ABBAAD IBN BISHR
With Him Was the Light of Allah!
When Mus`ab Ibn `Umair went to Al-Madiinah, appointed by the Messengerof Allah (PBUH) to teach the Ansaar - who had given their oath of allegiance to the Messenger in Islam - and to lead them in prayer, `Abbaad lbn Bishr was one of the devoted whose hearts Allah opened to good. So Mus`ab approached the assembly, and `Abbaad listened to him and stretched out his right hand to give his oath of allegiance to Islam. From that day on, he took his place among the Ansaar with whom Allah is pleased and they with Him. The Prophet (PBUH) emigrated to Al-Madiinah after the believers of Makkah had preceded him there. Then began the military campaigns in which the forces of goodand light clashed with the forces of darkness and evil. In each of thesebattles, `Abbaad lbn Bishr was in the front ranks fighting heroically inthe cause of Allah, completely consumed and dedicated with heart and soulin a dazzling, overwhelming way. Perhaps the event which we now narrate willdisclose something of the heroism of this great believer. After the Messengerof Allah and the believers had finished the military campaign of Dhaat-Ar-Riqaa',they stopped over at a place to spend the night and the Messenger chose guardsfrom the Companions to take turns. Among them were `Ammaar lbn Yaasir and`Abbaad lbn Bishr on one watch.
`Abbaad saw that his companion `Ammaar was exhausted, so he demanded that he sleep the first part of the night and he would stand guard so his companion could take some rest. He could resume guard after he awoke.
`Abbaad saw that the place around him was safe, so he thought, why notfill up his time with prayer, so that he would be rewarded both for prayingand standing guard. So he stood praying.
While he was standing reciting a surah from the Qur'aan after Al-Faatihah, an arrow passed through his shoulder, so he pulled it out and continuedhis prayer. Then the attacker shot a second arrow in the darkness of thenight, so he pulled it out, also, and completed his recitation. Then hebowed and prostrated. Weakness and pain had dissipated his strength, sohe extended his right hand, while prostrating, to his companion sleepingnear him and continued to shake him until he woke up. Then he sat up fromhis prostration and recited the Tashahhud (i.e. the last part of his prayer)and completed his prayer.
`Arnmaar awoke at the weary, trembling voice of his words, "Stand guardin my place. I am wounded!" `Ammaar jumped up yelling noisily and quicklyfrightened away the attackers, so they ran away. Then he turned to `Abbaadand said to him, "Glory be to Allah! Why didn't you awaken me when you werefirst hit?"
`Abbaad replied, "In my prayer I was reciting verses from the Qur'aan that filled my soul with such awe that I didn't want to interrupt it nor cut it short. By Allah, I swear, because I did not want to lose a single word which the Messenger of Allah ordered me to preserve, I would have preferred death more than interrupting those verses which I was reciting."
`Abbaad was extremely devoted and strong in his love of Allah, His Messenger, and His religion, and this devotion lasted throughout his life.
Since he heard the Prophet (PBUH) saying to the Ansaar, "You are my people. You are the people who protect. There is no nation which has come like you before." ... We say, since Abbaad heard these words from his Prophet (PBUH), teacher, and guide to Allah, he spent generously of his wealth and gave his spirit and life in the way of Allah and His Messenger. In the areas of sacrifice and even death, he constantly put them first, and even in a seizure of booty and spoils of war. In places of hardship and struggle, his companions searched for him until they found him.
He was always a worshiper - worship completely absorbed him; brave - bravery and heroism engrossed him; generous generosity engaged him.
He was a strong believer. He pledged his life to the cause of faith. All of this was known of him by the Companions of the Messenger. The Mother of the Faithful `Aa'ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: "There are three from among the Ansaar who are not surpassed in virtue by anyone: S'ad Ibn Mu'aadh, Usaid lbn Hudair and `Abbaad Ibn Bishr."
The first Muslims knew `Abbaad as a man in whom was light from Allah. His radiant, clear vision guided to areas of goodness and certainty without searching or difficulty.
His brothers believed in his light to the extent that they attributed tohim the picture of perception and discipline. They agreed that once `Abbaadwas walking in the darkness and there emanated from him a light that litthe way for him.
In the apostasy wars after the death of the Messenger (PBUH), `Abbaad carried his responsibility with incomparable death-defying courage.
On the battlefield of Al-Yamaamah, where the Muslims faced the most cruel and skillful army under the leadership of Musailamah, the Liar, `Abbaad perceived a danger threatening to Islam. His willingness to sacrifice and his vigor constituted sufficient importance, such that it gave him his faith and raised him to the level of his aspiration and ability to perceive danger, making him one willing to sacrifice and give up everything for his faith, not desiring anything other than death and martyrdom.
A day before the beginning of the Battle of Al-Yamaamah he saw in his sleepa vision that did not remain long enough to be clear:
above the land of the great destructive battle which the Muslimswent through...
So let an honorable companion, Abu Sa'iid Al-Khudriy, tell us the storyof the vision which `Abbaad saw, his explanation of it, and his amazing attitude in fighting which ended in martyrdom.
Abu Sa'iid reported: `Abbaad Ibn Bishr said to me, "O Abu Sa'iid, I saw last night as if the sky had opened up for me. Then it closed and covered over me. Indeed, I see it, if Allah wills, to mean martyrdom." I said tohim, Good. I swear by Allah, you did indeed see it." On the Day of Al-Yamaamah, I looked at him and indeed saw him shouting to the Ansaar, "Use your swords forcefully and be distinguished among the people!" So 400 men came quickly to him, all of them from among the Ansaar people, until they stopped atthe gate of the garden. They fought violently, and Abbaad Ibn Bishr wasmartyred. I saw on his face much beating and I did not know him except bya mark that was on his body.
Thus was `Abbaad raised to the level of his duties as a believer from among the Ansaar. He gave the oath of allegiance to his Messenger, dedicating his life to Allah and death in His cause. When he saw the destructive battleturning in favor of the enemy, he remembered the words of the Messenger tohis people, the Ansaar: "You are my people. I can not be defeated throughyou. There has not come and people like you before." This sound filled hisheart and soul and penetrated his consciousness, until it was as if the Messengerof Allah was now standing before him repeating these words of his.
`Abbaad felt that the whole responsibility of the battle was placed completely on the shoulders of the Ansaar, on the shoulders of those about whom the Messengerof Allah had said, "There has not come any people like you before." And onthe shoulders of no one else besides them.
Then and there, `Abbaad went up on a hill and shouted, "O people of the Ansaar! Carry your sword in a valiant way, and be honored and distinguished among the people!"
When 400 of them answered his call, he led them and Abu Dajaanah and Al-Baraa' Ibn Maalik to the garden of death, where the army of Musailamah had fortified itself for protection. The hero fought a worthy fight as a man, as a believer, and as an Ansaar.
On that glorious day, `Abbaad attained martyrdom. The vision which he saw in his dream the day before came true. Did he not see the sky open until, when he entered it from that opening, it returned and folded on him andclosed?
He interpreted it as meaning that his spirit would ascend in the comingbattle to its Creator. The vision was true and the interpretation of it wastrue. And the doors of heaven were opened to welcome to happiness the spiritof `Abbaad Ibn Bishr, the man who had with him a light from Allah.