The Raji Incident

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 What is the raki incident? What happened in raji incident?

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- used to send teachers to neighboring tribes for the purpose of communicating and teaching Islam. Some of these teachers, however, became subjected to callous plots of betrayal. One of the most tragic of these is known as the Raji Incident.

The nearby Adal and Qara tribes had asked the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- for some knowledgeable Companions to teach them Islam. As a result, the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- sent a delegate of ten Companions lead by Asim ibn Thabit  -Allah be well-pleased with him-.

The envoy reached the place called Hudat, between Usfan and Mecca, and took a break by the Raji Well, which was at the time within the dominion of the Huzayl Tribe. Meanwhile, having been informed that the Muslim envoy had reached the area, the Lihyan Clan of the Huzayl Tribe, mobilized nearly a hundred archers and went in pursuit of the Companions. Realizing they were being pursued, Asim and the Companions took refuge in relatively high spot nearby, where they were subsequently surrounded.

“Come down from there. Drop your weapons and surrender. We assure you that none of you will be hurt!” they shouted from below.

“I will not come down relying on the word of an infidel!” said Asim, afterward praying, “O my Lord! Inform of our plight to the Messenger of Allah!”

The archers then showered Asim and the six Companions who remained with him, in arrows, martyring them all. Fatally wounded, Asim -Allah be well-pleased with him- prayed:

“Allah…Protect my corpse at sundown, just as I protected Your religion at sunup!”

After being informed of the martyring of Asim, some notables of Quraysh sent a few men to sever and return with a certain part of him that would assure them of his identity, in vengeance for a certain idolater Asim had killed on the field of Badr. But Allah, glory unto Him, sent a mass of bees to protect Asim’s corpse, and the idolaters could not even get within an arms length of his body, frustrated by a cloud of bees relentlessly hovering over it. (Bukhari, Jihad, 170; Maghazi, 10, 28; Waqidi, I, 354-363)

Waiting nonetheless until sundown for the bees to disperse, the idolaters were met with something they had least expected: a downpour of rain. The subsequent flood that swept across the valley took Asim’s corpse with it, out of sight. The idolaters thus could not even find a moment’s opportunity to obtain a piece of Asim’s corpse. Asim -Allah be well-pleased with him- was thereafter referred to as ‘the Martyr Protected by Bees.’ (Ibn Hisham, III, 163)

The three Companions, who removed the strings of their bows and came down from the hill to surrender, soon realized that their foes had no intention of keeping their words, when they made a move to tie them down by force. One of the three Companions then attempted to put up a fight, exclaiming, “Never have we been betrayed in such manner…By Allah, I will never surrender. The martyrs lying over there are a perfect example for me!” Though the enemy nevertheless wanted to drag him behind them, he violently resisted, and was consequently martyred.

Of the ten Companions only Hubayb and Zayd -Allah be well-pleased with them- now remained. The Lihyan Clan took the two to Mecca and sold them to Quraysh. Hubayb -Allah be well-pleased with him- was purchased by the sons of Harith ibn Amir, whom he had put to the sword at Badr. Until the day they eventually decided to execute him, Hubayb -Allah be well-pleased with him- remained prisoner in their hands.

A woman from the household of the sons of Amir later testified to “…never before seeing a captive with greater virtue than Hubayb. I swear, I saw him eat fresh grapes, despite the fact that his hands were tied, and moreover on a day when nobody could find any fruits in Mecca. In hindsight, I now realize they were the blessings of Allah. Hubayb would recite the Quran and wake up for the tahajjud salat in the dark of night. Those who would hear him recite the Quran would soon begin to cry from bursting emotion. I once asked him whether he needed anything. ‘Nothing’, he said, ‘except for you to offer me fresh water, to withhold from me the meat of stock you slaughter in the name of your idols and to inform me of the time they will have me executed.’

After the Months of Truce came to an end, I went to Hubayb to inform him that they had decided to execute him. But, I swear, I did not see a trace of fear or anxiety. When Harith’s sons took him up to the spot outside of the vicinity of the Haram to execute him, Hubayb asked them to allow him for two rakahs of salat. They agreed. After offering the salat, Hubayb turned around and said, ‘By Allah, had I known that you would not be led into thinking I feared death, I would have surely performed this salat more lengthily!’ Hubayb -Allah be well-pleased with him- thus became the first to initiate two rakahs of salat for Muslims awaiting execution.

