14 Nov Jabir bin Abdullah (r.a.)
The preparations for the Battle of Uhud increased day by day. On the one hand, the Muslims were completing the preparations for the provisions under the supervision of the Prophet (pbuh); on the other hand, they exercised fighting with the sword and throwing arrows. In the meantime, the young and brave Muslims who could use a sword applied to the Prophet (pbuh) and asked for permission to join the battle.
A young man who was suffering from the agony and sadness of not being able to participate in the Battle of Badr also applied to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) to participate in the battle. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) told him he could join the war if he went and got permission from his father. This young man, who went to his father in a slightly sad and excited way, was Jabir bin Abdullah, who paid allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in the Second Pledge of Aqaba with his father at a young age.
Hz. Jabir’s father, Abdullah bin Amr, answered his son’s request as follows:
“My dear child! If there were anyone else to look after and protect your seven sisters, I would like to see you being martyred in front of my eyes at Uhud.” [ Musnad, 3: 395. ]
Jabir’s father could not see his son as a martyr at Uhud, but he was martyred in the same battle by fighting heroically.
After his father’s death, Jabir, who took over the leadership of the family, became a Muslim at a young age and was praised by the Prophet (pbuh) several times due to his distinguished qualities. The Messenger of Allah often visited him in his house and ate dinner with him.
Jabir inherited a lot of debt from his father. The creditors were Jews and they constantly asked their money from Jabir. Abdullah bin Amr left only a small amount of money; Jabir had a small date palm orchard; it was impossible for the income from this orchard to pay for the debt of his father in several years.
Jabir, who was in a very difficult situation, went to the Prophet with the hope of finding a solution. He said,
“O Messenger of Allah! My father was martyred at Uhud. He left a large amount of debt. The creditors constantly ask the money from me. Help me so that some of the debt is postponed to next year.”
The Prophet accepted Jabir’s offer. The next day, Jabir began preparations. The Messenger of Allah was going to visit his house. He said to his wife, “The Messenger of Allah is going to come to us; do not disturb him!”
The next morning the Prophet went to Jabir’s house. Jabir slaughtered a sheep. The Prophet, Hz. Abu Bakar and some Companions were at Jabir’s house. Later, the Prophet told Jabir to call the creditors. When Jabir’s wife saw the Prophet, she said from behind the curtain, “O Messenger of Allah! Pray to Allah for me and my husband.” The Prophet said, “May Allah forgive you and your husband!”
What happened after that is described as follows in the book called “Mektûbat”:
“Jabir offered the creditors all his father’s possessions but they did not accept them. The fruit produced by his orchard over many years would have been insufficient to defray the debt. The Noble Messenger (pbuh) said: “Pick and gather in all the fruit in the orchard!” They did so; then the Noble Messenger (pbuh) walked around the crop and prayed. Then Jabir gave from the amount corresponding to his father’s debt. What was left was as much as the annual produce of the orchard. And according to another narration, it was equal to the amount he gave the creditors. The Jews were amazed and astounded at this.”[ Mektûbat, p. 108; Musnad, 3: 373. ]
Hz. When Jabir heard later that his wife asked the Prophet to pray for them, he said to her, “Did I not tell you not to disturb the Prophet?” His wife said, “How can it be possible for me not ask the Prophet to pray for us when he comes to our house? We got rid of our debt thanks to the help of the Messenger of Allah.”
Jabir, who always felt the sorrow of not being able to fight in the Battle of Badr and Uhud, took part in all of the battles after the death of his father; he participated in 19 battles together with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).
After his father was killed at Uhud, Hz. Jabir married a widow. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was informed about this marriage, he asked Jabir, “Did you marry a virgin or a widow?” Jabir said,
“O Messenger of Allah! You know that I have seven sisters. I wanted to marry an experienced woman who would take care of them, comb their hair, nourish and raise them. Therefore, I chose a widow.”
