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Story Time: That Men Might Reflect!



[dropcap type=”default”]O[/dropcap]n the authority of Yusuf ibn Al-Hasan ibn Ibraheem Al-Khayyat who said: At the East Side (Baghdad), during the time of Abul-Hasan ibn Buwayh was a Dailami man among his (Abul-Hasan’s) generals called Jabnah, a famous man, and one of the renowned personalities in the army. A number of those present at the time of the following story also mention that he was famous man, a person of wealth, courage and charm. One day, as he stood watching while people at Baghdad had begun leaving for the Hajj at Makkah, there passed by him a man known as ‘Aliyy Mu’afiree, the grinder.

Yusuf continues: ‘Aliyy himself related this story to me, since it was he that was directly involved. Although, I had heard others narrating this tale due to its legendary status but I heard him indeed say (and the story begins): I passed by Jabnah and he remarked, ‘O Aliyy, why there! Going on Hajj this year, aren’t you?’ I replied: It hasn’t been my lot to perform Hajj yet but I’m still hoping.

‘I’m gifting you a Hajj!’ he blurted, to which I responded – though I didn’t really believe him, ‘Prove it!’ So he told his lad, ‘Go to Uthman, the treasurer, and tell him to count for you twenty dinars.’ I followed the lad and Uthman gave me the twenty dinars, then I returned to him (Jabnah). He then said to me, ‘Go and prepare for your journey. When you are ready to travel, present yourself before me that I may give you a special directive.’ I left him to prepare and soon after, I again returned to him.

shia turbanNow, he said, ‘Firstly, I have gifted you this Hajj even though I am not at all in need of it. However, I shall task you with a message to relay to Muhammad.’ ‘What is it?’ I asked. He directed, ‘Tell him that, ‘I disown your two Companions, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, both of whom are with you2,’’ then he made me swear an oath of divorce binding me to deliver his message. I found myself in a deeply distressing situation and I departed feeling very worried and broken-hearted.

I performed the Hajj and when I got to the Prophet’s grave at Madinah, I became hesitant about the message, should I convey it or not? I pondered over the fact that if I failed to convey the message, that would mean divorcing my wife, and if I carried it out, how agonizing would that be to confront the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) with such! I therefore sought Allah’s guidance (Istikhaarah) regarding how to go about it. Then I said, ‘So-and-so says such-and-such’, conveying the message the way he said it.

I was immediately overcome by extreme worry and sadness. I retired to a place and, falling asleep shortly after, I dreamt and saw the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) He said, ‘I have definitely heard the message you brought. Now, when you return to him, say to him:

Indeed, the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) says, ‘Receive tidings of the Fire of Jahannam on the 29th day of your (‘Aliyy’s) return to Baghdad, O enemy of Allah.

I got up, left Madinah, and returned to Baghdad.

After I crossed over to the East Side, I thought for a moment and said to myself, ‘Truly, this is an evil man whose message I have conveyed to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم), and I am about communicating His message to him also. But upon informing him, he might just order that I be killed or even kill me himself.’ I therefore began to waver once again. This time, however, I told myself: I will convey it even if I’m killed; I shall not conceal the message or disobey him (the Prophet).

So before even going home, I dropped in on him and as I entered, he saw me and questioned, ‘O grinder, how about the message I sent you?’ I replied, ‘I have relayed it to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم): however, he also has sent me with a reply to your message.’ ‘What is it?’ he queried. I related my dream to him and he looked at me and said, ‘To kill such as you is quite easy for me’, and poured out a load of invectives. He was also holding a lance, which he brandished at me. ‘But I will spare you’ he continued, ‘till the day you mentioned, and thereafter, I shall kill you with this lance’ – pointing at it. Those that were present there also criticized me. He then said to his lad, ‘Detain him in the stables, and shackle him!’

My relatives came afterwards, weeping for me, some sympathizing, while others criticizing. I addressed them saying, ‘Whatever happens has been decreed, and death befalls only at its appointed time.’ The days kept passing while people – seeing what I was going through – continued to visit and express their sympathies until twenty-seven days passed. On the 28th night, the Dailami general threw a big party to which he invited every prominent army general, wherein they sat and had drinks.

At midnight (after the party), the stableman came up to me and said, ‘O grinder! The general is running an extremely high fever such that he has wrapped himself in every garment in the house to no avail. Even the servants are now also lying atop the pile of garments with him underneath (just to suppress his fever), yet he shivers violently!’ Thus was his condition throughout the 28th day until the 29th night set in. In the middle of the night, again came the stableman, but this time, he would say, ‘O grinder! The general has met his death!’ He then unshackled me.

When it was morning, people from all spheres including the other generals assembled for condolences. On my part, I was released and my story gained wide reputation as people would ask me to retell my experience and I would oblige them. As a result, a large number of people renounced their corrupt beliefs.3

Insulting (let alone cursing) the Sahabah, particularly the Two Sheikhs, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with them all – is categorised as being from the worst of the greater sins (من أكبر الكبائر) No one dares such except a thoroughly crazy lunatic…we ask Allah for safety and relief.

How apt are the words of the great Tabi’ee scholar, Abu Zur’ah, in this regard when he says:

When you see a man maligning any one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم), know for sure that he is an infidel.


1 Extracted from the booklet Nihaayatu-Dholimeen (The Fate of Transgressors) by Ibraheem ibn Abdullah Al-Hazimi and translated with slight editing.

2 Arabic:أنا بريء من صاحبيك أبي بكر وعمر اللذين هما معك

3 Related by the scholar Al-Imam Al-Lālakā’ee in his book Sharhus-Sunnah (Exposition of the Tenets)

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