Abu Tharr embraces Islam – I

Abu Tharr embraces Islam – I
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Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, was dissatisfied at the practices of the pre-Islamic era and refused to worship idols. He would criticize those who would associate partners with Allah The Almighty. He was praying the three years before he reverted to Islam without directing himself to a certain Qiblah (prayer direction). It seems that he had followed the methodology of Al-Ahnaaf [those who followed Al-Haneefiyyah, the religion of Ibraaheem (Abraham), may Allah exalt his mention].

When he heard about the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) he went to Makkah but disliked to ask anyone about him until it was night, and so he slept. When ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, came across him, he knew that he was a stranger. ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, accommodated him but did not ask him about anything. In the morning, Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, left for Al-Masjid Al-Haraam and stayed there until night time. ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, saw him again and accommodated him for the second night and the same thing happened on the third night. It was then that, ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, asked him about the reason for his coming to Makkah.
When Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, was sure that ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, would not reveal his secret, he told him that he wanted to meet the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, told him that he was indeed the Messenger of Allah. He also told him that, “If I should perceive any danger to you, I will give you a signal by pretending to go to relieve myself. But if I carry on walking, follow me.” Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, agreed and followed ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, until he met the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ).
He then listened to the speech of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and embraced Islam. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said to him: “Go back to your people and inform them [of this religion] until you receive my [further] orders.” Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “By the One in whose Hands my soul is, I will proclaim my embracing of Islam publicly amongst them [i.e. the polytheists of the Quraysh].” He then went out until he reached the Mosque and announced as loudly as possible, “I testify that none is truly worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
The people then got up and began beating him until they knocked him to the ground. Al-‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, then came and warned the polytheists of the Quraysh against the revenge of the tribe of the Ghifaar, the tribe of Abu Tharr, in that they may attack the caravans of the Quraysh on their way to Ash-Shaam. Thus, he saved him from them. [Al-Bukhari]
Before coming to Makkah, Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, sent his brother to collect news of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) hear from him and then return to him. His brother set out for Makkah, heard from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and then returned to Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, and said to him, “I saw him ordering people to adhere to noble morals and saying words which are not like poetry.” Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “You did not satisfy me as to what I wish to know.” He then decided to go himself to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). His brother said to him, “Beware of the people of the Quraysh because they hate him and frown upon him.” [Muslim] 
Lessons and benefits to be learned:
-         The news of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was circulated among the tribes. The polytheists of the Quraysh themselves were the most important factor in circulating his news through their warning and distortion campaigns against the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and his call, such that his news even reached the tribe of the Ghifaar.
-         Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, was distinguished by being an independent person in his opinions and not someone who was affected by rumors or provoked by publicity. He did not accept all that the Quraysh was spreading, and hence sent his brother to make sure of this news, away from the effects of the media.
-         The vital interest of Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, in the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). He was not satisfied with the general information that was presented to him by his brother, Unays. Rather, he wanted to examine the truth by himself, for the domain of examination was not only regarding a man who was enjoining good; rather, it was about a man who claimed nothing less than prophethood. Hence, he bore the hardships and harshness of life and alienation for the sake of seeking the truth. Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, left his people, took meager food-stuffs, and left for Makkah to ascertain this matter of prophethood.
-         Deliberation in seeking information: Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, was patient because he was aware of the hatred that the Quraysh bore towards anyone who would speak to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). This deliberation was a security measure that was required due to the sensitivity of the situation. If he had directly asked about the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) the people of the Quraysh would have known his purpose. Consequently, he might have been harmed and expelled from Makkah without having reached the goal for which he had left his people and bore the hardship of traveling.
-         Caution before uttering any important facts of information: When ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, asked Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, about the reason for him coming to Makkah, Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, did not inform him until he extracted a promise from him not to unveil his secret and to guide him to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) despite the fact that ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, had accommodated him for three days. This was extreme caution, and what he wanted was achieved.
-         Security cover: There was an agreed-upon signal between ‘Ali and Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with them, such as him pretending to mend his shoe or going to relieve himself, if ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, noticed anyone following them. This was a security measure for their moving towards the house of Al-Arqam. In addition, Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, walked behind ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, with a distance between them, which shows caution and taking precaution for any accidental situation that might have arisen on their way to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ).
-         These security-related signals indicate the Companions’ excellence in aspects of security and their high sense of it, such that it became a distinct feature of all their public and private acts. Hence, their moves were organized and studied. We are in dire need of this sense that the Companions had, especially as security is of great significance in our age in either wiping out civilizations or assisting them to continue. Security has its own schools, advanced techniques, developed means and methods, independent apparatuses and huge budgets. Information, in general, and security data, in particular, are sold for very high prices. Moreover, it could even necessitate sacrificing one’s soul in its cause. Hence, Muslims should pay attention to such aspects of security so that our issues and secrets do not become unveiled and, thus, available for our enemies.
-         The sincerity of Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, in his search for the truth, his sound mind and his brilliant understanding such that he reverted to Islam after it was presented to him in the manner that he did.
-         The keenness of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) on ensuring the safety and security of his Companions. He ordered Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, to return to his people and concealed this matter until Allah The Almighty granted him victory.

Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, embraces Islam – II

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