He was among the noble clans of the Quraish, a wealthy trader who was born approximately 15 years before the prophethood was declared by Muhammad (pbuh). He was hands down an honorable man among his clan and a successful trader.
He was traveling in Basra for his trade when he met a monk who told him of the coming of the Prophet (pbuh) from his land. On his return home, Talhah inquired if anything had happened in Makkah in his absence. It is then that he heard about the Prophet (pbuh) having announced a new religion and Abu Bakr having followed him.
He had known Mohammad (pbuh) as a truthful, honest man and was not sure why he would lie now, at 40 years of his age. He knew Abu Bakr as an honest man as well. He was married to Umm Kulsum, the daughter of Abu Bakr. After contemplating over what he heard, the message of Islam, what the Prophet (pbuh) was preaching, he went to Abu Bakr and asked him to take him to the Prophet (pbuh). He accepted Islam and thus became among the early converts.
Even though he belonged to a rich and noble tribe of Quraish, he still had to undergo his share of persecution along with Abu Bakr. Nawfal ibn Khuwaylid, nicknamed the ‘lion of the Quraish” bound Talhah with a rope and with the same rope he tied up Abu Bakr and then handed them over to the mindless and violent mob of Makkah to be beaten and tortured.
He migrated to Medina when the Prophet (pbuh) called for migration. He was on the forefront in all the battles except that of Badr. During that time, he along with Syed ibn Zaid were sent outside of Medina for an assignment by the Prophet (pbuh). On their return they were disheartened to have missed the reward of the first battle of Islam. However, the Prophet (pbuh) reassured them of their equal reward for the work they had been sent for and even gave them their share of the booty.
It was in the battle of Uhud, when the Muslims had fallen into a disarray, that our hero here flung into unbeatable action. By this time, the Prophet’s (pbuh) teeth had been broken, his forehead had been slashed, his lips had been wounded and blood was streaming down his face. He was drained of energy. Talhah plunged into the enemy and pushed them away from the Prophet. He turned back to the Prophet and helped him a little further up the mountain and put him to lie on the ground. He then renewed his attack and successfully repulsed the enemy. About this occasion Abu Bakr said:
”At that moment, Abu ‘Ubayd ibn al-Jarrah and I were far from the Prophet (pbuh). When we came close to him to render assistance to him, the Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Leave me and go to your companion (meaning Talhah).’
Talhah was bleeding profusely. He had numerous wounds, from sword, spear and arrow. His foot had been cut and he had fallen into a hollow where he lay unconscious.”
Thereafter, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Anyone who wants to please himself by looking at a man walking on the earth who has fulfilled his pledge of martyrdom, let him look at Talhah ibn Ubaydallah.”
Talhah gained the unique reputation among Muslims of being called the “living martyr”. The Prophet (pbuh) also called him “Talhah the Good” and “Talhah the Generous”. He was undoubtedly the most generous of the Muslims when it came to spending from his wealth.
After fulfilling his duties towards Allah swt and His Messenger (pbuh), Talhah would spend time expanding his trade. He was one of the wealthiest Muslims, and always eager to spend this wealth in the path of Allah. He spent his wealth in Allah swt’s path without measure and in return Allah swt increased the same for him without any measure.
Talhah was well-known for helping people who had debt problems, heads of families who experienced hardship, and widows. One of his friends, as-Saib ibn Zayd, said of him:
“I accompanied Talhah ibn Ubaydallah on journeys and I stayed with him at home and I have not found anyone who was more generous with money, with clothes and with food than Talhah.”
Talha ibn UbaidAllah was among the ten companions that were given the glad tidings of the Paradise. This excellent and generous Companion was martyred in the Battle of al-Jamal (Camel), the first civil war in the history of Islam. It is said that he was killed by Marwan ibn al-Hakim, while some scholars say he was killed by some other man. Allahu alam.
It is important to mention here, that Talhah even though started in the battle with the supporters against Ali (ra), nevertheless after talking to Ali (ra) he along with Zubair ibn al-Awaam withdrew from the battle. However they paid a price for that with their lives.
His funeral prayer was led by Ali (ra), who prayed the funeral prayer for all of the martyrs in that war, both who were with him and those who were against him on that day. When he had finished burying Talhah and Zubair he bade farewell to them with a heavy heart, a heart filled with tenderness and love and said,
“I have heard with these two ears of mine the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying: “Talhah and az-Zubayr are my companions in Paradise!”