Hudhayfa bin Yaman (r.a.)

He was the confidant of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). The Messenger of Allah told him all secrets about munafiqs. Hudhayfa bin Yaman said, “The Messenger of Allah told me everything that happened and that will happen up to the Day of Judgment.” Therefore, when somebody died, Hz. Umar would follow Hudhayfa. If he did not see Hz. Hudhayfa among the congregation, he would not perform the janazah prayer of that person. It was enough as evidence for Hz. Umar when Hudhayfa did not perform the janazah prayer of a person. Hz. Umar would ask him to give information about munafiqs. Once Umar asked Hudhayfa if there were any munafiqs among his governors. Hudhayfah told him that there was one but declined to say the name. Umar found out about that person later and dismissed him. [1]

A group of Companions among whom Hz. Umar was present and who wanted to serve Islam very much was praying to Allah to give them the opportunity to serve Islam. Everybody asked something different from Allah to serve Islam. Some of them asked for gold, some wanted orchards and land while others prayed to Allah for more valuable things. However, Hz. Umar’s prayer was different from all of them. He said, “I ask from Allah mujahids like Abu Ubayda, Muadh bin Jabal and Hudhayfa bin Yaman so that I will have helpers when I serve in the way of Allah.” Yes, Hz. Umar, the brave Companion, wanted to have heroes who did not hesitate to sacrifice their wealth and lives for the sake of their belief. Were they not the people who served anyway? [2]

The great Companion’s father, who was known with the nickname “Yaman”, was Hisl bin Jabir. He could not take part in the Battle of Uhud since he was very old. The Messenger of Allah wanted him to stay in Madinah and to look after the women and children. The news of defeat that came from the Battle of Uhud disturbed his spirit. He wished he had taken part in the battle and caused great distress to the enemy. He said, “We will die tomorrow if not today; it is better to be a martyr in the battlefield than to die here.” It offended him to sit at home while his son, Hudhayfa, was making jihad in order to elevate Allah’s word. He girded his sword and joined the mujahids. He was going to fight together with his son. In a hot moment of the battle, he went to the ranks of the polytheists by mistake. He did not know the watchword. The Muslims could not recognize him and attacked him. Hudhayfa saw the danger and wanted to say, “Stop! He is my father!” but it was too late. His father was martyred.

What was Hz. Hudhayfa to do in that case? His beloved father was martyred by his friends. Hudhayfa probably showed the greatest example of self-sacrifice. He turned toward the Companions and said,  

“Allah is the Merciful and the Compassionate. May He forgive you for your mistake!”

Showing such an example of self-sacrifice, Hudhayfa wanted the blood money determined by the Messenger of Allah to be distributed to the Muslims as sadaqah.

Hz. Hudhayfa undertook the most important duties in wars. During the Battle of Khandaq, he was given to duty find out about the state of the army of the polytheists.

There was utter darkness. The wind was cold and freezing. There were only 10 people with the Prophet. The others had gone home. One of those 10 people was Hudhayfa. He narrates the incident as follows:

“After spending some part of the night praying, the Messenger of Allah turned toward us. He said, ‘Can anyone go to observe what the polytheists are doing and return to us? I will ask Allah to make him my companion in Paradise.’ Nobody answered. None of us could stand because of fear, hunger and severe cold. We kept silent. The Messenger of Allah approached me. I had no shield that could protect me from the enemy nor any garments that could protect me from cold. When the Messenger of Allah came next to me, I sat and crouched due to embarrassment. The Messenger of Allah pointed at me and asked, ‘Who is he?’ I said, ‘I am Hudhayfa.’ He asked, ‘Did you not hear me? Why did you not stand up?’ I said, ‘By Him who sent you with the truth, I could not answer because of hunger and cold.’ “[3]

The Messenger of Allah gave me the following order:

"Go and observe what the polytheists are doing. Do not shoot an arrow or stone, nor pierce with a spear, nor strike with a sword until you return to me."

The Prophet (pbuh) gave him a guarantee. Nothing would harm him. There would be no risk of hunger, cold or being killed. Hudhayfa took his sword and bow, and set off. There was nothing to worry about. After a long adventure, he entered into the place where the polytheists were and brought the information he gathered to the Messenger of Allah. He told the Messenger of Allah that hunger and cold affected them too and that almost all of them had left except for a few people around Abu Sufyan. The Prophet complimented him.

Hz. Hudhayfa fought heroically in all of the battles that he participated. He proved with that heroic service that he would be a companion of the Messenger of Allah in Paradise. When Nu’man bin Muqarrin was martyred in the Battle of Nihavand, he took the standard. He conquered important places like Hamadan, Rey and Dinor.

The thing that Hz. Hudhayfa feared the most in life was fitnah (mischief). He took refuge in Allah from mischief and disorder as he took refuge from Satan. According to him, fitnah meant to be so imprudent as not to distinguish between what is right and wrong. He stated that fitnah, which confused the minds of Muslims and which turned their spiritual lives upside down, would be more prevalent at the end of time and asked them to be alert and careful about it.

