SAAD IBN MUADH (RA)
Saad ibn Muadh(RA) was one of the greatest companion of Prophet Muhammadﷺ. He committed himself to Islam at the age of 31 and got martyred at 37. These seven years were a tough phase of his life in which he exerted all his energy in the service of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ.
He is Saad Ibn Muadh (RA), whose greatness is described beautifully as follows: Narrated Jabir (RA): I heard the Prophet ﷺsaying, “The Throne (of Allah) shook at the death of Saad Ibn Muaadh (RA).” Book of Merits of Al-Ansar, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 5: 3803(OE Vol 5:147), Sahih Muslim 2466 Similar narrations are reported in Jami’ At-Tirmidhi.
It was narrated from Ibn 'Umar(RA) that the Messenger of Allahﷺsaid: This is the one at whose death the Throne shook, the gates of heaven were opened of him and seventy thousand angles attended his funeral. It squeezed him once then released him." Sunan an-Nasa'i Vol.3:2055
Mus’ab Ibn Umair was sent by the Prophet ﷺto Madinah to call people to commit them to Islam. Saad Ibn Muaadh wanted to drive this stranger out of Madinah along with his new religion. No sooner had he approached Mus’ab’s assembly at the house of his nephew, Asad Ibn Zuraarah, his heart was revived by a sweet pacifying breeze. He reached those men who gathered there, took his place among them and listened intently to Mus’ab’s words, and Allah guided him to right path that illuminated his heart and soul. In one of the incredible miracles of fate, the leader of Al-Ansar put aside his spear and shook his hands with Mus’ab as a sign of his allegiance to the Prophet ﷺ.
A new sun was shining on Madinah as soon as Saad committed to Islam. He withstood the hardships that ensued with much heroism and greatness.
When Battle of Badr was about to take place, the Prophet ﷺgathered his companions to consult them. He turned towards Ansar and said, “I want to know your opinion about what should be done concerning the imminent battle.” Saad (RA) stood up and said, “O Prophet of Allah! We firmly believe in you, and we witness that what descends on you is the truth. We swore a solemn oath and gave you the allegiance, so go ahead with whatever you want, and we shall stand by your side. We swear by Allah, Who has sent you with truth, that if you reach the sea and cross it, we will cross it hand-in-hand with you. No man will lag or stay behind. We are absolutely ready to go to war against our enemy tomorrow for we are given to terrible warfare, and we are sincere in our desire to meet Allah. I hope that Allah will make us do what will make you proud of us. So go on with whatever is in your mind. Allah bless you.” Saad’s words made the Prophet’s ﷺface brighten with satisfaction and happiness as he addressed the Muslims.
When Muslims lost control and dispersed due to sudden attack from the enemies, everything was hectic, yet Saad Ibn Muaadh (RA) stood there as if pinned to the ground next to the Prophet ﷺ. He defended him courageously as a noble warrior should do.
Battle of Khandaq came as a suitable opportunity for Saad to show his admirable manliness and amazing valor. For while the Prophet ﷺand his companions were living in Madinah peacefully, hoping that Quraish would refrain from their hostility; a group of Jewish leaders stealthily headed for Makkah to instigate the Quraish against the Prophet ﷺ. The Jews pledged to help Quraish if they decided to raid Madinah. They made an agreement and the battle plan was laid. Moreover, on their way home, they incited Bani Ghatfaan, one of the biggest Arab tribes, and made an agreement with its leaders to join forces with Quraish army. The war plan was ready. The Quraish and Ghatfaan were to attack Madinah with enormous army, whereas the Jews were to sabotage Madinah simultaneously with the attack.
When the Prophet ﷺcame to know about the treacherous scheme, he resorted to counterplot. First, he ordered his companions to dig a trench around Madinah to hold back the attackers. Second, he sent Saad Ibn Muaadh (RA) & Saad Ibn Ubaadah (RA) to Ka’b Ibn Asad, the leader of Bani Quraidah, to learn exactly where they stood concerning the war. At that time, mutual agreements and treaties were already signed between the Prophet ﷺand the Jews of Bani Quraidah. However, to their surprise, Ka’b Ibn Asad denied the agreement.
Few days later Madinah witnessed a horrible siege. It was in fact a siege which it brought upon itself rather than was forced upon it due to the trench that was dug as protection and safety procedure. The Muslims were prepared for the war. Saad Ibn Muaadh (RA) marched around with his sword and spear and recited lines of poetry meaning: I waited anxiously for the battle to start. How beautiful death seems when the time is the right time.
In one of the rounds of the war, Saad’s arm was wounded badly with arrows and blood gushed severely from his wounds. The Prophet ﷺordered him to be carried to the mosque where a tent was put up so that he would be near the Prophet ﷺwhile being nursed. Saad looked towards the sky and said, “O Allah our Lord! If the war is to last any longer, please do let me live a little longer to fight against them, for I like nothing better than fighting those who hurt Your Prophet ﷺ, disbelieved him and even drove him to emigrate. But if the war has ended, please make my wounds pave my way to martyrdom. I implore You, Dear Allah, not to let me die until I avenge myself upon Bani Quraidah.”
Allah did fulfil his supplication. His injury caused his death but not before he had taken revenge on the Jews of Bani Quraidah. Coming section of discussion shall tell us about this.
After Quraish returned back to Makkah, ashamed and disappointed in Battle of Khandaq, the Prophet ﷺbelieved that Madinah had been compromised by deceit of the Jews for too long. Therefore, he ordered his companions to march towards Bani Quraidah, and the Muslims besieged them there for 25 days. When the Jews were certain that there was no escape from the Muslims, they pleaded to let Saad Ibn Muaadh (RA), their ally in pagan times, decide their fate.
Narrated by Sa’id Al-Khudri (RA): Some people (i.e. the Jews of Bani Quraidah) agreed to accept the verdict of Saad Ibn Muaadh (RA), so the Prophet ﷺsent for him. He came riding a donkey, and when he approached the mosque, the Prophet ﷺsaid, “Get up for the best amongst you.” Or said, “Get up for your chief.” Then the Prophet ﷺsaid, “O Saad! These people have agreed to (accept) your verdict.” Saad Ibn Muaadh (RA) said, “I judge that their warriors should be killed and their children & women should be taken as captives.” The Prophet ﷺsaid, “You have given a judgement similar to Allah’s judgement.”Book of Merits of Al-Ansar, Sahih Bukhari, 3804(Vol.5:148) and 6262(Vol.8: 278) This is how Allah helped Saad take his revenge.
Saad’s wounds (during the Battle of Khandaq) became worse day by day. One day, the Prophet ﷺvisited Saad and found him on verge of death. He put his head on his lap and called upon Allah, “O Allah, Our Lord! Saad has striven hard in the way of Allah. He believed in Your Prophet and did his very best. So please accept his soul with goodly acceptance.” The words of the Prophet ﷺfell like coolness and safety on the departing noble soul. He struggled to open his eyes and said, “Peace be upon you, Prophet. I do witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet ﷺtook a farewell look at Saad’s face and said, “Rejoice, Abu Amr.” Saad Ibn Muaadh (RA) breathed his last in lap of the Prophet ﷺ. What a great honour for the great man!
It is said that the angels carried his janazah. Refer to following hadith: Anas bin Malik (RA) said, “When the janazah of Saad bin Muaadh (RA) was carried, the hypocrites said: ‘How light his janazah is? And this was due to his judgement concerning Bani Quraidah.’ So this reached the Prophet ﷺand he said, “Indeed, the angels were carrying him.” Book of Al-Manaqib, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 6: 3849