Early Muslim converts to Islam were treated harshly by the polytheists. Their crime? Believing that there is One God, and that Muhammed is His Messenger. Some of the ordeals early Muslims faced were very harsh, at times the early converts were murdered for holding on to their new beliefs. Among those who were mistreated is the story of Abu Bakr as-Siddique and Talha Ibn Ubaydullah.
Abu Bakr and Talha Ibn Ubaydullah were roped together as a punishment for believing in their new religion. The following are some of the earliest sources which mention this incident.
Ibn Ishaq (704 – 768)
“Aswad is I. Abdu Yaghuth b. Wahb. Abdu Manaf b. Zuhra b. Kilab; Subay is I. Khalid brother of b. al-Hairth b. Fihr; Naufal is I. Khuwaylid b. Asad b. Abdu’l-Uzza b. Qusayy. He was I. al-Adawiya, one of the satans of Quraysh. He it was who roped together Abu Bakr and Talha b. Ubaydullah when they went over to Islam. They got the name ‘the two-tied-together-ones’ from this. Ali killed him at the battle of Badr. Abu Amr is Qurza b. Abdu Amr b. Naufal b. Abdu Manaf. The “treacherous people” are b. Bakr b. Abdu Manat b. Kinana. These are the Arabs whom Abu Talib enumerated in this verse.” (Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad Translated by A. Guillaume, [Oxford University Press – Seventeenth Impression 2004], page 127 – 128)
Mustadrak – al-Hakim Nishapuri (933 – 1012)
“When Hadhrat Talha informed Hadhrat Abu Bakr about what the monk had said, Hadhrat Abu Bakr took Hadhrat Talha to Rasulullaah and he accepted Islaam. Rasulullaah was pleased to hear what the monk had to say. After Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Talha had accepted Islaam, Naufal bin Khuwaylid bin Adawiyyah who was known as the ‘Lion of the Quraysh’ captured them both and tied them up with the same rope. Even the Banu Tauym tribe (to which Hadhrat Abu Bakr belonged) could not rescue them. (Because the two were tied together) Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Talha were named ‘The Two companions’. The narration of Bayhaqi states that Rasulullaah then made the following du’aa: ‘O Allah! Save us from the evil of Ibn Adawiyya.’” (Mustadrak al-Haakim, volume 3, page 369)
Ibn Kathir (1301 – 1373):
“Aba Bakr then took Talha with him and they went in to see the Messenger of God (SAAS). Talha then accepted Islam and told the Messenger of God (SAAS) what the monk had said; he was delighted to hear this. When Abu Bakr and Talha had accepted Islam they were seized by Nawfal b. Khuwaylid b. al-Adawi, who was known as “the lion of Quraysh”. He tied both men together with one rope; and Banu Taym did nothing to protect them. For this reason Abu Bakr and Talha were known as “the bondsmen”. And the Prophet (SAAS) spoke the words, “0 God, save us from the evil of al-‘Adawi’s son.” It was al-Bayhaqi who recounted this.” (The Life Of The Prophet Muhammad – (‘Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya’) [Translated by Professor Trevor Le Gassick, Garnet Publishing – Copyright 1998, The Center for Muslim Contribution To civilization], by Ibn Kathir, volume 1, page 318)
Insanu’l-Uyun, by Ali Ibn Burhanaddin al-Halabi, Abu Bakr is recounting another incident where he was attacked by another Qurayshi polytheists by the name of Utba Ibn Rabia:
“When there were few people around, he went to our Holy Prophet’s presence by tottering and leaning on his mother and Umm Jamil. Our Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr embraced one another like two close friends who had not seen each other for years. After he saw our Holy Prophet’s condition with his own eyes, he said, “May my mother and father be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah! I am only saddened that that savage and aberrant man (Utba bin Rabia) dragged and rubbed my face against the ground and brought it to an unidentifiable condition; however, I am not upset about anything else.” (Insanu’l-Uyun, by Ali Ibn Burhanaddin al-Halabi, volume 1. page 275, online source, http://www.resulullah.org/en/prophet-and-muslims-dar-al-arqam )
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