Abu Dhar al-Ghifari
|Abu Dhar al-Ghifari|
The remains of Mosque of Abi Dhar in al-Rabadha which is said that his grave is there
|Full Name||Jundab b. Junada b. Sufyan al-Ghifari|
|Place(s) of Residence||Medina, Syria, al-Rabadha|
|Known for||One of the prominentCompanions of Imam 'Ali (a)|
|Other Activities||Protesting against caliphs specially in the Event of Saqifa, protesting against prohibition of writing hadiths, criticizing Uthman for giving the treasury money to others as a gift|
Jundab b. Junāda b. Sufyān al-Ghifārī (Arabic: جُندَب بن جُنادة بن سفيان الغِفاري) (b. 33 BH/590 - d. 32/653) known as Abū Dhar al-Ghifārī (أبوذر الغفاري) was one of the greatest companions of Prophet Muhammad (s) and a companion of Imam 'Ali (a); he was also one of those who were known as the four pillars of the Shiite. He was a true companion of Prophet Muhammad (s) and Ahl al-Bayt (a). Numerous virtues and excellences have been narrated for him by both Sunni and Shi'a. Scholars of rijal have considered him as one of the four pillars [of the Shiite]. Abu Dhar criticized actions of 'Uthman, the third Caliph, and as a result, he was exiled to Syria and then to al-Rabadha where he passed away.
Birth, Lineage, and Characteristics
Abu Dhar was born twenty years before the emergence of Islam, in Banu Ghifar, a famous and noble tribe among the Arabs. His father, Junada, was the son of Ghifar and his mother, Ramla bt. al-Waqi'a, was from Banu Ghifar b. Malil. Historians disagree about his father’s name; they mentioned Yazid, Jundab, Ishraqa, 'Abd Allah and Sakan.
As Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani has stated: Abu Dhar was a tall, thin man with tanned skin. Ibn Sa'd described him as a tall man with white hair and beard. Al-Dhahabi also described him as a bulky man with full beard.
Names and Titles
His name was Abu Dhar because of his child's name, Dhar. However his real name is not certain and it is mentioned differently in history books: Badr b. Jundab, Burayr b. 'Abd Allah, Burayr b. Junada, Burayr b. Ishraqa, Jundab b. 'Abd Allah, Jundab b. Sakan and Yazid b. Junada. It seems Jundub b. Yazid is his real and famous name.
Wife and Child
Conversion to Islam
Abu Dhar was among the first people who converted to Islam. According to some narrations, he was a monotheist before the emergence of Islam, he worshiped God three years before Bi'tha. Ibn Habib al-Baghdadi maintains that Abu Dhar considered drinking alcohol and gambling (azlam) unlawful in Jahiliyya era. After the emergence of Islam, he was among the first people who came to Prophet Muhammad (s) and converted to Islam. According to a narration, Abu Dhar said: "I was the fourth one who went to the Prophet (s) and told him: peace be upon you O messenger of Allah! I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad (s) is His messenger; it made him delighted."
As Ibn al-'Abbas has said: "When Abu Dhar became aware of Prophet Muhammad's Prophethood in Mecca, he told his brother, Anis, "Inform me about the knowledge of the man who thinks he receives messages from the sky; listen to him and bring me the news." After visiting Prophet Muhammad (s) Anis returned to his brother. Then Abu Dhar himself went to Mecca to find Muhammad (s). Abu Dhar alongside Ali b. Abi Talib (a) visited Muhammad (s) in his house. Abu Dhar was the first one who said to Prophet: "Salam upon you, O Messenger of Allah". Then Abu Dhar converted to Islam after articulating Shahadatayn (Islamic creed declaring belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Muhammad (s) as God's messenger).
Shi'a sources reported a different story on Abu Dhar's conversion to Islam. Al-Kulayni reported a narration from Imam al-Sadiq (a), in which the story of Abu Dhar's conversion to Islam is mentioned alongside an extraordinary event.
Prophet Muhammad (s) said to Abu Dhar: "Well done Abu Dhar, you are a member of Ahl al-Bayt (a)". Elsewhere he said to the effect that Abu Dhar is the most honest person among all people. On another occasion, Prophet (s) compared piety and humbleness of Abu Dhar to that of Prophet Jesus (a).
