From the book: Men around the Messenger
By: Khalid Muhammad Khalid
Translated by: Sheikh Muhammed Mustafa Gemeiah, Dr.Abdel – Hamid Eliwa
Al Azhar University
Volume 1, Page 44-64
Published by: Dar Al-Manarah, Egypt
Abu Dhar Al-Ghifaariy
The leader of Opposition and an enemy of wealth
Abdullah lbn Mas’uud (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated the interpretation of the statement “You will walk alone, die alone, and resurrect alone,” to his companions:
Ibn Mas’uud said
“That was in the ninth year after Hijrah, during the Battle of Tabuuk, when the Prophet, (PBUH) had ordered full preparation to meet the Romans, who had begun to carry out their conspiracies and cunning tricks against Islam.
The days in which people were asked to go out for jihad were very hot, distressful, and hard. The destination was far away and the enemy terrifying.
A group of Muslims refrained from going forth, justifying their position with different apologies. The Prophet (PBUH) and his Companions went forth. The farther they went, the more exhausted and tired they became. Whenever a man stayed behind people said, “O Prophet! So-and-so stayed behind.” He then said, “Let him! If he’s any good, he will reach you. If he’s something else, then Allah will save you his trouble.”
One day the people turned around. They could not find Abu Dhar. They told the Prophet (PBUH) that Abu Dhar had stayed behind and his camel had slowed down. It is here that the Prophet (PBUH) repeated his first statement. Abu Dhar’s camel became weaker under the severe pressure of hunger, thirst, and hot weather. It stumbled due to weakness and fatigue. Abu Dhar tried by all means to force it to move forward, but the burden of the camel’s exhaustion was too heavy.
Finally, Abu Dhar felt that he would be left behind, losing the caravan’s traces. Therefore, he dismounted from his camel, took his belongings, carried them on his back, and continued his route on foot over the burning desert sand, hurrying in order to rejoin the Prophet (PBUH) and his Companions.
In the early morning, while the Muslims were stopped for a while to rest, one of them saw a cloud of dust and sand behind which the shadow of a man could be seen. The one who saw that said to the Prophet (PBUH), “O Messenger of Allah, there is someone walking alone.”
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “It is Abu Dhar.”
The Muslims continued their talk until the man crossed the remaining distance between them. Only then were they able to know who he was.
The respectful traveler approached little by little. Although he could only with great effort pull his feet out of the burning sand and with a lot of pain carry the heavy burden on his back, he was very delighted to have finally reached the blessed caravan without staying behind and abandoning the Prophet (PBUH) and his Companions.
When he at last reached the caravan, someone shouted, “O Prophet, it’s Abu Dhar.” Abu Dhar beaded towards the Prophet (PBUH). The Prophet (PBUH) had hardly seen him, when he tenderly, kindly, and sadly smiled and said, “Allah will have mercy upon Abu Dhar. He walks alone, dies alone, and resurrects alone.”
Twenty years or more had passed since then. Abu Dhar died alone in the desert of Ar-Rabadhah, having walked on a path no one else had passed over so gloriously .
Abu Dhar Al-Ghifaariy’s Death
This slim dark-skinned woman sitting crying beside him is his wife. He is asking her, “Why do you cry and death is true?” She answers crying, “You are dying and I don’t have a gown which suffices to be a winding sheet!!” He smiles like a passing evening glow and says to her “Calm down. Don’t cry. I heard the Prophet (PBUH) once saying while I was sitting among a number of Companions “one of you will die in a desert land, and a group of the faithful will witness him.” All those who were sitting with me at that assembly have died, whether in a village or among a congregation. No one is left except me, and now I am dying in a desert land. Watch out, a group of the faithful will soon show up. By Allah, I didn’t lie in my life.” He passed away. Blessed was he.
There is a caravan which sets off on a journey across the desert. It consists of a group of the faithful with `Abd Allah Ibn Mas’uud, the Prophet’s Companion, at their head. lbn Mas’uud visualized the scene before he reached it: a scene of an out-stretched body like that of a dead person and beside him a crying woman and boy.
He redirects his camel’s bridle and the whole caravan follows him towards the scene. He has hardly taken a look at the dead body, when he realizes that it is his companion brother in Islam, Abu Dhar.
Ibn Mas’uud’s tears roll down abundantly while he stands in front of this virtuous body saying, “The Messenger of Allah was truthful – You will walk alone, die alone, and resurrect alone.”
Abu Dhar Ghifaariy is also remembered alone by history for his brave resistance and his great asceticism. Allah will also resurrect him alone, because the multitude of his various merits will not enable anyone else to find a place near him.
Download the book: Men around the Messenger.pdf