The Second Narration:
The second narration regarding Hazrat Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) embracing Islam is that which is narrated by Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin As-Saamit (rahimahullah). He reports that Hazrat Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) said:
We departed from our tribe, the Ghifaar, who were a people who would revere and honor the sacred months. Our group consisted of my brother, Unais, my mother and I. After leaving our people, we came to my mother’s brother and began to stay with him. This uncle of ours honored us and treated us kindly. However, his tribe was jealous of us and thus said to him one day, “When you leave your family at home, Unais goes to them” (insinuating that Unais was interfering with his family). Our uncle came to us and told us what his tribe had said about us to which I replied, “You have spoilt all the good which you have shown us to date (by believing and entertaining this lie). There is nothing that will reunite us after this.” Saying this, we fetched our camels and began to load them in preparation to leave. Our uncle was watching us with his cloak wrapped around him and soon began to cry. We departed and travelled until we eventually encamped at a place near Makkah Mukarramah.
At that point, my brother, Unais, challenged someone to a poetry competition. Both competing parties had to pledge camels which would form the prize to be won and my brother had pledged our camels as his contribution. They appointed a soothsayer as the judge and after they had recited some poetry, he declared my brother the winner of the competition due to which my brother returned with our camels and the camels of the person he had challenged.
Hazrat Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then said to Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin As-Saamit (rahimahullah), “O my nephew! I was already performing salaah for three years before I met Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).” Hazrat ‘Abdullah (rahimahullah) asked, “To whom would you perform salaah?” Hazrat Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “To Allah Ta‘ala.” Hazrat ‘Abdullah (rahimahullah) then asked, “In which direction would you face?” Hazrat Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “I would face in whichever direction my Rabb would turn me. I would perform salaah until the end of the night would set in. I would then lie down and (out of extreme exhaustion) sleep like a shawl until the sun had already risen high.”
Hazrat Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then continued narrating the incident of his embracing Islam saying:
My brother, Unais, then said to me, “I have some work in Makkah Mukarramah. See to my affairs while I am away.” He thereafter set off for Makkah Mukarramah and remained there for so long that he was delayed in returning. When he eventually returned, I asked him what had happened to which he replied, “I met a man in Makkah Mukarramah who follows the same Deen as you. He claims that Allah Ta‘ala has deputed him as the Rasul.” I asked, “What do the people say regarding him?” Unais replied, “They say that he is a poet, soothsayer or magician.” Unais, an accomplished poet himself, further commented, “I have heard the speech of fortune tellers before. His message is not the speech of fortune tellers. I have compared his message to the various forms of poetry and verse adhered to by the poets and if I did not find it to be poetry, nobody will be able to call it poetry. By Allah he is speaking the truth and they are lying.” I thereafter asked my brother, Unais to attend to my affairs in turn while I travelled to Makkah Mukarramah to listen to the message of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to see whether he really was the Rasul of Allah or not.
When I arrived in Makkah Mukarramah, I looked for a person who seemed weak (in the hope that he would not cause me trouble) and asked him, “Where is the person who you call the Saabi’ (one who has renounced idol worship)?” this person instantly turned to the people around us and gestured toward me shouting, “Here is a Saabi’!” on hearing his shout, all the people of Makkah Mukarramah began to attack me with clods of earth and bones until I finally fell unconscious. When I eventually regained consciousness, I saw that I resembled a red idol (due to the excessive blood which had flowed from my wounds). I then made my way to the well of Zamzam and drew water which I drank and used to wash the blood off my body.
Hazrat Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then said to Hazrat ‘Abdullah (rahimahullah), “O my nephew! I stayed for 30 days and nights without anything to consume but the water of Zamzam. Through the blessings of drinking Zamzam I put on so much of weight that my belly developed creases and I never felt the pangs and weakness of hunger.”
(To be continued insha Allah)
(Saheeh Muslim #2473)