Sa'd Bin Abi Waqqas is honored by Islam

Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas was only a 17 year old young man filled with excitement and energy. During this period, he saw a dream: While he was in pitch-black darkness, a bright moon rose instantly and he began to follow a moon-lit road. Afterwards, on the same road, he saw that Zaid bin Harith, Hazrat Ali, and Hazrat Abu Bakr were walking ahead of him. He asked them, “When did you all come here?” and they responded, “Now.” (1)

Three days after his dream, Hazrat Abu Bakr, who showed remarkable exertion and zeal during the era of secret conversions, mentioned Islam to him. Afterwards, Hazrat Abu Bakr took him to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence and after receiving knowledge on Islam from the Master of the Universe (PBUH), he immediately became a Muslim. (2)

Both his mother’s and father’s pedigrees were connected to our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Since the family of Hazrat Sad’s mother belonged to the Sons of Zuhra, Hazrat Sad was considered to be our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) maternal uncle. For that reason, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) paid Hazrat Sad a great compliment by saying, “Here is my uncle, Sad. If anyone has an uncle like him, then he should show me.” (3)

Hazrat Sa’d and his Mother

Hazrat Sad’s mother was not pleased by her son’s conversion to Islam. How could her son abandon the religion of his forefathers and follow a new religion without her consent? Hamna was aware of the respect and attachment that her son had towards her. She was determined to dissuade him from Islam and have him return to idolatry. One day she said to him:

“Are  you not the one who says that Allah commands you to take care of your relatives and to show continuous kindness to and do favors for your parents?”

“Yes”, replied Hazrat Sad.

Upon hearing this response, Hamna expressed her true purpose with the following words:

“By God, until you disavow what Muhammad has brought forth, I am not going to put anything into my mouth until I die from thirst and hunger. The people are going to blame you for murdering your mother.”

Until that day, Hazrat Sad had submitted to all of his mother’s wishes and had always pampered her. However, he had now testified to Allah and had submitted to His Messenger (PBUH) with the fullest sincerity in his heart. And of course, everything was going to be ranked in accordance with his faith.

When Hazrat Sad saw that his mother was refraining from eating and drinking, he went by her side and said, “Oh mother, even if you had 100 lives and were to sacrifice each one so that I would denounce Islam, I would still keep firm with my faith. Now, if you wish, you can eat or choose not do so.” (4)

Upon hearing this answer, Hamna’s stubbornness melted against Hazrat Sad’s steady faith in the truth; she quickly began to eat and drink. Once again, disbelief and polytheism were crushed and defeated by faith and the greatness of Tawhid (the doctrine of Oneness of Allah).

Allah presented an eternal criterion for the believers by sending down the eighth verse of Surah al-Ankabut upon this incident that took place between Hazrat Sad and his mother: “We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.” (5)

This time, Hamna made another attempt to turn her son away from Islam: One day while Hazrat Sad was praying in his home, his mother called the neighbors to imprison him by having them all shut the door. In the meantime, Hamna, whose heart had been so hardened by polytheism that she could torture her own beloved child, shouted:

“He will either abandon the religion that he has entered or die!”

By looking at this example, it is possible to understand that a mother can torture her own son when her heart has been darkened from disbelief and wickedness and when it is devoid of compassion and mercy!

Every attempt that had taken place had counteracted Hamna’s interests since Hazrat Sad’s son, Amir, had followed his father’s tracks and became Muslim.

This time, Hamna, who had become completely ill-tempered, took Amir by the scruff of his neck: “I am not going to rest under the shade of this date tree nor am I going to eat and drink until you leave the religion you are following!”

As soon as he heard his mother’s vow, Hazrat Sad, who had experienced the unbounded pleasure of having faith in Allah and submitting to His Messenger (PBUH), went to his mother and said: “Oh mother, do not you dare rest under the shade nor eat and drink until you reach the station of hellfire.” (6)

Hamna could not manage to do anything but keep silent in the face of this phenomenal amount of faith and unwavering perseverance and willpower.

