Hazrat Abdullah bin Rawaaha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)

Tomb of Abdullah bin Rawahah (may Allah be pleased with him)

This is the tomb of Abdullah-bin-Rawahah (may Allah be pleased with him), the third amir appointed by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to lead the Muslim army in the battle of Mu’ta.

Abdullah ibn Rawahah RA – The Truth Seeker of Martyrdom.

O My Soul, Death Is Inevitable,So It Is Better for You to Be Martyred

Abdullah ibn Rawaahah ibn Tha’labah (Arabic: عبدالله ابن رواحة‎‎) was one of the companions of Rasulullah ﷺ.

Abdullah ibn Rawaahah RA was from the Arabian tribe, the Banu Khazraj. At a time when writing was not a common skill he was a writer and a poet.

Abdullah-bin-Rawaha RA was originally a Christian writer from Madinah and was also known as Abu Amru’ Al-Ansari Al-Khazraji Al-Badri. He was one of the most active persons from among the Ansar to support the faith of Islam and strengthen its structure.

Abdullah ibn Rawaahah RA was one of the twelve representatives of the Ansar who took an oath of allegiance initially, before the Hijrah and later spread Islam to Madinah. Also he was among the 73 that pledged allegiance to Rasulullah ﷺ in Madinah.

When Rasulullah ﷺ met secretly with Al-Madinah’s delegation in Mina, on the outskirts of Makkah away from the disbelievers of the Quraish, twelve representatives of the Ansar took an oath of allegiance in the first Pledge of ‘Aqabah. ‘Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA was one of those representatives who ushered Islam to Al-Madinah and who paved the way for the Hijrah, which was considered an excellent springboard for Allah’s religion, Islam. ‘Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA was also one of the great 73 of the Ansar who gave Rasulullahﷺ the Second Pledge of ‘Aqabah in the following year.


‘Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA was a writer at a time in which writing was not prevalent. ‘Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA was a poet. His poetry flowed with admirable fluency and strength. Ever since his Islam he devoted his poetic genius to its service. Rasulullah ﷺalways admired his poetry, asking him to recite more of it. One day, as he was sitting among his Companions, “Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA joined them, so Rasulullah ﷺ asked him, “How do you compose a poem?” ‘Abdullah answered, “First I think about its subject matter, and then I recite.” Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA immediately recited:After Rasulullah ﷺ and his Companions emigrated and settled in Al-Madinah, ‘Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA was the most active Muslim of the Ansar who strived to support the thriving religion. ‘Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA was also the most alert Muslim to the plots of ‘Abdullah Ibn Ubay whom the people of Al-Madinah were about to crown king before the Muslims arrived. He never got over the bitterness he felt for losing the chance of his lifetime to become a king. Therefore, he used his craftiness to weave deceitful plots against Islam, while ‘Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA kept on tracing and detecting this craftiness with remarkable insight that frustrated most of Ibn Ubay’s maneuvers and plots.

O the good descendants of Al Hashim

Allah raised you to a high station

Of which you are worthy above all mankind.

My intuition made me realize at once

Your excelling nature,

Contrary to the disbelievers’ belief in you.

If you asked some of them for support and help,

They would turn you down.

May Allah establish the good that descends

On you firmly

And bestow victory upon you as He did to Musa.

Rasulullah ﷺ was elated and said, “I hope that Allah will make your feet firm, too.” When Rasulullah ﷺ was circumambulating the Kaabah in the compensatory “Umrah, Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA recited to him:

Were it not for Allah, we would not have been

Guided to the Right path nor charitable

Nor able to perform our prayers.

So descend, peace of mind and reassurance,

On us and establish our feet firmly

When we meet our enemy.

In combat. If our oppressors tried to spread

Affliction and trial, unrest, among us

We will not give them way.

Muslims reiterated his graceful lines. The active poet was saddened when the glorious verse descended saying:

“And for the poets, only the erring people follow them “

(26:224).

But soon he was contented to hear another verse saying:

“Except those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and remember Allah frequently, and defend themselves after being oppressed”

 (26 : 227).

When Islam rose up in arms in self-defense, Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA saw service in all the battles: Badr, Uhud, Al-Khandaq, Al Hudaibiyah, and Khaibar. Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA perpetual slogan was these lines of poetry:

“O my soul, death is inevitable, so it is better for you to be martyred.”

Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA shouted at the disbelievers in every battle;

“O! Disbelievers get out of my way. My Rasulullah ﷺ has all the excellent qualities”.

