Story of repentance of the Ka'b b. Malik who was among the three Companions who did not participate in the Battle of Tabuk

muslim:2769aAbū al-Ṭāhir Aḥmad b. ʿAmr b. ʿAbdullāh b. ʿAmr b. Sarḥ a freed slave of Banī Umayyah > Ibn Wahb > Yūnus > Ibn Shihāb > ʿAbd al-Raḥman b. ʿAbdullah b. Kaʿb b. Mālik

Then the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ˹fought˺ the Battle of Tabūk and he wanted Rome while the Arab Christians were in Shām. Ibn Shihāb said that ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAbdullāh b. Kaʿb b. Mālik told me that ʿAbdullāh b. Kaʿb was the leader of one of Banū Kaʿb's children when he became blind. He said: I heard Kaʿb b. Malik narrate when he stayed behind from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ during the Battle of Tabūk.

Kaʿb b. Malik said: I never remained behind Messenger of Allah ﷺ from any expedition that he undertook except the Battle of Tabuk and that of the Battle of Badr. So far as the Battle of Badr is concerned, nobody was blamed for remaining behind as Messenger of Allah ﷺ and the Muslims (did not set out for attack but for waylaying) the caravan of the Quraish, but it was Allah Who made them confront their enemies without their intention (to do so). I had the honor to be with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ on the night of 'Aqaba when we pledged our allegiance to Islam and it was dearer to me than my participation in the Battle of Badr, although Badr was more popular amongst people as compared to with that (Tabَūk).

And this is my story of remaining back from Messenger of Allah ﷺ on the occasion of the Battle of Tabuk. Never did I possess means enough and (my circumstances) more favorable than at the occasion of this expedition. And, by Allah, I had never before this expedition simultaneously in my possession two rides. Messenger of Allah ﷺ set out for this expedition in the extremely hot season; the journey was long and the land (which he and his army had to cover) was waterless and he had to confront a large army, so he informed the Muslims about the actual situation (they had to face), so that they should adequately equip themselves for this expedition, and he also told them the destination where he intended to go. And the Muslims who accompanied the Messenger of Allah ﷺ at that time were large in numbers but there was no proper record of them.

Ka'b (further) said: Few were the persons who wanted to absent themselves, and were under the impression that they could easily conceal themselves (and thus remain undetected) until revelations from Allah, the Exalted and Glorious (descended in connection with them). And Messenger of Allah ﷺ set out on an expedition when the fruits were ripe and their shadows had been lengthened. I had a weakness for them and it was during this season that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ made preparations and the Muslims too along with them. I also set out in the morning so that I should make preparations along with them but I came back and did nothing and said to myself: I have means enough (to make preparations) as soon as I like. And I went on doing this (postponing my preparations) until people were about to depart and it was in the morning that Messenger of Allah ﷺ set out and the Muslims too along with him, but I made no preparations. I went early in the morning and came back, but I made no decision. I continued to do so until they (the Muslims) hastened and covered a good deal of distance. I also made up my mind to march on and to meet them. Would that I had done that but perhaps it was not destined for me. After the departure of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ as I went out amongst people, I was shocked to find that I did not find anyone like me but people who were labeled as hypocrites or the people whom Allah granted an exemption because of their incapacity and Messenger of Allah ﷺ took no notice of me until he had reached Tabuk.

One day as he was sitting amongst the people in Tabuk he said: What has happened to Ka'b b. Malik? A person from Banu' Salama said: Messenger of Allah, the (beauty) of his cloak and his appreciation of his sides have allured him and he was thus detained. Mua'dh b. Jabal said: Woe be upon that what you contend. Messenger of Allah, by Allah, we know nothing about him but good. Messenger of Allah ﷺ, however, kept quiet. It was during that time that he (the Holy Prophet) saw a person (dressed in an all-white (garment) shattering the illusion of eye (mirage). Thereupon Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: May he be Abu Khaithama and, lo, it was Abu Khaithama al-Ansari and he was that person who contributed a sa' of dates and was scoffed at by the hypocrites. Ka'b b. Malik further said: When this news reached me that Messenger of Allah ﷺ was on his way back from Tabuk I was greatly perturbed. I thought of fabricating false stories and asked myself how I would save myself from his anger on the following day. In this connection, I sought the help of every prudent man from amongst the members of my family and when it was said to me that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was about to arrive, all the false ideas vanished (from my mind) and I came to the conclusion that nothing could save me but the telling of truth, so I decided to speak the truth and it was in the morning that Messenger of Allah ﷺ arrived (in Medina). And it was his habit that as he came back from a journey he first went to the mosque and observed two Rak'ahs of nafl prayer (as a mark of gratitude) and then sat amongst people.

