Ubadah ibn al-Samit

Well-respected chieftain of the Ansar tribes and Muhammad's Companion
'Ubadah ibn al-Samit Al Khazraji
عبادة بن الصامت.png
Arabic calligraphy of 'Ubadah ibn al-Samit
Qadi of Homs and Jerusalem
Mufti of Rashidun Caliphate
MonarchAbu Bakr (632–634)
Umar (634–644)
Uthman (644–655)
GovernorMu'awiya I
Personal details
Bornc. 583 (38 B.H)
Yathrib, Hijaz, Arabia
Diedc. 655 (aged 72)
Resting placeBab al-Rahma, Jerusalem
  • Umm Haram
  • Jamilah bint Abi Sa'sa[1]
  • 'Aws ibn al-Samit (brother)
    Nussaybah Bint al-Samit (sister)
  • Ubaydah ibn 'Ubadah
  • Walid ibn 'Ubadah
  • Shamit Ibn Qais (father)[2]
  • Qarat al-Ain Bint 'Ubadah (mother)[3]
Known forCompanion of Muhammad
Military service
AllegianceMuhammad (623–632)
Rashidun Caliphate (632–655)
Branch/serviceRashidun army
Years of service623–655

'Ubadah ibn al-Samit (Arabic: عبادة بن الصامت ʿUbādah ibn aṣ-Ṣāmit) was a companion of Muhammad and a well-respected chieftain of the Ansar tribes confederation, who participated in almost every battle during Muhammad's era. His official title, according to Muslim scholarly tradition, was Ubadah bin Saamit al-Ansari al-Badri (عبادة بن الصامت الانصاري البدري) for his actions at the Battle of Badr.[5] He served under the first three Rashidun caliphs in the Muslim conquest against the Byzantines.

The conquest of Cyprus marked Ubadah as one of the most successful military commanders in the history of the Rashidun army. He participated in more than seven large scale military campaigns during his life before ending his career as a Qadi in the Holy Land. In his later years he assisted the then-governor Umayyad Caliph Muawiya I.

Ubadah also served as the Qur'anic teacher of Suffah and the Mufti and judge of the Rashidun caliphate, while also handling the matters of converting subdued populations and building Mosques, such as the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As in Egypt and the Bazaar Congregational mosque in Homs. Despite his low structural civil position, Ubadah's influence as a respected senior Sahabah who was heavily trusted by Muhammad and caliph Umar could outrule many of his compatriots, including those who outranked him structurally such as Mu'awiyah, who served as Governor of Homs during Ubadah's tenure as judge.[citation needed]

In general, Islamic scholars regard Ubadah as an influential companion of Muhammad who passed down many hadiths which became the basis of Fiqh ruling in various matters.[6][4]

Early life

'Ubadah was a descendant from Yemeni Arabs who settled in Yathrib and formed the Banu Aws and Khazraj tribes; he was born into the latter and became a prominent chief.[7] His genealogical lineage was 'Ubadah ibn al-Samit Ibn Qais bin Asram bin Fahr bin Tha'labah ibn Ghanm ibn Auf ibn (Amr bin Auf) ibn Al Khazraj. Sometime before Muhammad's migration from Mecca, Ubadah and other Banu Aws and Khazraj tribe chieftains, such as Abdullah ibn Rawahah, ʿAbdullah ibn Haram, Sa'd ibn Ubadah, and Abu Talha al-Ansari, met Muhammad at the place called Aqabah during their journey from Medina to perform Hajj in Mecca. In historical literature, these clan leaders are said to have done Hajj to achieve enlightenment after they grew weary of the conflicts between their tribes, particularly the civil war of Yathrib which Muslim historians call the Battle of Bu'ath. They listened to Muhammad's preaching and considered him to be the solution to unite their conflicting tribes in Medina. They immediately pledged their allegiance to him, marking this event as the first pledge of al-Aqabah. Ubadah was around forty years old.[8][9] Later he also participated in the Second pledge at al-Aqabah, where 'Ubadah narrated the event.

I was among those who were present at Aqabah. We were twelve men who took an oath of allegiance to the Messenger of Allah Shalallahu Alayhi Wassalam in the Pledge of Aqabah, which was called Bai'at An-Nisa'[Notes 1] This was before the fighting was enjoined, so we pledged not to associate anything with Allah, not to steal, not to commit adultery, not to kill our children, not to intentionally forge falsehood,[Notes 2] and not to disobey him in any just matter. "If you fulfil that then Paradise will be yours, but f you commit any of these sins, it is for Allah to forgive or punish as He wills'[11] "

When the Meccan Muslims were migrating to seek refuge in Yathrib (now Medina), 'Ubadah and his fellow Banu Aws and Khazraji provided shelter to them as Muhammad immediately instructed Ubadah to take an oath of brotherhood with the Muhajireen named Abu Marthad al-Ghanwi.[12]

Battles under Muhammad

During Muhammad's stay in Yathrib, Ubadah participated at the battle of Badr, which elevated his status as a patron of Islam in a view of both early and contemporary Muslim scholars and earned him the title of al-Badri, which is bestowed to Muslims who attended the battle.[5][4] Ubadah gave his testimony in regards to the aftermath of the battle when the Muslim army discussed their prisoners of war.[5]

Ubadah also participated in another historical battle of Uhud.[13]

After the ancident with Banu Qaynuqa with Muhammad, 'Ubadah announced that he annulled the alliance with Banu Qaynuqa, and it is due to this incident the revelation of verses 51 and 52 of Al Ma'idah from Muhammad. 'Ubadah position as the respected head clan superseded Abdallah ibn Ubay's (another Khazraji chief) support of the Jews. In the end, the entire clan instead followed 'Ubadah and supported Muhammad and they expelled the Qaynuqa Jews from Medina and took their date palm gardens as loot for the city's Muslim community before continuing to serve in the Battle of Khandaq.[14] In January 627, the Ansaris under Ubadah and his colleague, Sa'd ibn Ubadah, led an expedition against the Banu Mustaliq tribe. The raid was successful and they took 200 families captive, 200 camels, 5,000 sheep, goats, and a large quantity of household goods.[15] However, there was an accident during the battle where Ubadah unintentionally killed one of his Ansari clansmen, Hisham ibn Subabah.[16] Sometime after the treaty of Hudaybiyya, 'Ubadah fought in the Battle of Khaybar.[4]

Ubadah were virtually participated in all military expeditions personally led by Muhammad before his death.[14]

Rashidun caliphate

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After the selection of the first caliph, rebellion broke out in almost all of the caliphate. Ubadah was commanded by Caliph Abu Bakr to quell the rebellions across Arabia, though it is not specified which battles he was involved in.[17][18] According to David Nicolle, the four Rashidun contingents left Medina between the autumn of 633 to 634 before Khalid converged with other contingents led by generals such as Abu Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah, Yazid ibn Abu Sufyan, Amr ibn al-A'as and Shurahbil Ibn Hasanah.[19] Ubadah, Abu Darda, and Muadh ibn Jabal were sent to Syria after ibn Abu Sufyan asked the caliph to send him preachers who can teach the newly subdued Christian population in Syria. At some point, Ubadah was tasked to assist the military campaigns in Syria due to his military prowess.[4][12]

During the time of Caliphate Umar ibn al-Khattab, there was a request for reinforcement from the Syrian front during the Rashidun's conquest of Levant. Khattab sent Ubadah to join forces with Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah and Khalid ibn al-Walid.[4] 'Ubadah participated in the Battle of Ajnadayn under the command of Khalid ibn al-Walid, where the 100,000 Byzantine soldiers under Vardan were trapped as they were defeated and fled to Damascus. This battle ended with more than half of the Byzantine army killed, including their general, Vardan.[20][21]

During the Siege of Emesa between 635 and 636 AD, after the Muslim armies successfully occupied Homs, Abu Ubaydah appointed Ubadah as his deputy in Homs while Abu Ubaydah left to capture Hamah. Ubadah stayed there with his wife, Umm Haram, where Umm Haram remembering the Hadith that allegedly prophesying the future conquest of Cyprus which she and her husband participated[22]

Oh Jabla. Don't you know how we faced your advanced forces at Ajnadain and other places and how Allah Subhanahu Wa ta 'Ala granted us victory over you and how your tyrant ran away? We know who remains from your forces and they are easy for us. We are not afraid of these forces that have come. We have tasted blood and we haven't found blood sweeter than the blood of the Romans! Jabla, I call you to the religion of Islam and to enter our religion with your people and keep your honor in this life and the next life. do not be a servant of these uncouth Romans and put your life on the line to save them from destruction. You are from the chiefs of the Arabs and a king. Verily our religion has appeared. Follow the path of those who have repented and returned to Allah and believe in Him and say: "There is no God but Allah and Mohamed is the Messenger of Allah…"'[23]
'Ubadah ibn al-Samit taunt to Jabalah ibn al-Aiham before the Battle of Yarmuk

Later, Ubadah also participated in the Battle of Yarmouk, where Heraclius sent a messenger to Vahan and ordered him not to start the war with the Muslims until he sent a messenger to them promising that he would annually send money and gifts to their Commander Umar and to all their Amirs and that they can have all that is between Al-Jaabiya and Al-Hejaz.Vahan sent Jabalah ibn al-Aiham, ruler of Ghassanid to negotiate for the second time as Vahan thought only an Arabs could reach out to negotiate with their kinds. Jabalah approached the Muslims as an envoy and threatened the Muslims to retreat and abandon their intention to go war with the Byzantines, as the Byzantines had about 200,000 men that consisted of Greeks, Slavs, Franks, Georgians, Armenians and Christian Arabs, while guaranteeing safety if they desisted, Which the Muslim, who sent 'Ubadah as their delegation, refused with taunt.[23]