The Battle of Mu’tah started, and, as we have mentioned, Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA was the third of the Commanders after Zaid Ibn Harithah RA and Jaafar Ibn Abi Talib RA. Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA stood there as the army was about to leave Al- Madinah and recited:

Indeed, a stroke or a stab that would convey him into the world of rewarded martyrs was his utmost wish. The army marched towards Mu’tah. When the Muslims saw their enemies, they estimated them at 200,000, for they saw endless waves of warriors. The Muslims glanced back at their small group and were stunned. Some of them suggested, “Let us send a message to Rasulullah ﷺ to tell him of the enormity of the enemy that surpassed all our expectations so he will either order us to wait for reinforcements or to pierce through the enemy lines.”“I truly ask the Most Beneficient’s forgiveness and a mortal stroke of a sword that will strike me down foaming or a mortal stab with a spear by a stubborn disbeliever that will make my liver and intestine show out of my body. So that when people pass by my grave, they will say: By Allah, you are the most righteous warrior”.

However, Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA stood amidst the lines of the army and said:

“0 my people, by Allah, we do not fight our enemies with numbers, strength or equipment, but rather with this religion which Allah has honored us with. So go right ahead: it is either one of two equally good options, victory or martyrdom.”

The Muslims, who were lesser in number and greater in faith, cried out, “By Allah, you spoke the truth.” The smaller army broke through the mighty host of 200,000 warriors in terrible and cruel fighting.

As we have mentioned, both armies met in fierce combat. The first commander, Zaid Ibn Harithah RA, was struck down, he winning glorious martyrdom. The second in command was Jaafar Ibn Abi Talib RA, who was overjoyed to be martyred. “Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA took over the command and grabbed the standard from Jaafar’s failing upper arms. The fight reached the peak of ferocity. The smaller army was indistinct amidst the waves of the mighty hosts of Heraclius.

When Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA was a soldier, he attacked heedlessly and confidently. But now the command placed great responsibilities for the army’s safety on his shoulders. It seemed that for a moment he was overtaken by hesitation and dread, yet he instantly shook off those apprehensions, summoned his innate fearlessness and cried out;

“O! My soul, you look as if you were afraid to cross the way that leads to Paradise. O! My soul, I took an oath to fight. O My soul, death is inevitable, so you had better be martyred. Now I will experience the inevitability of death. What you have cared for so long is finally yours. So go ahead, for if you follow these two heroes, you will be guided to the way of Paradise.” Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA meant the two heroes who had preceded him in martyrdom, Zaid Ibn Harithah Ra and Jaafar Ibn Abi Talib RA

Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA darted into the Roman armies, fiercely and ruthlessly. Were it not for a previous ordainment from Allah that he was to be martyred on that day, Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah RA would have annihilated the fighting hosts. But destiny called and he was martyred. His body was struck down, yet his pure, valiant spirit was raised to the heavens. His most precious wish finally came true, so that “When people pass by my grave, they will say: By Allah you are the most righteous warrior.”

The fierce attack in Al-Balqaa’ in Syria went on. Back in Al-Madinah Rasulullah ﷺ was talking peacefully and contentedly with his Companions when he suddenly stopped talking. Rasulullahﷺ closed his eyes a little, and then opened them. A gleam flashed from them, yet it was tinged with sadness and compassion. Rasulullahﷺ looked around sadly and said, “Zaid took the standard and fought until he was martyred.” Rasulullah ﷺ was silent for a while, then continued ‘Jaafar grasped it and fought until he was martyred. Then ‘Abdullah Ibn Rawaahah grasped it and fought until he was martyred.” Rasulullah ﷺ was silent for a while, then his eyes sparkled with elation, tranquility, longing, and joy as he said, “They were all raised to Paradise.”

What a glorious journey it must have been! What a happy succession! They all marched to conquer; they all were raised up to Paradise. The best salute to immortalize their memory rests in the Prophet’s words: “They were raised up to await me in Paradise.”

Expedition of Abdullah ibn Rawaha

Expedition of Abdullah ibn Rawaha RA to Khaybar, took place in February 628 AD.[1] Ibn Hisham also refers to this as Abdullah Ibn Rawaha RA raid to kill al-Yusayr ibn Rizam.

‘Abdullah ibn Rawaha RA was also the most alert Muslim to the plots of ‘Abdullah ibn Ubay whom the people of Al-Madinah were about to crown king before the Muslims arrived.

