Not even the prick of a thorn – Khubayb ibn Abiy

After his capture by some mushrikeens during a raid Khubayb was bought by the sons of Haarith to be killed in revenge of their father who was killed when he attacked the Muslims in Badr.

Khubayb was kept imprisoned in the Haarith family home. Just about a day or less before he was to be killed, he decided to shave and clean up to meet his Lord, Allaah SWT, in a clean form. For that purpose, he requested his captors to provide him a razor, which they did. When he had an open, sharp razor in his hand, the captor’s young son went to Khubayb and started playing with him. Lovingly, Khubayb picked him and put him in his lap. When the lady of the house saw her son sitting on the lap of the prisoner, Khubayb, with an open sharp razor in his hand. She got worried, terrified and distressed.

An ordinary person would have used this opportunity to use the child as hostage to gain his freedom. He could have easily justified to exchange the child for freedom because of all the deceit and cheating through which he was captured. No fair non-Muslim would have blamed him for doing that. But Khubayb was not an ordinary person. He was a sincere Muslim. He did not want to use an innocent child to gain his freedom from the vicious people of the child’s family and society. He knew that his faith, Islam, and his leader Prophet Muhammad Sall-Allaahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam has taught kindness to women and children and that they would not allow him such an act. So he did not. He assured the woman to be calm and told her that Islam does not allow him to harm a child for any purpose. So he calmly handed over the child to the lady.

Soon after, Khubayb was taken in shackles to the place that was announced for his killing. A huge crowd had gathered to watch the terrorism against an innocent man. Khubayb’s composure and patience was astounding. He requested the captors to allow him to pray two Raka’at to his Lord before dying, which they did allow. He offered his prayer to Allaah SWT calmly and devotedly but did not prolong it. You can imagine the sweetness of the devotion and the contentment which would have ensued from that loving communication that took place in the last prayer from Khubayb’s heart to his Lord, just before meeting his Lord. Who would ever want to get out of that close communion with Allaah SWT! But Khubayb made it short so that the persecutors might not assume that the prayer was being prolonged to delay death. And he made this fact known to them after he finished his prayer.

Khubayb was tied to a tree /wooden cross. 40 lancers were surrounding him with their shining, sharp spears. A person offered him freedom if he would renounce Islam. Khubayb told them that a life without Islam is not worth living. At this, all 40 spears were poked in his body to torture him but not deep enough to kill him. The crowd was clapping. Even in those excruciating moments, he recited an extempore poem which included stanzas to the effect:

They want me to get freedom by renouncing Islam, while dying is easier for me than disbelieving. Tears are flooding my eyes but I am not going to complain or be impatient. I am not going to cry or to show weakness to the enemies because I am departing to God. When I am dying for Islam, I do not care how I fall dead. I hope God will bless each piece of my flesh and limb of my body being cut out.

Aboo Sufyaan remarked, “Would you not wish that Muhammad be here in your place, while you attain freedom’.
Khubayb responded,By God, I do not like even to see a thorn prick Muhammad Sall-Allaahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam while I am safe and secure in my family.”
At this response, his limbs were dismembered and he was tortured to death.

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