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Hassan Ibn Thabit


Hassan Ibn Thabit (Ra)

Hassan ibn Thabit (Ra) was a very dear companion of our beloved Prophet (saw). He was the first and most notable poet who used his beautiful poetry to praise the Prophet (saw).

Hasrat ibn Thabit (ra) had won acclaim at the courts of the Christian Arab Ghassanid kings in Syria and the Lakhmid kings of al-Hirah in Iraq. He settled in Medina, where he accepted Islam at about the age of 60.

Hasrat Ibn Thabit (Ra) became Islam's earliest poetic defender. His writings in defence of Prophet Muhammad (saw) contain references to contemporary events that have been useful in documenting the period. He was also Islam's first religious poet, using many phrases from the Qur'an in his verses. The work of Hassan Ibn Thabit (ra) was instrumental in spreading the message of the Prophet (saw), as the Arabs were great poets and this formed a large part of the culture. The work and words of Hasrat Hassan Ibn Thabit (ra) are still regarded as the most beautiful in praise of the beloved Messenger (saw), and confirm how Islam permits the use of different talents and abilities as long as they are in support of Allah (swt) and His Prophet (saw).

The Prophet (saw) was so happy with Hasrat Ibn Thabit (ra) that he ordered to establish and construct for him a mimbar- pulpit for him to stand upon when he delivered his poetry. The Prophet (saw) prayed for him saying that the Angel Gabriel (as) will support you as long as you defend Allah and His Prophet (saw). The Prophet (saw) believed that Hassan Ibn Thabit (ra) was inspired by Hasrat Gabriel(as), and could even reply on his behalf.

Narrated Hassan bin Thabit Al-Ansari: I asked Abu Huraira "By Allah! Tell me the truth whether you heard the Prophet saying, ‘O Hassan! Reply on behalf of Allah's Apostle. O Allah! Help him with the Holy Spirit.’" Abu Huraira said, "Yes." (Bukhari)

Some examples are given of the beautiful and melodious poetry from the greatest religious poet; Hasrat Hassan Ibn Thabit (Ra). These words have been translated from Arabic and as in all attempted translations, meaning and often the actual beauty can be lost. However these words do help us to understand the love of the Companions for our Prophet (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam), and the element of da’wah (invitation) to Islam.

Hassan Ibn Thabit’s poetry

When I saw his light shining forth,

In fear I covered my eyes with my palms,

Afraid for my sight because of the beauty of his form.

So I was scarcely able to look at him at all.

The lights from his light are drowned in his light

and his faces shines out like the sun and moon in one.

A spirit of light lodged in a body like the moon,

a mantle made up of brilliant shining stars.

I bore it until I could bear it no longer.

I found the taste of patience to be like bitter aloes.

I could find no remedy to bring me relief

other than delighting in the sight of the one I love.

Even if he had not brought any clear signs with him,

the sight of him would dispense with the need for them.

Muhammad is a human being but not like other human beings.

Rather he is a flawless diamond and the rest of mankind is just stones.

Blessings be on him so that perhaps Allah may have mercy on us

on that burning Day when the Fire is roaring forth its sparks.

Hassan ibn Thabit (ra).

Beautiful as you, my eyes have never seen,

with grace like yours, one has never been born

Born free from all fault,

Born as though you had yourself wished to be,

As though the Lord of Muhammad and the Soul of Muhammad

had come face to face,

The Lord of Muhammad asks the Soul of Muhammad

‘Tell me my beloved, how shall I create you’.

The above poem from Hassan ibn Thabit (ra), is viewed by many as his best work.

Before this you were pleasantly in the shade of Paradise in a place where leaves clustered above.

Then you came down to this land; no human you, no embyro, no clot.

Purified riding the vessel, the deep flood having bridled an eagle and his family,

You were carried from loin to womb; whenever one surface passed, another appeared

When you were born the earth glowed, the horizon shining with your light.

So we are in that illumination and that light, making our way upon the paths of righteousness'.

The above poem is ascribed Hassan ibn Thabit (ra). The Prophet (saw) said 'May Allah have mercy on Hassan'. Hasrat Ali (ra) said 'Hassan deserves Paradise by the lord of the Kaaba'.

(Some Narrations state this particular poem came from the Prophet's (saw) Uncle; Abbas (ra) )

He was the light and the brilliance we followed,

He was sight and hearing second only to Allah,

By Allah, no woman has conceived and given birth

To one like the Messenger, the Prophet and Guide of

His people.

Nor Has Allah created among His creatures,

One more faithful to His sojourner or His promise

than he who was the source of our light.

Blessed in his deeds, just and upright,

O best of mankind, It was though I were in a river,

But now, without you, I have become lonely in my thirst.

Hassan ibn Thabit (ra) recited the above poem, on the passing of Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam).