“Walk upto the Grand Bazaar and take Bus No.39”, was the short and sweet advice when I asked a passerby how to go to the shrine of a great Sahaba, Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansari.
Of all the Sahabas, Hazrat Abu Ansari had a unique honor. When the Holy Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (SAAW), migrated to Medina on his camel, all the residents stood in the way and, one after another, begged him (saw) to stay with them. Not to disappoint anyone, the Holy Prophet (saw) left it to the camel to do the choosing. The camel moved for a while and then sat before the house of Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansari. The Prophet stayed in his house for several months thus bestowing him a unique honor in the Islamic History.
His real name was Khalid Bin Zaid (ra). As per tradition in Arab World, he was known by the kunya as Abu Ayub (father of Ayub). He was born in 576 in the family of Banu Najjar of Medina. He learnt Quran by heart and collected 150 Hadith. He loved to fight for Allah. In fact, he participated in almost every conflict in the early Islamic history notably Badr, Uhud, Hendek, Khyber, the Conquest of Mecca, Hunayn and Tabuk. So much so whenever a flag was raised, he was there with his life and wealth.
When the Muslim Army marched towards Istanbul, he was ready and raised his sword high despite being 80 years old. It was in this war that he met his destiny and became a martyr (Shaheed) in 679. Thus he lived for over 100 years.
His wife was Umme Ayub. She assisted him while he was playing host to the Great Prophet. They had three sons: Ayub, Khalid and Muhammad and a daughter named Umrah. Later, their off-springs spread out in many parts of the world specially Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.
A noted writer, Ali Ural, describes him as follows:
“He is not just an imposing warrior. He is a scribe of revelation, one who brings verses together. He is a memorizer of the entire Quran. He is a faqi whose fatwas are trusted by the people. He is an imam who leads the prayers in the Masjid Nabvi when Hazrat Usman (RA) is confined.”
Tomb of Hazrat Ayub Ansari, Istanbul
The maqam is located by the sea known as the Golden Horn. I reached there in about half an hour spending less than a dollar. The place was known as “Eyup Sultan” and was a complex of mosque, the tomb and resting places of other Sahaba’s.
There is no entry fee. Rather plastic bags were provided free of cost for keeping shoes. In addition, the ladies were given scarves for covering their heads. Quite a large number of people had come to visit the maqam. Local women, wearing colorful dresses, were whispering versus from the Holy Koran. Their presence coupled with flocks of pigeons and old trees created a mystical charm.
I joined the queue and in about 15 minutes I was offering Fatiha before tomb of the great Sahaba (ra). The tomb was very decorative. It is in an octagonal shape. The rodha itself is enclosed in with beautiful silver railing. There is calligraphy, crystal chandeliers and decorative pieces all over.This page is wiki editable click here to edit this page.