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Abu Dharr al-Ghifari

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Abu Dharr
أَبُو ذَرّ
تخطيط اسم أبو ذر الغفاري.png
Born
Jundab ibn Junadah
(جُنْدَب ٱبْن جُنَادَة)

Died31 Hijri ,Dhul Qadah / 652 AD
Resting placeal-Rabadha, Hejaz
Known forBeing a loyal companion of Muhammad and Caliph Ali[1][2]
Title
  • al-Ghifari
    (ٱلْغِفَارِيّ)
  • al-Kinani
    (ٱلْكِنَانِيّ)
ChildrenDharr (daughter)
Parents
  • Jundah (father)
  • Ramlah (mother)
RelativesUnais (Brother)

Abu Dharr al-Ghifari al-Kinani (أَبُو ذَرّ ٱلْغِفَارِيّ ٱلْكِنَانِيّ, ʾAbū Ḏarr al-Ghifārīy al-Kinānīy), also spelled Abu Zarr, born Jundab ibn Junādah (جُنْدَب ٱبْن جُنَادَة), was the fourth or fifth person converting to Islam, and from the Muhajirun.[3] He belonged to the Banu Ghifar, the Kinanah tribe. No date of birth is known. He died in 652 CE, at al-Rabadha, in the desert east of Medina.

Abu Dhar is remembered for his strict piety and also his opposition to Muawiyah during the caliph Uthman ibn Affan era. He is venerated by Shia Muslims as one of The Four Companions, early Muslims who were followers (Shia) of Ali ibn Abi Talib.

He was regarded by many, including Ali Shariati, Muhammad Sharqawi and Sami Ayad Hanna, as a principal antecedent of Islamic socialism,[4][5][6][7][8] the first Islamic socialist, or the first socialist altogether. He protested against the accumulation of wealth by the ruling class during ‘Uthmān's caliphate and urged the equitable redistribution of wealth.

Early life[edit]

Little is known of his life before his conversion to Islam.[9] Abu Dhar is said to have been a serious young man, an ascetic and a monotheist even before he converted. He was born to the Ghifar clan, found to the western south of Medina.[10] Abu Dhar was apparently typical of the early converts to Islam, described by Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri as "young men and weak people".[11] They were a branch of the Banu Kinanah tribe. The Quraysh clan of Muhammad was also a branch of the Banu Kinanah tribe.

Popular accounts of Abu Dhar[12] say that his tribe lived by pillaging caravans, but that he preferred to live a poor but honest life as a shepherd. Having heard the contention that a new prophet had arisen in Mecca, Abu Dhar and his brother travelled to Mecca to find the prophet. The young seeker converted instantly and rushed out to declare his new faith in front of the Kaaba, which at that time was a pagan temple. He was beaten for his religious belief. He did this three days in a row, after which the Islamic prophet Muhammad told him to return to his clan, where he taught his people about Islam. He and his tribe then joined Muhammad after the Hijra, or migration to Medina in 622 CE.

Muhammad once said that "the sky did not spread its canopy on any man who was more truthful than Abu Dharr."[13]

This seems to be a simplified account of stories reported in these hadiths, 31:6049, 31:6048 and 31:6046.

According to the early Islamic historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Abu Dhar claimed to have been the fourth or fifth convert to Islam. However, Saad bin Abi Waqqas made the same claim. While the exact order of conversion may never be established, no one doubts that he was a very early convert.

Military campaigns during Muhammad's era[edit]

He participated in the Battle of Badr. Muhammad's forces included Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali, Hamza, Mus`ab ibn `Umair, Az-Zubair bin Al-'Awwam, Ammar ibn Yasir, and Abu Dharr al-Ghifari. The Muslims also brought seventy camels and two horses, meaning that they either had to walk or fit three to four men per camel.[14] However, many early Muslim sources indicate that no serious fighting was expected,[15] and the future Caliph Uthman stayed behind to care for his sick wife Ruqayyah, the daughter of Muhammad.[16] Salman the Persian also could not join the battle, as he was still not a free man.[17][18]

During the Expedition of Ka’b ibn 'Umair al-Ghifari his son Umair al-Ghifari was killed. In this expedition Muhammad ordered an attack on the Banu Quda‘a tribe because Muhammad received intelligence that they had gathered a large number of men to attack the Muslim positions[19]

