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'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf

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Priority: c, Quality: b
Sahaba
'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf
Personal Information
Well Known As Man Hajar Hijratayn
Well-Known Relatives 'Uthman b. 'Afwan (brother-in-law)
Birth 10th of 'Am al-Fil
Place of Birth Mecca
Muhajir/Ansar Muhajir
Place(s) of Residence Mecca, Abyssinia, Medina
Death/Martyrdom 32/652-53
Burial Place Al-Baqi'
Religious Information
Conversion to Islam Among the first Muslims
Presence at Ghazwas All ghazwas
Migration to Abyssinia, Medina
Known for Member of Six-Member Council
Other Activities Present in the Event of Saqifa

ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAwf (Arabic: عبدالرحمن بن عوف)(d. 32/652-53) was a Companion of Prophet Muhammad (s) a member of the Six-Member Council. 'Abd al-Rahman was among the firsts who converted to Islam. He was present in the migration of Muslims to Abyssinia (Habasha) and the migration of Muslims to Medina. He attended all the ghazwas alongside Prophet Muhammad (s). Also 'Abd al-Rahman was present in the Event of Saqifa. The main role he played after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (s) was the time when he was chosen as a member of the Six-Member Council who chose 'Uthman b. 'Affan as the caliph of Muslims. Sunni Muslims believe 'Abd al-Rahman was among the al-'Ashara al-Mubashshara (ten people to whom the Prophet (s) gave the good news of going to the Heaven).

Lineage and Birth

'Abd al-Rahman was the son of 'Awf b. 'Abd 'Awf.[1] He was born in the tenth year of 'Am al-Fil.[2] His mother, Shafa was the daughter of 'Awf b. 'Abd b. al-Harith.[3] 'Abd al-Rahman was named as 'Abd 'Amr or 'Abd al-Ka'ba in Jahiliyya era, then when he converted to Islam Prophet Muhammad (s) changed his name to 'Abd al-Rahman.[4]

In the Time of Prophet Muhammad (s)

'Abd al-Rahman was among the firsts who converted to Islam; he was invited by Abu Bakr.[5] 'Abd al-Rahman is called "Man hajara al-hijratayn" a person who has migrated two times. First, he was ordered by Prophet Muhammad (s) to migrate to Abyssinia (Habasha) along with a number of other Muslims. Then when he returned Mecca, he migrated again this time to Medina along with other Muslims.[6] Prophet Muhammad (s) made a pact of brotherhood between Muslims in Medina, some sources stated that the Prophet (s) made a pact of brotherhood between 'Abd al-Rahman and 'Uthman b. 'Affan[7] and some other sources stated it was made between 'Abd al-Rahman and Sa'd b. Rabi'.[8]

Sunni Muslims believe, 'Abd al-Rahman was among the members of al-'Ashara al-Mubashshara (those who are promised the Heaven) by Prophet Muhammad (s).[9] He has narrated a number of hadiths as well,[10] including the hadith of al-'Ashara al-Mubashshara.[11]

Attending Ghazwas and the Sariyya of Dumat al-Jandal

'Abd al-Rahman attended all the ghazwas alongside Prophet Muhammad (s).[12] In the battle of Uhud, he was among the Muslims who did not ran away from the enemies,[13] but he was badly injured so that he had difficulties in walking later.[14] 'Abd al-Rahman also attended the Sariyya of Dumat al-Jandal which did not have any military fight as the oppositions accepted to convert to Islam.[15] It is also called as the Sariyya of 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf.[16]

Being Imam of Prayer

According to Sunni sources from al-Mughira b. Shu'ba: In the time of a battle, Prophet Muhammad (s) went to have wudu (ablution), when he returned 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf had started prayer. Then 'Abd al-Rahman noticed return of Prophet Muhammad (s), so he wanted to move back so that Prophet (s) could stand in front of him to lead the prayer. But Prophet (s) stopped him and he stood behind 'Abd al-Rahman and performed prayer.[17] However a number of Shi'ite scholars, rejected this hadith because of some mistakes they mentioned about it.[18]

After the Demise of Prophet Muhammad (s)

After the demise of Prophet Muhammad (s), 'Abd al-Rahman was present in the Event of Saqifa.[19] He was also present in a number of other important events as well.[20] The most significant role 'Abd al-Rahman played after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (s) was being chosen as a member the Six-Member Council after the death of 'Umar b. Khattab who were tasked to choose the next caliph of Muslims.

