14 Nov Shayba bin Uthman (r.a.)
Shayba was yearning for revenge. His father, Uthman bin Abi Talha, his most beloved being, was killed at the Battle of Uhud by the Muslims. The killer was one of the close relatives of the Messenger of Allah.
Shayba was doing his best to take his father’s revenge. He made some plans and looked for some tricks. His greed could only be soothed if the Messenger of Allah was killed. He decided to do it. He felt the uneasiness of not being able to do anything at the Battle of Uhud.
During the Battle of Hunayn, the Muslims were undergoing hard times. Shayba, who was looking for somebody eagerly, found Safwan at last. Safwan’s father, Umayya, had also been killed at the Battle of Badr. They came together and made a plan. According to their plan, they were going to attack the Prophet if the Muslims were defeated at the battle.
The battle was very fierce. Shayba repeatedly said, “I will take my revenge from Muhammad today.” He was also watching the Messenger of Allah and looking for an opportunity to kill him. When he saw that the Messenger of Allah dismounted from his mule, he drew his sword out of the sheath and advanced toward the Prophet. When he saw Hz. Abbas, he gave up. Then, he wanted to approach the Prophet from the left side. He saw Abu Sufyan bin Harith, the Prophet’s cousin. He was looking for an opportunity. When he saw the Messenger of Allah alone, he approached from behind quietly. He was just about to give the blow of his sword to the Prophet when a fierce flame like lightning appeared. He feared that the fire would burn him and could not do anything.
Shayba narrated what happened there as follows:
“I ambushed to kill the Messenger of Allah. I lifted my sword; just as I was going to hit him, something came toward me. It covered my heart and could not use my sword. I realized that it was impossible to kill him.”
The Messenger of Allah turned toward him, smiled and said, ‘Oh Shayba! Come near to me.“
Shayba, who dared to kill the Messenger of Allah a minute ago, was shivering from fear now. His heart was pounding with fear; he felt too weak to walk. Then, he pulled himself together and approached the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet put his blessed hand on Shayba’s chest and prayed as follows: “O Allah! Please do save Shaybah from the evil of Satan!”
With this prayer, the feelings of polytheism and revenge in Shayba’s heart were replaced by the light of guidance. The polytheistic Shayba was replaced by the faithful Shayba.
Hz. Shayba (r.a.) describes that happy moment, which was a milestone in his life for his eternal bliss as follows:
“By Allah, when the Messenger of Allah put his hand on my chest, there was nobody more beloved than him to me in the world.”
The Messenger of Allah caused such sudden revolutions sometimes by a glance, sometimes by a smile and sometimes by a touch; he transformed soil into gold and coal into diamond.
Since Shayba became a believer, he was to fight against the polytheists. The Messenger of Allah said, “O Shayba! Fight against the unbelievers!” Hz. Shayba went forward with his sword and plunged into the tribe of Hawazin, for whom he had fought. He was fighting with such enthusiasm and excitement that nobody could stop him. From then on, he was fighting in order to protect the Messenger of Allah.
Hz. Shayba describes that moment as follows:
“I was fighting in front of the Messenger of Allah with my sword. By Allah, I wanted to protect him by sacrificing my soul. If my father had been alive and come in front of me I would have killed him with my sword as well.”
What a belief it was! It gave Shayba such a feeling that he wanted to kill his polytheistic father, after being a believer, for the Messenger of Allah, whom he had wanted to kill for revenge a little while ago.
To attain the love of the Prophet was something that Shayba would not trade for the world. The terrible greed of revenge in him was transformed into love of serving Islam. He felt sorry whenever he remembered his situation in the Era of Ignorance and asked the Messenger of Allah to pray for him: “O Messenger of Allah! Ask for forgiveness from Allah for me.” The Messenger of Allah prayed for him and gave him the following glad tiding: “Islam eliminates the previous mistakes and sins of a person when he becomes a Muslim.”
Hz. Shayba was later known as “Hajib al-Kaaba” because he was given the keys to the Kaaba. He became the guard of the Kaaba. He was assigned this holy duty by the Prophet.
His mother was the sister of Hz. Mus’ab bin Umayr, the great Companion. Hz. Mus’ab served Islam until he died; similarly, Shayba served Islam and struggled in the way of Islam until he died in the 59th year of the Migration, following the path of his maternal uncle.
One of the hadiths narrated by him is as follows:
The Messenger of Allah said,
“When one of you enters a room, he should sit in an empty seat or place; if there is not an empty place, he should look for an appropriate place (without disturbing others).”
May Allah’s mercy be upon him!