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Online Quran Academy - Islamic Mentors

The Life and Legacy of Hazrat Zubair bin Awwam (RA)



Hazrat Zubair bin al-Awwam (RA) was indeed one of the closest companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). He was famous for his bravery, strong faith, and significant contributions to the early Muslim community. Hazrat Zubair bin al-Awwam (RA) was among the first to accept Islam and stayed loyal to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). He played a vital role during the early years of Islam, taking part in almost every major battle with the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). He showed outstanding courage and leadership in these battles, helping to shape the future of the Muslim community.

Good News of Paradise (Jannah)

Hazrat Zubair bin Awwam (RA) is honored as one of the ten Ashra Mubashra companions to whom the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) promised Paradise. He was recognized for his firm faith and courage and participated in most battles alongside the Prophet (SAW), playing a crucial role in their success. He gained the good Naveed of Paradise (Jannat) for the following reasons.

  • Hazrat Zubair (RA) was an early convert to Islam and played a significant role in its spread and establishment.
  • He was known as the Hawari of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
  • He was the first to draw a sword in the way of Allah (SWT).

The hadith below reveals that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was explicitly named Zubair (RA), along with other Ashra Mubashra Sahaba.

Narrated by Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Awf (RA):

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Abu Bakr is in Paradise, ‘Umar is in Paradise, ‘Uthman is in Paradise, ‘Ali is in Paradise, Talhah is in Paradise, Az-Zubair is in Paradise, ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Awf is in Paradise, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas is in Paradise, Sa’eed bin Zaid is in Paradise, and Abu’ Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah is in Paradise.” 

[Jami at-Tirmidhi 3747]

For more information about ten Ashra Mubashra Sahaba, read this blog: The Ashra Mubashra: The Ten Companions Promised Paradise.

Family Background

There’s some debate about his birth year. While 594 CE is a common estimate, some sources say it could be between 593 and 598 CE. He belonged to the respected Banu Asad clan of the Quraysh crew, one of the most prominent crews in pre-Islamic Arabia. His father, Al-Awwam ibn Khuwaylid, was known for his lineage and honorable standing within the Quraysh. Hazrat Zubair bin al-Awwam’s (RA) mother was Safiyyah bint Abd al-Muttalib, known for her strength and courage. His family was well-regarded in Mecca for their leadership and power.

Relation with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

  • His father, Hazrat Zubair bin Awwam (RA), and Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) share a common ancestor in the fifth generation named Qusayy.
  • Through his mother, Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) and Hazrat Zubair (RA) are first cousins. Safiyya (RA) is the paternal aunt of the Prophet (PBUH) and the sister of Hazrat Hamza (RA).
  • Hazrat Khadija bint Khuwaylid (RA), the beloved wife of the Messenger (PBUH), is the paternal aunt of Hazrat Zubair (RA). Hazrat Khadija (RA) was the sister of Hazrat Zubair’s (RA) father, Awwam ibn Khuwaylid.

Childhood and Youth

Hazrat Zubair bin Awwam (RA) grew up without his father, who passed away before his birth or during his early childhood. Hazrat Zubair (RA) faced the challenge of growing up without his father as a child. It was reported that while Hazrat Zubair (RA) was a child, Hazrat Safiyya (RA) punished him for wrongdoing by beating him. When Zubair’s (RA) paternal uncle, Nawfal ibn Khuwailid, heard his nephew’s cries, he got involved. He asked Safiyya (RA) to stop the painful punishment because she hated her child. Then his mother said,

“Whoever says I am angry with him, he is a liar – For I beat him so that he may become courageous and defeat armies and return with the spoils of the dead; I do this lest he takes his wealth and retreats into privacy, eating dates and bread.” 

[al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez al-Sahabah, Vol. 2, p. 458]

Hazrat Zubair (RA) witnessed many changes in Mecca when he was young. He observed unfair practices and immoral behavior among the people of the Quraysh crew, to which he belonged.

Physical Appearance

Hazrat Zubair (RA) was a thin but muscular young man. His most notable characteristic was his height; he was much taller than average. When he rode a horse, his feet could reach the ground. He had a darker face and a light beard.

