Resources / Companion

ABU AYYUB AL-ANSARI (may Allah be pleased with him)

Translations in other Languages

The most beautiful of all hosts is Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari -may Allah be pleased with him-. Every house may have guests but no homes have ever hosted guests as honorable as his. No host has ever attained the honor of hosting as he did. The Prophet was described by poets in these words: What a chosen Prophet and a divine mercy for the worlds, Ol Resûl-i müctebâ hem rahmeten li’l-âlemîn He is buried in me, the earth brags to the skies. Bende medfundur deyu, eflâke fahreyler zemîn. * “He is such a Prophet, such an honored Prophet and chosen Messenger that the earth brags to the sky: ‘Rasulullah is with me.’”

Prof. Dr. M. Es‘ad Coşan*
(May Allah have mercy on him)

We say “Allah Akbar” (God is Great). Our muezzins (caller to prayer) call out from minarets to the heavens. Everybody has heard and is familiar with these words, particularly in our region. They also translate its meaning. Allah SWT is greater, incomparable with anything we know. He is the greatest without any comparison.

Some pitiful youth shout “So-and-so is the greatest, that team or that person is the best…” That is totally wrong. What pitiful, what foolish men! Allah SWT is the greatest. He is beyond any comparison. There is one Allah, then there is mâsivâ (everything else). He is beyond comparison to anything, He is greater than all. May endless praise be to Him! He has blessed and continues to bless us with countless favors, we live by His grace; our existence, our bodies, our lives, our minds, our thoughts, our health are all blessings from Him. Allah SWT is the greatest and everything connected with Him is the greatest, the most beautiful and most honorable.

The greatest of words are His words, al-Quran al-Kareem. May Allah make us all people of Quran! May He grant us the ability to obey those greatest words with perfection! The most important of our pursuits, efforts and in the modern phrase endeavors in our lives is to become familiar with Him. All other pursuits are secondary, unimportant, trivial; our main duty, mission, pursuit is recognizing Allah, attaining mârifetullah (knowledge of God), becoming familiar with Allah, with the Creator; committing ourselves to the One who bestowed all these blessings.

The most loved of the beloved, the guide and leader is His beloved. Habibullah (Beloved of God), Muhammed-i Mustafa, His distinguished servant; may Allah bless him! May Allah prevent us from deviating from his path! May Allah make us people who revive his Sunnah (tradition) in this era where people are deviant and confused! May He grant each of us the opportunity to gain hundreds of rewards of martyrs[1] by reviving the Sunnah and serving the ummah!

Mecca al-Mukarramah is the most beautiful of cities. The finest of all waters is the Zamzam water in this city. The most beautiful of rocks is the rock in this city, Hajar al-Aswad. The most beautiful of places are places where Allah is worshipped, the mosques and masjids; the most prominent of these is the Masjid al-Haram and the Kabah honored with the name of Baytullah “House of Allah”.

The most beautiful of people are His Messenger Muhammed-i Mustafa and those who gathered around Muhammed-i Mustafa. They are the greatest companions, disciples, associates – may Allah be pleased with them all! May Allah prevent us from deviating from their paths!

أَصْحَابِي كَالنُّجُومِ بِأَيِّهِمْ اِقْتَدَيْتُمْ اِهْتَدَيْتُمْ

“My Companions are like the stars; whoever among them you follow, you will be guided, you will find the good, you will be blessed, you will enter heaven.”[2]

By conversing with Allah’s beloved, they reached the highest honor that no other person has reached, and earned the title of “Companions of the Prophet.” On kandil nights (five holy nights in Islam) I conveyed these tidings to our brothers with tears in my eyes, and I would like to convey these tidings again here. One time the Prophet peace be upon him said;

“I wish I could meet my brothers and sisters!” The companions of the Prophet were surprised; they asked:

“O Rasulullah! Aren’t we your brothers?”

He said;

“You are my companions. My brothers and sisters are those who come centuries after me and love me to a degree that they are ready to sacrifice their lives, wealth and children to get a glimpse of me.”[3]

The names and attributes of everything are totally different.

May Allah bestow us with the love of Rasulullah (The Messenger of God).

The most beautiful of all hosts is Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari -may Allah be pleased with him-. Every house may have guests but no homes have ever hosted guests as honorable as his. No host has ever attained the honor of hosting as he did. The Prophet was described by poets in these words:

What a chosen Prophet and a divine mercy for the worlds, Ol Resûl-i müctebâ hem rahmeten li’l-âlemîn

He is buried in me, the earth brags to the skies. Bende medfundur deyu, eflâke fahreyler zemîn.[4]*

“He is such a Prophet, such an honored Prophet and chosen Messenger that the earth brags to the sky: ‘Rasulullah is with me.’

Rasulullah, the ray of guidance; the Messenger of Allah, His beloved and chosen Mustafa, was a guest in the house of this honorable man, and on the decree of Allah. When the people of Medina attempted to grab the rope of his camel and said;

“O Rasulullah! Grace us with your presence, come to our house, be our guest.” He said:

“Leave the camel. She is commanded by Allah, wherever she stops that will be my abode.”[5]

This privilege was granted to that honorable man on the decree written by Allah.

