“Welcome unto him on whose account my Sustainer has rebuked me.” [said by Prophet SallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam to 3Abdullaah Ibn Umm Maktoom]
The blind Shaheed
The Mu’adhin of the Prophet
3Abdullaah ibn Umm Maktoom was a cousin of Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, Mother of the Believers, radi Allaahu 3Anha. His father was Qays ibn Zayd and his mother was 3Aatikah bint 3Abdullaah. She was called Umm Maktoom (Mother of the concealed/sightless One) because she gave birth to a blind child.
3Abdullaah witnessed the rise of Islaam in Makkah. He was amongst the first to accept Islaam. He lived through the persecution of the Muslims and suffered what the other companions of the Prophet experienced. His attitude, like theirs, was one of firmness, staunch resistance and sacrifice. Neither his dedication nor his faith weakened against the violence of the Quraysh onslaught. In fact, all this only increased his iEemaan & determination to hold on to the religion of Allaah and his devotion to His messenger.
3Abdullaah was devoted to the noble Prophet and he was so eager to memorize the Qur’aan that he would not miss any opportunity to achieve his heart’s desire. Indeed, his sense of urgency and his insistence could sometimes have been irritating as he, unintentionally, sought to monopolize the attention of the Prophet.
In this period, the Prophet SallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam was concentrating on the Quraysh notables and was eager that they should become Muslims. On one particular day, he met 3Utbah ibn Rab3ah and his brother Shaybah, 3Amr ibn Hisham (Aboo Jahl), Umayyah ibn Khalaf and Waleed ibn Mugheerah, the father of Khaalid ibn Waleed who was later to be known as Sayf Allaah or ‘the sword of Allaah’. He had begun talking and negotiating with them and telling them about Islaam. He so much hoped that they would respond positively to him and accept Islaam or at least they would refrain from harming the companions.
While he was thus engaged, 3Abdullaah ibn Umm Maktoom came up and asked him to read a verse from the Qur’aan. He said: “O messenger of Allaah! Teach me from what Allaah has taught you.”
The Prophet frowned and turned away from him. He turned his attention instead to the prestigious group of Quraysh, hoping that they would become Muslims and that by their acceptance of Islaam they would bring greatness to the religion of Allaah and strengthen his mission. As soon as he had finished speaking to them and had left their company, he suddenly felt partially blinded and his head began to throb violently. At this point the following revelation came to him:
عَبَسَ وَتَوَلَّىٰ. أَن جَاءَهُ الْأَعْمَىٰ. وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّهُ يَزَّكَّىٰ. أَوْ يَذَّكَّرُ فَتَنفَعَهُ الذِّكْرَىٰ
أَمَّا مَنِ اسْتَغْنَىٰ. فَأَنتَ لَهُ تَصَدَّىٰ. وَمَا عَلَيْكَ أَلَّا يَزَّكَّىٰ
و أَمَّا مَن جَاءَكَ يَسْعَىٰ. وَهُوَ يَخْشَىٰ. فَأَنتَ عَنْهُ تَلَهَّىٰ
كَلَّا إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ. فَمَن شَاءَ ذَكَرَهُ
فِي صُحُفٍ مُّكَرَّمَةٍ. مَّرْفُوعَةٍ مُّطَهَّرَةٍ
بِأَيْدِي سَفَرَةٍ. كِرَامٍ بَرَرَةٍ
He (the prophet SallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam) frowned and turned away. Because there came to him the blind man (i.e.3Abdullaah bin Umm-Maktoom). But what could tell you that per chance he might become pure (from sins)? Or that he might receive admonition, and that the admonition might profit him?
As for him who thinks himself self-sufficient. To him you attend. What does it matter to you if he will not become pure.
But as to him who came to you running. And is afraid (of Allaah and His Punishment). Of him you are neglectful and divert your attention to another.
Nay, (do not do like this), indeed it (these Verses of this Qur’aan) are an admonition. So whoever wills, let him pay attention to it.
(It is) in Records held (greatly) in honour (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfooz). Exalted (in dignity), purified.
In the hands of scribes (angels).Honourable and obedient. [soorah 3Abasa, v: 1-16]
These are the sixteen verses which were revealed to the noble Prophet about 3Abdullaah ibn Umm Maktoom, sixteen verses that have continued to be recited from that time till today and shall continue to be recited.
