A Hero on the Cross!
And now, pave the way for this hero. Come nearer from all directions, from everywhere. Come in any way you can and strive your utmost, come hurrying and submitting. Approach in order to be taught the lesson of sacrifice, an incomparable lesson. You will say, Weren't all the stories you have previously told lessons of incomparable sacrifice?
Indeed, they were lesson of uncomparable magnificence. Nothing whatsoever can be similar to it. However, you are now in front of a new master illustrating the art of sacrifice, a figure who, if you miss meeting him, then you have missed a great deal, indeed a great deal. Come to us, all people of faith in every nation and country. Come to us, lovers of exaltedness in every period and era. And you, too, who carry a heavy burden of illusion and you whose belief in creed and religions is one of falsehood and error. Come with your illusion. Come and see how Allah's religion built men. Come and see what glory, what strength, what firmness, what determination, what sacrifice, what loyalty!
To sum up, what extraordinary and amazing greatness has been granted by the belief in truth to its sincere followers.
Can you see the crucified body? It is our lesson today - to all mankind! Indeed, the crucified body in front of you is our subject, our lesson, our master. His name is Khubaib Ibn `Adiy. Remember this name well!
Remember it, sing it, it is an honor for anyone belonging to any religion, to any sect, belonging to any ethnic group and living in any era!
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He belonged to the Aws tribe from Al-Madiinah. He belonged to the Ansaar.
Since the day of the Prophet's Hijrah to Al-Madiinah and since the day of his belief in Allah, Lord of the Worlds, he frequently visited the Prophet (PBUH).
His soul, spirit, and conscience were pure, and his belief was firm. He was described by Hassaan lbn Thaabit, Islam's poet: He looked like a falcon among the Ansaar. Allah endowed him with noble character and good morals."
When the standards of the Battle of Badr were lifted, he was there, a bold warrior and a daring fighter. Among the polytheists whom he killed with his sword during the battle was Al-Haarith Ibn `Aamir Ibn Nawfal.
After the battle was over and the defeated remnants of the Quraish had returned to Makkah, the sons of Al-Haarith learned that their father had been killed. They learned the name of his killer very well by heart: Khubaib Ibn `Adiy.
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The Muslims returned from Badr to Al-Madiinah and persistently built their new community. Knubaib was a true worshiper, a pious devotee, carrying the nature of a devotee and the longing aspiration of a worshiper. There he turned to worship with the spirit of a passionate lover, praying at night, fasting during the day, glorifying Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
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One day the Prophet (PBUH) wanted to know the Quraish's secrets so as to be fully aware of the target of their movements and any preparations for a new battle. Therefore, he chose ten of his Companions, among whom was Khubaib, and Aasim lbn Thaabit as leader.
The expedition set off towards its destination until they reached a place between `Asafaan and Makkah. News of them reached an area of Hudhail called Bani Hayaan. They hastened to them with 100 of their most skillful spearmen. They set out to pursue them and to follow their tracks.
They almost lost them but for the fact that one of them found some discarded date pits on the sand. He picked them up and, with the amazing skill Arabs were famous for, glanced at them, then shouted loudly so that the others could hear him, "They are date pits from Yathrib 1 . Let's follow them and they will surely guide us. They followed the discarded date pits until they could see in the distance what they were searching for.
`Aasim, the expedition's leader, felt that they were being chased, so he ordered his companions to mount the high peak of a mountain. The 100 spearmen approached and surrounded the foot of the mountain and besieged them thoroughly.
They asked them to surrender themselves after giving them their word not to hurt them. The ten turned to their leader, Aasim Ibn Thaabit Al-Ansaariy (May Allah be pleased with them all), and waited for his command. He then said, As for me, by Allah, I will never let myself fall into the protection of a polytheist. May Allah inform our Prophet about us."
The spearmen then began to throw their spears at them. Their leader Aasim was wounded and died as a martyr. In the same way seven others were wounded and died as martyrs.
The rest were then called and promised that they would be safe if they came down. The three descended, Khubaib and his two friends. The spearmen approached Khubaib and his companion,
Zaid Ibn Ad-Dithinnah, and tied them up. Their third one recognized the beginning of their deceipts, so he decided to die there where `Aasim and his companions had fallen. He died where he wished.
That is how some of the greatest, most faithful, most loyal to Allah and his Prophet (PBUH), and most sincere believers passed away. Khubaib and Zaid tried to untie themselves, but they were fled very thoroughly and tightly.
The deceptive spearmen took them to Makkah where they sold them to the polytheists. The name of Khubaib reached everyone's ear. The sons of Al-Haarith Ibn Aamir, who had been killed in Badr, remembered his name very well and were moved by spite and hatred. They hurried to buy him. Most of the inhabitants of Makkah, who had lost their fathers and leaders in the Battle of Badr, competed in purchasing him in order to take revenge. They enjoined each other to take revenge on him and commenced to prepare him for a fate to satisfy their desire for revenge, not directed at him, as such, but at all the Muslims.
Some other people took Khubaib's companion Zaid Ibn Ad- Dithinnah and set out to torture him severely.
