There was a Sahaabi by the name of ‘Amr bin Jamooh (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). This Sahaabi – although severely crippled – did not allow his handicap to come in the way of his heartfelt desire to serve and strive in the path of Allah Ta‘ala. Thus when the announcement to enlist for the expedition of Badr was made, he also eagerly prepared to march out and fight for the cause of Islam. But to his utter disappointment and disdain, his sons did not allow him to join. They cared for their father and pitied his state, refusing to let him leave. ‘Amr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was patient and resolved that come what may, the next expedition would not leave without him.
He didn’t have to wait long for his wish to be fulfilled. The news soon arrived that the kuffaar of Makkah had prepared an army and were marching on Madeenah Munawwarah, seeking revenge for their defeat in Badr. When the news reached ‘Amr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), he immediately expressed his determination to enlist and fight but was again held back by his sons. Desperate not to be left behind a second time, he took his case to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) begging permission to join.
His sons addressed the Nabi of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saying that their father was severely crippled and so absolved from the obligation of fighting. ‘Amr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) presented his case pleading the following, “My sons wish to hold me back from joining you on this campaign. By the oath of Allah! It is my hope to limp in Jannah in my cripple state.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) heard the case and then replied, “As for you, Allah Ta‘ala has excused you. Jihaad is not incumbent on you.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then turned to the sons and reasoned with them saying, “What’s there if you allow him to go? Perhaps Allah Ta‘ala will bless him with martyrdom.” The sons relented and ‘Amr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) elatedly began preparing. As he was packing his armour, his wife heard him making the following du‘aa, “Oh Allah! Bless me with martyrdom and do not send me back to my family as a failure.”
During the battle, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) went in search of ‘Amr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and found that he was not just present on the battlefield; he was bravely fighting in the first line! ‘Amr and his son Khallaad (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) later launched an attack against a group of disbelievers and were both killed. ‘Amr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was finally blessed with the martyrdom he so coveted. When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) passed by his body he remarked, “I can see you walking in Jannah with your leg now completely fine.”
When the battle was over and his wife placed his body on a camel together with the bodies of her son and brother and began proceeding to Madeenah Munawwarah to bury them, she was surprised to find that the camel would just not budge. It willingly walked in every direction – but the direction of Madeenah Munawwarah. The camel could not move due to her husband’s du‘aa, “Oh Allah! Bless me with martyrdom and do not send me back to my family as a failure.” Allah Ta‘ala had accepted his du‘aa to the extent of not only granting him martyrdom, but even allowing his body to remain on the battlefield. He was thus buried at Uhud in a grave he shared with his brother-in-law, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Haraam (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), the father of Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).
(Reference: Ibnu Hishaam vol. 3 pg. 90, Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa’ vol. 1 pg. 252, Usdul Ghaabah vol. 3 pg. 360, Musnad Ahmad #22553 and Subulul Hudaa war Rashaad vol. 4 pg. 214)
1. ‘Amr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) did not allow his disability to hinder or hold him back in his effort to earn Jannah. He limped and fought – despite it not being compulsory on him – rather than lag behind and lose out. Let us not allow trifling, petty matters such as a small headache or even worse – laziness – to “cripple” us, rendering us so “handicapped” that we lie paralyzed when it is time to stand up to fulfill the commands of Allah Ta‘ala. Remember! You are only as handicapped as you think you are. If we pluck up the courage, give laziness the boot and build determination, there will be no limit to the nearness to Allah Ta‘ala we will gain.
2. When a person shows inclination to do a good deed, let us always be encouraging and boost the person’s morale and confidence rather than deter the person. If we are instrumental in his good, we too will receive the reward of his action.