The emergence of a pandemic virus is nothing new under the Sun. Since thousands years ago, various plague have spread on earth. One of them occurred in the 6th century, 18 H / 639 AD, during the reign of Umar bin Khattab. The plague is called Amwas (or Emmaus) because it first spread in Amwas, an area between Ramla and Baitul Maqdis, Palestine.
Infectious disease, also called tho’un Amwas plague, causes lumps throughout the body. Lumps that continue to grow until it breaks, making the patient bleed until death
Around tens of thousands of Muslims (Islamic scholars have different terms of exact numbers) died because of this deadly plague, including the Prophet’s companions. Some of them who died because of Amwas plague are:
Suhail bin Amr al-Amiri
Suhail bin Amr was the speaker and official of Quraysh. Previously, he extremely opposed the agenda of the Prophet. This companion who was given the nickname of Abu Yazid had just embraced Islam when the Conquest of Mecca occured (8 AH).
During the time of Umar bin Khattab’s caliphate, Suhail bin Amr decided to go for jihad to Sham, following his son, Abu Jandal, who first went there. He died because of the outbreak of Amwas which at that time spread to Sham.
In the final seconds of his life, his son, Abu Jandal and the Governor of Sham, Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah accompanied him to the last breath.
Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah
Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah was a senior companion of the Muhajirin. His real name was Amir bin Abdillah al-Jarrah.
Companions who belong to assabiqunal awwalun, (people who first converted to Islam) have so many virtues. He was known as someone who was very openhearted, far from malice, often advising, actively worshiping, and very compassionate. He was also a trusted person of the Prophet. He even said:
“Indeed, every people have “Amin” (a guardian / trusted person) and the trusted person of this ummah is Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah.” (Narrated by Bukhari)
Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah died because of the Amwas outbreak that plague to various directions, including Sham. The area at that time was commanded by Abu Ubaidah, during the Umar bin Khattab caliphate. As commander of the forces in Sham, Abu Ubaidah always controlled and entertained his people who were plagued by the plague.
Abu Ubaidah’s body was weakened because he thought about the condition of his people. Until finally he was attacked by this plague and died in the year 18 H, at the age of 58.
The sahaba who was crowned as one of al-mubasyaruun bil Jannah (the person who was given the good news of entering paradise) was later misled by Muadz bin Jabal. The ones who took him down to the tomb were Muadz, Amr bin Ash, and adh-Dhahak bin Qais.
Syurahbil bin Hasanah
His name is Syurahbil bin Abdullah bin al-Muthawi, Hasanah is his mother. He and his mother had migrated to Habasyah, Syurahbil also migrated to Medina, so he was known by the title dzu hijratain (owner of two migrations).
Syurahbil was one of four generals sent to invade Rome during the reign of Abu Bakr Ash-Shiddiq. The companion who was given the nickname Abu Abdillah also died because of the Amwas outbreak, on the same day as Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah.
In book of Mu’jam ash-Sahabah it is mentioned, Syurahbil was 67 years old when he passed away due to Amwas plague.
Muadz bin Jabal
Muadz bin Jabal bin Amr bin Aus was a companion from Ansar group, Banu Khazraj. He converted to Islam at a relatively young age, 18 years old. Nevertheless, his passion for defending Islam was very strong, he always fight the battle for the Prophet.
The man who was given the nickname of Abu Abdirrahman was known as a fiqh expert, even Rasulullah called him a companion who has a best understanding about halal and haram matters. Because of his skills, the Prophet had sent him to preach in Yemen.
Muadz was one of the companions who was loved by the Prophet, he once said, “Rasulullah SAW held my hand while saying to me:” I love you, O Muadz! ” Then I also said: “I also love you, O Messenger of Allah.” (Narrated by Nasai and Ahmad)
After Abu Ubaidah died, Muadz was given the mandate to replace Abu Ubaidah as a Sham Governor. But unfortunately, he also closed his age because of the plague, in 18 H. Previously, Muadz bin Jabal also took care of the body of Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah.
