Wafaat of Hazrat Abu Zarr al-Ghifari (r.a)
Dated: September 20, 2015
Death Anniversary of Hazrat Abu Zarr Al-Ghifari (r.a)
On the death anniversary of the esteemed companion of the Prophet, Abu Zarr Al-Ghifari in 652 CE (30 AH), World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League (WABIL) offers its heartfelt condolences to the Imam of Our Time (atfs) and all believers. Abu Zarr was indeed an illustrious Companion of the Prophet and one whose life teaches us how to be loyal to the Prophet (saww) and the Ahlul Bayt (as).
Abu Zarr was born outside Madinah into the well-respected Ghifar clan, and was well known for having never been a polytheist, but a Hanif, a natural monotheist. As a youth, he heard of the Prophet and his message and left with his brother to meet the Prophet. He met Ali (as) in the Kaaba, who hosted him as a travelling guest and introduced him to the Prophet. No sooner had he laid eyes on the Prophet that he saw Light, Truth, and a Reality of the existence of One God, beyond any description. He accepted Islam immediately and bravely, boldly, went and declared his faith amongst the oppressive violent Quraysh. He was beaten so badly by them that he fainted. This practice, of declaring the Truth, being attacked for it, and suffering, became a life pattern for Abu Z arr. The young Companion was unmoving in his love for the Prophet, and his appointed successor, Imam Ali.
During the reign of the third caliph Abu Zarr once again stood up against falsehood – he objected to the so-called caliph’s nepotism, incompetent rule, and the squandering of public money especially Khums. The oppressive caliph, who despised Abu Zarr for his loyalty to Imam Ali, had Abu Zarr tortured, and exiled to Rabadha, a barren desert. Abu Zarr left with his wife and daughter, banished to a death of hunger and toil under the scorching sun. This tragic death was already foretold by the Prophet (sawa).
Abu Zarr daughter, distraught at how her father’s unwashed and unshrouded body lay under the sun, stopped a travelling caravan from Iraq. Amongst them were no other than Hudhayfa al-Yaman, Kumayl ibn Ziyad an-Nakhai and Malik al-Ashtar, a future governor of Imam Ali, who were ironically all on their way from Kufa to Madinah to challenge the caliph on his incompetence. How mysterious and wondrous are Allah’s ways, that a lover of the Ahlul Bayt (as) died in exile but Allah arranged his burial by other devotees of the Ahlul Bayt (as).
Abu Zarr’s life example teaches us to always stand up for the Truth, to never be afraid to speak up no matter what the consequences, to shun and oppose oppression, and to always have hope in salvation and Allah’s mercy. Today we remember the unjust way in which he was banished to the desert and dies, but never compromised on his beliefs. May Allah make us follow his footsteps, and may we carry the torch of faith that Abu Zarr himself carried.
Sayed Mohammad Al-Musawi
World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League (WABIL)