Khabeeb: no regrets for being a Muslim!
Saaed bin Amir (ra) states:
Khabeeb (ra) had a deep love of Islam. When captured by the pagan Arabs of Mecca they torturedhim severely. He was asked whether he ever thought that Prophet Muhammad should be in his place (i.e. that he, Khabeeb, was free and Muhammad was in captivity being tortured). In response to which Khabeeb said that he would risk his life just to save Prophet Muhammad from being pricked by a thorn on his foot. With imminent death approaching, surrounded by spectators, other pagan Arabs, he was asked if he had any last words. To this, Khabeeb poured out the following verses from his heart:
I am surrounded by the teaming spectators and they have a huge crowd
All of them are avenging their avowed enemity and expressing their sentiments against me.
While I am tied under the gallows, tribal people have called in their women and children (to spectate)
They have brought me near a sturdy and lofty log.
They have ruled that transgression (1) alone can save my life.
But death is better than that.
Although my eyes are renting tears, I am not frustrated in the least.
I will noy weep, nor beg their pardon. I know that I am going towards Allah.
I do not fear death though it will kill me.
Instead I fear the 'engulfing fire' (2) that sucks the blood.
The Lord of the Great Divine Throne has ordained me to do some service and has promised me everlasting satisfaction (3)
They have chopped my flesh, hence I have lost hope.
I do meekly beseech to Almighty for my persecution.
And helplessness in the state of being alien and their intentions even after torturing me (4)
By God, I do not mind at all for all this while I am laying my life for the sake of Allah
And what a way to have laid my life (5)
I do positively hope that God will bless every piece of my flesh.
Khabeeb then said:
"Allahumma Ballighna Risalata Rasollin Fa Balligho Ma Yasmao"
"O Allah, I have conveyed Your Orders/Command to thesepeople, now convey to Your Apostle (i.e. Muhammad) the state of my condition and the treatment which they (pagan Arabs) gave to me at their hand (when I was captive)"
Saaed bin Amir (ra) who was very closely attached to Umar (ra) plunged into a state of unconciousness. When Umar moments later asked him if he had a disease or illness, Saaed said, 'No, but I reachthis condition everytime I think about the words of Khabeeb, as I was there when he was executed (amongst the spectators)' (6)
[From: Rahmatul Lil Alameen (Mercy for the World), Vol I, Nadvi (1933), pp 102-104]
(1) I.e. that if I abandon Islam, and return to my previous pagan belief my life will be spared
(2) I.e. fear of hell-fire
(3) I.e. to fight and uphold truth, justice, etc
(4) Before they were planning to kill him, they tortured him severely
(5) I.e. that I have not compromised my faith, rather I have kept my faith in God and not returned to idolatry
(6) As with most people, everyone, including Prophet Muhamamd, had accepted Islam. Most of the people were pagan Arabs (of course we know that Prophet Muhammad never worshipped the idols - his wisdom stretched beyond this narrow view from early childhood, by the Mercy of Allah). Subsequently, the early Muslims were from different backgrounds. When Saaed recalls this account, at that time he had not accepted Islam. However, he accepted Islam at a later stage, and thus, everytime he remembered the execution of Khabaab, he felt guilt, because he was in the crowd of spectators and, as a pagan arab at that time, he felt pleasure watching his then enemy die.
May Allah the Almighty have Mercy and help us realise that just because a person is nota Muslim today, doesnt mean thatthey wont be a Muslim tomorrow.We should endeavour to be good examples of Islam, and help alleviate any persons mispercetions. Just because a person is a Jew or a Christian or of any other belief, dosnt necessarily mean they are a kafir (disbeliever) - as
disbelief can only be made when a person rejects Islam, and for this, a person has to first be taught Islam. And even if a person does reject Islam,and is a kafir, Allah the Almighty forbids us to fight or harm them, UNLESS they fight and/or harm us. But even in this eventuality, there are strict rules and regulations for the conduct of war and Allah the Almighty warns us clearly, NOT to transgress the limits which He the Almighty has set.
May Allah the Almighty have mercy and guide us all, ameen.