عَنْ أُسَامَةَ بْنِ زَيْدٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ حَدَّثَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ كَانَ يَأْخُذُهُ وَالْحَسَنَ فَيَقُولُ “ اللَّهُمَّ أَحِبَّهُمَا فَإِنِّي أُحِبُّهُمَا
Narrated Usama bin Zaid (RA): that the Prophet (ﷺ) used to take him (i.e. Usama) and Al-Hassan (in his lap) and say: “O Allah! Love them, as I love them.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 3735]
We all feel nice when someone close to us asserts their love for us, right! Now imagine if that person assuring their love for you is no other than the Prophet of Allah ﷺ, what an honour it would be! But now let`s take it a step further, not only is the Messenger of Allah ﷺ confirming his love for you, but he ﷺ is pleading with Allah to also love you! That is the greatest honour that can be afforded to anyone, the Love of Allah! Who is this person whom Allah`s Nabi ﷺ loved so much?
His name is Usama bin Zaid (RA) who was born in Makkah approx. eight years before the Hijjah. His father Zaid bin Haditha (RA) was a slave of Khadija (RA), the wife of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. When Khadija (RA) married the Prophet ﷺ, she gave her slave Zaid bin Haditha to him as a gift and the Prophet ﷺ set him free, but Zaid opted to stay with the Prophet ﷺ rather than return to his family. The Prophet ﷺ adopted Zaid (RA) as his son and Zaid’s name remained Zaid Ibn Muhammad until the practice of child adoption was abolished by the Quraan. Zaid RA is the only person among the companions of Rasulullah ﷺ to be mentioned by name in the Quraan. Zaid (RA) was the first man to have accepted Islam after Khadija (RA). He was one of the scribes of revelation and memorized the entire Quran by heart. He was also Prophet’s ﷺ translator in Hebrew, because Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did not trust the Jews and asked him to learn Hebrew in order to be his advisor and translator in his relations with the Jews. Usama bin Zaid (RA) was given birth to by Umm Ayman (RA), the black slave girl of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He freed her when he was a young man. Umm Ayman (RA) took care of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ when he was young, and he treated her like his own mother. She was a brave lady who had accepted Islam during the early days.
Usama (RA) is characterized as a black-skinned, intelligent, chaste, humble, devout man who loved people, and people loved him too. He was the kind of person who always spoke the truth without any hesitation. He was raised in an atmosphere of revelation, and purely grew up by Prophet Mohammad’s ﷺ great moral and Islamic education. Due to this, he inherited Prophet Mohammad’s ﷺ high ethics and good moral standing. His childhood and teenager-hood was with him and under his great care and attention that protected him from the unbelief and ignorance of that era.
His first attempt for an involvement in battle was in 625 when he was very young. He wanted to join the battle of Uhud but Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did not allow him due to his young age. When he was about fourteen years old, he came to Nabi ﷺ again in the battle of Trench (Khandaq) to get the permission for participating in the battle by trying to show his height as a little taller. After seeing his sincere effort, the Prophet ﷺ showed him his compassion and allowed him to join the army. In the battle of Hunayn he drew attention by showing great courage and heroism. When the Muslims were faced with defeat, he was among the few companions who did not escape from the war ground, fought bravely and stayed with Prophet ﷺ . As had been narrated, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had taken Usama on his camel’s back on many occasions. One of those remarkable times was when he entered the Kaaba and during the Farewell Pilgrimage he was by the side of Prophet ﷺ with Bilal (RA). Later on in the battle of Mutah against the Byzantine Empire, Usama fought under the flag of his father Zaid bin Haritha (RA). Usama had not yet turned eighteen back then. Even though he personally witnessed the martyrdom of his father, he continued the war under the command of eminent companions and fought bravely.
Usama (RA) was always side by side with Nabi ﷺ in his battles and his important occasions. He was always the best example that the merit is not by age. From his first few years of youth he became one of the bravest companions and the privileged gifted man of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He was the most eligible man whom Nabil ﷺ trusted on him as a loyal companion, warrior and a leader, despite his young age and the presence of imminent Companions (RA) in his last troop he sent when he was on his deathbed.
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ بَعَثَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بَعْثًا، وَأَمَّرَ عَلَيْهِمْ أُسَامَةَ بْنَ زَيْدٍ، فَطَعَنَ بَعْضُ النَّاسِ فِي إِمَارَتِهِ، فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ إِنْ تَطْعُنُوا فِي إِمَارَتِهِ فَقَدْ كُنْتُمْ تَطْعُنُونَ فِي إِمَارَةِ أَبِيهِ مِنْ قَبْلُ، وَايْمُ اللَّهِ، إِنْ كَانَ لَخَلِيقًا لِلإِمَارَةِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ لَمِنْ أَحَبِّ النَّاسِ إِلَىَّ، وَإِنَّ هَذَا لَمِنْ أَحَبِّ النَّاسِ إِلَىَّ بَعْدَهُ
Narrated Abdullah bin Umar (RA): The Prophet ﷺ sent an army under the command of Usama bin Zaid. When some people criticized his leadership, the Prophet ﷺ said, “If you are criticizing Usama’s leadership, you used to criticize his father’s leadership before. By Allah! He was worthy of leadership and was one of the dearest persons to me, and (now) this (i.e. Usama) is one of the dearest to me after him (i.e. Zaid).