AL-BARAA' IBN MAALIK
Allah and Paradise!
He was one of two brothers who lived for the cause of Allah and who pledged allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and kept their pledge in the courseof time.
The first brother was Anas Ibn Maalik, the servant of the Messenger ofAllah (PBUH). His mother, Umm Sulaim, took him to the Messenger at the ageof ten and said, "O Messenger of Allah, this is Anas, your lad! He will serveyou; invoke Allah for him." The Messenger kissed him between his eyes andinvoked a blessing upon him that led his long life towards good and blessing.He said, "O Allah, let him have plenty of money and sons. Bless him and lethim enter Paradise." So, he lived for 99 years, and Allah bestowed upon himplenty of sons and grandsons and provided him with a spacious garden thatgave fruits twice a year!
The second of these brothers was Al-Baraa' Ibn Maalik, who led a greatbrave life. His motto was "Allah and Paradise!" Whoever would see him fightingin the cause of Allah would be totally amazed, for when Al-Baraa' was fighting polytheists with his sword, he was not one of those who was looking forvictory - although victory then was the greatest end -- but he was lookingfor martyrdom. His utmost hope was to be a martyr and to die on the fieldof a glorious battle for the sake of the truth and Islam. For this reason,he missed neither a battle nor an expedition.
One day his brothers went to visit him. He read their faces and said, "I guess you're afraid I will die in bed. No, by Allah, He will not depriveme of martyrdom." Allah made his thoughts come true, as Al- Baraa' did notdie in bed, but was martyred in one of the most glorious battles of Islam.
Al-Baraa's bravery on the Day of Al-Yamaamah revealed the personality of this hero whom "Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab forbade to ever be a leader becausehis boldness, courage, and search for death made it a great risk for himto lead other fighters.
On the Day of Al-Yamaamah, the Islamic armies were preparing to fight under the leadership of khaalid. Al-Baraa' stood licking his lips while the seconds were passing away as if they were years until the leader gave his order to advance. His sharp eyes were moving quickly all over the battlefield as if searching for the most suitable place for the hero to be martyred. Yes, nothing preoccupied him in the world but this aim. With the edge of his striking sword,a great harvest of the polytheists who called for darkness and falsehood werecut down. Then at the end of the battle, the hand of a polytheist gave hima stroke that made his body fall on the ground while his soul found its wayto the angels among the group of martyrs and the blessed.
Khaalid shouted, "Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest)!" So the close ranks burst forth to their fate, and so did the lover of death, Al-Baraa' lbn Maalik. He started bringing down the followers of Musailamah the Liar with his sword, and they were falling like autumn leaves because of his extreme courage.
Musailamah's army was not weak or small, but was the most dangerous army of the apostasy. With its numbers, equipment, and the death-defiance of its fighters, the army posed an extremely serious challenge. They answered the Muslims' attack with such an excessively aggressive defense that they were about to gain the initiative and transform their defense into an attack.Just then, some sort of anxiety pervaded the Muslim ranks. Their leadersand orators started giving words of encouragement from their horses, andthey were reminded of Allah's promise.
Al-Baraa' had a nice loud voice. His leader Khaalid called him saying,"Speak, Baraa'!" So, Baraa' shouted with very strong and meaningful words,"O people of Al-Madiinah! Today you have no Madiinah, but it's Allah andParadise!" These words demonstrate the spirit of their speaker and revealhis characters. Yes, it is Allah and Paradise. In this situation, thoughtshad to do with nothing but this. They should not even have thought of Al-Madiinah,the capital of Islam, where they had left their houses, women, and children,because if they were defeated on that day, there would not be any Madiinahto return to.
Al-Baraa's words spread like ... like what? Any simile would be unfairin comparison with its true effect. Let us say only that Al Baraa's wordsspread, and that is it.
It was a short time before the battle returned to its former advantage.The Muslims were proceeding towards a certain victory and the polytheistswere falling in a shocking defeat, while Al-Baraa was walking along withhis brothers carrying the standard of Muhammad (PBUH) to its great appointment.The polytheists withdrew and fled, seeking refuge within a big garden whichthey entered. The Muslims' enthusiasm abated; it seemed that it was now possibleto change the battle's outcome by this trick that Musailamah's followersand army had resorted to. Just then Al Baraa' ascended a high hill and cried,"O Muslims, carry me and throw me over to them in the garden."