Imam al-Baqir (a) said: After Prophet Muhammad (s) had passed away, everybody became apostate and left 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) except three people: Salman al-Farsi, Abu Dar and Miqdad. 'Ammar b. Yasir was doubtful at first; however, he returned to Imam Ali (a).
Imam al-Sadiq (a) said about Abu Dhar's worship, the main part of his worship was thinking. He cried in the fear of Allah so much that he hurt his eyes. Abu Dhar also said: I like three things that people hate: death, poverty and affliction. Imam al-Sadiq (a) explained, Abu Dhar meant death by the order of Allah is better than living a sinful life; affliction in obeying Allah is better than health in disobeying Allah; and poverty in obeying Allah is better than committing sins in a prosperous life.
In Shi'a sources Abu Dhar is considered as one of the four pillars of Islam, alongside Salman al-Farsi, Miqdad and Ammar b. Yasir. Al-Shaykh al-Mufid has narrated a hadith from Imam al-Kazim (a): On the Day of Judgment, a caller will call: Where are the disciples of Prophet Muhammad (s) those who did not break their promise; and then Salman, Abu Dhar and Miqdad would stand up.
Aqa Buzurg Tihrani, mentioned two books about characteristics and life of Abu Dhar: Akhbar Abi Dhar by Abu Mansur Zafar b. Hamdun Badra'i and Akhbar Abi Dhar al-Ghifari wa fada'iluh by Al-Shaykh al-Saduq.
Sayyid Ali Khan al-Madani wrote on Abu Dhar: "He was a notable scholar and a grand ascetic, who would give away 400 dinars [an old currency in Arab countries] every year and never saved any for himself."
Abu Nu'aym al-Isfahani also said: Abu Dhar served Prophet Muhammad (s) and learned the principles of Islam. He was against riba (usury) even before the emergence of Islam. Walking on the right path, he was never influenced by those who blamed him and the power of rulers never overwhelmed him.
Friendship with Ali b. Abi Talib (a)
As al-Irbili narrated, Abu Dhar chose Ali b. Abi Talib as the executor of his will and said: By Allah, Ali b. Abi Talib (a) is my executor. By Allah, although his right was usurped in caliphate, you will find peace and blessing with him. Ibn Abi l-Hadid said: Abu Dhar told Ibn Rafi' in al-Rabadha, fear only Allah, soon a conspiracy will happen, you should support Imam 'Ali (a). Abu Dhar also attended the funeral of Lady Fatima (a) which took place at midnight.
In the time of the second caliph, 'Umar, he refused to accept a total ban on narrating/writing hadith. In response, Abu Dhar said: By Allah, if they threaten me by a sword to stop narrating hadiths from Prophet Muhammad (s), I would rather die than stop narrating Prophet's hadith. That is why Abu Dhar and other narrators of hadith were imprisoned.
Exile to Syria
As Ibn Abi l-Hadid said, Abu Dhar was exiled to Syria because he criticized Uthman, the third caliph, for giving the treasury money to Marwan b. Hakam, Zayd b. Thabit and others as a gift. He said: "Abu Dhar was shouting in streets and criticized Uthman. As a result, Uthman exiled him to Syria."
However, Abu Dhar made some social groups and informed people about the characteristics and virtues of Prophet Muhammad (s) and Ahl al-Bayt (a). On the other hand, Mu'awiya prohibited people from meeting Abu Dhar and reported his activities to Uthman. Therefore, he was returned to Medina.
Exile to al-Rabadha
Abu Dar met Uthman in Medina, where he refused his gift and criticized his actions again. Then 'Uthman lost his patience with him and exiled him to al-Rabadha in the worst possible condition, which is mentioned in many historical books.
Abu Dhar passed away in Dhu l-Hijja 32/653, in al-Rabadha, in the time of Uthman's caliphate. As Ibn Kathir has said, "no one was with him except his wife and his child when he passed away." Al-Zirikli said, "when he passed away his family did not have anything to enshroud his body".. Mihran b. Maymun said: "All the property of Abu Dhar valued only about two dirhams [an old currency in Arab countries less valuable than dinar]".
It is said, when his wife "Umm Dhar" was crying she said to Abu Dhar: "You die in the desert and I have nothing to enshroud your body. He replied: Do not cry and be happy, for Prophet Muhammad (s) said one of you will die in desert and he will be buried by a group of Muslims. The others have passed away in cities and I am the only one left, and I die in desert; Prophet Muhammad (s) was talking about me.
