Al Bayyinah – Introduction

al-bayyinah

1. those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and among Al-Mushrikûn, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence.
2. a Messenger (Muhammad (Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe Wa Sallam)) from Allâh, reciting (the Qur’ân) purified Pages [purified from Al-Bâtil (falsehood, etc.)].
3. containing correct and Straight laws from Allâh.
4. and the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) differed not until after there came to them clear evidence. (i.e. Prophet Muhammad (Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe Wa Sallam) and whatever was revealed to Him).
5. and they were commanded not, but that they should Worship Allâh, and Worship none but Him alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to him), and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and give Zakât: and that is the Right religion.
6. Verily, those who disbelieve (in the Religion of Islâm, the Qur’ân and Prophet Muhammad (Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe Wa Sallam)) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikûn will abide In the Fire of Hell. they are the worst of creatures.
7. Verily, those who believe [in the Oneness of Allâh, and In his Messenger Muhammad (Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe Wa Sallam)) including All obligations ordered by Islâm] and do righteous good deeds, they are the best of creatures.
8. their reward with their Lord is ‘Adn (Eden) Paradise (Gardens of Eternity), underneath which rivers flow, they will abide therein forever, Allâh well-pleased with them, and they with Him. that is for Him who fears his Lord.

INTRODUCTION

Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah said to Ubayy bin Ka`b,
إِنَّ اللهَ أَمَرَنِي أَنْ أَقْرَأَ عَلَيْكَ
لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ
Verily, Allah has commanded me to recite to you (Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Scripture.)) Ubayy said, “He (Allah) mentioned me by name to you”

The Prophet replied,
«نَعَم»
Yes. So he (Ubayy) cried. Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i all recorded this Hadith from Shu`bah. (Al Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi)
4.1. Ubayy bin Ka’ab

Abu Mundhir! Which verse of the Book of Allah (swt) is the greatest?” asked the Messenger of Allah (saw).

“Allah and His Messenger know best,” came the reply. The Prophet (saw) repeated the question and Abu Mundhir in response recited the Ayat al-Kursi or the Verse of the Throne:

“Allah, there is no god but He, the Living, the Self-Subsisting. Neither slumber overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth…” (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:255)

The Prophet (saw) smote his chest with his right hand in approval on hearing the reply and with his countenance beaming with happiness, said to Abu Mundhir (ra):

“May knowledge delight and benefit you, Abu Mundhir.”

This Abu Mundhir whom the Prophet (saw) congratulated on the knowledge and understanding that Allah (swt) had bestowed on him, was Ubayy ibn Ka’b, one of his distinguished companions and a person of high esteem in the early Muslim community.

Ubayy (ra) was one of the Ansar and belonged to the Khazraj tribe. He was one of the first persons of Yathrib to accept Islam. He pledged allegiance to the Prophet (saw) at al-‘Aqabah before the Hijrah. He participated in the Battle of Badr and other engagements thereafter.

Ubayy (ra) was one of the select few who committed the Qur’anic revelations to writing and had a Mus-haf of his own. He acted as a scribe of the Prophet (saw), writing letters for him. At the demise of the Prophet (saw), he was one of the twenty-five or so people who knew the Qur’an completely by heart. His recitation was so beautiful and his understanding so profound that the Prophet (saw) encouraged his companions to learn the Qur’an from him and from three others. Later, ‘Umar (ra) too once told the Muslims as he was dealing with some financial matters of state:

“O people! Whoever wants to ask about the Qur’an, let him go to Ubayy ibn Ka’b (ra)…” (‘Umar went on to say that anyone wishing to ask about inheritance matters should go to Zayd ibn Thabit, about questions of fiqh to Mu’adh ibn Jabal and about questions of money and finance, to himself – ra)

Ubayy (ra) enjoyed a special honor with regard to the Qur’an. One day, the Prophet (saw) said:

“O Ubayy ibn Ka’b! I have been commanded to show or lay open the Qur’an to you.”

Ubayy (ra) was elated. He knew of course that the Prophet (saw) only received commands from on high. Unable to control his excitement, he asked:

“O Messenger of Allah… Have I been mentioned to you by name?”

“Yes,” replied the Prophet (saw), “by your own name and by your genealogy (nasab) in the highest heavens.”

Any Muslim whose name had been conveyed to the heart of the Prophet (saw) in this manner must certainly have been of great ability and of a tremendously high stature.

Throughout the years of his association with the Prophet (saw), Ubayy (ra) derived the maximum benefit from his sweet and noble personality and from his noble teachings. Ubayy (ra) related that the Prophet (saw) once asked him:

“Shall I not teach you a Surah the like of which has not been revealed in the Tawrah, nor in the Injil, nor in the Zabur, nor in the Qur’an?”

“Certainly,” replied Ubayy (ra).

“I hope you would not leave through that door until you know what it is,” said the Prophet (saw), obviously prolonging the suspense for Ubayy (ra). Ubayy continues:

“He stood up and I stood up with him. With my hand in his, he started to speak. I tried to delay him fearing that he would leave before letting me know what the Surah is. When he reached the door, I asked:

‘O Messenger of Allah! The Surah which you promised to tell me…’

He replied:

‘What do you recite when you stand for Salat?’ So, I recited for him Surah Fatihah and he said:

‘(That’s) it! (That’s) it! They are the seven oft-repeated verses of which Allah Almighty has said: We have given you the seven oft-repeated verses and the Mighty Qur’an.'”

