In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Rabee’ah Al-Aslami [radiyallaahu-anhu] narrated, “I used to serve the Messenger of Allaah [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam], so he gave me a piece of land and gave Abu Bakr a piece of land. Then, the worldly life came and we argued over a bunch of palm trees, so Abu Bakr said, ‘It is in my piece of land!’ and I said, ‘It is in my piece of land!’ Then there was an exchange of words between Abu Bakr and myself, so Abu Bakr said something to me that I disliked, and he regretted that. So, he said to me, ‘O Rabee’ah! Say in return to me what I said to you so that it becomes a retribution’. I said, ‘I will not do so!’ Abu Bakr said, ‘Say it, or I will call the Messenger of Allaah on you!’ I said, ‘I will not do so’. So Abu Bakr abandoned the piece of land and went to the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] and I followed him. The people from [the tribe of] Aslam came and said, ‘May Allaah have mercy on Abu Bakr! Why would he call the Messenger of Allaah on you when he has said to you what he has said?’ So I said, ‘Do you know who that is? That is Abu Bakr -the Truthful [as-Siddeeq]! He is the one who was in the Cave with the Prophet [sallal laahu-alayhi wasallam], and he is the elder of the Muslims! So beware that he turns around and see you helping me against him and it makes him angry, then the Messenger of Allaah [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] comes along and become angry because of Abu Bakr’s anger, and then Allaah becomes angry due to their anger, and thus Rabee’ah is destroyed!’ So, they said, ‘So what do you want us to do?’ I said, ‘Go back to where you came from.’ So Abu Bakr went to the Messenger of Allah and I followed him by myself and continued until he got to the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] and informed him of our conversation as it happened. So he [the Prophet] raised his head to me and said, ‘O Rabee’ah! What is going on between you and as-Siddeeq?’ So I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! This happened and that happened, so he said something to me that I disliked, and he told me to say the same thing back to him so that it be would be a retribution’. So the Messenger of Allaah said, ‘Do not return his comment to him, rather say ‘May Allaah forgive you O Abu Bakr! May Allaah forgive you O Abu Bakr!’ So Abu Bakr turned his face and began to cry’”.
Beneficial Reminders From This Hadeeth By Shaikh Zayd Bin Haadi [rahimahullaah]
This hadeeth contains an amazing story from which we can take an exhortation and a lesson. Firstly, it is a proof regarding the purity of the hearts of the Sahaabah towards one another, and that when disagreement occurred between them regarding a worldly affair, they did not boycott one another – neither harboured resentment nor hatred; rather one gave sincere advice to the other.
This story shows that the Sahaabah were people of fair play and justice, and they feared falling into disobedience and evil deeds. And if punishment was legislated for an evil deed, they wished that such punishment is received in this worldly life and not the afterlife.
This story shows the virtue of AbuBakr [radiyallaahu-anhu] – his status in the eyes of the Sahaabah, in the eyes of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] and also in the sight of Allaah, for indeed the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] use to hold him in high esteem and raised him to his rightful status, just as Allaah stated in the Qur’aan: [إِذۡ هُمَا فِى ٱلۡغَارِ إِذۡ يَقُولُ لِصَـٰحِبِهِۦ لَا تَحۡزَنۡ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَنَاۖ – The second of two, when they were in the cave, and he [Muhammad (sallal laahu alayhi wasallam)] said to his companion [Abu Bakr (radiyallaahu-anhu)], “Be not sad [or afraid], surely Allaah is with us”. [Surah At-tawbah. Aayah 40]
AbuBakr [radiyallaahu-anhu] was the Prophet’s [sallal-laahu-alayhi- wasallam] companion in the cave. He is the most virtuous person in the Ummah after the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] based on the consensus of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah – past and present. Indeed, the Prophet [sallal laahu- alayhi wasallam] said to some of his companions regarding AbuBakr’s [radiyallaahu-anhu] affair, “Would you not leave my companion for me” – meaning AbuBakr [i.e. refrain from annoying or harming AbuBakr (radiyallaahu-anhu)] [Bukhari 3661]
This story shows the virtue of being forgiving and pardoning the one who wrongs you when you are able to do so and based on [a lawful and overriding] benefit, for indeed being forgiving and pardoning others will not increase you in anything except honour and a higher status in the sight of Allaah.
This story also shows that the companions of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] were not infallible. Mistakes did occur from them unintentionally, but they were a people whom Allaah favoured with the companionship of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam], and they did not persist upon mistakes as it is seen in this story. Indeed, disagreement did occur between them [ref 1], but they humbled themselves to the truth- neither repelled the truth with falsehood nor indulged in oppression; rather they hastened to Allaah’s Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] to resolve the [disagreements] that occurred between them. The Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] resolved those issues and all of them were pleased with the judgement and submitted with full submission.
This story shows the virtue of supplicating for others, especially for the one who wronged you. So, you supplicate for him that [Allaah] rectifies his affairs and forgives him, for indeed you have an angel who says, “Aameen and may Allaah grant you the same”. Therefore, one should be eager for this!
This story shows that to fulfil the rights of the people in this worldly life is better than leaving the affair until the day of judgement when none will pardon another person, even if such person is the closest relative to him.
This story shows the virtue of Rabee’ah Al-Aslami [radiyallaahu-anhu] who advised his companions that neither should they be his supporters nor argue on his behalf against AbuBakr [radiyallaahu-anhu], because he knew the status of AbuBakr [radiyallaahu-anhu] in the sight of Allaah and the Messenger.
What do we derive as benefit from this story:
We should pardon and maintain love for one another when disagreement occurs between us regarding an affair of the Dunyaa. A person should be eager to give people their rights and also seek the forgiveness of the one he disputed with. [An Excerpt from ‘At-taleeqaat Al-maleehah Alaa Silsilah Al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah. Pages 42-44. Slightly paraphrased]
Ref: Differing Amongst The Sahaabah: