14.6 The Men around the Messenger
A study of the biography of any of the men mentioned above whom, after the Messenger passed away, carried the burden of spreading the word of Allah far and wide, shows how truly great each of them was in his own right. The historian who tries to understand this age is struck by the number of exceptional men surrounding the Messenger: Abu Bakr with such gentle, refined ways, yet firm as steel if ever the principles or the decrees of Islam were involved, Umar ibn AI-Khattab, a man who reshaped himself anew in order to be able to serve the religion of Allah with the quintessence of justice and mercy, Uthman who had the talent to make large amounts of money and used his wealth to buy wells and equipment for the Muslims. Apart from these very close Companions, there were hundreds of other men who would be considered great in any age and against any background, men like Abu Ubayda, whom Mohamed called “the trustee of this nation”, or Khalid ibn Al-Walid whom he called “the Sword of Islam”. Allah gathered around His Messenger a group of men worthy and able to fulfill their tremendous task.