Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari

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Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari
Native nameجابر بن عبدالله الأنصاري
Full NameJabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari
TeknonymAbu Abd Allah
Burial PlaceMedina
ActivitiesTransmitter of Hadith al-Ghadir, Hadith al-Thaqalayn, etc.; Companion of Imam Ali, Imam al-Hasan, Imam al-Hussain, and Imam al-Sajjad; the first pilgrim of Imam al-Hussain

Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari was a well-known companion of the Prophet Muhammad who narrated a great deal of Hadith. Jabir was from the Banu Salm family of Khazraj tribe. His father was martyred in the Battle of Uhud. He narrated hadith of Lawh in which Prophet named the twelve Shi'a Imams, and also other famous hadiths including hadith of Ghadir Khumm, hadith of Thaqalayn and hadith of the City of Knowledge.

Jabir was a true devotee of Ahl al-Bayt. After the Battle of Karbala, he was the first person who visited the burial site of Imam Hussain in the day of Arbaeen. This Journey is commonly taken as the basis of the Ziarat of Arba’een.

Before the Battle of Karbala[edit | edit source]

Sayyid Bahrani in Madinatul Ma’ajiz quotes from Saqibul Manaqib, and others quote from Manaqibus Sua’da that Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari says, that when Imam Hussain intended going towards Iraq, I came to his presence and said, “You are the son of the Prophet of Allah and one of his two endeared grandchildren. I do not hold any other opinion except that you too enter into a peace treaty (with Yazid) as your brother had done with Mu’awiya, and verily he was trustworthy and rightly guided.” Imam Hussain replied,

“O Jabir! Whatever my brother did was ordained by Allah and the Prophet, and whatever I shall do too shall be according to the command of Allah and His Prophet. Do you wish that at this very moment I invite the Holy Prophet, Imam Ali, and my brother Hasan) to testify regarding my action”?

Then Imam looked towards the heavens, suddenly I saw that the doors of heavens opened ajar and Prophet Muhammad, Imam Ali, Imam Hasan, Hazrat Hamza, Hazrat Ja’far at Tayyar and (my uncle) Zaid descended from the heavens upon the earth. Seeing this I became frightful, when the Prophet said,

“O Jabir! Did not I inform you prior to Hussain during the time of Hasan that you would not become a believer unless you surrendered to the Imams and not object to their actions? Do you desire to see the place where Mu’awiya will dwell and the place of my son Hussain and of his murderer Yazid”?

I replied in the affirmative. Then the Prophet struck his foot onto the ground and it tore apart and another ground appeared beneath. Then I saw a river flowing, which also tore apart, underneath which was another ground. Thus seven layers of the ground and rivers ripped apart (one below the other) until there appeared hell. I saw that Waleed bin Mughirah, Abu Jahl, Mu’awiyah and Yazid were bound together in a chain along with the other rebellious Satans. And their torment was more severe than that of the other people of hell. Then the Holy Prophet commanded me to lift my head. I saw that the heavens had opened their doors and Paradise was apparent. Then all those blessed people who had descended from there returned back. When they were in the air the Prophet called out to Imam Hussain,

“Come and mingle with me my dear Hussain.”

I saw that Hussain ascended too and joined them onto the high status in Paradise. The Holy Prophet then caught hold of the hand of Hussain and told me,

“O Jabir! This son of mine is here along with me, submit to him and do not fall in doubt so as to become a believer.”

Jabir says that, “May both my eyes turn blind if whatever I have seen and related from the Prophet is false.”

Visiting the Grave of Imam Hussain[edit | edit source]

According to hagiographical tradition, on the night of Ashura the inhabitants of Medina heard a voice announcing the death of Hussain. One of those who heard this was Jaber b. ʿAbdallah Ansari, well-known companion of the Prophet and a friend of the imams. He immediately set out for Karbala and arrived at the tomb of the martyred imam forty days later. Meanwhile, on their way to Medina, the captives begged their escort to pass by Karbala, and thus they reached the sacred spot at the same time as Jaber. The entire company performed the first ziara, and held the first lamentation, ʿazadari, at the sacred tomb.[1]

Story[edit | edit source]

Indeed Jabir had heard numerous sayings from the Prophet in relation to the status of Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him and he indeed fully understood the lofty status of both grandsons of the Prophet - namely Imam al-Hasan and al-Husayn as carried by the blessed heart of al-Mustafa, and therefore it is of no amazement that he was the first companion, despite his old age, who made the journey to Karbala after he heard of what had happened to the beloved grandson of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his family.

