Abu Ruhm al-Ghifari (r.a.)

Hz. Abu Ruhm, who became a Muslim after the Prophet (pbuh) migrated to Madinah, was one of the notables of Ansar. He was among the fortunate people who were present in the Pledge of Ridwan, who vowed to be loyal to the Prophet and who received divine praise thanks to it. He belonged to the tribe of Ghifar. His real name was “Kulthum bin Husayn” but he became famous with the nickname “Abu Ruhm”.

Abu Ruhm, who made great self-sacrifices for his belief throughout his life, was appreciated and complimented by the Prophet several times. He was among the mujahids who acted perseveringly, repulsed the attack of the enemy during the Battle of Uhud and protected the Prophet (pbuh) and the dignity of Islam. During a hot moment of the battle, an arrow from the enemy hit him on the chest. He was wounded severely. They took him to the Prophet. The Prophet wiped his wound with his spit. Abu Ruhm recovered at once and continued to fight. After this incident, the Companions gave him the nickname “manhur” (the slaughtered one).

Abu Ruhm took part in the conquest of Khaybar too. The Prophet (pbuh) gave him two shares from the booty due to his heroism there. Abu Ruhm was also among the Companions who were near the Prophet during the Treaty of Hudaybiyya. The Prophet appointed Abu Ruhm as his deputy in Madinah during the umrah next year and during the Conquest of Makkah. Although he could not take part in the Conquest of Makkah, he attained a greater honor.    

Abu Ruhm was also present in the Islamic army in the Siege of Taif, which took place after the Battle of Hunayn. While returning from this expedition, Abu Ruhm was riding close to the Prophet. His camel got out of control and went too close to the camel of the Prophet. Meanwhile, Abu Ruhm’s tough boots wounded and hurt the leg of the Prophet.

Thereupon, the Prophet pushed Abu Ruhm’s feet lightly with his whip and said, "Take your shoes away!"

Abu Ruhm became very sorry and embarrassed since he had hurt the Prophet. He feared very much due to this involuntary careless act and felt worried that a verse would be revealed about him. They spent the night Jirana. Abu Ruhm was grazing the camels in the morning. He was still afraid. He was worried that the Prophet would call him and that what he feared would happen.

Abu Ruhm lay low. The Companions asked the Prophet about his foot. They found out that it was nothing serious. One of the Companions found Abu Ruhm and said that the Prophet called him. When Abu Ruhm heard this, his fear increased. He said, “By Allah, a verse was sent down.” He entered into the presence of the Prophet sadly, wondering about what kind of a threat and penalty he would confront.

When the Messenger of Allah, who was sent as mercy to all realms, saw that he was sad, he smiled. For, he was neither a king nor a ruler. He showed compassion and mercy to the people he ruled. When Abu Ruhm approached him, he said, "O Abu Ruhm! You hurt my leg with your foot, and I pushed and hurt your foot with my whip. Take this sheep in return for what I did."

Abu Ruhm, who received an unexpected grace and grant, became very happy and expressed his happiness as follows:  

“The Messenger of Allah’s being pleased with me and my attaining his consent is more valuable to me than the world and everything in it.”

During the preparations made for the Expedition of Tabuk, soldiers were recruited from all parts and the Prophet asked help from everyone for equipment. Meanwhile, the hypocrites were doing their best to dissuade the Muslims from jihad. The Prophet summoned Abu Ruhm and sent him to his tribe. Abu Ruhm went to his tribe and encouraged them to make jihad. He persuaded all men who could fight to join the expedition. The tribe of Ghifar sent the most soldiers for this expedition.

While returning from an expedition, Abu Ruhm was near the Prophet. The camel of the Prophet got ill. Thereupon, Abu Ruhm gave his mount to the Prophet and he preferred to walk. He attained the love of the Prophet due to his favor in that night journey in the dark.

There is no information about how long Abu Ruhm lived and where and when he died.

May Allah enable us to attain their intercession and May he be pleased with them! [1]

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[1]Usdul-Ghaba, 5: 197; Tabaqat, 4: 244-245.

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