Soaring through Sacrifice

Shaykh Abdullah Waheed
February 18, 2024

The strive to return home to an everlasting love became the voluntary acceptance of the Companions’ servitude to Allahﷻ. This permanent triumph is what buoyed their spirits in every moment of great sacrifice forged in His path; even if the outcome meant losing their loved ones or their own lives.


Any form of love implies a sacrifice; and one chooses that sacrifice to reach a level of fulfillment as part of the proclamation of their love. In consonance with the eternal longing to meet Allahﷻ, coupled with the anticipated bliss of the Hereafter, death filled the Companions’ hearts with exhilaration and it shaped their notion of sacrifice. 

The most intimate form of sacrifice is attained through the most difficult of human accomplishments — surrender. Out of devotion to Allahﷻ, the Prophet ﷺ himself made a myriad of sacrifices. He summoned his closest Companions and sent them on the furthest voyages in faraway lands for the service of the Deen. It was a difficult task to part with the ones he wholeheartedly loved, taking a grudging risk of never seeing them again, but in surrendering to Allahﷻ, he chose what is right over what is easy.

The Beautiful Surrender

Jaʿfar ibn Abī Ṭālib was a man who deeply devoted himself to the Deen and completely surrendered himself to Allahﷻ. This was indicated by his receptivity to sacrifice; he would do anything for his beloved cousin, the Prophet ﷺ, without batting an eye. 

As one of the early Muslims, Jaʿfar was not more than twenty years old when the Prophet ﷺ sent him and his wife to Abyssinia, leaving him in charge of a small delegation of believers during their migration there. It must’ve been daunting to be entrusted with such a huge mission, but the Prophet ﷺ saw the one who resembled him the most in appearance and conduct, as the perfect fit — and Jaʿfar didn’t disappoint. In fact, he rose to the occasion in defense of the Muslims in the court of the Abyssinian king, Najashi.

In what is recounted as a momentous occasion, Jaʿfar confidently stood in front of Najashi, enlightening the room with his extremely eloquent speech. On top of that, his moving recitation of the Qur’an left the entire court silenced by serenity — the king was so gripped by the message Jaʿfar imparted, he wept till his beard became drenched with his tears.

Jaʿfar succeeded not only in gaining safety for the Muslims, but spreading the faith in the African continent for the first time ever. While Jaʿfar stayed put with his troops in Abyssinia, major events were unfolding for the Muslims back home; he was kept in the loop, but only from a distance. It wasn’t until their decisive victory over the Jews in Khaibar that Jaʿfar could finally return to the loving embrace of the one he yearned to see.

Tears of joy welled up Jaʿfar’s eyes upon gazing at his beloved after a long and painful separation. Their mutual cherishment for one another was apparent.  The Prophet ﷺ who was equally elated to see Jaʿfar, exclaimed, “I do not know which makes me feel happier, Khaibar's conquest or Jaafar's arrival.” Unfortunately, their joyful reunion was short-lived, as Jaʿfar was once again summoned; this time, for the Battle of Mu`tah, which would cement his honor in history. 

The Prophet’s farewell bid to his army, would sadly be his final farewell to his dearest cousin. Jaʿfar fearlessly fought the enemy in one of the bloodiest battles which saw fellow appointed leaders and courageous comrades, Zaid ibn Haritha and `Abdullah ibn Rawaha similarly fall as martyrs. 

Despite having both his arms cut off in the bloodbath, with whatever strength that was left, Jaʿfar hugged the Prophet’s banner tightly to his chest. He wasn’t unnerved. The valiant fighter suffered from close to a hundred wounds on his body that day, willingly surrendering his soul to Allahﷻ. In the last moments before his death, Jaʿfar’s longing for Paradise heightened, he uttered, “How wonderful Paradise is. I can see it approaching with its sweet and cool drink.”

Blessed with a vision from Allahﷻ, the Prophet ﷺ witnessed the fierce scene playing out right before him. Mourning the loss of his closest ones, his conversation companions, Zaid and Jaʿfar, the Prophet ﷺ stood on the minbar and relayed, as tears streamed down his blessed face:

‏ مَا يَسُرُّهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ عِنْدَنَا

“It would not please them to be with us.”

Grief overcame the Prophet ﷺ, but Jaʿfar was destined to soar high with the angels in Paradise. For his unprecedented sacrifice for Islam, he acquired more than heavens’ delights — Allahﷻ awarded him with two wings to ascend to greater heights. His heroic feat also earned him the honorary title, ذِي الْجَنَاحَيْنِ (the two-winged person), and the Prophet’s face must’ve been irradiating with pride when he caught a glimpse of this incredible sight. He told his Companions:

‏  رَأَيْتُ جَعْفَرًا يَطِيرُ فِي الْجَنَّةِ مَعَ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ ‏

“I saw Ja'far flying in Paradise with the angels.”

The Hereafter is Better

When it comes to love, we rarely stop to think about investing in our sacrifice for Allahﷻ. Instead, we spend our finite lives holding on to our bonds with people in high regard, that the moments of separation with them become inherently difficult. Truth be told, if we focus on the Hereafter, the larger reality will shift our interpretation of their departure from this temporal milieu.

In the end, true love is not love that is bound to earth. Though we place an importance on being together with the ones we love in this dimension of limited time, a far greater emphasis needs to be made for our reunion with them in the realm of boundlessness.

The feeling of fondness for the world may delude us once in a while, but we should never lose sight of what’s to come; for everything with Allahﷻ will be forevermore. His promise of Paradise is true for the one who surrenders and strives in His path — it is the greatest victory we aspire to achieve. All our sacrifices will pay off, so why take a drop of pleasure now and ruin our chances of getting so much more in the Hereafter? As the Prophet ﷺ eloquently puts it:  

مَا أَخَذَتِ الدُّنْيَا مِنَ الآخِرَةِ إِلا كَمَا أَخَذَ مِخْيَطٌ غُرِسَ فِي الْبَحْرِ مِنْ مَائِهِ

“What is the world compared to the Hereafter but like a needle dipped into the ocean compared to its vast waters?” (al-Ṭabarānī)

Click here to to download this article
article pdf
Trending Articles
Other Articles


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Continue reading >