There is a narration about his standard of obedience. Hazrat Abu Laila (ra) narrates:
“Once the Holy Prophet (sa) was delivering a sermon during which he said, ‘O people be seated.’ Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Rawaha was outside the mosque on his way to listen to the sermon but he sat right then and there. The Holy Prophet (sa) addressed him and stated:
زَادَكَ اللہُ حِرْصًا عَلَي طَوَاعِيَةِ اللہِ وَ طَوَاعِيَةِ رَسُوْلِهِ
‘(O Abdullah bin Rawaha.) May Allah the exalted increase your passion of obeying Allah and His messenger.’”
Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ud was once walking towards a gathering which was being held in the company of the Holy Prophet (sa). He was still on the path outside, when he heard the following words of the Holy Prophet (sa), “Sit down!” Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ud had not yet reached the gathering. However, he heard this voice of the Holy Prophet (sa) while he was on the path outside and he immediately sat down and dragged himself to the mosque. When a person, criticised him and asked him what kind of foolishness this was. Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud replied saying, “I heard a commandment of the Holy Prophet (sa), if I were to die before I reached the mosque, I would not wish to die in a state of disobedience to the Holy Prophet (sa). This was the extraordinary obedience and spirit of following the Holy Prophet (sa) in every step which he possessed. This is why despite the fact that the Companions were completely illiterate; and it was commonly stated that there were only 7 literate people in the whole of Mecca, in spite of this they triumphed over the whole world. Hence, as a result of their obedience this is the station they attained and the success they gained. Therefore, we must always remember this particular point. This is the example that every Ahmadi must try to follow.
Allah the Almighty stated in the Holy Quran:
اَلَّذِیۡنَ اسۡتَجَابُوۡا لِلّٰہِ وَ الرَّسُوۡلِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَاۤ اَصَابَہُمُ الۡقَرۡحُ ؕۛ لِلَّذِیۡنَ اَحۡسَنُوۡا مِنۡہُمۡ وَ اتَّقَوۡا اَجۡرٌ عَظِیۡمٌ
“[As to] those who answered the call of Allah and the Messenger after they had received an injury – such of them as do good and act righteously shall have a great reward.” (Surah al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.173)
With regard to this verse, Hazrat Aisha (ra) said to her nephew, Urwah, “O my nephew! Your forefathers, Zubair (ra) and Abu Bakr (ra) were among the companions who have been referred to in this verse. When the Holy Prophet (sa) was injured during the Battle of Uhud and the idolaters retreated, he feared that they would return to attack again. Hence, the Holy Prophet (sa) asked, ‘Who will go and follow them?’ 70 companions from among the Muslims were ready to go immediately.”
The narrator of this tradition states that Abu Bakr (ra) and Zubair (ra) were also among them. This narration is from Sahih Bukhari; both, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) as well as Hazrat Zubair (ra) were among the injured.
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Bab alladhina istajabu lillah wa al-rasul…, Hadith 4077)
A similar narration has been recorded in Sahih Muslim as follows:
Hisham narrates from his father, “Hazrat Aisha (ra) said to me, ‘Your forefathers were among those companions who responded to the call of Allah and His Messenger (sa) despite being injured.’”
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Faza‘il al-Sahabah, Bab min Fada’il Talhah wa al-Zubair, Hadith 2418)
Shaath bin Qais was an elderly man who was a staunch disbeliever and held a lot of malice and hatred in his heart for the Muslims. He once passed by a group of Muslims who were sat speaking to one another. When he witnessed their mutual bond of love and unity and the peacefulness between them through the way they were sat and speaking to one another in a loving and joyful manner he became infuriated.
Although eventually, he too attained this through his acceptance of Islam after once having had enmity in the time of Jahiliyya (days of ignorance), in other words he previously held enmity for the people, but through Islam, he too achieved this mutual understanding, love and affection. This is because when they accepted Islam, God Almighty united their hearts.
Shaath bin Qais says that the leaders of Banu Qayla were sat in one place and he could not bear to see them together and he could not be at peace seeing them united. How was it possible that this enmity had transformed into friendship, rather love and affection? He instructed a Jew accompanying him to go and sit with them, to remind them of the Battle of Bu‘as and their state prior to it. Also, that he should recite to them those chants which they used to sing against one another when they were two separate tribes.
This person did exactly this and one tribe read out some of the couplets they used against the other. Hearing these couplets rekindled a fire in their hearts bringing back the days of ignorance to them. Thereafter, the other tribe replied saying that this is what their poet used to recite on such and such day, as he too recited some poetry in the days of ignorance. Hence, just as they were all sitting and speaking to one another with love and affection, this mischief caused them to start speaking unpleasantly to one another and an argument ensued as they began boasting.
It reached the point where two of them, Hazrat Aus (ra) bin Qaizi and Hazrat Jabbar (ra) bin Sakkhar became irritated and one of them even said to the other that if they wanted, they could even fight. It got to the stage where out of anger, both parties designated the place of battle and started making claims as they did in the days of ignorance.
This news reached the Holy Prophet (sa) so he went to the Aus and Khazraj tribes, accompanied by the Muhajireen Companions. The Holy Prophet (sa) stated “O Muslim, fear Allah! Fear Allah! Do you all make claims like you did in the days of ignorance while I am amongst you, whilst God Almighty has guided you to Islam, honoured you through it, put an end to your days of ignorance, saved you from disbelief and established love between you? Do you then turn to disbelief once again like the past?”
The Companions came to the realisation that this was the wicked work of Satan and an evil plot to turn them against one another. Therefore, they put down their weapons, began weeping and the people of the Aus and Khazraj tribes began embracing one another.
