The Battle of Yarmuk had just ended. I was walking over
the battle-field among the martyred and injured with a pitcher
of water. I was looking for the son of my uncle.
him lying in blood on the burning sand. He was about to die.
I asked him whether he wanted water. Unable to speak, he gestured
that he did. I was just offering it to him when a groaning
was heard: 'Water! Water! Please, a drop of water!'
My uncle's son, whose name was Harith, heard that and gestured
that I should take the water to him. I hastened to the groaning
one, who was Ikrima. Ikrima had not yet taken the pitcher
when a similar groaning was heard. Refusing to take the water,
Ikrima wanted me to take it to the one groaning. When I got
to that one, who was 'Iyash, he was supplicating:
O God! We have never refrained from sacrificing our lives
for the sake of faith. Honor us with the rank of martyrdom,
and forgive our sins!
saw the water but did not live long enough to drink it. I
immediately returned to take the water to Ikrima. However,
I found Ikrima also martyred. Then I hastened to Harith, my
uncle's son. Unfortunately, he too was lying dead on the burning
This is the most touching event I have witnessed in my life.
It was their unshakable belief in Islam which caused them
to behave that way. It was Islam which created such degree
of brotherhood among people.
Imam Sirr al-Saqati narrates:
For thirty years I have been asking God's forgiveness for
an al-hamdu-li-llah (Thanks and praise be to God) which
I uttered with joy thirty years ago. When asked if it was
a sin to praise and thank God, Sirr al-Saqati explained:
In the Mosque of Baghdad, even as I was teaching the Prophetic
Tradition, 'The one who does not feel troubled because of
the troubles of Muslims', a man came rushing in and said
that a great fire had broken out in the Baghdad market burning
all the shops to ashes, but adding: ‘Nothing has happened
to your shop'. Glad that my shop had been saved from the
fire, and not remembering that all the other shops had not,
I happened to utter al-hamdu-li-llah. That was clearly a
selfish act. While the shops of all other people were burnt,
I should not have been rejoicing over mine being saved.
It is for that selfish act of mine that I have been asking
God's forgiveness for thirty years and praying to God that
He may not make me a selfish one.
al-Saqati continued to repent of that act until his death.
Before he died, he asked to be buried in a solitary place
no one knew of, and explained why:
It sometimes happens that earth throws out the dead bodies
of some sinful ones so that the living ones may take a lesson.
If I am a selfish one who does not feel troubled because
of the troubles of other Muslims, the earth may throw me
out. So [bury me some unknown place so that] the people
do not know me as one wicked and sinful to that degree.