When he died Abd Allah b. Mas'ud and a number of Ansar, Hujr b. Adi, Malik al-Ashtar and several young Muslims, were passing the desert and coincidentally they noticed Abu Dhar. Therefore, they enshrouded his body and buried him and Abd Allah b. Mas'ud performed Funeral prayer on his body.
According to all sources, Abu Dhar is buried in al-Rabadha. Al-Harbi, in al-Manasik, said there was a mosque in al-Rabadha under the name of Abu Dhar; and it is said that the grave of Abu Dhar was in that mosque.
- Amīn,Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 4, p. 225.
- Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 1, p. 252.
- Ibn Hibbān, Mashāhīr ʿulamāʾ al-amṣār, p. 30; Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Taqrīb al-tahdhīb,vol. 2, p. 395.
- Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Taqrīb al-tahdhīb,vol. 7, p. 107.
- Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 4, p. 23.
- Dhahabī, Siyar aʿlām al-nubalāʾ, vol. 2, p. 47.
- Dhahabī, Siyar aʿlām al-nubalāʾ, vol. 2, p. 47; Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 5, p. 186; Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 33, p. 294.
- Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 4, p. 1652.
- Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 3, p. 25.
- Ibn Abī l-Ḥadīd, Sharḥ Nahj al-balāgha, vol. 15, p. 99.
- Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 1, p. 252; Dhahabī, Tārīkh al-islām, vol. 3, p. 4-6.
- Shūshtarī, Qāmūs al-rijāl, vol. 11, p. 322.
- Baghdādī, al-Muḥabbar, p. 237.
- Ibn Ḥibbān, al-Ṣaḥīḥ, vol. 16, p. 83.
- Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 4, p. 1654.
- Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, al-Isti'ab, vol. 4, p. 1654.
- Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 8, p. 297-298.
- Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, p. 525; Ṭabrisī, Makārim al-akhlāq, p. 256.
- Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 22, p. 404.
- Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 22, p. 420.
- Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 1, p. 255.
- Ṣadūq, al-Khiṣāl, p. 303.
- Mufīd, al-Ikhtiṣāṣ, p. 10.
- Ṣadūq, al-Khiṣāl, p. 40, 42.
- Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 8, p. 22.
- Mufīd, al-Ikhtiṣāṣ, p. 6-7; Ṭūsī, al-Rijāl, p. 598.
- Mufīd, al-Ikhtiṣāṣ, p. 61.
- Āghā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 1, p. 316.
- Āghā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, al-Dharīʿa, vol. 1, p. 317.
- Madanī, al-Darajāt al-rafīʿa, p. 226.
- Baḥr al-ʿUlūm, al-Fawāʾid al-rijālīyya, vol. 2, p. 49.
- Iṣfahānī, Ḥilyat al-awlīyāʾ, vol. 1, p. 156-157.
- Irbilī, Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 1, p. 353.
- Ibn Abī l-Ḥadīd, Sharḥ Nahj al-balāgha, vol. 13, p. 228.
- Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 115.
- Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, 1378 Sh, vol. 1, p. 524.
- Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 2, p. 354.
- Ibn Ḥibbān, al-Majrūḥīn, vol. 1, p. 35.
- Ibn Abī l-Ḥadīd, Sharḥ Nahj al-balāgha, vol. 8, p. 256-258.
- Amīn,Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol.4, p. 237.
- Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 115; Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 4, p. 23; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 3, p. 336.
- Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 3, p. 336; vol. 3, p. 354.
- Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 7, p. 185.
- Ziriklī, al-Aʿlām, vol. 2, p. 140.
- Amīn,Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 4, p. 229.
- Amīn,Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 4, p. 241.
- Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 1, p. 253; Ibn Ḥibbān, al-Thiqāt, vol. 3, p. 55.
- Ḥamawī, Muʿjam al-buldān, vol. 3, p. 24; Ṭurayḥī, Majmaʿ al-baḥrayn, vol. 2, p. 131.
- Ḥarbī, al-Manāsik, p. 327
- Āghā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, Muḥammad Muḥsin. Al-Dharīʿa ilā taṣānīf al-shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Aḍwāʾ, 1403 AH.
- Amīn, Sayyid Muḥsin al-. Aʿyān al-Shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Taʿāruf, [n.d].
