Khubaib Ibn Adiy RA – The Unsung Sohabih.
(An unsung hero of a pious companion – not many of our scholars even know about this sohabih)
His full name was Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA. His story is well known and recorded in any books of Seerah and biographies.
Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA was from the blessed 313 who took part in the battle of Badr. When the standards of the Battle of Badr were lifted, he was there, a bold warrior and a daring fighter. Among the polytheists whom he killed with his sword during the battle was Al-Harith Ibn ‘Amir Ibn Naufal.
After the battle was over and the defeated remnants of the Quraish had returned to Makkah, the sons of Al-Harith learned that their father had been killed. They learned the name of his killer very well by heart: Khubaib Ibn ‘Adiy.
The Muslims returned from Badr to Al-Madinah and persistently built their new community. Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA was a true worshiper, a pious devotee, carrying the nature of a devotee and the longing aspiration of a worshiper. There he turned to worship with the spirit of a passionate lover, praying at night, fasting during the day, glorifying Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
One day the Rasulullah SAW wanted to know the Quraish’s secrets so as to be fully aware of the target of their movements and any preparations for a new battle. Therefore, he chose ten of his Companions, among who was Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA, and ‘Asim Ibn Thabit RA as leader.
The expedition set off towards its destination until they reached a place between ‘Asafahan and Makkah. News of them reached an area of Hudhail called Bani Hayan. They hastened to them with 100 of their most skillful spearmen. They set out to pursue them and to follow their tracks.
They almost lost them but for the fact that one of them found some discarded date pits on the sand. He picked them up and, with the amazing skill Arabs were famous for, glanced at them, then shouted loudly so that the others could hear him, “They are date pits from Yathrib”‘. Let’s follow them and they will surely guide us.” They followed the discarded date pits until they could see in the distance what they were searching for.
‘Asim RA, the expedition’s leader, felt that they were being chased, so he ordered his companions to mount the high peak of a mountain. The 100 spearmen approached and surrounded the foot of the mountain and besieged them thoroughly.
They asked them to surrender themselves after giving them their word not to hurt them. The ten turned to their leader, ‘Asim Ibn Thabit Al-Ansari RA and waited for his command. He then said, “As for me, by Allah, I will never let myself fall into the protection of a polytheist. May Allah inform our Rasulullah SAW about us.”
The spearmen then began to throw their spears at them. Their leader ‘Asim RA was wounded and died as a martyr. In the same way seven others were wounded and died as martyrs.
The rest were then called and promised that they would be safe if they came down. The three descended, Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA and his two friends. The spearmen approached Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA and his companion, Zaid Ibn Ad-Dithinnah RA, and tied them up. Their third one recognized the beginning of their deceits, so he decided to die there where ‘Asim RA and his companions had fallen. He died where he wished.
That is how some of the greatest, most faithful, most loyal to Allah and his Rasulullah and most sincere believers passed away. Zaid Ibn Ad-Dithinnah RA tried to untie himself, but they were tied very thoroughly and tightly.
From his known victims at the battle was the mushrik Harith Ibn ‘Amir ibn Naufal; whose children vowed to avenge their father’s death, and they finally got the chance.
Bani Hayan proved to be deceptive and took them to Makkah and sold them as slaves. From his known victims at the battle was the mushrik Harith Ibn ‘Amir ibn Naufal; whose children vowed to avenge their father’s death, and they finally got the chance.
The sons of Harith ibn ‘Amir heard of his capture and competed to buy him. They finally bought him and imprisoned him, preparing to finally avenge their father’s death. During Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA his imprisonment, some miracles were witnessed by Harith’s children. For example, Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA eating from a bunch of grapes in his hand when there were no grapes in Makkah.
Another time, Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA borrowed a knife from one of Harith’s daughter; later her young child walked towards Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA until he was standing next to him, his mother was distressed to see her son so close to Khubayb who had a knife in his hand. Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA reassured her that he would not hurt the child. She later used to remark, “By Allah, I have never seen a prisoner better than Khubayb. By Allah, I too saw him eat from grapes in his hand, when he was in shackles. It was not the season for grapes Makkah. It was a provision from Allah”.
In his final days, the sons of Harith tried to make Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA renounces his faith in return for sparing his life. But Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA stood firm like a mountain and threw the light of his faith back at them… On the day of execution of this noble Sahabi, the children of al-Harith took him out of the area of the Haram in Makkah as they wanted to kill him outside the Haram.
