Uqbah Ibn Amir Al Juhani RA
Uqbah ibn Amir RA (Arabic: عقبة بن عامر) was a companion of Islamic prophet Muhammad and member of the early Muslim community. Uqbah ibn Amir RA died in Egypt in 58 AH/677 or 678 CE.
|Illustration Only : Uqbah holding the rein of Rasulullah ‘s camel.|
After a long and exhausting journey, the Prophet, peace be on him, is at last on the outskirts of Madinah. The good people of the city go out to meet him. Many crowd the narrow streets. Some stand on roof-tops chanting La ilaha ilia Allah and AllahuAkbar in sheer joy at meeting the Prophet of Mercy and his loyal companion, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq. The small girls of the city come out gaily beating their daffs and singing the words of welcome:
Tala ‘a-l badru alaynaa
Min Thaniyaati-l Wadaa’ Wajaba-sh shukru alaynaa
Maa da’aa lillaahi daa’ Ayyuha-l mab ‘uthu finaa
Ji’ta bi-l amri-l mutaa’ Ji’ta sharrafta-l Madinah
Marhaban yaa khayra-d daa’.
“The full moon has come upon us. From beyond the hills of Thaniyaati-l Wada Grateful we must be. For what to God he calls? O you who has been sent among us? You came with a mission to be obeyed. You came, you honored the city; Welcome, O best of those who call (to God).
As the procession of the blessed Prophet wended its way, all around there were joyful hearts, tears of ecstasy, smiles of sheer happiness.
Far away from these scenes of jubilation and delight was a young man named Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA. Named Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA. had gone out to the bawadi, the open expanses of desert, to graze his flocks of sheep and goats on the sparse vegetation. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA. had wandered far in search of fodder for his hungry flock. It was difficult to find suitable grazing grounds and he was constantly afraid that his flock would perish. They were all named Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA. possessed and he did not want to lose them.
The happiness which engulfed Madinah, henceforth to be known as the radiant city of Rasulullah SAW, soon spread to the near and distant bawadi and reached every nook and corner of the land. The good news of the Prophet’s arrival finally reached Uqbah as he tended his flocks far away in the inhospitable desert. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA. Response to the news was immediate as he himself relates: ” Rasulullah SAW, may God bless him and grant him peace, came to Madinah while I was tending my sheep. When I heard the news of his coming, I set out to meet him without delay. When I met him I asked:
‘Will you accept my pledge of allegiance, O Rasulullah SAW?’ ‘And who are you?’ asked Rasulullah SAW. ‘Uqbah ibn Amir al-Juhani,’ I replied. ‘Which do you prefer,’ he asked, ‘the pledge of a nomad or the pledge of someone who has migrated?’ ‘The pledge of someone who has migrated,’ I said. So Rasulullah SAW took the same pledge from me as he did from the Muhajirin. I spent the night with him and then went back to my flock.
There were twelve of us who had accepted Islam but we lived far from the city tending our sheep and goats in the open country. We came to the conclusion that it would be good for us if we went to Rasulullah SAW daily, so that he could instruct us in our religion and recite for us whatever revelation he had received from on high. I told the others:
‘Take turns to go Rasulullah SAW. Anyone going may leave his sheep with me because I am too worried and concerned about my own flocks to leave them in the care of someone else.’
Each day, one after another of my friends went to the Prophet, leaving his sheep for me to look after. When each returned, I learnt from him what he had heard and benefitted from what he had understood. Before long, however, I returned to my senses and said to myself:
‘Woe to you! Is it because of a flock of sheep that you remain thin and wretched and lose the opportunity to be in the company of Rasulullah SAW and to speak directly to him without an intermediary’:’ With this, I left my flock, went to Madinah and stayed in the masjid close to the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace.”