After they defeated the Byzantine coalitions in Yarmouk, Ubadah, along with the army of Abu Ubaydah and Khalid, continued their conquest until they reached the outermost of Northern Syria, where they turned south to pacify the shore areas of Levant and Ubadah were instructed to lead a detachment to subdue Tartus, a coastal fortress city.[24] While Ubadah occupied Tartus, Muawiyah came to the city, and built an Amsar complex within the city, while also tasking fiefs to the garrison commanders.[25][26]

after Tartus was subdued in 636, Ubadah was commanded by Abu Ubaydah to march towards Jablah and Laodicea (Latakia).[27][28][4][29] Ubadah met with resistance from the local garrison during the siege of Latakia. He observed that the city had a massive gate that could only be opened by a large number of men. He ordered his men to camp at a distance and dig trenches which could hide a rider on horseback. Ubadah and his army pretended to return to Homs during daylight, while at night he ordered the army to return hide themselves inside the trench. As soon as people in Laodicea thought Ubadah left, they opened the gate to let their cattle out. Ubadah immediately ordered his entire army to launch the attack. the Byzantines were caught by surprise and failed to close the gate before Ubadah and his army entered. He climbed the wall then giving signal of takbeer and immediately bolstered by his soldiers, terrified the Byzantine defenders to flee towards Al-Yusaiyid.[25] The fleeing Byzantine soldiers and local citizens returned and surrendered to Ubadah, who accepted their surrender and allowed them to return to their homes with specific conditions, including the obligation to pay the Kharaj land tax.[25] While Ubadah overseeing Latakia, there is no buildings razed including churches, while started to build mosques and took stayed for a while to impose the order of the caliphate to the subdued population. One particular mosque, Jami' al Bazaar or Mosque al-Bazaar stands to the current day. Laodicea was renamed to Latakia or Al-Ladhiqiyah.[24][30]

After settled the matters in Latakia, Ubadah marched again into another Byzantine controlled cities, and subdued them one by one from Salamiyah to Baniyas port city in coastal Syria.[26]

Later, Sometimes circa 630s, 'Ubadah subdued the city of Paltus, which would become an Arab settlements called Arab al-Mulk during later era, as recorded By Yaqut al-Hamawi.[31]

Transferred to Egypt

The courtyard of the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As in 2013. A mosque that built by Amr ibn al-As with the assistance of Ubadah.

In July 640, during the siege of Babylon fortress in Egypt against the Byzantine forces, al-Aas wrote to al-Khattab to ask for reinforcements. The caliph then sent 'Ubadah with 4,000 reinforcements.[32] Those 4 commanders were two veteran Muhajireen, Zubayr ibn al-Awwam and Miqdad ibn al-Aswad; a young Ansari commander named Maslama ibn Mukhallad al-Ansari; and Ubadah. These reinforcements arrived at Babylon sometime in September 640.[4] Imam Awza'i, a Tabi'un and founder of now extinct Awza'i school Madhhab, also recorded that he witnessed the Muslim conquest of Egypt and he confirmed that 'Ubadah was among those who were sent to aid Amr.[1] Amr ibn al-Aas decided to take the Byzantine to battle on the open field near Heliopolis in early to mid July 640. The 8,000 al-Aas soldiers were led by Zubayr, Ubadah, Maslama, Miqdad, Bisr ibn Abi Artat and defeated the 20,000 strong Byzantine army under Theodore.[33][34] The Muslims under Amr besieged the fortress of Babylon over the course of months without a clear victory. During the siege, both sides exchanged envoys in an effort to demoralize each other.[4] In the days leading up to the end of the siege, Ubadah was sent to give a delegation to Muqawqis to negotiate for the last time. It is said that Muqawqis became afraid of Ubadah when he saw Ubadah's dark and majestic appearance. Ubadah then mocking Muqawqis in written chronicle:

Truly there are 1000 of my comrades behind me. They are peoples who have darker skin than me and more sinister than me. if you saw them you would be more scared than you see me. I was appointed (as the leader) and my youth had passed. and praise be to Allah. You know, I'm not afraid if 100 of your people face me alone at once. so are my comrades behind me[4]

Ubadah gave him three options: accept Islam, pay Jizyah, or fight it out in accordance with Amr instruction, as Muqawqis later refused the two first options and choose to continue fighting[4] Following the failed negotiation, the Byzantine forces decided to fight, and on the same day the fortress fell to the Muslims led Zubayr ibn al-Awwam who climbed the fortress wall alone and opened the gate from inside.[4] After the fortress has been taken, al-Aas consulted with Maslama ibn Mukhallad. Maslama suggested to Amr to give a field command to Ubadah to attack Alexandria. Ubadah rode to Amr, who gave him his spear of command.[35] Ubaah rode toward the army and gave a speech before commencing his attack on Alexandria.[36] Ubadah led a detachment to besiege Alexandria on the same day and reused his strategy of using trenches strategy to conquer Latakia in Syria. When he and his main force has arrived at the outskirt of Alexandria, he gave a signal to the entire army including those who hid in the trenches to launch an assault. His attack successfully breached and routed the Alexandrian garrison forces on the very first charge.[12] After the conquest of Alexandria, Ubadah stayed in Egypt to help al-Aas build the city of Fustat and its landmark, Mosque Amr ibn al-Aas.

