Friday, April 11, 2014

Abu Hurairah: The narrator of Hadith

The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "When a person dies, the opportunity of gaining more reward ends with his death except for three things: A continuous charity; knowledge by which people derive benefit and a pious son who prays to Allah for the deceased."(Muslim).
Imam Abu Hurairah stands high on this position.
He was a simple man from Yemen but through his enormous efforts rose to one of the highest positions in Islamic history. He says: "I grew up an orphan. I emigrated as a poor person. I used to serve Ghazwan's daughter, Bussra. I used to serve others when they stopped on the road and I drove camels. Then Allah made it possible for me to marry (the same) Bussra. All praise be to Allah who has strengthened His religion and made me an Imam."
Tufail bin Amr Ad-Dawsi came to the Prophet (peace be upon him), embraced Islam and returned to his tribe, Daws, to preach Islam among his people. None of them embraced Islam. He came back to Madinah and asked the Prophet to curse them. On the contrary, the Prophet said: "O Allah! Give guidance to the people of Daws and let them embrace Islam."
Abd Al-Rahman ibn Sakhr Al-Azdi, well known as Abu Hurairah was from Banu Daws tribe. He was born 19 years before Hijrah, at Jabour village in Baha. His father's name was Sakhr and mothers as Maimuna. He came to Madinah in 7AH when the Prophet had gone on Khyber campaign. Abu Hurairah felt that he was very late in joining the Prophet's company so he stayed at the Prophet's Mosque and devoted himself to the service of the Holy Prophet for three years.
The main purpose of his stay was to learn the Qur'an and Hadith from the Prophet (peace be upon him). Subsequently, he noted 5,374 Hadiths from the Holy Prophet in about 1,000 days. A total of 1,034 Hadiths have been attested by Imam Bukhari and included in his Jame Al Sahih. Imam Muslim also included 391 Hadiths in his book from Abu Hurairah.
His father died when he was a child. His mother was a nonbeliever. Abu Hurairah invited her to Islam but one day she repulsed him with bad words. He came weeping to the Prophet and asked him to pray for her. The Prophet prayed for her and when Abu Hurairah returned home he found his mother declaring she had embraced Islam.
Abu Hurairah was very keen to seek knowledge. He was not literate and so all his knowledge depended on oral transmission and memorization. Once he told the Prophet: "I hear many Hadiths from you but I forget them." The Prophet said, "Spread your covering sheet." Abu Hurairah spread the sheet and the Prophet moved both his hands (as if scooping something) and emptied them in the sheet and said, "Wrap it." Abu Hurairah wrapped it around his body, and since then he never forgot a single Hadith." This was a miracle. And he retained more than 5,000 Hadiths word for word, throughout his life.
Once Marwaan Ibn Al-Hakam wanted to examine Abu Hurairah's memorizing ability. He invited him to sit with him and asked him to narrate Hadiths while a scribe sat behind a screen and was told to write whatever Abu Hurairah said. After a year, Marwaan invited Abu Hurairah again and asked him to narrate the same Hadiths the scribe had written. It was confirmed that Abu Hurairah had not forgotten a single word!
Abu Hurairah is a role model for young generation. Asmaa Alkabti writes: "He was a young well-built, man and could earn and live in comfort but he saw the unique opportunity available to him to learn from the Prophet of Allah - an opportunity of a lifetime." So he availed of that opportunity, sacrificing everything to attain it. He knew the value of his limited time with the Holy Prophet for he would be able to learn that which would benefit the rest of the Ummah for generations to come."
 
 
Abu Hurairah was a very pious and devoted person. His house was like a mosque at night. He would stay up for a third of the night, his wife for another third and his servant for another third. In this way, no hour of the night was spent without prayers in his house.
Caliph Umar appointed him as the governor of Bahrain. And later during the reign of Marwaan he served as the governor of Madinah.
It was then that he married Bussra bint Ghazwan (sister of Utba bin Ghazwan, the Ameer of Basra) who was his employer some time back.
Abu Hurairah died in 59 AH, at the age of 78. He was buried in Madinah.