Selected by Shabbir Ahmed
A man called Abu Qudamah Ash-Shamy, who lived in the Prophet's Madinah, was known for his love for Jihad in Allah's cause and participating in expeditions to the land of the Romans. One day, while conversing with some of his companions in the Prophet's Holy Mosque in Madinah, they said: "O Abu Qudamah, tell us about the most amazing thing you have witnessed while in Jihad". He replied:
I once arrived at the city of Riqqa (in Iraq) seeking to purchase a camel to carry my weapons. One day, a woman entered to where I was sitting and said: "O Abu Qudamah, I was listening to what you mentioned about Jihad and your incitement for Muslims to join it. I have been blessed with more hair than many other women; I have cut it and made a horse's rein out of, and I have covered it with dust so that no one can recognise it. I wish that you take it with you, so that when you arrive to the land of the disbelievers, and the horsemen engage in battle, the arrows are fired, the swords are drawn, and the spears are pulled out, either use it if you find the need for it, or hand it to whoever needs it, for I wish that my hair will witness the battle and will get the dust in the Way of Allah. I am a widowed woman who had a husband and a number of relatives, who were all killed in Allah's Path; I would have joined Jihad had it been required of me." She then handed over the rein to me.
She then said: "O Abu Qudamah, know that my husband left me a son who is amongst the finest of youths: He has learnt the Qur'an, the art of swordsmanship, as well as archery; he prays at night and fasts during the day, and he is 15 years of age. He is currently away at a property which he has inherited from his father. Hopefully he will get back before your departure, for I wish to send him with you as a gift to Allah the Exaltand most High. And I ask you by Allah that you do not deprive me from gaining the rewards I seek."
Abu Qudamah said: I had departed from Riqqa with my companions, when I heard a horseman calling out from behind: "O Abu Qudamah, wait for me for a while, may Allah have mercy on you." I stopped and said to my companions: Go forth while I check who it is. The horseman then approached me, hugged me, and said: "Praised be Allah who did not deny me from your company and did not turn me back disappointed". I said: "My beloved, let me see your face, for, if it is imperative on someone of your age to fight, I would command you to join us, otherwise I would turn you back". When he uncovered his face, I saw a young man who is like a full moon (in beauty), and who seems to have been living a wealthy life. I said: "My beloved, do you have a father?" He said: "No, in fact I am coming with you seeking revenge for my father who was martyred, perhaps Allah will grant me martyrdom as he granted my father". I said: "My beloved, do you have a mother?" "Yes", he replied. I then said: "Then go and ask her permission, if she permits you to go then come back, otherwise stay back with her".
The young man said: "O Abu Qudamah! Don't you recognise me?" "No", I replied. He said: "I am the son of the woman who gave you the trust. How fast did you forget my mother's request! I am -Insha' Allah- the martyr son of the martyr! I ask you by Allah not to stop me from going forth with you in Allah's way, for I memorise Allah's Book, and have knowledge of the Prophet's Sunnah, and I am experienced in horsemanship and shooting, and I have not left behind someone who is a better fighter than myself, so despise me not for my young age. My mother has taken an oath that I should not come back, and said: 'O son! If you meet the disbelievers, turn not your back to them, and offer your soul to Allah, and seek to be close to Allah, and the company of your father and your righteous uncles in the Heaven; and if Allah grants you martyrdom, then intercede on my behalf, for I was told that the martyr can plead on behalf of seventy of his relatives, and seventy of his neighbours'. She then hugged me, lifted her head to the heavens and said: 'My Lord, Master and God, this is my son, the flower of my heart and the dearest to my soul, I present him to you, so draw him nearer to his father'."
When I heard the youth's words, I wept in grief over his good character and the beauty of his youth, and out of pity for his mother's heart, and over my astonishment at her patience on being away from him.
We went on with our journey; we rested at nightfall, and took off in the morning. During that time the youth did not cease remembering Allah and glorifying Him. I observed his movements, and found that he was better than us when riding, and our servant once we dismounted. As we got closer and closer to the enemy, he would strengthen our determination, his spirit would fortify, his heart would purify, and the signs of happiness would cover him.
