Page 15 - Riyad-us-Saliheen

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undetected) unless Revelation from Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious (revealed relating to them). And Messenger of
Allah (PBUH) set out on this expedition when the fruit were ripe and their shade was sought. I had a weakness for
them and it was during this season that Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and the Muslims made preparations. I also
would set out in the morning to make preparations along with them but would come back having done nothing and
said to myself: 'I have means enough (to make preparations) as soon as I like'. And I went on doing this (postponing
my preparations) till the time of departure came and it was in the morning that Messenger of Allah (PBUH) set out
along with the Muslims, but I had made no preparations. I would go early in the morning and come back, but with
no decision. I went on doing so until they (the Muslims) hastened and covered a good deal of distance. Then I
wished to march on and join them. Would that I had done that! But perhaps it was not destined for me. After the
departure of Messenger of Allah (PBUH) whenever I went out, I was grieved to find no good example to follow but
confirmed hypocrites or weak people whom Allah had exempted (from marching forth for Jihad). Messenger of
Allah (PBUH) made no mention of me until he reached Tabuk. While he was sitting with the people in Tabuk, he
`What happened to Ka`b bin Malik?'
A person from Banu Salimah said: "O Messenger of Allah, the (beauty) of
his cloak and an appreciation of his finery have detained him.' Upon this Mu`adh bin Jabal (MatAllah be pleased
with him) admonished him and said to Messenger of Allah (PBUH): "By Allah, we know nothing about him but
good.' Messenger of Allah (PBUH), however, kept quiet. At that time he (the Prophet (PBUH)) saw a person dressed
in white and said,
`Be Abu Khaithamah.
' And was Abu Khaithamah Al-Ansari was the person who had contributed a
Sa` of dates and was ridiculed by the hypocrites.'' Ka`b bin Malik further said: "When the news reached me that
Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was on his way back from Tabuk, I was greatly distressed. I thought of fabricating an
excuse and asked myself how I would save myself from his anger the next day. In this connection, I sought the
counsels of every prudent member of my family. When I was told that Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was about to
arrive, all the wicked ideas vanished (from my mind) and I came to the conclusion that nothing but the truth could
save me. So I decided to tell him the truth. It was in the morning that Messenger of Allah (PBUH) arrived in Al-
Madinah. It was his habit that whenever he came back from a journey, he would first go to the mosque and perform
two Rak`ah (of optional prayer) and would then sit with the people. When he sat, those who had remained behind
him began to put forward their excuses and take an oath before him. They were more than eighty in number.
Messenger of Allah (PBUH) accepted their excuses on the very face of them and accepted their allegiance and
sought forgiveness for them and left their insights to Allah, until I appeared before him. I greeted him and he smiled
and there was a tinge of anger in that. He then said to me,
'Come forward'.
I went forward and I sat in front of him.
He said to me,
`What kept you back? Could you not afford to go in for a ride?'
I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, by
Allah, if I were to sit before anybody else, a man of the world, I would have definitely saved myself from his anger
on one pretext or the other and I have a gifted skill in argumentation, but, by Allah, I am fully aware that if I were to
put forward before you a lame excuse to please you, Allah would definitely provoke your wrath upon me. In case, I
speak the truth, you may be angry with me, but I hope that Allah would be pleased with me (and accept my
repentance). By Allah, there is no valid excuse for me. By Allah, I never possessed so good means, and I never had
such favourable conditions for me as I had when I stayed behind.' Thereupon, Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,
'This man spoke the truth, so get up (and wait) until Allah gives a decision about you.'
I left and some people of
Banu Salimah followed me. They said to me, `By Allah, we do not know that you committed a sin before. You,
however, showed inability to put forward an excuse before Messenger of Allah (PBUH) like those who stayed
behind him. It would have been enough for the forgiveness of your sin that Messenger of Allah (PBUH) would have
sought forgiveness for you.' By Allah, they kept on reproaching me until I thought of going back to Messenger of
Allah (PBUH) and retract my confession. Then I said to them, 'Has anyone else met the same fate?' They said, 'Yes,
two persons have met the same fate. They made the same statement as you did and the same verdict was delivered in
their case.' I asked, `Who are they?' They said, 'Murarah bin Ar-Rabi` Al-`Amri and Hilal bin Umaiyyah Al-Waqifi.'
They mentioned these two pious men who had taken part in the battle of Badr and there was an example for me in
them. I was confirmed in my original resolve. Messenger of Allah (PBUH) prohibited the Muslims to talk to the
three of us from amongst those who had stayed behind. The people began to avoid us and their attitude towards us
changed and it seemed as if the whole atmosphere had turned against us, and it was in fact the same atmosphere of
which I was fully aware and in which I had lived (for a fairly long time). We spent fifty nights in this very state and
my two friends confined themselves within their houses and spent (most of their) time weeping. As I was the
youngest and the strongest, I would leave my house, attend the congregational Salat, move about in the bazaars, but
none would speak to me. I would come to Messenger of Allah (PBUH) as he sat amongst (people) after the Salat,
greet him and would ask myself whether or not his lips moved in response to my greetings. Then I would perform
Salat near him and look at him stealthily. When I finish my Salat, he would look at me and when I would cast a
glance at him he would turn away his eyes from me. When the harsh treatment of the Muslims to me continued for a
(considerable) length of time, I walked and I climbed upon the wall of the garden of Abu Qatadah, who was my
cousin, and I had a great love for him. I greeted him but, by Allah, he did not answer to my greeting. I said to him,
`O Abu Qatadah, I adjure you in the Name of Allah, are you not aware that I love Allah and His Messenger
(PBUH)?' I asked him the same question again but he remained silent. I again adjured him, whereupon he said,
`Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) know better.' My eyes were filled with tears, and I came back climbing down the