‘Abdullah ibn Ubay never got over the bitterness he felt for losing the chance of his lifetime to become a king. Therefore, he used his craftiness to weave deceitful plots against Islam, while ‘Abdullah ibn Rawaha RA kept on tracing and detecting this craftiness with remarkable insight that frustrated most of Ibn Ubay’s manoeuvres and plots The assassination was successful, and ibn Rizam was killed as well has 29 of his followers.Assassination of Al-Yusayr ibn Rizam.

The assassination of Abu Rafi did not relieve Rasulullah ﷺ of his apprehensions. Rasulullah ﷺ did not feel safe from the Jews of Khaybar.

Al-Yusayr ibn Rizam was elected the new chief of the Khaybar Jews. He maintained the same good relations with the Banu Ghatafan that his predecessor Abu Rafi had. Muhammad heard that Al-Yusayr ibn Rizam was planning a fresh attack against him. So he deputed Abdallah ibn Rawaha RA, a leader of the Banu Khazraj, and sent him with three followers to Khaybar to gather intelligence on how Al-Yusayr may be taken unaware and assassinated.

So he was mounted on the horse of Abdullah ibn Unais and the Muslims rode behind him. When they arrived at al-Qarqarat, about six miles from Khaybar, al-Yusayr suspected the plans of the Muslims and changed his mind about going to meet Rasulullah ﷺ. He dismounted from the beast he was riding with Abdullah ibn Unais. Abdullah ibn Unais perceived that al-Yusayr was drawing his sword. So he rushed at him and hit him with a deadly blow on his hip joint. Al-Yusayr fell wounded on the floor but hit Abdullah ibn Unais and wounded him with a camel staff, the only weapon within his reach.But Abdullah ibn Rawaha RA found the Jews to be extremely alert for this second assassination to be a success. When he returned to Madinah a new strategy was devised, Rasulullah ﷺagain sent him openly with 30 men mounted on camels to persuade al-Yusayr to visit Madinah. When they arrived, they assured Yusayr they will make him the ruler of Khaybar and would treat him well, giving al-Yusayr ibn Rizam a solemn guarantee of his safety.

This was a signal for the Muslims to attack; each of the Muslims killed the Jews on the camels in front of them, one behind the other. The Muslims killed all the Jews, except one who escaped.

During the Battle of Badr, he was left behind by Rasulullah ﷺ in charge of Madinah.

When Jaafar Ibn Abu Talib RA was killed in Mu’tah, Abdullah-bin-Rawaha RA was eating a piece of meat in a corner of the battle-field. He had been hungry for three days. On hearing of Jaafar’s death, he threw away that piece of meat, saying to himself, “Abdullah! You are busy in eating, while Jaafar Ibn Abu Talib RA has reached Paradise.” Abdullah Ibn Rawaha RA then took the flag and began to fight. His finger was severely injured and hung loose. Abdullah Ibn Rawaha RA put the hanging finger under his foot and tore it off from the hand, and then rushed forward, striking with his sword till he was martyred.

References:  Fazail-e-Aamal – Sheik Zakariyya Kandhalvi, The Holy sites of Jordan – TURAB Publishing

‘Abdullah ibn Rawaha RA was also the most alert Muslim to the plots of ‘Abdullah ibn Ubay whom the people of Al-Madinah were about to crown king before the Muslims arrived.

‘Abdullah ibn Ubay never got over the bitterness he felt for losing the chance of his lifetime to become a king. Therefore, he used his craftiness to weave deceitful plots against Islam, while ‘Abdullah ibn Rawaha RA kept on tracing and detecting this craftiness with remarkable insight that frustrated most of Ibn Ubay’s manoeuvres and plots.

 

 
The Mosque of Aqabah, location where the Ansaris pledge
to Rasullulah ﷺ, thier allegience.

‘Abdullah ibn Rawaha RA was a writer at a time in which writing was not prevalent.

He was a poet. His poetry flowed with admirable fluency and strength. Ever since his Islam he devoted his poetic genius to its service.

Rasulullah ﷺ always admired his poetry, asking him to recite more of it. One day, as he was sitting among his Companions, ‘Abdullah ibn Rawaha RA joined them, so Rasulullah ﷺasked him, “How do you compose a poem?”

‘Abdullah answered, “First I think about its subject matter, and then I recite.”

The active poet was saddened when the glorious verse descended saying: “And for the poets, only the erring people follow them.”

(translation of the Quran surah Asy-Syu’ara: 224).

