Sayyiduna Qatadah Bin Nu’man رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ
Maulana Adnan Ahmad Attari
One honourable Companion of the Messenger states: A bow was once presented to the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم as a gift. That very bow was granted to me by the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم on the day of the Ghazwah (any battle the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم personally led) of Badr. Standing in front of the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, I fired arrows to such an extent that a corner of the bow broke. However, I did not move from standing in front of the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, and retained my position so, if an arrow was to strike anyone, it would be me. Whenever an arrow would come towards the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, I would place my head in the way, in order to protect his blessed face. At that time, I was not firing arrows myself. This continued, until one particular arrow struck my eye, and due to this, my eye came out and onto my face. I held it in my palm, and immediately presented myself in the court of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Upon seeing my eye in my hand, merciful tears began to flow from the blessed eyes of Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. He then stated: ‘If you wish, be patient, and there will be Paradise for you. However, if you wish, I will put your eye back in its place and make Du’a to Allah Almighty, that there is no reduction in your faculty of seeing.’ I submitted humbly: ‘O Prophet of Allah! Without doubt, Paradise is a great reward and bestowal. However, I have deep love for my wife, and I fear she will not like to see me in this condition. I would therefore like for you to kindly make my eye better, and also ask Allah Almighty to grant me Paradise.’ The Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم then stated: ‘I shall make Du’a’ - He then returned the eye to its original place and made Du’a to Allah Almighty for this blessed Companion. That Du’a has been reported to be as such: ‘O Allah! Without doubt, by means of his face, he has kept Your Prophet successful, make this one eye the most beautiful out of the two, and make his vision sharp.’
This honourable Companion received the blessings of this Du’a in such an auspicious manner that the eye which was previously injured, became the most beautiful out of the two, and his faculty of vision was augmented and increased in the said eye. Furthermore, the other eye would be subject to illness, whereas the eye returned to its place by the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم would never become afflicted by illness or problems. It is mentioned in some narrations that when this Companion reached old age, the eye previously injured was still powerful and clearer than the other.
Dear Islamic brothers! This honourable Ansari Companion, who placed his life on the line and used it as a shield for the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم on the battlefield, willing to give his life at a moments notice, an esteemed warrior of Islam, his blessed name is Sayyiduna Abu Umar Qatadah Bin Nu’man Zafari Badri رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ.
His virtues and excellences
In the field of practical actions, he رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ can be seen amongst the ranks of those Ansari Companions whom were highly learned. Furthermore, in the battlefield, he is included amongst the Companions who were archers, and he is from those 70 Companions who took bay’ah (oath of allegiance) on the blessed hand of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in a valley of Mina before migration. He had the honour of participation in every Ghazwah alongside the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. On the day of the conquest of Makkah, the flag of the tribe of Bani Zafar was carried by this honourable individual. In the 12th year after Hijri, the leader of the believers, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddeeq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ went to perform the rites of Hajj, and appointed Sayyiduna Qatadah رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ as his secondary in Madina-tul-Munawwarah in his absence. When Bayt-ul-Muqaddas was conquered, and the leader of the believers, Sayyiduna Umar رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ travelled towards Syria, then Sayyiduna Qatadah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ also travelled in front of him.
Reciting Quran for the entire night
Sayyiduna Qatadah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ recited Surah Ikhlaas for an entire night on one occasion. When this was mentioned to the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, he stated: ‘I swear by that Being in whose power is my soul! No doubt, this surah is equal to one third, or half of the Quran.’
Chasing away Satan
Sayyiduna Qatadah Bin Nu’man رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ states: One night, there was extreme darkness and heavy rain. I thought to consider this night as valuable, and offer ‘Isha Salah with the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم (meaning, despite darkness and rain, still go to the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and offer Salah with him). Upon finishing Salah, the blessed gaze of the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم came upon me, and he asked thus: ‘O Qatadah! Are the clouds of the sky not cast above you?’ I requested humbly: ‘May my mother and father be sacrificed upon you! I wanted to attain closeness to you.’ The Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم then granted me the branch of a date tree, and stated: ‘Take this branch. You will remain safe with this. When you go outside, this will light up for ten (hand span) in front of you, and light up for ten (hand span) behind you. Satan, in your absence, is with your family members (in your home). When you reach home, you are to enter from the back entrance, and strike him (Satan) with this branch.’ Sayyiduna Qatadah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ then goes on to state: When I came outside, the branch began to shine like a lamp. Travelling with the light emitted by it, I reached home, and found my family members asleep. When I looked in a corner, I found Satan in the shape of a mouse, and I continuously struck him with the branch until he left my home.
Giving permission for others to take dates from his garden
Sayyiduna Qatadah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ owned a garden of dates, for which he also possessed a key. Once, when the dates within the said garden became ripe, he رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ had another key made, and went to one of his Muhajir (he who hails from Makka-tul-Mukarramah) brothers رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, and stated: ‘I have this key to my garden, and it is for you.’
When he رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ went towards the garden, the young daughter of Sayyiduna Qatadah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ also accompanied him. Once the entrance to the garden was opened, the young girl also came inside and began to gather dates. When he saw her doing so, he lovingly stopped her and ordered for her to not gather dates in this way, and she did not take a single date thereupon. Sayyiduna Qatadah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ then went to the Muhajir Companion and said: ‘My daughter sometimes enters the garden and takes dates, do you give her permission to do so?’ The Muhajir Companion رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, with love and kindness, then said: ‘There is permission for this!’
In the year 23 or 24 after Hijri, Sayyiduna Qatadah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ left this temporary world at the age of 65. Sayyiduna Umar رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ offered his funeral prayers, and he was lowered into his grave by Sayyiduna Abu Sa’eed Khudri رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, who was his brother by means of the same maternal ties.
Narrations of hadith
There are 7 blessed hadith narrated by Sayyiduna Qatadah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, one of which Imam Bukhari رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه narrated in his compilation.
 (Mu’jam-e- Kabeer, vol. 19, p. 08)
 (Zurqaani Alal Mawahib, vol. 7, p. 69; Sharh Al-Shifa li-Ali Al-Qaari, vol. 1, p. 654, Mu’jam-e-Kabeer, vol. 19, p. 08, Summarised)
 (Dalaail Al-Nubuwwah lil Bayhaqi, vol. 3, p. 253)
 (Siyar A’lam-un-Nubala, vol. 4, p. 10)
 (Al-Wafi Bil Wafiyaat, vol. 24, p. 142)
 (Mustadrak lil Hakim, vol. 4, p. 345)
 (Mustadrak lil Hakim, vol. 4, p. 345)
 (Tareekh Ibn Al-Khayyaat, p. 65)
 (Siyar A’lam-un-Nubala, vol. 4, p. 11)
 (Musnad Imam Ahmad, vol. 4, p. 32, Hadith 11115)
 (Mu’jam-e-Kabeer, vol. 19, p. 05; Tareekh Ibn-e-Asakir, vol. 49, p. 284)
 (Mukhtasar Tareekh Dimashq, vol. 21, p. 73)
 (Al-Wafi Bil Wafiyat, vol. 24, p. 142)
 (Tahzeeb Al-Asma -wal-Lughaat, vol. 2, p. 369)