The Al-Ambar Expedition
The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) despatched towards the
sea-shore an expedition of three hundred men, under the command
of Hadhrat Abu Ubaidah (Radhiyal-laho anho) in 8 A.H. He gave them
a bag full of dates for their rations. They had been hardly out
for fifteen days when they ran short of rations.
In order to provide the contingent with food, Hadhrat Qais (Radhiyallaho
anho) began buying three camels daily from his own men, to feed
the Mujahideen, with a promise to pay on return to Madinah. The
Amir seeing that the slaughter of camels would deprive the party
of their only means of transport, prohibited him to do so.
He collected the dates that had been left with each person and
stored them in a bag. He would issue one date to each man as his
daily ration. When Hadhrat Jabir (Radhiyallaho anho) later on narrated
this story to the people, one of his audience inquired:
"How did you manage to live upon one date only for the whole
"We longed even for that one date, when the whole
stock was exhausted. We were on the verge of starvation. We moistened
the dry tree-leaves with water and ate them."
When they reached this stage, Allah had mercy on them, for He always
brings ease after every hardship, provided it is endured patiently.
A big fish known as "Ambar" was thrown out of the sea
for them. The fish was so big that they lived on it for eighteen
They also filled their satchels with the remaining portion, which
lasted them right up to Madinah. When the episode was narrated to
the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), he said:
"The fish was a provision arranged for you by Allah."
Difficulties and hardships are not uncommon in this world to the
people of Allah; these are bound to come. The Prophet (Sallallaho
alaihe wasallam) says:
"The worst trials in this world are reserved for
the Prophets, then for those who are next to them, and then for
those who are best of the rest."
The trial of a person is proportionate to his position near Allah,
and He bestows solace and comfort by His Grace and Mercy after each
trial. Look how much our ancestors in Islam have suffered in the
path of Allah. They had to live on leaves of trees, starve and shed
their blood in the service of the true faith, which we now fail
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