Hadrat Âsim bin Thâbit, one of the prominent archers of the Holy War of Uhud,
had killed the polytheist Musâfi bin Talha and his brother Hâris, in that war. Their
mother, Sulâfa binti Sa’d, famous for vehemently bearing a grudge, promised to give
one hundred camels to whomsoever brought her the head of Hadrat Âsim bin Thâbit,
who had killed two of her sons. She swore an oath to drink wine from Hadrat Âsim’s
skull. Additionally, the sons of Lihyân had come to an agreement with the Adal and
Kara tribes, because Abdullah bin Unays had killed Khâlid bin Sufyân from among
the sons of Lihyân.
These two tribes, which were settled around Medina, made a plan and prepared
envoys. They told them, “Say to them you have become Muslim and you will give
zakât, asking them for teachers to take the zakât and teach you Islam. By doing so, we
will kill some of those who have come and take our revenge. We will bring the others
to Mecca and sell them to the Quraysh.”
In the Safar month of the fourth year of the Hegira, a committee of six or seven
persons came from these two tribes to our Master, the Prophet and said, “We have
become Muslims. Send us teachers to teach us the Qur’ân al-karîm and Islam.” Meanwhile
our beloved Prophet had prepared a military expedition of ten people to check
if the Meccan polytheists were in preparation for war. When the committee came from
the Adal and Kara tribes, he sent this patrol with this committee to inspect the situation.
Coming from the Ashâb-i kirâm, this military expedition consisted of Marsad
bin Abî Marsad, Khâlid bin Abî Bukayr, Âsim bin Thâbit, Hubayb bin Adiy, Zayd
bin Dasinna, Abdullah bin Târik, Mu’attib (Mugir) bin Ubayd and three other sahâbîs
whose names are not known.
This reconnaissance unit, by hiding during days and walking at nights, reached the
waters of Rajî’ towards the break of dawn. They rested for a while, ate a delicious
kind of Medina dates called Ajwa. Then, they left there, climbed up a mountain nearby
and concealed themselves. A woman from Huzayl tribe, herding sheep, had come
to the Râjî’ water. She saw date pits and understood that dates of Medina had been
eaten. Shouting, “Some people have come here from Medina,” she informed her tribe.
Meanwhile, one of the envoys from the Adal and Kara tribes, found an excuse and
departed. He immediately notified the sons of Lihyân of the situation.
The sons of Lihyân were motivated by this news. They sent a force of two hundred
men against this small expedition. One hundred of them were archers. That group of
polytheists found Hadrat Âsim bin Thâbit and his friends on the mountain and they
encircled them. Meanwhile, the person who had informed the polytheists of the ten
Companions joined them. The Companions understood that they were deceived. They
decided to fight and drew their swords. Understanding the situation, the polytheists
tried to deceive them, by saying, “If you come down, we will kill none of you. We are
giving a definite promise. We swear by Allahu ta’âlâ that we do not want to kill you.
However, we wish to get ransom for you from the Meccans.” Âsim bin Thâbit, Marsad bin Abî Marsad and Khâlid bin Abî Bukayr rejected all
the offers, saying, “We will never accept the promises and the pledges of polytheists.”
Hadrat Âsim bin Thâbit said, “I have made an oath not to accept the protection of
polytheists. I swear by Allah that I will not go down and surrender, by believing their
protection and words.” He opened his hands and prayed, “O my Allah! Inform your
Prophet about our condition.” Allahu ta’âlâ accepted Hadrat Âsim’s prayer and informed
our Master Rasûlullah of the incidents.
Hadrat Âsim said to the polytheists, “We do not fear death. For, we persevere in our
religion (when we die, we will become martyr and go to Paradise).” When the leader
of the polytheists told him, “O Âsim! Do not waste you and your friends, surrender!”
Âsim bin Thâbit replied to him by shooting arrows. While he was shooting arrows,
he was reciting these lines:
“I am strong, I have no deficiency.
The thick string of my bow is drawn.
Death is true, life is false and temporary.
They will come true, all the things in destiny.
People will return to Allahu ta’âlâ finally.
If I do not fight you, my mother
(out of her agony) will lose her sanity.”
There were seven arrows in Âsim’s quiver. He killed one polytheist with each arrow
he shot. When he ran out of arrows, he killed many of them with his spear. However, his
spear had become broken. He drew his sword immediately and broke its scabbard. (In
those times, it meant, “I will fight until I pass away and I will never surrender.”) Then he
invoked as follows, “O my Allah! I have protected Your religion up to now. I supplicate
You to protect my body at the end of this day.” The interjections of “Allahu akbar!” of
Âsim bin Thâbit and other Companions were resounding the mountains. Ten mujâhids
were fighting to the death against two hundred people and whoever approached them was
paying the penalty of the deeds they committed. At the end, Hadrat Âsim having been
wounded on both his legs, fell to the ground. Since the disbelievers deeply feared him too
much, they could not move close to him, even after he had collapsed, but they martyred
him by shooting arrows from a distance. That day, seven of those ten Companions that
were present there attained martyrdom and three of them were taken captive.