Did I not tell you? He was not looking for victory but martyrdom, and this plan, he thought, would be the best end of his life and the best way to die. If he was thrown into the garden, he would open its gate to the Muslims,and at the same time his body would be torn into pieces by the polytheists'swords. At the same time, also, the doors of Paradise would be preparingto receive a new glorious groom.
However, Al-Baraa' did not wait for his people to carry and throw him.He climbed the wall by himself, threw himself inside the garden, opened thegate, and the armies of Islam rushed in. But Al Baraa's dream did not cometrue: neither did the polytheists swords kill him, nor did he die as he wished.
Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) spoke the truth when he said,"Strive for death and you will live!" On that day the hero received fromthe polytheists' swords over eighty strikes, over eighty wounds that causedKhaalid Ibn Al-Waliid to continue supervising his nursing and care for anentire month.
All of this, however, was not what he wished. But it did not make Al-Baraa' hopeless. He waited for another battle ! The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) had prophesied that his supplication to Allah would be answered. He only hadto keep invoking Allah to grant him martyrdom, and he did not have to bein a hurry, for every matter there is a decree.
After Al-Baraa' was healed of the wounds of Al-Yamaamah he rushed withthe armies of Islam that went to escort the powers of darkness to their final resting place. Two evanescent empires existed: The Romans (Byzantines) and the Persians occupied with their unjust armies the countries of Allah and enslaved His servants. Al-Baraa started fighting with his sword, and inthe place of each strike was built a great wall in the building of the newworld that rapidly grew under the standard of Islam like the rising sun.
In one of the Iraqi wars, the Persians in their fight resorted to everymeans of barbarity. They used hooks fixed on the ends of chains heated infire and threw them from their castles so that they would hit any of theMuslims who could not avoid them. Al-Baraa and his great brother Anas IbnMaalik were assigned together with some of the Muslims to deal with one ofthese castles. But one of these hooks suddenly fell and caught Anas, andhe could not touch the chain to save himself as it was flaming hot.
When Al-Baraa' saw the scene, he hurried towards his brother while theburning chain was taking him up the castle wall. Al-Baraa grasped the chainwith his hands and started bravely dealing with it till he broke it. Anaswas saved, but when Al-Baraa' and those who were with him took a look athis hands, they did not find them in their place. All the flesh on them wasgone; only their burned bones remained.
And the hero spent another period of time in a slow treatment till he was healed.
Is it not time for the lover of death to reach his end? Yes, it is. Here comes the Battle of Tustur where the Muslims met the Persian armies. This was such a feast for Al-Baraa'.
The people of Al-Ahwaaz and of Persia gathered in a large army to fightthe Muslims. The Commander of the Faithful `Umar Ibn Al Khattaab wrote toSa'd Ibn Abi Waqaas in Kufa and to Abu Muusaa Al-Ash'ariy in Basra to eachsend an army to meet Al Ahwaaz. He told Abu Muusaa in his message, "MakeSuhail Ibn `Adiy their leader and send Al-Baraa' Ibn Maalik with him."
Thus, those coming from Kufa met those coming from Basra to face Al-Ahwaaz and the Persian armies in a fierce battle. The two great brothers Anas Ibn Maalik and Al-Baraa' Ibn Maalik were among the believing soldiers.
The war started with dueling, and AL-Baraa' alone killed a hundred swordsmen of the Persians. Then the armies joined in battle, and the killed fell from both sides in large numbers. During the fight some of the Companions came near Al-Baraa' and said, "Remember the Messenger's words about you, Baraa': Perhaps there is a person with uncombed, dusty hair that people will notlook at, but if he swears by Allah, He will fulfill his prayer. Among themis Al-Baraa Ibn Maalik.'O Baraa'; swear by Allah, entreat Him to defeat them and render us victorious."
Hence, Al-Baraa' raised his arms towards the sky and supplicated, "O Allah, render them defeated and us victorious, and let me catch Your Prophet today." He took a long look at his brother Anas, who was fighting near him, as if saying goodbye. Then the fighting intensified and the Muslims fought as nobody in the world had done, and they were clearly victorious.
Among the martyrs of the battle was Al-Baraa', with a happy smile on his face and his right hand grasping a handful of dust soaked with his pure blood. His sword was lying beside him. It was strong, without notches, undamaged.
Finally, the traveler arrived at his home. Together with his brother martyrs, he ended the journey of a great noble age. And it will be cried out to them, "This is the Paradise which you have inherited for what you did."