Shadows of the Swords

From Here:

The tradition has been narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah b. Qais. He heard it from his father who, while facing the enemy, reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Surely, the gates of Paradise are under the shadows of the swords. A man in a shabby condition got up and said; Abu Musa, did you hear the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say this? He said: Yes. (The narrator said): He returned to his friends and said: I greet you (a farewell greeting). Then he broke the sheath of his sword, threw it away, advanced with his (naked) sword towards the enemy and fought (them) with it until he was slain.
Sahih Muslim Book 020, Number 4681

This quotation from the Sahih Muslim hadith afford us a look into the mindset of a person who desired his own death in Allah's Cause.

1. He trusted the words of Muhammad implicitly.
2. He was motivated by a promise of an eternal heavenly Paradise.
3. He reassured himself that he heard correctly by asking Abu Musa. We see that he was very careful not to make a mistake, since his own life and eternal destiny were at risk. He wanted to make sure that Paradise would be achieved.
4. He said his final farewell greeting to his friends. He did not rush to death because he had no friends. He had friends who understood his motivation.
5. He unsheathed his sword and threw the sheath away, because he was resolved not to return from the battle alive. He chose to die in battle as a martyr in Allah's Cause. Casting aside his sword's sheath strengthened his resolve to bring about his own martyrdom.
6. He fought the enemy fearlessly until he was slain.
7. Finally, we see that Muhammad's objectives were achieved, because his followers were utterly fearless with their lives in Allah's Cause. This fearlessness struck terror in the hearts of those they attacked.


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