Zaid Ibn Amr

Zaid Ibn Amr (r.a): A One Man Ummah

Imagine a man, standing in front of Kaaba, holding his hands in Dua while confessing

Ya Allah, I bear witness that I am on the religion of Ibrahim AS.

And calling out to Allah,

“Ya Allah only if I knew which of the ways are most pleasing to you, I would worship you following that way but I don’t know. But I worship you like this Ya Rabb, so I am going to do Sujood and hope that I am right.”

Knowing nothing about it, and ends up doing the exact thing that gets you closest to Allah.

Isn’t it Beautiful?

Zaid ibn Amr (ra)

Photo from Unsplash

He was none other than, Zaid Ibn Amr (r.a).He is a remarkable figure in the history of Islam and has a story unlike any other person from the companions of the Prophet SAW. There is truly no one like him. 

He was born into the Adi clan of the Quraysh tribe, he was the first cousin of Umar Ibn Khattab (RA). He belongs to the group that was called hanifeen, a group of four monotheists that concluded that they yearned to follow the religion of Ibrahim AS. They were deeply disturbed by paganism and idol worship, so they agreed that something is wrong with all this. They could not figure out what the right path would be, but at least these four decided we are not going to obey the dominant pagan culture in Makkah. The other three were Uthman ibn al-Huwayrith, Ubayd-Allah ibn Jahsh, and Waraqah ibn Nawfal (ra).

While the other two moved out of Arabia and little is known of them, Waraqh Ibn Nawfal (ra) followed Christianity, so we would discuss Zaid Ibn Amr Ibn Nufaid (ra), He was never satisfied with Judaism or Christianity of his time. As most of the messages of the people of the books had gone corrupted.

Aside from being a monotheist before the coming of Islam, he would guide people to what pleased Allah based on intuition and fitrah (natural disposition).At the times when those pagans were burying their daughters alive, he stood up for them. He used to take the girls whom their fathers had buried in, he would ask a man who wanted to bury his daughter alive,

Don’t kill her, I will take care of her.”

He would take care of the child, and when she grew up, he would say to her father,

If you wish to have, I will give her to you, or if you don’t, I’ll take care of her.”

It’s really hard to not fall in love with this man. He used to challenge his society in a very unique way.

Muhammad (SAW) remembers how Zaid Ibn Amr (RA) took a stand by saying,

“I will not eat that which was slaughtered in the name of your idols, and I will not eat that which was slaughtered other than the name of Allah.”

While thinking what’s wrong with these people he said:

“Allah created the animal, he sent down water for its sustenance from the heavens and caused food to grow for it from the earth, then you slaughter it in a name other than that of Allah!”

He criticized people by giving them logic. When he became more annoying to the pagans, he got beaten up by them. The one who tortured him the most was none other than his uncle, Khattab, father of Umar (RA.)

At that time in Makkah, they have taken the rituals of Ibrahim (AS) which were brought in for monotheism and turned all of them into pagan rituals. The Kaaba was built for the worship of Allah, tawaf was supposed to be exclusive for remembrance of Allah. But they put idols around the Kaaba. Ibrahim (AS) who preached modesty, and they did tawaf with no clothes. Animals were considered to be slaughtered as a means of glorifying Allah, and now it was being done in the names of idols while some idols were more valuable than others. Their hajj was the hajj of idols, trade, commerce, and festivals. They used to make a lot of money in the hajj season. And right there surviving like an alien between them, he used to hug the Kaaba with his hands and yell,

“Wallahi, no one of you is on the religion of our father Ibrahim except me.”

While they mocked him, called him a mad man. He was exerting himself to think about,

what did Ibrahim AS do?

What was the religion of Ibrahim AS?

What was the way Ibrahim worshipped Allah?

His Quest

Photo from Mohammad Adil

That’s how he led his life. In search of Allah. In search of Haqq. He wandered from Iraq to Syria in search of the truth of Abrahamic religion.

He confronted Jews and Christians, questioned a lot of rabbis and monks but wasn’t satisfied.

He specifies no satisfaction until he came across a monk in Syria who confided him that the religion, he was striving for did not exist anymore but the time was now near when Allah would greet forth, from his community, a Prophet who would revive the faith of Ibrahim (AS). The monk instructed Zaid (ra) that when he would observe this Prophet, he wouldn’t have any hesitancy in following him.

Zaid (ra) moved towards Makkah aspiring to meet the expected Prophet. On his way back from Syria, he got attacked by a group of Arabs and got killed before he could lay his eyes on the Messenger of Allah.

Some narrations proclaim that the men who killed him were Abu Sufiyan and Abu Jahl. However, Allah knows the best.

Before he breathed his last, he raised his eyes to the heavens and said:

Ya Allah, if You have prevented me from attaining this good, do not prevent my son from achieving so.”

And the dua got accepted Said Ibn Zaid (RA), who was one of the ten to whom Paradise was promised, AlʿAshara Al-Mubashsharūn.

In the house of Sa’id Ibn Zaid(ra), Umar ibn Khattab(ra) read the beginning of Surah Ta-Ha and realized the truth of Islam. He was Umar’s (RA ) brother-in-law.

One Man Ummah

Once Sa’id Ibn Zaid(ra) asked the Messenger SAW about his father, Zaid Ibn Amr (ra) and that’s something above and beyond.

The dialogue is fascinating.

Have a glance at it and estimate yourself.

Sa’id Ibn Zayd asked: “O Messenger of Allah SWT, Zayd Ibn Amr was as you have seen. He had heard the reports about you and if he had reached you, he would have accepted faith. Shall we pray for his forgiveness?”

The Messenger of Allah SWT replied: “Yes, you must pray for his forgiveness. On Judgment Day he will be raised as a complete community. He had belief (in me) and was in search of the true religion, and he died while in pursuit for it.”

In other narration, the Messenger SAW said, “I entered Paradise and I saw two gardens for Zayd ibn Amr. And he will be gathered as a nation on his own, between me and Isa ibn Maryam.”

Look how he got the status of one-man ummah!

And look at us how thankless we are.

While having the greatest source of what Allah likes and what Allah doesn’t, we seem to be blind.

Just think about what if someone you love a lot gives you a detailed diary in which they mention all of their whereabouts, what they love and what they don’t.

Won’t it would be so stupid to compel them to be upset by you.?

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