This is the approximate spot where existed the house of Abu Ayub Ansari (R.A.) The Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (SAAW) initially stayed here for several months on his migration to Madinah. Which is why of all the Sahaba i.e. the companions of the Holy Prophet, Hazrat Abu Ansari has a unique honor. When the Prophet migrated to Medina on his camel, all the residents stood in the way and, one after another, begged him to stay with them. Not to disappoint anyone, the Holy Prophet left it to the camel to do the choosing. The camel moved for a while and then sat before the house of Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansari. The Prophet stayed here for several months thus bestowing him a unique honor in the Islamic History.
UNIQUE HONOUR – UNIQUE PLACE
by Hafeez R. M.
“Walk upto the Grand Bazaar and take Bus No.39”, was the short and sweet advice when I asked a passerby how to go to the shrine of a great Sahabi, Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansari.
It was my second last day in Turkey and the shrine was a must-see place.
Of all the Sahabas, Hazrat Abu Ansari had a unique honor. When the Holy Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (SAAW), migrated to Medina on his camel, all the residents stood in the way and, one after another, begged him to stay with them. Not to disappoint anyone, the Holy Prophet left it to the camel to do the choosing. The camel moved for a while and then sat before the house of Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansari. The Prophet stayed in his house for several months thus bestowing him a unique honor in the Islamic History.
His real name was Khalid Bin Zaid. As per tradition in Arab World, he was known by the name of his son as Abu Ayub (father of Ayub). He was born in 576 in the family of Banu Najjar of Medina. He learnt Quran by heart and collected 150 Hadis. He loved to fight for Allah. In fact, he participated in almost every war in the early Islamic history notably Badr, Uhud, Hendek, Khyber, the Conquest of Mecca, Hunayn and Tabuk. So much so whenever a flag was raised, he was there with his life and wealth.
When the Muslim Army marched towards Istanbul, he was ready and raised his sword high despite being 80 years old. It was in this war that he met his destiny and became a martyr (Shaheed) in 679. Thus he lived for over 100 years.
His wife was Umme Ayub. She assisted him while he was playing host to the Great Prophet. They had three sons: Ayub, Khalid and Muhammad and a daughter named Umrah. Later, their off-springs spread out in many parts of the world specially Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.
A noted writer, Ali Ural, describes him as follows:
“He is not just an imposing warrior. He is a scribe of revelation, one who brings verses together. He is a memorizer of the entire Quran. He is a faqi whose fatwas are trusted by the people. He is an imam who leads the prayers in the Masjid Nabi when Hazrat Usman (RA) is confined.”
The shrine was located by the sea known as the Golden Horn. I reached there in about half an hour spending less than a dollar. The place was known as “Eyup Sultan” and was a complex of mosque, the tomb and graves of other Sahabas.
There was no entry fee. Rather plastic bags were provided free of cost for keeping shoes. In addition, the ladies were given scarves for covering their heads. Quite a large number of people had come to visit the tomb. Local women, wearing colorful dresses, were whispering versus from Holy Koran. Their presence coupled with flocks of pigeons and old trees created a mystical charm.
I joined the queue and in about 15 minutes I was offering Fatiha before tomb of the great Sahaba. The tomb was very decorative. It was in an octagonal shape. The grave was enclosed in with beautiful silver railing. There were calligraphy, crystal chandeliers and decorative pieces all over.
GRAVES OF OTHER 28 SAHABA [Companion of the Holy Prophet]
With a mission of spreading Islam, many Sahabas came to Turkey centuries ago. According to the Research Centre for the Islamic History, Art and Culture, in Istanbul, the bulk of information provided about their lives is through a major booklet by a Turkish Writer-Professor Dr. A. Suheyl. As stated in the book: “Many Sahabas reached the area along the Muslim troops during the great siege. Many of them were, as the tomb stones show the brief history of their lives, martyred during the siege of Constantinople (Istanbul), and battles fought for the conquest of the city, then a strong hold of the Roman Empire.”
The graves of Sahaba are spread all over Istanbul. But a majority of them are situated close to the area of Eyub Sultan. The graves have existed since then without being desecrated or demolished during the different periods of rule over Istanbul.”
AREA AROUND THE SHRINE
After praying in the mosque, I went out and strolled in the adjoining areas. It seemed a popular spot flourishing with a large number of small shops selling scarfs, Korans, pictures and souvenirs. The area was clean studded with fountains spraying water to ease the summer heat.
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