The Holy Prophet’s (SAW) Disciple

Hazrat Zubair (RA) is known as “Al-Hawari” in Islamic history, which means “The Disciple.” This title reflects his close bond and loyal following of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The term itself can be translated to mean “supporters” or “helpers,” highlighting their important role in supporting the Prophet (SAW) and his mission.

Narrated by Hazrat Jabir (RA):

Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Indeed, every Prophet has a Hawari and, [indeed], my Hawari is Az-Zubair [bin Al-‘Awwam].” And Abu Na’im added, “On the Day of Al-Ahzab, he (SAW) said: ‘Who will bring us news about their party?’ Az-Zubair said: ‘I will.’ He said it three times. Az-Zubair said (each time): ‘I will.'”

[Jami at-Tirmidhi 3745]

Acceptance of Islam and Oppression of His Uncle

Hazrat Zubair (RA) was one of the earliest converts to Islam, accepting the faith at a young age, probably around 12-15 years old. Early Muslims faced oppression from the Quraysh crew, and Zubair (RA) was no exception. He tolerated hardships for his beliefs but remained steadfast in his faith despite the challenges.

Zubair (RA), a very brave youth, was a great Muslim general during the Islamic conquests. His paternal uncle also tortured him. He would wrap him up in a mat and fill it with smoke from underneath to suffocate him. He would then say, ‘Will you now leave Islam or not?’ However, he would tolerate this torture and reply, ‘After having found the truth, I cannot deny it.'” (Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 196-197)

The First to Draw a Sword in the Way of Allah (SWT)

Along with Hazrat Zubair bin Awwam (RA), other companions such as Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) and Hazrat Ali (RA) are also mentioned in some narrations. They are recognized as the first persons to draw a sword in the way of Allah (SWT). Here is an incident narrated where he drew his sword in the way of Allah (SWT).

Hazrat Saeed bin Musayyib(ra) relates that Hazrat Zubair bin Awwam (RA) was the first to draw his sword in the way of Allah (SWT). Once, Hazrat Zubair (RA) was resting in the valley of Mataabikh (the name of a place in Mecca) when he suddenly heard that Muhammad (SAW) had been killed. He quickly left his house while handling his sword. The Holy Prophet (SAW) passed by the place where Hazrat Zubair (RA) was resting and asked him, “Zubair, stop! What is the matter?”

He said he heard someone saying that the Holy Prophet (SAW) had been martyred. The Holy Prophet (SAW) asked, “What could you have done even if I had been martyred?” Hazrat Zubair (RA) replied, “I swear by Allah (SWT), I had intended to kill every single person dwelling in Mecca.” At that moment, the Holy Prophet (SAW) especially prayed for him. The Holy Prophet (SAW) also prayed for Hazrat Zubair’s (RA) sword in one narration. Hazrat Saeed bin Musayyib (RA) said, “I am certain that Allah Almighty will not let this prayer of the Holy Prophet (SAW) go in vain.” [Kitab Fazail-ul-Sahaba]

Hazrat Zubair’s Role in Major Ghazwat

Hazrat Zubair bin al-Awwam (RA) displayed immense bravery in major Ghazwas, including Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, and Khaybar. He was important in key victories and earned the Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) recognition for his courageous contributions.

Ghazwa Badr

During the Ghazwa Badr, Hazrat Zubair bin al-Awwam (RA) was one of the few who rode a horse. He was severely wounded during the battle. On the battlefield of Badr, he displayed great courage in fighting. Some narrations mention 1000 angels sent by Allah (SWT) to aid the Muslims, and it is said that they wore yellow turbans, similar to Zubair (RA), who wore one that day.

For more information about Ghazwa Badr, visit this blog: The Significance of the Battle of Badr.

Ghazwa Uhud

During the Battle of Uhud, Hazrat Zubair (RA) was eager to take the Prophet’s (SAW) sword when offered to the companions. The Prophet (SAW) ultimately entrusted it to Abu Dujana (RA), and Zubair (RA) witnessed his courageous fight, recognizing the wisdom in the Prophet’s (SAW) decision. After the battle, even though he was injured and tired, Hazrat Zubair (RA) quickly answered the Prophet’s call to gather again, showing his strong commitment and dedication.

