Hadrat Abdullah bin Zubair (Radiyallahu anhu)
On the birth of Abdullah bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) there was lot of rejoicing among the Muslims and the baby gave a lie to the canard that had been spread by the enemies of Islam. His mother, Hadrat Asma (radiyallahu anha) presented herself before the beloved Prophet (S.A.W.) with the new-born baby. He too was much pleased at the sight of the beautiful bonny baby. He took Hadrat Abdullah (radiyallahu anhu) in his arms, gave the infant some medicine (to clear the meconium), caressed him fondly and prayed for his well being.
Hadrat Abdullah bin Zubair (R.A) was among the bravest persons of his times. He had pledged allegiance to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) when he was only seven years old.
Hadrat Asma (radiyallahu anha) trained Hadrat Abdullah (radiyallahu anhu) right from his childhood to be bold and intrepid. When he was four or five years old, the battle of the Trench was fought between the Muslims and the infidels. Hadrat Asma (radiyallahu anhu) used to make her four or five year old child watch the action and how the battle proceeded. Thus even as a child, Hadrat Abdullah bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) had the occasion to watch the proceedings of an actual battle. In his youth Abdullah bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) turned out to be so brave that it was difficult to find his peer amongst his contemporaries. Hadrat Asma (radiyallahu anhu) also used to continuously inspire him to rise to heights of glory. Hadrat Abdullah bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) had to fight against the powerful Caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan. In this battle, the army of Hadrat Abdullah (radiyallahu anhu) was very small in size, yet he clashed boldly against a much larger army. On the occasion of this battle, when he consulted his mother, she advised him in the following morale-boosting words:
“My dear son! Understand this fact very well that if you are fighting for the cause of Allah and are siding with truth, then you must put a bold front. Go and fight as befits a brave man. Fear not for your life. Receive the wounds of the sword with dignified valour. It would be thousand times better than life of ease in ignominy. If you are martyred, it shall be my highest pleasure. And if you aspire for mundane wealth and power, and all your striving is to achieve it, then who could be a more wicked man than yourself? How long will you live on this earth? One day death will, of a certainty, come to you, so better it is that you breathe your last while you are on the path of virtue and piety.”
The Famous Narration of the Battle of Jamal
A very interesting and important narration regarding Abdullah and his father Zubair (radiyallahuanhuma)
When Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) got up during the battle of Jamal, he called me and I stood up beside him, and he said to me, “O my son! Today one will be killed either as an oppressor or as an oppressed one. I see that I will be killed as an oppressed one. My biggest worry is my debts. Do you think, if we pay the debts, there will be something left for us from our money? Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) added, “O my son! Sell our property and pay my debts. Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) then willed one-third of his property and willed one-third of that portion to his sons; namely, ’Abdullah’s sons. He said, “One-third of the one third. If any property is left after the payment of the debts, one-third (of the one-third of what is left) is to be given to your sons.” (Hisham, a sub-narrator added, “Some of the sons of ’Abdullah were equal in age to the sons of Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) e.g. Khubaib and ’Abbas. ’Abdullah had nine sons and nine daughters at that time.”
(The narrator ’Abdullah added:) My father (Zubair (radiyallahu anhu)) went on drawing my attention to his debts saying, “If you should fail to pay part of the debts, appeal to my Master to help you.” By Allah! I could not understand what he meant till I asked, “O father! Who is your Master?” He replied, “Allah (is my Master).” By Allah, whenever I had any difficulty regarding his debts, I would say, “Master of Zubair (radiyallahu anhu)! Pay his debts on his behalf .” and Allah would (help me to) pay it. Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) was martyred leaving no Dinar or Dirham but two pieces of land, one of which was (called) Al-Ghaba, and eleven houses in Medina, two in Basra, one in Kufa and one in Egypt. In fact, the source of the debt which he owed was, that if somebody brought some money to deposit with him. As Zubair would say, “No, (i won’t keep it as a trust), but I take it as a debt, for I am afraid it might be lost.” Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) was never appointed governor or collector of the tax of Kharaj or any other similar thing, but he collected his wealth (from the war booty he gained) during the holy battles he took part in, in the company of the Prophet, Abu Bakr, ’Umar, and ’Uthman. (’Abdullah bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) added:) When I counted his debt, it turned to be two million and two hundred thousand.