And as he did that, those who had remained behind him began to put forward their excuses and take an oath before him and they were more than eighty persons. Messenger of Allah ﷺ accepted their excuses on the very face of them and accepted their allegiance and sought forgiveness for them and left their secret (intentions) to Allah, until I presented myself to him. I greeted him and he smiled and there was a tinge of anger in that. He (the Holy Prophet) then said to me: Come forward. I went forward until I sat in front of him. He said to me: What kept you back? Could you not afford to go in for a ride? I said: Messenger of Allah, by Allah, if I were to sit in the presence of anybody else from amongst the worldly people I would have definitely saved myself from his anger on one pretext (or the other) and I have also the knack to fall into argumentation, but, by Allah, I am fully aware of the fact that if I were to put forward before you a false excuse to please you Allah would definitely provoke your wrath upon me, and if I speak the truth you may be annoyed with me, but I hope that Allah would make its end well and, by Allah, there is no valid excuse for me. By Allah, I never possessed so good means, and I never had such favorable conditions for me as I had when I stayed behind you (failed to join the expedition). Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: This man told the truth, so get up until Allah gives a decision in your case. I stood up and some people of Banu' Salama followed me in hot haste, and they said to me: By Allah, we do not know about you that you committed a sin prior to this. You, however, showed an inability to put forward an excuse before the Messenger of Allah ﷺ as those who stayed behind him have put forward excuses. It would have been enough for the forgiveness of your sin that Messenger of Allah ﷺ would have sought forgiveness for you.

By Allah, they continued to incite me until I thought of going back to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and contradicting myself. Then I said to them: Has anyone else also met the same fate? They said: Yes, two persons have met the same fate as has fallen to you and they have made the same statement as you have made, and the same verdict has been delivered in their case as it has been delivered in your case. I said: Who are they? They said: Murara b. ar-Rabi'a 'Amiri and Hilal b. Umayya al-Waqafi. They made a mention of these two pious persons to me who had participated in the Battle of Badr and there was an example for me in them. I went away when they named these two persons.

Messenger of Allah ﷺ forbade the Muslims to talk with three of us from amongst those (persons) who had stayed behind him. The people began to avoid us and their attitude towards us underwent a change and it seemed as if the whole atmosphere had turned (hostile) against us and it was in fact the same atmosphere of which I was fully aware and in which I had lived (for a fairly long time). We spent fifty nights in this very state and my two friends confined themselves within their houses and spent (most of the) time in weeping, but as I was young and strong amongst them I got (out of my house), participated in congregational prayers, moved about in the bazar; but none spoke to me. I came to Messenger of Allah ﷺ as he sat amongst (people) after the prayer, greeted him and asked myself whether his lips stirred in response to my greetings (or not). Then I observed prayer beside him and looked at him with stealing glances and when I attended to my prayer, he looked at me and when I cast a glance at him he turned away his eyes from me.

And when the harsh treatment of the Muslims towards me extended to a (considerable) length of time, I walked until I climbed upon the wall of the garden of Abu Qatada, and he was my cousin, and I had the greatest love for him. I greeted him but, by Allah, he did not respond to my greetings. I said to him: Abu Qatada, I adjure you by Allah, arn't you well aware of the fact that I love Allah and His Messenger ﷺ the most. He kept quiet. I again repeated saying: I adjure you by Allah. aren't you well aware of the fact that I love Allah and His Messenger ﷺ the most. He kept quiet. I again adjured him, whereupon he said: Allah and the Messenger ﷺ are best aware of it. My eyes began to shed tears and I came back climbing down from the wall.

As I was walking in the bazar of Medina a Nabatean from amongst the Nabateans of Syria, who had come to sell foodgrains in Medina, asked people to direct him to Ka'b b. Malik. People gave him the indication by pointing towards me. He came to me and delivered to me a letter of the King of Ghassan and as I was a scribe I read that letter and it was written like this: Coming to my point, it has been conveyed to us that your friend (the Holy Prophet) is subjecting you to cruelty and Allah has not created you for a place where you are to be degraded and where you cannot find your right place, so you come to us that we should accord you honour. As I read that letter I said: This is also a calamity, so I burnt it in the oven.

When out of the fifty days, forty days had passed and Messenger of Allah ﷺ received no revelation, there came the messenger of Messenger of Allah ﷺ to me and said: Verily, Messenger of Allah ﷺ has commanded you to remain separate from your wife. I said: Should I divorce her or what (else) should I do? He said: No, but only remain separate from her and don't have sexual contact with her. The same message was sent to my companions. So I said to my wife: You better go to your parents and stay there with them until Allah gives the decision in my case. The wife of Hilal b. Umayya came to Messenger of Allah ﷺ and said: Messenger of Allah, Hilal b. Umayya is a senile person, he has no servant. Do you disapprove of my serving him? He said: No, but don't go near him. She said: By Allah, he has no such instinct in him. By Allah, he spends his time in weeping from that day to this day. Some of the members of my family said to me: Were you to seek permission from Messenger of Allah ﷺ in regard to your wife as he has granted permission to the wife of Hilal b. Umayya to serve him. I said: I would not seek permission from Messenger of Allah ﷺ, for I cannot say what Allah's Apostle may say in response to seeking my permission. Moreover, I am a young man.

It was in this state that I spent ten more nights and thus fifty nights had passed that (people) had observed boycott with us. It was on the morning of the fiftieth night that I observed my dawn prayer and was sitting on one of the roofs of our houses. And I was in fact sitting in that very state which Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, has described about us in these words:" Life had become hard for myself and the earth had compressed despite its vastness," that I heard the noise of an announcer from the peak of the hill of Sal' saying at the top of his voice: Ka'b b. Malik, there is glad tidings for you. I fell down in prostration and came to realise that there was (a message of) relief for me. Messenger of Allah ﷺ had informed the people of the acceptance of our repentance by Allah as he offered the dawn prayer. So the people went on to give us glad tidings and some of them went to my friends in order to give them the glad tidings and a person galloped his horse and came from the tribe of Aslam and his horse reached me more quickly than his voice. And when he came to me whose sound I heard, he gave me the glad tidings. I took off my clothes and clothed him with them because of his bringing good news to me and, by Allah, I possessed nothing else (in the form of clothes) than these two on that occasion, and I asked one to lend me two clothes and dressed myself in them.

I came to Messenger of Allah ﷺ and on my way I met groups of people who greeted me because of (the acceptance of) repentance and they said: Here is a greeting for you for your repentance being accepted by Allah. (I moved on) until I came to the mosque and Messenger of Allah ﷺ had been sitting there amongst persons. So Talha b. 'Ubaidullah got up and rushed towards me and he shook hands with me and greeted me and, by Allah, no person stood up (to greet me) from amongst the emigrants except he. Ka'b said that he never forgot (this good gesture of) Talha. Ka'b further said: I greeted Messenger of Allah ﷺ with Assalam-o-'Alaikam and his face was glistening because of delight, and he said: Let there be glad tidings and blessings for you, the like of which (you have neither found nor you will find, as you find today) since your mother gave your birth. I said: Messenger of Allah. is this acceptance of repentance from you or from Allah? He said: No, (it is not from me), it is from Allah, and it was common with Messenger of Allah ﷺ that as he was happy his face brightened up and it looked like a part of the moon and it was from this that we recognised it (his delight). As I sat before him, I said: Messenger of Allah, am I allowed to give in charity my wealth for Allah's sake and for the sake of His Messenger ﷺ? Thereupon Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: Keep some property with you as it is better for you. I said: I shall keep with me that part (of my property) which fell to my lot (on the occasion of the expedition of) Khaibar. I said: Messenger of Allah, verily, Allah has granted me salvation because of truth and, therefore, (I think) that repentance implies that I should not speak anything but truth as long as I live.

He said: By Allah, I do not know whether anyone amongst the Muslims was put to more severe trial than I by Allah because of telling the truth. And since I made a mention of this to Messenger of Allah ﷺ up to this day I have not told any lie and, by Allah, I have decided not to tell a lie and I hope that Allah would save me (from trials) for the rest of my life and Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, revealed these verses:" Certainly, Allah has turned in Mercy to the Prophet and the emigrants and the helpers who followed him in the hour of hardship after the hearts of a part of them were about to deviate; then He turned to them in mercy. Surely, to them He is Compassionate, Merciful and (He turned in Mercy) to the three who were left behind until the earth despite its vastness became strait for them and their souls were also straitened to them." And this revelation reached up to the (words):" O you who believe, develop God consciousness, and be with the truthful" (ix. 117-118). Ka'b said: By Allah, since Allah directed me to Islam there has been no blessing more significant for me than this truth of mine which I spoke to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and if I were to tell a lie I would have been ruined as were ruined those who told lies, for in regard to those who told lies Allah used harshest words used for anyone as He descended revelation (and the words of Allah are):" They will swear by Allah to you when you return to them so that you may leave them alone. So leave them alone. Surely, they are unclean and their resort is Hell, recompense for what they earned. They will swear to you that you may be pleased with them but if you are pleased with them, yet surely Allah is not pleased with the transgressing people" (ix. 95-96).

Kaʿb said that the matter of us three persons was deferred as compared with those who took an oath in the presence of Allahs Messenger ﷺ and he accepted their allegiance and sought forgiveness for them and Allah did not give any decision in regard to us. It was Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, Who gave decisions in our case, three who remained behind. (The words of the Qur'an)" the three who were left behind" do not mean that we remained back from Jihad but these imply that He kept our matter behind them who took oath and presented excuse before Him.  

This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Zuhri with the same chain of transmitters.
مسلم:٢٧٦٩aحَدَّثَنِي أَبُو الطَّاهِرِ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ عَمْرِو بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرِو بْنِ سَرْحٍ مَوْلَى بَنِي أُمَيَّةَ أَخْبَرَنِي ابْنُ وَهْبٍ أَخْبَرَنِي يُونُسُ عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ قَالَ

ثُمَّ غَزَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ غَزْوَةَ تَبُوكَ وَهُوَ يُرِيدُ الرُّومَ وَنَصَارَى الْعَرَبِ بِالشَّامِ قَالَ ابْنُ شِهَابٍ فَأَخْبَرَنِي عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ كَعْبِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ كَعْبٍ كَانَ قَائِدَ كَعْبٍ مِنْ بَنِيهِ حِينَ عَمِيَ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ كَعْبَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ يُحَدِّثُ حَدِيثَهُ حِينَ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ فِي غَزْوَةِ تَبُوكَ۔