In response Muhammad ordered the Third Expedition of Dhu Qarad to take revenge for the killing of the son of Abu Dhar Ghifari at al-Ghaba[20][21][22]

After Muhammad's death[edit]

Abu Dharr had begun his agitation in Medina after Uthman had given 500,000 dirhams to Marwan I, 300,000 to al-Harith ibn al-Hakam, and 100,000 to the Medinan Zayd ibn Thabit from the khums of the booty seized in Ifriqiya in 27/647. He then quoted relevant Qur'anic passages threatening the hoarders of riches with hell-fire. Marwan complained to Uthman, who sent his servant Natil to warn Abu Dhar, but to no avail. Uthman displayed patience for some time until, in the presence of the caliph, Abu Dhar launched an angry verbal attack on Ka'ab al-Ahbar, who had backed Uthman's free use of public money. Uthman now chided Abu Dhar and sent him to Damascus.[23]

There is a tradition that Muhammad predicted this sad end during the Battle of Tabouk, when Abu Dharr was left behind because his camel was ill or too weak. So he alighted from it and, placing the pack on his back, walked to the rest of the army. Muhammad saw him and exclaimed:

Abu Dharr, may Allah have mercy upon you! You'll live alone, die alone and enter Paradise alone.[24]

Sunni view[edit]

Many hadith, oral traditions, are traced to Abu Dhar. He is respected as an early and observant Muslim, and a man who was honest and direct to a fault. He was, according to the Sunni tradition, a rough, unlettered Bedouin who held no high office, but who served the Muslim community, the Ummah, with everything he had to give.

During the caliphate of Uthman, he stayed in Damascus and witnessed Muslims deviating from Islam, going after worldly pleasures and desires.

He was saddened and repelled by this. So Uthman invited him to come to Madinah. where he was also hurt by people's pursuit of worldly goods and pleasures.

Al-Rabathah

Abu Dhar then asked Uthman for permission to live in al-Rabathah, a small village in eastern Madinah. Uthman approved his request. Abu Dhar stayed there away from people, holding on to the traditions (sunnah) of Muhammad and his companions.

A man visited him once and when he found his house almost bare, he asked Abu Dhar: "Where are your possessions?"

Abu Dhar said: "We have a house yonder (meaning the Hereafter), to which we send the best of our possessions."

The man understood what Abu Dhar meant and said: "But you must have some possessions so long as you are in this abode."

"The owner of this abode will not leave us in it," replied Abu Dharr.

Also, when the Prince (Amir) of Syria sent Abu Dhar three hundred dinars to meet his needs, he returned the money saying, "Does not the Amir find a servant more deserving of it than I?"

Abu Dhar continued in his simple life, and dedicated himself to Allah only until he died, in 32 A.H.

Shi'a view[edit]

Aba Dharr is considered one of the greatest and most loyal sahaba, along with Salman the Persian, Miqdad ibn Aswad, and Ammar ibn Yasir.[25][26]

When Abu Dharr was exiled to al-Rabathah by Caliph Uthman bin Affan under duress from Muawiyah,[a] Ali and his sons, Hasan and Husayn, advanced to see him off. Ali said to him:[24]

Abu Dharr, 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 Dharr, nothing amuses you but the truth and nothing annoys you but the untruth.

Abu Dharr, his wife, and his daughter were exiled to al-Rabathah, a rural town outside Madinah, as he recalled Muhammad's words: "Abu Dharr, may Allah have mercy upon you. You'll live alone, die alone, rise from the dead alone and enter Paradise alone."[24]

Abu Dharr was a man of extreme devotion to Islam and Muhammad is believed to have said:

Abu Dharr is like Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus) of my nation in his zuhd (asceticism) and wara' (piety).[28]

Neither has the sky shaded one more truthful and honest than Abu Dhar nor has the earth had anyone walk over it like him.[24]

