Jabir’s Abundant Meal

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Who is Jabir in battle of handak? How was jabir’s meal?

Recounting below is Jabir -Allah be well-pleased with him-:

“While digging trenches in the days preceding the Battle of Handak, we were thwarted by a rather hard rock. A few Companions went to the Messenger of Allah and told him they had come upon a hard rock they were unable to break.

‘I will go down in to the trenches myself’ the Messenger of Allah told them. He then got up. He had a stone tied to his belly from hunger. It had been three days since we had eaten anything. The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- grabbed hold of the pickaxe and struck a blow at the rock, which then shattered, turning into something like a sand dune.

‘Allow me to go home, Messenger of Allah’, I asked afterwards. Given permission, I went home and told my wife of seeing ‘…the Messenger of Allah in an exhausted condition. Do we have something to eat?’

‘Some barley and a kid’, she said.

So I slaughtered the kid and seeved the barley. We placed the meat in a pot. Just as the bread was nearly baked and the pot was beginning to boil on the rocks on which it was placed, I rushed to the Messenger of Allah and said:

‘I have some food, Messenger of Allah. Please, honor us with a couple of other persons…’

‘How much food is there?’ he asked. I told him what we had. He then said, ‘Good and plenty…Tell your wife not to take the pot away from the fire and keep the bread in the furnace until I arrive!’

Then turning to his Companions he called out, raising his voice, ‘People of the trenches; come…Jabir has prepared a feast for us!’ Everyone present made a move.

Anxious, I ran home to my wife and said, ‘Look what has happened now…The Messenger of Allah is coming with the entire Ansar, Muhajirun and others alike!’

‘Did the Messenger of Allah ask how much food there was?’ she asked.

‘Yes’ responded I.

‘Then not to worry’, she said calmly, ‘for he knows more than you!’

They arrived a short while after. The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- told them to enter without cramming each other. The Companions entered in tens. The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- then began splitting a loaf of bread, putting some meat on it and giving it to each of the awaiting Companions; and each time he would close the lid of both the pot and the furnace once he was done. Until each and every Companion, around a thousand all up, ate to their hearts content, the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- repeated the same procedure. There was even some food left over in the end. Then turning to my wife, he said, ‘Eat this and offer some to your neighbors, too; for hunger has really devastated everyone!’ (Bukhari, Maghazi, 29; Muslim, Ashribah, 141; Waqidi, II, 452)

The evident miracle of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- saw a thousand people, including the surrounding neighbors, eat from what was seemingly enough for only a few people.

Because the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- used to spend all he had in the way of Allah, glory unto Him, he would never have much at hand. When he did feel a genuine need, he would keep it secret from his Companions, not wanting to be a burden on anyone. But as the Companions were attentive to the Blessed Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- condition, they would do all they could to help him whenever they sensed him in need. At times, the Prophet’s voice would give away the enormous degree of his hunger, which is when the Companions would immediately take him to their homes and offer him what food they had.[1] Given they saw the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- with a pale complexion, they would leave no stone unturned to find something for him to eat, even doing some chores, like watering camels for instance, just to earn a few dates to take to him.

The Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- one day came across an Ansari Companion, who asked, “May my parents die for your sake, Messenger of Allah…please tell me the reason why your face is so pale, for it worries me!’

After staring at the Companion for a few moments, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- then simply said, “Hunger!”

The Companion wasted no time in running home, where he rummaged for something to eat, but to no avail. As swiftly, he then went to the Banu Qurayza quarters, and made an agreement with a man, according to which he was to be paid one date for each bucket of water he pulled out from a well. Once he saved up a handful of dates, he took them to the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- .

“Please, Messenger of Allah; have these”, he said.

The Prophet of Mercy -upon him blessings and peace- asked him where had gotten the dates from. He explained the story. Thereupon the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- commented, “I believe you love Allah and His Messenger!”

“Yes,” replied the Companion, “by Allah who has sent you upon Truth, you are dearer to me than my self, my children, my wife and my wealth!”

“If that is the case”, replied the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, “keep patient against poverty, prepare a shield for yourself against troubles! By Allah, who has sent me upon Truth, these two (poverty and troubles) reach a person who loves me quicker than water flowing down a mountain!” (Haythami, X, 313; Dhahabi, Siyar, III, 54; Ibn Hajar, al-Isabah, III, 298)

[1] See, Bukhari, Atimah, 6; Muslim, Ashribah, 142.

Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, The Prophet Muhammed Mustafa the Elect II, Erkam Publications

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