Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari Embraces Islam

Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari Embraces Islam :  Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (radiyallahu anhu) is famous among the sahabah for his piety and knowledge. Ali (radiyallahu anhu) used to say: “Abu Dharr possesses such knowledge as other people are unable to learn.”
 
    When he first got news of Rasulullah’s nabuwwah, he sent his brother to Makkah to find out about the person who claimed to be receiving Divine revelation and news of the heavens. His brother returned after necessary enquiries and told him that he found Muhammah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to be a man of good habits and excellent conduct, and that his wonderful revelations were neither nor the sayings of the magicians.  
 
   This report did not satisfy him, and he decided to set out for Makkah and find out the facts for himself. On reaching Makkah, he went straight to the masjid of the Ka’bah. He did not know Rasulullahu (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and he did not consider it advisable (under the circumstances prevailing at that time) to enquire about him from anybody. When it became dark, ‘Ali (radiyallahu anhu) noticed him and, seeing a stranger, could not ignore him as hospitality and care for the travelers, the poor and the strangers, were the sahabah’s second nature. He, therefore, took him to his place. He did not ask him the purpose of his visit to Makkah, nor did Abu Dharr himself tell him.
 
   Next day, he again went to the masjid of the Ka’ba and stayed there till nightfall without being able to learn who Rasulullah was. In fact everybody knew  that Rasulullah and his companions were being opposed in Makkah, and Abu Dharr might have been afraid about the results of his search for the Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). ‘Ali (radiyallahu anhu) again took him home for the night, but did not have any talk with him about the purpose of his visit of the city. On the third night, however, after Ali had entertained him as on the two previous nights, he asked him: “Brother, what brings you to this town?”


   Before replying, Abu Dharr took an undertaking from Ali (radiyallahu anhu) that he would speak the truth, and then he enquired from him about Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Ali (radiyallahu anhu) replied: “He is truly the Rasul of Allah. You accompany me tomorrow and I shall take you to him. But you have to be very careful, lest people come to know of your association with me, and you get into trouble. When on our way I fear some trouble, I shall get aside pretending some necessity or adjusting my shoes, and you will proceed ahead without stopping so that the people may not connect us.”


   Next day, he followed ‘Ali (radiyallahu anhu), who took him before Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). In the very first meeting, he embraced Islam. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), fearing that the Qyraysh might harm him, asked him not to disclose his acceptance of Islam, and told him go back to his clan and return when Muslims had gained power. Abu Dharr (radiyallahu anhu) replied: “O Rasul of Allah! By him who is the Master of my soul, I must go and recite the kalimah in the midst of these nonbelievers.”


   True to his word, he went straight to the masjid of the Ka’bah and, right in the midst of the crowd and at the top of his voice, recited: 
  “I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is the messenger of Allah.”
 
   People fell upon him from all sides, and would have beaten him to death if ‘Abbas (Rasulullah’s uncle, who had not till then embraced Islam) had not fallen upon him to save him. Abbas said to the mob: “Do you know who he is? He belongs to the Ghifar clan, who live on the route of our caravans to Syria. If he is killed, they will closed the route to Syria and we shall not be able to trade with that country.” This appealed to their good sense and they left him alone. The next day, Abu Dharr (radiyallahu anhu) repeated his declaration of iman and would  have surely been beaten to death by the crowd, had not ‘Abbas intervened once again and saved him for the second time.
 
    Note: The action of Abu Dharr (radiyallahu anhu) was due to his great desire to proclaim the kalimah among the nonbelievers, and the prohibition by Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was due to his concern for Abu Dharr (radiyallahu anhu), so that he may not suffer hardships which might prove too much for him. There is not the slightest disobedience in this story. Since Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) himself was undergoing all sorts of hardships in spreading the message of Islam, Abu Dharr (radiyallahu anhu) also thought it fit to follow his example, rather than to accept his permission to avoid danger. It was this spirit of the sahabah that took them to the heights of worldly  and spiritual progress. When a person   once recited the kalimah and entered the fold of Islam, no power on earth could turn him back and no oppression or tyranny could stop him from propagation of Islam. 
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