Qatada bin Numan (r.a.)

The Companions were so adherent to the Prophet (pbuh) and loved him so much in the environment that was hostile to them and when the whole world was against them that they sacrificed their mothers, fathers, wives, lives and wealth for his sake. They sacrificed everything they had so that the sun of guidance introduced by him would enlighten the world and the barriers before it would be removed.

Their love of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was superior to everything. For, their belief was at the perfect level. They did not utter the following statement just for the sake of prose:

“O Messenger of Allah! May my mother, father, wealth, children and life be sacrificed for you!”

They internalized this statement, which is an expression of self-sacrificing, and settled it in their hearts. When they saw the Messenger of Allah happy, they would smile and when they saw him sad, they would be upset. For, he was the person that enabled them to be saved from destruction in this ephemeral world and to show the way to eternal bliss in the hereafter.

The hottest moments of the Battle of Uhud were taking place. The archers thought that the polytheists were defeated and they forgot the instruction of the Messenger of Allah. Thinking that they were victorious, they left the hill on which they had been placed. Khalid bin Walid, who was waiting for something like that and who later became a Muslim and was given the title “Allah’s Sword”, benefitted from this situation and besieged the Islamic army from behind. The Muslims who were left between two fires underwent great difficulties. The polytheists approached the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and shot arrows at him. Their aim was to eliminate the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). However, the self-sacrificing Companions used their bodies as shields in front of the Prophet, whom they loved very much. He was virtually behind a wall of flesh. Despite these self-sacrificing efforts, an arrow hit the chin of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and broke his blessed tooth. He fell into a ditch, with blood on his face. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stood up and expressed his sadness as follows: “How can a nation that wound their prophet who is inviting them to believe in their Lord be saved?” Upon this statement of the Messenger of Allah, the following verses were sent down:

“Not for thee, (but for Allah), is the decision: Whether He turn in mercy to them, or punish them; for they are indeed wrong-doers. To Allah belongeth all that is in the heavens and on earth. He forgiveth whom He pleaseth and punisheth whom He pleaseth; but Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [1]

On that troublesome day, there was a self-sacrificing hero who used his chest as a shield for the Messenger of Allah against the arrows of the polytheists, who followed him step by step and stood in front of him no matter which direction he turned. He did not care the pain of the arrows that hit him. He removed the arrows that hit his body and he threw arrows at the enemy. This Companion, who sacrificed his life for Allah and His Messenger, was Qatada bin Numan. His chest was riddled with holes and was in blood. However, he loved the Messenger of Allah so much that he did not heed them; he continued to be a shield for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). He put his face in front of the face of the Messenger of Allah. Just then, an arrow hit him in the eye. The pupil came out and fell on his face. He protected the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) from an arrow but he lost one of his eyes. He stumbled. When the Messenger of Allah saw him, he could not bear it and prayed for him as follows: 

“O Lord! Qatada protected Your Prophet with his face and eye. Give him a more beautiful and clearer eye!”

Then, he placed the pupil of Qatada in its socket with his blessed hand, which was a cure for the ill people and a remedy for the troubled people. Thanks to his prayer and miraculous hand, Qatada’s eye became nicer and stronger than before.

After the Battle of Uhud, he was known for his eye, which reminded this miracle. When a grandchild of Qatada went to see Umar bin Abdulaziz, the caliph, years later, he introduced himself by using the name of Qatada:

“I am the grandson of such a person that the Most Noble Messenger placed his eye back in its socket after it had been struck out; it was suddenly healed and became the best eye.”[2]

Qatada bin Numan, who was one of the notables of the Companions, was such a self-sacrificing and chivalrous person. He became a Muslim during the First Pledge of Aqaba. He served the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and Islam a lot in all battles, especially in Badr, Uhud and Khandaq.

On the day when the sun of Islam dominated the Arabian Peninsula and Makkah was conquered, the Prophet (pbuh) gave Qatada, who had a great share in those struggles and who got old, a walking stick, which was unique. It enlightened an area of about 10 archines (680 cm) around him like a projector. [3]

We hope that the understanding of self-sacrifice of this Companion, who died in 23 H when he was 65 years old, will be a model for us and that we will attain their intercession.

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[1]Aal-i Imran, 128-129.
[2]Usdul-Ghaba, 195; Mektubat, p. 143.
[3]Usdul-Ghaba, 196.

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