Uqbah had no reason to regret having taken this fateful decision. Within a decade, he had become one of the outstanding scholars among the companions of Rasulullah SAW, a competent and beautiful reciter of the Quran, a military commander and later on one of the eminent Muslim governors as Islam spread east and west with astonishing rapidity. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA. could never have imagined as he left his flock to follow the teachings of the noble Rasulullah SAW, that Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA he would have been among the vanguard of the Muslim forces that liberated fertile Damascus – then known as the “mother of the universe” and that he would have a house for himself among its verdant gardens. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA could never have imagined that he would be one of the commanders who liberated Egypt, and then known as the “emerald of the world”, and that he would be one of its governors.
The fateful decision however was taken. Alone without possessions. Or relatives, Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA came to Madinah from the ba’wadi. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA stayed with others like him on the Suffah or elevated part of Rasulullah SAW mosque, near his house. The Suffah was like a reception point where people like Uqbah would go because they wanted to be close to Rasulullah SAW. They were known as the “Ashab as-Suffah” and Rasulullah SAW once described them as the “guests of Islam”.
Because they had no income, Rasulullah SAW always shared his food with them and encouraged others to be generous to these “guests”. They spent much of their time studying the Quran and learning about Islam. What a marvelous opportunity they had! They were in close and regular contact with Rasulullah SAW. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA had a special love and concern for them and took care to educate them and look after them in all respects. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA gave an example of how Rasulullah SAW trained and taught them. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA said:
“One day, Rasulullah SAW, came out to us while we were on the Suffah and asked:
‘Which of you would like to go out to the open country or a valley every day and fetch for himself two beautiful, black camels?’ (Such camels were considered prize possessions.)
‘Every one of us would like that, O Messenger of God,’ we all replied.
‘Now,’ Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA said, ‘each one of you should go to the mosque and learn two ayats (verses) of the Book of God. This is better for him than two camels; three verses are better than three camels; four verses are better than four camels (and son).”
In this way, Rasulullah SAW tried to bring about a change in attitudes among those who had accepted Islam, a change from obsession with acquiring worldly possessions to an attitude of devotion to knowledge. His simple example provided them with motivation and a powerful incentive to acquire knowledge.
On other occasions, the Ashab as-Suffah would ask questions of Rasulullah SAW in order to understand their religion better. Once, Uqbah said, he asked Rasulullah SAW, “What is salvation?” and he replied: “Control your tongue, make your house spacious for guests and spurn your mistakes.”
Even outside the mosque, Uqbah tried to stay close to Rasulullah SAW. On journeys, Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA he often took the reins of Rasulullah SAW’s mule and went wherever the Prophet desired. Sometimes Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA he followed directly behind Rasulullah SAW, peace be on him, and so came to be called the redif of Rasulullah SAW. On some occasions, Rasulullah SAW would descend from his mount and allow Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA to ride while he himself walked. Uqbah described one such occasion:
“I took hold of the reins of Rasulullah SAW’s mule while passing through some palm groves of Madinah.
‘Uqbah,’ Rasulullah SAW said to me, ‘don’t you want to ride.’?’
I thought of saying ‘no’ but I felt there might be an element of disobedience to Rasulullah SAW in such a reply so I said: ‘Yes, O Rasulullah.’
Rasulullah SAW then got down from his mule and I mounted in obedience to his command. He began to walk. Shortly afterward I dismounted. Rasulullah SAW mounted again and said to me:
Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA, shall I not teach you two surahs the like of which has not been heard before.?
‘Certainly, O! Rasulullah SAW,’ I replied. And so he recited to me “Qul a’udhu bi rabbi-l Falaq” and “Qul a’udhu bi rabbi-n nas” (the last two surahs of the Quran). I then said the Iqamah for Salat. Rasulullah SAW led the Salat and recited these two surahs. (Afterward), he said: ‘Read both these surahs when you go to sleep and whenever you wake up.'”
The above instances show “continuous education” at its best, at home, in the mosque, riding, walking in the open school of Rasulullah SAW.
