Arqam bin Abil-Arqam (r.a.)

A handful of Muslims used to listen to the luminous words coming from the blessed mouth of the Messenger of Allah in a largish room of a house in the foot of Safa Hill. Since oppression and pressure continued on those Muslims, the guards around the house would keep watch all the time. A few people used to come to this nice house almost every day and become believers by getting rid of the darkness of unbelief and faithlessness. Many great Companions became Muslims in that house.

Many Companions who were treated as enemies by their tribes and clans, mothers and fathers, even their children and wives could feel a bit relieved only when they arrived in this house; they would be given life with the luminous light of guidance shed by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). The radiant beams of Islam that enlightened hearts spread from this house in the first years of Islam. This modest house, which became a venue for eternal scenes, received blessed and lofty inspirations.     

The owner of this fortunate house was Arqam bin Abil-Arqam, who was known as “Abdullah bin Arqam”. Hz. Arqam’s family had great dignity and prestige in the Era of Jhailiyya. Therefore, the Makkan polytheists did not oppose very much when Muslims gathered there. Hz. Arqam was one of the first Muslims.

Arqam, who never hesitated to make any sacrifices in the first hard days of Islam, migrated to Madinah along with the Messenger of Allah and the other Companions. The Messenger of Allah established brotherhood between him and Abu Talha. And, he gave Arqam a piece of land in the district called Banu Zurayq so that he will live there in peace. Hz. Arqam lived there after that. [1]

Along with being self-sacrificing, Hz. Arqam was also very brave. He took part in all of the battles when he was alive including Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and Khaybar. He fulfilled perfectly the duty of collecting zakah given to him by the Prophet.

Abdullah bin Arqam was a very pious man. He spent his time worshipping. Hz. Umar said, “I have not seen any person who feared Allah more than Arqam did.” [2]

Once, he asked permission from the Messenger of Allah to go to Masjid al-Aqsa. His intention was to visit that blessed place of prophets and to worship there. The Messenger of Allah said to him, 

“To perform one prayer in Masjid al-Haram is more virtuous than one thousand prayers in other mosques.”

Thereupon, Arqam gave up the idea of going there.

Arqam did everything for Allah’s sake; he did not expect anything for the things he did. Hz. Uthman appointed him to manage the Treasury for a while. He sent Arqam 300 dirhams for this duty. Arqam rejected it by saying, “I worked for Allah’s sake; I cannot accept this money.” [3]

Abdullah bin Arqam had a long life and died in 53 H, when he was 83 years old. Marwan bin Hakam was the governor of Madinah when he died. He got ready to lead his janazah prayer but Arqam’s said his father wanted Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas to lead his janazah prayer and called Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas. Sa’d fulfilled this duty gladly. Arqam’s dead body was buried in Baqi Cemetery.

Hz. Arqam’s blessed house, which was the place where the sun of Islam spread from, was inherited by his children; they kept this spiritual heritage and did not sell it. The Muslims who went to hajj used to see this blessed house when they made sa’y between Safa and Marwa until 140 H; their belief and enthusiasm increased when they remembered the historical incidents that took place there.

Mansur, the Caliph, bought this house from the inheritors and it was transferred to the state. When it was repaired during the caliphate of Mahdi, its original form was distorted. Thus, this blessed house was not transferred to the generations after that.   

In Islam, respect is not shown to a building made of stones and soil but that blessed house was valuable and deserved respect because it reminded people of the Prophet (pbuh) and Muslims who gathered there and who put up with so much trouble and pain for Islam.

May Allah show mercy on Abdullah bin Arqam, who was the owner of that blessed house!
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[1]Tabaqat, 3: 124.
[2]Usdul-Ghaba, 3: 116.
[3]Isaba, 2: 274.

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