Hazrat Abu Hurraira (R.A) was born to a clan named as Daws that was situated at the coastline of the Red Sea in Yemen. His familial name was `Abd Shams (Adorer of the Sun). After he accepted the Religion of Peace, his was given a new identity, i.e. Abd al-Rahman ibn Sakhr by the Holy Prophet ﷺ Himself. He (R.A) was also a very close Friend of Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ and also an industrious storyteller of Hadith. It is said that possibly he liked cats, or was once carrying one of them which is the reason why he was commonly called as “Abu Hurraira” by fellow Muslim brothers signifying “caretaker of the cat.”
Hazrat Abu Hurraira (R.A) was tall man with dark brown skin, and was said to have a hole between his front two teeth; also having two creases of hair hanging, and red colored beard. Very little is thought about his wife and kids with the exception of that he had married his previous owner, Bushra, and that one of his girls was married to Saeed ibn al-Musayyib (one of the foremost authorities in Jurisprudence/Fiqh. People knew very less about his private life apart from his mother.
Acceptance Of Islam
He got the ultimate enlightenment of Islam through Tufayl ibn `Amr, the head of his tribe, who had returned to the resolution in the wake of having met the Apostle ﷺ of Allah SWT and had accepted Islam at Makkah. In one of his trips he went hand in hand with him to Makkah and grasped Islam there and then. Subsequently, his passage into Islam happened in such early time that his associates became late in doing so. Nevertheless, he relocated to Madinah just in the seventh year after Hijrah evidently with his mother who had not grasped Islam yet. He himself was a bit more than 33 around then. Since the Prophet was away at Ghazwa e Khaiber, he stayed among the Ahl Al-suffah (the early new Muslim in Madina who rested at Suffah/Platform in Masjid e Nabawi as they were strangers and had no support). He was also single without a wife or kid.
Calling Her Mother Towards Truth
He used to urge his mother to turn into a Muslim, but she would always deny it. He was very worried about her in this matter. On one occasion, he told the Messenger ﷺ of the Almighty to supplicate for her mother as he had already failed in his attempts for bringing her towards light. In addition to that, she had uttered some harsh words against Him (PBUH) that would make Him sad. Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ prayed and when Abu Hurraira (R.A) went back home, her mother told him that she was ready to embrace Islam. Finally, his grief was over and he was overjoyed at that moment.
Prophet`s PBUH Prayer For His Memory
Narrated by Hazrat Abu Hurraira (R.A):
“I said to the Apostle (PBUH) ‘I hear a lot from you but I forget.’” He said, ‘Spread your cloak,’ which I did. He moved his hands as if filling it with something and then said, ‘Take it and wrap it around you.’ I did, and thereafter I forgot nothing that I heard from him.” (Bukhari)
It shows that the Messenger ﷺ of the Exalted One always listened to His followers` requests and prayed for their well being apart from showing them the right path. Due to His (PBUH) Dua, Abu Hurraira (R.A) was able to remember all His narrations and did not forget any of them after hearing them from Rasulullah ﷺ.
Being the Leading Narrator of Ahadiths
Subsequent to the recorded circumstances of the past, and Abu Hurayra’s decisions, he was the individual who cited most; more than 5,000 ahadith being archived in the Musnad of Ahmad itself. The Sahihayn have inside and out 326 ahadith that start from him. He was followed in numbers by `Abdullah ibn `Umar, Anas ibn Malik, `A’isha, Jabir ibn `Abdullah and Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri. He used to say:
“There was a time when I was a cameleer tending the camels of Bushra, to satisfy my stomach. Praise to Allah that He made it possible for me to marry Bushra, and lead people in Prayers.”
It shows his endless gratitude in front of the Almighty Lord and thankfulness for making him able to be one of the greatest Muslim Scholar. He also once said:
“I have saved two vessels of knowledge. I speak out of one. If I spoke out of the other, people will slaughter me.”
It means that he (R.A) had tremendous amount of insight about Islam and that he heard many things from Rasulullah ﷺ that he did not mention about. It is thought to be related to the later disarray of Muslims after the passage of Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ which He had predicted. The fact remains that he had the greatest honor of relating the most number of Sayings of the Holy Prophet ﷺ during his life.
Taking Part in Battles against Disbelievers
After the passing away of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, he (R.A) joined in the fights against the defectors and deniers of zakah. At the time of Caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (R.A), he was in Jihad. He was there in the well known Yarmuk fight which was decider of the fate of the Romans. Amid the Khilafat of 2nd Caliph, Hazrat Umar (R.A), he was also delegated as the Governor of Bahrain Province (the Eastern piece of the Peninsula).
In short, Hazrat Abu Hurrairah (R.A) was a true Muslim with a heart full of desire to learn from the Messenger ﷺ of God that is why he became the leading narrator of the Ahadiths in Islamic History.