Return to Levant

After Ubadah completed his tasks in Egypt, he was dispatched by Caliph Umar to assist Abu Ubaydah and Mu'awiyah in Syria. Until at some point during the last years of caliph Umar's life, he wanted to appoint Ubadah as governor in Homs, as the caliph think that the grip of the caliphate and the influence of Islam was still new in that area, so he needed someone he strongly trusted such as 'Ubadah to impose strict order in the newly conquered area.[14] Ubadah declined the offer until he agreed instead to be appointed as Qadi in Palestine. Ubadah also spent his time during his tenure as Qadi to teach people the Quran and hadith, open a public Majlis[14] and lead sermons in Palestine.[37][4] Ubadah joined the main force of Muawiyah to conquer Caesarea in 640 and was appointed to lead the Right Flank of the Muawiyah corps during the last battle against the Romans at Qaysariyyah or Caesarea Maritima, The Muslims were repelled several times before Ubadah and several of his men rushed the Byzantine ranks in a single charge and broke the stalemate and allowing the Muslim forces to annex the historical territory of Byzantine which led to the formation of the Jund Filistin military district of the caliphate and ended Ubadah's journey in the Levant. During this time, Ubadah was appointed as the first governor of Jund Filistin.[38][28][4] Later, Ubadah assist Muawiyah I to attack Amorium, 170 miles south east of Constantinople,[39] in the winter of 644 with a force of 10,000.[40] This campaign continued northwards until they reached an area in Anatolia called Shaifa.[40]

First Conquest of Cyprus

The middle age depiction of Cyprus island, where 'Ubadah ibn al-Samit under Muawiya conquered

After Uthman ibn al-Affan became the new caliph after Umar's death, Muawiyah requested that the caliph allow him to build a navy to attack Cyprus, as Muawiyah reasoned that Cyprus has become a satellite island of Byzantine forces which can threaten the caliphate on the western banks of Palestine.[41] Ubadah, along with some veteran companions of Muhammad such as Miqdad Ibn al-Aswad, Abu Dhar GhiFari, Shadaad ibn Aws, Khalid bin Zayd al-Ansari, and Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, also participated in building the first Naval armada of the caliphate led by Muawiya.[42][43] Before he joined Muawiya project to built first naval forces of the caliphate, Ubadah joined forces with another Muslim general, Abdallah ibn Qais. Together with Muawiyah they built the first caliphate naval armada with Muawiya in Acre with permission from al-Affan. Abu Dharr also mentioned another big name, Miqdad ibn Amr al-Aswad also participated in this project.[44] Shortly later, Muawiya and Ubadah departed from Acre and headed to Cyprus.[45] According to al-Baladhuri and Khalifa ibn Khayyat, Mu'awiya and Ubadah led the attack were accompanied by their wives Katwa bint Qaraza ibn Abd Amr of the Qurayshite Banu Nawfal and Ubadah wife, Umm Haram.[46] However, Umm Haram died in an accident during the campaign.[41] The Muslim forces accepted Cyprus surrender under the condition that they refrain from being hostile to the Muslims, inform the caliphate of any Byzantine movements, pay 7,200 dinars annually for Jizya, and never reveal any information to outsiders regarding the caliphate military operations.[41]

Muawiya and Ubadah forces pacified almost every Byzantine garrison; which supported by the evidence of two Greek inscriptions in the Cypriot village of Solois that cite the occurrence of those two offensives.[47] The entire island of Cyprus surrendered for the first time after their capital, Salamis, was surrounded and besieged for an unspecified time.[41] there were at least 50 military operations that occurred in Cyprus between this first campaign in 648 until the last one in 650,[41]

Hadith of the prophecy of Cyprus conquest

Umair ibn Aswad al Ansi was once told by Umm Haram that Muhammad spoke with her:

She said: "Messenger of God, pray for me that I will be one of them." He said: "You are one of them." He soon was asleep again. Once more he woke up smiling and she asked him why he was smiling. His answer was the same as he gave her the first time. Again she asked him to pray to God to make her one of them.

He said: "No. You will be among the first ones."[46]

Sahih Bukhari '[Notes 3]|

One of the most famous hadiths which related to Ubadah and his wife Umm Haram in regards to the prophecy that the Islamic caliphate will dominate the sea on two occasions, which were though by Muslim scholars as a prophecy of the conquest of Cyprus in two occasions.[46] the First conquest of Cyprus and the second campaign which followed years later, where al-Samit participated in both campaigns. Umm Haram, who narrated the prophecy of Hadith which she believed related to this campaign. Anas ibn Malik, her nephew, reminds them about the hadith of the promise of incoming naval conquests by Islam.[46]

Second conquest of Cyprus

In 652, the Cyprus island rebelled against the caliphate and caused Muawiyah and Ubadah to mount the second campaign on the island.[41] This time Mu'awiyah and al-Samit split their forces into two: one led by Mu'awiyah and the other by Abdallah ibn Sa'd. This punitive campaign was described in Tarikh fi Asr al-Khulafa ar-Rashidin as particularly brutal as many died in the campaign and many men from the Cyprus forces were taken captive.[41]