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Khubaib submitted his heart, his whole life, and destiny to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. He turned to His worship with a firm soul, unruffled and fearless, accompanied by a divine tranquility. Even hard, solid mountain rocks and terror itself might melt and simply vanish due to it.
Allah was with him, and he was with Allah. Allah's hand was over him, and he could almost feel His fingers within his chest.
One day, one of Al-Haarith's daughters entered where he was kept as a captive at Al-Haarith's house. She quickly hurried out, calling the people to see an unbelievable thing! `By Allah, I saw him holding a big bunch of grapes, eating from it while being fettered with iron chains - at a time when there isn't a single grape in Makkah. I can't think of it except as being a blessing from Allah!"
Indeed, it was a blessing given by Allah to His virtuous worshiper, as He gave to Maryam (Mary, mother of Jesus) daughter of `Imraan before: "Whenever Zakariya entered the sanctuary he found her furnished with provision, he said, "O Mary from where did you get this?" She said. "It is from GOD, surely GOD provides who He pleases without measure" (3 : 37).
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The polytheists brought him the news of the death of his companion Zaid Ibn Ad-Dithinnah (May Allah be pleased with him). They hoped thereby to break down his nerves. However, they did not know that Allah, the Most Merciful, had invited him into His hospitality, blessing him with divine tranquility and mercy.
They set Out to bargain with him over his faith, promising to save his life if he disbelieved in Muhammad and his Lord, but they were like children trying to catch the sun by a mere arrow-shot.
Indeed, Khubaib's faith was like the sun in its strength, flame, light, and far-reachedness. He shed light upon those seeking light and warmed those seeking warmth, but the one who approached him to challenge him would be burned and destroyed.
When they lost hope of reaching their desire, they took the hero to face his destiny. They took him to a place called At- Tan'iim, where he would be killed.
As soon as they reached this place, Khubaib asked them to allow him to pray two rak'ahs. They allowed him with the hope that he would make up his mind to announce his surrender and disbelief in Allah, His Messenger and His religion.
Solemnly, peacefully and humbly Khubaib prayed two rak'ahs.
He felt the sweetness of faith within his soul, so that he wished that he could keep on praying and praying. However, he turned toward his killers and said to them, "By Allah, were it not for your thinking that I'm afraid of death, I would have continued praying." Then he lifted his hands towards the sky and said, "O Allah! Count them one by one and then perish them all!" Then he scanned their faces intently and set out singing:
When I am being martyred as a Muslim,I do not care in what way I receive my deathFor Allah's sake.If He wishes,He will bless the cut limbs.
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It was perhaps the first time in Arab history to crucify a man then kill him on the cross. They had prepared out of palm tree trunks a huge cross on which they fixed Khubaib, his limbs tied tightly. The polytheists gathered in obvious glee at his suffering while spearmen prepared their lances.
All that cruelty was intentionally performed slowly in front of the crucified hero. He did not close his eyes, and amazing tranquility beamed from his face. Then spears began to skirmish and swords to tear his flesh into pieces.
One of the Quraish leaders approached him saying, `Would you like Muhammad to be in your place and you be healthy and secure among your kin?"
Only then did Khubaib burst like a thunderstorm, shouting to his killers, "By Allah, I woud not like to be among my relatives and sons enjoying all the world's health and well-being while even a tiny thorn hurts the Prophet."
They were the same great words spoken by Zaid Ibn Ad Dithinnah when he was being killed! The same amazing, dazzling strong words Zaid said one day before they were said by Khubaib. At that, Abu Sufyaan, who had not yet embraced Islam, had to shake his head and say astonished, "By Allah! I've never seen anybody love somebody else the way Muhammad's companions love Muhammad."
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Khubaib's words were so provocative that the spears and swords began to tear the hero's body to pieces, attacking it with complete madness and cruelty.
Not far away from the scene, birds and buzzards were flying around as if waiting for the butchers to end their task and leave the spot so that they could approach the fresh dead body to have a delicious meal. However, soon they called to one another and gathered, and their beaks moved as if whispering and talking. Suddenly they flew away in the sky, far, far away. They smelled by their instinct the scent of a pious, repentant man which spread from his crucified body, so they were ashamed to approach him or to hurt him. The flock of birds flew away, just and pure, into the vastness of space.
The group of malicious polytheists returned to their dens in Makkah while the dead body of the martyr stayed there, guarded by a group of Quraishi spearmen.
When they were lifting Khubaib onto the palm trunk cross and tying him firmly, Khubaib turned his face towards the sky asking his Ever Magnificent Lord, "Allah! We fulfilled the mission of Your Messenger. Inform him in the early morning of what is happening to us.
Allah responded to his prayer. while he was in Al-Madiinah, the Prophet (PBUH) was filled with a strong feeling that his Companions were facing a severe trial, and he could almost see the crucified dead body of one of them.
Immediately the Prophet (PBUH) sent for Al-Miqdaad lbn `Amr and Az-Zubair lbn Al-'Awaam. They mounted their horses and set off to cross the land rapidly. Allah guided them to their desired destination. They lowered Khubaib's body to a pure spot of ground waiting to shelter him under its moist soil.
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No one knows to this day where Khubaib's grave lies. May be that is better and more respectable for him so that he remains in history's memory and in the conscience of life a hero, a hero on the cross.