14 Nov Said bin Zayd (r.a.)
The stars of the Prophet in sky of the guidance were appearing one by one. As each star appeared, the darkness of the ignorance started to disappear and the world got brighter. The luminous horizon that will bring happiness to man was becoming more and more distinct. One of the stars in the horizon was Hz. Said.
Hz. Said was a very active young man aged only 19 or 20. When he heard the divine call of the Prophet, he went to the presence of the Prophet with his wife without any hesitation and they became Muslims. The young couple became happy individuals of the true religion. They were the 12the and 13th Muslims. [ Usdul-Ghaba, 2: 306-307. ]
His family had a big role in Hz. Said’s accepting Islam. His family was away from the customs of ignorance. His father, Zayd, was a very good man and he believed in the existence and oneness of Allah. He had the belief of oneness before the Prophet started to receive revelation. He was not a polytheist. He stated that he followed the religion of Hz. Ibrahim and said, “My deity is Ibrahim’s Allah and my religion is Ibrahim’s religion.
Zayd, had searched and found the religion called “Hanif”, which was the belief of oneness then, and of which Hz. Ibrahim was a member. He went to Damascus for it. He met a Jewish scholar there. He wanted to accept the religion of Judaism but he said, “If you accept our religion, you will draw the wrath of Allah.” Then, he said, “Accept the religion of Hanif, which is different from Christianity and Judaism and which is the religion of Ibrahim worshipping only Allah, if you can find it.” When he heard the same things from a Christian scholar, Zayd declared that he had accepted the creed of oneness by saying, “O Lord! Witness that I have accepted the religion of Ibrahim (pbuh).” [ Bukhari, Badu’l-Khalq: 149. ] One of those scholars said to Zayd, “The religion you are looking for here will emerge in your country.” Zayd returned to Makkah and started to live in accordance with his belief.
Once, Qurayshis organized a feast. The Prophet was invited to the feast but he did not eat the food served there. Zayd did not eat, either. He said,
“I do not eat the meat of the animals you slaughter by the name of your idols. I will only eat those slaughtered by the name of Allah. Allah created sheep. He sent rain from the sky. He produced grass out of the ground. And you slaughter this animal by the name of other deities.”
These words made the polytheists very angry. The polytheists who could not put up with the insults to their idols and who regarded it as the most unforgivable sin started to torture Zayd. The leader of those who tortured him was his uncle Khattab. He provoked young people and sent them to Zayd to beat him. He did not allow Zayd to enter Makkah. He would enter Makkah secretly at night. Zayd, who struggled for his belief on his own, died a short time before Hz. Muhammad started to receive revelation.
When the Prophet was asked about the state of Zayd, he said,
“He will be resurrected as a single ummah on the Day of Judgment. He worshipped in the Era of Ignorance. He followed the religion of Hz. Ibrahim and he accepted Allah as one.”
Upon the question of Hz. Umar and Said bin Zayd, the Prophet said they could pray for him. [ Usdul-Ghaba, 2: 307. ]
Hz. Said bin Zayd was the son of such a father. Hz. Said continued the struggle that he carried out alone together with the Prophet. He was a relative of the Prophet. Ka’b was an ancestor of both the Prophet and Hz. Said bin Zayd. He was also a cousin of Hz. Umar and his brother-in-law.
Hz. Said and his wife became Muslims before Hz. Umar. They had a big effect on Hz. Umar’s being a Muslim. Acting upon the decision made by the polytheists, Umar set off in order to kill the Prophet. On the way, he found out that his sister and brother-in-law had accepted the religion of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh). Umar got furious and wanted to kill them first. He knocked on their door. Meanwhile, he heard a spiritual voice that he had never heard before. When the door opened, he shouted,
“What were you reading?”
Hz. Said, who was very excited, said,
“Nothing. We were just talking to each other loudly.” However, Umar realized what was happening and knocked him down. He started to hit and kick him. He also slapped his sister Fatima, who ran to save her husband. She was in blood. Hz. Fatima could not bear it any longer, stood up and shouted:
“O Umar! Do whatever you can. My husband and I have become Muslims. We believe in Allah and His Messenger. We are not going to quit our religion.”
When Umar saw the brave reaction of his sister, he showed mercy and asked them to give him what they were reading. Hz. Khabbab, who was hiding behind the curtain, came out and gave him the pages of the Quran they were reading.
Hz. Umar could read and write. When he read the first verses of the chapter of Taha, he felt that his heart was softening. Then, he went to the Prophet and became a Muslim. [ Usdul-Ghaba, 4: 54. ]
Hz. Said was an unmatched believer who did not leave the Prophet even for a moment. He worked for Islam during its most troubled and hard period fearlessly and without feeling tired. He was one of the first Companions who migrated to Madinah with his wife after the migration of the Prophet. The Prophet made him brothers with Hz. Ubayy bin Ka’b from Ansar.
Hz. Said was near the Prophet in all battles except the Battle of Badr. Before the Battle of Badr, the Prophet had appointed him and Hz. Talha for reconnaissance. They were given the duty of checking the movements of the polytheists. When they returned to Madinah, they found out that the Muslims had won the Battle of Badr. They felt sorry that they could not take part in the battle but the Prophet accepted as if they had fought in the battle and gave their shares from the booty fully. [ Usdul-Ghaba, 2: 307. ]
In the battles that followed, they fought heroically together with the Prophet.
