Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

Ahl Al Suffah

The men of the platform: refers to those in the early days of Islam, who after migration to
Madinah, was not hosted by anyone, being complete strangers, and so took residence on a
Platform (suffah) in Masjid Al Nabawi. It was originally in the north of the Mosque by the right
side of the Qiblah. When the direction changed towards Makkah in South, the Suffah was left at
the rear of the Mosque, in place where it is now.
From a few up to eighty Companions could be found on the Platform any day during the
Prophet's life. They had no means of income, and, given the trade boycott by the Makkan
Quraysh and military threats that throttled the Madinan economy, jobs were hard to find. Some
are said to have collected woods from the nearby forests that did not yield much. The majority
spent their time hungry during the day and a few at night too. Occsionally, someone would hang
up a bunch of dates, from which only the most hungry picked a few. By evening the Prophet
would divide them among the Ansar. Sometimes, when he could afford, he would host a few
himself, and distribute the rest among those who could provide them dinner. When found, he
would send a basket or two of dates to them, and, perhaps this was oftener than dinner in
sombodys house because once while the Prophet was leading in the Prayers, one of them
shouted, Messenger of Allah, dates have burned our stomachs. The equivalent of the hair of
Hasan and Hussayn in gold or silver was divided among them by the Prophet's instruction after
their `Aqiqah.
Abu Hurayrah reports that once he saw thrity of them Pray behind the Prophet. None of them had
a cloak on (besides the basics that covered their coverable parts). At one time, 70 of them had not
but a single cloak one end of which he tied to his neck and another on his knees and sat in
awkward position not to reveal himself.
Their time was generally spent in memorizing the Quran, remembrance of Allah, listening to the
Prophet's sermons or attending his assemblies. When ordered, they would go out in a campaign.
But the standards to belonging to them were high. Once one of them died and two Dinar were
found on him. The Prophet said, (Those are) two pieces of Fire-brands, and asked others to do
his funeral Prayer.
Of the hundreds or so that had at one time or another occupied the Platform, Abu Hurayrah,
Wathilah ibn Asqa`, Abu Dharr, Ibn Mas`ud, Salim ibn `Ubayd, and Ibn al-Qurt were the notable
ones. Of these, at least two became Governors after the Prophet's death. Abu Hurayrah was
appointed Governor of Bahrayn by `Umar ibn al-Khattab, and, after him, the Governor of
Madinah by Mu`awiyyah; while Ibn al-Qurt was appointed Governor of Hims by `Umar ibn alKhattaib Ibn Mas`ud was chosen by `Umar b al-Khattab to teach the Quran at Kufa.
It is not clear since when the Suffah has been disallowed for the homeless Muslims seeking
knowledge, but it was there until 194 H when Haroon al-Rasheed visited the Masjid Al Nabawi

and met Abu Nasr, one of the As-habal-Suffah of that time. The story, as in Al-Muntazam and
Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah goes like this. Isma`il ibn abi Fudayk said: There was a man with us
called Abu Nasr. He was from Juhaynah (tribe). In matters in which people use their heads, he
had lost his head. He never spoke until spoken to. He was one of the Ahl al-Suffah. When asked,
he gave answers that pleased. One day I went to him while he was on the Suffah at the end of the
Mosque, head bowed down, his forehead between his knees. I sat down by him and touched him
to a startle. I gave him something that I had with me. He took it saying, It arrives at the right
time. I asked him, How do you measure sharaf (Islamic gentlemanliness)? He answered, To
treat well the kinsfolk, the first and the last of them, forgiving their wrong-doings. I asked,
What is generosity? He answered, The slender offering from the destitute. I asked him,
What is miserliness? He said, Oof and turned his head. I said, Will you not answer? He
said, I have answered.
Those days Haroon al-Rasheed visited the town (in 194H). The Mosque was emptied for him. He
visited the grave, went up to the Bab Jibril, embraced the Ustuwana al-Nabiyy and then said,
Take me to the Ahl al-Suffah. When he arrived, Abu Nasr was prodded and told, This is
Ameer al-Mu`mineen. He raised his head and said, Man! There is none between Allah and His
slaves and His Messengers Ummah, who are your subjects, but you. Allah will question you
about them, so better be prepared with an answer. `Umar had said, If a goat is lost on the banks
of Euphrates, `Umar is afraid he will be questioned about it. Haroon was in tears. He said, O
Abu Nasr. My subjects are different from the subjects of `Umar and my times are different from
the times of `Umar. He replied, I do not think this will be of any avail to you. Take care of
yourself, for you and `Umar each will be questioned about what you two were given power
over. Haroon asked for a jar that had 300 Dinar and ordered that it be delivered to Abu Nasr.
Abu Nasr said, I am no more than one of the Suffah people. Hand it over to so and so, he will
distribute among the Ahl al-Suffah, with me as one among them.
Every Friday Abu Nasr would enter the market by the morning and standing by every group of
people would say, People! Fear the day when no soul would be of any avail to any other, when
no compensation will be accepted nor any intercession will be of any profit. When a man dies his
people, wealth and deeds accompany him. When he is placed in the grave, his people and wealth
come back with his deeds remaining with him. So choose for yourselves what will give you
company in the graves. May Allah show you mercy. He would keep saying this to group after
group until he returned to the Mosque, do his Jumu`ah there, and not come out until he had
Prayed the `Isha.