Hadrat Talha bn Ubaidullah t
The Prophet’s Companion in Paradise
Bismillahi wa salatu wa salamu ala Rasulillah wa ‘ala jami’il ambiyai wal-mursalin wa ‘ala ahlihi wa sahabihi ajmain, amin.
To the noble companion Talha bn Ubaidullah (radiAllahu ‘anh) a business trip to Syria close to the pronouncement of Hadrat Muhammad’s prophethood was more than a trading venture, for the trip led to his success in this world and the next. History recorded him as one of the most promising youths of Mecca. In the course of business transaction in the busy market of Busra, Syria, and old man renown for his piety and abstinence from the world called Talha and gave him the blissful news that a man named Ahmad would appear in Mecca, a prophet of Allah and the last of His messengers. He further informed that the prophet would later live the land of Mecca for a land of black soil, abundant water and palm trees.
Hadrat Talha like others whose souls had been craving for water in the spiritual desert of Mecca and environs could not wait further in Syria. He hurried home to experience the reality of the new faith that would rekindle spiritual lights in the hearts of men and put off the fire of barbarism, injustice and extreme perversity that had been the lot of people.
On his arrival at home, the first question put forward to his family is ‘Did anything spectacular happen in Makkah while I was away?’. ‘Yes’, they replied, ‘Muhammad the son of Abdullah declared himself a prophet, denying our idols and professing one Absolute God, Abu Quhafah’s son (Abubakr) has taken to his new faith.’
‘I used to know Abubakr’, Hadrat Talha replied, ‘he is easy going, amiable and gentle man. He is an honesty and upright trader. We were quite fond of him and loved sitting in his company because of his knowledge of Quraysh history and genealogy.
Talha (radiAllahu ‘anh) took a step closer to faith by visiting his respected acquaintances Abubakr Siddiq (radiAllahu ‘anh).
When the question of prophethood of Rasulullah Muhammad (alaihi ‘s-salam) was put to Hadrat Abubakr (radiAllahu ‘anh) he promptly confirmed the truth explaining the essence of the faith to Hadrat Talha. He listened with rapt attention to the explanation of Abubakr before revealing his strange encounter with the ascetic of Busra. Talha’s story shocked Hadrat Abubakr (radiAllahu ‘anh) to the marrow and with a face lit with joy of faith he took Talha to the Prophet (alaihi ‘s-salam). The exalted Prophet listened with joy as Talha recounted his experience in Syria. The Prophet thereafter explained the Islamic truth to Talha who embraced the religion there and then. He was the fourth person introduced to Islam by Abubakr Siddiq (radiAllahu ‘anh).
Accepting Islam in those early days simply presupposed readiness for tortures and persecution, for nothing comes easy for a new convert. He becomes a symbol of denial and a target of oppression. More devastating to the Quraysh was young Talha acceptance of Islam. His mother felt shattered and was speechless. She saw her hope to see her young and promising son growing up to become a leader of the community flittering away. The eminent ones of Quraysh refused to take things lying low, they made effort to uproot Talha fledging faith before it takes root, but all persuasions failed and all forces repelled, for the faith took firm root as soon as it was embraced. When diplomacy and persuasion failed, persecution blended with the violence was used with the moral and tactical support of Talha’s mother. The exalted Hadrat Mas’ud ibn Kharash (radiAllahu ‘anh), said:
‘While I was sitting between as Safa and al-Marwa, a crowd of people emerged pushing a young man whose hands were tied behind. Blows rained down on his head while an old woman used lashes on him while pronouncing curses one after the other. “Talha” the crowd chorused “gave up our religion only to follow the Banu Hashim man (Muhammad)” and the old woman cursing him along was as Sabah bint al-Hadrami, Talha’s mother.
Once, Talha was caught by the disbelievers, he was promptly tied together with Abubakr and handed over to the Quraysh hoodlums for torturing. His life was so unique that he bore all tests with patience, though they are sometimes painful than death. He is one of the exalted sages who lived in the reality of eternal world right here in the world. His virtues were so much and his sacrifices so numerous that the exalted prophet called him Talha the Good and Talha the Generous.
During the extremely volatile battle of Uhud, Talha was a distinguished figure acknowledged by all. Hadrat Abubakr, the ever truthful (radiAllahu ‘anh) always said in admiration: ‘That day, the entire day (of Uhud battle) belonged to Talha.’ It was at the end of the Badr battle that the Prophet named Talha the living martyr when he regretted missing the Jihad against enemies. But this great title he won again for his heroic struggle to defend Islam and protect its Prophet when the universal spiritual sun was literally eclipsed and the Prophet’s blessed face was blood all over in Uhud.
The hour of Uhud we recollect with pains
For on this Day Islam was bereaved
Martyrdom was attained and noble blood shed
Even that of the Prophet the best of mankind
Blessed are the sages who stood for the truth
Blessed be Talha the hero of that Day
What really transpired at the Uhud battle and how did Allahu subhanahu wa ta’ala used Talha to save Islam and its Prophet (alaihi ‘s-salam)? The Muslims were on the verge of victory over the enemies and in great joy flanks were exposed allowing the enemies have another opportunity to turn the battle round.
The disbelievers broke into Muslim’s camp making for the Prophet whom they have targeted as the supreme prize. The exalted Prophet retreated back to the mountains with the enemies in hot pursuit. The Prophet (alaihi ‘s-salam) gave the good news of Paradise to whoever repelled the enemies and Talha was the first to offer his life. But the Prophet ordered him to stick to his position while another Ansar companion volunteered, fought bravely and attained martyrdom. The mushrikun became more determined than ever before to prosecute the war to its conclusion as they martyred the eleven companions present with the Prophet (alaihi ‘s-salam) leaving only Talha. The prophet now gave Talha the leave to confront the disbelievers who are bent on extinguishing the light of Islam.
By this time the exalted Prophet’s face was blood all over. Hadrat Talha swooped on the enemy like a hundred soldiers. He pushed back the forces of enemy, sent them to momentary disarray and then hurried back to move the Prophet further up to safety. He returned to the enemy skillfully attacking and defending. Hadrat Abubakr (radiAllahu ‘anh) ran in to help the Prophet (alaihi ‘s-salam) who ordered them to help their companion (Talha) in repelling the enemies.
The enemies were either killed or forced to run away again in disgrace while Hadrat Talha the great hero was found bleeding from so many wounds, deep in a hollow cave and absolutely unconscious. When he was eventually helped out and treated, the Sayyed of Prophets, Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa salam) said, ‘Whoever is pleased to see a man still walking on earth but who had completed his span (of life) let him look at Talha bn Ubaidullah. Talha the exalted was martyred after declaring his neutral position in the battle of camel. When the numerous dead from the battle of camel were brought together.
Imam Ali (radiAllahu ‘anh) led the janaza prayers for them all and buried Talha with sorrow, tenderness and love. Then, the blessed Imam added; ‘I indeed hope that Talha, az-Zubayr, Uthman and I will be among those whom Allahu ta’ala said,
‘And we shall remove from their heart any lurking sense of injury and rancor; they will be brothers joyfully facing each other on thrones of dignity.’ (Suratul Hijr: 47).
He concluded by saying,
‘I have heard with these two ears of mine the Messenger of Allah (alaihi ‘s-salam) saying: Talha and az-Zubayr are my companions in paradise.
May Allahu ta’ala increase His favours on the heroic Hadrat Talha and the entire companions of Rasulu-Karim Sayyidina Muhammad Mustafa (sallallahu alaihi wa salam), amin.
Curtains of time lowered on sages
Are great signs for all ages
For without the certainty of Rising and Paradise
The world would’ve been their enduring prize