We proceeded until we were close to the land of the Kuffar. It was near sunset when we alighted. The young man was cooking food for us to break our fast when he fell asleep. He slept for a long time, and I could see him smiling during his sleep. When he woke up, I said to him: "My beloved, I saw you smiling while asleep". He said: "I saw a vision which I liked and made me laugh". I said: "What was it you saw?" He said: "I saw myself in an elegant green garden. While wandering in it, I faced a silver castle which had balconies made of pearls and jewels. Its doors were made of gold, and its curtains were lowered. I then saw some maids, whose faces were like the moons (in beauty), lifting the curtains. Upon seeing me, they said: 'Welcome'. I then heard some of them saying to the others: 'This is the husband of the 'Mardhiyyah' (Blessed)'. They then said to me: 'Come forth, may Allah have mercy on you'. When I approached, I saw a room on the top of the castle, it was made of red gold, and had a green bed made of jewels, and its legs were made of white silver. There was a girl on the bed whose face was like the sun, and had it not been for Allah's help I would have lost my sight, and I would have lost my mind, because of the brilliance of the room, and the beauty of the girl. Upon seeing me, the girl greeted me saying: 'Welcome, O Allah's servant and His beloved! You are mine and I am yours.' I wanted to hug her, but she said: 'Slow down, do not rush, you are not one of those who do wrong. However, we shall meet tomorrow at the time of Zuhur prayers, so rejoice!'."
Abu Qudamah said: I then told him: "My beloved, you saw but good, and good it shall be Insha' Allah."
Amazed at the youth's dream, we went to sleep. When we woke up, we rushed, mounted our horses, and the caller cried: "O Allah's horsemen! Mount, and rejoice with Paradise, 'March forth, whether you are light or heavy' [Qur'an, 9:41]." It was only an hour before the army of Kufur, may Allah humiliate it, approached as if they were locusts spread abroad. The first of us to attack them was the youth, who scattered them, dispersed their lines, and plunged into their ranks; he killed many of their men, and knocked down their heroes. When I saw him doing this, I caught up with him, grabbed his horse's rein, and said: My beloved, retreat! You are a young boy who is inexperienced in warfare. He replied: "O uncle! Did you not hear Allah's saying: 'O you who believe! When you meet those who disbelieve, in a battle field, never turn your backs to them', do you wish for me to enter the Fire of Hell?"
While talking, the Mushriks launched a great offensive, which caused us to separate, and each of us had to look after himself. When the two parties separated, the killed were countless. I rode around examining the killed, whose blood was flowing on the ground, and who could not be recognised due to the dust and blood which covered their faces.
While riding, I saw the youth between the horses' hooves, covered with dust and blood; he was saying: "O Muslims! For Allah's Sake, get my uncle Abu Qudamah to come to me!" Upon hearing his crying, I ran towards him. I could not recognise his face because of the blood, and the marks from the horses' footsteps. I said: "Here I am, this is Abu Qudamah". He said: "O uncle, by the Lord of the Ka'bah, my dream has come true. I am the son of the rein's owner!" Upon hearing this, I threw myself on him, kissed him between the eyes, wiped the dust and blood off his face, and said: O my beloved! Do not forget your uncle Abu Qudamah, make him amongst those you intercede on their behalf on the Day of Judgement! He replied: "The likes of you cannot be forgotten! You wipe my face with your gown? My gown is worthier. O uncle, leave it, for I wish to meet Allah in this state. O uncle! The Hoor (girl of Paradise) that I described to you, she's at my head, waiting for my soul to depart from my body, and she is saying to me:
'Hurry, I am longing for you.' O uncle, for the Sake of Allah, if He was to bring you back safely, take my blood-stained clothes to my poor, grieved and sad mother, present them to her, and tell her:
'Allah has accepted your gift'." He then smiled and said: "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, no partner has He; He has kept His promise, and I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah's servant and Messenger; this is what Allah and His Messenger has promised us, and Allah and His Messenger were true to their promise." His soul then left his body.
We then enshrouded him with his clothes, and buried him, may Allah be pleased with him and us.
When we returned from our expedition and entered the Riqqa, I headed towards the house of the young man's mother. She came out, and seemed very worried. I greeted her, she answered my Salam and said: "Did you come as a condoler or as a rejoicer?" Explain to me what is a condolence and what is a rejoice to you, may Allah have mercy on you, I replied. She said: "If my son has come back safe, then you are indeed a condoler. Whereas if he has been killed in Allah's Path, then you are a rejoicer!" I said: Rejoice, for Allah has accepted your gift!
Upon hearing this she wept and said: "Did He accept it?" I said: Yes. Thereupon she said: "Praise be to Allah who spared him for me on the Day of Judgment.".
May Allah Subhanahu-wa-Ta'ala give us the hikmah to take correct lesson from this and give us the iman and taqwa to act upon it. Aameen