The Speaker for the Messenger of Allah!
While Hassaan was the poet of the Messenger of Allah and Islam, Thaabit was his speaker. The words coming from his mouth were strong, comprehensive, and perfect.
In the Year of Delegations, some men of the Tamiim tribe arrived at Al-Madiinah and said to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), "We have come to brag, so please permit our poet and speaker." The Messenger (PBUH) smiled and told them, "I permit your speaker. Let him speak."
Their speaker, `Utaarid Ibn Haajib, stood and boasted of his people's glories.
After he had finished, the Prophet (PBUH) told Thaabit Ibn Qais, "Answer him.' Thaabit stood up and said, "All praise to Allah Who created the heavens and earth, in which He controls everything, Whose throne extends over the heavens and the earth. And nothing is at all except out of His kindness. It is part of His omnipotence to make us models and selected His Messenger out of the best of His creation, among whom he is of the noblest descent and of the most sincere speech. He sent him down His book and made His creation in trust of him. And he was the best choice of Allah. Then he called on people to believe in him. The Muhaajiruun of his people and his own kinsmen believed in him. They were of the noblest descent and best deeds. Then we the Ansaar were the first to respond. We are the adherents of Allah and the ministers of His Messenger."
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Thaabit witnessed the Battle of Uhud with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and the battles that followed. He was incredibly willing to sacrifice himself
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In the apostasy wars, he used to be in the vanguard, holding the Ansaar standard and striking with a sword that never retreated.
In the Battle of Al-Yamaamah, which we have already mentioned more than once, Thaabit witnessed the sudden assault that the army of Musailamah the Liar launched against the Muslims at the beginning of the battle. He shouted in his loud warning voice saying, "By Allah, we did not use to fight that way with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)!"
Then he went not far away, and returned after anointing himself and putting on his shroud. He shouted once more, "O Allah! I clear myself of what those people have done (i.e. the army of Musailamah) and I apologize to You for what they have done (i.e. the Muslims' slackness in fighting).''
Then Saalim, the servant of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) who was holding the standard of the Muhaajiruun, joined him. Both dug a deep hole for themselves and then stood in it. They piled up the sand on themselves till it covered their hips. They stood as two gigantic mountains, with the lower body of each burned in the sand and fixed in the bottom of the hole, while their upper bodies received the armies of paganism and infidelity.
They kept striking with their swords whoever came near them from Musailamah's army until they were martyred in their place.
The sight of them (May Allah be pleased with them) was the greatest cry that contributed to bringing the Muslims back to their positions so that they could change the army of Musailamah the Liar into trodden sand.
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Thaabit lbn Qais, who excelled as a speaker and warrior, used to be self-reproaching and to humble himself to Allah. Among the Muslims, he was extremely modest and afraid of Allah.
` When this noble verse was sent down "GOD does not love any proud and boastful one" (31:18), Thaabit shut his house door and kept crying. It was a long time before the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) knew about him. He sent for him and asked. Thaabit said, "O Messenger of Allah! I like beautiful clothes and foot wear. I am afraid to be of the arrogant." The Prophet (PBUH) laughed with content and answered, "You are not one of them. You'll live and die with blessings and enter Paradise."
And when the following words of Allah the Exalted were sent down "O you who believe! Do not raise your voices above the Prophet's voice, and do not speak loudly to him, as you speak to one another, lest your deeds are rendered fruitless, while you are unaware" (49 :2), Thaabit shut himself indoors and kept crying again. When the Messenger missed him, he asked about him and sent or him. When Thaabit came, the Prophet (PBUH) asked him the reason for his absence. Thaabit answered, "I have a loud voice and I used to raise my voice above your voice, Messenger of Allah (PBUH). My deeds are rendered fruitless then, and I'm of the people of the Fire." The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) answered, "You are not one of them. You'll live praiseworthy and be martyred, and Allah will let you into Paradise."
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One incident is left in Thaabit's story about which those whose thoughts, feelings, and views are limited to their restricted, tangible, materialistic world would not feel comfortable! Inspite of this, the incident was real, and is quite easily explained to whoever uses sight and insight together.
After Thaabit had fallen martyr in battle, one of the Muslims who had not known Islam until recently passed by him and saw Thaabit's precious armor on his corpse. He thought it was his right to take it and he did.
Let the narrator of the incident narrate it himself: While one of the Muslims was asleep, Thaabit appeared to him in his dream and said to him, "I entrust you with my will, so be careful not to say it's a dream and waste it. When I fell martyr yesterday, a Muslim man passed by me and took my armor. His house is on the outskirts of the town. His horse is tall. He put his pot on the armor and above the pot put his saddle. Go to Khaalid and tell him to take it. And when you go to Al-Madiinah and meet the successor of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) Abu Bakr, tell him I owe so-and-so. Let him pay my loan."
When the man got up, he went to khaalid lbn Al-Waliid and related to him his dream. So Khaalid sent someone to bring the armor, and he found it exactly as Thaabit had described it. And when the Muslims went back to Al-Madiinah, the Muslim narrated the dream to the caliph, and he fulfilled Thaabit's will. There is not in Islam a dead man's will that was fulfilled in that way after his death except that of Thaabit Ibn Qais.
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Truly, man is a big mystery. "Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision" (3 :169).