Before we begin learning about the great Companion of Anas (radhiallahu'anhu), Thaabit al-Bunaani, I would like to share with you two quotes which I recently came across:
Some of our righteous predecessors said: “The accounts [i.e. regarding the lives of the righteous] are an army from the armies of Allah, the Most High. By it [the stories of the righteous] Allah makes firm the hearts of His awliyaa’ [friends].” [Muqaddamah ath-thaaniyyah, safahaat min sabr al-u’lama]
“The narratives regarding the scholars and their virtues are more beloved to me than a lot of fiqh [Islaamic jurisprudence], because it [contains] the aadaab [manners/refinement] of a people.” [Muqaddamah ath-thaaniyyah, safahaat min sabr al-u’lama]
With this, let’s turn to the life of the worshipper, Thaabit al-Bunaani, the student and Companion of Anas (radhiallahu'anhu).
The following quotes have been taken from Imaam adh-Dhahabi’s A’alaam an-Nubalaa’, vol 5, pg 220.
Thaabit ibn Aslam (rahimahullah) was from Basrah; he was born in the time of Mua’wiyyah’s [ra] caliphate. Since he had met and narrated from the Sahaabah he is referred to as a ‘taabi’ee’. He was a leader in both knowledge and implementation.
Thaabit ibn Aslam (rahimahullah) said,
“…I accompanied Anas ibnu Maalik for 40 years; I did not see anyone more constant in worshipping than him.”
Therefore he was a companion of the great Sahaabi Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), and not only did he learn knowledge from his teacher, but also 'ibaadah. Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) even did ruqyaa on him.
Narrated 'Abdul 'Aziz: Thaabit and I went to Anas bin Malik. Thaabit said, "O Abu Hamza! I am sick." On that Anas said,
"Shall I treat you with the Ruqyaa of Allah's Apostle?"
Thaabit said, "Yes." Anas recited,
"O Allah! The Lord of the people, the Remover of trouble! (Please) Cure (heal) (this patient), for You are the Healer. None brings about healing but You; a healing that will leave behind no ailment." (Saheeh al- Bukhari, Book 7, Volume 71, Hadith 638)
Great scholars such as Ahmad ibn Hanbal [rahimahullah] praised him. He said,
“Thaabit was strong in hadeeth and used to narrate [ahaadeeth].”
Ahmad al-A’jalee [rahimahullah] said:
“A trustworthy and righteous man.”
Imaam an-Nasaai [rahimahullah] said about him:
Abu Haatim ar-Raazee [rahimahullah] said:
“The most trustworthy companions of Anas bin Maalik were: Az-Zuhri, then Thaabit, then Qataadah.”
Ibn A’dee said:
“He was from amongst the taabi’een [people who had met at least one Sahaabi] of the people of Basrah and their ascetics and their narrators; the a’immah [leaders of hadeeth] wrote from him. From [amongst] the people the most who narrated from him was Hammaad bin Salamah…”
He narrated from the following great Companions:
- Anas ibn Maalik
- Abdullah ibn Umar, as reported in Saheeh Muslim
- Abdullah ibn Mughaffal reported in Sunan An-Nasaai
- Abdullah ibn Zubayr, as reported in al-Bukhari
- Abu Barzah al-Aslami
- Amr bin Abee Salamah al-Makhzoomee, rabeeb [the foster father/foster son] of the Prophet [sallallahu a’lyhi wa sallam], which is reported in at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasaai
and many others.
Great personalities, such as Ataa’ bin Abee Rabaah and Qataadah, narrated from him. May Allah be pleased with them all. Aameen
A True 'Aabid [Worshipper]
Anas ibnu Maalik said about him,
“Indeed khair [goodness] has its people and certainly this Thaabit is from the keys of the khair [goodness].”
Bakr al-Maznee [rahimahullah] said,
“Whosoever wants to look at the most avid worshipper from the people of his time, then let him look towards Thaabit al-Bunaani, for we did not know anyone more devoted to worshipping than him…”
Thaabit [rahimahullah], himself, said:
“I endured Salaah for twenty years and enjoyed it for [the next] twenty years.”
Shu’bah [rahimahullah] said:
“Thaabit al-Bunaani would read the Qur’aan every day and night, and would fast during the day.” [This has also been mentioned in Saheeh al-Bukhari and Muslim under the chapter pertaining to fasting.]
Hammaad ibn Salamah [rahimahullah] also said:
Thaabit recited: "Dost Thou deny Him who created Thee out of dust, then out of sperm-drop, then fashioned Thee into a man?” Then he would pray the night prayer crying and repeating it [this verse].
Hammaad ibn Zayd [rahimahullah] said:
“I saw Thaabit crying until his ribs changed.”
Ja’far ibn Sulaymaan said [rahimahullah]:
“Thaabit cried until his eyesight nearly went, then the eye-doctors (opticians) prohibited him from crying. Then he said, ‘There is no good in them if they don’t cry…’”
Hammaad ibn Salamah [rahimahullah] said: “Thaabit used to say:
‘O Allah! If You have bestowed upon anyone salaah in his grave then give me Salaah in my grave.’
It is said that this supplication was answered for him, for certainly he was seen [in a dream] after his death praying in his grave.”
