Jabir Ibn Abdullah Al Ansari – The 1st Narrator
عن جابر بن عبد الله الأنصاري
The Tradition of the Cloak has been narrated by the tongue of one of the very close and pious companions of the Holy Prophet (SA), Jabir ibn Abdullah Al Ansari, as related by many sources of the School of AhlulBayt, e.g. Sheikh Al Bahrani in his book A’walem Al Uloom. Jabir narrates this important incident through the tongue of the Master Lady of the Universe, Fatima Al Zahra (AS). It is imperative to familiarize ourselves with the character of this noble companion as he is the main narrator of this well-known and important tradition. It is commonly agreed that the higher the level of trust and degree of confidence we gain in the narrator, the higher is the confidence we will have in the tradition relayed by that narrator.
Who exactly is Jabir ibn Abdullah Al Ansari and what is notable about him?
He was the son of 'Amru` b. Huzam al-Ansa`ri al-Khazraji. He devoted his life to the members of the House of the Prophet (SA). He was the last survival among the Companions of the Prophet (SA) and he was a prominent companion of Imam Al Baqir (AS). He is unique in that he had the honor of delivering the greetings of the Prophet (SA) to his grandson Imam Al Baqir (AS).
Jabir took part in eighteen campaigns headed by the Prophet and fought in the Battle of Siffeen headed by the Commander of the faithful Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS). Jabir loved Ali (AS) very much and he was very obedient to the members of the House (AhlulBayt). He would walk through the streets of Medina and say: "'Ali is the best of all mankind. Whoever denies that is an unbeliever. O People of Ansar, educate your children to love Ali."
In testimony to the piety of Jabir ibn Abdullah Al Ansari, Imam Al-Sadiq (AS) reported on the authority of his grandfathers, “Allah revealed this verse:
‘Say I demand not, of you any reward for it (the toils of preaching) except the love of my relations.’” (42:22)
Then the Prophet (SA) rose and said: 'A right for me has been imposed on you. Will you pay it to me?' No one answered him, so he went away. On the following day, he stood up and asked the same question. No one answered him, so he left them and went away. On the third day, he also asked the same question. Then he explained: 'The right is neither gold nor silver nor food nor a drink.'
'Therefore, say it,' they demanded. 'Allah has revealed these Words of His: 'Say I demand not, of you any reward for it (the toils of preaching) except the love of my relations.' 'This is the best right,' they said" Then Imam Al Sadiq (AS) remarked: "By Allah, no one was loyal to this right except seven persons. They are Salman, Abu Dharr, Ammar, al-Muqdad ibn Al-Aswad, Jabir ibn 'Abdullah al-Ansari, the retainer of Allah's Apostle (SA), and Zayd ibn Arqam.
The Prophet (SA) asked Allah (SWT) twenty-five times to forgive Ja`bir. He died at the age of ninety-four.
Recognizing the great status of the noble companion Jabir ibn Abdullah Al Ansari, we can now understand why he was honored to narrate the famous Hadeeth Al Kisaa which will resonate in the ears of all Muslims till the end of time.