(The sub-narrator added:) Hakim bin Hizam met Abdullah bin Zubair and asked, “O my nephew! How much is the debt of my brother?” ’Abdullah kept it as a secret and said, “One hundred thousand,” Hakim said, “By Allah! I don’t think your property will cover it.” On that ’Abdullah said to him, “What if it is two million and two hundred thousand?” Hakim said, “I don’t think you can pay it; so if you are unable to pay all of it, I will help you.” Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) had already bought Al-Ghaba for one hundred and seventy thousand. ’Abdullah sold it for one million and six hundred thousand. Then he called the people saying, “Any person who has any money claim on Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) should come to us in Al-Ghaba.” There came to him ’Abdullah bin Ja’far whom Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) owed four hundred thousand. He said to ’Abdullah bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu), “If you wish I will forgive you the debt.” ’Abdullah (bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu)) said, “No.” Then Ibn Ja’far said, “If you wish you can defer the payment if you should defer the payment of any debt.” Ibn Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) said, “No.” ’Abdullah bin Ja’far said, “Give me a piece of the land.” ’Abdullah bin AzZubair said (to him), “Yours is the land extending from this place to this place.” So, ’Abdullah bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) sold some of the property (including the houses) and paid his debt perfectly, retaining four and a half shares from the land (i.e. Al-Ghaba). He then went to Mu’awlya while ’Amr bin ’Uthman, Al-Mundhir bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) and Ibn Zam’a were sitting with him. Mu’awiya asked, “At what price have you appraised Al-Ghaba?” He said, “One hundred thousand for each share,” Muawiya asked, “How many shares have been left?” ’Abdullah replied, “Four and a half shares.” Al-Mundhir bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) said, “I would like to buy one share for one hundred thousand.” ’Amr bin ’Uthman said, “I would like to buy one share for one hundred thousand.” Ibn Zam’a said, “I would like to buy one share for one hundred thousand.” Muawiya said, “How much is left now?” ’Abdullah replied, “One share and a half.” Muawiya said, “I would like to buy it for one hundred and fifty thousand.” ’Abdullah also sold his part to Muawiya for six hundred thousand. When Ibn Zubair had paid all the debts, Zubair (radiyallahu anhu)’s sons said to him, “Distribute our inheritance among us.” He said, “No, by Allah, I will not distribute it among you till I announce in four successive Hajj seasons, ’Would those who have money claims on Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) come so that we may pay them their debt.” So, he started to announce that in public in every Hajj season, and when four years had elapsed, he distributed the inheritance among the inheritors. Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) had four wives, and after the one-third of his property was excluded (according to the will), each of his wives received one million and two hundred thousand. So the total amount of his property was fifty million and two hundred thousand.
The Salaah of Abdullah bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu)
Hadhrat Mujahid (radiyallahu anhu), describing the Salaat of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu), and that of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Zubair (radhiyallahu anhu) says:
“They stood in Salaat motionless like pieces of wood stuck in the ground.”
’Ulama agree that Hadhrat Abdullah bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) learnt to say his Salaat from Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiyallahu anhu), who in turn learnt it direct from the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
It is said about Hadhrat Abdullah bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu) that he remained in sajdah for so long, and kept so motionless therein, that birds would come and perch on his back. He would sometimes remain in Sajdah or Ruku’ all night long. During an attack against him, a missile came and hit the wall of the Masjid wherein he was saying his Salaat. A piece of masonry flew from the wall and passed in between his beard and throat. He neither cut short his Salaat, nor was he the least perturbed.
Once he was saying his Salaat while his son Hashim was sleeping near him. A snake fell from the ceiling and coiled round the child. The child woke up and shrieked, and the whole household gathered round him. They killed the snake after a great hue and cryA Abdullah bin Zubair (radiyallahu anhu), calm and quiet, remained engaged in his Salaat all the while. When he had finished it, he said to his wife: “I heard some noise during my Salaat; what was that?”
His wife exclaimed:”May Allah have mercy on you! The child’s life was in danger, and you took least notice of it.”
His answer was:”Had I turned my attention to anything else, what would have remained of the Salaat?”
Compiled by Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)