Friday, October 2, 2009

The As'hab us-Suffah

The As'hab us-Suffah: The Sufi Fuqara with the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam)

These are the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who, as they were poor, lived in a verandah in the Prophet’s Masjid in Madina. The raised platform in Masjid an-Nabawi indicates where they lived. They were very pious, ascetic, dignified, highly scrupulous, drowned in the love of Alla Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, prepared to lay down their lives for the sake of Islām, and deeply attached to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Hadith on the As'hab us-Suffah

Hadhrat Abu ‘Uthman narrated that Hadrat ‘Abdu’r Rahmān bin Abū Bakr (RA) said, “The Suffa Companions were poor people and Prophet Muhammad Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam said, ‘Whoever has food for two persons should take a third one from them (Suffa Companions). And whosoever has food for four persons, he should take one or two from them’. Sayyidinā Abū Bakr Rady Allāhu ‘Anhu took three men and Prophet Muhammad Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam took ten of them”. (Sahih Bukhari)

The As'hab us-Suffah Were Served By Prophet Muhammad S.A.W

Hadhrat Abu Huraira (RA) relates:
"By Allah, except whom there is no God, during the days of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam) I used to press my stomach against the ground due to extreme hunger, or I used to tie a stone over it. One day I was sitting by the side of a public thoroughfare when the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam) passed by me. On seeing me he smiled and recognized from my face my condition (that I was hungry). He called "Abahir" (meaning Abu Huraira) and I responded: 'I am here, O Messenger of Allah'. He said: 'Come along with me' and he walked on; I followed him. On reaching home he sought permission of the inmates, and entered, and also permitted me to enter in the house. He found a cup full of milk, and asked the inmates 'From where has this milk come? They said: 'It is a present for you from some gentleman or lady.' He called me 'Abahir' and I responded: 'I am here, O Messenger of Allah'. He said: Go and call my Suffa Companions.' These companions were the guests of the Muslims, who had no house, no property, no friends or relatives with whom they could live. As such they were guests of all Muslims. Whenever the Holy Prophet (SAW) received something as charity he used to send it to them and would not retain anything out if it for himself (as charity was forbidden for him and his family). However, whenever he received something as a gift he would send for them and shared it with them. But on this occasion I did not like his invitation to them, and thought: 'How would this milk suffice so many? I deserve this more than others, as by drinking it I might gain some energy. When these companions of the Suffa would come, the Holy Prophet (SAW) will ask me to serve the milk to them. When they start drinking I do not think that anything would be left for me out of this milk. But what could I have done, I could not dare avoid the orders of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) and His Messenger (SAW). Accordingly I went out and called them; they came and solicited permission to come in, which was granted and they came in and took their seats. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam) called me 'Abahir' and I replied: 'I am here, O Messenger of Allah.' He said: 'Take hold of the cup of milk and give it to them.' I took the cup and passed it to one man who would drink and when he felt satisfied, he would return it to me, and I would give it to the next person who likewise drank the milk to his fill. I went on doing this till the cup reached the Holy Prophet (SAW). By that time all had drunk the milk to their satisfaction. The Holy Prophet (SAW) took the cup in his hand, looked towards me, smiled and said: 'Abahir?' I said 'I am here, O Messenger of Allah.' He said, "Now only two persons, myself and you are left!" I said: "Of course, O Messenger of Allah, you are right." Then he said: "Sit and drink." I sat down and started drinking the milk. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam) said: "Take more." I took a bit more and he continued saying; 'Drink a little more', till I said: By Allah! Who has commissioned you with the truth , now I have no more room in my stomach.' He said: 'Then let me have it.' So I passed on the cup to him. He thanked Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) and with the name of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) drank the milk which was left in the cup. (Sahih Bukhari)


Al-Hafiz Abu Nu’aym Ahmad bin ‘AbdAllah al-Asfahani, Hilyatu’l Awliya’ wa Tabaqat u’l Asfiya’ (The Adornment of the Saints and the Ranks of the Spiritual Elite), Dar u’l Fikr and Dar u’l Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, 1357 A.H, Vol. I, p. 347-385, Vol II, p. 3-25

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