The Sahabah Series: Thâbit bin Qays
In the name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Thâbit bin Qays
There are at least two companions named Thâbit bin Qays.
Thâbit bin Qays bin al-Khatîm
One was Thâbit bin Qays bin al-Khatîm al-Zafri al-Ansâri. The Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace, talked to his father, Qays bin al-Khatîm, before his migration to Makkah. He asked for his support when he migrated. Qays died before the migration but his two sons Thâbit and Yazîd were strong supporters and close companions.
During one of the military campaigns he received twelve wounds and from that day on he was given the nickname ‘al-Hâsir, the exhausted one. He went on to fight in several battles after that event.
He was appointed to the government in Kufa during the time of the khilâfat of Uthmân ibn Affân. The Khalifa, Ali, also appointed him governor over several cities. Many of the companions from the Ansâr, the people of Madina who aided the Messenger after his migration, were unhappy about the rule of Muawiya and decided to write an open letter signed by all of them to highlight some of his injustices. However, Thâbit advised against it and suggested only one person wrote as it would lead to repercussions for the Ansar and strife within the community. His advice is thought to have prevented a possible civil war. Once Muawiya conquered Iraq and appointed Mughira as governor over Kufa, Thâbit left political life and went into recluse. He died in Kufa, in Iraq.
Thâbit bin Qays bin Shammâs
The companion who shared the name Thâbit bin Qays was Thâbit bin Qays bin Shammas bin Zahîr al-Ansâri. He is also referred to as Abu Muhammad or Abu Abdul Rahmân, meaning the father of Muhammad or the father of Abdul Rahmân. Both his sons were killed in the battle of Harra while defending Madina. Thâbit bin Qays was known as the Speaker of the Ansâr (Khatîb al- Ansâr) as he would eloquently address the Ansâr on behalf of the Messenger, upon him be peace. He was also known as Khatib al-Rasûl, the one who gave the sermon for the Messenger, upon him be peace.
There were several verses of Qurân revealed about him. One of the verses related to divorce was revealed after his wife complained to the Messenger that ‘although she did not complain about his character or religion’, she did not want to remain married to him. The Messenger, upon him be peace, then asked her if she were willing to return the garden that he had given her in dowry. She agreed and the Messenger, upon him be peace, instructed him to ‘accept the garden and pronounce the divorce’.
Another verse was revealed with regard his generosity. When his fruit was ripe he decided he would give anyone that came to him that day some dates as a gift. By the end of the day he had no dates left for himself or his family and Allah revealed the verse, “It is He Who produces gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah loves not the wasters” (6:141).
There were two verses that were revealed about other people that he feared were about him. The first was where some companions were told ‘O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as you may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and you perceive not (49:2). He had a loud voice and was fearful that the verse was a direct rebuke to him. He hid away for some days until the Messenger; himself went to see what was wrong with him. Thâbit explained that he has a loud voice and was afraid that he would be one whose ‘deeds become vain’. The Messenger, upon him be peace, comforted him saying ‘you live well and you will die well’.
He also went into hiding after Allah revealed that He ‘loves not any arrogant boaster’ (39:18). On this occasion, the Messenger, upon him be peace, told him ‘you are not one of them, you live a praised life and you will die a martyr and enter the Garden.’ He was killed in the battle of Yamâma during the period of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq.
He was a man of great character and worship. On one occasion, the Messenger, upon him be peace saw a light emanating from a house and said ‘perhaps someone is reading surat Surat al-Baqara (the second chapter of the Quran)’. The next morning some of the companions went to the house and asked Thâbit what he was doing that night and he confirmed that he was indeed reading Surat al-Baqara.