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When the Muslims came to Madinah, the Prophet ﷺ paired Ammar ibn Yasir with the Ansari Abbad ibn Bishr.

On the way back from an expedition, Abbad saw that Ammar was tired and asked what part of the night he wished to sleep, so that the other could stand guard. Ammar chose the first part. As Ammar slept, Abbad began praying and reciting Qur’an. The voice of Abbad was special; the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had heard it once in Madinah at night and enjoyed it.

As Ammar slept and Abbad recited, an attacker who followed the Muslims saw Abbad, and fired an arrow at him. Abbad pulled it out and continued the recitation. Two more arrows followed, but Abbad finished and went into sajda. While in prostration, he reached out and weakly woke up Ammar, who jumped up and fended off the enemy. Turning to Abbad shocked, he asked why he didn’t wake him up after the first arrow. Abbad replied that he did not want to cut short the sura he was reciting, which happened to be Surat al-Kahf. 

The companions called him the “friend of the Qur’an.” Aisha once remarked, “there are three among the Ansar with whom no one can excel in virtue: Sa’d ibn Mu’adh, Usayd ibn Hudayr, and Abbad ibn Bishr.” He died a shahid in the battle of Yamamah. Allah be pleased with him.


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