Hubayb then prayed, ‘Allah…Destroy all of them! Take each of their lives one by one…do not let a single one of them survive!’[1] He then recited the following piece of poetry:

‘So long as I die a Muslim, how I died, I could never care! This is all in the way of Allah, of that I am aware; for Whom is easy to grant me His Forgiveness, despite my body, scattered and bare!’

He then added one final prayer, pleading, ‘O my Lord! The only faces I can see here are those of the enemy! There is nobody around whom I can send to the Messenger of Allah, either. You deliver my greetings of peace to Him!’

Sitting with his Companions in Medina at the time, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- , said, in an audible tone meaning, ‘Peace be upon him, too’.

‘To whom did you just return the greetings, Messenger of Allah?’ the astonished Companions wondered.

‘To your brother Hubayb’, answered the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. ‘There…Jibril has delivered his greetings of peace!’ The Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- thereby informed his Companions, on the spot, of the martyring of Hubayb -Allah be well-pleased with him-.’” (Bukhari, Jihad, 170; Maghazi, 10, 28; Waqidi, I, 354-363)

Minutes before his execution, Hubayb was asked, “Would you have liked the Prophet to be in your place in return for your life?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, Hubayb, with a voice echoing a colossal courage and dignity, declared:

“Never…! I could not even bare the thought of him being spiked by a thorn in his foot in Medina, let alone hoping him to be in my place right now!”

Stunned with the response, Abu Sufyan could not help but confess, “I swear, I have never seen another person who is loved by his friends more than Muhammad!” (Waqidi, I, 360; Ibn Sad, II, 56)

When they were about to hang him, they turned his face towards Medina. Hubayb -Allah be well-pleased with him- then prayed, “O my Lord! If what I am going through is something of worth in Your Sight, then turn my face towards your qibla!” Allah, glory unto Him, accepted his prayer and turned his face towards his desired direction. No matter how much the idolaters tried in turning him back towards Medina, they were unsuccessful. The below ayah of the Quran were revealed in reference to this illustrious Companion:

“O soul that art at rest! Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with him), well-pleasing (Him). So enter among My servants. And enter into My garden.” (al-Fajr, 27-30) (Qurtubi, XX, 58; Alusi, XXX, 133)

Martyred following Hubayb -Allah be well-pleased with him-, Zayd -Allah be well-pleased with him- was also in the same state of fortitude granted him by iman. During his days of captivity, he would make sure to wake up for the tahajjud salat and spend his days fasting. He would not touch the food offered him with meat, for being of stock slaughtered in the name of the idols. He preferred milk instead. On milk he would fast and with milk he would break it. He saw Hubayb on the way to Tanim, the place he was to be martyred, where the two Companions advised each other with patience. Zayd -Allah be well-pleased with him-, too, offered two rakahs of salat before being hanged. Like Hubayb -Allah be well-pleased with him-, he too was met with the question whether he would have wanted the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- to be in his place instead, to which he responded in a similar manner as Hubayb -Allah be well-pleased with him-. (Waqidi, I, 361-362)

“Dying as a Muslim is preferable to living a thousand lives as idolater”, were the final words he posed the idolaters who promised him freedom on the condition that he would recant his faith. And in a dignity worthy of a Believer, he sipped from the goblet of martyrdom with pleasure.

[1] As Hubayb prayed, fear took hold of everyone present. To protect themselves from the affect of the prayer, they began running to and fro in search of somewhere to hide, thinking they would not survive the blight of the prayer. Even for over a month following the execution, Hubayb’s prayer remained the major talking point among Quraysh. Said ibn Amir, reportedly, began to pass out, from time to time, whenever reminded of the prayer. During his days as caliph, Omar -Allah be well-pleased with him- heard about Said’s condition and asked him whether he was suffering from any illness. “From no illness do I suffer”, said Said; “except I was present during Hubayb’s execution and happened to hear his prayer. And by Allah, whenever I hark back on it, I suddenly begin to lose all consciousness!” (Waqidi, I, 359-360)

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

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