Bara bin Azib (r.a.)

Hz. Bara was from Madinah. His father was a Muslim too. He became a Muslim at a young age. He learned the Quran from Mus'ab bin Umayr and Ibn Umm Maktum, whom the Prophet had sent to the people of Madinah to teach Islam. When the Prophet Muhammad migrated, he had memorized several chapters of the Quran. He was among those who welcomed the Messenger of Allah and cheered when he arrived in Madinah during the Migration. He stated the following regarding the enthusiastic welcoming and cheering of the people of Madinah when the Prophet arrived: "I have not seen the people of Madinah rejoice so much for anything before."

Hz. Bara never wanted to leave the Prophet; he always wanted to be with him. He regarded listening to the talk of the Messenger of Allah as "the greatest success in life". Therefore, he learned so many things from the Messenger of Allah. He shed light on Muslims through the hadiths that he narrated. Today we learn many historical incidents from his narrations. For example, we learn about the Migration, the changing of the qiblah from Jerusalem to the Kaaba and the important stages of the battles of Uhud and Hunayn from his narrations.

Bara (R.A.) was a heroic mujahid of the Islamic cause. Despite his young age, he joined the army preparing for the Battle of Badr with a few friends of his. However, the Messenger of Allah stopped the army on the way and inspected it. He sent him and a few people who were young back. Hz. Bara was very upset because of this. Nevertheless, he participated in all of the wars with the Prophet beginning from the Battle of Uhud. He fought heroically in those battles and wars. He narrates a memory of his as follows:

"There was a well in Hudaybiyya. When we arrived there, we extracted all of the water from the well. There was no water left. When the Messenger of Allah was informed about it, he came beside the well and sat. Then he wanted a container with some water in it. He made wudu and gargled with the water that was brought. Then, he prayed and poured the water into the well. We left the well as it was for a while upon the order of the Messenger of Allah. Then, as much water as we wanted accumulated in the well. We and our animals used that water." [1]

Hz. The Bara had a separate place in the eye of the Prophet. He loved Bara very much. He sometimes gave Bara advice. Once he gave him the following advice:

"Make wudu when you go to bed; Lie on your right side and pray as follows: 'O Allah! I surrendered to you. I referred my work to you. I rely on you because I love you and I fear you. I take refuge only in you. My salvation depends on you. I believed in the Book and the Prophet that you sent.' If you do so and die that night, you will die as a Muslim. Let them be your last words." [2]

Bara was adherent to the Sunnah very much like the other Companions. He based all of his deeds on the Sunnah. Once, he met someone. He shook his hand and smiled. Then, he asked, "Do you know why I smile?" When the man said that he did not know, he explained the reason for this as follows:

"One day, I met the Messenger of Allah. He held my hand with his blessed hand; then smiled. He asked me why he had smiled. I gave the same answer as you have just given. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "If two Muslims shake hands when they meet, praise Allah ask for forgiveness, Allah will forgive them." [3]

When Bara performed a prayer, he gave great importance to the straightness and order of the ranks and often mentioned the virtue of it. He explained why he did so as follows:

"When we stood up for a prayer, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) would touch our chests with his hands straighten the ranks and say: 'Do not let your ranks be irregular. Otherwise, this disorder will enter your hearts! '"[4]

Bara wanted his children to act in accordance with the Sunnah as he himself did. He sometimes gathered his children and taught hadith to them. His son Yazid, who narrated many hadiths from him, narrates a memory about it as follows:

"One day, my father gathered us. He said, ‘Come here. I will teach you how the Messenger of Allah made wudu. For, I do not know how much I will be with you after this.’" [5]

Hz. Bara was among the scholars of the Companions. The Muslims asked him about the issues they could not understand. Bara knew not only the explanation of hadiths but also tafsir and fiqh. On one occasion, the verse that meant, "make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction" was in question. One of the people who were there asked, "Does a person who attacks polytheists not contribute to his destruction?" Bara gave him the following answer:

"No, because Allah Almighty orders us to fight in His way. For this reason, we are supposed to make jihad in the way of Allah. What is meant by destruction (danger) in the verse is to accumulate money and not to spend it in the way of Allah. "

Bara was extremely humble. He avoided answering the things that he did not know well; he could easily say, "I do not know." Or, he would refer the question to someone he believed to be more knowledgeable than him.