After they pacified Cyprus for the second time, Ubadah telling Mu'awiyah to share the spoils of war according to Teaching of Muhammad, which must be divided in fifth[41] Muawiyah agreed with 'Ubadah counsel and giving him the task to manage the spoils of war. Afterwards, Muawiyah consulted with one of his officers, Ismail bin Ayyasy, as to how to prevent another uprising. Muawiyah decided to place a garrison of 12.000 soldiers to guard Cyprus. Muawiyah also transferred portions of Muslim settlers from Baklabak, Syria, to Cyprus while also constructing mosques to help Islamization on the Island.[41]

Later life and death

Entrance to the Bāb ar-Raḥma Cemetery, Jerusalem, where the grave of 'Ubadah ibn al-Samit is.

At the end of his military career, al-Samit retired to Palestine. When Caliph Uthman faced dissidents from the Khawarij sect and portions of the followers of Abdullah ibn Saba, al-Samit was among those who expressed his support towards Caliph Uthman. Al-Samit did not appreciate the revolts from the Abdullah ibn Saba followers, which was headed by Yazid ibn Qais and Malik al-Ashtar against the caliph.[48] He, Mu'awiyah, Kharijah ibn Huzafah of Egypt, Anas ibn Malik, Hisham ibn Amir, Abu Darda, and Tabiin pupils of Abdullah ibn Masud were among those from outside Medina who urged the caliphate army to take action against the Khawarij dissidents in Medina.[44]

'Ubadah passed in Ramla in age of 72.[49][50][51] 'Ubadah said in his deathbed:

By Allah, every Hadith (from the Prophet) which I heard from Rasulullah Shalallahu Alaihi Wassalam. I will tell you because not long time before i leave this world, i will tell one Hadith. I have heard that Rasulullah Shalallahu Alaihi Wassalam has said: "Whoever testifies to that there is no God besides Allah and Prophet Muhammad is messenger of Allah, then Allah will forbid the hellfire to (burn) him" [53]

Personal info

Physical appearance

Dr. Khalid Basalamah Lc, MA, interviewed the Imam of Al-Aqsa mosque during a visit to Ubadah 's grave in Palestine. The Imam described through the oral tradition which has been passed through generations in Palestine that al-Samit was a "handsome man with dark skin".[4] This was also supported by Ibn Hajar in his Siyar A'lam Nubala in the chapter of al-Samit where he describes him as physically attractive.[54] The Imam noted al-Samit was "very muscular. So ripped and huge the Ansari is that his forearm size is equal to the span of [an] adult male hand palm.".[4] Several historians noted how his enemies, such as Muqawqis, governor of Egypt and Jabalah and leader of the Ghassanid Arabs in the battle of Yarmouk were struck in awe by al-Samit's appearance.[4]


Ubadah had a sister named Nusaybah.[7] His father was Shamit Ibn Qais Ibn Asram Ibn Fahr while his mother was named Qarat al-Ain Bint 'Ubadah bin Nidhal al-Khazrajiyya. His brother, 'Aws bin al-Samit, was married to Khawla bint Tha'labah, a female companion of Muhammad who was mentioned in Surah al Mujadalah.

Records from Bukhari and Muslim texts has written the words from Anas Ibn Malik that Ubadah was married to Umm Haram bint Milhan during the first conquest of the Island of Cyprus with Muawiyah when Umm Haram died during the campaign. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani translated this to mean Ubadah just married Umm Haram during the campaign. However, Ibn Ishaq disagreed and translated the words of Anas to mean Umm Haram was already married to al-Samit before the campaign. Ibn Hajar argued further that there is another record from Ibn Hibban that Umm Haram just married to al-Samit, which caused Ibrahim al Quraibi, author of Tarikh ul-Khulafa, to support the opinion of Ibn Hajar.[55]

Ubadah was also married to Jamilah bint Abi Sa'sa' and they had a son named Walid ibn 'Ubadah.[1]

His son, Ubaydah ibn 'Ubadah ibn al-Samit, was buried in Egypt.[56]

Character assessment

During his lifetime, Ubadah held considerably high influence within caliphate administration, he was trusted to pass fatwas judgements, which even only a handful of Muhammad's companions were allowed to do during their life.[57][58]

Regarding his achievements in the battlefield, Ubadah was known as a fearless warrior on the battlefield. Caliph Umar himself has praised him as an equal of 1,000 warriors.[59] He was once recorded for displaying his personal military prowess when the Muslims had besieged a Byzantine fort. Ubadah was found alone praying in a field by Byzantine soldiers. Before they could approach, he jumped to his horse and advanced towards them. The Byzantine soldiers fled and were chased by Ubadah until they reached their fort.[35] He was also known as a clever commander who deployed successful strategies to situations, such as the use of ambush trenches which allowing him to successfully beat difficult strongholds such as Latakia in Syria and Alexandria in Egypt.