We live in İslâmbol, a city that is loved by everybody; Until Mehmed the Conqueror (Fatih Sultan Mehmed)-may Allah grant him paradise-conquered Istanbul, the city was known as Constantiniyya by Arabs and Constantinople by the locals. When people called it Constantinople, Mehmed the Conqueror said:

“How can this be the city of Constantinople? This is Islampol, the city of Islam!” Islambol or Islampol later became Istanbul. This is how it is pronounced today. A perception of depth, a conversion…This word is also the result of the ceremony of a conversion…

When a non-Muslim reverts to Islam, he changes his name; he refuses to use his former name. When someone asks his name, he says Yusuf Islam or Omar Faruq. If he is asked “What was your former name?” he refuses to tell them. When he embraced Islam his name also changed. So when this city was conquered by Muslims, how could it still be called Constantinople? It became Islambol. He changed the name for a purpose. If the names of companions were not suitable, our Prophet also changed some of their names when they embraced Islam. For example, one man was called Abd Al-Shams, “slave of the sun.” He changed it immediately, he said “Let your name be Abdullah.”[6] He changed the names he disliked.[7] This was also a tradition of our Prophet. Islambol, the city of Islam instead of Constantinople… Istanbul is such a great city that Allah bestowed it with many blessings:

This city is a gem of such unique greatness, that if the sun which illuminates the universe, was placed onto one side of a scale… This is the only comparison of expressing Istanbul’s true value.[8]

May Allah be pleased with those who secured this city for us! May they be granted a place in heaven; their graves filled with light, their ranks which are already high be even more superior. May Allah grant us their shafaat (intercession).

Not every city was privileged to be mentioned by our Prophet. The name of this city was mentioned by our Prophet. Our Prophet –peace be upon him- gave the tidings:

لَتُفْتَحَنَّ الْقُسْطَنْطِينِيَّةُ فَلَنِعْمَ الْأَمِيرُ أَمِيرُهَا وَلَنِعْمَ الْجَيْشُ ذَلِكَ الْجَيْشُ,

“Verily you shall conquer Constantinople. What a wonderful leader will her leader be, and what a wonderful army will that army be.”[9] The conquest of this city was foretold by our Prophet – peace be upon him- 850 years prior to the event as one of his miracles. And furthermore, during which period? When Medina was still a small village. When it was surrounded by deserts. When only a handful of people were Muslims. One of the greatest states of the world was the Empire of Sassanians in Iran; this was a great, majestic empire. The other was the Empire of Byzantine. While these two grand and mighty states, empires were still strong and thriving, that ray of light from Medina said:” Istanbul will certainly be conquered.” This is an authentic hadith. Scholars from the Journal of Religious Affairs investigated the subject.[10] The Prophet -peace be upon him- declared this. One of the witnesses who heard him say this was Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari. He came all this way so “This honor will be mine.” This love, this desire was ignited by Rasulullah during this period. This honorable man came all that way with passion for this conquest. Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari and the other companions are extremely important both for this city and for us.

Our Prophet – peace be upon him- said in a hadith narrated by hadith scholars of Imam Tirmidhi:

مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِنْ أَصْحَابِي يَمُوتُ بِأَرْضٍ إِلَّا بُعِثَ قَائِدًا وَنُورًا لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

“There is no one among my Companions who dies in a land except that he shall be resurrected as a guide and light for them (people of that land), as their commander, leader, flagbearer on the Day of Resurrection.”[11]

May our Lord grant every one of us His paradise, His beauty! We will go there under the banner of this blessed man.

We began by contemplating beautiful things. We eventually came to the beauty of Istanbul. The most beautiful district in Istanbul – with no offense to Üsküdar- is the district of Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari. In view of the reasons I mentioned above, Eyüp Sultan is the most beautiful, honorable, eminent, most precious district of Istanbul. Therefore, being granted the opportunity of visiting and serving in this district is a great honor. Being an imam, a muezzin and a part of the congregation of this mosque and visiting this place is a great blessing from Allah.

The Eyüp Sultan district was once a place where sadrazams (grand viziers) roamed. It was surrounded with mansions owned by viziers and pashas, and dervish lodges of great saints. The grounds of these dervish lodges were rose gardens of 17 decares, 15 decares and 6 decares. Nightingales sang to the roses; gazelles and antelopes wandered among the trees in these rose gardens. May Allah give us the opportunity to transform this area to its former glory!

Everyone has great admiration for this honorable man. How is it possible not to have admiration for him when we learn about his life and character…The ancestry of this honorable man unites with that of our Prophet both maternally and paternally… This blessed man had a close relationship, kinship, and even blood ties with our holy Prophet.

Despite all the hardships in Mecca, when our Prophet attempted to convey the commands of Allah; His religion, His existence and his oneness, although the people accepted his words they refused to help him because they were afraid of the Quraysh.

Our Prophet spoke with tribes who came to the fairs in Mecca for various reasons. He would approach them gracefully and say “Excuse me! Can I speak to you?” When he warned them saying “I am the messenger, the prophet appointed by Allah. Do not worship the idols. There is only one Allah, the Creator of the universe; He has no partners or equals. If you accept His existence and His oneness you will be blessed in afterlife, you will go to heaven; but if you rebel against Him, if you worship anything but Him and become mushriks (polytheists); if you become a disbeliever you will be punished”; they would answer: “O trustworthy, reliable, nobel Muhammed! What you’re telling us is the truth but if we accept your words we would be opposing the people of Quraysh. They are very powerful; they have friends, connections, helpers, associates; they have wealth and power. We cannot allow this...” They were blind to the benefits of the hereafter due to their worldly reckonings.