Some Islamic scholars agreed that Khubayb al Ansari RA was finally crucified on the same spot of Tanaim Mosque in Makkah
Before the execution, Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA requested that he be given a few minute to perform two rakaah of salah, which they agreed to. After the salah, Khubayb said, “If you did not think I was afraid of facing death, I would have increased by salah (and then he made the du’a), “Oh Allah, count their numbers, wipe them out one by one, do not let any of them live.”
He recited the following words of profound poetry, which reflected his strength and determination till the end:
“I have no concern as I’m (being) killed as a Muslim,
In the way of Allah will be my fatality
And in that should He Will
Grant blessings upon my lacerated limbs.”
‘Uqbah ibn al-Harith struck him and those gathered around asked him, “O Khubayb, would you rather be with your family, safe and Muhammad be here in your place?”, Khubayb replied with the famous words, “Never, rather I would not even want to see Muhammad Rasulullah be pricked by a thorn!” At this, Abu Sufyan remarked, “I have not seen anyone love anyone more than the Companions of Muhammad love him”. So one of the mushrik lashed at Khubayb until he died, and thus did Khubayb bin Adi al-Ansari RA meet an honorable end, martyred in the way of Allah SWT. Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA was the first person to exemplify performing nawafil salah before being executed. It is recorded that he was the first to be crucified too.
This short story provides many points of benefit that are relevant in today’s turbulent world. May Allah instil within us uluww al himmah, and steadfastness in defence of kalimatil tawheed.
And now, pave the way for this hero. Come nearer from all directions, from everywhere. Come in any way you can and strive your utmost, come hurrying and submitting. Approach in order to be taught the lesson of sacrifice, an incomparable lesson. You will say, Weren’t all the stories you have previously told lessons of incomparable sacrifice?
Indeed, they were lesson of incomparable magnificence. Nothing whatsoever can be similar to it. However, you are now in front of a new master illustrating the art of sacrifice, a figure that, if you miss meeting him, then you have missed a great deal, indeed a great deal. Come to us, all people of faith in every nation and country. Come to us, lovers of exaltedness in every period and era. And you, too, who carry a heavy burden of illusion and you whose belief in creed and religions, are one of falsehood and error. Come with your illusion. Come and see how Allah’s religion built men. Come and see what glory, what strength, what firmness, what determination, what sacrifice, what loyalty!
To sum up, what extraordinary and amazing greatness has been granted by the belief in truth to its sincere followers.
Can you see the crucified body? It is our lesson today – to all mankind! Indeed, the crucified body in front of you is our subject, our lesson, our master. His name is Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA. Remember this name well!
Remember it, sing it, it is an honor for anyone belonging to any religion, to any sect, belonging to any ethnic group and living in any He belonged to the Aws tribe from Al-Madinah. He belonged to the Ansar.
Since the day of the Rasulullah’s Hijrah to Al-Madinah and since the day of his belief in Allah, Lord of the Worlds, he frequently visited Rasulullah SAW.
His soul, spirit, and conscience were pure, and his belief was firm. He was described by Hassan Ibn Thabit RA, Islam’s poet: “He looked like a falcon among the Ansar. Allah endowed him with noble character and good morals.”
Some other people took Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA ‘s companion Zaid Ibn Ad-Dithinnah RA and set out to torture him severely.
Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA submitted his heart, his whole life, and destiny to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA turned to His worship with a firm soul, unruffled and fearless, accompanied by a divine tranquility. Even hard, solid mountain rocks and terror itself might melt and simply vanish due to it.
Allah SWT was with him, and he was with Allah. Allah’s hand was over him, and he could almost feel His fingers within his chest.
Indeed, it was a blessing given by Allah to His virtuous worshiper, as He gave to Maryam (Mary, mother of Jesus) daughter of ‘Imran before: Whenever Zakariya entered the sanctuary he found her furnished with provision, he said, “O Mary from where did you get this?” She said. “It is from GOD, surely GOD provides who He pleases without measure”
(3 : 37).
The polytheists brought him the news of the death of his companion Zaid Ibn Ad-Dithinnah RA. They hoped thereby to break down his nerves. However, they did not know that Allah, the Most Merciful, had invited him into His hospitality, blessing him with divine tranquility and mercy.
They set out to bargain with him over his faith, promising to save his life if he disbelieved in Rasulullah SAW and Allah SWT, but they were like children trying to catch the smiby a mere arrow-shot.
Indeed, Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA’s faith was like the sun in its strength, flame, light, and far-reached-ness. He shed light upon those seeking light and warmed those seeking warmth, but the one who approached him to challenge him would be burned and destroyed.
When they lost hope of reaching their desire, they took the hero to face his destiny. They took him to a place called At- Tanaim, where he would be killed.
