I loved this story from the Sirah (Prophet’s life) so much that I want to tell the whole world about it! The story of his companion Thawban (r) and his infinite love for the Prophet Mohammad (s) that granted him the eternal company of the Prophet, in this world and also in the hereafter.
Thawban (r) was from Yemen. He was sold as a slave in the market. The Prophet paid the necessary money and bought him. Then, he freed Thawban. However, Thawban warmed to the Messenger of Allah, who was a vast ocean of compassion, all of a sudden. He did not want to leave the Prophet. Noticing this, the Prophet made him the following offer:
“Return to your family and live with them if you wish. Or, stay with us here with Ahl al-Bayt.”
This was an offer that Thawban (r) wanted very much. He decided to stay with the Messenger of Allah without thinking.
Thus, Thawban (r) attained the honour of serving the family of the Prophet. He was also the special servant of the Prophet. He was a clever, shrewd and an intelligent person. He fulfilled every order of the Prophet and performed his duties perfectly.
Thawban (r), was a lover of the Prophet who could not put up with being separated from him. He sometimes remained away from the Prophet due to some of his duties away. Once, he came to the presence of the Messenger of Allah in a terrible state. His face was pale, his body was weak and there was an expression of sorrow in his face. When the Prophet saw him like that, he asked him:
“O Thawban! What has happened? Are you ill?” Thawban (r) replied as follows:
“O Messenger of Allah! I am not ill nor have I any pain. When we come to your presence, we look at your face, sit next to you and listen to you. When I do not see you, my love toward you increases; I feel grievous until I rejoin you. Then, I remember the hereafter and fear that I will not be able to see you there. For, you will be in a higher station with the prophets in paradise and I will be in a lower position. I am worried that I will not be able to see you there.”
Prophet Mohammad (s) listened to Thawban (r) and was about to answer him when Jibril delivered the following revelation:
“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger will be in the company of those blessed by Allah: the prophets, the people of truth, the martyrs, and the righteous—what honourable company!” [Quran, 4: 69].
When the revelation was completed, Thawban (r) was highly excited. He felt like a child due to his happiness. He received the reward of his love towards the Messenger of Allah in the world; he also received the glad tiding of seeing his blessed face in paradise.
May Allah allow us all to be of those and increase our love for Him, His Messenger, and all that He loves and has commands us to love. May Allah also allow us to obey Him and His Messenger to the best of our ability and with the correct understanding. Ameen.