Talha bin Ubaydullah (r.a.)

Hz. Talha bin Ubaydullah, who was praised and complemented by Allah and His Messenger many times due to his heroism and unmatched virtues and whose heroism during the Battle of Uhud has always been mentioned admiringly, was one of the closest Companions of the Messenger of Allah, one of the prominent people of the period of Four Caliphs and one of the unchanging and distinguished members of the consultation assemblies. He is a distinguished Companion that devoted his life to Allah and His Messenger. The Prophet gave him the glad tidings of endless bliss in this world; thus, he became one of the ten peoplewho were promised Paradise (ashara al-mubashshara) when he was alive.     

Hz. Talha became a Muslim after a journey. He was in Basra for trade when he heard from a priest that Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) had declared his prophethood. He searched this news as soon as he returned to Makkah. He talked to Hz. Abu Bakr, who was the first Muslim. He went to the Messenger of Allah together with Hz. Abu Bakr. At this first meeting, the light of guidance entered his heart. He joined the Muslims. [1]

Then, the tortures and pressures of the polytheists started. His brother, who was a polytheist, was one of the leading people who put pressure on him. He was kept hungry and thirsty for days. They made him walk around by tying his hands around his neck. He was insulted. However, he put with those troubles patiently thanks to the strength coming from his belief and did not give up his belief.  

After migrating to Madinah, the Prophet made Hz. Talha and Ubayy bin Kab brothers. 

Hz. Talha did not join the Battle of Badr because the Prophet had sent him with Said bin Zayd to obtain information about the caravan of the polytheists headed by Abu Sufyan. He did not take part in the war due to this duty but the Prophet gave him his share from the booty obtained at the Battle of Badr.

The heroism of Hz. Talha during the Battle of Uhud became proverbial. When the polytheists started to attack the Messenger of Allah with might and main in order to kill him, he was one of those who formed a wall of flesh around the Prophet. He promised that he would die but would not leave the Prophet. When the polytheists attacked very severely, the Messenger of Allah said,  

"Who will resist them?" Hz. Talha said,

"I will."

However, the Prophet did not allow him. A Companion from Ansar stood up and started to fight. He was martyred. Another group of polytheists attacked. The Messenger of Allah asked the same question. Hz. Talha said,

"I will. O Messenger of Allah !"

The Prophet did not allow him. A Companion from Ansar stood up and started to fight. He was martyred. When the third group arrived, the Prophet allowed him to fight. Hz. Talha fought heroically and repulsed the group of the polytheists. 

During the most terrifying moment of the battle, the Prophet asked Hz. Talha,

"Will you protect my body with your body and sacrifice yourself for me? Hz. Talha said,

"O Messenger of Allah! May my body be sacrificed for you!" And he kept his promise.

Hz. Talha's body was wounded in several places but he did not leave the Prophet. Once, he fainted due to blood loss. The Messenger of Allah said to Hz. Abu Bakr to take care of him. When Hazrat Abu Bakr sprinkled some water on his face, Hazrat Talha came round. His first question was,

"What is the Messenger of Allah doing?" Hz. Abu Bakr said,

"Thank Allah, he is all right. He sent me to you."  Then, Talha said,

"Thank Allah! If the Prophet is alive, no misfortune is important for us!" Then, he went to the Messenger of Allah.

The Prophet prayed for him: "O Allah! Give him cure and strength." Thanks to the abundance of this prayer, Hz. Talha continued to fight as if nothing had happened. Then, Hz. Talha placed the Prophet on his shoulders and carried him to a high place.

Talha had seventy-five wounds in his body at Uhud. The Prophet named him "Talhatu'l-Khayr (Good Talha)" due to his sacrifice and heroism. He also said, "Paradise became wajib for Talha. He did something that will take him to Paradise.[2]

Hz. Talha narrates an incident that makes him very happy as follows:

"Once one of the Companions asked the Messenger of Allah who were the people that still waited in the following verse: ‘Among the Believers are men who have been true to their Covenant with Allah: of them some have completed their vow (to the extreme) and some (still) wait,'

The Prophet did not answer. The Companion repeated the question three times but he did not answer. Meanwhile, I entered the mosque with a green garment on me. When the Messenger of Allah saw me, he asked, 'Where is the person who asked the question?' He said, 'I am here.' The Messenger of Allah pointed to me and said, 'He is one of those who wait.'" [3]

Abu Talha joined the Battle of Khandaq, the Conquest of Makkah, the Battle of Hunayn and Tabuk and all of the expeditions that the Prophet joined.