قَالَ كَعْبُ بْنُ مَالِكٍ: لَمْ أَتَخَلَّفْ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ فِي غَزْوَةٍ غَزَاهَا قَطُّ إِلاَّ فِي غَزْوَةِ تَبُوكَ غَيْرَ أَنِّي قَدْ تَخَلَّفْتُ فِي غَزْوَةِ بَدْرٍ۔ وَلَمْ يُعَاتِبْ أَحَدًا تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهُ إِنَّمَا خَرَجَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ وَالْمُسْلِمُونَ يُرِيدُونَ عِيرَ قُرَيْشٍ حَتَّى جَمَعَ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ عَدُوِّهُمْ عَلَى غَيْرِ مِيعَادٍ۔ وَلَقَدْ شَهِدْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ لَيْلَةَ الْعَقَبَةِ حِينَ تَوَاثَقْنَا عَلَى الإِسْلاَمِ وَمَا أُحِبُّ أَنَّ لِي بِهَا مَشْهَدَ بَدْرٍ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ بَدْرٌ أَذْكَرَ فِي النَّاسِ مِنْهَا۔

وَكَانَ مِنْ خَبَرِي حِينَ تَخَلَّفْتُ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ فِي غَزْوَةِ تَبُوكَ أَنِّي لَمْ أَكُنْ قَطُّ أَقْوَى وَلاَ أَيْسَرَ مِنِّي حِينَ تَخَلَّفْتُ عَنْهُ فِي تِلْكَ الْغَزْوَةِ۔ وَاللَّهِ مَا جَمَعْتُ قَبْلَهَا رَاحِلَتَيْنِ قَطُّ حَتَّى جَمَعْتُهُمَا فِي تِلْكَ الْغَزْوَةِ۔ فَغَزَاهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ فِي حَرٍّ شَدِيدٍ وَاسْتَقْبَلَ سَفَرًا بَعِيدًا وَمَفَازًا وَاسْتَقْبَلَ عَدُوًّا كَثِيرًا۔ فَجَلاَ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ أَمْرَهُمْ لِيَتَأَهَّبُوا أُهْبَةَ غَزْوِهِمْ فَأَخْبَرَهُمْ بِوَجْهِهِمُ الَّذِي يُرِيدُ وَالْمُسْلِمُونَ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ كَثِيرٌ وَلاَ يَجْمَعُهُمْ كِتَابُ حَافِظٍ يُرِيدُ بِذَلِكَ الدِّيوَانَ۔

قَالَ كَعْبٌ فَقَلَّ رَجُلٌ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَتَغَيَّبَ يَظُنُّ أَنَّ ذَلِكَ سَيَخْفَى لَهُ مَا لَمْ يَنْزِلْ فِيهِ وَحْىٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ ﷻ وَغَزَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ تِلْكَ الْغَزْوَةَ حِينَ طَابَتِ الثِّمَارُ وَالظِّلاَلُ فَأَنَا إِلَيْهَا أَصْعَرُ فَتَجَهَّزَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ وَالْمُسْلِمُونَ مَعَهُ وَطَفِقْتُ أَغْدُو لِكَىْ أَتَجَهَّزَ مَعَهُمْ فَأَرْجِعُ وَلَمْ أَقْضِ شَيْئًا وَأَقُولُ فِي نَفْسِي أَنَا قَادِرٌ عَلَى ذَلِكَ إِذَا أَرَدْتُ فَلَمْ يَزَلْ ذَلِكَ يَتَمَادَى بِي حَتَّى اسْتَمَرَّ بِالنَّاسِ الْجِدُّ فَأَصْبَحَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ غَادِيًا وَالْمُسْلِمُونَ مَعَهُ وَلَمْ أَقْضِ مِنْ جَهَازِي شَيْئًا ثُمَّ غَدَوْتُ فَرَجَعْتُ وَلَمْ أَقْضِ شَيْئًا فَلَمْ يَزَلْ ذَلِكَ يَتَمَادَى بِي حَتَّى أَسْرَعُوا وَتَفَارَطَ الْغَزْوُ فَهَمَمْتُ أَنْ أَرْتَحِلَ فَأُدْرِكَهُمْ فَيَا لَيْتَنِي فَعَلْتُ ثُمَّ لَمْ يُقَدَّرْ ذَلِكَ لِي فَطَفِقْتُ إِذَا خَرَجْتُ فِي النَّاسِ بَعْدَ خُرُوجِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ يَحْزُنُنِي أَنِّي لاَ أَرَى لِي أُسْوَةً إِلاَّ رَجُلاً مَغْمُوصًا عَلَيْهِ فِي النِّفَاقِ أَوْ رَجُلاً مِمَّنْ عَذَرَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الضُّعَفَاءِ وَلَمْ يَذْكُرْنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ حَتَّى بَلَغَ تَبُوكًا۔

