Zubair (Radia Allah Anhu) was the son of Al Awam and the father of Abdullah. Zubair is one of the most respectable and famous personalities of Islam, The Prophet (PBUH) himself had decorated him with the title of Hawari-e-Rasul” or the Disciple of the Messenger of Allah, He was one of those ten companions of the Holy Prophet about whom the Prophet (PBUH) had predicted of their entry into Paradise. His eminence may be judged by the fact that Umar Farooq (May Allah be pleased with him) would honourably address him with the words as One of the pillars of the Faith.” Zubair had more than one relationship with the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as follows:
1. He was the son of Safiyah (May Allah be pleased with her), the daughter of Abdul Muttalib and the aunt of the Holy Prophet. Thus he was the cousin of the Holy Prophet(PBUH).
2. Khadijatul Kubra (May Allah be pleased with him), the mother of the believers was the aunt of Zubair , and according to this the Holy Prophet was his uncle.
3. Asma, the daughter of Abu Bakr Siddiq ( May Allah be pleased with him) and the elder sister of Aisha Siddiqah (May Allah be pleased with him), the mother of the faithful was married to Zubair and thus he was a brother-in-law of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
4. Qusai, the son of Kalab, was the common ancestor of both the Holy Prophet and Zubair, and in this way Zubair had also ancestral relation with the Holy Prophet(PBUH).
His father Al Awam died when Zubair was still a child, so he came under the guardianship of his uncle Naufil the son of Khowailid, His mother Safiyah, a bold and courageous lady as she was, wanted to bring up her child Zubair also as a bold and courageous man. So she would compel him to work hard and become sturdy and stout. For the same reason she would often beat the young boy mercilessly, One day seeing the boy being beaten mercilessly by Safiyah, Naufil became restless. He complained to the nobles of Bani Hashim, the tribe to which Safiyah belonged, against her being so unkind to the boy, When Safiyah heard about it, she declared, “It is mistaken to state that I beat Zubair with enmity, I beat him in such a way only to make him wise.”
What the like, Safiyah wanted to make her son, may be understood well by the fact narrated by Hafiz Bin Hajar, a famous historian. He writes;
” Once, Zubair while in his boyhood, was confronted in a brawl against a full grown up man and had to fight, He struck the full grown up man in such a manner that the young man lost one of his hands. But when people complained against Zubair to Safiyah, she did not mind, She rather asked with great fondness, How de they find Zubair in the fighting, “Did he prove himself a brave or a coward? ”
It was this sort of training from his mother that Zubair (May Allah be pleased with him) became one of the great brave men of his age. He was always ready to face any danger and to endure any pain and troubled During the early days of Islam, one day a rumor was spread in Mecca that Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was made captive by the idolaters of Quraish, Someone even laid that the Prophet was martyred, Zubair, who had come home to take rest for a while, also heard this rumor. Although, he was then only a boy of sixteen years, but bearing the rumor he was so excited that he at once rushed out of his house with a naked sword in hand. He, however,
blue taking any action against the idolaters, thought it necessary to ascertain about the rumors that were being heard, He went straight to the house of the Holy Prophet with his face being red and naked sword in his hand.
Seeing him in such a state the Holy Prophet (PBUH) asked, “What is the matter with you brother? Why there is a naked sword in your hand today?”
“O Messenger of Allah,” Zubair started saying, “thanks to Allah that you are quite safe and secure. My parents may be sacrificed for you, I heard the rumor that the idolaters had made you captive or even martyred you.”
“So, this is the matter which made you so restless,” said the Holy Prophet (PBUH) with a smile on his face, “Well, suppose if the rumors would have been true then what would you do?”
“O Messenger of Allah, the young boy cried out, By Allah I would have alone declared war against the whole of Mecca. I would have preferred to die than to live after you were murdered.”
Hearing this statement of the boy Zubair (May Allah be pleased with him) the Holy Prophet smiled again and pointing towards the sword of Zubair he declared, “This is the first sword raised for the cause of Allah and His Prophet.”
Zubair belonged to the family that was blessed with the light of Islam just in the beginning. His aunt Khadija el Kubra was the first lady of Islam, his mother Safiyah too accepted Islam in the beginning. So it was quite natural for Zubair that he too became a true follower of Islam between the age of twelve and sixteen years, and this is why he attained a prominent position among the earliest companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
As we have seen above, Zubairs uncle Naufil was very kind and affectionate to him, but this was only till the time Zubair was beyond the fold of Islam. As soon as Zubair accepted the Oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH) his uncle Naufil became his worst enemy. Now, that very Naufil who had become one day restless to see Zubair being beaten by his mother, himself started to treat him worse than an enemy. The historians say, the enmity and hostility of Naufil against Zubair knew no bounds. He, usually would wrap him up into a mattress and lit fire around him. In this condition when he would be choked of smoke, his cruel uncle would ask, “Are you ready to come back to your ancestral religion or not?” “No, never,” the boy Zubair (R.A.A.) would reply firmly, “It is quite impossible for me now to give up the religion of Allah. I must die as a Muslim and not as an infidel.”
When the cruelty of his uncle exceeded all limits, Zubair (May Allah be pleased with him) left Mecca for Habasha (now Ethiopia) with the permission of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) But he did not stay there for long, After some time he cape hack to Mecca and started business.
The Hijrah (migration) of the Prophet from Mecca to Madina occurred during the days Zubair had left to Syria for business. While coming back to Mecca from Syria, he met the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Abu Bakr Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him), in the way, who were going to Madina from Mecca. At that moment he was not in a position to accompany them, so presenting some clothes to the Prophet and Siddiq he took his way to Mecca, But after sometime, he too came over to Madina with his mother Safiyah and his wife Asma.
In Madina the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had established “Moakhah” or the relationship of Islamic Brotherhood, between the Muhajirs of Mecca and Ansar of Madina. According to this relationship Zubair was made the brother-in Islam of Salma (May Allah be pleased with him) the son of Salama, who belonged to Banu Ash-hal, a clan of the Madinite tribe Aus He was among those companions of the Prophet who took part in the first remarkable pact of Aqaba, according to which the Prophet (PBUH) migrated to Madina.