Abdullah bin Dhulbijadayn (r.a.)

When the Messenger of Allah announced the truths of the Quran with a universal sound, he also cleansed the deep-rooted wrong customs and beliefs of the Era of Jahiliyyah.  There was no such great revolution in the history of humanity. When the Prophet infused the new belief into the veins of the people of Jahiliyyah, who were stubbornly adherent to their customs, beliefs and traditions, he also acted in accordance with the divine order “be on the right path”. 

When the polytheists and deniers, who moved away from their nature and who built their individual and social life on animal characteristics rather than human essence, opposed severely the news brought by the Prophet (pbuh) and tried to kill, destroy, torture and punish him repeatedly, he did not act contrarily to the principles of the Quran. The attitude of the Prophet (pbuh) toward paganism, as well as all superstitious beliefs, necessitated elimination of idols, which were the symbolic expression of denial and polytheism. The people of Jahiliyyah regarded idols as holy and worshipped them as a signs of the superstitions in them.

The meaning of many of the polytheists’ name meant “Lat’s slave,” “Uzza’s slave” The Prophet (pbuh) changed all of these names, which reminded unbelief and polytheism, given as a bad custom of Jahiliyyah.

Abdullah Dhulbijadayn was one of the people whose name the Prophet (pbuh) changed because it reminded the beliefs of the Era of Jahiliyyah and meant "being a servant to idols". Before becoming a Muslim, the name of this esteemed student of the School of Suffa was Abduluzza, which meant the slave of the idol “Uzza”. When he became a Muslim, the Messenger of Allah changed his name by saying, "No, you are not Abduluzza; you are Abdullah." [1]

Abdullah Dhulbijadayn was an orphan. He lived with his paternal uncle. His uncle took care of him very well. One day, when he heard that Abdullah was a Muslim, he got very angry. He called Abdullah and said to him, "I have heard that you started to follow Muhammad. If you do not give up, I will take back all of the things including your clothes that I have given you up to now." Hz. Abdullah did not care his threat.  He replied recklessly, "Yes, Uncle. I am a Muslim!"

Thereupon, his uncle took back everything he had given to him including the clothes he was wearing and sent him to his mother. His mother gave him a thick garment. Abdullah was going to the Messenger of Allah when this garment was torn into two on the way. He wrapped one part of the garment around his waist covering his legs and he put the other part around his back. He entered into the presence of the Messenger of Allah like that. He told the Prophet about what had happened. This sacrifice of his moved the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah complimented him and gave him the nickname "Dhulbijadayn", which means "the owner of two garments". After that, Hz. Abdullah was called with this nickname.

After becoming a Muslim, Hz. Abdullah wanted to stay with the Messenger of Allah all the time and did not want to leave him even for a minute. After staying with the Messenger of Allah, he would read the Quran, pray and worship day and night. On some days, he went to the door of the Messenger of Allah, sat there glorifying Allah and uttering takbir. Hz. Umar went to the Messenger of Allah and asked if this deed was hypocrisy. The Prophet said, "O Umar! Leave him. He is one of those who pray to Allah and beg Him with a sincere heart.”[2]

Hz. Abdullah joined the Expedition of Tabuk with the Messenger of Allah. He fought heroically. Eventually, he was martyred. The Prophet, Hz. Abu Bakr and Hz. Umar worked to dig his grave and to bury him. After putting his dead body in the grave, the Prophet prayed as follows: "O Allah! I am pleased with him; You be pleased with him too."

The Prophet felt sorry due to his death. The Companions who saw this said, "O Messenger of Allah! You felt sorry due to Abdullah's death." The Prophet said, "Yes, because he loved Allah and His Messenger."

Ibn Mas'ud who was there said, "I became a Muslim five years before him. I swear I would very much like to be in his place! "[3]

May Allah be pleased with them!

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[1]Usdul-Ghaba, 3: 123.
[2]Usdul-Ghaba, 3: 122.
[3]Sirah, 4: 171-172.

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