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was elevated by his piety and sincerity to the highest degree of the new society which Islam came to
establish and caused to rise on a new, great and just foundation, a foundation summarized in the
following glorious verse "Surely, the most honourable of you in the sight of GOD is the most pious of
you" (49:13) and in the noble hadiiths: "Arabs have no superiority over non-Arabs except in piety" and
"The son of a white woman has no superiority over the son of a black woman except in piety."
In this new, rightly-guided society, Abu Hudhaifah, who was only a slave yesterday, found for
himself honor to be in charge, to have power and to govern. Moreover, he found honor for his family, to
marry Saalim to his niece Faatimah Bint Al-Waliid Ibn `Utbah. And in this new, rightly-guided society,
which destroyed the unjust class structure and outlawed false distinctions and privileges, Saalim found
himself always in the first rank on account of his truthfulness, faith, and bravery.
Yes, he became an Imam for the Muhaajiruun of Makkah to Al Madiinah during their prayer in the
Qubaa' Mosque. There is proof in the Book of Allah, when the Prophet ordered the Muslims to learn
from him. There were with him men of goodness and excellence, which made the Messenger say to him,
"Praise be to Allah, Who made in my nation the like of you." His Muslim brothers called him "Saalim
from among the Righteous."
Indeed, the story of Saalim is like the story of Bilaal and the story of many tens of slaves and the
poor from whom Islam shook off the factors of servitude and weakness and made them imams and
commanders in a society of guidance, reason, integrity of conduct, and frankness.
Saalim was a receiver of all the rightly guided virtues of Islam. These virtues accumulated in him
and around him, and his truthful, deep faith arranged them in proper order in the most beautiful
disposition. Among his most prominent virtues was his overt, public frankness about what he perceived
as the truth. Indeed, he did not keep silent when he perceived something which he felt it was his duty to
speak about. He did not betray life by maintaining silence when mistakes were made.
After Makkah was liberated by the Muslims, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) sent some
detachments to villages and tribes around Makkah to inform them that whenever he sent someone to
them, they were coming only as callers to the Faith, so not to harm them or kill them.
At the head of one of these companies was Khaalid Ibn Al Waliid. When Khaalid reached his
distination, some incident led him to use the sword and shed blood. When the Prophet (PBUH) heard the
news of these events, he apologized to his Lord a long time saying, "O Allah, indeed I absolve myself
from all that Khaalid has done." The Commander of the Faithful `Umar ever remained to recollect and
assess him saying, "In the sword of khaalid, indeed, is a heavy burden."
Saalim Mawlaa Abi Hudhaifah accompanied Khaalid on this expedition, along with other
Companions. As soon as Saalim saw the actions of Khaalid, he confronted him with a sharp objection
and went on enumerating to him the mistakes he had committed. Khaalid, the leader, the great hero in
both jaahiliyah and Islam, listened the first time, defended himself the second time, and became more
forceful in speech the third time while Saalim, holding on to his point of view, spoke without fear or
evasion or circumvention in speech. Saalim at that time did not look at Khaalid as a nobleman from
among the nobles of Makkah, while he was one who only yesterday was a slave. No, Islam had created
equality between them. He did not look at him as a leader, venerating his errors, but as a partner in duty
and responsibility. Moreover, his opposition to Khaalid did not originate from a selfish purpose or
interest; it was advice, consecrated by Islam, which was his right. What he heard all the time from his
Prophet was a foundation and essence of the entire religion when he said, "Religion is sincere advice.
Religion is sincere advice. Religion is sincere advice."
When the action of Khaalid reached the Messenger (PBUH), he asked, "Did anyone stand up to
him?" He did not delay to question, and he was not alarmed. His anger was pacified when they said to
him, "Yes, Saalim critically examined him and opposed him."