فَقَالَ وَهُوَ جَالِسٌ فِي الْقَوْمِ بِتَبُوكَ: «مَا فَعَلَ كَعْبُ بْنُ مَالِكٍ؟» قَالَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ بَنِي سَلِمَةَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ: حَبَسَهُ بُرْدَاهُ وَالنَّظَرُ فِي عِطْفَيْهِ۔ فَقَالَ لَهُ مُعَاذُ بْنُ جَبَلٍ: بِئْسَ مَا قُلْتَ، وَاللَّهِ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَا عَلِمْنَا عَلَيْهِ إِلاَّ خَيْرًا۔ فَسَكَتَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ۔ فَبَيْنَمَا هُوَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ رَأَى رَجُلاً مُبَيِّضًا يَزُولُ بِهِ السَّرَابُ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ: «كُنْ أَبَا خَيْثَمَةَ،» فَإِذَا هُو أَبُو خَيْثَمَةَ الأَنْصَارِيُّ وَهُوَ الَّذِي تَصَدَّقَ بِصَاعِ التَّمْرِ حِينَ لَمَزَهُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ۔

فَقَالَ كَعْبُ بْنُ مَالِكٍ: فَلَمَّا بَلَغَنِي أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ قَدْ تَوَجَّهَ قَافِلاً مِنْ تَبُوكَ حَضَرَنِي بَثِّي فَطَفِقْتُ أَتَذَكَّرُ الْكَذِبَ وَأَقُولُ بِمَ أَخْرُجُ مِنْ سَخَطِهِ غَدًا وَأَسْتَعِينُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ كُلَّ ذِي رَأْىٍ مِنْ أَهْلِي فَلَمَّا قِيلَ لِي إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ قَدْ أَظَلَّ قَادِمًا زَاحَ عَنِّي الْبَاطِلُ حَتَّى عَرَفْتُ أَنِّي لَنْ أَنْجُوَ مِنْهُ بِشَىْءٍ أَبَدًا فَأَجْمَعْتُ صِدْقَهُ وَصَبَّحَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ قَادِمًا وَكَانَ إِذَا قَدِمَ مِنْ سَفَرٍ بَدَأَ بِالْمَسْجِدِ فَرَكَعَ فِيهِ رَكْعَتَيْنِ ثُمَّ جَلَسَ لِلنَّاسِ۔

فَلَمَّا فَعَلَ ذَلِكَ جَاءَهُ الْمُخَلَّفُونَ فَطَفِقُوا يَعْتَذِرُونَ إِلَيْهِ وَيَحْلِفُونَ لَهُ وَكَانُوا بِضْعَةً وَثَمَانِينَ رَجُلاً فَقَبِلَ مِنْهُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ عَلاَنِيَتَهُمْ وَبَايَعَهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمْ وَوَكَلَ سَرَائِرَهُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ حَتَّى جِئْتُ فَلَمَّا سَلَّمْتُ تَبَسَّمَ تَبَسُّمَ الْمُغْضَبِ ثُمَّ قَالَ تَعَالَ فَجِئْتُ أَمْشِي حَتَّى جَلَسْتُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ فَقَالَ لِي مَا خَلَّفَكَ أَلَمْ تَكُنْ قَدِ ابْتَعْتَ ظَهْرَكَ قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنِّي وَاللَّهِ لَوْ جَلَسْتُ عِنْدَ غَيْرِكَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الدُّنْيَا لَرَأَيْتُ أَنِّي سَأَخْرُجُ مِنْ سَخَطِهِ بِعُذْرٍ وَلَقَدْ أُعْطِيتُ جَدَلاً وَلَكِنِّي وَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتُ لَئِنْ حَدَّثْتُكَ الْيَوْمَ حَدِيثَ كَذِبٍ تَرْضَى بِهِ عَنِّي لَيُوشِكَنَّ اللَّهُ أَنْ يُسْخِطَكَ عَلَىَّ وَلَئِنْ حَدَّثْتُكَ حَدِيثَ صِدْقٍ تَجِدُ عَلَىَّ فِيهِ إِنِّي لأَرْجُو فِيهِ عُقْبَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهِ مَا كَانَ لِي عُذْرٌ وَاللَّهِ مَا كُنْتُ قَطُّ أَقْوَى وَلاَ أَيْسَرَ مِنِّي حِينَ تَخَلَّفْتُ عَنْكَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ أَمَّا هَذَا فَقَدْ صَدَقَ فَقُمْ حَتَّى يَقْضِيَ اللَّهُ فِيكَ فَقُمْتُ وَثَارَ رِجَالٌ مِنْ بَنِي سَلِمَةَ فَاتَّبَعُونِي فَقَالُوا لِي وَاللَّهِ مَا عَلِمْنَاكَ أَذْنَبْتَ ذَنْبًا قَبْلَ هَذَا لَقَدْ عَجَزْتَ فِي أَنْ لاَ تَكُونَ اعْتَذَرْتَ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ بِمَا اعْتَذَرَ بِهِ إِلَيْهِ الْمُخَلَّفُونَ فَقَدْ كَانَ كَافِيَكَ ذَنْبَكَ اسْتِغْفَارُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ لَكَ۔

