UBAIY IBN KA'B
Rejoice with the Knowledge, Abu Al-Mundhir
The Prophet (PBUH) asked Abu Al-Mundhir one day, "Which is the greatest verse in the Holy Qur'aan?" He answered, "Allah and His Prophet know best." The Prophet (PBUH) then repeated his question, "which is the greatest verse in the Holy Qur'aan, Abu Al Mundhir?" Ubaiy finally answered "Allah! None has the right to be worshiped but He, the Ever-Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists." (2: 255)
The Prophet's face brightened with joy as he patted Abu Al Mundhir on the back and said, "I congratulate you for having such knowledge and insight, Abu Al-Mundhir."
Abu Al-Mundhir whom the Prophet (PBUH) congratulated for the insight that Allah had bestowed on him is Ubaiy Ibn Ka'b, the great Companion. He was oneof the Ansaar, the citizens of Al Madiinah who helped and aided the Muhaajiruun. He belonged to Al-Khazraj tribe. He witnessed the Pledge of Al- Aqabah, the Battle of Badr, and the rest of the great events. He held a highly distinguished position among those who were the first to commit themselves to Islam.
The Commander of the Faithful `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said, "Ubaiy is the master of the Muslims."
Ubaiy Ibn Ka'b was one of the first Muslim scribes who wrote down the revelation that descended on the Prophet (PBUH) as well as messages. He was a pioneer in learning the Holy Qur'aan by heart, reciting it in a slow, pleasant tone and comprehending its content. One day, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said to Ubaiy lbn Ka'b, "I was ordered to recite the Qur'aan to you." Ubaiy knew that the Prophet (PBUH) took his orders from the Spirit, therefore, he was overwhelmed with thrill and asked the Prophet (PBUH) anxiously, "You are dearer to me than my own mother and father! Please tell me, did the Spirit mention me byname?" The Prophet (PBUH) answered, "Yes, it resounded your very name andyour family name in the kingdom of heaven and earth."
Now, a Muslim who was so close to the Prophet (PBUH) must indeed be a special one. Throughout the years in which Ubaiy Ibn Ka`b accompanied the Prophet (PBUH), he tried to stay close to him so as to quench his thirst for Islam from the Prophet's inexhaustible spring. Ubaiy Ibn Ka'b adhered tenaciously to his covenant in worship, piety, and conduct. Even after the Prophet's death,he was always there to warn people against wrongdoing and remind them oftheir pledge, morals, and asceticism when the Prophet was alive. He used toaddress his companions in such impressive words saying, "We stood as one manwhen the Prophet was alive, but as soon as he departed we went in different directions."
He was steadfast in his adherence to piety. He resorted to asceticism to escape life's seduction and delusion. He saw that life really begins when it ends and that no matter how long a man lives in luxury surrounded bygraces and blessings, he will end up empty handed but for his good deedsand bad deeds.
Ubaiy contemplated about life and said, "Man's food is a good example of what life is all about, for no matter how much you are careful that it tastes delicious and that its ingredients are well proportioned, look what it turns to after you digest it."
Whenever Ubaiy addressed people, he was like a magnet that attracted their attention and interest. He feared no one but Allah and desired nothing of life. When Islam gained more lands and influence and he saw that Muslimsflattered their rulers, he warned saying, "They are ruined and will ruinothers. I don't pity them, but I pity the Muslims that they will ruin."
His extreme piety and fear of Allah made him cry whenever Allah or theDay of Judgment was mentioned. The noble Qur'aan's verses shook his heartand soul whenever he recited them or heard them recited. Yet a certain versemade him incredibly sad: "He has the power to send torment on you from aboveor from under your feet, or to cover you with confusion in party strife,and make you to taste the violence of one another" (6:65).
The thing that Ubaiy most dreaded was that one day the Islamic nation would suffer turmoil and violence at the hands of its own sons. He always asked Allah's safely and protection. He won it by Allah's mercy and grace and met Allah as a true believer who felt completely secure and rewarded.