Abbad ibn Bishr RA - Friend of Al Quran
Abbad ibn Bishr RA (Arabic: عباد بن بشر) (c.606–632) was a companion of Rasulullah SAW. He was known for his devotion to worship, knowledge and courage in battle.
On the way back, Rasulullah SAW pitched camp in a valley for a night. As soon as the Muslims had settled their camel mounts, Rasulullah SAW, asked: "Who will be our guard tonight?" "We, O Messenger of Allah," said Abbad ibn Bishr RA and Amar ibn Yasser RA both of whom had been paired off as 'brothers' by Rasulullah SAW when he arrived in Madinah after the Hijrah
Abbad ibn Bishr RA and Amar bin Yasser RA left for the mouth of the valley to take up duty. Abbad ibn Bishr RA saw that his "brother" was tired and asked him: "What part of the night do you wish to sleep, the first or the second?" "I shall sleep during the first part," said Amar ibn Yasser RA who was soon fast asleep quite close to Abbad ibn Bishr RA.
The night was clear, calm and peaceful. The stars, the trees, and the rocks all appeared to celebrate in silence the praises of their lord. Abbad ibn Bishr RA felt serene. There was no movement, no threatening sign. Why not spend the time in ibadah (worship) and reciting the Quran? How delightful it would be to combine the performance of Salah with the measured recitation of the Quran which he so much enjoyed.
In fact Abbad ibn Bishr RA was enthralled by the Quran from the moment he first heard it being recited by the mellow and beautiful voice of Musab ibn Umayr RA. That was before the Hijrah when Abbad ibn Bishr RA was just about fifteen years old. The Quran had found a special place in his heart and day and night thereafter he would be heard repeating the glorious words of Allah so much so that he became known among Rasulullah SAW companions as the "friend of the Quran".
Late at night, Rasulullah SAW once stood up to perform the Tahajjud Prayer in Aisyah’s house which adjoined the masjid. Rasulullah SAW heard a voice reciting the Quran, pure and sweet and as fresh as when the angel Jibril revealed the words to him. Rasulullah SAW asked: "Aisyah, is that the voice of Abbad ibn Bishr?' "Yes, O Messenger of Allah," replied Aisyah. "O Lord, forgive him," prayed Rasulullah SAW out of love for him.
Abbad ibn Bishr RA was enthralled by the Qur'an after first hearing it recited by Musab ibn Umayr RA before the hijrah when Abbad ibn Bishr RA was about fifteen years old. The Qur'an had a special place in his heart, and he became renowned for his recitation so much so that he was known among the companions as the friend of the Qur'an. Rasulullah SAW wife Aisyah bint Abi Bakr RA once said: "There are three persons among the Ansar whom no one could excel in virtue: Sad ibn Muadh RA, Usayd ibn Khudayr RA, and Abbad ibn Bishr RA."
In 625 (4 years after Hijrah), Rasulullah SAW received news that the Najd tribes were planning to attack Madinah. In preemption, Rasulullah SAW he assembled a detachment of over four hundred men including Abbad ibn Bishr RA. Arriving at Najd, they found the men of the tribes had fled to the hills. When the time of Salatul Asr came, Rasulullah SAW feared an ambush so Abbad ibn Bishr RA arranged the Muslims in ranks and divided them into two groups and performed salat ul-Kha wf (the Prayer of Fear). Seeing their disciplined ranks, the hostile tribesmen became uneasy. After Rasulullah SAW made his presence known, he felt a conflict was unnecessary and decided to depart. On the way back to Medina, the Muslims pitched camp in a valley for a night. The responsibility of guarding the camp was assumed by Abbad ibn Bishr RA and Amar bin Yasser RA, whom Rasulullah SAW had paired as brothers following his arrival in Madinah.
After reaching the mouth of the valley, Abbad ibn Bishr RA noticed that his brother was tired and volunteered to keep watch for the first half of the night and allow him to rest. Since there appeared to be no imposing threats, Abbad ibn Bishr RA stood up for prayer. While absorbed in recitation, a stranger stalked the outskirts of the valley in search of Rasulullah SAW and his followers. He was among those who had planned to attack Rasulullah SAW but fled into the mountains.
From a distance, the man saw the figure of Abbad ibn Bishr RA and knew the Muslim force must be inside the valley. Silently he drew his bow, and fired an arrow which embedded itself in Abbad's flesh. Calmly, Abbad ibn Bishr RA removed the arrow and went on with his recitation, still absorbed in his Salat. The attacker shot two more arrows, which also found their mark. Abbad ibn Bishr RA pulled them out and finished his recitation. Weak and in pain, Abbad ibn Bishr RA stretched out his hand while still in prostration and shook his sleeping companion. Abbad ibn Bishr RA continued the prayer to its end and then said: "Get up and stand guard in my place. I have been wounded."
Amar ibn Yasser RA stood up, and seeing them both, the attacker fled into the darkness. Amar ibn Yasser RA turned to Abbad ibn Bishr RA, blood flowing from his wounds, and he asked "Why didn't you wake me when you were hit by the first arrow?"
Abbad ibn Bishr RA replied "I was reciting verses of the Qur'an which filled my soul with awe and I did not want to cut short the recitation. Rasulullah SAW had commanded me to commit this surah to memory. Death would have been dearer to me than that the recitation of this surah should be interrupted."
Abbad ibn Bishr RA was killed fighting the forces of Musailamah at the battle of Yamamah in 632. Before the battle, he observed the lack of mutual confidence between the Muhajirin and Ansar, realized the campaign would fail unless they were separately regimented, and distinguished those who bore their responsibility and were steadfast in combat. When the battle commenced, Abbad ibn Bishr RA stood on a mound and shouted:
"O Ansar, distinguish yourselves among men. Destroy your scabbards. And do not forsake Islam."
Abbad ibn Bishr RA gathered about four hundred men from the Ansar and launched an offensive into the enemy ranks, forcing their retreat to the garden of death, where Abbad ibn Bishr RA was mortally wounded. Although the battle was a victory for the Muslims, twelve hundreds of their forces were killed. So numerous were Abbad’s wounds, that he was hardly recognizable. Although he passed at a young age, Abbad ibn Bishr RA contributed much to the strength of the early Muslim community, and his life and martyrdom continue to inspire followers of Islam the world over.
At the walls of this garden, Abbad ibn Bishr RA fell. So numerous were his wounds, he was hardly recognizable. He had lived, fought and died as a believer.
Hadiths Attributed to Abbad Ibn Bishr RA.