.
What do you excel? Well, man's value is derived from what he masters. If you master accounting, then this is good for you. If you master a foreign language then this is good for you as well. If you are specialized in something, then you are valuable to the society of Muslims. Thus, man's value is derived from what he masters.
Mastering nothing is not good at all. You should learn something and master it. Learn something about everything and learn everything about one thing, given you should use this knowledge in the cause of Haqq (truth). Mastering languages, physics, mathematics, chemistry, trading, typing, accounting or a craft is very important.
The Prophet PBUH held the hand of Abdullah bin Mas'ood once, it was dry and rough from working, so he said:
(Allah loves this hand)
By the way, I have few words to those who master a foreign language. Millions in the western world are yearning to learn about Islam, however, they must be addressed according to their language and way of thinking, so it is a great priceless accomplishment for the one who masters a foreign language and who is able to translate Islamic books into it in an understandable way.
Those amongst you who know English very well should put the effort to translate Islamic books or even write about Islam in English. Some translated Islamic books are sold in millions in the west, which reflects how much keen they are on getting acquainted with Islam.
At the time, when all man-made creeds failed, there is yearning ardor in the west for learning about Islam. I hope that those who master English language will put their effort in serving this religion and calling to it.
Zayd became the interpreter of the Prophet PBUH. Zayd's enthusiasm and skill were obvious. When the Prophet PBUH felt confident of his faithfulness in the discharge of duties and the care, precision and understanding with which he carried out tasks, he entrusted Zayd with the weighty responsibility of recording the Divine Revelation.
When any part of the Quran was revealed to the Prophet PBUH, he often sent for Zayd and instructed him to bring the writing materials, "the parchment, the ink-pot and the scapula", and write the Revelation.
Man will reach a transcendental rank if he acquires knowledge, reads and writes especially in the field of religious knowledge. Well, every science is interesting to be learnt, and there is beneficial kind of knowledge, or a rare specialization that one masters and is paid hefty money for. Yet, the Islamic knowledge is both interesting and beneficial at the same time, and it brings happiness in the worldly life and in the Hereafter.
Some scholars were carpenters, and the name of one of them may be mentioned million times, but no one will guess that he used to be a carpenter. Actually, the rank of knowledge has superiority over any other ranks. The counselors of presidents and rulers are but scholars and scientists.
After the death of the Prophet, PBUH, the task fell on this fortunate young man who was specialized in the Quran to authenticate the first and most important reference for the Ummah of Muhammad PBUH and those who collected the portions of the Quran in the reign of Abu Bakr As-Sideeq, may Allah be pleased with him, arranged these under the supervision of Zayd, and he was amongst those who collected the Quran in one version in the reign of 'Uthman. Is there any rank higher than this rank for which one aspires? Is there any other glorious rank to which souls long for?
Zayd’s stand on the day of Saqifah:
This notable companion took an unforgettable stance towards a critical issue. The believer might be led to prosperity due to his wisdom, reason and smartness, and his wise stand might be the reason in sparing the blood of Muslims.
In the event of Saqifah, Muslims were in dispute as who shall have the succession of the Prophet PBUH. Muhajiroon said, "Succession should be ours, and we have the right for leadership." Ansar said, "Succession should be ours, and we have the right for leadership", but a third party said, "Succession should be in both of us, so you may have your own leader; we shall have our own, for whenever the Prophet PBUH appointed one of you for an assignment, he would send one of us with him."
A conflict was about to take place while the Prophet PBUH body was still lying in Aishah's little hut. The situation needed a wise decisive decision enlightened by the Noble Quran to put out this conflict. It was Zayd who said the words, so listen to what he said, addressing his people, "O people of Ansar, the Prophet PBUH was from Muhajireen, so is his successor, and as we supported the Prophet PBUH we shall support his successor and shall help him to enforce Haqq (the truth)." Then, he stretched his hand and pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr As-Sideeq and said, "This is your successor, so pledge allegiance to him." He put an end to that dispute.