I have sent you a reinforcements [sic] of 8.000 warriors. It consist of 4,000 mens [sic], each of 1,000 was led by four figures(including 'Ubadah) wherein each of these men strength are equal to 1,000 soldiersmens [sic][32]

Caliph Umar praised 'Ubadah ibn al-Samit

Regarding the personality, Islam historians described Ubadah as a stern man with high confidence who could not be easily intimidated by his enemies during negotiation as demonstrated before the Siege of Alexandria and before the battle of Yarmouk. He also known has solemn personality who detested sycophants which he shown on one occasion once when he attended a Friday prayer in Damascus where the khatib of the sermon prayer lauded him with praise when Ubadah was a chief judge. He threw mud in the Khatib's face and quoted hadith about the instruction from Muhammad to throw mud to the face of flatterers.[60] Despite this difficult attitude, Caliph Umar held Ubadah in high regard. The caliph respected him to the extent that he favored Ubadah by giving him many important tasks during his time as caliph. This gesture is analyzed by scholars to describe how the caliph held Ubadah in high confidence to do the impossible.[4] This led Caliph Umar supported Ubadah when the latter came into dispute with Muawiyah. In response, the caliph appointed Ubadah as judge while giving him a degree of autonomy so that Muawiyah, who was the governor of Syria at the time, could not interfere with any verdict passed by 'Ubadah.[4] The source of the dispute was recorded by a hadith which has good grade by Sunan ibn Majah as it is explained it is explained the difference of 'Ubadah with Mu'awiyah regarding the permissibility of transaction using a gold to exchange with coin of Dinar and silver with coin of Dirham.[61]


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The Messenger of Allah said, "Who among you will give me his pledge to do three things?" He then recited the verses 151–153 of Al-An'am. He then said, "Whoever fulfills (this pledge), then his reward will be with Allah, but whoever fell into shortcomings and Allah punishes him for it in this life, then that will be his recompense. Whoever Allah delays (his reckoning) until the Hereafter, then his matter is with Allah. If He wills, He will punish him, and if He wills, He will forgive him.[62]

Al-Mustadrak ala al-Sahihayn records of 'Ubadah narration regarding the pledge of Aqaba

Sunni scholars classified Ubadah as being among the higher-ranked Companions of the Prophet, due to his heritage as an Ansari and his attendance in the First and Second Pledges in Aqaba, the Battle of Badr, and the Pledge of the Tree.[63][4] There are at least five reasons stated by scholars that ranked Ubadah in such saintly venerable status according to the traditions of Islamic scholars:

  1. His attendance in the Aqaba pledge of allegiance, which inaugurated a honorific title of "Al-Aqabi" in addition to Ubadah ibn al-Samit name[13]
  2. His status as Ansar, which inaugurated a honorific title of "Al-Ansari" in addition to Ubadah ibn al-Samit name. Furthermore, The embeddings of Ansari by Muhammad in various Qur'an verses and Hadith were viewed as extremely special status in Islam belief. two patrons of Hadith, Muslim and Bukhari compilled special chapters regarding the Ansars matter.[64][65] Nasiruddin al Albani highlighted the hadith from Muslim, that the Ansar is "the best tribe in human history until end of times".[65] While Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani recorded and giving commentary in his book, Fath al-Bari, regarding the hadith that loving and caring the Ansars and their descendants are requirement of Muslims, while bearing ill will towards the ansaris and their families were sign of Hypocrisy.[66]
  3. His attendance in the Battle of Badr, which inaugurated a honorific title of "Al-Badri" in addition to Ubadah ibn al-Samit name.[13] His status as a veteran of Battle of Badr is particularly special in the eyes of scholars as Muhammad has regarded those of his companions who attended Badr as among the most important in Islam.[5]
  4. His attendance in the Battle of Uhud, which inaugurated a honorific title of "Al-Uhudi" in addition to Ubadah ibn al-Samit name[13]
  5. His attendance in the Pledge of the Tree.[67] Rashid Rida further explained that for every one who pledge during this pledge were regarded universally by Islam teaching as special[68] which such explanation in line with Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani explanation of the Hadith of Bukhari regarding special position of the pledge attendance as the revelation of Hadith Qudse regarding the God's will towards them.[69]

Earliest Muslim scholars also supported scholars patronage of knowledge toward Ubadah status as evidenced from Ahmad ibn Hanbal.[70] Al-Dhahabi also listed a specific chapter of personal biography of 'Ubadah bin al-Samit in his Siyar a'lam Nubala.[54]


Muhammad ibn Ka'b al-Qurazi narrated that during the time of Muhammad, Ubadah was among those who collected and wrote down the Qur'an along with Muadh ibn Jabal, Abi ibn Ka'b, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, and Abu Darda.[71] Quranic exegesis experts generally accept al-Samit's participation in the Pledge of the Tree are Asbab al-nuzul of the verse 55-56 of Al-Ma'idah, which is one of the factors that 'Ubadah are venerated in the Muslims community.[4] Furthermore, tradition from Al-Tabarani and bayhaqi agreed the revelation of verse 51 to 52 of Al Ma'idah also linked with 'Ubadah. Where the verses reprimanded 'Ubadah to not follow the path of hypocrite like Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy who taking companionship from heretics like Jews and Christian.[72] Those verses are believed by Muslims to be the revision of Ten Commandments according to Islam teaching.[73][74][75] either as revealed to Moses originally or as they are to be taken by Muslims now:[76] Ubadah also reportedly one of the earliest figure who teach Qur'an exegesis, as Hammam ibn Munabbih, a Tabi'in who authored one of the most oldest hadith recording in history, has reported that Ubadah were trusted by Muhammad to tutor the disciples of Suffah the art of writing and imparting tafseer of Qur'an[77]

