While Marching to Khaybar
While marching to Khaybar which is about 200 miles north of Madina, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam prayed for Hadrat ‘Amir bin al-Akwa’ Rady Allahu ‘Anhu who recited a qasida. This is reported in Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, p. 357-359, in a very long Hadith, the beginning of which reads:
(509) Narrated Salama bin Al-Akwa’: We went out to Khaybar in the company of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam). While we were proceeding at night, a man from the group said to ‘Amir, “O ‘Amir! Won’t you let us hear your poetry? ‘Amir was a poet, so he got down and started reciting for the people poetry that kept pace with the camel’s footsteps, saying:
“O Allah! Without you
We would not have been guided on the right path;
Neither would we have given in charity,
Nor would we have prayed.
So please forgive us,
What we have committed (i.e. our defects)
Let all of us be sacrificed for Your Cause
And send Sakina (i.e. calmness)
Upon us to make our feet firm
When we meet our enemy, and
If they call us towards
An unjust thing, we will refuse.
The infidels have made a hue and cry
To ask others’ help against us”.
The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) on that asked, “Who is that (camel) driver (reciting poetry)?” The people said, “He is ‘Amir bin Al-Akwa'”. Then the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said: May Allah bestow His Mercy on him”. A man among the people said, ” O Allah’s Prophet! (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam). Has (martyrdom) been granted to him? (1) Would that you let us enjoy his company longer”. (Bukhari)
Footnote (1): The man, (Sayyidina) ‘Umar inferred from the invocation of the Prophet, (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) that ‘Amir would be granted martyrdom.
The transliteration of Hadrat ‘Amir bin Al-Akwa’s qasida as given in Sahih al-Bukhari is as follows:
Allahumma lawlaa Anta mahtadaynaa
Walaa tasaddaqnaa walaa sallaynaa
Faghfir fidaa-an Laka mattaqaynaa
Wa alqiyan sakeenatan ‘alaynaa
Wa thabbitil aqdaama in laaqaynaa
Inna idhaa seeha bina abaynaa
Wa bis-siyaahi ‘awwalu ‘alaynaa
This Hadith is also reported in Sahih al-Muslim, Volume 3, Chapter 745.
A Hadith in the same chapter of Sahih al-Muslim informs us that the person who said martyrdom is reserved for Hadrat ‘Amir bin al-Akwa’ Rady Allahu ‘Anhu was Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al-Kattab Rady Allahu ‘Anhu. This shows us the unshakeable iman (faith) that Sayyidina ‘Umar Rady Allahu ‘Anhu and indeed all the sahaba (companions) had in the words of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam. No sooner had the Holy Prophet Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy on him”, Sayyidina ‘Umar Rady Allahu ‘Anhu concluded he would be martyred. And indeed, Hadrat ‘Amir bin al-Akwa’ Rady Allahu ‘Anhu was martyred at Khaybar as we learn from another Hadith in Sahih al-Muslim.
It is worth noting that this was not the only time that poetry was recited to the Prophet Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam while on a journey. Sayyidunal Imam al-Habib Ahmad Mash-hur bin Taha al-Haddad narrates in Miftah u’l Jannah (Key To The Garden) that it was common practice for the sahaba to recite poetry while on a journey:
“””Al-Tirmidhi has reported – and declared the report sound – that Jabir ibn Samura said that the Prophet (may God bless him and his Family and grant them peace), had poetry chanted to him when he travelled, and that Anjasha the Abyssinian chanted for the women, and al-Bara’ ibn Malik for the men, and that the Messenger of God (may God bless him and his Family and grant them peace) said to Anjasha, “Be gentle when driving the riding beasts of the delicate vessals (the women)!””” (p. 119)
Mawlaaya Salli wa Sallim daaiman abadaa
‘Alaa Habibika Khayril khalqi kullihimi
Allahumma Salli wa Sallim ‘alayh
O Lord! Bestow blessings and peace for and evermore
On Your Beloved, the best in all creation.
O Allah! Bestow blessings and peace on him.