Hz. Said, who heard the glad tiding of eternal bliss from the tongue of the Prophet, spent his luminous and long life in the struggle for belief. He was so close to the Prophet that he was always around him like a moth. Said bin Jubayr expresses this closeness as follows:
“Abu Bakir, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Talha, Zubayr, Sa’d, Abdurrahman bin Awf and Said bin Zayd used to fight in front of the Messenger of Allah during the battle and pray behind him during the prayers.” [ Usdul-Ghaba, 2: 308. ]
They always showed that they were loyal friends of the Prophet in all phases of their lives.
After the death of the Messenger of Allah, Hz. Said, formed the most important link of the caravan of the Islamic service. He showed great effort in the selection of the caliphs. He exerted great efforts in order to prevent disagreement and conflicts. When he placed Hz Umar, who was the symbol of justice, in the grave next to the Prophet, he was shedding tears.
When somebody asked, “O Aba Awar! Why are you crying?”, Hz. Said he was crying for his cause:
“I am crying for Islam. The martyrdom of Hz. Umar is a gap opened in Islam. This gap is not going to be closed until the Day of Judgment.” [ Tabaqat, 3: 372. ] Thus, he expressed the unique place of Hz. Umar in the history of Islam.
Hz. Said had a great role in the Victory of Yarmuk and the Conquest of Damascus during the caliphate of Hz. Umar. Hz. Said was the commander of a military unit when they encountered the Byzantine army in the Valley of Yarmuk. The Byzantine army suddenly attacked the left wing of the Islamic army. It looked as if the Byzantine army would defeat them. Hz. Said was among the commanders that preserved their places and persevered. He jumped off his horse and said,
“Solemnity and recklessness make man attain honor in the world and mercy in the hereafter. We should try to attain both.”
The mujahids were excited by his speech and played an important role in the Victory of Yarmuk. Their commander fought at the front and kneeled down when he was tired. The enemy panicked when Hz. Said killed the Byzantine commander. Making use of this panic, Hz. Said, attacked the center. Soon, the river behind them was full of the dead bodies of the enemy soldiers.[ Asr-ı Saadet, 4: 281. ]
After the Conquest of Damascus, Hz. Abu Ubayda, the commander of the army offered Hz. Said to become the governor of Damascus. Preferring serving to holding a post, Hz. Said wanted to make jihad; he said,
“O Abu Ubayda! I want to make jihad in the way of Allah. Give the post of governorship to another brother that you find appropriate.”
Hz. Said served in the Islamic army of conquest for a long time. He played an important role in making the region of Iraq and Syria become parts of the Islamic land. Then, he travelled around these regions, and taught and trained people. He tried to prevent the gossips against Hz. Uthman and Hz. Ali. Mughira bin Shuba was the governor of Kufa. Once, Mughira was sitting in the biggest mosque of Kufa and people had gathered around him.
Meanwhile, Hz. Said entered the mosque. The governor welcomed him with respect and made him sit next to him. Then, a man from Kufa entered the mosque and started to utter ugly words. Hz. Said could not realize what was happening and asked the governor,
“O Mughira! Against whom is this man talking?” Mughira said,
“Against Hz. Ali.” When Hz. Said heard it, he became very sad and said to the governor,
“O Mughira! The Companion of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is insulted and condemned in your presence but you do not prevent him; you keep silent!” Hz. Said kept on speaking:
“I will report you a hadith that I heard from the Messenger of Allah with my own ears. The Messenger of Allah said, “Abu Bakr is in Paradise; Umar is in Paradise; Uthman is in Paradise; Ali is in Paradise; Talha is in Paradise; Zubayr is in Paradise; Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas is in Paradise.” If it was necessary to mention the ninth one, I would mention him, too.“
The next day, people gathered around Hz. Said and insisted on learning the name of the person he did not mention by vowing. Hz. Said could not put up with their insistence and said,
“Since you have vowed by the name of Allah, I will tell you: I am the ninth one.”
Then, he said,
“It would be better for any of you to live with the Messenger of Allah and make his face dusty in jihad than all of the good deeds he would do if he lived as long as Noah.” [ Musnad, 1: 187. ]
Hz. Said bin Zayd spent the last years of his long life in Aqiq near Madinah. He was engaged in agriculture there.
Once, a woman called “Awra binti Uways”, whose land was next to his land, went to Marwan bin Hakam, the governor of Madinah and complained about him. She said,
“Said bin Zayd occupied some of my land. Take it from him and give it to me.”
The governor sent a few people to investigate the issue. Hz. Said was in his land in Aqiq. The delegation mentioned him about the complaint. Said, whose place in Paradise was definite when he was alive, realized that he was wronged. He said to them,
“Let me report you something that I heard from the Prophet: The Messenger of Allah said, ‘If a person seizes a land that does not belong to him, that land will be wrapped around his neck on the Day of Judgment even if he is under the seventh floor of the earth. A person who dies for his property is regarded as a martyr.’”
Then, Hz. Said vowed that he did not violate the land of the woman. Then, he raised his hands and prayed as follows:
“O Allah! If this woman is lying, blind her eyes before she dies and make her well a grave for her!”
Allah Almighty heard the cry of the oppressed and accepted his prayer. The woman who slandered him became blind after a while. Then, she fell into the well in her garden while she was wandering around her house. The well became her grave. [ Hilyatu’l-Awliya, 1: 96-97. ]
Hz. Said, who was mentioned by respect and mercy by the believers due to his exemplary life and his unbreakable connection with the Sunnah of the Prophet and who was a man of Paradise, died in the 51st year of the Migration at the age of 80. His dead body was washed by Hz. Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas. His janazah prayer was led by Hz. Abdullah bin Umar. [ Tabaqat, 3: 385. ]
May Allah be pleased with him!