Nevertheless, when the fortunate believers came to Aqabah from Medina and listened to our Prophet, although they were unaware on their arrival they believed and pledged their allegiance to the Messenger of Allah. They held his hand and accepted saying “We acknowledge, we believe ‘amenna ve saddakna’ or ‘we believe and we confirm’ that you are the Messenger of God, you are His prophet, we are committed to you, we are under your command; you were given the commands, we are your ummah.” This was the first Aqabah Pledge.

The following year an even larger crowd came to the Second Aqabah Pledge. At that time Medina was known as Yathrib. When the Prophet chose this city, it became Medina tun-Nabi or the city of the Prophet. We call it Medina for short. It is actually Medina-i Rasul, Medina tur-Rasullallah, the city of the Messenger of God. They came from there in a larger crowd. When they heard about the pleasure the first group experienced, they came like butterflies attracted to a flame. They said: “O Rasulullah! We also believe in you!” They held his blessed, silk-like hand and gave their pledge of allegiance to him. Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari was from the first group of believers who came on these visits to the Prophet and gave their pledge of allegiance; he was one of the sabiqun al-awwalun (those who preceded).[12] This blessed man was one of those who immediately embraced the truth and gave his allegiance to the Prophet. He was granted the honor of being one of the first people from Medina who embraced Islam.

Words are insufficient to relate his praised qualities. He was one of the first to accept the truth without hesitation, he was one of those who listened, believed and pledged allegiance during the Second Aqabah.

When our Prophet received revelations, he would contemplate the revelation, explain it, and then convey this to scribes who would write it down. These people were known as “revelation scribes.” When our Prophet declared “These verses of the Quran came to me from Allah” they would write down the revelations. This honorable man was one of the revelation scribes of the Quran.

He was also a hafiz of the Quran; one who memorized the entire Quran, and was deeply devoted to the Prophet. In fact, he was one of the believers who said: “May my mother, my father, my wealth and my life be sacrificed for you!”[13]

On the night of the conquest of Khaybar, our Prophet heard a noise outside his tent. That blessed man was walking around holding his sword outside the Prophet’s tent; he said: “O Rasulullah! Khyber has been conquered. I feared that enemies might try to harm you. I’m keeping watch so that you would be safe from any harm, and you would sleep comfortably.” The prophet – peace be upon him- raised his hands to the sky and prayed: “O Lord! Bless your sacred servant who abandoned his sleep for me with many blessings.”[14] So he was also honored with the prayers of our Prophet.

He was a narrator of hadith. He narrated, related and taught the hadith he heard from our Prophet. This blessed companion narrated around 400 hadith.

He hosted our Prophet as a guest in his house. When the camel stopped outside his home, he was honored to have our Prophet as a guest in his house. He said “O Rasulullah! Come, you can stay on the top floor, you have a place in our hearts.” Our Prophet said: “Don’t change your living quarters for me. We will stay in downstairs.” But this made them uncomfortable. They were afraid that when they walked around above the Prophet, dust would fall from between the floorboards or they would make a noise. Yet, our Prophet was humble enough to stay on the lower floor. He took the comfort of his host into consideration. When food was prepared, they would send it to the Prophet first. After he has eaten and the plate was returned they competed with one another to eat from where the Prophet ate or where he had touched. They did this with great love and enthusiasm saying “maybe he ate from here.[15] One day a jug was broken and water spilled on the upper floor. They were concerned that the water would seep through to the lower floor where the Prophet was staying.[16] They said: “O Rasulullah! We do not like being above you. Please stay upstairs!” And they gave the Prophet the upper floor. They moved him upstairs as this was more appropriate. This was how they served the Prophet; this was how they earned his prayers.

We call him “Ayyub Sultan.” But this is not his only name; Ayyub is the name of the eldest son of this blessed man. His full name is Abu Ayyub Khalid. His name is Khalid but his kunya (attributive name) is Abu Ayyub. Therefore we should also use the title “Abu”. We should say “Abu Ayyub”. This means the father of Ayyub; he was given this kunya because the name of his first son was Ayyub. People are unfamiliar with the meaning of the word “Abu” and generally omit this kunya. He had 3 sons and a daughter. Ayyub, Abdurrahman[17], another son named Khalid after him and a daughter named Amre[18]. He had four children. In that period people assumed their kunyas from their first child. Our Prophet’s kunya was Abu al-Qasim. So the real name of this blessed man was Abu Ayyub.

Sultanate was a bestowal from Allah. When Allah blessed a person with such favors, even sultans would stand before him in submission. Our ancestors were familiar with the true sultans because they were friends of Allah who were saved from the screens of blindness. This is why this honorable man was a sultan. All the other sultans were his servants. They stood before him in submission.

You all love the Eyup district. One person objected to the name of the Eyup school saying: “Why is the word Sultan included in the name of Eyüp Sultan Imam Hatip School? This reminds us of the former sultans.” No! This is an indication of our ancestor’s manners, discipline and affinity to Allah; that their eyes and hearts were open and enlightened. This word has such significant meaning, but one who has no knowledge of antiques cast them aside like old object, he would not know its true value.

“Ayyub Sultan”, “Abu Ayyub Sultan.” The word “Sultan” indicates great manners and grace, so I’m calling upon you all to make an effort to preserve this word. It is the most precious heirloom to us from our ancestors. It is like the Topkapı Palace. It is like the antiquity of this mosque and its plaques. The word “Sultan” means a great deal to a person of understanding. Is Ayyub any ordinary friend or colleague? What about Eyub Mosque! Certainly not! Abu Ayyub Sultan; a sultan of the world of spirituality, narrator of hadith. A man totally committed to the Sunnah; a man as sound as a castle.

