Khubayb bin Adiyy (r.a.)

When the stubborn enemies of the belief of oneness could not overshadow the light of Islam that dazzled the eyes, they resorted to various tricks. They went too far and became furious especially after losing their leaders in the battles of Badr and Uhud.

A group from the tribes of Adal and Qara, who made a deal with Sons of Lihyan, applied to the Prophet stating that they became Muslims. They said, “O Messenger of Allah! Islam started to spread among our tribe. Please send some of your Companions with us to teach us the Quran and to tell us about Islam.”

The Prophet accepted this innocent and reasonable request and appointed 10 people from Suffa School under the command of Marsad b. Abi Marsad for it.

The delegation of guides set off with the people that came from Makkah. It was four months after the battle of Uhud, the beginning of the month of Safar in the 4th year of the Migration. When the group came to the Well of called Raji, they faced a mean betrayal. About 100 raving people from Sons of Lihyan started to attack those innocent and defenseless people. Understanding the seriousness of the situation, Marsad b. Abi Marsad led his friends to the mountain near them. The enemy that surrounded them started to squeeze them. Seven of the Companions were martyred in a short while.  The remaining three Companions, Khubayb b. Adiyy, Zayd b. Dathinna and Abdullah bin Tariq surrendered when the polytheists promised that they would not kill them. 

The bandits tied the three Companions tightly. They set off for Makkah. They wanted to sell them as slaves. Abdullah bin Tariq did not want to go and resisted. He untied his hands and got his sword. However, the polytheists did not allow him to fight. They stoned him and martyred him.     

They took Khubayb and Zayd to Makkah. Khubayb was one of the notables of Ansar and had become a Muslim before the Migration. He fought heroically in the Battle of Badr and killed Harith b. Amir, one of the notables of the polytheists. He also fought heroically in the Battle of Uhud.

Sons of Lihyan sold Khubayb to the children of Harith bin Amir for 100 camels. Hujayr, the stepbrother of Harith, imprisoned Khubayb in the house of her female slave Mawiyya. Their aim was to imprison him for a while and then to kill him.

Hz. Khubayb, who had a strong belief to hug the world, was waiting for the day he would meet his Lord by surrendering to the divine predestination in deep patience and reliance. For, he had been appointed by the Messenger of Allah for a lofty purpose. He had set off to teach the word of Allah and the beauties of Islam to the new Muslims. He was to show consent to anything that could happen to him for the sake of this duty. He would win if he survived and fulfilled his duty or if he was betrayed and die. For, he would attain martyrdom.   

They left Khubayb alone without giving him food and drink. They also chained him to prevent from escaping. However, Khubayb’s Lord, who was merciful, did not leave him hungry. When Mawiyya, the owner of the house, looked at him through the door of the room he was staying, she was shocked. Khubayb had a very big bunch of grapes like nothing on earth in his hand. He was eating the grapes one by one calmly. Mawiyya, who became a Muslim later, narrated the incident as follows: 

“I have never seen any slave better than Khubayb. There was not even one little grape in that season in the world, let alone Makkah. Although he was in iron shackles, he had in his hand a bunch of grapes as big as the head of a man. Allah probably gave it to him as sustenance.”

Once, Mawiyya came secretly and asked Khubayb if he needed anything. Khubayb did not think of his own soul. He was worried that his belief could be harmed. He said, “I want nothing from you but to give me some fresh water, and to feed me with some flesh of an animal not slaughtered on behalf of idols. And I want you to tell me the day when they will kill me beforehand.”

Mawiyya narrates: “They decided the day when Khubayb would be killed. By Allah, I did not see any signs of distress and worry on his face when I informed him about the day on which he would be killed. He wanted a razor from me to shave the hairs on his body. I sent it to him.”

All of the people of Makkah would gather to kill Khubayb. They would take their revenge from this innocent person savagely.

A group of Qurayshi polytheists who wanted to attain their foul purpose went to the house where Khubayb was kept in chains after the sun rose in the morning. They stared at Khubayb with their eyes that were virtually in flames because of the fire of vengeance. This Companion, who had great belief, was waiting innocently like an angel. He was calm and peaceful. It was not possible to see any traces of panic on him. They unchained him and took him out of his cell. They set off to go to Tanim, which was two leagues away from Makkah, to execute him there. 

The polytheists were proceeding with great joy like a hungry monster that caught a prey while Khubayb was going to the place where he would meet Allah with an oppressed appearance but with firm and solemn steps. He met Zayd bin Dathinna on the way and they consoled each other.