Hz. Talha was a wealthy person. He was a merchant but after the Migration, he also worked in agriculture. However, he was very modest in eating, drinking and dressing. He made jihad with both his sword and his property. He joined the campaign in order to equip the army before the Expedition of Tabuk enthusiastically. He gave most of his wealth to the Messenger of Allah to use for the army of jihad and said,    

"This is a small present to you from Talha."

The Prophet became very happy due to his generosity and complemented him:

"O Talha! You are very munificent and generous."

Once Hz. Talha bought a water-well and endowed it for the believers who went to jihad so that they would not suffer thirst. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) gave him the nickname, "Talhatu'l-Jud [Tal­ha the Generous]" due to his heroism and generosity during the Battle of Hunayn.

Hz. Talha was a very hospitable person. Once he entertained two people who had just become Muslims. One of them was more zealous than the other. After a while, the zealous one died in a battle. The other died one year after him. After a while, Hz. Talha saw them in his dream. Both of them were waiting to enter Paradise. The one that died later was given permission to enter before the other one. 

In the morning, Hz. Talha told the Prophet about his dream. The Companions that were present there were astonished. They asked the Messenger of Allah about the wisdom behind it. The Prophet started to speak by asking them a question: 

"Did he not live one year longer than the other one did?" The Companions said,

"Yes, he did, O Messenger of Allah!"

The Prophet continued,

"Did he not fast in the month of Ramadan?" They said,

"Yes, he did."

"Did he not worship one year longer than the other one did?"

"Yes, he did."

When the Prophet received the answer "yes" to all of his questions, he said,

"Then, the difference between them is like the distance between the earth and the sky." [4]

Hz. Talha was a genial person. His geniality was felt more at home. He never rejected anybody who wanted something from him. He would thank for the smallest favor.   

Hz. Talha, who joined the Farewell Hajj, felt very sorry when the Prophet died. He was so sorry that he retired to a corner and started to weep sadly while the other Companions were negotiating about the caliph after the Prophet.

Paying allegiance to Hz. Abu Bakr for his caliphate, Hz. Talha served as a member of his consultation committee until he died. The Muslims applied to him for various issues. 

Two years later, Hz. Abu Bakr became ill. He started to talk to the prominent Companions about the caliph to come after him. When he asked Hz. Talha about his opinion, he said Hz. Umar was fitting for the caliphate as follows:

"The one that really deserves this post is Umar. When Allah Almighty asks you to whom you entrusted the work of Muslims, you can easily say, ‘I entrusted it to Hz. Umar.'"

During the caliphate of Hz. Umar, he continued his duty in the consultation committee. He expressed his sagacious views about the issues presented to the committee. 

For instance, when the issue of the distribution of the land that was conquered to the mujahids was being negotiated, Hz. Umar objected to the distribution because the land did not belong only to the mujahids that conquered it; it was the land of the generations to come. Hz. Talha supported the view of Hz. Umar regarding the issue and this view was accepted by the committee.

Hz. Talha was among the candidates of the caliph proposed by Hz.Umar before his death. He waived and voted for Hz. Uthman. He always supported Hz. Uthman against the mischievous activities of the munafiqs. However, the events developed so fast that it was impossible to stop them. The last part of the life of Hz. Talha was full of these incidents. He was killed by the munafiqs. When he reached the rank of martyrdom and attained his Lord after a life full of honor, he was 64 years old.  

Hz. Ali felt very sorry when he was killed. He approached his dead body and said, 

"O Talha! It is very difficult for me to bury you under the ground under the sky full of stars. I wish I had died 20 years ago and had not lived today."

May Allah be pleased with them!

[1] Usdul-Ghaba, 3: 59.
[2] Tabaqat, 3: 217-220; Mustadrak, 3: 374; Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 22.
[3] Hilya, 1: 87; Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, 12: 90.
[4] Musnad, 1: 163.

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