'Abdullaah Ibn Umm Maktoom
Abdullaah Ibn Umm Maktoom
was the cousin of Khadeejah Bint Khuwaylid, Mother of the Believers . His father was Qays Ibn Sa’eed and his mother was 'Aatikah Ibnt 'Abdullaah. She was called Umm Maktoom (Mother of the concealed one) because she gave birth to a blind child.
witnessed the rise of Islam in Makkah. He was amongst the first to accept Islam. He lived through the persecution of the Muslims and suffered what the other Companions of the Prophet
experienced. His attitude, like theirs, was one of firmness, staunch resistance and sacrifice.
Neither his dedication nor his faith weakened against the violence of the onslaught of the Quraysh (the ruling tribe of Makkah at the time of Prophet Muhammad, sallallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). In fact, it only increased his determination to hold on to the religion of Allaah and his devotion to His Messenger
was devoted to the noble Prophet
and he was so eager to memorize the Quran that he would not miss any opportunity to achieve his heart's desire. Indeed, his sense of urgency and his insistence could sometimes have been excessive as he, unintentionally, sought to monopolize the attention of the Prophet .
In this period, the Prophet
was concentrating on the Quraysh notables and was eager for them to become Muslims. On one particular day, he met 'Utbah Ibn Rabee'ah and his brother Shaybah, 'Amr Ibn Hishaam, better known as Abu Jahl, Umayyah Ibn Khalaf and Waleed Ibn Mugheerah, the father of Khaalid Ibn Al-Waleed who was later to be known as Sayfullaah or 'the Sword of Allaah'.
He had begun talking and negotiating with them and telling them about Islam. He wished that they would respond positively to him and accept Islam or at least call off their persecution of his Companions.
While the Prophet
was thus engaged, 'Abdullaah Ibn Umm Maktoom
came up and asked him to read a verse from the Quran. "O Messenger of Allaah," he said, "teach me from what Allaah has taught you."
frowned and turned away from him. He turned his attention instead to the prestigious group of Quraysh, hoping that they would become Muslims and that by their acceptance of Islam they would bring greatness to the religion of Allaah and strengthen his mission.
As soon as he had finished speaking to them and had left their company, he suddenly felt partially blinded and his head began to throb violently. At this point the following revelation came to him (what means): "He (i.e., the Prophet ) frowned and turned away because there came to him the blind man, (interrupting). But what would make you perceive, (O Muhammad), that perhaps he might be purified, or be reminded and the remembrance would benefit him? As for he who thinks himself without need, to him you give attention. And not upon you (is any blame) if he will not be purified. But as for he who came to you striving (for knowledge) while he fears Allaah, from him you are distracted. No! Indeed, they (i.e., theses verses) are a reminder; so whoever wills may remember it". [Quran 80: 1-12]
These are the verses which were revealed to the noble Prophet
about 'Abdullaah Ibn Umm Maktoom
. These verses have continued to be recited from that time till today and shall continue to be recited by all who read the Quran.
From that day the Prophet did not cease to be generous to 'Abdullaah Ibn Umm Maktoom to ask him about his affairs, to fulfill his needs and take him into his council whenever he approached. In fact, in later years, he often greeted Ibn Umm Maktoom with these words of humility: "Welcome unto him on whose account my Sustainer has blamed me."
When the Quraysh intensified their persecution of the Prophet
and those who believed with him, Allaah gave them permission to emigrate. 'Abdullaah's response was prompt. He and Mus’aab Ibn ‘Umayr were the first of the Companions to reach Al-Madeenah.
One of the responsibilities that the Prophet
placed on 'Abdullaah Ibn Umm Maktoom was to put him in charge of Al-Madeenah in his absence. This was done more than ten times.
Soon after the battle of Badr, the Prophet
received a revelation from Allaah raising the status of those who go out to fight the enemies (for the sake of Allaah) and preferring them over those who remain inactive at home. This revelation affected 'Abdullaah deeply. It pained him to be thus barred from the higher status and he said: 'O Messenger of Allaah ! If I could go on Jihaad (fighting in Allaah’s cause), I would certainly do it.' He then earnestly asked Allaah to send down a revelation about his particular case and those like him who were prevented because of their disabilities from going on military campaigns.
His prayer was answered. An additional phrase was revealed to the Prophet exempting those with disabilities from the import of the original verse. The full verse became (what means): "Not equal are those believers remaining (at home) – other than the disabled – and the mujaahideen (who strive and fight) in the cause of Allaah with their wealth and their lives…. " [ Quran, 4: 95]
In spite of thus being excused from Jihaad, the soul of 'Abdullaah Ibn Umm Maktoom
refused to be content with staying among those who remained at home when an expedition was in progress. Great souls are not content with remaining detached from affairs of great magnitude. He determined that no campaign should by-pass him. He fixed a role for himself on the battlefield. He would say: "Place me between two rows and give me the flag. I will carry it for you and protect it, for I am blind and cannot run away."
In the fourteenth year after the Hijrah (migration), 'Umar
who was the Caliph at the time resolved to mount a major assault against the Persians to bring down their State and open the way for the Muslim forces. So he wrote to his governors: "Send anyone with a weapon or a horse or who can offer any form of help to me - and make haste."
Crowds of Muslims from every direction responded to ‘Umar's call and converged on Al-Madeenah. Among all these was the blind Mujaahid 'Abdullaah Ibn Umm Maktoom . 'Umar appointed Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqaas commander over the army, gave him instructions and bade him farewell.
When the army reached Qaadisiyah, 'Abdullaah Ibn Umm Maktoom was in the forefront, wearing a coat of armor and fully prepared. He had vowed to carry and protect the flag of the Muslims or be killed in the process.
The forces met and engaged in battle for three days. The fighting was among the most fierce and bitter in the history of the Muslim conquests. On the third day, the Muslims achieved a mighty victory as one of the greatest empires in the world collapsed and one of the most secure thrones fell. The flag of Tawheed (Monotheism) was raised in an idolatrous land.
The price of this clear victory was hundreds of martyrs. Among them was 'Abdullaah Ibn Umm Maktoom
. He was found amongst those who had been killed on the battlefield clutching the flag of the Muslims.