Some Lessons From Abdurrahman ibn Auf

lessons from abdurrahman bin auf

In a hadith from Anas ibn Malik -may Allah blesses him-, he said:

قَدِمَ عبدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بنُ عَوْفٍ فَآخَى النبيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّمَ بيْنَهُ وبيْنَ سَعْدِ بنِ الرَّبِيعِ الأنْصَارِيِّ وعِنْدَ الأنْصَارِيِّ امْرَأَتَانِ، فَعَرَضَ عليه أنْ يُنَاصِفَهُ أهْلَهُ ومَالَهُ، فَقالَ: بَارَكَ اللَّهُ لكَ في أهْلِكَ ومَالِكَ، دُلُّونِي علَى السُّوقِ، فأتَى السُّوقَ فَرَبِحَ شيئًا مِن أقِطٍ، وشيئًا مِن سَمْنٍ، فَرَآهُ النبيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّمَ بَعْدَ أيَّامٍ وعليه وضَرٌ مِن صُفْرَةٍ، فَقالَ: مَهْيَمْ يا عَبْدَ الرَّحْمَنِ، فَقالَ: تَزَوَّجْتُ أنْصَارِيَّةً، قالَ: فَما سُقْتَ إلَيْهَا؟ قالَ: وزْنَ نَوَاةٍ مِن ذَهَبٍ، قالَ: أوْلِمْ ولو بشَاةٍ

When Abdurrahman bin ‘Auf arrived in Madina, the Prophet -peace be upon him- was making him a brother to Sa’ad bin ar-Rabi ‘al-Ansari. And at that time, generally the Ansar had two wives.

Then Sa’ad bin ar-Rabi’ offered one of his wives and also half of his property. But Abdurrahman bin ‘Auf refused and said: “May Allah bless your family and your wealth! Just show me where the market is!”.

Then Abdurrahman came to the market, and he was successful in selling aqith (a type of food made from milk) and ghee.

A few days later, the Prophet -peace be upon him- saw on Abdurrahman bin Auf’s clothes, and there were traces of perfumed oil. The Prophet asked: “What is this Abdurrahman?”. Abdurrahman replied: “I just married an Ansar woman”. The Prophet asked: “what is the dowry?”. Abdurrahman replied: “I gave her gold, which is as heavy as a date seed”. The Prophet said: “Then establish walimah (wedding party) even if only serving a goat meat” (Bukhari: 5072).

Ibn Battal when explains this hadith in Sharh Sahih Bukhari, he takes several lessons from this hadith:

  1. This hadith describes the spirit of the companions of the Prophet to do iitsar (beating one’s own interests to put the interests of others) and the spirit to provide benefits to fellow Muslims. As Allah mentions this in the Qur’an (Al Hashr : 9).
  2. Al-Muhallab said: This hadith is a proof that it is permissible for a husband to offer one of his wives to a pious person. That means, he will divorce his wife so he can marry his best friend.
  3. Is it permissible for a man to look at the woman he wants to marry, before marrying her.
  4. Is it permissible to promise to divorce one of his wives when he hopes that his wife will be married to someone else.
  5. It is permissible to take the risk of experiencing a more difficult life after giving a charity.
  6. Working for a living by doing trading or entrepreneurship in the production of goods is more noble than receiving alms or grants or the like.
  7. Giving good news in the form of gifts from (profits) buying and selling or from business carried out in the market, is not a disgraceful matter according to the friends.
  8. It is permissible to ask about whom to marry, it is also permissible to ask about what will be served at the walimah event and it is permissible to ask about the dowry.
  9. It’s okay to ask about marrying a widow or a virgin, and the motivation for marrying a virgin in order to be able to play with him and break the virginity in a lawful manner.

(Sharh Sahih Bukhari libni Battal, 7:167).

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