SubhanAllah, another of the highlights from the Nur of highlights of the Makkan sojourn was visiting and collecting the Mubarak water from the well in ‘Usfan that our Beloved Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam spat in when on his way to Makkah with the intention of performing Umrah in 6th AH, which was subsequently aborted, leading to the Treaty of Hudaybiyah.
This is also where the revelation of the Ayat for Salatul Khawf was sent down:
When you [Prophet] are with believers, leading them in prayer, let a group of them stand in prayer with you, taking their weapons with them, and when they have finished their prostration, let them take up their positions at the back. Then let the other group, who have not yet prayed, pray with you, also on their guard and armed with their weapons: the disbelievers would dearly love you to be heedless of your weapons and baggage, in order for them to take you in a single assault. (4:102)
Narrated AbuAyyash az-Zuraqi RadhiAllahu anhu: We accompanied the Apostle of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam at ‘Usfan, when Khalid ibn al-Walid was the chief of unbelievers. We offered the noon prayer. Thereupon, the unbelievers said: We suffered from negligence; we became careless. We should have attacked them while they were praying. Thereupon the verse was revealed, relating to the shortening of the prayer (in time of danger) between the noon and afternoon (prayer). When the time of the afternoon prayer came, the Apostle of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam stood facing the qiblah. The people stood in a row behind the Apostle of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam and there was another row behind this row. The Apostle of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam bowed and all of them bowed. He then prostrated and also the row near him prostrated. The other people in the second row remained standing and stood guard over them. When they performed two prostrations and stood up, those who were behind them prostrated. The people in the front row near him then stepped backward taking the place of the people in the second row and the second row took the place of the first row. The Apostle of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam then bowed and all of them bowed together. Then he and the row near him prostrated themselves. The other people in the second row remained standing and stood guard over them. When the Apostle of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam and the row near him (i.e. the front row) were seated, the people in the second row behind them prostrated themselves. Then all of them were seated. The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam then uttered the salutation upon all of them. He prayed in his manner at ‘Usfan as well as at the territory of Banu Sulaym. (Abu Dawud)
An informative clip on Salatul Khawf on islamictube.
Various other Ahadith mention incidents related to ‘Usfan:
Narrated Tawus: Ibn Abbas RadhiAllahu anhu said, “Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam travelled in the month of Ramadan and he fasted till he reached a place called ‘Usfan, then he asked for a tumbler of water and drank it by the daytime so that the people might see him. He broke his fast till he reached Mecca.” Ibn Abbas RadhiAllahu anhu used to say, “Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam fasted and sometimes did not fast while traveling, so one may fast or may not (on journeys)” (Sahih Muslim)
Narrated Anas bin Malik RadhiAllahu anhu: We were in the company of the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam while returning from ‘Usfan, and Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam was riding his she-camel keeping Safiya bint Huyay RadhiAllahu anha riding behind him. His she-camel slipped and both of them fell down. Abu Talha RadhiAllahu anhu jumped from his camel and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! May Allah sacrifice me for you.” The Prophet said, “Take care of the lady.” So, Abu Talha covered his face with a garment and went to Safiya and covered her with it, and then he set right the condition of their she-camel so that both of them rode, and we were encircling Allah’s Apostle like a cover. When we approached Medina, the Prophet said, “We are returning with repentance and worshipping and praising our Lord.” He kept on saying this till he entered Medina. (Sahih Muslim)
Narrated Saburah: Ar-Rabi’ ibn Saburah said on the authority of his father Saburah RadhiAllahu anhu: We went out along with the Apostle of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam till we reached ‘Usfan, Suraqah ibn Malik al-Mudlaji said to him: Apostle of Allah, explain to us like the people as if they were born today. He said: Allah, the Exalted, has included this umrah in your hajj. When you come to Mecca, and he who goes round the House, the Ka’bah, and runs between as-Safa and al-Marwah, is allowed to take off ihram except he who has brought the sacrificial animals with him. ( Abu Dawud)
‘Amir b. Wathila reported that Nafi’ ibn ‘Abd al-Harith met ‘Umar RadhiAllahu anhu at ‘Usfan as ‘Umar had employed him as collector in Mecca. ‘Umar said to Nafi’: Whom have you appointed as collector over the people of the valley? He said: Ibn Abza. ‘Umar said: Who is Ibn Abza? Nafi’ said: He is one of our freed slaves. ‘Umar said: So you have appointed a freed slave over them. Nafi’ said: He is well versed In the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Great, and he is well versed In the commandments and injunctions of the Shari’ah. ‘Umar said: The Holy Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam said: By this Book, Allah would exalt some peoples and degrade others. (Sahih Muslim)
This is the sisters section of the Masjid in ‘Usfan where we prayed Asr, Allahu ‘Alum if it marks where Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam offered Salatul Khawf, but in its stark and dusty simplicity one felt enveloped in a cloak of blissful Barakah, SubhanAllah!
As desolate as the surroundings of ‘Usfan are, the sense of the noble presence of our Beloved Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam and his Sahabah RadhiAllahu anhum filled the air and was felt in the billowing dust and is certainly tasted in the cherished water that returned with us and is being shared around Madinatun Nabi.
Yaa Seen. By the wise Qur’an, you [Muhammad] are truly one of the messengers sent on a straight path, with a revelation from the Almighty, the Lord of Mercy…(36:1-6)
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.