Abu Hurairah

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`Abd al-Rahman ibn Sakhr Al-Azdi (d. 678) also Abu Hurairah, Abu Hurayrah, or Abu Horaira, was a Sahābi, and is the narrator of Hadith most quoted in the isnad of them by Sunni Muslims.


[edit] Early life

He was named Abd al-Shams (servant of the sun), an Arab from Baha Yemen who was an orphan with only a mother and no other relatives. He belonged to the Banu Daws[citation needed] tribe, who lived in the region of Tihamah which stretches along the coast of the Red Sea in southern Arabia.

As a child, he had a cat and was known as "Abu Hurairah" (which literally means "Father of Kitten"), due to his love for cats. As a young man, he worked for Busrah bint Ghazwan.

[edit] Muhammad's era

[edit] Conversion

He embraced Islam through either 'Amr al-Dausi or Tufayl ibn Amr the chieftain of the Daws tribe to which he belonged <ref>[1]</ref>.

When Tufayl returned to his village after meeting the Islamic prophet Muhammad and becoming a Muslim in the early years of his mission, Abu Huraira was one of the first to respond to his call, unlike the majority of Tufauyl's tribesmen.

Abu Huraira accompanied Tufayl to Mecca at one time, where he meet Muhammad who, according to Sunni traditions, renamed him to Abd al-Rahman (servant of the Merciful, one of the 99 names of God). He stayed with his tribe for several years after he became a Muslim.

[edit] Medina

In the 629 (7 AH), he went to Medina with some others from his tribe. Since Muhammad was absent in due to the Battle of Khaybar, he stayed in the mosques.

He was single without a wife or child. His mother was with him, whom was still a polytheist. He prayed for her to become a Muslim, but she refused. Sunni sources report:

One day, he again invited his mother to believe in the One God and His Prophet. She answered with some bad words about the Prophet. Abu Huraira went to the Prophet (PBUH) with tears in his eyes. “Why are you crying, Abu Huraira?” asked the Prophet (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam).
“I always invite my mother to Islam, and she always refuses,” said Abu Huraira. “I asked her again today. But she said some things about you that made me sad. Can you pray to God for her to turn to Islam?”
The Prophet (PBUH)) prayed for Abu Huraira’s mother to accept Islam. When Abu Huraira went home, he found the door closed. He heard the splashing of water. He tried to enter the house, but his mother said, “Wait a minute. Don’t come in yet.” Then she got dressed and said, “You can come in now.”
When Abu Huraira went inside, his mother said, “I declare that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.”
Abu Huraira again went to the Prophet crying. But this time his tears were tears of joy. “I have good news, Rasul Allah,” he said. “God has answered your prayer and guided my mother to Islam.” <ref>[2]</ref>

Abu Huraira, with other Muslim, suffered from hunger when the Muslims where poor in Medina.

"When I was afflicted with severe hunger, I would go to a companion' of the Prophet and asked him about an ayah of the Qur'an and (stay with him) learning it so that he would take me with him to his house and give food. "One day, my hunger became so severe that I placed a stone on my stomach. I then sat down in the path of the companions. Abu Bakr passed by and I asked him about an ayah of the Book of God. I only asked him so that he would invite me but he didn't.
"Then Umar ibn al-Khattab passed by me and I asked him about an ayah but he also did not invite me. Then the Messenger of God, peace be on him, passed by and realized that I was hungry and said: "Abu Huraira!" "At your command" I replied and followed him until we entered his house. He found a bowl of milk and asked his family: "From where did you get this?" "Someone sent it to you" they replied. He then said to me: "O Abu Huraira, go to the Ahl as-Suffah and invite them." Abu Huraira did as he was told and they all drank from the milk. <ref>[3]</ref>

Not before too long the Muslims received a lot of war booty. Abu Huraira got his share of the wealth. He got a house, and he married and had children.

[edit] Mecca

He spent a total of one year and ten months with the prophet Muhammad, after which the Prophet died. Muhammad died 8 June 632 in Medina.

[edit] Abu Bakr's era

Abu Bakr

[edit] Umar's era

Umar appointed Abu Huraira as governor of Bahrain in 643 (21 AH).

He became quite rich, and in 645 (23AH) Umar heard about this and called him back to Madinah.

"How did you become rich?", the caliph asked.
"From breeding horses and the gifts I received", replied Abu Huraira.
"Hand it over to the treasury of the Muslims", ordered Umar.

Abu Huraira turned over his wealth and asked Allah to forgive the Caliph who was suspecting him of unlawfully acquiring wealth. He was later asked by Umar to be governor again, but he refused. he said:

"So that my honor would not be besmirched, my wealth taken and my back beaten."

And he added:

"And I fear to judge without knowledge and speak without wisdom."<ref>[4]</ref>

[edit] Ali's era

During the battles between Ali and Muawiya, he did not join the ranks of either, rather mingled with both sides.

[edit] Muawiyah's era

Abu Huraira once entered the Kufa mosque and saw a huge gathering of people who had come to welcome Muawiyah, where he held a speech. When Muawiyah learned of this, he sent for him, gave him a reward, and made him the governor of Medina. <ref>[5]</ref>

[edit] End life

He died in the year 681 (59 AH) when he was 78 years old.

[edit] Legacy

Of the hadith held as authentic by the Sunnis, Abu Hurraira is the most quoted person. Next to him comes the names of such companions as Abdullah ibn Umar, Anas ibn Malik, Aishah, Jabir ibn Abdullah and Abu Said al-Khudri all of whom transmitted over a thousand sayings of the prophet.

He is quoted saying:

“I grew up as an orphan. I emigrated as a poor person. I used to serve Gazevan’s daughter, Bushra. I served others when they stopped on the road. I drove the camels on the road. Then God made it possible for me to marry Bushra. Praise be to God who has strengthened His religion and made me an imam (leader).” <ref>[6]</ref>

His daughter married Said ibn Al-Musayyib.

[edit] Muslim view

Muslims have a mixed view of him.

[edit] Sunni view

He is one of the major narrators of Hadith, and like all of the Sahabah, he is trustworthy.

[edit] Shia view

Shi'as view him in a very negative view, seeing him for not more than an unscrupulous and irreligious serial fabricator of hadiths. They dissregard reports of his unfailing memory as fabricated and falsified.

[edit] Hadith

The following is a non-representativ list of some of the hadith related by him:

[edit] References


[edit] External links

ar:أبو هريرة

fr:Abu Huraira

Abu Hurairah

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