The sons of Lihyân wanted to cut off Âsim bin Sâbit’s blessed head, to sell it to
Sulâfa binti Sa’d. However, Allahu ta’âlâ accepted the prayer of Hadrat Âsim bin
Sâbit, He sent a drove of bees there. Like a cloud, they hovered over Âsim bin Sâbit.
The polytheists could not approach him. Finally, they said, “Let him alone, when it is
evening, the bees will disperse and we will cut off his head and take it away.”
In the evening, Allahu ta’âlâ made it rain heavily. The creeks flooded and carried
away the blessed body of Âsim bin Thâbit to an unknown place. They thoroughly
searched for him, however, they could not find him. Thus, the polytheists were unable to cut Hadrat Âsim bin Thâbit. When this incident was mentioned, Hadrat ’Umar said,
“Verily, Allahu ta’âlâ protects His believer slave. As Âsim bin Thâbit was protected in
his lifetime, Allahu ta’âlâ protected his body after his death and did not let the polytheists
damage him.” For this reason, whenever Âsim bin Thâbit was remembered, he
was referred to as “the person who was protected by bees.”222
The sons of Lihyân martyred seven sahâbîs, starting with Âsim bin Sâbit. They
captured three sahâbîs. The three captivated sahâbîs were Hubayb bin Adiy, Zayd
bin Dasinna and Abdullah bin Târik. The sons of Lihyân tied them with bow cords.
Among them, Abdullah bin Târik refused to be brought to Meccan polytheists. He
resisted. He shouted, “My martyred friends have been honored with Paradise.” He
broke the ties of his hands. However, the sons of Lihyân martyred him by stoning
him. Hadrat Hubayb bin Adiy and Hadrat Zayd bin Dasinna persevered, thinking they
might find an opportunity to perform the duty of reconnaissance, given by Rasûlullah.
The sons of Lihyân brought both of them to Mecca. The polytheists, whose relatives
had been killed in the Wars of Badr and Uhud, were burning with a desire for revenge and
they were looking for an opportunity. Hubayb was bought by the polytheist Hujayr bin Abî
İhâb-i Tamîmî, in order to take revenge for the killing of his brother in the War of Badr,
and Zayd bin Dasinna was bought by Safwân bin Umayya in order to take revenge for the
killing of his father Umayya bin Halaf, who had been also killed in the War of Badr. The
intention of the polytheists was to kill both of them. However, they were in the months
in which they regarded as being forbidden to make war. Therefore, they imprisoned them
and waited for the passing of time. They kept them separated. Both Companions showed
great patience, strength and dignity against this captivity.
Mâwiya, an emancipated female slave (who later became Muslim), who was present
in the house where Hubayb bin Adiy was kept, reported:
“Hubaby was imprisoned in a cell of the house in which I was present. I have not
seen any prisoner better than him. One day, I saw him eating grapes from a big bunch
of grapes. Everyday, he was seen with a bunch of grapes. In that season, in Mecca, it
was never possible to find any grapes. Allahu ta’âlâ gave him livelihood. He used to
perform ritual prayers and recited the Qur’ân-i karîm in the cell where he was imprisoned.
The women, who listened to the the Qur’ân-i karîm he recited, used to weep and
feel pity for him. Sometimes, when I asked him, “Do you want anything?” He used
to say, “Give me sweet water, do not bring me meat from the animals sacrificed for
the idols, and inform me beforehand, when they will kill me, I do not want anything
more.” When the day of his persecution was determined, I went and informed him.
When he learned this, he did not show any sorrow and there was no change in his
attitude. When that day approached, he said he would shave his body and requested a
razor. Therefore, I gave a razor to my child and sent him. When the child went to him,
I suddenly became afraid. I said, “This man will cut the child with the razor. He will
be killed in the end.” I ran to see the child. Taking the razor from the child, Hubayb made him sit on his lap to caress him.
When I saw that scene, I shouted out from my fear. When he noticed the situation, he
said, “Do you suppose, I will kill this child? There is nothing like that in our religion.
Killing a person undeservedly is not part of our behavior and glory.”
The day, on which the polytheists had agreed to kill Hubayb bin Adiyy and Zayd
bin Dasinna, arrived. That day, in the early morning, the polytheists unchained and
brought them to the place called Tamîm, out of Mecca. The people of Mecca and notables
of the polytheists had gathered to watch the execution. There was a large crowd.
