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Abu Ayyub Ansari (RA) - Madinah to Istanbul

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Abu Ayyub Ansari (Radhiyallahu 'anhu)

 

His full name was Khalid ibn Zayd ibn Kulayb and he was from the Banu Najjar.

He was a great and close companion of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam. 

He was known as Abu Ayyub (the father of Ayyub).

 

 

 

This is the approximate spot where existed the house of Abu Ayyub Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him). IslamicLandmarks

 

house_of_abu_ayyub_ansari_ra.jpg

 

 

This is where the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) initially stayed for several months on his migration to Madinah, while Masjid-e-Nabwi and the adjoining rooms for his wives were being built.

 

 

 

 

Buried in Istanbul

His grave lies in Istanbul where he was honoured with martyrdom during the siege of Constantinople

in the caliphate of Muawiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) in 48 AH.

IslamicLandmarks

 


 

Just beyond the city walls and alongside the Golden Horn is the district of Eyüp,

named after the tomb and mosque complex built around the burial site of Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī (d. 52/672).

 

Eyüp Sultan Camii

ayub ansari istanbul.jpg

Islamicana

(Click on picture to enlarge)

 

 

 

Tomb of Abu Ayyub Ansari RA

tomb_of_abu_ayyub_ansari_ra.jpg

 

*Note that this entry has been shown for information purposes only. On no account should anybody pray towards a grave or seek supplication through them as this is tantamount to committing shirk, associating partners with Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He).

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          He enjoyed a privilege which many of the Ansar in Madinah hoped they would have.

 

 

  • When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) entered Madinah he told the people to allow his camel to go her own way for “she is guided by Allah.” All of the Muslims desired that he would lodge with them. Finally the she-camel knelt, but the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) did not dismount. The animal rose to its feet again, ambled ahead for some distance, and then turned back and knelt in the same place it had before. Masjid-e-Nabwi was erected on this very spot.

 

 

  • Adjacent to the spot where the camel knelt was the house of Abu Ayyub Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) who hurried to lift the saddle from the camel and took it to his home. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) remarked humorously, “A man must follow his saddle,” and went along with Abu Ayyub. Asad bin Zurara (may Allah be pleased with him) took hold of the halter, so he was allowed to take care of the camel.

 

 

  • According to other reports, lots were cast and was drawn in the favour of Abu Ayyub Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him).

 

 

  • The house of Abu Ayyub Ansari was double-storied. When it was settled that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) would stay at this place, he offered the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to stay on the upper storey but the Prophet could not agree to this proposal, as he felt that people frequently coming to meet him would disturb his (Abu Ayyub’s) family. Thus the ground floor was made vacant for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Abu Ayyub (may Allah be pleased with him) sent meals to him twice a day and whatever he left uneaten was shared by Abu Ayyub and his wife. He would look at the marks of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) fingers on the food and place his own fingers at the same spots as a source of blessing.Although the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had stayed at the ground floor according to his own wish, it was quite unbearable for Abu Ayyub (may Allah be pleased with him) and his wife that they should live upstairs while the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was downstairs. They were much disturbed to think that in this way they were showing disrespect to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). One night they could not sleep and passed the whole night sitting in a corner of the roof. In the morning Abu Ayyub (may Allah be pleased with him) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and said, “O Prophet of Allah, we could not sleep at night but passed the whole night sitting in a corner of the roof.” When the Prophet asked the cause, he replied, “Our parents may be sacrificed on you, we always remain thinking that we are committing disrespect to you. Last night this feeling grew to the utmost and we could not sleep.” After this he requested, “O Prophet of Allah, have mercy upon us and kindly shift upstairs. We are your slave and shall remain satisfied under your feet.”  The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) granted his request and moved upstairs while Abu Ayyub and his wife moved to the ground floor.

 

References:  The History of Islam – Akbar Shah Najeebabadi, When the Moon Split – Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri, Siratun Nabi – Allama Shibli Nomani & Syed Suleman Nadvi

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Death

 

He also had a distinguished military career. Much of his time was spent as a warrior until it was said of him, "He did not stay away from any battle the Muslims fought from the time of the Prophet to the time of Muawiyah unless he was engaged at the same time in another."

 

The last campaign he took part in was the one prepared by Muawiyah RA and led by his son Yazid RA against Constantinople. Abu Ayyub RA at that time was a very old man, almost eighty years old. But that did not prevent him from joining the army and crossing the seas as a ghazi in the path of God. After only a short time engaged in the battle, Abu Ayyub RA fell ill and had to withdraw from fighting. Yazid RA came to him and asked:

 

 

He asked Yazid RA to press on towards the Eastern Roman capital as far as possible and then bury his body there. When it became obvious to the Muslim army that they were unable to conquer the city, Abu Ayyub was buried outside its walls.

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The Burial Site

 

Picture1.jpg

The Courtyard of Eyüp Sultan Camii.

The tomb of Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī lies in an alcove just behind the tree.

 

 

The exact burial site was soon forgotten and only rediscovered after Sultan Muhammad Fatih took Istanbul in 1453. There are many accounts of how the grave was discovered. The following are just two such accounts  and Allah ta'ala knows best.

 

 

When some eight centuries later Fatih Mehmet besieged the city, he and his advisors, as Evliya Çelebi writes,

 

“spent seven whole days searching for the tomb. At last Akşemsettin (the Şeyh-ül Islam) exclaimed, ‘Good news, my Prince, of Eyüp’s tomb!’ Thus saying he began to pray and then fell asleep. Some interpreted this sleep as a veil cast by shame over his ignorance of the tomb; but after some time he raised his head, his eyes became bloodshot, the sweat ran from his forehead, and he said to the Sultan, ‘Eyüp’s tomb is on the very spot where I spread the carpet for prayer.’ Upon this, three of his attendants together with the Şeyh and the Sultan began to dig up the ground, when at a depth of three yards they found a square stone of verd antique on which was written in Cufic letters: ‘This is the tomb of Eba Eyüp.’ They lifted the stone and found below it the body of Eyüp wrapped up in a saffron-coloured shroud, with a brazen play-ball in his hand, fresh and well-preserved. They replaced the stone, formed a little mound of the earth they had dug up, and laid the foundations of the mausoleum amidst the prayers of the whole army.”

 

 

 

 

Philip K. Hitti provides a slightly different account than Freely of the burial place’s discovery as well as offering some details concerning Abū Ayyūb’s final campaign:

 

 

Tradition asserts that in the course of the siege abu-Ayyūb  died of dysentery and was buried before the walls of Constantinople. His legendary tomb soon became a shrine even for the Christian Greeks, who made pilgrimages to it in times of drought to pray for rain. During the siege of Constantinople in 1453 by the Turks, the tomb was miraculously discovered by rays of light… and a mosque was built on the site. Thus did the Madīnese gentleman become a saint for three nations. (Hitti, History of the Arabs, 201-2)

 

 

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