Anas bin Malik (r.a.)

Madinah was getting ready to welcome its master. Everybody, young and old alike, was in the streets. There was a wave of joy and excitement that had never been seen before. A group of people were waiting for their guest outside the city. The children were running around happily and the old people were talking in excitement. Everybody was waiting for the beloved guest to come from Makkah. When the Prophet (pbuh) was seen in the horizon, a few children ran to the city to give the good news. One of those children was Anas, a lovely boy who was eight or nine years old.  

The mother of Anas became a Muslim in the first Pledge of Aqaba. Her husband, Malik died before the Migration. Abu Talha, who was one of the rich people of Madinah and who was not a Muslim yet, wanted to marry this woman called “Umm Sulaym”. She said she would not accept his offer unless he became a Muslim. Abu Talha accepted this condition and became a Muslim; then, he married the mother of Anas. Thus, Anas became a bit happy to have a father. After a while, his family sent Anas to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) to serve him.   

Thus, this togetherness lasted until the Messenger of Allah died. Hz. Anas served the Messenger of Allah until the death of the Messenger of Allah. He became a loyal confidant of the Messenger of Allah. He narrates an incident regarding the issue as follows:   

“I was playing with some children. The Messenger of Allah came along and greeted us. Then, he sent me somewhere to do something. He sat and waited in the shade of a wall. I returned and informed him about the result. Then, I went home. My mother asked me why I was late. I told her that the Messenger of Allah sent me somewhere to do something. She asked me what I did. I told her that it was a secret and could not tell her. She liked this deed of mine and said, ‘O my son! Continue keeping the secrets of the Messenger of Allah!’” [1]

Hz. Anas liked the Messenger of Allah very much and felt peaceful and pleased when he served the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). He got up before everybody else in the morning, went to the mosque and served the Messenger of Allah. If the Messenger of Allah intended to fast, he would prepare suhur food and perform the morning prayer with him after suhur. Besides, Hz. Anas performed the morning prayers with the Messenger of Allah every day after starting to serve him. 

The Messenger of Allah liked this lovely boy who served him and prayed for him and treated him something all the time. Once, Umm Sulaym, his mother, asked the Messenger of Allah to pray for Anas so that he would have a lot of wealth and children. The Prophet prayed for him as follows: “O Al­lah! Increase his wealth and children! Give abundance to what You give him.” It is clearly seen in the life of Anas that this prayer was accepted. Hz. Anas, who had a long life, buried about 100 children and grandchildren of his when he was alive.

The Prophet loved Anas very much and gave him advice from time to time. Once, he addressed him as follows:

“O my son! Try to live without having any bad thoughts about anyone in your heart. My son! This is my Sunnah. He who practices my Sunnah loves me; he who loves me is with me in Paradise.” [2]

On another day, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to him, “O my son! When you enter your house, greet. It will be abundance (blessing) for you and your household.” [3]

Hz. Anas, who knew the Sunnah very well since he was together with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) for many years, practiced the sunnah in the best way. He imitated the Messenger of Allah in everything he did. He narrated the following from the Prophet: “It is more thirst-quenching, healthier and more wholesome to drink water with three breaths.” He expressed his loyalty to the Sunnah by saying, “I also breathe three times when I drink water.” [4]

Hz. Anas narrates that he served the Prophet for 10 years and that the Prophet never said to him “Why did you do it like this?” for something that he did and “Why did you not do it?” for something that he did not do. [5]

Hz. Anas took part in all wars with the Messenger of Allah. When he took part in the Battle of Badr, he was only 12 years old.

Hz. Anas, who did not leave the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) even for a moment when he was alive, fulfilled important duties in the period of Four Caliphs too. He was appointed to collect zakah in the region of Bahrayn during the caliphate of Hz. Abu Bakr and fulfilled this duty perfectly. He became specialized in fiqh during the caliphate of Hz. Umar. He settled in Basra and taught the students that gathered around him. He was also a member of the consultation committee of Hz. Umar.

He did not join the mischief that were caused and incited by the munafiqs during the caliphate of Hz. Uthman and Hz. Ali and he tried to keep people away from them. He spent his time learning and teaching. He educated hundreds of students among which there were caliphs. His own children also attended his lessons. They also became respectable scholars.

Although Anas was very rich, he led a plain and ascetic life. He did not like luxury and worldly possessions. He spent his wealth on the poor people and especially students. He performed prayers very carefully and in awe; when people asked how the Messenger of Allah performed prayers, the prayer of Anas was shown as a model. 

One of his distinguished characteristics was his honesty and his braveness in the face of oppression and injustice. He never hesitated to tell the truth in the presence of the oppressors. As a matter of fact, Hajjaj, the famous oppressor, avoided oppressing him because he knew this characteristic of Anas; Hajjaj even attended his lessons to please him. 

Hz. Anas, who was one of the notable scholars among the Companions, narrated 2 thousand and 286 hadiths; thus, he was honored to be “the third Companion that narrated the most hadiths”. Some of those hadiths are as follows:

“He who does not show compassion to the young ones and respect to the elderly is not one of us.” [6]

“If a young person shows respect to an old person, Allah will create people that will show respect to him.” [7]

“When I was taken up to heaven (in Miraj), I passed by people who had nails of copper and were scratching their faces and their breasts. I said, ‘O Jibril! Who are these people?’ He replied, ‘They are those who were given to backbiting and who aspersed people's honor.” [8]

“Whoever makes the Hereafter his goal, Allah makes his heart rich, and organizes his affairs, and the world comes to him whether he wants it or not. And whoever makes the world his goal by forgetting the hereafter, Allah puts his poverty right before his eyes, disorganizes his affairs, and the world does not come to him, except what has been decreed for him.” [9]

“When Allah wants good for his slave, He hastens his punishment in the world. And when He wants bad for His slave, He withholds his sins from him until he appears before Him on the Day of Judgement.” [10]

“None of you should wish to die due to a misfortune that hits him. Those who are forced to feel like wishing to die should pray as follows: ‘O Lord! Let us live as long as life is good for us. Remove our souls if life is not good for us.’” [11]

Hz. Anas was a well-known scholar in fiqh. He made ijtihads on fiqh issues based on the ilm he established and answered difficult questions.   

Hz. Anas, who was given the nickname “Khadim an-Nabawi [the Servant of the Prophet]”, went to more than 100 towns. He told the Muslims what he saw and heard from the Prophet. He died in Basra in 93 H, when he was more than 100 years old. Thus, he became the last Companion who died there.

May Allah be pleased with him!

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[1]Muslim, Fadailus-Sahaba: 145.
[2]Tirmidhi, Adab: 63.
[3]Tirmidhi, Isti’dhan: 10.
[4]Muslim, Eşribe: 123.
[5]Muslim, Fadail: 132.
[6]Tirmidhi, Birr: 15.
[7]ibid, Birr: 75.
[8]Abu Dawud, Adab: 135.
[9]Tirmidhi, Sifatul-Qiyamah: 30.
[10]Tirmidhi, Zuhd: 57.
[11]Musnad, 3: 101.

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