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Al-Bara' b. 'Azib

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Sahaba
Al-Bara' b. 'Azib
Personal Information
Full Name Bara' b. 'Azib al-Ansari
Kunya Abu 'Umara
Lineage Banu Haritha, Aws
Muhajir/Ansar Ansar
Place(s) of Residence Medina, Kufa
Death/Martyrdom 71 or 72/ 690-91 or 691-92
Religious Information
Presence at Ghazwas Kandaq and others
Notable Roles Transmitter of Hadith al-Ghadir
Other Activities Denial of pledging allegiance with Abu Bakr, Narrating hadith

Al-Barāʾ b.ʿĀzib (Arabic: براء بن عازب) (d. 71 or 72/690-91 or 691-92) was one of the companions of the Prophet (s) and Imam Ali (a). He converted to Islam at his young age and took part in many of the qhazwas. He is regarded as one of the prominent transmitters of Hadith al-Ghaidr. He was also the one who – after the decease of the Prophet (s) – took the news to Banu Hashim of people's allegiance giving to Abu Bakr in Saqifa Bani Sa'ida, and he himself has refused to do so.

Lineage, Kunya and Death

Al-Bara' was one of the Ansar of the Prophet (s) and belonged originally to the tribe of Aws in Medina. He was said to have many kunyas, among which Abu 'Umara is the most famous.

He resided in the city of Kufa, and died – while having already lost his sight – in Mecca or Medina during the reign of Mus'ab b. al-Zubayr in Iraq.

Converting to Islam

Before the hijra of the Prophet (s) to Medina, al-Bara', still in his early adolescent years, converted to Islam, and his father might have earlier converted to Islam.

Battles of the Prophet (s)

Al-Bara' and some others like 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar and Usama b. Zayd could not take part in the Battle of Badr, due to their young age. It is probable that in the Battle of Uhud as well, the Prophet (s) did not let him and some other adolescents to take part.

The first battle in which he could take part was the Battle of Khandaq, while he was just 15. Although he is reported to have been taking part in almost 14 to 18 battles, he seems not be have played any specific roles.

According to a narration by al-Bara' himself, when the Prophet (s) has sent Khalid b. Walid to Yemen in order to spread the message of Islam, al-Bara' was accompanying his group, and as this mission was given over to Imam Ali (a), al-Bara' joined him.

Refusing to Pledge Allegiance to Abu Bakr

Al-Ya'qubi narrates that after the decease of the Prophet (s), al-Bara' has reported to Banu Hashim the news of people's giving allegiance to Abu Bakr in Saqifa Bani Sa'ida, and he himself was amongst those who refused to do so.

Taking Part in Conquests

According to some narrations, during the last part of 'Umar's caliphate or the first part of Uthman's caliphate, al-Bara' b. 'Azib has taken part in or led some battles, conquering some parts of Iran, like: Rey, Qumis, Zanjan, Abhar and Qazvin. One of the conquests of Rey was also under his commander-ship. He managed to agree on peace with the people of Abhar and could make peace with the people of Qazvin with difficulty. He had to, however, conquer Zanjan through battle. All this said, it must be mentioned that at least in one narration of the "conquest narrations", he has been mistaken for Bara' b. Malik.

Giving Allegiance to Imam Ali (a)

It is said that al-Bara' b. 'Azib was among those who pledged allegiance to Imam Ali (a). Although there is no narration indicating his participation in the battles during Imam Ali's caliphate, but based on one narration, beside taking part in the Battles of Jamal, Siffin and Nahrawan, he was also appointed by Imam Ali (a) in the Battle of Nahrawan to take over the mission of turning the Kawarij to Imam Ali's camp.

Narrations

Al-Bara' narrated some hadiths from the Prophet (s). Some of these narrations show how interested he was in the prophetic accounts, hadiths and life.

He is also regarded as one of the transmitter of hadith al-Ghadir.

Al-Bara' has also narrated from some of the companions of the Prophet (s) and al-Sha'bi, 'Udayy b. Thabit, Abu Ishaq al-Sabi'i, as well as two of his sons have narrated from him.

Imam al-Husayn's Martyrdom

In his book al-Irshad, al-Shaykh al-Mufid narrates from Isma'il b. Ziyad, "One day Imam Ali (a) told al-Bara' b. 'Azib: 'O al-Bara'! my son will be martyred and you won't help him, although you'll be alive on that day'". After the Battle of Karbala, al-Bara' said: "What Ali (a) had said was realized, because his son was martyred and I didn't help him". Then he regretted deeply for that.

References