Dhul Bijadayn

O Allah, illuminate the darkness of our life with the light of Your Guidance, and make us spend our days seeking Your Guidance, and make us spend our days seeking You, for those whom You accept are saved whereas those whom you turn away from are ruined.

O my brothers, if divine decree destines happiness for a person he will be guided and directed to its indicators prior to even seeking it, “And We certainly chose them by knowledge over all the worlds” (al-Dukhan 44:32)

Dhul Bijadayn [Abdullah ibn And Nahm] was orphaned early in is childhood, seeing how he was overcome by waves of poverty from every direction, his uncle committed himself to supporting him. After a while, his heart inclined towards following the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, therefore he prepared himself to advance to meet him, but the vestiges of an illness he had suffered from, stood as a barrier and so he could not pursue his goal at that time. And that moment, the tongue of procrastination addressed his soul saying, hold back until you become a bit older. When he recovered, the ink of his longing heart had very nearly run out [i.e. he could not bear the separation any longer], so he said: ‘O Uncle, I was waiting for you to embrace Islam so I would be sure of your safety, but I highly doubt that you will ever do so. Therewith, his uncle responded, “I shall deprive you of all that which I granted you!” But the tongue of his strong will shouted: ‘To look at Muhammad for once is dearer to me than this worldly life and everything therein.” This path is indeed the path of the ardent devotes as is agreed upon by everyone. This high degree of passion is exemplified by what a poet once said: ‘If Qais (the lover of Layla) was offered this life, and what is therein, he would have said, To have dust from her land is more beloved to me, for my heart is cured upon seeing her.’ 

His uncle carried out his threat, and so he deprived him from everything, even the clothes on his back, so his mother gave him a piece of one of her garments, so he split it into two parts; one part he wrapped his waist to cover his lower half, and with the remaining part he covered his upper body, then he proceeded onwards in his journey, epitomising the portrayal of “There may be a dishevelled, dusty person who, if he swears an oath by Allah, Allah will fulfil it.” (See ibn Rajab)

Meanwhile the horn of Jihad had blown, calling the army of al-Usra to advance to the battlefield [of Tabuk], so he eagerly followed the traces of his beloved, mounting the back of his strong determination mixed with the anxiety, for the lover is oblivious of the hardships of a long arduous journey; his eye can only discern his final destination (meeting the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). But the Angel of death descended to earth sealing his life with a divine seal connoting, ‘Verily, the yearning of the virtuous who seek Me (i.e. Allah) has become unbearable.’ The Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, stepped down into his grave, levelling its floor for him to be laid upon, for it had been divinely ordained to him, that if you find someone seeking Me then be at his service. He then called to Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab, may allah be pleased with them, to bring down their brother, and he signified his rank in his words he uttered: O Allah I am pleased with him so be pleased with him. This testimony made Ibn Masud, may Allah be pleased with him, say: How I wish I were the person in that grave [so that I would deserve that statement].

Seeds of Admonishment and Reform by Imam Ibn Jawzi Pages 74-76