- Baghdādī, Muḥammad b. Ḥabīb al-. Al-Muḥabbar. [n.p]: Maṭbaʿat al-Dāʾira, 1361 AH.
- Baḥr al-ʿUlūm, Muḥammad Mahdī al-. Al-Fawāʾid al-rijālīyya. Tehran: Maktabat al-Ṣādiq, 1363 Sh.
- Dhahabī, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-. Siyar aʿlām al-nubalāʾ. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Risāla, 1413 AH.
- Dhahabī, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-. Tārīkh al-islām. Beirut: Dār al-Kitāb al-ʿArabī, 1407 AH.
- Ḥamawī, Yāqūt b. ʿAbd Allāh al-. Muʿjam al-buldān. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1399 AH.
- Ḥarbī, Abū Isḥāq al-. Al-Manāsik wa amākin ṭuruq al-ḥajj wa maʿālim al-jazīra. Riyadh: Manshūrāt Dār al-Yamāma li-l-Baḥth wa l-tarjuma wa l-nashr, 1969.
- Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, Yūsuf b. ʿAbd Allāh. Al-Istīʿāb fī maʿrifat al-aṣḥāb. Beirut: Dār al-Jail, 1412 AH.
- Ibn Abī l-Ḥadīd, ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd b. Hibat Allāh. Sharḥ Nahj al-balāgha. Cairo: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Kutub al-ʿArabīyya, 1378 AH.
- Ibn Athīr, ʿAlī b. Muḥammad. Usd al-ghāba. Beirut: Dār al-Kitāb al-ʿArabī, [n.d].
- Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Aḥmad b. ʿAlī. Taqrīb al-tahdhīb. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1415 AH.
- Ibn Ḥibbān, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad. Al-Majrūḥīn. Edited by Maḥmūd Ibrāhīm Zāʾid. Mecca: Dār al-Bāzz, [n.d].
- Ibn Ḥibbān, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad. Al-Ṣaḥīḥ. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Risāla, 1414 AH.
- Ibn Ḥibbān, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad. Al-Thiqāt. [n.p]: Muʾassisat al-Kutub al-Thiqāfīyya, 1393 AH.
- Ibn Ḥibbān, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad. Mashāhīr ʿulamāʾ al-amṣār. Cairo: Dār al-Ifāʾ, 1411 AH.
- Ibn Kathīr, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1986.
- Ibn Saʿd, Muḥammad b. Manīʿ al-Baṣrī. Al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā. Beirut: Dār al-Ṣādir, [n.d].
- Irbilī, ʿAlī b. ʿIsā al-. Kashf al-ghumma fī maʿrifat al-aʾimma. Beirut: Dār al-Aḍwāʾ, 1405 AH.
- Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. Al-Kāfī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1363 Sh.
- Madanī, Sayyid ʿAlī Khān al-. Al-Darajāt al-rafīʿa. Qom: Baṣīratī, 1397 AH.
- Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Biḥār al-anwār. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Wafāʾ, 1403 AH.
- Mizzī, Yūsuf b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-. Tahdhīb al-kamāl. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Risāla, 1406 AH.
- Mufīd, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-. Al-Ikhtiṣāṣ. Beirut: Dār al-Mufīd, 1414 AH.
- Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Al-Khiṣāl. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1403 AH.
- Shūshtarī, Muḥammad Taqī. Qāmūs al-rijāl. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1419 AH.
- Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-. Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī, 1403 AH.
- Ṭabrisī, Ḥasan b. al-Faḍl al-. Makārim al-akhlāq. Qom: Raḍī, 1392 AH.
- Ṭurayḥī, Fakhr al-Dīn b. Muḥammad al-. Majmaʿ al-baḥrayn. Tehran: Wizārat-i Farhang wa Irshād-i Islāmī, 1367 Sh.
- Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-Amālī. Qom: Dār al-Thiqāfa, 1414 AH.
- Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥaasn al-. Al-Rijāl. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1415 AH.
- Yaʿqūbī, Aḥmad b. Abī Yaʿqūb al-. Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī. Translated to Farsi by Muḥammad Ibrāhīm Āyatī. Tehran: ʿIlmī wa Farhangī, 1378 Sh.
- Ziriklī, Khayr al-Dīn al-. Al-Aʿlām. Beirut: Dār al-ʿIlm, 1980.