SAFAR - RABI-UL-AWWAL
Volume 17-04 No : 208
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Prophet Muhammad's (Pbuh) Companions
Rabeeaa bin Kaab entered into the fold of Islam even while he was a youth. It all happened suddenly. As the tide of Islam was rising, an inner voice knocked at his heart, urging him to present himself into the service of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Then on, Rabeeaa got into the company of the Holy Prophet. He would follow him like a shadow, carry out chores ordered by him and would be ever ready to pick up gems from his lips. Even while the Prophet proceeded to sleep, young Rabeeaa would sit outside the door of his house lest his services could be urgently needed by him. He would listen to the supplication the Prophet would make during his tahajjud (late night) prayers. He often found the Prophet repeat surah Fatiha several times.
Once the Prophet urged him to ask for anything that he (Rabeeaa) needed most. Rabeeaa thought over and over again. There was a strong urge within to seek the worldly comforts, an early marriage, a house (Rabeeaa used to live on a platform called 'Suffah' that accommodated the early migrants from Madinah and had no house of his own) et al. Yet there was a counter inner voice that urged him to seek the success in the life hereafter. The Prophet kept him urging and the inner warfare grew intense. He then came to the Prophet and asked for his company in the life hereafter. The Prophet then advised him to be more attentive in prayers.
No sooner than this happened, the Prophet called him and wanted to know if he desired to marry. Rabeeaa told him that he was not in a position to afford a family and wanted nothing of the sort that could breach his company with the Prophet. But when the Prophet persisted, Rabeeaa told him that the Prophet knew better about his needs and if it was his desire, he would comply with it. The Prophet then asked him to approach a family with proposal of alliance. Rabeeaa was initially reluctant. But surprisingly, the family did not show any compunction. The nikah was solemnised and Rabeeaa was accepted as the son-in-law with all satisfaction. No questions were raised about his economic worth.
For Rabeeaa, all this was serendipitous. He came to the Prophet and narrated the entire account. Yet in the same breath, Rabeeaa expressed his incapacity to pay Mehr (dower) to the new bride. The Prophet instructed Buraidah, the chieftain of the Banu Aslam (tribe of Aslam) to arrange for a piece of gold which he sent immediately.
With Mehr paid, Rabeeaa was still concerned if he would be able to organise Valeema (the post-marriage feast). The Prophet told him not to worry. He asked Buraidah to arrange for the sacrifice of a ram and Buraidah organised this too. Ayesha, the beloved wife of the Prophet, sent 20 seers of millet flour for rotis. This is how valeema of Rabeeaa was accomplished. The Prophet also partook of the meals.
Rabeeaa was allotted a plot of land for putting up a house adjacent to the one allotted to Abu Bakar. But it so happened that differences arose between the two neighbours over the ownership of a date tree that stood between them. This led to a squabble and Abu Bakr used some strong words against him in a fit of anger. But soon repented and asked Rabeeaa to either grant him a pardon or repeat the same words against him(Abu Bakr), lest he be held accountable on the day of the akhirah (day of judgement). But Rabeeaa knew Abu Bakar's position and refused to say anything that would bring down his repute. Abu Bakr grew anxious and complained to the Prophet.
The Prophet heard the two parties and asked Rabeeaa to pardon him. Rabeeaa pardoned him and the two neighbours hugged each other. Abu Bakr was overwhelmed with tears.
Translated and abridged by Maqbool Ahmed Siraj from Suwarum min Hayathus Sahaba by Egyptian author Dr. Abdur Rahman Rafat Pasha.
By Rand Diab
“A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.
As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother, Yusuf, five years my senior, was my example. Samya, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play ‘big brother’ and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors— Mom taught me to love Allah, and Dad taught me to how to obey Him. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spell-bound for hours each evening. If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it.
He knew about the past and seemed to understand the present. The pictures he could draw were so life- like that I would often laugh or cry as I watched. He was like a friend to the whole family. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several famous people.
The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn’t seem to mind-but sometimes Mom would quietly get up— while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places— go to her room, read the Qur’an.
I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honour them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house— not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm.. To my knowledge, the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn’t permit alcohol in his home.But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often.
He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (probably too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.
I know now that my early concepts of the man-woman relationship were influenced by the stranger.
As I look back, I believe it was Allah’s Mercy that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family. He is not nearly so intriguing to my Dad as he was in those early years. But if I were to walk into my parents’ den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
His name you ask?
We called him TV.
It makes you think, doesn’t it . . .
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