It was narrated that ‘Abdullaah ibn Ka‘b ibn Malik, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "I did not remain behind the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, in any Ghazwa (i.e. battle) that he fought except the Ghazwa of Tabuk, and I failed to take part in the Ghazwa of Badr, but Allaah The Almighty did not admonish anyone who had not participated in it, for in fact, the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, had gone out in search of the caravan of Quraysh till Allaah The Almighty made them (i.e. the Muslims) and their enemy meet without any appointment. I witnessed the night of Al-‘Aqabah (pledge) with the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, when we pledged for Islam, and I would not exchange it for the Badr battle although the Badr battle is more popular amongst the people than it (i.e. Al-‘Aqabah pledge). As for my news (in this battle of Tabuk), I had never been stronger or wealthier than I was when I remained behind the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, in that Ghazwa.

By Allaah, never had I two she-camels before, but I had then at the time of this Ghazwa. Whenever the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, wanted to make a Ghazwa, he used to hide his intention by apparently referring to different Ghazwa till it was the time of that Ghazwa (of Tabuk) which the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, fought in severe heat, facing, a long journey, desert, and the great number of enemy. So the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, announced to the Muslims clearly (their destination) so that they might get prepared for their Ghazwa. So he informed them clearly of the destination he was going to. The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, was accompanied by a large number of Muslims who could not be listed in a book namely, a register." Ka‘b, may Allaah be pleased with him, added, "Any man who intended to be absent would think that the matter would remain hidden unless Allaah The Almighty revealed it through Divine Revelation. So, the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, fought that Ghazwa at the time when the fruits had ripened and the shade looked pleasant. The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, and his companions prepared for the battle and I started to go out in order to get myself ready along with them, but I returned without doing anything. I would say to myself, 'I can do that.' So I kept on delaying it every now and then till the people got ready and the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, and the Muslims along with him departed, and I had not prepared anything for my departure, and I said, I will prepare myself (for departure) one or two days after him, and then join them.' In the morning following their departure, I went out to get myself ready but returned having done nothing. Then again in the next morning, I went out to get ready but returned without doing anything.

Such was the case with me till they hurried away and the battle was missed (by me). Even then I intended to depart to take them over. I wish I had done so! But it was not in my luck. So, after the departure of the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, whenever I went out and walked amongst the people (i.e, the remaining persons), it grieved me that I could see none around me, but one accused of hypocrisy or one of those weak men whom Allaah The Almighty had excused. The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, did not remember me till he reached Tabuk. So while he was sitting amongst the people in Tabuk, he said, 'What did Ka‘b do?' A man from Banu Salama said, 'O Messenger of Allaah! He has been stopped by his two Burdas (i.e. garments) and his looking at his own flanks with pride.' Then Mu'adh bin Jabal said, 'What a bad thing you have said! By Allaah! O Messenger of Allaah! We know nothing about him but good.' The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, kept silent." Ka‘b ibn Maalik added, "When I heard that he (i.e. the Prophet ) was on his way back to Medina. I got dipped in my concern, and began to think of false excuses, saying to myself, 'How can I avoid his anger tomorrow?' And I took the advice of wise member of my family in this matter. When it was said that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, had come near all the evil false excuses abandoned from my mind and I knew well that I could never come out of this problem by forging a false statement. Then I decided firmly to speak the truth. So, the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, arrived in the morning, and whenever he returned from a journey, he used to visit the Mosque first of all and offer a two-Rak‘ahs prayer therein and then sit for the people. So when he had done all that (this time), those who had failed to join the battle (of Tabuk) came and started offering (false) excuses and taking oaths before him. They were something over eighty men; the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, accepted the excuses they had expressed, took their pledge of allegiance asked for Allaah's Forgiveness for them, and left the secrets of their hearts for Allaah The Almighty to judge. Then I came to him, and when I greeted him, he smiled a smile of an angry person and then said, 'Come on.' So I came walking till I sat before him. He said to me, 'What stopped you from joining us. Had you not purchased an animal for carrying you?' I answered, "Yes, O Messenger of Allaah! But by Allaah, if I were sitting before any person from among the people of the world other than you, I would have avoided his anger with an excuse.

By Allaah, I have been bestowed with the power of speaking fluently and eloquently, but by Allaah, I knew well that if today I tell you a lie to seek your favor, Allaah would surely make you angry with me in the near future, but if I tell you the truth, though you will get angry because of it, I hope for Allaah's Forgiveness. Really, by Allaah, there was no excuse for me. By Allaah, I had never been stronger or wealthier than I was when I remained behind you.' Then, the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said, 'As regards this man, he has surely told the truth. So get up till Allaah decides your case.' I got up, and many men of Banu Salama followed me and said to me. 'By Allaah, we never witnessed you doing any sin before this. Surely, you failed to offer excuse to the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, as the others who did not join him, have offered. The prayer of the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, to Allaah to forgive you would have been sufficient for you.' By Allaah, they continued blaming me so much that I intended to return (to the Prophet) and accuse myself of having told a lie, but I said to them, 'Is there anybody else who has met the same fate as I have?' They replied, 'Yes, there are two men who have said the same thing as you have, and to both of them was given the same order as given to you.' I said, 'Who are they?' They replied, Maraarah ibn al-Rabee’ Al-‘Amri and Hilaal ibn ‘Umaiyyah Al-Waqifi.' By that they mentioned to me two pious men who had attended the Ghazwa (Battle) of Badr, and in whom there was an example for me. So, I did not change my mind when they mentioned them to me. The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, forbade all the Muslims to talk to us, the three aforesaid persons out of all those who had remained behind in that Ghazwa. So, we kept away from the people and they changed their attitude towards us till the very land (where I lived) appeared strange to me as if I did not know it.

 

 

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