The Prophet liked this behavior of Jabir, who could have married any girl she wanted with his handsomeness and heroism. He said, “O Jabir! You did the right thing.” [ Bukhari, 2: 580. ] Suhayma bint Mas’ud, whom Jabir married, served Islam a lot afterwards. [ Musnad, 3: 334. ]
Hz. Jabir, who was one of the notables of Ansar, lived about two kilometers away from Madinah but participated in all daily prayers led by the Prophet in the mosque. The tribe of Sons of Salama, to which Jabir belonged, wanted to settle in an empty place near Masjid an-Nabawi but when the Messenger of Allah heard this, he said, “O Sons of Salama! Do not leave your homeland so that your thawabs will be abundant.” [ Muslim, Masajid: 281. ]
During the Battle of Khandaq, the Muslims experienced the most troubled days. On the one hand, the Muslims were digging trenches and on the other hand, they faced the danger of starvation. The incident reported by Jabir is a clear example of the hardships and sufferings of the Muslims in this battle.
The Companions who were busy with digging trenches came across with a piece of rock but they could not move it. The Messenger of Allah told them to sprinkle some water on the rock; then, he took the sledgehammer and hit the rock with it three times; the rock broke into pieces. Hz. Jabir says, “When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was breaking the rock, I noticed that he had tied a stone on his stomach to suppress his hunger.” [ Musnad, 3: 303 ]
On one of those days of distress and suffering, there was some barley and a kid in Jabir’s house. He talked to his wife and decided to treat them to the Messenger of Allah and a few Companions with him. Besides, they did not have enough food for more Companions. Jabir went to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and said, “I have some food. I invite you and a few people to my house.” The Messenger of Allah said, “All right. Tell your wife not to take the food from the stove and not to remove the bread from the oven before I come.”
After a while, Hz. Jabir left the place of Khandaq and returned home. Meanwhile, the Prophet put his two hands around his mouth and shouted so that all Ansar and Muhajirs would hear: “O people of Khandaq! Jabir has prepared a meal for us and invited us. Let us go.”
Hundreds of Companions who were trying to suppress their hunger by the stones they had tied on their stomachs proceeded to Jabir’s house. The Companions filled Jabir’s house and the area near his house in groups. In the meantime, Hz. Jabir looked at the food that was cooked and the number of the people that came to his house and did not know what to do due to his astonishment. He could not help saying, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun.”
Then, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) arrived and ordered them to put the food in the middle. He started to distribute it to the people. He took some bread, put some cooked meat on it, and handed it over to each of the Companions who were in line. Although hundreds of Companions filled their stomachs, the meal, which had been prepared only for a few people, did not run out. After everybody ate, the Messenger of Allah also ate some. And there was still some bread and meat left. Hz. Jabir said,
“About a thousand men ate from that barley, which was about one sa’ (about three kilos) and the meat of the kid. Then, they left. There was still some meat in the saucepan and bread in the oven. For, the Messenger of Allah prayed for that bread and meat with his blessed mouth.“ [ Musnad, 3: 337; Mektûbat, p. 103. ]
Jabir, who received such compliments from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) several times, learned knowledge from the Messenger of Allah first, and from Hz. Abu Bakr, Hz. Umar, Hz. Ali, Abu Ubayda and Talha after him. He conveyed what he learned to others and taught them very generously; along with more than 500 hadiths that he narrated, he trained many valuable students who became scholars such as Imam Baqir, Muhammad bin Munkadir, Said bin Mina and Asim bin Umar bin Qatada.
He had a long lifespan. He acted very compassionately and mercifully toward all Muslims. He supported Hz. Ali related to the conflict between Hz. Ali and Muawiya but he did not support anybody in the conflicts that occurred after that. When conflicts between the Muslims were mentioned, he would report the following hadith:
“People entered into the religion of Allah in communities. They will come out again in communities in the future. ”[ Musnad, 3: 343. ]
Toward the end of his life, he became very sad and got very weak due to the persecutions and inflictions by the governors of Hajjaj. He died at the age of 94 in 74 H. Thousands of Muslims including Hajjaj participated in his janazah prayer. May God Almighty not deprive us of the intercession Hz. Jabir, who caused the Muslims to come together both when he was alive and when he died!