Two objectives occupied Uqbah attention throughout his life; the search for knowledge and jihad in the path of God. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA applied his energies totally to these objectives.
In the field of learning, Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA drank deeply from the fountain of knowledge that was the Messenger of God, peace be on him. Uqbah became a distinguished muqri (reciter of the Quran), a muhaddith (recorder and narrator of the sayings of Rasulullah SAW); Rasulullah SAW qih (jurist); a faradi (expert on the Islamic laws of inheritance); an adib (literateur); a fasih (orator) and a sha’ir (poet).
In reciting the Quran, Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA had a most pleasant and beautiful voice. In the stillness of the night, when the entire universe seems peaceful and tranquil, Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA would turn to the Book of God, and recite its overpowering verses. The hearts of the noble companions would be drawn to his recitation. Their whole being would be shaken and they would be moved to tears from the fear of God which his recitation induced.
One day Umar ibn al-Khattab invited Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA and said:
“Recite for me something from the Book of God, O Uqbah.” “At your command, O Amir al-Muminin,” said Uqbah and began reciting. Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA wept till his beard was wet.
Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA left a copy of the Quran written in his own hand. It is said that this copy of the Quran existed until quite recently in Egypt in the well-known mosque named Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA himself. At the end of this text was written: “Uqbah ibn Amir al-Juhani wrote it.” This Mushaf of Uqbah was one of the earliest copies of the Quran in existence but it was lost in its entirety with other priceless documents due to the carelessness of Muslims.
In the field of Jihad, it is sufficient to know that Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA fought beside Rasulullah SAW, peace be on him, at the Battle of Uhud and in all the military engagements thereafter. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA was also one of the valiant and daring groups of shock troopers who were tested to their maximum during the battle for Damascus. In recognition for his outstanding services, the commander of the Muslim forces then, Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah RA, dispatched Uqbah to Madinah to convey the good news of the liberation of Damascus to Umar ibn al-Khattab. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA spent eight days and seven nights, from Friday to Friday, in a continuous forced march to bring the news to Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA.
Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA was one of the commanders of the Muslim forces that liberated Egypt. For three years he was the Muslim governor of Egypt after which he received orders from the Caliph Muawiyah to mount a naval expedition to the island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean Sea.
An indication of Uqbah’s enthusiasm for jihad is the fact that he committed to memory the sayings of Rasulullah SAW on this subject and became a specialist in narrating them to the Muslims. One of Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA favorite pastimes was to practice the skill of spear throwing.
Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA was in Egypt when he became fatally ill. Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA gathered his children together and gave them his final advice. He said: “My children, guard against three things: Don’t accept; my saying attributed to Rasulullah SAW, except from a reliable authority. Do not incur debts or take up a loan even if you are in the position of an imam. Don’t compose poetry for your hearts might be distracted thereby from the Quran.”
Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA was buried at the foot of the hill Al Muqaththam. After they check his legacy, among others, there are seventy-seven bows. Each arc has a horn (as the arrows). ‘Uqbah intestate, so bow-bow was used by the Muslims in jihad fi sabilillah.
May Allah bestow light to face ‘ Uqbah ibn Amir Al-Juhani RA, a reciter. ‘Alim and warlords. And may Allah give reward to reward excellent. Amen!!!
Islamic Quotes – Uqbah Ibn `Amir Al-Juhani
‘Uqbah b. ‘Âmir Al-Juhanî – Allâh be pleased with him – once passed by a man who looked like a Muslim, so he greeted him with salâm, and he replied, “And upon you [be peace] and the mercy of Allâh SWT and His blessings.” A boy informed him, “He is a Christian!” So Uqbah Ibn `Amir Al-Juhani got up and followed the man, caught up with him and said, “The mercy of Allâh SWT and His blessings are upon the believers; however, may Allâh SWT give you a long life, and make plentiful your wealth and offspring.”