Hadith & Legals

By the fact that Ubadah were among a few Companions of the Prophet that allowed to give Fatwa verdicts and passed down the knowledge of so many hadith narrations from Muhammad, Muslim scholars across generations generally view Ubadah as one of patrons of knowledge in Islam, and borrowed tons of traditions from Ubadah as basis for various rulings, whether for the observance practice of Islamic teaching, Mysticism, eschatological, ethics or jurisrudence in Sunni Madhhab.[6][4] As listed by al-Dhahabi in his book, Siyar a'lam al-nubala, that recorded there are at least one hundred and eighty-one hadiths narrated by 'Ubadah.[54]

Regarding the rulings for observances toward Islamic faith, numerous Hadiths that transmitted by Ubadah covered them, such as the hadith about Five daily prayers obligation. This hadith were deemed authentic by Imam an Nasa'i.[78][79] Another hadith Hadith from Ubadah which has been used as the basis for scholars were the one narrated by Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri which he attributed to Ubadah through Mahmud ibn al-Rabi. This hadith also became a basis of later Fiqh scholars to formulate the ruling that al-Fatiha are obligatory to be recited in every Salah ritual for Muslims.[80] Another observance Hadith transmitted by Ubadah which used as a metric by Muslims to measure the existence and omen of Laylat al-Qadr, a special occasion for Muslims that occurred once a year, which are found in the work of Ahmad Bin Hanbal[81] and almost all of Six prominent authentic hadith books listing the narrations and traditions from Ubadah.

"Did not the Prophet, Peace and Allah blessing belong upon him, said that when we saw a person extolling virtues to his face, then we should throw mud to his face?[60]

Ubadah ibn al-Samit admonished someone who fawning to him excessively by quoting a Hadith

On the field of Mysticism regarding teaching of Islam, There are Hadith from Ubadah which compiled by Abu Dawud regarding dream of Mumin or true believer of Islam as one of the forty miracles of Muhammad.[82] The chain were deemed authentic by the author of the hadith critics, while the exegete commentary which preserved from Abu Hurairah from classical era onto the modern era by Mahmud ibn Ghaylan translated this hadith that sometimes, proof of Muhammad prophecies and sign of Qur'an and Sunnah will appear inside dreams of believers.[82]

In the schope of Fiqh jurisprudence, Maddhab scholars from Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafii, Maliki and other smaller and extinct Madhhab schools like Madhhab of Sufyan al-Thawri have taken hadith regarding governorship and conduct of ruling that loyalty and obedience to the rightful rulers or leaders are a part of Muslim obligation. as a basis of Sharia law about government authority in view of Islam.[55] The exemplary Hadith of Ubadah which deemed important by Maliki Madhab regarding the matter of Transactions was the Hadith which recorded by founder of Maliki Madhhab, Malik ibn Anas which he recorded in his jurisprudence book Muwatta Imam Malik,[83] which also deemed authentic by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj in his hadith compilation regarding transaction.[84][83] Modern contemporary scholars such as Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abd al-Aziz Bin Baz, also based their fatwas regarding various matters on the basis of hadits that narrated by Ubadah ibn Samit, such as transactions in Islam,[84] Hajj ritual,[84] divorces, oaths[85]

Hadith on Jihad & Laws of war

Regarding the conduct during war times, Ubadah passed down Hadith that rules the administration of Spoils of War Such as After they pacified Cyprus for the second time, Ubadah telling Mu'awiyah to share the overall spoils of war which acquired through large scale military campaign according to this Sunnah, which must be divided in fifth[41] Thus, in response Mu'awiyah tasking Ubadah to manage the spoils due to his expertize of this area.h[41]

Meanwhile, on the smaller scale operations, such as limited military raids, Ubadah taught the hadith that has been recorded in Sunan ibn Majah: "...It was narrated from 'Ubadah bin Samit that the Prophet (ﷺ) awarded one quarter of the spoils to those who attacked the enemy at the beginning and one third to those who attacked at the end...".[86][87] Hanafite scholar Muhammad 'Abid al-Sindi has preserved the Exegesis from Ali ibn Muhammad al-Shaddad, that this Hadith rules out that those who involved in the start of the fight has right of one quarter of the spoils, while those who participated late of the conflict acquired one third of the spoils.[87]

