But when these promises were made with the holy Companions, if it was on the one hand an occasion for great joy and pleasure of divine rewards, it was, on the other hand, also a severe and prodigious test of their faith. As such, the Companions' faith and certitude were put to a very ponderous test at the time of the Battle of the Ditch. It says in a Hadith that while the ditch was being dug a very big hard rock appeared on which the pickaxe would have no effect. The Companions reported this matter to the Holy Prophet He looked at the rock, took up the pickaxe and, saying Bismillah, struck it. At the very first stroke one-third of the rock was broken. At that time the Holy Prophet said: "Allah is greatest! I've been given the keys of the country of Syria; I've seen its red palaces'.'
Then he struck a second time and another third of the rock was shattered to pieces. Again he said: "Allah is Greatest! I've been given the keys of the country of Persia and just now I am seeing the white palace of Ctesiphon'.'
Then he gave the third stroke and the whole rock broke and he said: "I've been awarded the keys of the country of Yemen. By Allah! From here I'm seeing the gates of the city of San'a'.'
What a great test it was of the holy Companions' faith and certitude! What a tremendous trial it was for them that the Holy Prophet was saying all this at a time when enemies of Allah had besieged the illuminated Madina from all the four sides and the said ditch' was being dug as a means of defence and safety. There was starvation all round in the beleaguered Muslim army. Pangs of hunger would not let the waist remain straight and so to keep it straight stones were being tied upon the stomach, and they had to dig the ditch in the severe winter from the early morning, in a state of thirst and hunger. As such the Holy Prophet said: "OAllah! Undoubtedly the real life is the afterlife. So pardon all the Emigrants (Muhajirin) and the Helpers (Ansar)'.'
In response the holy Companions said: "We have vowed allegiance to the Holy Prophet for jihad - as long as we are alive." The Holy Prophet saw that the Companions were lifting and throwing the earth while singing the above-mentioned couplet. So he said: "O Allah! The real good is the good of the Hereafter. So open the doors of prosperity (barakat) for the Helpers and the Emigrants."
Similarly, it is an era of poverty and destitution; indigence and starvation reign supreme; murder and plunder are the order of the day. Caravans after caravans and even big groups of people are looted. If anyone embarks on a journey, neither his goods are safe, nor his life, nor his honour. Adi bin Hatim (Allah be pleased with him!) reports that in his presence comes a man to the Holy Prophet and complains about starvation and indigence. Another man comes and complains regarding the insecurity of the roads. Under such unfavourable circumstances, the Holy Prophet in response to both these men, says: "O 'Adi! If you journey alone from Hira and will compass (Tawaf): (Compassing the sacred territory or going round the Kaba) and there shall be no fear on your way except Allah's fear'.' Under such straitened circumstances he is giving such glad tidings of peace and security about a country where cases of assassination,plunder and robbery occur not once or twice but as a daily routine; a country where the bandits whereof are notorious and have desolated habitations and spread terror throughout the country. In reply to the second man he says: ‘If your life happens to be long, you'll open Kisra's treasures'.”
Hazrat 'Adi bin Hatim says that with astonishment he asked: "Is it Kisra bin Hormuz"? He said "Yes, Kisra bin Hormuz." Then he said: "If you live long you'll see that a man will wander with a handful of gold and silver and no one will accept it."
Hazrat 'Adi reports: I have myself seen such an old woman performing the Hajj; she had come alone from Kufa for Hajj and (in the way) she had no fear of anyone but Allah. And I was myself participating in capturing Kisra's treasures; and the third prediction was also fulfilled during Hazrat Umar bin Abd al-Aziz’s time: that the payer of zakat would not find a beggar to accept it and therefore used to return home with his money."
The Holy Prophet's giving such happy tidings under straitened circumstances and on occasions of complaints against severity, though of no importance to him, were indeed, by reason of their humanness, very great and important for the Holy Companions, vis-à-vis such miserable conditions; and thus their faith was also tested, that disgusted by the prevailing conditions and confounded by austerities, whether they held the Holy Prophet's promises in suspicion or not.
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