The Amazing Incident of Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu)

The Amazing Incident of Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu)

Among the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was a Sahaabi known as Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was initially a slave, but Hazrat Ummu Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), one of the respected wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), bought him and set him free.

Before Hazrat Ummu Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) freed Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), she said to him, “I will set you free, but only on one condition. The condition is that you must stay in the service of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) so long as you live.” Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had so much of love for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) that he said to Hazrat Ummu Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), “Even if you did not put this condition and tell me to do this, I would still stay with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). I will never leave the side of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) so long as I am alive.” It was then that Hazrat Ummu Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) set him free.

The word “Safeenah” in Arabic means “ship”. Although this Sahaabi was known by the name ‘Safeenah’, this was not his original name. Rather, most of the Ulama say that his original name was Mahraan. However, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had given him the name Safeenah, and he loved Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) so much, that when Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) gave him this name, he did not want people to call him by any other name besides this name. If any person asked Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) regarding his original name, he would say, “I do not want to tell you my original name. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) gave me the name Safeenah, so I do not want to be called by any other name.”

The reason why Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) gave him the name Safeenah, which means ship, is that on one occasion, Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was traveling with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). During the journey, Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) saw a Sahaabi who was struggling to carry his luggage and equipment. Seeing him in difficulty, Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) immediately offered to assist him carry some of his luggage.

After a little while, Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) saw another Sahaabi who was also struggling with his luggage and assisted him as well. In this manner, Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) began assisting many Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) to carry their luggage. Some of the Sahaabah gave him their swords, while others gave him their shields, spears or other similar equipment to carry. Eventually, Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was carrying a large amount of people’s luggage because he had such a big heart and wanted to help everybody.

When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saw the large amount of luggage that he was carrying, and how he was helping other people, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) became very happy with him and said to him, “You are Safeenah (i.e. you are like a ship that carries a large load).” It was on this occasion that he received the name and title Safeenah from Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

Together with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) giving him the name and title Safeenah, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also made special du‘aa for him. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala to make it easy for Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to carry all the luggage and help the people. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) told Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to spread out his shawl and place the luggage he was carrying in the shawl. Then, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to him, “Now carry the luggage, for you are Safeenah.””

Through the miracle of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was able to carry the luggage of all the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) without finding it heavy or feeling any difficulty. The special du‘aa of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made it so easy for him that he said, “On that day, even if I had to carry the load of one camel, or even the load of two, three, four, five, six or even seven camels, I would not have found it to be heavy.”

Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) loved Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) more than any other person, and because he loved Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) so much and always wanted to help people, the entire creation loved him, and even the animals in the jungle loved him and wanted to help him.

On one occasion, Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was traveling with the Muslim army in the land of Rome when he was separated from the army and got lost. As he was looking for the army, he suddenly came across a lion. On seeing the lion, Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) spoke to it and said, “O lion! I am the freed slave of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! I was separated from the Muslim army and I am searching for it!”

The lion then came forward, wagging its tail, until it stood next to Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). It did not harm or hurt him in any way, but rather gave him company and protected him. Whenever the lion heard a sound, it would rush to make sure that the sound was not coming from some danger that could harm Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).

In this manner, the lion stayed with him and protected him right until he found the army. It was only when Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reached the army that the lion left him and went away.

When we look at the life of this great Sahaabi, the two amazing qualities that we find in him are that he had great love for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and he always wanted to help people. Insha Allah, if we bring these qualities into our lives, then Allah Ta‘ala will also help us and protect us like how He helped and protected Hazrat Safeenah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).


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