Both Allah SWT and Rasulullah SAW reciprocated the companions love and devotion.
"… God is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever." (Quran 9:100)
Rasulullah SAW said, "The best of my nation is my generation then those who follow them and then those who follow them."
Story about Rasulullah SAW passing near the ruins of Thamud during the Tabuk expedition
Story about Rasulullah SAW passing near the ruins of Thamud during the Tabuk expedition.
The Tabuk expedition is one of the major campaigns of Nabi SAW and the last one in which he personally took part. When he received the news that the Caesar (of Rome) had gathered a large force to crush the power of Islam and was on his way (through Syria) to invade Madinah, he decided to lead the Sahabah to check him on his way.
Location of Tabuk North West of Arabian Peninsula.
On Thursday, the 5th Rajab, 9 A.H., the devoted jamaat of Sahaabah marched out of Madinah.
Ruin of Thalmud
As the weather was hot and the fighting was expected to be very tough, Nabi SAW made an open declaration that the Muslims should gather in strength and prepare fully to face the forces of the Roman Empire. He also encouraged them to contribute towards the equipment of the expedition. It was on this occasion that Hadhrat Abu Bakr contributed all his belongings. When he was questioned by Nabi SAW as to what he had left for his family, he replied: "I have left Allah and His Rasul for them."
Hadhrat Umar ra contributed half his belongings and Hadhrat 'Uthman ra provided for the equipment of one-third of the whole army. Although, everyone contributed beyond his means, the equipment fell far short of the requirements. Only one camel was available for each group of ten persons, who were to ride it in turn. This is why this campaign is known as "The campaign of hardship." The journey was long and the weather hot and dry. The orchards were laden with ripe dates (the staple crop of Madinah) and it was just the time for harvesting, when all of a sudden the Sahabah were required to start on this campaign. It was really an acid test of their Iman.
The Ruin of Thalmud
They visualized the long and arduous journey, the scorching heat, the formidable enemy opposed to them and, to top all, the prospective loss of the year's crop, but they could not even dream of evading the call to arms, and that solely on account of the deep-rooted fear of Allah in their hearts. Except the women, children (who were excusable), those who were ordered to stay behind by Nabi SAW himself and the munafiqin, nearly everybody joined the expedition. Also among those left behind were such persons who could neither arrange conveyance for themselves, nor was Nabi SAW able to provide them with any. It is about such people that Allah says in his Book:
"They turned back with eyes flowing with tears in sorrow that they could not find means to spend." (IX: 92)
Of the true believers, those who stayed behind without any excuse whatsoever were three in number. Their story would be presently related. On their way to Syria, when the expedition reached the habitation of Thamud, Nabi SAW covered his face with his shirt and quickened the pace of his camel. He also instructed the Sahabah to do the same, since that was the scene of Thamud's destruction. They were advised to pass there weeping and fearing lest Allah should punish them as he had punished the Thamud.
The dearest and the most beloved Nabi of Allah and his privileged companions pass by the ruins of the punished people in fear and tears, lest they meet the same fate. On the other hand today, if any place is struck with an earthquake, it becomes a place of sightseeing for us and, if we come across any ruins, our eyes remain dry and our hearts unaffected.