Some Famous Ahaadeeth narrated by Him
Narrated Ma'bad bin Hilal Al-'Anzi: We, i.e. some people from Basra, gathered and went to Anas bin Malik, and we went in company with Thaabit Al-Bunaani so that he might ask him about the Hadeeth of Intercession on our behalf. Behold, Anas was in his place, and our arrival coincided with his Duhaa prayer. We asked permission to enter and he admitted us while he was sitting on his bed. We said to Thaabit, "Do not ask him first about anything else but the Hadeeth of Intercession." He said, "O Abu Hamza! These are your brethren from Basra coming to ask you about the Hadith of Intercession." [And then Anas [radhiallahu a’nhu] mentioned the long Hadeeth on intercession] [Bukhari :: Book 9 :: Volume 93 :: Hadith 601]
Narrated Thaabit Al-Bunaani: Anas bin Malik was asked whether they disliked the cupping for a fasting person. He replied in the negative and said, "Only if it causes weakness." [Bukhari, Book 3, Volume 31, Hadith 161]
Sayyar reported: I was walking with Thaabit al-Bunaani when he happened to pass by children and he greeted them. And Thaabit reported that he walked with Anas and he happened to pass by children and he greeted them. And Anas reported that he walked with Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) and he happened to pass by children and he greeted them. [Muslim, Book 26, Hadith 5392]
Narrated Thaabit Al-Bunaani: Anas bin Malik said to a woman of his family, "Do you know such-and-such a woman?" She replied, "Yes." He said, "The Prophet passed by her while she was weeping over a grave, and he said to her, 'Be afraid of Allah and have patience.' The woman said, 'Go away from me, for you do not know my calamity.'" Anas added, "The Prophet left her and proceeded. A man passed by her and asked her, 'What has Allah's Apostle said to you?' She replied, 'I did not recognize him.' The man said, 'He was Allah's Apostle.'" Anas added, "So that woman came to the gate of the Prophet and she did not find a gate-keeper there, and she said, 'O Allah's Apostle! By Allah, I did not recognize you!' The Prophet said, 'No doubt, patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.' [Bukhari, Book 9, Volume 89, Hadith 268]
Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) gave no better wedding feast than the one he did (on the occasion of his marriage) with Zainab.” Thaabit al-Bunaani (one of the narrators) said: “What did he serve in the wedding feast?” He (Anas) said: “He fed them bread and meat (so lavishly) that they (the guests) abandoned it (of their own accord after having taken it to their hearts' content).” [Muslim, Book 8, Hadith 3332]
Thaabit reported on the authority of Anas: “The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) came to us and there was none in our house but I, my mother and my aunt Umm Haram. He (the Holy Prophet) said: ‘Stand up so that I may lead you in prayer’ (and there was no time for prescribed prayer). He led us in prayer.” A person said to Thaabit: Where did Anas stand with him (the Holy Prophet)? He replied: He was on the right side. “He then blessed us, the members of the household, with every good of this world and the Hereafter. My mother said: ‘Messenger of Allah (and then, pointing towards Anas, said), here is your little servant, invoke the blessing of Allah upon him too.’ He then blessed me with every good, and he concluded his blessings for me (with these words): ‘Allah! Increase his wealth, and his children and make (them the source of) blessing for him.’” [Muslim :: Book 4 :: Hadith 1389] And it was said that Anas ibn Maalik had around 100 descendants from his sons and grandsons before he died, because the Prophet [peace be upon him] made this du’aa for Anas [may Allah be pleased with him]. Anas said: “From the Ansaar I have the most wealth and children”, and it was said he had 80 children, 78 males and 2 females and the daughters were called Hafsah and his second daughter is referred to as Umm ‘Amr.
Narrated Thaabit: He heard Anas saying, "A woman came to the Prophet offering herself to him in marriage, saying, "Have you got any interest in me (i.e. would you like to marry me)?" Anas's daughter said, "How shameless that woman was!" On that Anas said, "She is better than you, for she presented herself to Allah's Apostle (for marriage)." [Bukhari, Book 7, Volume 62, Hadith 53]
Narrated Isaa bin Tahman: Anas bin Malik brought out for us two sandals having two straps. Thaabit al-Bunaani said, "These were the sandals of the Prophet." [Bukhari, Book 7, Volume 72, Hadith 749]
Narrated Thaabit: Anas said, "The Prophet asked for water, so a tumbler with a broad base and not so deep, containing a small quantity of water, was brought to him whereby he put his fingers in it." Anas further said, 'I noticed the water springing out from amongst his fingers." Anas added, 'I estimated that the people who performed ablution with it numbered between seventy and eighty." [Bukhari, Book 1, Volume 4, Hadith 199]
I end with the following hadeeth reported by the Great A’abid [worshipper] Thaabit al-Bunaani, with the hope that our hearts will be moved and we will find a change in our i’baadah [worship]:
Thaabit reported it on the authority of Anas: “While leading you in prayer I do not shorten anything in the prayer. I pray as I saw the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) leading us.” He (Thaabit) said: Anas used to do that which I do not see you doing; when he lifted his head from bowing he stood up (for so long) that one would say: ‘He has forgotten (to bow down in prostration).’ And when he lifted his head from prostration, he stayed in that position, till someone would say: ‘He has forgotten (to bow down in prostration for the second sajdah).’ [Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 956]
SubhaanAllah, the likes of Thaabit [rahimahullah] carried in their chests such vast knowledge, the fruits of which could be seen in their actions.
In Arabic, ‘thaabit’ means firm; truly he was the firm companion of Anas (radhiallahu 'anhu).