Lebanon has two shrines dedicated to Abu Dharr commemorating his effort in spreading Islam, one in Sarepta and the other in Meiss al-Jabal.[29]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This is disputed, with some sources alleging Abu Dharr was on a self-imposed exile from Medina[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Islamic Law of Personal Status, edited by Jamal J. Nasir, Pg. 11-12
  2. ^ Early Shi'i Thought: The Teachings of Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir, By Arzina R. Lalani, pg. 26
  3. ^ The Mirror of all the Prophets as Shown by The Hadith of Similitude
  4. ^ Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. New York: Oxford University Press. 1995. p. 19. ISBN 0-19-506613-8. OCLC 94030758.
  5. ^ "Abu Dharr al-Ghifari". Oxford Islamic Studies Online. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  6. ^ And Once Again Abu Dharr. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  7. ^ Hanna, Sami A.; George H. Gardner (1969). Arab Socialism: A Documentary Survey. Leiden: E.J. Brill. pp. 273–274. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  8. ^ Hanna, Sami A. (1969). "al-Takaful al-Ijtimai and Islamic Socialism". The Muslim World. 59 (3–4): 275–286. doi:10.1111/j.1478-1913.1969.tb02639.x. Archived from the original on 2010-09-13.
  9. ^ [Michael Molloy][Molloy], Experiencing the World's Religions: Traditions, Challenge, and Change, Sixth Edition, 2009, p. 853
  10. ^ Watt, Muhammad at Medina, 1956, p. 81
  11. ^ cited in Watt, Muhammad at Mecca, 1953, p. 87
  12. ^ "Islam Online". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2005-12-23.
  13. ^ Razwy, Sayed Ali Asgher. A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims. p. 67.
  14. ^ Lings, pp. 138–139
  15. ^ "Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 59, Number 287". Usc.edu. Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
  16. ^ "Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 53, Number 359". Usc.edu. Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
  17. ^ "Witness-pioneer.org". Witness-pioneer.org. 16 September 2002. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  18. ^ "Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 59, Number 286". Usc.edu. Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
  19. ^ Mubarakpuri, Saifur Rahman Al (2005), The sealed nectar: biography of the Noble Prophet, Darussalam Publications, ISBN 978-9960-899-55-8
  20. ^ Sa'd, Ibn (1967). Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir,By Ibn Sa'd,Volume 2. Pakistan Historical Society. p. 202. ASIN B0007JAWMK. THE SARIYYAH OF 'ALQAMAH IBN MUJAZZIZ AL-MUDLIJI AGAINST AL-HABASHAH
  21. ^ Muir, William (10 August 2003). Life of Mahomet. Kessinger Publishing Co. p. 451. ISBN 978-0766177413.
  22. ^ A. J. Cameron, A. J. Cameron (Ph.D.), Abû Dharr al-Ghifârî: an examination of his image in the hagiography of Islam, p. 33.
  23. ^ Madelung, Succession to Muhammad, 1997, p. 84
  24. ^ a b c d al-Sayyid, Kamal. Abu Dharr al-Ghifari. Translated by Alyawy, Jasim. Archived from the original on 7 Jun 2020 – via al-islam.org.
  25. ^ Ali, Abbas (ed.). "Respecting the Righteous Companions". A Shi'ite Encyclopedia. Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project. Archived from the original on 3 Jun 2020 – via al-islam.org.
  26. ^ Ja'fariyan, Rasul (2014). "Umars Caliphate". History of the Caliphs. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. p. 290. ISBN 9781312541085 – via books.google.com. Lay summaryalseraj.net. Abu Hatin al-Razi says, "It is the appellation of those who were attached to Ali during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah, such as Salman, Abu Dharr Ghifari, Miqdad ibn al-Aswad and Ammar ibn Yasir and others. Concerning these four, the Messenger of Allah had declared, 'The paradise is eager for four men: Salman, Abu Dharr, Miqdad, and Ammar.'"
  27. ^ Salahi, Adil (25 Aug 2003). Abu Dharr and His Exile. Arab News. Saudi Research and Publishing Company. ISSN 0254-833X. Archived from the original on 7 Jun 2020. Retrieved 7 Jun 2020 – via arabnews.com.
  28. ^ "Chapter 6". The Great Companion of the Prophet Abu Dharr. Islamic Seminary Publications. 2014. p. 67. ISBN 9781312539808 – via books.google.com.
  29. ^ Rihan, Mohammad (2014). The Politics and Culture of an Umayyad Tribe: Conflict and Factionalism in the Early Islamic Period. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 195. ISBN 9780857736208 – via books.google.com.

Further reading[edit]

  • Madelung, Wilferd -- Succession to Muhammad, Cambridge University Press, 1997
  • Watt, Montgomery -- Muhammad at Mecca, Oxford University Press, 1953
  • Watt, Montgomery -- Muhammad at Medina, Oxford University Press, 1956

External links[edit]