Ubayy’s devotion to the Qur’an was uncompromising. Once he recited part of a verse that the Khalifah ‘Umar (ra) apparently could not remember or did not know and he said to Ubayy (ra):

“You have lied,” to which Ubayy (ra) retorted:

“Rather, you have lied.”

A person who heard the exchange was astounded and said to Ubayy (ra):

“Do you call the Amir al-Mu’minin a liar?”

“I have greater honor and respect for the Amir al-Mu’minin than you,” responded Ubayy (ra), “but he has erred in verifying the Book of Allah and I shall not say the Amir al-Mu’minin is correct when he has made an error concerning the Book of Allah.”

“Ubayy is right,” concluded ‘Umar (ra).

Ubayy (ra) gave an idea of the importance of the Qur’an when a man came to him and said, “Advise me,” and he replied:

“Take the Book of Allah as (your) leader (imam). Be satisfied with it as (your) judge and ruler. It is what the Prophet has bequeathed to you. (It is your) intercessor with Allah (swt) and should be obeyed…”

After the demise of the Prophet (saw), Ubayy (ra) remained strong in his attachment to Islam and his commitment to the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet (saw). He was constant in his ‘ibadah and would often be found in the mosque at night, after the last obligatory prayer had been performed, engaged in worship or in teaching. Once he was sitting in the mosque after Salat with a group of Muslims, making supplication to Allah (swt). ‘Umar (ra) came in and sat with them and asked each one to recite a du’a’. They all did until finally Ubayy’s turn came. He was sitting next to ‘Umar (ra) and felt somewhat over-awed and became flustered. ‘Umar (ra) prompted him and suggested that he say:

“Allahumma ighfir lana. Allahumma irhamna. O Lord, forgive us; O Lord, have mercy on us.”

Taqwa remained the guiding force in Ubayy’s life. He lived simply and did not allow the world to corrupt or deceive him. He had a good grasp of reality and knew that however a person lived and whatever comforts and luxuries he enjoyed, these would all fade away and he would have only his good deeds to his credit. He was always a sort of a warner to Muslims, reminding them of the times of the Prophet (saw), of the Muslims’ devotion to Islam then, of their simplicity and spirit of sacrifice. Many people came to him seeking knowledge and advice. To one such person he said:

“The believer has four characteristics. If he is afflicted by any misfortune, he remains patient and steadfast. If he is given anything, he is grateful. If he speaks, he speaks the truth. If he passes a judgment on any issue, he is just.”

Ubayy (ra) attained a position of great honor and esteem among the early Muslims. ‘Umar (ra) called him the “sayyid of the Muslims” and he came to be widely known by this title. He was part of the consultative group (mushawarah) to which Abu Bakr, as Khalifah, referred many problems. This group was composed of men of good sense and judgment (ahl ar-ra’y) and men who knew the law (ahl al-fiqh) from among the Muhajirin and Ansar. It included ‘Umar, ‘Uthman ‘Ali, ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Mu’adh ibn Jabal, Ubayy ibn Ka’b and Zayd ibn Harithah (ra). ‘Umar (ra) later consulted the same group when he was Khalifah. Specifically for fatwas (legal judgments) he referred to ‘Uthman, Ubayy and Zayd ibn Thabit (ra).

Because of Ubayy’s high standing, one might have expected him to be given positions of administrative responsibility, for example as a governor, in the rapidly expanding Muslim State. (During the time of the Prophet (saw), in fact, he had performed the function of a collector of sadaqah) Indeed, Ubayy (ra) once asked:

“What’s the matter with you? Why don’t you appoint me as a governor?”

“I do not want your religion to be corrupted,” replied ‘Umar (ra).

Ubayy (ra) was probably prompted to put the question to ‘Umar (ra) when he saw that Muslims were tending to drift from the purity of faith and self-sacrifice of the days of the Prophet (saw). He was known to be especially critical of the excessively polite and sycophantic attitude of many Muslims to their governors who he felt brought ruin both to the governors and those under them. Ubayy (ra) for his part was always honest and frank in his dealings with persons in authority and feared no one but Allah (swt). He acted as a sort of conscience to the Muslims.

One of Ubayy’s major fears for the Muslim ummah was that a day would come when there would be severe strife among Muslims. He often became overwhelmed with emotion when he read or heard the verse of the Qur’an:

Surah al An’am 6: 65. say: “He has power to send torment on You from above or from under Your feet, or to cover You with confusion In party strife, and make You to taste the violence of one another.” see How variously we explain the Ayât (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), so that they may understand.

He would then pray fervently to Allah (swt) for guidance and ask for His clemency and forgiveness.

Ubayy (ra) died in the year 29 AH during the Khalifah of ‘Uthman (ra).

_______________

Imagine being the one mentioned by Allah by name. Subhanallah. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Remember we learned about this when we learn about Angels and the Believers?

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Filed under Companions, Islamic Stories/ Seerah, quran

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