قَالَ فَوَاللَّهِ مَا زَالُوا يُؤَنِّبُونَنِي حَتَّى أَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَرْجِعَ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ فَأُكَذِّبَ نَفْسِي قَالَ ثُمَّ قُلْتُ لَهُمْ هَلْ لَقِيَ هَذَا مَعِي مِنْ أَحَدٍ قَالُوا نَعَمْ لَقِيَهُ مَعَكَ رَجُلاَنِ قَالاَ مِثْلَ مَا قُلْتَ فَقِيلَ لَهُمَا مِثْلُ مَا قِيلَ لَكَ قَالَ قُلْتُ مَنْ هُمَا قَالُوا مُرَارَةُ بْنُ رَبِيعَةَ الْعَامِرِيُّ وَهِلاَلُ بْنُ أُمَيَّةَ الْوَاقِفِيُّ قَالَ فَذَكَرُوا لِي رَجُلَيْنِ صَالِحَيْنِ قَدْ شِهِدَا بَدْرًا فِيهِمَا أُسْوَةٌ قَالَ فَمَضَيْتُ حِينَ ذَكَرُوهُمَا لِي۔

قَالَ وَنَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ الْمُسْلِمِينَ عَنْ كَلاَمِنَا أَيُّهَا الثَّلاَثَةُ مِنْ بَيْنِ مَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهُ قَالَ فَاجْتَنَبَنَا النَّاسُ وَقَالَ تَغَيَّرُوا لَنَا حَتَّى تَنَكَّرَتْ لِي فِي نَفْسِيَ الأَرْضُ فَمَا هِيَ بِالأَرْضِ الَّتِي أَعْرِفُ فَلَبِثْنَا عَلَى ذَلِكَ خَمْسِينَ لَيْلَةً فَأَمَّا صَاحِبَاىَ فَاسْتَكَانَا وَقَعَدَا فِي بُيُوتِهِمَا يَبْكِيَانِ وَأَمَّا أَنَا فَكُنْتُ أَشَبَّ الْقَوْمِ وَأَجْلَدَهُمْ فَكُنْتُ أَخْرُجُ فَأَشْهَدُ الصَّلاَةَ وَأَطُوفُ فِي الأَسْوَاقِ وَلاَ يُكَلِّمُنِي أَحَدٌ وَآتِي رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ فَأُسَلِّمُ عَلَيْهِ وَهُوَ فِي مَجْلِسِهِ بَعْدَ الصَّلاَةِ فَأَقُولُ فِي نَفْسِي هَلْ حَرَّكَ شَفَتَيْهِ بِرَدِّ السَّلاَمِ أَمْ لاَ ثُمَّ أُصَلِّي قَرِيبًا مِنْهُ وَأُسَارِقُهُ النَّظَرَ فَإِذَا أَقْبَلْتُ عَلَى صَلاَتِي نَظَرَ إِلَىَّ وَإِذَا الْتَفَتُّ نَحْوَهُ أَعْرَضَ عَنِّي۔

حَتَّى إِذَا طَالَ ذَلِكَ عَلَىَّ مِنْ جَفْوَةِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مَشَيْتُ حَتَّى تَسَوَّرْتُ جِدَارَ حَائِطِ أَبِي قَتَادَةَ وَهُوَ ابْنُ عَمِّي وَأَحَبُّ النَّاسِ إِلَىَّ فَسَلَّمْتُ عَلَيْهِ فَوَاللَّهِ مَا رَدَّ عَلَىَّ السَّلاَمَ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ يَا أَبَا قَتَادَةَ أَنْشُدُكَ بِاللَّهِ هَلْ تَعْلَمَنَّ أَنِّي أُحِبُّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ قَالَ فَسَكَتَ فَعُدْتُ فَنَاشَدْتُهُ فَسَكَتَ فَعُدْتُ فَنَاشَدْتُهُ فَقَالَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَعْلَمُ فَفَاضَتْ عَيْنَاىَ وَتَوَلَّيْتُ حَتَّى تَسَوَّرْتُ الْجِدَارَ۔

فَبَيْنَا أَنَا أَمْشِي فِي سُوقِ الْمَدِينَةِ إِذَا نَبَطِيٌّ مِنْ نَبَطِ أَهْلِ الشَّامِ مِمَّنْ قَدِمَ بِالطَّعَامِ يَبِيعُهُ بِالْمَدِينَةِ يَقُولُ مَنْ يَدُلُّ عَلَى كَعْبِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ قَالَ فَطَفِقَ النَّاسُ يُشِيرُونَ لَهُ إِلَىَّ حَتَّى جَاءَنِي فَدَفَعَ إِلَىَّ كِتَابًا مِنْ مَلِكِ غَسَّانَ وَكُنْتُ كَاتِبًا فَقَرَأْتُهُ فَإِذَا فِيهِ أَمَّا بَعْدُ فَإِنَّهُ قَدْ بَلَغَنَا أَنَّ صَاحِبَكَ قَدْ جَفَاكَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْكَ اللَّهُ بِدَارِ هَوَانٍ وَلاَ مَضْيَعَةٍ فَالْحَقْ بِنَا نُوَاسِكَ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ حِينَ قَرَأْتُهَا وَهَذِهِ أَيْضًا مِنَ الْبَلاَءِ فَتَيَامَمْتُ بِهَا التَّنُّورَ فَسَجَرْتُهَا بِهَا۔

