Exceptional Devotion of the Companions

Exceptional Devotion of the Companions

Cited below are some instances which illustrate the exceptional devotion of the Prophet’s Companions. 

One day Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, was assaulted by the enemies of the Faith at Makkah. ‘Utbah ibn Rabi’ah, in particular, beat him so severely that his face swelled until it became difficult to recognize him. He was carried home in an unconscious condition by Banu Taym. But so ardent was his love for the Prophet ﷺ that the first thing he did on regaining consciousness towards the evening was to inquire about the Prophet’s welfare. “How is the Prophet of God?” he asked through his swollen lips. His attendants felt greatly piqued and they began to scold him for showing so much concern for one who, in their opinion, was the sole cause of his misfortune. But he persisted in his inquiry, and when his mother, Umm Khair, brought him nourishment, he refused to accept it until he had received news about the Prophet ﷺ. Umm Khair assured him that she knew nothing about his friend. He then asked her to go and inquire from Umm Jamil, the daughter of Khattab, but the latter was so terrified that she would not admit that she knew the Prophet ﷺ. “I do not know who is Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah or Abu Bakr,” she declared, “but I am willing to accompany you to your son if you like.” Umm Khair replied that she would like nothing better. When Umm Jamil came to Abu Bakr’s house and saw his condition, she began to curse his assailants. She said, “I swear by God that the community that has done this is a community of shameless heathens. God will surely punish it for its sins.” But Abu Bakr had no patience for such things. “Tell me,” he said, “how is the Prophet?” Umm Jamil cautioned him that his mother was listening. When Abu Bakr assured her that it was not necessary to observe secrecy in the presence of his mother, she disclosed that the Prophet ﷺ  was safe at the house of Ibn Arqam. Abu Bakr, thereupon, declared that he would neither eat nor drink until he had joined the Prophet ﷺ. They waited for the darkness of the night to deepen and, when it was safe enough Abu Bakr was taken to the Prophet ﷺ by his mother and Umm Jamil. Alone, he then took his meal.[1]

During the Battle of Uhud, as the news circulated that the Prophet ﷺ had been seriously wounded, a woman whose brother, father and husband had been killed in the battle that very day forgot her own sorrow and rushed to the battlefield shouting, “How is the Prophet?” People assured her that by the grace of God he was safe, but she refused to be comiorted until she had actually seen him. She was taken to him. When she saw him, she said: “No calamity is a calamity if you are safe.”[2]

Khubaib, may Allah be pleased with him, when about to be put to death by his persecutors, was asked, “Don’t you wish now that Muhammad were in your place?” He cried out, “I would not like to be released on the condition that he may be given even a pinprick.”[3]

On the battlefield of Uhud, the Prophet ﷺ dispatched Zayd ibn Thabit to convey his greetings to Sa’d ibn Rabi’ and inquire how he was feeling. Zayd made a long search among the dead and the wounded and came upon Sa’d just in time, for he was dying. He had received about seventy wounds. Zayd hastily delivered the Prophet’s message. Sa’d replied, “Pay my respects to the Prophet and tell him that I am smelling the sweet smells of Paradise, and to my community of Anar say that if anything happened to the Prophet while even one of them lived, they would not escape Divine wrath.” Upon saying this he died.[4]

Again on the battlefield of Uhud, there was an occasion when the Prophet’s life was greatly endangered. Without a moment’s hesitation, Abu Dujanah exposed his back to shield him; arrows pierced his body but he did not flinch.[5] The Prophet’s wounds were sucked dean by Malik al-Khudri. The Prophet ﷺ told him to spit out the blood, but he declined, saying, “By God, l am not going to spit it (on the ground).”[6]

Abu Sufyan, when he came to Madinah, went to meet his daughter, Umm Habibah, who was married to the Prophet ﷺ. He was about to sit on the Prophet’s bed when she hastily rolled it up. Abu Sufyan was taken aback at this treatment and sarcastically remarked, “Daughter, I could understand whether I was not worthy of the bed or the bed was  not worthy of me.” “No,” his daughter explained, “the thing is that it is the Prophet’s bed and you are an unclean infidel.”[7]

The love and reverence shown to the Prophet ﷺ by his followers is also apparent from the statement made by ‘Urwah ibn Mas’ud Thaqafi before his brethren Quraysh on his return from Hudaibiyyah. He said, “I have seen many monarchs. I have been in the courts of Caesar, Khusrau and Negus. I can swear that I have not seen any king held in greater respect by his subjects than Muhammad is by his Companions. By God, when he gives an order, they all rush to carry it out; when he performs the wudu’,[8] they nearly come to blows in the scramble for the water he has used for it: when he speaks, a hush overtakes them. So excessively do they revere him that they dare not raise their eyes in his presence to obtain a full view ofhim.”[9]

[Islam and the World by Shaykh Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, p.54-56]


[1] Ibn Katheer, al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, vol. 2, p. 30.

[2] Ibn Ishaq. 

[3] Ibn Katheer, vol. 4, p. 63.

[4] Zad al-Ma’ad, vol. 2, p. 134.

[5] Ibid, vol. 2, p. 130.

[6] Ibid., p. 136.

[7] Seerat In Hishâm.

[8] Ablution performed before prayers. (Translator)

[9] Zâd al-Ma’âd, vol. 3, p. 125.

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