The Al-Ambar Expedition
Nabi SAW sent an army of three hundred men towards the sea- shore, under the command of Hadhrat Abu Ubaidah in 8 A.H. He gave them a bag full of dates for their food. They had hardly been out for fifteen days when they ran short of food. In order to provide the Mujahideen with food, Hadhrat Qais
began buying three camels daily from his own men to feed them, with a promise to pay on return to Madinah. The Amir, seeing that the slaughter of camels would deprive the party of their only means of transport, prohibited him from doing so. He collected the dates that had been left with each person and stored them in a bag. He would give one date to each man as his daily share. When Hadhrat Jabir later on narrated this story to the people, one person from the audience inquired: "How did you manage to live upon one date only for the whole day?"
He replied: “When the whole stock was exhausted, we longed even for that one date. We were on the verge of starvation. We moistened the dry tree-leaves with water and ate them." When they reached this stage, Allah had mercy on them, for He always brings ease after every hardship, provided it is endured patiently. A big fish known as "Ambar" was thrown out of the sea for them. The fish was so big that they lived on it for eighteen days altogether.They also filled their bags with the remaining portion, which lasted them right up to Madinah. When the episode was narrated to Nabi SAW , he said: "The fish was a provision arranged for you by Allah ."
Difficulties and hardships are not uncommon in this world to the people of Allah ; these are bound to come. Nabi SAW says: "The worst trials in this world are reserved for Nabis, then for those who are next to them, and then for those who are best of the rest." The trial of a person depends on his position near Allah . He bestows solace and comfort by His Grace and Mercy after each trial. Look how much our ancestors in Islam have suffered in the path of Allah . They had to live on leaves of trees, starve and shed their blood in the service of the true Deen, which we now fail to preserve.