Important Guide of Basra
Talha ibn Ubaydullah was a companion of the Holy Prophet (saww). In Sunni Islam, he is mostly known for being of the Ten promised paradise. He is best known for his roles in Battle of the Camel, or Jamal in which he died.
Talha was born C. 594, was a successful cloth-merchant who eventually left an estimated at 30 million dirhams.
Conversion to Islam
In 612 his kinsman Abu Bakr took him to visit Holy Prophet (saww), and Talha became a Muslim. He was said to have been one of the first eight converts according to Sunni sources only.
Emigration to Madina
He was made the brother in Islam of Sa’id ibn Zayd. Talha and Sa’id missed fighting at Badr because Holy Prophet (saww) sent them as scouts to locate Abu Sufyan’s caravan. However, both were awarded shares of the plunder, as if they had been present.
Battle of Camel and death
The Battle of the Camel, as known is the Battle of Jamal took place at Basra, Iraq on 7 Nov. 656 (13 Jumad-ul-Awwal 36 AH). The battle was fought between Ali ibn Abi Talib, who was the cousin and son-in-law of Holy Prophet, considered the fourth Caliph and A’isha (widow of Holy Prophet saww). Talha and Zubayr who led the campaign against Ali a.s. aiming to avenge the death of the third Caliph Uthman who had recently been killed as a result of rebellion by his opponents.
Talha had left due to the meeting of Imam Ali a.s. before the war who reminded Talha about the event of Ghadeer and asked him if he remembers that Holy Prophet nominated him after him and said whoever I am Maula Ali is their Maula. On seeing this, Marwan (who was Manipulating everyone) shot Talha with a poisoned arrow saying that he had disgraced his tribe by leaving the field. He became disabled in the leg by the shot and was carried into Basra, where he died later of his wound at age 64.
The tomb of Talha is located in Basra, Iraq. The tomb is located in a large mosque with modern architecture. The grave itself is under the cenotaph under the dome, which is built in a similar style to the cenotaph of Anas ibn Malik. At the moment this tomb is destroyed with a blast by militia.
Al-Zubayr b. al-Awwam
Al-Zubayr b.al-Awwam b. Khuwaylid (d.36/656) was one of the companions of Holy Prophet (saww) and Khadijah’s nephew. He embraced Islam when he was 8 and accompanied the Holy Prophet ever since. After the prophet’s demise, al-Zubayr did not accept the verdict issued by Saqifa council about the succession of the Prophet (saww), instead he defended the Caliphate of Ali a.s. and had various discussions with Umar. He was one of the six people appointed by the second Caliph for choosing the next caliph and voted in favour of Ali a.s. He played a very important role in the upbringing of against Uthman which led to his murder.
Conversion to Islam
It has been reported in historical sources that he embraced Islam after Abu Bakr. It is said that he was 8 when he converted to Islam. Some said he was 15.
In the time of Holy Prophet
There are not many reports about him before Hijra except for that he was among those who emigrated to Abyssinia. During his stay in Abyssinia a rumour was spread that Quraysh had converted to Islam. Thus, some of the emigrants including al-Zubayr returned to Mecca.
Imam Ali’s Caliphate
The relationship between al-Zubayr and Imam Ali a.s. had many ups and downs. He was among the supporters of Imam Ali a.s. after the event of Saqifa. He was one of the witnesses of Lady Fatima al-Zahra will and was present in her funeral.
After the murder of Uthman, a big crowd including Zubayr and Talha gathered in front of Imam Ali a.s. house and said that we came to pledge allegiance to you as the Caliph. After lots if insistence, Imam Ali a.s. accepted. Soon they changed their mind and opposed Ali a.s. Al-Zubayr convinced A’isha to associate them. Having formed a large army, they headed to Basra to fight Imam Ali a.s. the current Caliph.
In the Battle of Jamal
Al-Zubayr is one of the three most important people, who launched the Battle of Jamal. He and Talha convinced A’isha to associate them and brought her to Basra (against the advice of Holy Prophet and Holy Quran asking the wives of Prophet to stay at home). After they entered Basra, they beat up “Uthman b. Hunayf”- the governor of Basra appointed by Imam Ali a.s. and then mutilated him.
