بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I now take you to small town in a narrow valley. Desert after desert separates the town from the rest of the world. During the day the heat of the sun is unbearable and the nights are still and lonely. Tribes flock to it like animals in the open country flock to a water-hole. No government rules. There is no religion to guide people except one which promotes the worship of stone idols. There is no knowledge except a love for elegant poetry. This is Makkah and these are the Arabs.
In this town lies a young man who is 17 years of age. He is short and well-built and has a very thick hair. People compare him to a young lion. He comes from a rich and noble family. He is very fond of his mother. He spends much of his time making and repairing bows and arrows and practicing archery as if preparing himself for some great encounter. People recognize him as a serious and intelligent young man. He finds no satisfaction in the religion and way of life of his people, their corrupt beliefs and disagreeable practices. His name is Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas رضي الله عنه. .
He accepted Islam through the da’wah of Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه.The Prophet,صلى الله عليه وسلم, was also greatly pleased when Sa’d رضي الله عنه became a Muslim. He saw in him signs of excellence. Perhaps other young people of Makkah would follow his example, including some of his relations. The Prophetصلى الله عليه وسلم is reported to have been pleased with his family relationship to Sad. Once as he was sitting with his companions, he saw Sad approaching and he said to them: “This is my maternal uncle. Let a man see his maternal uncle!”
While the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was delighted with Sa’d’s acceptance of Islam, others including and especially his mother were not. Sad relates: “When my mother heard the news of my Islam, she flew into a rage. She came up to me and said:”O Sa’d! By God, either you forsake your new religion or I would not eat or drink until I die. Your heart would be broken with grief for m e and remorse would consume you on account of the deed which you have done and people would censure you forever more.’
‘Don’t do (such a thing), my mother,’ I said, ‘for I would not give up my religion for anything.’
However, she went on with her threat… For days she neither ate nor drank. Hour after hour, I went to her asking whether I should bring her some food or something to drink but she persistently refused, insisting that she would neither eat nor drink until she died or I abandoned my religion. I said to her:
‘Yaa Ummaah! In spite of my strong love for you, my love for God and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم is indeed stronger. By God, if you had a thousand souls and one soul after another were to depart, I would not abandon this my religion for anything.’ When she saw that I was determined she relented unwillingly and ate and drank.”
More than a decade later when permission was given for the Muslims to fight, Sad played a distinguished role in many of the battles that took place both during the time of the Prophet and after. He fought at Badr together with his young brother Umayr who had cried to be allowed to accompany the Muslim army for he was only in his early teens. Sa’d رضي الله عنه returned to Madinah alone for Umayr رضي الله عنه was one of the fourteen Muslim martyrs who fell in the battle.
At the Battle of Uhud, Sad was one of those who fought vigorously in defence of the Prophetصلى الله عليه وسلم after some Muslims had deserted their positions. To urge him on, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ” Shoot, Sa’d …may my mother and father be your ransom.”
Ali ibn Abi Talib رضي الله عنه said that he had not yet heard the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمpromising such a ransom to anyone except Sa’d. Sa’d رضي الله عنه is also known as the first companion to have shot an arrow in defence of Islam. And the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم once prayed for him:
“O Lord, direct his shooting and respond to his prayer.” Sa’d رضي الله عنه was one of the companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم who was blessed with great wealth. Just as he was known for his bravery, so he was known for his generosity. Sad is mainly renowned as the commander-in-chief of the strong Muslim army which Umar رضي الله عنه despatched to confront the Persians at Qadisiyyah.
He lived until he was almost eighty years old. He was blessed with much influence and wealth but as the time of death approached in the year 54 AH, he asked his son to open a box in which he had kept a course woolen jubbah and said: “Shroud me in this, for in this (jubbah) I met the Mushrikeen on the day of Badr and in it I desire to meet Allah Almighty.”