The Six-Member Council

The Six-Member Council was formed after the death of 'Umar b. al-Khattab, to choose the next caliph of Muslims. 'Umar chose 'Abd al-Rahman as a member of this council and gave him the authority that if there was a disagreements between the two groups of three on a candidate, the opinion of 'Abd al-Rahman group is preferred.[21] As a result, 'Abd al-Rahman used the authority he had and chose 'Uthman b. 'Affan, his brother-in-law,[22] as the next caliph.

Relation with 'Uthman b. 'Affan

'Abd al-Rahman played a significant role in appointment of 'Uthman b. 'Affan as the caliph. However, according to historical reports after a number of actions taken by 'Uthman, 'Abd al-Rahman bemoaned his decision:

  • When Abu Dhar was exiled by 'Uthman to desert of Rabadha where he passed away, 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) told 'Abd al-Rahman: "This is the result of your action (appointment of 'Uthman as the caliph)". He replied: "If you approve we grab our swords (to launch a rebel against him), he has destroyed everything I gave him."[23]
  • 'Abd al-Rahman took an oath not to speak with 'Uthman b. 'Affan again.[24]


Wealth

'Abd al-Rahman was a very rich man with massive money which he gained by means of trading.[26] Based on historical reports, 'Abd al-Rahman was massively rich:

  • 'Abd al-Rahman gave four hundred thousand coins to each Muslims soldier (around a hundred men) who attended the Battle of Badr.[28]
  • 'Abd al-Rahman went to Umm Salama and said: "Oh, Umm al-Mu'minin, I am afraid that my wealth destroys me. Umm Salama said: "give it to charities."[29]

Demise

'Abd al-Rahman passed away in 32/652-53[30] or 31/651-52 in the time of caliphate of 'Uthman b. 'Affan. He was buried in al-Baqi' Cemetery.[31] There are different historical reports on the name of the person who performed the funeral prayer on his body.[32]

Notes

  1. Ibn al-Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 3, p. 376.
  2. Al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-Islām, vol. 3, p. 391.
  3. Ibn al-Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 3, p. 376.
  4. Al-Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 1, p. 203.
  5. Al-Maqdisī, al-Badʾa wa l-tārīkh, vol. 4, p. 145.
  6. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 2, p. 844.
  7. Al-Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 2, p. 109.
  8. Al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ al-Būkhārī, vol. 3, p. 52.
  9. Abū Dāwūd, Sunan Abī Dāwūd, vol. 4, p. 211.
  10. Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab al-imān, vol. 9, p. 379.
  11. Ibn Ḣibbān, Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Ḥibbān, vol. 15, p. 463.
  12. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 3, p. 95.
  13. Al-Ṣāliḥī, Subul al-hudā, vol. 11, p. 318.
  14. Al-Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-Islām, vol. 3, p. 392.
  15. Al-Wāqidī, al-Maghāzī, vol. 2, p. 560.
  16. Al-Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 1, p. 378.
  17. Al-Nisābūrī, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, vol. 1, p. 317.
  18. Al-ʿĀmilī, al-Ṣaḥīḥ min sīrat al-Nabī al-aʿẓam, vol. 29, p. 313-316.
  19. Al-Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 123.
  20. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 3, p. 99.
  21. Al-Suyūṭī, Tārīkh al-khulafāʾ, p. 129, 137.
  22. Ibn Abī l-Ḥadīd, Sharḥ nahj al-balāgha, vol. 1, p. 189.
  23. Al-Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 5, p. 546.
  24. Al-Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 5, p. 547.
  25. Al-Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 5, p. 546.
  26. Al-Ṣāliḥī, Subul al-hudā, vol. 11, p. 378.
  27. Al-Ṣāliḥī, Subul al-hudā, vol. 11, p. 319.
  28. Ṣāliḥī, Subul al-hudā, vol. 11, p. 319.
  29. Al-Ṣāliḥī, Subul al-hudā, vol. 11, 378.
  30. Al-Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 1, p. 204.
  31. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 2, p. 850.
  32. Al-Ṣāliḥī, Subul al-hudā, vol. 11, p. 321.

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