Meeting with Imam Ali
After that two armies faced each other, Imam Ali a.s. called al-Zubayr and reminded him the incident that they had with Holy Prophet saww: One day the Holy Prophet asked al-Zubayr-in the presence of Ali -: “Do you like Ali?” al-Zubayr said: “Why do not I?” Holy Prophet said: “How are you when you fight him and you are the oppressor?” Having remembered this, al-Zubayr left the army camp.
After that al-Zubayr left the army camp, ‘Amr b. Jurmuz’ and some of his companions chased him and killed him in a place called Wadi I-Siba. Amr went back to Imam Ali a.s. and said to his door keeper ‘ go and ask permission for the murderer of al-Zubayr’. Imam said let him enter and inform him of the fire of hell.
Rabia of Basra
Born: between 714-718 CE
Died: 801 CE
However, after the death of her father, famine overtook Basra. She parted from her three sisters. Rabia went into the desert to pray and became an ascetic living a life of semi-seclusion. She is often cited as being the queen of saintly women, and was known for her complete devotion in the form of “pure unconditional love of God”. As an exemplar among others devoted to God, she provided a model of mutual love between God and His creation, her example is one which the loving devotee on the earth becomes one with the Beloved.
Rabia died in her 80’s in Basra in 185 AH/ 801 CE, where her tomb was shown outside the city.
Rabia became an ascetic. The name Rabia is used to describe women of the highest type of spirituality. She is considered one of the devoted Sufi saints. She is highly revered.
Hasan al Basri
Abu Sa’id b. Abi I –Hasan Yasar al-Basri, often referred to as Hasan of Basra (642-15 October 728) for short, or reverentially as Imam Hasan-al-Basri, Sufi Sunni Islam, was an early Muslim preacher, ascetic, theologian, exegete, scholar, judge and mystic. Born in Madina in 642, Hasan belonged to the second generation of Muslims, all of whom would subsequently, be referred to as the tabiun in Sunni Islamic piety. In fact, Hasan rose to become one of “the most celebrated” of the tabian, enjoying an “acclaimed scholarly career and an even more remarkable posthumous legacy in Islamic scholarship”.
Hasan was born in Madina in 642 CE. His mother, Khayra, is said to have been a maid servant of one of the Holy Prophets wives, Umm Salma, (d 683), while his father, Peroz, was a Persian slave who originally hailed from southern Iraq. According to tradition, Hasan grew up in Madina for the vast portion of his early life, prior to his family’s move to Basra after the Battle of Siffin. According to some scholars, it is “primarily this association with Madina and his acquaintance there with many of the notable companions and wives of Holy Prophet that elevated Hasan’s importance as an authoritative figure in Muslim religious and historical genealogy.
As a young man, Hasan took part in the campaigns of conquest in Khorasan. (Ca 663) and worked as a jewel-merchant, prior to forsaking the business and militancy life for that of a pure ascetic and scholar. It was during this latter period that he openly began to criticize the policies of the governors in Iraq, even stirring up the authorities to such a degree that he actually had to flee for the safety of his life under the reign of Hajjaj, whose anger Hasan had roused due to his forthright condemnation of Hajjaj’s founding of Wasit in 705. One of Hasan’s closest companions from this period was his fellow ascetic and mystic Farqad as-Sabakhi (d729), an American Christian convert to Islam. Together with figures like as-Sabakhi and Rabia Basri (d. 801), Hasan began to publicly denounce the accumulation of riches by the wealthy; and it is said that he personally despised wealth to such a degree that he even “rejected a suitor for his daughter’s hand who was famous for his wealth simply because of his riches. Hasan died in Basra in 728, being eighty-six years old.
As one Scholar has explained, the essence of Hasan’s message was “other worldliness” abstinence, poverty and reverential fear of god, although he also spoke of the knowledge and love of God, which he contrasted with love and knowledge of the world.
Although none of Hasan’s own complete writings on mysticism survive, it is recognised that he “instructed several generations of students in both the religious sciences and what was soon to become known as Sufiism. He has never actually written any complete works on the subject, as none of his works in other disciplines survive either, rather, what is far more probable, as scholars have noted, is that he passed down his teachings orally.
According to traditional Sunni mystical works, Hasan learnt a great deal of his inward knowledge from Ali ibn Abi Talib, which is why “many of the Sufi orders trace their spiritual descent back to “Ali, and thus to the Prophet” through Hasan.
Compiled by: Mohamed Raza Jaffer
31st March, 2021