Sariyyah Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Jahsh
Then there is mention of the Sariyyah Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahsh (ra), which took place at the end of Jumadi-al-Akhir 2 AH. Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) also took part in this battle. With reference to Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, it is narrated as such:
“Upon observing these very threats, the Holy Prophet (sa) decided that the movements of the Quraish should be surveyed from a closer distance, so that all the necessary intelligence with respect to them may be available on time and Medina was safeguarded from all kinds of sudden attacks. Hence, for this purpose, the Holy Prophet (sa) assembled a party of eight Muhajireen. As an act of wisdom, the Holy Prophet (sa) selected such men for this party who were from the various tribes of the Quraish, so that it was easier to obtain intelligence with regard to the hidden conspiracies of the Quraish. The Holy Prophet (sa) appointed his paternal cousin, Abdullah bin Jahsh (ra) as the commander of this party … upon ordering this sariyyah, the Holy Prophet (sa) did not even inform the commander of this party as to where he was being sent and for what purpose. Rather, upon their departure, the Holy Prophet (sa) handed him a sealed letter and said, ‘This letter contains necessary instructions for you. When you cover a distance of two days’ travel from Medina, open the letter and act in accordance with the stipulated instructions.’
“When they had journeyed a distance of two days from Medina, Abdullah (ra) opened the instructions of the Holy Prophet (sa), which were as follows: ‘Go forth to the Valley of Nakhlah between Mecca and Ta‘if and obtain information on the Quraish and return with news therefrom.’
“At the bottom of this letter, the Holy Prophet (sa) had written that after the objective of this mission became known, if anyone from among his companions was hesitant in accompanying this party and desired to return, then permission would be granted to do so. Abdullah (ra) read out this guidance to his companions who unanimously affirmed, ‘We happily present ourselves for this service, none of us shall return.’ Then, this party proceeded to Nakhlah. Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas (ra) and Utbah bin Ghazwan (ra) lost their camels en-route and were separated from their companions. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to relocate their companions. The party of eight was now left with only six people.”
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib (ra) has mentioned an orientalist, Mr. Margoliouth who has stated this narration and attempted to create doubt by claiming that they intentionally let their camels loose and used this as an excuse to remain behind. Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib (ra) writes with regard to Hazrat Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas (ra) and his companion:
“Each and every life event of these devotees of Islam who were ready to sacrifice their lives is a testimony to their valour and devotion. One of them was martyred at the hands of the disbelievers in the campaign of Bir-e-Ma‘unah, while the other distinctly participated in many dangerous battles and ultimately became the victor of Iraq.
“Therefore, to doubt the sincerity of such people, especially when that doubt is founded on self-concocted notions, is the work of Mr. Margoliouth alone. It is ironic that in his book, Mr. Margoliouth claims that he has written this book being completely free from prejudice.
“In any case, this small community reached Nakhlah and became engaged in their work. With the thought of concealing their classified mission, some of them shaved their heads, so that travellers etc. would not be alarmed in any way and so that they would consider them as being such people who had come with the intention of Umrah. However, they had only just arrived there, when suddenly a small caravan of the Quraish also happened to arrive, which was travelling from Ta‘if to Mecca and both parties encountered each other.” The situation was such that despite their desire not to and even though it was against their own will and the instructions of the Holy Prophet (sa), the Muslims finally decided that the caravan should be attacked and the people of the caravan should either be taken captive or killed. Therefore, they launched an attack in the name of Allah and as a result, one man from the disbelievers was killed and two were taken captive. However, the fourth individual unfortunately escaped and the Muslims were unable to apprehend him, and in this way, their decision proved unsuccessful. “Thereafter, the Muslims seized the goods of the caravan and swiftly returned to Medina with the captives and the spoils … However, when the Holy Prophet (sa) found out that the Companions had attacked the caravan, he was extremely displeased and said:
مَااَمَرْتُکُمْ بِقِتَالٍ فِی الشَّھْرِ الْحَرَامِ
“‘I have not given you permission to fight in the sacred month.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) refused to accept the spoils … On the other hand, the Quraish also raised a huge hue and cry that the Muslims had violated the sanctity of the Sacred Month, since the person who had been killed, Amar bin al-Hadhrami, was a chieftain himself.” All the while, the disbelievers came to Medina to secure the release of their captives. “However, until now, Hazrat Sa‘d bin Abi Waqas (ra) and Hazrat Utbah bin Ghazwan (ra) had not returned. On their account, the Holy Prophet (sa) greatly feared that if the Quraish happened to seize them, they would not release them alive. Hence, for this reason, the Holy Prophet (sa) refused to release the captives until they returned and said, ‘When my men safely reach Medina, I will release yours.’ Therefore, when they both reached Medina, the Holy Prophet (sa) released both captives … However, from among these two captives, one individual was so deeply impressed during his stay at Medina, that he became a Muslim and was later martyred at Bi‘r-e-Ma‘unah.”
(Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), pp. 330-334)