There are several examples:

Abdullah b. Omar – may Allah be pleased with him- was holding a wedding ceremony. He personally narrated: “At the wedding, we hung a beautiful, green fabric on the wall.” Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari went over and looked at this fabric. He said “This was not a practice during the time our Prophet. It is wrong for you to invent such a custom, I cannot stay here” and he returned. They said “Please stay!” [19]

But he left the wedding; he refused to accept even the smallest innovation. This may seem like a small detail to us, a green fabric was hung on the wall. Yet, he objects saying “No, this was not a practice during the time of our Prophet.” We know that he was totally dedicated to the Sunnah; that he would speak the truth openly to sultans and caliphs, and intervened whenever necessary.

When the booty and captives were being distributed following a battle; a woman was standing to one side crying. He asked, “Why is this woman crying?” They said “She is a captive; she was separated from her child. This is why she is crying.” He said “Give the child back to her”. So they gave the child to the poor woman and dried her tears. When they asked him “Why did you do this?” He replied “I heard our Prophet say that if a man separates a mother from her child, Allah will separate him from all of his loved ones in the hereafter.”[20] He was a person who spoke the truth openly when he witnessed an injustice. This is how we should be. As people who follow his path, we must defend the truth, we must prevent injustices, and implement justice.

Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari was an imam at Al-Masjid An-Nabawi. When disturbances increased towards the end of the Uthman era, incoming forces prevented the caliph from leaving his house. Caliph means imam and leader, he leads the prayer; he must be in the forefront in the mosque and in state administration. This is how great the honor of being an imam is. They prevented the caliph from leaving his home. Eventually, they martyred him as he was reciting the Quran. Today, that Quran upon which his blood flowed when he was martyred is kept in the Chamber of Holy Relics at Topkapı Palace. It is the holy Quran written on gazelle skin and preserved in the Topkapı Palace.

During the period when the caliph was not allowed to leave his house, when he prevented from leaving by oppressors, Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari assumed the duty of imam on behalf of the caliph in the masjid of our Prophet.[21]

He was a Hafiz; a man who had deep knowledge; who was wise, virtuous and dignified. His duty as imam had more extensive meaning than the duty of any ordinary imam. When the Islamic World expanded with the conquests; the lands of Al-Sham, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Anatolia, Diyarbakır, Ahlat, Silvan, Caucasia, Adana, Maraş; almost all of them were conquered during this period. These lands host graves of companions. Since that period those lands have belonged to Islam.

However, at some point the Crusaders were able to capture Urfa, and Christian rule did continue for a while. They also invaded Al-Quds until Salahaddin regained it; since the time they ruled Southeastern Anatolia, the places where our Turkish and Kurdish brothers live have been Islamic lands. During that period Ali transferred the administration of the caliphate to Kufa as Medina was a great distance from the conquered lands. Kufa was an Islamic city near Baghdad. A city founded by Muslim warriors that had a circular plan; with a mosque in the center and a castle. That blessed man left the sacred city Medina to Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari. He said, “The governorship of this city belongs to you.” So this honorable man was also the governor of Medina.

He was deputy imam of the caliph, a scribe of revelation, a Hafiz of Quran and governor of Medina.[22]

This is how he understood Islam; he was so devoted to the path of Allah to the extent that money and wealth, power and status, health and comfort, children and offspring… all the world meant nothing to him.

He was a person who devoted his life to jihad (holy war). He didn’t stay in Medina; he travelled to Egypt to participate in the conquest of Egypt, then from Egypt to Syria, from Syria to Palestine. As some books recorded he participated in previous campaigns by Arab Muslim warriors to conquer Istanbul. One aspect that will appeal and interest you the most is that he participated in the conquest of Cyprus. Khalid b. Zayd Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari was also one of the conquerors of Cyprus; he fought the holy war in Cyprus.

Our Prophet said in one of the hadith, “Teach your children writing, swimming, archery, and the use of weapons.”[23] Is a child going to swim in the desert? What did he mean when he said teach them to swim? This is one of the miracles of our dear Prophet, it is a sign that the ummah would conquer beyond the seas; the flag of Islam would fly over the seas. Teach your children to swim. The reward of the sea battles is double compared to land battles; the rewards of sea battles are higher. The rank of a martyr in a sea battle is higher than the martyr in a land battle. That honorable man embarked on a ship to obtain these rewards, he participated in the conquest of Cyprus. He came to İstanbul, he participated in campaigns. He was a great warrior.

During one of the campaigns in Istanbul, a group of warriors attacked the Rum (Roman) forces. They came face to face. One of the brave men among them took out his sword; he charged into the enemies saying “Ya Allah!” and destroyed them. While the others stood back, this man charged into the enemy and returned fighting… As he was battling with the enemy those who stood behind said;

“Look, in the Quran it says;

وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ

‘Do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction’[24]. This man put himself in danger. He has gone amongst the enemy, he is fighting them. He put his own life in danger.” Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari was familiar with the Quran, he was a hafiz, and he was familiar with the reasons for the revelations, the reasons why verses were revealed. He gave this explanation: “No, o Muslims! You have misunderstood the Quran. The Tafseer (exegesis) of this verse is not like this. We helped our Prophet at a time when nobody else helped and we earned the name ‘Ansar’ (Helpers). We attained the honor of being the Ansar of the Messenger of Allah, his helpers. Later on, when the numbers of Muslims increased we told ourselves; ‘Now the number of Muslims has increased. Rasulallah doesn’t need us anymore. He has many people around him who are like moths to a flame, and would sacrifice their lives for him. So we can return to our vineyards, gardens, trades; we can return to our work.” Thereupon Allah SWT revealed the following verse to warn us. O, believers! Do not refrain from working in the path of Allah. Do not miss out the chance to spend your wealth, properties, earnings on the path of Allah, fi sebîlillah (in the cause of Allah). Do not Show recklessness in this matter. Do not refrain from supporting people who participate in the holy war. Do not show recklessness in the matters of supplying the army, buying weapons etc. If you do such things you will attract the wrath of Allah, you will fall into sin. So in that way, you will put yourselves in danger. Beware, refrain from this! Give offerings and gifts from your wealth and possessions, give in charity. This is the meaning of the verse.”[25]

If only everybody, every one of us, every Muslim could understand the Quran to perfection so that the most powerful nations, states would become Muslim states. If only Muslims in Bosnia- Herzegovina, Karabakh, Caucasia, Ceylon and Africa were not oppressed, mistreated, weakened, victimized and subjected to all kinds of cruelty.

If only they did not forget the awareness of holy war. If only they were not so relaxed, if only they understood the verse properly; duly sacrificed their wealth and lives on the path of Allah, if only they didn’t disrespect the honor of Islam. So Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari was also a man who warned against this.

A member of parliament came to our faculty for some reason. The dean said: “We shouldn’t put ourselves at danger.” The dean is a so-called professor, he supposedly has a great deal of knowledge but he related this incorrectly. The parliamentarian immediately said: “That is not what I heard. Putting yourself in danger doesn’t mean not participating in holy war and sacrificing your life. This means something different…”Just as I explained above, he gave an excellent answer.

If only everyone was familiar with Islam so that Muslims could attain honor and dignity as a natural result of practicing Islam to perfection.

May Allah make the ummah glorious once again! May He save it from the injustice, cruelty, attacks of non-believers! May He unite fractions between them! May He ensure the unity of their hearts! May He make all of them united in the service of the right and the good, those who brings light and kindness to every part of the world!

Enjoining what is good, forbidding what is evil is not compromisable. We make many compromises. Enjoining good and forbidding evil is a religious duty of all Muslims; a believer must prevent any evil he witnesses and strive to enjoin good. There are millions of Muslims, if all these Muslims were to pour a single glass of water the enemies would be swept away by floods but nobody fulfills their duties, and they fail to warn those who neglect their duties by saying “Why are you not doing this?”

The grievances today’s Muslims face was foretold in a hadith. Our Prophet said: “By Him in Whose Hand my life is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly soon send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted.”[26] So this is why at this point, as people who taking him as an example while we are relating the story of this blessed man, we should keep this in our minds. Do not be blind to enjoining good and forbidding evil, never abstain from this, and never neglect your duties.

Khalid b. Zaid Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari was extremely generous. Ibn Abbas –may Allah be pleased with him- was the governor of Basra. This blessed man went to visit Ibn Abbas after a holy war, a campaign. Abdullah b. Abbas was a scholar, a mufasser; he was knowledgeable, cultured, well-mannered; the son of our Prophet’s uncle, he was related to the Prophet; he was tall, had a beautiful face and long eyelashes, an extremely pleasant person. He said to Khalid b. Zaid Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari: “You entertained Rasulullah as a guest in your house. That is why I am giving you this mansion together with the slaves that work in it as a gift. Accept my gift.” The governor of Basra, Ibn Abbas hosted him there, in this grand mansion. He gave it to him together with 40 slaves and 40 thousand dirhams of silver saying “You are an esteemed man for us. Take this, it is my gift to you. You hosted Rasulallah as a guest, now I’m hosting you.” This was the grandness of Abdullah b. Abbas, his appreciativeness and his offering. He appreciated the value of that man. So what did Khalid b. Zaid Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari do? He freed those 40 servants for the sake of Allah. He gave the 40 thousand dirhams of silver as a gift to the slaves then he left. He didn’t keep anything for himself, he distributed all the coins.[27]

Our Prophet declared the devoted muhajirs (immigrants) from Mecca as brothers with the faithful Ansar of Medina. Musab b. Umayr was Khalid b. Zaid’s brother.[28] Musab b. Umayr -may Allah be pleased with him- was the family’s only child. He was extremely handsome… He was a rich young man but he abandoned all the money, wealth, riches and his family for the sake of Allah. Both his mother and his father were polytheists. He did not listen to them. His mother tried to influence him, she said:

“My son, if you do not revert to your religion, if you do not leave Islam, I refuse to eat and drink, I will starve myself. So you will cause your mother harm…” He replied

“My dear mother! Do not exert yourself! Even if you had forty lives and sacrificed each one, I would never abandon this path. Accept Islam.”[29]

This was Musab ibn 'Umayr, this was who our beloved Prophet sent to Medina Munawwara to teach the Islamic faith, the Quran. When he recited the Quran with his beautiful voice, people of Medina were entranced. Many embraced Islam and learned about Islam because of his good character, his radiant face, the polite manner in which he spoke. Our beloved Prophet declared him and Abu Ayyub al-Ansari brothers in the hereafter.