حَتَّى إِذَا مَضَتْ أَرْبَعُونَ مِنَ الْخَمْسِينَ وَاسْتَلْبَثَ الْوَحْىُ إِذَا رَسُولُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ يَأْتِينِي فَقَالَ إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ يَأْمُرُكَ أَنْ تَعْتَزِلَ امْرَأَتَكَ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ أُطَلِّقُهَا أَمْ مَاذَا أَفْعَلُ قَالَ لاَ بَلِ اعْتَزِلْهَا فَلاَ تَقْرَبَنَّهَا قَالَ فَأَرْسَلَ إِلَى صَاحِبَىَّ بِمِثْلِ ذَلِكَ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ لاِمْرَأَتِي الْحَقِي بِأَهْلِكِ فَكُونِي عِنْدَهُمْ حَتَّى يَقْضِيَ اللَّهُ فِي هَذَا الأَمْرِ قَالَ فَجَاءَتِ امْرَأَةُ هِلاَلِ بْنِ أُمَيَّةَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ فَقَالَتْ لَهُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ هِلاَلَ بْنَ أُمَيَّةَ شَيْخٌ ضَائِعٌ لَيْسَ لَهُ خَادِمٌ فَهَلْ تَكْرَهُ أَنْ أَخْدُمَهُ قَالَ لاَ وَلَكِنْ لاَ يَقْرَبَنَّكِ فَقَالَتْ إِنَّهُ وَاللَّهِ مَا بِهِ حَرَكَةٌ إِلَى شَىْءٍ وَوَاللَّهِ مَا زَالَ يَبْكِي مُنْذُ كَانَ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ مَا كَانَ إِلَى يَوْمِهِ هَذَا قَالَ فَقَالَ لِي بَعْضُ أَهْلِي لَوِ اسْتَأْذَنْتَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ فِي امْرَأَتِكَ فَقَدْ أَذِنَ لاِمْرَأَةِ هِلاَلِ بْنِ أُمَيَّةَ أَنْ تَخْدُمَهُ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ لاَ أَسْتَأْذِنُ فِيهَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ وَمَا يُدْرِينِي مَاذَا يَقُولُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ إِذَا اسْتَأْذَنْتُهُ فِيهَا وَأَنَا رَجُلٌ شَابٌّ۔

قَالَ فَلَبِثْتُ بِذَلِكَ عَشْرَ لَيَالٍ فَكَمُلَ لَنَا خَمْسُونَ لَيْلَةً مِنْ حِينَ نُهِيَ عَنْ كَلاَمِنَا قَالَ ثُمَّ صَلَّيْتُ صَلاَةَ الْفَجْرِ صَبَاحَ خَمْسِينَ لَيْلَةً عَلَى ظَهْرِ بَيْتٍ مِنْ بُيُوتِنَا فَبَيْنَا أَنَا جَالِسٌ عَلَى الْحَالِ الَّتِي ذَكَرَ اللَّهُ ﷻ مِنَّا قَدْ ضَاقَتْ عَلَىَّ نَفْسِي وَضَاقَتْ عَلَىَّ الأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ سَمِعْتُ صَوْتَ صَارِخٍ أَوْفَى عَلَى سَلْعٍ يَقُولُ بِأَعْلَى صَوْتِهِ يَا كَعْبَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ أَبْشِرْ قَالَ فَخَرَرْتُ سَاجِدًا وَعَرَفْتُ أَنْ قَدْ جَاءَ فَرَجٌ قَالَ فَآذَنَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ النَّاسَ بِتَوْبَةِ اللَّهِ عَلَيْنَا حِينَ صَلَّى صَلاَةَ الْفَجْرِ فَذَهَبَ النَّاسُ يُبَشِّرُونَنَا فَذَهَبَ قِبَلَ صَاحِبَىَّ مُبَشِّرُونَ وَرَكَضَ رَجُلٌ إِلَىَّ فَرَسًا وَسَعَى سَاعٍ مِنْ أَسْلَمَ قِبَلِي وَأَوْفَى الْجَبَلَ فَكَانَ الصَّوْتُ أَسْرَعَ مِنَ الْفَرَسِ فَلَمَّا جَاءَنِي الَّذِي سَمِعْتُ صَوْتَهُ يُبَشِّرُنِي فَنَزَعْتُ لَهُ ثَوْبَىَّ فَكَسَوْتُهُمَا إِيَّاهُ بِبِشَارَتِهِ وَاللَّهِ مَا أَمْلِكُ غَيْرَهُمَا يَوْمَئِذٍ وَاسْتَعَرْتُ ثَوْبَيْنِ فَلَبِسْتُهُمَا۔