Tanim was like a funfair; everybody, young and old male and female, was there. . They had gone there to watch the execution of these two oppressed people to take the revenge of Badr and Uhud.    

They dug a somewhat deep hole. They brought a long piece of wood and erected it. It was the gallows. They took Khubayb to the gallows. Khubayb stood for a while. He had not asked anything from the polytheists up to that time. However, he wanted to enter into the presence of his Lord for the last time. He said, "Will you allow me to perform a two-rak'ah prayer?" They allowed.  

Hz. Khubayb perform a two-rak'ah prayer properly and in awe. After saluting, he said to the polytheists, “By Allah, I would have lengthened my prayer if I had not feared that you would think that I lengthened the prayer due to fear of death. He did not want to have any signs of cowardice even when he was about to die.

Thus, Khubayb became the first person to start the practice of performing a two-rak’ah prayer before being executed

The polytheists grabbed Khubayb and tied him to the gallows. They turned him toward Madinah. They made him the following offer so that he might be afraid of death and give up his belief:

"If you leave the religion of Muhammad, we will release you."

Hz. Khubayb never expected such an offer. Accepting this offer was the worst form of death for him. He said with a solemn voice, "No, I will never give up my religion even if you give the whole world to me!"

They made another offer sarcastically: "Tell us the truth. Would you not like Muhammad to be killed instead of you so that you would live with your family at home?"

The answer given by Khubayb, whose heart was full of the love of the Prophet, intimidated the polytheists:  “By Allah, I would rather sacrifice my life than see a thorn prick the foot of the Prophet!" Then, he continued:

"My life is of no significance in the way of Allah. By Allah, if I am to be killed because of my belief, I do not care which side I fall; for, it is for Allah's sake. If He wishes, He will bless my body, even if it is in pieces.”

The polytheists could not know what sacrificing meant. There was a deadly silence. They only laughed at what he said. The ugliness of polytheism was visible on their faces.

Hz. Khubayb prayed against them sincerely because they were killing him unjustly: “O Allah! Destroy the polytheists of Quraysh! Scatter them. Kill them one by one. Do not leave even one of them.” When this loud prayer echoed in Tanim, some of the polytheists plugged their ears and some of them lay face down. This prayer affected the polytheists for a long time.

When the polytheists saw the perseverance and resolution in the belief of Khubayb, they gave the 40 young men whose fathers were killed in Uhud and who were holding spears the order to attack. The spears thrown from various directions stuck in Khubayb’s body. When the tree he was tied on moved, his face turned toward the Kaaba. They saw that Khubayb became happy with this.  He was praying as follows: “O Allah! If I am a good person in the eye of You, do not turn my face toward anywhere except the qiblah.” After that, nobody could turn his face away from the qiblah.

Khubayb realized that he was about to die, he wanted to send greetings to the Messenger of Allah. However, there was nobody to send his greetings there. He prayed as follows: “O Allah! You conveyed to us the prophethood of Your Messenger. Inform Your Messenger about was done to us. O Allah! I cannot find anyone to send my greetings to Your Messenger. Please send my greetings to him.”

The Prophet was talking to his Companions that morning. Suddenly, the signs of revelation were seen on him. He said, “Wa alayhisselam.” The Companions said, “O Messenger of Allah! Whose greetings did you answer?” He replied, “The greetings of your brother Khubayb. The polytheists martyred him.” The one that brought him the greetings of Khubayb was Jibril.  

All of the young polytheists threw their spears. Finally, Uqba, the son of Harith bin Amir stuck his spear into Khubayb’s chest. The spear came out of his back. Hz. Khubayb uttered kalima ash-shahada and flew to Paradise.

The polytheists kept his dead body on the gallows so that the passersby would see it and spread the news. When the Prophet was informed about it, he gave Amr bin Umayya the duty to remove Khubayb’s dead body from the gallows and gave him the glad tiding of Paradise.

There were guards near the dead body. One night, Amr approached it secretly, untied the dead body and wanted to leave by putting it on his back. When the guards noticed it, they started to follow Amr. He put Khubayb’s dead body on the ground. When the dead body fell on the ground, neither the guards nor Amr saw it. God Almighty hid the dead body of the great martyr lest the polytheists should get it again.   

The Prophet described Khubayb as “the master of the martyrs” and said, “He is my neighbor in Paradise.”

May Allah be pleased with him! [1]

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[1]Sirah, 3: 178-179; Usdul-Ghaba, 2: 103-105; Tabaqat, 2: 55-56; 4: 249; 8: 301-302; Istiab, 1: 432; Bukhari, Maghazi: 30.

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