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18 June 2019 CE | 15 Shawwal 1440 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation

Survival on a Date a Day

It was narrated that Jabir bin Abdullah (radi Allahu anhu) said: "The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) sent us, three hundred men, carrying our provisions on our necks. Our provisions ran out until there would be for (every) man among us one date (a day)." Then it was said, "O Abu Abdullah, how can one date satisfy a man?" He replied, "When we no longer had it, we realized how much it was worth. Then we came to the sea and found a whale that had been thrown up by the sea, and we ate from it for eighteen days." [Ibn Majah - graded sahih]

This hadith shows to us the devotion with which the Prophet's Sahabah (radi Allahu anhum) carried out Jihad. They continued in all circumstances, even when they did not have mounts to ride, or food to eat.

The second thing that we learn from this hadith is that dead fish are lawful to eat. Fish do not have to be slaughtered while alive, as some deviant sects believe. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said of the sea, "Its water is pure and its dead are permissible."

Finally, this hadith shows us how Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) provides from unexpected quarters. This is true of rizq/provision in general for everybody. However, mujahideen are blessed with even stranger and more unique favours from Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). It is not uncommon for Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to provide them with miracles. When miracles happen for prophets they are called mujizaat; when miracles happen for mujahideen they are called karaamaat. Karaamaat happened for the mujahideen of the earlier generations and they happen for mujahideen today as well.

The whale, that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) provided Jabir bin Abdullah’s expedition with, was so big that 300 men ate from it for 18 days and then took its dried meat back with them to Madina. Since this was special provision from Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) also asked for some of this dried meat, to partake of Allah’s unique favour on the mujahideen. The cavity of one of the eyes of this whale was so big that thirteen men could sit together in it. The largest camel that they had, fully saddled, could pass under one of the bones of its ribs without touching the rib.

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