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The following story was narrated by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him).
[The firmness of Sayyidune Ja’far]
When Sayyiduna Ja’far’s right hand was cut off, he seized the standard with his left hand until that too was cut off. He then clasped the standard with both arms until he was mortally wounded. His companions took the standard from him and took him to the side. They found that he had been struck eighty times (by swords, spears and arrows) but all these wounds were on the front part of his body, not on his back or his side.
This was because he remained firm and did not for a moment turn his back to the enemy. He was offered water but he refused to drink it, saying that he was fasting.
“You are fasting on an extremely hot day while being in the midst of this battle?” they asked.
“I desire to break my fast in Paradise,” Ja’far said.
They took the water away from him and at sunset he duly broke his fast in Paradise, as the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) testified.
On the same day the Prophet was in al-Madina. He raised his head and said: “Wa alayka al-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh” and he began to speak. A group of his Companions were sitting around him observing what was happening with humility and etiquette.
When he had finished speaking, they asked him:
“Who were you speaking to, O Messenger of Allah?”
“That was Ja’far bin Abi Talib in front of me with a group of angels.
Allah replaced his arms with two wings with which he can fly wherever he wishes in Paradise.”
He was thus knows as ‘al-Tayyar’ or ‘the Flyer’ long before aeroplanes were invented. He did not merely fly in the sky but in Paradise. He came from Mu’tah in Jordan to al-Madinah.
What need was there for him to come to al-Madinah if he was already one of the people of Paradise?
What was the purpose of him coming to al-Madinah?
[True Love]
The purpose was to visit one person who was more beloved to him than Paradise.
His name is Muhammad, your Prophet (Peace be upon him). Had it not been for this love there would have been no need for him to go to al-Madinah to give greetings to the Messenger of Allah.
Even Paradise did not cause him to forget Muhammad because he knew that he was only entering Paradise due to the fact that he was a follower of Muhammad.
He knew that the true sign of his faith was for Allah and His Messenger to be more beloved to him than anything else, including Paradise.
When will you ascend to these degrees, my brother?
Will you allow your life to pass by and the meeting with Allah to come without attaining this station?
What effect have the passing of the days and nights, your actions, your prayer, your charity, your fasting, your hajj had on you?
Relevant Resources:
The Messenger I Love – Ibrahim Long
Why do We Send Prayers of Peace & Blessings Upon the Beloved Prophet of God?
Habib Ali al-Jifri transmits the Hadith of Love – continually transmitted with love back to the Prophet – RIS Canada 2011
Madly in Love: Walking the Way of the Companions – Shaykha Noura Shamma
Video: Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. 07. Standing With Aisha Watching the Ethiopians in the Mosque – Faraz Rabbani

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)