Hadhrat ABU AL-DARDA Radiyallahu Anhu
Uwaymir bin Malik Al-Khazrajee radiyallahu anhu, famously known as Abu Darda, was the last person from his locality to accept Islam. From the moment he accepted Islam, he was filled with remorse for delaying in accepting the truth and therefore he made every effort to catch up in learning, practicing and propagating the beautiful Deen of Islam just like all the other noble companions of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam.
He immersed himself so much in the ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala that he felt business was an impediment in him acquiring the knowledge of Deen. He gave up business and dedicated himself entirely to the service of Islam. Someone once asked him the reason for this to which he responded, “Before accepting Islam, I was a merchant. After accepting Islam, I decided to combine business and worship, but I was unable to fulfil my duties as I would’ve liked. Therefore I left business and focussed on Ibaadat. By the one in who’s hands lies the soul of Abu Darda, I would not wish to have a shop by the door of the masjid where I could earn 300 Dinars daily if it meant me missing a single salaah!” He then turned to the questioner and said, “I’m not saying that Allah Ta’ala has prohibited trade, rather I long to be of those who are not distracted by buying and selling from the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala.” This is the effect of Imaan permeating deep into the recesses of the heart.
Hadhrat Abu Darda radiyallahu anhu did not only leave out trade; he renounced the world and its temptations completely. One bitterly cold night, he entertained some visitors with a simple meal. However, he did not provide them with any form of warm covering. One of them mustered up the courage and entered his room, after seeking permission, only to find that Abu Darda radiyallahu anhu and his wife only had a thin cloth to cover themselves which offered no protection against the cold. The man exclaimed to Abu Darda radiyallahu anhu, “I see that you are planning to spend the night in the same condition as us. Where on earth are your belongings?” Abu Darda radiyallahu anhu calmly replied, “We have another home where we send all the profits and gains as soon as we earn them. Had we kept any belongings in this house, we would have given them to you. There is a long difficult journey ahead towards that home, one who has a little load will be better off than the one who’s load is heavy. Therefore we wish to have an easy journey across. Do you understand?” he replied, “Yes I understand and may Allah Ta’ala recompense you with good.”
On one occasion, a youngster went to him seeking advice. Abu Darda radiyallahu anhu said to him, “O my beloved son, remember Allah in prosperity, He will remember you in adversity. O my beloved son, be a scholar, a teacher or an attentive listener and do not be from the ignorant ones, for you will perish. O my beloved son, let the Masjid be your home, for I have heard Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam say, “The masaajid is the abode for every Allah-fearing man.” Allah has guaranteed mercy and tranquility for those whose homes are the masaajid and the crossing of the siraat (bridge) becomes easy.”
When Abu Darda radiyallahu anhu lay on his deathbed, his companions entered and asked him, “What do you lament?” He replied, “My sins.” They asked, “What do you hope for?” He replied, “The forgiveness of my Rabb.”
Thereafter he continued reciting the Kalimah until he passed away.
عن معاذ بن جبل، قال: قال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم-: “من كان آخر كلامه لا إله إلا الله دخل الجنة”
Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “The one whose last words are لا إله إلا الله will enter Jannah.”
(Source: Stories from the lives of the Sahabah-Suwarum min hayyatis Sahaabah)