Friday, 8 February 2008

A Brief Biography of Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA

The image of dignity and grace, a handsome, pleasant, well spoken man with a tall, slim physique and bright sharp eyes.

These were the physical good looks of a man whom the Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

"Every Ummah (Nation) has a Trustee; the Trustee of my Ummah (Nation) is Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah (RA)."

By character and nature, he was very humble and modest. Amongst his friends, he was gentle and soft as silk. When it came to war, he was as hard as iron. During the Battle of Uhud RA, he lost two of his teeth for the sake of helping the Prophet Muhammad SAW. It was within this battle that two of the iron links of the Prophet Muhammad SAW's helmet pierced his (SAW) blessed head. Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA pulled them out with his own teeth. His integrity and honesty was unparalleled even amongst the Companions of the Holy Prophet RA.

His real name was Amir ibn Abdullah bin Al-Jarrah, but he became famous as Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA.

Abdullah ibn Umar RA says that amongst the tribe of the Quraysh there were three people - in whom manners and modesty excelled all others. They also had the gift of eloquent and gentle speech. If people looked at them, they wished to keep on looking at them. In his opinion, these three people were:

1. Saiyidina Abu Bakr As-Siddiq RA

2. Saiydina Uthman ibn Affan RA

3. Saiyidina Abu Ubaidah ibn Al-Jarrah RA


Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA was amongst those very first distinguished companions who had accepted Islam. He passed every trial and tribulation with great patience and perseverence. The difficult situations created by the Quraysh were met with immense courage and patience. During these times of hardship, he and the other Companions of the Holy Prophet SAW remained steadfast.

He sincerely and honestly recognised the authenticity and truth of the Prophet Muhammad SAW. He never gave any signs of despair or doubt.

One of the greatest tests faced was at the Battle of Badr, it was so critical that it is beyond human comprehension. Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA advanced into the midst of the battlefield, tearing his way in. This made the people run everywhere, helter skelter. Everytime he advanced towards a person on horseback, they made way for him; but there was infact one man among them who would stand in front of him and challenge him, and try to attack him.

When Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA realised that this person was his father, he was stunned and shocked. Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA was forced to attack him and he was removed from the face of this earth. Anything was possible for such people in Islam, as nothing could stop them from believing in one Allah and his beloved Messenger Muhammed SAW.

Towards the latter part of his life, Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA took residence in Syria during the time of the Caliphate of Saiyidina Umar Al-Khattab RA. Within this time, a fatal disease of plague spread in the city as it had never before. People were affected by it rapidly. When Saiyidina Umar RA came to know of this, he sent a letter with a messenger to Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA.

Saiydina Umar RA wrote in the letter that he had some important business with him, and he wanted him to make preparations and immediately set out for Madinah Munawwarah to meet him. Saiydina Umar RA stressed that he was not to delay. He indicated in the lettter that if it reached him in the morning, then he was to leave by night; and if it reached him by night, then he had to set out before morning.

When Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA read the letter, he sorrowfully said that he knew what the important business was. Saiyidina Umar RA wanted to keep alive a man who was not born to live in this world forever. Abu Ubaidah RA then wrote a reply to Saiyidina Umar RA. After greeting him, he said that he knew what work he had for him. He said that as the Muslims were facing severe problems, he could not leave them alone in this state, unless it was Allah SWT's Will, as He is the one who decides on their fate.

Abu Ubaidah RA appealed to Saiyidina Umar RA to consider him helpless to obey his commands in this matter and requested him to give him permission to stay with the Muslims.

When Saiyidina Umar RA received this letter and read it, his eyes brimmed with tears. The Companions RA sitting around him were shocked to see this and asked him if there was some tragic news, i.e. whether if the Commander of the Muslims, Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA had passed away.

Saiyidina Umar RA answered:

"No, but death is very near him."

Saiyidina Umar RA's statement turned out to be true. Several days later, as he moved to Jabya, Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA was struck by the plague.

As death hung over him, Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA gave the following advice to his army:

"Let me give you some advice which will cause you to be on the path of goodness always. Establish Prayer, Fast the month of Ramadhan, Give Charity, Perform the Hajj and Umrah, Remain united and support one another, Be sincere to your commanders and do not conceal anything from them. Don't let the world destroy you for even if man were to live a thousand years he would still end up with this state that you see me in. Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah."

He then appointed Mu'adh ibn Jabal RA as his successor and order him to lead people in the prayers.

Abu Ubaidah RA turned to Mu'adh RA and said,

"Lead the men well in prayers, May Allah protect you."

After the prayers Mu'adh ibn Jabal RA returned to him, and at that very moment, Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA's soul departed.

Mu'adh RA got up and said to the people with quivering lips and a trembling voice:

"O' People, you are stricken by the death of a man. By Allah, I don't know whether I have seen a man who had a more righteous heart, who was further from all evil and who was more sincere to people than he. Ask Allah to shower His Mercy on him and Allah will be Merciful to you."

Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA died in 639 C.E. and was buried at Jabiya.

As a person, his appearance was striking. He was slim and tall. His face was bright and he had a sparse beard. It was pleasing to look at him and refreshing to meet him. He was extremely courteous and humble and quite shy. Yet in a tough situation he would become strikingly serious and alert. He was given the title Ameen or Custodian of Muhammad's Ummah.

His way of life was very simple and he used to dress in a simple clothing, During the conquest of Jerusalem, the Caliph - Saiyidina Umar RA came to Syria and saw Khalid Al-Walid RA and Yazid ibn Abu Sufyan RA dressed in very beautiful and charming dress.

Saiydina Umar RA dismounted from his camel and threw sand over them saying:

"It has not been even a year since you have came out of the hunger and hard life of Arabia and you have forgotten all the simplicity when you saw the glamour of Syria's Emperors?"

However, he was cooled down when Khalid Al-Walid RA explained to him that under these clothes they are still armed to counter any enemy any time. At that time, Abu Ubaidah RA who was there too was still dressed in his simple dress.

Saiyidina Umar RA was affected when he met Abu Ubaidah RA during the evening. He went to his home and saw that Abu Ubaidah RA did not have anything at home - except for one bed, one sword and one shield.

Saiyidina Umar RA said to him:

"O' Abu Ubaidah, you could have arranged some things of comfort for yourself at home."

Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA replied:

"O' Umar that is enough for me."

Many people embraced Islam, inspired by Abu Ubaidah RA. Christians of the Levant including the whole tribes of Banu Tanukh and Banu Saleej accepted Islam after the conquest of Qasreen city. As a leader, many reliefs were given by Abu Ubaidah RA to the non-Muslims living as his subjects in Syria.

Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah RA is one of the ten companions of the Prophet Muhammad SAW who were promised Paradise during their life.

Little is known about Abu Ubaidah RA's family He had two wives. From his wife Hind bint Jabar RA, he had his sons - Yazid RA and Ubaidah RA. From his wife Warja RA, he had his son - Umayr RA, but all of them died in childhood. It is unknown if he had any daughters, but his male line of descendants is reported to be ended.

2 comments:

Abu Khadijah Damansari said...

Yes, that is correct. We always spread whatever. Usually people know certain websites, but don't know another. By having multiple sites - we can share Ilm for the benefit of everybody who wants to know about the Sahabah RA - Muslims and non-Muslims.

saifulislam said...

i did'nt read ur post yet,however,i wish we'll not stop from spreading the native deen...until we meet Allah in the jannah...Insya Allah~AMEEN