Prayer Time

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All praise belong to Allah, the Lord of the entire universe. May His peace and blessings be upon the noble prophet.

As mentioned in the last article that Allah gave the Muslims permission to migrate to Madinah when the Quraysh intensified their persecution of the Prophet(peace be upon him) and those who believed with him, Abdullah's response was prompt. He and Mus'ab ibn Umayr were the first of the Companions to arrive in Madinah.

As soon as they arrived in Yathrib, he and Mus'ab began discussing with the people, reading the Qur'an to them and teaching them Allah’s religion. When the Prophet(peace be upon him) arrived in Madinah, he appointed Abdullah and Bilal ibn Rabah to be callers to the prayers (muadh-dhins) for the Muslims, proclaiming the Oneness of Allah five times a day, calling man to the best of actions and summoning them to success.

Bilal would call the adhan and Abdullah would pronounce the iqamah for the Prayer. Sometimes they would reverse the process. During Ramadan, they adopted a special routine. One of them would call the adhan to wake people up to eat before the fast began. The other would call the adhan to announce the beginning of dawn and the fast. It was Bilal who would awake the people and Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum would announce the beginning of dawn.

One of the responsibilities that the Prophet(peace be upon him) placed on Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum was to put him in charge of Madinah in his absence. This was done more than ten times, one of them was when he left for the liberation of Makkah.

After the battle of Badr, the Prophet received a revelation from Allah raising the status of the mujahideen and preferring them over the qa'ideen (those who remain inactive at home). This was in order to encourage the mujahid even further and to spur the qa'id to give up his inactivity. This revelation affected ibn Umm Maktum deeply. It pained him to be barred from the higher status and he said: "O messenger of Allah, If I could go on jihad, I would certainly do." He then asked Allah to send down a revelation on his particular case and those like him who were prevented because of their disabilities from going on military campaigns.

His prayer was answered. An additional phrase was revealed to the Prophet(peace be upon him) exempting those with disabilities from the laws of the previous verse. The full ayah became:

{لَّا يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُولِي الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً}. 

[There is no equality between those who remain seated among the believers except those who possess disabilities, and those who strive and fight in the way of Allah with their wealth and their lives, Allah has exceled those who strive and fight in the way of Allah with their wealth and their lives upon those who remain seated a (high) degree ...]. Qur'an 4: 95.

Even though he was excused from jihad, the soul of Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum refused to be content with staying among those who remained at home when an expedition was in progress. Great souls are not content with remaining detached from affairs of great moments. He determined that no campaign should by-pass him. He fixed a role for himself on the battle field. He would say: "Place me between two rows and give me the flag. I will carry it for you and protect it, for I am blind and cannot run away."

In the fourteenth year after the hijrah, Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) resolved to mount a major jihad against the Persians to bring down their State and open the way for the Muslim forces. So he wrote to his governors: "Send anyone with a weapon or a horse or who can offer any form of help to me. And make haste."

Crowds of Muslims from all directions responded to Umar's call and converged on Madinah. Among all these was the blind mujahid, Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)  appointed Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas (may Allah be pleased with him) commander of the army, gave him instructions and bade him farewell. When the army reached Qadisiyyah, Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum was prominent, wearing a coat of armour and fully prepared. He had vowed to carry and protect the the Muslims’ flag or be killed in the process.

The forces met and engaged in battle for three days. The battle was among the most fierce and bitter in the history of the Muslims’ conquests. Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said that: “during the battle Abdullah ibn Umm Maktoom was a flag bearer”. On the third day, the Muslims achieved a mighty victory as one of the greatest empires in the world collapsed and one of the most secure thrones fell. The flag of Tawhid was raised in an idolatrous land. The price of this clear victory was hundreds of martyrs. Among them was Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum. He was found dead on the battlefield clutching the flag of the Muslims.

May Allah be pleased with him, and grant him the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed his grace. Ameen.



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