Download PDF: [S] The Poor Sahabi who faced Rustam
This incident took place in 14 A.H. Under the command of Rustam, the famous Persian general, there was a force of eighty two thousand Persians. Facing them, the Muslims numbers were only eight thousand. Thinking of themselves as invincible, this huge Persian force gathered at Qaadisiyah to destroy the Muslims. This was the border of Persia at that time.
Prior to commencing battle, Rustam sent a message to the Muslim general, Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas – may Allah be pleased with him, to send one of his emissaries so that they could discuss a few issues.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad – may Allah be pleased with him – sent a blessed companion who was extremely poor and also appeared as if he was poor in means and wealth. The person chosen to be sent to speak to the Persian commander was Hadrat Sayyiduna Rabee bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him. He was only thirty years of age and was considered as among the Fuqarah Muslims. In others words, the poorest among them.
The Muslim commanded mentioned to him, “Go and do not change your actual appearance because we are a nation whom Allah Almighty has given respect because of Islam. If we leave the path of Islam and choose to attain respect and status through any other mean, then certainly the Allah Almighty will allow disgrace to come upon us.”
When Hadrat Sayyiduna Rabee bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – heard the words of the Muslim commander, he jumped on his horse which was small and extremely weak and frail. His clothes were also old and had many patches and stitches on them. He had a small spear which he took with him.
When Rustam heard that the emissary of the Muslims is coming to visit him, he made sure that he decorated his entire tent. He gathered all his generals and advisers and kept them around him. All of them were standing in line waiting for the blessed companion. The intention was to place the Muslim into a state of awe and shock so that he could say nothing. Hisintention was to actually make him speechless. Rustam also decorated his tent with various pieces of gold and silver and placed silk material around his tent. He placed expensive and priceless pieces of jewellery inside his tent which would display the might of the Persians and their high standing in society on that day.
When Hadrat Sayyiduna Rabee bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – arrived, Rustam gave instructions to his advisers and commanders to allow him inside the tent. Hadrat Sayyiduna Rabee – may Allah be pleased with him – entered the huge tent with his old clothes and his small and frail looking horse. In fact, his horse also began to destroy underfoot the expensive silk material which was hanging inside the tent. Hadrat Sayyiduna Rabee bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – still had his small spear in his hand.
The Persian soldiers then ordered him to give them his spear. However, he bravely replied that he had not come on his own but was invited by the Persians. He then mentioned that if they insist on him giving them his spear, then he would leave.
When Rustam saw this, he asked his soldiers to allow him to enter with his spear. As the brave Muslim came forward, his spear also tore the silk material which was hanging on both sides of the passage. His intention was to prove to Rustam and his supports that in the eyes of the Muslims, this world had no value or standing. In fact, he wanted to prove to the Persians that the world was so despicable that th Allah Almighty had given it for a few moments to those who were his enemies, meaning the Persians.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas – may Allah be pleased with him – used to sleep on the floor. When the blessed Muslim stood in front of Rustam, the Persian asked him to sit. He replied that he had not come as a guest but as an emissary. He then said to Rustam, “Say whatever you have to say.”
Rustam then said the following to him through a translator, “What has happened to the Arabs? I swear in the name of my lord that there has never been a more disgraceful and despicable nation than the Arabs. The Romans have their own culture. The Persians have their own culture. The Greeks have their own culture. The people in Hindustan have their own culture. But you, the Arabs, are the most stubborn and are always fighting. You are a nation that race your camels and goats in the desert. With what intention have you people appeared on the borders of Persia?”
Hadrat Sayyiduna Rabee bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – replied, “Yes, we admit that we were just like you had described. In fact, some of us had even gone beyond what you say. We were an ignorant people and used to worship idols. We used to argue simply about where our goats would drink. We used to murder a family member because of a simple argument. We had no laws or rules. We had no culture or manners.”
After saying these words, the blessed companion remained silent for a short while. However, he then looked at Rustam without any fear and said in a loud voice, “However, Allah Almighty has sent us to you so that we can remove a person from the worship of another person and turn him towards worshipping Allah Almighty. Our intention is to remove people from the confines of this small world and from his troubles and sorrows and turn him towards the Hereafter and remove him from various corrupt beliefs and turn him towards the just religion of Islam.
When Rustam heard these words, he flew into a rage. He then screamed at the blessed companion, “I swear by my lord, you will not leave this place until and unless you do not carry some sand of my country on your head.”
With the command of Rustam, a container of sand from Persian was then placed on the head of the blessed companion and everyone among the Persians began to laugh at this sight. When this was done, the blessed companion rushed back to the Muslims. Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas – may Allah be pleased with him – was waiting.
When he saw the container of sand on the head of Hadrat Sayyiduna Rabee – may Allah be pleased with him, he asked what was this. The blessed companion replied, “Congratulations to you on a great victory, these Persians have handed their land to you even before the battle itself.”
When the other Muslims heard this, they shouted out the Takbeer and all of them said that this sand was indeed of sign of impending victory.
It is mentioned that this was such a fierce battle which lasted for nearly three days. After all, if we look at the numerical strength of the Persians, they were certainly not a small force. From everywhere came the sounds of ‘Allahu Akbar’. In fact, everywhere you looked, you could only see the bodies of Persian soldiers.
Finally, victory came to the Muslims and on the fourth day, Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas – may Allah be pleased with him – walked into the palace of the Persians which had been under the rule of various kings for nearly a thousand years. The amount of riches inside the palace itself could not even be counted.
When Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas – may Allah be pleased with him – saw this and the state of the palace itself, he began to weep and recited the following verses of Surah Dukhaan.
کَمْ تَرَکُوۡا مِنۡ جَنّٰتٍ وَّ عُیُوۡنٍ ﴿ۙ۲۵﴾ وَّ زُرُوۡعٍ وَّ مَقَامٍ کَرِیۡمٍ ﴿ۙ۲۶﴾ وَّ نَعْمَۃٍ کَانُوۡا فِیۡہَا فٰکِہِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۷﴾ کَذٰلِکَ ۟ وَ اَوْرَثْنٰہَا قَوْمًا اٰخَرِیۡنَ ﴿۲۸﴾ فَمَا بَکَتْ عَلَیۡہِمُ السَّمَآءُ وَ الْاَرْضُ وَمَا کَانُوۡا مُنۡظَرِیۡنَ ﴿٪۲۹﴾
How many gardens and water-springs they left behind! And fields and grand palaces! And favours amongst which they were rejoicing! That is what We did; and We made another nation their heirs. So the heavens and the earth did not weep for them, and they were not given respite. [25-29]
The complete incident is explained in Al Bidaayah wan Nihaayah, Hayaat As Sahaabah, Taarikh Tabari, etc