14 Nov Abdullah bin Unays (r.a.)
After some of the students of Suffa School got married, they continued attending this school. One of them was Abdullah bin Unays al-Juhani. He was so adherent to the Messenger of Allah that he was ready to sacrifice his life. Abdullah bin Unays, who gave no chance or respite to the enemies of Islam at the Battles of Badr and Uhud, was a Bedouin living in the desert, somewhat far away from Madinah. [ Usdul-Ghaba, 3: 119-120. ] Thanks to the lesson of the truth he took from the Messenger of Allah, he attained the rank of a master who showed people the truth and good things. The distance did not frighten him. He would come to Suffa School without heeding the hardships, and learn ilm and worship there. Although he had children, they did not prevent him from seeing the Messenger of Allah and learning and spreading Islam.
He spread Islam among the tribe of Sons of Salama. He did his best to make the belief of oneness dominant in all hearts. He was among those who broke the idols of Sons of Salama. Like every Companion, he was against idolatry, and hated it.
He was also sent on an expedition against the enemies of Islam. When the Messenger of Allah was given the news that “Sufyan bin Khalid provoked people against the Messenger of Allah”, the Prophet appointed Abdullah bin Unays to give him the necessary answer. However, Abdullah did not know him. He wanted the Messenger of Allah to describe him. The Messenger of Allah said,
“When you see him, you will be afraid; you will hesitate a bit and remember Satan.”
Abdullah said to the Messenger of Allah, “O Messenger of Allah! I am not afraid of people.” Then, he got permission from the Messenger of Allah and girded on his sword. When he came to Urna Valley, he saw the man he was looking for; he was walking followed by a crowd. He looked at him carefully; he was the man described by the Messenger of Allah. He narrated what happened after that as follows:
“When I met him, I was a little scared. I felt as if I was getting ready for war. I said, ‘The Messenger of Allah told the truth.’ When he saw me, he asked, ‘Who are you?’ I said, ‘A man from Khuza’a. I heard that you were collecting people against Muhammad; I came here to join you.’ He became very pleased. He said, ‘Yes, I have been collecting forces against him. Then, I walked with him and talked to him. We chatted a lot; he enjoyed my chatting. He did not suspect me any longer. We arrived his house. His companions left one by one. It became quiet. Everyone fell asleep. I found an opportunity, drew my sword and I killed him. I took his head with me and got into a cave in the mountain. The spiders helped me by surrounding the entrance of the cave. Then, the incident was heard. They understood that I had done it; they looked for me. They could not find me though they came to the entrance of the cave many times. Then, they returned. They abandoned hope. One night, I set off and proceeded. I hid and rested during the day and walked at night. Finally, I arrived in Madinah. I went to the Messenger of Allah. When he saw me, he said, “Congratulations!” I said. “O Messenger of Allah! Good news!” I put the man’s head in front of the Messenger of Allah. I told what had happened exactly. The Messenger of Allah gave me his staff and said, “You will walk having this in your hand in Paradise.” [ Tabaqat, 2: 50-51. ] These words were glad tidings for Paradise for Abdullah.
Hz. Abdullah willed that this staff be put into his shroud. When he died, they fulfilled his will.
Thus, Abdullah bin Unays killed an enemy of the religion who wanted to kill the Messenger of Allah. He prevented his tricks and plans that he had set against the Messenger of Allah. Abdullah had stayed away from home for 18 days during this incidence.
Abdullah bin Unays became weak toward the end of his life. He lived a bit away from Madinah. He could not always come to the mosque. He wanted to learn from the Messenger of Allah the exact night of the Night of Power. The Messenger of Allah told him to look for it on the 23rd night of Ramadan. When the narrator asked the son Abdullah bin Unays what his father did when he came to the mosque that day, his son replied as follows:
“My dad would come to the mosque to perform the afternoon prayer and would not leave the mosque for any need until he performed the morning prayer. After he performed the morning prayer, he would find his animal ready at the gate of the mosque mount it and go to his house in the desert.” [ Abu Dawud, Salat: 319. ]
It is not known exactly when Abdullah died. Some narrations say 54 H, some 74 H and others 80 H. may Allah be pleased with Abdullah bin Unays, who spent his long and blessed life spreading and developing Islam!