Who was the first Companion who shed blood in the history of Islam and how did this incident take place?

The Details of the Question
Who was the first Companion who shed blood in the history of Islam and how did this incident take place?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It took place at a very crucial and most difficult period for the Muslims on account of the continuous persecution and torture the polytheists inflicted on them.

Hazrat Sa’d was praying in the Abu Dubb valley with some of the other Muslims who were among the first to embrace the glorious faith. Abu Sufyan, a leading figure among the polytheists, came to them with a few other unbelievers by his side. When the polytheists made the claim that the Muslims’ form of worshipping was a groundless practice, the two sides went at each other’s throats. With the bone of a camel’s chin that he held in his hands, Hazrat Sad wounded the head of one of the polytheists. When the other polytheists saw this, they lost their audacity and began to run away. And the Muslims chased them until they exited the valley.

In this way, Hazrat Sad had become the first companion to shed blood in the way of Allah. This was also the first instance in the history of the Islam in which blood had been spilled.

At the same time, Hazrat Sad bin Waqqas, who was immensely generous, was one of the ten companions who had been given the glad tidings of Paradise. He participated in all of the holy wars during our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) time. During the Battle of Uhud, he devoted his body as a shield for our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and threw arrows at the polytheists in such a manner that allowed him to become the recipient of an address that no other creature has ever had the honor of receiving:

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said to him, “Oh Sad, do not stop shooting your arrows, may my mother and father be sacrificed for you!”1

Hazrat Ali would say:

“On the day of the Battle of Uhud, Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) only addressed Hazrat Sad with the words, “Fadaka Abi wa Ummi”2 (May my mother and father be sacrificed for you).3

During the same battle, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) would say, “Oh Lord, this is your arrow” each time Hazrat Sad shot one and would pray for him in this manner:

"O Lord, direct his shooting and respond to his prayer."4

It is through our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) decree, “O Lord, respond to his prayer” that he was able to attain wealth with the acceptance of his supplications alongside his heroism, bravery, arrow-shooting skills, and. Just as the enemies of Islam feared his sword and arrows, the Muslims feared his supplications for the same reason. They would be extremely hesitant to hurt his feelings.5

Hazrat Sad, who at a young age became a Muslim during the era of secret conversions and the springtime of Islam, continued to spend his entire life in the service of Islam thereafter. He was appointed as the commander of the army that marched to Iran during Hazrat Umar’s reign. And by leading this army to victory in the Battle of Qadisiyya, he conquered the country of Kisra and incorporated it into Islamic territory. Therefore, he was given the title “the Conqueror of Iran”.


1. Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 2, p.139.

2. The expression, “Fadaka Abi wa Ummi” should not be taken literally since it is used in its customary context. These words express a state in which someone is highly pleased and content. The individuals who uttered these words were highly praised.

3. Muslim, Sahih, V. 7, p. 125.
4. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 3/141
5. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Mektûbat, p. 149.

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