In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
In this discourse, we have come across Allaah’s general praise for them (i.e. the companions of Allaah’s Messenger) with lofty qualities, including (the quality) of truthfulness. This speech of mine does not allow me (i.e. due to time constraints) to mention the (many) authentic reports about the true reality of their truthfulness; but I will give an example of three of them who are mentioned together in one incident. The most prominent of these three is the great companion Ka’b Bin Malik [may Allaah be pleased with him], that man whom – through truthfulness – Allaah saved from hypocrisy and the Hellfire, and from the anger of Allaah and His Messenger. His story is well-known and the narration about him is widely known and lengthy. There is no room here to give a detail account, but I will choose sections from it that shows the status of this companion and his brothers during this incident, and the Muslim takes a lesson from it and follows the example of these truthful ones.
Abdullah Bin Ka’b said: I heard Ka’b Bin Malik narrate the story of his remaining behind Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) from the Battle of Tabuk. Ka’b Bin Malik said: I never remained behind Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) from any expedition which he undertook except the Battle of Tabuk and that of the Battle of Badr. So far as the Battle of Badr is concerned, nobody was blamed for remaining behind as Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and the Muslims (did not set out for attack but for waylaying) the caravan of the Quraish, but it was Allah Who made them confront their enemies without their intention (to do so). I had the honour to be with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) on the night of ‘Aqaba when we pledged our allegiance to Islam and it was more dear to me than participation in the Battle of Badr, although Badr was more popular amongst people as compared with that (Tabuk). And this is my story of remaining back from Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) on the occasion of the Battle of Tabuk. Never did I possess means enough and (my circumstances) more favourable than at the occasion of this expedition. And, by Allah, I had never before this expedition simultaneously in my possession two rides. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) set out for this expedition in extremely hot season; the journey was long and the land (which he and his army had to cover) was waterless and he had to confront a large army, so he informed the Muslims about the actual situation (they had to face), so that they should adequately equip themselves for this expedition, and he also told them the destination where he intended to go. And the Muslims who accompanied Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) at that time were large in numbers but there was no proper record of them. Ka’b (further) said: Few were the persons who wanted to absent themselves, and were under the impression that they could easily conceal themselves (and thus remain undetected) until revelations from Allah, the Exalted and Glorious (descended in connection with them). And Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) set out on an expedition when the fruits were ripe and their shadows had been lengthened. I had weakness for them and it was during this season that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) made preparations and the Muslims too along with them. I also set out in the morning so that I should make preparations along with them but I came back and did 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) until people were about to depart and it was in the morning that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) set out and the Muslims too along with him, but I made no preparations. I went early in the morning and came back, but I made no decision. I continued to do so until they (the Muslims) hastened and covered a good deal of distance. I also made up my mind to march on and to meet them. Would that I had done that but perhaps it was not destined for me. After the departure of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as I went out amongst people, I was shocked to find that I did not find anyone like me but people who were labelled as hypocrites or the people whom Allah granted exemption because of their incapacity….[Saheeh Muslim Number 2769]
In this section, he lauded the pledge of allegiance at Aqaba and the status it occupies in his heart, because of what it contained of great significance that embodied the robust foundation upon which was established the migration of the companions of Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] to the Prophet’s city (i.e. Madina), the support given by the Ansaar, the establishment of the Islamic state and its foundation, the estblishment of Jihaad, the strength of Islam and the Muslims, from which emerged the beginning and outcomes of the military expeditions in which the Prophet participated and the ones he did not participate; then the annihilation of (paganism, disbelief, apostasy etc) and the departure of the Islamic armies to the world to open hearts with the light of Iman and Islam, and bringing them out from darkness (misguidance) and (entered into) light (guidance), hence this lofty companion was aware of the status of the pledge of allegiance at Aqaba; therefore, he was not pleased with anything else as a substitute for it, just as he said, “And it was more dear to me than participation in the Battle of Badr”.
He spoke about his failure in participating in the Battle of Tabuk with the courage of the truthful, in a clear, bright manner – detailed with truth from a heart filled with faith, soul and emotions flowing with integrity and truthfulness the like of which is unknown to a repentant person in such a terifying situation, in which the cowardly hypocrites became worse, so they resorted to lies and sought to hide by intentionally giving false excuses, (for) which Allaah swiftly exposed and disgraced them, and by way of which He made them dwell in the house of destruction (i.e. the Hellfire).
 He stated that his failure to (join the Tabuk expedition) was neither due to poverty nor hardship, neither inability nor weakness, as he participated in the previous expeditions and was in a condition less favourable than his condition in this expedition. [He said], “And my affair – when I stayed behind Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] – was that never did I possess means enough and (my circumstances) more favourable than at the occasion of this expedition. And, by Allah, I – before this expedition- never had simultaneously in my possession two rides”.
 He clearly stated the reasons that undermined his resolve in Jihad, such as the intense heat, the long journey, the wide, perilious (waterless) deserts detween Medina and Tabuk, the large number of Romans and Arabs who followed the Romans. And he mentioned that Allaah’s Messenger told the people to prepare for their expedition.
 And he stated what is perhaps the most important reason for failure to join the Tabuk expedition, which was the ripe fruits and shades; then he said explicitly what he would have been able to hide, but his truthful soul refused, (so he stated the reason as follows), “I had weakness for them”. This is a great status in truthfulness, (and) very few fullfil it.
 He mentioned battling with his soul and the hesitation between catching up with Allaah’s Messenger and his Mujaahideen brothers, and between sitting under the lush shadows and the ripe fruits.
 And he mentioned what afflicted him – due to staying behind – of the pain of regret and sadness, because he did not see an example for him in staying behind, except a man who was submerged in hypocrisy or a man whom Allaah excused among the weak. This is one of the proofs of the life of his heart (i.e. love of Allaah, the Messenger, loving good, hating evil etc) and truthfulness in his faith. [ https://www.mimham.net/tan-1308-82 paraphrased]
To be continued…InShaaAllaah