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'Abd Allah b. Rawaha

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Sahaba
'Abd Allah b. Rawaha
مقبره عبدالله بن رواحه در اردن.jpg
Personal Information
Kunya Abu Muhammad, Abu Rawaha, and Abu 'Amr
Muhajir/Ansar Ansar
Death/Martyrdom 8/629
Cause of Death/Martyrdom Battle of Mu'ta
Burial Place Jordan
Religious Information
Conversion to Islam Before the Holy Prophet's (s) Migration to Medina
Presence at Ghazwas Almost all of them
Notable Roles One of the Twelve Nuqaba' of Ansar

ʿAbd Allāh b. Rawāḥa (Arabic: عبدالله بن رَواحة) was one of the Ansar (helpers) of the Prophet Muhammad (s). He met the Prophet (s) in the second Pledge of 'Aqaba. He was from Medina, the Khazraj tribe. The Prophet (s) appointed him as the head of the Banu Harith clan of the Khazraj tribe. 'Abd Allah is one of the Twelve Nuqaba' (twelve chiefs). He attended most of the battles, including battles of Uhud, Khandaq, Hudaybiyya, Khaybar, and 'Umra al-Qada'. In the Battle of Badr al-Maw'id, he was the Prophet's (s) deputy in Medina. He was martyred in the Battle of Mu'ta.

Lineage

'Abd Allah b. Rawaha b. Tha'laba was from the Banu Harith clan of the Khazraj tribe. He was one of the Ansar from Medina. His mother, Kabsha, was the daughter of Waqid b. 'Amr b. al-Itaba al-Harithi.

His kunya is said to have been Abu Muhammad, Abu Rawaha, and Abu 'Amr. The Prophet (s) made a Pact of Brotherhood between him and Miqdad b. Aswad.

'Abd Allah was the maternal uncle of Nu'man b. Bashir b. Sa'd. According to historical accounts, he had no children.

Joining the Prophet (s)

'Abd Allah b. Rawaha was one of the people of Medina who pledged their allegiance to the Prophet (s) in the Hajj rituals of 13/634. It came to be known as the second Pledge of 'Aqaba. After the pledge, the Prophet (s) selected 'Abd Allah as one of the Twelve Nuqaba' of Ansar and as his representative of the Banu Harith clan of Khazraj.

'Abd Allah welcomed the Prophet (s) when he entered Medina. He invited the Prophet (s) to his residence.

During his life, 'Abd Allah attended almost all of the Prophet's (s) battles, including Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, Hudaybiyya, Khaybar, 'Umra al-Qada', and Mu'ta. During Badr al-Maw'id, he was the Prophet's (s) deputy in Medina.

In the Battle of Badr, he was commissioned by the Prophet (s) to deliver the news of the Muslims' victory to people of Medina.

In the Battle of 'Umra al-Qada', when the Prophet (s) entered Mecca, 'Abd Allah was holding the bridle of his vehicle, and recited some poems in his praise.

After the Conquest of Khaybar, he was commissioned by the Prophet (s) to collect the taxes of Khaybar. He held this position until his martyrdom. After the Battle of Khaybar, he and thirty cavalries, including 'Abd Allah b. Anis, were commissioned to chase Bushr b. Zaram—who plotted to launch an onslaught to Medina—and killed him.

In the Battle of Mu'ta, 'Abd Allah b. Rawaha was appointed as the commander of the Islamic army after Zayd b. Haritha and Ja'far b. Abi Talib.

Characteristics

Although most people were not literate in the period of Jahiliyya, 'Abd Allah b. Rawaha was one of the few people who could write. He composed poems as well. His presence in most of the Prophet's (s) battles signifies his valor in the battlefield. In general, his characteristics include the following:

Poetic Talent

When verses 224 to 226 of Sura al-Shu'ara', in which poets were reproached, were revealed, poets such as 'Abd Allah b. Rawaha, Ka'b b. Malik, Hassan b. Thabit, and others who praised the Prophet were excluded from the verses.

He composed poems praising the Prophet (s). He also composed poems in the elegy of Hamza b. 'Abd al-Muttalib, the Prophet's (s) uncle, and Nafi' b. Badil.

Valor in Battles

According to historical sources, 'Abd Allah was the first person who would prepare for wars and leave home, and the last person to return home after wars.

Cherished by the Prophet (s)

According to historical accounts, the Prophet (s) particularly prayed for 'Abd Allah on numerous occasions, for example:

  • One day, 'Abd Allah was going to the mosque. As he approached the mosque, he heard the Prophet (s) order people to sit down. 'Abd Allah immediately sat outside the mosque. When the Prophet (s) heard about this, he admired him and prayed for him in this way: "May God help you more to obey Him and His messenger".
  • When 'Abd Allah was sick, the Prophet (s) visited him and found him in a terrible health condition. He said: "O God! If this is the time of his death, mitigate the death for him, and if this is not the time of his death, heal him." 'Abd Allah was healed after this.
  • In the Battle of Khaybar, the Prophet (s) asked 'Abd Allah to recite a poem to excite the army. He recited a poem, and then the Prophet (s) said: "O God! Have your mercy on 'Abd Allah Rawaha".

Death

In 8/629, the Prophet (s) sent an army of 3000 soldiers under the commandership of Zayd b. Haritha to combat the Romans. Ja'far b. Abi Talib was supposed to take over the commandership in the case of Zayd's martyrdom, and 'Abd Allah b. Rawaha was supposed to take over the commandership in the case of Ja'far's death. According to historical reports, before departing to Mu'ta, 'Abd Allah b. Rawaha recited poems in which he asked God to give him the opportunity to be martyred, while crying out of the fear from the divine punishment.

When Zayd and Ja'far were martyred, the flag of the Islamic army was held by 'Abd Allah. He attacked the enemy. After a tough battle, he was martyred. Before his martyrdom, he rubbed the blood coming from his body on his face and cried: "O Muslims! Support your brothers' life".

He and other martyrs of Mu'ta were buried in an area called "Mazar" in al-Karak in Jordan.

References