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari’s father’s name was Zaid, and his mother’s name was Hend. He was Khalid, the son of Hend and Zaid.[30] His wife’s name was Fatimah; she was known as Ummu Ayyub because she was the mother of Ayyub. His father was Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, his mother was Ummu Ayyub, Fatimah. They were both from Banu Najjar clan of the Khazraj tribe.

Prior to Islam, in Medina there were two large rival tribes called Aws and Khazraj. They had many conflicts which lasted for years. Our beloved Prophet reconciled them. The Prophet’s visit was a great blessing for both sides. These people were members of the Aws and Khazraj tribes.

As I previously mentioned that he narrated hadith from our beloved Prophet, I will relate a couple of these hadith. He will be rewarded, and we will be rewarded for reading it. One who denotes a good deed will be rewarded as if he performed it.[31]

عَنْ أَبِي أَيُّوبَ ، عَن ِالنَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، قَالَ :

الْمُتَحَابُّونَ فِي اللَّهِ عَلَى كَرَاسِيَّ مِنْ يَاقُوتٍ حَوْلَ الْعَرْشِ

This was transmitted by Imam Tirmidhi, one of the famous scholars of hadith. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari narrated this from our Prophet. Our beloved Prophet said;

“Allah, the Exalted, has said: 'For those who love one another for the sake of My Glory, there will be seats of light (on the Day of Resurrection), and they will be envied by the Prophets and martyrs.”[32]

All of you are my brothers and sisters, each of us are brothers in the hereafter; we are hand in hand. We love each other, visit each other, give gifts to one another, and talk to each other. And that is how those who befriend one another for the sake of Allah will sit on thrones of light on the Day of Judgment. That is how esteemed their position will be. Another hadith:

مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ يَغْرِسُ غَرْسًا إِلَّا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَهُ مِنْ الْأَجْرِ قَدْرَ مَا يَخْرُجُ مِنْ ثَمَرِ ذَلِكَ الْغَرْسِ

Ahmed b. Hanbal, imam of the madhab; founder of the Hanbali madhab, holy man and a scholar of hadith narrated, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari reported from our Prophet:

“There is no man that plants a sapling and Allah won’t reward him for each fruit it provides.”[33]

When a Muslim plants a seed and it grows into a tree, for as long as the tree provides fruit he will continue to be rewarded for it.

We founded an organization with some of our brothers: “Eyüp History, Culture and Environment Foundation” So why did we include the word environment? Inshallah, we’ll make it green. We will plant a forest in memory of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, it will be totally green. We’ll plant rose bushes, fruit saplings, turn it into a rose garden inshallah. This was commanded in the hadith, he narrated this from our Prophet. Third hadith: He narrated 400 hadiths but I am only relating three of these hadith.

َنْ أَبِي أَيُّوبَ الْأَنْصَارِيِّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ لَا يَحِلُّ لِمُسْلِمٍ أَنْ يُهَاجِرَ أَخَاهُ فَوْقَ ثَلَاثِ لَيَالٍ يَلْتَقِيَانِ فَيَصُدُّ هَذَا وَيَصُدُّ هَذَا وَخَيْرُهُمَا الَّذِي يَبْدَأُ بِالسَّلَامِ

This was narrated by the Imams of two madhabs, Ahmad b. Hanbal and Imam Malik, and reported by Abu Ayyub al-Ansari.

Our Prophet – peace be upon him- refers to a topic that concerns us all;

“It is not lawful for a Muslim to desert (stop talking to) his brother beyond three nights, the one turning one way and the other turning to the other way when they meet, the better of the two is one who is the first to greet the other.”[34]

Therefore Muslims should not remain angry with one another, they must make peace. Iran will make peace with Iraq, Syria with Turkey, Saudi Arabia with Yemen, and Egypt with Libya… The Islamic world should coalesce. People in those lands should make peace with one another. There should be no disputes; there should be alliances, unity, and togetherness. There should be no factions, no confliction, no taunting, and no battles. Then Muslims will have dignity and compassion. Verse;

وَلَا تَنَازَعُوا فَتَفْشَلُوا وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ

“And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.”[35]

Everyone will hunt you like a bird of prey, slaughter you like a sheep, make a meal of you, then sit on your hide. Why? If you disagree, your strength, your enthusiasm will fade. Can a person find dignity in the world and the hereafter without obeying Allah? This is not possible, it is impossible. That is why we are warned; “O believers! O ummah of Muhammad! Either come to the religion of Allah or you’ll be punished!” The evolvement of events reveals this to us. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari also related this in a hadith from our beloved Prophet.

Explaining the disposition of our elders, having the ability to explain and accomplish this is certainly not an easy task. This honorable man is our commander in the hereafter, our leader in worldly life. He is held in high esteem in the world, he is the source of pride in our city. We should take his good morals and character as an example. We should embrace the Quran, the hadith, enjoining good and jihad in this world. We must strive and fight in the cause of Allah with our wealth and our lives. How should we strive on the path of Allah? Jihad is teamwork, with people who are willing to strive on the path of Allah. We must produce people to accomplish this. Then we must supply and support them with all kinds of spiritual and material equipment, knowledge, instruments and opportunities. So where are such people taught? In places that teach religion, the Quran and hadith.

May Allah grant the highest positions to teachers, scholars, and guides who open religious institutes, religious schools and serve in these places to spread knowledge, or if they do not have the means to open schools, those who open their homes to the aspirers of knowledge and students day and night. I know those honorable scholars taught the religion of Allah day and night, even in the most difficult times.