فَانْطَلَقْتُ أَتَأَمَّمُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ يَتَلَقَّانِي النَّاسُ فَوْجًا فَوْجًا يُهَنِّئُونِي بِالتَّوْبَةِ وَيَقُولُونَ لِتَهْنِئْكَ تَوْبَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ حَتَّى دَخَلْتُ الْمَسْجِدَ فَإِذَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ جَالِسٌ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ وَحَوْلَهُ النَّاسُ فَقَامَ طَلْحَةُ بْنُ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ يُهَرْوِلُ حَتَّى صَافَحَنِي وَهَنَّأَنِي وَاللَّهِ مَا قَامَ رَجُلٌ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ غَيْرُهُ قَالَ فَكَانَ كَعْبٌ لاَ يَنْسَاهَا لِطَلْحَةَ قَالَ كَعْبٌ فَلَمَّا سَلَّمْتُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ قَالَ وَهُوَ يَبْرُقُ وَجْهُهُ مِنَ السُّرُورِ وَيَقُولُ أَبْشِرْ بِخَيْرِ يَوْمٍ مَرَّ عَلَيْكَ مُنْذُ وَلَدَتْكَ أُمُّكَ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ أَمِنْ عِنْدِكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَمْ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ فَقَالَ لاَ بَلْ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ وَكَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ إِذَا سُرَّ اسْتَنَارَ وَجْهُهُ كَأَنَّ وَجْهَهُ قِطْعَةُ قَمَرٍ قَالَ وَكُنَّا نَعْرِفُ ذَلِكَ قَالَ فَلَمَّا جَلَسْتُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ مِنْ تَوْبَتِي أَنْ أَنْخَلِعَ مِنْ مَالِي صَدَقَةً إِلَى اللَّهِ وَإِلَى رَسُولِهِ ﷺ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ أَمْسِكْ بَعْضَ مَالِكَ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكَ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ فَإِنِّي أُمْسِكُ سَهْمِيَ الَّذِي بِخَيْبَرَ قَالَ وَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ إِنَّمَا أَنْجَانِي بِالصِّدْقِ وَإِنَّ مِنْ تَوْبَتِي أَنْ لاَ أُحَدِّثَ إِلاَّ صِدْقًا مَا بَقِيتُ۔

قَالَ فَوَاللَّهِ مَا عَلِمْتُ أَنَّ أَحَدًا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ أَبْلاَهُ اللَّهُ فِي صِدْقِ الْحَدِيثِ مُنْذُ ذَكَرْتُ ذَلِكَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ إِلَى يَوْمِي هَذَا أَحْسَنَ مِمَّا أَبْلاَنِي اللَّهُ بِهِ وَاللَّهِ مَا تَعَمَّدْتُ كَذْبَةً مُنْذُ قُلْتُ ذَلِكَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ إِلَى يَوْمِي هَذَا وَإِنِّي لأَرْجُو أَنْ يَحْفَظَنِيَ اللَّهُ فِيمَا بَقِيَ قَالَ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ ﷻ { لَقَدْ تَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالأَنْصَارِ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ فِي سَاعَةِ الْعُسْرَةِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا كَادَ يَزِيغُ قُلُوبُ فَرِيقٍ مِنْهُمْ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّهُ بِهِمْ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ * وَعَلَى الثَّلاَثَةِ الَّذِينَ خُلِّفُوا حَتَّى إِذَا ضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ أَنْفُسُهُمْ} حَتَّى بَلَغَ { يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ} قَالَ كَعْبٌ وَاللَّهِ مَا أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَىَّ مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ قَطُّ بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَانِي اللَّهُ لِلإِسْلاَمِ أَعْظَمَ فِي نَفْسِي مِنْ صِدْقِي رَسُولَ اللَّهُ ﷺ أَنْ لاَ أَكُونَ كَذَبْتُهُ فَأَهْلِكَ كَمَا هَلَكَ الَّذِينَ كَذَبُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَالَ لِلَّذِينَ كَذَبُوا حِينَ أَنْزَلَ الْوَحْىَ شَرَّ مَا قَالَ لأَحَدٍ وَقَالَ اللَّهُ { سَيَحْلِفُونَ بِاللَّهِ لَكُمْ إِذَا انْقَلَبْتُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ لِتُعْرِضُوا عَنْهُمْ فَأَعْرِضُوا عَنْهُمْ إِنَّهُمْ رِجْسٌ وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ * يَحْلِفُونَ لَكُمْ لِتَرْضَوْا عَنْهُمْ فَإِنْ تَرْضَوْا عَنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَرْضَى عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ}۔

قَالَ كَعْبٌ كُنَّا خُلِّفْنَا أَيُّهَا الثَّلاَثَةُ عَنْ أَمْرِ أُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ قَبِلَ مِنْهُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ حِينَ حَلَفُوا لَهُ فَبَايَعَهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمْ وَأَرْجَأَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ أَمْرَنَا حَتَّى قَضَى اللَّهُ فِيهِ فَبِذَلِكَ قَالَ اللَّهُ ﷻ { وَعَلَى الثَّلاَثَةِ الَّذِينَ خُلِّفُوا} وَلَيْسَ الَّذِي ذَكَرَ اللَّهُ مِمَّا خُلِّفْنَا تَخَلُّفَنَا عَنِ الْغَزْوِ وَإِنَّمَا هُوَ تَخْلِيفُهُ إِيَّانَا وَإِرْجَاؤُهُ أَمْرَنَا عَمَّنْ حَلَفَ لَهُ وَاعْتَذَرَ إِلَيْهِ فَقَبِلَ مِنْهُ۔  

وَحَدَّثَنِيهِ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ رَافِعٍ حَدَّثَنَا حُجَيْنُ بْنُ الْمُثَنَّى حَدَّثَنَا اللَّيْثُ عَنْ عُقَيْلٍ عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ بِإِسْنَادِ يُونُسَ عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ سَوَاءً