Friend of the Quran

Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her), the wife of the Prophet, once said: “There are three persons among the Ansar whom no one could excel in virtue: Sad ibn Muadh, Usayd ibn Khudayr and Abbad ibn Bishr.”

Abbad bin Bishr fell in love with the Quran from the moment he first heard it being recited. Abbad heard the Qur’anic recitation from Mus’ab bin Umayr when he was just 15. The Quran entered Abbad’s heart never to leave it again.

He had an enchanting recitation and soon people started calling him the “friend of the Quran”.

One late night, the Prophet once stood up to perform the Tahajjud Prayer in Aishah’s house which was next to the masjid.

He heard a voice reciting the Quran, pure and sweet and as fresh as when the angel Jibril revealed the words to him.

He asked: “Aishah, is that the voice of Abbad ibn Bishr?”

“Yes, O Messenger of God,” replied Aishah.

“O Lord, forgive him,” prayed the Prophet out of love for him.

Once on the way back from an expedition, the Prophet SAW pitched camp in a valley. They wanted to stay for a night there. Muslims had settled down in the camps.

There was danger of enemy attack at night. The Prophet Peace Be on Him, asked: “Who will be our guard tonight?”

“We, O Messenger of God,” said Abbad ibn Bishr and Ammar ibn Yasir. Abbad and Ammar left for the mouth of the valley to take up duty.

Ammar seemed really tired. “What part of the night do you wish to sleep, the first or the second?”, asked Abbad. “I shall sleep during the first part,” said Ammar.

Ammar soon fell asleep near Abbad. The night was clear, calm and peaceful. The stars, the trees, and the rocks all seemed to be in prayer. Abbad enjoyed the calm silence.

Abbad wondered, “Why not spend the time in ibadah and reciting the Quran?” Abbad stood up and faced the Qiblah. He entered into the state of Prayer.

After Surah Faitha, he began reciting Surah al-Kahf in his sweet, captivating voice. Surah al-Kahf is a long Surah of 110 verses. He got absorbed in reciting and reflecting upon the Allah’s Words.

Some enemies were hiding and planned to attack the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). They aimed an arrow at Abbad while Abbad was unaware.

They shot an arrow at Abbad. And it didn’t miss. The arrow went right through the flesh. Abbad pulled out the arrow from his body and continued his recitation, still absorbed in his Salat.

The attacker shot a second and a third arrow both of which also found their mark. Abbad pulled out one and then the other. He finished his recitation, made ruku and then sujud.

Weak and in pain, he stretched out his right hand while still in prostration and shook his sleeping companion. Ammar awoke.

Abbad finished the Salah and then said: “Get up and stand guard in my place. I have been wounded.”

Ammar jumped up and began to yell. Hearing the noise, the attacker ran and escaped. Ammar turned to Abbad as he lay on the ground, blood flowing from his wounds. Ammar said, “Subhanallah (Glory be to God)! Why didn’t you wake me when you were hit by the first arrow?”

“I was in the midst of reciting verses of the Quran which filled my soul with awe and I did not want to cut short the recitation. The Prophet had commanded me to memorize this surah. Death would have been dearer to me than that the recitation of this surah should be interrupted.”, said Abbad.

Ammar soon fell asleep near Abbad. The night was clear, calm and peaceful. The stars, the trees, and the rocks all seemed to be in prayer. Abbad enjoyed the calm silence.

He survived the attack but was later martyred in the Battle of Yamama.

Abbad’s devotion to the Quran was a sign of his intense love for God, His Prophet and His religion. May Allah be Pleased with him.

The qualities he was known for were his continuous worship, his heroic courage and his generosity.

At times of sacrifice and difficulties, he would always be in the front line. But when it was time for receiving his share of rewards, he would only be found after much effort and difficulty. This showed his pure intention behind all his actions – to make Allah happy.

Written By:

Maha Nadeem Akhtar

Abbaad Ibn Bishr (may Allah be pleased with him) stands guard as the Muslim army takes a rest for the night. All is calm and quiet and Abbaad decides to offer Salah in the peaceful night. However, things take a turn when he is shot by an arrow in the middle of his prayers.

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