How wonderful the believer is when he put an end to a conflict! How wonderful the believer is when he unites people instead of dispersing them! How wonderful the believer is when he conciliates between two parties! How wonderful the believer is when he is concerned about the best interest of believers! The believer is a means of unity, conciliation and binding, so he should not be a means of disunity, disperse and enmity.
The companions’s appreciation to the high rank of knowledge Zayd used to have:
Dear brothers, Zayd excelled in the Quran and the knowledge of the law of inheritance, so he was a beacon for Muslims since he used to be close to the Prophet PBUH most of the time. His opinions in religious matters carry much weight so he was the reference for the successors of the Prophet PBUH in times of crisis, while the rest of Muslims turned to him for religious opinions about their problems of inheritance, as he was the most knowledgeable companion in that field.
On the day of Al-Jabiyah, Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, delivered a speech in which he said, "O people, whoever wants to ask about the Quran, let him go to Zayd Ibn Thabit, and whoever wants to ask about Fiqh, let him go to Mu'adh bin Jabal, and whoever has a question about money, he should come to me, for Allah the Almighty appointed me as a ruler, and it is up to me to distribute it."
The knowledge seekers among the companions and the followers realized the high rank of Zayd, so they dignified and respected him for the great knowledge he acquired. Pay attention to the following story:
Zayd bin Thabit was one of the writers of the Divine Revelation, and he was the head of scholars in Madinah regarding judging, Fiqh and Fara'id, so how did he treat Ibn Abbas? Ammar bin Yasir narrated that Zayd Ibn Thabit intended to go on a trip, whereupon the young 'Abdullah Ibn Abbas stood humbly at his side and taking hold of the reins of his mount adopted the attitude of a humble servant in the presence of his master. Zayd said to him, "Do not, O cousin of the Prophet." "Thus we were commanded to treat our Ulama' and elders," was 'Abdullah's reply. Zayd said to him in turn, "Let me see your hand." 'Abdullah stretched out his hand. Zayd, taking it, kissed it and said, "Thus we were commanded to treat the members of the household of the Prophet PBUH."
This is the utmost degree of politeness, esteeming, love, loyalty, harmony and sincerity. When one of us loves for his brother in Islam what he loves for his own self, this but marks his sincerity. The sincerity of our scholars is manifested in their love to one another, and the sincerity of believers is manifested in being one. The sincerity of every Da'wah to Allah is manifested in being in harmony instead of being in competition. You are sincere as long as you favor the interest of the group of believers over your own interest. You are sincere as long as you invite Muslims to be one entity.
When Zayd died, Abu Hurayrah said, "Today, the scholar of this Ummah has died. May Allah make Ibn Abbas his successor (in Knowledge)." Hassan bin Thabit, the poet of the Prophet PBUH, mourned Zayd and mourned himself as well in the following verses:
Who deserves to be rhymed in poetry after Hassan and his son?
Who deserves to be praised after Zayd bin Thabit?
Death will come to all of us, but heroism lies in leaving a beneficial legacy and a good deed due to which people will remember you after your death. It is said:
A person heart's beat telling him ...
Life is but minutes and seconds ...
Elevate for your "self" good reputation, after your death ...
Good reputation to a person is a second life
Dear brothers, our master Zayd's young age prevented him from fighting with the Prophet PBUH. His sword was as long as him or possibly slightly longer than his own height, and he was excused from fighting kindly by the Prophet PBUH. Since that event, he sought religious knowledge, he memorized the Quran and he recited it in front of the Prophet PBUH. Moreover, he was instructed by the Prophet PBUH to learn Hebrew, so he mastered it. The Prophet PBUH assigned him to be the scribe of the Revelation, so he fulfilled the task. Furthermore, he mastered Fiqh until he became the reference of this Ummah in the Quran. The ink of knowledgeable people is not less important than the blood of the martyrs. In fact, striving to learn the Noble Quran is not less important than fighting in the Cause of Allah. Allah the Almighty says:
﴾So obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them (by preaching) with the utmost endeavour, with it (the Quran).﴿