Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Boy Against the Bandits

Ghabah was a small village at four or five miles from Madinah. The Prophet's (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) camels were sent to that place for grazing. Abdur Rahman Fazari, with the help of a few disbelievers. killed the person looking after the camels and took them away. The bandits were riding their horses and all of them were armed. Salmah bin Akwah (Radhiyallaho anho) was going on foot in the morning with his bow and arrows, when he happened to see the bandits. He was only a boy but he ran very fast. It is said that he could beat the fastest horse in race. He was also a very good archer. No sooner did he see the bandits than he climbed up a hill and shouted towards Madinah to raise an alarm. He then chased the bandits and, on approaching near them, started sending arrows one after the other. He did this so swiftly and incessantly that the I bandits thought they were being chased by a large number of people. If any of the bandits happened to turn his horse towards him, he hid behind a tree and inflicted wounds on the animal with his arrow. The bandits at once retreated at full speed to escape from being captured. Salmah (R) says:
"I kept on chasing the bandits till all the camels taken away by them were behind me. Besides, in their flight they left behind 30 spears and 30 sheets of cloth of their own: Meanwhile, Uyainah bin Hisn (another bandit) and his party arrived on the scene to reinforce the bandits. They had meanwhile come to know that I was all
alone. They now chased me in large concentration and I was compelled to climb up a hill. As they were about to approach me I shouted, 'Stop. First listen to me. Do you know who am I? I am Ibnul Akwah. By Him who has given glory to Muhammad (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), if anyone of you chases me, he cannot catch me. On the other hand, if I run after any of you he cannot escape me.' I kept on talking to them in that strain to beguile them till, I thought, help would reach me from Madinah. 1 looked anxiously through the trees, as I talked to them when at last, I noticed a group of riders headed by Akhram Asadi (R) coming towards me. As Akhram approached the bandits, he attacked Abdur Rahman and cut one leg of his horse. Abdur Rahrnan, as he fell down from the horse, attacked Akhram and killed him. Abu Qatadah (R) had meanwhile arrived. In the combat that ensued. Abdur Rahman lost his life and Abu Qatadah his horse."
It is written in some books of history that when Akhram was going to attack Abdur Rahman, Salmah advised him to wait till the rest of his people had joined him. But he did not wait saying: "I wish to die as a martyr in the path of Allah."
He was the only person killed from among the Muslims. The bandits lost a good number of their men. Then more reinforcement reached the Muslims, and the bandits took to their heels. Salmah (R) sought the Prophet's (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) permission to pursue them saying: "O Prophet of Allah! Let me have one hundred men, I shall teach them a lesson." But the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: "No. They would have by now reached their bases."
Most of the historians say that Salmah (R) was hardly 12 or 13 at that time. Look how a boy of such a small age was able to chase so many bandits single-handed. He recovered all the plunder and besides took a considerable booty from them. This was the outcome of Imaan and Ikhlaas, with which Allah had imbued the hearts of those blessed people.
[From Hikayat-e-Sahaaba]