He is `Amir ibn Abdullah ibn al-Jarrah. He was known as Abu Ubaydah. Abu `Ubaydah was one of the first people to accept Islam. He became a Muslim one day after Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him). In fact, it was through Abu Bakr that he became a Muslim. Abu Bakr took him, `Abdur Rahman ibn `Auf, `Uthman ibn Maz’un and al-Arqam ibn abi al-Arqam to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and together they declared their acceptance of Islam. They were thus the first pillars on which the great edifice of Islam was built.
Abu `Ubaydah lived through the harsh experience which the early Muslims underwent in Makkah, from the beginning to the end. With the early Muslims, he endured the insults and violence, and the pain and sorrow of that experience. In every trial and test, he remained firm and constant in his belief in Allah and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Abu `Ubaydah migrated to Abyssinia, and from there he traveled to Madinah.
Abu `Ubaydah is one of the ten Companions who were given the glad tidings of entering Paradise. He was a very influential member of his community. It is said that three people in the tribe of Quraysh were most prominent, had the best character and were the most modest. They were Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, `Uthman Ibn `Affan and Abu `Ubaydah Ibn Al-Jarrah.
Abu `Ubaydah contributed a great deal in defending Islam. He participated in the Prophet’s battles. For example, on the day of Uhud when the Muslims were surrounded, one of the idolaters started to shout, “Show me Muhammad! Show me Muhammad!” Abu `Ubaydah was one of a group of ten Muslims who had encircled the Prophet to protect him against the spears of the idolaters.
When the battle was over, it was found that one of the Prophet’s molar teeth was broken, his forehead was injured and two discs from his shield had penetrated his cheeks. Abu Bakr went forward with the intention of extracting these discs but Abu `Ubaydah said, “Please leave that to me.”
Abu `Ubaydah was afraid that he would cause the Prophet pain if he took the discs out with his hand, so he bit hard into one of the discs. It was extracted but one of his incisor teeth fell to the ground in the process. With his other incisor, he extracted the other disc but lost that tooth also. Abu Bakr remarked, “Abu `Ubaydah is the best of men at breaking incisor teeth!”
From his sayings we quote the following:
– “There maybe someone who takes great care of his outward appearance, whereas his religion takes less priority.”
– “Try your best to replace evil deeds with good ones. One may commit many sins, but whenever he does a good deed sincerely for Allah’s Sake, the sins committed are readily forgiven by Allah.”
Abu `Ubaydah died at the age of 58 in the 18th year of Hijrah. During that year, a plague had spread rapidly, but Abu `Ubaydah refused to leave and died as a result.