If you want to learn more about the Battle of Uhud, visit this link: Historical Background of the Battle of Uhud.

Ghazwa Khandaq (Battle of the Trench)

Hazrat Zubair bin Awwam (RA) was honored during the Battle of the Trench. For weeks, the Muslims were surrounded by a large army, and their supplies were decreasing. There were rumors that the crew Banu Qurayza within Madinah was preparing to attack the Muslims from within.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said on the Day of Quraizah: ‘Who will bring us news of the people?’ Zubair said: ‘I will.’ The Prophet said: ‘Who will bring us news of the people?’ Zubair said: ‘I will,’ three times. Every Prophet has a Hawari (sincere supporter or disciple), and my Hawari is Zubair.'” 

(Sunan Ibn Majah 122)

Zubair confirmed the rumors upon his return, reporting that Banu Qurayza had gathered their sheep into the fortress and were saddling their horses.

For more information about Ghazwa Khandaq, visit this link: The Battle Of Trench (Ghazwa Khandaq).

Ghazwa Khaybar

In the battle of Khaybar, a famous, powerful soldier named Yasir, described as a giant, was in the enemy ranks. He had killed several Muslims and kept challenging them to come forward and fight him. When no Muslim dared to face him, Zubair (RA) accepted his challenge and confronted him.

Hazrat Safiyya (RA), the mother of Zubair (RA), witnessed this on the battlefield. She cried to Rasulullah (PBUH), pleading with him to do something, fearing that her son would be killed in the encounter. But the Prophet (PBUH) informed her that Zubair (RA) would not be martyred; instead, Yasir would be killed at the hands of her son. As predicted, Zubair (RA) slayed Yasir.

It is said that Hazrat Zubair bin Awwam (RA) struck Yasir with such a blow that he was cut in half, splitting the saddle he was sitting on. Afterward, some Muslims commented on how sharp his sword must have been. Zubair (RA) replied that it was not the sword’s sharpness but rather the strength of the arm that wielded it that dealt the blow.

Conquest of Makkah

When the Holy Prophet (SAW) was granted victory over Mecca, Hazrat Zubair bin Awwam (RA) stood on the right flank of the army, while Hazrat Miqdad bin Aswad (RA) was appointed to stand on its left flank. When the Holy Prophet (SAW) entered the city of Mecca, and the people felt assured against any revenge, Hazrat Zubair (RA) and Hazrat Miqdad (RA) arrived while mounted on their horses. The Holy Prophet (SAW) stood and wiped the dust from their face. He stated, “I have assigned two portions of the spoil for the cavaliers and one for those on foot. Whosoever gives a share less than this, may Allah grant them less as well.

Visit this blog post for more information about the Conquest of Makkah.

The Battle of the Camel & The Death of Zubair (RA)

The Battle of the Camel took place in 656 CE during the early years of the Islamic Caliphate. It occurred after the assassination of the third Caliph, Hazrat Uthman ibn Affan (RA). Hazrat Zubair bin al-Awwam (RA) participated in this battle, along with Hazrat Talha (RA) and Hazrat Aisha (RA). They aimed to peacefully address the grievances and seek justice for Hazrat Uthman’s (RA) murder. However, misunderstandings and tensions led to a battle. Despite his involvement, Hazrat Zubair (RA) did not want Muslims to fight each other. After being reminded by Hazrat Ali (RA) of a prophecy by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Hazrat Zubair (RA) left the battle, hoping to avoid further conflict.

Circumstances Surrounding His Death

After leaving the Battle of the Camel, Hazrat Zubair bin Awwam (RA) was tragically killed. While leaving the battlefield, he was followed by a member of the opposing side. Hazrat Zubair (RA) found a place to pray, but during his prayers, he was treacherously attacked and martyred by Amr ibn Jurmuz, who hoped to gain favor with Hazrat Ali (RA). However, Hazrat Ali (RA) condemned this act, expressing sadness over losing a noble companion and grieving the tragic circumstances.






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