Narrated Naafi’:`Umar ibn Al-Khattab said, "O Allah's Messengerﷺ! I vowed to observe I`tikaaf for one day before Islam." The Prophetﷺordered him to fulfil his vow.
Naafi’ added: `Umar gained two female captives from the war prisoners of Hunayn and he left them in some of the houses at Makkah. When Allah's Messengerﷺfreed the captives of Hunayn without ransom, they came out walking in the streets. `Umar said (to his son), "O `Abdullah! See what the matter is." `Abdullah replied, "Allah's Messengerﷺhas freed the captives without ransom." He said (to him), "Go and set free those two slave girls."
Naafi` added: Allah's Messenger did not perform the `Umrah from Al-Ji’raanah, and if he had performed the `Umrah, it would not have been hidden from `Abdullah.
In one version of the hadeeth, regarding the vow, it does not say “ a day”.
There are three versions of this hadeeth, all of which represent the complete compliance of the Companions(may Allah be pleased with them) to the orders of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ, and how they never tookaction until they hadclarified the truth as stated by Allah and His Messengerﷺ.
In this hadeeth, Naafi’, the freed slave of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him),reports that after Allah granted the Muslims the conquest of Makkah, and it became part of the lands of Islam, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab(may Allah be pleased with him) remembered a matter which he had vowed in the time of ignorance, before Islam.He asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ about it, recalling that he had vowed to perform i'tikaaf (seclusion) for a day in the Sacred Mosque (al-Masjid al-Haraam).In the narration of Muslim, it appears that his question occurred at al-Ji’raanah after his return from Taa'if.The Prophet ﷺ ordered him to fulfil his vow by performing i'tikaaf in the Sacred Mosque.
Part of the share of the booty of ‘Umar was receiving two slave girls among the captives of Hunayn. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ showed compassion on the captives of Hunayn and set them free without any ransom. That is when the Prophet ﷺ married the mother of believers Juwairiyyah bint al-Haarith (may Allah be pleased with her) and made her release her dowry. The Companions of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ exclaimed, “[These captives] are now the relatives-in-law of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ,” as recorded in the hadeeth in Sunan Aboo Dawood. Hence, the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) set the captives free from their ownership, and they began running on the roads.‘Umar asked his son, ‘Abdullah, to find out what was happening! He looked and asked why they were walking on the roads, thus, he learnt that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had set the captives free. Thereupon, ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) ordered his son to set free the slave girls whom the Messenger ﷺhad given him from the one-fifth share.This was an excellent example to follow what the Prophet ﷺ had done.After all, they were the most eager of people to follow him and pursue his guidance.
The words of the freed slave of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)are that the Messenger of Allahﷺ did not perform ‘Umrah starting from al-Ji’raanah, and had he performed ‘Umrah from there, Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) would have known about it.Al-Ji’raanah is a place between al-Taaif and Makkah.It is closer to Makkah, being about 20 km north-east of it.It is narrated in the authentic hadeeth that the Prophet ﷺ performed ‘Umrah from there when had finished conquering Hunayn and al-Taaif [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree and Saheeh Muslim].That was in the eighth year of the Hijrah.Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) and a sizeable number of companions did not know about this because the Prophet ﷺassumed the Ihraam for ‘Umrah and only a few companions accompanied him.Heﷺ left al-Ji’raanah at night, performed ‘Umrah at night, and then returned;hence, his ‘Umrah was unnoticed by a large number of people, as narrated by an-Nasaa’ee, Ahmad and others.
This hadeeth encourages us to fulfil a permissible vow, even if a long time has passed, and that whoever makes a vow free from polytheism before he embraces Islam; then after he embraces Islam, he should fulfil his vow.
It shows that it is permissible to make a vow regarding performing seclusion in the Masjid (‘itikaaf).
It also highlights the prompt response of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) to obey the commands of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ.
It teaches us to accept the good news that becomes widespread, even if a reliable person never heard of it..