Al-A’mash narrates from ‘Atiyyah al-‘Awfi, who said: “I left with Jabir ibn ‘Abdillah al-Ansari, may Allah have mercy on him, to visit the grave of al-Husayn bin ‘Ali bin Abi Talib peace be upon him; and when we entered Karbala, Jabir came near the bank of River Euphrates, performed the major ablution (ghusl) and wore his clothes; then he opened his purse which contained su’d [a plant with sweet fragrance]. He spread the perfume over his body; thereafter he did not take a step save in the remembrance of Allah, until he neared the grave [of al-Husayn, peace be upon him].”

[Then] he said to me: “Make me touch the grave, and I made him do so. Thereupon he fell over the grave unconscious.”

I sprinkled some water on him, and he gained consciousness.

Then he cried three times:

   یا حُسین، یا حُسین، یا حُسین....

Ya Husayn … Ya Husayn … Ya Husayn

Addressing al-Husayn, peace be upon him, he said: “Why is the beloved not responding to the call of the lover? But how can you respond, while your veins have been severed, and your body has been separated from your head?

I bear witness that you are the offspring of the Prophets, and the son of the master of believers, and the offspring of the companion of piety, and the offspring of guidance, and the fifth member of the people of the cloak, and the son of the master of the chiefs, and the son of Fatimah, the mistress of the women; how can you not be so, while the hand of the Leader of the Apostles, peace be upon him and his family, fed you, and you were breast-fed from the breast of belief, and trained in the bosoms of pious people, your weaning accompanied the state of utter submission.

Hence you enjoyed a pleasant state both during your life time and after your death; however, the hearts of the believers are sorrowful due to your separation, and do not doubt about your great position. So upon you be Allah’s Peace and Approval. And I bear witness that you faced what your brother [Prophet] Yahya, peace be upon him, had faced.”

Thereafter Jabir felt the presence around the grave and said: “Peace be upon you and the spirits that have descended in the neighbourhood of al-Husayn, peace be upon him … I bear witness that you were steadfast in your prayers and gave the zakat and you commanded the good and prohibited the forbidden and struggled against the deniers of religion and you worshipped Allah until conviction came to you. I swear by the One Who sent Muhammad as a Prophet with truth; surely we participated with you in what you encountered.”

‘Atiyyah (not understanding this powerful statement made by Jabir) says: I asked Jabir: “How can that be possible, while we did not descend on any valley, nor did we climb any mountainous area, nor did we fight with the sword, whereas the heads of the group of al-Husayn, peace be upon him, have been separated from their bodies, their children were made orphans and their women were made widows?”

Jabir said: “O ‘Atiyyah, I heard from my beloved, the Apostle of Allah, peace be upon him and his family, say: ‘Whosoever loves a nation, will be resurrected with them, and whosoever loves the deed of a nation, will be considered one who has participated in that deed (with them). I swear by the One Who Sent Muhammad as a Prophet in truth, surely my intention and the intention of my companions is according to the intention of al-Husayn and his companions.”

[Then Jabir said to ‘Atiyyah]: “Take me towards the houses of Kufa.”

‘Atiyyah says: “When we reached a certain point on the way, Jabir said to me: ‘O ‘Atiyyah, may I advise you, for I do not think that I will meet you after this short journey? Love the lover of Aale Muhammad as long as that person loves them, and have aversion for one who has aversion for Aale Muhammad as long as that person has aversion for them; for if a person was to fast and stand in prayer frequently and befriend the lover of Aale Muhammad, then surely if one of their feet was to slip due to excess of sin, the other foot would be firm due to love of Aale Muhammad, for verily the lover of Aale Muhammad would return to Paradise and the one who has aversion for them will return to the Hell Fire.’”

Reference[edit | edit source]

  1. Alī b. Mūsā b. Moḥammed b. Ṭāʾūs, al-Lohūf ʿalā qatlat al-ṭofūf, Naǰaf 1385/1965, p. 82.

Sources[edit | edit source]