14 Nov Ubada bin Samit (r.a.)
One of the notables of Ansar, who showed the greatest hospitality of human history to the Prophet and the distinguished group of people and who were his friends in his cause, is Ubada bin Samit (r.a.).
Hz. Ubada was among the Muslims of Madinah who were present in the First and Second Pledges of Aqaba, which took place before the Migration and who promised that they would be together with the Prophet in any case, that they would sacrifice their lives for him and they would prevent him from all kinds of danger. He was one of the 12 people who talked the Prophet personally by representing more than 70 people in the Second Pledge of Aqaba. Ubada bin Samit was also among the distinguished people who vowed that they would never oppose the orders of the Prophet and that they would obey him unconditionally in the Pledge of Ridwan, which was one of the unique incidents of the Era of Bliss.
When the muhajirs arrived in Madinah, the Prophet established brotherhood between them and the Muslims of Madinah. He made Hz. Ubada brother of Abu Mursad, who was one of the first Muslims. Ansar made their muhajir brothers their partners in their fields and orchards. They worked in the fields of Ansar and had half of the crops as partners. This cooperation continued until the conquest of Khaybar. When Khaybar was conquered, the Muslims obtained ample land and there was no need for partnership.
Hz. Ubada became a Muslim when he was 35 years old. The Prophet appointed him as a teacher for the students of Ashab as-Suffa since he could read and write. Masjid an-Nabawi, the house of the Prophet and the school of Ashab as-Suffa were close to one another. All of them were built at the same time. The Prophet dealt with the issues of all Muslims in the mosque and he took care of all of the issues, from the food to the education, of about 100 students in the adjacent school.
Once, somebody from Ashab as-Suffa whom Hz. Ubada taught how to read and write and the Quran gave him a bow as a present. He asked the Prophet about it. The Prophet said it would not be permissible for him to accept that present.
In the first years of Islam accepting money for teaching the Quran was not regarded appropriate since there were a lot of people who taught the Quran; however, when the number of the people who carried out the religious duties in the centuries that followed decreased, mujtahids regarded it permissible to accept money for teaching the Quran.
Ubada bin Samit took part in all of the battles with the Prophet. The duty of driving Qaynuqa Jews away from Madinah was given to Hz. Ubada.
Hz. Ubada was a shrewd and talented person. During his caliphate, Hz. Abu Bakr sent Hashim bin As and Ubada bin Samit as envoys to Heraclius, the Byzantine king. After they visited Damascus and had a long journey, they arrived in Istanbul. They approached the palace of the king, with their swords hanging around their necks. The people of Istanbul watched them in surprise and with admiration. They saw that the palace was shaken like a date tree when the visitors dismounted their animals by shouting, “Lailaha illallahu wallahu akbar! (There is no god but Allah; Allah is the greatest!)”
They went into the presence of the king. The king asked them several questions about the Prophet and Islam:
“What is your greatest word?”
“Lailaha illallahu wallahu akbar.”
“When you utter this in your hometown, do your houses not shake and your floors not collapse on you?”
“No, we have never seen it do something like that. We saw it here with you. It is nothing but advice for us.”
“If my soul liked it to leave my land, I would be subject to you and want to be a slave of yours.”
After this confession, the king sent the envoys to their homeland with valuable presents.
When Amr bin As asked for help during the conquest of Egypt, Hz. Umar said to him, “I am sending you four people. Each of them is equivalent to one thousand people.” One of them was Ubada bin Samit. Hz. Ubada, who worked as the governor of Palestine afterwards, spent the rest of life in the region of Damascus.
Hz. Ubada was among the scholars of the Companions. He had very good knowledge of hadith and fiqh. When he stayed in Damascus, he taught people hadith and fiqh. He worked hard to make that region a place of knowledge. He narrated more than 80 hadiths.
One of the hadiths narrated by him is as follows:
Once, I was ill. The Prophet (pbuh) came to visit me with some people from Ansar. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) mentioned martyrs, he asked, “Do you know who are martyrs?” Everybody kept silent. The Messenger of Allah repeated the question three times. The people there still kept silent. I told my wife to make me sit up. She lifted me. I answered as follows:
“A martyr is a person who became a Muslim, migrated and died in the way of Allah.”
Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah said,
“In that case, the number of the martyrs of my ummah would be very small. A person who dies in the way of Allah is a martyr. Those who are drowned in the sea are martyrs. Those who die of tummy ache are martyrs. A woman who dies in the puerperum period is a martyr.”
Hz. Ubada bin Samit died in Ramla, which is near Damascus, in the 34th year of the Migration when he was 72 years old. He was buried there.
May Allah be pleased with him!