Abdur Rahman bin Awf (RA.)

Abdur Rahman bin Awf (RA.)

There were many Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). They all loved him (peace be upon him) very much. They were also pioneers in obeying his every command. Of course, they did their best to uphold the religion of Allah. Their main goal was to please Allah. They gave up everything in the world to satisfy him. Verily, Abdur Rahman bin Awf (R) is one of the best companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). He did many good works for the religion of Allah, Islam. He was one of them who accepted Islam first. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) gave him the good news of Paradise while he was still in the world.

So now I will mention some vital information from his biography, which will make his identity clear to you. At the same time, I will try to present some of his contributions to religion that will inspire Muslims to do good deeds. So let’s first know some things about his birth and his identity.

Abdur Rahman bin Awf (R), his birth, and his identity

His name was Abdur Amr in the Pre Islam era. Some say his name was Abdul Kaaba. Then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) named him Abdur Rahman. His mother’s name is Shefa bint Awf bint Abdul Haris bint Zahara. Some say her name is Shefa bint Abd Manaf bint Zahara bint Kilav. Imam Mada’ini said: Abdur Rahman was born after ten years of the elephant’s year. [Siyar A’lam al-Nubala, page 1500]

Indeed, Abdur Rahman bin Awf (R) was one of the first accepts to Islam. He had a deep friendship with Abu Bakr (R). He accepted Islam at his call.

In the month of Rajab, the fifth year of the Prophethood, the first caravan of eleven men and four women migrated from Mecca to Abyssinia. Abdur Rahman (R) was also among them. Again, after Prophet migrated to Medina, he also relocated to Medina. And those who migrated to two places together, Abyssinia and Madina, are called ‘Sahib Al Hijratain.’ In Medina, Abdur Rahman (R) took refuge in the house of Sa’d Ibn Rabi Al-Khazraji (R),’ and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) established fraternal relations with Abdur Rahman (R) with Sa’d Ibn Rabi (R).

Abdur Rahman bin Awf (R) and His self-reliance

Abdur Rahman bin Awf (R) said, “When we came to Medina as emigrants, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) established a bond of brotherhood between me and Sa’d bin Ar-Rabi (R). Sa’d bin Ar-Rabi`(R) said (to me), ‘I am the richest among the Ansar so that I will give you half of my wealth and you may look at my two wives and whichever of the two you may choose I will divorce her, and when she will complete the prescribed period, then you may marry her.’ `Abdur-Rahman (R) replied, “I do not need all that. Is there any marketplace where trade is practiced?’ He replied, “The market of Qainuqa.”

Abdur Rahman (R) went to that market the following day and brought some cheese and butter, and then he continued going there regularly. A few days later, Abdur Rahman (R) came having traces of yellow on his body. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) asked him whether he had married. He replied in the affirmative. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Whom have you married?’ He replied, ‘A woman from the Ansar.’ Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked, ‘How much did you pay her?’ He replied, ‘(I gave her) a gold piece equal in weight to a date seed (or a date seed of gold)! The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Give a Walima (the wedding banquet) even if with one goat.’ [Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No. 2048]

Basically, Abdur Rahman bin Awf (R) liked to be self-reliant by working with his own hands. And he continued to do his business. When he deposited some more money in his hand a few days later, he completed his Walima. Gradually his business expanded further.

Donating much wealth to the way of Allah

Abdur Rahman (R) was a rich man. Once in the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him), he gave half of all his wealth to charity and donated 40,000 dinars. Indeed he prepared 500 horses for Jihad in the way of Allah. Then he prepared 500 camels. These are the assets acquired in his business. In one day, he freed 30 slaves. At the time of his death, he bequeathed 400 dinars per person to the Badri Companions. At that time, 100 Badri Companions were alive. Everyone gained 400 dinars. [Al-Esaba, volume 4, page: 291]

Once a large caravan of his came to Medina carrying seven hundred camels loaded with wheat, flour, and other groceries. This vast trade caravan caused quite a stir throughout Medina. When this news reached Ayesha (R), she said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, (peace be upon him) say, ‘Abdur Rahman will crawl and enter Paradise.’ As soon as Abdur Rahman heard this, he came to Ayesha (R) and pleaded, I testify to you, I have given in Waqf this vast caravan of mine and all its products and even everything including camels and its Houdah for Allah Almighty. [Al-Bidaya Wa An-Nihaya, volume 7, page: 164]

His struggle in the way of Allah

Abdur Rahman bin Awf (R) served Islam through charity and risked his life to participate in all the battles, including Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, and showed great courage and determination. He was one of the 14 Companions who used themselves as human shields to protect the Prophet (peace be upon him) at the time of the temporary defeat of the Muslims in the battle of Uhud. [At-Tabaqat Kubra, volume 3, page: 95]

In the battle of Uhud, he received more than thirty wounds throughout his body. He was also a pioneer in any field of religion. He took care of the poor and orphans and helped the Muslims in various activities. After the death of the Messenger of Allah, he served and assisted all his wives. Abdur Rahman (R) always feared Allah. Despite being rich, he lived a simple life.

One day, a meal was brought to Abdur-Rahman bin Awf (R) while he was fasting. He said, “Mus’ab bin Umar (R) was martyred, and he was better than me, yet he was shrouded in a Burda (i.e., a sheet) so that if his head was covered (with it), his feet became naked, and if his feet were covered, his head became naked.”

Then he said

“Hamza was martyred, and he was better than me. Then worldly wealth was bestowed upon us, and we were given thereof too much. We are afraid that the reward of our deeds has been given to us in this life.” So Abdur-Rahman (R) then started weeping so much that he left the food. [Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No. 4045]

Abdur Rahman (R) was one of the members of the advisory council of Caliph Uthman (R). He rendered exceptional services to the Muslim Ummah by advising various vital issues to them. Verily, he was very honest and trustworthy to Abu Bakr (R), Umar (R), Uthman (R), and all believers.

Number of narrated hadiths

He narrated fewer hadiths from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). In his source, there are two hadiths in Sahihain. Imam Bukhari has narrated five hadiths singly. Musnad Al-Baqi contains 65 hadiths. From him, his sons, such Ibrahim, Humaid, Umar, Musab, Abu Salamah, his grandson Miswar, nephew Miswar Ibn Makhrama and Ibn Abbas (R), Ibn Umar (R), Anas bin Malik (R) Etc Companions have narrated Hadith. [Siyar A’lam al-Nubala, page 1494]

His death

During the reign of Uthman (R), Abdur Rahman (R) died in 32 AH. Some say he died in 33 AH at the age of 65. However, according to Ibn Hazar, he lived to be 72 years old. Ibn Hazar also said that ‘Uthman (R) or Zubair ibn al-Awwam (R) led over his funeral salah, and he was buried in the Baqi graveyard in Medina. The eminent Companion Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas (R) was among those who carried his body to the cemetery. [Tarikh Dimashq, volume 35, page: 241]

Allah Ta’ala said: “O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment? (It is that) you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you if you only knew. He will forgive for you your sins and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings in gardens of perpetual residence. That is the great attainment.” [Surah As-Saf, verses 10 – 12]


Abdur Rahman (R) was among them who spent his wealth, his life, his times, and everything in the cause of Allah. And Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said about him, “Verily, you are trustworthy in the people of the heavens and the people of the earth.” [Al-Mustadrak, volume 3, page 310]

Supplication to Allah

May Allah forgive all our sins and include us among them who spent their wealth, life, time, and everything in the way of Allah. O Allah, give us success in this world and the Hereafter. Ameen.


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