Some Great Outcomes of Truthfulness, Accepting Full Responsibility for One’s Actions, and Rushing to Repentance – (3)

In The Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Some Great Outcomes of Truthfulness, Accepting Full Responsibility for One’s Actions, and Rushing to Repentance- [Some Great Lessons From The Story of Kab Bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him)]

Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi Al-Mad’khali [may Allah preserve him] said:

In this discourse, we have come across Allah’s general commendation for them (i.e. the companions) with lofty qualities, including (the quality) of truthfulness. This speech of mine does not allow me to mention the (many) authentic reports regarding the true reality of their truthfulness, but I shall provide an example of three of them that are cited together in one incident. The most renowned of these three is the great companion Kab Bin Malik [may Allah be pleased with him], a man whom Allah saved from hypocrisy and the Hellfire, as well as from Allah’s and His Messenger’s anger. His story is well-known, and the narration about him is well-known and lengthy. There isn’t enough room here to give a complete narrative, so I’ll choose passages that indicate the status of this companion and his brothers throughout this incident, and the Muslim learns from it and follows in the footsteps of these truthful ones.

Abdullah Bin Kab said: I heard Kab Bin Malik narrate the story of his remaining behind Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) from the Battle of Tabuk. Kab 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 dearer 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 a 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 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 an exemption because of their incapacity…[Saheeh Muslim Number 2769]

In this section, he praised the pledge of allegiance at Aqaba and the place it holds in his heart because of its great significance, which embodied the solid foundation upon which was established the migration of the companions to the Prophet’s city, the support given by the Ansaar, the establishment of the Islamic state and its foundation, the establishment of Jihad, and the strength of Islam and Muslims, from which emerged the beginning and outcomes of military expeditions in which the Prophet participated and those in which he did not participate; then the eradication of (paganism, disbelief, apostasy, etc.) and the departure of Islamic armies around the world to open hearts with the light of Iman and Islam, bringing them out of darkness (misguidance) and 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, as he stated, “And it was dearer to me than participation in the Battle of Badr.”

He spoke about his failure to participate 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, a soul, and emotions flowing with integrity and truthfulness the like of which is unknown to a repentant person in such a terrifying situation, in which the cowardly hypocrites became worse, as a result, they resorted to lies and sought to conceal by purposefully making false justifications, (for) which Allah quickly exposed and shamed them, and cast them into the house of destruction (i.e. the Hellfire).

He stated that his failure to (join the Tabuk expedition) was not due to poverty or hardship, inability or weakness because he had previously participated in expeditions and was in a less favourable position than he was in this expedition. (He said), “And my affair – when I stayed behind Allah’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 explicitly mentioned the factors that weakened his commitment to Jihad, such as the terrible heat, the lengthy travel, the vast, deadly (waterless) deserts between Medina and Tabuk, and the great number of Romans and Arabs that followed the Romans, and that Allah’s Messenger had instructed the people to get ready for their expedition. And he mentioned what was maybe the most crucial reason for his failure to join the Tabuk expedition, which was the ripe fruits and the shades; then he expressed directly what he would have been able to hide, but his truthful soul refused, (so he articulated the reason as follows), “I had a weakness for them.” This is a high level of truthfulness that only a few people fulfil.

He mentioned the struggle with his soul and his hesitation between catching up with Allah’s Messenger and his Mujahideen brothers, and between sitting beneath the lush shadows and the ripe fruits.

And he spoke of the regret and misery he felt as a result of staying behind, as well as the fact that he could find no other person to serve as an example for him in doing so other than a man who was drowned in hypocrisy or a man whom Allah had excused from among the weak. This is one of the proofs of the life in his heart (i.e. Islam) and the truthfulness of his faith.  [An Excerpt from paraphrased]

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