Then they submitted to the Holy Prophet (sa) pledging their obedience to him once again. God Almighty turned out the fire kindled by their enemy Shaath bin Qais. The verse was then revealed:
قُلْ یٰٓاَہْلَ الْکِتٰبِ لِمَ تَکْفُرُوْنَ بِاٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ وَاللّٰہُ شَہِیْدٌ عَلٰی مَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ۔ قُلْ یٰٓاَہْلَ الْکِتٰبِ لِمَ تَصُدُّوْنَعَنْ سَبِیْلِ اللّٰہِ مَنْ اٰمَنَ تَبْغُوْنَہَا عِوَجًا وَّاَنْتُمْ شُہَدَآئُ۔ وَمَا اللّٰہُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُوْنَ
“Say, ‘O People of the Book! Why deny ye the Signs of Allah, while Allah is Watchful of what you do?’ (3:99)
“Say, ‘O People of the Book! Why hinder ye the believers from the path of Allah, seeking to make it crooked, while you are witnesses thereof? And Allah is not unmindful of what you do.’” (3:100)
Hazrat Aus bin Qaizi and Hazrat Jabbar (ra) bin Sakkhar and their companions who behaved as they would during the days of ignorance because they were under the influence of Shaath’s deception, for such people, the following commandment was revealed:
یٰٓاَیُّہَا الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْٓا اِنْ تُطِیْعُوْا فَرِیْقًا مِّنَ الَّذِیْنَ اُوْتُوا الْکِتٰبَ یَرُدُّوْکُمْ بَعْدَ اِیْمَانِکُمْ کٰفِرِیْنَ۔ وَکَیْفَتَکْفُرُوْنَ وَاَنْتُمْ تُتْلٰی عَلَیْکُمْ اٰیٰتُ اللّٰہِ وَفِیْکُمْ رَسُوْلُہٗ وَمَنْ یَّعْتَصِمْ بِاللّٰہِ فَقَدْ ہُدِیَ اِلٰی صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِیْمٍ
“O ye who believe! If you obey any party of those who have been given the Book, they will turn you again into disbelievers after you have believed. How would you disbelieve, while to you are rehearsed the Signs of Allah, and His Messenger is present among you? And he who holds fast to Allah is indeed guided to the right path.”
(3:101-102) (Subul-ul-Huda Wa Al-Rashaad Fi Sirat Khair Al-Abaad, Vol. 3, pp. 398-399, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)
This was the condition of the Companions. There was a time when they were deceived by Satanic influences, however, they became regretful immediately after the Holy Prophet (sa) made them realise that they were behaving in the same manners as they would in their days of ignorance, so they moved forth towards reconciliation.
In fact, they displayed their feelings of love and brotherhood for each other. Such were their examples that serve as a model for people who get entangled in this day and age due to a false sense of honour and ego over petty issues. If those who were thirsty for each other’s blood and those who were at war with each other became brothers, then how is it that those who recite the same Kalimah [declaration of faith also known as the Islamic creed] now and those who were born into one Jamaat cannot efface their egos?
There are many issues that come to light which are caused by false egos, and relationships deteriorate because of this. Sometimes, such issues last months or even years. Some youngsters write that their familial relations have been strained but the new generation has the desire to re-establish these relations, but because of their adults, this does not happen. Such people should take heed that the teaching of God Almighty is that of love, affection, unity and He has made us one community.
We should live together as one and should not become engrossed in our false egos. May Allah Almighty guide everyone.
Hazrat Ansa (ra) accepted Islam in its early stages and migrated to Medina at the time of migration. He became the guest of Hazrat Sa‘d bin Khaithma (ra). For as long as he was alive, his passion was to serve the Holy Prophet (sa). He was so obedient that it is narrated in relation to him that even when he used to take a seat, he would do so after seeking permission from the Holy Prophet (sa). He fought alongside the Holy Prophet (sa) in the battle of Badr.
(Usdul Ghaaba, Vol. 1, pp. 301-302, Dar-ul-Kutub-ul-Ilmiyyah, Beirut), (Sira Al-Sahaba, Shah Muin-ul-din Ahmad Nadwi, Vol. 2, pt. 2, p. 587, Dar-ul-Isha’at, Karachi) & (Al-Asaba Fi Tameez Al-Sahaba, Vol. 1, p. 283, Ansa Maula Rasul Allah, Suraqa bin ‘Amr, Da-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, 1995, Beirut)
Hazrat Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) sent forth some companions on an expedition, among whom was Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha (ra). It was a Friday and the other companions in this expedition had already left in the morning. He said “I shall offer my Jumu’ah Prayer with the Holy Prophet (sa) and then join them.” When the Holy Prophet (sa) saw him present in the mosque, after completing the Friday Prayers, he asked, “What is it that hindered you from leaving with your companions?” He answered “O Messenger of Allah! It was my earnest desire and wish to be present during the Friday Prayers with the Holy Prophet (sa) and listen to your sermon. Thereafter I will take another route and meet up with the group.” The Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “Even if you spent all that was in the earth, you would still not attain the reward of those who, in accordance with the instructions, departed in the morning for the expedition.”
(Sunan Al-Tirmidhi, Abwab Al-Jumu’ah, Bab Ma Ja-a Fi Safar Yaum Al-Jumu’ah, Hadith 527)
So here, the emphasis is on obedience being obligatory. It has been narrated that after this, whenever he went on an expedition or participated in a battle, Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha (ra) was always the first to join the group and the last to return to Medina.
(Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, p. 236, Abdullah (ra) bin Rawaha, Darul Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyah, Beirut 1996)