Episode 10: HAMZA ACCEPTS ISLAM
Once, Abu Jahl happened to pass by the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him near the mount of Safa. He insulted the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him and heaped all manners of indignities upon him but the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him of God did not mind at all. After a little while, Hamza returned from a hunting spree with his bow hanging by his shoulder. Hamza was essentially a warrior, the bravest and the most courageous amongst the Quraysh. A slave woman belonging to ‘Abdullah Ibn Jad’an told him what had happened to his nephew. Hamza angrily turned back to the holy Mosque where Abu Jahl was sitting with his friends. Going straight to Abu Jahl, Hamza proceeded to strike his bow upon his head, saying, “Would you dare to insult and abuse him when I follow his religion and say what he says?” Abu Jahl kept quite while Hamza, returning to his nephew, declared himself a convert to Islam. The Quraysh were put to a great loss by the conversion of a man of unquestionable character and legendary courage. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 291?92)
PROPOSAL OF ‘UTBA TO THE PROPHET peace be and blessings upon him
The number of the Prophet’s followers increased daily, threatening to turn the tide against Quraysh who as a tribe, chose to stay at the other end of the spiritual spectrum and therefore, took the situation as highly embarrassing. But they were unable to do anything to alter the course of Islam. ‘Utba Ibn Rabia, the old and wise aristocrat of the Quraysh realized that he must find a way to patch up the differences with the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him. He consulted the Quraysh for some concessions with him so that he might give up his mission. The Quraysh felt that it was a workable proposition and allowed ?Utba to negotiate with the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him on their behalf. ‘Utbah went to the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him and sat by his side. Then he said, “O my nephew, you know the worthy position you enjoy among us. But you have created a rift in your people by ridiculing them, insulting their gods as well as their religion, declaring their forefathers as heathens and denying their customs. Now, listen to me, I will offer you some proposals that will hopefully include one which will merit your acceptability.” “O Abu Walid,” replied the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him, “Go on, I am listening.”. ‘Utbah continued, “My Nephew, if you want to have wealth by what you preach, we will collect enough of it that you will be the richest of us. If you desire honor, we will make you our chief and leave every decision to your choice. If you aspire for kingship, we will recognize you as our monarch. And if you are possessed of a ghost or a jinn for which you have no remedy, we will find a competent physician for you and spend our wealth lavishly until your health is completely restored.”
The Prophet peace be and blessings upon him listened patiently. When ‘Utbah had finished talking, he asked him, “Is it all that you have to say?? to which ‘Utba replied “Yes”. “Now listen to me,” said the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him. “In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, and he continued to recite Soorah Fussilat, (Soorah 41) ending the recitation at prostration, (Verse 37). putting his hands behind him and leaning on them. The recitation ended, the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him prostrated and then said to ‘Utbah, “Abul Walid, you have heard everything, now it is for you to decide.”
As the Quraysh saw ‘Utbah returning, they commented; “Honestly, he comes with an altered expression of his face.” And, when he finally came, they asked him what had happened.
“I have heard a discourse the like of which I had never heard before. I’ll swear to God, O Quraysh, that it is neither poetry, nor spell, nor witchcraft. Take my advice and leave this man alone.” The Quraysh berated ‘Utba. He said, “Now you may do whatever you think fit.” (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 293?94)