The Youth Around Nabi SAW

Whenever an army of Mujahideen moved out from Madinah for battle, Nabi SAW inspected them at some distance outside the town to ensure that nothing was short in men and equipment. It was here that, he usually returned all those young boys,back to Madinah Munawwarah, who had come out with the army in their wish to fight for Islam.

Rafe' and Samurah

While setting out for Uhud, Nabi SAW carried out an inspection just outside Madinah Munawwarah. He ordered the young boys to go back. Among them were Abdullah bin 'Umar, Zaid bin Thabit, Usamah bin Zaid, Zaid bin Arqam, Bara bin Azib, Amr bin Hazam, Usaid bin Zubair, 'Urabah bin Aus, Abu Sa'eed Khudri, Samurah bin Jundub and Rafe' bin Khudaij . All of them had just entered their teens.

Khudaij said to Nabi SAW: "O Nabi of Allah! My son Rafe’ is a very good archer."

Rafe' RA stood on his toes to show himself to be taller than he actually was. Nabi SAW permitted him to stay on. When Samurah bin Jundub learnt about this, he complained to his stepfather Murrah bin Sanan saying: "Nabi SAW has allowed Rafe' RA and rejected me. I am sure to beat him in a wrestling contest and therefore, I am more deserving of Nabi's SAW favour."
This was reported to Nabi SAW who allowed Samurah to prove his claim by wrestling with Rafe'. Samurah did actually beat Rafe' in the fight and he too was permitted to join the army. A few more boys made similar efforts to stay on and some of them were given permission. Meanwhile it became dark. Nabi SAW made necessary arrangements for the guarding of the camp during the night,and then asked: "Now, who is going to guard my tent during the night?"

A person (standing at his place): "I, O Nabi of Allah!"
Nabi SAW: "What is your name?"
The person: "Zakwaan."
Nabi SAW: "All right. You take your seat."
He again inquired: "Who else is volunteering to guard my tent for tonight?"
A voice: "I, O Nabi of Allah!"
Nabi SAW, "Who are you?"
A voice: "Abu Saba' (father of Saba')."
Nabi SAW : "All right. Sit down."
He enquired for the third time: "Who will be the third man to guard my tent, tonight?"
Again a voice came from the crowd: ”I, O Nabi of Allah!"
Nabi SAW: "Your name?"
The voice: "Ibn Abdul Qais (son of Abdul Qais)."
Nabi SAW: "All right. You also sit down."
Then Nabi SAW asked all the three volunteers to come to him.
Only one person came forward. "Where are your other two friends?"

The Person: "O Nabi of Allah! It was I who stood up all three times."Nabi SAW blessed him with his Duas and allowed him to guard his tent. He kept watching the tent all night long. Just look! How eager the Sahabah were to face death for the sake of Allah SWT and His Nabi SAW. 

The children and adults, young and old, men and women, all had the same feeling of sacrifice and love. Rafe bin Khudaij RA had offered to fight in Badr too, but he was not permitted. However, he was allowed to fight for the first time in Uhud. Since then, he had been participating in almost all the battled. In Uhud, the enemy's arrow struck him in his chest. When it was taken out, a small piece remained inside his body. This caused a wound, which finally caused his death in his old age.

Other Riwayat of Khudaij RA
Rafe’ bin Khudaij  RA stood on his tip toes and puffed out his chest to give the impression he was much taller and bigger than he really was. His devotion to the Prophet SallAllahu alahi wasallam was so great at such a tender age, and his mission to fight for the Muslim army against the Qureysh at the Battle of Uhud filled with the zeal of sacrifice. Many of his peers were fuelled with the same intoxicating devotion, but had been refused to partake in this expedition by Rasulullah SallAllahu alahi wasallam due to their young age. Rafe’s father had insisted that he was an exceptional archer, and it was this quality which the Prophet SallAllahu alahi wasallam accepted him. However Samurah bin Jundud RadhiAllahu anhu, another Ansari youth, when he heard that his friend Rafe’ has been honoured with a place in this historic army, asked his step father Murrah bin Sanan RadhiAllahu anhu to explain that Samurah RadhiAllahu anhu possessed extraordinary wrestling skills which could easily defeat Rafe’ RadhiAllahu anhu. So the Prophet SallAllahu alahi wasallam staged a match between them, where Samurah RadhiAllahu anhu did prove his strength and so was permitted to be part of the army.

The seeds of Iman and Islam were deeply sown in the children of the Sahabah RadhiAllahu anhum. How their love for the Prophet SallAllahu alahi wasallam knew no bounds, and their spirit of dedication such an inspiration to our young ones today. Their fearless attitude to enter into battle with the reality of knowing the possible consequences of being wounded or attaining martyrdom was no impediment to their passion for all that the Prophet SallAllahu alahi wasallam epitomized in his teachings. Their Akhirah was vivid in their sight, and the honour of following their beloved Rasul SallAllahu alahi wasallam their motivation. SubahanAllah.
Masjid Sheikan or also known as Masjid wrestling.
Masjid Sheikhain today marks this memorable time and place. Also known as the Masjid of Wrestling, the Masjid of the Shield and the Masjid of Badaai’e as according to one narration Umm Salman RadhiAllahu anha came to give food to Rasulullah SallAllahu alahi wasallam at the time. The explanation for calling this the Mosque of the Two Sheikhs is that two elderly men lived in tall houses so close together that they could both stand at their respective windows conversing with each other. And Allah knows best.

Masjid Sheikhain (pink mark) is to the north of Masjid Nabawi and approximately half way to the battle ground (green mark)at the foot of Mount Uhud. The Prophet SallAllahu alahi wasallam inspected the troops and the equipment here and finalized the strategy for the encounter with the enemy.

Bilal RadhiAllahu anhu called Adhan for Maghrib soon after they arrived, and according to most narrations they stayed for Esha, departing in the early morning darkness in order not to draw attention to the Makkans of their position.Rasulullah SallAllahu alahi wasallam called for volunteers to guard his tent during the night. From among the crowd a voice replied offering him self for such a noble deed. Rasulullah SallAllahu alahi wasallam then called for a second volunteer to relieve the first, when a voice was heard giving his name, and then for a third time, Rasulullah SallAllahu alahi wasallam asked for another, with a reply from the eager Sahabah RadhiAllahu anhum. Then Rasulullah SallAllahu alahi wasallam requested that the three volunteers come forward to give them his instructions, but only one person identified himself. When he was asked where the other two were this Sahabah Dhakwan bin ‘Abd Qais RadhiAllahu anhu announced that it was he who called out each time! How eager they were to face whatever adversaries may befall them for the sake of Allah Ta’ala and His Habib SallAllahu alahi wasallam.

May their love for Rasulullah SallAllahu alahi wasallam grow day by day as we all take on the responsibility of bringing the stories that have been instrumental in fashioning the illustrious legacy of the Sahabah RadhiAllahu anahum into their heart and hence a reality in their lives. Ameen.
Those who believe and do good deeds are the best of creation. Their reward is with their Lord: Gardens of everlasting bliss graced with flowing streams, Allah is pleased with them and they with Him. All this is for those who stand in awe of their Lord. (98: 7-8)
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. Ameen.