The Late Hüsrev Hoca gave lessons day and night; he taught the religion of Allah without fearing anyone. A man told me: A group of women came to him, asking; “Sir, we have no other free time. Could you teach us at night if we came at such and such time?” He replied “Yes of course.” Our elders deprived themselves of sleep and never turned away anyone with the desire to learn.

A headmaster colleague told us. A teacher did not want to give lessons to his son because he feared that he could not have a teacher-student relationship with his own son, so he asked one of his colleagues; “Can you teach my son?” Although the father passed away, the teacher was such a loyal, well-mannered and polite person that he continued to give lessons to the son. “My father’s friend, that professor continued to teach me, he never missed a lesson until the day he died. I went to England, he sent letters to me in England; he still continued to teach me.” This is how important is to teach people…

When Sultan Mehmed II conquered İstanbul, he besieged the city and said: “Another fortress must be built opposite the Anatolian Fortress.” Sultan Bayezid I built the Anatolian Fortress, Sultan Mehmed II was to build another fortress facing this on the other side of the Bosphorus, he instructed three pashas, each of whom was to build a tower. They completed the huge Rumelia Fortress in three months. Why? Because he ordered “It must be completed within this time.”

Our children will grow up. We should send them not only to cities in Turkey, but all over the world. We should send them to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Australia, Africa, South America, North America, Canada… We will spread the religion of Allah. Why was Abu Ayyub Al Ansari in Istanbul? He was striving in the cause of Allah, spreading the religion of Allah. We will spread the religion of Allah with the prosperity, glory and light we obtain from this; we will teach and support students, facilitate them in every way possible and send them all over the world. They requested a Muslim judge in Australia. They said: “Can you send us a judge who will pass rulings according to the religion of Allah, we will pay him; as long as he judges by the Quran.” The person who requested this is a Malaysian Muslim who reverted from Buddhism. They said “As Muslims, we are ashamed to appeal to English judges for justice. Send us a kadi, a judge, and we will abide by his rulings.”

There is a need in South America, in South Africa, all over the world. We will teach them and this will be our Sadaqah Jariyah (continuous charity). As they spread the religion, good deeds will be written in our book of reckoning. So compete in generosity...Compete with Sultan Mehmed II in generosity.

* Tarihi ve Tasavvufî Şahsiyetler, İstanbul: Server İletişim, Temmuz 2017, 5. Baskı, p. 59-80.

[1] For the hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah see. Al-Ṭabarī Al-Mu’jam Al-Awsat, V, 315, hadith no: 5414; Abu Nu’aym, Ḥilyat al-awliyāʼ wa-ṭabaqāt al-aṣfiyā VIII, 200; al-Haythami, Majmau' al-Zawa'id, I, 418.

[2] Hadith was narrated in different versions from these companions:

  • a) Ibn Omar -may Allah be pleased with him- : Humeydî, Musnad, I, 250, hadith no: 783; İbn Adiy, Al-Kâmil fi’dhu’afâ’, II, 377.
  • b) Ibn Abbas -may Allah be pleased with him- : Daylami, Musnad al-Firdaws, IV, 160, hadith no: 6497; Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa, I, 146, hadith no: 381.
  • c) Omar -may Allah be pleased with him- : Daylami, Musnad al-Firdaws, II, 310, hadith no: 3400.
  • d) Jabir -may Allah be pleased with him- : Ibn Mende, Al-Favâid, p. 29, hadith no: 11; Ibn Hajar, Lisân al-Mîzân, II, 137, trans. no: 594.
  • e) Abu Hurairah -may Allah be pleased with him-: Kudâî, Musnad ash-shihab, II, 275, hadith no: 1346.

[3] For this report narrated by Anas ibn Malik -may Allah be pleased with him- see Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad, III, 155, hadith no: 12517; Abu Ya’lâ, Al-Musnad, VI, 118, hadith no: 3390; Al-Haythami, Majmau’ al-Zawa’id, X, 66.

[4] An anonymous couplet that was used often in the art of calligraphy.

[5] Said ibn Mansur, Sunan, II, 347, hadith no: 2978; Ibn Asâkir, History of Damascus, XI, 14; Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghdba, II, 121, trans. no: 1361. Al-Haythami, Majmau’ al-Zawa’id, VI, 79.

[6] Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghdba, III, 207, trans. no: 2878 (Abdullah ibn Hâris ibn Abdulmuttalib ibn Hashem); III, 355, trans. no: 3113 (Abdullah ibn Abu Avf). His name was Abdu Shams, it was changed to Abdullah. See Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghdba, VI, 181, trans. no: 6040; Ibn Hajar, Al-Isaba, IV, 50, trans. no: 4609.

[7] Examples of names he changed: Abdu al-Hajar (Slave of the rock) was changed to Abdullah. See Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghdba, III, 227, trans. no: 2927; III, 228, trans. no: 2930 (Abd al-Uzza was changed to Abdullah); V, 120, trans. no: 4799 (Mahesh ibn Humayyir was changed to Abdullah ibn Abdurrahman).

[8] Selections from Divan of Nadeem, p. 22.

[9] Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad, IV, 335, hadith no: 18977; Bukhari, al-Taʾrīkh al-kabīr, II, 38; Ibn Asâkir, History of Damascus, 58, 35; Hakim, IV, 468, hadith no: 8300; Al-Haythami Majmau’ al-Zawa’id, VI, 323.

