Abu Ubaidah bin al Jarrah (r.a.)
The image of dignity and grace, a handsome, pleasant, well spoken man with a tall, slim physique and bright sharp eyes. These were the physical good looks of a man whom the Prophet said: ‘Every Ummah (nation) has a trustee: the trustee of my Ummah (nation) is Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah.’
By character and nature, he was very humble and modest. Amongst his friends, he was gentle and soft as silk. When it came to war, he was as hard as iron. During the battle of Uhud, he lost his two front teeth. It was within this battle that two of the iron links of the Prophet ’s helmet pierced his blessed head. Hazrat Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah pulled them out with his teeth. His integrity and honesty was unparalleled even amongst the companions of the Holy Prophet .
His real name was Amir ibn Abdullah bin Al-Jarrah, but he became famous as Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah . Hazrat Abdullah ibn Umar says that amongst the tribe of the Quraish there were three people in whom manners and modesty excelled all others. They also had the gift of eloquent and gentle speech. If people looked at them, they wished to keep on looking at them. In his opinion, the three people were:
- Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique
- Hazrat Uthman ibn Affaan
- Hazrat Abu Ubaidah ibn Al Jarrah
He sincerely and honestly recognized the authenticity and truth of the Prophet as the Messenger of Allah Taa’la. He never gave any signs of despair.
One of the greatest tests faced was at the battle of Badr, it was so critical that it is beyond human comprehension. Hazrat Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah advanced into the midst of the battle field, tearing his way in. This made the people run here and there, helter skelter. Everytime he advanced towards a person on horse back, they made way for him, but there was one man among them who would stand in front of him and challenge him, and try to attack him. When Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah realised that this person was his father, he was stunned and shocked. Hazrat Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah was forced to attack him and he was removed from the face of this earth. Anything was possible for such people in Islam, nothing could stop them from believing in one Allah and his beloved Messenger Muhammed .
Towards the latter part of his life, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah took residence in Syria. Within this time a fatal disease of plague spread in the city as it had never before. People were affected by it rapidly. When Hazrat Umar Farooq came to know of this, he sent a letter with a messenger to Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah .
He wrote in the letter that he had some important business with him, and he wanted him to make preparations and immediately set out for Madinah Munawwarah to meet him. He was not to delay. If the letter reached him in the morning, then he was to leave by night and if it reached him by night then he had to set out before morning.
When Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah read the letter, he sorrowfully said that he knew what the important business was. Hazrat Umar wanted to keep alive a man who was not born to live in this world forever. He then wrote a reply to the leader of the Muslims, Hazrat Umar , after greeting him, he said that he knew what work he had for him and that the Muslims were facing severe problems, he could not leave them alone in this state, unless it was Allah Taa’las will as He is the one who decides on their fate.
He appealed to Hazrat Umar to consider him helpless to obey his commands in this matter and requested him to give him permission to stay with the Muslims.
When Hazrat Umar received this letter and read it, his eyes brimmed with tears, the companions sitting around him were shocked to see this and asked him if there was some tragic news, if the commander of the Muslims, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah had passed away. He answered:
“No, but death is very near him.”
Hazrat Umar ‘s statement turned out to be true and correct. A few days later, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah was struck by the plague.
In Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah ’s last days, he made the following statement to the Muslims:
“Today, I am giving you some advice. If you accept it, you will find peace and security to be your companions:
- Establish ‘Salaah’, be regular in your prayer
- Fast during the month of Ramadhan
- Give sacrifices and be charitable often
- Perform the Hajj
- Perform the Umrah
- Encourage and instruct each other to do good actions
- Wish your rulers well and be loyal to them
- Never deceive your rulers
- Be careful that you perform your duties and not be lost in worldly pursuits
“My greetings of peace to all of you. May there be countless blessings of Allah the merciful on you all.”
He then turned to Hazrat Muaz bin Jabal and said,
“Lead the men well in prayers, May Allah protect you!”
With these humble words on his lips, he became the beloved of Allah Taa’la.
“To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return.”
Muaz ibn Jabal stood up and told the people with quivering lips and a trembling voice:
“Brothers in Islam, you are sunk in grief today for a man who was more good hearted than any of us. He had a pure heart free from malice and envy. He was a man who loved the hereafter and was a well-wisher of each one of us.”
He was a man whom was given the title ‘Aminul Ummah’, the trustee of this nation and during his lifetime on this earth given the glad tidings that he would go to paradise by the Prophet . He was a very blessed man, indeed!
Let us all pray for him and his position in paradise be ever exalted.
May Allah Taa’la shower blessings on him and our Prophet . Ameen.