But soon he was contented to hear another verse saying,

“Except those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and remember GOD frequently, and defend themselves after being oppressed.”

(Asy-Syu’ara: 227)

When Islam rose up in arms in self-defense, Abdullah Ibn Rawaha RA saw service in all the battles: Badr, Uhud, Al-Khandaq, Al Hudaibiyah, and Khaibar.

His perpetual slogan was these lines of poetry:

“O my soul, death is inevitable, so it is better for you to be martyred.”

He shouted at the disbelievers in every battle, “O disbelievers, get out of my way. My Rasul has all the excellent qualities”.

The Battle of Mu’tah started, and, as we have mentioned, he was the third of the Commanders after Zaid and Jaafar.

Abdullah Ibn Rawaha RA stood there as the army was about to leave Al- Madinah and recited:

 
The Maqam or Tomb of Abdullah Ibn Rawahah RA,located
in Karak area Jordan Valley.

I truly ask the Most Beneficient’s forgiveness and a mortal stroke of a sword that will strike me down foaming or a mortal stab with a spear by a stubborn disbeliever that will make my liver and intestine show out of my body. So that when people pass by my grave, they will say: By Allah, you are the most righteous warrior. Indeed, a stroke or a stab that would convey him into the world of rewarded martyrs was his utmost wish.

Selected Hadith Narrated & Attributed to Abdullah Ibn Rawaha RA

Found In: Sunan Ibn Majah Chapter No: 10, The Chapters Regarding Zakat

Hadith no: 1820 

Narrated: Ibn Abbas

When Rasulullah ﷺ conquered Khaibar, he stipulated that the land, and all the yellow and white, meaning gold and silver belonged to him. The people of Khaibar said to him: “We know the land better, so give it to us so that we may work the land, and you will have half of its produce and we will have half.” Rasulullah ﷺ maintained that, he gave it to them on that basis. When the time for the date harvest came, Rasulullah ﷺ sent ibn Rawahah to them. He assesses the date palms, and he said: “For this tree, such and such (amount).” They said: “You are demanding too much of us, O ibn Rawahah!” He said: “This is my assessment and I will give you half of what I say.” They said: “This is fair, and fairness is what heaven and earth are based on.” They said: “We Agree to take (accept) what you say.” Sahih

Relevance: 16.803

 **************************************************

Found In: Sunan Ibn Majah Chapter No: 9, The Book of Fasting

Hadith no: 1663

Narrated: Abu Darda

“We were with Rasulullah ﷺ on one of his journeys on a hot day, and it was extremely hot. A man would put his hand over his head because of the intense heat. No one among the people was fasting except for Rasulullah ﷺ and Abdullah bin Rawahah.” Sahih

Relevance: 12.7929

**************************************************

Found In: Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 49, Gifts, The superiority of giving and extortion of

Hadith no: 771

Narrated: Amir

I heard An-Numan bin Bashir on the pulpit saying, “My father gave me a gift but Amra bint rawaha (my mother) said that she would not agree to it unless he made Rasulullah ﷺ as a witness to it. So, my father went to Rasulullah ﷺ and said, ‘I have given a gift to my son from Amra bint rawaha, but she ordered me to make you as a witness to it, O Rasulullah ﷺ!’.  Rasulullah ﷺ asked, ‘Have you given (the like of it) to everyone of your sons?’ He replied in the negative. Rasulullah ﷺ said, ‘Be afraid of Allah, and be just to your children.’ My father then returned and took back his gift.”

Relevance: 13.6441

**************************************************

Found In: Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 21, Prayer at Night (Tahajjud)

Hadith no: 254

Narrated: Abu Huraira

That once Rasulullah ﷺ said, “Your brother, i.e. ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha does not say obscene (referring to his verses): Amongst us is Rasulullah ﷺ, who recites His Book when it dawns. He showed us the guidance, after we were blind. We believe that whatever he says will come true. And he spends his nights in such a way as his sides do not touch his bed. While the pagans were deeply asleep.”

Relevance: 13.5866

**************************************************

Found In: Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 23, Funerals (Al-Janaaiz)

Hadith no: 338

Narrated: Anas bin Malik

Rasulullah ﷺ said, “Zaid took over the flag and was martyred. Then it was taken by Jafar who was martyred as well. Then ‘abdullah bin rawaha took the flag but he too was martyred and at that time the eyes of Allah’s Apostle were full of tears. Then Khalid bin Al-Walid RA took the flag without being nominated as a chief (before hand) and was blessed with victory.”