The polytheists had set up two gallows where they would execute the captives.
While they wanted to raise Hubayb and tie him to the gallows, he said, “Leave me,
and let me perform a ritual prayer of two rak’ats.” They released him and said, “Perform
it there.” Hubayb started the ritual prayer immediately and performed it with
awe of Allahu ta’âlâ. The gathered polytheists, women and children watched him in
excitement. After he completed his prayer, he said, “I swear by Allahu ta’âlâ that if
you would not think that I extended the ritual prayer out of fear of death, I would extend
it and I would pray more.” Hadrat Hubayb bin Adiyy was the first person who
performed a ritual prayer of two rak’ats before his execution. When our Master,
the Prophet heard that he made a ritual prayer of two rak’ats at his execution, he found
this behavior appropriate.223 Thus, it became a sunnat for people who will be executed
to perform a ritual prayer of two rak’ats before being put to death.
After he performed his prayer, they lifted him up to the gallows tree and tied him.
They turned his face from the Qibla to Medina. Then, they said, “Now, abandon your
religion! If you do, we will set you free!” He replied, “I swear by Allah that I won’t!
Even if all the world is given to me, I will not give up Islam!” The polytheists, who received
this answer, said, “Do you want Muhammad to be in your place and to be killed
instead of you now? If you say yes, you will free yourself and stay at your home in
peace!” Hubayb said, “I can never consent to even a toe’s harm to Muhammad ’alaihis-
salâm’s foot!” The polytheists, making fun of him and together laughing, said, “O
Hubayb! Abandon Islam! If you do not, we will kill you absolutely!” Hubaby replied
to them, “As long as I am on the path of Allahu ta’âlâ, to be killed is not important
to me at all.”
After this, Hubayb prayed, “O my Allah! Here, I am not seeing any other face
than the foes’. O my Allah! Forward my greetings to your Messenger. Inform your
Messenger of what is done to us,” and said, “Assalâmu alayka yâ Rasûlullah.” While
Hubayb said this prayer, our beloved Prophet ’alaihis-salâm was sitting with his Companions.
He said, “Wa ’alaihis-salâm.” The Ashâb-i kirâm asked, “O Rasûlullah!
To whose greeting this is a reply to?” He answered, “It is a reply to the greeting
of your brother Hubayb. Jabrâil (’alaihis-salâm) has brought me the greeting of
Hubayb.”224 The Quraysh polytheists, gathered around Hubayb, had youngsters attack him with
spears by saying, “This is the man who killed your fathers,” and started wounding his
blessed body. At that moment, Hubayb’s face turned towards the Kâ’ba. The polytheist
turned him towards Medina. Hubayb prayed, “O my Allah! If I am a good slave in
Your sight, turn my face towards the Kâ’ba. His face again turned towards the Kâ’ba.
None of the polytheists could turn his face towards any other direction. At that moment,
Hubayb, recited a poem stating that he was being martyred, surrounded by the
foes. When the polytheists started tormenting him by thrusting spears into his body,
he said, “I swear by Allah that as long as I will be killed as a Muslim, I do not care on
which of my sides I will fall. All of these are on the path of Allahu ta’âlâ.”
After this, Hubayb pronounced maledictions over the polytheists, “O my Allahu
ta’âlâ! Perish all the Quraysh polytheists! Disperse their community! Take their lives
one by one; do not let them survive!” When the polytheists heard this malediction,
they became very afraid, some of them fled. Some of those who remained, started
spearing him. One of them thrust into him from his chest through to his back. While
blood was pouring from his body, still hanging from the gallows tree, he proclaimed,
“Ash-hadu anlâ ilâha illallâh wa ashadu anna Muhammadan abduhû wa rasûluh,” and
Hubayb became a martyr.225
The corpse of Hubayb bin Adiy hung from the gallows tree for forty days. However,
his body did not bruise and stink. His blood flowed continually. Hadrat Muhammad Prophet
sent Zubayr bin Awwâm and Mikdâd bin Aswad, from the Ashâb-i kirâm, to bring his
corpse. They secretly entered Mecca at night. Then they took down his body from the
gallows tree, put him on a camel and departed for Medina. When the polytheists received
the information, they started to gather. Both Companions put the corpse down
on the ground in order to protect themselves. After a while, they saw that the ground,
on which they put the corpse, had split, taken in the corpse and closed. They then
continued on the road to Medina.
They tied Zayd bin Dasinna to the gallows tree they prepared, too. They were trying
to force him to abandon his religion. However, they could not get anything, except
strengthening Zayd’s faith. Upon this, they shot arrows at him. In the end, Zayd was
martyred by Nistâs, the emancipated slave of Safwân bin Umayya.
Hadrat Âsim bin Thâbit, one of the prominent archers of the Holy War of Uhud,