Hadith of the Usury

Perhaps, the most impactful hadiths narrated and implemented by Ubadah on the field of jurisprudence school were hadiths that focusing on Riba or Usury.[88][89][90][91][92] Which rules out that hand-to-hand direct transactions of commodity, it requires similar similar item, except the transaction were consisted of two different commodity.[92] The exegete scholars agreed this tradition from Ubadah are covering at least one of the six type of Riba, which is Riba al Fadhl type, which rules that an increase in one of the two exchanged ribawi items that are of the same nature and type.[88] Thus, on the scope of Madhhab schools, four major Madhhabs, along with Zahiri, unanimously agreed on the implementation of ban for such type of Riba. Although the degree of the ban implementation differ among those Madhhabs, such as how Hanbalis, disagreed with Hanafis total ban for any items, as the Hanbalis argues on the basis of Said ibn al-Musayyib reasoning, that the Hadith of Ubadah were limited to foodstuffs, as another non consumable item were exempted from the ruling, as Sa'ib using another authentic hadith from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri regarding this matter as counterargument.[93]

Historical usage of this hadith rule from Ubadah were found as Ubadah trying to be implemented by him during his the campaign of Cyprus.[89] However, Sunan ibn Majah recorded, later during his tenure as judge in Homs, this effort of Ubadah to implement the rule in Homs has become the source of dispute between Ubadah with Mu'awiyah, who at that time was governor of the city.[61] 'Ubadah argued by basing his argument from this hadith of usury that Islam forbid the unequal exchanging of goods unless they have similar quality, in this case were the usage of golds to exchange with coin of Dinar and silver with coin of Dirham, as Ubadah viewed it as fall under a practice of Riba, while Mu'awiyah argued that there is no element of usury in it, except there are delay in transaction.[61][Notes 4] Furthermore, Due to the strong validity and soundness of this Hadith, it was even enough to overrule the early verdict regarding Riba by Ibn Abbas, another Companion of the Prophet with similarly high rank as Mufti and jurisprudence expert, as Ibn Abbas formerly gave less strict verdict regarding Riba.[citation needed]


Jami' al-Bazaar mosque in Latakia built by 'Ubadah ibn al-Samit during conquest of Levant

Ubadah demonstrated his skill as an architect after the conquest of Latakia. When he administered the city, he built the Great Mosque of al-Bazaar. Currently, The mosque structure has two western entrances South of the mosque leading to the courtyard of the mosque is an open space recently roofed with raspberry boards, from the eastern side, two open spaces open in front of the mosque is a rectangle covered with six stone arches, and a medium-sized minaret of the mosque stands on its highest base. The mosque does not contain any urban artistic touches except for some decorations on the entrance and the minaret. On the western side of the mosque is an old bathroom. Until 2 April 2009, the mosque was headed by Imam Professor Bilal Shaheeri.[95]

Another example of his architecture expertise is when he ended the conquest in Egypt With al-Aas. He was involved in planning and developing Fustat and was also involved in constructing the first mosque in Egypt which exists to this day, known as the mosque of Amr bin al-Aas. He, along with some prominent companions of Muhammad such as Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, Abu Darda, and Miqdad ibn Amr al-Aswad, also constructed and decided the Qibla or direction of prayer of the mosque.[96][4]

Descendants & social developments

Ubadah figure were still revered by many Palestinian Arab communities who preserve his tomb in Ramla, Palestine, Historical book author Simon Sebag Montefiore writes the keeper of Ubadah's tomb today hails from the Nusaybah family, a modern Arabic generation that claims to be descendants of both al-Samit and Nusaybah, sister of al-Samit.[97] the Palestinian Arabs in general also regard him as an influential figure as evidenced by the public sermon by Dr. Yusuf Juma Salama, one of the official khattib of Al-Aqsa Mosque that also spoke of al-Samit as the first judge of Palestine.[98] Notable person hailed from this family were Sari Nusseibeh, a Palestinian Professor of Philosophy and former President of the Al-Quds University.[99] Another prominent descendant of Ubadah were Sadr al-Shari'a al-Thani, a Hanafi scholar, and Maturidi philosophist.[100]

Political and spiritual legacy of Ansar peoples like Ubadah influenced the Ansari descendants of later generations, which were holding elite positions in various area, particularly Hejaz.[101]

Regarding Ubadah legacy of emancipation, Mustafa al-Siba'i also noted that the emancipation within Islam were apparent due to there is 1,000 black skinned warriors under the command of Ubadah,[102] when Ubadah chided the racist attitude shown by scared, yet scornful Muqawqis towards the black peoples during the negotiation of the latter surrender during conquest of Egypt[103]

See also

  • islam portal



  1. ^ It was called Baiat an Nisa, or Pledge of the Women, because of the presence of 'Afra bint 'Ubaid ibn Tha'labah, who was the first women to swear an oath of allegiance[10]
  2. ^ Referencing Al-Mumtahanah verse 12
  3. ^ Similar narration was also given by 'Umair ibn Aswad al-Ansi who has been told by Umm Haram.[12] Further record came from the testimony of an Abd al-Rahman al-Awza'i, a Tabi'un and founder of now extinct Awza'i Madhhab. Imam Awza'i saying that Ubadah was the first Wali or Caliphate Governor in Palestine.[1]
  4. ^ This report of dispute between Ubadah with Mu'awiyah were supported by record of Al-Nasa'i[94]

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