The Inspirational Story of Abdurrahman Ibn Awf (رضي الله عنه)

05/18/2024 10:58 AM

Abdurrahman Ibn Awf (رضي الله عنه) was one of the wealthiest companions of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). How did this companion manage to build an empire while maintaining humbleness, generosity and be among the 10 who were promised Jannah?

Who Was AbdurRrahman Ibn Auf?

AbdurRahman bin Awf (رضي الله عنه) was: 

  1. One of the first 8 people to accept Islam

  2. One of the ten companions who were promised Jannah (al-asharatu-l mubashshirin)

  3. One of the six members of the Shurah Council of Umar Ibn Al Khatab (May Allah be pleased with him)

  4. One of the richest companions in Medina

  5. One of the most generous companions in Medina

  6. One who fought on all major battles (including Badr and Uhud)

  7. The one appointed by Umar as the Imam when Umar  (رضي الله عنه) was stabbed

  8. One who was always in the company of the best like Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) and Umar (رضي الله عنه)

  9. One who would regularly visit the sick and support the poor

The Famous Hadith

Narrated Ibrahim bin Sa`d from his father from his grandfather: `Abdur Rahman bin `Auf said:

"When we came to Medina as emigrants, Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) established a bond of brotherhood between me and Sa`d bin Ar-Rabi`. 

Sa`d bin Ar-Rabi` said (to me), 'I am the richest among the Ansar, so I will give you half of my wealth and you may look at my two wives and whichever of the two you may choose I will divorce her, and when she has completed the prescribed period (before marriage) you may marry her.' `

Abdur-Rahman replied, "I am not in need of all that. Is there any marketplace where trade is practiced?' He replied, "The market of Qainuqa." `

Abdur- Rahman went to that market the following day and brought some dried buttermilk (yogurt) and butter, and then he continued going there regularly.

Few days later, `Abdur-Rahman came having traces of yellow (scent) on his body. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) asked him whether he had got married. He replied in the affirmative. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, 'Whom have you married?' He replied, 'A woman from the Ansar.'

Then the Prophet (ﷺ) asked, 'How much did you pay her?' He replied, '(I gave her) a gold piece equal in weigh to a date stone (or a date stone of gold)! The Prophet (ﷺ) said, 'Give a Walima (wedding banquet) even if with one sheep .'"

([1] Sahih al-Bukhari 2048)

5 Lessons from The Hadith

We will take this hadith, InshaAllah, and outline some of the fundamental lessons that Muslim entrepreneurs and founders can benefit from:

#1 - Full Trust in Allah

 "I am not in need of all that. Is there any marketplace where trade is practiced?' 

Without knowing what the area or the market looks like, he places his full trust in Allah when going to the market.

#2 - Self-Determination

Without a blink of an eye, he swiftly rejects what one would call today, winning a lottery.

#3 - The Upper Hand is Better than the Lower Hand

While he could have easily accepted the offer, after all, he is an immigrant and came with empty hands, but he doesn't want to be in a position where he lowers his hand. Rather, he wants to be a in a self-sufficient position.

#4 - Getting to Work Right Way 

 "AbdurRahman went to that market the following day and brought some dried buttermilk (yogurt) and butter..." 

After he learns where the market is, he goes and puts in the effort the following day. He didn't worry about what was going to happen. He knew that he needed to take the first step. He made the niyyah and started working.

#5 - Consistency & Discipline

 "...and then he continued going there regularly." 

After he gets started, he is not worried about the success or failure. Rather, he focuses on being consistent and disciplined on his effort.  

Final Thoughts

The life of AbdurRahman bin Auf ( رضي الله عنه) sets the standard of what a Muslim entreprenuer and founder's mission and lifestyle should look like. It also offers profound lessons in trust, determination, self-reliance, proactive effort, and unwavering consistency. 

As Muslim entrepreneurs and founders, emulating these values can lead to both spiritual and worldly success. By integrating these principles into our daily lives and business practices, we can aspire to achieve a balance between our faith and professional endeavors, fostering a community rooted in ethical and prosperous growth.

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