Once, he was asked a question. He referred the question to Zayd bin Arqam. He said, "Ask Zayd because he is better than me and he knows this issue better than me."

Hz. Bara (R.A.) narrated 305 hadiths from the Prophet. Some of them are as follows:

"The Prophet (pbuh) ordered us to do seven things and forbade seven things. He ordered us to (1) join the funeral and to go to the grave, (2) visit ill people, (3) accept invitations, (4)  help a person who is wronged, (5) act in accordance with a vow, (6) answer greetings, (7) say, 'yarhamukallah' to anyone who sneezes and says 'alhamdulillah'.

He forbade us to (1) use silverware, (2) wear golden rings, (3) wear silk, (4) wear atlas, (5) wear clothes having twisted silk, (6) wear thick silk, (7) lie in silk bed.” [6]

“Allah shows mercy on those who fill the first rank in prayer; angels pray for them. There is no step closer to Allah than the step taken to fill the ranks in prayer.” [7]

We participated in the funeral of one of Ansar with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). We arrived at the cemetery when the dead body was about to be buried. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) sat down. We too sat down quietly and calmly as if we there was a bird on our heads. The Prophet (pbuh) drew something on the ground with a stick in his hand. He raised his head. He said, "I take refuge in Allah from the torture of grave" two or three times. Then, he said,

"When a believer is placed in the grave, two angels come as soon as his friends leave and when their footsteps are still heard. They make him sit and the following conversation takes place between them:

"Who is your Lord?"

"My Lord is Allah."

"What is your religion?"

"My religion is Islam."

"Who is the person sent by Allah to call you to the right path?"

"He is the Messenger of Allah."

"How did you learn this?"

"I read the Book of Allah and I believed in him; and I accepted his righteousness."

"This is the meaning of the verse of Allah: ‘Allah will establish in strength those who believe, with the Word that stands firm, in this world and in the Hereafter.’" (Ibrahim, 27)

"Then a voice will come from the sky: 'My slave has told the truth. Place him in a place that deserves Paradise. Dress him in clothes of Paradise. Open a door that overlooks Paradise for him!"

"If the person who dies is an unbeliever or a hypocrite, his soul is returned to his body when he is placed in the grave. Two angels come, make him sit and the following conversation takes place between them:

"Who is your Lord?"

"I do not know."

"What is your religion?"

"I do not know."

"Who is the person sent by Allah to call you to the right path?"

"I do not know."

"Then a voice will come from the sky: 'He has lied. Prepare for him a place that deserves Hell. Dress him in clothes of Hell. Open a door that overlooks Hell for him! '

"Then comes the heat of the fire of Hell and the scorching wind. His grave is narrowed until his ribs are interlocked. Then a blind and dumb angel of Hell is sent to him. This angel has a mallet made of iron; it could break a mountain into pieces. The angel blows him so badly with the mallet that all beings in the east, in the west, and all around the world except human beings and jinn hear it. And that person is transformed into dust. Then his soul is returned to his body. [The torture goes on and on]. "[8]


[1]Musnad, 4: 283, 284, 290, 304; Tabaqat, 4: 366-367.
[2]Muslim, Dhikr: 56; Musnad, 4: 285.
[3]Abu Dawud, Adab: 142; Musnad, 4: 303.
[4]Musnad, 4: 285.
[5]Musnad, 4: 288.
[6]Bukhari, Janaiz: 2; Muslim, Libas: 3.
[7]Abu Dawud, Salat: 45.
[8]Muslim, Jannah: 71.

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