Stories of the Sahabah

Saeed-bin Jubair

An account of Saeed-bin-Jubair, who is a famous Tabie. The Prophet (PBUH) has said:

"To utter truth in the face of a tyrant is the best Jihad."

This is a story of Jihad of that type. At that time, Hajjaj-bin-Yusuf, the notorious blood-shedder was in power. Hajjaj's harshness and tyranny are well known in human history. The rules in those days, in spite of their shortcomings, never lagged behind in propagating the faith, yet we treat them as the worst among rules because of the contrast with the just and God- fearing rulers. He was the viceroy of king Abdul Malik-bin-Marwan for Hijaz and Iraq. The king lived in Damascus and Hajjaj had his headquarters at Koofah. Saeed-bin-Jubair had fought against Hajjaj on the side of Ibnul-Ashath. After the defeat, Saeed (Rahmatullah alaih) ran away and took asylum in Mecca. The Government posted a very stern person as the Governor of Mecca, with instructions to arrest Saeed. The Governor assembled all the people of Mecca and read before them the order of King Abdul Malik, which said:

"Any person who gives shelter to Saeed (Rahmatullah alaih) shall meet the same fate as Saeed himself."

He then announced to the people:

"By Allah, I must kill the person who gives shelter to Saeed (Rahmatullah alaih). His and his neighbors' houses shall be razed to the ground."

Saeed was arrested with great difficulty and sent to Koofah. When he was brought before Hajjaj, the following conversation took place:

Hajjaj: "What is your name?"

Saeed: "My name is Saeed (lit. Auspicious)."

Hajjaj: "What is your father's name?"

Saeed: "Jubair (lit. Trimmed)."

Hajjaj: "No, you are in fact Shaqi (lit. Wretched) son of Kusair (lit. a broken thing)."

Saeed: "My mother knew my name better than you do."

Hajjaj: "You are wretched and so is your mother."

Saeed: "The Knower of the hidden things is some One else."

Hajjaj: "Look! I am putting you to sword."

Saeed: "Then my mother was right in giving me this name."

Hajjaj: "I shall send you to Hell."

Saeed: "If I knew that you had that power, I would have taken you as my god."

Hajjaj: "What is your belief about the Prophet (SAW)?"

Saeed: "He was an apostle of Mercy and a Prophet of Allah, sent with the best Guidance for the whole creation."

Hajjaj: "What do you say about the Khalifas?"

Saeed: "I am not a warder over them. Everybody is responsible for his own actions."

Hajjaj: "Who is the most exalted of the four Khalifahs?"

Saeed: "The one who had been able to please Allah more than the rest?"

Hajjaj: "Which of them had been able to please Allah?"

Saeed: "This is known only to Him. Who knows what is hidden in the bosoms and what the hearts conceal."

Hajjaj: "Is Ali in Paradise or in Hell?"

Saeed: "I can answer only after I visit the two places and meet their dwellers."

Hajjaj: "How shall I fare on the Day of Judgment?"

Saeed: "I am not fit to receive the knowledge of the unseen?"

Hajjaj: "You do not intend to tell me the truth."

Saeed: "But I did not tell a lie either."

Hajjaj: "Why do you never laugh?"

Saeed: "I do not see anything to laugh at; and indeed why should one laugh, who is created from dust, who has to appear on the Day of Judgment, and is always surrounded by tribulations."

Hajjaj: "But I do laugh."

Saeed: "Allah has created us with different temperaments."

Hajjaj: "I am now going to kill you."

Saeed: "The time and manner of my death have already been decreed."

Hajjaj: "Allah has preferred me to you."

Saeed: "Nobody can be proud of his relation with Allah, unless he knows his position; and Allah is the only knower of the unseen."

Hajjaj: "Why should I not be proud of my relation with Allah, when I am with the Amir-ul- Mominin and you are with the rebels?"

Saeed: "I am with the other Muslims. I myself shun mischief, but nobody can change the decree of Allah."

Hajjaj: "What do you say about what we collect for Amir-ul-Mominin?"

Saeed: "I do not know what you collect for him."

Hajjaj sent for gold, silver and dresses from the treasury and showed these to Saeed.

Saeed: "These are useful, provided you are able to obtain with them the things that may provide you peace on the Day of Consternation (i.e. Day of Judgment), when every nursing mother will forget her nursing, and every pregnant one will be delivered of her burden, and when nothing but good will be of any avail."

Hajjaj: "Are our collections not good?"

Saeed: "You have collected them, and you are the best judge."

Hajjaj: "Do you like any of these things for yourself?"

Saeed: "I only like the things which Allah likes."

Hajjaj: "Woe to you!"

Saeed: "Woe is for the person who is deprived of Paradise and is made to enter Hell."

Hajjaj: "(Annoyed): "Say how should I kill you?"

Saeed: "As you would like to be killed."

Hajjaj: "Should I forgive you?"

Saeed: "Allah's forgiveness is real. Your forgiveness is of no value."

Hajjaj: "(To the executioner): 'Kill this man.'"

Saeed laughed while he was being taken for execution. Hajjaj was informed of this. He called him back.

Hajjaj: "What made you laugh?"

Saeed: "Your boldness with Allah, and His clemency to you."

Hajjaj: "I am killing a person who has caused dissent among the Muslims." (To the Executioner) "Kill him in front of me."

Saeed: "Let me say my Salat of two rakaats."

After finishing Salat, he faced Qiblah and recited:

"Verily, I have turned my face toward Him. Who created the heavens and earth, as one by nature upright, and I am not of the idolaters."

Hajjaj: "Turn him from our Qiblah and let him face the Qiblah of the Christians, who also caused dissension and dispute among their community."

His face immediately turned to the other direction.

Saeed: "Whithersoever Ye turn, there is Allah's Face. For Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing." (Quran 2:115)

Hajjaj: "Make him lie on his face. We are only responsible for appearance."

Saeed was made to lie on his face.

Saeed:"From the (earth) did We create you, and into it shall We return you, and from it shall We bring you out once again." (Quran 20:55)

Hajjaj: "Kill him!!"

Saeed: "I call you to witness what I recite: "I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, who is all alone and Who has no partner and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His slave and His Messenger."

He was then beheaded -- Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi rajeun -- To God We Belong And To Him We Return.

After the execution, too much blood came out from Saeed's body. Hajjaj himself marveled greatly at it. He inquired the reason from his doctors, who said: "His tranquility and composure at the time of death had kept his blood in its original form. Generally, people to be executed are so much scared and afraid of death that their blood curdles and does not flow profusely."


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August 1993
Safar 1414
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