The Courage of Hazrat Sa’d

It took place at a very crucial and most difficult period for the Muslims on account of the continuous persecution and torture the polytheists inflicted on them.

Hazrat Sa’d was praying in the Abu Dubb valley with some of the other Muslims who were among the first to embrace the glorious faith. Abu Sufyan, a leading figure among the polytheists, came to them with a few other unbelievers by his side. When the polytheists made the claim that the Muslims’ form of worshipping was a groundless practice, the two sides went at each other’s throats. With the bone of a camel’s chin that he held in his hands, Hazrat Sad wounded the head of one of the polytheists. When the other polytheists saw this, they lost their audacity and began to run away. And the Muslims chased them until they exited the valley.

In this way, Hazrat Sad had become the first companion to shed blood in the way of Allah. This was also the first instance in the history of the Islam in which blood had been spilled.

At the same time, Hazrat Sad bin Waqqas, who was immensely generous, was one of the ten companions who had been given the glad tidings of Paradise. He participated in all of the holy wars during our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) time. During the Battle of Uhud, he devoted his body as a shield for our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and threw arrows at the polytheists in such a manner that allowed him to become the recipient of an address that no other creature has ever had the honor of receiving:

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said to him, “Oh Sad, do not stop shooting your arrows, may my mother and father be sacrificed for you!” (7)

Hazrat Ali would say:

“On the day of the Battle of Uhud, Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) only addressed Hazrat Sad with the words, “Fadaka Abi wa Ummi” (8) (May my mother and father be sacrificed for you). (9)

During the same battle, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) would say, “Oh Lord, this is your arrow” each time Hazrat Sad shot one and would pray for him in this manner:

"O Lord, direct his shooting and respond to his prayer." (10)

It is through our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) decree, “O Lord, respond to his prayer” that he was able to attain wealth with the acceptance of his supplications alongside his heroism, bravery, arrow-shooting skills, and. Just as the enemies of Islam feared his sword and arrows, the Muslims feared his supplications for the same reason. They would be extremely hesitant to hurt his feelings. (11)

Hazrat Sad, who at a young age became a Muslim during the era of secret conversions and the springtime of Islam, continued to spend his entire life in the service of Islam thereafter. He was appointed as the commander of the army that marched to Iran during Hazrat Umar’s reign. And by leading this army to victory in the Battle of Qadisiyya, he conquered the country of Kisra and incorporated it into Islamic territory. Therefore, he was given the title “the Conqueror of Iran”.

 

[1] Ibn Athir, Usdu'l-Ghaba: 2/292
[2] Ibn Hishm, Sirah: 1/266; Ibn Sa'd; Tabaqat: 3/139; Tabari, Tarikh: 2/216
[3] Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, V. 2, p. 33; Ibn Athir, ibid, V. 2, p. 291.
[4] Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, V. 2, p. 31; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 1, p. 280.
[5] According to the decree in this verse, the child (offspring) is obliged to adhere to his/her parents’ commands that do not go beyond the bounds of Islam and are legitimate. This kind of obedience is required of the offspring/child. Otherwise, if a parent commands and encourages his/her child to commit deeds that are illegitimate and that go beyond the bounds of Islam, then it is incumbent on one to not obey  because: “Servants are not to be obeyed and their commands are not to be met when they advocate something that necessitates disobedience to Allah.” (Nasafi, Tafsir: 3/251)
[6] Ibn Athir, ibid, V. 2, p. 292.
[7] Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 2, p.139.
[8] The expression, “Fadaka Abi wa Ummi” should not be taken literally since it is used in its customary context. These words express a state in which someone is highly pleased and content. The individuals who uttered these words were highly praised.
[9] Muslim, Sahih, V. 7, p. 125.
[10] Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 3/141
[11] Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Mektûbat, p. 149.

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