[10] Ali Yardım, “An Enquiry on the Hadith of the Conquest”, Journal of Diyanet, XIII, p. 2 (Ankara 1974), p. 116-123. For a study on the subject which also includes the mentioned article see İmamzâde Mehmed Es’ ad, Değeri ve Tesiri Açısından Fetih Hadîsi ve Feth-i Kostantîniyye, İstanbul 2002.

[11] Al-Tirmidhi, “Menâkıb”, 59, hadith no: 3865; İbn Asâkir, History of Damascus, II, 413-414; Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa, hadith no: 2243.

[12] Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghdba, II, 121, trans. no: 1361.

[13] Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V, 416, hadith no: 23573; Al-Tabarani, Al Mu'jam Al Kabir, IV, 119, hadith no: 3855.

[14] Ibn Sad, Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir, II, 116; Ibn Asâkir, History of Damascus, XVI, 45.

[15] Muslim, “Drinks”, 171; Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V, 95, 103, 106, 415, hadith no: 20936, 21028, 21061, 23564; Ibn Hibbân, V, 448, hadith no: 2094; Al-Tabarani, Al Mu’jam Al Kabir, IV, 153-154, hadith no: 3984, 3986; Hakim, III, 520.

[16] Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidaya wa'l-Nihaya, III, 201; VIII, 58.

[17] Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir, III, 484; İbn Hayyât, Al-Tabaqat, p. 251.

[18] For Amre bint Abu Ayyub see İbn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir, VIII, 449; Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghdba, I, 1387.

[19] Bukhari, “Nikah”, 77; Al-Tabarani, Al Mu’jam Al Kabir, IV, 118, hadith no: 3853; Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, IX, 249.

[20] Al-Tirmidhi, “Sirah”, 17, hadith no: 1566; Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V, 412, hadith no: 23546; Al-Tabarani, Al Mu’jam Al Kabir, IV, 182, hadith no: 4080; Hakim, II, 63, hadith no: 2334.

[21] Al-Tabari, Tārīkh al-rusul wa-al-mulūk, II, 694.

[22] During the time of Ali, in Medina initially Temmâm ibn Abbas, then Sehl ibn Huneyf, and later Abu Ayyub al-Ansari became governor. See Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghdba, I, 424, trans. no: 510; ibn Abdu al-Barr, Al-Isti'ab, I, 59.

[23] For this hadith narrated by Ibn Omar -may Allah be pleased with him- see Al-Bayhaqi, Shu'ub al-İman, VI, 401, hadith no: 8664.

[24] 2/Baqarah, 195.

[25] For this hadith narrated by Abu Ayyub al-Ansari -may Allah be pleased with him- see Abu Dâvûd, “Jihad”, 23, hadith no: 2512; Hakim, II, 94, hadith no: 2434; Al-Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, IX, 99.

[26]For hadiths with similar statements see Al-Tirmidhi, “Fiten”, 9, hadith no: 2169; Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V, 388, hadith no: 23349; Al-Bayhaqi, Shu’ub al-İman, VI, 84, hadith no: 7558; same author, Sunan al-Kubra, X, 93; Daylami, Musnad al-Firdaws, IV, 367, hadith no: 7059.

[27] Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Fazail-e-Sahaba, II, 963, hadith no: 1881; Ibn Abi al-Dunya, The Makarım Al-Akhlaq, p. 442, hadith no: 442; Al-Tabarani, Al Mu’jam Al Kabir, IV, 125, hadith no: 3876; Hakim, III, 520, 522, hadith no: 5936, 5941; Ibn Asâkir, History of Damascus, XI, 54-55; Al-Haythami, Majmau' al-Zawa'id, IX, 537.

[28] Ibn Sa’d, III, 119, 484; Hakim, III, 518, hadith no: 5929; İbn Asâkir, History of Damascus, XVI, 39; İbn Abdu al-Barr, Al-Isti'ab, I, 126; Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghdba, II, 121, trans. no: 1361; Ibn Hajar, Al-Isaba, II, 234.

[29] Al-Zamakhshari, al-Fâik fî garîbi’l-hadîs, III, 393; Ibn al-Athir, al-Nihayah fi Gharib al-Hadith, IV, 839; al-Khaṭṭābī, Gharib al-hadith, II, 293.

[30] Abu Ayyub’s full name is Khalid b. Zaid b. Kulayb b. Salebe b.Abd b. Avf b. Gnam b. Malik b. al-Najjar al-Ansari al-Khazraji al-Najjari. See Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghdba, II, 121, trans. no: 1361; VI, 22, trans. no: 5714.

[31] Narrated by Anas ibn Malik -may Allah be pleased with him- : “Whoever guides someone to goodness will receive a reward like it” See Al-Tirmidhi, “İlm”, 14.

[32] Al-Tabarani, Al Mu’jam Al Kabir, IV, 150, hadith no: 3973; Al-Bayhaqi, Shu’ub al-İman, VI, 486, hadith no: 9000; Al-Haythami, Majmau' al-Zawa'id, X, 492.

[33] Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V, 415, hadith no: 23567; Al-Haythami, Majmau' al-Zawa'id, IV, 117.

[34] Bukhari, “İsti’zân”, 9; Muslim, “Birr”, 25; Abu Dâvûd, “Edeb”, 55, hadith no: 4911; Al-Tirmidhi, “Birr”, 21, hadith no: 1932; Malik, “Husnü’l-huluk”, 13; Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V, 416, hadith no: 23575.

[35] 8/Anfal, 46.

Article “Ebû Eyyûb el-Ensârî” Prof. Dr. M. Es’ad Coşan (Rh.a.)