When Death Approached Aboo Dharr (radi Allaahu anhu)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

al-Haafiz `Abdul-`Azeem al-Mundhiree -rahimahullaah- (d. 656 H) said in “at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb” [1] (The Book of Repentance and Abstention: Chapter (6): An encouragement upon Abstention (Zuhd) with regard to this world, and sufficing with a small amount from it):

“And from Ibraaheem -meaning al-Ashtar:

That death approached Aboo Dharr, whilst he was at ar-Rabadhah [2], so his wife wept. He said: “What causes you to weep?” She said: “I weep because I cannot do anything for you, and I have no cloth large enough to shroud you in.”

He said: “Do not weep, for I heard Allaah”s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) say one day, [and I was with him, in a group of people]: << A man from amongst you will certainly die in a desert area: a group of the Believers will be present at his funeral. >> He said: “ So everyone who was along with me in that gathering has died within a group of people or separately [3] , and none from them remain except for me; and I am in a part of the desert, dying. So go out and watch the road, for you shall soon see what I say, for, by Allaah! I have not lied, nor have I been lied to.” She said: “ How can that occur, when the people travelling for Hajj have ceased?” He said: “ Watch the road.” He said: So whilst she was doing so, a group of people could be seen moving along quickly upon their riding camels, (looking) as if they were vultures [4]

So the people came, until they stood over her, and said: “What is wrong with you?” She said:“ There is a man of the Muslims for you to shroud, and thus be rewarded for it.” They said: “Who is he?” She said: “Aboo Dharr.” So they declared that may their fathers and mothers be a ransom for him, and they hung their whips upon the necks of their camels, and they hastened to him. So he said:

“Receive glad tidings, for you are the group about whom Allaah”s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said what he said. So today I have entered the morning as you see me; and if I had a garment of mine that were sufficient to shroud me in, then I would not be shrouded in anything else besides it. So I implore you, by Allaah, let not a man from amongst you shroud me who has been a chief, a governor, or an official messenger.”

So all of the people had attained something from that, except for a youth from the Ansaar who was with the people. He said: “ I am your companion: there are two garments in my travelling bag that were woven by my mother, and the newest of my garments are these two that I am wearing.” He said: “ You are my companion, [so you shroud me].”

Reported by Ahmad, and the wording is his, and its narrators are the narrators of the “Saheeh”; and by al-Bazzaar -with its like, in abridged form…”. Shaikh al-Albaanee said: “Hasan”.

Footnotes:

[1] “Saheehut-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb” (3/295-296/no.3314) of Shaikh al-Albaanee – rahimahullaah, and the additions in square brackets were included by the Shaikh from the original hadeeth in the “Musnad” of Imaam Ahmad.

[2] A village at a distance of three days journey from al-Madeenah, Aboo Dharr -radiyallaahu `anhu- took up residence here until his death in 32 H (“Mu`jamul-Buldaan”:1/24).

[3] Shaikh al-Albaanee”s checked edition has the word “furqah”(separately), as occurs in some of the editions of the “Musnad”. In other editions of Musnad Ahmad, and in the “Daar ulHadeeth, Cairo edition of “at-Targheeb” there occurs here “qaryah” (a village); and in “alFathur-Rabbaanee” (no. 11, 916) there occurs “rifqah”(amongst companions).

[4] Shaikh al-Albaanee said: “ Perhaps the angle of their resemblance to vultures was on account of their having the dirt of travelling upon them.”

[Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood ibn Ronald Burbank rahimahullaah]

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