Prayer Time

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As we have mentioned in the last article that before Zayd breathed his last, he supplicated to the Lord not to prevent his son from meeting the prophet(peace be upon him).

Indeed, Allah, may He be glorified, heard the prayer of Zayd. When Muhammad the Messenger of Allah(peace eb upon him) rose up inviting people to Islam, his son Sa'eed was in the forefront of those who believed in the oneness of God and who affirmed their faith in the prophethood of Muhammad. This is not strange, for Sa'eed grew up in a household which repudiated the idolatrous ways of the Quraysh and he was brought up by a father who spent his life searching for Truth and who died in its pursuit.

Sa'eed was less than twenty years old when he embraced Islam. His young and steadfast wife Fatimah, daughter of Al-Khattab and sister of 'Umar, also accepted Islam early. Both Sa'eed and Fatimah managed to conceal their acceptance of Islam from the Quraysh and especially from Fatimah's family for some time. She had cause to fear not only her father but her brother 'Umar who was brought up to venerate the Ka'bah and to cherish the unity of the Quraysh and their religion.

Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was a headstrong young man of great determination. He saw Islam as a threat to the Quraysh and became most violent and unrestrained in his attacks on Muslims. He finally decided that the only way to put an end to the trouble is to eliminate the man who is its cause. He took up his sword and headed for the Prophet's house. On his way he met with a secret believer in the Prophet(peace be upon him) who seeing 'Umar's grim expression asked him where he is going to - "I am going to kill Muhammad ... ".

There was no mistake in his bitterness and murderous resolve. The believer sought to dissuade him from his intent but 'Umar was deaf to any arguments. He then thought of diverting 'Umar in order to at least warn the Prophet of his intentions.

"O 'Umar," he said, "Why not first go back to the people of your own house and set them to rights?" "What people of my house?" asked 'Umar.

"Your sister Fatimah and your brother-in-law Sa'eed. They have both forsaken your religion and are followers of Muhammad in his religion ... ".

'Umar returned and went straight to his sister's house. There he called out to her angrily as he approached. Khabbab ibn al-Aratt who often came to recite the Qur'an to Sa'eed and Fatimah was with them at the moment. When they heard 'Umar's voice, Khabbab hid in a corner of the house and Fatimah concealed the manuscript. But 'Umar had heard the sound of their reading and when he came in, he said to them: "What is this haynamah (gibbering) I heard?".

They tried to assure him that it was only normal conversation that he had heard but he insisted: " I did Hear it," he said, "and it is possible that you have both become renegades."

"Have you considered whether the Truth is not to be found in your religion?" said Sa'eed to 'Umar trying to reason with him. Instead, 'Umar set upon his brother-in-law hitting and kicking him as hard as he could and when Fatimah went to the defense of her husband, 'Umar struck her a blow on her face which drew blood.

"O 'Umar," said Fatimah, and she was angry. "What if the Truth is not in your religion! I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."

Fatimah's wound was bleeding, and when 'Umar saw the blood he was sorry for what he had done. A change came over him and he said to his sister:

"Give me that script which you have that I may read it."

Like them 'Umar could read, but when he asked for the script, Fatimah said to him:

“You are impure and only the pure should touch it. Go and wash yourself or make ablution."

Thereupon 'Umar went and washed himself, and she gave him the page on which was written the opening verses of chapter Ta-Ha. He began to read it and when he reached the verse, 

{إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي}.

[Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.]. He said: "Show me where Muhammad is." 'Umar then made his way to the house of Al-Arqam and declared his acceptance of Islam and the Prophet(peace be upon him) and all his companions rejoiced. Sa'eed and his wife Fatimah were the immediate cause which led to the conversion of the strong and determined 'Umar and this added substantially to the power and prestige of the emerging faith.

Sa'eed ibn Zayd was totally devoted to the Prophet(peace be upon him) and the service of Islam. He witnessed all the major campaigns and encounters in which the Prophet engaged with the exception of Badr. Before Badr, he and Talhah were sent by the Prophet as scouts to Hawra on the Red Sea coast towards the western part of Madinah to bring him news of the Quraysh caravan returning from Syria. When Talhah and Sa'eed returned to Madinah the Prophet had already set out for Badr with the first Muslim army of just over three hundred men.

After the Prophet(peace be upon him) passed away, Sa'eed continued to play a major role in the Muslim community. He was one of those whom Abu Bakr consulted on his succession and his name is often linked with such companions as 'Uthman, Abu Ubaydah and Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas in the campaigns that were waged. He was known for his courage and heroism, a glimpse of which we can get from his account of the Battle of Yarmuk. He said:

“For the Battle of Yarmuk, we were twenty four thousand or thereabout. One hundred and twenty thousand men of the Byzantines mobilized against us. They advanced towards us with a heavy and thunderous attack as if mountains were being moved. Bishops and priests strode before them bearing crosses and chanting litanies which were repeated by the soldiers behind them. When the Muslims saw them mobilized thus, they became worried by their vast numbers and something of anxiety and fear entered their hearts. Thereupon, Abu Ubaydah stood before the Muslims and urged them to fight:

Worshippers of Allah, help Allah and Allah will help you and make your feet firm. Worshippers of God, be patient and steadfast for indeed patience and steadfastness are salvation from disbelief, a means of attaining the pleasure of Allah and a defense against ignominy and disgrace. Draw out your spears and protect yourselves with your shields. Don't utter anything among yourselves but the remembrance of God Almighty until I give you command by God’s will.

Thereupon a man emerged from the ranks of the Muslims and said: 'I have resolved to die this very hour. Have you a message to send to the Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him).

‘Yes' replied Abu Ubaydah, 'Convey salam to him from me and from the Muslims and say to him: O Messenger of God, we have found the true our Lord promised us.' As soon as I heard the man speak and saw him pull out his sword and go out to meet the enemy, I threw myself on the ground and crept, and with my spear I felled on the first enemy horseman racing towards us. Then I fell upon the enemy and Allah removed from my heart all traces of fear. The Muslims engaged the advancing Byzantines and continued fighting until they were blessed with victory."

Sa'eed was ranked by the Prophet(peace be upon him) as one of the outstanding members of his generation. He was among the ten of the companions whom the Prophet visited one day and promised them Paradise. These were Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'Ali, 'Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf, Abu Ubaydah, Talhah, az-Zubayr, Sa'ad of Zuhrah, and Sa'eed the son of Zayd the Hanif. The books of the Prophetic sayings have recorded his great praises of the promised ten (al-'asharatu'l-mubashsharun) and indeed of others whom on other occasions he also gave good tidings of Paradise.


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