Once, he said,

“Keep away from places of fitnah.”

Those who heard that warning asked him, “O Abdullah’s father! What are they?” He answered as follows:

“They are the doors of administrators. One of you goes to an administrator, testifies falsely his loyalty to him, praising him for what he does not have.”[4]

Knowing that this virtuous Companion is prudent, sagacious and wise, the Messenger of Allah stated the following about him:

“If I were to appoint a successor over you, and you were to disobey him, you would be punished. However, whatever Hudhayfa narrates to you, believe him and accept what he says.”[5]

In fact, the foresight of Hz. Hudhayfa was very strong. The Prophet informed him about the incidents that would happen but he felt beforehand how things would happen. Knowing this characteristics of Hudhayfa, Hz. Umar, who was a model administrator, wanted to find out about his view on “fitnahs”. For, it was one of the most important duties of an administrator to notice a danger beforehand and to take measures. We will listen to an incident about it from Hudhayfa himself. The following is included in Bukhari:

“Once I was sitting with Umar and he said, ‘Who amongst you remembers the statement of Allah's Messenger (pbuh) about fitnahs?’ I said, ‘The fitnahs caused for a man by his wife, money, children and neighbor are expiated by his prayers, fasting, charity and by enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil.’ Umar said, ‘I did not mean that but I asked about the fitnah that will spread like the waves of the sea.’ Thereupon, I said, ‘O leader of the believers! You need not be afraid of it as there is a closed door between you and it.’ Umar asked, ‘Will the door be broken or opened?’ I replied, ‘It will be broken.’ Umar said, ‘Then, it will not be closed again until the Day of Judgment.’ Somebody asked Hudhayfa, ‘Did Umar know that door?’ I said, ‘He knew it as one knows that there will be night before the tomorrow morning. There is no lie in what I told him.’ He was asked, ‘Who is that door?’ He said, ‘Umar himself.’" [6]

Hz. Umar prevented fitnah (mischief and disorder) from entering the palace of Islam like a strong portcullis. However, after his death, fitnah started to emerge and the hypocrites tried to shake the unity of the Muslims by covering a great distance.  

This characteristic of Hudhayfa, who was an exceptional person in terms of asceticism and piety, became a virtue of him that never left him. This virtue was seen in his personal life; it never left him even when he was appointed to an important post. Hz. Umar appointed this loyal friend of his as the governor of Madayin after Salman al-Farisi. When the notables of the city heard that the new governor was coming, they set off to meet him. The new governor appeared on a donkey. He entered the city. He had a piece of dry bread and beef jerky as food with him.

He read the letter and orders of the caliph to the people that gathered. The people of the city asked him if he wanted anything from them. What he wanted was simple: “It is enough for me if you give me some food for me and my animal.” The common characteristic of those model administrators who taught lessons properly from the Messenger of Allah was that they never thought of their own comfort when they were appointed to a high post and that they wanted to live like ordinary people.

Hz. Hudhayfa gave advice to the Muslims from time to time. Once, he addressed the people as follows:

“Keep away from fitnahs. Do not be involved in a fitnah. I swear by Allah that if a person goes toward a fitnah, that fitnah will drag him like flood dragging garbage. Fitnah starts by seeming as if it is right; an ignorant person thinks it is right. So, sit in your houses, break your swords and cut your bowstrings when you see it.”

Hz. Umar searched about Hz. Hudhayfa like his other governors. He wanted to see whether any change occurred in him. He praised Hz. Hudhayfa, who fulfilled his duty successfully for a long time, as follows: “O Hudhayfa! I am your brother and you are my brother.”

His fear of Allah and longing for the Messenger of Allah affected Hudhayfa so much; he felt it very much on his last days, that is, when he approached the land of the hereafter. He sometimes wept. They asked, “O friend of the Prophet! Why are you weeping?” He answered: “I do not feel sorry that I will leave the world; on the contrary, death is lovelier for me. However, I do not know whether I lived in accordance with the consent of my Lord.”

When he was in his deathbed, he prayed as follows:

“This is my last day in the world and first day in the hereafter. O Allah! You know how much I love you. Make joining you blessed for me and treat me well.” [7]

Hz. Hudhayfa died in 36 H (658 AD). One of the hadiths he narrated is as follows: “The afflictions caused for a man by his wife, money, children and neighbor are expiated by his good deeds like prayers, fasting, charity and by enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil.” [8]

May Allah be pleased with him!


[1]Usdul-Ghaba, 1: 391.
[2]ibid, 392.
[3]Sirah, 3: 242-243.
[4]Hilya, 1: 277.
[5]Tirmdhi, Manaqib: 39.
[6]Bukhari, Mawaqit: 4.
[7]Usdul-Ghaba, 1: 391.
[8]Bukhari, Mawaqit: 4.

Was this answer helpful?
Read 94 times
In order to make a comment, please login or register