From that day the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam exerted himself to honor & be generous to 3Abdullaah ibn Umm Maktoom, to ask him about his affairs, to fulfill I his needs and take him into his council whenever he approached. This is not strange. Was he not censured by Allaah in a most severe manner on 3Abdullaah’s account? In fact, in later years, he often greeted Ibn Umm Maktoom with these words of humility: “Welcome unto him on whose account my Sustainer has rebuked me.”
When the Quraysh intensified their persecution of the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam and those who believed with him, Allaah gave them permission to Hijrah. 3Abdullaah’s response was prompt. He ana Mus3ab ibn 3Umayr were the first of the Companions to reach Madeenah. As soon as they reached Yathrib, he and Mus3ab began discussing with the people, reading the Qur’aan to them and teaching them the religion of Allaah.
When the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam arrived in Madeenah, he appointed 3Abdullaah and Bilaal ibn Rabaah to be mu’adhins for the Muslims, proclaiming the Oneness of Allaah five times a day, calling man to the best of actions and summoning them to success. Bilaal would call the aadhan and 3Abdullaah would pronounce the iqaamah for the Prayer. Sometimes they would reverse the process.
During Ramadan, they adopted a special routine. One of them would call the adhaan to wake people up to eat before the fast began. The other would call the adhaan to announce the beginning of dawn and the fast. It was Bilaal who would awaken the people and 3Abdullaah ibn Umm Maktoom who would announce the beginning of dawn.
One of the responsibilities that the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam placed on 3Abdullaah ibn Umm Maktoom was to put him in charge of Madeenah in his absence. This was done more than ten times, one of them being when he left for the liberation of Makkah.
After the battle of Badr, the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam received a revelation from Allaah raising the status of the Mujahideen and preferring them over the qaa3edeen (those who remain inactive at home). This was in order to encourage the people even further and to spur the qaa3ed to give up his inactivity. This revelation affected ibn Umm Maktoom deeply. It pained him to be thus barred from the higher status and he said: “O messenger of Allaah. If I could go on jihaad, I would certainly do.”
He then earnestly asked Allaah to send down a revelation about his particular case and those like him who were prevented because of their disabilities from going on military campaigns. His prayer was answered. An additional phrase was revealed to the Prophet exempting those with disabilities from the import of the original verse. The full aayah became:
لَّا يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُولِي الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ
“Not equal are those who remain seated among the believers except those who possess disabilitiesرand those who strive and fight in the way of Allaah with their wealth and their persons . . .” [Soorah An-Nisaa’, v: 95]
In spite of this, his ambition to be pleasing in the sight of Allaah did not allow 3Abdullaah ibn Umm Maktoom to be content with staying among those who remained at home. Great souls are not content with remaining detached from affairs of great moment. From that day on, he decided never to miss a battle and even planned a role for himself on the battle field. He would say: “Place me between two rows and give me the standard. I will carry it for you and protect it, for I am blind and cannot run away.”
In the fourteenth year after the hijrah, 3Umar resolved to mount a major assault against the Persians to bring down their State and open the way for the Muslim forces. So he wrote to his governors: “Send anyone with a weapon or a horse or who can offer any form of help to me. And make haste.” Crowds of Muslims from every direction responded to 3Umar’s call and converged on Madeenah.
Among all these was the blind mujahid, 3Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum. 3Umar appointed Sa3d ibn Abi Waqqas commander over the army, gave him instructions and bade him farewell. When the army reached Qadisiyyah, 3Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum was prominent, wearing a coat of armour and fully prepared. He had vowed to carry and protect the standard of the Muslims or be killed in the process. The forces met and engaged in battle for three days. The fighting was among the most fierce and bitter in the history of the Muslim conquests.
On the third day, the Muslims achieved a mighty victory as one of the greatest empires in the world collapsed and one of the most secure thrones fell. The standard of Tawheed was raised in an idolatrous land. The price of this clear victory was hundreds of martyrs. Among them was 3Abdullaah ibn Umm Maktoom. He was found dead on the battlefield clutching the flag of the Muslims.
(Golden series of stories of sahaabah, the companions of Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)