beloved sisters. In sha Allah I will start posting short stories and summaries on the lives of some of the greatest of the tabi'een. Who are the tabi'een? They are those men and women who were Muslim and had the great blessing of being able to meet and even study with the companions of the prophet (sal allahu alayhi wa sallam).
(summaries translated from 'Suwar min Hayaati Taabi'een')
'Suwar min Hayaati Taabi'een'
Author: Dr. Abdur-Rahman Ra'fat Al-Baashaa
Our companion today is a great tabi'ee who was known for his wisdom, asceticism (zuhd), great worship of Allah and knowledge of course. He was none other than Abu Yazeed Ar-Rabee' ibn Khuthaym
(radiya allahu anhu).
He was one of the students of the great companion, Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood
. And it is said that he would follow Ibn Mas'ood like how the child follows his parent and does not like to leave him. He loved Ibn Mas'ood like how the child loves his/her parent. Ibn Mas'ood
would pay close attention to this young man and saw his beautiful and perfect worship and pure heart that he once said to him:"O Aba Yazeed! If the Messenger of Allah (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) saw you, he would have loved you!.. I have never seen you once except that I remember those who fear Allah (alkhaashi'een)."
As for his background, then he is Ar-Rabee' ibn Khuthaym , originally an Arab, and further more a Muduree
This means his lineage meets with one of the great grandfathers of the prophet (sal allahu alayhi wa sallam), Mudar.
Ar-Rabee' is one of the eight great ascetics of this ummah. He was one of the greatest of the tabi'een. From a very young age, Ar-Rabee grew up in the worship of Allah. It is said, his mother would sleep in the night and then wake up to find Ar-Rabee' standing in prayer in his place of worship of the house. She would then say to him, "O my son! Will you not sleep?" And he would reply, "And how can one sleep when the night has covered him, fearing that he may be struck at any moment (death)?"
Tears would then roll down his mother's cheeks upon hearing his reply.
Ar-Rabee' learnt under the great sahabi, Abdullaah ibn Mas'ood
. Others he narrated from include the companion, Abu Ayyoob al Ansaari, Amr ibn Maymun,
and Ar-Rabee' actually narrated very little.
Others who learnt and narrated from him include,Ibrahim an-Nakha'i, Ash-Sha'bi, Mundhir ath-Thawri, Hilaal ibn Yusaaf, Hubayra ibn Khuzayma and others. Ar-Rabee' (May Allah be pleased with him) was counted as among the few intelligent men. Among those he narrated from, Ar-Rabee' had the closest connection to Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood. It is said Ar-Rabee' would enter upon Ibn Mas'ood without permission and when he had entered no one else would be allowed to be with Ibn Mas'ood until Ar-Rabee' had left. And Ibn Mas'ood saw the sincerity and truthfulness of his heart and the goodness of his worship that this filled his heart with sadness that Ar-Rabee' came at a later time after the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wasallam) thus being forbidden from his companionship.
As we mentioned, Ibn Mas'ood would say to him, "O Aba Yazeed! If the messenger of Allah saw you he certainly would have loved you!"
It is not surprising that Abdullah Ibn Mas'ood would say this about this man for indeed he was a strange and amazing personality. One of his companions narrated, "I befriended Ar-Rabee ibn Khuthaym for 20 years and I have not heard him speak except a high word."
Ar-Rabee' was a man who spoke very little and if he spoke, words of wisdom would flow from his lips which were continuous in the remembrance of Allah
Even when al Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiya allahu anhuma) was assassinated. When this happened, one of Ar-Rabee's relatives entered upon him informing of the dreadful news. Ar-Rabee' replied, "Inaa lilaahi wa inaa ilayhi raji'oon (verily to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return) and he then recited the words of Allah, "Say (O Muhammad ): "O Allah! Creator of the heavens and the earth! All-Knower of the Ghaib (unseen) and the seen. You will judge between your slaves about that wherein they used to differ."
The relative of his was not satisfied with these words and it was as if he wanted to hear Ar-Rabee's actual thoughts on the incident so he said, "What do you say of his killing?" Ar-Rabee' replied, "I say to Allah is their return and upon Allah is their judgement."
Imam ath-Thawri narrated from one man who was close to ar-Rabee' and this man said, "I have never seen Ar-Rabee' asking about the people and their affair except once when he said to me, "Is your mother alive?"
Thus, Ar-Rabee' was a man who certainly knew the dangers of the tongue and so he kept his tongue busy in the remembrance of Allah and did not want it to be used as hujjah (proof) against him on the Final Day.
Ath-Thawri also narrated from his father that he said, "when it was said to Ar-Rabee' "How have you found your morning (or how did you reach your morning in other words how is your condition etc) he would reply, "As weak sinners, we eat our sustenance, and we await our time (death)."
He also said, "Everything that is sought for other than the sake of Allah will vanish
(be of no use due to the absence of ikhlaas)."
He would advice those who came to him in the best of manner and in the best of words. Once two men came to visit him and finally one of them said to him, "We have sat with you for some time and we have not heard you bring up any poetry as examples and we have seen some of your companions using poetry as examples."
Ar-Rabee' said, "Nothing that you say here (this dunyaa) except that it will be written down and recited upon you over there (the Aakhira). And I dislike that a line of poetry be found in my book and recited over me on the Day of Recompense."
He then turned to his visitors and said to them, " Remember much death for it is your long awaited friend."
Ar-Rabee' spent much of his life contemplating death and preparing for it. When death came to him, his daughter who was near him began to cry. So he said to her, "What makes you cry my daughter when good has come to your father?!"
His soul then left his body after these words.
During his old age, Ar-Rabee' was tested with the illness of hemiplegia (paralysis of half of the body). Nevertheless, he did not excuse himself from praying with the congregation for his prayers and would have someone help him to the masjid. So it was said to him, " You have been excused from attending the congregation." Ar-Rabee' replied, "Verily, I heard the muadhin saying "Hayya ala Salah (Come to prayer) so if you are capable of going to it, then go even if you must crawl!"
May Allah mercy on Ar-Rabee' ibn Khuthaym for he was a true example of righteousness and faith.
He passed away before the year 65 Hijri.