Thabit bin Qays (r.a.)

Thabit bin Qays Shammas, who was the orator of the Prophet and Ansar, liked wearing nice clothes. Nobody told him that it was wrong to wear nice clothes.   

When the verse “Allah loveth not any arrogant boaster.” [1] was sent down, Thabit changed; he started to remain at home, weep and repent. For, he thought the verse meant the people who wore nice clothes like him. He did not leave his house and repented his Lord in tears and took refuge in Him. 

The Messenger of Allah was informed about it. The Messenger of Allah sent him somebody to ask why he acted like that. Thabit said, “I like wearing nice clothes.” The Messenger of Allah gave the following answer, which relived and eased Thabit:

“You are not one of those mentioned in the verse; you lead a good life and you will in a good way and Allah will send you to Paradise.”

Thabit’s tears of pain were transformed into tears of joy. He was allowed to wear nice clothes that he liked very much. Nice clothes that were not worn with the purpose of arrogance and conceit were not contrary to Islam.

The Messenger of Allah sometimes reminded those who represented Muslims to wear neat and clean clothes. He addressed his envoys he sent somewhere as follows: “You shall wear clean and nice clothes when you go there.” Thabit sometimes acted as the orator of the Messenger of Allah and Ansar in the presence of the polytheists. Therefore, it was necessary for him to wear nice clothes; there was no drawback to it. 

According to Hz. Umar’s narration, they brought the Messenger of Allah a new garment once. When the Messenger of Allah put it on, he said, “Praise be to Allah who covered my awrah places and made me appear nice!”

Thus, clothes did not only cover awrah places but they also made people appear nice. This nice appearance was a means of thanking and praising Allah as the Messenger of Allah did.

When the chapter of al-Hujurat was sent down, Thabit bin Qays became worried again. The following is stated in the verse:

“O ye who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as ye may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not.” [2]

On hearing this verse, Thabit said, “I am one of those mentioned in this verse. I raise my voice in the presence of the Messenger of Allah and my deeds become vain. I have become a person of Hell.” He stayed in his house and started to beg his Lord in tears. The Messenger of Allah sent him somebody again to ask why he acted like that. Thabit mentioned the sin he committed and said, “I fear that I will be among those whose deeds become vain.” There upon the Messenger of Allah said,

“Do not fear! You lead a praiseworthy life. You will be a martyr in the future and Allah will send you to Paradise.” [3]

Hz. Thabit’s speaking aloud did not originate from his disrespect to the Messenger of Allah but from his oratory. Therefore, he could not have been among those warned by the verse. However, his delicate heart felt worried. The words of the Messenger of Allah relieved him.  

As the Messenger of Allah mentioned, Thabit bin Qays led a nice life and was martyred in the battle of Yamama against the fake prophet Musaylimatul-Kadhdhab, becoming a person of Paradise. 

When Thabit was martyred, he was wearing a valuable armor. This armor was stolen. Somebody saw Thabit in his dream. He told him where his armor was hidden. He asked him to take it from there and give it to someone who needed it. The man who saw the dream went to the place that Thabit described with his friend. He found the armor there. He fulfilled the wish of that martyr. [4]

May Allah be pleased with him!

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[1]Luqman, 18.
[2]al-Hujurat, 2.
[3]Usdul-Ghaba, 1: 229-230.
[4]Tajrid Translation, 8: 304.

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