Relevance: 13.2564

**************************************************

Found In: Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 31, Fasting

Hadith no: 166

Narrated: Abu Darda

We set out with Rasulullah ﷺ on one of his journeys on a very hot day, and it was so hot that one had to put his hand over his head because of the severity of heat. None of us was fasting except Rasulullah ﷺ and Abdullah ibn Rawaha RA.

Relevance: 12.4109

Found In: Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 54, Jihaad (Fighting for the cause of Allah)

Hadith no: 61

Narrated: Anas bin Malik

Rasulullah ﷺ delivered a Khutbah (sermon) and said, “Zaid took the flag and was martyred, and then Jaafar took the flag and was martyred, and then Abdullah bin Rawaha RA  took the flag and was martyred too, and then Khalid bin Al-Walid took the flag though he was not appointed as a commander and Allah made him victorious.” Rasulullah ﷺfurther added, “It would not please us to have them with us.” Aiyub, a sub-narrator, added, “Or Rasulullah ﷺ shedding tears, said, ‘It would not please them to be with us.”

Relevance: 12.0921

Found In: Imam Malik’s Muwatta Chapter No: 33, Sharecropping

Hadith no: 1

Narrated: Said ibn al-Musayyab

Yahya related to me from Malik from ibn Shihab from Said ibn al-Musayyab RA that Rasulullah ﷺ said to the Jews of Khaybar on the day of the conquest of Khaybar, “I confirm you in it as long as Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic, establishes you in it, provided that the fruits are divided between us and you.” Said continued, ” Rasulullah ﷺ used to send Abdullah ibn Rawaha RA, to assess the division of the fruit crop between him and them, and he would say, ‘If you wish, you can buy it back, and if you wish, it is mine.’ They would take it.”

Relevance: 11.464

Found In: Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 23, Funerals (Al-Janaaiz)

Hadith no: 392 

Narrated: Aisha

When the news of the martyrdom of Zaid bin Harithah, Jaafar and ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha came, Rasulullah ﷺ sat down looking sad, and I was looking through the chink of the door. A man came and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! The women of Jaafar,” and then he mentioned their crying . Rasulullah ﷺ ordered him to stop them from crying. The man went and came back and said, “I tried to stop them but they disobeyed.” Rasulullah ﷺordered him for the second time to forbid them. He went again and came back and said, “They did not listen to me, (or “us”: the sub-narrator Muhammad bin Hawshab is in doubt as to which is right). ” (‘Aisha added: Rasulullah ﷺ said, “Put dust in their mouths.” I said (to that man), “May Allah stick your nose in the dust (i.e. humiliate you).” By Allah, you could not (stop the women from crying) to fulfill the order, besides you did not relieve Rasulullah ﷺ from fatigue.”

Relevance: 10.3687

Found In: Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 50, Witnesses

Hadith no: 831

Narrated: An-Numan bin Bashir

My mother asked my father to present me a gift from his property; and he gave it to me after some hesitation. My mother said that she would not be satisfied unless Rasulullahﷺ) was made a witness to it. I being a young boy, my father held me by the hand and took me to Rasulullah ﷺ. Rasulullah ﷺ said to “His mother, bint Rawaha, requested me to give this boy a gift.” Rasulullah ﷺ said, “Do you have other sons besides him?” He said, “Yes.” Rasulullah ﷺ said, “Do not make me a witness for injustice.” Narrated Ash-Shabi that Rasulullah ﷺ said, “I will not become a witness for injustice.”

Relevance: 8.6562

Found In: Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 23, Funerals (Al-Janaaiz)

Hadith no: 386

Narrated: Aisyah

When Rasulullah ﷺ got the news of the death of ibn Harithah, Jaafar and ibn Rawaha he sat down and looked sad and I was looking at him through the chink of the door. A man came and told him about the crying of the women of Jaafar. Rasulullah ﷺ ordered him to forbid them. The man went and came back saying that he had told them but they did not listen to him. Rasulullah ﷺ said, “Forbid them.” So again he went and came back for the third time and said, “O Rasulullah! By Allah, they did not listen to us at all.” (‘Aisha added): Rasulullah ﷺ ordered him to go and put dust in their mouths. I said, (to that man) “May Allah stick your nose in the dust (i.e. humiliate you)! You could neither (persuade the women to) fulfill the order of Allah’s Apostle nor did you relieve Allah’s Apostle from fatigue.”

Relevance: 7.8883