As soon as they reached this place, Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA asked them to allow him to pray two Rakaahs. They allowed him with the hope that he would make up his mind to announce his surrender and disbelief in Allah, His Messenger and His religion.
Solemnly, peacefully and humbly Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA prayed two rakaah. He felt the sweetness of faith within his soul, so that he wished that he could keep on praying and praying. However, he turned toward his killers and said to them, “By Allah, were it not for your thinking that I’m afraid of death, I would have continued praying.” Then he lifted his hands towards the sky and said, “O Allah! Count them one by one and then perish them all!” Then he scanned their faces intently and set out singing:
When I am being martyred as a Muslim,
I do not care in what way I receive my death
For Allah’s sake.
If He wishes,
He will bless the cut limbs.
It was perhaps the first time in Arab history to crucify a man then kill him on the cross. They had prepared out of palm tree trunks a huge cross on which they fixed Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA, his limbs tied tightly. The polytheists gathered in obvious glee at his suffering while spearmen prepared their lances.
|Khubaib Ibn Adiy RA believed to be crucified on the same
spot of now Tanaim Mosque.
All that cruelty was intentionally performed slowly in front of the crucified hero. He did not close his eyes, and amazing tranquility beamed from his face. Then spears began to skirmish and swords to tear his flesh into pieces.
One of the Quraish leaders approached him saying, “Would you like Muhammad to be in your place and you be healthy and secure among your kin?”
Only then did Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA burst like a thunderstorm, shouting to his killers,
They were the same great words spoken by Zaid Ibn Ad-Dithinnah RA when he was being killed! The same amazing, dazzling strong words Zaid said one day before they were said by Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA. At that, Abu Sufyan, who had not yet embraced Islam, had to shake his head and say astonished, “By Allah! I’ve never seen anybody love somebody else the way Muhammad’s companions love Muhammad.”
Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA’s words were so provocative that the spears and swords began to tear the hero’s body to pieces, attacking it with complete madness and cruelty.
Not far away from the scene, birds and buzzards were flying around as if waiting for the butchers to end their task and leave the spot so that they could approach the fresh dead body to have a delicious meal. However, soon they called to one another and gathered, and their beaks moved as if whispering and talking.
Suddenly they flew away in the sky, far, far away. They smelled by their instinct the scent of a pious, repentant man which spread from his crucified body, so they were ashamed to approach him or to hurt him. The flock of birds flew away, just and pure, into the vastness of space.
The group of malicious polytheists returned to their dens in Makkah while the dead body of the martyr stayed there, guarded by a group of Quraish spearmen.
When they were lifting Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA onto the palm trunk cross and tying him firmly, Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA turned his face towards the sky asking his Ever Magnificent Allah, “Allah! We fulfilled the mission of Your Messenger. Inform him in the early morning of what is happening to Allah responded to his prayer. While he was in Al-Madinah, Rasulullah SAW was filled with a strong feeling that his Companions were facing a severe trial, and he could almost see the crucified dead body of one of them.
Immediately Rasulullah SAW sent for Al-Miqdaad Ibn “Amr and Az-Zubair Ibn Awwam RA. They mounted their horses and set off to cross the land rapidly. Allah guided them to their desired destination. They lowered Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA’ body to a pure spot of ground waiting to shelter him under its moist soil.
No one knows to this day where Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA grave lies. Maybe that is better and more respectable for him so that he remains in history’s memory and in the conscience of life a hero, a hero on the cross.
As Narrated / Related by Hassan Ibn Thabit RA
Hassan Ibn Thabit RA a poet of Islam, said about Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA: “He looked like a falcon among the Ansar. Allah SWT endowed him with noble character and good morals.”
He is Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA one of the companions of Rasulullah SAW from the Aws tribe of Madinah. He loved Rasulullah SAW and obeyed him.
During the battle of Badr, he killed the Makkan Al-Harith Ibn Amir Ibn Naufal. Since then, the sons of Al-Harith swore to take revenge.
Once, Rasulullah SAW sent a group of ten Muslims under Asim Ibn Thabit RA to learn about the plans of Makkah. When they reached Hada, a tribe called Bani Lihyan found out about them and sent a hundred men to attack them.
As the enemy approached, Asim RA and his companions climbed up a mountain. When they surrounded its base, Asim RA refused to surrender and was martyred along with the other six.
The remaining three, Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA, Zaid Ibn Ad-Dithinnah RA and another companion, came down, when promised safety. But the enemy went back on their word and began tying up Khubayb ibn ‘Adi ibn Malik al-Awsi al-Ansari RA and Ad-Dithinnah RA. The third refused to be tied up and was killed.