Abu Qatada al-Ansari (Arabic: أبو قتادة الأنصاري) also known as Harith ibn Rab’i (Arabic: الحارث بن ربعي) was one of the companions of Prophet. He was a soldier of the Prophet’s (s) army, known as “Faris Rasul Allah (s)”. In most battles, he fought for the Prophet (s) and at the time of Imam ‘Ali (a), he participated in the battles of Jamal, Siffin, and Nahrawan. Abu Qatada has narrated from the Prophet (s) and some others.
Abu Qatadah was born in Medina. He hailed from Banu Sulaym, branch of Khazraj tribe
Abu Qatadah had a Mawla or a freed slave named “Abu Muhammad”.Presumably, he had a son named “Qatada ibn al-Harith”. His wife was Kabsha bint Kab ibn Malik.
Abu Qatada was a horseman in the army of the Prophet (s) who was known as “Faris Rasul Allah (s)”. It is mentioned that in the Ghazwa (battle) of Ghaba when Abu Qatada killed Mas’ada in revenge of Muhriz b. Nadla, a companion of the Prophet (s), he (s) called Abu Qatada his “Faris” (horseman).
In most Ghazwas and Sariyyas, Abu Qatada participated but there are different opinions about his participation in the Battle of Badr. Referring to this disagreement, Ibn Athir said that he believed that Abu Qatada participated in all the battles of the Prophet (s) including the Battle of Badr.
Al-Tabarani has also reported that on the eve of the day when the Battle of Badr happened, Abu Qatada was the guard of the Prophet (s). Except for the Battle of Badr, there is an agreement about his participation in the Battle of Uhud and later battles accompanying the Prophet (s) and even they have said that in the Battle of Uhud when he became upset of the Prophet’s (s) deep sadness due to enemies’ behavior and actions and mutilation of the martyrs and wanted to curse Quraysh, the Prophet (s) prohibited and ordered him to stay calm and be patient.
Abu Qatada was a horseman in most battles and sometimes was in charge of commanding the group.
In 4/625-626, he was assigned, together with four other horsemen, to kill Abu Rafi’ Sallam b. Abi l-Haqiq who, allocating great rewards, urged a group from Ghatfan tribe and neighboring Arabs to fight with the Prophet (s). Abu Qatada finished this mission successfully.
Participation in the Conquest of Iran
It is said that Abu Qatada had an important role in the conquest of Iran at the time of ‘Umar b. al-Khattab.
In the Government of Imam ‘Ali (a)
During the caliphate of Imam ‘Ali (a), Abu Qatada fought for Imam (a) in the battles of Jamal and Siffin and when Imam (a) was entering Basra during the Battle of Jamal, Abu Qatada was among his horsemen.
In the battle against Khawarij, Abu Qatada was among the commanders of the army and led the foot soldiers. He was also the governor of Mecca for a while during the rule of Imam ‘Ali (a).
In addition to the Prophet (s), Abu Qatada has narrated from Ma’adh and ‘Uamr b. al-Khattab.
Anas b. Malik, Sa’id b. Musayyib, ‘Ata’ b. Yasar, ‘Ali b. Riyah, ‘Abd Allah b. Riyah and some others including his sons, Thabit and ‘Abd Allah, have narrated from Abu Qatada. Many narrations have been mentioned from him in hadith references such as al-Sihah al-Sitta and Musnad Ibn Hanbal.
Some have mentioned that his death happened in 38 AH/658-659 and some others have mentioned it in 40 AH/660-661. Also, it has been said that he passed away in Kufa and Imam ‘Ali (a) performed prayer upon him, but the report about his demise in Medina is more famous. Abu Qatada passed away at the age of 70.
According to Siyar A’lam Nubala compilation of Hadith written by Dhahabi, Abu Qatadah died in Medina in years of 45 Hijra or 665 AD.
Abu Qatadah known in Islamic scholars community as narrators of many hadiths which quoted in several hadith collections, including Sahih Bukhari.
Abu Qatadah narrated:
A funeral procession passed by Allah’s Apostle who said, “Relieved or relieving?” The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is relieved and relieving?” He said, “A believer is relieved (by death) from the troubles and hardships of the world and leaves for the Mercy of Allah, while (the death of) a wicked person relieves the people, the land, the trees, (and) the animals from him.”
Abu Qatadah also narrated hadith regarding fiqh ruling of swearing in transaction which became basis guidance for Sunni Madhhab scholars to implement Sharia law regarding communication during any economical transaction