Al-Bukhârî, Al-Adab Al-Mufrad. Shaykh Al-Albânî grades its chain of narration hasan in Sahîh Al-Adab Al-Mufrad p444, and notes:
“In this narration this illustrious Companion indicates that it is permissible to supplicate for someone to have a long life, even if he is an unbeliever, and so [this can be done for] a Muslim a fortiori…However, the supplicant should make sure that the unbeliever is not an enemy of the Muslims. It is also taken from this [narration] that such an unbeliever can be commiserated with what has been mentioned therein [i.e. the believers are the ones who will receive the mercy of Allâh SWT and His blessings].”
Uqbah ibn Aamir al-Juhani, the qari, the alim, the ghazi, died in Cairo and was buried at the foot of the Muqattam hills.
HADITHS NARRATED BY
Uqbah Ibn Amir Al Juhani. RA
Sayyiduna ‘Uqbah Ibn `Amir Al-Juhani RA reports that Rasulullah SAW said:
Verily Allah Ta’ala says: ‘O Son of Adam, suffice me [by offering] four rakaats of salah at the beginning of the day, I will suffice for you [your needs] till the end of the day in exchange of those four rakaats’
(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 4 pg. 153 and Musnad Abu Ya’la, Hadith: 1757)
Hafiz Mandhar (rahimahullah) has authenticated the above narration. Similar narrations have also been reported via other Sahabah.
(Refer: Targhib, vol. 1 pg. 464)
If a person offers two rakaats only, he will get the reward promised in the first Hadith, and if he merely adds two more rakaats he will insha Allah, get the reward promised in the second narration as well.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Uqbah ibn Amir al-Juhani RA narrated that Rasulullah SAW (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“One who recites the Qur’an in a loud voice is like one who gives alms openly; and one who recites the Qur’an quietly is one who gives alms secretly.”
— Sunan of Abu-Dawud, no. 521
Found in: The Chapters of Purification and its Sunnah
Hadith no: 558
Narrated: Uqbah bin Amir Al-Juhani RA
That he came to ‘Umar bin Khattab from Egypt. ‘Umar said: “How long has it been since you have taken off your leather socks?” He said: “From one Friday till the next.” He said: “You have acted in accordance with the Sunnah.” (Hasan)
Found in: The Chapters of Establishing the Prayer and the Sunnah Regarding Them
Hadith no: 887
Narrated: Uqbah bin Amir Al-Juhani RA
“When the following was revealed: ‘So glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most Great’,[69:52] Rasulullah SAW said to us: ‘Say this in your Ruku.’ And when the following was revealed: ‘Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High.’[87:1] Rasulullah SAW) said to us: ‘Say this in your prostrations.’” (Sahih)
Found in: Chapters Regarding Funerals
Hadith no: 1519
Narrated: Uqbah bin Amir Al-Juhani RA
“There are three times during the day when Rasulullah SAW forbade us to offer the funeral prayer or bury our dead: When the sun has fully risen (until it is higher up in the sky); when it is overhead at noon, until it has passed the meridian: and when it is starting to set until it has set.” Sahih
Found in: The Chapters on Expiation
Hadith no: 2127
Narrated: Uqbah bin Amir Al-Juhani RA
That Rasulullah SAW said: whoever makes a vow and does not state it specifically, the expiation (for such a vow) is the expiation for breaking an oath. “
Found in: The Chapters on Blood Money
Hadith no: 2618
Narrated: Uqbah bin Amir Al-Juhani RA
That Rasulullah SAW said: “Whoever meets Allah SWT not associating anything in worship with him, and not having shed any blood unlawfully, will enter Paradise.” Sahih
Another significant hadith narrated by Uqbah Ibn Amir Al Juhani RA:
It is reported from ‘Uqbah Ibn ‘Amir Al-Juhani that he said that Rasulullah SAW said: “Recite the last two verses from Surat Al-Baqarah, for I was given them from a treasure trove beneath the Throne” (Ahmad)