In the Tarikhul Islam wa wafaayat al-Masyaahir wal A’lam by Adz-Dzahabi, it is mentioned that when Muadz died, his age was 38 years old.
Fadl bin Abbas
Fadl ibn Abbas was a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. He was the eldest son of Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib ibn Hashim. At a relatively young age, Fadl had participated in the Hunain war with the Prophet. At the time of the Hajj Wada, Rasulullah piggybacked Fadl on his camel, at that time Fadhl was still young, the beard was not even growing yet.
There are several opinions about when Fadl ibn Abbas died. In al-Ishabah fi Tamyiz ash-Shahabah, based on the history of al-Waqidi, it is mentioned that Fadl ibn Abbas was also a victim of the Amwas plague that struck Sham.
Harits bin Hisham
He was a comrade of bani makhzum, the Quraysh tribe who settled in Mecca. When he did not convert to Islam, Harith bin Hisham had fought in the Battle of Badr against Muslims, along with his brother, Abu Jahal.
Harith bin Hisham just embraced Islam at the Fathu Makkah event (8 AH). However, Abu Jahal’s brother was known as a noble Muslim and is very good at Islam.
This son of Hisham bin al-Mughirah decided to join the jihad in Sham. He continued to stay in Sham until he finally died to pick him up because of the outbreak of Amwas plague.
Abu Jandal bin Suhail bin Amr
His real name is Ash bin Suhail, he was one of the best comrades who converted to Islam and experienced persecution from the Quraysh of Mecca. His father, Suhail bin Amr, had locked it because of his Islam.
When the Hudaibiyah agreement, Abu Jandal managed to escape and approached Muslims. The agreement was not yet completed, his father immediately asked his son to be returned to him and could not gather with Muslims.
This request is made to shakened his son’s faith and return to his former religion. But Abu Jandal remained strong with his faith, until finally his father embraced Islam.
Abu Jandal died because of this plague too. Previously he also had time to accompany his father, Suhail bin Amr in the last seconds of his father.
Yazid bin Abu Sufyan
His real name is Shakr bin Harb bin Umayyah. His mother’s name is Zainab bint Naufal or well known as Ummul Hakam. Yazid bin Abi Sufyan embraced Islam at the Fathu Makkah event (8 AH).
The Muawiyah’s caliph brother was known to be intelligent and brave. He had fought jihad in the Hunain war, also led the left wing of Muslim troops in the battle of Yarmuk. Yazid was also one of four Muslim generals sent to invade Rome, during the Abu Bakr Ash-Shiddiq caliphate.
After Muadz bin Jabal died, Yazid bin Abi Sufyan was appointed to be Governor of Sham, replacing Muadz’s position. It was still in the reign of Umar bin Khattab.
In book of Siyar A’lam an-Nubalaa it is mentioned, Yazid bin Abi Sufyan also died because of the amwas outbreak, in the year after, 19 H (640 AD). After the conquest of Caesarea, a small town in Israel.
After Yazid died, Amr bin Ash replaced his position in Sham, managing the Palestinian and Urdun territories. While Yazid’s brother, Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan held responsibility in Damascus, Baklabak and Balqa.
Umar bin Khattab was so devastated by the death of his friend in Sham, the father of Hafshah was tested with various trials during his reign. In the previous year, 17 AH, a long drought hit Medina, cattle were dead, trees no longer bear fruit, hundreds of Muslims died of starvation.
When the rain fell down and Umar could breathe a little, he again faced with a problem, namely the spread of the outbreak of Amwas in the years after. This outbreak only ended after Amr bin Ash took control of Sham.
After the Amwas outbreak was resolved, Amr bin Ash then went to Egypt and conquered it. Whereas the Sham area was fully managed by Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan.
Translated from the origin article https://islami.co/sahabat-sahabat-nabi-yang-wafat-karena-wabah/ written by Fera Rahmatun Nazilah on March 21, 2020.